Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Paddock 2013

The Paddock 2013

Last years attempts to get the paddock fence came to nothing. At one point there was a discussion around the possibility of a metal fence being put round it, but in the end we didn't even get a small part of the fence repaired just so that balls didn't end up in the road. In the end I was asking for just the section along the road to be repaired and the bloke who I was liasing with at the council just chose to ignore me in the end.

I did notice though that in the last few months or so the council have been in there and filled in a big hole left by the removal of a big old willow tree, so maybe as the weather improves more might be done? In the meantime I've tracked down one of the main blokes at the council who offered me a lot of help and support several years ago on the basis that I was encouraging grass roots cricket. By my reckoning, since then, I've been integral to introducing several of the players in the U15 and U13's at B&PCC to the sport... Kieran Barbaro, Oliver Bybuke, Harry Hodgson, Mathew Cruse and my own sons Ben and Joe. The paddock has been an integral part of that process. Furthemore, possibly because of the access to such practicing facilities, Kieran, Ben and Harry have all won awards for bowling and fielding at the club and I reckon that if Oliver Bybuke was to start playing in games he'd make his mark within a season and would go on to win awards too?

At the end of last summer though, what with the fence coming down a couple of dog owners took using the cut strip to run their dogs back and forth up the length of the wicket. Throwing the ball along the length of the wicket their Staffordshire Bull terriers would run down the wicket and then skid at the end ripping the grass to shreds, running back to their owners. This over a couple of months runied the bowling area and despite asking the people not to do it and pointing out that I maintain the flat smooth area of grass, didn't seem to make any difference. Footballers; I can't do much about them as the area is for sport and they're entitled to be in there as much as us, but in November after some serious rain, a bunch of 17-18 year olds - 10 of them, played football in there for 2 or 3 hours and trashed it.

So it's a mess and I'm not sure whether I'm going to bother this year, especially if the dog owners are in there again. I'll try and get in touch with the main man at the council and see if he's able to help us out and if there is something that he can do for us I may give it a go and try and get it back to a usable state. I need to make a decision quick though as I need to get grass seed down and therefore need to buy some.

 From the bowlers end. The shadow cast from the bushes on the left-hand side is beginning to reduce the light and therefore affecting the ability of the grass to grow and re-grow. They really need to come down.
 This is the fence along the road-side which needs to be replaced.
This is the earth I put down at the end of the summer trying to flatten out the batting area, this is in desperate need of seeding.

New Bat for Ben

Last week at U15/U13's training Ben had a go in the nets again facing the bowling machine. Last week he did pretty well, facing at last one ball that was 65mph! This week he faced all the balls at 54mph. Again he did quite well except for when they were on Leg Stump. Dave then brought Frank in to have a look at what Ben was doing and give him some pointers. From what I could gather, Ben needed to flex his legs a little (Slight bend at the knees) and take a Leg-Stump guard. He then said for Ben to step back and across as the ball is released and then lean into or step back in accordance with what the bowler does. Not being a batsman I'm not sure if my interpretation is right, but it is kind of reminiscent of the instructions here, the bloke steps back and across his stumps before striking the ball. At one point Frank then took the bat and showed Ben what to do, having done so he then said that the bat (One of mine - Fernley Gold) was far too heavy, too heavy in fact for him let alone Ben! Talking to Frank after he said that for the way Ben bats, he needed less weight in the bottom of the bat near the toe and more in the middle, as that would give it more of a lightweight pick-up and suit Ben's batting style.

On Saturday we went to Decathlon in West Thurrock to have a look at the bats. Had a look through them all and for the most part they were all bottom heavy bats and just as I was about to give up I spotted a Gunn & Moore bat. In the end the Gunn & Moore Icon 101 looked like the best option for Ben, the description saying a light pick up with a sweet spot much higher up the bat than in most other models, almost word for word what Frank had said. At £25.00 in store for a Kashmir Willow bat I was happy to part with my cash. Ben is not a batsman - whether he'll develop into one remains to be seen, but the likelyhood is that over this season he'll do well to average 5 runs a game, so a Kashmir Willow bat if it's knocked in, should serve him for a year or two and at that price if it was to break it wouldn't be an issue.

