All My Loving

Lots of people seem to be participating in contests lately so I thought I would join in, But with so many options, which to choose?

Over at the marvellous Knocked Over By A Feather there was the contest beyond ll contests: write a blog based on one of the following Beatles songs:.

All My Loving

Day Tripper

Helter Skelter

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

This gets me back to basics – nostalgia. I used to do it better in the old days but such is life. Also Sigoth and I are both Beatles fans. Partly because I remember running around the playground yelling about yellow submarines, and partly because it is the Law.

This is therefore going to be an appropriate story of days of old. It includes life and death struggle, serial killers, fashion, drinking, music and twue twue wuv. It’s about how I met Sigoth, and it’s going to get soppy.

Picture the scene if you will; indeed, if you continue to read, it is a prerequisite.

It is 1980 in Leeds, a city n West Yorkshire with a long and noble history dating back to the medieval wool trade and earlier. That’s about all the wool you will get, but some of us are keen knitters so it had to be mentioned.

As I say, Leeds in 1980. It is October, cold and dark, and the beginning of a new academic year, bringing new and anxious students to university for the first time. They are to be ritually immersed in a proud educational establishment through the medium of Freshers’ Week. I am not sure if this happens elsewhere in the world, but the beginning of term has a pre-study week for new students to help them find their way around, meet new friends, sign up for societies (such as sports, music, politics, issues or general leisure activities), and get very drunk in the company of relative strangers. Somewhere in this heady mix you also pick up your course timetable and possibly start looking for text books.

Hall in snow

I was living a few miles out of town with a bunch of women in a single sex hall of residence. It is no longer part of the university but at the time it was a great old Victorian lodge which housed about 20 female students. We pretty much all got along very well from the first, and soon were meeting up for sandwiches and introducing each other to new people we had met along the way. In that first week I came across a boy called Sigoth who was in one of the societies a girl from my hall had joined. He looked a bit bemused by everything but gamely tagged along with the raucous mob.

Over the next week I ran into him a couple of times and we nodded to each other and went our separate ways. Then as the courses started picking up I found myself doing lab work on Wednesday afternoons, and regularly caught the same bus back to hall with him as he was doing different labs at the same time, and his hall was on the same bus route. We nodded a bit more but didn’t sit together. We were acquaintances only. I felt sorry for him in the same way I felt sorry for me doing labs late into the afternoon while everyone else was at home drinking hot chocolate and listening to music. He looked cold and sad in the gloom and mist and damp of a November evening.

That winter term was an eventful one in many ways. Firstly we were in the grip of a nightmare known as the Yorkshire Ripper. Although he was eventually caught, at the time he was still very much on the prowl. It was frightening enough arriving in Leeds, away from home for the first time, to be confronted by posters everywhere warning me to look out for a great big old actual murderer. Then a girl was killed just outside the flat where some friends of mine lived. Her body was found by a boy I was going out with (to be clear I wasn’t with him at the time – he lived in those flats too). Initially we were worried a student had been killed; then the police confirmed it was the Ripper and all hell broke loose. At the same time a man started hanging around our hall, and climbing on the roof at nights. The police said he was just after lead, but how to be sure?

I remember you always knew who the journalists were because they were the only ones prepared to be out on their own. The rest of us travelled in packs at all times.

By the end of term tensions were running high. The news was full of shootings: first the Pope and then John Lennon. (Well done, EBL, you’ve got a Beatles reference in at last!)

I had been feeling unwell with a virus caught inevitably from mixing with strangers from all across the country. Students are particularly sickly at this stage. However, it was so bad my room-mate called the doctor and she decided it was meningitis and whisked me off to the Infectious Diseases Unit at Seacroft Hospital. I stayed there five days and was given 2 paracetamol. They took a sample of spinal fluid and decided I was just a whinging student. John Lennon was shot the day I was sent home.

Bad Taste Party

It just so happened that the day I did get home, the rest of the Hall were having a Bad Taste Party. I stepped out of the taxi into a joyous scene, hugs and shrieks of welcome, alcohol in abundance and loud music. The party involved dressing up in anything that was considered bad taste – in my case I just stayed in my horrible dressing gown; others came as John Lennon or Mark Chapman. What jolly japes!

