Tuesday, 31 January 2017


A Work in Progress.

Not sure where this one is going but I know it has not arrived there yet. 

I am very fortunate in having a wonderful family around me and I am proud of them all. That of course does not stop me having a little gentle dig at them from time to time. 

My son is a lawyer and that speaks for itself. Lawyers are so often the butt of jokes about how uncaring they are and in the case of my son that is so many million miles away from reality.

But I did hear this little tale about an American lawyer that brought a smile to my face. 

One afternoon a lawyer was driving home  in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.
He asked one man, "Why are you eating grass?"
"We don't have any money for food," the poor man replied. "We have to eat grass."
"Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I'll feed you," the lawyer said.
"But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree."
"Bring them along," the lawyer replied.
Turning to the other poor man he stated, "You come with us, too."
The second man, in a pitiful voice, then said, "But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children with me!"
"Bring them along as well," the lawyer answered.
They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine was. Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said, "Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you."
The lawyer replied, "Glad to do it. You'll really love my place.
The grass is almost a foot high."
Have a wonderful day. 

Monday, 30 January 2017

Not Again.

It happened to me yet again yesterday. I headed out of the room to make myself a cup of coffee. The parcel that had just been delivered was sitting in the hallway. I new exactly what it was but the box seemed very large for just twelve rolls of kitchen towel.

I went back into the study to collect a pair of scissors to open the package. The cardboard would of course be good if I have a painting package so I open it carefully.. I fold the cardboard and store it safely and put the kitchen rolls into the conservatory ready to take out to my workspace.

I return to the kitchen and open the fridge. I notice something I had promised myself would be in a curry later so I remove it and prepare it. 

That being done I return to the computer and yes you got it right, no coffee. Thank goodness I have a coffee machine I can operate from my phone so start it off to make the mug of coffee.

I was sitting chuckling thinking I was just like the old couple who had been advised by the doctor to make notes. They were physically fine for their age but the memory was playing up.

Later that night while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair.
His wife asks, "Where are you going?"
"To the kitchen," he replies.
"Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?"
"Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?" she asks.
"No, I can remember it."
"Well, I'd like some strawberries on top, too. You'd better write it down, because you know you'll forget it."
He says, "I can remember that! You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries."
"I'd also like whipped cream. I'm certain you'll forget that, so you'd better write it down!" she retorts.
Irritated, he says, "I don't need to write it down, I can remember it! Leave me alone! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream -- I got it, for goodness sake!" Then he grumbles into the kitchen.
After about 20 minutes the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stares at the plate for a moment and says... "Where's my toast?
The good things is that I may well be forgetting loads of things that I am very happy to forget. 
Have a carefree and memorable day. 

Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Chance to do it all again.

I had a very interesting conversation yesterday with my friend. We were wondering what life would be like if we got the chance to live it all over again. Would we make the same mistakes a second time? Would we have the same friends and family?

It is indeed strange how things can turn on just a moment.

After we parted I sat down and thought again about that second chance to do it again. 

I came to this conclusion.

I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. 
I would have eaten the things I enjoyed in the "GOOD" living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to join me but had not taken their shoes off. 
I would have taken the time to listen more to my father ramble about his youth. 
 I would have burned that beautiful rainbow candle candle before it melted and lost all its colour in the sun. 
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains. 
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life. 
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day. 
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime. I would buy it because even though impractical I liked it.
 When my kids kissed me impetuously, would never have said, "Later, now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you's" ... more "I'm sorry's" ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute ... look at it and really see it ... live it .. and never give it back.
So I am going to do just that with what little of life I have left. Would you care to join me?
Have a wonderful day enjoy every single minute.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Go with the flow.

I have been reading once again a book I have turned to so often over the years, a book I recommend with no reservations. It is a book that can be read by people of any religion and those of no religion and something will be learned. 

In the time I was reading it I also read an article on people who for one reason or another had survived 9/11 because they had been kept late for work . Each one is a true verified fact. 

One person because that morning his son was having his first day at school and he wanted to be at home to see him head off, so he was late for work.

Another man was alive because it was his turn to go for the buns for the morning break.

A woman is alive because on that particular day her alarm failed to go off.

Another got caught up in an accident.

One missed her bus.

A young girl spilled something on her dress and went back to change it.

One persons car would not start and had to wait for home start.

One person went back to answer the phone that rang just as she left the door.

One had a child who just on that day dawdled and made her late.

Another could not get a taxi.

