Sunday, 25 December 2011

Update from Paradise - part 10

Just a few pics from the night of the 23rd. It is the most celebrated night of the festivities here in Funchal. The market area stays open all night and everyone gets properly sloshed.  Here are a few pics taken around 5am.


The merry bunch on the "poncha"

The market scene around 4am

5 am and I'm still standing!
 Great night, can't wait for next year's. Met so many known faces, in a  friendly celebration that involves little or no police presence. That's Madeira for you, folks!

Paradise on earth.

Conclusion: the night of the 23rd of December rules! At least as far as I'm concerned.

It is now 2pm, the 25th, and am getting ready to go and join the rest of my family for Christmas lunch.

Merry Christmas, love and peace to all mankind...and the rest.

:)




Thursday, 22 December 2011

Update from Paradise - part 9

Back to the "update..." series of posts in time for the Christmas edition.

Funchal is lit up to the hilt, as is usual this time of year, and I walk around town mumbling childish expletives such as wow, ohhh, ah, yeah.


All the streets in  Funchal have Christmas illuminations

even the quiet back streets

over a quarter million bulbs are used. Roughly a bulb
 per head of population



Tomorrow, the 23rd of December, tradition dictates we all go to Funchal Market after midnight for  last minute shopping. Its not so much shopping as making merry, eating and drinking until the early hours. Fruit sellers have their goods displayed in the streets surrounding the market and the snack and alcohol selling kiosks fill up every other available slot. There will also be folklore dancing and music to enhance the festive mood.


Snacks such as pork vinho d'alho, which incidentally gave origin of the Indian dish vindaloo, is a  hot favourite, no pun intended.  

(Back in the 15th century our explorer Vasco Da Gama found the sea route to India and started the spice trade. He also introduced the 'vinho d'alho' Portuguese method of marinading meat. It was later adopted by the Indians and the vindaloo dish was created! )

I remember as a child being so excited at staying up late enough to go to the market on the 23rd and then falling asleep in the car before even getting there. Great fun and very fond memories.

Christmas is  a colourful but quiet time in Funchal compared to the New Year celebrations. Madeira hosts the second largest fireworks display in the world on the midnight hour of the 31st Of December. It is a spectacle that lasts around 20 minutes and totally lights up the whole bay of Funchal.

But that's for another post.

Merry Christmas all!

:)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Is there ANYTHING you don't sell?

The Chinese Bazaar opposite The Forum Shopping Centre is open all hours. Owned by an oriental family, obviously, who all take turns at the till and all possess the same permanent, enforced half-smile.

I have visited this labyrinth of cheap treasure many a time and always when looking for some unusual item that no one else sells. Or at least I don't know who else sells it. Stuff you can't even find on the net.



If you're after things such as a toe-nail clippings collector, a pomegranate peeler or arm-pit hair dye for instance, this is the place to visit.

I was after a connector for a power adaptor extension (?!?) for my digital recorder and yes, you guessed it right, there it was. Not just the connector I needed but also adaptors for the connector and extensions  for the adaptor. Sorry for the jargon, I know I'm getting technical here...or confused...or both!

I was so impressed with the vast array of gadgets in stock that I asked at the till if there was anything they didn't sell.

"Such as?" replied the dad-the-shopkeeper.

"I was wondering if there's anything I could ask that you don´t stock! Whatever I ask for you always say yes, follow me."

"Well, do try me"

"Do you have a cure for a broken heart?

"Are you from Trading Standards?" Came the answering-a-question-with-a-question answer.

"No er...well...I trade my music from venue to venue and I do have standards"

"Close enough" replied daddy-shopkeeper in a serious tone. "We have no cure for you".

"But it´s not for me, it's for a friend of a friend. It´s for Ruben's friend, to be precise"

"No , sorry, can't help you or your friend".

I walked away wondering what would've happened if daddy-shopkeeper hadn't got spooked about Trading Standards. I reckon he would have led me by the arm to some room behind the shop where scantily-clad oriental girls, sat on some red silk sofa, ready and waiting to help mend the broken hearts of surprised clients. But maybe not...

What on earth is happening to me?

:)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

An overdue epilogue

In the previous post I mentioned it would be the last entry about Madeleine, but I have since changed my mind.

This story is important enough to warrant a proper epilogue; a swan song if you like, so here it is.

(...)

I allowed my resentment to rule my head and as a result reported this matter in a far too personal manner.

I will now  redress the balance.

Despite all that has happened, Madeleine was a very special person in my life and always will be remembered as such.

I loved her deeply, and mentioned it many times in this blog.

I was besotted by her beauty and smitten with her smile.

I liked her attitude to many important things in life. We were compatible on many levels and had lots in common.

We had a meaningful and loving relationship and shared many wonderful moments together.

I was heartbroken with the way we parted- but I helped bring about our demise.

Madeleine lit up my life in many different ways. For that I am eternally grateful.

I share the blame for our break-up. For that I am eternally sorry.

Madeleine was and still is, a very good person. I wouldn't change the last four years for anything. I just wish we had made each other happier.

(...)

Now I can and will move on to other subjects... other stories... other settings... other people.

:)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

So long, Ikea girl...

...it was not nice knowing you.


Last Saturday night, at around 11:45, I was at the FX Cafe with friends for the CoolFeel Band gig, when she waltzed in.

The FX Cafe is a snazzy bar in Funchal with a large outdoor area where live music is played at weekends until the early hours. See pic below.

FX Cafe - On the right is the stage area and the esplanade stretches left of the picture another 20 mts or so

I say waltzed because of the fact she looked well on the way to being drunk. She arrived with a large group of work colleagues and new BF, after attending her work´s Christmas do. I learned that later from a few of her colleagues who came over to greet me.

Her group sat at the end away from the stage and about 25 mts behind me. Curiosity forced me to turn around every-so-often and sneak a look.  I saw her go from a state of being merry to well-oiled within the hour or so and then noticed that look on her face. That very look and expression I dreaded when with her in similar situations. Induced by alcohol, it is a look of  'I don't give a fuck about anything or anyone'. 

I felt a pang of empathy for her new BF and relieved at no longer being in his shoes. After all, he'll have a lot to put up with until he, like all others before him, move on.


At last, light at the end of the tunnel

But I also felt anger at her lack of sensitivity for smooching  with the new  BF in my presence. I consider that a cheap thing to do. Something I would not be able to do. But then again, unlike her, I happen to care for others.


And it dawned on me just how fortunate I was to be free. Free from the frosty clutches of the Ice Maiden.

