Hatched - a creative Journey Throught M.E.

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E-Book edition of ‘Hatched’ by Corina Duyn © 2016 Originally published as paperback in 2006 by Little Wings Text ISBN 978-0-9563589-0-5 Accompanying ‘Flight Path’ Documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hc1MPOHK64

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o c . w w © Corina Duyn 2006/16 w www.corinaduyn.com


Corina Duyn was born in Holland where she trained as a nurse and social care worker before moving to Ireland in 1990. While running a restaurant at Dromana House in Villierstown, Co. Waterford, she was inspired by the natural surroundings. As a result she incorporated nature into her doll making, which later developed into a business. These 'Fantasy Folk' figures are in private and corporate collections throughout Ireland, Europe and the USA. Corina later moved to a cottage near Lismore with her then husband. She continued to develop her art and began teaching doll making. When the relationship ended Corina entered a new phase in which she began to focus on combining her art and teaching experiences with her previous work as a social care worker. In June 1998 while applying for the Art Therapy Course in the Cork Crawford College of Art, she was brought to hospital with suspected meningitis. To date, Corina has not fully recovered from whatever virus she had contracted. A diagnosis of M.E. was confirmed in September of that same year.

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‘Hatched’ is an account of her creative journey through M.E.

Poems, artwork and design Š Corina Duyn 2006


Hatched A creative Journey Through M.E. by

Corina Duyn

Litttle Wings Publications www.littlewings.org

DVD/Documentary ‘Flight Path’ * by

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Katie Lincoln

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Published with the support of Waterford County Council Arts Office * See also page 184 Printed by Collins Print & Packaging Ltd.Tel: 021 4909 160


o c . w w w ‘Hatched’-Digital image 2004

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Content Acknowledgements Introduction by Margaret Organ EGG HATCHING NESTLING FLEDGELING JUVENILE YEARLING ADULT

1 27 53 89 107 139 157

Epilogue M.E. Information & contacts DVD/Documentary ‘Flight Path’

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V VI

182 183 back cover

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Acknowledgements This 'baby' has been eight years in the making. Thank you all for bringing me this far. In particular, I would like to thank Librarian Evelyn, for suggesting I share my experiences with the reading public; Margaret, for her trust in my creative abilities; Phyllis, for her help with my first poems; Jane, for helping with the editing of this book (we feel that between us we have one pretty good brain!). Jane also came along as my ‘amanuensis' during the two-week residency in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig. The support I received there from the staff, artists and writers was invaluable for my own belief in this project. I would also like to thank Katie, for taking on the challenge to document my story; Caitriona, Josephine and Siobhan for assisting me with the printing and Diane, for among other things, helping me believe I am writing poetry-this discussion has not yet ended!

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Thank you, friends and family, close by, abroad, and in cyberspace, home helps and medical staff, for coming along on my journey and helping me to keep the faith. Finally I must not forget the birds who were ultimately, the inspiration for the format of 'Hatched'. V


Introduction I was honoured and pleased when Corina asked me to write the introduction to this book as it meant that she had finally done what I had been encouraging her to do for years. There is probably a book in all of us, but how many of us have the talent, the openness and the bravery to bring it to fruition? The work is very personal and at times painful and difficult. Can you imagine, as a previously able bodied person, having to take ownership of your wheelchair, or being perceived as being drunk because of how you walk, or having your memory fail you so much that you have to depend on lists? This is all evident in 'Hatched' Corina's journal through her illness in poetry and images; but so too is her 'joie de vivre', her strength of mind and that childlike quality of seeing the simple things in life as the gifts they really are. These elements are also captured and shared with us in the DVD 'Flight Path' accompanying this book.

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Thank you Corina for taking this inaugural flight, bringing us on your journey so that we can appreciate your talents as an artist, a teller of stories and the most human of beings.

