Wednesday, 28 December 2011


“When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong”. Yes, I’m quoting Baby’s dad from Dirty Dancing. Be that as it may, this is a perfect phrase for me, because it encapsulates exactly the way I see the world. I’m a pretty upfront person. If I like your dress, I’ll let you know. If you’re a bit of an arse, and you ask me how I feel about you – I’ll let you know that you’re a bit of an arse. And I welcome the very same responses. I genuinely feel that honesty is the way forward, to a beautiful and sweet smelling world. Call me green, but that’s just the way I feel.

It’s ambiguity and misconception and lies and pretence that encourage a frown on your friendly pensivebuddha’s face. I can’t stand it when there are a number of hurdles and barriers to the truth of a situation. But don’t get me wrong – I can handle the grand facade of the world and it’s actors. I’m not so naive that I can’t navigate through the BS. I’m just highlighting the fact that I’d get much fewer wrinkles if we could all just dispense of it. *waste of time*

All I’m saying...

Tuesday, 27 December 2011


So on the last day of work before Christmas, I was granted freedom at 2.30pm, so my work peoples and I obviously went straight to the local pub. And what fun was had! You see, I love getting to know a person beyond the up-front description that they are assigned: work colleague, lecturer, post-man, neighbour, priest... I love filling in the blanks that reside behind the mask and script that we play day-to-day.

And the great topic we stumbled upon was the wonderfully child-like ‘when I grow up, I want to be...’. Now, I remind you that this was my work colleagues, so you can safely assume that all who were involved already had a good, secure and profitable career. But there’s always the plan B. Always the dream that some part of us continues to hold on to.

If you won the lottery, what ‘career’ would you then devote your time to? If you didn’t need to worry about bills and rent and f-ing Oyster cards, what would your business card say? But then again, we only get the one chance at this whole ‘Life’ thing. No second chance, no plan B. So maybe we ought to give it a shot now, eh? Maybe the pains and strife might be worth it for some ounce of true satisfaction. Just maybe. May as well give it a go, right?  ‘You only get one shot...’ after all. And yes, I’m quoting JLS. Sue me.

Thursday, 22 December 2011


Altogether now: “Happy Birthday pensivebuddha!!” And now that you’ve got that out of the way, it was indeed my birthday on Monday, and I am now a year older – since last year that is.

Birthdays are a funny thing. It’s as though you’re expected to collect and distil together all of the experiences and lessons and trials and victories that you’ve encountered over the past year, and try your best to ingest and digest it all so that you can say that you’re older and wiser.

In actual fact, since my birthday, I feel it’s a lot more accurate to say that I’m 3 days older, rather than a year. I have indeed had a truly amazing year – the kind of year that I wouldn't have dared to hope for, this time in 2010. I’ve learned masses, I’ve grown, I’ve improved. But that definitely occurred on a day to day basis. One step at a time, one mistake at a time, one tear after the next – its the natural progression of things. And it’s the type of pace that suits me. Thinking in terms of years leaves so much room to leave things out, and skim over details and blur the lines between each event – seems a bit messy to me. Day by day – much more manageable. And no need to put a year’s worth of pressure on myself to continue to learn and grow and improve. One day’s worth of pressure – I’d be a limp-arsed female if I couldn’t handle that!

So indeed, I am older. Lets hope it keeps getting better, day by day.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


So we’re rounding up to that special time of the year. And though I love the concept of Christmas, I’m having mixed feelings. And I think the rub lies mainly in the whole gift thing.

Now don’t get me wrong all you stingy bastards out there who think you’ve found a kindred sister. I love to give gifts. And that’s just it – I’m just a bit bummed about having to set a lowly limit on each present!

So I have 6 brothers and sisters. Add to that my mum, then the two brothers-in-law and the one sister-in-law, and then the baby niece and baby nephew, and new niece/nephew-on-the-way. Oh and don’t forget the boyfriend and the best friend and the chocolate-based-gift for the office. And before I even realised it, there are about one million people that I genuinely want to get an amazing gift for. However, my name is in fact pensivebuddha or Rebecca, and definitely not Rockafella or Trump. So £20 budget per person it is! So you see my point. My generous heart is being beaten to the ground by my withered purse. And I think it’s winning. #badtimes.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


My dear readers, your friendly pensivebuddha is an onion. Or at least like an onion. Now, the Shrek fans amongst you will understand that I am alluding to the fact that I have many layers. And one of them concerns some type of spirituality.

