Spoon by Spoon

Here they all are. There’s no order, other than I wrote the first one first and the second one second…. you get the picture. If you fancy going back to the start of all of these, then head for the bottom of this page. But don’t feel obliged to, you could just as well rummage around and read what you like.

Get up offa that thing!

Here we are in October, with the leaves falling and the sun shining in between all the rain. Back in the heady days of August I said “au revoir” to my Spoon-by-Spoon blog and I gave you good people a break from my incessant scribblings. But as we know, au revoir isn’t goodbye, it’s simplyContinue reading “Get up offa that thing!”

Sooner Than Expected

I know, I know… so much for taking a break – I can’t keep away. Here I am back at my regular Tuesday morning slot, writing to you. I will lock my laptop away after this, I promise.  Whilst I’m closing the drawer on my blog it’s an opportunity to give my podcast an airing. I’ve recently thrown myself into podcasting with a series I’ve calledContinue reading “Sooner Than Expected”

We’ll meet again

Last week I wrote about the art of taking a break – time off from our endeavours to keep things fresh, to see the world through different lenses. So here I am letting you know that this is it – I’m bowing out. I may be back in the autumn with something similar, or something different,Continue reading “We’ll meet again”

So close and yet so far

Welcome to summer! Normally a time to explore new places, eat different cuisines and stretch our horizons. But this year is different. Many of us will be vacationing closer to home. Holidays that will be far enough away from our neighbourhoods to feel like a break but reducing the risks by staying in our ownContinue reading “So close and yet so far”

What we see isn’t there

When I was a child, I came across an old book of prints tucked away in a dark corner of the library. There was a particular print which caught my eye. It was called Relativity by the artist Escher. I was drawn in by the faceless people (or was it one person) walking up and downContinue reading “What we see isn’t there”

Improve your life in six seconds

Om Mani Padme Hum. Or, in its original ancient language of Sanskrit – ॐ मणिपद्मे हूँ If you’ve done any yoga in the past, this chant might be familiar to you. There are debates about its meaning, but “Mani Padme” is often translated as “jewel in the Lotus.” The Lotus flower is ubiquitous across India, East and South-EastContinue reading “Improve your life in six seconds”

Painting with words

“I’m an Olympic swimmer standing in a bucket of water.” That’s how Marcia started our Spoon by Spoon conversation. She painted a picture of everything she needed to say in just ten words. Marcia is from Brazil and has worked in different countries, trying her hand at different types of roles. When we caught up, she wasContinue reading “Painting with words”

Why nothing stays the same

There is no such thing as forever. We’re constantly shape-shifting – getting fatter, getting thinner, getting wiser, getting fitter. Meanwhile trees and plants are growing, buildings are changing, people are coming in and out of our lives, and our moods are constantly fluctuating, like clouds scudding across the sky. We have a strange relationship withContinue reading “Why nothing stays the same”

Where’s the finish line?

There Is No Finish Line. These are not the words you want to read as you’re running for a third day in a row, with no end in sight. “Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra” is a race like no other. Justin Goulding writes about it in this BBC article here. Since its launch in 2011 Gary CantrellContinue reading “Where’s the finish line?”

Don’t die as a caterpillar

We all know how children develop: first words, first steps, bikes with stabilisers. Then, in no time at all, they’re driving cars and off to college. But what happens after that? How do we continue to learn and grow as adults?  Dr Robert Kegan is a developmental psychologist, author and Harvard University Professor. For yearsContinue reading “Don’t die as a caterpillar”

Our obsession with new

Nothing is new. Everything is derivative. We’re all building on what has gone before. Look at Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1726). Physicist, astronomer, philosopher and author. A key figure in the scientific revolution. A great mathematician and one of the most influential scientists in history. Yet despite this glowing CV (resumé), he humbly said this ofContinue reading “Our obsession with new”

Why we need to dig deep

Life can be dispiriting at times. We put huge effort into an endeavour (art, music, love, work) for it to go nowhere at all. Or we find ourselves toiling away, creating, building, refining, and then have only a modicum of success. Neither seems to match the blood, sweat and tears we’ve expended. I was remindedContinue reading “Why we need to dig deep”

