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Reflections 2019 w 45

Well, the plan for the leaf collecting went out of the window, we have had that much rain i would have had a swamp on the back of my car after just the one trip.

On the plus side my initial findings with the thermal battery in the greenhouse looks promising.

For those that have not heard of thermal batteries – they are just a way to collect some of the warmth the sun provides and then releases it over night time. Basically a hot water bottle…A BIG hot water bottle.

I have used an old garden wheelie bin for my storage. Simply filled with water. It took about a week before any change was to be seen on the min/max temperature, Mainly the min temp has been the focus, as one cannot theorise as to how intense the sun has been, the time available, nor the temperature variation of the outside. But one has been able to do a simple test…

What was the minimum temperature inside the greenhouse when the outside froze.

Without the thermal bank it has dropped to 2degC, with a high of 26degc.  With the thermal bank running for a week the max temp was reduced, as is expected because it partially goes to warming the water, down to around the 18-19degC. However, the Min temperature inside as the outside has froze did not drop any lower than 6degC.

This may not sound that brilliant, or that useful, and for the main part it is not. I am not likely to be growing tomatoes in it over winter. However I plan to grow winter salads, the varieties that grow outdoors over winter, indoors. My theory being that they should benefit from the extra warmth and protection, giving me a higher yield.

Well that the hypothesis anyhow…

Time will tell.

 

 

 

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 2019 w23

The path at the allotment is two slabs, yet to get, away from being finished. A little bit of planting to do, and that is the plot design finished till later on in the year when I complete the greenhouse, if it does not get swapped, hence the no rush approach.

My sons happy memory toy, the opposite of his worry monster, I did not like the idea he had only an unpleasant memory storage system, has been finished and passed onto my son. His design on paper became an actual thing.

img_2201-e1560719441696.jpg

Done

I know it’s not a perfect match, but he was warned it was my first time doing a zipper, along the belly, and that I was going to do Hop in one go, no prototypes to alter the pattern.

It was a strange creation, where I learnt a couple of lessons about batting and sewing machines. The zipper was not perfect (the belly), but it works, that is all I was asking of it.I kept it straight as it was my first one.

Skill will come with practice.

So, onto the next project…Another experimental piece, for someone at group. Thankfully it is a painting this time, with a twist.

One has also scheduled more poems, this take me up to September now.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2019

 

Intemperance

A play at the New Victoria Theatre, one I have just watched,

I think it is set in the 1700’s, so five to six lifetimes ago. It could have been my great, great, great, great grandparents working and living in those conditions. And this is what makes the theatre so different than the cinema, the subject material.

Plays can be watched without knowing what the subject matter is before going, some are funny, some sad, some political, some adapted from stories known, with a little twist or two, and then there are some that get you to reflect on what we have now. This is one of those plays.

I have seen plays based on the celts, living off the land, grass for a mattress and stars for a roof. Plays about a time of the war, of shortage, separation and loss. Of social struggles and of political struggles to improve the working or living conditions of the working class. And it is there, played out before your very eyes, close enough to touch it. The emotions of the actors played out through the tone of voice and posturing, no post production tweaks, it’s there, it’s raw. And no play is the same, because they all want a different story to tell; or a different viewpoint to share.

Tonight’s play left me thinking at how far we have come as a people in such short a time, but at what cost?

At what point did civilisation create slums?

When did we think it was acceptable to have people living in such poor conditions, making living a time of survival because of what money your parents had? No fear of predators to hunt you down, but a fear of the water from well down the street and the diseases it harboured. A hunger that could not be fed by finding and hunting for food, because the landscape was no longer the hunter gatherers hills and plains of the people, rather the land of the few.

When did people become less-than? And less well-off  than those that wore the furs of the animals they ate, and drank from water of streams, unpolluted by industry, homes made out of stones and straw?

At some point we as a people accepted, that for some, this would be a step up in living standards, but had it accepted as being more civilised than the savages before.

And we are only six lifetimes away from that. And yet for some we have not moved from it at all.

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Thank You

Over the last week I have passed the 100 mark for followers, something one would not have imagined at the start.

That sounds almost clichéd, and it appears almost everyone who puts work out onto the internet has the same self doubts, but I did this for me. It was my therapy. My work was even hidden from friends and family at the beginning.

And likes – everybody loves likes…

Well I’m – not sure, because the likes usually come with a connection. Something I have written has struck a chord with someone else, and from the comments I have had, sadly not for the better.

My work has found people that also struggle, that also find help; lacking.

I can only hope, and one does not use this word lightly, hope, that at least a sense of not being alone has helped at least one person to trudge on a little further, when your dragging a black dog behind you, one can only trudge. Or at least put into words what is felt so that it can be read by someone who does not know.

It is sad when kinship can be formed more easily after suffering, when a group of others suffering have found the place and security to drop their masks and be. But get the right group…And we can not only heal, but also grow.

One thing is for sure – without looking we will not find.

So please keep looking, and thank you for reading.

