Monday, November 28, 2005
Although this album is full of hits I have only transferred one song to my MP3 player.
The album features songs such as There Must Be An Angel, Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves and Would I Lie To You.
Ok super, but instead I chose the lesser known It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back) because it has always been one of my favourite Eurythmic songs.
I've always been a B'side person.
First big hit single from an album would get my attention, but it's usually the second release of an album and an artist that I will really love.
Or the third or the fourth.
A lesser known song that is always better than the smash hit, the blockbuster.
For example, when I first heard Sweet Dreams I was intrigued. But the song I really loved from Eurythmics' first album was Love Is A Stranger. I find it undoubtedly superior.
And so with this album, although Annie will always sing Sisters Are Doing It blah blah blah in concerts, I can just fly when I hear the opening notes of It's Alright.
It's such a beautiful song and it's very optimistic, hopeful and cathartic.
Annie's voice is just brilliant.
LISTEN TO IT: When your baby's coming back of course. Just pump up the volume and feel the happiness!!!
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
God! You know how it is… you go on holiday, you have a great time, you think you’re all refreshed then you start your trip back home, and then something happens to ruin your fun…!
I woke up since 7 am this morning. I had already packed, I went down for a massive breakfast and I came back to my room to finish packing. Plenty of time and fully relaxed.
I checked out and the shuttle bus was not only on time, but also five minutes earlier.
It took me to the airport and I checked in, all was alright, plenty of time, lalala and I had a cup of coffee, read my book, watched planes taking off and landing.
My flight was at 1.30 and boarding time was at 12.45, so at about 12.30 I started taking the long conveyor belts to my gate, number D46.
I arrived at my gate at 12.55 and tried to get in. There was no way in.
I looked around, there were KLM staff inside and other passengers too, but no door, passage or anything to go inside.
I went round twice, still couldn’t find anything.
So I knocked with my ring at the glass window, until finally one of the two ladies from KLM looked at me. I started shouting “how can I come in?” and she mimed back that she didn’t understand. I said “flight to London?” she still mimed.
Finally, she stood up and came closer to the glass. Still behind the glass, we had the following dialog:
- Where are you going?
- Yes, this is the flight to London, at 15.55
- No I’m flying at 13.30
- This is 15.55, we are not open yet
- But my boarding pass says flight to London boarding from gate D46
- Yes, this is the flight to London
- At 13.30?
- At 15.55
- My flight is at 13.30 though
- Pass me your boarding pass through that tiny gap between the two doors and pray that I don’t lose it…
- There you go, please don’t lose it
So she takes the ticket, goes to her desk and then comes back with a pen. She puts my boarding pass against the window and writes something on it.
- There, your flight leaves from gate D29 now, there’s been a change…
- Thanks a bunch lady, now you tell me.
I had to run. I had less than 20 minutes left. The first sign I saw was GATES D10-31 and it wasn’t very encouraging. I started running on the conveyors carrying my suitcase and feeling out of breath. The next sign was GATES 16-31 and that meant I was still far away. Again run, run, run my hand carrying the suitcase was numb and my back was killing me.
Finally I saw a sign GATES 25-31 and I jumped on the last conveyor belt. It took me 15 minutes to reach gate D29 from D46 and I had just 5 minutes left for the security checks.
And, by Murphy’s law, they asked me to take the laptop out of the suitcase. But I had it tucked away neatly in a bag, in the middle of the suitcase...
My slippers, underwear, books, pyjamas, gifts, tulip bulbs, everything was laid in full view…
At long last I repacked and they let me go in.
As I went on the plane, I realised I was given a seat in the middle of the three.
My mistake for not asking for a window seat…
So as soon as I saw my seat I started swearing, in Greek, loudly. I sat down after having to struggle to put my suitcase and coat on the overhead locker and to almost punch a guy who wanted to put his backpack ON TOP OF MY NEW COAT, I opened my bag and took my Greek book out.
“Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, don’t effing f**k with me” I thought and disappeared behind my book.
When they served us our delicious cheese sandwich the lady next to me asked me:
- Where are you from?
- Greece, but I live in London
- My husband is Greek. Ζεις πολύν καιρό στην Αγγλία; How long have you lived in England – in fluent Greek!!!! Which means she got all the Greek sweary words... God, what else?
Well the usual announcements:
"Hello, this is your captain speaking, we are approaching London (thank God!). The weather is windy and rainy and prepare to get soaked!"
Not only that, but instead of this
we got this.....
This is supposed to be Heathrow, the worlds busiest and most modern airport, with all mod cons and I am suddenly at the Athens airport of mid-70s...
So I have to come down the staircase, under the rainy, windy weather while carrying three bags...
I thought my travel trouble would be over as soon as I would exit Heathrow... Silly, naive me...There's even more, but the story is already too long.
Eventually I got home at about 6pm, and found the Basement Jam ticket waiting for me in my mailbox!!!!
All's well that ends well, don't you think?
Friday, November 25, 2005
Today it was raining so much that I couldn't walk... But still, I managed to walk quite a lot.
I started my day at the flower market. Because of the bad weather, a lot of flower shops were closed, but I still enjoyed the view of the pretty tulips.... I bought some bulbs for my friend's garden, she'll be thrilled.
The flower market
and me all frozen
Next I walked quite a lot through the pouring rain (and I lived a movie moment when a truck splashed water all over me!!!) to go to the Holland experience, a 3D movie that was advertised and praised. It was quite good, although I wasn't crazy about it.
Next to it though, is the Rembrandt house. Rembrant's house and studio with hundreds of paintings, etchings and some of his tools. He was also an arts dealer, so as opposed to Van Gogh, the guy was loaded. The house was huge!
This is a picture of his studio.
