So yesterday I visited my mum at her retirement home and after the initial hellos, and a lack of a conversational subject, she asked me about my beard, and how in her opinion I would look younger without it. Then this morning I woke up with mum's words on my mind, and sure enough I did something about it. I gave myself a crew cut .... and kept the beard.
Last week we read or heard about the passing of Monserrat Caballé ... an operatic Spanish diva, who came to my attention only through the sadly much lamented Freddie Mercury. This was when the two superstars collaborated on the Freddie's penned powerful song Barcelona, singing it together in the mid 1980's.
Here is one rendition of it, from Live at La Nit in 1988, in memory of these two greats.
I’ve been singing The Beatles songs since their very own original release dates in the glorious ‘60s ... and for a while, most of the 70s I guess, the catchy tune of ‘When I’m Sixty Four” kept reverberating in my head, singing it humming it to myself mostly. Well, the phrase in the song “many years from now” is with me, as I turn 64 tomorrow, and in my reminiscing mind I happily remember the many happy and grateful memories. Sadly though, I also remember the 9/11 attack on NY Twin Towers and the exact place I was when it triggered. Sad.
Life is made of ups and downs, of achievements and disappointments, of grabbed opportunities and missed situations.
Do I have regrets? Sure I do. Anybody doesn’t have any? But these are easily mellowed by pride of purpose, honesty, some achievements and truth.
So roll on 64! Still haven’t lost all my hair ... at least.
A bit on the lighter side of life today. Do you kick yourself when you message anybody and message goes out with a typo ? Or worse, you write if well and the internal autocorrect programme changes a word and so the whole message might look ridiculous? Fear not you’re not alone. Cathay Pacific Airlines of Hong Kong took delivery of a recently newly painted aircraft with their new livery. And the painter did a boo boo. Was it a typo or a deliberate advertising attention grabber sort of typo? They spelt it CATHAY PACIIC.
And I’m agreeing with that somebody who tweeted “the F got *ucking lost”.
See, it happens to all of us. Go *igure huh !
While today’s date officially recognises an additional year to my life on Earth, it is a mere number and of not much importance or of any consequence to anyone but to myself and the other 20,000,000 people on average celebrating their birthday today !
However, today marks the anniversary of when life on this planet changed, with the atrocious terroristic act of 9/11. 2996 people, including the misguided 19 hijackers, lost their lives that day. An additional 6000+ were injured. A calamity that has changed our way of life forever.
Nowadays we hear of daily, small (compared to 9/11) terrorism acts, all over the world’s great, and maybe not so great cities. We stare at various screens, and WOW at the instantaneous media coverage and the keeping us ‘informed’. We might think of the victims for a little while, go numb for a little while, maybe even spare a silent moment ... and then we move on! But for those victims and their loved ones, their world is messed up. Forever!
Remember the day today. Remember the change this day made in 2001
And remember all the victims of such acts in your prayers.
President Trump is in the news again. Or rather President Trump keeps dominating the news. Not climate change, not dying oceans, not human sufferings and mass refugee movements. Trump!
We have a saying which loosely translated alludes that 'with money, one can build roads across oceans'. Goes to show, emphasize, the power of money. Yet, there is also the saying that 'money is the root of all evil'. Many powerful people with money cover their dark sides by playing the philanthropists. That let's them get away with even darker sides. Ofcourse not all philanthropists fall in that category.
Some powerful wealthy people cover their ugly sides with their money purchasing power - buying witness silence. And it works, unless the witnesses become too greedy and the same money buys their permanent silence!
It's nice to have the money and a means to do what one likes. As long as one stays in control. But many times, doing what one likes trespasses into the darker realms of life, stepping over everybody and everything. Then it's the money that's controlling one's life.
Everybody can understand this. But not everyone will.
Does anybody clearly remember life before the mobile phone? The mobile revolution started in the mid to late 80s. It was a bulky contraption looking close to a ladies handbag with a strap to be slung over the shoulders. You could make very expensive calls on it .. if you talked loud enough. Then a couple of years later, SMSs (Short Message Service) were introduced. They had to be very short because the cost was horrendous. Sending an 'I love you' would cost the equivalent of about a dollar in today's money. And that's nigh 33 years ago.
Now, few, if anybody can live without the mobile. FaceBook, Twitter, BBC, CNN, WhatsApp, Messenger, Camera, eMail, YouTube, Spotify, ePayments and 'e'verything else one can think of.
It's taken over our lives, and some ! And maybe it's time to revert back to using the mobile to making short and necessary phone calls, and take back our lives.
Yes, maybe I'll do that. Tomorrow.
Today I need to stay abreast of all the gossip !
Men can now whip it out and have a public pee. All legal and above board. This goes to show that nothing is a no go area any more. With or without children possibly staring at the act, men who cannot control their bladders can now just whip out their whistle and play a tune. The uritroittoir is just an open fronted box, (red to attract attention !!), full of f straw, being placed in popular places around the City of Lovers and Haut Couture. So guys,a word of advice: if visiting Paris don't just join any queue you see forming up, check it out first, or you may have to end up performing in front of an audience. ... possibly with miniaturized shriveled apparatus in cold Parisienne weather. Hehehe.
In my opinion, everybody prays.
In all religions. Of all beliefs. Whether proclaimed atheists or non believers, all pray.
Spiritually prayer is from the heart and so most times it’s private, but it also is manifested publicly, aloud and as a congregation, invoking or pleading or asking or thanking God, or Allah, or Buddha, or the Sun, the Moon.....
Praying is a powerful emotion which can be both physical and mental, and even if for the briefest of time, can be a reliever of worry, stress, mental and physical pain, and a support in time of need.
I believe in the power of prayer.
Let me make my position clear on this - I am not for killing unborn babies. Or living ones for that matter! But I also believe in Truth, Freedom of Expression, Free Will and Peace. And so, in spite of my anti-abortion stand, I will not impose it on anybody else. This is a messy controversial issue, highly personal and spiritually between the individual, her conscience and God.
Argentina has just rejected a bill to allow selected legalised abortions. Argentina is the homeland of Papa Francesco and media reports that the Church had a big say in the result. Of course, that’s a given. The Church needs to see to the overall good of mankind and irrespective if the whole world is for abortion, or the nauseating secular-state arguments, the Church (or anyone for that matter) cannot condone killing.
I mean, only last week the Church made a turnaround and abolished the death penalty for crying out loud.
My thought today is with a friend who has been suffering in health for many years, and who has been through hell and back an innumerable number of times. While this may show an inherent gigantic inner strength, it is truly a huge cross that this friend is bearing and carrying.
May the Almighty Father take pity, heals this person from the pain and lightens the load that has now been borne for many many years. I earnestly pray for this Dear God.
Please say a little prayer for all the suffering in this world.
Since the earliest i can remember, i was always reading. Marvel Comics, illustrated books, Readers Digest and Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia, apart from most pf the classics, all of Enyd Blyton's Famous Five and Agatha Christie's Poirot works.
But a great book which I kept going to over and over from early reading stage to late teenager was a well gnarled copy of Aesop's Fables and all the lessons learned from it.
However the most powerful story that eventually guided me through my life was Hans Christian Andersons's The Emperor's New Clothes.
It taught me to always say the truth !
Politicians the world over today badly need the morals of Aesop's Fables, and the lesson learned from Hans Christian Anderson's fashion inspired tale. Really.