Saturday, October 29, 2022

Why I'm angry all the time

I never write these posts on Saturdays.

I woke up at 9. NINE! That's such a lie-in. J was out last night with a friend. No text as to an eta, but that's normal. 

Stanley couldn't or wouldn't grasp that his Mummy was coming home. And the fireworks were not conducive to his relaxation. The slightest noise was setting him off, so I waited up with him, trying to calm him. J got home around 12.15. 

I then took a while to get to sleep.

But back to today, I woke up in a really good mood. So what happened then?

I don't know. Something made me really angry: full of inner rage. 

I really busied myself - I cleaned the window frames, put the cellophane on the windows for the winter and used the hairdryer to get the creases out which was not wholly successful - even had to take the curtains off too. 

I also mowed the grass. I repaired the flex on the hairdryer. Little things.

I thought this would make me feel good; after all I was achieving things and not wasting my day. 

I guess J relaxing and not taking in what I was doing was slightly grating - how dare she not appreciate my toiling for the good of the house! 

I reminded myself she's worked a 50 hour week. She's allowed to relax.

J was at the hairdressers from 10 till 2. Mmn. I'm really angry.

I'm still at a loss why I'm feeling this way.

The Semantic Variant hasn't really taken hold, but the mood swings are awful. It's Behavioural Variant I'm struggling with. My Frontal Lobe is being eroded - eaten away - and I'm finding it so difficult to join in socially where I used to so 

What’s on the TV? Rupaul's Drag Race, Strictly Come Dancing, and variations on those themes. I can’t join in with any of those. Only Murders in the Building is the exception which we all like watching. 

I can't do the frenetic, camp, fizz anymore, that's for sure. It means I spend more time on my own in the house than I used to.

I'm not perfect. J does the cooking: I clear up. It always has been and it's getting more challenging. Things are left habitually, without malice I've come to understand,  but it's just never-ending.

And of course, they feel they're tiptoeing around me, which of course they are. 

Apparently I’m leaving the oven on and the toilet seat up when I’m urinating. 

It's good to know this stuff. I can then work on these things.

Life is a balance and it's about choosing your battles.

Anyway, I sometimes feel my points of view are quickly dismissed in this house. Maybe that's the reason I get angry. 

It feels like it's me vs the females at times. Or me vs the non-demented at the least.

And there are plenty of people without dementia who can be just plain wrong. 

Many of whom are female.

Which proves it.

What do you do to relax?

John Taverner, exercise,  this video (below)? I'm much calmer on my own watching this CGI interior listening to the auto-Jazz in the background. Maybe Putin goes to bed listening to this. Maybe not.

Aside from walking the dog I need to do some proper exercise. My body's atrophied since giving up work. I haven't lost as much weight either as I thought I would since giving up alcohol, which is disappointing. I guess that's in part my age and a more sedentary life. 

I am not going to the gym. I used to be a gym-addict in my 20s. I went again for a few months in my late 40s. I can't stand the places.

Not sure the knees or ankles will stand running again. 

Swimming is my favourite exercise - wonderful flow activity with zero impact, but can you find a decent pool in this country?

No, is the answer you were looking for.

Dungeons and Dragons

Yes. You were waiting for that. And one can hardly blame you.

That's you that is.

So, Rick's pub is unavailable until 4pm so I've cleared it with the females and the 5 goblins will come here, to the dining room. I think the girls will make themselves scarce if they can help it. 

We can be quite loud and smelly. 

More fun in a Lovecraftian-horror, set in an epic-fantasy world akin to our own European Gothic-Rennaissance. How many boxes does that tick?

It really is proving to be one of the best D&D campaigns I've ever run - 'hugely exiting and full of peril'. Sounds like a modern film rating!

So we should have some fun tomorrow.

J and I love fantasy and sci-fi - X profoundly doesn't. J and I devoured House of The Dragon. We also found a really good Cyberpunk thing just started on Prime the other night: The Peripheral. Worth checking out.

So, on a positive note, I'll bid you goodnight.

Be nice to each other, read a good book. Remember the clocks go back tonight in the UK.


(FACT: we only have GMT for 5 months of the year!)


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Trying hard not to be a burden

Every Day is Nostalgia Day

My sister came up to visit briefly, in order to go to see Abba (second time for me). 

It's an extraordinary thing. Mainly middle-aged people; some older, some younger. Everyone in a party frame of mind. Many dressed up. 

The journey there was stressful only because of my condition. Once you get there it's a really lovely arena due to its pleasant staff and the calming environment of the foyer's wooden interior.

It's easy to dismiss, but this Abba show means something to people. It's the happy-sad Swedish nature of the songs - but also the time it was created. The 70s may have been bleak socially and economically, but it was very creative musically. And it was my childhood. There's a certain poignancy about the Abba songs that best reflects the time, in my opinion.