Don't know if I was allowed to take pictures, hehehe
After Rembrandt's house the time was 4:30. It was dark, but thankfully the rain had stopped. I started walking towards the centre again and found myself in a pretty square with restaurants and bars. I had lunch/dinner at a picturesque little italian restaurant. The food was very good and the service excellent.
Then I walked some more. I went one more time to Kalverstraat and looked through the windows - no shopping this time! I walked to Dam square and looked at the beautifully lit buildings, the Palace, the Magna Plaza...
I went down the road to see all the places I visited these past four days....
I didn't want to go to the hotel yet.
But it was freezing cold and the streets, after 6:30 were deserted. It was, unfortunately, time to take the tram back.
I will cherish these four days forever, I had a wonderful time and if I may paraphrase a well-known song, I think
I left my heart in Amsterdam!
See you from London,
Tot-ziens for the last time!
The most beautiful view I've
seen from a bridge in
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Today was shopping day.
I started with Magna Plaza, an old post office-turned Shopping centre. A huge place full of lovely shops. My first stop was Shu Uemura where I went ballistic and bought gifts for everyone and myself of course. My poor credit card...
I had brunch, which tasted great, in a beautiful café and then I walked to Kalverstraat, the commercial street of Amsterdam. Lovely shops, very good prices. I bought a pair of boots, so beautiful and so comfortable and with 20% discount! I was in heaven!
I spent about three hours walking in and out of shops, buying gifts, trying on clothes, talking to people... my kind of fun! There is also a beautiful shopping centre as well, with a very interesting DVD store, where I bought an old Miss Marple collection for 19.99 euros!
I found out that the famous H&M we have in England is actually a Dutch company. There were about 3 or 4 of them in Kalverstraat.
At about 4 o'clock I walked into Bijenkorf, a stunning Department store. Their Christmas decs department was so beautiful I wanted to buy everything! But I didn't buy anything else because my little suitcase can't take anything else.
So, that was pretty much it. All day walking in the rain, I'm drenched, tired but ecstatically happy!
Tomorrow my last day, I will go to the flower market and to wherever else has been left from my Dutch friend's suggestions...
Oh, and I have to try the local pancakes!
I leave you with that lovely picture of Amsterdam in the rain.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I've got so much to write that I decided to separate everything in chapters.
A) THE FLIGHT
We took off, ate a sandwich, had a coffee and we landed in Amsterdam! It took no more than 45 minutes, 90 for the whole airport to airport procedure. KLM staff are friendly and smiling, sandwich was delish and the coffee was real. This is a picture as we approach Amsterdam. The place is full of canals!
I only had hand luggage with me so in 5 minutes I was near the exit of the huge and super luxurious airport and talked to the girl at the information desk, who carelessly and like it was her own dining room, was chewing on a sandwich. I found that quite entertaining, coming from a business environment where they won't let us cough, let alone eat in front of customers, and asked her where I could get the shuttle bus from. She continued chewing, but explained politely and with every detail what I should do. So, right outside, the shuttle bus was waiting for me and on I went. So easy!
B) THE HOTEL: The area of the hotel is not trés chic. Bit away from the centre, bit of council houses, bit deserted, bit dodgy (I call it De Dodgerstraat). But who cares? I'm not buying a house here. But inside is good and the staff is very polite.
C) THE LOVELY DUTCH: A few minutes walk from the hotel is the tram stop. It arrived EXACTLY at the time that was on the information board and I got in. I said hello to the conductor and she said "Hello, where are you going?" in English.
Few years back a friend had told me that you don't have to ask "Do you speak English" in Holland. It's their second language. So I put it to the test. Everybody, no matter how old or young, speaks fluent english. I remember my Dutch friend used to correct people on TV! So I said "I'd like to go to the Van Gogh museum please". She gave me my ticket with a smile and then she spoke to me in English when we reached the museum. Same thing happened on the tram back, in the museum, on the streets even in Burger King!
D) LOVELY LONELY VINCENT:
He is definitely my favourite painter. Him and Van Eyck, another Dutch, but Van Gogh has that certain sensitivity, melancholia, pain and beauty together. The colours at the bottom of his paintings might be of gold or bright green, but the skies are always cloudy, moody, dark.
His famous painting the Sunflowers were dedicated to his friend Paul Gaugin, so that he comes to live with him in Paris. Gaugin came for a while but their friendship didn't last long. Vincent never married and he died in 1890 by shooting himself on the chest, after suffering from epilepsy. He was 37 years old.
His brother Theo inherited his vast collection and when Theo died his wife made sure that her brother-in-law's paintings will reach the ends of the world. Vincent was also a writer. His letters to his brother Theo and to other peopole, with primary sketches of his famous paintings, cover three huge volumes. I have found his "Best Of", if you pardon the expression, in Penguin paperback. A must!
E) CANALS, BIKES AND TRAMS: As you walk around Amsterdam you have to be careful of three things (ok four but that's another story)
- Watch the end of the curb, you might fall into the canal
- Look both sides, even when you walk on the pavement (sidewalk for U.S.) because the bikers appear out of nowhere, very sneeky and silently, and they come in thousands every time!
- If you escape the bikers, watch out for the trams. As I was getting ready to cross the street, a tram appeared, also out of nowhere and rung its bell. I thought I was going to leave my bones in Amsterdam! Heart attack accompanied by a squelch from the tram...
But I'm joking of course. The city is lovely and the people are lovelier, smiling, polite, cultured. I walked around the town a little bit and found myself in a square with lively restaurants, neon lights, pedestrianized little streets. I caught a certain whiff from some coffee shops, (and that's the fourth thing, it's EVERYWHERE, even outside the Van Gogh museum!), but you know me, I'm very casual with those things...haha.
Back to the hotel, got organised for the connection with the wireless and as I was happy I could blog and writing my guts out, as I do now, GOT DISCONNECTED!!!! And the damn thing wouldn't start... That's why it took me so long to post this.
Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow for the last Attic show. If I miss that I'm going to the nearest coffee shop and....
I'm joking of course... Off to write to my Quiiiiit blog now for my non smoking progress!!!
See you all and chat with most of you tomorrow!
Now I wonder: Kan ik in mijn kamer ontbijten? - Can I have breakfast in my room?
Monday, November 21, 2005
Every summer when I go to Greece I buy two pairs. And then I lose them... Where the devil do they go? The twillight world or the little world of lost plugs?
I bought my new gorgeous coat today. It so warm and soft!!! I'm going to take lots of pictures in it (note to self: buy LOTS of batteries for digital camera).
I'm going to bid you farewell quite early tonight, as I'm going to disconnect and pack the laptop and then go to bed early.
Hopefully, I'll be online from the hotel tomorrow and I'll tell you all about my flight, arrival, hotel et.c.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
I am so excited!
This morning I woke up and said:
"I want to get away!"
I wrote on post-it notes six different cities:
Prague, Rome, Vienna, Amsterdam, Barcelona and of course Athens, folded them and stuck them on me and my flatmate picked one.
I spent all morning to find a good deal on the net and while I was doing that a thought crossed my mind: "I'm going to miss the last Attic show..." But then -duh!- most hotels have wireless internet now, so I paid a little extra for a hotel with internet access.
I'm going away on Tuesday, coming back Saturday. I'm going to try and see as much as possible. I will try and visit two museums per day, I am very happy that I will finally see the Van Gogh museum. I love Dutch painters like Rembrandt and Van Eyck.
I'll take lots of video and pictures and of course I'll blog everything with detail.
My hotel is 2 miles away from the city centre, but I can walk or take the tram.
I've been wanting to go to Amsterdam for ages now. This will be my reward for being a good girl and not smoking. The trip is going to cost me as much as a month's supply of cigarettes, so there you have it.
And no, I'm not going to smoke any cigartettes or any other stuff like the one they sell in the Amsterdam cafés. I've never tried it anyway, I'm not interested.
See how good I am?
Tomorrow is packing day. I'm also going to buy a new coat because I only have a parka for the winter and I want to look very chic.
This trip sets back my other plans and things i had to do this week, but I don't care.
We only live once.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
A real treasure. I don't know why but I especially love Roger's voice in that album. It sounds a bit different to me, it drives me crazy on Pictures Of Lily and on Shakin' All Over, esp. the Spoonful bit. I love it when Pete sings the wrong words on Long Live Rock.
And when Keith hits the drums after Disguises, that's when I jump out of the window!
There is a picture in the liner notes booklet that when I first saw it made me jump! (not out of the window...)
The four Who members (or as I like to call them "my boys", hehe) stand in front of a No Entry sign (with the word WHO written on it) at Lyall street in Belgravia.
The reason I jumped is because I pass from that street every single day, on the way to Victoria station, to catch my train.
When I first passed it made an impression to me because it's such a beautiful street, and also because sometimes I call my mother Lyalo (inside joke...)
So, the sign was stuck in my mind.
And then I saw the picture of my boys at that same street.
You can imagine my surprise!
Now, like, when in Greece some people do the crucifix every time they pass in front of a church, I send a kiss whenever I pass by Lyall street.
And I think I can still see them there...
Here are the pictures:
LISTEN TO IT: I would recommend that you listen to it after you had listened to a few Who albums.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I always smoke when I watch The Who.
I came home just in time for the Hall of Fame and put a blank tape in the video recorder, changed clothes, glass of wine, sat down and reached out for my...carrots!
Yep! Second day with no cigs, I am doing fine, is it the patches or psychology? I don't know.
I think my mind is set and I had so many people congratulating me, both here on my blog (thank you my sweet bloggers!) and at work and I made my sister so happy, that I can't go back now... Even when Pete came on stage to get inducted (sounds a bit saucy, doesn't it?), when I would normally light up, I was Bugs Bunnying. CRATCH, CRATCH, CRATCH.
But enough of the smoking thing. I have another blog for that...
LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW HAPPY I AM:
a) Wonderful: The Who's music is finally recognised by the Brits. I was so disappointed last year when they were not even nominated, and I couldn't wait to see what and if it would happen this year. And it was great to see so many famous people, incl. talented-sexy Greek Rock God Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand to talk about how fab my boys still ARE, not just were.
b) Feeling much better: I think it might be Rachel and the Attic shows/gigs, blogging, communicating with new people, listening to great music, having fun at home with my hugely entertaining flatmate and great friend, making plans for great trips and in general keeping the excitement going, that I don't think about a certain person who hurt me so much the past few weeks. I realise that it would be better to think about our little story as a happy adventure that had to end and that's all. And yes, I've got better things to do than feeling miserable about it.
c) Shitting my pants: the Basement Jam is neigh... (sp?) and nothing can spoil that. This will be the highlight of the year and it's worth all the pain, boredom, agony and crap I had to go through for 11 months. This will be my reward for being a patient and sane girl. Thanks Santa.
d) From Saturday I'M ON HOLIDAY!!!!!!!!!
It's only for nine days but I will do a lot of interesting things (if I can get my fingers off the keyboard and my arse off the sofa that is...) Bits and bobs to prepare the flat for remortgaging, write a bit, go out a lot, blog even more, meet friends (and strangers if I'm lucky lol) and most importantly sleeeeeeeeeep!
First thing tomorrow (promises promises, I know) is to write about the next album by.... let me see.... is it....? Yes it is... DA F**KIN' OO! I also promise to visit my fellow bloggers and say hi. You've been so sweet encouraging me!!!
Attic show was great tonight, had to watch the loop and had also a brilliant tete-a-tete with BallerinaGurl. As I said before, FAB!
I don't blog from work, so I'll see you tomorrow evening. . Same Blog Time, same...blog!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
It was in the spur of the moment.
