December 08, 2011
I thought that was lovely and we went on our way with big grins on our faces.
He was right.
November 18, 2011
My God! Are we in the West really able to be so choosy about our food that we can afford to throw almost one third of it away? How much expendable income do we have in these times that we can afford to put such a large percentage of it in the bin? That's what it amounts to - throwing money away!
It is an obscenity that such a large part of the world goes hungry through no fault of their own while we can afford to quite happily send food to landfill. I can only presume that most people are happy to throw money away while complaining about low wages and rising prices, otherwise we wouldn't have a situation arise where 5,000 people can be fed from food that would otherwise have ended up in landfill. And when was the last time you got indignant about the size of that landfill site on your doorstep?
Did you know that a misshapen carrot tastes exactly the same as its perfectly straight counterpart found on your supermarket shelf? Did you know that an apple with blemishes on its skin tastes just as good as its perfect same-sized counterpart? In fact, the misshapen carrot and the blemished apple probably taste better because they are more likely to be from a small local producer or a back garden and not mass produced to fit some exacting standards laid down by a large conglomerate who wish to present uniform characterless food.
Some years ago I used to deliver chickens to supermarkets and got talking to the drivers of the articulated lorries delivering fruit and vegetables to the big supermarkets. They used to dread the checks on their consignments when they arrived at the delivery doors in case some fault was found in one of the pallets because this would mean loading the entire consignment back on the lorry and rejecting it all. It would then all be returned to whence it came. This is obscene in itself, but it points to the root of the education we have been given as to what we expect our goods to look like. When was the last time you chopped up a carrot that was twisted or appeared to have grown legs? When was the last time you shopped at a farm shop or high street grocer?
Food Waste Facts
Source: Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap) - (the italics are my responses)
7.2 million tonnes of household food waste is thrown away annually in the UK
How big is your local landfill site and when was the last time you (or anyone else) complained about its size?
4.4 million tonnes of food binned annually could have been eaten
Try telling this to the starving people of the world.
The environmental impact of avoidable household food waste is around 17 million tonnes of CO2e - equivalent to the emissions of one in five cars on UK roads
That's over 6,000,000 cars! In 2010 there were almost 32,000,000 cars on British roads. And how many miles are driven each year to buy food that ends up in landfill?
The average family wastes £680 of food a year
I didn't know so many people had so much expendable income. And we all seem to complain about low wages and rising prices. Why?
The total value of food wasted in the UK each year is £12bn
How many mouths would that feed in the world?
November 16, 2011
I hesitate to call it love at first sight (why do I hesitate? - see last paragraph) but I truly think I fell in love with him by the time we got home from the station - a journey of about 30 minutes! Something clicked between us straight away and I believe there is something we can recognise in another human being without the use of words. Call it instinct if you like. We’d felt relaxed enough in our online chats and emails to meet in the first place and it was evident from the start that we shared a lot of thoughts and interests, but a connection was made between us almost instantly. He immediately felt relaxed and easy to get on with and he has progressively felt more easy to be open and honest with as time goes on.
Openness and honesty seem to me to be two of the most important aspects of any relationship to be had with anyone. It has to start with self. The openness and honesty I express to another person is first limited by how open and honest I can be with myself and secondly by the restraints of the relationship. For instance, I wouldn’t necessarily tell a close friend my deepest sexual fantasy but I might tell my lover.
While I have often explored my own openness with myself and investigated thoughts and feelings to an extreme, I have often limited that expression with another. I found after the end of one relationship that I’d placed my own limits on the capability of my partner to understand and accept. In conversation with him one day, after the end of the relationship, I mentioned something I thought might have been taboo between us only to find he wanted to know more and shared a similar interest. The reason we hadn’t discussed it when we lived together was more about my insecurities than my perception of his acceptance of my thoughts.
