Friday, May 18, 2007

Postscript Italy 07

We'd walked and walked and walked all day. How proud I was of your geriatic knee.

A quiet, non-descript lane shaded from the heat of a dusty Roman afternoon. Perhaps a tad bit shabby, yet oddly dignified amidst the madness of the surrounding streets.

Cobblestones omnipresent. Of course they are.

Shaky iron table outside the neighbourhood bar. A simple plain tablecloth, the tiniest pot of ...some kind of foliage.

Is there danger of sneaky pigeon bombs?

Our dark-skinned waiter - all toothy smiles in his waistcoat, sleeves and apron.

A single bottle of peach tea. Two glasses - prego, prego! - he insists.

There's a flower shop across the street, on the corner. Pots and pots of gaily happy flowers. Even the blazing sun cannot but admire them, softening its blinding heat to a light, golden caress.

I take a picture of you - seated across from me at our little table, the flowers waving cheerily from behind you.

For just that moment, a glass of peach tea believes itself to be the finest of dessert wines.

And you smile at me.

By the time we got to Rome, the secret hope I didn't even know I had of recreating the magic of last year's trip this time round had pretty much gone into storage.

But you know what?

That single moment that afternoon, sitting out there with you, slowly sipping our pretend's gone and snuck into my heart like a kitten finding a comfortable spot on the windowsill.

With a caption underneath it that says:

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be..."

A falling star has a way of turning up when you're not looking for it.

So maybe having a pigeon poop on you that morning was lucky after all. After all, we surely had us a magic moment that afternoon. All for Euro 2.50. Score!

A perfect first anniversary. (never mind it that it was two days later)

Monday, April 02, 2007

To Be A Dervish

Simply...because inside this sloth-like body, encased in a stone heart, hides the soul of a dreamer.

Every errant breeze needs an eye to centre it. A home to pull back to.

Snow On The Sahara
by Anggun

Only tell me that you still want me here
When you wander off out there
To those hills of dust and hard winds that blow
In the dry white ocean alone

Lost out in the desert
You are lost out in the desert

But to stand with you in a ring of fire
I'll forget the days gone by
I'll protect your body and guard your soul
From mirages in your sight

Lost out in the desert
You are lost out in the desert

If your hopes scatter like the dust across your track
I'll be the moon that shines on your path
The sun may blind our eyes, I'll pray the skies above
For snow to fall on the Sahara

If that's the only place where you can leave your doubts
I'll hold you up and be your way out
And if we burn away, I'll pray the skies above
For snow to fall on the Sahara

Just a wish and I will cover your shoulders
With veils of silk and gold
When the shadows come and darken your heart
Leaving you with regrets so cold

Lost out in the desert
You are lost out in the desert.

If your hopes scatter like the dust across your track
I'll be the moon that shines on your path
The sun may blind our eyes, I'll pray the skies above
For snow to fall on the Sahara

Yes. I do.

Thank you for being here everytime I return.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

300 Questions

Ok, fine I lied…just 10 then. Nobody likes a harpy.

1. Yes I realise it’s lifted from a comicbook, but surely speech balloons do not a screenplay/script make? Could the dialogue be any more like bumper sticker slogans?

2. Since when did Persian kings dress like Vegas lounge/Mardi Gras parade rejects or look like Dalhsim, that Indian Mr. Fantastic character from the original Street Fighter game? I’d totally understand if anyone expected Xerxes to bust out a drag rendition of Material Girl as he descended his golden palanquin.

Seriously…as if Iran isn’t pissed off enough already. It's a movie after all, why not call the invading army Transians? Or Priscillans?

3. What’s the deal with the freakazoid-filled Persian army???? If you’re going to use fantasy monsters, for Herodotus’s sake don’t also reference real places, real civilisations, real battles and real political structures and mislead the already history-ignorant majority of your audience into believing that that’s really what happened in the real Battle of Thermopylae.

After all, it’s called “300”. Really, what’s wrong with us assuming that the story’s about 300 Lost Chippendales Dancers Gone Fabulously Feral?

4. In what part of his superman cape or leather panties did Leonidas keep that apple?

5. If Spartan males spend their entire lives bathed in testosterone and abs-chiselling manliness whilst yelling awooah, awooah, AWOOOAGH!!! at each other…how did they manage to avoid getting their perfect white teeth bloodied and busted into a billion pieces?

Spartan male 2: AWOAGH…oh wait, not my mouth please … aim at my perfect abs instead…awoaagh!!!

6. Similarly, what’s Leonidas’ son doing running about all happy happy mischievous-like in a society where male children are trained from the time they learn to stand to be killing machines? Shouldn’t he be going around punching other children and indiscriminately jabbing spears into kittens for practice?

