Learn about travel writing

how become travel writer

On Sunday, 1st June, the University of Leeds School of English is organising ‘How to Become a Travel Writer’, a one-day, practice-based workshop for anyone interested in learning the business and craft of travel writing.

Held from 9am to 5pm, the information-packed day will include masterclasses, lectures and roundtables with editors, publishers, writers and PR representatives from Lonely Planet Magazine, Bradt Publishers, Polarworld Publishing and Inntravel, among others.

Some of the topics that will be covered over the course of the day include: how to pitch travel articles to magazines, newspapers and travel blogs; how to pen narrative non-fiction out of travel experiences; how to effectively liaise with PRs and tourist boards; and how to negotiate the rapidly changing landscape of media and journalism. The day will offer a solid primer on how the travel writing industry works today, and will offer a step-by-step process for how to start getting published as a travel writer.

The workshop fee of £80 (£50 concession for students) includes all lectures, course materials and refreshments. Specific schedule information about the event can be found here

.Readers can also book online directly

Please note that a limited number of spaces are available.

For any specific questions about the workshop or schedule, please email r.norum@leeds.ac.uk.

Teatime fun

Optimum Health and Wellbeing for all is the aim of the Phoenix Health and Wellbeing charity. They offer complimentary therapies and counselling to people with lived experience of mental and physical health issues. People currently in good health are also welcomed! Being able to talk in ‘spaces’ we feel safe , or being touched therapeutically are great aids in maintaining the good health we may have worked hard to achieve.

On the afternoon of the 10th of May from 1pm Phoenix are inviting you to attend their fun fundraising launch event. (it’s at their central Leeds location, close to the Town Hall).

Tasty afternoon treats will be served along with ‘tasters’ of some of the complimentary therapies they usually offer. Cost of entrance is £5 for adults, and £2 for children. If you have never had a therapeutic massage, a short massage of your hands can be a reassuring and nice introduction.


afternoon tea phoenix

Clandestine Cake Club #somewhereovertherainbow: Mental Health and Wellbeing day

#SomewhereOverTheRainbow  is a special cake club event for people who struggle with their Mental Health and Wellbeing every day.

This will be held in the centre of Leeds on Sunday 6 July 2014 from 2-4pm

 We want to share the happiness that we get from attending cake club.

Rainbow small size

(Rainbow photograph by Evan Leeson, Flickr: Creative Commons)

The idea of this event isn’t the same as our usual Clandestine Cake Club events… it’s to try encourage people to come along and see if tea and cake and meeting people with similar problems can help their Mental Health and Wellbeing.

There really is something special about baking… it’s a therapeutic hobby, the weighing of ingredients and then patiently waiting for the cake to bake, I find it a good way to relax and de-stress after a busy day at work.  The good thing about this event is that if you aren’t able to bake then book yourself in with a friend who can do the baking… that way you get to come along to cake club, bring a friend or relative to support you and they’ll bring the cake!

The event has been arranged following twitter conversations about Mental Health and Wellbeing. We have launched this event solely for people with or recovering from Mental Health problems. 

For some people just getting up in the morning is a real challenge mentally. For others life is a real struggle to cope every day. These are the people we are reaching out to. Hopefully we can reach out to people on twitter too so if you talk about the event please use the hashtag #SomewhereOverTheRainbow

This isn’t a charity fundraising event, we’re not linked to a charity, it’s just something special where we hope people will have a few hours of fun over Tea and Cake and generally help with their/your wellbeing by baking a cake and perhaps coming along with a carer/best supportive friend.

I’ll be taking all the bookings and will sent out email confirmations in due course. The event is at a secret location in the centre of Leeds and the venue will be announced to the people attending about a week before the event.

If this is a success and over subscribed, we may look to do this again at a much larger venue, but we wanted to create a more intimate event in a smaller venue to start with.

Places are limited so please don’t miss out, follow the instructions on the link and book in asap.

All the details are here at Clandestine Cake Club – somewhere over the rainbow,  if you would like to come along or know someone who you think would then please either use this link or send it to the person to book a place.  This might be yourself, a friend, relative or even a client you see who you think might enjoy this event.

If we have bright and colourful cakes attending the event we will definitely brighten up the venue and our day!

King regards

Sharon Clarkson
Pudsey & West Leeds Clandestine Cake Club
@PudseyCCC on Twitter

A Deeper Beauty: Buddhist reflections on everyday life – a book review

What keeps me well is well, reading, although at age 49, I go for the easy reading styles of various writers. In my late teens and 20s I could read any time of day rapidly, but now certainly not at night.