This post is the final report on this chapter of my life. The last post about her. I will now return to writing about more interesting things. Much more interesting and worthy of my attentions.

:)

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Can it really be true?

I read in a magazine yesterday that men can, and often do, fall in love very quickly; within minutes sometimes. I don't remember the sample size of this survey or the validity of the researchers but I do agree with it. I'm sure it has happened to me, and not so long ago. After all we men are simple creatures driven by desire and impulse. Maybe simple is not the right adjective to use here. Uncomplicated? Less complicated? Yes, that's it.

But just as quick as some men fall in love, some women seem to fall out of and in love again. That's a more interesting fact.

Take for instance my case with  Madeleine (like you didn't already know). We had a relationship that lasted 4 years. Stormy, volatile years yes, but 4 years nonetheless.

As recently as 2 months ago Madeleine and I were discussing our future plans. We spoke about the home we were going to move into, the pet goats, cat, dog, pug and mini-pig, the children, and our future business plan. 

Most importantly, Madeleine told me how she loved me more than anything else and wanted us to be together , forever.

It is because of such words, spoken frequently, that kept me trying to make a go of our doomed relationship. In other words, I knew things weren't right but somehow felt that I should work at it because there was love involved on both parts. Or was there?

A month after that she was seeing someone else! 

OK, we had all but broken up but still...


Madeleine came around to my place last week to collect some of her stuff and I asked her if she was in love with this new chap and after a short pause, she answered 'yes'. The kind of yes that means; uhmmm? I think so.

Now that's a quick turn around.

I would appreciate any comment from my dear blog friends that may help me understand this situation. But  don't worry, I'm not holding my breath!

:)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

You can call me Al...

Al  looked through the gap in the linen curtains at the street outside and the December sun was shining brightly, making him squint. He looked left up the road to the intersection  and saw no traffic  or  pedestrians.

"Quiet for the time of day", he muttered to himself.
"Usually by 10:30 am there is some movement outside", he thought. "It´s not even bank holiday"

(Bank holidays are a common occurence in Portugal; thirteen of them every single year. The recent economic situation has forced the government to scrap four of next year’s  bank holidays and bring the number in line with the rest of Europe. The financial deficit caused by past and present incompetent politicians will have to be paid by everyone.) 

Al  grimaced at the thought of having to pay for someone else’s  mistakes. Something he deeply hates.


Looking right, down towards  the dock,  Al saw the deep blue sea, resplendant in the  morning sunlight. Each wave crest  decorated with a blob of shimmering white light resembling diamonds scattered over  blue velvet.  A beautiful sight that would normally  induce a  reaction of awe.  Until recent events, that is.


The stunning scenery that is Madeira bathed in sunlight is one of incredible natural beauty. The 4500 ft blue- green mountains surrounding the bay of Funchal ensure calm weather conditions all year round.

Paradise city of Funchal - Photographs don´t do it justice

These majestic mountains stand tall and strong, as if protecting the Funchal city dwellers from the mid Atlantic winds and all else Nature can conjure up. The scenery that would have until recently filled Al with joy seems to have lost some of its impact. Temporarily at least. The world outside has changed  simultaneously  with the world inside his head.
"It is difficult to to see beauty clearly through  eyes filled with tears" thought Al. A situation only time can heal...or so he believed.

Safe and sound...

Later that evening Al's fortunes were to change as a result of meeting up with a female friend at a gig. Several hours later and after copious amounts of alcohol and music, Al learned a very important lesson:

Time is not the only healer of broken hearts.

There is an ancient therapy that never loses popularity and is far, far more remedial than time itself. 

:)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

100 words: If

If you stumble upon these words, do not assume they´re about you. They are about me and of me.

If you see me walking by, do not assume I'm pursuing you. I am merely heading towards the unknown.

If you hear me singing, do not assume I'm singing about you. It is the song of all humanity.

If you see me weeping, do not assume it's for you. It is for all the ones I've lost, and am yet to lose.

If you see me staring at you, do not assume I'm imposing. I am merely trying to see through and beyond you.


:)

Friday, 2 December 2011

Update from Paradise - part 8

I have three subjects to post about and need your help in the third one. Advice needed, please.


Thank you in advance.

1 ) The wrong time to do the right thing!

I have two business projects to start up but am finding it difficult to concentrate and get motivated. I guess I´m living turbulent times and the need to have fun is greater than the need to work. But fun doesn´t pay the bills, unless you're in the sex industry, I hear.

2 ) The right time to do the wrong thing!

I am living day to day and slowly adjusting to single life.

Single life has it´s benefits (none healthy) as far as enjoying the freedom to come and go as one pleases and having no one to answer to. It is wonderful to stay out late every night drinking socializing and playing music and I intend to carry on, for now at least. But... I miss certain things only cohabitation brings :(

I am seeing the other side of life but am not too impressed, if the truth be told.

Things can only get better on that front. Changing my status from single to whatever is the only thing I'm currently "working" on.

3 ) The girl I want wants a girl!

I´m so keen on a girl I´ve met recently and have socialized with over the last few nights that I decided to send her a 'friend request' of FB sooner than I normally would. It was immediatly accepted and I had a quick look at her info and... there it was.

Interested in women!

Damn it! I don´t half pick them! I must subconsciously go for the most difficult and/or awkward when it comes to women. But she is sooooo beautiful and talented. I wonder if she can be encouraged to change? I don´t quite know how that works.

I have heard that sexual preferences aren´t necessarily permanently fixed in some people...so I can live and hope.

I obviously need your expert expert help here. I would appreciate some guidance on this front as I can only live in hope for a very short space of time.

Are sexual preferences fixed or not?

Meanwhile...I'll let you know what happens over the next few days

:)

Monday, 28 November 2011

Sweet music to my ears and an erotic story

Here we go with a two part post; the first part being about my situation and the second is an extract from a post I read earlier that made me laugh out loud. It tickled me so much I decided to steal it and use it here. It is from the hilarious Jules over at Gravel Farm. Check him out if you haven´t already. Laughter is in short supply lately and I want to change that.

But first, me with "Sweet music to my ears"

Music has, of late, become more important to me than ever before. It has taken over my life.

It is my source of pleasure, income, expression, friendship and melancholy; in some songs, all those things at once.

Songs I have sang hundreds of times before have now taken new meanings because of my present circumstances. It's almost as if they were written for me and about me. I don´t really believe the artists who penned these lyrics know me well enough to dedicate their work to yours truly - but I could be wrong!