 

Reflections 2018 w47

Tomorrow One once again does the Market Drayton round trip to get my nephew, a trip that as of late, due to my niece being in hospital, has ended up becoming an auto pilot route. Twice last week I had to be corrected before heading that way instead of the actual destination.

For the most part my mind likes the idea of routine and of patterns, except for my room. Here the creative depressive has a hold, occasionally it is sorted, but quickly it reverts to chaos when multiple projects are in the making.

But elsewhere, familiarity rules.

With familiarity comes safety, avoidance and boredom. Procrastination is an easy pattern to form, and can become a problem in itself.

On my last holiday one tried a little experiment with my green tea, the flavoured ones that is. Instead of just having the de-boxed flavour per labelled bag I mixed the tea bags together. Even the choice was haphazard, which is how one lot with mango and pineapple ended up in the mix, one does not like mango. Luckily it was more a mheghhh reaction than yuck.

Risky, but having no real shops by the campsite, and no way of re-sorting the bags to flavours, one knew the pick and mix would have to last until the end.

It was a stimulus idea, so that one could not get bored and look for a fizzy sugar laden alternative.

It kind of worked, but it had to be expanded to get to its full potential.

Now having finished off the last green tea and jasmine stored in the pantry, I once again have emptied different flavours into a bag. This time upping the mix to four different flavours.

One I know I like, one I know is mheghhh, and two I have yet to try. “Why the mango one?” I hear you ask. For some reason having four flavours that one likes seems to be the opposite of stimulus, and more toward comfort. And where is the fun in that?

Hopefully a little random can go a long way.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

Reflections 2018 w45

At what point does a task become a chore to be avoided; no matter how small the task?

One could have sworn that one had kept up with the updating of one’s website, however it appears to have been avoided for ten weeks. Just when did the avoidance set in?

I have my suspicion that it was at the second week…I’ll do it later…never to get ‘around to it’.

The task of catching up took all of ten minutes, thats a minute per cut and paste and tweak. Plus the whole process took no effort on my part, but I will avoid it if over a week is to be caught up. Procrastination is nearly always my natural choice, especially if it is connected to changing the procrastination process.

It appears to have self awareness and  a survival instinct.

But why?

One can see no benefit from it, nor a practical use, even in my distant memory the effects were negative in results. A baby will hold onto a favourite toy or blanket for comfort, getting upset if they get separated, I hold onto procrastination like that comforter – even though it brings discomfort, will I get upset if we get separated?

It makes no sense.

So one had better get to doing the cut and paste of this to the website before it comes back again.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

Reflections 2018 week 44

Whilst being on a camping holiday alone, to try and work out a routine/pattern of living in a tent for walks next year, I faced some of my ‘daemons’.

This years camp was more flexible than before and it was to create coping mechanisms whilst camping, allowing Spot and myself to do multi-day walks next year as part of my healing, not far to start, but the aim is to increase over the year.

However one knew that there could be challenges with my anxiety and depression, so after a visit to my new psychologist, one went with a new drug to have with me as backup. But this in itself created a new problem.

Spot was with me, and my ‘deal’ with myself was to not to do a lot of running around to different places, but rather work around the tent and the sea side at camp. A chance, one hoped, to get to a mindful place and quieten my internal voices. My voices apparently did not like this idea, and my insistence of taking all my equipment that I may use, again this was to hone my ‘main kit’ for the multi-day waking trips next year, became known as clutter. Car camping allows one to take far, far too much stuff. Coupled with not knowing how kit like the sleep system would work, with the expected low temperatures, multiples of ‘just in case’ items were taken along.

Anxiety or panic attacks, depends on who you talk to, are common, also, are the feelings that are associated with them. One has been on the back of an unbroken horse as the horse does everything that it can to get you off it, and yes, the ground hurts when it succeeds. And an anxiety attack is just like being on that horses back, out of control, trying to stay on, and trying to avoid the shuddering jolt of hitting the ground.

The main difference between them is – the horse is on the inside for anxiety.

So yeah, they were fun.

But this holiday one  had something new – not an anxiety attack but more of a depression attack. Frustratingly I do not know what to call it for when I next see the psychologist, if I do not give it the correct name, they do not listen and dismiss it. Parts of what I say are cherry picked…Paranoid?

Here is something that I have said…

I go to weekly NON CLINICAL group workshops, that is workshops not connected to or regulated by my mental health psychologist, something they cannot measure,  that help to examine negative perceptions one might have to life, these have been created by a lady that is a qualified counsellor.

Gets turned to…

Attends weeks counselling sessions.

Never have they asked what qualifications she has, or what method she uses. For all they know she uses lumps of coal to suck the depression out. They heard counsellor and figured that they are off the hook for non drug treatment, even if they did not think this, it is what it feels like.

Now the attack, and how it differs from the anxiety attacks.

