PLEASE SPEND 10 MINUTES LISTENING TO THIS
UBI CARITAS ET AMOR. DEUS IBI EST.
UBI CARITAS ET AMOR. DEUS IBI EST.
Saturday 19 May 2018
Saturday 12 May 2018
Those of you who regularly read this Blog, yes ... both of you ... thank you for visiting me here again. You will have gathered by now that I usually write humourous stories here, mainly to amuse myself and to make me laugh; but also to bring a smile to your face; or even a giggle or two.
What is a giggle? It is a sound that builds up deep within you and goes up your asparagus and comes out as a noise from a hole in your head. From anywhere else and you're in real trouble!!!
Anyway ... as I was thinking before my mind wandered as it is wont to do. Normally, I write funny stories here; but not this time ... oh no ... this time I want you please to think seriously about what I want to say ... because that's what I will do ... think seriously!
When is the last time you looked inside your mind?
By that I mean - do you know who you really are?
I am not asking you your name, your parentage, your background, education, up-bringing or anything like that. I am asking you - do you know who you are?
As an individual you no doubt have opinions, points of views, prejudices, (we all have them you know ... prejudices ... even though we don't like to admit it), we all have these beliefs, values in life, and such like traits that we call our own. They are part of our personality; our individuality.
But have we ever thought what made us this way? Are our opinions, beliefs and so on based on thought out analysis, weighing up both sides, or more, of the argument or question? Or are our beliefs based on what others have told us, convinced us, or influenced us to believe and accept as the truth?
How much of our actions, which are often based on our beliefs and opinions, are influenced by our personal experiences and knowledge rather than other peoples' influences and persuasions of how we should act and believe?
So basically ... what I am asking you to consider is: Who am I? Why do I believe what I believe? Why do I act the way I act? How much am I influenced by others? Family? Friends? Acquaintances? Employers? Other employees? Adverts? And so on ...
Is all this getting a little too heavy?
Let's lighten the mood a little. Someone once said for every action there is a reaction. Can't remember who it was. It should have been me; but it wasn't.
So I ask: Why is there a reaction every time we eat beans? Or cabbage? Or sprouts? Or ...
Thursday 10 May 2018
Do you believe in ghosts?
Up to a couple of days ago I did not. But now ... ... ...
Usually, in spooky stories, ghosts are found in big mansions somewhere remote, near a forest or something like it; in old windy, cold and damp castles, stately homes and the like. But not in my case.
There I was in an old boat in the North sea just off the shores of Scotland. Actually, it was more than an old boat. It was a large fishing trawler about fifty years old with a crew of about twelve people. It was night. Although the sea was relatively calm the boat was bobbing up and down, and swaying left and right, as it struggled its way through the waves. It was cold with a strong drizzle which had not yet decided to turn into proper rain.
The fishermen were all on deck preparing for a good night's work. I decided to go to my cabin and call it a night.
As I got into my bunk I tried my best to get some sleep; which was difficult with all this to and fro of the boat and the ominous creaking noises it made as it fought the icy seas and howling wind.
It was then that I felt another presence in my cabin. You know the feeling? When you are alone at home, especially at night, and you think you've heard someone walking upstairs, or that someone is in the house with you, someone is there, watching you, meaning you harm. Well, that's how it was for me. I was lying there in my bunk bed when I felt there was someone with me in the cabin. I switched on the little light by my bed and there he was ... a man sitting on the wooden chest not five feet away.
I got up quickly and hit my head on the bunk bed above me. Why do they make these contraptions so small?
He looked like, I suppose he was ... a pirate. He looked like the pirates you see in films. About six foot tall I should say, although you cannot tell when a man is sitting down. With a big red bushy beard, and an eye patch on his left eye. He did not have a wooden leg or a hook for a hand; but he did have a sword on his belt.
I believe he was a vegetarian ghost pirate because he had a carrot perched on his shoulder.
I was afraid out of my senses and I must have cried a little because I felt the tears trickling down my legs.
I did not know what to say ... or do ... It was not possible to jump out of my bunk and out of the cabin because he was sitting on the wooden trunk by the door. I must have mumbled something incoherently because he answered back.
I could not understand a word he said. He was speaking in a foreign language ... Scandinavian, or was it Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish? Or was he talking in Viking language seeing we were in those seas the Vikings used to sail many years ago. What language did the Vikings speak? He was not wearing a Viking hat like in the movies. You know, a helmet with horns on either side! But he did have long red hair.
He got annoyed that I did not respond so he spoke to me again in this foreign language; this time more menacingly.
Why is it that when Jean Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise go to various planets and galaxies they always find other species speaking proper English; and here I am, in the sea not far from Scotland and I cannot find a ghost that speaks English?
