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bluesshoe


Member

Posted Fri Feb 29th, 2008 5:54pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
Hey TinaL (and everybody else!)

It would be nice if you would have a look at my post here:

http://stephenfry.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2239

Nobody answered until now...

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Fri Feb 29th, 2008 7:41pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
I've read the comments on the UK page, and I don't understand why the expectation of some people seems to be that they are owed a novella every time the man draws breath to speak. To those "I demand that you amuse me 24/7" critics, I say STFU! At least the comments on the US iTunes page are positive.


Grrr why!? Why do these people do this? Why do they have to keep moaning and wanting more. He's not their puppet or plaything. He's a human being and he not obligated to do anything for them at the best of times and now he's recovering he doesn't need the added stress.

Assuming direct control...

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Fryphile


Member *

Posted Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 1:29pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
Is Stephen a fast healer?

Stephen Fry arrives at the VIP screening of 'Fade to Black' at the Electric Cinema, Notting Hill on March 2, 2008 in London, England.


Regardless, that tile is not fit for his divine feet.

I think of myself as someone who is filled with love, whose only purpose in life was to achieve love. - Stephen Fry

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Ffrioserch


Member

Posted Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 3:18pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
How lovely and rustic he is !!!

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JSKanga84


Member

Posted Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 3:26pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
Awwww. He looks delicious...

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Gertrude Susanne


Member

Posted Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 6:43pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
Stephen looks fantastic!
...from head to toe in curduroy *softly squees*
such warm colours, so tactile

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Tue Mar 4th, 2008 8:06am Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
He's looking good! That's so nice to see him looking so smiley and well. After his podcast I was expecting him to still not be so good. He looks so nice and warm and autmny in that picture.

Assuming direct control...

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LilyG


Member

Posted Tue Mar 4th, 2008 9:11am Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
his arm DOES look at bit stiff at that angle.

awww, what a sweetie-pie.

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Tue Mar 4th, 2008 10:08am Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
his arm DOES look at bit stiff at that angle.

and / or in a relieve posture. It's a good thing he doesn't need a cast and is able to move and use his arm to some extent (and therefore won't have too much muscular atrophy), but with an unprotected operated arm I'd be very careful not to bump into doors, people etc.
But he's looking very good

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Zazou


Member

Posted Thu Mar 6th, 2008 1:47pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
Congratulations to Stephen for achieving the number 1 podcast in the iTunes UK top 100 podcast chart. There are some big names on there, so it's a great achievment.

Lee

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TinaL


Member

Posted Wed Mar 12th, 2008 12:05pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
iTunes UK top 100 podcast chart???

lol, such things do really exist?
didn't know that ^^

so, well, then I'm happy for Stephen

@bertawooster

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Selma


Member

Posted Fri Mar 14th, 2008 4:52am Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
I can't think of any possible way to have improved the last 24 minutes of my life. I'm so very glad to have spent it listening to Mr. Fry's first podgram, which I enjoyed immensely. Why would someone enjoy the woozy ramblings of a woe-struck Englishman? One may well ask.

The unedited nature of this podgram was one of the things which set it apart from most of the other things I could have done with that particular 24 minutes. It was far more personal than, say, listening to music while doodling with free versions of Photoshop. It was more relaxing than cooking dinner. The waffliness of it all made it rather like visiting a good friend whose broken arm matters much more to me at present than all the hunger and disease in the world. Is that cruel and misguided? Why should one man's common suffering matter so much to a completely unconnected person half a world away? I don't even know the man!

Don't I? Mr. Fry's voice has become, within the living room of my brain, like a favourite and familiar arm chair, whose comfort I look forward to returning to after a long day of filling out forms, running between university departments, filming, picking things up from shops and that sort of thing. If you have embarked on the epic journey that is listening to the Harry Potter audio books you will know what I mean. So the first Frycasted podgram is to me akin to sitting by an open fire of an evening opposite the one person with whom conversation (however one-sided) is welcome, enjoyable and interesting, what ever the subject and for however long.

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robr


Member

Posted Sun Mar 16th, 2008 7:23pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
I have sympathy with Stephen and his arm.
A couple of months ago I stupidly dislocated my shoulder while trying to surf in Tobago. An overweight 40 year old should not attempt to take up surfing, especially in a place with only the most rudimentary knowledge of anatomy and even less understand of pain controll...
So back in blighty I can surf the net, which is much safer and more fun than attempting to defy gravity, by mixing water with the moon and a flimsy bit of wood.
As someone who has broken arms and legs in my youth the biggest problem is over the age of 40 you really are F***Ked..everything hurts more, everything takes longer to heal and I don't have a mum to set up a nice bed on the sofa, bringing me lashings of hot toast and crona lemonade.
One good thing is don't feel guilty by lying in bed all weekend, I can happily eat junk food as my poor arm is not upto cooking and I have time to get into the world of blogging.
I would like to see some links as the best blogs I read do offer the reader some good places to go to. With so much rubbish bloggery out there I'm sure stephen has a few favorites to go to.

