Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Letter to political prisoners

Letter to political prisoners

Dear Lieutenant General Yu Changxin
Dear Captain Hammoud Murshid Hassan Ahmad
Dear Mario Enrique Mayo Hernández

I am a Mexican student in UK and thanks to this I have had the opportunity to coexist, for the first time in my life, with people from other countries. It has been a marvellous experience to learn about other cultures through their people.

That is why in this end of the year, when different cultures take a moment to reflect, I want to send you my greetings, my respect and my best wishes to you.

(Spanish version here)

Monday, December 26, 2005

We were cavers once…and young (V)

Bonfire Weekend (November 2002)

It was as promised, a major party with caving extra fun. Do you feel thirsty, do you feel hungry, do you feel cold…don’t miss the Bonfire… and be sure that you are not so tired that you will miss the challenges. Just have a look in the gallery of the web site!

As you set out for...

I am reading the new book of P. Coelho, as you probably have noticed. There are many things to say around this. How is that the book got to my hands. Why it came to me in the right time. What is it making me think about?...But today I had de compulsion to write about…about the beginning of the book, or part of it. There is a quotation of the Konstantinos Kavafis poem Ithaca. The message from it is: The travel is the roads not the destinations.

Of course I knew about the poem long time ago. Of course I read it and I remembered it when started reading the book. But it has been until I am about to finish the book that something came to my mind…

…and then I understood.

My housemate gave me a cup of coffee and looking at the reflection of the light in the surface while I blow to cool it I remembered the movie Cold Mountain. I remembered the scene where Ada looks backwards into the water well to foresight the future. I remembered that this love story made an impression on me and I was sad about the end (I will not spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie). This is not the only movie that I have seen recently which resembles the Odyssey. With many laughs I enjoyed the approach of Coen Bros. to this epic in Oh Brother Where Art Thou? I enjoyed the end of this last movie :)

I always have had a dislike of Romeo and Juliet’s story. I am childishly angry with Romeo killing himself…without checking if Juliet was really dead…I know! It’s easy to say “I would not do that!” when you are not playing the role.

But looking at the changing reflections in my cup of coffee, making a break to stop my reading of “El Zahir”, I understood. Love is the journey, not the destination.

By the way, I recommend the movies “In the mood for love” and “2046”, which I have happened to see recently as well.

Monday, December 19, 2005

siempre estamos en guerra

"– Realmente sus ojos son diferentes. Tienen miedo a la muerte, si –pero por encima del miedo a la muerte esta la idea del sacrificio. Sus vidas tienen un sentido, porque están dispuestos a ofrecerlas por una causa.
–¿Hablas de los soldados?
–Hablo de los soldados. Y hablo de algo que me resulta terrible aceptar, pero ante lo que no puedo fingir. La guerra es un rito. Un rito de sangre, pero un rito de amor.
–Has perdido el juicio.

“–Lo que me va a hacer danyo es una vida sin sentido. En la guerra, todo el mundo sabe que esta experimentando algo importante.
–¿Un momento histórico?
–No, eso no es suficiente para que arriesguen su vida. Experimentando… la verdadera esencia del hombre.
–La guerra.
—No, el amor.
—Te estas volviendo como ellos.
—Creo que si.
—Dile a tu agencia de noticias que ya basta.
—No puedo. Es como una droga. Si estoy en el campo de batalla, mi vida tiene un sentido. Paso días sin ducharme, me alimento de las raciones de los soldados, duermo tres horas cada noche, me despierto con ruido de disparos, se que en cualquier momento alguien puede lanzar una granada en el sitio en el que estamos, y eso me hace…vivir, ¿entiendes?. Vivir, amar cada minuto, cada segundo. No hay lugar para la tristeza, las dudas, para nada: solo siento un gran amor por la vida. ¿Me estas prestando atención?
—Es como si…una luz divina…estuviese allí, en medio de los combates, en medio de lo peor que hay. Tienes miedo antes y después, pero no en el momento en que disparan. Porque, en ese instante, ves al hombre al limite: capaz de los gestos mas heroicos y mas inhumanos...

“…Pero he visto que en la guerra, por mas paradojico que sea, la gente es feliz. El mundo, para ellos, tiene un sentido. Como he dicho antes, el poder total, o el sacrificio por una causa, de un significado a sus vidas. Son capaces de amar sin limite, porque ya no tienen nada que perder. Un soldado herido de muerte nunca pide al equipo medico: ‘¡Por favor, salvenme!’ Generalmente sus ultimas palabras son: ‘Diganles a mi hijo y a mi mujer que los quiero” ¡En el momento de desesperación hablan de amor!
—O sea, en tu opinión, el ser humano solo encuentra sentido a la vida cuando esta en una guerra.
—Pero siempre estamos en guerra. Estamos siempre en lucha con la muerte y sabemos que al final va a ganar la muerte. En los conflictos armados eso es mas visible, pero en la vida diaria sucede lo mismo. No podemos darnos el lujo de ser infelices todo el tiempo.”

El zahir. Paulo Coelho

perderse para encontrarse con uno mismo

"Nos acercabamos al museo del Louvre, pero el se detuvo, se apoyo en el muro del rio y nos quedamos viendo los barcos que pasaban, con faros que herian nuestros ojos.
" – Mira lo que hacen –dije,...– Ven solo lo que alcanza la luz. Cuando vuelvan a casa, diran que conocen Paris. Manyana veran la Mona Lisa y diran que visitaron el Louvre. No conocen Paris ni han ido al Louvre –todo lo que han hecho es pasear en barco y ver un cuadro, un unico cuadro. ?Cual es la diferencia entre ver una pelicula pornografica y hacer el amor? La misma diferencia que hay entre ver una ciudad e intentar saber lo que sucede en ella, ir a los bares, meterse en calles que no estan en las guias turisticas, perderse para encontrarse con uno mismo."

El zahir. Paulo Coelho

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

...until it is lost.

Relationships can be a mess...but thanks to that one has the opportunity to learn a thing or two to improve them.

I read this girl regretting that her boyfriend never have given her a birthday present...

Her entry inspired me the following comment:

It's certainly f...ing sad that one cannot be our partner’s priority…but I learned that when I broke up with mine. I used to say that my work had more priority than her because it will provide us with a future. And now we don’t have a future together. That’s why it comes to my mind the following: Tell him that you understand the difficulties on thinking about presents and giving importance to some moments in the life of a relationship. Then tell him that you read about this guy (me) who overcomes those difficulties thinking: “How life can be if my partner dies tomorrow? Would I regret not having done something with her? Would I have liked to give her something or tell her something?
The idea is that one does not appreciate what we have until we have lost it.  

Saturday, December 10, 2005

We were cavers once...and young (VI)

Derbyshire…sorry New Yorkshire Weekend (November 2002)

For several reasons the attraction of York caves gained the next caving weekend in the calendar.

What is worst than a crowded cave?...A crowded cave with ropes. And that’s the nature of SRT in a cave. You may have all the fun and excitement that being suspended in a dark high empty space have (and we had all that!) but ask to E how cold (not cool!) could be to wait (wet of course) for your turn in the rope.
Besides that, now you can say that caving-SRT is cool! And it could be the best way to know about yourself. As my leader in M says, what better improvement to your self esteem than to realize that you are able to climb (prusiking) 300m of rope. With the practice of SRT in a cave you will be able to know how crazy you could be (that what your parents are telling you every time they know about your weekends) and if you avoid killing yourself you will also learn where your limits could be. Oh! And you also will learn the difference between a cave and the stairs in the Union Building.

