Thursday, December 12, 2013

Birthday poem

On December 1st I got and wrote down a poem that was obviously meant for my birthday here it is ;

I can't believe
I'm sixty
I once was
a wee boy

I played
in streets
in Gornal
a football
was my toy

Though age we count
in numbers
it's just a state
of mind

By keeping myself active
the years have been so kind.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I am 60

The date today is 11-12-13 and it is also my 60th Birthday. Friends from around the world started sending me Birthday wishes late last night as it was already December 11 in their part of the world. When I went out for my run this morning it was -2C and yes it kinda felt cold, but I wasn't feeling old. I have been very lucky that there was blue sky and sunshine for all of the day. I even chatted with one of my cousins in Australia and as my niece said this morning 60 on 11-12-13 will be most memorable :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New opportunity's

Last week I discovered there was a new smoothie and coffee bar in the city. I went to check it on Monday and it turns out it was the first day open, I went again on Friday and met one of the owners Mike.It seems that he and his wife run a yoga center in Sarajevo and after a few minutes of conversation he asked me if I would be interested in teaching meditation there. So it looks like 2014 has new things for me. Yesterday I went in to see how things are going and and met Mike's wife Ajda and there new baby girl. Turns out she lived in New York for 2 years and left around the same time as me and we also discovered in conversation, that she and Mike came to a talk I gave in Sarajevo 2 years ago go figure :)

Monday, December 02, 2013

Back in Sarajevo

When I left Sarajevo it was quite warm and when I arrived in Ljubljana it was quite rainy and Sarajevo got cold and snowed.
I arrived in Ljubljana just after 6am, the bus trip had been uneventful. After a little nap and a run I went into the city and in the evening had dinner, Mexican food with a couple of friends. The weekend was basically a mix of light and heavy rain on Saturday and Sun and light rain on Sunday, I did manage to have lunch with friends both days.
Monday was nice weather wise, I noticed it was warmer in Ljubljana than in Sarajevo. I gave a talk in the evening on Sport and Meditation at one of the Faculty's to a small group.
Tuesday I had coffee, organic Hot Chocolate and good conversation with my friend Nejc who I met in Sarajevo about a year ago.
Wednesday was a late lunch with 4 good friends at a new Vegan/ vegetarian place near the bus and train station. Then it was time to get my bus back to Sarajevo, by about a third of the way completed we saw snow on the ground and when I got Sarajevo just before 5am there was about 10 cm on the ground.
So I was gone just about a week and the weather had changed from temperatures in the 15 C range to below freezing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2 more trips before the end of the year.

Tomorrow I will make a trip to Slovenia, specifically Ljubljana. I have been invited to give another talk on Sport and Meditation at the same place that I did in March. It is always to visit and meet old friends especially at this time of the year because so many Christmassy things go on there. I usually take the bus and the trip used to take around 10 hours but since Croatia , which I have to pass through has joined the EU one less border delay has reduced this to around 9 1/2 hours. I will be there for 6 days and have quite a few things planned including of course my talk.
When I get back to Sarajevo I will have around 3 weeks before I make my annual Christmas trip to the UK to spend it with my family. I bought my ticket last week and it was only 1 euro more than last year so that is pretty good. I guess the airlines are staying pretty competitive.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Sarajevo Jazz Festival

At this time of year in Sarajevo there is a jazz Festival . 2 years ago I was invited by a new friend to go and see the Rosenberg Trio and enjoyed it very much. Last year there wasn't anyone that I really wanted to see, but this year when I saw the schedule there was one that stood out. While living in New York I had discovered Jack De Johnette and listened to quite a lot of his music along with others. So when I saw that he was coming to Sarajevo I decided I was going to see him. The tickets cost twice as much as the other acts but he is well worth it. I got my ticket at the beginning of the week and last night I went to the performance., it was outstanding. It has been my experience that the concerts are not sold out but are very close too it.I had a very pleasant walk home afterwards. I hope that I get the chance to see someone great again next year.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The visit

So a little time as gone by but I now want to fill you in on the visit of my friend Uranta Tom Kane. We have known each other for probably 20 years but have not seen each other for about 3 years maybe 4. It turns out he was at a conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia and decided to come and visit Sarajevo. He wanted to come by train but had no idea what this might entail. After a missed connection and delayed trains he arrived early evening and after a short walk back to my place from the station, we ate cheese pie and talk until late.
An early morning run started the day and then we drove with friends to Banja Luka for the day and as it turned out arrived back in Sarajevo in the early hours of the morning. Another early morning run then up into the hills for the day and to have lunch at Ecofutura, the Eco village where I used to work. In the evening we experienced traditional food and drinks in the old part of the city.
Sunday was a day of sight seeing and I tried to show him as much as I could and in the evening pizza with another friend.
I happened that he had a flight back to Edinborough from Dubrovnik in Croatia on Tuesday morning and we had to figure out how to get him there. The answer was for him to get an afternoon bus to Mostar stay there overnight and then an early morning bus to Dubrovnik. So after a last coffee at the train station he was off to the bus and his all too short visit was over. However he was more than impressed with Sarajevo and indeed the Balkans in all, that he will be back again soon I think.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

