Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Being 30 in 2020

MAN what is this life about anyway?

All numbers and logically outlets and problems to solve by the mind that keeps creating the same problems because it loves to do figure things out, and yet when there is no actual problem, we suffer anyway.

This is the state of being 30 in 2020.

And total shambles of any true identity. A fake news consumerist world that's based on superficiality and imagery above humility and continues to exploit, manipulate and kill for money and power.

This is the state of the world in 2020.

Yet life is lovely, and we all love its pleasures like the taste of fruit, and, of course, that I can so easily and plentifully enjoy it. And having friends and doing kind deeds, the little points in little moments in life also lead to joy. (I really like the satisfaction that one gets from ironing their clothes)

And in this state of mind. We try to do goods, be authentic and listen to others. We try to better ourselves, not for the wealth it brings, but for our health and happiness. We have to ask ourselves what must we do to better ourselves, and think of the reason why we shouldn't.

Like with our environments, getting trashed and spat on, used and abused. It's not fair for the animals and other living things that we destroy their homes to satisfy what? Consumerism or just a better lifestyle and the advances that our parents had, and our grandparents, those who lived through war and far greater hardship.

Physical hardship. But mental hardship, maybe not? With all this information at our shoulder, it seems like our minds are becoming filled with trash too.

The biggest challenge is actually feeling guilty and acting on that guilt. I did it for a long time. I felt like I was taking a burden on the planet every time I used clearly unnecessary plastic. I'm a firm believe that I'm more conscientious than most, my father also showing frustration at the situation. I remember him getting extra annoyed at people who threw trash out of the window, or when a product they bought came absolutely unnecessary amounts of packaging.

And maybe I was taking it too far, and being too hard on myself. Now I feel calmer by accepting the situation. I even argued to myself that the fact that the product can sit in one place for 3 months may actually falsify the idea of single use plastic being used for 30 seconds by the consumer from time to finish.

It's tremendously hard work to make a difference in the world. The killer stress, the uphill struggle, and the hell of others who are ignorant and bigoted. It's tough work and it's not been easy, and it's not going to be easy, but we have to do something small now, to make a big difference in the future.

Being 30 means making a difference. An uncle in Lebanon gave me a hint. You've got 20 years to make it sonny. I love how there will always be someone older or younger than you - that awesome polorisation that extends a generation apart. I guess why that's why it's called being middle-aged. And, if I'm going into a new age, I've never felt better about what the future can hold for me personally.

The state The big 50 in 2040.

I see all sorts of terrible things happening before 2040 on the news. I have no doubt bad news will still be the most important news. I hope there is no more war, and people continue to become more educated, cooperative and peaceful, but if there is, people will profiteer. What I know is, I will have greater skills' wealth, more knowledge on life, fulfillment and happiness. I'll even be healthier than I did in my 20s as a smoker, drinker and drug user. I'll essentially be living life fuller every day with death always inevitable around the corner, yet with a greater sense of urgency that time, although plentiful is still, of course, finite.

And that's why I write this, because who knows - maybe my grandson will read this one day, curious to know what comes before. I keep getting surprised to find this blog still up and running. It might be quite hard to find or emulate because of the ancient V1 internet, so I will congratulate you now if you do.

And that's it, my thoughts for evening, so I will keep an eye on the present to hit the big goal in the future. Nobody has ever had it easy, you'll never be alone in that. We're all inter-connected and inter-dependent but you have to decide your own fate. The small steps you make will have a deciding effect on the world. It you've really got something really important to say now you can do and should do that.

If by the way you want to talk about mental health or let me know what's going on your life, then I'd be happy to discuss ways I help get myself through it.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

4 Years On

It's been nearly 4 years since I posted anything on here.....

.....So I'm going to write a short resume of what happened today, in December 2018, to give a kind of day-in-a-life.

Night slowly turned to day.

I opened my eyes to Leia by my side. She told me she had had a nightmare; a dog bit her on her back, reminicent of Herlock. That was at about 5 am. I comforted her and we were soon snoozing.

Suddenly, we were re-awoken to the sound of a motorbike revving harder and faster. Wroom WROom WROOM! I bolted awake, searched for my Iphone and quickly hit the Snooze button, careful to avoid the Off button.

Another 8 minutes passed until another round of deja-vu took place and so this went on several times.

Finally, we managed to rise from our deep sleep to the beautiful, sunny day that had been gifted to us (by God presumably).

Incentively, I put on Leia's music playlist on Spotify to awaken her. Let it go, Miraculous, Despacito were the mornings first orders. Inspired, Leia was soon dancing on the bed dancing and kicking the air like a kung-fu Ladybug fighter.

