Thoughts on .. A Change of Direction

Where to begin? Let’s try this.. The last time I restarted this blog, I wiped everything that came before and sallied forth with a clean slate. At the time, it made sense, but it did rather disrespect the journey that I’d been through up until that point. This time, it’s not a restart, but a refocus and a change of course to an older direction. I’m also going to aim for a more conversational style as I feel that suits me better.

I had a conversation with a dear friend a week or two ago, in which she opined that I’d been happier when I wasn’t trying to be somebody I’m not. I was a little mystified as to what she meant and it turns out that she’d been trying to hint to me for sometime that the mindset of Philosophical Taoism suited me much better than that of Indian Buddhism. I took some time to reflect on this, and in hindsight I can see what she means. So yes, I’m publicly saying Anne was right. Which I’m sure she’ll love and will remind me about in jest. But that doesn’t mean that the time spent was wasted, good heavens no, not one bit. Using the metaphor of a watercourse (hence the name of this blog, chosen many years and various platforms ago), in order to float down to the ocean you have to travel the whole watercourse, not just bits of it. This includes meanderings, rapids and also places where the river forks briefly and you go one way and rejoin it downstream. That’s how this feels, “you had to go through there, so now you could be here”. Over time, I’ve begun to learn how to be patient with such things. Getting upset doesn’t help, just enjoy the scenery and find the lessons because you can be sure they’re there!

So, what is the new direction? Well, amongst other things there’ll be Taoism, Yoga, Free Software (and Open Source) and Steampunk. I am also working on some Steampunk fiction, which may find it’s way onto this blog. Writing frequency will be when I have something to say, every time I’ve tried to stick to a schedule it’s not gone too well. So, the schedule is going over the side and into the water.

A Steampunk New Year

Firstly, let me begin by wishing a very Happy New Year to everybody who reads this!

One thing that I’ve been doing for quite sometime now is Steampunk. Admittedly, in a more reserved fashion, but nonetheless it’s something that holds my interest and has led to my meeting some very excellent people. I’m also gaining an appreciation of the older ways of doing certain things, but more on that in another post.

I had the opportunity to travel to the town of Bridgnorth via the Severn Valley Railway over the Christmas break. This was a very good day out, though the River Severn was somewhat swollen and I did feel for the people who lived very near to it. We didn’t have very spectacular weather, though I fancy we had better weather than many other places this winter! Whilst I was there I took a number of pictures on my Blackberry and, on reviewing them used a few filters on three of my pictures to produce some “Steampunked versions”. I intended them as Blackberry phone wallpapers for my own use, but one of my companions suggested that they’d be well received generally.

So, without further ado, I present the three images below. They are covered by the same Creative Commons License as the rest of the site, so you can reuse and play with them but not profit from them.

SteamLoco

SignalBox

NarrowHill

 

The Weather Outside

I was sitting in the gym after a Yoga class the other day watching the rain. I remember thinking that the weather outside was awful, then I stopped to think and remembered that it’s only my perspective that makes it that way. So I gave a little thought to the weather.

It’s easy to look outside at the weather and to get quite depressed if it’s raining, but if you look into what’s actually going on there’s quite a bit there. Consider that whilst you’re sitting there, you are on a planet that is orbiting the Sun at 65000 miles per hour. Then consider that the Earth rotates at a little over 1000 miles per hour, so you’re only sitting still relative to the surface of the Earth. Really, you’re moving very quickly indeed.

Now, consider that rain. It’s part of an ancient and immensely powerful system. I only discovered recently that in a single day, one hurricane can put out the energy to supply the electrical needs of the United States for approximately six months. The rain falling outside is part of the water cycle, and has in all likelihood travelled a long way (possibly thousands of miles) to be there; the weather is an immense system and our rainstorm is only a tiny part of it.

It gives a very different perspective to the rain; the weather isn’t awful, it’s amazing!