One man put on a brand new pair of shoes and got a blister walking to work. He stopped in at the pharmacy to buy a plater  and apply it. He was late for work and survived. 

So, if you get stuck in traffic, miss a bus, turn back because of an annoying telephone I think to myself this is Wei Wei it is just me going with the natural order of things.

The next time everything seems to be going wrong for you. The kids are playing up or you cannot find the car keys. The next time you hit every red light on the journey. Do not get mad or frustrated just go with the flow, it is all part of everyday life.

may life continue to weave a beautiful pattern for you and may you enjoy all the unexpected little moments. Remember it might well be that you are missing something you would not enjoy at all. 

Oh the name of that book all about going with the flow. It is, " The Tao of Pooh."

Have a wonderful day.



Friday, 27 January 2017

I need a push.

This one is for you Jim. The first ever painting I did only using my fingertips, not a brush in sight. 

Yesterday I was talking about having conversations with people you do not see eye to eye with and how whether we like it or not we need to learn to appreciate their right to disagree and have there own opinion. 

Now that is all very well but somebody pointed out to me that this was not easy when you for no reason of your own find yourself talking to somebody who is rather the worse for alcohol.

An example of this is to be found in the true story of the man and his wife who were awakened at 3.00am by a loud pounding on the door.

The husband gets up and makes his weary way to the door where he sees a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, he is asking for a push.

"Not a chance," says the man, "it is 3.00 am in the morning!"

He slams the door and returns to bed.

"Who was that?" his wife asks.

"Just some drunk guy asking for a push," says the husband.

"Did you help hime?" the wife retorts.

"No, I did not, its 3.00am in the morning it is pouring with rain."

"Well, you have a very short memory," says the wife. "Can you not remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those kind lads helped us in the pouring rain."

"I think you should go out and help him. You should be ashamed of yourself. God loves the drunk also."

The man reluctantly does as he is told, gets dressed , and heads out into the pouring rain.

He calls out in the dark, "Hello, are you still there?"

"Yes," come back the answer.

"Do you still need a push?" calls out  the husband.

"Yes, please!" comes the reply.

"Where are you?"

"Over here ........ on the swing," replies the drunk.

What is the lesson? Twofold! There are times when reason and rational go out the window and trying to be kind and considerate is not the best way to respond. Second. The wife is not always correct even when she thinks she is. 

Have a trouble free day. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Wonderful Entrance.


I had a very interesting discussion with a person the other day and no matter what I said he saw it in a very different way. Now that is not a strange event in my life because I so often see things in a very different way from most of my friends. I do though, usually have one or two things we can agree about on have an understanding about but in this particular case not a single thing. 

This reminded me of the person who had a similar debate at the pearly gates about his entry into heaven.

The gates were closed when Jimmy approached the gatekeeper. St. Peter says "Well, Jimmy, it's certainly good to see you. We've heard so many good things about you. I must inform you, though, the place is filling up fast, and we've been giving an entrance exam to everyone. The quiz is short, but you need to pass it before you can get into Heaven.
Jimmy responds, "It sure is good to be here, St. Peter. I was looking forward to this. But, nobody ever told me about any entrance exam. I sure hope the test isn't  too hard; Life was a big enough test as it was." And Jimmy had never passed a test in all of it.
St. Peter goes on... "I know, Jimmy , but the test is only three questions and you can have the night to think about it. So, here it is:
1. What days of the week begin with the letter T?
2. How many seconds are there in a year? ... and...
3. What is God's first name?"
Jimmy goes away to think the questions over. He returns the next day and goes up to St. Peter to try to answer all three questions. St. Peter waves him up and says, "Now that you've had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers."
Jimmy says, "Well, the first one, how many days of the week begin with the letter T?  that one's easy. That'd be Today and Tomorrow."
The Saint's eyes open wide and he exclaims "Jimmy! That's not what I was thinking... but, you do have a point though, and I guess I didn't specify, so I'll give you credit for that answer. How about the next one? How many seconds are in a year?"
"Now, that one's harder" says Jimmy, "but I thought and thought about that, and I guess the only answer can be twelve."
Astounded, St. Peter says "Twelve! Twelve!? Jimmy, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?"
Jimmy says, "Aw, come on, St. Peter, there's gotta be twelve. January second, and February second, and March second..."
"Hold it" interrupts St. Peter. "I see where you're going, and I guess I see your point, but that wasn't what I had in mind. But, I'll give you credit for that one, too. Now, let's go on with the final question. Can you tell me God's first name?"
Jimmy quickly replied, "Andy."
Again, St. Peter asked, "How in the world did you come up with Andy?" 
Jimmy  smiled and said, "You know, St. Peter, from that song we all sing in church...
"Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me."
Just because a person does not see or understand things the same way you do, does not mean they are wrong. They are entitled to their own point of view, and it should be considered as important as any other. 

