30 October 2008

The Guys from the Caravan

New favourites - a Lisbon band:

My friend Daniel has designed their CD cover & sleeve, which is how I found them - and they're worth listening to! Proper feelgood music. You can find out more

22 October 2008

Another "dear blank"

Dear Mathias

I'm sorry I couldn't hold your hand going to school this morning, but with five children and only two hands it just wasn't your turn.

I'm also sorry I yelled at you, even though you stayed behind and made me run back to get you. There was enough time and all you really wanted was to hold my hand.
So sorry!


16 October 2008

Nightmares IV

This is the classic one. I dreamt it years ago, but I remember it vividly. Now, I've read somewhere that we only ever dream in black & white, but this was so distinctly black & white - like an old movie, so different from my other dreams / nightmares - I have come to the conclusion this was an exception.
It even had a soundtrack. Cue Mafia music...

We're in a stable. Large one. (Very Godfather-like, actually, only I had never seen Godfather at that time, and had actually never even been to a stable - but anyway...) I'm not there - luckily! There are two guys there. One is just hanging around, it seems, chatting. He carries a rifle, but that seems to be part of the job. There's nothing dramatic about the scene. The other one is preparing to have a bath in an old zinc tub.

All the time they're chatting idly - possibly they're brothers. Or working partners. Or something of the sort. The bather gets into the tub, sits down on his knees. Or stands on his knees, more precisely, there's no room to sit. (The tub's on a table, just like in this photo...)

Change of angle - the camera man (who must have been there, anyway, this is my nightmare!) goes past the first man to get a good shot at the bather. His friend puts his rifle down. Picks up an axe and goes over to the tub.

Loud music. Very dramatic all of a sudden.

The man with the axe says something, we can't hear him for the music, but the bather looks a little surprised. Then his puts out his cigarette, smiles friendly (really!) and plunges the axe into the bather's left thigh. Thick, red, curdling blood trickles out. (You'd expect it to pour out, but it didn't. Was too thick.) But that's not what woke me up. Not the blood, or the shock of 'why?'.

The music died the instant the axe was lifted and it was his scream, the bather's insane cry of pain that woke me up. I can hear him still.

15 October 2008

The Aging Meme

From EllasDevil
Rules: All you have to do is either finish the sentence or fill in the blanks...

At a certain age women should: stop trying to look 17.
At a certain age men should: start shaving their ears!
When I was a kid I thought I: would be world famous by now...
Now that I am older I wish: that I'll stay un-famous!
You know you are too old to party when: there's football on TV and it's a lot more tempting.
You know you are too young to retire when: your mortgage is still larger than your house.
When I was in high school I listened to the music of: U2, Sting and de Lillos.
Nowadays I find I like the music of: Rufus Wainwright - U2, Sting and de Lillos  :)
On my last birthday I: probably had too much cake and a sugar rush, 'cause I can't remember anything...
On my next birthday I want to: be surrounded by friends and family! (Wait, I think I was last year too..?)
The best birthday present I ever got was: one of many - which one to choose!
The first time I felt grown up was: when I could admit to my own flaws without flinching.
The last time I felt like a kid was: today, around lunch. And yesterday. And ...
When I read "Roots" by Alex Haley (at 12) it changed my life.
Last year was: surprising!
Next year I hope: the world hasn't changed too much.


Ireland's President is in town - Oslo is full of Irish flags, and flowers in Irish colours - I love it!

And Monday Martha Wainwright was in town! (Yes, she's Rufus' sister, but her music is her own!) Her concert was truly amazing - what a voice! You can see her perform on her own blog, if you want a sample... And afterwards, there was a meet & greet. See, we're practically sisters ! And yes, that's an R.E.M. T-shirt I'm wearing...

13 October 2008

Quote of the day (18)

Been listening to Tom Lehrer a lot lately, like (re-)discovering a fountain of youth! Amongst his many nice and accurate quotes is this gem:
Life is like a sewer - what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!

12 October 2008

Insanity streak

Or insanity vein, rather!

Thursday the Manchester International Festival revealed its 2009 programme, which includes (to no surprise for some of us...) Rufus Wainwright's new opera Prima Donna. Friday tickets went on sale at 10 AM GMT. 

At 9 AM (GMT) there were a lot of us anxiously waiting for it to open, typing messages to and fro as we did so, and laughing hysterically at anything. Really, you had to be there! (And you were, I guess, at least had the opportunity to, as this insanity went online...) Then it turned 9:58 - lines were open!

... For about half an hour or so, noone spoke (or "spoke", as it were), then messages started trickling in, where they'd got seats and so on. Neither of my browsers (Explorer and chrome) would let me do the final bank confirmation (aaaaaaaarghhh!!) so even though I got to reserve seats a number of times, I just couldn't buy them.

Panic time.

Then ... One of the boardies had bought too many! I got just the ones I wanted  :)  And then insanity really hit - all of us ticket holders screaming (silently, online) and shouting of gleeee! 
So much joy - and then we're all meeting up at the opera - next July...

Yes. I'm planning next year's summer already, and it does not include my family - but involves almost all of my "online family". It's not just the music. Or the man. It's what he means - and that's more than you might think or guess, even. If you have a look at these posts you'll know how someone's lives have changed forever! And if that's not insane, I don't know what is!  :)

Nightmares III

This one could be (or possibly was!) cut out from an American B-movie about the civil war. It's raining... We're all outside, ploughing or some such thing. There's mud everywhere. I'm just a child, but I'm working too. We're talking about how noone will come to our assistance, it's too dangerous. Everything's a little unclear at this point...