Naturally I had too much cheap booze and then discovered Sigoth also weaving unsteadily along the hallway to the kitchen. We sat down and started talking, mainly about John Lennon and life, the universe and everything. To be honest I can’t really remember what we talked about (apart from John Lennon, because that was all anyone talked about that evening) but it was deep and meaningful because we were tipsy. We spent the night together, and in the morning Sigoth found my guitar in the corner and started to play Beatles songs on it. He knew loads of them; he even sang me “Dear Prudence” but substituted my name instead. It was gloriously romantic for a shy, innocent 18 year old. (That was me, in case you are wondering.)

And ever since, to tie in with KOBAF’s contest, because apparently there are rules and stuff, he has had all my loving: when we were apart during university vacations; when we each went off to gatherings and trips without the other; when work or illness or external crises separated us; and every day we wake up together too.

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

I’ll pretend that I’m kissing
The lips I am missing
And hope that my dreams will come true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

All my loving I will send to you
All my loving, darling I’ll be true

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

All my loving I will send to you
All my loving, darling I’ll be true
All my loving, all my loving ooh
All my loving I will send to you,

Every day I am grateful for my luck.

Namaste

the-princess-bride

twue wuv

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A Day with EBL

You know what it’s like – lying in bed at 3am unable to sleep for some reason or other. It wasn’t a Wednesday morning but it certainly has been on other occasions. And all I could think about was the song by Simon and Garfunkel. And that led to an idea for this post. It’s not very original but I am not here to be original, witty or clever, and doubly not so at 3 o’clock in the morning. If you are after that kind of shenanigans, I suggest you go elsewhere. Try Googling it.

I often wake up unfeasibly early and wait for the alarm. In the summer it can be quite pleasant because I can listen to the feathered psychopaths yodelling outside the window. In winter, as now, it is merely dark and cold, and all I can hear is the mouse in the loft. Note to self: check anti-mouse measures. It’s not like we don’t put up warning signs and use a sonic mouse device to send it away. At least it’s only in the loft, and not on the stairs….

As I lie in the dark I am waiting for the alarm to go off at 6 am. Well, that calls for a little daydream believing, I think. I try not to tap my toes in case I disturb slumbering Sigoth. Lucky Sigoth and his slumbering.

So finally it’s six o’clock and I rise, wipe the sleep out of my eyes, and head for the shower. Sigoth makes me a cup of tea, otherwise I won’t get out the door. Bless him. He doesn’t even drink tea; only coffee. It’s his one flaw.

Dressed, showered, tea-ed up and teeth brushed, it’s down stairs for a few minutes of the breakfast news. This helps me to establish whether (a) there has been a national emergency which might allow me to stay home, and (b) keep an eye on the time. Usually there is nothing more interesting than finding holes in Lancashire.

I get to the bus stop at 6.45. This can be quite eventful. Sometimes there is an owl vs cockerel duel going on, trying to see which can shriek the loudest. Once or twice I have been greeted by a peacock and his missus. The other day it was an East European lorry driver who was lost, asked for directions then couldn’t understand the answer. I drew him a map in the light of his headlamps. Truly all life is here, while the rest of the village slumbers.

The bus gets me to the train station by 7.15 and my train comes at 7.23. It’s usually on time these days although it goes through rough patches. They often seem to lose the driver on a Monday morning.

The station is crowded with school children heading into town because they attend one of the independent schools. That’s “private schools” in plain words. Where I live there are quite a few comfortably-off folks, who wouldn’t dream of letting their children attend the local school, even though it is above average. In the case of the Catholics who want a Catholic school, I have a little sympathy. Otherwise, not so much. I should know – I went to such a school.

Usually I can find a seat on the train, although it is always busy. As well as the children, there are lots of people commuting to work in one of the cities along the route. I like earwigging on their conversations, but am less happy when someone falls asleep on my shoulder. Especially if they dribble. I only think of this song here because I seem to recall an advert for British Rail that used it. Anyway, I like it (the song of course, not the rail journey).

After an hour or so we reach the city I am commuting to. I scramble out, pushing past standing commuters, suitcases en route to the airport, and confused travellers who don’t use this train on a regular basis. Then it’s up the stairs or escalator and across the bridge to fight my way through the ticket barriers and out. The office may be almost in sight – what joy!

