Manon Lescaut Seduced by the finer things – in Stockholm

She is pathetic, Manon is. Love me, she says and then she loves fine things more than she loves herself. Or is she a woman of her time? No capital of her own, beautiful, caught between all the men who can offer her one luxury or the other? For something she has – sensuality. She has spirit too. What a voice!

The choices are impossible. To choose love or comfort? To be surrounded by beautiful things or to live in a small apartment with a student? Ack! that we cannot have both. She sings & seduces Des Grieux, again:

“Doesn’t this seem a feast
of gold and colour? It’s all for you!”

I recognize myself in Manon. What, with my love for jewellery and discreet leather products. Discreet to hide the price, of course. My wanderlust that costs a fortune and my fetish for soft whispering fabrics. To explain just how bad the fetish is: the other day, I was on the commuter train, and this gentleman stood right in front of me. He had an autumn coat that looked so exclusive, fabric-wise, I stretched my sweaty, twitching right hand and touched the coat. Lightly. To feel the fabric. He turned around and looked at me with a smile; I smiled back like a gold digger who is suddenly thrown into a gold bank. He must have thought I was reaching out to him. I wasn’t. He wasn’t there. The coat was. I am the same way with colleagues and friends. My first thought when I see their beautiful clothes is “I want to touch that! I want to touch that… I want to touch that…”

This can become an issue if I don’t see someone shrink like person.

fetal positionIf my love said I should leave everything and come away with him, for love, I would probably be found in a fetal position hiding my lovelies under my skirts. Love or no love.

Back to Manon Lescaut. I cried & laughed through ACT 2 & ACT 3/4. All of it. How great is that? That has never happened to me before. Usually it is a small tear here and a small laugh there. Sometimes I close my eyes & listen to the fantastic music. This did not happen at the #StockholmRoyalOperaHouse. My eyes were open & my emotions were in the open through it all.

I am very glad for the years that have passes since Abbé Prévost wrote this wonderful, desperate, tragic story. Grateful that I belong to the generation which can earn a living, buy my own jewellery & live with a man without having to marry him. Or, what the heck! No one is plotting to take me to the cloister just because they can’t be bothered to marry me off! Ah, well, sending me to a Catholic Girl’s High School doesn’t count…or does it?

Did you know that Abbé Prévost worked on different editions of the book for over 20 years? A work of love, like the Mona Lisa. 1st edition published in 1731, final edition; toned down and all, published in 1753. Puccini‘ s adaption of #Manon Lescaut came over 100 years later, in 1893. It is passion in music for a story of a passionate death.

 

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Macavity – The Napoleon of Crime in Stockholm

They are in Stockholm this weekend. “Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity, there never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity. He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare: Whatever time the deed took place – Macavity wasn’t there!”

I know nothing better than starting the weekend with Andrew Loyd Weber’s musical. Or is it T.S Elliot’s Practical Cats?

In Stockholm 2017, Grizabella was a voice to relax to. In the spirit of selfies and sharing the air you breath on Social Media, we got to sit on Old Deuteronomy and take photos during the interlude. Well, unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos because my company refused to indulge me – thankfully.

“For once, enjoy something without photographing it or sharing it! Your own inner enjoyment is enough!” He challenged. But, is it really? I wonder. Even though no one else knows about it? Talk about fun!

I write about it instead, in the night, secretly. shhhhhh

This is my first experience of Cats live. Being a cat lover, someone who knew me well bought me T.S Eliot’s book many years ago, I can’t remember who. I have since lost the book, but not before I perused through the Practical Cats of all sorts. Just as another someone who may have known me bought me Doris Lessing’s On Cats a few years earlier or later. That book I still have in the book shelf.

Cats have been on my To See Before I die list for the longest time. Right beside the Pyramids, The shitty Thames, Cape Town, Masai Mara etcetera etcetera. Did you know there is a character in Cats called Etcetera? I swear, I am  not making this up.

