Thursday, December 31, 2009

è Last Supper (ó 2009)

was tangy tuna on a queen-size bed ó rustic rice (no duvet required): è fish was delish: way 2 go! Let's breakfast by è lake. 8~}

è Last Supper (ó 2009)

was tangy tuna on a queen-size bed ó rustic rice (no duvet required): è fish was delish: way 2 go! Let's breakfast by è lake. 8~}

My End-of-Year List (2009)

Most played music in 2009:
Bach Violin Concerti
Mozart Wind Serenades
Kings of Leon 'Aha Heartbreak'
Paramore 'Riot'
Discovered musical delight in 2009:
Mozart 'Great Mass' in Cminor
Bang-on-a-Can's live recording of Eno's 'Music for Airports'
Best new film in 2009:
Moon (2009), directed by Duncan Jones
Most read book in 2009:
(as always) Paul's 'Letter to the Philippians'
Suzuki's 'Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind'
Discovered reading delight in 2009:
Ann Wilson's 'Terran Empire' novels and stories (free download from project gutenburg and elsewhere)
Bill Bryson's 'Shakespeare'
Best re-read in 2009:
Hesse's 'Siddhartha' and 'Steppenwolf'

Thursday, December 17, 2009

new Ubuntu, LinuxMint, KDE, Bilbo Blogger!

Well, I've installed the new Ubuntu (karmic koala) and LinuxMint (Helena) on the school's LAN and everything's working and looking good. I'm also impressed with Ubuntu One (Ubuntu's free cloud solution, with 2GB of storage space for us all) and its possiilities for school. Of course, Ubuntu and Mint are Gnome-based and for us here look and function the way we want but there are so many cool KDE apps that I've decided to mix-n-match. First up, the best CD/DVD writer available has always been K3b, and that's still the case; then there's Akonadi--a PIM tool that a school like ours can use big time; and then there's Bilbo Blogger, the client I'm using to write and post this blog. Everything works, looks good (aka Apple's Human Interface Guidelines) and there are NO VIRUSES at all.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Joe the Lion

There's a track called Joe the Lion on Bowie's Heroes album and a part in that song that I love. I love the pun on the word God in the lines: 'you can buy God/ it's Monday' where Bowie modulates his voice from singing to a cast-away throw-off almost-spoken phrase about the drag of starting another working week. Apparently Bowie wrote the song about/ while thinking of his son.

I've been thinking about that song because recently I watched a film. Here's the connection: the film is the debut of its director, Duncan Jones. Duncan Jones is the son of David Bowie (real name David Jones); so Duncan Jones=Joe the Lion. His film is called Moon; it's an independent, low-budget sci-fi movie made at Shepperton studios in London. And it's wonderful and thought-provoking and a return to what sci-fi was always intended to do: make us think about 'what-ifs' and the current state of the human condition.

The film concerns a man, Sam Bell, who lives alone on the Moon, single-handedly mining Helium3, humanity's prime energy source. He's on a three-year contract, which has almost ended; he's dreaming of finishing up and returning to Earth and the family he loves and misses. Things happen. And along the way we get to explore the themes of loneliness, belonging and identity.

I enjoyed the film immensely, as did the majority of the critics who reviewed it. If you're lucky, Moon might be coming to a cinema near you; if you live in Swaziland, it definitely won't (we don't have a cinema).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Today, Wednesday 02nd December 2009, we have both Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala, released last month) and LinuxMint 8 (Helena, released last weekend) up and running and working just fine and dandy on our school Lan/Wlan.
We've come a long way this year.
At the beginning of 2009 we were still running Windoze through a dial-up connection and having problems with viruses and Realnet ( Neither Windoze nor Realnet could cut it for us. Second termwe switched to SPTC's Broadband and Ubuntu and began to see a rapid improvement. Now, we can do almost anything we want to with our IT here in the Admin block--although the Broadband service and the Realnet service are still problematic.
At first the teachers were reluctant to try Ubuntu/Mint but having seen how reliable and useful Linux distros can be, they are happy to leave Windoze for others to use; they use Linux.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

You Missable Miss

You are such a missable Miss:
whenever you're not around
I miss you big big time.

