Thursday, 22 March 2018

Unsettled Nights, Where are the Warm Days?

We were promised a nice warm day today. Absolutely no sign of that here. True the wintry stuff of the weekend does not look imminent but I was hoping for a walk in the sunshine. I'm doing okay though I think. Well at least during the day.

The nights are another matter. My precious sleep remains uneven, wracked with anxiety and some disturbing dreams. I feel life is progressing aside from that. But that always remains a fear that can scuttle the whole ship.

I had been feeling as if a return next week might be possible. Finally managed to meet my manager on Tuesday. It was very helpful but it became clear that until we have a coherent plan on what we need to change that return will be delayed. So back to taking a step at a time and trying not to succumb to the numbing boredom that two months of inactivity and illness brings us. That said we will both think about a plan. I'm pleased it has been recognised that things couldn't go on the way they were. Just a little disappointed I'm not there yet.

The evening brought dinner with Jo. We did have such a lovely evening, ribs, coriander chicken and crispy shredded beef. It was yet another reminder of how lucky I am to have such good friends.

Back in the flat I have The Magic Flute on, I have made a Thai green curry paste and am contemplating whether I can summon up the energy and motivation to do some cleaning. On the balance of probability unlikely I think. The days do sometimes merge into one when there is no structure. It is so easy just to stare at the TV while the hours of my life tick away.

You may have noticed that I completely failed to mention the Ashes over the winter in Australia. England were comprehensively thumped but that wasn't really why I didn't mention it. More that I didn't see any of it as it was on a channel I didn't have at the time. England returned to the Test arena in the early hours of this morning and were battered by New Zealand to the tune of 58 all out. What is going on?

As the days warm it will not be too long until the cricket returns here. I can't go this year as the day Charlie got tickets coincides with my 30th anniversary dinner in Cambridge. 40 years in September since I went to King's. Does that make me old or distinguished? Not sure on that one.

More soon.

I Heard a Voice.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Spartan Sparcity Along the Seafront.

On another bitterly cold day I braved the seafront with dad. Only the brave or fool hardy would do so on such a day. I have yet to work out which we are. Whilst not quite deserted it was pretty spartan out there with few others souls venturing forth. The flurries of snow kept up all the way yet even in the gloom of recurring winter the sea kept its promise to me as a place to escape.

My time in Kent is coming to an end. Did it serve its purpose? I think it helped. My mind is calmer and clearer. How long that will last as the next few days pass is unknown. I need to go back to my reality the week after. That time by necessity should be more limited than before. It should be quieter as we approach Easter. But will the fear overwhelm me?

That is however for another day. As is my wont on a Sunday a roast dinner was required. And the roast beef I cooked at lunch time was exceedingly good. I'm sure the quality of the meat helped. And dad's oven is far better for roast potatoes than mine. So we were utterly contented.

Miriam battled her way home through the snow which was a relief. I know she was anxious about it and I certainly didn't envy her that journey. Hoping the trains are just a straight forward tomorrow.

There are things to do when I get back. ECG on Tuesday. Dentist Wednesday. And on some day not yet decided I must meet Lena. Let us hope it is a nice week and I can return in an upbeat and optimistic mood rather than the frightened, jaded experience of recent weeks.

I Heard a Voice.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Bitter Cold and Bitter Chocolate.

Well that didn't last very long did it? After the glorious seaside spring day of yesterday bitter cold, biting winds and snow have taken over today. When will this end? It didn't entirely put paid to dad's birthday lunch but more than half of us couldn't make it.

So through flurries and gusts the three of us headed on the brief walk to the restaurant and indulged ourselves in much decadence. A jamon and manchego cheese salad to start followed by roast loin of pork in an apple and brandy sauce followed up supremely by bitter dark chocolate pot with a mandarin sorbet. All that washed down with a very dry local white wine. I'm not much of a chocolate person but when I do have it it has to be dark and bitter. And that it was just like the atmosphere outside.

