In the frame….

Year:- Sometime in the 1970s. Venue:- School Hall. Yes, it was time for the ritual humiliation that was the weekly P.E. lesson. As you know by now, I was rubbish at playing sport and any kind of fitness gubbins. 

On this particular day, we had to climb up the ubiquitous frame and slide our way down the bench back to the floor. Except on this occasion, the gap between the bars of the frame was very narrow. I, being daring or stupid, attempted to slide back down the bench. There was only one problem with that, I got my head stuck.

And I started to panic, and scream and shout. It was quite frightening to have your noggin stuck in a climbing frame, and no doubt funny to the rest of the class. The teacher was disinterested at first, but having heard the cries of distress, released the bench very slowly and my head was free. Thank goodness. 

I was quite traumatised for the rest of the lesson and seemed quite put off by this. I never attempted climbing frames again, purely on the basis that my head will be bigger and the fire service would be needed to free me if the head was trapped. 

I can’t quite remember if my parents laughed when I told them. All I can remember is feeling like a total idiot. So you can see why I hated P.E. Was looking forward to reading, writing and adding up, which I was rather good at, not prancing around a school hall. 

Allen Brooks xx


In England’s Green and Pleasant Land

Hi. Not at my best today, so I thought I would get out of London for a few hours to try and rid myself of yet another episode of brain fog. By and large, the trip has succeeded.

It’s always good to explore new places and get a feel for the English countryside. Today, as you can see from the photos, I visited Sudbury in Suffolk. A pretty little town, with nice houses, good architecture and plenty of green space. The only slight let down is sticking the railway station at the end of a road with an unremarkable car park and some recycling banks. Not the most salubrious, but I always have to find the negative, don’t I?

This is the area of the great English painters, John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough. Also I managed to find a tribute to the author of the book 101 Dalmatians, Dodie Smith. Smith’s book made it’s way onto a world famous Disney film. If you look hard enough in these towns, there’s history and interest galore.

And that’s the problem with England, there should be more advertising of the greatness this country has produced and will continue to produce. It’s only 75 minutes by train from London, Sudbury, and I quite like it. Quintessentially English.

Sadly now, back to London. Gloom returns!

Allen Brooks xx

Fresh Air and Fun…just the job

Went out lunchtime to watch a mate play football. He used to play at a decent level, but age and injuries are catching up with him. Saying that though, he did set up his team’s winner, with a nice pass.

Personally it was nice to get out and enjoy some fresh air, and at times it was a bit too fresh, as a cold shower of rain passed through. Amateur football is interesting to watch and to listen to. The language is often fruity to say the least, and the poor old referee gets it in the neck as well, just like they do in the professional game. The ref doing my mate’s game was ok, even if he did like blowing the whistle a bit too much. But it’s hard to expect top class officiating at the modest level the blokes were playing at.

My mate has to watch it though. He has a bad knee, and at one stage he pulled up and was limping around for a while. He got through the majority of the game, but there will be a time when he’ll have to call it a day playing sport, before something does happen to his knee that could be permanent.

Saying all of that, at least he’s had the talent and the fitness to last this long, and I can only watch on in admiration. I do look out for him though, as he’s one of the few friends I have left! Top class bloke and we’ve been friends for a good while now. I hope to keep it that way! 

Looking at the shapes and sizes of the players on show, I don’t have much to worry about. The referee in the match next door was a chap with grey hair and a beer gut. Suffice it to say he didn’t move very much, except to caution one of the managers for dissent. Still, all in a day’s work, as I’m only too aware of.

Good fun, and nice to be enjoying some sport again.

Allen Brooks xx

The Sun has got his hat on…

Beautiful day here in London. Simply stunning. Clear blue skies and that mellow warmth that we sometimes get this late in the year, certainly makes up for some of that dross type weather that we get in summer. 

How am I? Ok, no more than that. I did sleep ok, and I feel just average. I’ll gladly take that though, after that horrid experience on Thursday night. Ok is ok.

I’m off to watch a mate of mine play football. Like me, he’s getting a bit older, but unlike me, he’s very good at football. With the weather being decent today, it beats staying in, and it’s something a bit different from recent happenings. 

I don’t have that large, dark cloak or blanket over my brain today, so that’s a start. It’s important to just relax and try and enjoy the day. Thursday wasn’t good. Saturday will be better. Trying to harbour some positive thoughts. Being an essentially negative person, that isn’t easy for me to do. I’ll give it a go today though.

Allen Brooks xx

Good day..enjoyed that

It’s been a long day. Ever since those welcoming blue skies encouraged me out of the door this morning, it’s been a very good day too.

First of all, it was off to a meeting to arrange something around World Mental Health Day, in a few weeks time. Surprisingly, I was full of ideas and those ideas seemed to be welcomed. I’m really looking forward to the day and I hope to stand up and do a little presentation on autism. Heaven help us all!

Then it was this on a blissful afternoon:-

In the wrong order…but there you go. It was off on a boat (I know, I’m not great with them), across the Solent to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. I’ve never been to the small island in the English Channel before, but what a wonderful place. Idyllic, peaceful and somewhere to spend a summer holiday in the future. I just fell in love in the place within the first few minutes of arriving. 

Sadly, I’m back home now. Yes, back in shouty, sweary, aggressive, turbulent London. It was nice to get away from this for a few hours. The smell of the sea salt and the soft warmth of an autumn afternoon really appealed to me. I love to get away, it’s just I haven’t been that well to go away that often this year. An indication of better times ahead? We’ll wait and see. But it’s a start. Good day.

Allen Brooks xx

Under Doctors Orders…

Afternoon. Last week, I forgot to go back to the doctors after I saw him the previous week. The hiatus was caused by some disrupted sleep and late awakenings, so it was time today to return the visit.

Not quite as zonked out as yesterday (maybe the new dosage of tablets is working?), and I was out and about with fewer problems than yesterday. The doc has prescribed some more medication to keep me going and I must confess to feeling a little bit brighter today. I also told him that the visits to the gym seem to be working on my general well being too.

I don’t know how my doctor seems to judge the moment to increase my medication, but he seems to do it perfectly and so far, apart from some crashing tiredness, I seem to be pulling around again. Just need to string some good days together consecutively and to sleep better, also consecutively, rather than the odd day.

So, improvement is there, need to keep going. Easier said than done.

Allen Brooks xx

Another milestone reached

Afternoon. That was a tough session at the gym. It was like walking through treacle at times, the backs of my legs ache, but as long as I feel ok mentally at the end of it, so much the better.

Another milestone reached today with more than 5,000 views and 2,000 visitors on The blog seems to be picking up a few new followers and I hope I’m doing my best to tell it as it is. Some days good, some days bad. But truth all the way. 

See ya 

Allen Brooks xx