October update to the 2500 Clue Challenge

Here’s the October update I’ve just sent out for the 2500 Clue Challenge! If you want to receive these emails, let me know at 2500cluechallenge@danielpeake.com

Hello everyone! You’re receiving this email as you’ve expressed an interest in my 2500 Clue Challenge. If you don’t want to receive these updates, then send me a pack of chocolate digestives (or email me at 2500cluechallenge@danielpeake.com and I’ll remove you from the list).

Ten months down. Two to go.

And yet, somehow, I’m still trying the crossword each day, in the hope of solving yet more clues! I’m actually really enjoying this challenge, and the fact that it raises money for a challenge is an added bonus!

In October, I solved 222 out of 660 clues (33.6%), taking me to 2071 clues in total. I’m now over the 2000 clue mark! Hooray! I shall be sending out a 2000 clue reminder in due course. Overall, I’m 25 clues behind schedule (i.e. about 2 1/2 days).

October’s Clue Of The Month is a clue by Brendan (21/10/13): Fashionable judgment shown by doctor on a lot of points (5,5). Answer later!

This month I’m going to have a bit of a moan. Apologies in advance. The mental health service provisions in the UK are… frustrating at best. I’m going to use this past month as an example. I have not been feeling in tip-top condition, and I’m currently seeking out some more counselling to help me get through this.

I brought this up with the doctor about 4 weeks ago, and she very kindly gave me the details for a self-referral service. I phoned them up, and they said that “the waiting list to have the initial appointment over the telephone is about 2 weeks”. Finally, after 2 weeks, I did get a call from them – but only to organise when the actual phone appointment would be. Luckily it was a couple of days later.

This initial assessment was reasonably standard, current emotions, feelings within the past couple of weeks, general physical and mental health, and so on. Afterwards, there were 3 options that would suit me, according to the lady on the phone. The first two were during working hours, so they’re out of the question for me. The third one was an evening group session quite close to home. The problem is that starts at 6:30, which is when I finish work, and I’d still have an hour long commute to get there.

Whilst there is some degree of flexibility in my work, I am loathed to use it at the moment as it’s a really busy time and I want to make a good impression to work colleagues and further my career. So, none of these options works for me on the NHS. There are many private services at evenings and weekends, but they cost so much that there’s no way I could afford anything near them.

I feel quite stranded and frustrated by the lack of services. They are there, but accessing them is a right pain in the behind for me. Plus the speed at which you can access the services is on a galacial time scale. A week is a long time not only in politics but in depression too!

Finally, the answer to Clue Of The Month is: DRESS SENSE. It’s Doctor (DR) on “a lot of points”, referring to points of a compass, (N,E,S,W). It’s common for there to be the odd compass point or two in wordplay, but EIGHT! Brilliant.

Until next month, when I shall essentially say “Do as I say, not as I do!”
Dan

2500cluechallenge@danielpeake.com