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Margaret Organ, County Waterford Arts Officer VI


Dis-ability -Ability capacity of power cleverness talent mental power Disindicating removal of a thing or quality

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EGG SPHEROIDAL REPRODUCTIVE BODY ENCLOSED IN A PROTECTIVE LAYER CAPABLE OF DEVELOPING INTO A NEW INDIVIDUAL

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EGG BEATER 22 August 1998

Reading about M.E. It reads like me

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EGG ROLL November 1998

A wheelchair was delivered I made sure to avoid the room where it was placed I used to be the one pushing it never meant to be the one being pushed

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Eventually I agreed to a spin in the chair at dusk away from town so nobody would see me

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AIR-SACK

o c . w w w ‘Reality Sketch’ Pencil 1998

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REFLECTION

Time so much time to learn relearn life's values

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Observe my world and all its small wonders

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‘Trapped in a Spiders Web’ Pencil 1998


CHICKEN SOUP Winter 1998

Friends valuable friends They have set up a visiting rota ensuring one visitor a day every day

o c . w w w ‘Care’ Plasticine 1998

m o c . n y rinadu Chicken soup for the soul

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EGG YOLK Winter 1998

While bed bound I devised a plan for a Cultural Centre in Lismore Worked out costs and courses planned spaces for play school and pensioner’s teashop

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Contacted the Arts Officer who pointed out that maybe I should use my energy to get better first

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‘Ladder to the Moon’ Colour pencil & pastel 1999

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AS SURE AS EGGS winter 1998/1999

My love for reading and writing became seriously undermined Audio books were suggested many an argument followed Audio books are for sick people You are sick I love the smell of a book Put a book beside your head I like to hold a book You do not have the energy Argument lost love for audio books gained

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YOLKED Spring 1999

Horrified to realise I do not have the strength to crack a boiled egg

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EGGSPLANE Spring 1999

A 4 year old in the supermarket “Why are you in a wheelchair?” While I thought hard for an appropriate answer he suggested “are you tired of walking?”

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BIRDSONG 16 May 1999

The moment that meant most to me today was sitting near the meeting of two streams

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Being left alone to observe and enjoy this heavenly place these beautiful sounds

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EGGLESS Spring 1999

When I have strength in my legs I go down steep stairs walk the 50 meters to the corner On my return I use the wall for support People avoid me as if I am some drunk wobbling home after a session in the pub

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EGGCISTENCE Another relapse Stuck to the bed unable to move or to pick up the phone beside me to ask for help Waiting I have been given a panic button

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NESTLESS 23 June 1999

House bound but homeless With one day left in my rented accommodation I am handed the key to a house

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An added bonus my new home help lives across the road

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A LITTLE BIRD Recently when asked how I am feeling I tell the truth Maybe I will hear it too

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FEATHER BRAIN Turning on the bath taps Inserting the plug in the sink Water running freely down the drain

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SCRAMBLED EGG As memory failed me I had to rely on lists Writing in recognisable English became a challenge windox bowes meant water the window boxes bloemflower that I would like cauliflower for dinner

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BIRD'S-EYE Observing a spider with an injured back leg walking without difficulty I envy the spare legs

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FEATHER ONES NEST During a telephone conversation conducted from my bed the caller needed to visit the loo I seem to have a relaxing effect on her bowels Maybe I can start a business talking to people suffering from constipation

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‘Pheasant wing’ Photograph


BIRD OF PARADISE 7 November 1999

The light is beautiful today The sunlight catches the white of the half coconut hanging in front of my bedroom window

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THE BIRD HAS FLOWN November 1999

With friends help I completed the move from my studio I am left with a few boxes of dolls materials almost finished work books and magazines My cats came to say goodbye I was amazed how they remembered me after 17 months

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Another chapter closed

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CROW A crow on the wall kicking the snow high up in front of him I could swear there was a smile on his face

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INCUBATION

o c . w w w ‘Friendship’ Colour pencil 1999

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SEA BIRD 19 December 1999

I know what I would like for Christmas A bottle of sea See and smell the sea whenever I feel the need

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FINE FEATHER I can write again I am so grateful

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HATCHING THE SHELL OF AN EGG IS EXTREMELY STRONG A HATCHING BIRD MUST SPEND HOURS OR EVEN DAYS OF HARD LABOUR IN BREACHING THIS BARRIER TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD

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WINGLESS 25 January-1 February 2000

Hospital stay gastro-enteritis Lost so much weight that I did not recognize myself in the mirror

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MIGRATING 17 March 2000

On a holiday to Bunmahon M.E. came too

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IMMATURE 20 March 2000

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m o c . n y rinadu If I can walk I am free

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ON A WING AND A PRAYER 5 May 2000

Reached the library at the end of the street on my scooter Aware of mobility aid aware of curious looks But I am out on my own after months of aided escapes

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‘Lismore Library’ Photograph


WINGSPAN June 2000

I bought a packet of ‘glow in the dark stars’ At the end of a good day I stick one on the ceiling Starry nights soon?

