How a face mask got lost in the Farlington Marshes (gorgeous skies and thunderstorms)

I am badly in need of some long walks for health reasons (including my eye pressure), so I went to the Farlington Marshes yesterday. To demonstrate that I really need to catch up on long-ish walks and get back in shape, I found myself oversleeping this morning.

I got caught in a thunderstorm and the associated strong wind grabbed my face mask and deposited it at the bottom of the seawall. It wasn’t high tide, but I saw no way of getting to it and I had to let it be, slightly upset. Because you do not go to a nature reserve and then leave litter behind. Certainly not a face mask. It fell from one of my coat pockets.

A little later I encountered steps in the seawall so I went down them, and back. When I got to the face mask, the wind had blown it half-way up the slope again. I unfolded my umbrella and hooked the mask with the tip of one of the umbrella’s ribs so that I could pull it towards me. I know that in the eyes of some people, this may be something rather silly to do, but I’ve always been rather conscientious. Not obsessively, mind you, but even when I was still a kid, my mother already called me her little trooper. (My siblings too have a tendency to take action rather than stand by and watch.)

I too often feel silly and sanctimonious when I do and write these things. Why do some people feel that such things are silly? Because they believe that their actions are futile. But they’re not. Each of us doing these silly little things adds up to major change.

On a personal level, being able to retrieve the face mask made my day. 🙂

I had my special phone with me – which I needed for the Home Office app – and its camera grabbed the gorgeous skies magnificently. Enjoy!

How to change your personality

This was the heading of one of the e-mails I received this morning.

Personality is not set in stone. For starters, it is part of the result of the interactions with others. I have noticed that not only am I perceived very differently in England, I feel very different here and it’s almost like I become a different person every time I leave England and return to it.

It’s hard to explain in terms of hard science and I bet that particularly physicists and mathematicians will reject this idea as nonsensical. But who we are and how we behave is also dictated by our surroundings and how the people around us treat us.

This is directly tied into otherisation and everything that stems from it including those health disparities so many people are eager to mention at the words, which, granted, probably also has something to do with the verbal attractiveness of the phrase “health disparities”. I do it too.

A podcast from the British Psychological Society. I haven’t listened to it yet.

Are our personalities set in stone, or can we choose to change them? In this bonus episode of our PsychCrunch podcast, Matthew Warren talks to former editor Christian Jarrett about his new book, “Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change”.

Christian discusses the evidence-based methods you can use to alter your personality, whether you are an introvert who wants to become the life of the party or simply wish you were a little more open to new experiences. He also explains how our personalities evolve over the course of our lifespans, even when we’re not consciously trying to change them, and ponders how they might be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.