I’ve remembered it!!!…..

‘Peter the Panda is quite in despair, he can’t find a mate, cos Pandas are rare.

He sits chewing bamboo shoots, lonely and glum. He can’t find a lady to become a Mum.

We poison the air, pull down every tree, kill other species, just for our glee.

Peter the Panda is quite in despair, he can’t find a mate, cos Pandas are rare.

Kids of the future may never see, a bear so black and white patchy as he’

Ta Daaaa …..think I was about 11 maybe 12 when I wrote that …some kind of competition at school. The first and last time I ever ‘won’ anything:D:D:D

My teacher was Mr Kellet …when I think about it now I think his first name was Peter too:D:D:D
He was a serious figure who seemed VERY old ….he had been in the RAF during WW2, had a scar on his cheek and wore the gabardine coat and trilby hat you see folk wearing in old black and white movies.

He stood out like a sore thumb amongst the youthful, guitar playing teachers at the brand, spanking new open plan middle school I attended in the 1970’s.

Oh …and he NEVER attended a ‘school disco’:D:D:D

Mr Kellet taught us about all sorts tho …we had him for the last 2 years before high school ….snippets I remember are…the industrial revolution ….the suffragette movement….the first and Second World War …the production line and rise of capitalism …the effects of industrialisation on the environment …YES …he was teaching us about environmental issues THEN!!!

It’s funny ….over the years when I have run in to folk from my school days it’s amazing how many of us have him down as our favorite teacher:):):):)

I think it’s because he made subjects relevant and interesting ….taught us to look at our surroundings and history and how it related to NOW ….he used to bring things in …take us on outings …encouraged us to not always take things at face value

Hmmmmm ….and as I think now …maybe he was partly responsible for the curious teenager who always asked ‘Why?’:D:D:D
And my spelling has NEVER been that hot:D:D:D

I remember just before we left to go up to high school tho… it had started as a normal day…..
Then at playtime rumour was going round that Mr Kellet had been taken ill in the staffroom.
We went back to class and the teacher standing in casually confirmed this and proceed to pick up the lesson …I wanted to know more but was dismissed

I was sat by the window and saw a taxi pull up …it was drizzling …the lone figure of Mr Kellet ….gaberdene coat, trilby hat, briefcase in hand …looking uncharacteristically stooped …was walking slowly up the steps

I ran out of class ignoring the ..
‘Sit Down NOW!!!’

I got to the bottom of the steps just as he was getting in the taxi
‘Mr Kellet where are you going? Are you alright’
‘What are you doing here F… you should be in class ..yes ..yes …I’m fine …now you’d better get back inside’
‘When will you be coming back? …your coming back aren’t you Mr Kellet?’
‘Yes ..Yes .I’ll be fine ..now run along’…and with that he got in the taxi

I watched as the taxi drove off …crying silent tears into the drizzle ….I was then in BIG trouble for running out

Never saw him again …hated high school and didn’t do too well ……but I THANK Mr Kellet for being an inspirational teacher and hope he realised he was to so many in that class:):):):):)

It s bucketing down again today …..how much water can there BE up there for goodness sake? …

anyway …so thought I’d have a  go at a poem ….not done since I wrote ‘Peter the Panda’ influenced by the works of ‘Spike Millegan’ when I was at school. However, having read other folks poetry blogs realise they can be a TRULY beautiful way to self express. So here goes:D:D:D

 

‘She rolls ……She rolls …..

Glistening in turquoise hues ….beckoning ….reflecting the skies, her depths unknown

Roaring, raging, dark unfathomable mountains in all directions, seeming all consuming ….fearsome in her majesty

Unseen, shrouded in mist she can still be heard

A face directed to the skies …searching for  the smallest fragment of light in the cloud

Hoping it will burst through …for the glittering turqoise to return …

For now …

the glimpse will do …..

She rolls ……She rolls…..

………………..lifes ocean

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Today has been one of those winter days where the sun shone brightly and the sky was a clear cloudless blue ….