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Bunnyslippers


Member

Posted Tue Apr 15th, 2008 10:45pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
I know that I am three eps behind everyone here but I`ve just found the podcasts from the store.

I`d like to wish Stephen a continued speedy recovery from the "broken" arm - what can I say but I felt your pain as you were telling the story. You poor love.

XBunnyX

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Fryphile


Member *

Posted Wed May 21st, 2008 1:00pm Post subject: Episode 1, Broken Arm
Just wanted to post the transcipt here to keep everything together.

*****

This is Stephen Fry, and you’re listening to Stephen Fry’s Podgrams.

This Podgram discusses the pitfalls, not to say, pratfalls of Amazonian exploration.

I suppose to some extent, I suspected something would go wrong with this year, the year that I’m calling 2007. Although it leaked out into 2008 rather in the way that years will, not respecting calendars. It began as brightly and hopefully as a year could begin really inasmuch as I was very busy and I enjoy being busy. I think it began with something called “Bones”, an American TV series. I did three, maybe four episodes of “Bones” (it was three, Stephen) in January 2007. And then leapt across to Budapest and hence to Malta to do a part in a film about Eichmann. And that was very merry. And I enjoyed that very much. Thought it was a good way of stretching my muscles and bracing up for what I knew was going to be a long and complicated year. I then stopped acting a bit and got my head down and did some writing. I wrote a screenplay, the first draft of a screenplay for the New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson who is producing a new film on the story of the Dambusters raid of 1943. Famous raid on the great dams of the Rurh in Germany. Made inexhaustibly and joyously famous to all British and Colonial audiences, really, since 1954 through the original Dam Busters film, Michael Anderson film, with the great Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd amongst others, playing Barnes Wallis and ah, and ah, and ah, and ah, playing Barnes Wallis, I do this sometimes, and ah, playing Barnes Wallis and Guy Gibson respectively.

Anyway. Diversions are starting to seed and thicken themselves in the garden of this little podcast, and I don’t want them to become quite overgrown yet. I have a clear story to tell and nothing to stop me getting on with it. I wrote the first draft and then started writing the second draft while doing the series I do called “QI”, twelve episodes of “QI”. That’s based in London. And in the days that I wasn’t doing “QI”, I was zooming around England meeting old survivors of the original Dam Busters raid and people connected with survivors, and building toward a second draft which I managed to write. Then, of course, I had to write something else which was a pantomime for the Old Vic Theatre which had been commissioned by Kevin Spacey who runs the place a little earlier. And I know the only time I had to finish it was around this period. So I betook myself so to do and managed to deliver that more or less on time. But then I had to zoom off to Norfolk to do three months of filming for the second series of a drama show I do called “Kingdom”. And in the middle of that, I also played Malvolio in a live performance of “Twelfth Night”. And enjoyed the ignominy of my 50th birthday which was broadcast in odd ways around Britain. And as soon as “Kingdom” finished at the end of September, I girded my loins and did my packing and made ready to go to America because that was the great purpose of the third, if you like. The third of the year was to make a documentary in which I visited every single state of the Union. Every fifty states in America, to make a film, or a series of five films in which I try to capture some sense of the spirit of America from the point of view of its states. Not of its great cities, not of its great political movements, not necessarily of its great landscapes, or its great history or political or social, cultural, musical, or any other energy, so many of those as there have been. And how powerful they have been, and so indeed looked into they have been. But the actual nature of America as a conglomeration of states interested me enormously. Difference between the states, the sort of sense of identity that each state’s member has him and herself. And it seemed a wonderful way to journey around a country that endlessly fascinates me. We were to do five films, the first took me down the coast of New England from Maine all the way down to, really, almost down to the Mason-Dixon Line, to Pennsylvania and across to Maryland, and then to Washington D.C., which of course isn’t really a state. Then the second film was the true South really. Right down to the Carolinas and Georgia, Alabama, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida. A wonderful and extraordinary experience. And then Christmas came, and I managed to sneak a week or so away with friends.

