Lessons from Gozo…

…#2. Taking the rough with the smooth.

OK...not a pot-hole but a salt-pan. I'd have taken photos of the roads but it was just too bumpy!

OK…not a pot-hole but a salt-pan! Who wants to take photos of dodgy roads?!

After the last couple of winters, the roads in my corner of Scotland have become more than a little pot-holed. I’m 100% confident that it’s the state of the roads which caused my exhaust to start rattling, and I’m not the only one. Our local newspaper reported a massive increase in the number of complaints to the Council and a massive increase in the number of burst tyres, broken exhausts etc, directly contributable to local roads.

After a week in Gozo, the roads here look as smooth as a baby’s bottom!

Fireworks Finale

Fireworks Finale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We went off-road for one afternoon, whilst Manwell gave us a guided tour of local haunts (such as the blown-up fireworks factories; he was involved in the removal of bodies last year. The Gozitans take their fireworks incredibly seriously but it’s very much a case of “light the heavy mortar and run”.) Sheer drops, boulders to drive around, corners that gave a new meaning to the word “hairpin”. At one point I firmly shut my eyes and held on for dear life.

valletta8But, like I said, that was off-road and you expect a bit of bumping and jolting. What we didn’t expect was the same amount of bumping and jolting on the main roads.
Lovely Boyfriend and I suspect that the roads were initially laid down by the British many years ago, and haven’t been updated since. Road markings have mostly vanished. Speed bumps are fairly unnecessary because the whole stretch of road through Gharb was littered with ridges and holes. Good job there was some lovely scenery to compensate!

Yes, they’re trying to update some of them (the road to San Lawrenz has been closed since 2011 whilst they upgrade it; there’s a LONG way to go!) but, on the whole, they don’t appear to think anything of the rougher sections. They, in fact, take the rough with the smooth.

I think this is the attitude we need to take towards mental health. I’ve long advocated “acceptance” as being key to recovery. Accept that your road is bumpy. Accept that you’re going to fall down some pretty big pot-holes along the way. And then appreciate the smooth sections whilst you’re living them.

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