Bad Backs & Velvet Hearts

If British schools did that thing they do in the States where they hand out high school yearbooks and give all the pupils taglines, I would’ve been voted “Girl Most Likely To Get Kidnapped By Aliens”. I would also have been voted “Girl Least Likely To Ever Attend A Pilates Class”, which makes it all the more interesting that I actually went to one the other night.

Having a bad back sucks. Anyone who has a bad back already knows this, but it can’t be said enough. Technically, I don’t have a bad back at the moment – it’s absolutely peachy – but I DO have sciatica, which stems from my back, and my left leg is well and truly buggered because the nerve running down to my foot is being compressed by my spine. Doctors, consultants, physiotherapists and x-rays all tell me one thing: I’m screwed.

Thankfully, I can still work because the moment I sit down the pain completely disappears, so I’m extraordinarily thankful for that. And there’s a chance it’ll get better with exercise, hence me signing up for a pilates class, something that’s So Not Me I can’t even begin to tell you. I really am “The Girl Least Likely To Attend ANY Exercise Class”, and something as poncy as pilates is just beyond the pale.

Naturally, I was rubbish. But I’ll get better. And so will my leg, because it bloody has to.

The reason I’ve mentioned all of this is because I was faced with a terrible choice the other night: pain or pleasure? I received a “Friend Request” on my MySpace site ( from a band called The Velvet Hearts, who just happened to be playing in Putney two days later. I listened to some of their music on their site and fell truly, madly, deeply in love. I wanted to go. I rounded up my friend Paul to come with me. I was really excited.

But the gig was standing. And I can’t stand for more than five minutes without having to swallow two lots of prescription painkillers, neither of which work. So what could I do?

I bloody well went, that’s what I did. And I sat on the floor, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to let my sciatic nerve get on my nerves. I had a brilliant night, too, because The Velvet Hearts were wonderful, and before the gig Paul and I sat by Putney Bridge and watched the sun set on the Thames and it was ace.

So if there’s a moral to this long-winded and self-indulgent story, it’s this: if you have to chose between your back or your heart, go with your heart. Or even The Velvet Hearts (

Life’s short, and if you have to limp a little to have some fun, just get on with it and limp. It’s worth it.



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2 responses to “Bad Backs & Velvet Hearts

  1. Anny

    seeing as you are sad and have a poncey myspace thingy i have to tell you to look at the bullycats who i think sound like a bunch of angry students but feel free to listen, i tell you about them as my mate Jenny is obsessed by them, i will tell her to listen to ur band too 🙂

  2. Badger Madge

    My mum has sciatica and she goes to Pilates and also goes to a physiotherapist/sports massage lady. She says they both fix her right up.

    I have laudosis and I’ve found they both help too. Go for it! x

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