Bouncing Back.

I try to look on my time in France with a positive outlook. It was a big chapter in my life. I learned what it meant to grow up. To stand on my own two feet. Waking up every morning with purpose and a goal. What it meant to feel like nothing and still bounce back.

It’s the ‘nothing‘ part that gets to me. I’m terrified of being ‘nothing‘. It’s a big part of what makes me try. I try out of fear.

Naturally, I suffered a lot of setbacks over there. Shit hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m not afraid to say I crumbled a few times as well. I cried a lot. Gave up occasionally. When i first started my landscaping apprenticeship in Grenoble I doubted everything inside of me. Pascal was my boss. He told me to meet him on  my first morning at the work base in a village on the outskirts of the city, the opposite side from where I lived. It was basically a huge farm house with all the equipment in it. He gave me the street name, no postcode.

I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever been to Grenoble but there’s a stretch of motorway ‘La Rocade‘ which is notoriously bad for busy traffic (unbeknownst to me). Maps on my phone showed it to be the quickest route. Nevertheless it stayed true to form. I was late for my first day. After that it was almost like I was doomed to fail.

That first morning on site ‘sur chantier‘ it was pissing down. Bucketing from the high heavens. I got out the van, he handed me a shovel and told me to start digging. To be honest I barely understood a word he said. It was an uncomfortable introduction. I couldn’t even share patter with them. No craic or nothing. What the fuck can you say to your new boss and colleague when your soaked, nervous, confused. Basically a fucking idiot.

Well things never did get any better. I couldn’t overcome my nerves. I couldn’t learn as fast as Pascal wanted (he was an impatient soul) and I couldn’t adapt as quickly as I’d hoped. It wasn’t through lack of trying. Fuck I tried so hard. Every night when I got home I was exhausted. I’d take a shower, make some food and lock myself in my room. I became a bit of a social recluse in order to try and save my energy for the next day. It still wasn’t enough. He used to say to me, in French of course, ‘you’re a fucking retard‘, ‘you have no brain‘, ‘you’re never going to make it in this industry‘. Now I know Scottish men are all supposed to be thick-skinned and able to take some flack. But the truth is I eventually folded. No matter how hard I tried I just wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t even straighten out a surface with a rake. I phoned my dad and asked him ‘how the fuck do you do that?’ and he thought I was taking the piss. I woke up one morning and couldn’t face the day. I broke down and cried like fuck. Then he sacked me. I cost him too much money. I still fucking hate that guy to this day.

I knew I needed a different environment. Another company who would understand my situation and give me the confidence to succeed. Who would work with me on a more consistent level. It was Damien who gave me a chance. I was so grateful for it. My confidence grew and I started to improve. I was getting somewhere. I could use a rake competently! And we had a good team. Damiens dad Christian, my big mate Chaon from Tahiti and my wee bro David ‘mon frère’. I loved these boys along with every day I worked there. I miss them all the time and I hope I’ll go back to see them soon. This is where I learned so much about life. What it takes to make it in the profession. About dedication. About family. About being happy. I developed a new work ethic. It inspired me to be better. My only regret is that I never had the chance to stay longer and learn more from them.

Unfortunately things broke down in my personal life. My relationship broke down. I was hurting a lot. Being alone in a foreign country on apprentice wages meant I couldn’t really stay. I wanted to go home. I had no car and would’ve ended up homeless. For whatever reason it just wasn’t meant to be.

It’s been seven months now. A long and slow rebuilding process in my mind, within my surroundings and in my work. But I’m on the right track now. I’m back at college. Continuing my landscaping studies albeit on a more theoretically based course. There is some practical work however, and I’ll be doing my own work on the side alongside that. I’m getting my own van soon. My own equipment. And I met someone too. I’m smitten. What a darling. She’s helped me to realise its okay to take the foot off the gas once in a while. To relax. Easier said than done putting this into action but it’s a working progress and something I dedicate some effort to every day. All I know is it’s all just a part of bouncing back. Showing that French tadger Pascal that I am going to make it.. That there is a brain in here.. and it’s getting stronger. Ready to succeed.

