Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Pencil.


 I had hoped to clear up my paint space and the little room I have in the house where I sit to do any preliminary drawing I want to do. I got the little room cleared and looking ready for whatever next project I might begin. I did not get out to the paint space for two reasons. 

First it was very heavy rain and windy and I did not want to transport materials from the house to there and the other way round in the rain. I may still manage because I am writing in the late afternoon and it is beginning  to fair. 

The second reason I am so far behind is because I sat and sorted through all of my pencils. Now I can hear you say surely that does not take very long. If I tell you I have a large assortment of pencils, pastel, watercolour, inktense ,graphite and on and on well over 500 different pencils. I sharpened them all. and put them in their proper places. 

This reminded me of the story of the pancil maker. 

This reminds me of the story of the pencil maker and his pencils. 

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting it into the box. 

"There are 5 things you need to know," he told the pencil, "Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be."


One: "You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone's hand."


Two: "You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil."


Three:  "You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make."



Four:  "The most important part of you will always be what's inside."


Five:  "On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to make your mark"



The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart. 




Now replacing the place of the pencil with ourselves.  

We must always remember the same things, never forget, and we will become the best persons we can be. 



One: "We will be able to do many great things, but only if we allow ourselves to be held in some guiding hand. And allow other human beings to access us for the many gifts we  possess.

"

Two: "We will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but we need it to become a stronger person." 



Three: "We will be able to correct any mistakes we might make. "



Four: "The most important part of us will always be what's on the inside.

"

Five: "On every surface we walk through, you must leave our mark. No matter what the situation, we must continue to leave good marks."


Allow this parable on the pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person and only you can fulfill the purpose to which you were born to accomplish.



Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make a change.
 


Have a marvelous day.  Go forth and make a mark. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Oh To Be Perfect.



Have you ever heard of the, you could have done better syndrome?  

I heard of it from a very early age in life. My mother was one of those people who, no matter how well a thing was done it was never quiet good enough. She was also one who was never slow to let you know.

I remember a school test. I had worked really hard to prepare for it, more than I could remember having prepared for any other test in school. I found school so difficult I had already almost given up on it completely. On the day of the test I felt well prepared as I sat down to look at the test paper. I completed all the questions well within the set time and handed in the completed paper.

The next day the teacher handed  back the papers, marked and scored. I had done very well having only got two questions not completely correct. It turned out that I was second top, from a class of 32. I went home proudly holding my test paper to show my parents.

My mother looked at it and noted I had been second in the class. “What happened that you did not manage to come first?” This is my first remembrance of the, “you could do better syndrome.”  Did it make me better? The answer to that question is simply this. I am not at all sure. What it did do though was to set in motion, “The I can do better driver.” This driver I have carried through my whole life. 

 Even now all those years later I am never happy with what I have done or acheived. There is always that little niggle in the back saying, "Could I have done better?"

This reminds me of the story of the man who had never married. One day his best friend asked him why he had never met somebody and settled down? He told his friend that he had wanted very much to do just that. He had looked and looked for the perfect girl. “You never found her?” asked his friend. “Yes I did,” he replied. He went on to tell his friend how he had met the perfect girl. She was perfectly beautiful and perfectly talented loving and caring. She would have made the perfect wife. “So why did you not marry her?” asked his friend. “Because she was looking for the perfect man.”

I think it is a bit late for me to learn the lesson I should have learned years ago but I have learned this. I never ever tell somebody that what they have achieved and are proud of is not the best. I strive to always encourage and inspire.

Now if only I could do that for myself.

Have a great day, inspire somebody not to do better but by telling them how well they have done.



 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Love Is ........






I was listening to John Lennon the other day as I wandered through the forest. It would have been his birthday had he not been shot. The music I was listening to was an album of very thought provoking songs written after the break up of the Beatles. 

Every track had another thought and another question about the meaning of life. Mother, Working Class Hero, God and Love. Each track made me a question and consider. 

I did not always agree with the thoughts he was sharing but I could fully understand where he was coming from. My thinking goes on! 