It feels like it’s rained flat out since around October ….so it looked and felt all the more vibrant ….like the world was in HD :D:D:D

Now my garden is somewhat neglected …I tell folk it’s a ‘wild garden’ ….so in vogue now don’t you know :D:D:D

Last year I got up on a morning like today ….actually it may have been a little later in the year ….around March/April ……ANYWAY it was already bright as I opened the curtains ….and it took my breath away as it looked like the grass was covered in thousands of tiny fairy lights …….

Although you can’t get the full effect of the fairy lights take a good look at the close up and what do you see …..a crazy woman’s photo of her unkempt backyard? ……or …..:D:D:D ….nature ….simple in its complexity …..complex in its simplicity:)

and I’ve just had a shower and thinking …..hmmmm ….what color shall I go for?

Yep …I paint my toenails ….not my fingers but like to treat my feet ….give them a little ‘lift’ if you know what I mean ……

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Hmmmm …..and ….. I ……think……I’ll……plump …….for …….the golden yellow like the sunshine this morning:):):):)

Ok ….so struggled with my 20mins  this morning ……thousands …millions of folk must go through this

A lump ….the GP …tests

Now part of me is doing my usual …..’nothing much I can do about it …..keep on keeping on …it’s just because I’m tired …a little run down …it’s all fine’

The other part of me thinks ‘ but what if? ….what about the boys?….OMG the house…I won’t be able to afford it if I have to finish work NOW …I’ll be leaving a mess …maybe I should speak to my ex about it …make preparations
and the 2 year plan …THE 2 YEAR PLAN!!?
…and …..

‘STOP IT!!!! …YOU KNOW NOTHING YET!!!! …so far …your a bit tired …a lump has appeared and you’ve had some tests …wait till you get the results at least’

‘Yes …Yes…your right…

‘But what if? ….what if it’s the worse case scenario?

‘STOP IT!!!’
You’ll just have to deal with whatever ….it’s a life wave …the board is being rocked a little …but RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT your still on it ….truth is …am a bit SCARED!!!
…seem to be struggling to find the ‘Om’
…whatever the outcome ..have no choice but to go with ‘what is’ ….feeling sorely tested just now

So …..there I was on Sunday eve …glass topped up having had a couple of days bathing in Om’ness and ready to face the year ahead.
Back to the madness of school runs , work etc Monday morning …but generally feeling good.
By lunchtime however, I was feeling knackered again ….thought ‘must book that leave’ …so got the request in at least

Hmmmmm ….but like I said …we’re not really in control of our lives …it can often throw us a curve ball ….Tuesday morning noted a hard pea sized lump just under my jawline at the back …a couple of colleagues had noted I looked tired recently..one had a look and advised getting checked by GP ..thought ‘yeah …ok ..will do later’and carried on as per .now whether it’s psychological or not I don’t know …but this morning it felt bigger and more painful….felt exhausted before I had even started

So rang the GP as soon as they were open but by the time I got thro was informed all slots taken and to try again after 2 for this eve ….rang in work with a view to taking a day of my STILL unused leave but was informed by my lovely manager I had to take it as sick (not as kind as it sounds ….hmmmmm)

So …have just got back …and have to go for blood tests etc in the morning as the doc not sure what it is …not an infection which is what I thought it might be having been so tired lately …Oh, well …we’ll see …doubt it’s anything sinister but nothing I can do about it anyway.

I just HATE being ‘sick’ ….it frustrates me no end …and we get penalised at work for it …as if you don’t feel bad enough already having to take time off

And you know …being at the receiving end today …seeing how packed that surgery was and how late the GP was running … made me think …we’re
ALL pretty ‘sick’
aren’t we?
Getting it VERY wrong somehow ….and YEP I really don’t feel well at the mo …maybe this lifestyle is making me ‘sick’ ….and maybe that little lump has appeared to say
‘Oy ..you …enough already …slow the hell down’
If you don’t do it yourself …your body will do it for you

And this is how ludicrous it is …our GP surgery shuts down completely alt Thursday’s ..why? …to catch up with admin apparently

Evidencing govt targets are being met …it makes you laugh out loud:D:D:D

Hmmmmm ….there’s only one thing for it …luxuriate in a nice radox herbal bath with candles,relaxing music and an early night for me:):):):)

…………so where was I?

