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.

Sounds of the world – Singing Birds

Others sing. The Malians make beautiful music. But then, I am not objective. My Africans roots are deep.

A friend & I had the honor to listen to Nahawa Doumbia at Fasching in Stockholm. IMG_1844[1]

Nahawa is older now; compared to the first time I saw her in Bamako. Her husband still plays beside her, to her left in the picture. And the fantastic instruments from West Africa! I could take them home just for decoration. I cannot play, I can dance to the music.

Has anyone listened to the Rough Guide to Mali collection?

If you haven’t, please listen & let me know what you think.

Lorde’s Melodrama is out and lawd! was it worth the wait?! I have waited. Followed Lorde on Twitter @Lorde. Followed Lorde on Instagram #Lordemusic.

Waiting. Waiting.

I think it is most interesting how we describe sounds. Birds sing. Birds never talk. If I ever said “I walked by the talking birds” or “I was woken by the talking birds”; someone of the loving people near me would shake their heads sympathetically. 

“no dear, birds sing. They. don’t. talk.”  slowly. so I can hear & save. So the crazies won’t take me with them.

My boss would definitely suggest that I take a short break from work to clear the cobwebs from the grey cells.

Lions roar. Fiercely. We should either be:

  1. afraid when a lion roars
  2. impressed and fascinated by the lion’s roar. The sea roars when a storm is coming on.

Otherwise, the calming waves are calm, like calming music.

Hyenas scream. Or laugh.

Horses neigh. Or snort. Or whinny. Even nicker.

But do birds really sing? All of them? All of the time?P1030100

Sometimes it sounds like laughter. Other times, it sounds like a conversation. An answer to a question. Sometimes it sounds like a scream, a loud uncontrolled scream.

When I am in a good mood, and listen to birds on a nice summer day, they sound happy. Each listening to its kind. Each answering to its kind.

Is it possible, that we, who love definitions & categorizations, have defined our sounds; and then allocated them to animals?

So since we like the sounds birds make, we call it singing?

P1020132No one ever says happily to their best friend during the summer “oh! I was woken by the vultures/carrion singing this morning! So beautiful!!” No one. When we speak about vultures, we flinch. But they are beautiful birds, aren’t they, just like hyenas are beautiful animals.

All about birds describes black vultures:

Black Vultures are silent most of the time. They make raspy, drawn-out hissing sounds while feeding and fighting, along with grunting noises that can sound like hungry pigs or dogs barking in the distance.

Courting vultures may give a yapping sound.

Under which circumstances do we use raspy, hissing, hungry pigs, barking dogs?

That’s right folks! disapproving, scared, hating & disliking etc.

Snakes hiss. We are not just afraid of snakes; we hate them. People who make us queazy, who scare us, who we don’t recognize ourselves in – are snaky.

They hiss when they communicate with us.

Cats meow & purr when they are nice, cooperative, satisfied & calm. Not scary.

The same cats hiss when they are angry, scared & unhappy. Scary.

Others sing to us. Sweetly. Silently. Deeply.

Healing us.

Time after time.