One track reminded me of this true story.

There was once a lad who suffered from cancer... a cancer that could not be treated. He was 18 years old and he could die anytime. All his life, he was stuck in his house being taken care of by his mother. He never went outside but he was sick of staying home and wanted to go out for once. 

So he asked his mother and she gave him permission.
He walked down the high street and found and looked in many of the stores. He passed a shop selling records and CDs. He looked in through the front door for a second as he walked. He stopped and went back to look into the shop again. 

He saw a young girl about his age and he knew it was love at first sight. He opened the door and walked in, not looking at anything else but her. He walked closer and closer until he was finally at the front of the counter where she stood.
She looked up and asked, "Can I help you?"
She smiled and he thought it was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen before and wanted to kiss her right there.
He said, "Uh... Yeah... Umm... I would like to buy a CD."
He picked one out and gave her money for it.
"Would you like me to wrap it for you?" she asked, smiling her cute smile again.
He nodded and she went to the back.
She came back with the wrapped CD and gave it to him. He took it and walked out of the shop. 

He went home and from then on, he went to that store frequently and bought a CD, and she wrapped it for him. Each time he took the CD home and put it in his closet. He was still too shy to ask her out and he really wanted to but he couldn't. His mother found out about this and told him to just ask her.
So the next day, he took all his courage and went to the shop. He bought a CD like he did every other time and once again she went to the back came back with it wrapped. 

He took it and when she wasn't looking, he left his phone number on the desk and ran out...
!!!RRRRRING!!!
The mother picked up the phone and said, "Hello?"
It was the girl!!! She asked for the boy and the mother started to cry and said, "You don't know? He passed away yesterday..."
The line was quiet except for the cries of the boy's mother. Later in the day. The mother went into the boy's room. She thought she would start by looking at his clothes. So she opened the closet. She was face to face with piles and piles of unopened CDs. 

She sat down and opened one.
Inside, there was the CD  and as she took it out of the wrapper, out fell a piece of paper. The mother picked it up and started to read it.
It said: Hi... I think U R really cute. Do u want to go out with me? Love, Jacelyn
The mother opened another CD...
Again there was a piece of paper. It said: Hi... I think U R really cute. Do u want to go out with me? Love, Jacelyn.


Love is... as John Lennon said. 

He then went on to say what it was some of which I might agree with much that I would question.  

Love is so precious it should be grasped at every opportunity. Life is full of moments when love can touch our lives but often we let it slip from our grasp. 

Grasp the moment and the day. 

Have a marvellous day and may you feel touched by LOVE.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

So you want to be a butterfly?






 In the course of the day, I find some strange things happening to me in spite of all my efforts to stop such events. In fact, I often manage to do at least one really silly thing a day.

So I suppose Friday the 13th was bound to be just such a day. It was miserable and wet and very windy so rather than venture out walking I decided a clean up of my study was the order of the day. I began with my file boxes. So full of all sorts of paper. Most of it could now go into the bucket. I came across a card that said thank you on the front.  I was about to put it in the waste but decided to open it only to find the money somebody had given me for a painting.

I have a habit of putting things away safely and then forgetting where I put them. I also found my air-pods, I had been looking for those for three days.

I remember one day out walking. it was before I had my apple watch and I was wearing this little watch, not a costly thing at all, the strap was made of rubber. It was good when running, and walking light in weight and not accurate enough to have me trying to push to beat a deadline. It did not have any numerals on its face. It had a dot at the place where the 12 should be and that is it.

So most of my times end with an “ish”. This day I went walking and was enjoying stravaging along in no particular hurry. Twice I remember glancing at this watch and thinking, “I can have a bit longer sitting here.”  When I headed back home I was surprised to see the clock on the church tower. It was telling me a time I most certainly had not expected. I looked at my little watch, I had it on upside down.

Twice in the course of yesterday I heard somebody complaining about his or her life. How long and boring the day was , every day the same.

Another person complaining about the job they had, and how they longed for something better. I, on both occasions looked at them and could not believe how young they were. Then I have to remember everybody looks young to me. 