Oh yes …..completely knackered and stressed out ….needing to take a little longer ‘time out’ than my usual  20 minutes a day

And so ……that beautiful ‘haven on earth’ came to the rescue yet again …. 3 times now I have visited this TRULY special place …..Hmmmmmm thinking of the past couple of days …..it’s often thought I guess that ‘westerners’ don’t NEED ‘refuge’ …..why would they? ….they’re RICH ….they’ve got everything they could ever wish for’

Weeeeeeeeeeelll ………this ‘westerner’ for one disputes that..I am therefore, thankful that a little Tibeten monk called  Geshe Kelsang Gyatso  was led away from the monastery in Tibet by circumstances beyond his control  and eventually found himself here setting up a specific form of Buddhism ….a modern, ‘inclusive’ Buddhism …..and yep ….I guess you WOULD call him a migrant …..it’s AMAZING what the migration of people’s can bring ….and his is an amazing story really:):):):):)……. Although I have never met this guy ….I have of course seen pictures of him and like I said …am ever grateful:):):):):):)



So ….the first time I visited this place was a number of years ago when I attended a weekend ‘meditation’ course ….I had already kind of fallen into ‘Yoga’ ( more of that another time) …..and it was the ‘meditative’ aspect that got me ‘hooked’ so I had been interested in doing a short course specifically on this (time and financial situation have ALWAYS been an issue though) …..my soon to be ex husband thought I was going ‘insane’ getting into ‘Yoga’ …..he just did not ‘get’ it ….when I tried to explain it was dismissed as ‘hippy nonsense’ :D:D:D……..when I think about it now it makes me laugh:D:D:D …….on the way back from that first ‘event’ my car broke down …I had to be ‘rescued and recovered’ …..I can remember now him stood at the window …hands on hips, shaking his head in disbelief as a great big lorry came creaking and groaning to a halt outside the house and his wife jumped out shrugging apologetically:D:D:D

He’s a good man my ex really ….but like many folk ……into the ‘material’ side of life ….being tempted by stuff ……..and let’s face it …..it’s hard NOT to be:) …….lets just say tho …..that THIS plus my seemingly apparent change from the ‘cool urban chick’ he fell in love with (which I never was I hasten to add …..cool urban chick I mean:D:D ….I WAS in love with him for a LONG time)……was probably …with hindsight …the start of our downfall …..we BOTH let each other down sadly

So …ANYWAY …that was the end of that for a while …learned to just ‘get on’ and keep my thoughts to myself …..but I carried on practicing ;):D:D:D

I’ve had 3 personal ‘blips’ in my life ( might say more about them another time) …..were they ‘depressive episodes’ ? ……..Hmmmmm yep ….you COULD call them that …..the first was the biggest and came as a HUGE shock …..prior to this I had always felt I was in ‘control’of my life ….this also now makes me laugh ….I now think how naive and arrogant of me to believe this at the time but hey ….we live and learn:D:D:D

Suffice to say ‘Yoga’ which meditation is a huge part of …. ‘Yoga’ meaning to ‘Harness’ or ‘Yoke’ ….’bring together’  or ‘Connect’ …..anyway …yes ….’Yoga’ really HAS been my salvation …and there HAS been a gradual change in me over the years I guess:)

So LAST year ……I think I had another blip (the 3rd) and no ….nowhere NEAR like that first episode where it felt like my whole world came crashing down …..but YEP …..last year had been PARTICLARLY challenging on a number of fronts …..so I kind of ‘last minute’ booked into the Madhayamaka Kadampa Centre for a couple of days …..just to have ‘peace and quiet’ ….no pressure ……just do my own thing really…..have the opportunity to be surrounded by nature and ‘tune into Om’ as I call it:D:D:D …..just ‘be’ really ….which I know sounds a bit of a ‘cliche’ but true:)

