Bobbing Around Volume 19 Number 10

More than 5,000 people have succumbed to coronavirus yet, according to the World Health Organization, air pollution alone — just one aspect of our central planetary crisis — kills seven million people every year.
Owen Jones

Fighting reality only makes things worse.
Pragito Dove

Bobbing Around

Volume Nineteen, Number Ten,
April, 2020

Bob Rich’s rave

email    previous issues

*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions

Comments are welcome — on the bottom of every post and page here, including this one.

*From me to you
A treasure trove
Thank you for your concern
STOP PRESS: How To Stay Calm When You’re Anxious About Coronavirus (or anything else!)

*New stuff

*Blog posts during March

I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.

With regard to climate change, we don’t need new scientific or technological discoveries — we just need new politicians.
Karl Kruszelnicki

Those who don’t have a lot of money in the stock market should view its ups and downs as you would any other spectator sport.
Dean Baker

Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person.

From me to you

A treasure trove
Thank you for your concern
How To Stay Calm When You’re Anxious About Coronavirus (or anything else!)


A treasure trove

Next time you have time dragging on your hands, have a look around the archives of Bobbing Around.

Thank you for your concern

If I wore glasses, they’d be fogged up. (Well, I do need them for reading on paper.) A great many people have emailed me with good wishes for my health, and it’s lovely that they care.

Thank you.

I am fine. One of my posts in the past month, “How I deal with a virus gone viral,” does show that you don’t need to worry about me. I do hope you won’t upset the electrons by reading it twice!

In my 77.3333 years of life so far, I’ve had 11 opportunities to die. That’s better than the proverbial cat, right? I am still here, wearing my Bob Rich identity, because I am required to. If you have read Ascending Spiral, you will know why. If you haven’t read that fictionalised version of my life, I absolutely forbid you to do so, unless you have time on your hands because of the fun shutdowns we are experiencing in most countries.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the people (mis)ruling our world took the longer term, even worse emergencies as seriously?

How To Stay Calm When You’re Anxious About Coronavirus (or anything else!)

Dr Nina Savelle-Rocklin is a food-addiction expert, and her work will be of major benefit to anyone struggling with eating problems. She has kindly posted a short extract from From Depression to Contentment to her blog. This is the section on how to use guided imagery to put peace into your heart.

Here is the link to her post. Please go over there, leave a comment (as I always say, that’s better than taking it with you!), and spread the word to people who need it.

New stuff

Caitlin Jans

Good news
One less coal power station

People who inspireWaiting for wings

I’m 11 and I have thoughts of suicide on a daily/weekly basis is there a way to cure it?
I am tired of being suicidal
Drug overdose is affecting my breathing

I approve of these announcements
Learn to read auras
This book took 20 years to mature
The Insightful Reader: How to Learn Deeply & Attain Life-Changing Insights from Books by I. C. Robledo


Caitlin Jans


The photo from Antarctica is stunning and gutting. I love what you say to guards at protests. It’s so interesting how it’s handled differently in various countries and regions. My husband was almost arrested with our one year old for just standing there. But we’ve been to other big marches that were very peaceful. Always with the kiddos.

I’m very grateful for you and your wife’s, efforts to clean. I’ve started bringing gloves and a trash bag with me when I take the kids to the park. They love helping although the two year old really shouldn’t (everything goes straight in the mouth).

You forgot don’t smoke and actually wash your hands in your list of COVID19 Virus advice, but otherwise it’s very good.



Caitlin and her husband are part of the team at Authors Publish magazine, which I find to be an invaluable resource for writers.

Good news

One less coal power station

In the midst of the current health emergency, it is important to remember that the climate catastrophe is a far worse health emergency than any virus. It is great to know, therefore, that Client Earth is still using the power of the law to save a future.

In this report, they inform us that they represented shareholders in a Polish company that put its money into a new coal fired power station.

Guess what. This company, and the other major financier of the project, have withdrawn their support.

Coal is dead, and the sooner we replace it, the more likely we are to survive.

People who inspire

Waiting for wings

I am a retired health care professional in my 3rd marriage. Living on the big Island off the South Coast of UK. Preparing for my wings; reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Any number of health problems limiting my activities so indoors and reading, listening to music, practising the guitar, playing my Yamaha keyboards, attending Lodge each month, actively meditating, spending time with my wife, watching Netflix, writing to my 4 Grandchildren and son & daughter. Life is pretty good.