The office is actually a 10 minute walk away and I will usually pick up lunch and a coffee on the way because I won’t get time to go out at lunchtime. And by now that early cup of tea is wearing off and I need a caffeine injection. One morning the machine was broken and I had to make do with decaffeinated. It tasted fine but lots of my colleagues kept asking me if I was alright as I looked so tired. I had several cups of tea made for me. Bless them all.

Most of the time I am in the office I am in meetings or being chased up and down by people needing me to tell them something, Overall, it’s quite manic, whatever the day of the week.

Regular consumers of this blog may recall that I am an IT project manager (among other things). Much of the time I am required to act as a translator (from geek to human and back), a complaints bureau (have you tried switching it off and on again? Really, it will probably work!), a mind reader and a gazer of crystal balls. I try to hold it all together but sometimes it goes wrong.

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist a second Led Zep. Be grateful I haven’t made the entire post a Led Zep tribute. Now there’s an idea…)

After a frantic day I get to rewind the whole journey in reverse, although without the coffee. Otherwise I wouldn’t sleep. Oh, wait.

Let’s finish the working day as we started with S&G.

At last I’m home with Sigoth and what could better sum that up than Beethoven?

Obviously there is the demented mother to feed and water, but she has her own song, that I have also mentioned before.

It’s funny how these songs are mostly not ones I would ever choose for a Desert Island; a number of them I haven’t actually heard in years and it was entertaining finding them again on YouTube. But they did seem to just pop into my head as I went through the day’s schedule. Looking back at the list, it appears I am working in a parallel universe which is at least 30 years behind us. The tunnel near Garforth must be a wormhole. It explains everything.

Namaste.

B4Peace: Music and the brain

Each month I try to contribute to the Bloggers for Peace topic, and this month we are asked to think about music.

Let me start with the death of a brain.

My mother has dementia. I have mentioned this before so some of you will be nodding along at this point, thinking, “Oh yes, that’s right, EBL’s mother is the one with dementia” and so on.

To be fair she is not as far gone yet as she will be, but further along than anyone would really like. This means she knows roughly where she is, who we are (although on her bad days it takes a moment or two), and how to do some knitting. She likes to look at the pictures in the newspaper and read out the headlines to whoever is there. She likes to read books, although several at a time because she can’t really follow the story and forgets which book she was reading last. She likes to have the TV on so there is light and movement in the room, and to have the light on the electric fire on, so it looks like coals are burning in a friendly, comforting way, even in the heat wave we have just had.

The other thing she likes to do I have also mentioned before; she likes to sing. She sings to herself throughout the day, usually “Que sera, sera” over and over. It was a favourite song of hers when I was little. When she is singing it I know she is feeling OK.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, I am led to understand, that a dementia sufferer who becomes distressed can be calmed and soothed by music. There is a growing body of research to indicate that music therapy may be helpful in overcoming the loss of language production and comprehension in advancing dementia. Google it – there are lots of studies out there.

According to one researcher:

‘We know that the auditory system of the brain is the first to fully function at 16 weeks, which means that you are musically receptive long before anything else. So it’s a case of first in, last out when it comes to a dementia-type breakdown of memory.’

Music is with us throughout our lives and plays an important role in maintaining our mental health and well-being. It can reach the lizard brain, by-passing the logical bits that get in the way of feeling and experiencing the world. We hear a tune and we are absorbed, sometimes in a memory, sometimes in the joy of the moment.

The other week I watched the BBC Prom with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra playing Beethoven’s 5th Symphony as well as his Coriolan Overture.

I like a bit of Prom on a Friday evening to finish off the week and settle down for the weekend.  I like Beethoven, in part because I grew up listening to a lot of it. My father loved Beethoven and played him frequently. I could identify the Symphonies before I knew who the Beatles were. I liked Beethoven because he was deaf but still wrote incredible symphonies.

My dad would have loved the modern world. He was a geek of the first water. He would have loved computers and digital TV and streaming radio and downloadable music and digital cameras and Netflix and Skype. He would have loved the Proms on BBC4 on Friday evening. We would have sat and watched them together in some kind of cosy family cocoon. We always watched Last Night of the Proms; it was the only time I was allowed to stay up late when I was little, and we both conducted furiously to the Sea Shanties and Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory. It was better than Eurovision.

