A Path Less Trodden

Challenging received wisdom, one step at a time

 

 

 

How to be alone

Being alone. It's not a natural human condition, us being a tribal species, and often thrust upon us by circumstances rather than by choice and, if we've been in a long term relationship that has ended, we are often ill equipped to cope with this new found...

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If You Forget Me – Poem by Pablo Neruda

I want you to know one thing. You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you, as if...

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Should I stay or should I go

If I go there could be trouble, if I stay it could be double. Everyone of us wants to belong, to be part of a tribe, it's hard wired in to our DNA. I self identify as coming from Yorkshire although, because my Dad was in the Army, I've moved around all of...

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Live fast, die young

I've struggled all of my life to conform. I come from the 'live fast, die young' rock and roll generation that eschewed all notion of being a responsible grown up and instead embraced a path of hedonistic pleasure, self destructive behaviours and a series of bad life...

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Lives of quiet desperation

'Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.' So said the American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau. Most of us start our adult lives excited by the infinite possibility that life offers...

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To a Passer-By

The street about me roared with a deafening sound. Tall, slender, in heavy mourning, majestic grief, A woman passed, with a glittering hand Raising, swinging the hem and flounces of her skirt; Agile and graceful, her leg was like a statue’s. Tense as in a delirium, I...

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La Dolce Vita

I'm writing this sitting in my rented apartment in Florence. It's beautiful and handily placed to walk to all of the attractions and usefully has a roof terrace with views across the city, just the place for a glass of chianti and a smoke. I seem to go for...

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Freeing the child within

Although through force of circumstance I am very much a peripheral figure in their lives I'm fascinated by my two grandchildren, Charlie who is 3½ and Jack who is 1½. They love to play and have fun and Charlie is a proper boy, boisterous and fearless, Jack has yet to...

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The plight of the reindeer people

My Mum always used to say that things have changed far too much. She was born in 1925, so she did see some dramatic changes in her life time. Most of those changes have been positive, but the explosion of the world's population from an estimated 2 billion in 1925 to...

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How to live longer

Whilst reading a post debunking the Paleo Diet, I came across a link to a post on National Geographic about 'Blue Zones' which is a term coined by Dan Buettner for the regions on Earth with the longest life expectancy, disability-free life...

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Being a Dad

Becoming a Dad is a relatively simple process, being a Dad is much harder. A chance remark from my son on father's day when he handed me a card, led me to ponder the question, what it is to be a Dad. The remark was 'Sorry - I couldn't find a...

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An allotment life

I've finally got my hands on an allotment. As of today I am a fully paid up member of a private allotment society in Wolverhampton. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little put off by the amount of work that needs doing (not to mention the dead rat in...

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The grass isn’t always greener

Many of us in the West  have very acceptable lives, if at times a little mundane. We have partners who love us, a job that isn't too onerous, enough money to live on, regular holidays to interesting places, cable TV, good food, ample wine and yet for some of us it...

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A Mistress none the less

She is a subtle Mistress. She tries to catch you young, she doesn't push, she flirts with you and you flirt back. You think that you can control her, but she knows better, she bides her time. Some remain unmoved, some are totally in her thrall,...

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Losing everything

'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times'. So begins the Dickens' novel 'A Tale of Two Cities'. 2010 was such a year for me. The best of times was, undeniably, having the opportunity to walk my beautiful daughter down the aisle on a...

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Growing Up

It's hard to come to terms with losing someone who's played a such an important role in your life. My Mum passed away quite recently and whilst I don't want to talk too much about my feelings surrounding that (it's far too personal and...

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From the cradle to the grave

I'm at a funny age. I'm 56 soon to be 57, an age where although both of my parents are still alive, they're becoming increasingly infirm, especially my Mum.  Mum is in hospital following a fall and not responding very well after an operation on...

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On Life – Steve Jobs Stanford Address

You'll know from my last post that I'm reading Steve Jobs' biography and am fascinated by the man and his methods. Although often abrupt, he was extraordinarily insightful and I came across reference to a speech to Stanford University in 2005,...

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A love letter

I'm reading Steve Jobs biography at the moment and although he was a very complex and sometimes difficult character there is a section of the book that deals with the romantic relationships that he enjoyed. He claimed to love two woman in his...

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In praise of solo living

It's Valentine's day today and I find myself reflecting on the fact that I've been living on my own for well over a year, after many years in several long term relationships. Once the thought of this would have filled me with anxiety and dread,...

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