“Can you repeat that please sir?” I could hear a slightly exasperated tone on the other end of the line.
This morning, a few days into June and woefully short of what I hope to achieve during 30 Days Wild, I ventured out into the meadow to make a few phone calls. I took my office outdoors! The helpful assistant from Barclays Business Banking went off for a few minutes to find out some information, and probably to curse me as my microphone was buffeted by the breeze, that bent the tall flowers surrounding me and repeatedly flicked my hood over my head.
See more of my 30 Days Wild activities on my Instagram feed.
It wasn’t quite the smooth and relaxing way I envisaged taking time outside to do some work "al fresco”, but I set myself the challenge, come rain or shine, of getting out everyday in June to include a random act of wildness into my work day and see how I manage it and the benefits.
I must come clean and say I have fallen short so far.
On Monday I was in Nottingham at the cricket, where the Pakistani crowd was wild (does that count?) but I was concentrated more on the party than the wonders of nature. Yesterday I was in Lincoln talking to students about careers, jobs and trying to get them to be bold in their decision making. Perhaps they will make some wild decisions?
So today, June the 5th, has been the first day I was able to weave some nature into my work day. I know benefits when I do it, but it looks like it will take a lot more planning than I hoped.
This morning I went to Portholme Meadow to make a few calls. For a short while I sat and looked at the river, then I tramped around the meadow's 3.5km circumference. As I spoke with Barclays and some potential clients I started wondering what they would make of it if I explained what I was doing. I frequently talk on the phone to people when on the move, perhaps in the car, a cab or at the airport and I imagine (rightly or wrongly) that there is some acceptance of this, perhaps even admiration as these all epitomise a constantly connected, constantly working lifestyle which is often (and very wrongly) idolised in many business circles.
They might think I am a lunatic.
But what if I were to tell them I was lying in a bed of wild flowers? They might think I am a lunatic.
What if I were to tell them I was leaning against a tree on the river bank, looking at ducks… "and you we should totally work together because we provide a great service and we are constantly work for you… hello, are you still there?”
In a mixture of warm sun and rapidly moving clouds I made my calls without any problems. I was perfectly competent. I felt much the better for it too.
Maybe next time I will pluck up the courage and tell the person to whom I am talking exactly where I am and why. Just to see what they say. Perhaps I will even convert someone else to let a little wild into the working day.
If you want to get outside a little more and take part in 30 Days Wild, head over to the Wildlife Trusts website for more information.