The first time I bit my tongue and said nothing, the second time I said to the person, “If you want to become a butterfly. First you have to stop wanting to be a caterpillar. You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.  Then I walked on, feeling terrible about having said that. He must have thought I was crazy.

There is a truth in it though. There is no good at all complaining about our circumstances if we are not prepared to make a change. 

We have to want to get rid of the old you and find the new you. Once you become the butterfly you can soar and fly. As long as you want to hold on to the caterpillar you better just get used to all the ground hugging and crawling it entails. 

I have had a few days in what I call my dark place but slowly and surely I am beginning to see the light in the tunnel. I am smiling as I remember that young man I wonder if he gave any thought to what I had said. 

Have a wonderful day, and weekend be a butterfly. 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Drops of oil.






I have lived my life having what I call my dark times. I have had these for as long as I can remember, even as a very young boy. These dark moments can last a day sometimes a week not often but occasionally a bit longer. 

Over the years of my life, I have learned to accept these dark times. I am aware that they are not easy for those around me, but I rejoice in the fact those who care understand and give me time. Time not to find happiness but to get back into the light of normality.

No good searching for happiness or an answer, just wait, this too will pass.

A certain man sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for 40 days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.

Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our son, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity, tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world.

The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention.

The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.

“Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something,” said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.”

The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.

“Well,” asked the wise man, “Did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

The boy was embarrassed and confessed that he had observed nothing. 

His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,” said the wise man. “You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house.”

Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. 

Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.

“But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.

“Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,” said the wisest of wise men.

“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”

Another way of thinking about this is to see the marvels around.  But also be aware of that which is in us the precious things we have with us at all times. 

To be surrounded by those who care to help us to be aware of the wider joys. 

Take care of the drops of oil and life will take care of you.

Have a good day.




Thursday, 12 October 2017

In the Winter of my Life.


This is the painting I did to represent winter in my series of Vivaldi, The Four Seasons. Even in the midst of the gloom and the cold, there are those little things that bring colour into our lives. Those little winter flowers so unexpected on the road. 

I remember my youth and the fun I had in the winters of my youth. Hill 69 where we went sledging every child who lived in the street where I lived and some of the parents along with us, not to make sure we were safe but to take part and enjoy the fun. 

Oh, those wonderful days of youth.  How precious they have become as they have slipped further and further into the past. 

What I think most about my youth though was how I intensely wanted to change the world. From a very early stage in schooling, I got into a great deal of trouble because I did not always agree with what I was being taught. 

Yes, I wanted to change the world. I found it difficult, no, I found it impossible to change the world. 

So I joined a political party and decided to start with my nation. Maybe I could change that?  I campaigned I took part in marches, I got involved in civil disobedience. But my nation stayed the same.

So when I found I could not change the nation I got involved in the local scene. I ran youth clubs and all sorts of things. maybe I could at least change the town where I lived.

I could not do that so I turned to my family and thought I could maybe change them.  I ended up almost the black sheep, and maybe I still am. I continued to get involved in so many things, just to make a little change.

Now as I live in the winter of my life I realise that the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realise that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have had an impact on my family. My family could have had an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I just might have managed to change the world, well even if only my little corner of it. 

if we want to change anything the easiest thing to change is ourselves. 

Have a marvellous day. 



Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Give it your all.


The above painting is another in my series of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I hope that you can spot that it is summer. 

Summer for me has been a good time in so many ways. Yes, of course, there have been times when it could have been better but on the whole, it has been good. it has been good because for most of the time I have given it my all.  Given it 100%, whenever I was able. 

I have met and remet some lovely people and spent some wonderful times with them. These moments will become the memories of the time I have left on this wonderful planet. 

I have given it 100% I will say that again.  I laugh every time I hear somebody says that are going to give it more than 100%.

Just how do you give life more than 100%? I have given this some thought because if it is possible I want to know how. 

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

My apologies for the latter part of this mathematical formulae.

Here is how it works.