So as I sat and watched the Prom the other week I felt a great sadness because there was Beethoven’s music and I wanted to turn to dad and ask what he thought of this conductor, Runnicles. Dad was a big fan of von Karajan until he discovered Barenboim; he was always open to new versions.

I felt such a sense of loss as I realised I couldn’t have that conversation, yet the music made my dad feel so close to me, twenty years after he died. I suspect he may have retained his allegiance to Barenboim, but he would have enjoyed the performance nonetheless, especially the Coriolan Overture.

Thinking about dad brought home to me why music is such a comfort for my mother. That effect of reaching into your heart and soul means it is connecting to pretty much the only thing left when dementia has taken away the superficial veneer of speech and rationality. In this way it brings her peace.

May music bring peace to you and those you love, wherever they find themselves.

Other blogs on music and peace include:

http://everydaygurus.com/2013/08/01/monthly-peace-challenge-one-good-thing-about-music/

http://bloggers4peace.wordpress.com/

http://mylittlespacebook.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/a-joyful-noise/

http://sarahneeve.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/august-b4peace-i-dedicate-to-my-dad/

http://grandmalin.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/august-post-for-peace/

http://bloggers4peace.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/kozo-cheri-asks-that-you/

Namaste.

Daily Prompt: Playlist of the Week

Tell us how your week went by putting together a playlist of  five songs that represent it.

Well my dears, I haven’t had time to tell you about my week, which included a cataract operation, a decision on The Project and Mother’s day dinner with my mother. So obviously the Daily Prompt felt that it needed to remind me to do so.

Fit the First:

On Wednesday I went across to Head Office in Leeds ahead of my operation because I knew I would have to avoid travelling for some time after it. The train was, as ever, crowded and a little late. It is ever thus.

That was not what was on my mind though. I was thinking about how we actually need another stop, like we used to have, to help all the harried commuters who live on the outskirts of York at Wigginton and Haxby. Every now and then they talk about restoring the station at Haxby which was torn out during the Beeching Evisceration of the railways on the 1960s. Flanders and Swann wrote a song about it at the time, called “Slow Train”. It’s very sad and sweet, rather different from most of their songs.

No-one departs, no-one arrives,
From Selby to Goole,
From St. Erth to St. Ives,
They all passed out of our lives

Fit the Second:

On Thursday I went to hospital for the cataract operation, the second of the two. Being Britain this was done under the auspices of the NHS, which meant I had a long wait between eye one and eye two, and then sat in a dingy room with five beds which was designed for four beds, surrounded by curtains which had a cheerful logo on about “Clean Hands Saves Lives” . The logo bothered me. I’m sure it should have said “Clean Hands Save Lives” but I suppose grammar has been cut to make savings. Sigoth couldn’t wait with me because there was no room for visitors so he went into town for the afternoon and came back about tea time to collect me.

In another bed an 85 year old woman was being sent home to manage on her own. She was blind, although the surgeon hoped to have given her some sight back, but she had no one with her. She will have to manage eye drops for four weeks. Eye drops are tricky beasts to wrangle. I dread to think what it is like to do them when you are 85 and mostly blind. Social care is also being cut along with grammar and ethics.

The surgeon was a delightful Dutch gentleman, fairly young and rather stressed because the 85 year old had blood pressure above 200 and he needed to operate on her first so she could get home before the transport system stopped at 5.30. Transport has been cut so it only runs during office hours regardless of what time you wake up from anaesthetics.

He gazed at me and said “Amazing! I’ve never seen anyone with Minus 24 before!” He was referring to my eyesight, in case you were wondering. I am used to it. It’s why I am having surgery. What it means is that they all pay attention and do a good job because it interests them.

They gave me a general anaesthetic and when I woke up the eye patch I was wearing made things a bit blurry, but I could see the surgeon smiling. Cue Jimmy Cliff and God Bless the NHS!

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright) bright (bright) sunshinin’ day

Fit the Third:

On Saturday I woke up, took off the eye patch and I could see. I could read the clock. I could see the knots in the ceiling beams. I could read the crossword clues to Sigoth. I could see the pattern on the curtains and on the duvet cover, and the veins in my hand. I could see the photos on the wall and the dust on the dressing table and the shadows to eh birds against the curtains as they flew past the window.

