Category: growing up


It’s been quite a ride. From my New Year’s Post until today.

Today marks the first eight years in Ibiza. It’s been quite a tough ride, sometimes it wasn’t all skipping through the daisies, but I made it so far.

Now, when I look back on the past twelve months I can only say. It was a whole lot of work, but in the end it was damn well worth it.

So, at the end of November I received my first copies of my newly published book, La nit estesa (Night extended) which is a crime (type film noir in book form with pulp elements) novel which draws on various literary genres. It’s basically a hard-boiled detective story but also some kind of underground novel. It shows you Ibiza from its seedy drug ridden underbelly. Protagonist is one hapless anti-hero fighting his drug addiction.

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I’ve been pretty busy in the past few weeks, starting the translation of my book into two languages. So, that’s something that kind of keeps me busy. As well as promoting my book in the Catalan language region, the Balearic Isles, as well as mainland Catalonia.

I also have a very thousands of new ideas for new writings. I finished two different poetry books this year, I compiled a short story selection and began the draft of a new novel. So there are things that can be expected for 2016 or 2017 depending on how fast things go and I get them to move forward.

Before you do your first real publication, you’re completely concerned if people will like your book. Now, if I’m honest, that’s not really a concern for me anymore, it might sound a bit mean or tough, but the truth is, once your book is out, you immediately start to think of new things to write about, about the next step. Well, that’s how it is with me, anyway. The tears, the pain, the sweat and the effort are all in the book. Now I need something new to get my teeth in. Lol 😉

Apart from being busy, I start getting noted which is nice, it’s weird, but it’s nice too. So, I’ve got an interview request and I hope that both interview and the two book launches can be carried out without fail.

At the minute, the whole thing around “La nit estesa” is a whole lot of juggling times, and juggling your other projects, and juggling family and friends. It can be a drag, but let’s face it. There are by far worse things to complain about. So I will shut up now.

I’ve had an extraordinary and truly exciting year 2015. A year of growth. And somehow, I hope this is just the first bit of a rollercoaster ride that please does not stop mid-air or with my head in a spin or some upside down position.

Looking forward to it.

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Ok, just let me get this straight. I don’t work for fun. I work because I need to, just like 98% of the population. What makes things harder on me, is that my time is mostly divided up between my several jobs that I tend to have, since none of them not even nearly covers my expenses, and none of them nearly gets me anywhere to some kind of financial security. But, hey, what’s it to me anyway. I am a translator, a free spirit, someone who is blessed to live the way they want to anyway. Right? No, wrong. Big time wrong.

It’s funny to see that my last entry on this blog was about the World Cup being used to cover up for a lot of what I would summarize under the Big Rio de Caca or Spain’s internal crisis. The truth is, now some 45 days on in history. I’ve had my own private Rio de Caca here and then. Why? Let me explain.

As I said, I work as a translator. What I do is that I try to get some jobs here and there to somehow get to the end of the month. That’s basically what I do. Things are not going especially well, not with some people not understanding that a real translation is something else than doing “copy/paste” with google translate. Plus, the market is full with so-called translators who don’t do this profession any favor by calling themselves translators. Anyway, that being said, I was ecstatic when I received an email informing me about an urgent job to translate from Castellano to English. I asked if this was a one-off, but no. It was meant to be a regular thing. Since I was in the last throes of my other almost regular job, I tried to postpone it, but no, of course, it was just now and then. So I agreed to make an appointment. The appointment went well, I got the job, and I was told to be working from now on from the own privacy of my home, a thing I very much appreciated, since the pay was just as much as to cover the actual time spent on the translation (as foreseen by my employer).

Ok, since I was being quite in the middle of a very hectic week, I agreed that they would prepare me things to sign, and since I had their word and a handshake, I thought everything was fine. At least, that was not some kind of back alley deal. That is a newspaper. This is group of different media companies (TV, newspaper, and what not) which have been here for years and years. So I thought, it would not be necessary to show any mistrust against them. A handshake used to fine in this case. So I thought.

In the very first couple of days, things went very chaotic, if not totally unprofessionally. I got sent texts of an amount where I needed to extract about an article of 20% the size and sometimes the titles were this large I was only allowed four to max. five words in the title etc. Plus the texts were sent very late, and many other things that were not really helpful in terms of me having a normal and useful working environment, because my only contact with the company were the emails that were sent to me.

I tried to get back in touch with the man who hired me. I asked him for a second interview even though I had a good mind of simply telling him that this way, the work is not really workable. Not in one or in one and a half hours, which was the base for the amount he was willing to pay. I was actually willing to quit after four or five days, it wasn’t even a week. So I sat him down and talked him through my pains. He listened very carefully and then told me he would change the system, and he could understand my concerns, etc. etc. In the end, he even lowered the amount of articles from 8 to five articles per day, which was absolutely necessary since they always arrived extremely late and it turned out that I had to not only translate them, but also revise them, sometimes rewrite them to make them fit into the small space they were given on one page. I asked for the texts to be sent earlier in the day so I would not wait around so much and could also make use of the afternoon or evening.

A couple of times, the arrangement worked, but mostly, it was simply very chaotic.
At the very beginning of our cooperation, I informed my boss of a course I would be doing in Barcelona but he would not have to worry, I would still be translating that week. I really wanted this job so much. I wanted to move mountains in order to achieve something. He had talked about giving me a proper job in the editors’ team.

Ok, fast forward 40 days. I started on June 15th. I was supposed to get my first cash on July 15th. However, since that was exactly during the week I was in Barcelona, I thought, no big deal, I will be paid the week after. Right? Wrong…

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Last week I showed up at the office, throwing in an office day to say hello and ask about the payment, which I thought at the time, was no problem at all. I mean, they had been printing all my articles and they had thanked me for sending them the articles, so I thought, good. I need to pay my invoices just like anyone else, and so I asked when I could have my money. I was referred to someone in the administration and this someone asked me what type of agreement I had with the paper. I said 30€, went back to my desk, continued translating, was called in after I’d finished and was told that I would need to make myself self-employed, a thing which is absolutely impossible on 900€ (supposing the 900€ = deducted from 30 days per 30€ payable). The thing was we had spoken net amounts, and I told them, I could work on a normal parttime schedule, with the three hours every day and so forth. But then, I was told that the 900€ would be a brut amount leaving me with much less. When this happened, I asked them to send me a comparative study so that I could make up my mind which way to choose. Although I surely wasn’t happy about any of this. 30€ just about covers me, but 30€ minus 25% or even 30% that simply wouldn’t do it.

However, they never send me the comparative study. In the end, I was notified, after I had again send them an email and still kept on working, that the situation had changed. All of a sudden, the word was that I would be reimbursed with 500€ flat, as it had been agreed upon in the very first meeting, before I had even finished three days at work, and when there was no talk about working seven days a week… But no, 500€ instead of 900€ and that was it. No questions asked. I just couldn’t believe it.

I made a short calculation, saw that this amount would simply not cut it for all the hours I lost each and every day. So, I told them, again, in the nicest way possible, that there has got to be a mistake. But right now, I don’t think that any of my doubts, are being heard. I haven’t heard back from them, even though I yesterday (Sunday) sent out a reminder to ask for my due pay for working 40 days non-stop. This company owes me 1200€. And they don’t care that I have worked for them like a clockwork. Never failed them once.

It is now 45 days after my first day at work. I tore the ripcord, stopped writing for them, last Friday (after being informed that my monthly pay would be 500€! For 30 days, for 3 hours, and 5 articles daily). At first I could simply not believe it that a newspaper will act this way. Basically, they are not willing to pay the amount we had an agreement for. This was 30 € / day. I averaged in between two to three hours work, but there were days when I needed four to five hours since I waited for the articles to be sent or because the big article was still missing or they would have problems with the headlines or whatever. So let’s speak of an average of three hours (which under normal circumstances, could have been two hours, but that’s about as low as it gets in terms of time). They claim now that we had a different agreement, which rounds of at 15.60€ / day which is truly quite unbelievable.

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I had a similar case happen to me in spring. When I translated a comic or let’s say I proof-read it and didn’t get paid. I had given them a lousy and ridiculously low price. But even so. It’s still money, and it’s still time I invested into someone else’s work and where I didn’t see any benefits.

But this is so much larger in terms of scale. I am so sick and tired of being ripped off. If I had known this, I would have stopped working for them much earlier. But as things are, I need to stick around, fix things somehow, it just breaks my heart cos my kids ask me to go to the beach, summer time, to relax and enjoy the time, but I can’t. I need to say no, since I am here, in my home office, looking for a new job, a way to get back on top of things. Being ripped off for one and a half month of good work is quite something.

One thing for sure, I am sad and angry. I feel treated like I am some kind of idiot. I feel ridiculed.

Now I can remember what my old primary school used to say “You’re my first class here. Act like you know that you are going to pave the way for many many new primary classes to come. If you blow it, it’ll be on your head.” That was always something that impressed me lots. We were an exemplary class.

I just hope that this company will make the same bad experience one day. And I also hope that then they will realise the true extension of their antisocial and irresponsible behaviour. They are paving the way to being “antisocial” being accepted as a “business model”.

I’m not finished with them.

– To be continued –

Hiatus

My father died suddenly past Saturday. We don’t live in the same country. So all in a total rush, we had to fly out to be able to attend the funeral. We left the kids at a friends’ house. Three days gone, two spent almost entirely on the airport, trains and such. I thought a lot about whether I would write the actual reason in this post or not, then decided it would be much better if I did, so here I am, telling you the truth even you don’t know how much this all means to me.