I was having a coffee with my flatmate and I turned around and said:
"That's it, I quit smoking. I'm tired of coughing, I'm fed up of paying through the nose for a pack of cigarettes, I'm ashamed of how my clothes smell and I'm just going to quit!"
She looked at me with disbelief at first, but then she turned around and said:
"Someone will be very proud of you and he is smiling right now" and she showed me a picture of my father. I welled up. My father was a heavy smoker and he died of lung cancer when he was 39 years old. MY AGE! I've never met him and I feel terrible about that. So, this one's for him.
I went to Boots and bought 2 boxes of patches. I vanished all ashtrays, lighters, matches and threw away the rubbish with the last smelly ashes. I am never going to the smokers room at work again and I am going to give my last pack to a friend of mine.
I know I'm going to make it, because the good thing with me is that for seven weeks a year when my mother is around, I don't smoke at all. She doesn't know. She thinks I'm an anti-smoker. She'd die. But thanks to that little white lie, I will be able to pretend I never smoked, which will help me quit.
I don't consider myself an addict, because of the above reason.
Although I like smoking, I can live without it.
After 16 years, on the 16th of November I smoked my last cigarette.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I already knew the original song, a 1974 hit, and I liked it, but not as much as I did this cover version.
A very good production, is a happy and uplifting song, but what makes it special is the voice of the lead singer, Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot. His voice is so clear, so unique in this song that gives Johnny Bristol a run for his money...
It took me a few years to get it. I wasn't really looking, to tell you the truth, but one day I heard the original on the radio and it reminded me of the Curiosity version. When I started looking it was so difficult to find, I'd be luckier with gold or diamonds. Nothing in HMV, Virgin Megastores or any other high street record shops. They had Curiosity's (or Curiosity Killed The Cat as they were better known before RSPCA came along...) greatest hits, but this song wasn't included.
Finally, I ordered it from Amazon, which had a Limited Availability. I could have met Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot, fall in love with him, marry him and have his babies, and he could have sung the song to me every day. That's how long it took them to send the CD! When it was finally here and I heard the intro I felt like I was going to burst from happiness. That's how this song makes me feel.
LISTEN TO IT: Well, if you can find it, that is. The whole album is sweet and very pleasant to listen to, but Hang On In There Baby is the best song to listen if you are or you want to feel joyful, happy, high (not that kind of high)! Or if you just had an incredible day with the one you love (*sigh*)
I might get in trouble if I do it again...
We have to use the internet for business purposes only and if I get caught...
Although I never overdo it. Only when it's extremely quiet and, usually, at the end of the day, when I've finished my chores.
But even so...I love my job and I wouldn't risk it for anything, even for my lovely bloggers.
Still, I have two full days to enjoy the Grid, since I'm not working Tue-Wed... Hurrah!
I've updated the links, hope you like them, and in the next two days I'll put more albums up.
I can't believe I'm still on A... I've got a long way to go!
Today, on my break, after remembering something that happened to me on Sat, I thought of this:
"You're a witch, a bitch and a snake
Get out of our lives, for f**k's sake!"
The rest of this greek tragedy poem in a couple of days...HE-HE-HE (evil laugh)
Monday, November 14, 2005
Solo George has given us songs as beautiful as
For me he was as important as Lennon and McCartney.
At the moment I've got the following songs:
1. My Sweet Lord: I listen to this song and I want to open my arms and pray. It's such a powerful song, the music just takes you away with it and George's voice is unique.
2. Wah-Wah: Great song, life-defying lyrics: "And I know how sweet life can be, if I keep myself free". I absolutely agree, George!
3. All Things Must Pass: It makes me so sad, but I also get carried away to mystical places with this one...
LISTEN TO IT: If you haven't yet, then go get it, it's worth every penny and listen carefully!
Sunday, November 13, 2005
1. Good Vibrations: For me, one of the best songs ever written. Just sends me away to a more happy place.
2. Help Me, Rhonda: Great start and middle, but I don't like it when the sound fades and comes back at the end.
3. Surfin' U.S.A.: It spells B-E-A-C-H to me. Happy, cheerful, sunny, oh! isn't life wonderful?
4. California Girls : Why can't I be a California girl? This must be the first Beach Boy song I've ever heard and fell in love with their sound right away.
5. I Get Around: Another classic favourite
6. Surfin' Safari: See No 3
7. Fun, Fun, Fun : Lemon Popsicle No 207
8. Don't Worry Baby : First heard it by...Keith. Yes, I admit I didn't know about this song until I heard Moonie doing his own version. This one, a slow and more harmonic version is pure Beach Boys magic!
LISTEN TO IT - Where else? On the beach, or in California, or while surfing (the net, lol). They relax me and they make me happy, so I recommend you listen to them quite often!
I found this photo at the Greek website Filaki, which is full of funny images and jokes (in Greek most of them, sorry). Isn't it the sweetest thing you've ever seen?
Anyway, working tomorrow, plus doing all kinds of housework, cooking and getting ready for the week.
If I still have the strength I'll post the next couple of albums...
I'm thinking of revamping the links section, adding all of you wonderful people from the Attic circle (not the Arctic Circle, lol) and some cool links.
I'd better catch some z's.
Take care, all of you
Woke up with a headache (WTF???)
Don't want to go to work it's so cold and miserable outside...
I am delaying my departure while doing all sorts of things:
taking the garbage out, recycling, putting the dishwasher on, blogging, having coffee, listening to music, deleting spam mail (how many times do I have to tell you? I'm not a man and I don't care for any penis enlargements!!!), paying bills over the phone, yawning, stretching and calling mom (I woke her up).
But I HAVE to go. I HAVE to be there on time, or else... And I have to smile and be nice to people, even though sometimes they get on my nerves with stupid questions.
Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I feel priviledged to work in a grand place like that, but today I just want to stay home and do the things I like.
