March 19, 2014, by Sarah

The things we turn to…

Knock Knock?
Who’s there?
Eight who?
Don’t you eight it when your bus doesn’t come, you get rained on and everything gets a lot more real.

In fact, you love and hate it. The ward adrenaline is immense, the rush intense, medic handwriting doesn’t make sense….

By the way it’s week eight of placement.

It’s amazing and terrifying and horrible and incredible-  half the time you’re tearing your hair out (quite hard to do when tied back for infection control) and the other half you’re somewhere in between limbo and cloud 9.

So how to handle this topsy turvy life? Well as humans I think we seek comfort. Some people may comfort eat, others comfort shop, others comfort bake…- I do all these things. Plus a bit extra of things that are maybe a bit unusual.

When I need comfort I often comfort read childhood classics of mine such as:


The secret garden. It’s beautiful, uplifting, characters so real they’re tangible, and it is like chicken soup for the soul (or prosource for the pressure sore- Dietetic humour). A story of relationships redeemed and the healing power of watching things grow. I think nature is a healer, there’s something amazing about watching the life of a plant- from seedling to shrub, knowing that plants aren’t worrying, they’re not ticking boxes but yet they just do what they’re created for – grow and get on with it.

Bonus Bible verse: Matthew 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Bonus trivia: secret garden film (amazing- Maggie Smith being a legend) has Heydon Prowse playing young Colin. You may also recognise him from the revolution will be televised- hilarious satire on BBC3.  Who knew he’d go from child star to political comedian?

See him in action: LOL

I am re reading the Secret garden for the umpteenth time at the moment.

Now my criteria for a comfort read are quite stringent. It has to be nostalgic (ie I read it when I was younger), uplifting, not too challenging to read, and nothing sad. Nothing. It can have sad parts- but they have to be resolved by the end of the book.

My comfort reads: Anne of Green Gables series, a Little Princess, Goodnight Mr Tom, Little House on the Prairie series, Enid Blyton (anything), Roald Dahl (anything of his children’s books), any Redwall books…the list goes on.


Things that aren’t comfort reads:

Harry Potter. Now I’ve read the series probably around 30 times (less for newer ones), I love it. But even though I know what happens inside and out, it’s not a comfort read as I get too into it, I get anxious with the characters, it keeps me awake. I sometimes find myself praying for fictional characters whilst reading/watching something if I’m anxious about a character. Don’t we all, right? Guys? Anyone? *tumbleweed* So Harry Potter is too intense for a comfort read.

Good. Not comforting.

Good. Not comforting.

Little Women series. I absolutely love it. But too much drama. Very good drama, but a bit too much for pure comfort.

Robin Hobb- much as I love her epic fantasy books, I find reading them very stressful. Sometimes I want her to be a worse writer so I care about the characters less.

Jacqueline Wilson. Ok I read them voraciously as a child, but they were traumatising even then! Have you read the Illustrated Mum? There should be support groups for people who have read it. Seriously.

Wuthering Heights. I have to be in a place of emotional fortitude to even glance at this beautiful melancholic classic. Same with Jane Eyre but less extreme.

Watching this also requires emotional stability:

I also have been known to comfort clean in times of stress. Things like doors and skirting boards. Too cool I know.

Comfort films are good such as most classic Disney and pixar- minus the terrible ones e.g. The black cauldron, Pocahontas II *gags in mouth*
Finding Nemo isn’t included as a comfort film also.  It’s an amazing film but also the cinematic equivalent of this scene:

Obviously don’t watch the whole things. Unless you’re REALLY procrastinating.

I mean: mum dies, father and son separated, traumatic dentist’s niece, sharks, jelly fish, getting stuck in the vent, seagulls, nets….not comforting! Brave is also not comforting, nor is Bambi, the Fox and the Hound or Pocahontas.

I don’t find chick flicks comforting because comfort goes deeper than the entertaining but shallow romantic plotlines they offer. Although musical chick flicks are a bit better- I mean, Hairspray is a babe of a film.

Anyway, basically this week I’ve been re-reading the secret garden in odd moments, working, eating and sleeping. Thug Lyfe.

(Also I should clarify the Bible is the ultimate book source of comfort for me, but isn’t a comfort read in the same way as what I’ve described 🙂 )

I hope everyone is having a challenging but comforting week!

Also bonus picture of potatoes I forgot about: Impressive right?


Posted in Sarah