A.S.D Brooks in the European Union….

For your information, I’m not going to have a referendum!!! This is a matter of where my blog is being viewed today, namely UK, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, Ireland, Cyprus, Germany and Denmark. No proroguing going on here, just good folk in those afore mentioned countries tuning in to any cogent thoughts I may have from time to time.

I vote remain!!! Ha ha!

A.S.D Brooks

Watched in 37 countries…..!!

asdbrooks.wordpress.com

Now being viewed in 37 countries……namely

UK

USA

Sweden

Ireland

Canada

Australia

Germany

Saudi Arabia

India

Russia

Spain

Czech Republic

Romania

Belgium

Italy

Japan

Portugal

United Arab Emirates

Ukraine

Greece

Holland

South Africa

Kenya

Cyprus

Switzerland

Nigeria

Indonesia

Singapore

Honduras

Ghana

Dominica

Latvia

Dominican Republic

Poland

Egypt

Jersey

Brazil

Phew…..Thank you to those who have dropped by, please continue to do so, hopefully there’ll be something good on the blog that you’ll enjoy.

Thank you

A.S.D Brooks

A winning start….just

Watching England play football at tournament level is a trial of nerve and patience. At times, I feel like not bothering to watch as the games can be stupefyingly boring and uninteresting.

Tonight had some of that boredom as England struggled their way to a 2-1 win over Tunisia at the World Cup. The first fifteen minutes, England were razor sharp and should have been three goals to the good. But we only had one goal to show for our efforts.

Then a soft, but in my opinion, correct penalty decision gave a poor Tunisia side a way back into the game. Then, after that penalty, the dreadfully incompetent South American referee, with the help of his equally useless Video Assistants, ruled that England’s Harry Kane had not been rugby tackled to the ground on two occasions. Consistency nowhere to be seen.

The second half was limp, lifeless and England just huffed and puffed to little effect, as usual. Then Kane popped up in injury time to head a priceless goal to give England a hard fought three points.

Verdict? A struggle. Always play badly against poor opponents. Always come down to their level. Next game is Panama, who have the same limited skill as Tunisia and had six players cautioned earlier versus Belgium. Massive improvements needed, but three points and let’s celebrate that fact. But things need to get a lot better from here.

A.S.D Brooks

INTERMISSION……

Well, hello everyone. It’s been a very long time since I posted anything on the blog. Up until the weekend of 14/15 April, the year hasn’t been the best. There was a lot of tragedy and bad news, plus the weather was pretty dreadful, and still is. So what changed on that weekend?

If you’ve been living on the moon, then you will have missed the big world news that USA and it’s allies fired missiles at Syria for an alleged chemical weapons attack. That whole news week was filled with warlike rhetoric from the USA and Syria’s main ally, Russia. All through that week, my mind was quickly being filled with doom and disaster. This is it, I thought. We are all going to perish, and very quickly too. The day I never thought I would see was fast approaching. World War Three!!

Well, this is what happens when an anxiety riddled person like me takes too much notice of newspapers and the general media, who try and control the mind so much, it’s frightening.

The morning of Saturday 14th April was unforgettable, and not in a nice way. I was following the events from the Middle East during the night, when suddenly at 2 am, the missiles started to rain down on Syria. I lay quite still in bed, shocked rigid. A cold, eerie feeling went through my very being. I was terrified that I wouldn’t see the following day. The hour or so passed before it all stopped. The rigidity gave way to uncontrollable shaking and fright. I’m too young to die was one such thought dominating.

Then as the clock struck 5 am, I noticed something symbolic. The doom and disaster was at an end and the sun was making a welcome appearance after several months of gloom and cold. Spring is finally here! The birds were tweeting their approval and suddenly all seemed good again. But I couldn’t escape the feeling that retaliation for the dreadful and senseless bombing was just around the corner.

It is now the 29th April and I am writing this piece. So retaliation didn’t happen. I was grateful that particular night that a good friend of mine kept in touch via Facebook Messenger to mollify my fears that Armageddon was about to happen. I thank him very much for his more realistic grasp of world affairs then Allen Brooks was able to manage. The newspapers, the media, there it was. WORLD WAR!!!

I take away from this that though some of our leaders are power hungry and a little bit off the wall, when they are confronted with making a decision as to whether to vaporise us all, they look into the abyss and step back. We haven’t had a major world war since 1945 and long may that continue to be the case. Does reason come into that thinking? I’d like to think that is the case.

Now you all may comment and say “What was all the fuss about?” Well, for someone who has mental health issues like myself, catastrophising matters is a regular occurence. Even getting on a bus or going to the counsellor can be seen as an anxiety provoking event. This was much worse. But as one dark episode finished, hopefully the rest of the year can be better, less incident packed and I do feel a lot more positive about life again. Things have turned. But all the bad things happening were snowballing into something major, in my mind. Thankfully, I am alive and kicking, and looking forward to the summer.

A.S.D Brooks x

 

 

 

The Empty Chair…

I sit down in the restaurant. I look at the menu, and I exchange pleasantries with the member of staff who’s serving the food. The menu looks nice….mmm…what shall I have? Oh the Thai green curry looks nice.

The prawn crackers arrive and I order a glass of my favourite wine, Merlot. And then the realisation hits me. There’s no one sitting opposite me. No one to exchange conversation with, no one to clink glasses with, no one to joke with. It’s just an empty chair.