We never had an easy going relationship. It was probably the most difficult relationship on earth, you could have with someone. I loved him, he also loved me, but we were still but constantly fighting, both extremely headstrong and never giving in. We were both pretty much opposed in our views, and due to our strong characters, there was a constant war going on in our family. Unfortunately, I had picked the wrong side. Or rather I was the minority. Basically, this meant I was on my own. We fought often. The last time I saw him was two years and four months ago. Of course, we would fight then again. In between, we would pick up a phone and talk to each other every now and then. It is very difficult for me right now. I always thought I would see him again. I feel stupid for not telling him how I felt. Now it is too late. I can only hope that somehow deep down, he knew I loved him too. We were cut from the same wood and despite appearances, I did love him. Things had gotten difficult. We both hurt each other, I hurt him, and he also hurt me, but that’s water under the bridge now. That was the kind of little world we inhabited. Fighting and never giving in.

So, instead of writing sob stories, and crappy postings drenched in self pity, I made up my mind.

There won’t be any written postings in a while, which includes the promised interviews. I might (or might not) come up with some pictures later on, but that’s about as far as it goes.

Basically, I need a bit of time to think and probably also a bit of rest.

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This picture shows my dad as a young man in Greece.

 

This is just a quick post. I just saw a very awesome video blog post on the outlier collective today on the controversial subject of feminism on the Outlier Collective Blog.

and it got me into thinking why I don’t like the term feminism and why it strikes me as something which is unbalanced, anachronistic or even weird since I don’t like the term but on the other hand, I do think that the movement in itself is still pretty much needed as we have things going on in our society that are not strictly speaking women friendly. And this goes for many, many areas of our lives:

– less wages for same kind of work (some of us are more equal than others)

– not the same kind of emotional / physical / scientific / moral education for boys and girls

– the so-called “glass ceiling” (meaning that women will often not be promoted as men or even be stopped from being promoted at all for the simple fact because they are women)

– the way that boys are still taught to “toughen up” and girls at the same time are being told not to be such “a tomgirl” or are encouraged to yield her own interests and be more caring towards others (Cinderella complex)

– the devaluation of anything that is vaguely “too” feminine and therefore not manly enough: in terms of language: sissy, wimp, pussy, but also in terms of being labelled as worthless. Ergo, the mere depiction of testosterone fuelled macho dreams which have not been full-filled are therefore not to be regarded, so they are being either ignored, made fun of, or they must be eliminated as they are the enemy, well, at least for some blockheads.

– funnily enough: the reverse example should be working the other way around, it should show be the opposite, but ha! wrong again, when in fact, it doesn’t come full circle here: the “as-male-posing” female is also not viewed in a good manner either. She is not a she, she is more a deformed kind of female and therefore also devalued.

There are so many things, that come to mind that it is hard to recount them all. The point is however, as soon as you talk to someone about this fact, they will go “woah, so you are a feminist”. No, actually, I am not. I always said no to this question simply because I don’t like the term and the associations that go with this term. However, I do have the strong feeling that there is still a lot to be desired in terms of what is possible and what isn’t in a male society.

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This might come as a surprise to some readers, but the majority of all women are not ready to give up their career when they have children, and they do want to go on building their career, and they might even have more dreams to accomplish. But the truth is feminist and feminism for the 21st century seems like an anachronism. And we tend to think of women refusing to wear bras, who don’t shave their armpits, wearing baggy clothes, eating macrobiotic food, not using lipstick, and who might in fact turn out to be lesbians (hahaha, good one, isn’t it???), whatever. But why is that? Because we again do the same thing, that Kozo mentioned in his video post, we judge women by the way they look and not by the things they know or by the things they say. It is so damn true. Please watch his video, it is so worth watching.

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We need to open our hearts and our minds to be aware, to get to the point where it becomes clear that we can only have a truly egalitarian society in the sense of women and men being treated equally when people start seeing that a woman is more than her outward appearance and a man is more than this tough guy who is never allowed to shed a tear. We need to view things and people in a more adult, grown up way.

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So, let’s readjust a little. Let’s even out the playfield a little bit. Let’s open up a little by making a small change.

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May we all get to the point where we start healing: the ones who grew up with the toxic “water” around them, the ones who have been victimised. But we all can start to heal, even the ones who are not victimised as they might still advocate a new kind of thinking and promote it.

However, since I would not be me if I would not bring in at least one thing which is a little bit controversial… let’s watch another video and listen to this song.

Like I said earlier on, the joke is still on us. 😉

Maybe we need a female Tim Minchin who would text an equally disconcerting, subversive and amusing song and make fun of men having their male kind of periods and laugh at the nonsense of thinking one gender to be superior to another. Hey, and one thing, sex and gender is not the same thing.

Have a happy and good relation to a man or a woman, to both as a matter of fact, whoever and wherever you are!

Remember:

We are afraid to be vulnerable so we pretend to be someone else. In most cases anyway. And there are few brave ones out there who can strip off the mask and be themselves.

So, I’m with Kozo and I’m with Tim on this one: Kozo said: Start opening your mind and opening your heart and see what happens. Or as Tim said: We are just fucking monkeys in shoes!!! So, loosen up!!!

P.S. By the way, there is a short add-on to my article: Did you know there is a FEMINIST PORN AWARD? Yes, sex industry and feminism is no longer a contradiction in terms. Look it up the blog orbitadiversa.wordpress.com and click on the link in her blog or simply use this one here:

http://www.golfxsconprincipios.com/lamoscacojonera/porno-feminista-1/

Rhyan Paul – interview from May 1st / plus repeat interview May 17th

Question 1 : When did you come to to this isle and why? Was there any kind of trigger / key story?

I came to Ibiza after moving back from Miami… A friend of mine was already living there and it felt like a good place to visit and I immediately fell in love with the place. It was 2002. And that was it. I was hooked.

Rhyan Paul in the magic realm of Es Vedra

Rhyan Paul in the magic realm of Es Vedra

 

 
Question 2 : Please recall your personal Ibiza story and describe, what to you is the magic of this isle? What is your life like here?

I guess my Ibiza story is one of luck. I moved back from Miami. I decided that I wanted to live in Ibiza obviously. And it was kind of hooked up for me thru Gerry Kelly who used to run Pacha back in the day… he linked me with Brasilio from la Troya. And Brazilio linked me with the guys that were doing Amanda at Amnesia and they linked me linked me Armin Van Buuren… I ended up getting the job of promotions director for Armada night at amnesia. So – Pretty lucky, really. I guess to me the magic… of the island is just the island itself. It’s so diverse. You got everything, the spirituality, Es Vedra, and Atlantis, all the way thru hedonistic clubs, the slums of San Antonio, through to the beauty of the San Mateo valley it just goes on… it is all just a beautiful really.

 

Question 3: Is it just you or are you a couple / family?

Well it is my family – Me and my wife, Melissa. I spend more time here than Mel. She is the marketing director for Box TV… So she is in the UK, in London. But my Ibiza family is here. Family does not have to be blood relatives. And my family is Ibiza.

Question 4: Who or what did lure you to live in Ibiza?

I’ve already answered this one really. The lure for me just was the beautiful island: The people, the music, the lifestyle. And obviously the fact that, well, there was a job offered!

Question 5: Despite which “urban legends” / misconceptions did you come to Ibiza? When did you find that they were misconceptions?

Misconceptions. I guess, the main one is the one that everybody thinks that Ibiza is one big, fat, hedonistic, drug filled, filthy, chav ridden hellhole. You know… And it is not. There is just San Antonio, and a couple of clubs down in San Rafael and Playa den Bossa. The rest is beautiful untouched, just stunning scenery. And beautiful Ibicencans. That was the misconception that I was most happy not to be true. Without a doubt, I remember. Actually, when you visit… the island is completely different to when you live there. I remember driving down through France and I got completely fucking lost and somehow I ended up in Germany. Strange. I tried speaking Spanish to Germans and was not getting very far.
Eventually I made it to Denia and got the ferry, and you know, just getting off the ferry, at Ibiza port. Straight into Ibiza town and being in IBIZA! So the farmhouse we were renting, was somewhere near in San Rafael. So I headed for San Rafael. Down the road, down a camino, down the track, wow, we were in the middle of fucking nowhere. And I thought well: This is heaven. That is the misconception, that Ibiza is a drugs filled hellhole… And it is really not.

Question 6 : What was probably the most beautiful experience you ever had on this isle?

The most beautiful experience I’ve had in Ibiza? There have been a lot. There are the stereotypical beautiful experiences. The cheesy ones… sunrise & sunsets at Es Vedra… Sunset at Benirras with the drumming. But there have been other… beautiful experiences… Just finding hidden nuggets of the island…there is a particular little cove in San Mateu, where you walk through a forest and down to an ocean cove, that is pretty stunning … everyday something beautiful and equally something shitty happens as well. . Meeting people, meeting Ibicencans. When you try and speak a little bit of Spanish and they kind of try back. They kind of embrace you for not being a typical chavvy tourist when they realize you are a resident who cares for the Island.

Question 7: What was probably the most horrible experience you ever had on this isle?

