Welcome to Love von Beauty von Love!

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In the beginning there was … Love & Beauty & Life & Light & Spark  & Prosperity & Style & Soul & Bliss & Happiness & Wonder & Joy & Courage & Vision & Solidarity & Childhood & Freedom & Dream & Faith.

And then their step-brothers and step-sisters – hatred, lust, death, darkness, poverty, plague, immorality, scandal, despair, expectation, sorrow, envy, blindness, ego, greed,  cynicism, grievance, hunger, terror, fear, bullies –  made room and started messing things up … all for a reason, a very basic reason: to make our life more worth treasuring, every single day, every single moment.

I started this blog from a purely egocentric need: a need to remind myself of beauty and love.

In the beginning there was … Love & Beauty & …whatever we wish for!

“Baltazar and Blimunda” by Jose Saramago

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My “To read all authors on the Nobel Prize for Literature list” brought me to 18th century Portugal. Jose Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literarure in 1998. 

“Every man follows his own path in search of grace, whatever that grace might be” is the central idea of his “Baltazar and Blimunda” book. The book narrates in details the times of King Dom Joaa and of Padre Bartolomeu Lourenco de Gusmao, a historic figure and a pioneer of aviation. It is the story of “one handed solder who ironically became a manufacturer of wings”. Phrases like this had me spellbound from the first page. 

I was mesmerised by the central feminine character – not the queen, but an extraordinary ordinary women – Blimunda. Her mother was burn for witchcraft and she had a special gift of seeing what others do not see and the ability to collect the wills of dying. When the “wings” – the flying machine they built together with Padre Bartolomeu – took him away from her into the unknown she keeps looking for him, to find him in Lisbon, after nine years of continuous search throughout the entire country, in a procession leading to a fire burned by the inquisition. 

The book demands patience. It took me months of reiterated reading and putting it down. The “search of grace”, as we know it, is a painful process. Or at least humans are skilful at making it painful. Due to this and very long phrases, it is a challenging reading. It was the first time i read a book written in this style, and it was worth it every single page. 

Roses

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Orangerie Park in Strasbourg is home to many wonderful plants and flowers. Its greenhouses supply flowers for the entire city of Strasbourg. My kid told me about it. Her class had a day trip at Orangerie, organised by her wonderful teacher. 

The roses round is one of my favourite places in Orangerie. It’s a meditation spot with generous colours, perfumes and tactile experiences. The roses petals velvety touch is a wonderful feeling for fingers otherwise in contact with key boards and touch-screens. 

You can hear roses play. Why else would they give them names of composers: Chopin or Tchaikovski. You get to walk among royalty: Sissi, Josephine, Prince de Monaco, Princess of Walles and laugh with Louis de Funes. Enjoy them all!

Thank you Tartu

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UNESCO city of literature, second biggest town in Estonia, the city of 100000 students, “city of good folks” for:

the most wonderful hosts at the Supreme Court of Estonia and Tartu county court who opened their doors and hearts for us,

the fantastic hospitality and very informative city tour by Christina  to splendit places in Tartu:

– Tartu University which has the pics of all its professors greeting students and visitors and where the rehearsal of the “Gaudeamus Igitur” was underway right when we entered the building,

– St John Cathedral with its unique statutes which survived the bombings,

– Toy Museum and its reminder “Tempus est ludendi”,


– St Antonius courtyard where good music is played

– Architecture which accomodates harmoneously many styles, including soviet signs,

– the leaning building of the Art Museum, which makes the Pisa Tower look straight by comparision

a fun and very enjoyable Babel type dinner – Estonian, Georgian, Russian, German, English spoken by all and at the same time – with exquisite cuisine by the chef at Holm restaurant. The great food and wine revealed Estonians talent of toasting to match the  Georgians talent at toasting,

splendid surrounding fields,

your lively early morning flowers market,

the humour of street artists,

for yet another reminder not to take my self too seriously – in Estonia even the Chief Justice gets a caricature when sworn in office.

Thank you Tbilisi for

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a rejuvenating late night rain with proper thunder and lighting. I missed that Southern weather attitude,

something i did not miss, but i accept it: the earth tremor and the ‘ah-ha’ moment it brought,

the smile of the most beautiful lady baker as her gorgeous hands work the dough. She reminded me of my grandmother,

my perfect morning espresso at Entree served by the lovliest barista,

my first cigar. No need to worry. It was the traditional bakery with nuts,

my first peach this year,

eternal wisdom by modern days Gia, served with the traditional candy: “embrace the spoils of civilisation but do not forget your roots and why you are here, on earth”, 

the “meeting” with founding fathers, watchful over today’s parlamentarians presided over by a chairwomen. I can hear the founding mothers, who remained in the shadow back then, cheering up in the sky now (do not ask me how i know),

most devoted and hard-working projects partners, 

seeing my good colleague Nino back to work and recovering well,

stellar team members, who work hard and also know the value of fun at work,

the guard who kept my ipad, which i forgot by the window on the hall of the Parliament, 

teaching me what “არა” means. There were quite a number of “no” heard that day in the parliament,

the colors street flowers vendors bring,

an introduction to Georgian Zaza Svanidze shoes – amazing design combined with the quality feet deserve. Check his website or fbook page, 

lovely lunch at Amo Rame,

a history lecture by the most talkative taxi driver who used to work with Red Cross all over the world. The lecture was a “bonus” for having made him wait for me under a no-parking sign 🙂

kindest MGK hotel owners who made me feel at home, with traditional breakfast to my taste and a room with a view i’ll be looking for upon my return

and many more blessings, to be continued.

 

No waste

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After the cranial reflexology session, my practitioner used on my feet the remaining of the oil she prepared for me in the morning.   “Zero gaspillage!” she said. And good for my feet.  

The other day, i made a cashew-mango-agave raw cheescake. It was not met with much enthusiasm by my family. I ate as much as i could. Still a glass was still full.

“Zero gaspillage”/no waste came to rescue. So, a day later, plus one egg, 2 spoons of flour, 180Celsius and in 20 min, these beauties joined the table. This time, they were met with the enthusiasm of a hungry mob 🙂

A great-grandmother from India is winning hearts with her cooking video – re-post

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She reminded me of my grandmother: puts to shame my cooking skills and my equipped kitchen. Enjoy!
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A great-grandmother from India is winning hearts with her cooking video.

A great-grandmother from India is winning hearts with her cooking videos. Mastanamma doesn’t have a birth certificate to prove her 106 years but has millions of followers who can’t have enough of her recipes and #GrannyWisdom.

Video journalist: Suniti Singh

Translation: K.R. Rajagopal; images courtesy of Country Foods

http://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/39872650/is-this-worlds-oldest-youtube-star