by MattBrown Posted on August 11, 2010 at 11:56pm
I’ve been under the weather for the last few weeks. Since I came off my bicycle in avoidable circumstances I have experienced a lot of pain and discomfort, and solitude of convalescence in my flat in South London.
I’ve lived in that flat for nearly 7 years, and I’ve become a little bit set in my ways in there, though have to say i love it inside the flat, I’m not taken completely by its location, nor by the ground floor appointment, and the vertically adjacent neighbours. I know their noises better than I know some of my own. I’ll hear a noise from the kitchen perhaps and rush in to see what it might be. When I hear a sound from above that sounds like a body being sawn up, dragged across the floor and stuffed into a deep, heavy, wooden box, and the box then dragged to a hidden place, I am disturbed only by the interruption to my evening’s TV viewing, or book reading.
I’ve taken to watching movies or catch up TV on my laptop with good earphones, the screen resolution is excellent, and the sounds are too. I put the laptop on a neoprene cover on my lap so i don’t feel discomfort over time from the battery heating my lap up.
The convalescence from injury and subsequent chest infection forced a change in my habituals within the flat. Straight after the accident I had no use of my left arm, and as a left hander that was a struggle. I didn’t work at all for a whole week and that was unpleasant.
As a self made and self sustained man, not doing any work causes erosion. None of my clients were getting any work, support, insight, reports, nuggets, and that is a huge risk to my business, and livelihood. The heavy duty painkillers I was taking were causing unpleasant side effects – nausea, itching, paranoia, hallucinations, and anxiety. Awesome. I started to really worry about where my life was heading, what I was doing in that flat, why I had this strange routine, and why nothing really happened inside the flat.
When the coughing kicked in and I couldn’t sleep at night, things took a turn. I went to the docs and picked up some antibiotics, which really put me off my food, not that I was eating a lot, but I started to get a bit depressed too I think. Just too many things to deal with which were alien and personal. I was on a 7 day course which I completed sans alcohol though it didn’t specify not to drink, I just thought it would be a good idea.
Then it was Isle of Wight – a huge family get together to celebrate my Uncle & Aunt’s 60th birthday (twins). They threw a big party on the Saturday after their actual birthday, which was ok, but happened to be the 1st anniversary of Dad’s death, so it was a funny day for me personally, on top of the emotional journey I’d been on over the last few weeks. The camping was alright, though that took away any chance of early and complete recovery from the chest infection, and I smoked heavily throughout the weekend – I have no idea why, perhaps an inkling that I wanted somehow to subconsciously bond with Dave – my Aunt’s husband (3rd) and often a real battle to mix with. We got on fine so worth it defo. Had a few good chats with him, which makes a big change.
After that, back to London, and the anxiety returned immediately the moment I walked into the flat – work, lack of doing any – have to get back into this, have work to do, like doing the work, can find more, and get paid more, like getting paid good money for doing good work, worries about why I wasn’t focused. All this shit and a bottle of Pinot Grigio on a Sunday night.
Woke up with a cracked mouth and totally blocked sinuses, like a mad allergy. A reaction to my whereabouts. Becoming allergic to myself even? No please not that.
Jumped on a train – with a few clothes, a book and my laptop – on the Thursday, Euston – Bangor 3 hours, been up here a week tomorrow, needed a breath of fresh air, change of scene, different beat, a new song. Well it was all that and more for a couple of days, I sloped about with a real cloud over me, a real worry about a whole lot of things, and no smile, no stories, just a proclamation of exhaustion and the need to rest. My family were good to me, caring, enquiring, thoughtful, not pushy, and then I was struck down with tonsilitis. I self-quarantined while my brother and his wife entertained visitors for the weekend, and I slept, watched iPlayer, read (the Dragon Tattoo book – it’s ace) and crept out slitty eyed into the light to get disprin fixes. 48 hour self imposed, docs Monday, antibiotics – good ones this time, throat’s not so sore now.
Cloud’s gone, sunshine is around, I’ve been working properly again since Monday and got a real desire to push this forward, picked up an improved contract, and potentially 2 or 3 bits of new direction, want to make it work, and loving working up here. You can step outside and see the skyline. There are bats at night. No-one is upstairs, not where I work and sleep anyway. I need for nothing save what’s in the bag I brought. All the crap piling up in my flat is worthless. Except maybe the odd bit of mail, some books, bits of silver, and a box with some amber in it. Couple of t-shirts, old photographs, paintings, my tea mug. There’s a pig in the garden here. Hens run about. There are two cats. And a rabbit. There’s another pig coming soon.
I’m enjoying working remotely. Satellite.