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Poems from session IV

ANOTHER EVENING IN WARRINGTON Carl Peploe The sun sets in a big red ball over Orford gas works. All the drunks are feeling small. So are all the jerks. Next the moon rises, full and like a globe. Women come out in search of their cats in their bright pink robes. Over there, there is a noise – someone’s coming to harm in the direction of Densham Avenue. It raises great alarm. It’s another night: the stars are out and the wind is cold, the Orford yobs give you a clout and make you feel so old. Then I will walk home and listen to Aiice Cooper whilst old biddies drag their dogs armed with a pooper scooper. RIVERSIDE Len It could be 8.05, 12 noon or dusk. The flo

Reading Ruskin

As part of the workshops that we are running with Elizabeth Gaskell's House as part of their Bicentenary of Ruskin's birth I wanted to read some Ruskin's original texts. This year Ruskin and elements of his thought and writing are being discussed and responded to as part of the celebrations that are seeing many of the cities cultural institutions putting on events : https://www.ruskinprize.co.uk/manchester Apparently Ruskin was not fond of Manchester - in the mid 19th Century Manchester was a place of massive industrial revolution, with extremes of poverty, exploitation and child labour as a few people made a lot of wealth. In this process presumably previous farm and rural land will have be

Poems from Session III

A RECIPE Adele Fowles Bring together one crystal clear free-flowing river with sandy banks, an overhanging willow tree and one small secluded beach. Discard any washed-up debris and switch to silent mode (to ensure all bird song is heard). Liberally scatter with shards & flashes & sparks of brilliant bright light healing herbs & rock salt. Now allow time for deepest rest For expansion For nourishment & growth. POEM Diane Sprinkle stars on a bed of grass. Add a row of tamarind trees. Blend them with a touch of euphoria. Mix with laughs

Have Your Say

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside has partnered up with Manchester City Council to celebrate and improve the wildlife and wild spaces right on our doorstep as part of a project called My Wild City (you can find out more about the project here). We have created a short survey which will help to shape the new 10-year vision for biodiversity in Manchester and are working hard to ensure that as many people as possible can have their say for wildlife in Manchester. This is a chance to have your say, so please do take some time to fill in this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PSY3JPG

Mindful Nature Photography in Swinton Grove Park & Elizabeth Gaskell's Garden

As well as running the Breathing Spaces project this year, we are also very fortunate to have been asked to run a series of drawing and photography workshops for Elizabeth Gaskell's House as part of their celebration events for the bicentenary of Ruskin’s birth. Previously we ran a mindful drawing workshop, one month ago, and the weather was a bit dreary and it drizzled quite a lot. Yesterday could not have been more different. The sun shone down on us and illuminated our environment in a perfect way for photography. It does make such a difference. We gathered at our favourite work bench in Swinton Grove Park and I did a short meditation to begin the session, guiding people to let go of what

Poems Session II

POEM Wayne Old trees I can see very clear, Listening to different birds singing and nesting down the years. I can smell flowers sat under this old tree. I am just a person, not a bumble bee, feeling a breeze in the air! But just sat here I don’t care. DUSK Len Kids running, crunching the paths. Animals shrieking and feeding from earth. Flowers opening. Garlic in your nose. Garlic on your fingers. Garlic in your mouth. Garlic in your pockets. The dusk is damp. The dusk is safe. The dusk is strange. The dusk is friendly. I close my eyes and imagine drinking hot chocolate in Noah’s Ark. I close my eyes and pretend I’m an emperor butterfly. POEM Adele Fowle

Dusk Chorus

Images by Mikie Thompson taken during the Dusk Chorus walk at Parrs Wood Environmental Centre, for International Dawn Chorus Day 5/5/19

Drawing with Naomi Kendrick

Mindful Drawing Workshops with Naomi Kendrick 11th of June & 9th of July 2-5pm, St Luke’s Longisght Two drop in drawing workshops for you to try out drawing into the crumpled surfaces of paper, a relaxing process that results in drawings that hint of winter trees, maps and the body. We will be making a shared scroll drawing on tissue paper and there will also be the opportunity to explore making drawings with natural objects and clay as well as trying out different types of papers and drawing materials. The workshops are for you to spend as much time as you like, whether you have 10 minutes or two hours you are very welcome to drop by and draw.

Our environment & our mental health

To what extent is our mental health related to our environmental conditions? Is there a causal relationship between environment and mental health? To realised spiritual masters the environment is not a factor in their well-being or mental state. In fact, for these people it is said that if your heart is calm and pure everywhere is the Pureland. We could even go further and say that people who have truly realised inner peace can themselves affect the environment, people report feeling tranquil and peaceful in the presence of certain people. By contrast for people trapped in a psychotic episode or deepest depression the environment may not be a major influence. Whilst it is possible that envir

Poetry Session I

All poems created in our Creative Writing Session 30/5/19 with Nige Wood ( St Luke's, Tuesdays 4-5pm) CITY POEM Group poem by the whole class cars & dogs & traffic & breeze clocks & bells & music & sirens shouting & touching & grass & smoke & blossoms & fumes & birds & takeaway food LOCAL Len Out of the shower I try to reach the West Didsbury morning, the sun looks cool but almost burns me in the chaotic high street. Pam encourages me to look, really look at each flower, every bird that lands and trees that line each avenue. But as much as I gaze at flowers, birds and trees, I’m distracted by the bacon that sizzles out of number twenty six. TODAY Brian Clewlo

Dusk Chorus in South Mcr

Last night saw our first Breathing Spaces Dusk Chorus listening event at Parrs Wood Environmental Centre. Last year we carried out a Dawn Chorus listening event which was incredible but just too early for most people from our project. So this year, it was Kit Walker's idea to hold a Dusk Chorus event instead. We basically did the program in reverse to the Dawn Chorus. That is, we met at 7.30pm in the greenhouse for tea and a chat about what we were doing and why, then a walk around the different habitats led by Harriet a Parrs Wood Volunteer. Harriet stopped so that we can focus on listening in the different places and then we were lead over to the woodland area where we sat for 45 minutes

Twilight Trip

We chat, listen and drink tea, we wonder what will be The volume goes down , we mute our sounds Enchanted by nature By the peace and calm Exciting anticipation Wide eyed in admiration No talking whilst walking A snap of branches As the aromatic wind dances A bone, there on the ground, alone We listen, we feel, we see, we hear The sweet sounds of nature rise up so clear In meditation Contemplation Fascination The distant sounds and the ones that are near The trees. The birds . Plentiful fruits and herbs We sit so still absorbing from head to toe From the sky above From the earth below Dusk turns to dark, our adventure now complete We head home and carry sweet memories fro

International Dawn Chorus Day

Today is International Dawn Chorus Day! See this Guardian Article : Natural high: why birdsong is the best antidote to our stressful lives International Dawn Chorus Day is always celebrated on the first Sunday in May and is certainly growing in popularity. The story goes that International Dawn Chorus Day began in the 1980s when broadcaster and environmentalist Chris Baines asked friends to attend a 4am birthday party so they could enjoy the dawn chorus together. Since then IDCD has grown from a small event in Birmingham UK to an annual international celebration with Dawn Chorus events held as far afield as the Antarctica. Last year we celebrated the Dawn Chorus at Parrs Wood Environmental C

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