Tender Back and Bat

More than 30 years ago, I hurt my back which saw me go through a lengthy episode of hospital treatments. These culminated in a back surgery which thankfully, cleared up all my back problems and I went on to lead a pretty normal and healthy life. I even took on jobs that involved lifting loads. I worked weekends in the fish markets in Sydney, lifting crates of fish and/or ice on a regular basis. I also worked in my university, often carrying tables and chairs while arranging classrooms and halls for exams seating and moving lecturers’ books and bookshelves. The surgeon must have done a decent job to let me do all that. And, I also ran numerous half marathons and 10k races for many years.

Occasionally however, the back flares up. Doctors sometimes refer to these as chronic episodes. They recur on a regular basis and often goes away after a little while.

This past week or so saw one of those flare-up’s. All week last week, the back was sore. On Saturday morning, it was muggy and after going for a walk with Tress and the little guy, we came back and Tress started doing some weeding. I was dawdling around and being schizophrenic about whether to trim a remaining bit of the hedge. It was so muggy and I was lethargic to say the least. The other thing bugging me was Tress’ car. The intermittent rain and hot windy conditions the day before had made the car ugly filthy so I ended up giving the car a wash. The MX5, being the little thing that it is, was sitting there looking at me, when I had finished washing Tress’ car, so I decided to also give My Jedi a wash.

We got cleaned up around 1pm and decided to go see the new “Loft” of the FHC. We picked a Vietnamese place for lunch, which wasn’t the greatest choice for me. The food was ok but the chair was at such an awkward level. Towards the end of the lunch I started to get mini spasms on my back and for the rest of the day I became so twitchy as the back had slowly but surely, gotten worse.

Later that night, we settled down and I started watching a new Netflix series with some familiar faces. Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin are funny and very good in “The Kaminsky Method”, and that gave me and Tress a few laughs to take away the soreness on my part.

We had also had a few laughs the night before, when Jason and Mel and the Hipos and Jess’ mum all caught up for dinner. We went to place that served an ethnic Chinese minority group cuisine – Yunnan Cuisine– and the novelty of the meal was something to marvel at. It was always good to catch up with these old dear friends and Friday night was no different.

On Sunday, before heading out for St Alf’s, Tress made me pop an ibuprofen which lessened the misery of the sore back. The mugginess had also cleared up so after lunch and some grocery shopping, we got home and I went to work with the hedge and lawn. Tress did more weeding in the north west corner (the jungle central of our garden), did the ironing and also took the little guy for a walk. After finishing outside, I went it to do the week’s cook and the washing up all finished just after 6pm.

I was peaking at the cricket score all arvo and it was painful to watch. The post Smith/Warner/Banks sandpaper ball tampering saga has seen a change of coach and many new players. The batting order is as tender as my back and so I had decided to focus on the excitement that Virat Kohli brings instead. Kohli hasn’t ignited yet but the tender Aussies buckled time and again. The 4th day ended with the Aussies staring at defeat that will surely come. It is only a matter of time when play starts today, before India wins game 1 to clinch a series Down Under for the first time in donkey’s ears.

More than 30 years ago, when I suffered my first back trouble, Alan Border and Company were starting to lead the Australian cricket team out of the wilderness that followed the World Series drama. Today, how we need another Alan Border to doggedly dig in and stake our claim. Just as I need to doggedly fight this sore back to end the year on a brighter note.