General idiocy – 1

As an SGI Buddhist leader, one of my responsibilities is to complete a monthly schedule. This details various meetings for discussion, planning and education and I am willing, but somehow unable to carry out this simple task accurately.

Having been a computer programmer, you would think that an eye for detail would be second nature, after all, a computer program contains syntax that, if not correct, sends a process into overdrive, or stops it from running at all.

What is different about a computer program, is the testing of it. There are as many opportunities as you might wish, to test it out before going public with it. Unfortunately, the schedule is somewhet different. When you ‘run’ it, the first chance you have to know if it is faulty, is when people turn up on the wrong day, or at the wrong venue.

In recent times, I have spotted errors after sending, and texted an incorrect correction!

We call these things, the ones that get in the way of our success, ‘obstacles’. The obstacle in this case was in me! It was part of my karma. I am perfectly able to be careful and thoughtful, but my default setting is Gung Ho (or however you spell it – see what I mean?)

The answer to my karmic issues, is to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo in order to change that bit of me that causes the mistakes. I can tell you now that, in the case of the schedule, I have more or less succeeded in this determination, not entirely alone as I now have the help of a very natty spreadsheet created by my darling Whizz, who always tries to help when he can, and never aludes to my stupidity.

 

A series of Unfortunate Occurrences

I have had so many misadventures in the past four weeks that I could almost write a book about them. The  reasons for my disasters may be as follows (disasters is  a big word when the following events are compared with falling off a cliff or drowning in a lake):

1, My dreaming, creative mind (A friend once gave me this excuse and to some degree I think she is right.)
2. I have a TERRIBLE memory due to an inability to make connections (and dreaming)
3. I try to fit too much into my day (and  I day dream)
4. Though I hate to admit it, I’m not as young as I was (and I day dream)

To set the scene a little, and this is by no means an attempt to big myself up, I do have a number of different hats, Too many really but which do I give up? In no particular order, I:

  1. Am a mum, with a big house that is home not only to Whizz, Mavis me, and Milo the moulting, smelly Labradolly, but also to two lodgers and a weekly B&B guest
  2. Work 3 days a week at my local school
  3. Keep the books and do the VAT returns for our business
  4. Write novel(s) and a blog
  5. Paint and draw
  6. Do all the decorating and the gardening (minimal effort here)
  7. Own a dog that needs walking
  8. Chant and do Buddhist admin.

When all is calm, I cope marvelously but if there is a change of plan, or an extra engagement I am thrown, and this is when things can go wrong.

My multifarious mishaps fall into three categories: Ineptitude and forgetfulness, clumsiness, and plain bad luck. OK, well most of them are due to the first in the list. So here they come, in separate posts:

 

On Sickness, fear, gratitude and of course humour

Recently Horace called me out of the blue, in tears because she had had a medical shock – I won’t go into details because she wouldn’t want me to. What I wanted to relate was the speed of the NHS  response. It was outstanding and I can only think she has received great protection from the universe.

As a result of her surgery and an ensuing infection she needed antibiotics, so she hobbled into her local pharmacy and passed over her prescription at a busy time.

Assorted Medications (33931804863).jpg

When the prescription had been made up, the assistant, a lady whose first language was not English, almost threw the packet at Horace saying, ‘Read the leaflet and don’t go out in daylight.’

‘Not go out in daylight?’ queried Horace.

‘No.’

‘You mean I can’t go out during the day?’

‘That’s right.’

Horrace was turning to leave thinking that she would read the drug leaflet very carefully, when the Pharmacist leaned out from where she was working, with one finger raised to get Horace’s attention.

I think what my colleague means,’ she said, ‘Is that if you are in the sun, put on a bit of extra sunscreen.’

 

Feeling sad but determined

As you know if you read this blog, I am generally upbeat. I hope this comes across in my posts. Today, however, I feel sad, almost moved to tears by what is going on in the UK. I don’t want to call it My Country because I am not and never have been nationalistic.

What saddens me most, is the apparent greed and self-interest that has taken over our politics. Although history tells us that our wealth in the West has been built at the expense of other, less developed countries, hence slavery, the Raj, South Africa and so on, in latter years – my lifetime and that of my parents – I have seen Britain as a country that does the right thing – the decent thing. OK there’s always been greed, but it has been tempered by our parliamentary democracy and the freedom of our press. Britain’s ability to stick to the agreement, even if it was uncomfortable, has made me feel secure that my values are more or less echoed by the government, whichever party is in power. Now however, we have a Tory party run by too many self-interested, greedy members and their representatives, and a Labour party with a leader, seemingly interested only in obtaining  power by default. Jeremy Corbyn has leapt on the possibility of leading an interim government. He sits on the fence about Labour policies and at every stage has ignored the opinion of his party, that his position as opposition leader is what stands in the way of Labour gaining power.  The country is divided, and in my opinion, our political choice sits between a furnace and a forest fire.

There is another way though, a middle way as we call it in SGI Buddhism. The SGI is a peace organisation run on Buddhist principles. Recently, I attended an SGI talk, possibly one  outlining the latest annual peace proposal by Daisaku Ikeda – I can’t be sure. In this talk, one  thing that made me prick up my ears was this (I am paraphrasing): It is much easier for evil people to gather together and gain strength, than for good people to do the same.  We are now experiencing the truth of this. There is a saying, that we get the government we deserve, but I would say that we get the government voted in by the strongest, and that, at the moment, is the most angry and greedy.

I feel so sorry for the world, but I will chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo  with determination, for the return of leaders with the attributes of wisdom, courage and compassion.  Good people can and will make a difference. Each of us has a responsibility to stand up peacefully in our daily lives for the truth. To educate ourselves and seek to understand both sides of the argument. Not to take at face value what we are told in the media. To be motivated by the needs of others as well as ourselves. As President Ikeda said,  ‘All fear vanishes the moment we believe with all our hearts, I alone am the scriptwriter of my life.’  (SGI newsletter 7891)

 

 

Child Quote – sort of.

This morning I spent an enjoyable hour browsing old photos in search of one of Horace wearing wellies.

Last weekend Whizz and I visited Horace and Kerching in their home in Canalshire, a place with only one canal, named after its county town of Clanaster. Are you with me?

While  Magicbhunkshire was an oasis of sunshine in an otherwise flooding and windy country, In Canalshire, it was ‘hissing’ down.

Undaunted, we decided to go to a local and amazing Food Festival in Clitheroe. I’m not making an anagram of this because I think you should visit next time you fancy a weekend away. Clitheroe is very pretty and the food festival was incredible. Every street was lined with stalls run by local food and drink producers, about 140 all told. Despite the torrential rain we managed to enjoy samples of caramel vodka, wine, gin, fudge, cheese and more.

Ready for the rain.

Before we left there was some discussion about what footwear to put on. I had little choice having brought only trainers and sandals. Horace hoped she wouldn’t have to walk all day in wellies but in the end, decided they were a necessary evil.

Standing at the bottom of the stairs she dipped her toe into the top of a boot, not looking at what she was doing because she was  talking to me.

‘Erm,’ I said, ‘You’re putting your wellies on the wrong feet.’

I didn’t think I would still have to help my 30-year-old daughter get her footwear the right way round.