Monday, 2 November 2020


 This is the word on everyone's lips in countries all over the world. I haven't written about lockdown, or indeed anything else for over 6 months as the experience of the restrictions in my live particularly as I was a shielded person led me to a moderate state of depression and I was incapable of writing anything. Thankfully I'm beginning to become creative again and can only thank with the deepest gratitude my friends in my Buddhist sangha, the wonderful community where I live who've been enormously supportive in every possible way and my joy in walking again in the beautiful countryside where I live. This is a one-off blog for the moment but I'll see how things go. My local friends have been wonderful too in many ways but I do miss the chat over a cup of coffee that we used to have once a week and our community activities like the Reading Group and our Creative Writing group which are both now taking place online.

So much has changed this year. I used to sing, dance and swim as well as volunteer in the local library. All of that has stopped and Facebook versions of our groups doesn't quite hit the spot. I'm enormously grateful for Zoom which allows me to meet and share virtually. Without this wonderful technological miracle I feel that we would all be so much worse off.

So what next , , , well we're going back into lockdown on Thursday. Thankfully it doesn't really affect me but it does adversely affect the local community businesses which were only just getting back after the first lockdown. I really hope that they can survive and to help them I do shop locally for practically everything.

And then there's Brexit and most important of all climate change. Oh what interesting times we live in!

Monday, 5 August 2019

Life as an Obstacle Course?

I notice that often I treat my life as an obstacle course especially if I have a busy day/week ahead. This often results in my never being truly present for what is happening now as part of my thoughts are engaged in what's coming up next. (A bit like TV programmes where they say 'next week on . .'
and show you a trailer of what the next episode is about.) I have also noticed that this attitude to life can be quite exhausting as I'm holding some of my energy back for future events so I have enough mental/physical resources to cope with whatever is upcoming.

Now as I'm taking a breather throughout the month of August, I'm deciding to look at many of my attitudes to life and what does and doesn't serve me in my ongoing daily practices, relationships and situations. So I've decided to treat my life as a gentle stroll, noticing whatever comes up, pleasant or unpleasant and giving this all more time and attention, being more gentle with myself and less like a fitness instructor! I'll let you know how I do.

This change of attitude was inspired greatly by the teachings of Tara Brach, a Buddhist spiritual teacher. I can truly recommend her work for anyone who feels like they're ready to look more deeply within themselves and explore further.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Supposing . . .

Supposing . . .
A long time ago . . .
In a different reality . . .
You were chosen and chose in turn . . .
To come here into this life
Right now
Right here
To leave your memory
Of your true power
And abilities
To come into service
Right here
Right now
To change the consciousness
Of this planet
By following your heart and your divine guidance,
Supposing  . . .

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Project Earth

Make of this what you will. It came to me after watching the latest Matt Kahn video.

Project Earth
‘How’s that project of yours going?’
‘You mean the Earth experience?’
‘Yeah – that one.’
Said with a shrug, ‘It has its ups and downs. Currently it seems to be mostly in the downturn but I feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel.’
‘There’s always light at the end of the tunnel.’
‘Sure but the Earth population can’t see it. They’re immersed in some pretty dark experiences at the moment and can’t see the way out.’
‘But these are powerful beings that were chosen to take part in this project and willingly did so.’
‘Yes, but they don’t remember that and so easily can become manipulated by lower consciousness. That’s where the struggle lies.’
‘But you said that there was light at the end of the tunnel?’
‘Yeah – that’s really good to see. So many have had enough of the injustices, inequalities, poverty and ecological degradation that they, individually and collectively, are taking power into their own hands and are choosing to make a difference, to change things for the well-being of all.’
‘Then they’re well on their way. All they need is encouragement to take bigger and bolder steps.’

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Another Daft Story

And this is what I wrote today . . .