I'm back :)

Ok so I did say I would try to post more often but time went by so fast.
During the summer I was playing tennis on weekends with an old friend of mine, it was nice cross training and I think it helped my running. This summer was not as hot as the last one, though there were a few hot days in there.
In September I had a short bout of food poisoning which was followed by the flu and this all happened, just as I was about to travel to Zagreb to give a talk. I did travel and the talk was interesting, as my voice got a little strange from the flu.
I spent a few days in Ljubljana where I met with my publisher and hopefully my book will be out soon.
Tomorrow an old Scottish friend of mine will be visiting me in Sarajevo for a few days. He was at a conference in Ljubljana and decided to take the opportunity to come. We have not seen each other for maybe 4 years so there will be a lot of catching up to do.
OK that's it for now, will try to keep my promise and post more often.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Linden trees

Well it is June here in Sarajevo and as in many other places around the world st this time, the Linden trees are blooming. Here they are called Lipa and I usually run along Lipa Alley in the morning and it is so nice to run under trees that are filled with fragrant flowers.
On May 29 I gave a talk on Sport and Meditation at the Academy of Sport in Sarajevo, to around 70 students and 11 of them are interested to learn more about meditation.
Tomorrow I will go to a training session of the Sarajevo Athletic club and meet with some of the guys, I am thinking to maybe see if I can train with them during the summer.

Friday, May 24, 2013


A week ago I had a meeting with the director of the International Peace Center in Sarajevo, he was very helpful in arranging the planting of a Peace tree in 1997. Over the years the plaque by the tree has been damaged and eventually disappeared. So the meeting was about dedicating a new plaque and actually re-dedicating the Peace tree. The director was a bit cautious at first since a few years ago a fountain to the children who died in the war ha been placed nearby, but eventually was quite enthusiastic and will arrange for a ceremony for both in the very near future. I will keep you posted on that.
Then Tuesday this week I went to the Academy of Sport in Sarajevo to speak with a Professor about me giving a talk there on Sport and Meditation and since next week is the last week of school he recommended I give one then , so on Wednesday May 29 at 15:00 I will speak to students from the running class and anyone else who wants to come, I also have the chance to give 2 more talks when the new school year starts :).

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring almost flies by

Spring arrived in Sarajevo and then it  almost became summer a moment later. with temperatures entering into the 30 degree centigrade range. My friend Elvir asked me if I wanted to play tennis with him, he has not played before so we took 2 lessons with a local coach. It helped me a lot to remember some long ago learned skills. Now on Saturday mornings we play tennis., in our first match I beat him 6-4, 6-3 on the strength of me holding serve 3 times, but both of us are improving and we have a lot of fun, which is of course the main thing.
Rain and cooler temps have seen Spring return and of course as a gardener this will help the plants.
On Sunday Elvir and I ran the Run for Europe 4 k race, he has been running 4k in 30 minutes in training and I paced him to a time of 19:31 which of course he was very pleased with. He wants to run a half marathon in September so this is a good boost for his confidence.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Last weekend

On Saturday 3 of us drove to Banja Luka, it's about a 3 hour drive. After about 30 to 40 minutes of highway  you get the chance to see lots of nature and a few towns. In the evening 10 of us had a get together which included a meal for which a few of us provided an item.Then we drove back to Sarajevo, arriving just after 1am.
Sunday was a day for Spring cleaning which took place in the afternoon and was about a 2 1/2 hour excursion :) , a lot of dust can collect over the winter and the windows needed a good cleaning. Everything feels so much better now.

