Sunday, April 30, 2006

Chopin - Concerto #2 in F minor

How much more expressive and poignant can you get?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Saturday

Clara went to a friend's birthday party after lunch where she had loads of fun in spite of having a bad cold. Ana and I went shopping for stuff for her birthday party and afterwards she spent at least a couple of hours chatting online with her friends from near and far (it's becoming an addiction). Hubby was at work for most of the day. Chelsea won its second successive Premiership title with victory over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge (congrats, Mourinho). I was chauffeur, cook, cleaner, gardener, governess and the loving Mum, all-in-one.
That was Saturday.
More or less.

Guernica

As the 70th anniversary of the total destruction of Guernica approaches, Basques demand that Picasso's most famous mural be handed over to them. A most interesting article on Guernica, the Basque town bombed to ruins by the German Luftwaffe in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, and the work of art, which for many embodies the inhumanity, brutality and hopelessness of war, and the cruelty of bombing civilians.

Keep swimming

Friday, April 28, 2006

Anonymous said ...

'If you want to be happy for a few hours, get drunk. If you want to be happy for a few years, get a wife. If you want to happy for ever, get a garden.'

I heard this piece of popular wisdom today, on the Jeremy Vine show, for the first time (apparently it's been around for a long time).

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Poem (Don't look...)

Painting by Edvard Munch (1863-1944), The Scream (1893)

Don't look.
The world's about to break.

Don't look.
The world's about to chuck out all its light
and stuff us in the chokepit of its dark,
That black and fat suffocated place
Where we will kill or die or dance or weep
Or scream of whine or squeak like mice
To renegotiate our starting price.

poem by Harold Pinter


Bleak outlook

The imminence of a deadly flu pandemic (it IS coming and it WILL kill millions), the disturbing daily signs of global warming, the Iran crisis, the pensions crisis, the soaring price of oil - just to name a few notorious recent news - make the future look very bleak.

However, selfish as I am, if I had no children I probably wouldn't give a damn ...

Scolari

Portugal has just lost the world's best football coach/manager to England. Scolari will still be Portugal manager during the World Cup (I wonder if we'll win it for the first time... it's now or never), but then he'll be coming over to rainy Albion. I'm a big fan of his (as much as possible for someone who doesn't appreciate football except during the final games of the European Cup and the World Cup). Best of luck, Filipão.
28/04/2006 UPDATE: after all, today Scolari turned down the 5-7 year contract offer made by the English Football Association. Too much pressure from the English media.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Et lucevan le stelle

In anticipation of a moonless starry night later on, playing on the iPod is Et lucevan le stelle from Puccini's Tosca, performed by Carlo Bergonzi.
This particular Tosca, with Maria Callas(Floria Tosca), Tito Gobbi(Scarpia) and Carlo Bergonzi(Mario Cavaradossi) is my favourite (although Bergonzi is not one of my favourite Cavaradossis).
According to Tito Gobbi's memoires, in one of her performances as Tosca, Maria Callas came too near to the candles burning on Scarpia's desk and her wig caught on fire. Gobbi (Scarpia) immediately improvised a raptor-like motion: he jumped on Tosca, embraced her and extinguished the flames. Tosca rejected him with disgust, but then whispered him a "thank you, Tito"... just before killing him.
Tosca's finale seems to be prone to accidents and there are a lot of tales about various mishaps. One of the most popular is the the bouncing Tosca: Tosca as usual jumps from the walls of Castel Sant'Angelo. But the stage workers had improved her security by replacing the mattress with a trampoline and so Tosca appeared 2 or 3 times from behind the wall! The collective suicide is also popular: the stage director was giving last-minute instructions to the extras hired as soldiers. There had been no stage rehearsal, and he gave them the usual instruction "exit with the principals". When Tosca leapt from the parapet, seeing no other principals left on stage, they all dutifully jumped after her, giving a Shakespearean greatness to the final tragedy.
Also memorable is Placido Domingo's headlong fall while rushing down from the scaffolding during Act 1 of "Tosca live at the real times & places": he smashed into the bottom of the fence of the real Cappella Attavanti, giving a definite hint of realism to the broadcast.


Stereotypes

Here is a cute animation about male and female stereotypes. The circle is the woman and the square is the man.

