Now that Janet is on the mend, I’m beginning to take more care of myself. The result is that I’m currently off to Bournemouth once every 10 days or so to get my wretchedly stiff back and neck sorted out, something I should have done years ago. Jimjams has been seeing a chiropractor to sort out her skating injuries, with impressive results, and every six weeks or so she goes to get herself “cracked” back into alignment. Last time we went I decided to sign myself up for the same treatment, and I’m currently on the introductory programme where the various wrong bits of me get wrenched back into place.
In effect I’m paying a woman to have me strip to my underpants, lie on a bench, and push me about. Hmmm. All I can say is that my neck works properly again, and my back has stopped feeling like it has been stabbed. Even though the neck work feels more like I’m a poor rabbit about to have my neck wrung for the pot.
Ferry and train conspired to make me arrive horribly early, so I wandered off to Bournemouth’s seafront for a walk – and to have sand blown into my face by the wind. I’ve grown up with faded Regency or Victorian seafronts, decaying beach huts and the tungsten-lit warmth of amusement arcades, from Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Deal, in Kent, to Ryde and Shanklin on the Island. And in the scale of things, Bournemouth appears like a second-rate Brighton. Not entirely horrible, but a pretty desolate seafront with some grimly priced chain-eateries such as Harry Ramsden’s, which manages to charge almost nine quid for fish and chips.
I am reminded that very long ago in Deal I got thrown out of the sole amusement arcade for playing one game too enthusiastically: I had one warning and then the owner shoved me in the chest and told me to get out. And there passes my moment of teenage notoriety: the moment when as a nine-stone weakling I evidently presented some dark and dangerous menace. After that, dear reader, I regret that I turned to beer and pubs…