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Sunday, 11 October 2020

Mental health is just as important as physical health

In my life I've never known a time when there has been so much pressure on people's mental health. Coronavirus has a lot to answer for, what with lock down making it feel like we're living in a zombie-type disaster movie. Many haven't been able to hug their loved ones for fear of catching the virus. Tragically people have died without family or friends' visits during the hospital and care home lock down. It will therefore be no surprise to have more than the usual 1 in 4 of us suffering from a mental health issue (like anxiety or depression) this year.
- The sun will rise tomorrow -
An early swim before work helps me
A recognised problem is people don't feel that seeking help for poor mental health is as important as it is for physical conditions. It's easy to know a broken leg needs urgent attention, but not so when you are feeling terribly lonely, depressed or simply just not yourself. Perhaps you have or someone you know has found it difficult to get out of bed, to bother to wash and dress, cook or to go outside? People can worry that it is silly to 'bother' their GP, embarrassing to admit to themselves or others that their mental health is poor: but it is brave.

Mental health can affect anybody at any age. You are not alone, it is ok to ask for help - you don't have to do this by yourself. The sun will rise tomorrow.

There are many different ways to try and improve mental health. It isn't something that you can just snap out of; however there are things that can help - these will be different for each of us. For me gardening, being with my cat, swimming, getting outside playing the piano, listening to music and painting help.
Pets offer wonderful companionship
Companionship is more of a challenge, especially for people who live by themselves. Pets are truly wonderful. 

Try to pop out every day - even just to the local shop or for a short walk is good.

Especially this year, lots of people are feeling alone. The first step is to reach out to family, friends, your GP or one of the support groups.

Look after yourself. If you are finding this difficult, do ask for help. 

Here are some suggestions:

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Construction progress of Mapledurham Pavilion

I took lots of photos when I was shown around Mapledurham Pavilion last month by Andy Lockwood - Reading Borough Council's officer who has been doing an excellent job overseeing the refurbishment works. 

Sadly due to covid restrictions it is unlikely the council will be opening it for lettings until the New Year. A virtual meeting of the Mapledurham Playing Fields Management Committee is being held on 13 October. Progress of the Pavilion's refurbishment and the re-profiling of the Playing Fields will be discussed as well as other matters such as parking. Members of the public will be able to register to observe the meeting (contact me for further details).

This photo of the Pavilion's new roof, was taken on my visit to The Heights' construction site earlier in September.

Pavilion's impressive new roofs viewed from on top of The Heights
(the school's scaffolding in the foreground)

The morning I visited the Pavilion it was cloudy as you can see from the photo below. The main hall has six double doors on this elevation. The central four are glazed which will give superb views across the playing fields, with the ones either side being filled in as they are Fire Exit doors. The glazed doors will have externally fitted, electric shutters for security. 

Southern side of the Pavilion

It has been about 20 years since the council boarded up the windows this side - done partly because of the vandalism, but also because of the poor state of the old frames. Although I remember how disheartening it was to have to carefully sweep up all the broken glass before being able to open up the hall for the Escape parent and toddler group I ran, it was so sad and claustrophobic having the windows boarded up. I'm sure I'm not alone relishing the views being opened up!

Kitchen's external hatchway/window and door
to playing fields. Part-clad wall

Inside, the partitioning has nearly been completed, as has the wiring. We saw the progress being made in the two football changing rooms. These will be accessed solely through two external doors on the western side.
Doorways to football changing rooms
(both ends of the western elevation)
View of both changing rooms
(partition wall yet to go in)

The main hall was coming along well. I'll just leave it to the photos and captions to show you the rest.

View of the main hall from what will be the kitchen hatch


Doorway along widened corridor to ancillary rooms (store room
on LH, kitchen RH side, WCs + 2 mtg rooms and Tennis Club's room)


 
Kitchen viewed from main hall through hatchway. Kitchen
units/appliances yet to be finalised and installed
(white door to Tennis Club's room visible in the distance)

Pavilion's front entrance - yet to be clad externally


Lamps to the side of the footpath from the Pavilion to Chazey Road
(avenue of trees yet to be planted this Autumn)


Do let me know if you have any questions. My contact details can be found here.