Tuesday 18 November 2014

Fat Malaise

As I write this, I'm not in Yorkshire.  I should be in Yorkshire.  I had tickets booked and everything.  But I'm not in Yorkshire.

I woke up with my alarm at 5:30 this morning - my train from Lime Street was at 7:12 - and I just couldn't face it.  I couldn't face travelling across the country to loiter by a station just outside Barnsley.  Even if it was the hilariously named Penistone.  I felt miserable and unhappy, and I still do.

Part of this might be simple tiredness; I went to Ikea yesterday, and walking round Ikea is roughly equivalent to walking a 10,000 metres.  Only with a bag full of tea lights and wine glasses slung over your shoulder.

Part of it, however, is a more general disaffection with the whole project.  My last few trips have not been very inspiring.  Bits of Manchester.  Suburban Hull.  OK, I was in the Lake District a couple of weeks ago, but that's not even on the proper Northern map.  I've felt a bit like I'm going through the motions, and that worries me for two reasons.

The first is, at its best, visiting stations is tremendous fun for me.  I like going to places I've never been to before, and there's a tremendous sense of satisfaction from crossing them off the map.  I don't want to get bored of it.  I don't want my writing to get boring either, which is something I've also been afraid of lately - I feel a bit like I'm repeating myself.  I don't want this to become a chore.

The second is a deeper reason.  When I was at my lowest, most depressed point, I didn't enjoy anything.  I was just existing, not truly living.  I'm a bit concerned that I may be slipping back that way.  There have been days lately when I've just wished it away, counting down until lunch, counting down until dinner, counting down until bed.  Little markers that tell me another day is almost over.  I had a bit of a breakdown in Sainsbury's car park last week as well; I got some very funny looks from the Afghan refugees who do the hand washes.  I don't want to feel that way again.

This is probably just a blip.  This is probably something to do with the turn of the weather, the darkening evenings, the rapid approach of Christmas.  I'll probably be clawing at the walls by Friday, desperate to get on a train and go anywhere.  It's just not happening today.


Phil Wieland said...

I don't suppose it helps, but I'll say it anyway.

I, and I suspect many others, enjoy greatly reading your reports, and I very much hope you will manage to continue.

Keep up the good work.


The Shillito said...

Totally agree with Phil. I really enjoy following your adventures through your blog.

You were also the inspiration for my own "epic journeys with little purpose", taking station selfies along the way. I've completed all stations on the Cheshire Day Ranger map and the Merseyrail Saveaway map and I'm not stopping there!

So thank you for introducing me to one of my main hobbies, and I hope you continue onwards!



Anders said...

I can't say I've noticed that you going through the motions. It all seems as interesting and entertaining as usual. A short break from it might do you good though as I know that sense of just existing and not truly living as I've been going through that myself lately.

Dave said...

i will more than agree with the comments above, I think the writing has better of late, some really inspiring words from you, it really is a highlight for me to see on your twitter feed than a new blog is up

Fnarf said...

I'm sorry. Please feel better.

I love reading your adventures from afar very much, so I hope you continue. But I hope you're happy more than that.

Andy said...

As above Scott, always enjoy reading about your adventures. Maybe save yourself for another day, and really keep up the high quality writing and work.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely love your blog - truth to tell, it makes me happy, and I look forward to each new instalment. You do know how good you are, don't you? But be good to yourself and take a break if you want.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the writing has been as good as ever. Yes, take a break. Then try just a short outing to start again. Maybe even somewhere you've been before, that you've heard has changed, or could be worth another look. Meanwhile, allow for the idea that your subconscious is preparing you to move on to another project -- stay listening for word of what it may be.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the other comments - your writing has been as good as ever. I only wish I could write as well as you do. Please don't stop! I've enjoyed reading your blog since the Guardian linked to it many months ago and look forward to each new instalment. Hope you feel better soon.

Neil said...

Seasonal affective disorder maybe? I don't feel very motivated to do anything at 5am!

Hope you feel better soon.


David said...

Time of the year, definitely. The Windermere trip read as well and was as interesting as ever. Take a break 'til spring and then come back: and remember, for every Colne there's a Commondale!

Anonymous said...

I hope you get back in the groove again as the blog gives me a regular smile.
But, don't let it become a chore.

Dan said...

Just wanted to echo what everyone else has already said really. Shame you didn't make your trip, I'm sure you share the same schoolboy sense of humour as me and would have taken the sign photo at Penistone with the 'tone' bit obscured.

Klepsie said...

Do whatever you need to do to get by, and if this means taking a break, so be it. November is a hideous month -- TS Eliot was talking rubbish, April has nothing on it.

But you really are an awesome writer as well as sounding like a really nice guy, y'know? All really nice people suffer from crises and blips. Only insufferable egotists don't.

Be as nice to yourself as you can, and be assured that I and others will continue to read what you write -- whether it has trains in or not.

Scott Willison said...

Aw, you guys. (Which makes me think, where are the girls? Ladies, come out of the non-gay closet!)

I try to keep stuff light round here so I apologise for being a bit Debbie Downer. As has been said it's probably the weather and the cold and Hull. Probably mainly Hull. I'll be back on the trains before you know it, but in the meantime, thanks for the support :)

cjw714 said...

Sorry to read this but hope you're getting the help and support you need to feel better.

JohnF said...

Bit late with this post,but hear,hear to all of the above.
Best wishes,John.