screwed by mr cool!

Yesterday I saw the consultant who put my shoulder back together. Mr Cool (his real name! how cool is that!) is an amiable straight-talking Dutchman who tells it like it is. He sent me to get a new X-ray, then took a lot of time and trouble to explain to me what it showed, what I might expect, and what the next step was. I think it is incredible that there are people like Mr Cool who have the knowledge, experience and skill to cut us open, and fix us back together, when we come apart. Even more incredible, in our modern hi-tech age that they fix us back together with little more than screws and string!

Mr Cool gave me the go ahead to give my arm some light work, and I have been enjoying some firsts. Among today’s firsts I have done my trousers up, ate with a knife and fork at the same time, and held the phone to my right ear. Small steps, but progress.

At half-past six this morning I held a coat hanger as if it were handlebars, and imagined I was riding my bike. Still a way off yet, but best to practice eh?

a deep cut

The ‘cut’ or rather the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal runs about a quarter mile from where I live. I have fished in it, canoed on it, even swam in it, but most of all I have ridden my bike along it’s towpath. The best stretch, in my opinion, is the section from Wolverley to Swindon. Any off-road bike ride from ‘our’ house would almost certainly contain a section of the ‘cut’. Yet in all the years I have used, and enjoyed it I have never known much about it, until now. Thanks to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Society for the following……
“The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal was an early canal, being opened throughout for traffic in May 1772. Built by the great canal engineer James Brindley, it was part of his ‘Grand Cross’, a far-sighted scheme to link the ports of Hull, Liverpool and Bristol by connecting up the rivers Mersey, Trent and Severn.The total length of the canal from Stourport to Great Haywood, its junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal, is 46 miles. The canal climbs from the River Severn, following the valleys of the River Stour and then the Smestow Brook before reaching its summit level of 340 feet at Compton near Wolverhampton. Having Crossed the water-shed of Central England, the canal then follows the Penk and the Sow valleys on its way to Great Haywood and the Trent Valley.A vast variety of goods including coal, steel and carpets were carried along the canal in commercial carrying days. This declined rapidly after the Second World War and by the 1950s, traffic had more or less ceased and the British Transport Commission gave notice that they wished to close the canal completely.

However thanks to the efforts of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Society, which was formed in 1959, the canal was saved and has now become one of the major leisure waterways of the country.”

They’ve certainly done a great job as this must be one of the best preserved, and maintained sections of ‘cut’ in the country.

Took my first real shower in three weeks yesterday, and it was great! See, I’m allowed to take my sling off now, and I have some new exercises to do. So progress is good.

a man on the edge

I’m able to get ‘out and about’ a bit now for some gentle exercise. So, naturally for me, the first place I had to go was Kinver Edge. Why? Because the countryside there is stunningly beautiful in all seasons. I never tire of being ‘on the edge’, it is a perfect place that has had a spell on me since the very first time I went there when I was 6yrs old. Yes, my love affair with Kinver has been a long-term one, and that’s the best kind.

Meanwhile, my shoulder injury is progressing well. I’m getting quite confident at the exercises I was given. I’ll be seeing the consultant again next Monday, and I can’t wait. Talking of not being able to wait, Carla and my brother Andrew can’t wait until I get back on my bike so that they can take it in turns to give me a good pasting! Pay back time!

Still working my way through the computer books except that I am now into one of the best books I have ever read. I am so impressed with Designing With Web Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman that I’d say it was essential reading for anyone who has anything to do with web pages.

Thanks to Zeldman I now understand the need for Tantek’s ‘box model hack’, for the ‘be nice to Opera’ rule, and why doctype switching can make such a difference. Yes, it’s “goodbye comp based, and hello rules based design”, for me from now on.

Hang on….. have I lost the plot? now where did I put my anorak?

PS.This week I have been mostly listening to the kids playing in the street. They’re having a great time!

from where I sit

In the backI have taken to riding in the back seat of my car, seeing that I can’t drive, and me an’ my sling don’t fit in the front. It gives you a completely different perspective on what’s going on. I just let the wonderful Carla get on with the driving while I relax, and enjoy the ride.

Went back to hospital on monday to see the consultant, he was pleased with my progress. Removed my dressings, and took my stitches out. I’ll have a lovely scar to add to my collection. I was told that I have to wear the sling/brace for 6 weeks. After that there’s gonna be a lot of hard work to get my shoulder mobile again.

Reg Haig is out of hospital now, and making excellent progress. I reckon he’ll be back on his bike before me! Mind you he did say he was going to give the ‘off-road’ stuff a miss for a while until he gets his confidence back.

While I’m off work I’ve decided to make the most of it, and I’m working my way through some ‘heavy’ computer books. The one I’m reading at the moment might as well be called ‘cure for insomnia’, as it only takes about 20 minutes to send me to sleep.

Gave in, and watched ‘Neighbours’ today!

PS.This week I have been mostly listening to ‘Learn French’ with Michel Thomas! On CD 3 now!