Monday, 25 June 2012

Swedish Proverb

Fear less, hope more;
eat less; chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more;
Love more and all
good things will be yours.


Swedish Proverb

The sky's blue has an ochre-umber tint.

The Terral has been blowing for almost enough days to provide mitigation in a murder defence. A hot wind out of the mountains into their lee, it's a foehn. The smashed crockery and crashed cars can be added to the foehn bill when it blows in the summer. The brownish tint in the blue is dust held in suspension in the air. If it were by some chance to rain, your car would be as dirty as a Paris-Dakar vehicle. I do not fear the Terral, I welcome it. We hope for truth from shortened tempers, we northern souls.

In this heat, you eat less. Chew your food for longer out of torpor. We talk less and say much more into the whorls of a loved one's ear. Many things are too much trouble. Making love is a slow, langorous pleasure or it isn't made at all. Yet it's worth it for all the good things it will bring.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Flies!

I feel more like that damned pig’s head by the minute.

There are seven flies alighting on and taking off from my exposed skin. Pretty soon I’ll light a citrus candle and it won’t make any difference at all. Swatting at the little beasts just makes me hot and more than bothered. Now and again I murder one of the little blighters and think I’ve just sentenced myself to another few turns on the wheel of life. If I get 7 at one blow, I’ll make like the Valiant Tailor. Splat. One more down. Hahah! Don’t Fear The Reaper is on the stereo. Those bloody flies better fear me. And another thing, why have they turned up today? It’s been 35®C all week and not a specimen of the order Diptera in sight.
However, thinking back to the weather forecast for the UK in flaming June I make a wry smile and think despite the flies, the ointment is very nice.
Sister Morphine from Sticky Fingers is on the hi-fi now: Ry Cooder is showing Keef how it’s really done and Jagger is doing one of his last great vocals. Man, what have I got to complain about, really? Yes, I could be writing something creative, doing some research, instead of writing this blog, but hey, even this is writing, isn’t it?
Anyhow, I’m feeling all Karmic at the moment, so I’m letting the two flies on my arm get on with what the birds and the bees do,

maybe that wil make up for their relatives I consigned to oblivion earlier.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

3 Down 2 to Go.

Yes, Scotland won. In the rugby, against Australia last Tuesday. Or rather we beat the shadow of the side Wales lost to today. 9 (Nine!) changes to a test side. I think we all know what that means for Scotland's achievement in weather conditions that left two Australians on the brink of hypothermia. But Wales had a chance, didn't they? No. Inferiority complex: the northern hemisphere sides don't know how to win. We EXPECT to lose. We expect to be plucky losers. We aim too low. Whisper it, if your expectations are lower you are less disappointed. It's a lack of courage: when we do have a side capable of competing with the best, we psych ourselves out of the running. Ireland were slaughtered by a New Zealand side that started more nervily than any they put out in the World Cup. But we knew Ireland didn't have it. The thing is, at the moment, of the 4 Home Nations, Wales do. They have quality in most departments, just not belief. Belief is not delusion. We can leave that to the Golden Generation of the England Football team. England's rugby team may be in for a hard afternoon, unless they can catch the South Africans cold. One win out of 3 would be highly satisfactory for Lancaster's men. And Argentina? They are warming up for the 4 Nations with the Southern Hemisphere boys by playing Italy. Does this mean impending improvement for Los Pumas? Or several years (a decade?) of humiliation a la Italy in the Six Nations? I don't know, but I hope not.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Black is Black, What’s The Colour of a Player’s Skin Got to Do with Football?

Just watched the news… The Dutch team at Euro 2012 are up in arms after Polish ‘fans’ made monkey chants at Holland’s black players. Local journalists claimed not to have heard anything. Krakow newspaper offices must be very noisy places to make them so deaf . Van Bommel, Holland’s captain, said that the journos should open their ears. It’s not their ears they need to open – it’s their minds. The Dutch captain has been reported as saying he would lead his team off if this occurred during a match. I sincerely hope he does. Platini’s statements on the subject have been pusillanimous in the extreme. Beautiful footballer, weak character. Still, since it’s a UEFA tournament we’re all spared the comments of Sepp Blatter, who might say something as racist as the Polish Neo-Nazis themselves. And what of Spain? It’s to be hoped there’s no repetition of Aragones’ famous ‘motivation’ of Reyes prior to Spain’s 2004 game against France, when he had this to say about Reyes’ then Arsenal team-mate, Thierry Henry: “ Tell that negro de mierda that you are much better than him. Don't hold back, tell him. Tell him from me. You have to believe in yourself, you're better than that negro de mierda. ” Spain, hopefully, has moved on. Germany has, England has and so have most civilised countries of the world. Come on, Ukraine and Poland, grow up and kick racism out of society, not just football. http://sports.ndtv.com/euro-2012/news/item/191477-uefa-euro-2012-dutch-team-hit-by-racist-chants-during-training-report?pform=showcase

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Hey Nonny No

Shakespearian songs, Handel’s Water Music and - doubtless - Elgar; that will be Britain’s soundtrack for the next few days, won’t it? I feel a long way from the bread and circuses of Blighty at the moment. It’s quite something to see the Jubilee Jamboree from this distant land. Jamboree, pound to a penny that entered English from India, that former Jewel in the Crown of Empire. Hard to believe that Lillibet ascended to the throne when we still believed we had one. Remarkable the things her reign has seen. Suez, England winning a football competition, the dissolving of the stiff-upper- lip on the death of her daughter-in-law. Remarkable. Four days of cakes and ale started today, with Derby Day: which at least is safer for the horses than the National. A pageant on Old Father Thames tomorrow, and two bank holidays in a row! I hope it all goes well, I really do, but it means as much to me now as a clip from an old PathĂ© News reel. Still, it’s 'feelgood' news and doubtless the BBC is waving the flag despite its renowned leftward leanings. Crisis, what crisis? Will DC or Cleggers quote the avuncular Jim? I doubt it, but they might be thinking it.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Birds

The birds chatter more quietly now. Despite the breeze moving the palm fronds and olive leaves, it is already too hot for the chirrup, chirp and cheep at daybreak’s customary volume. Besides, each finch, crow and dove has decided which branch is theirs for the day long ago. Perhaps they discuss the affairs of birds in neighbouring trees - or yesterday’s trees, which may have stood by a sandy beach or a rocky outcrop. Today, these birds are sitting in on palms, the garden fence, and an ugly car port roof. Every so often an interloper arrives, a fat pigeon or a meagre blackbird. The resident birds squawk, screech and shrill until the miscreant gets the hint, and flies off wishing he’d looked for a perch somewhat earlier. Meanwhile the majestic honey buzzards glide across the limitless cerulean blue. En-route to or from the Maghreb, perhaps, they may alight upon a hi-tension pylon for a moment or two, but they have new continents to see and press on. On days like these the sky is a blue million miles and all the songs you’ve ever known fill your head and it’s just enough to be alive. The sand in the oyster is that you know you are the squawking dove and not the soaring buzzard, although you might have been once.