Monday, 30 November 2009

The perfect rainbow

This morning I had an errand to run about a mile and a half away, so I decided to walk there and back - it was cloudy, yes, and the forecast was for rain, but I needed the exercise and it’s mostly a fun walk.

I headed out onto the Quay and along towards the fishing boats, and was hit by the cold North wind - just as well I had my thick coat on! There were a few spots of rain in the wind, and I did briefly think of turning back, but it was nothing too bad - nothing like the conditions the fishermen would see out in the North Sea today.

I cut through the gravel car park and then through the back streets that form the quickest walking route to South Gates. This is not the “historic” part of Lyn, but still old - mostly Victorian/Edwardian I’d guess, but lots of different styles of housing, even a few newer developments squeezed into the spaces between the older houses. There is a fascinating juxtaposition here; All Saints church - a classic 14th century building reaching up to the heavens - is almost totally enclosed by a late 20th century utilitarian housing development - a real contract of architectural styles.

Walking on through this area I get to the South Gates and past that I attempt to cross the road - not an easy thing in the morning “rush” hour, when the traffic going in to town just wants to keep on crawling in, and not leaving any space for a pedestrian to cross. But eventually I do get over the other side safely, and start along the long straight Hardwick Road. This starts off with some Victorian villa - each one named and still having the air of middle class respectability about them. At the end of these is the Cemetery running away to either side, and then the road becomes a bridge over the railway. This higher vantage point - which is unusual around Lynn - gives a view of the large stores here, one of which is my destination this morning. The clouds are scudding past as I cut across Tesco’s parking lot to the one I’m going to, and for a few moments I'm out of the weather.

Coming out of the shop I’m suddenly hit full in the face with a really cold north wind, as it starts to rain in earnest and soon my glasses are totally covered with water. But, just as I get across the parking lot and emerge onto the road again it stops raining - there is a bus stop here and I could wait - but I’d decided on a walk, and it might, in any case, take as long to get a bus from here.

I retrace my route, and as I come within sight of the South Gates, I’m suddenly aware of a thick, dark grey cloud ahead of me - should I have waited for the bus after all? Just then, however, I see a rainbow - a perfect arch from left to right across the sky, deeply colored at the ends and lighter overhead. I stop for a moment to just admire the beauty of it - yes, it means rain, but the rain is worth it for this spectacle.

I negotiate the crossings again with a smile on my face, and even as the rain starts to really fall, I’m at least content that I saw some of the wonders of nature, even when I wasn't looking for them.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Reiki day

I’m willing to try most things (but that’s another story) and when a friend offered to do a Reiki with me I accepted.

Now I’d heard the term Reiki, and I knew it was some sort of Alternative Therapy, but that was the extent of my knowledge, so I quickly went on to the interweb to see what I’d just agreed to. This is not, as I’d assumed, some form of ancient art, but was actually “invented” in the early 1900’s (different sources say different years, but all agree the general time frame). It is either a way of channelling life energy to promote healing, or a method of stress reduction and relaxation, depending on who you read. In any case, it’s been practised for a while now, is not a religion, and what harm could it do?

So Saturday morning I set out and get the bus to Wisbech and was met by my friend and her dog, and we went round to her flat. She is a level one practitioner of Reiki and has her certificate on the wall to prove it! We first have a cup of coffee (de-caf) and a chat and then we are ready to start. I lie down and close my eyes and she puts on some soothing oriental music and washes her hands with some sort of aromatic oils before we start.

I have tried meditation many times before, and often it is hard to keep focus on something other than my racing thoughts. As I lie there and she places her hands on my head I concentrate on my breathing, the sounds, and the sensation. After a while she moves her hands to the sides of my head, and this is comforting in a strange way. Then she moves to my neck area, and here I suddenly find I have a feeling of panic - it is not a specific fear OF anything - I don’t think she is going to strangle me or anything - but I have to really concentrate on my breathing before it subsides. For the rest of the session I am relaxed and calm - there is one awkward moment where her CD sticks, but apart from that it is a half hour of serenity.

