Not in any way to belittle but “just” a list of Roz’s journal prompts that I have missed. I hope to catch up on at least some of them. My PC is acting up and I have little hope of doing anything at all just now. I’ll crack on once it stops being silly.
What were the treasured toys that you possessed when you were a child? Do you still own any treasures from your childhood or younger years? if so, how do you display them? Maybe you’ve passed them on to other generations? Are there any much-loved toys that you no longer have, but miss? What happened to them? Tell us their story, for it is part of your story too, and writing down your memories honours that part of your child-ish self that so often becomes diminished.
Did you ever make any of your own toys or pastimes? Do you still pursue that creative outlet? Were/are you a model maker? A doll maker? Wooden toys? Metal? Plastic? Clay? What do you create and play with now?
Tell us about your toy-times. https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-3-i-didnt-have-a-teddy-bear-.html
What examples of physical (and mental) challenges – in your own life – in the lives of other humans or in the lives of other beings have you experienced or seen? Challenges which have been present from birth, or those encountered later in life? What are the coping skills that you have acquired or observed in others? Are friends/companions on the journeey of any help?
From what you have either experienced or seen, what words of advice would you want to pass on to others who may be learning to cope with challenges in their own lives? What are your thoughts on Ability, Dis-ability and Differently-abled? What language do we use – and how does it affect out perceptions of The Other? https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-4-little-flappy-bird.html
At some point in your day today, be it a leisurely or ever so busy day, just stop.
Step away from what you are doing and find one beautiful thing. Describe it in words or pictures.
How about ‘an image and a thought a day’? No more than five minutes. Keep a little notebook dedicated to the project.
Read through on December 31st. Surprise yourself! https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-5-sometimes-we-just-dont-have-the-time.html
What opportunities has an enforced ‘change of routine’ had for you?
What new skills have you learned as a result of the extraordinary experience of lockdown? What have you discovered online if you have spent any extra time there, that has helped you to cope with the change in our everyday lives? What is it been like to participate online in a way that you might not have done so before?
Have you provided any courses lectures demonstrations or performances (or both!) for others? If you have, how has the experience been for you?
Whether as participant or producer, what thoughts have you on how you would like technology to serve you in future? https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-6-signs-and-saviours-of-the-times.html
What are ‘above normal’ temperatures for you, where you live?
What is your ‘hot weather’ strategy? Where can you go? What is in your survival kit? https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-7-too-darned-hot.html
Could you share your expertise with others? What are you good at that you could ‘propagate’ by a set of instructions? Think of something in which you are experienced/something which you know a lot about. It may be a recipe, a knitting pattern, how to mend an item, an exercise or yoga routine. Write your instructions down as a 12 step (or more – or less – step) set of instructions. Share them here – and remember, if you can, to add pictures – they really can be worth a thousand words! https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-8-do-you-love-something-for-nothing.html
What is your relationship with water? What memories do you have of being beside it – or in it? Sports and games? Travelling in parched lands? Travel on water? The ability – or not to wash and keep clean?
Tell us your watery stories! https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-9-water.html
What is your relationship with the sounds with which you are surrounded ? What sounds do you encounter in the course of a day? Which do you welcome and which set your teeth and nerves on edge? Do you have a place of refuge from enervating noise? How can you facilitate escape to find the peace and tranquility that you may need?
What can you observe of the natural world around you, right where you are, right now, closely, in five minutes? https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-10-poetry-nature-mindfulness.html
Can you get up really close to any wildlife? A bird feeder outside your window? A bee hive behind glass? (Some museums and wildlife parks have these). Can you spread a blanket on the ground and just wait and watch? Have YOU got a trail camera you can set?
Set aside five or ten minutes to really observe wildlife (or domestic) going about their business, record it in your journal – and share it here. https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-11-down-at-ground-level.html
Tell me your rainy stories – memories of being caught in it, or having to do without. Climate change is making our need to conserve water even more important – what do you do to help in this fight to conserve water – or anything else – in your own homes and lives? https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-12-the-blessed-rain.html
Are you planning ahead for anything in the next 12 months? I am an advocate of living in the moment, but there are also times when we do need to plan ahead, especially in the garden, as nothing there is instant (though some garden centres, TV programmes and supermarkets would have you believe that gardens can be made in the flash of an eye, if you only just buy their garden-ready pots and plants!) It can also be necessary in other walks of life; it seems that events like weddings need to be planned like military campaigns these days – and holidays to popular places need to be chosen and booked way ahead.
Whether it’s big or small, an event or a plan of action, write about what you have in mind for the future – near or far, either in words or by using the very useful tool of a MindMap. Then date your journal for one year ahead of today’s date – and write an (imagined) review of how the whole thing went, Visualisation can be tremendously helpful in really setting intention – believe it and you will achieve it!
