A second painful night in a row. Not only knees, hips and shoulders this time, but also a thigh muscle and buttocks. As it is, I seem to take enough painkillers to tranquilise an elephant, so I’m going to request my GP to refer me to a pain consultant. The problem stems from lying too long in one position and not really being strong enough to turn over. We have ameliorated this to some extent by pinning a medical rubber mat three quarters of the way down the bed onto which I can put my feet and get some sort of purchase. I had thought that we might buy a 1 x 2 m.. Piece of the cheapest rubber backed carpet that we can find, and wrap this around the bottom 3 feet of the mattress but, after moving the rubber mat lower down the bed. I realise that to have it across the entire width would probably mean I could not move my feet at all, so I have abandoned that idea. If I find a perfect solution, I will, of course, reported for the benefit of others in the same position. In the meantime we are about to purchase some saint to make a top sheet, which hopefully will reduce the friction between my nightclothes and my bed covering the making the process of turning them much easier.
I am now well through rereading Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and I’m fascinated, this time round, to realise what an incredible piece of pre-revolution Russian social history. this book represents. It goes into the greatest detail of the daily lives of the aristocracy. How they behaved. their customs, habits, dress and lifestyles, even down to the smallest detail of some of the food they ate. For example, the wonderful description of the wedding between Levin and Kitty. What they wore and every detail of the betrothal and the marriage service. In addition, there are similarly detailed accounts of the serfs and peasants. Indeed, the abolition of serfdom and the rise of the peasantry to a position where they began to get some control over the land that they had worked for generations before. purely, for the benefit of their masters, who literally had complete control over virtually every aspect of their lives. In other words, this book can be read as a piece of social history. quite apart from the poignant love story between Vronsky and Anna Karenina.
It is even prophetic in that the state of the Russian nation, almost 100 years ago, has a spine tingling resemblance to the state of Europe today. It recognises the need for agricultural reform (the abolition or reform of EU farming subsidies); the facilities of communication such as railways, leading to the centralisation in towns, (the world wide web; the mobile phone) the development of luxury. (The cavalier spending by the bulk of the population om borrowed money for material goods and holidays, they could otherwise not afford) The development of manufacturing, credit (the explosion of personal borrowing. Particularly the housing at 100 or 125% of the ascribed value) and this accompaniment of speculation (last year’s banking scandal and the speculation in currency, leading to the current credit crunch) Having said that, in today’s fast moving society, how many people, except thw retired. (and the idle rich!) can possibly plough their way through the hundreds of pages of this book. That is probably why Amazon give it away free to their Kindle customers!