Most horrible experience? Gotta be, without a doubt, (hesitating) Having to live in San Antonio for two months, in the height of season… because my contract on the house I was renting in ran out. And I lived in the Tanit building, facing into the Westend. It was just fucking vile. That is the only words I can use to describe it. Just, seriously. Actually, it makes me feel ashamed to be British anyway. I fucking hate Brits abroad! Guys, you… know, you are not doing yourselves any favours… Girls, seriously, you do need to wear shorts or a dress after dark, really, a tiny swimsuit at night with that ass? Guys – I know you’ve been to the gym, I know you look great, but you know what, need to work your legs as well as your upper body. It’s just wrong. Personally, I’ve got nothing against San An. And actually there are some great places in San an. Casa Thai for instance, The marina, there are some beautiful bars, you’ve got Sunsea bar, back in the day you had Kanya, you’ve got CafĂŠ del mar, you’ve got Mambo’s, it’s just the people that seem to want to go there. So, that is repeatedly the most horrible experience…

Question 8 : On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 – horrible, 10 – super) how would you rate your stay in Ibiza?

On a scale from 1-10 how to rate my stay in Ibiza? It’s off the fucking scale, dude…. It’s out in the stratosphere.

Question 9: Something has changed throughout the past 40 years. Who in your mind is destroying the isle?

Destroying the island? Damn, it’s a bit a political one really. It’s a double-edged sword. It really is a tricky one. You know what they are doing to Playa den Bossa? The super complex, the golf course, Ushuaia towers, and Ushuaia everything else, and then what they are going to do the same in San An, you know the bit of wasteland, where 1-2-3 (interviewer: the music festival 1-2-3 in 2012 where Lenny Kravitz played in Ibiza) was so that will be Ushuaia San Antonio and all the new roads, it’s making this island this commercial fucking hellhole. (Raising his voice)
But the flipside is that it’s bringing money to the island and you gotta be progressive, and Ushuaia is an amazing club experience. And Playa den Bossa needs regeneration. So – It’s tricky. I guess The purist in me and the purist in many people would like to see a place of beautiful innocence, you Pacha, Amnesia, and Ku, which is now Privilege, and everything open air still, you know, just peace love and unity. Amazing sex, amazing people. And amazing drugs. Superstars everywhere. And that’s great, that’s fine… But Unfortunately, things change. It’s up to decide to the guy on the street to decide whether it’s for the better or worse. Personally, I think the new roads are a god send. Saves me load in suspension repairs. So… yeah… Bit on the fence with this one.

Question 10: Who / what movement / what remedy do you think can save the isle?

What remedy could we use to save the island? We gotta be more eco, man. Everybody has to. Not just Ibiza, the world over. We are raping and fucking this world in the ass, you know and on the daily basis. We can’t seem to see it. We need to be more green, man, have more sustainability. We need to be environmentally aware and not just friendly. But: Aware of what we are doing. We need to stop thinking, to bringing cars to Ibiza … and fucking up the eco system and the ocean. We can’t be doing this. Everybody has got to do something. But the problem is. The smallest thing – if everyone did it – would make the biggest difference. For example – If we all turned off the light for one hour a day, massive fucking difference to the world. But no one is gonna do it. You know, I am not gonna do it. Because the guy next door is not. And: Thus it goes on. Everybody please just do a little bit. You know what?
Grow some veg. And I don’t want hear all this bullshit. …Oh, I live in a high rise. Get a window box. Grow some training tomatoes, grow some cucumbers, grow some strawberries. If everybody grew just a little bit of everything, then the impact of the amount of suffering that has been brought to the island would be lessened.
Eat less meat, we don’t need all the meat. Eat less sugar, eat less sweets. Just I don’t know. I guess. Take a little back the way we used to live 40 or 50 years ago.
Just think people. It’s not gonna be here forever. It’s all very well and good, now, you’re saying that, it’s someone else s problem.
You won’t be saying that when you are trying to put out the flames out on your kids back because the ozone’s layer is gone.
Question 11: Why does Ibiza still enchant / hypnotize / draw so many people from so many countries after all this time?

Why does Ibiza still hypnotize so many people? (Speaking in a funny voice) That’s because I am a fucking hypnotist baby! (Stop funny voice) But apart from that: because of its uniqueness. Because it is a uniquely beautiful place. It’s got something for everybody. I am not a spiritual person… at all, but you know what, you land on the island and there is just this sense of calm that washes over you. I drive in from the airport. Driving up towards to San Josep. Once you get to the country, it’s calm… You know: It’s kind of like: A sense of Ibiza that washes over you. It enchants so many people because for such a long time it’s been this magical island. That people are in debt to. When I was living in Miami, we did a night called Naive. South Beach Ibiza Style. And it rocked! We was bringing the flavour of Ibiza to America. There were not real flights to Ibiza at the time, at least not affordable ones. It is a magical and enchanted island. And as long as we can keep the status quo, of super clubs, super nights, and idyllic beauty, then it will keep its allure.

Naive - Miami South Beach clubbing Ibiza Style

Naive – Miami South Beach clubbing Ibiza Style

Question 12: What is the worst misconception about Ibiza in existence?

What is the worst misconception? – That Ibiza is called the White isle, because the amount of cocaine here. It is actually called the White isle because of the amount of salt… which if you do buy drugs in one of the clubs, is what you are probably buying. €50 for a gram of salt!

Question 13: If you were the mayor of Ibiza for one month, what changes would you immediately order? Tell us at least 3 things you would really like to change.

If I was the mayor of Ibiza for a month, wow, how amazing would that be? I would hang on, first of all, I would ring fence San Antonio, no, I wouldn’t. Well, maybe I would. What would I do? Going back to sustainability… I would enforce that people had to grow their own stuff… That people would have to look around them, and try to make a change on the island. Make a difference on the island. You don’t need to use your car all the time. You don’t need to take your car from shop to shop… You don’t need a car. Walk, use public transport, get a bike. I think, I would not enforce it… (except for bringing fences to San Antonio) because that’s fascist. But, um, I would just push awareness. There is an old saying in the UK – You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. That’s pretty much the same everywhere all over. You can’t make people do things unless you are using the veiled threats. Well: Just awareness. Well, if they do not comply… Just fucking shoot them. No, no, that’s all cool. Tickle them until they pee themselves instead!

 

Question 14: If one of your close friends were to migrate to Ibiza would you encourage them or try to change their mind?

Just ask them… why did you leave us alone…? Plain and simple.

 

Rhyan Paul back in the day with his mates

Rhyan Paul back in the day with his mates

Question 15: Which months are your favorite ones? And why.

Which are my favourite months? I guess when you live here your fave months have to be, October, November, December, January, February, March, April. Simply because That’s when residents get the island back. That’s when the island is returned to the residents and the Ibicencans. It’s more beautiful, it’s quiet. That’s when you find the bars that you did not know existed, little local hang outs. You can go to Can Tixedo and you don’t hear a single English voice. Pacha is cool, because it’s not full of sweaty men and nasty ladies…It’s just a beautiful time.
Whereas when you are a tourist, the best months are June, July, August and September…
And summer is cool as well. I enjoy it all year round. But As I’ve gotten older, I think it’s out of season. More personal and it’s just more beautiful.

Rhyan Paul in Pacha partying hard...

Rhyan Paul in Pacha partying hard…

 

Question 16: Do you speak Catalan?

Do I speak Catalan? I don’t even speak fucking English properly… I’m learning Spanish. I’ve been learning Spanish… (Since I’ve lived in America. It’s a bit embarrassing) I’ve been learning Spanish for 15 years. I can definitely order a café. With or without sugar. (Laughing)
More seriously: No, I don’t speak Catalan… And I am pretty embarrassed about it. I am pretty shit at learning languages.
Once the Spanish cracked, then I am definitely gonna learn Catalan.

Question 17: Which public personality / VIP did you see / meet / speak to so far and what do you think about it – impressed or annoyed or … ?

Work in Music industry as an artist manager, I’ve met a few VIP’s (I use the term loosely) and personalities I think one if the nicest, was Armin van Buuren. The guy is so nice, so friendly, so cool. His wife was just so lovely to be around. Nice and wholesome people. Really down to earth. Mike and Claire (Manumission) are pretty cool cats as well. Got to interview them, when they had the office in the Vara De Rey in 2005.

(Comment of the interviewer: Yes, Mike and Claire from Manumission, they are!!! I think it’s actually a good idea to do an interview with them… Actually, if you read this Claire, it’s been ages, let’s get together sometime. <3)

Question 18: Do you have friendships outside your language circles and how would you rate these friendships in their importance?

Yeah. I’ve got friends outside my language circles. And they are pretty important ones too. We learn off each other. All of my friends are perversely enjoyable… I think it’s great, I think it is really important to have friends outside your language circle. I have a lot of friends all over the world. I’ve got Hispanic, Ibicencan, French, German ones, the world is a small place now, you know. We can all have friends outside our language circles. (funny voice) If we could all just get along!

Question 19: Do you have Ibizenco friends? Do you find them any different to friends from your country? What do you think makes them tick?

I… Are my Ibicencan friends any different…? Yeah, they do strange things… They go out for dinner at midnight… Or sleep all afternoon… Which is cool unless you want to go to the bank, go to a lawyer, do anything that involves anything necessary. What makes them tick? Beautiful sunshine, beautiful people, beautiful food. We are here in Ibiza. There is always a reason to get out …

Question 20: Did it take you long to get used to the Ibizenco lifestyle? Are there still some things you can still not understand / relate to

Oh my gosh… Wait a minute. Everything closes at 1-5. But I need to do my banking. The eating at midnight. The most crazy thing is that Locals don’t go clubbing until 4 or 5… in the morning… There is a hardcore few there… yeah, it did take a while… The driving on the wrong side of the road… I had a few hairy moments there. I got to find out about the local police as well. Just how pleasant how nice they can kind of NOT be…

(Rhyan, what about that strip searching incident you told me about? 😉 Ok, we leave that in the uncut version then… 😉 )
Question 21: If your house / flat was on fire, which three things (not people) would you grab and get out?

