Phonics as Physio

…a child’s dependancy on its parents reduces from the moment it’s born…

Phonics as Physio?

…in a minute. First, the lathe. May I draw a line under that for now? The Lathe is finished. It’s now a tool in my toolbox, to be used when the need arises. I’m hoping a need will arise soon.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing this…

…and this…

…and playing with this…

…and finally, this…

That, my friends, is the shell of a Sonor Phonic Plus 14 inch by 14 inch Tom Tom (probably one of the few things we Europeans can’t metricize. 355.6 millimetres by 355.6 millimetres doesn’t quite have the same ring). It’s mine. It’s from an earlier life all through the eighties. It’s part of a set. A once big set; nine in all. Also, it was once pure white.

I played drums all through the eighties, mainly in a heavy metal band called Avail. Yep, daft name, but there you go. Actually, we were quite good and always got gigs in and around Edinburgh. Like a lot of bands, once the truth sunk in that we were never going to “make it”, we fell apart. Alistair (a true guitar virtuoso, but too hairy) went to Australia, Dave (another true virtuoso, but also played keyboards) lives in Ayrshire, Eddie (a Thin Lizzy tribute master) lives in Burnt Island. Willie is an actor now and quite good too. Me, I gave up music to concentrate on flying.

I was also drum roadie for Eddie Henry, a seriously good drummer for a band called Bluefinger. Bluefinger played all over, but mainly had a Saturday night residency at Platform One at the Caledonian Hotel at the west end of Princes Street in Edinburgh. Sadly Nick Johnson, literally the larger-than-life front man, died in a motorbike crash on the 23rd of December 2010 in Spain.

Eddie was my drum teacher at first, but we were close mates all through the eighties. We both had Sonor Phonic Plus drum kits. Having the same kit meant Bluefinger could quite often play two venues in Edinburgh on the same night. I would set up at the first gig and, whilst Eddie was playing, I would set up the second gig. Then whilst Eddie was playing the second gig, I would break down the first gig, then finally the second gig.

When I took up flying, I lent him some of my drums, but we lost touch when he suffered a reversal of fortune. I’ve no idea where he – or the rest of my drums – is now. Doesn’t matter; I’ve got enough to play on.

So that explains the Phonic reference; what about the Physio reference?

Back pain. Chronic back pain. Caused by the rubbish seats they put in modern airliner cockpits. You’d think they’d spend a bit of money getting the comfort of the most important people in the entire aviation industry right, wouldn’t you? No. It’s actually impossible to get that right, no matter how much you spend on it. Humans come in too much a variety of sizes, you see. So, after 25 years strapped into a variety of such seats – back pain.

I went to see a consultant and had an xray and an MRI scan. Turns out, there’s nothing wrong with my spine; it’s all muscular. Caused by being strapped into a crap seat and lack of exercise. The consultant prescribed “exercise” as a cure. Half an hour at least three times a week.

Half an hour three times a week.


Who’s got time for that? Certainly not me. He said I should go swimming. Let me tell you, there’s not the slightest chance in a month of Sundays of me getting into fluid that other people have been in.

I said I’d go running. He said not to. Bad for your back, apparently. Who knew that? He said I should also – yes also – go to a gym. Now Big Mike likes the gym, so I’m not going to bad mouth gyms. A lot of people go there, and some might even pretend it’s doing some good, but it’s not for me. Brings me out in a sweat just thinking about it. Thinking about other peoples’ sweat, that is. Oozing off everything.

But, he’s the professional, so I have to do what he says. Exercise. Chris, my physiotherapist, has me doing some pilates type stretchy exercises and they help a lot, but they’re not aerobic.

Then I gets to thinkin, when I played drums four or five days a week, I was bloody fit. Ask any heavy metal drummer. Heck, just watch one and you’ll get the idea. So why not drumming as exercise? It’s aerobic, it’s low impact (yes, it is), you need balance and poise. And you get to hit stuff.

So drumming it is, then. Last week, I got the kit – or what’s left of it – out of the loft.


9 thoughts on “Phonics as Physio

  1. Questions, questions, questions. What’s in the cardboard box? and how did you make those dovetails so neatly. Sorry to hear about your back, here’s an idea, sell the lathe and take the money to digital digital and buy a full set of electronic drums.

  2. Hello Peter!

    The contents of the box, the dovetails and The Lathe are all related. I’m using David Charlesworth’s method of doing dovetails to ensure neatness. I can’t believe the course I attended at his place was in 2006!

    I take your point about the drums and I agree, Roland V Drums are the way to go, but at the moment the cost – thousands – is out of the question. Imminent posts will explain why, for the moment, I’m sticking with the acoustic set.

  3. As the band fell apart, I guess it came to no Avail!!!!!

    Also, a parents dependency on it children increases as they get older!!!!

  4. Well, my two own their own house, so are completely independent of us, and we are independant of them. My parents are in their mid eighties and are still independant of their kids. Maybe dependancy is only evident at the beginning and end of life, but in between, dependancy is extremely subtle if it exists at all.

  5. Yes, it does exist. The time of dependency varies on how lucky/unlucky the parent/child is! For most of us, there is a large period of independency in between the early years of the child and the latter years of the adult……….

Comments are closed.