Weekly diary, February 24th, 2015
This week has been a funny old mixture of things.
A lot of stuff happening inside my mind; not so much happening to me in the outside world.
I live in Honiton, a market town in Devon, south west England.
I’ve just returned from a stroll to Mind (a drop-in centre run by MIND; officially the place has its own name, but seems to be referred to by its patrons by the name of the parent charity). The weather is cold but, unlike yesterday, sunny and bright.
There seems to be a stereotype of the British as being obssesed by the weather. There may be some truth in this stereotype, but a concern with the weather makes sense if you have a climate like Britain’s; i.e. a changeable, maritime one. Especially in the olden days when most people worked in outdoor jobs, and their living depended on agriculture, which is dependant on the weather. Also the fact that Britain is an island, and so a certain percentage of the population was dependent on fishing and shipping; activities where weather could literally be a matter of life and death.
Anyway, I’m sitting here looking out of my window at a sunny scene. I’m looking at the yard of an agricultural engineer/ machinery merchant. There is a large number of bright yellow McConnel hedgetrimmers there at the moment, waiting to be sold. The yellow colour reflects the sunshine, and I’m staring at it in the hope of some kind of literary inspiration. Sunshine, yellow, shadows; a tall, stalky plant nodding in the breeze.
[Goes downstairs, eats an orange].
I’ve just eaten an orange. I’m now feeling less hungry, and more creative.
Honiton is an old town; the high street was once part of the main highway from London to Exeter. There was a damaging fire in the eighteenth century; most of the town’s old, important buildings date from the rebuild. Maybe Honiton looks like an old town in the eastern United Staes – as I’ve never been to the states, it’s hard to say for sure.
Down one side of the high street is a kind of iron water-channel, maybe eight inches across, that dates from at least the early eighteenth century, when (I think) it was commented on by Daniel Defoe, the writer/journalist. I noticed today that part of this channel was broken – it looked like a heavy vehicle may have driven over it. I wondered when it would be mended. Not for a while, I guessed – it might involve some specialist engineering.
On the way back from Mind, the High Street headed down and to the west. An echo of an ancient routeway maybe, travelling towards the setting sun.
Anyway, as I said earlier, this week has been a week of anxiety for me, a week of worrying.
If you get involved in the mental health system as a patient, and are labelled as suffering from ‘Anxiety’ (or even if you’re not), chances are, sooner or later, someone will try to get you to engage in ‘Mindfulness’. It’s hard for me to explain exactly what this is, as I’m not sure myself, but it’s something relating to the mind.
I’ve had reflexology (foot rubbing) from three different practitioners, and the most recent one (based at Mind on Tuesdays) tried to get me to practice mindfulness while she was working. I did, but it wasn’t doing it for me, and so the last time I went, I let her talk about mindfulness, while I just lay there and relaxed.
I’ve just been down to the kitchen for another snack. While there, I was reminded of something I read recently, that claimed that a small amount of coffee can actually be good for you. So maybe tomorrow I’ll start a new habit.
Blue sky, white and grey clouds, a townscape with a church tower on the horizon. Tomorrow I’ll drink coffee and everything will be OK.
I hope that things are going well for you, and I’m sorry if they’re not.
As always, constructive criticism, feedback or advice relating to the blog are welcomed.