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Canisp and Suilven dominating the moorland landscape

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Loneliness, solitude and wilderness

It is possible to be lonely in a crowd and contented when alone. Over the last year many more of us have been on our own or with much reduced connectivity to other people. In our first holiday since travel restrictions were lifted we visited the Assynt in the north-west highlands of Scotland, a magnificent wilderness area. This was a refreshing experience. This blog looks at the relationship between solitude and loneliness in a period when loneliness, particularly in young people, has increased.

Whirls and swirls- eddies in the flow of time.

The rhythms of daily life provide a sense of perspective and rooting that contributes to our well being. In lockdown there can be a disorientation in time and connection. Reconnecting with nature and enjoying the colours and vibrancy of spring can restore our pserpective on life.

To go direct to a specific earlier blog , click on the underlined title in the list below.

Previous blogs have fallen into three categories. The first set has been about making the most of the extra time available during lockdown for looking at the environment around us and reflecting on our lives. These comprise:

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Bubbles and reflections” is about how public gardens can play an important role in our well being during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly for those with no garden.

  • New Year’s resolutions and 2021 solutions is about making resolutions. During the past few months we have had time for reflection and an opportunity to make fresh resolutions and to try embarking on new activities.
  • Seasons of sighs and mournful wistfulness – autumn is a mellow season with the wonderful colours of the trees and the abundance of fruit. At the end of the summer, as the days shorten and the leave start falling, it is a good time for reflection.
  • Stones and the passage of time is about how structures of stone not only provide a place to live, a fortification or a place of worship but also enrich lives.
  • White swans and black birds – the enjoyment and solace gained by the blackbird in our garden and the swans at the pond we pass on one of our walks.
  • Phases of the moon – time to observe the world and the night sky around us over a lunar month.
  • Paths and destinations – reflections on life choices and complexities as we entered lockdown.
  • Caribbean escape – gentle musings in the first weeks of isolation and dreaming in the bath.

The second category is more about the politics and effects of lockdown restrictions on our lives. These comprise:

  • Vaccination against Covid-19: one for all and all for one? To protect against Covid-19 a global vaccination approach is required but sharing this burden is proving difficult. The roll-out of vaccine in many countries has been low and costly in terms of human lives. countries having little capacity to cope alone. The COVAX scheme exists to deliver Covid vaccines to poorer countries but will it receive sufficient backing?
  • Emergence is about coming out of lockdown with different road maps for Scotland and England . It touches on the feelings of emerging from isolation after such a long time.
  • The two faces of politics – the political storm and public anger over Dominic Cumming’s trip to Durham.
  • Touching distance – the ways in which social distancing have affected us and the debate on what distance is a safe distance.

The third is about US politics before and after the US election

  • Political earthquake in Washington shakes the world reflects on the frenzied weeks since January 6th when a “Save America Rally” was addressed by Donald Trump and rioters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue and broke into the Capitol building in an attempt to prevent ratification of Joe Biden’ s Presidential victory.
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  • Trump card – winner of loser is about the aftermath of the November 2020 US election and represents a view from the UK on the issues surrounding it. This election provided drama and controversy.

Shortly I hope to add some pages devoted to outdoor photography.

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