Shape life before it shapes you

A wind bent tree is shackled by its roots. It cannot evade, only endure. This picture was taken on a very windy day on the Isle of Wight, I was sitting inside a car which explains the reflection. It also reflects my current thoughts.

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So many factors contribute to how we currently feel. Our jobs, relationships, health, wealth, social status, location, the weather…The list goes on for as long as we want it to. 

Some of these cannot be controlled, some can. Although it is important that we make the most of what we are able to control, it is vital to react positively to what we cannot. I have found that throughout life I have often reacted badly to what I cannot control and for that, have dramatically reduced my productivity with what I can change. 

As with any time period, we have to accept that society will mould us to a certain degree. That we are victims of circumstance that may deprive us of education and freedom, creativity and opportunity. With that being said, some of the most successful and inspirational people among us have had that same burden. We can reduce the degree in which it affects us.

The ability that we possess that a tree does not is that we can resist. We can move and rebel, relocating away from that heavy pressure of society and into a place in which those strong winds launch us forward instead of hold us back. It’s simply about looking in the right places and being willing to change direction. 

A seemingly impossible climb can become the easiest walk with a simple 180.

Nature doesn’t care 

Earl Grey has had a hard time at the top of this monument. During World War Two he was struck by lightning and his head fell off and onto a tram. A witness at the time flew across the carriage and his uniform was set on fire.

We tweet about the coffee we are drinking, this poor guy was attacked with a giant flaming head and had no social media to tell the world of it. I’m sure it will be remembered much more than any skinny latte.

It sounds like a far fetched movie scene, but this really happened! The below photo of his new head being carved is from this article from The Chronicle.

Today, he is a regular toilet stop for birds. Can you see the white substance covering the top of his head? Yeah, go figure.

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Nature doesn’t care about incredible human achievements. It doesn’t care if you have a tea named after you. It treats us all equally, and there is a beauty in that. At least he takes the hit so we don’t have to, providing a service as he did when he was around, the reason he has a monument in the first place.

And what a great monument it is.

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Colour

I snapped this one from the road. Life is more fun when derailed from the walkways of life, that little escape from the norm everyday is healthy for an open mind.


I love the colours here, this region of my city stands out a little more as a result. The modern buildings splashed with colour make the historical buildings more apparant. Traffic lights maintain order whilst adhering to the colour theme. The blue sky, it’s doing what it can in northern England to play a significant role.

Some people cannot see colour, a reason why I try to make the most of it. I try to value anything that I may lose at any moment… a good time to remind myself to get back onto the path I guess.

Where we choose to look in life 

We are a very proud species. What is better than admitting defeat is to keep looking the wrong way, hoping something on the horizon looks vaguely like the thing we are wanting to see.

I felt this picture deserved a post of its own. I knew right away what that post would be as I looked beyond the spyglass and onto the horizon and its constantly changing weather patterns. 

Taking a step back and viewing the horizon as a whole can be much better for gaining an accurate perspective. It may seem better to keep looking deeper and deeper into something to find meaning, sometimes the true discoveries are found by looking elsewhere. 

This is how I try to see life. If I am looking somewhere and get no results I will look elsewhere, even if that takes me out of my comfort zone. Looking elsewhere isn’t admitting defeat, and defeat may well lead to quicker success.

Contemplation 

A man in thought next to the River Tyne, Newcastle. The seven bridges can be seen in the background.


This photo reminds me that the mind is an incredibly powerful place. I don’t know what he is thinking here, one thing I know is that I will never know, nor will I ever claim to know. Too many people claim to know the minds of others and how to think, a huge mistake when it comes to understanding and empathy. 

To step back is to get closer.

Edinburgh crockery matches the geography 

I was having a drink in the beautiful Balmoral Hotel when I noticed the plate that we were served nuts, vegetable crisps and seaweed (in the style of a pork scratching, which was delicious) on.

It reminded me of Salisbury Crags, rising up from the surface, right in the city centre. The bridge seen below leads to the Balmoral Hotel to the left, just out of the shot.

The hotel can be seen below, viewed from that same bridge at night. The above picture was taken in 2012 and is probably floating around my blog somewhere already. The image below was at the Fringe Festival this month.


Notice the road sign/bollard trying to steal all of the attention.