Sunday, November 12, 2006


Every now and then I get a bit of a problem with an excessive build up of wax in my ears, leading to problems with my hearing. Over the past 10 days or so, the hearing in my left ear has been very poor, so I have been preparing myself for a visit to see the nurse in order to have my ear syringed.

Some of you may never have been through this experience, you have my sympathy. Few things in life are as startling as the change from virtual deafness to crystal clear hearing. Of course this does cause some interesting feelings to rush around your confused body. I remember the shock of hearing the rustle of clothing as my trouser legs lightly scratched against each other on the walk to the car. The car journey home was an amazing experience, I was convinced that all the doors had fallen of the car, so loud was the sound of the engine, passing cars and each gear change. The gentle swish of wiper blade across the windscreen was replaced by the sound of a jet engine whizzing in front of me.

At last I made it home, too risky to try the radio, TV or CD player, so I opted for a glass of water and a scan through the paper. Obviously the sound of running water from the tap was akin to finding oneself at the base of the tumultuous rush of a 100-foot waterfall. Time to sit and read the paper, this was back in the day of The Guardian being in its full broadsheet glory, pretty soon I realised that even this was going to be an impossible task. The noise of those huge pages crashing and crackling as I turned the pages was like sound of a thousand bonfire night parties exploding around my head. If only I read a tabloid newspaper, things may have been a little better.

Of course fairly soon, these amazing sensations begin to recede and once again it’s safe to put the kettle on, without thinking that the latest space shuttle launch is taking place in your kitchen.

This morning I went along to NHS walk in centre, only to be told that they no longer carry out “ear irrigation” there, I would need to see the nurse at my doctors. The receptionist said they might as well take a look at the offending ear as I had made the journey down. Less than 5 minutes later a nurse was looking into my ears and advising that my “good” ear was pretty blocked up, however my bad ear was not! She was concerned that she couldn’t see my ear drum, so she called a colleague into to have a look and they decided that I may well have a perforated eardrum and would need to see my doctor tomorrow. I was a little concerned on hearing this news, but they assured me that if it is a perforation, these things normally heal themselves. Let’s see what the doctor has to say tomorrow.

Last night I put my ear problems to one side (the left!) and went with Orynthia and Ashton to see a rare screening of the 1947 film “Dreams That Money Can Buy” with a live score being performed by The Real Tuesday Weld, with help from Cibelle and David Piper. It was great fun; the film itself is fairly mad surrealist take on the idea of someone being able to help people to have dreams, for financial reward of course. The people who helped with the creation of the film and dream sequences included Max Earnst, Fernand Leger, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp.

Of course with those people involved, it was a pretty crazy visual spectacle, the live score and narration was subtle and entertaining. The performers were split into two groups of four with the screen in the central area; they were dressed in period clothing and lounged around in comfortable furniture between contributions. It was a little like watching the recording of a radio broadcast (with amazing Technicolor images) and was really rather fantastic, even with only one good ear!

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