All The Small Things

This morning I took the dog for our usual circuit.  He’s just been prescribed some new anti-inflammatory drugs for his arthritis and I was watching him closely to see if he was walking any easier.  He was very excitable and the reason soon became clear.  The remnants of someone’s takeaway were strewn around.  A few drinks cans, milkshake cartons, polystyrene boxes, chip papers and, for the dog, discarded chips and kebabs.


I’d heard some cars racing around late last night and it looks like someone had used the quiet lane as a late night picnic spot, thrown the rubbish out of the car and then raced around the field.  All depressingly familiar.  Looking more closely it was clear that this was not a one off.  The area was covered in plastic bottles, cans, paper and plastic.  I particularly appreciated the way a number of drivers had emptied their ashtrays on the road.

Walking back towards home I met someone who also spotted the rubbish.  Their considered wisdom was that someone ought to do something about it.  It made them angry. The parents should bring their kids up better, they should be ashamed.  The authorities ought to stop it and clean it up.  Someone should report it.

All sentiments I could easily agree with.

I finished the walk, put the dog in the house (his rickety legs wouldn’t cope with a further walk), grabbed a pair of gardening gloves and a black sack, walked back to the spot and started collecting litter.  At first I felt vaguely embarrassed.  This soon passed.  It felt good. Certainly better than raging, anger is a useless emotion.  After 10 minutes I had filled my sack and made a big improvement both to the area and my mood.

The small things do make a difference.  And small acts of compassion make us stronger.

All the small things
True care, truth brings
I’ll take one lift
Your ride best trip



London’s oases of calm

London's  oases of calm

Warm, watery sunlight in Autumn must be some of the best weather in which to enjoy London. Warm enough to need no coat yet cool enough not to broil on the Tube. Tempers stay calm and attitudes sunny!

Having a spare hour I chose to walk between meetings from Covent Garden over to Moorgate. The noisy centre of arts and culture giving way to the financial district.

What was clear is that London is blessed with many parks and squares, oases of calm amidst the hustle and bustle.

Lincoln’s Inn Fields were enchanting, Postman’s Gardens in Aldgate a small yet densely planted unexpected treat. And finally Finsbury Square. A barren square of grass, still noisy with traffic but even so a magnet for office workers.

Proof, if it were needed, of how much we are drawn to green spaces and how much value we must place on even a little nature to calm our senses.  Even without a quiet, green space we can create such a place in our minds and return to it whenever we feel in need of relief from the demands of modern life.  Many are now learning the benefits of meditation, yoga and other techniques to calm their minds.  The results are invariably positive,  I am tempted to try a yoga class myself, but in the meantime a stroll does the trick and saves the Tube fare.