Ciao for now.. Troops X

grenoble
”Grenoble” blog.kazaden.com

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise. I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

Advertisements

Down The Rabbit Hole.

Clyde Waterfront, 25th August 2019.

I find it incredibly hard to control my emotions right now. It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining, a rare occurrence in the West of Scotland. It’s been a turbulent time in my brain. My thoughts are seldom clear. They come thick and fast. On several occasions I’ve caught myself forgetting to breath. These are not the pleasant experiences I am fond of.

I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust anyone else. It feels like everyone is against me. They’re out to ruin me. Even my own mind lacks a functional synchronicity with the rest of my body. I am exhausted, I am drained and I do not know how to wake up from this funk.

I can’t sleep at night. Most nights it’s around 3am before I convince myself to stop thinking and start winding down. My feng shui is fucked. I panic, I worry, I fear just about everything. I’m revisiting dark places I thought I had long left behind.

I started counselling again. Three years I’d managed without it. I feel almost weak again that it’s come to this point. Guilt for being a burden. Embarrassment for struggling again. Shame that I cannot seem to shake it off.

If I was to give myself advice I reckon I’d have sorted this. But it’s difficult to be objective when it’s your own emotions at work. I’m trying to bring myself positive energy. But my resistance against this barrage of negativity has been evidently futile. I’m hanging onto a hope that again, one day, it will all get better. It’s happened before. It can happen again.

I needed to write this. It wouldn’t go away. And now that I’ve began to get some of it out I can begin to move on in a positive light. Just another bump in the road, I keep saying.

‘I am happy, healthy and stable.’

That’s an affirmation I’m trying out every day. Like I said, positive energy. One day at a time. It will all work out. I’ll be back at work, my usual old self, and ready to take on whatever comes next.

Peace out, Wide Eye X

”If we go down the rabbit hole of our unconsciousness and try to unravel the knotty points of our life story we may encounter a bunch of hidden niceties or emotional stowaways. Forgotten details in the windmill of our mind may daintily reveal, where things might have gone wrong… (I wonder what went wrong.)” 

Erik Pevernagie.

P1020238

 

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise. I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

 

Mental Health Awareness Week – A Short Story.

I have often thought about suicide.

It used to scare me. Now it intrigues me.

I would be so terrified of losing control of my life and my actions that I’d panic my overloaded brain into thinking very cruel things. It was a riot. When I was younger I somehow took solace in these depressieve moments. The ease of slipping into a negative state lead me to become almost obsessed with my own funeral. There was less difficulty in staying broken than dragging myself out of this destructive slumber. Inside me there evolved a false sense of satisfaction in wallowing in the self-deprecating slumber I resisted awakening from.

Alas I never really could take my own life. I thought about it. I considered it. An important reason contributing to my desire of living was purely down to the domino effect my departure could have on others. I will be clear when I tell you that this wasn’t the sole rationale for my continuing existence because I cannot agree with the notion that suffering for the benefit of others is any way to live. We as human beings are more than capable of living and not surviving. We are all intelligent enough to make our own decisions (except for those who may be mentally impaired or sick, but that’s another discussion) and each individual ultimately must make their own resolutions when dealing with their own personal lives.

NOTE: (This does not mean anyone should ever encourage or enable an act of suicide or self harm. It is our moral duty as friends, family, peers and cohabitants to guide others in a positive light and onto a better path.)

But it did become important to me and eventually aided in my own realisation that I meant something to a lot of people. I have a large family and many close friends within a wider community/ social network. I can only speak for myself when I say that the knowledge of being important in another’s life is enough to try and find a way through whatever shadows you find yourself entrenched in. A different perspective can be sometimes all we need in moments of self-crisis.

