Thursday, 7 February 2019

Sunshine

Sunshine and February are not words which necessarily go together in the same sentence.   But they are doing today.   And, what is more, there is just a hint of warmth in the sun in spite of a cold wind.   The weathermen tell us that there is probably more snow to come before we are finished with Winter but every day like today lifts my spirits.   I had a couple of weeks when I felt very low and on the verge of sinking into depression.   This rather scared me.   But several days when the sun has shone through the sitting room windows have lifted my spirits considerably and all is well again.

But it got me thinking about the labels we put on things these days.   Maybe I have been a SAD (seasonal affective disorder) sufferer,but if so does it help me to have a label, or does it make things worse?   I am really not sure.    The same goes for so many things these days - children are hyperactive - some have always been so as any teacher will tell you - does it help us to put a name to it? 

This is not in any way meant as a criticism - scientists and others who know what they are talking about have identified symptoms and have labelled the people with these symptoms as suffering from certain conditions.    Does it help to have a label?   I really would like more information on this.   It may well be that to say that I have been 'down' for a few days because there has not been a sign of the sun is an insult to anyone suffering from SAD - I certainly don't mean it in that way.  I really would like to know the answer the my question - does it help a sufferer from any condition like this to have a name - a label - does it mean that you know you are not alone, that there are other sufferers?

Changing the subject and returning to the problem with my tulip bulbs and their disappearance - they are still disappearing - there is no sign of any part of the bulb, just a hole in the ground where the bulb has been.   A friend I meet each morning on my dog walk tells me that she and her husband (he a keen gardener before his death) had the same problem one year, set traps and caught almost forty mice and voles.   Oh dear.   Now I have another problem - I have no desire whatsoever to kill outdoor mice and/or voles.   If they are the culprits - then let them keep eating the tulips if it means they stay alive through the last days of winter.

27 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

Having watched squirrels digging up bulbs in my partner's garden and then scampering off with them, I still believe that they are your problem. However, as you clearly don't believe in killing them perhaps you should buy a few more dozen bulbs and scatter them on the soil in the hope that those under it get left behind. I have suffered with SAD for many years and dread the on-set of every November and subsequent months.

Elise Griffith said...

I'm sure it varies from person to person, but for me, being able to identify a problem (like SAD) helps in that I can then find out what to do about it. So, I don't mind the label. We lived on a foggy strip of coastline for 15 yrs. and I had to get prescription strength vitamin D several times. We were also able to get special light bulbs that mimic sunshine, then would drive inland on weekends where the sun was shining. We moved inland a few years ago. As we consider where to retire, SAD will be a consideration. It's no different than diabetes or asthma in some regards... lifestyle changes and medicines can help a lot. For the mice/vole problem, I discovered years ago there are plants that deter them. Perhaps your gardener knows of something?

Jules said...

I always find a few days of sunshine helps brighten the spirits at this time of year. X

Diana said...

I wouldn't kill the animals either. I think you can put some screen into the ground around the bulbs when you plant and that stops voles. It is their nature to eat them.

thelma said...

Well there is always laying down of spiky material (holly) amongst the bulbs. Or (difficult) black cotton stretched from place to place over the bed, have to be pretty low with mice;). You tie it to twigs.
The problem with labelling now these days, is that everyone has to be labelled. Winter brings depression because of its gloom and darkness, the sun is always welcome and a routine Pat....

Gwil W said...

I have a rickety chair with an old cushion on it near the front door. It's not for me, but for any passing cat to rest himself in the night. I put it there after problems with mice sneaking into the cellar and nibbling the apples. It works. Cats use it. And we don't need mouse traps.

Sunlight definitely lifts my spirits. In the absence of sunshine I play happy music really loud! The kind you can't sit still to.

Beverley said...

Weave, the squirrels took my tulips. So I just do snowdrops and daffodils now. They don't eat them. Bev

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

If us adults want to give ourselves a label then that's fine, but I disagree with our imposing labels on children when they have no say in the matter, especially as I know from experience that such labels are often unhelpful and sometimes just plain wrong.

chorky2 said...

Could it be squirrels pinching your bulbs they pinch my dads. Heather

Wilma said...

Labels can be very helpful - they can help you find effective ways to cope (full-spectrum lights, vitamin D, etc) and also let you know that are not alone. On the other hand, labels can be isolating if you feel they single you out from being "normal", whatever that is. For myself, I will take what help I can get from a label, but will try not to let a label limit or define me.

When we lived in Minnesota, we gave up on tulips because the deer and chipmunks ate all the bulbs. The daffodils were never bothered by the animals. Hope enough of your tulips survive.

Rachel Phillips said...

Yes. Overkill. I bet you will still gets lots of flowers. SAD comes in various degrees like everything. Serious depression like this needs help and/or a lamp, less serious not so.

the veg artist said...

I can cope with rain (just as well here in very wet West Wales), but low pressure really gets to me. Never heard of a label for that, though.
Losing your tulip bulbs is disappointing - we need every little green shoot to look forward to at the moment. Were you able to grow them on the farm, or is this the first time you've planted them? Years ago we planted a camelia bush, just an ordinary one, and the first spring it had 17 flowers in bud. I counted them! Then, one Sunday morning, a squirrel ate every single one!!!

