When Tara, my first dog, was a pup we used to walk in the local park, quite often bumping into a lady who had five dogs. As Tara got bigger, we started to walk further afield, firstly to give her more of a run, but also because the local park is full of the African ‘disease’ – litter – and the other park is much nicer.
Just recently we’ve been cutting across the edge of the local park on our way, but Tara has taken against one of this lady’s dogs (which was a tiny pup but is now a huge beast) and if she sees them in the distance, she simply plonks herself down and refuses to go on. So for an easy life, I’ve just been turning around and going a different way.
This morning, my neighbour stopped her car and asked if I was ok, and I explained about Tara’s sudden aversion to Chico and she was so relieved, she said she had seen me turn around and walk away from her several times, and she wondered what she had done to offend me.
It made me wonder how many other times in our life we unwittingly do something that is misunderstood, and are never given the chance to explain.
Has it happened to you?
Who me? It wasn’t me mum
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Well its more of a mild grumble really, but I thought I’ d start off gently and ease myself into it….
The park where I walk my dogs used to be full (and I mean full) of rubbish. Moroccans have no concept of keeping things tidy and there are no litter bins to speak of. The park gardeners had lost heart and said why? they’ll just leave more tomorrow.
Anyway, about November I decided instead of spoiling my walk by muttering about the trash, I’d keep one little area clean…day by day that little area grew and grew until all of the grassed areas were relatively clear. The gardeners to their credit saw my efforts and joined in, if not exactly enthusiastically, they still did some. Yes, every morning there’s the day before to clear up after, yes people still leave stuff everywhere, some look at me like I’m mad, but its hugely satisfying to see what a difference can be made, with just a little effort. So what’s my gripe?
Blooming gardeners who spend hours and hours raking leaves, twigs and rubbish into piles at regular intervals around the park, and – then leave it there. So the stray dogs and cats rummage through it to see if there’s any food and the wind blows it all over the place, and basically it all has to be done again tomorrow grrrrrr.
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Marigolds remind me of my Dad, his garden was always full of them. So while this is an old photo from last year, I thought it fitting to be my first post in How Does Your Garden Grow
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When I moved to Agadir in 2006 a dear friend gave me a copy of this text. I have no idea where it came from but I love it
“Those who live simply tend to love their solitude, spending time alone in some daily inner activity such as prayer, meditation, journal writing, walking and nature gazing. At the same time they enjoy fulfilling relationships with others, although those relationships may be fewer in number than might be typical in the mainstream culture. We are both solitary and social; we need to nourish each aspect of ourselves.
I’ve simplified my life so that I have time for the things I really want to do. I want time to think, to read, to walk more. I want time for rewarding encounters with others. Simplifying outer things lets me order my interior life.
People who live simply tend to avoid activities and relationships that complicate their lives. If my life is already full of activities that nourish me I will not seek further commitments.
Now I go to sleep when I’m tired and wake up when my mind and body are ready to embrace the day. To me waking up after a good night’s sleep is one of the finest pleasures in life.
I simply revel in having time to read as much as I like, pursue serious spiritual seeking, do all my walking, running, yoga and tai chi, hike when I want to, write regularly, easily have many house guests, travel in a leisurely fashion, keep up a large correspondence, do volunteer work that connects me to the community.
She discovered she doesn’t need very much money to live, and that time is more important to her than money. She spent her days just being. landscaping. cooking, gardening, relaxing, reading, thinking and listening to music. On some days she took off to explore the area, with no planned itinerary.”