Long absence

Yes, it’s been a long absence from the blog. Sorry. Health problems, I’m afraid. I’ve had a couple of quite long drawn-out problems to contend with and I’m not quite sorted yet. However, the neck and back problem that cropped up again late in July is now largely vanquished, thanks to some excellent physiotherapy. Here in the UK you can get access to physiotherapy services on the NHS but I know that there’s typically a long wait. For readers outside the UK – the NHS can be absolutely wonderful. It’s a Very Good Thing and we should be proud to live in a civilized country that provides free access to healthcare for all. It’s also very cheap and efficient compared to healthcare provision in say, the USA or in some other parts of Europe. If you have a limb hanging by a thread or are in imminent danger of falling off your twig because of some vile disease, the NHS steps in and sort you out. It’s very good indeed for acute problems. Where it’s sometimes less impressive is for chronic problems. (And if you’re mentally ill you have little chance, because of budget cuts in recent years).

Where I live (I think this is not the case in all areas) you can access private physiotherapy services quite readily by ringing up a clinic and making an appointment. So when I started getting serious pain in my upper back and neck I didn’t hesitate – I rang up the clinic straight away. The receptionist mourned the fact that she couldn’t provide me with a same-day appointment, but provided one for the following morning. I improved rapidly, but then at around a fortnight into the treatment I decided to award myself an afternoon off work to do some stitching. I’d not done any for a while because of the intense pain in my neck, but I thought it might be a good, relaxing, thing to do. Big mistake. No, HUGE mistake. By the following day my back was very much worse. I sloped off to see the physio and she asked me to detail for her all the activities I’d engaged in on the previous day. When I got to the stitching, she stopped me…’that’ll be it’, said she. And of course, I could tell she was right. So there was no more sewing for me for a while. I half-heartedly suggested that perhaps I could do some machine stitching but she vetoed that as well.

However, all things must pass, and gradually I’ve got better. I was able to pick up my work for five or ten minutes and then gradually for longer periods. But I still have to be careful not to stay in the same position for too long. It’s preventing me getting really immersed in the work, unfortunately, but I suppose I’m just going to have to be sensible.

In mid-July I wrote a post about composing a piece based on cochineal, inspired by Paul Klee. I’ve continued to work on this, although in small fits and starts, and here’s a view of the almost-completed piece in the hoop:Cochineal composition in hoop

Despite the physical problems, this has been a joy to work on. I love the pinks. I’ll write more about the piece next time.


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