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The Sanctuary

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posted by Dom Haughton alias Dom Haughton on Thursday 19th of November 2020 09:42:52 PM

Time flies in the world of Further Education during the roller coaster autumn term season. It feels like only yesterday that I posted an image called "The Selfie" in which I bemoaned the terrible fate that awaited me as four solid months of reporting drudgery lay ahead of me. You can read that story here. www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/50312952921 In fact it hasn't been that bad. There are only four weeks of term left to go, yet plenty of people at work are still on speaking terms with me. The hardest jobs of the term are done and although I'm not quite standing on it yet, I can see where the top of the mountain lies. I've been clinging stoically to the fact that there are only a little more than ten months to go before work will just be "something I used to do," replaced by adventures, creative pursuits, alcohol at lunchtimes (not every lunchtime you understand) and most gratifying of all, lie ins whenever I want them. The morning alarm will be switched off forever, the shirts, shoes and suits will be taken to the charity shop and my collection of Duchamp ties will be auctioned on a certain auction website so that I can supplement my embryo sized local government pension with the proceeds. By many peoples' reckoning I'm not going to be rich - but that's only if you use money as a measure of wealth. I don't. Time to do the things that inspire me seems much more important than the numbers on my bank statement. The other thing that brings a soothing balm to each day is the sanctuary. Sometimes Katie comes with me if I can drag her away from her desk, but more often I go alone to lose myself in daydreams. It seems remarkable that ten minutes of gentle walking can ghost me away from the unending din that more than four thousand sixteen to eighteen year olds create on a daily basis to this small nature reserve in the valley below the college. That stroll past the grocery store where students loiter in numbers to buy pasties and cigarettes, down through the quiet housing estate, then across the field and onto the lane that cars can't reach is like descending into layers of ever increasing joy. The ceaseless noise is replaced by three of the sounds I love the most in the world, birdsong, running water and the breeze drifting through the treetops. In fact the only sound I love as much comes when I hear those nine words "shall we have fish and chips for tea tonight?" The reserve itself is no more than a quarter of a mile from one side to the other. Once grazing land, it's been allowed to grow completely wild so that the duckboard path is the only route through it, surrounded by oak, willow, ash, holly and hazel. In winter the ground is saturated by a network of streams. It has its own micro-climate too so it seems - even on a late November day when the sun shines, you can feel genuine warmth as you pass through the patches of sunlight. To either side the space is filled by light and shade, birds flitting through the cover in as safe a place as they're likely to find. Apart from the occasional dog walker or fellow lunch break refugee I have the place to myself. Up until recently, a beautiful Red Admiral butterfly joined me each day, resting on the trunk of the nearest oak tree in the sunny spot where I like to stand and absorb the space around me. When it's time to head back to the office I leave the reserve with a complete sense of calm - so I've named it The Sanctuary. I've been thinking about taking the camera down there, but I wonder what it would feel like on a weekend. It kind of belongs to my working life. So today I thought I'd try the raw mode on my phone, which somehow produces a 40 megapixel file. It's the first time I've put a phone image on these pages. It's not going to replace my camera no matter what some people believe, but it doesn't do a bad job. Not the best photograph I'll ever share with you, but certainly one of the happiest.



Selfie Camera Light Stand,



on topic

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  • Published 02.05.23
  • Resolution 819x1024
  • Image type jpg
  • File Size 429145 byte.

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