Understanding Depression

For people not depressed, it is very difficult to understand what depression is.  This link is very good.

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Untitled

Today I’m feeling really sad
I’m feeling truly old
My heating is on maximum
But my body’s rather cold
My feet have become flat footed
I waddle when I walk
I know my brain is still engaged
I forget words when I talk
And I look into the mirror
And my boobs, well they just sag
Sometimes I feel like carry them around
In a re-enforce plastic bag
I’m certain one leg is shorter
Than it surely use to be
And I get stuck on the toilet
Because of my wretched painful knee

A couple of years ago I met a man
A wonderful man named Ben
Wow, was he my farmyard cock
And boy, was I his hen
But now that I’ve hit eighty
Don’t know what’s happened to me
Instead of getting fruity
All I want is a cup of tea.
And my bones are getting creaky
And my butt, well that’s just sore
Today I’m feeling really sad
Oh, did I mention that before?

The Dinner Party

Dear Diary

I am so excited. I started a new job a month ago and tonight I’m giving a dinner party for some people from work. There will be 5 of us all together. My boss and his partner, Sandra, the font of all knowledge and such a good laugh, and Roger from accounts. I have planned an easy menu so I can spend loads of time socialising. It’s going to be brilliant.
I’m doing a prawn cocktail to start – I know, a bit naff but I bought really expensive frozen prawns from the fishmonger and he said that the flavour is exquisite. I’m following that with roast pork and all the trimmings – trimmings pre-frozen but I intend to make them look a bit home-made. Finally, I am making ice cream – saw a really easy recipe on the internet and it had loads of good reviews.
Right prawn cocktail. I bought the seafood sauce from M&S. Think I’ll leave the jar on the side so my boss can see that I’m not scrimping on him. Ah, but what happens if he thinks I can afford to shop at Marks all the time. He might think he’s paying me too much. Ah ha, will put the prawns in the sauce now and they can do that marinade thing.
Ok, prawns. Holy crap. Why are they blue? I’ve never seen blue prawns before. Prawns are pink. Ok, it’s alright, fishmonger said they were exquisite. Obviously, blue prawns are superior. I’ll just google to double check and all will be fine.
Shit, they’re raw. What lunatic would sell raw prawns? He knew I was making a prawn cocktail. Breath. Breath.
Oh, it’s obvious. I cook them. Google how to cook raw prawns…
What the heck? Oh, still on images. Right, here goes. Ah, fry them in oil.
Panic over, I can do this. Oil in pan, heat, oil spitting, prawns going in. Oops, maybe should have got the last bit of ice off. Never mind, will just run cold water over my burnt hand. Ok, good, pain going.
Ok, this is going well. Yes, prawns turning pink and starting to look normal. Turn off heat. When cooled will put them in the sauce. Think my boss is going to be impressed with this.
What do I call him? When I started, I called him Sir and he just smiled at me and said no need. What do I call him at work? What do I call him at work? Oh, God, I don’t. I’ve never used his name at work. He’s called William. Can’t use that at a dinner party, too formal. Will? Will, yes, I’ll use Will. What happens if I get nervous and call him Willy? Mustn’t call my boss Willy. Oh, my God, that would be horrendous. Mustn’t call my boss Willy. No Willy. No Willy. Arrggg, now I’ve got Willy on my brain. Deep breath.
Ok, I’m calm. Just adding the prawns to the sauce. Throwing away the jar. Oh, God, should have recycled it. Bugger.
Right, boss will be called Will. Ah ha, will Will. Now what did he say his partner’s name was? His partner’s name? No, not partner. He said they were married. Oh, yes, they wore matching suits. Both wore a yellow rose as it was his mother’s favourite flower and she blessed their union on her death bed. That’s just so lovely.
AND HE’S SO EASY TO TALK TO. Shit, my boss is gay…
…and he’s bringing his husband. Or, is my boss the husband? It’s a marriage. There must be a husband and a wife. Ok, perhaps there is a natural role that married men fall into. Perhaps one is straight and one is camp. The camp chap is the wife. Oh, bloody hell, how can one be straight if he’s gay? OK, husband and husband. I name you husband and husband. Ok, must google this. Will just put the pork in. OH, my God, I’m cooking pork.
Right google, “how to address a gay couple?” Either guest first or alphabetical order. What?
Google, google, google. Bloody useless.
Think. I know. I will say, “William is such a great boss you must be very proud of him. I’m really sorry but I don’t know your name.”
Right, roast potatoes going in with the pork. Oh, God pork.
Right, I’ll stick loads of rosemary in it and pretend it’s lamb.
Lamb and apple sauce.
Ok, I have frozen cranberries and will mix them into the apple sauce. It’s going to be ok.
Ice cream, yes have the recipe here. Cream, vanilla pod, egg yolks and sugar. Mix them all together for a couple of hours and then serve.
Vanilla pod? Vanilla comes in a pod? Like a broad bean?
Why’s mine in a bottle?
Sod it, it’s all going in the ice cream machine. That I bought especially for this occasion. Not that anyone is going to give a shit. What the hell am I doing? Am I completely stupid? I’m still on probation. I won’t have a job after tonight.
And Sandra. Did she say she couldn’t take dairy? God, and that woman doesn’t know how to shut her mouth. She’s the biggest gossip going. Why did I invite her?
And Roger, with the wandering eye. Not wandering after the ladies. It just seems to go off in its own little world. How can I hold a decent conversation when all I’m going to be doing is following his sodding hypnotic eyeball?
I can’t do this. I’m going to be sick. I must cancel.
Yes, William. I’m so sorry. I have this awful stomach thing and feel dreadful. Yes, we must reschedule. I’m sorry for the short notice. Don’t want to pass this on.
Sandra, hi it’s me. I’m sick. I have to cancel. Oh, thank you. Yes, see you on Monday. Thanks.
Oh, God, I’m being sick.

