55. Dirty Weekend!

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Ooooh! Advice to anyone …. when your husband is just a teensy bit tipsy, starts telling you how much he loves you and suggests a romantic weekend away, say yes and start packing.

Which is how I now come to be in the most glorious hotel overlooking the snow-covered Cairngorms with a bed that could fit an entire family plus a couple of dogs, and a bathroom to die for. I’m writing this, The Colonel is watching the rugby … can things get any better?

But what about the anxiety? Did I stress about leaving the house, hiding the silver in the fridge, the potato basket and the wellington boots (until the Colonel thought we should bring them with us, so I had to empty them again … I managed to ignore his raised eyebrows and twitching mouth this time). Did I stress about the fridge freezer setting fire, or have to go and check three times that the front and back doors were closed, locked and double bolted? Did I worry that I’d forget to pack something of vital importance and then have to drive back, collect it and go through all the door closing, locking and double bolting three times more?

Well, I certainly thought about these things, but I know a good opportunity when I see one and the best thing was that I had no time to stress. I didn’t have days and days for the thoughts to fester and grow in my mind in a downward spiral until I’d be dreading the event. Because to be honest, that’s what usually happens. Actually, it’s what always happens. I’m pretty sure that’s what happened when we last went away … too much time to think about it all, and whoosh! My mind went on a fictional nightmare of an adventure of its own.

To make matters even better, we went via Edinburgh with its stunning castle, cobbled streets and abundance of cashmere and tweed shops. I’m afraid the shallow side of me took over, the shops won, the tourists were pushed aside and I am now the proud owner of a discounted cashmere cardigan and a half price stunning, yes darn stunning, tweed, fitted, just above the knee coat! Sod anxiety …. bring on the shopping.

I tend to be a very nervous passenger in the car … the hangover from a nasty accident in the late ’80’s. I have a tendency to shriek rather a lot and put my hands over my eyes. Apparently it’s rather off putting to the driver.

The drive north from Edinburgh however was glorious. The vast and bleak open hills and spaces, barren and devoid of the softening effect of any trees. It looks so inhospitable, almost frightening. They’re exposed and raw without a single nook or cranny in which to hide from the biting winds and harsh weather. It’s no wonder that nothing but the toughest of plants grow here, and any that do grow, grow low, low to protect themselves.

The roads are narrow and twisting and from the great heights we then drop down into the forests. Within the endless dense forests, the ground is a mass of thick leaf litter and pine needles and there are rocky streams meandering through. From time to time we pass tiny villages and hamlets with houses all built of the same solid thick stone with slate roofs and chimneys spiralling smoke. Mossy stone walls follow the roads with occasional stone pillars and lodges indicating the entrance to yet another vast estate. I try to look down the driveways, but they’re miles long and hidden from sight from nosy southerners like myself.

The people who live here are miles and miles from anywhere. It’s remote and they’re tough. I wonder whether they suffer from anxiety or whether they have more important things to worry about, like if the sheep are lambing and stuck in snowdrifts, or whether the generator will work properly when the electricity fails again. Perhaps they worry about how much food they have stored in their larders, but somehow I suspect that their log stores are full, the larders are bursting and the fires permanently lit.

Perhaps I need to get things just a teensy bit into perspective and stop worrying as to whether an axe-wielding thief is going to break into the house, rifle through the potatoes, find the silver and set fire to the house, and instead spend more time in this beautiful place and get filling my larder and log store and frankly write a book. Bet I wouldn’t have quite so much to stress about then, and if it all gets too much, I can put on my lovely new tweed coat and stroke my discounted cashmere cardigan. Bliss!

Katie xx

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25 thoughts on “55. Dirty Weekend!”

      1. Yeah, not good. I have to be in the front seat, and eventually my epileptic brain just reduces me to moaning and semiconsciousness, and it is so bad that one time my husband stopped at a hotel and dragged my unconscious-looking body to the hotel room, and the owner came to check if I was dead or unconscious. It was nice of him, but it was not a good evening for any of us.

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      2. For me, I think it is sheer terror, and that can do major things to the body. I tend to be an empath,s o the feeling of all the terror, speed, and disasters on the road seems to freak me out, plus I got electrocuted ten years back so the brain has problems processing stimuli including sound and speed etc. Unsure what your situation is, but PTSD seems to have entered into it. I hope you can figure out what helps you.

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      3. Crikey. Yes, sheer terror pretty much sums it up. For me, it was a car crash when I was in my late teens which left me in hospital for a month. I suspect that’s probably the starting point of my issues about cars. We’ll get there … we’ll work it out x

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      4. I was resding bessel van der Kolk yesterday, about The Body Keeps the Score, and it said that if your brain is too freaked out, it isn’t present to get well, and that seems to apply to me. It seems like a helpful book that endroses meditation etc. and EMDR etc. to be able to be present and then get over trauma. It seems really good.

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      5. It is. It’s only a few years old, and he is a really good person, worked with vets and everyone for deacdes. I heard him speak at a conference in the last ten years. He combines brain science and things like yoga to make the body able to tolerate life, and he talks about how sometimes physical stuff overwhlems people, so they would all quit the program. OH, there are definitely triggering things in there, so just be aware. It does describe people’s abuse and accidents, so just be aware of that. I was surprised that they were casually graphic about a few things, just telling why someone has PTSD. Theys eemt o maybe expect the people reading it not to get triggered.

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  1. You have definitely made progress with your anxiety, though still some traces of it lingers. Many of us have door locking issues when leaving the home for a few days. Unfortunately due to society unpredictable behaviour. I have developed a routine where I know I have completed certain stages and my house keys always go in the same secure place in my handbag. I mentally collect my emotions before stepping to go out.

    Cashmere just to die for love it nothing like it. Enjoy your new purchases memory of a new and more relaxed you.

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  2. Have you thought about writing novels? (Or perhaps you already have/do!) Your descriptive prose is beautiful, I felt every bend in the road and could picture every driveway and house! Anyway. Thank you for this uplifting post! Sophie xx

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  3. Perfectly perfect – I am overjoyed to read this (and I am reading it in a private Schloß in Bavaria having been whisked here by my own doting husband yesterday). Enjoy, enjoy enjoy your time away and remember ‘all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well’ …. nothing is going to burst your love bubble – certainly not silver thieves or fridge fires!!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

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