Friday, 19 December 2008
Warm greetings from India!
Those of you who so very kindly helped me on my way in those last days will understand that at that point it was hard to be sure of sending you these greetings……….. because it didn’t seem possible that I could ever leave Perran, let alone get to the airport and on to the plane that would bring me to India.
But it’s happened, so let me assure you: if I can do it, anybody can.
The flight was good: 9 hours overnight to Delhi, but the taxi from the airport to this ashram took another 9 hours instead of the usual 5. Don’t ask me why: every bone in my body was rattling about (not only are the roads dusty and rocky and potholey and merciless, with cows pushing cars out of the way, but they have speedbumps like giant’s rolling-pins as well). I think you’ve all heard that I had the warmest of welcomes here in the ashram, with every one of my students coming to greet me and no doubt see if the alleged English teacher was real. I was given a room in a little terrace of 4 along a walkway; it’s a good size bedsit, with a small bathroom (warm shower and flush toilet) and ‘kitchen’ cubicle with sink and space for a kettle. I’m comfortable here, on the ground floor with stairs 3 floors up to the roof to hang out the washing (and do some ‘power walking’). The view from the roof is fabulous, with mountains all around. I love greeting those foothills with ‘Hello Himalayas!’
We have guests from all over the world, coming for a few weeks or months and living in the cottages on the ashram. There are 33 of these. They will all be full in February, when the ashram is hosting an international Pain Management Conference.
The dining hall is nearby, where we have meals together: the food is good, purely vegetarian, well-balanced and nourishing, without being too spicy: it’s designed to give students energy, and it certainly energises me. Fruits are seasonal here; bananas pop up everywhere, and since I’ve arrived we’ve had apples, papaya and tangerines. There is a mango grove in the ashram, so we’ll have mangoes in a couple of months.
When I wake up I smell the bougainvillea, roses and unforgettable frangipani, and see the little red-roofed cottages of the ashram snug among the temples and flower-beds, with the backdrop of the forested slopes and higher mountains of the Himalayan foothills. Between here and those forests (only about twenty minutes’ walk) is the river Ganga, and in the forests elephants roam. I haven’t seen any yet, but there are green parrots in the big tree here, flying freely and singing to one another so sociably that I wonder why anyone would want to isolate them in a cage.
This ashram is an academic one, based on the science, philosophy and practice of the Himalayan tradition of Yoga, as laid down by Swami Rama – centuries of wisdom from yogis who lived in caves high in the remote mountains, seekers of the divine centre that lies deep within us all.
My students are terrific personalities; mainly Indian from all over India, (also 3 Koreans at present) many of them are graduates, and they all follow courses of 3 or 5 years or more that train them to be spiritual guides and teachers. Their classes and lectures are in English, so shaky knowledge of the language can be the one thing that holds them back. This is where I come in, and I’m being kept pretty busy dealing with about 20 different levels of English. I’ve grouped them as well as I can under the circumstances, giving individual attention to the weakest and those who are actually teaching yoga here already. I’m encouraging a light touch, there’s plenty of fun, and I am enjoying it to the full.
Life outside the ashram is much noisier and has different contrasts. At a bank the other day I saw a few cars parked on the pavement, with a cow stretched out on some rubble in line with them….. the shops look like sheds, but sheds can contain shimmering silks and the finest stitching. Plenty to enchant the Perran stitchers, the portrait painters, the poets and the dressmakers of Perranuthnoe.
But oh I miss my morning and evening walks to the Mount! Instead, to be sure, there is the Ganga, green with the reflection of forested slopes. Jolly little ducks bob around on it here, and flights of birds skim the surface at sunset. That is the time when a fire ceremony take place to thank the gods for the light the sun has given us: little oil lamps are lit, swung round in a circle, and offered back to the gods. This takes place every evening – simply, at this part of the river, much more elaborately and noisily in Rishikesh and bigger places.
I’m sorry to hear the rain veiled the big moon for the Christmas Tree blessing in the village, but in Wales we say that enhances the singing (we have to!), and I’m sure your lovely voices could be heard in Goldsithney.
I’m very happy to hear from any of you who’d like to write to me. Emails seem to have stabilised now, and they are a paradoxical blessing in the Back of Beyond.
My best wishes to you all for a joyous Christmas, with a peaceful 2009. My Christmas ‘card’ to you is some pictures of the ashram, including my second day here, when the place was full of visiting sages and swamis in orange robes, and I was suddenly called to be introduced to our revered Head, His Holiness Swami Veda Bharati. You see my students there, one of them protecting Swamiji (as he is known) from the sun, by the classroom where I teach and the library next door.
We were absolutely delighted to hear the excellent news that General Practices would continue to be allowed to dispense medications. The Minister of State in the Department of Health Phil Hope MP said in the House of Commons on Tuesday 16 December:
“We are analysing the responses to the consultation on pharmaceutical provision in England, and we will be making an announcement on these wider issues as soon as possible in the new year."
