Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Happy hypochondriacs

This photo was taken yesterday, and shows the cement being put in place between the sleepers, ready to support the new studio. There is a gap between one being left for the insertion of water pipes and electric cables. It’s not the most interesting photo, in fact what happened 5 mins later when my boyfriend accidentally sat in the big bowl of water he puts out for the birds was far more amusing. But I fear if I put a photo of that on the internet I may not have a studio, or indeed a boyfriend. The studio has now been ordered and arrives next Monday! Wow; what has until now been an abstract, if exciting idea will actually be a big pile of wood and glass on the front lawn ready for assembly. 

I meant to post on this blog last night, but for the last week or so keep feeling tired. My throat glands are all puffed up, although I don’t seem to have a cold. I am generally a bit of a worrier about health. I am not a hypochondriac, as I think the definition of being one is you don’t know it.  I can’t be bothered to go to the doctor. And waiting rooms are germy. If I were a doctor I would insist on seeing people in one of those head to toe white suits they use on CSI. I would probably spray them with Dettox Multi-Surface as they walked in too. Luckily like the rest of the world I can now just see Dr Google. Before going on to the internet to check out my symptoms I steel myself for the worst. It is a theory of mine that if you put any minor symptom into a search engine it will come up with several incurable diseases and at least three types of cancer. True to form, the usual fatal stuff comes up, but the most common reason for inflamed glands is a virus. I’ll have one of those then. Don’t fancy any of the other stuff.

My daughter is on the other hand a fully-fledged card carrying hypochondriac. When she comes in from school, particularly after PE, the moaning starts: The headaches, the ‘I feel so sick I am going to FAINT’ (she never does) and the ever recurrent comedy limp that surfaces just before Karate class on Friday evenings and frequently changes leg, disappearing entirely for short periods when Bon Jovi are on the radio. Listening to her list of ailments is like when you ask an 80 year old how they are, and then really wish you hadn’t. For this reason I never let her off school. Like the boy who cried wolf, I can’t ever be sure she is actually sick for real.

So this week she tries a different tack: “Can I get off school tomorrow?”
“But there aren’t any lessons”
“Don’t be ridiculous”
“Seriously! We have to spend the whole day learning about knife crime. I don’t need to learn about knife crime, do I? It’s rubbish, why can’t I stay home?”
I must say, despite her obsession with martial arts and a recent liking for German heavy metal, it is unlikely she would become involved with knifes. Her tough act doesn’t fool me. I saw her watching Gardeners World the other day.
She plays her highest card, dramatically: “None of my friends are going in, and I will have to sit next to that annoying boy who flicks paper balls at me in maths.”
 “None of your friends say they are going in, it’s not the same thing. You are going to school.”
The teen went to school. All her friends went to school. School is at times boring and rubbish. But then so is life. And what were all those Geography lessons for, if not to prepare us for a life time of traffic jams and dentists waiting rooms?

The last week or so has been productive in terms of work. Feeling a bit under the weather has meant I have been using gym/swim time for extra paperwork. I finally published my latest article Understanding Watercolours, and am very pleased with it. I am recommending it to any of my students who are having trouble sleeping. It’s doing the trick nicely apparently zzzzzzz. I have also been madly booking venues and typing up forms and literature for Autumn classes and courses. It may seem crazy to be planning November already, but experience has taught me that you need to plan well in advance to get enough bookings for courses. Teaching is hard work, and it is years of careful planning, and attention to detail that have finally paid off with full classes. Looking back at my decision to start teaching with an ‘easier’ kid’s class now makes me laugh. Kids easy? What was I thinking?

I have also finished a painting of the local ‘railway walk’ which I am pleased with, and may enter it into the forthcoming Sudbury Summer Art Show. This week I went back on an unwritten resolution not to do any art projects for charity/free this year and have agreed to do a workshop in Colchester Castle Museum in October for the yearly ‘Big Draw’. It’s not that there is anything wrong with doing stuff for free, but it was getting out of balance, and I needed to concentrate on my own work during this busy year. But I like the Big Draw, and I love museums, so couldn’t resist. It’s only a day, and they have given me a nice lunch break to go shopping.

Despite my temporary desertion of my internet shop due to lack of time, I did sell a postcard, which just reminds me that I really must get back to it soon.

With the stress of the ever closer house move starting to get to me I decided to start reading again. I read very fast, and find it relaxing. I have just started Jack Dee’s ‘Thanks For Nothing’, his Autobiography. He is my favourite comedian. At the start of the book where people usually thank their agents and families Jack makes it entirely clear his agent is a waste of space, and without the interference of his family, he could frankly have got the job done a whole lot quicker. Classic stuff.


  1. Did Dr Google say anything about pollen making your glands swell? It certainly does that to me, as does tiredness. (I haven't yet achieved that vision of paradise with the artist sitting peacefully painting!)

    Am also a great fan of Jack Dee! (He says what we'd all like to say but don't.)

  2. If your art classes are as entertaining as your blog it's no wonder they are full, I wish I were closer and I wish you weren't so busy so you could write more. I love the sun dappled walk, I've messed up a few like that before I gave up landscapes, they're not easy. I'm going to see if youtube has Jack Dee right now!