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Take Me Back

Take me back on the dirty city tube
to the alleys and the pubs
I used to love

to the filthy streets
where the mind could wonder
the dark passage
where people spit and piss

Take me back to my youth
to my fearless footsteps
to the decisions
I could easily make

Oh how I long for the beauty before
before the world was over
when we raced on the staircase
going up to Piccadilly

how I miss the smell of smog
the engines working
the streets flooding
the strangers touching

Take me back to before
and I promise I won’t tell
I won’t warn you for the now
that came cruel to find me older


but never compromised…

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Season beginnings

Read this while listening to Chopin’s Nocturne op. 9 no. 1 in B flat minor

Nature might be dying to live again in Spring but for the monsters of nature, us humans, things are different. We tend to restart in the fall, maybe because the weather becomes cooler, the light less and the alcohol tolerance lower after summer. No matter what the reason, there are beginnings that take place every Fall, mostly unsuccessful ones but honest attempts for a change nonetheless…here are the most obvious…

The resuming of the gym

Now, this year is different but the issue is still the same. Only now it’s easier to get away with not working out by using lines like: ‘I’m not sure they stick to the rules’, ‘I can’t buy a full-year package, who knows what happens next month with the virus’, ‘My favourite instructor was made redundant so I’m never working out again to make a point’, ‘I forgot how to work out, which leg is the left one, I don’t know’…you get the point. Tip: You can always work out at home, walk around town, go swimming, skiing, hiking, climbing, have more sex, clean the bathrooms with extra enthusiasm. Anything so I don’t write an article in March celebrating your sofa’s courageous act of holding your ass for a whole year. Please.

The tidying of the clothes

I know right? Never. Summer clothes stay out till November cause you never know or you do but you’re in denial, the shoes are all over the place, you thank humanity for not having different underwear for every season, although if you think about that bra you cannot put up with in July and the pants you always think you can wear but you end up tossing on the floor five minutes after you put them on cause they feel too thick. Oh well, lots of issues there but let’s not forget that on top of everything you also have to find space for coats now and you know that’s impossible before winter when you had enough of the chaos and you finally decide to tidy your stupid clothes but I’ll come back to that in a couple of months.

The eye cream

Probably the most ignored type of cream by mid October, and overall the most snubbed little jar, even more snubbed than Hitchcock at the Oscars. After a million sun rays directly hitting your face and you not giving a fig cause you look sexier with a tan and you save on concealer which we all know costs a lung and a kidney, you move all hopes and recovery plans to September when you bulk up on masks, creams and serums only to abandon it all at the back of your bathroom cabinet by week 4. Eye creams around the world have created a portal where they sneak at night and they have group therapy, sitting on little eye cream chairs, sipping coffee (with extra cream, of course).

The rest of the stuff

I tried hard not to put the diet back up here for my fourth and last stand. I’ve almost succeeded. Diet is for sure one of the illusions we have for the fall mostly as a consolation thought during summer when you sip all the cocktails which is stupid cause cocks don’t have tails and drinks should be clear like wine or vodka. That’s what I think. So start this fall with some wine and shut the fuck up. Also, thinking of cycling because it’s cooler and you can enjoy it more? Who are you kidding? Or your doctors’ appointments that you put off in June cause you were too bored. See these things don’t deserve a section of their own cause they’re nothing, but together they make a pretty spectacular point of how pathetic they are. Kind of like the Kardashians.

Whatever you decide on starting this season, make sure you also choose some things to stop. Like giving space to toxic people, worrying about non-existent things, loving those who always hurt you, smoking, overeating. The list is endless, you know what it is that should go. Then maybe you’ll have enough room to keep to whatever new thing strikes your fancy.

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Lazy Sundays

It’s so hot right now, sitting motionless at the kitchen table, sipping the last bit of what previously was my iced coffee, I cannot begin to describe how even typing is hardship. At the same time, my man is watching Dark in high volume (don’t know why, he doesn’t speak German) and as you can imagine the aural situation adds some extra charm to the hellish heat and the Sunday afternoon terror.

I have a terrible back pain I probably acquired from our day at the beach yesterday that I’m trying to get rid of but other than that, I don’t have any goals set for today, just to make some rice for the meatballs I cooked and have some wine to forget tomorrow is Monday and I have to pretend to be a responsible adult.

There are several ways to make your Sundays useful but what’s described above is definitely not one of them. However, some times you need to be doing nothing in order for something to happen. For example, I am doing nothing today so my man, probably seeing my stillness decided to do everything around the house like polishing the door knobs and recycling old cables.

I felt guilty for a moment for sitting around like a decorative piece but then I thought well, maybe that’s what I need to be today. Decorative. Then he started descaling the water pipes or something and I thought things are getting serious so now I have to put up with the German lady screaming at some guy who buried a body in the woods to wash off my shame for not helping out all morning. Ornaments have feelings too, what did you think?

So basically I’m using you to keep me company cause otherwise I have to go sort out my clothes or God forbid my shoes and that is an impossible task. Some chores are there to make us feel stressed for no reason. They never come off the list. How on Earth do you keep a closet in order? What kind of a person are you? I wanna see Marie Kondo’s closet on a Sunday. Yes, bitch I know you’re pretending like I will be pretending tomorrow that I know how to work excel blindfolded.

Are you somewhere nice today? Do you have food with you? Alcohol? Enjoy the beauty of the lazy hot Sundays cause you never know…some of you are about to be mothers, some are moving to Scandinavia (completely irrelevant), some might meet the love of your lives soon and then you have to cook for them on Sundays to show them you care. Saying that, my rice is about to explode…laters!

Photo by Rafal Wilinski on Unsplash

PS Thank you Jakob Owens on Unsplash for the shoes caption, I never thought there’s worse but you my friend really have to get off your ass and tidy those pairs today.

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Back to (office) life

If you’ve read the About Me section (not now, stay here) you know that I’ve been working from home for quite some time. The coming Monday marks my comeback to society and all things civilised like traffic jams and take away lunches. Yes, I am not looking forward to those but you can’t have one without the other. Some thoughts and a few pieces of advice on it all…Ready? Here they are as they come in my head.

The bowel movements (yes, les shit dans la vie)

There is no greater anxiety than your number two in the mornings. I personally like to have breakfast, do my business and have a shower. This way, I’m all set for the day, I have told you before, I feel lighter and I don’t suffer from the anxiety of it’s-gonna-come-when-I-can’t-go. The thing is, there’s only a specific amount of time to do everything, before you catch your ride to the city centre. Luckily, we have two toilets but only one shower, so it’s gonna be a race for sure. Cause (sorry baby) once he is out of the shower, he dresses up in three seconds and he’s ready to go. But all girls out there know that you cannot shower with make-up on, so the only way is for me to go in first to buy some time which also means I have to get my number two out of the way sooner…you see the chain reaction there? I’ll leave it to that and report back next weekend when I’ll probably be staying in to try all sorts of herbal pills and teas for combating my newly acquired constipation.

The clothes

It’s true that once you start a job with regular income, you end up spending it all on things you otherwise wouldn’t. Crazy I know but very real. I have already spent a salary plus more on new clothes and shoes and what have you before I even step foot at an office. It’s an investment they say, it’s your uniform blah blah….I don’t know…if it’s that normal why do I set the courier delivery for days I know I’m alone and then I take the boxes to the recycling bin before he gets home? Don’t worry, he’s not reading this, we lost him at constipation. Anyway, I say go for it, buy what boosts your self-esteem, celebrate yourself, decorate yourself but make sure there’s a return policy cause maybe you watched too much Selling Sunset (here we go again) and that pair of heels will never make it out the door. Be realistic. Not all boots are made for walking.

