Bat-Van Page 3
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Encounter in Scotland (Page 3)
When I woke the following morning, Van was missing! At first I thought she was in the bathroom or something... but then I found a scribbled note saying she couldn't sleep right and had gone for an early morning walk.  I was worried. When my honey goes for early morning walks it normally means she's in a very bad way... you know... in a kind of stupor!
I found her in the cemetery. She hardly seemed to notice me as I approached. She just sat, no coat on, and let the stillness and cold morning seep into her as it had into the statues and stones of that quiet place for centuries past. 
I spoke to her gently: "Come on Honey, its cold here. Lets both go back and have a cup of tea in that warm room you like at the guest house."
I knew the way she was seeing things was distorted - like everything was too big and complicated and closing in on her! She had explained it to me many times before when she was over these periods of melancholy. 

Deep people go ultra-introspective when they get the blues and if you don't help 'em fight it, things just get worse!

Back at the Kirklea, we had breakfast, then I got Van to shower - water as hot as she could bear it! I wasn't certain about showing my loved one quite so revealing on our pages but she says (now she's better) - there's nothing bad in this shot. Van says it is important that people realize the few things which help people strike back at depressive illnesses... and that hot baths and showers help break the numbness and pain cycle! 

I'll go by what she says on this. Meanwhile, I was planning a better way to get her mind focused back onto the outside world, the only way I knew how! 

The rest of that Sunday was kinda lost. We went up the road for an hour to help Mol and Anne set up the Mic-UK Exhibition at Georgie farm. Mol and I had a quiet chat about how bad Vanessa seemed to be. He was as concerned as me but thought my plan was a good one. He phoned Andrew to make sure he was prepared to help by sending the special thing I'd asked for. Apparently, Andrew had sent it within an hour of my phone call.
Van was much better during the day but in the evening she drifted away again. She sat on the bed almost motionless staring into thin air. I sat next to her and I told her something special: "Honey..." I said, " yer remember the stuff we found on the car yesterday? Well those little blobs are a special sign of something: BATS!" 

I'm not saying here to you folks that this had any dramatic effect or anything, but I knew she was hearing me and I knew, normally, she would be intrigued by the mention of these little critters. 

I talked to her until very late.  

"The stuff on the car... they're 'droppings': a sure sign, I reckon, that the old church across the road is a nesting place for 'em. Most people don't see bats," I told her, "because they are very small and only normally fly around when the light fails!" 

I said: "You and me Van, we got a chance here to do a bit of studying and get to know more about bats. How would you like that honey?" 

She nodded here and there as though she was picking up on what I was saying. I got her into bed, and tucked the blankets up nice and safe around her. As I lay there next to her wondering if my plan  would help, I stroked her hair and whispered quietly to her about all the exciting things we were going to do together. When I was sure she was asleep and wouldn't hear me... I cried silently for the pain I felt at seeing someone as vibrant and warm as my Vanessa going through so much agony. I must've cried more than I thought 'cos her hair was damp at the back when we woke Monday morning!  

She seemed a bit more lively at breakfast. As we sat and drank tea, Moira - who runs Kirklea - came in to say a package had arrived for us from Andrew Syred. Vanessa kept quizzing me about it over breakfast... but I told her it was a surprise and she couldn't see it yet! 

Mind you, just to try and tease her curiosity, I told her it was a special thing that was going to help us become aware of something that most people never get to witness. I kind-off like the 'awareness' thing because this was a word she was bound to associate with! 

The rest of the day we spent in Edinburgh. I bought Van some new clothes and she seemed a lot more with-it but still kinda tired and dazed looking. Back at the guest house, I told her we were going out for the evening and to dress up. As we left Kirklea, I suggested we take a short-cut to the bus-stop through the church grounds. Van agreed. 
As we walked past the church, I stopped sharply, turned to Van and said, "Shhsh... listen honey... what do you hear?" 

"Silence," she said, "just the still night!" 

In my pocket, was the thing Andrew had sent. I  switched it on, removed it quickly, and pointed it towards the black sky, saying: "Now what do you hear..?"



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