Blue Christmas

So many see Christmas as a happy time, but it can be difficult – and lonely for a lot of people. Hope it goes well for you.

Depression's Collateral Damage

This may be the most depression-free Christmas season our family has ever experienced. I’m incredibly thankful that my husband is currently beating his long-term depression and that I’ve found ways around my SAD.

The holiday season is very often painful for those with depression. The pressure to experience joy and goodwill can bring on a downward spiral of guilt (for not feeling joyful), envy (of those who can enjoy the season), and despair (because it seems that peace and joy are unattainable).

In Beat Back the Holiday Blues , a post this week on the National Alliance on Mental Illness blog, Kathleen Vogtle offers several thought-provoking and practical steps to take in order to get through the season on a healthier note.

If you know someone who  struggle with increased depression during the holiday season, take a look at “Beat the Holiday Blues.” It might be the best gift you…

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P&O Ferries value their shop goods over the lives of their passengers?

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

Six months ago, Richard Fearnside was travelling home from holiday on a night ferry across the channel. He went on deck for a cigarette and never returned. Nobody knows what happened to Richard. We don’t know if he fell or jumped or was pushed from the deck. He has never been found.

There was no CCTV on the deck of the P&O ferry. If there had been a CCTV camera on the deck, it could have been checked as soon as Richard was reported missing and it may have helped the search and rescue teams find him in time.

In response to the tragedy, Richard’s parents are now campaigning for ferry and cruise operators like P&O to install CCTV on their decks.

P&O, however, have been completely indifferent to the Fearnside family’s plight.

They say it would be impossible to cover all the…

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St Andrews Day.

ASD Mummy with issues.


Happy St Andrews Day to the people of Scotland scattered around the world.   

I think today is a time for reflection of what we have and knowing how we must embrace it. 

The ongoing tragic events in Glasgow make you stop and think.      

Today tell someone how important they are to you.   Make each moment matter. 

While we can not live our lives in fear of tragic things happening, we can try to make each moment important.  

My heart goes out to the folk involved and those now on the scene.

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This Week in The Archers – W/E 29 November 2013

This week, I’m going for a bit of a departure. I’m going to start off talking about the Grundys! Joe is picking up a bit at last. Funny how a compensation hand out from Grey Gables will pick you up, isn’t it. Its not like Joe to be so down – he’s usually got something up his sleeves and is usually full of life. Getting out and about with Bartelby has given him a bit of a lift, but maybe for Joe it was a step too far, too soon. But for poor Joe its progress. He’s the most likeable of the Grundys and it must sometimes be a dagger to the heart to see how Ed & Will behave towards each other. I hope none of Joe’s compensation goes their way. But hasn’t the Grundy’s situtation blown up big time? The way Ed has been whinging about the cause of the virus in his herd, despite Alistair’s repeated advice to the contrary and Will’s chipping away at him over his business, you knew what was coming. With Ed even more wound up than normal, Will’s dog Baz appeared at just the wrong time in the wrong place. Now, maybe Will should have controlled his dog, but it was on BL land, and Will does work for them. The big question might be were Ed’s cows in the field? If they were, he might have been entitled to shoot. That wasn’t clear but Will’s naked threat at the end of Thursday’s offering marks the rejoining of the conflict between the Grundy boys. Eddie was shocked at Ed’s shooting of Baz – and Clarrie will be dismayed at once again open warfare. Will is horrible character with a overwhelming sense of entitlement, but Ed has really crossed the line this time. He was just looking for an excuse to take out his frustration with the world. Did he think wandering about with a gun in the mood he was in was a good idea? The fallout should be tremendous for Ed. No police involvement yet – he’s killed a dog, and doesn’t that still need to be reported. I’m sure there are all sorts of gun laws he’s probably breached. I’m amazed Will hasn’t run to the Cops. I wonder if this will put Ed even under more pressure, and he’ll eventually crack and will hit Emma? Can’t see Neil or Chris putting up with that. It’ll make for a strained relationship in the dairy between Susan and Clarrie, it could end up impacting on Mike’s business. So many possibilities.

It didn’t take long for Ed to accuse Emma of accusing her of making him feel guilty. Well, it wasn’t her fault. It might not have been his fault entirely though, but try telling that to Will. I know it was his dog, but what were the chances of him ever believing Ed? Pointless exercise on Emma’s part! Naturally Will left it to Ed – fair enough I suspect – to tell Devil Child George. Emma played the God card nicely though. Will isn’t half tiresome though. He doesn’t seem overly upset at losing Baz – and George took it too well – its just another angle to get at Ed. He’ll pile the guilt on Ed until he finally does snap. I hope he’s ready to face the consequences.

It capped off what had been a good week for the Grundys seniors. Oliver once again extended the olive branch to Joe. Oliver is a decent guy, and was genuinely upset over Joe’s accident. Joe is a lovely character, and putting the accident behind him has helped him complete his spiritual recovery after his accepting Oliver’s offer of peace. He sounded happy once again, and even Eddie was gracious enough to finally accept Oliver’s apology to let Joe get some closure over it.

