Midway through Madness

Grimble was now halfway through her initial bout of treatment and taking stock of what had happened on this route to recovery and an anxiety controlled existence.

Road to Recovery

There were several side roads on this recovery route as Grimble had immersed herself in the range of therapies offered to her in order to locate the source and control it. The funny thing was that really she knew the source: work. What she didn’t know was how she could amend or control work. Her plan was to survive for eighteen months until she escaped abroad. Her mind was focused on blue skies, long hours of daylight and more time with her G. As each day passed, the fantasy in her brain was growing closer to reality. Coupled with anxiety was the excitement of a new life . A very disconcerting but slightly reassuring coupling.

Make my mind think

Treatment 1: CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy, or how to make my mind think problems in different ways. The psychology department was sited on the second floor of a bland, modern Swindon surgery. The course was set out with about twenty five chairs replete with clipboards and pens. This was overly ambitious as there were seven victims in total. It wasn’t a miscalculation but the inevitable outcome of a course designed for people with anxiety issues. Anxiety could rule the brain and a trip through soulless Swindon would create anxiety in the most hardened souls.

In order to reassure us that we would not be placed in an uncomfortable situation, they mercifully explained that there were to be no ice breakers, no whimsical self introductions, meaningless as no one ever remembered them, but they made each individual, even those who didn’t suffer from anxiety, feel agitated and ill at ease. Grimble cynically recalled the heavy number of training days, when the ubiquitous ice breaker was imposed on groups of disparate people. Here at CBT HQ, participants only had to don a sticky label with their handwritten name which no one ever referred to, rendering it useless but making the whole event seem more personal.

Uncomfortable silences

Each session was supposed to be just information based, but not even in her keen first year of Uni, could Grimble have sat for a full two hours just listening, even with a hangover. It was clear that the two psychologists would have struggled to keep a disparate group of anxiety ridden individuals entertained. Instead, despite them telling everyone that there was no need to contribute anything, they offered open ended questions to the group which was met with a cold silence and a general close inspection of our own footwear. As the tumbleweed rolled through the room, as the silence persisted for an inordinate time, Grimble and another brave soul decided to contribute to the questions to just to break the solid wall of silence.

CBT wasn’t bad. It offered constructive ideas. It taught the participants how to breathe better and take time out for our selves, even in the workplace. Initially, Grimble pondered the rationale behind this and then articulated to all how she couldn’t actually see this working. Her 35 minutes lunch lasted about 25 minutes maximum, once she tidied up her classroom. Walking off site would take her, at best, to Tesco and back. Putting in her headphones and ignoring her colleagues could seem anti-social to them. They’d keep asking what was wrong. Her only escape would be to sit in her classroom, on her own, thus assuring her colleagues that she was devoted and dedicated but leaving her open to a type of solitary confinement. Perhaps she could just breathe deeply at them, using her new techniques. Grimble concluded that all these ideas were marvellous if they could be applied within a real and stressful world.

Counsel me better

Treatment 2: individual counselling. A forty minutes chat really helped to focus her mind on the important aspects of her life. The counsellor had the expert knack of combining listening with prompting. Grimble felt everyone should have this on tap when they felt low. This was really the best form of treatment ever. No drugs, just time to talk through the myriad of mad moments that invaded her mind. Grimble had a range of sleepless nights. An attempt at sleep usually started about 11pm, then a thought would enter her head: sometimes trivial, on occasions, existential but always with the same result. She stayed awake with her mind racing until about 4am when she drifted off with nothing solved. The counselling was a way to try to put these ideas to bed, so that she could go to bed.

Treatments 3 & 4: regular doctor support and occupational health. Given past experiences of OH documented here, fear and dread accompanied the wait for the call from them. However, Grimble was surprised by the sensitivity and kindness here too. Yes, for sure, the ultimate goal was to get her back in work: productive and efficient, but there was an acknowledgment of her state of mind but also the recognition that it was better to be strong and functioning too. She had explained to OH the overwhelming feeling of failure and the needless and, often ridiculous, tasks she felt compelled to complete. She explained how the anxiety made her feel lethargic generally but, if she thought about work, she began to feel a sense of sheer panic.