Cat DJs in Copenhagen
The mystical divinity of unashamed felinity

My next cat; when I have a garden and a cat-door – will be named Tantomile. By me. Isn’t it a beautiful name? Or Coricopat if I am feeling especially psyched.

Tuscany 2017: The Pain of Finding The Beautiful Pincio Gardens

While in Rome, The city view from the Pincio gardens is worth lots of pain. Bear with me.

It is interesting how instinct works. Like love. Or hate. Or fear. You get these feels that you really don’t know where they are coming from and can absolutely not control. You consider ignoring the feels but the “inner compass” just won’t let you. If you try to ignore the feels, you start to get nervous, anxious, fidgety, itchy, neurotic, edgy and irritable. Best way to deal with this is to act on the feels and move on with it.

So, on the day we are to find the Pincio gardens, I wake up with lots of feels. Instinct tells me that a pimple is coming on. So I start the morning with touching my face. I touch the exact place where a huge zit is going to show up because instinct tells me there will be a zit on precisely this spot.

My partner in zit & acne control says that I get all these zits because I touch & scratch my face. It is a chicken-egg situation. I feel the zit coming, instinctively, I touch scratch, squeeze, peel violently, point my nail directly at it & push, use the pincette, apply aloe vera, apply sun cream, ooh too much sun screen, wipe with toner, apply more sun cream, the zit, it comes.

It can’t be any other way.

Does my touching my face cause the zit, or, does the zit cause an itch that I have to deal with before the zit pops up?

Anyways, whatever I do, by breakfast (09:00 am), a spot on my face hurts.

Life goes on!

The hatI place my wonderful hat on my head and it lies right on the zit. It, the pimple itches and hurts all at once.

La vita va avanti!

I have to walk through Rome because my find the best city views partner has a garden he wants to show me. Pincio. We have with us the book Top 10 Rome, & in it is a map. I turn the map upside down, decide which way we have to go and start walking.

If you look at the Google maps navigator below, it should take 40 minutes, tops.

Walk to Pincio!We walked the whole afternoon. From 12:15 to 16:30.

The whole freaking hot afternoon (28 Celsius).

To be on the fair side, it is a wonderful walk in the sun through the best parts of the city. Brushing by the Colosseum, St. Peters Cathedral, Spanish Steps, the shopping district etc. When we find ourselves near the Trevi Fountain, we decide to come back to the Fountain later. I have been saving my 3 cents all week for the Trevi visit.

Because we will always be back to Rome.

We took a break on the way, took a coffee at a small café near the Flaminio tram stop. Just one stop from Flaminio Tram stop. After the coffee, my legs, feet, back & pimple hurt so bad I wanted to take the tram back.

My we are better than that partner said it couldn’t be that far to walk. I did not believe him so we had a short irritated conversation while we walked.

Me “I want to take the tram!

Him “No”

Me “I am tired”

Him “.”

Me: “You don’t hear me!?”

Him “. a look.”

Me “Are you listening???!”

Him “.”

Me: “Oh, there is the Flaminio stop.”  Just look at the map, a little north west of the destination.”

Him “. Smiles at me. touches my hand.

Embarrassed silence. We turn left or is it right?. Up the stairs, definitely up the stairs,  and there lies the famous garden in all its glory. A wonderful view of the city and statues of the historic famous in one place.

Flaminio to Pincio

 

 

Cats & Dogs as neighbours

I live in a building with mostly older people. By older people I mean over 65. They are not old. They are just older than me and most of the people I spend most of my time with.

In Sweden, we live long. So 65 is just the beginning of 20 years of fun. I mean with a good pension and good health.

In our building,  there are 75 year olds, 78 years olds, 80 years olds, 50 year olds. Definitely 45 year olds.

There is me.

There is the cat on the 1st floor.

There is the dog on the ground floor.

The cat stinks. That is how I know he or she is there. I live on the 3rd floor. I take the stairs; both going up and going down. That way, I can pretend that I am keeping myself fit. Taking care of my body.

The cat stinks really bad. I am discouraged from taking the stairs. Some days, I need an excuse to not take the stairs.