There is much in this book to inspire many of us in what can be the drearier, tiresome, boring, darker sides of our lives.

Buddhism is about hard work, to change ourselves, because only we want to, it is not really romantic meditation making us up-float of somewhere to escape.
I find only non-Buddhists tend to romanticise Buddhism in this way, for Buddhists we are Mandelic: having long ago realised that grinding the stubborn boulders and barriers in our minds of fear, hate, passions and ignorance, into a softer path of forward travel – and with a lightening load – is the coalface, the real thing. There is much joy and sunshine, and calm plateaus if we do the work of meditation. The path to end mental suffering is neither grim or cynical or romantic, it is in between: real compassion with joy.
The best Buddhists in my view are totally real about their downfalls, groundhog days, about the grim suffering of their lives, yet also manifest a clear joy, a vision of liberation walked step by step; who also share their joys, often non verbally. They are real and appeal to the heart, often with humour, vitality, wit, joy and a solid kind of realness. This too, is Paramananda’s style.

So I’m going to take extracts and let you get a flavour of his practice of compassion, his practice of loving kindness, with all the trails and trials, ‘boring’ bits and joys:

I found Paramananda’s A Deeper Beauty: Buddhist reflections on everyday life, clear, human and inspiring.

He has written a popular guide to meditation Change your Mind. Paramanada was born John Wilson in North London in 1955. From an early age he was curious about Eastern ideas, but it was not until the age of 23, after the death of his father, that his interest in Buddhism was aroused. At the same time, the focus of his life shifted from the world of politics, in which he had been active, to more spiritual concerns.

During his twenties Paramananda worked as a Psychiatric Social Worker.
He has also been involved in various types of voluntary work, including the Samaritans, drug detox, and more recently in a hospice.

In 1983 he came into contact with the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order and 2 years later was ordained into the Order itself. Since then he has been teaching meditation and Buddhism full-time. He sees as powerful tools for both individual and social change, and believes that service to the community is a vital aspect of practice. From 1993 to 2001 he lived in California where he was chairman of the San Francisco Buddhist Centre. He now lives in North London where he continues with his teaching and writing.


I have been walking a while
on the frozen Swedish fields
and I have seen no one.

In other parts of the world
people are born, live and die.
In a constant human crush.

To be visible all the time – to live
in a swarm of eyes –
surely that leaves its mark on the face.
Futures overladen with clay.

The low voices rise and fall
as they divide up
heaven, shadows, grains of sand.

I have to be myself
ten minutes every morning,
ten minutes every night,
and nothing to be done

we all line up to ask each other for help.



‘Solitude 2’, Tomas Transtromer (translator: Robert Bly).

Sitting in my London flat on rainy summers day, trying to figure out what to say in this introduction, I pull from my shelf one of my favourite anthologies of poetry. I open the book at random and find the above verses, which I cannot remember reading before. It seems as good a place as any to begin. I am particularly struck by the image of a man walking alone across frozen fields – and the 10 minutes the poet takes every morning and evening to be by himself. It reminds me of meditation, time taken to be more fully with oneself.

This book has developed put of nearly 20 years of attempting to convey the meaning I sometimes in Buddhist practice, in particular in meditation. I say ‘sometimes’ because the truth is I often lose the thread of that practice. ‘Being’ a Buddhist meditation teacher has not insulated me from the confusion and periodic despair of life. Despite what follows, I do not always manage to be mindful or even simply kind. I am in some sense a constant failure. Nevertheless, I do feel that over the years I have made some kind of small progress and I have become at least a little clearer about what is important to me.

If this book has a central theme it is the need to be ourselves, the relationship between this need and living in the world with others, and how to become more fully into the experience of being ourselves in such a way that this strengthened sense of ourselves finds positive relationship with others and with the world at large. This in lives that are increasingly full of activity that it often feels as though we are being pulled away from ourselves, pulled further and further away from ourselves, pulled further and further away, from a sense of who we are. Finding ourselves adrift in our lives with no sense of purpose beyond getting through each day with as much pleasure and as little pain as possible.

Perhaps I should say from the outset that I simply do not supply any definitive answers to the ills of modern life. I hope that on the whole I avoid telling you what you should or should not do. I hope that I raise points and issues that are worth taking a little time to reflect upon. Most importantly I hope that you, the reader, will be in some small way encouraged in your life. Despite the awful mess that we so often seem to make, on a personal and global level, there is something extraordinary about being here at all, and I hope that, like me, you will feel you would like to make the most of the magic of your life.

