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Did Starsky and Hutch wear Christmas cardigans? Friday December 18, 2015

And as we knew it might, the ceiling fell apart again. And as is the way, I damaged a disc and couldn't stand up straight. And because it's December, the boiler stopped working so life became chilly on the outside of our bodies as well as the chill that runs within mine.

And of course the pipes burst in the ceiling again and I found myself up a ladder, on the phone, holding a bucket to the ceiling, wearing nothing on my bottom half (don't ask... save yourself and don't even imagine!!), chatting casually to Selene in the call-out centre and confessing that I was shining my own private moon, praying nobody would look up at the lit window but hoping that as it was almost midnight I should be fairly safe.

And it came to pass that it was silly season. The first Carol concert came. And it was whipping a storm. And the traffic lights at the second set of roadworks within a month on the same part of the road had failed. My daughter had been chosen to sing the solo in front of hundreds of people. I screeched up like Starsky and Hutch, dropped children at the door, drove to the next available space two continents away, and ran through wind and rain as I like the look 'storm damage' gives my cheeks. And I ran for my life into the concert.

And then the change began.

A seat had been saved for me so I could see my child's face as well as hear her voice. The predictable concert brought enormous stability and reassurance in a time of tumultuous challenge. I sat with my family... including my daughter's dad and we revelled in the utter joy and pride of the moment.

And so I was reminded that another Christmas was coming and that again it could be a rocky ride. But this time is different. I am not resisting the ride. I am accepting it. And by doing so it has become more pantomime and less horror story.

The things that matter are never the things we fret over, the things that matter can't be bought and paid for, can't be cooked, wrapped, worn or consumed. The things that matter can only be felt and so I encourage you to ask yourself "What do I need to feel?". And then find a way to feel it.

Love from

The room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Sal Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 1:35am

Yay! Great blog, RATG, thanks for lifting my mood - yes, even in the middle of the night :) Of course you are right - and I will try to keep reminding myself about the things that matter. I do know this, even though I keep on forgetting ...

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 9:19am

I forget too! But its just a muscle that can strengthen. Good to see you Sal.

LillyPet Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 6:14am

Morning ratg!
You've perfectly depicted the slapstic chaos of single motherhood with it's silver linings that is my life too! You are a supermum and wonderwoman to have taken on the monster of a burst pipe disaster ( I had one too but my sister was at the top of the ladder grappling with the pipe while I ran around squeeling like a panic stricken chicken with buckets and generally being pretty ineffective!). By hook or by crook we make it because our instinct guides us towards what we need to do and there it seems is where the light is!?

I was a big fan of Starsky and Hutch! My dad would playfully tease me for having a crush on the "cokey-eye" Starsky in my early teens! My taste became more sophisticated a few years later as I found myself swooning over the romantic serenades from Hutch! :))
And now we are those superheroes, selflessly saving the day! Albeint a less than glamourous Mr Beanish version of Wonder-woman!)

So that moment, "when the change began" ( sounds like my hormonal situation right now! :)) having made it and being able to relax into and enjoy what you had been resisting, was that the moment when you found yourself coming out of the dark place that you had been in ratg?

I needed to feel loved, so I persisted with dating and the universe presented what I was searching for. I dont feel "in love" but have found someone kind and considerate who loves me dearly and who is there for me through the rocky rides and horror stories.
What I also needed to feel is protected at work and I have contacted my union who are holding some of the burden for me.
I've forunately been driven to seek what I need to feel, so just need to ask myself that question ever I feel stuck. I need to feel free of pressure to be allowed to just be, without the constant demands of others. Do I continue to resist their pressure or accept and allow it, not giving myself what I feel I need?

It's apt that I've ended up with LP as a name, with the long playing posts that my needle gets stuck in!
Thank you so much for such an entertaing, uplifting and motivating blog ratg!
Have a wonerful day and big hugs to all! LP :) xxx

Debs Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 8:56am

Thanks for sharing your life with us LP, the fact you found someone who loves you dearly is such an inspiration. I have another date next week so am ever hopeful ;-) Big love and kindness coming your way xxx

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 9:34am

LP, I have a special place for vinyl and I happen to love when the needle gets stuck, sometimes I hear songs and sing the stuck part before realising that its on the radio and its me who has the song wrong!! I am so glad you have more support at work now, it might only be a drip feed but it might make all the difference. If the pressure is damaging you then you must protect yourself. Its the oxygen mask can't help others unless you are wearing your own.

