August 31, 2008
One the earnest looking forward.
My, how the unexpected sunshine brought out the village folk in no end of gay attire. There was that much sprigging and ruching that you'd have thought spring was here again. Today they are scurrying into church in drabber guise and the west door swings and gusts of damp Lime leaves huddle in the coir mats.
Dick Thresher from the Granary has been bending the ears of all comers. At least the Ancient Mariner, bless, stopped only one in three. I've yet to see that proportion escape Master Thresher's woes. It seems he was robbed by brigands who took all his goods and identity and ran away crying "every little helps". It's worrying enough that his purse is gone but to think of his identity being reproduced... I only hope it is a far off village. He has been sending anonymous letters to the Rector whose 'views on pews' threatens to divide the Parish.
All this while Nanny Thresher has been a martyr to her legs. The healer in Oat Cottage insisted she wrap her knees in cabbage leaves. Cabbage is certainly the answer to most questions of healthy life. Indeed, in Rome at one stage physicians were forbidden to practise and cabbage only was applied and used in all manner of ways.
Sadly Nanny Thresher did not allow her limbs a long enough wrapping, she smelt terrible and is resorting to alternative therapies.
Mrs Minchin has been gathering blackberries for pies to tickle the palettes at the Hall. The grim Reaper joined in for an afternoon with her wicker panniers. She has a tall scythe so useful for bringing down the higher brambles. Sir Jekyll Appliance was most courteous and carried the baskets back to the hall. This dairy free diet has brought out the best in him.
Shrill Mistress Thomas has been dusting the chairs and tables in the schoolroom and shaking spiders out of the curtains. Little Margery Daw was helping her yesterday. She'll do anything for a bright penny and half an hour in the playground with little Johnny who can't work any faster.
August 30, 2008
I am just back from a weeks holiday in Croatia. It was refreshingly monotonous to wake up each day to blue sky and sunshine instead of the pallid grey skies of recent weeks in London. All my senses were put on full alert. The touch of warm skin, the smell of sun tan lotion, the salty taste of the sea, the sound of crickets, the vibrancy of the turquoise depths. It really made me feel alive. Does this mean I am usually asleep to the world around me? Has the daily grind of commuting, sitting at the computer dulled my senses?
Lying in bed this morning I was aware of a bird chirping in the garden, the milk bottles clinking on the doorstep, the warmth of my husband next to me, a shaft of sun through the window. There is much to make me feel alive, I just need to tune into my senses more often.
August 28, 2008
When the mixing happens
There is no longer one or the other,
Good or Bad, Beautiful or Ugly.
All things are equal
To the eyes I see them through
And to the heart I hold them in.
To make change in anything
First I must make change within myself
As everything is bathed in the light I give out.
To work on exterior things
without acknowledging the within
Is like papering over the cracks,
After a little while they will appear again.
Unless I am willing to allow change in myself
At a deeper level,
I will forever be caught up in
Making things look good on the surface,
When all the while
I am sweeping the dirt under the carpet.
August 27, 2008
It's time to say goodbye to Rhodes, for the time being at least. Perhaps we'll return in the cold months after Christmas, when we need the warmth. But for now it's tutty bye. And we'll bow out with Maggie, our waitress.
She has worked seven days a week since the end of March, and will do until the end of October. At first it's painting, varnishing and cleaning, getting the restaurant ready - until the tourists begin to arrive,and then it's waitressing. She says it's strange when the final night comes in October. She says 'goodbye' to the people who she's spent every day of the last six months with - and goes home. 'See you soon!' they all say - but all know they will not see each other again til April next year.
For the first couple of days, she doesn't know what to do with herself, but then settles into new routines. Six months off has it's own rhythm. She's from Walthamstow in London, but came to live here eight years ago, after coming for holidays. Will she go back for Christmas? No. Going back to England is exhausting and expensive. Everyone wants to see her, and is offended if they don't - and everyone wants a present. So she'll stay here for Christmas - and cook a roast, while everyone else on the island has salad.
Does she miss anything? 'No - apart from pickled onions. You can't get them here. But it's hardly the end of the world. There's life beyond pickled onions.'
Controversial! And on that bomb shell, we leave the wonderfully hot and old island of Rhodes. Our adventures just cannot be contained there any more.
August 26, 2008
Some Fucking Bastard!
Some fucking bastard has taken money out of my account! I arrived home yesterday after spending a very good bank holiday weekend at the Greenbelt festival to find my bank statment waiting with the despicable deeds written down in black and white! This disgusting dirtbag has made five payments using my details and a total of £945 has been taken from my account, even though my card has been safely inside my purse at all times and I'm not a happy bunny. I want to rant, rage and batter but how can I deal with this Faceless fucker?
I've done all the necessary, cancelled my card, been into the bank and answered their irritating questions, "Did you give your card to anybody else" "NO" "Does Anybody else know your pin number" "NO" "Could anyone have taken it from your bag and put it back" "NO" and now I've filled in the forms so they can start their investigation, " It should be ok, you'll probably be given the money back, they will let you know in about ten days" says the young boy at the bank, suddenly I just want to burst into tears and I realize I just want to be reassured that everything is going to be alright, I don't want ten anxious days of waiting, with madness taking over my mind with it's 'What if......' scenarios.
