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Wool Catcher

wool catcher : dream catcher

Dream Catchers are used to encourage only good dreams for those that sleep under them. They’re usually placed over the place you would sleep, so that the morning light shines on the catcher when you wake.

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Breamish Blossom

Beautiful Breamish blossom

One of my favourite films is the 2003 movie ‘The Last Samurai‘. While I find it memorable for all sorts of reasons – the stunning panoramas, the evocation of a strange and often cruel cultural practices – there’s a quote that sticks in my mind. The samurai leader Katsumoto (played by Ken Watanabe), is grounded in the old samurai ways and the Bushido code of honour. In contrast to his relentless warrior instincts, when confronted by Spring cherry blossom in his courtyard, he says:

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My Old Dene

My old Dene is where I walk

Mmm…anyone having that ‘Groundhog Day’ feeling? Like you’ve walked this path before? Like you’ve cycled this route before? Like your once-a-day exercise takes you pretty much around the same places…as beautiful as our surroundings are?

Well, perhaps we’ve just got to see things differently? So, I took my own advice and I looked at my green Dene afresh today…

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Sand Martin in the Valley

Sand Martin in the Breamish Valley

On my walk around the stunning yellow Hedgeley yesterday, I also happened upon several sand martin that appeared to be in the process of exploring the banks of the River Breamish to choose the best spots for excavating their nesting tunnels. Being a social bird, hundreds of pairs can readily nest close together in a colony. On my walk, though, I’d guess I saw around 20 sand martin exploring one bank in the bend of the river.

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Yellow Hedgeley

Yellow Hedgeley Lakes

So, what’s the colour of Spring for you? As a resident of the Breamish Valley I can’t help but think that you’ll say it’s ‘yellow’. I mean, just about everywhere along the Breamish Valley is yellow right now. The whole valley is smothered in flowering gorse, giving a wonderful scent of coconut drifting on the Spring air.

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How to Clear Your Head

How to clear your head out exercising

Work-related stress, worries about loved ones, or broader existential crises associated with the uncertainty that’s accompanied the coronavirus pandemic are contributing to heightened emotionality.

Wired (12 Apr 2020)

Your once-a-day outdoor exercise regime (walking, cycling, jogging, whatever), as well as improving our physical well-being, could also be an opportunity to clear your head. This clever Pixar animated short film caught my attention recently:

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