After almost a whole lifetime of experiencing euphoria followed by a descent into despondency, one would imagine that in my 62nd year I would have by now been able to curb the most reckless thoughts and desires that I'm seized with.
Apparently not, because a couple of days ago, after having had one decent nights' sleep of just over 5 hours, I thought: “I know – although I can't go away for a couple of weeks, I'll attempt to fit in 2 days in-between hospital visits.” I considered some destinations reasonably close to home, and finally plumped for a visit to the North York Moors.
You may not be familiar with this area of the country, but it is incredibly pretty, and despite close proximity to 'Chemical City' (Middlesborough aka 'The Armpit Of The Universe'), is very peaceful and not too well known that it's crowded with visitors – at least not at this time of year. It is also an area I spent some considerable time in so long ago as a teenager, with some very strong and happy memories.
I'm still a member of the YHA, so first of all considered staying at the YHA hostel in Osmotherly. This lovely little village is on the North-West margin of the moors, with easy access from the A19 – and most importantly – it has 3 pubs! Why the YHA? - because it's cheap – these days I try to conserve cash, saving it for more 'essential' items – such as electronics hardware for example.
Now although the YHA hostels are cheap to stay in, they do lack an important aspect – privacy, and whilst I have no problem sharing a dorm with other males – I have to say that with my restlessness accompanied by groans and moans when turning over in bed, my stay might not be as popular as I would like for my dorm-mates. So with privacy in mind I looked at camping – there is a campsite, set in a pleasant spot only a half-mile or so from Osmotherly, so I sent them an email and they quoted me £12.50 per night for the 2 nights stay. This is good, so I spent a large part of the afternoon planning my itinerary.
The next day brought a sideways shift back to reality. After spending a large part of the night tossing and turning, I eventually decided to get up – that was 3:30 am, and naturally the rest of the day was something of a hodge-podge of activity and weariness. The thought of spending a comfortable night in a sleeping-bag , with only an air bed between me and the hard ground, is so far from reality as to be hilariously funny, and as my father would have said: 'You just don't think, do you?”
As my life has gone on, when I have had more time to do some introspection, his words, that were a hurtful barb at the time, together with what I now know, have demonstrated to me, that to him, I must have appeared to behave like an alien being – but one not placed on Earth to conquer, but simply to self-destruct. The fact is that whilst in this state-of-mind, normal reality is suspended, and my behaviour, although making perfect sense to me at the time, may appear to be almost insane to anyone else. The urge to act there and then is very powerful, and in the past has created a trail of destruction. Nowadays, despite the moods, there is a little voice that says to me: “wait until tomorrow before you do this”, and insistingly the next day says the same thing, so that the worst excesses are avoided as the euphoria subsides – sometimes.
No I haven't given up the idea, I have a secluded back-garden and I'm tempted to try a night in the tent there, just to see how I cope – with the respite of the kitchen door a matter of a few yards away, what can go wrong? Well, that's todays thoughts anyway – perhaps tomorrow it may appear differently?
I hope everyone is having a happy Easter break.