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Good memories from a bad storm 😊

Not had chance to post much, been so busy! Which is always a good thing for me, keeping busy keeps the mind occupied

I was working away last week, down in Bridgwater, had to drive through Bristol to get there, obviously Bristol brings a lot back for me, I was working on site and had been laughing to myself remembering the funny parts, not all doom and gloom again don’t worry 😁

When I’d left Wigan A and E in a pretty grim place, I’ll not bore you with that again as I think I spoke about it before, anyway lots of tears! The young lad/nurse who was sat in the back of the private ambulance with me was so funny, tbh he was a saviour on that journey

He was telling me lots of stories from his career so far, he was only 25 😂! Made me feel old but he’d already done so much! He spoke about his time working for a funeral service and lots of tales, one being how he’d been responsible for loading the coffin in, only to pull away from the place and the coffin came flying out of the back window 🤦🏼‍♂️😂

Stories of when he’d been working in the prison service teaching inmates how to cook, he said he was stood in the kitchen one day and he just saw a trolley coming towards him, it got closer and he realised a small person was pushing it, kicking off about what someone had done, this guy was stood there saying he wasn’t happy, another prisoner said which one are you then grumpy? 🤦🏼‍♂️😳😂

He really kept me going, guess he could tell I was struggling. The driver was a smoker and stopped at services a few times on the way down, we got out of the van to get some fresh air and stretch the legs, he even followed me to the toilet, I felt really special! I stood opposite him on the carpark, asked if he’d ever had any patients do a runner from him, he said he had but he’d always caught them. I was sizing him up and then pretended to leg it then stopped straight away, he proper panicked and started to run after me! Then we both stood there laughing and I said don’t worry pal I’m not going anywhere, I need fixing!

I can only hope someday the guy will read this somehow, I’ve always wanted to say a massive thank you to him, as we pulled in the the priory, I thanked him for being himself and being normal with me and stopping me from crying for at least half an hour of the journey

Towards the back end of the first week I’d started chatting to a few of the guys. There was one guy who thought he’d been sent to earth from god to convert everyone, obviously he wasn’t in a good place himself, spent days talking to him but before he left I’d pulled myself away from him, found him quite toxic towards the end, he was awful to the staff too 🙁

A young lad from London cracked me up, he was quite intimidating at first but after a few days we started getting on, he was originally from Portugal and used to play football professionally there and in London, sure he said he was signed for spurs, but unfortunately he took the wrong path and left all his football behind. He was so loud! His laugh was infectious, I’d be sat playing chess with some of the old boys and he’d walk and that would be it, he’d completely take over the room with his laugh 😁 he just struggled with his anger and taking direction from the nurses at times, one of the night nurses in particular, his head would drop when she came on shift, it was a love hate thing, was really funny listening to them battling at times, they always hugged it out though at the end before he went to bed. He was further down the corridor to me, he’d sit up till the early hours chatting to his girlfriend on the phone, playing his music that I had know idea what it was (old man) laughing away and shouting down the phone to her, which as you can imagine didn’t sit well with some of the other lads 😂 always made for funny conversation over breakfast anyway! With me not having a tv in my room for the whole stay there, at times I’d sit in my chair with my door open either reading or writing (started writing a book) he’s come and sit on the floor at my door talking to me, sometimes during his angry moments I’d get his attention and get him to my door to calm him down and just sit and talk with him, actually really enjoyed listening to him, telling me about his childhood and upbringing and his gangster lifestyle now in Peckham, I explained to him all I knew about Peckham was that’s where Rodney and Del Boy were from! He was clearly too young or too cool to even know who they were 🤦🏼‍♂️ (old man again) It was boiling, July, red hot days, spent time a lot of us playing football in the gardens, and with the Euros being on it bought out the football skills in everyone, apart from me because I’m absolutely rubbish at football 😁