And then I had to start another documentary. This is a documentary about disappearing mammals, inspired by a book written by Douglas Adams, an old friend of mine, a wonderful friend. Great, funny, comic writer. And his friend Mark Carwardine a zoologist, a scientist who knows about the animals. And 25 years ago, they embarked on a trip around the world to try and find some of the most endangered species there were, and to see what was being done to save them, and even possibly to recognize that nothing could be done to save them, that they would be the last people to see them. And it struck Mark and myself as interesting and worthwhile to look at what had happened 25 years later. In some cases, some species have been absolutely been wiped from the face of the earth, and in others they’ve been spectacularly saved. I think it tells us a lot about what hopes we may have for the next hundred or so years as continue to cohabit the planet with the bewildering array of species that surround us and occasionally impinge upon our lives, but most often try and fly, swim, crawl, burrow their way as far from us as they possibly can because they’re not foolish.

So, the first of these programs after Christmas was to take me to Brazil where we were to look at the manatee, essentially. This marvelous aquatic mammal shaped in a sort of shiny, vinyl suit, a bit like an ectoplasmic blob. A beautiful thing with keen eyes. A mammal, as I say. Suckles its young under the water. Lives in murky waters in the Amazon and is very hard to see. Ever. It just raises two tiny little nostrils above the surface of the water from time to time, and is otherwise down there nibbling like a sort of sea cow. In fact, it’s called a sea cow in Brazilian, in Portuguese. That’s it’s name. Or sea fish, at least. A fish cow I should say. Peixe Boiis Fish cow. So they’re inoffensive things like most vegetarians. They just nibble. And we were hunting them, not ruthlessly, to try and capture them on camera. That’s as far as we’ve got: to January something like the tenth I think it must be. This is where my voice takes on a slight catch because I’m getting terribly nervous to re-create this accident. It sounds pathetic to do so.

It’s a strange thing. All this time, I’ve built up the story of this work I’m supposed to be doing and had supposed to be doing all the way through 2007, and I realized the contingencies were very tight. The margins for error very, very tight. And that mistakes could be made rapidly. An injury would naturally be one of the things that beat its wings over the head and one would try not to listen to the idea of it. And instead, poo-pooing this whole notion of health and safety. And yet you know when you’re in unfamiliar territory and there’s unusual diseases and unusual parasites and dangerous animals and boats and things like this that there’s always a possibility that one small, unforeseeable, preposterous moment would propel one’s life into a dizzying vortex of despair and pain, ruin, disappointment, bitterness, and gall. Um, should I go that far?

Well, the morning dawned in Tefe, which is a pretty remote place. These parts of Brazil tend to use as their units of measurement days rather than hours or kilometers or miles. So things are two or three days away from each other. And Tefe is a few days from Manaus which is a large city right in the middle Amazonia. In Tefe, we were going to go onto the Solimoes, which is the name actually the Amazon River actually takes in that part of the country, and we were going to take a young, bred manatee and introduce him into a smallish artificially created pen within the river in order to acclimatize him, habituate him to the nature of living in a river and foraging for himself, for he’d been bred in captivity and had lived in sort of baths essentially where he’d been charmingly looked after and tickled. But it was time he got the experience of living in a river. So we got up at about five in the morning, took a small boat from the beach or side or bank of the river to a sort of floating harbor where the larger boat where Peche, the manatee, was in his grand bath, and we, that’s myself, director, sound and camera, assistant producer, and the people who are to do with the project of releasing and habituating the manatee all gathered and ready to go off on a three day river voyage to the place where Peche was to be freed.

