I feel as if I have been wading through treacle since Christmas. Everything has become an enormous effort but at least I haven't got flu or even a cold, and I'm thankful for that. Two days after Boxing Day I experienced very unpleasant sensations accompanied by acute anxiety. They last all day and eventually I rang NHS Direct though couldn't speak to anyone as they were swamped with calls. Another number got me through to a local hospital where the doctor I spoke to was very reassuring but suggested an ECG at my own doctor's surgery might put my mind at rest. I had even packed a bag as I felt so weird and was convinced I was going in to hospital. I only mention all this in case anyone out there is experiencing similar problems. My ECG was fine, blood pressure fine, blood tests all OK. I seems that anxiety and stress have been building up since my mother died last Easter. At the time I felt numb and unable to grieve and have been advised to try bereavement counselling - my first appointment is tomorrow afternoon. I am pinning all my hopes on it and can't wait to feel like me again. I have found that essential oils are comforting. I have a couple of books by Valerie Ann Worwood which have been very helpful. The Fragrant Pharmacy deals with physical conditions and I have often turned to it over the years, and the Fragrant Mind is the one where I found my recipe for relieving anxiety - 5 drops of Lavender oil, 10 of Geranium and 15 of Bergamot in 2 tablespoons of Sweet Almond oil (or good old vegetable cooking oil). A small amount of this mixture can be used in an oil burner, put into the bath, used for massage or inhaled from a tissue. It really does work, along with deep breathing.
It is a lovely bright day today, so I decided a breath of fresh air and a bit of gentle exercise would be good. The sun hadn't warmed up these mahonia flowers sufficiently to release their perfume but they are a welcome sight.
Who would think that dead leaves could look so lovely. It's a pity I couldn't capture the slight sparkle as well.
Our mini-waterfall up the footpath was looking rather nice. It is very cooling in summer to hear the water on a day when it is almost too hot to be outside. We can hardly see the water in summer when the trees and bushes are in full leaf.
The light was a bit strong and has lost some detail of the mosses and fungi on this tree stump.
I couldn't resist a picture of Mrs. Blackbird right beside the path and only about 2ft from where I was standing. She looks a bit wary but was in no hurry to fly off, unlike the dozens of others who must have shares in the company which makes the batteries I use for my camera. I just get them nicely focused and off they go before I can press the button. I must use more power switching it on and off, than I ever do taking pictures!