I have heard from a couple of people recently who have said that their mental health has been getting worse during this lockdown period.
I wanted to direct you to this page which has a version of the PHQ 9 test for you to use.
Remember its OK to not be OK and if you find you’re answers to the test are high please speak to someone, your doctor is a great starting point but obviously in these strange times that may not be easily done,a loved one or if you need a chat find me via my Facebook page and drop me a line.
Is there a more soothing, comforting sound than that of a cat purring on your lap? It is just a wonderful noise and helps me unwind immensely.
We have 6 cats at home, but only one of them is what I would my cat. My little mate Blackie. He is an annoying face snuggler when you’re trying to sleep, has no respect for personal space and wakes me up by sneezing in my face more often than I would like but he is a very welcome addition to my world.
Every time I step outside in the front garden for a cigarette he comes with me and sits by my feet, follows me up and down the path and is like a little cute purring shadow. He is also pretty vocal so we can have a nice chat at times. Erm…so yeah, maybe the lockdown has turned me into a crazy cat man. Note to self stop referring to yourself as his daddy…
He also seems to know when I’m feeling a little bit down and ramps up the affection. Sitting and stroking him is a great tool against depression, just so relaxing.
Is lockdown over? Are we free again to go about as the glorious pre lockdown days? Guessing I missed that one on the news because its seems that since Bojo announced we were past the peak people have taken that to mean do whatever the fuck we want.
I’m seeing more and more people out, groups of people that I know are not from the same households walking along the street together, not even the 2 meters apart that is recommended.
I stood out in the front garden and had a smoke, in the 10 minutes I was outside I counted 58 people walking past. Ok I live opposite a park but that is more than normal. When i went to Tesco to get shopping the other day I sat in traffic!
What is going on with people? I get it, we are getting fed up with staying at home but there is a reason for this!
One thing that has been shown by people is how selfish they are. Its not about if you have this killer its about who could get it from you! Stay the fuck at home.
The opening of a fast food drive through is not an essential journey! Police are having to issue fines because people are driving for hours just to get a burger.
Seems common sense has gone in these selfish people. Yet these same people will happily clap for the NHS and key workers but are happily putting them in danger because they wont listen to the rules…..
But hey, long as you can walk down the road pissed/high with your mates it’s all worth it….
Two weeks ago I found saw an ad on Facebook for a free level 2 distance learning course, I’ve never really been a great learner, I have no self discipline when it comes to things like this. Too easily distracted by that singing chocolate bar trying to get my attention, or the dancing bag of crisps calling me….but I took the plunge and signed up for a course on counselling skills, as its something I could actually see myself doing as a career.
Today I have actually started the course! For the first time since 1995 I am studying and to say I’m nervous and apprehensive is an understatement. My first assignment is due in 10 days! Doesnt leave me much time to get to grips with a new subject and after 3 hours of reading through parts of the workbook my brain is ready to explode with the information overload.
What tips would you give?
Should I set aside x amount of hours to the course each day?
Is it an idea to make notes as I’m reading, the book is only available online so I dont have a physical copy I can take and read without taking my laptop with me around the house.
The walls are closing in, days morphing into each other and its becoming increasingly frustrating living in lockdown. Especially when I constantly see people ignoring the rules but obviously they wont catch anything or pass it on to others…
The thing is, its perfectly ok to do absolutely nothing if that’s what you need to do to get through the day. Is there an expectation that you put on yourself to be super productive with this extra time on your hands?
I’ll be honest most days I dont even bother getting dressed, as the neighbours who are forever seeing me in the front garden having a cigarette in my superman dressing gown with tell you ( I told you I was a catch). I haven’t been out for a walk in 5 days as I’m having a fibromyalgia flare up of pain so intense that it’s like being stabbed with 1000 knives each time I move.
If you start beating yourself up for not being productive it can be the start of a slippery slope. Yes there are things that could be done but if you feel that the right thing to do that day is nothing, then do nothing.
At least that’s what I am telling myself having slept the weekend away….
Well its fair to say the writers block has been lifted after 9 months! The longest writing streak since 2014 and its been great to see people reading my words again.
There has been 12 posts since 23rd April and I’ve noticed that most get read on the day but once new content arrives its quickly consigned to history. So with that in mind I thought I would put links to all the recent posts here.
There is a little bit of everything from poetry in my own unique awful style, to trying to be positive with reasons to be cheerful. I have even been lucky enough to have people take the time to write posts for me to share about how coronavirus is impacting them.
Below are the links for each new post. Check them out, pearls of wisdom in each one..well hopefully that is the case but if you dont read them you will never know….
While planning the lads (old gits) holiday I happened to have a look on trip advisor for things to do in Tenerife, and Loro Parque was quickly the place to go.
Voted best zoo in Europe no less…
It was around a 20 minute walk from our hotel so we headed off to the zoo to explore it. The entry price was pretty reasonable 38 euros, at the time I thought it was high but there is so much to see and do we ended up going back again…they also do a reduced entry ticket you can buy to come back another day. Neither Karl or I can remember how cheap it was but know this, if he pays then it’s a bargain. I live in London and the price for the zoo here in terms of what you see, value for money etc is on a different level.
Let’s not use this post as a platform for debating the captivity of the animals though, whether you agree or not it was incredible being so close to amazing beasts.
