There are certain things which make me viscerally* angry and these include the continual talking down of the UK National Health Service saying that the patient satisfaction is lowest ever, that the NHS is heading for collapse, that someone has successfully sued doctors for making a mistake. Has anyone thought of the effect this has on the professionals concerned. Incoming patients have contact with the staff and talk to them, probably sharing some of the disquiet. The front-page headlines in newspapers will remind the doctors that however hard they work, for some perverse reason they do not get the acknowledgement that they need and deserve. Jeremy Hunt, the Health Minister, seems to be waiting for when the NHS is eventually privatised. The coming of the National Health Service after the Second World War was a major triumph but then private hands started to creep in as for example the Private Finance Initiative in which profit conscious entities build a hospital or facility but then charge ridiculous fees for making any changes or innovations. * relating to deep inner feelings rather than to the intellect
This morning, I have decided that a very much anticipated trip to Cyprus to see my friend should not take place in the month that was planned namely May. I was planning the costings and the schedule last night, or trying to plan the journey, but absolutely nothing happened. I was looking at ‘dead’ material. It did not jump out at me. It did not excite me. I know that in the summer season plane fares jump up enormously but I don’t think this was the sole reason. Neither was the fact that the cheapest flights leave from Stansted airport at 7:20 AM necessitating half a night in a hotel or sitting waiting endlessly in semi- somnambulance. Although I have the means, I would rather spend £56 on a flight leaving in the morning as opposed to £130 for the same journey at convenient times say mid afternoon. I wonder if it is a fault or deficiency in faith or some such.
Us Brits love talking about the weather. We complain if it is 1° below zero. I remember being in northern Finland when it was -15° C and it was lovely and clear and fresh. The BBC have reassigned their weather forecasting to another organisation but even so I have never seen a map similar to the one above. We are right in the middle of threatened snow tomorrow and Friday. That message is absolutely unambiguous. It doesn’t have quite the impact that the collapse of Toys R Us and Maplins both on the same day but we shall make sure we have enough food to keep us going in case we can’t get out. In a way I’m looking forward to a good dollop of snow. You can’t really call winter by its name unless there has been a baptism by the white stuff.
This is from the new Denver Colorado airport, for those of you didn’t know it is absolutely full of symbolism. The whole airport and its construction is rather strange. No one knows who funded it. There was a perfectly serviceable airport, Stapleton, 6 miles away so there was no need for it and yet it is both vast and vastly expensive. See the link above for further information.
My attention was drawn to one of the massive works reproduced above. I’m not sure whether all the words can be read using portable devices so I will write it down again here.
I was once a little child who longed for other worlds But I am no more a child for I have known fear. I have learned to hate… How tragic, then, is youth which lives with enemies, with gallows ropes. yet, I still believe I only sleep today, that I’ll wake up, a child again, and start to laugh and play.
I find this an incredibly sad but accurate piece. Not every little child longs for other worlds because I think those who are loved and secure with their parents would be quite happy where they are. I do resonate with the third and fourth lines – when we know fear and lost innocence we have moved on. I feel very sad for children in war zones, children or five or six, to learn to survive amidst the rubble of buildings and the sound of bombs going off. David Icke and many others think we live in a computer-generated reality. The vast majority of solid objects is actually space and that includes us with our human body vehicle.
I wonder how many people have wanted to escape to a better place but on reflection this could produce more psychoses than rewards. Meanwhile, we have the benefit of the words the wisdom from not only the leaders of the various religions but wise people through the ages. Julian of Norwich for example a favorite of my mother or GK Chesterton or CS Lewis. I believe that this particular state called physical life is actually Purgatory, a staging post between heaven and hell. By heaven I mean that our spirit is unrestricted and by hell I mean that we are caught in a time warp and we have to face the results of our own actions. Can Jesus save us from our sins. This is all too convenient for my liking. Jesus can show us the way of living which will deliver us into freedom of spirit and thus able to live on this very imperfect planet.
Off this morning to a special coffee morning at church, indeed it proved to be. This was a special fundraising occasion for the organ, and many good ladies had spent their time making cakes, a selection which I show in this picture. If you have just had your breakfast, a sugar bomb is not what you need but I have to sample cakes for the sake of politeness.
I was glad to see one or two people who have not been to the coffee mornings before and I encouraged one of them, a lady sitting expectantly next to me, that we were a friendly crowd and it was worth coming regularly. I said she would get to know the names after a time.
I talked to one of the regulars, Don, who at the age of 85 had survived two wives last of whom passed two years prior. He is very lucky because his supportive and loving family live in the locality. His son and daughter-in-law bought him a model train set which he enjoys adding to from time to time. He spoke at length about driving. He still drives a car and goes to Weston-super-Mare, Portishead and so on but says he lacks confidence. He thinks he could change a tyre if necessary ( I doubt it myself). I said that his so-called lack of confidence was probably an instinct to look after himself and it was quite natural at the age of 85 to be a little bit concerned about your physical strength. He said with great pride that he does what he wants to do when he wants to do it.
I talked to someone else about gardens. We discussed how effective human urine is in keeping rats away. Evidently female urine doesn’t do it: it has to be male urine so come on chaps do your bit for the garden. He talked about the love of deer for roses and felt sorry for his neighbour because both their properties abut onto fields and he reckons the deer sneak into the gardens about three o’clock in the morning for their meal. We discussed which vegetables grow well and we agreed that runner beans didn’t know where to stop and we get flooded with them before we know where we are. He says he brings them along to church for people to take.
The point is, that when a number of people are together in a spirit of goodwill, you always get interesting conversations, gossip, exchange of opinions and someone and you can never tell from looking somewhat whether they have an interesting or relevant story to tell.
The next conversation was about a local restaurant which is on the way to Wells. It’s called the Cheese Yard Cafe and is in West Horrington. There is evidently a great OAP two course special menu for £9.95 on a Tuesday. Me being true to form decided to take my wife off straight away and have a look. <pause while we actually go>. This restaurant, in an unpretentious side road next to a farm which is in itself on a side road has got it spot on right.
The price point is somewhat less than £10 for a main meal and for this you get a very generous amount of home-cooked food for which you have to wait but do not complain. Everything is made freshly to order. My wife had a vegetable curry which was more than adequate and I had a roast beef meal which filled the whole plate so much that the vegetables came separately plus there was a bonus of cauliflower with cheese sauce. I had bread-and-butter pudding with a strawberry which melted in the mouth and my wife had a piece of chocolate cake without gluten that was so decadent she could not finish it. The waitresses were very friendly and the manager genuinely interested in people. I understand it has only been open for little over a year. They don’t need to advertise because of word-of-mouth. If you are near Wells, set your GPS to BA5 3EB and off you go. I’m given to understand that it is always crowded. I’m not surprised. Parking is easy.
Amidst flurries of snow off we went to the Rocky Mountain Nurseries to get some seed potatoes. We chose an early, a later early, and a main crop. Those that are near retirement age just to remind you, you can look forward to being able to do what you do when you feel like doing it. When someone recommends something, I do it straight away because I believe the timing is involved to a much greater extent than we imagine. The right idea at the right time has a much bigger effect than the right idea at the wrong time.
The two most important requirements for major success are first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.
Ray Kroc” From Brainy Quotes.
I read a little more on the Internet about the disastrous effects of treating people with psychiatric drugs. A point I had not realised is that it is just as dangerous to come off the drugs Pentagon in the first place and coming should only be done under medical supervision. Antidepressants can have the following symptoms; anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, hypomania and mania. One of America’s leading psychiatrists who acts as an expert witness in cases involving drugs says that shooting incidents in American schools will continue so long as the problem of drugs is not addressed.
Some of you may remember Sandy Hook, 2012 and the purported killer, Adam Lanza. He had been under psychiatric treatment. An assistant attorney general for the state of Connecticut stated that the list of Lanza’s medications would not be disclosed, because that “can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medication”. It is obviously better for patients to keep taking those drugs and then some of them will go off at the expense of innocent persons. So there we are, transparency at its best. I just heard that the police and the medics were not allowed in to the recent school shooting in Broward County leaving the children to bleed to death, and also all communications were cut for a time. Nothing suspicious there then
The word idiot implies ‘stupid’ to most of us but we might benefit from thinking more deeply. The definition of the word idiot goes all the way back to its ancient Greek roots. It means “one who is under the illusion of being separate from the Whole, from the Universe”. The consciousness of Zen Buddhism and that of people such as Jesus Christ who had an ability to have an overview of the human condition, I would not call idiotic.
Most of Western society is idiotic. We live as separate and divided individuals, nurturing our intellects which we somehow optimistically equate to wisdom. I would have thought that an essential constituent of wisdom is impartiality, neutrality, and an overview both with ourselves and the environment in which we interact of necessity .
Neutrality is an important element of wisdom. Excessive campaigning and obsession with certain issues such as 9/11, or Syria or chemtrails, or some domestic or relationship matter means that it absorb us in its own energies and we become more like them or tuned in to them. It is said that individuals become like those they hate. I very much like the colourful analogy of St Matthew in the 10th chapter of his Gospel where Jesus is giving advice to his followers on what must have been one of the most dangerous Public Relations efforts on record.
Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues,and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. This is certainly spelling it out in no uncertain terms. The use of the word ‘behold’ is notable. In modern parlance this would be ‘listen up’ or ‘look at the situation as it is’.
In connection with neutrality and overview, I like the quote by Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that“.
I’m reminded of the quote in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans chapter 12 verse 5 and repeated elsewhere. “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so in Christ we are one body and each member belongs to one another. We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If someone is gifted in prophecy, let him use it in proportion to his faith“. These were the days before the Internet and since St Paul could not be everywhere all the time he had to write letters. The book ‘Romans’ was a communication with Christians in Rome who were as a young and alternative community living dangerously. If they were found out they would surely be executed by the charming Emperors who ran Rome at the time.
You can understand the above text by seeing that we are all in the same boat. St Paul found the best way of explaining how people should work together is the analogy of the human body. The brilliant psychology behind this is that each person is a valued part of the community which is all the richer for the participation of the individual. The importance of community is gas in balance with the importance of the individual. How inspired is that?
There is an important implication here. We’re not supposed to be good at everything. It’s quite all right to say that you don’t have a natural aptitude for something because someone else will come along who has that very skill that you need and can from.
I hope the above give some indication of why idiots are idiots. If we try and conflate ourselves compared with other people we are going to become distorted in our view of ourselves and indeed the way the whole universe of people is constructed. We are nothing without others and they are nothing without us. A person who is an idiot will not seriously counter outside input. A person who does not wish to be an idiot needs to recognise that other people are capable of making a contribution to his or her learning. It’s little to do with being humble, more about being realistic.
It’s that simple.
During the times I cannot sleep, I often listen to the World Service of the BBC. There is going to be a mass protest on 24 March from schoolchildren about gun control arising from the Florida school shooting. This protest is a left wing inspired attempt to get rid of the Second Amendment namely the right to bear arms. I really cannot believe what passes for fact these days. We heard a father of one of the supposed victims saying that his son had been shot nine times. This is quite a feat of marksmanship for a supposedly deranged 19-year-old to perform. In such unstable and violent circumstances, knowing the police are coming, keeping your gun steadily on the same person is almost impossible. A police marksman would have difficulty in doing this.
This is all about getting at Donald Trump who if you look beyond the insults doled out by the mainstream media is doing a lot of things right. He disputes global warming as a concept. In actual fact, the main source of warming remains as it has been throughout the millennia. Wait for it, it’s THE SUN. check out David Icke’s full documentary. I’m a fan of Lord Monckton who although sometimes irritating in his delivery steadfastly disputes the filtered mainstream media nonsense that hides a huge money making project for selling carbon credits.
If I ruled the world, I would have a ‘carbon dioxide appreciation day’ because this vital gas, nature’s fertiliser, makes the difference between life and death. Trees, the lungs of the planet, need it. No carbon dioxide, no trees. In case you were wondering, trees like other green plants use photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into sugar, cellulose and other carbon containing carbohydrates that they use for food and growth. You could say that trees breathe in and out.
I have just been listening to the profile of Black Panther star Daniel Kaluuya (pictured) on Radio Four. At the age of 16 he took a job as runner for a film company. One of his tasks was to bring everybody tea and coffee. In spite of this lowly position, he always wore a suit. In other words, he made the best of his position. I admire that enormously but I don’t think I have emulated that in my life. Anyway, one of the film directors who worked with him said that when Daniel comes in to read a script he first of all intuitively grasps the rhythm and then the words follow. This is one of the statements is so obvious when you hear it but when I heard it it knocked me for six. We could translate it slightly differently, to ‘grasp the spirit’. It may be the spirit of an idea, or of another person, or another group or another audience but until you can pick up the spirit within a group and fully tune into it and interact with it, you are not going to achieve the desired effect either in the private or the public realm. We call it “natural chemistry”.
