And I reckon it's going to be a fairly mental week! Followed by another weekend of wonder and mirth.
Started off yesterday trying to strip the paint off two radiators. How is that mental, you ask. Well, it isn't. It's dull. And hard work. Notice I said 'trying' to strip two radiators. The paint was stuck like brown smelly stuff to a blanket.
I rubbed and I scrubbed and no paint came off. And no radiator genies offered me three wishes.
I wonder what I would wish for? I wonder what a radiator genie looks like?
[*Ash, stick to the point *]
Oh yes, blankets.
So, off I go to Homebase for some paint stripper. Applied it as per instructions. It bloody reeked. Waited the required 40 mins and began the stripping action. Did the paint peel off effortlessly as the blurb on the tin said it would?
I tried about 6 coats of the smelly green snotlike substance. Still no luck.
So, William and I watched a movie.
Cherie had been out in Heysham glass fusing. She came back wearing a teal coloured turban and a huge smile. I think Cherie, Caroline and Nina had been entertaining each other.
I saw Caroline's photos. Loved the 'Rock Dog'.
Then we went to the movies to see Cloud Atlas. Nina and Nat's girlfriend came with us. It was absolutely dead! Only about 20 people in the cinema and we were six of them. There were so many of us we'd had to travel in 2 cars!
Cloud Atlas was terrific. We all loved it.
It was late, so I took Nat's girlfriend home before going to bed.
Today we had the first "Buddhist Basics Brunch" at Kerry's. We didn't expect anyone to show, but Kerry's very inspiring friend Katya was there and so was Venessa. Katya is new to the practice and although Venessa has been coming for a while, we hadn't seen her at a meeting in months due to holidays and illness.
We listened to chapter one of "The Buddha, Geoff and Me" by Eddie Camfor-Dumas. I love the simplicity of it. I've heard it before but I took so much more out of it today.
When it was over we talked about swimming and diving suits. Katya offered to talk to William about his interest in becoming a marine biologist.
After, Cherie and I went to a rehearsal/planning meeting for the "Weather or Not" event. We're doing a wild swimming thing in a Victoriana style. Basically, it involved chatting and doing silly dances.
I can remember a time when I would not have believed that I would spend an afternoon doing silly dances in preparation to doing it in full in front of a crowd.
But, blimely, how my life has grown.
I remember when I started going to Buddhist meetings, someone asked me if I was ready. Yes, I said cynically. Well, why wouldn't I be? What is there to be ready for?
He explained to me that I would notice two things. That my life would grow until I wondered how I was going to fit everything in. I can tell you now that the guy was right.
The other thing he said is that unexpected things would haunt me from the past. By stirring up the still pond of your seemingly placid existence the sediment hidden at the bottom would churn and make the water muddy before gradually settling to leave a crystal pool.
Another way of looking at it is to imagine a garden hose left outside over the winter. You come to use it in summer and when you turn on the tap out comes all the crap before any of the clear water.
That's the bit you need to be ready for.
And it happened. Within the second year of chanting, I became a company director, something that I'd always wanted, and found I hated it because I was not cut out to be a corporate shirt. But, it was too late. Make or break.
I broke. Things went pear shaped.
But I addressed the problems, and now, workwise, things are looking up. I'm still not where I want to be, but I feel less trapped and more likely to get there eventually.
Also, Cherie and I hit hard times. I won't go into the details, but we had our own muddy waters to swim in.
We both took action and that particular poison became medicine. I'm a better husband because of it.
I'm a better person because of it.
At the moment, my life is richer than it has ever been. I hope it stays that way.
I've started writing this blog every day. Well, most days. I missed yesterday's because Cloud Atlas was about 3 hours long.
And this Wednesday, I'm running a Creative Writing group at the Artists' Hangout with Nina. Again, something I've always dreamed of being able to do but never imagined that one day I'd actually be doing it.
There's the Mad March Steam Punk Tea Party next Sunday (which I double booked with a visit to Taplow that I've had to cancel), another Weather or Not practice on Saturday afternoon. Men's meeting on Monday. Chapter planning on Saturday morning.
Still got the bloody radiators to strip. Then tile the bathroom floor. Paint the walls. Put up the new towel rail and toilet roll holder.
How I am going to find time to go to work?