Discussions with Stephen have already encompassed insecurities and acceptance. We have both talked about withholding things from others only to find this causes some difficulty further down the line, or to find there was no reason in the first place and that the other person would have liked it mentioned. Consequently, we have vowed not to censor any thought, fantasy, or idea until after it has been mentioned. If we don’t give each other the chance to say, “no” how will we know we want to? So far, the answers have been resounding, “yes’s” to anything we’ve talked about.
It is this flowering of acceptance between us that enables me to be more open with myself and then with him than I’ve ever felt I could before. When I can talk about my deepest fantasies and desires with him I feel more and more that he is part of me. I described him once as the part of me I didn’t know was missing. I can say absolutely anything to this man and not fear rejection.
I’ve already written about finding that we shared similar values, interests and ideals. As that first week moved on we both discovered there was more to life that we shared; lying on the sea wall gazing at the sky and then another night looking at the stars, walking in the rain and fog, nature, food, books, self-expression, and much more. This gave us much to talk about and I found very quickly that this also deepened any feelings I had for the man.
We learn from each other. We learn about how the other has experienced the world and experiences it now. I’m fascinated in the difference between his experiencing and his philosophy on life and mine and want to absorb it and learn from it. He expands my mind.
He recently wrote:
“I love your mind as much as all of the rest of you. You expand my mind and touch my heart. What more could I ask for? I relish every little tiny part of you my love. Your body is where your heart and soul reside, so how could your every physical expression not be magical and sacred to me?”
He also has a way of putting things that mirror my own thoughts and feelings and this was one of them. I include this not to boast about the way he feels about me (although I think I am entitled to boast and sometimes I want to) but because it is an instance of like-thinking. And like-thinking runs through us like a thread. When ALL aspects of our experiencing and sharing and partnership are inextricably linked perhaps that is where the separateness of us begins to blur. This is how I feel with Stephen. Separate but one. I value our separateness and I celebrate and cherish our oneness.
I want to celebrate every aspect of him and me. There is magic and sanctity in our physical, emotional, sexual and intellectual expressing, which is why the word relationship feels inadequate. In accordance with his Pagan take on life and my own, largely eastern philosophy on life, we both understand the importance of ritual and celebration and it feels important to both of us to celebrate all aspects of our being together, whether this is about the simpler acts of life and love or the deeper insights we have into ourselves and each other.
His words are rich and expressive and give me insight into his mind and soul. I love listening to him talk. I love reading what he writes. I love hearing what he has to say. Someone once said, "We read in order to know we are not alone." Maybe it is as much about knowing there are people there accepting us, as well as knowing we are not the only person to experience things in the way we do. Reading and writing create and generate empathy.
On top of all this I love looking at the man. I love the sight of him. I love his looks. I love watching how he moves. I love the way he performs actions and the positioning of his body as he does so. I was attracted to his looks in the first place but I don’t know when I became attracted to the rest. Did this come about because of how I began to feel about the rest of him or what? One seems to arise from the other. I could look at him for hours and this is also a first for me. I’ve never found anyone else so physically attractive, let alone so intellectually, emotionally and sexually attractive. I’m also interested in the physiological aspects of how I can go weak at the knees when he scratches his ear or when he walks or when he looks at me - but another time for that.
So, have I discovered why the word relationship is inadequate in describing what we have between us? I don’t think so but I think I have gone some way towards it. What I am describing is love, deep love. It is deep enough to not be able to see the bottom. It is frightening in its comfort and comforting in its fear. I feel safer than ever in exploring myself and exploring another person. I feel supported, understood and encouraged. He holds me up and is there ready should I fall. Why would I not want to enter into life with this person?
Note: Why did I hesitate to call it love at first sight? Perhaps because I’ve been conditioned to think of this as a romantic ideal that only the likes of Mills & Boon authors write about or was the subject of romantic films. In talking to others I have found that we’re not alone in our situation. I’ve talked to a couple of people who met their partners and fell in love pretty much straight away and at least two who decided to move in almost immediately. This gives me strength.