I watched a biography of Judi Dench last night which talked about her ability to completely identify with the part and thus draw the audience into her as a thoroughly believable character. Mother Theresa was a very ‘bad’ public speaker but the spirit worked through her words and she convinced people with the power of them. Alas, after her death, a different story arose about a rather fundamentalist attitudes.
I remember Billy Graham speaking in the mid-1950s in a big tent on Streatham Common London and although I cannot recall anything he said I do remember the complete silence among the audience captivated by his words. I think the meeting was about two hours in length but it seemed like 15 minutes. You could almost say that time disappeared.
Referring to our themes of the last couple of days about integrating someone, there is no point just mouthing the words. You have to walk the talk and be the part. That is why when I am awake, which is most of the time due to my rather minimal sleep requirements, I’m always at attention or on the ball. You never know when a challenge may come and your full attentiveness will be required. Today, I tried to speak to someone who was doing a good job of digging on my allotment. I greeted him but realised that he was plugged-in to music via his headphones and was completely unaware of what was going on round and about him. I needed to speak to him so it took two goes of shouting and a vigourous wave of the hand before I got his attention. That may be the style of some people but it is certainly not be my style.
Church this morning was a delightfully informal and spontaneous affair. First of all the person who was running the service damaged the microphone by pulling a wire out so he had to raise his voice. Since we could hear him anyway it didn’t matter. Secondly a lot of the hymns and songs that we sang were unfamiliar so we were struggling both with the words and with the music but the choir valiantly led us through. Thirdly, the sermon, not given by the vicar, was given at stentorian volume and style with perfect articulation without any feeling of the subject matter. It is possible to over rehearse and over practice an address or sermon and this was the case this morning. Because the rhythm was not present it was very difficult to make out what his points were.
It is crucial to pause and not run at 60 miles an hour. Pausing allows time for reflection especially if you are speaking about the words of Jesus which require time for them to sinking and a respectful interval before and afterwards. I should add that there is not a word of criticism for the giver of the sermon who is second to none for his enthusiasm and loyalty to the church.
Finally, the officiant forgot to mention that the collection was retiring which means that there is a receptacle placed at the back of the church for people to put their offering in. In spite of all this it was a cheery occasion. I tried to get to know one or two new people but there really wasn’t much synergy. I must remember that although I do things instantly and thrive on meeting strangers, I have only been going to that particular church for a month or so plus the effect of my London accent (slightly different from Somerset) which stamped me as a foreigner. However, I am being accepted and known by name by about half a dozen people which is not bad. I shall continue to attend.
The vicar has made a mistake which I must make a note to correct him on. There is a new website which contains a picture of him. There is a golden rule or probably more than one but this one in particular. You never allow a photograph of yourself to be published wearing dark glasses. This gives the subliminal message that someone wants to be private and secretive. As I said yesterday you only have one chance to make a first impression in this first impression is not good. People want to see your face and particularly your eyes. Some people look through their eyes and some people stare out of them and I know which category I trust most.
And so, another Olympics draws to a close. I take great notice of how competitors act in defeat. I forget her name now but I was impressed by the lady who lost in all three categories of speedskating in two successive games and still is encouraged to go on. It may be that some people are just overwhelmed by the occasion. They can get it right hundreds of times in practice but when it comes to the real thing they falter. I remember one of the members of the four men bobsleigh team saying that he was just a normal boy from Manchester and all you can do is your best. If you fail ten times you still pick yourself up and go on. I do not agree with him on every aspect of that but if you can come up with that a few hours after the race then his spirit is strong indeed.
I also heard that North Korea wanted to start talking with America. The USA had the cheek to say that we will only start talking if you get rid of your nuclear weapons when they are one of the main suppliers of nuclear weapons in the world. I prophesy that there will be no peace talks because the economy of the United States of America. It depends upon three things; the supply of armaments for wars, pharmaceutical drugs and the interest from debt. With the latter it is about giving loans to countries but you find that those countries are ever indebted to the United States. I think that before long, the so-called economy of the United States or should it be disunited states will collapse.
You can only go on printing money for so long. I believe that 85% of the trading on Wall Street is in derivatives in other words you’re not trading in anything other than the expectations that shares will go up and down. It is no reflection of actual wealth. The USA also have a black budget bigger than the total expenditure of most countries but you can look that up at your leisure. I don’t recommend that for bedtime reading.
I also watched a film on RealEcon TV about the black budget of the Army of the United States. In 2016, it had a budget of $122 billion. The unaccountable transactions amounted to 6 1/2 trillion dollars. That is trillion not billion. This could not be accounted for. Just thought I’d mention it. If you think I’m exaggerating, watch this video. 33m32s. I recall that the day before 9/11, Donald Rumsfeld announced that they could not account for $2.3 trillion. It looks like the American people are being robbed.
I have noticed that continentals and Americans and indeed Australians have got this welcoming and introducing lark off to a fine art. The British are catching up but we don’t have it naturally within us. A lot of us Brits. have difficulty in remembering names. I have to be extremely interested in someone to remember the name first time and I am lucky if the person has a name which relates to someone close to me.
Today I welcomed someone on to the allotment and offered him a particular plot that was in fine condition. I tried to balance asking him questions about himself with telling him something about myself and the conditions of the allotment. In this particular case, the vacant plot had belonged to someone who was going to have an operation for cancer and I wanted this to be understood and respected. I told him straight out that we didn’t want to see the whole thing being let to waste especially as much love and attention has been lavished on it over a number of years by its previous owner. I was nice and respectful about it but I think he got the point.
As I chatted to him I tried to size him up and see how reliable he was. He works for the post office and normally gets off at about 2 PM each day which means that he will have plenty of time to cultivate his allotment. He did not have the experience of such a large area before so to draw him out I asked him what his favourite vegetables were and how he would plan his area. We discovered that he loved rhubarb so I went straightaway and put a crown in to welcome him so to speak. Potatoes were not his favourite vegetable so I did not push that one but said they did grow well. We gave out a list of vegetables that were successful to try and encourage him.
In my experience, it is not enough to have one person welcome a newcomer. I took him to meet my wife who was also working on the allotment and they chatted for about 15 to 20 minutes. I suppose you could call it bonding time. We were also able to answer his questions and give him the dimensions of the plot and announce that he had inherited the shed that was presently there. I also asked if anyone else was able to help him in case he was ill; it turns out that the mother is quite a good gardener. We said goodbye and 15 minutes later he turned up again with his mother to show her around. He did not quite believe me when I said that the plot was his and we could fill in the paperwork later but that’s the way we do things on the allotment. People first, bureaucracy second.
The most important thing I can say to new allotment holders is that they should not be too ambitious and take one small step at a time and also don’t hesitate to ask if there are any questions. It is most encouraging that all the new tenants joining us are young. Even three years ago I would estimate that the average age was about 70 but it seems to be going down.
The same thing applies when we introduce any new person to any new situation for example working in an office for the first time. First days can be horrible if you don’t know anyone. One person is not enough. The chemistry may not be right. Two or three people is about right and although they won’t necessarily exchange anything profound they will get an impression of the friendliness or otherwise new territory. They say that first impressions count and I couldn’t agree more. If there is no bonding, the person will not feel any obligation to return.
I remember when I was young I used to look into my coal fire at home and imagine all sorts of creatures and castles in the fire. This happened this evening and I was transported back 60 years to my youth. A live fire gives a certain feeling of security to me anyway and is a step away from the everyday affairs of the world’s. Looking at a central heating radiator doesn’t do it.
I was visited by a good Samaritan colleague, Mike, who wanted to show me a new machine based on the work of Royal Rife which works on similar principles to radionics. Every disease has a numerical rate or frequency and through tuning into that frequency and applying equal and opposite waveforms, the disease can be nullified. There are many diseases that can be cured or ameliorated by remedies available in nature through plants and herbs as so-called primitive people would tell us if we cared to ask them. In general, such simple remedies as colloidal silver, bicarbonate of soda, vitamin C can restore the balance within the body to enable the inbuilt self-healing properties to become activated.
The body is in itself a self repairing entity but such mechanical methods as mentioned above can amplify this natural ability. The most important factor apart from knowledge, tools, techniques is the will to live and this applies throughout medicine. In recent decades, healing and health has been invaded by the pharmaceutical industry who see the making of money as a goal irrespective of any effects, or side-effects as they call them, that their medications may have. It is interesting that taking a pill for something, generates another condition for example fast heart rate which generates the need for another pill and so on. The best medicine has no side effects.
Michael bought his equipment and showed me how to use it. He said that people learn in different ways. Some people read a manual, get the idea immediately and spring into action. Other people, such as myself, need to be shown. They need to feel and touch. There is no question that such healing including remote healing healing works. In order to understand the next part it is necessary to completely reframe your understanding of who ‘we’ are. The real us is co-existential with the universe and our body is just a relatively solid bit in the middle but even the body is 99.99% space. The essence of the needed re-frame is that we are in touch with everybody anywhere all the time by default. Seeing the world from the five senses is an illusion albeit a persistent one as Albert Einstein would say.
On the Rife machine there is a remote treatment facility. You need to place a sample or witness of someone’s DNA for example a nail clipping and treating the clipping is the same as treating you because the clipping is part of you and your DNA. In other words if the patient is in Australia and the treatment is applied it would have exactly the same effect as if the person were standing next door to the machine which is transmitting the wavelength relevant to the condition that has been detected. I do understand that this will sound mumbo-jumbo to most people but I can’t help that I’m afraid.
How often have you thought of someone, and the very next moment they telephone. You have not heard from them for years and they just so-called ‘happen’ to call. This is part of the same mechanism. It is built into us all but alas for the most part we choose to ignore it.
There are many alternatives to the treatment of cancer. Anyone who tries to advertise such cures will be run out of town by the profit driven pharmaceutical industry. The cascade of events is that first of all the claimant is ignored, then ridiculed, then they will be threatened, then they will be killed or as modern parlance goes “suicided”. Royal Rife discovered a cure for cancer and as a result his offices were burnt down once and trashed on another occasion. The same happened with Dr Burzynski who uses diet to treat cancer. His offices have been raided by the FBI and all his patient records removed. He has been forced to defend himself through expensive court cases not once but three times but he continues to practice. He does so because so many of his patients gave testimonies as to the effectiveness of his treatment. The doctor is Hungarian and made of stern stuff otherwise he would not have survived.
Mike told me that only 3% of the chemotherapy treatments are successful in that the life of the patient is prolonged by more than five years. The treatment itself so compromises the immune system so it is less fit for purpose and a person will become vulnerable to other opportunistic diseases.
The whole of health medicine is in a mess and the more natural remedies we can find, and the more understanding we can have the way our body works, the better for us all. The BBC do not dare to mention the correlation between sugar and obesity or diabetes. I saw a program on the subject where during the space of a one hour programme, diet and sugar was mentioned only once.
Mike has a very professional attitude saying that it is important to spread the message to as many people as possible without seeking financial gain. This is a policy that I myself adopt with giving knowledge. I do not regard knowledge as a possession but something to be cherished and nurtured and shared.
It is nearly 9 o’clock in the evening and very unusually I have not found anything particularly interesting to write about so I’m going to start from zero by sitting down in front of my computer and seeing what happens.
One of the allotment tenants of which I am the chairman and secretary off the Association had to resign because his doctors told him he has a brain tumour. He has maintained his plot lovingly for years and it is in immaculate condition. I first of all asked him if he wanted to maintain it and be helped in the short term while he had his operations in the hospital but he wrote back saying no, enough is enough, and rather poignantly “I never thought I would have to write a letter like this”.
It befell me to ring up the first person on the waiting list, an affable fellow called Ron, whose father had had an allotment in the 1980s to tell him that he has first refusal on one of the finest plots on the allotments. Normally, I let people just get on with it and give them the benefit of the doubt but I do feel very protective towards the legacy of this one because of its condition so I’m going to interview the applicant on Saturday and see how much he knows about gardening. Most people who fail, do so at the first fence when they realised how much work actually has to be done. I try to help everybody physically with a couple of hours work but even that does not succeed in being the motivator to attend an allotment which on a good year can yield between £100 and £200 worth of produce from an outlay of around £20.
Today was pruning day in our garden and I hired my good mate William to do the heavy stuff up ladders. Since my accident last year I have vowed not to take any risks so I would rather pay someone to do the more difficult jobs for me. Trees, both individually and in groups, have a great intelligence. If they don’t have enough light, they bend their branches towards where there is to see the light. If the conditions are not right, they do the nearest thing to committing suicide which is just dying. The mistake people often make when they are planting out their garden is not to allow enough space between trees. This is where the planting instructions should be carefully followed, particularly when different types of trees are involved.
