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The Return

27th September 2021


‘The Return

I write this post as the curtain officially comes down on yet another summer.

Admittedly, I am still discovering sand in the pockets of all of my clothes but once where there was a flip flop there is now a school shoe and once where there was a sleeping teenager… there is STILL a sleeping teenager.

However, said sleeping teenager will not be the same sleeping teenager who has gotten very used to waking without the need for his curtains to be opened at 7:00am and with it a very unhelpful and possibly, ever so likely, a sarcastic dawn chorus of "Good morning, Happy Wednesday!"

Said teenager (returning to Year 9) had gotten very used to a mid-morning bacon roll after waking gradually.

Said teenager has lived a 6 week existence so far removed from this morning’s experience, who knows what will be unleashed cometh the hour, cometh the alarm?

Times said teenager by two (second teenager is returning to year 11), add a Year 3 into the mix (who just wants to play football at lunchtime), sprinkle on two parents returning to work and you can start to build the picture of a household this morning.

Departing the house, clunking along like an old train on rusty tracks as opposed to the silky smooth hovercraft on a millpond of a sea that skidded in at the end of the summer term.

Of course it was clunky, it deserves to be so. It has to be!!

Holidays are so much better than school. Lie in's always are better than enforced 'get ups' and we are entitled to use choice words in the direction of the alarm clock when it goes off. (I won't mention specifically the words used this morning by my wife!)

Were we expecting this reception committee this morning? Of course we were! Wouldn't it be a bit weird if it were any other way? Indeed!

Although subdued and although clunky and rusty, on Wednesday 8th September, in our house the train kept moving forward and departed Pinhoe in a calm, very quiet albeit very monosyllabic fashion. All passengers got on board and even managed a wave.

I understand that this would not have been the case in every household this morning. It isn't always the case in ours!

How was the departure of the passengers in your house this morning?

Did all of the passengers get on?

Did all of the passengers get off at the destination?

The RETURN, has arrived once again. For the young, a RETURN to school, to College, to University. For the previously young, the RETURN to work.

Regardless of your destination today, the prospect of the RETURN is very real and for some, incredibly daunting.

The RETURN can get big!

  • I understand that the RETURN can bring that paralysing feeling that roots us to the spot and prevents us from entering the day.
  • I understand the intense feeling that the RETURN overwhelms you with.
  • I understand the tight chest or the sudden thud in your tummy that the RETURN can bring, or the paralysing freeze or the prickly scalp that the RETURN can cause.
  • I understand that the RETURN can unhelpfully alter the way we THINK, the way we FEEL and the way we BEHAVE.
  • Do you avoid, doubt, put off, 'sooner not'?

Do you feel tearful, sad, down, angry, uninterested?

 If you have somebody in your household who is finding the RETURN a challenge, talking about how it feels for them in a safe and supportive space can help.

I can help.

  • I offer bespoke counselling solutions. Face to face or remotely via ZOOM or TEAMS.
  • I offer 1:1, small group or whole year workshops to schools, colleges and Universities.
  • I offer workplace counselling to employees and staff wellness CPD sessions to organisations.

For more information, I'd be delighted to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at:

Take care,



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