Monthly Archives: September 2014

Tour de Reino Unido – Part catorce

Dear readers,

Wednesday 17th July 2014

This was the first day of not doing much. Doctors appointments and washing. My friend Niku was excited to see us, so we stopped for a coffee in Moseley, as well as a stroll around Moseley Park. I insisted upon visiting the Oxfam second-hand bookshop (I bought a Graham Greene book. Needlessly really. I’ve a million books on my shelf) and then we went to an Arabic cafe. I like going to Moseley. Friends who come to Brum insist on going. I miss Moseley Dance Centre. Cheap Red Strip beer and Christmas lights and the greatest mix of music, along with Refreshers sweets on the way out. The bohemian little village. I’ve had many a drunken night there and staggered back to Hall Green. Luckily intact. Today I wanted to impress Pam, two days after proposing to her, so we gave a session in Wetherspoons a miss. Like everyone who met Pamela, they wanted to know where Honduras was. Not in a rude way, but in a charmingly ignorant way that we Brits have mastered without managing to offend anyone. This time it came in the shape of a bubbly pharmacist.

It wasn’t a late night. After all, the next day, London was calling. As was my sister.

To celebrate this, here’s a song about London by the Pogues. It’s one of my favourites.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=41aOYa8SLLs

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Tour de Reino Unido – part doce

Dear readers,

Tuesday 15th July 2014

After visiting the grave, it was time for lunch. When one comes to Cornwall, it is a gastronomic rule that they must eat a pasty. Pasties to Cornwall are like pasta is to Italy. Outside the place of origin, it often disappoints. Pasties in train stations in London, Birmingham and Manchester especially. For Hondurans who are not sure what a pasty is, think of empanadas, but bigger, tastier and better. They have a similar pastry (though pasties are thicker and have a bigger crust. They were made like that for miners down in the pits. They would hold the pasty by the crust so they didn’t poision the contents with mucky fingers) but the fillings are with more peppers, spices, and larger chunks of meat and veggies. I have a feeling the ideas were inspired by one or the other. British miners were often sent to Latin America. I’m sure they’re interlinked.

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Nan knew all the best places to get pasties. The pasty community was very close knit, almost like the masonry. If standards dropped somewhere, news would get round. New fangled pasties were rejected and mocked, while commercial pasties were despised. If bakers got a bit big for his boots, he would lose customers rapidly. We got ours in Hayle, then took ourselves off to Godrevy to eat it.

Godrevy is another place that holds such great memories for our family. Before my grandmother died, she would often ask to be taken there. The family would go down to the beach, but she would be content with just looking out to sea from the front seat, basking in the sun or rain. What she thought or felt as she sat there, I don’t know and never will. But she seemed more at peace, especially after being made a widow for a second time. We decided to send a wreath of flowers on the rocks in memory of her.

The views are immense, right across St. Ives Bay. The lighthouse we used to think was Fraggle Rock, and the waves that would batter it made ohh and ahh and shudder. Among the humdreds of annoying seagulls scavenging the area, you can frequently see birds of prey, and on even luckier days, seals. Like all rocky beaches, the rock pools have their own mini bioversities, until the tide comes in and restarts it all over again. As kids, we would throw in wrinkles or bread to see crabs fighting over it. Great amusement.

We sat on a cliff top eating our pasties and saffron bun. We were extremely lucky with the weather, taking advantage of every ray of sun, like the nearby young gull took advantage of every loose or thrown crumb.

During this time, I was nervous. I knew that I would be popping that all important question, making Godrevy an even more special place for our family. I had the ring in a box in my bag. Ben and Liz knew what I was up to. I felt butterflies. Not of doubt. I knew I wanted Pamela as my wife and I was 99.9% sure she would answer yes. I suppose it was just the weight of the question. We made our way down to the beach. I was wearing shorts while Ben and Liz decided to be pussies and wear wetsuits. Having touched the water with my toe a couple of times, I felt that I had been spoilt by the lush warmth of the Caribbean Sea. Ben and Liz decided that I needed a dunking, and I got on. Cold needles, that’s all I can say.

