A blip and a few days away

Not an awful lot of crafting has been going on here in recent weeks due to a bit of an emotional struggle. To call it a ‘blip’ is playing it down somewhat and the last thing I want to do is to make light of an issue that so many people struggle with but are often too afraid to talk about. I also don’t want to go on about it too much as things are now hopefully on the up but to not mention it doesn’t feel right either. I’ll say a bit about it and move on to happier topics. 
In a post earlier this year… I mentioned that I was struggling with the winter weather and dark days. Well, it got a bit worse than that and I’ve been having a bout of depression and anxiety. In recent months I’ve felt like I’ve been wading through treacle, dragging myself through the days in waves of panic and dread, going through the motions, with every minute feeling like an hour and every hour like a day. I’ve been forcing myself to carry on as normal but feeling like I’ve been there in body only, not really enjoying anything, just getting by. I’m writing about it here as I think it’s important to talk about these things. Too many people suffer in silence, embarrassed to tell others as they feel they should just be able to ‘get on with things’ and ‘pull themselves together.’ It’s a topic lots of people are uncomfortable to talk about for fear of upsetting others too. I’ve also worried about upsetting loved ones thinking ‘how can I possibly be feeling like this with a beautiful daughter, a loving husband, good job, lovely home and supportive family?’ The truth is, it can just happen. There doesn’t have to be any particular reason or trigger. From time to time some of us just need a little extra support to get back on track. 
Many folks struggling with depression try to keep it hidden, appearing to others as fine or even just as unsociable. I myself am very good at hiding how I’m feeling appearing normal, laughing and joking when I’m panicking inside, like a swan paddling frantically under the water. 
Well, I finally sought help and discovered that in my case there are some easily treatable medical reasons that could have exacerbated things. I’m now starting to feel much better and thankfully am beginning to enjoy life and my family once more. Things are most definitely on the up. 
I just hope that this post can help even one person to talk to somebody if you’re  struggling or to even recognise it in somebody else and reach out to them. There’s no shame in depression. 
Anyway, sorry for the deep post, now for some happier news.
Last week we went away to Oberhausen for a couple of nights. Due to the way I’d been feeling of late I was a little bit nervous about being away from home but I needn’t have worried, we had a lovely time. 
The first day we got there we went straight to the ‘Kaisergarten’ and I had a little experiment with the camera on my phone to see if I could take some decent photos of the beautiful blossom on the trees and some of the other flowers and wildlife in the park. I’m actually quite chuffed with how the photos turned out.
S had a great time whizzing along with new found confidence on her balance bike. She also loved seeing the animals in the ‘tiergarten’ but still can’t understand why animals run away from her when she growls at them in what I’m sure she thinks is an endearing manner! At least the horses stayed put for a stroke, although all they were really interested in was the food we had!
Mr O was happy to find a playground with an Archimedes screw so that he could have a bit of ‘manly’ fun, obviously under the pretence of trying to teach S a thing or 2 about science!
My favourite part of the park was the bridge modelled on a slinky and with a colourful walkway to brighten up a dreary day.
Maybe I’ll go back one day, take a note of the colours and use them as inspiration for a blanket.
Oberhausen is not somewhere I’d visit on the merit of its beauty as quite frankly apart from the lovely park, in the town centre it’s a rather ugly, grey, quite depressing kind of a place. However it does have some good tourist attractions. It is home to the largest shopping centre in Germany, near to which can be found theatres and concert venues , a sealife centre and Lego discovery world, the latter 2 being the main reasons we went.
As with any children’s tourist attractions during the school holidays, both were hideously busy but we did have fun and Scarlett really enjoyed herself. She loved seeing the Rays or ghost fishes as she calls them because of the way they seem to have a face on the white underside and move along as if stood up with arms outstretched in a ghostly fashion. I did have to laugh every time she backed away when they came too near as if they could somehow get her through the 2 inch thick glass.
 A giant turtle was also a big hit, she just couldn’t believe quite how big it was, announcing ‘Wow, Mummy, that’s a big one’ several times. If it hadn’t have been so busy I could have stayed there for some time just watching the fish swim around. There’s something very therapeutic about both water and fish.
After the Sealife centre, we took S to the ‘Build a Bear workshop’ in the CentrO shopping centre, as a reward for being nappy free in the day for a couple of weeks. It was so lovely to see her blowing on the heart before it went in and giving ‘Snuggly Bear’ his first ‘shower.’
Lego Discovery world was noisy but fun. It was maybe still a little bit old for S but she had fun nevertheless, even if she did spend most of the time riding around on a Bobby car (which we also have at home) and pretty much ignoring the Lego! Daddy had fun making a Lego car with (read for!) S and both were suitably chuffed when the second attempt made its way over both ‘hills’ on the testing circuit without stopping. I think Daddy was also the one who enjoyed the 4d cinema experience the most too (S was terrified of the Lego dragon, thinking it was coming out of the screen to get her and spent the last 5 minutes on my knee with her face buried in my neck!)
Unfortunately I did absolutely no crocheting, despite taking the granny stripe blanket with me to work on. With small child sharing the same room with us, the evenings consisted of sitting in the dark, waiting for small child to fall asleep, whilst watching a film on the iPad, with one earpiece of the headphone each and of course I did what I invariably do whilst watching a film in bed…fell asleep!
On the whole it was an enjoyable few days away, making memories with my nearest and dearest.
Karen X