Feeding the soul

There is nothing to do; Im bored; Its miserable out; everywhere is shut. Sound familiar? Another day sitting in front of the TV looking out the window at the grey drizzly sky? Its great for depression, well its great for bringing on depression anyway.

Last week we had a great time in Lanzarote. Lots of sunshine and no stress. As a result my pain levels dropped, I coughed much less and my blood sugar levels were wonderfully stable. Its amazing what a break can do for the body and soul. Since we had been there a few times before we decided to do things a little different this time. A quiet week, chilling in the sun, with one small trip each day, just to break things up. A walk round the harbour one day, a visit to the shops the next, and so on. Sadly though all breaks come to an end and its back to work. By Monday evening I was tired, cold and stressed again. Back to reality.

Road to Fuertaventura
Watercolour painting of Lanzarote with Fuertaventura in the background.

I am currently undergoing a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT, with Trent PTS. I have had CBT before but that was about 14 years ago. So here I am again. They gave me a printout to read about “pacing”. Pacing means pretty much as it sounds, keep things steady, plan enough breaks and me time in between work. So when I look at how I was living in Lanzarote compared to how I started my week back at work, there were glaring differences. It’s no coincidence then that my first full day back left me shattered.I appear to be one of the few people voluntarily working 3 of the 4 Easter bank holiday days, so what can be learned rom my holiday and how can I create a little me time?

Being Easter Sunday most places in England were going to be shut, but not everywhere. It also means there are no crowds. In winter, I drive everywhere, after all I am a driving instructor, albeit reluctantly. I was hoping the weather would be a little more spring like and my motorbike would be coming out of hibernation, sadly not. So we jumped on the tram and rode into Nottingham. Not exactly the same as biking but strangely pleasurable for a change, especially when the carriages are empty.

I hate cities, all that noise, crowds, traffic and pollution. I’m a country boy at heart. What a pleasant change to find empty streets and little traffic. We paid a visit to Nottingham Contemporary. Modern art is not really my thing, I still have flashbacks to the horror of my visit to London’s Tate Modern. What exactly makes a crack in the floor art? Actually Nottingham Contemporary was better than expected. I wouldn’t go mad and rave about it, but there were some interesting exhibits amongst the more, err … shall we say abstract pieces. As an artist in waiting it does good to widen your sphere of influence.

On the way home we called in at Beauvale Priory for a cream tea. Yes we have reached that time of life where cream tea’s have replaced rock and roll. We also took a few photo’s of the peacock in the adjacent fields. Something to paint at a later date.

What exactly then is the point of this blog? Pacing! You work to live not live to work. Even on a grey miserable day there is time for the family, time for yourself. Go a walk, catch a bus to the next town. If everywhere is shut, go window shopping. Its a great time to take photo’s, after all everyone else is at home sat in front of the TV.




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