49 Days In 1988: Week 10 – Battle

Click here to read the first week of this feature, and follow the links at the end of each post.


London – March 8th, 1988

Depression tried all it could to come out of me at work today. However, I fought back and didn’t allow it to win. Battle won?

On my way home, I had time to think and just happened to look at my reflection in the window of the tube carriage. I’ve never really looked at myself so closely before and, when I got home, I stood in front of the mirror for what seemed liked ages, studying myself. I kept telling myself that allowing depression to win was a waste of time and that, as a person, I have a lot to offer. Afterall, I’m not that bad looking, am I?

Within seconds, my self-confidence showed up and, while I went and had a bath, I let ‘depression’ and ‘self-confidence’ battle it out in my room. It was like an egg slowly cracking because, when I came back to my room, I felt completely different about myself.  Not only that, but the room seemed lighter which, in turn, made my world seem brighter.

I feel changes on the horizon. Visiting new places will put me in contact with new people. I feel confident that new people are about to come into my life. These last four days and nights have been a nightmare, but I think I’ve finally come through this unsettling period of my life.

Just before sitting down to write this entry in my diary,  I checked the adverts in ‘Time Out’ and decided that while I wait for any replies to my advert, I’d respond to one of the adverts somebody else has placed. There can’t be any harm in doing that, can there?

#London #music #bloggers #city #LGBTQI #LGBT


Welcome to this new feature for 2018 on Hugh’s Views and News. In this feature, I’ll be sharing snippets from my diary of 1988. We’ll also take a trip in Hugh’s Music Time machine to hear some songs from the 1980s which have been chosen by some specially invited guests.

This week my guest is the author, writer, blogger and poet, Annette Rochelle Aben. Like all my guests, Annette was asked to choose a random date and chose the 8th March (her Sister’s birthday). So, the above entry from my diary comes courtesy of Annette.

#books #poetry #author #blogger #haiku
Writer, author, blogger and poet, Annette Rochelle Aben

I’ve always hesitated when it comes to writing poetry. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things I find to write. Annette was one of the first poets I came across in the blogging world. Every week, I regularly see her publish a haiku in response to the haiku challenge set by Ronovan at RonovanWrites. Click here for this week’s challenge. I became tempted to have a go myself and, several weeks later, published my first haiku.

Annette is the host of the wonderful show, Tell Me A Story, over on The Magic Happens internet radio station where she introduces guests from the world of blogging and writing. She even asked me to appear on the show and, although hesitant at first, I accepted her invitation, sat in the hot seat, and had a great time answering her questions. You can listen to the show by clicking here.

Annette has just published a brand new book, A Haiku Perspective 2018, in honour of the birth anniversary of her sister Lorraine Parent.

#books #poetry #haiku
A Haiku Perspective 2018 by Annette Rochelle Aben. Artwork by Lorraine Parent

As a talented artist, Lorraine drew the cover art for the book cover. I can see why Annette was delighted with the results.

Click here to buy A Haiku Perspective 2018.

Lorraine also sculpted the Bird Fairy which is on the cover of Annette’s book A Haiku Perspective 2015.

#poetry #books #haiku

Click here to buy A Haiku Perspective 2015.

Connect with Annette




Amazon Author Page

Annette’s song choice from the 1980s is ‘And She Was’ by Talking Heads

Released in 1985, ‘And She Was’ was written by David Byrne for the Talking Head’s album Little Creatures. It tells the story of a woman who has the power to levitate above the ground to check out all her neighbours from a bird’s eye view. It reminds me a little of some of the dreams I’ve had when I’ve found myself looking down at myself sleeping in bed. The song reached number 54 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.A, and number 17 on the UK’s singles charts.

I wonder what I would have seen had I levitated on March 8th, 1988 and watched the battle between depression and self-confidence take place? Do you have a favourite song that’s connected with flying? Share a link to it in the comments.

Next week, while one problem comes to an end, a new one looms on the horizon. Is it time to ‘come out’ to the family? Click here to go to the next diary entry.

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  1. I’m familiar with those battles, having had a few myself. It really does feel like a huge weight has been lifted when you win, doesn’t it?

    Great song- I’ve always liked it. And thank you for the intro to Annette!

  2. Isn’t it amazing that we have the power to talk ourselves up just as easy as it is to talk ourselves down?
    Loved this fun song choice by Annette and love the cover! ❤ Hugs to you both! xx

  3. What happened those previous four days in your diary, Hugh? This is a great way to let the imagination of the reader take over. Glad depression lost. I often imagine my spirit soaring above to see all those insignificant people, like me, live an ant-like life.

    As far as the Talking Heads go, I like their music. But, as a Belgian without knowledge of English for the longest time, I never listened to the lyrics of any music (and I still rarely do now). I either liked or disliked songs based on their rythm.

    Annette and her sister sure seem like a talented team!

    1. I agree, Liesbet. The imagination is a big gift we all have. Just imagine if I asked everyone to put their thoughts down on what they think happened during the gaps in these diary entries. I think we’d have several incredible stories on our hands. 😀

  4. I enjoyed Annette’s song choice, especially since I don’t remember it 🙂 Lively beat and intriguing theme. The analogous feature of this series is engaging, Hugh. You are indeed a fascinating person to be able to pull 49 comparable entries from your diary ❤

    1. Thank you, Tina. I have to thank my guests for that, though. They were the ones that chose the dates. Without them, I don’t think this feature would have been as successful. I’m so glad you’re all enjoying it. 💕

  5. I liked your entry this week, Hugh. I’m happy you won the battle with depression that time. It’s difficult to get away once depression has you in its grasp. It’s lovely to see Annette here! Love the song she chose, it’s so cheery. 😀 Her sister is very talented. Have a great Friday and weekend!

