Monday, 31 July 2017

Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, and Knees

Knees. You don't notice them till they stop working. Believe us, though - they are there, and they're not going anywhere, either literally or metaphorically. We spent a rather festive twenty-five minutes in the company of a physiotherapist today, for the purposes of improving our for the moment only semi-functioning left knee, and induce it to go somewhere, see the sights, and maybe strike up an interesting conversation with a stranger.

We have spent rather a lot of time with physios at the Privy Counsel, for various reasons. One time was when we had torn a ligament to bloody shreds while skiing, and tended to hang out at the physiotherapy department at York hospital quite often. (If you would like a full account of this dramatic injury, including a description of how we, after falling and feeling the actual ligament in the knee snap and, despite the excruciating pain, resolutely got up and bloody well skied down the mountain and proceeded, heroically, to use an allaturca toilet while wearing ski boots and navigating a wet floor; the lissom Swiss mountain guards who came to our aid; and the rather less lissom and rather more leering Italian mountain guards who gave us a snowmobile ride over the Italian border, we are happy to tell the tale over a beer or three any day.)

Skiing injuries are not to be sniffed at. Here is a still from the classic 1980s movie Sällskapsresan II, which, it has been universally agreed, is possibly the best film of all time.

Have we ever mentioned the fact that we love physiotherapists? We simply adore them! We are always urging our friends to go see a physiotherapist, whether they need to or not. This amazing breed of ligament-whisperers have the power to reduce pain and persuade one's joints and soft tissues to (metaphorically) knock back a stiff whisky and bloody well harden the fuck up! Woof!

Time whizzes past at an alarming rate, and age and decrepitude advance on us with firm, muscular strides. It's been five years since our injury, but we remember the excellence of the physiotherapists who treated us in York. Their patience was endless and their grip was firm, and they had our rattling bones fastened and our weakened muscles firmed in roughly the time it takes to write a BA thesis - a matter of mere months! The physio we saw today told us that she had seldom had the pleasure of coming across such a well-rehabilitated knee!

The Privy Counsel HQ is no longer situated in York (though we seem to be spending rather a lot of time drinking there lately, for instance on this occasion, and also this one), and we can unfortunately not remember the names of the physios who treated us. However, we are immensely grateful for their truly expert treatment. If any of our readers should happen to come across a physiotherapist who works at York Hospital, please give them our warmest regards!

Thinking of York Hospital, of course, makes us think of the NHS, which, with the gruesome inevitability of death, taxes, and knee problems, reminds us of the bleary bastardliness of Brexit. If you enjoy this blog, please be aware that it is a direct result of the EU. Without the EU, we wouldn't have been able to go and study, once upon a time when our cheeks were still rosy and our hair shiny, in the UK. Without the EU, we wouldn't have stayed in Britain, and paid taxes there, for ten years. Without the EU, we would never have met the majority of the amazing Friends who send us weird toilet pictures, cheer us up on dark winter evenings, and get us roaringly drunk on prosecco, rum, and weird Canadian liqueurs.

Most of our Privy Counsel Friends are from outside the UK; many from outside the EU, but we have met nearly all of them while studying or working in the misty, mixer-tap-deprived British Isles. Only a few are still living there. Some have had their work visas bungled by a xenophobic government; many are yet facing the stark reality of being kicked out of the country for being foreign; several have been exposed to racist abuse. The idiocy of it all threatens to engulf one's sanity in a vortex of searing flame. It's like the Tory government wants to take the country back to the year 1930, when tweed was still widely worn, there was no cure for syphilis, and the gold standard kept everyone warm at night. But what do we know? We're just a woman.

We do know that the Brexit promise of more money for the NHS was a lie. We know that NHS staff are really struggling due to Tory cuts to the national health service. We know that brave battles are fought under impossible circumstances in hospitals across Britain every day. As far as we can tell, most health services have basically been sold off to Richard Branson. The mean-spirited, ham-fisted and mind-bogglingly short-sighted privatisation of the NHS is deplorable and shameful, and there is fuck-all that we personally can do about it. Let us just express our deep admiration for the heroic NHS staff, and then swiftly take our minds off the Tories and move on. Let's have some toilet pictures.