You see,
a long long time
with you always seems such
a small short time
to me.

I miss
your voice
your smile
your walk
your talk
your all-the-while
and the occasional presents
you surprise me with;
and obviously
I also miss
the morning hug
and goodnight kiss
from you,
my missable Miss.

Monday, November 9, 2009

'anti-piracy' driven by porn

Today I discovered something that shocked me, but of course it had been obvious all the time: I just hadn't been thinking. All along I believed that it was the record and film companies that were behind the anti-piracy crack-down that has turned nasty in some parts of the world, especially the States. I was wrong. The anti-piracy crack-down is being driven by the porn industry. It makes sense now that I think about it--the porn industry makes at least ten times the amount of money that all forms of music do and porn is everywhere, especially on the Web. Check the following link: and scroll down to where the 'copyrighted material that's being illegally downloaded' is listed. Check the titles. Ha!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009



Removing my shoes
I enter your sanctuary:
perspiration swirls sweet
on the air like incense;
the choir stomps Alleluias;
the Gates of Heaven beckon;
and our communion
flows like the finest wine.



Lunwele lwakho,
luphahla lufulele;
emehlo akho,
umlomo wakho,
uyindlu yekutsandza mine!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


“You have old hands,” she said. “You don't look old, but your hands do.” I looked down at my hands. It was true. My hands looked like an explorer's map of Africa. I could see ridges and valleys and long winding paths into the interior. My knuckles were mountains and my veins were swollen rivers. There was the journey of a life etched into my hands.
“Don't worry,” she said, “they're just old-looking hands. It's nothing to worry about.”
“Old can be beautiful, can't it?” I said.
“Maybe,” she said, with a teasing smile, “maybe. It all depends.”

The Boat That Rocked

The Boat That Rocked is a new film by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, etc) which is, I suppose, a loving tribute to English Pirate Radio, especially Caroline and London, the ships that challenged the government and charged and changed millions of our lives. Music-wise, it's great; nostalgia-wise, it's fun; as a film it doesn't so much lose the plot as not have one. It's not a bad film--it zips along at a fast pace and is entertaining in a juvenile schoolboy way--but it could have been so so good; and it isn't. It's one of those catch-22 situations: I'm glad the film was made, but I'm disappointed with what we've been given.

Paul and the Roshi

In the Coptic Gospel of Thomas, which is a collection of Jesus sayings (many of which predate those we have in our bibles), Jesus appears as an enlightened teacher in the manner of the Buddha. Compare then these two descriptions of what characterises Jesus and Buddha disciples:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, fidelity, gentleness, self-control.” (The apostle Paul, in his Letter to the Galatians.)
“The results of this in terms of the quality of his life are extraordinary—buoyancy, vigour, straightforwardness, simplicity, humility, serenity, joyousness, uncanny perspicacity, and unfathomable compassion.” (Trudy Dixon, in a tribute to the Zen Roshi Shunryu Suzuki.)
And to be disciples of such disciples is to continue the tradition. Every day I awake at 5.00 a.m. and spend at least twenty minutes or so reading and meditating before I continue with my day. I have noticed that my favourite two texts for this early morning read and meditation are chapter 4 of Paul's 'Letter to the Philippians', and Shunryu Suzuki's 'Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind'. This early morning practice has become an essential for me: it's a disciplining, informing, and nurturing beginning to my days, and without it my hours would not work so well.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

(First Version)

Get a life laugh

Most people get so worked up about things: they're so full of anger, frustration, resentment, and jealousy. They think their boss, their spouse, their friends, their parents, their government, their world owes them a living. They're so stressed out. then they take pills or drinks or... whatever... to get them through their days.

It all seems so pointless... and of course it is.

There's no need to live a life of stress. What's the point?

Consider this: we work to educate ourselves, to learn; we study... but one day our brains will literally fall apart. We work to develop a six-pack or a beautiful body... but one day our bodies will literally fall apart. We work hard to 'make it in life', to get the house, the car, the wife/husband, the job, the wealth and fame... knowing that one day we will literally leave it all behind.

