Help us to establish Drala Jong - a Buddhist Retreat Centre in Wales

Help us to establish Drala Jong - a Buddhist Retreat Centre in Wales
Help us to establish Drala Jong - a Buddhist Retreat Centre in Wales

Monday 27 June 2011

an odd boy : if you see me coming, you’d better step aside

if you see me coming,
Infant school had been gloriously free of team sport – but junior school was a nightmare of ball games.  The balls of Moloch  were horribly in evidence—as were boys—and I eyed them warily.  They seemed infantile and ridiculous – ready to fight for reasons I couldn’t comprehend.  I’d been hit repeatedly and pushed about the school yard by a particular boy called Adrian Parrott.  He appeared to pick on me without cause – and evidently thought it fun to make my play periods miserable.  One day I decided that enough was enough – and knocked him to the floor with a blow to the nose.  I didn’t intend to hit him on the nose.  I just swung out at him – and his nose was at the end of the swing.  There was more blood than I imagined was possible.  His white shirt was sodden with it.  The poor boy was terrified.  So was I.  I thought he was going to die. 

Trouble erupted over my première as a pugilist.  Other boys—onlookers—came to my defence.  I’d been hit first – but the teachers seemed to think that I had hit back far too hard. 
I probably did hit him too hard – but I’d never hit anyone before.  How was I supposed to know what would happen? 

The teachers eyed me as some sort of thug.  I’d obviously been slugging it out since I was a toddler.

If you see me coming you’d better step aside / A lotta men didn’t and a lotta men died / I got one hand made of iron – the other made of steel /
If the left one don’t getcher then the right one will. 

Merle Travis—Sixteen Tons—performed by Tennessee Ernie Ford—1946

This was hardly my image of myself.  This was the first time I’d fought – so I was confused by the way in which I was treated. 


I was deeply sorry for Adrian Parrott – but the outcome proved useful.  I was never bullied again at that school. 

It wasn’t over a week in fact before I was talking to Adrian in a friendly way.  The teachers noticed that I never fought anyone and my Form Teacher took me aside to tell me that they were happy with my behaviour in the play ground.  Everything was forgotten and the teachers accepted that I was not a homicidal hoodlum.

When Bo Diddley come to town, the streets get empty and the sun go down.  
Bo Diddley—Bo Diddley’s a Gunslinger—1960

Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden will be published by Aro Books worldwide in 2011

Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage

Friday 24 June 2011

Aro Books worldwide blog on Kindle

The Aro Books worldwide Blog (that you are reading now) is available for Kindle from and .

The cost is $0.99/month from and £0.99/month from  There is a 14 day free trial in both cases.

I don't know whether the blog is available from any other Amazon sites.

If you would like to subscribe - just for the 14 day free trial period would be fine of course - I would very much like to have your opinion of reading the blog via a Kindle.

Please leave comments on this blog entry.

For please go to

For please go to 

To read the blog for free via conventional means please go to which is probably where you are already.

many thanks,

'ö-Dzin Tridral
Aro Books worldwide

Thursday 23 June 2011

an odd boy : mister love

mister love
“It’s the music Mr Love ” I said, feeling slightly anxious “I hope you don’t mind – but I don’t know what it is. I’ve never heard that music before and . . . and . . . I like listening to it. What is that music, please? ”
He smiled. “It’s . . . Blues ” he replied, beaming at me. “It’s from America. That is why . . . you have never heard it before.” 

I asked him if I would be able to hear it somewhere and he replied “People don’t listen to music like this in England.” Then he laughed quietly “It’s a little too . . . lively . . . yes . . . too lively.” 

I asked “Is it . . . alright then – if I stay in the tree and listen? ” 

Mr Love laughed gently and replied “We can do better than that—young Victor—you can come into the garden and sit with me. I can tell you about this music . . . if you like.”
Fantastic! I’d like nothing better in the entire world. “Yes please Mr Love! I would like that very much indeed! ” I replied eagerly.

I descended from the willow tree and sat near him—in a raggedy old orange and blue striped deck chair with a delicate woodworm tracery in the frame—listening to crackling 78 records of Big Bill Broonzy. He brought out glasses of ginger beer that his sister had made. It was delicious. I’d never tasted ginger beer before – but Mr Love provided it whenever I visited. I somehow conceived of it as the thing that Bluesmen drank.

