30 May 2022

The pair of robins for whom our garden is their territory (policed with considerable violence at times, in contrast to the benign greetings card image often portrayed), successfully raised a couple of chicks about a month ago. Up until a last week, the parents were still feeding the fledglings in the garden. As a result all four family members became increasingly bold around us.

The youngsters seem to have moved on now, but the parents remain, and are still very bold, the female in particular. She will come very close to us to get food that we put down. Yesterday she even came into the kitchen as if to demand some food!

The blue tit chicks must be nearly ready to fledge. A quick check with the camera yesterday and all seven look to be present and correct. I expect they’ll fly this week.

Haven’t seen the whitethroat for about a week now.

The blackbirds are building another nest beyond the garden as I watched the female gathering great bundles of moss or grass from our lawn.

Our resident pair of wood pigeons, who we have named Kylie and Jason, are currently building one of their structurally unsound nest-things in our walnut tree. Will they never get any better at it?

30 May 2022

Having a holiday is great. Immediately launching back into everyday hustle and bustle, without taking proper care to manage sleep needs, overwhelm and anxiety is not so great. As I learnt to my detriment.

Trouble is, I am prone to think that when I’m rested and energised, I can then put my foot to the floor and achieve all sorts of shit. Which may well be the case - for a short while.

Part of the problem is that anxiety sticks it’s oar in. It has a way of telling you to keep going, just keep doing SOMETHING. What exactly, is not so relevant, just anything that gives you the feeling that you are working to resolve those perpetually cascading problems that anxiety generates.

The problem solving capabilities of the human brain are an evolutionary success. But with unhealthy levels of anxiety tossed into the mix it becomes a pretty toxic recipe. An endless cycle of ‘what ifs’, then coming up with a solution, only to have another ‘but, what if …?’ pop up for our attention.

22 May 2022

I had to abandon work on Friday, after nearly passing out while in a discussion with a client. I’d been feeling none too great all morning. Went home and spent most of the remainder of the day in bed. A weekend of taking it easy and I feel largely back on track.

I think a couple of weeks of poor sleep, anxiety about various things, busyness at work and little to no breathing space in between all caught up on me. I was aware of the anxiety building - my chest had been feeling tighter all week. Without taking steps to give myself a break it’s not really surprising then that my body finally said enough is enough.

Funnily, I’d been reading about perfectionism earlier in the week. Recognised the trait in myself. Never cutting myself any slack.

Just when you think this adulting thing is getting easier…..

19 May 2022

Looking at my options for moving the blog away from Netlify.

18 May 2022

Been doing a daily meditation for 3 months now, bar a couple of days missed.

I have seen some very small benefits, I think, but also a lot of criticism towards myself. Barely any change in my ability to focus, which is just for a second or two before my mind wanders. And now I’m nodding off a lot.

Parking the whole idea for now.

10 May 2022

Most years we get a few common whitethroats in the area where we live. Usually see them sitting atop a hedge or clump of brambles singing. Not that it’s that much of a song - short and scratchy. But I rather like it.

I’ve been hearing one for the last week when I’m out in the garden. Even heard it coming from somewhere within the garden. Then on Sunday while I was sitting outside, it turned up for a bit of a splash in our birdbath. Then sat in a nearby bush and had a good preen. And again yesterday.

Which was really rather delightful.

Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2022

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