Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A letter to an 8 year old duck

This is an exercise I did with a psychotherapist;

Image result for baby duck

Dear Baby Duck,

Do you remember that trip to the Coromandel in the summer of ’78?  Not quite a Bruce Springsteen soundtrack but certainly memorable! There are some things I’d like to tell you about that time, looking back as an adult.
It all started because your Mum and oldest sister were going to the UK.  You and your brother and sister were farmed out to families as Dad was deemed too busy with work to cope and it was summer time so no school.  You were sent to the Gilmores, a family we had known for a short time through your Dads work. Natalie was a similar age to you.  You should have been happy with the family you got but I know you really wanted to go to the Browns.  They were a family we had spent a lot of time with growing up.  They were, in a way, our ‘best’ family. You would feel relaxed around them and they had a swimming pool.  But your sister and brother already ‘assigned’ to them so to the Coromandel you went.
The Gilmores had posh brekkie cereals and a boat.  There were less kids, less chaos and lots of Americanised foods (they spent some time there).  You were in for a treat!
You’ve always been anxious about travelling haven’t you?  Having seen your brother and sister carsick on many occasion you then developed a deep-seated fear of travelling for this reason.  I remember you would stick your head out the window of the car as it travelled, like a dog getting air.  Your long, golden tresses would be a bird’s nest by the time you arrived but it didn’t matter.  No uh! You could deal with messy hair as long as you were not sick.  I wish I could have told you not to worry so much.  That you’ll be alright, it’s not the end of the world.  That in fact worrying about it was worse than the actuality.  But then you were only young and couldn’t see the bigger picture.  Instead you focussed all your energy on being OK, much like I do now.  You would go very quiet and inward. I wish you could have shared your fears with someone as putting them in the light makes them less scary.  So the trip up in the car was your first obstacle.  It was made more difficult by being with another family.  But you survived, you always did.  I wish you could have been reassured so that you could have enjoyed not endured the journey.

You spent happy days swimming and playing on the beach. Your hair would go white in the sun and your freckles would almost join there were so many.  Your tent was only a stone’s throw from the sand.  The main tent had the parents and living area.  You and Natalie were in a wee tent on your own.  I know you were scared of the dark.  You have been for as long as I can remember.  You would have bad dreams, call out and sometimes sleepwalk. You were worried about sleeping in a tent weren’t you?  But you thought you shouldn’t be because Natalie was OK with it.  Maybe she would protect you both from the ‘bogyman’? I feel very sad that you felt so scared and alone.  I wish I could have held your hand and stroked your head til you fell asleep.  I wish you’d told someone how scared you were.  Do you remember the night you went sleepwalking along the beach?  When you came to you were standing on the beach with a sea of tents in front of you.   But where was yours?  It was so dark with only the faint light of the moon.  You couldn’t tell tent from tent, you didn’t know how far along the beach you were.  Your heart rate quickened, you held back the tears and your throat went dry with pure fear.  You panicked and looked around desperately for your wee tent.  Lost, alone in the dark was so, so scary.  You would have given anything to be back in your tent.  And so the bargaining in your head began again. ‘I will be -insert (be good/go to church/do my maths etc) if only I could be back in my tent.  You walked further from your tent unwittingly tripping over guy ropes and stopping to find the wee blue tent.  The tears came, fell silently down your freckled checks, providing no comfort at all.  You’ve never felt so alone in your life.  Desperation is kicking in now and you want more than anything to be back in that tent.  With no torch and no sense of direction you stumble from tent to tent hoping to find a blue beacon.  You give up temporarily and go onto the sand and lie down.  The roar of the black sea frightens you to your feet.  You try and look from the beach to the camp strip to see where you are but you can make no sense of it in this dim moonlight.  Sheer terror fills your whole body and somehow ‘survival’ mode kicks in.  You keep checking tents, getting up close only to find it is the wrong one.  Pushing on through hopelessness you keep going until you come across the ‘parent’ tent.  You’re not sure but you go inside and see remnants of tomato sandwiches you had that day for lunch in the ‘living’ area. (Tomato in sandwiches was another thing you didn’t like but you swallowed them down anyway).  Still to this day raw tomato in a sarnie reminds you of that time doesn’t it?  It elicits such a strong visual.  Having confirmed you’re in the ‘parent’ tent you then navigate on hands and knees round the outside of the big tent until you come, at last, to the wee blue tent.  From the side canvas you feel your way round to the front, trembling you reach for the zip.  You unzip just enough to crawl in and fall back on your sleeping bag.  You are aware of how heavy you are breathing.  You are still scared even though you are back in the blue cocoon.  You remain on edge for the rest of the night having fitful sleep and feeling terrified until day breaks.  I wish I could have shone a light for you or reassured your small heart that you’d be OK, you were always OK in the end.  I wish you could have found comfort in the tent instead of more fear.  Most of all I wish you had told someone what happened and how you felt.  It may have made you feel better.  You were only so very young and deserved to be comforted and reassured.  You shouldn’t have had so much worry at such a young age. 

