Sunday, 17 February 2013

Chapter Sixty Six

Here we are again with more snippet's of news from sunny Kernow.
We've both had a busy couple of weeks.
Linda has been enjoying her new role at the Alzheimers Society and has been gearing up towards taking over her own part of Cornwall. This will involve talking to GP's in their practices, as well as helping to organise, promote, and encourage in various memory cafes. At the same time she will be making home visits to various people on a one to one basis.
She has become very bouyant since her job role finally became what it should be and her confidence is beginning to show through. The other day she was one of two guest speakers at a Young Farmers group up near Newquay. Not only did she enjoy the evening, but also found the young people very sympathetic and interested in what she had to say. It was a great boost for her.
I may also have mentioned that I got home the other week to find Linda up to her ears in soil, turves, and rocks as she dug out a new garden border for herself. This is to become a woodland border and she has already organised and planted it. It is with great delight that I can tell you it looks amazing already and makes a lovely feature out the back.
Even I got involved, and with my arm twisted up my back, I agreed to take all the waste to the dump. My poor old car is beginning to look as dirty inside as it does outside. It all looks good now though.
The old writing is taking a bit of a turn for the good and I am enjoying the weekly sessions at the pub near the King Harry Ferry. It has turned into a regular two or three hour session with both Paula and Sarah, and all of us are starting to turn out some work. Each of us has a totally different style and each of us is writing in different ways...but work is being done and that's the main thing.
Saturday 9th we decided to head to Mevagissey for dinner. The lighter evenings are starting to take effect at the moment so we had a nice daylight walk around the harbour first. Quite a few fishing boats in the harbours and a poignant reminder of the several men lost and boats sunk over the last year. Amazing people one and all, and I take my hat off to them.
Dinner was good and we sat in our little pub looking out across the water. Really nice.
Very sad news the following day on the Sunday when mum rang me with the news of two deaths in our family in Ireland. Majella's husband Paul lost his father, Ned on the Saturday. And then on the Sunday, Majella's mum, Isey died as well. A very sad time for us all.
Had a terrible visit myself on Tuesday 12th from the old black dog itself. An awful day thanks to a nasty shock.
Those of you who know me well will remember the awful time we had at work several years ago when a nasty manager turned up, with his sidekick. His bullying and his abuse was aimed at the entire office and most of us suffered. We lost good people who just walked away from the job, and standards slipped down to a terrible low.
For me, working in the cage, it was an awful thing to watch and was made even worse by the realisation that I did not fit into his so called 'Brave New World'. I had a high standard, set for me by better men in the past, and I thrived on it. It was the way I worked and I was good at it and proud of it.
Over the first couple of years he was there he chose to undermine everything I had worked so hard for; and everything I believed in. He destroyed my confidence in myself, my pride in myself, and my belief in myself. That was when I had my breakdown.
I left the cage and chose to go back out as a postman on delivery. It took me several years and permanent medication to become the person I used to be. That was good, and even Royal Mail letting me down when I moved down to Cornwall, didn't affect me. Don't think it didn't hurt, because it did, but I was able to cope with it.
And then it happened.
On Tuesday last week I was told they were thinking of putting me back in the cage down here to work at my old job. My reaction was as unexpected to them as it was to me.
I flipped completely.
A panic attack like I would never have thought possible; barely able to speak; barely able to breathe; barely able to function; I thought I was going to pass out. It was as if that man and his side kick had climbed right back into my head again. The only rational part of me still left inside my head must have looked on askance.
I am not a person who has ever really talked about any issues in my life. I have tended to just lock them away in a box deep in my mind...and then ignored them. As much as I can, I leave them locked down tight.
This little box, labelled 'the Thomson Twins' exploded inside me and it was as if I was right back there again. Thankfully this time, I have a decent line manager who knows his stuff. When I finally managed to talk coherently enough to make any sense, he listened, understood, and dealt with it straight away.
I wont be going back into the cage.
Two days of headaches; stress pains in my arms and chest; grinding my teeth while I was asleep; disturbing Linda while I slept; and feeling like I had been beaten up...I improved. I'm feeling much better now and the 'Thompson Twins' are back locked away in their box.
