I am writing this on day six. The days below include days one to three. Just on a whim I asked Amanda a question: "What shall I photograph today?" It was an off the cuff question. In part it was just me wondering what I would photograph and voicing my thought out loud, if a text is out loud. It wasn't really a direct question because I didn't know what I might see and she certainly didn't know.
Nevertheless she gave me an impossible answer and I had fun searching for the impossibility and then turning it into a possibility.
So each day since then I have asked her what I should photograph. Sometimes there has been one challenge. Sometimes more than one - but only because I keep saying challenges are too hard or impossible. And then I do them anyway. So in the last week I've found brilliant street art, made a simple marble run, posted my first ever [very daft] videos on YouTube, visited an art gallery and a museum, and generally had a good time It's been very good for me.
Today I got up feeling and looking unwell. I went to bed last night with a slightly bad chest, a very sore throat and a bit of a cough. This morning I felt like staying at home and going back to bed. I'd just go to Aldi quickly and then come home and that would be that.
Except I asked for a challenge. And I accepted it. She told me to photograph a duck. I'll write about it tonight or tomorrow. As a result I've wandered into random buildings where I probably wasn't meant to be. I've visited a church. I've bought two really good books for a pound. I've seen pythons, and dinosaurs and Mithras. I've played on a slide. I've kicked through the leaves on a path I've never walked before. And I've had a really nice walk in the park on one of the most pleasant autumn days you could imagine.
As to whether I photographed a duck, I am not saying. That can wait until a duck quest blog.
I am knackered now and I do feel like going back to bed. But perhaps I don't feel physically any worse for having been out and enjoyed a morning. Mentally I probably feel a lot better than I would have done had I stayed home.
I doubt that there will be challenges every single day for ever. But for now they are adding more riches to my life than I could ever have imagined would come out of asking "What shall I photograph today?"
Grateful for DVDs, soft toys, an exemption certificate when picking up five prescriptions, and for restraining myself from making extremely sarcastic remarks when spotting on Facebook that cancer will have vanished by tomorrow. Maybe poverty and injustice can be wiped out tomorrow night.
Stopping now before preaching to the converted about how prayer, if it does anything at all, doesn't work that way and never did.
Grateful to have gone to a place where I might find some support. It took a lot of doing.
And grateful for being able to get to the She Choir. The quotation had been written on the wall of the place we meet, by an unknown hand.
And grateful for being challenged by Amanda to take a photo of a real life unicorn with wings.
Success - and Winefride enjoyed her flight around the room immensely!
Grateful to be able to get out to Durham for a while, wander in charity shops and drop into Alington House where their little cafe was open. Very grateful for that. I had bread with home made pumpkin soup. Followed by a corned beef, cheese and onion toastie with a mug of tea. [Yes I am a monster, I eat meat still!] Followed by a Polish cake. Followed by more bread and soup because they asked if I wanted it for free to finish off the pan. Total cost - £2.40.
And grateful for being challenged by Amanda to take a photo of a tree with a rainbow ribbon around it. A tree was easy. The ribbon was harder. But I succeeded. Without cheating! All thanks to protestors against the stupid road plans in Gosforth.
Grateful that after a serious meeting I could focus on three silly challenges. This is the result:
I was too wiped to get out to the art event I wanted to get to. But I'd had a good time with my challenges.
The result made the challenger laugh a lot. Seeing her laugh was a massive reward for me.