Mindful

I have mentioned, here and there on this blog, that I suffer from anxiety. I have so for my whole life. But it wasn’t until summer 2022 that I finally got help. (I was actually contacting my doctor regarding ADHD, which I’m sure I’ve got, but because I scored so high on anxiety in a questionnaire, I was referred to mental health services for it.) The six sessions I had with my practitioner included some helpful tips for when that dreaded feeling rears its head again. One of them was a mindful activity.

A clump of trees in my local park became my favourite place to do this exercise. It just means using your five senses to be aware of your surroundings.

September is such a month. The last remains of the summer are still present, but autumn slowly creeps in. Can’t wait for the colourful glory of this season!

It is important to slow down.

Pigeon conference, again.

So this happened. I met Sam Claflin.

I’ve written (to date) my longest post on Some Photoblog about him and IRL I can talk about him for so long, that if I should ever get kidnapped, I’d make the kidnappers release me because they’d be sick to their teeth of listening to me rambling about him.

Somehow I’ve felt for a while that one day I’d get to meet him at some convention. And I did. The convention was Dream It Fest convention in London. (Which I’m sorry to say had absolutely atrociously awful organisation, honestly shocking, considering the actors present, among whom were Emilia Clarke, Ben Barnes and some others from the series Shadow and Bone, the Heartstopper cast, Simone Ashley and Natalia Tena.) My VIP ticket for Sam included a photoshoot, an autograph, and a front seat at Sam’s panel.

(Hiding the half of the photograph where I appear (you can see my fingers on Sam’s arm) under Sam’s autograph, as I am not someone who looks good on pictures. There is a reason I don’t show my face on my profile pics–and my body ain’t that much better. At least my siblings persuaded me not to cut myself out of the photo. You can see just how freaking beautiful he looks there, so with me next to him–naaah.)

I was, as could be expected, star struck as fuck, but I managed to keep it together. The photoshoot was actually my best experience, despite my hatred of being photographed, and not something I would ever care about, had it not meant meeting Sam. He was so nice, and we even started a conversation until the member of the staff had to remind us that we were there to have a picture taken. During the autograph session, however, I said nothing, apart from “I’m pretty sure you know how to spell Linda” (a staff member gave me a post-it note, on which she wrote my name, so that he’d know who to dedicate the autograph to). Got kinda tongue-tied.

That’s about all I wanted to share today. I’m not going to talk about how I had to take a coach to London and thus had a five-and-a-half-hour journey each way, because I couldn’t trust the trains (they’re on strike a lot, and even with the queen’s death and crowds flooding to London, I still couldn’t rely on them not to cancel services), I’m not going to talk about how that one night at a hotel cost me more than the VIP ticket for Sam Claflin at Dream It Fest, I’m not going to talk about how I was a pure ball of nerves over the whole trip, and that even now, full twenty four hours after my return from London, my stomach is still so tight I eat to only sustain myself.

None of that matters.

My Little Assistant

My mum often refers to my cat as an assistant. For example when we’re talking on the phone, she’ll ask: “how is your assistant?” My mum has these expressions that are very her.

But the truth is, Pepper is my assistant. Not that she assists me in any useful way, she is just there when I’m doing something, sitting and watching me.

This is her watching me while I wash the dishes. It’s my typical evening routine, I do the dishes at around ten or eleven in the evening, clean the counters etc. Pepper sits there at the doorway and watches me.

The below picture was taken on a different day, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the same day.

I don’t know what interests her so much about my washing of the dishes. She’s an indoor cat, her territory is a very small flat, so I guess she needs to find excitement in every mundane thing.

English Seaside

Southport Edition.

Heatwave was back, so it was time to go to the beach again.

Shot taken from the pier.

Light above the pier.

Sun reflecting on the water.

My foot in the water.

Something to eat.

Followed by an ice cream, of course.

Place to have some fun times. (I think. I haven’t been there.)

Shops on the street are also sort of typical of the seaside town.

Sun starts setting on the seaside, rides are closing.

Bye-Bye!

All tired out from the day, you make your way to the station, only to be faced with the reality of the train to Manchester being cancelled. The next one would not depart until an hour after the cancelled one.

Distrust in the railway company, coupled with your ever present anxiety, forces you to seek another solution.