November 14, 2011
More than ever in my life I feel that I will be sharing life with someone rather than living alongside them. We each have similar thoughts about what life could be like and we both know we have to work at it. We both seem to operate from a nurturing angle for the benefit of the other. I am at my most open and honest with Puck and look forward to the challenges and possibilities life will bring to both of us. I feel everything I give returned to me.
Something I read recently sums up quite nicely my own thoughts about relationships. More than anything I wish to see Puck become the person he most truly can be and the most happy he can be and I know he wishes the same for me. Marianne Williamson wrote the following about relationships:
"Our relationships can be trips to heaven or trips to hell, depending on how we ourselves choose to interact with another person. Knowing the principles of loving relationship— recognizing the spiritual lessons afforded us by each encounter — gives us skill and even mastery at this basic human experience. It is through relationships that we either rise to our most creative possibilities in life, or fall into the patterns of fear that would consistently hold us back."
We have already discussed patterns of fear and vowed to tackle them between us. With Puck I do not feel afraid to face my fears for I know he will be there to keep me safe. Just as I want someone to feel safe and comfortable with I also want to protect and comfort him. He is the dearest thing to have happened to me and the most profoundly loveable person to have entered my life. I don’t just love him - I am in love with him, deeply and totally.
The things we look forward to doing in our lives match so well too. I can feel days coming on of cooking, pickling, baking, gardening, cycling, walking, meditating, ritual, writing, reading, pursuing passions and ideals, staring at stars, watching sunsets and sunrises, decorating our home and making it truly ours, learning and teaching, dancing in thunderstorms, protesting and becoming involved, and generally wondering at life and our life together. This list is by no means exhaustive.
In short I want to share everything with him that life has to throw at me. I am ready for more change than ever and I am ready for change with him.
He will be pleased to know that I have finally phoned a chimney sweep and left a message asking for a return call. It’s getting chillier at night now and a fire in the grate would be far more preferable to the electric heaters. For years I have meant to go to the woods where I used to live to collect fire wood and never got round to it. That is about to change as are many other things.
…… slight pause …...
Slight pause there to phone him and hear his voice. I love him more than anything and anyone I have ever known. I love talking to him and listening to him. I love hearing his laughter and the tone of voice when he tells me he loves me. I love knowing what he is doing and what he is thinking and I get the warmest, most tender feeling when I think about him and see him and hear him.
He’s just told me his mum bought him a card recently because it reminded her that we both love clouds. She must be the most romantic mother I’ve ever come across. She talks about our love for each other, barges between us so she can hold our hands, and accepts me as Stephen’s boyfriend/partner rather than his ‘special friend’. This is a bit of a revelation to Stephen. It means I am free to express my feelings about her son to her. I even thanked her for giving birth to him the first time I met her.
…… end of slight pause …...
I have not looked forward to change in life so much as I do now. In my previous 2 relationships I thought of ways to keep my own space so that we would not get in each others way. In this relationship I want him in my space, I want to learn from his presence and I want to absorb him. I know there will be times when both of us need our own space for one reason or another but it doesn’t feel like we’ll have to work at it. Even the word ‘relationship’ seems the wrong word to use. We are symbiotic even in our separateness. The word ‘organic’ springs to mind.
Interesting to think that the word “relationship” felt wrong. It is surely a relationship we are in but it feels more than that. I can’t voice what the ‘more’ is yet but it will come to me I am sure. We are together and that’s that. I never want this to end. He feels so right in my life that not being in it would be so wrong. It doesn’t feel right when we are apart now. It feels almost as though he has been around for most of my life already and will be around for the rest of it. He exists alongside me and with me and I feel I belong with someone more fully than I have ever experienced before.
But then, everything with Stephen is more than I’ve ever had before.
Roll on December 14th.
October 28, 2011
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. It 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 and fabulous. Actually who are you not to be. You are a child of the universe, your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of the universe that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us; it's in everyone.
