Sunday, 13 June 2021

Agriculturally correct


I have purloined a functional camera from the eldest and after much fiddling to change all the bizarre setting (he went through a phase of shooting everything in Super Vivid) I am just about managing to take some photos with normal colouring in them. No doubt I will be told off for shoving the camera in my bag before too long though.

We are all about the cricket here of course. The season for children is short and very intense. The matches for the older two are all over the place, miles away, down hot stretches of congested motorway. And work is rather flattening me at the moment. The eldest has had some lifts to cricket. Lots of the team are in farming and he said he doesn't always know how to respond when they are seemingly quite excited about the sale of a cow or some such thing. I have suggested he listen to an episode of the Archers from time to time. It's where I got practically all of my quite extensive farming knowledge. It's agriculturally correct you know. I'm almost certain I could deliver a lamb or get a cow in the crush now.

I have spent the odd minute staring into the depths of the wildlife pond this week. While it might not look very inspiring to an outsider, I am loving it. It's really a hub for the wildlife. I have a couple of little plants at the edges now and some new oxygenating weed and a submerged plant in the middle alongside the waterlily. All natives except the lily. There is something very tranquil about staring at water, even if it is a bit on the green side. 

On the subject of tranquil, I am wondering if I should take up meditating. So many people seem to swear by it. I need calm and clarity and focus. And a few more hours in the day. Do I even have time to meditate? I suspect it is not something to be rushed, which is my main modus operandi. But maybe that means I particularly need it and it will transform my life. The bottom line is I have rather too much work on and I probably should have said no to some stuff, but I didn't. Just in case, you know. So now I am rather suffering for it. But, lesson learned and all that.

Meantime, I am neglecting the garden and feeding the children very fast things and racing the dog round on his walks at top speed, although he always does his best to make me stop and smell the flowers, or mostly another dog's bottom to be honest.

There are a couple of really lovely flowers on my dog walk that I want to know what they are. I am working up the courage to take my camera along and photograph them so that one of you can identify them, but I will look rather obvious when I'm doing it, so I need to wait for a brave and fearless day. And a day when the dog is in the mood for a hasty retreat. 

Hope all is well at your end and that you're enjoying the sunshine. CJ xx


  1. You've done a grand job with the camera; your photos are really lovely. I can't wait to hear if you give meditation a try and, if so, how you get on with it. I've never been able to manage it myself; too much of a monkey brain which, as you say, suggests that I really need it. I imagine that staring into your pond for a few minutes is probably as effective, although I imagine it won't be as relaxing in the winter! I used to love The Archers and listened to the omnibus edition for years but have got out of the habit. Consequently, my lamb delivering skills are rather rusty! Good luck with all the work. xx

  2. I think staring into your pond sounds like deep meditation to me. Mine when I left it was looking particularly murky. Something to worry about when I return home. It’s never easy to say no especially when it’s paid work. Shame it’s not deep winter and then it wouldn’t be so hard. Try photographing the unknown flowers and posting them on Instagram. I get most of my answers there lol! Hope you have a few moments to smell the roses today:) B x

  3. You take your flowers and don't worry about what anyone thinks. I'm always taking photos of what some people may find odd but I don't care and mostly people ignore me. Ruby's nose is constantly on the o during walks. Usually she is smelling tufts of grass where other dogs have 'been' and recently she has discovered cowpats which she can't resist. Fortunately she sticks to sniffing and not rolling in them as one dog we met had done.

  4. Water gazing is a form of meditation in maybe just do more of that? I've been meditating every day since before the start of the year and it has definitely made a difference. Although I too, have often had the "i don't have time to meditate" thought...which is, as you say, exactly when you need to meditate.

    I'm always snapping photos of random plants and flowers....the other day, girl-child and I were caught by a homeowner, sniffing their tree blossoms...very embarrassing but then again, we've been known to speak aloud to squirrels so the neighbourhood probably thinks we're a bit unhinged already. xoxo

  5. Lovely cool pictures. It sounds like you're a touch too busy and just need to slow down a bit, which is easy to say but not so easy to put into practice.
    I look forward to seeing pictures of the mystery flowers.
    All's well here thanks, and spending much of the time out of the sun. xx

  6. This might sound a bit eccentric, but it works for me : When I'm getting up in the morning, after brushing my teeth, I fill the hand basin with very hot water, submerge a face cloth in it, then wring it out - almost too hot to handle. Then I fold it in half, and place it over my eyes and nose, and press gently for a little while. The little blood vessels just under the skin dilate, and for some reason, it starts off the chain reaction of waking me up. I do it a couple of times usually, then dunk my whole face under water for a few seconds. Eh voila ! I might temporarily resemble a beetroot, but at least I'm sentient once more.