I need this like a hole in the head, I can feel myself becoming agitated and upset then and realize I have a choice, I take a deep breath, I don't have to be overpowered by the maddness, I don't need to allow sick patterns of behaviour to take me over, I can relax and allow the bank to do it's job and I can trust it will do it well.
In ten days I'll let you know.
August 22, 2008
The Greek boatman took us out in the Glass Bottom boat, for a tour of the coast line. It was excellent, but not without it's scary moments. At one point, we were looking down at hidden rocks, inches from the boat's underbelly.
'This is where I lost my first boat,' said the Greek boatman. 'But don't worry - they were all foriegners.'
Later on ther trip, in turquoise water, we were allowed to jump overboard for a swim. We were out deep, but who cared? Until loud from the boat's sound system came the theme tune of 'Jaws'.
Oh water laugh!
August 21, 2008
Alot of you have been asking me this: How did a city like Kamiros, built by the Dorians 2500 years ago, manage to protect open cisterns of water from dehydration in the crippling heat of West Coast Rhodes?
It's a good question.Because, of course, as you will know - excavations of the city reveal that this former capital of the West coast had no direct water supply of its own. Odd in many ways - for surely this was crucial to a city? Until you appreciate that there is one thing more important for people than water - and that's security. Kamiros is brilliantly secure from land and sea. As they probably said at the time, with some amusement:'If you're dead, you don't need water!'
But they were not just amusing; they were damned inventive too. To provide water, they developed open cisterns above the city. Why didn't the cisterns dry up in the heat? The water was covered with olive oil. This sat on the surface, catching all the insects - and protecting the water from dehydration.
Those Dorians were clever bastards - and all with lovely tans.
Open Your Arms
I hear myself saying to her
Do not rely on another for your happiness
You need to take control
Take one day at a time
And live what it brings
You have everything you need within
There are many beautiful things in your life
But you are focusing on the one you can't have
Open your arms and let it go
I promise you it will be ok
She asks me
How i know
And i tell her
I just do
And from somewhere deep inside her
I catch a glimmer that she knows it too.
August 20, 2008
ANGRY AND CONFUSED
I always imagined my second piece (SEE LAST CHRISTMAS FOR NUMBER ONE)would be about something that makes me angry. The type of rantings that aren't really about the event but more about my own deferred anger agenda, and to be honest I've got a great list of things that get me going, from thin people who stuff their faces with food whilst self righteously slagging off the fatty eating a finger of twix to anyone wearing a hat, via see-through plastic packaging which is almost impossible to open but then tears uncontrollably once breached.
But no I really think this thing is the real nasty, deserving of anyones wrath and vilification. Its a TV programme which I just cannot watch because it encourages people to be mean to each other, it's called Goldenballs and two people are encouraged at the end to cheat each other out of their half of the prize money (I am now wondering whether to spend the next hundred words explaining the plot or assume you know it - brevity wins). What really freaks me out is that I just cannot watch it and am challenged by the question of who can enjoy watching people act dishonourably and gaining from it. Look I know that's what real life actually is like but I cannot cope with the truth of that dressed up as light entertainment.
I think with me it goes right to the core as I cannot believe that the winning cheaters are not too ashamed to carry out their evil deeds. Or perhaps I am just a LIGHTWEIGHT.!
August 18, 2008
We shall not believe the 'Must See' merchants on holiday - or indeed at home. Have you heard them?
'Oh, you must see this or that or the other!' they say.
Their 'must-see' is not yours; and neither is their 'don't see'.
A 'must see' gathers around it so much blindness. If you are told you must see something, there are immediately 99 things you do not see, as you scrabble for the presribed experience. The cat resting beneath the way side hedge is quite as important as the castle on the hill. But it isn't 'must see'.
Which reminds me of the Goat Way. Up above where we are staying, cutting across the sky line, is a huge outbreak of bare rock - sparse and sunbaked.
'Is there a path up?' I ask a local.
'There's no path, no.'
'So no way to the top?'
'No. Apart from the Goat Way.'
'The Goat Way?
'But only a fool -'
'Does the Goat Way take you to the top?'
'It takes you to snakes, scorpions and heat you have not known. Do you have proper walking shoes?'
'Then I do not advise it.'
The Goat Way haunted me for the rest of my stay. I never trod it - and I wonder if I will regret this on my death bed. The Goat Way less travelled - agghh! I believed the 'Don't See' merchant; and that made all the difference.
August 17, 2008
A not so funnny story.
While watching myself this week I noticed that I get really irritated, sometimes angry with people who don't say sorry or thankyou when I expect them to.
This came as a bit of a surprise as with the little ones I work with I have no such expectations, in fact I encourage other staff not to put children into a position where they are hounded into saying thankyou or sorry instead I encourage staff to be good role models and lead by example and to use positive praise to promote manners that will help children get along with others. I am a firm believer that a sorry or thankyou means nothing unless it comes from within, with a true understanding of why it is being said.