The food

It was so beautiful eating at home, taking a nap, eating again (that’s a different article). But! The time has come to take out my hipster bamboo food containers, prepare my salads (shut up) the night before, pack my cutlery and my reusable straw. Accessories are the best part of working at an office. Yes, like, never mind the people and the productivity and all that jazz. Who cares about anything else when you have your lunch utensils, the matching napkin, your coffee mug, the bento box you bought from a trip abroad and so on…the list is endless! These are the things responsible for extra Insta likes, for showing how organised you are, environment-friendly, a young fresh professional, so cool! And don’t get me started at the desk paraphernalia cause I’m under the wrong heading and it’s gonna look messy.

The rookie mistakes

You set foot at an environment where everyone knows each other already. You are the new kid and of course, you want to be liked. No. Every professional knows, the first six months you observe, you choose, and then you decide who is gonna be your work-friend. See? I didn’t say friend, I said work-friend which means they’re eligible for a run to the coffee shop with you or a lending of a fork. Maybe an invite to your wedding if over two hundred people (he is not reading this, If we haven’t lost him on constipation we definitely lost him on Selling Sunset.) Anyway, advice to all, don’t involve too much emotion at the office. Especially if there are a lot of women, too many menstrual cycles and designer shoes. Keep it cool, happy but with limits. That’s all my wisdom right there for you, for free.

The siesta

And by siesta (and is not a word to start a sentence, but I’m the boss here) I mean the free days that are soon to be long gone when you have lunch and don’t need to work after 3pm so you put a film on, or a series (marathon) till you fall asleep and at 6pm you wake up to have coffee and think about dinner. Such music to my ears. It’s Friday today, I will soon prepare lunch and have my final siesta. All things need a closure, naps are precious so of course I’m gonna say farewell in the most special way, on my favourite sheets, with my favourite series on. I will look back on these days with love but also with the certainty they could not last for ever.

If you reached the end of this article you’re either on your number two, or you are starting an ‘adult work schedule’ on Monday as well. Either way, or any other way, I wish you have a lovely day, stay true to yourself, don’t get too comfortable, keep chasing your dreams even if you ‘locked’ a steady income. Steadiness should only be about bowel movement, the rest have to keep you active and excited otherwise feel free to flush them down the toilet at this very moment. Alright, alright, alright! Wish me luck! Muah!

Photo by Georgie Cobbs on Unsplash

Here’s a realistic desk space image cause all offices have iMacs and rocket salad in their potty pencil cases. Anyway, you had me at the yellow mug so thank you Georgie for the caption.

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When your man goes out for drinks

I am currently on the sofa, have just downed a piece of chocolate cake and a vodka drink. I am on my third episode of Selling Sunset and thought I’d write to you guys cause I haven’t yet this week, so here you go. Many topics have ran through my mind but somehow, I just thought I must do this one. Maybe I just wanted a little break from the Netflix trash-not-that-trash that I’m watching as I type. Let me hit pause and start. Did I tell you my man is out for drinks?

First of all, there are women who hate it when their men go out for drinks. Girls, please. This is so old, get a life! At least get a secret life like me. There’s nothing better than being home alone like before you met the one and could waste your evening beyond limits. Only this is so much better cause you are not alone and this is just enough time to enjoy yourselves without actually falling in the misery path of thinking you’ll die alone after drink number 2 (which I’m gonna pour after I finish this masterpiece).

This is the time to watch the trashiest TV, the time to eat dessert from the box, to pick your nose, pop your pimples, fart and burp and what have you. Go ahead and do it. I can see you raising a brow thinking “I don’t need this, I am fine picking my nose in male presence”. Really? OK. What is it that you need peace and quiet for then? Have a bath, cry, laugh, sing. An empty house is also a quiet house. A quiet house is a gift every now and then, no?

I enjoy these rare nights home alone, sorry baby in case you read this. This piece is probably gonna ring in your mailbox while you’re still at the bar. That’s no good cause then you’ll know all I did tonight is write in my blog which instantly ruins any mystery I might still have… Hmm… Which brings me to the other side of the issue. Girls think that guys go wild when they’re out. Guys kinda think the same if you’re that type of person. In reality, if you’re the jealous kind, you’re jealous always no matter where the other person is. Take a breath.

I’ll give you a secret. Men appreciate women who don’t bust their balls every time they decide to go out and see people. Women do too. Nobody likes a crazy person making a scene every time you see your friends. Stop doing that if you do. Breathing space is vital just like a Netflix marathon is. Everybody needs their own personal space. For you it might be doing nothing, for the next person it might be having a few beers at a bar downtown. OK, let me give it to you straight. Sex is not always the reason people go out. If you’re obsessing over it you’re either in the wrong relationship or you need to take your manic psychosis to a doctor’s office. That was cruel, but it applies more times than you think.

That’s all I had to say tonight, I’m gonna go back to my Selling Sunset. I cannot begin to tell you how much I adore watching these crazy bitches wearing all these beautiful clothes and walking on high heels. It relaxes me so much. Also, they never eat! It’s amazing! One of them has actually said at one episode “I’m so hungry, I wish there was some fruit” If this isn’t the most wonderful line ever, don’t know what is.

Make sure you spread the wisdom cause I’m probably waking up tomorrow, reading this and putting it in the trash. So, you have about 8 hours to gift the gift of letting your love breathe every now and then! Alright, back to my girls now.

P.S. Honey, I never pick my nose, you know that, right?

Screenshot from the movie where the guy cheated on his perfect girl with the neighbour and got her pregnant but this was fiction
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Holidays: The Return

So, here’s the thing. We just got back from the holidays (pic above) , the floor is full of dirty clothes and beach towels queueing up for a wash like tourists queue up outside a beach restroom. It’s a long line that slowly and surely my love is going to take care of cause I’m sitting here writing to you. Thank you for helping me pretend to be working and therefore avoiding any kind of chore that comes with the Return. Let’s count our losses this week:

The diet

My nutritionist gave me a list to follow that was supposed to include naughty food as the goal was not so much to lose but to not gain. Before she left last time, she made me swear not to go on the scales before Monday and this is the only order of hers I followed. To be fair, I did try but seriously, I was on the Mediterranean food paradise. Who in their right mind stays off food and alcohol? You understand that Monday is gonna be a difficult day but because I knew that, I’m having coffee with my trainer. I thought having coffee with her is a bit like exercising cause I get to see her for an hour, no food involved and we’re probably gonna sweat a lot cause it’s 95 degrees outside. I know, right? Smart.

The tanning

First few days, you look at yourself, admiring that newly acquired skin tone that hides your cellulite, your age, your black circles, goes well with all your bright clothes and generally is the best thing that happens after you endure the sun for days, emptying endless bottles of sunscreen on your poor body while sucking in your stomach because you can’t wear a one-piece if you also want to look tanned in underwear. You see there’s a lot at stake here. The problem is you have to maintain it somehow, only now you have to suck it up and go to your horrible city beach, or the balcony in which case you have to put up with your neighbour who hoses his balcony up and down and doesn’t let you enjoy your free floating stomach for a change.

