Monday, March 29, 2010

I Want You to Get Mad!

I don't usually just link to other things on the web as there are plenty of other places that do. But I currently have five scripts to write which is (a) good, and (b) good, but might give me some kind of nervous breakdown. Just while I'm typing this sentence five deadlines are ticking away. And this sentence. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Why aren't I working on one of them right now? Right this second? Instead of typing this sentence? I am an idiot. A real idiot.

So whilst there is this blogging hiatus, I ask how do you make the greatest piece of music in the world even better? Like this:

Doesn't that just work brilliantly?

Check out the YouTube info and comments for the sad story of how Shawn Phillips came up with this seminal piece of music (I have flashbacks to power cuts and the IRA every time I hear it) in a jam session, then due to not being a member of the Musicians' Union ended up signing away everything.

(Original instrumental version here.)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Old Shoulder

My left shoulder has been hurting recently. I can't remember injuring it, and it doesn't hurt a lot, but for several months it hasn't shown any sign of getting better, so I go to see my doctor.

The doctor makes me move my arms in various directions. I can do all of the movements with various amounts of pain, until she finally asks me to put my arms down straight then lift them both up in a big circle. I am surprised to find that I can lift my right arm OK, but not my left - it sticks out as though I can't get a mobile phone signal and am trying to send someone the letter 'J' in semaphore.

Perhaps if I were leading some kind of music and movement class I might need to make a big circle with my arms on a regular basis, but my usual activities don't include making a big circle with my arms. I suppose I assumed that I would be able to make a big circle with my arms should the need arise, and it is slightly disconcerting to find out that I can't make a big circle with my arms, that I probably haven't been able to make a big circle with my arms for months, and that I never realised that I couldn't make a big circle with my arms.

I sometimes feel a twinge in my shoulder when driving if I change gear from fourth to fifth, but living in London this doesn't happen often. The only times I really notice that it hurts is at night when I often wake up to find I've raised my arms up on to the pillow in my sleep. Perhaps I was dreaming of making a big circle with my arms, and my subconscious is telling me to give up the writing and instead become a leader of music and movement classes.

The doctor tells me that it is probably a torn rotator cuff. I like the sound of a torn rotator cuff. It is the sort of manly injury that a young sportsman or rock climber might get. Maybe in physio I will get to meet Roger Federer, and I will point to my shoulder and say "This? Torn rotator cuff. You know what it's like", and he will nod knowingly: "Ah yes - nearly had to pull out of Wimbledon with one of those" and we will both think ourselves lucky that we don't lead music and movement classes for a living. The torn rotator cuff must be the music and movement class leader's biggest enemy.

The doctor has one more suggestion though: apparently it might instead be a frozen shoulder. I have not heard of this, so after I have made an appointment with the physiotherapist and picked up my anti-inflammatories I go home and Google it. I am dismayed to learn from the NHS website that "Most cases of frozen shoulder occur in people between the ages of 40 and 60".

I'm not a medical man, but I'm going to have to write to the General Medical Council and have my doctor struck off for making such a ludicrous suggestion. Clearly I must have a torn rotator cuff, like all those fit and virile young sportsmen, not some old man's disease, which surely I can't get as I'm still 39 for a few more months.

If you disagree, raise your left arm.