Being too sick to come out to play began when I was 9.
What was an inconvenience in childhood is a scourge in middle age.
No silver lining.
For some bizarre reason when I am sick in bed my brain tends to throw up jolly 'look on the bright side' soundtracks from from movies like Cabaret, Song of the south, and even, god help us, Mary Poppins. The worse the pain the more persistent the 'cheer up and be brave in the face of adversity' the song. A spoonful of sugar does not help my medicine go down. Not now, not ever.
Let me make this clear, these songs arriving uninvited on my internal iPod do not cheer me up. Not even a little bit. In this condition I am impervious to all attempts at self affirmations, positive thinking, relaxation, mindfulness, living in the now (especially as the 'now' is bloody awful) and being a brave little soldier.
This situation is more akin to the final scene of The life of Brian or the sinking of The Titanic than Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah. It's only purpose seems to be to throw up images that illustrate the widening gulf between my uncomfortable present reality and the irritatingly cheery words of the song.
Let's kick off with this one.
Having a bed day today and was a more than a bit miserable and then this came in the post.....what a wonderful surprise.
A Liam Gallagher is not my grandad badge and a bonus profile image of Her Very Very Highness herself. Cheered me up no end.
I had forgotten all about my meagre contribution to Scottees Liam Gallagher is my grandad Fund it project back in May. He was planning to turn his grandad into a contemporary artist.
I can't find anything about the project online... does anyone know if it has come to pass? Maybe it did or maybe it didn't... either way Scottee made this nothalfright contemporary artist, in the middle of nowhere Ireland, smile today.
I made this image on a trip to Saint Dympna's well not far from where I live in Count Cavan. The well is said to have cure 'nervous afflictions and mental illness' so my husband drove me there to take the waters on one particularly bad day in August past.
The shrine is in a beautiful glade that looks like a deserted Hobbit village. Along side the well is a shrine to Saint Dympna, patron saint of nervous afflictions, and the ruins of a ancient church. We had to get permission to visit from the farmer who's family have been the keepers of the well going back generations.
He functions in much the same way as a discrete receptionist at a mental health clinic and I wondered what a desperate trail of melancholic pilgrims he must have witnessed going for the cure over the years. We spent so long at the well documenting the ritual I imagine he thought us both very bad cases indeed.
The well itself is just a hollowed out stone that sits in the middle of a river with a foot bridge for access. I knelt down in the river and gave myself a good long dousing of the waters. While I really enjoyed the ritual involved in taking this cure and was most definitely refreshed by dunking my head repeatedly in the freezing cold water I am sorry to report I am not cured of my 'nervous affliction' as yet. I live in hope which, as you can imagine, requires some extreme magical thinking for an ardent atheist.
There is another St Dympna's well with the cure of 'the mental illness' in nearby County Monaghan after which the local psychiatric hospital Saint Davnets was named. I am feeling the need for another pilgrimage coming on and wonder if the well in Monaghan has a better melancholic pilgrim recovery rate than the Cavan one. Either way desperate times calls for desperate measures, even for atheists.