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The Sound of One Hand Tapping

It’s the Bank Holiday weekend and have been reading Takuan Soho’s book, ‘The Unfettered Mind’ – Writings of the 17th century Zen Master to the Sword Master - and last night, I was woken from a dream by my daughter’s Hamster, ‘Fluffy’, noisily rattling her wheel. Strangely enough, as I lay in bed half way between sleep and wakefulness, I suddenly realised what I believe may be the answer to the Zen riddle, a ‘Koan’, “Show me the sound of one hand clapping”. I suppose this is called enlightenment after thirty years but the answer wasn’t quite what I thought it might be and illustrates how the mind, like a computer, can keep churning on a problem in the unconscious until an answer is found. Rather like the question in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe,” What is the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and all that?” Forty-two wasn’t it?



We’ve decided that the family will probably move from London to the ‘house by the sea’ here in Kent. They even do a good espresso in the village now and all that’s missing is a WiFi link. Truthfully, the quality of life is better and the weather can be enjoyed, although, come winter, I might regret saying that, as the bitter arctic wind blows straight across my garden from the North Pole and the sea one hundred yards from my window.

My daughter has agreed in principle to a move, as long as we bring her TV, her goldfish and she has Sky piped to her room, so that’s OK then.

I cycled over to Maypole Farm to see if my aircraft was still in pieces. It is and very soon, it will have been that way for three months. I’m starting to despair but I have been promised that it will be reassembled this week but I’m watching for the occasional flying pig just in case.

Cycling along the sea wall towards the Roman tower at Reculvers, I see that the orthodox Jewish holiday is in full swing. For some unknown reason, this deserted stretch of coast is favoured by the ultra-orthodox and you’ll see them sitting on the shingles with their families in full Hasidic costume, complete with furry hats in August. It rather reminds me of Jerusalem and the Wailing Wall and I assume they choose this stretch of coast so that they will be left alone to study and pursue their customs out of the sight of most people. Mind you, it’s a heck of a long way to the nearest ice cream hut for the children but then I guess the ice cream isn’t Kosher, so that rather rules it out.



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