Onions have layers, like people have secrets

I started this blog on 1st February 2020 nearly two years ago hoping to shed a skin or two of layers of my perception of life and write about my mental health experiences and my view on politics, loves and life. It’s such a good form of self expression having a blog and just as much fun reading and seeing what other people view and share too. I tend to go through phases of wanting to read others, wanting to look over my own and also wanting to write on my own or find new ones to follow.

But one thing I still have not had the ability to do yet on here is come out about my mental health (both past and present) and I am not sure if or when I ever will. The thing about publishing on the World Wide Web is although not many people do read this blog, it has the potential for anyone I know or even don’t know to read it and judge me. That judgment might then result in someone thinking less of me which is not a big deal, but if that judgement resulted in a work colleague or employee then making life difficult for me or even causing me to lose a job over then that would be a huge problem for me.

I work hard to pretend to be normal in a work environment and that hard work enables me the comfort of sleeping with a roof over my head in my own flat in a comfy bed and with relatively few nightmares. To come out about my mental health difficulties on here makes me feel that I risk all of that. So I don’t really discuss it or go into great detail about it really so as not to be at risk of being found out. Maybe my circumstances will change one day or something like that but I feel safe in my own skin leaving it as it is for now.

I take very few photos of myself although I have found one that a friend took in the most awesomely friendliest bar in Exeter called the Arcade that I was in recently.

Me, Will, Kev, and Nate (all legends on their own barstools)

Trip to Dublin in Ireland

Just come back from a wonderful visit to Dublin in Ireland. This visit has been booked and planned for since July. We stayed on the other side of the river from the Temple Bar pictured above.

Memorial to Lead singer of Thin Lizzy – Philip P Lynott

Managed to do some sightseeing, and visited the Guinness Brewery. Listened to lots of live music in a few bars or from buskers on the street, tasted some of the local cuisine and drank some world-famous Guinness as well as some local beers too.

My pint from the Gravity Bar at the top of the Guinness brewery building

I travelled over with a friend called Matt and the last time we were both able to go to Ireland at the same time was about 20 years ago so it was a great opportunity for us both to go there again.

View from the Gravity Bar at Guinness Factory

Due to Covid-19 restrictions in bars and restaurants I think it was also just as well that there were not to many of us going at once. Table service was taking places in most bars and restaurants and it was easier for them to find a table for the two of us instead of a big group.

Guinness mascot the Toucan

The above photo is of some of the collection of Guinness marketing memorabilia taken from inside the Guinness factrory tour that we went on.

I really was hoping that the world was getting used to managing the Covid-19 pandemic by now, but with the new variant now blowing up and daily announcements getting worse and worse while we were in Ireland it was a little unsettling at times to be away from home.

It really is a treat to travel and I am so glad we were able to go and make memories and take a few photos, but being back home safe and well is also something to be savoured.

One of Dublins own bands – Thin Lizzy with Whiskey In The Jar

People are strange! But I am stranger.

Friends relationships seem to be shifting on rocket fuel at the moment, in such a fast motion it’s as if there is a huge hurry for those that can enter them and such hope and joy for them when things are going right and a huge disappointment for those that can’t or for when things go wrong.

I am very lazy and shy when it comes to relationships. I am very happy in my own skin and don’t want to jeopardise my somewhat fragile state of contentment, happiness and positive control over my own life. When it comes to make ups, break ups, heart missed a beat moments and heartbroken temper tantrums I have been there got the t-shirt.

There are still many strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities that are out there in life. My job is tough at the moment but I accept that and make the most of it. It’s a place in time doing something that I want to do and would not know where else I could be and can’t really imagine myself doing anything different right now. But I still keep my eyes open to possibilities that come up.

Well that’s my kind of attitude to life in general at the moment. Duck and dive, roll with the punches and keep my eyes open for the next trick shot.

Mumford & Sons – Blind Leading The Blind

Birthday Bash

Well it was my birthday on 12th July so had planned to go out with some friends for drinks on Saturday night which was great and ended with me safely home after a great night out. Then on Monday 12th July I had booked some time off work and met up with some friends for a meal which was lovely and the first time we had all been together since last March. I then went on to a bar on my way back to mine which is usually a lot of fun and had a couple of drinks on my own before heading home at 8pm.  

