We were walking our local lanes when Mrs H paused and pointed to a juniper tree.   

We’d walked past it just an hour earlier and hadn’t noticed any berries.  

Yet when we stopped and looked, we (well she) spotted several of the purple fruits.   

Then more.   

Then dozens.   


 It was as if the branches were sprouting as we looked.   

And a few feet away a second tree. With even more jutting juniper.  

The walk home consisted of more juniper spots and blackberry scoffs. 

Have you seen them this year? Wow!  


We see what we want to see.  


I love the story of the old smuggler who would ride his bicycle from West to East Berlin. 

He always transported a bag of sand on the back of his bike. 

The checkpoint guards would delight in opening the bag, only to search and find nothing but sand. 

He always made it to the other side.  

What guards didn’t realise is that he was smuggling something… 



We notice what we want to see and in doing so, are blind to everything else. 

What have you missed? 


You’ll spot more (and I mean this literally and metaphorically) when you slow down, look around and gaze beyond your normal view.

I’d love to know your view. You can leave a comment here.  

Be Brilliant!



  1. September 8th 2022 by Sue Beck

    Love it! Take time! Take two! 🙂

  2. September 8th 2022 by Neil Rutherford


    The figures two floors up on the old Boots store on Newcastle Northumberland Street. It is amazing what you can see “, if you look upwards, on some of Newcastle’s buildings.

  3. September 8th 2022 by Noel Wincote

    For years I’d been going to Dudley for Advance linen to their west mids branch to do vehicle cover and used to drive past these trees and one year noticed fruit on the road I stop and looked they were sloe berries a whole ruckus of them, so yes you can go passed something and not notice.

  4. September 8th 2022 by Chimene Felton

    Taking the time to stop and stare is really important.

    Have you ever looked at the night sky and thought there was nothing there (apart from the moon!) Give it a few minutes and planets start to appear, then gradually the stars and, if you look for long enough and are lucky enough to have little light pollution, you can pick out galaxies. Amazing.

  5. September 8th 2022 by Simon Lewis

    I teach rock climbing now and again. One of the first and most important lessons is not to expect the next hold to be in front of you – often it’s way out to your right or left (and sometimes behind).

    It’s one of the most transferrable life lessons I’ve come across.

  6. September 8th 2022 by Matthew Chandaengerwa

    I am actually distressed a bit when I think of what I miss out on in this rushed world. Thanks Michael for reminding me to take time to observe.

  7. September 8th 2022 by Chris Potter

    I generally tend to refer back to and paraphrase a line from ‘The Abyss’ in these circumstances; ‘we all need to look with better eyes then this’!

  8. September 8th 2022 by David Palmer

    Years ago I attended a not-SAS course by the famous trooper and survival expert Lofty Wiseman. Lofty conducted an exercise where we had to look at a section of greenery and find things that shouldn’t be there. It was surprisingly hard, but then he explained that, in nature, there are no straight lines, bright colours are rarer than you’d think, and things rarely reflect a great deal of light – if you’re shiny, you attract predators. We then looked again at the shrubbery, and saw all the things we’d missed.
    Many years later, in Malpas, Newport, I attended a ‘firearms incident’ of the type you’ll be familiar with through watching Police Interceptors on the telly. Someone had reportedly been seen with a firearm or had threatened to shoot someone – Malpas could be like that. In the end it was all very peaceful, but as is required after such an incident the firearms officers had to unload their weapons, and this included ‘clearing the chamber’ into which a bullet would have been put ready for a trigger-pull to send it target-wards. In the RAF we did that into our berets, which we laid on the floor for the purpose – pull back the slide, bullet pops into hat, bullet recovered and put where it should be. One of the firearms officers missed a bit of that, and as I watched from a distance, I saw him cock the weapon, eject the bullet onto a grassy field – and promptly lose it. I watched him scrabble in the grass for a while before I walked over, and just stood near the fraught copper for a few seconds. Using Lofty’s wise input I looked for something shiny, whereas he had looked for a bullet. I found it in seconds, picked it up, gave it to him and walked off, knowing he had a look of utter disbelief ion his face. Who was that Masked Man…….?

  9. September 8th 2022 by Paulette

    I realised just how rushed I was when I had to slow down in lockdown. In my urban surroundings there were so many new noises to hear that nature brings. During this period I also took up walking in different parks and I’ve continued to do so. There’s so much to discover in the world of “slow down”.

  10. September 8th 2022 by Karen Hedges

    II spend a lot of time enjoying the detail; one year I took photos when on a daily walk and was amazed to see the light change half way through a month and signs of the coming seasons appeared much earlier than I would have thought.

  11. September 8th 2022 by Dawn Booth

    I always have my phone on me and daily try to take a picture of something that would be easy to miss. Many a time its a hidden flower on a hedgerow or the sky. The thing about really looking is you slow down and take time to actually see. I love it when I’m in the car with hubby, he will say “that’s new” and I know its been there for years but that’s because I have the luxury of being the passenger LOL I am also a great believer in that what we see in others is what they give but look beyond and see the real person, never judge by an appearance it could be camouflage x

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