The Lines of a tough life

The first time I went to see D at the graveyard, a thin drawn face full of the lines of a tough life came towards me. It was heartbreaking to see him dissolve into tears as he saw me approaching. I remembered back to a young, cheeky chap full of life who seemed to almost live at our house. My parents loved him, especially my dad who exchanged lots of jokes and ‘banter’. Many a tournament on our mini snooker table was had. My brother taught him to play guitar, and few will have picked it up so quickly. Before long he was writing his own songs which I still remember now.

He was always telling us stories that seemed too far fetched to believe.. Some were true, some were not. The one in which he saved a drowning person from the sea proved true when we read about it in the paper. He received a bravery award for that. The one where he was marrying an older woman was also true. We attended a very unusual wedding reception. The marriage lasted two weeks.

My brother and D used to play the occasional gig in a run down pub. I enjoyed watching. I remember his alcoholic father turning up at one of these gigs and yelling out a lot. You see, D was from a difficult background. His mum was abusive and uncaring, dad alcoholic.. And I now know he was being abused by a neighbour. Our house was his escape, and we were delighted to have his company.

At some point D introduced my bro to another guitar playing, song writing friend. My brother hit it off with him (B) and as time went on, a disagreement between D and B meant my brother had to choose between them and B was chosen. He and D drifted apart.. D became a life guard but at about that time was also becoming addicted to heroin.

A combination of his girlfriend and sister introduced him to this delightful life destroying habit. I might add that his sister is now dead as a result.

I can’t speak of what has happened in the interim years.. I wasn’t in his life other than some contact on Facebook. But I know he completed rehab and got clean. I bought him a guitar a few years ago as I could see he was struggling and I wanted to reignite his gift of songwriting. He was delighted, but he doesn’t have that guitar now.

I was in Malta when I saw on fb that he was homeless. I contacted him straight away and arranged to go and see him as soon as I got back to the UK. He told me he had gone on prescription methadone because he was afraid he would relapse.

So, I arrived at the graveyard in which his tent was hidden. His beautiful dog S was the first to greet me.. And then I saw D standing there dissolving into tears at the sight of me. All I could do was hug him. That was all I could do.

I took him to meet my brother for a drink and then home for a shower and to catch up with my parents. I bought him food and then had to take him back to his graveyard. It broke my heart to leave them there. But my parents were not happy to have him staying in our house at such a difficult time.. And they were sure that if he stayed one night he would want to stay more and more. My decision would have been different, but it’s not my house.

There are a few things I find incredible about his situation.
1. He ended up in a graveyard out of town from just walking and hoping to find somewhere to hide his tent. By incredible chance, a friend from his old aikido classes lives directly across the road, a stones throw from his tent. So he has been able to pop in and get support from her.
2. His tent was visible from the path, but he was not asked to move.
3. He happened to meet the lady who lives in the cottage at the edge of the graveyard, and she has let him move his tent into her garden and use her shed with electrics.

I feel like someone is watching over him. He says his faith in humanity has been restored.

I’ve visited him a number of times, and I’ve been trying hard to help him raise funds and fund a room to rent. We went to see a room last night which he loved.. But we have to wait to hear. Fingers crossed please..

In just two months..

It has been an eventful two months..

From someone getting back in touch and me being delighted to hear from them.. To them promising they’d never just cut me off and hurt me again.. To them cutting me off and hurting me again two weeks later.. To me going to Malta with a friend I didn’t know well.. To discovering we weren’t suited as friends.. To an extremely awkward flight home avoiding each other during which I discovered a strength I didn’t know I had.. To meeting lots of new people.. To becoming a year older.. To my mum having regular attacks from her hernia, being in pain and vomiting.. To scaffolding, men and chaos all around as roofers bang and crash from early in the morning.. To helping a friend clear her flat of rancid rubbish.. To starting counselling.. To discovering my brothers best friend from school and his beautiful dog had become homeless.. To the last two weeks trekking to and from a graveyard where he had a tent hidden.. Supporting him as much as I could, mostly letting him know he is not alone, bringing him home for showers and food.. To me now being ill with a chest infection.

The picture is the homeless doggy.. Gorgeous

The grump nor mum and dad’s health spoiled my first concert in years

Tonight I was in a different town for a concert with my parents. We almost didn’t make it in because mum was unwell with her pain re her hernia. Then I missed the first song because I had to queue for the ladies.. And when I got in I asked mum (quietly) how she was feeling. My god, the man in front did the most dramatic and aggressive head turn I’ve ever seen. Needless to say, I didn’t make another sound. Then at the interval I tapped him on the shoulder and apologised for speaking earlier but that mum hasn’t been well and I was asking her how she was feeling.

The second half we were all quiet, and at the end I made the awful mistake of asking him if they enjoyed the show. He then said.. and I quote.. “you need to work on your apologies.. we all have personal tragedies”.. Wow. What an uptight prick (language young lady). I got away quick but find myself considering how frequently he must get himself into arguments and grief.. Or how often he must be dissatisfied with life. Get a grip mate… Some people seem to want constant drama in their lives. I do NOT want that.

Anyway, rant over. Despite that, the first time I’ve seen this artist in several years and it was a great evening. Mum was thankfully OK for the concert, although unable to eat with us beforehand and we thought she wouldn’t be able to go. Dad enjoyed it and now we are in a lovely B&B. I will be amused if that grumpy guy is on the table next to us at breakfast..

