Thursday, 10 July 2014


This has been an exhausting week, with some, err, challenges, more of a pain than others.

On the first Saturday of every month I am in charge of a local community farmers market, and of course, last Saturday was such a day. The evening before I was getting organised, and had just started my supper. As I bit into an apple I felt something give in my mouth, and proceeded to spit out half a tooth! There was no pain accompanying this event, but for sure it was going to be a challenge getting it fixed with a very busy week ahead. It would have to wait anyway. It was the weekend and and all dentists were closed. Finally, just before bed, I checked the forecast for the market day, and it seemed like it was going to be, as I like to call it, a shopping day: overcast with the odd spell of sunshine.

However, when I awoke early the next morning the skies were not the only thing overcast; during the night I had developed the monster of all colds! I was floored, and the day had not even started. Somehow, aided most likely by the several ibuprofen, washed down with several cups of strong coffee and topped up with Lemsip, I made it through the market, only to collapse onto my sofa the minute I got home.

I awoke around 8pm, and I must have been lying funny on my arm, because I now had the most incredible pain in my forearm. I was unable to even lift a cup, which was a double pain as it had my lifesaving Lemsip in it.

I'll be fine in the morning, I thought.

Not a chance. On Sunday I was meant to be repairing someone's decking, but the pain in my arm was worse. It felt as if I had maybe trapped a nerve in the elbow joint. Luckily the family I was due to fix the deck for are away in the States just now, so I knew I could confidently delay it a week. I hardly rose from my bed until the afternoon, by which point, nursing a painful arm and an energy-sapping cold, I had to spend three hours in front of the computer preparing for a 6-day film school that was starting at 10am on Monday!

Monday dawned, and the cold was subsiding, albeit with a remnant nasty cough. As I travelled to the venue to meet the teenagers for the week, I was relaxed and happy to know I was back doing what I think I do best; teaching teenage students how to make movies.

Only these weren't teenage students, as I had been led to believe.

I stood at the door of the venue for a moment, staring in at the chaos of fifteen, 10 year-old children, let loose from their parents, running around frantically and screaming at each other, toppling over chairs as they went. This was my six day film class, for six hours every day. It was all I could do not to turn around and head straight back to bed. It was glorious weather outside as well, and right beside the venue was the Union Canal, where only a week ago I had trundled past on the John Muir Way, not knowing what hell was about to be unleashed one week later in this building.

I had to somehow adapt the film course for 18 year-olds to these children. It was going to be a challenge. As I thought it through I went to pick up the camera kit that I would be using all week, started to lift the heaviest tripod, when my sore arm lost all it's power. As the tripod started to fall I tried to catch it with my other hand, twisting awkwardly as I did . . . and hurt my back, resulting in a shooting pain in my hip all day.


I'm two thirds of the way through the film school with the kids, and to give them credit they have worked very hard, and above all have made me laugh.

Well that eases the pain somewhat.

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