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Reflections…Week Thirty One

It’s been a whirlwind week! Dad is in hospital, again, my Son has his leg in a cast to try and stretch his… I want to say muscles but that does not sound right, my Niece has had hospital trips which meant the ‘Monster” has been visiting more and to top it off my Sister had vertigo from a wasp sting.

Out of all of them this was the one that was the most of an unusual day. A phone call for help, the doctors appointment was at the same time as the ‘monster’ finishing nursery, in 45 minutes, and I had to get there. The trip usually takes 45 minutes, so no pressure.

I got there and my niece luckily had a carer there, so she was sorted, my sister was there – kind of and I did a car swap. I swiped my small car, a panda, for a wheelchair adapted van, the big ones. Have I mentioned this was my first time driving it?

Luckily I have driven a van before, albeit a long time before, but boy did it feel big after just getting out of mine. First we head on over the the nursery to get the ‘monster’, engine started, handbrake of…where is the handbrake? If my sister hadn’t been in the van I would have ended up still sitting there now, its on the righthand side of the seat – that far down I nearly got my arm stuck.

That sorted off we go…over the first speed bump…Wobble to the left, thud, wobble to the right, wobble to the left, thud wobble to the right, thought my sister was going to upchuck on the first “hurdle”. Get to the end of the lane and I cannot feel the bite of the breaks, nothing, nothing…emergency stop! Lets all lurch forward. Still my sister kept down what was desperately trying to come up, just! The rest of the journey was approached, as it was on quiet lanes, with trepidation.

‘Monster’ picked up, slightly confused with me being in the drivers seat, and it is off to the doctors 10 minutes late. This is where I am told I will have to put my foot down when on the main road to get there as it is already after the appointment. Luckily the appointment was made by the ambulance crew who originally saw her so the doctor knew of the situation with me having to get there.

I have just noticed I have used the term luckily more than once, my sister would have at this point not classed this as being a lucky day.

We get there, slowly, but not my fault, by which time ‘monster’ is asleep, so I am allowed to eat my lunch uninterrupted by a tiny hand trying to use the force to snatch it from me. We got there late, therefore we left late, now I have 40 minutes to get my sister back home, swap cars and get back home for my sons 3 hour visit, my Mum is there to great him should I be late. Back to my Sisters and I now have 30 minutes, but my sister looks like crap, so I am transporting all of them back to Mums.

My Sister was part way through doing a blend for my Niece, liquidised food to go through her peg, basically a tube to her stomach from her belly, that needs to be done before we can leave. My Nieces carer leaves and I get the van ramp down ready, ‘monster’ is still asleep, bonus! Time to see if I can remember how my Niece is strapped down in her chair and how the chair is strapped down in the van. My niece at this point decided that she would make my life more awkward and play up, not the create holly hell play up, more the wouldn’t it be funny if I made this more a game of non cooperation.

“Are you managing in there?” came the call from the kitchen, “There is a lot of giggling”, “Done it!” with more enthusiasm than was warranted by the situation, was my reply. Off to the Van, Wheelchair in and fastened down, Sister in and Wheelchair fasted down correctly, I was so close. 20 Minutes to get there, no hope, and to top it off he arrives early.

Apparently my driving is both horrendously rollercoaster and hilariously funny, depending on whether you listened to my Sisters groans or my Nieces giggling, at one point we thought she would make herself sick. Actually that could be said for both.

As for ‘monster’, he slept through it all.

We arrived 25 minutes late and with my Sisters stomach contents surprisingly still in her stomach. My son was eagerly awaiting our arrival to show off his cast and give me a clunky cuddle. And we all trundled in.

My niece found the return drive equally funny, once we dropped her Nan off at the hospital and not her. My Sister by this time had started to feel better and the return journey was more pleasant.

Well not so much pleasant, more…less uncomfortable.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Reflections…Week Twenty Eight

canstockphoto8630797The lady that runs the poetry/creative writing group has been on her holiday this week and with that free time one has been semi-procrastinating.

There has been the blue prints of a couple poems written and a short story for a competition has been thought of and thought on, to the point it is ready for the first draft to be scrawled out. Also the bare bones of another short story, for another competition, has been dumped onto my notebook pages.

But nothing’s been finished because nothing’s been started…Properly

The poems will be done by Wednesday, this I know, but I am going to have to push my wishy washy mind to have also done the first draft of one story as well, but that is the aim.

Somehow none competition stuff is easier to do because of publishing on the blog. A kind of prompt to get it done as it were.

