Hopalong to the hop

I managed somehow to get a badly infected big toe a few weeks ago so I hobbled along to a nearby walk-in, or should I say limp-in, clinic. They diagnosed an in-growing toe nail and said I should toddle along to another walk-in clinic at 8a.m. the next day, in Parsons Green, my old stamping ground from my earliest days in London. Here, after battling through the Monday morning rush hour, the diagnosis was an infection and the treatment was a dose of antibiotics. Ah the benefits of a second opinion.

The treatment worked well and the pain receded after a few days and I was able to walk normally, though the calf muscles had cramped up so much during the time when I was trying to decide whether I was hobbling, limping or attempting to emulate the funny walks brigade. I was due to return for a follow-up visit on the Monday but on Friday I was in a lot of pain in my chest and back and finally was persuaded by friends and family and a phone call from a GP, that I should go along to an accident and emergencies department, which I duly did.

They took my blood pressure which was 193 or thereabouts and decided to run me through the mill with blood tests, X-rays ECG scans, Ultrasound scans and yet more blood tests. I have a heart problem which gets checked every year, so they were pretty thorough and finally decided that I wasn’t having a heart attack or anything that necessitated keeping me in overnight, so after about six hours I was released and got to The Squirrel pub in time for the last few numbers of the band and time to say hello to Chris Hunt. Pain killers did the trick over the weekend and by Monday I was fit enough to return to the Parsons |Green clinic where they gave me the all-clear. As I went after the rush hour I was able to celebrate in the pub next door, The White Horse, another old haunt of mine.

The following weekend, I met up with Chris Youlden for a drink and we compared health notes as he had had a few incidents in his ongoing leg treatment, part of which meant limping along to an unscheduled clinic visit to get new bandages and dressings for his leg as his regular nurse was away, I also was able to let him hear one of his songs on my I-pad which has been covered by Bettye Lavette and will be released in January. Finally, continuing the music theme, I am playing every six weeks at the Squirrel (see events), The next two gigs are on Boxing Day and Friday the 13th of February. Is some-one trying to tell me something?

Save the last Dance for me

Went for a drink with Chris Youlden a couple of weeks ago. He is more mobile than he has been for a while and he only visits the surgery once a month now. He still has to do leg exercise and spends about half an hour doing the dressing on his leg which is a bit of a chore, but he is enjoying the improvement and has also shaken of the flu-like symptoms he was suffering from. I’ll be meeting with him soon.

The gig this Friday at the Squirrel pub on the corner of my road starts at 8.30pm and the band consists of Alan Vincent and Jon T-bone Taylor on guitars, Steve Taylor on Bass, Mel Wright on drums and myself on vocals and harp. Details are in the events section of this site. Looking forward to it. The Squirrel has a new manager and things are picking up again. My God I even participated in a Salsa class there. Mind, it seems to be hindering my normal way of dancing, the style I don’t do on stage. Aren’t you pleased…

Whose Party?

My birthday bash went so well that we’ve been booked back at the Squirrel again. I’d like to thank everyone who turned up and hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. The Band line-up was Alan Vincent and Jon T-bone Taylor on guitars, Steve Taylor on Bass and Mel Wright on drums. I’d had a flu jab a few days before and was expecting to be bothered with a bout of coughing every time I played harp or sang, but was relieved that it didn’t happen. Steve’s wife Bonny sat in on a couple of songs and Brian Diprose did a spot on Bass. Dave Noall was over from America where he has recently been granted American citizenship, so he sat in on a couple of numbers, one just with me on harp and the other with the whole band.

Chris Youlden had intended coming but he phoned me on the day and sounded terrible with a really bad cough. .As I’m going down to meet him for a drink and a catch-up on the coming Friday I hope that he has got over it by then. We were hoping that Mel Wright might make it too but he’s got a prior engagement so it will have to be another time for him. He’ll be playing at the squirrel gig anyway on the 14th 0f November so if we don’t get together before then, then so be it. I’ll use the same line-up for the gig. Incidentally, the Squirrel is now doing regular Friday night live music, so I won’t have to do much travelling to hear some.

Finally, for all those poor politicians who don’t know what to do about UKIP, given that party’s foreign policy is to stop all aid to third world countries, may I suggest a slogan for the main parties: VOTE UKIP – GET EBOLA.

A leak in time…

I will be having my seventy-seventh birthday bash on the evening of Saturday 4th October at the Squirrel pub on the junction of Elgin and Chippenham roads in Maida Hill W9 2AF. The band will be playing between 9.30 and 11.30 though undoubtedly we will have to break for the occasional drink. My actual birthday is on the Thursday before, though I don’t have any plans to spend the two intervening days in any particular celebration, well maybe the odd pint or two…

Dave, who used to book us at the Inn On The Green on Portobello Green, celebrated his birthday too recently and I was all set to join him and his guests when the roof fell in. Actually it was the ceiling in the toilet which fortunately no-one was using at the time. I had to wait in for hours until someone was able to come and make the ceiling safe, then a further wait, by this time in the dark, for an electrician to make safe the light and switch etc. So, no party then.

Actually that collapse was caused by a small continuous leak from the bathroom upstairs. I’ve waited for two weeks to get the leak fixed. Today someone was supposed to come and sort it, but of course I’m still waiting. They didn’t turn up, so another week or so then maybe another wait for the ceiling to be replaced, then perhaps another week or three before the electrics are sorted. Ah the pleasures of not being in control.