At the concert everyone stands up and dances. Especially the 'David Attenborough' guy (as my sister called him) in the row in front of us, though thankfully a few seats to our left. 

Luckily the people directly in front of us looked really square and lived up to expectations, not getting up from their seats until Dancing Queen, giving us a clear view.

So we're in the arena, sat down -I'm  feeling happy, nostalgic, sad. Such a mixture of emotions. FTD has given me a sense of melancholy - that I somehow long for my past, yet much of the past I remember is a past that admonishes me.  

I sit in cinemas watching Star Wars films with tears in my eyes throughout the whole movie, glad no one else can see me. Like a time-traveller, I switch back and forth from the present to the little boy in Swansea Odeon next to my big Dad, watching the whole film through a C-3PO mask.

I'm living my life in multiple time-lines. Everything has a resonance to a previous age - anything at any time can draw parallels with past experiences and I'm suddenly in a classroom getting told off and crying, or being a total shit to some poor girlfriend; it can be anything. The emotion generated is visceral. I cry out, swearing.

'Why are you here? Let's get back to the present.'

At last, that calm inner voice.

And I return to the present moment. Having done a Mindfulness course I'm 'mindful' enough to acknowledge my awareness in realising where I was in my mind and having the ability to return, and I give myself a pat on the back for doing so.

As an epilogue, my sister loved the Abba concert and I loved it just as much as when J and I saw it back in June.

Just as well as I'm going again in 2 weeks! 

"That's all I can see is green stuff!"

Those wonderful people at RDS have organised 6 Monday morning sessions at the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes. 

Yesterday was the second session.

Thankfully after the horrendous storms we had on Sunday, this was the breezy, bright Autumn day we needed.

We were encouraged to embrace nature. It was too far for me to go barefoot in the grass, and I've never been one to hug a tree. But I do find them enigmatic and mysterious. I've always been fascinated by what goes on under our feet, and it's only recently we're starting to discover the communication between trees and fungi.

Charlie and Raksha gave out notebooks and information leaflets. In order to give back I took lots of A-levellish photos with my iPhone. I have a ton of pro-photographic equipment which I have barely used for years as you end up being a photographer when you really should be experiencing being in the moment with nature. 


Rather like the people who go to a concert and video the whole thing. They're missing out on the experience in order to get a third rate recording of it.

The title of this comes from a hide we were in. A dad was showing his little boy how to use the telescope to see the wildfowl. The boy was struggling and said "THAT'S ALL I CAN SEE IS GREEN STUFF!"

Made me laugh anyway.

Am I a burden?

J's having a hard time at the moment dealing with it all. Work, the future, the house, kids, the dogs, the past. I always think it's me and me alone that's the problem. I think of myself at times as the constant reminder to her that she made the wrong decision in marrying me. She asks all my friends and they say - no - he was always like this.


Really constructive!

Let me break this down. 

I have never been the easiest person. I am relatively thin-skinned, I am quick to anger, I am a total coward when it comes to confrontation...blah blah blah. Posts passim

However, in my 40s I had become a lot calmer. More thoughtful. Always trying to become better from my 30s, I'd read lots, been on courses, had therapy. None of us are the finished article. 

It is so hard. I have tried to get a thicker skin, be more calm, be less outspoken, think more about proffering my opinion etc.

When I met J I was in a good place: a more mature and less abrasive me. 

Then FTD. Oh the irony.

I became angrier again; with myself, with the world. Temper frayed, my intolerance worsened. My faux pas knew no limits.

I can hear my Mother's voice: 'Leopards don't change their spots!'

While an addict suppresses their addiction, the addiction is always there, and like a dormant volcano it can occasionally spring back into action.

I can't tell you how hard it is to keep it together all the time. If something angers me and it can be anything - the coping mechanisms I've created and deploy you would not believe. And it is really hard work, which adds to the tiredness people with dementia experience the whole time. Even a couple of days on holiday are tiring - and that's just talking to people you know.

So just remember that I am having to consciously deal with anything life throws at me now - when all of this used to be done unconsciously.

I am trying so hard not to lose who I am - to lose the best of me. 

I don't want things to be like this either.

Drakkenheim Continued

Sunday - a 4 1/2 hour DMing session. We had 2 special guest stars, Larry and Adrian from the other Drakkenheim group (from the games holiday) who met the Sunday players at The Bark and Buzzard Tavern in Emberwood.

From there they went to The Rat's Nest Tavern and and into the burrows, managing to defeat the hoards of Ratlings (2' tall bipedal sentient rats) and the Rat Prince and his Warlock. On the way back they chanced upon a wailing from a ruined house. It turned out to be a wretched ghost or in this context, a Warp Witch. On defeating the creature they heard a clapping behind them. 

