*Other D.I.Y. establishments are available (this particular brand name suits the title better)

Good evening and welcome. I have been wondering what to write this evening and I had the title in my head but no more words to follow.

Here on the small island things are hotting up (literally – it’s been at least 17c at times) and it is getting to that time of year when weekends are filled up with one of two things. Trawling around D.I.Y. stores looking for things you’ll never use but ‘might’ be a good idea or useless twinkly things to hang on the fence / shed in the garden is one of these things. The other is consuming an ungodly amount of chargrilled meat and salad outdoors (because although you’ll eat your body weight in burgers and sausages the salad is healthy right?)

This weekend I did one of those things, but before I get to that part of the story I shall digress a little. On Saturday my wife and daughter were helping at an event for Rainbows (little versions of brownies, who are little versions of guides) at a local campsite. This gave me the opportunity to take my camera and tripod, have 4 and a half hours all to myself and see some beautiful areas of the small island. Having been dropped off at the campsite gates I walked for about a mile before the village I was heading to came in to sight. The sun was out, there were bright, white fluffy clouds and it was all looking very photogenic. I headed toward the harbour and across the wooden walkway which has been photographed millions (possibly) of times so I had to take another photo for myself just to be sure.

I made my way to the boathouse and then the rain came. Sheltering from the rain I got my coat on and waited until it passed. Out came the tripod, on went the camera and I went in to David Bailey mode. Every angle was covered, panoramas were attempted and I was enjoying the peace and quiet. I took some photos that I am extremely proud of and some not so but I consider it all a learning curve. Having exhausted the photo opportunities at this place I made my way to another little quay about 2 miles walk away and carried on taking more pictures. It felt great to be out in the sun and I even made it to a pub by myself for a crisp pint of ale before meeting my wife and daughter again to go home. It was a good day (as I had told myself in the morning in my usual mantra like way – see previous blog somewhere about that).

Sunday was spent swimming with my daughter at the local pool in the morning and then heading to my parents house for lunch and a BBQ later on in the afternoon. My cousin, her partner and their baby son were visiting so it was going to be good to catch up with them as I think the last time they came down I was in the middle of a major meltdown and refused to see them.

And for no obvious reason that’s when the old familiar feelings raised their head again.

Like a burger that looks cooked on the outside but is still pink and raw in the middle this is how I was feeling (see what I did there?). My outward appearance was one of calm and being well but my insides were screaming at me to go home. My head told me I should be on my own but my heart told me this would be another positive step forward. I sat outside with the family, made conversation and felt good.I managed 2 burgers and a helping of salad washed down by a lovely cool drink.

But there was something wrong.

I was hot and bothered. I was agitated. I was angry. I was short-tempered.

But I didn’t know why. There didn’t seem to be a specific trigger. It wasn’t a particularly social event, it was my family who I’ve been with countless times before.

I made my excuses and sat in the living room and then felt overwhelmingly tired. I could barely keep my eyes open and just wanted to sleep. My wife came in and could see something wasn’t right so we decided to say our goodbyes and went home. I ran a bath for myself, threw in a ‘man grenade’ bath bomb and just lay there in warm blue water listening to a fantastic playlist on Spotify (Lost in the Woods if anyone is interested).

It would seem that this weekend has taught me a valuable lesson. I am not as well as I think I am sometimes but that is alright. Each time I push myself I feel uncomfortable but I feel like I have to make myself do these things or I will be forever scared to try them. If it hurts this time and makes me anxious afterwards then I have to keep that feeling in my head to be used as a positive for me next time. If I get scared next time I can always remind myself that I have done it before and I CAN do it again.

Maybe next time I should leave out the salad though……….