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All posts for the month March, 2012

How should we remember the Titanic?

Published March 27, 2012 by crazyinpink

Last night as I tried to get to sleep I started thinking about commemoration. This is something that we have covered in my MA course but, I must admit, not one of the most memorable topics (ironic). What actually prompted last night’s ponderment was the relentless onslaught of material about the Titanic lately.

If you live in the UK, you will no doubt be aware of the centenary of the fateful ocean liner, maybe you have noticed the range of tv programmes on the topic, including the new mini-series from the makers of Downton Abbey, creatively titled Titanic.

If you live in Northern Ireland and particularly Belfast, the exposure to Titanic is virtually inescapable. The Titanic is everywhere!

Now, I don’t want to be misunderstood as a Titanic hater, I was (and still am) all for the new state-of-the-art Titanic visitor experience centre in Belfast. I once went to the most amazing Titanic Experience in Orlando, Florida that was truly incredible and have since wondered why Belfast, the birthplace of the most famous ship in history, did not offer something similar. As an aspiring historian, I think it’s crucial to remember the past. Northern Ireland is very good at remembering the past but that memory is painfully selective. So the long-awaited Titanic exhibition not only represents a recognition of the cultural value of the most famous ship in the world but also contributes to a shared, collective memory of the past. The centre opens this weekend and, although extortionately priced, I will definitely be going along to see ‘history come alive’ in the near future.

No, it is not commemorating the event that nags me. It is the fact that I can no longer turn on the tv, drive to town, buy a packet of crisps or check Facebook without being visually assaulted by references to the Titanic. It feels like everyone is jumping on the Titanic bandwagon to cash in on the centenary. Do we really want to jump on this particular bandwagon?

Maybe its just the nature of the event we’re remembering that makes me feel so uneasy. There are plenty of commemorations with particular resonances, Remembrance Day for example. Even the 10th anniversary of 9/11 the world respected only last year. But those are different. Yes, lives were still lost but they were lost as a result of aggression, acts of evil and warfare. The tragedy of the Titanic was not a terrorist attack or a political statement, but simply an awful accident. The lives that were lost onboard were not martyrs or soldiers but ordinary men and women. Should we remember them differently?

I can’t help but think, when I consider the money now being made on this event, about the life span of tragedy. When does it transition from personal loss to a lucrative opportunity? When the last survivor passes away? When there is no one alive who was alive at the time?

When does such a loss stop being emotional and become historical?

I wonder when the tragedies of my lifetime will become commercial enterprises for future generations.

The on-going health saga

Published March 26, 2012 by crazyinpink

The past few weeks of my life can be summarised in three words; hospital, work, sleep.

After three painful weeks with a gynae abscess that refused to respond to antibiotics, I followed the doctor’s orders and went to A&E.  The whole experience was like a farce.  Five hours I waited in the first hospital before being moved to another across the city because the first one couldn’t find a room with a door in which to examine me. Lack of door! So I traipsed across to the other hospital and was eventually seen there and told to go home and come back the next morning to see a specialist.  The specialist, deciding surgery should only be a last resort because of how painful it would be to heal, gave me very strong medication to try to beat the thing out of my system.

I don’t remember much of the week that followed, other than the headaches and spending quite a lot of time in my bed. By the time I returned a week later, the abscess was gone. Turns out the cocktail of drugs and epic amounts of rest were exactly what my body needed.

Now, abscess-free, the pain of endo has returned just to remind me its still here. I spent most of this weekend drugged up on Tramadol, trying to prepare a presentation for class this week. And today, I’m sitting in work nursing a painkiller-hangover with a heat patch stuck to me and my microwavable duck on my lap.

Going to hospital…

Published March 13, 2012 by crazyinpink

I have to go to hospital today 😦

I’ve had an abscess for three weeks. Two rounds of antibiotics didn’t shift it and so, I was emergency referred to a consultant. That was a week ago and I’m going a little bit crazy. I’m so uncomfortable and in a lot of pain. I barely slept last night. The doctor said if it got worse, I should go to A&E. I really didn’t want to but I don’t think I have much of a choice.

I came into work this morning anyway but I was nearly in tears as I signed in and asked if I could take a half day. Fortunately, the people I work for are lovely and always understanding when I’m not well.

I’m going to go home and have a bath now, then my mum will take me up to hospital. I really hope they remove this awful thing…I also hope it isn’t too painful. And I hope the recovery won’t take too long. I’ve already missed a few classes this semester and I’m supposed to have a date on Friday night.

Endometriosis and me

Published March 12, 2012 by crazyinpink

Endometriosis, or endo as it is ‘affectionately’ known, is not a very nice thing.  Scientifically, it is a disease where the lining of the womb is found elsewhere in the body, casuing pain and inflammation. There is no cure for this condition, just ‘management’.

For me, endo is a little angry monster that lives in my left side and likes to stop me from doing normal things. This monster claws at my insides, demands I feed it painkillers and keep it warm with hot water bottles.  He makes me sleepy and weepy, mopey and dopey, mad and sad.

I was 13 when my monster took up home.  As a teenager, noone took me seriously and fobbed me off with the Pill, explaining that what I experienced was ‘normal’. When I turned 18, I demanded to see a gynaecologist who performed a laparoscopy when I was 19. During this operation the doctor evicted the monster which made me very happy.

I then spent a blissful year pain and monster-free!

But then the monster came back…

Angry at being kicked out, he made his presence known in more horrible ways and soon prevented me from doing anything. He made me miss class, miss my friends and he completely changed my wardrobe (the monster does not approve of jeans or other tight-fitting clothing and demands I wear loose dresses and skirts).

My monster has been back for three long years now. During that time I’ve had more blood tests, scans, medications and procedures than I care to remember because doctors do not want to believe that the monster returned. At last, I’ve managed to find a doctor who is willing to look, just to see if the monster might still be there.

And so, I wait for this operation, hoping it will prove the monster is back.

 

Pretty in pink

Published March 12, 2012 by crazyinpink

I firmly believe that it is virtually impossible to feel down while wearing happy colours. It is for this reason that I wear pink almost exclusively.  Of course, there are those who mock my pink-ness, my dedication to finding the most glaringly bright shades of the colourknown to mankind.  These are usually boring people who wear grey.  Wearing pink makes me happy.

 

Happiness is often hard to come by so why not grasp it with both hands when you find it?

Here I am, a girl wearing pink, ready to tell the true stories of my life.  Firstly, I shall share some quick-fire facts about myself, to ease you into the crazy workings of my mind.

 

1) No matter how old I get, I will always love classic Disney movies.

2) I could not survive without caffeine.

3) One day I’d like to own a yellow VW Beetle. And name him Jeremy.

4) I have a strange fascination with having my picture taken with a chocolate digestive biscuit.

5) I am the unhealthiest person I know.

6) I once had a total epiphany from cutting an apple in half.

7) People say I own too many shoes. I don’t believe there is such a thing as ‘too many’.

8) I am the most awful cook and a liability in the kitchen.

9) It is my dearest ambition to become a respected religious historian.  This can also be read as ‘I am a massive dork.’

10) I believe in God and would not be the person I am today without my faith in Him.