Actually gonna change what I said originally. My Apple laptop my life’s is on it, Polo a teddy bear that I’ve had ver since I was a child. It kind of looks like a zombie now. One of his ears fell off and got hoovered up, that was kind of heart breaking So I would take my laptop, the teddy bear with no ears and my Swiss army knife.
Question22: If someone told you you had to leave the isle, you would…

If someone told me I had to leave the island? I would tell them to go and fuck themselves. Plain and simple.

Question 23: Ibiza changed a lot within the last ten (twenty, thirty) years insofar as… (please finish)

Ibiza changed a lot in the last 10, 20, 30 years… Ibiza has changed a lot in as much as the clubs have roofs on them. There are a lot more people. What maybe happened is a little bit of the heart of the island died. In so much as the innocence of Ibiza kind of has been raped just a little bit… so that’s not so cool.

Question 24: I love / loathe Ibiza… (please finish)

I love Ibiza… because it is what it is. I love it because it is constantly evolving and changing. And equally…
I loathe it because … it is constantly evolving and changing.

Question 25: Tanit is the godmother of Ibiza and it’s protective goddess because… (please finish)

I did a little bit of homework since we last spoke. Tanit is a mother of the water… Tanit brings life, fertility, purification and magnetic flow. For a bloke, Bez, it is all what it is all about. Bez is looking after me. For me, he is the god of sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll. Fuck it. It’s Friday night. Let’s have it. Let’s do it. We are gonna rock and roll all night baby.

Rhyan_paul_suit

Thank you so much Rhyan! It was a pleasure talking to you.

 

Uh, in case you were wondering, how come I got such a marvellously crazy interview from Rhyan Paul, just remember this: The guy’s a hypnotist…

Here is how it all started…

Look me in the eyes. Look straight into my eyes.

Don’t look around the eyes, don’t look around the eyes, you are under.

😉

It was April 5th, 19 years ago. Probably it was raining. Or it wasn’t. Hell. I don’t know and I couldn’t care less. That day Kurt Cobain, lead Singer of Nirvana, decided to blow his head off. He was full on drugs, pumped up with heroin and diazepam. He was fucked up on drugs. Just got to the age of 27 years. I guess he could not go on anymore.

kurt_cobain

Come as you are,
as you were,
as I want you to be.
As a friend,
as a friend,
as an old enemy.

Take your time,
hurry up,
choice is yours don’t be late.
Take a rest,
as a friend,
as an old memoria,
memoria, memoria, memoria.

Come dowsed in mud,
soaked in bleach,
as I want you to be.
As a trend,
As a friend,
As an old memoria
Memoria, memoria, memoria

~chours~
And I swear
that I don’t have a gun.
No I don’t have a gun.
No I don’t have a gun.

~guitar solo~

…memoria, memoria, memoria, memoria {don’t have a gun}

And I swear
that I don’t have a gun.
No I don’t have a gun.
No I don’t have a gun.
No I don’t have a gun.
No I don’t have a gun.
Memoria, memoria.

Well, he kind of did it very consciously. There was no mistake in using a gun. I guess, with pills they can still pump your stomach and shit. He did not want to go amiss. He wanted to leave the party early. He wanted out. That’s for sure.

Today might actually not be the best day for me to write a blog post like this, but I’ll do it anyway.

I can so understand Kurt. Sometimes, the world seems like a rat-infested place, a place full of idiots, half wits and leeches. People who could not give a shit about you, and only use and abuse you. Right now, I can pretty much relate to him. Maybe, I could back then too.

So, Kurt was high on heroin.

Would it have been better if he had been clean?

I very much doubt it.

If you feel depressed, you see colours in a different manner. You feel things in a different way. They kind of overwhelm you. Drugs may actually help you a little while. They help you suffer the world. When you come down though, reality hits you even harder.

With syringes, and without.

Nirvana – Come as You Are (MTV Unplugged in New York) Live

Life’s a bitch.

With syringes, or without.

Rest in peace, Kurt.

x

Ok, that was technically yesterday. Nevertheless I thought about which ten books I really devoured as a child / teenager and why I would recommend them to others no matter what.

Here is my run down:

1) Der kleine Vampir by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg (The Little Vampire)

2) Die Vorstadtkrokodile by Max von der GrĂźn

3) Die rote Zora und ihre Bande by Kurt Held

4) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

5) Harriet the spy by Louise Fitzhugh

6) Die Abenteuer der schwarzen Hand by Hans-JĂźrgen Press

7) Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

8) Pippi Langstrumpf by Astrid Lindgren

9) The secret diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

10) The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams

11) The treasure island by Robert L. Stevenson

12) The three investigators by Robert Arthur

13) Das fliegende Klassenzimmer von Erich Kästner

14) Lord of the flies by William Golding

15) Le Petit Prince by Antoine Saint ExupĂŠry (The Little Prince)

16) Winnetou I-IV by Karl May

17) Die unendliche Geschichte by Michael Ende (The neverending story)

18) The Third Wave by Ron Jones (Die Welle)

19) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll

20) The last man alive von Alexander Sutherland Neill (Die GrĂźne Wolke)

21) The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger 22) Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The listing from 1 – 22 does not represent any form of ranking, it’s just the order by which they came to my mind.

In case you don’t know these books and want to find out about what they are, just give me a shout, and I will expand on any of these.

vorstadtkrokodile

rote_zora

Der+kleine+Vampir

jack-and-friends

I have found other books that I quite liked for children. These ones here:

1) When sheep cannot sleep by Satoshi Kitamura 2) Hexi Lili by Knister 3) Am Samstag kommt das Sams by Paul Maar 4) Tintenherz von Cornelia Funke

When Sheep cannot sleep

I am sure there are still a lot I am missing right now. Plus I did not separate them regarding to their respective age groups. But nevertheless, whenever we remember how colourful we remember our first memory of children’s books, this is a tradition we should try to pass on to the next generation.

When you have children’s books I should know about, please comment here.

Thank you.

This is going to be a tough one.

I wanted to be blogging a couple of days ago while passing my days on the couch, getting better from the flu which I got immediately after coming back from my Scotland trip. But it did not happen like that. It is a universally accepted truth and acknowledged fact that life is difficult at times. I was stressing. I had all reasons to do so. Now, I am trying to make ends meet, trying to get things back on track. So, in order to keep my promises incurred by previous statements, this blog post will be different inasmuch I will have to subdivide it into four blog parts. It does not work for me otherwise and I need to get stuff done so basically, that’s why the title is a bit confusing. Since time is moving forward this would be a good idea to get a clear desk.

These topics are all different ones but that’s simply a makeshift solution.

slavery

1. Freedom and slavery – I know it is a big title. Triggered through some talks with friends and acquaintances I recently had, I wanted to shortly discuss this topic. Of course, the two items in questions are diametrically opposite and the existence of the one would be impossible without the other. So what is there that could be interesting enough as to put it into a blog thread?

It is a very known dichotomy that often gets in the way. Freedom is something we all aspire whereas slavery is something we mean to free ourselves from. Have we achieved this goal so far?

I don’t want to sound dogmatic but I think that nowadays people have made themselves slaves to so many things, concepts, fellowmen, without even noticing that it is precisely that what is happening, this subconscious thing that we (the species man) are undermined in our natural way of being a free spirit and therefore, we lose touch with our essential necessities. The subjugation of spirit and the abandonment of freedom narcotizes us and it soothes our desire for experience in many weird ways, that brings us far away from who we are …What is it that we gain from falling prey to these surrogate gods, come on, what is it exactly? What is it that we gain by being slave to wage, slave to love, slave to success, slave to image, slave to food, slave to drugs, slave to whatever it is that we subjugate our lives to…

I know this is kind of provocative and I can almost hear people say “no, way, I am super free”, and “what a lot of bollocks”… I decide what I do and not the company that has the biggest marketing budget or the brand that my neighbour buys and I feel envious because of it. Let me tell you this. It is all very human and it basically happens to everyone. I won’t except myself from being a slave from time to time, but what I do about this, is that I try to become aware into which traps I am falling and thus trying to avoid these traps for the future.

Let me give you a brief overview:

robinson-crusoe

This may sound like I am some kind of female Robinson Crusoe but I am really not. It just strikes me that in spite of having achieved so much technological pioneering as a species, most people today are not really free in what they achieve in their lifetime, feel extremely pressurized time wise and therefore unhappy and stressed. And why is that? Because we (as a species) are very prone to be sidetracked. That is the bottom line. It is true. And here we can easily see that we, Homo sapiens sapiens, are not so far away from the Australopithecus.

Wanna hear an example?

Let’s start with the slavery/freedom pitfall of KEEPING UP. I have two children, aged 11 and almost (a week) 8 now, both girls. I constantly hear them mention tech things their classmates have, the modern amenities let’s call it: Nintendo DS, mobile phones, tablets, laptops and what not. Of course, every parent knows exactly what I am talking about. I get sick and tired of this. Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I think it is such a contagious and stupid thing to “keep up with the Jones” and so not needed, neither by me as a mother, nor by my kids. No-one is actually considering of whether kids are old enough to use, and to treasure these things, to maintain them properly and whether, let’s draw a line in the sand here, whether they in fact NEED all these tech-age gadgets.

