30 Dec 2014

Turning Over a New Leaf

As odd as it may sound, I had meant to publish this post for a good couple of months now. In fact, I had put together some text and prepared the photo for it, but somehow I was too excited to press the 'Publish' button. I was out there, busy with my life. Oh boy, I am so excited that it feels like I'm sprouting flower buds and blooms all over like a Spring renaissance in the heart of Winter, and the 2014 New Year's Resolutions have delivered - exceeded even - the items on the proverbial list!

'Delivered' is an understatement! I started 2014 slightly iffy and am ending it in stellar mode, no boasting! In the process, I shed some old recurring patterns and took ownership of my life. I embarked upon some life coaching. I found myself - the real I - and I found someone extra-special to share the newfound me with!

Unlike most of my peers, I do not use my blogs as a platform to showcase every inch of my personal life. Having said that, I cannot not share some very exciting news! I have met The Man of my Life! We cannot wait to join soon, transatlantically! Yes ladies, he's a dashing American gentleman and an über-cool counter-culture writer. This is all I shall divulge for now.

There is another piece of personal news I wish to share. I have waved Britannia farewell and still cannot remain composed at the thought, two months later, that's how excited I am at the fact that a chapter of my life is now closed for good! In other words, I have managed to sell my house in Manchester, and as a result my last physical link to Britain is no more! Tickle, my little JRT dog is over the moon about it too: he's happier and safer in Corsica than he was in suburban Manchester, wondering if a Mastiff on the loose from the nearby council estate was not going to pounce on him from behind a bush, or the 105 bus run us over as our rain-soaked figures negotiated the puddles at the Hale Top junction... As a post-scriptum, there is no rain like the Manchester rain, over 300 days of it a year on average!

Roll on 2015, it's going to be hot and sunny!

24 Dec 2014

Sugar and Spice... and All Things Nice?

Christmas, bah humbug! Children's and retailers' favourite time of year, where shoppers and sellers unite for a commercial feast that toxically equates love and happiness with expenditure and balance sheets. The time of year where the religious meaning of the celebration and its modern interpretation sit at the antipodes of each other. Yet the air is snappy and slightly intoxicating and it feels like the advocacy of miracles and magic is summoned in the granting of wishes, maybe facilitated by the faerical sparkly silvery golden ambience and the field work of Santa's emissaries deployed high and low.


Christmas, source of inspiration and stress in equal measures. Financial panacea and commercial commodity for businesses, and financial nemesis for the short on cash and the debt-ridden. Nonetheless it's showtime, across the sprawling retail parks, up and down the department stores, at the radiating heart of the cities where La Fée Electrique has electrified man-made canopies of snowflakes, shooting stars, sleighs, Tinkerbells, holly wreaths and spruces in an incongruous mish-mash of folklore reinvention of Christmas, a Christianised pagan feast (be said in passing). And they keep drumming it into us that this time of year is supposed to be festive in the spending, and fun has been engineered by admen and marketeers so that it relates to the purchasing and receiving of gifts, in that fine balancing act that defines conditional caring, and those who refrain from parting with their cash in order to be bought for in return, be despised for they are mean and scrooge! The Three Wise Men surely must be turning in their graves, bless!

Already the run-up to Christmas has seen a rivalry fought tooth and nail between family members, neighbours, co-workers, acquaintances and associates as to who will get the most Christmas cards. Believe me, I witnessed the frenzy when I used to live in England! In that spirit of things, you should expect one from your foe for they expect one in return, and to exceed the number of cards from last year, and may that living room wall be covered in them as a trophy display to visitors. Popularity is measured like it is in social media, in a very elusive, subjective and ultimately meaningless manner, where the quantity of so-called 'friends' has long surpassed the quality factor of the friendship.

Galletas de Encaje
In theory, Christmas Day at the dinner table sees happy get-togethers with the ones we hold dear in our hearts, with any sibling rivalry or in-laws feud forsaken for merryness of spirit and plentiful of fayre. However the blissful family reunion is not de-facto, especially nowadays, what with accent on individualism and the satisfaction of immediate needs, family values have been eroded and what results is a get-together of fragmented family sub-units who find themselves contrived to share a moment for the sake of tradition and in honour of that vague whiff of childhood nostalgia or filmographic reference that presents Christmas as an idealised family gathering brought to its epitome of sugar and spice and fancy free... Meanwhile let's go easy on the sour cream and the Grand Marnier! Soon enough Christmas Day will fade away and so will the brash light bulbs from the man-made canopies across town.

Blood Oranges by Mowielicious