Wearing a Mask


Getting on with life

Last November I had a special birthday, and, Rick and my sister insisted on doing something even though I didn’t really want a fuss. I enjoyed the evening having the family together including Rick’s sisters being there and> one of their husbands. Two friends and their partners were there as well. My cake was enough to make me smile as it was Dr Who themed with the base representing the universe and the top halve having the T.A.R.D.I.S. and a Dalek on it. Part of one of my birthday presents is a T.A.R.D.I.S. biscuit container.

It was funny about half way through the evening as one of my (great) nieces who is 5 years old asked me when I was going to open my presents. Her mum, my niece, gently told her not to be rude and adult birthdays are different from childrens parties. Her face dropped so I asked her if she would like to help me and she immediately smiled. We had been visiting family so were able to see her on her birthday.

Thank you Olivia for making my birthday even more special, your Nanna told me that you, your sisters and cousins like opening other family members birthday presents which made me laugh. I even had help blowing out the candles on the cake from James and Amelia.

Christmas came and went quietly as usual although this time we were able to have our meal out. It isn’t the same these days unlike when we were younger.

We have been away for Rick’s birthday recently to Edinburgh. We managed to see quite a bit of the city centre but there is still more to see if we go back there. One day we went to Dundee which is really nice. The Discovery is there so we had a look round it and the museum.

Our next planned break is in November and we will be staying at Fort William. I have wanted to see that part of Scotland for many years as Glencoe is near there. I am a Macdonald descendent on my maternal line as my Nanna was one. Apparantly there is a monument for the Massacre of Glencoe so even more reason for going there.

Darkness never ending

There have been a few bright moments which have helped my mood but having a NfH (neighbour from hell) hasn’t helped. It helped initially getting an interim injunction against but then he decided to bite whilst ignoring most of why we wanted an injunction in the first place. What makes it worse is that one neighbour has decided to be really spiteful and accused me of throwing stones at the NfH and Rick took pictures of his granddaughter. Now I’m 4ft 10ins tall, have osteoarthritis which includes affecting my hands and right wrist, and, we have a six foot tall fence so it’s impossible for me to throw stones over the fence. The NfH is tall enough that he could and did chuck stones overour fence. I would never chuck stones anyway but our friend parks his car outside his home so I wouldn’t want to hit his car accidentally.

Rick has never taken pictures of any female on her own except for family and we don’t even know who is the neighbour’s granddaughter. I’ve taken pictures to prove the NfH has parked up badly, how we park up to prove we are telling the truth and from when it was very icy earlier this year. We were both made prisoners of our home a few times due to him parking up badly where we used to and not being able to get across the car park. The NfH has cancer and has claimed that he is really poorly yet if he was that poorly he would be parking outside his own home.

A handful of neighbours have signed a written paper that our cats foul in their gardens. What infuriates me is that They can’t this and at least half of them have dogs including the NfH. He has already been warned by our enforcement officer from our Housing Association that if any cat is hurt or killed he will be blamed because of his threat. There are a lot of cats on the estate and a few visit us. An immediate neighbour who also added his name has encouraged our cats to go to him so it’s his fault so has no right to complain. He also owes us money which we know we’ll never get back. Fortunately it’s a small amount otherwise we would have gone through the small claims court to get it.

I don’t care what the neighbours think of us as we haven’t to any of them much as that’s the way we like it except for the immediate neighbour who has been very pushy. He claims we should be careful with the NfH as a traveller connection over this dispute which has gone on for about 17 months so far. My response has always been that if any travellers cause us probelems then we will deal with it legally and involve the police. As the neighbour knows we are telling the truth, witnessed some of what’s gone on and knows the police have been involved he is being very foolish by being prepared to lie for the NfH. People who tell lies eventually get caught out and for once it will teach him a valuable lesson if he gets caught out.

We have been attending a new church for months now and it is one thing that is keeping me going. The only problem is I hate going out as I’m worried about what he will do.


Life is slightly better than it has been but I’m still struggling with motivation.

I eventually had a telephone appointment with one of the GPs at the surgery about my hips and lower back. Osteoarthritis has been a problem for a number of years and I have a trapped nerve n my lower back. Now I am at the point where I’m in constant pain and I struggle with standing up as I am so stiff. On Wednesday, last week, I had an x-ray so now I’m waiting to find out if my hips and lower back are worse. It is gettng me down so much.

We had retinal scans last week as well and Rck has had a letter sayng he will have another appointment in 6 months time due to chsnges wth hs eyes. I know we are due to get our eyes tested soon as well.