This story is about a young boy who still mourns for his father after he ended his own life prematurely. I used this character as my idea of my own future son. I hold great aspirations in becoming a father eventually and by writing this particular short I am inspired to discover what it means to be a parent and to guard someone’s life, instead of a darker future of losing a battle against my own fears. It’s a personal reminder that there’s still a lot for me to do, to learn and experience. Even after the great adventures I will embark on in the future the horizons are still vast and I will still have new roles to motivate me after that.

The rain didn’t seem to bother him anymore. A thousand drops lashed him repeatedly and soaked him viciously down to the bone. A ruthless Scottish wind slapped his body violently. His white t-shirt was now wringable and his grey, cotton shorts now weighed considerably far more than when he left home. 

‘What’s the flu tae me?’ He asked himself. It was telling that he took comfort in finally feeling something…

”It’s been six years since my da’ died. My best mate. We done everything together. We’d watch the football. We’d play the football. He used to take me to my games every Sunday morning and to training twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday. Up at half five every morning to not return until the back of six at night. Only to get a quick scran then take me out again. Sometimes we wouldn’t be back until ten o’clock at night. My mum offered to go instead ’cause she could see he was knackered, but he never did say aye. It meant as much to him as it did to me. Possibly even more.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand really why he done it. How he could leave me and my mum like that. He might’ve been tired aye but I never thought he was depressed. I sometimes wonder if it was me that made him do it. Did I stress him out or did I make him miserable? Maybe he didn’t really love my mum or me. For the rest of my life I will always feel guilty. 

Mum tried so hard to pick up the pieces. With football and everything. I remember the first time she told me I couldn’t go. Her eyes swelling up with tears, choking on her words. She put on a brave face but it was easy to see. Eventually I stopped going altogether to help her feel less of the blame. ‘I’m no interested anymore mum.’ ‘I’m just gonny go up the park with my mates instead.’

I’m 19 now. Fuck I could do with having him here. College is shite. All I want to do is bevy and smoke green. Mum thinks I should be getting a girlfriend. Someone to take my heed out the gutter you know? I’m no interested. If my old man didn’t want to live with me then why would some daft wee lassie feel any fucking different?”

He’d walked a fair distance now. Daylight was starting to break but there was no glimpse of the sun. It was to be grey, cloudy, solemn.. this morning. ‘Fuck it’. He sat down at an old bus stop. A brief moment of sheltered relief from the rain. His cheeks were pink but his hands were blue. A car speeded past and nearly soaked him with a splash from a puddle on the road. There was nothing to suggest his life could ever get better. And yet he still took comfort in the desolation of it all.

 

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or criticise (be gentle). I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.

 


 

Happy Anniversary to Me.

It’s been one year since I started the Wide-Eyed ScotsmanIt has been hugely rewarding and motivating to deliver this project to you. Of course I am an amateur and I am learning on the job but I am very proud of myself for bringing this to life.

I couldn’t have done it without all the support from my audience, from the WordPress blogging community and from my followers who continue to come back for more.

So here’s to another year of progress, success and travelling tales. And to good health, positive discussion and meaningful education.

I want to ask..

What kind of content would you like to see in the future? More stories filled with wanderlust? Opinion pieces? Let me know by leaving a comment below or heading to my ‘Get in Touch‘ page by the menu at the top of the screen.

Thanks again everyone. Aidan.

 

cropped-p1110404.jpg

 

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos, unless credited, are my own. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates please like, share, follow, communicate or even criticise (be gentle). I am not a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any interaction which may help to improve my work would be appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something in return.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you.


You Are Beautiful.

When myself and my girlfriend were staying in a tiny studio apartment last year it was difficult to feel good about ourselves. The snow was heavy and the work hours were long. Eating, drinking and sleeping took up the rest of our time. It was becoming a tough slog and naturally that had a negative impact.

The feng shui was aff.

So I tried to be inventive and get us back on the auld confidence carts.

(Yes they are plasters.)

 

P1000178

 

I combined a few interests of writing and languages in the hope it could bring some much needed self-esteem back. And if the collective international effort of reaffirmation wouldn’t work, nothing would.