The ensuing report was fair and reasonable. It suggested that work could communicate with Grimble to offer good wishes. In the period prior or this, there had been work emails with messages such as don’t worry about year 10 reports (she wasn’t) and we will see you soon (maybe yes, maybe no). But, on receipt of this report, Grimble had no further communication at all from work. It was as if, without some reference to work, no one was able to say anything to her at all. This was rather sad but not totally unexpected. In truth, Grimble was aware that there was little, other than work, that connected her to her colleagues and the brutality of this silence confirmed this. In every job, she’d accepted her expendable nature. Jobs might dominate people’s lives but it rarely gave us life long friends. This, for Grimble, explained much about why all work needed firmly putting in its place and why life’s priorities had to amount to something more.

Anxiety for dummies

Finally, there was the self help that Grimble introduced into her life, anxiety therapy for dummies. This included walks around their village, following her mobile’s health app, to get her steps into the required 1000s. She even dragged G on one of her circuits, tempting him out of his deep daytime, post work slumber with a promise of a post power walk latte at the newest café in town. It worked: once. She then added length swimming to her recovery repertoire. The local leisure centre had a tight schedule interspersed with school groups.

Grimble initially selected an over 50s forty five minute slot on a Monday morning. She had hoped that the receptionist might age challenge her: she didn’t though she was significantly younger than the other swimmers. Her aim was thirty minutes and twenty lengths and she was both draconian and determined in this ambition. However, a setback in her scheme was the others who seemed determined to thwart her steady pace. A group of several women geriatrics seemed to be convinced that simply immersing themselves in the water constituted exercise. They had made a token gesture with a semi floating doggie paddle and then abruptly ceased all further attempts to swim in favour of a mid pool natter. Grimble wondered why anyone would want a wet social gathering when there was a great selection of coffee shops in town. However, their rendezvous made the length swimming more of a slalom. Her future swim would be the early morning lanes when, hopefully, the rope barriers would be a clear indicator as to the purpose of the pool.

Feeling groovy

Midway through and physically Grimble was feeling better than ever. In fact, she pondered on the idea that, when she returned to work, on the outside she’d look better than she had done in years. To the extent, that were she to venture back to the over 50s swimming session she’d demand her age was challenged.

Her mood was lightened further by the government announcing that pointless tasks were to be removed from the teaching workload , simply because it made her belly laugh and guffaw. As G perceptively observed, if the tasks were pointless why did it require government intervention? Surely, he noted, pointless tasks were simply that and shouldn’t be in any workplace: shouldn’t they just be stopped? Perhaps G’s common sense had revealed the ultimate cure for her anxiety.

Anxiety Archive

In the 7 years since this anxiety condition had first invaded Grimble’s mind, times had changed: thankfully. The same medical offers had been made in the recent weeks: medication, therapy, counselling and occupational health. However, the style and approach now, compared to seven years ago, were totally different. For Grimble, this was most welcome. However, the return to the language of mental health had thrown her mind’s memory back to the time before and, for the first time in many years, she reflected on that past experience.

She’d ended up seeking help because, five months after the final traumatic life event and eighteen months since the first, she finally accepted that she was not coping particularly well. Perhaps she always knew that she wasn’t well but facing up to it was really difficult. Instead she had played a major masking game. She remained at school in a way that really should have sent alarm bells ringing loudly through her management’s sensibilities. She arrived there at 7am and left at 6pm as the caretaker almost shoved her out. Was this devotion? No: it was desperation. Her house was too empty and rammed with upsetting stuff like other people’s photos, clothes and letters. Things that she really couldn’t face on a nightly basis. Did these long hours increase her productivity and benefit the students? Did it hell! She sat there, staring at her desk or her computer giving off a really good semblance of dedication, dreading the moment when she would go home, make her ubiquitous bacon and egg sandwich and collapse on the bed for another night, where if she got three hours of sleep, she considered herself blessed. The next early morning, fuelled on a breakfast of an energy drink for daytime survival, she’d start the cycle again.

The grim realisation that this was just daft and dangerous was when her Head, with a tone of appreciation, commented on how hard she had been working, and gave her that ridiculous contented expression of a boss who believed that she now presented the perfect example of a hard working teacher. Actually, the reality was that her dedication and devotion to her job was struggling to reveal itself with the mishmash of mind madness going on inside her head. One lucid thought that she did have, was one that she’d always harboured, no bugger knew anything much about what working well or effectively actually was. Stay long hours, be seen by management and evidently you were doing it right.

