Thursday, July 28, 2005
All The World Is A Stage
As I read Joyful Ranconteur's last entry, regarding her inability to effectively, yet casually, and entirely unofficially, blog, I realised my own blogging dilemma remains unresolved. The problem is my life is no longer entertaining in, and of, itself. Thus, I need to be interesting in, and of, myself. I need to be lucid, topical, creative, insightful, jovial, and bang up-to-date. Or at least one of the above. Unfortunately, these days I am just been desperately trying to make sense of this thing they call London... and get my head round 'settling down' here. It's an endlessly fascinating situation for me, I just need to translate that, without being a bore, into blogging. I try - but the blogger's quandries remain. Should I bitch/complain/rant about people/things/places? How much of my personal life should I reveal? Am I actually trying to reveal myself, or a fabricated image of myself? Who the hell am I anyway? Come to think of it - these questions don't belong solely to the blogging arena, but to life in general, just that the blog is a new medium, with a new audience - hmm. Hey - do you reckon the people on Big Brother ask themselves these questions? Ha!
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
News has never had much effect on me before, but the 'culture shock' I've been expecting from living in London has definately hit now: the realisation that the news does directly affect me, and the city I have chosen to call home. No more feeling I am miles away from civilisation, and can somehow avoid reality. I'd just last week gotten over the weird, panicky feeling I'd been experiencing due to having to ride the deep tube lines whilst the Circle line is closed... every morning finding myself plunging down into the bowels of the earth to squash myself onto a hurtling metal carriage filled with sweaty commuters reading newspapers chock full of images of terror... Yikes. Anyways, I'd just gotten over that when there was news of a second bombing attempt, and then, over the weekend, the news that the police had shot an innocent Brazilian electrician. The speculation that the man could have run from the police as his visa may have expired made me weep. Now it's getting personal. After all, my beloved hubby is a South American immigrant, hoping to train as an electrician, a man who spent 11 years running from police in Japan because of his illegal status. He recognised that it was his choice to remain illegally in the country, and thus have to run from police (or sweet-talk them, but that was back in the day). Yet, as photos of Jean Charles de Menezes' 'aged and humble' family are shown in the newspapers I get a wash of nostalgia for my in-laws in Peru, and realise that for men and women supporting those back home there really isn't a choice. How the hell can we even begin to address the imbalances and injustice in the world that is the root of all of these problems we are now facing?
Monday, July 18, 2005
Had a rather nice weekend... went to the Dogstar in Brixton and enjoyed various types of music (hip-hop, funk, drum n' bass, etc.) all faithfully accompanied by over-enthusiastic bongo players! There's a great atmosphere in there, we noticed as soon as we walked in that everyone was dancing and had a smile on their face. Further on the theme, last night we went to a taiko drum concert on the Southbank. A friend I know from Japan, Michael Henry, was playing taiko, and he also featured heavily on the flute, both Japanese and Irish. It was brilliant, very professional, and really made me nostalgic for the humid, heavy, cicada-laden evenings back in Japan when we would go to festivals and eat takoyaki... ahhh. It's good to be getting out and enjoying things. It's just the choice of what to do in London is more than a bit overwhelming, especially after having lived in the countrified, rice-paddy filled Tochigi, and the beachified, chilled-out Chiclayo for most of the past 5 years!
Friday, July 15, 2005
It's Friday, and I'm totally and utterly exhausted. This morning when I woke up my eyes made that painful sound (do you know what I mean by this?) in my ears, that they tend to make when they don't want to open. It's not surprising though, seeing as in the past couple weeks I have doubled my teaching hours, been considerably diverted on the way to work (due to the ongoing suspension of the Circle line), almost entirely cut out caffine, and worked out at the gym four times a week (an hour each time). I feel good though, I feel much more in control of my life. And I'm on a magazine diet for the first time ever in my life... well, I don't like to think of it so much as a diet, but rather as the way I should mostly eat for the remainder of my existence. When I saw the diet, I realised that it was only a hop skip and a jump from what I was already doing (fruit for breakfast, lots of veggies, reduced portions, and less dairy and meat), but with added sensible suggestions (avoid things made from white flour, creamy dressings, sugar, etc.). It's so nice to have the opportunity, finally, to evolve into the more the person I want to be without excuses/circumstances holding me back. I can't complain of the lack of gym facilities I faced in Japan, or the Glavis's gorgeous cooked lunches that I embraced in Peru! Life is short, I want to eat well, work hard, play plenty, and sleep soundly... zzz.
Monday, July 11, 2005
It seems like London is returning to normal... well, all those who weren't too closely touched by tragedy last Thursday, I suppose. Thankfully, no-one I know personally was affected by the bombings, other than getting stuck in the city centre. Hmm, that's not strictly true, as I suppose we are all affected by these kinds of things, thinking just how quickly our whole life could change. Yet, we must put it into perspective, London still seems a safe place to be.
Starting tomorrow I'll be teaching a big group of Italian teens ("Y'know - all sunglasses and scarves" says my boss) on an intensive two week course, on top of my normal teaching. I've finally been given the course book, so am now off to sit in the sun and drink a beverage whilst I prepare my lesson plans. Ciao!
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Panic On/Under the Streets of London
Live 8, Gay Pride, G8, the Olympics and now bombs and explosions and terrorism... blimey, London certainly is an emotionally intense place to be. I caught a hair-raising newsflash just as I was heading out the door to work, and realised there would be no point in even attempting to get in to Notting Hill. Now I'm round at Katie's where we are glued to the news on telly, it's all very confused and nobody seems sure of quite what's happened. Just saw a 'visably shocked' Blair making a statement saying he's heading down to London - they'll be carrying on G8 talks without him. Bad news for Africa and the environment, then. Katie and I don't know what to do with ourselves, and our menfolk are safe but trapped, like millions of others, at their workplaces.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
I feel like I'm on the verge of giving up the Ms. - or rather, having the Ms. torn from my weary, still weakly grasping hands. I have begun to feel like some angst-ridden teenager, standing up for rights that nobody else gives a toss about, or can even fathom why I should care. It's 'Ms.' - not 'Mrs.'
I cry in vain, each time I receive a bill, a letter, a card wrongly addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Villalobos (at this Tito chuckles into his sleeve, moving swiftly aside to avoid an elbow to the ribs). My credit and debit cards have even come through incorrectly, but I don't know if I have the energy to have them re-issued, again. No, I protest, ringing the gas company, the bank, the council... I am married, but I'm not a Mrs. - OK, if that's not too much for you to handle? People really, really don't get it. Why is it so difficult, in these modern times, to comprehend such a logical arguement? I thought long and hard about changing my name to my husband's, and about my decision to remain a Ms. nonetheless. What I object to is not the sharing of a name, it is the implications involved in having to, as a woman, make clear my marital status throughout my life. It smacks of ownership, and why the hell should I? Isn't it satisfyingly traditional enough that I've changed my name? I like his name better, I like having alliterative initials, I like avoiding poncey double-barreling. But I don't like having to repeat, again and again, that I am a Ms., as I was before my marriage. What if I were a Dr.? Would I have to give that up to be a Mrs. too?