I have occasionally used terms not often found in most books written from a Buddhist perspective; for example, I refer to the ‘soul’ in several places. If you know even a little about Buddhism you will know that it strongly rejects the eternalism implied by such a term. However I employ it because for me it has a richness of texture that no other English terms seem to convey; it implies something that cannot be fully expressed in the language of science and logic. I use it, then, poetically in order to convey that we as human beings are more than the sum total of our biological and environmental conditioning. I use poetry for the same reason.

So while, with the help of my editor, I have attempted to be as clear as possible, the book is suggestive rather than prescriptive, in that I have attempted to capture the ‘atmosphere’ of what Buddhist practice means to me. In the appendix I have outlined the meditation practices I refer in the text, in case you are not familiar with them, although there is no substitute for learning from a teacher, and with others.

Within the Buddhist tradition there has always been a strong emphasis on individual experience, and it is in this spirit that the book should be read, by which I mean don’t take my word but judge what I have to say ion the light of your own exp; some it might ring true while some of it might not. Either way, I hope it encourages you to look afresh at your own practice- whatever that might be. In his poem ‘St Francis and the Sow’, Gathay Kinnell writes

the bud
stands for all things
even for those things that don’t flower,
everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;

meditation is a form of self-blessing that leads us deeper into our own heart, and in so doing reveals a door of beauty in the world around us.

From a CD cover case, from Johnny Solstice

It seems to me relevant:

”Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves ”who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of the universe. Playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel small around you. We are meant to shine as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of the universe within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously allows others to. As we are liberated from our own fear, we liberate others.”

Nelson Mandela

You can order
A Deeper Beauty: Buddhist reflections on everyday life and
& Change your Mind
through Tri Ratna Buddhist Order, Telephone 0113 244 5256
Leeds Buddhist Centre,
4th Floor, Bridge House email: enquiries@leedsbuddhistcentre.org
Hunslet Road web: http://www.leedsbuddhistcentre.org
Leeds LS10 1JN.

Near the Adelphi Pub; Tetley Art Gallery & Cafe

There are 2 beginners 10-week courses for medititors:
Mondays, 5.15 – 6.15pm
Wednesdays 12.45 – 1.30pm

or through http://www.amazon.com/seconds


A Friendly Competition for a New Logo?

In the meantime..


I attach the first of many sunflower photographs, this one from my allotment in Parkside. Beestonistan.

I do not know if the Sunflower (Helios) is any more native to the United Kingdom, but it some how feels much more appropriate.

I’m getting very fit from digging, sowing, weeding and planting on my allotment, and carrying 2 sacks of Gypsy horse manure from the waste ground that was a school, to my home.

My hands are now thickening up their palm skin, the winters writers hands are transforming, as everything is transforming, we are all free therefore, do you see?


Last year Tez took a wonderful picture of a Chestnut Brown Horse, on the ole school site, now demolished, of Matthew Murray High School.

Please send in your fave pictures folks, and what do you think to a suggested new logo for leedswellbeingblog?

Finally, did you know that half the flowers in our English gardens are not native? They are species, collected, mostly by Victorian Gardeners, and Botanists, around the time of the British Empire, (1750- 1945 roughly).

Gardening is good for the soul, it works off normal neurotic anxiety, worry, gives light and heart to living, and these sunflowers each had a pile of horse manure at their base, plenty of water and sunshine.

Horse shit to Sunflowers is my English version of the old Muddy Waters to Lotuses, symbolising cleansing and purification, settling down to pellucidity the truth that shines through all things, when we become Enlightened.

Milan Buddha Ghosh




Litter-picking; The Dharma Enhancing Life and rescuing the intestines of the earth, the fruits of ‘mundane’ practice

”Sees not the faults of the world” Sutra of Wei Lang


Perfect view, bhikkus, if it is helped by five things, has a lib of mind as its fruit… Perfect view is helped by virtue, by wide learning, by discussion, by tranquillity and insight.

Why shouldn’t you feel personally inspired when taking the rubbish out [or picking it up, not just your own litter, but others out of joyful compassion]? Like many Mahayana sutras, this relates to how bodhisattvas behave, practice, live. Yet it describes their response as aesthetic and appreciative rather than utilitarian. Taking up a bit of reality here or some work there, Bodhisattvas will surround it with beauty – which is why they are so effective – and why taking out the rubbish will be inspiring.

Litter-picking & The Dharma
Enhancing Life and rescuing the intestines of the earth, the fruits of ‘mundane’ practice

Milan Ghosh February 2010

I lost a 15-page article on this subject, it took weeks to write, now it’s litter, mere rubbish, gone, gone, gone. How tiresome, so here we go again, writing it all again. Here is a shortened reincarnation of that rubbish article (GROAN!).