Like everything that I concern myself with, I like to be well informed. So in this spirit, I’ve set myself the task of reading the bible (New Testament) from cover to cover. Now find a handkerchief and wipe away the sweat on your brow. Luckily, I found the copy that I was given when I was in primary school (St Francis RC primary school - when Peckham was a lil’ more reasonable.) It was obviously handed out to us as young children because it had simplified English, for our young and feeble brains to understand. Perfect for this pursuit!

Now, rather than feeling spiritually nourished from this reading, I feel vaguely wretched (to use a bit of bible-speak). Is that what’s supposed to happen? Is it like an ointment, where you don’t see the effect till a few days after you start using it? (Note to extremists: please don't attack me for likening the bible to ointment - merely a metaphor.) Well. It’s curious. I feel as though even if the whole ‘God thing’ turns out to be false, then I won’t really be losing anything from trying to be a better person while I grace the earth with my presence. And if it is all kosher, then perhaps I will be rewarded for my efforts, or at least learn some grand truth. So it seems like a win-win to this humble pensivebuddha.

I’ll read on and relay any crazy action scenes or car chases if I come across any. You never know – I’m sure they call it the Good Book for a reason.

Friday, 2 December 2011


So I just read an article entitled ‘Education kills creativity’. A title chosen, no doubt, for its eye catching nature. Most people have undergone some form of formal education, and many people fancy the idea of creativity. Moreover, it seems a consensus that the two are almost opposite to each other – chalk and cheese, oil and water, a KKK leader and this young fellow.

However. Maybe it’s because I love a lively debate, or because I always find myself rooting for the underdog, or because I genuinely believe this to not be the case, but I’m gonna have to disagree. Most likely it’s a mixture of them all, but I’d like to just put this out there – I’d have a lot more respect for an intelligent creative than a stupid one.

Now, I understand how the two can appear to be polar opposites. One imagines creativity to come from some kind of fiery, burning core within them, and education to reside in dusty books on library shelves, and in the lecture notes of equally dusty lecturers. But the very first idea was born from some combination of things that were learned – ‘taught’ to you from the outside world, received by your senses. To be educated is simply to be taught – to learn. And it only follows that the more that is learned, the greater the pool from which a marvellous, shiny stroke of creative brilliance can emerge.

In short, I don’t think that education kills creativity. I think it feeds it.

Thursday, 1 December 2011


I think New Years is a bit of a hype, as the youngens might say. I hate the idea of saving up all of the things that you want in life, love and prosperity, and putting them in that ‘resolutions basket’. If you want it, work for it now, is what I’d suggest to the masses.

So in the spirit of trumping 31st December/1st January, I decided to reflect on the past year, today! Take that fireworks and balloons and champagne. Wait, I enjoy the champagne aspect of New Years. I take that last one back.

Now, this time last year, I was a withered shell of the shiny and illustrious pensivebuddha that you see today. I was sublimely poor, horribly disheartened with the prospect of any future career, and generally drudging through the trenches of a genuine low point of my 22 years. I can’t impress how very hard those times were - #badtimes was me. And just look at me now! Since then, I’ve got a 6 month adventure around the world, personal growth, and a good job with valuable industry experience under my belt. And that’s to name but a few things that line my waist – yea, I know, ‘under my belt’ is a strange turn of phrase.

So instead of making resolutions, I’ll simply decide to continue to improve the quality of my life. Let’s all join in! No need to count it down.


So it seems to me that this is a very important time for people who fancy themselves as intelligent and outspoken. There are articles and tweets and quotes flying around at such speed and frequency that I feel like I ought to dive for cover into the nearest trench.