On Monday we were at court as we’ve had more than enough of our neighbour from hell. He didn’t attend because his ‘sister who is his carer has COVID’ and he is ‘self isolating’. I have taken that wth a pinch of salt as he is out and about regularly which includes walking his dog but I can’t call him a liar. The deputy judge tried three times and the phone went through to voicemail and one attempt he did answer then the phone went dead. It didn’t make any difference as the case went through in our favour as there is an interim injunction then in two months times there is another court appointment.

The Meaning of Life ….

People will give different answers to that and at times I really struggle with this – usually when my mood is very low. I am still having problems with sleeping so that isn’t helping either.

When I was young I thought my life would pan out like my parents and friends families but I was so wrong. I won’t blame anyone, it’s a case of circumstances that led me not having the life I thought I would have. Not understanding that I was already suffering with depression from a young age was an added problem. There was no reason for me to be depressed and I felt ashamed for feeling so low as a teenager. Maybe if I had known my life would have been much simpler.

One of the hardest parts has been not having a family of my own to raise. I was deprived the right to raise my son due to the lies I was told so I am also missing out on seeing my grandson. It hurts and I wish my son would come to terms to his issues but he is in denial. I am glad that my sister and I started talking after years of not talking but a subjuct that needs raising here. She was blessed with three beautiful girls and equally special grandchildren.


My mood has been worse over the past few weeks and I’m so tired all of the time. Sleep is a problem as well and I’m stuck for ideas to help me sleep.

One happy bit of news is we have a new great nephew called Alex who arrived two weeks early weighing 8lbs 3oz so a very good weight. I am looking forward to when we can visit family.

The not so good news is one of my cousins is seriously ill in hospital with 1% chance of survival. I haven’t since much of him and his brothers or my other two cousins since my 20’s apart from funerals and special occasions. Yet it been great to see them. It makes me think more about my mortality as the cousin in hospital is the same age as me.

Why us?

I am so fed up of a neighbour from hell and it feels like he will continually get away with his appalling behaviour. He’s back to his usual of keeping an eye for when we go out so he can get to his gate and stare. We know he will keep checking so he can do the same when we return. If we go out into the garden he will stay out in his garden until he is certain we are unlikely to stay out there.

Today we went out for a couple of hours and when we got back a wheelie bin full of rubbish had been chucked over into our garden. We believe it’s got everything to do with the neighbour from hell but we can’t prove it. The wheelie bin had been chucked over the fence from the empty bungalow next door and close to the external wall of the bungalow. We also believe it was because we have replaced our security camera which had been snapped of the wall.

It’s now 8 months that the neighbour from hell as made our lives a misery and we still don’t know why. On Monday he started his abuse again after giving it a rest for a short time. It hasn’t stopped his appalling parking because he believes it annoys us. What he doesn’t seem to understand is we can keep a better eye on our car where we park now.

On Monday I hung laundry out in the garden as it was a nice, Rick cleaned up outside and our friend was with us helping out. The neighbour from hell came out and started on the usual abuse and that dog poop was being washed outside. I went out with my phone as I had it on to record but there was only water and disinfectant running under the gate. He was still shouting abuse then started chucking stones from his garden over our fence and aiming at all three of us. A couple hit Rick but we can’t proof it so Rick turned our hose onto him which didn’t stop him immediately then he did the same with his hose.

I rang the police while this was going on but of course by the time the police came out it was too late for them to see the stone throwing. The stupid person told the police as they were walking over to us to watch where they walked due to dog poop in our garden and we have a vicious dog. The police could see there wasn’t any dog poop and our dog is so vicious he licked their hands which made them smile.

The neighbour from hell told his usual lies so we all got the usual advice about ignoring each but as I kept pointing out he ignores the advice. He is good at trying different ways of annoying us then he starts on the abuse again. The sooner the security camera is working the better as it’s an audio one and will pick up all his abuse. He was shouting at someone that we’re putting up another camera and we know he isn’t happy. Our housing enforcement officer knows we’ve put up a new camera – we had to get permission for the first one to go up – and the police know now as well. It’s just a shame it’s not on until the app for it on my phone till Rick’s managed to scan it. More the reason for believing it is the stupid neighbout trying to cause damage.

Boredom, tiredness, lack of interest ….

Now we are on our third lockdown which is stricter and at risk of fines. I do believe the police are going too far in some areas. Two women got fined just for travelling five miles for exercise and got fined for not staying local but what defines as local?

We, under normal circumstances, will travel to places such Hartlepool, Redcar and Seaton Carew just to walk the dog. That’s out of the question as we don’t want to get fined. The most stupid reason I’ve heard of so far for being fined has been for drinking cups of tea on a walk as it’s classed as a picnic even though the people were walking. I haven’t got a problem with people being fined for a good reason such as travelling well out a local area or being in a crowd but not just drinking tea on a walk.

