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Clinic; Creative Writing; Renew

Wednesday 12 December 2012.

Up soon after 07.00. Dropped Eamonn outside the restaurant in DkIT c 08.50. Piddled in Saint Oliver’s and then got in to the clinic, my second attempt. Collette opened the locked door. A tall statuesque dark student nurse emerged from within after a while and told me that Pakie would not be in until 09.45 and apologised. So I went back to Saint Oliver Plunkett’s Hospital and gave Mary Mag a small box of Cadbury’s Roses. Less coherent than usual she was happy enough. Her bed was neat and the nurses were coming in with porridge when I left. Mickey Lane blew me when I was walking in to the Clinic. 25 mg of Risperdal Consta in the left “side.” Pakie told me the joke about the woman with a duck under her arm. “What do you think of my pig?” I told him my story of Billy Hulme and the wife. Good humour all round. Pakie had slept it! Drove home and rang Jo Malone and John Finnegan. Could not “get” Eva. Kevin McGeough bought me tea and toast in Glenda’s. We talked about singing and the usual things. His sister, Sheila, in the final stages of illness at home from hospital at her request. €1 for 3 apples. “Have you nothing smaller?” Glenda. “I am looking for change,” I said handing her a €20 note and showing her my empty purse. €10 note + 4x€2 coins + €1 coin. Used the €1 coin to park in DkIT straddling a line between 2 cars alongside a shed in the car-park beside Carroll’s building. Took a few snaps outside before and 1 of Ferdia Mac Anna after the creative writing class. Enquired at reception about the protocol for taking photos. I wrote a brief story about my handball match in 1961 with Pat Kiernan. A little precipitation. Fried cold small microwaved potatoes and a piece of Salmon Wellington on the Tefal pan in butter; reheated carrots parsnips peas by microwave in the “circus” bowl; heated the coagulated gravy in the roasting dish on a ring of the cooker; put a few slices of cold silverside on my plate; laid out the salt and tomato sauce. A tasty repast. Washed it all down with a nice glass of McGuigan red. Rosanna golfed 12 holes with Pat Cluskey. Alan Ratcliff rang on my mobile when I was sitting at the window in the meeting room of Our Lady of The Wayside Church c 19.35 when I was waiting for Renew to start at 20.00 and warming the room up. Briege who has had teeth pulled unwell due partly at least to Wafarin in her system. So no Alan and no kettle! When Dessie turned up I drove home in the rain and took the kettle out of an empty house. Rosanna gone in to DkIT to collect Eamonn? Fr. Paddy Larkin, John “Feather” Finnegan, Jo Malone; also turned up. John, Dessie and I stayed on afterwards for tea in disposable cups that I had supplied along with 0.5l of cow’s milk. Nice, I thought, with Dessie’s Ginger Nut biscuits. Feather showed an interested Fr. Larkin Michael O’Hanlon’s history of Cooley while I was boiling the kettle. But Fr. Larkin left before we drank tea. Jo had already departed. Ate some cold chicken curry at home and searched the archive on indymedia.ie and Sean’s Space on the subject of love, for my “homework.” After supper washed teeth and got to bed around 23.10. Rang Áine this morning outside the clinic. She returned my call in the evening and I waxed on about Mental Health: Peers in Progress.

Children’s Christmas Party, Greenore Golf Club

Trimmed: Snickers: Ash Bucket: Deadline

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Wednesday 28 November 2012.

Exercised, showered, trimmed my neck and upper lip. Attended Ferdia MacAnna’s class at 12.30. Not the boardroom this time. His office a long narrow rectangular room. A guy beside me wrote nothing. He was “thinking.” Seán Wiseman. I made a big impression with my description of M I O’Flynn. “I never heard anything like that before,” Ferdia remarked. But I think it was my voice rather than my writing. Bought milk and apples in Lidl. Filled my white Toyota iQ with computer, camera, scissors, ash bucket, brush, shovel, poker, tongs, towel, handwash cream, a drinking glass, James Kilbane CD. Bought briquettes and a Snickers Duo in the shop. Decided not to light the fire. Put on the central heating in the old schoolhouse, lit all the lights, hung about for nearly 2 hours listening to the CD on the computer which displayed a photo of last Advent’s Renew Group in Patsy Treanor’s. Scoffed both parts of the Snickers Duo. My stomach a little acid, the effect of eating a lot of bread today. But the Snickers cured that. Eventually Dessie rolled up around 19.40, Alan Ratcliff around 19.45 and in quick succession near the deadline of 20.00 Fr. Paddy Larkin, Breege and Patsy Treanor, Brian Glynn . John Finnegan came in a little late and I vacated my chair to let him sit down and went and got another chair for myself from the store on the way in to the kitchen. I had set out 7 chairs around the brown bull on which I cast the envelope containing the booklets and the brown case containing my glasses. Anyway I am not going to give a blow by blow account but the session went well, I thought, including an alternative gospel from Dessie which he had downloaded from the Catholic Priests’ Association site. I finished up the session singing a verse and chorus of “O, Little Town of Bethlehem,” and then “Ubi Caritas” x 2. Rosanna home from golf in tolerant mood when I reached my own fireside. The radiators made little impression on the cold. 2 of them not functioning. Posted grant application in Jenkinstown on my way in to DkIT and also the reply card to Claire’s invitation.