I am aware I am within putting distance of quitting this world, perhaps for another. Is there anything else I should do before the final whistle blows?

Dear Alan,

I read your question at Queendom while preparing my monthly newsletter, Bobbing Around, which will be published on the first of April (and no, this is not a joke). If it’s all right with you, I’ll put it under the heading “People who Inspire,” because I find you inspiring.

I do my best to live by the rule: “Above all, do no harm. When you can, do good. When you can’t, change the situation so that you can.” I think the lifestyle you have described fits perfectly within this guide. So, thank you for sharing the planet with me.

If there is anything else you might put your mind to, it is to spread the benefit further. When my mother-in-law was still alive, she participated in a program. Kids from the local high school with an interest in history talked with her and other oldies about their lives. So, she could teach them about life during the Great Depression, WW2 and after. She came from Holland to Australia, so she could be of use to kids interested in geography as well, and of course incidentally shared a great deal of other wisdom.

With your multiple skills, you could make up quite a long list of topics where you could be an informal guide and teacher to teenagers in your location.

The more you give, the more you get.

I share your Buddhist leanings. The wonderful Dalai Lama has said, “My religion is kindness,” and “The aim of enlightenment is to be of service.”

Your (slightly) younger brother,


I’m 11 and I have thoughts of suicide on a daily/weekly basis is there a way to cure it?
I am tired of being suicidal
Drug overdose is affecting my breathing


I’m 11 and I have thoughts of suicide on a daily/weekly basis is there a way to cure it?

Garry, no one can tell why you have those thoughts, from just the little you wrote here. If your parents brought you to me as a client, I’d first make friends and get you comfortable in my company, then I’d encourage you to tell me lots about yourself. I might ask you to draw me pictures. They don’t have to be great art, but something you can put your emotion into.

Please, if it is at all possible, let your parents know you feel terrible at times, and ask them to make an appointment for you with a psychologist who works with kids.

Another possibility is, your school may have a counsellor. If so, make an appointment with that person, or if there isn’t, with a wise teacher you like and respect.

In the meantime, here is something to do. Get a paper exercise book you can put in a pocket, or use your phone, to keep records. Every time you have one of those suicide thoughts, write down:

Date and time.

Where, who with, doing what.

The trigger: something that happened, or something you did, or a thought you had, immediately before the suicide thought.

Your reaction to the suicide thought.

This will do two things. First, it is like being a detective. You can work out why you are having these thoughts. Second, this works like magic. Anything we do this for will become less frequent if we don’t want it; more frequent if we do want it. You will find that the suicide thoughts will come a lot less often.

I’ve set this task to people for all sorts of things. For example, one man wanted to reduce his smoking. I got him to keep records like this, and he reduced from 20 a day to 3 – 5 a day, just by being forced to think about what triggered the thought that he wanted a smoke. A lady who screamed at her kids lots stopped doing so altogether, for weeks at a time.

Give it a go, and let me know.

Your new grandfather,

I am tired of being suicidal

I’m 13 years old, diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I’m stuck in a huge cycle which never seems to end. Parents or toxic friends triggering my mental health, suicide attempt, them making me feel guilty, and then them apologizing. The same thing over and over. I’m tired of being stuck. I want change. I want to die. It seems like the only escape at this point. My mom makes fun of my self-harm scars, my dad physically forces me to show him my arms, and “friends” in class pulling down my sleeves while I’m distracted to see the scars. I don’t want to do this anymore.

My dear, while I never cut myself, otherwise I was where you are now at your age. I hated my stepfather, and the only reason I didn’t kill myself was that then he would have won. Then he managed to get rid of me out of the family, to the other side of the world, and kept the rest of the family behind.

There, a number of wonderful people I think of as my “angels” took me in hand, and I decided to be like them. And when I was 21, I met my stepfather again, and rather than hate him, I was sorry for him, and we ended up friends. That was the start of my healing.

I became a psychologist because I wanted to lead others out of their hell, and I have had the joy of doing so.

Perhaps your current suffering is also an apprenticeship? You can only be a healer if you’ve been there yourself, so when your parents, or those kids at school, do unkind things, feel sorry for them for being so toxic inside.