I litter pick because ”I don’t like litter”,
People ask me why I litter-pick, mostly there are friendly eyes watching, mostly friendly questions, or tone of voice, but a few fools, ask why sarcastically. And even call me names such as ”Weirdo” ,”He’s ‘mad”’ etc. It’s their loss. Those who are content have no wish to harm. But one can’t teach a fool. I am only wise fool, picking up litter daily on my way wherever I go, in town in Holbeck, near Elland Road where I live, wherever I go e.g. Chapeltown and Harehills,

Why don’t I like litter?
Well it’s an eyesore unnecessary contagious, so I try to reverse this negative contagion, making the negative downward stream flow backwards uphill to the positive open heart. And, yes, there really is no such thing as a small act of kindness in what can be a cruel world – I think of the world now more like Samsara-Nirvana, full of skilful people as well as the ‘negative’. The wider context cultivates a certain type of emptiness in which negative consequences, are less, then eradicated, ignorance and unwholesome actions are no more. I can meditate on this when litter-picking.

It’s decadent. Most of us could do better and just practice patient love for the world, others and ourselves included, because litter degrades us. Surely we can be patient, forbear time and trouble until we get to a litter bin or home before we drop it where it belongs.

Because its about recycling

Because it generates friendship affection and community. Picking up litter creates new friends, from strangers. People sometimes give money, which I used to refuse; but it was blind to refuse such goodwill – simple metta.

Because it’s just the right thing to do. Litter is an eyesore, it pollutes water, kills wildlife; I even pick up bottles tops and splintered plastic forks on the road; otherwise if I don’t it would add to the billions of sea creatures killed by swallowing plastic fragments.

The Hierarchy of Litter-Picking -Firstly there’s the dangerous items; ahimsa; looking after all living things, the master harms no living thing.

Electrical waste contains flame retardants theo-bromates that contaminate groundwater, and the food chain and will damage nerves and brains.

Glass is bagged up and double bagged, from ‘witches knickers’, plaggy bags caught in trees, or on the ground, but not tied up, so as to prevent it bursting and littering again, and also to make easy depositing into local bottle banks. Energy, economy and balanced effort are manifest.

Dog poo is now often so dry and hollow, by rapid dehydration in a warmer climate, that I simply kick it into the gutter. Kids and adults can fall on it harming themselves, spreading worms and other diseases. I wash my trainers with some bleach in the machine every 2 days, and go Indian: only place them on the doormat, nowhere else. If people are repulsed by my shit-kicking, then I take the opportunity to educate them, with the above practices. It’s been easy to get more frequent street cleaning in our increasingly dense city, and dog warden patrols. Simply ask your local councillor; go to http://www.leeds.gov.uk. It’s a top issue along with street safety.

Organic waste food some salvageable, sealed in cans. Other organic waste decaying papers and food; I concentrate it in one pile each time I pass; take off the paths, concrete areas, into gardens, worms and other creatures too. Incidentally I rescue worms during the rain wherever I am passing off the paths and onto grass areas in parks. Man has created this obstruction for them and when its drier they die, so I rescue them.

Plastic: bottle tops, fragments, bags. metal cans are ripped open and sharp so I bag them up first, then deal only with the non-damaged ones. I put the metal cans into local green bins, even though, since the bin men’s strike 3 years ago, they throw recyclables to landfill, and do not use use the contamination tape, or their own system. Please email your local councillor, or write to him or her if you have problems with recycling street cleansing or litter.

There’s cannabis found dumped often with identifying materials such as clothes and personal papers, serial and batch numbers of goods such as PCs, by the allotment cul-de-sac. yards and by the allotment.  Give up drugs yourself, help others do so, have a lucid happy mind, and a more peaceful community. It is a complete myth that if a drug dealer is shopped to the police another immediately springs up. Buddhists have said this defeatism, but they do not report the dealers themselves to Crimestoppers 0800 55511 Dob in a Dealer or the police, do not observe the effect, do not speak from a ground of action, or practice. It would be at least twice as bad round here for drugs and all their effects, and it has been 5 times worse at least with their conduit gang who use the 2 motorway slip roads into South Leeds as an entry route. So I do not now take offence at such ignorant defeatism- I carry on content to make a difference.

For me my own life is not so important, and I am no longer suicidal – everyone’s life is worthy. So for little me the practice of fearlessness, courage and vajra is down to earth, inspired by a certain variety of Asian Buddhist such as Thich Nhat Hanh, and the good people of Chapeltown LS7 where I was bred. Initially it bred many good tings such as reggae and open-heartedness, but also violence, prostitution and money madness.
For me the dharma is not primarily intellectual, that is what I call a conceptual straitjacket, aka prapaunchya. I do aspire to read more, but I wish no longer for ordination, only to create a local community freer of drugs, crime and black-market greed, as well as lost souls. To provide what’s needed and wanted: community peace without too much thinking. Not to boast; however to let off steam in this difficult, but easier task.

