I Have My Books & My Poetry To Protect Me.

Real goodness is always simple. Simplicity is so attractive and so profitable that it is strange that so few people are really simple       -         Tolstoy


Despite my storm battered childhood, there were three things I could do well before I even set foot in a classroom - Read, write and play card games. The former has been a place of retreat and joy throughout my depressive struggles. I've often said that books can be a person's 'best friends' and for people who live with, or have bouts of depression, that kinship with the written word can be sacrosanct.

At home we have one alcove crammed with books of all kinds. Many more occupy bedside tables, cupboards, underbed storage space and a few have been set aside for charity shops and book swaps, but not too many. In my own 'deflated' moments, the first things I reach for is usually a poetry collection, but whatever the choice (fiction, verse, biography etc',), it must be uplifting.

Quite recently a friend of mine (Hannah), loaned me 'My Garden, The City And Me' by Helen Babbs. It told of Helen's attempt to create a rooftop garden against all the odds, and is rich in detail and content. For two days I couldn't put the book down, and it lifted so many black clouds off my shoulders, what an experience. I'm now reading her second book 'Adrift' A Secret Life Of London's Waterways which is equally gratifying.

It's not been a bad week really, with daytrips to Melton Mowbray and Nottingham where my wife and I met up with old friends for lunch. There have been four longish walks which for me are absolutely essential for my mental health, and money in the 'heart' bank. I have a very busy weekend ahead, and I'm still trying to find the right sleep formula. I'm sure that will come, maybe need to go back to my favourite sleeping draught, lavender oil on a towel, it worked wonders in times past.