Faced with this sham, Grimble decided to take some control over what was becoming ever more uncontrollable. The next morning, she arrived at 7am without the stimulation of an energy drink, looking tired and grey. She presented herself at the Head’s office. Lucidly, she explained that she was going home via the doctor’s surgery, she wasn’t well and she needed to sort out her mind as a matter of some urgency. She had been trying to deal with three bereavements on her own and really, from what purported to be a caring profession, there should have been some acknowledgement that her frankly bizarre working pattern since these events was perhaps something that needed addressing. However, time had since taught her, that where workplace management was concerned, providing the employee turned up to the job wearing matching shoes and had reasonable body hygiene, they were deemed to be fully functional and fit. She also accepted her own responsibility in this façade.

This was late November and, as she she walked to the door, the Head commented that he’d see her before Christmas. Grimble turned and responded that she considered that highly unlikely. In fact, twelve months later, having never returned, she resigned and disappeared off to Spain and another, far better chapter of her life. However, before that happened, she followed the accepted manual and undertook the series of processes designed to make her well.

The counselling given had been great. There again, PTSD was a feature of that workforce, so it bloody well should have been. The rest of the treatment offered was less effective. Her doctor, whilst incredibly sympathetic, was dealing with her own issues: an accusation of racial discrimination and, amazing though it might sound, or perhaps because Grimble had a trusting, kind face, she actually felt she knew as much about her doctor’s crisis as she had knew about her own during her monthly appointments.

At the end of these sessions, as they became, she was prescribed something in tablet form to make her more relaxed, happy and content and thereby able to face triple bereavement and desertion. Each time, she’d patiently explained she was not going to take the pills. Grimble felt her road to recovery was to work through this, with support and not to obliterate it with medication.

As a result, only the counselling was of use. The first session wasn’t that great though. A Grumpy Grimble sat huddled with a cup of hot tea, clenched hands, declining to discuss anything much. In fact, she was very afraid. She felt that if she started to speak, she’d start to cry and never stop. Therefore, she hid her terrified self beneath a cynical grouchy body or used humour to distract herself and everyone from the real problem. The second session, they made some limited progress. She cried and sobbed for the whole hour and beyond, murmuring about unfairness of life, anger and anguish, but finally she did stop. Then they got to work and her counsellor offered her ideas that she still tried to use now: writing, taking time each day to sit quietly and empty her mind, doing things that made her feel happy such as walks and living for now. This all began slowly to work and the pills remained firmly sealed.

The other aspect of recovery was the Occupational Health that this former employer used which, to put it mildly, was simply shocking and had given her an avid aversion to all forms of Occupational Health as it left a legacy of being unscrupulous and disinterested. This mindset was only rectified this week. Plus, the organisation that had given her the phobia thankfully no longer existed. In fact, she later learnt that this company had a toxic reputation for handling cases. Not to dwell on all the horrid aspects of this, it was the sole focus of this organisation to get her back to work full time unassisted and irrespective of her mental condition. The initial response to her messy and horrendous life revelation, was a response of a nondescript “shame and you’ll be fine”. No offer of workplace restructuring just a sense of man up and get back in there. After this, she’d really had enough. The resignation came shortly after.

Now, she was back in a doctor’s surgery: a doctor who had not proffered their own emotional crisis to her. Instead they had offered Grimble a range of support and courses: some free and some cheap as chips. She’d engaged with this process. She had requested Occupational Health herself in a brave attempt to vanquish that nostalgic nightmare. The signs were encouraging. The initial conversation to schedule a meeting had been respectful and understanding. And, so far, there was not a pill in sight.