LillyPet Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:04am

Thanks Debs, keep us posted hun.:) Xx

LillyPet Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:08am

Thank you ratg I'll keep that at the fore front when the damage is being done and it makes me smile that you love the scrates on me old vinyl! :) Love LPXXX

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:09am

LP, you asked the other day about what coming out of a low is like for me/us. For me, it depends how bad or long the low has been but generally I feel like its a slow clearing. Like thick dark clouds dissipating or thunderous rain easing or an over-tightened belt being released notch by notch. I don't always end up postcard-happy but I always feel relieved and grateful. In the old days I didn't have many times out of the low and so defining them was hard. But its becoming clearer.

LillyPet Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:09am


LillyPet Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:26am

Ps Debs, it's taken two years just to find a decent, gentlemanly companion. He's not Mr Right, but he's lovely and so good for me. So don't feel disheartened if it feels like it's taking forever, there just dont seem to be that many good matches around. Xxx

Norman Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 2:31pm

LP: that is strange because there don't seem to be very many suitable matches for a fifty-something single bloke either.

Bearofliddlebrain Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:17pm

So, we need to start Lovestruck Moodscope!

LillyPet Sat, Dec 19th 2015 @ 8:36am

Great idea Bearhugs! :)). Xx

LillyPet Sat, Dec 19th 2015 @ 8:52am

I'm glad for you that it's becoming clearer ratg and that you can know that you come out of it more these days. I get that enormous sense of gratitude when I start to simply feel ok when I wake up in the morning! I am interested in whether there is a trigger for coming out of a low? Hope you see this, it's a new day, have a good one my lovely! :) LP xxx

Barbara Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 7:38am

Absolutely wonderful.
Only thing I dinna unnastan ... Ref to starsky and hutch. Duh.

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 9:40am

My driving, and subsequent running, on the night of the concert reminded me of one of their chase scenes. I may have (gently) mounted a pavement...and I had a mental picture of Starsky's big cardigan and a christmas cracker hat...the two images came out as this blog :-D I'm laughing at 'dinna unnastan' and I wonder if you are Geordie or Scottish?

Barbara Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 7:39am

Sorry, this was sposed to go ratg's !

Barbara Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 7:39am

Hang on, mebbe it did.

danielle Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 7:50am

RATG, you have such a talent for painting the story on the page. I would love for you to write a book have you ever considered it? I am so glad that this year is easier for you over the festive period, and I hope it continues and you can enjoy it. Last year was awful for me, this year so far has been better, sort of waiting for the storm to arrive but enjoying the sunshine while it lasts!xxxx

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 9:47am

You've enlarged my heart to say that! But no, I can write in bursts but any longer than that and I would utterly ramble and lose path!! Depression is exactly like a storm, a great description. "And after the storm we run and run and the rains come and I look up..." Marcus Mumford.

Norman Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 2:25pm

Beethoven's 6th has a melody known as after the storm, one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever...

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 7:16pm

I love music, love the little Beethoven I know...but don't know this piece so I will now investigate!

Hopeful One Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 8:21am

Hi RATG- such a well written post . Accepting the situation is always the crucial step and that decision starts a chain of thinking as the mind moves into a positive frame. Your description at the top of the stairs prompted this joke from the Joke Squadron.

Susan was in this hotel when she decided she would go to the rooftop and do some sunbathing. She was getting ready when she realised there was no one about and she could sunbath nude as no one was going to be around to notice.She lay down on her front and was basking in the rays when she heard steps running up the stairs .The next minute the assistant manager was standing next to her and, in a panting voice, said "Madame we don't mind you sunbathing but the management wishes to remind you that you are lying on the dining room sky light"

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 9:50am

Hello my love, you're my beacon HO, your reliability here makes my day. Acceptance is so powerful and I'd glad I'm finally grasping it. Meditation helped. I'm roaring with laughter at the picture I have from that joke! Saluting you Squadron Leader x.

Milliecat Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 8:30am

Hey hello and thank you for this to day. Perfect timing .. I had been rolling hints out nice and slowly - Xmas lunch ... Craft Fayre... And the. I got and currently have a stinking lurgy accompanied w crashing mood :( I was starting to teeter into the horror story.. But having read your blog I realise this is just part of the pantomime - the part that makes the memories even funnier! So glad u got to hear and see ur daughter singing - happy Christmas!