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FLY BY 26 August 2000

The Californian Poppy seed heads drying on the bedroom windowsill decided it was time to go pop Launching its seeds with almighty power like a hail storm against the window and into the room Quite a spectacular event

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JESTATION 31 August 2000

A jester on a high throne wearing the king's cloak blowing a trumpet his bare-footed leg flung over the armrest He is he dares to live have fun I spend hours days thinking writing how could I create him? I don't have the strength poor coordination

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For now he has to stay a figment of my imagination a rough sketch between my writing 34

‘Basil’ Mixed media 2004


EGG AND SPOON RACE Challenged by local art student to draw on the biggest sheet of paper I have ever encountered Tried my best to divert her attention Thank goodness her determination prevailed and set me on a new road of creative discovery

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‘Happy Swirl’ Acrylic 2000

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OLYMPIC SPARROWS 10 October 2000

Sparrow number one walks the wall with a piece of bread Sparrow number two runs fast to win this piece of bread Sparrow number three knows flying is faster and makes off with the gold medal

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PUT ALL ONES EGGS IN ONE BASKET 13-23 October 2000

One day of shopping lots of fun broke all boundaries Ten days to look at my new clothes from the confines of my bed So much pain a very angry little man is punching hard to get out through my skin

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‘Off Balance’ Pencil 2000

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EGGSCITING 16 October 2000

The spider living in the corner of my bedroom has just moved a little

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EGG WARMER 31 October 2000

A girl's night out in the pub One glass of water a half of 7-UP Dizzy standing up embarrassed joke about it Drunk on joy?

o c . w w w ‘Lost Feather’ (detail) Mixed media 2000

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FEATHER BED Exam time forgot the subject College of M.E.? The cleaner found a decomposed fish under my desk A man walked out of the sea with a garden strimmer A Nun cycled into my bedroom to bring me to the counselor I do not take responsibility for my night-time brain

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LIKE A BIRD 1 November 2000

For one and a half hours I felt as light as a bird A little energy no discomfort free normal

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BIRD FANCIER 2 December 2000

My brain is turning summersaults with my thoughts and depositing them in my heart I reached out and got more then I bargained for

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‘First View’ Mixed media 2000

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NIGHT OWL 2 December 2000

The 6:20 pm bus home Dark sky one star beautiful moon What a treat

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COLD STORAGE Saturday 7:00 pm I'm so cold In bed under duvet sleeping bag with two hot water bottles Wearing pyjamas fleece socks and hat Monday 4:30 pm warm at last

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HEAVY WEIGHT 25 January 2001

Confrontations with my tired body Lowering my head just above the bowl of porridge thereby greatly reducing the distance my hand and spoon have to travel to my mouth

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FLYING HIGH January 2001

I want to be able to fly a kite

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‘I Want to Fly a Kite’ (detail) Watercolour 2001

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YOLK-SAC 28 January 2001

I joke about the illness but it really is not funny

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TAKEN UNDER ONES WING 1 February 2001

I rescued Mickey Mouse in a space suit from being run over I don't like to see dead toys

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BRANCHES 12 February 2001

I am in between two stools maybe five or six about my prognosis I have my own seat

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BEACH BIRD 27 February 2001

Being pushed through Ardmore in the wheelchair rain cape billowing like a huge balloon A walk on Goat Island Beach hanging between two friends My lifeless body in the bed spilling porridge on pajamas like an incapacitated old person

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Bed time story read to me Love fun TLC

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FLIGHT BAG 10 March 2001

Nothing to loose but energy

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NESTLING A BIRD TOO YOUNG TO LEAVE THE NEST

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WATERSHED 15 March 2001

Nearly in tears deciding if taking a shower would be a good use of energy

o c . w w w ‘Teardrops’(detail) Pastel 2001

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COMMUNICATIONS 16 March 2001 11:19 am

Just heard the lovely sound of the letterbox

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RARE BIRD 17 March 2001

A three year old took the pain from my head and put it in the waste bin

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GENES 9 April 2001

A siskin is acting in a peculiar way Attracting the opposite sex? or same sex? A Gene-scientist on the radio said that homosexuality is one gene in the difference In terms of genes we don't differ much from the fruit fly or the siskin