If I ever get the chance to instigate social change on a big scale I would address the problem that old people in particular have of not having the opportunity to engage in conversation with others, thus enduring loneliness. With a few tweaks here and there, the vast majority of loneliness could be ameliorated. Whilst in Exmouth, I read about a lady called Caron Sprake, a former carer, who recently designed and launched “Happy to Share” cards for those sitting alone in cafes would welcome some company. Caron, who is a champion for the elderly through her blog Caron Cares, funded the first batch of cards through a £450 grant from Recovery Devon, a charity keen to fund ideas to promote mental well-being in Devon.
Caron says “ the inspiration behind the cards was my observation of people sat alone; I just wondered how we could encourage them to share tables and start a conversation.” She adds “it is an incredibly affordable suggestion for a solution to loneliness. Elderly people are seen as a social burden, a drain on resources. People forget their contribution to our freedom and prosperity. These people were once beautiful, vibrant and useful. To tackle loneliness we need a complete change in mindset, back to the days of inter–generational living – less about what we can all have and do to reward ourselves and expecting others to scoop up and care for our elderly. We all have a role to play: individuals, business and the government”.
My own feeling is that we cannot rely on the government whatever colour it is to ‘care’ for us and that we are to all intents and purposes on our own. I think it fair that we exercise our own initiative and creativity and not expect to be waited on hand and foot. I have the instinct in me to look after anyone I see when I’m walking around in public but it took me many years to perfect the art of talking to people while making sure they are comfortable about being addressed by a stranger. I totally understand that if people are of a nervous disposition, it is very difficult for them to take the initiative with striking up a conversation so I am so pleased to see the initiative above and I pray to God there will be many others who take up the challenge of some form of community service.
I but recently acquired the Oxford Directory of Quotations, courtesy of the manager of the Bay Hotel in Exmouth. I love quotations, particularly by Oscar Wilde but the one below is from TS Eliot the poet, critic and dramatist. It is from a play called The Cocktail Party (1950)
What is hell? Hell is oneself, Hell is alone, the other figures in it Merely projections. There is nothing to escape from And nothing to escape to. One is always alone.
William Blake, wrote from his book of Thel (1789) Everything that lives, Is not alone, nor for itself
and from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790) If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to men as it is, infinite
and How do you know but every bird that cuts the airy way is an immense world of delight, closed by your senses five
We tend to forget, perhaps, that the search for happiness and meaning has been going on for millennia well before the production of the printed and mass produced book and well before the introduction of social media. I feel that the above quotations are very apposite to the lady I mentioned above. How about if our feeling of loneliness is due to a misunderstanding of the universe and its limitless dimensions. If we see ourselves as just a mind and body randomly thrashing around trying to exist, what comfort is there and what security?
I find it more sensible to believe that we are an eternal spirit that happens to have a body rather than a body that may happen to have a spirit. In other words the vehicle that I live in is called the body but it is not the occupant. I think we have a subliminal urge to be free from these limitations and as a first step it is much easier to survive in an unfriendly and inhuman world if we can ring the bells of our spirit by engaging in conversation with others no matter how imperfect the dialogue is.
On the topic of Facebook, I very much enjoyed the article by G.S.Luthra on David Icke’s site called “Social Media has destroyed the Human Soul”. The last paragraph sums up the solution neatly:
“Ladies and gentlemen, such idiocy makes no lasting civilization. Best advice, shut up, learn first, and then speak. Avoid excessive internet use. Seek human contact. You can connect with others online, but it shouldn’t be exclusive, you need physical communication. Alternatively, you can stay in solitude and develop through art, meditation, music, and books, and then apply what you learn. From that you’ll gain wisdom and experience. That is better than associating with bad company. For some, this is best, because it’s hard to find genuine friends”
So there we are. Once again when I can’t think of anything to write, as soon as I put pen to paper out it all comes. My friend William asked me today whether I was keeping up my diary and I said yes. I have written daily for more than a year. I promise you something of note always happens.
fear is not the enemy you are facing it is the fear within you
In the normal course of my day, I hear something on the radio or read something which seems to state the truth definitively and it jumps out of the page at me. I always have an urge to write such things down – as I have done here.
Generally, I admit a FAULT. I spend time thinking what could go wrong based on my previous experiences. This is particularly true in the case of new situations where I have not met the individuals concerned. When you think about it, such visualisations are a complete waste of effort and needlessly program the mind with ifs and buts. I will now (late New Year’s resolution) envisage that my meeting with strangers will be a blessing to all as we add to each other’s experience and knowledge.
Today we were planning to go after Swindon to see a colleague about a new piece of electronic apparatus I was thinking of buying. However, one mile down the road, the car started spluttering and jumping so we turned round came home again. Fortunately, the RAC man who came previously worked for Volvo and was able to get quite easily into the problem which turned out to be a conflict between one of the five computers in the car. It still does not quite compute, if you will excuse the pun, that there are actual computers in my car like in my PC that control what everything does.
My original plans having been blown we decided to commiserate by going to one of the up-and-coming cafe restaurants in the area, Hartley’s Kitchen in Binegar. We were greeted by the host who recognised us even though the last time we had been there was about a year ago. We ordered a meal and I was reminded how important it is to play the food in an attractive manner. I decided that I would do better at home even though we don’t do fancy food.
The restaurant was almost full including a group using the front-room for a business presentation. We were told by the staff that yesterday the place was nearly empty but today the sun is out so everyone apparently feels in a lunch mood. How difficult it must be to plan food cooking so you don’t waste too much. I suppose you can put everything in the freezer, but then freezing and unfreezing doesn’t do a lot for the taste. We finished our meal with an amazing treacle tart with ice cream and custard.
This, believe it or not, is a placemat. It looks like a nut roast with carrot windows and a potato roof. Why not say I?
We moved on to Rocky Mountain garden centre, our regular refuge when we are even thinking of buying plants. I came across the best poster I’ve ever seen for various types of potatoes. One of the things I do expect is that people on the staff really know their stuff and I can trust their recommendations. Normally, I am not disappointed.
Young trees and shrubs all neatly labelled and waiting for customers.
On the way home we drove along a road and we saw a pheasant standing stock still on the road facing away from us. My wife hates killing anything of any sort whereas I’m more philosophical and assume that as we approach, the pheasant would move out of the way. My wife tooted the horn just to be on the safe side but that had no effect. Us and our mighty car had to drive round it. So sorry to inconvenience you Mr. Pheasant but we did actually want to drive along the road. When we passed, the pheasant was still standing in the same position right in the middle of the road. I hope it has a long and happy life.
Who knows why our car stuttered at that particular time because since that event the car has performed flawlessly. Perhaps the powers that be saw that we were going to get involved in an accident, that we were going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I always believe that there is a reason for ‘things going wrong’ even if there is inconvenience attached.
Notes: Wesley, the renowned Methodist preacher came to Bath in 1739. He believed that the city was a magnet for sinners in desperate need of his guidance. He wanted Bath spa’s visitors to turn away from dancing and gambling. When Wesley preached there, Beau Nash turned up to interrupt. He didn’t want the hedonism and pleasures of Bath to be spoiled by the moralising of the famous religious leader.. The only record of their encounter is in Wesley’s diaries. He claims to have had the upper hand over Nash! Read more here.
PS I saw this work in the City Gallery Bath when I went to visit it after my monthly eye injection. I had difficulty during the day. Before the eye operation you are given a muscle relaxant which means that afterwards not only is it impossible to read but everything is very bright and I had to buy a pair of poundland special sunglasses to survive being outside in the sun.
In the corridors of RUH in Bath we have the usual ever changing display of photographs and paintings. I don’t know who this one was painted by.
This reminds me that we belong to the Earth, the Earth does not belong to us. Those who have swallowed the nonsense about carbon dioxide and global warming please remember that the trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. This process preserves the natural balance of the earth. carbon dioxide is nature’s natural fertilizer. Without this gas we would all be dead. We have 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1% of other gases including 0.04% carbon dioxide.
This installation here in the RUH is by Peter Yorke and it is called “Down to Earth“. The notes are interesting which is why I reproduce them.
I’m very moved by the last paragraph which says tactfully that the artist was confined ‘due to illness’ but his imagination never let him dwell on where he was or why he was there. Well done Peter.
This is a new type of poster in the hospital which I did not expect to see. Think twice before taking pills. wow.
Difficult to write something without shooting yourself in the foot. I wonder why it took them eight years to realise that not all was well. I suppose you could say the same thing about Jimmy Savile. they removed some people from their positions or allow them to walk away so they must have known what was going on. I would have been more impressed if they said “we knew something was going on but did not have the courage to face them”.
We left the hotel where we had happily stayed for three days. My wife went to pick up a bag of sand which she will use to create a miniature beach at home. We left our hotel rather sadly because it was good fun and these type of holidays are the only time I go a bit silly and play bingo, I won £20, half the second prize, on Saturday. Off we drive to Budleigh Salterton on the way home. We parked and on the way to the high Street I overheard a conversation which ended “well it can’t get better than that”. I, being me, jumped into the little conversation group and was immediately welcomed with no barriers or questions about who I was etc. I met a delightful chap called Stephen who was with his French wife so my wife and his had a good conversation.
He told me that there were many local festivals and events. There is a Food and Drink Festival in April and a music festival in July. Their literary festival had been going for about eight years and most of the events were sold out. He also mentioned the librarian, a person called Jane, and said that I should go and introduce myself to her. This town is small enough that everybody knows everybody else so there is really no need for anybody to be lonely with the possible exception of the housebound older people who cannot get out and about as much as they would like. The population of this town was 6,575 in 2012 so let’s guess at 7000. Maybe this is the ideal size for an organic unit. It does help that there is money around.
I love rolling out ideas. This is a great idea with do-it-yourself tea and coffee offered in the library but it would only work in an area with a smaller throughput otherwise there would be lots of cuts which would need to be washed and the place could become messy.
We met the said Jane and she was a veritable dictionary of information. I understand that she helps people to borrow the right book. She loved her job and loved people and this came across loud and clear. We chatted for 15 min, during which she dropped her papers three times and picked up but was not bothered. The Stephen with whom I spoke it said that he does not keep books at home but every time he goes into the library, he finds the next one with his name on it so to speak in the ‘recently returned’ section. I told him about my incurable bibliophilia and my great difficulty of throwing any books away.
I Skyped with my friend in Cyprus who is a therapist. She is trying to recruit people for her forthcoming workshop and is trying a new idea, ‘bring your friend for a discount’. She thinks that some people are shy coming to a workshop on their own. she says that this idea has worked in the past, so why not.
Today Sunday was a day of walking, scrambling, trying to keep our balance in the mud and looking out for seagulls relieving themselves on our head. Nearly all of the south coast of England has been made into a Coast Path National Trail. There are many downloadable walks which will keep you occupied for the best part of any year. We just got the merest feel of it by walking from Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton. It looks a tiny distance on the map but actually took about three hours. We started by walking along the beach of our departure point, Sidmouth. I have never seen so many dogs running around in a high state of excitement. They are banned on the beach from April 1 but in the winter it’s ‘game on’ for our four-legged friends.
Theoretically, it is possible to walk the whole length of the coast along the beach but you have to time it just right and wait for the tide to come out and scoot around the rocks at the end of the promontory. We therefore decided to take the official path on the top of the cliffs. Whilst still on the beach, we had noticed the local lads enjoying themselves surfing, not being put off by the rather inclement weatherThe Jurassic Coast theme is a very valuable asset from the moneymaking potential of the tourists and the whole thing is very well signed. The next part of this essay is mainly pictorial.
I must now tell you about how to walk up slippery clay paths. Due to the recent rain it was almost impossible to gain purchase even with good shoes. I developed a technique for walking sideways like a crab, a bit like when sailors tack into the wind. What you do is place your left foot into a piece of the path muddy or otherwise and then place your right foot well apart slightly above the left foot but on the right, pushing downwards to the right side. You then lift your left foot and again push it into the left side slightly further up say about 12 inches. You need to push against the mud and not try and defeat gravity by walking directly up. Walking up is a recipe for sure disaster. Boots with deep tread are essential.
Halfway towards our destination, we came across the most amazing Caravan Park, Sandy Bay. It is Caravanning on a vast scale. Because no one was there due to it being off-season it had a rather eerie feel about it. I was told that there were no less than 2000 caravans. In the fog and the drizzle they did not look exciting but I was promised that in season everything springs to life. It is lovely hearing the sea crashing on the rocks so far down that you cannot actually view it. Three hours later we arrived at our destination more exhilarating than tired. I think we heard more variety of birdsong on this walk than in most places because it is a preserved area. In Budleigh It was Sunday afternoon and most of the shops were closed, but there was a coffee bar and restaurant catering for the affluent. Prices were well up to London standards but so I was told all the cakes were baked on the premises by the owners who happened to be pastry chefs in a past life. I engaged them in conversation at length and gave my detailed feedback on how good I found the first slice of the cake that I chose. £3.75 is not cheap but there were no chemicals in it and it was a goodly slice.
