13 Aug 2022

t’s Saturday afternoon and I’ve been up since dawn, out in a huge field, in blistering heat. I’m tired but I’m certainly not complaining, it’s a day we’ve waited for for two years and I’m getting to hear all manner of pipe bands play (including my own son).  

A short moment ago, I discovered that the blog I wrote for Sunday is miles away at home on my laptop and I’m here with only my phone. So, inside the noise here, heat and busy, I’ve found a fence to lean on and a swift and hasty replacement blog it is. My apologies!

I watched a couple of young kids a moment ago. He was about ten, she was about 7. He in his pipe band uniform, she in shorts and a t-shirt. They were larking around daft, gently pulling each other over, making faces. Then a relative asked them to pose for a photo. Calm was made, they smiled like abdines and the photo moment I’m sure will be treasured. Most likely nobody noticed the joyous lead up to the photo or the after part, when they wandered away laughing and chattering.  

The series of moments made me think of our mental health. When we arrive at any snapshot moment, it is just that - a still moment. We don’t always think of the lead up or the after, and yet we can be intensely consumed by the snapshot moment.

Might we hold that thought a while? Ponder on what that means to us, what the bad parts of that is and, most importantly, what the good parts can be.

The snapshot of the children was beautiful, but posed. The best parts, for me, before and after were the nuggets of gold. Here’s to that.

Love from

The room above the garage

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Ach UK

Aug. 14, 2022, 4:51 a.m.

Good morning McRatg, What a happy off the cuff blog from you today. I can 'hear' those pipes swirling away. :--)). Today I am having a positive snapshot moment -- I am going to an 80th birthday celebration party honouring my closest friend. :--))) , and it's mostly been kept secret. Befores . . . well she:s been very scratchy the last few weeks, it's been the devil's own job countering her mutterings of " I'm not having a party " and 50 odd of us are just waiting to see her reaction when 'lunch for 8 ' turns out to be party for 50+. There will be many 'before' , moments and many 'afters', but today I am going to enjoy her party and slip aside on occasion to enjoy the happy interactions. I hope today there will be many happy ' moments ' for you dear Ratg and time to sit and ' be '. XX Ach.


the room above the garage

Aug. 14, 2022, 9:58 a.m.

Hello my friend, it’s lovely to see your name. What a fantastic surprise today will be! Lunch for 8…party for 50+ is something she will be thrilled about! Do you find the day lasts for many days as you digest and allow all the moments to ‘settle in’ and root? I hope you have a fantastic time, I can hear the excitement in your euros and that has made me smile. Thank you x


Aug. 14, 2022, 5:17 a.m.

This is very thought provoking ( in a good way). My cousin, whom I have not seen for over 5 years is coming to lunch today. I have a new perspective- to think of the moments and events that have led up to our “reunion”! Thank you ratg!


the room above the garage

Aug. 14, 2022, 10 a.m.

Hello Janet, I hope you have a wonderful time, it sounds so exciting…five years is a long time and I’m imagining reminiscing about childhood fun and family you’ve neither thought of or spoken of for a while. Today is a good day!


Aug. 14, 2022, 5:51 a.m.

Yes, the bad parts, dearest Ratg - on the lead up to a photo opportunity: for me it’s the "oh ***, I’ve got to pose - and then the sickly feelings inside arrive and I tense up, then seem to lose control of eyes (nearly always close just when the camera is clicked!) or am gurning or looking the wrong way!) The after moments these days are from the laughs as we pour through the pics and always hope there is at least one decent one of me!! But any click of a camera when I’m unaware, is usually better (unless someone is being unkind of course!) The bad parts leading up to me accepting or offering to help out - this morning I am up early to go and meet someone to help out - but once again, I wish I hadn’t and I’ve done it a lot recently to help new people out. But usually after the event, I am pleased I made the effort and the people have been kind and thankful and that is reward enough. I loved your Oops blog - I know it’s exceptionally hot but so pleased you could find the wonderful moments to share with us. I could feel the heat, smell the field’s dryness and hear those children playing - just wonderful Ratg, wonderful and a great snapshot for you to treasure. Hope your boy played well and enjoyed it. Love and Bear hugs x x x


the room above the garage

Aug. 14, 2022, 10:31 a.m.

