Tag Archives: Nobody Is Allowed Into The Garret

Bad Day at Black Rock

coping with only one hand

in the film noir bad day at black rock Spencer Tracy plays a one-armed man coping with deception, difficulty, and danger.  a few days ago i sprained my right wrist, and from my limited recent experience, coping with anything while you can only use one hand is damn difficult.

typing this blog post with my left hand is much harder than you’d think ~ maybe there are keyboards specially adapted for only one hand.

basic daily tasks ~ washing, shaving, and dressing are taking me a long time and much thought.  going out, for example to do some shopping, is just not going to happen.  how vulnerable is having only one good hand making me feel?

locked-doorhousehold chores are unbelievably time consuming ~ cooking and washing up the dirty dishes takes so much effort it will have to be take-out food and ready-meals until i can use both hands again.  i did some laundry yesterday, and found i can’t neatly fold clean stuff.  if i lost the use of my right hand on a long-term basis, either i’d have to send out my laundry, or get a home-help.  (there’s a snag with a home-help for me; nobody is allowed to come into my garret.)

other ordinary tasks such as bed making are problematic with only one good hand ~ and i have no idea how i’m going to tie my shoelaces.

all this makes me realise that if one doesn’t have the usual complement of fully functioning bits, then one’s day-to-day life becomes difficult, slow-paced, frustrating, expensive, and maybe reliant on others.

P1020817a really good society would give extra help to those less fortunate, to those with physical, or mental, or other problems.   however, i don’t see too many signs that we’re living in a good society right now.  at least, my sprained wrist should get better soon, and in England treatment for my sprained wrist is ‘free’.  i’m kind of glad that i don’t live in the USA today.

~

dscf0036jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Carpentry for Chistmas

As men will do, I asked a female friend what she would like for Christmas.  Now, this woman is the only female who has ever been allowed in the garret, (apart from a policewoman).  And, she has seen that I can make things, fix stuff, do amazing things with my hands…

What she has asked Santa to bring her this Christmas is a stool a little like mine.  Around this part of Northern England it’s called a cracket.

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I made this cracket back when I was in school, so despite all the abuse I could throw at it, this little wooden stool has lasted for 40 years or so.  All I’m going to need a length of plank, a few bits and pieces, and a little time.

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dscf0005For 40 years old it doesn’t look to bad at all.  And, it’s an amazing useful piece of furniture.  Standing on, resting stuff on, using as a saw horse…  So, that’s what I’ll be making her for Christmas.

Doesn’t the real spirit of Christmas have something to do with a carpenter?

I’ll do another post nearer to Christmas showing you how Marmaduke and I progress.  For a little bear, he’s a pretty good apprentice carpenter.

~

dscf0007Jack Collier, jobbing joiner.

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

Pagan Fire Festival

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August 1st is an important day in the Pagan Calendar ~ Lughnasadh, a fire festival.

Historically, August 1st was an important day across the English-speaking world ~ Lammas, a harvest festival.

Come Lammas-Eve at night shall she {Juliet} be fourteen; that shall she marry…  ~  Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

The Christian Church used to celebrate Lammas Day, (Loaf Mass Day), which they then started to call the feast of St. Peter in Chains.  Mostly August 1st isn’t celebrated in the Christian Church as anything any more.

Lammas / Lughnasadh is one of the four fire festivals in the Pagan world.  How you mark today depends on where you are in your own spiritual development, but celebrations usually focus on the grain harvest or the Pagan God Lugh, or both.

gaia__artemis__aphroditeIf I have a Pagan God it is Lugh, the God of craftsmanship and metalworking skills.  Lugh had so many accomplishments he was reputed to be able to do almost anything.  Julius Caesar sometimes called the Roman God Mercury ~ Lugus, the Latin equivalent of Lugh.  Depending on how you look at it, Lugh married the Mother Goddess Nas, (Artemis).  Artemis is said to hate my personal goddess Aphrodite, and after that my grasp of mythology and interpersonal relationships gets complicated.

As for me, at this point in my spiritual life, I associate August 1st with Lugh and the Rowan Tree, the mountain ash.  In my mind there is a debate as to whether the English Sacred World Tree is a true ash, (fraxinus excelsior), or the rowan tree, (sorbus aucuparia).  Of the two, the rowan is the rarer in England, and maybe the rowan is the more magical.

The rowan is the tree of power, causing life and magic to flower.

Dreaming AphroditeThe rowan allows the power within to call forth the elegance and mystery of the logical mind as it is intermingled with intuitive powers.  The rowan calls the spiritual into the path of future planning, and brings dreams to fruition.  When using rowan magic you should trust your intuitive insights.