I refer to lyrics such as;

"To think I might not see those eyes

makes it so hard not to cry

and as we say our long goodbye

I nearly do..."

...and ;

" You say that we´ve got nothing in common

No common ground to start from

And we're falling apart.

You say the world has come between us

our lives have come between us

but I know you just don't care..."


But on the plus side, I am enjoying singing more than ever and for that I am grateful.

***

An erotic story by Jules -The Gravel Farm

(...)

She opened wide after a single knock, and raised a questioning eyebrow at the darkly tall stranger standing before her.

"I have come. . . " he growled deep in his throat, a testosterone fuelled baritone that she could feel in her very core, its timbre threatening to vibrate her knickers off, " . . . to fix your washing machine."

"Oh god!" she exclaimed breathlessly, "I was just going to have a bath." She looked at him askance, and he looked back at her askance as well, "In the nude!" she elucidated.

"But I have already brought my enormous plumbing tool," he waved it back and forth in front of her flushed cheeks, its hard, unforgiving length still glistening from another lady's fluids.

"My!" she gasped, admiring his professional manner. "Then it would be a shame if you got it out and didn't get chance to use it."

"I will be very . . ." He leaned forward, lowering his voice even further as their eyes met, his gaze smouldering like slices of black pudding in a frying pan " . . . quick."

"Good." she whispered back, relief flooded quite literally out of her, and she led him into the bedroom where she kept her washing machine.

"I keep my washing machine in the bedroom." She told him.

"That is completely normal and requires no clarification." He smoothed his moustache down and wiped his brow. "It's a little hot in here." He pointed out unnecessarily. "Would you mind if I made myself a little more . . ." he paused as he unbuttoned his shirt and searched for a word, " . . . sexy."

"Why not at all." She replied. "It is very, very warm in here, and me wearing this hot, winter silk negligee as well." She shrugged it off, but left her high heels on for the purposes of decorum.

"Now," he knelt before her and raised his tool in front of them both, expertly manoeuvring it into position. "Let me at it."

"That's it. Right there" She showed him. "Yes. There. Right in the alcove. That's it. Right there."

"Yes, I can see it because it is quite large, it being a washing machine."

True to his word, he was expertly quick, finishing rapidly and then holding up his tool wot was all covered in white residue.

"You see, the problem is you haven't been descaling it, and it's a bit like a kettle in that respect, so perhaps you should use Calgol

"That's really very efficient of you, and reasonably priced as well. Thank you very much,"

"You're welcome." He cleaned his tool on the bedroom curtains before making his way to the van, leaving another very satisfied customer in his wake.

A few days later they met in the street, swapped numbers and went on dates, which culminated in some satisfactory sexual intercourse and began a pleasant relationship that lasted for almost two years and ended relatively amicably.

(...)


Bloody funny, that. Nice to finish off with a bit of humour for a change. Thanks Jules

:)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Update from Paradise - part 7


Still finding it very strange living alone. It’s harder when I’m not busy and since I only work 10 hours per week I’m never exactly busy. Evenings are fine as I’m either singing or with the Warm Up gang. In fact lately I have finished singing and gone on to Warm Up and eventually getting home around 6 am. New found freedom has to be celebrated and enjoyed to the full. But I also know it’s a lifestyle I can’t maintain for long. Alcohol and late nights may be good props to help me through this phase but they are certainly not conducive with healthy living.

On Friday I met Paula for a coffee and chat and later we both joined auntie Linda for dinner. My aunt lives in the same block as me, in the floor below. Being the kind old soul that she is, auntie has already insisted I join her regularly for lunch, dinner and anything else I may need. She is concerned I’m not cooking at home and am on a junk food diet. She is right of course. Cooking for one is no fun.

Paula has also been very kind, trying to make me feel better by being available and always ready to listen to my woes. Thank you.

Friday night I finished my gig and headed down to FX to hear the last hour of Cool Feel Band. Linda and Frank from Northolt accompanied me down. They had been at Moynihan’s for my gig and decided they could do with more music and alcohol. Same mind-set as me. They headed home an hour later and I joined the table with the band members. Wine cheese and chatter for 2 more hours and then myself Vitor, Estenis, Carlos and Lisandra - the girl with the lovely voice and even lovelier eyes - went to The SR bar for more beer and chat. At 6 am we all headed home.

 Last night we all met at The Hole In One Pub around 9pm and then on to FX until 3 am. A quick visit to Marginal Disco followed and then home around 6ish.

I know this lifestyle will have to change as I will soon be busy during the days, but for now it is clearly a case of `burning the candle at both ends´.

Tonight is gig night at Moynihan’s followed by a jam session at The Warm Up. History repeating itself.

Meanwhile…on a personal front, feelings of contempt and anger keep turning into feelings of longing and back again. Not the kind of progression I want, but then I don't always get what I wan't.

And I don't always want what I get.


:(

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Update from Paradise - part 6

Moved into my new `batchellor pad´ yesterday and have settled in nicely. The apartment is in a great location in town, a minutes walk from Moynihan´s and The Warm Up! Only trouble is I used to spend a fair amount of time in both establishments already and now am likely to spend even more! Oh well, I can live with that.

My family came to my rescue with getting the apartment so quickly (actually within 12 hours of me asking) and I´m very grateful. A special thanks to bro´ who set the wheels in motion and sorted everything out, absolutely everything including moving all my stuff. I love you very much.

The next chapter in my ever-changing life has started.  I look forward to all that may be coming my way but also feel sad for what I have lost and left behind. 

A lot of the plans of the last 4 years have now been cancelled. The house in the country, the guest house, the pets, the March trip to Lisbon, the June trip to Sweden...no longer schedulled. That fills me with sadness.

There is irony in the title of this post, as you may have noticed already.  Irony in as much as it is almost impossible to see paradise through a veil of tears, loneliness, heartache and disappointment.

Paradise Lost... for the time being at least.

It is now time to rebuild and move on.  This time hopefully with more caution and less haste.

Easier said than done, in my case anyway.

:(

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Premature, immature, call it what you will

and the cracks started to show...
My previous post had me questioning my actions of going public on blogger with my personal affairs, but I have since reached the conclusion that it was the right thing to do. Well, the right thing by me anyway, and that´s what counts. I knew there was no way back for us two and could therefore  report unhindered.

I am so convinced of the benefits of going public that I will continue to report on this subject matter until I see fit to stop.