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 9:52am

Hello Milliecat, you've hit the nail on the head! Instead of 'getting through' if we can see it as 'how do I wish to remember this' it makes ALL the difference. Sorry about your lurgy, it crashes me too. I hope it passes soon x.

Milliecat Sat, Dec 19th 2015 @ 9:42am

AW thanks x its gotten no better and my mood tumbled so we are in Defcon 10 at the mo. - pantomime style obviously!

Another Sally Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 8:54am

A touching story ratg. Thank you. I will find a way to feel what I need this Christmas.
I hope everyone can find something good to hold on to this Christmas. Best wishes to all.

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 9:53am

Hello Another Sally, your name makes me think of a band :-)

Debs Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 8:54am

Oh ratty! I light up when I see there's a blog from you in my inbox, you are such a talented writer and you always bring a smile to my face ;-))) I love love love this one, so funny and I can just picture the scene! (Not in too much detail ;-)) Like lovely LP says we single mums are the superheroes of our own stories, always with a super power up our sleeves to conquer the villains and save the day.

I love the last para and in particular the line 'what do I need to feel?' I am going to write that on my kitchen chalk board and check in with it regularly - right now I'm home with my son so I want to feel calm, peace and gratitude... Bingo. Off for a cuddle... Love and hugs to everyone xxxx

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 9:58am

Brilliant! I use "what do I need to feel" or even just "what do I need" every time I feel myself begin to lose control. Often its a game changer even if I can't provide what I need. Just being aware of what is missing is enough. Revel in that cuddle, touch is important.

Terence Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 9:13am

Funny, positive, helpful, well written and wise but underneath the chill, which is sad x

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:00am

Aw Terence, I really don't feel chilled so please don't be sad for me :-) I did, up that ladder, alone and fed up, but perspective came and I hoped it would sow a seed with others. Thank you x.

Alice Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 9:24am

Well done RATG and not just for your heartening blog, but also for coping and sharing!

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:03am

Its the season of pantomime, and the only way to view leaky pipes! I'm just glad they were the ones in my ceiling and not my personal ones :-) Thanks Alice x.

susan Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:20am

Awww ratg, there is something very special about your writing style. That wisdom always accompanies it is a bonus. You've made me see that I'm scared of the season but it's myself I fear. To see it all as a pantomime is perfect. 'What do I need to feel?' will guide me. Invaluable message. You made me teary and giggly at the same time. So glad you're feeling better. A special Christmas hug from me, with gratitude. xx

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 7:17pm

Teary and giggly? That is just perfect! :-)

Frankie Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 11:17am

Morning RATG: thank-you for making me smile this morning! and for helping me realise that "the things that matter are never the things we fret over" ... brilliant. Frankie x

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 7:18pm

Hello Frankie, great to see you and I love that I have made you smile!

The Gardener Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 2:06pm

If I look back to myself at the same age as RATG it is a picture of chaos, but joyful chaos. Five children, at four different schools. Torn every which way 'you went to HER nativity play last year, it's MY turn'. Brilliant carol services in the big boys' grammar school. And guess who got to make her dress when a grand-daughter was chosen to play the Virgin Mary? Later, when they still insisted on stockings, had to wait for them to return from pub/disco, they they would pretend to be asleep so I could go and hang the stockings. Needless to say, there was only a three hour gap before youngest was at her stocking. Now, Mr TG's latest is that all light hurts his eyes - it's nonsenze, because he deliberately looks at the one light, which in a huge room, gives me a pool of light on what I'm doing. Learning to do all sorts of things by the light of the computer screen, but that's too glary as well. In a state of near desolation with exhaustion - but my shop IS gay and quite a highlight of the town - and it's MINE, Mr TG won't go near it - too far - (you have to cross the road), I've become like down the well, my own particular black hole. BUT, my lovely painter who is also laying carpet tiles says they WILL be done. Only hope he does not upset his wife in the effort - a very delightful, and beautiful, lady whom we've known since we've been here.

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 7:20pm

TG you have so much to write about, and write so well. I bet it is cathartic... I'm having a great laugh at the thought of rolling in from the pub but still wanting someone else to be the grown up and deliver stockings!