If you wish, you can try to forecast the future using rowan magic.  Drinking some / a lot of proper absinthe helps here.  Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) is the active ingredient in absinth, other than the booze.  Shakespeare goes on about wormwood in the Lammas-Eve speech.  Which brings us neatly back to the Goddess Artemis and the Pagan God Lugh.

Today I have a piece of rowan wood by the garret’s door to keep witches away.  (Rule #2 Nobody is allowed into the garret, applies especially to witches).  As I don’t drink booze these days, there’s no absinthe around, which is probably just as well.

~

Rowanjackcollier7@taltalk.net

liebster-12

 

The Road Less Travelled

Alternative Living # 9 ~ Solitude and Mental Health

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Most of my life has been spent alone.  When I was a child I sought solitude.  When I bought my first place I lived alone for 5 years.  Even when I had a partner I spent most of my time alone, travelling, being ‘on the road’ for work, living out of suitcases in lonely hotels 4, 5 or 6 days a week.  And now, I have lived alone in the seaside apartment I call ‘the garret’ for over ten years, and nobody is allowed into the garret.

Turns out that spending too much time alone can be very bad for your mental and spiritual health.

Turns out that some of the things I’ve done in the past few weeks have convinced me that I am spiritually /mentally ill ~ and you probably have no idea how much it hurts to admit that in writing.  I am pretty certain that I have become a sexually repressed obsessive alcoholic who also suffers from stress, anxiety and depression.  Maybe with a few other problems thrown in.

Admitting the problem is the first step to recovery ~ and there is a plan I can use to become the true me, without the baggage of behavioural problems I have been carrying.  Admitting that life is difficult is the second step to recovery.

Life is difficult.  This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we see the truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know that life is difficult ~ once we truly understand and accept it ~ then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.  ~  M. Scott Peck from The Road Less Travelled.

I belive that Dr. Peck’s book is based on The Four Noble Truths from Buddhist teachings.  The Four Noble Truths lead to the Noble Eightfold Path, and it’s this road I intend to follow to recover from my need to avoid all pain, my suffering of uncontrollable cravings and lusts, seeking out and clinging only to what is pleasurable.  It is a long journey, not a final destination, to my becoming the good and true person I know I can be.

Wish me well.  ~  jackcoller7@talktalk.net

~

eightfold path

 

Alternative Living # 8 ~ Declutter

P1010406When I first ran away from real life and came to my seaside apartment I was a broken man.  The thought of friendships and relationships made me feel physically ill.  I also began to relearn who I really was.  The true Jack Collier cannot abide clutter, untidiness, dust, dirt, and mess.  Neither physical, mental, and emotional muddle sit well with me.

Nor do I seem to be particularly acquisitive.  The pleasures of collecting things; pictures, ornaments, and the like, largely passes me by.  Although I have been, and still am, guilty of having far too many books and too much recorded music, (in its multifarious forms), than can be good for one person.

Fashion does not particularly interest me.  My sheepskin ‘flying’ jacket is more than 20 years old, and I am still wearing dress shoes almost as old as that. ~ but then I’m a man.

Without any planning or conscious thought I began the process of decluttering my life.

Some of this was easier than you would think, because there are only three little rules;

  1. Do not buy anything that does not have an immediate and specific purpose in your life.
  2. If you have things which do not have a specific purpose in your life, then either sell them, give them away, or dump them in the trash.
  3. Never, ever, leave anything out in the open, cluttering up table-tops, counter tops, bedside cabinets, dressers, sinks, the sides of the bath…  If you are not actually using something right now, then always put everything away.  If there’s nowhere to keep whatever it is ~ say clothes you haven’t worn for years, then follow rule #2.

What I did not realise until very recently is that living attracts clutter like a dog attracts fleas.  Decluttering your life is not a one-off event, it’s an ongoing process which requires vigilance and effort.  Consequently I am still selling stuff through eBay and Amazon, I am still a regular visitor to my local thrift / charity / goodwill stores, and I still find myself tossing things into the trash.

Worst of all, I still sometimes buy things I don’t really need, or even want.  And, like all men, I am terrible at returning things to the store.

~

thegarretjackcollier7@talktalk.net

Alternative Living # 7 ~ Alone

locked-doorLiving alone is perhaps the ultimate expression of the alternative lifestyle, yet so many people now live a solitary existence in their home.  Perhaps I have taken it a little far with my Rule # 2 Nobody Is Allowed Into The Garret.  (The garret is what I call my small loft apartment.)  Literally this means I never have house guests, dinner guests, lunch guests, random visitors, or girls I want to sleep with, in my place.  My place is my space and I don’t want another person in my space.

