Bodhi Khaya - a spiritual home

Are you dreaming? Or are you awake?

This last weekend, we attended a “Mindfulness of Dream and Sleep Retreat” with Charlie Morley at the tranquil retreat centre of Bodhi Khaya, outside Stanford, just past Hermanus in the Overberg.

We had previously attended other retreats at the centre (see Finding Peace and Tranquility and A Tribute to Chef Nina at Bodhi Khaya), including two/three previous lucid dreaming retreats with Charlie, and were really looking forward to spending some time in those peaceful surroundings, marveling at the beauty of Mother Nature, and soaking up the teachings of an inspiring spiritual teacher.

Charlie recently (last year) published his first book, Dreams of Awakening: Lucid Dreaming and Mindfulness of Dream & Sleep, with Hay House; it is a brilliant guidebook for any aspiring oneironaut (lucid dreamer) who wishes to learn how to be more mindful, more aware, and more kind, in their waking, sleeping and dreaming life.

(If you are an aspiring oneironaut, please feel free to share your experiences and tips in the comments!)

Bodhi Khaya - and beyond!
Bodhi Khaya – and beyond!

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Toys and games for the young patients of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital

I attended an event this morning that reminded me again why I love to support the Cape Town Rifles (Dukes), a Defence Reserve regiment in the Western Cape, and worthwhile causes like the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch, Cape Town.

A couple of weeks ago, the Dukes appealed for donations of toys and games, which were to be handed over to the Hospital at a small ceremony to commemorate Youth Day on 16 June 2014. The initiative is part of the Regiment’s ongoing social responsibility programme.

On the morning of Wednesday, 18 June 2014, five boxes of soft toys, pretty dolls, stimulating board games and card games, colourful puzzles and learning games, and helpful items of clothing, all donated by members and friends of the Regiment and the South African Legion, were handed over to David Stephens, the Executive Director of the Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association (FOCHA), and his assistant Janine Heuvel. The Dukes were represented by Lieutenant Colonel Francois Marais (the new Officer Commanding), Captain John Manning, Captain John Dorrington, WO1 Daantjie Prins (the Regimental Sergeant Major), and WO2 Mike Cairns.

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Edward T Bear is home again!

The miracle we were hoping for has happened.

Although I’d frequently logged into the WorldTracer website over the last days, there were no status changes – they were still trying to locate hubby’s suitcase, which had gone missing somewhere between Santiago (Chile), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Johannesburg (South Africa).

Flat Kathy joyfully takes receipt of hubby's lost-no-longer suitcase
Flat Kathy joyfully takes receipt of hubby’s lost-no-longer suitcase

So you can imagine our surprise when our dear friend Kim, a veteran of the travel industry, who had done some investigation from her side, confirmed that hubby’s suitcase had not only been found, but was on its way home!

Then, this evening, the phone rang. A friendly lady from SA Airways asked me to confirm my address, and declared that they would be delivering our lost-no-longer suitcase to our doorstep imminently.

And indeed, not much later, the bell rang – and there it was!

Our cheerful friend Flat Kathy, who has just returned to South Africa after months away in the US, Australia, the Seychelles, Germany and Denmark (have a look at her recent blog update), was impatiently begging us to open the suitcase and free dear Edward T Bear from his prison.

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Edward T Bear is missing! Or: Did LAN Lose It?

Hubby travelled to Chile at the start of April, in order to visit the seriously impressive Atacama Large Milimetre Array (ALMA) Telescope in the high mountains of northern Chile. It’s all part of his work for the project to build the radio telescope known as the Square Kilometre Array in Southern Africa.

He had a great time, met some friendly people, and even experienced an earthquake! It was the 8.2 earthquake just off the coast near Iquique; luckily, he and his colleagues were in the mountains at the time, quite some distance from the epicentre, so they were spared the serious damage on the coast. But he did experience one of the numerous large aftershocks a few days later in Santiago, just before he flew back home. It certainly made the trip a memorable one!

But the main reason why we will never forget this trip is that, when hubby finally reached OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on the morning of Sunday, 6 April 2014, after more than 24 hours of travelling, he was dismayed to find that his suitcase had not arrived with him. :-(

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Happy New Year: Introducing “Finding Frohsinn”

One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 is to take a photograph every day this year, in order to learn how to use my camera more effectively, and to challenge myself photographically.