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FLIGHTLESS 13 April 2001

Good Friday the thirteenth a contradiction in terms It is not the bad days that are the problem it is the better ones when I want to make up for lost time

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‘’Resting Moon’ (detail) Mixed media 2001

This only sets me back again

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FLY IN THE OINTMENT 19 April 2001

Overheard some young fellows calling my rolator “cool” While they rolled in the grass with a great burst of laughter

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TREE CREEPER 13 May 2001

A Greenfinch is trying to attract the attention of the female She is too busy eating seeds from the feeder So he knocks her off it

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IDENTITY 21 May 2001

I am am I still me

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BIRD 23 May 2001

Bird A young woman A person A prison sentence

o c . w w w ‘Illusion’ (detail) Acrylic 2003

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BIRDS OF A FEATHER 6 June 2001

A small dog lies at the end of my bed a compromise Any sound in the house Pixie lifts her head I don't lift my head it is not my house I am not a dog Although I do sleep all day and get excited about a walk

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‘Johnny at Boatstrand’ Photograph

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PREDATOR 16 June 2001

My legs suddenly gave up The not knowing if I can stand up again scares me

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WAITING IN THE WINGS 26 June 2001

I declare myself recovered My body will catch up some other time

o c . w w w ‘My View’ Conte 2001

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DAWN CHORUS 14 July 2001

I have a microphone outside my window Birdsong Sounds like being in a meadow instead of a bed Amazing I heard the wind before the tree moved

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FLY TIME 17 July 2001

A fly is relaxing on my knee while a brown and beige spider is munching on its relative

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NEST EGG 18 July 2001

I know what I will do with a million from the lotto

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I'll buy a customised van so I can be housebound on wheels

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‘Escape’ Mixed media 2001


PENGUIN 4 August 2001

Created my alter-ego MEme M.E.-me She will travel with friends and family They will write our ‘housebound’ travel diary

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‘MEme’


11 September 2001

This day will stay in people's minds for all the wrong reasons

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DUCK OUT OF WATER 23 September 2001

Negotiating door saddle kind of tired

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SEA GULL 16 October 2001

Overlooking Ardmore Bay the roaring waves creating volcanic eruptions against the sea wall Wrapped in a patchwork blanket the fire roaring dinner being prepared I nearly feel guilty lying here Not really

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‘Landed’ (detail) Acrylic 2001

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FLIGHT RECORDER

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‘Who is Pulling the Strings’ Conte and pencil 2001

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WADERS 11 November 2001 4:00 pm

Walking a few steps wrapped like a mummy along Youghal promenade blue sky streaked orange and yellow An old man swimming couples walking hand in hand toddlers pushed in buggies children running from incoming waves A swimmer just emerged from the sea “great day for a walk” “so it is”

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‘Youghal Beach’ Photograph

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AFTERMATH 11 November 2001

Rolled gratefully not gracefully into bed

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BIRD'S-NEST SOUP 17 November 2001

My brain acts like an old pine chest of drawers filled with artistically designed index cards The operator a little fellow called Brian unfortunately affected by M.E. I see a face Brian runs around opening several drawers the face gives me their name more drawers opened others kicked shut Saved again a conversation can begin Brian sits down sweat poring off his tiny brow the system in an even greater state of chaos

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EGG-BOUND 21 November 2001

I try to keep my spirits up But I think my spirit level broke

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TURKEY 23 December 2001

The total of my Christmas preparations Licking the cake-mix spoon

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TREE OF KNOWLEDGE I am shocked to read the headlines ‘No future with M.E.robbed of any future’ I don't believe this is the case M.E. is not a terminal illness

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DEAD BIRD FLYING 3 March 2002

Went outside to bury the dead sparrow but it had gone Can birds fly up to heaven by themselves

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BIRDDAY 12 March 2002

40 years and 2 days I am absolutely whacked Grateful for wonderful friendships grateful for a few hours of near normality if I don't look too closely Trying to be as healthy as the rest of them what a comedown to be aware that I am not as strong as my 80 year old mother Sad to see them go glad to see them go

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BIRD BATH 18 March 2002

My world is reflected in the drop of water at the end of my finger

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BAD THOUGHTS 27 March 2002

The vegetable man “not so good today?” He told me the story of an 80 year old customer still going strong because of what the old man calls ‘bad thoughts’ The secret of good health?