There was a bit of a panic earlier in the week when I misplaced, and thought lost, my note book. I must now view oneself as a writer, for it was the contents of the notebook, those fleeting moments of inspiration and ideas that have been captured down, that held the greatest sense of loss. One has plenty of pads, and pens, and although there is a price attached, one has come to disregard the cost and therefore free my mind to the idea of  – ‘not wasted paper’; one will write anything down, even questions…Especially questions!

Onece the pad had been located and secured to be handed over the next day, a wave of relief came over me, but it was the next day when it was handed to me that I knew the relationship with that inanimate object had changed. Somehow it has become an extension of my psyche, and felt like a part of me had returned home.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Reflections…Week Twenty Seven.

canstockphoto8630797My name has been passed along for consideration for an exhibition of writing, not a big exhibition as in National, but exponentially bigger in regards that one has even been considered.

My writing, has in the past, been subject to ridicule in one form or another. The only times I got detention was for my spelling or punctuation. English Literature was rejected as a subject, by the teacher, due to my inability to make legible a dip fountain pen. And ones attempt to further my writing skills at a creative writing class had me pulled to one side and told my English was not up to standard, I never went back, It was supposed to be a fun class.

So here one is, my writing’s being praised, especially my poems, and with it comes a kind of empowerment. One may not believe that my writing is good enough to win competitions, but it is good enough to be a contender, a far cry from where I was at the start of the blogging process.

The start of the journey was to ‘get out’ thoughts and feelings, to rid myself of demons in a way. It has adapted to thinking deeply about emotional connections to circumstances locked away in ones past, and to see how those patterns are now effecting the present. Some dots are connected quickly and some need more ‘digging’,  but it is supposed to be the journey that matters.

One thing is for certain, I believe that Miss Ross, and I am sure it had a H in it (Rhoss), was the best english teacher I had.

To prove a point, though a point is not needed, I have been looking at my old term book. Here are the differences in my educational history – teacher reports for english…

  • Feb 83, Andrew has made a satisfactory start to this years work.
  • July 83, Andrew has worked hard and has made some progress.
  • Then came along the teacher one does not have fond memories of.
  • Jan 84, Good- Andrew has worked hard and made pleasing progress. He must however improve his spelling and handwriting.
  • July 84, Spelling and handwriting show little improvement and are now sadly having a serious effect on his results. Oral work is very good indeed. (Why does this end statement seem like it was total surprise?)
  • Along comes the split to  Lit.(the above teacher) and Lang. (Miss Ross . Miss Ross also does the reports from now on.
  • Feb 85, Andrew genuinely tries hard – but his spelling is weak. He should read as widely as possible – This would help!
  • July 85, Andrew has achieved a very pleasing grade within his group in Language. He will not however be continuing the G.S.E. Literature course.
  • Jan 86, Andrew has always worked extremely hard and has produced some good work within this group, throughout this course.

I highlighted the two reports, nope, there is nothing outstanding about any of them, to show the two completely different approaches to teaching. The fist is to hammer away – “you will do it this way!!!” and the second is to find the way that best suited the student. My way was to read, a lot.

I have always found solace in a library; could this be due to the fact Miss Ross’s class – was held in the school library?

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

reflections…Week Twenty Five

canstockphoto8630797Today I have come back from a weeks holiday with family, and it has just                       re-affirmed the idea I could live in a small space.

The living/dining/kitchen area was approximately 18′ x 12′ and this was roomy for four, large for two and when I was on my own, it was huge. The ceiling was about 7.5′ at the apex and it did not at any point seem low. The bedroom was the usual size but this is not really relevant, this will become clear in a little while.

The second toilet was a bit close in, about elbow room each side and no chance to pick up anything by your feet, flushing, washing hands and drying on a towel was a twizzle around, the flush behind, sink, little too big for the space, to the left and towel to the right. The other shower/ toilet was a little wider but the sink cabinet got in the way of my left leg, the shower was wide, but the head was over to the left, you could stand on the right to be out of the water spray, there was this weird little shelf in the middle that frankly just got in the way of my right hip.

On the outside was a space for a shed at the back, a 10′ x 6′ shed, and by the side was a patio area,10′ x 10′ with grass, 40′ x 10′, in front of that and to finish the outside tour, the car had a space at the front to park so lets say 6′ x 22′.