"I am aware of the strength of the responses we received on the various options for amending the criteria for dispensing by doctors. We have taken into account the views of those attending the listening events, the meetings and so on, and as a result I am pleased to announce to him that there will be no change to the current arrangements on GPs dispensing medicines to their patients.”
We wished to share this good news with you, and also take this opportunity to thank you, your committee members and all members of the public for your support and encouragement during this worrying consultation period.
We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and Happy Healthy New Year,
Mrs Jackie Brown
On behalf of Drs Hamilton, Walden, Thacker, Killeen & Sugrue
Monday, 15 December 2008
At around 7.oopm the tree was blessed and illuminated and the carols were led by members of 'The Perranaz Will Do'. Sausage rolls and mince pies were handed round.
Father Christmas arrived with gifts for the children and the evening finished off with punch and nibbles being served in The Victoria Inn.
Thanks to the Christmas Tree committee and all those involved with this years event.
Merry Christmas and a very happy 2009 to everyone.
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Pharmacy White Paper and Loss of Doctor Dispensing of Medicines
You may already be aware that the Pharmacy White Paper, which is currently under consultation with a deadline of 20th November 2008, may affect the continuation of the Dispensary at Marazion Surgery.
The government has recently published a white paper intending to reform the dispensing of medicines in England. This white paper is available to download on the Internet: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/Liveconsultations/DH_087324
The white paper is long, but perhaps most relevant to Marazion Surgery’s patients is the proposal to reform where doctors are allowed to dispense medicines.
Under some of the proposals Marazion Surgery could lose its existing right to dispense medicines.
We cannot see how removing Marazion Surgery’s right to dispense medicines is in the best interests of our local population, which is why we are writing to you.
There is a consultation period until November 20th and enclosed with this letter is a response form which contains the key question about which doctors will be allowed to dispense medication in future.
We would like you to fill out the form attached. You can post it to the address stated at the bottom of the form, or drop it back to the surgery for us to post on your behalf.
(If you would like to respond using the whole 26 page response document this is available at the website above.)
We believe the best option is to leave things as they are: option one.
We believe option two gives no security to doctor dispensing of medication and options 3 and 4 could possibly stop Marazion Surgery dispensing.
If you agree, please tick option one and state your reasons in the box.
Our dispensary is a vital service to patients and our dispensers contribute to the quality of medical care that we provide. Your letter should outline the reasons why you think the dispensary should not close and we list below some examples that have already been raised:
- The difficulty for patients in a rural setting, especially the elderly, without transport, having to make an extra journey into town after seeing their doctor to collect their medication
- The impact on the volunteer driver service
- The inconvenience of trying to park in a busy seaside town, in comparison to the surgery
- The impact on the chemist of having an increased workload, which could lead to long waiting times for medication and queues in the chemist
- Extra C02 emissions due to all the extra journeys
- The loss of the dispensary delivery service, very valued by those who use it
- Any personal experiences
You can also support us by writing to your local MP,
Mr Andrew George
The House of Commons,
Your response and views, as a patient of Marazion Surgery, are very important. The government cannot ignore the views of the people most affected by these proposed changes.
Thank you for your support.
Drs Hamilton, Walden, Thacker, Killeen & Sugrue
Friday, 26 September 2008
Can nothing be done about the horse riders using the village roads and failing to clean up after their horses?
On several occasions in the past few weeks I have cleaned up their mess rather than risk the numerous children on the beach and approach roads getting covered in horse poo.
A rather irresponsible attitude on the part of those who should know better.
If you have any comments about this issue please add them. This is the second email complaint I have had but there have been other verbal ones.
Monday, 8 September 2008
Gwlascore lowen, Cornish for 'happy community' is a new event with the aim being to bring our community together as well as raise funds for the benefit of anything local.
This years event was organised and sponsored by Perranuthnoe Village Crafts. A total of £110.01 was raised on the afternoon with this years recipient being the church tower fund.
With the sun shining (a rare thing this summer!) locals and visitors gathered to enjoy an afternoon of music from local band 'Perranaz Will Do' and violinist 'Sue Aston'.
It was a lovely day and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Please feel free to add your own comments about this event.
Anyone interested in performing (doesn't have to be music) in next years event please use the contact page of this website.
Saturday, 6 September 2008
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Please can you do something to get the schooling of horses on the beach stopped.
I went to your beach last Saturday with my 2 young grandchildren, and was horrified to find a trail of horse dung across the path leading down to and in various places on the beach.
I'm told this is a regular thing - but if dogs are banned to avoid problems with them fouling the beach then so should the same rule apply to the horses.
I have brought the problem to the attention of the Penwith Council and hope together you can control the obvious health and safety risk which you appear to condone at present.
Please feel free to add your comments to this issue. I have heard similar complaints myself mainly with regard to the possible danger of such a powerful animal being exercised where children are playing.
Herewith the reply I've received from Penwith. As suggested maybe your local community officials should contact the Health & Safety Officer to supply the horse owners name, who I was told had their stables in Perranuthnoe.