I had no idea that I could still be so fragile though and it shook me.
Friday was a much better day, because I had the day off. I spent the morning down at the lookout with Bob. He is my mentor for Coastwatch and we had a training session. All went very well and I enjoyed myself. I am delighted to say that I finally gained understanding of how to take bearings and that was a big step for me. Bob also allowed me to run the watch for two hours as if it was just me doing it. I followed opening and closing proceedures fairly well and even managed to take a weather report without to much problem. I did however write in the log that the wind was 3/4 DEcreasing to 5/6. Spot the stupid mistake...it should have been INcreasing. Other than that, it went well.
Hopefully before this season is out, I shall become a full coast watcher in my own right.
Valentines day came and went this year and Linda gave me the most wonderful present I could have imagined. She made up a little booklet of 'Love Coupons' all for me. It is like ten little things that will be done for me that I want to do. A day sitting on the beach; a visit to the cinema; a picnic prepared by Linda; and so on.
It is just the most wonderful present you could imagine.
One of the tokens proclaimed a surprise meal when I got home on Friday evening.
I duly got home and Linda led me into the main room. There was an open hamper on the floor with chilled champagne and glasses; a delicious picnic with all sorts of little goodies; and to finish off... strawberries dipped in home made chocolate.
It was brilliant.
It made my Valentines effort look a little sad I must say...but I have enjoyed being spoilt.
This weekend has had a couple of nice highlights in it as well. We joined scruffs team on Wednesday last for the quiz night and we helped them win. Enboldened by that Linda agreed with the memory cafe at Probus that we would go along to their quiz night on Saturday. We had a fantastic time and both enjoyed ourselves very much. Ten teams...and we came third. The winners had 41 points; second had 40; and we had 39. A close game and great fun. I entered the auction for a voucher from Mary's Pasty's, and we have now got a giant pasty to collect at some time. Lovely.
Finally today, Sunday. We drove down onto the Lizard to a church at St Mawgan-in-Menage, for their daffodil festival. http://www.daffodilfestivals.com/insidetemp.php?festid=3168
http://daffodilfestivals.com/firstdaffodils/
Click either of these links to see what its all about.
The church was decorated in the most wonderful way...and all with different types of daffodils. It was amazing.


It really was the most beautiful thing you could imagine.
As we were down that way we then drove across to Glendurgan Gardens. Needless to say, I was so impressed with the place that I forgot to take any photos...so hear is the link to that as well.
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/glendurgan-garden/
It has the most amazing maze in the gardens. Both of us dashed around it, trying to find the hut in the middle...not easy but great fun.
The weather has been brilliant for the last few days and today was no exception. A wonderful first taste of Spring.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Chapter Sixty Five

We are beginning to settle down into something of a routine on Sunday mornings at the happy home. Linda has fed our guinea pigs and has now headed off to 'Marias animal sanctuary' to feed all those animals. Sooner her than me I must say. She say's, feeding the pigs and goats up there is nicer than feeding me. Something to do with them having better manners and eating quieter.
How the hours rush by when the old humour starts. And all this barbed humour since I told her I'd found something her bum didn't look big in...'the distance'.
I know its not hysterically funny but we have to make our own entertainment down here.
Thankfully life is going very well for Linda at the moment. She is enjoying her work a lot more now and enjoys going in each day. Now she's doing the job she was employed for she is beginning to settle down and shine.
She also had a two hour appointment with the dentist during the week. Although expensive I have managed to get the money together to help her fund the treatment. And now at last...the end is in sight. A few more weeks and the final treatment should take place and the brace can be thrown away.Its been a lon five year job but is now almost over.
Linda looked on the website of her orthodontist up in Petersfield. The one who did 90% of the work. The lady has a web site depicting some of the worst mouths she has fixed. You know the sort of pictures...before and after ones.
The pictures show nine of the worst shaped teeth I have ever seen in a mouth and nine pictures of some of the most nicest smiling mouths I have ever seen. Each tooth straightened; in place; and complimenting the other teeth. These are the worst cases this dentist has ever seen and are there to illustrate her skills at fixing things.
