Monday came and I could not move. I spent most of the week in bed unable to do very much other than go to see Nurse C on the Tuesday morning and she told me I was run down, had a bad cold and would change my blood pressure tablets. The advice was to stay in bed until I felt better. By Saturday I had shaken the worst off and I even went out on to Ted Magnums official leaving do. On the Sunday morning I went to the cenotaph in the centre of town. It was a bright day when I left but it started raining at around 10.50am and did not stop for well over an hour until the service had finished. From there I went to the local army barracks to see Bean Counters son who had been in the parade. It was after a few hours at the barracks that the shivers started again and I went home to bed. I probably should not have stood around for 3 hours in damp clothes but at the time I figured it was the least I could do to honour so many who have fallen to give me and many millions of other people the right to live in a free democracy with out fear.
The next day and I was feeling worse than I had the previous week and so I went back to the doctors and explained what had happened. The doctor signed me off for another week with the advice to stay warm and dry. There is not a lot you can do when you don’t feel well other than make yet another Lemsip and watch day time TV. The house is a mess as I started decorating a few weeks ago but have been unable to complete any room and autumn has arrived with a vengeance. The long dark cold nights and the grey skies have done nothing for my mood or temperament. It’s time to dust off the light box and start taking the serotonin tablets once more.
A phone call from the Tiler informed me that it was spring in Oz and the flowers are blooming and everyone has their shorts on as temperatures soar. TM is probably sipping a cold beer in Argentina as he waits for his iron horse to arrive by steamer and the Traveller is going to Thailand for three weeks. It’s hard not to feel envious when all you have to look forward to is another Lemsip and the next instalment on the shopping channel. The desire to pack up and leave is stronger than ever. A couple of short weeks ago it felt as though time was flying by, right now it feels rather like it has stood still.
A few months previous, the doctor had been out to see my mum and I remarked about the bad weather we were having at the time. He agreed and told me that he fully expected his surgery to be full of people during September that he would normally see in January. I asked him to explain and he told me that Just after the New Year was when he would normally see people with seasonal depression. These people did not know why there were depressed they just knew they were. As I have been a sufferer of SAD for some years I knew exactly what he meant. The SAD season has arrived early this year and only good weather and vitamin D will cure it. For more information on this subject check out http://www.sada.org.uk/whatis.htm
No matter how down in the dumps I feel, the trip to the Cenotaph brings back a sense of reality. I am one of the lucky ones and feeling a bit lousy is only a small price to pay when compared to the ultimate sacrifice so many have made. With this in mind I have copied what are probably the most famous lines of any war poem ever written. They were penned by Laurence Binyon and come from the fourth verse in his epic poem “The Fallen” from 1914.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.