I often hear and read about this beautiful city and some even have ambitions about spending their honeymoon there as it is the fabled glittering city of light, on “THE” hill.

It is the city where I spent the first 20 years of my life. So, I do know it better than those who write about it but have never been there.
So, I will now give you a glimpse of the Paris I know and still lives within me...

For instance, a romantic boat ride on the Seine is not as romantic as one may think. In fact, the Seine is heavily polluted, and in the summer months stinks. It is also the source for drinking water in Paris.

The renown Metro, a very efficient transport system for the inhabitants but, during the rush hours, when everybody is packed in like sardines, the air quality is very bad, making it hard to breathe and it is THE place to go to be groped, as it is the preferred home of perverts.

Well, I used to live in central Paris, on an Avenue, perhaps comparable with Hollywood Boulevard but without all the fancy shops. To a tourist, it sounds good! However, any woman who pauses for a moment would be extremely likely to be approached by some stranger and asked how much she charges for her services.

Living on a 6th floor “penthouse” in central Paris, with a view of Montmartre, can also sound very glamorous but, it must be remembered that the buildings in the city centre have been there since before the revolution, which of course means, that were built without lifts (or elevators), electricity and all modern conveniences.
Due to the constant stair climbing, I grew up to be very fit.

Paris, as other cities, has many parks and fountains. However, they are all ornamental to be looked at and admired. There is no walking or sitting on the grass, or even paddling in the fountains and this is rigorously policed.

Well, this is the Paris I have known and the reason why I couldn’t wait to leave. But, of course, most inhabitants believe their own myth and think it´s wonderful and it is the centre of the universe.

Overlaying the map of the city is an archipelago of tourist attractions, to name but a few:

First of all, the famous Eiffel Tower that, despite millions of tourists climbing all over it, is still standing and some even try their skills at skydiving from the top.

The Louvres is full of unique artwork, many of which were stolen from elsewhere by our great General Napoleon.

The Cathedral Notre Dame is a famous example of Medieval architecture.

Montmartre is the famous home of many artists and not far from where I lived. Still worth a visit, and you can have a portrait of yourself for a reasonable price - even in the nude if you so wish!

And, not to forget, the famous Arc de Triumph and the Champs Elysees, home of the President.

For those who still wish to visit Paris, the best time is August, when the majority of the natives have left. Although the weather is very hot and sticky, it is quieter and easier to get around.

A quote that comes to mind:
“Tell me a story of who you are, and see who I am in the stories I live. And together we will remember that each of us always has a choice”.

Yes, I made that choice – I left in order to taste greener pastures.
joy cartwheel

Many will tell you that "you can take a girl out of the city, but cannot take the city out of the girl".
Well, it was not my case as I was never a city girl, but more of a "country girl" at heart.

Regarding the Premier tourist attraction "The Champs Elysées", it now has some "must see" new attraction.
There are now many burnt out buildings and kiosks, the tarmac bears the scars of burning tyres, and it is now patrolled by heavily armed soldiers and armed vehicles.
All worth seeing!
doh devil
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Revenge Or Forgiveness?

What Makes You Happier? hmmm
What is not often addressed is the effect over time.

We do sometimes see stories about what it's like coming home from war, but very rarely see stories about what it's like decades later.
This is not just a portrait of suffering. It's about relationships ... how that damage interacts with intimate relationships... with Love.

I recently saw a film, based on a true story “THE RAILWAY MAN” that tells the extraordinary and epic true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who was tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labour camp during World War II.

Did Eric Lomax really track down his former captor with the intent to kill him?

NO, but Eric's wife Patti says that, until he set eyes on his former Japanese tormentor, Takashi Nagase, he had been threatening to do him harm. However, The Railway Man true story reveals that, unlike the film, the real Eric Lomax's intention was more about finding closure rather than seeking revenge.
The movie depicts Eric meeting with his unsuspecting former captor in order to seek retribution, only to change his mind during the encounter.

Eric later wrote that the reunion gave him "a resolution for which he had been searching for years."

Did Eric Lomax forgive his former tormentor Takashi Nagase?