First, take the alphabet.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

Now represent each letter with its matching number.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Now ask the question again. How do I give more than 100%?

H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%  So hard work almost gets you there but just falls short.

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E

11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96% Knowledge likewise but even shorter.

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E

1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100% Spot on the 100%, but certainly no more than. 
For me, that would be good.

But now and here I apologise again.

B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T

2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103% 
There you go 103% but do you really want to go down that road?

AND.

A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G

1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that 
While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there. 
It's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top.

The question is do we wish to live in such a world?

Have a marvellous day.



Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Autumn Comes.


Some years ago I did four paintings for my sons office. I based them on the music of Vivaldi, The Four Seasons. Recently my son had a summer house, retreat , built in his back garden. A lovely place to sit far from the hustle and bustle of other things and no tv. 

He has decided to hang the four paintings in there  because he and his wife and friends will watch the changing seasons through the windows. 

The one above was the one to represent Autumn. 

Autumn is a beautiful time of the year loved by many, for its colours and beauty.  It touches the heart and the photographers and artists love it. 

But the reality of autumn is that it is much more a time of death rather than joy.

Just think. It is often at this time the the price of fuel begins to rise, happens every year almost without fail.  So while we rake up the dying leaves, they rake in the cash.  I am sure you have heard many people asking, "Do you think money grows on trees?" Now just think if it was the case how rich we would all be. 

Another little couple of thoughts I had about autumn as I walked through the beautiful woods of Scotland. Autumn is a time when we can see death as golden and beautiful. It is like another spring when every leaf is a flower.

It is indeed a beautiful time of the year and it lifts the spirits of us all because we know that spring will come again as surely as day becomes night. 

Let me finish by bringing our thoughts back to autumn and art.

A couple are looking round an art gallery, they come to  a painting where of a very beautiful woman with here dignity retained by the clever positioning of some leaves from a nearby tree. The wife does not like this painting at all and moves on quickly. The man stands looking. 

His wife turns back and asks him why is he taking so ling, "What are you waiting for?" she asks. The husband replies, "Autumn."

it is an inspiring time reminding us that times that may be sad or difficult , "They to will pass." Life  moves ever onward and we must grasp the day and the moment. 

Heading out today with my good friend for a walk in the Autumn woods I am sure they will fill me with joy and lift my gloomy heart. 

Have a beautiful day.





Sunday, 8 October 2017

Hearing what you want.


I have had a terrible painful elbow for a few months. It took a great many antibiotics to reduce the swelling and a good long time also. 

But even now I am aware of it being tender.  It is amazing how many times in the course of a day that you bump your elbow without being aware that you are.  I am very aware because the slightest touch on mine at the moment and I feel the pain. 

I was telling somebody this just yesterday. They said that they never hit their elbow, they were very careful, maybe I am rough and a bit thoughtless. 

Maybe I am, but I sure as hang no that I bump my elbow frequently. I told my friend about that discussion and he agreed with the person I had it with. "You don't bump your elbow all that often unless you are careless."

Strangely enough both have now changed their minds about that. Why?

Because now that I have put it in their minds they have become aware of just how often it suffered little bumps in the course of the day.

That upon which you concentrate is what you become aware of.

It is the same with the written word. If you are reading something but your mind is not fully concentrated on the actual words you insert your own thoughts and a misreading can occur. From that misreading a misunderstanding can so easily follow. 

This is similar to the spoken word,  often "clever" politicians can say things in such a way that people think they heard what was said. A later analysis of the actual words will show they said something very different but they have by then scored the point. 

A well respected surgeon was relaxing on the sofa with his wife one evening not long after a long day in theatre.

The phone rang and the doctor calmly answered it. A quiet voice at the other end of the line said they needed a fourth person to make a four for poker. 

"I will be right over said the doctor," in a firm and assertive voice.

As he was putting on his jackets wife asked, "Is it serious?"

"Oh yes very serious," said the doctor gravely. "In fact there are already three doctors in attendance." 

Have a wonderful day. 



 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

The visit.


