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.


  1. Thank you so very much Geraint. As always, you have kept my confidence, appreciation of this disease and maintain some sense of humour.

    1. Thank you. Glad you are getting something positive from my ramblings. It would be nice to know your name - it just registers as 'Anonymous'. 😀