On the other side of the coin where were the police when we went out to walk our dog?

We went to one of our favourite parks and it was so bad for parking there was a queue. There was a queue for the cafe and plenty of people were walking around a small area of the park. We decided not to stay and went on to do some shopping and collect medication. We went to our favourite butcher’s and Rick walked the dog while I went in. Normally I wouldn’t wear a proper face mask but it was horrendous in the shop and social distancing was non-existent. I am face mask exempt but will find another way to cover my mouth and nose. After reading and hearing of people being fined for stupid reasons yet today I wondered why the police couldn’t go to the park.

After the past ten months it is getting very monotonous not going far except for ten when we got away for ten days. My concentration is beginning to worsen and I am finding it hard to do one hobby for long.

2020 almost over

It’s been a strange year and I do believe we will have to get used to a new normal. We have COVID-19 to thank for this and all the idiots who didn’t abide by the rules. I am wondering how many of the idiots get the virus and potentially died as they believed they were young and healthy so didn’t think they would get it.

During the first lockdown our latest great niece was born but at the time we didn’t know when we would be able to see her. I had a chat with my sister a couple of months later on Facebook and I was able to see the angel then. My niece’s middle daughter was also there although she is very shy.

It was my sister and brother in law’s 40th wedding anniversary in May but we couldn’t go down to see them. It was tough for all the family as there were restrictions on meeting up. They look after their grandson when their daughter and son in law’s shift class so they were able to form a bubble.

We did manage to get away for ten days even though we feared a second lockdown. It was lovely to get away though and we did quite a bit of walking as the dog went with us. I was relieved we were able to spend a few days with family which included seeing the latest edition.

Since then we have had a second lockdown which hasn’t really made much difference to us and now in tier 3. Our families are in tier 4 so the rules are much stricter for them. Tier 4 may be put in place for all of the UK yet due to COVID and a new strain of it.

What ever happens 20212 can’t be much worse than our lives in 2020.

More blows for mental health

Well now we can’t go out for our Christmas meal so it’s just as well we hadn’t paid it. Not that the money matters it’s missing out on a relaxing meal in pleasant surroundings, and friendly staff being there. Fortunately we have managed to get a fresh turkey and three joints at a butcher’s at a cheaper price than the supermarkets.

It’s going to be a difficult Christmas for my sister and brother in law as they won’t be able to have a family Christmas this year with tougher restrictions there. Their youngest grandchild is coming up for 7 months old so it’s her first Christmas. We have it better than them as at least we can go out and our bubble is with our friend who lives across the road to us.

All we can hope for is next year is better than this year. My sister and brother in law couldn’t celebrate their 40th Wedding Anniversary they wanted to. We couldn’t meet our latest great niece until she was 5 1/2 months when we were able to go away for a holiday. She is adorable like all the others.

Next year one of her sisters is due to give birth to her third child which is actually a scary time for them. Their second child had Edward’s Syndrome and only lived a day which was sad for them and I am just relieved the family (including us) will never forget her. The hospital is looking after our niece due to what happened with her last pregnancy.,

I’m just struggling with severe depression and anxiety so am finding it hard to look forward to anything.

Sleep Paralysis


Sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis is when you cannot move or speak as you are waking up or falling asleep. It can be scary but it’s harmless and most people will only get it once or twice in their life.

What happens during sleep paralysis

During sleep paralysis you may feel:

  • awake but cannot move, speak or open your eyes
  • like someone is in your room
  • like something is pushing you down
  • frightened

These feelings can last up to several minutes.

Causes of sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis happens when you cannot move your muscles as you are waking up or falling asleep. This is because you are in sleep mode but your brain is active.

It’s not clear why sleep paralysis can happen but it has been linked with:

Things you can do to help prevent sleep paralysis


  • try to regularly get 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day go to bed at roughly the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning
  • get regular exercise, but not in the 4 hours before going to bed


  • do not eat a big meal, smoke, or drink alcohol or caffeine shortly before going to bed do not sleep on your back – this can make sleep paralysis more likely to happen

See a GP if:

You often have sleep paralysis and you feel:

  • very anxious or scared to go to sleep
  • tired all the time due to lack of sleep

Treating sleep paralysis

A GP may be able to treat an underlying condition that could be triggering sleep paralysis such as insomnia or post-traumatic stress disorder.

If this does not help they might refer you to a doctor who specialises in sleep conditions.

Treatment from a specialist

You might be given medicine usually used to treat depression. Taking this type of medicine at a lower dose can also help with sleep paralysis.

You might also be referred for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Page last reviewed: 3 December 2019
Next review due: 3 December 2022