Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why I didn't write the Christmas cards

I'm in bed waiting for the snow. The bed thing isn't to hide from the weather but because I have a bad back and can't sit down for a long time. Joe gets this sort of thing a lot but I rarely get anything that makes me have to lie down. I didn't even do anything. Just sat up in the bed at my friend Jean's house in Dublin on Monday morning.

We'd gone up to Dublin for a reason. Every year there's a Christmas concert in St Bartholomew's Church, Clyde Road. It's one of the most beautiful churches I've ever been in. This is my second visit. Jean's father Bobby has been singing in the choir there since about the eighteenth century, and we went one Sunday morning a couple of years ago for the service. The vicar at the time gave a sermon people really did listen to and enjoy. He was a bit camp and used to cycle round Ballsbridge on an old sit up and beg wearing his cassock and hat. It's very high Church of Ireland with incense and ornate robes and sing-song responses.

Alan Stanford was doing the readings - he's best known for his work at the Gate Theatre, Dublin over the last twenty or so years. This was his 21st Christmas concert at St Bart's. He was very good, as was the choir. There were boys, girls and men in the choir. No women. Not sure if this is just because they only started taking girls in the choir a few years ago and none of them are old enough yet to be classed as women, or whether they get chucked out as soon as they start wearing bra and make up.

The back was ok on Sunday which was just as well as sitting in a church pew is a challenge at the best of times. It was Monday morning when I realised after making the tea that I could no longer bend down. We had to drive to Galway to have my thumb looked at which made it all worse. A visit to Mona my wonderful physio on Tuesday morning showed up raging inflammation. I'd had a bit of a virus over the last few days and it seems that had got into the joint. I didn't know that could happen. Nasty little virus. They go for the most vulnerable spots, it seems. The joints where you already have a weakness. Like the government going for the people who are already struggling to keep their heads above water.

The thumb was injured a while ago in a lavatory door accident - pulling a jammed door from the outside to release the poor woman trapped inside. My GP thought it was a soft tissue injury that would heal itself, even if it would take a while.

'No need for a splint,' he said.

This is how the stricken digit looked when I came out of the hospital. It seems the tendon that connects muscle to the last bone in the thumb has become detached. The splint has to stay on for six weeks. It's called a Zimmer splint and it looks, as someone pointed out, as though I have one of those fat toe nail files strapped to my finger.

The good thing about the back and thumb business is that Joe wrote nearly all the Christmas cards. Thank you Joe! 

In case anyone goes yuk at the thought of detached tendons, as one of my flute students did, here's some cute pictures of Aoife taken by Jean in Dublin. They'll take your mind off it.
 Aoife likes to get herself wrapped in a blanket but forgot she had this one over her when there was a sudden smell of Bonios.