"Art is not a mirror with which to reflect the world; it is a hammer with which to shape it"

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Post

Well, it’s been a fair while, so it has. Longer than it should have been but needs must when the Devil vomits in your kettle*. Firstly, I’d like to thank all those who left comments and were generally concerned. I probably ought to give you a quick rundown as to what happened…

Those of you who have been successfully cloned with elephants will recall that I dislocated my thumb a (long) while back, put it back in and thought that would be that… but as you may also recall there’s a phrase about best laid plans… I actually managed to yank the tendons into the middle of who-knows-where until they started to feel like they were burning and all swelled up. So, I was basically told that if I wanted it work properly quickly (or again) I’d have to stop using it. Have you ever tried not using the thumb on your right hand- and hence your right hand? Almost impossible. It also becomes very frustrating very quickly… bizarrely when it felt alright to start doing stuff again I discovered I couldn’t actually remember how to handwrite. Seriously. Took several days.

The whole episode was, in hindsight, a minor inconvenience…

Just as I was starting to think what my next post should be my sister’s youngest (my 3 year old nephew) was rushed to hospital having contracted Meningoccal Septicaemia" (or Bacterial Meningitis for short). In the first few hours after diagnosis it was a close race with death. He then spent a couple of weeks in Cardiff ICU before being moved to their High Dependency Unit and ultimately transferred to Swansea for skin grafts, dialysis, etc. So, the whole family switched onto a war footing. The good news is that he has made a remarkably speedy recovery- suprising even the medical types- although there’s still a long road to go. Initially he wasn’t expected to make it through the night; then he was expected to survive but lose his feet, fingers, kidneys and need extensive skin grafting to knees, legs and elbows… now, he’s getting to keep his feet, even his toes; his kidneys started working again; the skin grafts are taking well and he’s only lost three fingers on his right hand. Now, he’s even been released back home and is learning how to walk again and sending everybody insane with a non-stop diet of Fireman Sam, Ballamory and The Midnight Garden- proof that psychedelics are rife in the TV industry???- if they made these programmes in drink form they’d dissolve teeth on contact and be banned across Europe and all fifty states of the Union! So, things were bad; now they’re not so bad and looking better daily... and make my minor thumb problem seem entirely trivial.

…and now I’m (maybe) back… what next? Well, I’ll tell you I’ll probably be increasingly misanthropic, snarly and ranty and eventually convince you all to hate me. There’s a lot to snarl about: the world’s turning to shit on a daily basis, nobody seems to have an iota of sense, people become more stupid; democracy evaporates on a global scale; television has abandoned all pretence to being interested in the audience and now treats them with a mix of paternalistic pity and thinly veiled contempt and finally unfettered free-market capitalism is increasingly appearing to be to the human race what myxomatosis is to rabbits…

So, one last thought to conjure with…

A while back young Master Oli spoke about the downgrading of language (such as ‘excruciating’); as did Matthew Parris many years ago in The Times (the way politicians have devalued ‘pledge’, ‘promise’, etc. to the point where they have become meaningless). What about ‘nightmare’ and ‘hell’- as in ‘my diet hell’ or ‘my cellulite nightmare’- so, given that having to diet or a little cellulite are considered a nightmare or a hell what word is left to be used to describe counting the seconds, watching over a son fighting for breath while a resuscitation team hover in the background, and while blood blisters form all over the child’s limbs, body and face until he’s unrecognizable and turning black, as people do with frostbite? Is the epithet ‘nightmare’ or ‘hell’ suitable for that- or is it just not up there with diets and cellulite? Tricky isn’t? But let's get serious we don’t get to have ‘living hells’ or ‘nightmares’- we’re just little people. After all celebrities, well, they have it tough don’t they?

Not that I'm angry...

*I thank you Messrs. Curtis and Elton…

10 comments:

potdoll said...

what a horrible ordeal for your newphew and you and your family to go through. so glad he is on the mend. you all must have been frantic. hope he continues with his swift recovery.

Jon Peacey said...

It's been pretty awful and was thrown into sharp perspective when a child was brought in with the same disease a day later but, having taken a couple of hours extra to diagnose, didn't make it through the crucial first 24 hours. We were very lucky.

Thankfully, my sister knew the 'tumbler test' and raced him straight to A&E and demanded immediate attention- five foot five of purest Celtic fire, she is- and enough to put grown men to flight!

potdoll said...

thank god for your sister! i pity the parents of the other child. terrifying and so very sad.

Tom said...

It's good to have you back. I'm sorry that you and yours had such an ordeal to go through though.

Jason Arnopp said...

Welcome back, Mr Peacey. Really hope you can make it to the Screenwriters' Festival.

Helen Smith said...

Hi Jon

What awful news. Wondered what had happend to you and thought it was just thumb-related.

Agree with you about language. The trouble is that when a small bad thing happens to you, if it's the worst thing that ever happened, you tend to overreact. And then you hear about something like this...

Your poor nephew, poor sister. Glad the nephew is on the mend xxx

Rach said...

Hi Jon. Welcome back.

You rant away. After the time your family has had. And that your sister had to get furious to save her son's life is awful.

I hope he continues to mend and keeps proving those doctors wrong. Sounds like he inherited that celtic fury.

My best wishes to them all.

Elinor said...

Yay! You're back with a misanthropic vengeance.

All good wishes to your lovely nephew and the Celtic fire that is your sister. Check my other blog Has He Always Been Like That? for the tonsorial choices of my son, another meningitis survivor.

Jon Peacey said...

Potdoll: As somebody said to me- it reminds you that no matter how bad things are they can always be worse... the ICU in Cardiff is the best in the country (the Wales country) but corridors surrounding it become a very strange place to be very quickly- everytime you walk down the corridor there's someone distraught on their mobile and when you can't hear crying the silence becomes deafening.

Rach: Celtic Fire (as I think she should now be known) didn't get furious, as such, just very forceful so's to jump the queue... she has nothing but praise for the Welsh NHS.

I ought to mention that there's a husband in there who's been a bit overlooked! He's been totally stalwart as well!

Elinor: I think I must have missed the other blog... the bitterly ironic couple of things about the nephew is that he'd had the vaccine but that only covers Strain C (I think)- the viral variety and, secondly, he'd started to show a genuine interest and naturality (is that even a word?) for the piano... which, of course, requires a full compliment of digits.

Thank you all for being so thoroughly lovely... why didn't I find people like you in my earlier years- but then I wouldn't have been so misanthropic!

It's good to be back but it feels ever so slightly strange...

John Soanes said...

Yes, when you go through something unpleasant and non-self-inflicted, reading about the pampered and their brought-on-themselves not-really-suffering doesn't exactly appeal, does it?
Good to know you're all right, Jon, and snark away.
J