When I was a Buddhist, it drove my parents and friends crazy, but when I am a buddha, no-one is upset at all (Anon)

And so dear listener, I have survived. You may remember that last week my self-esteem was low cos I’d had a real hit of chocolate after a year without. Chocolate gives pleasure to the brain which wants to repeat the experience cos it was enjoyable but is doing something that is enjoyable over and over again so bad that we have to term it an addiction? Pleasures don’t have to be guilty. 😉

But it is all around. Every supermarket is full of it. Petrol stations. 24 hour shops. All conveniently by the cash till. And all without any age restriction but I believe that I am more than capable of controlled chocolating. Time will tell. Any offer of chocolate cookies considered. 🙂

Maybe the mindfulness class is helping – being aware of the mind and body in the here and now. A lot of it is kinda meditation – of being aware of your thoughts but mine wander. Even at home I can be in my bedroom and I know my thoughts have popped down to the kitchen. But they come back.

One of my fellow attendees talked of his thoughts being ‘sucked’ back. The Doctor Whovian in me thought that that was quite a strong word – ‘sucked’.

‘No.’ said the lady tutor. ‘You can have gentle sucking as well.’

The silence that followed could well be described as awkward.

It was, however, broken by her sudden guffaw and we broke for five minutes.

So I’m trying to practise the mindfulness in various places. I was sitting in Arnold Clark’s in Bearsden waiting for my car to be serviced (where I read a day old edition of the Herald without realising it was a day old, so what does that say about the Herald?) and tried it. It’s about coming to terms with being somewhere in the present, knowing to can’t go anywhere and enjoying the present.

Anyway, I’m also reading a book about mindfulness and there’s a chapter called Keep It Simple. Now, is that of interest to anyone I wonder? 🙂

It was also interesting as the last two weeks have seen me more or less Monday to Friday 9 – 5 and that is such a break in my routine of erratic night shifts and working from home. It was really weird. How do people manage?

It was in the Herald that I read of the forthcoming death of Bob Holman, a professor who had dropped that title following his move to Easterhouse many years ago. Easterhouse has played a large part in my education over the years. In my first Post Grad (youth and community worker) I did a placement there in Lochend with the marvellous Margaret Smith and her very refined accent and amazing shoes and her very own flat there. And the Reverend Ron Ferguson who went on to grace Orkney Cathedral and the Iona Community – not bad for a Cowdenbeath fan.

The woman who was later to become my accountant and me went to parties there. They were good.

And then in my latest Post Grad (and no, Skippy, I haven’t totally given up on some kind of academia) I spent something like eleven weeks in a community rehab called Alternatives on the Queenslie Industrial Estate which I thoroughly enjoyed. 🙂

And I still meet people in the various tearooms of the Fort. 🙂

Bob Holman is a Christian Socialist and a long time fighter against poverty. He has been diagnosed with MND and given less than one year to live. It was Bob who showed the so-called IDS around Easterhouse in 2002. It was the so-called IDS who fist pumped at the last Budget when Gideon told the world his plans to make poor people poorer.

Enough caring for people and politics…I’ve almost reached my word count. 😦

And finally, after watching the movie Macbeth in such delightful company on Friday night, I sat down to watch Fassbender, on Sunday night, in something called (the) Centurion which turned out to be yet another gore-fest of slow-mo slashing of people’s throats. And then on another night this week, I caught more random beheadings on something to do with the Danes in medieval times. I’m not sure what the lesson is but thank goodness I didn’t watch it in 3-D. I’d still be washing the blood out of my hair.

Cya, still wearing that badge and keeping it simple

Johnt850, who used to drive home from the Zombie Haunt, still wearing the make-up and dried blood. Thankfully I was never stopped. Phew……

So after all that ranting, here’s a nice wee story.

Sandra has been my hairdresser for a very long time now. Recently her husband Jim, who uses a wheelchair, was given an MBE in some honours list and a couple of weeks ago, they went down to collect it. They drove down and had everything well planned (No. There is no catch to this story) and they went to the Palace on the Tuesday.

Sandra, whilst cutting my hair, told me her tales of footmen and Princess Anne, who knew Jim cos he’s well known in rugby circles, and the Gurkhas who would only have their pix taken with ‘Mister Jim’ but there was one thing I wanted to know – how did she get on with the parking?

Long-time listeners may remember that on two occasions, in a castle down in Ayrshire (Yes. That one, e) I had bad experiences in doing so – parking in a rose garden, slightly bumping a car and driving off across the lawn.

Sandra fared much better and was guided all the way through by various people in various uniforms before she and Jim entered the Palace. I just find it sooooo coooool that you could go into the famed multi-storey at the likes of UWS (Paisley) and say to your passenger, ‘It was one helluva lot easier parking at Buckingham Palace than it is here.’

So in the true spirit of John Peel this show sees it important that new talent is encouraged so when a friend talked of a band called The Fat Cats I fired up the Google to find out more about them but I found Fat Cats and Phat Cats. ‘Which is it?’ I asked. Answer came there none. 😦

Instead here’s a lady who I’ve played once before who is fast growing on me – in a nice way. Brandi Carlile.

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