I’m feeling a little sheepish at the moment and I’ll tell you why in just a sec. In the meantime I’m going to review last night’s one-off drama from the BBC, Care. Alison Steadman is pure genius in this story of a bright, caring elderly woman who has a major stroke and loses everything. She becomes aggressive and confused; she mistakes every man she sees for her dead husband and her response to being asked to make tea is to eat the teabag. When she’s taken to a care home they lose her that first night because there are only three nurses to care for thirty-one patients. She communicates in fractured phrases that convey nothing to the outside world: vague subtitles waft across to translate her thoughts. After she absconds her daughter brings her home, and there begins a nightmare of trying to care for a demented elderly mother whilst bringing up two daughters alone. The indictment of the care system is on a par with something by Ken Loach: after I’d seen it I couldn’t get to sleep as it stirred up so many emotions.
But none of this explains the sheepishness; nor is the sheepishness connected to sleeplessness. Nay, I have ordered a book whose title has caused me some embarrassment, though I’m not sure why. It’s nothing to do with sex; it’s on a subject which its author suggests is even more private and harder to talk about than sex. It’s this.
And I have to say that so far, I’m finding it inspirational. I’m not entirely sure whether I want to be you-know-what: in fact part of me things R*** is a four-letter word. But McKenna deconstructs these ideas and suggests, firstly, that being rich is about a mental attitude and not governed by how much you have (I concur) and secondly, that wealth does not in itself corrupt, but ‘reveal’. It accentuates what is already there. I’m not sure I entirely go along with that but I know what he means.
Along with very helpful exercises there are some quotations designed to be inspirational; however many of these have a disturbing effect on me as they are from people like Richard Branson, Ayn Rand and (shudders) Donald Trump. I should make clear that the book was published in 2007, way before DT got into politics.
But I am aware of two things; one, that I am hard-up, and two, that I want more income than I have at the moment. I want a flow of income that allows me to buy some stuff I want and to give to others (no begging letters please; I’m talking about charities here) so that I can, in his words, ‘live my best life.’
I’ll let you know how it goes.