Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Looking for change

I was at a poetry reading tonight in Prestwick. The poet was Kevin Cadwallender. What a guy. Hilarious and thought provoking at the same time, with a totally original voice. Highlights were a poem about McDonalds, given an Old Testament biblical twist (which would have been banned in certain quarters) and another which he read in the voice of a Dalek. This one originated when he was given the challenge of writing a poem about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski. The challenge was not to mention Bill or Monica or the “alleged” sex act. He therefore decided to write a “relationship” poem where the main protagonists were a Dalek and a hoover. You can make your own mind up which one is Ms Lewinski.

In any case it was a great way to pass an evening. I love it when poetry doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Talking about Poetry, with a capital P not taking itself seriously, we Makars have some events coming up next week. We’ve been invited to participate in a couple of readings as part of the Scottish wide Mental Health week. On Sunday, we are sharing the bill with a blues (insert your own comment here) guitarist called Tragic O’Hara. For real. You couldn’t make that up.

All kinds of glib comments are queuing up for release, but I am going to resist. As someone who’s had their own brush with this condition I’m well aware of the need to be more open about it. So there.

Ankle update: up and about. Back to work earlier than expected. But won’t be dancing an Irish jig any time soon. I’m only a wee bit swollen now and I only limp when I walk fast. Which frankly is not a good look. Let me place an image in your mind of a camp Golem and you will have a fair idea.

Isn’t it weird how contrary we humans are. Normally, if you had offered me a free fortnight sat in the house with a pile of books, an internet connection and a handful of movies I would have bitten your hand off at the shoulder. However, when you HAVE to stay in it doesn’t matter that you have all these distractions, does it. Cos you want to get frickin’ out. You want to feel the wind in your hair (a time capsule is required for me, but you know what I mean), you want to go for a coffee/ beer/ read at the library/ workout, but you cannae because you’re under house arrest.

I had to get back to work. Missed all my work buds. Besides, you can only watch so much daytime TV before you either hate every man on the planet or start sending Jeremy Kyle your toe-nail clippings in a dog-turd sandwich.

I learned this morning that I have a forgetful ankle. No kidding. Matches the brain. Because I went back to work earlier than the date on my original doctor’s sick line, I had to get signed off as being fit to work. My doctor explained, with a lob-sided smile that now I had a weakness in this area I might be prone to suffer the same injury. You know how your body just KNOWS how to do stuff, like walk, breathe, produce mucus? Well the part that knows where your foot is in relation to the rest of your leg sorta forgets whenever you have any ligament damage. So you have to watch where you put your feet.

If you see me walking down any Ayrshire high Street and my eyes are on the pavement you know why. I’m not looking for loose change.


  1. Love that pic!! It's particularly appropriate because I had just hopped over from Richard Mabry's blog where he was decrying society's tendency to blame everything on someone else and not take responsibility for one's own actions.

    So glad to hear you've finally escaped home containment. Believe that doctor's warning, however... it really *is* terribly easy to repeat the injury. I speak from experience!

  2. eeek, watching my step with extreme care.

  3. your point about how we experience freedom in the context of our particular situation is so interesting. Kierkegaard said, "anxiety is the dizziness of freedom." We want the freedom to do whatever we want. But when we feel stuck (mentally or physically, we view our situation in surprisingly different ways. Taking a fall (or the fall) can affect your confidence. One could stop walking altogether, or one could be more careful, less risk taking. or one could just put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.

  4. well said, Thea. Just wish I was intelligent enough to put it like that.

  5. michael, you are one of the most emotionally intelligent men i've encountered AND your writing is a blaze of glorious words...and, most importantly, interesting (for a guy..yuck yuck). have a great weekend. we have a 3 dayer (Columbus Day) and with having weekend company and living near d.c., atouristing i shall be going. it was 85 degrees f here today and the weekend outlook is for more. one strange thing i read today was maureen dowd's nytimes book review of dan brown's Lost Symbol. she mentions that President Obama made a secret visit to the washington monument by himself recently. i wonder if he read the book that had to go there to look for some secret clue. well, i'm spiraling now so must dash!

  6. Thea, thank you. Have a fab weekend. Our weather is struggling to move into the teens.

  7. And I wish I was either in DC or Scotland, lol. Though the weather did get a bit cooler yesterday.

    I've done the same ankle three times since the first. I never knew it was because it was forgetful. Just thought I was clumsy.

  8. It's a bit disconcerting to look over on the right of your blog and see how Google reads the comments - ads are for the treatment of ankle pain.