Yesterday a very good friend told me that work keeps me from being creative. He's read coouple of my articles in a greek magazine, from years ago, and some of my poems and he loved them. And he's right. I should dedicate more time to my creativity...
I promise myself, I will.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Today is 11/11. So? You might say.
Well, if you don't know what 1111 does, don't worry, it might start happening to you too.
For me it all started when my flatmate told me that everytime a friend of hers sent her a message, the time would be either 11:11 or 22:22 or 1:11 and so on. Or she would look at the clock and the time would be 11:11, 2:22 etc.
I said "wow, amazing!" but I thought "ahm, weirdo!"
Until it started happening to me. I have to confess the very first time I planned it. It was 11:10 and waited until the clock changed.
Next thing I know, the number started following me.
It happens quite often, at work especially, when for no reason I will look at the computer's clock, BOOM! there they are, the four pillars... of the apocalypse.
I see it quite often now and everytime I want to scream. I also see 111 in bulding numbers, just on the bus and my eyes will catch it, or in tickets, receipts etc. It's EVERYWHERE.
Because it's a regular thing now I can only remember a few specific instances.
One day one of my colleagues arrived at work and I wanted to check the time, it was 11:11.
It was one of the first times and it gave me a punch in the stomach.
I told my manager. She said "nah, you're making this up!"
A few days later she told me it happened to her. And kept happening. We had a meeting once and she had to check her emails. She started screaming "Oh, my God! Look at the time!"
It was of course 11:11.
She also told me that she told her mother and now she's experiencing too.
And then it started with the 2s and other numbers as well.
One evening I missed my 21:52 train only to catch the 22:22.
At work I always look at the clock when, coincidentally it's 5:15, but then again it's because I love that song so much, lol.
A message from my sister was sent to me on August 22, at eight past ten.
22/08 - 22:08!
I really don't know what all this means. Is it good or bad? My flatmate says these are messages from our angels. Who knows? It might be just pure coincidence and I shouldn't really give any notice, but it is a weird recurring coincidence, it makes me think of a book I read last summer The Celestian Prophecy.
There are millions of people around the planet that experience the same things, hundreds of websites (here's a good one), Uri Geller has written about it, magazine articles have been written and even two movies are being made.
The day: 11/11, the time: 11:11. Can't get more freaky...
Please tell me if and when you had or will have your first 11:11 experience.
I will be coming back to check your comments , so even if you have it in a month or in two years, I will be waiting!
11:11 IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU! DA-DAN!
«Μητρός τε και πατρός και των άλλων προγόνων απάντων τιμιώτερον έστι η πατρίς και σεμνότερον και αγιώτερον και εν μείζονι μοίρα και παρά θεοίς και παρ’ ανθρώπους τοις νουν έχουσι»
"The most honourable and precious value, above our mother and our father and our ancestors, is our country, which is more respected and more sacred and even more valued by the gods and the humans who are intelligent." Criton's Dialogue with Socrates, by Plato (427-347 B.C.)
I feel very patriotic today...
I posted a comment yesterday to ELWisty's blog about Pericles' Epitaph by Thucidedes (450-400 B.C.), and since today is Remembrance day in the UK and Armistice Day in USA I felt that I should dedicate some fragments of this passage to all those who have died during the war.
Without them there would not have been the freedom and goods we enjoy today.
It talks mainly about the Athenians who died during the Peloponnesean war (431-404 B.C.), but the words are very strong and fitting for all countries' heroes.
Most of my predecessors have praised him who made the law mandating this funeral oration, telling us that it is good that this be delivered at the burial of those who fell.
But I should have thought that the worth had displayed itself in deeds should be rewarded and honored by deeds such as this public funeral...
...I shall begin with our ancestors: it is just and proper that they should be honored by the first mention on this occasion. They dwelt in this country uninterrupted from generation to generation. They handed it down free to us today by their valor.
If our more remote ancestors deserve praise, much more so do our own fathers, who added to their inheritance the empire we now possess and who spared no pains to leave their acquisitions to us.
Last, few parts of our dominion have not been augmented by those of us still vigorous and alive. And we have furnished our mother country everything necessary for her to depend on her own resources for war or for peace...
...But by what road did we reach our high position? Under what constitution did our greatness grow? Out of which national habits did it spring? These are questions which I may try to answer before I proceed to to praise those who fell because this is a subject proper for the present occasion and to which all, whether citizens or foreigners, may listen with advantage.
Our constitution does not copy our neighbors. We are instead a pattern to others. Our administration favours the many instead of the few: this is why it is called "democracy."
Our laws afford equal justice to all. Advancement in public life follows from a reputation for capacity rather than social standing. Social class is not allowed to interfere with merit. Nor does poverty bar the way: a man able to serve the state is not hobbled by obscurity.
The freedom we enjoy in our government extends also to ordinary life. Far from exercising jealous surveillance over each other, we do not feel called upon to be angry with our neighbors for doing what they like--or even to indulge in offensive and injurious looks which inflict no positive penalty.
But this tolerance in our private life does not make us lawless citizens. Fear is our chief safeguard, teaching us to obey the magistrates and the laws--particularly those that protect the injured--whether they are on the statute book or belong to that code of unwritten laws that cannot be broken without disgrace...
...In our military policy there too we are different from our antagonists. We open our city to the world. We never exclude foreigners from learning or observing, even though the eyes of an enemy may occasionally profit by our liberality. We trust less in system and policy than in the native spirit of our citizens. In education--where our rivals from their very cradles seek "manliness" by painful discipline--here at Athens we live as we please, and yet are just as ready as our antagonists to encounter every danger.