That's my point of view. Do you agree?

Would be nice to start my day agreeing with somebody. Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Yes your honour!

I cannot remember what it was I was searching for but I was pulling things out of my study to find whatever it was I was looking for. It goes to show that whatever it was it was not important or I would not only remember the search but also the purpose of the search.

It was one of those searches that came to an abrupt end on my finding something much more interesting than what I was looking for.

What I found was a number of hardback jotters. The moment I found them I was taken back to my days of sitting in the courts in Alloa, Kirkintilloch, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy. While sitting on the bench we took very clear and precise notes of all that happened and what was said. I noted down any questions and answers word for word. 

Such clear and accurate notes were good in helping to determine the sentence I would pronounce at the end of proceedings, but more important would be there if the judgement went to appeal. 

I spent about the next two hours reading through these and remembering many of the cases. Some of them brought a smile to my face then and did so again. 

Q: What is your date of birth? 
A: July fifteenth. 
Q: What year? 
A: Every year.


Q: How old is your son, the one living with you? 
A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which. 
Q: How long has he lived with you? 
A: Forty-five years.

Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning? 
A: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?" 
Q: And why did that upset you? 
A: My name is Susan.

Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
And lastly for today.
Q: How was your first marriage terminated? 
A: By death. 
Q: And by whose death was it terminated?

I was just dying when I heard that one.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

How was your day?

There are days when things go just fine and days when you know you should have stayed in bed. I am sure everybody reading this is very familiar with just exactly what I am saying.

So it is with art. There are days when the paint just refuses to do what you want it to do and then there are those magical days when it just flows and goes exactly where it is meant to. I had one of those art days yesterday. I decided to paint a pastel and everything went just exactly as I wanted it to go. It being a commission work I cannot at present share it with you but I was happy with the finished piece. 

As Winnie the Pooh would say, "Some things just happen even when you do not try to make them happen, they just are." 

The Chinese philosophers call it Wei Wei. 

Not at all like the man in my tale for today.

I will let him tell the story himself.

There I was sitting at the bar staring at my drink when a large trouble-making biker steps up next to me and grabs my pint and gulps it down.

As I look at him he asks in menace what I am going to do about his actions. I burst into tears.

"For goodness sake ," says the biker, "I did not expect you to sit there crying."

I tell him, "This has been the worst day of my life. I am a complete failure, nothing goes right for me. I was late for a meeting with my boss and he fired me. When I went to get my car from the car park it had been stolen. I will not get very much from the insurance so I will not be able to replace it. "

"I took a taxi home and left my wallet in it. I walked in the house and got my wife in bed with the man who comes to cut our grass. When I shouted at them my dog bit me."

" So I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all. I buy a drink, I drop two capsules in and sit here watching the poison dissolve. Then you, you jack-ass,. You show up and drink the whole thing!"

"But enough about me, how is your day going?"

A bit like the answer given by a student to the question,  "What causes the tides and the oceans?"

" The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon because there is no water on the moon, nature hates a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this battle."

I hope you have a marvellous Winnie the Pooh day where you just go with the flow, Wei Wei and all goes well for. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Getting it wrong.

I have hated having this cold it draws all the energy out of your being. I long to feel well again. Please note I did not say that I long to be young again, I am not sure I could go through all the angst again. 

The wonderful thing about getting older is that it is so easy to be positive. It is easier to be positive because you care less what other people think. Now please do not read that as I could not care less, that is far from true.

I just question myself less. I have earned the right to be wrong.

Always wanting to be correct and to achieve is very draining. 

It is a shame that some of my students had had a bit more wisdom before just dashing off some of the answers that came our way in my days of teaching. here are one or two others that might bring a little smile.

What is a Turban? 
A thing that makes energy. 

Who did not welcome the return of the prodigal son?
The fatted calf.

What is a Hindu?
It is a bird that lays eggs.

Name some famous pilgrimages. 
Muslims used to go to Gamages but now it’s closed. Christians still go on pilgrimage to Lord’s.

What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to adultery.

What happens to your body as you age?
When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.

I suppose that is what I am doing when I head off to France. 

Have a marvellous day.


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Some Clever People Around.

