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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Beautiful Narwhals from the Canal

On Rosie's way to Soho she was accompanied by narwhals swimming in the canal. Her mama said the narwhals were warriors with melting hearts. They were sticking out their tusks as if greeting her. Rosie felt better in their presence. 'I'm not scared. I've go big eyes too!' She kept repeating along with the word Soho. Many boats were parked on banks of the canal. Rosie tried very hard not to feel tired, thirsty or hungry. She pretended she ate the biggest carrot cake and that she took a long nap a while ago. The truth was she forgot to pack the food and money. Rosie never went to a scout camp nor were there any National Geography programmes on surviving in London. Rosie felt highly disappointed as they would be exceedingly handy at this moment. Her tummy turned into a loud and hard to ignore orchestra.
As she was walking along the boats she smelled a delicious dinner, coming from one of them. She decided to have a little peek trough the open window. The boat was particularly unusual. It was painted in a pastel blue colour and sprinkled with purple glitter. When Rosie leaned to peek through the tiny window a voice behind her said: 'It smells delicious, doesn't it?' Rosie jumped abruptly and slowly turned around.
Her fear went away as soon as she looked at a man with big smile and amused face . He was all in white holding a black suitcase. She couldn't help but notice his pirate eye patch. She couldn't help her curiosity and asked 'What is behind your patch, sir?'
'Well, there used to be an eye, just like yours but blue. Then one day someone didn't like my eye because it showed the truth. You see sometimes the truth is unbearably painful.'
'Like when they say you can't actually fly?'
'Yes...'
'You know there are two gigantic narwhals in your canal.' Said Rosie and pointed at the river.
'I knew it! Now I know what kept me awake last night. All that banging.' He rolled his eye.
Rosie smiled at him broadly and explained her spying: 'I apologise for my curiosity, sir but I just wanted to know what smelled so nice.'
The man climbed on the board and stretched out his hand. 'Come and see then!'
Rosie accepted his hand without a hesitation and said: 'My name's Rosie.'

The house boat was filled with books, old paintings, more books and ballet shoes. The eye patched guy was called Stuart and the reason why he loved breathing, as he referred to his boyfriend, was Xavier. They couldn't be any more different. Rosie found it entirely amusing. Xavier was short and slim wearing mascara and eyeliner that her granny used to wear before her eyelashes fell off. He was an ex soloist at Royal Ballet and Stuart was a neurologist. While Stuart was explaining the deepest secrets of the brain, Xavier was dancing Nutcracker in the tini tiny living room. Rosie was stuffing herself with homemade tomato soup and biscuits. All the attention was centred on her. 'Why Soho? I mean it is an exciting place indeed but why did you choose it?' Asked Stuart.
'A man sitting in a card board box described it as a wonderful place. I wanted to see it for myself. Now after repeating its name so much I feel like my heart beat is synchronised with it. '
'How do you imagine it?' Asked Xavier.
'I've tried and tried but my imagination fails me. I think maybe it's too beautiful to even imagine.' Sighed Rosie.
'Nothing it's too beautiful to imagine! The strongest, most precious and most important power is your imagination, Rosie. That's where you turn sand into morning light and the pain to an annoying one time shiver. Don't you ever let anyone take it away from you!' Said Xavier with a very serious face. Rosie find it hard to blink.
Rosie said she would spend a night on the boat but she couldn't. It would be simply too sad to say goodbye to Stuart and Xavier. She woke up in the middle of the night and left. She wanted to give them something so she left her Bonsai tree on the kitchen window. She headed straight repeating ceaselessly SOHO and the two narwhals followed her.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Gym, Colouring in, Snap Judgement

