Potential All Around Us

I am a complete morning person. Basically I am so awake in the morning but I cannot deal with late nights especially as I get older. My partner Dave is the opposite and can never understand me. The fundamentally exciting thing for me is the way each new day has tons of potential. When I wake up, I’m refreshed and ready for whatever the world throws at me because the day ahead could be fantastic.

Fundamentally I am a pessimistic person. I wish I wasn’t and I try my best to be as optimistic as possible. But I do believe that every day has the potential to be amazing. This could be the day I win the Lottery. Albeit that potential could be for bad as well as good, the day ahead could be a pile of shit. But if I am going to escape the prison of anxiety and depression then I have to believe things will get better.

“Optimism doesn’t mean that you are blind to the reality of the situation. It means that you remain motivated to seek a solution to whatever problems arise.” 

The Dalai Lama

General election nights are always interesting. Although now the big exit poll at 10pm once the voting has stopped is amazingly accurate and sets us up to know the results without having to stay up all night. I stayed up till about 12.30 then up again around 6 am. Dave did a lot longer than me.

A fascinating result and the potential of what can be done by a new government with energy is exciting. Really interesting that the Lib Dems did so well and the Greens. Also a few Gaza Independents, Reform, and the Northern Ireland mix. This makes for an interesting parliament with a greater variety of voices which, hopefully, should mean more thought-provoking debates about the future.

The value of voting

Up and down health issues

Despite getting excited about the start of every new day and the opportunities that may arise, I am increasingly pessimistic about my own health – the ageing process is a bastard. Another shit turn in the week gone with an all-over body rash arriving out of nowhere. Monday and Tuesday were taken up with trips to the doctor’s, the hospital, and getting bloods done.

Totally unclear what is causing it but it’s not contagious. Probably either some sort of infection or an allergic reaction related to the severe Hayfever / cold-flu that I wrote about in my previous blog here. We’ve thrown antibiotics, anti-histamines, and steroids at it with the result that it does appear to be going down but it’s not completely gone.

My slow recovery

Gym but no swim

The start of the week was dominated by trying to resolve my new health issues which meant no time to get to the gym or swimming pool. There was also the issue of me not wanting to be seen naked covered in marks. It really made me appreciate for people who have permanent skin problems or obvious physical disabilities and have to deal with people staring at them all the time.

As the rash became a bit less virulent, so I went to the gym on 3 consecutive days: the mornings of Wed, Thurs, and Fri. I did things differently to normal in that I restricted my gym time to less than normal as I was there on 3 back-to-back days. Just about 45 mins each on Wed and Thurs though went a bit more relaxed on Fri (weekend break coming up) and did well over an hour.

The usual Zen workout with me focusing on areas of the body I wanted to work on. And alternating between using different machines and exercises on different days. There is something lovely about the potential that may come from me regularly exercising. Not to become a body beautiful but, hopefully, to improve good health for as long as possible.

64 gym sessions since the start of 2024 divided by the annual membership = £8.60 per session.

“Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Weight: Doubling down

Great news that I managed to hold my weight below 13 stone for a second week running. OK, just below and not a decrease. But I haven’t been really trying to lose weight despite my latest physical ailment. Indeed, perhaps that has pushed weight loss into the background in my brain for a while. Still, the potential is there for me to lose more if I put my mind to it.

man weighing himself

Dave is back

Hooray, Dave is back from Germany and he had a great time. He was back in time to see my rash but his face looked so much better after his fall, almost totally healed. Dave’s been really supportive in the week gone which has been great with so much going on. We took some time out for lunch together on Friday at a Soho restaurant we had not been to for a long time.

Party time

On Saturday, me and Dave travelled out to coastal Kent for my niece’s Graduation party. She’s done so well and has a job lined up already. A long but perfectly decent train journey on a surprisingly busy train. My brother and his partner had picked up mum on Friday and they were all staying in a rented apartment. We caught up together before going to the party which was a really nice event. Back to London arriving at Dave’s just before midnight. Tired but great to have time out with the family.

