Thursday, January 31, 2008

Scattered Light


When I look at this puddle photo in a certain way I see a head full of reflections.
When I look at myself in a certain way I see a head full of reflections.

More rainbows appeared this week too.

More prismatic scattering

My rose vase acted as a prism in a beam of light yesterday. And the day before light on a vase at the hairdressers was creating mini-rainbows in the bubbles in the water and rainbow fringes on the edges of the window seen through the vase.

Pattern with rainbow fringes

Some good things from the last week:

Some amazing dreams, a fabulous lunch out yesterday, (English) muffins that Jim made (recipe and photo on flickr), a wonderful Burns night supper that turned into a celebration of Australia Day too and, despite glorying in all this food, I've also kept my new year's resolution to avoid sugary things, especially cakes (brought on by just too much of a good thing whilst staying at Jim's mother's for a week over Christmas :-).

Yellow tail

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Buddha is in the eye of the Beholder

Shiny Buddha and Matt Buddha
And in this case the beholder is reflected in the Buddha!

I've recently been reading The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot. In it he describes a view of the universe which I find rather appealing. Although he is very clear that few scientists accept the concept of the universe as a holograph - or holomovie - it is a model derived from particle physics.

When I was at university I took a course called quantum effects. I was studying mathematics and one aspect of the quantum effects course that really bothered me was that one of the important equations was derived by canceling infinities on each side of the equals sign - and what's more they were different kinds of infinities! Don't worry I don't recall the detail and my grasp of maths and physics these days is too limited to attempt to replicate the reasoning or even look for a suitable reference on the web. The result was that I was left wondering that they even bothered to show us such an unsound derivation - yet it was an equation that predicted useful things.

In Michael Talbot's book I've not come across any equations at all but his suggestions are wonderfully mind-boggling and definitely tease the mind of someone brought up in the scientific tradition. He also describes some of his own weird and wonderful experiences, somewhat hesitantly as he knows how hard they will be for most people, especially scientists, to credit. He is clearly looking for a scientific(-ish) explanation for psychic phenomenon and he's looking for that because of the strange things he's personally experienced.

I'm enjoying reading it.

As most people who've read any of my blog will know I'm rather fond of synchroniciites. They are probably my favourite weird thing. When I first came across the idea I gave myself all sorts of reasons for how they must happen - from the psychological to the magic. Now I've stopped looking for reasons and just enjoy them. I also don't care if I'm stretching anyone else's sense of what might be a connection - they are synchronicities for me, you may disagree.

For the first three weeks of this month I was feeding these cats that belong to one of my neighbours whilst she was visiting her sister in Australia.

The ginger is called Ralph and the grey tabby is Ted. Ralph is quite bold, large and fluffy. Ted is much shyer but now he knows me he demands ALL of my attention. His is not cupboard love. When I was going over to feed them Ralph was very keen to be fed whilst Ted usually ignored the food and just waited for cuddles.

During the three weeks I was feeding them someone commented on a photo of one my other cat pictures on flickr he asked "Is that Ted ? Bishopston's friendliest cat !" It certainly is a friendly cat but isn't the same Ted that I was feeding at that time in Bishopston... and its the only comment I've had on that photo since I uploaded it in October.

I also noticed these in a car in our street:


A ginger and a grey koala. As I take photos of most of the things I see in cars around these streets (In-car Decorations a photoset on flickr) I know I hadn't seen them before. (And I've not spotted them since either). Can you see why I see them as an echo of Ralph and Ted? Especially since (ginger) Ralph seemed to me to be pining for his owner whilst (grey) Ted was demanding my attention.

Today my neighbour emerged from her jet lag to reclaim her key and she brought me a little present. It too was a synchronicity as it had a lizard on it as did this vase which I'd found in a charity shop last September:

Still life

I'd forgotten the synchronicities that went with the finding of the vase but luckily I'd written them up on the photo's flickr page. They also involved another lizard design though in that case of even further South - Maori. It was of a lizard tattoo that I wasn't allowed to photograph... doing a google image search on Maori lizard tattoo I found this page which says:
I chose this design mainly because I used to live in the Cook Islands, where the word in the local language for lizard is moko. In the related language of New Zealand Maori the word moko refers to the tattoos traditionally used as a form of identification, rank, genealogy, tribal history, eligibility to marry, and marks of beauty and/or ferocity. That’s the kind of play on words I love ;)
And this is the kind of loose series of synchronicities that I love!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fox again!

I see you've seen me!

This morning the fox was visiting my neighbour's again. Maybe he reads my blog and wanted a more up-to-date photo from the one I posted a week ago. Or maybe he's around every morning and I just happened to spot him today.

Yesterday I spotted two more rainbows - one on TV and the other in a newspaper.

My experiments with printing onto tissue following these instructions worked well - the only adjustment I had to make to my images was to increase their brightness and thereby reducing the saturation of the ink. For some reason I couldn't get "economy" to show on the printer options which might have had a similar effect.

