HEALTH & WELLBEiNG: Relaxation Therapies

Chester visited me in bed just now.

If I could afford it, which of course I can’t, I’d have a thorough massage once a week. Particularly the back, and especially the lower (cervical?) area, and the neck and shoulders. Classic stress loci.

But whilst I can occasionally persuade Teresa to give me a few minutes of back massage, in the main I’m reliant on other stuff for relaxation. Self-medicating with booze works, for sure. But isn’t the healthiest way.

The results are immediately tangible.

Chester, our delightful and, of late, not so wee moggie, can be a real blessing. Today, like yesterday, I plan to spend as much time as poss’ resting in bed. And about 20 minutes ago he popped in, from one of his regular jaunts outside. The little darling came straight up to me and went straight into face rubbing. Which I adore.

Trump watching Higgins at work.

Another almost cast iron sure fire way I’ve found to relax is watching (good) snooker. For some reason it has to be players I find engaging, playing very well. Anything less, and it doesn’t work. Todays snooker menu consists of the gargantuan feast that is Trump vs. Higgins, 2019 World Championship.

Over eight hours of two of the greatest playing superbly. Although John Higgins is undoubtedly brilliant, he’s not one of the players I’m drawn to. For some reason (my artistic aesthetic side?) I like guys like Trump, O’Sullivan, Selby, etc. They play superbly, and look great doing it. Higgins looks like an accountant or a bank clerk!

Trump in killer shark mode, nailed eight frames in a row!

Trump played so phenomenally well in this match, particularly one session – which Steve Davis aptly described as ‘brutal’, and ‘controlled annihilation’! – that it really was one of the best snooker finals one could hope to watch.

And, as Stephen Hendry commented, these longer matches bring something the shorter formats just can’t deliver. Epic! And yet also soothing…

MiSC: Life & Art, Poetry & Depression

Black eyed dog he called at my door
The black eyed dog he called for more
A black eyed dog he knew my name
A black eyed dog he knew my name
A black eyed dog
A black eyed dog
I'm growing old and I wanna go home, I'm growing old and I dont wanna know
I'm growing old and I wanna go home
Black eyed dog he called at my door
The black eyed dog he called for more

Never been a dog person. Much prefer cats! But a little yappy terrier called Insomnia is barking and biting at my heels again. Put the little fucker down, I say.

And in the hallway, in the shadows, his darker more vulpine cousin can be heard, panting and drooling, occasionally pacing the few meagre feet of corridor. Depression is that mutt’s name. I can smell his stink from here.

I’m not listening to it literally. But the words and melodies of Drake’s ‘Black Eyed Dog’ are circling like carrion in my spent and careworn brain.

I'm growing old and I wanna go home, I'm growing old and I dont wanna know

Can I get an a-men? Too right! Ah-bleedin’-men! Can I get a hallelujah? You must be fucking joking! Tired of scrabbling in the dirt and dust in the peripheral shadows. Stop the ride, I’m sick and dizzy, and I want to get off.

MiSC: I Knew It! Chatting with Cats…

I appear to have Chester’s attention!

I knew it! Or, rather, it’s what I wanted to believe. And, in all honesty, this study seems so small as to be of questionable scientific merit. But it’s in line with my confirmation bias, so I’m running with it!

Anyway, I doubt anything would stop Teresa and I chatting in our baby-ish ways with our cats. We did it with Tigger, now we’re doing it with Chester. It’s natural! We love it. And, so it seems, so does he.


MiSC: Sleep, Dreams, Rain/Thunder… Absent Cats!?

Where’s our little darkling, Chester?

It’s 4.42am whenI start typing this. Just awakened from crazy kaleidoscopic maelstrom of dreams! Votz it all abite, Ulfric!?

Some of the dream stuff is simple and clear: wanting family – parents specifically – to come to one’s aid in difficult times. But the ‘nuclear family’ as it once was went up in a toxic mushroom cloud decades ago. And the radioactive fallout is still blighting life!

