A bit ill actually. I got myself a bit of a nasty coughing thing last week and it's turned out to be "severe bronchitis" as the emergency Doctor told me.
There are many things I love about England and the UK and I'm a believer in the good of the NHS and its Doctors, but getting to see a GP when you really feel ill is as hard as a bag of rocks with some nails in. It was February 29th so maybe they were all at Java's birthday party, that must be it. I rang my GP on Friday to be told that they had no appointments available until at least Tuesday, if I rang at 8.30 on Monday morning there was a chance I could be fitted in. Of course they aren't open over the weekend because illness doesn't happen at weekends.
I had two gigs to deal with as well, one on Friday and one on Saturday, both for the covers band. I got through Friday's one, a school party of some sort complete with an audience of screaming fourteen year olds, with a lot of discomfort. The coughing fits I had anticipated, so dosed myself up on more drugs than Keith Moon and John Bonham would have taken on a joint birthday do. My drugs of choice were Lemsip and Buttercup cough mixture, obviously no more than the recommended doses.
What I hadn't anticipated was how hard it is to keep a half decent groove going when I was sporadically coughing up what felt like the contents of my entire chest cavity. It was one of those racking coughs and, in a painful way, tested me and my playing. I noticed how the adrenalin buzz from playing helped me to deal with it too, that's a discovery that is worth remembering. I managed ok though, but can only thank my lucky stars I wasn't a white drummer, that would have been a hard task indeed!
I finished up that one, packed up and went home to sleep, cough and feel mightily sorry for myself.
Saturday's event was a bigger, more serious affair. A dinner dance thing to raise money for breast cancer. The venue was about a minute's walk from my daughters' house so they walked down to watch the soundcheck and set up, which was nice for me. It was one of the most spectacular venues I've played in; an old church that has been converted into an arts centre, huge high ceiling and more echo and natural reverb than an average airport PA announcer.
I was guilty of the proud Dad thing and persuaded my 13 year old to play on the drums for a bit, by telling her I wanted to hear how the kit sounded. It was true, I did, but I also wanted to show the others that she's a nifty drummer too. The plan worked a treat. But I also noticed my daughters pointing their phones in the band's direction during a couple of the soundcheck songs, so I have hopes that my reputation among their friends as a "cool Dad" because I play in a couple of bands remains intact. Not that I'm at all bothered by these things you understand.
The gig went outstandingly well, we played a couple of new songs including the Foos' "Long road to ruin" and my schoolboy fantasies of being Taylor Hawkins keep growing. What a great band, what a great song and what a fantastic drummer! Oh yes, those are the things Messrs Hawkins and Grohl would have been saying if they'd seen us play on Saturday night for sure.
At the midnight hour I turned into a pumpkin of sorts. It was a bit after midnight and I turned more into my road, but all else was true. I used up the last ounce of energy I had to unload my kit from the car, my head hit the sack and I felt happy, ill and relieved. I'd got through two gigs that I honestly had wondered about, that I'd thought about cancelling. I was pleased and knew that I'd get a Doctor out the next day to see me.
So here I am, all antibioticked up, lying in bed and have decided not to feel sorry for myself. Give me a day or two and normal service will be resumed.
There's only so much daytime TV and sleeping a chap can do, the energy levels are low and I've had to go into work in the mornings but this is the first time I've even felt like putting out a little blog post. I know it's not up to my usual standard of wit and intelligent insight but I feel sure you'll understand.
PS - I still hate Snow Patrol. And there were two different DJs at the gigs. Is there a law somewhere that DJs have to look like paedophiles and have all the social skills of Mervyn?