Is that a whimper that I can hear?

I woke up this morning feeling much better. For the first time in what seems like a long time I had a really good night’s sleep … and my permanent headache is now just a dull echo of its former intensity. My other symptoms have also almost gone, and I know that I am coming out of this latest depressive episode.

I think it is safe to say that the black dog is now just whimpering … and as long as I am careful and take things easy, I should be back to normal very soon.

Please can I thank everyone who has been so supportive over the past few days. It has really helped me to overcome what was a particularly bad period. In retrospect I can see that my decision not to go to SALUTE was probably a good one, as I was already beginning to experience the symptoms in the days running up to it. At the time I just put it down to tiredness … but there was obviously a deeper underlying cause.

One thing I have learnt over the past few days is that I can survive without having to blog, and that I probably need to ease up on the number of entries that I write. On some days recently I was blogging up to three times per day, which in retrospect sounds a bit obsessive and unnecessary. As a result I am going to take things easy for the next week or so. This will not be too difficult as it is Easter and my wife and I will be taking a bit of a break. We could certainly do with it as all the work clearing and then redecorating and renovating our conservatory seemed to drain both of us.


29 Comments on “Is that a whimper that I can hear?”

  1. Mosstrooper says:

    Glad to hear your feeling better , Tony

  2. Mosstrooper (Tony),

    Thanks for your very supportive comment.

    I am not yet back to being 100% better … but at least I now feel a lot more enthusiastic about everything. I have a couple of things that I want to blog about and hope to start doing so very soon.

    All the best,


  3. Bob,

    One of the things that occurs to me is that your headache and depression might have had a very physical cause.

    With all of the work on and new stuff in the solarium there was undoubtedly some “off-gassing” that might well have initiated the headache.

    It is just a thought . . . but I know that such off-gassing has triggered headache and depression in my dear wife . . . so it is worth a mention.

    Glad that you are on the mend and looking forward to some more comfortable times.

    — Jeff

  4. Jim Duncan says:

    Best wishes to you Bob.

    Could I suggest that you blog only once a week and restrict your blog to 'highlights of the week'. That should take away the pressure to blog everything that comes your way.

  5. Bluebear Jeff,

    I must admit that I had not considered that the chemicals that have been used in the refurbishment of the conservatory (i.e. adhesives, paint etc.) might have contributed to my feeling unwell … but it could easily be a factor, especially as London has suffered from poor air quality during the same period.

    All the best,


  6. Jim Duncan,

    That is an excellent plan … although once a week might be a bit restrictive! I have one or two things that I want to blog about … but it is my intention to try to restrict myself to a no more than one blog entry per day from now on.

    All the best,


  7. TamsinP says:

    I'm glad to hear you are coming out of this bout of depression.

  8. Also, thank you for having the courage to open up about your depression. Many people suffer in silence because of the stigma. My father suffered a severe depression in his 40s which resulted in him having to take early retirement from a 25 year teaching career.
    I myself also deal with the stress of living and working in Japan, having to juggle a career, family all in another language and culture!
    Enjoy life, and hey, blogging is just a hobby.

  9. TamsinP,

    Thanks for you very supportive comment. It is much appreciated.

    All the best,


  10. Ian Dury says:

    Bob – I just wanted to add my best wishes to to all the others – and to second the thought that much as we all look forward to your blog, you should ease up, at least for a while. I must admit, I hadn't realised how obsessive our hobby could get until I volunteered to organise our Continental Wars Society game for Salute this year – and now realise that it had completely over-taken my life for the last three months!
    All the best

  11. Irishhighlander,

    I have always been very open about my illness. It helps me to cope with it, and it has helped other people who suffer to know that I am someone that they can talk to about their own illness in the knowledge that I understand how they feel.

    My illness pretty well 'killed' my career. I never managed to become a head teacher because depression was seen as a 'weakness'. Despite that I ended up as one of the most experienced educators in South East London, and finished up as a consultant.

    It sounds to me as if your life is very stressful indeed! Living and working in another country – even if your family is with you and from that culture – must be what we used to term 'challenging' … and unenviable!

    All the best,


    P.S. You are right about blogging … and I am now trying to restrict myself to one blog entry per day from now on.

  12. Ian Dury,

    Thank you for your best wishes. I will definitely be easing up for the time being, and I am going to restrict myself to a maximum of one blog entry per day for the foreseeable future.

    The Continental Wars Society was the one stand that I would have visited SALUTE to see … but to be honest I was just not up to it. I am sure that all your hard work was worth it … but take what happened to me as a cautionary tale, and ease up on things yourself!

