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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

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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.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

Reflections 2018 w30

My anxiety has been high this week, and because of it, one has ventured out less than normal.

It was to be expected once I found out I was going cold turkey from my near max dosage of medication. The extreme stoppage was at my psychologists discretion, one found out it was stopped when picking up the repeat last friday. Don’t get me wrong, it was talked about – the stopping it – I have questioned it’s effectiveness for well over 3 years, and have wanted to end it to see if the neuropathic pain is linked to a known side effect of the medication, so yes, ending it was talked about. How they have ended it seems more to prove a point than ‘care’.

I have grumble before about how I was told at the very beginning, treatment, effective treatment, was therapy, but all that seems to be given is pills. So yeh, mouse on the wheel of a cage time again.

But when I cannot go outside physically, my mind now picks a project to do, usually painting, but not this time.

This time it is new ground…

A way one thinks my poetry can be heard how I want it to be heard, but without my fat ugly mug on camera, or being in public.

Inspired by an exhibition of  students at Staffordshire University, the whole thing just clicked at a way to do it.

However, it required me to create a model “me” to do it. The concept of my “me” has already been done with the drawing/paining of the B-WELL tree. The little wooden character is my avatar if you will. But how to do the puppet.

Youtube…

Cloth puppet, wood puppet, clay puppet, foam puppet, silicone puppet, and paper mâché puppets are just the beginner materials. Hand puppet, body puppet, finger puppet, stick puppet, marionette, and the scariest one of all…

The traditional “little person” ventriloquist dummy. These always give me the heebie jeebies. Don’t know why, they just do!

Well a couple were pulled out because of the “wood” of the character, but wow, what a world of puppets out there. I now want to make several types.

But back to my original one…

I bought air dried clay, to create the ‘skull’, and plaster bandage for at least the first two coats of the face. The idea was to cut the plaster bandage, when dry, off the clay to get into the workings of the mouth. To make it simple. Then the paper mâché on top, then paint gesso, then acrylics before finishing with varnish. To reduce the amount of clay required I have done this with plastic bottles…

IMG_1927.JPG

This made it clear to me what it was I wanted to do, and it also showed me the problem I was going to have with my mouth…What type did I want to do?

The decision for that will come later…

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

Reflections 2018 w29

Whilst waiting for my uncle to have some sort of eye drop test and a fitting for his reading glasses, I got bored. So when my mum came back from the little bit of shopping she had to do in town, we swapped places, and I went across the alley to the new Barnardo’s charity shop, on a previous visit one picked up a psychology book originally costing £18.99 for 99p so was interested to see if another bargain was to be had.

And another book was found, maybe a little gimmicky , but, foods that harm and foods that heal, is worth read to find out, and at 99p –  a bargain.

But the best bargain was sitting on a low shelf half way into the shop.

I saw the Lord of the Rings box first, with my interest piqued I then saw the sword in it. If nothing else it looked like a good sword for my seven year old son to play with, However the sword was is just the prop for the game inside. It was the controller, no buttons, just sword. The camera sits in a tower top thing which in turn sits atop of the tv. The graphics on the box looked ok and at the price of £2.50 it was worth it for the sword alone, working or not. So I grabbed it.

Not really expecting it to work I plugged it in, then fiddled with the fittings in the tv, tried it in other fittings, looked at the box, fiddled some more, looked at the box again, and was starting to get confused. The graphics where much more blocky than on the boxes picture.

I went onto youtube to see if there was any vids, and the graphics looked just the same. So the game worked as it should. I have now decided my screen is too high def for the graphics and too large, so is showing the flaws.

But still it worked so far.

Now to test if it worked with the sword. All I have to do is place the turret onto the top of the tv. Bugger, my tv is also a slim one. The game came out in 2004, and I am guessing the tv’s back then where still the chunkier technology.

Keep it simple – Bluetack – a whopping big chunk of it – on top of the tv sticking/propping it in place. It worked!

All set up for my sons visit tomorrow.

His eyes lit up when I told him just what this short sword, well short for me, did. And he did what he has never done before. He turned with the look of wonderment, rushed me and gave me a big hug. He hugs me each time he has a gift, always as a thank you, but this was different, this was more than the gift itself, this was for being able to battle monsters; with a sword.

There is no difficulty setting on this game we found out after calibrating the sword to him, I taught him how to block so it got registered on the screen, multiple times, as well as keeping him in one area as he swung. Which by the way is full on swinging, no wii remote here. One swing went half an inch away from my throat and I swear that if it had made contact it would have sent me into, at the minimum, a choking fit.

For the next half hour he went over and over the first level, getting to grips with swinging like he is taking an axe to a tree to chop it down, jumping and hopping around to try and help, my nephew (nearly 3) is never being allowed to see my son play this, it would be too dangerous. Then there was the blocking, positioning, casting his first spell, he died on level two and placed the sword down, clammy and slightly out of breath.

I thought that might be it, it was too hard, even if he was a year older (recommended age is 8) it may appear too hard a learning curve. Was this the reason it was in the charity shop in the first place?

An hour later he was back on it, slightly better. Half an hour and he was off it again, greatly improved. He still has not got the timing for the block right, but he’s better.

We went to the park and fed the ducks and geese, came back and he had another half hour on it. There is one point he gets to set a high score on killing some birds (crebain), this I believe is enough for him to keep coming back to it and improving even more so as to get past level two.

When he went to bed I saw the turret had tilted backwards due to the heat of the room. I had to come up with a better platform for the tv. It just so happens I had an empty box.

This is the result…IMG_1920.JPG

It won’t win any awards but it works.

There are not many toys I would have liked as a child to have, proper toys that allow creative process of a child’s mind, we had a Binatone pong variant for computer games, but this crosses both realms. It is a computer game, but with it being physical it is still in the child’s imagination as to what kind of hero/warrior/ninja/whatever, they are. Yes I would have liked to have had this one as a child.

Tomorrow he is going to show his mum his new sword and tell tales of his swordsmanship.

I just hope everyone stays out of his way if he shows those skills off.

Reflections 2018 w26

The problem with an allotment, especially where the soil is of the clay variety, is holidays.

And this holiday turned out to be perfectly timed with a heat wave.

One had the next plot over to water for me whilst we were away,  but my dads method of gardening is 1970’s style, a style I for one will not be doing when I get my own plot. The method is to dig in compost to “improve the soil”, this particular plot has had this done for 25 years+ by dad, and it is no better now than it was 15 years ago, and is a battle to stop it from baking hard and cracking. There are other ways, and it will be several on trial on mine to work out which works in the area one lives.

This baking of soil was what the neighbour had to deal with while I was away.

Because of the heat and dryness I was expecting a lot of items to have bolted, but only a few things have. The sweetcorn has decided, at 2ft tall to call it a day on ground clearance and grow tassels. The baby corn looks stronger thought much taller. My purple peas are ready to pick, they are that tasty even I can eat them raw, the plant however looks in poor health.

Strawberry plants are sending out runners, raspberry’s have ripened, gone past it, dried  up and yellowing. The rhubarb has stalled, so none to go down the food-bank in the morning. One did however pick my first yellow baby courgettes for lunch tomorrow.

Everything else seems ok, the greenhouses are in so much shade from the trees next door that they have been protected, luckily. But the weeds have gone berserk, there is more growth on them than anything else.

So this week will be spent trying to tidy up the plot whilst avoiding one individual and the sun/heat.

I will also be looking over a short story written for a Stoke on Trent last year, but was finished too late, adjusting it if need be, there is a 100 more words that could be used this time round, and sending it off.

If it reads the same as last year it’s a competition winner.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018