I did the spraying of the re-positionable glue in the shed as its so smelly - yuck! The glue that is, not the shed! And its only an option if its not raining... unfortunately we do seem to be in for a lot of rain again with lots of reports of flooding in the UK.

Really I'd prefer you not to point that thing at me...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Another Rainbow!

Another Rainbow

This morning we've had sun, grey clouds and briefly this rainbow.

I'd just been taking photos of the raindrops on the window of which this was the best:

Sun Breaking Through Dark Clouds

After that I'd taken a photo of the grey clouds behind the school a minute later the rainbow appeared. (See above).

In my previous post the rainbow colours under the window sill had "just appeared" there was no rain so I assume that it was a trick of the light in our double-glazing. There was no prism or crystal or other more obvious cause. I'd never seen this effect before and as its in the room that my computer is in and in which I paint I've spent quite a lot of time in here. And all too often staring at the windows!

And yes I am painting again - nothing to show yet, soon maybe. I'm hoping to get my collage and painting to work together. Today I'm hoping to suss printing onto tissue paper.

If I go quiet all of a sudden in the next few days it'll be because we're attempting to get rid of the second phone line, which Jim no longer needs, but through which we've also been getting broadband. He's asked them to enable it on our remaining line and they've warned us that it may take up to a week for us to be re-connected. No idea why - its the same service provider and all we need is for the exchange to turn it off on one line and on, on the other. They've said that there will be no charge but I doubt we'll get a refund for the time we're off-line.


I've not managed such a brilliant night's sleep again but I have been having some good dreams instead! Also I've had enough energy not to need to nap so I may be hoping for too much of a good thing!

One of the things I've yet to manage is to stop myself waking up to get some urgent message or other from my subconscious. That's okay if its a need to go to the loo but a bit annoying when its a reminder to do something that will have to wait until morning. I used to write them all down but that seemed to encourage more... however last night's were rather useful. I'd mentioned that I was planning to use the "auto-analysis" phase to ask what plans I'd made. Well they all bubbled up last night as did some associated "promises" to myself.

For instance, I seemed to have promised myself never again to be with a man that had some of the characteristics of one of my least happy affairs. One of these promises was to avoid anyone who earned less than me as it always seemed to aggravate that man's ego too much when his woman was earning more than him. As Jim has just stopped working for the moment and we'll be living on my pension and our savings it was really important that I clear this one.

Another example was of a plan to to avoid self-employment. This derived from my father who was self-employed and who worked from 8 am in the morning until 10 pm at night every day of the year except Christmas. However one of our current plans for our future would involve us being self-employed, and I don't intend to put anything like those hours in! So I've attempted to clear both the plan and the assumption that self-employment is so all consuming.

The general pattern for finding these old out-of-date promises and plans seemed to be to identify the person, place or event that had inspired them, then to find the actual promise or plan. Finally to make sure that my subconscious had agreed that this was no longer part of my motivation and that it had really been cleared.

Any rainbows in your life today?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Rainbow's End!

The pot of gold at the rainbows end!
This morning I noticed that there was a rainbow on the wall and what's more there was a pot of gold there!

In the pot are these:

So now I know what's in that pot of gold at the rainbow's end.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Getting a better night's sleep

Urban Fox
Last October I spotted this fox sleeping in broad daylight in my neighbour's garden. I was amazed that he wasn't being mobbed by any of the magpies or crows - they normally let me know when a fox is about.

I'd not been sleeping so easily as this fox recently and all my old tricks and techniques just hadn't got me well-rested. Then I turned to this book - Healing Yourself with Self-Hypnosis by Frank Caprio, M.D. and Joesph R. Berger, revised by Dr. Caroline Miller. I've read various other books on hypnosis but it was quite a while since I'd actually tried it properly. I read this one to re-inspire me and last night before I went to sleep I used it to suggest to myself that I recharge my batteries whilst asleep and feel well-rested when I woke up.

I woke up feeling good and had loads of energy all day. I was even singing whilst I emptied the dishwasher! And believe me that was a big difference!

Something that this book emphasizes is that one first uses the hypnotic state to explore what the problems behind the symptoms really are before planting useful suggestions like "When I awake I'll be fully rested and ready to go". If you too have had difficulty sleeping the sort of question to ask yourself whilst under hypnosis might be "Why do I keep waking up tired?" or "Is there something I need to change about my sleeping habits?"

Some of the general questions they give when introducing this idea of "Autoanalysis" are ones I'll be tackling in future sessions like:
  1. How is my health affected by the way I think?
  2. What plans have I made for the future?
The first is obviously worth checking out - the second is one of their suggestions that surprised me at first but of course it is the subconscious self that is being asked and I may well have some plans I planted one way or another long ago and that I'd like to undo or at least know about - in fact it seems rather important to check this out.

