Downton Abbey

It’s funny. I knw myself well enough these days to know that I don’t particularly follow the crowd. My tastes are quite unique.

On serious matters, on something like politics, my priorities, and therefore my views, are not common. Indeed, I was surprised to find, when I looked at some online politics groups, to find some people who did agree with me. On certain issues, anyway.

On lighter things, take television. A lot of programmes I’ve simply never seen. The Saturday night “make an unknown person a star” shows, for example. I see these for what they are – cheap, low-quality tv. Another popular show in the UK is The Apprentice. I think I watched the first season for novelty value, but stopped, ironically as it grew in fame. I’ve probably posted about that show before, but my objections to that show are quite serious. The premise that the bottom line is the beginning and end of everything offends me. Money is one commodity, sure, but there are others.

On the subjet of tv, the other day I watched a re-run of the first few episodes of Downton Abbey. I think this aired for the first time around 2010-2015, but missed me completely. I suppose, at that time of my life, I started off in London, had two years sorting out my parents’ estates, then spent the last few years trying to get the “bicycle mechanic” thing to fly. So I guess I was quite busy.

I mean, I’d certainly heard of it, I knew it was a massive production, but still never watched. But having taken the opportunity second-time around, I’m impressed. Of course this upstairs/downstairs thing is absolutenonsense, but I suppose a fairly accurate portrayal of the time. On the strngth of these episodes I’ve just ordered the box-set of every episode, and, really, you can count in years when I last bought a dvd.

So yeah, a promising start. Let’s hope that the other fifty-odd episodes live up to the standard.

Oh, and note to readers – there isn’t really an abbey (or anything remotely similar) in Downton! The outdoor shots were filmed at a place not a million miles away called Highclere Castle, although the story is entirely fictional, set up in Yorkshire.

Salisbury

I guess a lot of posts from now on will be reminiscing about stuff.

I was in Salisbury yesterday, was waiting for my wife, who was at the opticians, and sat on the edge of the Market Square just watching the world go by. It is weird about having a brain injury – certainly immediately after the stroke I never thought I’d see Salisbury again, then when I did get out of hospital, going into Salisbury was like going to a different world. Part of that undoubtedly is because my habits have changed – rather than shopping, I’ve got everything I need so am happy to sit and watch people, but that trend of downsizing was happening anyway, even before the stroke, so possibly a healthy me would have behaved just the same?

But yeah, the fog is clearing now but it certainly felt like the Twilight Zone. I suppose as I’ve become more able to go places, my world has gradually gotten bigger. I do recognise that getting to the bus stop was my first mega-milestone, just because it allowed me to get further afield. If I hadn’t have made that one, I’ve no doubt it would ultimately be fatal.

What’s quite strange is that I must have improved gradually over time, I’ve always kind thought along the lines “aren’t I doing well?” I mean, I’m stronger now, certainly, than a couple of years ago, but even back then I don’t remember thinking “I’m a wreck now but I’ll be better in 2 years”. I mean, I certainly think the second half of that – that I’ll keep getting better – but certainly not the first half. I’m confident that there’ll come a time when nobody will know I ever had a stroke. I’ll always know, but nobody else will.

I probably haven’t said things very well. Reading it back, I don’t think I’ve particularly done a good job.

The other nostalgic thing which happened yesterday was that, quite by accident, I met the guy who was my next door neighbour in hospital. They put us next to each other because we were both youngsters, in fact I think this guy was only in his thirties, even younger than me. He hadn’t had a stroke, but had had some other brain injury, I’m not sure which. I wouldn’t have taken it on board at the time. We both happened to be in a music shop, we recognised each other, I knew I knew him but I couldn’t place him. He recognised me, though. He’d put on weight from what I remember, but then so have I. I don’t know if he gets fatigued, if that makes him more sedentary than he used to be, but I know that fatigue is not just limited to strokes. Unfortunately my wife and I were just on the point of going back to the car, and this guy was just getting served, it would have been nice to have a proper catch-up with him. I hope he feels he’s doing as well, if not better, than I’ve done.