Signage I consider is very important for visitors. If you need basic facilities like a toilet you should know where they are and this sign gets 10 out of 10 from me. Well done local council.
A combination of clear blue sky – obviously with the sun shining – plus very little wind makes for a certain balminess and this is February during which it is not “supposed” to be nice at the seaside. Come on now, let’s all have a singalong. I do like to be beside the seaside etc.
On the bus I noticed a very challenging advertisement addressed to those who are prejudiced towards those with mental health problems.
An even more impressive list of things on. The population of Sidmouth is about 15,000 so it is smaller than Midsomer Norton where I live but packs a punch in its own way. It is very popular in the tourist season and can support all sorts of minority interest shops including the most delicious seller of crab and fish sandwiches that you could ever imagine.
No visit to Cornwall or Devon would be complete without a cream tea. These usually consist of a pot of tea with a scone and dollops of cream and jam. Expect to pay £4.50 per head. I always ask for my scone to be warmed up.
The cream is always local; they make a point of telling you that fact because a cream tea is almost a brand name so no outlet wants to be accused of letting the side down.
This commemorates part of the tour of Britain a few years ago and is delightfully done in ceramics.
Families having a lovely time strolling on the beach in the afternoon sun.
You can walk all along the coast if you want but beware the tides and take notice of the large warning signs about being cut off by the tide.
This sign was on the eastern side of the seafront itself. I was impressed to see the sign below showing awareness of the evils of microwave radiation.The smart meters send a peak of radiation every five seconds or so. If you enjoy sitting in microwave ovens or next to towers, this is for you.
All these towns are really worth a visit but beware holiday weekends in July and August. The main and indeed the only problem is lack of parking. You may have to be prepared to walk some distance. The wardens are vigilant because they have to be.
Maybe this is your answer. At the moment, these are weapons of choice for people stealing mobile phones and so on but these look fairly innocuous and well maintained so obviously have loving owners. Anyway, I could ramble on forever but I hope you’ve got the idea.
PS I heard that 7000 people had to cancel their subscriptions to Oxfam due to the scandal about the sexual exploitation. What goes around comes around, eventually
After a hearty breakfast, we decided to take a bus along the coast and just take things as they come. Our first stop was Budley Salterton which as other posts indicate is a posh place with a small, literate population which hosts a number of festivals each year. This will be a mostly pictorial essay. If anyone is thinking of retiring to the south coast and has a few bob to spare for a house or wants to sell a ridiculously priced property in London then this might be the place for you. It will certainly provide the intellectual stimulus not necessarily associated with such a small coastal town.
I have stated ad nauseam that one of the best indications of the vitality of the town or village is the number of items on the noticeboard. The above illustration shows only about a third of the items advertised. Click ctrl and + to enlarge.
The beach is quite amazing for its display of stone pebbles so it makes sense to use them to decorate the front wall.I counted about a dozen blue plaques without even looking for them. Because this is such a lovely place, many notable people from the Victorian era stayed in this place. I think there is even a small booklet dedicated to these notifications.
Volunteerism can be a hugely satisfying occupation even if you only have a few hours a week. it’s a good way of meeting people and keeping your brain occupied.This small town boasts a huge number of blue plaques and it was and is a very attractive place for creative people including artists, musicians and writers.
After a delightful couple of hours in the sun we decided to catch the next bus along the coast and alight at Sidmouth. I love our freedom passes. By the way, distances in Devon and Cornwall can look insignificant on a map but the average miles per hour is probably about 20 if you’re lucky and that’s driving, 2 miles an hour by walking so don’t underestimate the distance you need. Better to linger and enjoy. Try listening to unfamiliar bird sounds.
From the editor: This web page is going to be a mile long so I’m going to divide today into two parts. The rest you can see by clicking on the right-hand side.
We decided on the spur of the moment to sneak off via our company, Shearings holidays on one of their cheapo weekends, this time in Exmouth. As soon as the weather gets better, they do raise their prices quite a lot but there are still good value for money and winter is the time to take part. We paid £89 per head for three nights bed and breakfast and evening meal. The breakfasts are huge, all-you-can-eat, and if you feel ‘economical’ you can get away with a small lunch or no lunch at all. You always take a risk going off season but as you will read, the weather was very kind to us.
The Jet Stream brings a lot of rain but it also keeps the cold away from the majority of the United Kingdom so it is a mixed blessing. Back to the hotel: You get what room you are given and we got an internal one i.e. without a window but ensuite and quiet as a tomb. I switched on the TV as soon as I got in and continued with my fascination or is it an obsession with the Olympics.Funny thing, this design. This delightful toilet seat seems to be intended for people with square bottoms. It was uncomfortable but I suppose someone somewhere thought it looked good. We had a bath that was triangular so it was impossible to lie down and the shower did not work particularly well but basically you get what you pay for, but with Shearings, a little bit more. The staff are very nice and try hard.
Exmouth is basically the mouth of the Exe River – all 56 kilometres length – which goes inland to encompass Exeter. This town, population 35,000, is a little bit in the backwater, part tourist, part Marina for boats but the biggest thing is the access to many delightful walks along the coast. It definitely has its share of eccentrics dressed accordingly and entertaining us with their colourful language in the various bars. One thing of note, Exmouth has the most amazing fish fresh cooked to perfection ‘melt in the mouth’ stuff. It is caught locally. If you are a fish person, hesitate no more.
After supper on the first evening we walked up and down the promenade in the dark listening to the power of the waves crash on the concrete below. They sound more formidable if you cannot see them. It was about 4° above freezing with a moderate wind so we had to dress for the occasion. I find it normally takes a few hours to cast off our normal bubble and realise that we are actually somewhere else so in my experience, taking it very easy over the first critical Golden Hour is a good idea. No thinking, be a vegetable.
All couples who come on Shearings specials are of a certain age and there is an easy come easy go comradeship so you can just go and talk to someone as if you’ve known them all your life and that is accepted behaviour. I think people come for the social side as well as the holiday side. On Saturday night you get four vouchers for four drinks so that helps the atmosphere a little bit. One thing about such a big company is they have learned their lessons through feedback from previous customers so the product is pretty smooth. The main course arrives within about 2 min of ordering it.
What has this to do with arbitration you might ask. Absolutely nothing. My wife likes to make the most of any space we have and has decided to grow some cress partly in a plastic container and partly in eggshells. The boxes reside by our dining table. You can do this in a country environment and nobody cares. There are no appearances to keep up. By the way, the picture below is the allotment that I look after. Due to the sterling efforts of many people, the preparation for the year at an early stage, half way through February is quite impressive but we have to look after the newcomers to make sure they apply themselves at the right time of year. There is nothing worse than the feeling of being unsupported especially when you know your performance is going to be compared with others.
So, another school shooting in America, is it the 20th this year? Someone somewhere wants the American public to be so enraged that they will start to ask for the banning of private guns. There are only 300 million licensed guns so that will be an easy task I’m sure. The National Rifle Association of USA would be a formidable opponent to this if it ever came to a vote. The amazing thing was that this young shooter, Nikolas Kruz, had been reported six months previously for putting information on his Facebook page saying he wanted to have a shooting session at a school. The FBI were informed but they did nothing because they were too busy trying to find leads false or otherwise trying to show that Trump colluded with Russia in the last election.
The Health Ranger Mike Adams shows that there is one thing in common with all the shooters, and that is a reliance on psychiatric drugs such as Zoloft, Luvox, Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil, Ritalin. Zoloft seems to be the drug most associated with people who commit these crimes. Look them up in Google to see what effects they have. I wouldn’t mind if these drugs were actually tested and found to be safe. It’s no good going through the motions of testing them for three months. You need to test them for at least a couple of years but then how do you conduct the test? You use real human subjects? Isn’t that just a tiny bit immoral?
I turned off the TV when I saw this being reported. The format is always the same. Pictures of children being shepherded to safety; someone describing the scene in hysterical tones saying they thought the world was ending; reassuring voices of the chief of police giving his description of what happened; pictures of large numbers of police and fire engines at the scene; indications from a politician that we really must look at this business of gun-control.
Anyway, I was going to talk about arbitration which is a more formal version of mediation. They are triggered when two people or two parties do not agree and cannot come to a solution themselves. I think if mediation were used more widely when differences between couples or small groups were identified, there would be far less fallout.
At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, the mediator or arbitrator is not emotionally involved with either party, probably doesn’t know them, does not know the history, and is therefore more able to look at the situation in a neutral way and help each party see the pros and cons of the view of the other party. Each party can state their point of view to the arbitrator without the other person necessarily being there and then the other person can do the same then they can meet together. The problem is that once all these fight and flight chemicals start being activated, common sense goes out of the window if it was ever there in the first place as does the ability to think logically.
I think it’s quite dangerous when untrained people become involved because they probably know one person better and side with them against the other person without even realising it. I would just like people to consider that seeking mediation or arbitration can lead to a quicker and more peaceful solution in a short amount of time.
Now that is worth aiming for isn’t it?
We’re not supposed to be good at everything and some people do not have the capacity to see their own situation from a neutral point of view probably because the desire for self-preservation is too great and the faith required is paltry. It could be just simple pride or stubbornness but that’s not really the point.
My Funny Valentine Sweet comic valentine You make me smile with my heart Your looks are laughable unphotographable yet your my favorite work of art
Is your Figure less than Greek? Is your mouth a little week? When you open it to speak Are you smart?
But don’t change your hair for me Not if you care for me Stay little valentine stay Each day is Valentines day
Is your figure less than Greek is your mouth a little weak When you open it to Speak Are you smart
But don’t change your hair for me Not if you care for me Stay little valentine stay Each day is valentines day
Rogers and Hart, First performed 1937 and since sung by 600 artists. Amazingly the words actually make sense and second most amazing thing – they can be heard and understood. None of your doobe doobe do but actual words!!!
Up at 5.30 am to watch the half pipe performances at the Olympics, some say the best ever. Pity about the Japanese Snowboarder who fell so heavily and had to be stretchered off.
Well, it is Valentine’s Day after all so in the rain and cold wind we decided to dress up and go and have lunch. We struck lucky in the pub above. I love it when main courses are less than £10 so rather than just have a drink we decided to eat there. There is no question that the atmosphere of the place speaks for itself when you walk in the door. Mien host, the affable Derek, is very comfortable with people; it was clear that pretty well everyone in the pub knew everybody else. I ordered roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and it was delicious ‘melt in the mouth’ meat not chewy like you some times get. My wife had a risotto which did not have an enormous volume but nevertheless was tasty.
We then went for sweet course to my favourite, Bread and Beyond, the bakery a few metres down so we left our car in the car park. I had a huge frangipani slice with almonds, my wife had a cake and we ended up buying milk, olive oil, plus flour of the first quality. It’s always the same when we going to these old-fashioned places. The food and groceries are so obviously good we always spend more than we intend and is much more painless but illusory to pay by plastic, especially touch payment.
With the wind blowing and grey skies in the background, but fortified with my normal very large cup of morning coffee I continue my thoughtful theme. Today is Shrove Tuesday so off we will go at 10 o’clock to have pancakes at my church.
I would not like to be an employee of Oxfam. I did not associate child abuse or sex parties with such philanthropic organisations, hitherto squeakyclean. It seems these days that virtually everyone is either a child abuser or sexual molester. Doing a reality check among those I know I would say that the vast majority – 99% – behave well so why this great focus all of a sudden. However, Oxfam must pay the price for ignoring complaints by workers. I feel sorry for the rank-and-file who are doing their best often on a voluntary basis for a good cause.
Anyway, my topic today is self sabotage. There is one very easy way of doing this and that is to ignore our good points. Why do we do this? It is because we take them for granted. People who are “good with people” do not notice it because to them it is natural. They have had a happy childhood with wonderful supportive parents and to be open and kind to people comes as second nature. No acting ability required. I have droned on about this before but we are all unique. If you consider that every one of us has say 100 qualities, each of which are developed in a particular way from a particular cause in a unique place on the earth, there are far more combinations and permutations of personalities than there are people on the planet. Factorial 100, which is a simpler version of the above, contains 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 combinations.
In other words, if we wish to make a contribution to the world, all we have to do is to find out what we are good at, what we can develop, and get on with it. In other words, be ourselves. Many people are what I call ‘flowers in bud’ but no one I know would do right spring as opposed to summer because we have not yet seen flowers in full bloom. Easier said than done. What we really need here is the privilege of having friends who will encourage us, and that doesn’t come from having 500 ‘friends’ or ‘likes’ or any of these other virtual and ultimately meaningless symbols of significance.
