Friday, 22 April 2011

The Pipe Smoker.

Funny the things that can set me off at a tangent. No wonder I'm so hopeless at getting things done. Today my mission in life was to get my lawn mower working. I was out there in the shed fiddling about with spanners and screw drivers, pretending I knew what I was doing, when I really do not have a clue about things mechanical.
I have a comprehensive list of what could possibly be wrong with the lawnmower because I googled the not working symptoms and I now have an encyclopedic knowledge of my particular make, the Countax K14. Unfortunately, even if I possessed a first class honours degree in lawnmowing machinery from Oxbridge university I would still lack the mechanical skills to turn theory into fact.
So I did what I usually do when I am stuck with a problem. I turned to Buddhist philosophy. The one I most like is this. If a problem can be solved it is not a problem, and if it can't be solved it is not worth worrying about. I decided to put aside my mechanical aspirations, and threw the spanners back into their box.
Now what to do next. Obviously the grass wasn't going to get cut. But there is still the driveway to be tidied, and I need to make a nesting box for the broody hen. Sadie's kennel requires a bit of attention, and definitely, I must sort out the studio. There is still a lot of painting to be done on my wagon and... Oh what the hell! Lets go for a nice walk.
It was still quite early, so not too hot, and the sun was warm and pleasant on my back. I called Sadie, the German Shepherd, who being the loyal and faithful hound that she is, was indoors sleeping on my favourite chair.
Our regular and familiar walk, is a circuitous route, part of which takes us through the local park. It was here that I noticed the elderly man sitting on a bench, smoking a pipe. He had removed his jacket and rolled up his shirt sleeves, and looked so relaxed, and delightfully old fashioned as he puffed away.
Seemingly lost in thought, he appeared to be unaware of our presence as we passed by. The scent of tobacco was wafted towards me and the pleasing aroma brought to mind memories of my childhood, when pipe smoking was a perfectly normal and acceptable practice.
It is a long time since I gave up smoking, but I remembered as we walked home, Sadie and I, that I had a pipe of my own somewhere in the back of a cupboard. I decided to look it out. Not to smoke of course, but just for the nostalgic pleasure.
Now look here, I may be getting on a bit, but sometimes I still get a childish pleasure out of things. Which is how I came to be posing in front of the mirror, pipe between my teeth, deciding what angle I looked best at. Yes indeed , after careful consideration, I have decided that my pipe lends me an air of intelligence. A contemplative sophistication. A look of distinction. In short, I think I look good with a pipe. What do you think?
Hmmm.. Perhaps I should take up smoking again? Can't quite make my mind up. Hmmm...
Thinking about it, I don't have to actually light it. Perhaps I'll just suck on it for a while, as I intelligently contemplate what to do about the damn lawnmower!


  1. I so love reading your posts. I don't always leave a comment but I read them all. I did not know it but I have been following your Buddhist philosophy my whole life. I don't believe in worry. It makes you old. I hope you don't lose the child in you... it is what makes your stories so fun.

  2. Thanks Emma. I am pleased you are enjoying my posts. I'm enjoying the writing of them. Nice comments from readers are the icing on my cake of enjoyment.