Thinking in all those teachings that SRT-caving has I decided to miss that pub night, take a shower and go to sleep early. (Do I say sleep?) With all the adrenaline in my body it was difficult to sleep and I felt in deep meditations. Meditations that pretty soon were mixed with the sounds of the jungle.

Personally I never have slept in a jungle but some people say that, depending of the kind of jungle, you can hear the rain, the wind, the leaves falling, the insects jumping and singing, and the movements of the night hunters. Well, Yorkshire is cold and the water in the pipes of the heater does strange sounds, along with the movements of drunk people jumping in the bunk beds, hunting for a bed, for a sleeping bag ( or for food?).

And there all we were, all together in the concert of the windy snoring, the rainy sounds of our stomachs and noses! I learned then that if you want to be a (sleeping) rock in the jungle, you need a lot of ales/beers/ciders beforehand. I paid the price of going to sleep early. Including that L hunted me…a bed. Poor girl, she was drunk and cold so I had to surrender and give her the bed.

Next day in Lancaster shire I saw in a cave the most beautiful white stalactites I have never saw. To my eyes, they had the figure of a ballet dancer with her partner. That was thanks to L’s and P’s curiosity that along with the energetic guidance of E-H (he is like a gnome in a cave, disappearing in front of you, to then appear behind, above or below you with extraordinaire and contagious energy) made that caving Sunday a great one.

And I’m missing to talk about the training sessions, the Tuesday’s Pub with its ghost, the travel-gypsy-dance-music that S, P and I enjoy. But at last all take you to the same. Wherever you are, we, cavers, are the best of the best. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 09, 2005

?La vida en el primer mundo?

Profesor Boltvinik,
Soy estudiante de doctorado en la Universidad de Bristol, Reino Unido y por ello lei con mucho gusto su entrega "La vida en el primer mundo" en el periodico La Jornada.

Comparto la buena impresion que Bristol le ha dejado. Creo que en los que hemos vivido en la ciudad de Mexico esto es mas acentuado. Bristol no tiene el caracter de megalopolis como el DF o Londres y sin embargo tiene todas las ventajas de una ciudad. A los locales les parece que Bristol tiene muchos problemas pero (aunque los tiene) yo siempre volteo la moneda y les digo que no han visto nada todavia.

Pero hay algo que no entiendo de su articulo y me llama la atencion considerando que usted es un experto y estudioso de la pobreza. Dejeme ver si entiendo su punto de vista.
Desde el presupuesto de una economia global que hace desvanecer fronteras, usted considera una solucion. Esta es que la pobreza economica en nuestros paises y la "pobreza de ayuda" de otros paises se complementan y la necesidad de los ultimos es una respuesta para la necesidad de los primeros.

Pero entonces lo primero que me viene a la mente es aquel argumento comun de: "La pobreza de un pais se resuelve cambiando al pais no mediante la migracion de su poblacion" Se me ocurre un ejemplo: La hambruna en Irlanda hizo que en el pasado se diera una gran inmigracion. Estados Unidos se beneficio de ella. Despues, con ayuda de la Union Europea, Irlanda se ha convertido en un pais desarrollado.

?Pero que tan posible es esto en nuestros tiempos? Desde hace muchos anyos hemos tenido emigracion de compatriotas hacia Estados Unidos, ?propone usted ahora una emigracion a Europa? Que hay que decir que eso ha ocurrido y esta ocurriendo, pero principalmente a otro nivel, el de la fuga de cerebros, ?no?

Usted dice "Si las restricciones migratorias se eliminasen, ganarian los britanicos, que podrian pagar por la ayuda que necesitan agudamente..." Pero no veo claro como es que usted llega a esta conclusion.

Permitame que le cuente lo que yo veo. Tal vez usted oyo hablar del barrio de St.Pauls aqui en Bristol, es el barrio de inmigrantes. Yo vivo en el barrio de al lado, Montpellier. Lo que yo veo es que precisamente hay una gran cantidad de personas de paises de Africa, de Jaimaca, de Europa del este que han emigrado, que estan emigrando y que quieren emigrar al Reino Unido. O sea que si el gobierno britanico relajara sus restricciones migratorias gente no les va a faltar.

Es cierto que aqui requieren mano de obra, como usted dice, en las areas de salud, servicios y atencion a la poblacion. Pero yo no veo aqui un problema migratorio, sino un problema interno de la sociedad.

En fin, solo queria hacerle llegar estos comentarios y le mando los mejores saludos desde esta preciosa ciudad de Bristol!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

We were cavers once...and young (II)

First night in the Pub (October 2002)

Language problems have been something unavoidable but as soon as I realized that some people know more foreign languages than they admit and practice I felt more comfortable. Especially when I received a message in Spanish from T (Oh! Captain, my Captain…have you seen the “Dead Poets Society” movie?) inviting me to a pictorial presentation of the club at Micawbers Pub. The pictures, the music, the ales were superb so I didn’t understand why some people left the pub after the show. There I learned that the loss of freshers can be like the loss of hair. It could happen very soon in your life.

Friday, December 02, 2005

We were cavers once...and young (I)

Impressions (October 2002)

I am a fresher and I am from Mexico. Caving? One year ago I just had been in warm, relative dry, vertical caves in Mexico. I had enjoyed the adrenaline flowing in my body when I was suspended in long pitches. Maybe those memories made my heart beat when I saw the stand of the University of Bristol Speleological Society (UBSS) in the FRESH fair.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Today...it's my birthday!!!! Yeah!!!!


Powered by Castpost

You say it’s your birthday
Well it’s my birthday too yeah
They say it’s your birthday
We’re gonna have a good time
I’m glad it’s your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Yes we’re going to a party party
Yes we’re going to a party party
Yes we’re going to a party party

I would like you to dance (birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (birthday)
I would like you to dance (birthday)

I would like you to dance (birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (birthday)
I would like you to dance (birthday)

You say it’s your birthday
Well it’s my birthday too yeah
You say it’s your birthday
We’re gonna have a good time
I’m glad it’s your birthday
Happy birthday to you!


Monday, November 21, 2005

Oxford metido en la niebla

Oxford me encanto! La niebla y el frio por fin materializo lo que tanto habia imaginado leyendo las aventuras de Sherlock Holmes en Londres.

Camine a toda prisa la manyana del domingo para coger el unico autobus del dia que va a Bristol. ?Sera que mi fascinacion viendo las telaranyas congeladas en los arbustos, rejas, arboles, hizo que llegara a la estacion de autobuses justo cuando el autobus acababa de partir?

Estuve a punto de pedir alojamiento por otra noche...pero el tren lo evito.

Por cierto que casi me remadreo cogiendo el tren...que estuve a punto de perder. No suficiente con la madriza de caerme de la bicicleta la semana pasada, resbale en el congelado piso justo antes de saltar al tren. Me lleve un golpe en la rodilla...justo arriba del enorme raspon de la semana pasada...al menos.

Pero el viaje en tren valio la pena. Fue un viaje a traves del tiempo, del tiempo de las estaciones. Didcot Parkway nos esperaba con un paisaje nevado invernal. En la siguiente parada, a pesar del frio, Reading lucia todavia otonyal.