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PIGEON RACING 2 April 2002

A race between myself and a little girl on her tricycle Of course I let her win she is only small I am big and on a scooter When she got too far ahead of me I turned up the speed only to realise I was at full speed

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‘Foot and Mouth Scare’ Photograph

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FENG SHUI 23 April 2002

A spider arrived in the bath He positioned himself in exactly the same location as his cousin James Students from the Feng Shui spider school? Maybe he is an eastern philosopher conducting a study on human behaviour

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NATURES' MUSIC 27 April 2002

The raindrops are playing piano with the leaves of the pear tree

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BULL FINCH I found myself in a field with a not so friendly bull Running away was not a possibility I tried outsmarting the bull hiding behind and running around the only tree in the field An exhausting and fruitless exercise Considering his power and strength I decided to strike up a friendship stroking his head he calmed down I felt more able to cope

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Maybe in time we would be able to walk together to the fence

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Though this was a dream it is my story of M.E.

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FLEGDELING A YOUNG BIRD JUST ABLE TO FLY

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MAY FLY 16 May 2002

Visiting St. Declan Well I came to the understanding that my recovery is taking place in four different stages mind emotion spirit physical I am grateful physical recovery is last this gives me enough time to be still I trust I'll have a wonderful time ahead of me a time full of wonder

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‘Corina at Declan’s Well Ardmore’- Photograph by David Begley

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WING COMMANDER 28 May 2002

The Neurologist suggested renewed tests The uncertainty of a new diagnosis is unsettling

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THE BATTLE OF THE BULBS 24 June 2002

I went into the battlefield prepared with 3 legged stool trowel and garden claw Feeling the tension in arms and legs Proclaiming “I won!� while stumbling into the house in the direction of bed my pyjamas covered with muck The bulbs are out though my body feels the aftermath of the battle

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HORSE FLY 12 July 2002

Walking along a narrow path observing the world from a different plane Feeling the intimacy of the horse's muscles massaging my legs

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CRASH LANDING July 2002

I am lovely But not worthy of love Until I have recovered Ouch

o c . w w w ‘Painful’ Acrylic 2002

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FLIGHTY August 2002

Overdoing it? Yes Enjoyed doing it? Yes!

o c . w w w ‘Way Out’ (detail) Mixed media 2002

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NIGHTINGALES 5 August 2002

I should have been in bed instead I sat in Lismore Cathedral Tears flowing from the severity of my pain Or was it from experiencing the most beautiful celestial sounds I have ever heard

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SOLO FLIGHT 12 September 2002

After one and a half years I have reached a goal Walking to the library

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WALL FLOWER 14 September 2002

Just home from a great dance night I did not leave my chair but danced with the vibration of the floor Stumbling out of the hall trying to keep my dignity the people who know me have sympathetic eyes People who don't probably think I am drunk

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FLOWN THE NEST 21 September 2002

Another first On the bus on my own to Cork

o c . w w w ‘Flying Lessons’ Acrylic 2002

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THE FLOCK While riding my scooter I met a few bikers they waved at me I am one of them

o c . w w w ‘On my Bike’ Photograph

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TREELESS 20 October 2002

The wheelchair made it possible to take part in normal life the swivel bather to keep my dignity showering in private the rolator to walk independently Now there is no occupational therapy service available if under 65 I am grateful I became ill a few years ago

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WINGDING 23 October 2002

If my body could get as excited as my head There'd be no stopping me

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BIRD RINGER 22 November 2002

Would somebody like to paint a still life Me lying on the couch

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SISKIN 28 November 2002

Privileged to have the time to watch a siskin at the bird feeder

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CLOUD FLIGHT 10 December 2002

A thin fluffy cloud is following an airplane at exactly the same speed

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JUVENILE A YOUNG BIRD WITH FIRST PLUMAGE OF ADULT FEATHERS

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FLYING DUTCHWOMAN 22 December 2002- 5 January 2003

Done it made it to Holland At last 'fit to fly' My mother is watching my every move I hope she does not see the jerking movements my body is making

o c . w w w ‘Freedom’ Plasticine 2002

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FLY AWAY 3 January 2003

The wheelchair was put outside the door pending our departure As the driveway is on a slight slope the chair rolled gently down the road nearly knocking a man of his bike A run-away chair

