Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shingles! and Children of Craig-y-nos project

Thank- you to all who have enquired about my welfare after hearing I had shingles. Well, six weeks later I am hopefully cured though a bit of pain still lingers on.

It came as something of a surprise because I consider myself to be very healthy. However, it was also something of a wake-up call when I discovered that there is a stress element to shingles and I realise that the time has come to begin closure for the" Children of Craig-y-nos" project. During the past two years I reckon I have either interviewed, spoken to, emailed 150 people mainly ex-patients.

Their stories have often been harrowing, far worse than anything that I had anticipated from even my own experiences though I was in Craig-y-nos for four years.

Digging up the past is bound to be painful. Perhaps I was naive in not anticipating this. But I am not alone.
Journalist John Sutherland who wrote his own childhood memoir, The Boy Who Loved Books, described the experience :
" I had, it seemed, stirred up a lot of mud writing the book - woken a whole pack of sleeping dogs."

For me it has been as if I had opened a door into a ward full of screaming children:"take me home!" Fifty, sixty even seventy years after leaving Craig-y-nos those early traumatic memories for some people still remain fresh, as if it happened yesterday, in their minds.

That was a shock.

On the positive side though it has put me in touch again with my Welsh roots and I have met some lovely people.

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