Now there's a sentence I never thought would cross my mind.
I did what we Brits always do when we are not understood abroad. I spoke very slowly and very loudly.
"WHO ARE YOU?" I asked gaining a little courage as I had stopped crying.
He must have understood me because he moved back a little sitting on the trunk and said "Gogin !!!"
"Gauguin, the painter?" I asked stupidly.
"GOGIN" he repeated angrily.
Then I followed with another stupid and somewhat obvious question, "ARE YOU A GHOST?"
Obviously, he understood me. Perhaps he learnt English when the Vikings invaded Britain.
"Gogin ghost" he repeated, calming down a little.
I pointed to my left eye and asked, "WHY YOU HAVE EYE PATCH?"
He smiled and said, "As ghost, I go through key hole and someone put in key at same time!"
I reciprocated his smile and as I did so he slowly faded away and disappeared.
I got out of my bunk and went to the sea chest on which he was sitting. I touched it to make sure he was no longer there. Had I imagined the whole thing? Was it a dream? I kicked the wooden trunk hard to make sure I was wide awake.
I got out of the cabin and when I got on deck I muttered to two fishermen mending the nets, "I ... I have just seen a ghost!"
"Oh, it must have been old Gogin," they said, "he often appears when we sail these waters!"
Tuesday 8 May 2018
I spent the night at a hotel in the city a couple of days ago. I was there on business.
As I tried to get to sleep, and perhaps enjoy a nice dream, there was this continuous noise from the room next to me. Why are people so inconsiderate at times, especially when in public places like a hotel? Why do they have to make such noise?
For a long while there was this banging on the wall and a voice crying, "Is any one there? Is any one there? I have fallen? Is there anyone there?"
I thought, "What a self-centred egotistic person! All right. He has fallen; does he have to tell everyone about it? We have all fallen at one time or another. We are all sinners after all!"
Anyway, eventually he stopped banging on the wall. Must have got tired I suppose.
To make matters worse, the next morning whilst I was leaving the hotel, there was an ambulance out there in the car park. I was upset that it blocked my car because I wanted to leave for an urgent business meeting that morning.
Some people are really inconsiderate.
Saturday 5 May 2018
Thursday 3 May 2018
The other day we went to the circus as a family. We sat in the big top, which as you all know is a large circular tent with the audience sitting all round the circumference with the show taking place in the middle area of the tent.
The music was blaring loudly, every one was happy with excitement and all was going well … until someone pointed out that they’d forgotten something in the car. Being the gentleman that I am I got up to get the forgotten item.
On the way back I must have mistakenly taken the wrong opening in the tent. I stood in a long corridor type enclosure with a lot of other people some dressed as clowns, others in Tarzan type outfits carrying heavy weights, others in ballerina costumes, and then behind me people came holding on to horses, and one man gave me a small donkey to hold by a rope tied to his neck. Then further behind us came more people with elephants and tigers in cages on trucks.
There was a big drum roll from inside the tent and pretty soon everyone moved forwards to a loud fanfare.
It was obvious to every one but me that I was part of the big entrance into the large tent announcing the start of the show.
I had no option but to walk forwards with the crowd holding on to the donkey.
As we entered the tent the clowns beside me started to throw a large beach ball at each other.
One of them caught the ball and threw it at me knocking my hat off!
I heard the audience roar in delight.
I stopped and bent down to pick up my hat when the clown behind me kicked me in the backside to the delight of the audience, except my family sitting nearby!
I let go of the rope holding the donkey and went back for my hat. At which point, for some reason, the donkey ran away from the orderly queue and started hopping up and down like a wild bucking bronco.
This frightened the elephants which started trumpeting loudly.
Fortunately someone caught the donkey quickly and order was restored although the audience thought it was all part of the show as they applauded enthusiastically and laughed loudly.
I put on my hat and walked in unison with everyone else once more around the big tent. Whilst looking straight ahead trying to avoid eye contact with my family I accidentally stepped into a deposit left there by an elephant. The audience near me at the time whooped in delight!
Eventually I followed everyone else out of the big tent and I made my way back to the car to get cleaned up.
I returned to my family and had great difficulty explaining the whole situation to them.
Tuesday 1 May 2018
When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty jar and started to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He asked once again if the jar was full and they agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. So he asked once more if the jar was full. The students laughed and replied 'yes.'
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
'Now,' said the professor, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.'
'The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.'
'The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.'
'The sand is everything else - The small stuff. '
'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.'
'If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. So... pay attention to the things that are critical to your life and your happiness. Spend time in prayer. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner ... and so on. '
'There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.'
'Take care of the golf balls first ... The things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled.
'I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'