In proof of this note that the Lacedaemonians do not invade our country alone but bring with them all their allies. By contrast, we Athenians advance unsupported into enemy territory and--fighting upon foreign soil--usually vanquish with ease those who are defending their homes. Our united force has never yet been encountered by any enemy, for we have to man our ships and dispatch our citizens by land upon a hundred different expeditions. Whenever an enemy engages some fraction of our strength, a success against a mere detachment is magnified into a victory over our whole nation, and a defeat by a small detachment into a reverse suffered at the hands of our entire people.
Yet with habits not of labor but of ease, and with courage not artificial but natural, we are still willing to encounter danger. We have the double advantage of escaping hardships in anticipation of danger, and yet of facing hardships in the hour of need as fearlessly as those always suffer them...
...Thus in our enterprises we present the singular spectacle of daring and deliberation, each carried to its highest point, and both united in the same persons. The prize of courage goes most justly to those who know best both hardship and pleasure, and yet are never tempted to shrink from danger. In generosity we are equally singular: we acquire our friends by conferring, not by receiving, favors...
...Rather, the present and succeeding ages will admire us, for we have shown our power by mighty proofs. Far from needing a Homer to praise us--or some other whose poems charm for the moment only and melt at the touch of fact--we have forced every sea and land to be the scene of our great deeds. Everywhere, whether for evil or for good, we have left imperishable monuments behind.
Such is the Athens for which these men, resolved not to lose her, nobly fought and died. May every one of their survivors be ready to suffer so in her cause...
...Thus choosing to die resisting, rather than to live submitting, they fled only from dishonour, but met danger face to face, and after one brief moment, while at the summit of their fortune, escaped, not from their fear, but from their glory...
...And not contented with ideas derived only from words of the advantages which are bound up with the defence of your country, though these would furnish a valuable text to a speaker even before an audience so alive to them as the present, you must yourselves realize the power of Athens, and feed your eyes upon her from day to day, till love of her fills your hearts; and then, when all her greatness shall break upon you, you must reflect that it was by courage, sense of duty, and a keen feeling of honour in action that men were enabled to win all this, and that no personal failure in an enterprise could make them consent to deprive their country of their valour, but they laid it at her feet as the most glorious contribution that they could offer.
For this offering of their lives made in common by them all they each of them individually received that renown which never grows old, and for a sepulchre, not so much that in which their bones have been deposited, but that noblest of shrines wherein their glory is laid up to be eternally remembered upon every occasion on which deed or story shall call for its commemoration.
For heroes have the whole earth for their tomb; and in lands far from their own, where the column with its epitaph declares it, there is enshrined in every breast a record unwritten with no tablet to preserve it, except that of the heart.
These take as your model and, judging happiness to be the fruit of freedom and freedom of valour, never decline the dangers of war.
For it is not the miserable that would most justly be unsparing of their lives; these have nothing to hope for: it is rather they to whom continued life may bring reverses as yet unknown, and to whom a fall, if it came, would be most tremendous in its consequences.
And surely, to a man of spirit, the degradation of cowardice must be immeasurably more grievous than the unfelt death which strikes him in the midst of his strength and patriotism!
...On the other hand, if I must say anything on the subject of female excellence to those of you who will now be in widowhood, it will be all comprised in this brief exhortation. Great will be your glory in not falling short of your natural character; and greatest will be hers who is least talked of among the men, whether for good or for bad.
My task is now finished. I have performed it to the best of my ability, and in word, at least, the requirements of the law are now satisfied. If deeds be in question, those who are here interred have received part of their honours already, and for the rest, their children will be brought up till manhood at the public expense: the state thus offers a valuable prize, as the garland of victory in this race of valour, for the reward both of those who have fallen and their survivors. And where the rewards for merit are greatest, there are found the best citizens.
And now that you have brought to a close your lamentations for your relatives, you may depart. "
The whole text in English can be found here and a pdf. in (modern) Greek here.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Day off tomorrow, early finish today, came home flying from joy!
Got in on time, logged on, started watching the show and chatting on BG's chatroom. Suddenly, my screen freezes and I realise I had to reboot.
Chorus: Logged on again, after 10 minutes (my computer works on coal!) started watching the show, logged on to BG's chat, it appeared that I was still there, so I signed in as Marietta2. Posted a phrase, computer crashed again.
Third time lucky?
Yeah you bet ya! I logged on and saw 3 secs of Roger, as soon as I signed in at the chatroom, I crashed again. So no Roger interview for me
Hopefully there'll be a loop. Prrrrleeease, Rachel!
Tomorrow is a scary day, 11/11 I will write something about it...
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
I can't wait!!!
I listened to her CD all day and I found the songs so beautiful, so sweet, so full of emotions, her lyrics to the point, sometimes painful, sometimes optimistic and most of the time expressing how I feel this time of my life...
I was going to write about the next album on my MP3 but when I read her post, I sat down and made this little tribute to her. My first attempt as Warhol (he'll be turning in his grave!)
Rachel this is for you and your generosity!
Monday, November 07, 2005
How can I express my thoughts?
What music does to me?
What feelings a song, a voice, a chord creates to me?
It feels something like that on the left...
Yes, 7th of November the new Who DVD of Tommy and Quadrophenia is out and of course it was the first thing on my mind when I woke up.
Got it at work (with staff discount, he he) and after a very long boring day I came home to watch it. It's fantastic! I'm watching Quadrophenia right now and it's soooo good!
Pete and Roger on top form, John perfect as always, Simon singing amazingly The Dirty Jobs, Rabbit smiling and looking great, Zak looking like a little boy, drumming away so worthy of his double legacy, and Billy Idol as a unique Ace Face. Lord have mercy!
It's a pity I've never caught the show live, but I was in Greece, boo hoo...
But, as I was watching the first few songs, I noticed, hmmm I had mail. Snail mail that is. Yes, effing bills as always, but on top of them a small cardboard box... It was Rachel's CD! Finally! After almost a month since I've ordered it. So now I was confused... Do I watch the DVD or do I listened to the CD? Or both?