I have meditated before - and know I would benefit from doing it more and more often. This felt like a really calming meditation, and there were only a few times when my mind wondered. During the session a picture came into my mind of a face hovering over me. Only the bottom half of the face was in focus, just the mouth and chin, and this apparition was somehow comforting and - well I’ve used the word a lot but it’s the right one - calming. And I also felt the warm light that is there in my higher powered moments showing me that all is well.

So, I have no idea about any healing issues, but it was certainly a wonderful experience and I’d be pleased to be my friend’s practice subject again. And in my web searching I came across this passage, which I really like and will end this short piece with:

Just for today:
Do not be angry
Do not worry
Be grateful
Work with integrity
Be kind to others and to yourself.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

We haz wind

It seems to be always windy here on the river. Today the wind is from the south, and I could tell that before I got up, just from the different noises the cottage makes.

A south wind hits the side of my place, and the big sash window that looks over the communal garden rattles - it was that noise that I heard in the night that told me the direction of the wind. The bathroom too is noisy with the wind blowing down the vent for the extractor fan. Up here on the top floor the kitchen window also faces out over the communal garden, and whilst it was not rattling, you could really hear the wind outside.

Up here in the main room I am just watching the trees being blown around - you can even see the grass on the lawn blowing in the wind!! Most of the trees I can see are evergreens, but there is one deciduous tree there barely hanging on to its yellowing leaves. And the birds are having fun trying for all they are worth into the wind, and not getting anywhere! But at least it’s sunny at the moment, even though the forecast says there is a 50% chance of rain.

Today is the first of my 2 night shift this week, so I need a nap this afternoon before that - I’m NOT going to try to do much between the night shifts as I did last week, when I got just SO exhausted!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The thing with the suit

Way back in a different lifetime - before I started sitting on the Dock of King’s Lynn - I used to work in an office, and the dress code was that men wore suit, shirt and tie.

When I first started work, I had just the one suit, and I had to wear this every day, but I always tried, even then, to have a different shirt and tie. Eventually, I got to putting on a different suit each day. Some people who do that have 5 suits, so the same ones turned up on the same day each week. Learning from this, I had 7 - this meant that I didn’t always wear a particular suit on a particular day. And I had a range of smart shirts and ties to go with them.

Now, for most of this time I was overweight - and I really didn’t like how I looked in a suit jacket - it looked to me more like a corset than anything!!!! I wore a suit every business day for most of my working life, and never, NEVER really felt good in them. Eventually my place of work moved to “smart casual” so the suits were relegated to the back of the wardrobe, only to be got out on high days and holidays.

And then all that life stuff happened, and here I was moving to Lynn with just what I choose to carry - and suits did not make that list! As anyone who sees me around town knows, I live nowadays mainly in jeans and tee-shirts. I do have a couple of smart pairs of trousers, a couple nice shirts, and a light jacket that I wear when these are appropriate, and, of course, my uniform for work - but a suit? Just not my style!

But then last week, I was going to a memorial service, and nothing I had seemed appropriate. CERTAINLY not jeans, and although the smart trousers would pass inspection, my jacket was way too informal for me to feel comfortable in. So I went looking for a dark jacket to go along with the trousers, but I saw this suit in one shop - and thought I’d try it on.

It was a revelation - I looked in the mirror, and there was this smart man-about-town looking back at me. It didn’t look like I had a corset on, even when I sat down with the jacket done up! I brought it, and also got myself a white shirt and a couple of ties. When I dressed for the service I actually felt good about how I looked - and as someone who rarely feels good about how they look, that was amazing:)

Now, I’m not about to start appearing at the Wenns in my suit and asking for a dry martini - I’m still a jeans and tees sort of person at heart - but somehow, I’ve grown into someone who looks and feels good in smart clothes too - isn’t life strange!