Cherie Blair's hair

I know it's been a few days since the news broke out that Cherie Blair had spent £275 pounds a day on hair styling during last year's general election campaign (a total of £7,700 was what the Labour Party paid to Mrs Blair's hair stylists at the end of it), but I've only just seen this photo galery and I just couldn't help but post it.
Cherie: I do understand your problem ! I just wish I had your means.

Boring boring boring

Following the example of a fellow blogger, I compiled a list of 100 random things about me. So that you feel you know me better.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Carnation Revolution


Today Portugal commemorates its Liberty Day: 32 years ago, the Carnation Revolution put an end to 40 years of authoritarian dictatorship in the country and opened the door to democracy. I was a child but I still remember it pretty well, especially because there was no school for a couple of days (my school was right next to the Parliament Palace) and all the grownups seemed to behave in a particularly strange way, which is never reassuring for a 6 year-old child.
The revolution started at precisely 12:15 am with the broadcast on national radio of a revolutionary song that had been banned by the regime: Grandola Vila Morena.
For most of the 20th century, Portugal lagged behind other Western World countries due to its dictatorial regime of isolationism; that is well reflected in these photos of the revolution: in spite of having been taken in 1974, they look ancient!
We've come a long way in 32 years !

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ignorance

painting by Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VII (1913)

Strange to know nothing, never to be sure
Of what is true or right or real,
But forced to qualify or so I feel,
Or Well, it does seem so:
Someone must know.

Strange to be ignorant of the way things work:
Their skill at finding what they need,
Their sense of shape, and punctual spread of seed,
And willingness to change;
Yes, it is strange,

Even to wear such knowledge - for our flesh
Surrounds us with its own decisions -
And yet spend all our life on imprecisions,
That when we start to die
Have no idea why.

poem by
Philip Larkin

Chabrier's España

Playing on the iPod is Emmanuel Chabrier's colourful and lively España (the original piano version of it; the most famous version is the orchestral).

In 1882 Chabrier visited Spain with his wife and family, and was enchanted by the energy of Iberian music. He described the dancers at the café concerts to a friend: "If you could see them wiggle, unjoint their hips, contort, I believe you would not want to get away! At Malaga I was compelled to take my wife away…" Returning to Paris, he promised the conductor Charles Lamoureux he would write a Spanish-themed piece that would cause audience members to leap up and embrace each other. Though the first performance in 1883 may not have ended in a group hug, the piece did catch fire with the public, and its themes were so memorable that the main melody was a hit again 73 years later in a 1956 ditty called "Hot Diggity" (with the chorus: "oh hot diggity, dog ziggity, boom what you do to me").

Friday, April 21, 2006

Get well soon

Hopefully, my adored sister who I just found out is in the hospital, will receive the real-life version of this flower basket tomorrow. At times like this, being away really hurts.

The Queen's 80th birthday

I glanced briefly at the telly while BBC1 was transmitting the Queen's Windsor walkabout live (she's 80 today). You may think what you will about the monarchy: for me, Queen Elizabeth II is undoubtedly a person full of dignity, moral principles and with enormous willpower and sense of duty.

Seasonal hair loss

The amount of hair I lose during spring and autumn is so huge, I'm convinced several wigs could be made out of it. I get handfuls of dead hair whenever I shampoo, use the brush or make a mere ponytail. I actually lose more hair in each of these two seasons - every year - than I did after each of my pregnancies, which, for those who don't know it, is supposed to be the time in a woman's life when she loses the most hair due to hormonal changes (along with menopause, which I hope is still a long way off). Fortunately, so far, new hair has always promptly replaced lost hair, even if the effect of so much new hair growing from scratch at the same time can, some times, be slightly disconcerting (punkish, even). My genetic imprint has this very primitive characteristic of moulting in common with that of the many animals that also shed their feathers, fur or skin during this time of year. It all goes to show you that we're all one great big family.

Oops...they did it again !

Apparently Google's tribute to Joan Miró wasn't such a good idea after all, or so the news say. As far as I'm concerned, just the mere fact that during yesterday millions of people heard of Miró for the first time makes Google's initiative worthy.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Google's Joan Miro logo

Joan Miró , the famous surrealist Spanish painter, was born on this day in 1893. To commemorate the anniversary of his birth, Google's logo looks like this today. Hurray for the idea.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Earthquakes

Today marks the 100th anniversary of San Francisco's great earthquake and fire. After Lisbon's devastating earthquake and fire in 1755, which leveled the city with its 8.7 magnitude in the Richter scale (San Francisco's was "only" 7.8), most Lisboners have a particular interest on the subject. After all, the occurrence of another big quake in Lisbon is not a question of "if": it's merely a question of "when".

