Tag Archives: Writing

Sieval Outcry

Emotional outburst against a backdrop of firey fuelled righteous indignation

Against a plan that wasn’t there for a source that isn’t provided

And yet still you burn and burn and burn

Against the tide of injustice only you can percieve

Fighting the inequality of life amidst the stain

Of your equally unwarranted vile and vitriol.

And yet, do me a favour?

Keep it to yourself.

See how you like living with it.

Just try it.

Sweetheart.

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Face Paining

It was a day for singing and sadness, a day for open hearts and censored thoughts, a day to celebrate the life he has not mourn the living he left out. It was not a day for honesty.

The rain sluiced down the windscreen onto the black bonnet, drumming a tattoo on the roof of the Cadillac and muffling the sounds of Sophie’s quiet sobs from the back. Dave shifted awkwardly in his seat as he tried to gather her more fully into his arms but her limp figure just seemed to slide from his grasp at every turn, leaking back onto the black leather seats as if to immerse herself more fully in the noir of her misery.

“Come on, love” he cajoled. “We’re here to celebrate Alan’s life and he wouldn’t have wanted to see you in this state now would he?” The second the words left his mouth, Dave wished he could suck them back in and erase them from existence, but it was too late.

“What?” Sophie’s head whipped around with a muscular power belying her previous slackness. “You hadn’t spoken to Alan in weeks before he died!  How can you dare to presume to know what he would and wouldn’t have wanted?!”  The previously muffled sobs now started to escalate into tearing cries akin to the wrenching apart of rusted metal as Sophie worked herself further and further into her state of hysteria

“How could you?  You know all he wanted was to be friends and if only you’d have talked to him perhaps none of this would have happened! I’m not sure you should even be here today.  If the tables were turned I’d be too horrified to show my face at his funeral. You… you…” This thought was clearly too much for even Sophie’s melodramas to finish and instead she dissolved into loud, hiccupping wails that startled the group of mourners making their way past the end of the car under their umbrellas.

Dave sighed and once again shifted in his seat waiting for Sophie’s display to finish.  His head was starting to ache and in all honesty he was beginning to wonder why he had agreed to attend the funeral. Wiping his hand over his face he heard the rasping stubble of the last three days and felt the sleepless night’s grit in his eyes and thought over the possibility of escaping the confines of the vehicle and Sophie’s amateur dramatics into the cool embrace of the October rainfall.  For just a moment he entertained the thought of leaving all this behind him and making a break for it through the peaceful graveyard to his left.

Suddenly Sophie’s flaccidity seemed to return in full force and she flung herself artistically onto his lap and howled into chest with a ferocity that made the driver, studiously ignoring his passengers until this point, jump in his seat and turn to the back seat with a look half shock, half ill-concealed disgust plastered on his face.

It was too much.  This was really all too much for Dave to take. He took one look at the driver’s exasperated expression and couldn’t help the noise that came out.  Sophie slowly lifted her head and turned to look at him in disbelief, but the view of her makeup strewn, puffy-eyed, slack mouthed, wobbly-lipped indignation was the last straw.  He could feel it creeping up his chest and overpowering his conscience sense and there was nothing he could do to stop its onset.

Dave leant his head back in the seat and roared with laughter.  The kind of laugh that leaves you feeling weak and trembling after it’s arrived.  His body shook with the sudden mirth that overtook him and tears started to course down his cheeks unchecked as he pushed Sophie away and reached for the door handle.  This seemed to shake her from her incredulity and spur her to action

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing you selfish bastard?  Today is about Alan and you think this is acceptable?  You clearly have issues you need to sort out but right now, I’m telling you to get your shit together and think of Alan!  Shut that door, get back in the car, get yourself together and walk me up to that fucking graveside or…”

“Or what Sophie? You’ll do what exactly..?” Dave left the question hanging in the echo of his final chuckle and stared into the face he once thought he loved. “You’ll do what?”

They stayed locked in the stare for a long time before colour gradually started to flood Sophie’s face, barely visible beneath the cake of makeup on her skin but the flicker of her eyes down towards her now twisting uncertain hands was all the confirmation he needed.

“No, I didn’t think so,” Dave said quietly. He turned in his seat and pulled the door open.  The grey sky and greasy rain greeted him as he stepped from the vehicle and straightened up, stretching as he went.  He stood for a moment; face turned to the clouds and listened to the muffled sounds of the world beyond the black Cadillac and all it held. Without a backwards glance, he walked away, through the peace of the gravestones.