Soon reality struck and we were off to school, Nutella sandwich in one hand, and hairband in the other, ready for Gaby, who works an assistant for Ingles Superior and whom is fair more capable of making Leia's hair look good in the morning.

Being the good Dad, I dropped her off at school just on Peruvian time and returned to my school AKA Inglés Superior.

I set to work updating a course book and designing a Summer Kids class poster on photoshop. Routine stuff.

Then came Leia's mother, and tensions seem to be high at this moment. I won't go into details, but we had a tif over something mundane, like what intense means. Well it turned out to be an intense clash of characters, as always. Not good for business mind you and teacher David had to remind us to stay professional. Stay calm people.

So I decided to continue with my day, despite the added drama and I got my books and posters printed, and even popped over to the notary, getting home around midday to eat some juicy pineapple. As always I hoped on the pineapple express line as usual, vice or virtue, what do you think?

Ice creams at the ready, I picked up Leia from nursery.

"What did you do today Leia?" I ask.

"Nothing" replies Leia in her cute British/Peruvian accent.

Hence goes a typical coversation between a 30 and 5 year old.

Opposite the local park, in Marsical Gamarra, Cusco, Leia's 'jardin' is literally within eye sight distance of where we live, as well as Inglés Superior. They are all connected by newly concreted alleys that work at non-perpendicular angles, and situate family-sized houses with mediteranian-stlyed tiled roofs, and it's all very convenient.

By some coinsidence, Alex, Leia, Me and Juliane, a teacher from Liverpool, all met at Inglés Superior.

Julianne and I took the opportunity to meet about the kids course happening in January while Leia and Alex went to cook lunch.

After we had finished, I found 15 minutes to eat what was a Tuna Saltado, a Peruvian play on a stir-fry, before finding myself back in the office, fresh with Quillabamba coffee in-hand. I continued to work on Teflcusco.com while catching ciggy breaks with the teachers. Routine stuff.

Luckily (and gratefully because they are a rowdy bunch) my boys afternoon class was cancelled, thus I could pick up the books I printed earlier, ealier. Unfortunately, they were a bit of a dissapointment because the page numbers were inverted, all facing the inside of the book. Doh! I tried my best but if you don't set up your Word document properly and early on, you gonna fail boi.

Well, back in office. Students enter, greet them,  sip coffe, banter with teachers, sip of coffee, say goodbye to students, skynews in background, breshit on the news again, what a xitxow. More students. Hello. Goodbye. Yadada.

And soon, around 6pm, I call it a day. I go home. At home I decide to, rather spontaneously, go to a pub quiz. It's a Wednesday night and I hadn't been in ages, well, years, just like this blog. I had neglected it a little. And well it' was't quite the same, but was is, everything changes, and despite coming second (out of two teams), we did get best name and free Cusqueñian beer for our creativity. Cheers to: when everyone is a winner.

On my way home, I grabbed some street food. Chicken soup, complete with noodles, oregano and le piece de resistance, a chickens neck. You can't beat Cusco.

Content with the day, I strolled home to find myself home alone, and soon it's Christmas. And I love my life here. It is so very interesting, everyday, but I also miss my friends and family, and look forward to being with them. Especially at Christmas, it's important to reflect a little, and writing is a great way to process information. Recalling your day is a technique I discovered through Yoga and Meditation and has often aided me to become a happier person.

Still though, a sunny Christmas just doesnt quite settle sometimes.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

The Day of the Living

Shaved for Movember

Rebuilding Cusco's stadium.

Eyes open for the very first time.

There always were an oddball.

Sarah, the mother cat.

Opens doors.

Bank holiday volleyball.


Carrying a child.

Standing proud.

Centre of attention.

Horse bread, a local tradition.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Gato the Cat - A Short Story

My name is Charlie. I happen to have just crossed paths with Philip yet I don't know this because I have never met him before. Like every person you cross on the street, they each have a story of their own. Sometimes I stop and listen to them. Sometimes I bump into them and create a conflict. Sometimes I push people out of my way, in order to get there faster. Sometimes I'm pushed and I feel contempt for that cunt. But most of the time, I'm not walking. I'm thinking. Thinking things like; Wow those legs look sexy! Where am I indeed? or, Where's that smell coming from?  Once in a while, I think about my dreams. Where was I? Who was I fucking? What the fuck was that smell?

'Hmm, that smells good' I said under my tongue.