I have noticed that some vegetarians, even vegans find leather so convenient they buy it for gloves shoes and other uses (related to this: a survey showed 1 in 7 vegetarians cheat and eat meat occasionally). I do not judge this unskilfulness in any way; firstly because we are all hypocrites until enlightenment, second part of the advice on the path, is to not judge anyone or anything in any way; to let yourself, see absolute reality. In my view the skilled teachers are always kind and appropriate to the trainees karma-personality; otherwise learners may not learn. See the Dalai Lamas book recommended below in References.

To help people, I suggest they only use leather shoes, boots, gloves picked up from the street, such as shoes, clothes, gloves especially useful for DIY jobs and gardening. Wash in a washing machine with a drop of bleach ensures germs are killed, but gloves, boots and shoes will not be blanched. And in this way no new demand is created by buying leather; reclamation, to my mind is a deep respect for the animals that have died to create it. Its also good environmental practice. They can be washed 2 or 3 times in a machine; soap powder has 5 percent bleach in it, so let go of ultra hygiene and mental comfort of uncleanliness.

I welcome your views; you can copy them to the LBC website, and forward them simultaneously to milanholbecksetan@yahoo.com.

I can provide reclaimed a/ litter-picked leather, and other strong gloves on request
c/o my 0787 168 9799, home or LBC; others can also take on this voluntary role.

It’s all about learning to live well with out metta, to see it as less difficult not as a daily task of trying to be loving and kind to others. The practice of loving kindness, not apathy or fighting battles is a challenge, however if we persist through consulting anyone not just Buddhists who are obviously more advanced in such down to earth love and community we shall progress.

This article is deliberately not over cognitive though I do think deeply; the fruits of litter-picking are abundance generosity, friendship, community, gratitude, compassionate love, rising above blame and praise; ethics: just ‘doing the right thing’ – to name a few.

Feedback is always welcome electronic or not. Environ-mental new ideas and practices for a better world are welcome too; thank you for your time and trouble.
If you feel fear, feel the infinite too, talk to friends, do it litter-picking – and anything wholesome too. Do not let self-consciousness, or being judged by others stop you meditating , contemplating reflecting, other practices or doing the right thing. ”Love yourself, always, today now and tomorrow….” the Buddha said in The Dammapada…”

The Dalai Lama The Power of Compassion Thorsons 1981: for discussion on Interdependence and emptiness correcting unskilful habits

The Novice Thich Nhat Hanh. In a general sense he displays diligence, joy, fearlessness, courage inspiration and compassion beyond belief. It is not directly related to environmental issues, but the transcendence he demonstrates removes neurotic thinking, and transforms and translates easily, often without words, into inspiration. You just know what your next step is.

The ‘Mischief’ Chapter in The Dhammapada: the Sayings of the Buddha Thomas Byrom Random House 1976

I, of course, also recommend Sangharakshita’s version of The Dhammapada, Windhorse. (Personally I do not like the lack of rhythm and rhyme, for I know this device helps people retain and understand the dhamma. However it is said it is a more accurate translation, and one can indeed see it is, so I read the two together.)

Also another good translation is E.K. Eswaran’s The Dhammapada, out of print, but there is a copy in the LBC Library; particularly useful is the long introduction explaining the culture and background to the Buddha’s sayings.

If anyone is keen enough to find spare copies, donate or buy them from amazon.com/seconds, I would be happy to organise the sharing and study between friends of not just this translation but all in fact, perhaps through LBC. We shall see

Please email milanholbeckestan@yahoo.com


What keep me well is saving some money/ munni in this 5 year long recession, being crafty, gladly to live from plentifulness not scarcity

How to Save Energy

Don’t throw out your old fridge or freezer, search the net for a man or electrician who will install a new thermostat, that’s usually the problem; thermostats cost around £30.
How much does a new fridge cost? I paid £250 in late 2000 – it only lasted 5 years; I use no fridge-freezer, partly now because of rising energy prices.

When buying new electrical appliances buy those as far as possible with energy rating efficiency A, not B, C, D or E.

Double triple quadruple glaze all your windows with either glass or plastic;
but search the net first for glazing that is sealed without any moisture in it.
You can glaze with heat stretchable plastic clear sheets, you can buy from a DIY/ Hardware store; its rather like cling-film. Using a hair-dryer to stretch tight and clear, once the film-plastic is attached to widow inner frames..

