Sunday, 25 September 2011

Mixed Baggage

It’s another murky Sunday morning, and I’m up and about – although not in a meaningful, energetic way.  It’s more of a stumbling, lurching way, to be precise.  To mitigate myself (is that English?  Too early to tell) I am waiting for my tea to brew.  Being completely and utterly up myself (no, I’m not a contortionist) the tea is Lapsang Souchong.  It’s a black Chinese tea smoked, originally, over pine needles, apparently to dry it faster as it was very popular.  It tastes quite a lot of the smoke, so (uh-oh – ponce alert) it complements the English autumn’s wood smoke notes perfectly in my ‘umble opinion, guv’nor.  Now, one should partake of this fragrant, oriental infusion after letting it brew for a short while and one should drink it au naturel – without such vile and disgusting adjuncts as semi-skimmed cow’s milk and sugar.  Guess what?  Both of the previous and I used a teabag.  No wonder my life is so execrable – I’ve made powerful enemies of the Gods of Tea.  Maybe I can make amends by sacrificing a Tory MP, possibly over a… covered in… smelling of… – nope – the Gods of Tea are right, as always.  There’s no beating a basic good idea.  It would be gilding the lily.

To fill in (I must stop these puerile innuendoes – and at 52, it’s going to be hard (did you see what I did there?)) those of you remember me more than half my lifetime ago may recall that I collected different teas.  Collecting lots of the same one would just be weird.  Not tisanes, I hasten to add.  Tisanes – fruit teas with no tea in them - are kind of okay (and in some circumstances, positively habit-forming – ginger “tea” - lovely), but they are the country wine to the Château Lafite of actual, proper teas – entertaining, but ultimately irrelevant.  I possessed such arcane paraphernalia as a strainer (back to the oo-ers), a cosy and (hushed expectancy) – a teapot.  I took the pot to the kettle, added one for the pot and I timed the brewing process for five minutes before “being mother” – and by the end of that lot it was emotionally (not physically I am most grateful to add) like giving birth.  That’s why the British say “Shall I be mother” when they serve tea.  That, and the transvestism.  They love it.

So, here I am, now sipping my ruined tea and enjoying it immensely, I might add.  I also have to make the toast in a combination microwave, oven and grill, as our old toaster decided it wasn’t warm enough and set light to the bread.  It might have been a protest for all I know, as I was shamefully unaware of its politics and/or grievances.  I’d be a tyrannical employer, me.  It’s quite good way to make toast in a lot of ways but it takes 10 minutes.  “Go out and get another” I hear you massed(!) readers shout “they’re dirt-cheap these days!  Bloody hell, they even do them in Sainsbury’s, near the laptops and flat-screen TVs”.  Have I informed you of how utterly, massively under organised we are?  Have I mentioned how our living quarters are living proof of chaos theory?  Of any chaos, come to that?  Making some toast and a cuppa, then writing this missive has conspired to make my head ache already.  I should be running around exercising or some such.  Nipping up to the building that, in modern Britain, replaces the cathedral for our Sabbath genuflection – the DIY store – and purchasing job lots of Magnolia paint and some more dining-room chairs and stuff.  I won’t, however, and (I suspect) it will come as no surprise to you.  For data about my inactivity, please let me refer you to my previous blog.  These, you will find most of the information you will need about why I do not whizz about in the fashion of that most proverbial of entomological entities, the blue-arsed fly.

Right.  Here we are, then.  Tea.  Toast (two slices smeared with low-fat olivey spread and Brussels pâté).  Starting to flag already.  The quacks have been very busy on my behalf, lately, however.  I have appointments with dieticians, the gym (yes, even that’s prescribed) and a let’s-choose-something-you-want-to-improve/do-in-your-life-and-support-you group.  Now, this may surprise some of you, but I (despite my tone) am an optimist.  I reckon that, if I keep going to stuff like this, then, one fine day, it’s bound to have a positive effect on my life and get me running hither and yon.  I have even sought out my own counselling in the past rather than wait for the NHS, bless them, to catch up.  Bit of a non-sequitur here.  I rate the NHS very highly indeed and think that we’re incredibly lucky to have it.  I have an astonishingly limited amount of patience for the “experts” who think they can change it for the better and absolutely none for the shameful and disgraceful shenanigans being currently perpetrated by this mistake of a “government” under the umbrella of change.  They need an umbrella, or cover of some kind, for their illicit and wicked co-opting of NHS budgets for their fat-walleted friends.  However, I digress (moi?).  Lately they have an approachable and multi-faceted approach to mental healthcare, which is (in your scribe’s ultra-nano-humble opinion) to be lauded.  It really is about time.  It is also extremely encouraging that such luminaries as Ruby Wax are putting in lots of planning and energy into encouraging scrutiny of the nation’s mental health.  It could just be a clever way of seeing which way the wind is blowing and taking advantage of it, but I honestly doubt it.  We went to one of the last “Losing It” talks at the Menier Chocolate Factory (quirky place in Borough – it’s got an art gallery attached, too.  I went into the gallery and completely alienated the lovely assistant by saying that the paintings all looked the same.  I’m a charmer).  The key speaker was Professor Mark Williams.  His talk about mindfulness in the treatment of mental illness was quite an eye-opener in a good way, along with his opinions about young, single mothers.  The charity SANE is very involved and provide plenty of support.  It’s probably the best time to look for treatment and support of the middle range of mental health issues in a long time, this “government” and the Dailies Mail and Express notwithstanding.

Crumbs (toast-related pun there).  I swerved right off breakfast there, didn’t I?  I suppose because, unless you’re on the International Space Station or [insert disliked politician’s or media character’s name here]’s brain, nothing exists in a vacuum.  There we have it – breakfast to depression.  Let’s hope the next stop has something more positive for us to alight to (it’s alright, Trev, you can stop with the eye-watering metaphors – they’ve gone).

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