I stopped walking, sat down but never ceased to think. I had found a place to stop for lunch. It was in a square courtyard with restaurants lined around a pretty garden in the centre.

I was struck by the juxtaposition of natural and organised lines as I sat watching and waiting to be fed. From my point of view I could see rows of tables and chairs, behind huge straight pillars and dotted between it all, square parasols. Underneath were diamond shaped tiles which led our eyes to the centre of the courtyard, where the shapes were no longer formalized but random and glorious in their spontaneity. A beautiful backdrop, an apparent garden of eden, to salivate over whilst consuming my appeared apple tart.

As time went by the waiters began to upturn the chairs onto the tables, fold away the parasols and generally re-organize the shapes before me. It was when I noticed the waiters themselves carried certain shapes. One was thin and rectangular, whilst the other was blooby and well-rounded. In the mean time, the invisible air was shuffling the flora and tress in a subtle, gentil manner. The change was constant but much less so apparent.

My time to change was also coming. I was to be reshuffled like the objects around me. It was a bitter taste, and I had the intention to sweeten it. I accepted what was to be and acted upon it. I got up and moved out from the periphery of the courtyard into the centre.

I sat facing a statue of the Virgin Mary. I saw a sign before me, it read, 'No pisar los canteros. Gracias.'. Speaking a little Spanish, I presumed it read, 'No pissing, you cunts! Thank you'. It seemed like someone was trying to play a game with me.

My name being Char-Lie, I have a tendency to believe most people are, more often than not, economical with the truth. Religion is also far from being exempt from my belief. I am especially suspect of the 'Virgin' part of Mary's title. If they had made her look slightly more unattractive I would have understood, but the fact is she looks like an 8 or a 9. And the small inviting hand that reaches out to you is a dead giveaway that she gives a good handjob. Then again, if she walked around in real life with as much birdshit on her as this one, well then I'm not surprised that only the non-judge-mental One would ravish her, as no man surely would.

It was becoming clear to me that the centre of the courtyard, this Garden of Eden, was just a fallacy. I could not find peace here. I could not find silence from impurity and temptation. Although conscious, I knew I was living in a dream world, aware that everything around me had been intentionally placed. A manipulation of reality, by man, limiting my freedom. I mean I cant even piss on the fucking grass, or take a shit holding Mary's hand to ease the pain of the apple tart gifting itself back into the external world. God only knows why I'm here right now, but looking at the state of shit-stained Mary I cant help but feel uncomfortable.

In that moment a cat appeared before me.

'Hello' It meowed.
'Hello' I replied in a reactive manner.
'My name is Gato' meowed the cat.
'Good riddens, are you a talking cat?' I replied without thought
'Every cat can talk, stupid!' Meowed Gato, '...you just have to listen!'
I stared at the cat.
I didn't say anything more. The cat took a brief look towards the statue and when returning its eyes upon me, lay down in a relaxed manner.
'Do you mind if I join you?' It asked.
'No, no.' I replied, 'I'm sorry, I'm just a bit surprised'
'Well, I'm not surprised! Humans often forget they can talk to animals!' It enthused in one big meow.
'I don't ever remember talking to an animal!' " I enthused!
The cat stood up and meowed: 'But I heard you before. You ate that apple tart. You were whistling to the birds!'
'No.. no..' I stuttered, 'I don't recall it at all I'm afraid, and infact i'm still rather puzzled! I mean, a talking cat, where the fuck did you come from?'
The cat lay back down, closed its eye, lifted its paw infront of it and slowly returned its gaze to me.
"Do you wish to know everything?" it meowed.
I couldn't stop myself.
"Ofcourse I do!"


Thursday, 22 August 2013

A Trip to the Mall

I went to Moleno's yesterday, Cusco's version of Watford's Harlequin shopping centre. You usually go there if you need the odd Osho DVD, plastic toilet seat, or RayBan lookalike sunglasses. It's overall your average shopping experience really; price-scammers and pick-pockets, but hey, I kinda like it.

On the way, you meet Pachacutec; he was the guy who pretty much started the whole Inca Empire thing. It was during his reign that many of the famous sites, such as Sacsayhuaman and Koricancha, were constructed; as well as, planning the Puma shape into the city streets.

I forget how I'm living in a city, that not only is the water undrinkable from the tap, but there are daily, and quite frighteningly, water shortages. every night. 

Even worse is seeing where the water comes from.

I dont think Peru is worse than any other country. Every person effectively pollutes. Some, however, are better at hiding it than others. Open sewers are a dead giveaway of the problem. A picture says a thousand words. I guess that is for what sewers really are,