Saturday, 26 November 2011

Food for the soul

As I type I'm listening to Leonard Cohen. The lyrics of his songs are pure ambrosia for the soul they really are. His poetry strokes the heart & soothes my spirit on this cold, dismal Birmingham night,
The words of 'In My Secret Life' resonate within me, whilst 'Love Itself' awakens the slumbering romance in my heart that November as sedated. Wonderful.
The man is a gem, a genius & a gift to the spirit.
I recommend that you take a listen to (if not these songs)  but to some of his other works. For I'm sure that you too, like me will be recharged & moved by the rhapsodist that is Leonard Cohen.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Can I share with you?....

A short post (by my standards!), but tonight I gave a CD a spin which I ain't played for a while & realised just how lovely it is. So lovely that I recommend that you give it a blast to. Assuming of course you have it in your collection.
The music I refer to is Dvor├ík's 9th symphony ('From the New World'). Its truly lovely.
Apparently it was performed for the first time in the then recently built Carnegie Hall in New York in 1893.

Incidentally I ordered yesterday some stuff by the great Leonard Cohen-can't wait for it to arrive!!

Sunday, 20 November 2011


The month of November causes me to feel flat emotionally & mentally. I have a feeling akin to not having any excitement, joy & energy sucked out of me, a metaphor for these feelings would be that I feel like a bath of water that is slowly draining of water. The warm & the bathing effect of the warm water ebbs away leaving the bath empty & cold (with the bath toys-rubber ducks(!) washed up on the bottom of the bath).
In Birmingham, November at the moment is dank, dismal, foggy ( or is that just my mood??) and covered in a thick layer of grey cloud. I try to tell myself that above that layer of greyness is a clear bright blue sky but its damn hard to paint that picture into my depressed cognition. The once golden leaves are all off the trees, lying strewn on the ground, wet, sodden memories of the summer gone.The trees bare, remind me of wire coat hangers denuded of clothes.

Outside today it was drizzling, people looked through each other, wore clothes the colour of which reflected their countenance & the weather.
I know all this sounds miserable, a scenario to sit at home with & listen to the great Leonard Cohen singing Joan of Arc. I don't know! However....Lets be optimistic... maybe I/we should see November as a period of calm before the storm of enforced joyousness that is Christmas. That time of complete financial & gustatory insanity. Maybe we should prepare for Christmas- for Advent appropriately & live a little bit more austere before we all go ape-shite at or around Christmas.
(Can you tell that at best I am a tad ambivalent about Christmas!??)
Charlie Coal has the best idea though. November to him is the same as any other month except that  (as we speak) he's stretched out on the sofa sleeping dead to the world in the heat of the wood burning stove. Smart cat that lad!!

O well... toss another log on Woolley, make a cup of cocoa & put a Leonard Cohen CD on the player.
Happy November everyone!

Monday, 7 November 2011

The work

I meant to post this on Friday last but i was tired out physically, mentally and emotionally. Not to mention that it took me almost one & half hours to drive the 9 miles from my work place home on Friday!-The traffic was awful , its just that the UK is too small for the amount of cars that people have with the majority of cars having 1 person only in them at peak times.
Be that as it may. I think now that I'm not working full time I feel more. I mean, that when I was working 40+ hrs weekly you get so caught up in the daily hassles, everyone's issues blur into one & you haven't the time to think & reflect. But now.... well I have the time to reflect upon the grief, the personal turmoil & torture that some of the individuals I encounter are or have experience(ed). And you know....these days I often feel overwhelmed with unhappiness after hearing & sharing their stories. A Kleinian like my Katie would call what I'm experiencing 'Projective identification' ,what ever. All I know is that the feelings I experience on a Friday evening after 2 days of work in a community mental health team are not pleasant & I often feel drawn to tears. But if I feel like this how do the poor people I have seen feel?
Some people carry so much upon their shoulders.....

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Children & Family

This weekend has been entertaining, joyful & has caused me to reflect on upon the era of our lives that Kate & I currently find ourselves in.
We took a drive up to Tadcaster in beautiful North Yorkshire stayed overnight with our daughter who married in 2010. We all went to the classic Leeds grand Theatre we we saw & listened to Toumani Diabate. He hails from the African republic of Mali & plays an instrument native to that country called the 'Kora'.  It was a dream to behold & to listen to well worth the £15. Whilst there our daughter looked after us, cared for us, cooked our dinner & breakfast-altogether cared for us. I reflected upon the times when these situations were reversed. When as a child we cared, cooked for her (I guess we still do!) & when I sat up all night with her boiling a kettle of water to keep the atmosphere in her room moist as she had the croup. She was, is & will always be our little girl. But now this little girl is a woman, & caring for u, & teaching a class of (sometimes) unruly 13 & 14 yr old teenagers! Ah how time changes roles!
Then tonight, our baby-Esther goes out on a date with a boy! The last one of our children to begin their hopefully long & painless flight from the nest. I know that I am her father, & I'm biased but she looked stunning!! Have a look for yourselves people & please, please be honest. Do you agree? She has her moms good looks I reckon, but there's some little part of me in there somewhere to!

But: She's out at the movies as I type & I hope she'll have a great time and pray that she'll be safe. God help this guy if he breaks her heart! But in truth the reverse is more likely to happen!
What I'm trying to say is this..... that holding tight with loose hands is painful, difficult & reflective.