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ANGEL WINGS 7 February 2003

If my legs stay unreliable maybe I could create powered wings But then I'll look like an angel I know one thing I am no angel

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CRYING CROW 7 February 2003

Pain - ting

o c . w w w ‘Crying Crow’ Acrylic 2003

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UNIDENTIFIED BIRDSONG 16 February 2003

This morning I woke to bird song I had not heard before No wonder The sound was created by a blockage in my nose

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PEACOCK When I walk out the door I am greeted by my fan club of youngsters

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BIRD-DAY SONG 10 March 2003

Woken to ‘happy birthday' from a song thrush Have MRI scan today remember whatever they find is already there

o c . w w w ‘Accidental Find’ Acrylic 2003

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WALKING ON EGGSHELLS 28 March 2003

More hospital appointments arrived in the post today My heart sank another bit lower

o c . w w w ‘Oh Dear’ Liquid acrylic 2003

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CLEANERS A crow is clearing my gutters of large chucks of moss Thanks

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WISE OWLS 16 April 2003

Irish male wisdom Isn't it great that you have so many ideas Other people sit in the pub all day wasting their time

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NEW TERRITORY 18 April 2003

My neighbour has upgraded his car I upgraded my shoes He is driving to Northern Ireland I am walking to the end of the street

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BIRDWATCHER 11 May 2003

A clear dream is guiding me on my new journey

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ANVIL 14 May 2003

Creativity has the ability to help me deal with disability Disability has the ability to hamper my creativity

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‘Creative Egg, a Touchy Subject’ Pencil 1999

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CRUMBS 16 May 2003

Walking home I was thinking about something nice to have with my tea A neighbour opened her door handing me a slice of cake on a plate

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ESCAPE ROAD 21 May 2003

My quest for independence is growing by the day Move to the city to be closer to a bus route?

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SCARE CROW 5 July 2003

I don't belong in the box that people try to put me in The ill and disabled box So scared So upset

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DOVE July 2003

Resumed working on the doll I started in 1998

o c . w w w ‘Yona’ Mixed media 1998-2003

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DEALERS 10 July 2003

Lismore friends transferring a car-load of my paintings to another car on the deserted top floor of a car park Felt a bit like handling stolen goods

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ESCAPOLOGY 12 July 2003

My first exhibition at Hagal Healing Farm 10:00 am Apprehension 4:00 pm Feel detached from my work

o c . w w w ‘Escapologist’ Mixed media 2003

10:00 pm Very much at ease among my art and visitors

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FIT TO FLY 26 August 2003

At last flying my kite on Ardmore Cliff for the ‘Fit to Fly’ documentary

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Cover DVD/Documentary ‘Fit to Fly’ by David Begley

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EGGSPERIENCE 2 September 2003

My ‘Fit to Fly’ exhibition A challenging and heartwarming experience Sharing my visual journey with so many friends while strangers confide their personal stories

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NEST-BOX 28 September 2003

Having my bedroom repainted and redecorated Changing it's association with a sick room

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BIRDSNEST 16 October 2003

Visiting Kenmare after 5 years The last time I saw my friend she was pregnant Today we picked her child up from school

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UNDULATING FLIGHT October 2003

Sunday afternoon brave enough to travel the Green Road on my scooter Alone and proud Within sight of town people ambulances lots of noise

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A rally of hundreds of motorbikes and me

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RESIDENT 3 November 2003

Social hunger

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DEFORESTATION 7 November 2003

Evergreen trees are being cut down to make way for a new wall Landscaping they call it

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TAKING OFF 26 November 2003

At last I am a student Studying a correspondence course ‘Understanding Western Art’

o c . w w w ‘Turned a Corner’ Acrylic 2003

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DIPPER 27 November 2003

Getting up in good spirits is not a guarantee of a good energy day

o c . w w w ‘Moodswings’ Mixed media 2003

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TIME 6 January 2004

In my dream a man adjusted his watch making time go in reverse Very upsetting as I desperately want to move forward

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RESOURCEFUL CROW 5 February 2004

A crow is hanging on the tiny bird feeder The chancer

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YEARLING THE PERIOD BETWEEN A BIRD LEAVING THE NEST UNTIL THE FOLLOWING BREEDING SEASON

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LEAPFROG 29 February 2004

Will this be a leap year for me too?