    All the best,


  13. Ian Dury says:

    Bob – I have just sent you a Dropbox link to the pictures that Ralph took – and if you are interested, I will send you the rules, character and chance cards etc that I put together for the game

  14. Ian Dury,

    Thanks very much for the link. I will certainly look at it once my computer has stopped doing its current update. (I am answering your comment using my iPad.)

    I would be interested in any information about the game that you can sent me.

    All the best,


  15. Great news that you are feeling better!

  16. Tradgardmastare,

    I'm not 100% better yet … but as the day has gone on the headache has just become a dull ache and a slight muscle twitch above my right eye.

    I am going to take things easy for a week or two, blogging once a day if I feel like it. My wife and I also intend to have a break … and I am sure that will also help me get better.

    Thanks very much for your kind comments and support … and I am looking forward to seeing how your latest battle report ends.

    All the best,


  17. Ian Dury says:

    Bob – mail with the rules etc is on its way.
    Everything is in Powerpoint, so let me know if you need another format like pdf.
    Please feel free to re-use any part of it if you find it useful

  18. johntheone says:

    Glad your are feeling better

  19. Glad you are feeling better, Bob. My sons have been with me for spring break and I have been away from the computer, only catching up on your blog now.

    Until recently, I would get at least one, if not two to three migraines a month, some lasting a week at a time.

    I started taking magnesium supplements, daily, about two months ago and I have had only one migraine since, two days after I began the supplements. I don't know if you have tried it, or even researched it, but I've found that many sufferers have a lack of that particular mineral.

    As far as blogging, just do what you feel is comfortable. We're not pressuring you to post as frequently, so the only pressure is internal. If you are happy to post often, do it. If you get stressed by frequent posts, then relax.

    At the very least, enjoy having your house whole again. πŸ™‚

  20. Ian Dury,

    Thanks very much. I hope to have a look just as soon as my computer finishes its apparently unending update!

    All the best,


  21. Johntheone,

    Thanks very much for your best wishes. I will feel even better when my computer is working again after it's update.

    All the best,


  22. Justin Penwith,

    The headaches I get when I am depressed are horrendous, and unlike migraine – which will usually respond to some sort of supplements or prescription drugs – I have yet to find anything that will relieve the pain. They only go away when the depression goes away.

    I have several things that I want to blog about … but I am going to take it easy at first.

    All the best,


  23. Steve says:

    Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better. Enjoy the Easter break!

    Hopefully the conservatory will not need any maintenance for a while πŸ˜‰

  24. Steve,

    Many thanks for your best wishes. I am looking forward to a bit of a rest over Easter.

    As to the conservatory … well hopefully it won't need any attention – inside or out – for quite some time.

    All the best,


  25. Fitz-Badger says:

    I'm glad to hear things appear to be on the upswing, and the black dog is going out with a whimper. Take care of yourself!

    As much as I enjoy your posts and as much inspiration I get from your portable wargames rules and games and projects like the L-shaped buildings (and even your battleships, in spite of me not really being into naval gaming) I would rather see you only posting when you feel like it. Goals can be good, but this is for fun, so they shouldn't detract from that or your quality of life.

  26. Fitz-Badger says:

    p.s. as far as I'm concerned, don't feel like you have to respond to every one of my comments either!

  27. Arquinsiel says:

    Only spotting this now. I'm acquainted with said canine myself, on and off, but mine is luckily a small toy breed. My ineloquent commiserations, glad to hear you're on the way up.

  28. Fitz-Badger,

    Thank you very much for your kind comments. They are much appreciated.

    One of the problems with being retired is that it is very easy to slide gently into total inactivity. If – like me – your job was very variable, active, and challenging it is very tempting to take this course of action … but without structure and something to do it is also very easy to become demotivated to do anything (natural indolence takes over, I suppose!). I have seen this happen to some of my friends … and I have tried to use blogging to stop myself from going down that path … but I probably went a bit too far and I have learnt my lesson!

    It is now my intention to take things a bit easier … but not too easy.

    All the best,


    P.S. I was always taught to reply to messages – however short they may be – out of politeness, if nothing else. Old habits die hard!

  29. Arquinsiel,

    Thank you for your kind message of support.

    It is not the size of the dog that matters; it's the fact that it pays a 'visit' that is the problem. I hope that whenever your dog comes to see you, the 'visit' is only a short one. My recent 'visit' was too long for my liking … but I am at the stage where I can just see the tail as the animal leaves by the dog flap!

    All the best,


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