Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gratitude for Serendipity

"is a propensity for making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated"

Yesterday a friend had his leaving-do - he was going home to Hong Kong for good and decided to have a small send-off dinner in a Thai restaurant north of London. In the midst of the meal, suddenly I felt a gratitude for serendipity that led me to meet this friend, the girlfriend who sits next to me and the wonderful games of ultimate frisbee we have every week.

If I hadn't known AC, who hadn't googled for visas, who hadn't contacted AY, who hadn't known S, who hadn't known N, who hadn't randomly knocked on a student's window, who hadn't organized frisbee, who hadn't asked to S play, who hadn't asked me to come for a game, who hadn't known T, I wouldn't have met all these wonderful people.

Life gives us hard knocks but don't forget to give thanks with a grateful heart in the good times.

Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea. We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us together is deep and strong and strange
- Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Big Moon Mid-Autumn

Was walking home late tonight and the moon was so big and bright. It shone gloriously in a milky glow with a big star by its side in the dark blue-ish autumn sky.

Sense of deja vu of a big celestial shining sphere once seen on the dark forest edge in Sweden; was walking home too from Mariehem to Alidhem - it was dark and the little roads were lonely and sparse. Little kindergarten-looking houses with candlelight were very quiet in the night.

Another memory was the big moon nestled in the dark silver lined clouds , this time a much younger teenaged me outside the Fraser's Hill bungalow - listened a lot to 'A Whole New World' from Aladdin and felt like I was in suspended 'animation' with my whole life ahead of me.

The mysterious power of the moon - makes one strangely happy especially when you're admiring it quietly.

Happy Mooncake and Mid-Autumn Festival to everyone !

Favourite 'Moon' Songs
Debussy - Clair de lune
Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata
Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini - Moon River
Rodgers and Hart - Blue Moon
Teresa Teng's "The Moon Represents My Heart"
King Harvest - Dancing in the Moonlight

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Stop All the Clocks" - W.H.Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead

Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

ps. After more than 17 years , I revisit Four Weddings and a Funeral - watching it in secondary school I'd never thought I'd be living it now.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Day the Underground Stood Still


The Tube Screamer is an overdrive pedal. The most popular use of a tube screamer is to push a tube amp to make it overdrive more. The pedal has a characteristic mid-boosted tone popular with blues players

Stepping out of the station, suddenly a melange of bodies met me standing in great crowds outside Paddington station; I wondered if an accident had happened but walking further on, realised these people were waiting for their buses. "What a waste of time," I thought. Meanwhile the rest were in movement, preferring not to wait out their time on the sidewalks for what's left of the remnants of the public transport of London, and instead took charge of the commutes in their own hands. They came out in cycles, walked, biked, ran - hence the multitude of people on the streets, in their smart business suits, brief-cases and white adidas trainers; and the sudden burst of cyclists out on the streets with their helmets, sporty riding gear and neon Hump rucksacks.

Where there was not a soul, dark and empty, the park silent with the deepening of the trees and bushes as twilight falls; now there was a merry atmosphere of movement, laughter and talk, as people moved along the greens, walking -almost ambling- to their destinations on their merry way. The autumn evening was cool and the skies were clear - this was a very different Hyde Park today as of yesterday.

What a difference London was without the Tubes running - suddenly the population on the streets exploded not akin to disturbing an ants nest and having the ants spill out of the cracks in millions. Most Londonites are indignant but I'm sure most were thankful for the chance to stop and smell the roses and walk in the sunshine instead of rushing off in the stale air of the underground. I knew I was.