It was Monday morning, so I turned on my phone to make my weekly appointment with my GP.
We spoke for a while about how I’m doing, and he was really pleased that I’ve knocked the sleeping pills on the head. He said that I’d mentioned coming off my mood stabilisers before, and suggested that we start that now. So, I’m starting to reduce my dosage.
The less psychiatric medication I’m on, the better, and I’m really not sure how much they are actually benefitting me.
I spent a little while texting one of my friends from the city.
Cringe alert. But he has been amazing.
Every time I turn my phone on, there’s a message from him, and occasionally a missed call.
It’s so great to have someone so supportive and caring, which honestly, no offence, I didn’t think would be him.
I feel very lucky to have him as my friend.
There were also lots of messages in the group chats that I’m in. I didn’t read them, except for a little bit of the big group chat. My ex had posted in there. It was just an emoji, but it was the first I’ve heard/seen of him for weeks. I’m not guna lie, it rattled me a bit.
I had a lazy morning in bed, and halfway through felt like I was having a panic attack. My heart was racing, my breathing was fast, and I felt like I was sinking, for no real reason at all.
There’s just been so much going on in the past few days, so I guess that’s probably it.
When I went down for lunch, the Colston statue was top headline again, and once more, I was captivated.
I am so proud of my adopted city.
My Mum and I decided that we’d take advantage of it not raining again to go out somewhere beyond the woods. We decided to go to a stately home in the next town over. I was looking forward to going somewhere new.
On the way, we dropped off my ballet shoes at the post office so I can exchange them for the right size.
One of the villages we drove through, was just plain bizarre.
They still had their VE Day ‘decorations’ up, which were stuffed dummies dotted around the village…
It was so fucking weird, but I spoke to my brother later on, and he said that at the end of their road they have one which is Hermione Granger from Harry Potter.
That’s even weirder.
We drove over to the stately home, and when we got there, there were a lot of people.
We parked, and then walked up the path to the house.
I felt really exposed. The house sits on top of a hill, and it is surrounded by fields, which were full of people gathering outdoors. Of course, the government permits people to meet outside only, and everyone was obviously meeting here.
There were families playing, and people sitting around in circles in camping chairs.
It was more humans than I’ve seen for probably the whole of lockdown.
I felt really uncomfortable.
My Mum obviously sensed my feelings, because she said we could go back to the car once we’d seen the house if I wanted to.
I jumped at her offer.
As soon as I’d taken this picture, we walked back down to the car. I was so anxious to get in, but there were children around my door because there was a car parked right next to us.
It just felt like there were so many people, even though I don’t think there really were.
Once we were driving, I talked a bit about how I was feeling. My Mum said it was a big step, and maybe it was too big. I think what really got me was that usually people would be walking, or running, or cycling, but everyone was just sitting or standing around just ‘gathering’. It was like going to a really busy park or a beach.
I took it easy for the rest of the afternoon back at home. I watched Netflix, played on my tablet, and played the keyboard a bit too.
During dinner, we’d talked a bit about my cello, and how I might need to take it to the local music shop for a service if I want to play it again, which is opening next week. So, after dinner I found it out.
I looked in the spare room and couldn’t find it, so looked in my brother’s room. It wasn’t there either, so I thought maybe I’d missed it in the spare room. I hadn’t. I looked in my brother’s room again, and I still couldn’t see it.
How can you lose a cello?!
Eventually, I found it in the garage, and took it up to my room.
I dusted off the case, opened it up, and the instrument is still in beautiful condition.
It’s Hungarian made, and the case is proper top of the range. I remember I bought it with my Granny’s inheritance money when I was a teenager, and it was the most expensive thing I’d ever bought.
It was horribly out of tune, but I managed (miraculously) to actually get 3 out of 4 strings in tune. The tuning peg for the A string, which is the top and smallest string, keeps slipping, so I’ll need to get someone to have a look at that, but everything else looks perfect.
I played a couple of tunes from memory on the bottom 3 strings, and remembered how naturally the cello comes to me – much more so than the piano or keyboard.
The cello was always my primary instrument. I used to play in a string quartet (I remember we once got a paid gig playing a Christian speed dating event – ha!), and the county youth orchestra.
I went downstairs to see my parents, and they said that they’d heard me play. They reminded me that I’ve got a violin and an oboe somewhere too. I went back out to the garage, and found the violin.
Again, horribly out of tune.
I never really mastered the violin. It’s the same principle as the cello, what with them being from the same family, but it’s not as deep and rich in tone, more squeaky and scratchy (especially when I play it!). It’s a bit more fiddly too (pun not intended).
I love that it’s blue though. I think that’s mainly why I bought it.
The oboe was on top of my wardrobe, and the reed that I had actually worked. Playing the oboe is really hard work. It’s like blowing up a really stiff balloon, unlike say a flute, which is just free flowing air. I was amazed that I managed to play a scale with it. Felt like I was going to faint afterwards though.
It was really nice to find my instruments out again. It was like Christmas. Even though I can’t play them really until I go to the music shop, they’re just beautiful to have in my room to look at.
A nice end to an otherwise difficult day.