Friday, March 10, 2006

Cracking good time

I've been seeing another man recently. Nothing sordid, you understand (although it does involve me stripping down to my bra, something that now adds an extra 10-15 mins to my morning ritual as I desperately try to source clean lingerie from my poorly-stocked underwear draw (those new pants were a long time ago)). This new man in my life is giving my life a new lease thanks to his amazing skills in the back and neck cracking department. Yes, that's right, he's an Osteopath, and he's a fucking miracle worker.

Years! Years now I've had back and neck pain, cracking my way through life with hypermobility and joints that pop in and out at will. I finally went to see an Osteo after stupidly doing the full Locust in my yoga class (see Nanette doing it here, second pic down on the right). Thing is, being hypermobile (there's no such thing as double jointed, but it's basically what it means) makes you great at yoga, but just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. It certainly helps with the back pain, but I know full well I shouldn't be doing things that involve my neck. That's what you get for taking your ego to your yoga class.

Anyway, I've been seeing my lovely Osteo, Michael, and suddenly I discover that I don't have to live my life with constant neck pain anymore! Turns out, I stand all wrong, hold my head all wrong - haven't read the manual for correct body usage. Fantastic, think I, I'll be fixed up in no time once I've learnt how to stand all over again. Oh the joy! The rapture!

But there's a catch.

In order to correct my posture I need to:

1. Pull my head and neck back so that it's in line with my spine. Head should be tilted down.

I pointed out that this gives me a double chin, makes me look like a chinless wonder, and obliges me to look down all the time. Michael scoffed at my vanity and told me to open my eyes wider to help with the looking down thing.

2. Tilt my pelvis upwards.

This makes me look like I'm perpetually trying to avoid having someone pinch my bottom.

3. Bend my knees.

My legs over-bend and lock too much. Now I have to bend my knees, which has the benefit of ridding me of bow-legs. Of course, now I look knock-kneed instead.

4. Cross my eyes and bloat my stomach out into a pot-belly.

I made that last one up, but I may as well - in for a penny in for a pound. After all, I'm now a chinless wonder with bug eyes and knock knees.

Question is, is it worth suffering the misery of constant neck pain if I have to live out my life actively making myself look worse? Truly, there is no god. Although, if there were, this is just the kind of "test of your faith" shit he'd pull.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Joan Baez at the Barbican

Took Milway's parents to see Joan Baez at the Barbican yesterday evening. Well, I say that, in truth it was all just an elaborate ruse to hide the fact that we wanted to go to see her, but needed something to blame it all on if she turned out to be bum-clenchingly bad.

We have a habit of going to see performers where the average age of the audience is 60, which I don't mind in the least (some of my best friends are old people) so long as the act is good. When we saw Macca a few years back I went in with pretty low expectations, being fully prepared for Sir Thumbsaloft to make me feel embarrassed on his behalf within the first 5 seconds. Miraculously, despite the fact he played Band on the Run, I found the whole experience to be hugely exciting and could well understand what induced those young females back into the sixties to scream themselves into a bawling husk.

Old Joannie rocked my world almost as much, but the sedate surroundings of the Barbican made it feel slightly more like we were the polite audience at some BBC recording when compared to the shriek-friendly environs of Earls Court. It was a shame really - all the polite clappping and half-hearted nostalgic cheers when Joan said something vaguely protestish made it feel a bit like we were in a room full of ex-hippies who now own barn conversions in Surrey, a chocolate Lab and a Subaru. Which, of course, we were.

She sounded great for her age (clean living Joan gets the last laugh over her husky contemporaries) and the warbles of her voice didn't get wearing as they often do when you're listening on CD. When she wasn't plucking away masterfully on her guitar, or rousing her sleepy audience to laughter with some sharp gags, she was miming along to the songs with dramatic movements that made her look like she was on strings - or attempting to walk through treacle. A great gal and a great gig - and all over at the very civilised hour of 9.30.