Be happy and grateful about nice things

A new caring commitment?

Surprise call from my step-brother on Saturday. Long and short, a potentially difficult time ahead. Looks like we need to think about how to give my dad more support. The main issue is that he lives a long way out of London basically in the countryside. No situation is insurmountable and these care challenges are affecting so many people nowadays but not great with my already existing care commitments.

Mum and Patrick: Good times

My two current caring commitments both took a lot of my time in the week gone but with no bad moments which was great. Caring is so often just simply about being there and spending time together. Time with mum watching the TV trying to take her mind off her discomfort. We also went to the local shops on Wednesday, and got her hair done on Thursday which always makes her feel good. However, I did have to take some time out during the week when I was with her just to have a snooze (why do I feel so tired?).

Me and Dave caught up with Patrick on Saturday though Dave saw him during the week as well. He’s cleared off his table so that we can get a new TV for him now we’ve got the broadband sorted. Also in the pipeline is a new bathroom and front room carpet. A nice coffee at the local coffee shop before me and Dave made our way out to the family party in Kent.

The life of Reilly?

So nice to have a chat with Phyllis last week. He really is one of my best mates and I appreciate time spent talking with him. I like his outlook on life. This week we basically pondered on the fact that many would think we are both ‘living the life of Riley’ in so many ways. Not working and focusing on our own health. But that belies the fact that we both have caring to do, health issues, and uncertainties about what the future holds.

The future - next exit

Two books finished last week, one serious piece of non-fiction and one flippant piece of fiction.

‘The Last Emperor of Mexico’ by Edward Shawcross

A fascinating retelling of the story of the mid nineteenth century when a European power (France) tried to impose an Emperor on Mexico. The latter had been torn by years of civil war and the great idea of Napoleon III was to persuade Maximilian the brother of the Emperor of Austria to take over in Mexico.

Maximilian comes across in this book as both a fairly decent guy and a real prick. Basically a liberal but from a position of privilege and a stickler for pomposity. Did this adventure ever have the potential to be successful? Perhaps if the Mexicans had decided the way to settle their disputes was by inviting Maximilian in then things would have been different. But they didn’t and he was an external imposition.

It all ends in disaster and death. Thousands of European (including Maximilian) and Mexican lives lost for nothing. A salutary message that is continually ignored. As can be seen by Russia’s intervention in Afghanistan and America’s in the same country plus Iraq. Perhaps the message is that people and countries have to sort themselves out but then does that mean no country should ever intervene such as to overthrow an evil government or try to end a civil war? Do we just leave people to kill each other?

‘Bad Gay Werewolf’ by Tony Santorella

From the sublime to the ridiculous. This was the book for last week’s Velvet Page book club. I didn’t actually make the latter simply because I was feeling quite knacked. I am finding it so hard to do stuff in the evenings; I said I am a morning person and by evenings my energy levels are falling (perhaps collapsing would be a more accurate word).

An easy read and a fun one. Basically a sexy gay slacker turns into a werewolf every full moon. He’s found out by another man in a similar position who tries to reformat our anti-hero into part of a ‘get rich quick’ pyramid scheme. This novel is a broader commentary on modern life. The way some people have totally bought into the bullshit of corporatism, and so many are simply trying to survive.

But the book is also a commentary on the friendships we make. How often our friends are not perfect but they are much better than the other options of bullshitters and fakes. The ending of the story is interesting, how it leaves open the potential for new stories and a whole new series of books.

Dozing and subdued bulldog

  • Target is at least 3 gym sessions and one trip to the swimming pool
  • Back to the doc’s on Monday for a follow-up on my rash
  • Very possible that I may have to travel up to see my Dad this week and assess the caring situation
  • Back to two thriller series writers that I like: ‘Death on the Tiber’ by Lindsey Davis and ‘Cold Reckoning’ by Russ Thomas
  • Carrying on with my daily Duolingo language personal development
  • Sadly, the end of the Euros (can England win?). Thankfully, the end of Wimbledon. Some love it like my Dave but it just doesn’t work for me. Ball backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards infinitum…

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