Hello Bear, yes, very familiar and I agree, I am not happy having a photo taken at all and much prefer snaps to show the general feel of the moment and content rather than grimacing. I don’t photo well, always look a bit wonky! I see a pattern Bear, you are one of life’s helpers (me too) and I wonder if, and hope you are, nourishing yourself enough? I am guilty of thinking that the smallest of things should be enough to replenish myself and its just not so! I haven’t taken a day for myself since Boxing Day, and I’ve just decided today I’m taking one. I feel empty after yesterday so, although I have two big jobs to get done, I will be taking the rest of today off after them. Sitting in as much quiet as the house and garden allows. I hope I don’t overstep the line when I say that I think you too might undersell yourself. Time we got a bit better at this lovely bear. Love ratg x


Aug. 14, 2022, 11:06 a.m.

No, no line overstepped - I do too much sometimes but this morning has ended up better than I’d hoped. Batteries being recharged in the peace and quiet of doggits’ snoring and a cuppa, sitting in the cool of the house. Enjoy your restful moments - you deserve to, everything else can wait now. Love and Bear hugs x x x

the room above the garage

Aug. 15, 2022, 5:30 a.m.

A little rest yesterday but did go to bed early and slept well in between the thunder! Amazingly still tired today. Womens sleep is a mystery…


Aug. 15, 2022, 6:17 a.m.

Oh don’t I know…did you get rain as well as thunder? You must have been exhausticated if you slept through a storm - bless you x x x

the room above the garage

Aug. 15, 2022, 3:12 p.m.

Woke to a flashing room (not me!) around 5ish :-D


Aug. 14, 2022, 6:11 a.m.

Well done RATG for managing such a thought provoking blog in such circumstances. I almost felt I was there watching the children play and the photo etc. I do hope the two year wait was worth it despite the heat. Made me think we must look to see what are the good parts - for me - in situations. Thanks


the room above the garage

Aug. 14, 2022, 10:33 a.m.

Hello greenjean, it’s lovely to see your name again :-) It was a great day…and I am running only on fumes today, thoroughly empty in my tank! Time for emergency measures. How are you? :-)


Aug. 14, 2022, 7:25 a.m.

Hi RATG My brother reflecting on his wedding said that ayour wedding you invite friends and family but in reality it is a snapshot in time of who was in your life at that time. I think about it for my own wedding- quite a few oldies that are no longer here, a couple of people - now wondering why I invited them, a nephews transient girlfriend (felt this way at time) and was gone not too long after, and other people who perhaps more peripheral on my life and I wished retrospectively that I had invited. The photos now are beautiful reminder and allows reminiscing and recounting of events- a big event but a snapshot


the room above the garage

Aug. 14, 2022, 10:35 a.m.

Wedding photos are just lovely, I especially love looking at the background and who is there, what they’re wearing (if it’s years back) and to get a recreation of the mood at that moment…so much fun!


Aug. 14, 2022, 9:57 a.m.

Hi ratg It's interesting what you say about the time leading up to a snapshot of the moment. I stopped to think about this when I read it and thought yes a few minutes ago I was doing such and such but feeling tired and a bit low and maybe I could have manipulated my thoughts then so that I would feel better in that present moment. If you know what I mean! Well done for your blog today written on a hot day on your phone with your son playing the bagpipes. Jul ***


the room above the garage

Aug. 14, 2022, 10:40 a.m.

Hello Jul, I’m wiped out today. I’ve decided time off is needed if I’m to have a chance not to slide down. So, unusually, I’ve promoted myself to self carer and will put in emergency protection! 2pm bum on seat is my plan. How will your day be? Are you home or away? Lovely to see you x


Aug. 14, 2022, 11:14 a.m.

Good idea to switch off at 2pm. I am going to read the newspaper then. We're back from France but going again on Thursday with the grandsons just for a few days. I've just had a marmite and cheese sandwich so I'm fine!! Take care. Jul. ***

the room above the garage

Aug. 15, 2022, 5:31 a.m.

