Tag Archives: 14th Dalai Lama

My Life as a Dog……..

Last time I watched the Swedish film, ‘My Life as a Dog’ was a long time ago…..and I loved it.    It is one of those films that always stayed with me.


I watched it again yesterday, and it’s even better than I remember…a charming, bitter/sweet evocation of childhood, set in Sweden during 1958-1959.     Exquisitely directed by Lasse Hallstrom based on a novel by Reidar Johnsson.


Due to the terminal illness of their Mother, two brothers are separated and have to live with relatives.

The younger brother finds himself in a small rural village filled with generous hearted eccentrics.


In the village he enjoys a whimsical, unconventional life…..which is quirky, funny and at the same time poignant. 

After watching yesterday, I felt totally uplifted and highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys the unusual. 

Without any question, this is a place where the Magical Hummingbirds hang out:)


Happy Monday.

A Bientôt

Ghosts from a time gone by….

I had a wonderful time this weekend in Kent with my friends of old, Gail and Mick.

On Saturday evening we went to The Gate Inn in Marshside, Kent to  celebrate the ancient custom of Wassailing.   The atmosphere was one celebration and of times gone by……

The guns were fired after the Apple Yowling. 


The words to this post come from the Yowling Song, written by Gail Duff. 


‘The moon is up, the stars are bright, the lantern’s lit, the fire’s alight,   And we are met in the cold night air, This ancient rite to share.


Our bowl it is made from the apple tree wood, And bound with silver to make it good.   It’s filled with cider spiced and hot, the best that we have got. 

We’ve toast for the Robins, so here they stay, And salt to drive bad spirits away,  The cider we sprinkle around, To bring good luck to the ground. 


Old Apple Tree, we Wassail thee, May you bud and bloom and bear, That when we come in another new year, There’ll be cider for all to share. 

So make your shout and bang your drums, Blow your horns and fire your guns, Make it loud as ever you can, To please the Apple Tree Man. 


Wassail, Wassail, we sing Wassail, Good health to all, may it never fail,   Take a drop from the blow as you say, “Drink Hael”, And join our Wassail. 

So stand fast root and bear well top, God send us a yowling crop, Every twig, apples big every bough, apples enow,  Hat fulls, cap fulls, bushel bushel bag fulls And little heaps under the stairs.  Apple Yowling, Voices howling, Success to the Old Apple Tree. 


After singing and a drink form the Wassail Cup – much merriment was had in the pub when musicians and singers joined together to celebrate:)


Mick and Gail’s daughter Lucy, playing the fiddle.


I was reminded once again that it’s important to remember from whence we cometh:)

A Bientot

The return of old friends……

Since Fudge the cat came to stay on Christmas Eve…my luck seems to have turned.   The new year has begun on a very positive footing.

Fuge the Cat. 


Old friends returned today in the form of two paintings.    Both paintings have been safely housed with good friends in Wales for the past eleven years.    It’s wonderful to have them back.

This self portrait (large oil on canvas), circa 1987 holds great significance for me given that it was painted at an important turning point in my life.


I live in a one bedroom flat in London, which is already filled to the brim, and so stacking is definitely now in order:)


The other very large oil on canvas, was painted in 1982, inspired by the rock formations on Isle-au-Haut Maine, an island which sits in the Penobscot Bay, part of Acadia National Park.    After painting on the Island I then integrated the rock formations with the human form.    

Part of a large series, this painting represents the final time that people turn their backs on one another.       They may live together for many more years, but the backs have been turned!

Here it is leaning against the wall in my bedroom.     As I say, I live in a one bedroom flat!:)


And so another lovely day.   Quite Clearly, the Magical Hummingbirds are working overtime:)




A Bientôt

Freedom to fly…..

During the past few years although in many ways my life has been wonderful….with growth in different areas, I have had one big issue which has taken up far too much space in my head…..and as of 1st January, this has been released…..and I can already feel a huge sense of freedom.


With this sense of freedom comes an immediate opening up of the senses….

An instant reminder that all of life is interconnected, and …….


That ‘none of us is ever creative enough to know how things will actually work out….’

An affirmation that when we do what is put in front of us to the best of out ability, with a willing and grateful heart…miracles can and do happen.

The Magical Hummingbirds have clearly been working overtime:)


This post is written with a huge amount of gratitude.



A Bientôt

We must not forget our ties to nature….

‘In the past all of life was based on trees.   Their flowers gave us nourishment, their leaves and fibres clothed us and provided us with shelter.   


We took refuge on their branches for protection from wild animals.   We used wood for heat, and for canes to bear our weight when we grew old. 


and to make weapons to defend ourselves…….


We were very close to trees.


Today, surrounded by sophisticated machinery and high-performance computers in our ultra-modern offices, it is easy to forget our ties with nature……The 14th Dalai Lama. 


Enjoy the Magical Hummingbirds today.





A  Bientôt

The making of a shirt…..food for thought

‘I began to think about how many people were involved in the making of my shirt.   I started by imagining the farmer who grew the cotton.   Next, the hundreds or even thousands of people involved in the manufacturing of the tractor.   And all the designers of the tractor.   Then, of course the people who processed the cotton, and the people who wove the cloth, and the people who cut, dyed and sewed that cloth.   The cargo workers and the truck drivers who delivered the shirt to the store and the sales person who sold the shirt to me.   It occurred to me that virtually every aspect of my life came about as the results of others’ efforts’.    14th Dalai Lama.

Have a beautiful Monday filled with magical hummingbirds. 






A Bientôt

The gift filled with simple and profound wisdom.

For my 60th birthday, almost nine years ago…….my dear friend, Rosie, gave me the book Buddhist Offerings 365 Days by Danielle & Olivier Follmi.

It’s a book that I always keep at hand, for its simple and profound words of wisdom.


Most of us have spent our lives caught up in plans, expectations, ambitions for the future, in regrets, guilt or shame about the past.    To come into the present is to stop the war.  From Buddhist Offerings. 

This is a rapid sketch which I began by sketching over an old painting…one that I didn’t like much anyway….such a feeling of freedom:)


True love for our neighbours will be translated into courage and strength.   The more we develop love for others, the more confidence we will have in ourselves.   The 14th Dalai Lama. 

Because I am working over an old painting, I am using watercolour and gouache….Remember, watercolour is a transparent medium and gouache is opaque.


Without the rigidity of concepts, the world becomes transparent and illuminated, as though from within.   With this understanding, the interconnectedness of all that lives becomes very clear.     Sharon Salzberg


During the 12 years that I lived and worked in the Magical Town of Crickadoon, which sits in the Usk Valley between the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons….I studied the play of light upon the surrounded hills.


Have a beautiful weekend, filled with colour and of course magical hummingbirds….




A Bientôt