Monday, April 08, 2013


It's a cloudy Monday here in Sarajevo, but the temperature is quite nice. For the last few nights we have had some rain so things are growing and it is supposed to get warmer as the week goes on. Inspired by this I have been potting on some of the new plants I started over the Autumn and winter moving them into bigger pots. I have also started sowing some of my vegetable seeds, Tomato and Peppers for now, but more to follow. My plan is to have fresh salad veggies growing on my balcony so that I can harvest as I need them. I have orange trees that I started last summer and plan to try Lemon and maybe Mandarin oranges this year

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Here in Sarajevo there are not too many that celebrate Easter at this time in Bosnia it is mostly in Hercegovina, which is mostly Croatian and in the Serbian parts of Bosnia they celebrate a week later as with the rest of the Orthodox Cristian world.
Anyway it was a nice Easter weekend weather wise with very Spring like temperatures around 15 C though Easter Monday did show us some snow and rain followed by Sun. Quite a few trees are starting to show flowers and there are Daffodils and Hyacinth just down the street from me so Winter is slowly going away.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Half Marathon and more

March second I drove with 2 friends to Nis, Serbia to participate in the Half Marathon portion of the Winter Marathon there.This is the 4th time in a row that I have gone there. Four races ago I injured myself during training 2 days before so did not run, instead counting and supporting the runners and the 2 friends I ahd gone there with.
Morning of the race was cool but sunny and it got warmer as the race went on. I had some minor stomach problems but was still only a little bit slower than previous years.
Had a nice swim after the race and then got a ride to Slovenia with 3 of my friends who had come to also run the Half Marathon. Arriving in Ljubljana a little after midnight it was cooler and quite a lot of snow around.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What I've been up to.

At the end of February I went for a couple of days to Banja Luka. , an old friend from Canada was visiting for a few days and it was a nice chance to spend some time with him. The weather was quite cold, but the visit was pleasant, both of us like to talk and we had much to talk about, however the visit was quite short. He arrived around lunch time on Friday and because of bus and train schedules, had to leave late afternoon Saturday to arrive in Berlin, Germany for some meetings. I think maybe I have convinced him to visit Sarajevo next time he is in the region.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A day late

It's a day late due to me traveling yesterday, but here is the last poem in the series One Day ;

That tastes so good
I want to eat it all
but if I do
I'll blow up like a ball

So just one piece
will do for me just now
that just one piece
will have to be my lot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Signs of Spring

Walked into the city this morning and on the way back I noticed  a bush with no leaves but a few pale yellow flowers on it..  Later I also noticed pussy willow. Signs of Spring indeed.

Today's poem;

Don't shine that
in my eyes
I can't see
where I'm going

It's bad enough
to walk here
without even knowing

Will I fall or
will I not
should I just
stand here on this spot

The only way
I'll ever know
is to move forward
just to go.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Just a hint of snow

This morning while I was out running there was just a hint of snow, the odd snowflake falling as I ran by the river. However I think that maybe it was a little too warm and eventually rain began to fall as it has done all day.

Today's poem;

It's that time of year
just like the last
climb through the ages
from the past

Rememberings from
years gone by
they make you laugh
they make you cry

Reflecting now
upon your life
to set the tone
to journey on.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A cloudy day in Sarajevo

Well it's a bit of a cloudy day in Sarajevo, but an old friend called me late morning and we had an early lunch and a nice chat in the city.

When will they stop
maybe never
they just go on
for ever and ever

To inspire
and to give joy
a gift from heaven
for this little boy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

One Day

One Day
is all it took
to get the content
for this book

It came out flowing
like the rain
it came out softly
with no pain

The words jumped out
I wrote them down
to give the answer
to your frown.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Power cuts.

In the 5 months I have lived in the apartment here in Sarajevo I have had I think 4 power cuts. It is usually the block of maybe 4 or 5 buildings.It probably happens in other parts of the city too from time to time and it only lasts for 45 minutes to an hour. Not sure what it is but it happens during the daytime and at night.
Anyway here is today's poem;

The Sun is warm
and gives me strength
warming now
my complete length

The rain refreshes
in the heat
the Moon the Stars
this day complete.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all. Here is the poem for today;

Rain has
washed the air
Sun now
brightens all around

Footsteps move along
making headway
on the ground

Birds are flying
the sky is blue
I am making progress
on my way to you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This Day

This day
the words have
come for me

Come to carry away

Carry away
these feelings not meant
for me
not meant for me
this day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What are you doing

What are you doing?
there's people over there
you'll make a fool
of yourself
have people laugh
and stare

I know that you're
a showman
and like to entertain
I know that you're
not stopping
you'll do it again
and again.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Cowshed

The Cowshed's in the corner
the stream runs
down the hill
the waterwheel
is turning
and grinding
at the mill

It's nice here
in the country
folk greet you
with a smile

The air is sweet
and lively
I would walk
a country mile.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Snow time plus poem

The last couple of days we have been getting light snow and this morning when I went for my run, there was around 10cm ( 4 inches ) of fresh crunchy snow on the ground, though most roads and footpaths had been cleared.
Here is today's poem;

This country is finished
I heard the man say
It's not like it used to be
back in the day

When people
were friendly
and gave up their seat
when streets were tidy
and children
kept neat

Our mom's
made our beds
and we played
in the street.