Really, I love science, and I love medicine and I loved that consultant for taking time out ina  really busy afternoon to run through the formula for the lens change three times to make sure he got he it as good as he could.

I have to praise you
I have to praise you like I should

Fit the Fourth:

On Sunday it was Mothers’ Day and we took my mother to the local pub for Sunday lunch. She enjoyed herself but couldn’t remember where we were going for the less than one minute drive (it less than ¼ mile from the house) or read the menu. She had fun though and I let her have a Knickerbocker Glory despite the diabetes.

We’ll build the world of our own that no one else can share
All our sorrows will leave far behind the stairs
And I know you will find there’ll be peace of mind
And we’ll live in a world of our own

Fit the Fifth:

Later on Sunday the Offspring who loves locally decided not to call me, but came over instead with a beautiful card. I was able to read it and I was so happy to see her and get the card and to Skype other Offspringses and I felt so blessed.

It was a cold day with snow on the wind. The weather forecast was grim so we stayed inside and lit a fire and drank tea. We have a song we sing when it’s cold. We nicked the tune from Lennon & Macca.

All you need is gloves!” we carol. “Gloves is all you need!

Epilogue

I haven’t even mentioned that I rang into a tele-conference on Friday to approve go ahead for The Project, so was feeling very chipper about that too.But I did. It’s been an amazing few days.

Next Wednesday I am back at the hospital to have a suture removed. They might need an entire opera for that.

Namaste.

Modern Music: a shocking revelation

Yesterday I listened to BBC Radio 6 and was pleased to find out they were going to play tracks from the latest albums being released that week. I was then surprised to discover that I was already very familiar with the latest musical heroes. After all, your faithful EBL is a person of middle age and now that the Offspringses have moved out (mostly) she is no longer required to pretend to like the latest caterwauling foetus that allegedly represents the height of musical sophistication.

The heroes in question were Bowie and Hendrix. The presenter also played the delicious Marc Bolan and T Rex with Get It On, so good for them. I was happy, probably deluded into thinking I was not much more than a foetus myself. Marc Bolan was my first big pop star crush, and my first ever single was Children of the Revolution (which I happen to think is a pretty good first single to quote when asked as part of an ice breaker exercise in another ghastly corporate scenario). He was on screen the first time I warmed up the cathode ray tubes to watch Top of the Pops and I was utterly blown away by his voice and hair and make-up and in fact his whole performance. It was one of those moments when your world suddenly expands in a whoosh! and you realise there is so much more than mum and dad have ever admitted.

Meanwhile back on Radio 6 I was pleased to hear some new-to-me bands which I enjoyed, and two of which I liked very much: Elephant playing Skyscraper and Jagwar Ma playing The Throw.

All of this wild experimentation began because I recently spotted the fact that I never listen to music nowadays. So that’s dealt with that. Tick. Move on.

But Bowie and Hendrix? Come along, you youngsters, surely you don’t need our beloved old fogey music?

It was class, though, even mint. Especially the Bowie, which was at least new, as opposed to the Hendrix which was obviously not. Oh, but the sound took me back!

Namaste.

Requiem

I realised recently that I very rarely listen to music nowadays.

When I was little the radio was permanently on. After tea when Dad was home it was switched to Radio 4 and the half hour quiz or comedy that came between the News and The Archers: the delights of The Goons, Round the Horne, The Navy Lark, Brain of Britain, Just a Minute, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue (Mornington Crescent, anyone?). With luck I would hear the Shipping Forecast too; the way the presenter rolled the names of the different stations across the airwaves to my childish ears was unforgettable. They sounded exotic and mysterious and places of adventure and derring-do. I don’t think I was far wrong.

So far, so speech-oriented. During the day, however, things were a bit more musically inclined and my mother tuned into pop music. I grew up listening to the charts even before I knew who the singers were. I could sing along to all kinds of hits without a clue – if they didn’t appear on Crackerjack, then I wouldn’t know anything about them. That included The Beatles too; the first I heard of them they were splitting up and everyone seemed sad about it, even my grandma.

