Wednesday 26 October 2016

Facebook fury

OK, perhaps 'fury' is a bit strong, but I am a bit put out. You might have heard the discussion on the Today programme on Monday morning between Paul Fox, chair of the British Wheel of Yoga (of which I am a member) and Swami Ambikananda from the Traditional Yoga Association. The subject of the debate was the possible introduction of National Occupational Standards for yoga. This is not the place to go into the rights and wrongs of this; suffice to say it has been the hot topic in yoga forums in this country and beyond.

For many months now I have been in a closed group on Facebook just for  yoga teachers and with the aim of offering mentoring and support. It is supposed to be a nurturing, safe environment in which you can ask, for example, such and such happened in class and I didn't know what to do. Has anyone else experienced this? It is not supposed to be a general discussion forum, but understandably this BWY vs TYA topic has prompted a lot of interest. I put in my two-penn'orth, of course, but was responded to with such venom from some people that I have decided to leave the group completely. No great loss to them, but a huge relief to me.

The point of this story is that it made me realise how easy it would be to let this situation escalate into full-blown cyber-bullying. I'm sufficiently grown-up not to want to have the last word on this occasion, but I can quite see that once you start the ping-pong exchange of insults and abuse, matters could quickly get out of hand.

There is a saying oft quoted in yoga circles that we cannot control what other people do or say, we can only control our response to it. Good advice, no?

Friday 21 October 2016

Celebrating the small things

Join the blog hop and share your celebrations with us. Here are mine.
  • An unexpected invitation from an old friend
  • An evening out with new friends
  • Work deadlines met
  • Draft manuscript completed
  • Plans made
How about you?

Celebrate the Small Things  is a blog hop hosted by  Lexa's Blog. Join us. 

Thursday 20 October 2016

Who dunnit - and who shouldn't have?

As I mentioned in Friday's post, I spent the weekend at the Malcolm Arnold Festival in Northampton. It was, shall we say, a bit of a curate's egg; some of the music was wonderful, some of it not so wonderful. Arnold had various troubles in his life that are reflected in his works and I think some of the pieces we heard might have been written when he was having a bad day. However, it probably says more about me than him that I find that solo brass performances sound as though the player is running through his rudiments, rather than trying to entertain the audience.

One of the talks we sat through was equally challenging. It should have been fascinating - the role of the CIA in controlling the music scene - but it was just baffling. I'm not an idiot (quiet at the back!), but I found it rather demoralising to keep being told 'Of course, you all know that...' when I didn't!

I went to another less than satisfying talk last night, this time on the topic of Agatha Christie. There is an excellent exhibition in our town museum about this writer, and the woman behind the collection was at the art gallery to give us a talk. Trouble was that while she was undoubtedly a fan and clearly has a lot of memorabilia, a public speaker she was not. Now, as regular readers will know, I'm no public speaker either - but then I don't pretend to be.

I've edited enough books by subject experts to be able to say that knowing all there is to know about something doesn't mean you can write about it or, it seems, speak about it. Am I being harsh? Perhaps. I'm sorry: I have a cold.

Friday 14 October 2016

Celebrate the small things

Join the blog hop and share your celebrations with us. Here are mine.

My day began with a text from a friend wishing me a happy day, for no reason other than that she was thinking of me. Isn't that nice?

Then I got an email from Smashwords to say someone had left me a 5-star review for my free short story 'Briefs Encounter'. Well, thank you!

I have a weekend of culture planned. It's the Malcolm Arnold Festival in Northampton, so I'm dusting off my opera glasses and intelligent conversation to go and mix with the musical cognoscenti of the county.

Have a good weekend, folks.

Celebrate the Small Things  is a blog hop hosted by  Lexa's Blog. Join us. 

Monday 10 October 2016

Making connections and weaving words

I was co-host at a yoga workshop yesterday, which is always a lovely way to spend an afternoon. What was particularly nice this time was that everyone there knew at least one other person; sitting in a circle, there was a complete chain link through the whole group. We did some bending and stretching, working through chakras and making the best of the autumn sunshine. (Apparently it rained at home, which was all of half an hour away.) We finished, as always, with deep relaxation. Bliss!

There was a nice connection this afternoon, too, when on the spur of the moment I went to the Weaving Words writing group run by Kezzabelle, our local performance poet and all round good egg. Who should open the door, but one of my former yoga students!

One of the exercises we did together was to write a list of all the things we'd done in our lives that we were proud of. I found this incredibly difficult - in fact, we all did. I could remember doing well in a primary school, but beyond that... After some discussion/therapy, we picked one thing off our preliminary list and worked it up into the beginnings of something literary. Because I'm not very good at it, and because Kezza is a poet, I thought I'd have a go at something verse-like. All I can say is, if they ever need someone to rework Rupert the Bear, I'm the woman for a job.

Work in progress? Definitely!

Friday 7 October 2016

Celebrating autumn

Sometimes all you want to do is stand on top of a hill in the autumn sunshine with a good friend and let the wind blow away your cares. Well, I'm celebrating that I had the chance to do just that with my pal Steph, whom I've known since we were 11 and who has had the good sense to move to Skipton. There's nothing like a weekend in Yorkshire for lifting spirits.

We walked up Sharp Haw, where if you look one way you can see the Lake District; turn around and you can see the Yorkshire Dales. Perfect.

We've had birthday celebrations, too: my sister-in-law Melanie, my 'baby' Joe, who is now 23, and, tomorrow, my godson Chris. Good times all round.

Have a great weekend, folks.

Celebrate the Small Things  is a blog hop hosted by  Lexa's Blog. Join us.