mental health and travel
When I first started working for the Basingstoke Sports Centre in April 2012 in the maintenance and cleaning department there were a few things about the job that I was to benefit from. I got to work in a thriving, friendly and healthy environment where there was always something interesting happening. The Basingstoke Sports Centre is a large place with seven floors of sports and fitness activities and there is something different to do each day, in various parts of the building. I have enjoyed interacting with staff, members and other customers while going about my work and I enjoy the dynamic - whether it’s talking to older customers as they have their coffee meet ups in the cafe, the toddlers having their first swimming lessons or the gym goers pumping iron whose motivation and dedication Is impressive.
A few weeks ago with much excitement I had a holiday to Giverny, France to see and photograph Monet’s house and gardens. Claude Monet is a big name in the art world and it was a real privilege to see and photograph the sights that inspired him to paint so many works. He actually created his gardens and lake/pond for the purpose of painting it. He diverted a nearby river to make the pond.
I was inspired by my blogger friend Aimee Wilson to interview a police officer for a blog post.
I’d sought a five minute chat about procedure when a person is taken into custody for temporary safe keeping because they have a mental disorder, and are putting themselves in danger.
What I got was nearly an hour of Peter’s time, in which he talked me through this issue and expanded on it over coffee in a friendly and helpful way.
Springtime Colours (not the blues) – with photography by Alli Ross
Once again I feel privileged to be able to write about positive mental health. I know lots of people are battling demons and I know I am lucky to be on a continuing journey of happiness and recovery.
Last week was Mother’s Day and I’m lucky with that too – I couldn’t wish for a more qualified mum if I’d picked one out myself. I got her a big bunch of flowers and we went to an ‘Open Garden’ event at Bere
Today is April the first, April Fool's Day. I am not planning on flying to China to meet anybody, I hate flying because of my vertigo, but perhaps I might if I was meeting with a book publisher (I'm almost finished on my mental health memoirs)!
This post is an April Fools joke for all of my Facebook and Twitter friends where I shared a link to this page.
Happy April Fool's day everybody, have a fantastic week.
I’d never been to Scotland before and though my uncle, auntie and two cousins live there and have shown enthusiasm in conversations for the place they love, I didn't know anything about Scotland apart from kilts, bagpipes and a wee bit of dram. But stepping onto Princes Street (the main road) in the centre of Edinburgh from the train station, the first view was spectacular. An instant panorama of huge stone buildings on the hill skyline including Edinburgh Castle. It wasn’t like other cities that are often flat with buildings obstructing any ground level panoramas. The view from the station on the left stretched at least a mile of grand structures on the hill that runs east to west. In between the station and the hill was Princes Street Gardens. On the right was no hilltop skyline but massive department stores and hotels, that looked a bit like Harrod’s. I was surprised and impressed.
It was the best holiday I’ve had since childhood holidays.
I love airplanes and airports, though I get vertigo quite badly. But I wasn’t nervous about the flying until we actually took off so I was able to enjoy the shopping and sights at Heathrow, with my mum, uncle and auntie. The flying itself was slightly better than I expected and the sense of joy, partly because of all the anxiety just falling away, was fantastic as we landed in Milan. We stayed at an airport hotel that night and the next day we drove in a hired minibus (there would be more joining us) south to San Gimignano, near Florence, a five hour trip.
I wanted to do a blog post about the things I like best about my life as it is today. I’m sure it will change in the coming weeks as I have a few exciting things lined up including a trip to Edinburgh on a sleeper train, my first journey of such a kind. I love trains. I love planes – ironic as I’m shit scared of heights, but I am astounded at their beauty and engineering marvel. Every time I take my mum to Heathrow airport as I did last week, they fly directly above while we’re driving and it’s –
“Wow! Look at that. That is a Boeing 777.” (You can tell from the massive engines, one on each wing, and the absence of winglets for aerodynamic efficiency. The 777 is the only large plane that doesn’t have
Holiday in Stresa, Lake Maggiore, Italy. It was not stressful.
Lunch on a boat trip north across the border into Locarno, Switzerland. A mountain view train ride through The Alps south again. As part of a holiday travelling around Italy with 11 other family members we were in Stresa, a town on the western coast of Lake Maggiore for two days. We also spent two weeks based at the most beautiful villa I’ve ever seen on the top of a hill right next to San Gimignano, Tuscany, in the middle of Chianti country. I think someone got in some wine a couple of times each day.
A quick word about what being "sectioned" is and the first time i escaped from parklands mental hospital
I was first hospitalised at Parklands Mental Hospital in December 2001. My diagnosis of "cannabis induced psychosis with delusions of a grandiose nature" made for many interesting experiences, especially at the very beginning of my illness. Lots of real ups and downs. I've written at length about in my book but for today's post it's a brief view of being sectioned, how I felt about it and the first time I escaped, or "absconded" to use the official term that my supportive team would end up using a few times. Click on read more to read more.