The Wild Cliffs
Yesterdays emotional turmoil was a little better today, each time I step down the meds I have a bad couple of days and then I stabilise again as I get used to the lower dosage. I’m currently opening the capsules and tapping out some of the power so that I’m reducing the dose as gently as possible and tonight is my next step down, so it will be interesting to see how well I do.
Today’s plan was to walk to Scarborough, I normally do that from The Bay, but today I decided to be kinder to myself and drive to the country park and set off from there. This cuts off a couple of miles from the hike and I took advantage of that reduction to sleep in for a bit, which helped offset the tiredness from another disrupted night. My day as per usual started at the cafe where I read for a while, the sun was starting to peak through the clouds and all looked well. I was a little tired, but I’ve done this walk half a dozen times and it’s well within my abilities.
There’s very little that I like more than walking the cliffs, the views, the birds, the fresh air, friendly fellow walkers and good quality easy to follow, mostly flat paths are a hard combination to beat. Today was no exception, there was a little light rain but I was prepared for that and I arrived in Scarborough, about 2 1/2 hours after starting. I’d brought my travel towel with me, so I stripped off my shoes and socks and went for a long paddle in south bay and the lovely cold water did wonders for my feet. I was listening to the book Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman, I’d already listened to about a third of it and it’s a short book so I finished it easily. It’s a beautiful book but I found myself losing focus often as my attention was drawn to the grandeur of the scenery, but it was very enjoyable.
After paddling I sat on a wall, allowing my feet to dry and watching the kids paddling and the surfers and wished that I could find a comfy chair and some shade and spend a few hours there. Unfortunately I had to make do with Esquires and I was happy to sit there for 90 minutes and relax, before heading out again to do some walking along the north bay cliffs.
The train service from Scarborough to Filey is superb, it’s a direct line with only one stop, takes only 15 minutes or so and costs £2.50 online for a single, which is less than the cost of parking. It’s so much better than the bus service which goes around all the villages and takes at least twice as long and is half as enjoyable.
By the time I got to the car I was pretty weary, I suppose I’d walked for about 4 hours and I was very pleased that I didn’t have another hour still to go to get back to The Bay. It strikes me that my health doesn’t seem noticeably better than other times I’ve been here, if anything I’m more weary and weaker than I on previous visits. This strikes me as strange because at home I’ve been feeling much better than when I was working, there are probably two reasons for this. First I’m weaning myself off my meds, not sleeping great and feeling a little down. Second, when I visit here I’m never working so my experience should be reasonably comparable. By contrast when I’m at home I feel noticeably better because I’m comparing how I felt when I was working to how I feel now. At home I’m also enjoying the relaxed feeling of being ‘on top of things’ that I now have in retirement, i.e. I’m not worrying about all of the work that I have piled up and I have the time to keep well on top of the household chores.
All that said I don’t think my health has improved quite as much as I thought it had based on how I’d been feeling at home, I’m just coping better at home.
I’m also quite conscious of the fact that by contrast with a year ago I didn’t feel the need to leave home and come on holiday as much. In fact last year I remember being quite desperate to come over here for a week. This time though I was so content at home that I would have been quite happy to stay. That’s a big change and I think it reflects a general trend, I’m becoming quite a ‘home bird’ perfectly content with my swimming, cycling, walking, reading, gardening …, with my day trips and hikes and rides with friends and less interested in exploring. Maybe if I build up my stamina and finally get off these meds then I will feel differently.
I think it’s a fine balance to manage between stagnating, but being comfortable and content and pushing myself outside my comfort zone and being tired and stressed. Although in theory pushing myself outside of my comfort zone a few times should extend the size of my comfort zone!
Anyway I’ve just eaten a huge fry up and I’m looking forward to a fruit salad later, after my evening walk. Over dinner I watched a TV show about a traditional farmer, who’s trying to come to terms with the realities of the modern industrialised food system, it’s really interesting to see his naive views evolve as he’s forced to confront the huge scale of operations required to meet our insatiable need for consistent quality, convenient, low priced food all year round regardless of season.