Subliminal rail road to nowhere fast

On the first morning of my recent stay at Villa Van Gogh, still reeling from the night’s fun and games and the raw impression of being wheel-chaired from the Emergency ward I could still fool myself I was doing the right thing.

All my swagger and Devil may care bollocks soon evaporated though when I realised how, after all those decades of near-misses I was now going to enter those actual doors marked Mental Health In-patients.

It was a sort of homecoming and I now realise that long and winding road which had always bedazzled me never did lead to a mysterious person I’d lost along the way or a star-crossed One that Got Away or even a Love-ya-Long Time (yes, please!).

It was always meant to lead me right there, not to any one person waiting for me with arms outstretched or anything that fanciful. It was a place – these ominous inward swinging doors to Hades Hospital.

However, I was fortunate enough to have a nurse with me all day in the beginning of this trip down memory pain. Or I should say I lucked out? Because my guardian carer/keeper proved to be a wonderfully gentle, yet strong no nonsense male nurse.

Slowly waking up, with my bruised senses reacquainting themselves with me one by one, I thought I could make out some very faint music in the distance somewhere, no doubt emanating from an approaching cleaner’s movable workstation..

The lovely thing about being a natural born Psychonaut & Paranoiac Black Belt Sensei is one’s highly-strung faculties, while obviously too often distorted, honed too finely or not at all, tend to easily reach much farther (or further, both are acceptable. I prefer farther) than those of most level-headed daylight types.

I couldn’t be entirely certain but before I could make out that familiar, unique and eminently evocative crystallic voice so loved by my Dutch family, and for me in hard times invariably signifying a subtle message from my dear late Dad, I knew it was …

“Hey, do you hear that?” I asked B.

“Eh .. yeah. I can try to find what the artist is if you like?” this lovely nurse offered, Samsung at the ready.

And, as a proud nephew to some of his Gurkha-legacied uncles now residing in old London town, B. of course was flexed and ready to use his device once it had been brought out.

“No, thank you, though, B.”

“I know the artists, I’m just puzzled by the celestial playlist on this occasion,” I murmured.

I’m still intrigued. It did the trick though and my tears were a welcome balm.

And now, while the double-whammy killer blows of two heavy-duty pieces of bad news still don’t seem to have registered with anyone ‘close’ to me, I find myself very close to jumping on – not in front of – any old train, plane or automobile out of here.

Surely, there must be a place somewhere this side of the Pearly Gates where even an odd  one such as Captain Foolheardy may find a smile waiting for him without any billable hours needing to be involved?

Maybe there just isn’t, and don’t call me Shirley …

Haven’t heard anything in response to my plans to offer to collaborate on that guideline for mental health staff faced with YOPD pilgrims. Sent an upbeat, in-depth and extensive email to the Ward’s social worker.

I suppose my perception here must have been off-balance too. 

You end up feeling so exposed every time you let your guard down and trust. But then I imagine they wouldn’t need to collaborate and have me needlessly darken those infamous doors like Banquo’s ghost. I sort of put it all out there on the site already.


A very nice chap who delivered a very generous hamper before I’d taken myself for a short break at Inferno Holidays, sent me an email last Saturday morning.

Timed perfectly to arrive in my inbox just as I’d launched my polite compliant low-voiced campaign to perhaps at some point later that day have the issue addressed of Muggins still having to lie in his own filth and not having being able to have a wash, it read something like,

“Hi Richard, how are you? It’s just K. here. What a magnificent looking day. What are your plans for the weekend? I hope they include being out in the sun. I hope to go for a cycle and take advantage of the great weather. You mentioned your family in an earlier email, are they in Sydney? I have a son and a daughter both living in Sydney.”

“I’m in mental inpatients at RNS. Social worker here will contact P. on Monday. Thank you K. You don’t have to do anything. Maybe say a prayer.

Cheers mate,



No one ever said there’s no humour, even deep within The Abyss.



Sorry it’s getting a tad esoteric now but what other highly meaningful (for my family members and me, that is) Seekers song do we know in which the imagery of a departing train looms large?

Can’t believe I was that obtuse! Okay, will give Muggins a pass I think. I wasn’t exactly in my right mind that morning ..

Apologies, my dear sisters (and little Bro) and nieces & nephews, here we go once more. “All aboard, mind The Gap..”






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