What's the point? Life, I tell you, is a cosmic joke. And the best response is simply to laugh. Yes--when you encounter stress--laugh. Laugh loud and laugh long. Don't get serious. Life is a cosmic joke.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cosmic Laughter

Q: What's the sound of one hand clapping?
A: It's the sound of a river dancing
    It's the sound of a dog smiling
    It's the sound of the moon, watching the river dancing and the dog smiling.

Life's a cosmic joke, isn't it? We spend the best part of our early years learning and cramming to develop our brains so that we can go to university and study some more so that we can become 'experts'; we work hard to shape and develop our bodies so that we men can have bulging biceps and a six-pack, so that we women can look sexy and shapely; we pay atention to our diets and our lifestyles so that we can be and stay 'healthy'; we seek a career and fame and fortune so that we can be 'successful': we do all of these things knowing that we one day our bodies and our physical lives will quite literally fall apart. What is the purpose, what is the point? Our only true response is to laugh.

We should laugh when we take ourselves too seriously--which is most of the time, most days; we should laugh first thing in the morning when we wake up and look at ourselves in the mirror; we should laugh loud and long simply because it's the most appropriate response and it's good for us.

All our dreams for the future are only dreams; all our worries about the past are only worries.
There is no heaven or hell, only now and here.
There is no life or death, only change in form. (Energy--spirit--soul--or whatever name you have for it cannot be created or destroyed.)

The history of Ch'an, or Zen, is that the Buddha was asked a question and in response he held up a flower. One of his disciples, on seeing this, began to smile. That smile was the beginning of Ch'an/Zen:the smile was transmitted from
patriach to patriach and on and on, down to us. Everyday we build some small issue into a BIG issue that really is microscopic in the scheme of things. We humans take ourselves so
seriously but nothing in our lives--even our physical lives themselves--is
permanent. The purpose of life--if there is a purpose--is only to live it, certainly not to worry about it; perhaps to enjoy it, certainly to celebrate it. We all need to laugh more and more often.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Visual Music

Not just listening to music

Recently at school we've been thinking about the pervasive influence of music on individual and collective lives, how, for example, "Teenagers listen to an average of nearly 2.5 hours of music per day" and what the content of that music is. We all listened to a lot of music when we were teenagers too, but there's a lot more of it now, and with iPods and cellphones it's available everywhere, pretty much most of the time.
   But there's another dimension that I haven't seen anybody write about that's even more crucial: the visual aspect.
   Most teens, these days, don't simply listen to the music on their iPods and cellphones--they replay the music videos in their minds whilst they listen to the music. And those images are much stronger. We even do this ourselves. You do this yourself. Think about it. Maybe you read The Lord Of The Rings or Goblet Of Fire before you saw the film versions. But now? Is it possible to re-read those novels without picturing visuals from the film in your mind? No, I didn't think so.
   I googled 'content music videos teens' and amongst the first articles I found was one that reported, "On
average, music videos contain 93 sexual situations per hour"; and
obviously the videos also influence attitude, style, and other aspects
of world-view.
Recently I overheard some tiny Form Ones discussing a Lady Gaga song; the focus of their conversation was what the artist was wearing in the music video. In fact, very few teens buy albums without having seen a few videos of the music first. It's not the chicken or the egg--it's the chicken and the egg.
   When teens listen to their 2.5 hours of music a day, they are therefore not just listening to music.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009



“You are dangerously pretty,” I said. “Dangerous to all, even yourself. But especially to me. That she was pretty was easy to see but the danger that lurked behind her eyes was dimmed, even in sunlight. It isn't right, I thought, that beauty should present such a risk.
“But you're here,” she said, “you needn't have stayed.”
“You wanted me to,” I replied. It was true; it was in her eyes.
We left the bar; went to the car. Then I drove a way, but not too far.
“I hear you're famous,” she said. “You're dangerous too. And you like pretty women.”
“What man doesn't?” I said, “it's the way we're made.”
The shadows were crawling across the park. We sat and watched them. Then I read the graffiti scrawled large across one corner of the park's perimeter wall. It was more than two years old, acclaim for a once-popular political leader who was now discredited. “Viva X!” it said. That was all.
We sat side-by-side, silently, almost as if we were afraid to breathe. Perhaps we were. We were both waiting for something to happen, waiting for life to intervene.
“Touch me, and I'll scream,” she said. “Don't touch me and I'll die.”
I took a deep breath. And. Touched. Her.