When 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"
October 23, 2011
October 13, 2011
We now know that this behaviour goes back far further in Africa; it goes back to 100,000 years, perhaps even more than 100,000 years.
People were starting to express social identity in completely new ways. And there is a view that this behaviour is linked with complex language. So, it may indicate these people were communicating in a fully modern way."
Science correspondent, BBC News
October 12, 2011
"..... 'Cos now is forever
Now is all there is
So let me kiss you all over
I'll be your 4 leaf clover
Flesh and blood
For fields to feed on
I think its time
To turn the magic on
I think its time
Before our chance has gone
And we return to
The soil where we came from
So let me lick you all over
I'll be your 4 leaf clover
You can pick me
You can press me"
"Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, also known as Reichskristallnacht, Pogromnacht, and Novemberpogrome, was a pogrom or series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on November 9–10, 1938.
Jewish homes were ransacked, as were shops, towns and villages, as SA stormtroopers and civilians destroyed buildings with sledgehammers, leaving the streets covered in pieces of smashed windows—the origin of the name "Night of Broken Glass." Ninety-one Jews were killed, and 30,000 Jewish men—a quarter of all Jewish men in Germany—were taken to concentration camps, where they were tortured for months, with over 1,000 of them dying. Around 1,668 synagogues were ransacked, and 267 set on fire. In Vienna alone 95 synagogues or houses of prayer were destroyed."
October 07, 2011
October 06, 2011
October 01, 2011
September 27, 2011
September 26, 2011
The house feels empty and flat with only me in it. Stephen's presence brought a life to this house that I never thought I'd feel here. It felt more like home than I ever thought it would. I can't wait for move-in day.
So, just over a week ago I met some of the crew in the Rainbow Chorus and what a lovely bunch they are too, went to an evening with the Conversation Cafe (some of which was treading dangerous ground with topic and subject matter - like questions you always wanted to ask a woman/man! - sexist or what), attended the evening 'do' for Michael and Richard's Civil Partnership where some of the choir sang for them (lovely), walked along the sea-front, ate Indian food, made breakfast cereal, listened to lots of music and generally got on with getting on with each other.
Last week we came home and visited Wilkin's jam shop, cafe and museum, went for a sunset walk and lay under the stars on equinox night, made more breakfast cereal, went to Burnham Carnival and had Chinese take-away with friends.
I'm sure there's more but it was such a full week there would be too much to list here anyway. The upshot is that I want Stephen to move in more than ever and can't wait for December. It seems like a long time to go.
September 08, 2011
Puck, you are my songline. My world is being sung into existence with you and because of you.
His name is Stephen.
He is inspirational, passionate, intelligent, inquisitive, sensitive, understanding, funny, serious, playful, encouraging, friendly, warm, accepting, sexy, horny, loving, responsive ….. and I’ve only just started.
He is open and honest to a degree I have never experienced in another person before. In getting to know him I feel I can truly get to know me. I have never felt that ALL my barriers were down with another human being to the extent I do now. I stand before him naked, exposed and unashamed. There is nothing I don’t want him to see or hear, nothing he can’t explore.
We play each other like a musical instrument or orchestra, complementing each note and chord and resonating together in a sweet harmony. He is the final piece of the jigsaw that I never dared hope existed. I feel complete and yet open to completion.
I wrote the following in an email to him recently and it sums up how I feel. And yet the feeling changes and shifts; it stretches and becomes stronger and more yearning, it expands and focuses itself to a pinpoint, it sears and soothes. This is like nothing I have ever experienced before:
“I want to love you like there’s no tomorrow and only this moment in time. I want to grow strong with you and give you my strength. I want to stay in bed with you for ever and walk under a bright moon and dance in the thunderstorm all at once. I want to perform ritual with you, awash with incense and love and lust. I want us to worship each other’s bodies. I want to drown in you. My mind and body are your mind and body. My soul is yours for the taking. I offer myself up to you completely and unconditionally.”
Put simply, I love you.