YES. In his memoir, Eric writes, "Meeting Nagase has turned him from a hated enemy - with whom friendship would have been unthinkable - into a blood-brother.
"If I'd never been able to put a name to the face of one of the men who had harmed me, and never discovered that behind that face there was also a damaged life, the nightmares would always have come from a past without meaning."

This is one dramatic example of someone seeking closure with the choice of forgiveness or revenge.
But there are many examples in everyday life where people can be eaten by their hate and desire for revenge and often the opportunity to achieve this never arises. So they will spend their life poisoned.

The solution really is to see if you can find your own closure by trying to forgive. After all, the other person may be mentally disturbed and/or had a terrible youth and/or upbringing which drove them to the evil deeds they committed.

You cannot change the past but closure must be found somehow. peace

Have you had such experiences? Or, do you know someone who has? daisy
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Quality Over Quantity

As far as Relationships are concerned, what do you prefer:

To have many meaningless friends/acquaintances, or.... only a few good friends who are there for you when you need someone to confide into and to whom you can tell your deepest secrets? dunno

Maintaining relationships requires time, attention and energy and each of us only has so much to give. Obviously, there is a limit to how many relationships we can manage well.

But, what is the limit? And how do we go about enforcing it?

Do we prioritize and allocate time to some special people?

If we focus on quality relationships, rather than quantity, it is not about closing ourselves off to new people, but about recognizing our limitations, learning to let go of what doesn’t serve us, and nurturing what we have.

In conclusion, make room in your life for the people who encourage and support you, inspire you and enrich your life, rather than those who only drag you back and hinder you in your personal and spiritual growth.
dance cheering

What about virtual friends/acquaintances?

Do you chat with only one at the time so that you can focus on that particular person, or....
Can you manage several at the same time, each for a different purpose? dunno

Some of my favourites:

"A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself"

"Friends are like Flowers in the Garden of Life and they need to be nurtured, cared for and tended to"

teddybear heart wings teddybear

Your Place In The World

Ever noticed that you’re stuck in your ways when it comes to seating preferences?
Do you always sit in the same place when you enter a conference room, or attend a public event..?
uh oh

Take the wolf pack, for example, and the survival instinct; wolves have to dig themselves a hole to sleep in and they will defend their territory for dear life.

Dogs, on the other hand, need to be allocated their own space by their leader, or they will choose your sofa or bed, knowing that it is YOUR place, and you´re not claiming it.

As for humans, from our childhood, we chose our seat within the family circle and in a classroom, or were allocated a seat, regardless of our preferences, and reluctantly accepted it. grin

The question is: did we feel happy in that seat and, did it affect our mood and ability to learn? dunno

In my childhood, for example, our teacher used to send the “naughty” kids at the back of the class, away from all other kids, - which for me was pretty often! - and, instead of feeling “punished”, I enjoyed every minute of it.
During the subjects that I hated most (history for example), I used my creative skills – drawing, sketching – which soon came to my teacher´s notice. She then put me at the front of the class where she could keep an eye on me. Now... this was a real punishment for me! hole

In case of classrooms, always choosing the same spot allows students to effectively regulate and control their relationships with – not only their fellow students, in a shared space, but also their teacher - and which makes them feel more comfortable and less vulnerable.

It has been observed that most students choose the same seat over and over when given the choice and, if students can’t “personalize their space and defend it against the invasion of other users when they are absent,” they still sat in the same positions, but some variation also depends on classroom layout.

When I started my teaching career and was teaching classes of about 20 students, I found that the same patterns occurred. At first, they were given free choices about their seating arrangement.
Then, after they had established their preferences and their comfort zone, I disrupted the routine and decided to allocate them another seat – giving them explanations why doing so, of course!
Then, what happened? They suddenly felt completely lost! During the following sessions, I continued this procedure, but allocating different positions until, on entering the room, they asked where they should sit, to which I replied: “anywhere you wish”. They then seemed confused and unable to make a choice.

When attending conferences or lectures where many people attend, where do you sit, and why?
Please give reasons....

Are you still choosing the same place as you always have?

