Am seriously grounded, physically, as have badly damaged my hip as a result of overdoing hip-opening exercises doing yoga. It was my fault, as I ignored warnings not to force them to open. It’s been so bad that I can hardly walk, and, sure that I was going to need a hip replacement, have had an X-Ray at the Western General and been up to the Royal Infirmary. To my astonishment, the former said that there was only standard wear and tear on the hip-joint – amazing, given that 25 years ago my doctor said that he’d never seen anyone so young with such ‘hammered hip-joints’ – the arthritis that had been diagnosed 25 years ago, and the latter recommended only that I desist from doing the exercises given me by a physiotherapist I went to see, and, at the same time, he would arrange for me to have a steroid injection. So am hoping against hope that I will have yet another ‘get out of jail free’ card, and that once again, my body, which has never failed to do what I asked of it won’t let me down. The result of this has been that I haven’t been able to go anywhere, and instead, am in a curious no-man’s land, where I’m not doing anything other than just waiting to see if things are going to improve.
It’s a curious feeling, as I’ve always felt that I could take off somewhere whenever I wanted – which of course is now out. But that’s not the only reason I’m just sitting things out, and not writing any more; I’m no longer interested in writing travel articles, the freelance market for which has almost disappeared, on top of which there aren’t many places left that I’d really like to go to. And then, finally, am somewhat worn out by all the hard work involved in doing Reports from Beyond and In Search of Landfall, which took nearly seven years to produce.
To pass time, I’m watching a lot of television. Those who say there’s nothing decent on the box are deceived; it just means that they don’t watch BBC 4 or, to a lesser extent, BBC 2. This must surely be the best channel there has ever been, including Channel Four when it first went on air before it went disgracefully downmarket and now simply caters for the lowest of the low. There’s hardly an evening goes by when there isn’t something really worth watching on BBC 4, starting with the excellent World News at 7pm. Then there’s Entarteted Kunst, the fantastic Scandinavian thrillers on Saturday night The Killing, Borgen, Wallander and The Bridge, the Italian Inspector Montalbano, the History of Art in Three Colours, a History of British Art, The Blue Planet, the wonderful programmes of Andrew Graham-Dixon such as The Art of China, Artists of War, The Art of Germany, The Art of Eternity, Lost Cities of the Ancients, The Life of Birds, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Great Scientists in Their Own Words, Treasures of the Anglo-Saxons, Under Milk Wood, The Viking Sagas, History of Greek Theatre, Ancient Greece – The Greatest Show on Earth. What’s not to like?