One of the important things a minister has to do, though sadly not nearly so often now it seems, is visit those who are getting on in life and maybe now living in a retirement home. 

I felt very sorry that the minister of my Father in Law hardly if ever visited him in the latter years of his life. He had been a member of the church all of his life and even in his later years unable to go had still contributed financially. 

If there was ever anything i did that left me feeling I had done something worthwhile this was it. 

My friend agreed with me feeling the same about his ministry. But he tells of an incident that can only bring a smile to your day.

The minister had driven to the Retirement Nursing Home to visit Jean, an elderly member of his church in the latter years of her life.
"Hi Jean, good to see you, can I sit with you for awhile?"
As they begin chatting, the minister notices a bowl full of peanuts on the nearby nightstand.

As Jean continues to share a story he's already heard a few times before, he reaches for the bowl of peanuts and takes one.
As the conversation continues, he also continues to eat more and more peanuts.  Near the end of their time together he realises he has eaten every single peanut in the bowl.
"Jean , I must apologise. It seems that I have eaten every one of your peanuts."
"Oh that's okay minister."
"They would have just sat there anyway."
"Without my teeth anymore, all I can do is lick and suck the chocolate off of them and put the peanuts back in the bowl."

Everyone a fruit and nut case?

Have a marvellous day.

Friday, 6 October 2017

The Joys of Ministry.


Making new friends on holiday has an uncanny knack of making you look back over times now gone and just memories. It is amusing how we all have things in common with others.

I met teachers, artists , members of churches and all kinds of people but having had a such a rich and varied life was able to relate to most in one way or another.

One such meeting brought back memories of the ministry. These are true stories not made up tales, there may be a little bit of embellishment due to the passing of time but in essence true tales and events.

I as a minister was one of those who regularly visited the members of my church and others. I announced from the pulpit on a Sunday which part of the parish I would be making visitations.  
There were good points about this practice. People were aware that you were visiting and so were not caught by surprise. The downside was that there was always the odd one who did not answer the door.
At one house, it was obvious that someone was home, but nobody came to the door even though I had knocked several times.   I gave this some thought and made out little visiting cards for just such occasions.  On the front I printed tried to call but you were not at home sorry to have missed you. On the back I printed, "Revelation 3:20"   and stuck it in the door.
What does that mean? Well, if you look it up you will read:
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me."
One of those cards turned up in the collection plate one Sunday.  Below the my message was written the following:
"I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."
  Genesis 3:10
You just never know and you certainly should never jump to wrong ideas about why the door is not being answered when you go to visit somebody. 
Have a wonderful day and I hope some friend comes knocking when you are ready to share time with them. 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

It is a case of black or white.


It never fails to amaze me how we all see life so very differently. I have found it rather alarming sometimes in the last few weeks on some of the real and utter horrors that have happened, not least the latest in Las Vegas.  When reading peoples opinions on such matters I sometimes feel like weeping when I read how some respond to such situations.
But then I suppose life would be very different if we all believed in the same things in the same ways.
I was giving thought to this as I drove the long road from France to Freuchie and I remembered a lesson learned as a schoolboy.
I will never forget this lesson.
It was in primary school and I had got myself into an argument  with another boy in my class. I can still remember his name to this day and that argument but I will not give any names here.
I was convinced that, “I” was right and “he” was wrong, and he was just as convinced that ,“I” was wrong and “he” was right. The teacher decided to teach us a very important lesson.
She brought us up to the front of the class and placed him on one side of her desk and me on the other. In the middle of her desk was a large, round object. I could clearly see that it was black. 
She asked the boy what colour the object was. “White,” he answered.
I could not believe that he said the object was white when it was very clearly black. I might have been unwise about other things but colour was ok for me. It was black. Another argument was about to develop.
The teacher held up her hand to stop, and told us to change places. She then asked me what colour the object was, I had to give an honest answer it was indeed white. 
It was in fact a two coloured ball and depending on where you stood was what you saw. 
What saddens me and what I have learned since that to be really honest, as far as personal opinions go, there is really no black and white but some kind of shade of grey.
Have a beautiful and colourful day.  Hope things will get back to normal very soon. That is for me I mean.