Once home we had the stickers off it, cleaned all the glue off and got the Linseed oil on it. Over the last few days we've been knocking it in and we're aiming to get 3 or more hours done on it, if not more.
Side profile, showing that the thicker section of the bat is quite high up the bats length.
Face of the bat - with the stickers removed.
Joe, helping out with the Knocking-in.
This morning we went down to the community centre in Laindon and booked out the middle badminton court in the main hall. Meaning that, in theory the two bays either side would potentially be free, especically that early in the morning, meaning that in affect we got the whole hall for the price of a Badminton court and sure enough it worked out that way. So we (Ben, Joe and me) had a bit of a knock-about, all bowling and batting with a little running around fielding as well. Ben and I got give the bat a go and it felt pretty good, a nice balanced feel to it. Ben's bowling looked pretty good too.


What are all those horses in the fields?

Horse Meat

One of the features of living in South Essex is the proliferation of grassy fields and wasteground, much of which along the river Thames is marshland. Near where I lived years ago (Tilbury),we were surrounded by these fields and these fields were always full of horses and ponies. Not nice horses and ponies, but grotty looking, chunky horse and cart types, piebalds, I think my sister used to call them, a bit like fresian cattle but horses. They were sometimes put on road verges and chained up and a bloke would come along every now and then and move them along once the grass was eaten. They always baffled me, as to who owned them and why were they there and what purpose they served.

In Tilbury these horses used to somehow get across the cattle grids and get into the town and over-night would graze on the playing fields and raid peoples gardens and there seemed to be little anyone could do, because ownership of the horses couldn't be established seemingly? The pub we used to frequent... The Worlds End, was out on the marshes and we'd have to go across the marshes along Fort Road where these horses ran free. A mate of mine Danny Peach hit two horses in just one year on his way to the pub. If you walked around the marshes you'd find them dead in creeks on the salt marshes. They weren't nuetered or anything so each year a fresh batch of foals were born. On rare ocassions, a bloke would come along in really bad weather and put hay out for them, but other than that they'd just be there, not used, not ridden, biding their time munching grass. But there were clues every now and then to the ownership of the horses other than the blokes in the vans bailing out the hay. I think one of the things that made it unclear as to the owners of the horses was the fact that it wasn't clear as to who owned the land and as far as I was aware much of it was owned by the PLA, but nothing ever seemed to be done with the land and it was pretty much unchanged for the 28 years that I lived in Tilbury. Someone though, did rudimentary fence maintenance... enough to ensure the horses remained in some of the fields, a lot though were free to roam on common land over quite a large area.

The horses in the image above are typical of the type I'm on about and again they're in the typical environment, in this case Cliffe Marshes.

Just before I left Tilbury I remember photographing the Worlds End Pub on a 5x4 view camera and I noticed a sign on the door. It was hand-written and read...

No gambling.
No guns.
No horse trading

There were a couple of other things on this list, but I can't remember what there were, but they may have been related to certain ethnic group of people that live in Tilbury and have done since the docks were built in the 1880's. As well as the community in Tilbury that were static, the common along the Fort Road had a transient group of these people that had pitched up and were there for several months. I'd always associated the horses around Tilbury with these people, but could never verify it and say that was for certain.

The same types of horses and arrangements seem to be in place in PItsea on the marshes there, and I go past them every day. Over the years I've pondered their economic existence and thought that maybe they were for glue, but as far as I'm aware the horses for glue market disappeared years ago, so why were they there?

I think the clues were on the sign at the Worlds End in 1989, the fact that they were being traded and it was causing a problem at the Worlds end in the late 1980's kind of suggests that significant amounts of money was being transacted in an environment and in a way that the publican thought wasn't on. Furthermore there's the no guns clause! The inference from the sign was that there were groups of men of a certain type who had taken to using the Pub to deal in these horses and that the trading was done in a more than heated environment. Whilst that sounds alarming, it wasn't that alarming as when I used to be out on the marshes I would frequently bump into blokes with guns shooting partridges, rabbits and stuff.

The question is why were these horses being traded and for what? It may have been totally legitimate, it may be the case that these horses were used in the animal pet food trade and that farmers in this part of Essex have this as part of thier business. But even if that's the answer, I'm still surprised that the Fluffy Bunny Brigade are not out there protesting about it!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Good news for Joe!

To be continued...