Dear Diary

Spent a lovely evening with Roger last night. He turned up with flowers and a bottle of wine so I really couldn’t turn him away. He didn’t know that raw prawns are blue either. We couldn’t eat the main as it was burnt to cinder but the trimmings really did end up looking home- made. As for the ice cream, well it completely froze and broke the machine. Roger was very sympathetic about my chaotic day. We both ended up laughing and he is sworn to secrecy.
He is taking me to the cinema next weekend and I am really looking forward to it.
As for his wandering eye. Well, once you get used to it, it’s kind of cute.

A Penny for your thoughts…

The problem with aging is that in your body you know that it’s happening but in your mind you think it’s happening to someone else.
At the tender age of 90, I feel like a spring chicken. That is until I try to move. Everything is so much harder. Takes so much longer. I am cooking lunch for my daughter Penny and have invited my neighbour to join us. I find when I am alone with Penny, she nags me terribly and makes me feel old. The tactic to invite my neighbour means that she is less inclined to hassle, although sometimes she can be terribly rude. She says things like, “you shouldn’t be lifting that, especially at your age.” Or, she treats me like a small child, “have you really taken all of your medication?” I’m amazed that she doesn’t insist I open my mouth to show her I’ve actually swallowed my pills.
Penny is no youngster herself. At the tender age of 62, she has retired and spends her days saving the world. Or, so she thinks. On Mondays she volunteers to save the elderly, I understand this entails her sitting behind a desk and using a switchboard to divert calls. She tells me that she is the pivotal part of this charity. She is the face and voice of the organisation. She carefully checks the credentials of each caller before putting them through. From this I gather that the charity must only exist from 10am until 4pm on Mondays with a 30 minute lunch break.
On Tuesdays, she single-handedly prevents young offenders from re-offending. She leads a group at the local detention centre. She tells me that each youth sits wide eyed clinging to her words of wisdom. She tells me that she then talks to each of them about their crimes and as a group they determine why wrong was done and why it was so very, very bad. From this I assume that these young men and women are so fed up being lectured at, judged and berated in front of their peers, that keeping out of trouble is easier than going through another of my daughter’s condemnatory sermons.
On Wednesdays, it’s the animals. Although she doesn’t actually go near any of them. She is the volunteer co-ordinator at our local animal shelter. Again, a central role in the survival of the organisation. She is very much appreciated as the Chief Executive often phones her. Last week, Penny was on her mobile taking the Chief executive’s call. At times, it is good to pretend you are deaf. Penny has thought that I am hard of hearing for many years. My hearing is perfect. Anyway, Penny couldn’t understand why she should have allowed one of her volunteers to miss a session without giving at least one week’s notice. I then heard the words father and coma, but would she back down? No. Of course not. She knows best.
On Thursdays, she helps young children as she has joined a reading library. Adults are vetted and then go to the child’s home and read with them. Each volunteer commits to a minimum of a year and you stay with that child and help them to progress. Penny is doing it her way and within the first term she has already helped several families. Penny hasn’t yet found the right child. Either the parents are interfering, or the child isn’t trying hard enough. My favourite so far was when she turned up, went into the front room, decided it wasn’t clean enough and walked out.
Fridays, well Fridays are really special. It’s the whole towns turn. She is involved with Urban Regeneration. She is making our small town a safer and better place for all of us. She is in charge of the crucial matters. She has managed to get an extra bin placed on the High Street. She did this by monitoring the amount of litter dropped and taking pictures on her mobile phone. Then I understand that she talked for over an hour at the Committee Meeting and as she was the final speaker, the bin seems to have been the reason everyone made it home by midnight. She has also managed to get a potential children’s playground moved from the East side of Old Lions Park, coincidentally very near her back garden, to the west side, near the car park and a much more dangerous site in my opinion. But, her biggest and most proud achievement is that she has become Deputy Chair and holds the
meetings when the Chairman, a very sweet retired school teacher, is away. She presided over the last meeting and couldn’t understand why there was such a poor attendance. She understood several who had phoned and emailed to pass on their apologies – it was such a shame that that vomiting bug had affected so many, but the four who didn’t bother to notify were called straight after the meeting and hauled over the coals.
On Saturday she acts as a be-friender and gets shopping for people who are house bound. I very much admire her for this. Although, I hear that one or two of her infirm benefactors moan about not receiving many of the groceries they want and are unhappy when Penny swaps their listed goods for ones she feels more suitable. Still, I suppose that they don’t have to struggle with heavy bags and it keeps Penny happy. She visits a very frail friend of mine who has known Penny since she was in nappies. Henriette, my friend, is very tolerant and can always find something kind to say about everyone, but even she struggles at times.
Sunday, Sunday is my time with my daughter. She can only really fit me in on Sundays because of her busy schedule. I am very, very fortunate. I must pop round to my neighbour to make sure he is still coming. Otherwise, I will have to call Penny and explain I am coming down with this retched vomiting bug….

Depression

It feels like being trapped in a slippery sided well and forever trying to climb out but slipping back down.  Sometimes I seem to slip back down so fast that I bounce and land higher than when I slipped.  And it goes on and on.

I now know that none of the abuse and humiliation I have suffered have been my fault.  I have spent years trying to find how I was to blame so I could find control.  I was raped when I was 8 years old and somehow believed that I caused it – why else did it happen to me?

I am writing this for therapy, and yes, once again trying to gain control, but I feel this is a much more positive way.  I am not focusing on the shame I have felt from the years of abuse or trying to push myself to “be normal.”  I am doing this for self preservation and peace.

The Depression Blues

I’m feeling kind of fuzzy
Mind’s just tumbling down
The black dogs are coming
to my beautiful town
I’m losing all my stuff
Car keys found in the fridge
The blues train is coming
just approaching my ridge

My heads a just a spinning
Sanity’s seeping away
I can’t focus on anything
or if it’s night or day
Tearfulness is filling me
My head is pretty sunk
My body’s now made of led
I’m getting the blues funk

The depression blues
Do you know what I mean?
Have you been to hell?
Have you seen what I’ve seen?

