Daily Archives: August 14, 2012


I’m vexed as of late; I want to keep writing on the daily, but I am having a severe thought drought. As this period of depression stretches into the… third? third or so month, I’m just… here. Clinging on. Hoping that things will make the turn for the better, but only finding more bitter. I very much want to be doing productive things, but at this level of functionality, the best I can hope for is successful gaming. And even that is starting to pall ever so slightly.

Still, I’m managing to sort of pretend to be functioning. I’m getting to work most days, as well as my biweekly social event. I’m even taking driving lessons right now, as I need a refresher after five years of no license here (and I’m also learning how to drive a manual – skeery!). I still mainly want to curl up and cry and avoid the world, but I can’t give into it. To quote from the Monty Python episode we’re watching – you’re no fun anymore. *grumps at self*

Ah well… keep on keeping on.


Finding my center….

I have so many things I want to discuss, but I can’t do it all in one blog orselse it will get really long, you’ll lose interest, leave, and never come back… :)

I need to make a vlog, and I will do that soon… maybe in 2 weeks. Then is when I will have the house to myself for a few hours.

Anyhow, I am kind of bent right now. My mother lied to me. Straight to my face lied to me. And she lied to my daughter too. And It is one of those lies that isn’t meant to hurt someone, but a mother type lie, one that will make you do what is wanted because you feel guilt.

My sister called to tip me off of what was going down. And then my daughter called me last night and told me what my mother said to her. Which was similar yet different to what I was told by my sister.

Then I spoke to my mother today, who told me what she said, which was similar to what my daughter told me, but different from what my sister told me.

It’s really lame. And I think that is why it makes me so mad. My sister knows whats going on. And I know this makes sense to no one other than me, so I guess at this point I’m just venting. But really, why do people lie about the stupidest things? And clearly, I am so good at playing the “I am perfectly SANE” card, that no one gives to shits about how all of this makes ME feel. But I guess I’m just being selfish to expect anyone to take MY feelings into consideration.

So, I need to find my center. Because this, and a few other things are really bugging me. Like, really bad.  And I would just feel so much better if I could kick the ever-loving-shit out of someone. No one in particular, anyone will do.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Let’s start with the ugly.

I don’t know what you were doing at 7.30 on Sunday morning but if you had any sense, you’d still have been tucked up in bed looking forward to nothing more strenuous than a day with the papers and a roast dinner.

As for me, I was standing on the hard shoulder of a motorway as one of my fellow walkers, a doctor, attended to the driver of a car that had just clipped the central reservation, spun out of control and smashed head on into a lamp-post.

Here’s how it all started:

Stage 22 of The Northern Way from to Aviles Soto de Luiña is renowned for being particularly challenging; it’s partly the distance – 38km is a pretty healthy day’s walking by anyone’s standards – but it’s mostly the nature of the route itself, which is a continuous succession of steeply rising and falling rocky pathways which are extremely poorly signposted.

Or one of the routes anyway. Over the years, walkers have come up with a number of alternative routes to make the stage a little less murderous on the knees, although there seems to be little consensus over which is the best way.

However, given that the route for the first section of the walk shown above was suggested to me by the owner of the restaurant I had eaten at the night before after I’d given him a decent tip, I figured that it was likely to be pretty reliable. What he didn’t tell me was that by the best way, he actually meant the quickest way which, in turn, involved walking down a motorway.

Hence our proximity to the crash scene above, as I had set out bright and early that morning with some fellow walkers who had decided on the same route.

Thankfully the driver of the car was just a little shaken up rather than seriously hurt, but the experience did rather set the tone for the day’s walking, which was unremittingly bad – if I tell you that the shot below was one of its more picturesque moments, you should have some idea of what it was like.

The first 19km or so, apart from the brief stretch of grass above, was all road; thankfully not all motorway, but quite enough to get the blood pumping much faster than it should have done. We weren’t even sure that what we were doing was legal, until the police car that had attended to the crash earlier went past and completely ignored us. Mind you, they run with the bulls over here, so I guess walking down the hard shoulder of a motorway must seem like child’s play.

And I must admit, that by early afternoon, with at least another 16km to go, I’d pretty much had my fill of The Camino; I let the the others walk on ahead of me trudged the rest of the way alone – not so much the Fast Walking Blogger as the Decidedly Moody Plodder.

The road eventually turned off into a hillside pass…

…and I tried to shake my mood by focussing on the natural surroundings again…

…but only in a fairly half-hearted way.

And in the horribly predictable way that there are certain days that things can only go from bad to worse…they did; when I finally dragged myself into Soto de Luiña in the early evening, I thought I’d cheer myself up with that famous Spanish delicacy, sausage, egg and chips, off the peregrino’s menu in the local bar.

Unfortunately, I misunderstood the waitress who took my order, thinking that she was asking me if I wanted a starter, and ended up ordering something completely different instead. Now, I’m as partial to a ham and cheese croquette as the next man, but their appeal does tend to pall a bit after the first dozen…

I guess it would be unrealistic to expect to walk every day for a month over 500 miles or so and not have at least one bad day, so I’m just going to put that one down to experience.

I think there’s also probably a cautionary tale somewhere in there about the perils of trying to take too many shortcuts, and the next day it was a huge relief to be back on the ‘Camino Oficial’ and out in the open country during the much more civilised 24km from Soto de Luiña to Cadavedo, even though it took some serious climbs to get there.

And this is where the good bit finally kicks in.

There’s something hugely satisfying about starting the day off looking up at this….

Then climbing steadily upwards for a couple of hours before looking back down on it from an entirely different perspective.

And if this shot doesn’t quite capture the challenge of getting to the summit of the morning’s steepest ascent…

…this one should hopefully give you some idea of the satisfaction of getting there…

…especially when this is the sight that greets you over the brow of the hill…

Just to pick up briefly on the theme of the last post, talking about the idiosyncrasies of the Camino’s signage system, I thought this was worth including as an example of just how idiosyncratic things can get – not to mention why I manage to get lost quite so often…

Even though I’ve seen a pretty eclectic mix of waymarkers over the last couple of weeks, I think that a yellow arrow painted on a loose pebble (that could easily be removed by anyone with an even slightly mischievous nature), on a path where the eye is naturally drawn to the horizon, is certainly one of the most random.

This is what it looks like up close.

And the Ghandi quote certainly felt quite appropriate as the next couple of hours were spent meandering along a gently curving coastline looking down on a crystal clear turquoise sea.

WiFi seems to be getting distinctly patchy round here as the villages are getting gradually smaller and more rural, hence the slightly more random posts. And apparently tomorrow night’s destination is a monastery, which I’m assuming won’t have an internet cafe. We shall see.

‘Til the next time…

Filed under: On The Road Tagged: Aviles, Camino, Charity, Northern Way, Rethink Mental Illness, Soto de Luina, Walking

Roller Skates & Ukuleles

When I’m hypomanic, or even just in the neighborhood, I become very enthusiastic about new projects. I buy supplies to …

Continue reading »

Pieces and Puzzles and Pieces of Puzzles, Mid-Afternoon Mental Moment

  Ohhh look its that day again,   You know what day I am talking about   No you can not get me to say it, I won’t.  For those of you just now joining us today is officially, at least on this blog, The Day that Shall Not be Named.   Its a day … Continue reading