Two days of significantly improved weather and voila, three swallows arrived. Always a day to lift the spirits.

One way or another, I’m regularly passing through or am otherwise in the vicinity of the Somerset Levels. As a result, it’s difficult not to be aware of peat extraction.

The National Trust are taking mushrooms off the menu due to the use of peat in the production process. Got me thinking about whether peat is used in the production of mushrooms for Riverford Organics, where we get our veg box from. I’ve emailed them so we’ll see what response I get.

I love mushrooms. Makes me wonder about growing my own.

Keep looking out for our swallows. I saw Portland Bird Observatory reported their first on the 18th. The earliest ours have arrived is around the 28th but I’m ever hopeful they will turn up sooner.

Happy Vernal Equinox! The sun is up for more than 12 hrs now and it’s the start of astronomical spring. I don’t recall learning of the astronomical seasons before. There is a clear explanation on the Met Office website.

Even though we are not getting too many days with significant rainfall, there aren’t many at the moment where there is none at all. It’s rather telling that it only takes a few millimetres of rain and the quantity of surface water on both roads and fields is very visible.

I don’t recall ‘mud season’ carrying on for this long. We are over half way through March and I’ve got to admit it’s somewhat passing me by, in the sense that its differentiation from February is not that great. Spring is definitely happening and I appreciate the bird song, the blossom, the flushes of green in the hedges, but it would be nice to have it drier underfoot. Going outside still largely requires donning wet weather gear.

I finished listening to This Changes Everything yesterday. At nearly 21 hours listening its quite the marathon but had I read it instead I suspect I would have struggled to maintain momentum. Not that its difficult to read/listen to, but there is a lot of it.

I felt quite drained today because its so hard hitting. It’s going to take me a while to process but right now it feels like I can’t bury my head in the sand about what we are doing to the planet. I don’t know what that means in terms of what I personally can do, given it’s pretty overwhelming, but I hope I don’t just let it slide.

I had been planning to write about my impressions and such from listening to Four Thousand Weeks but I’m going to buy the book so that I can go through and make notes. While there was no one thing that stood out as deeply profound1, it was full of thought provoking points that made me want to go away and think about them. Listening to a book like this is fine, but it does make it tricky when you want to stop and note something down.

Additionally, I was in the middle of listening my way through Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything when my reserved copy of Four Thousand Weeks became available, so I’ve immediately picked up where I left off with the former. It’s a pretty dense book, in a good way, so all my attention is on that now, and I want to finish that before I return to Burkeman.

  1. This originally said ‘there was nothing that stood out as deeply profound’. When I read it again later I realised that was not quite what I meant, so I’ve changed it.[]

On Monday we took a trip to the Uffington White Horse area for a walk. Sunny, clear with a cool wind, perfect for walking. Warm enough to have lunch sitting in the sun propped up against a tree. Did a 12K loop taking in Wayland's Smithy, a Neolithic long barrow. Reading about it, I had one of those moments when your perception of historic time suddenly stretches and warps in ways that are unexpected, because by the time the Saxon's gave named it, it was already 4000 years old.

Having lamented the lack of time and good light for doing photography lately, this trip was perfect so I was able to finish another roll so will be developing that soon.