It was hot. I was sweating like a hot thing placed in a hot place.
John the farmer spotted my discomfort.
For those of you seasoned walk a milers – this was the same ‘Hi there…’ given to me by Donnie Sutherland, by Noel McCulloch, by Mrs McIntosh of Avoch to name but a very few of the folk who’ve fixed me with their friendly auras.
This ‘Hi there,’ meant ‘You’re coming into my home and you’re going to tell me what you’re doing and I’m going to look after you for a bit…’
‘D’you want a cup of tea?’
I remember reading somewhere that cold drinks cause your body to close it’s pores because it’s reacting to the cold – as such having the opposite of the desired effect – hot drinks, on the other hand…
Listen – YOU try being inside my head for a while – if I have to listen to it, so do you…
I happily accepted the tea whilst explaining a little about what I was up to and hearing a bit about the lot of a farmer…and that it was too hot to do anything.
John told me that subsidies from government and Europe were mysterious entities.
Mysterious in that the powers that be were constantly shifting the goalposts.
They’d award them for cattle – then only breeding cattle – then dairy herds – then land…
My head was spinning – it made me think of the Monty python sketch about where first years should hang up their coats…
We had the where are you planning to stop for the day conversation. I said soon given that I might evaporate. I said I might revert to my walking at dawn to avoid the heat policy to ensure I could knock some miles off.
John said I could stay in his static caravan to set me up for my transition to stupidly early mornings.
Yes, yes, yes…I tried not to sound over keen, but YES!
He told me that he, his sons and daughter have something to eat at about 6.30 and that I was welcome to join them.
I had the best shower of my entire life and caught up with a few blogs – I might have fallen asleep too.
John came round at about 6.30 – said supper would be in about 20 minutes – and then vanished – I never saw him again.
One of his son’s girlfriends…er, the girlfriend of one of his sons, Helen, came over with a great big plate of carbohydrates and a bunch of questions.
I talked about my crispy arms and she told me how they’d been doing something with the wool with her back to the sun causing similar crunchiness.
She asked me about my mental malady.
I said I had borderline personality disorder…
She’d never heard of it – no worries, not many people have.
‘Have you ever seen Criminal Minds?’ I asked.
‘Yes, I love Criminal Minds,’ she smiled
‘It’s usually me whodunnit…’ I grinned.
There, I’d done it again.
Making light of it? Scaring people with it? Using irony?
Being a bit of an arse with it is what I was doing.
I think I retrieved the situation by describing some of the emotional effect it has, that, as a condition it’s hugely over-represented in male prisoners, and that my particular pain in the arse was dissociation.
First impressions last, Christopher – save the dodgy gags until later.
Being the star in every episode of Criminal Minds is not a unique selling point.
I’m writing it out in my best handwriting, 1000 times.
Also, wonderfully entertaining Criminal Minds maybe, it isn’t a good reference point for learning about people with mental maladies.
I don’t think I was too scary, Helen’s joined up to the group.
Probably just to make sure I leave the area.
Walk a mile