Weekend gardens and mela

On Saturday I returned to the gardens as I could not think of anywhere else to go. It had rained almost all Wednesday and Friday so I was keen just to get out again.  Yesterday I went to the local  mela which is an Asian festival. I think its one of the biggest in Europe. I did not enjoy it at first due to crowds and anxiety and wandered around aimlessly for a while but after I started taking photos I felt better.

 

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Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Remote

This is part of the Friendly Friday  photo challenge hosted by  Something to Ponder About. This weeks theme “Remote.”

 

Its very hard to feel truly remote or alone for long in England.  Even on a beach or on a country walk you still see people quite often and the nearest village is never far away. The best you can get is a beach like this in Cornwall with the odd dog walker. 27948584253_a87baee02a_b

Nevertheless in parts of the country like the peak district you can still sometimes walk for an hour or two and see no one.5532912908_560ce0f944_b

This is Arbor Low in Derbyshire. Its a stone circle but all the stones have fallen over long ago. It feels very remote and on a clear day the view goes on for miles in all directions. I like to think of the generations of people that have walked this spot since it was first built over 4000 years ago.

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Occasionally you come across old field barns like this remote in the countryside.

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There are also still plenty of country lanes and although the odd car goes by as there are no pavements or tracks  so you dont get many walkers.19915157654_80f94a3598_b

Winter is one of my favourite times for walking as there are less people and the sun starts to set about 3.30 in the afternoon which gives some wonderful sunsets on the odd clear day.

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Dogs I have known

“No matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true EVEN IN DEATH!”

“Loyaulte me lie!”

 

Like many mad people I liked many animals way more than people especially my own family. We first got a dog when I was 15, a German shepherd or Alsatian which I wanted as it looked more natural like a wolf. It was from Germany so bigger than English and American versions. he was only 8 weeks old when we got him from local breeders. I called it Ben. He only lived for 8 years as big dogs tend not to live for that long. He never bit me out of anger but I would not go near him when he had food. Big growl. He once went for my brothers throat which just made me like him even more and bit my sister so hard she had to have her arm in a sling. He had good taste.

 

The next dog we had was also  German Shepard but much smaller and much more placid and friendly.  We got him from a couple when he was about 6 months old as they had small children and did not want a dog as well. He was also called Ben or little Ben as my family would not call it anything else. I told you they were mad. Unfortunately he only lived for 4 years as he has a growth to his spine and could not walk any more.

The next dog was also called, yes you guessed it Ben! he was quite aggressive and used to try and attack other dogs if I let him off his lead. I still remember a woman screaming and having to run after him. We also had him from a puppy which perhaps explains why he was the most neurotic. I probably got on least well with him although obviously he would still come before any member of my family. He also lived for 8 years.

Our fourth dog was called ….not Ben but Danny as he was a year old when we got him and already named. He was  very sweet dog. Once when I told him off he wet himself though fear so it was hard to get angry with him again and I barely ever did.  He lived to 10 years old and died just a year before my elderly mother.  I still miss him very much.

Finally the last dog is my brothers and the only female. She was also older and already named when he got her. Konny. She is so different in nature you would think she was a different breed. very kind, gentle and follows you everywhere. Male and females in some animals are completely different in character. What a surprise! Shall I talk about humans being different as well? Shhhh! She is still alive but 8 so getting towards the end. She is also from German stock and so much bigger than most male German shepherds.

I also have known well two of my uncles dogs from when I was a child but did not have any photos of them. However I used to see my friend’s mothers dog Pippin quite often when I visited. A small west highland terrier, she was also very sweet. Unfortunately when my friend’s mother died in 2016 she had to be rehoused but at least it was to a dog loving family who already had a dog just like her and the last we heard she was happy. I hope so. Cuteness.

If any kind of afterlife or existence exists past mortal death nothing would stop me finding my dogs again, nothing.

Are British Cities Becoming Shit Holes?

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Twice in the last week I have seen fully grown men urinating in full view. The first was in a park. He was not even doing it in private but next to the path. Kids could have come by at any moment. Yesterday a guy was peeing outside a pub, next to the main road against the wall. When I was walking along the canal near the park there was an older teenage boy almost adult sitting on a bench with his girlfriend actually straddling him as if they were about to go at it, again on a busy walkway in the middle of the city. That sort of put be off taking any pictures nearby. Then when coming home i took a shot of the redevelopment work going on near the river and one guy just kept looking at me and laughing, as if I was doing something absurd or ridiculous.

In previous weeks over this summer I have had kids shout obscenities out of a car at me twice. Some random weird guy say I looked like a prostitute simply because of the way I held my backpack, some builder in a van opening looking and laughing at me with the window open and some young males rev their engine as I crossed the traffic lights as if they were about to run me over and then laughing about it.

This is why just going out on walks often makes me jumpy, makes me feel paranoid as if people are looking at me and laughing at me and why it does not cure mental health and proves that CBT therapists are often wrong and that people do notice us and also laugh at or mock us. I dont think its just me either.  I think a lot of people when alone get this kind of thing in modern English cities. Young men often shout sexual things at girls for instance.  In fact I dont think we are far away from gang and knife crime spreading here.  The police cordoned off  half the city park last week as someone was chased and stabbed and people have been attacked with baseball bats and had acid throw in their face in the area. Is it even safe carrying photography equipment out in public these days?