Monday, April 17, 2006

Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique

Playing on the iPod is the first movement of Beethoven's charismatic Piano Sonata No. 8, Op.13 "Pathétique"; the piano interpretation is outstanding (once again Maria João Pires').
The Grande Sonate Pathétique was composed in the closing years of the eighteenth century. It was published in Vienna in 1799 and is dedicated to Prince Carl von Lichnowsky, Beethoven's landlord, friend and patron.
This sonata has a special place amongst Beethoven's piano works. Many of the great sonatas are known by their popular title: every music lover knows the "Appassionata" or the "Moonlight Sonata". However, unlike those already mentioned, which only received their names during the nineteenth century, the "Pathétique" has always borne this name: Beethoven himself named it the Grande Sonate Pathétique. The only other piano sonata that has an original name is "Les Adieux", Op. 81a.
But why exactly is it called "pathétique"? For one thing the key C minor had a very special character for his contemporaries (which we cannot quite reconstruct on our modern instruments which are well-tempered). Music theorists of the time described C minor as being "sorrowful" (Rousseau), "sad" (Mattheson), but also "angry" and "raging" (Quantz), as well as being imbued with all different kinds of passionate emotions. This character is strengthened even further by the tempo marking for the first movement "Grave" and the dotted rhythms of the opening motif. In 1837, Gustav Schilling defined a composition as being "pathetisch" if it "is in an elevated and therefore harmonically rich, strong style and without any sweetness and mere nicety". Criteria which Beethoven's "Pathétique" fulfils in every respect.
You can also listen to the beautiful and even more famous second movement ("Adagio Cantabile") of the "Pathétique", here:

Back to normality

After four "abnormal" weeks, marked by minor illnesses and the Easter holidays, life resumes its normality tomorrow; hopefully.
During this period Clara has learnt to ride her bike without support wheels and Ana began her own blog (very insightful). Lots of mother-daughter bonding done through activities such as cooking, playing games, cleaning, gardening, shopping, going out for a walk or for a meal, and just spending time together. We didn't go anywhere (the furthest we went was Salcey Forest, which they loved) and I didn't get much work done but it was worth it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happiness: THE formula

Hey, y'all ! An economist (who else) has come up with THE key to human happiness, based on a bunch of scientific data. Here's the formula: Where:

E, the multiplier, is the emotion/enthusiasm with which we live.
M means maintenance or attention to detail. See the tree and not the forest. Focus on the essential and not on the important.
B is for the quest for happiness. The quest and the anticipation bring more happiness than the attainment in itself.
P stands for Personal Relationships
R stands for the reducing factors:
- Not being able to "unlearn" or not being able of getting rid of pre-concepts.
- Basing decision on the group's memory instead of one's experience.
- Interfering with automated psychological processes, trying to manipulate the feelings and reactions.
- Having fear.
C stands for genetic and other inherited factors.

Now, GO AND BE HAPPY !!!

Taken from my homonym's blog.

Insomnia night

A good excuse for taking another lowsy quiz: the What country are you ? quiz.

I'm

Canada

Your country is 65 concerned with morals, 55 prosperous, 64 liberal, and 21 aggressive!

You're a charitable country with a soft spot for mounties. Don't plan on invading anyone anytime soon, but be happy--life's good and people everywhere enjoy a welfare state.

Vous êtes un pays charitable avec un endroit doux pour mounties. Pas le projet sur envahir n'importe qui n'importe quand bientôt, mais être heureux -- vie bonne et gens apprécient partout un Etat-providence.

For your information, the possible countries in this test include: Haiti, North Korea, Albania, Russia, Vietnam, Turkey, Poland, India, Singapore, China, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Libya, Tanzania, East Timor, Lithuania, Indonesia, Iran, Canada, Israel, Sweden, Australia, Germany, or the United States of America.