The freedom

After a week at an adults-only resort, on a serene, breezy seashore, you come back to the city. Nights are hot again, the air is stuffy and the slightest noise now louder than ever. First few days, you reminisce and talk to your partner (in crime) in riddles only you two understand. After a short while, life goes back to what it was, as if you never left, like you don’t remember that life could be this amazing experience where food has a taste, where bras don’t exist, where you can cuddle in bed till midday, where other people prepare your eggs and wash your dishes, where walking barefoot everywhere doesn’t make you part of a cult.

The books

Remember I told you about the books last time? Well, of course, I bought a book and I brought a book. The book I brought was never opened and for some reason is here next to me right now, staring, shaking its head in disappointment. The book I bought, I read half cause that’s the time I had. So my updated advice is make sure the book you choose to read on holiday is around 200-300 pages long. Any longer and it kills your self-esteem. Also, buy one instead of packing one. You haven’t read it at home, you’re never gonna read it.

I have to love you and leave you now, I know you want to read more but I’m hungry, I have to pretend I care about what we eat for lunch, maybe throw a little comment along the lines of “wanna make you some pasta?” which always works wonders when our fridge is empty cause he never wants pasta for some reason and so we end up eating out. It just dawned on me that I might actually make horrible pasta…oh well...

No clothes left unwashed during the writing of this post
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Summer Holiday (useless) Preparations

The Desperate Diet

Google is on fire these days. “How to lose 9 kilos in 5 days”. You change the numbers and the metric systems and you press enter again. You act like a crazy person. Stop it. It’s too late. Either learn how to suck your stomach in, or accept your extra love handles. It’s fine. Who cares? You’ll lose it when you’re ready. You just got out from months locked at home, next to your fridge, your delivery guy’s scooter was your favourite sound. Be easy on yourself. Nothing depends on your little extra quarantine weight.

The Lingerie

The pants you never wear cause they’re so uncomfortable you swear you won’t buy their kind again but then there’s that day during ovulation and you have just watched Lopez dancing naked and you buy them again. Now you have a drawer full of them, with tags on, some oversized, some tiny, depending on the month you bought them. Your man has never seen them and when he does, he’ll probably think you lead a double life or have a night job. There’s no way to prove your innocence cause you pack them in the hope you’ll make an appearance at the holiday resort, cause that’s what they do in movies but the reality is you went out to dinner, you had too much wine and you most probably won’t even take your make up off, let alone your sexy laced underwear you had on all night, itching and squeezing and it’s now too tired to show up, just like you. Go to sleep, this was a huge mistake. It always is. 

The Coffee Press

You carry it with you everywhere cause you need a coffee, to help out your bowels and then do your job, shower and go sit by the pool for breakfast pretending that’s how you wake up, serene, fresh and carefree and that your second coffee is your first. You can enjoy it all cause you’ve taken care of your business and everybody’s happy, plus your man who is infinitely less neurotic cause he doesn’t have feminine hormones (and doesn’t create life as a consequence so is not entitled to an opinion) will have his breakfast first, and then go about his number two like a normal person by which time, the bathroom will be fresh and clear for him without any signs of human nature from your end. Genius or what?

The Books

An average holiday nowadays, if one’s lucky, is a week. Exactly how many books do you think you can read in a week? One? One is a good answer. Even that one book will need an alignment of factors to successfully conclude itself. Like, the resort is shit and you’re trying to forget about it, you had a fight with your partner and it’s a good way to ignore them, your phone battery is dead (dedicated to iphone users) and you don’t have a power bank (all iphone users do, they’re not stupid). Ofcourse there’s the highly unlikely possibility that the book is amazing but really, how many page turners do you come across in a year? What are the chances? So, again, my point, if all this is the case, you read one book. Please tell me why you have to carry five books with you and buy some more on your way? What kind of high hopes do you set on those seven days of holiday? What’s next? A summer resort for postgraduate studies? Meh…

The Skincare

Yes, sunscreen please, very important. The problem begins when you carry the whole swiss lab of cosmetology. You are never gonna use it all! Just like books, all these bottles and jars and whatnots are taking space in your luggage in vain. You haven’t used them since last summer’s online sale when you bought them, you’re not gonna use them now. You don’t live inside a commercial. Wear sunscreen, wear a day cream for extra water. The rest is a stupid purchase you made so you don’t eat that fourth piece of cake and you don’t call that loser who told you it’s not you, it’s him.

Have a lovely summer, take care of yourselves and remember to always find ways to fill your luggage, without baggage. For those who might notice, I probably won’t be posting this Sunday cause I will be on holiday myself, with small luggage, some baggage but also with much appreciation for being able to experience the Greek islands this summer. Be good and stay cool.

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On the Railroad

I am currently sitting at a fast food chain, at a train station in northern Greece. It’s two hundred degrees, I’m wearing jeans and a very tight bra. Big mistake. You’re gonna put up with me cause I have an hour to kill before I hop on the train to Athens, before I meet and talk to strangers and learn new and exciting things or old and tiring things, we will see. Which brings me to my first point. 

Be very careful who you talk to on a train

Unless you’re Antonio Banderas and you can walk on the train roof, give it a moment before you open your mouth and talk to the old lady next to you, or the pretty lady next to you, or the handsome guy looking at you like you’re candy. To anyone for that matter. There’s no escape from trains, you are seat-assigned and if stupid enough, also doomed to put up with a crazy person for hours. Wait till they speak to someone else before you attempt contact. Better yet, wait for the last twenty minutes and say something like ‘phew…we made it, it wasn’t that far/hard/bad…” whatever you can think of to get the chat going and have only a safe amount of time before you’re out free, enough however to decide if you want to see them again. Yes, I am talking about a flirty situation. Any other circumstance and you better keep to yourself. You’re not Ethan Hawke.  Read a book for crying out loud or think of all the times you messed up in life. Yep, I know there’s a lot there. Good egg…

Don’t buy food on the train

All the overpriced, stale sandwiches and bags of chips your body does not need. Pick a nice place to go when at your destination, and suck it up till you get there. Have a little snack box you already prepared. Do you see me eating a burger at the photo? No. I got coffee and I have my grandma’s meatballs in a box for later. I ain’t no fool. I could even sell a few and make a buck. Get the point? Homemade food has endless possibilities a train sandwich will never offer. 

Carry a deodorant (and use it)

Please. Do I need to say more? Apparently I do. While we’re at it sharing secrets that shouldn’t be secrets, have a shower before you set off. You’re gonna stink anyway by the time you arrive, but less. Less is better in this case. Also, please for the love of whoever you believe in, wear socks with trainers too. Yes, wear trainers. Don’t be some 1980s tourist in flip flops or sandals on a filthy train. There are so many more types of germs and viruses nowadays, daaaah! Now keep that cotton-perfumed roller going up and down your armpits, go on! Don’t forget to do it two minutes before you get off the train, especially if your love is picking you up. I’ve heard stories of people getting dumped at a station.

Choose your music wisely

Don’t make the mistake I usually do and spend every train ride of your life crying. If you’re the type that enjoys music on the road-if you’re human that is- then make sure you choose something cheerful and dynamic, something soothing and relaxing…there are options, but no matter what you do, don’t put on that soul-stabbing, heart-bleeding music that will make you travel back in time to less exciting days just for the pain of it. I know journeys are a great time for existentialism and questions like why and why not and shouldhaves and whatifs but if you also decorate it with background music you are bound to drown in tears and arrive puffy and a complete mess. Beauty is power. Snap out of it, I’ve told you so many times on this blog.

