Monday, 6 October 2014

an odd boy - volume three - now available

We are very happy to be able to announce that

an odd boy - volume three - when you got a good friend

is now available from Lulu.com

Volume Three of an odd boy tells of the foundation course at Farnham Art School from ’70 to ’72. At Hatch Mill—the warren of wonders—the author steps out of time into a world of creative camaraderie where every meeting is a scene from a surrealist play. ’72 marked the end of the ’60s gestalt. 

Before the final curtain call however, a tumult of bizarre scenes tumble across the panchromatic stage: strange liaisons with transient heroes and heroines of the lost time; the Farnham Blues Festival; and, ‘the religion of Art’ entwined with burlesque love stories. He meets with Liverpool Poets – Adrian Henry and Roger McGough. Poetry and oil painting co-mingle with loves won and lost. He finds himself—for a bare month—as a rising star on the British Blues scene – but with the death of Jimi Hendrix, it’s the end of an era. He steps off the stage, takes to the road – and arrives, ironically, at the ever-familiar crossroads.

For the full story - so far - of an odd boy please see volume one, volume two and volume three. All three volumes are available from our shop at Lulu.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Love has no need of reasons. If there were reasons, it wouldn't be love. The same applies to Blues.

"'Blues has been important to me since I was 8.  When asked why - I have no answer.  That's not to say that I can't provide a welter of evocative statements. 'I could give reasons - but they'd be as meaningless as explanations as to the why of 'why I love my wife'.  Love has no need of reasons.  I have the feeling that if there were reasons, it wouldn't be love.  The same applies to Blues.'."

p227-228, an odd boy - volume one, Doc Togden, Aro Books worldwide, 2011, ISBN 978-1-898185-20-8

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Forthcoming publication - an odd boy - volume three

We have reached the final stages of the production of Volume Three of an odd boy by Doc Togden. It should be available for sale within a few weeks.

Volume Three of an odd boy tells of the foundation course at Farnham Art School from ’70 to ’72. At Hatch Mill—the warren of wonders—the author steps out of time into a world of creative camaraderie where every meeting is a scene from a surrealist play. ’72 marked the end of the ’60s gestalt. 

 Before the final curtain call however, a tumult of bizarre scenes tumble across the panchromatic stage: strange liaisons with transient heroes and heroines of the lost time; the Farnham Blues Festival; and, ‘the religion of Art’ entwined with burlesque love stories. He meets with Liverpool Poets – Adrian Henry and Roger McGough. Poetry and oil painting co-mingle with loves won and lost. He finds himself—for a bare month—as a rising star on the British Blues scene – but with the death of Jimi Hendrix, it’s the end of an era. He steps off the stage, takes to the road – and arrives, ironically, at the ever-familiar crossroads. 

See also Volume One and Volume Two

Friday, 12 September 2014

Lulu and Zazzle Promotions

We sell our books via Lulu and our artworks via Zazzle. From time to time, both of these organisations have promotions where you can receive a significant discount. Usually the offers are in the form of coupons which can be used when you check out of the store.

A friend recently told us of the method that they use to find these promotions. If you search for 'lulu promo code' or 'zazzle promo code' you can discover what is currently on offer.

Click on the links below to find out the current offers before visiting the shops. You may need to play with the details of the search to find offers in your country e.g. by using a local search engine.


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Take at least 10 minutes every day to meditate - Interview with Ngakma Nor'dzin

This interview with Ngakma Nor'dzin on the subject of stress first appeared in Sprout Savvy in August 2011 and we published an excerpt at the time.  Sprout Savvy seems to have disappeared so we're reproducing the article in full here.

Ngakma Nor’dzin is known for the natural down-to-earth realism of her presentation – and her wealth of experience in helping people with everyday problems.  She is loved particularly for her warmth and friendliness, her sense of humour and her down-to-earth answers to students’ questions.

Ngakma Nor'dzin is the award-winning author of Spacious Passion which explains the fundamental Buddhist teachings as relevant to our everyday lives and Relaxing into Meditation a guide to relaxation and breathing exercises that lead to meditation.

Q: What affects can stress have on a person’s physical and mental health?

Ngakma Nor'dzin: Stress eats away at people – they do not rest properly, normal eating patterns may be disturbed, and the joy of pleasurable experiences can be eroded by an undercurrent of stress. Common physical stress-related symptoms are digestive disorders, nervous tension, headaches, rashes, fatigue, respiratory issues. Common mental/emotional symptoms are possessiveness; irritability and anger; edginess; feelings of fear or insecurity; paranoia; jealousy; depression; feeling overwhelmed, undervalued or undermined.

Q: What are the benefits of meditation?

NN: Meditation practice injects a period of space into our lives – a few minutes that we give to ourselves to just be quiet and alone. A meditation practice of 10 minutes a day gradually builds into a daily experience of spaciousness where we can discover the mechanism of our habit patterns. It is these mental habit patterns that trigger emotional reactions and stress. We do not have to be slaves to our mental neurotic patterning – we can reveal this patterning through gently letting go of thought and becoming accustomed to emptiness of mind. This emptiness of mind—once discovered in meditation practice—can then spontaneously arise in our everyday experience, giving us the space to let go of the habitual responses that are the root of our unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

Q: What inspired you to write Relaxing into Meditation?

NN: I have been a Buddhist and practitioner of meditation for over thirty years and have no doubt of the benefit of meditation. Wanting to offer meditation techniques to people who were not necessarily interested in Buddhism, I taught relaxation and meditation classes through the Community Education system for a number of years. Relaxing into Meditation is based my experience of teaching those classes. Hopefully this book has the scope to reach even more people and offer them the means to begin meditating.

Q: What is an easy way for beginners to meditate?

NN: Find a place where you can be undisturbed for a while and sit in a comfortable position. Bring your attention to your breathing, particularly noticing the out-breath. As you breath out, let go of thought. Breath thought away on the out-breath so that the mind becomes empty. Continue in this way, continually letting go of thought and allowing the mind to settle and discover empty mind-without-thought. If you find it difficult to stay with the mere awareness of breathing out, then count the out-breaths from 1 up to 21 and then from 21 back down to 1, letting go of thought on each out-breath. Give yourself 10 minutes every day to engage in this practice.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

NN: Practising every day—even for only a few minutes—is more important than practising for a longer period of time occasionally. I encourage people to commit to 10 minutes of practice a day – have you had your 10 a day? Everyone can find 10 quiet minutes to be quiet. Practise letting go of thought on the out-breath every day for 10 minutes and the benefits of meditation will manifest. Even 5 minutes a day will slowly produce results. Happy meditating!


Ngakma Nor'dzin is the author of Relaxing into Meditation 
Aro Books worldwide  ISBN 978-1-898185-17-8 http://bit.ly/nrprim 
Available from Lulu.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Wisdom Books, and other bookshops worldwide.