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Blog: A Cure For The Mystery Illness

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It was a bit of a funny old day yesterday full of mild PAIN and GRATE delight. The pain was caused by the fact that I had a Mysteriously Illness. I can't think what caused it - I was FINE on Monday night when I went out with Mr S Hewitt for a couple of pints and a gig. I can't see what could POSSIBLY have changed between doing that and waking up the next morning feeling DREADFUL.

The gig, by the way, was Allo Darlin' at The Scala, and it was BRILL. It was (and always is) a bit WEIRD seeing people i don't even know, let alone am currently in BANDS with, carrying Fortuna Pop tote bags or, indeed, listening to Fortuna Pop bands, and there were HUNDREDS of them there. The gig itself was similar to the last time I saw them at Indietracks. For the first three or four songs I thought "Yes, this is all very nice and excellent, but I do not feel totally engaged - maybe this is the moment that My Favourite Band Who Are Still Gigging CEDES that title?" Shortly after that, just as at Indietracks, the gig went ZOOM and became AMAZING. I think it was around "Crickets In The Rain" (my favourite from the new album) which is INCREDIBLE, and when they rolled into "Tallulah" (NOT at the encore for a change) the whole room was a) AGOG b) SILENT c) having a little bit of a CRY. After that it was FULL-ON HITS and the whole room was leaping about. It was ACE!

So why, after all that (and popping up the road for another cheeky pint afterwards) I should feel so grotty the next day I cannot think, but grotty I did feel. By mid-morning I was ready to go back to bed and REBOOT the whole day, but was cheered up by The Post In My Postbox returning from the lobby of our flats with some MAIL. It was a formal letter from the Vice Chancellor of City University confirming that I had indeed PASSED the MA in Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting) what I have been working away on for the past two years. I'd had the information online at the end of last week but having it on an official letter was exciting all over again especially as it meant we could re-check the grade and find that, yes, it still said that I had got a DISTINCTION! A distinction! I still can't quite believe it - this disbelief is not ENTIRELY modesty, I mean, I thought the script I did was pretty good, but I've spent much of the past two years telling The Grades In My Marks Sheet that i WOULDN'T be getting a distinction ("that's not really the point" i would say, "It am about the writing wot happens") that it's taking me a while to get my head round it. I am mostly trying TO get my head round it by telling people loudly in pubs and, as of today, on this blog, so hopefully that'll help. If that doesn't work I guess the next stage will be to MODESTLY hire a SKY WRITER PLANE.

We both did the small dance of joy in the kitchen again and progressed with our afternoon - in my case this involved quite a lot of sitting on the sofa, groaning, and saying "Oh dear, I think I am too poorly for HULA HOOP class today." Hula Hoop class, by the way, is an Exciting Thing we do every week - the people who run/OWN the Olympic Park put on free exercise classes for residents via the marvellous Our Parks organisation, and the pair of us have been doing HULA HOOPING since the summertime. It's a lot of fun and, in my case, EXACTLY as DIGNIFIED as you can probably imagine.

The Athletes In My Exercise Group suggested that doing some exercise would probably HELP my Mystery Illness and by golly she was right. An hour and a bit later we returned to the flat REVIVIFIED to find my phone saying I had 34 new messages. THIRTY FOUR? Clearly something was going on so I turned on the laptop and rapidly discovered that we had been played on the radio! The excellent Mr Steve Lamacq had played the single version of The Lesson Of The Smiths (with swearing removed!) as part of his Lost 45 feature! He said he'd been going through some old t-shirts in preparation for Wear Your Old Band T-Shirt To Work Day and found his "I VALIDATE!" t-shirt from our WE VALIDATE! album tour back in 2006. I was really very touched to know that he had KEPT it, and excited to be back ON AIR! It's funny how all that's changed - when first we got played on the radio, LO back even in the 1990s, you'd find out because someone would RING you. Now it's all on twitter, with retweets and wotnot, and you can Listen Again for yourself. It's ACE!

Best of all, it turns out that hula hooping plus being on the radio can pretty much SORT OUT a Mystery Illness as I spent the remainder of the evening hopping about with JOY, so NEXT time it happens - if of course it ever does - I know how to CURE myself! HOORAH! Let's celebrate with a tonne of BEER!

posted 26/11/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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