Please read this little essay: The onion and the pearl.

Then while you are at my blog, you can send me a message via my contact form there.

I can’t change your circumstances, and I cannot change you, but I can show you a path. If you walk that path, you have a good chance of building a satisfying life for yourself. You can.

Your new grandfather,

Drug overdose is affecting my breathing

Is it possible to permanently damage your lungs from overdosing on Topamax? Ever since I overdosed I’ve felt it to be very hard to breathe and it feels like there is a weight in my lungs.

That is a medical question. You need a doctor’s opinion.

I looked up Side Effects of Topamax (Topiramate), Warnings, Uses, and breathing difficulties is NOT on that list.

However, there is a strange thing about attention. Even if your breathing difficulty is entirely medical/physiological, worry will make it worse.

I once had a client: a middle-aged gentleman sent to me by his doctor because he had a constant fear of falling over, while there was nothing physically wrong with him.

All of us sway a little when standing. This is the automatic adjustment of our back muscles, and is perfectly normal, and usually unnoticed. For some reason, one day this man had noticed his slight sway, and then kept his attention on it. That in turn increased the sway, which introduced the fear of falling, which made the sway worse…

Of course, “I am not going to attend to my body swaying” or “I am not going to attend to my breathing” focuses the attention, and only makes it worse.

The solution is acceptance. Whatever is, is, and is allowed to be there. This is the basis of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s method of mindfulness for pain relief, and it works for everything.

You can get an audiobook of it here: Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief.

I approve of these announcements

Learn to read auras
This book took 20 years to mature
The Insightful Reader: How to Learn Deeply & Attain Life-Changing Insights from Books by I. C. Robledo


Learn to read auras

TA Sullivan’s “All About Auras” (book and workbook) with forewords by Dr. Bob Rich and Ms. Sylvia Davi are available now.

Have you ever wanted to see and understand auras? “All About Auras” gives you information, concepts, and step-by-step instructions to do just that.

“All About Auras” can help unlock the mysteries inside you. Following the exercises in the workbook, you can determine what soul age you are, what past lives are affecting you now, how to tell when your chakras need balancing (and how to do it), and which of the seven overarching fears is disrupting your life and directing your choices.

The author, TA Sullivan, has been able to view auras since she was child. She has studied and taught various meditation and holistic techniques that help people view past lives, cleanse and balance their auras, and achieve oneness with themselves and the world. She also helps people see for themselves all the wonders that they can find within their chakras and auras. These techniques are available to you in “All About Auras” and “All About Auras Duo” (a 2-book ebook).

Read the book, do the exercises, and gain a boost along your path of enlightenment.

This book took 20 years to mature

STOP PRESS: Colin has let me know that the book is free for 1st of April: TODAY.
Six short stories. Eleven poems. The sum total of the bid for immortality of one seven-billionth of the human population of our planet; lovingly crafted and honed in the course of twenty revolutions of that same planet around its sun. Since there’s nothing new under it (the sun, that is) you could quite easily be forgiven for passing up this opportunity to own a copy of this work. But, were you to do so, you would never discover what happens when, in the far future, humans and birds team up to explore the galaxy together in ‘A Watch of Nightingales’. Nor would you be in a position to wonder at the mysteries shrouded in the red mist, revealed within the linked tales of ‘The Wooden Groat’ and ‘Necessity’. You wouldn’t be able to marvel at the flash fiction piece ‘Hubris’ which explains what really happened to the Titanic. And the grand conclusion to the space battle that’s portrayed in ‘The Ouroboros Gambit’ would forever be beyond your ken, as would the heart-rending finale ‘Earthfriend’, a homage to Stephen Donaldson’s fantasy epic ‘The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant’.

And as for the poetry: can you believe that anyone could pen a poem describing what happens when a sleeper is awakened by that most feared of all night-time creatures, the mosquito — and do so in a way that was guaranteed to make you laugh? Or that no fewer than three poems inspired by the massively multiplayer online roleplaying game ‘Everquest II’ would ever be brought together in a single volume? Existentialism, humanitarianism, borderism and (a very few) other -isms are encompassed by this tome.

