I'm studying maths education at Bristol Uni
My challenge
To spend an hour in Nature every day, with my phone off, picking litter

Today I have decided to pick litter on my walk, then I think in a few weeks I might repeat the same walk and compare the litter with today’s bagful. Lots of decisions to make.. Discarded plastic bags? Yes. Discarded tied plastic bags of dog excrement? No.. at least not if im storing them. I come across an empty beer can. As I lift it I notice something inside by the opening, a snail that seems to have made the can its home, and to my eye looks too big to exit. Hmm, may be already being recycled, so I decide to leave it.

As an afterthought to my challenge of ‘spending an hour in Nature every day’ I have added ‘with my phone off’. On setting off this immediately flummoxes me as I now don’t know how to measure an hour, and it quickly becomes a much bigger challenge than walking outside to resist the instinct to check for messages, or take photos, or look something up.

From the corner of my eye I see the flit of black and white feathers and brace myself to spit then say the rhyme to protect me from the bad luck portended by a solitary magpie, «Hallo Mr Magpie, how’s your wife?», however my superstition does not kick in until the bird actually lands, so I watch its flight path to a spot perhaps fifty yards away, down, down, I take a breath.. then as it lands it seems to become two, and I notice it has alighted next to another one. I breathe out in relief – one for sorrow, two for joy! Then I notice a third behind them – three for a girl – and another – four for a boy! And another – five for silver.. I only know the rhyme up to seven – for a secret never to be told – and not being able to search it up on my phone am starting to worry what happens after that, surely not back to one? Perhaps what happens is the secret never to be told? I don’t remember ever seeing seven magpies at once. Since when did superstitious rhymes make me so alert to Nature?