Less screen time, more green time, even when it’s raining cats and dogs.

Eastville park

My mood is really effected by the weather. It has been a really difficult week, but I know that I could cope better if it had not poured with rain all week.

I read a fantastic article on Wednesday about how a long study saw a very significant correlation between incidents of mental health decline and being not around nature. Inner city concrete jungles are making us depressed. Not really a revelation. The thing I did find surprising was how little changes, a few trees, a couple of raised beds in a small communal square, seemed to make a difference.

I had been avoiding going to my allotment. It can be really bitter sweet. You have a busy week and don’t see it for a while and come back to a cornucopia of goodies. Or you can return to find you are only doing a roaring trade in nettles and Blackberries and your patch resembles that scene at the end of sleeping beauty where the prince has to hack through thorns and brambles for hours. It can be humiliating when the person next to you has lawn that resembles a bowling green and fruit trees which would make the garden of Eden itself blush.

I forced myself with rain drops dripping from my nose and not another living soul around. I was expecting everything in the green house to be dead, for the grass to be up to my waist. When I arrived, I realised I had been catastrophising.

Pumpkins and pea shoots greeted me. There were lettuces and broad beans and chard and random potatoes I had not even planted. Nature is wonderful. And I felt so thankful. I went into my potting shed and drank in its smell. I love it. I felt much happier. It is my private little space. No one can tell me I am too messy, or lazy or useless. I can’t miss deadlines or get numbers wrong in a spread sheet. It is my space and I can do as I please. I need to reclaim it.

When the weather is terrible, we tend to stay in and cocoon ourselves. But rain is not toxic. We can stand and feel it on our faces. Sometimes the joy is in coming home after, putting on the log fire and having hot chocolate with a loved one.

Nature connection

Why are our kids being made to stay indoors, stay still and shut up?

Nature reserve….please be quiet.

Sometimes I genuinely wonder if I am cracking up? I like working with children. They are hilarious. They have really important stuff to say, and they don’t hold back. This week big son said “I don’t want to go to school.” Hmmmm. ‘Why?” I enquired. “They make us stay indoors ALL DAY! And we learn the same stuff over and over.” Well…I pondered. Not much surprised. “If you stay home I will work you like a dog and make you think till you cry.” He thought about this……. “it’s a better option.”

The thing that everyone in education has forgotten is that people (kids) want to learn. Giving them a carrots does not change it, giving them the stick makes very little impact. My Dad (love him) when I went into teaching said “I don’t know how you do it without the cane!” P.s. my Dad never wacked any of us. He is a true born pacifist and a beautiful grandfather because he has endless patience. So why does he think this is the answer? It is totally weird.

This week I went to Ashton court. The “Nova” trail is four miles long and surprisingly technical. Not like the above photo, nob head-was too busy trying not to die, that I could not take a photo. Don’t judge.

It is a four mile section of trail with everything. But after I was exhausted. The van needed work. I needed to stare into an abyss. The kids were arguing about sweet F A.