I decided to watch the Quad DVD and right after listen to Rachel, while transferring it to my MP3 player. In a burst of sudden enthusiasm I wrote a comment at Rachel's blog, for which she must think I'm a wacko! But that's what music does to me... When I'm happy I have to tell people!
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Reasons why I like Jean-Michel Jarre:
- His music makes me fly
- I have the fondest memories from when I was a teenager and was listening to Magnetic Fields all day long.
- When I was a student in Leeds I went to one of his shows in Manchester and it took my breath away.
- I find him innovative, inspired, a master in his music field
- He's gorgeous, especially when he wears white and sits on the synth!!!!
The stereo CD has all the well known hits plus three new tracks. I've transferred all of them, except Zoolookogy, I never liked that one, I find it creepy. He has remixed them and they sound amazing. You have to listen to Oxygene 4, one of his best known hits, you know, the one with the video with the penguins, the remix is great. The last live track is Rendez-Vous and it's incredible, it always gives me goosebumps.
The DVD has exactly the same tracks, remastered for 5.1 Surround Sound, an experience you have to have, it's so uplifting! Don't expect to see any footage though, it's just a pair of eyes blinking and winking, which disappointed some of his fans. But for me it's all about the music. What he's done with it is a big bonus for this album and I highly recommend it.
LISTEN TO IT: While meditating, writing, painting, creating or, in my case sometimes, while doing housework, it keeps you going!
The historical cover, the songs, the myth behind the picture, all that stuff.
From this album I have transferred the following songs:
1. COME TOGETHER: Subtle and sexy, it reminds me of the funniest book I've ever read, with the same title, by Jossie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees.
2. SOMETHING: I love songs by George Harrison and for me this is one of his best. The lyrics are amazing, the music...magical. Frankie does a great job on his version too, but for me the original is always better.
3. HERE COMES THE SUN: How come I always listen to that song when it's raining or when I'm feeling blue? It makes me feel a little bit better, but just for a while, because the Sun doesn't come always when I need it (/him).
4. BECAUSE: I first heard that song at the end credits of the film To Die For, with Illeana Douglas ice skating over it. It's not one of my favourites, but still, I don't mind listening to it.
5. GOLDEN SLUMBERS: The beginning of the song gives me goosebumps... Paul's voice is amazing and I love the piano.
LISTEN TO IT: on a rainy, dull day like today. It goes with the colour of the sky and it gives a kind of nostalgic feeling.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Every year I participate at the Christmas Parade, the most famous London store (in which I work) gives for the arrival of Father Christmas. It is a spectacular show, with bands, clowns, jogglers, balloons, confetti, food, drink, you name it. Hundreds of people gather around the store and the atmosphere is unique, and every year it gets even better.
So this morning I woke up at 5:30 to be at the store at 7.15 (am that is). I volunteer every year, sometimes giving out balloons or drinks and once I was dressed as Sonic The Hedgehoc. It was so hot inside the costume I thought I was going to die.
Anyway, todayI brought my camera with me, put new batteries from the rechargeable ones, brought another pair freshly recharged and I was contempt... Silly me! I tried to take a picture and this message appeared:
Change battery pack
Bloody hell, I thought, I was recharging overnight, what happened? I went back inside, found my bag got the other batteries and went back out to change the battery pack... I turned on my camera and this message appeared:
Change battery pack
I was surrounded by little children, otherwise I would have shouted something really rude for my digital camera, the batteries, the pack and the stupid digital age...
So no photos...Boo hoo.
Still, it was great fun, I was giving out balloons, I had so many and with the wind blowing I thought I was going to have a lift-off!!!
The parade was spectacular as always, with Father Christmas arriving on a chariot drawn by two beautiful black horses. The children went bananas as he walked around and gave hugs and candy.
And when the doors opened for the public, everybody started climbing up stairs and escalators, to be the first into Santa's Grotto. Sometimes the queue can be 5 hours long, and people just stand there and wait! Oh, well, anything for the kids...
So there you have it, Christmas has arrived in London, a bit early, but in a great way.
As for me, after I throw my camera, batteries and recharger out the window, I'm just going to collapse! It's been two very long weeks with no rest and I'll just chill out, watch the loop of In The Attic (hopefully it will come up some time during the weekend) and get ready for another Monday...
Oh, and post another album thingy, because as I see Nana Mouskouri, hmmm not a good reception...
Friday, November 04, 2005
Oh, come on now...
I have a music taste of many aspects, I can appreciate good music, whether that is Rock, Pop, Classic, Disco, whatever I find moving, dynamic, melodic...
There is a song here that brings me goosebumps. It's called "Let's Take A Walk To The Moon" (Πάμε Μια Βόλτα Στο Φεγγάρι) and it's one of Nana's first hits from the 60's. It's in Greek, the music is amazing and her voice is just incredible on that song. Written by the Greek, Oscar winner, composer Manos Hadjidakis to celebrate Man's walk on the Moon, it won all the awards in Greece when it was performed.
I admit I never listen to any other songs from this CD. I was never a big fan of hers or her songs, it's just that particular one with the magical lyrics:
"Διώξε τη λύπη, παλληκάρι, πάμε μια βόλτα στο φεγγάρι"
"Push away your sorrow, beautiful young man, Let's take together a walk to the moon" (very loosely translated from Greek, without the beautiful rhyme, sorry)
BTW this is not the real cover, because I bought the album from Greece, so I had to improvise, but I'm sure if you want to look for the song it can be in any of her numerous greatest hits.
LISTEN TO IT: under the Greek full moon (or if you're missing it), on a Greek island (or if you're missing being on one) and when there is a full moon and you feel like walking on it.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Well today was a very weird day.
Firstly, last night I dreamt I won £11m on the lottery!!! Just that, and then I woke up... damn!
