Saturday, 29 May 2010

The story of Mike Batt & my cuddle with Rolf Harris!

One of Martin's favourite composers is Mike Batt. He wrote The Hunting of the Snark, which is one of Martin's favourite musicals. He also wrote the wombles theme, which makes him a God in my eyes!!
We found out that he was doing a one off concert in London and the temptation to go proved too strong! We looked into the price of tickets and I contacted Cadogan Hall, the venue, and asked whether there were any discounts for the disabled. Amazingly, there were. We only had to pay for one ticket, as a carer goes in free. It was like everything was pointing to us going.
So we bought our tickets and then sorted out accommodation and transport to get to London. We decided to go via National Express coach. Our return journey cost us £1 each! And we stayed in a Travelodge, which was cheap, but it's standard accommodation, so you always know what you are going to get.
About a week before the concert, I decided that I wanted to try and do something special for Martin. He is so special to me and makes my life so much more bearable, that I wanted to do something that would show him how special he is.
I knew that Mike Batt was on Twitter, so I decided that I would send him a message. I explained our situation, that I have MS and that Martin gave up work last year, to become my full time carer and I explained that I wanted to do something special for him. I told him that Martin is a big fan and that we were coming up to London from Devon, to see his concert. I asked him whether there was any chance that we could meet him. I had nothing to lose, he could either reply, say no or just ignore me, but it was worth a try, what ever the outcome.
Imagine my surprise, when he replied! He said that they had to get out of the venue straight away after the concert, so we wouldn't be able to see him after the concert, but he said that they were having a rehearsal in the afternoon and if we could get there, we could sit in a watch it! WOW! I was astounded! I didn't know what to do with myself! I really hadn't expected that! I didn't want to tell Martin, that was the whole point, but I had to tell someone, so I sent my friend a text - "screaming"!!
I rearranged the coach, so that we could get to London in time, asking Martin, if he trusted me!! I confirmed with Mike, that I had done that & he told me to go to stage door and ask for his assistant! I was so excited! I desperately wanted to tell Martin, but I knew it would be better if I could keep it a secret!
And I managed it!!
We caught the coach up on Monday morning, we checked into the Travelodge and then got in a taxi to take us to Cadogan Hall. I told Martin to get in the taxi, while I told the taxi driver where we wanted to go. Once I had got into the taxi, I asked Martin if he had heard where we were going? He said he hadn't, but I decided that now was the time to reveal what I had done! I was convinced that he had already worked it out, although I don't know how he would have!
So I told him, that we were on our way to watch Mike Batt's rehearsal. He was amazed! He genuinely had NO idea that's what I had planned and he was really chuffed!
It was an amazing day. Cadogan Hall is a wonderful venue. The seats are really comfortable and it is a really great place. Mike Batt had a grand piano in the centre of the stage and he was surrounded by a full 50 piece orchestra and a rhythm section too. He also had two singers, one of whom was an artist that he had 'discovered' called Florence Rawlings.
He didn't rehearse the whole programme, just the items with the orchestra or the rhythm section. But it was a really great privilege to be allowed to be in on that.
The rehearsal finished at about 5.50pm and I wanted to go and thank him for allowing us to be there. He had already said that he would see us briefly before he had to get ready. So we walked down to the stage, the orchestra had left. He turned around and saw us and realised who we were. He came straight over and spoke to us for a few minutes. We thanked him for allowing us to be there, he was so lovely though and said it was no problem to him! It really did make our day though.
The evening performance was wonderful, one of those evenings that we will remember for a long time and a real honour to have been there for it! The surprises hadn't quite finished though!
I was getting the lift back down to the foyer, when I realised who was also waiting for the lift.......none other than Rolf Harris! What a gentleman. He was there with a lady, who he ushered into the lift and then he made sure that I got in OK. It was only a short ride down, but he treated us to some impromptu beat boxing! He stood and held the lift open and ushered me out. He held my hand and asked me if he could have a cuddle!! Imagine my surprise - he asked ME!! I said 'of course' & he said 'but don't tell everyone'!! It was the perfect end to a wonderful day!!
We got back to the Travelodge about 11.30pm and both of us just crashed. It had been a long, but really wonderful day. My surprise had worked and if he didn't know it before, Martin certainly knows now, just how special he is and how much he means to me.

We returned home on Tuesday and by Thursday I was exhausted. It really started to hit me just how fatigued I was. I then became full of frustration. Why is it that we can go and have a brilliant couple of days, but I have to pay for that afterwards? I really suffered very badly in the next 36hours.
I am in the process of changing my pain medication, again. I am continuing with the Targinact, but we are adding in a new drug called Oxcarbazepine. I really struggled yesterday though. I had gone to bed at 4pm on Thursday evening and although I woke up a couple of times and had a drink etc, I didn't get up properly until the following morning. It was quite a restless night though, because I was really struggling with spasms in my legs. I was so restless and couldn't keep my legs still. It was so frustrating and really driving me crazy.
I was so tired and in lots of pain. I didn't make for a happy Amelia!
To top it all, I then had a phone call yesterday morning, to say that my new wheelchair was being delivered. I SO didn't need that at that moment!!
Actually, the chair was delivered, while a friend was with me and that made it all the more bearable. I had shed my tears before it had arrived and then when it turned up, we were able to make light of it. The chair itself, is much better. It is obviously smaller - yay to me for losing weight!! But it is more sporty. It looks more 'cool'! This all sounds very silly, but I am having such a struggle in my own head, with the idea of using a chair, that anything I can do to make it easier for me, is a bonus. I can actually say now, that I can see myself using it. Which is a huge thing for me to say. But saying it and doing it are two entirely different things - I'll keep you posted!!
Anyway, after waiting for quite sometime, I eventually spoke to a GP yesterday, about the problems I was having. I couldn't explain the pain. It was horrendous. I'd say it was easily 11 out of 10. And the muscle spasms, were really freaking me out. I hadn't had it like that before. My legs were just uncontrollable. I just wanted to sleep, so that I wouldn't have to think about it or deal with it, but I couldn't even do that.
Anyway, the Doctor was lovely. She told me that I could continue taking the Targinact as well as the Oxcarbazepine, but she also suggested that I have some Diazepam, to help relax my legs and ease the spasms. I felt better once I had spoken to her, because at least I felt like we had something that we could do.
Unfortunately, when I went to pick up the prescription, it wasn't there! And by this time the surgery was shut........and it is a Bank Holiday weekend.........aaaagggggghhhhhhh!!
I rang the Out of Hours Doctor, who rang me back and I explained what had happened. He was great. He said he would do the Diazepam, but that he also would do a script for Baclofen and that he wants me to take it regularly. It is so great when you come across people who really know what they are doing. He faxed the prescriptions straight over to the chemist, Martin collected them and I went to sleep!!
I still woke up a couple of times, but thankfully the spasms had eased. I am continuing with the Baclofen and will see how that goes, but I have high hopes that it will really help the spasms and I also have the Diazepam as a back up too.

I am worn out now, so I won't do an update for Closer Than Ever just yet, but I will do one in the next day or two..........there may also be an audio file that you can hear too!!!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Bank Holiday Weekend!
Love & hugs

1 comment:

  1. As a hater of his art I think I love Mike Batt the person. What a nice way for him to treat his fans. I am so glad you both had a great night. Rolf is a long time hero- Mr Love!
    Sorry you had to pay for it the next days.
    Herrad uses Bacolefen to control spasms. I hope it works for you.
    I must get the work down so I can settle down for Dr Who and the high point of our culture: Eurovision!