Photo by Matthew Bennett on Unsplash

Last week I wrote about the art of taking a break — time off from our endeavours to keep things fresh, to see the world through different lenses. So here I am letting you know that this is it — I’m bowing out. I may be back in the autumn with something similar, or something different, or nothing at all if the creative sparks don’t fly. I just don’t know. That’s the thing with endings — we’re not quite ready for a new beginning. It’s a liminal space between the past and the future. Hanging in mid-air like Wile E…


Photo by Fabien Bazanegue on Unsplash

We learn from each other all the time. From our children, our parents, colleagues, clients and friends. Even Donald Trump has taught us a thing or two — the perils of fake tan and trying to tame hair in later life. He has also reminded us to trust our instincts.

When The Donald was in The White House there never was a grand plan as some commentators had us hope. There was no higher dimension, no 3-D chess. Trump was clear about his approach to life thirty-four years ago, since he wrote this in his book, The Art of the…


Photo by Daniel Fazio on Unsplash

This is a good question. If you’re in the market for string you can buy it in many places. DIY store B&Q has 60 metres of cotton twine for sale. Their natural garden twine comes in at 50 metres. Mosey on down to supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and you’ll get general purpose string, although somewhat shorter at 40 metres. Other products and stores are available of course. “Caveat emptor” if your string comes up short.

The literal answer is one route, but there are others too. The witty road could lead us here: Question — “how long is a piece of…


Welcome to summer! Normally a time to explore new places, eat different cuisines and stretch our horizons. But this year is different. Many of us will be vacationing closer to home. Holidays that will be far enough away from our neighbourhoods to feel like a break but reducing the risks by staying in our own country.

You might be searching right now for that perfect trip away. If you are, I have some advice to dispense. If you’re searching on Google, then spelling matters. Naturalist weekends are not the same as naturist weekends. In the first we discover birds and…


Eye (1946) by Escher pedrosimoes7 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When I was a child, I came across an old book of prints tucked away in a dark corner of the library. There was a particular print which caught my eye. It was called Relativity by the artist Escher. I was drawn in by the faceless people (or was it one person) walking up and down the never-ending stairs and the scenes outside the windows — each one right in itself but contorted into different planes when seen as a whole.

Maurits Cornelis Escher was born on 17th June 1898 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. He was a sickly child who was…


Om Mani Padme Hum.

Or, in its original ancient language of Sanskrit — ॐ मणिपद्मे हूँ

If you’ve done any yoga in the past, this chant might be familiar to you. There are debates about its meaning, but “Mani Padme” is often translated as “jewel in the Lotus.” The Lotus flower is ubiquitous across India, East and South-East Asia. Growing in flood plains and slow-moving rivers, the seeds settle on the bottom of a water puddle or pond and can remain dormant for a long time. The oldest known germination is from 1300-year-old seeds that were found in a dry…


I’m an Olympic swimmer standing in a bucket of water.” That’s how Marcia started our Spoon by Spoon conversation. She painted a picture of everything she needed to say in just ten words. Marcia is from Brazil and has worked in different countries, trying her hand at different types of roles. When we caught up, she was working in an embassy and felt trapped, with no career path and no opportunity to grow. This image of her confined to a bucket shouted loud and clear: she had great potential, but was held back, unable to show her full range. “This…


There is no such thing as forever. We’re constantly shape-shifting — getting fatter, getting thinner, getting wiser, getting fitter. Meanwhile trees and plants are growing, buildings are changing, people are coming in and out of our lives, and our moods are constantly fluctuating, like clouds scudding across the sky.

We have a strange relationship with our changing lives. Sometimes we believe in permanence, that things will stay the same. When we’re deep in a hole, in the middle of a crisis, we fear we will never climb out into the light. …


Photo by Larry Costales on Unsplash

By the time I got to know my granny, she was a little old lady who wore aprons with pockets full to the brim with bits and pieces. She had short, grey permed hair and glasses that hung from a cord — sometimes so full of crumbs that birds would perch for a feed. She was also, quite surprisingly, an enthusiastic wrestling fan. Nothing could interrupt the wrestling on TV on a Saturday. It was her seam of rebellion in an otherwise sedate retired life.

Wrestling is an odd one. On the surface it appears wrestlers are mortal foes. Squeezed…


Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

There Is No Finish Line. These are not the words you want to read as you’re running for a third day in a row, with no end in sight. “Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra” is a race like no other. Justin Goulding writes about it in this BBC article here.

Since its launch in 2011 Gary Cantrell stages Big Dog on his farm in rural Tennessee. Competitors run round (and round and round) his woods during the daytime. And at night? Well, that’s back and forth on the road so they don’t trip up on roots and die. Each lap is…

Charlotte Sheridan

Psychologist, coach, writer, photographer… juggling them all but often dropping balls.

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