Pester and TSB

Just an update here. Dr Pester is finally off after making a complete mess of TSB. I have been waiting for 5 months now to receive an apology for the May fraud mess I got caught up in. Disappointing that it has taken so long. He leaves with a significant golden handshake. On Monday apparently TSB apologised to customers- not to me as far as I know.

“Mr Pester walks away with a payout worth nearly £1.7m, made up of £1.2m severance pay and a “historical” bonus of around £480,000 from before TSB’s takeover by Sabadell in 2015. All other performance-related pay – including a bonus linked to the customer migration – was frozen amid investigations into the IT fiasco.”

richard meddings by TIM TSB

 

dr paul pester TSB by TIM

trapped in TSB

Entering a second week of chaos as a victim of the TSB fraud. The fraud is bad enough but the contempt of the TSB call centres is astonishing. This morning I was finally called back by the fraud team, but the agent who spoke to me was from the internet fraud department and she felt it was better to speak to the debit card fraud department. I finally got through to Mike this evening (“We do not use surnames”). He had a quick check and then decided I should be dealt with by the internet fraud team after all, and transferred me. Back in a queue on hold and now in the knowledge that the fraud office closes any minute. It is absurd.

Earlier, Dr Paul Pester was criticised by The Treasury Select Committee for failing to realise the scale of the problem.

dr paul pester TSB by TIM

WATER

Here are some notes which were prepared for a school…do feel free to borrow as you wish.

the illustrations are fun

ZEN BUDDHISM:

In Japan, in Buddhist temples you will sometimes see a basin called a “tsukubai” which is used for washing before ceremonies. It is also used in the tea ceremony People wash their hands or mouth at the “tsukubai”. It is on the ground so you must crouch. The word “tsukubai” means “to bow down” or “to crouch”

The tsukubai are made of stone and have a small spoon to scoop out water and pour it on your hands etc. both the person giving and the person receiving HOSPITALITY plays an important role in the ceremony.

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The Japanese tea ceremony is part of this image of pure water Note the kanji (special ceremonial/religious writing) from the first picture and the translation below. Everything has a meaning

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 11.39.32.pngThe tea ceremony (Cha-e 茶会) involves waiting. Guests come into the tea garden from an outer garden called the Yoritsuki. They wait in the KOSHIKAKE MACHIAI before they are invited into the teahouse.

They walk down the garden path (ROJI) and they are made to feel they are entering a different world. Time is slower.

The Teishu opens a sliding door to the teahouse (Chasitsu: 茶室) to greet the guests

 

Guests begin the ceremony by washing their hands at the Tsukubai

The floor of the teahouse is covered with Enza (special mats)

People kneel on the floor

They are given tea by the TEISHU (tea maker/ host)

They eat WAGASHI (sweets) and drink tea.

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THINKING ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING

The tea ceremony is about doing something very simple in a perfect way. It is about hospitality and it is about making simple things beautiful.

 

It is about THINKING about what you are doing.

Most of the time, we do not think about what we are doing. We listen to music. We talk. We think about OTHER things.

The tea ceremony shows us about conscious learning.

This is something that we practice in mediation.

Forms of meditation exist in all the main religious traditions.

 

 

 

 

 

HINDUISM
Brahmins follow the strictest idea of ceremonial washing.

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Many Brahmin wash in the holy river Ganges.

(the man in the picture is wearing the “sacred thread” or UPAVITA which shows he is following a guru or teacher. The sacred thread is won in the same way -over the left shoulder- that a woman will wear a sari)

Every year, up to 40 million people travel to the river Ganges to wash. (Pilgrimage)

A Pilgrimage is a journey where people feel they are doing something to get closer to God. Pilgrimage happens in all the main religions.

Hindus try to make one pilgrimage in their lifetime. The river Ganges is a favourite place of pilgrimage. It is sacred to the Goddess GANGA. Bathing in the river washes people of their sins and helps people to MOKSHA (Release from death as well or “awakening” and it also leads to a greater knowledge of themselves)But many people also travel to sacred mountains and temples linked to particular gods and goddesses

 

Some people believe in achamana which is drinking and touching pure water from the palm of the hand (this is an important p[art of Brahmin rituals but actually any Hindu can perform this ritual) when reciting special prayers called Mantras

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It also involves putting a tilaka on your forehead

Special washing ceremonies called Punyahavachanam are used before marriage, Homa. Water is generally sprinked on people (ASPERGES)

Traditionally, the bride’s parents wash the feet of the groom before the wedding.

Abhisheka: a deity’s murti or image is washed in water, milk, yoghurt ghee, rosewater

It is an important part of the ritual of a coronation (does not happen very often now!)

When a death happens, Hindus may take a bath to clean themselves

Women often take a bath after they have a period.

Many of these traditions are shared across the various faiths.

ISLAM

Before praying, Muslims wash: they wash hands, mouth, nostrils, arms, feet and head It is called “al WUDU” الوضو In Turkish and Albanian, this is known as “abdest”, and in Persian as “dast-Namaz” (literally means: “Before praying” The word Namaz in Punjabi/Sanskrit/Persian means “Prayer”)

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1) After receiving the bread and wine, a priest washes his/her hands in the Anglican/Catholic/Orthodox Church

2) On Ash Wednesday a mark is made with ashes on people’s foreheads. What do you think this symbolizes?