This evening on my way home, I saw `someone´ walk arm in arm with what appeared to be a new boyfriend and I confess to feeling more uncomfortable than I would have liked. It actually hurt me to the core, even though we split up some 2 weeks ago and reconciliation was not an option. I suspected and questioned recently if there was someone else on the scene because of her relaxed and accepting attitude to our split-up. Anyway, to me it´s a case of "jumping from the frying pan into the fire".

Speaking from personal experience, I think it´s a terrible idea.  I undertand that it makes it much easier to cope with a break-up when a replacement shoulder-to-cry-on is found, but such action restricts and confuses the natural healing/re-adjustment process.

Surely everyone knows that. It is plain old common sense. Or is it?

Four years ago I started dating `someone´ a month or so after breaking up with Sarah and have always regretted getting involved so soon. I believe to this day that I confused the warm feeling of comfort in someones arms with that of being in love. As a result, the new relationship started off on the wrong footing and, lets be honest, with the wrong person. It was an awkward, argumentative and volatile relationship that never got any easier. I´m amazed it lasted 4 years. That must be down to both of us being stubborn as mules. Everyone else could see then the obvious flaws with our partnership; everyone except me.

Experience comes with living, making mistakes and learning from those mistakes. What `someone´ is doing now is what I once did and have lived to regret.  I guess `someone´ needs to learn from her own mistakes.

Cases like these convince me that experience beats youth, any day.

As Forrest once said and I quote "life´s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get..."

:(

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A very public affair

Is publishing a diary-like blog a good or bad thing?

If it is good, why is it not recognized as a valid therapy?

If it is bad, should it not carry a health warning?

I am wrestling with this dilema and am afraid I may be airing my linen in public when it may be counter productive to do so. I refer specifically to my situation with Madeleine. I announced our split up on Blogger before telling anyone else!

I wanted to let the people I care about know, and those people read my blog.  A bit like sending a text message to multiple receivers, I was spared the hassle of repeating the same thing over and over again.

On Facebook I was more cautious and chose to drop a couple of subtle hints instead of making a full announcement. I don´t know why that should be; why I should differentiate between FB and Blogger, but I know I do. Or maybe it´s because a lot of FB friends are not real friends but acquaintances and friends of friends - people I would not normally confide in.

Should a blog be treated in the same way as we treat a best friend or relative?

We talk to friends about our problems and normally get some sort of uplifting feedback. Blogging produces a similar result if/when we get comments.

Blog friends are, to a degree, virtual. I can´t be sure those people I´ve come to like as friends actually do exist. They may even all be the same person with different pseudonyms.  A bit far fetched I know, but possible nonetheless.

Whether blog friends can be considered true friends or not is up for debate but I can´t see any good reason as to why not. I feel as if I know my blog pals quite well. At least as well as I know some real friends.

On blogland I enjoy reading about my friends exploits and daily struggles, such as:

Annah´s quest for famosity - Nessa´s DIY skills - Dickys ´Dirty Old Town´ of Farnborough - Dan´s trips down the dark alleys of St Kilda - Sharon´s Sleepless in Otford Nights - Baglady´s Nile adventure - Louis Wu´s attacks on the Tea Party - Cold´s Moscow Tales - Pearl´s kindness to Banjo players - Momma C´s book reviews and recipes and many many others (sorry for those who didn´t get a mention, I love u also) too numerous to mention.

Those people I consider to be friends even though we have never met.  As communication goes, the written word comes a close second to speech.

Going public - Is this what I´m doing?

Seems like the jury´s still out on this matter. Time will tell.

On a lighter note, I´d like to share a conversation with you I had with my uncle JS from London, yesterday morning. JS sent me the pic above from his iPhone.

JS:   Hey Joe Boy, how´s it goin´?
ME: OK... still in bed, late night last night...
JS:   I read your blog, about you and M
ME: Oh yeah, that... not very nice
JS:   Don´t worry Joe, plenty more fish in the sea!

JS´s intentions were to give me support and encouragement, I know, but being as curt as he is, it didn´t have the desired effect. JS is as blunt as a brick when it comes to sensitive matters but I know he means well.

Its all very well saying there´s plenty of fish in the sea, but how can I be sure my bait is as effective as it once was?

Maybe I should change bait if I want to catch a different kind of fish.

:)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Warm Up

Here are some pics from The Warm Up Cafe as promised in a previous post.

These Facebook photos will  have to do for now until I remember to take the camera...if.







Not quite enough but it´s all I can do for now.  Also, it is the weekend and I don´t usually post at weekends.

Weekends are reserved for other activities such as socializing drinking and music.

Bye for now

:)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Mental trauma or hangover?

The last few days have been strange. Surreal even. A giddy mix of highs and lows conducive with someone who suffers with bipolar disorder. Only trouble is I am not manic depressive.

(Disclaimer - I apologize for the dour and humourless content of today´s post. If you are in a  somber or suicidal mood I insist you click out of this page right now, but if you feel like empathizing with my condition, please read on and leave me some uplifting comments.I need them.)

The cause of my temporary state of mind is the acrimonious break up with Madeleine.

My partner-in-crime-of-four-years and I, have gone our separate ways.  It feels weird, unreal and extremely unpleasant.

Although I genuinely believe it is for the best and agree fully with our collective decision, it still hurts like mad. 

Our fraught-with-difficulties relationship, seems to have run out of steam and we both run out of energy to argue.

I can´t elaborate on personal matters for two main reasons: The first being respect for Madeleine´s privacy and secondly, my version of events would be biased and not entirely accurate. It would be of no use to anyone. There are three sides to every such story; his, hers and the truth.

In the last 18 months I have lost some of the most important people in my life. It is beginning to take its toll. Three life-changing events have taken away a lot of the happiness I once had. And I don´t like it one bit.

I know time is the great healer, but fresh wounds are being inflicted over older wounds that have not had time to heal.

Enough of this depressing subject. I will end this post with a known proverb - inverted, for obvious reasons.

´In front of every silver lining, there´s a dark cloud´

(...)

PS. I returned to The Warm Up Bar for another late jam session last night and once again forgot to take the camera. Duh!

PPS. And I have a blinding hangover as a result.

PPPS. And why not? I´m living the life of a single man. Wine, women and song, not necessarily in that order.

PPPPS. Don´t forget, all you lovely single ladies out there, to book your dates with me now. Don´t leave it too late to avoid disappointment :)  My diary is filling up fast!

PPPPPS. Nothing, I just like keeping the p key pppppppppp
ppressed

:)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Update from Paradise - A night to remember

My Sunday night gig at Moynihan´s Bar started around 21:30, when I decided to start playing despite the fact there was only one table of three customers present. Just as I started to sing, one of the three asked the barman for the bill and I thought; that´s it - early night for me! No point playing if there are no cutomers. I don´t get paid handsomely to entertain the bar staff.

