Some time ago I spent hours trying to find a story (I took it to be one of Aesop's Fables) about a camel owner who overworked and over loaded his camel until with the ultimate burden placed on it the unfortunate animal keeled over and died. It was then that I realised that the expression, "the last straw that broke the camel's back" which I took to be the motto at the end of a story in fact amounts to the short story in its own right. The action is confined to five words, but action there is. And of course detail to be supplied. That camel's breath!
A whinging article in the paper about "millions" being spent by the NHS on art to decorate its premises, makes me shudder. Sculpture and paintings are part of the atmosphere in which patients get well. Bleak walls will help cure no one. The eyes of patients should be allowed to settle on harmonious images even if they do not consciously take them in.
That was one of the better parts of my stay in hospital in France, looking at good pictures on the walls of the corridors. Nothing challenging, just pictures that made one feel good. And a relief from television!
I an rememember pictures not necessarily of great distinction from childhood sickrooms or bedrooms. Even now I feel their therapeutic effect.
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