I want to take you in my adult arms and hold you, stroke and kiss your head and tell you everything will be OK.  You will be OK.

Love Mama Duck xxx

#anxiety #fear #summerholiday

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

We're on the road....

                           A Long and Winding Road 

The bus lurched and leaned into the hillside, the weight of a hundred people, goats and more deciding its direction. I sat crammed into the cab (the front by the driver) with my colleague Shirley and ten or so other people. Shit, shit shhhhit, getting way too close to that edge.  Sheer drops plunging down into crystal canyons formed our emerging canvas on the right. Beads of sweat, from both heat and stress, slithered down my neck, pinning its weight in one soggy clump to my skin. Then brakes! Sudden, sharp and sliding until stopped! Shit, shit, shit, what the hell is going on? An imposing landslide lay on the road ahead.  I exited that bus faster than a rat up a drainpipe.  I looked sympathetically to the goats on the roof who had no such option.  “You’ll write about it one day” I told myself to try and supress the panic. “Yeah, shit yeah, one day this will be writing material.  One day…”

That day, early 2005, the place, Nepal.  Rural Nepal on route to deliver some training to a group of educators in the village of Nuwakot.  And write about it I did, among other tales of living and working in Nepal.  I would sit in an internet shop (loose term) and pound out my stories.  I found that with time/technology constraints the best way to reach the people at home was to send a (cringe) group email type update. These turned into elaborate and juicy recounts of the trials and tribulations of living in Nepal.  Anything from trying to master squat toilets (when you’ve gotta go…) to encountering natural disasters and a state at the height of political turmoil.  There was no shortage of material to weave into my stories.  So with some ease I committed my thoughts to compositions.

In response to my effusive correspondence one of my cousins endeared me with the nickname Indiana Thomson. This came with an unyielding encouragement to ‘take-up’ writing.  I stored my emails in a folder named ‘Nepal’ and got busy with life.

Many significant life events occurred after this time all leaving their indelible mark.  Buying of first home, birth of child, death of Father and on it goes.  But I had a niggling feeling all throughout this that I should be doing something about ‘it’.  ‘It’, my interior monologue grew to such large and gregarious proportions that I could have charged ‘it’ rent for taking up residence in my mind.  But largely I learned, or so I thought back then, to manage ‘it’.  ‘It’ would manifest in low level anxiety and mild depression.  I was regularly locked in a fight with ‘it’ and mostly I came off the winner and consequently dusted myself down and got on with business. 

After a fifteen year absence I returned to live in New Zealand. Unpacking my possessions when the shipping boxes arrived was like a second Christmas.  There, among my stuff, was an old Sony Dictaphone and three charming mini cassette tapes. A farewell gift from a company I worked for in London, again gifted with a firm encouragement to ‘take-up’ writing.  I shoved it in a cupboard to deal with later.  Still the niggling feeling remained.  It wasn’t over yet.

