…Not physically, but mentally. Probably more correctly ‘tired of…’ Principally, I am tired of worry. Even more correctly, I am tired of worrying about the fact that the resolution of every problem merely leads, inexorably, onto a new one. This is a weariness of the spirit. The kind of weariness that tells you that thistledown has lost its magic, the Leprechaun has lost its gold, that the unicorn is lost at sea. I cannot sleep myself out of this. The little black-hearted gremlin will nibble away at me for a few more days and, if I am lucky, no-one else will even know he’s been around.
Now, I don’t want you to think that we’re talking proper depression here – on a scale of ‘Sea-Level’ to ‘Mariana Trench’ we’re probably talking trousers rolled up and paddling in the sea. This is the molehill of ennui alongside the Everest of depression, but sometimes I’m a mole and it seems like a big deal. I can’t blame any accident of fate for my current lassitude – I am hostage to circumstance, exactly the same as everybody else, and the possibility of unforeseen happenstance is never actually unforeseen, is it?
There is a pattern: the drip, drip, drip of bitter rainfall on an otherwise sunny day, leading to a leaden sky and a deluge that threatens every shred of equilibrium. The trick is to release the pressure before the levee breaks, and I do that by doing this – I write. At first I write bitterly. The humour might, at this time, find a home on certain YouTube channels, but for me, the only place it belongs is the bin. I never trust what I have written whilst in this malaise, but the shredder is catharsis and, almost inevitably, I find myself upright and balanced, if still wobblingly, upon the great tightrope of life. I have dangled from the cable from time to time, bounced down upon my wherewithal, but I have yet to have a catastrophic fall.
Now, I can, at this point, sense two sentiments wafting from you to me:
1. Why are you telling me this buffoon, what is it to do with me? And
2. You’re not being very funny at the minute, are you gloomy-pants? Bitterly or any other way.
Both perfectly valid contributions to the ‘conversation’.
So, let me explain why I mention this today. Well, I mention this today, because I actually wrote the above yesterday, before taking myself down the stairs for a restorative dram and an hour’s vegetating in front of the telly.
I watched Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (BBC iplayer). I am no fisherman, but neither is Bob Mortimer. Paul Whitehouse is. They have both had major heart procedures and in the program, Paul Whitehouse takes Bob to some of his favourite fishing haunts as a way of getting him out and about. This is the flimsiest premise for a TV series you may ever have seen. It is a little about fishing, a little about health, a little about the glorious British countryside, and a lot about the friendship of two men ‘of a certain age’ approaching their latter years with more joy and optimism than you can shake a stick at. This program should be freely available on prescription for all men over sixty years of age. I have been captivated by the stunning scenery, amused by the stories, and ultimately reduced to tears of laughter by the ‘banter’ of two old friends. This program is a pure joy. For those of you who, like me, find yourself not so much in a trough of despond – more like a mucky puddle of torpor – I cannot recommend it highly enough.