Exactly four months after breaking his ankle Michael is still no nearer to getting it sorted out properly and he’s understandably getting really cheesed off with the whole situation. Back on September 1st he had an x-ray and got an appointment to see a specialist, Mr W, two weeks later ; he made another trip back to Ireland on the 6th, then while I was away camping in Norfolk he came back home on the 14th for his appointment the following day but that proved to be a total waste of time. He was kept waiting for forty minutes after his actual appointment time then when he finally did see someone it was the collar bone and shoulder specialist!
This guy prodded, poked and manipulated Michael’s ankle and asked if it hurt, to which he replied “Yes, it ****does!!” then he was told he would get a letter in two to three weeks time to see Mr W – which is what that day’s appointment was supposed to be for! Needless to say, he wasn’t very happy as there had been no real point in coming back from Ireland just to be told that, so on his way back from hospital he called at the bus station ticket office and booked himself on the ferry that same night – he rang me and said he’d got an open ticket so once he got a letter from the hospital he could come home in time for whenever the next appointment would be.
Unfortunately, even after four weeks there was still no letter for him from the hospital so rather than ring he decided to come back home and actually go there to find out what was going on. He arrived back here at 6.30am on the 13th of this month then after a couple of hours sleep he went up to the hospital, only to be told that they had no record of a further appointment for him! At this stage he (sort of quietly) hit the roof and was finally able to speak to Mr W’s secretary who immediately gave him the earliest appointment available which was for today.
That appointment was for 10am but it was 11.30 before he was seen and he was in for quite a while, during which his ankle was prodded and poked yet again but without the specialist coming to a firm conclusion. From there he had to go to physio where the guy there just gave him a few exercises to do at home to strengthen the new bone growth, and he now has to wait for yet another appointment to have a scan this time, when (hopefully) it will be decided whether or not he needs an operation. Needless to say he’s really fed up with the whole ongoing situation now and really needs a final decision to be made one way or the other as he wants to get back to work – his ankle is still very sore but even though he can now walk about without the boot the nature of his job means that he isn’t even allowed in the bakery so as much as he wants to go back to work he can’t.
However, he is going back to Ireland on Friday night, with an open ticket so he can come home whenever he needs to, and I’ll be keeping an eye on the post for him, though he said he’s only going to leave it for a week before he rings the hospital, and he’ll keep ringing them until he gets that next appointment date. I really hope something gets sorted out for him soon as I’m just as fed up with the situation as he is – and though it’s nice to have him at home when he is here I do miss my presents of free bread and teacakes!
Following on from my previous post, where I mentioned having been on tv in the late night dance music show The Hitman And Her, I thought I would give you an insight into the making of the show and what it was like to be a Hitman dancer.
Rehearsals were held every week on Tuesday and Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon at a dance studio in central Manchester – I went to the Sunday sessions as I worked evenings during the week. The Sunday ‘dance mega-blast’ sessions were three hours long and consisted of an hour of high-powered aerobics, an hour learning a new routine and an hour of practise. Clive, the main dancer/choreographer/ instructor (the guy known as ‘Wiggie’ with the wild white wig who appeared in all the programmes,) was always there to teach/nag/bully everyone to get things right (he was a great guy really and a lot of fun) and in his words those sessions weren’t “a walk in the park but bloody hard graft as nothing else works!!” And that was true, Sunday afternoons were three hours of intense work but they were also fun and I enjoyed every minute.
Although the tv programmes were broadcast late on Saturday nights – well early Sunday mornings really as they were shown between 2am and 4am – they were actually recorded on Thursday evenings. They came from a different nightclub each week and all dancers had to be at the venue no later than 6pm. The evening would kick off with an hour of high powered aerobics to get warmed up then 7pm to 7.45 was a practise session and run-through of dance routines. This was followed by an hour of relaxing and getting something to eat and drink from the free buffet which was laid on for us and at 8.45 we would have a final quick briefing and take to the stage/floor/podiums/balcony etc, then at 9pm the music would start, the doors would be opened to let the crowd in and the night started.
The first hour was just like it would be on any club night with the resident dj (though probably with a lot more clubbers) then at ten o’clock the Hitman theme tune heralded the start of the actual tv programme being recorded. There were really only two ‘rules’ which had to be adhered to – (a) that no space should be without a dancer so any dancer seeing an empty space had to take over, which meant that I often moved round from stage to podium/balcony/front line crowd control etc and back to stage again, and (b) that no-one was allowed to go to the bar – anyone wanting a drink had to ask one of the production crew to get it. Programme recording finished at midnight though we would usually carry on dancing until the end of the night to music played by the resident dj.
The whole evening would be very hot and thirsty work – I could quite easily drink three or four pints of orange cordial during the four hours I was dancing – but it was also very very enjoyable and I loved every minute. It was a very sad time when the Hitman programmes finally ended in December 1992, and although Pete and Michaela have appeared separately in other programmes in the years since then I’ve sometimes wondered what became of Wiggie and the other dancers. My own love of dancing has stayed with me throughout though – a couple of years after Hitman finished I got a job in a local nightclub working weekends as a dancer – and even though I’m older now I would be the first to apply if that show was ever brought back again.