Wednesday, 13 February 2019


There are days when not even the brightest of February sunlight or the prettiest of daffodils can lift the spirits. Distraction can be one solution to the brain’s chemical whims, and I experienced just such an event at the hairdresser’s yesterday.

Two or three of us sat on comfortable black chairs in front of mirrors, idly watching our hair being teased into submission by talented, long-suffering young women. Mine was being cut, and I was trying to avoid my fuzzy, unflattering reflection whilst listening to Linda chattering, when the door opened and in swept an angel.

She isn’t an angel, of course, but in that moment she might have been. Kerry, on her day off, couldn’t wait to share with her place of work the wonderful news of her engagement and how it came about over the weekend. As she stood with her back to the shop window, her face and hair – indeed everything about her – glowed with happiness. Who could not have responded to that widest of smiles, the flashing of little diamonds on her outstretched finger and the radiance of her mood? It was contagious. All of us shared the grins and the laughter which ensued.

Today, as I sort through photos of roses, I’m reminded of the joy of sensory things. This rose, 'Spirit of Freedom' is one I grew in my old garden in Mid-Devon. The fragrance was beautifully sweet and the shape of the flowers with their tightly-packed petals is - for a day or so - perfect.

A slightly paler pink is tinting our view of the garden this week as the ornamental Japanese Cherry gently glides into flower. It's been hinting at doing so for a couple of weeks, but today the show begins and I must share a couple of photos. I couldn't resist adding some 'blurring' to one photo, to highlight my own experience of it this year through these muddled eyes. In many ways the sight is quite interesting, although I hope by next year to have regained focus to both eyes... We'll see (quite literally... sorry!).

If you are afflicted by depression or simply feeling a little low, I recommend calling in at your local hairdresser's - you'll always find something to smile about.

I wish you a happy day, wherever you are, and especially all at Rachel's of Tavistock! (Names of the girls have been changed...)

Friday, 1 February 2019


The sunsetting of the platform Google+ where I have spent the last few years making many friends and contacts from around the world, is now imminent. Every day has brought little moments of joy viewing a myriad of beautiful photographs and reading posts both serious, humorous and sometimes sad. Strong friendships have blossomed, and will I hope continue but less easily than before. Life moves on, of course, but not without regret.

Turning to my own half-focussed vision, I have been slow to update you on the progress towards my second cataract operation because of a disappointing delay in obtaining a date.
A visit to the ophthalmologist at the hospital was both uplifting and depressing. This kind young man expressed a total understanding of my dilemma - one now-perfect eye, one distinctly poor short-sighted astignatic eye (did you spot the oxymoron there?) and brain overload! His appreciation of my slowed day-to-day skills was like a soothing balm. He then explained that an eighteen-week waiting list would be more difficult for me than others, but was the standard delay for a second cataract operation. It is assumed, wrongly in my case, that the first operation has made life so wonderful that there is no rush for the next. Well, life is always wonderful, but eighteen weeks, followed by another six-week recovery period, is a little daunting.
"Don't book your holiday," he told me, and "please don't drive!" I obey, glumly.

Snow has arrived in the garden, and all over Devon. Here, right under the corner of Dartmoor, we have been given a little protection from the worst snowfalls. It's achingly cold though, and harder to do things - especially in the garden. So instead I've been doing the things I can - a bizarre and short list: knitting, reading (large text), cooking and listening to the radio are immensely comforting asides to the undramatic slow pattern of my day-to-day run-of-the-mill chores. Reading the posts on Google+ will soon no longer be on that list. A new chapter opens, a new month begins and we all move closer to Spring.