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 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.
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 hear is the link to that as well.
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.

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