Esoteric London

No. 620: Tenison Way, SE1

Posted in Hospitals, London Music by esotericlondon on July 13, 2012

IMAX Cinema, Tenison Way, London, SE1. Photo © Roger Dean 2010

Odd People in Odd Places – James Greenwood, 1883:

But as far as appearances went, there was not one in a half-dozen of all the patients brought under my observation who did not appear as sane as most persons one meets with in ordinary society, and as capable of discussing commonplace topics with a show of rationality. I had been informed, and my limited opportunity of testing it convinced me of the truth of the statement, that in by far the greater number of cases it is only on one particular subject that a patient betrays mental derangement, though in some instances the character of the delusion is so extraordinary that its retention seems utterly incompatible with ability to talk and argue sanely on other matters. As, for instance, there was one elderly gentleman, of mild and benevolent aspect, who engaged me in conversation on political affairs, and impressed me favourably with his sound and sensible views on the Bradlaugh question. He likewise spoke concerning the attempted assassination of the Queen, and pooh-poohed the possibility of any one lending himself to a crime so diabolical unless he was a lunatic. I had already settled in my mind that this was a patient who was nearly or quite cured, and entitled to his discharge, when he suddenly broke off talking about McLean, and, in a confidential whisper, asked me if I happened to have such a thing as a packet of beetle wafer about me. I replied that I was sorry to say I had not.
‘I am sorry too,’ he said, with a doleful sigh. ‘It is the only thing that will cure me, and yet the doctors here are so obstinate that they won’t let me have it. I am troubled, you must know, sir, with beetles on the brain. They are harmless insects, and I’ve no great disliking for them on a kitchen floor, or in a coal cupboard, but when they do their running about inside my skull they disturb me dreadfully. If they would let me have just one packet of beetle wafer to poison em, I should be well in a couple of hours; I am sure I should.’

[ As you may be able to tell I’m a Stones man myself. R.D.]