Travel. I don’t travel lightly. Either psychologically or physically!
My collection of anxieties, doubts and dreads mean that I spend much of my life wrapped in a tangle of protection.
Routines, rituals, talismans, specific ways of doing things. Eating habits, sleeping needs – all are complicated by my wayward thoughts.
( or as my mother might say… I am just too fussy!)
Trying to give a bit of background to this subject could easily turn into several posts on its own. To attempt to explain a little….
…..most of my senses are a bit awry. In one way or another, I suspect that they always have been. I know that when the brain is
faulty , malfunctioning , maverick ((I love that word!) then to a degree senses can be affected. This can be the case for many people on the autistic spectrum too I believe. Often, human senses can get over-hyped.
Which feels seriously disturbing to try and live with.
( This isn’t mildly irritated feelings. Most of these things are ‘chalk on a black board, knife on a plate, polystyrene squeaking, hyperventilating, panic attack inducing runaway now sensations…)
Personally, I have very acute smell, and most man made/chemical scents make me feel frantic and panicky. I can often taste them in my mouth. This includes all scented products – perfumes and aftershave colognes, shower gels and washing powders, house cleaners and washing up liquids, shampoos and air fresheners, ( and those are considered the ‘nice’ ones!)
Then of course petrol, cigarette smoke, paint, new carpet, plastics. The list goes on and on. Very boring.
My sense of touch is also quite extreme, and my skin dislikes anything tight and anything in man made fabrics. So no polyester or nylon, no bras or sports clothing – and one to watch out for, often ‘100% cotton’ clothing is stitched together with polyester thread.
I am aware that I frequently go out looking pretty scruffy. But for me, the older and softer the cotton clothing, the less ‘screamy’ my skin feels. Shoes are a particular problem as I would like to have bare feet all the time….
The touch sensation of course extends to duvets,/sheets/bedding/towels. In the last few years, I have sometimes found the feel of water difficult -( yep – getting smelly!)
Sight – well, some colours ‘jar’ like an out of tune piano chord. It makes me wince.
Sounds – often make me jump but are currently the least problematic.
Taste – is inextricably linked to smell but it is the texture of many foods which can be tricky…
SO.. by now you may be laughing. Or disbelieving? Or frustrated and perhaps thinking – why doesn’t she pull herself together! –
Or perhaps sighing in empathy and thinking ‘oh, me too’ with some of those things – or ‘thank goodness I am not the only one..’ Always nice not to feel too isolated when my brain is being particularly barmy…
Anyway, I digress. This is a travel post. So I am going to the seaside for 3 days to spend time with my lovely family and delightful grandchildren.
This is my luggage.
( yes, for 3 days!)
Which wouldn’t be a problem if I was going in this car but I am going on a train.
( yes, I can drive. I had hoped to try this time. But I got anxious about traffic and getting lost, fast roads and other drivers and car breakdowns..)
I am staying in a very luxurious B and B – a farmhouse with big rooms – and I have contacted them to make sure that the windows open wide and that I can go out for a walk at 4 am without disturbing anybody.
But still I have to pack; sheets and a pillow case ( the bedding may feel odd or smell difficult) – towels, ditto, toiletries and vitamins, ( including my weird black toothpaste and wonderful bamboo toothbrush – plastic brushes make me gag). Teabags( organic, unbleached), and milk ( raw and organic.)
Warm clothes – in case..
…cool clothes – in case.. ( and swimming suits!)
……..spare shoes – in case…
Food like nuts and figs, fruit, a jar of stewed apples (!!)
Spare rubbish bags ( so I don’t dirty the bin in my room?)
Socks ( in case the carpet feels wrong)..
I booked the parking in advance
I bought the train tickets in advance
I pack one bag with soft stuff so that I can use it to sit on ( I often sit on the floor by the train doors – to get a bit of ‘fresh’ air at each station. The carriages smell of many, many peoples perfumes all jumbled together…. and the seat fabric is just weird…)
I write down all the train times. And other possible trains in case I miss those. And all the platform numbers I might need to help me try and find the trains.
I have far too much luggage so my back hurts and I start eating the food long before I am hungry to try and lighten the load… especially at the end of the journey, when I had promised myself a taxi for the last little bit but there were none to be found..
My brain is now humming the mantra;
‘ serves you right, serves you right…
…but for what?
Just for generally being a mad, bad person I guess…
(PS a special big thank you for Fiona and Geoff of Jonas Farm in Cromer for their kindness, understanding and generous hospitality. You can find them on air b and b if you need a beautiful place to stay in Norfolk! )