Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Louise King collates our words of gratitude amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A ‘diamond’ (a puddle of water) in the middle of a plant.

At the beginning of April, we launched a Gratitude Thread on Slack to reflect and keep a track of all the good things in life. No matter how uncertain, strange, challenging and stressful life is at the moment, there is always something to be grateful for.  

We asked: what brings you joy, comfort, hope or a sense of normality? Now is the time for expressing gratitude, enjoying quality time and showing appreciation. Staff and students were invited to be mindful of the little things, as well as the big things, that they are grateful for throughout their day.

our reflections on gratitude 

'I’m grateful for the weather! It’s been a big mood boost to look outside and see sunshine and to be able to open the back doors and have some fresh air!'

'I’m grateful for the creative ways you can have fun with friends over video chat! We are better at staying in touch now than we have ever been.'

'The little things, still eating freshly baked bread on a Saturday, now delivered by the bakers as the market is no longer open, bring a sense of normality.'

'I am grateful for the blossom on my apple tree, especially as last year there was none. Everyday there is more and more apple blossom and I love watching its transformation. The tree has revived itself, not only signifying the start of spring and promising an abundance of apples, but also the blossom brings a wonderful feeling of renewal and hope. Update: the tree is now covered in apples.'

'I am grateful for the extra time to connect with nature. I often take a mindful walk around my garden. I like to feel the grass beneath my bare feet, hear the birdsong, and watch the insects going about their business. On my latest meditative stroll, I noticed something glistening in the flower bed. On closer inspection, I saw a ‘diamond’ in the middle of a plant. It was in fact a little puddle of water from the night before.' (See picture above). 

'I am grateful for my beautiful surroundings close to my home. Two rivers, one marina, one lock, several parks, many country lanes, bridle paths and meadows. I find water calming and wide-open spaces energising. I have always loved walking and cycling for pleasure, and I feel blessed that I can still go outdoors and enjoy fresh air and exercise.' 

'I am appreciating my peaceful (except for some noisy chickens and cows occasionally!) scenic environment out of my office window at home in Long Hanborough.'

'I appreciate evening walks with my husband round local footpaths seeing the lock-down weeks being marked by the progression of flowers from bluebells to wild garlic then buttercups everywhere then poppies and daisies. Unfortunately, it’s now the grasses causing hay-fever!  The soundtrack of birds, lambs, chickens has been ongoing with noisy cows being the recent addition!'

'I appreciate my very early morning runs around a deserted "closed to the public" Blenheim.'

'I appreciate Microsoft Teams - why did we not use this before??? - both for efficient working and catching up with work friends.'

'I appreciate not having my day dictated by Great Western Railway schedule. I have noticed I have actually stopped wearing a watch!!' 

'I’m grateful for breath of fresh air, family and good friends, home life and for good managers.'

'I’m grateful that we can got to other people’s gardens now! It’s been lovely being allowed back outside and seeing the people I’ve missed most.'

What are you grateful for?

As you can see from the reflections shared above, there are many things to appreciate and be grateful for during this time. We would love to hear your reflections on gratitude too. Please share in the comment box below (please log in using your SSO credentials) or email Louise King

Blog posts

Black Lives Matter

Emily Hotine, NDS Athena SWAN Coordinator, talks about the importance of anti-racism (and why it is not enough to simply say you’re not racist), the power of white privilege, and why we should all be saying, “black lives matter.”

Kindness for mental health

Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to reflect on kindness. Louise King, NDS Communications and Public Engagement Officer, discusses the role kindness plays in mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking advantage of the NDS Staff Training Fund

The NDS Staff Training Fund was set up to support a greater level of external training for NDS staff to equip them with skills they might not otherwise have access to. The fund ensures our department has the best trained staff, allowing us to deliver the best academic, research and support activities. Three members of staff - Gemma Horbatowski, Ashley Raghu and Liset Pengel - talk about their experiences of using the training fund.

Strengthening ties between Oxford and Tanzania

Professor Kokila Lakhoo, along with colleagues from the Oxford University Global Surgery Group, is developing paediatric surgery through a link in Tanzania. In this blog post, Professor Lakhoo reports on their latest trip, which was part of a continuous ongoing strengthening of ties between the Oxford team and Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania.

Inspiring the next generation of excellent teachers

Professor Ashok Handa was a recipient of a 2019 Lifetime Achievement prize at the annual Medical Sciences Division Teaching Excellence Awards. Here Professor Handa tells us more about the award and the ways in which he has been impacting or hoping to make an impact on his students' lives, as well as surgical teaching in Oxford.