Install Secondary Glazing, or stretched plastic clear sheeting on the inside of your current double glazing so you have a 3rd barrier against the cold. Do this again if your window walls are wide enough for a 4th layer of glazing, in effect.

Could someone tell me if there is a way of making energy saving glass without removing and replacing current double glazing? Please email the website and let us know; so we can spread the word, of good practice. Probably mad, but is there a spray for windows that can treat ordinary glazing to make it energy-Efficient/ Saving?

I have made 3-4 inch thick Window Insulators from old sofa cushion, foam. I cover these with large plastic bags, because condensation can occur, but with these pressed up against the inside of the glass, there is far less. I use a stout plank to hold the window insulator against the glass behind the thick curtains.

Salvage old curtains that have been thrown out, as rubbish, in bins/ bin-yard, so often cloth is thrown out. Line your curtains 2 or 3 times, with salvaged discarded materials. I find velvet holds warm air in best. My own curtains have had 3 more sewn onto them – all these 3 extra layers were discarded curtains or sheets of cloths or a patchwork of smaller clothes, sewn together, completely free – bar the small laundry bill.

I have fitted thin slats of wood around my window frames with Velcro. The curtains are then edged with Velcro. The 2 stick together, with no gap between the rooms air and that cold air coming through the window from the outside. You could do the same.

An alternative, also done by me, is take large headed nails or screws, and nail the edges of curtains to the wall, or indirectly to a plan or strip of wood especially fitted for this purpose. I have left the head of screws or flat-topped nail a couple of millimetres out of the wall or plank, so as to make removal easier when the time comes. This also has the advantage, for light sleepers, of excluding early morning light and so promoting deeper sleep.

Turn down your thermostat by 1 or a few degrees. This will save you, I think it is at least 5 of your energy bill costs, it may be as high as 10% saving?

Claim your dues: if you are on certain benefits or a pensioner, an efficient boiler is greener, or loft insulation/ cavity wall insulation. Go to http://www.cab.org.uk to see which benefit claimants qualify for the Warm Home Discount.

How far do you want to go? The sky’s the limit:
Install trap doors covered in carpet and ensure they are very precise and closely fitting so there’s no gaps between doors and floors to prevent draughts. Then if they are used late at night and or your bedroom is upstairs then you can open up the trapdoor and the heat will rise up into your living room or bedroom so saving the cost of heating the room. These trapdoors are best made of string steel grills so that you just lift up the carpet and heat rises. This will only be worthwhile if, like me, you use only one room at a time, and most likely if you live alone.

Install an Energy-Efficient Wood Stove – the technology is enormously improved.
The exhaust fumes or most of it is recycled to burn the wood at high temperatures, creating less harmful emissions, as even the smoke is recycled and re-burnt, creating far less CO, CO2 emissions and other polluting or greenhouse gases. Please educate your young ones firmly not to go near the fire or play games near it as they can burn themselves.

At the same time beat the energy companies, by not using their nuclear gas coal fuels – instead scavenge your neighbourhood for waste wood. To prevent carcinogenic pollution please do not burn painted, varnished or wood with glue or plastic in it.
If you have a large garden then plant a coppice, you may know these are densely wooded areas of trees, whose trunks are cut regularly for bean poles, pea-sticks basket weaving etc. and firewood. These coppice woods are cut every few years so that a stool of stumps sprouts more young trunks or poles. These are used for plant supports e.g. runner beans or sunflowers or cut into logs for firewood. There are sustainable suppliers of organic green fuel logs just search the net, for local supplier to reduce emissions.

Join an energy smart club. Use a a clockwork radio care of freeplay.com South African one employs disabled people factory

Lobby the Government for things like 8 watt energy light bulbs, industrial and domestic,
a light bulb that lasts 40 years and that uses even less energy-efficient.

Solar powered Security lights can be bout e.g. ROLSON QUALITY PIRI LIGHT £25-00

LEDs as far as possible use these a instead of a 40 watt light bulb. 60 watt bulbs have been banned now I understand by Govt. law,

Get informed, see Friends of the Earth for update website http://www.friendsoftheearth

Go to social media for environmental campaigns. Never give up on the planet. No one can lose and we can stop further storms, floods, destruction if we band together and lobby the Govt. write to our MPs.

Use solar, kinetic and solenoid as well as wind up torches, clocks, radios, TV even. Keep searching the net, or get a younger or friend to to find and buy these devices, but also avoid fraud. Consult Friends of the Earth for a list of reliable suppliers.

