We got off the boat at Ambleside, the lovely town at the northern end of the lake. Wordsworth home is nearby and it is the start of many many of the famous walks in the Lake District. We had lunch , wandered in town and then I went on a walk to a waterfall nearby.

Lake Windermere

Thursday is our “day off” between sessions. Debbi, Jeff ( from Abbottsford) and I elect to take the outing which includes a cruise on Lake Windermere and a half day in Ambleside – all in teh heart of the Lake District. Here are the phots from the Lake Windermere Cruise. The boat – The Tern – has been cruising Lake Windermere for 120 years. WOW.

Vajrayogini and Bardsea

Today was another beautiful day.  Vajrayogini Empowerment in the morning.  Afterwards we walked to the tiny town of Bardsea, which is on a hill overlooking the sea, and had a nice Sunday lunch.

Play Practice

The last day of the festival (August 6) will be the play ” The Life of Buddha”.  I am in the choir !!!
After only three days of rehearsal we do a run through in the temple – because this is the only night the temple is free before the day of the play.  The choir gets to sit for the rehearsal, so I get an opportunity to get some pictures ( won’t be possible on the day of the play.)  Just imagine the costumes !

Festival – Days 1 to 5

We have certainly been blessed with lovely weather for the festival this year !
Day 0 ( Friday ) was Registration.
Days 1,2 and 3 were teachings.
Days 4 and 5 are retreat, where we have 5 sessions a day to medidate on the teachings.
Our teachers and meditation leaders are really wonderful and inspired.
When you add in 2 to 4 miles walking per day and 3 tasty vegetarian meals, you can see how it the whole event is healthy for body and mind.
Thursday we have a day off and then we return for the Empowerments (there will likely be 1000 more people as well !) .
The very last day of the Festival there is a play on The Life Of Buddha. I am lucky enough to be in the chorus and we practice every day. Our first walk through with the actors will be tomorrow ( Thursday) evening.
Everyone volunteers from some chore at the festival as well. The Canadians are on lunch dishwshing duty.. and a LOT of dishes there are.

Friends Arrive

Saturday, my friends and compatriots from Victoria arrive and Sunday morning we walk together to the Centre, taking in the sites – Laurel and Hardy, Hoad Hill, a cat in deep concentration, trees with a doorway, signs we don’t need yet ( or do we?), etc

Conishead Priory

Conishead Priory dates from the the 1100’s and is located on some 70 acres of wooded land. It includes significant beachfront and extensive gardens. You can read the early history by clicking on the first picture and then clicking on it again to get it full sized.
It is now owned by the New Kadampa Tradition – International Buddhist Union who are meticulously restoring the Priory. They have also built a beautiful Buddhist Temple on the grounds.
I am here for a 2 week Buddhist Festival which includes teachings, meditation and empowerment. It is truly a beautiful place for it and the teachings are inspiring me already. Here are some pictures of the priory. More on the temple and the festival doings in future posts.

Canal and Beach

Shaking off the jet lag on my first full day in England, I headed out at 11 am for exploration. After getting a map I headed to the path by the old canal down to the beach. I ate at the pub at canal’s end and then cross fields to the beach and down to the Conishead Priory – now the Manjushri Buddhist Centre.   Today is registration day.  More about the festival and pictures of the Priory in the next post.  (  Click on any picture that you want to see in a larger format.)



I made it to Ulverston – just 24 hours door to door.

The train was easy, at least after I found which end of it was going to Ulverston rather than Glasgow.  It’s about 2 hours and the last half hour is particularly picturesque – along the coast , sheep, cows, sand.  Great town names like “Grange-on-Sand”.  It was also an easy walk from the train station to the Bed & Breakfast.  It wasn’t open yet so I wandered on down a few blocks toward the middle of town and found it was Market Day.  A friendly local bought me a glass of tea and we sat outside in from the The Farmer and people watched.  She told me that Thursday has always been Market Day.. the farmers used to bring their cattle in on that day to trade and so the wives would come in to shop and the pubs would have special hours – altogether making a day of it for the whole family.

I got into the B&B by 1 pm.  I thought about going back out and exploring now that I could be unencumbered by luggage, but I only got as far as the thought and crashed for 3 or 4 hours.  Took a walk in the early evening before having dinner back at Farmers.

Here are some highlights of Ulverston – first viewing –  including  pubs, streets, the Barrow Monument on Hoad Hill*, and our room at Sefton House – GOOD NIGHT !!

*Sir John  Barrow was an explorer, math teacher and a great advocate of artic exploration.   The Barrow Strait in the Canadian Arctic as well as Point Barrow and the city of Barrow in Alaska are named after him.   Hoad Hill is easily seen from most of the town.

American Airlines

Today I am flying American Airlines from Seattle, WA, USA to Manchester, England, UK via Chicago.  I am spending 6 hours plus in the Chicago airport.. actually in the Admirals Club.. for such a long layover, well worth the $50 daily price.. feet up, wifi on, food and drinks available and a nice view of the control towers and blue skies.

Today American Airlines announced they were buying 460 new planes and taking options on hundreds more.  I guess they need to pretty much replace the whole fleet with more fuel efficient planes.  You can read more here at the Forbes article.

I think I know how they are scrimping and saving to buy these planes.  When I checked in today, I found it was a much longer process than normal.. WHY?  Well as soon as you have identified your flight info you are given an option to buy AAdvantage miles.. that woudl be $350 some or $550 some for me this round.. WOW. And then there is the first class upgrade offer, the excess luggage charge ( since I am flying to Europe I get one suitcase checked free but a second would have been $50.. the domestic charge is now $$25 for the first and $35 for the second) and just when I thought I was done they gave me ONE MORE OFFER.. I had been placed in boarding group 2.. if I would like to board with group 1 .. just $9 will do it.  And here I thought the boarding groups were for efficiency in loading.. gullible me !

It probably goes without saying that there was no free food on this flight.

My last trip was on Korean Air, this is such a shock after that experience.  Maybe it is the newer planes that allow an airlines to charge a very competitive price and still provide nice seats, good food, pleasant service, checked luggage, and a wide variety of movies, all included. (The bowing to the customers isn’t happening here at American either.)  So new planes may help.. but I think there must be other factors at work here as well.  What are your thoughts?