Just Another Day

Good morning everyone,

After spending a great festive weekend with family, friends, and a good amount of turkey and roast vegetables, I thought I’d extend my wishes to the rest of the world on this much-needed rainy day in southern Spain.

While we celebrate many landmark achievements worldwide, a lot of us have gone through trying times and even lost loved ones in many of the year’s events, and as 2005 draws to a close we all take the time to think over what we have accomplished, where we are in our lives and what we would like to see happen in the coming months. We should aspire to having food on our tables, drinkable water, a decent roof over our head, good health, the most basic necessities of life. We should look forward to an education, the right to make our own free choices, and the right to even exist. We should be grateful if we have all of these, and try not to worry about the other material things that often cause us great stress and insecurity. Everything else, as we all know deep inside, is fleeting. Often we wrap ourselves up in material elements that take over our lives, drive us in directions we really don’t need to go, forgetting that we are all we need. So when you’ve put all this year’s presents aside, remember that life itself is the greatest gift you have, even if you’re going through a difficult time and can’t see through it.


But this feeling should be there every day of our lives, not just on selected dates because “everyone else is doing it and it’s the Christmas spirit.” After all, not everyone celebrates Christmas, not everyone even knows what it is…

We should call it the Human spirit, because that is our common denominator. And it should be there every day of the year, festive or not.

Happy Monday.

Uninvited

I guess it’s time to do the yearly review thing. Well, to begin with, work has gone quite well, with its inevitable ups and downs, but the learning curve has started to move a little further so I guess in all it’s been good. I’ve established new working relationships, assessed previous ones, made my own conclusions and set new goals for myself. Now I just need to act upon them… *ponders*

I have travelled to new places, visited old ones that keep calling me back, discovered new things about myself and about others. Been through situations which I feel have made me stronger or opened my eyes to aspects I hadn’t noticed before. I have been inspired beyond words by complete strangers and friends alike, all to whom I am grateful for this.

I’ve made new friends, some real and some ‘virtual’ which I may or may not meet in person, but look forward to the possibility of doing so at some point.

*pauses* I am, however, still confused at this whole human interaction business. Be it in person or online, we meet, we establish some form of communication, we bounce off each other, it builds into some sort of relationship (friendship or other). Often we talk every day, and we even discuss being ‘angry’ or ‘upset’ with each other over something – establish that if ever we feel that way we should talk about it. Great! Now, here’s the catch – at some point a lot of those conversations stop dead almost overnight. Whether this is because something is happening in the life of the other person that they don’t wish to share with us (even though previously they may have disclosed a fair amount of intimacies) or whether it is just the natural erosion of the initial spark, or whether suddenly it’s all too much for them, I really don’t know. Nobody’s told me yet (I do know how I have felt overwhelmed at times though). At that point, while you continue with your daily routines and life in general, you also make a mental assessment of what has been discussed of late, whether there may have been anything you said or did to offend or make them feel uncomfortable. You can’t think of anything so you keep a low profile, hoping to give that other person enough space so as to emerge at some point and either tell you what was going on or establish that the issue did not lie with you. The sense of confusion is inevitable. You want to say something but you don’t want to impose… Are we cool or are we not? And if not, why not?

In this day and age, we have so many means of communicating available now that really the only thing holding us back from doing so is our very self.

What I will say to those who’ve gone quiet, whether you’re just down the road or a thousand miles away… you may be busy or you may be at odds, but don’t let the fact that someone is thinking about you scare you. Most people mean no harm and do genuinely want you to be happy, with no hidden agendas. Allow yourselves to be surprised. And I hope you’re keeping well.


So Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah or just happy days in general. After all, happiness isn’t just for one day of the year… Take care.


Uninvited

Like anyone would be
I am flattered by your fascination with me
Like any hot-blooded woman
I have simply wanted an object to crave
But you, you’re not allowed
You’re uninvited

An unfortunate slight
Must be strangely exciting
To watch the stoic squirm
Must be somewhat heartening
To watch shepherd need shepherd
But you you’re not allowed
You’re uninvited
An unfortunate slight

Like any uncharted territory
I must seem greatly intriguing
You speak of my love like
You have experienced love like mine before
But this is not allowed
You’re uninvited
An unfortunate slight

I don’t think you unworthy
I need a moment to deliberate

Written by Alanis Morissette

On Communication

I find it quite entertaining that in ancient times people communicated in hieroglyphics, which then evolved into writing, and now we’ve technically reverted back to hieroglyphics (as seen in the case of smileys used by avid instant messaging internauts, text messaging and other graphical abbreviations).

In terms of communication it would appear that humanity has not evolved, rather, it has REvolved.