Just as my first song was coming to an end I noticed a group of four people come up the stairs and take the table right in front of the stage. By the time I finished the second song another 4 tables and at least 12 more people had arrived. The place was filling up steadily and I was in my element.

Some 10 minutes later my pal from London, Frank, who´s on a week´s holiday, arrived with some people.

A while later,Victor, a friend who is a singer with a local band, also turned up. I persuaded him to sing a couple of songs and the night really took off.

I love the adoration directed at me by the crowd when I´m giving a good performance. Priceless. Who doesn´t like to be liked?

By midnight, after two T Shirt changes and some 3000 calories lighter, I packed up the guitar and joined the revellers for a well deserved drink. My way of replenishing lost calories. The best way I know. If anyone knows a better, more enjoyable way please leave a comment below.

After a couple of cold pints of beer, a group of us went down the road to The Warm Up Bar, where, rumour had it, a jamming session was underway.

At Warm Up, the stage was set and the place packed with musicians and their friends. Brilliant atmosphere as we all started to take turns to play and sing.

Victor, Dennis, Nathan, Juan, Lisandra and myself sang and played until 4 am. Unexpected, unrehearsed and utterly fabulous; easily the best ever jam session I have been involved in.

I say a special thanks to Victor for his stunning stage presence and brilliant voice and also to beautiful Lisandra, who demontrates how kind nature can be to some people by giving them singing talent and physical beauty in unimaginable proportions.

I for one would have carried on had the bar owner decided to keep the place open. I believe so would all  the others. Pure enjoyment, playing and singing for no reward other than self gratification and sharing magical moments with friends.

Friends united by their interested in good music and having fun. Friends I will cherish for ever more.

Priceless experience. As the old saying goes, the best things in life are free.

I am so looking forward to the next session. And this time I will take pics to better share the experience with you.

:)

Friday, 11 November 2011

100 words: 11/11/11

It´s just a date, like any other in the Gregorian Calendar. It´s also a mathematical gem; an easy date to remember.  The kind of date I like to use to stop something or maybe start something new.

Is there´s anything I can or should give up?

I don´t smoke (gave up 6 months ago).

I don´t do drugs or bite my nails.

I don´t drink excessively or pick my nose in public.

I don´t hurt people or steal candy from babies...

...there´s nothing to give up!

I´m almost perfect! I feel much better now.

How about starting something new?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Update from paradise 4

A walk down to The Forum last night resulted in M and I going to the cinema. We both agreed to see ´The Thing´ - as we had already seen most of the others on show.

As the title suggests, The Thing is a sci-fi movie about the discovery of an extra-terrestrial craft buried in the Antarctica ice.

Anything to do with Antarctica is interesting to me and I was keen to see this film, despite my reservation about the lack of known actors. Not always a good ´thing´ I find. Mind you, I´ve seen plenty of films with top actors that I wish I hadn´t but generally speaking the best actors have the pick of the scripts and usually star in the better films.

The Thing is a decent story with lots of snow and ice...and little else. It always amazes me why writers of this genre normally depict aliens in such grotesque ways. This particular case was disgustingly ugly; the alien looked like a giant crab with traces of human and insect parts. An interesting attribute of this thing was it´s ability to kill people, devour them and then replicate their bodies before hiding in them to come out at a later date.Some imagination, eh?  Oh pleeease sci-fi writers out there, can you stop taking those funny pink tablets when you´re writing?

If we ever encounter extra-terrestrials, I expect to see some beautiful, perfectly formed beings. After all they will be so much more advanced than us in order to get here that they are bound to be more beautiful and as close to perfection as is possible.

That´s about it. Oh yes, I nearly forgot to mention Mary Elizabeth Winstead. How could I?  Mary is a beautiful actress with a convincing about-to-cry expression that will melt many a heart.
EW...and...
...MEW - Mary Elizabeth Winstead




Friday, 4 November 2011

It´s not your tern

On a recent  fishing trip I noticed a young lad of about 14 who seemed more interested in using his catapult to shoot pebbles at a pair of arctic terns than concentrate on his fishing.  Needless to say, he wasn´t catching anything, and missing his targets for good measure.

I don´t like any kind of cruelty towards animals - or people for that matter, but sometimes, and I mean only sometimes (as in very infrequently) the swans deserve a good slap in the beak.

I don´t care if I get death threats from the loonies at PETA (and there are plenty of them around) or verbal abuse from any other animal welfare group.The truth is I don´t care much for swans. Having said that I would like to state for the record that I wouldn´t wish them any harm - but don´t tell the swans I´ve said it.

For those of you who don´t partake in the glorious sport of angling and have never spent a  whole day around a lake, I will explain the reason for my disenchantment with swans. Anyone into angling knows what I mean already.

Swans are big birds- some would say too fucking big. Why are they so big? There´s no real advantage for an aquatic bird to grow to the size of  a hippo! They need a longer stretch of water to take off and land than a jumbo jet needs tarmac.

Swans are arrogant, bullish and territorial. They have no regard whatsoever for us anglers, who incidentaly provide most of their food in the cold winters (sweet corn and bread). They have no regard for other lake dwellers either, such as coots, moorhens and even their cousins, the Mallards, whom they see off with a hiss and a wing-flap.

I have seen a swan swim right up to an anglers float, stop, look at it for a minute and then push the thing into the lilies with it´s huge paddle-feet, causing a major tangle. Moments later, the snoozing fisherman jumped out of his chair, grabbed the rod and reeled in like mad, thinking he got a bite.  I´m sure I heard the swan tut as it paddled away, wagging it´s tail like a dog who´s just seen it´s owner.

Another time  I was fishing and left my post to go to the toilet, when from half way around the lake I looked back and saw a swan dancing all over my bait trays, scattering maggots and groundbait all over the swim. I ran back, flailing my arms and shouting obsceneties, but the critter swam off before I could get back. To make matters worse, as I was picking up the mess I slipped and ended up knee-high in frozen muddy water.

What a bastard bird! And the worse thing about it is that swans don´t even eat maggots! It was just blatant swandalism.

But I digress, as usual. Back to the lad with the catapult.

After half an hour of this I´d had enough and decided to intervene. By that stage no tern had ben hit as far as I could see and the pair were happy to swoop over the lake and the lad´s head as if in defiance, every 5 minutes or so.

I told him to stop pestering the terns in case he hurts one of them and to concentrate on his fishing instead.

