A few nights ago, my bilingual blog, which now has 334 subscribers, passed the 100,000 hits mark – whereas this one, set up a couple of years before, has yet to reach half that many hits, with 70 subscribers.
I haven’t written here for over a month for a variety of reasons. One is bad health. Forget about high blood pressure, that’s under control, I believe, and no bother. Forget about putting on weight, that hurts only my ego. The main trouble is I can no longer walk any distance (over two hundred yards) without pain in the hips, though not down the legs. I’ve seen four specialists so far: the first one was a quack: ‘your pain is due to age, no treatment; exercise, walk more’. The next two, consulted the same week unbeknownst to each other, gave me two different batches of pills and for about a month and a half my joints stopped complaining.
I felt so good I decided to treat myself to a few days at the beach and relied on a famous Thai writer to take me there. We agreed to meet a few miles inland close to his lair. But just walking around in search of a food shop while holding a travel bag was enough for me to call it quits and return to Bangkok after a lunch of khao man kai without kai but with moo daeng (translation: chicken rice without chicken but with red pork). I never saw the sea.
And I won’t see France either this year come August, as daily life in France means walking and then walking and there would be no point flying over to spend the time between bed and armchair, which I can do here without bothering anyone.
The only hope for the time being is acupuncture, one session every Thursday morning. So far, it hasn’t made any difference, except that … I now have backache more often than before on top of the pain in the hips. The young Chinese acupuncture fellow cheerfully says that’s normal. I like his frankness and will give him the benefit of the doubt for a while before I either turn to a physiotherapist or a wheelchair.
Another reason why I haven’t written here lately is quite simply il Giro. When after spending daylight hours translating some short story or other (more than half a dozen of them in the past three weeks, for the bilingual blog, the end-of-year anthology and also an OCAC project) or helping this or that friend by proofing or subbing some texts, I no longer have the stamina to stick to the keyboard after dusk. Now television is consistently out of order (I’ll have to do something about that) but there is the daily pedalling drama on the little screen. Dramas, should I say: there is also the Tour of Norway and even the Tour of California, but that’s broadcast while I’m asleep.
From one year to the next, live streaming on the net has much improved, in coverage and in quality. Two nights ago, I even watched alternately Bradley Wiggins coughing his lungs out and François Hollande addressing the press. One quit, the other quipped and dug in. Not enough AICAR for one, not enough grands écarts for the other?