My heart is beating faster
Got to go out my front door
I just want to lie down
Go to sleep on my floor
My cupboards are bare
Need to go to the shop
It’s 200 steps away
I’ll count the blues hop

I close my door behind me
Focusing on my feet
My mind and body shutting down
I’m sweating from the heat
I’ve got to the shop
190 steps it took
A new world record
For the record breaking book

The depression blues
Do you know what I mean?
Have you been to hell?
Have you seen what I’ve seen?

I look in through the window
But they’ve changed the display
I can’t go any further
When it’s looking this way
I take a picture on my phone
It needs analysis
A way through this minefield
Without recons hit or miss

I turn around to face my road
190 just to go
I’m pounding regimental
But I’m walking really slow
I’m concentrating on my breathing
I was forgetting to breath out
I’ve got to my own front door
I want to scream and shout

The depression blues
Do you know what I mean?
Have you been to hell
Have you seen what I’ve seen?

The depression blues
Do you know what I mean
Have you been to hell?
Have you seen what I’ve seen?

Oh, well, I’ll just get my breathing normal and I’ll phone for a pizza.

Kismet

From the first moment I saw him I knew that what had gone before me no longer mattered. He had a weathered face. Not attractive in the conventional sense but one that showed a depth and wisdom beyond his years. This man had lived life. Never to excess but coasting along the fence of the forbidden. There was something mesmerising in his glance.
His voice was gravelly. A raspiness that sent a shiver of electricty down my spine. And when he spoke to me, he held my gaze. I wouldn’t be the one to look away first. I wouldn’t break this intensity. He was breathing new life into me. A longing and need that had been buried deep within my soul. He smiled. I smiled back and nodded. Yes, I did want salt and vinegar, and could I have them to go.

Worry in the Woods

Miss Bell calls the children to attention. She has some very bad news.
“Sit down please, Willow Squirrel that means your bottom on the chair, not just your tail. Yes, well done. Magdalena, please be quiet.”
Basil Dormouse can’t help smiling. Magdalena’s been told off.
“I have some very worrying news.” Miss Bell is obviously serious as her voice has dropped several decibels. “There is an outbreak of Mole Pox. Two cases have been confirmed in the Green Forest.”
Everyone moves towards the front of the classroom leaving Agnes and Angus alone in the back row. The twin moles shift uncomfortably in their chairs.
The whole class gasp. Excited chatter explodes from the room.
“Silence please,” continues Miss Bell “Mole Pox isn’t caused or spread by moles, in fact, they are one of the few woodland creatures who can’t get it.” The children start shifting back towards the twin moles.
Miss Bell continues, “Let me introduce Mary Badger who is going to help us understand Mole Pox and what each and every one of us can do to stop its spread.”
Mary Badger stands up and starts to address the class. “Good afternoon. I am a nurse and I am very familiar with Mole Pox. During the last outbreak I worked with the voluntary agency Woods without Borders, and in several locations I was one of the first medics on the scene. I have seen the devastation that Mole Pox causes”
Mary pauses for dramatic effect. “Mole Pox is very serious. It is called Mole Pox as during the early stages it feels like moles crawling under your skin and every so often a little lump will appear like a mole hill. During these early stages it is easily cured but if left untreated, Mole Pox can cause collywobbles and even death.”
The children are all wide eyed and rooted to their seats.
Nurse Badger continues, “There are a lot of things we can do to protect ourselves. We must wash day and night with borage soap. This has been scientifically proven to repel Mole Pox spores. We must all increase our consumption of holly berries as these improve our immune system so that if we are unfortunate enough to catch Mole Pox, there is a better chance that we will recover, and of course, it is very important to wear a leaf of clover behind our right ear. This will create an absorption field around our bodies which will trap any stray Mole Pox spores. Thank you for listening children. Do you have any questions?”

