Failure To Launch

The Dower HouseAfter a day of low key retail therapy, shopping for knickers and a bikini for Josie, we were all looking forward to a pleasant early evening picnic up on the hill just along from the Dower House in Stapleton.

We were expecting to watch the balloons launching from Ashton Court, and the weather was beautiful, bright and sunny with nice cooling breeze. So with picnic packed and arrangements made with the rest of the team, we set off on the short walk to the hill.

By the time we made the climb to the top, Sam, Georgie, Nigel and little Merrin had already set up camp and were tucking into their picnic. We laid out the blanket and tucker and made ourselves comfortable while we waited for Charlotte, Rob, Zach and Oliver to arrive.

Now it isn’t the easiest place to find, even though you can see the big house for miles around, and the Savage clan took the circuitous route to get to us. But it was worth the wait. Sam, Rob and Nigel had fun climbing onto the monument on the top of the hill, the rest of us sat and chatted while we munched our way through the sandwiches and other goodies.

But the wind was getting up and the temperature dropping as the sun sank behind the hill to the East. We sat and sat, waiting for the balloons to launch but nothing appeared. Rob and I went off to the cottage to get the binoculars and another bottle of water, but by the time we returned, the team were decamped and clambering down the hill.

It was way too cold for the children and way too windy for the balloons, so although we had a great family picnic, the main reason for being there never came to fruition. Still, fun was had by all, families were introduced to families and all in all it was a success, even though we had a failure to launch.

A Great View, But No Balloons

Variety, The Spice Of Life-State

Bristol International Balloon FiestaWe’ve talked about the Ten Worlds on many occasions, from Hell to Enlightenment, they are all part of the average day. So when I woke up this morning, having finally drifted off around 2 o’clock, I was in a bit of a state, though I’m not quite sure whether it was Hell or Tranquillity, but either way it was certainly not going to help me get through the day.

Speaking to Bumble on the way to work, I was a bit quiet, a bit negative, for me, and I’m sure she picked up on it. Tiredness, a general lack of life-energy, can really set you back. Not that I’m prone to it on the whole, but it gets the better of us all now and then.

Fortunately, my degree of self-awareness is certainly improving. So having worked out that I was the living embodiment of The Grinch, I had to make  change, so I took myself off to the peace and quiet of the stream at the back of the office and had a good chant.

Not wishing to blow the trumpet for Nichiren Buddhism too loudly, it is amazing that the simple repetition of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for ten minutes can completely transform your mood and, consequently your whole day.

We’ve got Josie and Matt, Bumble’s daughter and her partner, coming to stay for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to seeing her again, it’s been a while as she’s currently living and working on the Scilly Isles, and to meeting Matt for the first time.

I know that Bumble has planned, and prepared, a veggie curry for this evening and we are going to watch the Bristol balloon fiesta tomorrow, weather permitting. I think a picnic at the top of Tog Hill, one of the highest points in the area, should give us a great view and mean we won’t be involved in the traffic jam that accompanies the event.

So getting myself into a great mood, buzzing with life-force and energy, has to be the best way to set us all up for a busy weekend. With more chanting between now and tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be right on song and full of beans. Bring on the chanting, bring on the weekend !!!

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

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