This works out at around the same square footage as the last house I lived at, including the outside. The caravan was also a three bedroom sized one, this is why the bedroom sizes are not relevant nor the toilet size, they could be altered within the space, But, and this is a big but, all this space would not be equal to the downstairs volume as the ceiling in the house was 11′ tall and then it had the upstairs and then the loft space. So cheaper to heat.

The following is from several conversations…

But that’s not big enough for a family! I have had this statement when talking about tiny houses, and this would not be a tiny house, just a small one.

It’s not for a family, it’s for one maybe two people.

But what if they want a family?

They would not be looking at this house.

But if they want something small they can get a flat!

They want all the outdoor space, the storage, the patio, the veg plot area and a place to park their car. You can’t get that with the flat. Oh, and they want to own the land and their home, cheaply, with the opportunity to be semi sufficient with resources.

You have to compromise, if you want all that you need to buy the family house.

So what you are saying is a single person or a couple that could easily live in a home this size and have the outside benefits, needs to have the expenditure of the larger size building that they don’t need, are to have the running cost, or rather waste, of heating/lighting space they don’t need or use very little and have less space outside, that may be in the shade due to the house height? Which would impact the heating/lighting cost.

Also if the home was smaller, they could work less and live more. And with these changes, even with a car, their environmental impact would be much, much, smaller. Growing 10% of their food would also reduce their environmental impact too.

Oh, I suppose..but it’s still not a family home.

Let me ask you this question…

Did you leave your mums as a married 2.5 child family? 

If the answer is no, then there is a need for an affordable small house. There is a want for them and the future will require them. There are lots of empty plots of industrial/residential land around me, some have been this way for years, why are the small houses or static caravans for homes coming up against such resistance? Taxes could be paid the same as for the family houses and they could be connected to the grid just the same. We accept the idea of caravan parks for holidays, even owning one for such, but to live in??? Unacceptable!

At some point the penny will click. Usually it appears just after retirement, when the time has gone past.

But here is the kicker for me, I’m an antisocial person who seems to be drawn to a lifestyles that have a community base at its very core. Maybe it’s because they seem like me. Or have I become more like them?

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

 

Reflections Week…Twenty Four

canstockphoto8630797

Yes this is late, sea fishing has taken over the weekends time. Nothing has been caught that has been plate value, apart from the shrimps, but fish did get caught, then released.

Not wanting to get my notebook covered in black lugworm juice, stinky, I left it at the caravan, but doing this meant missing those ideas that seem to randomly pass through one thoughts. This is usually when I work out the verse for a poem or a good subject to write about, I know they are good because I’m happy with them, that is always remembered, but bugger me if the original thoughts can be recalled when pen is in hand.

This week is no different, my thoughts are constantly working on this weeks poetry subject. Again it is another stinker set by the ‘tutor’, and once again I could see no way to write it. The method that I use is long winded to say the least. The first part of the process is to just dump words onto a page that I feel are connected to the subject. Next is to work out how I want to ‘theme’ the poem, these are also just splurged onto the page, I admit this initial work looks like a monkey has grabbed a flash card set and thrown it down, but somewhere in this process is the birth of the poem.

Once I have gotten the theme sorted then the process moves to what I want to say in it, reflecting and including many of the words from the first process. This then has to be applied to the theme loosely, as the two parts are still separate, joining them will be in the writing of the poem (draft 1).

Now as a beginner writer this is the biggest hurdle, especially in writing poems, is my lack of knowledge of the subject of forms, rhythm and metre that causes me the most anguish. The ‘tutor’ dislikes me talking in this way, but it is how my mind works. Part of my problem is dismissing work as ‘less than’, no matter what the project. Not wanting to fail, I try and force learn the subject, not healthy I know, for example:- I do not understand the modern form of poetry and as such the ‘whole’ of the poem is lost to my mind, which is busy trying to make it fit into the rhyming form that I know as poetry. Hence the unnecessary cramming.

The poetry class is not a formal class so the technical aspects are not taught, the whole process is supposed to be just to express through words – feelings, nothing is incorrect. This does not compute with me. So I agonise for self punishment. I cannot see this changing now, only the expanding the forms I know.

I suppose this in itself is ‘loosening up’ if my writing itself becomes more loose.

But we are not close to that yet.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Reflections…Week Twenty Three

When you know you have caught a bug.

Not the insect kind, though I do with my son, nor the germ kind, this be the new ‘habit’ kind.

One started the blogging just to write something, Miss Ross’s words have echoed around my mind since High School like a squeaky fan in an air conditioning duct. She said I could, and should write a story as she enjoyed reading mine, she also said I failed to write a beginning and an end, it felt like I had just jumped to the action in the middle and I should put them in. Unfortunately copies have not been kept.