There is a hushed silence as the children take in the enormity of the situation. No one raises any questions and so Nurse Mary continues. “We will now give out the protection devices and practice using them.”
Miss Bell takes over and organises the children into two straight lines. Each child, including the mole twins – there is no discrimination in this school, is issued with a bar of borage soap and a month’s supply of holly berries. Then Miss Bell and Nurse Mary start handing out the clover leaves. The Bunny Blossom siblings – all girls – take several minutes placing them fashionably behind their right ear with just the slightest hint of stalk sticking out. Young Victor Vole is getting very frustrated as he does not have prominent ears and the leaf is slightly bigger than his head. He looks pleadingly at Nurse Badger but Miss Bell interjects fiercely that he pulls himself together and wears his clover leaf behind his right ear. In the end she tapes it round his head. There are no further problems and, apart from the clover leaves looking a bit girly according to some of the older boys, all children have their soap, berries and clover leaves when they leave school.
The following day is Saturday and the weekend market is doing great business. Supplies of holly berries have run out by dawn and Hilda Heron has flown off to get hold of more. She returns just after noon, so laden down she can hardly fly. She drops to the ground in an exhausted heap. Everyone applauds her loudly but she is too bushed to even raise her wing to acknowledge their praise.
The Woodland creatures have rallied together and are helping each other store supplies. The latest fashion has become the triple fold and slice right ear dangle of the clover leaf. This a la mode allows even small residents to wear quite large leaves without blocking vision or hearing.
The news is watched by all every night to make sure that no new cases of Mole Pox have cropped up and after three weeks, Badger Badger, the equivalent of a mayor, and Wise Owl, the wisest creature in Woodlands, meet to discuss the state of affairs.
Wise Owl has travelled many moons and has found no further cases of the disease. He feels that the threat is over and the Woodlands are safe. Badger Badger is very keen that all return to normal. The holly berries have been consumed in such large quantities that they are having a stimulant effect, the borage soap is mildly hallucinogenic and a clover leaf was accidentally eaten by young Cyril beaver cub who is still being treated in hospital. Mr and Mrs Beaver are none too happy, to say the least, and they are threatening legal action as the clover leaves did not come with sufficient warning.
Badger Badger decides to declare that Mole Pox is no longer a threat and calls a Woodlands meeting for that very evening. As he sits in his study waiting for the time to come, he reflects on what a successful campaign he had led. He remembers an outbreak of Red Fever Colly Wobbles when he was young. The disease spread so quickly that many of his friends and neighbours perished. Those who survived suffered terrible after effects from the treatments used to cure the awful disease and even the preventative remedies had caused several deaths in the water vole population.
Badger Badger hears excited chatter from the meeting room and waits several minutes before he makes his entrance. A hushed silence goes round the room. Badger Badger clears his throat and takes a deep breath.
Dear fellow residents of Woodlands. I am very proud to tell you that the scourge of Mole Pox is over. It is thanks to your vigilance and widespread co-operation that we have been able to eradicate this menace so quickly and effectively. Well done to all. I am very proud to be your mayor.
A loud cheer erupts. Old Uncle Philbert takes out his spoons and starts playing a happy jig. Several of the young children start to dance and the whole of Woodlands comes together for a well-deserved celebration.

