rock music

Hello my friends,

I’m sitting at my computer in my basement office, staring up at the window. I live in a raised ranch, so the basement windows are nearly the size of main-floor windows, just a bit higher up off the floor. Which, of course, is why I’m looking up.

The two windows in this large room take up a large part of the twenty-or-so-foot wall, so there’s normally a lot of potential for light in my office. Today my curtains are closed tight, except for the quick peek I just took outdoors before immediately closing them again.

I’ve kept my curtains closed because the sky outside my window is that horrible grey-white non-colour that resembles something from post-apocalyptic fiction. I look up at that dead sky, that stripped-down blah colour that can’t even call itself grey, much less blue, and I just want to roll back into bed and pull the blankets over my head.

Worse yet, it’s been like that out there for weeks now. Rain, drizzle, snow flurries, more rain, temperatures that huddle around freezing, dead white sky, and there’s no sun to speak of.  It’s almost more than a person can bear.

In my case, my mood plummets, entropy sets up housekeeping in my head, I get cranky and snappish, and worst of all, I begin to eat as though there’s no such concept as “enough.”

All other things being equal, this equates to escape weather in my book, and if I could, I’d high-tail it away on a vacation trip – to Bora Bora, perhaps, or the Arizona desert. Somewhere either dry as a bone and endlessly sunny, or hot and humid and endlessly sunny (but only as long as it’s hot, humid and endlessly sunny beside a glorious beach and next to a private villa with air conditioning).

The key element here, as you’ve no doubt noticed, is sunshine.  My spirit reacts to sunshine the way sunflowers do, turning their faces to catch every last photon. This old crone is suffering from photon depletion, big time.

Since I can’t get away from the drab, dismal, depressing weather going on outdoors, I decided to bring some of my favourite scenes to me via the internet and brighten my day that way.

So what follows is a brief photo shoot of scenes that make me happy just to look at them and imagine myself there:

Ahh, heaven! (Seychelles)
Ahh, heaven! (Seychelles)
That glorious colour stuns me.  (Arizona)
Oh, that blue water! (Brazil)
Oh, to be there.... (Arizona-Utah desert)
My kind of morning. (Arizona-Utah desert)
More of those wonderful rocks. (Seychelles again)
Beautiful! (Seychelles again)
My pretend vacation home in Arizona
My imaginary vacation home in Arizona

As I looked through the photographs I had chosen to illustrate my idea of the perfect getaway location, I was gobsmacked to realize there’s an entire theme here in addition to sunny skies:  the other constant in the photos I was posting was…rocks. Boulders, to be exact.

Actually, this shouldn’t have surprised me. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I’m crazy about rocks and stones – especially huge rounded ones, the boulders of the world. In fact, our home is filled with my little rock collections, including some petrified wood I picked up in Utah and a bunch of “desert roses” (gypsum formations) from when we lived in Algeria. I can’t visit a beach without searching for smooth perfect stones – boulders in miniature – to bring home with me.

Roaming the canyons in Navaho National Monument and Mesa Verde some years ago was one of the highlights of my life. I could almost feel, far below the level of actual hearing, those vast, ancient rocks singing to me – a deep, hypnotic lullaby that beguiled me with their particular magic.

Surely I must have lived in that part of the world many lifetimes ago; it seemed I could happily spend the rest of my life sitting, completely content, on one of those enormous boulders looking down over a monumental sea of rock. Feeling – of all things – protected!

Clearly, the only two essentials I really require in a getaway are sun, and rocks. Big rocks, little rocks, round rocks, layered rocks, desert rocks, rocks next to a beach? Immaterial. What matters is having stone either surrounding me or within sight.

To lie in the sun and listen to boulders around me singing their siren song? Ahh, now that’s music to my soul.



  1. Ahhh…..another rock lover. I pick them up all the time. Use them in my house and garden. The other day the sun was finally out and I just stood there soaking it up. It felt so good.

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    1. Isn’t sunshine wonderful? I miss it so much! London isn’t terribly sunny in the winter (lots of grey skies) but this year is beyond awful. Everyone’s talking about it.

      And yes, rocks and stones are a huge delight to me, and those pictures I posted really are places I can readily imagine me in, especially the Seychelles….all those rounded boulders that look almost as though they’d be soft and cushiony! 🙂

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    1. And of course I believe you, Helen, sitting there on the other side of the world surrounded by beaches and endless sunshine. I have a granddaughter who moved to Australia for a year some 18 months ago with her partner, and now they won’t come home , so don’t try to pull the wool over my eyes, girl. I’ve got your number. 🙂


      1. You’re right – ish. Today the sky is clear, clear blue, the forecast is about 35C and hopefully i’ll get my swim in before the wind gets up and the bluebottles blow in. BUT… when I die, it will be of midwinter despair, killed by grey skies. I too take the happy pills, but i sometimes wonder if i should up the dose once the jumpers come out.
        Thank you for ordering my book! Feel I should warn you, though, that it’s pure fluff – nothing D&M about it. I’m currently trying to work up an idea for another one to get me through next winter.

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  2. I spent a year in the Aleutians. The sun broke through once during all that time–for 15 minutes. They declared it a squadron holiday and we BBQd a caribou on the hanger deck.
    We had several suicides while we were there. It was blamed on the depression caused by not seeing the sun for long periods.

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    1. Rob, I can readily believe you had suicides during that dreadful year; we humans are far more dependent on full spectrum lighting than most people think, and depression is far more than just a word folks bandy about if they’re feeling a bit blue.

      My chronic depression has long been well controlled by the antidepressant I use, but a lengthy spell of grey weather really puts it to the test. Crankiness is one of the first signs for me that my mood is lowering, but I can usually talk myself back up, thanks to the medication – and the gorgeous beach and desert pictures on the internet. I have a good imagination. 🙂

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  3. It’s called SADS, this aversion to grey weather and lack of sunshine – only I can’t remember what each letter stands for – and so I’ve now just looked it up on Google and it’s Seasonal Affective Disorder. The one good thing about it is the light is so bad I can’t see the dust in the house and therefore do not need to do any vacuuming! I have SAD’s too and CRAFT’s. SAD is caused by weather and CRAFT is caused by ageing! 🙂


  4. I’ve had SAD since my teen years, but fortunately, the antidepressant I take for chronic depression also helps with that. I used a light cap for a few years, and that helped too.

    You’ve got me stymied, Jude. What the heck is CRAFT? I’ve tried Googling it and come up with nothing. Enlighten me, lady! 🙂


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