Asia, Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe, UK

The Sunday Sermon – Yoga Nidra

My mouth will speak words of wisdom, the meditation of my heart will give you understanding – Psalm 49:3

And that rings true for my sensei, mindfulness mentor and fellow Tobagophile Sarah, or SLM as I call her… www.tobago.gov.tt and

Now SLM is my kind of teacher… she encourages you to put your body to sleep which is how I used to spend schooltime.

Lie back and think of Nidra

It’s called yoga nidra and it originates from India.

And there is no need to touch your toes… which I can only do when I’m sat down anyway.

It’s all about uncluttering the mind, relaxing the body in a prone position and giving yourself a break.

And talking about breaks this lockdown being my spiritual break from my Catholic chapel I reckon Jesus would approve.

Jesus loves you

I reckon he’d also endorse the Yoga Explorers retreats https://www.bookyogaretreats.com

Book Yoga Retreats lists a zen (I’m calling it the collective term for yoga) of retreats and helpfully flag up ‘Clean and Safe’ resorts.

Their other destinations will be heavenly I’m sure… it’s just helpful though to be guided by the experts.

And so without further adoooooo. Here is my pick…

Cornish classic

Three-days Escape From It All Yoga Weekend in Cornwall, England (Clean and Safe): You’ll have two yoga sessions a day, daily morning meditation and freshly prepared food with all diets provided for.

And all set in woodlands and minutes away from those cliffs and coves that we all remember from Poldark.

We’re not guaranteeing that you’ll look like Ross or Demelza at the end of it all but it can’t to any harm.

And you’ll get the three yoga styles of Restorative, Scaravelli and Nidra.

Airport transfers are available from Newquay Airport. From €443.

Thai’s the limit

Rejuvenating Detox, Yoga and Meditation Retreat, Thailand: And when you go all the way out to the Far East you’ll want to give yourself a fortnight to get the fullest of experiences.

And Wonderland Healing Center in Koh Pha Ngan, Surat Thani, will oblige. You’ll get a daily detox specialist, yoga, meditation, dance, sound healing, breath works… take breath!

Swimming pool, herbal steam sauna, herbal cleansers and nutritional supplements.

There are seven different styles of yoga and I’ll lie down and think of them all and then opt for Nidra. From €787 for 16 days/15 nights.

Spanish steps

Meditation and Yoga Therapy Way of Life, Valencia, Spain: And in this heat you’ll maybe not want to be ovestretching.

Yes, Nidra is on the menu here on the list of options.

This retreat we’re told is based on the Mindful and Heartfelt yoga practices as a way of life.

And if you like your chanting mantras Cullera Beach is the spot for you.

From €690 for seven days/six nights.

French fancy

Zen Yoga, Meditation, Deep Relaxation and Guided Walks, Vernodes, Dordogne, France: And the stress is on no stress… leaving behind the noise of the outside world.

And experience of Zen.

For me, Zen and the art of Murtycycle maintenance then.

From €402 for four days/three nights.

Portuguese man of ooooaaam

Rejuvenating Yoga Holiday, Ericeira, Portugal: And Moka Surf House are only offering a big Mongolian Yurt.

They promise chirping birds in the morning, the shadow of their ficus (no me neither but I’m willing to find out) from the afternoon sun and at sunset a terrace to relax on facing the sun.

And yes, Nidra

All a bit different from the tortures this woman put me through along the road at Quinto da Lago https://www.quintadolago.com/en/resort/.And check out the super SLM on www.slm-yoga.com.

America, Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland, UK

The Sunday Sermon – cultural appropriation

Here there is not a Greek and Jew, circumsised and uncircumcised. barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all – Colossians 3:11

Colossae, you ask? Well, it was a small Phygian city, near Laodicea about 100 miles from Ephesus in Asia Minor. Or today’s Turkey.

And I dare say the Colossians were being encouraged to embrace the new religious cult that was Christianity.

Just like the Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, Rastafarians et al did too as they spread their word around the world and sought to convert the uninitiated.

Maybe though religion isn’t your religion and you’re more into your music, whichever strand of the modern music that is which originated from Africa.

Mine’s would be the steel bands, or Soca music of Barbados www.visitbarbados.org, Let’s rumba in Barbados, My kiss with Rihanna and Tobago https://www.visittobago.gov.tt and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/.