Confession time: I’ve never tasted marmite!


Aug. 15, 2022, 6:18 a.m.

Nor me…if it’s like bovril you can keep it!!! ;-)*


Aug. 15, 2022, 7:05 a.m.

I love Marmite and read recently that a teaspoon a day can help with depression. It contains a lot of B vitamins. It's not like Bovril Bear!! Jul xx


Aug. 14, 2022, 11:50 a.m.

"We don’t always think of the lead up or the after, and yet we can be intensely consumed by the snapshot moment." Very true. But when we do search for cause and effect we only see the fast consequences. We are *a lot* worse at spotting the connections which have a long(er) time between cause and effect. Knowing this helps a lot. Because many things to do with health are slow connections and mental health is no exception. And just because we're not good at spotting slow connections doesn't mean they're not there. Thanks for the blog ratg and top marks for being able to write it on a phone. One of the things I like about the current world is being able to sync work so something I've written at home in London can be accessed and edited on my friend's computer in Somerset. It's still not without issues but the synch aspect has been largely solved.


the room above the garage

Aug. 15, 2022, 5:28 a.m.

Hello Oli, sorry for late reply. I suppose the longer connections (re mental health) is what the graphs on here are specifically designed to show. Bet they’re under used. Syncing stuff worries me, I worry one of my blogs about my mother will end up displayed on someone’s apple tv!! But it is amazing technology. I support students and throughout the pandemic I could type up their exam papers in my house as it was spoken, it appeared on screen in front of them, accessed by an invigilator, and could be printed somewhere else all at the same time, even my edits could be monitored elsewhere (including precisely when I made them) to be sure I wasn’t giving extra support. The technology astounds and I’m aware it’s a fraction of what is out there.


Aug. 15, 2022, 6:21 a.m.

Wow Ratg - that’s incredible - what you do for support plus the access-all bit! Scary but so clever! Or the other way around!! xx

the room above the garage

Aug. 15, 2022, 3:11 p.m.

Definitely not my creation…I was only a cog in the magical wheel! Incredible indeed.


Aug. 14, 2022, 12:33 p.m.

Hello Ratg, well done for replacement blog, lack of panic re production.(I’d have been stultified I’m sure.) I enjoyed every bit of it.


the room above the garage

Aug. 15, 2022, 5:34 a.m.

I did have a bit of a panic as people kept talking to me but it all worked out in the end, just! Lovely to see you Sally.


Aug. 14, 2022, 2:46 p.m.

HI RATG A snapshot moment. Yes I am sure we can all remember plenty of those; good and bad. Some can have a more lasting effect than others. I am reminded of one of my favourite songs. "One moment in Time" by Dana Winner. Well worth seeing on You Tube. Certainly pleasurable moments should be savoured in the present and remembered for the future. Txx


the room above the garage

Aug. 15, 2022, 5:36 a.m.

That’s my ethos too Teg, bank photos now for later. Then, later, not only will i have a huge project but something good to look through.


Aug. 15, 2022, 1:44 a.m.

Thanks for your blog, ratg. I took lots of photographs of my daughter when she was growing up because I wanted to remember all her 'firsts' (the first time she had a boiled egg - what a mess! The first time she walked down the stairs unaided, etc., & record the happy times). They are nice to look back on. However, there have been three times in my life when I've seen photographs which cut me to the quick... one was of one of my abusers which I saw in a family member's house, the other was a supposedly happy time with family all smiles which was a blatant lie because of what was going on underneath, & the other was when I was a tiny child - the sad look on my face said it all when all around me was staged &, as an adult, I really felt for that little child who was me back then. I tend to take photographs of artwork & nature these days.


the room above the garage

Aug. 15, 2022, 5:43 a.m.

Nicco, I understand fully. A photo is powerful and can transport us back to a time very easily…along with minuscule details we thought were gone. I’m sorry for those photos and I understand. It takes time to fade them and they never go. One day, perhaps those specific ones will go on a bonfire. Thank you for commenting, every time you say a little bit, the power it holds lessens slightly. Love ratg x.

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