 


‘The time has come’, the Walrus said…

I cannot utter the first four words of that sentence without swiftly following them up with the latter three.  It’s like an incomplete statement if I don’t.  Unfortunately that sentence often only comes out to play when there is some decision I need to make or unpleasant action to be undertaken and I am girding my loins to take it.  Procrastinating is the other thing that comes out.

‘Girding the loins’; who does that nowadays? Moving on…

The time has come, some three months after beginning this, to return to life as I once knew it.  Time to leave my sanctuary, my bolt-hole and rejoin the society I have left behind for over quarter of a year.  And I just don’t really want to.  Oh, it’s not fear of what has changed since I have retreated, it’s not even worry about how I will slot back into the place I left behind because that would all too easy to do.  It’s not even concern over whether there is a place for me the way I left things or whether the tide has come in and washed away the footprints I left behind.  No.  My trepidation is due to the fact I know I’m not the same person as when I left. And I have no intention of fitting neatly back into the sunken hole I left behind.

  1. Health

Upon my departure I was sick.  Not in an infectious, illness kind of way no, but more in a withheld, withdrawn, incapable kind of way I can only see now with hindsight.  For two years I have been a shade of me with tranquillised edges.  Now, I can feel again beyond the L5/S1 vertebrae and have found that desire to keep feeling this way for the foreseeable future.

Not only that, this is the most I’ve exercised in a long time and I’m actually enjoying it.  Who knew recovery could be so damn good for you!

  1. Happiness

Having avoided looking at what makes me unhappy – beyond that vertebrae combination – for some time [the only attempted foray into it ending in disaster from some dubious decisions, calling into question my confidence in my own judgement – all in all a depressing and counter-productive exercise], the time to confront what has dropped me lower than the stereotypical Essex girl’s knicker elastic has been more than a little terrifying.  But also incredibly enlightening.  As a wise and trusted friend has told me on more than one occasion, ‘you cannot change other people’s actions, only your own and how you react to others.’  Looking at what makes me unhappy has also made me face what truly makes me happy and how much I have been neglecting the positive in my life without meaning to.  And as Nickelback have taught me, ‘It’s hard to see through bullshit when it’s up above your eyes’.  I was in fact a self-fulfilling prophesy and now I see that, it has fulfilled its last

  1. Selfishness

Mm, to the crux of the matter.  This is something I have forgotten recently and have frequently rearranged my plans to suit anyone else’s intentions rather than my own.  And this is something I have recently decided need an overhaul.

I have always believed that the word ‘selfish’ gets a bad rap.  To be selfish is defined as being ‘concerned primarily with one’s own interests’, which so many people would agree is a horrible way to live and that selfish people alienate people, lose friends and will in general die lonely and alone because they have lived their lives purely for their own gain to the detriment of all others.

However at this juncture I would beg to differ.  At what point did making yourself a priority become an evil to rival the seven deadly sins?  Since when did putting yourself first become behaviour worthy of disgust?  And just when and where is it written that you must, at all times, put the needs and desires of others before yourself in order to avoid committing such an immoral taboo?  Believe me, I am just as anti ‘selfish, self-centred, unrealistically full of their own self-importance twats’ as the next person but to be perfectly frank; if we’re not selfish once in a while who else exactly is going to primarily concerned with one’s own interest?  Because it sure as hell isn’t going to be anyone else is it?

  1. Insight

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  But a little further knowledge is always appreciated.  From time to time I look at myself and wonder if I have it wrong.  I thought I knew me pretty well but time and perspective has made me realise I’ve underestimated a fair few points about me that actually should be considered important.  It doesn’t matter what they are and quite frankly it’s not anyone else’s business but there is never anything wrong with a little extra insight into your own world.

 

I have changed in three months, to the extent when I’m starting to like myself again.  I’m not the person I left behind and I have no intention of return to her sorry shell.  I’m perhaps apprehensive, maybe sometimes anxious, a touch tentative and possibly even a little scared of what is to come.

But the one thing I am not doing, is hiding from it any more.


