Just A Couple Of Things…

Just got back from the Sivananda Yoga retreat. In the process of going through the pics, then I’ll publish a full report asap. But for now, from the mass of stuff I had to go through when I got back online, here’s a couple of things I think you might like.

First up, something for the dog lovers amongst you,

And then, another example of a Rube Goldberg machine, a device that just tickles me no end.

Enjoy! 🙂

Reasons To Be Cheerful… 1, 2, 6!

Recently I’ve been concentrating on the negative side of things, and whilst this has been helpful in instigating change, it doesn’t help to wallow. After all, the negative is just one side of the coin. Sometimes you’ve got to accentuate the positive too.

I had a moment today as I strolled through the rain to the shops where I passed under a tree, and the pitter patter of drops on my umbrella ceased briefly.

In an instant I remembered how much I like being outside in the rain (provided I’m under cover that is). I remembered the day when it rained back home, and I took a chair and an umbrella out into the garden and just sat there enjoying the rain and not getting wet.

I was young, it was a simple pleasure, and remembering that made me think of all the other things I enjoy in life. Here, so far, is my list for today.

1. Being outside in the rain

cottage in the woods

I love the atmosphere in the air when there’s a good rain on. If I’m indoors I’ll open a window or a door just to enjoy it. When I build a house I’ll have a massive covered rear doorway so I can open it wide during a rainstorm and enjoy it as much as possible (without getting wet).

2. Cherry flavours

fruit n' cake

Dunno what it is at the moment, but I’m loving all things cherry. Cherry yoghurt, cherry apple juice, no cherries as yet (out of season I think), but it’s just a matter of time.

3. When God wakes me

hyde park at dawn

I hate my alarm. It’s just wrong on so many levels. The best days are when God wakes you. When you rise of your own accord feeling refreshed and alert and ready to enjoy the day.

4. Richard Stark

richard stark

I love his books, not only for what he’s written, but for the inspiration he’s given me to start on a novel of my own for the first time in ages. Seeing that an author can get published for writing such simple, concise, yet gripping stories has been a real eye opener for me, and in many ways has given me permission to value the way in which I write and to do it for the love as much as anything else.

5. Tea

tea at the tate (with soya milk)

There’s nothing like a good cuppa, either with a good book (see above) or, even better, to share with a good friend. Lazy afternoons down the Kitchen Pantry chatting nonsense and dreaming of better things in lovely company; there’s no better way to spend the day.

6. A full English

square meal

If a picture paints a thousand words, then nuff said methinks. 🙂

So what do you enjoy? What makes it worth getting out of bed in the morning?

A New Hope

Trying to explain enlightenment to someone is like a turtle trying to explain to a fish about dry land.

“But there must be water there?” says the fish. *

 

Luckily my problems aren’t nearly as difficult as that (just trying to attain enlightenment is hard enough).

So last week got a little dark around the edges. A whole heap of things came to a head at about the same time, and I kind of lost the plot for a bit.

Since then I’ve been trying to figure out what to do next? First off I was determined to move house (still am really), but to buy or to rent? Then I realised that I am in the perfect position to do anything! I have no wife, no kids, no debt, no mortgage. I can go anywhere and do absolutely whatever I like.

But what do I want to do? If I move and rent somewhere I land myself with a new 2 year lease (at least). If I buy somewhere I can rent out once again it’s a burden to be dealt with. Yet if I want to buy I should do so before I quit my job, as I’m in a good position to borrow a decent amount of cash (though not a lot by today’s standards).

I like the sound of going somewhere and doing some long term karma yoga (ie: ashram work). Like some menopausal housewife I watched ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ the other day (you know you’re in trouble when you’re looking for guidance in Julia Robert’s movies) which proved to be of no help whatsoever, coz at the end of it all she seems to be back where she started, at home with a new fella in tow and not a lot has changed.

I’ve yet to come to any conclusion about what comes next. I’m still thinking about it. What seems most likely is to stay here for a few more months, which will give me time enough to finish my book, then give notice at work (2 months), leaving both job and flat at the end of November-ish to go do my teacher training (4 weeks) followed by an extended bit of karma yoga.

It’s likely that ‘plan’ will change of course. That’s just my current idea. But I am determined to get out of here and do something different, and it all starts with the intent.

Speaking of the book, I finally finished the first section. I know I said I’d finished it before, but I was deeply unsatisfied with the last chapter. It skipped over far too much story. So I killed it and turned it into three chapters, and now it’s 63 pages long (a good ten more than it was before). I’m much happier with it now and so glad I didn’t settle.

It wasn’t easy though. There were some good paragraphs in the chapter I ditched. But as I read once in a screenwriting book you must be prepared to “kill all your darlings”, even the really good ones.

Apropos of absolutely nuthing, did you know you can scrape the skin off fresh ginger with a teaspoon! I was amazed when I was shown how to do it. All these years I’ve been cutting off the skin and wasting so much ginger, when there’s a much easier and economical way to do it. Try it, you’ll see what I mean.

* There is an old story of a turtle and a fish. The turtle lived on land as well as in the water while the fish only lived in the water. One day, when the turtle had returned from a visit to the land, he told the fish of his experiences. He explained that creatures walked rather than swam. The fish refused to believe that dry land really existed because that was something beyond his own experience. In the same way, people may not have experienced the end of suffering, but it does not mean that the end of suffering is not possible.

from the teachings of the Buddha

NB: Thanks again for the e-mail boyo, it really meant a lot to me. 🙂

Utterly Fucking Ridiculous…

Play Me!

It is Utterly Fucking Ridiculous that I earn over £30,000 a year and I live in a tiny little studio with barely enough room to swing a cat, peeling paintwork, silverfish in the kitchen, and now a fridge that sounds like a coffee percolator and keeps me awake at night.

It is Utterly Fucking Ridiculous that I go to a job I hate, that is beneath me, that does not inspire me whatsoever nor add anything of value to the world.

It is Utterly Fucking Ridiculous that I am single. I’m a nice guy, good looking, kind and considerate, what the fuck am I doing spend my nights alone?

But! Worst of all…

It is Utterly Fucking Ridiculous that, not only have I allowed this situation to come about, but that I allow it to perpetuate. That is the greatest crime of all.

It is about time I lived up to my own potential, and stopped wallowing in this pointless ‘survival’. I want it all; nice house, a family, a decent sized kitchen, the freedom to choose my own appliances. I want to write – films, books, anything – and I can do it too. I have the skills, the abilities, to have whatever I want. I just need to go out and do it.

Phlegmatic, that is how I would have described myself yesterday. Today? Today I’m just fucking pissed!

Words To Live by:

Had these in my head for a while now. A few truisms that I’ve hung on to as I went through life.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one.

Maybe it’s time to add a few more…

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Wish in one hand, shit in the other one, see which one fills up first.

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In this shit life, we must chuck some things.

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Think that says it all really.