The Beautiful South

Sometimes things that you take a leap at in order to give your life a little shake up and stray from routine don’t go ‘to plan,’ but the alternative need not be a disappointment. I had planned to visit Granada this weekend with a friend, and from there join a hiking group in Ronda this Sunday to walk through the Sierra de las Nieves, organized by the Centro Deportivo El Fuerte in Marbella. However, half an hour before I was supposed to leave for Granada, I opted out as I wasn’t feeling all that well and preferred to reserve myself for the hike on Sunday. Good thing I did!

For bureaucratic reasons, we did not travel up to the Sierra de las Nieves, but instead ended up in the Sierra Blanca behind the village of Ojén (a leisurely 20 minute drive from Marbella). We parked up by the cozy Refugio de Juanar, and took the Senda de José Lima (named after one of the old forest guards who in their time rode around on motorbikes and were equipped with rifles – a similar route on the other side of the road is named after the other guard, José Marquez). This route leads down, up and behind the valley, overlooking the pinsapo (Abies Pinsapo – unique to the south of Spain if I’m not mistaken) and chestnut forests. The walk is great for those looking for fresh herbs for their roast or stew… plenty of sage and thyme readily available for the picking. We reached an altitude of 1,105m (according to the pretty print-out handed to us by the monitor) and covered about 5-6km in all. Once back at our starting point at Juanar, we stretched our legs a little further to the ‘mirador’ (viewing point) that overlooks east over Ojén, as opposed to the better-known walk to the main and older mirador, which overlooks the coast. Both provide breathtaking views and a great place to stop for a bite (just remember not to litter!) and relax after such a trek.

My friend, who did go to Granada, never showed up at the designated hiking point… nor did he call later that day. I assumed he had preferred to stick around Granada, and was glad I didn’t go for that reason. My aim had been to take the hike and, somewhat displaced as it turned out to be, I enjoyed it.

It was a great experience, and the people in the group were friendly, down to earth, mostly Spanish and of all ages (for once I was not the youngest in a group!). It would also seem that more and more people are interested in exploring their surroundings and environment, which comforts me as I have observed that the newer, younger generations seem to care very little for them. This movement is also aided by more publicity and lobbying by the local town hall environmental departments. I’m sure more can and will be done, but hats off to all of you for the time and effort you’re putting in. The coast is plagued with construction and sometimes, leisurely as it may be, one needs to escape from the fading paradise of old that has become a concrete jungle, to find some peace and tranquility in the untarnished land.

It takes very little effort to change your surroundings for a day, and this often provides us with great moments. Some of which we may not encounter if we stay huddled up in the same spot. So get out there, discover a little of your country, of yourself, either alone or with company. Step out of the dullness that may be overshadowing you. No matter where you are, it could be anywhere…

Rotterdam
Beautiful South (Heaton/Rotheray)

And the women tug their hair
Like they’re trying to prove it won’t fall out
And all the men are gargoyles
Dipped long in irish stout

The whole place is pickled
The people are pickles for sure
And no-one knows if they’ve done more here
Than they ever would do in a jar

This could be rotterdam or anywhere
Liverpool or rome
’cause rotterdam is anywhere
Anywhere alone
Anywhere alone

And everyone is blonde
And everyone is beautiful
And when blondes and beautiful are multiple
They become so dull and dutiful

And when faced with dull and dutiful
They fire red warning flares
Battle-khaki personality
With red underwear

This could be rotterdam or anywhere
Liverpool or rome
’cause rotterdam is anywhere
Anywhere alone
Anywhere alone

The whole place is pickled
The people are pickles for sure
And no-one knows if they’ve done more here
Than they ever would do in a jar

This could be rotterdam or anywhere
Liverpool or rome
’cause rotterdam is anywhere
Anywhere alone

This could be rotterdam or anywhere
Liverpool or rome
’cause rotterdam is anywhere
Anywhere alone

Introduction to Silence

Silence

Give me release
witness me
I am outside
give me peace

Heaven holds a sense of wonder
and I wanted to believe
that I’d get caught up
when the rage in me subsides

In this white wave
I am sinking
in this silence
in this white wave
in this silence
I believe

Passion chokes the flower
’til she cries no more
possessing all the beauty
hungry still for more
Heaven holds a sense of wonder…

I can’t help this longing
comfort me
I can’t hold it all in
if you won’t let me
Heaven holds a sense of wonder…

In this white wave
I am sinking
in this silence
in this white wave
in this silence
I believe

I have seen you
in this white wave
you are silent
you are breathing
in this white wave
I am free

Written by Bill Leeb/Rhys Fulber/Sarah McLachlan
Produced by Delerium feat. Sarah A McLachlan