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Mardy Blues

My first mistake today was to wear a black sweatshirt and black leggings. Although they accurately reflect my mood, they are also reminding me that my hair loss has accelerated, as every few minutes, I am picking off stray hairs (it doesn’t help that my hair is blond and long as it makes them so much more noticeable). I knew that I’d have good days and bad days, but for the last few days, I’ve been feeling really low, or ‘dead mardy’ as those of us from the Back Country would say.

I don’t know what changed to make me feel like this, but I feel like I’m on an island, separate from the mainland where ‘normal people’ live. Of course, I’ve been physically and metaphorically isolated from many of the joys of life and with restricted freedoms for over 900 days (yes, I keep a count from the day I first began shielding). I have faced the loneliness and significant changes to my life with a determination to cope and remain positive, searching for all the things for which I can be grateful and finding new ways to curate a life which fulfils my needs of purpose, creativity and action. My friends tell me I am an inspiration, my family tell me how proud they are of me, and I remind myself that I am lucky in so many ways. For 99% of the time, I am ‘fine’ or even more than fine, but the 1% is a dark place and so I am constantly searching for ways to escape it – today I cannot.

Being an activist, my first instinct is to find something to do to distract myself from the mardiness; should I go into the studio and throw paint angrily at a canvas, take a long, hot bubble bath and read a book, or should I list some things I can live without on eBay? All options are feasible ways to escape the mood I am in, but I’m not sure any of them will deal with the cause of my malaise and once I stop the activity, the emotions will still be there, lurking like a mugger in the shadows and they will consume me again.

Frustratingly for me and probably you as the reader, there is no solution today. I can’t end this post on a high note, it is what it is – a truthful reflection of the reality of my situation. I set out the ensure that this blog was characterised by honesty, hope and humour, but today I can only offer the first of the three. I’m sure that the next post I do will see me back to my optimistic self and I may well feel the urge to delete this one, but I won’t give in to that instinct because it’s important to me that I share the lows, as well as the highs of my journey. Now let me change out of these black clothes, pop the water heater on and mix some paint - I’ll see you on the other side!

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About Me


Hi, I'm Angela, also known as 'Space Angel ‘, on Twitter and 'Snakey' to my family (both monikers require a long story to explain!). I'm 58 and the proud mum of Charlie, my 26-year-old son. I live alone in my cottage in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, a beautiful village in the Tanat Valley in North Wales, and the location of the tallest waterfall in Wales.


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