I know, some of my readers will now smile because they know that I tend to be one of the first ones to KNOW about technological advance and will be the first one to READ UP ON STUFF like that, but the difference is. I am old enough to differentiate between a leap in technology and decide whether it is worth my while or just skip it. Kids often don’t have the means to differentiate between an important and not so important thing. That’s why we, the parents, need to be very good in our understanding and be wise. What do my children learn when I tell them, “No, honey, I won’t buy you a Nintendo DS. First of all, it is money we don’t have. But secondly, and this argument really cuts the cheese here, you don’t need it. It is techno trash. (which it is) Get out. Take the dog and have a walk out there in nature.” Ok. This probably will work another four years if I am lucky, maybe five, but some day in the not so far away future my kids will ask me to give them the money to buy this and that. What am I supposed to do?

I guess it is a good thing that parents don’t get 12 or 13 year-olds straight away, but that we start out with the beginner’s model, the baby. Only shits its pants, cries, feeds and sleeps, sometimes burps and vomits. After the first four weeks, a smile is the reward for having completed the first level safely. But that’s basically it. Right. Let’s not get sidetracked here. Back to topic.

My main point is that we need to start early with educating the right kind of choices in our children. We are the ones who they look up to, we are the ones who hopefully make them aware that they in fact will see with their very own class-mates that the Nintendo DS or whatever fad it might be is a thing for eight weeks or maybe twelve and afterwards, the novelty wears off, it will be another gadget sitting there, polluting the planet with no significant help in terms of education or well-being.

Another slavery pitfall? What about being permanent available in BEING ONLINE 24/7? I used to be in favor of this. I admit it. I thought I would miss so much if I hadn’t been online one day. I thought that internet and all the social networks I had, the newsletters, the new mail I minute by minute I received was really important. But slowly but surely, I noticed that this was not such a good, not such a healthy way, it just was not right for me because it basically used to eat up so many hours of my working day that I felt the need to find a better way of handling computer time. I needed to do computer time, but also decided that I would limit my online time, control this behaviour until it fitted in with my working, personal and also social life. I was rewarded. My life now feels more real. More like myself anyway. I won’t ban the social networks, I just want to avoid falling into the pitfall of being online each and every minute of my day. Let’s face it.

Social networks are the reality of present day, we need to accept it, whether we like it or not. It would be stupid to ignore it and there is still room for improvement, room and imaginative ways that we can form this amorphous mass. Learn to use it as a tool. Like a chimpanzee will use a wooden branch to get his bananas off the tree. Yes. That is what it is.

We come to the next topic where slavery/freedom can occur: SHOPPING/HAVING INSTEAD OF BEING

What about the constant need for new cars, new tv sets, the newest fad gadget that will clutter so many households all over the planet until one day we will even find this gadget watered down even in a favela of Rio de Janeiro… See what I mean? How can it be that today it is all so immensely concerned with owning things, it is also about the consumption of the right products, the right food, the right clothes, and not about key traits like beauty, truth, knowledge and wisdom anymore?

Ok, don’t get wrong. I am not some sort of TV preacher, I don’t sing gospels, I am not even religious although I try to believe in God (I am agnostic basically, but I would wish there was a god), and I have done a fair share of stupidities in my time, but it strikes me (especially now after having come back from a trip that lasted almost one whole month) that everyone is mostly around with one or two shopping bags, and neither one really goes to the city anymore to see friends, to meet up, to share a laugh, to see a theatre play, play some sports or do something just for fun’s sake, but mostly people go out to buy stuff these days. Or they are out on business. What a strange and sad life that our so-called reality imposes on us. The main motivation seems to be “keeping up with the Joneses”. And that is so sad. Sant Miquel (the tiny village where I live) is in a pretty rural area. But even so, kids start using nintendo DS, they run around with a tablet pc and I keep asking myself why on earth these kids would do with these gadgets. I am not starting on the merchandising that follows every tv series like Hannah Montana, Angry Birds or whatever. Maybe, my thinking is a wee bit too orthodox here, but I read a couple of years ago this book “Affluenza – the All-Consuming Epidemic” by John de Graaf and I must say, there is so much in this book that comes to haunt me when I open my eyes. I used to be one of them. The people who are deeply unhappy. Who have a job, a good and proper income, but when it came to feeling my life, I know I had to change. So I did. I threw all precautions overboard and started out the adventure Ibiza. Well, it was not an adventure as such, we knew the island fairly well but basically that was an objective we had for 13 years and see the way so many people are oriented to consume, to buy stuff they don’t need, to impress people they don’t even like… Come to think of it.

To me, I found that my life became less painful and less of a drag when I rearranged my priorities and became more aware of what it is I am effectively doing:

Consume less – less air condition, less aerosols, less food you will throw away anyway, less petrol. Avoid to always cool down a room full throttle, rather try to create a draft. Summer is summer. Why use an aerosol, try to get the product with a pump spray instead. Think what you need, eat it, consume it but not excessively so you need to throw away only a minimum. Don’t make too many unnecessary trips with the car. Walk instead. It is helpful in so many ways, it helps reduce stress, it brings you back in touch with nature and it helps your health in general because it is a free cardio.

Help reduce garbage – don’t have everything double packaged, wrapped and re-use stuff. I am quite sensitive with this issue cause I used to work for a company in recycling and I think people should think so much more about the necessity of packaging and use things that have less and re-usable packaging. We only have one world, one planet. Let’s try to keep it in habitable shape for our kids and grandchildren and generations to come.

garbage

Downshift your working hours – I have been trying to that lately. I have been glued to the screen so many months in the past 12 months that I seriously felt the need to really take a break. I have bought the book the “4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss and I haven’t got round to read it but I am so interested in the argument that goes with it. I will keep you posted on this one.

ferriss

Spend at least time each and every day and say something nice to a friend, partner or a child / children. – this is a karma option. Do what you want others to do to you. I wish I would remember that one every day. I am absorbed so many times that I really need to work on that one.

All in all, I would like to finish this mini article (hahaha, this much for avoiding clutter) with the idea that freedom and slavery is a pair. One of them is yin and the other is yang. Try to integrate both of them to get the best results. We are all slaves in one way or the other. Sometimes, we are free but we chose the way of making us unfree, because we e.g, fall for the wrong type of friend, get contracted by a company that might exploit us, or we submit ourselves to a treatment that we don’t really need. One thing I learnt in the past is that the best remedy for a growing sense of slavery is to step back and take a look at the greater picture. If you see that something is kind of lopsided, imbalanced, then get rid of it. I am not even speaking of good or bad here, I am merely speaking of balance. When something is making you feel uneasy, then it is sure as hell time for a change. Whether it is material or immaterial.

For some people, this might be a really difficult exercise. But you decide to whom and to what you bind yourself, each and every day. The most important thing is to evaluate options safely and make the right decisions, based on facts and on feeling

womens day

2. women’s day – Each and every year, this day reminds me that we ought to have overcome women’s day. My main message here is I really think that this day stinks. It really should not be there at all. But if truth be told: man is perfect in celebrating the oppressed gender. And yes, I believe that women are still oppressed in many ways.

What bugged me a little though was that my loving and wonderful husband actually told me that these days it should be the other way around and that women had the long end of the stick. I don’t quite agree here. But that’s stuff for another blog post I guess. 😉

scotland

3. Scotland – wonderful country. We started out our journey in Edinburgh. We were a little outside in Linlithgow and were in a sweet little cottage. Weather was ok, it snowed a little and my little daughter was amazed to see snow for the very first time in her life, she is almost 8 now! The amount of snow was quite scarce, yet they still tried to build a snowman, but that seems so implanted genetically. So which sites did we visit? We went to see Edinburgh castle, we also went to see the Writer’s Museum, National Gallery of Edinburgh and a couple of smaller museums. I must say that I very much liked the Writer’s Museum and also the National Gallery. Edinburgh Castle of course is a must and we were even lucky enough to be there on the day that was dedicated to Elisabeth II. (I cannot remember what was the occasion) but they had a super long parade, plus salute with many cannon-shot during the usual 12:00h hour. That day, we were really frozen to the marrow as it was extremely chilly and very windy. It felt like well below zero degrees. So used to Ibiza sun, that was quite some different climate to experience.

Writer’s museum is dedicated to Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. It is quite small but very lively and shows many interesting exhibits.

Edinburgh National Museum of Scotland  is also very recommended, especially for families with kids. There are so many things that kids can do in this museum, it is a bit like the Deutsches Museum in Munich for anyone who knows this museum. It has historic traits but also is very much linked to the present day. It is an absolute treat and there is no way to get bored in this museum.

The National Gallery is also wonderful and shows the most beautiful pieces of art. An absolute must-see.

The other museums are nice like the People’s museum or the museum of childhood but they are maybe not as important if you are there with a limited schedule.

Check this site here for more information on Edinburgh museums: http://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/

After one week in and around Edinburgh, we travelled up north to Inverness. Here we were again a bit outside and on a farmhouse cottage. For the kids, this was fantastic cause they could see highland cattle grazing right at our doorstep, the thickly clad Scottish sheep, and other farm animals. Inverness was not as exciting, but it was still a very nice town to visit. Also here, we tried to make as much as we could of our time.

Stirling Castle, Urquhart Castle, Elgin Cathedral and Fort William were also visited by us.

If you are a family and plan to visit Scotland, try to get the Explorer Pass issued by Historic Scotland. You can get it for different either 3, 5 or 7 days depending on the length of your stay. You will receive many benefits and it is very much worth your while. Also visit at least one distillery. We did so at Glen Moray and had a wonderful time there. The guide was very competent and friendly.

