Calm beautiful serene

Also have a look at Steve Dorgelo’s “Ways of Worship” and “Holy Sites, Sichuan, China, 2010”

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This will always be a “golden oldie” for me; my first taste of Incredible India

Andrew Harvard Photography

December 2009

I and one other departed on Emirates flight EK776 out of Durban at 18:40 on 23 December 2009, with a “forced” and inconvenient stopover in Dubai.

Described by some as “the mirage in the desert”, it was reported by the Times Online UK that this enchanting country enjoyed a debt of 80 billion USD during around June 2009.

I personally find mirages and owing money a little frightening, so it was with much excitement that we eventually departed and later landed in Kolkata, India. This was on the morning of Christmas Eve, but there was nothing merry about going through a swine flu questionnaire and scan.

We stayed at Bodhi Tree, a small bed & breakfast establishment tastefully decorated with various Buddhist décor. Each morning we enjoyed breakfast in a Sakya Zen garden under the watchful eye of Shakyamuni Buddha.

Dakshineswar (the subject of this article) is a…

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Andy’s Cheese Toast

This is my weekend breakfast, sometimes brunch, alternative (instead of Jungle Oats).

  • Mix egg, milk and flour
  • Soak bread until wet right through
  • Pan fry bread medium to light both sides on light coating of olive oil
  • Remove bread and coat with chilli sauce
  • Layer sliced onion and tomato on top
  • Grind some black pepper and salt over for taste
  • Sprinkle sliced dhania / coriander leaves (with more fresh green chopped chilli if need be)

 

  • Now for the cheese, which you can slice finely using a flat potato peeler – as many slices as you like
  • I tend to be a little conservative
  • NB – coat the underneath of the cheese with CRUSHED GARLIC!
  • Place cheese slices on top as the “final layer”
  • Optional – sprinkle some paprika on the very top

 

  • Place on baking tray and grill until cheese melts
  • Serve up promptly!

 

No More Awards Thank You – Life Balance

I always wondered why fellow bloggers started declining awards as I was so excited to receive my first two: One Lovely Blog Award  and The Addictive Blog Award.

However, in trying to balance blogging, snapping, flying, cooking, work, exercise and all the other things life throws my way; I have not honoured three further awards from the kind persons below:

http://thewindykitchen.wordpress.com/

http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/

http://tchistorygal.wordpress.com/

I therefore have to respectfully decline these awards, but nevertheless thank all three bloggers for their nominations.

Please visit their blogs as they are contributors and team-players indeed!

I have also respectfully declined other awards and will continue to do so.

Hopefully I do not offend any person who kindly bestowed an award with the best of intentions.

And just to get serious at the end, have a good look at 10 Principles for Successful Work – Life Balance by Mike Hawkins:

1. Set Goals

2. Focus on the Important

3. Set Your Own Standards

4. Learn to Say “No”

5. Delegate

6. Be More Productive at What You Do

7. Get Organized

8. Maintain Your Energy

9. Don’t Worry

10. Maintain Some White Space on Your Calendar

Mother Teresa and Dr. Kent M. Keith

I stumbled upon The Paradoxical Commandments, or a variation thereof, yesterday on a poster at a medical practitioner’s office.

The words moved me and had a calming effect. I took a photograph of the poster and looked up the origins today.

The original version I read is reflected below:

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith

“People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centred.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the
smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favour underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

A version of the commandments that has been circulating on the web under Mother Teresa’s name is a version sometimes called “The Final Analysis” because of its last two lines.

Here is one example of that version, being the same version on the poster I saw:

“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centred;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true friends; succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world your best anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;

It was never between you and them anyway.”

Read Kent Keith’s comments here.

 

Of young girls and old men

Roscoe, now 10 years old, has a “next door neighbour” called Zille (named after a SA politician I hear).

Zille is about 4 years old; a beautiful and precious girl.

Roscoe sees her over the fence every day but only face-to-face, up close and personal, every four months or so.

Zille gives the old man a proper run for his money.

Whilst he is just willing to take her “abuse”, I think she also goes easy on his old bones.

But Roscoe’s energy runs out quick and he soon gets a paw on his sorry head.

Zille springs into action again.

The tongues hang out far during these visits.

Sometimes a hug is all you need.

The ears also take unusual shapes.

At times, Zille looks at the old man and asks “Is that all you got?”.

Despite using up all his energy, Roscoe still manages  a little trot home; happy that he has had a great visit with his young girl (friend).

PS: I was also handsome when I was a puppy – click here.

Of dreams not pursued & other Gems

I received a new email this morning from Goodlife Zen about Izzy who was an educator but wanted to become a… wait for it… a NINJA!

Yes, a damn Ninja, of all the things that an educator might want to become.

The linked article is “how to embrace uncertainty in the pursuit of a dream” and starts as follows:

“Do you have a dream?

There are those moments in time when you can see it, feel it, and for a short moment you live it.

But then you come back to reality. You feel the doubts, the insecurity. The mind starts shelling out questions:
What about money?
What will your friends say?
What about your career?
What if you fail?

It’s scary, overwhelming. You want to do it, to go for it.

Sometimes you even swear “This is it!” but then the doubts start creeping.
I can’t do it.
It’s not realistic.
Focus on your career.

So with all this on your mind, you choose to wait. But there is a problem: As long as you keep choosing to wait, you will never move forward with your dream…”

Read the full article here and visit Izzy’s site where you can see what he calls “14 Ridiculous Pictures” like the one below.

Now if you have read this far and looked at Izzy above, then please continue because I have a few more gems courtesy of other inspirational folk.

One of my favourites is “If Not Now, When & If Not You, Who?” by Dr. Cindy Solliday-McRoy who says:

“Consider this your wake-up call. I’m here to remind you. This is your one shot at your life. It isn’t a dress rehearsal. There won’t be another show. You are here-and-now, by a special one time only, limited engagement. This is it! The one and only unique expression of YOU, you are ever going to get. What a great “present!” You don’t want to miss it! So, go ahead! Open it up. Look inside! Think to yourself: If not now when and if not you who? Carpe Diem!”

Read the full article here.

Michael Josephson’s “what will matter” is another favourite of mine.

Link to Michael Josephson (image above) here.

And if you are still hungry for more; check-out my previous post “The ultimate personal growth guide” where you will find “The ultimate personal growth guide” by Goodlife Zen.

Wishing all a splendid new work week during which time you will continue pursuing your dreams or at least start taking them more seriously.

Image above courtesy of Andy Carr.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

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