stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Friday, February 24, 2006

A matter of definitions

If I say “wallpaper” most of you will think of nice images to put on your computer. If I say “stripper” some heart rates will increase. Include “steamy” and this post wont get past NetNanny, or indeed many corporate filters! But put them together and you have my latest discovery (I nearly said “toy” but thought better of it!)

After thirty years of looking at the same bedroom wallpaper, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I know there is a saying “ the cobbler’s children are always unshod” but sometimes I feel it ought to be “the builder’s house is always undecorated”. That’s not particularly fair to the builder in question as he works very hard. But any work on the house is unpaid, so decorating comes low on the scale. There are new double glazed windows in the bedroom, and a good friend passed on a lovely carpet AND made me new curtains of Liberty print. But before the carpet can go down, I really wanted to take out the busy, brown, seventies wallpaper and replace it with tranquil painted walls.

Hence the steam wallpaper stripper. And no, the hire company did NOT supply the manpower to go with it! Although trade rates did apply – there are some other perks to having a husband who is a builder.

I don’t think I will go ahead and paint the walls, but I am doing my bit to help towards the end product.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

More screen fun

Leaves of Grass: Wonderful screensaver "Emptiness is Form" by Scott Snibbe
Its my current screen saver. So much more elegant than anything Ive seen before. And it seems to come without any nasties too. Thanks Sonia.

Screen fun

I was getting withdrawl symptoms due to the lack of seasonal "falling snow" screen saver. Thanks to Robert Brady for flagging up this "Zen-like creative screen visual". Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Well, it looks as though I’ve been tagged by the Other Val. I always wondered what it was all about, and now I know!

Here goes (at least it looks more fun than the best four film, best four holiday places, etc)

What were three things when you were little you wanted to be when you grew up?
  • A ballerina
  • An air hostess
  • A nurse
And in that order too. I reckoned that you had to be fit and supple for the first, pretty for the second, and tough for the third. I think I was about six, and couldn’t understand why adults laughed at the thought of three careers one after the other. How ahead of my time I was!

You can live one day over again from your childhood. What day will it be?
The day I won the cup at the annual show of my ballet school. It wasn’t the cup for the best dancer, but the was voted for among the girls (sort of player’s player for you sporting types!)

You have two minutes (and a mover with you if you need heavy lifting help!) to grab 5 things from your home before it morphs into a polka dotted hobgoblin and hops away. What will you take? (Food/drink/family/friends excluded!)
  • Mobile phone so I can tell my friends all about it, and get counseling!
  • Backup CDs of my course work, Japanese garden photos and all my other files and images inc the family albums
  • Book case (inc books of course)
  • Mermaid's tears from Iona (I must write about those soon)
  • No number five, I travel light – apart from the books! Well I am a librarian. And apart from my varifocal specs, like the Other Val. But I don’t think they count as things to grab.

You have to paint one quote on your kitchen wall. What is it going to be?
There have been a few quoted here recently. But I think it would have to be one of my own reminders to myself when things irritate me “Ultimately, does it really matter?”

What is the one thing you want to have accomplished by the end of this year?
To have been accepted for, and completed the two week intensive seminar (in English!) run by the Research Center for Japanese Garden Art at Kyoto University in the autumn.

You are moving to the moon for one year and can only bring one flower with you. What kind will you bring?
A sunflower – they always make me smile.

You just received word that aside from one flower, you can also bring five books with you too! Your choices?

  • The Art of Setting Stones: & Other Writings from the Japanese Garden by Marc Peter Keane
  • The Heart of the Buddha’s Teachings by Thich Naht Hanh
  • The out of print book on creating mandalas that I have recently lent out, and I cant remember the publication details. I hang my head in shame.
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My blog spot

In response to a request from blogging friends from Down Under, here is a photo of my “blog corner” – where I post from.

The PC is conveniently located in a recess left by closing off a doorway when converting the old village school to a home (some thirty years ago).

My builder husband built in a higher fixed shelf, and also a neat sliding shelf for the keyboard, which pulls out so that I can sit/kneel with comfort. You notice I have one of those kneeling chairs that are good for posture, and stop you slouching at the keyboard!

That’s an awful spaghetti of wires behind – I had very neat cable management at one time, whatever happened?! The smaller box on the scanner is a recent purchase, and it converts old 35mm slides to digital images. Most new scanners include that as standard I think, but mine didn’t. We’ve a lot of slides from our year on the “hippy trail” to India in the seventies that I didn’t want to see lost to mould and decay, but I haven’t got around to converting many yet.

My bokken, wooden training sword, was brought back from Kyoto for t’ai chi training. It came home ignominiously with all the awkward shaped luggage (push chairs, skis, etc) but at least the Japanese airline staff recognized what it was.

The poster above the lilac teddy bear on the dresser is also from a recent trip to Japan (oh, I am not given to fluffy cuddly toys but this was lavender scented and a present) It’s a quotation by the head monk of the Zen temple with that famous rocks and sand garden. He calls it Words for Each Day :–

Each day in life is training
Training for myself
Though failure is possible
Living each moment
Equal to anything
Ready for everything

I am alive – I am this moment

My future is Here and Now

If I cannot endure today
When and where will I?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I'm sure it's been done before....

What an interesting thing to do! I would never have thought of it, were it not for seeing the post on the other librarian Val’s blog (who also likes Japanese gardens but lives in Australia – coincidence eh?). So thanks to Sonia for spreading the word!

It’s a wonder what you can do with a scanner and some black cloth! (I must get some black felt, it will work better than the Indian wool scarf that I had to hand)

I hope you get your scanner Val, and start to enjoy it! What can I scan next?……..