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… still feels a bit like prison.
Dear friends of the Canary
Gee!! 31st of January! In my mind it feels like New Year’s Eve was just a week ago. Time flies. So does the canary. The Canary and the woman behind the yellow bird are changing locations again. Out of Africa, headed to South-Eastern Europe, with a few weeks transit in Germany. As always, the move is likely to be chaotic which is why I won’t be posting my ‘visual observations’ as regularly as usual. However, I will be around and in touch.
A big thanks to all of you who have been following this little blog. Some of you have become friends I am regularly interacting with, others pass by occasionally… I appreciate every single one of your likes and comments.
Here are some of the canary’s observations made in early 2014. Enjoy!!!
… and totally unimpressed by the brouhaha around her, she hurriedly crossed Union Square. Her gaze was firm and her mind seemingly set on things that were way more important to her than that very moment in the heart of Manhattan in late October.
Understatement is the new black.
Oy! I was told it’s rude to point at people with your finger?! Yeah ok, it is probably also rude to zoom in on people while they are trying to cross the street. As you can see, I clearly got busted that time. However, ironically, I wasn’t even interested in taking a picture of the guy and his girlfriend but the mother and her kids in front, which is why they are in focus and ‘Mr. Finger’ is not. In any event, I thought I’d share this with you. While this is not a great photograph, it documents a not-so-rare experience of those of us who walk the cities and shoot their people. Jeez, this sounds awful … but you know what I mean.
It’s a nightmare what has been going on at Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi since yesterday morning. My thoughts are with all the innocent people affected, particularly those who are still being held hostage inside the building.
I spotted this gang of rascals in Thailand: they were singing and laughing, seemingly carefree. The sight reminded me of the ‘kiddie gangs’ I was in as a child. I grew up in the countryside (a fact that I found less convenient when I was a little older and became increasingly interested in the ‘real world’ that I suspected was taking place in the big city) and was lucky to have had a rather carefree childhood. Having read some of your life stories, I was reminded of the privileged circumstances in which I grew up.
Adventures in the Wild
We had plenty of opportunities to create our own little adventures out ‘in the wild’. Retrospectively, it was a real blessing that TV in 1980s Europe sucked big time: no chance of getting stuck in front of it and transforming into a junior couch potato. 😉 We were mostly out and about in our free time, and pretty creative in keeping ourselves entertained. Most of the time we pretended to be detectives, always on the prowl and hoping to detect unresolved mysteries in our sleepy neighborhood. As elementary school kids, our fantasy was boundless, inspired by the children’s books we consumed like popcorn. Given that there were – naturally – not a whole lot of mysteries to resolve (let alone crimes occurring) in our rural community, we created our own.
I recall one particular experiment was a litmus test to identify neighbors with ‘criminal potential’. My sister and I prepared a wallet with a couple of small bills to which we attached a nearly invisible fishing line. We placed the wallet on the sidewalk in front of my parent’s garden, while hiding behind the hedge, holding onto the line. We wanted to find out who’d pocket the wallet and, thereby, manifest ‘criminal potential’. As detectives we were, of course, keen on discovering those who were prone to commit more significant crimes in the future. We were quite innocent back then, so the theft of a car, for instance, would have counted as an unimaginable crime.
The ‘Lawn Gnome’
We had, in particular, one grumpy-looking neighbor in mind. He lived across the street. He used to scare off our cat when she dared to trespass into his ‘impeccable’ yard that had been completely paved over – a horticultural tragedy. And the cat would not linger there for long: given the utter absence of any kind of green and life, she only transited. In our puerile world, chasing our cat was as close to a crime as it got, and led us to mistrust the ‘lawn gnome’. We were almost certain that he would be the first to pocket our wallet.
Unfortunately, the ‘lawn gnome’ never walked by. Once, an elderly lady bowed to collect the wallet, and looked rather astonished when it – as if by an invisible hand – was pulled into hedge. We quickly realized that she was no ‘criminal’, but one of the locality’s old ladies who would have brought the wallet to the neighborhood’s lost-and-found. Until this episode, we were so keen and had not grasped the weakness of our experiment…. So we then decided to take a hiatus from our detective jobs, and moved onto other, carefree adventures.
The Canary is feeling a little blue and unmotivated today, must be a post-vacation low. The cure: focusing on the good thing(s) in life. Or the best ‘thing’ rather. The glamorous Marlene summed it up nicely 😉
- Trend Setter – Marlene Dietrich (vickielester.com)
- Lili Marlene: Marlene Dietrich (ratiocinativa.wordpress.com)
- Marlene Dietrich with one of the first manicures (weheartvintage.co)
- Marlene Dietrich, Josef Von Sternberg and a Hollywood Divorce (vickielester.com)
Meet the furballs
As we all know from Tweety & Sylvester, canaries have a special relationship with ‘putty tats’ which is why I wanted to take the opportunity to solemnly introduce to you my two fury friends Saul (the ginger-colored and white-chested gentleman) and Hjordis (pitch-black and named after a Norwegian warrior princess but soft and gentle as it gets).
This is not a cat blog but the two might make occasional appearances on this platform as the Canary observes them quite a lot.
- A Purrfect Cushion (catonauts.wordpress.com)
- 8 Purrfect Cat Websites For Feline Lovers (makeuseof.com)
- Snapcat: The Android app that lets your cat get the purrfect angle for a selfie (independent.co.uk)
- Too Young to Be a Crazy Cat Lady (courtneyheff.wordpress.com)
- Mr. Bowie’s First Selfie (hopedog.wordpress.com)
- Pets that Blog: Bailey Boat Cat (peacelovenwhiskers.com)
Not that I am a big fan of Mary Poppins. As a European woman, born in the mid-seventies, the heroes of my childhood were not necessarily Disney creations.
On the contrary, I was much more fascinated by the protagonists in the unforgettable books of the Swedish children’s book writer Astrid Lindgren. Yes, Lindgren is the one who created the unconventional, humorous and fearless girl Pippi Longstocking. No doubt, the assertive and independent Pippi made for a brilliant role-model for young daughters of the generation of recently emancipated mothers. So no surprises there.
Burned into our brains
However, back to the photograph above and my Mary Poppins-induced nostalgia: once upon a time, an aunt of ours gave my sister and me an audio cassette with Mary Poppins songs, which (for some reason) we got addicted to in a split second and played over and over again, to the extent that the tape was totally worn-out and sounded rather bizarre after a few weeks. Sort of like Mary Poppins after three bottles of Vodka! In any event, we had internalized the songs in no time (just as we had memorized all the other “audio dramas” for kids) – in fact, they must have burned themselves into our brains, preserved for eternity.
Mary Poppins flashback
When my sister and I walked along Broadway a year ago, we spotted this huge billboard for the Mary Poppins musical and felt compelled to take a silly little photograph. And even worse: we both started singing ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’. I know: borderline embarrassing, but – hey – there was definitely lots of nostalgia in the air.
Hello friends, I am solemnly dedicating this beautiful Wednesday morning to the colour YELLOW as I have finally been able to spot a few sun rays around here. Yay! This bodes well for the rest of the day.
I love YELLOW, though I could never wear anything yellow as it makes my skin appear greenish. Blond hair and light skin doesn’t really work too well with YELLOW. But, hey, don’t yellow things make you happy, too? Lemons, bananas, tennis balls, roses, cabs, yellow rain boots, canaries, the sun?!?
Well, YELLOW works for me and I am, herewith, sending a bunch of YELLOW in combination with African sun rays your way to brighten up your day.
This whole post has a bit of a Sesame Street feel to it, hasn’t it? Today we are talking about Y-E-L-L-O-W.