Welcome to modern Britain!

Favourite Places No.3 Haddon Hall

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Haddon Hall is a medieval manor house near to Bakewell in the peak district. Some parts of it dates back to the 11th century although much of it that still remains dates back to Tutor times. Although much smaller than its famous neighbour over the hill at Chatsworth its a very unique and picturesque building rich in history. Its been used for numerous films and TV shows such as Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Elizabeth and holds regular Tudor reenactments with cooking demonstrations and Tudor music.

The first time |I encountered it was after walking down from the stone circle on Stanton moor on a warm summers afternoon. However my favorite memory was when I visited at Christmas and when the entire house was decorated in festive manner including a Tutor feast. Standing in the small chapel alone with the candles burning was something that remained in my memory ever since. The memorial is of Robert Manners who was the son of the 8th Duke of Rutland, he died aged just nine in 1894. Afterwards I went to Bakewell church as the sun set and then entered the old church for at their Christmas tree festival.

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What’s the Frequency Kenneth?

“What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed
I thought I’d pegged you an idiot’s dream
Tunnel vision from the outsider’s screen
I never understood the frequency,uh-huh.”

 

I read a forum post about an article on a newspaper website on people still living at home into older age nowadays as house prices and renting has increased so much that younger people simple cant afford to move out as early like they used to.  The article made this poor guy feel suicidal as there were lots and lots of nasty and negative comments calling such people losers and the like and made him feel ashamed.

Its the same of course with being a virgin or single past a certain age. I mentioned before while looking something up I came across a reddit post with about 12 pages of men mocking male virgins for simply being too cowardly to approach and chat up women. Things like this used to also make me feel suicidal too. Now its when I read about CBT for anxiety and see that it was written by imbeciles with no concept of life long social anxiety at all.

The thing is this kind of ridicule made me far MORE avoidant. It did not make me go out , buy or rent a flat and chat women up because of peer pressure or shame. It had the opposite effect. It made me stay away form ALL people for good in case of more ridicule. So I did not go out to parties, social events at all. Therapy demands you go out and meet new people and yet all evidence is that if you dont fit in to certain cultural  norms to begin with then you are already disliked from the off. Think of what constitutes a loser in modern society and I would be in the top 1% for my country! So we simply mock people for not doing whats expected for society norms even when its due to mental health. Even some therapists do this.

The thing is I never even left home. in fcat I STILL live in the home I was born in. Both my parents died first. My dad died when i was still quite young so that made a big difference and my mum after years of illness and being disabled, died a few years ago. I should be ashamed shouldn’t I? But I could not give a Folk anymore. First even when working  I was only on £680 month take home pay and even in those days a one bed-roomed flat was £450+ a month. I had no friends and  so living in a bedsit and never leaving it at all would hardly have been a step up would it ? At least I had a garden here. I never forget a young female student we had on summer work sneeringly asking me why I had not left home like I should be ashamed.

But it was not just the money. I was completely mental in ALL ways. I was a non functioning adult where even normal everyday things were completely beyond me. I had no friends and was deeply miserable. I never learnt to drive, never went abroad or on holiday and never went out socialising either. So the idea I just go and get a place to live with no help whatsoever was as alien to me as being told to go be an astronaut. Living in a one bed-roomed flat or bedsit with shit neighbours was a one way trip to suicide. Sure if I was normal and went out socialising and wanted to set up home with a partner, of course I would have wanted to settle down. But I knew back then that I would never get a girlfriend, and I didn’t.

But as you are mad, you know everyone hates you. is it really paranoia? You have felt it your whole life. At school , during 20 years of work, even using the social anxiety forum where they pretend to be supportive but only to types of certain people who meet certain criteria. Therapy tries to imply that this is all in your head, your lack of confidence is just maladaptive and all you have to do is get out more.Like everyone is a lovely fluffy bunny who want to be friends! The F**k are they! All past experiences have shown that our modern more liberal society is in reality as judgemental as the Spanish inquisition. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! (sorry. I could not help it.) Yes. but without the burning alive. Just mocking, ridiculing and shaming on social media

The only conclusion is that its evolution trying to remove you from the gene pool. No problems there. I am way too old to reproduce now or for most other things for that matter.  Thank God.

Dark skies

I am finding it very hard to get out again. It may partly be due to the weather, either too hot or raining plus its still the school holidays which means everywhere is more crowded than normal. There are not many places to get tranquility or peace living in a city if you do not drive but I try to go out at least once a week apart from going to the shops for alcohol and biscuits. I crave going back to the peak district at some time but that still makes my anxiety go sky high due to travel and using trains. At least the crows still got fed. They seem more timid than before, even the dominant one. They have learnt you cant trust all humans. Their own exposure therapy has taught them this and they did not need to pay a therapist £100 an hour!