The mess we leave behind

When we all finally come to our senses, we might just realize that this is, in fact, what our children and our children's children will inherit from us: Death, famine and drought - the cost of a 3ºC global rise in temperature.
Yet another study corroborates this post's title; we do indeed leave a fine mess behind.

Handel's Messiah

Playing on the iPod is the exultant Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah.

The Messiah is Handel's most famous work and among the most popular works in the Western choral literature. It was composed in London between August 22 and September 14, 1741 (!!!) and it was first performed in Dublin in 1742. The Libretto is Charles Jennes's, after the Bible.
The text of the Hallelujah chorus, which concludes the second of the three parts, is drawn from the New Testament book of Revelation.
In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for the audience to stand for this section of the performance. Tradition has it that on first hearing the chorus, King George II was so moved that he rose to his feet. As is true today, when the King stands, so do all subjects also rise; thus engendering the tradition. However, modern scholarship holds its origins in doubt: the King may not have even been present at the premiere.
Occasionally, people unfamiliar with the work have been known to leave after this movement, assuming this to be the end of the oratorio when this is, as noted above, merely the conclusion of the second of the three parts.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bursting buds

Thursday, April 13, 2006

New baby leaves ...

... about to be born ! Hopefully they'll keep me company until October; so much will happen until then !

New from Google





Comes in handy !!!

Easter eggs

Ready for the Easter Egg Hunt !

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Continuing to Live

painting by Johannes Vermeer (1632 -1675), Milkmaid (c.1658)

Continuing to live -- that is, repeat
A habit formed to get necessaries --
Is nearly always losing, or going without.
It varies.

This loss of interest, hair, and enterprise --
Ah, if the game were poker, yes,
You might discard them, draw a full house!
But it's chess.

And once you have walked the length of your mind, what
You command is clear as a lading-list.
Anything else must not, for you, be thought
To exist.

And what's the profit? Only that, in time,
We half-identify the blind impress
All our behavings bear, may trace it home.
But to confess,

On that green evening when our death begins,
Just what it was, is hardly satisfying,
Since it applied only to one man once,
And that one dying.

poem by
Philip Larkin

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Just for fun

On April 21 the Queen will be 80 - and to mark the event, Buckingham Palace yesterday released 80 amazing facts about Elizabeth II.

Why not test your own knowledge of little know facts about Elizabeth II by taking this Guardian quiz: How much do you know about the Queen?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata

Playing on the iPod is the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, beautifully performed by Maria João Pires. The melody is mysterious, almost haunting, and incredibly romantic.

The original title of the sonata is Sonata Quasi una fantasia (in Italian, "almost a fantasy"). The popular title of Moonlight Sonata didn’t come about until several years after Beethoven’s death: in 1836, German music critic, Ludwig Rellstab wrote that the sonata reminded him of the reflected moonlight off Lake Lucerne and, since then, Moonlight Sonata has remained the “official” unofficial title of this masterpiece.

Beethoven composed the sonata in 1801 and dedicated it to Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, a pupil of his, with whom he was in love. It is believed that Beethoven then proposed to her; yet, although she was willing, forbiddance by one of her parents prevented the two from marrying. He was 30 and she was 17.

Requiescat In Pace

This morning, French president Jacques Chirac has announced the replacement of the CPE with a device in favour of getting disadvantaged young people into work.
“Upon a proposal from the Prime Minister and after having heard the presidents of the parliamentary groups and the persons in charge for the majority, the President of the Republic has decided to replace article 8 of the law on the equal opportunity [the CPE] with a device in favour of the professional insertion of the young people in difficulty [getting disadvantaged young people into work]”, reads the official statement of the presidency.
Read about it in the Guardian and in The Times.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Fun with the kids

It feels like we're back in February all over again: it's been a cold, dark afternoon and giant snowflakes are falling from the sky! It's the Easter Holidays for the kids, though, and out we went to see Ice Age 2: The meltdown. They loved it; yes, THEY did.

Incredible !

It's snowing again !!!

Sunday lunch

After I made a particularly eloquent speech at lunch today (I was exceptionally inspired to discourse, perhaps because I had too much beer with too little food), my eldest daughter is now eager to read Jane Eyre, Little Women and Uncle Tom's Cabin, all of which I read at her age. Let's see how things turn out; if they turn out well, I'll just have to keep on being as persuasive and expressive as I was today - without the beer.