Anxiety Revisited: Grimble Style

Well, this was a novel state of affairs. For the third time in seven years, Grimble was having a big bout of the blues. She was sure, on reflection, that she’d had these blues all her life. And this wasn’t in an Ella Fitzgerald sort of way. This was in a morose, maudlin and tearful way, with no desire to sing at all, not even sad songs.
The first major episode, seven years earlier, had taken her somewhat by surprise, and the effects had been all-consuming and life changing but, ironically, some changes worked out for the best. She shouldn’t have been surprised given the events that lead to her brain freeze . In the fifteen months prior, her dad, brother and mum had all died, not collectively as that would have been handy for funeral arrangements but in the order above and from a diverse range of circumstances. In a moment of Northern budgeting, she’d asked the Wigan undertaker for a three for the price of two offer, so frequent was her business with him. He generously offered to do hers for free if she was to continue the family trend of dying inexplicably. Just as well, Grimble thought as, with the demise of her mum, there wasn’t anyone left to dispose of her body should she have the inclination to die. G had yet to materialise as a force in her life. Grimble was not even Grimble at this stage. She had been married for two decades but then, very inconveniently at the same time as these deaths, her spouse reconnected with his childhood sweetheart on the now defunct Friends Reunited: older readers might recall this early form of social networking. A way to connect with old school friends that most sane people had spent several decades trying to avoid. He’d joined and, in a quirk of fate, his school alumni had his first ever girlfriend listed on it.
Thus, Grimble was one of the earliest documented social media widows. Her husband had engaged in virtual chat that progressed to real chat and more and might a blog on its own. However, some things are best left unwritten and, for now, this remains one of them.
Feeling betrayed, bereft and bewildered, Grimble tried to maintain her normalcy. She had grown up in a culture where mental health situations were not to be discussed. In fact, they were to be avoided at all costs. Her own mum’s OCD aspects, which extended beyond the thrice cleaning of the toilet, to daily full vacuuming and dusting were excused to her job as a nurse where ward hygiene extended to the home. Grimble bottled up a concentrated mass of emotions until like Prosecco that had been shaken far too much, she exploded.
Months and months of inner turmoil combusted. Her earliest memory of this emotional detonation was on a train journey in Germany where she was then living. The Germans were not renowned for their outward display of emotion so what happened on that train must have surprised them, as much as Grimble. She was looking out of the window at the beautiful countryside wizzing by when, without warning, she started to sob uncontrollably. This was not a few tears streaming down her face. This was a torrent of saline waterfalling from her eyes. She had never felt herself so alone, so frightened and so empty. Despite the look of horror on the faces of her fellow passengers, she was unable to stop this public blubbering. She even tried to initiate a sneeze to disguise her sobbing as a cold. Later, after lots of constructive counselling, she walked away from her old life and buggered off to Spain for a couple of years of total reinvention.

On reflection, the anxiety had served a good purpose. In a way, the traumatic events too. Without them happening, she would have plodded on to a predictable and monotonous old age. This major life shake-up caused her to consider what really mattered: her health, wellbeing and psyche. What didn’t matter was working until death, material possessions and saving face. If she hadn’t been ill, she wouldn’t have had the guts, or the madness, to run off to Spain: writing for pleasure inconceivable and she would not have known her own capabilities and she stopped seeing life as having limitations. Without a family, she had to create one and in Spain she me the cussing Emster from New York and geeky Canadian Polish Martita, her surrogate sisters and of course, later back in UK, the indomitable G. Without blood relatives, she was answerable only to herself for her actions which was a novel way to live. That was until she met G, five years after this initial incident and it had been an ongoing struggle to be accountable to someone once again.
There was a second, slightly less impacting anxiety episode after a nose operation and a major conflict with her boss. This time she had not run away to Spain. Instead, she squatted at G’s remote barn home for a couple of months, made friends with a farm cat, won against her boss, and moved jobs.
This anxiety feeling was a funny business. It messed with her tenuous equilibrium. Grimble was usually a happy person but often this masked deep insecurities. She became introvert and extrovert all at once. She grew disenchanted and desirous of change and had an overwhelming desire to run away. The first episode had been weird as she had little awareness of what was happening or why or if it would ever end. The successive events were less weird as she was in full knowledge that they’d end: eventually. But they all had one common denominator: she was employed in teaching mainstream when they hit her.
Grimble pondered on whether her career choice of nearly 30 years might be a part of the problem. It wasn’t the classroom: it was the bullshit. Her job might be an important one but she was coming to the conclusion that some people gave it more weight than it actually merited. Well, gave the mundane and mediocre too much credence. Anyway, all this professional codswallop congealed in her muddled and exhausted mind. This time her anxiety seemed to originate from the incident of the broken ankle which was odd as her broken foot three years earlier didn’t manifest itself like this. She was tired: tired of marking, tired of the perceived threat of inspections, tired of performing.
Grimble was in a state of limbo. She had appointments galore with a whole range of people trained to drag her from the muddy quagmire of this impasse and get her functioning in normal working life once more. It was as if there were two Grimbles at work in her brain: the joyful, funny one, who felt happy in the sunshine or taking brisk walks in the winter chill and the other one: the miserable dark weepy one who reacted with agitation and unease at the mention of school. She now understood Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, despite finding it the most boring book in the history of GCSE set texts ever and there had been quite a few contenders for that accolade. Lurking in the recesses of her mind was a free, slightly unhinged and creative spirit that detested rules, spreadsheets and a PowerPoint. There were people out there who wanted to help her to return to data analysis, whiteboards and endless reports but her brain was telling her to just let go…and the result: anxiety.