I don’t know if they are all exactly correct (I’d like to think so) so I would ask if anyone sees a mistake. If not, class.

See if you can guess what they all are, I had good fun researching them all.

 

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos (unless credited) are my own aswell. I put a lot of work into upkeeping this for little or no return other than the gratitude I feel when my work is appreciated. Please.. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates do not hesitate to like, share, follow, communicate or even criticise (be gentle). I am in no ways a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any sort of interaction which may help to improve my future work would be hugely appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something aswell.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you. The Wide-Eyed Scotsman.

Les Villes de La France.

This past year I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time in some of the great cities of France. Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille and Nîmes… I’ve really been blessed to be able to experience these places. From the contrasting cultures to the longstanding traditions, I never thought in my life I would have an opportunity to conquer this historic nation.

“La France, le plus beau royaume après celui du ciel.” de Grotius.

P1110600
Nîmes
P1110606
Nîmes
P1110605
Four auld men in Nîmes.
P1110633
Nîmes
P1110641
A Pub in Nîmes.
P1010182
I missed the last bus from Bordeaux Airport to the city centre. So I camped outside and waited until morning.
P1010192
Bordeaux
P1010184
Bordeaux
P1010196
Bordeaux
P1110513
Marseille
P1110590
Marseille
P1110588
Marseille
P1110525
Skater boi
P1110499
Marseille
P1110479
Sick architecture in Lyon.
P1110482
La Sucrière, Lyon.

Good Wee Reads.

I haven’t shared much of my library on here. Which is strange because it’s all I have done for a while. So now I figure is a good time to share my reading fancies with you. And it’s something I will probably be doing a lot more frequently on here.

Here are 5 incredible books that have not only inspired me but also helped to bring around changes in my own life. I highly recommend in plunging heed first into these literary dreams. From adventure stories able to drag you out of the slog of the day to political works filled with powerful logic and humbling passion. I hope that you can find yourself a Good Wee Read tailored to your tastes.

On the Road – Jack Kerouac. Buy Here.

on the road

“..the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse. Buy Here.

siddhartha

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”

Che Guevara Talks To Young People. Buy Here.

che guevara

“The walls of the educational system must come down. Education should not be a privilege, so the children of those who have money can study.”

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson. Buy Here.

treasure island

“Sometimes the isle was thick with savages, with whom we fought, sometimes full of dangerous animals that hunted us, but in all my fancies nothing occurred to me so strange as our actual adventures.”

James Connolly: Collected Works. Buy Here.

james-connolly.jpg

“It would be well to realize that the talk of ‘humane methods of warfare’, of the ‘rules of civilized warfare’, and all such homage to the finer sentiments of the race are hypocritical and unreal, and only intended for the consumption of stay-at-homes. There are no humane methods of warfare, there is no such thing as civilized warfare; all warfare is inhuman, all warfare is barbaric; the first blast of the bugles of war ever sounds for the time being the funeral knell of human progress… What lover of humanity can view with anything but horror the prospect of this ruthless destruction of human life. Yet this is war: war for which all the jingoes are howling, war to which all the hopes of the world are being sacrificed, war to which a mad ruling class would plunge a mad world.”

Dubrovnik, Hrvatska.

It was my last stop on the Balkan tour. I didn’t want it to be. But my money management killed off any ambition of making it to Sarajevo. Lesson learned. But I still had a great few days in Dubrovnik to finish off what had been an amazing experience.

To be fair, I could’ve seen it all in a day. Apart from the Old Town there wasn’t much else to do. But I spent some time relaxing and reading after a hectic few weeks of running aboot this fascinating, absorbing (and sometimes baffling) region of the world. Until now it’s probably been looked down on by the majority of outsiders. Still there seems to be an underlying legacy of war, corruption and poverty. But the people fight on and rise above all that they can’t control. It wasn’t so long ago that foreigners like me coming through this area would have been seemingly unthinkable.

Fortunately, things change. We can all enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of these countries and its people through visiting and embracing the amazing cultures.

