Two weeks later – or maybe “The Anger stage of grief”

Two weeks of frustrations, uncertainty, anxiety, and sleep deprivation in hotels sound like my first trip abroad as a sixteen year old teenager. My father let me; even paid for it. This blog is on the internet in perpetuity. So, Ellie, when you read back, no, Daddy is not paying for you to go to Magaluf for your sixteenth Birthday.

I know there are people suffering across the globe but as my Dad said to me as a child, ‘my sore finger is worse than your broken leg’. You know, perspective is all well and good but just look at it.

Dam! It’s not working.

Seriously though, two weeks and the only material difference I see is more material of ours dropping into the river. More garden fence and patio, garden gate furniture, Ellie’s shell collection, the robot lawnmower (RIP Robocrop). I also see a thinly veiled attempt at dropping 1square meter aggregate bags into the river to protect the house from further damage failing miserably. Still, the developer issued a letter to everyone else on the development saying their work was progressing successfully as planned. I shit you not!

This is making me ill. Very good friends a few doors away, honestly, the very best friends I could have asked for during this crisis, commented on my appearance, my ageing. Looking worse over the past few weeks. You know you have true friends when they feel comfortable being honest for your welfare to you face. It got a bit emotional all round. I’m grateful for their care but sorry they are reminded of situations when they were faced with such emotional upheaval that it reminds them how they felt and reacted. Hey, I didn’t bring my ‘MANk-up’ out of the house yet.

It’s weird. Having nothing else to focus on, because how can I, is all consuming to the point where my family are neglected, my work is suffering and my health is in decline. For the times I’m not concentrating on this, I cannot concentrate on anything else. I’m aware I’m also on a stress knife edge. I’m my own metaphorical last piece of fence dangling over the river. That fell yesterday. I’m not sure when I will fall.

No more marathon training, another hotel breakfast and more caffeine please. Yesterday afternoon I couldn’t bring myself to go and talk to another person about our situation, frustration etc. Leaving the option of joining a play date with humans I went for a walk near the hotel. Not because I wanted a walk, just because I can’t stare at the hotel wall or this black mirror all weekend.

I came upon a secret place. Quite by accident because of where we’ve been placed. The hotel location. It’s in the locale where I lived after my divorce 10 years ago. It’s the place I started to recover from that. My own Degobah in the forest. My own spiritual retreat. It’s all a bit different after 10 years, but it’s also the same. Familiarity is good. There’s a forest, an old canal and long gone and grown over train tracks. A bit dystopian, spot the devolved caveman or evolved ape run across the path; just me. I miss taking my dog here too, she’s still lodging elsewhere for now. Though her barking would probably send me into some gawd awful spiral of self pity. The knife edge etc.. Wobbly. It is nice to be here though. I learned to run here, couch to 5k to marathon. Nothing else for the perfectionist. There’s a lot of flood damage here too, same story everywhere it seems. This is also the area I grew up in, rope swings over rivers, playing with boys too old to play with. Staying out late, getting into mischief. It was fun, present situation aside it still is. I remain a glass overflowing kind of a guy, totally unprepared for this. Did you miss the water metaphor there, I almost did; quite unintentional.

I’m writing this after finishing my thirteenth full English since the flood. I’m not very good at regulation – anything. That’s okay when it’s exercise. Sim has take. Ellie back up to the hotel room. The repeated rich food is giving her a poorly stomach. BREAKING POINT! This shit gets serious. Welcome to grief stage – Anger.

Today I have begun to circulate the story of our situation on social media, tomorrow TV and Radio. This has to be surfaced. For the record, I do t blame the developers e tiredly though there is a case that we have been miss sold. I do blame the land owner and whomever is responsible for the authorisation of the development on the existing river embankment. Either there was no review of extant defences, it was ignored, inaccurate or something else. Regardless, this has to be resolved at the expense of the developer, land owner, National Resources Wales in combination, and I have to be involved. I’ve circulated a request to the developer to re-home us. I’ll escalate from here on.

Time to go spend some time with my family and friends. And breathe…..

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