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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Freeing the mind

Workwise I have had an extremely illuminating time recently. I have been writing the content for a number of mini-websites - so far about 60-odd with hopefully more to come. Writing web content can be both interesting and didactic, especially when researching a completely new subject – new in the sense that one previously has known little or nothing about it. As an example, about a year ago I was contracted to rewrite the content for an Orthotics &Prosthetics Practice website. Where, beforehand, there was a void in my knowledge, there is now enough understanding to hold at least a brief conversation on the subject, and at the same time a lot of sympathy for the unfortunates who have to make use of these artifacts.

Recently my writing has been around motivation, and has included such subjects as life coaching, investing, trading, property investment, motivational speaking and the like. Since I was involved in Jaycees (or Junior Chamber) many years ago I have always maintained a keen interest in motivation, although I am ashamed to admit that I have frequently lapsed in the past. This present assignment has re-awakened my mind, and taught me how it is possible to completely change one’s life around for the better by positively controlling the mind. Now I may be getting a little ancient for that right now, and living where I do prevents me from attending any of the local seminars anyway, but I am deeply grateful to CL for giving me the opportunity of doing the work for him.

Our smallholding remains unsold. As I write there are three or four glossy starlings chattering away to each other in the wild plum tree by the gate. The largest of our four cycads has been carrying two huge cones for several months, and only during the last few days have they started to split open, revealing the fleshy red fruit inside. Some species of cycad are indigenous to this part of the Eastern Cape, and one species, Encephalartos latifrons, is close to extinct. Cycads are known to have been around for more than 250 million years, one of the oldest of all plant families.

Last night I managed to have a lengthy telephone conversation with Liz, who is now awaiting her first Christmas with her daughter and grandchildren in Washington State. This will be our first Christmas away from each other in the ten years we have been together. If it were not for Katie I think I would have gone crazy months ago. She is my constant companion and guards the property on my infrequent trips to either Grahamstown or Port Alfred. Since the new shopping mall opened at Rosehill a couple of years back I have been avoiding trips to G’town, and only venture there once a month to pick up my prescription. Shopping at the Rosehill Super Spar is a far more pleasant experience anyway.