3A391096-E07A-4A3F-8547-396081147B94

Grimble and the January Blues

“I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.”
Stevie Smith


0FCEEADC-DDB1-4C1E-A333-2B1E1005D1D0
Grimble had returned to work after the Christmas holidays and her six weeks of hobbling and grumbling with her broken ankle. She wasn’t overjoyed but knew normalcy beckoned. All she could do was repeat her survival mantra of, ‘Two more years, two more years…’. It didn’t really compensate as she was too keenly aware of what she was about to undertake.

G had affably assumed that, after such a prolonged absence, Grimble would have some form of return to work before launching herself in a classroom. For a moment, she allowed herself to be drawn into G’s fantasy, imagining a return to work day where she sat in an office drinking tea, eating chocolate biscuits and discussing her work schedule.

Instead on January 2nd, with a significant number of colleagues’ faces showing clear evidence of too recent New Year celebrations, she found herself facing a full on relentless day. The only food treats were: stale mince pies, rock hard caramels from an otherwise decimated box of Roses and some unopened student chocolate gift with a dodgy and indecipherable label.

By day three, she was exhausted and her foot was ballooning. Indeed, she had developed a strange limp where her broken ankle leg lagged behind her as if it was even more reluctant to participate in this work business than her. Luckily, Grimble had a great doctor who understood and recommended modified hours with a strict 4 hour limit. Her doctor also sensed that Grimble was troubled with things not foot related but they decided to focus on the hours for the moment.

Reduced hours worked well for Grimble. She felt a sense of control and as G would chant, often on their shopping trips, “Gimble is the leader, Grimble is the leader”, she did enjoy power. Her hours meant some wonderful enhancements to her working life: there were no tedious end of day meetings where people who liked the sound of their own voices more than they liked their home life offered endless and meaningless drivel on the state of education.

However, there was an elephant in the room.  Well to be fair, it was more of a huge woolly mammoth with immense tusks hovering on the work desk of life.  Grimble’s doctor had been very clear: four hours maximum work load to cover all aspects of that load.  Grimble had negotiated that work load to be spent in the classroom and this seemed to be acceptable to all.  Well, why wouldn’t it be?  Nevertheless, looming in shadows was the fact that, whilst four hours work was being done, that left quite a few tasks completely undone.  Sinking in to Grimble’s sensitive mind was a developing realisation that all these other tasks: marking (which hadn’t even been done whilst the ankle was broken), assessment and other mind numbing minutia were being held in a secure vault to be deposited on Grimble in their entirety once her hours were returned to normal.  In a month or so she would not just return to normal working hours: she would need to do this and the hours of work she had missed by having her hours modified.  Panic had started to set in to her brain.

Panic and anxiety were such strange monsters.  They were broody, dark and gloomy. They hid in the inner recesses of the brain only to emerge at inappropriate times like when Grimble was having a leisurely siesta, or a deep sleep or having a cup of tea watching Coach Trip on TV.

G and her still had wonderful weekends, cosy on the sofa, watching films and eating homemade tapas.  Living for the weekend wasn’t a bad way to live.  They’d always plan something pleasant: a massage, a shopping trip to Waitrose where G drank coffee and read the paper whilst Grimble bimbled about bemused by what Waitrose constituted as essential in their shopping range: artichoke hearts, lardons and poppy and sesame thins.  After three weeks of work and two weeks of modified hours, a greater treat was needed.

They decided to venture for Saturday lunch to a nearby designer chef’s restaurant. Normally one meal there would exceed Grimble’s weekly shopping bill but January was a lean month and bargains were to be had and this was one of them.  So good was the deal that they decided to add a couple of oysters each to enhance the gourmet moment.  Oh, enhance it the oysters did…and then some!  Not that Grimble could or would blame the events of the next 48 hours on the restaurant as there might have been a myriad of reasons.