Irish Seniors’ Amateur Open Championship 2012; Clostohen

Thursday 31 May 2012.

Woke with a start at 07.00 almost too late for my 07.50 tee time. Rushed but returned from my car when I found no blue bag in the boot and packed the bag with a change of clothes. I wasted no time and got to Athenry golf club on the stroke of 07.20 in plenty of time. Incessant rain throughout the round. I wore my European Tour jacket of the wet suit I bought off Pat Hoey years ago over my white Ralph Lauren semi-polo white golf shirt with long sleeves. Black 42” slacks with turnups, fawn Ralph Lauren golf socks, tan and white Icon shoes, white Nike golf cap, glasses. The rain was of the soft variety and falling straight down with very little breeze and although I was wet to the arse all the way round I did not feel cold and I struck the ball brilliantly on many shots, with irons, 3-metal, rescue club and last but not least, the Mizuno driver. However my putter let me down. I used the BullsEye putter today instead of the “Richie Blackmore” mallet headed putter I used yesterday. Same difference. I was extremely thankful for a pair of all-weather gloves I bought off Robert Giles months ago. “Keep them in your bag. You would never know when they might come in useful,” he advised then. The first time I ever used them. I was also thankful for my brown braces especially when I saw my saturated playing partner Raymond Smith trying dolefully to hitch up his slacks in the trees by the 18th tee. Towards the end of the round he could not cope with the conditions and registered an NR. I signed for 92. Raymond had allowed my card to disintegrate in the wet but the teller cheerfully filled my score into a fresh dry card in the scorer’s office. I had kept note of the scores on an old Craddockstown card I found in my bag at the start. I struck a fine drive on 16 and a brilliant quiet 3-metal to within yards of the green. However chipped and 3-putted for a 6. The story of my life. I hit a brilliant 6-iron slightly short onto the right of the 17th, par 3, and 3 putted. Knocked down my second shot with the rescue club on 18, my only miscue of the day. Recovered with a high 6-iron dead straight over the flag at the back of the green. My shortish downhiller wandered to the right but I converted for a 5. Mission accomplished. Stripped in the locker room, took a hot shower in the cubicle Raymond had occupied before me, put on my blue Pierre Cardin shirt, clean underpants and socks, grey Robbie slacks, brown two-tone zipped soft boots. Felt I was playing well all along and when I was worried I generally hit a good shot. The lesson Robert Giles gave me a week or two ago pointed me in the right direction. I drank solo a pint of iced water in the bar and a mug of coffee (€1.50). Chat with Tom Tyrrell and his wife Mary. They were passing me in the bar on their way out to the course. Tom seemed in very happy mood despite the weather and I complimented him on how well he looked. Checked my score on the board 90 + 92 = 184. At that stage my total was the worst in the clubhouse. However there were 7 or 8 “Withdrawn” and “No Return.” It turned out that mine was the worst overall score in the end bar 1. But there were 11 competitors who did not complete the 2 qualifying rounds. In the end Seamus McParland finished second last of the qualifiers. Garth McGimpsey was 6th. Adrian Morrow won. The 2 Rossmore men acquitted themselves well and Tom Tyrrell had 3 good rounds. Frank helped me to put my clubs in the basement room to dry, I hung drapery around my room, spread my green bath towel on a bar in the bathroom; took my Canon, Powakaddy umbrella, white FootJoy golf jacket and set out towards Loughrea to find Tom Daly’s grave in Clostohen. The sat nav was not much help to me getting there. Found the grave exactly where the undertaker had helpfully explained to me it was when I phoned earlier. Took a few snaps with the Canon from underneath the umbrella in the drizzle. Struggled a little because the camera was on a delayed release setting and I had to correct that. The sat nav got me back to Raheen Woods Hotel without any delay. I had spoken to a couple sitting at table in a house opposite a graveyard and church I encountered a few kilometres before I reached Clostohen. They were friendly, gracious, took pains to explain the way to Clostohen. Satiated myself on chowder, pasta carboneri, a pot of tea. Ate so much I was uncomfortable the rest of the evening. Exchanged texts with Rosanna who plays with Emily in Greenore tomorrow evening against Banbridge in The Miele Cup. Sent a text to Dessie who rang tomorrow evening. Met Bryan Malone in the bar again this evening. He had come down from his room for a glass of ice and not long in was still wearing the (wet) clothes he had been playing in. Like me he was cheerful although his score was high. Exercised, with difficulty and a full stomach, took a shower, retired to bed; not long after 22.00. Raymond and I were the first out this morning. I told the personable young pro before setting out on the course this morning that the shower was cold yesterday. I thanked him afterwards. “Was the shower ok?” he asked. “It was red hot,” I replied gratefully.

Medal of St. Patrick Conferred on Eva Hamill by Bishop Gerard Clifford; Our Lady of The Wayside Church, Saturday 25 February 2012.

