Of unexpected fog forecasts, children’s card games and broken watches

I went to Whitby Goth today and had a nice time of it, admiring the steampunks, Scots, Vikings and other assorted eccentrics. Which is surprising, since my day started out very bad.

Surprise mid-sleep panic attack bad.

I’d been having chest pains on and off for a few days, which was a harbringer of my first serious panic attack and luckily nothing worse. So I was expecting another to strike, but surely the Anxiety Fairy could have blessed me with it at a different time. I think she decided that the stress of work should come down on me hard. My first experience led to me searching Madame Internet for a bit of control over them. For the fast heartbeat, swallow ice cold water in such a way it touches the very back of your throat. That will trigger a nerve that will slow it down. In the meantime, hyperventilate into a paper bag or whatever’s to hand.

So that was sorted, but I didn’t get back to sleep for a good long while and I walked around in a fog for most of the day- that of the mind and of the sky. We were stricken with regular showers of hail (not too common in early November, even in North Yorkshire), sometimes softening into freezing pseudosnow. The usual info centre had closed down and relocated since we were gone, so we headed down the road to the new location to try and get a bit of shelter.

Only to find it was closed.

So we decided to grab a drink in the train statio- oh, the cafe just closed!

So we sat around in the freezing cold with only a basic prewar canopy over our heads. Pneumonia City, here I come!

In an earlier, yet more successful, attempt to beat the cold we walked into a fish and chip shop by the name of Terrys. The fish was fairly well-battered and the chips nicely done, but it wasn’t the best I’d ever tasted. I felt a bit dizzy at points during the meal, and here I would like to point out that it was the mindfog dulling my senses and not the cod!

From cod to God. There were a few Christians handing out pro-Jesus leaflets, most likely in a bid to convert the evil gawffs who, in between steampunk cons, gather at midnight during a full moon and sacrifice newborn puppies to Satan. In case you didn’t get the irony, one of my best friends in sixth form was a devout Christian (the daughter of a minister for that matter) and wouldn’t have looked out of place there. Yet this is usually to be expected. Anything that doesn’t fit with their narrow one-man-one-woman-whose-place-is-giving-birth-and-wearing-ankle-length-britches-while-defending-the-egg’s-right-to-personhood worldview is dismissed as satanic, which fundamentalists have 200 words for.

And yes, I bought stuff. There was not as much on offer that there has been, and many of the items were out of my price range. My favourite is the necklace shaped like the titular Death Note which also doubles as a watch… I found out seconds after buying it that it needed a new battery. It’s not a massive problem though, watch batteries are easy to find and insert, but I was just that little bit miffed. I also bought an RAF roundel patch to add to my denim jacket one day, as well as a Zelda keyring and a pack of Pokémon cards. I have never played the TCG competitively unless you count the GBC game, and hope to join TCG Online one of these days. I get a free online booster just for buying it, which hardly makes up for reducing pack size to ten and putting a shiny in every pack. I remember when finding a shiny was an event up there with winning the World Cup. Now Concerned Parents™ don’t want their kids forking out tens of thousands of their currency in order to get just that one card so they ruined it for collectors.

On the way back, I had a Schrödinger’s Sleep. Sometime after grazing Leeds on the A1, maybe level with Huddersfield or Pontefract, I blinked to find myself forwards in time by around thirty minutes and most likely in Thorpe Hesley, on the northern edge of Sheffield, on the M1. I have a job sleeping in anything that isn’t a bed so if indeed I dozed off, I must have been tired. For a while I felt refreshed, but now I’m starting to cloud over again and I must take my leave to reenter the Land of Nod properly for the first time since 11am on Friday.

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