Inside the Bottle: Broken Cork

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I actually started to write this in the second week of this year.

It is now the 29th March.

I have looked at this piece on and off for a few weeks now… asking myself the questions, do I bare my soul? Do I protect my thoughts and feelings, or do I just “be me”?

Be me won… in case you’re wondering!!

Today I am admitting to myself, and to you, that there are very few things certain in life at this point in time. That is why I reach out for and to the things that give me comfort… one of them being wonderful memories, accompanied by something special in a glass. Well you would if you could, and I can, so I do.

So as I review this before I post it, I am sat with a special something beside me, I am taken in by its aroma… I take it in my hand and swirl its delicious nectar round the glass, watching the light catching the liquid, it highlights the familiar colour I must have seen more times than I dare admit…I’m watching the legs lazily drifting downwards. I sip… the satisfaction of taking that liquid into my mouth once more. I let it play on my tongue and it reminds me why I love it…

I trust my senses.

I also have trust that kindness still exists… we see it so much at the moment. I know hard times pass too…I am sat here typing this. Living proof.

As I have “said” so to speak, it is more important than ever that this is the time to look after each other… do what we can remotely. Ask how people are, be there if they need contact. Listen, talk or send a message, or whatever it needs to be… to be kind. To not feel alone. To be safe x

I popped out into my garden earlier, I have a couple of robins and great tits that visit each day, so I filled my feeder. It was so still outside.

No planes, no choppers, no cars, just birds and the wind. It’s quite surreal. A mix of beautiful peace amidst the panic and worry of this moment.

I’ve never felt so far away (from friends and loved ones), and yet so close to people as we face this the world over.

Stay safe. Keep your spirits up and know where I am if you need me x x x

Those feelings I felt in January of course faded away…which I knew they would. Any other angst pales into insignificance while we wait to see how the next few months play out. Others have already written about this, so I will leave you to read their’s…

The Broken Cork

You’re about to open a new bottle, you remove the seal, give the stopper a gentle pull and oops…it comes off in your hand, the cork broke. Oh, bollocks… AND you want to share it… what would you do? Well once upon a time I used a clean pair of nail scissors to gently prise it out.. it worked, you will have to believe me!!

I guess “broken (corks)” can translate to other things too. Maybe you don’t agree, maybe you don’t have to agree. But I think they might do… they can be broken parts of us. We can all feel a little broken at times. I mentioned I was writing this piece to a friend, and she kind of realised that it can mean us in life too…I guess she has an insight into me.

The good news is, it can be fixed (forgotten.)

I am a thinker (and admittedly an over-thinker on occasion too.) I’m a dreamer. A doer. A hard worker. A lover. A confidant. A problem solver, yep, cue the sleepless nights when my brain ever so kindly works through each and every possibility of whatever scenario has been posed. Argh!!! I’m a carer too, in as much as I do care for and about others…I am sure there is maybe a little more to me than that too?’s January. There’s one every year.

The start of the years since 1992 have always had the ability to leave me with more of a chill than the weather causes… there are some dark memories. These feelings are there subconsciously, but sometimes the feelings can reappear. You have to believe me when I say, that although I’ve squished the memories of them into little boxes and jettisoned them into oblivion… there at times they creep up on me!! I reckon this was/is probably caused by some similar news stories in the media, which is why I don’t tend to get too involved in the news.

The sadness and hurt you once felt can prick at your thoughts. However, I won’t elaborate on the finer details, but the earlier of the two events left me wishing I had parents who cared. (I’m the one who shows love and care…through words or actions, as any caring person would.) Yet, here I was, alone and scared stiff. I fell face first into a nervous breakdown while being prescribed beater blockers and anti depressants. Painfully aware that I had to cope with the aftermath of events by myself, while those around me cared more for an “unknown entity” rather than their 21 year old daughter. (The unknown entity I refer to is “God” – since I started writing this, there have been reports in the news about a certain religion and their “ways” of (so definitely not) handling situations…)

The second thing (roughly 10 years later) that can rear its head was the breakdown of my first marriage. After kicking his sorry arse out I had to (try to) look after myself… I kind of (did) took it badly, my health took a nosedive. Not that I miss him in the slightest, never have, never will. It was the trust that had been lost… It was simply the feeling of the darkness of looking for a way outand my helping to make someone see that sadly these things happen, was what brought it to the fore this year.

This piece isn’t me looking for pity. It’s more of an introspective. This is me thinking about trust. This is me thinking out loud. Questioning life…working stuff out.

Maybe it is because it was January? Maybe it is because I’m getting a lot of unhelpful reminders at present. This came from someone who appears to delight in reminding me that “you have a lot on your plate, Sarah” also not long after they then said “oh, these are the two blue weeks, the first two in January”. Proffered information I’d rather not hear… like a few Sunday’s back… “have you seen the life / happiness curve, and how we are at the lowest point of that curve….?” No. No. NO. And I’ll admit it, none of that helps, and, well, I feel fragile.

I know I shouldn’t, but I do. It’s horrible. I feel very alone…

These times might be seldom, they might be more often. There are New Years and January’s that don’t affect me. Most don’t. This one did. Probably my own damn fault… C’est la vie!!

I ask people how they are, check up on others. I worry when it’s probably not my place to.. but this is me – Smiley ‘I wear my heart on my sleeve’ Smoggy.

I question SO much…you might not realise that, but I do. I am a people watcher, and I watch interactions and all that kinda stuff… I see some applauded while others are almost left scratching their heads going “and?” Other’s speak their mind and yep, that works well for them…NOT !! So many opinions abound… forced opinions especially, and these get “right on my tits!!”.

The whisky community can be a huge source of enjoyment and friendship…on the whole. I know I have been quiet, I am trying not to be. I feel like I have been a little too quiet for a little too long… I’ll be honest, I have sent a couple of “have I offended you in some way” messages, because some I really would have honestly called friends, the ones who supported me in the past… said hello, interacted, well they don’t seem to be there now. And maybe I shouldn’t give a monkeys either, but I do.

So as I post this today (31st March) after a day spent lost in thoughts and photos, I recall the good times, I recall some memorable whiskies, and I take heart at the good that is out there…

My heart has been gladdened to see some wonderful news on my timeline from friends that have new and truly well deserved roles, and others who have won awards. That really makes me smile. We need to celebrate this kind of news, and especially so at the moment, but we should be delighted to see this at any time too!!

All that is left to say is that although we fall down, the important thing is to get back up again… and I will. Never lose hope…

Credits to Beau Taplin


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