Then I had the weirdest day at work, when a colleague almost got beaten up by a crazy lil'ol'lady.
At 2 I was trying to have a decent break and to read three printed-out chapters of The Boy Who Heard Music (I made it!) with the wind blowing madly! I am usually seated on the terrace, the only place where staff can smoke, and I thought the wind would throw me in the air and I would be sliced in thousands of pieces by the glass roof.
My hair looked like Medusa's when I went back in the office.
All day long the numbers 11:11 or 111 were following me. Could it be that my angels are sending me a message about the £11m?
I'll post something about the 11:11 phenomenon later on, maybe on November the 11th.
I got home finally, after a lo-ong crazy day, only to find my flatmate checking on websites for crop circles and aliens!!!
"Get away from the computer" I told her "it's Rachel time!"
Unfortunately, I got home quite late and I only caught the last 30-45mins. I chatted a little bit on BallerinaGurl's chatroom, which was fun and now I'm waiting for the loop as I'm writing this...
I also listened to some of Simon's samples from his website. He's absolutely brilliant, I love his songs! I'm still waiting for his CD, come on Amazon!
Rachel's CD is coming first according to them, but it sure takes a long time!
I need my music to keep me going on, this is going to be a long, lonely week, because I'm going to miss someone very much and I'll be sad :-(
So wish me luck and courage.
I'll be blogging on Sat and Sun with some Xmasy pictures and more albums...I've got to go now, my computer is very slow and my cursor jumps from place to place and they're both getting on my nerves!
Lots of kisses blown in the wind
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupéry is one of my favourite books.
I never get tired to read the following chapter again and again, especially when I'm blue. For me it is the best way to express what it means meeting someone new, getting used to their presence and then losing them.
Enjoy and tell me what you think...
It was then that the fox appeared. - 'Good-morning,'said the fox.
'Good-morning,' the little prince replied politely, though when he turned around, he saw nothing.
'I am here,' said the voice, 'under the apple tree . . .'
'Who are you?' said the little prince. 'You are very pretty ...
'I am a fox,' said the fox.
- 'Come and play with me,' suggested the little prince. 'I am so terribly sad. . . '
"I cannot play with you,' said the fox. 'I am not tame.'
'Oh! I'm so sorry,' said the little prince.
But, after some thought, he asked: 'What does "tame" mean?'
'You do not live here,' said the fox. 'What are you looking for?' -
'I am looking- for men,' said the little prince. 'What does "tame" mean?'
'Men,' said the fox, 'have rifles and they hunt. It is a real nuisance. They also raise chickens. Those are the only activities they are interested in. Are you looking for chickens?'
'No,' said the little prince. 'I am looking for friends. What does "tame" mean?'
'It is something which is too often forgotten;' said the fox. 'It means to establish ties . . . '
"To establish ties"? '
'That's right,' said the fox. 'To me, you are still just a little boy like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you have no need of me, either. To you, I am just a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, we shall need one another. To me, you will be unique. And I shall be unique to you.'
'I'm beginning to understand,' said the little prince.'There is a flower. . . I think she has tamed me . . . '
'Possibly,' said the fox. 'One sees all sorts of things on Earth...'
'Oh! But this is not on Earth,' said the little prince.
The fox seemed puzzled.
'On another planet?'
'Are there any hunters on that planet?'
'That’s interesting! And any chickens?'
'Nowhere is perfect,' sighed the fox. Presently, he resumed to his theme.
'My life is monotonous; I hunt chickens and men hunt me. All chickens are alike and all men are alike. So I get a little bored.
But if you tame me, my life will be full of sunshine. I shall recognise the sound of a step different from all others. The other steps send my hurrying underground. Yours will call me out of my burrow like the sound of music.
And look yonder! Do you see the cornfields? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. Those cornfields don’t remind me of anything. And I find that rather sad!
But you have hair the colour of gold. So it will be marvellous when you have tamed me! Wheat, which is also golden, will remind me of you. And I shall love the sound of the wind in the wheat...'
The fox became silent and gazed for a long time at the little prince...
'I beg of you . . . tame me!' he said.
'Willingly,' the little prince replied, 'but I haven't got much time. I have friends to discover and a lot of things to understand’.
'One can only understand the things one tames,'said the fox 'Men have no more time to understand , anything. They buy ready-made things in the shops. But since there are no shops where you can buy friends, men no longer have any friends. If you want a friend, tame me!'
'What should I do?' asked the little prince.
'You must be very patient,' replied the fox. 'First you will sit down at a little distance from me, like that, in the grass. I shall watch you out of the corner of my eye and you will say nothing. Words are a source of misunderstandings. But every day, you can
sit a little closer to me . . . '
The next day, the little prince returned.
'You should have come back at the same time,' said the fox. 'If for example you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, I shall start feeling happy at three o'clock. As the time passes, I shall feel happier and happier. At four o'clock, I shall become agitated and start worrying; I shall discover the price of happiness. But if you come at just any time, I shall never know when I should prepare my heart to greet you. . . One must observe certain rites.'
'What is a rite?' asked the little prince.
'It is something which is all too often forgotten,’ said the fox.
'It is what makes one day different from other days, one hour different from other hours. For example, there is a rite among my hunters. On Thursdays they go dancing with the village girls. So Thursday is a marvelous day for' me. I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the hunters were to go dancing just any day, every day would be like any other day for me and I would never have a holiday.'
Thus it was that the little prince tamed the fox.
And when the time came for his departure, the fox said: 'Oh! I shall cry.' .
'It is your own fault,' said the little prince. 'I wished you no harm but you wanted me to tame you.'
'Yes, indeed,' said the fox.
'But you are going to cry!' said the little prince.
. 'That is so,' said the fox.
'Then it has not helped you in any way!'
'It has helped me,' said the fox, 'because of the colour of the wheatfields.' "