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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale


First time that I’ve named a piece of my writing after the month in which it is written. That’s not remotely important to even anybody who cares, but I suppose this will be something of the last month of summer 2019.

Well depending on which definition of ‘summer’ you are going for… Going all anorak about it, the meteorological autumn begins on the 1st of September. Whereas, I’d always tend to plump for the concept that the season changes in line with the equinox – where day and night are exactly the same length – passing. According to trusted google, this shan’t be until the 23rd of September this year. Anyway, I’d never lose any sleep over it, though to me it is just a poignant example of how nothing in life can ever be straightforward. Alas.

Seasonal debate aside, I can’t say I’ve had much of a time that’s felt like a real summer. Without wishing to bring out a sob-story. Don’t get me wrong, there have been fun and exciting experiences, but just not quite in line with that traditionally constitutes that camp and carefree ‘footloose and fancy free’ happy sunshine feeling.

Partly this can be seen as a reflection of the fact that until the latter half of this month, the weather seemed in accordance with the view of my late Nan, who said something along the lines of “August always feels a rainy month!”

Without too much pathetic fallacy, I certainly felt that I was going (mostly putting myself!) through the mill a bit; definitely felt some flux. Mostly in that old tried and tested existential sense of “where exactly my life going?” Without wanting to sound overly self-important, I think that we all must face this limbo at times. Fear and excitement being intrinsically linked is widely accepted and welcome, only I just felt a little stuck in the middle in a sort of ungratifying no-man’s land.

It was definitely a first-world problem that I was having the supposed luxury of experiencing, yet this by no means felt to discredit it.

As I have written about before, I have ceased my relationship with the Counselling field. I’ve already disclosed enough of the reasoning towards my bitterness and resentment felt towards City Lit College’s therapeutic department in a previous blog-post and how for better or worse, this has transcended towards the entire pseudo-scientific money making exercise. I could go on about this until the cows come home and I could just pretend that I don’t want to subject people, only the reality is that I just can’t summon the energy or enthusiasm. Perhaps with some more invaluable hindsight, I’ll be able to celebrate being free of what I regard as a corrupt practice, without having completely sacrificed myself.

Almost definitely won’t be getting a response from City Lit about the complaint letter that I have sent and then predict that I’ll almost inevitably have to take it further to the ABC examination body. This will be painful, but I think worth every effort. Vengeance (nothing sweeter than revenge!) aside, I think that they need to be held to account. Benevolently, this should help to protect potential future students. More malevolently, I just want to inflict upon them some of the prolonged stress that they were all too oblivious – as such 'feeling' counsellors all too often are – inducing.

So this leaves me in a bit of a switch career wise. The rug was swept from under my feet counselling wise and always needing to be well occupied, I found myself feeing rather as though I’d been thrust into a precarious position of uncertainty. It could be exciting, though I think that any job-hunter will testify to the process being adequately soul-destroying and one-way. It’s the nature of the beast, though being at the right place at the right time along with nepotism are always seeming benefactors of the employment world.

I’ve managed to find a couple of rewarding appearing options, though I am not going to disclose anything about these potential vocations until I have something definitely definite!

All in all, August has then been pretty positive. Perhaps a real turning point to this came when I had a glorious long-weekend in Paris. I stayed at all too newly established Loft Hostel in the all too hip and trendy 20th arronsdissement. I honestly had absolutely no idea of this, as reluctant as the friends that I was visiting were to believe this, I had no idea that wondrous Belleville (beautiful town sounds a bit corny if you ask me!) had not been known to me before. Mais, c’est vrai…

My all too broken French got plenty of practise; for better or for worse. Still, I love speaking it and I can just about manage to follow conversation that has been dictated by me the je suis perdu. Being lost is something that my sense of direction has always ensured that I have plenty of practise.

An entire blog could be written about my joyous time in Paris, but there are limits to how interesting somebody else’s travel tales are… All that I can say is that I enjoyed exploring some outer parts of the city that I’d never experienced before such as Saint-Ouen et Le Chateau De Vincennes. Highlights to me always constitute the nightlife and you’re never short in Paris and these included the wonderful Floreal bar/restaurant seconds from my hostel, le Chat Ivre in the all too vibrant Bastille area. These posts have far too weak a following to allow me to be in danger of spoiling the exclusivity of a venue.

Probably, my piece du résistance was at the free-entry and all too reasonably priced Les Disquaires, where my nostalgic love of early noughties hip-hop surprised me and I’m sure the DJ who was faced with consecutive requests that he’s never even heard of! #djpiedpiper #sonique #danielbedingfield

Suffice to say that a short trip away is just what I needed and I can certainly leave August with things a little more in perspective. Always sad to see summer go, but seasons seem to change in the blink of an eye to an ever wannabe sage old man.

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