And rock’n’roll which took hold in the Deep South of the USA https://www.deep-south-usa.com, The story of the Blues and The King of Kings.

I prefaced all this American Trilogy odyssey by walking in the footsteps of Dr Martin Luther King The Promised Land.

And while we will forever associate Dr King with his speeches and leadership of the Civil Rights Movement he was a product of his culture.

And one of his favourite songs was Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

Which the Woke Generation want English rugby to ban because they believe it is cultural appropriation.

But don’t we all take bits from each other’s culture and isn’t it how you view it?

I see it as cultural celebration, not cultural appropriation.

Holding a light up to society

There are a million examples between the cultures, colours, religions, sexes, nations.

But I will reference here the Oscar-winning movie Green Book where the protagonists went on a physical and spiritual journey together.

And we were reminded that we don’t and never should fit into boxes.

And that black people can, and do, love European classical music and that there is no cultural appropriation here.

Breaking bread together: Green Book. www.imdb.com

As the urbane and gay pianist Dr Don Shirley said to his machismo Italian-Americans driver Frank ‘Tony Lip’ Vallelonga in this exchange.

A cultural journey: Green Book

Tony Lip: You don’t know shit about your own people, what they eat, how they talk, how they live. You don’t even know who Little Richard is.

Dr Don Shirley: Oh, so knowing who Little Richard is makes you blacker than me?

And the life lesson and moral of the story: Dr Don and Tony Lip became lifelong friends.

As they embraced a human bond, and did not allow a cultural barrier to be put up between them.

VIVE LA DIFFERENCE

Adventure, Asia, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Sport, UK

My Sporting Weekend – cow fighting breaks out

Lockdown has stopped us humans competing against each other but animals continue to do it, well, naturally.

I got to hear of the strange sport of Combat de Reines In Switzerland where cows fight each other www.myswitzerland.com and Swhisskey on the rocks.

And I intend to make it my mission to seek out this ultimate moortial (sorry) arts duel on my travels as well as these other animal v animal contests.

Kicking seven cow bells out of each other

A bit of stewarding doesn’t go amiss

Combat de Reines, Switzerland: These contests date back to the 1920s when the skiers were on a break in the summer.

And they attract as many as 50,000 spectators across the season.

Although I’m assuming the cows are happy to fight behind closed doors (or in the open field) without us there.

The mootivation (ouch) for the cows is herd dominance although some need jivvying up and prefer to munch the grass.

Camel ye, come all ye

And in the red corner. https://wrestlingtv.in/have-you-heard-of-camel-wrestling-check-how-popular-it-is-in-turkey/

Camel wrestling, Turkey, Middle East, Asia: And your otherwise loping humpy desert dweller will bear his teeth…

If you try to jostle him along. Or put a female camel on heat between two males.

So not that different from humans then really.

The season is November to March so there’s still hope.

And here’s some Turkish delights and Jordanian japes to tantalise you… https://www.goturkeytourism.com and Wham bam, thank you Hamam. And www.gadventures.com, www.visitjordan.com and Wham bam, thank you Hamam.

Herd up your haggises

http://www.facebook.com

Haggis hurling, Scotland: OK, this isn’t actually a sport but try telling that to the young Irish group I was with a couple of years ago.

Dry-witted Aberdonian Stevie informed our party that because we were running late he’d have to take the haggis farm off the agenda.

Distracted by another question Stevie might not have returned to the subject.

Had I not reminded him and warned him that this might yet appear in their articles as fact.

Invented in 1977 by a Robin Dunseath in 1977 it is still going strong. And check out www.visitabdn.com and Aberdeen – a light in the north and wwwvisitscotland.com.

One for the puperazzi

Catch that wave

Dog surfing, Huntington Beach, California: And to think I might never have learned about this sport of canines had I not pried.

The good folk of HB had invited me out for breakfast in Dublin to tell me about their new hotels and I probed them for info about their beaches.

I discovered that they have a popular annual dog surfing competition and that Garrett McNamara and his Brazilian labrador Bono lead the way.

And no, I never did hear if this Bono wore shades too all the time. Maybe the next time I get out to HB I’ll check it out.

Visit https://www.surfcityusa.com, www.visitcalifornia.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/19/my-weekend-with-marilyn-2/amp/.

