Monday, 27 February 2012

Back to School

Another lovely day. We got to Tara school only to find that Ani wasnt there - she was in Boudha,where we are staying !! Anyhow we were looked after by some of the young Nuns. They were 16 years old and had been there since their parents sent them 8 years ago, through sheer poverty- although we found out others had been rescued from the sex trade. One of the Nuns lived on the edge of Nepal in a remote village and had not seen her family since. However they were extremely happy and lived as one big family. The school and the living quarters are really good, they have proper beds and washing facilities, which are rare in Nepal They introduced us to their dogs, explaining that a dearly loved one had died not so long ago, despite seeking vet attention, again somthing rare in Nepal where dogs are usually abandoned to fend for themselves.
They were really funny, particularly when Dennis spilled water from the cup because they had over filled it. ' Oh my God' she exclaimed, and then realising her mistake we all laughed and she was so embarassed she had said that.( Buddists dont have a god ) When I said its ok, in future just say OMG they all knew what I meant and we all laughed some more.
They have good internet access and some of them are on facebook. They all wanted to know if I had a website so I gave them the address, and my email, so maybe I will have a few new contacts.  After the school tour we were shown the rest of Ani's CD's so of course we bought a few more and made a donation by way of thanks.. Then Dennis explained why we were there, to thank Ani for keeping me company during my SOL. I'm glad he did because I felt too emotional to tell them, especially as earlier in a different conversation they had said how healthy I looked. We took some photos which I said I would email when we get home.  They gave us some literature about Ani and the school and what I didnt realise was that their foundation supports a lot of other charities including KAT Kathmandu Animal Treatment and an old folks home for homeless women. If fact Ani is something of a womans libber, having been trained by her teacher that Nuns and women should have the same rights as men in Nepal. Everything she does is geared towards helping women. The intention behind the school is that unwanted poor village girls find sanctuary with a large family where they are educated to a very high standard- most go onto university. When they reach the end of their studies they are able to choose whether they would like to stay as a Nun or leave and take their education into a career that will help other women or their village. All proceeds from Ani's music goes towards the foundation.  Now thats an Inspirational Woman..

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Out of the frying pan into the fire

Plane was delayed and whilst we were waiting we got talking to a Swedish medic, she has been here with her family for 3 years. She lives in Tansen and could not believe it when we said we were there this time last year, as not many tourists go there. Synchronicity once again.
Back in Kathmandu, which is a bit of a relief as I was getting eaten by the moozi's And panicking because I have realised that I have not brought my emergency antibiotics, to take if my right arm gets attacked. I have also left my lemsip pills which I could also do with as my throat is on fire and my sinus's are killing me. This happens every time I come here. I just cant take the dust and pollution I guess.
Have bought a Tara Thanka this afternoon, Tara is goddess of healing and business, so I thought she was appropriate for my new start. I shall put her in my shed along with my glow in the dark Buddha. I am anxious to change the look of my shed, but only slightly, as I see a new beginning, so this is the perfect excuse to do my favourite thing and shop. I also want another Ganashe as he is the God of new beginnings, but as he is predominately Hindu I shall find him in India. And tonight at the Stupa another big celebration with the monks sharing out all the sweets. This time we donated some biscuits and then one of the monks who keeps nodding and smiling at me gave me some back. So we gave them to an old lady who just sits by the Stupa and chants all day long, never asking for anything. I thought she deserved some sweetness in her life so I hope she enjoys them.
Off tomorrow to the Tara school and hopefully to meet Ani, I have enjoyed her music so much during my SOL and it would be really good to tell her face to face

