~ Hazel Harps On

The Glory and the Gout

Yes, it's a little odd for a title, I know, but I liked it! And let's face it, July was a pretty odd month for me.

The glory was very unexpected but (as glory tends to be) extremely welcome. Firstly, I've had an author event in Waterstones! Never in my wildest dreams did I envisage myself doing this sort of thing. It took place at the Yeovil branch a few weeks ago, and here's my book on proud display.

I made life difficult for myself, as is my wont, by bringing the harp along and providing a bit of extra harpy magic to go with the readings, and I sang 'Books Are Cool' (which seems to be becoming a habit). I cleverly managed to break a harp string just before I started and was oh-so-nervous, but thanks to Marcus, Stuart, Kirsty and the wonderful audience, I really enjoyed it. I'm still looking back and thinking I can't believe I did that.

Other recent glories have included many wonders of nature. Here's one:

Then there are our local meadows, bursting with butterflies, grasshoppers and wild flowers. Foxwillow Trio took advantage of the abundance and we've finally made the long-waited video of one of our songs. Here are some setting up snaps.

(If you'd like to see the results, take a look at the Foxwillow Trio page)

I'm really pleased with how it came out in the end - thanks to the expertise of Martin, who spent countless hours editing at the computer and Jonathan, who got roped in as cameraman.

Drifting about meadows in the sunshine is all very nice but you may notice that in the video I'm not carrying the harp but the flute instead. There was a practical reason for this. The gout.

I've always associated gout with elderly Georgian gentleman who drink too much port and eat too much red meat and game, so I couldn't quite believe it when the doctor suggested this might be the problem. My poor left foot has been swollen, burning and full of strange jabbings and stabbings for weeks on end. I seriously hate gout. The pain magnifies at night so you can't sleep and you become so desperate you even try things like lying upside-down on the stairs for half the night. Or attempting to sleep with your foot in a bucket full of iced water (take it from me, it's impossible). As it happened the timing could hardly have been worse because we also had two lots of guests staying with us and I had a major editing deadline for book two. Well, I somehow managed to meet the deadline and have sent the results off to my lovely editors, hoping it all makes sense...

Now that I've finally been diagnosed I'm praying the drugs will help. At least, for the time being, I really can put my feet up!

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