There are upsides to this very solitary lifestyle.  For example; nobody leaves their junk around, everything is tidy and clean, the garret is exactly the way I want it, I can do whatever I want when I want, and I never have to ask anyone if they’re happy with what I am doing or how I am doing it.  If I need to paint the whole place black, then I will.  As it happens the garret is completely decorated and furnished in white and natural wood.

You know, one of my fears about living alone so long is that you get used to doing everything your own way.  ~  Terry McMillan

There are some downsides to my isolated and remote life.  For example being seen as antisocial and reclusive, which I am anyhow.  Other potential downsides include being; lonely, friendless, introverted, withdrawn, introspective, unsociable, and being literally without help in times of crisis.

dink+smokeSome people who live alone can develop some quite nasty habits, for example; never washing or changing their clothes, never cleaning the place, not eating properly, keeping strange hours, drinking too much, smoking too much, taking drugs, watching too much pornography, spending all of their time on-line…  In fact, living alone can be dangerous for your health.

I have been guilty of some of these undesirable habits from time to time ~ particularly drinking too much and keeping strange hours.

Perhaps the most common characteristic of someone who lives alone is that we become far too reflective and thoughtful, too introspective, too philosophical and meditative, too broody and serious, too melancholy and solemn, and too set in our ways.  This can lead to some serious mental health problems such as melancholic depression ~ luckily for me it’s mostly women who suffer from this treatment resistant disorder.  My personal disorders are that I suffer from obsessive thinking ~ which I have always had, but then I have mostly always lived and worked alone.

Hungry people are always thinking about food; poor people are always thinking about wealth.  Obsessive thinking can kill your dreams.  ~  Stephen Richards

The ‘cure’ for living alone but not falling into these traps is to have an active life outside of your home.  However, as I have discovered to my cost, taking the solitary lifestyle mindset outside the sanctuary of your own home can get you into serious trouble.  What gets you into more trouble is if you flip from being solitary and introspective at home, into being extrovert and available outside of the home.

~

Smoking-Cigarette-holderjackcollier7@talktalk.net

Alternative Living # 6 ~ Space

Woman-taking-off-weddingWhen I decided was forced to downsize my life, I also needed to downsize the space I was trying to exist living in.  I had to reduce my footprint.  I needed money for more interesting things than where I spent the night.  Only sad people are freeloading on sofas.

How much space do you want?  How much space do you need.? I know a few single people living in 3 bedroom homes, (of a couple of thousand square feet), where one, (or more), of the bedrooms is just a place to store junk.  (That’s in addition to the garage, which for most women is also a place to store junk.)

The biggest 5 bedroom home I ever owned was just less than 4,000 square feet, and that’s a lot of unused space when I mostly lived in aeroplanes and hotels.  You know what?  I never felt comfortable in that place. The garret is a tenth of the size of that baby mansion, and I am extremely comfortable and at home here.

Remember, if you want to change the way you live, then one of the things you want is a lot of spare cash to waste on interesting things, and square footage costs money.  By the time you add the mortgage, taxes, power, decorating, furnishing, paying for a cleaner…  square footage costs a lot of money.

pix-Austin_Healy_Sprite_1962The smallest place I have ever lived, for any length of time, was an Austin Healey Sprite sports car ~ and I cannot recommend living in your car, unless the other alternative is living on the street, (which I have also tried).  I lived in an hotel for quite a while, and that room, (including bathroom), was about 70 square feet.  (Trust me, I’m a draughtsman, I can do square footage by eye and memory.)  Add in a kitchen area and I could have lived for 3 months in a home of 100 square feet.  If you can live in a place for 3 months you can live in it forever.

Come to think of it, when I first bought the land for a trailer park, I lived in a touring caravan, (travel trailer), for several months, which was most likely about 72 square feet.

168Therefore, I contend that a single person can make a perfectly reasonable home in 100 square feet, or maybe a little more, say 168 sq ft.  The trick is to use the rest of the world as part of your home.  Do not entertain, do not do your laundry, do not necessarily shower…, in your home.  The outside world is a big place, use it.

The question is ~ are you a true Renaissance Man, do you want to spend all your salary on where you live, or do you want a life?

I have a guideline rule, rule #2 nobody is allowed into the garret.  All other people ever do is use up your space.  That applies doubly to women.  All women need a lot of square footage ~ women carry around a lot of clothes, shoes, personal crap, mess, stuff, junk they’ve bought at thrift stores, more stuff, more junk…

Be a man, learn some trades, build your own place, keep your women out of it.

~

London 053jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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