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NESTING 27 April 2004

‘Coming home’ after a long journey of discovery

o c . w w w ‘My Turn’ Mixed media 2004

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CATAPULT Interviews with so many papers Photographs being taken appearances on T.V. Catapulted out of my solitary existence

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‘Upwards and Onwards’ Mixed media 2004

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EGGCIBITION 10 May 2004

An amazing experience amongst friends and family sharing my creativity in Lismore library

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‘Land of Freedom’ Mixed media 2002-2004

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GIVE WINGS TO 18 May 2004

I drove a car Exhilarating even at 20 miles an hour

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LAME WING 21 may 2004

Rushed to hospital suspected meningitis Again Fast ambulance journey worried me even more A horrible night Glad to be home ‘Just M.E.’

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A different reality

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FOOTPRINTS 25 June 2004

780 steps 0.33 km 7.31 minutes New record

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EGGCITED 26 June- 10 July 2004

New energy flowed again Looked for studio space in town Artists co-op? No space but collaborated with fellow artist and formed 'Red Shoes'

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‘Time’ (detail) Mixed media 2004

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BLACKBIRD 28 June 2004

A blackbird reflected against the white wall has one of my home grown loganberries in its mouth More enjoyable than eating the berry myself?

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RAPTOR 21 July 2004

Primary Medical Cert refused 'Post Visual Fatigue condition might improve' Visual? 'Must be satisfied condition is permanent' Bureaucracy stopping my quest for independence

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BIRDLIME 29 July 2004

Scooter broke down at busy cross roads Given a chair outside the pub Scooter dismantled in front of me Stuck

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LITTLE WINGS 30 August -20 September 2004

Little Wings exhibition Healing Arts talk Internet connections worldwide Coming out speaking out What an interesting journey I have made

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ESCAPE ROUTE 13 September 2004 6:10 pm

Patrick Street Cork A performer singing 'The Holy Spirit is coming down' He suddenly disappeared The Holy Spirit came down for him?

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BIRD BRAIN 23 September 2004

While planning to restart the Artisans’ Fair I dreamt of addresses written on pieces of buttered bread my niece biting into them

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FREEWHEELING 3 October 2004

Text message received Would you like a shove around town?

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LOVEBIRD 24 November 2004

I found you on the internet It was love at first sight At our first meeting adrenaline rushed through my body with the prospect of spending time together But love hurts You are a mobility scooter and I was counting on your batteries working

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ADULT A BIRD WITH DISTINGUISHING PLUMAGE REACHED MATURITY

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INAUGURAL FLIGHT 5 December 2004

Re-launch of the Artisans’ Fair Re-launch of me

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FLYING LESSONS 1 January 2005

I hope this will be a great year for flying lessons I might even graduate

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OBSERVING January 2005

There are truly amazing moments when my body suddenly remembers how to function

o c . w w w ‘Anand’ Porcelain Paperclay 2004

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SEED 9 February 2005 3:00 am

Observations thoughts feelings a word All place a tiny seed in my creative being Some make their presence known to the world In turn creating a new seed

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KINGPIN February 2005

The battle between a creative mind and an ill body

o c . w w w ‘Breaking Out’ Digital image 2004

Creativity knows no boundaries

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BIRD OF PASSAGE 30 March 2005

Three young art students “It's half past three we're coming in” “Come on Corina you better be there” I feel empowered to have started this workshop

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FLYCATCHER 4 April 2005

Trying to negotiate my way through a crowded bar I had to walk backwards My brain couldn't comprehend this movement

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DANCE 16 April 2005

During cranio-sacral therapy I could have shouted “I will dance” Joy bubbling up from my belly The first time I felt confident that my legs will behave like normal legs one day

o c . w w w ‘Dancer’ Porcelain paperclay 2005

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WINGED WORDS 15 June 2005

On our way out the door I said to my friend “This plant is named after Mary's grandmother” “Mary? The Virgin Mary?” We both burst out laughing till the tears ran down our faces The thought crossed our minds on entering the G.P.'s surgery they might think we've been brought to tears by the sudden deterioration of my health

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BOWER BIRD 29 June 2005

A great afternoon creating paintings with the children of the street for the great wall of Bankfield

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SINGING LESSON 3 July 2004

Birds singing while hailstones are belting down on top of them There must be a lesson in this

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FLIGHT PATH 6-8 July 2005

Awarded the ‘Waterford Regional Arts Bursary’ a two weeks residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre Annaghmakerrig Also an ‘Arts and Disability Award’ to research and study Inclusive Arts An affirmation of future plans?