Now, London just experienced a fairly significant event – a strike by public sector workers that spanned the nation and involved an estimated 2 million people.
Now, I’m being very diligent as I write this to not open any browsers and Wikipedia my life away with facts and knowledge to pawn off as things I already knew, and pretend as though I rock around with an encyclopedia of quotes from David Cameron jostling around in my head. Though he did refer to the action as little more than a ‘damp squib’. Bit harsh I thought – especially since he’s still speaking to and about potential voters. Silly, silly David! Also, who strings words together like ’damp’ and ‘squib’? Mind blowing.
I don’t know all of the nuances of the pension cuts, increases in working hours and future pay, equation. What I do know is that a huge amount of people decided that what was happening was not acceptable, so decided to do something about it. Fair play! If someone slapped me in the neck, and I perceived that to be a bad thing, I’d certainly arrive at some course of reactionary action! Can not argue. It may have inconvenienced others to some extent, but I guess they thought a reduced pension may well inconvenience them at a very inconvenient time.
I’m only writing this because a whole lot of people seem to be producing really extreme and emotional opinions on the matter. Me? I guess I just fancied joining in: down with them all!

And when I say ‘them’, feel free to plug in whichever group or demographic you fancy… I’m a liberal girl after all.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011


So my fantastic sister Jennifer has a mate whose company I get the pleasure to enjoy from time to time. He’s a curious fellow. He, to me, appears to have a firm grasp of the person that he is and is wonderfully comfortable in his own skin. So when Jenz informed me that he had laid down a gem in conversation, I was genuinely interested.

And rightly so! This is how Jenz relayed it to me:

“He kinda said… ‘Girls who say ‘I dress for myself’ – crap! Personally, I dress so others will agree that I look good’”.

A smile crept across my face when the idea sunk in, and then I found myself fully on board with his thought train. Even in the case of the most extroverted people it seems true– I went to the Rankin event last week for the new magazine ‘The Hunger’. There was a fellow dressed in forehead-to-toe black patent ‘leather’, with a huge, black tousled wig and red lips.

I say ‘fellow’, because I was fairly sure it was a man as he stood at about 6' 5", but for the life of me, I couldn’t detect any tell-tale bumps or clues. Now this fellow, I’m sure, felt they looked good, by means of their own unique definition of the word. But there was a reason he kept circling the densely packed room – so everyone could get a good look, and silently agree that he was shocking and amazing and all that stuff that he was desperately trying to be.

So that girl with as much of her boobs out as possible without actually showing off her areolae, and that guy with the trainers so fresh that they cause momentary glare-blindness – it’s all for our benefit too. Though if they had simply asked, I would’ve just said ‘no, I simply don’t agree’, and that could’ve been that!

*You may be wondering 'why Johnny Bravo?' Well, because he looks good, and is convinced that everybody agrees. And damn it, he's right!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Just got a great comment on fb, from a young man named Kieran. Literally, one of the best fb comments I've received I reckon!:

"good to see your writing again, read one of ya blogs like a year ago, you write well, and your repugnance of the common man and the rat race goes down well too lol"

At first I thought 'repugnance' was a bit strong. Then I reconsidered...

Thanks Kieran. It's comments like that that light a bit of a fire under me.


Still on that learning vibe, here’s another person that I feel compelled to take my hat off to. So Tom Ford. I suppose a lot of you will be at least vaguely familiar with his name, associating it with fashion in some kind of respect.

Any you’d be right. He has his own brand, titled after himself which he launched in 2005. But before that, he was the man behind the name Gucci. Now, before I loose your attention, I’ll relay the piece of info that made me reach for my bowler brim (that’s the kind of hat I imagine myself wearing). Within the space of a year, once Tom jumped on board the Gucci train, sales increased by 90%. Yes, that’s very close to 100%. And yes, that’s unreal. Moreover, he joined the group when it was on the brink of bankruptcy, and by the time he left, it was worth $10billion. Count the zero’s.

This guy isn’t messing around! Also, if I was Mr. Gucci, frankly, I’d be embarassed of myself.

So Tom, do you know what, take the whole hat. You deserve it!


erm... fail?

Monday, 28 November 2011


In the spirit of not feeling like doing work, despite being at work, I’ve spent my morning learning and generally informing myself about various topics in arts, politics and religion. Who says skiving can’t be positive?!

So, I thought I’d share a lil’ bit of it. So Damien Hirst. I took a pic (probably illegally) of an image of his 'For the Love of God’ piece when I was in an art gallery in … somewhere in Australia. I liked that it was a bejewelled skull, in the first instance. And then I loved the title. As it was on the plaque, it read, ‘For the Love of God , laugh.’ The piece is a Memento Mori, which is a style or genre in art that aims at reminding us of our mortality.

