Ocean Liners: Speed and Style

>>  Wednesday, March 21, 2018

HWMBO and I like trains, planes, boats and trams (We aren't too bothered about automobiles much to be honest unless it's a wander around a car museum)

I heard an interview on Radio 4 about the V&As  exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed and Style (Discover the romantic and remarkable age of ocean travel) and it sounded interesting so we caught a train to London to go and have a look.  It's interesting really that once in London you are constantly shown posters about what is on and interesting stuff that is happening.  Outside of the M25 it is harder to get a handle on what things are on that will catch our interest.

Anyhoo - Ocean Liners:  It had a lot of pieces from the opulent end of Ocean Liner travel.

 Model ships  (of course)
 But mostly grand pieces from the best of the best.
 First class art pieces and chairs.
 Cinema lights
 Flags, pools, bell boys and a promenade.

It actually all flowed really well for me, not over loaded with reading, large pieces to look at and admire, smaller art work, china and menus.
A deskchair from the Titanic, taken out of the water after it sank.

It felt very strange looking at pieces that you knew had slide down the deck and perhaps had been desperately clung too.

The story of the Normandie was interesting I didn't know about, lovely ship which caught fire and sunk because the water from putting out the fire finally capsized it.  Dreadful mess of events.
 There were more interesting pieces
 And a lengthy discussion to be had about how this folding washing stand worked.

The rather beautiful tiara saved from the Lusitania.  Lady Allen, her 2 maids and the tiara survived the shipped being torpedoed, her 2 daughters that were also on the ship did not.
Private dining rooms and original suits (that should have been a black tie not a saville row fashion statement!)

 And the largest part of the Titanic found  floating in the water.

All in it was a really well laid out and interesting exhibition.   Well worth the journey for.

(It's on until the 17th June 2018)

We found time for a bit of opulent dining ourselves (even if it was with 100s of other tourists) and I was sad not to be able to have a general wander around the V&A.  There is always something different on.

But we had to head to the Australian embassy to be subjected to their usual  security style of egotistical, power monkeys that like to make life as emotionally uncomfortable as possible for anyone that has the misfortune to deal with them...if you've been through Australian customs you'll understand...so that was fun.

And drained by that we left a wet, cold London to it's blattering rain and headed home.

A good day out on balance!


Microdiscectomy 6 years on

>>  Thursday, March 15, 2018

"Blimey, it's 6 years since I had my operation" I said whilst sat at the breakfast table the other week.

I've not really thought about it much until recently.  I've had a bout of flu, serious lay me in bed for a week flu and I didn't run for 16 days and didn't walk for 13.  This was too much for my poor back and it complained loudly, it likes movement.  My sciatica flared up and I've had shooting pains in my thighs that I'm hoping relate to nerve pain rather than a myriad of horrid diseases I've google-diagnosed.

So I was pondering my back woes, across the years.

Putting this current lack of movement pain aside, things had been pretty much carrying on as normal.  If I walk or run gently I'm fine and stay mostly pain free.  If I sit around or run too much I have back pain or leg pain, simples.

I'm good at remembering to not sit a lot, I stand in meetings, I lean against walls in training sessions, I book aisle tickets in theatres and cinemas so I can stick my legs out and wiggle them.  I sit in the office at work and home on saddle style chairs and they work for me.  Too much driving or working out of a different office without back friendly chairs and I start to suffer.  I think it is pretty much the way it will be for me, after so long I can't see it ever getting any better but I've just about got the management of it licked - flu debilitation aside.

I went tobogganing at a snow-dome the other week, I did 3 rounds of it before realising that the pulling of the toboggan and the bouncy escalators up the slope were making my back hurt and I stopped.  This is good news because I can trust myself now to say "no, you have to stop this or you will regret it" but I am also prepared to do things to give them a go instead of living permanently in fear that I will hurt myself and return to the pain I had at the beginning of this journey. 

I should do more core strengthening exercises, I go through months of planking and then get lazy with it.  "Must try harder" will be written on my gravestone, but all up the back is currently manageable and the pain tolerable.  It'll be interesting to see what happens over the next year especially with the leg pain currently having a bit of a resurface.

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