Attack Trained Chihuahua
‘He never did!
‘I tell you that dog saved my life’.
Bet and Elsie were having a cup of tea at Bet’s. They were sitting in the living room with a fine china tea set in front of them with scones and cakes on the table. They were old friends and took it in turn to treat each other to tea every few days. They’d known each other for about 20 years and enjoyed chatting and gossiping on what was happening in the neighbourhood. Alone on the sofa, on his own cushion sat a rather overweight Chihuahua, looking smug.
‘I don’t believe it – a little dog like that!’
‘As true as I’m sitting here with you today – that dog saved my life!’
‘Well I never – who’d have thought it. What happened’?
‘Well you know that I bought him originally for companionship and protection after my Burt died. So I’ve been trying to teach him a few tricks and to growl threateningly at strangers who get, you know, over familiar. Well it wasn’t really going very well. Pedro here didn’t seem to understand what to do and just tended to look at me and bark all the time so we weren’t getting very far at all and I wondered whether I should take him to a professional dog trainer like that Barbara Woodhouse who was on telly a few years back. Anyway I was looking in the Yellow Pages when I heard a sound at the back door.
‘Oooh – who was it?’
‘Well that’s when it all started. I walked slowly to the back – you know how my arthritis is playing up – but when I got there I saw a young person in jeans and some kind of T-shirt  (why can’t the young dress properly) with a stocking over their face and a knife in his hand and he demanded all of my money.’
‘You must have been terrified’.
‘I was I can tell you and I really hoped that Pedro had learnt something from the training we’d done together, but no – he just stayed at a safe distance and yapped.
‘Well anyway the person grabbed my arm and threatened me. I was crying now because I was so frightened and he (I think it was a ‘he’) it was hard to tell from the dress and tone of voice which was muffled and asked me where I kept my valuables. I muttered something about the living room I think and he demanded that I take him there. I was too scared to do anything else. He looked so frightening.’
‘I suppose there wasn’t the opportunity to call the police – couldn’t you have screamed or something?’
‘I did scream but there was nobody there to help as they both work during the week either side of me. So I limped to the living room still crying and then walked over to where the silver was. The man came after me, still holding a knife. He held out a bag and told me to put all my valuables in it. I walked up to the mantelpiece and was about to put the silver candlesticks into the bag. The person was watching me and moving forward not looking where he was going. And that was when my brave Pedro came to the rescue, bless him. He walked right in front of that threatening person and tripped him up. He hit his head on the table (the person not Pedro) and was out like a light! Then I called the police and the person was taken away and charged with burglary. I don’t know what would have happened if it hadn’t been for my beautiful, brave gorgeous Pedro – who’s my lovely boy then would ‘oo like a piece of cake?‘ (This last directed at the smug dog on the cushion).
‘Well I never’ (a doubtful look at said dog), ‘who’d have thought it!’

Daft Story

I've recently taken to writing daft stories. This first one was written about a month ago.

Daft Story

She heard the shutters clattering in the wind and waking, wondered where she was. When she'd gone to bed there had been no shutters on the window, just a normal semi-detached in suburbia, sleeping after a night out with the girls . . . and a bad hangover!
She looked around her - she was in a castle, high up in a tower and the door was locked. How did she get here? And how could she get out? Suburbia never felt more inviting!
She lay back on the bed, her head aching - what had she drunk? She closed here eyes, hoping that she could fall asleep and when she woke, her life would be back to normal.
Then she heard footsteps outside the door, and after knocking, a woman entered, pulled back the curtains and addressed her.
'There you are m'lady - it's time to get dressed, your father is waiting', she said.
Still stunned and massively hungover, she got out of bed and dumbly allowed the maid to help her dress. As she did so, she noticed something strange. Her hair had grown longer, falling down her back, was dark chestnut in colour, and beautifully wavy - the kind of hair she'd always dreamed of; and she was at least 20 lbs lighter. The clothes were awkward to get into and she was grateful for the maid's help, wondering all the time what had happened? Was this some strange weird dream. Had someone drugged her drink? But at the same time she didn't know what to do. The maid seemed to be familiar with this person she'd apparently become so what was she to say? She decided to continue in this weird situation until she could get a clue as to what had happened and how she could get back to her normal life.
The maid, having dressed her, turned her to face the mirror. Staring back at her was a total stranger, young and beautiful. She put her hand to her face and her reflection did the same.

 She stood for a few moments looking at her reflection. This is how she'd always wanted to look, not the short dumpy reality that was her norm. But this was totally incredible. She must be on something.
'Come on M'lady - we're going to be late and then your father will be angry and you know what will happen then', the maid was obviously very frightened so she felt that she couldn't delay any longer pondering the amazing change that had come over her.
Taking a deep breath, trying to gulp back the nervousness that she was feeling about her supposed father, she took one last look at her reflection and walked towards the door.
 Downstairs, it was noisy. She'd obviously missed some form of meal - she supposed it must have been breakfast - but the remains of it were still on the table. Servants were running around clearing up after the diners, being shouted and scolded at by a large man, sitting at the head of the table, with a red face and dark but greying hair. He seemed to be in charge of everything and most of those around seemed somewhat afraid of him and his manner.

