Hello there…

Today has been one of those days where you try and make the best of a bad job. The weather has been unbelievably bad, cold, wet and windy, and thus that makes my mood not as tip top as it should be.

So it was another venture to the gym. It actually felt like hard work today, which I suppose that’s how it should be. But instead of sitting on my backside indoors, moping and feeling sorry for myself, it was time to use the time wisely, which I did.

Then I had a meal at the restaurant about 200 yards away. Very nice too. But it’s a day that hasn’t risen above the average. Perhaps it’s a lesson in trying to use time wisely when I’m not at my best. Tomorrow will be different. There’s a lot going on, and it won’t be mediocre, I can promise you that.

See ya 

Allen Brooks xx

Where has Summer gone?

Second Saturday in a row, it’s dreary, grey and wet here in London. That thing called Summer has decided to depart British shores and leave us with this unremitting gloom. I’d rather have November in it’s rightful place, not in July or August.

And we wonder why Brits fly south for the summer? When it’s 100F in parts of the Med and Spain, who can blame them? Not me. The greyness and unrelenting rain is a reminder that Britain is an island at the eastern end of the Atlantic, so we get all sorts of muck every year. Doesn’t do much for the mood, I can tell you.

Allen Brooks xx

P.S:- The UK weather changed when the schoolchildren broke up for their summer holidays. Coincidence? 

Can’t Sleep….

A deep rumbling…..no it’s not my stomach, but the sound of thunder. Certain parts of England, including London where I am, are seeing massive amounts of rain, frequent lightning and sounds of thunder. London has missed the storms up till now with the high temperatures, but there’s no doubt this one is venting it’s feelings. 

Got a few hours of this too, so a decent night’s sleep has gone. Don’t like storms, I know that some people do, but I don’t, so there you go.

Oh well, time to sit this one out…

Allen Brooks xx

The homely cottage at the end of the road….

It was a summer morning. I was asleep in a comfortable bed. The first shafts of morning were starting to peep through the curtains. 

Then…..rumble…..roar…..rumble….rumble. What the hell is that at this time of the morning? I’m awake now, wanting to know what this noise is.

It’s the first express train of the day from London to Cornwall, thundering it’s way along the line just 150 yards from the front door. The noise seems endless….and then it disappears….the train has entered the tunnel to it’s next destination. 

It’s August 1979. The weather is glorious. I’m on holiday in Devon. I’m only a stone’s throw from the beach on one of the most idyllic stretches of coastline anywhere in the UK. I struggle to get back to sleep. The roar of the train has woken me up. But I remember. I’m on holiday. This is how it’s meant to be. Then the seagulls start their raucous cacophony. 

I go back to sleep for a while. Mum and Dad wake me up and it’s time for breakfast. The radio is on. Dad has been to the shop for his newspaper. I switch on the TV. I turn over to ITV. Nothing. Just a blue screen stating that are no programmes due to an industrial dispute. It’s been a year of strikes and discontent amongst British workers. But I’m only seven years old. What do I know? Not a lot really.

Then it’s time to get ready, get my bucket and spade and make our way to the beach. Golden sands, clear water. We pitch our deckchairs and stay there for the rest of another glorious summer’s day. I’m in and out of the water, looking a bedraggled mess by day’s end. But this is a holiday. Good times. Good memories. Admiring my Dad’s suntan. Watching Mum squeeze her way into a swimming costume. The memories are wonderful. And on a wet July evening that I’m looking at right now, August 1979 was very memorable. 

Allen Brooks xx

The glorious weather continues…..

It’s been another hot week in London. Sometimes though, a bit too humid and oppressive for my liking. Today is one of those clear days with low humidity that everyone loves in England. Simply glorious.

And how about Allen Brooks? Not brilliant earlier on today it must be said. But that feeling has subsided during the day, and I feel a bit better as the evening wears on. I haven’t been out to the coast to enjoy the summer much of late, but I aim to rectify that as soon as possible. 

One of those nondescript days, but one without too much drama or upset. That’ll do me….

Allen Brooks xx

Summer in the City….

What do these four things have in common? Well, the glorious pint of mixed fruit cider started off the Music Bingo evening at the local pub. 

The bingo card is an example of what I have to tick off to win either two lines or a full house. The £5 note was mine after I was part of a five way share of the full house prize. You can work out how much the full house was, I’m too tired to work it out for you.

And lastly, a water bottle was one of the novelty prizes for two lines. So I didn’t do too badly. The evening got off to a comical start over the issue of the mystical powers of the “Winners Table”. The table was occupied by non players of the bingo game, and everyone had their eyes fixated on the table, waiting for the occupants to go. 

In the end, they did, and there then followed a mad scramble between ten people to sit round this table. It must have worked, because all the players won something. Ah, the powers of the “Winners Table”!

Take one excellent host, stir in a mixture of tunes, together with a bubbling atmosphere and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Then bring to the boil, and voila, Music Bingo starts. The recipe is brilliant, the ingredients are excellent, and the outcome is one of flavoursome enjoyment and wonderful communal singing. 

The only thing that was getting everyone down and tired was the stifling heat and humidity. It was absolutely uncomfortable in the pub, and even leaving the pub to get some air brought little relief. The windows are wide open, fan on full blast, but in truth, it’s still no less sultry than earlier. 

Marvellous night, and after the trials and tribulations of the recent few weeks, it felt good to be back and amongst friends, revelling in the evening. It is the best show in the local area, bar none.

Allen Brooks xx

Early day motion….

Afternoon. Back in the flat, fan on full blast. It’s a day where I think you could literally fry an egg on the pavement, it’s that hot.

Not feeling too bad as it goes. Anxiety is back to manageable levels. It’s not causing me to isolate myself, I’m starting to re-engage again. I’m starting to get back to something approaching my usual self. Some way to go, but I’m getting there.

It was the Peer Support group today, but unfortunately there was a very thin attendance. There are other things going on, plus the fact that people wanted to sit indoors with the air con on, rather than in a stuffy room. 

So the four of us did our usual stuff, but as I was running it on my own, I decided, with the agreement of the others, to end proceedings early. This seemed a good way to do things and there’s only so much you can talk about in 2 hours. 

So, the feet are up, tennis on the TV, with the fan blowing nice cool air over me. Off out later, it’s good to be feeling ok again.

Allen Brooks xx