Then a stranger walks up to us. A soldier, with a full beard. He tells us he's the only backup we'll have, no others volunteered.

Then the others appear. An enemy troop. Some neighbours scuttle off into the woods or elsewhere, the rest of us go inside. The house is quite big, and has a huge basement. Metre-thick brick walls. We go into the den. Around it, somehow (it's a dream, after all...), is thick mud. We can walk through it, breathe in it and see through it -- and so can the enemy, but they can't see us while we're in the mud. 

The downside is, our weapons don't work in the mud, but theirs will... Everyone goes into the weapon room, shut all doors and wait for the enemy to break down the doors. Everyone but me, that is. I stand outside (in that mud moat, remember?!) and watch them come nearer. There are lots of them. We're just a handful. And it's only a matter of time before they're through. 

I'm only 8. And I realise my entire family, my friends and myself will be tortured and killed, lying face down in mud and blood, before nightfall.


I swear, I only ever read happy books and think happy thoughts, so what are these??

07 October 2008

Nightmares II

This may not sound as a nightmare to you, but try replacing Rufus Wainwright with one of your ideals, or a family member / friend you really appreciate... (Incidentally, one morning I told the kids I had woken up early because I had a nightmare - "did Rufus miss a note?" Jakob asked. Cheeky kid ;)
- I'm at a gathering, a café, perhaps? There are loads of us, I think we've all just been to a Rufus concert, we're all big fans, and we're having a wonderful time. One of the other 'boardies' pull me aside and wants to tell me what he does for a living. He's been on the board for a long time, so I feel in awe he wants to talk to me.

He pulls my arm a little harder, pulls me a little closer (I know he's not hitting on me, like a good portion of the male boardies he's gay, but still it's a little awkward). Then he tells me he's a Rufus impersonator. I find it a little hard to believe, he's not exactly the spitting image, but he goes on to elaborate. And though I can't remember the details when I wake up, I know he told me how he infiltrated everywhere that Rufus goes, all the people Rufus see -- and does an excellent job at being a bad Rufus.

In short, I realise that before long, Rufus will lose his career, his boyfriend, his fans and - worst of all - his ability to compose. And I wake up in a sweat, out of breath, and literally nauseous.


Why do all these mad people show up in my dreams?

06 October 2008

with feet bigger than me, but...

Jakob is almost 11. He's a big boy, tallest in his class. I inherit his shoes now... He's also big brother of four, and - when he puts his mind to it - helpful to both them and us.

So sometimes I almost forget -

- that he says 'Aaaah' when he pauses his tooth-brushing to spit - it's from we used to brush them and he had to signal us somehow.
- that he thinks about bad things at night and can't sleep. Like the dead bird we found outside (we buried it in a box, with lots of flowers, and the print "thank you for being so sweet, little birdie, fly safely to heaven!"), or a polar bear that didn't catch a seal (we watched it on TV), or anything bad that could happen to either of us...

- that he needs to sit on my lap and cuddle too, even if he's big and strong and the others beat him to it...

Still he reminds me of these things, still he tells me what he feels and what he needs. I hope he will always do that!

Life wouldn't be half as much fun without!

It's half time. Liverpool's 2-0 down. Hubby's away, but Jakob (10) and I have been 'watching' the game**). We're really grumpy... Jakob half blames one of his brothers for the defeat that seems to be unavoidable - after all, didn't the brother just laugh? Unrelatedly, possibly, but still - laugh, at this hour?!! 

"Why did I become a Liverpool fan?!!!" Jakob exclaims - in real agony!

As if it wasn't enough, Ronnie just played the final of Shanghai Masters and lost. Just. It's that kind of day.

I yell at the kids for making too much noise (they're not, not really) and decide to start changing the linen. Only I can't, can I, I have to hit the refresh button every two minutes (or more) to see if there could be hope, if a text won't just ...

55 minutes - it's a goal! Torres! That wonderful Spaniard... Jakob and I look at eachother and hold our breaths. More breath-holding as City (today's enemy!) has one player sent off at 67 minutes. 73 minutes - another goal! Torres again!! I have to go down and get towels for the kids in the bath, but my mood is better and I don't tell them off for yelling (they are!)...

Skrtel (our man) has to be carried off the pitch at 86 minutes and we're down to 10 man as well. 6 minutes added time - and then Kuyt!! WE WIN!

"That's why I'm a Liverpool fan!!!" Jakob cries with glee, as we embrace eachother. 

How dull must life be if you don't like football?

**)We haven't got the right TV channels for it, so 'watching' means following the live text on bbc or the Guardian or some such place!

01 October 2008

Nightmares I

I'm in a big city. (Probably American, and inspired by all the police series I actually don't watch, but that are inevitably advertised in between the football matches I do see...) It's late, I hear sirens, and I'm thinking of the number of recent murders in the city. Evidently I'm some kind of detective. I turn a corner, and there he is - the serial killer we've been hunting for weeks! A woman in his arms still, dead no more than a minute. Strangled by him. Then he turns to look at me, slowly. It's my father! He smiles at me and says "this was no. 40. Happy 40th, my dear!"

- I wake up with a pounding heart, and for 10 minutes I can't think straight. My father, though no saint, has always been nice to me and a good friend. And now, a raving lunatic... I see my whole life go to pieces! Eventually I realise it was just a dream.

Gee, who'd have thought turning 40 would be that scary, huh?


And sadly, rather accurate...