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The next bit was amusing. I wanted to take a little walk with Pamela, for a certain purpose. Mum, however, also wanted to come. I obviously wanted to do this alone, but getting this across to mum without hurting her feelings and not letting Pam know proved a little difficult. Liz managed to sway mum from going, but mum then wanted to take my bag with the ring in it. I said I had to carry it with me at all times, like an obsessed man. I’m pretty sure mum was winding me up at this point. But she let me go, thankfully with my bag.

I then had to take an avalanche of questions from Pamela as we walked along.

“Where are you taking me?”
A special place to take photos.
“Is it safe?”
Yes
“Why can’t your mum come?”
I want to do perverted things to you.
“Can you take my camera?”
Yes
“Are you sure it’s safe?”
Yes
“Are you going to kill me?”
Depends, are you going to ask more questions?

I then chose a rock to climb up to get a good view of Godrevy Lighthouse so Pamela could actually take a picture. Some of the rocks were jagged and difficult to climb, which I heard muffled insults thrown in my direction like “puta” and “loco”. I doubt it’s the same rock we left Gran’s wreath on, as they all pretty much look the same. But we came to a great vantage point which had a man made seat for Pamela to catch her breath. Any more steps and I’m pretty sure Pamela would have just been done with it and pushed me to my death.

“Take a pic, then!” I said, which made her sigh frustratedly.

While Pamela was lining up the camera, I fiddled in my bag and tried to get the ring out of the box trying not to let her notice, nervous and the sun blazing while trying to keep my balance on a rock. She turned her head and didn’t even let me finish the question or go down on one knee.

“Siiiiiiii,” she screamed to the world (and me of course). Tears, kisses and hugs commenced.

“This is perfect,” she confirmed. She didn’t need to. I knew it was. I made sure it was perfect. Planned it for months. Sun. Sea. Lighthouse. Ring. Woman. If you want something in life, you have to fight for it, be patient, but make sure you do anything to get it. That’s what I’m learning in life. It’s taken a long time. And I’ll be launching this attitude in my career now. I have worth. I want to be a success. I’m willing to put in the hard work. I have the best woman in the world (when she’s not moaning). I have the best family in the world. Now I’m after the best job; one that brings happiness and financial security. Pamela has made me very happy, and I’ve made her happy. My father said the same when we announced it to the family when we got down from the rock.

Surprise, surprise, my sister pulled a bottle of Prosecco out of thin air when we returned to the car. Smiles with wine flowed. Happiness was in the air, and I like to believe that Nan was in one of the cars on the cliff top watching on, smiling. If she was with us, I’m without doubt that she would it would have made her happy, Pamela too.

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Vera M. Cano

Dear readers,

I want to apologize for not doing any updates in the last week or so. I’ve been occupied by lots of work, a cold and questioning where I am going in life career-wise. I suppose we need these moments to analyze at ourselves, dust ourselves down and see what we’re doing wrong to put things right. Career: no offense to where I work, but I feel a bit stalled (I know I’m worth more than the job and salary that I currently have). Maybe it’s the thought that I’m nearly 35 years old and I’m fed up of feeling broke. I do my best to be an inspiration to others, but it’s not always easy when you don’t feel inspired. Therefore, one most do something about it.

Nevertheless, I will continue with the Tour de Reino Unido series soon.

Someone who has changed their life, or someone who had to change their life in a tragic car accident, is my friend Vera. I have talked about what happened to her before. I don’t know her amazingly well, but she made me laugh in the couple of times we have bumped into each other.

Yesterday was four months to the day that the incident that changed her life took place. The doctor’s forecast was not great (you will see below in the following text), but through her personality, which is very much a force of nature, and God’s will, the future is looking so much brighter.