All was going well Saturday it was a fab night and met some new people as well as had fun with some old friends. It’s like I am playing catch-up now and meeting with friends that I have not seen since pre-pandemic times.

Things went a bit sour in the last bar I went into on Monday because suddenly it appeared I was fair game to shout threats to and give insults to simply for where I worked. As I work for the council in environmental health and a very drunken stranger was told by the owner of the pub where I worked which results with threats of potential violence and the only compliment coming from this complete stranger nut job was that well at least I’m not a traffic warden because they are worse than environmental health officers. Gee thanks pal!

He was taking about getting the lads around to sort me out, bare in mind this is a drunken complete random stranger, that I had only just seen and not even spoken to at all, who felt it amusing or necessary to hurl this drunken abuse at me.

I always try to be careful when I am out not to act like an idiot, bring to much attention to myself or in anyway put myself into a situation that could lead to violence or for want of a better possibly slightly melodramatic way put myself in a situation that could result in my untimely death due to violence at the hand of another.

There is something about masculine culture that can result in violence occurring for some people especially when alcohol is involved and the last thing I want to hear the next day or when I am unlucky or lucky enough to wake up in hospital or pick myself up from the floor is ‘Oh sorry mate it was not my fault I was drunk’!

I think like most males that have lived and been around the block a few times I have in the past been assaulted and it’s a nightmare situation that no one asks or volunteers for and I am so angry when someone tries to put me in that type of situation. In my younger days I used to make a move to try and stop fights when I saw them happening and that mostly went well and either stopped or prevented violence. But I am older now and feel like I should not be stepping in any more if I can help it.

I am not going to stop going out but I am also not wanting to put myself in harm’s way due to some drunken idiot the suddenly finds a kinship with violence due to how many beers are in his body.

I was the one that had to wake up my father in the middle of the night and tell him my brother’s life had ended. If I can help it I never want anyone else to have to wake either of my parents to tell them that my life has now been lost too.

Rag’n’ Bone Man – Human

Taking a little time out

Well I am just coming to the end of a week off work, had an eclectic mix of things that I have done, went and caught up with some friends that I have not seen in over a year at a barbeque I made time to sort my home out a little too, taking out some stuff to the recycling centre and also some charity donations to the Oxfam shop.

Also made time to go to a friend’s birthday which was a great quite night in a local bar on a Monday where said friend was running around in a dinosaur suit, I have not laughed that much in a long time, a good night was had by all.  

Kyle’s Birthday Suit!

So I will be back in work tomorrow and a little nervous because I am so darn tired today and have not left the flat since Thursday. I have no idea why I am so darn tired. It’s been a great week though.

I have not lost any weight this week though but I think that is down to the drinking of Guinness on a couple of nights out and also eating larger meal sizes than I have been used to of late. I did not put any weight on also which is good.

Still in two minds presently about the unlocking of lockdown, it’s lovely for us all to be catching up with people we have not seen for a long time and also be just around people in general. But you just hope that the vaccines continue to work their magic and we get on top of the virus in the long term.

A day to remember them

A day of mixed emotions today I have been advised that I no longer needed to shield and so stepped out of my home and walked to work this morning and returned to the office. Its the first time I have walked into Exeter since I had my coronovirus jab, so things on the up for me personally.

But the lives taken of two young people in Exeter were also weighing on my mind. Firstly Lorraine Cox who was murdered in the Summer of 2020 had a jury find the murderer guilty of killing her and he is due to be sentenced next Wednesday. On the night she was last seen she was drinking in a local bar I drink in which is a lovely and friendly place, always welcoming to people who come through its doors and little did the people drinking with her on her last night know when she left what would next happen to her that terrible night in August 2020. It really has been deeply dark time for some of her friends and family that know and love her.

Lorraine Cox RIP

Secondly there is a wonderful young man, younger that is than me that very recently died in Exeter and his funeral was today. His name was Trevor Garman and he was a local legend within his lifetime. He had such a warm and worldly way to him and when we would get talking he was always very welcoming, kind and a great teller of stories and a champion of social justice to boot. Plus he made a great pirate and ran the most awesome karaoke night in town, where even I would occasionally get up and sing. He was always so warm and welcoming to the people that got up and sang and really made you feel supported up on the stage and was always making you want to go back for more.

