More Quick Fixes

Or: Driving Miss A

Scenes from the life of a taxi-driving Dad.

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Guides have a Thursday evening outing to ‘Pets At Home’? Perfect, I’ll nip up Scout Scar to take in the wide-open views.

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Consecutive dance lessons for an hour and a quarter in Milnthorpe on a Monday evening? No worries – a circuit from Sandside Back Lane through the woods to Storth, up to Cockshot Lane and then to the diminutive summit of Haverbrack – another Small Hill with a Disproportionately Good View.

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Panorama from Haverbrack – Kent Estuary, Whitbarrow Scar and the distant Cumbrian Fells.

This photo is from a fortnight ago. I’d also walked the same circuit a couple of weeks before that, under gloomy skies, when I didn’t take any photos.

I walked it again tonight. It had been sunny all day (whilst I was stuck at work waiting for a session of ‘Wellbeing’ training*) but whilst we ate tea the eastern sky had turned an impressively thunderous black.

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I did get rained on a bit, but the dramatic dark skies and fast-moving strips of sunlight were more than sufficient compensation.

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On a whim, I diverted slightly to visit Sandside’s infamous ‘Orchid Triangle’. Somebody (I’m not being secretive, I can’t remember who) told me about this unprepossessing spot years ago, but I misunderstood their directions and could never find any orchids. Then somebody else (again – it’s a mystery who it was) corrected my mistake, but somehow I’ve never gotten around to checking for orchids at an appropriate season.

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But today – what a stroke of luck: lots of orchids. At first I thought that they’d finished flowering, what with the lack of colour in the flowers, but now I can see that in fact many of the flowers have yet to open.

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This is Common Twayblade (I’m pretty sure of that, although I’ve never seen it before) and the flowers are a yellowy-green. Not the most spectacular orchid perhaps, and apparently ‘quite common’, but it made me very happy none-the-less.

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Not so happy with the photos, but that just gives me a reason to go back soon to have another go.

Flowers didn’t feature in the ‘7 secrets of happiness’ talk at work today, although we were exhorted to ‘be mindful’ which seemed to entail noticing changes in the weather and the seasons. (I think there might be a bit more too it than that). Music was missing too. Literature, drama, art – not mentioned. Exercise was advocated, but not fresh air, sunshine, great views…

Maybe I should deliver the training next time?

Oh, and finally…

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…another book recommendation.

Imagine this: a young man goes to University, joins a Hiking Club, becomes a bit obsessed with walking and list-ticking, gets into a few scrapes, garners an assortment of amusing anecdotes. Sound familiar to anyone? Craig Weldon has woven a very readable book out of those youthful exploits. He really does become a bit list obsessed, somewhat of a monomaniac, and it doesn’t always seem to make him happy (the part where he moves to England and seems grimly determined to drive as close as he can to the top of Marilyn’s and then bag them with the minimum of effort or enjoyment is a bit hard to fathom, but mercifully short). On the whole it’s life-affirming stuff, and made me smirk knowingly in several places. Besides which, anyone who singles out Ben Mor Coigach and Ben a’Chrulaiste for praise can’t be all bad. I’m even feeling almost inspired by his determination to go walking in foul weather. Almost.

(Available for loan – first shout).

Oh – of course – Craig Weldon has a blog, so you can sample his writing for free: Love of Scotland.

*Rant edited out. Don’t get me started.

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More Quick Fixes

5 thoughts on “More Quick Fixes

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Blimey! I hope you enjoy it, I found it very easy reading (although his obsession sometimes bewildered me).

  1. Those stormy skies are great! I felt a couple of rants lurking there. WTF is “Wellbeing Training” and “7 secrets of happiness”. Did either of them mention “Don’t go to work” as an option. Or TV? Or Beer? 🙂
    Thanks for the book recommendation, £0.98 for the Kindle version!

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    ‘Wellbeing training’, some priceless nuggets: you need 7 hugs per day. 6 would be too few, 8 would presumably be an indulgence – exactly 7 is just right. (They didn’t ask us to hug each other, thank God). No explanation for where the figure 7 came from was offered, but it is frequently mentioned in the Bible – could that be it? Relationships are important. I bet that’s shocked you! (Hang on – this is gold dust – I should be charging you for this.) What percentage of your response to stress is genetic? Due to circumstances? Down to your own actions? 50%, 10% and 40% respectively. Must be true, because they had a pie-chart to show it. Doesn’t stand up to even the slightest scrutiny, but stick it on a powerpoint and maybe some idiot will pay you for it. (Sadly, I think you and I are paying for it via the NHS). Fortunately, being patronised on a sunny afternoon when I could be at home with my kids is absolutely tip-top for my well-being. Oh yes – laughing yoga – you should take that up. Laughing is good for you. Adults laugh 11 times a day, whilst children laugh 367 times a day. (Feel free to substitute your own made up numbers – I did.)
    So ‘well-being training’: a generous helping of the blatantly obvious seasoned with a smattering of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo, made up clap-trap and handy you-tube videos (i.e. filler). Lets watch some Italian people offering to hug strangers in the street! Yippee!

  3. I went on so many courses for my employers, and oh! those role plays. We used to sabotage them – as the prospective salesman entered to talk to his potential client we handed a note to him saying something like, “your flies are undone” or similar, resulting in his collapsing with laughter and ruining the whole objective. “Speed Reading” was another one – perhaps what some of those bankers were doing when they bought all those dodgy loans?

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