The Orca shows were amazing, worth the entrance fee alone in my opinion
The dolphin shows were disappointing in comparison. Maybe see the dolphins first…. We saw one animal do an exact replica of one of my beach poses…Yes that’s a gorilla, not,I repeat, not me on the beach
The penguin area was amazing, you stand on a moving pathway, around the enclosure and see loads of the buggers. Here are some other photos of the 2 days spent at Loro Parque.. if anyone from the Parque sees this post yes we would love free tickets, airfare and accommodation to come back..
No zoom used, they were really that close
Again, not me on the beach
How cool is this jellyfish?
If you go to Tenerife. Make sure you visit this place it will be well worth it. Want to Loro Parque and whilst I didnt get the t-shirt….
In all the time spent not blogging I completely forgot I never wrote about going on a second holiday last year. This time it was going to be a holiday with a twist as my best friend Karl came alone for the adventure. It was also booked to coincide with my birthday as I had always wanted to be away for it. What better than a bit of winter sun in November/December to celebrate getting even older..
So off to Tenerife we headed, Puerto De La Cruz to be precise. I didn’t fancy, the livelier Las Americas, I wanted somewhere chilled as a relaxing break from the stressed of life were just what we both needed.
Black sand on the beach was a bit of a culture shock, as was temperatures of 25c considering it was single digits back home but a great time was had with a great friend.
Here are some photos for you
Moose on tour, just off the plane and on Tenerife soil
View from the beach
Hotel room view at night
Overcast day but still a wonderful sight
#1 bar in Tenerife! Birthday night in here
Moose just chilling and loving life! Love this photo
I secretly hoped this would happen without me having to ask, you see Karl has graced us with in his own words “a rambling incoherent blog post” and knowing him as well as I do…that’s exactly what he has written.
Dont forget if you want to contribute please do get in touch. I’m hoping that there will be more of these guest blogs coming soon!!
Over to you Karl….Quarantine day 2056..So how are you coping in this coronavirus ‘lockdown’?… i have officially watched everything on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Pornhub… tomorrow there will be huge decisions to be made about whether i start my own religion or not!
Its not unusual to be faced with a mild case of insanity in these modern times, we already live in a world where a 72 year old toddler is the most powerful man in the world, and social media has all our anxiety turned up to 11.. but in this lockdown things you and I took for granted are taken away from us, all be it temporarily, and the little things you didn’t even think about are suddenly glaringly missing from our lives. I miss McNuggets!
Though when it does come down to sanity it is often best to try and keep it in check. I have noticed that the more time people are spending at home the more they are slipping into their own personal conspiracy theory led alternate universe where mobile phone signals are spreading virus’.. they are not!
Do not chug the disinfectant! It will kill you!
There is no reason to believe that everyone (government or otherwise) is lying to you.. that’s just social media hyperbole. #chill
Even thought this lockdown is testing the very outer limits of being a couch potato, you have to understand that all the measures and restrictions that are put in place are for the greater good (the greater goooood). Stay At Home, Save the NHS, Save Lives.
And I have kids and parents that need protecting so here I am, doing my bit.. sitting in a box awaiting this to blow over!
I must confess though I myself have dabbled with a weird mental state since lockdown. My sleep patterns have all but flipped to the point I am more of a nocturnal beast now, there is something quite cathartic about taking your exercise in the dead of night with nobody about but it has made keeping track of the days slightly more problematic…i was sitting awaiting a Music Mix that always appears online at 9am on a Friday, getting increasingly annoyed that this little slice of entertainment hasn’t come to light up my life and.. everything is ruined I might as well blow myself up and never see anyone or do anything again and….. Oh its Thursday!!! never mind….
The other day I seemed to have minor breakdown… I find it is causing me to swear at inanimate objects! I referred to the toaster as cting fking pr*ck! I feel ashamed about the way I treated the toaster.. I shall have to find ways to make it up to it! I might buy some nicer bread this week, maybe Hovis extra thick!
Almost 6 weeks into this lockdown and I admit, even though I am a massive fan of my own company, I am also annoying the bee’geezus out of myself! I keep putting things down and forgetting where I left them and then I have this full on internal argument (that strangely sounds a lot like my former marriage) to the point that I sit down in a huff with myself and I wont talk to myself for 3 hours!
And as it goes I do sometimes feel the need to have a little bit of human interaction.. this is where I have all of sudden made the bold claim that biscuits are in fact ‘essentials’ I have often referred to a nice packet of mcvities shortcakes as antidepressants, for some reason they lift my spirits! But I digress, but in going on the quest for crumbly sugary greatness I get to go to Tesco and see people, adhering to social distancing at all times.. if anyone gets too close I just scream like a banshee.. but its good to see people doing something a little bit normal. . And the brief conversations with the checkout girl sort me out for a couple of days..
Due to personal circumstance I find myself on my own a lot, over the last decade and a half I was often quite isolated, this was down to an abusive relationship that essentially cut ties with all my friends except the die hard few, and the fact that even after the relationship was over there was fallout.. so in the last few years I made an effort to get out there, I found my place in society and a spot at the bar in the local pub and made good friends and greater friends rekindled the friendship with the Moose, and things have been dire but manageable with the people around me.. And that is one of the startling realisations I have had since lockdown.. even though I hate people, I am a people person!! work that one out Sigmund Freud?!
Anyways… I don’t know what your plans are for the rest of the week are but the community of small rodents i have been cultivating as a replacement dominant species to the human race (just in case this coronavirus thing went apocalyptic) have rebelled on me and renounced me being their God.. i am a benevolent God and i could have smite them swiftly… but using a small pipe and a bit of compressed air i have launched them into Mrs Hughes, at No 57, back garden.. They chose this fate and now it’s up to them to survive her herd of 25 cats.