I got out of the leading boat first and walked quickly around the corner to where the large boat was. It was by this time something like 5:45 in the morning. We’re very close to the equator in this place I’m describing. And as you may know, in the equator, all year round essentially the sun rises at six and sets at six. The days are equal. Twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness. So it was quarter to dawn if you like and still dark. I rounded the corner and there’s a gap between the dock and where the boat was. There must be a gap unless you have a dock that’s exactly the same size as the keel and hull of the boat, which is obviously impossible. And I just, my foot went down into that gap. And my body did the rest without my thinking. It lurched and spiraled and tottered and heaved in a presumably blind, scrabbling panic - I don’t really remember that – in order to get purchase onto something rather than just go plunging down between boat and dock into the icy waters of the Solimoes below. And somehow I contrived to slam the whole weight of my body - which is not inconsiderable. Eighteen and a half stone at the very least at that point, I think – right against the railing of the larger boat. And dreadful snapping. Dreadful snapping right inside me. And I was held onto it, I was clutching it screaming for help because I knew I had to be taken off the boat otherwise my weak arm would loosen it and I would slide right down into the water. Kind people came around the corner and somehow got me off the boat, me screaming all the more as they handled my arm. I mean, I think I managed to sound reasonably sentient. I said I thought I dislocated my shoulder which was my first feeling, partly because the noise of the general thing of it. I knew that dislocated shoulders would create huge amounts of noise and were very painful. It was decided it wasn’t a shoulder as I lay there, painkillers being given to my from our BBC medipacks. Anyway, to cut out what is obviously already a very long story, a little bit mercifully shorter. Medical people came and within half an hour, I was in a tiny little hospital in Tefe having an X-ray. We were very impressed they had an X-ray machine. And we say a large break, and there was much talk about hammers and nails and screws and plates and things. And they put a cast on me, very expertly. And an airplane was booked to take me to Manaus, the largest city in Amazonia, which was two and a half hour flight by flying boat, and the flying boat had to leave Manaus. So it was kind of five hours from what this time was, actually about nine, so we’d reckon we’d be in Manaus by about 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. In the afternoon, I beg your pardon. And whatever operation that was necessary would be done there. So really whimpering like an awful old coward, I eventually got onto this plane. And the ducking and everything else, I can’t tell how horrible it was. We bounced along the air and arrived at Manaus. And then I was bounced from one hospital to another. They agreed that I should have pins and screws, but that I should also have blood tests and various other tests in order to show that I was ready and fit and able to have the operation such was Brazilian law. Meantime, it seems just as I got all those pieces of paperwork together by shuffling from one hospital to another and standing in queues for hours and hours on end. Meantime, the BBC’s insurance people had decided that actually they didn’t want me operated on in this way in Manaus, and I was to be flown to Miami the next morning. So I had one night in Manaus. An agonizing night. It was impossible to get out of bed without screaming. In fact the screaming was like the jet propulsion that got me out of bed. In order to get out of bed, I would push my head back into the pillow and then utter a loud scream that would push me up, up, up, up and got weight on both legs. Then I could totter forward and do whatever it was that I needed to do.