“Nobody who values their sanity should consider even glancing at this book.” — Alan Temaficoni


The Insightful Reader: How to Learn Deeply & Attain Life-Changing Insights from Books by I. C. Robledo

There are many different ways to learn, but reading is one of the best ways to gain a better understanding of the world. Often, we expect solutions to our life problems to cost a massive amount in the form of courses or consultants — but the reality is that through reading (usually a low cost or free activity), we can make tremendous progress in our life goals.

We should not be content to read mindlessly, but rather strive to become Insightful Readers — who know what to read and how to read it to gain the greatest understanding and insights.

If you have struggled with figuring out what to read next, with forgetting what you read, with not having a good note-taking system, not reading as much as you would like, or with not fully understanding what you read, then this book will help you.

You can find the book on Amazon

Or on all other major retailers

Posts during March


Red snow celebrates summer in Antarctic autumn

Spend less money to save the world

Virus or no, climate change is still a bigger threat

New diseases are a predictable result of our attack on nature


Hygiene and precautions are necessary, but reassuring news


I could have chosen many items under this heading, but I am sure you are bombarded with them anyway. My approach is, as far as possible, to socially isolate my mind from the insanity.


He closed his restaurants, and is feeding people anyway


You may benefit from reading my answer to a suicidal young woman’s cry for help


More on respectable bird brains

Do evil people deserve to be reincarnated?

How to have a vibrant social distancing experience

Coping with anything, from an expert


How I deal with a virus gone viral

Virus! Virus! Here is sane advice from Prof John Wilson, president-elect of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians

Reblogged a post from TA Sullivan: on the effectiveness of Reiki.

Should you exercise? And how much?


What draws you into a story? is my March contribution to Rhobin’s Rounds, although WordPress decided to release it early. It’ll give you a laugh, as well as saying something about writing.

Sharing the sharing: a review at Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s “New Review Site”

About Bobbing Around

If you received a copy of Bobbing Around and don’t want a repeat, it’s simple. Drop me a line and I’ll drop you from my list.

You may know someone who would enjoy reading my rave. Bobbing Around is being archived at, or you can forward a copy to your friend. However, you are NOT ALLOWED to pass on parts of the newsletter, without express permission of the article’s author and the Editor (hey, the second one is me.)

I’d love you to follow my blog. That will automatically get you a copy of this newsletter, and other posts. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the newsletter. To do so, email me. Subject should be ‘subscribe Bobbing Around’ (it will be if you click the link in this paragraph). In the body, please state your name, email address (get it right!), your country and something about yourself. I also want to know how you found your way to my newsletter. I hope we can become friends.

Contributions are welcome, although I reserve the right to decline anything, or to request changes before acceptance. Welcome are:

  • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
  • Brags of achievements that may be of general interest, for example publication of your book;
  • Poems or very short stories and essays that fit the philosophy and style of Bobbing Around;
  • Above all, responses to items in past issues. I will not reject or censor such comments, even if I disagree with them.

Submission Guidelines

It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.

Content should be non-discriminatory, polite and relevant. Announcements should be 100 to 200 words, shorter if possible. Book reviews, essays and stories should be at the very most 500 words, poems up to 30 lines.

Author bios should be about 50 words, and if possible include a web address.

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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5 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 19 Number 10

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Thank you, Carolyn. I am glad the global emergency hasn’t dampened your spirits. Stay safe!


  2. pendantry says:

    Hi, Bob!

    Thank you very much for featuring my one and only book in this edition of bobbing around, it’s much appreciated! The number of folks who have availed themselves of the free offer can be counted on the fingers and toes of someone who lost a little finger in an unfortunate encounter with a pet baby alligator some years ago, which is more than I could have hoped for.

    Best wishes,
    Colin AKA ‘pendantry’.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Carolyn Howard-Johnson says:

    I loved the q and a section of this letter. Just what the doctor ordered!

    Did I miss it in this letter? We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. I can hardly believe it but my coauthor, Magdalena Ball, and I come prepared! May I suggest “Sublime Planet,” one of the books in our Celebration Series of poetry chapbooks. Our gift to all your readers: Use any poem in it (credited please) to honor the 🌍 at no cost. Credit us, but beyond that, it’s yours. Find it at Or contact me and I’ll send you one. All proceeds go to World Wildlife Fun

    Liked by 2 people

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