Or.... are you one of those who would prefer not to be there at all? conversing hmmm

As for myself, I do prefer to sit near the front so I can hear better, and at the end of a row so I can have freedom of movement and make a quick escape if necessary. smile gotta go
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What´s In A Name?

Are you happy with your given name?

Or... do you prefer to be known by a nickname (William = Bill/Will..)? dunno

Reportedly, your name is the stamp of your personal identity. The syllables hold a resonance of sound that is powerful to the ear and also has meaning that defines you and carries its own energy.

You might wonder why on earth your parents chose that name? confused

Hmmm.. well... that´s another topic!

What about your profile name? What are you trying to project? hmmm writing

"A Rose by any other name would smell just as sweet".smitten

HAPPY VALENTINE! teddybear teddybear teddybear
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NARCISSISTS – The Puppet Masters

Narcissists are masters at playing mind games. They play to win and they are poor losers and if they don’t win they will often react in a fit of rage and anger and have tantrums like a little child. The only way for the other person to win is NOT to play. scold

Here are some of the more common way games narcissists play:

Ping- Pong
Anytime a narcissist has to self-reflect about anything, they will immediately throw the ball back to the person they consider their opponent.
Narcissists will always throw the ball back to the other person. Narcissists hope that, by not taking responsibility for their own actions (by using blaming, shaming, projection, denial, etc.). their partner will do what they have always done - forgive the narcissist, make excuses for the narcissist’s behavior, claim the narcissist couldn’t help himself because he was having a bad day, and so on.

The narcissist is a moving target and you are always on the firing line. You can stop catching the ball and put it back in their court by setting boundaries and making him aware of his actions. He then realizes he has no one to play with anymore.
He will either drop the person like a hot potato, try to punish the person, or run away. super

The narcissist can be a master of phony empathy. He appears to take you in and to genuinely understand what you are experiencing. Then, just when you think there is a genuine give-and-take in your relationship, he pulls a fast one on you, “gotcha!”, most often when you’re at a low point. hole

Covert narcissists like to play the mirror image to this game: when you’re doing well, have good news, and are in a great mood, they’ll tell you all about how depressed they are or about how they never get any breaks or all the awful things that have happened to them.
The intention is...... to ruin your mood! grin

Maybe you can add to the list? writing playball

The "I don´t deserve you" Syndrom

Have you ever had someone telling you “I don´t deserve you”, “I´m not good enough for you”, “You´re too good for me?
If they do, they usually mean it, and then... this is the end.

Or... they are just challenging you to argue back and convince them that they are really the One for you?

When this happens, we tend to feel guilty that our awesomeness is making them feel bad about themselves and they need some reassurance to boost their self-esteem.

How strange that, after seducing you, charming you, flattering you, making you feel that you´re special, after a few months into the relationship/friendship, they suddenly come to this realisation.
They may be in denial at first, as they can´t believe their luck that they have at last found someone really compatible with them, someone who understands them – or so they think? – they even put you on a pedestal and worship the ground you walk on as you have become the “too good to be true” person.
But, suddenly, for no apparent reason, no fault of your own, they start to make you feel inferior by bringing you down to their level so they don´t feel bad about themselves.

In other words, the person they liked and felt attracted to – or even fell in love with – in the first place, is not good enough anymore. confused

A quote from Marianne Williamson, used by Nelson Mandela: “Playing small doesn´t serve the world”. “There´s nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won´t feel insecure around you”. “We were all meant to shine, as children do”...
To this I would add: don´t let it be your deepest fear, and believe that you are “brilliant”, “talented”, “fabulous” and even powerful beyond measure.

The other option: you could agree with them and change the script, and see what happens?
At this point, they can either tell you they didn´t mean it – which they seldom do! (tell you or mean it) and find a way to end it with some banal excuse. grin

At the end of the day, whose loss is it, yours or theirs?dunno

Can anyone relate to this? conversing

Define Existence?

In recent blogs, some people have been - in their opinion - arguing about what exists and what does NOT exist.

Also, someone questioned her own existence and her place in reality??

