What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?

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Now the better weather’s here, there should hopefully be some time for at least most of us to take a break and relax a little. As spring is gathering momentum, it’s a good time to get outdoors and – well – do nothing. Just have a look and enjoy  the natural world around you.

Technically, this poem by  W.H. Davies may not be the greatest, but I’ve always appreciated the sentiment expressed in it and the poem is certainly eminently memorable and quotable. Over the years, the opening two lines have often popped into my head at times when I know I need to slow down and get some perspective in my busy life.

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Do you know your proverbs?

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In days gone by, people loved wise old sayings. It seemed like a point was never made simply and directly if it could be dressed up in an illustrative metaphor or catchy phrase.

My mother and her mother could have whole conversations in proverbs. It would go something like this:

Mum: Old Arthur’s sailing close to the wind.

Gran: Yes, he’ll need to look before he leaps.

Mum: But he’d better strike while the iron’s hot.

Gran: Well, fortune rewards the brave. It’s an ill wind, after all.

Mum: Hm,but you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Gran: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Though there’s many a slip!

Rough translation:

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Top 20 Healthiest Foods #12 Carrots

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/www.flickr.com/photos/niznoz/2024208333
/www.flickr.com/photos/niznoz/2024208333

What’s not to like about carrots?
Carrots are cheap, readily available, eminently versatile, easy to store, filling, nutritious – and colourful. What’s more, you can enjoy them both raw and cooked. No wonder carrots are the UK’s favourite veg!

Beware, though, of cheap uniformly shaped and sized supermarket carrots which have often been frozen with a resultant loss of flavour and a tendency to rot quickly. These have often been treated with pesticides too so, if prices are reasonable, it makes sense to buy organic. Carrots fresh from the ground have unbeatable flavour. (Actually, they’re easy to grow – why not give it a go?)

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When in Rome do as the Romans do

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So there I was in Rome. The eternal city; the city of echoes; the city of illusions; the city of yearning; the city overwhelmed by its own greatness. Hm, a lot of people have said a lot of stuff about Rome.
But what should I be doing while I was there? Ah, of course: “When in Rome do as the Romans do.”
I simply had to find out what the Romans do, then copy it. Clearly there was a need for some close observation of the Romans. During my three-day stay I reached some obvious conclusions about what Romans do, then gave careful consideration as to whether I would be able to do this do too – or, indeed, whether I would want to.
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What will you do when you’ve retired?

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Al fresco dining

Al fresco dining

I retired a week ago and so far, I have to say, retirement’s been good to me! But what will I do when the novelty has worn off? Because people keep telling me the novelty WILL wear off and I WILL get bored. Hmm, I don’t think so but – just in case it does- it probably wouldn’t do any harm to start formulating some plans.

So here they are, my plans for retirement (in no particular order because I don’t have to bother about that kind of thing any more):
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Six ways to stop worrying

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It can be difficult when the same pointless thoughts keep coursing through your mind. Perhaps you’re worrying about what someone at work said to you and trying to decide exactly what they meant by it. Maybe you’re worried about a task you’ve been given and you’re wondering whether you’re up to it. Or maybe you’re unsettled about a problem that one of your close family is facing. Continue reading