Flight to Miami was horrific. I had to have the plaster cast that they kindly put on in Tefe, I had to have that sawn off at high speed because apparently under some regulation or other a fresh plaster cast could not be taken onboard an airplane for security reasons. Go figure. Gun hidden in it, I don’t know. Anyway, so that had to happen and that was all very miserable. Arrive in Miami, screeching. By this time it was a Friday as it happens, screeching in the afternoon to the Mt. Sinai Hospital where the triage, which is what Americans call the admission process, takes place. Eventually, cursorily I have to say, X-rayed again and unfortunately we’d lost the original X-rays that had been taken in Tefe. These X-rays basically told the doctor and the consultant who saw them remotely by e-mail that there was nothing too much to worry about. All I needed was some sort of tubular brace applied to my upper right arm and that it would heal itself splendidly. So I had a weekend on South Beach hanging around for my consultation on Monday. I went in and indeed he stuck by his story, the consultant said that was all that was necessary, that I should go and see and orthotician who would make me one of these little braces and then I could go home. So that duly happened. On Tuesday, I was flying back to London. British Airways. I managed to get an appointment with a British consultant - orthopedic surgeon, who’s an expert in the upper arm for Friday. In the meantime, the tube stayed on me, and I have to say I was in more or less pretty dreadful pain and thinking myself a terrible weasel and having such a low pain threshold and being such a wimp and making such a fuss about what was clearly an ordinary broken arm, and there were people pouring off airplanes from the skiing airports of Europe with snapped legs and arms who were cheerfully wondering around thinking it was all a great joke, so why was I so pale and pained and unhappy? Then I saw the consultant and he gave me an X-ray and it was a proper X-ray and I could see that it was an extraordinarily bad break. It was a spiral fracture with a great big gap through which, it turns out, the radial nerve was threaded like some errant piece of spaghetti. And one sharp move from me and I could’ve snapped that radial nerve. Could’ve sheared it in twain like a pair of secateurs. So that was deeply worrying. That potentially I could’ve lost all use of my right hand for the rest of my life. Just by a casual cough or falling of the shoulders. Anyway, he said you really need surgery and you need plates and screws and things. This is a massive fracture. He was pretty astonished that I’d been around Brazil and up to Miami and all the back again without it being made plain to me that that was the only possible outcome. So he booked me in for Monday. This was Friday, so I had a weekend of hanging around, and eventually on Monday he goes I’m going to have an operation. It’s an four hour operation, and I wake up appalling, thinking I’ve gone through nothing worse, but of course what happens in these operations literally you’re hauled about pretty unceremoniously and you lose an astonishing amount of blood that goes to your elbows and other joints and swells up. Things are very, very sore indeed. It’s now exactly a week since I was released from the hospital. I’m hoping and praying I’m going to be allowed to go to America to carry on with the third leg of the American documentary: New Orleans to the Great Lakes. I still am in some pain. My voice to you might sound woozy. That’s because I’ve just taken sleeping pills. I’ve decided instead to send you this message. I’m finding sleep and everything else very difficult. I’m finding it very difficult to write with my right hand. I’m finding it very difficult to pick things up and put them down. I’m finding it very difficult to concentrate. I’m finding it very difficult to suffer the pathetic humiliation and mortification, damnable, damnable inconvenience and discomfort of being in this state. There’s nothing to moan about. I’m perfectly healthy. I’m not ill in any way. Just mechanically I probably need a month and a half of heavy physiotherapy and doing nothing else, and in my life, I do not have a month and a half to take out. Now, many people will hear that and say that that is the babblings of an idiot, that anybody should respect their health first. After all, we work to live, we don’t live to work. No, not I, I fear. I fear that I live to work. And the idea of letting down the schedule of this series which then will have to morph into the next series of further animals and things, as I go on doing documentaries right through 2009. The third series of Kingdom and another series of QI are all kind of set and people are dependant upon them. The idea that I would have to throw that all up in the air or make it more difficult for everybody, you know, for the hotels and the interviewees that we’re going to see on our journey to be told, you know, can you make it next week instead or the week after? I don’t know. None of it’s insuperable. None of it’s terribly serious. It’s just a broken arm in a big world where columns of molten lava are being thrown up in the air, where children are being abused and villages burned and whole communities raped and injustice and terror and misery are being sown everywhere around us as we speak. People are dying from not enough to drink, not enough to eat. People are dying for ingesting the wrong foods or taking drugs. People are stabbing each other. People are losing their loved ones. People are missing opportunities in their lives to be happier. All I have is a snapped arm in the very height of the 21st century with brilliant abilities to mend such things. And yet I’m feeling as if somehow I’ve been betrayed and had something snatched and stolen away from me. It’s pathetic of me. I’m fully aware of it. I’m not asking for sympathy or to be told that it’s natural for me to feel like this. It’s just something to contemplate. How can it be that I can be so upset and annoyed and feel so robbed of a short number of weeks. It terrifies me that tomorrow when I see the consultant, he’ll tell me not to go to America, that I need more time.

Anyway, I thought I’d keep you apprised. This isn’t necessarily the kind of blessay that you can expect for the next few, hmm, however long it is. It all comes straight from the throat. It’s not edited, and so it’s probably repetitious and dull. I hope it will be a little sparkier, a little more informative, a little more colorful, a little more delightful, a little more structured, a little more narrative if you like, a little more suspenseful, a little more enjoyable. Let’s be honest, I hope it will be a little bit better next time. I know this is very much an opening salvo. I enjoy the radio feeling of talking just to you. I hope you enjoy the feeling of listening to it. It’s 22 minutes so far and I shan’t make it stretch much further than that, but at least now it’s a good walk. So if you’re doing some sort of exercise regime. Any doctor would say a brisk walk for 22 minutes is a good thing for everyone to do once a day, so if you do a brisk walk to this, that will have served its purpose no matter what words have been heard. It is only the story of a large, overweight Englishman trying to go around a boat without breaking his arm. That’s really all there is. There’s no philosophy, there’s no history, there’s no social truth to be extracted from the melancholy experience. It is what it is. But, for all that, I am the one to whom it happened. I have, in our extraordinary new world, the technology and the bandwidth and the opportunity to give you 23 minutes worth now of information about it. That’s enough for this first little podcast. In case you need to know, there are pictures available on the site of the break itself and of the pins and the screws. I will let you know what the doctor says to me tomorrow. I’m not in a cast. The whole point of having these plates and pins is that it doesn’t need a cast. So my arm is free to swing, though it’s often in sling because it’s uncomfortable straight down. And it’s still a bit stiff. And I’ll need to do lots of exercises. That’s it. Less self pity I hope in the future. But it’s been tremendous fun talking to you. And thanks for listening for all this time. Bless you all, and until the next time we meet over the air. Good-bye.

You’ve been listening to Stephen Fry. For more podcasts, bloggery, and blessays, visit stephenfry.com.

I think of myself as someone who is filled with love, whose only purpose in life was to achieve love. - Stephen Fry

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