Far from the madding crowd

At what point in time is it that on reflection you cannot identify when a change in your outlook and general demeanour occurred? And whenever it began what if anything was the catalyst? As the mind and body get older natural changes take place due to the ageing process, of this I am aware although having never grown older before I am sometimes at odds if the changes to my general persona and thought processes are down to the time I have been on the planet or other forces coming to bare. As someone who historically basked in the company of others and who regularly organized events, parties and noisy nights on the town when did the demise of such an element in my character start to decay? Surely I am not the only person who has experienced this? I would be kidding myself to think such a thing Though fighting it is becoming an uphill struggle. I have never had a diagnosis of any mental illness or even considered myself to suffer from such a thing. There are those who would be happy to inform you that I am absolutely mad and based on the chap I was a few years back I would agree, though it was all a part of my persona and my identity as an outgoing bloke that enjoyed a joke, a quip and a jibe.

As I was about to turn 60 years old it dawned on me that the whole concept of my family and friends converging on my house or arranging a 60th birthday party for me simply horrified me yet I can’t think why. In a bid to escape myself and my partner Helen loaded up the car and drove from our home in the North East of the UK to south Wales spending a long weekend with two beautiful people that until then we had never met. Caron and Fiona Jones soon became friends and looked after us both all weekend in their fantastic house far from the madding crowd. I never told Caron or Fiona that it had been my 60th birthday whilst we were there until the day we left as I simply couldn’t cope with the fuss. Four and a half years have past and I have been battling this demon since. Some occasions are better than others, though I suspect its because I use alcohol as a crutch to get through them. As such I have been able to organise a couple of events for my audiophile friends and even attend some gigs. I see this as therapy which from time to time takes its toll on me.

Music as always plays the biggest part in keeping me content and able to function as a human being especially when I am introduced to something new. Live music presents its own challenges which I am doing my best to overcome. Large events needing a long journey there and back I have been shying away from though I know that living where I do necessitates travelling a fair distance to see decent bands as many of the more establish artists seem too avoid most places between Birmingham and Scotland with the odd one braving Newcastle. I appreciate many of the reasons for this but it doesn’t make my life any easier. “For heaven’s sake shake yourself out of it” I hear many of you scream, well, I am doing my level best to do just that. I will beat this but for now folks will just have to be patient with me I’m afraid. I am a long way from needing a spell in a clinic in the hills or a one way ticket to Zurich and in comparison to many in the world I have little to moan about but my struggle with modern life and attitudes continues to hamper my recovery to my former self. I guess for many folks of a certain age the greed and narcissism prevalent in our society is something they find distasteful I know I do. There is of course the simple view and that is that I have simply become a grumpy old git. We will see what tomorrow brings. Be well my friends.

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