Very pissed off….

It’s just one of those days today. Little things are going wrong, making my temper shorter and shorter as each thing happens.

Like most run ups to Christmas, the London wide transport service starts to fall apart. I don’t know whether this is an infrastructure problem, underfunding or staff shortages, but today has seen delays and cancellations all over the place. Not one train has been on time. The buses are late, packed with Christmas shoppers as well as commuters. I’m due to go out again later and I wanted to get home, put my feet up and have a cup of tea. Not even home yet from a meeting I had to attend. It’s a shambles.

Not only that, I’ve nearly had my right foot taken off by someone treading on my heel as I was walking across the station concourse. The next person to do that will get a decent size 11 boot straight up their backside. So as you can tell, small things are irritating me and my mood is deteriorating quickly. I hope the evening will be better than the afternoon, but right now, steer clear of me because the steam is starting to come out of my ears.

Living in London! Don’t you just love it.

Rant over

Allen Brooks xx


Ice Ice Baby….

Back to volunteering today at the national mental health charity I’ve just joined. Despite the odd technical hitch, it went very well and I managed to get a fair bit of work done, which was pleasing.

Another very cold day in London Town too. Ice everywhere, but despite that it was cheerful, bright and crisp, as you know my favourite winter weather type, so that shook me from a certain early morning fuzziness. Great to get out and enjoy these clear, bright days.

Back on track…and things seem to have settled down after a week where it was sheer madness. The Christmas season is passing me by, but I don’t seem to have those winter blues….yet. It’s all quite rosy at present.

See ya

Allen Brooks xx

Thinking Time…

A week is a long time in politics, so the saying goes. Also a week is a long time in the life of Allen Brooks. This week I think will be a total contrast to the shambles of last week, which is in the process of being dealt with.

Weather? Dank, dreary, cold and wet best describes it, and that’s only the good points. It’s thoroughly unpleasant out there. Not worth bothering with daylight, might as well be dark the whole day, like the North Pole!

I went for a CBT appointment this morning and discussed the issues of last week, and how it affected my equilibrium. I always enjoy talking to the counsellor because she gives me a dispassionate view of things and that brings me back down to earth, from the anger and annoyance of last week to a more chilled out outlook this week.

I have got something planned for tonight, but if this dreary weather continues, I may decide that a night in the warm and in front of the TV would be better than freezing my proverbials off waiting for public transport in the evening rush hour. I’ll make a decision later.

And finally, a little tribute to the people I spent time with on Thursday and Saturday, the regulars from the pub. Warm, friendly and welcoming people, and they also helped bring me back down from the angry and unsettled mood I was in last week. I may not show my appreciation at times, but I really do this time and thank them for just helping me chill out. Thank you guys!

A few things going on this week, and I’m determined to enjoy them. Watch this space!

Thanks for listening.

Allen Brooks xx

Let it snow…let it snow…let it snow

Above link is Let it Snow by Dean Martin.

Hello. Well London is under a thick blanket of snow this morning. The sledges are out in one household in the road where I live, and no doubt we will see a snowman at some point.

There are the usual transport problems. In the UK, transport can’t cope with snow, cold, heat, rain, wind etc. Two weeks before Christmas and people will have to delay their shopping expeditions methinks. But it is December, and this sort of weather is more or less expected. It’s a nice Christmassy scene out there, the sort that decorates Christmas cards.

Best advice, if you don’t have to go out, keep warm and have plenty to eat and hot drinks. Sounds obvious, but people often disregard the dangers and make their intrepid way to their destination. It’ll be gone in a few days. A short and severe Arctic blast. Then the madness of Christmas shopping will restart. I don’t care, I’m in bed!

Be careful out there!

Allen Brooks xx

Laudable…but is it too little, too late?

I found this story on the BBC News website this morning and it brings home a subject very close to my heart.

I’ve spent some of the last couple of years visiting local schools and performing presentations on mental health. One of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. To me, it’s important to start early and impress on youngsters why it is important to have good mental health. The workshops we performed brought in fantastic testimonies from the schools and one or two disclosures. The youngsters felt they could disclose in us.

Disclosures. A service should be available NOW in all schools for children who may think they have the beginnings of mental illness. They then could be signposted onto professional services for further help. Making that first step is always the most difficult.

So the article above details a Government plan to have some kind of assistance put in 25% of schools by 2022. Why then? Why not now? And 25%? It should be in all schools, but as we all know, finance and resources are always a stumbling block.

I would go a stage further and have mental health on the national curriculum for say an hour a week for all pupils. These sessions could see local people come in, people with lived experience, and maybe some professionals too, to detail what goes on with mental illness. What are the signs? Who do we turn to? and other such questions.

I’m all for schemes to improve the lives of those about to become adults. I’m all for Governments of whatever persuasion to pour in money to help those in need. But is it too little, too late? We need to stop the rate of suicides in people between the ages of 13-18. Any life that you or I can save is a real fillip to those in need. I would like to see more done, and for people like me who are still under secondary mental health services, I would like to give back some more to the stars of tomorrow.

Thanks for dropping by,

Allen Brooks xx

Purely Medicinal…

Not much change today. Still sneezing, in a lot of pain in and around my ribcage, so I’ve been like a bear with a sore head for most of the day.

To help with the healing process, I’ve made myself and drunk a hot toddy. A hot toddy, in case you didn’t know, is a winter warmer, mixed of hot water, sugar and whiskey. Now lying in bed, and the pain has subsided. Not sure if that’s psychosomatic, but the hot toddy has done the job to ensure I may get a good night’s sleep.

I had a few things planned next week, and they may have to be postponed. Think some r and r and more of these winter warmers may do the job. I’m not the best person to know when I have a cold or flu. And you wouldn’t have wanted to know me today.

Good night xx

Allen Brooks

Conceding to the lurgie..

Yesterday for the most part, I felt ok. The evening and night time though, was a different matter. I have a cold at the moment and thought by having a little r and r yesterday I would be ok today. Not so.

You know when you have a cough or sneeze a lot, and your ribs hurt? Well my ribs feel as though I’ve been kicked every time I sneeze. Add that to a general malaise and quite a bit of tiredness, and I have the early stages of a winter cold.

I was due to go to watch football today and have an evening out later on, but I think for my own peace of mind and future health, I’m going to spend the weekend in the warm, watching some sport on the TV, and drinking plenty of hot beverages. Now I know why this month of the year has more colds and flus than the rest. Because of everyone doing shopping, getting stressed, all confined in a small space and giving bugs a chance to spread around.

Ugh, hate having colds…

Allen Brooks xx