I’ve been blown out of the water.
The last couple of days have been awful. No energy. Waves of nausea. A stomach unable to hold food. Listless legs. Eyes yearning to close. The diarrhoea was stopped by ‘Arret’, and ‘Mautilium’ taken in an effort to achieve relief from debilitating tummy.
I’ve been imagining a twisted gut and a gallstone.
The worst thing has been the total exhaustion. That sent me to sleep at 21.30 last night. And getting out of bed this morning was like excavating bog oak. I tried “the cat” on the carpet, just to stretch out the back. Nearly killed me.
So I am up, but I don’t know how much of me is present. Herself is gone into town with the wiffe. Just as well because I’m not much fun to be around. I couldn’t bring myself to look after Grace this morning, and the rain, which is down (or in) for the day, seemed to encourage me to feel on-going gloom.
All of which made me feel rather vulnerable. One day you’re energised, creative, passionate and celebratory - and then the opposite. So opposite that you can’t remember ever being alive. And the road back to health seems hidden behind endless corners.
Self-employed people never get sick.
Only if you’re an employee can you afford to be ill. But, if you’re a journalist with a column wanting, what do you do when you are throwing up? I suppose you open up your store of pre-written pieces and present that. Alistair Cook comes visiting: that magnificent man who went on writing and broadcasting all his life. Reminds me of Nelson Mandela who goes on being himself all his life. He doesn’t need to say or do anything now because he simply stands for something brilliant. He’s a beacon around which others can measure themselves and design their own programmes for living authentically.
Doesn’t distract me from still feeling ever so vulnerable this minute. I couldn’t even sustain the energy to watch the whole of the interview with Brian Kennedy on Ulster TV last night. And you know how much I admire Brian.
I’m hovering on the edge of publishing “Slattery’s Mounted Fut“: new words I’ve been writing to that tune. Percy French’s song. My dad used to listen to Percy French all the time, when he wasn’t listening to Chopin or Beethoven. Maybe it’s only old people like me who know the tune to that song? It seemed like the ideal song to celebrate Munster. So I found all the words on the internet and made up a table with Percy’s lyrics on one side and my bowdlerisation beside it. (Do be sure you read this link. Bowdler was from Bath.)
The Chorus goes this way:
And down from the mountains came the forwards and three quarters
Eight and fifteen fighting men and couple of stout half backs
When going into action held each Frenchman by the seam,
We sang a song and march’d along with Kidney’s Munster team.
I think he also wrote “The Mountains of Mourne“, which reminds me of climbing Sliamh Donard in 1995.
All this jumping around from topic to topic is good for me. It’s like going to the gym. Exercise without intention. Letting whatever words come up come out and simply express. Anything to prevent myself thinking about my body. The hardest thing is stopping because there doesn’t seem to be any natural end.
Which is probably a good place to stop for now.