Trevor Garman RIP

Sadly after posting this page I have another soul to add to the list of the lost humans

I was lucky enough to meet and work at the Devon Wildlife Trust with a wonderful woman called Emma Parkinson some 20 years ago. We used to chatter in the office, go camping on Wildlife Nights Out for School groups and also go out with the rest of the crew at DWT for an occasional beer or two. When I moved away from Exeter she was one of many wonderful people that I lost touch with and hoped to one day meet again. So I was trying to see if she had a facebook page this week and sadly came across her memorial page I don’t know how or under what circumstances her life was lost but it happened a couple of years ago another real tragedy of a good person taken before their time.

Emma Parkinson RIP

So all in all a sombre day for many Exetonians today.   

Eva Cassidy – Fields of Gold

A Good Soul

Andy Edwards – Paranormal Investigator, Father, Brother, Friend and Son.

Song Wings by Birdy

It will soon be Halloween then November and then 1 month from today on November 29th my brothers birthday. Andy loved this time of year when he would do ghost tours down a mine in Cornwall as well as paranormal investigations in old buildings across the county.

He took me on a guided tour one year where we walked around a mine possibly Poldark Mine and then after closing time off to an old pub in Helston for a further taste of paranormal investigating. This really was his passion and on the night that I went out with him a lot of fun for me too. I am sure his enthusiasm for the supernatural and his ability to seek out friends and fellow supernatural enthusiasts did very much help get him through some very dark times in his life and for want of a better description help keep him sane, in a crazy world.

As mentioned already in other posts he was a medium with the gift of being able to talk to the dead and a paranormal investigator intent on proving to us mere mortals the existence of life after death and the supernatural realm.

I don’t share his gifts for the detection of the supernatural nor would I want to. Those gifts that he had would really scare the bejesus out of me, if I could do what he did. I have often believed though that the spirits of the dead can if they choose to visit us in dreams and Andy has been visiting me a lot recently. Mostly just to see what the hell I am up to or dreaming about. Not to pass judgement or haunt me but just sometimes even to play as brothers so often do. And as the seasons turn and the years add up it sometimes feels as if every year I grow older and the bugger that is my big bro gets younger.

This year has reinforced more so than ever a hope and belief in the power of a good God to triumph and succeed where us mere mortals would fail. I would like to think I am more at peace with my belief in and hope for the almighty than I have been in many years. Just because I don’t understand what Gods divine plan, hope and dream is for us little hummies that is not to say that God does not have hope’s, dream’s and plans for us as individuals or as a species or planet.

As for God’s plans for my brother or even my brothers plans for himself I feel this year more so than in others how much good he could have contributed and achieved so much had he still been here. So on the one hand I find comfort in God and in the other there is discomfort and remorse for no longer having Andy in this plane of existence.

data:image/jpeg;base64,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

A little holiday

Not left Devon since December 2019 and even when I do make it away I take the ever so little leap to the county next door to visit my mum for her birthday. We make it out to a Farm called Travaskis that serve amazing food which I have not been to before where we treat ourselves to a lovely meal.

There was going to be a new Covid-19 announcement made by Boris when I was in Cornwall and so was not 100% sure how long I would be allowed to stay and wanted to get back to Exeter to have a little break on my own and also catch up with some people and places in Exeter too.

I also had my annual GP appointment where the doctor tells me how much weight I have gained and also whether I have been diagnosed with Diabetes yet. They are doing no diabetes tests this year though and luckily I have only gained about 2 kg so considering all the cakes I have eaten during lock down it’s not too bad. I think the walk to the cake shops helped a little. I also went to Specsavers and picked up my first pair of reading glasses since I was about 5 years old. I had some glasses when I was a child to correct my sight and managed to avoid having another set up until now.

Song – I can see clearly now by Johnny Nash

So they have now announced that they are going to shut all pubs at 10pm each night. I must admit some of my favourite joys this year have been catching up with people in some of the local pubs in Exeter although I miss my friends that I used to drink with pre lockdown at the Angel Bar.