You board the next train to Liverpool and return to Manchester via Liverpool South Parkway. You get home at about the same time you would if you had taken the train after the cancelled one.

What a journey!


For the Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Journey.

In case you want to know, I didn’t have to buy another ticket, the one I had was valid for the alternative journey.

Garbage… but it’s history

One day I was walking down the well trodden street that leads from my place to the park, when I spotted it. It lay there, on the ground, as if it had been there for days or weeks–but it hadn’t. It wasn’t there the day before.

I took a picture of it, because that’s what I do, you know, and also, my brother is a huge Lord of the Rings fan. Later that day, I sent the pic to him.

He joked that it was such a waste throwing it away. I, of course, remarked that littering never ceases to irritate me, considering there are bins nearby.

Then I looked at my pic closer. The cup has an Odeon cinema logo but, as Paul pointed out, the movies were out two decades ago. I thought it might have been an advert for some other type of media, a video game perhaps, as there’s the new series on Amazon Prime set in Middle Earth, so I thought “The Ultimate Quest” referred to something else of this universe (I don’t keep up with LOTR stuff, not one of my fandoms). But no, the image on the cup is definitely related to the last film of the trilogy, The Return of the King. But that was released in 2003. Also Paul was able to notice that the Pepsi logo is old. I never know what the Pepsi logo looks like, I buy Coca-Cola.

So, what is a nineteen-year-old cup doing on the pavement? And how come someone kept a paper cup from a cinema for nineteen years in the first place? It’s quite well preserved, albeit squashed. On one side it had marks from a bike, but that bike would have run over it once it was already on the street. It seemed to me someone was doing a big clear-out. But if they were doing a big clear-out, wouldn’t they have put the cup in the binbag with the rest of the rubbish?

WHAT IS THIS MYSTERY, I NEED ANSWERS!

The next day I walked that street again (I always do, since I go to the park most days) and the cup was still there. The location of the cup is near the point where a wall of one house meets the backyard of another house. The backyard has recently been filled with old, broken furniture. I think I might have cracked it.

There’s obviously some renovating going on in one of the houses and the cup must have got stuck somewhere in the furniture. As the furniture was being dumped to the backyard, the cup, being much lighter, landed further away.

I also wonder if the cinema goer kept the cup because they were a fan of LOTR. I can imagine a kid, perhaps twelve or thirteen years old making it part of their little LOTR collection. Maybe their parent/s couldn’t afford to buy them any merchandise. So they cherished the cinema cup with the image of the film, because it was the only thing they had.

Later, when they grew up and started earning their own money, they would buy whatever else they wanted. The family moved out and the cinema cup was left behind, long forgotten.

Until the renovators came.

What a relic. Might not be worth much, but it’s history.

Roses on the Beach

Pic is from my trip to Crosby in June.

Something very gothic romance about it.

I think of a young man in 19th century, perhaps a newly qualified lawyer with good prospects, coming to Liverpool to meet the woman he loves, who is to arrive on a ship from America. He buys a bouquet of roses, of course, for roses are her favourite flowers. The ship docks, the passengers disembark, but his beloved is not among them. Heartbroken, the young lawyer suspects she fell in love with another man. He dumps the flowers on the sandy beach and swears never to love again. To escape his disappointment, he leaves for an expedition to West Africa, where he meets his death.

The young lady, his beloved, has in truth not fallen in love with anyone else. She never boarded the ship. Her best friend has had an accident and the young lady rushed to be by her side, as this friend was like a sister to her. She wrote a letter to the young lawyer, explaining she would make the voyage as soon as her friend recovered. How was she to know the young man never read her letter, for he had left before he could have received it?

When she finally arrives to England, she hears of her young man’s death in West Africa and cries many a tear. She vows never to love again, converts to Catholicism and becomes a nun.

Luckily, there’s another version of this story, where the young lawyer has a sister, who tells him he’s being an idiot and that he should trust his beloved–if she was not on the ship, there was probably a good reason and no doubt soon some news would come. Which it does. He reads the letter and it makes him love his beloved even more. “Isn’t she just the best, look how she cares about her friend!” he gushes to his sister. The sister wears her biggest told-you-so face.

Some weeks later, the lovely lady at last arrives on another ship, he waits for her with a fresh bouquet of roses. They get married and live happily ever after.