The Tall Grass

The Tall Grass

That tall grass
by the river
that sways in the strong August winds
and shines thick like a spear
when the late sun strikes its back
is what the old women
around here
use to make sleeping mats.

That place there by the river
is where my wife
and I first made love
many seasons ago.

The grass was a bed
for our backs
and a screen
to hide us
from the eyes
of our families.

The grass we lay on
is gone now,
of course,
cut long ago
to make mats
for others to sleep
or make love on.

But on days like this
I still look
and remember,
even though I am now old
and my
love has long gone.

My Problem

My problem

Some people don't have enough money;
some people can't hold down a job;
some people don't act as expected;
some just want someone to rob;

but I pay my bills on time,
deliver assignment when due;
my problem is beyond my control:
honey, my problem is you.

When I reach for you, you're never there,
just the imprint of your underwear;
you say you don't have a phone,
so who should I call when alone?

The light has gone off on my TV,
and I get bored when I've nothing to do;
living alone's never easy:
honey, my problem is you.

The rain outside just keeps falling,
it looks like the sun will not come;
other hearts, other faces, they keep calling:
but, honey, you're still the one.

The light has gone off on my TV,
and I get bored when I've nothing to do;
my problem is beyond my control:
honey, my problem is you.



Paramore are amongst my fave bands, although difficult to get to hear in this part of the world. I loved Riot!, have been playing it for years, so I was at first surprised when I read this morning that their new album had entered the UK chart at the very top--numero uno. But only surprised at first. The reasons came to me quickly:
1. Paramore had a song or two on the 'Twilight' soundtrack. Although fans of the band weren't entirely impressed, the fact that Twilight (book and film) is so big has obviously helped;
2. the UK is a lot more open and 'trendy' than the US. Remember that Kings of Leon (another fave band) have always been huge in the UK, with the US only starting to wake up now.
Rock on, Paramore!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

At the Salon

At the Salon

I think the Serpent was a hairdresser
at the Eden Tree Salon
where Eve went one time
to get some styling done.
Whilst he was rewiring her roots
he gossipped about the fruits
hanging juicy and ripe
outside on the tree.

Moreover the day was probably hot
and Eve forgot
to pack a lunch-box that morning.

Sitting on a stone chair
without underwear
(this was before she wore clothes, you see)
the day wore on
and Eve was yawning
by the time he'd finished her hair.

The fruit was hanging there,
the temptation was great,
so she altered her fate:
instead of singing Hosanna
she chose the banana.
(You didn't really think it was an apple,
did you?)

From there all Heaven broke loose;
our modern world began:
clothes, work and babies' nappies—
and following women around
shopping malls too.

Yes, that was a fateful day
down at the Eden Tree Salon.

Pamela's Popcorn

Pamela's Popcorn (27th September)

Oh, Pamela, when did you last serve me popcorn? When did you last bat at no.9 in a limited-overs match?

I respect your cooking, I admire your line, and of course I love your... but... it's your after-shave I really like and the scent of the cream that you wear throughout the day. We perspire when we play,  never shirk the work of the rolling fire, the rush, the big-up desire to be there, to be really there, whatever the emotional weather. We play cricket on a sticky wicket knowing it's always a thrill to score.

Don't tell me the season's over: there's still more: it's only September; don't tell me you're busy; only remember how it was, how good it was. The ball remains clean in the hand, the catch is still in the slips.

Oh, Pamela, when did you last serve me popcorn? I'm stuck in this bar with a packet of chips.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On Finding a Small Fly...

Charles Tennyson Turner wrote a poem entitled On Finding a Small Fly Crushed in a Book, and whilst my students were perusing it I wrote...

