It has been one of those months where lots of little things went wrong and set me back on what I was trying to do. I always think that these kind of things come in threes so I must be on my third set of three by now.

I can’t remember now all of these little things but some stick in my mind. While doing a lot of sewing the needle broke on my sewing machine. Luckily I had one to replace it but it took time as it was fiddly to do. Then I chipped a tooth. I don’t have many left at the top so chipping one of these was not a good idea! Then a light bulb went in the kitchen and I had to ask a friend for help as I couldn’t get the old bulb out. That’s three things but there are more. My rose got black spot and had to be dealt with, the storms knocked down a lot of plants and had to be staked so they stood up again and then on Tuesday I got a very bad sting while watering the garden. Poor bee; sat on my arm and I didn’t notice it so bent my arm and squashed it. Of course it stung me and also bit me! The sting is still bothering me as I have a problem with my body dealing with stings and bites. A visit to the pharmacist helped but it is still not getting much better so a visit to the doctor on Monday maybe. On top of all this a parcel has not arrived having been sent back to the sender from the delivery depot as it was damaged!. I wonder what else there is to come along to set me back.

The weather is certainly not helping me get back on track with the garden as it is pouring with rain. It is good for the plants of course but it also makes the weeds grow as well. The area of the sting is still red and itchy and is in a place which makes doing things harder as it is on the inside of my elbow. But life goes on, as it does and I take each day as it comes, doing what I can and resting or reading when I can’t do everything else. But I do miss being outside in nature. I can however watch the birds through my window and that can be quite interesting. Last week a sparrow hawk shot into view and dived into the hedge but came out empty handed but from what my neighbours have said, it did get a pigeon later on. One day I will get a photo when it comes as it is a regular visitor.

So setbacks have happened and maybe there are more to come as our country faces turmoil and changes as does the whole world. I am trying to live each day without anger and worry but that can be hard to do when you get other little setbacks to stop you from moving on. How do you deal with these little setbacks?


Extremes are in the news at the moment but they have been around for a very long time. But lets take the weather first as that is very current. There have always been extremes of weather but we seem to be getting more, possibly because the climate is changing. So we have lots of flooding and lots of drought. These bring their own problems, like landslides and forest fires which both devastate the land around them and people’s lives as well as the wildlife which also lives there. But we are unable to change these events so far. However, such events often bring out the best in people and they all help each other to get back what they have lost. But a question here, does it change their lives?

We can look at extremes of beliefs next. There are some very right wing and some very left wing thinkers around. They each have their strong beliefs and many try to get rid of those who don’t agree. This turns into dictatorship and is not good for the many who don’t have the same beliefs. How do we deal with such extremes? Compromise is essential and we all need to think about what is fair, not just to ourselves, but to others who share our planet. What is best for one person is not necessarily any good for another. We are all different with different needs and this needs to be considered  at all times.

Sometimes it can be easy to see if something is good for all of us. Take a large car for example, made in this country. That benefits people by giving them a job, it benefits those who buy the car and drive it, therefore benefiting those who maintain the car. But against all of that, we need to consider emissions and air quality. Not easy is it.

I am a great believer in changing what I can and trying to work with what I can’t change. This applies in all parts of life and the ways of my life. I feel that is a start and try to encourage others so that extremist views may at some point become a thing of the past.


A mixed week

Despite the dreary weather and the onset of sciatic pain there has been a lot of good things happening this week some of which have brought me great joy. As usual after moving house there is always a lot of paperwork to do and this time has been no exception. I am still working on this as some change of address letters can only be done via the post.

I have bought myself a new mobility scooter which will be used a lot while I have this intense sciatic pain. The scooter will enable me to get out even if it is showery so I hope to get down to the country park soon which is not too far away.

I have managed to get all my new plants that were ready, planted in the garden where some of them shot up several centimetres the following day as they enjoyed the space around them. I still have about thirty plants in pots which are not yet ready for the garden itself.

My main joy has been sitting and watching the birds in the hedge, some of whom have built a large nest. I think this is the pair of blackbirds who are busy getting worms from the garden. One day a butterfly visited and I managed to get a photo through the window. It is not as clear as it would be had it been taken outside but it is quite a good photo anyway. At least I think so.

At six o’clock this morning the sun was shining but it has disappeared and there is a mist. It does look as if it will improve though and if it does I shall test my new scooter and head for the country park. But whatever the weather does I can enjoy watching the wild life through my windows. Nature heals as well as giving pleasure so I hope you all find time to enjoy being out there too.


Miscellaneous thoughts

Lots of things have passed through my mind this week.

Can there be peace in the political parties?

Can there be peace in the world?

Can we work through all the problems that confront us?

Can we stop and think about the effect of our actions?

How do we stop our land from being plundered for resources we do not really need as alternatives are available?

And so on and so on. Life is very confusing at the moment. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world not helped by the governments of Europe and elsewhere. There is so much political infighting that the reason for their election has been lost. Getting out for a walk this morning has helped me to come to terms with some things but then made me more aware of other things. I noticed autumn leaves on the ground this morning although it is only July and most trees are in full leaf. The weather seems confused as well. Where is our world going? What changes are ahead and can we stay positive on the way?

Lots of questions this morning. I am sure you will have more and maybe have a few answers. Here are my autumn leaves.


May is here

Although the calendar tells me it is the 1st of May I am not so sure about the weather. We have had snow, hail, a mini tornado and heavy rain together with a bitterly cold wind this last week. I feel sorry for the birds who have hatchlings, the butterflies and other insects who now find it too cold to survive and the trees just coming into bud where some leaves have now frizzled up with the cold wind.

