My friends might say that I am a mine of random information, an endless font of top tips, often unsolicited, but always well-meaning. Well, here’s a new recommendation to share, which might come in very handy for anyone who feels a twinge somewhere about their person and is thinking of getting it checked out:
When a physiotherapist says to you that you might experience some superficial bruising, RUN! Yes, run away and don’t look back.
While out ‘training’, I developed what I think is known by Old People as ‘A Bad Knee’. As I marched up Nunburnholme Hill early one morning, an important bit of the back of my leg appeared to come loose, and I immediately qualified as an associate member of the Ministry of Funny Walks. With a sponsored Welsh mountain climb looming I thought it wise to seek professional advice, and so, having been highly recommended their services by a ‘friend’ (at least that’s what I thought she was) I made an appointment with a local Physiotherapy clinic.
“We offer a hands-on approach” said the girl, with a gleam in her eye that I attributed to youthfulness. The pink sign outside her surgery features a cute logo of the hand-heart gesture favoured by soppy football players, and I eagerly hopped onto the couch anticipating the relaxing massage to come. It soon transpired however, that the gleam in her eye was not that of youth, but of pure evil. The ‘deep tissue massage’ that she carried out on my leg incorporated persistent twanging of the tendon behind my knee, interspersed with repeated thumb and knuckle gouging of the deepest recesses between the thigh muscles, and was rounded off with the incandescent pulses from a ray gun that Flash Gordon might be familiar with (I think it’s called ultrasound).
It was so very British of me at the end of this ordeal to thank her very much, and laugh politely when she suggested that I must have wanted to punch her in the face. (Much like being at the hairdressers when the stylist reveals to you the mirrored reflection of an appalling mental-institute crop, and you nod reassuringly, saying, “Thank you, that’s GREAT!’) Keen to leave before she noticed the teeth marks in her treatment bench I handed over the £49 and hobbled away saying to myself unconvincingly, ‘Hmmm that really does feel so much better’
Hours later, dosed up to the eyeballs with Nelson’s arnica inside and out, sporting a florid pattern of red and purple hand prints up the back of my leg and snivelling gently every time I crossed my legs, I began to wonder if the ‘superficial bruising’ would still be evident at The Big Party I was going to later that week. I had entertained images of me sashaying about in a sexy little wiggle dress and heels, but it was beginning to look unlikely that I would ever sashay again, let alone reveal my ravaged leg to the world.
I soldiered on, and decided on a gentle course of ‘mindful walking‘. That is to say I concentrate hard on selecting all the right muscles with which to propel my body forwards, step by step. It’s surprisingly difficult, especially for someone as easily distracted as I am, and in particular when Badger, my little black & white walking companion gets his hind leg caught up in the extendable lead and takes to walking on his front paws like a circus performer.
The morning of The Big Party dawned with blue skies and sunshine, and I joined a small contingent of friends arriving at the farm to help decorate the huge canvas ‘erection’, as it came to be affectionately known. This is country life at it’s very best. Someone appeared with a milk churn full of garden flowers and set about creating gorgeous informal table arrangements featuring green ears of corn, Batchelor’s buttons and the magnificent heads of home-grown globe artichoke. A beautiful young woman staggered across the grass under the weight of two dozen french sticks. Bunting fluttered alluringly from each turned wooden finial, and the men tested the pumps at the bar, carrying out important ‘quality control’ checks to ensure that the Wold Top beer was just right.
After a couple of hours of fevered to-ing and fro-ing we stood back, Emma Bridgewater mugs of tea in hand, to admire one of Great Britain’s most iconic country views; a well dressed marquee, primed and ready for action. The unique and heady scent of crushed meadow grass, jute matting and sun-warmed canvas added to the anticipation of the impending party and it was time for me to go home to inspect the bruising and choose between the dress or smart jeans. Jeans it was to be.
Later that night however, I discovered THE absolute best cure for a ‘Bad Knee’, and it is this:
Drink plenty of gin or vodka (or a combination of the two), eat lots, laugh even more, and dance with wild and gay abandon for three hours surrounded by gorgeous happy people.
As I hugged the rosy-cheeked Birthday Boy, in between waving our arms to top decibel Neil Diamond, and high-kicking to ‘New York, New York’ we all forgot that it was a 50th Birthday Party, aches and pains disappeared, and our inner child was let loose.
…And as for the apparently respectable couple on the trampoline at the end of the night, cavorting in the moonlight and blissfully unaware that they had been observed, it just goes to show that some of us would much rather be ‘Forever in Blue Jeans‘.