Hello and welcome to the latest blog from Le Shack on April 16th 2021.
Technology is working against us at the moment in that our internet signal through the phone is playing up. Or even playing away, as it seems to have disappeared for most of the time. Hence this first photo shows you my new office, where the signal is stronger.
I drive the van up here, sit in the back with the phone as a hot spot for the laptop and learn all about how Amazon Kindle algorithms work and what you need to do to help them sell your book. And I also come up here to upload the pictures for this blog, which is much more fun.
A few pretty pictures first and then we’ll get into a discussion about perspective.
Moving away from spiders, I have a bit of a thing about benches and seats in gardens. You can never have too many of them. In just the short time we have been here we have got four good places to sit; a bench by the pond, a wicker chair by the oak tree and an old fallen log right up at the top of the field which has the best views across the valley. And here is the view from our fourth seat.
As you can see it is delightful, the bluebells are out, the roses are almost in bloom and the eye is drawn gently up the hill via the European fan palm and the oak tree. At this point, we shall finally begin to discuss perspective. Let me show you the ‘seat’ from which that photo was taken.
Yes, this is our loo. We have moved it from where it was in the shed and it now resides in what was the summer kitchen, which had been taken over by the cats and was never going to be used as intended. Putting it here makes much more sense to us. Does the fact that I took that first picture sitting on the loo make it any less beautiful? It shouldn’t, but it might. Personally I love our loo with a view. We do have a roll-down blind as a door, but I never bother with it. We are completely private and I’d rather look at the roses.
Perspective, or the way we look at things, can have a huge impact on our lives. Our last ‘proper’ house was an old stone cottage in north Wales. When we first bought it, it felt like a paradise. It was high on a hill overlooking the whole sweep of Cardigan Bay. On a fine day, the views were amazing. On other days, there was no view at all as we were above the cloud line. Winters were bleak and hard and lasted for six months or more and we had moved to such a remote location with so few people that we struggled to get enough work to pay the bills. After a year or two, it didn’t feel like paradise anymore. But it hadn’t changed at all, it was simply my perspective that had changed.
And now there is a danger that the same thing could happen here. This third lockdown is proving challenging. This beautiful valley and our lovely home could begin to feel like a prison, not through any fault of their own, but because our wings have been clipped for so long now that it is stifling, and there are days when it is hard to motivate oneself. However, at the ripe old age of sixty, I think I must finally be getting a little wiser, for I learnt a valuable life-lesson in that wild and windy hilltop cottage in Wales. The secret is to keep a wary eye on perspective and don’t allow it to get out of hand and spoil things. In the natural world around us, nothing has changed, other than that it becomes even more beautiful as spring runs rampant. Everything else is just unwanted negativity, a voice in my head, railing against a lack of control over my own life, which will pass, and which will be much easier to bear if I am patient and keep finding something new each day to please me, no matter how small or how much of an effort it can be on occasion. These down-days are rare and the next day is always a better one, so please don’t think I am sinking into depression because I’m certainly not. It just seemed an interesting thought process to share and, given the life we all now have to adapt to, it may strike a chord with you.
And here endeth this weeks homily! Perspective needs to be kept in perspective – if that makes any sense.
I hope you are all well and see you next week.