The only downside of visiting Scotland in winter was of course the weather. It was pretty cold, but we were in fact quite lucky in terms of rain and snow.

The last week, we spent on the isle of Skye, after visiting Eilean Donan Castle (the castle featured in the “Highlander” movie). The weather on Skye was sensational. It actually reminded me a bit of Ibiza as the skies were wiped clean and the sun came out, and it felt like spring in fact. Even though it was cold, the air was beautiful and it was super sunny. Skye is surely one of the best kept secrets about Scotland. Portree is the biggest town on the island. We visited it twice as there is not so much to see in the winter. There is a big port, a couple of tourist shops and some restaurants and fish and chips shops.

The wonderful walks we did while on Skye are the thing I will cherish for a very long time after coming back. We really packed backpacks and took a flask of tea, some chocolate for strength and went up to the Old Man of Storr, the Kilt Rock and its waterfall (an absolute amazing view!!!)

kilt_rock_skye_scotland_0845

and the summit walk of Quiraing. There is still so much more we would have done but our Scotland journey basically ended here and, after driving from Skye again back to Edinburgh by car and taking the train to London, which was very beautiful because you have a nice impression of where you are going and the landscapes are also really breathtaking.

In London, we had another three days before boarding our flight back to Ibiza. All in all, we had 25 days on the road. This is apart from the Australia trip we did back in 1998 the longest journey that we as a couple / a family took.

Obviously, this being a holiday of one of a kind, I am very happy that we all came back safe and sane. It  always is a good sign when at the end of a holiday you start to wish for your own bed and for your usual surroundings. I really had the feeling that we had a very special time in Scotland and in London.

london

London has always been one of my favorite cities but I must admit I had not seen it in quite a while and so it felt a bit like “la-la-land” it just did not seem real enough. It is a bit like falling into Disney world commercial. Too many tv screens all around. There are things where you ask yourself, what for??? Like the Starbucks coffee shops at every damn corner, there are tv screens on every garbage bin in Westminster which I found pretty monstrous. Who on earth needs that? It is so silly.

Well, but on the upside, we managed to visit the Tower of London which to us historians is quite a milestone. I had been visiting the Tower in the early nineties already while in Dublin. The Tower I saw in 2013 had nothing to do with the Tower I saw in 1992. The way in which it is presented is totally amazing and really quite pedagogical. Absolute thumbs up, even though also here, the prices are pretty hefty. For a family ticket, you fork out 55 British pounds. Plus the little guide-book and that is 60 quid without the eating and the drinking which you will need since the Tower is a thing where you can virtually spend a whole day or the best part of a day. But it is definitely worth it.

London is still the most expensive city I know. It is too damn expensive.

Summarizing, this journey has been amazing and wonderful plus I think and I hope that my children will remember all the beautiful things for ever and ever.

PS: Why didn’t I post in between? Because I simply was not online. First of all, it was unintentional as wi-fi was so hard to come by and my provider is quite costly to roam in UK, so after fraying a couple of days, I decided against it. I wanted to focus on the journey and not on the fact that internet is basically everywhere nowadays. On one day, I think the 6th of February, I was shortly online, but other than that, I really and truly disconnected the whole month of February. I came down and learnt to unwind. I don’t need to be online each and every day anymore. Some days I feel more like going online than others. I know that the internet today is a necessity but again here, the question of finding the right kind of dosage, is crucial and also a question of awareness.

PPS: I won’t promise to upload pictures. If I get around to do it, I will do it. If not, don’t be sad. Scotland is worth the trouble, even in winter. And London, even though it is getting closer to become a local branch of Disneyworld is a unique capital with many facets and a very bubbly character.

You have classics such as Carlos Castaneda “The teachings of Don Juan”, you have William S. Borroughs “Naked Lunch” and then there are Kathy Acker “Blood and guts in highschool” and tons of people who tried to jump the bandwagon. In the 90’s we have Irvine Welsh who is not just the “Trainspotting” but also the author of “Acid House”… But probably one of the more unknown ones, there is an 80’s novel by the back then still unknown American author Bret Easton Ellis. He wrote this novel at age 21 and it’s called “Less than zero”. Later on, it was made a movie with Robert Downey Jr. who himself quite often struggled with being on and off drugs.
I want to talk about this book since it was an eye opener for me. In many ways.

Back then when it came out, I was still at school when it came out. But as soon as I lived in Ireland I would make sure to read it.
I actually first read the book and then saw the film.
The whole book is a good sized package. It includes so many good streaks about modern western society that you cannot even say it is purely a drugs book because it would not be true.

Ellis lets us into the heart of American culture. Their obsessions, the silence within families that asphyxiating silence, and the pure hedonism of a youth centered culture.

It is still an easy read and a fast paced novel. At the end of the day, you see a group of friends shaken and faced with being part of a system that is pretty glamorous on the outside but sometimes proves to be a pitfall, and allows for more and more people to stumble, fall and not get back up again.

The part of Julian who is the heroic anti hero, the guy whose life falls spectacularly apart is so heavy that sometimes you keep asking yourself how Downey Jr was able to carry this off with such lightness and with such ease and charme.

Anyone who is wondering about the term spoilt brat, brat generation or generation x should read up on Ellis. He wrote for the generation x. For some Ellis is THE generation x author. The generation x covers the between 1965 -1975 born ones. It is a narrow generation but neither before nor after did we find ourselves inmidst a maelstrom of cultural decadence, affluence, and the feeling that everything would be possible some day not too far away, and these kids lived by it and through it. Let’s face it… My generation, we were growing up in absolute affluence, and the sometimes insane feeling that anything was possible. As long as you had the money to buy it, hire it or do it.

In gold digger terms: Boomtown years. The years of 1985 until 1999 more or less. I would make the cut here. You could argue and include 2000 but there was already the sign of an decreasing economy so I would just go as far and include 1999. In any case, 9-11 was the already a totally different era.

I will expand on the historic dimension and also on the impact of politics, terrorism and education another time since it would somehow make this article expand too much, but the crucial point is this: we – our generation – took the drugs because… Just because.  We simply could. It was a juvenile try out. It was somehow recreational. Like people do wellness or yoga. Speed, acid and pot were the yoga and bling bling of the mid-late 80’s and throughout the 90’s.  The money was there. Jobs were plenty. People were well off. Cold war had ended. There was no imminent war with anyone except for the gulf war. Everyone was relatively rich in the 80’s and beginning 90’s. So… The brat generation was born. Douglas Coupland called us generation x. But I find brat generation much more apt cos ours was the first ever generation after ww2 that was totally free in terms of freedom of speech, had received good education, was not forced to make do, but was rather encouraged to spend more time studying, and this would pay off, and still even students had plenty of money and other amenities through their parents, through society and the way the world was in. The basic word that comes to mind would be squander.

The funny thing is… 2000 was already the end of the dot com area and the high fly dreams of many many people.

So, just in case you should also belong to the generation x or brat pack, go out and read “Less than zero” and you will understand many things, looking into the rear mirror so to speak.

Plus it is a fast book that gets you hooked from the first moment. One thing I very much liked about Ellis and his style was that his stories sound like reality. These people are pretty much all out there. The situations too.

Julian is a true anti-hero, a lost boy, a kind and very weak character. Even though someone should protect him, he finds himself on a trip, caught in a downward spiral and we become voyeuristic witnesses of what he has to go through. The end is something very un-american and that is why I like so much about this book.

This is one of these books that you read, then put it aside, pick it up again and re-read it.
It is a very good novel about friendship, decadence, power and power abuse, drugs and the  principle “the show must go on”.

If you are afraid of reading a “drug book”, take it easy. “Less than Zero” is a read that shows and combines drugs, social decline and misery, but it is not as outspoken as others books earlier mentioned.

Should “Less Than Zero” be too lame and too boring, too harmless for you, try “Naked Lunch” instead.
Having said that, I do not find it lame or boring in any way, it is subtle. I really prefer “Less Than Zero” to “Naked Lunch”.

In case, you are interested in the urban novel, try and read Jay McInerney. “Bright Lights, Big City”. Here we have a sweet case of love, heartbreak and obsession. The coke he is snorting, the affect that the drugs have on him and the constant partying is a sideline but it is like it is an antagonist of the story-teller. Another generation x novel.

I will do something now that I normally never do: I will tell you just at the beginning, that this is quite a long and tedious posting. I bet you will not like it. Better find a different blog. This one is really lame. If you are not interested in reading anything truthful, yet serious and about waylaid sex, about love and lust, pleasure and pain, mixed up sex orientation in teenagers and twens, then, don’t read this post. If you are willing to read it, get in, and enjoy the ride.

Sometimes I am being dragged, whoosh, all over the place since our teeny weenie dog Cedric is no longer so teenie weenie like before when we first had him in August. Actually, he makes sure that I get out a lot and get a good share of long walks which is just fine by me. He eats and sleeps a lot, but mostly he is full of energy and wants to play a lot. Our little garden patch did not last long under the new garden architecture that he introduced. He either loves or he hates lavender. I love it and I am kind of sad that he dugged out all the little plants. And he developed a good hunting instinct, also he is now a force to be reckoned with, and I do have to run after him since my natural authority somehow seems to wash with him only in connection with little yummy treats (ehem). Well, still, we are working on that one.