Llegue demasiado tarde a Bristol...demasiado tarde para unirme al taller de Biodanza al que me habian invitado. Llegue hasta el sitio...pero la gente ya estaba adentro y habian cerrado la puerta. Toque, hice llamadas a  telefonos mobiles...inutil.

Cuando abandonaba el sitio me encontre una moneda canadiense en el suelo...dicen que es de buena suerte...bueno, tal vez la buena suerte es que mi oficina esta a unos pasos del lugar de la Biodanza. Cogi refugio del frio, del cansancio y de las decepciones de la manyana en mi oficina.

Tal vez, debi haberme quedado en Oxford otro dia. Las cosas por algo pasan. Tal vez el significado de haber perdido el autobus era mas profundo...por ejemplo, el haber entonces tenido que regresar a tu cuarto y descubrir que habia olvidado mi estuche con jabon y shampoo para la ducha.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

bonfire night

Saturday the 5th of November marked the beginning of not just another Bonfire night weekend. By the end of it I managed to fall of my bike, have my heart broken and get a bad cough.


On Saturday I went (12pm) to the Bristol airport to pick up my “love interest”, a French girl that was coming back to Bristol to finish some work that she started in Bristol last April. At that time we get on very well with each other. When she left Bristol on June I left her clear that, whatever it could happen in the future, I couldn’t be just her friend. We said we will be in contact. I don’t want here to enter on details about what happened during the year. With her return to Bristol I only expected to find out what kind of relationship she was thinking we were having. (I didn’t want to ask her by email, letter or phone call).


After leaving her suitcase in the place she was staying we went to have lunch in a pub nearby and one of her friend joined us. Later she and her friend went shopping to the supermarket while I looked at the shops of the mall for new trousers. We agreed to meet later (15:45h) to go to a Biodanza workshop that a common friend of us have invited us. I found a nice pair of trousers but having expended most of my free time I rushed (15:43h) to cycle to her place. I'm glad that I gave second thoughts to my first impulse of not wearing my helmet this time (the usual pretext that it was not a long ride crossed my mind).


My fall of the bike was quite stupid. Somehow I forgot to pull up the front wheel before jumping from the road to the pavement. I think I underestimated the height of the border. As a result the front wheel hit the border I lost control of the bike and ended rolling in the floor. The first thing that I noticed was my broken trousers at the level of the left knee and a stabbing pain in my twisted left hand thumb. A quick evaluation of my hand gave me the impression that there was not broken pieces. Only my trousers. No, fortunately not the new ones.


When I arrived at her place her first comment was "I don't believe you have fallen of your bike" When we looked my knee under the leg of the trousers she was convinced and I felt pain. All the surface of my knee had a bloody graze that I proceeded to clean with soap and water. With my handkerchief I made a dressing for my wound and put on my new trousers (funny and lucky that I had ones at hand don't you think? :)


Yes, I was in pain. Was it the pain of having caused my own stupid accident? No. Was it the pain of having to cycle to pick her up to go to the Biodanza workshop and find out that all of a sudden she decided not to go? No. Was it the pain of seeing her sitting, looking at me taking care of my own flesh wound? No. It was not one of those things it was all together. Because I can understand that you are tired after a flight and you don't want to do a physical activity, that I can take care of myself and that I am perfectly able to do stupid things, I can bear all that separately. But the synergy of all that together was causing me pain.


My good star made the Biodanza experience something to counterpoise my pain. The rare opportunity to be in close physical and emotional contact with myself and others was kind of a healing.


The plan with her was that after the workshop we were going to meet our common friend (who indeed attended the workshop by the way). I assumed that we were talking about dinner but I was wrong. After the workshop (18h) my pain and I cycled back to her place under a light rain to pick her up and find out that she was about to have dinner. The Biodanza people have invited us to a get-together in someone's place to chat, share food and keep going with the good vibrations that the workshop awaked. I gave her a sketch of the map to get to this someone's place and left her having dinner.


She arrived just in time to join us. The now gathering-party was deciding to move to a nearby hill to see the fireworks display occurring scattered all around the city. After all, it was Bonfire night! It was another outstanding experience...including the experience of being rocketed by fireworks fired by some people in the hill and that missed their intended direction, ha, ha, ha. I was happy of sharing this with her and this new friendly people of the Biodanza. I didn't regret to have changed my usual plan of joining my caving club's celebration in our HQ in the Mendips Hills.


Everything was finally looking fine. But I was wrong again. When she and I said goodnight on Saturday (I walked her home) we said that she will send me a text message with the landline phone number of her place so we could make plans for Sunday more easily (her mobile number is French and expensive). I was starting to feel ill, not only because I had started to develop a bad cough but also because I was realizing where our relationship was heading to. Of course, she sent me a text message the next day (13h). But instead of a phone number she said: "We are meeting at the Cafe Rouge at 5pm in case you want to join us" I was doing some cleaning at home and found that the noise of the vacuum cleaner covers very well the sound of a heart cracking.


All my fears were confirmed. It was clear that I was in the typical situation of being her "good friend". I actually have very good female friends. I was not looking for another one and she have known that all the time. She was not only being thoughtless, she was playing a disgusting role.

There are people who like admirers, not friends around them. They stimulate those "friends" playing with their instincts. I know that I was not in love for her. It appeared like that but it was only a combination of feelings and instincts. From my part it was the attraction for her, from her part the stimulation of those feelings and instincts on me. These people keep you with the feeling that something has started, they continually stimulate your instincts to make you feel the need to culminate that indefinite something. They take you to that position and leave you there alone until they feel the need to renovate the game.


To be in love involves not only the feelings of the intimacy and the instincts of the passion but also an amount of commitment. Commitment and intimacy make a good friendship. Passion and intimacy can make a good lover. (What kind of relationship makes to have commitment and passion?) Love involves a combination of these three parts.


On the verge of falling ill (in part as a psychosomatic reaction) I realized what to do. I will go out, I will enjoy my day. At 5pm I will text her back "Thanks but not. I'm going to see a movie. Enjoy your evening" At 5pm I found myself eating and talking with a real good female friend. I missed the movie but apart from that detail, my text message said all what I planned. The next day my French "love interest" wrote me an email asking:

Are you angry ? I did something that hurt you? Anyway, I'll be at --- at 2.15pm, maybe we can meet there...Love++ Bye

My reply, (technically, thanks to the PC of my housemate) was:

It's very sweet from you asking...but this kind of conversations are better over a cup of tea/coffee, don't you think? :)

Yes, I am hurt...in my knee, in the wrist of my left hand and got a bad cough :) I am staying at home today.---. Hope to see you soon! Love and hugs.

On Wednesday evening I was a friend for her. At the end of the night, after a brief chat and without drama, I had said "You break my heart"..."I don't want to be your friend, you know that"..."Write me once you are back in France" and had kissed her to say good night.

According to Oscar Wilde, I am a coward.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow

Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.

(Oscar Wilde, from "Ballad of Reading Gaol")

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Yesterday I was caught in the rain while cycling home. I rushed to escape from it like if it were poisonous. I did a frantic escape that in the first part always takes me down a hill with a medium slope (Perry Road). In the middle of this hill-road there is a traffic light in the T intersection with a big slope road (St. Michael’s Hill) with cars coming down.