Her father?

She timidly make her way into the room, hoping that she wouldn't be noticed. The noise was quite overwhelmingly and she looked around trying to make some sense of the situation. The large man, her father, was telling a joke and was obviously very pleased with himself. She wondered if she could just walk out of the room, but he noticed her . . .
'There she is, my daughter,' he said jovially. 'Come to meet all of the guests. Come my dear, I'll introduce you to everyone - and there's someone really special I'd like you to meet!'

 Her father dragged her by the arm to meet a small group of people. One of the older men looked at her in rather a lecherous fashion and she felt decidedly uncomfortable under his gaze.
'This is my best friend Gerald', her father said. 'He was very interested in meeting you - I'm sure that you'll have a lot to discuss.'
She tried to wriggle a little way away from Gerald. As she did so she noticed a woman watching her intently. She seemed somewhat familiar and she couldn't remember why.
Suddenly it came to her. This woman was at the party where she'd got drunk with her friends. Now what was it that she said when they were all drinking and laughing?
 Finally she managed to escape the lecherous man (and his hands) and made her way over to the woman she'd recognised from somewhere.
'Well', the woman said, 'how do you like being young again?'
She stared. The woman sighed. 'You probably don't remember me fully - you were pretty drunk at the time - but you did want to be 20 years younger - so I fulfilled your wish for you and here you are!'
'Yes but I wanted to be 20 years younger in my own century'.
'Sorry can't do - there's a lot of call on people wanting to be young again and we have to slot them in when and where we can. It's either this or back to where and how you were in your own time. Your choice. But remember this is it - whatever you choose now sticks and can't be changed.'
'But hang on - don't I get 3 wishes'
'Sorry there's not enough magic to go around these days - we've economised and 2 is what you get now. Make your choice - now - I'm busy and have to get on.'
She looked around, at her father, the other people present - and the lecherous man and sighed.
'Take me back', she said.
There was a flash of light, some fairy dust and a moment of confusion.
And there she was, sitting in her own home again, sitting in front of her mirror, wrinkles, lines, double chins and all. She sighed again. Well at least she knew where and when she was and she was free from the lecherous advantages of that odious man.

So the moral of this daft tale is - be careful what you wish for, especially when drunk!
Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Monday, 11 December 2017

Aging and Saging

The inspiration for this post came from a meditation earlier today. It involved the whole idea of inclusiveness which is beginning to come back into society, but there are still areas which could be fruitfully included. The cultural norm of our contemporary society is that you grow up, get educated work and then retire. Along with this assumption is the idea that while you're working you're contributing to society and once you retire, you're not. Because you're not earning.

But contributing to society is so much more than earning money and consumerism. At its fullest it must be about making connections with each other, building a society which works for us all and includes people of all ages, races, genders and abilities. And this is where we're going wrong. There are so many people, apparently outside of mainstream society who have so much to contribute and are excluded from doing so because their input is not valued or, in  some cases, actually devalued.

So let's look at the changes taking place in society today, in our consciousness and all levels of economic, social and environmental areas. Probably the biggest shift that we, as a species, have ever been through. This is beyond one section of society to deal with. It needs us all to contribute - we all bring ideas, knowledge, experience and the possibilities of deeper connection and growth. We, as a species, can't ignore one section of society. We need to include everyone to get through these massive changes ahead.

So as I think back on my life and the huge changes which have happened in my lifetime, I begin to understand that what my generation bring is a sense of perspective. We experienced the '60's (or at least some of us did), the good, optimistic times and also the less optimistic times of austerity and lack which we're in the middle of now. And this broader perspective means that we can see these phases in terms of a greater whole.  It also means that we're more inclined to think outside the box of the current reality, which is mostly politically driven. It means that we can bring a broader understanding and hope for the future because we did experience the optimism of the 60's and the huge changes of  that era. We know what was possible then and is possible now if there is the will to change the pervading political and economic climate.

On Facebook I've seen posts about connections being made between the young and old and how they can both so enrich each other's lives. In ancient cultures, the elderly were revered for their wisdom and understanding - they were the elders who knew the tradition of the tribe and can see that wider perspective, they helped to build the community and keep it together, they were often the healers in the tribe.

So isn't it time that we learned from these indigenous cultures, allowed the elderly, the pensioners, the disabled and people from all races and cultures their voice in our world - build creative communities together so that, as a species, we can use all of the resources available to us to help us navigate our way through these interesting times,