So, as I was saying, when I am walking alone which does happen lots of times, my mind just wanders and I really start to forget about the daily grind. My mind is immersed in so many unfiltered thoughts, I am sometimes amazed at what thoughts I come up with. Like I said, I truly and deeply relax as others might relax doing an apple cake with cinnamon, driving a motorbike, diving a coral reef, having a karate training, trying out a new lipstick or having a bubble bath or swimming naked on your favorite beach or reading a book you really like. Last time I was out on my own, it really came to me that I should sometime start and write down a bit of an autobiography, you know, the stories, the people, the things that made me the person I am today. It is not that I am so much in love with myself (working on that one, too) that I think I need to have a keepsake of my oh so important life, no, nothing like that. No. To me, it is rather a quest to understand why I am sometimes really exhausting, a bit eccentric and so hard for others to understand. I know this might sound a bit weird, but in a way, I tend to be proud I am different. But then again, in other moments, I just wished I would have had a different background, a different youth and a diferent set of cards right at the beginning. But then again, what can you do?

That’s water under the bridge now.

Some say this is karma. Some others don’t give a toss. I tend to belong to the others. The point I very awkwardly am trying to make here is that we are who we are. No matter how much we hide it, no matter how much makeup powder we put on, no matter what our aspirations are, no matter how much we try to turn ourselves into others and try to appear in a different light, we still are what we are.

Again, where am I going with this train of thought? I guess, I am trying to say that even though I can sometimes demanding, I can be pretty egoistical, sometimes even a bitch at times (there, I said it), perfectionist to the point of a mild obsession. My husband would now laugh if he would read this, mild??? You must be joking.  I can even hear him say it right now. Ok, scrub it, so instead: a wild obsession. That better, honey? Ok. For the sake of avoiding any marital dissonance, so it is.

Anyway, while I was out with the dog, I asked myself, if I would be me if I hadn’t had all these ups and downs, experienced all the things I did, enjoyed, suffered and lived through a great many, wild, crazy, and sometimes really not so funny situations. Would I still be me? Sure I would. Silly question. But the “I” of the presumed presence would be different to the “I” of the really historic “I” and therefore, we shall never know. So, again, in terms of a philosophical and also psychological perspective, we need to view things from an empiristic point of view. We humans are all unique, because of our genes but more so because of our experiences and our senses. We have our little traits, we all have our talents, and for sure we all have our flaws, we all have our fair share of virtues, but also of vices. Life would be damn boring, if it wasn’t like that.

Will you show me yours, if I will show you mine?

That is probably one of the oldest games between children of the opposite sexes. Why are we so damn attracted to look at the genital region of the opposite sex? Well, yeah, I know, there is quite an obvious reason, but honest, I swear I did not mean that. Anyhow, as children we hardly knew anything about it, so that cannot be the only reason for it either.

I truly have no remembrance of such an encounter (there was something, but it looks kind of blurred, hahaha), but I imagine that this is something we all try to understand, why are we humans built in two different models. Why did life itself come up with a set of two different sexes, why are there boys and girls, men and women? I haven’t got the faintest clue to be honest. But it sure is fun, isn’t it?

To be dead honest, I have always been interested in this topic, ancient as life itself. Listen up. I have a thesis. If we were equipped with all the same standard material, it would a) be not any fun at all unwrapping christmas presents if you get me. It would just be like, oh yeah, I know. I got the same. Nice meeting you. Bye bye. b) there would be no mystery involved. I have the theory that love itself is about overcoming the difficulties of understanding the opposite sex. Half of it is trying to make yourself understood, and the other half is chemistry.

But since we happen to have been blessed with such a funny equipment, we tend to be more adventuresome. We tend to be proud of what we are. Are we?

Are we really?

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Well, I guess it really depends. Which part of the world you were born in. Which family you had the luck to be born into. If your parents wished for a boy / girl (vice versa). These are all criteria that can make life easy for you, or it can make life hard.

I remember that when I grew up, I had a strong sense that being a girl was only second best. I had two brothers. I was the middle child. I was the odd one out. I remember now that I quite seriously wanted to be a boy. I mean don’t get me wrong, I was not transsexual. Only thing is that I did not feel at ease being a girl. I never knew my lines being a girl. Do you get me? That my mother gave me always the trousers that were quite worn out from my older brother, did not make this any better. I was always a bit of  a tomboy. I climbed trees, I was very good at short distance running. I wanted to learn judo. I tend to get into a fight for nothing to show off my strength with the other boys in the  streets.  But as the years progressed, boys started to look at me wondering who I was. That was pretty weird. I kind of felt I was somewhere in the middle. I felt like a girl but something within me shouted “let me please disguise as a boy”. I wanted to make myseld invisible since I felt so insecure.  I even looked quite boyish by nature, my features were kind of unisex, which did not make things easier at all for me. Kids I had never seen would shout at me in the bus and ask me if I were a boy or a girl. Some others would call me names. I would not answer. One part of me happy I was not easy to figure out, the other part of me was afraid my voice would give me away. Then, when a sturdier boy would came after me, trying to beat me up, I would run for dear life. Like I said I was always very good at short distance. Childhood for me was not a safe place. My parents were both working. They were hardly at home. But one thing they always made sure was to show me that girls were not allowed as many fun things as boys. Don’t get your clothes dirty. You should be home by that time. You are a girl. Girls don’t do that. That was such a screaming injustice that I now know that it really wasn’t a sexual identity thing at all, it was a mix up alright, but rather all mixed with the thought of a child who came to understand that girls don’t get as much freedom as boys. So, that was the natural solution. I wanted freedom and be able to do all the nice and wild things boys were allowed to do. So I needed to act and look like a boy. Nothing else.

 

Looking back on it now, this might seem an odd memoir, but what I really wanted to say is this. What ever you wish for, be it a boy or a girl. Whatever your tradition is, please don’t let your children suffer the same shit as me. I do believe, that life could have been easier if I hadn’t had this twist in my personal history. Much much later, I got to understand that I was really a girl. And that it is nice to be a girl. I did come to like it. That much is true. And it does not necessarily have to be defeat if you start crying, or if you feel helpless and you admit to it. I grew up in a weird testosterone dominated environment where girls did not count at all and boys were everything.

Right now, I think that I have overcome it. Ten years ago, I was still quite unaware of it. It was dormant, hard for me to admit it, to even to speak about it, let alone give it away that I felt insecure being a girl/woman. Today, I can rationalize it, I can vocalize it and I can understand the patterns of behaviour. I can even laugh about it.

At university, this drama of a mixed up identity or a missed female coining, kind of persisted. Due to my sexually confused behaviour, I was often dubbed the ice princess. I came over being aggressive and yet still kind of unattainable. The talk was I might be bisexual. God, even I did not know this rumour. I spelled trouble. I got many dates, many of them with really sweet boys, but I just could not bring myself to find the right tune. I did not know the right key to hit a strike. At night time, I went out a lot. I tried out a lot. Sex, drugs and rock´n´roll. Yes, I had between 19 and 23 my fair share of madness and mayhem. I somehow tried to win back all the time, and the experience my peers seemed to have achieved in their late teens while my Greek father was watching over my every step. Moving out at 18, I plunged head over heels into life, an unknown source at the time. For me that was a very intense period where I was rarely left on my own. I did not want to be alone. But most of all, I wanted to see what I had been missing.

I craved life itself. It felt like I had been living an ascetic life. Something which is probably true.

So, I did it all. I kicked and screamed. I kissed and scratched at the surface. I drank from the golden cup. I did not leave out one foolishness. No. I guess I did them all. Sometimes I dug my nails in deeper. Those were wild nights. Filled with sheer, mindless and directionless energy that only youth possesses.

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While I was 20 I fell very much in love with one guy. Then fate would have it that I came to be a grant student at Trinity. So I would be gone almost a year. The wide world was beckoning. We hadn’t gone all the way until then. When the last day before my journey to Ireland approached, we finally decided we would give it a go. It was in his parents home. That was such a silly thing that happened. Yeah, guess what, his parents, no, his father suddenly opened the bedroom door while I hid under the covers. I was mortified and still I laughed because it seemed to be taken from a French teenage movie. The next day, he brought me to the trainstation which would bring to Frankfurt. I flew to Dublin, via Paris. It was an adult thing to do. To say goodbye. I felt so immensely mature and aloof. Little did I know.

We wrote each other tons of letters. It felt good. Then I noticed that he had fallen in love with another girl. I tried to talk myself into thinking that it did not matter. I was away anyway, why shouldn’t he have some fun? When I came back, I found out how much fun he had had. My little heart became yellow. I was so jealous, I could hardly stand myself being that way. When he touched me, it was like a fever that consumed my whole being. But still. Our time window had closed. We both moved on. It was a shame. But it was over. So over.

