Firstly, I must again express my gratitude for your messages of sympathy and support.
I know that my writing is often self-centred and negative. That people like you continue to take the time to read it and respond amazes me.
With the exception of a couple of years spent in South Africa, I’ve lived all my life in the Northern Hemisphere.
For many of us living above 36 degrees North, January is probably the hardest month of the year.
December flies past, and before we know it the holidays are over. We’ve spent too much, eaten too much, and drunk too much. Now we must pay. January sends in the heavies to give us a kicking.
In January Winter is still only halfway through, with the worst of it yet to come. Spring seems an eternity away.
I’m convinced my body runs on a solar charged battery. With the passing of each grey sunless day, I can feel my energy levels dropping.
The last two Januaries have been spent in Portugal and Spain. There, even in winter, sunless days are rare. That alone makes the month far easier to get through.
This year it’s different.
January 2018 is turning out to be, physically and emotionally, the most testing month of my life.
It goes without saying that dealing with Moms death would have been challenging enough. But my family group is very small, and as is the case in many other families, there’s a history of falling out.
It’s my belief that the passing of a loved one creates opportunities for those left behind. Opportunities to put the past aside and come together. Sadly not everybody shares that view. That’s the way of the world, everybody’s entitled to their opinion.
I realised long ago that nothing I could say was ever going to change things. So I chose the path of least resistance, accepted things as they were, and got on with my life.
But that wasn’t an option this week.
There’s been a lot of talking, things that needed saying got said. I was pushed perilously close to the edge of patience and acceptance.
In my last Blogpost, I talked about choice. I said that there are always choices. I said we just needed to look around for them. Well, this week I searched far and wide until I had every available choice right in front of me. It was then I realised something else. Sometimes there are no good ones to pick from. Sometimes, whichever one you choose will hurt someone. Once I realised that, there was only one I could chose. I chose the one that hurt me.
I will always love Cornwall. But I’ll never live here again. I’ve been back two weeks now. Temperatures haven’t been out of single figures. There’s a lot of dank in a Cornish winter.
Even when it’s not raining there’s moisture everywhere. The ground is permanently saturated, even the air is wet. The sound of dripping running water never ceases. We’ve had two periods of gale force winds and rain already. There’s one passing through now, and another forecast for midweek. Cornwall lies right in the path of Atlantic depressions riding the Jetstream East. They dump a lot of weather on Cornwall.
There’s been some sunshine, and when it appears it’s glorious. But it’s a rare commodity, and we’ve had consecutive days without so much as a glimmer. It’s dark at night and a bit less dark during the day. I’m writing this at 11 am and we still have the lights on.
How we got through that first winter aboard ‘Gleda’ in 2014 I don’t know.
I’m having to stay with my Dad. The house is always warm, verging on hot. Even with small windows open the air is dry and stale to me. The lights are too bright, the rooms too big. I don’t sleep well. I feel like I’m trapped in an alien spaceship.
I stand at the patio doors and look outside. The environment is hostile. Before leaving the spaceship you have to spend five minutes putting on multiple protective layers to keep the cold and wet at bay.
In my world, 2 or 3 items of light clothing are all that’s needed. And I’m barefooted most of the time. I have a pair of ‘best’ flip flops for going out.
My feet have protested at being forced into shoes and socks. Both my heels have blistered. I’m hobbling like an old man.
Every morning when I look in the mirror, I’m shaving a face growing paler by the day. The psoriasis on my knees has returned.
I don’t think I’d survive a prolonged stay on planet Dank.
Thankfully the organisational workload is easing off now. There’s not much left to do.
I’ll use the breathing space as best I can. I still have a book to finish and the hard deadline is March 1st.
But January hasn’t done with me yet.
Moms funeral service is on the 22nd
A flight back to my world is booked for the 27th.
I make a real effort to live in the present. I’ve tried harder still these last weeks. It’s one of my coping strategies. But I won’t lie. January can’t finish soon enough for me.
In the meantime, all I can do is dig deep.