This country's
not finished
soon strong
it shall be

with a coming together
of you and of me.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

On a snowy day

It's snowy outside so here a warm poem ;

The warm drink
is in my hand
I swallowed it down
and life is grand

It's warmth inside me
spreads throughout
and comfort
now I feel.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Starting the second third

So this is the 8th poem and so it starts the second third part of the series;

I watch the singer
sing a song
and go within myself

The tune cries out
and up I stretch
for the book
upon the shelf

The words I read
and think again
what musings
can be done

I look out through
the window
am greeted
by the Sun.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Speaks for itself

Sitting here
in my room alone
feeling quiet
and feeling at home

An inspiration
comes to me
and on the paper
I write

A book one day
it could become
I think one day
it might.

Hope you like it, enjoy the day :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

I almost forgot !

I almost forgot to post this today ;

Love is
within the heart
a love that grows
just from a spark

A love you give
without condition
a love received
with kind permission

It stays inside
an eternity
a love for you
that comes from me.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

It's number 5 !

The wonder of modern technology had me receiving a video call from an old friend of mine in Australia this morning. I was looking out of the window at foggy cold conditions, while behind him were palm trees and the sounds of parrots.
Anyway here is today's poem;

Hey may I have
that pie over there?
can you tell me
what is the filling?

Will the taste
be sweet or
will it be salt?
if I eat it all
am I at fault?

For wanting that pie
over there.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Your daily poem

On a bright and sunny yet cold morning in Sarajevo. Here is today's poem;

It's the last day
of the month
a new one
tomorrow will come

There's bills to pay
so money to find
and don't forget
my run

and when that's done
and put aside
there are days
for laughter and fun.

I hope this brightens up your day too, back again tomorrow :)

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Today's Poem

It was snowing when I went out for my run today, then it turned to rain and now it's snowing lightly again. So here is today's poem, the 3rd in the series;

When are we
going to town?
I want to do
some shopping

When are we
going to town?
I want to
get some tea

When are we
going to town?
I want to
see some old mates

When are we
going to town?
to get some
shopping done.

Hope you like it and remember there are more to come :)

Saturday, February 02, 2013

The Second one

Today in Sarajevo it is blustery but the temperature is around 11C, so not too bad. Well as promised here is the second poem ;

My father
was a coal miner
into darkness
he would go

One day with him
to the pit I went
the mines for me
to show

The heat and dust
that I did see
on the faces
of the men

The message
did impress on me
to not go back again.

Hope you like it and stay tuned for more :).

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Poems came

Yesterday while I was listening to some music I started to get some poems , this happens to me from time to time they just come in ones, two's and threes, but these just kept coming and over about a 3 hour period I had 21 poems. Then they just stopped. It is the most poems I have received in one session and I have decided to title the series One Day. So over the next 3 weeks I will post 1 poem each day. Here is the first.

Rain runs
down the window
Rain drips
on the tin

Rain stays
outside of the weather

Rain no
you are not
getting in!

By the way I am dedicating this series One Day to my Father.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

England and back part 2

So I took a day or so to recover from my trip and to adjust to the warmer rainy conditions, going for my regular run helped.
Then it was Christmas shopping. I also got a power cord for my laptop that was compatible for the UK. I went with my nephew and we stopped in to see one of his friends and we decided that we would all go to see the Hobbit film on the weekend. On Sunday we went and I enjoyed it, oh and yeah I got to watch a lot of football over the weekend.
Christmas was the usual family gathering, though it was slightly delayed since my brother in-law had to work, but he did manage to get away so that we could all open our presents together.
It seemed like it was going to rain everyday I was in the UK, but at least it wasn't as cold as in Sarajevo.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

To England and back part 1

So on December 19 2012 I, for the first time in a while, took a flight on a major airline to the UK. My flight from Sarajevo on Austrian airlines to Vienna was a little late leaving but arrived on time, the connecting flight to London was also a little late leaving, but we were told we should arrive on time. We were about 20 minutes late because when we got there we were put in a holding pattern. I managed to quickly get an Underground train to Euston Station and as luck would have it got a ticket for a train to Stafford leaving in 15 minutes. I got to my sister's house at around 11pm, I had left my flat in Sarajevo at around 1pm ( 12 noon UK time ) so I had gone door to door in 11hours, which I was quite happy with.