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16 Aug 2015
Post 405: Is ignorance bliss?
I was rewatching ‘Band of Brothers’, which might be the most harrowing and humbling series I’ve ever watched and I think one of the characters asks ‘is Ignorance bliss’? meaning if you don’t know about how awful something is, do you just not worry about it? By that token, I should shut up. I would however urge people to watch it, as long as you’re not squeamish. It’s not horror. I think we’re most afraid of terrible pain and dying or seeing/hearing our friends and family have to go through that. Band of Brothers does that in minute detail. There I was shocked at how people lived in 1960s America in Mad Men. That was nothing compared to the 2nd World War. It redefines bravery.
Changing the subject, a recent friend saw this video of my walking practice in 2010 and she said ‘you can walk’ – can no-one else see why doing this 3 times a week was killing me? And more importantly killing Ian! Ian probably still wants to kill me, and I probably still want to kill him but the hate has dissipated. I’ll give you a clue, this was after two years of living here – I was getting no improvements and several actual neurophysiotherapists had told me I’d never walk again. Is changing my physio routine to what it is now really ‘giving up’? IS IT FUCK. How many actually physically able people do not train 4 times a week? OK, I probably drink too much but I restrain myself from eating whatever I want!
Giving up would be not getting out of bed in the morning, and not spending most of my money on other people. People don’t understand the chronic fatigue that has gone with this brain injury. Even neuroscientists and other stroke survivors don’t seem to understand it, but these are the facts: I’m too tired to do anything but I still do them because that is what has to be done. People these days use tiredness or ‘potential tiredness’ as a reason to get out of anything. I have lost count of the number of gigs I couldn’t go to because people who I thought were taking me or would take me decided their tiredness and wellbeing was worth more than my tiredness and how much tickets might have cost me in both pounds and energy.
I believe in never letting anyone down. That has never changed for me. My loyalty to my friends and family has never changed. Life is hard enough when you have to try this hard, and people still think you can do more or worse, have ‘given up’.
OK, got that off my chest, better try and make this at least bearable to read. It’s full of f*cking complaints again.
Well, Phil, who I met a couple of years ago on a local writing course is coming round to drink wine, Shaun and Renae are over from Melbourne as are Stevie and Gnomes. They somehow fitted me in to their absurdly busy schedules and I’m off to the Proms with Ched and Terri in the evening. I haven’t been to many proms this year because logistics are difficult. Despite my parents loving it, it is a huge journey for them and I want them to continue looking like they’re in their mid 60s despite being well into their 70s. I may be ‘a retirement project’ for them now but this should be their opportunity to relax after a lifetime of working their arses off, even if the word ‘relax’ doesn’t seem to compute for them. In fact they’re in Maine right now – most people would consider that ‘relaxing’ but the emails I get from them make it sound like they’re doing more over there. That’s just their way!
Now I often talk about what I’ve been up to.
This is Proms season, and I love the Albert Hall and my friends Ched and Terri are taking me to see two Sibelius pieceshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKbavifujDI. Terri says the word Sibelius sounds like a sexually transmitted disease but that one of her Best memories of the Proms for her was last summer when we’d just seen Holst’s glorious ’Planets’, and just as the 2nd half was beginning, Terri says, ‘the 2nd half is three pieces of Shoenberg’ and I said slightly too loudly ‘I suspect these will be SHIT’, now sound carries in the Albert Hall and I had tried to whisper but it is difficult controlling the volume of my voice. Poor Ched and Terri – who was this rude oaf they’d come to the Proms with? I was right too, it was sh*t – I’ve said it before, you take the rough with the smooth at the Proms, and since then, as is the nature of British humour, we find what is sh*t funny, I have been trying to capture on my ‘slightly illegal Prom videos’ some of the comedy ‘modern pieces’. This was a similar sound to the Shoenberg, and was funnily enough in the first half to ‘the Planets’ a couple of weeks ago –I don’t know how the Orchestra even plays this – I christened this ‘Poulenc’s bag of spanners symphony in A flat horror’ , likewise this, Qigong Chens ‘drowning cat concerto in dead cat flat’ - just odd. It was all forgotten for the Pete Tong Ibiza Prom with a group of mates which was glorious
I dedicate the good parts of this post to my friends Chris and Alexis Dugdale. Chris is the brilliant magician who has sometimes performed at my birthday and Alexis is his amazing wife who has been diagnosed with MS, a brave lady, almost warzone bravery, more than ever , these guys will want the support and love of their friends and families. It’s how I have managed.