Monday, 2 October 2017

Change Can Be a Good Thing.


There is something nice about seeing things being changed for the good.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 
― Lao Tzu

Two things that brought to mind the joy of things changing was first this old army wagon. It was sitting at the side of the road outside the last site I was on. It obviously dated back to war times but the present owner was in the process of restoring it and lovingly bringing a new meaning to its existence. 

I am not usually one to paint the accoutrements of war but on this occasion I just could not resist.

The second thing that made me stop and consider this topic is the restored Norman Benedictine Monastery just a few miles down the road from where I now am.

During the war it was taken over and used as a training centre for training tank drivers. World apart from its original use as a place of prayer and meditation. 

Now almost completely restored it back and being used for its original purpose and creative arts are being produced by those who live there. 


Sadly not all things go this way.

I was reminded of the  story of the angry girl driver. 

An honest man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy street. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him.
He did the right thing, stopping at the junction, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. 
You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, swearing the guy in front of you, and making all sorts of rude gestures. 
"I noticed the 'Choose Life' sticker on the window, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Church' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the boot. 
Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."
Just a thought, "We can all change but not always for the better and what some people say they are is not what their actions tell us they are. 
Have a great day. Not sure just when I will be free to post again might be at least two days. I have a ferry crossing and a long journey through England and half of Scotland in front of me in the next two days or so. 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Never Trust Anything

I go back to 
If these two pictures tell you anything they tell you not to trust or believe anything. Of course the first is a picture taken on my iPhone the second is my painting of the picture, painted using my Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro.
Of course the photograph is much more realistic than the painting. I have removed all the Lodges in the painting and made the sky just a little bit more blue.

It is amazing how the artist can just paint out anything that is not pleasing to the eye. Of course the camera never lies. Now does the artist lie or make things just a bit more pleasing? I leave the answer to that question in your mind and on your tongue. I know where I stand.

I go back to my little tales about gates brought to my mind by my painting of the gate I did the other day.

A young woman was walking home very late one night her own. Her way home passed a graveyard.

The shortest way was though the graveyard the long way was to take the route avoiding going through the graveyard.

As she passed the graveyard gates she was filled with fear. A man stood near her she asked him if he would mind going with her through the cemetery? 

Not at all he said and took her arm and began to walk with her. As she was going through she felt so much less afraid with the man beside her. 

She told the man that she was afraid of ghosts and was so happy he was there with hr.

He turned and looked at her and asked, "Why are you so afraid of us?"

You see what I mean never trust just what. you see.

Have a marvellous day. My apologies for the haphazard times of posting. Iffy wifi and travel oft times gets in the way.







Saturday, 30 September 2017

Gates



I remember  the first time I met one of the farmers in my parish. As I approached the farm he was standing at the gate of one of his fields. On introducing  himself to me he went on to say, " I am a man outstanding in my own field."  I laughed and he laughed with me and so began a good friendship.  He was a wonderful friend and helped me with my hens and all sorts of things.

The painting I have used on this blog, even though I am having difficulty with it because of the wifi where I am is of a gate I passed through yesterday. I just could not resist painting it. It was in itself a work of art. Made out of bits of trees and wood constructed in such a way that I could walk through it but cattle in the field could not.

It reminded me of another French gate. This one led to a field of melons. The farmer was concerned that his melons were disappearing due to theft. He very cleverly thought how he might stop this happening.

He painted a large notice which he nailed to the gate. It read, "One one the melons in this field has been injected with poison." 

The next morning, no thefts. He was feeling very pleased with  himself and his notice. Then he looked at it again.

Somebody had added something to the bottom of the notice.

"Now there are two."

Never become too outstanding and clever for your own good, it can come back and bite you.

Have a wonderful day. Cannot get the picture on here but it is on the link on FB. Moving on again tomorrow hopefully to better wifi.




Friday, 29 September 2017

Getting Lost.