I was talking the other day to one of my students from my last school. We were having a little laugh together about some of the smart answers some of the students used to bring up. One or two of them are memorable even though not printable in this format. But they still do make me smile and wonder how some of them are getting on in life.

I am so fortunate that so many of them do keep in touch and I see them developing into wonderful mother s and fathers. 

Here are one or two of the responses to questions that I can share with you, hope you find them as amusing as I did. 

Define the word “monotony.”
Monotony is being married to the same person all your life.
Use the word “judicious” in a sentence to show you understand its meaning.
Hands that judicious can be soft as your face.
What does the word “benign” mean?
Benign is what you will be after you be eight.
What is the correct use of a semi-colon?
Only to be used as a last resort, a semi-colon is a partial removal of the intestines.
Even writing them I am smiling. But here is a little tale of another smart answer or retort. 
An old man lived in a little cottage not far from a small lake or tarn or as we call it in Scotland a Lochan. 
At the edge of the lochan there were some fruit trees and bushes. he regularly collected the fruit and made it into jam.
One day while he was heading down towards the lochan he heard the sound of laughter and voices.  As he got nearer he became aware that there were four young ladies skinny dipping in the water. 
He began to whistle loudly so that they were aware of his presence. One of the ladies shouted out to him. "We are not getting out of here until you have gone. "
He replied, That is fine. I am not here to see you coming out of the water I am just down here to feed the crocodile."
Have a happy and good day.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Lets Celebrate

Games People Play.

An artist friend was telling me the other day how at their Christmas festival which has just gone they also celebrate the baptism of Jesus. They do this by either having children baptised or if adult they immerse themselves in freezing cold water. The water is in the open air. A hole has been cut through the ice into which people plunge themselves. I can almost feel the chills running up my back even now.
It is amazing how all over the world we celebrate various festivals and even though some are given the same names they are celebrated in many differing ways. 
remember when I was early to teaching I taught in a school in Glasgow where the pupils were predominately Muslim. They frequently asked me why the holidays were all marked out around Christian celebrations. They felt there was a sense of unfairness in this. 
In reality there was no such thing. In Scotland extra holidays are given to those of different faiths so that they might celebrate important days in their calendars.
This brought to mind the tale of the person of no religious faith who took the council to court about all of the holidays for religious festivals.
Easter and Passover  and many other holy days. 
He hired a lawyer to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews and observances of they're holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days. 
The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!" 
The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honour, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday."
The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant. 
The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. 
Psalm 14:1 states, "The fool says in his heart, there is no God. Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. 
Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned."
I am wondering if maybe there is a case for the celebration of Lao Tzŭ. I am of course asking this with a smile. What we do need in life is much more tolerance and concern for others which slowly seems to be dying .
Have a wonderful day and celebrate the fact the the day started with you still breathing. 

Friday, 20 January 2017


Thoughts of Summer.

I remember searching the second hand shops of Dunfermline for something we hardly ever see anymore, Doilies. I wanted them to cut up to add texture to some paintings I was doing at that time. 

I remember thinking that what I was doing was a kind of sacrilege. Somebody had taken time to crochet those and here I was cutting them up. I had remembered watching my Gran as she sat and crocheted at the side of the kitchen range.

On the other hand I had been told by the secondhand shop s that they usually end dup in the rag bins so I was giving them a second life.

I remember the story of the doilies. 

There once was a man and a woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They talked about everything. 
They kept no secrets from each other... except that the old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she cautioned her husband never to open it or ask her about it. 
For all these years he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would never recover.
In trying to sort out their affairs the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed it was time that he should know what was in the box. 
When he opened it he found 2 beautifully crocheted doilies and a stack of money totaling over £10,000.  He asked her about the unusual contents.
"When we were married," she said, " my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily." 
The little old man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. 
Only two precious doilies were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. 
He almost burst with joy and happiness.
"Sweetheart," he said... "that explains the doilies, but what about all this money? Where did it all come from?" 

Oh," she said, " that's the money I made from selling the doilies."
Would you believe me if I told you I had only ever argued with my wife twice? No. But that does not take away from the value of friendship and love.
To feel loved is to feel life.
Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Oh to be a minister.

Not the same painting as yesterday though very similar they actually sold as a pair. 

Right now things do not seem at all full of joy, in fact it seems like most of the joy has gone out of society.  Maybe it is just me and having a  struggling time with a cold feeling only the doom and gloom and missing the happy bits. Though I did have a lovely day with my family for my birthday. Then maybe that was because the television was not switched on at all all day. 