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Once bitten twice shy

Its not funny cos its driving me mad- I have a mosquito bite. On the top of my right big toe. The Reiki Ravers amongst you will recall a similar bite which caused much hilarity on the long road back from Pokhara. Well this bugger is in exactly the same place !! Talk about lighting not stiking in the same place twice. It swelled up like an egg before bursting in the disgusting way these things do ugh!
Got up at 6.30 am this morning to take another walk into Lumbini. Decided to go early as yesterday we were beaten by the heat. It was a lovely walk and we spent 5 or so hours wandering around the various monasteries. The German monastery is by far the best and we got a whole room of monks chanting thrown in!! We stood and watched and listened to the multi toned Mantra's for quite a long time. It was really calming and peaceful. We were allowed a quick tour round and it was funny to see all the young monks- some were quite small, looking up and giggling as they watched us walk by. I couldnt resist a grin and a wink back. Just one moment of connection in eternity but very much enjoyed by me. Walking on I had the terrible feeling that I needed the toilet- this is not a good idea in these places, however if I was to continue the day I realised I would have to succumb to the ' public ' toilet.  Having prepared myself by putting on my face mask and taking some ' wet ones' with me I bravely sallied forth. On the way in I noticed a sign' long 10 rupees short 5 rupees'. Deciding I only needed a' short'  we had a moment of panic. Our smallest money was a 500 rupee !! Thankfully no one was on the door so I sculked in for a freebie. Oh the joys of having to squat whilst trying to keep your trouser legs off the floor and away from the flow !! Having sucessfully completed my mission, I came out and passed the baton to Dennis. Whilst he was enjoying the local facilities two dirty kids came up and demanded  5 rupees. OMG I thought how can I get out of this? They stood there with thier hands out so I gave them a wet one each and said back '5 rupees please'.  They then proceeded to copy me wiping their hands, the wet one was very dirty by the time they followed me onto thier faces, the boy screwing his nose up at the smell of the anti bac wet wipe !! I bet they have never been as clean as that since the day they were born. They continued to fleece me of wet wipes until Dennis reappeared.  There were a small selection of stalls and I couldnt resist a glow in the dark Buddha wall hanging. Perfect for the shed. Then onto the Buddha Garden which was much busier than yesterday, however I was able to get a good meditation whilst Dennis walked amongst a load of ladies from Sri Lanka, one of which gave him some nuts that were really hot !! What do we say about accepting sweets from strangers !! Suffice it to say he was eager to get back to where I was sitting for a good glug of water.   On the way back to the Rickshaw boys- we gave in because we were tired out and decided we enjoyed the experience yesterday. Tomorrow we head back for Kathmandu and a cooler climate. Hopefully no dreaded moozies !!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Emotion is taking me over

Walked to the Buddha garden this morning, it was really warm.  It is a beautiful calm place, the trees are weighed down by prayer flags. Monks and holy men sit under the trees, many of them Bodhi trees of course. We spent ages in the garden just sitting and watching the other pilgrims come and go. Pray and chant.  The peace of the place was tangible. After a while I decided to meditate. Whilst in my meditation tears started to flow down my cheeks. This was a complete suprise to me when it happened, but it does makes sense. I was releasing.  I never thought I would come here again. Those tears were an acknowledgement of what has happened and the relief that I am able to come back here to give thanks. An emotional release.
Funnily enough, last time we were here there were loads of pilgrims, we were able to take photo's of the actual birthplace and the ambience was perfect. Today we were practically the only ones looking at the spot and the guards would not allow us to take pictures. There were not so many pilgrims so the atmosphere whilst peaceful did not give off the power that we experienced last time. When we went to look at the temples many were closed, whereas last time we sat in on many of the practices. It was a bit the same in Kathmandu, the temples we spent time in last year were closed in preparation for Loshar. Now I am beginning to wonder if I got some special spiritual dispensation last time. Were doors opened for me to give me the spiritual strength I would need on my return home ? Was I given special treatment?. It certainly now feels like it.  Anyhow, as it approached 2pm the temperature soared. We had to give up, I had the strenght to carry on walking but the sun was so hot. The back of my neck is very red and I was getting concerned about my right arm. We didnt bring any sunscreen as its not been needed before. So we found a rickshaw station and paid £2 each for our own rickshaw to bring us the 2 miles back to our hotel, where after a bit of lunch we fell asleep for a good couple of hours. Tomorrow we shall return to finish our tour of the temples. But we shall leave at 7am or so, before it gets to hot.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Lumbini - Buddha's birthplace

Cant believe I was so pleased to arrive in Lumbini this afternoon. After Kathmandu it is so peaceful. The drive from the airport is amazing, through lush green fields full of crops and fat farm animals. Everyone and everything seems far more healthy.  The fresh air was brilliant, I couldnt believe how much cleaner it was. Heavily scented with some kind of crop or flowers, it was heavenly to take real deep breaths. Now I know why I have to wear a mask in Kathmandu otherwise I cant breathe after a few days. I really did appreciate the difference in air quality.

