28 August 2021

 Sitting out in the garden, I looked up. Above the gap between our trees a sparrow hawk appeared, at the same time as a buzzard, flying much higher.

Sparrow hawk - the speck in the upper right. Buzzard - speck in the lower left.

14 August 2021

I’ve been trying to implement some sort of mindfulness/Stoic contemplation practice in the mornings. The results have been mixed as my mind tends to be all over the place at that time of day.

It can be a productive time for me as it is often then that I have ideas. But it is also a time when my mind is running over all the things that I need to do. Not a quiet time, mentally.

This morning I tried something different. Before doing any contemplation I used the dictation feature on my phone to do a mind dump. Just free-wheeling through anything that was bouncing around in my head. Easier than writing as I often have trouble keeping up with the mental flitting.

I think it actually helped.

13 August 2021

Four nights camping in west Wales. The first proper break away from home in two years courtesy of The Pandemic. And the first chance to properly test the deluxe shower system.

We’d bought this 12v portable shower for a camping trip in 2019 that got cancelled. So it got its first testing in ‘the field’ this week. Combined with plenty of water heated on the wood burner and a pop-up shower tent, it worked a treat.

With the solar panel and battery to run a chiller and lighting as well, this means we are fully independent and can camp in comfort on very basic sites.


I had been looking forward to having a chance to think, read and write on our break. My brain has slowly come to a halt over the last few weeks. Blogging has all but dried up.

In the end, I did very little of any of those. I just needed to stop. I read a little. I did the odd crossword. Stared into space. Enjoyed the scenery and change of scene.

I feel much better for it.

3 August 2021

Our dog had a seizure last night. Never happened before and distressing to see. Fortunately he seemed to have all his faculties in good order afterwards, other than being exhausted. The vet said the next 24hrs is the crucial period as if he has another it could leave him in a bad way or be fatal. So we are on watch.

He has come through the night without anything further and seems to be his usual self. And the vet also said it could just be a one off.

So fingers crossed.


Stephen James

Minding the gaps


© Stephen James 2021

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