He smiled and replied;

"I´ve been told that to be a successful angler I mustn´t leave any tern unstoned"

!?

:)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

How to solve the world´s economic crisis

How ironic that wealthy Europe and the USA should be looking at China to help ease their financial burdens? Who would have thought it would ever come to this?

Apparently China is the only major economic power with spare cash - a surplus of many trillions of dollars. That´s a lot of dollars to have stashed away; no wonder the Americans are running short of them.

Let´s try to make sense of this situation.

China has the world´s fastest growing manufacturing base. True. China produces almost everything under the sun, such as pirate DVDs and CDs, cheap kitchen utensils and bird flu.

Is that it?  In a nutshell...erm...almost.

I can´t think of a single quality product that is manufactured in China.

Can you?

Let´s see:

Motor cars? No.
Buses and trucks? No.
Motorbikes and airplanes? No.
Clothing? No.
Furniture? No. 
Home electrics (Dish washers, washing machines and fridges) No.
Computers and IT? No...

...and so on.

What is the secret of their success?

Well let me tell you. China is the biggest producer of cheap bric-a-brac.

And not just China but all of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China).

The BRIC countries are the economic miracles of the day and between them nothing of real value is produced.

One man´s junk is another man´s treasure, some say.

To the current leaders at the G20 summit, I say;

Please encourage your peoples to produce counterfeit goods and cheap BRIC-a-brac if you want to prosper and keep up with the Wongses.

:)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A Strange Kind Of Faith

I feel an angry rant coming on as I always do when faced with any kind of injustice - be it perceived or real.

Did you know the Popemobile was fitted with 4-inch thick bullet-proof glass?

I didn´t either. What kind of faith is that?

This from the man whose  message to his 750 million followers is to put their faith in God! He clearly doesn´t and choses instead to put his faith in bullet-proof glass. Oh the hypocrisy of it all!

I´m sure the Pope has got an answer prepared, just in case we ever cross paths. He would probably come up with some ready-prepared cock-and-bull story on how he has to protect himself from Satan. Oh?!

Satan? The Devil? Does he mean the ´devil´ as in this other major cop-out invented by religions to cover all that goes wrong with the world?

Satan, as in the get-out clause; if it goes well it´s God´s work and when it doesn´t  it´s the Devils work. Surely if God was the Creator He must have created Satan! If He did who´s going to sue Him for that fuck-up?

Neat trick, but like every other trick to do with religion, not very clever.

I was going to nominate the Pope for the "Turd of the Week" award for his blatant act of hypocrisy but since it may offend some people (see note below)  I have decided to leave it for some other turd. There are many around.

(Note to Self: I hope people realize I don´t like to offend anyone. I never go out of my way to do so. Unless I´m provoked. As in this case.And in any other case to do with religion. Or capital punishment. Or racism-prejudism-sexism-agism and any other kind of ´ism  for that matter. Good, I hope that´s cleared it up)

J´ACCUSE...of not practicing what he preaches!

On a lighter note...still to do with faith (of the institution of marriage)...

...Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce.

It appears the 72 day  marriage of Kim and Kris is over. Kim released a press statement which said;


"After careful consideration  I have decided to end my marriage. I hope everyone understands this was not an easy decision."

72 days is a life-time for the fickle-minded celebs
 Of course not Kim, it took you 72 whole days! No one can ever accuse you of acting hastily...or just acting, for that matter.

:s

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Enough to make you lose your head

Reading the news this morning I came across an article that nearly ruined my day. I say nearly because I´ve long given up trying to understand some cultures and so don´t get as upset as I used to.

It read;  "Man beheaded in Saudi Arabia for being a sorcerer"

A country whose favourite (some say only) past time is public capital punishment, Saudi Arabia, fatherland of the late Osama Bin Laden, has gone a step further in alienating itself from the world community by beheading a man accused of sorcery.

The victim was hauled to a public car park where his head was chopped off in front of dozens of onlookers.

What kind of people want to witness such a cruel act?

(Note to self: I´ll never will set foot in countries that have the death penalty. Good job its only a minority.)

The man is understood to have been arrested after he was entrapped by the MutawaƩen (religious police).

He was asked to concoct a spell to cause an officer´s father to leave his second wife!?!?

Yes, I´m as confused as you, but there´s more...

...when Abdul Hamid agreed to do so for a fee of approximately £1000, he was sentenced to death by a secret court without being allowed a lawyer.

Despite several pleas by Amnesty International to King Abdullah to call off the beheading, the execution went ahead as planned.

That the poor man should be sentenced to death without committing anything that would appear to constitute a crime makes this case even more disgusting and barbaric than most- if that´s at all possible.

Witch hunting used to take place in Europe too - albeit in the  dark ages. Luckily for us we´ve moved on a few centuries. Sadly  the Sharia Law countries haven´t and never will, while shackled to religion.

(...)

On a lighter note...

...I was saddened to read about the late Steve Jobs last words as reported by his sister Mona. She said and I quote;

"He looked at his wife, his children at myself and then above us and uttered the words ´ Oh Wow Oh Wow Oh Wow´ "

Poor old Steve had been immersed for so long in his work that he´d never seen his close family in the same place at the same time. At least thats what I think...or maybe... he was thinking about the latest Samsung Galaxy.

Monday, 31 October 2011

100 Words: Halloween

A scattering of witches and zombies are going about their business in the busy shopping centre. What is their business? Its lunchtime and normal dressed people are busy getting lunch and last minute shopping for tonight's many parties across the city. Why are these few dressed up so early in the day? Have they gone to work or school in their ghoulish outfits? Maybe they just want to be different. By doing what most people will not do until this evening. I want to party tonight but won't be dressing up. No, I just want to be different.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Retraction

This post is a retraction of my statement from the previous day regarding the capture of Gaddafi.

Executions are never justified. Gaddafi was a tyrant, no doubt, but his captors are murderers.

The brutality and wanton cruelty shown on the Al Jazeera video does not bode well for the future of Lybia.

Are the Lybian people ready for democracy? 

What a waste of countless lives, if as I suspect, they are not.

:(

Thursday, 20 October 2011

World Day Against Capital Punishment (not applicable to Gaddafi)

I was reminded a few days ago, while checking my e-mails in Yahoo, that it was the World Day Against Capital Punishment. I decided to write a post but left it in the edit section until today.

Everyone knows my sentiments on this topic already. I have written posts about it, most recently "Another murder goes unpunished" after the execution of a mental patient in Virginia USA (Yes, it really did  happen!) and  hightlighted statistics in another post "When justice is tainted by revenge..."

