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Reflections 2019 w25

The wind blew at my strapped down Tilly hat as I crested the hill that was once a fort at Dinas Dinlle, sea spray travelling over the land in a fine mist, leaving the taste of salt with each heavy breath.

I love these dog walks with Spot.

My heart pounds with the exertion my body has with the short but sudden climb, lungs filling with fresh, clean air; Welsh air. I hear only the sound of the wind and crashing waves, glad I am not trying to fight the sea to catch a fish or two, not even the bleating of the sheep can be heard. I know not if they are hiding in a far off field or just behind the wall, silently waiting for the wind to die down. Even the seagulls hang in the air as though they are in a painted seaside scene.

The only other people I can see in this quiet place are other dog walkers, some are clearly taking pleasure in the weather, others look like they wish they had cats. It’s not cold, but some are dressed like it was the middle of winter, accompanied by a bloke in shorts. My smile as we pass seems to convey my humour at the sight, much to the annoyance of the person wrapped up, which in turn makes me smile more. Not in a mean way…OK it might be a little mean.

I never get bored of doing the same walks over and over again at the coast, or in the countryside. I find a peace with the empty space, a quiet in the natural sounds, the voice in my head has nothing to find fault with that cannot be easily forgotten by something to see. Yes I may just sit and cry, emotionless, yet calm. Not knowing why, but accepting the release of pressure.

These are the times I know there is hope, because these are the times I do not need to lean on the medication.

They just do not happen often enough. But I am Grateful that they do at least happen.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2019

Reflections 2020 w07

Last week I wrote about the storm that had come through, and this week there is another storm coming through.

Now I live in an area that has not been hit hard nor flooded, but the dog walk at the local park had an area flooded over the path, the first time I have seen this in the 7 years of walking there, and the normally ankle high, slow flowing brook, is currently at least 2ft high and flowing like a downhill mountain stream.

I only hope that the areas flooded have a chance to drain the water away before another storm hits, we are not having enough time to dry out between rains. And the UK is renowned for being wet.

If anyone is interested there is a video on the 100 year flood by practical engineering on youtube. It goes a way to explaining how we are exaggerating the flooding by how we build houses and roads, it is not as many think, about how we build defences.

This may go to explain why previously unaffected areas are now being hit, It acts like a domino effect, one raindrop affecting the next.

One wonders, will we ever learn how to live with nature in this modern world, or will it take ever increasing ‘freak’ weather occurrences to get our attention?

Reflections 2020 w06

On Friday I finished the green house, it is ready for the growing season. Shelving made from the old greenhouse frames has been done, custom made for the square trays I bought for the job.

I just hope it needs no repairs after the storm that has come through last night and today. A neighbours roof has lost several tiles, they are not small ones at that, and after venturing out this morning one has seen a scattering of tiles, branches and twigs over most of the roads, the storm has left it’s mark. I hope that it has not left a trail of large destruction for others who had the brunt of it.

And why would one venture out in such weather???

Art supplies.

A new style of painting has started to be learnt, narrowboat/folk style, to be exact, and this requires new brushes and a new pad to be gessoe’d black. The brushes I have are either too soft or too stiff. To a non painter this must seem illogical, but other painters who do varying styles will know of the need. A carpenter dose not have one saw, nor does a mechanic have just one type of spanner, it works on the same principle for artist after the stroke left by the brush in hand.

Having said that…There is a slight hoarder aspect to the whole process, or rather a perfectionist quest for the perfect tool.

Some thing I think can be summed up quite well by the thought I had when overhearing a mother discussing her daughters selection of art supplies for purchasing…’You have all that?” “Yes, I am doing a large project.” “I understand that, but I don’t think you need all of that.” “Some of it is for general college use as well, I always use a lot of pads.” “I agree on the pads, and on the card for the project, but you can leave the pens behind – you have enough pens!” My mind raced to the question…

Yes, but are they the ‘right’ pens though?

I find out in a couple of days if the brushes are in fact my ‘right’ tools for the job.

Reflections 2020 w05

One is going to try and write this without going into a moan.

Circumstances out of my control this week had me meeting the duty manager at the hospital. I was sent there by my art coordinator because my twitching was at a state she has not seen before. And she thought it best to be seen now to see if the medication, they stopped pre Christmas, could be looked at again.

So I went up, and saw a nurse due to us mental patients turning up like busses, one duty manager – 4 patients.

So I start talking to the two of them, I presume one was a trainee, although it was never mentioned, and they initially concluded that I may need some depression medication, though one would have to wait until my appointment on the 24th of Feb.

This has been the standard treatment so far – medication, medication, medication. With each new med I get a new side effect that makes me ill, coincidence of course. That is not a snarky comment, it is what I am always told – it is just coincidence.

