Tag Archives: freedom

“Lost for words” by Stephanie Butland

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“A book is a match in the smoking second between strike and flame” – a marvelous opening line. One can say the same about the human life on Earth.

“Lost for words » is a story of a long path to self-love and empathy. Loveday – the name of the main character – moves in the blink of an eye from a carefree childhood into the world of a child in foster care, as a result of domestic violence.

The story line is nonlinear and the flashbacks are moving as they are narrated through the eyes of a 10 year old caught in a family drama, which keeps reverberating in her adult’s life through the choices she makes. The story ends a bit abruptly to my taste, as if letting you wonder about what’s next. There is a charm in that, I think.

An autumn love story

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On a warm autumn day, in a town on the Mediterranean, I let my kid choose where she wanted to have lunch. Her choice led us to a place were locals go. Tables next to each other. Waiters saluting clients with a non-chalance of old friends. This kind of place.

We were given a table in the middle of the room and soon enough a couple was sat next to us.

She was beaming with elegance, her hair just out of a hairdresser. White blouse, dark skirt. Let’s call her Mathilde. He was dressed as if in a hurry. A hurry to see her, I thought. Let’s call him Henry. They both seemed to have been born in the middle of last century.

They ordered the plat du jour and wine. Henry immediately became chatty with the lady at the table next to him and told her the story of his life in 5 minutes: he is retired, daughter lives in another country, he and the lady having lunch with him is not his wife and they just “see each other”. He would be good on Twitter, I thought, with such a talent for conciseness.

The lady at the next table offered them her unfinished bottle of wine. I also wanted to offer something, in exchange for more stories. I offered them our untouched basket of bread. They accepted it with the joy of 5 year olds on Christmas eve.

As we switched our attention to our plates, their dialogue unfolded:

– Oh, darling, your back hurts you again?, Henry asked with a compassion level 100, as she tried to find a comfortable posture in her chair.

– Oh, it’s fine, Mathilde tried to reassure him.

– Well, you know the remedy. You come to my place. You undress. I give you a massage on your back, his hands demonstrating circular movements, as if around her delicate shoulders.

Mathilde blushed and directed his eyes with her green eyes to my daughter, as if saying: « Shsh, there are kids around ». Henry’s blue eyes responded: “Well, sooner or later, she will find out. What’s there to hide?!”

– Well, you felt good after our last time…, his sweet smile enveloping her.

We left the place with the feeling of having watched a good movie from the 50s. Their illuminated faces – a lovely memory of an autumn love story. Ageless. Priceless.

P.S. I remembered this story in the times of this pandemic… I truly hope they are well and their love continues to brighten their days.

Day Spa, homemade

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Day Spa, homemade

– Bye, darling, I am gone for half-a-day.

– « Gone? ». Did you write your déclaration for today?

– Why? Do we need one now for going to the bathroom?

Well, if I cannot go to the Spa, the Spa comes to me. And as in a Award acceptance speech, my thanks go to:

– my flat owner for having not saved money on a proper bathtub. Those with a history with French « landlords » know what I am talking about.

– my pharmacist for having good supplies of essential oils. For now, my favourites are Lemon and Palmarosa for their escapist abilities to take my senses to a garden in full bloom.

Pranarom, essential oils.

– and to my hubby for my perfect espresso with a pinch of nutmeg.

Teleworking week 4: view from home – serendipity

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By the end of this week, I developed an interest in Kardashians. I know everything about Stormie. I do not keep up yet with the entire klan (k – on purpose) of Kardashians. If this lasts, however, you never know.

My hubby trusted me with his haircut. I am not yet ready to reciprocicate.

I joined the diminishing trend of the blond population, estimated to go down by 70-80 percent. We, blondes, need to remain trendy.

My succulent is blossoming. Spring is in da house:

Teleworking week 3: view from home

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While teleworking, I discovered that routine is queen. Yet, I remember that it is a constitutional monarchy. Dancing and crying and hugging and feeling sad are not under her rule. I can do any or all of that, if I feel like. No permission from the queen-routine required.

At the first walk-around-the-block since this started: « Mom, I have an impression I am walking with a toddler…». I was beyond myself from the sun and air and river view. Never in my life the view of a swimming water rat excited me to levels I never knew. I promise, my child, I’ll grow swiftly back into your mom.

As we cannot go and greet the spring, the way we used to, we turn to art. Thank you Conny Famm for your “State of soul”.

My shopping patterns changed. I cancelled orders. That’s a first for me. Instead, I redirected the money to a local initiative of chefs cooking for hospitals’ staff in the region – Des repas pour les anges gardiens. And in my home country through Diaconia http://www.diaconia.md.

The fight for internal resources – the one and only laptop in the house – ended with a gentlemen agreement.

I “went” to a ballet performance. « LAC » by Jean-Christophe Maillot at Monte Carlo Opera, courtesy of Monaco plus.

I seriously upgraded my emoji use skills. From novice to intermediate. I am still very far from the emoji-master in my house. I’ve got something to aspire to.

We welcomed a new precious member into our family and thank him for reminding us of the gift of life. We wish him a happy and long life! And we promise to be more conscious of what we do to mother Earth and how we treat each other.

“Now we shall be entirely free” by Andrew Miller

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Reading this book was like drinking my carrot-apple-beetroot juice. It was not particularly easy to “digest”, yet it was great for learning from the writer’s style. It was the Costa award of the author, which sold it to me.

The author takes you through war, honour, love and camradery, dedication and pursuit of happiness, revenge and selflessness, all mixed with mistery and a touch of thriller.

The main character is a British army officer, who did what he could in a shamefull campaign in Spain in 1800s, and who was not afraid to admit his part in less than honourable acts, for the sake of keeping the love of a woman he adored.

Justitia Regnum Fundamentum: Choices we make, consequences others live

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A 45 year old lawyer was condemned for trading in influence. He bribed the judges in the court of appeal to buy his “freedom”. His pro-bono lawyer, who was also his friend and is a father of two, learned about it when the judges started the deliberation in chambers. A four figure amount in Euro was the price. Six months later he died in a car accident. Two children and a stay-at-home wife were left penniless. The bribe money did not pay for a life insurance. They will be fine in the end.

A 25 year old mother of two in charge of her three underaged sisters, was imprisoned for stubbing to death her violent husband, whose regularly practiced hobby was to beat her to unconsciousness in front of her children. She suffered multiple injuries. She lost one 7 month pregnancy. She did not bribe the system to protect her. The system wants her behind bars. She will be fine in the end.img_0216

Days latter: “The authorities failed in their obligation to protect the life of a woman who had been genuinely and seriously threatened by her husband.
On 23 February 2015 in the Chamber judgment1 in the case of Civek v. Turkey (application no. 55354/11) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the murder of the applicants’ mother, Selma Civek, by their father. The Court found, in particular, that even though the Turkish authorities had been informed of the genuine and serious threat to Ms Civek’s life and despite her continued complaints of threats and harassment, they had failed to take the measures reasonably available to them in order to prevent her being murdered by her husband.”

Names of countries are irrelevant. Names and faiths of people are not.