One of those pair of pictures is a before and after of Linda.
The difference is astounding. Its no wonder she wanted them fixed. I once described her mouth as looking like a long abandoned cemetary after an explosion. It was an accurate description although said with humour.
If you kept the graveyard analogy going...then today her mouth looks like a much cherished  military graveyard.
I'm sure you can picture the two places in your mind.
But when I think of the pain and the upset she has had to go through to get to this moment...my heart goes out to her. No woman in her forties really wants to be wearing a brace; nobody wants to go through the inevitable agonising soreness and attendant indignity which has taken place in the dentists; and nobody wants to go through the inevitable, industrial and necessary cleaning that has to go on twice a day.
I admire her so much for that.
As you can see...she is definitely getting there.
Wednesday was a busy day for me this week as it was my day off. I had a few jobs that needed doing in Truro so I went there after the surgery visit. I have to have my blood pressure taken once a year. Thank God for the medication...all was perfectly normal.
My visit to Truro was productive. First off was a haircut. Without Tess to cut and style my hair it has been a trial and error business since moving down here. I finally found a really good barbers in a side street and get it cut there. I was told to try a grade four with a scissor cut for whats left on the top. I don't know how they knew, and I still don't know what it all means, but I am always pleased with the result.
After getting a little bit of shopping I then trawled through the charity shops looking for some Clive Cussler books to buy. I've read most of his work but never his newer 'Isaac Bell' or 'Fargo' books. Several charity shops later the will to live deserted me and I decided to give up on the fruitless shopping and go home.
Before I went however I just popped into the library to see what might be around. I should have gone there first. Under section C, right on the end of the row, the first four volumes of the 'ISAAC BELL' series. I should have gone there first. All four books are now at home and the first one is half read.
'Note to self' :---
                           I have haunted the library system of this world since I was seven years old. Remember to ask at the pearly gates if I can come back to earth for a couple of hundred years and haunt the libraries as a ghost. Not to scare anyone you understand...its because then I shall have loads of time to read loads of books. Worth a thought anyway.
That evening Linda and I had our weekly evening out at the quiz night at the pub. Linda bleats on about how thick she is and can't contribute to anything...yet she got four questions right that none of us had a clue about. It was a good evening and we finished second.
Thursday was a great day for me because I made Chris Evans laugh on the radio. They were looking for answers to questions about "How would you know if a friend of yours was a spy?"
All sorts of things had been asked and said and it was very funny in places. I decided to join in later as I drovw down into St Mawes with the mail. I can use my PDA sitting in the front of the van to tell me when I am in a phone signal area. It was reading 'OK', so I pulled up and sent this text. It read :-- I have a friend who is a shepherd. Could he be a shepherd spy?" Not hysterical but I heard it once many years ago on the Goon Show and nearly died laughing.
Within a few moments Chris Evans spoke on the radio and said Ive just been handed this text from postman Liam. He then read it out and burst out laughing along with the rest of his team. I was that chuffed. The best thing to happen to me for a long time. I even managed to save the details and put it on facebook.
Friday to was a very good day as well, especially in the afternoon. I once more headed for the King Harry Ferry and arrived at the Punchbowl and Ladle for a heavy writing session. Both Paula and Sarah were there and we put in two very constructive hours writing. This is becoming a very important time for me as regards writing as I need the motivation. I used to get that from my writing classes back in Farnham but no longer get it down here. There is inspiration by the bucket load down here but it is the motivation I lack. I was the same at school unless I had the right teacher. Anyway the motivation is now there and the writing is starting to come.
That was this week pretty much done and dusted. Sadly I had to help out at work and so did a delivery in the city centre instead of at St Mawes on Saturday. It is called Lemon Street and it's actually a really decent round and I like it very much. I can certainly finish it quicker than I can, the one at St Mawes.
Its just that I was made for that St Mawes duty. If anyone is reading this from the highest echelons of Royal Mail then please take note. I want 91 duty at St Mawes until I retire. It has my name stamped all over it.