Yesterday was a good day for Joe, he had a couple of appointments at the hospital... The first was a physio appointment, something he hasn't done for ages, so I was interested to see what they'd say. Unfortunately because of the appointment time and work, I didn't go along to this session, Michelle has generally gone with Joe to the Physio , but up till today I've always gone to the Fracture clinic with her and Joe. There was some sense that the meeting would be short, no Xrays required, just a quick check on the wound that was ripped open in the snow incident. Over the week Joe had been to the treatment clinic at Laindon and it was obvious that each time they looked at it and dressed it, it was getting gradually better and this past week he'd been twice with improvements each time.

At the Physio, one of the physio's that had dealt with him back in April - getting him walking after a week in bed; saw him and said he was fine and progressing well. She did some strength tests with his leg, one where she supported the leg and he had to raise his toes against her resistance, using his ankle as the axis point. She checked side-ways strength and up and down. She did the same thing with his 'Good' leg as well. Then she did similar checks using the knee joint as the axis point, checking his thigh and upper leg muscles and how they're being used in conjunction with the knee joint. The lower leg foot resistance drills were checking for lower leg muscle development and strength. The outcome was that the 'Bad' leg felt stronger than the good leg!

Michelle and Joe, then had to wait for their appointment with Mr Wakeman, who was running 1 hour behind schedule, and with 1/2 hour in between the appointments (if they'd been on time), this meant they had to wait an hour and half! All that time to then go in have a quick look at the wound and for Mr Wakeman to say... "Yep, that's fine". So, going back to the original assessment that related to the bone use, this now means that Joe's got another 2 weeks and he can start to do sport again, taking it easy and at his pace and committment level slowly building back his strength. The Physio did say that full recovery with 100% muscle replacement/recovery can take two years more! We're okay with that and I'm sure that with the activity levels that Joe's normally involved in, his recovery will be quicker. For instance I've just come in now from having a kick about with him and he's now moved on to that American netball game that kids seem to want to play these days... Basketball? (I'm not a fan).

So the long schedule that I was counting down has been revised and we're now looking at just 2 weeks before Joe can start doing some light PE and gradually building his strength up. But, I must admit, I'm not sure what the guidance would be if say for instance he was going to start his PE in the midst of the Rugby section of his year, would the advice be 'Go on get in there'! I think he goes back to Gymnastics, so slightly less demanding at his level.

School cricket opportunity

We went up to the school for an open day/meet the teachers type thing for Ben and while we were there we bumped into some of Joe's teachers including his 'Form' teacher. Many of them spoke about his Jack Petchey award, but his form teacher said...
"We had a thing come round all the classes from the Essex County Cricket Club and the ECB offering a week of coaching and free entry to watch a professional game, when I read the notice out, 99.99% of the kids automatically switched off, but Joe bless him was like a little shining beacon in a sea of football ubiquity and then it dawned on him as I was talking about the dates, that he might not be able to do it because of his leg". She asked about his leg and we said that he's being seen on Friday and that the outcome was increasingly positive. Needless to say with the latest development Michelle's contacted the teacher since and said count Joe and Ben in. But, there was a feeling that perhaps they wouldn't get the necessary numbers for it to happen. We'll have to keep our fingers crossed.

Jack Petchey Award

Joe has won the Jack Petchey Award at school!

Joe as you can see from the picture has won the Jack Petchey award at school. This is awarded to only a handful of kids at school each year. Due to the fact that Joe was run down and has got straight back to school and despite the fact that he's had that as a potential set back he's not let it get in the way and he's gone on to do really well at school this year. All of his school reports show that he's working over and above his projected targets and he's one of the best in his class with regards getting home work done and to a high standard. I'd chuck in as a factor is that Joe's a July birthday, meaning that he's also one of the (If not the) youngest in his class. So, despite all these things that could hinder his enthusiasm, he's still managed to be an outstanding achiever! So well done Joe!

Scars Update...

Exit would scar/operation scar; This is coming along quite nicely, the lighting in this shot helps with making it look good, so the sense of inconsistency with regards to how the scars look is down to the lighting to a great extent.
Similarly with the light these are looking good, but generally all the scars are coming along alright. Joe's still massaging them and hopefully will continue to do so over the next year or more.
This is the 'Hole'. From this angle, looking straight down onto it in this light it looks fine. From the side it is still a massive dent in his leg and the next time I shoot the pic's I'll do it in light that shows the 'Dent' aspect to all the scars and I'll shoot this one from the side.
This is the impact wound. This is one of the 'Flatter' scars, but this is Joe's least favourure scars as far as I'm aware and this is mainly down to the fact that the blue vein does appear to only be just below the surface of what feels and looks like a flimsy layer of

Here's the hole leg.