Competition in the Woods

After many weeks of practicing and sore paws, the day of the annual sporting contest has arrived. There is great excitement amongst the younger dwellers, as for many, this is their first “Sports Day.” Some of the older residents pretend they are not interested but would secretly love to win a first prize.
Miss Bell has been practicing with her class and is very impressed with several but has grave concerns for others, especially the smaller children.
Badger Badger is in charge of proceedings. Murtle Weasel is the adjudicator and responsible for recording finishing times. Rodney Roe Deer is crowd control and Wise Owl, the wisest creature in Woodlands is at the helm handing out meddles.
Badger Badger welcomes the contestants and audience to this year’s Sports Day. He starts with a little quip about his own competitiveness and about his own experiences as a young cub competing in the races where he won several awards but fell foul to black foot and had to take willow bark for several weeks until the swelling finally disappeared. He talks of the winning spirit that all should embrace and he finishes by introducing Polly Rat, who won the most medals last year.
Polly thanks Badger Badger and stirs up the crowd with war squeaks as the entrants are called for the first event. The first event is called Thunder Maker.
The contenders stand in a straight line four standard paw widths apart. They must raise their tails to the highest position they can and thump them down on the ground. Everyone gets three attempts and the loudest thumper wins.
Thomas Squirrel is excused from this event due to his recently injured tail. A fact for which he is very relieved as he spent over half an hour quaffing his tail this morning and it is looking particularly bushy and fine.
Basil Dormouse has high hopes of winning as he has been practicing raising his tail. There are several entrants and all make fine thumps in the first round. It is neck and neck between Sebastian Squirrel and Basil. The second round thumping is even louder and the rivalry between the two favourites heats up. The final round and just Sebastian and Basil are left to go. Sebastian lifts his tail with all his might and whops it down like a sledge hammer. The noise is spectacular and the crowd cheers. Basil takes a deep breath, raises his tail, clenches all of his muscles and bangs for all he’s worth. The force reverberates through him and he shoots into the air. Unfortunately, his screams overwhelm the sound of his tail hitting the ground and he is disqualified. Basil comes back to earth with a loud thud and starts to argue with Murtle Weasel that his noise should be his second thud and not his first as he still landed on his tail. Murtle is not impressed and gives Basil a yellow card warning.
A very sad dormouse stomps off and an exuberant squirrel claims his prize.
The next event is The Tumble Chaser. Groups of six line up at the start line. This event tests team skills and dexterity. The first team member must pick up an acorn and run a tree length as fast as they can. They then turn back to face the start line and throw the acorn to their next team member. Catching the acorn, they then sprint to meet the first team member, turn back towards the start line and throw the acorn to the next in line. Once they have all had a turn, the whole team sprints back to the start line. The first team with all racers and acorn across the start line wins.
The mole team are having a bit of trouble finding the start line. Their eyesight isn’t good at the best of times but they’ve got the sun in their eyes which is making them virtually blind. In the end Agnes and Angus, the mole twins, manage to get to the start and are able to guide the rest of their team in using high pitched squeaks. Everyone claps when the teams are finally lined up and a whistle is blown and they’re off.