Individuisation it is also more difficult in this age of Political Correctness when people are afraid to express any opinions that are contrary to what they think others expect of them. However, I am encouraged by seeing that there are many people, youngsters included, who do make their mark on society and are not afraid to be themselves. There is something about the skateboarder Red Gerard who at the age of 17 just won an Olympic gold medal. How very proud his parents must have been but it is also a brilliant role model for other youngsters. 17 relatives and families flew half way round the world to attend..
On the whole matter of commenting on other people’s situation, including if they have a particular question, when does the matter become invasion when something that friends should do for each other is to give caring and loving feedback. You can function as a mirror for what other people are doing. We all have our blind spots. When I was young, I was making the same mistake with people year after year and did not spot it and I do wish that someone had drawn it to my attention. I may or may not have been momentarily offended but that would’ve been a small price to pay for avoiding a repetition of a mistake.
This is a huge topic which I can only touch on slightly here but what if our body was not well. What have we had something like Lyme disease or candida growth? that would cause all sorts of chemicals to be produced which would make us feel weak, powerless, and depressed. In other words there may be no psychological problem as such apart from the normal worries of life and the feelings of loneliness that we get from time to time. It may be that a health check will reveal the cause of a chemical imbalance which could cheer us up enormously. In other words, our physical condition can change our view of the world.
We need to keep a part of our mind self-aware so that we can observe the whole situation. “I am basically a happy person but having a difficult time”. The maintenance of a positive narrative for example that there is hope, that we have not bought this on ourselves, that we are worthy, that it’s not a question of us versus the world, that it is me in my condition versus the rest who are happy and healthy. That is why human interaction is so important in oder that we can keep a sense of balance and listen to some of the problems that other people have to put up with on a daily basis.
At the coffee morning pancakes were served. About 20 people turned up which I thought was very good for a rainy morning. I chatted with the vicar about the dynamic of sermons. He considers that sermons are alchemical in nature. I discussed the fact that the audience or congregation get what they deserve because a preacher or speaker is unlikely to be inspired to say something when ‘the Powers above’ AKA the Holy Spirit realise that the congregation will not understand or accept what is being said. We talk about ‘speaking to a brick wall” and this blockage is what that is all about. Ideally, there should be mind/brain synchronicity between the the vicar and the congregation. Ideas will then flow not only consciously but subliminally via the universal energy field that links us all.
I do not think it matters if a sermon or speech is perfect or not. If the people who are listening have the wit, they pick up enough reference points to get a good fix on what is being said, a bit like GPS tuning into satellites. If there are four or more satellites within range, the estimation of locality can be assumed with some degree of confidence. I have noticed that some speeches are over rehearsed and lose their spontaneity and I have noticed that some completely unrehearsed talks have spontaneity and excitement about them which is riveting.
In public I write things down and read it because I’m afraid of forgetting certain points but sometimes I take off and extemporize. The event seems to go well from the audience reaction. This is probably because I am utilizing the effect given above which is tuning into the collective energy field and empathizing with the audience.
Back to the Olympics again. Light the fire and sit in what we have decided to call our summer room, actually the lounge, where the temperature is a blazing 25° C. How’s that for spoiling ourselves
I love the English, they have a great sense of humour which I think we need after seeing some of the snowboard people being blown all over the place by gusty winds. Just imagine, you train for four years for something, you get two goes, and the second one is destroyed by circumstances over which you have no control. OK it is a dangerous sport but why not avoid it unnecessary denager by a slight postponement whilst the wind dies down. Alas the participants did not protest vigorously enough.
The day started with a blank sheet, the best way to start a day, so that I can choose everything that happens to me and one of the things was a very interesting exercise in public relations sent to me by the Men’s group of which I’m a member. I was very moved by the transparency and honesty of this communication which is a basic call to faith by a Dean in Bath which struck me due to its honesty and vision. Check it out and be inspired.
I can tell this is going to be a wild day. (quick exit to load up the washing machine). I was trawling and researching the Internet as I normally do and a very interesting article definitely had my name on. I feel part of me is extrovert but the greater part is introvert so I pinched part of this article from Psychology Today.
An introvert and an extrovert walk into a bar. (No, this is not a joke.) It’s a Saturday night, and the place is packed. A cover band is rocking on stage, dozens of people are talking loudly over mugs of beer, and it’s loud.
The extrovert takes in the scene and gets excited. He sees opportunities everywhere — an attractive stranger at the bar, friends he can talk to, and the chance to cut loose and have fun. He walks straight up to his group of friends, slaps one of them a high five, and orders a beer.
The introvert sees the situation differently. He hangs back for a moment, looking around, taking everything in. Then, he walks quietly up to his group of friends and waits for one to acknowledge him before he speaks. He feels a bit overwhelmed, drowning in all the noise and activity, but he tells himself to relax: This is supposed to be fun.
And the introvert does have fun, for a while. He drinks a beer and catches up with a friend he hasn’t seen since college. He even dances when the band plays his favorite song. But it doesn’t last. Soon, the introvert grows tired. Not just “I could use a quick catnap” tired, but really tired. His brain has turned to mush. He has trouble spitting out sentences. His whole body feels physically fatigued.
He glances over at the extrovert, who is doing shots with a pair of women he apparently just met. The extrovert doesn’t show any signs of slowing down; in fact, he looks even more energized than when they arrived.
Why do introverts get more drained by socializing than extroverts?
Of course, this example is a generalization. Not every extrovert spends the weekend partying, and sometimes introverts live it up, too. We all act introverted at times and extroverted at others; according to Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, there is no such thing as a “pure” introvert or extrovert. We all fall somewhere on a sliding scale.
And socializing is actually draining for everyone eventually, according to a recent study. Researchers found that after three hours after socializing, participants reported higher levels of fatigue. Surprisingly, these effects were found to be hold for both introverts and extroverts. This makes sense, because socializing expends energy: You have to talk, listen, and process what’s being said, among other things
It continues, and I’m sure you will take this excellent magazine and publication even more seriously. What I draw from it in particular is that there is no better or worse. We are just differently constructed and if for example we have stage fright or prefer small groups of people to larger groups, there is nothing “wrong” in that. It’s just that we function better in one environment rather than another.
one of the reasons I like Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is that he brings a business like manner to church affairs. I love this quote;
“I want to start by saying just two simple sentences about the church. First, the church exists to worship God in Jesus Christ. Second, the Church exists to make new disciples of Jesus Christ. Everything else is decoration. Some of it may be very necessary, useful, or wonderful decoration – but it’s decoration”.
This is a very good principle which you can apply to virtually anything including family and business matters. For example “the most important thing in our family is the health and well-being of our children”. or ” the most important thing about my job is that I look forward to doing it”. I can say of myself, “I very much look forward to each day because no two days are the same, not to mention looking forward to writing this diary, The anticipation of what I am going to say never ceases to fascinate me”.
So far as I know, no one else has been inspired to write the diary because of my efforts but then the inspirer of this diary, Tony Benn wrote in his diary for himself. Samuel Pepys, had no intention when he wrote his work to inspire other people, he just did it because he was so minded and indeed I am so minded. It’s like painting a work of art. You normally don’t paint for someone else except commissions. You paint for yourself because it is within you.
Today I had a chat with the person who gave his testimony last Saturday at the men’s group. We had been sent the film above “check it out and be inspired”. I suggested we watch the film together and stop it when there was something to discuss. We managed to get through 1 min 28 seconds of the film in a conversation lasting one hour 20 min. We discussed the awkwardness and the lack of courage we both had about talking to others about our beliefs. I don’t think it helps an awful lot to go around saying to people “do you believe in God”. I think the better thing is to be someone with whom people feel comfortable with and with whom people can share their problems. In the context of such an open door, a topic of values or meaning may pop-up in which case that would be the opportunity to open the dialogue. Putting your foot in a closed door is not a very good idea.
After the talk on Saturday I ordered a book on that afternoon called “Tough Talk” from the behemoth Amazon which was about two very rough and tough people, one was a weightlifter, who abandoned a life of drugs and violence to follow the greater purpose in this case of becoming Christians. It is an easy read so I will try to finish most of it tonight. They go all over the world giving talks particularly to rough places such as prisons. I love reading ‘walking my talk’ type books. There are much more impressive than the theorising and ‘preaching’.
I arrived shortly before 11 o’clock in the vicinity of Holy Trinity church in Paulton to see knots of people trotting up the street. I had momentarily forgotten that this was the second Sunday of the month when youngsters are baptized. It is easy to spot if someone is not used to going to church, they look awkward, they are unfamiliar with the hymns and order of service but to their credit they turned out to support a friend who by the look of her was very pregnant with her second child.
Some of the regulars had chosen to avoid this service but there were about 10 of us there. I was drawn into an unfamiliar role. There were two children, one of two years of age, and one three years of age, who were making a huge noise and making it very difficult to hear the vicar. Their mother took them to the back where there is a small playroom which is also used to serve tea but she did not think to close the adjoining door and the noise of the children riding scooters enthusiastically up-and-down echoed round the church in a very clear manner.
The mother then left them to their own and I decided to take a hand. The mother was unable to figure out that closing the door would diminish the noise in the church. I went to look after the children and firmly closed the door behind me which meant that people could hear the sermon. I spoke to the mother twice and I was very struck that she was completely unable to respond with words. I realised, intuitively perhaps, that she was completely and utterly exhausted. I did my best for about 15 minutes to keep the children under control by doing the normal fatherly things but that did not elicit any acknowledgement never mind thanks from mum. I suppose if I had to be on duty seven days a week 12 hours a day or more I would be the same. I notice that her husband looked on rather meekly and it was clear that she wore the trousers as we say.
I did not actually want thanks because it was quite rewarding to know that people in the congregation could hear the vicar. By the way, he turned up a few minutes after the beginning of the service because he had been at another church. He was complaining of a bad stomach because he had a under-cooked cheese burger the night before.
The service was rather jolly. The vicar encouraged us to clap and make body movements of praise and power. We sang a hymn repeating the verse three or four times and each time we sung faster and faster. the words were thus;
You shall go out with joy and be lead forth in peace, and the mountains and hills shall break forth before you. and the trees of the field shall clap, shall clap their hands; and the trees of the field shall clap their hands and the trees of the field shall clap their hands
and the trees of the field shall clap their hands and you’ll go out with joy
this was written by Stuart Dauermann born in the same year as me, 1944
I know it’s difficult to get excited about that just reading the words but it got the congregation going and gave the young boy who was christened a good sendoff.
After the baptism itself happened, we went for the usual tea and I commiserated the vicar on the condition of the stomach. On Tuesday, we have pancakes because it will be Shrove Tuesday in a couple of days so I enquired to sure there will be plenty of supplies of sugar, lemons, and maybe some jam and cream for an occasion of self-indulgence.
Am I going to give up something for Lent? When I was young, I gave up sweets but stored them all in a bottle and gorged myself when Easter came. I’m not quite sure what the benefit of that was. I suppose I could cut down on wine but then that would be good for me so I suppose that’s not much of a sacrifice. I could give up not reading the Bible as much as I would like to, but that’s a rather perverse twist of thinking so I think we better leave it there.
So now, the Winter Olympics are with us again. Anything involving ice, extreme cold, skating, going downhill very fast, skateboarding, high risk stuff gets me involved. BBC seem to give about eight hours a day or should I say per 24 hours to what is vastly entertaining so what chance do I have to do some useful work. I could not cope if I had a full-time job. Thank goodness for the record facility on Sky.
I have the following to do in addition to watching TV. I have about three or four books to read all of which are very good and which I ordered from Amazon. I need to prepare for a newsletter (Mailchimp style) and a new website for an organisation that believes in volunteerism. I need to watch at least another 14 training videos for a new piece of equipment I want to buy. The number of books I have amounts to about 1000 and I really must try and sort them out. Dewey and all that. I have six DVDs, part of a series, in the furtherance of one of my interests, that I must also watch.
I’m not complaining because it is a self chosen burden and only happens because I have a continual desire to learn more but I think I really have to prioritise. I have already decided to stop watching violent programs on TV, and by that I mean Police Interceptor programs where we see the less delightful sides of human nature. I find it makes me angry and I may be picking up an atmospheric anger which does me no good at all. There are always idiots that will try to evade the police, driving their stolen cars at 100 miles an hour. Watching them does not increase my knowledge about anything. I don’t bother with cooking programmes any more because I have enough cookery books at home to last the rest of my life and I don’t want to spend my entire time try new recipes
It is now 6:15 in the evening and what have I done? I answered a few e-mails, watched a David Icke video, went to church, helped with preparation of lunch and did the washing up, watched another video, watched the Olympics on TV for an hour or so.
I ask myself, was the time frittered away or was it used productively. Still, it is Sunday so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself
An interesting morning with my men’s group. There were about 18 of us, pretty good for such a damp morning at 8 am. The speaker wanted to give testimony about his coming to Jesus arising from an event that happened two years ago. He had originally given his life to Christ at the age of 20 and now he’s 55. He said that the Holy Spirit spoke to him and asked him to take a greater lead among the men in the church that he has attended for the past 25 years in Bath. This was after a certain cataclysm in the church when the vicar was having a relationship with one of the female members of the congregation and many people left including the disgraced vicar.
