Martin Rowson

All posts tagged Martin Rowson

Just Like ‘Sliding Doors’

Published June 11, 2012 by copperknob

Hello again

My friend Gail and I chatted in her den this morning. We watched the pouring rain through the patio doors. Indoors it was warm and cosy and I hugged a mug of tea. Gail leafed through my book about India. She reminded me about the time in 2001 when I was preparing for my seven-day visit to Jaipur and Dharamsala.

Out of the blue she told me that my story and what happened to me was a bit like the 1998 film Sliding Doors starring Gwyneth Paltro and John Hannah. In the first few minutes of the film we see the ‘heroine’s’ life split into two. And throughout the rest of the film we are to-ing and fro-ing between what would have happened in each version of her life. Her whole life changes in a split second when, after being sacked from her PR job in London, she misses the Tube-train to take her home. One part of the film follows her catching the train and seeing the consequences of getting home and finding her bloke in bed with another woman – the other part, when she misses the train, shows how she gets mugged before landing a lowly-paid waitressing job.

Gail’s assessment of my life was fascinating. What if I hadn’t been to the fishmonger in Bookham that winter’s morning in 2000 to interview him for a possible story? What if I hadn’t crossed over the A246 Leatherhead Road at the exact time that I did? After all, the Buddhist monks only stood begging for food outside the supermarket until midday when they went off to eat. If I had crossed the road a few minutes later I would have missed them. Timing is everything.

I came home from Gail’s  in wondering-mode about 2000, and about our conversation.

What if I had never met Tenzin Josh, never learnt about meditation or the Dalai Lama, never visited Dharamsala, met Tibetan monks or the Tibetan Children’s Village?

Twelve years on from that chance meeting with two Tibetan monks in our village I wonder what I would be doing now…

From Two Monks in Bookham to Ruth Ellis

Published June 8, 2012 by copperknob

The story I am going to tell on this blog is not just about my 7-day trip to India – it’s more than that.

It’s about my own personal journey – how I moved from being the novice author of an article about two Buddhist monks published in the Surrey County magazine…

…to the author of a four-page article in a respected daily newspaper, in just a year.

It’s the story of how I found myself ‘pushing the boundaries’ …against all the odds … never giving up.

You may like to click on my Hebridean blog briefly:

and scroll down to:

An Inspirational Journey – Please Join Me

Here you will gain some insight into my writing career. And here you will start to see how I grab every opportunity that materialises in front of me…and still do.

In the post you will read how I wrote about a fishmonger – it turned out to be a life-changing article for me. But what you won’t read is how on a winter morning, three months before the article was published, I walked into our village to ask the fishmonger who was serving in his shop if I could write about him. Minutes after speaking to him I stepped out of the shop, walked across the car park, crossed over the A246 Leatherhead Road and immediately saw two Buddhist monks standing outside the local supermarket. They were begging for food. Being nosey I asked what they were doing!

Tenzin Josh (left of picture) explained it is customary for monks to beg for food when they are away from their monasteries. “The act of giving to a Buddhist monk is beneficial on three counts: the person who gives feels good; the monk gets to eat; and any left-over food is given away to the needy”.

I learnt a lot about Buddhism that morning and how meditation, which takes up a lot of a monk’s life, does not necessarily mean sitting on the floor cross legged with your eyes closed – you can meditate lying down, standing up or sitting in a chair. Being conscious of everything you do – walking, eating and talking can be good meditations.

Tenzin Josh and Tenzin Gendun thanked me for my interest and hoped they had put a ‘comma’ in my day to pause, ponder and reflect. Before we parted company Tenzin Josh said that if ever I was in India to call on him in Dharamsala which is in the foothills of the Himalayas.

I thought a trip to India was most unlikely.

A story I wrote about my meeting with the Buddhist monks was published in the April 2000 edition of the Surrey County magazine.

Please feel free to ask me questions as I take you on my journey.

I hope you enjoy my tale about one monk’s Marmite…coming soon…

Monica Weller

PS: Some call it fate, to some it’s synchronicity, others say it’s serendipity, but as I stepped out of the fishmonger’s shop that winter morning, I had no idea that my simple article about fish would lead me directly to the story about Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the UK.