Looks can be deceiving

Back to work today after a week or so off.  I was sat in my office minding my own business.  The sun was streaming through the windows so I had to shut the blinds.  It looked, for all intent and purpose, like a lovely summer day. 

At about 2pm I decided to go for my usual lunchtime walk around the hospital site.  Firstly, I was slightly annoyed that my wireless headphones had run out of power so I wouldn’t be able to listen to a podcast whilst I was out walking.  Never mind, this would give me a better chance of taking in the surroundings and the sounds of nature around me.

There’s a certain bird call that seems to resonate memories for me.  The call of the collard dove reminds me of the #bellringing course.  Every year, I’d spend time around the main gathering location, and the sound of this particular bird would make itself known as I either hung around, or walked between the base and the local church for a practical ringing session.  Whenever I hear this call it reminds me of that.  Especially when the sun is shining.

Anyway, committed to walking without catching up on the 100s of outstanding queued podcasts I have waiting, I ventured outside.

Blimey. What a shocker.  It was bitingly chilly outside.  The sun was shining and the birds were singing, but my cheeks were stinging and my eyes watering within moments. How cruel and deceptive mother nature was being.

Some sciencey nerds (and I use that as a term of affection), who won a Nobel Prize for it, discovered that our brain analyses what the eye sees in steps.  Each neuron is responsible for a different part of the retinal image, colour, form, motion, texture etc. and then tries to piece it all together to make it make sense. Our brain is always trying to make predictions of what will happen next, presumably so that we can use our flight or fight responses for survival, but can sometimes be fooled by illusion. https://science.howstuffworks.com/optical-illusions.htm#:~:text=One%20theory%20that%20researchers%20have,our%20ability%20to%20perceive%20it.

If our brain is telling us its nice and sunny outside, therefore it is likely to be warm, we decide that we won’t need that jumper or coat because we’ll get too hot and have to carry it around, and that’s just a pain.  Luckily, my brain was switched on enough this morning to register that its still early April, and that we had a snow flurry yesterday, and therefore it is still likely to be on the chilly side, so long sleeved top and thick jacket required.  And I’m glad that I was paying that much attention.

I got round my 1.15 mile route in almost record time.  By the time I returned to the office, my cheeks were rosy and stingy.  My eyes water at the slightest thing anyway, so I was well on the way to looking like I’d been crying for ages.  Then of course, when my eyes water a lot, it makes my nose run.  Sometimes, it can seem like I’ve got a stinking cold or am really upset about something but it’s just my eyes being pathetic.

My office thermometer is telling me its 24 degrees Celsius indoors, but I suspect its nearer 5 or 6 outside in the wind.


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