Norman Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 2:19pm

Ratg! you...
You know damn well that the best way to fix a thought in someone's mind is to tell them to ignore it! I have a mental picture of walking home at midnight and glancing up at the window with the light on...

the room above the garage Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 7:23pm

Oh Norman it was not a good sight. Certainly no saucy postcard image. My back was bandaged and I was twisted, I would have scared burglars!! :-)

The Gardener Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 8:57pm

Back again - yes, RATG, writing is cathartic. Just written to a French friend who lives in Mauritius - she stayed with us in UK when she was 18 - driving down Picadilly with this ravishing French girl in my beloved open topped Lancia Spider I had to grab her by the leg to stop her decamping in to a Ferrari beside us. She married, could not have children, but was great friends with our adopted two, and has adopted two herself. My reason for my screed to her is that Mr TG is terrifying tonight. I actually left the house for a while in the hope that the scare might make him behave rationally. I have given him as much medication as I dare, and things are quiet at the moment. But this addendum is really to upstage RATG - a very non-U thing to do. Eldest son's wife has had bouts of severe depression. She has had a weird husky type dog (expensive Japanese breed apparently) for 13 years. One daughter says they were 'joined at the hip'. It has had to be put down - and she is inconsolable. Or was. Her daughter (born before her marriage to our son, but our grand-daughter anyway's boy friend) got something stuck in his throat - panic, to emergency, removed obstruction, but he could not swallow and panicked. Taken to Guildford hospital, it was discovered he had swallowed too big a piece of chicken. Doctor said he was an idiot. In the meantime I am struggling with house and garden tidying. 61st wedding anniversary tomorrow - we are going out to lunch, not that Mr TG will have any idea what it is about - but restaurant changing hands - so will give a 'send off' to owners, who have been kind and forebearing in helping me with Mr TG at awkward moments. Oh, and same son's large shire horse, with expensive hoof problems, leant on him too hard so he is having physio among other problems. Not into mooning* yet - but the state of my hair and clothes should soon start gossip. *Is there a more disgusting sight than roadworkers, fat, wearing jeans round their hips, bending over holes? Another 'mooning' I heard of was lowering trousers and scanning your posterior to be e-mailed onwards. Am I imaging things? Too much red? (I've earned it).

Frankie Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 11:37pm

Will be away this weekend so just want to say congratulations - WOW - 61 years! Do hope that there will be many moments for you to enjoy tomorrow despite everything - you are so good at spotting them dear Gardener ... Frankie x

Bearofliddlebrain Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:11pm

I can't stop laughing at the images you have painted here TG! Mooning and fat road workers!! Lolilol!
But seriously for the hope you get some peace from and with Mr TG. Sad for daughter in law and pooch...very hard to lose a beloved pet :(
I am away tomorrow so may not get to see Moodscope so I am wishing you and Mr TG congratulations on your momentous event of a 61st Wedding university (as daughter used to call them!!)
I've had two glasses of red this evening as its been an incredibly busy busy day and I'm on the road most of tomorrow so am off up the stairs to Bedfordshire!!! To sleep, not to the actual place!!!
Love Bear x x x

Bearofliddlebrain Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:13pm

Dearest always in awe of your writing as so many say above. You are very witty, hilair at times and I do wish you could get some help when you need it - with the mishaps with pipes and ceilings!
Funny, funny images in my head!! Lol!
Bear hugs xx x x x xx

Bearofliddlebrain Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:23pm

Forgot to say RATG....I have rehearsed with many, many children for their school nativities and practised so many times that I knew everything off by heart....but for every public performance to the parents, I still got the shivers, still wept tears of joy for these liddle souls who tried their best for their parents....and none of them were my children!!! So glad you got a great seat and Birdseye view of daughter performing :) When my daughter became head chorister for her school, I was the happiest for her and so proud of her achievement...but the best times were when she'd come home from school, having learnt new parts for the choir...she would sing one of the parts to me and I'd learn it...then we'd sing the song in harmony together, dancing round the kitchen - blissful happy days! Big Bear hugs x x x

Mrs Jul A Non Sat, Dec 19th 2015 @ 9:00am

Hi ratg. I really loved your blog yesterday. I was staying overnight in London having gone to a concert at the O2 so couldn't comment then. We now have visitors, the fist tranche of the festive season. Yay! Not. It's bad time for me as for many others but i took heart from your last words about the things that really matter. I try and make everything as perfect as possible, presents wrapped nicely etc so that no-one will notice how unwrapped and messy I feel. But it IS how we feel that is the most important thing and I know that you and other Moodscopers know exactly how I am feeling. I do love your writing. Juliax

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