I was stopped by the police once in this junction for not stopping in the appropriate area, behind a marked line. In fact, that time I was more cautious than the usual because my normal procedure to sort out that traffic light will be as follows:

  • On approaching the red light apply the breaks only to reduce the speed
  • If there are cars on the way, go up to the pavement and approach the corner with moderate speed avoiding the posts for the pedestrians at the same time.
  • Once in the corner and without stopping completely, unless it is strictly necessary, have a quick look at everyplace, specially the left hand side looking for cars coming down.
  • Run the red light.

Since I was stopped by the police I have been stopping at the red light and not going up to the pavement. I don’t have anything to discuss. A pedestrian running down the hill might bump into me with horrendous consequences.

But yesterday it was raining and coincidentally new penalties were also announced for careless driving (perhaps careless cycle riding as well?). These give imprisonment to careless driving (in the past you only got a fine) if it ends in someone’s death.

But it was raining and I was running away as if I could be soluble in rain. I am not proud of it and fortunately this time nothing bad happened. After crossing the red light I was realizing how stupid I was acting. Running away from the rain…why? I have been caving completely soak and cold…why am I escaping from the rain.

And then I started noticing the people around me, the recollection of the opening scene of the movie “My life without me” came to my mind. I started to slow down my speed and looked back to see the face of a girl walking as I passed besides her. She was walking as if the rain couldn’t touch her. Some meters forward I saw another girl walking with the same attitude. There were people scared of the rain, there were people just walking in the rain. I saw big men with their head and shoulders down, submitted to the rain.

I was happy to arrive at home.
It didn’t matter I was soak and wet.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Un sol frio

En una visita al Tate Modern en octubre del 2003 me lleve una gran sorpresa. El dia era frio como pocos que yo habia experimentado antes. Y sin embargo, la sala de la turbina del museo albergaba un sol (The weather project). Era un sol que no calentaba, que no quemaba y que sin embargo atraia como un magneto, conglomeraba a la gente, se volvia un circunstancial objeto de adoracion y fascinacion.

At the Tate modern (not mine but close to one mine)

La luz amarilla tien un efecto acogedor que no tiene la luz blanca. Lo he experimentado haciendo espeleologia. Con el mismo traje humedo y el frio en los huesos, una lampara de luz blanca es "fria" y una lampara de luz amarilla de alguna forma te reconforta.

Si, las ciudades, los humanos irradian una luz que no se ve. Hay lunas, espejos y almas que reflejan esa luz dandole vida y una nueva perspectiva. Esa luz calienta, pero no como la luz del sol estrella. Calienta como el sol en el Tate Modern.

A kind of magic

"Pele's goal for Brazilian club Santos against Juventus on August 2, 1959, widely considered to be the best of the lot, was never captured on camera..."

"The author of 1,281 goals was 19 at the time of the moment of magic that more than any other oozed class and finesse - four times he beat off opposing players by flicking the ball over their heads and catching it before it hit the ground, before finishing off the move with his head."

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Desperate housewives

I have not seen the tv series "Desperate Housewives" but I have heard and read that people is talking about it. When Mirabai gave her comments about the mentioned series the first thing that came to my mind was: "Ah! So now the soap operas are called tv series... "

Mirabai complains of the television formula that through "confusing histories, suspense and too much sensationalism" tries to make us pass a story as same as reality. I agree that seeing again and again the same formula makes you lost interest and stops being entertaining. After faithfully following all the series of Twin Peaks it was not attractive for me to watch the The X Files . After watching Candy Candy , Remi , Cuna de lobos (Cradle of wolves) , Tieta , El camino secreto (The secret way) , Roque Santeiro and many other soap operas it is not difficult to compare and then see everything as repetitions of stories and ends.

But repetitions should not surprise us. They have happened throughout all the history of humankind. Michel de Montaigne realized this and wrote his Essays . Using texts of Greek and Roman authors he compiled "soup operas" of the daily life. For example, it wrote "Of how we laugh and we cry by the same cause", "Of the solitude", "As how the feeling of good and evil depends to a large extent on the idea that we have formed of them", "Of the greed of the glory", "Of the inequality that exist between us" Does this sound like titles for soap operas?

But Montaigne had the good idea to approach only a single subject in each chapter. I understand that feeling of "saturation" that the tv series can give us. Trying to attribute to 5 characters the dramas and conflicts of humankind requires talent. For that reason the Quixote is a classic one, Shakespeare is on some way a writer of "best-sellers" and James Joyce took his time to rewrite and to reinterpret in his peculiar way the Odyssey of Ulysses.

I like intrincate stories. Films like those of David Lynch, Peter Greenaway or Wim Wenders, or like Magnolia or Crash (this year's one) fascinate me. Sometimes the subjects and the approaches are overlapped, but I like them as individual pieces.

I say it again. I have not seen even a chapter of "Desperate Housewives". Either it contains sensationalism or not, I don't know if it can fascinate me as Twin Peaks did or if it can make me as curious as I am with Sex and the City. It is valid to reinterpret and use present contexts. It is between "I miss it!" or "I saved my time" to decide if I like what I watch/read or if I prefer to read and/or to watch the "classics". Finally, who says that someone who did not have the opportunity to see Tieta cannot learn something watching "Desperate Housewives"... Or perhaps not.

Esposas desesperadas

No he visto la serie de televisión “Esposas desesperadas” pero he escuchado y leído que la gente habla sobre ella. Cuando a la colega Mirabai le dio por comentar la mentada serie lo primero que me vino a la cabeza fue: “¡Ah! O sea que ahora a las telenovelas les llaman series...”

Mirabai se queja de la fórmula televisiva que a través de “historias intrincadas, suspenso y demasiado tremendismo” nos trata de hacer pasar una historia por la realidad misma. Y coincido con ella en que ver una y otra vez la misma fórmula deja de interesar y hasta de entretener. Después de seguir fielmente toda la serie de Picos Gemelos (Twin Peaks) ver Los Expedientes Secretos X (The X Files) no tuvo ningún atractivo para mí. Después de ver Candy Candy, Remi, Cuna de lobos,Tieta, El camino secreto, Roque Santeiro y muchas otras telenovelas no es difícil comparar y ver todo como repeticiones de historias y desenlaces.

Pero las repeticiones no deberían de sorprendernos. Han ocurrido a lo largo de toda la historia de la humanidad. Michel de Montaigne se dio cuenta de esto y escribió sus Ensayos. Usando los textos de autores griegos y romanos compiló los telenovelones de la vida diaria. Por ejemplo, escribió “De cómo reímos y lloramos por la misma causa”, “De la soledad”, “Como el sentimiento de los bienes y los males depende en gran parte de la idea que de ellos nos formamos”, “De la codicia de la gloria”, “De la desigualdad que existe entre nosotros” ¿Les gustan estos títulos para telenovelas?

Pero Montaigne tuvo el acierto de abordar solo un tema en cada capítulo. Entiendo esa sensación de "saturación" que las series televisivas nos pueden dar. Quererle atribuir a 5 personajes los dramas y conflictos de la humanidad requiere talento. Por eso el Quijote es un clásico, Shakespeare es a su manera un escritor de “best-sellers” y James Joyce se tomó su tiempo para re-escribir y reinterpretar en su peculiar modo la Odisea de Ulises.