Angus, first up for the mole team, manages to run in a straight line and turns back to face the start line – or where he thinks the start line is – and throws his acorn. Unfortunately, Totto, from the field mouse dancing troupe, gets smacked in the face and launches his own acorn directly into the crowd. Annabelle, second on the field mouse team, then has to divert to fetch their acorn and this means that the field mice and now in last position. In the meantime, Angus has been joined by Agnes who has quickly seized their acorn and moved into the lead. Agnes makes a smooth pass back to the start line, only to find that Vicky Vole and Maddi Mole are neck and neck. Maddi moves slightly ahead but then stumbles on a tree root. This causes her to wobble slightly and she loses her sense of direction ploughing into Willow Squirrel who isn’t too pleased. Dismay erupts in the grandstand as Maddi keeps running, heading straight towards the winner’s podium. Fortunately, she misses this by a whisker and ends up in a heap at the feet of Murtle Weasel. Disqualified Murtle shouts. Mole Team, you are all disqualified.
The mole team are devastated but nobly congratulate the winning field mice, who after all, ran an awfully good race.
Next is the Centipede Hurdling. This is delayed as the shrews are rather partial to centipede and are disqualified for eating the apparatus. More hurdles have to be found, so in the meantime Old Uncle Philbert gets out his spoons and entertains the crowd. The race is finally won by the Bunny Blossom Siblings who were not the fastest but were the only entrants not to squash the millipede hurdles and after the off-putting problem with the shrews, it was felt that the only way to ensure future participation by the millipedes next year, was to make the event safer.
Then there were four running races. These tended to be won by the larger and much faster creatures but minor injuries were sustained when smaller Woodland residents wouldn’t move aside to allow themselves to be lapped.
The final event of the day was Earth, Air and Water. This was an assault course that started with a sprint to the old deserted warren where participants would then have to navigate the complex labyrinth and emerge at the old chalk pit, where they would have to climb to the top and then rope slide down to the stream. They would then follow the stream to Beaver Cubs Dam, which they had to climb over before returning to dry land and a sprint to the finish.
12 woodland creatures were brave enough to take on this challenge. The polecat siblings, Arthur and Gumly, were the joint favourites but it was suspected that the Pickles hares might win if they were in a strong position when it came to the final sprint.
The competitors lined up. Badger blew his whistle and they were off.
As expected, the polecats take off like bullets and are soon in a strong lead. Magdalena grass snake is making a good effort to keep up with them and when they get to the warren, it looks like she has a slight advantage as she slithers through the maze. The pickles hares are having a bit of trouble fitting through the warren but use sibling muscle to shove each other through. The youngest beaver lad is next through but his slightly larger sibling, Titus, gets stuck half way causing a bottleneck behind him which loses the other contestant’s vital time. Titus finally explodes from the warren tail first as the other participants push him upwards and out of their way.
By this time the leaders are already at the top of the chalk pit, with the Pickle Hares just ahead on the rope slide. The polecats whizz down their ropes at brake neck speed and both species arrive at the bottom at the same time. The young beaver misses his gripping on the rope and stumbles backwards. He can’t get his balance before it is too late and he is sliding back down the side of the pit. Magdalena has fallen by the wayside, literally, she got wound round her rope and can’t undo herself.
Both the Hares and the polecats are at the stream. The Hares jump straight in and race away towards the dam leaving the polecats to get in slowly as they don’t want to get their fur wet.
It looks like a won race as the hares reach the dam but the weight of water on their fur is hindering their dam climbing skills. Within moments the polecats have caught up and are scaling the dam with great ease. They are over the top and sprinting to the finish. The first hare has managed to get to the dam top and is helping the other two over. They all fall to the ground and gallop for their lives. They run the fastest they have ever run, but it is not enough, the polecats win by a cat’s whisker.
After the medals are handed out, all the Woodland creatures retire to the central hall where much merriment will last well into the night.

