Saturday, 1 January 2022

hope…

I have been silent for almost 6 months… I know… it’s not been because of lack of good things to share, no, not at all! I guess… it’s because I got selfish… and lazy… I kept all the goodness just for myself and I hope you can see it in your heart to not hold it against me, to let it go, to understand my need to just enjoy and smile and not share… to fill up my heart with it… I guess I sorely needed it…to feel whole again!… But, here I am now, at the beginning of a new year, to praise all the “better than shoes” things that happened to me in the past 6 months and to start fresh with the promise to not be selfish anymore, to share with you all that that puts a smile on my face and warms my heart!

It has been half a year full of wonders! No, I’m not delusional, I am fully aware of the manure we are all in overall but… how else would I describe things like… having a G&T and sushi on a terrace with my best friends? … seeing the most beautiful roses bloom?… discovering new corners in this city I live for so long that I never knew before?…having my little cat curled up next to me on the sofa, licking my hand while I caress him?… finally being able to travel back home and see my brother and my cousin and my niece after years?… swimming in the Aegean and eating proper Greek food again?… not getting sick, at a time when sickness surrounds us?… laughing out loud with my friends?… having a drink and a chat with the lovely ladies I work with after more than a year?… going back to a theatre to see the incredibly talented Iliza Schlesinger perform, an evening that reminded me of how much comedy means in our life?… having Christmas lunches (yes, there were two, Boxing Day counts as Christmas here you see…) with my closest friends, my family, and actually managing to make aubergine spread the traditional way?… yes, it was delicious and so was the pork cooked in red wine, thank you very much! And I served everything on my late mother’s porcelain plates, my inheritance! How else would I describe all this if not as wonders??… I mean, wouldn’t I be ungrateful not to acknowledge them as such?

Yes, half a year full of wonders and here we are today, the first day of a new year… we don’t know what the year has in place for us, we never know the future. But, today of all days, we can be hopeful! We can dream, we can plan, we can wish, we can imagine, we can make resolutions… yes, most of them don’t last passed the first Monday of January but still, we can let our heart fill up with hope! And hope is better than shoes! It keeps us going even when everything else fails, even when it all looks grim, hope pulls us up from our bootstraps and gives us a kick in the butt to keep going! So, if I were to wish something to all of us today for this new year that has just started, it would be to be hopeful! 

Happy 2022 everyone! 🍾πŸ₯‚




Saturday, 12 June 2021

pride month

Disclaimer (or something...): I apologise beforehand to all my friends (and not yet friends...) of the LGBTQ+ community for the potentially wrong terminology used in the following. My heart is in the right place, my intentions are noble and I’m still learning. Thank you.

I love pride month! Although sexuality for me has been a pretty straightforward matter (I’m straight and knew I was since I fell in love with Patrick Duffy at the age of 6), for as long as I can remember I have been sensitive about it in the sense that I understood that this is not the case for many people. That for some it’s complicated but that does not mean it’s wrong. That “the different” exists and that’s ok. I knew there was something special about my sweet uncle T at times that him being gay was not even hinted. May he rest in peace, he only lived (happily I hope) with a man during the last few years of his life. As I was growing older, at uni, I formed lovely friendships with beautiful people that happened also to be gay. Until I met my closest friend S here, a compatriot in this foreign country I live in for more that two decades, a wonderful man who also happens to be gay.

And he’s not the only one. The people in my life with the longest relationships (and I mean, really long!) are in the majority gay! I guess that says something for us straight people, no? Or maybe not... I should not generalise... I mean, love is love and that’s that! Nobody else’s business unless it means to be happy for them! 

So, with so many really close friends who are gay, I learnt about pride month many years ago. And it did resonate with me that pride month is also the month of my birthday! I mean, June is my favourite month for so many reasons!... Birthday cake and wishes, peonies, strawberries, long days... and proud, colourful love! Once I remember dancing around with gay strangers in the streets of Antwerp, when I was caught in the middle of the parade there, and I could not be happier! I like to wear the “rainbow” as a sign of my support to the community’s claim for justice, equality and visibility because it is a fair claim and long overdue! And I urge everyone to support it as well, even if (or especially if...) it does not touch you personally. We should not live in a society that restricts its members’ right to love! 

So, go out and celebrate pride month, show your support, it only means more love around for everyone! Who doesn’t want that?! It’s “better than shoes”! Happy pride month! 🌈

Monday, 31 May 2021

the perfect weekend!

What a weekend I had! I mean, it’s Monday night and I’m still smiling under the influence*! 

The weather finally warmed up, the sun was shining brightly, nature is in springtime without any doubt and my mood could not be better! It started already on Friday, with a nice afternoon walk in one of the parks close to my house with my dear friend S! Just to put us in the weekend spirit which it did marvellously! And as we were walking, the idea popped up to walk to a nearby town and have lunch there on Saturday, together with his husband, the three of us! And the next morning, laundry left for latter (duhhhh...), we met and walked and chatted and even if we did not make it to that town (turns out, we could walk there but coming back by foot was a bit... challenging), we had the most lovely lunch at the cafeteria of a modern art museum, situated in a gorgeous park! The museum is closed (cue COVID...) but the park, the views, the food, the weather, the company above all, it was all perfect! And on the way home, I treated myself to some ice cream (ok, just sorbet, but still).

And then on Sunday I met with my other closest friend M! She came over to see Luci and then we went for a walk, again in the parks, and when we got tired, we came back to my place. I made us some G&Ts and a “midnight pasta” (google it, it’s worth your while) which by the way is excellent for any other hour of the day and we finished our meal with some strawberries with whipped cream (a delicious vegan version of it actually, perfect for my... bad relations with lactose) and a nice chilled late harvest I had in the fridge! Could it get any better than that? Yes! Because after M left, I took a heavenly nap on the sofa, cuddled by my weighted blanket, a recent acquisition that actually works wonders against my anxieties and stress! 

And to top it all up, last Friday the last episodes of season 5 of “Lucifer” dropped on Netflix! You see?? I mean, if that’s not a great weekend, I don’t know what is! I feel so grateful, my batteries are charged, I’m relaxed and ready to face this week that’s... well... a tad tricky. But after this weekend, this “better than shoes” weekend, I’m cool! I’m good to go! And I’m looking forward to the next one! Oh! I’m even going to the hairdresser! Niiiiiice! What more can I ask for? 

*and the influence was helped also by the fact that, today, I spent a couple of hours at S’s garden after work... I’m a lucky woman!