This blue marble

– and yet it spins

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Random ramblings from Paris

Paris-6When I said I was going to Paris, my friend stated that we were probably the one ones going to France without going to see the soccer Euro Cup. We don’t follow soccer, so how could we have known about it? Perhaps we live in another culture bubble, one that does not engage with soccer? Blissfully ignorant, we booked our tickets in March, for 10 days in France. I was certain that we would end up in the middle of at least an attempt of terrorism. But we did not. We left 2 days before a crazy person drove a rented truck through a crowd in Nice. Yet another relatively tight call. One of many for me.

But Paris is always Paris. And this time with some American flair at the Centre Pompidou. Wandering among so many private photos and film clips of the famous Beat bunch, I could not help but wonder how Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, et al. were both so lost and so focused at the same time. “On the road” is a book about being aimless and lost, but yet Kerouac sat down, started typing on a paper scroll, and kept typing on the same scroll until his story was finished. “On the road” is 37 meters long.
Paris-7Oh, how very serious the Beat people must have been. Just aimlessness, lostness, unemployment, boheme poverty, and so much angst. Except for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who decided to open a bookstore in San Francisco and call it City Lights Books. No, Ferlinghetti was less lost, and he laughed at life. He also laughed at the painter Marc Chagall, who for some reason always painted violins. So he wrote a poem about it. Something definitely not Beat or Lost. I read it at the Pompidou and laughed, too. And I wondered why Ferlinghetti decided to write about the horse eating the violin instead of the lady on the horse with her beau, wearing an evening dress that ended right underneath her naked breasts.

Don’t let that horse
                              eat that violin
    cried Chagall’s mother
                                     But he   
                      kept right on
And became famous
And kept on painting
                              The Horse With Violin In Mouth
And when he finally finished it
he jumped up upon the horse
                                        and rode away   
          waving the violin
And then with a low bow gave it
to the first naked nude he ran across
And there were no strings   

Paris-8(Paris, France; July 2016)

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Above dry land

madridSpain was brown and barren already in the end of June. How can so much delicious food and vegetables grow down there? Perhaps this is why most of Spain’s veggies are grown in greenhouses? And perhaps (hopefully not) this will be the view down above Germany some decades for now, if we let climate warming run its course.

(Above Madrid, Spain; June 2016)


Before we forget

oldgear-1My father cleaned up the outbuilding at the country house. Some of these pieces of equipment are 100 years old. And no, nobody in our family was a professional shoemaker – it’s just that everybody knew how to make their own shoes in those times. Somebody should catalog these and their uses before we forget.

And somebody should scrape off the old sourdough barrel and find out if we can make rye bread out of a  50-year old root.oldgear-2(Loviisa, Finland; June 2016)

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Hipster Kings X

kingsxKing’s Cross-St Pancras was only a train station to me. A place that took me to Cambridge, a place of transition. Nobody told me that behind the huge buildings was a whole hipster world, with an art school, happenings, interesting buildings, and a Dishoom. Dish-yum.

Sipping our old-style cocktails with a twist in the bar I could not help but admire the marketeer who had come up with the idea of imitating an old, colonial-Indian-Persian blended Bombay Café. Perhaps time has passed long enough so that the strong English colonial vibe is not considered offensive. It is only when there is enough space between us and a milieu, preferably a whole generation, that something oppressive or negative becomes swanky and cool.

Some like Dishoom. Other frown and prefer their local curry house. I don’t care much for curry and I absolutely loved Dish-yum, right down to the salty lassi. Even after the 40-minute wait outside and another 20 minutes in the bar.

Kings Cross, I will actually spend some time outside of your train terminal some time soon. If not for else than taking in your cool vibe and more of this food.dishoom-1(London, United Kingdom; June 2016)

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Saturday is Sun day

lazyramsesOne lazy cat and one lazy human. I can tell you it gets quite warm when two cats pile up on you any given moment you lay yourself down on a deck chair in the sun.

Lovely ones, apologies for the weeks of silence. Climbing out of the vortex required a week and a half’s worth of time off in France. But I have many stories to tell you: how to have a picnic among armed guards and a demonstration in Paris; how Bordeaux wines are made; where to get great pintxos in San Sebastian, and where to get the best hot chocolate in the whole world (I can reveal that it is one of the few French-accredited Palace hotels).

In the meantime, please excuse me for one more weekend. I must go have cream tea in the Grantchester orchard with a friend, and maybe take a dip in Byron’s pool if it gets too warm.

(Helsinki, Finland; July 2016)