Thursday 28 October 2010

having a stock of good thoughts...


I woke up this morning and my mood was as dark as the sky outside my windows... The familiar crack in the curtains which normally lets about three rays of light sneak in to my room and help me get out of bed, was only giving way to a grey so thick it could only compare to the thick grey curtains themselves... No, getting up was not easy nor did it get easier when I went downstairs to have a cup of coffee... And there was no improvement while I was taking my shower and got dressed for work... In my car, on the way to the office, my iPod decided to entertain me with Nick Cave and his dead wild rose... right... why don't you give a razor with it, will you?...

At work, things only got worse, as expected... not even the usual breakfast chat or the 11:30 ciggy break helped... And then, as I was sinking deeper into the blackness,  I got an idea... All this time, for about three years, I have been piling up in these posts all the good thoughts I have been making! I have been listing all those things that have put a smile on my face day after day and have made me see life as the great gift it is! Well, then, that was it, that was the solution, right there staring at me! That was the way out of today's misery! I should read them!! So I started reading... No Hemingway stuff, of course, I would never even claim I am a writer (though I have secretly dreamed about it, I must admit...) but a lot of good stuff, all of them ready to remind me of their existence and make me feel better!

Kid you not, it worked! Ok, not entirelly... after a lunch with my friends, I still feel blue and today would certainly not be the day to share with you another one of my usual "beter than shoes" experiences... But I have come to terms with the fact that today it is a day to cash in on all those that I have been saving here! And it is indeed the day to realise that having a stock of goof thought does actually help on days like this when making new ones seems impossible! And that cannot but qualify as "better than shoes", can it? What do you think ;)

Friday 22 October 2010

"No, no plans for the weekend..."

... is perhaps the most misunderstood phrase in the world of phrases! There is such a discrimination against it, it makes my heart ache! Having lived here in the north for ten years now and having been working in an International Organization which employs a lot of people from the north, I have faced many a time the raised eye brow and sad look that this phrase produces to them... I mean, I'm Greek, I grow up never having plans for the weekend and, especially in my Uni years, always being busy as a bee!! Though I have left my country for a long time, I still take pride to the fact that we do no use our agendas normally in order to go out with our friends... we just call them on the day and meet them!

So, yes, the weekend... I have passed the last three months (more or less) being away for almost every other weekend... And yes, I has affected my writing, I am not the type of person to keep blogging while being in a car doing 230Km/h and heading to Munich for the Oktoberfest (I promise to tell you the story...) so I have been rather quiet lately... And to tell you the truth I have enjoyed every one of my little escapes, may that be for the beer festival, a cousin's wedding, home to see my brother or whatever... But I am not that young anymore (although I am the only one allowed to say it!!!) and all this has taken its toll on me... I got tired!

That is why I  adopt the little phrase from now on and for some time... No plans for the weekend and proud of it!! I will just spend my two free days without any specific schedule, I will just stay home, go to the cleaner's or the supermarket and watch films and stay in my pajamas or... not do any of these things!!! And I will embrace this state of freedom and I will defend the argument that not having plans for the weekend is better than shoes (and gives you time to go shopping for them...) until... well, until I change my mind and feel the buzz again and hope on a car or an airplane to get away for two days ;)

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Cooking for friends...

... is one of the most relaxing things!! And I didn't even notice until last week! Well, I have always liked cooking and many a time I received compliments for my food. Mostly though I have enjoyed playing in the kitchen during the weekend, when I have time and I'm not tired from work. One of the things I love is to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon, cooking something special and looking forward to enjoy it with my friends later.

But last week, I found myself cooking a rather demanding meal on a Thursday evening... and it was great! Though I had been busy as a bee the whole week, in a seminar which would start veeeeeery early in the morning for my standards (yes, I'm still one of the lucky ones who can sleep late...) and suck out every bit of energy from my body, I offered to cook, inviting also a friend who had been visiting for  couple of days. So, after having been in the most booooring presentation in German (and please do not ask what did I understand...) and also stuck in traffic for about an hour because of a demonstration which paralysed the whole city, I went to the supermarket for supplies and then home to cook.

And as I was joggling with the pork stew, the salad, setting the table,  lighting the candles and smoking a ciggy I just realized that... I was not stressed!! My shoulders had finally come down, I was singing and smiling and looking forward to receive my friends!! Hurray!!  The universe was being kind to me and later even kinder as I got offered an amazing wine which accompanied the food magnificently and had a wonderful evening altogether!

So, yes, cooking is better than shoes and when combined with the company of good friends is unbeatable! Just perhaps not recommended to be done in high heels... at least not for me :)

Monday 4 October 2010

Happy children!

Well, it's no secret that I am not a fan of kids... Still my maternal instincts have not kicked in... not quite sure whether they ever will but not stupid enough to exclude the possibility I still get by without really giving it much thought... Now, when it comes to other people's children, I do have clearer views...  Some years ago I have been attacked and kicked in the leg by a kid in a super market, without any other reason than being there and please do not ask where did this happen, the answer is obvious... I have to say I hated it... and I do hate it when kids scream, cry, fight or shout in my vicinity, always coming to the conclusion that their parents are doing something wrong for the children to behave like that... the same parents that usually remain apathetic towards the above mentioned kids' behaviour...

Obviously some of you may be tempted to tell me to "keep quiet as I do not have children of my own and thus should not be so judgemental"... Ok, I respect your opinion. But hear me out, I do have arguments for this view point. I have not yet met children of happy, calm and loving couples, of parents who shower them with love and attention and respect them and each other, who scream, kick or shout!! Children need attention, because, let's face it, a child when very young, only has its parents! We, adults, have friends, family, partners, colleagues, in one word lots of people to share our life and experiences with. Children, until a certain age that is, only have their parents to share their, numerous, experiences with. And when their parents do not give then enough attention and love and support, usually they scream for it :)

Some time ago I visited a friend's house. He and his wife are of different nationalities and have three kids, all less than eight years of age. Two of them were up when I went to their place and were playing in the living room with us while we, the adults, were having a cup of coffee... such beautiful children with amazing, bright smiles on their faces and polite as can be! They made a castle of pillows in a corner in the room and kept playing in our company, practically invisible but obviously content. They had their fun, we had ours! No screaming, no arguing between them, no interruptions, no claiming attention... just fun! Now, that says to me that the parents are doing something very right there! Happy children are the product of happy parents and happy, fortunate unions and that, my friends, all that, IS better than shoes!