The Queen is not in….

Tried a quiz night in the local area tonight, with my friend, who had made sure I was fed and watered earlier. Very nice too.

Well, with just the two of us at the quiz, the odds on winning were decidedly long. Most of the rounds were disasters, until the last one, a chance to redeem ourselves with the Double or Quits round. If you got a question wrong, all the points from that round were lost. As we were so far behind, we needed a telescope to see the other teams, so it was right to take a gamble. 

And so we took a gamble on the reigning monarch of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, Her Majesty the Queen. The pair of us had to decide, when the Union Flag is flying above Buckingham Palace, is the Queen at home or not? 

Well, we decided she was at home, probably watching the racing or something. Wrong. The Union Flag flying indicates she is out. Probably at Royal Ascot. So we lost our hard earned points for the final round. Off to the tower for the pair of us. 

Well it was crucial, as the next placed team was 28 points ahead of us and the winners 54 points. So it was close, as you can imagine. Now, it’s time for some Royal jokes at my friend’s expense next time I see her. 

It was a laugh though. Nice atmosphere and good to get out the flat, stop being miserable and sit in a pub and enjoy myself. Which I did. 

So, my loyal subjects, I bid you good night

Allen Brooks


Another cup of coffee…
Afternoon. Feel better today, not majorly, but good enough to go out and visit one of my Peer Support colleagues. As is usual with me, I’m back in the coffee shop, watching the world go by. 

Quite a kerfuffle across the road, police in attendance with a group of local school kids watching on, little else to do in their lunchtime than gawp at an incident. Don’t know what all the fuss was about, it looked as though it was a homeless person in trouble, but can’t give you much more details. I wouldn’t make a TV reporter! 

It’s a nice high street, plenty of eateries, pubs, cafes, jewellers, newsagents etc etc. Nice to relax and compose my next blog post. Hope you like what I’ve mustered so far. 

Don’t know what happened yesterday. A real low. But today, better. I rarely get two days of good mood in a row. I have to accept the lows and enjoy the good times, like everyone else. Going to sit here awhile and probably take some alcoholic beverage around to my colleague, maybe a bottle of red wine. Off to a pub quiz tonight, looking forward to that. 

Well that completes that piece of drivel for now, catch you all later. 

Allen Brooks

Creative Writing – Part 3

The end of the platform….


1976. The hottest and driest UK summer on record. The family had just been on a brilliant holiday to the coast. 90 degrees most days, sun cream slapped on, bucket and spade at the ready. I was only four years old at the time. But amongst the joy and fun was heartbreak, especially for my father. 

Back in London, his Dad, or my Grandad if you prefer, wasn’t well. News was trickling in on his progress. Still, my father got on with his holiday, trying to ward off the bad news. 

But then, came the news that all people dread. My Grandad had taken a turn for the worse and we all had to cut our holiday short. We stayed in a guest house, about 300 yards from the beach. In between the digs and the beach, was the main rail line back to London. Every morning, the place used to shudder with the first express speeding it’s way towards points west.

So, came the day we were all dreading. There we all were, on the station platform. I don’t know what Dad was feeling, being four years old, I didn’t know about bad news and grief. We all stood, with our cases, looking down this long platform, waiting for the London train. It was like an adventure coming to an abrupt halt. What should have been a continuation of the joy and fun, had to be cut short, due to that dose of reality. 

I was daydreaming (no change there). All of a sudden, the loud horn of the train sounded its arrival. “Is this it?” I mused. Indeed it was. I shall never forget that day. It’s indelibly imprinted on my mind. The best family holiday cut short. My Grandad passed away a few days later, if memory serves. I’m not sure how my Dad coped. I was too wrapped up in things to notice. I’m sure it was difficult. I would love to ask him now how he coped. Sadly, he has passed on too. 

All I have left is memories. Memories of sand, sea, bucket, spade, cricket bat, tennis ball, sun cream, egg rolls, seagulls, trains, hot sun, endless members of family. 1976. The end of the platform. 

Allen Brooks. 