His testimony also included something that came up in his private life when he tended to download items from the Internet of which he was not particularly proud. He was almost hyperventilating when he said these words or made this confession. I knew it was very important and cathartic. When I asked him how he felt in the true BBC fashion he told me “sweaty”. I pressed him more and said that he saw a lot of people in the audience smiling. Unusually, his 20 minute talk which could have easily lasted for a day received spontaneous applause at the end. It requires great courage to admit something, a so-called weakness, in front of other people who know you.
My visceral and strong reaction in front of the other men at the end of the talk was to say that the great leaders including Jesus came for sinners. I don’t find the word sin particularly helpful so let us say ‘ignorance’. I also said that the apostles of Jesus were a pretty motley crew so he should relax and stop beating himself up for this. I wanted to say that we have all done things that we are ashamed of but it is part of trying to figure out our own desires and satisfactions and deal with the instincts that we all have hot-wired into us.
If an instinct is not allowed to express itself in one way, it will express itself in another. What he needed is repentance or as it is better stated metanoia which is “changing one’s way of life resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion” or we can say a change of heart. I do not find the Catholic tendency to feel guilty, or the concept of original sin, to be particularly helpful. It may well be true in essence but it’s the way that it is addressed that needs to be delicately positioned.
I advised the speaker to take some rest because he really had exerted himself and appeared naked before us. Among the other comments were from someone who said that we don’t need speakers from elsewhere, we have enough talent within our group. The group coordinator asked everyone to let us know if we wanted to say anything. He also suggested that we think carefully about spreading the idea of men’s groups in our own church.
I also think there is a place for humour. I like the quote “always find a reason to laugh. It may not add years to your life but it will surely add life to your years”
So, to sum up, there is a testimony and there is a confession. The testimony can be a positive statement even though it covers ground which some might consider unfortunate. Us English tend to bottle things up too much. This means that we get prickly and will launch out at people at the slightest provocation. In computer terms, it means that we tie up our RAM, so the mind cannot work properly. This kind of years and years so that is why sharing and giving testimony is such a good idea.
Well now, that’s an arresting title if ever there was one. I have rediscovered the works of the American inventor Royal Raymond Rife who discovered that you could dissipate cancer and other diseases by applying a rate or frequency to the affected part. Anyone who comes against the pharmaceutical industry is in trouble. The medical profession, on hearing of this chap, sent him 12 terminally ill cancer patients. He connected them up to the machine and gave the treatment. After re-examination all the patients were found by the medical profession to be in remission. Trouble for the inventor. Mysterious people turned up and set fire to his office. He reconstructed his office and employed an assistant who undoubtedly was funded by the said pharmaceutical industry for the assistant sabotaged his work.
The good news is that his papers were not lost; a group of people have taken up his work, originally started in the 1920s, and have created a more advanced machine using solid-state electronics. Since the machine is made in China the costs are reasonable and I’m seriously thinking of investing in one. They can be used to handle a wide variety of diseases and conditions, anything from toothache to flu. I can not advertise this even if it is successful and I will just use it for myself and close friends. I am now looking at 18 videos of about 90 min each and transcribing the words. I love ‘way out’ things and if I can prevent myself being dependent upon pharmaceutical medications which have a whole bunch of side-effects that the manufacturers don’t care too much about, then I’m in.
The machine works on the basis of quantum entanglement. In other words if you get a sample of a person say a nail clipping and take it away, it is still attached energetically to the owner. It doesn’t cease to be his or hers. If you treat the person via the nail clipping or the witness as it is called in radionics, then it is as if a person were in the room. It is called remote healing. I do this anyway but I think the machine could be of some assistance.
I have met a chap by phone who lives near Swindon and who has been using this for the best part of the year and he has offered to be my guide and helper which is great. I told him of my interest in Kirlian photography which is a method of photographing the energy from the human body and doing diagnosis therefrom. I introduced this in the early 80s in the UK and wrote a couple of books.
Today I watched the very impressive opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea. They utilised over 1000 drones to fly in the sky in the shape of two doves during a three-hour display. I was disgusted by the fact that the International Olympic Committee banned athletes attending without actually giving any reason either on the eve of the competition i.e. today or the previous day. This is as close to cruelty as I can think of because they spend all the money on coming and preparing themselves all to no avail. These committee people are totally heartless and should not be in the position that they occupy.
The anniversary of the suffragette movement has caused a great number of articles to be written about women and women’s empowerment so to speak. There is something threatening about this and I don’t mean threatening to me as a male I mean threatening to the stability of the family unit and our relationships in society in general. First off, I am not knocking the suffragette movement which was an absolutely necessary visceral protest about the assumed superiority of men to qualify to vote and the lack of women’s rights in general.
However, in recent years we have the rise of the dreaded Political Correctness which is neither political nor correct by the way but that’s another story. This blog is about anger. A future blog will be about the anger of men towards women so watch out for that.
Those of you that read my diaries regularly will be aware of my regular visits to Chalice Well, Glastonbury which is one of the main centres for the celebration of the goddess, the feminine attribute of the universe, the being possessing supernatural powers or attributes. The many women who come to the pagan celebrations for the passing of the year (see my entry of 1 February) happily mix with us males before, during and after the ceremony of blessing. They do so partly because they don’t see people as primarily male and female but as a being that carries the light of the universe. In my view, the “bits” that we come into this world with are not so significant because we all have male and female within us. Anyway, I digress.
At the end of the ceremony, everybody holds hands and sends a blessing to the world. Some people linger at the well head, others stand talking and others process down to take a drink at the water tap. The water is reported to have healing powers. This is my little bit of heaven which I am fortunate enough to experience a few times a year. The idea is that you carry it away with you to daily life.
One of the delightful attributes of these occasions is that you can talk to anybody. I open up conversations with women that I have never met and do not know and always receive a pleasant response. I do not think these women see themselves as empowered but just as women that the universe intended them to be. I want to invent a word now and that is not empowered but ’embitched’. Let’s face it, there are a lot of women around who have been hurt. Some of the time it has been by their father or by a boyfriend. In the case of the former, there was not much they can do about it. In the case of the latter, I wonder in how many cases they ignored their intuition and let their hearts rule their head and thus got themselves into trouble. That is a talk for another day and I’m not saying there frustration and hurt is unjustified, but they do bring problems on their own heads, a bit like us males. The problems start when you blame others and don’t take responsibility.
The problem escalates when this frustration and hurt is turned into anger and indeed hatred. It is comparatively easy for one angry person to meet another angry person because they are on the same wavelength. It is also easy to politicise this and form a pro feminist or anti-men group of which there are many. I use the analogy of a swarm of wasps. The common denominator of these people, these men haters, is that they lack one thing. Peace of mind. Instead of facing their issues and seeking therapy of one form or another they externalise their problem and in the most ridiculous manifestation of generalisation, blame men as a genre. Wounded people, as they are, are characterised by a complete lack of a sense of humour, fun, joy because their state of mind controls them.
Because hatred and anger are the basis of this, no good will come of it. In fact, no good ever comes from starting anything, a movement, a talk, a workshop if your heart is full of hatred. The only constructive basis is to see a vision of what things could be like. Do these women haters require the removal of men? Do they want a female only planet? What are the logical conclusions of their hatred? If a stance does not stand up in the long-term, it does not stand up at all.
Going back to my own stance as a practitioner of old, I used to do dowsing on the human energy field using a pendulum in fact I still do. Everyone who comes into this life has a balance between male and female energies, you could say between the yin and the yang. here is one quote to clarify that.
“The Pentacle – The ancients envisioned their world in two halves – masculine and feminine. Their gods and goddesses worked to keep a balance of power. Yin and Yang. When male and female were balanced, there was harmony in the world. When they were unbalanced there was chaos.”
― Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code
The whole point about being a balanced person is that your male and female is balanced within your own psyche. Again I quote
What I found with women in particular who had problems with their father, their ratio of male to female was artificially high in terms of the male so let us say they came into this life with a ratio of female to male 70-30. I do have the ability to go back in time and do readings on the pre-birth situation or condition of the soul shall we say. I then compare this reading with the current situation and I find that the ratio has flipped the other way. The male element has been artificially increased for purposes of self protection, as a pre-emptive strike against being further damaged and hurt. In this state, they cannot be at one with themselves because it is artificial. Accepting what I have just written assumes a certain espousal of the idea of energy work and I do understand that this will be too much for some of my readers. So be it. I’m just telling you what I found and found consistently over many years.
Would you understand that this situation is very uncomfortable for women, as indeed it is for men who have been emasculated by for example a dominant mother. In cases such as this, all I can do is to point it out bearing in mind that deep rooted situations can take a long time to change. In some cases I am stared at like a rabbit caught in headlights, and in other cases my words are received gratefully and an era of new understanding dawns.
The fact that these angry women have a habit of gathering together in politicised groups does not strengthen their case. They makea pretend functional entity by ridiculing men as a group and bullying them. Sensitive man doesn’t have a chance. With anger and hatred as a basis, I can guarantee that not one single useful result emerges because diversity and divisiveness are a cul-de-sac and only the desire for unity, a higher common purpose if you like, can bring us forward either as individuals or as members of society.
I see women behaving the most disgusting way, flaunting their bodies, cheating and lying their way for their own advantage but I do not condemn women for this reason. I condemn the ‘sin’ or restriction or ignorance of one particular person or circumstance. When I associate with what I call ‘real woman’ I regard it as a privilege to be in a complementary situation (opposites are complementary) and enjoy the conversation. I do not feel threatened. They do not feel threatened because they have <fanfare of trumpets> PEACE OF MIND. I do not feel I have to justify myself. I enjoy the diversity of human consciousness.
So, angry ladies, the problem lies in yourselves and your inability to forgive those who have hurt you. Anger and hatred result in a loss of personal dignity whatever the reason. Bear in mind that the people who have hurt you were not necessarily aware of what they were doing because they themselves were acting defensively and sometimes attack is the best form of defence. I am not praising men at the expense of women. I’m pointing out a flaw in human nature which is applicable to any situation. We should all deal with our anger but not splurge it around the place. Anger consumes.
To finish on a biblical note, from the gospel of the Ephesians “do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” . Wrath or good old-fashioned anger is one of the so-called seven deadly sins. They are called deadly because they kill. deadly = death = kill. geddit? This is clearly not so much about the body but about the spirit. As you sow, so you will reap. This is a universally applicable principle, an inexorable cause-and-effect situation which has been around since time immemorial. Maybe better take some notice?
I am for my sins the chairman and secretary of my local allotment Association here in Midsomer Norton. People have all sorts of erroneous ideas about how difficult such jobs are and how thankless. I can tell you that this is complete nonsense. It is very satisfying to run an allotment consisting of say 50 or 60 tenents and seeing the produce coming forth in the autumn and people chattering to each other ‘over the garden fence’ to to say.
My job includes filling vacated plots as and when people retire or otherwise resign their plots. Recently, we had a very well-qualified applicant trained in organic horticulture, permaculture, sustainable forestry and water management. This morning, I met the intending occupant on the allotment to show them around.
The first potential problem I noticed was the presence of two of her children, one of them aged two years of age and the other three years of age. A more delightful and pleasant duo you could not hope to meet. They were however almost impossible to keep under control and insisted as children do to explore all over the allotment. Unfortunately, the area is open to the road and it would not be beyond the bounds of possibility them to escape through the wide-open entrance.
Although I was quite happy to entertain the children I have a duty of care to look forward and see if there might be any problems preventing a tenant from giving full attention to their plot which quite frankly is time-consuming at certain times of the year. She was a single parent and she said that she would try to find nursery places in September this year so she could have some me time. In my conversation with her, it was very difficult to get her attention because the children were making demands on the mother exactly as you would expect, so we had to downgrade the conversation slightly into the mere fact of us meeting and her having seen what it was all about. Job done in a way.
I totally admire this ‘get up and go’ spirit especially when someone is starting a new life after one or two traumas here and there but I have to be the voice of realism and my rather pointed questions were to make sure that we could anticipate and sort out potential problems in advance rather than find ourselves entangled in trouble because of conversations we could and should have had at the initial stage.
A few hours after the visit, she wrote to me saying:
that on reflection I decided not to take the plot as it will not be suitable for us. She wished me well.
I replied saying: There is an alternative that you may not have thought of. There are many older people who do not have anyone to cultivate their garden typically because the husband passed away. If you get to know people you could offer to cultivate their garden in return for a few vegetables here and there. They would really enjoy it because they don’t like to see their garden going to rack and ruin and this is very common with people over the age of 70 or 75. This has the added advantage of being able to look after your two children in a confined space in which I’m sure that they would settle well and in the fullness of time would start to give you a hand with the gardening. My wife thinks that you will find the whole thing very healing, with or without participating in our particular allotment. I leave those thoughts with you and good luck.