Over the years my anxiety seemed to be gaining momentum.  Every time I found myself perched at the precipice of the black hole I somehow managed to claw my way out of it. I’d brush myself off and congratulate myself that, once I again, I had come off victorious. My fights with the black dog/hole went largely unnoticed, which in its own way was another triumph for me.  I was ‘normal’ and could live my life as such.

I could feel ‘it’ getting more robust with each battle.  I decided to blog! Blog, blog, blog it out.  I had previously pooh-poohed the idea of blogging as cheesy and self-indulgent.  Now it served a mighty fine purpose and helped me maintain an even mood.  More than that it staved off the dog of doom……for a while anyway.  I found a lightness would envelop me after every blog.  Almost as if the act of putting ‘it’ in writing diminished its influence.

Armed with this newfound confidence I set about ‘taking-up’ writing and enrolled in the Magazine Journalism course through the Writers’ College online. A plan I had been contemplating for over a year. The results of my first assignment seemed to confirm I was on the right path at last, no longer on the road to nowhere.  ‘It’ not only seem to calm down but also became quite a useful tool with my writing.  As long as ‘it’ was contained. 

Boom, crash, bruises and shock! Car accident. Me. Car. Pole. Bruising. A heavy helping of shock. The re-emergence of ‘It’ in full splendour, standing over me with one foot on my back and a jubilant fist in the air. No longer able to be contained ‘it’ needed dealing with.  So began my road trip to recovery. I employed all manner of tools including writing to assist me on my journey.  I was learning the hard way that the old cliché ‘life is a journey not a destination’ was in fact true. 

I have a lot to thank ‘it’ for.  ‘It’ has opened my mind up in ways I thought unimaginable.  I have traversed the depths and sailed through the highs.  I have emerged with what I believe is my true voice.  A voice that needed these experiences and episodes in order to evolve. I have learned to accept and live with ‘it’. At times positively embracing ‘it.’ I have scars.  It hasn’t been an easy journey by any means. I have been to some places so dark that it has felt like being underwater without knowing which way was up.  But it continues to be a journey, one of vulnerability, fear, courage and strength.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” 
― Hunter S. Thompson

Kia Kaha

#writer #vulnerability #anxiety

Monday, 6 June 2016

The persistence of the Monkeye!

Hello Monkeye my old friend...

I've come to talk to you again, because a leathery paw was softly creeping, on my duck back while I was sleeping....

Yes, Monkeye, you have tried your best to send me down that slope again.  You crept up on my me and attempted to take advantage of my weak moment.  And for a short time you had me believing in your Monkeye madness.  You're a crafty little primate I will give you that.  My webbed feet started sliding whilst my my beak clung to the cliff's edge.  The stark memory of my last journey down was fresh enough to make me fight.

Fight I did with every ounce of my being.  The struggle was both physical and mental.  It was hard, so very hard.  Of course I wanted to give in at times.  To succumb to Monkeye's alluring melody.  But I didn't!
The whole experience left me floored though and for several days.  My anxiety levels shot through the roof for a while.  But relent I did not!

Monkeye, get off my back and give it a rest!  I am building strength day by day and the more I speak of you the smaller you become.  I realise many people have their own Monkeye.  It is good to 'animate' you and speak about you in the third person.    I'm not overly impressed that, at times, you have  had me listening to 'You raise me up' ffs.  Now that is alarming behaviour!  But I guess there is some truth in the lyrics...'I am strong when I am on your shoulder'  Yep definitely but not the other way round when you, Monsieur Monkeye, are on my shoulder.

