Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Viruses, clutter and Adrian Mitchell
Post Salt beano I took to my bed with the flu which managed to turn into pneumonia and necessitated two days in hospital with an oxygen mask and antibiotics dripping into me at a sedate pace. As is the nature of hospitals you are shoved into a bay with a mixed batch of humankind, illnesses and a mixed bag of visitors until the winter vomiting bug hit the ward and we happy few in the end bay were quarantined off as we weren’t manifesting any of the symptoms. Visiting was restricted and those allowed in had to be gloved and gowned, we were a small colony of non-vomiting illnesses amidst a heaving sea of nausea. A lady in her nineties suffering from dementia spent a great deal of time chatting to endless non existent people in a chirpy manner and any real presence was seen as a delusion in a topsy turvey way. I and an old chap in the next bed managed short bursts of conversation in between longer bursts of oxygen, you learn back stories quickly in such circumstances. Old soldier one of the first soldiers into the concentration camps in 1945, ‘after you’ve seen that whatever comes your way is always somehow smaller, not unimportant but smaller’, he tells me. So we all lie there nodding with our small little problems and things become proportionate, the Christmas preparations left undone, the cards unsent, the general buggeration of being ill this close to Christmas.
I returned home, rest up being the major prescription. So I have rested up over the last few days and watched more TV than is good for any brain. I am impressed by how many ways DIY, antiques and house hunting can be packaged for public consumption. I watch a whole house being ‘made over’ in an hour and wonder how the paint can possible be dry and whether the recipient of this make over is smiling merely for the camera whilst beneath the smile is worrying about where on earth she is going to put all the accumulated crap the interior decorator/stylist has piled outside. Everyone has crap, stuff that doesn’t blend in with a clean line minimalist interior. Life laundry may be a good thing at times but the idea of someone tossing out ornaments etc that have lurked on shelves for years makes me more than uneasy. Sentiment tends to lessen cutting edge décor. I am waiting for ‘clutter chic’ to come into fashion.
I was sorry to hear about the sudden death of Adrian Mitchell, friends and I read with him once and he was a kind, generous hearted man who always sort to make poetry something accessible to all and especially to children. He famously said , “Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people.". Here is the link to him at The Poetry Archive so you can choose for yourself which poem you would like to read.
I have a poem in Ink, Sweat and Tears if you fancy a strange take on Walt Whitman's poem I sing the Body Electric( Post date is 23rd December 08).
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful New Year dear reader. May the bugs and virus’ stay well away and in 2009 may you find whatever it is you are looking for, even if you don’t think you have lost it and may you be ‘surprised by joy’ at least once a week.