To start, writing was a chore, it was hard work, especially when people started to follow me and like the blogs, this added pressure to write well. Writing well is not something I feel I can do naturally, the structure and form of writing is lost on me, and don’t even ask what a simile, metaphor, adjective or pronoun is. These were never explained to me in a learning style I could follow.

I know oxymoron; somehow one feels like this is saying something about oneself.

Now one looks forward to writing, it’s even become a pleasure. My little note book is carried around and ideas are written down in it, often. But now I know one has caught the writing bug. More specifically the Poetry writing bug.

It is still done within the confines of therapy, but I have just finished my third in as many weeks, tweaking will follow of course. Two of the subjects were set as ‘themes’, and in the little notebook are ideas for more. One knows that the quality will not be of the highest standard, but I don’t care, I want to write another, and that is how one knows one has caught a bug.

As bugs go this has the chance of metamorphosing into something much different than what it is now.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Reflections…Week Twenty two

canstockphoto8630797A week of uncertainty, a week of determination.

For nearly three weeks part of my medication has been unavailable, completely ending my dose just shy of a fortnight ago. No weening off, just a sudden stop, ended, and as it is the only one in its class, no alternative.

Luckily, I have had no side effects, BUT, and it is a big but – after multiple failures to obtain the medication it took a week , due to one thing and another, to find out if I was at risk of harm from the sudden stop and what my options were.

Not the risk of harm as in suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, the usual bag of side effects. No the question was more of physical, I have been on this medication for years and my body chemistry would have adapted, to a degree, at receiving it daily.

The staff at the groups I use have been kept aware of what has been happening and helping where they can, so I have good, knowledgeable, organisations as backup should things start going wrong. Family are also available, so two safety nets as it were. But it is the group staff that have had the most concern, they have seen people ‘go off’ their meds, and the results are not usually pretty.

If I was at the stage that my belief in the medication is the source of my healing, I would have been worried, but since being on the medications my health as a whole has decreased, co-incidental?

When you go onto medication and you show side effects that the doctors doctors don’t see as problematic, weight gain, brain fog, heck, even my illusions were classed as a side effect by one doc, the usual “it’ll go away in time” becomes the standard reply. This is, I believe, because you cannot test for side effects, so how do you prove/disprove they exist in a patient? My sudden development of a twitch and stammer could not be found in a book, not in patients over the age of 16ish, so that too got the “it’ll go away eventually” line.

Add in the factor of ones improvement due to therapies, that also has no test for it, you have two variables of ones health that do not fit into the equation. The drugs get all the praise and none of the blame, does this really help the patient?

There are reports by some doctors in America, including at least one Psychiatrist, that say the drugs are not the answer, and a homeopathic approach is better for the patient long term. Now I don’t know if that is true or not, since there is no profitability by the drug companies, there have been limited studies on it, but I don’t know why it isn’t available alongside as part of the treatment, possible side effects – better health, better diet, shorter amount of time on the medication, therefore less exposure to the common side effects of suicide, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety…

One goes to a weekly group that, for want of a better term, does life learning. Which is to say ones life choices, usually influenced at an early age, are questioned and alternative thought patterns are offered. The idea is simple, identify negative traits, identify why they are there, explore alternatives, implement small changes, find oneself and become oneself. Sometimes we are shaped, including our reactions, from outside sources, to a point we become less us and more what is expected to ‘be’.

Yes I am aware I speak as one and as multiple, this can also be a side effect of the shaping, segments of ones personality can get segregated.

Side note  pomegranate/pear/raspberry juice with spirulina and green superblend powders…yuck…eugh…nasty!

I believe I have been lucky in experiencing no side effects (to present), and I would not recommend stopping medication to anyone, but I would recommend you going to as many free therapies/groups/courses as you possibly can that are available in your area. The amount of courses/groups I have gone to is the reason I don’t fear coming off the medication, even as a trail, how else can it be proven if it was the  drug or whether it was changes made during my stay at the mental hospital responsible for the improvement of my mental state and whether the drug has been ‘working’ these past years?

In the West Midlands there are groups like Brighter futures, Echo, Mind, Healthy Minds and Changes, these are the ones I know about but not all of them, they are free and recognised Mental Health groups.

If a series of events and responses in the past are responsible for present, then is it not a good thing to learn to change the responses in order for the future be different than the present?

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017