Sunday, 28 December 2008

whatever next -groin strain?

It would be hard to imagine anyone less given to athletic excess than me, so it is with a real sense of grievance that I have named 2008 the Year of the Muscle.
I always thought that to irritate your muscles enough for them to hit back, you had to make excessive demands on them. Runners, or long distance walkers would expect the odd twinge. Lunatics taking to the side of precipitous cliff faces deserve all they get. But not me.Before I even turn in the bed, I check that everything is in order and ready for lift-off. And yet.......In 2008 I have pulled absolutely everything at some stage.My back, my legs, my hands knees and bumpsidaisy have all had their creaky turns. Most spectacular among these was the magic night when levering myself into a standing position I inadvertantly pulled an already damaged part and ended up in the local ER. Ever since I have adopted a furtive air whenever an ambulance passes, in case the paramedics within recognise me.
Then last week, distracted by the joy of Christmas, I hauled myself out of the car, in a movement which, in retrospect may have been a little bit on the balletic side, and did a sort of twirl thing on my right leg while the left one kicked perkily in the air. Whatever. The thing is that this morning I found myself hobbling in a serious manner and after running down the source of the pain I discovered that I must have pulled a muscle, heretofore unknown to me,in my groin area, sort of. I'm being vague here because I've never heard of anyone as sedentary as me getting into this sort of trouble and the problem is, who do I go to to get it fixed ( in view of the rather delicate area of its location I loathe to call on the local physios). Lets hope the Deep Heat works.
Another thing - while attempting, unsuccessfully to get onto my dashdoard, I found myself reading the blog of Chay Eltha 7, written in the most exquisite Arabic script. Needless to say it went over my head but Mr Eltha has had 34 comments to his blog. I've only ever had one. Ever. What's wrong with me.
For those of you interested in world affairs I have plans to close down the year with a definitive rundown on the state of the world - groin permitting . Watch this space.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Season of goodwill

From fifty yards it was hard to say if the figure was human, or say, a beached whale.It was certainly mammalian but since the lakeshore in Loughrea is at least 30 miles from the ocean, it was unlikely to be a creature from the deep. There was another clue. The creature dressed in pants and jacket was waving to attract the attention of the driver of a clapped out red car parked nearby.When this didn't work, the figure started waving a walking stick, vigorously. Sounds that were suspiciously like the word Help were also shouted without result. As the rain fell in a fine steady drizzle, the driver of the red car stayed put while what might have been an emergency unfolded before him. Suddenly another car arrived and glided slowly to a stop under some adjacent trees. This car was driven by a retired local man, well known in the community and to the figure now stretched out on the wet ground. The figure called help but all that happened was that the man opened his car door to release his equally ancient terrier from captivity.
By now the figure had been lying in full view without anyone coming to see what was going on for approximately 20 minutes.
It was a day just before Christmas, the rain was heavy, and the woman for it was a woman,lay on the ground. All things considered, it was unlikely that she was sunbathing.
Then a white car drove in. The driver saw the woman waving. He stopped, came over and after a struggle managed to yank her to her feet, damp but otherwise unharmed.
Little did he know it, this strange young man, not even a local, that on the 10th of December he would become a 21st century Good Samaritan.
Unfortunately the woman was more shocked than she thought and failed to ask his name and having helped her back to her car, he drove off.
All of this happened, just as I've written it, in a country once famous for it warmth and humanity.
This year, once again, Irish people will put their hands in their pockets to contibute to allieviating starvation and poverty in foreign parts and other Irish people will congratulate themselves on their natural goodness to the needy. A headline on the news also flagged up the statistic that this great little country drinks more take-out coffee, eats more take-away food and buys more condoms per capita than any other similar country.
All in all I just can't wait to hear the jingle of Christmas carols announcing the arrival of the season of goodwill.