Our hotel the Buddha Maya Garden is as lovely as we remembered and the staff are very helpful. After a rest I walked down into the grounds and enjoyed a meditation in a pagoda with its own Buddha. The peace and quiet was wonderful. Just me, the Buddha and the rustle of the wind in the trees. A moment to give thanks to the Universe for getting me back here. An appreciation of all that I have in my life, when so many in the world have so little. Tomorrow we shall walk to the Buddha Gardern and queue with the hoards of pilgrims to witness the spot where he was born from his mothers armpit. Then we shall wander around the garden and listen to the many different chants from all nationalities, brought together from all over the world for one common goal.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

What a night !!

What a night !! Fell asleep as soon as I got into bed, then at midnight firecrackers were set off everywhere. Then the local monestary started its celebrations at which point the street dogs started theirs. !! Not much sleep after that . We were up early this morning to go to the Monestary for celebration of Losher. When we arrived it was chaos. Loads of locals were all busy taking photos of the Abbot there. We were also included in a group shot of about  150 people. Im not sure if we will be spotted ! Everyone was wishing us Tashe Delek, including the Abbot after we received his blessing,  We then were led into another room where sweets and tea were waiting for us. Those of you that know me, know I hate tea. I couldnt refuse this however and when it came, it was Butter tea.  Ugh how disgusting! I had a very small sip to be polite, it was fatty and tasted of Butter, Tea and Salt. I could not take anymore even though Daniel said the trick was to think of it as soup. More like soap !!
Then a quick revisit to the Monkey Temple then off to Chhewangs sisters for lunch. We had typical Nepalese food, very nice & spicy, almost too much for Dennis. She made a lovely fresh tomatoe pickle that was hot hot hot.  Her children - who were really well behaved and spoke better English than me, then all performed for us. The eldest who is teenage got out her guitar and sang us a cranberries song.  She was very good . By the time we got back to the hotel we were both exhuasted and caught up on a bit of sleep. Then off to flavors where this post was started, but not finished. We had a powercut whilst I was doing this and so I am finishing in the hotel reception, it is 8.30 local time 2.30 UK time, Dennis is still in bed.  Flying to Lumbini ( Buddha's birthplace) this morning.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tibetan New Year's Eve

The energy around the Stupa is brilliant !! I have a theory - that all the hopes and dreams of millions of locals  over the last thousand plus years has just expanded layer on layer until it is almost tangible. On the other hand our churches now seem very empty, the energy is only an echo of the past. You can still feel it if you really empty your mind. But this place is buzzing, like an electrical cable. Tonight there was a big ceremony as the monks blessed offerings of sweet things and then distributed them amongst the pilgrims, some of whom would have travelled for days to get here.  We watched the distribution which turned into a bit of a bun fight,  and at the end one of the monks reached out to Dennis to give him a packet of biscuits. Dennis thinking others needed them much more than him, tried to decline. I took them, with the monk making it clear they were really for Dennis. The reason I took them is that it is considered wrong not to accept a gift of kindness from the monks. Dennis then redistributed them to one of the local street children. So all was made good.  Earlier on this afternoon it was like Christmas Eve at home, all the locals rushing around last minute shopping. The gift of choice seems to be a pot of wheat. This is to represent flour and to bring plenty of it in over the coming year. We bought one as a gift as we have been invited to a Bon celebration early tomorrow morning, followed by a lunch at Chhewang's sisters. So as a gift we bought a pot of wheat, strange I know, its like being given a Poinsettia at Christmas. But I understand the sentiment of it, and we feel privileged to be invited into someone's home on such an important day. We are currently in a local restaurant - Flavors, being waited on by little people. We have had a lovely meal and look forward to tomorrow. Happy New Year from Bouda Stupa xxxx

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Halfway There

Its 5 am our time and 8am in Doha. We had a good first flight and now waiting for flight to Kathmandu in about 1 hours time. We are knackered. I got about 10 mins on the plane and Dennis had about 20 mins just now. He has now got up and gone for a walk and missed the excitement about me connecting to the web and doing this, isnt technology amazing ?. The airport is really cosmopolitan with lots of Arab ladies in all thier gear looking very glam. I look like a sack of spuds !! Oh well, next time.  We just had a couple of coffee's that cost us £7, so not looking for a bar ( actually there isnt one- I think this is a dry country. Surrounded by Nepalese guys all looking very tired. But that will change when they call our flight as they suddenly get an adrenaline rush and push everyone out of the way in the stampede to board the plane !! I know I will be excited when I get to Kathmandu but right now I feel completely exhausted.......

