Jaipur Marigold

Just a brief post today to note how much I’m looking forward to tomorrow evening’s The Real Marigold Hotel on BBC2 – and to thank Ann for tipping us the wink about it.

Having now seen the first 2 of a series of 3 – inspired by the earlier pair of Best Marigold Hotel films, I’m enchanted, and as Wesley said long ago (and in an entirely different context!) “my heart is strangely warmed” towards Jaipur particularly and India generally; and also somehow deeply moved by the retiree participants, all of whom I feel I’ve “met” – and enjoyed meeting – much more “really” than tv would ordinarily make possible for me.

Both people and place are fascinatingly, richly colourful and textured. I hope that the series is available beyond the UK and sense that, after a bit more reflection, I’ll be writing some more about The Real Marigold Hotel – Tuesday 9th February, BBC2 at 21:00 (and BBC iPlayer).


I’ve been watching BBC2’s Stargazing Live and am literally awestruck. My boyhood imagination was profoundly touched by the early Apollo Missions, and although not one of the patient sorts that willingly stay up all night with a flask and a telescope, the enormity, excitement and energy of physics and space exploration has me spellbound.

Presenters Dara Ó Briain and Professor Brian Cox, astronaut Tim Peake – currently one of the team aboard the International Space Station, and almost everyone associated with the tv programme, with the Jodrell Bank observatory, and with the space mission, have a distinctive aura about and around them that I can only think to describe as an infectious joy. They’re all smiling, buzzing, and one has the impression that they’re simply bursting to share the news of all they’re learning.

How can I be surprised by such a joy? Humankind is moving at a rate of knots from one glorious discovery to another. Stunning new digital photography of Pluto is immeasurably better than that available only twelve months ago. Tim Peake is able to chatter to home-base as though leaning over a garden fence. Our sense of the sheer enormity of the Universe rolls along in tandem with our growing knowledge of the infinite power contained in single atoms.

Paying attention to Uni-verse. One-world-ness. Re-discovering. Re-membering. Re-uniting separated entities. Pushing boundaries. Overcoming obstacles, contemplation, meditation, patience, prayer, awe and wonder. Communion.

Mindfulness is a lifetime’s journey along a path that
ultimately leads nowhere, only to who you are

Jon Kabbat-Zinn