For the Balkan countries who showed me their kindness… Hvala, Благодаря ти, mulțumesc, Ви благодарам, faleminderit.

Thank you.

P1010104
Casual
P1010165
Dubrovnik
P1010175
Hrvatska
P1010169
Scenic
P1010107
God Help Us
P1010114
Old Town
P1010120
Stairs
P1010124
Top of the Stairs
P1010119
Square
P1010147
Painting
P1010158
Walloper
P1010110
God Help Us Again
P1010174
Aw the Boats

 

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos (unless credited) are my own aswell. I put a lot of work into upkeeping this for little or no return other than the gratitude I feel when my work is appreciated. Please.. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates do not hesitate to like, share, follow, communicate or even criticise (be gentle). I am in no ways a professional blogger/writer/photographer and any sort of interaction which may help to improve my future work would be hugely appreciated.

It means the world to me to see people viewing this project. I hope its able to give you something aswell.

For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you so much. The Wide-Eyed Scotsman.

Kosovo.

What a dream it was to visit this place. I don’t mean that it had been a lifelong ambition. But my aim at the beginning of 2018 was to go to places ‘off the beaten path’. The Balkans epitomised that but more so than the others, the Republic of Kosovo.

I only stayed one night in the capital city Prishtina before heading further north to the city of Peja. I’d never felt so surreal to be there. The youngest country in Europe. It’s safe to say I didn’t look remotely native. But everyone I met were all humbly welcoming and I even had a conversation with a local in French. He invited me for a coffee the next time I would visit.

Throughout my time travelling in these countries I encountered Islam on various occasions. I didn’t know a great deal about the religion and its teachings but on a personal level for a while now I’ve felt compelled to research a little. So I visited my first mosque while spending time in Sofia and then visited another two throughout my time in Kosovo. The hostel where I stayed in Peja was also stacked with plenty of books and I stumbled upon an English version of a book teaching Islam. I spent one of my evenings reading some pages and resting quietly in my bed area.

I’m not a believer of any religion. My own opinion is that to be a believer in any faith would require years of studying and education. I never enjoyed being raised as a catholic mainly because I didn’t understand it. What I do respect now is the power religion has to change someones life for the better and for that I would not attempt to persuade anyone to give up their learning. Unless it was some dark, hateful shit.

Here’s to you dear Kosovo. You helped me live out a small dream and welcomed me with grace. Until next time.

p1000969
Prishtina.
p1000973
Abandoned Church.
p1000999
Political Graffiti knows no bounds.
p1000977
Architecture 101.
p1000984
Prishtina
p1000980
Newborn.
p1010093
Albanian Roots.
p1010002
Mosque in Prishtina.
p1010027
Peja
p1010096
Trail Beginnings.
p1010048
Peja Mountains.
p1010050
Peja Mountains.
p1010076
A Tim in Kosovo.
p1010086
Peja Mountains.

Pour L’Amour des Verts

As promised, here are some snapshots from the Saint Etienne and Lyon Ligue 1 derby match. Unfortunately for the home side a first half goal wasn’t enough to see it through. After a disappointing first half Lyon came back out from the break and took control. The final score was 2-1.

However… Quelle ambiance! 

It’s been a while now that I’ve hoped to make it through for a game and, the result aside, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The supporters were friendly & passionate and even reminded me of going to the games back home in Glasgow. Something I miss dearly.

Until next time, les Stephanois

 

p1010964

 

”Stade Geoffroy Guichard”

 

p1010965

 

”Le chaudron va bouillir!”

 

p1010974

 

”Absolute screamer of a vintage kit in the museum. If anyone knows where I can get me one, hit me up.”

 

p1010983

 

”For the love of the Green..”

 

p1010996

 

”Combattre pour son club. Mouiller le maillot. Respecter ses couleurs.”

 

 

Allez qui c’est les plus forts?
Évidemment c’est les verts
On a un bon public et les meilleurs supporters
On va gagner!
Ça c’est juré allez…