This happened earlier in the year. December and January were mild until the last ten days or so in January when we had heavy frosts which killed off a lot of sprouting leaves and plant shoots. Yet nature carries on and recovers albeit slowly. Once it gets warm I hope to see lovely blossoms and bright flowers attracting the bees and butterflies. My forsythia is in full bloom now but much later than it should be.

One thing I noticed this week when I went into the gardens in town was a notice about bees and a bee friendly flower bed. Someone else told me that this is normal for our council and for me I find it a very positive outlook for a change. Now is the time to make sure our gardens attract wild life of all kinds so they stay with us and do not die out. Is your garden friendly towards wild life? Do you plant bee friendly flowers and shrubs?


Compassion and practicality

Earlier this week I wrote the following words;

‘Whatever your path may you have peace, may you have compassion for others, may you have joy and love, may you be thankful for what you have and may you bring love and peace into the world for others to share.’

Looking around at the UK this week and earlier this month I see that compassion is greatly needed for those affected by the floods. The amount of rain falling is unprecedented in many places and after soaking into the already saturated ground there is nowhere left for it to go. Streams that flood also drain into larger rivers and so on until there is nowhere left for water to go. However much you put up flood barriers, water will find the weakest point and those further downstream will be the ones to flood. So what is the answer?

You can’t argue with nature you have to work with it is the first thing to realise. But you have to look at the wider picture and think that if this is the weather we are going to have in the future then maybe we have to rethink everything we know. But at this moment in time practical help is what is needed. Many will have lost everything unless they managed to save things precious to them. But what is transpiring is that people are working together to help each other; communities whatever their faith are pulling together to help each other and those worse affected. It seems that it is only disasters that inspire us to work together. We need to learn to work together all the time, to help each other and to look for a better future.


Retreating into the dark or not?

This week I have felt that I need to retreat and replenish my soul from the events of the world around me. But then I think that the time is not right for this as there is a lot of work to do to help others find their way in these troubled times. It is not just the wars that cause us problems but our ever changing weather. There seem to be more extremes of weather here in the UK and this was forecast when climate change was discussed some time ago. Yet we are never prepared for this. I think about my bungalow which was built about 30 or so years ago and won an award for the design of the complex of which it is a part. But no-one thought about the strong winds which blow around the houses and chase plant pots and wheelie bins away because there is no safe place to store them. But that is nothing compared to the floods up north. Yet we still build houses by rivers and streams and high bridges which cannot stand up to the wind.

So do I retreat for a while and ignore the outside world? I have tried over the last couple of days to find that quiet time for contemplation but was disturbed by the howling of the wind and loud bangs as things outside were blown around. Maybe now is not the time for this kind of work, contemplating our world in peace. Maybe some music will help. I have been listening to my favourite composer Shostakovich recently. His music tells of the pain and sorrow that is current in our world yet was current in his world too. As I have often thought and said, times do not change, history repeats itself continuously and we do not seem to learn from this. Maybe my time for a retreat is not yet here.



June ramblings

Summer is here! But it is so late for the warmer weather that the birds are still needing to be fed every day. Some time ago we had a warm spell and there were abundant butterflies. Since the colder weather returned I have not seen any butterflies. Hopefully they will come again now it is warmer.

It is quite amusing watching the birds feed. The fledglings are getting thinner as they use energy to fly about. But they have not quite grasped the idea of feeding themselves on a perch and often over balance. There is also a lot of rivalry and yesterday I watched one youngster push another one off the perch. Someone I know commented that it must be boring watching the birds but I find it fascinating to watch them and see how they are growing and how their behaviour changes. I do wonder how the parents recognise their young as they all look the same but I have seen a parent feed one bird but not another next to it.

But the garden is coming to life, the flowers are starting to open and the leaves on the shrubs are spreading out. The garden looks green and healthy. For me, these signs of growth are good, they tell me that whatever we do to nature, it can come back and continue to grow. But I know there will be a limit to this and too much desecration of the land could make it unrenewable. We must take care of our planet before we die out through lack of care and sense. Here is one of last years butterflies. I hope they return soon.


A stormy world

There is a full moon eclipse this coming week. I have been told that this represents extremes, shocking and unpredictable behaviours. We already have this in our world so does this mean it is going to get worse?

Is this perhaps the last of this type of behaviour in the world and we are cleansing things ready for a new and fairer world?

On a scientific level, the melting of the polar ice is causing problems with the jet stream and hence unpredictable weather and storms. We can’t really do a lot about this or can we? Can we do anything about the ‘storms’ of unrest? As a druid I ask for peace every day, all over the world but sometimes feel helpless to change any thing at all. How do you feel about all of this? Can we work together to change things?


Early Autumn

It is only mid-August but nature is showing autumn symptoms. It is quite cold here and going to get colder next week. The leaves are turning brown on the trees and some have fallen already. The rowan trees are bending down with the weight of their berries. The recent storms have battered the shrubs in gardens and some are already dying down ready for the winter.

But it is the birds that seem most prominent. They have descended on the bird feeders in a frenzy and have demolished several fat balls in only a couple of days. Each time I refill the feeders, they come again. These are young birds, starlings, but not yet with their adult colours. None of them look alike as they all seem at different stages in their lives.

Someone said that surely there were enough insects in the garden for the birds to eat but obviously this is not so. I know it is only mid-August but if the birds need food then they should have it. We have to be aware that whatever the date is does not mean anything at all nowadays as the weather patterns are changing. We need to be aware and notice when our birds need food.

The photo below is not as good as I would like but there is no way I can get rid of the background house! And I took the photo through the window as well.