Can someone here please define what is Existence? hmmm

And also, what is Reality, bearing in mind that there are various Virtual Reality programmes and headsets which produce, at present, a crude form of reality - which no doubt will improve greatly!?uh oh

Something to ponder over.. confused conversing
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The Hunter Or The Hunted?

From my personal experience and observations, I have known quite a few people – men & women – who tend to be only interested in those they cannot have and pull away, rather than those who are interested in them.
Why you may wonder? hmmm

Research has found that the “thrill of the chase” can be addictive as it stimulates parts of the brain associated with motivation, addiction, and cravings.
When we´re happy and like someone, our brain releases some hormones such as adrenaline, endorphins, dopamine which we can get hooked on. In fact, if we get intermittent attention from someone, it´s all the more addictive than if we got it all the time. wink

It also suggests that we tend to fall for the “unavailable” and have the drive to achieve what is deemed to be “unachievable”, the excitement being the reward in itself- to devote our time and energy feeding our Ego´s hunger.

That which is more easily available is far less attractive but, that situation reveals a void in ourselves and what we should be working on.grin

As we all know: “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. Is it really?

Also... “The less someone responds or reciprocates to one´s advances, the more perceived value the pursuer thinks this person has”!

Something for us to ponder over... uh oh

What do you prefer, to be the "hunter/chaser", or the "hunted" ? batting flirty uncertain very happy

YOU Vs Rules & Regulations

Quote of the day:
“To study you must learn the rules. To create you must forget/ignore them!”

My inspiration for writing this blog came to me as I was practising the piano - something I haven´t done for 40 years!

In my teens, when I first received lessons, the convention was “One must always read the music note by note, and not play by memory or improvise” – which I was inclined to do! grin

Now, although I still have some music sheets, I´d rather play by ear and create my own version and harmonies where I am free to express my own feelings.

This, of course, applies to everyday living.

Do you need a rigid structure for your life or... are you a free radical?

By this, I mean, not necessary laws to run a society, but what is called "convention".

Years ago it was frowned upon to be left-handed.
You were expected to be the same religion, profession etc. as your family
There was no room for individualism or self-realisation. You had to conform.
Not only that, rich or titled people were better than the poor.

Feel free to add....? writing

Wish you all a nice creative day! teddybear
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Music For Blind Elephants Rehabilitation

Music seems to be a universal language for communication with all living things, especially those that have suffered a lot.
The power of classical music is very soothing and can bring peace with such animals, as well as human beings.smitten

An elephant's life isn't always easy, especially when they are currently being threatened by poaching and doing hard work, such as transporting lumber; however, once the forests are gone, many of these elephants are left 'unemployed' and suffering work-related conditions like blindness. sigh

British-born pianist Paul Barton, a concert pianist, has been doing wonderful work with those animals in Thailand, where he has been living since 1996.

You can read more about his story on

Here is some of his music which will bring tears to your eyes:

I have tried it myself by singing and whistling to the horses while grooming them – sometimes even playing some instrument and, I must admit, they were a lot calmer and it was a very emotional and spiritual moment. All the others also started looking in my direction.
smitten love heart wings

Please feel free to share your experiences, stories and videos, if any?
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Return To My Childhood´s Pursuits

As I have now gone beyond my previous activities such as: figure ice skating, skiing, horse riding, martial arts, dancing, and other energetic activities, I have now decided to revert to a former passion of my youth.........the piano. smitten

At that time a piano required a lot of space – which I didn´t have!
Now I have space and an electric piano needs a lot less of it, so I now have one and have converted one of the spare rooms into a music room for the piano, and other instruments.
Times have changed!cheering

Although it is 40 years since I last played the piano, by chance, I came across my old music sheets – which had prompted me to buy a piano. Why did I keep them, I wonder? confused

Of course, I haven´t given up my beloved horses which I will still be caring for as long as I can, and the piano is for rainy days, hahaha... or, more often, when it´s too hot to go out.
In spite of this, I will not forsake my garden, my dog or the shores of the Mediterranean and...... this site!smile

Being retired is very time-consuming!doh grin

Has anyone resurrected old interests?
Or...developed any new ones?
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