I listened to music all the time as a teenager, because that is all down to DNA. I listened to it through university and later when I was pregnant. Status Quo was marvellous for soothing babies, with a good, strong and regular thumping beat.  I bought a Walkman and a CD-Walkman and a MP3 player for the commutes over the years.

Then the music died.

Something inside me just turned it off. I had a fresh major depressive episode and could no longer tolerate noise. Since then I have barely listened to music at all. We have bought a handful of new CDs or downloaded albums. It’s all on my laptop, begging to be played as I sit and type. It used to be I couldn’t put finger to keyboard without Beethoven or Bon Jovi to chivvy me along. Now, I just don’t want the hassle. It’s like a part of my brain broke and hasn’t been fixed.

In theory that makes me sad. In practice, it doesn’t bother me at all.

If you ask me my favourite song, or what will be the playlist at my funeral, or any of those random questions that do the rounds of yon t’Interweb from time to time, then I can furnish you with an answer. I certainly have favourite songs; I just never play them.

I can plan hypothetically for my funeral because I won’t have to listen. Ha, I could inflict Kraftwerk on the mourners and they would have to put up with it! Maybe I’ll have a separate invite list for the people who have annoyed me, and choose the most annoying songs I can think of: the Birdie Song, William Shatner, and Keith and Orville spring immediately to mind. If I die and you get an invite, check the playlist to see if you annoyed me or not. If it has Mary Hopkin, then I love you.

I’m not sure this matters. It may be a phase. Meanwhile I really appreciate the quiet.

I just find the change a bit weird. Have you ever turned round completely like this? Just curious…

Namaste.

 

Smiles

I am sure you all know last night was Burns Night. I had had a long day of talking (back-to-back telecons from 9-5, no breaks more than 15 minutes) and so had run out of wards in any form. Instead, Sigoth cooked me haggis of the vegetarian variety (which is haggis reared only on heather and honey, and not fed any meat products; they are very sweet and tender but tend to be a little smaller than their meat-eating cousins) and we spent a gloriously companionable evening not talking, but watching DVDs and celebrating the bard by drinking Talisker.

Oh, I do enjoy single malts. Not very frequently and not much at a time, but when I have them I enjoy them. Recently there was a Whisky Fair in York, and Sigoth and I treated ourselves to a couple of bottles: 10 year Talisker and The English Whisky Company. I like peaty malts, which are supposed to be the boys’ drink. Us lay-dees are supposed to like the lighter whiskies, such as Jura. Don’t get me wrong – Jura is a fine beverage, and there are occasions when it is just the ticket. On the whole though, I like ‘em dark and smoky.

The Whisky Fair was great fun, and a little demanding as it was an afternoon event, which meant you really had to manage how many tasters you were prepared to take before your legs gave way. We agreed no more than four (they were not full drams!) and probably only three. So we went all the way round and chose the three we were most interested in. When in doubt, we asked for the flavour range to make sure we chose the right kind.

A-Guide-to-Whisky-Flavours

The people running the different stalls really knew their whiskies, my goodness, they did. But they were keen to tell you about them, rather than acting all snooty and stuck up about it. The best thing was learning how to drink the whisky to bring out the flavour. The English Whisky, for example, required an inhalation through the nose while the Talisker was more back of the throat.

This introduced me to the Talisker Smile. It’s an automatic reaction when you breathe in, as the peppery flavours  flood your taste buds, and the different accents begin to come through. You beam and a feeling of goodwill gusts through your system like the Breath of God (or is it just me?).

When I was a bright young thing, back on the dawn of time, one my lecturers at university told us about “transcendent moments”. It was probably to do with Jung, I can’t quite remember now. He described the feeling, and told us how he would experience it occasionally when sitting in front of the fire listening to Mozart and drinking a good single malt. The world just slips into place, like the final piece of a jigsaw, or flower in a perfect bouquet, and suddenly everything is right and at peace and as it should be. It may only last a moment, but it’s a vision of heaven.

Well, it may be that Jung was a whisky man too. I don’t know, but it certainly seems to help. It’s not the only way to experience a transcendent moment, but it is one. It might be the smell of cut grass under a bright blue sky; the gurgle of a baby you cradle in your arms; or the opening frames of Star Wars (the proper one, not the new ones) scrolling up the screen as the music plays. All of those have triggered my transcendent moments.

What are yours?

Namaste.