Missing – 1 week

You know that feeling you get when you’ve misplaced something and you don’t quite know what or where?  But as soon as someone mentions it, you feel the thought just ploughs into your head at around 82mph, screeching its apologies for the delay but it got stuck behind your thoughts of dinner and the different choices you would have made had you been in charge of that investigation on Whitechapel last night.  Well, I have quite suddenly been reminded that time is passing and I seem to have procrastinated away an entire week that I thought I still had going spare!

This is horrendous news.

I will soon be forced to exit my sanctuary and return to the real world once more which, in part I think I shall be looking forward to once it needs to become real.  However until it does, I am in no hurry to throw away the very precious time I have for changes, choices, recuperation and relaxation.  There will almost certainly be no other time in my life when this where I can only think about myself and my needs and have no-one else relying on me and it has taken me about two months to appreciate what I have.  Now I have just under a month left to enjoy what I  have and I realised that I have not been making full use of this opportunity.  I am a touch angry at myself.

So, to rectify this I have given myself a stern talking to and decided that I must be more organised and start to make decisions I have been procrastinating over, put in motion plans I have been speculating about and general work the very extremes of my self-indulgence to make this time all about me!

God, that sounds horrible.  But I’ve come to realise that ‘selfish’ is not the swear word I used to think it was.  The truth of the matter is, if you’re not selfish then you lose out.  Because there are few people who will put your own needs and desires before their own.

Now I’m not being melodramatic and turning my back on the cruel world and I certainly don’t intend to change who I am in favour of a self-obsessed, self-centred, base attention seeker.  I know enough of them as it is…  I’m just perhaps more aware of the amount of time I give other people and stupidly, people who barely notice and certainly don’t appreciate the efforts.  As someone told me once, saying no to something is not a negative, it is simply saying yes to something else that is more important to you.  And that’s always a good thing.

So I suppose I haven’t really lost a week, instead, I have used it to do very little indeed.  I made a conscious choice to not get anything productive done and to instead read a little, play a little and gaze into the distance a little.  Other than that I could not tell you what I used my time for.  But that’s ok because I chose to do that.

And in that case I guess this should really be labelled ‘Missing – 1 week.  Just thought I’d let you know.’


Dirty words and backwards glances

Do not talk to me about birthdays.  In my life they have become something of a taboo to me and I don’t enjoy celebrating them.  Not in that fake way people have of saying ‘I hate my birthday’ and then throwing themselves a massive party with on sight admirers/arse-kissers to tell them how amazing they look and they can’t believe their age.  I just plain don’t enjoy them and this one will be no exception.

You see, at some point, in the not too distant future, I shall be approaching a milestone in my life.  It probably won’t seem like much of a one to many of you.  Perhaps you’ve past it and can now look back on it with that wonderful tool of hindsight or maybe it doesn’t or didn’t bother you and you sailed through it with ne’er a backwards glance.  Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be able to do that.  In fact when I stop to think about it sometimes I find I lose part of the definition of myself.

For God’s sake, I’m not dying or losing a limb; I’m just turning 30!  But to me thirty is a dirty word.

Ten years ago I was turning 20 and could not be more chuffed about the whole situation.  The 20’s was the age when people take you more seriously as you’re no longer a teenager, the age you stopped getting asked for ID for booze and fags, the age when you got a proper job, had a proper relationship and basically started your ‘proper life’!  In 2002 I was ready to be 20 and looking forward to the ensuing chaos it would bring.  And boy did I bring it.

In the last ten years I have had four relationships, varying in length from eight months to five years, one of which turned into an engagement. [Obviously that did not end in the textbook fashion, moving on…]  I have also lived at ten different addresses, studied three different courses at two different universities and worked in 12 different places, nine of them being pubs or bars.  I have drunk an inordinate amount of alcohol and probably regurgitated several times my own body weight.  I have also gained a degree, a post-graduate diploma, an NVQ, numerous work related qualifications, a great many friends, several new members of my ‘chosen family’ and thankfully only a few enemies – that I am aware of.

All in all, I’ve been rather busy.

But now, this great and awe-inspiring decade is coming to an end and I am finding myself loathed to leave it behind for a number of reasons but the first of which being the most simple; age.

Thirty has always seemed like the first negative big milestone.  Before this everything you reach has a purpose, a landmark to show you how far you have come and how far you still have left to go, but with 30 it feels as though the safety net has been pulled out from under me.  No more child-like excuses or reasons of immaturity or not knowing.  When 30 years of age are attained, life must be signed, sealed and organised because suddenly you’re nothing but an adult.

