Mental illness in any shape or form takes a huge amount of courage, not to mention energy, to overcome. The most important thing to remember is that nobody can do this for you; they can offer help, sympathy or a blind faith in sedatives. If you are to achieve anything in terms of mental illness, it has to come from within.
every day I notice moments when I’ve veered into dangerous mental territory and managed to pull myself back from the brink
This is perhaps the most important thing Alex has yet said on her blog. It is a crowning achievement to a life that has thus far been truly horrendous.
This was supposed to be a sort of review and reprise of George Orwell’s “The Decline Of The English Murder,” only my point of view is very different to his. Which makes his essays the more appealing to me. Add Orwell’s beautiful and evocative writing and you have a blissful read.
Not that murders are blissful, but that’s the point of murders – and the point of Orwell looking at their decline. Orwell’s books were written to be read by those who enjoy reading, those who read the story as much for the writing as the story itself. But that is what makes literature; if it’s only a story thinly interwoven by lumpy descriptions, it’s pulp fiction.
It is 1916 and an English gentleman is sitting in the shade of a trottoir café in Limassol on the island of Cyprus. Next to him is a Greek Cypriot tailor. They are both drinking coffee and discussing the events of the day. As they are about to part, the English gentleman says, “as soon as you have definite information, ring up 8456 and ask when it will be convenient for Mr Crowder to try on his new suit.” And adds that if he’s not there, he’ll phone back later in order to confirm the meeting.
So you’ve already spotted that something fishy is going on here, haven’t you?
I didn’t go to the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague on Saturday to see the Mondriaan exhibition; I went to see the paintings by Isaac Israel and his friend George Breitner. But to get to this exhibition I had to go through the Mondriaan exhibition and it stopped me in my tracks. The exhibition is entitled, “De Ontdekking Van Mondriaan” or ‘Discover Mondrian‘.
It is the middle of the night and all is quiet. Routine on a naval ship is the normality; the routine in the small hours of the night is even more crucial, because that’s the time when people are at their least aware. It’s nature: humans are better asleep in the depths of the night. Standing around in the dark is simply not as interesting as standing around during the daytime. Even at sea, there are things to see in the daylight, like a seagull. At least there is something; when it’s dark, it’s just one fug of nothingness. The blackness becomes boring for the rating standing lookout on the bridge of the USS Porter.
This was originally written in June, 2014, but never published. Until today! Read on, and enjoy…
What actually happened…
It was the morning of the parade. Not unbeknown to the famed Parachute regiment of the British Army was their spectacular manner of arriving on the parade ground. That is to say, they arrive by parachute.
Now this did take some practice, even for those well experienced in the use of parachutes. Because for an elite regiment to arrive one step out of beat was unheard of. So landing had to be perfect: all the soldiers would land exactly in parade ground formation, and in perfect time. The Regimental band also arrived by parachute, although the kettle drummer had to have his equipment tied to a separate parachute. Nevertheless, they arrived on the ground within the space of a semi-quaver.
Bolly, my new cat, was a cat that my friend Hendrik couldn’t really look after. Bolly kept pestering his younger cat, Timmy, and Hendrik couldn’t bear the fights – such as they weren’t. It is the nature of a mature cat to be territorial, they need this because they have to ensure their supply of food. Their territorial instincts are drawn from this reality and maintain the cat’s future.
This does have downsides for the cat, in that they have to be constantly on the alert which means they get very little sleep. Indeed, Hendrik mentioned that he could only get any sleep when the two cats were in different rooms. It wasn’t so much that fur flew or that blood was drawn; the occasional hiss was enough to keep him awake.