I then learned that it weighs a total of 1,106.18 carats and is made up of approx. £15,000,000 worth of diamonds. Yet, it had the asking price of £50,000,000. Yes, we’re talking about millions here – count the zero’s with me.

I did a lil’ research on the fine fellow and found that he is reportedly Britain’s richest living artist. ‘Playa has game’, I hear you say. Indeed.

So the aim of the game is to amass enough wealth and power that you can basically do whatever the hell you want. Don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for that day. Legend.


Do you ever wake up to find that you're simply not in the mood? For generally anything? 'Sans everything...' Now, don't get me wrong - I can handle life and the things that it throws at me; I've come to terms with the epic charade.

But today, I just can't be asked. Just seems a bit long really!

Rain-check, please.

Sunday, 27 November 2011


There's something about Vivienne Westwood that thoroughly fascinates me. I find her utterly riveting and genuinely exciting - that's the woman, rather than the label. If given the chance to see a picture of her, I'll take it. Simply said, I think she is fully fabulous.

Friday, 25 November 2011


So I was on the bus this morning, casually making my way to work just like any other day. And against my will completely, I was smacked in the face with the topic of suicide.

OK, I’ll set the scene. One of the many down-sides about getting the bus to work is that all of the school children in the city seem to try to squeeze their pubescent frames onto the confined space of a bus going through rush-hour traffic. And once they’ve sufficiently squeezed themselves on, they then speak at the uppermost levels of volume that they can reasonably sustain, about all of the goss that’s going on in their micro-societies.

And this morning, the topic of the day was a young girl, who was apparently in year 11, making her 15/16 years old. This girl was pregnant with twins. And this was her fourth pregnancy, after having the first three terminated. She was with the same boy who seemed to encourage her to get the previous abortions, and this time he seemed, as the word on the street suggested, somewhat put out!

Now, neither the pregnant girl, nor the impregnator was on the bus, allowing this particular group of girls to speak their minds about the topic freely, never mind the 100 or so strangers that surrounded them… So amidst proclamations about how stupid the girl is, and how they would never allow that to happen to them, in the same jovial and boisterous tone, one of the girls announced, “I’d commit suicide if that happened to me”. For me, the whole conversation took a serious turn. For them, it was just another comment that they all whole-heartedly concurred with, adding jokes to cement their assent.

I understand that they are too young to be bringing up babies, and it’s probably one of the least ideal situations to find yourself in. But suicide? It really shocked me. It made me wonder about the weak will that these kids seemed to possess. That they’d rather end it all rather than struggle and, for all they know, eventually find themselves in a not so bad situation. It made it clear what school isn’t teaching:

Life is hard - find a way to deal with it.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Thursday, 17 November 2011


Ok, so the pensivebuddha has fully fallen off, as our good friend Drake might say. ‘Where have you been?!’ I hear you scream. In short, chillin’, stealin’, drinkin’ a Bud. In long, working and generally keeping up the hustle that is real life.

Yep, real life. It’s a bitch. Been working hard, interning, i.e., working for free and brandishing a badge that says ‘Peasant. Treat me as such’, apparently. But it’s paid off because I’m currently working in exchange for monetary gain! ‘Result!’ I hear you cry. Indeed! I’m working for Thomas Cook as a content writer, so it really is onwards and upwards.

And in those same spirits, I’ve decided I really wanna pick up this blog thing. So you’re in for a treat faithful readers: more frequent posts, letting you know what’s generally popping in a buddha’s world. I know, I’m excited too.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

the addressed: Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen

This is a lovely thing.

the addressed: Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen: Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen or the Sunscreen Speech, are the common names of an essay actually called "Advice, like youth, probably...

Read. It's brimming with advice and sweet things to hear about yourself.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


So as I mentioned before, I’m currently an intern for Schön! magazine. It’s a very visual magazine, and it prides itself in presenting the talents of the most creative people from around the world. Creative.