The funny thing is if I really think about it, I still don’t get taken seriously by those older than me now, I got asked for ID for alcohol less than 4 months ago (the last time I went out drinking) and I am still unaware what it is I want to do with my life.  In this respect I can either be reassured that a few months will not change reality as I know it, or conclude that I have not travelled very far at all in my latest decade.  Trying to go with the former…

Thirty is described as a rite of passage, particularly for women and if you pick up any magazine now it will begin to tell you how 30 is the new 20, 40 is the new 18 and I’m sure sometime soon, about the  new 90 which means you can revert to your old habits of liquid foods and incoherent babble.  Actually, in some cases that is not too far from the truth.

A rite of passage is it?  Really??  That’s what 30 is supposed to be.  Perhaps once upon a time when you were married before 20, kids before 21 and tied to the kitchen sink between every child dropped!  But now in the constantly evolving and revolving society we have, to be old is to be beyond your use, have lived past the sell-by date and to be taking up space that others could exploit more fully.  No longer in the pigeonhole of ‘youth’ but not high enough up to be middle-aged, geriatric, retired or solvent, to be 30 is to be relegated to the back of the shelf and left there to fester because it is no longer necessary for society to care what it is you’re doing; you’re on your own.

I am daunted by the prospect of looking back at my life and seeing what I haven’t yet done and why it has not come to fruition only to be greeted with a plethora of my own mistakes and self-imposed misfortunes.  I am also unwilling to share these thoughts with anyone ‘real’ because they would surely try and persuade me otherwise and there is only one thing worse than having to face up to all the dumb-ass things you’ve done that have led you to this very point you’re not all that keen on standing on.  And that’s having an audience while you do it.

So instead, you get my neuroses and my near-hysterical ramblings as I fret about the looming date which is in point of fact, a date.  A day like any other, one that I will to all intents and purposes try to ignore as I do most years and will pass with no more pomp and fanfare than those surrounding it.  In my mind thought it may be a millstone rather than a mile, it will not be a culmination of my failures and foibles; a buffet spread from my silly mistakes and bad choices made at an age when I was too adolescent to spot them and too shallow to care.  It will be just a day, shared with others and liable to pass whether I wish to celebrate its coming or hide from its looming presence.  And yet, even knowing all of this, I cannot shake the feeling that it is a turning point and should be treated as such.

I have lived my life up until this point with a carefree abandon that has amounted to very little to show but a great deal to remember.  I have memories I will treasure forever and those that I wish I could tear out of my mind but instead will look and learn from, knowing I couldn’t be who I am now without them.  I may be young in some eyes but I am old in others and right now I am in-between decades; not quite finished with one, just not ready to step onto the next.  But perhaps that is the point.  Without the use of these landmarks, where would be the perspective of knowledge and the hindsight to see how well you really did?

Perhaps I have been looking at 30 all wrong and actually it is not a milestone to pass, but one to look back on and see in the distance; a signpost to the way forward of the person I am still to become.

And yet even knowing all of this to be a distinct possibility I cannot shake the feeling that life is creeping up behind me, ready to jump out with wrinkles, cardigans and bitter envy of the youth as well as contemptible intolerance of their unappreciative nature of what they possess.  I think I would do ‘old’ well provided I could do it my own way and in my own specific style.  But not now.  Because 30 is not old; it’s not even half way there!

Now all I need is to understand that is the case and let time flow on by; once a second, every second as it has been doing for millennia, and will continue to do so long after I have been forgotten.  And perhaps just a gentle reminder once in a while that, milestones are important yes, but also personal.  What one person celebrates, another may dismiss as wholly unimportant.  So if I choose to throw a mental tantrum about something I can no more affect than the movement of the Earth, then I only have myself to blame.

All I can affect are my own actions and emotions and maybe, just maybe, if I can get those under control, I can sail through this transition smoothly with the wind at my back.  Because it’s going to happen, whether I’m ready or not.

So, enough moping and maudling, it’s time to start looking forwards and brushing away the needless mind blocks I have subconsciously been erecting.  Time to start planning for a new decade’s memories with optimism, even if I may need subtle reminders of it now and again…

Besides, if this next decade is anything like the last one, now may be the time to start putting up the buffers.  Because they’re sure as hell going to know about it once I’ve arrived.


