Samuel Pepys the drama critic, grey grey sky, computer problems

Thomas Killgrew as he appeared in 1650. one of the leading actors of this period.

Samuel Pepys is certainly blunt with his criticism. On Monday, 2 May 1664, he went to the Kings Playhouse (now the Theatre Royal) with his wife and a ‘mademoiselle’ friend, “and there sawThe Labyrinth,’ the poorest play, me thinks, that I ever saw, there being nothing in it but the odd accidents that fell out, by a ladies being bred up in man’s apparel, and a man in a woman’s”.  As if that were not enough, “thence in the coach to the park, where no pleasure; there being much dust, little company, and one of our horses almost spoiled by falling down, and getting his leg over the pole; but all mended presently”.

We are going to London later on this month and I shall be doing a tour of where Pepys was born, lived, and died.

Sometimes you wake up in the morning to a sky that is just plain grey. No redeeming features of any sort. It’s not raining, It’s not windy, it’s not cold – just grey. However I have decided to have a positively technicolour day because the physical senses comprise only about 1% of what is actually going on in terms of wavelength.

A new SSD arrived yesterday. Solid State Drive to the uninitiated. My ever helpful computer man, Terry, told me to clear out the data that I didn’t need and the programs that I didn’t use. The trouble is  two fold.  First I don’t know what programs and software I need because they have rather strange names. Secondly I use quite a lot of programs, not frequently but I use them and they do eat up the gigabytes. My new SSD is 525 Gb but that’s not an awful lot these days. For those of you that remember the Bible, the old and new Testament takes about 15 MB which is but a comma compared with the average software installation.

We do earn the majority of our income doing gardening in what I laughingly call the summer  but it has been so dry of late that no rain = no growth = no jobs. Give me a few days of rain and we will have jobs aplenty but now all we do is to contend with the usual Spring burst of life that will not get us far.

On R5Live a man was talking about his emotional breakdown and how he had to summon up the courage to tell his boss. In the event, his boss could not have been more helpful and provided all the sources of support that were necessary. The sufferer was saying that there is no stigma admitting that you got a broken leg or arm or that you are exhausted, but as soon as you admit to an emotional or mental problem then another level of courage is required.

Strange, isn’t it, how we identify ourselves with  our weakest point.  Why is it that we think we will be judged, rejected, laughed at, when our software is not functioning the way it should. Everyone has suffered mentally at some time or another so any laughter may be the laughter of a nervous person who can see him or her self reflected in the person who confesses. I think on this topic we don’t know how to broach the subject. Possibly the best way to do it is to start in a soft way and say “I haven’t been feeling very well lately”. If the person is not interested in you they will talk about something else but if they are interested in you than they will ask the question and encourage you to talk.

Let’s have none of this nonsense about “not wanting to trouble anyone”. I’m not talking about continual whingeing which is a pain but the people not wanting to trouble others are often those who would themselves go out of their way to help a stranger or friend in need so come on now, the universe owes you a bit, so don’t be shy. You should pick your place and time. If you phone someone when you sense that they’re busy you could at least ask them if it’s convenient to speak but I would say in almost every case it’s better to do it face-to-face. I’m not even sure that Skype is good enough. I think it has to be the immediacy of the living people. The same applies even more to Twitter and Facebook. I recall reading about a young lady who had 650 friends or so-called ‘friends’ on Facebook. She said that she felt like taking her own life. No one responded so guess what, she did.

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