This was a strike team of The Queen's Men - sent to duff them up and take their magic items away. 

However, by the skin of their teeth our heroes prevailed. It was a really exciting session in a really vivid setting of a shattered city, its characters and lore. 

I'm really looking forward to the next session.

My Monday session with a different group of players and the world setting is markedly different. Their characters are much higher level and are unfortunately going through giants like a dose of salts. D&D is very difficult to get the balance right at times.

And it's very tiring too, but worth it.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

I can’t get my head to think

Games Holiday

 So I went on holiday, a gaming holiday. And the 2nd day I got Covid and had to come home and isolate. Very annoying. I'd hired a car too and had (naughtily) taken Wilbur the spaniel with me, despite the 'No Pets' instruction.

(Anarchy or what? Yeah, I know!)

I came home and all symptoms were gone in 2 days and after a clean LF test I came back. 

We played some games but not so much any RPGs, but for the last 2 days I Dungeon Mastered for 11 hours . It was so exhilarating but really tiring. The players all loved it too. Very kindly, the guys rearranged the timetable to accommodate me. How very kind and thoughtful of them.

Lots of other games were played: 6mm Napoleonic wargaming, card games, railway games (this is a genre) boardgames or other weird things. I even played one where you had to feed a Panda bamboo.

Napoleonic Wargaming using 6mm figures. Can you see them?

But my thing is Role-Playing Games and with a few exceptions they're pretty much all I really want to play. Those exceptions are Marvel United and Here's Negen and a few others.

By the way, this was the first time in 20 years a timetable had been used to organise the week. 

Some said it would never catch on. Others that it would upset the apple cart. 

It proved to be quite the game-changer (see what I did there?). 

At least when something is written down it can be changed/moved.  With RPGs once you start a campaign you need the same players as many sessions make up the whole game, rather like chapters to a novel. Some of the games can last years even played weekly with a 3-4 hour session.

In previous holidays games sessions were conducted on a far more ad hoc basis and there were hours spent waiting around for other players playing games we were told would last no longer than 80 minutes. 6 hours later and they were still playing.

Wilbur's Holiday

Wilbur loves it on the farm but he found the composting area in the private area at the back. I ran through to the private area of the owners, through the huge hissing geese and posh chickens and despite calling his name several times I ended up having to drag him out of the compost by the scruff of his neck, still with a rotten fermenting apple in his gob.

He woke me up at 3am to puke it all up. Thanks Wilbur.

Farmer Wilbur 

I tried taking him for a walk, but 200 yards in he just dug his paws in and headed back for the farm. He just loves tootling around there and there alone. 

Luckily the other gamers (for the best part) like Wilbur too. He takes a seat next to me so he's on the same level when I'm DMing.

He's one of us.

Everyone you know is mental

Gamers are mental. This was the fourth time I've holidayed with them so I should know. 

I am now an EXPERT.

And it's all of them. People who don't wash, or do wash but not their clothes. People who have a room in their house full of Amazonian tree frogs. People who have made 6 attempts to leave the house because of their fear of getting Covid. People who are rules lawyers with no self awareness whatsoever regarding how they impact on others, who deny the existence of rules they aren't aware of. People who have the loudest voices you've ever heard. People who look at you in utter horror if you use a metaphor or analogy because they are so literal and cannot make that leap. People who can't bear any material on their feet. People who cannot bear any material on their arms. People who cannot do anything for themselves as their wives/mums do it all at home. 

Of course, I'm only scratching the surface here. But you get the gist.

Gamers are also kind, gentle, inclusive, accommodating, interesting and thoughtful.

And this is why a demented - such as myself - fits in with it all.

Life back on Earth

I had a stress-free time at the gaming holiday. It was hugely enjoyable and relaxing (except when Wilbur runs off to eat compost). 

Dungeon Mastering  for that amount of hours and the intensity of it also turbo charged me into a good place, but now I'm back I have all manner of crazy negative thoughts coming into my brainage, none of which were present on the holiday. A lot of these are the same old stupid things that have been haunting/possessing my conscious these last few years, all of which happened years ago.

Possible reasons as follows:

  1. The Conservative Party. They certainly don't help matters.
  2. Pelotons of city-boy cyclists on 15 grand bikes shouting about their what their broker's advised them while tearing round Richmond Park don't do my mental health any favours.
  3. Knowing that I'm on a high as far as cognitive function goes means I can expect a trough in the very near future.
  4. We all feed off of others' fears and worries unconsciously, whether from hormones, smells etc or body language and the subtleties of communications.
  5. Other/don't know.
As always, I tell myself to remain creative and keep busy and all will be well. I still haven't drunk since that Friday in September when I lost my shit.

Luckily I found it again. 

It's just retaining my shit that's the problem.