Clothe yourself properly

I cannot describe how crazy my bra is making me feel right now. Let me paint a picture for you. It’s beige, yes already extremely sexy I know. It’s German, which means efficient therefore I bought it and wear it till it falls off, but also very thick cause Germany is a cold country nine months out of twelve. It’s a bit like what new mothers wear when they breastfeed without the booby windows, you know those pockets for getting the nipples out. So really, a childless woman, in Greece, in July, with no AC due to corona….What on earth was I thinking? My German friends, please tell me how to say this in German. Girls, do yourselves a favour and free your boobies, or wear something light and sexy. Leicht und zeksyyy! (Ja, Ja, genau.)

It’s funny cause Fankhauser’s “You don’t know” is playing where I’m sitting (I shazamed it) and it’s perfect for throwing a little midday striptease show which might earn me enough for a limo ride to Athens, which would then set me free from all the above plus my stupid bra but will also make this whole article obsolete and I don’t have time to write anything else till tomorrow cause I will probably spend the next few hours talking to strangers I will then try to avoid by going to the train canteen to eat a sandwich cause my grandma’s meatballs smell too strong.

Thessaloniki, Greece in the middle of a heatwave

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Random Questions about Random Things

I was thinking the other day how some people manage to do a lot of things at the same time and how others, like me, cannot seem to focus on much. Do people enjoy being crazy busy forever? Are they forced to? They don’t know how else to be? I decided to pour myself some wine and started going through old issues of the New Yorker.

HOW DOES ONE FINISH NEW YORKER BEFORE THE NEXT ISSUE?

If you don’t already know, the New Yorker is a weekly magazine. It also features many long articles, not on the easy side. Let’s say that if your favourite book is by Coelho then you definitely cannot read the New Yorker. Sorry to be snobbish but it’s true and you’d rather I be honest. I don’t think anyone ever finishes the issue before the next, maybe they pretend to, but it’s like reading a book each week. Almost impossible to keep to it. To tell you the truth though, not everything in there is worth reading, and I say this knowing it’s gonna sound as bad as telling a 2-year-old their mother is not perfect.

HOW DO MED STUDENTS FIND TIME FOR SEX?

Med students have to go through endless pages of all things human, then clinical practice, then more exams and more hard studying. I also know for a fact they get laid a lot, mostly amongst them. Later in life, they marry each other, they cheat on each other with more doctors, and then they end up at a lawyer’s office, and that’s how the two most noble professions of the past century meet. I didn’t know I had so much to say about doctors but it’s probably because my baby brother is about to graduate from med school (sorry honey, now everyone knows you have a hectic sex life). Like he goes through med school with a natural elegance I don’t understand. Maybe he’s lying and we’re about to find out soon, when instead of reciting the Hippocrates oath, he invites us to his local bar to get us drunk before he tells us he couldn’t do it cause he likes sex too much. That would reason with me better, really.

HOW DO TEACHERS BECOME MOTHERS?

I’ve seen the superpower. So, if I get this right, dear teachers, you go through the whole day, from 8 to 4 with a bunch of other people’s children, teach them how to behave, walk, sit, wash and eat, and cover a curriculum at the same time. Then you go home and do it all over again to your own kids until they drop fast asleep around, say 9pm, and then you have an hour or two before you collapse, which you use to clean up, make love to your husbands (hmm…depending on physical courage levels) and shower. Only to do it all over again the next day and every day for at least 16 years. I just can’t… I can’t.. I’ll go cry and be right back.

HOW DO FREELANCERS MANAGE TO WORK OUT?

Is it all a lie? Do they do it just for the sake of publicity? Like, “Look at me! I have everything perfectly arranged! I work from nine to midday, I have tea (please…) I resume my whatever I do to pay the rent till 2 in the afternoon, I go jogging for an hour and then a quick shower, lunch and back to work till 7”. And they still have enough courage to cook for their loved one and have dinner together. Impeccable, shiny freakin freelancer, I don’t know how you do it. I haven’t really got up since 9 this morning to get shit done, and who cares if I missed my online pilates, I have more wisdom today than I did yesterday. (latter comment debatable)

Between us, it’s OK if you don’t read the New Yorker and you just collect it for the covers. They are wonderful covers, they make lovely frames, the pages smell like heaven and the paper feels like silk. Also, kudos to all great teachers who raise their own children as well as others’. If you are a brilliant human, don’t worry about making time for everything in a day, not all around you is real. Let’s be honest, half the burgers you see end up in the bin and half the gym clothes are for going to brunch. To conclude and go back to my wine, don’t fall in love with a doctor. Sorry brother, but you guys are terrible at being monogamous, and clinics are packed with ladies looking to marry you. 

Have a lovely week everybody. Thank you for the love. You are wonderful.

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Do What Makes you Happy

Working from home is starting to get a bit much. I don’t know how you guys do it, if you do, but I feel like getting a job at a bakery just for the fun of talking to people every day. Needless to say, I have put a lot of thought into this lately.

First of all, let’s all admit, what a wonderful job. You engage in harmless conversations, people come in knowing what they want so it’s not really hard in that sense, everyone smiles and the day goes by smoothly. At closing time, you take the good bread that you reserved for yourself, and you go home to make some grilled-cheese sandwich. Ain’t that a dream?

I mean, the whole trend with working from home is wonderful but if you’re chatty like me, you need people. Working at a bakery is perfect also because talkers get tired and go anti-social at some point. But this is not applicable here cause customers don’t stay long. It’s like casual sex. You move on to the next person, no strings attached and sometimes you see them again for another short but pleasant transaction. You don’t have to ghost them, avoid them or lie to them. They get their baguette and go. Literally.

Then you have the coffee making bakeries. I could be looking into those, too. Making coffees to go is a great trade. You get to create some latte art and wear the coolest aprons and when people ask what you do you say, I’m a barista. Sounds like you’re an advisor for the Italian mafia, a person of respect who knows their way around and has been places. If my selling bread venture fails, I’m definitely becoming a barista. It also sounds a bit like a British legal practitioner. The plan is just getting better and better…

I could even combine any of the two or both with a delivery service. Ιt could be perfect, roaming around the city on a bike and getting coffee to people who work from home, like they do now to me. My delivery guys look so happy, I look at them with envy. I also tip them well cause they save me the trouble. I mean if I do, say, 40 coffee rounds a day, and I get tipped like I tip, I get an extra day’s worth of money.

In this time in the world, and in this geography, it pays better to be serving people basic goods like bread and coffee and food. You also keep active that way, meaning slim, and enjoy some polite interaction. Jokes aside, and I say that a lot, it is a great choice that comes with more benefits than not.

Work is what you make of it and any job can give you joy. If your goal is to be genuinely happy first, then let your mind wonder a bit. Forget about other people, the social rules, the degrees you have, your parents’ dreams for you. What do you want? What do you allow yourself to dream about before you fall asleep? There you go, that’s it. Now, go about it without fear. Salaries are screwed anyway, so you might as well do what makes you happy.

As explained by Google, June 21, that is today, is when the northern hemisphere receives the most direct sunlight, which causes the day to last longer than any other day in the year. What a great day for a new frame of mind I say!

