Friday, 12 April 2013

No (I) Deer

Once out on a walk, in the gloom on the edge of some woodland, I followed a well established hedgerow. On the other side of the hedge was a field. It was a sunny morning in late spring and although the field as bathed in sunlight, I was walking in he shade of the trees.
I noticed just ahead of me a shaft of light coming through a circular hole in the 'wall' of hedge. It was a circle of light and I paused to squinted through it into the field beyond to allow my face and soul to be warmed.
At that moment the face of a young doe suddenly appeared on the other side. Perhaps it was because I was stood stock-still and the breeze was blowing in a favourable direction that the deer did not take flight. She remained there, just in front of me and starred curiously back, cocking her elegant head slightly to one side. The view had giving me the feeling of awe and wonder, but this was made tenfold by the appearance of that beautiful creature.
It did not matter that in my clumsy rummaging  for my camera, that the deer took flight a moment before my finger could 'click'. I took that photo and even without the face of that deer it remains a favourite of mine, simply for the resonance of that moment that are still conjured up whenever I look at it.

So, What Massages your Soul?

At 40 I recognise that a slow change has taken place in me over the last decade. No, it's not the greying hair or the tendency to pull muscles when attempting my infamous Michael Jackson impression. No, it's not a physical change at all, at least I don't think it is.

It's a growing tendency to appreciate the world around me in a way I hadn't before. It must be different for everyone, but I notice myself appreciating things I would describe as 'poetic'. I say 'poetic' simply because I have no other words to describe it.  At an early age I would occasionally experience the sensation of ' my soul being massaged, warmly' in reading certain poems but rarely then did I ever experience it with art or nature.

Now, however, I 'feel' this sensation looking at a a whole host of things. It's certainly a visual thing, in my case, and to a lesser extent the smelling and tasting of things.

In fact, this has been my motivation for seeking out nature more and more because it is in nature that I feel these sensations more than anywhere and it doesn't have to be picture postcard view. A gnarled tree or a leaning moss covered wooden signpost will give me as much of a feeling of awe and wonder as the classic golden sunset. Probably more.

It's interesting to reflect on how in my 20s and 30s that I missed all these things. Clearly they were there, but somehow I didn't notice them or perhaps I wasn't ready to notice them.

My list of 'good reasons to be 40' is not very long, but this definitely at number 1.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Who invented indoor soft play areas?

 Who invented indoor soft play areas? They are either a total genius or the devil incarnate. Absolute mayhem: wall to wall hysteria, screaming kids, some crying others laughing hysterically, all red faced and sweaty.
Is there any way we could hook these berserk bambino's up to the national grid and generate a little sustainable energy!??
To be fair these places apace been a blessing during the school holidays for parents. As recently we have experienced both extremes of the English weather from torrential downpours to mild drizzle.  It's difficult to decide which rainboots to put on somedays.