Security Servicing

Secrets are as essential to life as breathing, love, sex, cider and caffeine the morning after the night before – not necessarily in that order – don’t let anyone try and convince you otherwise. However, I am talking about the kind that you keep to yourself because it’s your business, or the sort that saves someone the horrendous feelings of inadequacy because they don’t need to know what someone else thought of their dress sense after the fact as examples. This kind keeps the world spinning on its slightly dysfunctional axis.

The ‘I-had-an-unhappy-childhood-right-up-until-I-set-fire-to-the-family-home-with-all-the-occupants-inside’ or ‘I’m-shagging-your-sister-behind-your-back’ kind definitely do not make the world go round. More, come to a grinding halt, spitting out nuts and bolts along the way.

So let’s stick to the first kind for the purposes of this blog.

I am sure we all have a stalwart companion to whom you could disclose your darkest secrets without even a flicker of fear that they could be breached. However the fact of knowing someone elses secrets is addictive and that is why we will all also someone who cannot keep a secret for love nor money but who always seems to get the best gossip. And this is because there is something liberating in revealing secrets.

It’s like stepping out of the carefully created public mask and revealing just a flash of the hidden person underneath that only a few people are privileged to see. Basically I think I’m accidentally comparing it to streaking. Yeah, streaking.

So on that note I fancied a quick flash in the pan myself (if you will) and here are a few things I don’t think many people know at all.

  • Soft touch

I may well be the world’s most cantankerous waker-uperer and possibly the least sympathetic person I know to common or garden problems brought on by self-inflicted stupidity in my expert opinion [see previous post for exceptions] but I have a small hidden part of me that I keep deeply buried and has had little reason to surface recently that adores romance.

Oh yes, out loud I may scoff and rely on practicalities over emotion, find the gift of flowers inconvenient because I kill the damn things within days and scare off grown men when they don’t behave while drunk. But underneath I harbour a guilty passion for surprises, gestures and being swept off my feet.

The majority of the time I would probably find it incredibly annoying and untimely but once in a while, I would like to be swept away in something other than a wave of crashing banal reality.

  • Girly Girl

Jeans and a hoodie are my staple weekend wear and they are the clothes I am the most comfortable in which is important when the weekends are mostly spent at one rugby club or another, either working or watching.  This also suits the fact I was graced with rugby playing legs and horse rider’s arse.  I am somewhat of a self-confessed low maintenance gal but on occasion I like to get dressed up to the nines, fling on some bling and sparkle in the room rather than fading into the background as all good staff can.  I actually like one or two dresses!

  • Wine not

I am not averse to quaffing wine with dinner, I have a glass with the girls on nights in or out and when visiting friends for a housewarming or dinner party I always come armed with a bottle.  Its only polite isn’t it?

Except for the fact that I don’t like wine!

I’ve been told I will grow into it, it’s something that needs to be cultivated, different palates prefer different tastes; I just need to find mine and a whole host of other ridiculous things that all amount to the same idea.  I’m being given different excuses to put something in my mouth I don’t like and actually, I already know isn’t that good for me!

In this respect, I think I should apply the same logic to wine drinking as I do to oral sex.   If I don’t like it, don’t expect me to do anything with it except politely decline.  [Added onto that could of course be if you insist then you have to be ready to accept the fact I may well spit it back in your face but perhaps that’s taking the imagery too far…]

If I’m going to go down with liver disease and chronic cirrhosis then it’s going to be with a drink I actually like. Bring on the cider!

  • Solidity

I have been told by several people in the last couple of years, I come across as hard.  I think this is almost something I deliberately project at times so no-one can see if I’m feeling weak or vulnerable but possibly I have done this a little too well!  I like my cover of hardness; it’s soothing to me to know that people think they can’t get in if I don’t want them to, even if I know that may not be strictly true.

Strictly true?  That’s pushing the point a bit!  I over think, over analyse and over complicate things in my head before they’ve even got as far as far as the vocal chords but fortunately, a few years of practise has taught me the ‘think-it-don’t-say-it’ school of working and I have mostly perfected the ability to not look like I’m chewing a wasp when someone tells me something I don’t want to hear or when I feel something other than ‘fine’.  I think I need to reign in my reigning in on this particular subject but it’s hard to break a habit; especially one you’ve adopted deliberately.

