Tonight I was going to post a selection of photographs from where I’ve been in the last few months. I don’t feel like doing that tonight. There’s a lot going on in the world just now, not least the tragic death of musician Scott Hutchison which was announced today, and cheery photographs might not cut it this particular evening. Instead I would like to write about walking.
This blog’s title Walking Talking was intended to take the piss out of my East Lothian accent but also because I like both walking and talking. Sometimes I even do both at the same time, would you believe. I walk whenever I can. Most days it is usually to and from the bus stop, though on days off I walk further. This past Sunday, for example, I walked a mile or two to Crookston Castle. Along the way I thought a bit. I do a lot of thinking. Not all of it positive, I tend to overthink a lot of things. But walking tends to ease that a bit since there are new things to focus on in the world around me as I pass by. On that walk, I thought about signposts and the blog post that was possibly going to come out of it. I remembered the last time I had done that walk, on an almost as nice day about two years before. I had hoped to get back to explore the nearby Rosshall Gardens but it didn’t happen. My head slowed down a bit as the rest of me kept a steady pace, one foot in front of another.
I grew up by the sea and I associate the seaside with calm and comfort, even though I now live a distance from any waves. At high school I didn’t have a lot of friends so I used to go sit by the sea and eat my sandwiches. Thinking on it now, it probably did me good to clear my head away from the hubbub of the hectic school day. I still do that sometimes. A week or so ago, I was on relief and at lunchtime I took my lunch about fifteen minutes away to the foot of the Gleniffer Braes with a view right across Paisley to the hills. A mostly urban picture but it worked that day.
The last time I was out by the sea was this past Monday. I went to Dunbar briefly and wandered over to the Battery, Lamer Island, which was fairly busy but I managed to ignore the other folk and just look out at that beautiful and endearingly familiar view towards the Bass Rock and North Berwick Law, the centre of my universe even though I live at the other side of the country. I felt my heartbeat slow for those few minutes as I walked and then I stood.
What I’m trying to say is that there are a lot of people who struggle with every day. Sometimes I’m one of them. I walk and it helps. Other things do too. On Sunday I’m going to see Hibs and football’s a major release for me, especially if the Hibees are on form as I hope they’ll be once more against that mob from Govan. I am lucky that I have ways to release. A lot of people don’t have that. Walking works for me, it doesn’t for everyone. That’s okay. We are all different, we all have our lives to live.
There are other people who can advise far better than I can about mental health and self care. It is nice that social media has been full of messages today encouraging everyone and men in particular to be open about their mental health, good or otherwise. This can only be positive. That’s where talking comes in. That has been known to work too.
Thanks for reading. Normal service will be resumed on Sunday with a Streets of Glasgow post, this time Waterloo Street.
There are numerous places to seek help if you need to. Here are just two.
116 123 (24 hours)
Breathing Space –
0800 83 85 87 (Mon-Thur 6pm-2am, Fri 6pm-Mon 6am)