I haven’t heard if September’s big surf is going ahead but the Pacific is a big ocean.

Acting the goat

Goat racing, Tobago: And a skill I got me, Marsha.

Marsha had gone through our coach asking us what we were good at, with housebuilder Antony scoring highest and me lowest.

But I showed her! Me and my goat Bandanaman only beat Antony and his kid in the goat race.

The big event is held in Buccoo at Easter and if there’s any justice myself and Bandanaman will be at the starter’s gate.

Although I might pass on the crab race.

Visit https://www.visittobago.gov.tt and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/.

Caribbean, Countries, Culture, Europe

The end of different loo signs?

Life after COVID-19 and the queues for the unisex toilets are snaking down the corridor.

And those men’s and women’s toilet signs will get eased out to be replaced with such as this…

Social distancing?

Although I’ve never seen a desperate woman hold herself like this.

So with the British Toilet Association saying rest rooms will soon become rush rooms…

Here’s a nostalgic look back at funky loo signs around the world.

It’s all Greek to me

Athens, Greece: And you can see that these signs are modelled on Socrates and Mrs Socrates although they both need a good feed.

Visit https://athensattica.com and My Greek odyssey.

Two loos from Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the Netherlands: And in the converted mosque restaurant that is Bazar https://www.hotelbazar.nl/en/restaurant-bazar-amsterdam/ in the great Dutch city the theme is Arabic.

See www.iamsterdam.com and Pictures of Amsterdam and George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel.

Washed out in Austria

Ehrwald, Tyrol: And the backdrop naturally is the snow.

They love a loo in Austria so much so that a new revolving loo is an occasion… and I’m not making this up.

See www.topflight.ie, www.topflightforschools.ie, https://www.tyrol.com/places/a-ehrwald.

Split toilets

Croatia: And forget the manspreading, they womanspread in Split (well, that figures).

They’d be a bit more demure in holy Medjugorje.

Visit Croatia Tours http://www.croatia.ie, Marian Pilgrimages www.marian.ie and http://www.medjugorje.org.uk.

Too much to drink?

Prague: And a shining example of Prague design which is eclectic between Baroque to grim Communist to modernist David Cerny.

Visit www.czechtourism.com and Hope springs eternal and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/02/21/bye-bye-baby-cernys-prague/amp/.

T&T pee and pee

And you’re asking your Tobagonian lady to stand still.

This woman on the sign is either coming from Sunday School (that’s a dance).

See https://www.visittobago.gov.tt and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/amp/.

Auf Wiedersehen pet!

Munich: And then there’s the one-legged woman. You must be really desperate.

Visit https://www.munich.travel/en?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIssyFkd3Y6QIVxbHtCh1qJAgJEAAYASAAEgKdfvD_BwE.

What’s your favourite loo sign from around the world? Tell me and I’ll share.

And one to ponder on in the queue, a sign on a wall in a bar in the IFC, Ireland’s Financial Centre…

‘Men left, women always right.’

MEET YOU IN THE QUEUE

America, Countries, Culture, Europe, Food & Wine, Ireland, UK

Hungry and Thursday – barflying around the globe

What’s hospitable about a UK Hospitality industry that wants to bar us (sorry) from sitting at the bar?

But that’s what they’re proposing to the British Government postlockdown.

Many an hour (or day) I’ve spent sat on a stool getting to know the locals, and most importantly the barman in some foreign clime.

And these are just some of the bar stools where I’ve wedged my backside.

Now I’m aware that this column has been over this territory before https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/02/13/hungry-and-thursday-the-best-bar-none-on-my-travels/amp/.

But these selections aren’t marked on the best bars but the best bars if you see what I mean.

Bustin’ Boston

Irish-America: A Boston institution

The Black Rose, Boston (https://www.blackroseboston.com): Norm Peterson is my all-time drinking hero (now my big pal Finlay has gone to the Great Saloon in the sky).

My friend Neily worked with the Cheers franchise on their carts (the exterior of the bar is the same but the interior was Hollywood) I worked at the Black Rose.

Where every night an Irish-American sang standards (and I can’t get The Black Velvet Band out my head) and at the end of play the boss gave the staff a couple pf pints.

See https://www.bostonusa.com.

