As much as I do not envy our live-in psychologist, at least I still visit him on occasion to make sure he has SOMETHING to do. Psychologists always make for interesting enough conversations partners. And when Percy is off in the office, the children are at school or with their tutors and the servants and workmen have been properly directed to their tasks, sometimes I still have some time left.
Not so for our physician, consigned as she is to the medical wing in the easternmost corner of the mansion. The Clanceys are famously hale and hearty from years of excellent breeding and plenty of money to start every day, so we never fall ill. We just needed that insurance, and all the other rich families have them.
Still, I remain fascinated in this trend of people having hyperbaric chambers for hire in Melbourne, and I suppose beyond. I keep saying to Percy that we need to get some oxygen therapy chambers installed, just for the experience and perhaps for the continued health of the live-in staff. Elliaphelia from two mansions over just had them installed after her husband got a cold- imagine, something so common!- and he was having a bit of difficulty both breathing and smoking at the same time. Percy has never been interested in cigars like many of those in his various Gentlemen’s Clubs, although I’m sure he could down them with no real ill effects if he so desired.
Still, oxygen therapy just sounds so exciting, and quite good for you. Maybe after I’ve been on the cardio machines I can step inside and catch my breath, or…I don’t know. Just the thought of Melbourne’s best portable hyperbaric chambers being part of our medical repertoire just appeals to me, on a completionist level. We have all the other technology, such as the MRI machine, incubation chamber, x-ray machine and the physician to operate them. Oxygen therapy might just complete the set.
What a tale I’ll have to tell my school chums! ‘My Very First Environmentalist Protest-Slash-Hunger Strike’. Such fun! I only did so for about an hour, but it was thrilling nonetheless.
Mummy and Daddy are always telling us that we should use our great wealth, intelligence, good breeding and general superiority to help people who were not born with such marvellous talents and gifts. Then I heard that Daddy was building a new golf course over near the grove, which just so happens to be where I thought I fairy community lived until last year when I grew out of such things. It would involve bringing in all of these swift, efficient tree felling services to bulldoze the place and leave it fresh and flat.
We’d JUST been learning about the environment in our World Studies class, and how trees being cut down is just really quite horrid, sometimes. I wasn’t sure if this was one of those times, but I thought I had a duty to protect this defenseless bunch of trees, given that they weren’t born with any money at all, and could not even be asked politely to move.
Daddy said that the tree lopping men would be coming around twelve o’clock on Saturday, so I enacted my plan. I took a picnic basket to the grove, along with several large pieces of paper from the art room alongside a number of paintbrushes. I didn’t want to appear rude, so while I ate my salmon and cucumber sandwiches I put up signs on the trees with polite-yet-firm messages such as ‘Is This Tree Removal Strictly Necessary?’ and ‘Perhaps We Should Discuss This Over Tea’ and also ‘Perhaps There Are Trees That Need Removing Even More Than These Ones Elsewhere. Have You Checked? Just Wondering.’
The I climbed the one nearest to the house and waited. And waited. And golly, it was a bit breezy up there. The tree was rather uncomfortable to sit on, and I realised that the log I mistook for a fairy city was really just mouldy and full of spiders. Also, I’d accidentally fluffed the ‘hunger strike’ part by bringing and partaking of my picnic basket.
Ah, well. Who was to stand in the way of professional tree removal services in Melbourne? I still had a most exciting time protesting and being terribly counter-establishment. Of course, I put my signs in the recycling as well, because that’s just basic responsibility.
I really do feel sorry for our in-house psychiatrist. The Clancey family are famously sound in both body AND mind, so he doesn’t really get to do very much. Sometimes I like to think I’ll go along and fake some kind of steady, psychotic breakdown, just so he’s not twiddling his thumbs. Still, he gets the bi-annual checkup for each of us, so that’s a grand total of two hours of work per year. Heaven knows how he manages to entertain himself.
I suppose it all stems back in time to when our family was gaining business success. Of course, our family’s first mansion was in Mornington, where the Clanceys first came to Australia. Great Grandfather Harrington made liberal use of this new-fangled profession of psychiatry, practices in Mornington having been set up a few years prior. People turned up their noses and thought little of it, but Great Grandfather Harrington bought into the idea of good mental health, and it’s placed us in good standing over our competitors ever since.
It was he who established a routine for good mental health: half an hour per day of discussing and reflecting on the day’s events, and half an hour of some serious self-talk of a positive nature. Everyone thought it was old toffee, and his business competitors spent all of their time making money from morning to night. Well…when they reached their limit and burned our, Great Grandfather Harrington was taking the advice of his personal psychiatrist and working into the hours of the morning, brain unfettered by cares and worries.
Such a great shame he forgot to go to the doctor had a retire shortly before his death due to exhaustion, but his mind was doing just fine right up until the end. Now we have an in-house doctor as well…obviously. Regardless of our peerless mental health, we must still remember that humble calling of psychology around Mornington. If only we could buy out the entire business. Alas, medicine retains certain privileges that place them above such things, and it’s probably for the best.
-Percival Clancey VI