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


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Update from paradise

I've been off the blog-radar lately due to reasons such as lack of  internet access where I was  staying and busy catching up with everything here in Madeira. All is well, I'm eating, drinking, and playing music; all in perfect weather and surroundings. Have just moved into a new apartment overlooking the sea at Praia Formosa. Here are some pics...

Approaching Madeira on Easyjet
Local fayre yum yum
Funchal looking great

S.Jorge for lunch
Roadtrip with DD
Poncha Bar Serra D'agua
North Coast...with love
Lunch in S. Jorge
The view at dusk from our apartment
Beautiful indeed... more will follow.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

9/11 - Ten years on and still no closure

The tenth anniversary of the ´crime of the century´ draws near and the debate rages on. The causes and reasons are still being discussed, analyzed and misunderstood by most people.

Frighteningly, the same conditions still exist. There are no reasons to believe it can´t happen again. And if it can, given time, it probably will.

The physical scars at ground zero are disappearing slowly, the mental scars never will. And they shouldn´t, lest we forget the day that changed the world. The day the word Islam became synonymous with terrorism 

My previous post on the subject, 9/11 Where was He?  still draws lots of readers and its no wonder, given the magnitude of the case.
As time goes by I no longer need to ask that question. He was not there because He does not exist! If He did exist He wouldn´t have let it happen. How could He?

If He did exist His own creations would not have been capable of such evil. After all, according to the Bible we were all created in His image.

How silly.


Friday, 2 September 2011

Living the ´dolce vita´

Status update:

Madeira, Friday - 15:35. I´m at Dolce Vita waiting for Madeleine to finish work at 4.  Yeah, 4 o´clock! I know. How good is that? Madeleine finishes at 5 Monday - Thursday and at 4 on Fridays.

I don´t have full internet access at present - just as well.  Will do a photopost soon with lots and lots of pics . Madeleine has been busy pointing her camera at everything that moves...and everything that doesn´t.

Eating, drinking, socializing, sunbathing...its tough, I know, but someone has to do it!