Which brings me on to John ‘the referee’😁 wow what a character he was! He came on to the ward after my first week, proper cockney, loud and had plenty to say, he too suffered with PTSD with a similar story to myself, so we’d both often be up together during the night, only he’d be walking the corridors naked before he woke up properly 🫣 we helped each other. Anyway, the referee bit, he was an official ref for the FA, he told everybody too ha! Not sure at what level but he certainly knew his stuff. We’d all sit in the tv room of an evening watching the euros, hilarious! The night of the final, he had got somebody from the FA to send him some money to order pizza for us all, the nurses provided soft drinks and popcorn, we was having a right little party 😁 you can imagine how loud it was, only a small room, a Spanish guy game on to the ward days before the final, he was so passionate about football and also really loud! So we had my gangster Portugueses man from Peckham getting over excited jumping up kicking the tv and laughing so loud, John ‘the referee’ talking or more like shouting explaining what the ref was doing on the pitch or how he’d have done it differently, and the Spanish guy singing the Spanish national anthem on top note shouting at the others ‘shut the f**k up’ 😂. There was standing room only with pizza and chips being launched everywhere! We had a ball! Definitely some of the best football matches I’ve ever watched, and not for the football but only the company, amazing characters 😁 John the referee also got a tournament set up in the garden with staff and other patients playing five a side with footballs he got sent in from the FA

A young lad from Manchester who slept most of the time either in his room or in the garden and walked everywhere really slowly, but put a football at his feet and he came alive, he had skills, he too played football in his country before he had to flee with his family, some harrowing stories 😔 he only had the clothes on his back and he’d already been there longer than me, John the referee was off out on one of his daily walks one day so we clubbed together and got him a load of new clothes from tesco, it was like Christmas for him, his face 😊 think I started fathering him eventually sorting his food and making sure he drank enough outside 😂 lovely lad though who I was sad to leave him there

A guy from Sheffield who came in, in a right state, he was on 24hr obvs, he wasn’t eating and not well, never spoke to anybody, but after a couple of weeks of him getting straight on his meds he made a complete turn around, eating drinking and he too eventually came and sat chatting to me at my door telling me about his allotment, he left a few days before me, he’d had his laces taken from him for safety and was worried about what he’d look like getting home, so I gave him my laces from my trainers 😊

I could talk about that place for days but I’ll save you from it 😂 just one more guy, from New Zealand, he’d pace up and down the corridors for hours everyday with no shoes on wearing big holes in his socks, playing music on his phone, but you know those really bad covers, like on them cd’s you used to buy from a service station, he’d have my heart will go on my Celine Dion but sang by a guy with a really bad voice 😂 it was painful to listen to! But he was happy enough. He never came outside or went up to the restaurant for food, just stayed in the ward. I got him talking eventually and he told me all about New Zealand and how he’d been arrested lots of times for jumping trains around the world with no tickets 😂 such an interesting guy honestly! We got him outside a couple of times sitting with us in the garden, a man of very little words until you got him chatting. Anyway, we was all up eating tea one night in the restaurant and he goes walking past the window with his rucksack on his back, stops, pears through the window shouting ‘so long fu**ers’ and walked off down the road smiling! After we’d all finished eating and kicked a ball about in the garden we got back in, only to find him sat in the tv room, we all asked what had happened we thought you’d done one? He said ‘I forgot my wallet and now they won’t bloody let me out’ 😂😂 he was actually laughing at himself, he couldn’t believe it! Such a nice guy 🙌🏻

Well I suppose I’ve not really spoke much about myself or my stuff on this blog, not all about Simon! I do often get told it’s not the Simon show 🤦🏼‍♂️😂

But it’s just good to remember happy memories from a bad period in my life, and that’s all it was, just a bad storm I went through but met some amazing people along the way, who hopefully I possibly helped. It’s just good to talk and share stories I suppose, and not always the bad things

Hope I’ve not bored people too much, if you managed to stick with it, thanks for reading 😊 keep talking, and keep checking in with guys who may also not be in the best place, get them talking and sharing stories, it may just help someone 🙌🏻🙌🏻

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