Finally I signed up for gym. Two months later than I was supposed to but still! You know I have an issue with opening the doors. Pull and push don't really work for me. So basically in my new gym in order to get in I have to enter the code and use my finger print. Well apparently my finger print doesn't work for some reason. That's why every morning, one of the staff there has to open the door for me manually. In the beginning they tried to explain me in different innumerable ways what is the correct way to put my finger on the lock (Don't press too much! Try to put half of your finger in. Are you sure it is the right finger?) Of course it is the right finger! I don't know....maybe he's just too stubborn or something!
Anyways my backthen relaxing Pilates classes turned out to be a real physical pain. I mean my new lady trainer is a torturing monster. I've never experienced a pain so intense. I was so dedicated and determined that I went in everyday and on Thursday after Pilates class I went for spinning too. Which was an obvious and unfortunate mistake. So it appears that spinning is not actually just riding a bike but also hill climbing, sprints and interval training. There is also a screen showing mountains and different kinds of countryside so you can imagine that you are actually cycling outside. I don't like nature and countryside so I tried to close my eyes. After the spinning class my face turned pink and I had to take a taxi to drive me home. The taxi driver was like: you know it's only like 10 minutes walk. Of course I know that, dude! Just drive me home.
I think what I actually enjoy the most is listening to the Snap Judgement podcast on the way to the gym. It's so cool, interesting, emotional and entertaining. I absolutely love the stories and music. And of course I love the moment when I get out of the gym and can have a big lunch with chocolate and not feeling guilty.

I started to colour in. Reading all these articles about how relaxing and therapeutic it is, I wanted to give it a go. Also, it's interesting how much the kids in my school love it. One of the best ways to shut them up. So I went to Corte Ingles (something like John Lewis) and bought one there. So yeah it is very relaxing and calming and the sound of the colour kissing the paper is absolutely delightful. The only issue is that it is rather an addictive occupation. So I spent Saturday night colouring in......I mean really?

On Friday night I went to see an improvised play in my favourite cafe. You know the kind of an improvisation where the audience is 'forced' to participate and they give you a book in the beginning. Of course mine was Lolita by Nabokov and I had to talk about sexual desire......I think I just prefer the old good theatre where you can sit in the dark and absorb everything quietly.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rosie the Rose part 1

Rosie decides to explore

When tasting the raindrops and measuring rainbows wasn't enough, Rosie decided to leave the house and explore. Being only ten years old she knew exactly what to pack: her colouring book, crayons, oat biscuits and Bonsai tree.
Unfortunately choosing the best outfit wasn't that easy. Rosie had to think very carefully. She knew the seasons changed and that they were very different. She decided for blue dress, red wellies to fight the rain, her mama's glamorous sunglasses and a black cardigan. The cardigan was made by her Nana while she still enjoyed life and believed in power of little blue pills on her bedside table.
Rosie put her outfit and backpack on and went to say farewell to her mama.

Rosie opened the door finding the room in semi darkness. Her mama was lying on the floor in a bright red kimono staring at the ceiling covered with glow in the dark stars.
'Mama?' Her mama smiled and gently pulled Rosie to the floor by her side.
'Look how beautiful the stars are, Rosie!'
'Why don't you go out and look at the real ones instead?!' Suggested Rosie.
'The sky hurts my eyes.... but it certainly is very tempting. Thank you my little rose.' Said mama and kissed her on the cheek.
Rosie looked at her seriously saying: 'Mama, I'm going to explore!'
'What a marvellous idea, Rosie! You must be so excited!'
'Sure! Although I'm a little....scared!'
'You are not scared. You've got big eyes. Big eyed girls are never scared!' Mama said looking ceilingward.
Rosie quietly stood up and walked out the room.
She took the house keys just in case she'd feel like staring at glow in the dark stars.
Taking three deep breaths (because threes are stronger than ones) she opened the front door and walked out to the world.