The chocolate theme continued as we adjourned to Hendrick's after for Malbec and nibbles. It is perhaps dad's favourite place so if you are ever in Hythe do pay them a visit, it is right next door to The King's Head.

Back at the flat we watched England once again lose at rugby and look inept. What a day for the Irish, a Grand Slam at Twickenham on St Patrick's Day. I suspect many places could run out of Guinness today.

Away from observations on the cold world where am I at? Mood is a bit nothing. The anxiety is at bay. I'm with nice people so I guess today goes down as a nice day. Being away does let me mind drift away from daily troubles. They will all still be there when I go home but for now I try to live in the moment.

I don't think the snow will wreck my travel plans. The intention is to go home on Monday. Let's hope it is all gone by then. Do be careful out there in these treacherous conditions.

I Heard a Voice.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Walking on the Beach.

One of the great joys of returning to Kent is that I get to walk along the beach. Breathing the air, smelling the sea, hearing the wind. There is something very soothing about that. True I have seen many storms, snow falls and bitter chaos here but I return for peace and today I got it.

Just over two months on from the plummet into darkness I am glimpsing the light more often. The anxiety comes some days, the low pointless despair of depression still comes at me, and the eternal battles for sleep wears on me. But today I feel okay. Okay and not guilty.

I feel I'm moving closer to a return. People down here are pleased to see me and that serves to bolster my sometimes flagging self worth. When depressed we are so unworthy of being loved it seems utter madness that anyone should care. But if anything come has come out of my recent setbacks it is the reminder that so many people in my life do care. What I have to do now is find some self care.

This afternoon I caught up with Beth. So nice to see her. The last time we met was the day of dad's fall and that terrifying night in A&E. I took lunch in a highly recommended French cafe, very good. I did some shopping then had tea with Beka. I'm looking forward to seeing Miriam later.

The warnings of snow tomorrow will I hope come to nothing. On this lovely sunny spring day, with clear skies and a hint of warmth makes snow sound a million miles away. Haven't we had enough? We should be indulging in lighter, warmer and brighter times. The Boat Race is nearly upon us so may have to buy some Pimm's. Actually threw some away when clearing my old flat. Silly really with the season round the corner. But with my mind in dark places and my life in turmoil such decadent delights did not enter my thinking.

Enjoy this glorious day whilst the light holds. Walking by the sea has uplifted me for at least today. May tomorrow be equally uplifting. Stir fried prawns with chilli and basil will grace out table tonight. Dad forgot he doesn't eat meat on Fridays in Lent so the plan of pan fried duck breasts will have to wait a while longer.

I Heard a Voice.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Has it Really Sprung?

Two days on from a dreadful wet, cold and miserable day the sun is out, it's warm and the world is looking a brighter place. Is this the day we can truly say spring has sprung? From what I hear though it could be short lived, rumours of more snow abound.

What do I make of this day? Well it was very hard to get out of bed. No motivation at all to consider either of my plans, the bus to St Albans or the train to Borough Market. Some days it simply can't be done. So as I'm starting my third month off am I any better? I'm certainly bored. I want to do things but find myself instead wandering aimlessly. It is most difficult to do when there is no motivation. Thus I wandered the streets again, spent some money, had some lunch and came home again. For what? I don't really know.

You find me now at home listening to Radio 3 and waiting for Choral Evensong to commence. The big news of the day is that the much loved physicist Stephen Hawking died today. I never met him but on many an occasion had to sidestep his wheelchair on the streets of Cambridge as his guides were usually so engrossed in their love and admiration for him they forgot to look out for the path ahead. He actually lived over the road from Selwyn when I was there.

Cambridge is but a life time away as my battles continue. My dream of one day going back remains and probably will remain just a dream. As I wandered today up near where I used to live I reflected on my now just over a decade in Hertfordshire. Back then I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights. And now? I just feel jaded. I desperately want to go back to normality and with luck will do soon but the fear is all around.