    At this point, I talk to myself in a calm, compassionate voice, about all the good things I have to be thankful for, ( hot water/roof over head/breakfast, and ability to eat it ), the fact that I have another day of life in a place that isn't at war/has a bit of sunshine/is cool enough to work in, and that these things far outweigh the negative things that are (still) hanging around. I remind myself that the same set of circumstances can seem challenging, unendurable, or a chance to triumph over adversity, depending on my mood, and decide which one to go for. (That's the mindfulness bit).

    And that's my lot. The day grabs me as soon as I get down the stairs, and dogs rush me towards the cupboard that is theirs and contains the precious commodities for Treat Time. (And, sometimes, Second Breakfast, if I'm honest.) The starlings, blackbirds and wood pigeons start getting excited for their snacks and lido re-fill, and somewhere along the line, there's mine.

    The day starts proper, and I just get caught up in the thick of it, whether I want to or not, and sometimes the calm positivity goes out of the window/up the chimney/down the loo. But I still feel better for having had it first thing, rather than not at all, in that bit of time that is just for me, and sometimes the only bit I get. And I always take the time to have a bit of sky appreciation at night as well. I seem to have a thing about clouds now, when the sun is going down and there are those gorgeous peaches, pinks, and lilacs, lit from below.

    Well, it might be a bit daft, but I'm unapologetic, it costs nothing, its harmless, and there's not a lot on the telly that gives me the same glow, (except the Repair Shop, natch).

    Feel free to give it a go, with my blessing !

    1. Linda, I love this! Thank you, I shall give it a try tomorrow. I particularly like the idea of starting the day with a list of all the good things and how the same circumstances can feel very different depending on mood, I can definitely relate to that. xx

  7. The photos look amazing, so well done for figuring the camera out!I'm sorry to hear work is so flattening. I recently quit a contract because the stress to pay ratio was not in my favour. Decided that peace of mind had to take precedent over money.
    Meditation is a tricky thing and not something I'm very good at but I've found that you don't need hours to give over to it. I set a timer (with a gentle sound!) for 5 minutes and just sit, eyes closed, waiting to see what comes up. Sometimes something, sometimes nothing, but it has a far greater benefit to my state of mind than I would have thought.
    Hope you get to carve out some time for yourself.

  8. Another Linda here with another recommendation. The Headspace meditation app. I really love it and find guided meditation much easier than just bumbling along by myself, which inevitably turns into a mental run through my to do list. I started with 10 minutes a day, first thing (easy for me because children are no longer at home), and am now on 15 minutes and a "run streak" of 38 days. Without putting you off, there are actual techniques to getting benefit from it which you won't find by yourself. I also love the presenter's voice - an English former Buddhist monk with a degree in Circus Arts.
    Cricket hardly features in Scotland (hills, heather, months of darkness), and so my daughter, now working in London, was totally unprepared for the acquisition of a cricket-mad boyfriend. She approves of days spent sitting in the sun, but is still hazy as to who is actually playing any given match, far less who is winning - and why.

  9. Staring in the pond sounds most meditative to me. Speaking from the overworked woman perspective, my advice goes against meditation, at least as a scheduled activity. It might just add stress to your life, trying to fit it in. Instead, stare at the pond when you can, or out the window when you have a moment, or two and watch the trees move in the breeze ( gale force winds here in the West of Scotland). I also like sitting beside the dog (a true master of a chilled life), watching his breath ebb and flow. Surprisingly relaxing. I love Linda's face cloth routine! I turn my shower to cold for a few moments to push me over the edge of sentience but a hot face cloth sounds more humane.... Glad you have a camera once more. I have more or less given up on mine, mostly use my phone, which is much better for close ups of flowers than my super fancy camera. It is no doubt me, not the camera that is the problem. I must say, cricket is not my thing, it defeats my intellectual capacity, very puzzling. I think I might enjoy watching a game with you because I am sure you could make it fun and easy to understand. My kids run, I can grasp that, just about (head down, move legs, go fast). So glad they both gave up football. I am sure your boys rather enjoy your fast food. It is all about speed and quantity for boys that age (also applies to women my age). Have a lovely week xx

  10. I think beautiful walks are meditative, even at breakneck speed. Gazing at beautiful flowers and the gorgeous land around you is as well. I do medicate every morning before I get out of bed, frankly it is the only time in my day I can find. I swear it hasn't made a difference yet because I am still a stressed out mess but I am trying. Good luck with you sports and all of your work.

  11. I have a friend who has an app on her phone for identifying plants. I thought it was rather brilliant but don't have it myself quite yet. If you have a phone with that capability it might be helpful on your walks. I believe you photograph the plant through the app an it comes up with the name.