Saturday, 27 September 2008

Hospital + 1 week

Saturday 27th September: So it’s a week since my fall. A week on crutches, walking (if you can call it that) at a snail’s pace, my entire radius of activity restricted to a few hundred yards of my front door.

At least the work I’ve been doing this past week has been sedentary , correcting the proofs of the book. My deadline was yesterday (Friday 26th) and the original plan, naturally, was for me to hand-deliver them to Harry Scoble - my editor at Hodder & Stoughton - on the Friday. As it turned out, I managed to complete them and get them in the post by Thursday 25th.

It took a good few days (about five) for the bruising to come-out; and now it manifests its “full colours”. Not pretty; the entire back upper half of my left leg, from behind the kneecap right up to the buttock is a tapestry of purple/black blotches and broken veins. It looks like someone has rag-rolled my thigh…badly. It’s not nice at all. And the toes remain numb, albeit moving freely.

Of course, now that the bruises have surfaced, it’s near-impossible to actually sit down comfortably, especially on any kind of hard chair. Consequently, I now have dangling from my crutch a plastic carrier bag with an old cushion in it, and I use that to sit on, especially in my local coffee shop (I’m still not sacrificing my cappuccinos).

I still feel like I’ve had somewhat of the stuffing knocked out of me. This will be a long, slow recovery, I fear; taking it day-by-day, week-on-week, making sure I don’t try things I am not yet physically ready for yet. And making sure that every time I put my left leg forward the kneecap is going forward too, and not backwards (few tendons, see?).

One thing this incident has brought home to me is: just how isolated I am. I’m an only child, both parents now dead, I have no one to ‘come home’ to (auditions being held…well, er, all the time!)…and, I must admit, somewhat grudgingly, just how much I’ve relied on the NHS [National Health Service] in this matter.

What meetings I have lined up, well, for the present they will have to come to me out here in Redbridge [N.E. Greater London]. And any plans of mine I had to go into town (London) will have to be postponed. So, that waistcoat (6-button, double breasted with a vast sweeping shawl collar in salmon pink shantung silk) I was planning to have made up shall have to wait a while. Damn! I need cheering up…

Friday, 19 September 2008

How I ended up in Hopital

While I’m still searching for the Constructive Apathy piece to kick-off this blogspot with, little did I think this following piece was going to be the one that actually started it:

So I was in town today (Friday 19th), collecting the Proofs of the new book [3rd edition of Teach Yourself Screenwriting] from my publisher - Hodder & Stoughton - so that I may proof-read and correct them next week, delivering them back to Hodders next Friday (26th).

Proofs collected, a few more bits of shopping done - and just as I was heading for the station home - I decided to pop into a shopping mall called The Plaza in Oxford Street. It is notorious for it’s shiny and slippery polished marble floors.

6.35pm: Anyway, I took a tumble, my left leg shot out in front of me at 180 degrees and I fell on it/on my arse (ass) - heavily.

No bones broken but, oh boy, did I feel those tendons snap: behind the knee and especially at the top of the thigh. Well, I sat down and almost passed out a couple of times with the shock. Paramedics came along (about 7 pm) and took me to the local hospital at 7.20pm.

In the ambulance one of the paramedics told me he worked on the construction of The Plaza about 17 years ago and even then he told them he thought the floor tiles were dangerously treacherous.

A few hours in A&E (ER) of University College Hospital (ironically, situated opposite my publisher's building). They told me I was lucky it was a slow period - the busiest periods for them being August and February (student accidents/Freshers' week).

Basically all they could do for me was dose me up on painkillers and tell me to rest and pack it with bags of ice cubes (tendons supposedly heal themselves, the doctor said) and they said - wait for this "if you can afford it, try to see an physiotherapist" [don't the NHS have any physiotherapists themselves?]. They told me I’d be looking at rest for the next 6-ish weeks.

10.30pm As I made my way to the local tube station nearest to the hospital slowly, slowly half-limping, I got to the station. Inside the station, and on the way to the platform, the left leg gave out again - twice. Just shot out in front of me at 180 degrees and I went down on my ass again, twice. (No tendons behind the knee, see). Bugger me, it hurt.

I finally made it to the platform, to the line home, and managed to get a seat straight away (almost passing out twice on the journey home with the shock of it all).

At least when I got out at the other end I managed to get a cab to my flat (apartment). Now I’m back home (where I at least have a pair of crutches stored under the stairs).

[Fact: did you know it costs the NHS more to sterilise a returned pair of crutches than it does to issue a brand new pair?].

Luckily I was wearing a slightly baggy suit that moulded itself to my bizarre body shapes when I went down, and there are no tears or splits (that’s a relief - it’s a particularly nice Prince of Wales lightweight check with sky blue overlaid tramlines!).

So the original plan was for me to go back into town next Friday, 26th (to return the corrected proofs to Hodder).

I am intending to do that Friday visit (even if I do it on crutches). If I can’t make that on Friday - I shall decide next Thursday - I’ll put the proofs in the post, Registered Post].

My lifestyle philosophy at present is: Let’s just take things one day at a time.

What’s that line of John Lennon’s?: Real life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans?

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Welcome! - things to come....

Welcome to my life!

[Some people call it Planet Ray].

Here's your parachute, you may bail-out NOW.

I would dearly love to start posting a few things up here, but I wanted to start with a piece I wrote a number of years ago about my own self-created lifestyle philosophy: Constructive Apathy (the science of watching life pass you by). I've been practising it for almost 20 years now (even the BBC were once interested in doing a piece on it) - and this was long before that Idler chappie started up.

I know the article is around here somewhere - I saw the folder about a month ago. I just can't find it at present....anyway.

Once I've posted that up I was thinking about a piece on The O.C. - no, not "The O.C." on tv but being an O.C. (Only Child - which I am) - when I've discussed these things with them, a lot of similar O.C.s have come back to me and said "hey, I recognise that in myself - I thought I was the only one".

Another blog it has just occurred to me is: Buying my new Straw Boater. (Admit it, you Love the pic at the head of this page!) [Think it was taken by Nik Bartram? ].

I needed to renew my old one earlier this year and a number of friends (especially from the USA) have said they want one as well. The story was long, a little convoluted and quite funny at the end of the day.

I just need to find that piece on Constructive Apathy first.....