Orchestra of nature… When was I last still enough to really listen? 

I see two young fledgling sparrows on the horizontal palm branch next to our veranda. Cheeping away. Fluffy feathers ruffled by the slight breeze. Perhaps they are trying to join in with a tree full of other youngsters in the other trees nearby. The sighing and rushing of the evening tide provides a lazy background music to the higher notes of the birds.
“Coark, coark, coark…”. A nesting pair of birds, size of something between a crow and a blackbird play a discordant note.

If I listen carefully, I can make out the quiet percussion of large leaves of spiky stiff palm leaves sliding up against each other. I can see a gardener hosing the cultivated gardens of our hotel grounds but he is too far to make out the sound.

Later, we will walk up the sandy incline to the dining room and bar and listen to the music provided and hear the waiters and other staff conversing with each other and guests.

I haven’t been quiet enough in myself to hear the orchestra of nature in this way for a long time.

Have you?

TIA – This is Africa!  Well, it’s a great hotel Northern Zanzibar… Hardly roughing it ;)  But It Is Here That ‘The Sea Swallows The Sun’

Arriving here is so familiar. The bustle of the airport, the porters asking for contributions for their efforts helping you with baggage (didnt need help – so sorry)… the colours of robes, hijabis, T-shirts, then… the roads.

I remembered the sensation of being jostled around in the taxi van, the open windows for AC, the sensation of being a very white person in an African country. I don’t tan very quickly or very much at all. Mzungu is a correct termm for me! (white person). Not so much Brian. He does tan quickly but looks very English!

Down to the beach. Grandson is a little fish! He plays football on the beach with the ‘big boys’ – at six years old. our daughter’s partner was more exhausted than the little chap ;).

We saw the sun go down on the sea. Dhows drifting across the sunset invite you to take photographs. We had champagne as we watched the ‘sea swallow the sun’…

As we drove back the smells of woodsmoke drifted into the car, then the Kerosene lamps blew their special aroma our way as well as their warm light…

Back to our delightful hotel for a Mojito and dinner… a warm breeze drifts across my ipad.

“Can we go and have dinner now”. he whined. No, it wasn’t the grandson… it was my husband.

Okay.. see you all tomorrow.

Analysis Paralysis under the duvet

My duvet – the one I was under..

Packing…errands…sorting… exercise… healthy eating choices…

communications… personal development… professional work…

Aarrgghhhh! Back under the duvet…




I began to think, “I can’t stay here all day!”   So I Googled how I felt (as you do)… Came up with this blog by Becky Kane:

The Science of Analysis Paralysis: How Overthinking Kills Your Productivity & What You Can Do About It


A good read,  well placed resarch to back up the article, great visuals, and…

Practical suggestions of how to overcome the problem.  Excellent!

One that really helps me is this tip:

“The next time you catch yourself thinking over a particularly issue again and again, schedule a meeting with a coworker, supervisor, mentor, or friend.”

Sometime if I am on my own, and paralysed by ‘all this to do’ I will write to myself.  Writing to God is even more helpful. Did  you know He likes conversations as well as prayers?  Well, He does.

My husband, Brian, is a master of thinking simply – no he’s not ‘simple’!  He is able to clarify what needs to be done and then does it.  I am the more creative thinker and communicator but can be stymied by overthinking.  If he is around, then I can present my ‘all this to do’ frantic thinking and obtain his simplicity of thought.

Blog writing is good for people like me.  So much going on in my brain how to start an article, that book, that project…  Never get round to it.  But a blog? I can take the Nike approach:  just do it!

Another of Kate’s tips:

Structure your day for the things that matter most.

Hmm… Ah!  Get up and get going!

Just about to get out from under the duvet…

Have a good day everyone!







Boiling frog syndrome… Yup, I got hot (or why I need to rehab myself).

It is true – it IS a psychological syndrome!  who knew!  I shouldn’t be cynical – I am still a psychologist.

The story of how the poor amphibian was enjoying its tepid bath and stayed so long it didn’t notice the water getting hotter and hotter until it was boiling alive, is also termed a ‘parable’ by Wiki wonderland.   If the frog was thrown into the boiling water it would jump out.

This syndrome or parable came to my mind when I realised that I was having health and well-being issues again.  I didn’t see how bad it had become till I was struggling enough to call a halt and shout help so I could ‘rehab’ my self and my life.

It was just easier for me to just keep going enough to manage the stresses and strains of impending relocation,  possible retirement, spouse’s health issues, adult children needing support, poorly grandchildren.  I had already stepped down from one on one counselling or coaching so at least in that I had identified I wasn’t functioning at the level I had been.

Changing seasons in the UK mean changing the type of clothes you wear. The cottons and linens get put away or kept somewhere on hand in case of a winter sun getaway. Sandals make way for boots and heavy shoes.  It was the fitted winter clothes that were far too tight around the middle that alerted me to exactly how much my girth had increased.

Most of us know these days that a real ‘baddie’ is fat round your middle.  Even when I was thinner I didn’t have much of a waist but when even jeggings get hard work to put on… well….

I know the theory of healthy living.  I watch documentaries, have studied the biological basis of psychology, human physiology.  I have been a returner to a certain weight watching program, counting whatever points they say I should.  The latter has changed over the years as updated research on weight loss suggests different balances for proteins, fats and sugars can assist in losing the pounds.

It is the stress and pressure that sends me into the mindset of ‘survival at all costs mode never mind the flippin’ points and I havent got time to go to the loo let alone exercise’. Just bring on the tea and cake – now!  I need to keep going…

It is generally agreed that some stress is good.  I have known someone get ill from a kind of boredom sickness.  No motivation and not enough to interest them in life.  I know that we get good input from being active and gaining achievements.  I am also aware that that needs to be balanced with feeling connected, being a part of something and giving yourself comfort and care.

This balance is very well described by Paul Gilbert, who wrote The Compassionate Mind and Compassion Focussed Therapy.   Likewise, ‘moderation in all things’ is one of those quotes where “I hear what you are saying” but struggle to implement the concept in my life.

I am just not designed that way.  I have a neurodiverse profile, a quick mind, I see things in insights, am better at leaping forwards towards a perceived outcome than following a process.  I take it up with God on a regular basis: “You made me this way!”   He smiles back and almost winks, “Yes, but I didn’t design the lifestyle you have apparently chosen.”

Did I choose the way I have been living, or, like my poor friend the frog, did I just let it get hotter and hotter till it was scalding me?

In moving house, as well as all my books and papers, I can see that I have brought my “stressed lifestyle” choices with me.

I have more things to sort out post move, but not things or stuff.  Rather, what choices and habits do I keep and what do I dump?  What needs a fresh approach, a change of mindset?

These questions are all part of the ‘rehab’ process… and I need to remember it is a PROCESS.  I cannot leap to the end but will walk the path step by step, seeking to enjoy each one.

Enjoy your path and journey!  See you later …