She posted this update on Facebook yesterday, a truly inspiring speech if anyone needed one (and I would count myself as one of those). Even if you are no religious, you cannot help but be moved. Faith in yourself and God is still something I’m learning. Many speeches go through one ear and out the other, but when it’s someone you know, the words obviously hold more weight and meaning. I hope it inspires you.

Vera’s speech, in English and Spanish:

4 months. 4 months today since my greatest challenge, hardest hit and rebirth.
4 months ago doctors’ diagnose:
– Possible death, will remain in the hospital at least 6 months, won’t be able to walk again, won’t be able to see with the right eye, total dependency on others to perform tasks.
4 months later reality:
– Still alive, currently living at a house, walking everywhere I can (or that I’m allowed), climbing stairs and possibly running soon, still double vision but able to see, writing this status on my own without anyone’s help to sit in front of this computer nor anything else.
4 months later lessons learned:
1) I will not bow down to fear.
2) I live by God’s promises and not by His explanations.
3) Faith may move mountains, but prayer moves God.
4) Whatever it is: “Don’t look down”.
5) Don’t spend your life trying to keep a whole bunch of people happy that don’t care one bit rather you’re happy or not.
6) What you do with your life will be remembered not just on Earth but also in eternity.
7) I only have 2 options in life:
a) I remain down living a miserable rest of my life
b) I raise and shine brighter than ever
….. I chose the second option…..
Thank you Lord.

4 meses. 4 meses hoy desde mi reto más grande, golpe más fuerte y nuevo nacimiento.
Diagnóstico médico hace 4 meses:
– Posible muerte, hospitalizada por 6 meses, no volver a caminar, perdida de visión en ojo derecho, dependencia total de otros para realizar cualquier actividad.
Realidad 4 meses después:
– Aún con vida, viviendo en un hogar no en un hospital, caminando hacia todo lugar que pueda (o me autoricen), subiendo gradas y posiblemente corriendo pronto, aún visión doble pero capaz de ver, escribiendo este mensaje sin ayuda de nadie al sentarme frente a esta computadora.
Lecciones aprendidas 4 meses después:
1) No voy a rendirme ante el miedo.
2) Vivo por las promesas de Dios, no por sus explicaciones.
3) La fé puede mover montañas pero la oración mueve a Dios.
4) Lo que sea: “No mires hacia abajo”.
5) No gastes tu vida tratando de mantener a muchas personas feliz, personas a las que no les importa ni un poco si tu eres feliz o no.
6) Lo que hagas en esta vida será recordado no solo en la Tierra si no tambien en la eternidad.
7) Solo tenemos 2 opciones en esta vida:
a) Nos quedamos tirados viviendo un resto de nuestras vidas miserablemente
b) Nos levantamos y brillamos como nunca antes.
…..Yo escogí la segunda opción….
Gracias Dios.


The Mirror

Dear readers,

Mirrors. For narcissists they cannot live without them. A pessimist in the morning might want to snap it into tiny pieces and think of the seven years bad luck they will get on top of their already destructive thoughts. The average person goes through life looking into the mirror, not quite deciding how happy they really are, and just want to spruce up the material image which is their face. Sometimes in our lives, we are all three of these people. Maybe we should just use it to motivate us. It’s one of the strangest yet most simple inventions known to man.

Recently I have been questioning myself in the mirror. I guess now I’m nearly 35, mid-life crisis might be on the way. But this is a poem for those who judge themselves, every day, in a less than positive light. I hope you enjoy it.

