Posts in ponder
Beer and Skittles

Christmas. Undoubtedly my favourite time of year. From as early as September it starts to occupy my thoughts. It becomes my main focus for the following three months. As the days darkern, my excitement starts to build. I begin introducing aspects of it into my life and home; watching films and reading novels that help to bring the spirit of the season alive for me. But for the last few years I have noticed a change within me. Whilst I still love Christmas and embrace it as much as I can, I’ve realised that I’ve come to dread it in equal measure.

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A Knife and Fork in the Road

Stress. It arrives like an unwelcome houseguest, brazenly walking through the door without being invited in, dropping its bags overflowing with anxiety, tension and agitation at your feet. It pushes past you, takes root in your chair and throws its feet upon the nearest table. It looks at you with controlling eyes as if to say, ‘I’m here now and I’m going to call the shots’. You stand there, feeling as though your strings have been cut, feeling the full weight of your body from the vacuous air above.  You hope that if you ignore it, it’ll just shrivel away. But it doesn’t work like that. It’s like a petulant, needy child, constantly seeking attention and demanding your time. If you give it the silent treatment, it’ll just shout louder in your ear. 

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A Perfectly Portioned Autumn

It’s that time of year again, my favourite time when the smell of autumn lingers in the air and everything feels new and possible. Every year I have such high hopes for autumn. I promise myself that I shall be out revelling in it as much as possible. I imagine the long walks in my favourite knitwear, my ochre scarf wrapped around my neck as I kick up leaves in my walking boots. But for me, autumn always comes with a side serving of trepidation and fear. Because autumn is as much about food as it is about being outdoors. It’s the season of harvest and abundance, tempting me with big roast dinners, warming stews and wholesome soups. I love to plan walks where I know there's a cafe so I can sit and enjoy my cake and coffee as the light fades around me. For me, autumn gives with one hand and cruelly takes with another. 

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When the Skylark Sings

As my heart filled with the sights and sounds of the world awakening around me, I drove further. I ventured out to the north of Perthshire, following old bridle paths and nature trails. I took off my navy jumper, tied it around my shoulders, exposing the skin of my arms and and the gentle folds of my stomache through my colourful breton top. I was happy. I was fulfilled. I felt as though I was seeing the world for the first time with the eyes of someone who had lived as a silhouette for far too long. As I climbed over gates, and searched for paths, I felt the weight of my worries lift from me. It was springtime and I overwhelmingly pleased to see it.

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The Smallest of Things

Then there are the shafts of light that suddenly seem to appear around the house. You walk into a room and there they are. Beautiful vignettes, each breathing new life into a forgotten patch on the wall or a corner of the furniture. In a brief moment, it holds everything in its path in perfect clarity as the edges around it gradually fall into shade. And if by chance the ray catches a nodding, humble flowerhead in its path, the moment is elevated into something more than mere light and shade.  

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Notes from the Aga

I think about everything, from the trivial to the profound. I can spend an entire hour wandering whether we eat enough fish or whether our duvet has the right tog count for the time of year. But just lately one question has dominated my thoughts. I live a small but important life. I end most days with a feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment. But do I keep my life intimate because I like it this way or because I am fearful of trying something new? In the years to come, when I approach the late autumn and winter of my life, will I feel as though I have done enough? Have I grasped the opportunities presented to me and left a legacy on this world?

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