I’ve been fan of pop duo Pet Shop Boys for longer than I’ve been drinking tea in bed, which given I owned a Teasmaid at 14, is bloody ages. Perhaps this was an early indication that rock ‘n’ roll was never going to be my bag. As a teenager, with my nose pressed apprehensively against the glass of adulthood, I needed a band that shone a light into the future; of Opportunities and spurned lovers, parties every night and of course rapped lists of dog breeds. Neil Tennant’s lyrics of debut album Please captured it all; the excitement and desperate longing to leave Suburbia for nocturnal pleasures in New York and West end towns.
Let’s not go home
We’ll catch the late train. Two divided by Zero. 1986
The urban disco thrills and cowbells of Please celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, yet still it returns me to a place of being understood; where…
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At the weekend me and kB went to Holland.
I think for some time I’d been a little bit worried that we would get there and there would be no tulips at all. However I needn’t have worried – there were loads. There were still some daffodil fields as well!
We arrived in Amsterdam at about 930 am. We navigated our way to the station at the airport, bought a day rider thingy, and got on the train to Amsterdam Centraal.
Once at the train station (Centraal) we got the bus to Zaanse Schans – this is where my planning paid off as I knew where to get the bus from and the bus times.
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What is the difference between being present and being asleep?
As human beings, we can only function in one of the following two states:
- Awake – being present and having full control of our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
- Asleep – acting based on conditioning and instincts with virtually no control over our thoughts, emotions, or actions; living life in automatic mode without controlling outcomes or circumstances.
Being present is part of what we call an “aware” state, which also means being awake and fully conscious of your internal and external environment. Conversely, when you are asleep, you are in a state of reduced awareness and have no control of what is going on around you. In this state, you allow your instincts and conditioning to take over your life. The price that you pay for not being present is all sorts of drama, including broken relationships, missed opportunities, loss of…
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I am feeling the melancholy weight of human inconstancy: what people say and don’t mean, what they mean and don’t say. Or what they seem to mean earnestly one day but somehow not the next, or say with great conviction, only to soon recant. It feels painful, this dissonance, the shifting sand of what people say and what they actually do.
I should take it in stride, but my heart objects. I’ve been human long enough to accept the faithlessness of our kind, yet if I’m grumpy or sleepy — or, really, any of the dwarves but happy — it can be disheartening. I want us to be nobler than we are. Steadfast. So that we might trust each other, and in that trust, find encouragement to love.
I didn’t realize how sad I was feeling until the robins disappeared. They have been nesting under my garage eaves for several years; last summer, I watched a mated pair…
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All week I long for the weekend. I long for the focus, the uninterrupted hours, the break from worldly demands that being at home offers. I long for the chance to do those things that I love to do rather than have to do. But then the weekend comes around and those two precious days slip clean though my fingers. One minute they are there before me, shining with possibility. And the next they are gone, a closed gate behind.
Nearly all of us have domestic longings, though we may call them by other names. We may love to bake or print or simply for a few golden minutes to coax a vine up a lattice. We may love doing these things for their own sake. But not just for their own sake. Activities like these – as tactile as kneading bread or as incidental as putting a flower in…
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