Since it’s World Mental Health Day, I thought I’d tell you about my week and how I tried to be upbeat and organised and productive. I wasn’t entirely successful. Take Tuesday evening for example. Upon extracting a pan of celery soup (which was, incidentally, under-seasoned and bland), from the fridge, I knocked over a large jar of beetroot on the top shelf. It didn’t smash, but tipped over at a 45 degree angle which allowed all the juice to escape. Everything got covered in vinegary, cerise rankness. Himself came down to extract a bottle of beer. ‘F**k me, it’s like Carrie in here’, he exclaimed.
A normal sort of person would have addressed the beetroot issue straight away, but I was otherwise occupied and left it until Wednesday. (It took me a day to work up to it.) But before I donned my gloves, I put on a podcast, and listening to the dulcet Cork tones of Pádraig O’Tuama as he read some poems, made my task infinitely more palatable. I highly recommend this approach to housework.
And when Pádraig was through with his poetry I stuck on The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. Have you ever watched this? You probably have, and the question is, where the hell have I been these past forty years and why am I only watching him now?
‘Have YOU heard of Bob Ross?’ I said to LSB, in an accusative tone.
I couldn’t believe it when was all like, ‘Yeah, of course, he’s a legend,’ and I was like: ‘and you never thought of popping it on when I was doing my nut?’
It was almost grounds for a trial separation. Bob Ross would have been just the tonic when I was full of despair a few years ago and kept thinking that the world was about to end, or I was going to be blown up in a terrorist attack in my local Ikea. Fun times. Listening to Bob’s melifluous chat, while he dabbled at his canvass with Prussian Blue and van Dyke Brown, would have soothed my frazzled mind. It’s hard to believe that there’s any badness in the world, as you watch him paint a happy little tree in the foreground, and blend his Titanium white to add in a few fluffy clouds, having the craic up in the heavens.
With times being as they are presently, this is what you need for light relief, as there’s little else to find elsewhere. I thought I’d give ‘The Duchess’ on Netflix a go, since everyone’s gushing over it. But unlike Bob Ross, it got on my nerves something shocking. Now, Mary Whitehouse I am NOT, (case in point I rather adored Channel Four’s Catastrophe) but I just found it this show relentlessly COARSE. And far-fetched. And a bit stupid. What is it with comedians who take to the acting: they think they can just shout a lot, and spout reams of vitriol in a ‘look at me, aren’t I ever so clever,’ sort of a way. They seem to create their character solely as a vehicle to spew their invective. I chuckled a bit at first and though fair play to her, being super mum to the wee girl. Then I admired the outfits and felt an intense envy regarding the décor, but I had to give it up because the dialogue had me all agitated. At the moment, the world is unforgiving enough, without being antagonised by a television character whom you want to slap.
So what am I trying to say? Be kind to yourself: with what you watch, with what you listen to, with whom you allow in your life. If anyone stresses the hell clean out of you, perhaps now is not the moment to give them air-time. Real life and on the telly, it goes without say. It’s self-care all the way, and if you’ve any tips of your own I’d love to hear them. Just don’t go sending me pictures of your home grown vegetables. I’m still not over my teeny tiny courgettes.