On Finding a Small Fly with a Crush on my Glass

I was drinking red wine, you see,
and this fly was bothering me,
circling around my glass,
giving it the buzz
whilst I was making a fuss
shooing it away
waving it away
even if it was thirsty.

I mean, I'm not mean
but flies aren't clean:
they're dirty mucky things
and I don't like them
sucking up to my glass like that:
when I find a small fly with a crush on my glass
all I want is to squash it flat.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Menagerie of Desires

My Menagerie of Desires

The weather's a dog,
and I'm sleeping with a cat:
as they say in Portuguese,
I'm likely to get scratched.

Her mood matches the weather:
foul. And it's fowl
that brought me down:
chasing a feather
was all my undoing
and right now my ruin.

Maybe it's not the weather
that's the dog.



You colour my soul
in monochrome
like a pageant from the past.

You move me
like a movie
shot in black-and-white.

You view me
like a low-slung Samsung
video camera
hanging loose from a tripod
in the coolest studio
of our days...

I think you're all right.

But you know,
I've always preferred plays.

Monday, September 7, 2009

insane sanity?

Re: Tiffany. Just a thought.

I think sometimes it's quite easy to give in, to think--whether you're young or old--that your life ultimately has no purpose and that therefore there's no real point in continuing. Why don't more people kill themselves? Knowing that death is coming--soon or later--why don't people go around screaming? There's a kind of insanity about the sanity regarding death. The thought must occur with some frequencey for most people. The Christians have heaven, the Hindus have eternal rebirth. What keeps me going is my art, which is mainly my writing. Whether people read my books now or after I'm dead doesn't really matter; what matters is that I write them. My art is a way of scratching my mark on the world and therefore a purpose for continuing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Porn Madness

I just did something rare for me: I wrote a letter to an Editor at There was an article about the 'straight' (i.e., heterosexual) USA porn industry's refusal to accept the reality of HIV/AIDS; so I responded to it:

"Letters to the Editor
This letter is associated with the following article:
Read other letters about this article
Porn's last taboo: Protected sex The industry is resisting a push for condom-only smut and not just because it makes far less money Tracy Clark-Flory [2009-08-25]

porn madness

I happen to live in the world's no. 1 HIV-infected nation, on the world's no. 1 infected continent, so the very thought of advocating sex without condoms and/or testing is absolute madness. The only reason fuelling such insanity is money and the greed for it, no matter what the 'workers' say. Ultimately the business is just that--a business-- and those who object to 'latex wear-and-tear' could at least push for testing.

-- swazifiction
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 02:21 AM"


Just a note that I'm now using ScribeFire (a Firefox add-on) to write my blogs and upload to this site. Originally I'd thought I could use Apple's iWeb, but that's really a dedicated .Mac app, so I looked around and found this add-on instead. For the techies, I'm writing this on a Macbook 3 running Leopard.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Facebook Ghosts

This morning, when I fired up Facebook, I was presented with a selection of my friends... and this pic was amongst them. I remember persuading Tiffany to try FB, and she did, although for a while I was her only friend listed there. Eventually she went on to add a lot of others, which was great. Now, of course, it's a ghost site, with that beautiful smile fixed there forever. A lot of us have added our farewells, but we know she won't ever be signing in to read them or to close down her pages. I wonder how many other ghost sites are out there.

Monday, August 3, 2009

On being named the most handsome man on Facebook

They got it right of course.

And why shouldn't they?

The evidence is there for all to see:

after all, the man they voted for

is me.

I mean, those elegaic eyes

and animate face;

that husky voice

and hunter's grace;

those legs

so attractive they

could almost be a woman's;

that torso

more like a god's

than a human's.

It's undeniable, there for all to see.