Well done to Amnesty International for never giving up the fight and for constantly highlighting cases from the handful of countries who still continue with this barbaric and archaic form of revenge punishment.

Whilst I am a life-long objector of Capital Punishment, I am also human and as such couldn't help smiling at today's news that Colonel Gaddafi had been killed. He was executed by his pursuers. That is very wrong, but in this case, and this case only, the outcome is justified. Another contradiction from me I know.

I wrote about Gaddafi back in February when the Lybian Revolution started and had no idea then when it would end. Well, the end is nigh!

Good luck to all Lybians who now have the unenviable task of burying their dead while at the same time rebuilding their shattered country. All because a deluded old fool refused to see sense.

"Dead man walking" - Recent photo of the lunatic pensioner
Nice to think that the "free world" helped the Lybian people topple the tyrant. Nato's contribution was vital in the process. Funny how Nato is not doing the same in Syria.!  Oh yes, silly me, there's no oil in Syria. So fuck the people who live there.

(Note to Self: I hope readers detect the subtle sarcasm...)

Nato and the "free world" don't seem to care much for the oppressed peoples of Syria, Zimbabwe, The Yemen and a few other banana-republics. Coincidentally (or not) these nations don't have oil.

Oh, the hypocrisy of it all.

But I digress.

I wanted to write about Capital Punishment and here I go.

To all the innocent people who have been wrongly executed, I say this;

You were wrongly convicted but sadly your innocence was not enough to save you. I try to imagine how you felt moments before being put to death, but I can't. My imagination can't do it justice, just like your executioners.

My words can't help you now, I know, but please accept my humble apologies. I write nonetheless, in the faint hope that someone will read it and if not, throw it into the great Bottomless Pit of Protest along with all the pleas from millions of decent people throughout history. People who, like you and me, refuse to give up hope.

Imagine the execution of an innocent person!

How can anyone imagine such a cruel predicament?

*
Did you give up and resign yourself to your fate like a 'lamb to slaughter'?
Or did you lash out in desperation?
Did you wonder if your loved ones believed your innocence?
Or were you worried they doubted you too?
Did you want to send your loved one a last message?
Could you sleep at night?
Did you ever ask if justice would be done to your executioners for killing you?
Did you ever ask why the executioners can kill and be rewarded for it, but you can't?
Did you wish there was a God in heaven?

Did you cry? Did you ever stop crying?


**
My sincere apologies on behalf of all humanity.
:(

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Update from paradise 3

I has been a traumatic week for the Pereiras, as you all know, hence the lack of posts.

Here in Paradise we're all trying to come to terms with the loss of a loved one and are not doing a very good job of it. It'll take time, I know.

I say "Paradise" for a couple of reasons. 'Irony' and 'optimism'.



Funchal - the prettiest and friendliest town anywhere

Irony, because although I genuinely believe Madeira is the closest thing to paradise, I am not religious.

Optimism, because although I lack it at present, I feel we all need that to keep us going forward.

(Note to Self: Lately I'm surrounded by contradictions, mostly of my own making. No wonder my grandmother used to call me "The Spirit of Contradiction" back in the days when I was a child. For years I thought she meant some kind of super hero! When I found out what the words meant I had an argument with granny and insisted she was wrong on all counts. I disagreed with everything she said. Incidentally, Madeleine is as contradictive as I am!  Most of the time we can't agree on the simplest of things such as what to eat or what film to watch. I digress...)

Yesterday at 5pm, I walked the five-minute journey to the Forum Shopping Centre to meet up with Madeleine. The intention was for us to have dinner in the "Serra Da Estrela" restaurant and then go to the cinema. I chose that particular restaurant because it looks nice, is at the Forum  and so is convenient and the prices are mid-range. By chosing the restaurant before-hand, Madeleine and I avoided the usual half-an-hour discussion and argument of where to go.

I also chose the film we were going to watch as it was my turn to chose. A decision I would later regret. Madeleine chose last week's film, a slightly better one at that, "Midnight in Paris".

The meal was delicious and the service even better. The waiters were on the ball and clearly well rehearsed on customer service matters. I later acknowledged their efforts with a good tip. I have often said that I'd rather go to a restaurant with mediocre food but excellent service than the other way round. I'm even more convinced now.

I had the house speciality steak in a cheese sauce with fries and salad, helped down with a bottle of Esteva Red. Madeleine chose the same thing after being told her first choice meal of 'pork and broadbean stew' was not available.

The Forum is my favourite shopping centre. Chic, friendly
and comfortable and even has a multi-screen cinema.
Well-fed and watered, we made our way to the cinema on the top floor. Popcorn and drink in hand we took our seats and waited in anticipation for the film that promised so much...but delivered so little.

The film was 'Contagion' with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Matt Damon. Judging by the cast alone, I thought we were in for a cinematic treat...but no. I struggled to stay awake throughout and that had nothing to do with the wine at dinner. The story has a slow, un-coordinated build-up and no climax. A bit like a drunken sex session. So I hear.

The plot (or lack of) concentrates on the spread of a flu-like virus around the world and the measures taken by the autorities to deal with it.

Wow!  I hear you all say in unison.

Not worth seeing... not even on telly.

I wish I'd let Madeleine convince me to watch 'The Three Musketeers' in 3D. It could not have been worse.

:)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Goodbye Mum, I'll never stop loving you

Yesterday, 11th October 2011 at 09:30, my Mum passed away in hospital, after suffering  heart seizure.

Mum had been in hospital for 3 weeks, most of that time in Intensive Care.

Mum was moved last Friday from one hospital to another and that filled us with hope. From Intensive Care to a convalescing hospital, it was looking promising.

Mum and Dad's wedding : The beginning of the story...
I saw her Sunday at 13:00 and she was smiling but subdued. I asked her when she was coming home as I miss our Sunday lunches together and she smiled but didn't say anything.

Mum was more concerned with my injured knuckle, sustained on my way home the day before. I tripped and smashed my right little finger on a wall. It is bandaged and bruised and mum was annoyed I hadn't gone to A&E. I assured her I would go to hospital if it got worse.

I hour later I kissed her cheek and left her there with my Dad for company. I told her I'd visit again Tuesday after 17:00 with Madeleine. Mum smiled and we hugged and that's the last time I saw her.

I can't accept I won't see her again. My Mum has gone and I don't know what to do to make the pain go away. I'm going to miss her so much. I often mentioned one of the advantages of returning to Madeira was being here for my parents.

