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Sunday, 30 July 2017
I’m off!

The moment has come that I depart on London-Edinburgh-London. This 870 mile (1440 km) cycle ride is the longest I have ever done, and I have 117 hours to complete it. Assuming I won’t be writing much for the next five days, I thought I would leave you with this video of some fantastic images from the 2013 edition of the ride.

Posted by bigblue on 30/07/2017 at 01:45 PM
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017
London Edinburgh London Documentary

Following on from the previous two videos, which touched on this subject, here is the trailer for the documentary on the London-Edinburgh-London cycle ride. Video by MadeGood.Films

Posted by bigblue on 16/05/2017 at 04:49 PM
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Monday, 19 November 2012
Badger crossing

Source: via bigbluemeanie on Pinterest

This is one time we can be grateful for a lack of “joined-up” government thinking.

Posted by bigblue on 19/11/2012 at 03:46 PM
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Monday, 03 September 2012


Someone balanced this stone on the bank of the Esk River, at Samye Ling Buddhist monastery in Scotland.

Posted by bigblue on 03/09/2012 at 08:45 AM
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Friday, 31 August 2012
The Lockerbie Quilt


This quilt was produced by five locals to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster in 2008. A poster nearby says:

Lest We Forget

This quilt is dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the events of 21 December 1988.
The 259 leaves on the tree depict the souls who lost their lives whilst passengers on Pan Am Flight 103.
The 11 pebbles depict the residents of Lockerbie who lost their lives.
The tree, underpinned by strong roots, represents thecontinuity of life reflecting the way thecommunity of Lockerbie and families of those who died have striven to overcome this tragedy.
The quilt was made as a remembrance of the twentieth anniversary of the disaster.

There is more information on the BBC Website. The quilt is on display at the Dryfesdale Lodge Visitor’s Centre in Lockerbie, an intimate and touching memorial to all the victims of the disaster.

Posted by bigblue on 31/08/2012 at 08:14 AM
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Thursday, 30 August 2012
The Naga House


This shrine was built in the water where two rivers meet. According to the Samye Ling web guide:

This stone structure in the River Esk is embedded with semi-precious stones and was built as an offering to the nagas or water spirits who dwell at the junction between the two rivers.

Making offerings to nagas is a way of bringing environmental forces into balance. The point where the two rivers meet is directly opposite the doors of the temple and is very powerful in terms of geomancy. The Naga House also serves a function in balancing the powerful energies emanating from this point.

Posted by bigblue on 30/08/2012 at 06:35 PM
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The Tibetan Temple


There are three floors to the Temple.  The top floor consists of a shrine to the Medicine Buddha.  On a monthly basis (on the eighth day of the Tibetan calendar) prayers are said to the Medicine Buddha. Apart from these prayers and occasional guided tours, this area of the temple is not generally open to the public.

The first floor, also not open to the public, contains a shrine and private accommodation for visiting high Lamas.

On the ground floor is the main shrine, which is divided into three sections, the front section hosting the shrine itself and the two other sections being used for weekend workshops. On big occasions the whole shrine is opened up and the dividing partitions are removed.

Here is a picture of the main shrine room, called Lhakang in Tibetan (which means ‘Palace of the God’, indicating that representations of enlightened beings are present):


Relics or images of the historical Buddha… are not for worship.  Instead, the statues, relics and images are to provide inspiration for what we can achieve by following the Buddha’s teachings.  They also serve as a support for our respect and devotion to the teachings.

Here’s one I took earlier - a photograph of the Samye Ling Temple in December 2003, during a snow storm:


The quotes above are extracted from the Samye Ling Website.  You can read more about the temple here.

Posted by bigblue on 30/08/2012 at 08:58 AM
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Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Prayer Wheel House


As people walk around the Stupa clockwise reciting prayers, their path takes them through the Prayer Wheel House, where they turn the prayer wheels as they go.  The prayer wheels are at the front of the building. The back part will have drawers where the ashes of the deceased will be kept. The prayer wheels contain millions of mantras (short prayers) for peace and compassion which have been inscribed on paper soaked in saffron water and blessed in a special way. As one turns the prayer wheel clockwise it activates the blessing of the mantras, transmitting the energy of peace and compassion in all directions.

~ from the Kagyu Samye Ling website. The wording is a bit out of date because the ashes of people and animals (pets) are already starting to be stored in the shelves. There is also a book in which you can write the names of deceased people for whom prayers will also be offered.

Posted by bigblue on 29/08/2012 at 06:24 PM
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