3) Catholics believe that Baptism washes away people’s “original sin”

4) Baptism is a form of “initiation” (Beginning)

Initiation: an important word. Do you remember we talked about the way we “initiate” a class- how does a class begin? When does a class begin?

5) In Judaism people often visit the MIKVEH if they are “unclean”, that is if they have been in contact with dead people, blood –

6) Many people in Christianity make pilgrimages to Rome, Jerusalem (2 million tourists a year), and in the middle ages, people famously travelled from across the kingdom to Canterbury where ArchBishop Thomas a Becket had died. A famous book called “the Canterbury Tales” was written about the journey and the stories people told to each other. Some of the stories are serious and some are very funny. The book is one of the first great bits of English writing by Geoffrey Chaucer.

Sikhs may visit the golden temple of Amritsar. Hindus may visit the Vaishno Devi Temple in the mountains of Kashmir. Buddhists may visit the Bodhi tree or life tree where Gautama meditated for 49 days before his enlightenment. 13 million Muslims visit Mecca every year. In Mexico, 10 million Catholics visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

7) Meditation. There are many forms of meditation in Christianity. In Catholicism, some people say the ROSARY (a series of prayers based on a string of 50 beads), some Orthodox Christians recite the “Jesus Prayer”, some Christians believe in silent prayer. There is a tradition in Sufu Islam of dancing (the Whirling dervish). In Hinduism and Buddhism people often use a simple word or mantra repeated over and over again. They feel this is relaxing and brings them closer to God.

Some people practice meditation without religious belief. It can be a very therapeutic exercise (therapeutic/ therapy- from the greek θεραπεύω I serve, cure, heal)

8) Sharing a meal, hospitality. Remember the story of Abraham and the 3 angels. In Christianity, Hospitality might involve “Holy Communion” where Christians celebrate their community together by sharing a simple meal. “Eucharist” simply means “thankyou”.

9) Images and words help us to “enter another world” and to concentrate.

10) Icons, statues and religious pictures are sometimes blessed and washed in Christian ceremonies. On the first sunday of Lent in Orthodox Churches, it is traditional to bring icons to church to bless them and carry them in procession.

 

Power and the Pope

I did a small film over the weekend about Plato and power. It was a bit of a rethink of the “How to Be Boss” film but the principles are the same. At what point is power invested in someone and at what point is someone grabbing at power.

The theatre, politics and education are worlds that attract a lot of aggression. People love to create their own empires without necessarily doing anything of value. Sadly, there are always casualties.

film title pope and tim

 

 

Finished teddy

A cross between Rackham and Mabel Attwell

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Prolific and cute, eventually picked up by cleaning products, Mabel Lucie Attwell is among the great british illustrators of the early 1900s. Like Rackham, she also illustrated JM Barrie’s “Peter and Wendy”. She also produced stuff for the illustrated London News and Tatler.

Authority and Luther

Who has the right to make decisions. This is really what lies behind Luther’s reformation. It is 500 years today since Luther nailed his theses to the door. Disestablishmentism, the possibility of the separation  of church and state, secularism, the rise of nationalism and so on, pushed forward by advances in printing which unified german language, arguably paved the way for Shakespeare, established ideas of individualism and led to general agreements on spelling and grammar. New technology, democracy and so on.

That said, Luther’s sense of humour, general manner and anti-semitism do not commend him much. It is entertaining to reflect that in writing against Luther (or getting Thomas More to write against Luther), Henry VIII earnt the crown the title “Defensor fidei” from Leo X in 1521, something retained today by the present queen (by an act of parliament to Edward, his son) and printed on all our coins. Ironic that having earnt this title by writing of the value of the 7 sacraments, most of them would be ditched in the established Anglican church. When Luther responded to henry’s initial book, Thomas More certainly wrote the reply, “Responsio ad Lutherum”.

martin luther theses by TIM

 

Mrs Merkel Martin Luther by TIM

 

The Balfour declaration

On 2nd November, it will be 100 years since the Balfour Declaration:

balfour declaration by TIM

 

 

The Balfour declaration followed shortly after the Battle of Beersheba, one of the last great cavalry charges in history, that led the way to General Allenby’s entry to Jerusalem. Like the Gallipoli campaign, this was an Australian/ New Zealand effort though there is a significant role played by the 60th (London) and 75th divisions of the XX corps and the Egyptian Expeditionary force (commanded by Allenby). But it was the Australian cavalry charge weilding bayonets that carried the day. On the Ottoman side was Enver Pasha

enver pasha

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Abingdon redrawn

Just working on a new version of the Abingdon picture- here is a progress drawing-

Here is the original picture which is now being updated and expanded taking in the whole vista looking towards the church. Essentially, it requires redrawing almost from scratch!

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re-doing the shops on the right-

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old man on a bike-

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cobbles

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more cobbles

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and a little more-

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Almost complete: (23rd December!)

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