Looking back over the last year – what did NOT go to plan for you? What UNplanned surprises did The Fates have in store? https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-22-a-stroll-into-autumn-thinking-of-spring.html
(N.B. – Since this is a very personal issue, remember to apply extreme self-care in what you choose to share in public. If you do wish to share anything here, you may wish to make it a general observation)
Describe in your Journal health care and/or medications that you need at this time in your life. Do you have free and easy access to them? If you do – how do you feel about this ? If you do not – how do you feel about that? What arrangements do you have to make to access what you need? How have these arrangements been different during the pandemic?
If you do not choose to access manufactured pharmaceuticals, do you utilise other forms of medication? Herbal treatments? Other complementary therapies? A combination? Do you have any treatments and/or remedies that have been handed down to you through family or friends? Tell the stories of the way that your predecessors dealt with their needs and how they differ from today. https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-21-pillows-pills-gratitude.html
Can you try to capture your day in a Haiku? Or two… or three?
Use a photograph to inspire you if the capturing of an abstract thought feels difficult https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-20-a-haiku-a-day.html
when do you sit down and break bread around the table with others ? What does it mean to you ? What do you share when you do this ? Communal baking ? Recipes? Family stories? National traditions? Write about some of the most significant meals you have had together with others; write about times when you have eaten alone. Which would you prefer ? https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-19-come-gather-round-my-table.html
What place does a garden have in your life? Do you actually own your own garden? big or small? indoors or outdoors? flowers or veg ? If you don’t have a garden at all, do you have access to public space – community gardens? parks? allotments?
Did having – or not having – a garden make a difference to you during Lockdown? Have you changed your relationship to these spaces and the creatures within them? Having had the experiences of the last few months, what do you intend or hope for in your relationship with plants, animals and wild life spaces in the future? https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-18-getting-back-to-normal.html
Are you a practitioner of any ‘Expressive Arts’ ? Do you use them for your own pleasure and/or healing? (I think they can be both at the same time) – do you use them to help others?
Describe some of those people whom you have encountered in your life who have been an inspiration and encouragement to you – whether you have known them personally, or whether they have been an inspiration from afar…and from any time in history.
What have you learned from them that you have applied in your own life? What of those ‘life lessons’ would you wish to pass on to those who come after you? https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-17-healing-arts-and-inspirations.html
List in your journal (and here) the books that are on your bedside table, or in a favourite reading place right now – a snapshot of your interests on 16 August 2020. Take a picture – share it here – give us all a Magical Mystery tour to follow.
Write a review of one, two or more that you particularly enjoyed and would recommend.
Take a picture and/or write a description of where you love to sit and disappear (into a book!)
Do you think that you CAN have too many books? (I’ve changed my opinion on this – I’ll tell you what I now think tomorrow!) https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-16-on-the-shelf-at-autumn-cottage.html
Anything been out of control recently – in your garden or elsewhere in your life? Any tips on how to manage things? When things become unmanageable, where do you turn? To whom or what do you turn to find help? Do you find it difficult or easy to ‘just let it go’? https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-15-cutting-through-the-shrubbery.html
Journal prompt in progress
Were you inspired to cook more – or less – during Lockdown? What do you make when life gives you ripe bananas ? How do you use up food that is too ripe or somewhat stale? Recipes please – both for us and for your descendants https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-14-if-life-gives-you-ripe-bananas.html
Do you know if you have any such treasures hidden away in bottom drawers or top lofts? (Don’t ask today about what’s in MY loft – that is very much more than one other blog post, to be sure!)
Have a rootle around in your linen cupboards, chests, wardrobes & lofts and see what treasures you find and what you can remember about them. My particular interest is in textiles today, but you may also have glass, ceramics, pictures, books (yes, look on those shelves as well) – see what you can find , see what you can remember (where did they come from? Who did they belong to?)
Write down their stories – and as always, it would be a delight if you can share them here. (A little tip – write the stories of important (to you) pieces on a luggage tag and keep it with the item, for future generations) https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-13-a-jumble-of-treasures-in-a-grubby-old-box.html
Things are important – some of them form part of our identity simply because they are repositories of memories. Do you have any items from the past which are your own ‘Transports of Delight’, reminding you of places you have been or people you have known? Describe it/them in your Journal, include a picture if possible, and allow your mind to wander through the memories associated with the artefact. Return to your writing on another occasion, to add the recollections which may well come up over time. https://rozcawley.typepad.com/autumn_cottage_diarist/2020/08/a-month-in-the-country-23-transports-of-delight.html
Oh, my goodness, SO VERY MUCH to do!