This business of sitting with yourself is bloody hard.  Just being, no alterations, nothing to numb you or round off the edges.  A kind of mindfulness is called for.  Allowing thoughts to come and go without judgement.  Still hard to quiet this Monkeye brain.  In a deathly duck-like silence I sit with myself and wait.  Some of thoughts are welcome to take wing, get the F out of my head, never to be seen again.  Other thoughts conjure up happy (albeit very random) memories...being a little duck with the world opening up, being in London in the late 90's with a Chemical Brother's soundtrack booming in the background   Out of Controlololol  Then I am back in my teaching days or studying again. One time and place comes up often.  I am 16 years old and it's winter in New Zealand.  I can smell the woody, smokey, fresh-wet- leaves-under foot scent. I can almost feel exactly as I felt at that time.  The absolute detail of many of the thoughts is a marvel. The mind an amazing resource. But some thoughts are clearly just my Monkeye they seem so irrelevant and immaterial.

I feel like I've been on one of those Buddhist retreats this weekend.  Have hardly quacked to anyone, haven't left the house, consumed no alcohol, eaten only foods made from scratch (incl pita bread. falafel, millionaires shortbread).  What???? I hear you say.  WTF is going on???? More alarming behaviour!  I have been wandering the house like a perpetual make-up free selfie. I am sure my friends Scooby Do, the Clod, Lace and Pieface would be proud of me.  Don't get used to it I say. I am NOT going all organic Duck.  No way Jose.  Just for a wee bit then ....I'll be back with a substantial and strong quack!  But for now a mindful, Buddhist Duck with a very small Monkeye I shall be!

Kia Kaha

#mindfulness #Buddhistduck #mentalhealth #anxiety

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

A letter to the Monkeye

This is a letter to my monkey brain or mental health journey, the names too many to list here.  I have called it Monkeye as I was 'inspired' by the Love Letters to Richard Dawkins (see link at the end of the letter).  Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist and has received a lot of hate mail over the years, mainly from fundamental Christian types.  In this clip he reads the letters as they are written (mistakes incl) and someone must have written monkeye instead of monkey and I thought perfect!  That's what I will call this 'thing'. Here goes:

Dear Monkeye,

I would like to write a letter of thanks to you.  Thanks for being part of my life.  Thank you for placing your hairy and sinister monkey paws against the soft down of my duck-like back and heaving me, beak first, down into the black hole!  For without your shove I wouldn't be where I am today.

The first thank you is for showing me how blessed I am with love and support.  Although it may seem sad to say, I didn't realise how much I was loved.  So now, thanks to Monkeye, I can continue on with my life in the knowledge that I am Duck-De-Resistance.  Well. maybe I am taking it a little too far. Over-egging the duck nest, trumpet blowing and duck on skis swishing downhill at rapid speed.  But I do feel it and I am humbled by this experience.

I am also pleased to make your acquaintance as our meeting has broadened my world view.  So many things have opened up for me.  I am a more open duck, spatch-cock if you like.  I am further receptive to new ideas and new ways of being.   I am lucky enough to attend a women's group, all struggling with issues.  Their honesty and openness has floored me.  The ability to laugh at yourself and, at times, with others has been a huge blessing.  I am constantly lolling in this group and am grateful to have had this experience.  I am just in awe of the, sometimes brutal, frankness of the group.  The no holds barred approach has my ducky eyes bulging at times!

Through it all I have leaned what is important in life.  Mental and physical health is so important I believe.  Getting a perspective on what matters.  Staring at life through the duck-barrel-beak and gaining direction.

Thank you Monkeye, as I am now free to be myself.  Dual duck, with or without a bone, but embracing all the options and going with the flow of the pond.  It's not an easy journey Monkeye, you made sure of that.  But now I can see the benefits of such a journeye :-).  Monkeye, my madness and my muse I thank you. Kia Kaha!


