Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Today I’ve done two things that I haven’t done in a long while.

The first being getting back on the back of a bike. Somewhere back in the annals of time a certain person lost HIS driving license. Today has been the second time I’ve been on the back of a bike for over 18 months. Firstly it’s quite surprising how much weight one can gain in that space of time, I know I complain about my increase in dress size but getting to my leathers was a bit of a squeeze, also my tics have gently morphed over this period. I went out with my partner’s cousin a few months ago whilst my neck cracking tic was in full pelt, with the effects of my jacket, scarf and helmet combined meant that it was impossible for me to twist me neck into the right position to create a satisfactory crack. When I got off and removed my helmet my head was spinning around like the girl from that classic horror The Exorcist. I call this “The Traffic Light Effect”. Imagine your tics are cars, imagine a road with no traffic lights, the cars drive along freely, the tics are coming and going as they please, however if something where to stop the tics, like you suppressing or like me physically unable to do the tic, the tics are queuing ready to go, rather like the cars waiting at a set of traffic lights.

Back to my original point, due to the inability to do this particular neck cracking tic and the fact that I not so long ago sprained my ankle which at times is still quite painful I was not looking forward to resuming my life on the open road. Another thing I forgot to mention is my train of thought which usually involves “I’m going to fall off and die” or “That bus/lorry/nutter in a big car is going to kill me” and “Oh no, we’re going to have a slip (fall and drop bike)” so as you can imagine by the time I get to my destination I’m a ticcing nightmare and may explode if approached from the wrong angle. I opt for the ticcing nightmare option rather than the option that involves violence. I guess this mode of transport will require some perseverance and hopefully I’ll get over these intrusive thoughts and feel a bit safer. This is easier said than done when the person in front in one day has done several things that you are told you shouldn’t do when you do you’re CBT (compulsory basic training for motorcyclists) and replies with old line “Back in the 70s/80s” (yeah, yeah, blah, blah, I see a copper). Luckily my tics whilst on the move weren’t to bad today.

The second thing, it’s been on my to-do list for a while, that’s to get my eyes tested. I’ve been a four-eyed geek since I was around 11; I was taken to the optician by my mum to see if it was my eyesight that was causing my tics. It was a pretty though eye test, even though the optician wasn’t my type I did manage to control myself and not reach out and kiss him because he smelt nice. This has often been a big worry of mine when a man is that close to you. Wholly inappropriate behavior, could you imagine if it was the other way around and the optician was a woman and me a man? Well the outcome of that was that I need reading/close-up glasses as well as distance glasses. At this point when I was told a vision of my dad balancing his “reading glasses” which were the cheapest pair of specs he could find, perched on the end of his nose whilst both completing the puzzles in The Western Mail”, watching Eastenders AND whistling through his teeth to annoy everybody. (Yes some men can multitask) I should explain here that I don’t have binocular vision like normal people, including my dad who used to brag about his 20/20 vision. I find it very hard to judge distances as my eyes don’t work together. I have a dominant eye (right) which I use most of the time and my brain tend to “switch off” whatever is seen from my left eye. The added problem is that my right eye is short-sighted so things are more in focus the nearer they are to me and the left is just slightly long-sighted so things are more in focus further away from me. But why would my stupid ticcy brain prefer the blurry vision of my right eye? The reason is that when I was small I had a nasty squint in my left eye which was fixed with surgery, it still occasionally wanders when I’m tired, also, I don’t know if this is true but perhaps by the time I had the eye surgery my brain was used to seeing mainly through the right eye, I don’t know but perhaps a theory.

I would also like to add that the interview for the magazine article went well, I was quite nervous but the next hurdle will be having my picture taken for the article. So statement number 2 was TRUE! tourettes-action.healthunlo...