  6. An interesting snippet from your diary, Hugh. I’m pleased your lightness of spirit won over your depression. It was nice to meet Annette here and find out a bit more about her. Your podcast sounds interesting well done. I saw many other podcasts there with people I know too. You’re in good company. I remember this piece of music chosen by Annette. It’s a catchy tune.

  7. I liked that part in your diary entry, Hugh where you said you knew more people would come into your life. Prophetic!
    I bet you never guessed back then how many people you’d “meet” through your blog 🙂

    1. Back then, I was hiding my writing, so there was no chance of it bringing people into my life, Aimer. Thank goodness I discovered ‘blogging’ in February 2014. Now, I can’t seem to stop sharing what I write and, yes, it has brought so many new people into my life. I’m very thankful for that.

  8. It is good to defeat the opponent of depression, Hugh. I have battled this from time to time and I find adding bacon to my eggs helps. 😉 Love the intro to Annette. I love that she is so close to her sister and her message is marvelously postiive.

        1. I think it is an acquired taste, Hugh, and now that I’ve acquired it milk chocolate and white chocolate are not as appealing. Though I won’t pass them up if that’s all I have available. 😉

  9. My favorite song connected to flying is Hayley William’s ‘Airplane’. You can view/listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn6-c223DUU.
    Annette – Thank you for the great song choice and the chance to read a little more about you.
    Hugh – Now I really want to know what happens with those Time Out ads!!

    1. Thanks for the great song choice, Donna. It’s not one I’ve heard before.
      By the time we get to the next diary entry, I’m still waiting for replies to the advert. I’d forgotten that, back then, they could take weeks before they appeared in print. All before the days of the internet, of course. 😱

        1. This is funny. That is exactly the way I keep myself upright when times get really rough and challenging. I think of the time in 6 months from then, knowing it will all be over and solved by then and how glad I will be looking back that it is not 6 months before.

  10. I an sense so much positivity in this entry Hugh, I think you won your battle over depression!
    As for a flying song..
    Got to be R Kelly I believe I can fly!

  11. Hi Hugh,
    Okay, now last weeks entry makes sense with this one. Depression is a battle I have fought all my life. Even now. Yet, after years of fighting and a few sessions with a shrink, I now know the signs and how to fight against it if it goes too far. Sometimes it is okay to let yourself indulge in a blue day.
    I have always believed that a person’s eyes are the gateway to their soul. I’ve looked at myself in the mirror before and not always liked what I saw. Have you ever stood and made eye contact with yourself? It’s a weird sensation. It can also force you to look deep into yourself. Try it sometime.
    I follow Annette and she has been really supportive of my writing. I like you have been a guest on her podcast. I also have wanted to learn to write Haiku but haven’t taken the effort yet.
    Now I wait for the next entries hoping you find that “Mr. Right’ or at least a playmate. HUGS

    1. I think I made eye contact with myself that day, Chuck. In fact, I also, sometimes, look at myself and tell myself what I think. It’s always helped me. 😀
      Sorry to hear about your battle with depression. I’m fortunate in that it only seemed to pay me a visit during my younger years. I’m not sure when exactly it last paid me a visit, so maybe what I did back in 1988, to tackle it, did help?
      For a short period of time, I was writing haikus on a weekly basis. Now they seem to have eluded me.
      Hope the writing is going well.
      Hugs to you.

  12. I wondered who had beaten me to the 8 March spot Hugh😉 It is my birthday! Thank you for sharing more on your journey and introducing us to Annette and Talking Heads. I wonder what happens next…

  13. Love this, Hugh: I let ‘depression’ and ‘self-confidence’ battle it out in my room. It was like an egg slowly cracking because, when I came back to my room, I felt completely different about myself.
    You found a way to overcome something we all fight with- self confidence.
    Great seeing Annette here, enjoyed the song choice, I’d never heard of The Talking Heads before 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jacquie. It’s strange, but I really did feel like there was a ‘new’ me coming out of my body shell. I can sometimes have a weird way of trying to describe something.
      I’d forgotten all about ‘Talking Heads.’ However, I really love Annette’s song choice, especially the subject of the lyrics. They fascinate me.

  14. Hi Hugh. Thank you so much for sharing this diary entry. It’s amazing what we can do when we actively *decide* to feel a certain way. I admire you for what you did that day. Deciding to feel a certain way is hugely difficult — and just as valuable.
    Great to see Annette here. I love her attitude of gratitude. Hugs to you both.

    1. Hi Teagan. I can’t remember how tough it was for me at the time to actively get myself back on track. Of course, back then, I was a lot younger, but very innocent too. 😀 What’s the saying? “I wish I knew what I know now when I was that age.” How often have I said that to myself? I think surroundings also helped me. At the time, I was sharing a house with four other gay guys in the middle of London and, as you can imagine, there was always something going on. 😇
      Hugs to you.

  15. I’m so glad self confidence won that battle. I have read some of Annette’s poetry & she is such a good writer. I was never particularly a fan of Talking Heads, but the songs certainly bring back memories. I look forward to the next page published from your diary Hugh

    1. Thank you, Sam. I can’t say I remember ‘Talking Heads’, but I do like Annette’s song choice very much. The subject of the song is something that really interests me. I often see myself levitating, usually when I’m asleep. 😴

  16. Thank YOU for allowing me to be a part of your most intimate series. I appreciate being able to share not only my work, but that of my sister. You are a remarkable energy, Hugh. This world would not be the same without you!

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