Friday, August 31, 2012

What do you do when you're sick?

Watch nature shows on TV.


Or in this case on YouTube.

Cool BBC documentary on recent discoveries about Archimedes.

Was suddenly violently ill last night. Started vomiting at ten pm and was up all night. I think it was something I et. After my stomach had finished panicking, I commented on FB that having survived C, one tends to think of one's self as indestructible and impervious to all lesser illness or injury. It was cancer after all, and was going to kill you, and instead, you killed it. You feel ready after that to take up grizzly wrestling as a hobby, and you tend to forget that things like flu and food poisoning can still happen to you.

Fortunately, being up all night has lately become something of a habit/strategy to deal with the horrific late Italian summer heat, so I'm not as badly off as I would have been otherwise. Tummy still pretty delicate though, and not exactly bubbling over with energy. So it's a good day to lie around, sketch Winnie, mess about with my new set of watercolour pencils and watch nature shows.

It reminds me of when I was a kid and would start spontaneously vomiting the night before school out of sheer panic at the thought of the next day. I hated school in the 2nd grade more violently and psychotically than I did at any other time. It was probably due to the shock of being back in Canada, among the North American child-savages and teacher-sadists that were such a contrast to the relatively civilised English variants I'd known up to then.

I will never forget the name of my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Lakowski, who was one of that wretched breed of creature that gets into teaching specifically to have a room full of helpless test subjects on whom to act out her most treasured vengeance fantasies. Her favourite teaching technique was a gentle combination of screaming insanely and humiliation and her cruelty was matched only by her smarmy, treacly sweetness in the presence of parents.

I had been rather sheltered up to that point, (it was still decades before the English school system had rocketed to the bottom of that ol' slippery slope) and the kids I'd known up to then, while not exactly friendly towards me, were at least not encouraged to be bullies. It was something I'd never experienced before. Eventually, my rather hapless mother, not knowing what to do with this kid who was getting more and more terrorised by school, decided that a less structured, more "free and open" environment was the answer. Unfortunately, the structure they threw out at the hippie "free school" was things like classrooms and instruction.

Anyway, suffice to say, I spent a lot of time at home sipping chicken broth and watching PBS.


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