That’s been my worst day of the year so far. Just feel low, in a total fog, really crap feeling all day. Don’t ask me why. When the Autism kicks in the depression and anxiety, the sort of day I’ve had can come along at very random times. 

So, sorry if the blog posts have not been all that cheery. I can’t feel upbeat every day. Hope tomorrow is a better one. 

Good night

Allen Brooks

Creative Writing – Part 2

This short tale is based on the Amy Winehouse song, In my Bed.

In my bed….

Alone. No one to cuddle, no one to hold, no one to talk to. That’s me, in my bed. 

The blandness of the walls permeate the room, reflecting the greyness of the weather outside. It’s 8 am, and I’ve had another sleep disrupted night, in my bed. 

Here I am, in my bed, staring at the walls, at the ceiling. I have somewhere to go, but on this cold morning, another five minutes under the duvet seems more inviting. 

Another sleep disrupted night, alone, in my bed. Sleepless, thinking about all the things I’ve done wrong, and not much about the things that I’ve done right. 

Alone in my bed. But now, I’ve moved to the kitchen, ready for that first cup of tea of the day. Though I don’t feel like going out, I drag myself away from the lonely existence of my flat, to the lonely existence of the bus, or the train. 

No one to hold, no one to love, no one to talk to. Just me, on my own, over thinking, over anxious, over analysing and over here. I’ll do it all again, tomorrow, each and every day.

Allen Brooks

Creative writing….

Not much happening today. It’s grey, it’s miserable outside, and my mood is reflecting the sorry state of the weather. I thought of sharing a couple of pieces of creative writing that I’ve just done, drawing on inspiration from meeting others of similar outlook.

First, I had to pick a lyric from the Abba song Chiquitita. Here’s what I came up with:-

All is gone, and it’s too hard to handle (Written on the 15th February)

I had it all. Family, car, a steady job, good friends. Then one day, the arse fell out of my world. No family, no car, no money, no job, friends gradually waving goodbye from the quayside as depression and anxiety took hold. 

Yep, from hero to zero. When I had a job and some money, people wanted to talk to me, to know me, to welcome me into their social circles. Now that has considerably lessened.  I’m probably not worth talking to or interesting enough to bother with. 

And what of me now? Writing this short story, on a dull, dreary afternoon, in my one bedroom council flat. It was Valentines Day yesterday. There don’t seem to be too many people wanting to love me. Most of my romantic efforts have ended badly, some of my own making, some not. But I shall never forget a certain person I fell in love with, and married. She made me the nobody I am today. The person struggling to survive on my own, with mild Autism. 

I do sometimes go out and try and meet other people, a damn sight more interesting than me. Like the people at this creative writing class. I turned up last week and haven’t laughed so much in ages, especially at a clever lady called Scarlet. Could I start to become interesting? 

The title of this pithy tale is All is Gone, and it’s too hard to handle. That’s my last nine years in a nutshell. All gone, through the trap door, into Room 101. Everyday is a battle, a scrap, a determination to continue, and I shall, until it seems too hard to handle anymore. 

Allen Brooks


What does Schadenfreude mean? It means revelling in other people’s misfortunes. I’m not like that though, but I’m sure some have revelled in some of my ill luck. 

The Oscars ceremony last night proved what Schadenfreude means. The other week I had to address a small gathering of people at a cricket dinner. I had to say “Grace” and immediately forgot the words. My evening went downhill from there.
Last night, the actress Faye Dunaway was announcing the winner of the Best Motion Picture. She was incorrectly handed the previous winners envelope, revealing that La La Land was the winner. We then had the amusing sight of the winners making their acceptance speech, only to be told that they weren’t the winners. Moonlight were the real winners. Embarrassing! Especially at the worldwide jamboree that is the Oscars ceremony. 

So my faux pas the other week hardly registers when you consider the embarrassment of the wrong winner being announced in front of a massive television audience. That is a real faux pas. So I do make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. But in the glitz and glam world of celebrity, nobody will allow the Oscars organisers to forget. 

But even so La La Land were announced as the winners. In life’s rich tapestry, I cannot even make it to the winners circle, so to do so by mistake would be the final folly for me. Schadenfreude! 

Allen Brooks