Saturday, 8 May 2021

scent of an era...

I have been feeling a bit low lately... sad things have happened, not enough happy things have happened and I seemed to have misplaced my usual optimism... probably due to the wardrobe/storage room spring cleaning, who knows... poor Luci was running around frantically, could not understand why all my coats and jackets were piled on my bed for a whole morning! So, anyway, I was not at my best. My go-to solution would normally be a new pair of shoes but I was not falling in love with any... and then it hit me: I needed a new perfume! A new scent to mark the beginning of spring and guide me to my rebirth... or lead me to it by my nose...

I have always loved fragrances! Since I was a child, I thought having a bottle of perfume was the ultimate luxury and I still remember my first one! It was a Christmas present when I was 17, “Paris” by YSL, and admittedly... I can’t stand it now! Rose is certainly not my thing nowadays... but at the time, I felt sooooo grown up, so pampered and special when I was wearing it! Since then, even at times when my pockets were dangerously empty like when I was at uni, I would strive to have a bottle of perfume, even if I only wore it on special occasions. And over the years I have tried many scents and I have truly fallen in love with some of them that I wore for years! 

But nothing like this last one! I ordered it having only tried it from a tiny sample but even so, I knew I was going to love it! Though... I did not know I was going to adore it! And I really do! “So... which is it?”, you would ask... and how could I not share?! It’s “Un jardin sur la lagune” by Herm├Ęs! It is the most addictive perfume I have ever smelled, it is mysterious and simple, fresh and complex, light and lasting, hopeful and happy and unforgettable, it is a scent I cannot describe exactly, certainly not roses, but one that has enchanted me! It’s like a story, an experience... a warm feeling long gone, the memory of which lives on... I can’t have enough of it! I mean, I wear it at home even when in sweatpants! And, honestly, I can’t wait to wear it out in the open, having a drink with my friends on a terrace on a warm spring evening! Things start to look up, my friends, I am being cautiously optimistic about this nightmare of the last year (and a half...) coming to an end, and I feel I have chosen the right scent to mark the new era that is about to start! “Better than shoes”?... yep! 

Ps. Perfumes are a veeeeeeeery personal thing and in case you try this one and go “meh”, keep trying until you find the one that is your “better than shoes” scent... or not... who am I to tell you what to do?!... 

Monday, 19 April 2021

Englishman in New York

 If I had to choose a song that describes my life better than any other, it would have to be Sting’s “Englishman in New York”.

It’s not even half 4 in the morning, I’m up, after a terrible night (or... part of a night), and I’m watching a YouTube video my brother sent me earlier... Sting, singing live, recently, this song that he knows I hold very dear to my heart. And how could I not?! It’s a gem! The soft, caressing music, the exquisite sounds of Bradford Marsalis, the simple yet always recognisable melody, the intensity of the drums there almost at the end, the singing voice, soft as velvet and unlike any other... and those lyrics... a simple poem about life itself...  this song is just beautiful! I was 14 years old when I heard it for the first time and it made an impression like nothing ever had until then! Being different?! Not following the norm?! How preposterous!! But... how exciting at the same time! “Be yourself, no matter what they say” became my mantra. I was the only fan of Sting’s in my high school (except for my chemistry teacher, Mr M, lovely man!) and I got bullied a lot about my queer tastes... couldn’t care less! Even at that so very young age, I knew... I was going to go my own way, I was most probably going to be an alien my whole life (I felt I had been thus far already...), I was going to drink tea...

Years have passed... so many years... I have seen Sting singing this song live over again and I have sang it with him, I have listened to it alone more times than I can count, I have seen the music video (David Fincher, so you know...) so many times and every time I discover something new, I have spoken about it, joked about it, got misty eyed thinking about it... And, yes, for more than two decades, I too am a legal alien, I too drink tea and not coffee, I too have found myself walking alone down Fifth Avenue, thinking a walking cane would come in handy... and I too have always been myself no matter what they said. 

It’s been a challenging few weeks, maybe you have guessed it, my silence is never a good thing... I’m not going to talk about it... I’m choosing to smile in the middle of the night and share with you this warm and fuzzy feeling “Englishman in New York” has always given me... a song that is definitely “better than shoes”, a song that will always be special to me! And I will always be myself, no matter what they say...

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

do not disturb, I’m having a moment...

Middle of the night, woke up from a bad dream that had me clench my teeth to the point of getting a headache... clearly nothing “better than shoes” there... I’ve learned to live with headaches over more than a decade and although sometimes it can be quite debilitating, to say the least, tonight it’s not one of those times... it’s ok... But, I did wake up and after browsing a bit to pass the time, I got up to have some tea and feed my furry love who was getting anxious on the bedside table next to me... he’s still a baby and going 7 hours without food is kinda his limit... or so I think... not sure... could be I’m overprotective...

So we got up for breakfast, I had my tea and browny, he had his chicken breast in broth jelly (he’s a bit picky with his food... I don’t blame him... other “premium” brands of cat food we tried, stunk up the room...) and we came back to bed as per our usual routine. This is my favourite time of the day because it’s when we do our cuddling and our petting and we both fall asleep again after having showered each other with some good old TLC! Today was no exception... we had with us his little toy mouse, we just named him Max, and at some point while playing with Max who slipped under the duvet, I lifted it to find him and Luci, rather timidly I should add, crawled under it and... found heaven! He curled up next to me under the duvet and purred so loudly, I thought the neighbours were going to start banging on the wall! I don’t think I have ever seen him (or, more correctly, see a bump under the duvet shaped like him...) look so happy! 

And here we are now... I’m writing this post while my headache is already so much better (the healing effect of happiness...) and he’s sleeping next to me under the bed covers... and I’m thinking that the title of this post is very appropriate for both of us! He’s having his moment and I’m certainly having mine! Feeling him so peaceful and trusting next to me is warming my heart! Over the last 7 months that we live together, I have learned that the love for (and of) an animal is one of the most precious things in life! Of course, being a “cat person”, I think they are the best but, I also see my friend M’s love for her little cocker spaniel and I must admit that that’s something too. At the end of the day, it does not matter whether you love cats or dogs or both or... I don’t know... cockatoos! What matters is to make the decision to have them in your life! I made the decision and it changed me forever! A “forever” built up by moments like this one... “better than shoes” moments!