Now this is a concept that once I stumbled upon it a long time ago, I haven’t quite been able to shake. I picture myself in a suit and a 9-5, and a sincere shudder travels from the nape of my cranium to the tips of my toes. It just doesn’t seem to fit with the idea that I have of myself.

Now, when I read and research about designers and photographers and all of the creatives in between who have forged for themselves a credible and successful means of supporting their gorgeous lives, I can’t help but want to join the club. But where to start? Don’t get me wrong dear readers – I am not one of the idiot youth of our city who expect the world in exchange for zero work and effort. I’m fully aware that true success will not materialize until a great deal of hard work has first been entered into the equation. I’m eager to sweat and bleed into the road that leads me to my riches. But where does the road begin? Has it indeed even been forged yet? Will one more rhetorical question be overkill?

So frustration is the emotion of choice as I write to you this morning readers. General annoyance at the riddle that life seems to be taunting me with, and full-on annoyance at the answer that I’m sure is just on the brink of my consciousness.

But fear not – once I’ve worked it out you’ll be the first to know.

Pensive as ever, your friendly neighbourhood PensiveBuddha.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


So I've noticed that my last few blogs have been 1) a long time ago, and also 2) a bit lengthy! So I'll ease back into things...

So I've started an internship with Schön! magazine (it's sick, check it out) as a journalist/copywriter. Very exciting. Now, the office is in London's W1, and coming into work everyday is one long list of funny observations about the London that seems to have developed around me, and of course, it's inhabitants. Here's a few to start with:

Yes, it's official. The case is dismissed. The judge has gone home. Chivalry is long dead and gone.

The majority of normal people that you might happen upon on the street simply will not return a smile if you smile at them. Just won't happen. Nothing can be done. It's out of our hands. In fact, out of a dozen people (yes I did some field research) two people returned my smile. TWO! One was a liberal looking lady wearing a gorgeous pair of patent, heeled Doc Martens. The second was a kindly looking older gentleman, who incidentally walked back passed me mesmerized by the Daily Mail's page 3 spread. Yep.

Gorgeous, tall, Brazilian-looking men with green eyes and a cashmere jumper to match (green is my favourite colour by the way readers) will have an equally gorgeous and tall blonde woman attached to his hand. Blonde - specifically! This is simply a fact of life.

So this is what I have observed dear readers. I look forward to reporting my further stalker-isms.

Much love from your friendly neighborhood PensiveBuddha, who has indeed returned back to the neighborhood.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Humans as a race, I think, are naturally attracted to beautiful things. It’s an intrinsic part of what it is that we are. The sweetest and most nutrient fortified foods are bright, enticingly coloured gems, evolving to use us as walking fertilisers. New born babies have evolved to be as numbingly damn cute as possible, making it physically impossible to not take care of them and generally keep them alive. We will always gaze for longer at a flower in bloom than at a dying thorn bush.

And this is not a bad thing. It’s the way that the human mind has developed to navigate the world and pursue the things that will be of most value and benefit. Today, however, this has a slightly different everyday application. What it means today is that the fashion industry is among the most profitable industries in operation. This means that an artist can justifiably sell a piece of work for millions of his or her chosen units of currency. This means that if you happen to have shining green eyes, or a dazzling smile, or a perfectly formed body, having people stare at you constantly and generally try to be a part of your life will be amongst the most common occurrences that you’ll encounter.

So this leads me to wonder how we might take this natural tendency and relate it to enriching the general quality of our lives. I think perhaps the happiest person is he who can see beauty in the most varied and frequent places. For how better might a human life be enjoyed than by constantly encountering delights and articles to treat the senses?

So the recipe for happiness? Look harder, I think. Happiness awaits you, if only you can find beauty in as many of her different guises as possible.

Thursday, 26 May 2011


Ok, so I’m a pretty sociable kinda gal, when I’m in a sociable kinda mood of course. I thoroughly enjoy a bit of banter, an amicable conversation, a raucous anecdote exchange. But it’s the casualties involved in speaking to some people that make me awfully warry to even bring up the condition of the weather with a friendly looking bystander.