I often find myself when life seems gloomy looking back to the smiling laughing moments of life, my ministry gave me many of those. 

Let me share two with you in the hope of bringing you a little smile.

I remember attending a conference of ministers and newly ordained. At the conference there were a number of very motivational speakers. 

One began his speech by telling everybody that he had, " Spent the best years of his life in the arms of a woman who was not his wife!" The gathering were all to a person looking bemused, what was coming next?

"That woman was my mother," he said. The laughter was obvious and it was plain to see that this would find its way into the sermons of many of the gathered. 

Sure enough the following Sunday one of the trainee ministers climbed the steps of the pulpit. He had been rehearsing the sermon for days because he knew that this being his first he would be nervous.

 He mounted the pulpit and adjusted the microphone. He began, "The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of another woman that was not my wife." 
The congregation sat in silence.
After standing in the deathly hush for some time the preacher blurted out.
"And I cannot remember who she was!"
After preaching and conducting morning service a young lad asked if he had heard correctly the words of the sermon.
"Minister did you say that we all came from dust?"
"And did you say we would all return to dust?"
"Yes, you have been paying attention."
"I think you need to come to my house soon. Under my bed there is definitely somebody either coming or going."
Have a wonderful day full of smiles. 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Is this Success?

I like this structure painting with all of its texture and a very limited palette of colour. Even better it is a painting created from looking at just one single "weed" along the edge of the road.

I might even call it a success. But then what is success ? How do we know if we have ever succeeded?

There is a lovely true tale that takes me part way to the answer to my own question and then a memory that takes me back years but give me the full answer. 

A young man was visiting a very beautiful restaurant. The decoration was subtle and beautiful. The young man entering the restaurant was so absorbed in the surroundings he failed to notice that one of the members of staff was busy cleaning the mosaic flooring, brining it back to all its glory and splendour. 

As he walked on he missed his footing and slipped on the wet floor. As he crashed towards the floor and an almost serious accident the way he was falling he was caught by a fifteen year old boy in a wheelchair. 

The young man was very grateful and was about to thank him when the boy in the wheelchair said, "This is almost exactly how I ended up in this wheelchair. I was injured in a very similar fall two years ago and there was nobody there to catch me. I can no longer walk so it is a great measure of success to me that today I was there to catch you.

Success indeed!

But I remember a friend of my mother saying to me that I should work hard at school so that I could be a success. 

At the time I did not know what success was, did not know the meaning of the word and nobody explained to me. Being me, of course I remembered the word and asked my mother on more than one occasion what it meant. 

It seemed every time I asked I was given a different answer. It was to be good at sport. It was to be able to earn a good wage and live a comfortable life. It was to own beautiful things and be known in society. It was to be respected. 

My grandmother gave me a different answer to everybody else and it stuck with me even to this day. She told me,  "Success is what makes you happy and feel content with life. When you look back on what you have done and you smile because you have many happy memories then you are a success! Success is not measured by what you accumulate around you it is what you have inside you.

To be there for another when needed is the true measure of success. 

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Why not try?

Thoughts for an abstract.

Thinking about how to further develop my textured artwork I did this on my iPad. If anybody asks,  "What is it?" I can reply with certainty. It is the hand of nature. it is in fact a close up of the bark of a tree not far from here.  Will it work as a full abstract on canvas? I will never know until I try. 

The great lesson in life that I learned as a teenager feeling down was never to accept things as they are if you are unhappy. I felt stuck in a rut and with no qualifications seems to be forever stuck there.

Then one day my great friend, now dead, Rev Ian Cowie, told me a true tale. 

It was the story of Mary.

Mary was born blind. Her parents although shattered, decided to raise her with a sense of courage.

When she was very young she asked her mother, "Mother can I cook with you?"

Her mother replied, " You will never know until you try."

One day she asked her father, "Father can I go out and play outdoors on my own? The answer was the same. "You will never know until you try." 

As she progressed through school the careers people told her she would be limited in what she would manage as a blind person. She wanted to be a doctor. 

Her parents again had the same stance, "You will never know until you try."

Mary is now a doctor, and a very good and caring one.

When asked one day about her life she said, " I am a successful doctor, a girl with a passion and I am good at sport, and a fairly expert cook. This all happened just because I tried. If you do not try you will never know."

I remember those words and can second what Mary said. "Give it a try, you never know what you might achieve."

Have a great day.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Strength in Weakness.

This is a picture of my birthday present from my good friend and his wife. I have a fairly large collection of Buddhas in my collection and I now have this beautiful one to place out in my garden. 