This is (Finally) the last of any cuts, holes, bruises, bashes and metal pins. This is one of the holes where the pins were removed and all that's left of it now is a scab. Once this scab has gone, all Joe will have is the 'Still to improve' scars and a bit of a limp. But, I'm optimistic about the limp because, even though just a few days have passed since the last hospital visit, it's obvious that with each day and the increases in activity the limp is less obvious.
Joe outside having a bit of a kick about with me, here he is kicking with his ex-broken leg. If he ever complains of any pain, in line with what the physio said, it's always his left leg which they noted was the weakest. 



Sunday, February 10, 2013

General update 51 days to go

Just back from another training session at James Hornsby school. Ben did really well batting. They had the Bola machine set at 55mph for most of the time he was there and I think they speeded it up to 60mph for one or two of them and he coped with it for most of the time. He seemed to be following their instructions to step out towards the ball and he was playing the ball with a straight bat in the way that Frank McLeod showed him last summer which was good to see. He needs this if he's going to secure a place in this team (U15's) as there's a lot of competition for the places in the first XI as such, especially with regards to the specialist bowlers, it may turn out that it's simply not good enough just to be able to bowl. Fielding might be taken into consideration and is always something I like to see e.g. full committment to fielding and I'd want to see Ben making 100% effort with regards stopping the ball in the field and chasing the ball down, but the ability to get 10 or more runs on the board on average each week might make a massive difference in the games. So a good start by Ben this early in the year. The main thing is that he came away having enjoyed it. My only worry is that it is a psychological thing and when confronted with a real ball and the additaional human variation factor, he may not do so well?

U13's weren't that well presented with only Harry there in attendance, and Joe watching. No sign of Stevie this year as yet. There was some confirmation that Ryan G-Mans son was playing for another team this season and there was some speculation that Killer Barnes might not be playing this year?

Joe update.

Joe's on 51 days to go now, but I've got a feeling I was being a little pessimistic with that schedule. I seems to recall that if he was on track and if it hadn't been for the slip in the ice he'd only be looking at 3 weeks now before some sense of normality could return. This week coming... Friday he's got another visit to the fracture clinic (4.30) and prior to it 5.15 he's got a physio session. I think the main emphasis of the fracture clinic observations is the wound (Stiches/pin removal wound) rather than the bone, so I don't expect that they'll be taking more Xrays. But it'll be interesting to see what they say with regards what he can and can't do and any update on when he can return to normal activities. But overall things are going well, the treatment clinic change the dressing on a 2-3 times a week basis and check the wound and we re-dress it on a daily basis removing everything except for the Steri-strips.

Limp and movement-wise, Joe's getting on well, today he was running from the car to the hall because it was raining and cold and when you watch him and he's unaware he does tend to walk fairly well and looks 65% okay, with only a bit of a limp. I'm quietly confident that by the end of the season/summer the limp with have gone and if I'm really optimistic I wouldn't be surprised if the limp was gone by the end of April. A lot of this is down to the weather though. If we have an early spring and the weather is conducive with getting out there and doing stuff, I'm sure that the increase in activities and sport will simply mean the muscles will develop quickly and normailty will resume. The bad weather holds everything back - me included.

Dave update.

As yet my training plans and schedule are still behind where I'd like them to be. During the week I'm just exhausted by the time I get in and as a partial sufferer of SAD syndrome, I can't motivate myself to do stuff when it's dark. I'm enthused by seeing the gradual return to summer and every evening getting on the train seeing more light in the sky. A couple of mornings ago the sun was up when I went to work and today I've seen a Black Headed Gull with its spring plummage (Chocolate Brown Head)
Which is a good indicator that summer is on its way.

