Tag Archive | relax

Something of the marvelous

There is something of the marvelous in all things of nature-Aristotle

Apparently, having water in my garden is the best way to encourage and entice a host of different creatures to visit us. Insects, frogs, toads and newts, birds, and small mammals are all dependant on water to survive, just as we are. It was a good day therefore when my pond plants arrived from lincolnshire-pondplants in the post, safe and sound and ready to pot up. I hope that the two new ponds bring more dragonflies and damselflies as I love their bright fluorescent colours and patterned wings.

The delivery also included some aquatic baskets and compost, so all I needed to add were some pebbles on the surface to prevent the soil from leaking into the water too much. I managed this with the larger pond which is very clear this evening, but the small pond made in the Belfast sink is still cloudy. I hope that it clears tomorrow when it settles down.

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I wasn’t sure what plants to order, so I went online and did some research. It still seemed a bit overwhelming and so I took the plunge and ordered 2 plant packs; one for a very small pond (sink) and one for a medium pond. I was really pleased with the selection I was sent and the condition they arrived in and tonight all are planted up and in situ.

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My newly-resident frog is still sitting on the yellow irises, looking comfortable in his new home. I hope we get some frogspawn next year as I have lots of frogs in my old pond but have never had any spawn. It would be nice to have some tadpoles!

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The plants I was sent include;

A purple Iris, yellow iris, bulrush, Juncus grass, water mint, forget-me-not, oxygenators and some plants with long latin names.

I’m looking forward to next year when they have settled and grown into their surroundings.

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In the meantime I have a herb garden to finish, a vertical planter to plant up, some shrubs to pick up on Sunday and more rockery stones to collect.

Good job I’m on holiday next week!

Nature

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114 days of Freedom

Freedom

I can’t believe that my last post was 3rd January. Where have those (almost) two months gone?

ActuallyI can tell you- January is my busiest month at work as a tax return reviewer. The UK tax return deadline is 31 January, and whilst many people say they will send us their information earlier, they never do so a large proportion get prepared, reviewed and submitted to good old HMRC in January. In fact, this year I was on “Midnight Duty” on Saturday 31 January and was still sorting out problems at 11.55pm!

So that was January. The first two weeks of February were spent tidying up loose ends before I started my 4-month break from work lasting until 8th June. A total of 114 days of freedom.

This is day 12 of aforementioned 114 and I am just starting to come round from a very busy period at work. I am on an annualised hours contract which, in simple terms, means that I work my butt off for 8 months during the busy time of the year, then have 4 months off during the quiet time. This works for the business and it sure works for me as it gives me an opportunity to recover my equilibrium and really relax properly for the first time ever in my working career. For someone who has periodic bouts of depression exacerbated by fatigue, this is an amazing arrangement and it’s a long time since I have felt so well mentally.

So far I have spent my time relaxing and being creative which is my natural bent but which I have to suppress during busy times as I just don’t have the time to indulge my inclinations. More about this in a later post.

In the meantime I am feeling much more communicative now that I have rested my brain and hope that I can resurrect my blog for at least the remainder of my “leave.”

2015

 

Headspace

depressed

Many of my posts on this Blog are really diary entries albeit my diary is public.  To some people this sounds morbid but each time I write a post and it is published, I think that it’s yet another piece in the jigsaw that will explain to my son   why I am like I am. It’s a 21st Century legacy. My posts undoubtedly help me to communicate and explain how I feel and, in the process of writing about it, I often determine why I feel as I do. I feel comfortable doing this knowing that only those people who are really interested in knowing will be reading.  Kerching! The lightbulb moment when you realise what’s dragged your mood down, made you feel vulnerable and sick in the stomach. Your confidence and self-esteem plummets and it’s not until you stand back and look in from the “outside” that you understand what has caused this instability and insecurity.

I recognise a trend with those whom I consider are members of my “tribe”. We need to live in the moment. Not churn over what happened yesterday; not preëmpt tomorrows’ events but just take each day, each moment as it comes. This is when “Headspace” comes into its own.

I don’t know about you guys but I find any attempt at meditation/mindfulness/switching off nigh impossible due to an overactive brain and, although I have tried meditation and guided meditation CDs, to date I have not mastered the technique of “switching off”.

Headspace therefore offers hope. What is Headspace?

“Headspace is a project designed to demystify meditation. Using the wonders of science and technology, we make it easy-to-learn, fun-to-do, and relevant to your everyday life.

Here at Headspace we’re on a mission to get as many people in the world as possible to take 10 minutes out of their day, to practice a simple and easy-to-learn meditation technique.  And if you like the way it makes you feel, then we’d love to show you how to make that a life-long skill.”

I for one like this 10 minute idea. Surely I can switch off for just 10 minutes a day?  Let’s be positive and assume it is within the realm of possibility. I will be following this programme from tomorrow to see if it works and if it really makes a difference.

I cannot remember a time when my mind was silenced. Even in sleep I have vivid dreams that are so realistic that I once got up believing I had breast cancer. The power of the mind is frightening and I never underestimate its influence but I need to quieten it down. I need some respite from its continuous visual and  intellectual assault. Basically, I need a rest from my own mind.

Here’s hoping that Headspace works for me and you.

Let me know if you take up the programme and if it works 🙂

This is meditation for modern life – simple, scientifically proven techniques, that you can use every day to experience a healthier and happier mind.”

today

September serenity

I can’t remember when I last sat down in my garden and listened to silence. Tonight I did just that and as well as being very dark, all was very quiet and peaceful. No wind, not even a light breeze to disturb the turning leaves. Warm enough to sit out in T-shirt, I sat and breathed in the oily-scent of  the lavender bushes freshly trimmed. I watched my two cats chase each other through the shrubs stopping every now and then to listen for a frog to catch and tease.

The fountain in the pond cascades through the night and I sat and watched the longer blades of grass edging the lawn gradually bend with the weight of descending moisture. The grape vine is bursting with bunches of ripening fruit and the branches of the apple tree are bending under the weight of a bumper crop of apples. Figs are fleshing out and darkening and the late tomatoes are slowly turning from a hard-green to a softer ripe-red thus avoiding their inevitable transformation into the dreaded green tomato chutney.

Friday night and everyone is home behind closed curtains. Taking stock after the hectic week behind them but preparing for the weekend ahead. Tomorrow will start early as the dawn doggy walkers take Missy, Copper, Amy and Kevin for their daily constitutional. Lawn mowers, pressure-washers and jumpers-for-goalposts will appear as the rest of us get going and start our weekend jobs and activities which will last until late afternoon when preparations will begin for dinner at home, an engagement party next door and the odd late-summer BBQ.

A veritable haven on my doorstep.

Look around and you will see..

beauty.

Four days off work. Four sunny, warm days relaxing with my family and I start to slow down, chill out and notice things around me rather than scurry on by trying to get everything done in record time.

It sounds so easy. Slow down. Look around.

But this is exactly what time off has enabled me to do, and in the most mundane of situations beauty shows itself in its full glory.

Walking into the village  I pass a cottage which I normally would not have noticed. But it would have been such a shame to walk on by on a tunnel-visioned mission without stopping to admire the wisteria in full bloom. That is exactly what I would have done however if I hadn’t been away from my normal hurried routine. This is what I would have missed.

Shame.