A choc a day keeps the doc away

Good news for chocolate lovers such as myself: according to new research, four squares of dark chocolate should be included daily in a healthy diet. The flavanol molecules in dark chocolate act like aspirin, relaxing blood vessels and thus preventing clotting and heart attacks; they also increase blood flow to the brain, suggesting that they could help treat dementia and strokes. Hurray.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

About France

Going into the third month of protests against the government, France's unrest is mounting and is possibly a symptom of something bigger than just discontent with the CPE (First Employment Contract). This blog minutely covers - in English - what's going on in France. Through it, I arrived at an interesting article in the International Herald Tribute, "Capitalism under fire". There's also an earlier article on the French protests by the same author: "When a young Frenchman's fancy turns to revolution".

Clinical trials

My next door neighbor is, as I am, almost 40 and a mother of two. She's a healthy, sporty, red-haired woman who dresses well, has a very strong northern accent and is really, really nice. Her husband is also a very nice chap who, unlike most men, quite likes to chat. He seems to be very fond of his wife and recently presented her with a brand new Volvo hardtop convertible - a present for her 40th birthday (which isn't until next year); they now have three cars parked in their driveway as, sensibly, she did not want to part with her other Volvo Estate, which comes in handier for long family trips (they usually spend their holidays in France or in the North).
Anyway, they are reasonably well off and she quit her job recently because it just wasn't worth the hassle: he works and earns enough for the four of them.
With that said, I really do wonder what went through their nice and pretty heads when they recently agreed on her taking part in some clinical trials for a big pharmaceutical company. Even though the trials are routine testing procedures on ibuprofen (which has been on the market for quite some time) and she's staying for 12 days in a nice clinic (with pool, billiards, good food and lots of little luxuries) and receiving three thousand pounds for it, after all the bad publicity generated by the trial that went awfully wrong last month, why would anyone who does not need the money go through it ?! There's always a chance, however slight, of something not going as planned; hence the existence of the whole trial process.
Some people, usually students and over-65's, do routinely resort to taking part in clinical trials to earn extra income. I've heard of an 82-year-old lady who has used the extra money to travel to the Seychelles, Mauritius and Thailand with her 83-year-old boyfriend; she has nothing to loose, so why not take all the risks and enjoy life to the fullest while she still can.
It ought to be different for a young mother of two who's well off in life, right?

Mourinho, the philosopher

"For me, pressure is bird flu; I am feeling a lot of pressure with the swan in Scotland," revealed Mourinho when asked about the Manchester United manager's attempts to turn the psychological screws on Stamford Bridge. Naturally, the reaction of his audience was dismissive.

"I am serious. You are laughing but I am serious. I am more scared of the bird flu than football. What is football compared with life? A swan with bird flu, for me, that is the drama of the last two days. I have to buy some masks and stuff. I am serious. Maybe for my team as well."

from the Guardian

Friday, April 07, 2006

Brown wins Da Vinci Code case

A high court judge today rejected claims that Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code breached the copyright of an earlier book.
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh had sued publishers Random House claiming that Mr Brown's book "appropriated the architecture" of their book, The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail, which was published in 1982 by the same publishing house.

The claimants said Mr Brown - whose book has made him the highest-paid author in history - had "hijacked" and "exploited" their book, which took them five years to create.

But in his ruling this afternoon at the high court in London following a three-week trial, Mr Justice Peter Smith said the claim for copyright infringement had "failed and is dismissed".

The claimants were ordered to pay 85% of Random House's legal costs, which are estimated at nearly £1.3m, with an interim payment of £350,000 to be made by May 5.

The judge said that a comparison of the language in The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail and The Da Vinvi Code did show some limited copying of the text.

"However this is not alleged to be a copyright infringement ... so does not assist the claimants. Such copying cannot amount to substantial copying of the text of The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail and the claimants have never said it does," Mr Justice Smith said.

If successful, the copyright case could have had huge ramifications for the publishing industry. Random House said the ruling "ensures that novelists remain free to draw in ideas and historical research".

The reclusive millionaire author from the US, who drew crowds of fans to the court when he gave evidence for three days last month, said he was "pleased" with the ruling personally and also "as a novelist".

taken from the Guardian

Spring flowers


Newly potted daffodils and primroses at our door

Easter "Paint" art by young artists

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Lets not all panic ...