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TREE SURGEON 18- 20 July 2005

A major operation My next big journey has started

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Suitcase packed created ‘Positive Book’ with reasons for recovery images of artworks kids paintings garden photos get well wishes from my friends

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‘Flowerpower’ Acrylic 2005


QUEEN BEE 21 July- 2 August 2005

Friends entries in 'Positive Book' “Watching the queen being wheeled back into the ward bright eyed but not so bushy tailed” “Corina in her Pippy Long white stocking is sliding elegantly back into bedknees and toes pointing in all directions”

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Drawing by L.M. Humphries 7

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THREE SHEETS IN THE WIND 9 August 2005

My six year old neighbour “I hope you get whicked well soon”

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SECOND WIND 10 August 2005

Home help suggested she would make rhubarb crumble Five minutes later I was wondering what the lovely smell could be Crumble of course

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Short term memory loss twice the delight

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STUDY 13 September 2005

It must be the start of a new school year The supervisor of the Feng Shui-Spider School has just arrived

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A BIRD IN THE HAND 20 September 2005

Finished my final project for the Correspondence course ‘Understanding Western Art’ Women Artists associated with Lismore from the 18th Century to the present day Course completed!

o c . w w w ‘Cover’ (detail) final project

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PROGRESS 5 October 2005

My next goal was to walk without my rolator For support I used a stick A seven year old responded “you are too young to walk with a stick sticks are for old people� I thought I was making progress

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LADYBIRD 14 October 2005

Invited to the booklaunch 'Dictionary of Munster Woman Writers' An evening among interesting women Entering a new world in more ways than one

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MARCH OF THE RED SHOES 15 October 2005

A proud day the opening of our ‘Red Shoes ArtSpace’ A gallery/shop with the artwork of the six members of the co-op

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HOMING PIGEONS 18 October 2005

Travelled to Holland for a family reunion

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Nineteen years since the six siblings sat around my mothers table at the same time

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EGGCIT 29 October 2005

Terrible weather A friend suggested not opening 'Red Shoes ArtSpace’ today But how could I stay home on my first day of work

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FLIGHT OVER ANNAGHMAKERRIG 7 November 2005

I am like a crow flying high over Annaghmakerrig I feel at home free A place to move on from

o c . w w w ‘Anna Mc Kerrig’ Mixed media 2005

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Epilogue 29 March 2006

My faithful companions, the birds, are frequenting the feeders by the window while I am sitting in front of the fire, working on the final parts of my book. My job nearly completed, the rest is up to the reader. I have been asked what I would like to achieve with ‘Hatched'? For me personally, I will put eight years of living with M.E. in one small volume, put it on the shelf and move on. For you the reader, well, I trust that you will make up your own mind. Un-deniably, this journey with M.E. is not one I would have chosen, but it has brought me to some very interesting places. Where will 'we' travel to in the future? I do not know. Who does?

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Thank you all for coming along, and I hope we will meet again.

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Corina

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ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), is a potentially serious, disabling and chronic illness, affecting the brain, muscles and immune system. The main symptom is disabling fatigue; both physical and mental; often made worse by even minor exertion. Other symptoms include muscle and joint pains, sore throats, swollen glands, disturbed sleep, impaired concentration and headaches. The impact on sufferers' lives, is often underestimated. Doctors and scientists are still not clear about what causes ME. ME is also known Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), however this only describes fatigue and CFS can be confused with chronic tiredness, 'burn-out' and depression. Studies from the US suggest approximately 2-4 per 1000 adults and 7 per 10,000 children are affected by M.E. Patient Support Groups: Irish ME Trust www.imet.ie Irish ME/CFS Support www.dublin.ie/irishmecfssupportgroup (British) ME Association www.meassocation.org.uk (British) Action for ME www.afme.org.uk (Dutch) www.me-platform.vuurwerk.nl/medisch/medisch.html (American) CFIDS Association www.cfids.org Children and young people www.tymestrust.org ME sufferers severely affected www.25megroup.org International Association for CFS www.iacfs.net European ME/CFS Org. www.menet.dds.nl/meweb/europe.html

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Around the world

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