After the five reasons to smile challenge I needed a bit of a break from blogging. Life has certainly become more hectic since I started the new ecology consultancy job, as suspected, so there is less time to sit and ponder and put fingers to keys; instead, I am more likely to be found running all over the countryside chasing newts, badgers and bats, armed with a clipboard and wearing some kind of seriously attractive wellies and anorak combo. However (and this could be yet another manifestation of my supreme ability to procrastinate, which is soaring to new heights of inventiveness as I adapt to working from home), today I was inspired to once more pick up the metaphorical pen. So what inspired me? Well, it turned out to be that most humble yet stealthily beautiful component of the vegetative world: lichen.
I took the photo below whilst on an ecology survey last week, as I was struck by the vibrant sulphur yellow colours and interesting shapes on what was otherwise a monochrome day of persistent, soft snowfall. The site was in High Wycombe, centre of a red kite reintroduction programme, so around thirty of those magnificent birds wheeled above me throughout the day, their characteristic wedge-forked tails silhouetted against the white sky. As I typed up the report today, I came across this photo again, like a jewel nestled amongst all the other dull shots of buildings and internal roof voids, and its unassuming beauty hit me again. Even the most plain site reveals intricate delicacies like these intriguing shapes and vibrant colours, as soon as you delve down to the micro-level.
So, now I am back on the blog again, I feel I ought to update you on a few things. Firstly, I completed the abstinence diet successfully, and enjoyed a well-earned chocolate, alcohol and coffee blow-out on Easter Sunday. Didn’t sleep a wink that night though – I felt I was on class A drugs (not that I’d know…). Since the diet, I am once again enjoying my greatest culinary pleasure, my mum’s home-made raspberry jam on toast, but, apart from that and the odd glass of wine or ale, I am pretty much continuing the diet, which in fact isn’t a diet, just a balanced approach to food that feels right for my body. I certainly won’t deny myself treats, but the fact is I don’t seem to crave them in the same way as before Lent, so I count the experiment a roaring success and would definitely repeat it again at some point in the future (certainly not before I get through this pot of jam though).
Secondly, as already mentioned, I am now balancing yoga teaching and massage with the crazy life of an ecological consultant – yet another ‘experiment’ to see if I can make such an unlikely combination work. But, I’m not called beckymayhem for nothing – the jury is still out, but I reckon I can pull it off. The tricky thing is switching ‘headspace’ between the chilled, zen, upbeat yoga teacher/masseuse and the professional, efficient (upbeat) ecologist. There are also challenges in learning to work productively from home, which is something I am still adjusting to. The hours are flexible and, being a conscientious sort, I know the work will get done, but it is in my own interest to do so efficiently and thus leave more space in my life for creativity and writing rather than being repeatedly drawn to the irresistable nonsense of facebook, being way too easily persuaded to have lengthy lunches with friends and family and feeling odd urges to clean the bathroom again. That is the slightly ambitious plan, anyway.
So there you go, brief update on beckymayhem world. Off to make some more newt traps now – this involves 2 litre empty plastic bottles, a pen-knife and some garden canes. Go figure…!