There!  I almost feel a catharsis coming over me now I have laid bare my inner most feeling and desires…  Ok perhaps not but that’s about as much secrecy as I think I’m going to disclose right now and who know?  What I think of me may not be the opinion everyone else shares but I’d like to think I know myself well enough to be right.  If I were an onion and they were simply parts of the brown outer layers, it’d still be a step closer to the core.

I guess what I’ve been thinking is that people need secrets.  They keep the world spinning and the pages turning, without them the relationships we make would take no discovery and the paths we tread would be paved with monotony.

But it’s always worth remembering that just as you guard your secrets, everyone else has their own, and that perhaps sometimes all you see is not all there is to be seen.  Just because someone allows you to peek between their pages doesn’t give you the right to flick to the end.  You take all the fun out of the journey and ultimately ruin a good story.

A word of warning to those hell-bent on uncovering the truth no matter why it was hidden, be it physical, practical, emotion or literal.  Secrets are exciting to discover, but once they’re out there, there’s no putting them back.  When you get through all the layers of the onion, ultimately all you have is a handful of onion layers and eyes full of tears.


101 Things I Cannot Do With My Broken Back

Ok, so maybe it’s just the seven but that’s how it feels sometimes when I’m struggling to get up from a chair that a 90 year old would have sprung out of, raced over to the Viennese whirls and got back into in the time it would have taken me to lever my arse millimetres away from the cushion. Basically this thought has been occurring to me on and off for the last few months while I have been recuperating from spinal fusion in December and has made me realise just how much I truly took my back for granted.

  1. Sitting:

So let’s start with the basics. When you go to sit, you either a) find an appropriate spot, lower yourself gently in and adjust yourself accordingly, or b) find an appropriate spot and using the arms available as guides or strategic ‘bum sweeping’ motions, clear the area for perching.

If you have problems with your back, a) there is no appropriate area, only inappropriate positions, and b) perching is not an option. You have landing, falling, crumpling and, my favourite, collapsing into seats. Never perching.

When sitting down during a normal course of events as I understand it, the body’s core tightens and as the quads contract and the hamstring elongates, the legs bend and the stability behind these muscle groups allows for a steady progress down to the chair. Now imagine that instead of your core muscles, you have an inflatable ring with the plug missing. That’s the visual there folks!

  1. Getting up (or down again for that matter):

Moving from sitting to lying or vice versa is all par for the course for those of us who go to bed at night and rise in the morning n’est pas? Wrong! Normally I would throw myself in or out of bed with abandon – my own I hope you note – as I would be running late or longing to sleep.

However, without the use of a fully functioning back this is no longer an option. I must now sit/fall (see previous) onto the bed and from there use a vertical pivot to simultaneously swing my feet up and my head down, and from there I can roll onto my back if I fancy a change of scenery from anaglypta to artex. I feel like a driver with his hands stuck at ten to two 20 years after he’s passed his test.

So perhaps it’s more understandable that, having been able to do the former for many years I sometimes forget and yesterday was one of those days. I simply threw my leg under me and went to collapse on the bed, but as I realised part way down that I wasn’t to do this and that the landing would hurt I also realised that there was nothing I could do. It was at this point that I realised a third thing.

It is not the act of hurting yourself, nor the knowledge that you did something stupid to result in your injury that pains you. More the knowledge, before the pain has happened that you’re going to hurt yourself, there will be no one else to blame so yes, it is all your own fault.

Oh, and the pain itself.

Idiot.

  1. Bending over:

I suppose there’ll be a fair few of you (if you read this) that find this one funny. Well I’ll tell you something for nothing sunshine; it’s bloody not!

You probably bend in all sorts of places like the knees, the hips, the waist and have a variety of poses you can put yourself into. Best stop that sentence before it really becomes an erotic thought pattern in your mind that I have accidently imbedded.   Moving swiftly on…

‘Not too much to bending is there?’ I hear you cry; well I shall tell you that in fact bending is one of the most difficult things I have had to do since surgery. I’m sure we all know that you should bend at the knee not the back and that bending and twisting can cause damage. But what is not reported on is the fact that we still bend an awful lot in our lives regardless of whether we pick up objects with straight legs or lever ourselves out of bed in the mornings.

Take hair care for example. When drying your hair, or even wrapping it up in the towel straight out of the shower, the first thing most girls do is toss their hair forwards. This has become something of a nemesis to me.

