Friday evening I went up into the West End again, for another of my "I will not be defeated by this" outings; this was good fun, but the rest of the weekend was a long, miserable slog. The cramp in my wrist is slowly getting worse and worse and I am becoming increasingly tired and frazzled, by it and by my general situation. The weather remains cold and the pavements remain slippery, and I feel blue.
My friday outing was to see the Royal Ballet in "Les Patineurs" and "Tales of Beatrix Potter". Another frozen trudge through the frozen sludge to Kew Gardens Tube; another pasta supper in another chain restaurant; another slightly-worrying arrival and departure, shuffling through the happy, blinkered crowds at Covent Garden with my arm cradled before me like a sick puppy...
Luckily the evening was delightful. "Les Patineurs" is short, charming, and I suppose basically rather slight - yet magical. The inventiveness of the choreography, finding balletic equivalents for (or echoes of) the movements of skating, is a joy. I wasn't entirely sure at first about Michael Stojko's Blue Boy - a trifle too self-consciously winsome for my tastes, but he had the requisite virtuoso stuff, and was a haunting figure as the curtain fell, spinning away lost in his own world in the dusk (& with very little 'travel', appropriately for someone who is meant to be doing a series of shotgun spins!). The little mini-corps weren't always quite together, which was unexpected - I haven't noticed this problem so much recently at Covent Garden. Best were the Couple in White; Cindy Jourdain, honey-coloured and bright, and the lovely Gary Avis (I do like Gary Avis!!), his partnering all strength and tender consideration, and his big smile radiant.
He turned up in "Beatrix Potter", too, as an athletically villainous Fox, whacking the hollyhocks with his brush as he leapt about. "Tales of Beatrix Potter" is great fun, albeit very frivolous (& perhaps just a scrap too long). But I am always dogged by the thought of what those costumes must be like on; bulky, padded, awkwardly shaped, probably pretty heavy... It's clear that the wonderful naturalistic masks don't give the wearer much of a field of vision, either. All in all, I couldn't help feeling a little sorry for Laura Morera (a sweet Jemima Puddleduck) et al. The cast must know they are winning new converts to the magic of ballet with every performance of this piece (the auditorium was full of children on post-Christmas family outings) and I hope that compensates them for what must be a physically uncomfortable experience in some ways. I guess dancers are pretty much used to physical discomfort, anyway...
I wish I could say as much for myself. My inability to cope with the pain and frustration of my injury seems to be worsening, not lessening, with time. It is driving me nuts. I can't carry more than one bag of shopping. I can't hurry - at anything. I am stiff in odd places from all the awkward compensatory movements I'm making. My over-used left arms aches all the time. I'm sleeping pretty badly and feel like a corpse-bride every morning as I drag my clothes on. I look a mess. I feel a mess. I'm in pain and my nerves are grissini.
Back at work, now, and it is an oddly quiet day. Out of the window, Kew Green is a misty monochrome under a sky that looks alarmingly pregnant. On Saturday evening we had my greatest dread, more snow on top of existing semi-thawed snow; I only went out on Sunday to refill the bird-feeder. I am terrified at every step that I'll turn turtle and go flying again, and break something else.
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