Today marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. For my family, it also marks two full months of COVID lockdown. It has not been easy to say the least. The theme of this year’s mental health awareness week is kindness. The organisation picked kindness specifically because:
We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive.
Mental Health Foundation 2020
This is so important, especially now, to practice kindness to others and especially to ourselves. I hope y’all stick with me this week, as I will also adopt the theme of kindness for goat of the day.
As far as goat breeds go, Nigerian Dwarfs have become one of the most popular – just look at that little smile from Della! People tend to like them because they don’t require as much space as other goats given their smaller size, plus they actually produce a bit of milk if cared for properly. In addition, they are known for having sweet personalities making them excellent companions for small-scale homesteaders. And of course, they are absolutely adorable.
Thank you again to The Haven Zoo for sharing these lovely photos of their newest residents this week. If you would like to support Della and her friends, please consider making a donation, or even sponsoring the herd!
It is easy to get lost thinking about what the world will look like after the COVID crisis is over. Maybe stop and think what you will remember most about this time. What will stick out in your memory – the panic-buying of toilet paper? Busses circulating empty through the cities? Or maybe, the collective kindness that emerged throughout neighborhoods and communities to help those in isolation get what they need? Keep a journal, remember your thoughts, it will be therapeutic in the present and valuable in the future.
May the fourth be with you! Do you like puns? Do you like Star Wars? Well then today is your day. Once upon a time, my mom brought home the entire trilogy (episodes IV-VI) and we watched it over an entire weekend. I was eight years old and already well on my way to becoming a misunderstood nerd, so Star Wars was the perfect indulgence. Although truth be told, I found the prequels to be very disappointing. Luckily, the Star Wars movies that have come out in the past few years have captured and built upon the original magic. To celebrate May the Fourth, here is a photograph of Adam Driver who you may recognise as Kyle Ren/Ben Solo and a caprine friend (possibly a sheep).
Please note, this photograph was sent to me by a friend and I did not take it and do not know the original source.
I am happy to share a photograph I saw yesterday on View from My Window. Taken from a colourful vintage airstream, Cate in California shared this amazing view of a goat! Many thanks, Cate!
One of the things that has been hardest for myself and my family about lockdown is not being able to take full advantage of the glorious spring weather the past month. It can be cruel to think that you have to hibernate as the world comes back to life after a cold and windy winter, but here we are. My heart is filled with gratitude though for our home and our digital windows to the rest of the world.
Sometimes staying inside with the same people can be really challenging. Make sure to find ways to get some time to yourself, especially if you are responsible for caring for others. It is not selfish – you able to better care for those who need it when you are coming from a stable foundation yourself.
One year ago today, my family and I were traveling home from our spring holiday. Travel worn and whatnot, I shared a picture of a goat that I took in 2011 when I lived in Delhi, India. To think of how now we are staying in place and haven’t really left our neighborhood in nearly a month is pretty crazy. Sometimes all you need is already right around you. However, I am holding onto hope that we will have future adventures, near and far. Also, I am pretty sure this goat knew the secrets of the universe. Worth sharing again!
Sometimes you just need to seize the opportunity and find some joy in the world. That is what a herd of mountain goats in Wales did a few days ago. Although humans across the UK are in lockdown, the Prime Minister did not extend the new rules to combat the spread of SARS-COV-2 to goats. Thus, the gang of goats saw their opportunity to descend upon the town of Llandudno. Locals (who I assume were following social distancing protocols and noticed the goats on essential errands or the one hour of outside exercise time per day) found the goats roaming the streets and hanging out as though they were meant to be there all along. And perhaps they were.
I would most of all like to thank the many people who shared this amazing story with me over the past few days. This story brought me great joy, as does the fact that people reach out with goat related shenanigans. Please note that I did not take any of these photographs.
Pigs have feelings too! Perhaps after a few weeks of March of Pigs you may have noticed that pigs are actually quite expressive. That’s because they feel a wide range of emotions, just like humans. Pigs can feel joy and happiness as well as suffer from negative emotions like sadness and grief. Pigs are not only emotional creatures, but have been observed to show compassion for others, and feel distress at seeing their animal and human friends suffering. They have distinctive personalities, some are shy and some are gregarious just like us. In addition to having excellent memories, it is very likely that pigs have complex feelings and thoughts, and are even able to understand symbolic languages similar to higher primates and dolphins. Amazing!
In the UK, although we are in lockdown, we are encouraged to spend about one hour outside for exercise. We can either go alone, or go with other members of our household. In an otherwise difficult situation, I am grateful for the time. Getting outside and breathing the fresh hair is good for your physical and mental health, and it is essential to stay as active as possible. Just make sure to keep six feet from other people and you are good! Get out there and enjoy a little sunshine.