August 26, 2011
There is something spiritual in me that stems from past experience in the great outdoors and particularly from a very beautiful place where I used to live. It is something I never thought another person would fully understand, something spiritual about the land I live on and live in. Lately it feels dormant and in need of awakening and I have found the person to help me do that.
With 100 acres of woodland around me I couldn’t fail to feel connected to the earth. I knew the woods like an old friend. They protected me and kept me company and entertained me and cared for me.
Walking out through the woods there were times when I fancied I could feel the presence of the spirits and of the god that oversees them. Something unseen and powerful lurked just beyond mere vision; just as the force of nature seeps through the earth and into the soul. As I walked, and as I felt the growing heat and power and electricity of that presence, a primeval urge soon began to filter its way from the ground beneath me and leave me breathless in its magnificence.
In finding myself in the moment of my surroundings I began to be aware of the understanding that comes from acceptance. I was becoming the woods and they were becoming me. I was feeling a part of the world I am in and realised I only had to let go of myself to experience this divine creation in a way I had never dreamt possible. I felt I was about to fall into something unfathomable and at once completely understandable; something that meant shedding layers of me that had hugged my life too tightly and letting go of any inhibition and preconception I ever held.
In meeting Puck I found the person who understood this completely and without explanation. He understands it in the same way I do. My understanding is his understanding and vice versa.
It is a rare thing to meet someone who feels so much a part of you in every way but that’s what I am experiencing right now. Being apart from him is painful and the longing threatens to tear me apart, but the knowledge of him and the love I feel holds me together and soothes the pain. I didn’t know I could love so quickly or so intensely.
I feel as though I have found the part of me I never knew was missing.
August 20, 2011
I guess the question in my last post was aimed more at the other person than me. I had to question it for my own understanding. I know what the love of friends and family feels like and I know what it is to love them back. As far as is possible as a human it feels unconditional both ways.
The love I crave from another person, as a lover, would be the same but more intimate; not necessarily deeper, although deepness comes about through intimacy. I don’t feel as though I am expressing myself very well here but then that’s what this rambling is all about.
Friends and family love is different to loving a significant other but it is the same. They are all significant others but there can also be a special significant other and I may just have found him.
My heart and my intellect tell me two different things at the moment but there is also an agreement between them. My intellect tells me to hold back and not go too quickly and my heart says jump in with both feet. My intellect also says, “Would you miss this chance for the thing that holds you back?” My intellect and my heart both agree that it is fear that holds me back most of the time. My heart and my intellect both seem to want to face that fear and dispel it. The fear is delicious and dispersible.
I’m confused but I’m not.
Everything about this person clicks with me in a way I have never felt before but have dreamed of a hundred times and more. And I’ve only known him for a week. When he speaks it might as well be me speaking. When I speak it might as well be him speaking. We both understand and share each others passions and love of life. We both laugh and cry at the same things. In the last week I have felt more complete in his presence than I have felt with anyone – ever.
If I was asked for my definition of a soul mate it would be him.
From day one I felt as though I had met the person I’ve been looking for most of my life. Within a week we had shared things that mean so much to me, done things that mean so much to me, and talked about things that I thought only possible with someone I might have known for much longer. In his presence time seemed to stand still and the world went away. There was only me and him. My mind and my heart have not felt so poised and in the moment for a long time; a state of mind and being I have only attained through meditation before. I felt refreshed and I still do.
In short, I have stars in my eyes, I’m completely bowled over and I’m reeling. Since he went home all I want is to see him and touch him and hear him.
The words we write to each other and the phone calls we make contain a yearning I can hear and feel both ways. Don’t ask me how I know but I know he feels the same. I could answer that question if I explored it more but I’m not going to now.
For now I just needed to write and now that I have written I am going to bed. I will address the title of this post at a later date.
August 14, 2011
July 24, 2011
If this journal is going to be a full reflection of my journey then I must stop excluding aspects of my life. I did it once before and realised later that subsequent posts made no sense, even to me.
