Green Yellow Blue

I am slouching in my armchair with a laptop on my knees and looking forward to home-time. Today was tough. One OD and all the hullaballoo that went with that and then a lot of health assessment follow-up interviews. Trying to decide whether people should be yellow or green.

“I think I’ll make you green. That OK with you?”
Or: “So you don’t mind my keeping you yellow on the system?”
“No, I’m G3K3 anyway so I’m not deployable.”

Seems like a lot of people are unhappy in Cape Town and wanting to be transferred back to Pretoria. I wonder how many people are unhappy in Pretoria and wanting to be transferred to Cape Town? Perhaps we could just do a swap?

I’m not particularly happy or unhappy in Cape Town at the moment but I do have blue fingers from my (ultimately successful) attempt to make playdough. It was quite difficult mixing and kneading in between doing nine (mostly short) interviews today but somehow I managed to scrape off the blue sticky stuff, wash my hands and get back to the interview room each time. I didn’t have any cream of tartar (one whiff of a jar of Tartar sauce told me that it would not make a good substitute) and I didn’t have a lemon so I couldn’t substitute that. But the playdough still seems OK. I’m all for making a mess if you have enough time to clean up afterwards but today’s messiness in-between interviews was a little crazy.

In other news, I’m making good progress with Mark Epstein’s Psychotherapy without the Self despite the fact that it’s pretty difficult to read an academic-style book on Buddhist psychology in summer. I think Buddhism might work better in a cold climate with lots of reviving coffee in case I nod off. Trying to read it on a Sunday afternoon when I’m just itching to pick up the loppers and have another go at the (sadly fungus-infected) lemon tree again doesn’t really work. I keep losing my place and having to read the same paragraph three times and then I’m still not sure that I get the gist of it.

But there’s some good material there and I’m almost ready to declare that Mark Epstein is my new favourite psychological thinker except that I know that he’d disapprove of such thinking. Not at all Buddhist. But he’s good on the self and the other, narcissism, steering a middle path between reification and nothingness and a whole lot besides. Watch this space.

In totally unrelated news, P and I watched the first two hours of The Sound of Music last night. This was totally blog-inspired and an excellent choice. I’m still not sure how to solve a problem like Maria but I do know that it involves a lot of harmonious singing, some dancing and getting very spirited about your favourite things. It also doesn’t matter if you wear the curtains as long as you know your Doh-re-me.

I’ll try and be more active in the blog comments this week but I am reading some blog-posts when I get a chance – in between the crises.

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9 Responses to Green Yellow Blue

  1. Isn’t the SofM just so very long? It’s my go-to movie when I need to plonk the children in front of something so that I can write. They love it, but the last viewing brought up awkward questions about Nazis, which is a topic I’m not yet ready to dwell on in detail (“I don’t want to tell you about it yet, darlings, because you will be very sad to know what some bad Germans did in the Second World War”.) The same goes for Anne Frank.

  2. litlove says:

    What do the green and yellow tags mean? They sound most evocative – or is it just to indicate desire to transfer or not? Gosh I haven’t seen The Sound of Music since the early days of my pregnancy when I tried watching it to take my mind off morning sickness (seriously misnamed) and it didn’t really work. I got as far as Julie Andrew’ favourite things then turned the tv off and tried doing the vacuuming instead (you can tell I was desperate). Good on you for making your own playdough! I remember that stuff very vividly.

  3. What are you going to do with the playdough once you’ve perfected it?

  4. I’d like to hear more about Epstein.

    I’ve seen the sound of music about a million times with my kids. it does wear after a while.

  5. Pete says:

    Charlotte – We made it in two viewings and this morning I woke up to an internal singing of “Climb every rainbow (ford every dream)!”

    Litlove – Green means you’re good to go (on deployment), yellow means you’re not. Without actually watching the SofM, I used to to be a bit sceptical of its positive mindset but I’m obviously mellowing in my middle age! I loved it, partly perhaps because it’s a bit dated. As for the playdough, still trying …

    David – Play! As in using it in play therapy. At the moment it’s testing my patience in that I can’t get it right (admittedly only one batch which I refuse to acknowledge cannot be fixed).

    Lilian – I was interested to see that Julie Andrews is something of a gay and lesbian icon, and that Maria is seen as a subversive force. I loved the title of this one – “A Problem like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical”.

  6. Harriet says:

    I really need to make some play dough. I wonder what the cream of tartar actually does – I’ve always used it in my play dough.

    As for Epstein, I’ve been wanting to read his works. Can you recommend a particular book of his for a non-academic?

    And an off the wall question – do you think it is truly possible for a person to live in the moment?

  7. Pete says:

    Harriet – I think it stabilises the mixture. Could explain why my playdough (which didn’t have any) didn’t work! As for Epstein, this is the first of his books that I’m reading so can’t speak about the others. Will hopefully post on this one soon. As for your question about living in the moment, well I think it is very difficult and takes a lot of practice. I certainly haven’t got there yet and would be interested to hear from others who have. But I think it is possible to become better at mindfulness, which (for want of a better explanation) is paying ongoing attention to yourself and others and your environment.

  8. adevotedreader says:

    I confess I haven’t been able to sit through The Sound of Music in its entirety yet- the furthest I’ve gotten is the scene where Maria and the Count are declaring their love for each other. I’m always either bored or irritated to the point I can’t go on!

  9. Pete says:

    Devoted – I think you need some ironic detachment to enjoy that scene. I don’t think the chemistry between Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer worked at all but it’s still a great movie. For me, part of the fun was just in seeing how much popular culture has changed since 1965.

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