stepping stones of truth

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

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Notes from Nottingham

My life has been a bit full lately. Not necessarily busy, just full. There is still uncertainty over my future at work - and at home there has been plenty going on.

However Ive managed to keep up with reading my favourite blogs, but not left many comments. Its been lovely to see how the other northern hemisphere bloggers have been enjoying the arrival of spring, especially Kerri and Cate, and to see how Tabor is handling retirement. Two topics that are of consuming interest to me right now.

I have escaped to Nottingham to spend a week with the Dalai Lama - me and several thousand others! I enjoyed his visit to Glasgow so much a few years ago, and am here with some of the same group of friends.

I am treating it as a holiday, not a retreat - so am staying in a nice hotel with wifi, a lovely ensuite bathroom, fridge etc etc. The room is a bit small but I got a very good deal by not having meals, by booking incredibly early, but they only allocate rooms on arrival - why should they give me the biggest one? We walked around the town centre in the rain yesterday to get our bearings and I bought a few things to make the room seem like home (flowers, fruit, a storage jar for my Earl Grey tea bags and some muesli for breakfast +bowl and cutlery!)

This spring seems to be quite the loveliest I remember for a long time - or is it just me? It was my birthday last weekend and I feel I have the best time of year to be born. Everything is so green and full of blossom, the air is (mostly) warm but the mornings can be crisp. Things are coming into flower in my garden and the hedgerows so fast I cant keep up with the new arrivals.

I bought a new bike and Youngest Daughter and I go whizzing about the lanes and trackways around the village and down the valley. I am so grateful for aluminium frames, modern technology and gears, flexible forks and gel filled saddles. But the countryside goes by so fast when you have only been used to walking around it, and viewing it lazily at close quarters. But I am sure I will get used to it. Its very exhilerating and much easier than my old Witch of the West Raleigh with a basket on the handlebars, that I could hardly lift.

I miss the green countryside and my garden already - and its only the second day - I will post some photos of it when I get a moment. But I have His Holiness cheerful but deep wisdom to soak up. Looking forward to it - and the retail therapy of a huge area of stalls selling all sorts of goodies like books, cards, Buddhas, bags, clothes - mostly from Tibet, India and all places East. And they say that craving is one of the hindrances to spiritual growth.... yeah but hopefully I shall receive plenty from HH's talks and teachings so maybe they will cancel each other out!


At 5:48 pm, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Hi Val
So glad your are enjoying your break, and in such good company too.
If you get a chance, come and see my art Dorset Art Week venue 213.
All the very best, Jennifer Martindale

At 5:52 pm, Blogger Tabor said...

Val, thanks for your referral. I am working on thoughts about this next month of retirement. These first few weeks are much like along I am sure that I will be blogging about that as well. It seems the most complex ideas and emotions occur just before I fall asleep...and I don't have a laptop!

At 5:27 pm, Blogger Zen said...

smashing! good for you!

At 10:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Gel filled saddles" - hmmm, sounds rather naughty and decadent. Good for you!

Val (has her say)

At 12:18 pm, Blogger Rowan said...

Hope you enjoyed your week in Nottingham, it must have been really interesting.

At 7:49 am, Blogger Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Hello Val...
Just stopped by to see how you are doing. Pleased you are enjoying your break.

Love the picture of you with the new bike. I was pleased to be able to enlarge it and see more details of what’s flowing in your garden. Its lovely!

Hope you enjoyed your trip to Nottingham..... I’m sure you did.

Happy cycling. Marion

At 3:20 am, Blogger Kerri said...

Your week in Nottingham sounded like a lovely getaway.
Thanks for the link :)
Yes, I've enjoyed spring so much (even though it was sadly lacking in warmth), and now we're into summer already, with school just finishing for the summer vacation, so I'm feeling free! Yay!
A very belated happy birthday to you. Spring certainly is a lovely time to be born.
How wonderful to have a new bike, and a daughter to ride with.
That's a beautiful photo of you, and your garden looks glorious. You have some beautiful flowering trees. What's the purple one?
I hope the work situation gets straightened out soon with happier results.


Post a Comment

<< Home