I left out the relationship I was having at the time and the effects it was having on me and the other person involved. I did this because I thought the other person might read this blog, after all I had told them about it, and I didn’t want to hurt them.
Since this is a personal journal and meant for me then other people have a choice as to whether they read it or not. They can also choose to understand this is my own slant on life, not theirs.
I decided to write this journal online because it is a way of saving it when my computer might go down, of being able to access it from wherever I might be in the world, and in the hope that something I say might touch another person’s life. It has done once so far and that makes it more than worth continuing to write in my view.
It is not meant to be advertised and found – more stumbled upon.
In the last couple of years I have been through another relationship of sorts. The person I met made me very happy. We could talk about anything under the sun and we shared a lot of interests. For a long time I had a lot of fun and went to places I might not have got to otherwise. I was happy.
The problem, for me, came when I realised I didn’t want a full-on relationship and still needed my own space in the aftermath of my previous relationship. A distance sprang up between us, mostly of my own making. This then caused difficulty for him and his obvious deep feelings for me.
While I was happy to talk to him about his unrequited feelings, I also found it extremely difficult in times when he became very depressed and lonely. There were times when I found myself anticipating another bout of depression and was reluctant to pick up the phone. The only 2 real blow-ups came about because of this.
There is only so far I can go in trying to help someone and then the rest is up to them. I didn’t see this happening. He seemed to prefer to live an insular lifestyle, becoming depressed about being lonely and not being able to get me out of his head. Whatever the reasons behind this I got to the point of feeling my help was limited.
In hindsight (if only it wasn’t a retrospective thing) I should have had my doubts about his feelings long ago. There were the times I was accused of being boring; the times that resulted in him going home because my life-style wasn’t to his satisfaction. One such occasion was during a heavy snowstorm with 75 miles to drive home. I was angry and worried at the same time. I was once accused of being critical and making him nervous. I began to feel the same.
About a year ago I received a telephone call while in the middle of a school paying field during a friend’s daughter’s school sports day. He was depressed again and needed to talk about his feelings and mine. Not the ideal situation for me to enter into a deep conversation there and then. It resulted in him becoming extremely angry and saying some very hurtful things when I wasn’t willing to talk to him at that moment in time.
When he threatened to involve my friends I went ballistic. I can’t remember the last time I felt so angry. I told him later that had he been standing in front of me at the time I would probably have punched his lights out. I have only ever hit one other person in my adult life - a man who was being physically violent to a female and there were children involved.
I feel now that I should have given more thought to what his feelings were really about. I still don’t understand them but to be like that to someone you say you love deeply and can’t do without seems a contradiction now. That’s not the way someone behaves when they love you in my book.
To give him his due he understood how hurtful he’d been and regretted his actions. As is the way of life, it was too late by then. The harm was done. I eventually forgave and was prepared to try and forget, but I couldn’t. I always had this nagging doubt about his motives and reasons for ‘loving’ me and it put more distance between us.
So when a similar thing happened again a couple of months ago and he became angry again, I chose to let it go. I can’t be doing with behaviour like that in my life. He once told me that someone had told him that he often only thought about himself. On these two occasions I think they were right.
I didn’t respond to the angry emails and the texts, because that’s what I did before and it resulted in us coming back together again. This time I didn’t want that. There is no room in my life for people who can be spiteful and hurtful towards me and my friends. Again, this is not what I’d call ‘love’.
So, if you are reading this you will know who you are. You may not agree with what I have written here and I have no doubt you won’t. But then, this blog is from my perspective on life and not anyone else’s.
July 15, 2011
July 14, 2011
Run this through your spellcheck:
Eye have a spelling chequer,
It came with my Pea Sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss Steaks I can knot sea.
Eye strike the quays and type a whirred
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am write oar wrong
It tells me straight a weigh.
Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your shore real glad two no.
Its vary polished in its weigh.
My chequer tolled me sew.
