A Patch of Land

One of the main reasons we bought our house was because it had an enormous back garden.  The possibilities were endless, vegetable patches, a formal garden, building a garden room complete with running water and electricity, an orchard with a variety of fruit trees. The reality was, hard work, time consuming and a relentless battle against nature. Evidence of the garden’s previous life, popped up every spring, crocus, daffodils, snow drops an assortment of beautiful reminders that summer was on its way. Moving sheds, digging up hedges, laying new patios and path ways.  The hard landscaping was arduous but worth it.  The new formal garden started to take on a new character, showing our preferences and inspirations.  Building a row of raised beds to grow vegetables, which was easy to maintain from a wheelchair. The new patio was very plain, until we built seating areas, using free pallet wood, enough seating for 10 – 12 people.  Making cushions, choosing fabric to cover the cushions,...
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My Backyard

Overgrown, uneven, weeds everywhere.  Not neat and tidy in anyone’s mind. Home to insects, spiders, little frogs, hedgehogs and most importantly, chickens. Separated from the main half of the garden, the back end is nature taking over, like triffids.  Growing up and over, through and between anything in its way.  Until a chicken discovers the tasty green shoot and devours it greedily. The patch of land quickly becomes sparse and bare earth, only nettles grow unhindered.  The chooks investigate every inch, inquisitively. We create a safe haven for them, fixing up fences, Heath Robinson style, to prevent their many attempts to escape.  Before filling every gap and little hole, we would often get a call from the garage next door telling us that a chicken was strutting around on their forecourt.  We thought that they were maybe trying to help sell the cars, or give the space some added interest. In the summer, stretching out a canvas sail, across the corner of their pen to...
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ESP

The need to communicate with others is an innate need for most of us.  Fine, when they are near to you, but what happens when they are a distance away?  We have to depend on technology, whether it be a telephone, ZOOM meeting, Facetime, Email.  If we rely on technology, invariably it fails us, in one way or another, frustrating us and causing stress and anxiety. Just suppose, we are able to communicate without technology, just using the power of our minds.  Being able to tell someone you love them and are thinking of them, would happen just using your thoughts.  Ordering a Chinese, (for Terry) would be a simple matter of thinking of the dishes required and the delivery details and hey presto, a piping hot meal would be delivered.  Having a meeting (or class) with a group of people, would not depend on the ever-failing internet, just think of who needs to be there and away you go. There would...
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Jonathan Livingston

Considered the rat of the sky, or is that a pigeon?  Well certainly, if you live near the seaside, this bird is certainly as troublesome as a rat.   Screeching across the sky, like a wailing banshee. As loud as an airplane, enough to almost break the sound barrier.  Trying to steal food, attacking innocent holiday makers for their chips like greedy children at a birthday party.   Ganging up on other birds to scare them away, using brute force and ignorance.  The seagull is certainly a rowdy bully, with the power and weight behind it.  Leaving their large droppings behind, sometimes on an unsuspecting person’s head, if they are lucky. But are we underestimating this bird, misjudging its abilities, assuming they are just a pest and not appreciating their strengths? Seagulls mate for life, like Derby and Joan, together forever.  Taking turns in caring and feeding their chicks, fussing over their young, helicopter parents, hovering over them, lovingly.  The male seagull takes responsibility...
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Murmuration

Gliding effortlessly through the air like a leaf falling from a tree in autumn.  Twisting and turning with tiny movements of its wings, twitching feathers and muscles in a spasm of change. The murmuration moved as one huge cloud, connected together by invisible threads.  Diving down, heading for the ground like an airplane out of control, about to crash land.  Then in an instant changing their shape into a long stripe of moving darkness in the sky, like an artist’s strokes on a canvas. Travelling across the sunset sky, over pink and grey, red and black, then up into the clear blue, spreading the dark mist of moving individual birds acting as one. The sheer beauty of their swooping and whirling with one apparent mind, creates a sense of awe, never known before.  Standing, staring unable to look away, gripped as if in terror, tears spring to my eyes, suddenly streaming down my face like a river. The power and mystery of this phenomenon...
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SAD

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I just feel so depressed.” Marion sighed deeply and looked outside at the rain. “Perhaps you need to go to your GP, you may need something to help you.” Her husband replied. “Maybe,” Marion replied, “I’ll ring tomorrow for an appointment. The next day, the sun came out and walking their dog, Marion felt better, almost uplifted. Turning her face up towards the sky, enjoying the warmth of the sun.  She forgot about ringing the doctors.  Putting the washing out on the line, and watching the breeze move the sheets, she felt quite positive and upbeat. November brought endless grey days, cold winds and dark evenings.  Marion’s depression reared its ugly head again.  She finally gave in and rang the surgery. Armed with an appointment for later that week, she felt that at least she was doing something about it. Sitting in the waiting room, she went through what she wanted to tell her Doctor, feeling a little nervous...
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Age and Youth

We always say that we wish that we had eyes in the back of our head, in order to see behind us and in front simultaneously. Parents, particularly would like this ability, to be aware of their children’s misdemeanours or even their good behaviour. To be able to see both the future and the past, at the same time, is a frightening thought. Watching my elderly mother interacting with my son, both determined to misbehave, both conducting themselves as naughty, little children.  Giggling at the same silly jokes and trying hard not to let me in to their world of mischievousness.  Finding Tom and Jerry hilarious, watching the unfortunate make fools of themselves on You’ve been Framed, both in hysterics at the sheer slapstick humour. For some reason my mother disliked the French, and once while watching a basketball game between our local team and some French boys, she became quite vocal and started to shout not quite obscenities, but enough to embarrass me. ...
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Of winds and Place

Many of men on the ocean need the winds Even for us men of land, which we use it to grind Avena to oats, wheat to flour, for us to flourish Keeping us fed and well nourished   Winds lead to places far often Though lend its strength to soften With the strong milling Given the miller is willing   The Fief blooms, a place of plenty now With wheat, sheep, pig and cow Men watching over their ‘stock and flock Watered with the water of the loch   Ye men of faith visit the parish Aches and thoughts of work vanish...
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Survivors

Walking is our only means of transport, now.  This means that our boundaries are much tighter than ever.  If we discuss travel, we simply propose the distance we can travel, by foot, between sunrise and sunset. Families are spread out so much, these days, unlike before when your children would live in the same village, they were born in. Food and other necessities have to be local, as there is no system for transporting goods around the country.  This makes our lives simpler and less demanding.  As long as we have food to eat, wood to burn, water to drink and air to breathe, we are content. Our horizons are just that, naïve and uncomplicated.  If you can’t see it, it isn’t there, if you can’t touch it, it doesn’t exist.  If you can survive without it, you didn’t need it in the first place. We have brought back our compassion for the community, caring for those less fortunate than ourselves and who are...
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Bellissimo Beau

When she checked into the hotel in Rome, Saffia was excited at the prospect of exploring the beautiful city and soaking up the atmosphere of its romance and history. She was glad that the concierge spoke fluent English, as her grasp of Italian stopped at ciao and grazie.  The fattorino showed her to her room and placed her luggage carefully inside, she thanked him and gave what she thought was appropriate as a tip, along with a whispered ‘grazie’, just in case her pronunciation was bad. She ordered room service from the concierge and went to bed early, determined to rise early and begin her adventure in Rome. Dressing carefully for a day in the heat of Italy, loose, linen, lilac slacks, flat leather sandals and a flowing cotton kaftan in a pretty shade of turquoise.  Hair tied up casually in loose chignon, simple silver drop-earrings and several silver bangles finished her look. When she entered the dining room, several heads turned and the...
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