The Great Garden Barrier. One side our garden, the other side a farm. One side of the barrier finds weeds and wild plants, the other side finds weeds and wild plants. Which is which? Hard to tell sometimes. It’s like being on the Great Wall in Game of Thrones – thinking which side are we supposed to be protecting.
“Dad are you going to weed that.”
No I most certainly am not. The farmer, his cows and sheep can sort that out. I’m just fighting a losing battle trying to keep the mayhem from breaking through the barrier.
“It’s great for the wildlife.”
It is. I dread to think what lives in there. There’s enough vegetation to hide the Gruffalo.
“Just about enough to even hide you Dad.”
Not sure about that. Probably need something like an Amazonian Jungle to provide enough cover for me.
“That would scare the local wildlife.”
It would. Frightens the pants off me each time I look in the mirror. What’s the phrase – a face that has sunk a thousand battleships…..
“Yes Dad I can see you in a Greek Poseidon Sea Battle. You could be the Kraken. Feared around the world. A bit like your dress sense these days.”
Yes there’s not enough pink and lime green in Greek Methodological Battles I find.
Actually probably too much pink and lime green in my world currently. It must be a phase I’m going through. Started when I was 12. Might grow out of it one day. Actually probably explains the lack of hugs I get. Or maybe it’s the face perfect for the radio. Or could just be the fact that I basically grumpy.
Maybe the bright clothes colours are like my war paint. Getting me ready for the daily battles. Maybe we all have our own version of war paint. Or maybe it’s just me.
Actually there was a reason for donning the war paint back all those years ago. I suffered with a stammer. Nerves and panic attacks would induce terrible speech problems. It was making my life a misery. In my mind I needed to go to war with it. It became a daily battle. Don’t you need a bit of war paint for a good battle. See Braveheart….. Bright colours, I worked out would shift the attention from what I sounded like (maybe also what I looked like) to – what on earth is he wearing. Sounds daft but it did help me. The attention was shifted to something I could control. That allowed me to deal with the stuff I struggled to deal with in my own way and in my own time. It allowed me space to find ways to cope with the stammering. Not taking myself so seriously helped. Being careful with the words I used, avoiding those which might cause me to stumble. Always trying to work out exactly what first line I would say in any conversation, making sure I kept it simple – if I got that line right then things would be easier. If I do start stuttering then I make a conscious effort to slow my speech down. Smiling helps. Accepting that sometimes stammering would happen and it was just part of who I was. I didn’t mean I was any less than any other person. Unfortunately all those decades ago stammering was often seen as an indication of low attainment by society. A reason to be bullied by other kids. Sorry those views are just so wrong on all levels. Me and my bright clothes helped me find a way to plough on. And yes the stammer didn’t stop me going to University, the only one from the class. Didn’t stop me doing some living.
So just like the bright clothes, stammering is still with me. A daily battle. But one I can largely stay on top of. I was watching Joe Biden talk to a young kid about stammering. Joe definitely gets what it means. He said don’t let it DEFINE YOU. Couldn’t have said it better.
It certainly doesn’t define me.