We have just been…

We have just been away for a couple of nights. The day we went happened to coincide with the day the long heatwave ended. Lol

Even so, we had a lovely break. The hotel was really nice and I had my own double room with a seaview balcony. Luxury.

I have missed having a double bed since I moved back with my parents. I have missed being independent.

I’ve been out a lot recently. I’ve even started driving to the gym on my own. Yesterday there was a power cut when I arrived. The manager walked through to the bar with me and told the staff to look after me and give me what I wanted on the house. I had a glass of wine and some yummy spiced nuts. The power came back quickly and I was able to do and hour and forty minutes in the gym.

I had a second date with that guy. We did kiss, and he’s lovely.. But something was just missing chemistry wise for me. So I sent him a message to tell him in as nice a way as I could, and we said we will be friends. I doubt we really will though.. Who knows. I feel very sad about it.. But at least I have got out and been on a date.

I really do wonder if there is someone out there for me. Or maybe I will find a way of accepting life on my own and being ok that way. It’s hard to imagine, because all I’ve ever imagined was companionship. I guess whatever will be will be.

Dad has been really enjoying his time off treatment. He had the head scan results which were good and showed the tumor in his head to have shrunk right down. But we have an appointment with his consultant on the 28th and will find out how his blood count is and if/when he has to go back on the dreaded chemo.

It’s all just a case of taking each day at a time and trying to appreciate what we have.

I hope those of you reading this are doing well.

Love and peace

The long British summer and how much it means to us..

This year is honestly the first good summer in the UK I have ever known. It has been hot sunshine for the last five or six weeks, with it set to continue.

I am a sunshine gal, always have been. It just makes me feel better. And it seems apt that it is also the first year in 20 that my parents have been unable to go abroad for their holiday. They always go to Greece.

It also just so happens that, whilst in not so good circumstances (dad’s first treatment plan has been abandoned as failed) they have given him a few months off treatment to enjoy life. He is loving it.. Being able to eat again and not having nausea a few days every week. And not having to go to that dreaded hospital. We are literally living for the moment and trying not to think of the future.

We have had several day trips to the seaside, have swam lots in the sea and are going away this week for two nights and the week after for three nights, during which we are also going to see one of our favourite singers.

I don’t ever want this summer to end. If only I could capture it and keep it.

Sending out love and peace..

Here’s a couple of pictures of the sunset I took one day on the way home from the beach..

Weight, exercise and that thing called depression.

Exercising when you are depressed is unbelievably hard. But it is true that exercise releases endorphins and is therefore beneficial to anyone suffering depression.

As someone who has been largely housebound for the last three and a half years, but a previous super fit gym addict, my fitness was the final remnant of normality I strived to hold onto. But eventually failed.

It has been hard. So hard, and largely I have been fighting a losing battle. As often as I can fight the depression and the negative demons in my head, I drag myself into a lonely and certainly not air conditioned kitchen..put on some upbeat tunes and do the best I can. Often a long mental battle occurs before I get there, and more often the depression wins and I don’t get there at all.

It hurts to think that three and a half years ago I was super fit and for the first time ever I was OK with my figure. As shallow as that might sound, my entire life since about 9 years old has been obsessed with trying to change my figure. And that’s the headspace I find myself back in right now.

The other thing this loathsome depression has made me do is comfort eat. And gain weight. Because, quite frankly I could exercise every day, but if I’m eating more calories than I’m expending the resulting outcome will be this wobbly blob I currently despise.

I am one of countless people who struggle with their weight. I can’t stand when naturally thin people say things that are judgemental of the overweight. The relationship with food is so often much more than what on paper is so damn simple. It is an emotional addiction. It is plastering over something so much deeper.

Weight loss on paper is a mathematical equation. You merely need to create a calorie deficit by means of healthy eating or exercise, but ideally a mixture of both working together. It sounds so simple. A deficit of 3500 calories will lose you one pound of fat. But when your head and emotions are the obstacle.. It becomes less simple.

I do know what I have to do. I know how to do it and that I have done it before. But what i don’t know is how to stop my comfort eating and how to motivate myself when I feel so low. I’m going to give it my best shot.

I have reached a point of self loathing that could be my new motivation.. I got to the gym on Tuesday for the first time since dad’s diagnosis last October. It was hard, but thanks to the times I have managed to drag myself into the kitchen and workout, I still have a basic fitness level from which I can work. The first time is the hardest. That is done. I plan to go again tonight if I can work past this heavy low feeling. I’m really tired so will probably try and get a sleep first.

My current weight is 10 stone 7.5 (147.5lb). I’ve decided to tell you this so that I can take you on my new journey of exercise and diet until I get back to my ideal weight. Because I will do it. I will. PMA

These Skin and Bones – poem

I could write a million poems
Crafted carefully of words so old
Speak softly in the voice God gave
But still my truth would not be told

Some things we simply can’t convey
That dwell within our heart and soul
Pushed in this world, alone we bow
With endless longing to be whole

I heard her say that happiness
Is waking joyful to exist
Oh love – the only key to this
My eyes are shut when I am kissed

We’re people made of candle wax
Though light I shine is wasted here
I long to just be noticed too
I dance around but hide in fear

Let’s sing a pretty song to end
Sad notes and painful undertones
Hope someday through the mist of time
You’ll understand these skin and bones