Think back if you can to when you first learnt to swim. Think back to feeling of drowning, the swallowing of water as you tried to breathe, the pressure on your body from the water trying to pull you under (this I know is the panic thoughts and in reality when relaxed you would float) and the hopelessness of the situation when sinking below the waters surface.

Now sit and watch the clouds drift over the distant mountains, no thoughts in your head, relaxed.

Snap!

And your drowning, calmly drowning. Swamped by the hopelessness, the utter despair, and the need to cry. It snuck upon you like a mugger in a dark alley, it chose you with no apparent reason other than you were there at that time.

As you sit in the near paralysed state, trying to work out the cause so as to reason it out, with nothing coming to mind as the catalyst, crying uncontrollably, confused, dazed and lost. You realise that it is most defiantly not an anxiety attack. There is no wild ride of a bucking horse, it’s more a calm sinking of a small boat on a still pond. There is no erratic heartbeat or breathing to get under control, no shaking or sweating, the only physical response is the crying, the uncontrollable crying. Even Spot was caught unawares of the changing mood, she is my depression barometer, usually noticing a dip before I do, changing her reactions and thus alerting myself to the approaching change.

Half an hour later and its gone; for a couple of days, but it returns twice more.

Now I did mention that I had new drugs with me for if I struggled. However the last drug I had to ‘take the edge off’ left me not giving a s@!t about anything, so I was too afraid to take them with no support network around to help me if I had a less than favourable reaction. With wind chill the temperature went sub Zero (deg celsius) not giving a damn could lead to hypothermia. And thus a battle of fear began…

Fear of not taking them and having the depression and anxiety attacks or taking them and placing Spot and myself in danger. So long as the depression did not go down the road of suicide not taking them seemed to be the safest option and was the one I took.

Now it is just a waiting game…

Are these new attacks isolated, or are they a new symptom?

I hate this game.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

reflections 2018 w35

It’s been a funny old month. The temperature has been up, with a cold dip , before going up once more. The veggies’ don’t know what to do.

The plants are so out of whack that we have been picking blackberries a month early. I have cut it down a touch in the last couple of weeks, including the old fruit ‘heads’, not sure what it is called, Not really a ‘haircut’, more of a trim.

This was done a couple of days after the drop to single digits and was thought to have been the season done for this year, apart from the odd stragglers. But no, the bush has blossomed again and gotten some new berries growing. Right in line with the normal picking season.

My courgettes have also gotten confused, the cold snap discolouring the leaves as the plant looked to be dying off. This week the plant is throwing off new courgettes and new growth.

I harvested my butternut squash because of the frost threat, which we did not have, and now this has 8 more squash growing.

As this is my dads plot, I get one in October, I have not taken much notice nor notes. The seeds were old for the most part, and veg was grown specifically to get excess for the food bank. When I get my own plot more notes will be taken and all seeds will be from fresh stock.

I will even be weighing the veg harvests to go with the crop, as well as what was done to the soil etc. Even temperature ratings will be recorded.

Yes it may seem anal, but I don’t want to be growing a crop just for stock at the expense of flavour, and recording all I can, is to me, the best way to replicate the same results year after year.

It’s just going to be a lot of work to get the plot how I want it. Unfortunately all the signs are looking like a bad winter; I don’t fancy frozen bits as I do it.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

Reflections 2018 w32

Sometimes writing these blogs comes easily, sometimes it is just slow on the uptake.

This weeks subject came to me when going for lunch after picking up monster, my nephew.

As it was going to be dinner time when we set off on the 19 mile trip, and passing a farm shop en route, one decided that a ploughman’s pork pie would be for my dinner. They are expensive for what they are, but as an occasional treat, worth it.

What makes this pork pie different than a normal one?

This has no crust top, cutting down on the pastry, whilst replacing it with spring onions and cherry tomatoes, there may even be a hint of mustard in the meat part as well. This was to be washed down with a curiosity cola, also expensive for what it is and also a treat.

But whilst waiting in the queue, I placed the bottle back and walked away.

There was one person serving, he also did the butchering, all in view of the queue. We all watched as he freshly cut the rib of beef for the first lady. When he had finished he had comments on how well he did the butchering, especially with an audience watching. A lighthearted exchange of words continued whilst he continued to serve the lady, £63 was the cost, a price she was very happy with. He handed her her receipt and took the bottles of wine from the next customer to scan them. This is when this customer was lost, possibly forever.

I stood watching as he wiped his hands down his apron, used the till and handled the change to the lady. At no point did he wash his hands in the sink once the meat was bagged, even though the sink was one step behind him, nor did he do it after serving and nor did he wipe the till down. If he was to have leant over the counter to get the baked goods from within it, he would have had a high chance of raw meat dropping off his butchering apron onto cooked meats and cooked pies. Even if that customer had the good fortune of bloodied hands being washed before handling.

If he does not wash his hands after handling raw meats, whats the chance he washes them after going for a pee???

No, I don’t think I will be going there again.

And you can no longer feed the pigs either, a great way to get rid of fallen apples.

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