Tag Archives: cold

The prize goes to the bold and inventive

Be bold and inventive to succeed in life.

This bold and inventive Colchester swan is likely to survive this winter.

This bold and inventive Colchester swan is likely to survive this winter.

Winter struck with a vengeance in Britain with my town of Colchester buried in snow and freezing temperatures.  It is at this time I think of the wildlife, so I took time out to take food out to the swans in Colchester.

I have a process where any money I find on the ground goes to buying brown wholemeal bread that the supermarkets discount down as far as 10% of the original value at the end of the day.  The bread goes into the fridge waiting for a spare opportunity for me to visit the swans of Colchester Castle Park to feed them.  During this hard winter moment I knew the swans would be challenged in finding food, so I visited them yesterday (Sunday) and today. I also took my camera to take my first photographs of 2013.

Nature is a great teacher, the birds of Castle Park taught me an important lesson about being bold and inventive.  In life those that are unoriginal thinkers and passive tend to be forgotten, enjoying few lucky breaks; used and abused they get the scraps of life.  The champions portion of the feast always goes to the bold and inventive.

Amongst wildlife in the deep of winter the passive and unoriginal die, falling to starvation, cold or the predator.  It can be a shock to witness wildlife be so brutal when it comes to food, territory or mate, but the prize goes to the bold and inventive in those struggles.

I stood on the river bank on Sunday feeding two swans.  It was a feeding frenzy as a hundred ducks descended upon the feast.  Swans are slow, ducks small but fast.  The swans used their size and power to drag ducks by the scruff of their neck from the food.  The swan brutality to the ducks was shocking but the swans were able to get at some of the food on offer as a result.  By their vast numbers and speed the ducks gained half the bread on offer to the swans.  One inventive duck came up to my leg, tugging at my trousers; in this inventive bold way drawing my attention to its existence so that I fed it. This tugging and pecking at my leg continued the whole time I was feeding the animals, putting me in anxiety that my leg would take a bruising if I did not feed the duck, so it won plenty of food to save my leg.

I returned to a different part of the river to feed other swans today.  I cleared the ground of snow on the river bank so swans or ducks could see the grass upon which they could feed.  I had more bread for the swans, and this time had a problem of fifty or more seagulls.  The seagulls are fast and aggressive, so when I threw bread to the swan the unfortunate bird was mobbed by a dozen or more seagulls that stole its food.  Ducks and seagulls use numbers as well as speed to compete for food against swans, who are slow at reacting.  I changed tactics throwing a snowball into the river which all the seagulls chased, giving opportunity for me to get food to the swans.  The swans were aggressive with each other, biting at each other’s necks for the food.

In times of plenty many swans are nervous about taking food from the hand, but these were hungry bold swans, and I was able to get them to take food directly from my hand, so eliminating the problem of the seagulls.  In cold weather it hurts when a swan bites your fingers as it goes for the bread, but I eventually got the hang of it.

I came away with a clear lesson yesterday and today from the wildlife, the prize goes to the bold and inventive.

See every problem or obstacle as a challenge

The choice is sink or swim in the challenges of life.

The self grows through challenge and learning.

The self grows through challenge and learning.

Every problem or obstacle is a challenge.  For every bad period in life there is a good period in life.  In crisis you have a choice to sink or swim.  These three insights are useful to consider when life gets hard.

It is through challenges you grow.  It is through the experience of the bad times that you appreciate the good.  It is through attacking crisis head on that you emerge through the other side.

I have hit a rough patch.  The second cold since Christmas has emerged to challenge me; snow has fallen; it is cold; I have to go out to work in challenging weather with a cold; I have to balance out multiple business demands; I am dazed with so much change going on in my life; and I am stressed.

I eased back yesterday to fight the cold, hammering it with vitamins, paracetamol, soups, honey and rest.  I put off a client until today, my admission of a cold sounded as weak as telling a teacher my dog had eaten my homework.  In fact my efforts to kill my cold ended in a reaction like one would expect from poking an angry dog with a stick.  Did I say I was stressed?