“Casualties?” I hear you scream in confusion. Yes dear readers – casualties. I’ll explain. A casualty of conversation may occur when I’m asked a question in conversation, and before I’ve gotten through the prefix of the first word of my answer I’m brutally cut off with a new question or the start of a brand new conversation topic, usually about something ridiculous like whatever jib happens to be floating through the questioner’s mind. Another casualty? Well, another may occur when you are seemingly engaged in a stimulating conversation and you look over to find your conversation buddy’s gaze drift off as lazily as a cow chewing the cud, your existence seeming to phase out of this reality that we’ve all come to know and love, and into the Realm of Disinterest. “Another!” I hear you shout, Thor style. And perhaps the harshest. The old nod-and-smile-until-it-seems-like-her-lips-have-stopped-flapping-and-therefore-stopped-talking-so-I-can-jabber-on-about-my-favourite-topic: me!

Now this may simply seem like the rant of a really boring and unexciting conversationalist. But this is simply not the case I assure you! I’m a regular social butterfly, who will win a bet every time that I can make you smile after the briefest of exchanges. A conversation is a dance with words, be it a waltz or full on street dance routine, crew and all. And without tooting my own horn, I’d have to say that I know a few moves.

But it seems that some individuals out there reckon a conversation is actually a full on street fight, where anything goes and any weapon is acceptable. This is not the case dear readers! If the conversation consists largely of your own voice talking about you and your general comings and happenings, then try your best to reset this balance, for all you’re doing is sending out a jab, jab, hook combo out at your poor convo associate. And when you feel like your attention is drifting off to what you’re about to eat later on (I understand, we’ve all been there), then give yourself a couple seconds to imagine that ravioli and fresh wholemeal bread (traveller’s dinner) melting in your mouth, then snap back to this realm I tell you! And finally, if you’re simply not interested enough in what the person is saying to actually listen while you wait your turn to speak then politely excuse yourself and jog on!

For the sake of world peace, readers (ha!), avoid these casualties! There’s enough pain out there in the wild world without you adding to it with sloppy conversation skills.

Just some friendly advice from your local (though currently international) Pensive Buddha!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Warning! Understatement of the year coming up: life is a difficult thing. No matter how hard you may try to solve issues and overcome difficulties, one problem seems to just get swapped for a new one. Take me for example. I left the country, continent, even the hemisphere to try to escape the things that were proving to be barriers to my happiness. And indeed i escaped them completely. But in their place, a more tropical variety of problems slotted straight in. Like being so very far away from your most cherished ones and missing them more than words will allow. And like missing your baby nephew’s first steps and first words. And like being forced to see exactly the type of person that you are when it gets mirrored back to you by the reactions and responses of your travelling partner. And like feeling epically alone, when the magnitude of the world dawns on you and you realise the connections that you have are as feeble in comparison as the softest lace.

Now don’t misunderstand me readers – I am having an amazing time. I’ve met the coolest, funniest, most interesting people that are trotting the globe right now. And I’ve seen some sites that have literally made my voice box shrivel up and take a nap, and my jaw drop and hang like a post pubescent boy’s junk. And I’ve overcome some personal challenges that I had previously assumed were to be permanent tenants of my psyche. It has been wonderful. But boy has it been tough.

So I guess this is me raising up to the heavens my gratitude for allowing me to be where I am right now. Though I think this is also me sending out a friendly notification that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but look up – there may well be more on offer above the ground.

Friday, 15 April 2011


So something mildly startling has come to my attention. And hear me out on this theory before you start throwing stones and rotten vegetables at me. So a couple of days ago I was rushed to hospital (dramatic pause) – gastritis or some other kind of horrifically painful thing. And as I writhed around on the hospital gurney, a nurse attended to me, followed by the doziest doctor ever known to man. And at the time, through the haze of pain and general sadness and disappointment, I didn’t quite grasp the extent of the treatment that I received. However, after the pain, morphine and fatigue wore off, I realised a shocking truth: nurses and doctors don’t like sick people.

I’ll explain. As I mentioned earlier, I was a-writhing and a-moaning for quite some time, and understandably I choked out to the nurse that I would quite like some pain relief. Her response? ‘Well, I can’t magically make the pain go away. You’ll just have to hold on’. Now call me a pleb, but surely magic needn’t be considered when we were a building brimming with medication of every kind and degree. Woman screaming in pain should usually = some kind of compassion + some f-ing drugs, no?! She followed this startling rebuff with a request for me to stand up to perform some kind of demoralising thing or other. As I tried and failed to even sit up, let alone stand, my trusty friend Chloe ran to my assistance as the nurse looked on in mild boredom. As Good Friend Chloe tried to help me up, the nurse stopped her in her good-deed-tracks and assured her that I was perfectly capable of getting up on my own. Just for the record, I wasn’t.