The food arrives and I tuck in. But after the food has been eaten, I sit there and wait, and wait and wait. No one comes along to sit in that empty chair. I’m staring into space, glancing at my watch, and that feeling of loneliness and being hundreds of miles from home hits you. No one can help me out of this. I chose to go on a weekend break. But the lack of company got to me on Saturday.

No love in my life, no friends who want to sit there and stare at my ugly mug all evening and laugh at my crap jokes. No one at all. That empty void. That empty void has been there since 2010, when Mum went. That void has been there since my last serious relationship break up. The numbness I felt on Saturday night was stark. Maybe I’ve brought all this on myself. Maybe I have the wrong attitude. Ruminating again!

There are times when that emptiness isn’t apparent, and times when it is. Saturday was one such evening. The food and ambience of the restaurant was good, but staring vacantly into space and having nobody to talk to is a big worry. But I suppose I have only myself to blame. To blame for being autistic and to blame for having depression, anxiety and irregular panic attacks. Nobody really wants to know somebody whose stability is questionable at the best of times.

That explains this tale of the empty chair…..

A.S.D Brooks

Welcome back to sunny London?

Errrr….no. It’s bloody horrible back here in London. I’m safely home, in the warm, with the rain chucking it down. I knew what was to come as the train approached the French coast, low grey skies and mist, and rain. Welcome back to Blighty!

Lovely journey back and it is a source of wonderment how one can be on a train and two hours later, in a European capital. It beats flying and the security and passport controls are a lot less painstaking than at most airports. The Eurostar goes like a bullet and goes up to nearly 200 mph on certain parts of the route. Another facet of the journey is leaving one coast, go through the Channel tunnel and 20 minutes later you’re on the opposite coast. It is a very popular form of travel and with a new service from London to Amsterdam in the offing, more possibilities for European weekend breaks are there.

Nice to be back home but the weather is another matter. That was a good break.

A.S.D Brooks

Joining the Morning Commuters….

Morning. Well, goodbye Bruges, it’s been nice knowing you for the last three days. A great experience and a beautiful place to visit.

On this lovely morning, I was away early to make my connections. I’m on the commuter special into Brussels. Despite my reservations about Belgian railways the other day, today there’s no such complaints. Train on time, clean, spacious and a seat too. More than you would get on most trains into London at 8 in the morning.

Though it’s been good to be away for a few days, they say there’s no place like home. Before I get myself into trouble, by home I mean getting back to doing some of the things that keep me sane, just about.

So, catch you later.

A.S.D Brooks

Springlike Warmth…

The day started off drab with rain around here in Bruges, but now there’s plenty of blue sky and a real warmth that hasn’t been apparent for a good while. The air was warm with that hint of freshness, and it was good getting out and about for a few hours today.

Managed to find an Irish bar, called Delaney’s, where I had a couple of alcoholic beverages to wash down a very nice stew that had some gorgeous lamb chunks in it. There was some football on the TV, and some Glasgow Celtic fans were cheering their side on to victory against their arch enemies Rangers. Just a nice, pleasant way of spending a Sunday afternoon.

Early start tomorrow, as I’m booked on a late morning train from Brussels to London and I have to make a connection in plenty of time. More thoughts and memories of this excellent weekend to come, with a few pictures too. So glad I made the effort to go away on my own again, something I haven’t done too often in my life. There’ll be more opportunities I’m sure.

A.S.D Brooks

Belgian Waffle Part 2….

Morning. Is it Sunday already? Yes, indeed it is. Had a very nice sleep. My head barely touched the pillow and I was away. Before I knew it, the alarm was going off. There was a fair amount of noise from a nearby pub or club but a herd of wildebeest wouldn’t have disturbed me at all.

Seems as though English type weather is not just the preserve of us Brits. It’s been chucking it down all night and it’s a grey, drab morning. Just going to mooch about today and get some souvenirs, and find out about the buses back to the rail station as I have an early start tomorrow.

It’s been a good break, though while out last night, a slight twinge of loneliness hit me. I was remembering the people, alive or deceased, that are not in my life any more. It just hit me that though I like my own company at times, having that someone to talk to across the dinner table and to share good times and experiences, was notably absent. Perhaps there’s a message there.

However, it is what it is and I’m just having a light breakfast before having a morning stroll. By tomorrow afternoon, it will be back to English mode and thinking about the last Umpire training night of the winter. It’s been a good break, but back to business tomorrow.

A.S.D Brooks

Lunchtime….

Lunchtime in Bruges. A pleasant, mild day and I’ve been taking in the sights. One thing to realise here is that businesses don’t open until 10 in the morning so going out after breakfast was a peaceful thing.

First of all, I went on a canal trip. Bruges is called “The Venice of the North” and it’s not difficult to see why. Serenity abounds as the boat winds it’s way around the city, passing under the copious amount of bridges along the way. Now me and boats don’t normally get on, but this was a pleasant trip on smooth waters without any hint of sea sickness or panic. The area is just fantastic, steeped in history and tradition, and a world away from London.

Then it was time to get on a local tour minibus to see more of Bruges. This is just so relaxing, I cannot tell you. Such an amazing place. It is now teeming with tourists but the atmosphere is one of wonder and beauty.

Just enjoying some pub grub and a very nice Belgian beer. They have televised sport on in this place so I may well stay here for a while. It’s a shame I have to come back on Monday. The lifestyle here is so different to the UK.

Loving every moment.

A.S.D Brooks