She then replied saying Thank you very much to you both. I am going to set up my own forest garden initiative. If you know of any disused scrub or semi industrial wasteland in the area which is council maintained then do let me know!
I replied finally Go into the Town Hall offices (entrance at side) and ask for the Town Clerk. He will help you if anyone can because it is that everyone’s interest to have a tidy town.
She replied finally: Will do, that is a very good suggestion thank you!
So let’s have a look at this conversation and see what we can draw from it. Is it a role model for communication? In my book, I feel it was well-nigh a perfect dialogue with mutual respect and guidance where necessary, but that’s just me and my opinion.
First, this dialogue has nothing to do with how we got on with each other as people. It has to do with the situation, the timing, the effect on others, not to mention the offer itself. The conversation above required of us both to take a long-term and abstract view. I took the view that I had to discuss the positives and negatives that might happen in the future. This is what I call a duty of care. Many problems arise because people think that other party understands the terms and conditions so at the risk of insulting people it is better to spell it out in words of one syllable (well, two or three if you must). Then you put it in writing.
She had to take a more pragmatic view about timing for herself bearing in mind that the fact that she had not even moved into the area. Sometimes, an idea can be right but the timing can be wrong. In some instances, people can be so enthusiastic about what they see in front of them and they make rash promises. That is why I think a cooling off period is very important. In the correspondence which I have quoted verbatim above, there was no ‘personal’ stand-off, it was all situationally based which is as it should be and to my knowledge, nothing was hidden. Even if it was it, but those situations would not have been any of my business as we have to be boundaried in such work situations.
So, as with a marriage, there are three parties involved. The two people, and the situation. The situation is like a person. These are the three points in a triangle. If one of them fails then the whole becomes unstable. For example if a couple who were seeing each other live too far apart, the strain of the travel and the limited time together might put more pressure on the relationship especially as it needs time to grow and it will falter. I call it “blowing the fuse”. It is no one’s fault, it is just the way it is. Another frequent example is when you fall in love with someone who has children by a previous marriage and you don’t get on with them. That again is a situation with a slow motion fuse. You can have all the good will in the world and indeed all the love you can muster but you are defeated by countervailant circumstances over which you have little control.
Back to the dialogue again. I did not have to send the last letters but I felt I had a duty of care to help in particular when someone who was not in the strongest position. At least we present other possibilities. I think if you don’t do your best, they can linger around your consciousness and do your head in quietly. I don’t know how Teresa May our Prime Minister manages at the moment without going mad.
So many voices … and from powerful people at that.
The BBC in their wisdom forecast periods of snow today alternating with hail, frogs falling from the sky, temperatures that were so low that you would freeze to death as soon as you stepped out of the door. Looking at the blue sky this morning we decided that this was a splendid time to go out and this was after our coffee morning at church, where my wife decided to join me.
It is a strange thing that I have noted with human nature. If you gather a perfectly ordinary set of people together, give them a cup of tea or coffee, sooner or later they will start chatting and having a laugh. They don’t have to be particularly brainy, or higher or lower down in the social hierarchy, it’s the common humanity that matters. I never eat cake at 10.30 in the morning but the home-baked cake produced by the ladies are so good that I cannot resist or should I say I do not wish to resist. Fortified by slices of almond and chocolate cake and two cups of coffee, we ventured forth having decided to make the best use of the sunshine.
What follows now is a pictorial essay on our planned walk along the Kennet and Avon canal starting from Bradford-on-Avon and walking east. One of the advantages of living in the country is that within 15 to 20 min you can find yourself a lovely walk that you have not been on before, have a chance meeting with complete strangers and enjoy an environment without seeing a mobile phone (actually a mobile microwave transmitter which fries your brain) but it is technology so we must bow to it and switch off our brain. On the way, we met a man who had walked away from Bath and intended to continue, presumably catching the bus which runs from Winchester to Bath.
We visited by chance an excellent nursery, Downside Nurseries in Upper Westwood BA15 2DE near Bradford-on-Avon, open every day. It was clear from the moment when we entered that the stock was of excellent quality and the love and care given to each item stood out a mile. These people really know what they’re talking about. We have no intention of buying anything when we arrived but…. You know the way it is.
So we had a lovely afternoon and I allowed myself to admit that I am actually retired and I can afford to take time off without worrying about anything and letting the Earth continue revolving around the sun and not trying to sort out its troubles. The Earth is a pinprick in Wembley Stadium in London so I don’t think we have to take ourselves that seriously.
On arriving home, we were greeted by a couple of e-mails from our friends that we had met on a previous occasion in London. The first one was from someone saying that the bulbs we had given them as a present had grown and here was a photo. The second one was from someone saying that they had enjoyed their time with us and everything about the day was good. It is sad that people do not take the trouble to thank others. I don’t think it is ‘cool’ to take people’s hospitality for granted. Why not take 30 seconds of effort and focus and say to someone, ‘yes I really did enjoy the evening you took so much trouble to lay on’.
And now, this evening threatens to be cold so I shall be enlightened by lighting a fire. I admire the Army ladies who returned from a trip crossing Antarctica where the temperature was down to -55°C. I suppose -2°C is not that much of a hardship.
This evening, on BBC there is a show about the famous IKEA which I shall watch with great enthusiasm.
It is interesting how things happen in clusters. Without any planning, two acts of reconciliation or attempts at reconciliation have happened this morning. The first event involved a colleague with whom I have business to attend to from time to time. He said that he felt the relationship between us was prickly and that he would like to attempt to reconcile it. I admire anyone who does this because it must take a lot of guts. For this purpose he invited me to coffee in what turned out to be a rather noisy cafe. Having asked me what it was about and that upset me I told him first of all that he was patronising. He then went into defensive mode and said that he was not patronising. I did not see this as a very good start but said that I would consider my position and write to him.
We spent the rest of the meeting pleasantly enough, talking about concerns we had in common such as the ageing population of churches, the damaging effect of mobile phones, the real reason behind chem trails, the New World Order and the desire of the powers that be to make us all the same and take away our freedom, the difficulty that older people have of changing the mindset and entertaining these rather ‘way out’ concepts.
I said to him that reconciliation take place in many stages if both parties are willing. The same cannot be said of President Zuma of South Africa. Yesterday, Sunday, six top ranking members of his own party visited him in his house asking him to step down. He refused to do so. When you get to that stage, the demise is inevitable but the people in the centre of it do not see it.
As a general rule, I would say you should not remind people of the bad things they have done or tried to score points in any way but simply to say what your impression was and how that compares with theirs. You could start off by saying how impressed you were by their various qualities giving some examples. Also, remember that something that bothers you may not bother someone else so with a little bit of humility and openness, a solution can be found to most problems. If that is not possible, you could agree to differ. That is a good half way house.
The second reconciliatory event consisted of a meeting about the topic I mentioned on February 3, which was the difficulty the organisation had of communicating professionally. I spoke to the local representative of the firm, as I have a lot of time for him, and said that before I sent off a letter to the head of marketing, I wanted him to phone her up and introduce me. Basically she has never met me and does not know me and is more likely to respond to me if prompted by an intermediary. Later in the day: both he and I have made attempts to call her but alas no response was forthcoming. This is not looking good but give her the benefit of the doubt.
Today is a lovely sunny day with amazing variety of pink shades in the sky as the sun sets. My wife has just had a tax rebate. My own tax rebate amounted to £3.20 which is probably below the amount they consider worthy of spending the postage on.
A very good and old friend sent me a transcript of a conversation between a lady and a young girl who spontaneously sees visions of the future and I would like to quote it here because I know some people are concerned about the way the world is going and they want to know how they can have an attitude most conducive to survival.
Nancy: You said that you had visions of the Earth’s future. Giselle: I saw where the world would be ending in fire. I could see this gynormous wall of fire and heat and lower energies hovering over the earth. That’s why the raising of consciousness has to happen, so people can see what is happening as a cleaning of the earth instead of just a destruction. the raising of consciousness is so that it is not as bad when the destruction happens. Will be less chaotic and people won’t feel less fearful. The consciousness has already shifted. People had an opportunity to change it way back but they didn’t take that opportunity. They started with destruction of trees, and contamination, and processing food, and getting people’s energies lower. When everything started going down they had an opportunity to stop and live in God’s world instead of trying to create their own. But they didn’t. So it’s really our fault, not God’s fault. It’s what we’re eating, our thoughts, the way we live. People say, “It’s just me being human.” When you tap into your soul you’re not just being human. If everybody was more tapped into their soul none of this would have happened. Nancy: What happens to human beings after the fires? Giselle: We all leave and we go into our soul form and we go with God and that’s where we stay until God figures out a plan for where we go then. We have to keep learning and growing so we’re either going to reincarnate back here when the world is regenerated or we go to another star. I really don’t know. But even if I was going to be present at that time I wouldn’t be afraid because I know that it’s necessary and I know whatever happens to me, I’m fine.
I like the calm assurance of this young lady and I wonder how much of our fear is as a result of seeing things in a distorted or just plain wrong way.
This has been a day of peace, but of great mental activity. To church this morning. Unusually, the vicar did not arrive until halfway through the 11 AM service because his previous 10 o’clock service overran so we sang some hymns and gave testimony until he floated in with some apologies. After the service, I told him not to worry because this nation of England has a great tradition of making the best of things and if the vicar doesn’t turn up, well, we will sing an extra hymn and get someone to give some good news.
After the service, I had a chat with an elderly gentleman whose son had had the delightful job of accompanying high-value horses around the world. The son lived in Sweden which the father founded to delightful and friendly place. He used to go there for two weeks a year until he became too infirm. He told me that the son now works for a Japanese firm who took over the Swedish company and how well they look after him.
The topic of Hiroshima took us onto the possibility of World War Three. I said that atomic warfare was redundant because who wants to make cities uninhabitable when there are other far more subtle ways of destroying the human being such as chemical warfare on which I read that the US government authorised $100 billion for research on same, weather control to wipe out countries through drought or rain, particularly country areas. Before you scoff, 173 patents have been registered in America for the control of weather. I could see that my words were having no impact at all because the older man responded by telling me about a new type of atomic weapon that was smaller than a briefcase.
I listen to a good dose of religious broadcasting on Sundays. Before telling you about that, when I listen to a sermon the majority of it merely gets registered but when the vicar talked about Jesus Christ as a renegade and as a rebel my ears pricked up. Jesus cannot have been very popular with the Roman authorities who were not known for their gentleness, so not only to there are to preach love but to claim to be the son of God must have taken huge courage, or was it vision.
The preacher on Trans-World International, a 24-hour religious broadcasting station, which I get on Freeview, commented about the use of swear words and ugly phrases and reminding us we have been given freedom and responsibility to love and care for each other. He said how the misuse of the spoken word can be damaging both to ourselves and to the recipient. I admit I am too quick to criticise people sometimes particularly in their absence and must henceforth contain myself. I have criticized too easily in the past; when I say bad words I know that they are not right but I suppose the thrill of shocking people gets in the way – we’re back to the ego again. As it says in the book of Proverbs, be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to anger. Wise words indeed, but I would expect nothing less from the Bible.
I sometimes need to be reminded of lessons on a daily basis for them to have any chance of sinking in.
They don’t make them like him any more. I have just been watching George Carlin (1937-2008) on Youtube. For those of you who don’t know who this chap is, he is or was an American comedian who says it straight. He hates political correctness, euphemisms, lying politicians. The colour of his language would not be tolerated on TV today. However, I find his input reminiscent of an age when people actually said what they thought. In this day and age, people are too scared even to think of fear of upsetting people. In case you haven’t realised, I do not fall into this category. This is him talking about the fear of germs.
You will notice, dear people, that the language is not elegant but it does smash through the hypocrisy and the double speak with which I’m so sick or is it of which I’m so sick. I will call today “sincerity day” or “we will do whatever we want and not even bothered to go out” day. The weather has been cooperative by being alternately grey and rainy so there has been no incentive to do what is commonly regarded as healthy, take exercise. I’ve always been against such practices. I see people running along the street, damaging knee ligaments on the hard pavement, showing all the signs of discomfort such as sweating and agonised expressions. Why do they do it? Grass is kinder.
The Amazing Transforming CEO
The reason I’m writing this section is because we are called upon to do mail outs to other people from time to time and it is as well to bear a few things in mind before doing so. These thoughts are not directed against anyone but about situations that can arise. In other words, it is not personal.
Yesterday I received a newsletter from a firm that is respectable and traditional and with whom I place some of my savings in order to get a decent return. When I click their newsletter link, I have learned to prepare myself for faux-pas of various types and they did not disappoint. On this occasion as the saying goes ‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry’.