Dear Mother
I’m sorry that I haven’t written for a while but what with the move and new job, things have been a tad hectic. I am loving my new role as Resident Liaison here at Blue Rocks Retirement Village. The people are charming and it is so wonderful living on site as I can be accessible 24 hours a day. This is so useful when one very elderly gentleman knocks on my door at 2am each day – he seems to be a little partial to rum and this impairs his ability to remove his clothing – we wouldn’t want him sleeping fully dressed.
I am also very fortunate to live next door to a rather randy 80 year old who seems to be the main go to man for Viagra. It’s comforting to hear his breathing and know that he is still alive. He seems to be keeping several of the single female residents very fit – although I’m not sure that single is always the right word.
At 7.30 each morning I must take the newspapers round. This necessitates fast running shoes. I was not aware that all elderly men have to open their doors in the nude or that they could move so quickly.
Later in the morning I have my one on one sessions with residents. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to really express their opinions on everything. It is so rewarding to hear about all of their ailments and such a privilege when they decide to show me their scares. I have seen Lizzie’s hysterectomy scar, Mabel’s scar from a third nipple she had removed nearly 60 years ago and Edwards scar from when he was shot in the war – although later I learned that this was in fact caused when several of the gentlemen residents here went Paint Balling whilst drunk last year.
At lunch time we all eat together in the main dining room. I am fortunate that I do not cook it as the amount of moaning about the food indicates to me that I wouldn’t escape the mess hall alive. I also have the responsibility of making sure everyone leaves lunch with their own false teeth – you would be very surprised how often they get swapped.
From 2pm until 3pm, I have a break. This is a wonderful opportunity to pop off for a quick cry.
At 4pm I serve afternoon tea – again in the main dining room. This is another wonderful opportunity for the residents to really get their problems off of their chests and I remain seated with them as I have to be on hand to administer First Aid. People always seem to be choking on the fruit cake but last time it was removed from the menu, a riot happened.
I am now preparing to teach my evening class. I suggested a therapeutic reading group but have been over ruled. In 20 minutes I start my Karma Sutra for beginners. One mustn’t grumble, the attendance is very good.
Well mother, that’s my news. It feels wonderful to be doing such a worthwhile job, after all, who needs sleep.