7. If you can be bothered to research the basics of historical detail…300 Spartans held of an advancing Persian army at the Hot Gates, the Spartan military tradition, Spartan laconicism, Spartan political system…why do a half-arsed job?

It wasn’t just 300 Spartans who blocked the Thermopylae pass. Several thousand soldiers drawn from all over the various city states of Greece were under Leonidas’ command. Only after the Persian army found out about the mountain path did 300 Spartans AND several hundred just as brave Thespians and Thebans stay behind to delay the Persian army whilst the other thousands retreated to Athens.

Spartans didn’t wear only undies and a cape in battle.

I’ll admit that I didn’t know the historical details either, before today …but the ridiculousness of how a phalanx-style fight (surely that wasn’t how a phalanx fought - Pushing??? Spartan men would make such enthusiastic midwives) was depicted in the face of such enormous numbers just launched me into a morning of frenzied googling to seek the truth. The Persians (the non-freakazoid, real civilisation that existed circa 400BC) would have been proud.

8. Isn’t it beyond stupid to waste thousands of sun-blocking arrows just to down ONE dying man? What if the arrows terkena Xerxes??

9. The Ephors were a bunch of melty-faced perverts who lived on top of spooky mountain, enjoying the equivalent of a whispery J’Adore perfume commercial performed in oracle-speak by a stylishly writhe-y girl? Being the top politician in Sparta rocks! Except for the melty-face part and the inconvenience of rock-climbing, I’d guess.

10. Just because the demi-god behind the graphic novel is Frank Miller I’m not entitled to laugh at this movie?


Having said all that though, it really was a cinematic experience. Very stylish visuals.

And waaaaaaaaay more entertaining than Troy.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Not That I've Nothing To Say's just that I can't be bothered.

I've been telling myself that everything boils down to me having a short attention span. But suspect that there's probably more to it than that.

Change job, start a side business, blog, attempt to write seriously... all good intentions and more than just a little spark of enthusiasm. Then once the momentum gets going...I seem to lose interest. Even when things are looking good.

I've secured a better-paying, better-prospects job. The order book for the business has been suprisingly good. I've had no shortage of affirmation of the quality of my writing and encouragement & support to take it up seriously.

Yet...I appear to be sluggishly mired in a bog of "meh".

Can't be bothered.


This is surely bad.

I wonder if it means I feel I'm without a purpose.

What does it mean though, to have a purpose? A general desire to have more than the present? How does it work?

Yech. I'm starting to sound like that monotonous "Look at my navel lint, it is so profound. Why is it here? Is mankind genetically adverse to hygiene?" voice-over at the start and end of every episode of Heroes. Niki rules, btw, since I'm on that subject!

Anyway. Simply....why am I so sien?

If only it weren't so frowned upon to be a hedonist.

But but but... if, having given a go at the things I thought I wanted, I still find the need to move on or just plain lose interest in them even when the going's good....doesn't that indicate that those things aren't/weren't what I want?

It's irritating. The logic is pissing me off.

At least though, I certainly know what I don't want.... ie a materialistic, fast-paced, career-oriented life.

As for what I want, though....I'm not so sure anymore.

I've been having this ongoing discussion with a close friend for the past few months. She's always acted on her desires, with generally happy outcomes. At the time. Several years down the line now though, she's come to the realisation that the life she thought she wanted...clearly isn't. And she wants the old life back.

So it takes a mistake to know what you don't want. Sounds logical. You don't know till you try.

But sometimes, the consequences of learning what you don't want is much too high. Other people get hurt. Because as much as we like to kid ourself that it's empowering to act on your beliefs, principles or whatever self-help mantras that turn you on, our lives are entwined with others. We're all a bunch of fish hooks in a bowl. Pulling one out inevitably drags a whole mess of other hooks along. Can you really rip yourself out of the entanglement without severely affecting another?

Sometimes, we just have to. For the sake of the long run. Hope for minimal damage.

After the dust and tears have settled and the wounds are bandaged though, on a philosophical level, the worst thing is that you may no longer trust yourself to know what you want.

Do you really want the old life back?

Sucks. Big time.

I look at her predicament and I'm grateful that all that's oozing from my pores is "meh" and not "I want to die".

The question remains. What do you do when you don't know what you want?

I can't answer that.

But I do know what I don't want. My friend knows what she doesn't want.

And knowing what you don't want, if one had to choose, is more important than knowing what you want. Because, as this very wise and funny girl says... it gives you perspective. And I for one, am very big on having perspective. It's the best gift you can give yourself.

Unfortunately for many, perspective comes at a very high cost.

I've deviated, I know.

but.... meh.