... as bird flu is confirmed in the UK.

And don't forget you should always wash your eggs before cracking them !!!
No mayonnaise, beef Tartar or chocolate mousse on the menu in the near future...

The Sad Mother

Painting by Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child (c.1900)

Sleep, sleep, my beloved,
without worry, without fear,
although my soul does not sleep,
although I do not rest.

Sleep, sleep, and in the night
may your whispers be softer
than a leaf of grass,
or the silken fleece of lambs.

May my flesh slumber in you,
my worry, my trembling.
In you, may my eyes close
and my heart sleep.

poem by
Gabriela Mistral

Vissi d'Arte

Playing on the iPod is Vissi d'Arte, from Puccini's opera Tosca, performed by the divine Maria Callas.
....
Nell'ora del doloer perche
perche, Signore, perche,
me ne rimuneri cosi?
...

Genders in reading

As life slowly regains some normality, or at least its appearance, there's time to, once again, glance through the inside of newspapers. In today's Guardian there are a couple of amusing articles about the considerable difference between men's and women's literary tastes (generally speaking, of course). Whereas Albert Camus, J.D. Salinger and George Orwell reign over male literary preferences, usually drawn to alienation and isolation themes, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Jane Austin, George Eliot and Margaret Atwood are among the favorites of women, more partial to books about passion and deeply held feelings. Other curiosities are that men don't much care about fiction, at least not between the age of 20 and 50, women develop emotional bonds with the books they love, their companions for life, and that men tend to prefer hardback covers whereas women favour broken paperback covers. As I said, it's amusing (mainly because quite a lot of it feels incredibly true based on personal observation).
The top men's "milestone" novels are:
The Outsider by Albert Camus
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Ulysses by James Joyce
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
1984 by George Orwell
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Update

Newly posted old photos here and here. Still a whole lot more to come ...

The Mystery

Painting by René Magritte , "The Lovers", 1928



Your eyes drink of me,
Love makes them shine,
Your eyes that lean
So close to mine.

We have long been lovers,
We know the range
Of each other
's moods
And how they change;

But when we look
At each other so
Then we feel
How little we know;

The spirit eludes us,
Timid and free—
Can I ever know you
Or you know me?

poem by
Sara Teasdale

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Flower


made by Clara

Eyes

Hier Encore

Playing on the iPod is Charles Aznavour's wonderful voice singing the melancholic Hier Encore.
As always, you should click on the CD cover to listen.

Hier encore
J'avais vingt ans
Je caressais le temps
Et jouais de la vie
Comme on joue de l'amour
Et je vivais la nuit
Sans compter sur mes jours
Qui fuyaient dans le temps

J'ai fait tant de projets
Qui sont restés en l'air
J'ai fondé tant d'espoirs
Qui se sont envolés
Que je reste perdu
Ne sachant où aller
Les yeux cherchant le ciel
Mais le cœur mis en terre

Hier encore
J'avais vingt ans
Je gaspillais le temps
En croyant l'arrêter
Et pour le retenir
Même le devancer
Je n'ai fait que courir
Et me suis essoufflé

Ignorant le passé
Conjuguant au futur
Je précédais de moi
Toute conversation
Et donnais mon avis
Que je voulais le bon
Pour critiquer le monde
Avec désinvolture

Hier encore
J'avais vingt ans
Mais j'ai perdu mon temps
A faire des folies
Qui ne me laissent au fond
Rien de vraiment précis
Que quelques rides au front
Et la peur de l'ennui

Car mes amours sont mortes
Avant que d'exister
Mes amis sont partis
Et ne reviendront pas
Par ma faute j'ai fait
Le vide autour de moi
Et j'ai gâché ma vie
Et mes jeunes années

Du meilleur et du pire
En jetant le meilleur
J'ai figé mes sourires
Et j'ai glacé mes pleurs
Où sont-ils à présent
A présent mes vingt ans?
Music and lyrics by Charles Aznavour

The worse week...


...for a long while.

All of us were (or still are) ill and a couple of big scares, healthwise, set me thinking about reorganizing some aspects of my life or at least making some contingency plans.

The news from overseas aren't so great either and the moral is low all around.

I wish I could do a lot more than I do, but I already feel overwhelmed as it is ...

Shouldn't Spring have brung sunnier and happier days ?