Showing posts from August, 2021

A Forest Bath

Forest bathing appears to be an increasingly popular wellness trend. I had naively assumed that it involved lying on a leaf strewn floor beneath a canopy of trees whilst meditating deeply. Not quite, for it turns out it's evolved from a Japanese relaxation technique known as shinrin-yoku where you indulge yourself in a sensory experience amongst the trees. The Forestry England website describes it as breathing deeeply whilst quietly observing nature. The National Trust has a web page with forest bathing tips on it where it emphasises the need to focus on the woodland around you whilst perhaps wandering slowly through it, touching tree trunks. The Woodland Trust lists the benefits of a woodland stroll and describes forest bathing as an immersive experience involving touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing. We have just returned from our regular summer stay in the Lake District where we envelop ourselves in a cabin at the edge of woodland overlooking the Langdale Beck. If two hours of

No Fog at Sea

  On Monday the youngest, who was paying us another flying visit, and I went for a coastal walk, blowing the proverbial cobwebs away. It was a complete change of scenery and colour. Day after day, I am surrounded by the beauty of the countryside but it is definitely green and not blue. Grass and trees sway silently in the gentle summer breezes. Looking out at the North Sea, the waves came crashing in and the expanse of sky above an empty beach created a sweeping azure-soaked panorama. After weeks in the city on the youngest's part and in the countryside on mine, we both felt refreshed and re-energised. I was reminded of that feeling reading about research in Italy and Scotland where studies have shown that last year's hard lockdowns affected many people's cognitive abilitites causing them to suffer "brain fog." It's obviously important to exercise and socialise and whilst a routine can be important if you are working or studying, for the rest of us impetuous


  This morning's Yoga session concluded with a poignant mantra. I thought it was so appropriate for the stage of retirement that I now find myself in that I  really have to share it:- I have enough; I do enough; I am enough. Apt though it is, I concede that I am still battling with: an abundance of items giving rise to far more than is adequate; the intermittent panic that accompanies an unfinished To Do List; the self doubt that spurs me to feel that I should be doing better and achieving more. However, I truly ought to know better by now: enough is enough. Going forward, I intend to keep repeating those 3 lines to myself. There's something about them that envelops me in an overwhelming feeling of calm. I may not be the best and I may not be excelling in retirement but, breathing deeply and expressing acceptance, "I am enough."    

In Flames

  (Image by DeSa81 from Pixabay ) Recent reports of forest fires around the world have been distressing. Conflagrations that burn and burn have to be one of the worst human nightmares.  Closer to home, we have suffered our own blaze as the local television mast went up in flames yesterday depriving almost a million homes across the region of their radio and TV reception, "indefinitely" according to some reports. Obviously a Smart TV would be the answer but with the constraints on rural broadband I'm unsure how many people will be able to rely satisfactorily on this if everyone starts to stream at the same time. There are also many households (we being one of them) who don't even possess such technology although we do cast to our living room TV from a variety of other devices instead. Fortunately we are still at that stage of retirement where the television set is frequently silent as we find other diversions to distract and entertain us. Fast forward another 20 years

Great British Bake Off

  July has been and gone but what a warm month; baking you might say. I'm certain it's becoming more challenging to cope with the heat as I age. For someone who has always loved hot, sunny weather, I confess I have found myself repeatedly seeking the shade of indoors and on Friday, when we finally got some heavy rain, considered a secret celebration. Well for once I didn't have to water the garden. I've had no qualms about exercising in the warmth, taking it as an ideal excuse to make my way to the air conditioned studio where gym classes are held. Desperately needing a reason to cool down every day, I've even taking to doing a weights class! Yes my dumbbells look a little light but I'm chest pressing with the best of them regardless. Of course lounging in the swimming pool too has been a delight in July's temperatures and in typical GBBO style I've emerged with a soggy (or probably in my case saggy) bottom. Regrettably it does mean all kinds of chores a