8 January 2022

This arrived today. Spent some Christmas gift money. Pierre Hadot is often quoted by some of the more recent writers on Stoicism, particularly The Inner Citadel. I thought I’d better read it myself.

6 January 2022

Took a trip over to Steart Marshes yesterday. Happened to be a bright dry day in among the grey and murky ones. A cold wind - cleared the head after spending a lot of time indoors. Walked out to the Breach.

Waders and wildfowl aplenty - lapwing, shelduck, redshank, curlew - but the highlight was a male hen harrier quartering the reed beds. I’ve only ever seen one before, years ago, and as a breeding species in the UK that is almost non-existent, to see a winter visitor was a real treat.

31 December 2021

2021 has made me think all over again about what we are doing to this planet. And ourselves. About what really matters. I like this quote from Donald Robertson’s How to think like a Roman Emperor: > ‘…to desire something is to imagine having what you don’t have, the presence of something that’s absent. Gratitude, on the other hand, comes from imagining the absence of things that are currently present: What would it be like if you didn’t have this? If we don’t occasionally picture loss, reminding ourselves what life might be like without the things and people we love, we would take them for granted.”

If this is the only thing that sticks in my sieve-like mind over the coming year, I’ll take it.

30 December 2021

Our postponed trip to the coast went ahead today, complete with one perky dog - no after effects of his seizure in evidence.

Got a decent walk in, and good to get some fresh air after several days at home. Usually, the views from Selworthy Beacon are stunning. But…not today…

29 December 2021

We were planning to go off to the coast for some walking today but our dog had another seizure last night. He has to rest for 24hrs afterwards so instead we have an enforced day of taking it easy.

As it happens, the weather was pretty grotty this morning so not such a bad thing.

18 December 2021

A family discussion about Christmas films. The question came up: which is more violent, Die Hard or Home Alone?

Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2022

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