I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

SAD sufferers of the world arise!

 And here's another lousy thing about getting old - you're more vulnerable to SAD (seasonally affected disorder). A medically identified condition whereby one tends to be depressed by winter. Augmented in my case by rising at 06.25 into a dark world.

Last night I had two rotten dreams: an acquaintance of mine was taking ages to kill a chicken and I was somehow involved in the commercial collapse of the last magazine I edited (it did actually happen but long after I left). I lay in the dark embattled and morose and, as you see, am presently taking therapy.

Here are two spoonfuls of SAD Specific.

(1) Hancock's Half Hour was a popular BBC radio programme in the fifties and sixties. Two of the characters were Sid (Quick-witted Cockney chancer) and Bill (Pathologically stupid).

Bill: Whatcha doing Sid?

Sid: Whatcha think I'm doing? I gotta book in front of my face. I'm reading.

Bill: Oh. (Long pause). Sid, what's it like... reading?

Sid: It's... all right, I suppose. Nothing to write home about.

(2) Tangled up with a novel-writing problem I clicked rather hopelessly on Joe Hyam's blog, Now's The Time, abruptly cut short on March 9 2014 a day or two before Joe died.

Tristan had left a comment: "Am going for a drink (at the pub) in Roupell Street on Saturday 3rd October... 2015."

Joe and I've drunk - and got drunk - many times at that pub. Left a sentimental response; felt slightly better.


Sir Hugh said...

I have used your post to create one for my own blog but here is the main part:

I empathise with your early rising. Circumstances have dictated that I now arise at 6:00 am on three mornings per week to receive granddaughter Katie at 7:00 am while Mum (High Horse) goes off to her teaching job. On one of those mornings my duties only extend to dropping K off at nursery at 9:00am, and on the other two I pick up at 12:00 and supervise until teatime.

The big difference here is that your version is voluntary and mine enforced. Yours requires more self-discipline, but mine is, I guess, more traumatic physiologically - I feel like a limpet being torn from a rock. When daylight prevails earlier in the year I have a feeling of smug satisfaction that I am making best use of precious time and would say to myself, if I was arising at say 8:00 am, “I have wasted half the day". Such contrasting differences are sure to affect my mental state in opposite ways.

Having said that I enjoy my role. K is all delight, and much better behaved with me than I think she is with her mum. In particular listening to the building of language and intonations is fascinating - it is a bewildering miracle of human development - how the hell does it happen?

Rouchswalwe said...

The funny story in the family is that I was the alarm clock as a girl. Now that I think back, it might have been because my great-great-grandmother was an early riser, and I enjoyed spending time with her, just the two of us.

MikeM said...

Windshield covered with ice here this morning. Strange dreams occur to me increasingly as autumn arrives. Solace comes eventually, though it may take several hours. Tone Deaf is always good for a boost.

Avus said...

I "feel you pain", RR. The SAD black dog has followed on my heels for years as each winter descends. In an effort to alleviate it my kind wife, at great expense, bought me one of those special light panels to put beside me when reading or on the PC. However I am a migraine sufferer and this exacerbated it. You can't win.

Roderick Robinson said...

Sir Hugh: Early rising is only incidental to SAD, tending to emphasise its effects. I rise early because I write better at that time of the day. I should of course devote this time to my more demanding stuff - ie, my fiction. But if there's a comment on my blog the sheer immediacy of writing to a living individual often deflects me.

RW (zS): After being a slug-abed for many years I suddenly turned into a Lark Ascending while doing my national service in the RAF. But not for any commendable reason. I enjoyed getting my breakfast early then lying - all prepared - on my bed and watching others struggling to make the parade.

Mike: I always garage my car. Judging by my neighbours I think this types me as anal.

Avus: How about an MP3 players charged with 500 Schubert songs?

Avus said...

I am a Leonard Cohen fan, but somehow think that his songs and singing wouldn't help SAD much, but might increase it. Thomas Tallis or Enya can help.
What an odd use for a garage, to put a car in. Mine has always been for motorcycles and cycles. Cars are weatherproof and seem to last better with fresh air circulating around them,provided they are waxed twice a year and you do not reside near the Atlantic Ocean.

Roderick Robinson said...

Avus: In cold weather the sump oil turns to porridge and the battery efficiency drops. But not in the garage. But hey, you love nostalgia - next time get out the starting handle and try and find the hole through which it is inserted.

Fresh air, forsooth! A strong tendency towards anthropomorphisation.

Blonde Two said...

I am a firm believer that the healthiest way to live is to wake with the daylight, get outside as much as possible and doze at dusk. I have had a happy six months doing just that and feel (for once in autumn) full of the joys of spring. Next week I must return for a while to teaching; I will be at my desk at 7.30 and wondering if I have jet lag again to be up in the middle of the night. My feeling of well-being will ebb away more quickly than I care to let it; maybe then I will be SAD.

Roderick Robinson said...

Blonde Two: Let me adapt a saying of General Patton: Soldiers don't win wars by laying down their lives for their country; they do it by causing other soldiers to lay down their lives.

In your case you must remind yourself that it isn't the role of your students to send you to sleep, rather the reverse. And if you lack the means may I recommend the 50 pages up to page 360 in the Penguin Classics edition of The Brothers Karamazov. That'll suffocate them as you divert yourself yourself with a copy (carefully bound in brown paper) of Insect Ways On Summer Days, a book that helped VR learn to read. Not that I'm saying you need to.