The last couple of days have tended towards indulging in, well, me, if I’m honest… And I know that sounds rather self-obsessed and precious. But… I’ve come to realise that it’s so important to identify the things that make you happy in life, and then to make blimmin’ well sure that you find time to do them. Otherwise eventually you’re no good to anyone, yet alone yourself, meaning that, ultimately, indulging in the things you love is a selfless act – hurrah… 🙂
The importance of dedicating time to your personal happiness can be summed up by this lovely phrase, which has been haunting me (in a good way) over the last 24 hours – firstly my friend introduced me to it last night whilst we were standing together in a moonlit woodland (more on that shortly), having heard it on radio 2 the day before. Then, weirdly, I heard the exact same phrase today on radio 1, in the midst of a very non-radio 2 rap song (incidentally, I think my use of the phrase, ‘rap song’ probably indicates that I am now well and truly outside the radio 1 target audience and should probably age gracefully and move over to radio 2 – hmmm, naaaah, not yet…). Anyway, the phrase in question is:
“The grass isn’t greenest on the other side of the fence, it’s greenest where you water it.”
So, in order to apply balm to my itchy feet and their desire to resume travels, I decided I needed to water the grass on my current, more sedentary, side of the fence. I thus found myself doing the following activities, all of which have put a big smile on my face:
- Last night I volunteered my services to a local conservation project, which aims to find out more about the rare and elusive barbastelle bat. This involved manning a large net, strung up in a beautiful ancient woodland beneath the eerie glow of a full moon and a thick blanket of twinkling stars. There were four such nets erected in strategic spots in the wood in order the catch unwitting bats. We only managed to catch three bats all night but, flukily, the first one was a barbastelle (NB please don’t try this at home, kids – you need special licences for this kind of batty carry-on). The poor, unsuspecting bat was then subjected to the indignity of having some of its fur snipped off with some scissors and a tiny radio transmitter attached to its back by means of some hardcore glue. This bat (named Fiona) will now be radio-tracked over the next two weeks until the tag drops off, in order to gain important information about the species’ roosting and foraging habitats. This is the kind of brilliant work that drew me into ecology in the first place.
- This morning I went to see a very talented, intuitive osteopath on a recommendation. He gave my whole body a comprehensive audit and provided some illuminating insights into some ongoing physiological issues as well as cracking some of my bones in an oddly pleasant way. Dedicating some time and money to looking after my body is long-overdue and has made me feel very good indeed.
- After the osteopath I then went to an audition for a funky-sounding local choir, which does quirky renditions of soul classics and contemporary songs (for example they do a great rendition of Elbow’s One Day Like This) and gigs at some cool festivals. Belting out uplifting songs with the very charismatic choir leader at his home this morning filled me with a familiar vocal-induced joy and, not only have I been invited to join the choir, I am also extremely excited to have been invited to be part of an anonymous flash-mob singing crew at a wedding next weekend (we have to pretend to be guests then break into song at the end of the service) – this could either be brilliant or excrutiatingly embarrassing but, either way, memorable. Watch this space…
And now, after all that, the grass on the other side of the fence is still looking pretty sweet, but the grass I’m standing on right now, although wet, feels pretty good underfoot too.
A face for radio – the striking barbastelle bat.