Have you any other suggestions for things to explore this way?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Overcharging Synchronicity

Wow! Not a Bargain!
Wow! Not a Bargain! - spotted in a shop window last summer.

For the first time last week I heard about someone being overcharged on their credit card by mistake. She'd paid £325 instead of £25 for flea spray at the vets. Luckily for her the vets spotted their mistake and have refunded her the £300.

Now, talking to another friend, I find that one of her friends has not been so lucky. She was charged £99.95 for a £9.95 plant. She only noticed when she got her statement and on contacting the garden centre they are claiming that their till shows that she bought more than one plant and has not been incorrectly charged at all. She, unfortunately, has lost her receipt....

The moral of this story is always check the amount is correct before you type in your PIN!

What I don't know is whether this synchronicity has anything else for me... any ideas?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tinth Anniversary Card

Tinth Anniversary Card

A photo-collage using:KB35's "Tin Man", Hamed Saber's "Engraving (Qalam-Zani) Vase", LinBow's "GREEN TIN HOLES" ,
z e n's "squared circle wood plug"

Last week was the wedding anniversary of Jim's brother, Dave. Dave and Jo have been married for 10 years. I discovered that the material often associated with the 10th wedding anniversary is tin. So I searched for suitable images to create this with.

These images (from flickr users) - all have creative commons licenses that allow manipulation - and came up when I did an advanced search for such licensed images with tin in their descriptions, headers or tags.

Their actual anniversary date is January the 3rd. It turns out this is a really difficult date to go out for a meal. Most of their local restaurants are so busy for New Year that they close on the days following it. Even on Saturday, the 5th, the restaurant they'd been hoping to go to was closed!

Before Christmas, Jim and I went to his work's Christmas do. There is usually a competition and this time it was team-based. Despite my total inability to answer any of the questions correctly I was very lucky to be the winning table, as was Jim. The prize was £40 each in amazon vouchers. On Saturday evening Jim spent them both to buy me an external disk drive - I'd pretty much run out of space on my internal disk which was severally cramping my style especially when doing collages like the one above in Painter. We were amazed that despite having ordered it at the weekend it arrived today!

As I mentioned in my previous post he's handed in his notice so its unlikely we'll be going to any more IMDb do's. They were always fun and I did mention we'd be happy to accept any future invitations if they felt like extending them :-) If they'd been willing to offer Jim part-time work he wouldn't have left but he felt unable to continue full-time and do the things we are planning to do.

Thanks for all your welcome back greetings - I'll be visiting your blogs soon!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year!

There is no escape...

Sorry my blog has been closed for so long. I really wasn't expecting to be so anti-social for all these months.

Review of 2007
  • The early part was dominated for me by Soul Collage and builders.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the collaging of cards and going to Ireland for Imelda's Soul Collage workshop. I'd spent 3 months solidly making cards before I went. That seems to have exhausted the seam for me.
  • The builders were in because we'd had a very minor leak in our dining room ceiling - they managed to take months to sort this out, needing two rooms completely clear and did a lot more work than I'd imagined was necessary.... I found their presence very difficult - they were all pleasant people it was just the fact that they were in my space and we had all our furniture crammed into the rooms that weren't being worked on - that's what was hard. As Jim works from home and I don't go out to work either there was no escape!
  • Whilst I was in Ireland Jim was bagging the last but three of his Munros and then when we were in Scotland in May he collected those as well. The last one was celebrated with as many of his Munro bagging companions as could make it.
  • The summer was one of the wettest I've experienced (good job we'd had those builders in to fix the earlier leak) and consequently much cooler than the super-hot summer of 2006. My sister lives in Cheltenham where there was flooding - she'd had a minor flood in 2006 so she'd nagged the council into clearing their street's drains after that - rather tellingly their street was okay when many surrounding ones were not. So their house was not flooded. (One of the most cost effective remedies would be to fund drain clearing properly, that and stop building on flood plains of course. Nothing can help you if you are in standing water but many places were only flooded because of the drains not coping.) They still had to cope with no running water for weeks as the whole area's water supply was hit.
  • We took up archery and throughly enjoyed it, even though our club shares its field with chickens.
  • In the autumn one of my brother's had a minor heartattack - he had keyhole surgery and is making a good recovery. He's only 47. This and the earlier death of one of my ex-work colleagues brings home one's own mortality and the need to make of life what one can whilst still alive.

Jim and I have always planned to live in Cornwall sometime. We got married there seven years ago as a way of marking this. We've decided that 2008 is the year to do this. Jim's given up his job and we have some things we want to do to this house before we sell it. We've been living here since '96 and although we have done quite a lot there are a few more things to do before we call it finished.

Then we'll cross our fingers that someone wants to buy it despite the gloom in the papers about the property market, after which we'll be able to move to Cornwall and start the next phase of our lives there.