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Showing posts from June, 2010

What did Vincent van Gogh eat for Breakfast?

The image one acquires of a genius is dependent on the selection. Whether the individual is a gifted painter, poet, philosopher, musician, inventor, or scientist, is, in fact, immaterial. Genius remains a matter of opinion and can't be measured. The genius, by accident of birth, possesses the special gift of originality, heightened perception and intuition, and embraces individualism in spite of (or because of) ridicule from contemporaries, in pursuit of their own vision and goal.

There remains a potent romantic image of the genius – probably, from Victorian times – as someone disturbed, on the verge of mental collapse, unable to keep their body and soul together. This is not the case with most geniuses. Jonathan Swift, David Hume, and Galileo Galilei, come to mind. There are others, of course.

The image of the artist Vincent van Gogh is a case in point. We know Van Gogh was a great artist: his works exist to to prove it. However, what is authentically known of Van Gogh's th…

Rebekah Kerrigan interviewed in the Neonatal Unit, Ulster Hospital on 13 June 2010 - 'First Hours on Mother Earth'

I'm using Ronnie's blog to explain some things before people start talking about me and I won't be able to get a word in edgewise.

My name isRebekah. I was born by caesarian today, 13 June 2010. I'm only five hours old. I hope you like the photograph. It's not my best side and the nappy nearly touches my nose. Smaller sizes, please! My first 'tantrum' and it feels good.

Anyhow, my dad, Ricky, is talking to a young nurse dressed in water blue scrubs. Not my dad, the nurse, silly! Such a beautiful colour. I shall always remember it. In fact, it may become my favourite colour. Ricky looks pale, tired and anxious. I can tell he is kind and clever. Believe me, I can see him. He smiles and waves at me. I'm snug in my little incubator in the neonatal unit.

There's another baby in the unit, too. I'm quite small: four pounds, four ounces. I'm surrounded by monitors and a tube carries milk to my stomach. My mum, Lindsay, is in a side ward recoverin…

Extraordinary Scenes in the Attic

This afternoon, on the stroke of two, I heard something resembling a Pistol Shrimp firing a Schwerer Gustav gun. I slowly climbed the stairs towards the source of the sound and opened the small, dusty trapdoor of the attic. An icy chill immediately infected my body. I'd tell you about my state of mind, but you might laugh, choke on a watermelon sorbet, hit me with a hefty lawsuit, or - heaven forbid - a pair of brown, thin Wale Cord trousers.

My breath began steaming in front of me then moved to the rear. I pushed my glasses back on my nose. My body parts and accessories were deserting me. I called out through the semi-darkness. No one replied. The smell of damp reignited an instinctive fear I'd almost forgotten.

Aided by the flickering, faint light from a bulb hanging from a long wire I glanced around the attic like an intruder. It was full of trunks, clothes, faded paintings, a three-poster bed, Howard Hughes, a collection of jungle clearings, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress W…