November 12, 2020 10:30 am

It’s lockdown and for those not going out at all it can be difficult to relieve the boredom of being in the same place 24 hours a day. I’m lucky I have a garden; but many people don’t, and may be in apartments with little opportunity to go out. Also, daily exercise has not been so enjoyable recently as the rain has been pretty dreadful on some days (though I did wake up to a beautiful sunrise through the mist this morning- see picture).Sunrise

 

A new habit I cultivated over the first lockdown was listening to nature podcasts when I was feeling worried – like many, I was turned off by live radio and its endless doom and gloom news. With a podcast on, you can go about your day doing the housework or washing up (and it does not have the same drugging effect that sitting in front of the TV can have..)

 

You can even listen outside. I usually listen to the birds and the bees in my garden but my neighbours were doing endless DIY which was very noisy so I plugged in my headphones and it was a real treat! There is nothing like allowing the audio to wash over you and leave your mind to wander freely imagining the scenes being described (whilst you weed the garden or plant seeds!)

 

Sometimes It is hard to know what to listen to as there are a bewildering array of podcasts to choose from, but I tend to prefer stories of the natural world. This means you can experience nature in other countries and this is really captivating. I must confess that I have become completely addicted to one series called “The Wild” which is by Chris Morgan for KUOW (I also secretly love the American radio show acronyms and dramatic jingles too!). 

 

Chris Morgan is a British wildlife expert (he is mad on bears) but now lives in Washington State where bears roam freely it seems! The wolves and owls and bats episodes are especially good and I found some episodes incredibly moving (check out Episode 12 about finding a truly silent place) other episodes are exciting and inspirational. They are available at: https://kuow.org/podcasts/thewild

 

Another more gentle podcast I enjoy is by Times Columnist and nature writer Melissa Harrison. She started her podcasting during lockdown and I find her episodes and descriptions of rural life and nature relaxing and reassuring. They remind you that the natural world continues on its cycle and is always there when you need it. You can find her podcast at: https://melissaharrison.co.uk/podcast/