Matlock hills

Fate keeps taking me back to Matlock.

Aged 17, I took part in a school cricket tour based in Matlock. We drank a lot of beer and played a little bit of cricket. I wasn’t very good at playing cricket or drinking beer, so I never went on another cricket tour.


A few years later – after joining the Sri Chinmoy Centre, we had a joy weekend at a youth hostel on Bank Road (and met in the church on the left). Bank Road is a very steep hill and I thought what a great steep hill to cycle up. The funny thing is I took my bike to Matlock, but left my pedals in Oxford – so my thoughts of cycling never got further than that. It made a change from forgetting my front wheel (which I had a habit of doing at that time). Still, I had a good time on the weekend with a bit of meditation and walking in the environment of Matlock.

In 2008, the National hill climb championship was on Bank Road. I hadn’t done much cycling that year, but thought I would give it a go. I finished 14th, which was quite good. I was definitely better at cycling up steep hills than playing cricket or drinking beer. Though I still preferred longer ones to the short steep Bank Road. Continue Reading →


The joy of compost


This past year I’ve been doing a bit more gardening. In particular I’m quite proud of my compost heaps. I used to just put things in a pile and it would take years to rot down (too dry). But, I bought three compost bins and have sought to keep it the right moisture and mix of materials. Producing good compost is almost as satisfying as growing a good plant, and any kitchen leftovers get put on the heap – every scrap helps – as they say in the manual of organic gardening. Continue Reading →


Meditation in the rain

In October, I visited New York for the anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s mahasamadhi. It is quite a meditative occasion.

With less outer distractions and the inspiration of Aspiration Ground, I try to take the opportunity to meditate more than usual.

The first few days it rained almost continuously. When in rains in New York, it can keep going for 24 hours without stopping. I like meditating outside in the rain (so long as you have a waterproof cover to keep dry). The sound of rain pouring down the sides of the canvas cover is quite peaceful.

race rain

On Saturday morning, I had agreed to cycle at a two mile race to honour Sri Chinmoy on the weekend of his mahasamadhi. So I wrapped up and cycled to Flushing Meadow. It was cold and wet, but worth going. Continue Reading →


Worcester College photos


We are currently postering for some upcoming meditation classes for the Sri Chinmoy Centre.

I put up posters in the Oxford colleges, which is a great job, though I often get distracted from pinning posters on poster boards and take a few photos of the College grounds.


This is Worcester College in the heart of Oxford, though in parts you feel you could be in the countryside. Continue Reading →


There’s always someone better than you

The hill climb season is underway. I used to win a lot of races, but this season have had two 3rd places. I still enjoy competing, but these days it is a slightly different focus.


My spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy once said something like “There’s always someone better than you.” The context of this quote was with regard to human pride. No matter what we do, there’s always someone better than us. If we rely on human pride for satisfaction, there will always be something to knock us back.
Continue Reading →


End of summer – Monet’s Haystacks



Wheatstacks at the end of Summer (Claude Monet 1890/91)

In 1890/91 Claude Monet drew a series of 25 paintings of the same scene – haystacks in a field. Monet captured the same subject at different times of the year, and different times of the day. It enabled Monet to paint the ephemeral nature of the changing light. Continue Reading →


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