Conceptually, our archive is, as regular readers are aware, basically the crypt from The Monk, with pheasants. In actual, humdrum reality, however, it consists of a) a folder on an aged computer, backed up to the gills, b) unsorted photos on the Privy Counsel phone (henceforth to be known as the Bog Phone?), and c) a proliferation of messages and comments from the arse ends of social media.

An accurate representation of our archive. Gif from
We decided, in a moment of despair at the vast amount of photos and the minuscule amount of storage left on the Bog Phone, to try to use old pictures for blog posts. Hence here is, for your delight and edification, a couple of photos from what is highly likely to be the Eagle pub in Hoxton! We had, if memory serves, some delicious mulled cider in this excellent establishment with a very dear friend, round about the time of the legendary New Year's Shewee party in the year of our Lord 2013.

How lush and lovely is this! Woof!

The combination of mixer taps, cool square sinks and magnificent tiled floor boggles our mind and is at great risk of addling our brain!
Remember when we expressed a hope that there would be a frenzied battle between Jonny and Shewee Fiend Friend, based on increasingly forced photos of cannons? Well, believe it or not, but when, the other day, we were dragging the putrid swamp that is one of the arse ends of the internet that we occasionally frequent, this photo came floating up to the surface! It is Shewee Fiend Friend! With a cannon! Jonny, consider yourself challenged! (Also, don't forget the fruit.)

We don't know about you, but we're scared.

Before moving on to the Festive Video, let us contemplate this pair of happy, hygienic knees, thoughtfully contemplating R. W. Connell's Gender and Power.

For some reason, pictures of privy counsellors in the bath is a thing. See more pictures for instance here, here, here, and here.

We ranted the other day, rather splendidly we thought, about Theresa May's proto-fascist government. Fascism is, it seems, everywhere these days. It behoves us to resist, resist, resist, and again resist! One excellent way of puncturing the pneumatic boasts of would-be or actual fascists is, of course, the age-old method of pisstaking.

Today's Festive Video is a clip from the simply spiffing 1990s ITV dramatisation of the Jeeves and Wooster series by P.G. Wodehouse. It features Roderick Spode ranting about the "bony, angular knee of the so-called intellectual". (The horror!) The character of Roderick Spode, first Earl of Sidcup, is famously based on Oswald Mosley, leader of a fascist group called the Blackshorts. We won't endlessly eulogise P. G. Wodehouse and his comic genius, even though we would quite like to, as we fear boring our readers (we are aware, believe it or not, that not everyone shares our foibles and passions), but will content ourselves with reproducing Bertie Wooster's frank appraisal of Spode:

The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you're someone. You hear them shouting "Heil, Spode!" and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: "Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?"
- P. G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters

Festive Video - Roderick Spode's knee obsession

Related Reading

Another time when we were grateful:
Of Mixer-Taps and Spiritual Solace

That time when we asked deep, philosophical questions about the nature of our archive, and also enjoyed clearly signposted toilets in Italy:  
A Blog Post of Astonishing Clarity

The original account of our knee injury:
Italian Toilets: Mi Piace Servizi Igienici 

Another reference to our grievous knee injury, bravely born, can be found in
Shewees Are a Girl's Best Friend

Our review of 
The Disabled Toilet in the Physiotherapy Department at York Hospital

That time when we, in a brave feat of investigative journalism, pointed out that although the handwashing videos from the NHS feature mixer taps, their actual facilities - gasp! - don't

For information on how to help save the NHS: the Keep Our NHS Public site

A post about the absinthe soap that gave us tremendous comfort when we were in great pain

1 comment:

  1. Love this, Privy Counsellor. Thank you. Oh, the knees! I know them well. And the ankles. and fingers. Thank goodness for the physios of the world.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...