Anyway, now that conscious modes have shifted, it’s a quick trip doon the wooden hill, and across the plane of Liv Ingroom, to pee, and to wonder where Chester, our cat is. Hope he’s ok?

After weeks of drought and many days of crazy heatwave, the weather app – and various intrusive newsfeeds – are warning of heavy rain, thunder, and poss’ flash floods. With the ground baked solid, rain water might just run off… crazy times!

Note the baked dry ‘grass’ (!?) path.

I wonder if, re the precipitation, would it be wise, and a potential contraceptive precaution, or solution, to take a fork to the garden?

Teresa wants us to get Chester a neck tag. And it might be wise (if that horse hasn’t already bolted?). Has he also got fleas? Found a solitary flea yesterday, in the home.

Crazy dreams earlier! Fading fast. Got the fans back on. Need them on almost constantly! It’s still soo goddamn hot, close and muggy!

This weird, weird part of the night biz’, puts me in mind to read the recently acquired Why We Sleep (or, sometimes more to the point, why we don’t sleep!). Must read!

Must start reading this!

Teresa’s back to work today. And she’s going to have to travel by bus, as she can’t afford the train indeed, despite me being stony broke, I’ve had to loan her money for travel (a normal monthly occurrence!). That means more time on pubic transport.

We really ought to nationalise so much of our infrastructure; transport, utilities. Capitalism just ain’t working! Except for the billionaires.

Teresa’s doing like I did… off for a middle of the night pee! She just got back into bed, and… Boom!!! Her alarm just went! It’s now 5.10 am. That’s a bit bloody early!!!

FOOD: Satay #2!

Just finished cooking, and dishing up.

Teresa liked my previous satay so much she asked me to do it again! That’s nice. I’ll take that!

But I didn’t have quite the same ingredients to hand this time. We did, however, have chicken. So in that respect I was truer to the orig’ recipe. But in several others, I wasn’t.

We still had carrots, broccoli, pak choi and green beans. But we had no beansprouts or bamboo. Gluten-free soy, peanut butter and ginger, etc, made up the home-made satay. And the whole thing was finished with sesame seeds, ginger and chilli flakes.

I put in twice as much of the latter this time. As previously we couldn’t really taste it!

Chester likes to daydream in this planting box!

We ate dinner outside, in the muggy heat of a summer evening. Chester was chilling in the greenhouse, whilst we quaffed first Portuguese then Spanish red wines. Nice!

This satay recipe is a good ‘un; easy and very tasty. A one pan (wok) wonder, if desired. That is, one pan if using noodles. But two if, like us today, you go with rice.

HOME: Fishtank/aquarium stuff…

Ta-dah! (No fish as yet.)

I drove to Fulbourn, Cambs, today, to collect a free aquarium. The weather was sublime. So I drove top down. Gorgeous! Sometimes it feels great just to be alive.

The guy giving away the aquarium, via Freecycle, was a thoroughly decent chap. Dave gave us not only the aquarium itself (a 70l capacity job) but also a bag of gravel, a thermometer, a spare bulb, and – oh frabjous day – it came with an integral filter/pump system.

A ‘before’ type cleaning shot.

I spent about an hour or two cleaning the tank, the lid/pump, etc, and even washing the gravel (three times!). I then put the gravel in, followed by the water.

An ‘after’ shot.

Time and energy allowing, we’d like to visit an aquatics shop later, to have a gander at potential stock. We’re thinking two goldfish. We’ll also need to learn a bit about maintaining the right conditions, and generally looking after wee little fishies!

Ah, me, what fun!

Lid down, all cleaned!

After doing/writing all of the above, we did indeed get out, to Maidenhead Aquatics, on the edge of Peterborough. We asked a few questions, and bought five real plants (plastic ones are very dear!). Once home these went into the tank, along with a few rocks and a couple of knotty root type bits of wood.

We hope the plants will last a decent while? The rocks are fine, obviously. The wood? Well, it’s currently a-floating, as wood does. Maidenhead Aquatics advised that we let the water stand a full week afore introducing fish.

Patience is hard!