June 11, 2011
I seem to have been reading avidly recently. One good book after another. After almost nodding off in front of the TV last night I went to bed and then decided to dip into ‘Mr. Rosenblum’s List’ by Natasha Solomons before I went off to sleep proper. With only one-and-a-half chapters to go I could surely read a bit and then finish it today.
I began to cry half-way through chapter 8 and then sobbed and laughed my way through chapter 9 to the postscript at the end. You’ll have to read it to see what I’m talking about, but item 151 on ‘Jack Rose-in-bloom’s’ list had me sobbing and laughing at the same time. The duvet got wet and I used the t-shirt I’d been wearing yesterday to mop my face and blow my nose. I had to come downstairs at 2:30 this morning and drink warm milk with mixed spice and eat custard creams before I could go back to bed.
The more reading I do the more I want to write. I’ve written short stories over the years but mainly for my own benefit and sometimes for my friend’s children, but I’ve never written anything seriously – apart from this blog (and that’s been intermittent).
I latched onto the title ‘The Silent Sun’ for some reason and began to write down some thoughts. The title has a feeling about it that I can’t describe at the moment. Keywords might be: observer; warm; mirage; sunrise/beginning; sunset/ending; relentless; oppressive; refreshing; life-giving.
The theme so far seems to be about family; perhaps because it is a subject that has so much meaning to me at the moment. I also want to inject a sense of mystery into it and I have a glimmer of an idea. So far the story seems to be writing itself, so I may just go along with it and continue writing and see where it leads me.
The scary bit is the amount of time an author can take to write a book – years in some cases – but considering I’ve been thinking about this for some years without doing anything about it, I might as well persevere and see where the next couple of years takes me and the story.
June 06, 2011
My new cookery bible has to be ‘Miss Masala’ by Mallika Basu. With easy recipes, cooking tips and tricks for healthy Indian food, it also has to be one of the funniest cook books I’ve ever read. Think recipes interspersed with blogs. She writes about aspects of her life with great humour and gives gorgeously yummy recipes she has learnt from colourful aunts and family. When you can describe stirring a dish with the line, “Don’t make love to it. Fuck it!” you can begin to get what I mean. She’s also quite gorgeous and has to be the new love of my life alongside Nigella Lawson. I’m starting to build a harem. Strange, if you know me well enough!
So, with a larger-than-I-meant-it-to-be gin and tonic I sat down with ‘Miss Masala’ to find an accompaniment to last night’s chicken curry and kitchen wipes (the curry was rather hot and the sweat ran round my ears and down my neck). When I found ‘Jeera aloo for nutters’ I drank the gin rather too quickly and set off to try it out. A delicious way to use new potatoes is all I can say.
I’d also have to include Jason Isaacs in my new harem. Have you seen ‘Case Histories’ on BBC1? He takes his shirt off quite a lot and went very well with my chicken curry and jeera aloo. I can’t help wondering if all my sweating came just from eating hot curry! With four more episodes to go I’ll have to find some more good food to go with him (perhaps something a little more cooling next time). Next episode is on Sunday 12th June at 9pm – I’ve already set the reminder.
June 05, 2011
I wrote previously about the relationship between the formation of the eight trigrams in the Book of Changes, which form the 64 hexagrams, and the DNA sequence. At the time I did not have a reasonable explanation to hand, but I’ve since found this one, which puts it in better perspective.
Although the trigrams can be understood through exercises, and can help you to understand your states of consciousness, they can not help you with existential decisions and choices. This requires the doubling of the trigrams into inner and outer worlds. Now six lines are used to create a Hexagram. There are sixty four possible combinations of six yin or yang lines (two to the eighth power). For example, one possible combination is a hexagram known as PEACE where the top three lines are all yin, and the bottom three all yang, Heaven below the Earth:
___ ___ 6
___ ___ 5 Outer Trigram
___ ___ 4
Inner Trigram _ 2 _ 1
The lower Trigram shows the attitude to your inner world, the upper your attitude to the outer-world. The Chinese sages who created the I Ching understood the duality of life and its existential problems. They knew that it in order to change your external situation -- your outer fate -- you had to change your inner mentality. Since the I Ching was created as a kind of pragmatic guide, they knew that the Trigrams would have to be doubled to reflect the dynamics of the inner-outer worlds, of external situation and internal attitude. The system of 64 hexagrams which make up the I Ching resulted from the necessity of doubling the eight combinations of three.