A mi me gustan las historias intrincadas. Películas como las de David Lynch, Peter Greenaway o Wim Wenders, como Magnolia o como Crash (la de este año) me fascinan. A veces se traslaparan los temas y los enfoques, pero como piezas individuales me gustan.

Repito que no he visto ni un capítulo de “Esposas desesperadas”. Tremendismo o no, no se si me pueda fascinar tanto como me fascinó Picos Gemelos o me cause tanta curiosidad y morbo como Sexo en la ciudad (Sex and the City). Reinterpretar y usar contextos actuales es válido, decidir si me gusta y lo prefiero a leer y/o ver “los clásicos” esta entre “yo me lo pierdo” o “yo me lo ahorro”. Finalmente, quién dice que quien no tuvo la oportunidad de ver Tieta puede ser que aprenda algo viendo “Esposas desesperadas”…O tal vez no.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Science, art and humans.

Agent Dale Cooper, in Twin Peaks, stated: "Diane, when two events happen simultaneously, pertaining to the same object of inquiry, we must always pay STRICT attention!"

Last day I received an email from a German friend of mine. It was the bearer of good news. My friend, a future Engineer, was telling me that his last important school project was finish and it will be soon holidays for him. He included his project as an attachment and I found myself surprised looking at the planes that he drew for it. It is art and science…maybe more science for him…but more art for me. I decided then to include one of his planes here to serve for the artistic purposes of it.

Last day I discover the blog of jz and she was pondering in one of her entries about architecture and cult of personality. Her fortuitous mention of Peter Greenaway brought to my mind the movie The belly of an architect and therefore the architecture of Étienne-Louis Boullée: (the following from Wikipedia)

“It was as a teacher and theorist at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées between 1778 and 1788 that he made his biggest impact, developing a distinctive abstract geometric style inspired by Classical forms. It was characterised by the removal of all unnecessary ornamentation, inflating pure forms to a huge scale and repeating elements such as columns in huge ranges. He promoted the idea of making architecture expressive of its purpose (a doctrine that he termed architecture parlante, "talking architecture"). His style was most notably exemplified in his proposal for a cenotaph for the English scientist Isaac Newton, which would have taken the form of a sphere 150 m (500 ft) high embedded in a circular base topped with cypress trees. This was, however, never built.”

And then I thought…how funny! Science and knowledge can become art, art can become a philosophy and a doctrine, and these two can become a cult of personality…for example, the personality of Isaac Newton, a scientist and man of knowledge…Is there here a cycle? Is there here something right or something wrong? Or there is just something tremendously human.

Neon lights, a nobel prize
The mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don't have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I'm the smiling face on your t.v.
I'm the cult of personality
I exploit you still you love me

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your god's name
I'm every person you need to be
I'm the cult of personality

Cult Of Personality (Living Colour)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Secret Underground Bristol

A bit of "Secret Underground Bristol"

"The entrance to the grotto is a Gothic façade built into the side of a hill. It looks innocuos enough, but passing through it is unnerving. From the civilised world of trim lawns and afternoon tea, you are suddenly plunged into a pagan underworld.

"Everything is bathed in the eerie greenglow of moss-laden skylights, and echoes to the crash of water. The cavern is gloomy and glistening at the same time -encrusted with thousands of shells, conches, crystals, fossils and corals like the cave of some eccentric water god. You turn instinctively left, towards the sound of water- and there he is. Far away, it seems, at the top of a narrow cleft,lounges a marble deity. From the urn at his right hand, water cascades downover the rocks, singing through the sells, and tumbles into a deep pool at your feet. As your eyes grow accustomed to the light, you see that the grotto has other strange occupants..."

"Why Thomas Goldney III spent so much time and money on his grotto,and what he did in it, are far from clear...He certainly developed a taste for the exotic if his library -which included a 'Life of Mahomet' and 'TheArabian Nights'- is anything to go by. Perhaps, after all, Goldney built his Aladdin's Cave primarily for himself, and whenever respectable Quakerdom became too stifling, he escaped underground into a romantic dream world.Who knows?"

Goldney Grotto: Goldney Hall, which is now a University Hall of Residence,holds occasional Open Days in spring and summer, when you can see the grounds and grotto. You will find detais on their website:www.goldneyhall.com

Monday, September 12, 2005

El albur

Robado textualmente de Chilangabanda

Se dice que el surgimiento del albur nace con la mezcla de la cultura Náhuatl y Española ya que ambas tienen sus antecedentes de picardía. Por una parte existe el caso de los cantos Nahuas que se cantaban en las cortes de los emperadores aztecas. Dice la leyenda que una nación recientemente sometida al imperio de Tenochtitlán compuso un canto mofándose del emperador en el que se hacía referencia a la incapacidad del monarca Tenochca para “conquistarla”, aludiendo a nación recientemente conquistada. Sin embargo, el canto revelaba que a quien no podía conquistar el emperador azteca era a una mujer anciana.

Se dice que al escuchar este canto el emperador se carcajeó tanto que hizo miembro de su corte al cantor que declamó. El canto en cuestión era uno de tantos poemas (o cantos, por que literalmente se cantaban) que era conocidos en tiempos prehispánicos como cuecuechcuicatl (cantos de cosquilleo o picarescos) y que eran de naturaleza sexual (cabe mencionar que los aztecas tenían muy finos poemas eróticos). Esto quiere decir que los aztecas ya conocían el doble sentido y el inuendo sexual. Es más, conocían hasta la mentada de madre, a la cual denominaban como “nantenehua”, que quiere decir, literalmente, mencionar a la madre.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Niqitoa ni Nezahualcoyotl

Niqitoa ni Nezahualcoyotl: ¿Cuix oc nelli nemohua in tlalticpac? An nochipa tlalticpac: zan achica ya nican. Tel ca chalchihuitl no xamani, no teocuitlatl in tlapani, no quetzalli poztequi. An nochipa tlalticpac: zan achica ye nican.

Yo lo pregunto
Yo Nezahualcóyotl lo pregunto: ¿Acaso deveras se vive con raíz en la tierra?
No para siempre en la tierra: sólo un poco aquí.
Aunque sea de jade se quiebra, aunque sea de oro se rompe,
aunque sea plumaje de quetzal se desgarra.
No para siempre en la tierra: sólo un poco aquí.

I ask
I Nezahualcoyotl ask: Do we really live with roots in the earth?
Not forever on the earth: Only a moment here.
Although made of Jade, it cracks, although made of gold, it breaks,
although it's plumage of Quetzal, it is torn apart.
Not forever on earth: Only a moment here.

Friday, September 02, 2005


I had the most exciting beginning of the day today! In the last month I have had trouble getting to bed and therefore waking up early. But this morning I needed to get to work early so I had to do something. Battling against my duvet and the alarm clock I had an epiphany: Let’s play Calvinball!

For those of you that know it, Calvinball is the best game ever! Especially for a procrastinator and game-seeker like me, he he!

I am sorry I cannot explain here the rules of the game (but feel free to visit the links above!) Everything started with the rule “Get ready to leave and prepare something to take for breakfast in the office in 10 minutes”. In between I passed an exercising zone so I had to do 20 push-ups. There was a corollary zone that demanded squeezing a ball 5 times while running to the kitchen ha ha! That started to be fun, specially when my housemate, without knowing about the game, set up the next rule!

Follow me in the bike!!! Wow!! That was exciting as my house mate is one of those bikers who likes to squeeze in the traffic whenever he can.

