This week… remembrance, relative values, and the Ring

Well, it’s been quite a week. Pandemic numbers have gone practically stratospheric, the world has been holding its breath awaiting the outcome of the US Presidential elections, and in England we’ve gone into #Lockdown2. History in the making. Today is Remembrance Sunday in the UK and the traditional two minutes’ silence felt particularly poignant this year. I’m feeling reflective.

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This week… wellies, weather and wild food

This week I pulled on a sweater and my wellies and headed out into the Hampshire countryside around Winchester. Despite muddy ground underfoot the ethereal autumn sunlight danced on the surface of the River Itchen. I never tire of exploring this ancient countryside in the footsteps of Iron Age and Roman peoples. The city was subsequently the medieval capital of England and is surely a candidate for nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amongst this green and pleasant land I can breathe deeply and it literally goes to my head, as surely as a glass of vintage champagne.

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This week… conkers, coffee and Christmas lights

Autumn seems to have arrived in all her glory with chilly mornings, cool evenings and stunning sunsets. Despite the focus this time of year on hibernation in the natural world, it’s a season of magnificant abundance and colour. This is a time to enjoy nature, to ‘bank’ the remaining sunny days and the splendour of nature while we can. We need all the positive experiences we can muster to carry us through the long winter months to come.

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This week… botany, boredom and British paintings

Something has definitely shifted but I’m not sure if it’s a sign of lethargy within the tourism industry or just my expectations. Lately, I’ve been receiving a few of the usual seasonal press releases about Halloween, and a trickle relating to the annual light shows for the Festive Season, but they feel half-hearted. The tourism industry is trying it’s best to run business-as-usual but it feels off-kilter. It’s like trying to ignore the elephant in the room. Halloween, for instance, pales into insignificance beside the terror of real-life at the moment. I find myself wishing that someone would come right out with their marketing and say “this is a crap situation, and you probably don’t feel like dressing up or putting up the festive bunting, so let’s do things differently.”

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This week… bling, boats and broken biscuits

You know how news bulletins always end with a ‘feel-good’ story? Well, this week I’m opening by shining a light on positive news, inspired by the contents of incoming emails recently focusing on paying it forward. Sometimes we’re not in a position to repay a kindness directly but a time will come, in the near or distant future, when we’re able to pass on that goodwill to another, and possibly in a different form. It might be as simple as passing on a theatre ticket you’re not able to use or a voucher for a complimentary coffee. It always lights up my day when it happens to me and I enjoy paying it forward when the opportunity presents itself.

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