mid-90s yesterday and today, 98 tomorrow before plunging into the high-70s Fri-Sun. wicked, but not as bad as the Pacific NW: one town in British Columbia hit 115. A hundred and fifteen degrees in friggin' Canada!
I've been on the River Severn after Barbel. Even though it is a bit too hot, means there's less oxygen in the water, I still had one when I went a couple of evenings ago. The Barbel Society have put out a warning not to fish for Barbel during the heatwave now though, so I'm looking forward to a bit of rain and hopefully a dry day in between next week.
It's been good for my mental health but pretty bad for my wallet. I have heard it is being at least considered to be prescribed on the NHS for those with mental health problems. My psychiatrist tells me it's a good hobby but I need to balance it more with other stuff as it's a bit of an obsession for me. There's a strong conservative element to the angling fraternity but they are increasingly paranoid about 'antis' who want to ban fishing, so they don't like Carrie Johnson as apparently she's into the Anti thing.
Interesting to hear about fishing being prescribed. I went to a "forest bathing" session the other day. It cost 35 quid which felt a bit steep, but someone was evangelising about it and it felt like a good sync to explore for me at the moment. It's something that is prescribed in Japan and Korea for, I think, social media addiction and related stuff.
The Japanese have known for years that spending mindful time in the woods is beneficial for body and soul. Now western doctors – and royals – agree
It's basically like meditation but you do it outdoors in the woods.
You spend some time "onboarding" to a different reality, which they called "coming to your senses". This involved closing eyes, which of course brings the ear out as a sense, then you cycle through the others, smell and taste. Then cycle back.
It was just interesting to me, in context of VR, how other experiences also require an onboard phase. VR as something like a retooling of very trad mediation practices.
The point is to feel a part of nature, not visiting it as a stranger/bystander. So it's "immersive" in intention.
You walk through the forest very slowly, placing foot down in specific phased manner, which is not something I've done before, waiting for "invitations" ie little interesting things that you then go and investigate. The slowness does something, you get quite into it.
There's some science behind it: plants and particularly trees apparently release chemicals called "Phytoncides" which are good for our white blood cells develoment. I knew this about kicking leaves and playing in mud, but not specifically about trees.
I live right next to a foresty place called Kinver Edge. You get a lot of people walking there. My mate has taken it a bit further and been on a Buddhist Retreat for a week though. Definitely something to it. I most of all like the adventure of going out to wild places in the countryside at random hours and just concentrating on something to take my mind off other things. Very meditative.