Come in, it's lovely to see you. Pull up a cushion and stay as long as you like.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


This morning I woke early after an anxious night. Redundancy is approaching and I've been scaring myself with my thoughts about finding work, money, etc and paralysing myself with indecision and doubts. I have started reading  The Mindful Manifesto  and reconnectiing with the practice of mindfulness, trying to be aware of my thoughts and how they effect my body and emotions. So I sat for a while with my anxiety and allowed some space to observe the inner workings.
Quite out of the blue I remembered this....
I was 8 or 9 and we used to live in a flat above a shop that my mum and dad ran. A small lorry pulled up outside the shop and the men got out and came into the flat and started taking our furniture and putting it into the back of the lorry (I had no idea then what bailiffs were or what they did).
I remembered lying on my bed frightened and my dad coming and lying beside me and trying to reassure me. I also remembered being next to the lorry (the timing and sequence of these events is lost to me, as is so much of my childhood) and as the men were putting the side flap of the lorry up a metal pin that held it in place fell on the floor. I picked it up and handed it to the man, as any child would do, and I remember my mum saying to me 'what did you do that for?'. The question being, of course, an accusation 'what was I doing helping those nasty men'.
More scary thoughts driving to work, and when I got there I was performing some checks on the mobile library I drive when it occured to me how boxed in I was with my thoughts, how stuck. At the same moment I happened to look up and became aware of the sky.
It was beautiful. Blue. Vast. A vapour trail from a plane had etched a line across it. My spirit seemed to reach out to it and open up to it. I had the thought that there is so much more going on than what we are thinking or feeling. So much life out there to be lived. So much more than just me and my thoughts.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Hair Today

A footballer in the news this week for having a hair transplant (yawn), makes a change I suppose from the recent revelations of 'playing with someone else's ball'. Seems that the general concensus is well done him for going public. Exactly how he could keep it to himself is beyond me though.

I started losing my hair in my twenties. It seemed to bother a lot of other people but never me, suppose I was used to my Dad's baldness and had anxieties of my own, far removed from the amount of hair on my head. And I am surrounded by lovely bald friends. If I could wish for anything about me to be different, being bald wouldn't even enter my head (can you see what I did there?) as something I needed to change.

I thought the idea of hair transplants and wig wearing was that you didn't want others to know you were bald in the first place. And if you know you are bald, well, you know don't you, nothing can change it. Personally I just don't get the point of the cover up, and then the fear of the embarassment of being caught out.
Baldness is fine by me, and plenty of others, so what's really going on?

Interesting isn't it that, monks and nuns, renouncing the world and their egos, shave their heads, and on the other extreme a certain ninety year old who is married to our Queen has a fully stocked barbers room in their london pad for his own personal use.

And the cost! £30,000 is a lot of money, whether you have it or not. It's more than the average student debt (currently) and a bloody good yearly wage that most of us never earn.
I thought we were in a recession, massive cutbacks, no money for public services, etc. Recently a Lowry painting sold for £555,000. I wonder if Lowry himself ever made that much money in his own lifetime? I love his work, the point I am making is that there is money, always, just what people decide to spend it on varies. To claim otherwise is a lie.

What a difference to my life either of the above amounts would make, right now, if anyone out there has some to spare.

I think I will stick with being bald and concentrate on the inner me, continue the work of growing and trying to become a better person, a more human being. Hell, that's hard enough as it is, and fraught with all kinds of traps and cul de sacs and mistakes and resistance and self deception to last a lifetime. A bald lifetime at that.