We can all stickle it

Growing up in the 1970s, I was fed a diet of BBC children’s programmes like Bagpuss and The Clangers. If you’re unfamiliar with them, please allow me a short childhood reminiscence.  Bagpuss was first shown in 1974 – the story of a magical cloth cat that came alive. Every episode a young girl, Emily, wouldContinue reading “We can all stickle it”

Trusting your gut

Guts are having a renaissance. It’s 2021 and it’s now perfectly acceptable to bring them up in conversation. Look in the bookshop window and the shelves are groaning with guts. The gastrointestinal tract is merely a 4.5 metre tube, yet it’s the most densely populated spot on the planet. A place that 100 trillion microbes callContinue reading “Trusting your gut”

The relative size of things

The time we spend thinking about something often doesn’t match its importance in our lives. If we parked all our worries in a line, they would stretch to the horizon. When is the ‘eat by’ date of the yoghurt? Did I use the wrong title on the presentation? Should I smile more at the check-outContinue reading “The relative size of things”

Being a frog in a well

Count the number of times I’ve included Japan in my blog posts and you’d think I was in love with the place. Japan appears every few weeks – here on regrets, here on career advice, this on the power of words, one on having a calling and here on the strength of letting go. I use the word “appearing” as I’m not doingContinue reading “Being a frog in a well”

Why we’re always learning

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” The author of this saying is lost to the mists of time, although it’s routinely attributed to The Buddha, the Chinese text The Confucian Analects, The Theosophics, or even Tao Te Ching (in a longer form): “when the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready,Continue reading “Why we’re always learning”

Being lost and also found

Who doesn’t love a horror film? Me actually, but many people do. Why do we snuggle up on the sofa to watch gore? Why do we invite terror into our homes? Isn’t life stressful enough anyway? Christian Jarrett wrote about this in The Psychologist magazine. “Fear coils in your stomach and clutches at your heart. It’s anContinue reading “Being lost and also found”

Words, schmerds

“’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.” Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll, 1871 Words are funny things. They’re a jumble of letters and sounds which intrinsically don’t mean anything. A few words are onomatopoeiac – the ones that sound like the things theyContinue reading “Words, schmerds”

Money, money, money

“I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay, ain’t it sadAnd still there never seems to be a single penny left for me, that’s too bad” ABBA, 1976 Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid grafted for decades before they made it. Their break came in 1974 at the EurovisionContinue reading “Money, money, money”

Waking up from unmindfulness

Here’s a bit of Greek mythology that I discovered the other day. In Greek legend, Lethe is the River of Unmindfulness, one of five rivers in the Underworld. The river winds around a cave where a character called Hypnos lives and anyone who drinks from Lethe’s waters forgets everything that went before. As is the wayContinue reading “Waking up from unmindfulness”

Choice is not always our friend

Ever found yourself rooted to the spot? Overwhelmed by choice, unsure what to buy? 30 sorts of cooking oil, 23 brands of shampoo, 15 types of eggs. The issue is not what. It’s which. Renata Saleci is a Professor of Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Law (an interesting combination). This is her talking about the paradox ofContinue reading “Choice is not always our friend”

Why eating salad isn’t enough

I’ve just finished reading Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversations – Power of Talk in a Digital Age. Turkle is a Professor of the Social Study of Science and Technology at MIT. She’s spent 30 years studying people’s relationships with technology and her book is a great read. But if you haven’t got time here’s a summary: putContinue reading “Why eating salad isn’t enough”

When giving is really receiving

With the Christmas holidays upon us, my mind turns to gift giving. I thought I’d share with you a particular type of present: a Chewbacca present. This is something we buy for ourselves under the guise of buying it for another.  The name comes from the first Chewbacca present. It was selected by my husband in the late 1970s.Continue reading “When giving is really receiving”

What I say is not what you hear

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw During the Korean War, a British army unit was holding a hill above an important river. But the British were on the back foot, surrounded and increasingly becoming outnumbered by the Chinese army: eight to one. The BritishContinue reading “What I say is not what you hear”


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