    The Mirror

When you look in the mirror,
What do you see?
The person you want,
Starring back at thee?
Are the eyes vacant,
Or are they full of life?
Do they profess joy,
Or are they grey and strife?
Are the shoulders strident,
Or are they lax?
Is that person ready for the day,
To run a marathon or type another boring fax?
Have you given a compliment,
Said, “You’re doing well,”
To move on spiritedly,
If they don’t like where they dwell.
Be kind to the reflection,
And make it a habit,
Look at yourself like a lion,
And not a scared rabbit.
Calm the nerves in your belly,
Keep the tears in the ducts,
Put a smile on your face,
Say, “My life, I’ll reconstruct.”
Drink your coffee,
Eat your french toast,
Then think of the day,
And shout, “Of today, I’ll make the most.”

mirror

I’m including a song by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. It’s four years since he passed away. I didn’t like all his songs, but there are one or two that live with me for life. Especially Man in the Mirror. Cliched, maybe. The song is more about changing the world. By using the mirror to change ourselves we can change the way we see the world around us. I will include the video below


Like a Panda to Bamboo

Dear readers,

I wrote this poem. It’s about no one. That’s a lie. The first stanza is about Pamela. The second is just me playing around with words. You are welcome to think of more stanzas, using the same rhyming scheme. In fact, I invite you too.

Like a Panda to Bamboo

I gravitate to you,
Like a panda to bamboo.
I’d happily eat you up all day.

But if you were to say,
“Drown yourself in the bay”,
It’d be a awful thing to make me do.

I was aiming to write a poem based on this image that I saw on Facebook. I kind of lost my way on the second stanza. The bitch within me came out. You can write a poem solely on this image if you like. Give it a try. I think the message is certainly true for me.

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Tour de Reino Unido – part ocho

Dear readers,

Sorry, I forgot to finish off writing about the Friday. Here you go.

Friday 11th July 2014 continued

Pamela had been obsessed with visiting the Sealife Centre for months. It was her chance to use Lola Flash, her Canon camera which she cares for and talks to as though it were her child. I have been a few times and always enjoy it, though these days I noticed the labelling was all over the place, with names for fish that weren’t in aquariums and no labels for some that were. Pamela did not give a flying fish about that though, and snapped her way through the entire place.

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After, we took a stroll down to Gas Street Basin and the Mail Box for a spot of lunch served by a less than impressed French girl at Cafe Rouge, but then later by a Portuguese guy who seemed a bit more experienced in the area of customer service that is called “look bothered.” We then went to Birmingham Art Gallery. I was very dismayed to hear that they had taken away the giant model of the tyranasauras rex which used to thrill me as a little boy; best thing there. My mum prefers the Edwardian tearooms. They’re nice too.

We then stopped by Waterstones near Moor Street Station, where outside the Bull Ring there was a big protest about Gaza. This fascinated Pam and she got all snappy with the camera again. Some were genuine protestors. Others were asian lads smoking dope making a mockery of the whole thing. Here’s some pictures from Waterstones nonetheless.

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After that, I took her through the Bull Ring and down towards St. Martins Church.

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We then took the train home. There was still my neighbour Marion to see who was pretty much my surrogate grandma. She would buy us chocolate and give us money at every special event, feed the budgies we had when we were on holiday, we would chat with her for hours (I still do when I’m home) and share her kind wisdom with us. She still sends me Christmas and Birthday cards to Honduras which I love. She fell with Pamela. I think Pamela fell in love with her too. She’s a lovely lady. Both of them are.

That night, we slept like babies on brandy spiked by sleeping pills. Suffice to say, we were knackered.

But back to the present, I’ve been feeling a bit tired and lost in the last few days. Pamela sent me this last night. It’s just a nice little prayer.

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Celtic Prayer

Dear readers,

I picked up this postcard while in Glasgow about two months ago. I decided to get it framed and put it in my bathroom so I can read it in the mornings before going to work. It’s a reminder that I’m going on to better things, keeps me motivated to do my best, and something will come soon. There’s no point in feeling lost. One most strive forward positively with self worth, goals and the faith in yourself to reach them. Realise what you have to be grateful for and that people love and support you, y pasa adelente.

If you’re feeling a bit lost, I hope this prayer helps.

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Here’s a nice tune to keep you buzzing throughout the day. Primal Scream, Movin’ On Up.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=peugq83Fv2c