I feel so sorry for Mum too. Mum did not want to die and made that perfectly clear; to me at least, though she had often confided in others how she was sick and tired of being ill and in discomfort and wished for a speedy end. Mum never said such thing to me; Mum never would say anything to hurt me. Mum shielded me from the truth now, as she often did throughout my life when it was necessary and more comforting for me not to know the truth. Because Mum cared for me in a way no one else could.

Mum constantly helped me financially, especially around two years ago, after I signed away all my worldly goods to my ex wife. Mum would slip notes into my pockets everytime I visited her and she would also come with Dad to pick me up once a week and take me to the supermarket to pay for my groceries.

Mum did all that because she loved me unconditionally.

I love my Mum unconditionally too and always will.

I so wish there was something I could have done. I so wish I could have saved her or even been there at the end to hold her close.

My darling Mum recently
There were seven of us and now only three remain.

I have mentioned lately that I'm living in paradise and feel the happiest I've felt in years.  The irony of it all.

R.I.P Mum. I love you and never will forget you. Thank you for being my Mum, my creator, my carer and my source of comfort for so many years.

<3  

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Update from paradise 2

Here are some more photos from Madeira;

Breathtaking views - near Porto Da Cruz
On our way from Ribeiro Frio to the North Coast
My old boat! The new owner has it up and running. I wish I still had it :( 
This is the valley I want to create a fishing  lake in - work in progress
Ribeira Da Janela
yum yum, those things make one of the best dishes ever - Espetada
Jardin Do Mar - Village fete preparations
Snack time on our balcony








Wednesday, 28 September 2011

100 words: My day

It was a monday morning and the heavily pregnant Mrs P knew it was time.

She had no idea what gender it would be; scanners hadn't been invented. The word "ultra-sound" belonged to the military and was used only in submarines.

I can imagine the talk around the dinner table the night before.

What do you think it will be?

It will be me of course! Silly.

Families used to talk back then.

In the days before TV invaded our homes and removed the need to talk.

When radio was the only outside influence; and then only in small doses.

And thumbs were the companions of fore-fingers, not just texting tools.

:)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

An artist's impression

Its good to be back! Broadband on tap again!

Lots to write about, I will be busy posting over the next few days.

On my way back home after doing my sound-check at Moynihan’s for the evening gig, I bumped into Ruben at his local bar.

Ruben is an abstract artist/barman who has worked at this place for years while waiting to become famous. He is in his late twenties, slight of build and with soft facial features that would look more appropriate on a 12 year old boy. He has that slightly startled look of someone who has just bumped into an old friend, or even someone mildly paranoid.

Ruben is deep. Not into lighthearted chat and always analyzing and dissecting all he says and hears. It’s his artistic way I think, for he is an aspiring artist first and foremost, barman second. He works while he talks too; multi-tasks as he pulls a pint, takes payment and even clears tables without pausing the conversation. 

I’ve always liked Ruben, and am only too pleased to have a chat with him whenever time allows. He wanted to tell me about his recent appearance in a talent competition that was televised and I was interested enough to want to hear about it. 

The painting he exhibited was of a woman/amphibian in a blue swirling background. Acrylic on canvas, apparently.

The first person to view it was an elderly woman who said;

 “The alien looks good, if a bit spooky”.

“Alien?” shrieked Ruben, “When you look at your reflection in the mirror do you see an alien?”

“No” came the reply. “Should I? 

“Well, yes!” Said Ruben. “Because that is not an alien but a woman/amphibian hybrid. It is my way of expressing how life came from the oceans and how females evolved first”

“Oh, I’m sorry” apologized the old lady “I can see the woman/amphibian thingy now!”
“Why is it you don’t do nude stuff like all the other exhibitors?”

“Not for me” said Ruben. “The trouble nowadays is that sex is used as a force for manipulating others; something I don’t agree with”

“How’s that?”

“I believe sex is used all too often by women to control men. It has given them the upper hand and some are now abusing that power in a way I find unacceptable” Ruben went on.

“I believe a lot of women are using sex to get their own back on men for past injustices. I find that disturbing as I am innocent and refuse to pay for other men’s mistakes…”

“…would you like to pay for other people’s mistakes?” asked Ruben, of a by now totally perplexed old lady.

“No, I guess not. I’m sorry if you’re going through that kind of thing”.

“No, pleeeeease stop! Do not apologize for someone else’s behaviour” implored Ruben.

A few more tables were cleared and the troubled artist returned to my end of the bar to continue with his story.

“So what has brought this on, Ruben? Anything wrong with you and your girlfriend?”

“Funny you should ask, not with me but with my best friend”.

“He is having a hard time with his girl; a stubborn and petulant girl who can’t handle her drink…”
“…pretty girl alright but strange in equal measure. My mate is madly in love with her and that’s half the problem, I suspect. They’ve lived together a few years…”

“…the girl told him she was going out with her girl friends to the disco for a dance and a chat and that he wasn’t invited…”
“…my mate wanted to go with her as she was already half-drunk and he felt uneasy about the way she was talking” said Ruben, almost weeping by now.

“He decided to follow his girl to the disco where he found her dancing inappropriately with some chap. She was wriggling all over this guy, arms draped around his neck in an openly suggestive way. Sexy performance when apparently at home she’s not that keen on playing sexy” Ruben’s eyes squinted in anger.

“My friend grabbed her by the arm, pulled her off the other guy and wanted to take her home; but to make matters worse the girl refused and actually pushed him away on the dance floor. A classic case of using sex as a weapon, if you ask me. Can you imagine how he must have felt?”

“Yes Ruben, it must have been horrible”

“She eventually returned home some three hours later as if nothing had happened. My mate was sick with worry and heartache by then…”

“…and she always complained how he didn’t trust her and how she is not the cheating type and so on. What would you do in his situation, Joe? You see, I find it difficult to advise my pal on such matters…” 

“…I’m into abstract stuff, as you know, not reality, thank goodness”

“Tough one that, Ruben. If you asked some years ago I would have probably said I’d get her back by doing the same thing. Not so sure now…the older I get the less I know about matters of the heart…”

“…see you around Ruben, cheer up”

Depressing or what? I didn’t feel like having another beer and set off home.

I felt drained after fifteen minutes with Ruben. Maybe he has an overactive empathy gland, or maybe the story is a lot closer to home than he lets on. 

His mate? Yeah right. 

Either way I’m not qualified to advise on such matters.

And I have troubles of my own, as we all do, but I daren’t elaborate to Ruben.

Not unless I have more time than sense…

…and less sense than Ruben