The Art of Conversation? 

I held from hitting the button to publish this article last week,  as I heard last week of someone attempting suicide. 

A concerning and worrying thing. These are my thoughts on me really, but there may be some help for others. 

Article below:-

It’s suicide prevention week. There’s a few good documents out there. Saw one from Scottish NHS called ‘The Art of Conversation’.

It’s everything that you need if you worry about someone else and yes it’s a difficult question to approach.

Mainly, it’s just the importance of talking. ‘Are you okay’ goes a long way.

My current worry is in terms of mood/self esteem, it’s probably progress that I’m even thinking about this or being worried about it.

I’ve been reading about ‘Cyclothymic Disorder’, it’s apparently a milder version of Bipolar and can affect people with my diagnosis.

As name suggests, it goes in cycles. I suppose that I get the cycles of down, but the cycles of up? 

I’m not sure that I do anything in a manic way and I’m not sure I experience the high ‘highs’, that way. 

It’s more like plateaus and slides, the overall effect being a kind of faster slide than the slower stepped recovery phase and with smaller slides within that as well.

I saw an article recently that was titled ‘The Lonely, Isolated, Unwanted, Mocked and Misunderstood.’ I think the title alone sums up some days for me.

I didn’t read it. The title put me off. (Sometimes it’s not good to face everything)

I do experience all of those in different ways each day and I could write at length on each descriptor.

I think for now, the main issues in my mental health are Anxiety and Depression and that’s pretty much it.

I don’t think there’s a cyclical element to it, it’s not a pattern and I’m generally pushing myself onward each day past sensory issues and the anxiety triggers that come with them. 

If I’m not stressed and worried then my mood isn’t as low, simple as that, if I am able to remove issues,  I function a bit better. Add issues and I don’t.

I’m not sure there’s Day to Day enjoyment and highs as per the manic stuff. I think there’s comfort and security in some things and I take what I can, when I can.

I think it is lonely, it is at times an isolated feeling and I do feel misunderstood, but a great deal of that is through miscommunication and my inabilities to express when things are wrong or difficult.

My limits, therefore limit my recovery and limit my progress. 

I won’t just pop up suddenly feeling better. I’m conscious of my weight, aware of my appearance and knowing my age, lifestyle and resources.

Aware or too aware? Now that’s where the pop-psychology turns back on itself. 

Being aware of my effect on people in turn affects my behaviour towards them. I have withdrawn myself quite a bit in recent years and it’s defensive. I don’t engage much if I can otherwise help it. 

So to a degree, my awareness of myself and my moods and issues isn’t likely to be a help. It’s also unlikely to predict a meltdown situation or the factors that could build up to one.

Suicide isn’t high in my thoughts. 

I’m aware of the dangers, and know that there’s added risk and possibility having the condition that I have and that I can ‘mask’ quite a lot of the condition and mask quite a lot of frustration but that comes out in the end by a rant or a meltdown. 

Verbal communication or a chat won’t always work for me, sometimes it helps, but I can stumble over words and what I’m trying to get across at that time.

Even a patient, engaged, interested listener can get frustrated with me.

Sometimes things are internalised as may be necessary, I have some filters on some things

But although I might be down and low, I’m usually not at the mindset that dying would solve anything. I certainly could use a rest at times, I could use less pressure on me in a few ways but I do keep going.

Someone that may be thinking suicidally may have kept going a long time, may be subject to the same pressures, so it’s always worthwhile reading the materials on it and knowing that it’s a real prospect for some people. 

It’s an extreme decision but it gives the person control back over what they felt they had lost control of and whilst it’s understandable, it’s a real live issue, not to be taken lightly.

Triggers can be minute, but it’s the regaining of some control when it seemed all was lost. Not good but understandable.

^ that’s what I had wrote.

I’d add that the wider effect of suicide is upon who you leave behind and the grief process around death can be bad enough without adding an extra layer of thinking for them to try and negotiate.

As I’ve said it’s easy enough to avoid people and internalise things, but doing so for a prolonged period is a sign that you need help. Coping isn’t always enough and that small question about ‘how are you’ can be absolutely vital.


Mr Jones’ Afternoon off.

Inspired by hearing Counting Crowes ‘Mr Jones & Me’ in Five Guys after getting a drenching, here’s my Friday afternoon off.

First Five Guys for Lunch and filling. Cheeseburger with just mayo and mustard. 

I’m pretty straightforward on taste and the mayo/cheese beef/mustard does the job. 

The burgers are tremendous with the double beef patty and heaps of fries. Sets me up for later.

Next Central Station low level for 1346 to Larkhall and three car unit 320317 was still with green SPT seats on inside.  