                                                             Dawkins Monkeye

#monkeye #richarddawkins #monkeybrain #crazybrainletter

Monday, 7 March 2016

PTQD - Post Traumatic Quack Disorder


Post Traumatic Quack Disorder.  So, after my last post I thought I had 'arrived', destination duck in sight I could emit a quack of relief.  That wasn't too bad in the scheme of things.  Just under two weeks recovery and I am back on my webbed feet, shaking subsided, diamond duck!
I couldn't have been more wrong.  This first ducky dip was just the tip of the iceberg.  Little did I know that there were further depths to plunder, spaces so dark to fall in that the darkness itself took on an animated quality.  I thought I was done, complete, 'through the worst', yipee I am all better now.  Possibly it is a good thing not to know what's round the corner, not to know you will fall further and further again.  More than once I might add.  Phew, exhausting, scary and so so dark.

But, like a roller-coaster, you are not automatically finished after the first dip.  Oh no no no, there are many twists and turns to come and huge, gargantuan dips too.  Strap yourself in!

I've lost too many days to count in a haze of self-medicating, sleeping, self loathing then repeat.  I have startled more people than I dare to consider (cue self-loathing etc).  But still I have journeyed to the depths and beyond.  If I am honest, I have been in such pain at times that I have wanted to cut myself to release the pain.  A nice, big fleshy cut with fresh blood to transfer this pain into something physical.  I have let myself down.  I have let others down.  None of it has been good for anyone. I have so much love and support it is unbelievable.  But I must travel alone because it is my journey. Fuck I wish it were someone else journey.  Having said that I wouldn't wish this feeling on my worst enemy (if such a thing exists as I can't think of anyone to fit this category).  If I had to give one adjective to describe this journey/descent it would be SCARY.  Bloody scary and one of the scariest things I have ever contemplated.  Yet here I am fully immersed in it, feeling the weight of it and shuddering under its power.

So, if I am honest, while writing this I went and poured a beer.  I am not sure why but can probably guess it was the uncomfortable nature of the topic and the associated feelings it unearthed.  As I sat writing this, with tears sliding down my face, the shame and self-loathing started to claw its way into my psyche. What I did next is something I haven't done til this day.  Half way through said beer I wandered up to the people I am staying with and disclosed my indiscretion.  The relief was immense but still the guilt, shame and self-loathing lingered on.  It was a bold move and I was received with love and support. The compassion and warmth I was shown further served to affirm my actions.

As I sit writing I can hear the waves of the sea lapping on the shore.  I can clearly see it too from the doors out to the veranda.  I am in one of the most peaceful and picturesque settings I can imagine but still the craziness goes on inside my brain.  It is not enough to quell the voice in my head but I am learning and relenting to the charm and magic of the place.  Of course I beat myself up.  'Why are you doing this when you are here in this amazing, most tranquil of place?'  I really can't fully answer that. But what I have learned is that the interior monologue in your head can sometimes bear no relevance to physical setting.
I have been encouraged to focus on the positive, the fact that it is the first time I have essentially stopped mid-destructive behaviour and quacked out a little 'help' .  I got it and I have been so well supported I realise how lucky I am.  If I had no one it would be easy to slip and slide through the cracks down the black hole of self-ruin.  I can see how it happens and I really am grateful I have the support I do.  My heart goes out to those who are alone, who do not know such foundations.  It reminds me of an image I had when my nephew was born, two years ago.  My brother's child.  All of our family converged at the hospital (two sisters, Mother, myself, sister in laws parents).  I had a strong visual sense of a pod of dolphins circling and surrounding the situation with a tender protectiveness. This picture has stayed with me since.  The dolphins now being family and close friends.  Not a porpoise in sight :-)

Later on, after feeling a bit sheepish, I learned to gain strength and power from my action rather than descending into self-criticism.  I simultaneously feel a lot stronger and more calm.  I am far more self-aware of my behaviour, the triggers and the consequences.  Every step is a stride closer to recovery and each day I grow more robust.  This is not to say I won't slip down the hole again.  I am certainly employing all the help I can garner in this journey to restoration.  I have a wonderful, eccentric, Chilean psychotherapist to help me along.  In sessions I am confronted with difficult questions and a call to face the chilling reality.  Luckily we laugh and swear a wee bit so that lightens things up.  I am going to try some support groups.  I dance, I box, I run, I fall and I am laughing again. It is a journey from which I hope to emerge a better version of myself.  One with more wisdom and understanding, tolerance and lightness.  I will leave you with an article I read in the Guardian recently that really resonated with me.  See what you think.  Kia Kaha x

                                                           Why I don't use heroin

#mentalhealth #selfmedication

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A little bit quackers!

