in the dark

It’s said that glossophobia – the fear of speaking in public – is high up among the most common fears, so I’m slightly surprised that it’s not something that has ever particularly bothered me.

Perhaps I read the lesson in church as a child or at the school carol service often enough for it to cease to be really frightening, although that raises the question of why, as a very timid small child, I was willing to volunteer to read – especially as I remember on at least one occasion having to stand up to a terrifying schoolmaster in order to be allowed to audition for the carol service: he thought I would never make myself heard – though I proved him wrong.
Continue reading “in the dark”

worrying about stress

Some time ago I read one of those ‘motivational quotes’ to the effect that you shouldn’t laugh at someone who pronounces a word wrongly, as the chances are it means they learned it through reading, rather than hearing it spoken, and no one should be mocked for trying to better themselves.

It’s true that I am still likely to laugh when I hear an American say someone made a “fox paw” when they mean a faux pas but, essentially, I think there is a lot of truth in the sentiment.
Continue reading “worrying about stress”

a different perspective

I have pointed out on many occasions that looking at things from different angles and perspectives can result in a very different view and understanding of any situation.

I’ve also expressed a tendency to look upwards and be positive about things. But this week I was reminded that sometimes the view is better when you look down on things.

As seen in the picture above, the cathedral in Birmingham was rather spotty viewed through the autumn trees at ground level. But I had the chance to go up to the sixth floor of one of the building in the square and it was definitely a better – and clearer – view.
Continue reading “a different perspective”

fall back

“Spring forward; Fall back.” – the mnemonic my father taught me to remember which way the clocks needed to be altered at the beginning and end of British Summer Time.

Fall back is also one of those marvellous English phrasal verbs – known by many EFL students as “frazzle” verbs, presumably because of the effect on the mind of trying to memorise them – where a main verb is combined with a particle (adverb, preposition, or both).
Continue reading “fall back”

imagined colours

The post Fairground Colours, written some years ago, includes the phrase “There’s little sadder than a fairground by daylight”.

But that was in Spain, where the heat and dazzle of the sun drain the bright neon from the rides and leave drab pastels instead.

Here in the UK, the light has a different quality.
Continue reading “imagined colours”

letting go

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when, all around, trees show us how things should be done: how easy it is to cut all ties and shake off old habits; to get rid of everything that really isn’t needed, ready to start again afresh.

Sadly, we tend not to be as good at decluttering as our deciduous neighbours.
Continue reading “letting go”

morning and evening

I was out and about before the sun was up this morning and rushing off to the station.

That meant I didn’t have my good camera with me – it’s too heavy for general use – and I didn’t really pause to frame and focus, so the pictures I took of the misty morning in the park are not worth the pixels they’d take to display nor the bytes they need for keeping.
Continue reading “morning and evening”