'The place where inspiration hits the page running... A sketchbook to fail and reflect on my work and my process'

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Recently I have been thinking more about the little things in life. The fleeting moments and small thoughts that us grown ups push to one side because the washing up needs doing or we need to get to work, or fit a million and one things in the day, so we can go to the gym later or cook dinner for a friend or the family. Thoughts that are gone in a second but for that second make us smile and then they are gone again and it's back to the chores of the day. For example, thoughts of smiling at a stranger or waving at bus full of commuters, or even skipping down the street on a sunny day, those thoughts that we secretly would love to execute but get stifled by adulthood.

 The other day I was walking the dog, as I do every morning, an enjoyable task but I do have a timetable, in order to get home, shower, eat, feed the dog and get to work on time, even though I'm self employed I need boundaries to make my day content. We were on the way home and stumbled across a ditch that is normally filled with dirty brown water, old traffic cones and a broken dingy. It was as dry as a bone and there was a mass of jelly to one side, it was frog spawn.... small circles of jelly all joined together, each with a black spot of life in the middle. There was no forecast for rain and a drought had been declared up the line, so I instantly felt sad and wanted to save them. I was a mile from home with no containers or water nearby. I took a picture for my diary and left it at that. The inner child in me wanted to save them and the adult in me was thinking of getting to work and thinking of all the obstacles that would make it impossible.

As the morning went on and after I had done my chores I started to wonder whether I had any suitable containers at home? I wanted be that child who saved at least some of the frog spawn, so I took the biggest container I could find and drove around to the ditch later that day. I scooped up all that I could and took it home. While I was parked in the road I got complained at for blocking the road and got told off by a local for being in the way. I filled the container with water and put it somewhere safe in the garden.


I posted the days activies online and got an amazing response from my friends. Offers of ponds, rescue missions and advice on how to take care of them. Although it isn't the smallest rescue mission I have been involved in recently, only the other day I saved a woodlice from the grips of a huge hairy hounds nose!, but it has certainly been the most enlightening. I check on the spawn daily and document their progress online, with the odd comment being offered by friends. I will keep them until I know they are mostly alive and growing and then release them into my folks pond. It has been a lesson in following my inner child and something I want to do more often. I lead a life where I can make this happen on a daily basis, I just don't allow myself.

I read an article today in Oh Comely that talked about doing this exact thing.

It was called Fish Fingers For Breakfast and is day spent obeying the whims and every word of a five year old. What an interesting an intriguing day that would be. The writer ends up in a purple bridesmaid dress, digging in the garden with her son, eating ice cream and taking the bus. I don't have children but if I did I would want to do this, to remind my own inner child what life is really all about.

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