Today I spent quite a bit of time in front of the TV watching a funeral - the state funeral of Sir Ed.
Sir Ed. Or Sir Edmund Hillary, a Kiwi member of the 1953 British expedition to climb Mt Everest. He and his partner, Tensing Norgay, were the first to reach the summit, the first to stand on the top of the world and have what is probably the best view to be had on earth. When they got back to the rest of the team, his words to the team leader (and the rest of the world) were "We knocked the bugger off". Quite typical really, no grand speech, no rehearsed soundbite just a normal, ordinary comment from someone who regarded himself as a normal Kiwi bloke, not too bright, but with lots of determination. (to quote Sir Ed on Sir Ed).
I never met Sir Ed, but in a very real way, he was part of my family. Just as he was part of every Kiwi's family and every Sherpa family. Not really because he was the first on the top of Mt Everest, but because he was who he was - just an ordinary Kiwi bloke who did extra-ordinary things. Not just Mt Everest, but the South and North Pole, various river expeditions and many adventures. But what he gave back. He did not just climb the mountain and then walk away, he returned to Nepal and gave back. He gave back schools and roads and wells and hospitals and clinics though his foundation. He gave futures to a lot of Nepali children and health and happiness to many. They mourned him with us, as he was part of their families too.
He enbodied values that perhaps we have forgotten in the age of the www and fast everything and reality TV. He was honest and solid and good and kind and had a great sense of humour (even when it was pointed at himself). He could have become a world-wide celebrity (well he was in a way but not in the 'celebrity' way). Instead, he just remained a Kiwi bloke. He could have made much money but instead he concentrated on making money for others, for those he loved, the Sherpas.
He was once offer what was probably a lot of money to advertise a breakfast cereal. When he told the ad people that he did not think so as he did not actually eat that cereal, they told him it did not matter, he did not have to eat it, just make the ad and take the money. He said "but it mattered to him". Valuez like that do not seem to exist all that much anymore and more's the pity.
Thank you, Sir Ed. Thank you for what you have taught us throughout your life - to strive for the best whatever one's abilities and just always stay true to oneself; to treat life as an adventure and to enjoy every minute of it; to care and to give back and never ask for anything in return.
Bye, Sir Ed. The whole Kiwi/Sherpa 'family' will miss you.
Los lobos were pretty out-classed, but the interesting thing was - they did not care. They sang their national anthem with more pride and gusto than any of the top teams at the WC do. They played their hearts and guts out. They lost by an enourmous margin, but at the end of it all, every one of the Portuguese players had broad smiles on their faces and, probably, pride in their hearts. They embodied what sport should really be about when it is sport and not business. They had no chance of winning, but they played with every ounce of passion they had and, in the end, they were winners in the best possible way - the way of great sportsmen, something too many 'sportsmen' of today have forgotten!
Bravo, Los Lobos!
Well the world cup (The world cup of Rugby that is) is going quite nicely in France and various other places in Europe. The All Blacks have thumped Italy and tonight they are tackling Portugal. It's really a no win game for the AB's. Portugal is pretty much one of the minnows of rugby and are up for a hiding. The only thing that could come out of it badly for the AB's. are injuries to their players. Well, we can just hope they take it easy against Los Lobos and treat it almost like a training run.
But why the joy? Well SA thumped, yea, really and truely thumped, the English team. The English are the current holders and they were white-washed 36-0! YAY! This could be the first time, the WC holders don't get out of the round-robin round. Now, that would be fine, in deed!
I've always been pretty interested in past lives and sould/spirits, auras, etc, but really don't know anything much about them. I've read a bit but that's about the extent of my knowledge. Well, yesterday was very interesting. A friend of mine came to visit me for a chat and coffee. I don't see him often as he lives quite far away. Now, a few years ago he had a stroke - seriousish but recoverable. But this stroke seems to have "opened" his mind to things that are not quite of ... um ... this plane. He's psychic and "sees" things.
We started chatting about spirits and souls and things and then I said something lighthearted about having thought that in a past life I must have been hanged or perhaps beheaded as, in this life, I cannot stand anything touching my neck - not jerseys, not polo-necks, not bedclothes, not people (well not always). He suddenly looked at me and said - Yes, it was in pre-Roman Britain, your small village was attacked and you were all massacred. Wow! He told me quite a bit about his previous lives - travelling down the coast of southern Africa in about 1640's; in Roman Britain, travelling in a chariot that was ambushed; in Spain with Wellington (he's also a Sharpe fan!); a British pilot from a squadron (Hurricanes) who were stationed in Russia during WWII.
