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Stop, and Smell the Roses

I'm naturally nosy - or inquisitive - as I prefer to think of it. I like to know what's going on. I'm one of those people who, at best, will sneak a glance in the windows of other people's homes as I walk by, or at worst will actually approach a stranger in the street to ask them where they bought the shoes/trousers/jumper they are wearing! I will also look around houses online - when it is for sale of course! I will chat with almost anyone and as a result tend to come away from the supermarket checkout, salon or bank knowing the family history of the person who served me.

My nosy-ness resulted in me having a nickname for the three years of my university degree - I was known fondly as "Trunkie" (thank you Daryl Waller!). But I see this curiosity of other people, their homes, wardrobes, family important part of who I am. I have a fascination with how people tick and what makes their world go round. But I am also a details person - noticing the small nuances of what is around me. I will remember what people look like long after I have forgotten their names, I can recall places vividly; sounds, tastes, touch and smells can transport me back in time.

So, this morning, I was pegging clothes out on the line - I love doing this on a warm spring morning. There's a huge sense of satisfaction in knowing that the sun will dry, the wind will freshen and the air will scent four loads of washing, without a tumble dryer in sight. But this morning, for the first time I noticed something. As I attached each piece of clothing, the sun shone through and hit the fabric, making a veil of steam rise up into the air. Even my son commented "Wow mum, look at that!" This simple moment captured our attention and we marvelled at something new, for a few seconds we experienced wonder.

There is real power in noticing. A therapist once advised me to use noticing as a way of shifting my thinking out of an anxious state. It does literally give your brain a break. But how often do we stop to notice? When I used to commute to work, I travelled by train. Another favourite pastime of mine, along with people watching, is staring out of the window as the train moved through the valley, past villages, and towns. My eyes would trace the landscape and along with the click-clack of the tracks, I would find it very relaxing (so much s