And I won’t even go into what the doctor had to say to me. I’ll just say that he called me a drug addict and a raging slut, in about two breaths. He used different words of course, but you can only really dress up such accusations so much.

Now I’ll stop there with the doctor’s brutality and the nurse’s general unkindness, though trust me, there are several more examples. The crux of this post however is that the next morning, when the writhing and moaning had stopped, they were as sweet as punch to me! My name became ‘love’ or ‘darling’. The nurse’s face muscles remembered how to smile. Her rough handling became the touch of my very own mother. And why dear readers? Because I had transformed over night into some semblance of a healthy person. It’s messed up, but that was the only difference between the night before and the morning after. Same Pensive Buddha lying in that bed. Same Mrs Nurse on the same shift. Same dozy doctor doing his rounds.

So my advice, from me to you: next time you encounter a nurse or any kind of practitioner of medicine, I suggest you pretend to be an individual with a perfect bill of health. You act and pretend till your face falls off, because otherwise, you may well be treated like a person who secretly likes to have intercourse with cats. Yep. You heard it here first.

Saturday, 12 February 2011


So Buddhists believe that when someone dies, that is not the end for them. Depending on the merit that that person has accumulated over the course of their life, they will be reborn in accordance with that value.

So unless you’re Buddha or some other special individual who reaches Nirvāna: the ultimate resting place and end of the cycle of death and rebirth, death is simply not the end. Just a break. A change of scene in the longest and most riveting movie imaginable.

It’s a lovely idea. It means that anybody that you have lost, if you decide to subscribe to the Buddhist way of thinking, is not forever lost. Just repackaged and redistributed. To share the wealth so to speak.

And better still. If you really loved them, and they left a huge impression on you for the better, then you can be assured that the merit that they accrued from that alone has helped in securing for them a better life the next time around. They are better for having known you. And you’re better for the time that you had with them. And on it goes.

So take your pick: “Rest in Peace” or “Live on, better and better again”

Thursday, 10 February 2011


So current location: Koh Samui in Thailand. Current duration: almost 3 weeks away. Now, in this time that’s been pretty much filled with meeting new people and exchanging stories, it has occurred to me that the idea that one may have of themselves may not necessarily be on par with the truth of who and what they are. In fact, it may be wildly deviated from the actual truth of the matter.

The estimation that one may formulate of their general character, their sense of humor, their attractiveness even, is one that is built up from subjective commentary and varying circumstances governed by varying motivations. And whether this is right or wrong, this is the self portrait that we have all sketched up of ourselves. That we carry around in our proverbial wallet to whip out and show anyone new, like grandparents pull out pocket sized photo albums of the grand-kids for anyone that might care to see.

So I felt that this topic was worthy of commentary because it highlights the opacity of human perception. We may be presented with one thing, and deduce from it something else altogether. A person riddled with personal character defects and scantily equipped with the warmer qualities a person may have, may look in the mirror and see a regular Michelangelo’s David. Whereas a person that is simply too lacking in self esteem to notice all of their sterling qualities see’s The Scream when faced with their reflection.

Now I’m not saying that people should wake up and come to terms with how generally crappy they are. (I promise!). But I will say that it’s certainly worth pulling out that self portrait and putting it up beside a mirror, just to make sure that that’s what you really look like. For a work of art is never truly complete.

Friday, 28 January 2011


Hey kids,

So in case you're on your bathroom floor crying because I haven't blogged in a lil' while, wait! There's a reasonable explanation! I'm currently chillin' out in an internet cafe in Bangkok, and will be doing similar things in several countries for several months.

Yes fair readers, thepensivebuddha is a-travellin! Hitting 7 countries in total, on country 2 so far: Thailand. As the cost of going on the internet may be better spent on food in many situations, I may well not be posting very often. But fear not, full updates, pics, horror stories on my return. And that's a promise from me to you.

Until then!