Journey was two stops away to Bridgeton. Much of journey in tunnel and sadly not a stop at Glasgow Green 😦

Pretty much site of station and exactly at where I was headed.

1405 after a walk and I’m in the West Brewery in the Templeton Building near Glasgow Green

4 beers in a flyte for £5.20

Munich Red 4.9%

GPA – German Pale Ale 5.2%

Wild West 4.9%

Feierabend Pilsner 4.6%

A more traditional bar than Drygate and food for it.

The downpour at 1300 put paid to my thoughts of an afternoon in beer garden. 

Munich Red was pick of the first four for me.

This Beauty is Heidi-Weisse. 

The West Black was a decent Stout

I also had the Red in a pint, as I really enjoyed the sampler.

I walked backed into Glasgow City Centre at about 1700.

Passed the Doulton Fountain on Way.

And tried an ale in brewdog’ bar. 

Later went to a newer German beer house.

Both very drinkable.

I made my way home and caught 2036 train, so I had more than a few hours off from worrying and being stressed. It was nice.

Rambled musings

Days and hours flow, moments change into others

Time passes, minutes fly, hours drag.

Things get done, sometimes by being avoided.

The time works onward. Light comes in and it fades again.

Being and doing, sensing it all.

Focus and out of focus, it all come in.

Wind, movement, noise, speech, brightness 

All to process and adjust for.

Sometimes rightly sometimes wrongly.

Does it make sense? Did it have to?
I see myself, in mirrors, I look and look at myself

Is that me? Aged and fatter and grey.

It doesn’t match inside my head

My vision of me, not him.

The lines on the face, the eyes, the hair

Details and a life all shown there.

But mine? 

Not the thoughts that sore, not the crush of feeling and memory. 

Not the heartbreaks and disasters, not the little wins.

Doesn’t show the goodness and the hope and the..

But it’s there and it’s rounded and broken up by that nose

It’s shows no energy, no vitality.

The smile is offset and squeezed and doesn’t look right.

It doesn’t carry the lightness and deftness of thought.

Of the inside speed of thought and slowness of tongue.

It’s the face I see, the one I have, it looks at me.

I raise an eyebrow, puff up the cheeks.

Always end up at the eyes and the colour and the shine.

It lifts the rest of the face, but shows it’s own story

I rub my face, hands in hair. I look at the screen.

Sometimes the reflection, othertimes just that light.

What can I say here, what can I type? 

How do I be clever or funny?

What do I say? How I feel?

What words mean empty?

How do you express the pit of the stomach.

The sighs that aren’t sighs, the air that’s blown outwards?

The dreams, the hopes and wishes.

The desire to be friendly, to get to know.

Wanting to understand and see and get the point 

Wanting to hear and experience.

She’s had many forms, a girl, a women.

Many ages and hair colours and figures and shapes.

Dresses and trousers and colours of tops or blouses.

Hair blonde or brown or black or red

Eyes blue or green or brown.

Arms long or short and hands and fingers.

She doesn’t exist, or maybe she does and is and has been 

I imagine the touch gentle, the words soft and knowing.

Perfect and right and just so.

Knowing me and giving me hope and courage.

The mistakes to come, the time forgotten, the minutes passed.

Holding me, wanting nothing, understanding.

I drift off to see her, a dream, a memory.

A sunny day with just a breeze.

Not thing wrong in the world and no distractions.

I wake and I don’t remember. I don’t see the face.

I don’t know the detail or the where and how or anything said.

It’s just there. It’s unconscious thought and dreams

Leicester City last eight in UCL

A remarkable story.

But, I feel for Claudio Raneri. I wonder about the players. I see some fans online reaction to these results after Raneri was replaced. I had nothing but goodwill for them in last season’s odyssey to win the English Premier League.

If you’re a Leicester fan, you’ve had a rubbish season, the manager gets sacked, results start again. You don’t boo getting in the last eight of the champions league. It’s maybe bittersweet or horrible seeing Raneri out, but think of the big guns in the tournament that are left.

Fickle. A success with an aftertaste. Player Power? It’s a combination of factors that only those in that dressing room know. Did they ‘chuck’ it? How does that square with superstar salaries and professing to be ‘with the fans’? Will it happen again and at which club?

I wonder how dads and mums explain it to their kids. I know I’d struggle.

Sherlock vs Elementary (TV)

Tonight sees the last of a three part run of BBC’s Sherlock.

It is carrying the hype and the vibe about the previous two episodes. 

It has been excellent, like all previous episodes and I expect tonight’s conclusion to thrill in equal measure with presumably a cliff hanger.

It’s a feature length show, it features layered stories and doesn’t always throw you the dots you need at times. The writing of Moffat and Gatiss is near universally praised.