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Bon Voyage

Well here I am on the eve of my third trip to Nepal. One I never thought I would make. Its so weird to think that only one year ago I was there and that a simple massage changed my life. ( That was when the C thing turned up). Little did I know when I set off full of excitement that I was carrying a stow away with me as I boarded that flight. An univited guest. Now I think I understand why we received so many blessings from the monks we met. It was as though the Universe was arming us ready for the fight I was to have on my return. And I thank it for that.
This trip for me is about thanksgiving and closure.  I am ready to thank the Universe for its grace and to receive if offered, further blessings. As we celebrate the Tibetan New Year on Wednesday evening I shall raise a glass to all of my friends and all the wonderful helpers I have met over this last year that have supported me in so many ways. I shall wish you all a Very Happy & Healthy New Year and give thanks for the last year Ive have and the rest to come.  I think this trip like the others before it will have a profound effect on me, especially as we shall be spending much more time on Spiritual matters than previously and in the company of very spiritual people. So heres to you all. I will try to update my blog whilst we are there, wi fi willing.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Its OK we are on Skype. Dennis and I spent a few minutes pondering the set up pages and then suddenly there he was on my screen. Isnt technology wonderful. So to make it more realistic he went into the office and I stayed in the kitchen. We had some small talk - but difficult because we had been talking all morning so not much to say. Then I decided to try cyber sex and got my boobs out !! Needless to say it didnt take long as my netbook crashed as my battery ran out. But the few minutes it lasted was fun at least for me, although I do have to say its not all its cracked up to be. Can't comment for Dennis except to say the last words I heard was' oh no are you getting them out again' . Honest, Denise Welch has not got a spot on me.
Spent all of yesterday afternoon designing my new webpage please dont try to find it as its not live yet. The main reason being I hit the wrong button - story of my life- and it dissapeared. Thankfully after a good nights sleep I was able to find it so hopefully will be ready for weekend.  And of course we are off on Sunday, not a minute to spare at the moment just rushing around trying to get things done.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


Isn't technology wonderful? I took my new toy into Starbucks today as Dennis said they had Wi Fi.   I don't like Starbucks coffee but decided I had to put up with it in the name of progress. Dennis ordered coffee and asked if Wi Fi was available, the girl said yes look for Cloud. He didn't like to ask anything else so came over and told me the same. What does that mean, look where ??  I felt very nervous as all around me teenagers were busy surfing. Not wanting to look a fool,  I took  my Netbook  out of its Indiana Jones type Netbook bag and turned it on. Nothing happened. I then remembered setting up my BT home hub so went into computer and then wireless settings. And there it was ' Cloud' aha I see what that means now. A couple of tentative clicks later and I was surfing !! I became very confident then ( and a little Mr Bean like) and started openly showing Dennis how clever I was.' Look here's Facebook and  here's my Blog' I was beaming.  I felt the power. This is great I said all we have to do is find a cafe with Wi Fi in Nepal and we can keep in touch and even update my Blog and Facebook. Dennis looked at me and said 'thats great' , he then became very serious and said ' what about Skype that's free isn't it ?' Honestly some people are never satisfied. Anyone know how Skype works ?? Michelle ?? ......

Friday, 10 February 2012

Wheres the time

Time is going so fast there seems to be no time. Isnt it strange ? My days seem full although I,m not working ( only Monday mornings). I am trying to get everything organised for Nepal. That includes sorting stuff this end too. And getting my hair done ( dyed). I know its going to be a last minute rush but heh no problem, stop moaning, at least I am able to do these things, I,m still here.
Keep getting energy surges that last for bit and then feel tired. So make the most of the surges !! My nails are very slowly getting back to normal although my fingers remain tingly and numb, same goes for my toes. I was very close to loosing my other big toe nail, but it seems to be growing normally now so hopefully it will stay attached until the loose bit grows out. The travellers cheques arrived today, so that caused a little excitement and am awaiting delivery of a netbook which will allow me to keep a journal on my travels and also hopefully will enable me to update my blog in internet cafe' s - that is if I can figure out how to ' connect'.
Am thinking of doing Tarot card readings for charity at a local event Easter Sunday, it would be good experience for me and I would only charge say £10. Thought I could raise some money for one of the centers that has helped me. Trouble is which one ?..