Just a warning before you read this blog post.  The content may not be comfortable for some people.


                                                       I was drifting, crying
                                                       I was looking for an island
                                                       I was slipping under
                                                       I'll pull the devil down with me one way or another
                                                       I'm out of my mind,  think you can wait?


These lyrics, by the fantastic group The National, basically sum up my life over the last wee while.  You may wonder why I would share this kind of thing.  I want to support the promotion of mental health awareness.  Where to start?

Looking back over my life I realise I have always experienced and endured an element of mental health issues.   From minor anxiety to mild depression.  Sporadically throughout my life I would find myself standing at the precipice of a black hole.  Most of my life I have been able to claw myself away from the hole and wobble back to 'normality' largely unnoticed.  I would dust down my feathers, practice my quack until the shake in tone subsided and waddle back to my life as an ordinary thing.  I was so scared of slipping into that hole, down into the pit of 'not-quite-right'.  If I could haul myself away from the hole I'd be alright, nothing wrong with me, I'm just like everyone else!  Phew, what a relief,  I am not the black duck of the pond.

Until recently, I came undone! I came royally and magnificently undone.  My feathers were falling out leaving me feeling exposed and vulnerable.  My eyes glazed over and I started to shake ever so slightly.  The incident that triggered this meltdown was a car accident.  A very minor car accident.  No one was hurt.  I was the only car involved.  I was on my way to work at the pond when it happened.  A bystander helped me change my spare tyre and Bob was my Uncle.  Off I quacked to work, bruised, in shock and stunned.  Then I did what I have done all my life.  I got on with my day, said I had experienced a flat tyre that's all.  In fact I laughed, joked and whooped it up a storm.  No one knew what had happened and I was determined to get through the day.  I did get through the day by the skin of my beak.

Later when I arrived home alone (Big Duck and Duckling were away) the shock hit me and I was promptly sick.  Still I had told no one.  I went away with a friend the next day and proceeded to try and drink the pain away.  I attempted to smoke the pain away.  I even tried to take a swim in glacial waters to numb the pain.  And guess what?  It was still there, sitting like an unwelcome guest at my front door step.  Laying in wait for me to return.  My attempt at anesthetising myself was so alarming to my friend that my cover was blown!  I was found out, duck on a rotisserie, revealed by my behaviour.  What happened next?

I decided it was time to get off this roller-coaster and seek help.  To put an end to trying to numb myself with things that take away the pain.  Because they only work temporarily and then the pain returns with a vengeance.  I went to the Doctor, told her everything and got myself some help.  It wasn't easy.  In fact it was (and still remains to be) one of the hardest things I have done.  It was like standing in a room featherless with nowhere to shelter and nothing to shield you.   Raw, uncovered  duck in a dilemma.  I got some medication and an appointment with mental health services.  My whole family and a large amount of my friends have witnessed my downfall.  It's extremely confronting.  It is a journey and I'm mostly relieved that my 'secret' is out.  It's been a hell of a expedition though and continues to be.  But I am a million times better now than I was at the start.  It is not a journey I wish to repeat for a long time.