Now let’s see what new rules and zones the rest of the day have for us!!!

Friday, August 26, 2005

La Belle Dame sans merci

La mirada de ella es ciertamente hechizante. Pero yo recordaba a esa dama mirandome desde lo alto. Y esa diferencia me intrigaba. Como dices esa es la parte irracional que tiene el amor, el ansia por ajustar algo a tus deseos.
Y a mi en lo particular me pega esa sensacion de estar hechizado, hechizado
como lo puedes ver en la mirada del caballero de la foto de abajo...

Algo tiene el enamoramiento que nos lanza los brazos para atras y tal vez por eso es la version que mas me gusta. El esta cayendo, ?a donde? ...

al pasto...como nos explican aqui...

Y es que de ahi, a veces, no pasas...
Por eso, dejame intentar un boceto de lo que serian mis pensamientos, en el caso del caballero, al descubrirme abandonado,
sin piedad...

Digamos que el viento sopla y con el
empiezo a escuchar unas palabras y una musica...

"Asi es la vida de caprichosa
a veces negra, a veces color rosa
Asi es la vida jacarandosa
Te quita te pone te sube te baja
y a veces te lo da"

Y empiezo a pensar que a veces la vida te da esa claridad para darte cuenta que has estado viviendo como un idiota y te has preocupado por cosas sin sentido.

Y que coraje da! ?Porque tenia yo que haber sufrido tanto? Tan facil que es decir "Nada es tuyo, nada es mio y como compartimos los amigos, como repartimos los recuerdos de este amor" No importa cuanto haya durado. Un dia, dos anyos, una mirada. Yo te encuentro, tu me encuentras y tal vez porque tu estas ovulando y yo estoy que me hago, y no exactamente de miados, te sigo recordando. O tal vez no fue la quimica la que nos traiciono sino ese tono de voz que empleaste para hablarme y ese detalle que tuve contigo.

Y a veces tu ya tienes otro y yo ya tengo otra. O los dos no tenemos a nadie, I feel so lonely, I'm waiting for you
But nothing ever happens, and I wonder I wonder how, I wonder why
Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky
y lo unico que pude ver es que, a igual que a Narciso, nos puede ocurrir que Eco nos saque de nuestro ensimismamiento. Pero ?que son las palabras de Eco sino nuestras propias palabras reflejadas? Hace falta ver a Eco como quien es, no como quien dice ser. ?Pero alguien tiene la paciencia que Narciso no tuvo?

Y asi, me empezaria a reir y con el cielo ya oscuro, pero con estrellas, me quedaria dormido hasta el siguiente dia, arrullandome, moviendo los hombros y sintiendo la sabrosura de un merengue...

"Cuando tu me besas
me siento en el aire
por eso cuando te veo
comienzo a besarte
Y si te despegas yo me despierto
de ese rico sueño que me dan tus besos

"Besame suavecito,
sin prisa y con calma
Dame un beso bien profundo
que me llegue al alma
Dame un beso mas que en mi boca cabe
Dame un beso despacito
dame un beso suave

"Suave, Tus labios tienen
Suave, Ese secreto
Suave, yo beso y beso
Suave, y no lo encuentro
Suave, un beso suave
Suave, es lo que anhelo
Suave, un beso tuyo
Suave, es lo que quiero"

Ay! Y el nuevo dia me encuentra, en el museo de la ciudad de Bristol, viendo, con total felicidad, al original de la pintura de Dicksee, no la de Waterhouse.

La bella dama sin piedad...

Como dijo un dia una amiga:

> 1. Si te guias estrictamente por la imagen pues efectivamente ella esta a
> sus pies (esto es broma, of course).
> 2. Creo que esto de la dama sin piedad viene porque el quedo cautivado
> por ella y no pudo darle el beso que tanto deseaba, pues se murio antes.
> Por eso creo que habla de la falta de piedad, seguramente el sentimiento
> de perdida, de nostalgia, de ausencia fue muy profundo, podria decir que
> inolvidable.
> 3. Ahora bien, posiblemente ella sabia que estaba muriendo y lo unico que
> le pedia era que la llevara a su gruta. Otro motivo para la falta de
> piedad, lo enamoro sabiendo que moriria, auqnue esto tal vez son
> atribuciones mias, pues no quedan muy claros los sentimientos de ella.
> Estan bonitos tanto la imagen como el poema, sobre todo este ultimo, me
> parece muy profundo y tal vez refleja la clase de amor con la que
> siempre uno suenia: profundo, absorto, incondicional, alejado de todo,
> aunque la realidad puede ser diferente, como lo fue para el. Y no estoy
> hablando de desamor, sino que para mi el amor tambien tiene que ser
> racional y no solo emocional, pero no por ello uno deja de tener sus
> fantasias, no?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Evident by nature

These days I have discovered what is evident by nature but hidden by fate. I am realizing that friendship is something that only comes with time and requires a continuous feedback. Like a flower in a pot it needs to be watered.

I may have the usual custom to call people I only have met some days ago friends. It is a polite custom and I don’t regret it. But sometimes I need a distinction.

All our relationships start in the same way, I would say. You hardly know someone and a common interest brings this person and you together. Expectations are created and they are not always the same.

Example: She, who has a boyfriend, meets this guy who is single. Both like each other. Months later she thinks about him as a nice, smart, charming friend and, by the way, she is nice, smart and charming. Because of these three virtues of her one night he tells her by email (technology has changed old rituals…for bad?) he has fallen in love for her. She feels and says thank you but “let’s be only friends”

But inside my friend (she) there is also the feeling of a “spoiled friendship” with this guy. But I ask her if that was really a friendship. I mean, she is using the polite way to name a new relationship with someone, doesn’t she? In my opinion there is nothing spoiled on their relationship. There are only different expectations that they should be aware of. She is expecting a new friendship since the beginning. But is that what he was expecting?

Humans I want to believe feel attracted naturally by other humans. If a human is single, that attraction always means the possibility to form a partnership, to fall in love. So he, the acquaintance of my friend had different expectations growing than her. Of course, the fact that my friend has a boyfriend for some people may be a reason to limit and control his expectations. But that is not always true. Then, he only reveals his long time growing feelings when my friend’s boyfriend leaves for a long trip.

Attractions. There are different levels of attractions. There are attractions by sight, by smell, (by touch?) by getting to know someone better and better and like them better and better every day. The more instinctive attractions determine “one night stands” and affairs, the more rational ones determine partners and spouses. Am I right if I think that a good combination of both will bring a happy long lasting partnership?

There have been periods of my life when either the instinctive attractions or the rational ones have driven my amorous life. There have been only a few occasions where I have experienced a good balance of both of them and have been corresponded. Unfortunately not enough balanced as to last up to now.

This is my epiphany, pour innocent me. An affair lasts what our rush of chemicals in the body last. A future friendship or partnership, to start with, takes time to take off. Not being able to see this clearly has caused me some confusion, some rush in my partnerships and some anxiety for not finding “the right woman”

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Oh! How much I would wish you were listening to what I am... dancing now!... turn in your chair...wave your body and arms because this is...

