Sunday 29 June 2008

Acts of random humour

My grandmother quipped today over Sunday lunch and with a deadpan face -"we can't all die when people want us to, you know."

That struck me as funny.

As did a random man on the underground yesterday.

A family of four got into our carriage, some of the most unsavoury characters one might have the misfortune to meet.

Two elderly parents - badly groomed, grimacing, with hairy faces and contorted expressions. Two middle aged sisters, both with scaly eczema, eyes-brows that met in the middle, yellowed feet and fingers, stained clothes, scraps of hair and enormous bodies that took up nearly two seats each.

I was fascinated and repelled. The mother hisses under her breathe towards another character hacking away -shut bloody well up will ya?..

It was all very unpleasant. But entertaining - as long as they didn't turn on me for staring. Which I have a propensity to do.

They finally shifted, wobbled and hobbled off the train.

At which point a well groomed young man opposite my caught me eye and said -"let's hope they haven't bred."

Ah. The wry one liner.

Brings a smile to one's face.

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Focus and Pace

A good friend said to me the other day that the secret to success and happiness is focus and pace.
He may be right. But then lamented the fact that for the most part he is frenetic and caught in a constant spiral of output that may or may not add up to anything.

Me. I am unfocused most of the time. When I do focus, I have moments of brilliance. But then I can't seem to control when this happens. It is as if it I need to expel a whole lot of mental and physical excess before I can settle. Exercise does help. In fact deadlines and pressure help too. Hugely. But today I haven't exercised and I don't have any deadlines. For the life of me I can't concentrate.

Which is irritating. My mind is such a grasshopper. It would be nice to be a razer sharp laser. I am sure I could achieve so much more if I spent less time ruminating and more time doing.

Which leads me in my rambling, unfocused way to.....what?

Ah yes. How to achieve focus. And how to pace oneself. Erm. Answers on a postcard please.

No seriously, I suppose it is quite obvious. Setting goals. Timelines. Not getting distracted. Being organised. Lists. Setting a routine and deciding how to spend one's time.

Quietening the monkey chatter mind as they say in Bhuddism.

Monkey chatter. I think I have a zoo of primates in my head.

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Sunburn and London

A few hot days in London and I get burnt to a crisp. Everything hurts. My arms look like slightly scalded hotdogs. And my back hurts every time I move.

But that said - a lazy Sunday in Kenwood park was a very good place to be.

London is beautiful in parts. When the sun shines. And people stop moaning about the price of a loaf and filling up the car and negative equity.

You'd think we could all transcend day-to-day realities but somehow in London it gives people a feeling of solidarity and being rooted.

We moan. We placate. We cajole. We sigh. We exaggerate. We tut. And then say..but at least the sun is shining!

Brits in general are fabulous at whinging. But Londoners...a cut above the rest.

House prices
Long hours
Crap transport
Boris and his blond hair
Congestion charges
Bad schools
Hospitals/GPs...generally all manner of medical malaises
No jobs (well I can moan to my heart's content about that)
Boring jobs
Bad services

Good lord. I need to log off. It all seems terribly bad.

But the sun is good.

Sunday 22 June 2008

On the outside looking in....

Do you know the Plato fable about men in the cave who could only see the shadows from the fire outside on their cave walls. They insisted that that the whole world was in their cave and even when someone took them by the hand and led themselves outside to see the fire and the fresh air and the sky, they refused to believe it and went back inside.

Sometimes I feel like that.

Like I am in a cave and there is a world out there but I can only see the shadows at the moment.

I'm not even sure why. I think it's because I am trying to look at other people's lives and work out what does constitute a correctly led, happy life. Is it the 9-5? Is it the family and kids? Is it family values and community? Or adventure and exploration, pilgrimage and journeys to the unknown?

I think I want a bit of it all. And that's pretty hard to achieve. In the meantime, I keep inspecting other people and what they do in the hope I will be inspired or find the answers to what I want.

It's a bit like window dressing. Just that I still don't know if it's the camping shop and hiking boots or Prada that does it for me.

Does Prada make wellies?

Friday 20 June 2008

Writing - what's that all about

People have been telling me for years to keep a diary. I should've done. I've probably travelled to some 50 odd countries in the last 8 years. But somehow I couldn't be bothered.

The moleskin and Hemingway fountain pen thing just didn't do it for me. Partly because my hand writing is so shockingly bad. A diary should be written in a fountain pen copperplate script shouldn't it? Not some scratchy bad biro. Surely.

And then there was that fear that a diary had to be private, full of sexual revelations and undying passions that you almost hoped/feared that someone would read one day. Because without a secret life of passion, what is it all about? How dare one write a diary if it's boring and about daily trivia. Was I worth a diary?

But this is fun. Is it because I can type it all out? Is it because the nature of a blog is irreverent? And actually I am never going to reveal too much because it's all public. Duh. Obviously. So there's a relief.

Yet - the therapy of banging away at a computer and letting it all flow out feels very good. Perhaps I've been bottling things up for a while and then losing my temper or bursting into a panic of tears. Not good. On any front. I come across as a mad thing.

But this is sane, rational. Of the zeitgeist. That's got to be good hasn't it?



I woke up thinking about the concept of acceptance. By this I mean, where is the tipping point between saying, I accept, I stop fighting, I am at peace with myself and whatever circumstances surround me and then the other extreme -"I do not accept, I fight, I fight with my enemies ..and the devils of bureaucracy and lethargy to prevail."

Well you get the idea.

Clearly I am not the first ever person to consider all this and I have read various ideas surrounding it, but somehow, I am not any clearer.

There is a popular school of thought called acceptance through non acceptance. Yes. I know. Seems like a cop out to me.

It basically says, as far as I understand, that an elephant has to acccept it is an elephant.

And that the aim of humans should be to find their natural role (dharma) in life and stick to it. This is the basis of the spiritual path. Most people are on the path of adharma (in opposition to their natural inclinations). But you can never find and tread the path of dharma by non-acceptance of yourself.

Non-acceptance only leads to neurosis and suppression. Does prozac counter that?

Fair enough, but it still leaves me no clearer about the battles we are supposed to fight.

Do we fight for love? Do we fight for justice? Do we fight for the right job, person, place or passion because it's important, or do we just's not the right time, it'll come to me. I accept.


Like being a set of scales trying to stay level.

I best get on. More mundane concerns about bank balances concern me.

Thursday 19 June 2008 easy is this?

And absolutely terrifying - or of course wonderfully liberating - that anyone can somehow get a presence on the internet. I haven't even thought what this is about or whom it will be for. Should I? Does everything in life need a purpose? We can discuss this later I guess.

OK- well I guess by nature,this blog is egotistical. So this blog is about Jo. Or JoJo to some friends. Benny to others.

Who is it for? My new age cult following. Hah hah. No one will read this anyway so really, I can write whatever twaddle I want.

This has been a difficult year so far. If one is politically correct of course, I would say it's been challenging. Yup. Whatever. Job hunting. Forever it seems. Rejections. Moving countries. Leaving friends. Trying to find a new life again. I seem to make a habit of this.

Movements. Transition. How long is something in transit? Are we all by nature in transit til we reach our end point. What if we never get there?

Well, apparently I am writing a blog to keep asking questions. Wow. Exciting stuff.

However, I'd like to think, it's a bit of therapy, sharing, humour defining diary of a an early 30s soul searching lass. Who can be funny. Sometimes. X