Swings and roundabouts - In the name of Thiago - Day 183


What you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts. That would sum up my week I think. Three fantastic days walking have been followed by a weekend where it just hasn’t really happened. I feel like my anxiety is coming back. I’m feeling really exhausted again and it’s not because I’ve put my body through a lot today – it’s more the disappointment that the time I wanted to spend with Angélica and Elisa hasn’t quite panned out the way I’d hoped.



I have touched on this before in an earlier blog, but I shall elaborate on family dynamics a little more here. Most dads I’m sure will know this feeling if they have a daughter transitioning between primary and secondary school, that one where their little girl is completely uninterested in them.


The loss of my son at just the time that Elisa really doesn’t want to be in my presence has been a double whammy. And I know if Thiago was still around I probably wouldn’t be feeling this pain so acutely. It really does hurt, but it’s not Elisa’s fault. Thiago’s death doesn’t seem to have bothered her at all – it is strange. I am well aware that these things can have a delayed reaction though, and I am determined to be a strong support for her if that time comes.



Angélica and I went to say hello to the little man today. We picked up some plants and tidied him up a bit. It always makes me cry a lot whenever I go up there but happy at the same time. Happy because I’m doing something that matters so very much to me and so sad because I can’t change a single fucking thing about being there. There’s a bloke buried opposite Thiago. He had as many decades as my son had months. None of us have an infinite time – it’s worth stopping to remember that.


Thoroughly against her will, Angélica managed to convince her ladyship to accompany us on an afternoon stroll at Barlaston Downs. Remarkably, it was the first time I’d been there. It’s nice walking territory, nothing fancy, just good honest, clean lungfuls of air to be enjoyed with some sleepy cows. And that was exactly what was needed today.



Elisa’s indifference is not only towards me, as this picture shows, though Angélica is way calmer than me and knows intuitively when to intervene or when to just let things blow over. I really feel for Angélica when I’m on a bit of a downer, as I am today. I know I’m leaning very heavily on her at the moment or at least it feels that way. I just hope that I can snap back into a better frame of mind just as quickly as I snapped out of one.



A surprising source of happiness to me today was having my Dad round. He’s been helping me plot routes for my 300-mile walking trek this autumn from Eastbourne to Stoke-on-Trent. He didn’t annoy me once and we even shared a bit of a joke together. He spent a couple of hours here while the girls were otherwise engaged and no word of a lie, the time just flew by.


Well it’s back to work tomorrow. It’s going to be interesting to see how I juggle this. I’m still working from home but my normal working space is going to be knocked through by the builders tomorrow. Maybe it’s just as well the old man and I are getting on again..


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