E-mail milanholbeckestan@yahoo.com so I can compile a list, and rewrite or re-blog this article, so helping others save money, and the earth from the destructive power of greenhouse gases – the greenhouse effect is much worse than was previously thought (news reports Late March 2014).

Please sell your junk on giffgaff.com gumtree.com to pay for any new torches, glazing etc. LED lights which are a fraction of a watt, a fraction of the energy that devices normally require if we use only what we need with only enough reserves, then our mind becomes lucid, and content. We are happier more often. It will cost you nothing or a nominal fee to clarify the house that is your mind.

Consider giving up your TV. Is the BBC really value for money with so many fat-cat salaries and too many managers, who can’t stop bullying or stop sexual abuse by celebrities. The latter is entirely possible, so are proportionate wages, not salaries.
My view is that once you pay people so much after a certain amount they get complacent and do a bad job neglecting good practices. Equal ops the Beeb is not.
If you do give up your TV you’ll have more time, a clearer, a happier mind, you’ll do more productive things by yourself, and with others, you’ll save energy get more exercise, and you can still watch TV on the net, for no fee.

Do more exercise. Could you go for a brisk walk for even 29 minutes, either to get away from some annoying relation, friend or other? The walk can be enjoyed for its own sake or used as a healthy interlude, to use the situation of irritation more objectively. No one’s your father, or your PE teacher, it up to you. If you are to take up exercises then do it slowly; the adrenalin rush can mean trips, falls, muscles strung or in spasm so please do a little less than the adrenalin tells you. Toxins needs time to move out of your tissues muscle nerves, if you do it on a slow start warm up your mind will be clearer and happier. And you will sustain it – no need to be an athlete, half a miles walk is an achievement for many. Even 20 press-ups, not done at top speed get your heart beating and the circulation healthy you feel warm fit and glad you did, for at least 10 minutes double it to have 20 minutes warmth and feel the coursing blood. I do this at least 3 times a day, and I have arthritis of the left foot.

Put on more layered clothes. Mine are salvaged from the street. Clothes have got more expensive even in charity shops, even before the Recession, and its amazing what quality people chuck out. Ensure the clothes are not too tight otherwise breathing and feet and joints are restricted this is uncomfortable. Use fingerless hand mitts/gloves to keep warm and wear more clothes in layers, more air is trapped between layers of clothing, and this is what insulates your body from the cold.

Bedding. Find a manufacturer of really warm duvets for Autumn and Winter.
Find a space blanket that doesn’t tear; if you find these 2 things let me know: milanholbeckestan@yahoo.com

For your mind to conserve energy learn to relax, then later meditation. This is not a religious thing, it is simply to process the junk in your mind – unnecessary worry, lack of confidence, anxiety, thus then to appreciate beauty, and all the good things in life, for scarcity is in our mind. Society is unfair, and it should be so – do write to your MP, in the meantime we can cultivate contentment. My life is adverse with noisy neighbours yet I am one of the happiest people you could meet.

Funnily enough exercise can make your thoughts clearer, fears less and give you enthusiasm, meditation does all these things, and more. Meditation is about happiness increased beyond what you think happiness could be. Finally cultivate anything wholesome exercise, good friends meditation, gratitude to you mother and father, no matter how cruel they were, they can reform themselves to wise kindness and so can you, I have indeed. I am no one’s enemy and thus have great energy even in adversities.

Meditation and the friendly conversations of fellow meditators can help us really see how much we have materially even if we are poor or poorer than we used to be. These meditation-al conversations can help us be grateful for things and sky the clouds the trees the beauty everywhere even in industriality, even in the ugly.

Learn Tibetan thermo-generating meditation!
No! only a joke, for most of us, but for some its real – there is a Danish snow walker who walks great marathons, he learnt to conserve his energy by mind over body, consciously withdrawing blood and heat into his body’s core or centre. He learnt this technique form Tibetan Buddhist meditation teachers. I saw it on Channel 4 a few years back, he walks across Iceland for 10s of miles, completely naked. And never gets ill. Amazing!!

Be environ-mental save the planet and save mooney, find more freedom, be happy.Thank you for taking the time and trouble to set up saving energy – and money.

Please email milanholbeckestan@yahoo.com with any welcome comment or feedback; there’s only feedback, never failure

Milan Buddha Ghosh.


