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!