Sitting back yesterday watching war documentaries on the internet at least got me in the frame of mind that I am up for a fight.  This is war.  I am on the attack against the cold, I am fighting a defensive action to keep my clients happy.  I am working on a strategy on being a better parent to my body, this second cold being my second warning.

Looking on the bright side, whilst the rest of Britain has been buried in snow, Colchester escaped with a lighter brushing.  I can cope with the snow.  I am liaising between retailers and art gallery today so at least I will be less in the cold.  The cold is near the end of its lifecycle, and I still have avoided flu, plus that vomiting bug going around.  A week or so from now I will sit back and laugh at this.

I took some time to read a few WordPress blogs yesterday.  A talented writer, who annoyingly never replies to comments by their readers was indulging in a story of self pity claiming they are a useless writer.  I had purchased their book, and was less than impressed at their claims of woe.  They had set their target too high for many book sales in a limited market, then when they predictably failed, they indulged in a post of self hatred.  So here is me in my challenging situation reading a blog of someone having a life crisis over nothing; I unfollowed.

So there you have it.  I am fighting through my challenges, and I intend to win.  Did I say I was stressed?

Global weather turns hostile

2013 likely will be worse than 2012 for extremes of weather.

Two glowing eyes in the clouds promises a harsh global experience in 2013.

Two glowing eyes in the clouds promises a harsh global weather experience in 2013.

A few days ago I was bouncing around Colchester happy as a bee as the mild spring brought pleasant weather after the floods of rain during December.  The winter in Britain depresses me for its cold and darkness, so I have been liking the mild temperatures this winter, with few frosts, tons of rain and one day of snow.

The blossoms are on the trees; foraging bees were out gathering food; the birds singing their hearts out, creating their territories and finding a mate; the first flowers of spring, including snowdrops were blooming.  At the back of my mind I warned myself to be wary of my optimism, for the British weather is a temperamental animal, which can turn nasty in an instant.  Today temperatures dropped more than ten degrees Celsius on the previous day, something that has an impact of a sledgehammer on the human body, which dislikes sudden temperature changes.  The savage frosts were back and a warning of snow was being made all over the internet.  Damn!

The observant can over time spot trends, which includes weather.  The news of the first ten days of 2013 is grim.  The Middle East has been hammered by the worst storms in ten years, heavy rains and snow; a sense of disbelief that Jerusalem is at a standstill due to heavy snowfall.  In the northern provinces of China winter fell like a hungry beast trapping more than a thousand ships in sea ice, and plunging temperatures deep below freezing point.  In the USA, suffering the continuing drought, winter storms dumped tons of snow on suffering Americans.  New Zealand is in drought, their rivers at the lowest point in years.  Record killer heat waves in Australia and Tasmania resulted in vast wild fires that destroyed homes, took lives and wiped out large swathes of forest and innumerable numbers of wildlife.  Distressed whales that usually visit in summer appeared in winter in Canada, and are a cause of concern being trapped under ice with a diminishing gap in the ice providing them with air.

My prediction is that the weather in 2013 is going to give humanity a worse kicking than it did in 2012.

thegreenline

Sustainability Action 10: I signed up to a sustainability seminar in Colchester.

Knowledge is power, for knowledge provides the keys to open doors to success.  My progress to be a sustainable individual is hampered by the limits on my knowledge; it is through education that I can increase my knowledge, thus to be a better sustainable individual.  I today signed up to a one day seminar on sustainability at Essex University in Colchester for next week.

I shall learn about how to involve other people in a cooperative atmosphere to design and follow a sustainable process that benefits society, business and the environment.  Currently the world follows unsustainable processes that will lead to human extinction; those processes need to be changed, and it requires all individuals to make those changes together if humanity is to survive.