One of the parts of my garden that I have been wondering what to do with it will now be transformed as I prepare it for this beautiful Buddha. 

So I hope to turn an unsightly part of the garden into something more peaceful and calm, from a weakness to a strength.

There is a true story of the boy Kim who had a terrible accident and it resulted in the loss of an arm at a very early stage in his life.

When the accident happened he was unconsolable. No matter what his parents tried he was devastated and defeated.

One of the things he had always wanted to do as a young boy was to learn Judo. His father thought that he should still pursue this ambition and sought out a judo school that would accept him. His father hoped this would make him happy.

When he arrived at the judo school for the first time everybody wondered how he could possibly manage to learn judo with only one arm. The judo master gave him a lesson on a difficult stroke in judo and told him to practice this until he had it to perfection. 

Kim did just this for month after month he practised the stroke, the master correcting and helping him as much as he could. Kim always worried that he would never be any good at judo only knowing this one stroke. 

He did not complain he did as his master said and continued to practice and learn. 

The national championships came along and the master entered him much to the surprise of all who knew he only knew one stroke. The entrants who did not know him made fun of him prior to the start of the competition.

In spite of the taunting Kim beat the first six opponents fairly easily though he struggled in the semi finals. 

He had reached the finals and everyone was more than surprised. The final match began and he was up against a worthy and strong opponent. 

At one point the referee wanted to call the match to a halt because it was obvious that although not getting beat Kim was beginning to suffer. 

Time wanted to stop but the master said no. he told him to keep watching and use his stroke.

 Eventually he got his opportunity and he pinned his opponent in a losing grasp. Kim won the match.

The master said to him, "Kim you only have one good stroke, but it is the hardest stroke in judo to defeat. You see the only way to defeat this stroke is but grasping the left arm of the opponent. The fact that you have no left arm means your stroke cannot be beaten in you. Your weakness is your strength."

It is always possible to change what you consider a weakness into an asset and a strength. If you have the will.

Have a marvellous day and thanks to all again who wished me well on my birthday.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

An Apple

Today I want to give you my tale before saying anything about why I am sharing this particular tale with you. There is a clue in the above pastel. 

The one thing Jessica liked more than anything was going to the market with her grandmother. She loved walking around all the stalls and dreaming about what she would purchase if she wa old enough and had the money. 

The one thing she could be sure of was that her grandmother would certainly buy her some fruit, knowing that Jessica loved fruit, and especially apples.

Sure enough her grandmother bought a large basket off fruit of all kinds.

When they got back to her grandmothers house the fruit was placed in the fruit basket which sat in the middle of the kitchen table. Gran always took time to put them there and make them look so wonderful.

There were pomegranates and oranges, pears, bananas , plums and of course apples. 

Before leaving her grandmothers she was always given a parcel of fruit to take home with her.

On this particular day when she got home she excitedly showed her mother the parcel of fruit. She told her mother that there were two apples in the parcel her grandmother must have known that she loved apples more than anything. 

"Can I have an apple now?" she asked her mother.

"Of course you can," said her mother, "I will go and wash them and you can have one. 

The apples were washed and her mother handed both of them to Jessica. The apples were big and Jessica knew she could not manage to eat two of them.

Her mother smiled knowing what was going through the mind of Jessica. "Jessica, can I have one of your apples they look lovely and I am hungry too.

Jessica looked at her, " But mum I am hungry too and I love apples. Why do you not have some of the other fruit?"

Her mother looked at her again. "Jessica you know that I love apples too. You have two and they are both large apples. You will never eat two apples that size. You will waste some. Why do you not give me one of your apples?"

Jessica thinks for a minute. She then bites one of the apples and also bites the other one very quickly.

The smile on her mothers face froze. She could not tolerate what had just happened. Usually Jessica was very well behaved and was kind. Her mother was shocked at the attitude she had just witnessed. 

Then Jessica turned back to her mother with a beautiful smile and gave one of the apples to her mother. "Mum, please you take this apple. It is the sweeter one!"

The mother was shocked and felt ashamed of what she had thought of her daughter just a few moments ago.

We should never jump to conclusions without pausing and giving thought to the conclusions we make. 

The other day I saw a child be scolded for biting a bit of chocolate before giving it to her younger brother. Without thought her mother gave here a very loud ticking off. The child in tears said she was just making sure it was the kind Bobby liked, and it was just a tiny bit. 

Now who is to say that she was not genuinely telling the truth.

A little thought before any action is never a wasted moment. 

Have a wonderful day.