My much trumpeted weakness and failure that I espouse on here sometimes can take me over. The odd reminder comes that I was once good at my trade. I was reminded of that on Monday when my former student Krishna rang. She calls me her little Buddha, the wise man who guides her in troubled times. But who guides me in troubled times? My friends have been great but I need to find something concrete and long lasting to continue. Hopefully that will come from the Psychology team when I hear from them.

Pastures new await tomorrow. With luck at this time I will be strolling along the sea front lapping up all the goodness that that brings. I look forward to seeing dad and Miriam. Beka too on Saturday. And my cousin Cedric and his partner Barbara. That should all be good.

Next message from the seaside.

I Heard a Voice.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Wet Days, Sleepless Days, What's Happening Days?

The fields are submerged, the verges are lakes and the clouds heavy with rain. It has not been a nice day here. Given that it is now officially spring I did not expect such a cold wet Monday. I did not have a good start, struggled to get to sleep then woke early again. Feeling low and irritated looking out did nothing to brighten my mood. As a result I'm not sure what to make of my day.

I did have a brief foray out in the rain, needed light bulbs. Yes I've been here only two week and already two bulbs have blown. The curtain rail in the living room fell apart when I pulled them back, the boiler is showing worrying trends well known from the previous place and the palatial initial view of my new place is quickly dimming.

That said though I'm making progress. Council tax and water now sorted. By my reckoning I will be about £90 worse off here than before. Not great but nowhere near as bad as I feared. I'm looking into updating my driving license, God they want a lot of information, and my car registration document. Then all the tedious little things will have been done.

Today's intention was to meet my friend Mala for lunch. However her schedule changed so we have had to postpone until an as yet unknown date in the future. So what to do? I don't really know.

Time keeps ticking by and that empty sense that depression brings keeps telling me I'm wasting time and my life. I feel bad for not being back at work but until a proper plan has been worked out I'm not going to take the risk. There will no doubt be more flak from people who do not understand but I put up with that for years so what is a few weeks? I will make it in the end.

Suppose I'd better get in with the driving license form so see you all soon.

I Heard a Voice.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Splintered and Fractured, the Dreams are Back.

Whilst the world takes his and her and its mother out for lunch today I am at home listening to Cosi fan Tutte and avoiding that realm that is Facebook. The annual jamboree that is Mothers' Day is underway and I will keep a low profile. Never a day I liked much anyway, now that mum has been gone nearly six years it is a day I would rather forget.

The promising sunny start has given way to another gloomy and dark day. It is warm which is a relief. I'm trying to work out what to do with myself. The night's sleep was splintered and fractured by bizarre and at times disturbing dreams. My pattern has shifted from that of late. Struggling to sleep ever since I discovered I had to move yesterday it was back to normal and I felt refreshed. My day then was pretty good if you exclude England's dire performance in Paris and West Ham's disgraceful scenes at the London stadium. I met up with my friend Karen from work and we had a lovely chat.

In the evening I spent time with friends in the pub and extended invitations to roast chicken today. Then the come down of morning. My friends cancelled dinner and to be honest I was relieved. Not really in the entertaining mood.

But that gets me no further on what to do now. If I go out there will be nowhere to sit down after the aforementioned Mothers' Day. Maybe a walk will do me good after the opera.

A couple of weeks lie between me and a return to reality. It all seems pretty daunting and is seeping into my thinking at times. But of course I must get there and see how we manage. My friend Lisa who has been off longer than me is planning a return tomorrow. I wish her well.

On Thursday I think I will get the train to Kent. Dad's birthday is approaching on Saturday and it will be good to get back down to the sea and walk on the shore hearing the wind, the waves, the gulls. Will I ever return for good? The thought is tempting but my recent move compels at least for the time being to stay put here in Hertfordshire.

As parting note my thoughts go out to you all who like me might find this day difficult. Seeing signs of what once was is not always pleasant or kind. Memories are stirred and not always quenched. Take care on this day.

I Heard a Voice.