Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!

Late back home, thanks to a shindig with the Buddhists.

They keep us up all hours with their party people lifestyle. Once you get in the door at the local temple, you could be happily lost for days. And they make a mean spring roll. Squirrel deftly handed twelve of them into her fairy bag without anyone noticing, which should give you an insight into how she came by her moniker.

By nine pm, Tiger was dropping near to bits, it being the excitement of her name year, while Shark was all for going into town to see if she could pick up a couple of dolphins and boogie all night.

We've been celebrating Setsuban at the local temple.

You can say we celebrate this alongside the Buddhists because we are smug home educating types who like to involve ourselves in the rich society we live in, if you're kind. If you're unkind, you can say it's because the Buddhists give the fat Grit a free dinner in exchange for a bit of chanting. It's true she mixes up the ooohaas and the dooodahs, but no-one minds. Everyone's happy with the Buddhists. They're all filled with smiles, and that alone is one big, big reason to go during this year of Britain in Gloom.

Anyway, after the chanting, all the stuff about marching with Bruce Kent is read out, and I feel transported back into a student union bar somewhere up north. Then they turn out all the lights, just like at a student rag, and all the birth Tigers pelt us with beans and sweeties. Some of those Tigers had a pretty good aim, even in the dark, and I'm glad I wore my glasses.

Dinnertime, I sat by someone who spoke no sense at all but spoke it so winningly and happily that I didn't care. Sometimes he was speaking Japanese and sometimes he just talked about boxes and where you could be oriented if you stood near one, upside down and inside out.

And that just about expresses it. I understood about ten percent, I enjoyed one hundred per cent, and the kids spent two hours discussing the merits of Buddhism vs Christianity. Success. Both in a smug bastardy sort of way and a smiley human sort of way as well.


Firebird said...

I envy you having a local Buddhist Temple! I AM a Buddhist, but is there a temple of any description near us, is there heck.

sharon said...

I hope you checked that those Buddhist types had their 'child safe' certification ;-)

No problems with glassware in your house then, a visit to the pub with Squirrel would soon build up a goodly supply.

Anonymous said...

Those buddhists sound like they've got something right - happiness in the midst of gloom - got to be good for everyone!

Kelly said...

Damn. Forgot all about Chinese New Year, even though I marked it on the calendar. Now have to see if dragon parade is happening in Chinatown tomorrow, or if it was last week. So, is Tiger very fond of Kung Fu Panda?

Katherine said...

Wonderful! But for the unenlightened, will you translate your title? 'uchi' is 'one' I think, from my karate days....?

Michelle said...

@Kelly Chinese New Year is 14th Feb so you should be ok. :-)

Grit said...

aha firebird! milton keynes is a green and complex town!

goodness, sharon, you are right! i should have crb safety checked the lot of them! and that is a good idea too. i will make sure squirrel only lightfingers quality crystal in fine restaurants.

mud, i bet you have come across loads of buddhists in your journeys. bag some up and bring them home to these glum isles.

you are safe, kelly. we are japan celebrating. china yet to come.

good spirits in! bad spirits out! at least that's what i am told, katherine. for all i know, it could mean 'do not chain bicycles against these railings'.

thank you michelle! as custom, the grits will celebrate a couple of days after it's all finished.