Return To The South
When the Student is ready, the Teacher will appear.
One of the most fundamental proverbs of human existence.
I first saw this in a book by the 'notorious' Indian guru, Osho. (Notorious because he died rich and famous, having gained a place in the Guinness Book of Records for owning the greatest number of Rolls Royce cars of anyone living).
Well, never mind, because in the ten years or so since I discovered this quotation, I've found it to be the truest of them all.
Drifting into an art class at the time that I did, and having work hung in an exhibition a year later (as in my previous post) is one of the most graphic (or artistic) examples of its accuracy.
Another instance was a few years before I had ever seen this quote.
Early in 1999 the chairman of the 'Friends of the SPRI' (a happy band of supporters with an enduring interest in the Polar Museum and its well-being) negotiated a substantial discount for a group voyage to Antarctica for the following January 2000, on a Russian icebreaker chartered by the tourist industry.
Over many years preceeding, I'd done a lot of homework on visiting Antarctica, including following the news of the first tourist voyage of the Lindblad Explorer. (Which spectacularly sank off the coast of Antarctica in 2007 after hitting an iceberg).
I had made serious enquiries off and on about tickets, but it never seemed to be 'the right time'.
Well, January 2000 was exactly 'the right time' and a nice discount dropped right into my lap, courtesy of the negotiating skills of the 'Friends' chairman.
- When the student is ready, the teacher will appear! - QED.
I'm still in touch with my cabin-mate from that voyage, and we had a beer together after the Captain Scott centenary memorial service in St Paul's earlier this year.
"What do you think about going back?" he asked.
Well! What can you say to that?
"It's the centenary year," he continued. "I've heard there are special events being arranged. We could go back to one or two places we've visited before. What do you think?"
I thought, people say itís not good to go back to such places, as they are never as you remember them and the disappointment can be considerable.
But Iíll take the risk.
We decided that's an excellent idea, so off we go!
Mike has found that the 2012 Shackleton Autumn School will be running a special programme of events, in Athy, Ireland. That's not far from the South Pole Inn where we'll make a return visit afterwards.
In the meantime, Mike, author of The S.S. Terra Nova, (the complete history of the expedition ship that Scott took on that fateful journey), is an accomplished traveller and researcher, and has produced a whimsically formal itinerary for us to keep track of our great adventure.
A few days before picking up Mike at Dublin Airport I'll be joining in with the Clancy Centenary Ride
from Dublin to Belfast. Should be a good outing, not as cold as Antarctica.
During the few days before that, I'm spending time in County Mayo, continuing the extensive research that my aunt and a great uncle have done into our family history
in the parish of Annagh. Between them they have reached as far back as 1841, with a record showing births as far back as 1801. I'm aiming to find the place where they lived in 1841 and trace the records back further if possible.
And, taking a moment to travel rapidly forwards in time for news of descendants, my two grandchildren and their Mum have launched themselves onto the pages of the Sunday newspaper. Click here for the full story!
The evening before I fly to Ireland, there's a preview for Robert Falcon Scott: A Century On
, the final Centenary exhibition at the Polar Museum. So mustn't miss that.
Will post a log of all findings on my return.
Lastly, yesterday was almost dry, so I set off on two feet to Fickleshole. And it looked wintry on the way.
It was indoor weather, and this seat was free. That'll do nicely.
On the return trek, the skies darkened making the Warlingham Park clock tower a touch more imposing against the ominous clouds.
Five past four already - must be a slow outing today.
Then the skies brighten up nicely.
Allowing the sun to sparkle on the wet ploughed furrows while the rain fell like stair rods.
Perhaps it wasn't almost dry afterall.
Posted by Ken Thomas at October 14, 2012 10:16 AM GMT