God dwells in life.


God dwells more in a little sparrow than in all the buildings dedicated to him.


Our new associates.



A mamma swan has decided it seems to rear her babies right alongside us. When reporting for our first CVSS day of the season (taking the disabled sailing) we were astounded to find a new nest complete with six eggs right beside the jetty.
The mother seems perfectly at ease with us and all our comings and goings as we help our special sailors into the boats, even leaving her eggs for a leisurely swim in our presence. She seems to know we’ll not hurt her little ones. We are honored by her trust.

A sunny walk near my place.


(Above) Some of the boats we use to take out our “special sailors”

(Two below) We call it the nursery due to the number of swan, geese and duck families in residence – looking for a free breakfast.


(Next 3 views of one of the locks on the Grand Union Canal)






Gate to the bird sanctuary ( a much wilder area!)



Two smaller beauties I noticed. (The thistles in the bird sanctuary were like a forest higher than my head!)





Press the pause button on life.


Sometimes we just need to press the pause button and stop to take in life.

This happened to me yesterday morning. My usual cycle back between the lakes was feeling tedious. I felt myself unconsciously pushing to “get it over with”. Something wasn’t right. The route is glorious and the trees were all decked in gleaming new foliage (even on a dreary day which this was). It had to be me.

Instead of hasting home to get started on that ever present “to do” list I pulled over by a bench, propped my bicycle and sat gazing out over the still waters. Starting to chill I watched the birds (expert chillers!)

There was a small splash in the water. A moor hen was diving for food. Only then I realized what my beleaguered senses had been oblivious to. There was a chick on the lake, the first I’d noticed that year. As I watched, fascinated, the mother passed her wriggling prize on to the baby. I sat contemplating as the mother tirelessly bobbed down again and again providing the chick with a hearty breakfast.

It slowly dawned on me – this was the real world, the continuing one. Oblivious to our petty dealings nature continues its timeless rituals, there’s such peace in that.

(I didn’t have my camera along but this bing photo will give a close idea.)


Have we forgotten how to live?



We had “momentous moment” this week. The crane we’d often seen at the water’s edge on the way to school unexpectedly flew right across our path. It was a glorious sight, wings out stretched in clear view about half a meter in front of my grandson.

After our marvelled oohs and ahs he said he wished he’d had a camera fixed to the front of his bike so he could have filmed it. I comforted him that his built in eyes had got the shot and his memory recorded it for his archives and we joked about how our bodies came with all this built in stuff.

Later I was pondering (having had a lot of family get togethers due to my daughter’s visit from China) how often festivities come to a halt in order to be recorded. Every time a delicious spread is set before us there’s a call to the kids “don’t eat anything till we take a picture.” Hugs and greetings are frozen, avid conversation stopped for the inevitable photo.

Don’t get me wrong I’m as bad as the rest and love to see events shared on social media that I couldn’t attend or that bring back sweet memories. I do wonder sometimes though  about the danger of overdoing this, that in our urge to record the “good stuff” that we might be in danger of forgetting the “now”, our lives diluting to a mere reflection of social media rather than the alive, pulsating, joy and appreciation of a fresh “now”experience.