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My Oscar Nomination

I haven’t told you this yet but I was supposed to have been nominated for an Oscar by now. I don’t know why the Academy are so late. Actually, let’s be honest. Won an Oscar. I was supposed to have won an Oscar by now. For best original screenplay. Not the adapted shit. People taking somebody’s story and win an Oscar and drink champagne all night while the real creator remains a nobody watching from home in their PJs? No, not for me. I mean, I am fine with the fact that nobody will know who I am and will just use my acceptance speech time to go pee. “Who’s that old fat lady barely making it up the stage? Nice movie though…I’d never have guessed.” 

Ever get that thing where you watch a documentary and you find out about cool people who could be next to you at the super market and you wouldn’t have a clue? Like ‘wow this lady was the owner of the first gay bookshop in San Fransisco.’ If you aspire to become famous one day or you know you will, use the meantime to have as much pizza as you can. Famous people don’t eat carbs. They also don’t drink water during award season so they don’t bloat and look fat. Heard that somewhere. I am definitely not ready to quit carbs or water, if an Academy member is reading this, please give me a few more decades of pizza. Thank you.

Truth is, I haven’t written my Oscar script yet. I guess life happened. Is this an excuse? ‘Life happened.’ It sounds so cool, mysterious, existential. Something an artist would say and you think “wow…he’s so intricate…” (and then you’d fall in love with them and end up paying their rent) What happens when life happens exactly? I wonder sometimes. Is it a code phrase for I am lazy and tired and will never reach the impossible standards I set only to fail? What do you say when people ask you what you do? “Well, I’m about to get nominated for an Oscar so I’m polishing my speech”. What do you guys put off? Are you living your best life? Do you know what you want?Hmm…

Maybe it was the 90s that ruined us all. The perfect representation of perfect. The movies depicting our infinite potential and ‘anything is possible’ penetrating our being. Affluence and dreams all over the place. Julia Roberts almost making it to college using the money she made keeping company to Gere for a week whilst exercising the oldest profession in the world. Unfortunately, he climbed up the staircase with a mouth full of thorny roses so he doesn’t lose the catch with the long legs, and now we’ll never find out if pretty woman would’ve made it to Harvard. Matt Damon mopping floors despite being a genius who finally got the kismet he deserved, living life in sunny LA with the understanding, brainy, daddy’s inheritance girl. This was my teenage food. Practically raised by Hollywood, it’s natural I have my Oscar speech ready. I am of course editing things here and there every year but when I get to do it, it will be amazing. 

The thing is, you start with the best intentions and then life happens. You fall in love, you fall out of love. You earn some living, you go broke. You chase that promotion…one more slide and I’ll turn the laptop off for the night, one more draining corporate dinner and I’ll go on a diet, one more unpaid overtime and I’ll quit. I don’t know which one more is the last one. Somehow life happens and you forget about it till the next time. If only you were a prostitute on Sunset in the early 90s…things seemed so easy for her. Maybe where we are and what we do is enough. Maybe you just want to be calm, and fed, and cuddled. Whatever feels right for you is right, you know? Hope you’re having a great day, living life on your terms and feeling as happy as you allow yourself to be, dreaming as big as you dare to dream. I’m all for that. You should be too.

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The Things we Do for Love

I am not really here. I have set up the timer for this (master)piece to go public. This very minute, I am probably cursing the moment I agreed to this trip in the mountains while trying to get reception to see if the timer worked. On a serious note, I’m either hiking up a slope, or dead and buried. The second is the good scenario. Check back in a few days, I will put a picture up. If I made it, that is.

It all started when my love and I were trying to figure out where to go now that we finally can go somewhere. If you’re reading this in 2035, these are the covidays. (this little word play will be very cool in 2035) We didn’t want to be the first occupants of a hotel room and I haven’t lost the weight from the endless lockdown dinners and alcohol, as well as the quitting of the smoking (thank you, thank you) so bikini being out of the question, we left yesterday for my man’s house in the woods. 

Now, you must understand that this place is a sought-after location, everyone you mention it to makes some kind of woohoo sound. So, I am considered a very lucky girl. Only my man likes hiking and climbing and whatever it is people do when there’s a good enough slope and they have a pair of strong (and hot) legs. Me on the other hand, not that thrilled with nature altogether.

To clear the air (see what I did there? clear air?nature?), I am happy. I am probably having a great time as you’re reading this, there’s a lot of wine and some shopping of folklore things like wooden bowls and honey jars (any kind of civilisation will do at this point). The problem is my ass is too big and although I haven’t smoked in 5 months, it’s probably very challenging to take my pleasantly rounder body up a hill.

You see, the first time we went up there, we only dated for a couple of months. I was still pretending. Let me tell you, I am very convincing. If you see me in the mountains, you think my real name is Heidi. BUT! I made the mistake to be very enthusiastic, and I also spent the lockdown months saying shit like “what a shame we missed the season, we have to wait for next spring to go hiking on your beautiful mountains” I thought I was safe because who knew I would still be the shame of the seashore in June. (say ‘shame of the seashore’ three times with your mouth full of Doritos)

So here we are, as with all questionable things in life, I tried to translate it into, a good chance to lose some weight, to ground myself (some yoga trend I saw on YouTube), to make nice bouquets of flowers, to buy some local produce to stuff my cupboards for the summer. It doesn’t sound half bad, right?

It probably worked lying to myself and I have done all these things and I have had a great time, jokes aside. But wouldn’t you agree that the best place in life is sitting at a busy-street café, like in Le Marais in Paris or East Village in Manhattan (you get the point) smelling good, sipping your beautiful coffee (ugh! coffee is the best), watching  people go by, your shopping under the chair, friends gather and you just laugh your way to wine o’clock when all the little boutiques start closing for the day as the sun goes down. Isn’t what you just read like a massage to your soul? (sigh)

Here’s to the things we do with those we love, to the memories we make with our people, to beautiful sunrises over the mountain tops and to wine with friends on sunsets. Here’s to all people getting a chance to witness what the world has to offer, regardless of colour, of who they love, what God they do or don’t believe in, and how big or small their ass is. Here’s to life in high and low altitudes and here’s to you still reading this, you are wonderful.

UPDATE: I made it back, see proof below:

Yes, we made it up there!

Previous Masterpieces

Breakfast

Deconstructing breakfast, the most important meal of the day

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The Love you Know

The fantasy love

You start off young and innocent. Your sole reference of love is through movies, songs and Chalamet’s latest paparazzi photos (or Brad Pitt for the old and tasteful). You go to bed dreaming of scenarios that haven’t happened yet. You are in love with the love to come, sweep you off your feet, handsome and kind, with eyes only for you. He is also ideally older, he is artistic yet logical, he has a job but he windsurfs half the year. He loves travelling but he enjoys pizza and a movie at home. You get the point. He’s fictional. His mission is to keep your appetite for love alive till you actually fall in love. He serves his purpose, he’s not just a pretty face. Well…

The first love

Take a moment and blow a kiss towards the direction of you first official boyfriend. If you just did that it means you know where he is, which means he is not that exciting, which means good thing you’re not still together. I never understood how two people can be together from their teen years till death. Is this still a thing outside African tribes or remote Mongolian villages? Don’t you guys change along the way? Don’t you acquire a taste for new things? No curiosity for the world around you? Yes, I’m talking to you, not the chief of the Amazon. Obviously, why would one leave the Amazon or the African tropical forests? 