Upon finishing my shower, I reach for my towel and then take a moment to pause and think about just how easy this was before and understand why on earth it should be so difficult now. Then, once I have finished berating myself for being a pillock I gingerly bend forwards, keeping my hands firmly on my – fairly slippery – thighs.

It is about this point that I realise that the towel I have bunched up on my right quad is never going to reach my hair unless I loosen my death grip and bring it up there

It is now that I must rely on the pesky aforementioned core muscles. I honestly did not understand quite how much I relied on them until it seems mine have been sliced through at the back. Well, alright maybe I’m exaggerating a touch but it certainly feels that way when I’m trying to hold my upper body up whilst bending. If I did not have my hands clamped to my legs as supporting struts, I believe my body would fold completely in half, thus rendering me not only painfully incapacitated but also quite unable to get myself out of this position. So I have two choices: 1) drip dry, or 2) brace my back against something while I lean.

Have you ever tried leaning your arse against the arctic cold of wall tiles after taking a 15 minute near scalding shower?? Nemesis!

  1. Running:

Would seem fairly self-explanatory given the above, but I defy any of you to exit a hastily double parked car in the pouring rain to catch the post and not jog to the box. Turns out Pavlov was right; years of imprinting do override basic common sense.

I managed two steps before my body reminded me that I shouldn’t be doing this. It wasn’t that it hurt because it didn’t (then). What it did do was totally seize up mid-stride and left me waddling my way to the post box in a style vaguely reminiscent of Kryten.

My mum fortunately had the good grace not to laugh out loud as I got back in the car.  She was thinking it though.

Following this train of thought, I have come to the conclusion that I should become an avid Pelican crossing user for the foreseeable future as it is unlikely in my current state I would be able to avoid being flattened by a speeding vehicle.

Ah who am I kidding? In my current state it is unlikely I could avoid being hit by a damn biddy buggy!

  1. Standing

You would have thought this would be the option left to me considering all the others I have discounted but you would be wrong my friend. I did not know how much standing tires you out! Having worked in bars for years this realisation has really astonished me. I’m used to 14 hour shifts of smiling and nodding and acting like the vacuous airhead most people like to have around because they won’t know what’s going on but can still provide some practical scenery. A note for another time, I digress…

Standing isexhausting.The only way I can think to describe the feeling I get in my back after 30 minutes standing is that my lower spine is starting to collapse back in on itself. Horrendous imagery but that’s what I get, and when I get that feeling…

  1. Sex:

You’re taking the proverbial right??

  1. Sleeping:

This is actually a new one on me. I am by nature a side-sleeper so when I first had the operation and was told that I needed to sleep on my back because it would be more comfortable I was not impressed. Sleeping on my back has never been comfortable and I often feel pressure on my chest and body when I try. However, for the first night I did sleep on and off on my back. By the second day I was not only in pain and grumpy from being ill, I was tired.

I do not believe I inherently have the capacity for evil in me under normal circumstances. Except when I have been denied sleep. Whether it is from not sleeping or being woken up believe me; a woman scorned has nothing on me.

So I have been sleeping on my side ever since and just bearing with the pain for the first 30 minutes when I wake up. I feel it has been a fair compromise. This was up until Sunday when I decided that I had gone as far as I could with reduction of medication which I have been doing gradually for the last three months and today was the day when I would start to do without the low dose opiates.

Low dose my tile-frosted arse.

During the day I have been ok, some pain but I have other options for pain relief.  But at night it’s like I’ve been possessed!  After a few hours sleep almost like a convulsion wakes me up in 15-20 minute intervals, but it’s not actually an external reaction. My body seems to have been having internal shudders and the feeling of them at 4am stopping you every time you close your eyes from drifting off is enough to drive a normal person insane.  In fact, I no longer feel normal.

Fortunately it is lessening and last night I got to sleep at 1:45am and woke up at 7:45am. Intersperse that with a few waking shudders throughout the ‘night’ and that is my sleep at the moment.

The day I get clear of these damn pills is the day I am going to touch my toes, go for a run, throw myself into bed (possibly my own) and test out my renewed capacity for sleep like you’ve never seen!

That’s pretty much the list for now. I’m sure there’s more but I’m boring myself with moaning. On the plus side, if this makes just one person realise how much their back is worth and how lucky they are to currently have a fully functioning one then don’t gloat.

I may not be able to make it out the damn chair in time but I’m a crack shot with a shoe.

With all the time I’ve had to practise; just try me.