But still,

"In your dreams, dear, in your dreams,"

is what she said to me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Facebook, the new-age helpline

Have you noticed (I'm sure you have) that it's not only possible but encouraged to comment on and approve of people's status updates on Facebook? This even applies to your own updates: I saw an update from one of my friends complaining that another friend liked her own update; there is nothing wrong with that, for status updates are our new self-therapy, aren't they? Facebook has become the new-age self-help portal that everyone was secretly longing for. On the one hand they give us all a chance to claim our own 'seventeen minutes of fame'; on the other hand they offer us the opportunity to feel that we are genuinely useful. We side with a hurting friend: 'Hey girl, don't give up. He's just a stupid guy who doesn't recognise your worth.' And we offer nuggets of enlightened living: 'This is a day for all of us to shine.'
Sure, there are still some people who update their latest whinges and binges but these are getting to be the minority and the least popular. It's easy to see why: our bookshops are stacked with 'inspirational' titles and our fave websites are those offering brighter futures, so community and self-help have become a new way of life. Social networking sites hook into deep and real human needs; Facebook has become theever-changing, always accessible new-age helpline.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

The poems I Like

The Poems I like

The kinds of poems I like

are slim and shapely,

with beautiful smiles

and warm hearts; they

look good in a pair of skinny jeans,

saunter across crowded streets,

loiter with intent

in cafes and churches,

parks and bars,

and cruise in summer

in low-neck cars.

They are never luxury items

but necessary and vital

with no stray words

or punctuation

out of place; happy

and carefree, they

kiss you on the face.

Those are the kinds of poems I like.

KenR, 26-07-09

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Here's my current (July 2009) playlist/readlist, the music n books that are getting my attention right now:
Kings of Leon: Because of the times/ Only by the night; David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust/ Heroes; Gounod: Petite Symphonie for 9 wind instruments/ Mozart wind serenades K375 & 388.
Michael Beckwith: Spiritual Liberation; Paul Reps: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones; Paul: Letter to the Phillippians; Pico Iyer: The Lady and the Monk.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do it again

Do it again

To be alive
is to feel joy
to get up every morning
and do it again
simply because it's there;
to love the breeze
in your hair
the soft crunch of chocolate
on your lips
the gentle swagger of motion
as you roll your hips
the love
of being in love
and being alive
and again
and again.

Let's do it again
let's do it again
let's do it again
let's do it again
let's do it again
let's do it again
let's do it again

KenR, July 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Love in Berlin, 1977

Berlin 1977

We've got nothing to lose and nothing to gain/ we can be lovers and kiss in the rain/ we can be lovers just for one day/ we can be heroes; what do you say?

Recently I've been listening again to David Bowie's "Heroes" album and it's taken me back... Bowie recorded it in West Berlin when he was living near the wall with Iggy. During 1976-8 I was in and out of West Berlin because I had a berliner girlfriend who lived there, at Neu Spandau, out by the edge of the city. I also knew a few pretty women who stayed at Wedding and a guy whose father was a lawyer and I spent time with my friends and caroused and danced and talked and made love and walked the city and enjoyed its odd decadence and lasting vibrancy. "Heroes" came out at that time, and I bought the German version, 'Helden', for my girlfriend and played it repeatedly late one night while the rain poured heavily outside her flat. It was a good time, a time of another world, of a world long passed but not gone. This week I've been surprising myself with whispered glimpses of that silent age.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Google Chrome: Browser Wars (contd)

With the latest devbuild, I can see that Chromium/Chrome (Google's new-style browser) is getting stronger; and I must say that I like it. It's simply designed, but elegant in a zen way; and the search+address bar feels so right, so intuitive that browsing becomes a much better experience. Already I'm using this browser on a daily basis, even though there's so much unfinished about it that most people would probably think it isn't worth the bother. [Wait till they try it though.] In short, this is shaping up to be a killer app!

Verdi is gr8 4 yr heart!

Verdi is gr8 4 yr heart!

The researchers tested out various combinations of music and silence on the volunteers and found tracks rich in emphasis that alternated between fast and slow, like operatic music, appeared to be the best for the circulation and the heart.Verdi's arias, which follow music phrases that are 10 seconds long, appeared to synchronise perfectly with the natural cardiovascular rhythm.
BBC NEWS | Health | Opera 'is music for the heart'

Thursday, June 18, 2009

18th June

18th June

Your desire,
glowing like embers in a fire,
attracts me
with its warmth and promise
of home.

I know I'm not alone
when I see that in your eyes.