The unavailable love

It usually finds you in your late twenties. If you don’t learn, it might still be visiting you in your thirties, and then risk getting used to it. Ideally, the unavailable love is there to make you a better person towards yourself. It is a spell you need to break to find happiness. It comes and goes in your life without guilt, you are always in agony you might lose it for good, you bend over backwards to please it, to change it, to win it over. Everybody feels sorry for you, but they never tell you. Even though it probably doesn’t deserve you, you believe it’s the best you’ll ever find. Needless to say, it never works out. Grow up.

The good love

The love that makes your heart grow and little yellow flowers spring out of it with the most delicious perfume, singing a pretty tune. Good love is free of stress. Good love never makes you question whether it’s real. Good love is quiet and selfless. It’s light and comforting and cuddles you like a baby. Good love is easy if you’re ready, hard if you think you don’t deserve it. Good love always says, “don’t worry if you fall, I will catch you.” If you’re there, it means you have been through the bad shit, and you could finally see good love. It means you love yourself. Take care of good love when you find it.

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The quotes plague

I’m a fraud today, I could try to convince you I’m worth your while, but maybe you should read something else.  If you’re still here, you must know this has nothing to do with Camus. I googled ‘famous quotes’ and got the 100 most popular. I don’t know who decides, maybe it’s Google statistics, maybe some hairdresser reporting from the field, maybe they count the stickers on gym mirrors and offices around the world. You can already tell I’m biased cause I am. Let me show you why.

The greatest glory in living, lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Nelson Mandela did not say this on a Monday back at the gym after a lazy Sunday watching Netflix and eating burgers. He was in prison for 27 years, 18 of which without a bed or plumbing. (yes, take your time) So, please stop abusing the poor man next time you post a selfie showing off your biceps and new tights made from organic microfibre cotton that keeps your sweaty derriere pores unclogged.

“…If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” I laugh with this one, like I secretly laugh at all my rich relatives who complain about the bill on their eight-course dinners the morning after. PLeeeease people! And Oprah girl…what is it you look at that you don’t have? Let me come over so we can look at it together. And then she goes on to say the one that makes me think of her employees with compassion. “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.” It seems everyone is on the same boat with Oprah, working and barely making the rent. Don’t we all feel blessed? I’ll leave it to that.

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Mother Teresa, you sound like my teabag messages. By all means, come over for dinner, I’d love to make you happy. Don’t mind me, I can listen to you complain about your love life, your work, your unpaid electricity bills. Bring your friends too, I can find something for them to feel happy over. Maybe the jeans I grew out of during quarantine. What about me Mother? Is Mother even your real name? Have people in the CIA ever checked with anyone about this? 

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” Sorry to have to break it to you Helen Keller, you are blind. Also, very sleek how you slid the sense of touch in there so we don’t accuse you of bias. I believe 2020 Brad Pitt is one of the most beautiful things in the world and surely someone is touching and seeing him. If only I knew who so I can sell it to the tabloids and get rich. Blind Helen’s quote reminds me of when my mum wouldn’t allow me Cola as a child. I’d go around to people drinking it, looking at them in disgust (yes, very adorable little girl), saying ‘How do you drink this thing?” By the way, thanks mum, less cellulite than any one I know, but what an annoying snobbish little brat you made.

But then comes Mr Lama who says “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.“Yes, Dalai, that’s what I’m saying..If you’re not happy then everybody will leave and trust me, they won’t be happy either. Hear that Mother? Could someone from the CIA contact me? It still doesn’t sound like a real name. “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” said Bob Marley once, sitting under a palm tree, watching the ocean, loving the life he lived. I’ll have what he was having. I’m sure I’ll love the life I live then too.

Disclaimer: I might be extra grumpy this Sunday, I’m on a diet. Bear with me, cause “Every day is a new beginning”.

Another abused quote nobody ever believed about themselves

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Breakfast

They chased you to have it, you didn’t care about it. You threw it away when they weren’t looking. You eventually grew to love it and now it’s what gets you up when the alarm goes off, OK maybe after coffee. There are some people who claim that they can’t eat anything first thing in the morning but we’re not going to refer to them, they’re not humans.

Perhaps the most popular breakfast is a slice of bread with something. No matter where you are in the world, you can get bread with something. Jam, marmalade, syrup, cheese, nutella, you name it. You have it at home, at hotels, you toast it, you grill it, you have it as it is. Bread is the friend you call and they’re always there. Not the exciting friend, but the one who always helps. The one who sticks around for life. The boring but trustworthy friend. That’s your bread. Treat it well.

I know you thought cereal would be my most popular breakfast, but no. Cereal is what you eat when you think you eat healthily, when the almond milk in the fridge is about to expire, when you wanna have some coco pops (I wish I got paid for this, I have spent so much on you damn coco pops, give me something back!) Anyway, you get the point. Ever since cereal have been accused of high sugar and salt, they’ve been downgraded to guilty pleasure category. So they threw in some fruit, but everybody knows that fruit is not breakfast. Fruit is fruit. So, yeah, way to go food industry geniuses. 

And don’t get me started with granola. Granola made her appearance in popular culture about fifteen years ago. It was there before, yes, but not everybody had it. It’s still cereal but somehow sounded cooler. Read this in Paris Hilton voice. ‘I’ll have a granola bar, I had my granola, did you put some granola? Let me grab my granola and go. Gotta get me some granola’. I think we’ve worn out granola in our lives as much as I have abused it in this paragraph. Nuff said about granola, it’s not extraordinary anymore, just like kale. They’re probably somewhere together, having drinks, sharing stories, crying on each other’s shoulder.

Let’s all stand up for our next guest. The omelette. How many times have we set all our hopes and dreams on the omelette? She is the versatile queen that gets us closer to our goal. That bikini body, that dress size, that I-will-not-get-hungry-for-the-rest-of-the-day-with-this. You have it with spinach and ricotta, you have it with avocados and peppers. You have it with two yolks and four whites. One yolk, three whites for the daring math lovers amongst us. You sometimes cheat and you slip a little slice of bread under her (oops). For our vegan friends, you have it with that egg replacement that comes in plastic. I have it with cheese and maple syrup and lovely guilt-free bread. Hooray!

OK, I know I have to say something about all the shakes and the pancakes and you think I’m crazy putting the two opposites together but let me stop you right there and tell you these two have more in common than you think. More than half of social media videos is of skinny people, who love pancakes and pretend they eat them. These same people, are also the ones who prepare protein shakes every morning with frozen berries and vanilla extract.

To get even more confusing, they put up photos of themselves indulging on pancakes, only the fork never touches their mouths and we never learn what happens to the pancakes like we never learned what happened to Brad Pitt after he shot Kevin Spacey in Se7en. (If this is a spoiler, you’re too young, probably eating fruit for breakfast, in which case I’m old and bitter and glad I ruined it for you) What I meant to say is that pancakes and shakes have been abused by their eaters and pretend-eaters and they’re better left alone. They can go find granola and kale. Form a therapy group. Have AA meetings for Abused and Abandoned foods. 

Well, what’s left to say when nothing’s left to say? Maybe some clichés? Like breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Eat in the morning like a king? Eat breakfast to get your metabolism going? Really? Some people have bacon for breakfast. Their metabolism has packed her bags and gone. I’m not the one to judge, but be careful what you eat cause it sort of determines the rest of the day. Unless it’s a Sunday, or a bank holiday, or somebody’s birthday, or an anniversary. I’m sure we can find something for each day. Whatever you do though, stop watching those what-I-have-for-breakfast videos. They’re made by aliens. You know, the ones who can’t eat anything first thing in the morning.

