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Roger's Recipes + Two Paintings!

Sis and I have been out again to pick another bumper crop of wild garlic and I was thinking that it would probably go well as an ingredient and a garnish (chopped and sprinkled on top) for a butternut squash and leek soup I’m planning. I could imagine sour cream or yogurt poured onto the soup and then finished with the chopped wild garlic - a lovely medley of orange, white and fresh green. Vegan options also available. And here it is: Notes on Wild Foraging: only pick what you are 100% sure you know (if you are not sure don't eat it) always pick from a place you know if free of chemicals don’t pick the first plant you see (it may be the last) don’t take the last (leave some for others and fo

Blossoms in Ardwick

Usually at this time of year I try and steer at least one trip out from the art studio to Ardwick Green to walk among the cherry blossoms. I think Cherry Blossom it is a special feature of Ardwick and it is good to take some time to notice, look closely and share the experience. If you look back in this blog for posts in 2019 and 2018 you will see our previous blossom walks. This year sadly unless you live in Ardwick you might miss the blossoms. So Andy has very kindly snapped up some blossoms close to where he lives in Ardwick so we can still appreciate the blossoms from a far. Thanks Andy - they are beautiful to see:

Poem of the Day

Thank you for sending in this very moving poem Bernie - and Happy Birthday!!

Atlas of Everyday Objects in Drawings

Hi Rae I very much liked your photos of everyday objects, and the word atlas made me think about how these objects represent places and relate to the geography of our houses and gardens. Taking your take on not trying to be a perfectionist, I did each drawing within a 10 cm square and didn’t try to perfect them, just took them as they appeared from my first attempt. I tried to use different media (biro, pencils, watercolours). I think some are good, and some not so, (I also noticed spelling mistakes afterwards) but I’ll have to live with them, that’s life! This can be my top tip for keeping sane whilst in lock down: keep attempting things, whether drawing, cooking, practicing Q.G, being stil

Inner Light

INNER LIGHT by Shama All of this shall pass Each day is closer to greener grass Things will take their course This is not something we can force Hold on, show might Let heavy things go, keep it light Keep love in your heart Every day is a new start Positivity will get you through Be grateful every day for what you CAN do Send out positive vibes for all Rise up, Stand Strong, Stand Tall RISE UP, STAND STRONG, STAND TALL

Protecting our Mental Health?

"I've been baking! Never done much before and find it’s relaxing but focussed and structured - and makes me stop looking at my screens too much - also nice to eat the results !" Alison Kershaw Practicing Qi Gong most days and meditating most evenings Trying to maintain a routine re sleep times/ eating times Listening to music , singing and dancing most days Sharing daily jokes with friends via WhatsApp or text, laughter is very helpful. Video calls with close friends Checking in with people regularly to make sure they are ok Forgiving myself for not learning a new skill, decluttering my home or obtaining a 6-pack Feeling content with keeping going every day Taking things an hour at a time, n

#Stepping Out in MCR

Before lock-down we were half way through our Ardwick Art Walks funded by GM Walking Grants and part of the activity to get the city walking and active. We had to postpone our last walk with Emily Hayes - but this will be the first walk we organise in the future when we come out of lock-down. However, the government still permits us to do one piece of exercise per day and that can be a walk, so we have been thinking of ways that we can increase the mindful and creative components of our walks to offer us a more holistic experience. Today we want to introduce the concept of Befriending a Tree according to Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder. Thank you to Anne W for sharing this dramatic portrait of a

Together

I love how things come 'together' for these blog posts yesterday in my email inbox I had this joyful image from Lucy C as well as this article from the guardian by Tobias Jones that someone had sent to me: After coronavirus, the penny has dropped that wellbeing isn't individual but social and within that article I followed a link to a brilliant essay by Hala Alyan in Emergence Magazine : This is not a rehearsal both of these articles are pretty dense and need space and time to read, they cover a lot of different topics and it is a lot to digest. I read both of these last evening, but plan to go back to them in the near future with a pen and note book because there are references, links, ide

Resources for Quarantine

Many thanks to people who are sending in links and resources to share. Here are a few things that might be helpful in the coming weeks: STAYING WELL Mental Health - Getting Help Every Mind Matters - NHS guidance for Mental Health A list of tips for Staying Well When Social Distancing from Royal College of Occupational Therapists Stress Reduction Online Courses - from The Owl and Coconut - there is a fee for these courses but "We still have pay what you can places on all our classes and courses." INFORMATION + ADVICE MCR CITY COUNCIL Advice from Manchester City Council Manchester City Council Coronavirus is a comprehensive online portal which updates regularly. The page has links for diffe

A Quieter Condition

This whole website and blog was set up to explore the connection between environmental 'noise' and our mental health. We have spent years now discovering how our surroundings change the way we feel, and we have been particularly interested in how city sounds of traffic, building construction, machinery, alarms can make us feel. We have found people report feeling more settled and peaceful when they can hear the sounds of the elements, the bird song, the sound of our own human relationship with the world - like our foot steps, our breath, a sigh etc. Hearing the sounds of the elements and other creatures and each other helps us feel connected to a wider 'natural' world that has cycles and sea

Garden Joy

We know that not everyone has a garden. (And for those who don't, public parks are the public gardens. Surely there is an argument to say that during these trying times it is those people in flats and without gardens who should be given priority to these public spaces?) But for those that do, gardens seem to have taken on a whole new appreciation in recent weeks. With it being Spring (at least in the northern hemisphere) we are blessed with the spring blossoms, bulbs and new shoots which are often seen as signs of hope, new beginnings and generally joyful signs of life. Here are some of what is flowering in Clare's garden right now: And here are some images of Phil's homely garden - a really

Sights & Sounds from the World

Thanks to Clare for sending these stunning images from Chorlton Meadows early this morning, she was also blessed with a rare sighting of a kingfisher on this walk: And many thanks to Bernie for sending us some images of her walks this week: And also go to our Listen page to hear Phil Samphire's recording of birds in a Longsight Garden - can you identify any of the birds you can hear?

An Easter Card

Ifi asked me to deliver this Easter Card to everyone, wishing everyone a peaceful Easter Week:

Atlas of Everyday Objects

Click here to find out about the Atlas of Everyday Objects; in the age of global social isolation Here are my objects: Why don't you also take some photos of the objects that have taken on new meaning for you since the start of your isolation and join this project.

Drawing Together

My friend is doing the shopping for us at the moment. I asked him to get some daffodils, which seemed like such a non-essential item at the time. But they have proved to bring so much joy this week. Unlike the common daffodil they are really orange-centered but as the week went on the yellow drained from the petals until they were almost transparent, which contrasted more with the hot orange centers. I see David Hockney is encouraging us all to draw more and has been releasing his beautiful iPad paintings from Normandy France and encouragin us all to use some of our spare time for drawing. So I decided to draw my daffodils as it is a friend's birthday today and I can send my drawing as an e-

The Streets are Bare

The streets are bare yet nature’s growing every where there's lots and lots of people staying at home due to this corona scare I live in hope It disappears Then I clap with the world Raise a glass and shout to God, to Buddas and Bodhisattvas cheers a glass of hot water - really good for one - I've been drinking it for years. I pray and chant for everyone amid this fear The two magpies there, free if they could tell stories... there are three in the photos look close two for joy and two little birds in the tree they are not alone they have each other not lonely like me and others we will get by we can visualise . none of us want to die so for now take care and bye bye

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