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Strictly Come Dancing; St. Patrick’s Clubrooms, Saturday 4 February 2012

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Cooley Environmental and Health Group; Winter Workshop 2012; Suicide Issues

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The text below is that of a letter to the editor of The Dundalk Democrat.  I had intended to read it at the workshop yesterday but pressure of time prevented me.  I hope you will take the trouble to read it and leave a comment.  A summary of the discussion at the workshop is available on www.cooleyehg.com which is the official Cooley Environmental and Health Group’s website.

The Dundalk Democrat. Edition, Wednesday 8 September 2004

A Chara

An article written by Louise Geaney headed “Plea to address problem of self-harm among youth” appeared in Saturday’s edition of The Irish Times. The article tells us that a “National Symposium on Young People’s Mental Health” will take place on 21 October 2004 in Jury’s Hotel, Cork. She elaborates, “The symposium will initiate discussion and workshops around the area of mental health for young people.” This is the principal point of an article which is devoted mainly to a discussion of suicide and para-suicide among young people in Ireland.

The connection in the article (unspoken) is that suicide is a medical issue and this is a connection which is frequently made in informal and formal discussion of the topic nowadays. Like disability the “medicalisation” of the problem seems to bring some kind of rationality and the promise of control into the area. But I wonder how valid this medical “model” is in the case of suicide any more than it is in the case of disability?

When young people are introduced to the area of mental heath in these discussions will they be given a true picture of the de-sensitisation, obesity, stigma, depression, isolation, relative poverty and dependency that, to the most obtuse observer, seem to be the inevitable companions of “help” and “treatment” in the area of mental health where young people are concerned?

Is this the kind of help that the suicidal young need to pull themselves back from the brink? On the contrary, it seems to me, that these inevitabilities are the principal probable cause for suicide (and the rate is very high) among mental patients.

There are too many small minds in education and politics in this country that seek to impose discipline, control, compliance and submission on young people in systems and pursuits which are meaningless in the wider context of things in general and militate against harmony, happiness, and humanity in families, schools, on the street.

The ideas that motivate the received expertise in these areas (“psychology” and “education”) percolate down into the very nursery and wreak terrible damage on fragile and developing personalities everywhere they go.

The “army” school of thought may produce silence in the classroom. However it can only stunt the development of open, loving personality (in girls as well as boys) and it will fail to produce real development and learning in anyone. Pythagoras’ theorem can be proved, to anyone who can multiply, in a fairly satisfactory way in ten minutes but while it is great to know it (and it is one of the most useful theorems in all of mathematics) it will do little by itself to keep a suicidal person out of the River Boyne.

No. It is important to consider issues of personal development and personal capacity which are not going to be properly developed by force and oppression. Children may have to cope with bereavement, poverty, loss, crime, peer-pressure and much more – Shakespeare refers to “the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” The prescription and didacticism of the psychiatrist is no help. It is merely one more threat that hangs over the child (and society in general).

Mise le meas

Sean Crudden
Jenkinstown

Re-building ENUSP: Strengthening the network of users and survivors of psychiatry across Europe. Budapest 20 – 23 January 2012.

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RENEW, Thursday 15 December 2011

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The Strand; Smudges; Armour; Pot of White

Sunday 6 November 2011.

Up 8.00. Breakfast in The Strand at 10.00 with Dessie and a subdued Dermot Mooney who chaired the meeting of Cooley Environmental and Health Group. Sorley sitting outside when I arrived talking to Dessie. I snapped them and took some shots on my way to and from Omeath. Later published 10 of them on Facebook. Most of the rest blemished by smudges or shadows. Dirt on the lens or the internal mirror? Played in the 14 hole voucher competition and winter league. Scored 21. Len Hennebry, Val O’Farrell and I continued on from the 14th and played 17 and 18. Pat McParland did not continue after the 14th. Mary was waiting for him and he is saving his left hip where he has a touch of bursitis at the moment. Pat and Len played well but my golf was execrable worse even than Val who has not played recently having been away in the Canaries. Bought a black armour shirt by Mizuno from Robert Giles and donned it before setting out to golf under my t-shirt and black Mizuno golf gansy. Also wore black Ping golf trousers and grey braces with white Icon golf shoes, black FootJoy golf socks, glasses, green woollen Greenore golf cap which I took off at the 5th tee. The armour cost €29 which I paid from my account which is in credit still and I have two vouchers, €100 + €40. Did not shower. Drank a pot of white coffee and Len drank a pot of black. Val did not come “up.” He was driving a buggy today. “Do you want to cause trouble at the AGM?” Nobby asked me. “Do you see that grey beard and bald head?” I said making a motion with my hand, “I am too old!” “You are fucked like myself,” Nobby concluded in good humour. Mash, peppered cabbage, fried rashers of bacon; for dinner. Ate a large SA orange. Spent most of the evening on the Acer looking in dismay at some of the results I got today with the Canon. Went out for coal some time before 22.00. Paid €20 for the three breakfasts in The Strand. We had a chat with Jim Halligan, Belfast, who will be 70 soon.