Sunny breakfast at Les Palettes, Annecy, France
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The consumer you’re trying not to be (but you are)

The demanding buyer

You know those times you want to buy something but you don’t really want to buy it so you’re lying to yourself thinking “I will buy this coffee machine when they make it in blue, with red dots and matching ceramic mugs. It’s exactly what I need” Never going to happen. You don’t want to buy it. You can wait till it wakes you up in the morning and brings you the coffee in bed if you want. You don’t want to buy that coffee machine. Close the window. Go to sleep. Stop lying to yourself.

The perfect life

Then there’s the aspiration purchase. The things you want to buy cause you want to start doing something you saw in a movie. “I want to buy this pan to make crepes on Saturdays when we relax on the sofa having coffee.” First of all, the one who makes the crepes, doesn’t relax unless they are actually in a movie. They are on the pan, watching the dough, making sure it’s out on time. Second of all, if you really have an uncontrollable urge to make crepes, you don’t need a special pan. Not all people have a special pan but they still make crepes. Move on. This pan is not for you. Also, you sound pathetic.

The e-shop gambler

I have this theory. If you wait long enough, the Sephora site will go up to 50% off and that’s when you’re going to go on there and finally buy all the products you’ve had in your basket for weeks. The beauty sites actually cause a domino effect. If one drops the prices, they all do. Like cheerleaders hating each other.  It’s beautiful.  Keep repeating the affirmation ‘I don’t need you; you need me. I have nothing to lose, I can wait forever’ It works, really. Eventually the prices do go down. It wasn’t you though, they would have done it regardless. Sorry to spoil the magic. 

The influencer trap

My all-time favourite is the thing you think you want to buy cause someone else has it. You’ve watched that gorgeous vlogger put that honey oil on her hair one too many times and oh does she look good. Let’s clear the air here. Paying eighty dollars to get her hair oil is not automatically going to make you her. The oil, as expensive as it might be, will not give you the perfect body/house/lifestyle. It’s not the oil you want. So, stop eating those cookies at midnight and go run it off. Are you choosing to remember her perfect hair routine but intentionally forgetting she eats only kale? It’s all a lie! She’s not that happy either. And I’m sorry to break it to you but her products don’t deliver in your geography. See? Fundamentally wrong. Move on.

My pretty coffee mug, bought on impulse

Dedicated to my mum who taught me to only buy pretty things. Happy Mother’s Day!

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The younger sibling, a spaghetti western

I know I know, what a cliché! Nobody cares! Well, some people care. I care. I know most of you secretly care. Anyway, I need to vocalize to heal so I’m gonna go for it. 

I am six years older than my first brother. (This is a nice first-grade sentence Nat, what a start.) He was actually born when I was in first Grade. It was November and that piece of information shouldn’t matter at all had it not been the day in November before my birthday. That’s right. I should have known right there and then that things were about to change. The day before my sixth birthday is when the rest of my childhood birthdays would end. Shared cakes, candles, presents and pocket money, parties with sweaty two-year olds running around, the works! 

It was a long time ago, many of the things that could get social services at your doorstep, were absolutely fine back then. Like five-year-olds buying cigarettes and beer. We even returned the beer bottles for something like 2 cents a bottle as soon as we could count. I feel old writing this but also lucky to have witnessed that era but also even older now that I wrote about how lucky I feel. Anyway.

He was supposed to take over the chores from me. Finally after 10 years of rounds to the super market I was ready for a promotion. To my surprise, he knew his rights by instinct. He said no to all the chores, he never carried beer bottles or bought cheese. He only went to the local grocery store to buy chocolate or ice cream for himself and that was that. He was well ahead of his time. I admire him for that now. I wanted him returned to sender back then.

First of all, he doesn’t know how lucky he was to have me. I had nobody, OK? No inspiration, no role model, nobody to steal a car from to take my friends for a ride before I even had a license. Nobody to get me into clubs, nobody to give me love advice. Nobody to kick. Nobody. He came along and it was like I accumulated all this wealth of knowledge and all this wisdom just to pass it on to him for free from Day 1. And what did he do? When he was old enough to hold his number two, he got all the meatballs our grandma hid in the oven for when he showed up.

I’m sure he is enjoying all the attention he is getting right now because that’s what the younger siblings’ middle name is: Attention. Either too much or the lack of. Attention in the good things and no attention at all in other things like what time they got home, why they need all this money, which friend is in their room. Things are even better for them if the first child has been an angel, in which case she has. Then parents are even more clueless cause they don’t realise how many things could have gone wrong. 

You see, the second baby is royal. They are the I-will-do-it-right-this-time babies. And they know it. The second baby always knows they have it good. That’s why they usually just eat and sleep. Cause they know they got nothing to prove. They are there to be marvelled and spoilt. End of story.

According to Adler (Wikipedia), the Austrian psychiatrist, firstborns are “dethroned” when a second child comes along, and this loss of perceived privilege and primacy may have a lasting influence on them. With all due respect, before you shameless secondborns reading this start calling me on my issues, I would like to send a message to Mr Adler or his grand-children more like that I do not belong to this category. I have no issues with my dethronement, I’m just writing a public article about it a few decades later.

Tomorrow marks the first day we are free to go out after two months in quarantine. I’ve already planned what I’m baking to celebrate.  My brother is coming over. I’m probably gonna cry. He’s not. He’s gonna laugh at me crying over seeing him. That’s what younger siblings do.  You pave the way and they laugh at you and then they eat all the cake you made but you still love them to death. This is how it is and how it will always be. And it’s fine by me as long as he stops to fetch some beer on his way here.

I swear I’m not pulling his hair back there.
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On marriage

When my grandma was presented with her husband-to-be one evening, she packed a bag and ran for the hills (almost). She woke up the morning after and quietly made her way to the next village where the train station was (and still is).

My grandma might have been on to something. Something that had to stay dormant for another generation because her parents had a horse carriage. They caught her before she had a chance to hop on the next train to freedom.

Her only consolation was that my grandpa was tall and handsome with green eyes. He looked like an old Hollywood dream. Like the Greek edition of Clark Gable minus the weird moustache. (Just when you thought Gable couldn’t get any better) This was 1955 after all.

Arrangements aside, I believe -and you can pretend to be expressing my opinion and not yours- that every woman wants to get married when they love somebody. Not to own them so much, as to feel they belong, like under Law. At least, they want to get asked. To be given a chance to say no even.The classic case of ‘I don’t wanna marry him, I want him to want to marry me’. I know you’re smiling right now cause you know what I’m talking about.

Once, a long time ago, I got so pissed off at my boyfriend for not asking, I went and bought my own ring. He never found out. I thought, “I’ll get my own ring. I love me.” Of course when he started showing commitment, it was too late. There’s a window for stuff like that. There’s a fast-approaching expiry date too. Men, read this part again please.

I believe we pretend not to care about marriage to prove we’re cool and avoid coming across as pushy and needy. A girlfriend of mine has a box with baby shoes. He doesn’t know. They’ve been together for 14 months. Maybe he’s reading this.