There aren’t many episodes though, the availability of the starring actors squeezes the availability of the show.

Elementary on the other hand, sets a modern Sherlock Holmes in New York with a female Watson. 

It’s essentially a police procedural with Holmes and Watson consulting for the NYPD. It has more episodes with a US TV drama season schedule and more continuing back stories over the seasons.

I don’t think either show can be compared as both are equally valid in terms of their take on Sherlock Holmes. 

Both series are set in the modern era. I almost typed that all have to be set in the Modern Era. 

A very high bar on the adaption of the Conan Doyle stories was set by ITV in the eighties and early nineties. Jeremy Brett’s performance was immense and the stories were relatively faithful to the base material.

So we have a modern update on Holmes, in two different versions. 

One that applies a standard serial format and twists the format just enough. It’s onto 5 seasons and well over 100 episodes. 

From that, it could be thought that Elementary is the defining show featuring a modern Sherlock Holmes with Jonny Lee Miller’s performance setting a benchmark. 

His partnership with Lucy Liu takes the point that two men living together in this modern era would be surmised in a certain way and John/Joan is clever transition away from the source material.

 It may not be traditional, it may take a liberty or two in its initial set up, but the drama serial then goes from week to week and case to case whilst carrying a story arc. 

It follows the US television season by season convention and a team of writers that can utilise the writer’s room and be inventive with character and episodes.

Sherlock utilises the resource and prestige of the BBC as prime time ‘Event’ television. Cumberbatch and Freeman have movie commitments to work around.

 The format is feature length allowing for both a case and the ongoing development of the relationship of Watson and Holmes. 

It also allows for diversions, for throwing in red herrings for the audience and developing characters. Things like the creation of Mycroft, Mrs Hudson and Moriarty as supporting characters. 

The casting and quality of acting helps, Gatiss as Mycroft is perfect as an intellect similar to Holmes and Andrew Scott’s Moriarty carries an air of menace and also fun as a criminal genius.

The writing, the loose linked trio of episodes, the characterisations of a show that is an event. 

Moffat and Gatiss both created remarkable episodes of the new Doctor Who, they carried this partnership onto Sherlock.

Cumberbatch adds presence as a man that’s not normal, he describes himself in character as a high functioning sociopath. A remarkable detective without the social functions of others. 

Freeman’s Watson is ‘normal’ or as normal as someone that’s Holmes sidekick might be. 

The writing, the performance, the feature length add to the show’s mythology. 

It lends itself to being able to have fan speculation, blogs and modern television and social media events. 

Sherlock as event. Elementary as a regular show.

Two treatments of a concept, two methods of drama being defined.

The character has similar concepts across both ‘treatments’ – a quality close to Aspergers in having high intellect but no social abilities. 

Perhaps the high functioning sociopath, perhaps the troubled drug addict with exceptional insight. 

Neither Miller or Cumberbatch gives you a comfortable easy friendly character that you can relate with. 

Genius. Troubled, sometime drug addict, necessary to the police, necessary to take on an arch-criminal like Moriarty. 

Is either more valid? Probably not.

Me and Inner Me

You probably already know the meme with Kermit and his evil twin.

‘Me’ has had an ok week, bobbed along, seen the kids, been at work, been doing stuff as normal, getting on with things and being the usual. ‘Me’ has been buying Christmas stuff here and there and even wrapping it.

‘Inner Me’ has had a hell of a week, first with letters and lawyers and things, next with a disastrous bit of news after calling about PIP application. 

‘Inner Me’ had microwave pizza for dinner on Wednesday.

 ‘Inner Me’ lost the will to live in a pizza restaurant on Thursday. 

‘Me’ has been trying to keep all the mess at bay.

 ‘Inner Me’ can see Christmas far enough.

‘Me’ keeps the lid on the chaos. ‘Me’ writes the blogs. ‘Me’ talks and doesn’t talk to people. 

‘Inner Me’ knows what he can’t do, ‘Me’ at least tries.

‘Me’ is conditioned through school and parenting, he has sets of formulated phrases and plans for most situations. 

‘Inner Me’ mainly wants to scream at the maelstrom of information, and sensory inputs throughout a day.

‘Me’ gives ‘Inner Me’ the hairdryer treatment of regular bollickings and ‘c’mon man’.

Before I go further, I’m not schizophrenic, Me and Inner Me are just the way I can rationalise how my own mind works. 

Me is the ‘masking effect’ doing it’s job, Inner Me is the difficult bits, the anxiety, fear and depression with the puzzlement on faces, imprecise language, the way time works and just what to do. 

Yeah, even I need to work out which me is running the show.