At 1.30am on Monday morning, Grimble awoke to a strange, painful gurgling tummy. Oh fuck, she thought, another panic attack!  She regretted snacking on cheese and onion crisps as her burps attested.  She tried to sleep but her stomach seemed to be having a revolt until she had to leap unnaturally from her bed, past her neatly piled work clothes, and into the ensuite just in time to projectile vomit into the toilet. Slightly dazed, she stumbled to bed, texted the now working G and then rushed back to the bathroom.  Whereupon, the bodily expulsions were not limited to vomit alone. For several hours, Grimble positioned herself in the ensuite as leaving it, even for a moment, seemed to be a risk.

About 4am, the grim realisation hit her, there’d be no work on Monday.  She managed to last a whole 3 weeks back before succumbing.  Shit, shit, shit went through her mind and, seemingly, out the other end.  It looked like norovirus and at least 48 hours of quarantine.  At 5am, G came home and, from the safety of the door jar, greeted his feeble and frail Grimble, acknowledging that she was a very funny colour.  She grunted in response.  Two hours later from the safety of the bedroom, she heard G’s stampeding feet racing into the other bathroom.  She then heard sounds that no one wants to hear, but at least it was mercifully quick.  And repetitive.  For the next few hours, Grimble endured not only her pain but the noisy pain of G too.

Late morning, a sour faced, disheveled G emerged in their bedroom.  Fed up of suffering alone, he opted to share his misery with the already miserable Grimble.  He nudged her to the edge of the bed as it seemed he needed to lie flat with legs and arms akimbo to get anything close to comfort.  Occasionally, he’d stroke her head feebly and claim he might be dying.  They then drifted in and out of sleep for several hours until they decided to watch the news as they seemed to have missed the world for some time.  The BBC reported on norovirus in oysters…

After a messy but, in a odd sort of a way, loving couple of days, Grimble made the assertive, but essentially foolish decision as she was still ill, to tell work to expect her Thursday.  Her motivation was guilt as any teacher will understand.  Despite the fact that, after three decades, she was too well aware that marking really mattered diggly squat and a sick teacher was a rubbish teacher.  She might have gone back but for one work email which welcomed her return but gave a hint at all the workload her illness and shortened hours would create.

That’s when the anxiety manifested itself in all its glory. In fact, at one point, it was hard to ascertain whether it was still norovirus or anxiety.  Worse still, Grimble grew snappish, snarky and agitated with the recovering but oblivious G.  After a few hours of grizzly Grimble, she finally decided to confess her convoluted and aggrieved mind to G.

She told him about feeling like she was immersed in mud. Up until this point, she’d been managing a doggy paddle of sorts but now she felt like she was foundering and sinking.  She felt an overwhelming sense of doom and vulnerability.  She felt that, despite working well enough for thirty years, she was rubbish at it.  Every part of data collection, every soul destroying spreadsheet and every additional revision class put on in teachers’ time off, and even holidays, for kids who could not be arsed to listen the first time enraged her.  Her feelings of inadequacy and self hate were compounded by her evangelical colleagues who’d put their work above their family life: something she’d never do, having lost all her family to disease and death, she wasn’t going to lose her beloved G to a flaccid and uninspiring job where any attempt to engender a real love for learning or a sense of resilience and independence was suppressed by a system that relied on vacuous numbers and fundamentally flawed value added bullshit.  Basically, Grimble felt that she was constantly dancing but that the rhythm and beat of the music kept inexplicably changing, just as she mastered one set of steps.

After her rant, she looked up and G who, though he might not have listened to the entirety of her ravings, had comprehended the gist of her gloom and was gentle, loving and kind.  His empathy encouraged her to face this morass of misery.  She contacted her doctor and she told work in as much detail as she could muster exactly how she was feeling and that she was going off.

Now it was Sunday night.  She hadn’t prepped a lesson.  She hadn’t marked a book. She hadn’t beat herself up emotionally because she wanted to watch Dancing on Ice and not target set 16 year olds based on data from when they were 10.  Her mood had already enhanced largely because G’s response to her confession was to drive her to the boat that day. Well to the nearest point that they could get to without the car being bogged in the mud. They then squelched across the water submerged field and checked their beloved boat was secure. They didn’t sail but just the sheer joy of boat with an engine still starting, the River Thames and fresh air lifted her. Whilst she had explained to G how work was like sinking in mud, this type of mud restored her a little and her intuitive G had definitely developed a halo like aura from his devoted Grimble.