the last couple of weeks have been… difficult (i like that word. it expresses volumes). Its taken all i have just to put one foot in front of another: to keep up with the various things around the house, and not to lapse completely into the darkness altogether. Which sounds very over dramatic, but i think my regular readers will know what i mean.

I think i’m coming out of it now. The fact i’m writing this alone is a good indication of that, although there are others too. I went to Bolton yesterday, and today, to the central library there – finally made myself do what i’ve been swearing i would do for the last 4 years or so. Part of my family (one of my greatgrandmothers) comes from Bolton, although she moved to London when she was a teenager with the rest of her family, where she met and married my greatgrandfather – and lost touch with the rest of her family (why, no one knows, although i’ve been told that my greatgrandfather (a teacher and church minister) “saved” her from a really hard life working in the cotton mills, so perhaps it was that). I’ve done work on other parts of the family history, through the internet and family resources, but with Bolton being so close, and within the Greater Manchester area (where i can travel for nothing thanks to my concessionary card), i’ve promised myself i would use local resources to find out more about her side of the family – maybe trace burials, houses they lived in, and so on. Very often central libraries hold things like parish baptism, marriage and burial records that aren’t available on the internet, and then there’s things like newspapers and so on, so there’s a fantastic potential for research – and if you want to get into geneology seriously, at some point you have to do this kind of research. (and frankly, to do this for the rest of the family, while its something i want to do at some point, its lengthy and time consuming, and this will take money – for travelling if nothing else. this is a lifetime hobby!)

so yesterday i finally dragged myself over to Bolton. I’d never been there – its a pretty town, and the people are so friendly! Every single shop i walked into had shop assistants asking if they could help me – and not in a sarky “stop wasting my time” way either – and the people in the library itself are nothing short of wonderful. i only got a couple hours research done yesterday, so i went back over again today and got more done. The more you do, the more you want to do. Its addictive, frustrating and wonderful all at the same time – there are mysteries, where you have to reconcile different records – if you can find em to begin with – and battle obscure handwriting, strange references, and multiple instances of the same name… The gentleman i’m researching now is a “James Greenhalgh” – Greenhalgh is one of those names that’s peculiar to one town or region, in this case, Bolton.. and there are a lot of Greenhalghs. there’s a lot of Jameses too. There’s even more Johns – his son is a John… you begin to get the picture.

For all that, though, i feel better, like i’ve woken up. my brain is engaged again, and that’s a huge relief after the black hole of the last two weeks. I even wore makeup today – which is quite rare, for me – and pulled on nice clothes, a skirt and vest with a cardi, instead of slobbing in jeans.

I have appreciated the messages that have been left in the last couple of days, i do want to say  thankyou to everyone that left those messages. They’ve reminded me that i’m not alone in this, and that there are people that care. Linda – regarding talking to someone, part of what makes this so hard to cope with is that there’s usually nothing “wrong”, as such. sometimes there is, but usually, nothing i can put my finger on, which is the most frustrating part of all this – if i knew what was wrong, i could do something about it! This time has been like that – Its frustrating for Michiel as well, cos he’ll ask what’s wrong.. and the answer is that nothing is wrong, but i still have a face like a wet noodle. Still, you’re right, and i will try to talk to people where i can. thankyou. 🙂

Wendy, to answer your question – the garden is fine, everything is growing! There’s some stuff that needs doing – grass needs mowing, few seedlings that need planting out, but that apart, its looking good. i reckon a couple of weeks and my tomatoes and courgette plants will be able to go out. i’m hoping we get a nice spell, when i can get on with that. We’ll see.

so hopefully, that’s the end of the black spell for a while… and it’ll be a long time before the next one hits…