I commented on a few other things and on the fact that the medication does not work. At least work to the end goal of fixing the problem. To which they agreed it was not a long term solution. This I was told right at the beginning, nearly 9 years ago, it was also when I was told medication for depression was only a short term help. Therapy is the answer to working through it.

I may have mentioned this before.

One has also been told my depression is a side effect of another problem, rather like pain from a broken leg, don’t fix the leg – don’t fix the pain.

A common diagnosis from councillors is PTSD, mainly from the lifelong bullying, but topped with a stressor that pushed my mind too far.

This however has always been dismissed by the psychologists who follow the initial diagnosis made from a Neurological psychologist who was looking for physical causes to my problem. Due to the sudden onset of twitching and stammering. Overruling in one half an hour, once a year, a diagnosis made from several hours over a couple of months. But their diagnosis does not matter. Even if it renders why I am with them obsolete.

Counselling has been for the twitch, speech, and voluntary anger management, twice now, mainly to try and alleviate my frustration with the mental health treatment. Even this is now following patterns of some bullying/manipulation methods. ‘There is the door, leave if you want to, we wont stop you..whilst stopping you, controlling you, manipulating your possible actions.’

Treatment for the psychological aspect of the speech and twitch led towards the PTSD diagnosis from a psychologist, but therapy could go no further as it was not linked to the day to day acceptance of the twitch in its physical psychological form. I had accepted there was nothing I could do…Because the doctors told me there was nothing I could do.It will go away in time.

So a recommendation for psychotherapy was made by them, and  then ignored.

So there I was…Physical problem causes mental problem? No, maybe, cant rule it out, but it may be that the mental problem causes the physical, but that’s rare so it cant be that, don’t want to make the condition common now. And it does not fit with the depression diagnosis.

Over and over again this pattern of therapy denial has taken place over the years.

But why have I bought this up?

Because I must have said the correct few words at that meeting. It went from “I don’t think you need psychology, just medication.” To being put down for recommendation for psychology and exposure therapy and group therapy.

One presumes one has not resolved the issues that are keeping myself unwell through the  8 plus years of medication.

But will it lead to anything this time? Or will it just be quashed once more? The cycle of frustration and hopelessness looping over and over, yet never moving.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel…It’s just a shame it’s the light from the tunnel construction crew way up ahead, furiously building new sections of tunnel.

Reflections 2020 w04

Let’s start with some food, Chinese fish snacks to be precise.

One assumed that original flavour was just that, the original flavour of the snacks. But having two snacks in original flavour now – it is not. What it is, one cannot say, one can only say nah, not for me.

That was the lizard fish on stick snack, sticky as hell, and with the unusual original flavour. So I tried the other lizard fish snack, dehydrated fish strips.

This one tasted better, but for those in the UK, the flavour would compare to what we get as fish sticks in the fridge section, one has never been a fan of those. And once opened you need a fridge to store, no way could I eat a whole pack.

So a bust for trail snacks.

Then I went Indian…Bombay mix…Not a fan of this either.

East European next…Oshee musli bars…These I like.

On the plus side I have worked out the main meals for the Hadrians walk. One has just got to work on the dehydrating/rehydrating part of the meals to get them right though.

Some taste trials to come next month.

It appears I have ended with food as well. Oh well.

Now where’s my apple?

Reflections 2020 w03

Am I the only one that thinks of something, presses the internet search shortcut, and completely forgets what it was I was going to look for?

It’s happened multiple times today, each time one has only had to hold the thought for a few seconds, but no, it disappears. Not even a hint of what it was remains. One hopes it is not important, or useful, or even something one was supposed to do, this has happened numerous times in the past.

There is the train of thought one must not worry, it will come. But how do you know that that was in fact the original thought unless the recurring thought jogs a memory recall? And how do you truly not think about trying to remember as the hours tick on past?

I think I need to get the desk pad out again, which sucks as one has the habit of curling the edges which then annoy me as I type. Also random stuff gets written down on it – which has no context or explanation, leading to great confusion later, as one tries to decide if it needs saving when it is time to tear off the top sheet.

Also, it is a waste of paper in another respect as you can only practically use one side, often desperately trying to come up with a practical disposable use for the blank side. Because you do not want to save the original side.

Aggghhh, brain rabbit hole.

On an unrelated note…This week I discovered you can dehydrate sausage, completely. One would have thought it was far too fatty to even attempt but the hash brown, sausage, veg and dehydrated egg Spanish omelet/bubble and squeak looks interesting. Experimenting will commence next month.

One also has to start experimenting with bannock bread and ghee.

A decision also has to be made on some camping equipment – do I sell it? Or do I keep it? The pros and cons for the two pieces are about even, and in my current state of mind one can either not be bothered or be in clear out mode, damn the consequences. There is one piece of ‘luxury’ equipment one would be happy to trade for, but as yet the second run of production has not been done.