It's no surprise
you love me: you're like that;
I'm more surprised
I love you: but I like that:
no-one wants to be alone.
No-one likes to be alone.
No-one needs to be alone.
We all need a face
we can call home.

Heat me
until I perspire.
Root me
with your warmth.
I desire
your desire.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The five rites & the physiological clock

The Five Rites (google it!) is an exercise system reputedly more than 2000 years old but described by Peter Kelder in a book first published in the 1920s. It isn't described as a fitness system but rather as a way to reset the body's chakras, the seven spinning wheels of energy. I've been practising the five rites daily for over five months now and I can tell you that they work: I have more energy, more muscle, less grey hair (the grey is actually disappearing), a sharper mind and a greater feeling of well-being. And I sleep better too. Amazing? Certainly. Miraculous? Perhaps.
The rites seem to work by kick-starting the endocrine system, resetting the physiological clock. That's true for me at least-- I really do feel that I'm youthing rather than aging. Apart from the hair, energy, etc., I've been getting a few spots on my face that I haven't seen for the last twenty years: spots that are hormonal in origin. There have been other changes too, too many to mention here. I shan't be stopping this programme. The five rites are for life (both meanings are intended).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tai Chi and Grace

Attending Tai Chi classes has made my life more graceful--even though my practice is clumsy; my muscles and bones ache--even though the movements are flowing and slow; and I'm more aware than ever before of the beauty and fragility of our lives.

I didn't expect any of this; I'm not sure what I expected. I do have a Tai Chi book, but its attraction for me was its philosophy rather than its utility as a practical guide to the movements. I practice Zen so I saw in Tai Chi a kindred practice, an addition to my lifestyle. Tai Chi has been more than this: it has changed the ways I move through my days.

Like Zen I can't explain this, not any of it. Like Zen, Tai Chi's meaning lies exclusively in its practice. Like Zen, Tai Chi is not for reading in books, but for living.

Friday, June 12, 2009

rNb rock still rulz

Ever since I was a teen I've loved rNb based rock bands; I'm from south London (Chelsea's my home team), so I grew up on a diet of all the London mod bands: the Who, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, and supremely the Small Faces. I still listen-- a lot!-- to the Small Faces, but now I've added Paramore and Kings Of Leon. Recently I listened to the SF's All Or Nothing and KOL's Sex On Fire back-2-back and confirmed that it's the same sound. It really is. There's the same rNb base, the same driving energy, the same hormonally-charged-group-instrument-playing-and-arranging thing. Is this perhaps why KOL are bigger in the UK than back in the States? They know it too: check out the lyrics to Fans (it's on their 3rd album).

Umhlanga's Coming...

We're two months away from this year's Reed Dance (umhlanga): perhaps the kingdom's biggest tourist attraction, so here's a pic to whet your appetite. Lovely smiles... :-)

Googl Chrome on LinuxMint 7

I've been trying out Google's new developer build of their Chrome browser on my Linux laptop (LinuxMint 7), and it's fast. It also works well (the missing implementations notwithstanding). I particularly like the all-in-one search & address bar: this is a feature so natural you soon wonder why it wasn't there in the first place. Of course, it's not my primary browseryet (it's not even an official release yet) but if all goes as well as Google intend it may well become my favourite browser soon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

surviving? hell, no! I'm thriving!

I just met someone in town. "You're surviving?" he asked. "Surviving?" I laughed. "No, I'm thriving!"
"You're about the only one then," he said. What a gloomy doomy fellow. Life is good. Today is warm and sunny in the kingdom. And it's a Friday! Yay, yippee, toodle-do. Enjoy, good people, enjoy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Picasa Web Albums - swazifiction

Picasa Web Albums - swazifiction
Blogged with the Flock Browser

29th May 2009

It's a cold but blue and sunny Friday in the mountains... the weekend beckons! Look for an adventure and you're sure to find one; look to share some love and joy and you're sure to find some; look beyond yourself and you'll be the salvation of your little part of this universe.

beauty in the kingdom

Sakhile Live in Swaziland For me the best South African band of al...