First chance I've had to bring this journal up to date since my birthday. A lot going on and not all easy to deal with.
First of all, the good stuff: On my 70th birthday on the 18th of December I opened gifts and cards from fans that had been left for me at the 'Plectronica' event. To say that I was deeply touched by their generosity would be an understatement. A very sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who sent me a gift. All were most appropriate, warmly received and have found a welcome space here in my home as a constant reminder of people's appreciation of my work. Thank you so much!
Emi and I spent most of the day trying to catch up with our late Christmas preparations, gift buying and so on, but managed to find time in the evening to go out for a meal together at a seafood restaurant in town. A most enjoyable respite from the seasonal madness that seems to have enveloped us lately.
Unfortunately, when we returned home, I suffered an unexpected accident. Coming downstairs in the darkness late at night, I slipped on the stairs, fell backwards, hitting my back hard on the edge of the steps behind me. A nylon puffer jacket had fallen from the staircase banister onto the final step and, probably due to my deteriorating eyesight, I didn't spot it. When my foot hit that step it skidded on the puffer jacket and I fell backwards, injuring my back quite badly. For the next three days it was too painful to go out. Sitting down, getting up, twisting my body left or right, leaning forward, all these movements caused excruciating pain. The only relief was to lie almost horizontal. Over the next few days, the pain eased a little, bit by bit, but has not yet gone. I'm still experiencing discomfort though I'm hoping it will continue to improve.
As a consequence of my physical incarceration, we're now even more behind with our Christmas shopping and so on. A desperate attempt to catch up a little will commence tomorrow.
Having said that, we did manage to get over to my Mum's in Wakefield today to help her with her usual supermarket shopping. We also attempted to buy some of our own Christmas foodstuffs but still need to grab a few more gifts for family and friends tomorrow, which looks like being a very busy day.
Christmas seems to get more intense each year. Or is it me that is simply losing energy and enthusiasm for it? A nice, easy, relaxed time with Emiko would be so nice...but other duties require constant vigilance to get everything done without disappointing anyone.
One other good thing was that I managed to fix a loose tremolo arm problem on my Fiesta Red Fender Stratocaster. The tremolo arms on these instruments can quickly become loose and 'rattley' in their sockets. Fender do provide a fix for this in the shape of a little tiny spring which you have to insert into the tremolo arm socket hole. I sent off for a packet of these (which are only available in units of 12,) but, this morning, when the packet arrived, I slipped one into the guitar's tremolo arm socket and it did the trick, tightening up the arm and providing a much more firm and secure action. Very pleased with this as it means the guitar will be used much more in future.
Whilst on the subject of 'the future,' I'm greatly looking forward to getting the Backlund 'Super-100' guitar that fans generously clubbed together to buy me as a fabulous 70th birthday gift. This totally unexpected gift has brought excitement and keen anticipation to the Nelsonic musical environment. I understand that it will be delivered sometime in January. That month is so often a let down after the Christmas peak but, this year, it will bring a very special uplift. New guitars always lift my spirits!