I wonder why that south-bound train don’t run, now you don’t need no telling, little girl, you know what you done. 
Southbound Train—Big Bill Broonzy—1937

What a voice that man had! “Who—is—that man? ” I asked – and Mr Love told me all about Big Bill Broonzy. Who’d ever heard of a person having such a name? The three Bs together were magic. Mr Love told a long story and illustrated it by playing different gramophone records. It was like being in school – but as school ought to be, not school as it was.

“I want to sing like Big Bill Broonzy! ” I proclaimed with joy.

Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden will be published by Aro Books worldwide in 2011

Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage

Monday 13 June 2011

Relaxing into Meditation at Indiamart

Ngakma Nor'dzin's book Relaxing in to meditation is now listed on Indiamart.

For further information and reviews please see the book's web page

an odd boy : alice in wonderland

alice in wonderland
When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead, / And the White Knight is talking backwards and the Red Queen’s: “Off with her head!” Grace Slick—Jefferson Airplane—White Rabbit—Surrealistic Pillow—1967

Scent of wild strawberries. Grasshoppers performing arpeggios on the unripened wheat-husks of their legs. Sunflowers gazing down with undisguised curiosity in an acre of garden emboldened by handsome chestnut trees. Alice and I played there all day in the Summers. It was almost as much my home as hers. My father didn’t mind me being away for unusual stretches of time – as I wouldn’t be making a nuisance of myself in his vicinity.

Alice and I would often wander in Weyflood Woods. There was a small meadow a short walk through the trees across the River Weyflood. We imagined no one else knew that it was there. The Weyflood is called a river but it’s no more than a stream. We could jump it with ease at the age of 5. We’d sit in our mystery meadow wordlessly observing butterflies. There were an inordinate number of butterflies in the late 1950s: red admirals, purple emperors, green hairstreaks, peacocks, tortoiseshells, green fritillaries, painted ladies, cabbage whites, brimstones, meadow browns, swallowtails, small heaths, Adonis blues, and all kinds of skippers. An extravaganza surpassing the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album sleeve. We felt it cruel to try to catch them as they were too easily damaged. We found, if we sat still—and if we were absolutely quiet—they’d come near and flitter around us.

Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden will be published by Aro Books worldwide in 2011

Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage

Friday 10 June 2011

Bookbuzzr interview with Ngakma Nor'dzin

Ngakma Nor'dzin has been interviewed by book publicists Bookbuzzr:

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am 56 years old, have just celebrated 26 years of marriage, and have two grown up sons. I live in Cardiff with my husband. I have been a Buddhist for over 30 years and have been a teacher for all my professional life. I teach Buddhism, Tibetan yoga, meditation and relaxation. I also practice pulse diagnosis and reflexology. I was brought up in the West Midlands of England but moved to Wales at the beginning of the 1980s after completing a design degree.

Read more:

Ngakma Nor'dzin is the author of Relaxing into Meditation
Aro Books worldwide  ISBN 978-1-898185-17-8

Available from,,, Wisdom Books, and other bookshops worldwide.

Saturday 4 June 2011

Relaxing into Meditation : Featured in Life Positive

Life Positive, described as India's leading spiritual magazine has been published in India since 1996. The June 2011 edition features an article on Relaxing into Meditation by Ngakma Nor'dzin.

In her article, Ngakma Nor'dzin says:

"Over time, the moments of experience of mind without thought will lengthen and occur more frequently and this spaciousness of mind will sparkle in our every day lives. We will start to notice our habit patterns and cease to be their victim. We will discover that we have a choice about who we are and how we live. We will discover emotion as naked energy and our sensory experiences will become enlivened. We will become more open, patient, tolerant and kind. We will discover open appreciation and awaken to our natural state of well-being."

Ngakma Nor'dzin is the author of Relaxing into Meditation, published by Aro Books worldwide, ISBN 978-1-898185-17-8.  It is published in India by Zorba Publishers.  For more information contact It is also available at all leading bookstores. For more information please see the book's web page