Leaving the good folk at Mind was a real wrench – they were interested and interesting and fun and sparkly.
But I was off on my way – Alison had been in touch and I was meeting her at the cafe in Seacombe ferry terminal – she’d joined up with the walk a mile posse a few months ago and liked the cut of our jibs.
It was like meeting an old friend – an old friend who happily bought me my own body weight in hot chocolate.
In no time we were sharing stories of all things mental healthy and walk a Miley.
It’s at times like this I need to pinch myself to remind me that I’ve never met this open and friendly person before.
As is the way with the sacred ramble, I was off on my way all too soon. The wind was beginning to blow up and I still didn’t have a place to lay my not particularly weary head.
I managed to get a night in the new Brighton travel lodge for a knock down price and then, clean and refreshed, I walked off into a beautiful day.
The people I met were delightful – an older couple walking along the prom holding hands – they stopped for a chat. He has Alzheimer’s – she smiled as she said to me, ‘You don’t look like one…’ I smiled, turning to her husband, ‘…and neither do you!’
They both got it. If they hadn’t told me I’d have no idea of his diagnosis – he was friendly and warm and conversational.
I met Colin, the ex para who vanishes off to the Brecon Beacons at times of stress – smiling wryly at the lack of psych services in the forces – combined with the disinclination of your average para to ask for help.
I met a Canadian woman who’s lived here most of her life – she had suffered with depression for years and medication helped her.
Matthew, the friendly cyclist, who stopped by for a chat and then made my day by hooting the car horn and whistling out the window when he passed me later…
And countless others. Interested and interesting. Donations for my day to day living were thrown at me – so much so I indulged in another B&B – yes, I know, a fool and his money…
I got reading about some stuff a health minister had done/ hadn’t done and a bunch of other powerful folk being mean to more vulnerable folk stuff and I found myself getting a little angrified.
I tend not to do that very often – it solves little.
I used words like ‘fight’ and the like – this was war.
However, I was stopped in my tracks by this – a simple statement by a man much wiser than I
‘The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting, but on building the new.’ – Socrates
We are all in this together – the people of the UK are proving it time and again.
Walk a mile