Here’s something to illustrate (wrongly) what I alluded to in my last entry, i.e. the glumness of being, the malaise of the mind, (the pretentiousness of) the ennui of existence.

My November Guest

MY Sorrow, when she’s here with me,

  Thinks these dark days of autumn rain

Are beautiful as days can be;

She loves the bare, the withered tree;

  She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.

  She talks and I am fain to list:

She’s glad the birds are gone away,

She’s glad her simple worsted gray

  Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,

  The faded earth, the heavy sky,

The beauties she so truly sees,

She thinks I have no eye for these,

  And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know

  The love of bare November days

Before the coming of the snow,

But it were vain to tell her so,

  And they are better for her praise.

– Robert Frost

This I took to be a reference to depression, and the way it colours your whole perception. Or rather drains of colour. Until all that’s left is  grey, unremitting, interminable and devoid of even the hope of cessation.

Turns out it’s nothing of the sort. It’s a tale of the poet going for a walk with his wife (his sorrow? Never heard of divorce?) and her taking pleasure in the season, and berating him for failing to appreciate it, whereas he was enjoying it just as much, but letting her extol it’s virtues to share the frission.

Also, while we wax lyrical here is my favourite, and only memorised poem

A Last Word

by Ernest Dowson

Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;

The day is overworn, the birds all flown;

And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown;

Despair and death; deep darkness o’er the land,

Broods like an owl; we cannot understand

Laughter or tears, for we have only known

Surpassing vanity: vain things alone

Have driven our perverse and aimless band.

Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold,

To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust

Find end of labour, where’s rest for the old,

Freedom to all from love and fear and lust.

Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold

Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust.

Not bad for 1899.

Keep smiling!


Work means freedom

Hi again, this really is to be a quick one (Heroes is on in 25 minutes!). Had to commit this to pseudo paper though.

Of late I’ve been struggling with the Taekwondo. If I’m on 2-10 shift I can’t go because I’m working, and 6-2 I’m so tired I just can’t drag myself to go. Then there was missing the grading due to my HGV lesson , and I didn’t go to one lesson I could have made last week as it was the final one before grading and we’d have just been going through the stuff we needed for it. Which I do every time I exercise (most days on 2-10).

So all in all I was losing it. I had to force myself to go tonight or I felt I might just quit. And then there was tonight’s lesson. I am buzzing off it. Sure I’m tired now, and will be worse tomorrow (I am too wired to go straight to bed now even if I didn’t want to watch Heroes), but for the first time in what seems like ages I am invigorated, chipper to the point of cheerful and focused again. I want to learn, to strive, to master the damn painful discipline.

I have been down. Low of mood and spirit.

If the simple expedient of sweating blood and stretching till you cry keeps me charged and breaks the cycle of work/ sleep/ work, I’ll have to force myself to go to lessons. Another point in the class’s detriment on 6-2 is this, you come in at 9.15 or so, have a shower, want to talk about it for ages, and are buzzing for ages afterwards. Not conducive to a good nights sleep.

Well, Wendy’s going to bed and watching Heroes later, so I’ll try and get some extra kip.

By the by, went out to the mighty Micra this morning at 5.30 and because of the rain yesterday, and it freezing overnight, it was like a little Micra-shaped ice-cube. An igloo, indeed. I hit the central locking button, the doors unlocked but were frozen into position!

I ended up forcing the key into the hatchback lock, heaving that open, then clambering in the back and knocking the door open from the inside! I was late. Overnight we are forecast tons of snow, the roads are already iced over, so it’s going to be fun.



My struggle (mein kampf, as some would say.)

Well, guess what? I failed. Again. 🙁

I had to get up at ungodly o’clock on my days holiday to get to the training place for 7am, and could not get to sleep last night through thinking about my test and worrying.

I made a few mistakes on the way to the test centre, nothing major, but not what you want to be doing on the way to a test. When we pulled up at the centre an instructor from a different school shouted to my instructor to tell him some hot news, the content of which I missed by going to the loo. Then when another instructor from my place pulled in my instructor was straight up to him to tell him the gossip. Apparently someone called M*** B****** was there at the test centre. I wasn’t really paying attention as they discussed it amongst themselves, saying he was a menace, that they had no regard for him, that he was here now because they had got rid of him somewhere else, etc.

Then some chap walked in and shouted my name, shook my hand and said he’d be examining me, pleased to meet me, his name was M*** B*****!

Oh the delicious irony. How I laughed.

So I set off thinking I was going to fail no matter what. I did my first exercise, a very simple manoeuvre, just a reverse into a coned area with the arse end snug at the simulated dock. To do this they have fitted a bulldog clip to one of the mudguards, you just line that up with a pre-selected spot on the pre-dock area and you know you are spot-on. I can do this every time. I was out in one truck on Saturday, a different one today, and the bulldog clip is in a different place!

Lined it up spot-on, inches short. Failed (though I didn’t know it) on the first exercise, before I’d even got on the road for my test!  If that had of been all I’d have failed on I would have been having very serious words with my trainers. A frank exchange of views, and possibly feet.

However, I managed to fail on my own (de) merit. The valuable and unforgettable lesson I learnt today is traffic lights come in two kinds. Round red, orange, green, and round red and orange but arrowed green. This I was previously aware of, on some level. What I am fully horrifically conscious of now is the fact that if it is the latter, arrowed green, it means there is more than one set of lights in play. I was travelling along a road, he said take the next turn on the right, I indicated, changed lane, saw the light was green (arrow) and proceeded. He said "Stop! It’s a red light"

I said "where?" Looking straight at a green light, and then he pointed out the other set of lights next to it, which were indeed on red! FAIL!

There were two other incidents. Straight after the red light fracas he reckons I clipped a kerb. I’m not sure I did, but not sure I didn’t either. And gears, again.

When I took the fail sheet back they had a look at it and said that considering it was him, that was a remarkably clean sheet for minor faults, and that I obviously don’t need more lessons, just back in for another test.

That is a mercy. Can’t afford to keep lashing out more dosh, yet ironically, can’t afford to stop now!

On the bright side, there was only the gears issue that I don’t feel confident I could be totally on top of, next time. Everything else was just really momentary lapses of concentration. Even with himself as an examiner I had a really confident and competent drive. On the drive home in the Micra I had a revelation. I’ve been dreading (when I finally get my licenses and a job) the first drive. But I realised today, if someone asked me to drive one of the trucks I’ve been training in, I would be OK with it now. Cautious, but not frightened.

As always there is more to say, but it’s getting on, and I have to be up shortly. I’m tired. Quite a portion of which is down to me being a tad miserable. Still, a good sleep, regroup my joi de vivre (however the French write it) and I should be back on top. :’(