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


So busy running around like a headless chicken, trying to organise car insurance and LPG gas suppliers as both are up for renewal, before our holiday. Have found out that the Meerkats will insure my car for HALF the price of my current insurers. However the renewing company is Swinton - who I already insure with. Mad. Just shows you the Meerkats know best. !!  You know the ad when the guy is on the plane and the Meerkats turn up with his toy ?!!! Have negoitated a new supplier for gas but it takes 28 days to change over. In the meantime our gas tank is nearly empty and I have had to pay current supplier well over the odds to get a small delivery to tide us over what is going to be the coldest tme of the year.
And they told me not to get stressed !!  And now I find out we have a leak in one of our flats and the tenant has seen a rat - in an upstairs flat !! Ugh -  and Breathe !!
Am really pleased about my fellow Reiki Ravers, they are all following the path. Its so wierd how that first trip to Nepal changed us all in so many ways. It seems to have given us all a gift, and bound us together for always.  And when you think about it the second trip certaintly changed me and Dennis. Neither of us have been the same since!! And here we are going back for more and cant wait to get there. What is it about that place ? I wonder now what gift awaits us this time ?

Monday, 6 February 2012

What a lovely weekend. On Saturday night we had a party for Dennis - he is 65 !!  All the usual crowd turned up and we had a great time - from what I can remember. We had an impromptu stop over as it snowed quite heavily so a couple of the girls stayed. On Sunday I felt a bit delicate and have decided to abide by the latest advice given by the FSA or whatever and give my liver a couple of days off. Actually it will be the first two days off in months !! Still at the moment can report no actual sign of any benefit from the rest, but I have a few more hours to go !!

Been to the hospital for an end of treatment interview with Barbara my breast nurse. She asked how I was and how I felt my treatment had gone. She said I could see a counsellor if I felt I needed it, but she didnt think I did and neither do I. Although I can understand how it would benefit a lot of people. We had a general chat about my future and hospital follow ups and also signs for me to watch out for.  We discussed the various neurological side effects including my nail problems and the constant little pains in my boob. But I know all about those as I had the same after my Hip operation so am not fazed by them. She asked if I had thought about a reconstruction and I said definitely not this Summer, and she gave me the thumbs up and said it was always there when I wanted it. I told her of my travel arrangements and she reminded me of being careful with my right arm, particularly avoiding getting stung.  She then said that as I was a great example would I consider becoming a volunteer in about 6 months or so as it helps other women to be able to chat to someone who has gone through the process, I said an immediate yes as it would enable me to give something back. I also said I am quite willing to talk to anyone in the meantime and would have no hesitation in getting my booby out should someone want to see it if they were faced with the same operation and were afraid.  So again thats another little plan for the future. Right now I have to concentrate on getting ready for our return trip to Nepal in 2 weeks ........

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Hospital appointment

Got up in a foul mood on Monday, I did not want to go back to the hospital. When we got there I was told that my breast nurse had gone home sick and that appointment would need to be rearranged. I then had to sit in the chemo waiting room, which was not helpful.  When I got into the Oncologist he asked how I was. I said fine. He said any problems, I said no. He asked how my short term memory was, I said crap. He laughed and said it was a side effect of the chemo. That explains a lot !! He then asked when was my next appointment. I said with Jenny Smith in March, he said ok, at that point I would have a mammogram. And that he would arrange a follow up appointment with me in September. In the meantime I was to go away and enjoy myself. I looked at him and said ' are you not going to scan me'? He said yes probably in September, but not to worry about that just go away and enjoy myself. I didnt need telling twice, I just asked why I had an appointment in Scunthorpe next week with ' the Bitch' and he said just ring up and cancel it as the computer has generated it !! Then I was out of that place like a shot !!
It was our wedding aniversary so we decided to go into Cleethorpes and have a drink and some tapas. It was freezing and horrible and when we got to Cleethorpes nothing was open- well it was only 4.30 ! So we did what any old fucked up couple do - we got in the car and came home to light the fire and relax in the lounge and watch Deal or No deal. Romantic eh ??
Now we  are waiting for the carpet fitters to fit the new lounge carpet and I will spent the rest of the week putting the house back and preparing for Dens 65th birthday party on Saturday. I WILL ENJOY MYSELF...