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European Flu

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Well here I am at Sundaymorning@EKWC in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.  I have a great high ceilinged studio and the facilities are amazing. The other artists and all employees here are a gentle bunch of people. All lovely and making really interesting work. We usually have dinner together every night so that we can chat and share information. One person cooks for the group and that way you only need to cook once a week if that and it tends to mean that people really make an effort with the food too.

There are apparently 12 artists in total undertaking the residency but recently the group has been dwindling due to various ailments..predominantly Flu. I don’t want to call it “The Flu” as I have never experienced anything like this before. I had only been here 5 days and hadn’t even settled into my studio when last Saturday morning i awoke with this ailment. The  4 days that followed i had relentless pain in my legs and lower torso, headaches, complete loss of appetite, nausea and dry reaching. I was completely stressed out as i had only recently arrived at the residency so felt very shy to talk to people about what was going on and spent  4 days in bed, useless. I became very dehydrated despite my best intentions and and was very weak  having eaten only a piece of fruit each day.  It made me realise how scary and utterly miserable it is it to be alone when you are ill. It makes such a difference if you have a loved one nearby to care for you…. I am sure most people know this but i had never experienced the feeling firsthand before.

On the fourth day i became stressed and told the director that i may need to go on a drip if I was not better by the next day. Flu normally only lasts 3-4 days right? Anyway he took the initiative of making a doctors appointment for me the next day but i awoke feeling decidedly better. Still weak, still achy but I was able to eat bread and oil so silly me cancelled the appointment. Last night, day 6 of this beastly virus, i was actually able to sit down and eat a proper meal so naturally I thought I was getting better. Then that evening I had inconsolable chills all through my body and a raging temperature. This morning ditto. The European Aspirin seem to work but they also make me drowsy and at one point I was taking them every 2 hours to get back to sleep. Now i am really feeling low as i desperately want to make the most of this residency opportunity but right now i can’t.

So this a self piteous and bleak little story is to explain why I havent posted anything about my time here yet.

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