Then we talked some more and he suddenly said you have a little girl standing at your shoulder. She's about 8-10 and quite primly and smartly dressed. The only person I can think of was my best friend when I was 7 or 8. She got a bicycle for Christmas when she was about 8 and went out for her first ride. She fell off the bike and her her head on the curb and died from the brain damage. I've not thought about her in years, but it could be her. He also said he saw a black man, smallish, thin, smiling and kinda mischievious. And he had a sense of him looking after or playing with children. He said he almost expected him to jump up and down and laugh. Now this one I know. When I was younger, we (all the family and it was large) would go down to my Ouma and Oupa's place for Christmas. J was my Oupa's general factotum (for want of a better description) and he was the one who taught us how to fish and how to row and how to bait a hook and all kinds of other things. He was a wonderful baby-sitter for me and all my cousins. Somehow, the thought of him "visiting" me, made me feel very happy and cosy and comforted.
Finally, we got around to auras (after many detours about out of body experiences, past lives, etc) and he said my aura was a strong red colour. Now I am not sure what a red aura means, but is sounds ok to me. He also said to be careful as he was a brown patch around my right upper leg and perhaps I was going to injure it. I had not told him, but at the time I was having really had sciatica (or however one spells that) pain in that leg. Weird!
What a fascinating and interesting evening that was!
All in all, that was fascinating and, in a way, very reassuring and kinda comforting and perhaps, explains why I am so fascinated by British megalithic sites. Perhaps I actually worshipped at some of them previously.
Earlier this evening, I was trying to find something to watch on the TV. So I channel surfed through the few I have. I get Sky, but not the expensive version, so I only have about 20 or so. Flipping through these channels, I found lots of reality shows of various kinds and that got me thinking, which is generally a bad thing!
I got to pondering what happened to the cult of averageness, the beauty of the ordinary, the wonder of 'normal'. These reality shows always seem to cater for the extreme of some sort.
If you have some really freaky beliefs or ideas (like you boyfriend is the new messiah), there are programs for you to tell the world about it and be rewarded by the publicity of it.
If you are extremely beautiful and skinny and model-like, there are programs for you to win big prizes and publicity.
If you are over-weight and un-fit, there are programs where they will give you personal trainers and dieticians and equipment and help you get thinner and fitter and then give you prizes at the end of it all.
If your life is bad and you consider yourself disfunctional or your children are a danger to all around them or your husband is a cheater or you are addicted to something, there's always Dr Phil or those life coaches. They'll help you, cure you and give you stuff at the end of it.
If you are into eating bugs and disgusting things and hanging from helicopters and buildings, there are programs where you can win big; if you are a business fundi and like S&M, there is Trump and his apprentice; if you are into building choppers or re-building cars, you can do it on TV (for money probably).
So what happens to the good ordinary people, who are not beautiful or skinny or disfunctional or weight-challenged or whose kids are actually pretty good kids or who don't like eating bugs? What reality programs are there for them? Where is The Ordinary People Strike Back program? The one where the ordinary family with nice kids who are not model-like or over-weight get to be feted and patted on the back and told how great they are? Where are their trips to spas and holiday resorts? Where is their exercise equipment or fancy jobs or made-over houses?
Why do we just reward the extreme and not the mediocre? Mediocre and ordinary and normal and functional is good too! We're the salt of the earth, we're the ones who keep those wheels turning. Someone oughta give us some cudos too. Maybe, the PTB think ordinary is just boring. It ain't! But then maybe, ordinariness is reward in itself.
I just read the newspapers and I am now so totally pissed of (which is annoying cos I was in a great mood thanks the Beanie goodness and Beanie-fan even-betterness). A while ago, I wrote about the horrendous week we had down here in NZ. Four little girls where killed by their families. One of these was a toddler nicknamed Lilybing. Her "aunts" had abused her and as a result of her injuries she died, painfully. The aunts were sentanced to 6 years in jail for this. Too little, too late. But I thought at least they would get therapy and have time to consider their actions. Maybe they would get out of jail better people and this cycle of violence would not be continued.
Today, one of the aunts (Rachealle Namana) was released from jail. Her response? She was not reformed and it was not so bad cos she got to smoke P and download porn onto her cellphone. And that's punishment for bashing and burning and killing an innocent little girl? I can't even think or say or articulate what I think of that! In NZ, we like to think we're civilised and enlightened and that we can "reform" our offenders. Maybe we're wrong and we should just throw away the key on some people!
Lilybing wanted to grow up, she deserved to grow up; she wanted her life to be good and happy, she wanted her life, she deserved her life - Rachealle does not deserve hers. I just hope Rachealle never has access to another child, but I doubt anyone would stop her having more, that's her civil right and we're big on civil rights down here. But what about Lilybing's? Who cared for her right to life? CYPS cared, the judiciary cared, the community around her cared - year riiiiiiiiiiight. Too little, too late.