A Breath of Fresh Air

How I'm getting back out into the countryside whilst living with MS

Archive for the tag “garden”

Taking the Air

I was feeling sorry for myself. I was exhausted and had gone straight back to bed after a very brief early morning appointment. My legs were refusing to take me anywhere. I was forced to lie down and rest, and rest, and rest. Sooo dull, with little sign of any positive effect. And the skies were grey – again.

There was something of an explanation for this. I had spent a good deal of time the previous day in the garden, weeding, cutting back branches and uncovering walls that had become clogged up with moss. It had been lovely and very rewarding – much more of the garden was now visible again.

I suppose this was the down after the high, but it was no fun.

Eventually, I had a brainwave: to force myself outside with a cup of tea and a book. If I could pull myself up some of the steps in the garden, I wouldn’t need to go anywhere else all afternoon. I didn’t even need to read, just have a change of scene.

reaching my garden perch!

reaching my garden perch!

The minute I got outside, I knew I had made the right decision. I made it up to a seat a little way up our unhelpfully steep garden, now knowing that it would definitely be worthwhile.

I sat down and breathed in the air. It was so much lighter and fresher than inside. I could feel it spreading through my head, clearing it, refreshing it. It was remarkable. So simple, so effective; literally, a breath of fresh air!

I sat drinking my mug of tea, watching the birds flitting about, never stopping, hopping from hedge, to branch, to feeder, then off into the next garden.

Later, when I looked up from my book, I caught a squirrel watching me from a fence post. He didn’t move. We stared at each other, motionless.

being outstared!

being outstared!

I haven’t decided if I like this squirrel – he is very cute and his agility is amazing. But he is quite partial to the bird food which we put out for … the birds! Not squirrels!

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Back to Basics

I’ve felt as though I’ve been indoors more than I wanted to be recently. I’ve had a dragging fatigue which hasn’t helped. However, I’d had enough and decided to take myself in hand!

spring sunshine

spring sunshine

The sun was shining; I grabbed a book, pulled on a coat and plonked myself on the front step. I remembered how easy it was to get some fresh air – and no exercise required either!

I started to think about the garden, and to consider what pottering I could do without too much exertion. So I’ve pruned my roses. I’ve swept a few leaves. And I’ve acquired a garden sheep.

garden sheep

garden sheep

I’ve also had coffee with a friend, entirely outside! It must be spring! I came home feeling very ‘outdoorsed’ – and, again, no exercise involved and a very pleasant hour spent!

The flowers are beginning to emerge now, too, which always lifts my mood, and the garden is aflutter with busy birds. I will definitely be sitting outside with a book and mug of tea whenever I get the chance!

emerging primroses

emerging primroses

Gardenwatching

I decided to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, organised by the RSPB (https://www.rspb.org.uk/). This involved watching the birds in our garden for an hour over the weekend and recording which ones I saw during that time. I thought I could manage that!

We have a perfect spot in our back bedroom to sit and watch. Also, Pete had bought me a special birdwatching hat for my birthday, which he assured me would enable me to see more birds!

essential birdwatching equipment

essential birdwatching equipment

So I got myself prepared with the essential equipment of binoculars, birdwatching hat and mug of tea, and sat and waited. And waited.

I saw a neighbour’s cat prowling along a wall. I watched leaves quivering in the hedge (it’s surprising how like birds they look!). I watched next door’s hens pecking contentedly.

This was going to be a long hour.

Suddenly, there was a flurry high above and two magpies sat in our tree for a couple of minutes. Quickly noted!

I drank some tea and nibbled some snacks.

waiting ...

waiting …

A robin hopped across the garden from the hedge to the compost bin and back again. Noted!

Then the robin went mad!  It hopped back and forth, hid in the bush for a bit, then flew off into a neighbour’s garden. Then it was back. At one point there were even two at once in the garden. It felt like there were many more. Now I had a new problem – this robin was too fidgety for me to take a photo!

Then a blue tit, or maybe more, flitted by – it might have just been one busy one. As I watched, it actually pecked at the fat ball of food we’d put out.

yesss!

yesss!

Along the hedge, almost too fast to see and looking very like fluttering leaves (but they weren’t!), a couple of thrushes chased each other, weaving in and out of the branches. I put aside the binoculars – I couldn’t dart about fast enough with them and kept losing the birds. It was simpler just to watch the dancing display in front of me.

At the end of the hour, when I had given up hope of seeing her, a little wren made an appearance. I’d only seen her for the first time a couple of days previously so it was wonderful that she made the survey, just in the nick of time!

I was very pleased with my efforts, or rather that of our feathered visitors, and to be able to take part in this 36-year-old survey.

Snow Day

It snowed and snowed and snowed all day yesterday. It was so peaceful. There was no one else in the house, I’d phoned work to say I’d be working from home, and I was cosy and safe, with no reason to go outside.

snow covering

snow covering

Every time I looked up from my desk I could enjoy the fat, white flakes falling silently, blanketing everything. Knowing that I didn’t have to go anywhere made all the difference. I could simply enjoy the view.

rabbit finding snowfree spot

rabbit finding snowfree spot

If I do have to go out in the snow I become ridiculously stressed, worrying about falling over or the car skidding out of control. My muscles tense and I worry until I’m safely back inside.

Yesterday, I could just watch as the snow piled softly higher. It was very calming.

hidden steps

hidden steps

Later, I did venture outside – just a few steps into the garden to say hello to the rabbit and to feel the cold on my cheeks. Then it was back indoors for some warming soup!

snowy owl

snowy owl

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