I haven’t really talked much about the events of four months ago, but I did meet with a psychologist recently (not in her professional capacity, I hasten to add) and she told me that it was entirely possible that I could have mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder over the whole missed concert thing. Mild, I suppose, because in missing the concert, at least I didn’t see friends blown up or shot dead like some soldiers may have done for example, but she pointed out that this was a traumatic event and said that all too often people write these things off while they are actually having a lasting and detrimental (no pun intended) effect on them. If I recognised any of the signs or symptoms of PTSD, then I should probably seek some sort of therapy.
Lesson one: One should never look up warning signs and symptoms of any disorder on the internet. Now I have PTSD about the time that I looked up symptoms of PTSD on the internet. Here are a few of those signs and symptoms that I not only recognise, but have now welcomed into my life as friends:
Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event (Actually yes. Good guess, Sherlock.)
Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma (ARGH!)
Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma (I haven’t listened to an a-ha song in 4 months. Seriously.)
Guilt, shame, or self-blame (should I have tried to get to Manchester instead of to Gatwick?)
Substance abuse (I’m guessing they mean Milk Stout)
Did you see that third one? 4 months without an a-ha song. Madness. (And by that I mean it’s crazy that I haven’t listened to it, not that I’ve started listening to 80’s ska or anything). Time to move on, I feel. So I put my big boy pants on and pre-ordered this – the CD and DVD box set of the concert I never got to see – from CD WOW.
So it’s make or break time.
Not just for me, but for SAB as well. Their Milk Stout department are teetering on the edge of oblivion. Which, I guess, could lead to a certain amount of PTSD amongst their employees.
It’s turned into another scorcher in Cape Town today, with the mercury (actually, I use an electronic digital system, but you know what I mean) peaking at just under 30°C. Compare that with Oslo where the mercury is still sensibly hiding under the bedclothes and “peaked” at -9°C, but with a “feels like” reading of -13°C. All of which leads me think that I am going to freeze my nuts off while I’m over there. But that’s fine, because I’m going to have a damn good time in the snow as well. Although, for safety’s sake, I won’t be playing snowballs in the mountains.
With the World Cup over (feel eet, eet is gone), it’s time to move on to other things and I need a project to keep myself occupied now that there isn’t live football available 24/7 (at least, until the new football seasons start in a couple of weeks).
So I’m turning my attention to my little end of year jaunt to the Northern Hemisphere and I have decided that this one will be entitled The Last Hurrah: after a-ha’s final single and in keeping with the bittersweet purpose of the trip. There will be tears. Given that there will be just 180 hours between my outbound flight touching down at T5 and my inbound flight leaving the same – and with approximately a million people to see in the UK plus 3 blokes in Norway – this will be no holiday and organisation will be key.
There are some obvious items that are set in stone and flights and hotels need to be booked for those (cough, Big Ant, cough), but the rest is all just in my head. The only issue is that in there, it finds itself competing for space with thoughts of lobsters, christmas trees and external hard drives (don’t ask) and thus requires documenting here in some sketchy form or other.
Cape Town | Sheffield | (Newcastle) | Sheffield | Gloucester | Oslo | London | Cape Town
Obviously, these are just the bare bones. You can’t fly directly from Cape Town to Sheffield (nor from Gloucester to Oslo) and there will be no overnight stop in Newcastle – but it will be visited.
The emphasis (indicated above by the use of italics) in the case of Newcastle is important because it will be my first trip back there since leaving University back in 1995. I’ve often promised myself that I would get back up to The Toon, but either money, time or (now) distance has prevented it. On this trip, I’m determined to make a day of it up there – if only to see what remains of my old haunts. Sadly, as far as they go, I suspect there won’t be much left to see: 15 years is a long time when you’re considering cities in Northern England and the throes of rejuvenation. I hope that green bridge is still there.
So anyway – there they are – the best laid plans of me. And surely the only things that can ruin them are a BA strike or an errant Icelandic volcano.
How exciting – look what I got in the post last night:
Two of them, in fact.
Now there’s just a couple of flights to organise, a reasonably priced hotel room in Oslo (is there such a thing?) and a couch here and there in the UK. Oh, and if you’re reading this, Mr Carter – as you should be – you’re proving rather difficult to get hold of!
Those of you fortunate enough to know me will be aware that I am rarely lost for words. Any potential struggling around in difficult social situations can usually be avoided by my finding some witty or pertinent remark, about 5% of which land me in trouble. But it’s worth taking the chance. Usually.
Mrs 6k hit the speechless nail on the head with her Christmas gift for me this year, though. In fact, speechless was just part of the reaction. I was stunned, overwhelmed, overcome and speechless. All at the same time. It took a strong brandy or eight before I could even react at all.
Of course, those who are fortunate enough to know Mrs 6k will be aware that she has always been known for her imaginative ideas in the field of gifting.
But this time she completely outdid herself with a couple of tickets to a little farewell concert in December 2010.