Dear Mr McCarthy
Thank you for your comments. At present there is no legislation that bans horses from beaches in Penwith at any time of the year. It is not something that I would have any control over, but if you are able to provide details of the owner of the horse I can pass the information on to a Health and Safety Officer in case they are able to look into the matter.
Dog Welfare and Enforcement Officer
Penwith District Council
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Summer arrived, the sun shone from morn to night, visitors came from as far away as Australia (admittedly they were on holiday!), Gardens were visited and teas and cakes were enjoyed in Pippa & David's garden.
All of this would not have happened had it not been for the determination, foresight and enthusiasm of Yvonne who masterminded the whole event. A HUGE thank you to her and all those who contributed in so many ways to make this a day to remember.
Taken from: Church News
And finally the bottom line - after all expenses were paid an amazing £1320 was made which will be used to further improve the Church Room.
Friday, 18 July 2008
A villager has expressed concern over an application for planning permission at Millstones, Perranuthnoe.
Although the outline permission is only for the construction of a timber framed dwelling the villager in question has expressed concerns over the plans for the future that Millstones may have with regard to expanding their horse business.
This website is not here to make, break or hinder any business or personal plans in anyway. Therefore I will not go into detail about any plans that may or may not be in place and would suggest that anyone wanting further information contact Millstones direct (contact information can be found on their website http://www.st-pirans-stud-spanish-horses.com/index.html) or indeed view the application themselves.
The public can inspect planning applications during normal office hours at the Sustainable Development and Improvement Reception, St. Clare, Penzance. There is no charge for viewing applications.
The application reference number is 08-0871-O*
Applications marked with * potentially affect the route/setting of a Public Right of Way.
Please feel free to make your own comments by clicking on 'comments' or 'post a comment' below.
Monday, 30 June 2008
Over one hundred runners signed up for the event and met at Lizard Point car park from 5am on Saturday morning. The race is 44 miles long starting at the Lizard and ending at Land's End with some runners running the full amount and some doing it in relay teams.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at http://www.justgiving.com/classicquarterultramarathon
Photos courtesy Gerd Hubrich
Thursday, 19 June 2008
One happened behind the Craft Centre in one of the buildings used by Perranuthnoe Village Crafts in which case the lock was broken but nothing was taken and, apart from the lock, nothing was damaged.
The other was a break-in to a car parked near the buildings behind the Craft Centre in which case a dark purple Trilby hat was stolen along with some wrapping paper and a bag of birthday cards.
Anyone with any information with regard to either of these incidents is advised to contact Penzance police station.
The person who's hat was stolen would very much like it returned so if you see someone walking around wearing a dark purple Trilby it might be worth passing that information on. You can use the contact page of this website if you like.
Saturday, 17 May 2008
So many people showed an interest when the issues concerning the Cove were first raised that a proper group had to be formed to get things organised. Now that that group has been formed, (The Boat Cove Association) it seems that local people are quite prepared to let them get on with it. With only a handful of members however, that task will be neigh on impossible.
The National Trust are only working with the association because they feel that it is of interest to the whole community. If they think it is for just a very small group it is unlikely they will be as willing, and who could blame them?
All those with Kayaks that have expressed an interest are it is felt, among the new users for Boat Cove as it keeps them away from Perran beach with all the children and swimmers, and gives them a safe place to launch their craft and enjoy the sea, yet none turned out for the meeting.
It is going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of money to get Boat Cove back to the usable amenity it has always been. There is funding available but with such a lack of interest from local people it is highly unlikely that any of that funding will be made available for Boat Cove.
A full report will be published shortly, in the meantime you can add your comments to this story by clicking on 'comments' below.
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Digital UK suggest having a satellite dish, which will according to Penwith Planning require 'planning approval' and in the conservation area may be refused!!!
Has anyone experience of trying a 'set top box' in the poor reception areas of Churchtown?
I for one do not look forward to paying for planning fees + a satellite dish installation + decoder box to watch any TV.
Can our local counsellors offer any help?
Submitted by Tony Hewitt
To comment on this post just click on 'comments' below
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Jolanda is the coordinator for Project Linus in Cornwall which is a 100% volunteer non-profit organisation whose aim is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatised, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, homemade, washable blankets and quilts, lovingly created by volunteer makers.
Since April 2000 over 75,000 quilts and blankets have been made and donated to children throughout the UK .
The quilts will be put to good use by a local hospice for a young boy and girl.
Further information about the work of Project Linus may be found on their web site http://www.projectlinusuk.net/ or by ringing Jolanda on 01840 211028
Report by Michael Ball
Thursday, 8 May 2008
The agenda is as follows;
Chairman's report on progress
Everyone interested in the future of Boat Cove should attend this meeting.
Sunday, 16 March 2008
The sea however, was raging and the cliffs took a real battering.
Trebarvah cliffs, the weather is taking its toll.
Let's hope we don't see another storm like this for a long time.