Category Archives: Stress

Nightmarish Proportions – the Migraine that Messed with my Head

‘Sing this’, he told us, handing us each a small backpack and a mug.  I peered inside the mug.  Inside the rim were printed some words in a forward-leaning, loopy script.

Everyone was looking at me as though it was my turn.  ‘Aren’t you giving us the notes as well?’, I asked, trying not to sound critical.

He seemed impatient.  ‘Look, it begins like this’, he explained, singing four or five notes. ‘Sing it with a broad Glasgow accent.’

But what’s the point of telling someone how a tune starts if they don’t know what comes next? I knew they were all still waiting for me, but I couldn’t begin.  What were we doing here, anyway?  I had half an idea I’d been asked to join a choral group to go abroad for some musical event, but I hadn’t bargained on this.

I rummaged around in the backpack in search of further enlightenment.  A tee-shirt and a broad headband came out first.  Then a long, shapeless gown.  (Surely this wasn’t what I was meant to be wearing for the concert?!)  No music.  And then – hang on a minute, if we were going abroad, then where was my passport?  My travel documentation?  An itinerary, ANYTHING useful?

The scene shifted.  We were in a large dormitory with metal bedsteads.  This may sound snobbish, but I really would have preferred to have had a hotel room to myself – this looked more like a school or a hospital.  And I still didn’t understand what we were doing there.  ‘It’s a Scottish play’, one of the other women told me.  But I hadn’t been given a script to learn – just the lyrics inside the mug.  Considering I’m English, and not an actor, I was beginning to wonder why on earth I’d been selected for what was clearly a very avant-garde production.

The sound of someone moving about on the landing was enough to wake me up.  I’d taken medication for a horrendous migraine earlier in the evening, and gone to bed early.  This was clearly the explanation for the whole bizarre scenario with the mug, the gown, the metal bedsteads … I’d like to say that I turned over and slept soundly until morning, but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.  Every time I drifted off, I was back in the nightmare.  I’m really glad it’s morning!

However, I think I might be wise to take it easy today.  Goodness knows what the mystery director might require of me tonight, otherwise!