I am the same duck I was before, working and going about my life.  I haven't changed but I have sought help that's the only difference.  These issues strike many people, including a lot of people that work in mental health themselves.  Your doctor, teacher, CEO, housewife/husband, musician, your next door neighbour could all be struggling with issues like this.  There is no demographic for mental health problems, they reach across the spectrum of society.  Let's start a dialogue about it, 'normalise' it for people.  So those suffering in silence can feel confident to get help.  It is not a weakness to seek help but rather the oppposite.  It is a brave and bold move and we need to encourage people to take small steps toward it.
I will leave you with the song 'Think you can wait' quoted above by the National.

                                                    Think you can wait

Kia Kaha!

#anxiety #depression #quackers #duck

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Guilty Pleasures

  'A guilty pleasure is something, such as a movie, television program, or piece of music,  that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.'

               'Something that you love to do, but you just cannot admit that you do it'

Yep, you guessed it. The concept that is getting on my bill lately and making me sigh 'fuck a duck' repeatedly is this notion of guilty pleasures. The whole idea insinuates that something we enjoy should be a thing of embarrassment. Something to be ashamed of, apologetic about and generally kept hidden under the algae-laden recesses of the pond.

Duck that for a joke! The Duck will never, ever be on trial for the stuff she likes. Get stuffed ye who would think otherwise. I love what I love sans guilt and without answering to anyone. Well that is at least the way I feel about it anyway and try to actively practice. Why should we feel guilty? By subscribing to this sentiment we need to consider what are we saying about  those who vigorously enjoy it guilt free? We are judging them, reading them the duck bill of rights and condemning their pleasure as shameful. The shame should be on us if we indulge in this concept. We are little more than castigating and belittling people for things they enjoy whilst satiating our same pleasure in secret. For example the Duck doesn't like the music of James CBlunt, nothing against the guy (in fact I quite like what I have seen of him as a person) but his music doesn't really lull my lily pad or ruffle my feathers. My webbed feet don't start tapping to the sounds 'O' Blunt. In fact, on hearing it, I want to take a very BLUNT instrument to the get the picture. However, if I did like his music I would stand strongly and firmly by my conviction and source of joy.

I want to cast aside labels and and stamp wholeheartedly on boxes that bid to enclose us!  Unlike a box of birds (to be cheerful and happy) a boxed Duck, well... it sends a mortal shiver down my spine!
Surely what makes us special and unique are our differences not our ability to fit a mould?  This quacks very much of social norms whereby our behaviour, dress, music taste etc is dictated by pledging our allegiance to a particular group. People then behave like sheep, veiling their true feeling to fit into some preconceived perception of what they should or should not like.    I love it when stereotypes are mashed up and turned on their beak.  When we cannot contain someone in the parameters of a box.  The truck driver with penchant for opera, the Granny with a weed habit, the heavy metal Duck!  I love the uniqueness of others and particularly people that shock and jolt you out of any judgy attempt to box and stamp!

To illustrate my example I recently took my car in to get a new tyre.  The Tyre Man phoned to say the duckmobile was ready to collect.  He asked me over the phone 'what is track 9 on the CD playing?' The CD was a homemade compilation and I tried to think but couldn't give him an answer.  Upon returning to the land of rubber ducks  I hopped into the car eagerly anticipating this track 9 business. Well bowl me over with a tyre.  The Duck was pleasantly surprised.   What I am trying to say was that here was this burly kiwi mechanic Tyre Man liking this unusual indie band. Tyre Man then took note of the band on his notepad. Love it!  The track is 'Baby' by Warpaint, linked below:


There may be a myriad of reasons behind why we like a certain thing. A happy memory, a time in your life. Maybe you feel alive or your object of joy transports you somewhere else.  We should never have to justify it or call it guilty!  No skulking around in the shadows of the reeds surreptitiously surrendering to our sinful pleasure.  Put it out there, I dare you!  Get all your guilty ducks in a row and give the Toby tall to those who may scoff! Choke on that you goosey goober, you big bloody chicken!

Guilt can serve as a useful tool to bring us back to our own moral compass. But guilt about pleasures is just a wasting of ducking time if you ask me!

#guiltypleasures #notguilty