I have had some marvellous experiences in life and strangely the ones that stick in my memory are those where I have got lost. Memories are built on the experiences we did not expect to have.

I remember one such experience where on following directions given me by my son I ended up standing in snow in glaciers with a car and caravan.  The sign on the road ahead said no trailers beyond this point. I had driven up and up a scary road for miles I was not for turning around and going back. So taking the bull by the horns I drove on down the most horrendous trail.

When I eventually arrived at the bottom I was so relieved. When I looked at the beautiful trims on my caravan wheels they were just two flops of molten plastic from the heat off my brakes.

A frightening experience but yet one of life memories that both I and my family have laughed about for years and learned from.

Yesterday I had a similar experience. I cycled for miles, once again to view a place my son told me was worthy of a visit. It was. 

The return journey I tried to follow a cycle path which led me up and down hills and through little villages. I was lost. But then I cycled though a troglodyte habitation. This made all the trials of the cycle worth it. 

To see and wonder that people so many thousands of years ago could build and construct such cave dwellings with little tools or knowledge.

it makes us clever people seem so much less clever. Oh yes we have computers and all such wonders. But could we without their help be so inventive?

The other thought that crossed my mind was that so often in life we get lost. Or we wander off track and get into difficulties. The road ahead seems impossible. But just around the corner there can be marvellous things to behold.

If we can just settle down and take time and get things back on track.

As Taoism says go with the flow and all will come right.

Have a marvellous day.


Thursday, 28 September 2017

For what do we wait.


I had an very interesting discussion last with with the couple in the caravan next to me. Now I do not know how we did but we ended up having a fairly interesting conversation about the teaching of Buddhism, called the Eightfold Path. 

This led to a discussion about the frailty of life and as a chemist he does not believe that there is anything that is not in a state of constant change. Now this fits perfectly with the Buddhist belief of Impermanence, nothing last or lives forever.

So the question of the title of this blog and the title of the painting, The Warrior Waits, is simply what do we wait for. Being aware of the inevitable we should wait for nothing but get on with living. Living each precious moment as if it were the last. 

A bit like the couple in this little tale.

Barry returned from a doctor's visit one day and told his wife that the doctor said he only had 24 hours to live. Wiping away her tears, he asked her to make love with him. 

Of course she agreed and they made passionate love.
Later, Barry was getting into bed when he realised he now had only eight hours of life left. He touched her shoulder and said, "Honey? Please? Just one more time before I die." 
She agreed, then afterward she rolled over and fell asleep.
Barry, however, heard the clock ticking in his head, and he tossed and turned until he was down to only four more hours. He tapped his wife on the shoulder to wake her up. "Honey, I only have four hours left! Could we...?"
His wife sat up abruptly, turned to him and said, "Listen Barry, I'm not being funny... but I have to get up in the morning and you don't."

It is all a case of priorities really.

Moving on day for me today everything changes. Where am I going to be at the end of the day? I really do not know we shall see.

Have a great day and make the most of it. 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Who Brews First.




The painting above is I think still a work in progress. A friend Marina sent me the photograph and I thank her for that. I have made no effort as yet to reproduce it rather I have tried to capture it in a very impressionistic way capturing the mood rather than the reality. 

One of my great loves in life is an expresso coffee preferably sitting at a roadside bistro watching the world go by. I also look forward to the first cup in the morning nice and strong, it sets me up for the day. 

The coffee made here in France for some reason or another always just tastes that little bit different.

One of the other joys of being away in the van is the kind of tradition we have built up over the years of having a coffee before rising while I read a few chapters of my present book.

No argument about who makes this early morning coffee it is just a case of whoever.

This is so unlike the man and his wife who argued all the time about who was making the first brew of the day.

So this day the  man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning.

The wife said, "You should do it because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee.

The husband said, "You are in charge of cooking around here and
you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee."

Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee."
Husband replies, "I can't believe that, show me."

So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages that it indeed says... "HEBREWS"

Now how can you argue with that?

Enjoy your daily brew and have a great day.