Darrell though. At last, Alistair sees light at the end of the tunnel with a hostel space coming up in Felpersham for Darrell. After last week’s sudden recovery at the thought of cash-in-hand work, its hard to work out if Darrell really is in the process of having a breakdown, or is putting in on just to keep his feet under Shula’s table. Smart move by Alistair though – wait until Shula’s away to push Darrell out the door! He goes from lucidity to absolute confusion in the blink of an eye. Now, I’m no mental health expert at all, but amazing how clear he was about taking work and “working around” his benefits then gets confused beyond measure, almost getting himself run over when Alistair gets him out at last. Its not that I don’t have sympathy for anyone suffering mental health problems – far from it – but its more that the script writers haven’t really handled this too well – as opposed how they dealt with Vicky’s pregnancy with Bethany. Its too late now to fix this story line. But, if they are thinking Darrell is suffering from depression at best, hasn’t anyone made him another Doctor’s appointment? After he admitted missing the last one, why didn’t Shula get right onto that? Darrell doesn’t seem to keen to fix it though – talk about being in denial!

Shula continues to exclude Dan so she can mother Darrell instead. Dan may be showing a little lack of understanding over Darrell, but putting Darrell ahead of Dan’s sorrow over Reg’s death? She continues to make excuses for Darrell, but has he turned a corner with landing a job through one of Eddie’s contacts? First of all, Shula ignores Darrell’s willingness to “work around” taking cash-in-hand while being in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance. Can’t help feeling that Dan will finally explode at Darrell, and will ultimately shop him for fraud. But that’s assuming of course that Darrell is working at all. He seemed incredibly evasive when Shula asked him about the job. He’s shown how easy it is for him to lie to Shula in the past. He made a career of it with Elona, so why should Shula be any different? Surely one more lie discovered, and that will be enough for Shula? Alistair is certainly going to lose it with Darrell if he’s lied to Shula again. And to think Shula & Jess were pointing the finger at Elona for kicking him out! Maybe Elona had had enough of a lifetime of lies! Maybe he’s telling the truth though – incredible as it seems! Shula is quite easy to fool though. He’s a chippie, and Shula asks, “is the spirit level important?” But hey, let’s not descend into fantasy land! Darrell the “craftsman” screwed it up? Really? Or does he mean, screwed it up by not turning up at all? Won’t take long for Eddie to get the news back to Shula. Shula would believe anything! Dan might be being uncharitable, but I think he’s got a point. Darrell is taking Shula for a mug.

Jess is back from being the dutiful daughter, and what a lovely meeting between her, Rob and Helen! Biggest shock was that Helen was actually doing something with Henry, though as usual its seemed a bit of a bind for her. But honestly, how did she think Rob was going to react when he was WITH HIS WIFE? Picking Henry up for a cuddle might have seemed a bit inappropriate? But of course, with Helen giving out the hate vibes Henry gets upset. Naturally its Rob’s fault. I know Helen’s been hurt, but she left herself wide open to it – being reminded of that fact by Kirsty – and her reaction to Rob in front of Henry and Jess was ridiculous. But after decrying her contempt for Rob to Kirsty, with Kirsty egging her on (not really sure why Kirsty has such spite for Rob.) Its a bit much for them to moan at Rob for not paying Henry enough attention. This came from Helen who instantly palmed Henry off on Pat moments before! Don’t go throwing stones in that particular glasshouse Helen. But just as the Grundy boys storyline gets going again, this storyline must be winding down soon and with tensions strained at the panto rehersals, it might just be an explosive production for Lynda!

Lynda now. Well, she’s full of it just now with Emma’s cookbook hitting the shelves. Surely there might be a bit of a fallout with that after Lynda’s editting – with misgivings from Emma. But at least its lifted Emma, but I suspect that he attempts at matching Nic at integrating with the village will fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. Certainly now Ed has gone one step too far. Poor Emma. Was the Grundys the best she could do? Well, she’s a Horrobin after all, so maybe it was. But life has been tough for her. Susan for your mother, Will as a husband, Ed as a parter. Who says life isn’t fair? It didn’t take long for contributors to find out that Lynda had been “liberal” with the truth! She certainly beat a rapid retreat when Shula noticed the changes! Lynda didn’t wait long to try and drop Emma in it, did it? Poor Emma!

This week, the on-off-on storyline with Grey Gables and Caroline’s attempt to fill the post of assistant manager goes on, and it seems that as expected, Kathy is in the running. She’s made it to a second interview, although if she were that good, and is a friend of Caroline’s, she’d be in post by now. I think she’ll still get it, but does Caroline really know what she’s doing? I found it irritating that in the current climate over jobs, Kathy gets one and then bitches about her employer to another prospective employer after one day in post? I’d be thinking thanks, but no thanks were I Caroline.

Its also been an up and down week at Brookfield/Glebe Cottage. Jill’s accident involving Josh ended in the unsurprising news that she has cateracts. At her age, not a big shock. Unless you’re Jill it seems. Those indestructable Archers express surprise at “falling apart” at 83. The rest of us should be so lucky! Maybe when she gets the op to correct it, she’ll be able to gaze at Josh’s prize cow. Though maybe Josh will be wary of getting in Jill’s way again! Until next week!

Week Ending 15 November
Week Ending 22 November

Anyone for chess.

ASD Mummy with issues.

About a month back, the boys found my old chess board. They were fascinated by it, and what all the pieces did.

Hubby spent sometime explaining the basic rules of chess, and since then, the boys have happily argued a good game of chess.

Then M came home from school this week saying they were being taught chess at school. He wasn’t too sure why but thought it was something to do with angles!

One day a week at school, the children get what is called golden choose time. It is basically downtime where they can take something in to play with or do. During the week though they can lose some of this time for minor misdemeanours. M is constantly loosing time, as the teacher has to reprimand him for thing he might not always be able to control, such as sitting calmly, and listening. While I do feel…

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