Sometimes, I can hear the cat meow. Rarely. I think she is a lazy cat. Mostly I can just smell her. The ammonia. When you smell cat stink, you know it is cat stink. Somehow.

The dog barks at me. Only at me I think. I never hear him/her otherwise. As soon as I open the entry port to the building, I can hear the dog yapping. The dog even runs to the door, probably to say hello. Or to tell me something about his/her life. Or his/her master’s life.

Closed up in that apartment for hours on end. The cat too. Probably the owners too.

Maybe the dog can smell the cat. Which would annoy him into barking & yapping. Trying to warn me that there is stink upstairs. Bad stink that a dog shouldn’t be expected to live with.

Maybe, the cat can smell the dog. And yet, keep silent? Maybe, the cat can hear the dog. And yet, keep silent?

The walls we build, they have two sides. Usually, the walls we build hide us on the other side. Are we then protected from freedom or from captivity? from sunshine or from rain? From lack, or from plenty? from sand dunes or from flowers? from music or from silence? from a potential friend or from a potential enemy?

The lives we choose, they have two sides. Usually, choosing one life means rejecting another life. Have we then chosen a life of searching? a life of finding? a life of learning? a life of giving? a life of taking? a life of hiding? a life of fear? a life of courage?

Or have we chosen a life full of life? If we are brave, we may be able to help our neighbours. If we are brave, we may even be able to help ourselves free ourselves of our fears.

 

Recommended Art: The 2 movies to watch this Month

If you don’t do anything else this month, do this!

2016 ended with the hysteria of Have a Valentine Dinner with Idris Elba. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have had my moments with Idris, but he is getting on; isn’t he?

trevanteDare: In 2017, let anyone, & I mean anyone, up a video like that with Trevante Rhodes on it! I will be all over that shit like a bad rash. Oh. God. Please. Let Someone.

Last weekend I had 2 dates. Good dates.

The 2nd date was on Saturday with a friend who is culturally cultivated. The movie was the highly recommended Moonlight.

Forget about the movie. I don’t really care about the movie. It is him, he doesn’t become wonderful until the end.

First, it is a clumsy boy who everyone loves to abuse, disabuse & ignore. Except the drug dealer of course. Whatever his name is.

And then it is a teenager who is gay and lost. Abused, disabused & ignored. Or not. And there is another teenage boy who is not so important touching him at some point.

chironSuddenly, from no where, he is this man. No, he is these muscles. these fantastic muscles and the wonderful eyes. He has these awful golden teeth but who cares when you look at those eyes and those muscles.

His regular smile, without the golden teeth, is beautiful.

He is supposed to be gay but I don’t believe it. I would not be having all those feels if he was gay. or? Because if he was gay, only the gay guys would be feeling anything looking at his muscles and his so “come here” eyes. And the lips; just slightly open. Just look at those eyes and those lips!

After Moonlight, I left the movies wondering: “what do I do with all this heat, warmth, wanting love?”

The explanation for my not so lady-ish, catholic nun-recommended feels? I watched Moonlight just 24 hours after watching 50 shades darker. As you can guess, this was with a kind of loose canons gang of friends.

50 shades is ART. Real art. The shit. There is even an art display room called the Red Room. Art in its best form.

I never saw 50 shades of Grey. I read the book. I am pretending to be better that those who watched the movie.

smiley-emoji

Someone once said to me that the 50 shades franchise is for middle aged women who are starved for fun and sex. This was during a weak moment when I was pretending to be better that those who watched 50 Shades of Grey.

That someone was wrong! Totally not true! They were speaking about the movie. Not Mr Grey.

Mr Grey, the master is h.o.o.o.t. Watch 1:02-1:04 and let me know if that is for middle aged ladies!

I left the movies wondering “what do I do with all this heat, warmth, wanting love??” My wonderful friends recommended a sex shop where I can actually buy the “balls” and other paraphernalia that can be useful.

But just for this night, it was too late to buy any of these wonderful recommendations.

You will thank me after you’ve watched these! Or not.