This time the company have excelled themselves. A new man has been appointed as the company CEO. I have no reason to doubt his excellent character and ability. On the front page of the newsletter we see his picture (as below). When I saw it, this image filled me with confidence. However, this abruptly changed. When you click on the link asking for information this man is transformed into someone who is barely recognisable as the said person (see ‘version 2’ below).
Now my dear people, spot the difference. First of all, you have to look twice to see whether they are the same people because the second person has magically grown a beard and is wearing different glasses. I wonder how far apart in time these photographs were taken.
The more perceptive ones amongst us may say that the generally good effect of the adequately photographed first image has been negated by the second example. I would call it ‘diffident’ but please note I have never met him so I am just talking about my initial impression.
People receive and process subliminal information from a photograph automatically, so what impression is being given to those who have never met the person concerned? I will leave it to you the reader to decide that for yourself.
Whilst I am on the topic of the visual image, here is another prize one from the same newsletter. This is not a model posing for a photo shoot in the 1960’s but someone who is going to be a ‘Chapter Development Manager’. It’s like someone has phoned up the subject and said “can you send me a photograph of yourself, any old one will do”. Professionally, it won’t.
First impressions count and if we are too close to the subject matter we cannot see what we are doing and what the effect it might have. A professional photographer would have been a good investment. In public relations, it’s not how you think you will be seen but how you are actually seen which matters.
It is always worth giving your copy or advert someone else to see if they understand it and like it before sending it out to all the valuable customers. It is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of wisdom. No one can see everything all at once from all angles.
There is another point to help everyone who sends such e-mails. This missive arrived on Friday evening at about 6:30 PM. If you want to pick a bad time for sending something then this takes the biscuit. Most people switch off for the weekend on Friday afternoon and by the time Monday morning comes this e-mail would have been buried under a mountain of important e-mail, urgent e-mail, spam, interesting but unimportant mail and the likelihood that it will be noticed never mind read will be very small.
Whilst we’re on the subject, people are used to reading newspapers which have a width of between 50 and 80 characters including spaces. Asking people to read long lines print is not a good idea. They will not read it. The writer should consider what they really need to say because in case of the need for clarification the reader can follow up with any questions. You don’t have to say everything every time in one communication.
In the famous jargon of the BBC when talking to anyone about anything “How does it feel?” I ask myself contemplating the above.
In a way I’m sorry I had to write in this vein. I am reduced to frustration because the company does a good job and I don’t understand why they self sabotage by lack of oversight of their publicity arm. If I did not have respect for the company, I wouldn’t get so exercised by seeing such amateurish work.
Perhaps I should just join the uncritical majority and ignore it, but what sort of service would that be and to whom?
I’ve just been watching a film lasting no less than 3h 8mins elegantly called “Touchless Torture“. This is about the development of techniques by various governments to find ways of controlling us. They do this by intercepting our brain using as the entry point. Methods contemplated or using signals bounced off the earth and from the forthcoming 5G towers of which another 20,000 are going to be installed in California. Completely unnecessary for mobile phone signals instead designed as a control mechanism. The film also talks about nano bots which are particles the size of dust which are programmed to meld with our body and turn us into controllable organisms. Most of this technology is decades old but the powers that be choose to keep it to themselves.
There are some really terrible things going on in the world. Most of the population prefer to keep their eyes firmly closed and ignore anything that is not comfortable to them. They will discover too late the truth behind the screen. Those familiar with the Georgia Guidestones (look it up on Google if you wish) show the intention to reduce the population to 500,000,000 in other words cull 95% of it. This idea can only have been conceived by psychopaths but if you look at the type of people running this world it is not so difficult to believe.
The much reviled but successful David Icke has had a 100% record of prophecies made over the last 25 years coming true and he has more courage in his little finger than most other people have in their whole body including journalists and the mainstream media or shall we call them the lamestream media perhaps. That is one of the reasons that I admire George Carlin so much. if we had more like him, the politicians and the System would not get away with systematically lying to us.
This afternoon, we had a nice self-pampering day when we built up the fire from the wood we collected yesterday and made a roaring fire. While we had lunch we watched TV and then slumped on the settees to have a snooze. I gave myself a nice bonus of deciding not to take up a commission for someone who wanted me to do a new website for them. I decided that I neither liked or trusted them and why should I do work albeit well paid for people I don’t like. I am after all 73 and if I can’t pick and choose at my age then that’s a pretty poor prognosis for the future. It is the same with gardening.
When I work for someone that is appreciative, that attitude actually feeds me with energy because I so much enjoy giving pleasure to someone else both personally and professionally. I walked away from about four job ‘offers’ last year simply because the people were rude and showed no appreciation. I don’t care why they were rude. It is not my problem. In this respect I’m not a therapist or a psychiatrist. Rude is rude.
I don’t claim to be manically happy all the time but I usually manage to keep myself occupied and contented during my waking hours. Today, the vibes were different. I was very much missing the lively intellectual and cosmopolitan atmosphere of London and down here in sleepy Somerset the New Year momentum is still scarcely perceived. My wife went to art classes in the morning while I took my apparently ailing computer to Terry, my wonderful wizard of computers who does all sorts of magic with PCs and laptops in a room the size of the cupboard.
However, the day was glorious and we decided to go out after lunch not quite sure what we were going to do. I went to pick up my computer that in the event had nothing wrong with it. I wonder if computers have moods. I turned it on and plugged it in this way and that and did everything I could think of last night and it stubbornly refused to turn on after suddenly dying on me. So what happens? Terry plugs it in and it works first time. He could not reproduce the non-functioning mode that I was suffering such anxiety about. However I must admit at the same time it was a relief to be without a computer and finding an environment which relied more on me actually doing things.
We set off to Mells after lunch to find our favourite local cafe occupied by a horde of cyclists so we decided to take off and stock up with logs for our humble abode. There is nothing more therapeutic than the sight of very Merry log fire, many more times romantic than staring at a radiator. We set the GPS to Longleat, adjacent to which there is a very large yard that sells hardwood and softwood conveniently chopped up into lengths that fit in our very small but effective fire. The cost for this do-it-yourself operation is about £14.50 for 100 kg. If you want to buy hardwood that is dry then it’s about a tenner more per hundred kilograms. I would rather buy the cheaper ones and let them dry over a period of 3 to 4 weeks.
We bought £23 worth of logs which we threw in the back of the car. The whole amounted to 160 kg plus some kindling, three packs at £10 which will keep us going until the end of the season. How do they know how much you have taken? You drive over a ramp, the car is weighed, you fill up and the car is weighed again. It’s a very country thing. The alternative in towns is to buy small nets of dry logs – maybe seven or eight small logs for £5 – or have them delivered by the load for about £80 per cubic metre. We prefer the DIY route as we can choose each individual one.
Adjacent to the area is Cley Hill which by the way is west of Warminster in Wiltshire. It is owned by the National trust. I thet includes an Online Age hill fort, two burrows and medieval strip lynchets. If you want to visit it, you will find a small and fairly untidy car park at the base. It is not a major tourist attraction unlike Warminster itself. It was also the place where my previous wife and I scattered the ashes of our son John Peter who died at the age of three. He had had a heart condition since he was born and had an operation at three days but not much longer. We lived in London at the time and became very familiar with Great Ormond Street Hospital, Ward 1A was the heart department in those days.
I read recently that the hospital returned the sum of £500,000 to a fundraising event because someone thought that women might have been touched inappropriately. Excuse me, I thought it was individuals that should be brought to justice, not huge crowds of people who were glad to give £2000 per head for an evening of fun. So far as I can understand, everyone consented to be there of their own free will and no harm was done.
I remember scattering the ashes among gorse bushes but when I last looked the bushes had disappeared for some reason. Time marches on and I’m sure his soul is resting in peace or perhaps has already made an appearance in another body or in another planet, who knows.
We celebrated the evening by having a roaring fire and watching the excellent Arte TV with a documentary about second-hand clothes disposed of or sold again in parts of Africa, hamburgers made with bugs i.e. insects and the attempts to sell them to Germany, and finally the favorite foods of Portugal. At a further session, we watched the development of high-speed video games, and the science of tattoos.
What more delightful day could we find to go to one of the Pagan ceremonies of the year held at Chalice Well. Clear blue sky, very little wind, crisp and cold about 6°C. When we arrived, the wait for coffee was so long that I did not trouble to join the queue. First of all, we visited The White Spring which is a natural, calcium rich spring in a Victorian pumphouse, now a free entry temple and pilgrimage site. The whole thing was flooded because of the recent rain. The images do not do justice to the magic of the rushing water inside what was virtually a cave where you could see very little but hear the sound of someone chanting lustily.
The St Bridget’s (Brigid’s) Day ceremony takes place as do all ceremonies at midday. The officiant, one of the ladies who run this essentially goddess centre, delivered a very encouraging talk including mentioning the possibility that St Bridget herself visited this place. She was born in Ireland about the year 450 A.D., the daughter of a pagan chieftain and Christian slave woman. She found the expression on her faith in feats of charity, giving generously to the poor.
Imbolc is an ancient Celtic Festival associated with the goddess Brigit to mark the beginning of spring. The word comes from the All Irish ‘oimelc’, ewe’s milk. Imbolc is about the first stirrings of life, the quickening of the year, the promise of renewal, of hidden potential, of Earth awakening and life-force stirring. It is a good time for wish – making or making a dedication.
The officiant found inspiration from the symbol of snowdrops, at one and the same time vulnerable and yet strong enough to break through the earth. She reminded us of the origin of the word ‘courage’ which is from the Latin cor – heart; a metaphor for inner strength. More significantly to me on this occasion, she reminded us of the words quoted by Nelson Mandela which I think everyone should emblazon on themselves on a daily basis .
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, from her book ”A Return To Love: reflections on the principles of a course in miracles.
After the talk, we stood together for about 5 minutes and then we all held hands and shared the energy we had with the world while the officiant chanted an ancient song. These occasions are always uplifting. I went to have a drink from the water of the holy spring and walked around as in a daze.
We did our usual trip around Glastonbury and visited the Glastonbury Goddess Temple. This relatively new venture is a testimony to what can be done by women for everybody by providing a peaceful environment, a wide variety of services including worship, various treatments, and just the opportunity to sit and be quiet. There are four rooms which are used for seminars and workshops but also designed with various predominant colours in mind and they are really beautiful. I cannot imagine the amount of love and caring that has gone into the design. My partner and two friends went for drop-in healing which was being offered on this four-day Imbolc Festival. I was quite happy to sit in the quiet. I admit I snuck off downstairs to sample some of the excellent chocolate cake and copy that was available. Visitors please note – you can come in and sit down any time you like. The door is open and you will get a warm welcome from one of the volunteers that will be sitting in front of it. Please note that you have to remove your shoes.
It was a great coincidence that one of the friends that joined us was called Bridget so we decided to call her St Bridget for the day, an appellation that she readily agreed to. I wish that all the Women’s Liberation and Politically Correct people would come along and meet some real women. All the women at the well and most of them in Glastonbury are goddess types and they know what power means. Power is not bullying or power over someone or kicking the hell out of men but simply knowing who you are and that we are all gods and goddesses within.
The common denominator of campaigners, particularly those who hate men, are that they are angry. They probably didn’t get on very well with their fathers, they very likely had abusive experiences with a man, and instead of dealing it with suitable professional help, they turn up in public and dump their load of you know what in the public arena. Ladies –come and meet the Glastonbury women. They are confident, assured of themselves and their position in society, intelligent with a sense of humour and it is a delight to talk to them. They do not feel threatened by men and men do not threaten them.
It is always worth being on the lookout because signage and posters tell a lot about the nature of the town or village. The first one is about welcoming people to a church. I reproduce the text here because of the impossibility of photographing a poster with reflections of the road behind.
No conditions apply.
the thing about Jesus was
he really saw people
he even noticed people who hung back
it didn’t matter who they were
what they had done
he welcomed everyone
and so does this church.
There are no conditions of entry
you don’t have to look a certain way
or live a certain way.
You don’t have to be white,
or straight, or able-bodied
Or married, or middle-class
You just have to be you
This is the most folksy example of unconditional love I have seen. I spotted it on a United reformed Church noticeboard.
The other one was an invitation to be a volunteer at Chalice Well, in which the following reasons were given for becoming a volunteer:
Make a difference to the well-being of others
feel valued as part of a team
Spend quality time in a peaceful environment
gain confidence and self-esteem
gain new skills and knowledge
develop existing skills and experience
enhance your CV
meeting new people and make new friends
get to know the local community
Why not call us, pop into the office, or visit www.chalicewell.org.uk for more details.
The social institutions of this country could not survive without volunteers. Think of the National Trust who are run for the most part by volunteers, the Samaritans, many libraries these days, Citizens Advice Bureaux and all the other services we take for granted.