Converse One And All

Social NetworkingWe are surrounded by communication, we are all connected, to a greater or lesser degree, to almost every other human being on the planet. So when it might be nice to have a quiet moment of contemplation occasionally , we should embrace the sentiment in Sensei’s message …

The age when silence was considered an indication of wisdom is over. This is an age of the people, an age of dialogue, a time when people must share their opinions and thoroughly discuss things. To withdraw into an isolated world of quiet contemplation leads to defeat in life.

The Broken Pound

The Broken PoundI know that I’m not the only one who is sick to the back teeth of the bankers taking liberties with their position, pocketing vast fortunes and laughing at us when we dare to complain.

The recent banking crisis is rather poorly named. As far as I can tell, the banks have all done rather well out of the whole debacle.

They have been ‘baled out’ by us, citizens of this nation, and come up smelling of roses. Would the same happen if you were to borrow irresponsibly and fail to pay it back, even for reasons beyond your own control, you can bet it wouldn’t.

There are people who want to keep us in the chains we all wear. Ok, we’re not slaves, like the African peoples who were bought, transported and sold, making places like Bristol and Liverpool vastly rich in the process. These chains are financial, and in a way, they are even more evil, because they are invisible and almost undetectable.

See the truth for yourself, take a moment to see the painful truths therein, and wonder why we are all sleepwalking into our own Airstrip One. I read 1984 in 1984, but I never thought it would become a near reality.

Then be brave, spread the message as far and fast as you can, the man really is coming to get us. In this anniversary year of The Great War, let’s just take a moment to think about just who we are really remembering, and what, if anything, has changed since then.

Back in 1914, the patriotic volunteers signed up to fight for their country, for a land fit for heroes. That land was never delivered, it was never going to be delivered, it was then, as now, all smoke and mirrors and false promises.

Come on, take those blinkers off, take a look at how money and the banks have us all in financial chains, and then pass it on, and on, and on …

The Missing Link

The Missing LinkSometimes I find the effects of the causes I make rather surprising. I was examining the possibility of making a temporary fix to the rear suspension on my mountain bike, just enough to get me to and from Steve’s BBQ this afternoon. The problem had occurred earlier in the week, but having ordered a replacement part, nothing had arrived.

So there I was, wiring some foam rubber to the frame of the bike, hoping that it would prevent any damage to the frame, from where the shock absorber was touching it. I had almost finished, when the clatter from the letterbox announced the timely arrival of the new link, perfect.

The new part is clearly a re-engineered item, the original had failed at the weakest point, and the new one is considerably more substantial. No wonder the guy in the spares department was surprised that I had managed to break the original. The new design made fitting it to the bike a little tricky, but soon it was sorted.

The eleven mile trip over to Steve’s was fun, but I was riding into the wind the whole way, which made an already warm day feel even warmer. A short pit stop for a glass of water and a chat with Ken and Jayne in Sandbanks was very welcome. We haven’t seen each other for way too long, but we will put that right from now on.

Although the promenade from Sandbanks to Bournemouth pier is as flat as a pancake, progress was a bit slow, simply down to the number of people out enjoying the sunshine. I remarked to another cyclist that it was a bit like a video game, with the aim being to find the next gap in the oncoming stream of bodies, most of whom seemed totally oblivious of anything going on around them. None were harmed during the making of this journey.

It may be me, but I find Charminster a most confusing place, and get lost there all the time. Today however, my unplanned route lead me directly past the Sakya Thubten Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Shelbourne Road. The group were having a fund raising market, so I stopped and had a guided tour of the shrine as well as a nice chat with Sue, one of the members. It’s interesting how we all have faith in Shakyamuni’s teachings, but interpret them in slightly, or not so slightly different ways.

The BBQ was great, Steve doing a sterling job of cooking the burgers on the grill and Carly doing an equally fine effort with the chicken and ribs in the oven. The whole event was accompanied by a most entertaining performance of Riley and his amazing paddling pool. You would not imagine that a two year old could invent so many ways of playing with cheese puffs, bread rolls, plastic balls and slightly murky water. He had a lot of fun.

Time flies when you are enjoying yourself, doesn’t it? One minute it was just after six, the next it was getting on for half past eight, and having no cycle lights with me, I said my thankyous and goodbyes and set off back to Poole. Having been given directions and now having the wind at my back, I was home a tad after nine, none the worse for the trip.

Sandbanks Sunset

So another wonderful sunny day, plenty of exercise melded with some great social interaction as well as an impromptu visit to the Buddhist centre, wonderful.

Family And Friends Make Life Fun

Greystones CottageHip hip hoorah, it’s Friday, and we all know what that means! The weekend is upon us once more and the social secretary has been hard at work organising another busy weekend.

With three meals planned with family and friends, as well as a visit from Charlotte, Hannah and all the lads tomorrow afternoon, there will be precious little time for chores …

Being surrounded by family and friends is a very fortunate situation in which to find oneself. Even with both of my brothers living abroad, I still get to see most of the rest of the family on a fairly regular basis.

Both Charlotte and Hannah live within a few minutes of Greystones, so I also spend a lot more time with them and their boys, which is brilliant. Children grow up fast, not seeing them for a few months meant that I missed out on so much. Not any more.

Social connections are a huge factor in the happiness of the individual, so get out there and make those connections. I’m working on the principle that a change is as good as a rest, so I should be full of beans by the time Monday morning comes round. I hope you all have a good one too.

Awkward Questions

Facebook-ZuckerbergThere was a really thought provoking program about Facebook on BBC tonight. Emily Maitlis interviews Mark Zuckeberg, the founder of the social networking site, and asks some rather awkward questions about the underlying psychological issues and advertising practices facing subscribers.

As one of those subscribers, I had become rather concerned about the way commercial companies are now much more prominent and that they have access to all my details as well as all my friends if I choose to Like them, so I tend not to.

Nobody can argue that Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the like haven’t changed the way we keep in touch with family and friends forever. But we should all pause to think about quite how comfortable we are, letting these companies have such easy access to our personal details as well as our spending patterns, simply in order to promote their products or persuade us to part with our cash.

Watch the program, via the link above, and then you decide.

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