If the truth be known, I have been feeling a little blue these last few days. I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it's to do with the work we have recently had done in our little downstairs shower room. Our cheque could have bought a serviceable small car but there have been "issues" with the work - not least the fact that the new toilet is seeping water while the bathroom fitter has gone on holiday. "Oh no, don't worry about that. It'll soon dry off, There was just a bit of leakage as I was fitting it." Oh yeah!
I had really wanted to tackle the job myself but whenever I half-suggested this, Shirley's silence would become dishearteningly stony so I relented and we brought in a "professional".
Feeling blue isn't really me. Mostly I trundle along from day to day, quite happy with my lot. I have much to be grateful for. Maybe my low mood is connected with the fact that I shall be sixty years old in the autumn. This is confusing as many years ago I decided to stay eighteen for the rest of my life. I wasn't ever meant to be sixty. And reaching sixty will kind of emphasise the fact that I'll never be the lead singer for a rock band after all or forge a new career in advertising.
It's still hard to get my head around the reality that our children have grown up and left home. We enjoyed such a happy family life - the four of us together. Lovely holidays. Hundreds of family meals. Taking Ian to the park to play football for the cub scouts. Picking Frances up from the "after school club" at the primary school they both attended. Birthday parties. Father Christmas. Sleep-overs. Lots of love. So many images and memories of a life that has gone. Years of it.
Mum dead. Dad dead and Paul dead too. And I wonder what's next. What shall I do? Pick up my guitar and make songs again. Finish the novel I was halfway through writing. Make plans to visit The Isle of Man and Guyana. Paint the hallway and the stairs. Find a job - paid or voluntary. Help somebody. Get busy.
Feeling blue seems to well up from the pit of your stomach. You feel the corners of your mouth turning downwards. You are more conscious of your breathing. You start to notice that some of your habitual zest for life is diminishing.
It has always been my belief that one of the best therapies for feeling down is physical exercise. Instead of moping - get out and walk or cycle or run. Getting the heart pumping and some sweat on your brow - seeing things other than your blue mood - that's a good thing to do. After a long country walk, it's amazing how invigorated you can feel so that is what I have prescribed for myself - another long country walk. The weather forecast is promising for Friday so I'll be off - walking the blues away. Watch this space.