curation - The Times - Oct 14th
Margaret Magnusson talks to Alice Thomson
Death dealing - tidying affairs and clutter before you die. Supposedly a fun thing and start early. Don't expect everything to be sorted out by your kids: they will be upset enough. So get rid of useless items before you leave the stage. While you still have the energy. And celebrate what they meant to you. Pass stuff on to people who would benefit and appreciate it. Otherwise trash or charity shops.
Start with clothes then photos and other personal items. Organise the finances. Talk to the family.
Don't complain and do what you enjoy. Ailments and disappointments are boring.
It's all about faith, but not the religious kind.
* Walking over Helvellyn - nature notes - Melissa Harrison.
The challenge of hill walking - '... a landscape resistant to human influence provides a kind of bellicosity, a refusal to feel impotent, diminished or small. Yet it's exactly that feeling that I seek out in high places. I find it deeply relieving to be reminded of the insignificance of my part in this vast, ancient and astonishing world.'
* Space Odyssey - Leading ac - Dust and rock extracted from an asteroid are a precious scientific resource (the trip to Bennu 2011-2023).
'The mission is not only an immense achievement in itself, by yielding information on the existence of conditions for life, it makes humanity more at home in the inconceivable al vastness of the universe.'
I feel exactly this watching and listening to Brian Cox - it's too hard to explain, just switch him on and try and grasp a light year or two.
* Am I the only one with mild paranoia?
Matthew Parris - For good Darwinian reasons something within all of us keeps a wary eye out for the false friends, concealed danger, for persons unknown who are trying to compromise us, poison us, steal our secrets or undermine our security.
This seems slightly over the top, a bit serious for individual suspiciousness. But it's about.
* Dominic Sandbrook - 'the country is broken' - Declinism - apparently we've been here before on several occasions, often following a good spell of Tory government, such as 'you've never had it so good' Harold Macmillan in the 60s and John Major in the 90s. John Smith in 1993 said there was no suprise that hotels were falling into the sea (a Scarborough reference). Today I think broken is global, but there is no need panic. We've won two world wars, live longer healthier lives and have more opportunities.
* Professor Arthur C. Brookes, renowned social scientist who's baseline mood defaults to gloom and anxiety. He has pioneered a course on 'Leadership and Happiness' which worked for him. Natural positive and negative settings exist together in various proportions. High doses of both is the mad scientist, two lows is a judge, otherwise cheerleaders and poets. They are present in family, friends, work and faith and comprise enjoyment, satisfaction (accomplishing goals) and purpose (a sense of direction). Faith is not religious, but more a recognition of our place in a much bigger picture than ourselves. Social media and the pandemic have reduced human connection (eye to eye, touch). He goes on to detail some tactics, but they have mostly been covered in pieces dealing with successful ageing.
So, a bit of 'same old'. Don't expect to be happy all the time. Live with unhappiness, it can be a source of energy. Think of it as work in progress.
A blip meaning a flare in anxiety and a downturn in mood. No photographs because I couldn't be bothered, despite successful visits to Butlins, Skegness with the family and Bridlington with the choir.
It's been on its way since lockdown 2022. Difficulty reading for pleasure, poor concentration and not enjoying much other than beer.
Erickson suggests over 65 is a time for reflection 'if we see our lives as unproductive, feel guilt about our past, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, often leading to depression and hopelessness.'
... 'feelings of fear and dread about their mortality.'
It started as a seed in a small plastic pot. Germinated on Lou's kitchen window and look at it now. Nurtured well and strong thankfully. Not quite twice Em's height.
1. Waterloo monument - early 19th century, marks the battle.
200 metres above Teviotdale. You can climb it for a fee..
Surrounded by woodland and green undergrowth - brambles, ferns, laurel, nettle, buttercups.
Stunning view.BBQ - single pot with a block of charcoal in the bottom. Convenient and portable. No controls.
Another great view.
between Jedburgh and Kelso