Breathing in what we breathe out

Photo 2CRG

I’ve come to love my garden more and more, by day and by night. Close up photos lend themselves to reflection afterwards, and I’ve been thinking about the miracle of a plant’s breathing in what I breathe out – and converting it to what I need to breathe in again. Schoolboyish, eh? But having the time, in later life, to think a little more deeply about such things is what makes this world magical – beckoning us toward a sense of responsibility.

Window shopping

Photo 2CRG

I wonder how many others share my delight in photographing shop windows – often little works of art in their own right? Just a glimpse, sometimes years later, reminds me exactly of where I was and what I was doing. In this case, having a lovely lazy day in Kirkcudbright, a couple of years ago, with one of my daughters and her young children. There’s often a marvellous array of colour in shop windows. It’s good to stop sometimes, even briefly, to take notice.

Now for indoor gardening

Having completed garden remodelling this year – and being inspired and delighted by it – I’ve turned my attention to some ‘indoor gardening’ with a new and growing collection of houseplants. Each of these, I’m told, are ‘air purifying.’ Sounds good …

Standard Dracaena Bicolor; Chlorophytum Comosum Bonnie; Dieffenbachia Bertina & Dracaena Marginata Bicolor

Holding the Universe

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How? Just how? I heard John Rutter’s wonderful setting to ‘For the beauty of the earth’ this evening and the combination of music and poetry is always guaranteed to set my imagination aflame. Yes. Before the beauty of the earth … and this immeasurable Universe, and my extraordinary set of perfectly symmetrical snowflake photographs, I find myself hushed and stilled and – suddenly aware of an hour’s having passed – wondering deeply, and at peace.

A trinity

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I broke a tooth in March and – struggling with eating – my sympathy for aged aunts and uncles who endured dentures for years has hugely increased; as has my immense regard and gratitude for a wonderful trinity of dentist, dental nurse and hygienist who, between them, warmly assisted by a super receptionist and the practice manager, make a visit to their dental surgery feel like a happy day out. And a splendid temporary tooth bites into a sandwich as good as the original!

Tender

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One of the things I’ve missed during the course of Lockdown UK has been proximity to the sea. I dream by day and by night of ocean’s flow and remember, more thankfully than would anyway have been the case, how fortunate I am to have been able to cross the Atlantic and sail up the Amazon River in January and February this year. I think it’s going to be a while before I’m able to sail again.

This mask business

Central London is extraordinarily quiet and in places more beautiful than ever. The gardens in front of Buckingham Palace are bright, pristine and precise. Cyclists and pedestrians amble content – untroubled by fast traffic.

Oh, but this wretched mask business! Frustrated human connection is palpable – people half-run towards each other, hearts primed for a hug. Then remember and retreat. Awkward.

And I get it, of course – for all the touted conspiracy theories and protests, most are frightened, plainly enough, of an invisible enemy. But I hope a fearful humankind can re-member and reconnect when the longed-for new, new normal comes. Beautiful cities are meant to accommodate connected people.