In front of the big barn door, with a rather large white leg splint we start the day finding movement sequences that show off the splint.
Out of all them, Saffy likes this one the least. It’s hard plastic, really restricting and takes ages to get on and off because of the many velcro straps.
Incorporating the playful curiosity we discovered over the last few days, I spent time developing a partnership between Saffy and the splint, finding small moments of discovering the splint and then ignoring it, that curious feeling of when you find something new or unknown. Another layer, exploring big shapes of flexion and extension through weight bearing. The splint is large and the rigid plastic heel can take weight, be rocked on like a see-saw in a park.
Rachel and I walked up the hill and sat with the horses, watching Saffy and the dancing splint’s duet from a distance. Big sequences of sweeping, suspended movements as the white splint extends into the sky and we watch the flash of white fall to the cobbled ground. A pause for stillness. Beginning again, the thud and scraping of the splint as Saffy moves, the sound echoing in the yard, along with the barking dogs and the sheep who are getting their yearly health checks!
Ruby our photographer is off taking photos of cows and splints, finding quirky ways of photographing the medical world of restraints, restrictions and straps against the organic setting and the freedom the cows have. A calf looks on; trying to work out what a bottle green splint is doing nestled in the brilliant green of the grass, on his patch!
Saffy joins the cows! Still with the white leg splint and exploring the big movements, she moves in between the cows. The cows start to move and moo, horses from another field come over to join the animal audience. All watching not quite sure what the heck is going on but calm enough to stand and watch. Ruby continues to snap away, the cows mooove around and settle under the tree! We leave them and head in for lunch.
Elvis Presley legs was how I ended the R&D!
In the past I used to refer to my leg spasms as ‘Elvis (Presley) legs’ the shaking, fluid movements of his legs, had a comedic quality to mine – when I never quite knew what they are going to do next! This quality of my spasms has always been something I wanted to delve into – to explore the light-heartiness, the fun quality of what could sometimes get quite serious.
Plugging in my Ipod ‘All Shook Up’ came on, Rachel turned up the volume and joined me and Saffy as we explore our `Elvis Legs’! His music has a certain rhythm, making us dance in his way, we went against it, finding our own way. Saffy and I choreographed a silly sequence around our legs, among the giggling we shook, weight transferred and added the odd head turn towards each other.
I never imagined I would be ending my Unlimited R&D commission in a cowshed discovering my wobbly legs to Elvis!