Misery is Contagious!

Yes, I have come to the conclusion that misery is attractive – moths to the light, flies to well you know what – and that it has become a common way for today’s personalities and influencers to up their ratings. We Irish are particularly drawn to misery and tragedy, something pointed out to me some years back by an American lady who was working in our local hospital as a nurse. She was always astonished when relatives of patients told her that many of the visitors to the bedside of the sick had not been seen in years and even more so by the torrent of visitors which would ensue when there was a hint that death was imminent.

In recent times I feel that personalities – yes, we all have personalities but by the use of the term I mean those people who have no other worth beyond their regular appearance on television, newspapers or other general media – have cashed in spectacularly on this attraction people have for bad news. So many have mental health issues of late that the health system would be under severe stress from this alone never mind the demands of other health issues or, dare I mention it, the Covid pandemic. Hardly a personality child is born without it being a frightening ordeal for the parents and that child will no doubt go on to be relentlessly bullied – at least on their parents social media accounts if not in reality. Who but a personality eager for more airtime would welcome camera crews and interviewers into their lives at times most of us would be hardly able to wash our faces and get dressed in the morning? A personality documenting her “suffering” while her husband weathered the effects of Covid brings this to mind. On and on it goes and among all of this attention grabbing stories there are many genuine, sad and heart-breaking reports but these are generally reported on rather than those involved publicising them and are often an occasion for us to be thankful that our own troubles are all small ones. Some people deserve our sympathy while others do not deserve a moment of our attention.

For a change of mood, a set of late evening photographs from the garden:

Now, all of the above is but a diversion from everyday humdrum life but I am thankful that life is humdrum. We have not been personally hit by Covid or any other significant illness. Our sons and families are all well, all managing as best possible in today’s conditions and we are very thankful that this is the case. Life is quiet and routine with small pleasures and small problems and, you know, that is not the worst way to have it at all.

A set of shots from a bright crisp winter morning in the garden:

Our little problem of the past while has been the loss of our telephone landline and consequently of our internet connection. It has been gone for over a fortnight and is unlikely to be restored for another week at the very best estimate. Our supplier is Éir, a company which has the terrible distinction of being regularly described as the one with the worst customer service of any company in the country. However, my experience has been quite the opposite. Yes, there can be delays in getting through to customer service though while dealing with this present situation I never had to wait more than ten minutes and then the courtesy and helpfulness of those who answered was always exemplary. It took a few calls, and the explanation that we depended on our internet line to do our shopping etc and that I was scheduled to give a talk to a gardening group via Zoom this evening before I received a return call from a service manager with the offer of a wireless modem. This was gratefully accepted and now has me online again and with fingers crossed that all will go well this evening as I talk to members of the Hardy Plant Society’s Galanthus Group about my snowdrop garden.

Finally, a few plant snaps taken since I last posted:

It’s nice to be back online and I hope to catch up with posts from fellow bloggers again. I have lost my listings from the “Reader” tab of the site but hope to catch up on my regular reads quickly.

23 thoughts on “Misery is Contagious!

  1. “When anything bad happens, imagination and humour desert the Germans but that’s when they get going among the Irish.” – Heinrich Böll’s Irish Journal

    …but that does not apply to the transnational People of the Rag (described above).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Paddy, Good luck with your talk. These days I always fear the worst when someone suddenly disappears, so great to hear it was just the internet connection…Lovely photos as always, and your snowdrops are way ahead of ours. As for misery, I’m not sure it’s just the preserve of celebs. I think the mainstream media generally peddles a pretty good line in it,
    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also find the recent spate of violent series on TV very depressing – so I’m watching more YouTube Gardening stuff instead!
    Your lovely photos of the garden are anything but miserable and are enough to raise the spirits of all and sundry!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh to be in Ireland, now that winter’s here!!! So wonderful to see your flowers – and, obviously, the snowdrops in particular. And so pleased to hear that your internet/phone supplier went above and beyond to get you online again. Your garden looks wonderful and so nice to see you’ve had some beautiful late autumn sunshine!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Paddy, I suddenly twigged that you are the kind and considerate gardener who has been joining our Six on Saturday, with great pictures of your garden, but also with words of encouragement of our posts, and also the same person I watched last night. I was totally mesmerised, took copious notes, and even dreamed on your being on my first Galanthus course at the HPS next February. Your knowledge, memory and telling of connections were riveting. Although I have loved Galanthus and used to go peering at the ones growing in the Cotswolds when I lived in that area, it was only when two blogging friends each sent me a couple of bulbs of some of the easier types, to start me off in my new garden in Wells, that my interest in the different types has developed. It takes time, to assimilate all the types, ideas and how best to cultivate them.
    With the internet and zoom meetings it has been possible to hear you ‘live’, may your telephone and internet problems soon melt away.
    With very best wishes, Noelle aka Stasher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a small world! I gave up on the Six on Saturday as it didn’t suit me but continue to post on my own blog. That was very nice of you to join the Zoom talk last night and it was so unusual to hear from people in New Zealand, Canada, North America, Germany etc – all from my kitchen! I must join the HPS! Although I won’t be able to join in the meetings I would be able to join the Zoom talks and there are a few interesting ones coming up. Lovely to hear from you.


  6. Beautiful photos and so good to hear that you are re-connected again. I’ll keep looking out for your posts even though they won’t be SOSs anymore! How good to see that you and Noelle connected too.

    Liked by 1 person

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