Home adventures….. Reader Cafes…

Loving York Library reader cafes this summer. We picked up a leaflet in Rowntree Park Reader Cafe encouraging us to get a stamp from all six reader cafes this summer to win a goodie bag.

It worked! We have two left to go. It’s cost me a small fortune in posh lemonade and hot chocolate – but we made it a teddy bears picnic event and the whole family have got back into reading in a major way. (Result!)

I’ve made some great unexpected finds for my PhD. Nothing better than running your (sanitised) hand along a book shelf and seeing and seeing what speaks to you right?

And we have discovered some great new resources under our noses.

For those of you interested in the bears… they are all rescue bears from charity shops ❤️ Mr Snoots (in the leopard print) only likes to be decent and clothed. Tom Traveller (strange green colour) doesn’t really give a damn. Bez the bear (in his lion onesie) is my replacement bear (top pic) after Mr Snoots surprisingly migrated from my room to my daughters.

Late night allotmenting…

I completed my second set of courses for the Field Studies Council this evening. I’ve hugely enjoyed creating the courses and teaching. Visiting the allotment was the perfect wind down after a lovely online session.

The pond is teaming with tiny frogs, everything is lush and full of life.

Linden blossom and honey suckle scent marked our path. Roses trailed over the plot borders.

I think I will sleep well tonight 🙂

I’m looking forward to running the two courses again in the Autumn term. If you are interested in joining, you can find more out about them here:

*Exploring Nature Writing

*Developing Nature Writing

Both courses are run virtually. Students download and complete course tasks which are followed up by a 40 minute zoom at the end of each week. They will be running again during September and October 2021.

This mornings adventure…creative writing inspiration.

There’s nothing like a car boot as inspiration to create a story. A rich resource for creativity and writing prompts, although I find myself pondering human life and our detachment from the natural world. If only we realised how transient life is, our attachment to ‘stuff’ is quite strange.

The verges on the way home to base camp were where I found the real treasures.

Creating Silence….

‘Silence is the new luxury. Silence is more exclusive and long lasting than other luxuries.’ Erling Kagge

It’s no coincidence that I’m writing this the day before the children go back to school. It seems that two parallel experiences have been going on during the pandemic, either intense isolation, or intense company. I have been experiencing the latter.

By silence Erling Kagge was not speaking of literal silence. He was speaking of silence in a busy world with so many distractions and so many things vying for our attention. To just be for a moment, with no demands, to lose ourself in a moment, to have time to think.

Lockdown has given us a strange silence. An unexpected pause from our busy lives, a chance to simplify. For some this has been too quiet, For myself it has created a different kind of busy – one where I get snatches of time to do things and one where I have had to really consider my priorities. It has given me time to realise how much I was trying to cram into the short hours of a school (when the schools were open) and how challenging it has been to try to continue to work and study and also ensure my family have what they need. I have realised that silence is a luxury in a busy life and it is also an essential, to create space for thought and creativity, to pause.

Thinking about my research I realise that I was so caught up in the many strands of what I could do, that I almost lost sight of what I actually wanted to do, because of all the possibilities that I had started to unravel. A bit like cooking a fancy meal, only to get it all dished up and realise that the table still needs setting while the food is going cold.

To continue my research I need to start again at the end. I need to set my table and my expectations and then I need to build my ingredients and get cooking. Up until this point I have been looking at all the possibilities and getting overwhelmed by the many opportunities. To keep writing weekly is to stay focused on the end goal.

Last Sunday I wrote that my goal was to finish a book that I had started and to write 500 words. I have completed the words and finished a book; Silence in the Age of Noise. It wasn’t the book I intended to read, never mind finish, but it turns out it was exactly the book that I needed.

Goals for this week:

  • Write another 500 words.
  • Finish another book.
  • Email 1000 words to my tutors.