I call it luxury, but is it? The item is a 5v camping wind generator. An item that will power up battery banks whilst I sleep, which then in turn power my camera/video camera/charge AA batteries for my GPS (which, as an old model, second hand, eats them, 8 hours per set of Duracell)/watch/phone/headlamp, and that is just off the top of my head. The power bank works for about 4-5 days (without the GPS) but I always watch the power consumption. And I would like to take more video footage on future trips.

True one could take extra power packs, but all electrical power banks reduce life in cold weather, and then you have to have somewhere that, usually charges too much, to recharge the device.

Solar is out, even if one was not walking in the day, you have to turn the device to get the best benefit. And rain and wind are more common on my camp trips than sun. Wind power makes more sense in the uk, and the peace of mind of being able to make electricity in the middle of nowhere has a comforting aspect to it.

The generator is also not limited to camping, I could use it at the allotment or out sea fishing as well. It is not a camping only item.

Here is the conundrum though…Few wind generators for camping get past the prototype stage, and fewer still are practical in use. This one is not the smallest generator size packed away, weight wise there is little difference between close rivals. So carrying has its issues. And will a second batch be completed for this item??? Or was the first crowd funded batch the first and last to be made? Do I get one if I can/there is a second run, or do I risk them disappearing into the void of things that were a good idea but…?

I hate my depressed mind, one used to be more carefree, adaptive, and sure of my decisions, even the wrong ones. Now…Now it’s just bloody hard work.

Reflections 2020 w02

One entered the taste testing of the Chinese snacks this week, with an open mind and no expectations.

The pork floss was the first on the list; and it was the strangest thing ever to have crossed my tongue. The texture is like that of loft insulation, with a super absorbency of saliva. It overpowers the flavour completely, only after it has cleared the mouth do you get a subtly sweet hint of flavour.

I took my taste test in the kitchen, then I let my sister try it. She pulled the same face as me, whilst looking at me like one had tried to poison her. Dad on the other hand did not even notice, I swear his mouth sensors do not work, which is probably why he can eat tripe.

Second on the list was the honey barbecue cooked pork strips, the texture was a soft jerky/fruit leather affair, but alas the sweetness of the meat kept growing with each bite. It also is a no go for camping.

Thirdly was the original flavour crispy seaweed. This I was expecting to like as I regularly buy a brand of sea salt and soy sauce nori sheet snack. The texture of these however was more a cross of the sheets and rice crackers. Strange but not off putting. The original flavour however is too strange, there is something before the seaweed flavour that just does not do it for me, which is a shame as the Chinese version is cheaper than the other brand, and has less packaging.

So overall I’m striking three of the list.

It is the turn of the lizard fish snacks next…I have no idea of what that’s going to be like.

Allotment update…the mini greenhouse/cold frame/drying area has been glazed and two sides of the shed are painted twice. Cuprinol red Caesar is more orange than anything else. I will have the brightest shed on the plot.

I am sure I have photos of the plot in its original format. If I find them I will put up the comparison photos. One just needs to tidy up the construction site look first. And get the shed to match in colour. All whilst dodging the winter weather.

Reflections 2020 w01

One got to paint some of the shed today, the parts that were next to a fence in its old location, and boy did it soak it up. However, the preservative that is supposed to be red cedar – is definitely more… Orange.

The salad seedlings have sprouted and are looking good, nice and healthy in the greenhouse. Also the garlic and onions are looking well. The broad beans however have had something sitting in them – B’ cats.

I have to work out what I can do to keep them off the plot. If they are not pooping everywhere they are digging up and flattening. Somehow I think i would get into trouble if I located the owner and posted a photo of the cat and its poop through their door, but it is acceptable for their cat poop to get on my clothing, footwear and hands whilst I garden.

I don’t hate the cats, I hate the law that says it’s ok for them to do it, but if Spot was to wander around pooping in the neighbours yards, that would be illegal because she’s a dog.

And yes the dog owners that do do that are equally disgusting…To the point I would create a new crime called A Dirty B*****d, complete with a national newspaper mug shot when convicted. Just so the paper can print Mr/Mrs XYZ today was found to be A Dirty B*****d is such and such court. For every pet found fouling without the owners picking it up and; I would like to stress this, BINNING it.

You may have worked out I ‘found’ some more today.

On good news I have purchased some Pork Floss, it will be trialed next week with my sister, who also wants to taste it. She does not however want to try the other snacks. In fact she definitely pulled her face at the fish sticks. I am giggling as I remember her look right now. Just wait until I get the item they did not have.

Here is the haul, my impressions will be forthwith upon consumption.

 

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