One of the reasons I’ve done nowhere near as much work as I had hoped over the last few years is that I’ve had a problem with my right hand.
Officially the condition is called Dupuytren’s Contracture. In the past, though, it has been known by various rather more colourful and swaggering names, including Viking Claw and The Curse of the MacCrimmons.
The MacCrimmons were a clan of pipers, doomed for their misdeeds never to ply their earsplitting trade again.
Having experienced the curse myself, I can understand why they had to forego tootling, because what happens with Dupuytren’s contracture is that one or more fingers become progressively bent towards the palm. Eventually the deviated digits fold in completely.
Before I had my hand operated on, my finger was permanently stuck at a right angle to the rest. A minor problem in the grand scheme of things, but it made writing, drawing and typing difficult, and putting on a glove virtually impossible.
Also, everyone I shook hands with got the impression I had joined the Freemasons.
Now, though, thanks to a painstakingly delicate operation by Colonel Michael Stewart of the South Tees NHS Trust and his team, I’m well on the way to handshaking, high-fiving, applauding and signing forms just the way I used to.
The physio tells me it could be a year until the swelling, stiffness and Mark-of-Zorro-style zigzag scar fade away, but the great news is that I’ll soon be getting back to drawing and painting.
To celebrate, I’ve ditched my old web host, and given my site a new name and a makeover.
Hope you like it - do let me know what you think!