So I was more than a little bewildered when I noticed this oddity in myself. I first spotted it during one eveing when I answered the phone and found myself saying "sorry, I think you have the wrong number" the person who had rang put the phone down without even acknowledging me, when I sat back down I found it difficult to relax back in to the program I had been watching as I realised I was feeling really cross. The next day while driving I noticed myself becoming irritated with drivers who didn't say thankyou when I stopped to let them out. Interested in my reactions I started to watch really carefully and noticed that often I say sorry in situations which are not my fault, for instance someone bumps into me in the street, I feel fear and say sorry without thinking why i am saying it and I now realise that whenever anything goes wrong, if i'm there I expect to be punished wether it's my fault or not. I think that my fear and need to say sorry probably makes me angry and resentful towards those who do not feel this way.
Then I remembered a 'funny' story that my mum used to tell of when I was small, it goes like this.
When I was about four years of age I was playing dressing up in my older sisters clothes, excited with my new costume I ran down the hallway stood on the front of the dress and went flying though a glass door, ending up with one half of my body in the kitchen and the other half in the hallway, the story goes that whilst my mother and older brother were trying to get me out all I kept repeating was "sorry Mummy, sorry Mummy, sorry Mummy" My Mum was more worried about getting me out and finding out where the blood was coming from. Incidently I only had two small cuts on me and the blood was pumping out of my mums foot, which in her panic she had not felt at all until I was safe.
I do not really have much conscious memory of this incident, but I know well the fearful little girl who needs to say sorry.
It makes me wonder at what age The Feel Fear- Expect Punishment- Say Sorry Program was started in me.
August 16, 2008
What's Your Story?
So incredibly unique
What's your story?
What was your Mama feeling
As you grew inside in the watery darkness?
What chemicals flooded your little body
As you danced your baby dance?
How did you come in this world
Crisis or calm, wanted or unwanted?
In your early days
Were you kept safe, snug and warm?
Did you receive the nourishment and nurture you needed?
As you grew were you allowed the freedom to explore and discover?
Or was your adventurous spirit boxed in by others rights and wrongs?
The faces you looked up to
Did they affirm your loveliness
Or did they damage your growing sense of self?
What's your story beautiful one?
Your adult self may have no conscious memory of your early days
And survival instinct may have distorted your later memories
But the child inside is calling out to be heard
Stop what you are doing
And just listen
The child holds all the truth you'll ever need
They know your story
They are your story
But is your adult self ready to drop its illusions
To unlearn, to let go and allow the child to surface?
I hope so, for your child needs your understanding and invitation
The child knows you were created to shine and live beautifully
What's your story?
Guess that's up to you
August 10, 2008
Love is good
When love is there
Beautiful actions arise from within
Love can not hurt
It does not posess
It does not desire to hold another against their will
It refuses to manipulate
It has no expectations of others
And needs no rewards
It just is and it is beautiful
For the one it arises within
And for those who walk into its presence
Love does not plan its actions
It just is in whatever situation arises
Love can not harm
Sometimes it stands strong protecting
Sometimes it is as gentle as the summer breeze
Sometimes it is as playful as a small child
It brings with it the freedom of a bird to rise up and fly
Love allows space for growing
It is the touch of an Angel
And brings with it healing and hope
When love comes in fear leaves
For fear can not exist in loves light
August 07, 2008
Steep and narrow Rhodes
You will have noticed in the news that there have been forest fires in Rhodes this week. This is hardly surprising - the place is a tinder box. Our tour guide, however - Vasos - is quick to calm our fears, telling us that there are planes on 24 hour stand-by to deal with any outbreak of burning. And stating with some pride that there hadn't been a forest fire on the island for over eleven years. (He'll need to change that bit of his tourist banter now.)
But to lighter things, please! Agonising death by incineration is not the stuff of sun, sand, sea and sex holidays! So Vasos introduces us to our coach driver Theodore, as we continue our mountainous route:
'Theodore is a very fine driver' he says. 'And it's just as well because today we will face steep climbs on narrow roads, with deep gorges beneath us. But I'm glad to say that Theodore is experienced in this, and has done this trip twelve times - reassure yourselves with that as we set out today.'
You can't put a price on comedy.
August 03, 2008
Watching my own madness
I am watching myself become unsettled by the 'idea' of a possible set of future events which are unlikely to happen and even if they did, they are not in my power to control.
They have managed to take over my dreams and today I wake fearful with a heavy knot of sadness inside my stomach, my mind once let loose takes these fears and they spill over into my day dreams, which are now playing out in the background. A never ending cycle of baiting and tormenting myself has begun. I realise I am using so much energy trying to prepare myself for an awful event that isn't even real!
The true I is watching and laughing at the madness which is taking place.
The true I knows that the only place to live is in the present.
The true I knows that to live life fully I need to be floating free allowing all things to flow through me.
As the true I becomes stronger I feel myself begin to settle and I hear a voice
'Be peaceful Beautiful One,
You don't need to change a thing,
Allow all feelings to surface,
Send the judge and the jury home,
They are not needed,
Give yourself some healing time,
One day you will be ready,
To walk free from this yo yo life,
Meanwhile relax in my arms,
And let me kiss your wounds.'