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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Insouciant: showing a casual lack of concern; indifferent.

I read, I may have mentioned that before. Given a choice I read books about things, not any old things, interesting things. I like a bit of history and historical novels. I like quirky topics and I like the unconventional. I prefer reading English English rather than English of the colonies but on occasion needs must. You can probably find out a lot about me if you look at my bookshelves.

I’ve just finished reading a book called ‘Tiny Stations’ by Dixe Wills. It’s a book about the travels of a chap who visits request stop railway stations all over the country. What drew me to this book? I was brought up in Bugle and Bugle has a request stop railway station. I enjoyed it so much I immediately ordered ‘Places to Hide: In England, Scotland and Wales’ by the same author.

I’ve saved books I would like to read again or because they talk about places I want to visit. Tricia and I had an idea, in our retirement, to visit every pier in England. There’s surprisingly few, only 56, I thought there would be more. How things change. Not the piers the plans, and I probably won't get to re read those books I’ve saved or visit the piers.

Sometimes I judge a book by it's ‘draw’. ‘Tiny Stations’ had a draw. I took it on our mini holiday to Bridestowe and was glued to it. I remember spending the night in a house in Charlestown in the mid 70s. Wide awake, I looked for something to read. I found ‘Rule Britannia’ by Daphne du Maurier, published in 1972 it was her last novel. It had a draw. It was the first book I read in one sitting. A couple of years later I remember reading ‘Jonathan Livingstone Seagull’ in one go. I know, it was written by an American, Richard Bach, but I soldiered on. It was de rigueur, I was a student. I like books with a certain draw otherwise they become a chore. I’ve just started a Stephen Fry book. ‘Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold’. Sorry Steve mate, but it’s a bit like pushing a pea uphill. I don’t have the time or inclination to finish. For me it’s a bit short on draw. I’d rather read ‘The Land Rover: Workhorse of the World' by Graham Robson ..... again ....and that was first published in 1976!

Books are good for me, they absorb me, they sometimes take me to a place far away in distance and in time. A temporary escape from you know what!

While books, medication, determination and my natural cheerfulness keeps miserableness at bay, it’s not totally effective. I try not to sleep for 2 or 3 hours each afternoon but try as I may it's very difficult, nigh on impossible. If you want me awake at 3pm I’ll need to plan to stay in bed until 11am. This need to nap is probably the most debilitating part of my condition. Morning or afternoon it takes me at least 30 minutes after waking to restore my equilibrium. At the point of realising I should have already gone to bed or as I return to wakefulness are the times I’m vulnerable to a moment of depression, although sometimes it still raises it's ugly head most unexpectedly.

It takes a certain skill, in conversation, to avoid irritating a poor sod like me who has a limited lifespan. It’s like a well rehearsed conversational dance where near future events are avoided. The near future is of course variable. Talking about the ‘difficult topic’ is reserved to but a very few. However you may, occasionally find me in a nonchalant mood then caution is thrown to the wind. Coffee seems to raise my level of nonchalance. I may already have asked you what your shoe size is, whether you like my shirts or have any use for a hardly worn xls wetsuit. But woe betide those who ask what my plans are for my tools, or car or motorhome or do I have a dinner jacket I’ll not be needing. Only I can be insouciant.*

Recently my great niece and I were playing with some toy Teletubbies (as opposed to real ones) we were busy deciding which colour we liked best. My great niece, who is old enough to grasp my situation, when choosing her favourite colour, after some consideration, whispered “when you get to heaven can you send me a gold one?" Some things are just warming.

Because my medication includes an anti-depressant I seem not to get too depressed but I still find myself occasionally down in the dumps. Sometimes things just get to me. For the last 2 or 3 weeks Tricia’s car Fifi the Fiat 500 has been in the garage with a broken roof so we’re presently just a one car family. The motorhome’s not included, it’s not a car. Sometimes when Tricia’s out with the car I feel isolated, trapped even. I know, when Tricia’s visiting her mum tomorrow I’ll pop into the garage and check on Fifi’s progress. Oh dear! No car. And there's plenty of other things that conspire to upset my equilibrium, sometimes just looking into a mirror.

On a lighter note the weather’s looking dry this week so I’m planning a coffee event on Thursday at AJ's at 10am, it’s our Zoom coffee club as usual on Tuesday also at 10am. Tricia and Lauren are conspiring to take me out for lunch and finally I’m up for the occasional visitor.

Tis all pretty simple really. Unless of course you’re working, that can definitely throw a Spaniard in the works but I still function in the evenings and weekends.

For the zoom coffee club click ‘Join Meeting’ at the allotted time on the front page of

For AJs, Google AJs at Carlyon Bay

To take me out to lunch I’ll have my people talk to your people

And to visit just call.

So will I see you ur no?

*Insouciant: showing a casual lack of concern; indifferent.

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