Virtual insanity....Jamiroquai

Oh yeah, what we're living in (let me tell ya)
It's a wonder man can eat at all
When things are big that should be small
Who can tell what magic spells we'll be doing for us
And I'm giving all my love to this world
Only to be told
I can't see
I can't breathe
No more will we be
And nothing's going to change the way we live
Cos' we can always take but never give
And now that things are changing for the worse,
See, its a crazy world we're living in
And I just can't see that half of us immersed in sin
Is all we have to give these -

Futures made of virtual insanity now
Always seem to, be govern'd by this love we have
For useless, twisting, our new technology
Oh, now there is no sound - for we all live underground

And I'm thinking what a mess we're in
Hard to know where to begin
If I could slip the sickly ties that earthly man has made
And now every mother, can choose the colour
Of her child
That's not nature's way
Well that's what they said yesterday
There's nothing left to do but pray
I think it's time I found a new religion
Waoh - it's so insane
To synthesize another strain
There's something in these
Futures that we have to be told.

Futures made of virtual insanity - now
Always seem to, be govern'd by this love we have
For useless, twisting, our new technology
Oh, now there is no sound - for we all live underground

Now there is no sound
If we all live underground
And now it's virtual insanity
Forget your virtual reality
Oh, there's nothing so bad.
I know yeah

Of this virtual insanity, we're livin in.
Has got to change, yeah
Things, will never be the same.
And I can't go on
While we're livin' in oh, oh virtual insanity
Oh, this world, has got to change
Cos I just, I just can't keep going on, it was virtual.
Virtual insanity that we're livin' in, that we're livin' in
That virtual insanity is what it is

Futures made of virtual insanity - now
Always seem to, be govern'd by this love we have
For useless, twisting, our new technology
Oh, now there is no sound - for we all live underground

Living - Virtual Insanity
Living - Virtual Insanity
Living - Virtual Insanity
Living - Virtual Insanity

Virtual Insanity is what we're living in

Sunday, July 10, 2005


5x2 A movie by François Ozon ... still a thorn in my heart.

Interview magazine met Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi (Marion)

some extracts here...

5x2 is based around five moments in the life of a couple, Marion and Gilles, told backwards in time. What do these five moments mean to you?

They are the different stages of a love story. And at every stage, I feel that Francois was able to direct us to the heart of what mattered: the heart of what it means to meet someone, to get married, have children, separate. Stephane Freiss and I play concrete human beings who are also archetypes. He is Man. I am Woman.


The music was right, it was what I wanted to hear. I wanted to make the film in the same way Marion wanted happiness.


And the idea of having Italian songs to provide a kind of punctuation to the film? Is that a homage to your origins?

Not really, I cannot claim that. There's something romantic, something kitsch and ironic in those Italian songs. It injects some humor into the film, and provides a different way in. There is also a great deal of hope in those Italian songs, a longing for love and being loved. That desire for love, that naiveté were another reason for my accepting the part. From the start, one feels Gilles and Marion married not opportunistically, nor out of boredom but because physically, they suited each other: they fell in love, like a proper couple, dreaming of a bright future. They are in no way cynical. Whatever the setbacks, the harshness of experience and all the negative examples, the film says that it's right to launch out into the Utopian folly of love, in the belief that it can work. This film is quite the opposite to films about love stories that go wrong. This one is about love stories that start out well


Is that why François Ozon cast you as the couple in 5 x 2?

Yes, I think there was something very obvious in the screen tests we did with a scene taken from Ingmar Berman's "Scenes From Married Life". We were asked to play a man and a woman angry with each other, but still connected by a shared past and a long history of love. The couple is at war, in the process of separating, and yet you feel "Maybe they shouldn't separate." Which is true at the beginning of François' film too.


Gilles seems more fragile than Marion. Do you think that's true in most couples, is it something that relates to our times?

I can't answer that. I don't know how to make generalizations and I understand nothing about how couples function. In my personal experience, perhaps men are more cowardly than women, more cowardly and less able to take the initiative, to take the bull by the horns, confront things, to speak and be there when things turn difficult. It's true that men have a horrible habit of running away. At the same time, I feel slightly artificial saying that. I feel like I'm saying what one's meant to say, but at the same time I'm not so sure. And I certainly didn't set about my work in that perspective. I didn't set out with theoretical considerations about love, I set out to serve the story. With one basic premise, which is that Marion wants to be happy. That was my starting-point.

Monday, July 04, 2005

500 000 people

That's approximately the population in Helsinki .

After arriving by ferry to Helsinki from Stockholm J and I visited the city, including a trip to Suomelina island "the Nordic Gibraltar" as it was on its days of splendour and war. We spend more of the time there, walking, enjoying the good weather, visiting the museum and even an old WWII submarine. This was the highlight of the trip, so old, so narrow and of course a weapon of war. I know, wars are stupid, killing other humans is barbarian but...how nice artefacts they have produced. Now an historical and recreational place, the whole of the island is devoted to the old fort...to war.

My friend and I said goodbye at 18h after meeting her boyfriend. They had a midsummer celebration ahead the next day, which is a big thing in Scandinavia . From my part and after checking in the hostel I was lucky enough to find a place where to dance Salsa! It was incredible...the atmosphere, the people, the behaviour is very similar to what I have experienced in Bristol . As always there were people I liked to dance with and people with it just didn't work.

The highlights of the night were three:

M, an English mate who has been living here for years gave me a good bunch of impressions about the Finnish culture. For example he considers the Finns more alcoholic and colder than the English! (I suppose that is why at some point during the night a drunk guy approached me to tell me "Not smiles!" Unfortunately he didn't answer to me when I asked him "Why?" with a smile.) M said that if someone has a problem they leave that person alone, that they can be aggressive but it takes time to them to explode.
A friendly Finnish girl I enjoyed dancing with and chatting.
A Russian girl who was too shy or to proud to dance but insisted on talking. I almost had the impression that that old couple that she introduced me as her “friends” were her parents!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Nordic summer

I'm back from the north.
I went to Stockholm for a conference and to Helsinki for some days off.
My first impressions of Stockholm were a remembrance of...Den mark, ha! Yes! Scandinavian big cities are very similar in many aspects in my humble opinion. They look and feel clean, ordered, relaxed. People, as in any city is moving all around but at least they don't look as stressed or hurried like in other cities. Let's just consider that my impressions are from summer time...probably there's another story on winter. At least I heard more than one foreigner being surprised for the change in mood of people during summer. While in winter they are kind of grumpy and silent in summer everybody is friendly!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

If it were enough to stand, without the words

Inman: This doesn't come out right. If it were enough to stand, without the words.
Ada: It is, it is.
Inman: Look at the sky now. What color is it? Or the way a hawk flies. Or you wake up and your ribs are bruised thinking so hard on somebody. What do you call that?

Inman: You are all that keeps me from sliding into some dark place.
Ada: But how did I keep you? We barely knew each other. A few moments.
Inman: A thousand moments. They're like a bag of tiny diamonds glittering in a black heart. Don't matter if they're real or things I made up. The shape of your neck, that's real. You were always carrying a tray.
Ada: You wouldn't come inside.
Inman: I wouldn't come inside.
Ada: I had to carry a tray to come out and see you.
Inman: The way you felt when I pulled you to me. That kiss- which I kissed again everyday of my walking.
Ada: Everyday of my waiting...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

To L

Hi L! On these days I have seen other people's pictures but nobody seems to have captured a rainbow with their camera. What about you?