But when I have been enthused I've been working on my deltoids as they were a problem and core strength and flexibility drills. Stretching and planks mostly with some yoga moves thrown in. I have noticed though in the stretches, my knees creek like hell which doesn't sound good at all, so I've been massaging my knees as well. What I really need to do is get a little sequence of exercises and stretches put together so that I can just do a regular sequences every day, rather than a mixture with something here and something there as I am at the minute. The other thing I need to do having seen on the news that people like Andrew Marr have keeled over with a stroke and he's only the same age as me and you'd imagine he'd be one of those types that would have been down the gym at least once a day? So I should be doing cardio-vascular stuff too. The CV stuff doesn't appeal to me at all, but really it is something I should be doing. What I have done though which I think I am seeing the benefit of is the reduction in meal sizes and the avoidance of fat in my diet. I've reduced the amount of chocolate that I eat and I need to maintain this.

At the training session I had a bit of a bowl, to see if it would affect my foot as I'm suffering from metatarsalgia, and the good news was that I seem to have come through that quick session okay. The work that I've been doing on my deltoids seems to have paid off as I'm not suffering from any pain there, it does feel like they've had a bit of a workout, but not like they've been over-loaded, so that's good news and encouraging from a point of view where I feel more inclined to continue with the exercises. This here is the one that I'm using at the minute as it only requires working with your own body weight. Hopefully if it all goes well, I'll move up to something a bit more demanding and resume doing handstands.

The Paddock

I've yet to mention the paddock as far as I can recall this year as the weather has been so bad, I may have mentioned it a month or so ago as a group of youths all about 17-18 years old went over there a few times all wearing football boots. The paddock is as wide as it is long, it's tiny 80' x 80' maybe and there was about 8-10 of these blokes and they played football in there for about 2-3 hours. I couldn't look after they'd finished, the impact of so many blokes in such a small area would have been devastating, so I've no idea whether it's recovered or not. I know from my own garden, that the weather in the last couple of weeks has been in excess of 4 degrees centrigrade and therefore the grass has been growing. But it has been raining and the drainage is poor in there, the upside of that is, it's so wet you can't play football in there, but at the same time it makes it difficult to maintain the grass. I may have a look at the end of Feb or over half term, I think I usually get in there with a roller during Feb, to give it a flattening. I need to clear some bushes as well as they're shading the grass which is never a good thing, so there is some work to do.


Sunday, February 03, 2013

It's a conspiracy!

Blimey! There's poor old Joe, a  year out of cricket with his leg injury and then when he's on the verge of a come back it sounds like there's not enough kids in his age group for the club to get a team together! They can't even cobble together a team with younger kids because they all play at the same time as the U11's on Sunday mornings, so there's no way that there's going to be enough U11's spare to joing the U13's. The other way round e.g. Joe getting a game in the U15's - that's not going to happen as the U15's is rammed packed with good players! We'll have to watch that and see how it goes.

What was good about the session was that G-Man was there doing the coaching and it sounds like he'll be around for the season on and off helping with the coaching, but not playing. Oliver Bybuke was there too which is good to see, as he's another one of my Protege's and one with potential as an all-rounder. He made a good account of himself facing some of the better bowlers, and coming away with a not-out whilst some of the upper order batsmen came and went, while he hung it out and put runs on the board. This was good for him as he lacks confidence in his abilities and all last summer after initially saying he's play in matches, he bottled out at the last minute, worried that his indiviudal performance would let the side down.

Hopefully this good start along with his Mums insistance that he plays this year or she's no longer bringing him, will see that he plays in a few games. As the weather clears up, I'll be doing as much as I can over at the paddock and at the Rec to ensure he gains some confidence.

4th XI

One of the blokes at the club mentioned the up and coming season, saying that there'd be plenty of cricket for me to look forward to over the summer, as there were more fixtures arranged this year for the 4th XI. On that front I'd been into Boots the chemist today looking at in-step/arch supports for this ropey foot of  mine. I'd found some, but could not believe the price... £26.00 or there-abouts, so I'm going to have to have a re-think on that front.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Lignum Vitae heavy bails cricket

Heavy Bails cricket - Lignum Vitae;

A year or so I posted about looking for more Lignum Vitae bails to replace a missng one from my set. At the time I had trouble finding them and during my research I came across articles that mentioned the fact that the bush/tree that the wood is harvested from is becoming increasingly rare. The tree/bush as I recall only occurs in the Carribean and one or two of the north eastren South American countries on the main land mass. The bush/tree is a very slow growing plant and this is a part of the reason it's so rare as it's not a commercially viable proposition for a commercial wood. The turn round from sapling to harvesting being decades and the demand for the wood being such it seems that they don't farm it as such. In fact as I recall it's so rare it's considered endangered.

