Rain, Train, Pain

Oh my days.  I haven’t seen rain like this for a while or had to walk in it for a long time.  The kind where an umbrella makes little difference, and you’re too busy looking at the girl coming towards you in white plimsolls wading through a large puddle that you don’t realise said puddle is actually a lake and before you know it you’re ankle-deep in water.  Thank God I bought those boots. 

I guess this means that summer is almost over.  I say almost, because I still have hope, and I haven’t had that feeling yet, the one I get twice a year; once during winter when you know that summer is on the way, and once in summer when you realise the cold weather signals the onslaught of winter.

I realise that I didn’t account for spring or autumn (fall for you Americans reading).  To me they are like the place-holders for the other two seasons.  They are like boot camp for the following season, preparing you for the cold without really letting you feel it.  Priming you for the sunshine without really letting you feel its warmth.  

Perhaps because I suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) I don’t really notice these bookend-seasons.  Am I too pre-occupied with my negative thoughts between November and March that I am immune to their beauty?  That is a shame.  

As I think about the oncoming winter, I begin to feel dread. I can barely motivate myself to do anything in the summer when the sun shines.  How am I going to achieve anything in the winter?  I think of all the things I want to change in my life, and that requires so much effort.

I feel a headache coming on, and I feel tired and sleepy all of a sudden. I daren’t close my eyes for fear of falling asleep and waking up in the dead of winter.  Or Hounslow.  I’m not sure which is worse.  

You’ve Lost That Summer Feeling

I mentioned in a previous blog about how the summer here in England seemed to come to a soggy wet end some weeks ago, with the gorgeous sunshine being swapped for almost-daily showers, my summer wardrobe being swapped for its autumnal cousins. As a sufferer of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), I felt my mood plummet along with the temperatures and the pouring rain. But most of all I felt the fear: the fear of getting cold.

It’s like I don’t know how to dress any more, but it involves layers, and lots of them. With the temperatures lifting this week to around the mid-twenties degrees Celsius, I’m feeling a little separation anxiety with my scarf and cardigan, who I feel have become old friends. Or maybe my Siamese twins. Either way, as a child, I didn’t need a comfort blanket. I certainly don’t want to start carrying one about now, since I’m already laden down with so much baggage.

So today, I left the scarf and the cardy at home. I’m not ready to embrace winter yet. And I’m working on banishing fears from my life. After a jog down the Thames last night, I’m feeling positive. And I want my summer feeling back.

Steal My Sunshine – Len (1999)

It’s a SAD, SAD Summer

Ok, so 80s supergirl group, Bananarama called it a Cruel Summer, which I guess is also an applicable term. After the longest sunny spell that I can remember in years, the last week had seen plummeting temperatures and almost daily rain. I’ve gone from wearing dresses and bare legs with flip flops to jeans with socks, Converse, top, cardigan, denim jacket and scarf. And even then at times I’ve wondered if I’m going to be warm enough.

I’ve had friends staying from overseas who have also been dressed more, if a little over sensibly for the weather, and we’ve been out and about in London and other places, which may have influenced my wearing so many clothes. But after getting caught in the rain a few times and being chilled to the bone, I feel like I’m scared that I’m going to get cold. And with that, I just feel scared. My mood has dropped as quickly as the temperature, and I find myself becoming irritable and tearful. The unsettled feeling I’ve had with my life over the last few months has been exacerbated and I feel like I can’t find a way out of this. My Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is back with a vengeance, usually not appearing until at least September or October, and going into full swing in November, I feel like it’s going to be a long winter.

Last week while waiting at Richmond for the train home, I was stood on the platform in the tunnel, which is the best place to be located if you want to get in the first carriage ready to be straight up the stairs and out at Twickenham. As I looked through the dark tunnel, there was light at the end of it, as the sunshine illuminated the small piece of track, surrounded by trees, that exits the tunnel before it goes round the corner and out of sight. I tried to take a picture, but all I got was a big bright light surrounded by darkness. But on second thoughts, maybe that is all I needed to see.

Cruel Summer – Bananarama (1983)