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The tail wags

This morning I wasn’t sure whether to be delighted or cross. There’s an open garden shed which has been used to store building materials and which we were about to clear out in readiness for … something. But then I saw two Pied Wagtails flying in and out – one with nesting materials and the other with what looked like a beak full of food.

So now it seems our plans will be be put on hold for several months – wagtails raise at least two clutches of eggs in a season so we can’t do anything until all their broods are fledged.

In previous years they nested in a hole they found in the front wall of the farmhouse while it was being repaired – meaning we had to hold off pointing that section until they’d left. And last year they nested in a woodpile near the front door, so we couldn’t go near or use any of the wood until they’d finished.

The wagtails are regular visitors, and always cheer us up. It seems that they love it here. If only they’d pay attention to what we want to do!
So this year’s nesting location, just like the ones before, will make us slow down. And in the enforced hiatus give us a breathing space.

It’s another reminder to me that we share this place with the wildlife that was here before us, and the diversity we see is what makes the Black Mountains special. Even the smallest of birds…

Photo to follow (when I can sneak one without disturbing the nest)

Safe Spaces

When I’m not at work I’m involved in a local church, and the role I have means that recently I had to refresh my safeguarding training. The first instalment of the training is called ‘Creating Safer Spaces’, which included awareness of how the physical spaces that we occupy can influence safe behaviour.

A few days later, I’m back in the office and my mind wanders to the question, what does “safe space” mean here?

What we have created is a space that for many will be far removed from “Business As Usual”. A place where different things can happen. In the (attributed) words of Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” But doing things differently can be difficult when we are in our usual place.

So away from ‘normal’ life, with ‘normal’ expectations, we have found that Like Work But Different provides:

  • an environment where you are safe to think outside the box.
  • a space where you are safe to be creative.
  • a safe place for difficult questions to be asked and where radical solutions can be proposed.

It might seem a bit ‘out there’ and strange, but this safe place could be where your next big idea is waiting…