Derek Faulkner said...

As Rachel suggests, clearly you will still get some flowers but to go to the trouble of buying specific varieties and then taking the time to plant them, only to then see just a percentage of them flower, is disheartening in my book - SAD even.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone. Fascinating comments both on the tulip question and on the labelling.

Bonnie said...

The only advantage I see to a label is if it comes with a diagnosis which means the problem can then be treated.

I wonder if bulbs could be dipped in a very bitter or hot spice type coating before planting in order to deter the animals from stealing them? Of course it would be my luck the animal would like the flavor!

Heather said...

What a shame to have to sacrifice all your lovely tulip bulbs to feed hungry mice, voles and or squirrels. Perhaps if you strew peanuts all round your garden they will be satisfied and leave the bulbs alone!
I'm not sure about labelling sufferers of various conditions. We are all so different and some would take comfort from it while others may not. I suppose it is always helpful to know exactly what one's ailment is, so that we can look for the correct treatment.
It has been very bright at times today interspersed with heavy showers, and a biting wind.

goldensunflower7 said...

Hey hun, Sometimes (especially with children with special needs at school) a label is required. I was a secretary to an Educational Psychologist. Children were put forward to be *statemented* -this meant that if agreed after many reports from specialists, social workers etc the child would get a money pot to pay for the additional help that there school would need in order to ensure that the childs needs would be met. This could be physical (ie a nurse to administer medication or if they had a feeding tube) to emotional - help with learning maybe one to one.Without a label the child had no special financial support in school.With adults I don't think a label is required.If you feel that you don't want to venture out it is okay to be kind to yourself and have a *duvet day*. Winter is a time to eat heart warming dinners and puds!! Also to do indoor hobbies. When spring comes its time to venture out and enjoy the spring sunshine on your face and for me to grow things on my allottie (allotment) *hugs* Goldensunflower.

Sue said...

Both Pete and my mother have Vitamin D deficiency and have to take supplements. The doctor told Pete that it is very common in our area. I agree that labels do help if they help you find solutions to your problems. And while I do think there are labels that need to be assigned to children so that we ensure they get the extra help they need, it is important to reassess them often. I have also felt that there are labels that gain popularity at one point in time and are then over-diagnosed. For instance about 15-20 years ago, I knew of 2 individuals who were wrongly diagnosed as being bipolar, and both were therefore incorrectly medicated. Both are now healthy individuals and they both believe they had been suffering from depression.

Joanne Noragon said...

I do hope your little varmints overlook more bulbs than they eat.

Cro Magnon said...

Over here, our weather changes at about 11 am. It can be really foul in the early morning, then at 11 am the sun shines.

Librarian said...

We had the sunshine that felt already a bit warm on the Monday, it was a lovely day, as was Tuesday. Only I could not "do" much with it as I was cooped up in the office until 5:00, and sunset is around 5:30 here now. Ah well, let's hope the weekend does indeed bring the mild 11C that are forecast!
As for labelling, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it seems often a bit too easy to label everything, and not everything and everyone can (or shuold) be labelled clearly.
On the other hand, I remember how relieved I was when finally a doctor put a name to what I had: my endless back pains, which I had since I was about 15 years old, were due to scoliosis. Knowing what it was made it easier to tackle, and tackle it I did!

Frugal in Essex Tania said...

Labels have always been around. At least the labels now seem to have an element of science and research being them. Someone with ADD would have just been a naughty disruptive person, a dyslexic would have been a dunce or thicko, not very nice terms but nevertheless used. Labels help people by giving them a reason why they behave or act or indeed are a certain way.

I hope you still get to benefit from some of your bulbs.

Rachel Phillips said...

I read a couple of weeks ago in the Times, you probably did too, that the original research into ADHD told a few fibs in the USA and the research found no medical reason for ADHD although it said it did and for years children have been given medication, seriously strong adult medication, based on this research. So it is not all a bed of roses. Perhaps they were just disruptive and naughty after all and needed a clip round the ear.

Derek Faulkner said...

I had a distant relative who as a young adult was sent to the Workhouse because, as her entry notes stated "she was disruptive and difficult to deal with". Eventually they moved her on to a mental asylum where she stayed until she died.

Carol said...

It's not mice or voles that eat my bulbs around here, it's ground squirrels and gophers. Just a difference in local fauna. I've had to give up on everything except daffodils and narcissus--those they leave alone. I tried tulips in pots, and they dug them up from the pots. I have lots of yellow around here in the spring, but no lovely tulips or hyacinths. On labels: I'm autistic, but didn't know until I was 55. Knowing what it is helps me learn about how to cope with it, but I think labeling young children and treating them as if something were wrong is not doing them any favor.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Derek - not all that unusual years ago sadly.
Essex Frugal - I agree with that.
Librarian - interesting how much that diagnosis helped, and a real plus for labelling.
Sunflower - a very good point about financial support in schools.

Thanks everyone for taking an interest.

Rachel Phillips said...

Labels sticks. Better to be the thicko in class than get the label "has learning difficulties". Stays for life and is horrible. No, I do not like labels.