Out with Lola for a dog walk this morning. I was thinking maybe I ought to find some new routes if I’m going to be writing more day-to-day stuff for this part of the blog. But then I thought how changeable things are. There’s always something new to see, different times of year, differences in the light, the people you meet, the way you feel in yourself. No two walks are ever the same. And then, to illustrate the point in a rather blunt kind of way: I found this arrow propped up against a tree…
Lola as Sam Spade (if you see what I mean)
Later on I met Mary. She stopped to make sure her black Labrador Charlie had a firm grip on his ball, because Lola has been known to nick it and then run around for ages celebrating / taunting. It was obvious to both of us – and no doubt Charlie – that Lola was only pretending to be interested in something a little way ahead. Sure enough, as we stood talking, Lola slowly started to circle back, irresistibly drawn to the ball. She really can’t help herself.
‘All she needs is a trench coat and trilby hat,’ I said, thinking about detectives in pulp thrillers.
‘And a pipe,’ said Mary.
She put the slimy ball in her pocket.
I carried on walking.
A complete absence of bird
Out onto Broken Tree Hill. Saw a woodpecker on the dead pine there, but the zoom on the phone camera isn’t great, and when I tried to get closer the woodpecker had gone, flying in that funny, dipping way they have, a lazy-kind of blanket stitch along the edge of the field. So I didn’t manage to get a great wildlife shot of a woodpecker tapping around for bugs. You’ll just have to make-do with a shot of the tree, and trust it was ever there at all.
I’m a big fan of my smartphone. They come in for plenty of stick, especially re.‘phone zombies’: people walking along staring into them without looking up and falling into the sea &c, or sitting scrolling through lunch and not talking to anyone. All these things are true and a bit of a hazard. But there are so many other, positive aspects to them, beyond just the phoning, the googling and the satnav. For example, I love the note function, that lets you dictate things you’d otherwise forget. The camera’s good, too, and the voice recorder. And then there are the apps you can download. I’ve been using Headspace these past few months. It’s a meditation program, which you can tailor to your own needs. Things were getting stressful at work, and I needed something to help me feel more in control & calmer about things. Headspace has really done the trick (which sounds like a blatant bit of advertising, but it’s just a personal recommendation – honest!) I was thinking this morning that it could be seen as something of a cult. ‘Andy’ the charismatic voice guiding you through all these deep relaxation & visualisation techniques. I wonder if the government has approached him with a ton of money to hypnotise a good proportion of the population so that at one key word we all become Andy’s Army (free story idea, right there). Anyway – I thoroughly recommend the app (must serve Andy… must serve Andy….).
p.s. Big thanks to Mark Spencer for recommending Irfanview as a handy photo re-sizer in place of the much-missed Picture Manager. (I downloaded via filehorse, but there are plenty of other place). So far, so good. It works a treat!