But if you are after some of the bails and you can't find them try this place here. Needless to say it's probably a case of while stocks last!
Heavyweight Bails by Reader

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.

59 Days and counting...

59 more days and counting before Joe can starting being totally normal...

Friday saw another hospital visit at 5pm, so I had to leave work a little early. In the days leading up to the visit, Joe had increasingly been not fussed on having the bandage on his leg. The bandage was only there to limit the bending of his leg and stressing the 'Steri-strips' that were holding the wound together while it was healing. Over the week we noticed that despite the Steri-srips he was able to bend his leg considerably without compromising them, so the bandaging was more or less pointless. So today he walked into the hospital with no bandage.

We didn't have to way long to get seen and the old dressings were removed ready to be re-dressed. A different doctor saw us, Dr Khan and like 'Bob' he too was more concerned with the progress or rather slow progress of the damaged wound. The other 'Pin exit wound' because it stayed intact during the fall in the snow is now 95% healed. But the wound which had the stitches ripped out is a
very different story (See images)
Joe, awaiting treatment. This is the last Xray that was taken last week and if you look closely towards the top of the tibia where it fans out towards the Tibia plateau, you can see two very feint lines on the bone and these were the anomalies that caused the concern and confusion last week that led to Joe being platered up again for a week. This is the last remaining hole in Joe's leg, and this is the dressings that they've been working with. The dressing in the last week has been covered with a plaster of some sort and then the bandaging on over the top. This is the wound without any dressing and the nurse called the Dr in to have a look and like Mr Wakeman, he was also slightly concerned at how far behind it is in comparison with the wound on the other side of the Tibia. Mr Khan had said that we wouldn't be required to be seen for another 4 weeks, but having seen the wound and how open it was, a discussion was had and it was decided that because of this wounds slow progress, we'd have to come in again in 2 weeks. He also agreed with the nurse and said that the wound would also have a little bit of the seasweed packing put in the hole to help with the healing. The seaweed stuff looks like strands of white cotton wall and they lay it in the wound where the wound oozes fluids, the seaweed kind of contains the fluids and prevents it from scabbing. This means the skin grows back in a way that reduces the amount of scar tissue and the scars are far less obvious than if left to scab over.

The wound had the seaweed put inside, 3-4 steri-strips laid across it holding it in and that was it. The nurse said we'd be advised to go to the treatment clinic at Laindon and have it all renewed on Monday and see what the nurses there would say about continuing to come in and have it dressed. But we left with no plasters and no bandage.

With regards to what Joe can and can't do... He'll be back in the playground again next week, but he's got to be careful - no fighting, no over-exhuberant activities where he might fall again and just generally take it easy and build up slowly (59 days) towards normal activities. The sense I get is that the main concern is this wound and getting closed up and sealed in the short term. With regards the bone, limp, leg strength and physical activities, very little has been said with the inference that because he is young, he'll just gradually get back to normal activities and strength over the coming weeks. But, there is the clear message that for the next 4-5 weeks he cannot do sports and anything that might push him too far, the build up to the decision to resume normal sport activities has got to be gradual.


NHS Physio does seem to be a bit piecemeal and subject to abuse. When you go into the clinics, there's aways a chart that tells you about how many last minute (Less than 24 hours) cancelations and 'No-shows' that have happened over the previous month and it's a horrifc number - 50% or somewhere near that. So they have a policy where if you do this to them, they just cancel your program, allowing others to use the facilities. But, because of the 'Incident' we weren't able to attend our usual session and we must have fallen into the 'Crap customer' catergory and as a result, Joe's not able to get in to a Physio session for the next week. Michelle's going to ring them again and see if she can wangle something, but if not it's not a problem, it's something we've been doing for 9 months now, so we'll just do some of the usual stuff. This was also what the Dr suggested, when Michelle mentioned it to him.

In conclusion, it's all going well and my only concerns now are the potential for a life-long limp, (which the Doctors are non-commital about) and Joe's weight, but while we were at the hospital the Greek Dr (Can't spell his name) who operated on him on day one with Mr Wakeman said... "You'll be fine, just do your physio at home and slowly build up your activities and you'll lose all the weight you've put on as well". So, I was pleased to hear that.