This blog comes to you from the car park of PC World in Mansfield. They have a Wifi hotspot and I’m a BT Openzone subscriber so off we go… (well nearly, the signal isn’t good enough, it’s OK in the shop).
I’ve been buried under work recently unit testing my deepcopy utility and the surrounding code and not had much time to work on my other projects. I have joined a gym and was quite surprised at how a half hour can do your head in when you haven’t done any serious exercise for a while. It’s the Bannana gym in Hucknall and I really like it; the equipment is new and the induction was very good.
Paddled at Holme Pierpoint recently and really enjoyed it. I’ve still not got the bottle to play in the really big stuff after my experiences of swimming but I’m sure that I can master that. For once things look easier from the bank, I watched some guys playing in it and it seems that you keep the kayak in the pillow of white water. I was going to paddle today but I’ve managed to hurt the knuckle on my left hand and the old ankles and knees are hurting so wisdom dictates a night in playing with my laptop. Fridays are long days at the moment so have to be careful and make sure I have the energy to get home.
Went to the Mansfield McArthur Glen; not that different from the one in Ellesmere port, except it’s a quarter of the size. Trying to get hold of some elbow protectors because my left elbow has become sensitive and I don’t want a chronic injury. I fell on it over a year ago ice skating and keep having problems with it, particularly when I try to lever myself up and put weight on it. Time to go see the doc methinks.
Look like a dosser at the moment, in bad need of a haircut. Maybe I should buy some raffia and make it into a feature…
One of the kids at the canoe club didn’t get to paddle ‘cos he didn’t leave a ‘phone number for us to ring back on and his dad wants to write to the committee and formally complain. I am a volunteer, I don’t get paid, we were distracted before we could look up his phone number and his father rang back in the evening when we were out until 10 pm. These things happen, that’s life, no-one wanted to upset anyone. If he wants to complain he can go elsewhere; I have spent considerable amounts of my own time and money getting the coaching qualifications and love sharing the sport with other people but I’m not a public convenience. I also got this kid through his 3* award (on I think the 3rd attempt, 1st with me) and don’t remember getting a thank you. Not pleased at all. Yeah, I know that Buddhists are supposed to take such things as part of their spiritual training, but I never said I was perfect. I believe that the going rate for a Level 3 coach is about £250 a day…
I’ve realised that I very seldom talk about what I’ve been reading, even though I read constantly. So, for the record I’ve recently re-read Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea trilogy and the Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I think Pullman owes a great debt to Le Guin but didn’t realise it until I started writing about it just now. My sister doesn’t like Pullman’s ending, the crossed lovers remembering each other in the garden, but I think it’s OK (don’t worry I haven’t spoilt it for you, this is a minor part of the story). Both trilogies are masterpieces in their own right, well written and difficult to put down. I’m trying to read Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend but it begins with the death of a child and I’m having trouble getting past the beginning. I have recently been reading The Guardian a lot because my B&B’s tellies don’t have teletext so I buy a paper for the TV listings. There are a lot of features about Guantanamo bay and Israel which make me very sad. I don’t get angry about these things any more. I dedicate my dharma practice to these suffering people (amongst others – friends and relatives) but I don’t take sides.
My spiritual studies have been on Gampopa’s The Jewel Ornament of Liberation (which you should read with a qualified lama helping you – it’s a very deep book) and Karma Thinley Rinpoche’s The History of the Sixteen Karmapas of Tibet. Both books are worth reading if you are following the path, a non-practitioner won’t get most of it. The dharma teachings are self-revealing and if you aren’t ready they won’t register with you; but they aren’t for dabbling if they do. You could get yourself very confused and upset without proper guidance.
For a fun light read I recommend the Erwin Colfer Artemis Fowl series. Again very well written.
Trying to meditate every day, which involves getting up at 6 am. I manage to get half an hour in, doing a thousand mantras. So I’m making progress on my target. This probably seems totally nuts to non-practitioners but it works for me and has cured me of my depression. I think this alone makes it worthwhile. I can feel myself becoming more open than I used to be; I even look people in the eye these days instead of hiding from them.
Being on the road is crap. I’m missing Jon’s Cub scout christmas thing, where he’s reciting some stuff at the church service and Deb is performing at a concert next week.
The Soham Murder Trial
I’ve been half following this and part of me wants to believe Huntley’s tale that it was all an accident, but if it was he’s far too dangerous and stupid to be let out without constant supervision. I pray that the girls didn’t suffer and I pray for everyone involved in it. I feel very sorry for the girls’ parents having to live through what their children suffered over and over again, not helped by the media frenzy. I would like Huntley to be found guilty on grounds of diminished responsibility because then he’ll be permanently in a secure unit, which is the best place for him.