January Small Stone# Thirty One

My small stones haven’t been as mindful as last year, mainly because I haven’t had enough time to write poetry, because of writing for assignments. That isn’t to say that I take poetry very seriously, I enjoy writing poems now, but I’m still too lazy/busy to learn how to do it. So I’ve used photos quite a few times and little anecdotes about the days happenings. I’ve also whinged about the weather and felt sorry for myself a few times. I’ve shown you Exeter, copper beech and talked about asthma. I’ve shared a sort of recipe for soup, which has since been tried by Sharon from A Number of Things, reminded you that Pride and Prejudice has been around for 200 years and shown you a fingernail moon.
My most popular stone has been number thirteen, a gallery of about twelve photos where a flock of geese circle and then land, and I must admit I quite like it myself.
I’ve enjoyed adding stones to the river, but most of all I’ve enjoyed reading and seeing YOUR stones, thanks for sharing! I hope next year that a few more of you my friends join in, because even though my writing hasn’t been particularly mindful, I have been more mindful during January, and that has to be good.
Thank so much for being around, commenting and liking, and generally helping me through what is the toughest month for a tropical gypsy living on latitude 50.718412 N.

HAPPY SPRING

January Small Stone# Thirty

I’ve just watched a local TV program, a mix of magazine and news. One of tonights offerings was the story of a young man, just seventeen who had a major stroke. He now has ‘locked in’ syndrome, and his parents had been told that he would never be able to communicate – he proved them wrong. He is in a wheelchair and unable to speak, but now uses his eye movements to control a computer, that then types and speaks his words. So to help other stroke victims he is writing a book.
How dare I complain that I’ve lost my mojo.

My Hobbit is my guest!

Most of you are familiar with my friend at work, the lovely Hobbit who I tease so much. Well I invited him to write a guest post for Lucid Gypsy and he said yes! I hope you read and enjoy getting to know him a little, he is a gem!

Silence. Alarm. Silence.

I have been an avid reader of Gypsy’s blog for a while. I was chuffed that the other day, she asked if I would like be a guest blogger.

I’ve been thinking about what to write every day since. It had to be something relevant. It had to be a worthy event to justify someone taking the time to read it. Then I thought – keep it simple. Just write something.

Yesterday I was suffering from a common winter cold.

I struggled through the morning at work before I’d had enough. I negotiated a half day’s holiday. Besides, I wasn’t getting much sympathy at work – ‘Please don’t spread your germs around the office’ were the kindest words of support I was offered. Although I am sure it was meant with a slither of compassion.

Log off computer and shut down. Off I went.

The sensible thing to do would have been to go home, have a hot drink and go to bed. No. I was determined that as the cold weather had largely contributed to my cold, it could at least try its best to offer some sort of consolation. It didn’t disappoint.

There is a remote piece of wilderness on the edge of Exeter that is a favourite haunt of mine. It is a relatively small bundle of fields, trees and streams teeming with wildlife.

I’ve been there a thousand times ā€“ a regular visitor since I could barely walk. But yesterday I appreciated it more than usual.

You know that feeling you get when you wake on a Saturday morning, still sleepy, steeling yourself for the day ahead, still thinking its Friday, and a work day? Then comes the mini-euphoric realisation that it’s the weekend – extra minutes to laze in bed. Those extra minutes seem precious.

I hadn’t expected to be visiting my wilderness yesterday. Mini-euphoria.

It was silent and peaceful. The high ground was coated in snow.

The silence was briefly interrupted by the bang of a game-keepers rifle. This set off a sequence of bird alarm calls that sounded ten thousand strong, all shrieking in stereo.

Silence resumed.

The only sound was snow falling to the ground intermittently; its icy grip loosening from the frozen branches above.

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Suddenly, a Jay crashes through the branches, barking out it’s disapproval at something in the woods as it flew hurriedly across the field.

The best of all though, arrived with no sound.

I had been walking for about an hour and the weather was biting again. I headed back to the car mindful of the worsening conditions.

I thought I had witnessed the best the afternoon had to offer, until the perfect picture.

The sight of a red fox staring at me in a field covered in snow. He knew I wanted to take his picture.

He posed, almost boastful of his glossy, shiny red coat. I rustled into my bag to grab the camera. I was ready for the picture. Nonchalantly, he turned away and disappeared into a mass of trees and snow.

I must learn to be a sharper shooter. A more sophisticated camera would certainly help.

What could have made my walk better?

Well, I guess it could have been slightly less chilly.

I suppose I could have taken the dog with me.

Maybe two of my equally enthusiastic photographer friends, who share my admiration of the countryside, could have joined me.

But then they would have probably caught my cold – and sympathy would have been even less forthcoming.

Even so, I wish every Thursday afternoon could be like yesterdays.

I would quite happily tolerate a cold each time to make this happen.

Simple.

Hobbit

January Small Stone# Twenty Nine

My friend is leavng the Trust today so we won’t get our weekly lunchtime chats, I’ll really miss her šŸ˜¦ this is the photo I used to make her a good luck card.Kaz

She’s been a ray of sunshine that helped me through the week, especially when I was stressed becauseĀ I had to apply for my job. She’s moving to a great new pastures and I’m sure she will love it and they will wonder how they managed before!

January Small Stone# Twenty Eight

My Mojo packed its bags in November and hasn’t been seen since. No-one knows where it went, why it went or what it got up to when it was away. I was quite worried about it at first and considered filing a missing Mojo report. But then I got angry instead. I yelled, I sulked, I told it I didn’t care if it never came back, becauseĀ I had no plans to use it anyway. Then something strange happened – like in all the best stories – just when I came close to giving up, it showed up, acting as if nothing had even happened.

Today I wrote the first draft, nearly three thousand words, of a short story that will be my next assignment for my creative writing course. And breath.

100 Steps at the underpass

Myfanwy at http://chittlechattle.com/Ā began taking photos on a 100 step walk and several bloggers have followed her idea, it’s a great way of becoming aware of your surroundings. I’ve tried it from home and from work,Ā and yesterday as I was at Rosemoor, where there is beauty in every direction, I decided toĀ choose a particular starting point. Half way around the garden it changes its nature by going through an underpass on the A3124 to the original garden bequeathed by Lady Anne and bearing her name.

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I walked 50 steps in each direction from here and saw this cute bird, part of the sculpture exhibition

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Some well weathered and lichened stone

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Plenty of greenery of course but I like this leaf

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A sculpture with an interesting texture

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A leaf with a shimmer, about fifty centimetres across

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These are my favourites, I love the way the shadow became blue andĀ I have no idea why, but I used my phone camera to take these shots because I was dodging the rain.

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Hope you like my steps Myfanwy!

Jake’s Sunday Post: Focussed Attention

http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/sunday-post-focused-attention/ Jake says Focused attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of processing resources.
I’m bringing you some photos which I hope fit the bill.