I’m sure we all fall into routines or habits quite easily. As I was having breakfast yesterday here in Biarritz (on holiday!) I got to thinking about how our start to the day influences our experience of the whole day.

I imagine that starting the day with an expresso and a croissant taking in a view like this might set up a good experience for quite a long time!

But I wonder what our routine morning starts set up?

Do you start the day in a rush?

Do you start slowly?

Do you have breakfast or grab something on the run? Or do you meet up with friends or colleagues in the same cafe each day?

Do you watch, listen to, or read the news, and fill your mind with stories of deaths, disasters and crimes?

Do you start with meditation, or exercise, or reading (and if so, what do like to read first thing?)

However you start your day, why not try changing something…..and see how that feels?

La libellule

I came across a discussion the other day where various scientists were asked to say which species would take over the Earth if human beings eliminated themselves. (I think the question was provoked by the movie “Planet of the Apes”)

The discussion raises interesting questions for us. What does it mean “take over the Earth”?
In what sense? As one of the respondents pointed out bacteria have already far exceeded human beings in numbers (also in sheer biomass) and in adaptability – there are bacteria everywhere – in the mouths of volcanoes, in ice flows, at depths of the ocean unreachable by human beings and living on, and in, human beings to the extent that about 90% of the DNA found in your body is bacterial.
Insects such as ants also exceed humans in biomass and numbers and can co-ordinate activity amongst millions in ways which are just astonishing to human beings.
Many organisms already live many more years than human being do – some species of trees for example live hundreds of years.

So if the question is about colonising, adapting to, and surviving on, planet Earth, we’ve already been surpassed.

Which begs the question about simple evolutionary theory – if evolution is about survival of the fittest with random mutations being selected for, what’s the evolutionary advantage in producing such complex creatures as human beings?

Different species have adapted in extremely different ways. Isn’t it a bit naive to think of human beings as being in control of the Earth in any sense? And isn’t diversity beautiful? And astonishing!

Oh, and when it comes to evolution isn’t it the evolution of consciousness, not survival of the fittest that helps us to understand our place in the universe?

Far away

Some scenes seem to brim over with narrative potential.

I think this is one of them.

A prisoner's labyrinth

In the A to Z of Becoming, the second “C” is CONNECT.

We connect all the time. This week, think of two ways in which we connect – connecting to others – we are highly social creatures; who could you connect with the week, and what kind of connection would you like to make with them?

Secondly, we connect up our experiences and our perceptions. This is one of the ways we make sense of our lives – by creating narratives of connections which help us to make sense of life.

This photo is of a labyrinth carved into the prison wall in a chateau in the eighteenth century. As we connect this labyrinth to others we know, as we think of other castles we have visited and we think of the person who might have created this particular labyrinth we create many stories.

Have you a story to tell from the connections in your own life to this labyrinth?

Miroir d'eau Bordeaux


In Bordeaux there is a spectacle well worth waiting for – le miroir d’eau. It’s a large area which fills periodically with a thin layer of water and once the movement in the water settles down it make a giant mirror. The absolute best time to see it is just after the lights are turned on in the streets and surrounding buildings.

Really, it qualifies for the adjective “spectacular”

Little tripods

Chateau D'Oleronne

Here’s a wee photography tip today – I always carry a tiny, flexible tripod in my bag so in a really low level lighting situation like this I can pop it on, sit on the ground and get a nice clear image like this. Without the tripod, I end up with very blurry photos in this light.

Water steps

Key steps


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