I also believe men genuinely do not care. It’s like dessert. You ask them if they want any, they say no. Ten minutes later you bring it to them and they eat it. Men are that simple. I love men for that.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to put on a gown and drag him to the city hall or some church or something. You’re not cake. I just mean don’t take it personally if they don’t ask. It’s not that they don’t want to marry you. They do. They just haven’t thought about it. See? Men are simple. And by simple here, I mean stupid.

My grandma’s marriage lasted till death did them part. Of course she’s still with us, going strong at 87 which proves men rather be dead than married. Also, this is not what I wanted to write about today but the news was on about how many wedding guests you’re allowed to have now and apparently the limit is 250. So I guess it’s important to you guys to get married. Not to me, obviously. I’m just the girl who bought her own ring. Cause I love me. Go ahead. Repeat daily and stay safe.

11.05.1966
She seems to have taken it well, 11 years in.
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Living together; the struggles of true love

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. I live with the perfect guy. I do, it’s true. Not because he’s gonna read it (he doesn’t read everything I write, it’s called self-preservation) but he truly is perfect cause he always allows my drama to unfold before his eyes, enduring it stoically. So I will be writing this piece with sincerity and boldness like a champion.

Now, about you. If you have decided to move in with your partners, congratulations. I don’t mean it entirely ironically. It takes some balls cause we are talking about settling on some pretty basic stuff here. We’re talking about bowel movements, alcohol cravings, spontaneous crying and sudden existential crises. In other words, all things essential.

Also, the little things. Like you can’t go to bed without brushing your teeth cause they’ll think you’re disgusting. It takes a few months before you rebel against your perfect image and say to hell with it, I’m bored. Same as the first morning you don’t make your bed or you don’t do the dishes before they get home. If you’re there, well done you! You are finally yourself!

Chances are though, you still pretend on some things. Like you pretend you’ve always recycled glass. Paper is one thing, but glass takes extra commitment cause you need to wash it more thoroughly, it takes up space and it’s heavy to carry. Also, glass recycling bins don’t come as often. You’re thinking to yourself, isn’t paper enough? Paper saves trees, what does glass save? Where does it even come from? Seriously I have no clue.

Recycling has nothing on food though. Especially when you’re really hungry and you decide to make an omelette sandwich. Only now you have to ask them too if they want one, which of course they do cause who in their right mind says no to an omelette sandwich. So now you have to wait longer to eat, you make theirs first to show you care and also because you don’t want to have yours cold. Always start before you feel famished. That’s my advice.

We can beat around the bush for hours but by far the biggest problem in a cohabitation situation is the fart. The one you so desperately need to get out of you but can’t. I don’t know what level of intimacy you need to reach in order to let this one free but I haven’t reached it yet. I sometimes sneak a few short ones when he’s on the phone so clearly not listening for anything else around him (yes, I’m at the mastery level of control, I am able to customise the duration). When he snores I can slip a few staccatos in between his mezzo fortes. Farting is important to me obviously and we should talk about it more often and more openly.

What is also pretty hard, is if you are a natural born drama queen. As a sole apartment occupant, you opened a bottle of wine for yourself, put some heavy eyeliner on, wore a satin red robe with nothing underneath, some Edith Piaf in the background and walked around the rooms drinking and crying till you got thick smudgy black lines running down your cheeks at which point it was imperative to go stand by the window, stare at the pink evening sky and wonder whether your best days are behind you and if this is your best life. Now think of the above with your man in the house. I know, right? Ridiculous.

The other thing I realised lately is the bed myth. You are not sleeping in a double bed. No. A double bed is when you have double the size of a single bed all to yourself. You are in a single bed my dear and you haven’t realised. You’re 12 again. You feel tense and uncomfortable and you cannot put your leg on a 90-degree angle. Unless he gets up earlier than you in which case you get a few hours of stretching bliss say between 6-8am.(you can also fart during these hours) Other than that, the starfish sleeping days are O-V-E-R. Sorry.

I was thinking of forgetting about this article all together this morning when he came to bed to wake me up and then he turned the coffee machine on and left my favourite mug there for me to pour some …I felt guilty for trashing all that for a few farts and a stretch in bed. But it’s true, it’s all true, you just don’t care as much anymore, you enjoy it the days you can still have it like when he goes out (in the normal realm of things) or when he’s on a trip or something. The truth of the matter though is that there’s nothing like the arms you love around you when you share the couch for a movie. If only he could sometimes scoot over a few more inches and turn the volume up a bit so I can finally fart.

This is the safe distance if you need to fart while he’s on the phone.

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Never lend a book and other stories…

So, I’ve been thinking…I recently put together a few of those ugly IKEA shelves, you know, the ones everybody has in one colour or another.I put them up and created a little wall space for books. Books I love and want to look at on my way from the sofa to the dining room table. Books my friends will consider pretty sophisticated when they visit. Books that make me feel good just for having. I’m kidding. Sort of.

Jokes aside, I read most of them some of them if we’re honest…there’s one however, I’ve put off forever. A book I will open on my deathbed just to prolong the inevitable. ‘I’m not ready to leave this life just yet, I haven’t finished David Foster Wallace!’…even his name is long. One thousand seventy nine pages in the smallest font. I’m writing this in words so the number doesn’t scare you. Like many fools out there, I’m thinking of taking on this daunting task during quarantine but even this won’t last long enough for me to finish. Long being the operative word here..We’ll see…

Generally, books are the item you are socially allowed to love and shit all over its identity at the same time. They’re perfect saucers, balancing laptops high enough to watch the movie based on your book, put under rocking furniture, holding doors open, keeping doors shut. I’ll stop now cause I don’t like embarrassing books. I love books. I love them especially cause each book has a story. (this must be a term in literature)

There’s always the one you bought cause a lover was reading. Let me tell you, he wasn’t. He was pretending to read cause you were pretending to be an avid reader. That’s why it didn’t work out between you two and now you’re stuck with his stupid book. Then there’s that book you bought from JFK before boarding cause it would be so cinematic to read something sophisticated like a Barthes or a Foucault and ponder on life at 38,ooo feet. While in reality, the baby won’t stop crying at the seat behind you, the flight is bumpy and you have exhausted your limit of in-flight booze while maxing out your credit card buying bracelets off the plane magazine, all at a desperate attempt to soothe yourself.

My favourite kind of book though is the one you’re so guilty about, you hide in the bed drawer. You read it cover to cover in 14 hours straight and you remember everything. Every couple of years you take it out and read it again just to relive the story. It’s trash. It’s a trashy book. OK, there are no trashy books (well) but let’s say that having read it doesn’t make you Fran Lebowitz. You know it and I know it and you know I know cause I’ve done it too.And if you’re bold enough, like I am, you’ll put it on your shelf between the Franzens and the Murakamis pretending you don’t need to pretend.

So I put these shelves together, which I now love, with my half-read collection that I’m not guilty about. I’ll keep buying cause books are beautiful and I can’t believe I have gone on for so long without falling into the cliché Waters quote. Let me just take it a step further and tell you this as cringe-worthy as it may sound. If they don’t have books, fuck them anyway cause you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (told you, cringey). Anyway you didn’t go there to read, did you?

If it works out, buy them some. Just make sure you don’t lend. If you lend books, it’s like a curse. They never return. Not to your friend, not to the person who saved your life. Buy them again and gift them if you must. If you lend them you have to buy them again anyway. So, please, trust me on this one and never lend books. Or sofas, but that’s a completely different story. Another time.

I know you’re looking for my guilty pleasure right now.