Thursday, May 01, 2014

Sleepy Time

It seems hard for me to write at the moment. 

The stress of my life, particularly my redundancy situation, has been getting to me.

When my present troubles began in February, I found it hard to sleep.

Now I find it hard to stay awake!

A combination of the medicinal drugs I am on and sheer, relentless stress means I drop off at the drop of a hat.

Sometimes I go to Starbucks at lunchtimes and just fall asleep for an hour.

If I am sick or on leave, I need only lie down for 10 minutes to find myself waking up several hours later.

It is weird. Like my mind wants to clock out.

I am trying to take a philosophical approach to impending unemployment.

But it is not easy.

I went to the National Union of Journalists' biennial conference, in Eastbourne, a few weeks ago.

It is some 30 years that I last attended an NUJ delegates' meeting - and it was a good experience.

I stayed at the Queens Hotel for two nights and met some really dedicated trade unionists. The industrial carnage going on in journalism is shocking.

The meeting itself was much as I remembered it from my last visit in the 1980s, when the Wapping dispute was in full swing.

I made the mistake of volunteering to be a scuntineer, a role that I am happy to admit is not my forte.

On one day, I was just going off for my lunch on the seafront when I was summoned to spend four-and-a-half hours counting - and recounting - ballot papers from the union's numerous and complex elections. Never again!

Still, someone had to do it.
Overall, the Brighton and Mid-Sussex delegates worked very well together.

It was also a good-natured affair with a jolly final night gala dinner.

Walking back to the hotel I was fascinated by the sight of a nocturnal dredger bombarding the beach with pebbles.

The mornings were also amazing.

The quality of the light can be exceptional.

What else?

I am trying to be positive although, God knows it is hard.

An hour listening to the strange people in LaPorte Cafe, Lewes, the other Saturday was almost unbearable.

My children stood me up. Again.

Miserably, I bought some pate and went to my therapist in Brighton who with his hands magically sends electricity through me. Odd but effective.

I returned to Lewes for the Mighty Rooks' final home game of the season. I had a hunch it was going to be a cracker and, for once, I was right.

After 40 minutes, Lewes FC was 4 - nil up against its opponents Leiston - a side, indeed a place, of which I had never previously heard.

By the final whistle, the scoreline was an excellent 5 - 1 to the heroes of the Dripping Pan.

It is good to have a reason to celebrate.

In a moment of elation I even bought a Lewes scarf. A classic red and white one without lettering.

Otherwise, my main entertainment has been my allotment at Earwig Corner.

The other allotment holders have become friends.

It is amazing how things have improved up there on the hill in recent times.

I have painted the shed - twice - and cleared it out. It is starting to look really good.

So far on my little plot, I have put in potatoes and garlic.

This year I am planting in a triangle. I intend to put in flowers around the outside.

Not having a garden at home, I want it to fulfil that function as well as providing vegetables.

Lewes Poetry trundles on.

My old chum Mac McFadden headlined in April and was good.

A Liverpudlian comedy and performance poet, he certainly has the gift of the gab.

I am also enjoying the compering, made much better by my moderate drinking regime.

That's about it.

I will leave you with a funny dog I met on the beach.

The owner said he swims in the sea every day and is unstoppable.

And there has been the occasional really lovely evening.

Summer is on its way and, like it or not, I will have a lot of time on my hands.

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Blogger urko said...


First an apology for neglecting you recently. I'd foolishly assumed things must be on the up, rather than down. Can't believe you're being shafted (again).

Not much I can say except offer my encouragement - you don't deserve all the stuff you've had to put up with recently. I have dropped you an email, but I will pick up the phone as I should have done some time ago, too.

Wednesday, 14 May, 2014  

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