Back in the old days we used to have what were called nights out in British pubs where you could stay out after 10pm, stand up and talk to people and not have to wear masks while standing up, I will drink to that!

Strictly Confidential!

Well where to start. Like all cities, towns and places people call home Exeter, Devon in the UK, has taken a bit of a beating this year. Shops shut, people staying at home and all that Jazz. As for me on the other hand I’m now working in the city again that I love to call home, at the heart of the city council in for want of a better word a pandemic planning room.

I work now for the environmental health team answering phone calls and emails for the team directing them to where they need to go to or sometimes I am even able to answer the questions myself.

Business is booming in the office lots of environmentally unhealthy things to deal with, listen to, act on and treat. Though I don’t really want to or cannot go into too much detail because the calls we take emails we get and things we act upon are all really related to people’s lives and are personal to them and strictly confidential!

So during this pandemic when most people are stopping going into the city, I on the other hand turn about face and do the opposite. I sometimes catch a bus to the city centre, sometimes walk (less than I should), sometimes stop in a bar for a beer on the way home (possibly more than I should under a pandemic year but less than I would in a normal year).

I go out to a bar about twice a week and this feels too much like I am taking my life in my own hands with regard to the potential picking up of Covid-19. I am very overweight have a borderline diabeties diagnosis and am nearly mid 40’s so I am not exactly in the young and just passing it on bracket of the pandemic population.

Though I do think that if I get used to not socialising I might permanently not go out. I instead continue to go out and love doing so more for company really than Guinness. I don’t drink at home and still love to meet people and watch punters when sitting in a local bar. My social lockdown beer drinking acquaintances have been one of the joys of this year.

My original group of socialising friends that I used to drink with in a local pub has really gone tits up though. Some are social isolating, some have had mini meltdowns, and others like me are just getting on and making the most of it. Our little group were like ten pin bowls knocked down very quickly by the bowling ball that is Covid-19.

Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap

In 9 months it’ll be like none of this ever really happened!

My favourite drinking den and social outlet is still in lockdown as are some of my favourite people. It feels like we might be just about 9 months away still from returning to what I would love to call normal.

A normal Wednesday night for me was when the biggest dilemma might be heading back from the bar after having bought another pint of Guinness, while listening to some tunes from a local musician playing a guitar and waiting to find out whether I had the luxury of sitting in a seat or had to face the slightly more uncomfortable situation of stand up in the outside smoking area. Now I have not had a cigarette for what must be nearly 10 years now and have not missed those pesky nicotine sticks either, but it’s still socially preferential to stand or sit out with the smokers because that’s where all the cool cats hang out in the local pub.

The War On Drugs – Thinking Of A Place

What was once normal I now crave like a nicotine junkie waiting for his next inhalation of a smoke!

So week three into the new job it’s going well lots to learn and lots I still don’t know. I work mostly on the phones and then try to book in what the callers need or take the callers’ information down so that another member of staff can sought out their question for them. A part of me is thinking I am mad to start a new job during covid-19 lockdown wackiness and another part of me knows I would have been even crazier not to.

Back in March I was only sleeping about 2-3 hours a night and I was absolutely wired into finding out all the latest shenanigans in the news, in my head and about life in general were. Working at home at the time was the perfect time to kind of have a blow out and over do things a tad mentally. Now on the other side of that I’m on full battery recharge mode with most evenings and weekends I am snoozing at any given opportunity whilst attempting to top up lost sleep vouchers.

One of the rare gifts of this pandemic has been having the chance to reach out or have people reach out to me from past and present, new and old friends and that has been some of my favourite times.

For those that reached out to me I am very grateful and I hope to those that I have reached out to that they appreciated it too.

Tonight I had a real need to reach out so been phoning some friends and family seeing how they are. Most are doing ok in a lockdown kind of way. But still 9 months or more of this, well thats a might long time in any stretch of the imagination.

The UK Government has a quirky way to not dealing with a pandemic, first telling us to go home and trust the government while bucket loads of UK citizens die and now telling us to come out and spend, spend, spend so we continue to pay for the economy crawling forward on its belly prior to part two of this little smeg show continuing to unfold.

Well I hope you are well wherever you are reading this from and your God or Gods are smiling down on you. I hope we make it to the other side.