Although I already have this blog, the time constraints of daily living have prevented me from updating it as often as I would like. You’ve no doubt noticed long pauses between posts. This is because crafting longer blog-posts simply takes more time and energy than I have right now. So, to take the pressure off myself, I decided to create a new photos-only blog for 2014. Although my intention is to post a photo a day until 31 December 2014, I suspect that this goal may be a tad on the ambitious side, given my track record with this blog! :-) Nonetheless, sometimes it is good to aim high!

You can find my new photos-only blog here: http://findingfrohsinn.wordpress.com/

IMG_7189I have called it ‘Finding Frohsinn’ in memory of a visit to the magical rose garden at Chart Farm in Wynberg on 30 December 2011. That enchanted day, I found a rose that combined my favourite colours, all subtly flowing into each other: “the colour is an interesting play of apricot-pink with orange-red on the edges of the petals & salmon flowing towards the centre of the blooms” (website). It also had the most exquisite sweet fragrance.

And, much to my delight, it even had the perfect name: Frohsinn“!

This German word means ‘cheerfulness’ or ‘joy’ in English, and it expressed exactly how I felt when I first saw this rose. I thought it would be a fitting name for my new photo-blog.

So, if you’re curious, do pop on over.

Wanted: Looking for a mate!

Wanted:

Virile male with healthy genes (non-GM),
willing to provide seed material for breeding purposes.

And these perfect blossoms, bursting with vitality
Look at these perfect blossoms, just bursting with vitality!

“I am a young, strong and fertile female from a good home, with well-established roots, a good support structure behind me and with a (more or less) regular irrigation supply.

I survived the worst hailstorm that Cape Town has ever seen, even though the hard hailstones stripped off most of my leaves.

I grew back, stronger than ever, and am yearning to bear fruit.

Please, if you live in the Pinelands area, and if you happen to have a male pawpaw tree in your garden, contact me!

Quick – send me a bee-mail!”

(Click on any of the photos below to access the image caroussel with captions)

Another kitchen experiment: Chocolate and beetroot brownies

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, at about 180 degrees Celsius, remove from oven and allow to cool (!) before eating - ENJOY!
Chocolate and beetroot brownies – straight from the oven to my tummy!

Encouraged by my recent successes in the kitchen (experimenting with kale chips and veggie chips after receiving my first order of organic produce from the Ethical Co-op) I felt inspired to try another experiment, this time, by making something delicious with the lovely bunch of beetroots I had received: Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies.

Curious?

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A labour of love – or: why typists shouldn’t mosaic as a hobby

This year, my friend L and I decided to attend some crafting classes.

When you spend much of every day sitting at the computer, and editing and proofreading other people’s writings, you tend to live in your head quite a lot and to over-exercise the mental muscles, particularly on the logical left side of the brain. Giving my creativity – and the right side of my brain – some space and time, and learning some new skills that didn’t involve tippity-tappiting away at the computer keyboard and staring at small letters moving across a computer screen, sounded extremely appealing.

House Number

My first mosaic was our house number
My first mosaic was our house number

I was very keen to learn how to make mosaics. So one of my first projects with Amelia from the Crafter’s Den, who runs small classes from home, was to mosaic the numbers of our house. (She has a shop inside Wynica Stationers at the Bothasig Mall in Vryburger Avenue, Bothasig, where you can get all the bits and bobs you need for your craft projects.)

What took the longest time was choosing the colours that I wanted to use, as this was also influenced by the colour of the wall against which we wanted to mount the number. In the end, I settled on shimmering red and blue tiles, with white grouting inbetween.

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The Animal Communicator – an extraordinary movie

Tuffy-Cat
Tuffy-Cat

A couple of years ago, I attended an interspecies communication workshop with Anna Breytenbach (her website).

Anna is a professional animal communicator with more than 12 years experience, having worked with both domestic and wild animals around the world.

She has an almost uncanny ability to tune into the unique spirit of each animal, and to establish a connection with it, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Her aim is to enhance the relationship between human beings, animals and the natural world.

A movie – “The Animal Communicator” – has recently been made about Anna and the work she does. It is absolutely beautiful. It will bring tears to your eyes and a lump to your throat.

Do go and watch it as soon as possible, as it may not be available online and for free very much longer:

http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/11936/The-Animal-Communicator.

“To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour."

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