At 21, turning 22, I fell for a gay guy. He was so unattainable. So provocatively sexy and really mature, mind you he was 26. I guess that I was deeply and madly in love, or to put it in other words, I was infatuated. Maybe I was just not ready for love, I wanted to have a boyfriend, but one that would not get too close, one that was right because he was not right for me. Got it? So, we dated. But to be honest, let’s face it. Girls and ladies, have you never dreamed of turning a gay guy around? Never? Liar! It was a kick. So we talked. He was nice, intelligent, good looking. The only strange thing was that he fucked a gynaecologist. That was pretty weird. And yet, whenever I was with him, I felt so safe and so cared for. With him was like being protected. While I had a cold, he would mother me until I was good to go again. I felt home. The real trouble just started when we finally landed in bed with each other. Yep, that’s when the real problems started. I was so unexperienced, so green. It really hurts even thinking about it now how inexperienced I was. I was wax in his hands. Let’s face it. I never had a chance. He knew fully well what he was doing. This guy, let’s call him Francis, was bisexual. And all of a sudden, I was amidst a bizarre love triangle. That was way more than I had bargained for. His gay love interest was so jealous of me, he wanted to punch me. I was 22, Francis was 26, and the other guy was 29 I guess. We both shared a love for music, whenever I was with him, his guy would make sure, we would run into him. He would push me aside, so he could kiss Francis right before my eyes. I was so devoted to Francis, I kind of did everything he wanted for him. Christ, I even hid out at school so I could help him pass his Latin exam at his evening school. I guess there is not much I would not have done for him. He was in a theatre company at the time and played a very modern type Hamlet. I trained him speaking english with an english accent. I spent all my money just being with him. I took a train all across the town only to be with him for a couple of minutes. I had it really bad. I had become a dumb muppet of his. My glasses were so deeply pink in their shades that I hardly noticed when someone slipped them  off.

This someone happened to be my gay roommate. He invited his and my friends all over to our place and I had to witness that Francis was just keen to torture anyone who had been foolish enough to fall for him. Ok, that someone happened to be me. That was not so much fun. My roommate tried to warn me. He knew that Francis was only in love with being the centre of attention. He asked me why on earth did I have to pick a gay guy when I knew so many cuties.

 

But if you loved once, you know how difficult it is to stay sane if you are deeply and madly in love. I saw them kissing, trying to avert my eyes, intending not appear too keen. I wandered, kissed and being kissed by other men. I felt icecold and burning up. Sometimes I was approached by other women. I no longer cared. If he could have men and women, why shouldn’t I try and go for the same? I have to admit it. I really tried it out only once and went all the way. I was with a gorgeous female co-student and her boyfriend and we decided we would have a threesome. Hm, no, it basically just happened. It was winter. We were in this tiny little student appartment. We were cold. All soaked wet from the snow. We undressed and huddled up on the sofa beneath a blanket. It kind of just happened. There was a mutual consent between us three. I must admit, it was not bad at all. But I really prefer men to women.

Francis was better than me at this game. I only teased him. He knew how he could torture me. He knew how he would drive a stake through my heart. And he did. After that night, I was suicidal. And I really did something really stupid. I took some strong hallucinogenic drug. I was all on my own, I was also offered heroin. Luckily, I did not take that but LSD instead. I should have known better really. Lucky me, though, I only ended up having a bad trip. That was a long, long night that one. And when I was coming to my senses again, I knew that the gay guy was out. The ridiculous thing was that as soon as I did not act as devoted as before, he kind of showed more interest. However, whatever you see in a trip is somehow a sign that can be translated into normal life. I just knew I should forget about him, so I moved on, he moved on and he looked out for a fresh victim. There are people like him. After that I took an HIV test, the first one I ever did. Back in those days, 1992/3, it was kind of shameful to have a HIV test. A HIV test said that you had been a bad girl/boy. They tested you, give you a handful of condoms and brochure in four colour print. But I wanted to know.  I needed to know to continue life. I had to wait for one whole week. You went there anonymously. You had this little piece of paper. I knew he had really had so many affairs. He always said that condoms were not made for him. Of course, we did not take one. That week I swear to God, I hardly slept a wink. I felt that if fate has me then I would be HIV positive. But I wasn’t. Glad I survived my own stupidity.

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A couple of years later, I met him. He had put on a lot of weight and lived in an open gay relationship. He still loved me in a way I guess. He was super friendly and it felt right for a very short moment.  However, I no longer loved him. How did it feel for him to hold so much power over someone. How was it to have an innocent love to a young woman while having a gay relationship? Cos that is what it was. I had loved him no matter what. Something I don’t know what had been there, a tie between us. Maybe he did not know what he did to me. That was one moment I will never forget. I left and did not look back again.

At 22/23 I was pretty much disillusioned. I felt as if I had seen it all. I was alone and I wanted to be alone. I studied a lot, and relationships left me feeling disgusted. However I still felt the urge to continue my quest for sex, lust and some more extremes. No strings attached. I wanted nothing but sex. In its purest form. I wanted sex in a very masculine way. Somehow. On a deeper level, of course, I yearned to have someone as deeply fascinating and still someone who was sane enough not to be the apex of a love triangle. I dated no-one. I had one night stands. Fair enough. I did not try to be something I was not up for. I just wanted to have some fun. I once more fell for the drugs I had started taking while I was 15, 16 and had given up in between. Only now, I also started taking speed again, and some other amphetamines to really make it through the night and afterwards be able to study and go to my parttime job in the city. I really did not care. It was quite a hedonistic era, 1993, 1994. I did anything I wanted. I danced the nights away. I stumbled out from the disco and into some seedy clubs. I would sniff speed and go back home at dawn.

Shortly after I had started taking amphetamines, a friend of mine warned me, that I was already pretty hooked, it was true, there was not many nights I did not take it. I was on a large dose of speed already. I had upped and upped the dose since enough was never enough. Coming down was the hardest part. Normal life seemed so excruciatingly slow. It felt like I was trapped in a slow motion picture. Life was only real when the pulse hit you with a feel that you knew the grip would not let go of you until the next morning came. Speed just felt too good. The great part was you were left with enough energy to go to uni and study. Only in the afternoon I would go home to crash and wake up around midnight again. How was I supposed to live life when things were so damn slow? To be honest, speed was the drug that was cut out for me. My heart rate increased, I had slight arrythmic moments from taking drugs. I never really thought about the things that could happen. It wasn’t LSD, it was just speed, it was the cheapest drug you could buy. Cheaper than pot and marijuana. My only concern would be if it had been cut with some washing detergent. I remember I had this small little mirror cosmetics box where I hid a small paper fold, a naked razor blade and a cut up mcdonald’s straw. That was my personal tool kit. Perfect to prepare a line when you were out at night. Anyway, so this friend of mine told me not to take it anymore. She made me promise. I was a bit fucked up then. Who was she to tell me what was right and what wasn’t. Of course I did not keep my promise, I got the stuff somewhere else.

Shortly after, still 23, I met my future husband. I did not expect anything. But everything was suddenly there. There was a sudden feel of being innocent again and being able to fall in love again. And it happened just like it was meant to be. He saw me, I saw him. Thunderbold and lightning. It was in the uni library. We exchanged phone numbers, I left. He called. We met. We talked most of the night. Touching the hand of the other shyly. A gaze from the sidewalk. We walked by foot a long long way. At my appartment, we did all sorts of things until we passed out. It had to be that way.

Now, at 41, almost 42, I look back upon that girl… That girl that was afraid of love. That girl who wanted to trade in sex for love. That silly stupid and sweet girl. I am so damn lucky to have survived so many bad moves, and to have found the man I am with, the love of my life.

I cannot undo the harm that was done. But what I can do is to let it go. I do not need the scars of the past anymore. They are what they are. But most of all, this is the past. That was then, this is now.

If you have children, please make sure, they identify with their sex and don’t let them think that one sex is better than the other. Children are very susceptible that way. They will believe anything. As absurd as it might be. Be sure to tell them you love them. Children want to and need to hear this each and every day. This is much more important than a pint of milk. Love is much more nourishing in so many ways. I would go back in time if I could do something to change my childhood and change the past. Help myself with the knowledge I have now.

If you have children, make sure they understand at an early age, but not too early, what drugs are and why they are dangerous and can seriously fuck you up. I still have that one speech ahead of me, and I hope that I will find the right words to tell my children that I did take drugs but that I am not really proud about it and that there are way more fun things to do in life than doing drugs.

I need to forgive my parents that they never accepted me being their daughter but instead treated me like an invader, like an outsider all my life, and that they still give me the feeling that I am the persona non-grata. Including my two brothers. Actually, they treat me like I would not exist. All that matters are they. I seem not to belong to this family. Lucky me. They are like the mafia somehow, and sadly, I don’t belong, I am the girl outside. Fuck you. I am me. And I can live, and love without you!

Some people need to be 42 to grow up, to make peace, to let go of their past. That is the case with me.

And I won’t let this destroy my life.

Brendan Kennelly who was my English teacher at Trinity College Dublin, once told me something. And I swear to God the way I am recounting it, that is a true anecdote.

(Me, looking really beaten and crushed. Boy trouble.)

“What kind of a face are you pulling? Smile. This is a beautiful day.”

(Headstrong, and still crushed, a bit angry)

“How can it be a beautiful day? It ain’t.”

(He starts to laugh uproaringly and looked at me provocatively with his laughing piercing blue eyes.)

“You have been kicked in the teeth, ain’t ya?”

(I look on the ground, even more crushed. Shit, why can people always tell when I say nothing?)

“Chrys, you know what? Never mind that boy.

I am telling you something and that is going to bug you most.

You are a survivor.

(I looked at him with a big question mark in my gaze).

Yes, you are. And you know it. Get out there, Chrys, get some air, the sun shines.”

(He shoved me gently to the open door, turned around and left me smiling)

He is such an irreverant character but he kind of pinpointed the exact situation without knowing anything. So, is he psychic? No. I was just such a child back then that it did not take much to read my mind and to see what’s going on. Still. Five out of five for that quote, Brendan. Have a pint on me. You are the most amazing English teacher I have ever had. Maybe a bit of a father figure.

Brendan Kennelly used to be English professor at TCD until 2005 and is also a well loved Irish poet.

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