So I finally got my MRI scan results today and discovered that, as suspected, one of the discs in my back is bulging and pressing on the main nerve running down my left leg, hence the excruciating pain every time I stand up. I’m seeing a consultant at the start of July (after my physiotherapist managed to get my appointment brought forward by six weeks – I jumped an NHS waiting list! Result!) and I should know then whether I need surgery or not. But it’s looking about 99% certain, because there’s no way this will fix itself, and it sounds like it’s fairly major surgery, too.
So, that wasn’t really good news. Except at least they can fix it, so I’m pleased about that.
Then, in one of those weird cases of brilliant timing, just after the hospital called me (and I was feeling a little down, understandably), I had another phone call from an old friend who just so happened to have a spare ticket to see Crowded House at the Hyde Park Calling Festival this weekend. So now I’m seeing my favourite band play their first big UK gig in over a decade completely free, which I guess is the universe’s way of saying sorry about my back.
(Of course, being that the universe can be kinda twisted and cruel even when it’s throwing me a bone, my bad back will probably make the concert rather painful, seeing as there won’t be any seats helpfully sprinkled on the grass in Hyde Park. I’ll risk it, though. It’s Crowded House, fortheloveofmike! Wheeee!)
Onto other things…
Some people have been wondering why my column in SFX magazine has shifted into Spoiler Zone. I have to say that I don’t mind the move – although I do miss Andy Watt’s illustrations – and it does give me carte blanche to reveal spoilers in the sealed section that might annoy people who stumble across them on an ordinary page. (I’d also like to point out that my first column – the Laundry List one – was written before I knew about the change, hence it not being spoilery or referencing the move in any way.) My columns will also be exactly the same length, so nothing’s been lost there.
I asked Dave Bradley (SFX‘s Editor And All-Round Nice Guy Who Drinks Far Too Much Coffee) to summarise why he made the move, and here’s what he told me…
1) You can be spoilery.
2) You love TV, we love it when you write about TV, your commentary on TV episodes is always perceptive and entertaining: it makes sense to have you closer to the TV coverage in the magazine.
3) Readers requested more insight, personality and analysis in Spoiler Zone – you’re part of our grand plan for providing that.
4) We’re redesigning bits of the magazine – nothing major, some spit and polish – and we want to move things around to see how they work, to try and break out of some habits, make the best use of space, direct people to contribute in new ways. Moving Nelson’s Column further forward in the magazine, and contextualising it a little, is part of that. We’re considering moving Langford’s Column closer to the books section too. We welcome feedback from readers about it, and if it proves to be unpopular, we’ll move it somewhere else – simple as.
So there you go. I have to say, I’m amused to find myself part of a “grand plan”. I keep wondering if I should find a way to secretly get the words “Bad Wolf” into every column from now onwards.*
And finally: thank you to everybody who shared a cat anecdote with me this week after I posted a piece about the lovely Spud. I feel I should point out that I’m currently covering for a magazine Production Editor who should be on his honeymoon right now… except that his cat bit through his new wife’s hand the night before they were due to leave and she ended up needing surgery on her knuckle. No honeymoon. Lots of pain. One disgraced pet.
Which proves that cats, much as we love ’em, can be right little bastards.
*Geeky Doctor Who reference, for the few non-SF readers out there.