ANYWAY ……unbeknown to me …I had inadvertently booked during the Buddhists ‘silent’ retreat ……this suited me perfectly tho …..as I’ve said ….I must talk to 100’s of folk during my working week ….plus rushing hither and thither …..my life feels like hectic chaos mostly….So even tho I’m not a Buddhist ……the folk there were UNBELIVABLY kind ……and I ended up having the MOST amazing and sublime experience I have EVER had in my life …..words can’t really describe it …..suffice to say I really DID come back feeling rejuvinated:):):):):)

THIS year …..feeling knackered and starting to wonder if it’s a normal ‘end of year’ kind of pattern ….plus the boys going to their Dads for new year …I did the same again ….going a little earlier this time tho so not disturbing  the monks thank god:D:D:D …..I guess they need their ‘retreat’ like we need ours:D:D:D

And it’s funny really ……it really IS a truly special place ……you can ‘feel’ the ‘vibe’ as soon as you get there:):):):):) and it takes  a couple of days to kind of appreciate the experience fully when you get back:D:D:D ……SERIOUSLY:D:D:D

Maybe it’s because EVERYONE is ‘tuning into Om’:D:D:D

It’s like having a bath in ‘Om ness’ ….oh here I go again …..sounding crazy …..I know what I mean tho:D:D:D


This year was very different …..but STILL amazing in a different way …..a more ‘social’ affair…….THIS year I arrived to the New Year Celebration going on ……blimey …..there must have been around 200 folk in that hall I reckon …….and WHAT a mix …..the folk I ended up chatting to!!!???

So ….I THANK ………my young guitar playing ‘roomie’, the business man, the PhD students, the clan from the most recent meditation course of which the celebration was the end of, the working volunteers, the residents, the RAF officer’s widow, the fellow public sector workers etc ….etc …..etc …..

And MOST of ALL …..I THANK the monks:):):):):)…..TRULY special people

PARTICLARLY the one who led the New Years teaching, prayer and meditation  on ‘Compassion’:):):):):):) …another wonderful experience which I CAN’T quite describe

And the one who I sat next to who made a comment which gave me food for thought AND a fit of the giggles during the candle lighting ceremony …..who also led the prayer and meditation on New Year’s Day ….and who ……WEIRDLY I kind of felt I knew INSTANTLY but not entirely sure:):):):):):) …which sounds crazy yet AGAIN


ANYWAY ….although I’m not a Buddhist ….I have deep respect for ALL religions if practiced with true ‘faith’….someone once said to me ‘Faith’ is like a ‘heart’ ……there are many veins which all track back to it’ ………. it has to be said though ………..THIS LOT are AMAZING!!! …..I feel set up for the year again ….. I cannot thank them ALL enough:):):):):):)


Hmmmmmm ………..maybe I’m falling into Buddhism too ……nooooooo …..I struggle to get my head around all the ‘lingo’ and symbolism……I’m just an ignorant woman of working class stock really ……just going about her daily life trying to do her best in this crazy world ………things have to be simple for me:D:D:D ……am RUBBISH at the ‘discipline’ and ‘study’ side of things….if you’ve looked at my blog I’m sure you’ll notice my spelling is not too hot for starters:D:D:D ……CERTAINLY want to go back there tho……maybe as a working volunteer next time …..give something back …..it’s getting the TIME tho ….hmmmmmmm could offer a couple of weekends maybe …..wonder if I could persuade the eldest too ….actually THAT might be pushing it a bit :D:D:D ……..a sullen young person these days who believes he’s some kind of ‘bro fwam da hood’ hanging round street corners and god knows what ……listening to ‘rap’ music ….ooooops no ……sorry it’s ‘grime’ actually ……apparently …….I think:D:D:D ……God …..RIGHT focus ……just get back to the madness tomorrow :D:D:D ……at least feeling a little more ready …..the glass topped up:):):):):)

Oh …..and if you are struggling yourself with a depleted or empty glass …just google Kadampa Buddhism …………maybe use a bit of leave to offer to help out as a working volunteer if your not a Buddhist and can’t get to one of their meditation courses……However, you MUST respect and adhere to their lifestyle whilst there ………..it’s ALWAYS good to have a few more ‘hands on deck’ tho I expect……..and I guarantee you will come away having ‘felt’ a very positive ‘vibe’ if nothing else;):):):):):):)