The stranger who once smelled like fresh laundry
Rosie didn't have a map or cool compass so she asked a stranger sitting on the pavement floor for directions. The stranger looked super scruffy, slightly cuckoo and surely in a bad mood. He was sitting in a huge cardboard box. He was always hanging on Rosie's street, in the same place facing her window. Once her Nana told her, he was one of her mistakes. Back when he was clean and smelled like fresh laundry. Everytime he saw her Nana, he wailed: 'You stole my heart!' Rosie wasn't sure how can a person steal one's heart but it sounded rather sad. The stranger was holding a paper saying: only money, booze, umbrellas, cigarettes, blankets and white Lindt chocolate accepted.
'Sir, can I ask you a question?' Asked Rosie after gathering her courage.
'It depends...do you have any of these things to give me in exchange?' Asked the stranger pointing at the sign he was holding.
'I'm afraid I don't...but I could give you my favourite colouring book! There are few pages left to colour. They say it relaxes you.'
'I can't possibly feel more relaxed than I do right now but alright give it to me.' He grabbed the colouring book from Rosie's outstretched hand. 'Now how can I help you, little one?' He asked after a very profound look at her colouring book.
'Could you tell me what is the best place to explore?'
'Explore? Why don't you play with the anorexic dolls instead?'
'I'm not allowed to play with dolls. Mama says that they give away the wrong image.' Answered Rosie impatiently.
The stranger nodded and said: 'In that case go to Soho! It taught me a great deal when I was younger. It's a very pleasurable place to be. At least it was. Now they want to change it, to make it pretty. Tsssss. Those sad souls that can't find the beauty on an unmade bed. Anyway, you can still find exciting places if you look properly.'
Rosie's eyes were shining with excitement. 'Thank you so much, sir! Which way is Soho?'
'Just go straight and repeat the word Soho ceaselessly.'
Rosie started her journey right away and waved at the stranger who shouted: 'Always rely on the kindness of strangers.'

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Semana Santa, Sara, Cadiz, Flamenco and Portugal


The impossible came true and someone finally visited me. Sara came last Saturday from cold London to insanely hot Seville. Honestly since last week it's been boiling here. It all happened in a day. I woke up to the strawberry and spicy warmness coming through the shutters and tanning my pale skin. I went to pick Sara up in jeans which was an obvious mistake. What a marvellous experience to observe Spanish people waiting for their friends/relatives at the arrivals. It felt like watching a sentimental film and I didn't have a tissue.
For the first time in my life I was actually accommodating and quite a good hostess. At least I hope so. I haven't seen Sara for a long time but actually it felt like we've been always together. In a way it was a holiday for me too. We ate at the restaurants all the time, walked a lot, visited magical Seville treasures, went to the beach and see a flamenco show.
We went to Cadiz because it was just too hot in here. Cadiz is one of the most charming places with the cutest narrowest streets, adorable beaches and lemon skies. I got burnt a little, my face is enriched with freckles and my hair's lighter.
I started to read Not that Kind of a Girl by Lena Dunham on Sara's kindle and it was amazing. I love Lena! She's an incredible storyteller.
Poor Sara had to endure my absolute no direction sense. The amount if times when we walked on boiling sun to the wrong direction....oh boy. She said she wants to be in my head to see what's happening there....well probably just pink fairies flying around and having a party.
The flamenco show took place in the Museum of Flamenco with open bar and small dark stage. There were chairs and orange trees hanging from the glass ceiling. It was really marvellous to see Sara completely breathless and stunned by the flamenco. Exactly the same thing happened to me a year ago. Flamenco dances and loudly into your heart and inhabits a tine space there. It's very stubborn and resistant place.
It would have been a perfect week if not Easter. Honestly I couldn't even begin to imagine what a big thing Easter is here! The endless processions, crowded streets filled with church incense. The bizarre costumes resembling Ku klux klan. Ok I got uncomfortable few times. It was so impressive how many people came to see the processions. In a way it was a fashion show for me. Everyone looked like from the fashion show, ladies in heels, men all suit up and the kids looking like from an expensive advert. So much beauty and elegance the entire week.
We wached many films including Still Alice, Don Juan de Marco (as Sara pointed lived in Seville so we had to watch it) and This is where I leave you.
And I actually ate muscles, for the first time. Thanks to Sara and her magical persuasiveness.
The day after Sara left , my flatmates and I went to spend a day on the beach in Portugal. It was an Erasmus event also for not Erasmus students. It was a lovely day full of sand, laughter and 25 liters of Sangria. I don't think I've ever seen that many Italians in one beach. One of them was hitting on my super hot flatmate Candela. He, obviously had no idea what he was doing and he kept touching his hmm hmm. Madre mia! That is just so not hot! I mean if you feel like touching it have a private squeeze please. Moreover as we were sitting slightly further from our blankets and staff, another Italian dude just decided to put on Candela's flip flops and carried himself to the toilet....  The Erasmus team prepared for us a proper game time too. I wish I wasn't too distracted, slow, spaced out and uncompetitive. If only there was a competition on reading clouds.