What keeps me well: Creativity – Being Environ-mental, Charity – mental, friends-mental budget mental in the Recession of our Times

Milan Buddha Ghosh, nicknamed as ‘the Bodhisattva of holbyeckeeestan’ (Holbeck) by my good friend of 33 years, Terence Simpson, What keeps me well, what inspires me … is many things but in particular Salvaging ‘Waste’ stuff from bin-yards the street, bins, fly-tipping by my allotment cul-de-sac. I salvage many t’ings (‘scuse me my Jah-maican stepdaddie’s tongue coming out in me, there, my father is from Calcutta, and my mum is English – from Preston, by the way) recyclables go in the green bin ALU and steel cans, plastic bottles, paper cardboard, and in the next blog there’ll be: Litter Picking and the Dharma, and rescuing the Intestines of the Earth What I want to focus on now is one item that keeps being lost, dumped, dropped deliberately or not, on the pavement. Gloves. There’s so many gloves, motorbike thick leather or fake leather glove , black as for men macho-ness? These motorbike gloves are shaped like a knight of olds gauntlet, (medieval and modern continue into each other, interesting). Yes, it’s very male, and sporting and strong. There’s kids gloves, pink and blue, and oh so tiny. These are mostly woollen, or fake wool, acrylic, nylon etc., synthetics. Kids mitts are so cute and very colourful, multicoloured, and they remind me of a different world. I wash them 1 twice or thrice, so they are completely clean, and then I put them in Holbeck’s Old Eland Road’s Clothing bank which is for single parents motherstrust.org.uk Please donate to clothing banks – mothers trust give old clothes to single parents, mostly mothers, who are one of the poorest groups in society. I peruse, as I pick up gloves, sometimes this lost world of my childhood, but people say I’m so playful funny, humorous, delightful, so I do know there’s 2nd childhood here, in middle age – I’m 49- not only old age. Maybe I’ll have a 3rd childhood then? There’s furry gloves with thick padding for winter, black smooth material, some with black grey fake fur on the worst part of the glove only, some totally in fur in fingers, and others without any fingers, all 4 digits merged into one. There’s less gloves in the spring and even less dropped in summer. When I pick them up they can be completely clean, even smelling nice of soap or perfume, or a bit wet, completely drenched, or drenched and muddy; whatever they all are thoroughly laundered. Did you know that soap powder has about 1 percent bleach in it, and together with the other cleaning ingredients I reckon there’s no problem in my wearing such gloves, because of hygiene. I never buy gloves, and in this Recession, every penny counts does it not? There are workmen’s gloves, in thick leather, very rigid stiff, with seams everywhere where fingers adjoin the palm of the glove, in pink, purple and grey with some patches in blue white stripes. There are cotton gloves coated with primrose yellow rubber solution, or rusty brown rubber; these have a elastic, cosy wrist to keep the road grit out for these workmen. I find these gloves by road-holes where utility men, or Yorkshire Water men work. Or near the building site of new social housing in Holbeck’s Brown Lane East. Gloves, gloves, gloves .These are the bits of reality, another set of bits of Huge Reality; and all the elements or phenomena are streaming, coming into being, being worn, then lost, dropped swept up by road sweepers deposited into landfill, or salvaged by a few caring green environ-mental souls like me. Gloves like all phenomena are being continually created and destroyed Gloves, or any phenomena, are meditay-shun non-objects; ‘itation for liberation, Rastas say. So if you need any spare gloves of any type you know what to do, salvage them from the street forget embarrassment-pride or self-consciousness just pick em up, launder them and wear them. I even give them to my friends like Robert, who mentioned he was short of gloves, and ”munni” he’s oft skint like me, so I told him where I get them from ( by the way an ear-worm or brain-graze: just call me mad, with such free, and daft associations, but they make life worth living humour does whenever I think money, I think munni, I think Buddha Shakyamunni, I think of the oil minister of Saudi Arabia when I were a lad 30 odd years ago, called Sheik Yemani?!). He didn’t mind. Every little helps, that we don’t spend in this 5 year Recession, and I don’t quite believe this Con Dem – more like Con Us Govt. a cabinet of millionaires ruling over the poor, disgraceful. I give them to the clothing bank, or charity shops, some after darning. I never buy gardeners or other gloves. Give the gloves a helping hand and the environ – ment too-ooo-oo!# Save a little money, by investing in a little soap and water, give kids gloves to your daughter, men’s gloves to men friends, women’s gloves to women friends, or your girlfriend., Make, salvage wash ’em and mend, or deposit them in the clothing bank, for http://www.motherstrust.org, or any of charity, whilst doing all this have a sense of being like me, totally free.


Make do and mend, gladly, so you don’t have to spend more than you have to, be an charity, and, Enviro -Friend; don’t drive yourself round the bend; what the mind dwells on it becomes. Dwell on love joy the best in humans, I do every day. I have learnt to be in love with life

M. b. Gosh.