I belong to Glasgow, mon

A Glasgow handshake: With Karl in Tobago

Glasgow’s Bar, Tobago Parlatuvier Bay, Tobago: Now Glasgow bars have improved since my childhood when there would be grills on the windows.

The common denominator here is that this is Karl Glasgow’s gaff where the locals, many of them workmen stop by to eat and drink at the bar and look out at this.

See https://www.visittobago.gov.tt and https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2eXQLwnehuQ.

Mary’s spirit

Irish to the core: Mary’s Bar in Dublin

Mary’s Bar, Wicklow Street, Dublin (https://marysbar.ie): And this bar off the best shopping thoroughfare in the Irish capital. Grafton Street, has it all…

They have a quid pro quo relationship with WOWBURGER downstairs and you can take your beer, burger and chips up and sit at the bar.

Where you obviously wash it down with a stout. See www.visitdublin.com.

Do you want ice with that?

The Ice Bar, Jungraujoch, Switzerland: And good luck with keeping us away from the bar here – it’s only two or three deep.

Because it’s at the top of the Jungfrau in the Bernese Alps.

Still, there’s a curling rink and they serve Swhiskey… www.myswitzerland.com and Swhisskey on the rocks.

Home comforts

Learning at the bar: My Uni bar, the St Machar

St Machar Bar, Aberdeen: They say ‘never go back’ and when I did Jim had gone so the doors weren’t thrown open at closing time.

Linda too, with her doorstep sandwiches.

I wouldn’t want to go to University these days…

MEET YOU IN THE BAR

America, Countries, Culture, Europe

Life’s a drag… queen

There’s no photographic evidence that it ever happened and I don’t know what it says about the ‘nurse’ who agreed to date the drag queen me.

Nursie clearly had second thoughts the following day and didn’t turn up at the bar.

Although my much-storied Australian flatmates had great fun in telling me every five minutes that I’d missed her.

All of which diva prancing around (the occasion was a student ‘Tarts and Tramps’ party.

Oh Nicki, you’re so fine: Ms Minaj

Where the guys dressed as women and the women as hobos) brings me to RuPaul’s new season of Drag Race which also showcases Nicki Minaj and Michelle Visage.

Which is, thanks to Daddy’s Little Girl, a big fave in our house.

I particularly love RuPaul and the beautifully pink Trini, that’s Trinidadian and Tobagonian to you and me Nicki Minaj.

And as you know I love a bit of colour and make-up and slapped it on in Tobago in December.

While Nicki also likes to tear it up at Tobago carnival… www.tobago.gov.tt and Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago. And https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lt9dXQ-YmZ8.

All of which stuff and nonsense allows me to talk about the divine divas I’ve sashayed with on my travels.

Sugsr bum-bum: The Drag Race girls

Vegas baby

Cami, Las Vegas: What happens in Harrah’s in Vegas stays in Harrah’s in Vegas.

Dance the night away

And when that mad. glad joint off the Strip kicks into life again then myself, my travel companions and Cami who comes down from Utah will be there.

Now who wants a shot… and a drink too?

Visit www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic

Pride of Barcelona

Pride, Barcelona: Barca. the football team may be the pride of the Catalonians.

And Lionel Messi… but how about Lionel Missy?

I’ve been watching too much Drag Race… my favourite is Heidi N Closet from Missouri.

While my Drag Name is Shirley Brassy.

But sun on your back, on the streets of Barcelona with a Sangria Familia is where to spend Pride.

And it’s the perfect place to kick off your cruise when we get back on the water.

Visit https://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/, and www.msc.com.

Dee-Dee and Me-Me

Purple reigns in Barbados

Dee-Dee, Barbados: Don’t smudge my make-up, mon.’

But the husky-voiced Dee-Dee broke out a smile that was as warm as the Barbados night on Crop Over at Barbados Carnival.

I was in for a dime in for a Bajan dollar with my purple painted beard.

Visit https://www.visitbarbados.org and My kiss with Rihanna.

LA is my laddie

LA -La

LA ladies, Anaheim: ‘At last my man has come along’… she could have been singing to me at Platinum Triangle in Anaheim on Pride night.

We stole a moment later and a pic for my scrapbook.

But what kind of gentleman am I… I forgot her name and didn’t call.

Visit https://visitanaheim.org www.visitcalifornia.com and My Weekend With Marilyn.