Day 518 – Yesterday, I held a horse

And today, I’m broken.

Taking my daughter to her riding lesson is a pretty simple task. A ten minute drive, a 50m walk to a convenient bench or tree stump over looking the arena while she rides, followed by a leisurely stroll back up to the stables (this bit does take a little time and effort) and then back home again. I did it last week with no issues.


There was a slight glitch yesterday, though. Briefly, before the lesson began, there were more horses than people, and I was asked to hold a horse for a couple of minutes while the teacher popped off to get things sorted out. No big deal. I’m not a huge fan of horses, but I can stand there and hold a horse with the best of them.

I was given Stats to hold. Stats is huge, but he’s a lovely gentle giant. When we arrived, he was being ridden by a tiny 7 year old girl. Stats is ever so sweet. Holding Stats – bridled up with convenient reins – for a couple of minutes was going to be no big deal.

But it turned out that Stats didn’t want to stand. He wanted to eat, and I didn’t have any food. Quite reasonably, I’d left the obligatory post-lesson carrots on the tree stump. He wanted to wander, but I’d been asked to keep him away from the other horse in the vicinity. He wanted to play, and nudged and bumped me. He’s probably about half a ton of horse. But it’s all about letting him know who’s the boss. I stuck to my guns and gave him reassuring pats and nose tickles, despite his tugs and pushes.

Oh, and it wasn’t just a couple of minutes. It was ten.

Well, it turns out that in my current state, I actually can’t hold a horse for ten minutes. Well, not without the repercussions of being quite sore the next day. Wow: this scored HIGH on the Duvet Cover Hanging Scale. But I didn’t realise immediately, because as soon as I was relieved of my horse holding duties, (yes, a bit knackered) I went and sat down and watched the lesson for an hour.
Which was nice.

Only overnight did I realise that what is left of my muscles had been pulled and strained by a mildly enthusiastic equine. Everything hurts. My left arse cheek, particularly.


I have a thing I need to do today, so I am thoroughly dosed up with Myprodol, but wow. Who would have thought that just holding a horse for ten minutes could leave you in this sort of state?


Heed my cautionary horse holding tale.


There’s an active competition going on between my spine and my sacroiliac joint as to which can cause me the most pain at the moment. Sadly, it’s a close run race, and thus neither side is willing to give up, end this ridiculous charade and allow me to get on with life.

My lower back is a battleground, and it’s properly messy right now.

I was fine for a lot of today, and then absolutely nothing happened and I was in agony again. Experience has shown that sitting down for any length of time is clearly not a good thing and so I have been spending a lot of time standing up. But then standing still is also not a good thing, so a degree of gentle mobilisation seems to be the best way to keep the pain away. Sounds straightforward, but then, have you ever considered why you stand still or why you sit down every now and again?

You need that rest.

And yes, those breaks are nice, because they take the strain off your body for a while and allow you to relax. When you can’t do that, it’s exhausting. Add to that the fact that everything takes longer than it should, stuff dropped on the floor just has to bloody stay there and we’ve got a whole summer holiday coming up which looks like it’s going to be ruined unless there’s a Christmas miracle, and you might just begin to see how debilitating this whole thing is.

On the plus side, I’m getting lots done (slowly), because there’s not much joy in lying down either, so I’ve just been plodding on through my neverending list of jobs. Even this post is being written standing at the kitchen counter, because I’m actually too scared to try and sit down at my desk.

It’s a complete pain. Literally. It’s been more than two weeks since I did nothing to injure myself, and I really thought that I would be mended by now.

Bit of a moany post? Well sure. But well deserved. I am so tired and so f[lip]ing frustrated at the moment.

Computer says nowt

Early indications into my continuing computer woes seem to be pointing, upsettingly, towards a fatal motherboard error. 

This is why you’re getting a short, phone-written post this evening. Firstly, because it’s tough to write reams on a phone keyboard, and secondly, because it’s tough to write through the tears when I think about how pricey a replacement PC is going to be.

Delta Machine

Delta Machine, Depeche Mode’s 13th studio album is already a hot contender for the coveted Album of the Year. And there’s a very simple reason for that – there’s nothing new here.
I’ve said before that  “old” bands should stick to what made them popular, and I’m happy to stand by that statement. Straying too far from their roots invariably disappoints the existing fan base, when they don’t need to take risks because they actually have nothing to prove. No such problems with Delta Machine: this could easily have been released alongside Violator back in 1990. It’s perfect, vintage Depeche Mode: dark, moody, introspective, soulful electronica.

There’s lots of noise being made about Heaven, but I actually prefer this live version to the one on the album.

And while it’s all good, for me, the standout tracks include My Little Universe, with Gahan’s repeated, compelling assertions of grandeur gradually being overrun by heavy electronic noise, and the deliberately awkward, unapologetic dischordance in Secret To The End.
And then there’s Broken, which is (in my humble opinion) quite possibly the best song Depeche Mode have ever done. And I know that’s a big claim after 33 years of their existence, but it really is perfect. It’s on repeat. A lot.

If you have never been a Depeche Mode fan, this is probably not going to be for you. But if you still hark back to those heady days of tracks like Personal Jesus and I Feel You, wow, you’re in for a treat.