Alive with opportunities


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Too often, we move through the physical world as if it were a stage set, a mute backdrop for our daily activities. Yet in reality it is alive with opportunities for inspiration, wonder, and joy.

Ingrid Fetell Lee
Joyful: The surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness

I’ve been quietly watching clouds set in a blue sky today, and poppies nodding in the breeze, and birds, and bees.

I’ve noticed the scent of the coffee and the granite counter cleaner in my kitchen, and taken time to prepare and trim the beans gifted to me across the garden fence by my neighbour.

I’ve swept the first of fallen autumn leaves, decided I must be patient and allow apples a little longer on the tree, enjoyed a productive hour with Duolingo in the sunshine, read a bit, walked a bit, eaten well, had a nap, and thought a lot about Ingrid Fetell Lee’s proposed opportunities.

I read and watch the News sometimes, of course, but I’m conscious of imbalance in the reporting. Apparently newsrooms, too busy with former presidents and future prime ministers (as though – dubiously – these were the most important ‘news’ in the world), don’t often have time (or perspective) to make decisions about apple trees, or singing, or sweeping up leaves. Never mind. I shall be (and you can be) happily responsible for these.

archive – a list of all earlier posts

9am Lakeland morning


A busy day ahead for the Royals down in Windsor. I’m wishing all possible joy and happiness for Prince Harry & Meghan. A less hectic start to my day here in sunny Lakeland – with only my bike, birds and the fells for company. I watched a small biplane until it became no more than a tiny dot on the horizon and some thoughts from Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee’s High Flight came to mind:

… and while with silent
lifting mind I trod
the high untrespassed
sanctity of space
put out my hand and
touched the face
of God


Running The Red Line

Running The Red Line.jpg

What an enormous privilege it was to be invited to capture some images of a vibrant and wonderfully ‘alive’ book launch for Julie Carter’s Running The Red Line on 21 April at The Skiddaw Hotel, Keswick. There’s nothing quite so wonderful as a room full of inspiring and inspired, encouraged and encouraging, charismatic and articulate friends – gathering to celebrate something profoundly rich – and thereby ‘write in light’, creating living poetry in the electrified air.

Broadband users, please click on the image above for a photobook (pdf) which will download in around 30 seconds.  Best viewed full screen.


We walked, still


We walked, still, even
after her energy had
waned far, unreplenished
by the ordinary grace of
food once consumed easily
and by most simply taken
for granted

And in the walking saw
and felt again and again
that nourishment may
be drawn for the soul
though the physical frame
tires and slows and evening
firelight glows

illuminating kaleidoscopic
memories and warming
hopes long held and yet
aspired to. Yes, we walked
still. And as though they had
been aware of a greater than
usual urgency

on Christmas Day in rain
around mid-afternoon and
a five mile tramp from our
beloved fireside she stooped
to feel snowdrops newly
raised from earth between
her fingers

Not too late this arrival –
not too late – it was a
timely coming
and is now a photograph
developed upon the backdrop
of my mind. Souvenir
We have come. We remember

And we walk, still
again and again