The Chinese writer Lin Yutang once wrote that if you can spend an afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live. When I was 16, I paid a rather useless trip to Powerscourt Waterfall in Co Wicklow. At the time, I was in the middle of a bone marrow transplant. Admitted to hospital in late June, I’d quickly become incredibly ill, in violent pain and too weak to lift myself out of bed. It was now early August, and I was allowed out of the isolation ward for day trips. Even so, I clung to the idea of hospital, and the routine I had there. I was worried about infections and daunted by all the pills I had to take. Hospital was the only place I felt safe.