In a dramatic example of the fractal recursive nature of reality, nature follows the very same system to create the genetic code. The eight trigrams correspond very closely to the DNA and RNA code of our genes. This is the genetic code which is responsible on a cellular level for all self organization, growth and reproduction in life.
DNA is the blueprint for every protein made in every cell. It is the Yin, spatial structure which stores the information. RNA is the reverse copy of DNA which carries out DNA's instructions for protein production. It is the Yang, active catalyst which actualizes in time the information in the DNA. The DNA and RNA have eight different base combinations, each made of three chemicals, just like the trigrams made of three lines. The chemical "triplets" as they are called, combine in double triplet code, just like the hexagrams. The maximum total combinations of DNA/RNA triplets is thus 64, just like the I Ching. The 64 triplet combinations control the twenty amino acids and other cellular generative-structural activity.
Out of the combinations of the 8 triplets or trigrams, the 64 "words" of the genetic code of life are formed. All life, from bacteria to Man, is directed on a cellular level by the same language of the 64 Codons of RNA and DNA, based on the doubled triplet, or Hexagram. For example in genetics one of the 64 three letter Codons is: T.A.G. - C.T.A. (Thymine, Adenine, Guanine - Cytosine, Thymine, Adenine). The first gene detected by Watson was equivalent in structure to the I Ching hexagram number 42: Increase.
….….. As we have seen, there is a striking similarity between the I Ching and the genetic code, the 8 trigrams to the 8 codons. This can be understood as recursive self similarity over scales. There is a basic identity between the genes and the hexagrams because their numeric structure is the same.
Martin Schoanberger, a German scientist, recently discovered that the two Codons which contain the genetic-chemical message "to stop" have the same numeric structure of hexagram 63, After Completion. All lines in this hexagram are said to be in their proper place.
Moreover, Schoanberger discovered that the Codons which, so to speak, act to say "Go" on a genetic level, correspond to the opposite hexagram 64, Before Completion.
Extract of article by: Arnold Keyserling & R.C.L taken from: School of Wisdom.
June 02, 2011
Today I’m wearing my mother’s wedding ring.
When I first saw it again at my niece’s it drew me in and seemed to signify more than just my mother. This was the ring that my father put on her finger nearly 60 years ago.
To wear it means to celebrate the happy times they shared; to celebrate the union between them, to celebrate my parents.
It fits perfectly on the little finger of my left hand; so perfectly I can’t feel it after wearing it for only a few hours.
March 05, 2011
January 27, 2011
It’s amazing how human beings take it for granted they are alive when the chances of you and me being born are so slim. How did I come to be born? Was I predetermined or am I the result of random DNA sequences started long, long ago? One iota of difference in the formation of the universe and you and me wouldn’t be here now.
This sentient cluster of cells that forms me also possesses the awareness that I am me. I am only here once in the entire history of the universe. There will only ever be one of me and one of you. That’s quite a sobering thought.
I often used to wonder what it would have been like had I been born as someone else. The fact is I was never going to be. I was always going to be me and I will always have been me. It’s what I do with the me that I am that is important.
I have an effect on the world as much as it affects me. That is what being human is about. That is humanity. I’m part of something limited and timeless and I only have the one chance to experience it.
It’s not so much the physical contact we have with each other that is important, but the spiritual contact. Touching somebody else’s life is what makes a difference and determines the present and the future. It’s also what makes us feel that we belong to something, that we are a part of life that matters.