In one postcard to my sister I told her that rainbows in Ireland are rare because of the gold that is associated to them. Of course there are many kinds of gold... :)

For example, when in Killarny Youth Hostel I was sitting outside after a brief rain I saw a rainbow. At that moment I was a bit sad and trying to alleviate that I wanted to play Frisbee...with nobody around to do it, ha, ha! But the sight of the rainbow was beautiful enough to make anyone happy and I was not the exception.

I was following with my eyes all the extension of the rainbow when precisely, in one of its extremes, I saw a person. No, it was not a leprechaun! It was C walking in the road, coming back from visiting the town. She sat down in the bench and we had a little chat. Unfortunately she didn't want to play Frisbee.

In the postcard to my sister I also told her that Ireland is a magic land...and I was convinced about that because, while sitting and chatting with C a dog came from nowhere. And this dog turned out to be a Frisbee catching one! I had great enjoyment with him?, her?!!

So the lesson I learnt from all this happenings was that rainbows really get you to the gold, and gold have many faces! Faces like... a friendly face, an intelligent and charming dog …Everyone different, everyone with a colour, like in a rainbow, but all lovely in their own way.

I hope you are having a nice and not too hard work week!

Saturday, May 28, 2005



I know what you are looking for

it's the same story I am looking for

for everybody wants a story

Perhaps we don't see

through the same window...

Do you see sunshine or heavy clouds?

Maybe we are not looking...

at the same time

in the same way and place.

But we know what we want to see

maybe it's not what everybody

says it should be,

but it's our real story

and now it seems to be there


(I look through the window

and know that my story is there,

...maybe with you...


are you there?)


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Expect the unexpected

How Realistic Are Your Expectations of Marriage?

You scored 86% correct!

Below are your complete results, but did any of the answers in this quiz catch you by surprise? Do you disagree with any of them? If you're not already following it, check out the Repair Your Relationship workshop for a five-step program full of proven marriage-saving strategies. Whether you're on the brink of divorce or simply interested in improving your relationship, this workshop will help you create a new set of expectations for a happier marriage.

You scored correct answers to questions: #1, #2, #4, #5, #6, #7
You scored incorrect answers to questions: #3

Question #: 1 Conflict and anger are signs that your relationship is failing.
Your Answer: False
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: All marriages, even the best marriages, have their ups and downs. It's impossible to live under the same roof with another human being for any length of time and not disagree now and then. People in loving marriages understand that conflict goes with the marital territory. It's more than unavoidable, it's necessary. People need to let off steam and air their differences. When they don't, they're in for trouble. In fact, the single best predictor of divorce is the constant avoidance of conflict!

Question #: 2 You're more likely to divorce if you have different likes and dislikes and interests, and come from different backgrounds.
Your Answer: False
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: Research shows that people who stay together and are happily married are no more similar than those who divorce! They come from decidedly different backgrounds, hold different beliefs and have sharply different interests. But what separates those who have successful relationships from those who don't is that they learn effective ways to deal with their differences and handle conflict. They nurture the interests they do share and try to develop new ones from time to time. Successful couples believe that life would be incredibly boring if their spouses were mirror images of themselves. Instead, happily married people learn to appreciate their differences, find ways to grow from them or simply make peace with them.

Question #: 3 In healthy relationships, major disagreements always get resolved over time.
Your Answer: True
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: Research shows that approximately 60 percent of what couples argue about is unresolvable! If you eavesdrop on couples' arguments as newlyweds and then again after they've been married for 25 years or more, you might be surprised to find that much of the content is the same. However, the way in which people discuss these heated issues does change over time. People tend to mellow a bit, which makes a huge difference in how their partners react to them and vice versa.

Too many people think that their marriages are in trouble because they continue to argue about the same things for years. But the truth is that this is very common. If you have been thinking that in good marriages people eventually find mutually satisfying solutions to all major problems, you've been fooling yourself. This just isn't the case.

Question #: 4 In healthy marriages, both spouses have the same definition of what it means to be loving.
Your Answer: False
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: No two people define love in exactly the same way. What it takes for you to feel loved is probably fairly different from what it takes for your partner to feel loved. Why? Your definition of love springs from a number of factors: your upbringing, your culture, your gender, and your life experiences in general. Since you and your spouse have had different life experiences, you will undoubtedly view love differently as well. Although this, in and of itself, is not problematic, it will become a problem if you fail to honor and accommodate your partner's point of view.

If you and your spouse have spent years debating about love definitions ("If you loved me, you would want to spend more time with my family" versus "If you loved me, you would want to spend more time alone with me on weekends," and so on), stop wasting time. You're both right. To have a loving marriage, you have to put yourself out and love your partner the way he wants to be loved.

Question #: 5 People just fall out of love.
Your Answer: False
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: Some people believe that they need to divorce their spouses because they've fallen out of love. First of all, people don't just fall out of love. If love dwindles, it's because the marriage wasn't a priority. The number-one cause for the breakdown in marriages in our country is that people don't spend enough time together. They take their spouse and their marriage for granted. Work, kids and other obligations become more important than spending time together. When this happens, during the little time people do spend together, they end up fighting. This distance and alienation sometimes fool people into thinking they've fallen out of love.

Second, love isn't just a feeling. It's a decision. Happily married people understand that if they engage in activities that bring love into the marriage, they will feel loving. There is no major mystery here. You both decide on a daily basis whether you're going to spend time together regularly or do your own thing, forgive each other or hold grudges, accept each other's weaknesses or point fingers of blame, apologize when in error or smugly stand your ground, be generous and giving or put your own needs first.

Of course, we're all human and our ability to be loving and kind to each other ebbs and flows, as do our feelings for our partners. However, wise people don't allow negative feelings or the absence of loving feelings to make them question their commitment to their spouses. They just understand that they're going through a rough time and that soon, they will decide to do what it takes to evoke feelings of love again, in themselves and in their spouses.

Question #: 6 An affair doesn't have to ruin a marriage.
Your Answer: True
The correct answer: True
Answer explanation: There is little that is more devastating than to discover your spouse has been unfaithful. Most people take to heart the promise they make to forsake all others. The connection, closeness and intimacy and trust you feel with your mate is very personal, something that is meant just for the two of you. This is why infidelity feels like such a violation.

But affairs happen, and when they do, the repair of the marriage is no easy task. Sometimes those who have been hurt swear they will never recover. They're convinced that they will not be able to forgive and move forward in the marriage. And although it's completely understandable why people feel this way, it's also true that the future doesn't have to be as bleak as they are anticipating. Most people survive infidelity and can, in fact, make their marriage stronger once they work through the issues infidelity has brought into their lives.

Question #: 7 Most people are much happier in their second marriages because they've learned from their mistakes.
Your Answer: False
The correct answer: False
Answer explanation: Although it's true that some people learn from their mistakes in their first marriages and are able to develop happier second marriages, this is by no means the rule. In fact, 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.

One of the reasons that there are more divorces in second marriages is that people enter their second marriages with the bad relationship habits they learned the first time around. They simply find new partners with whom they can do that old familiar dance. In addition, step-parenting issues make second and subsequent marriages challenging. But there is another reason why second marriages aren't necessarily better than first ones. Unless you understand that marriage doesn't make people happy, you will spend the rest of your life trading in marital partners for new ones. Happiness is a do-it-yourself job you can't rely on another person to fulfill you. Unless you feel satisfied with your own life, you will not be able to determine whether your unhappiness stems from personal or relationship issues.


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