Brief thoughts on the [Greek] crisis

A number of years ago, when the whole banking crisis happened (at the same time as I split from V), the politicians had a great chance to rewrite the way that economies were run and put a stop to the debt economy. They chose, however, to believe the banks (who were making a loss but were bailed out with our money) who had been making huge profits over the years at the expense of us ordinary folks.

But, having sided with the banks, I was always against this austerity drive (supported strongly by the IMF who, later realised that they had got it wrong), since cutting people’s ability to spend would always mean a shrinking economy.

The current Greek government were elected on the promise that they would stop the austerity program. Whatever needs fixing with Greece the poorest should not be the ones to pay which is, generally, what happens when the banks/governments impose austerity measures (since they don’t want to hurt either themselves nor their “mates” profits).

If Greece gives into that evilness that is the IMF now, then, yet again, they have proved that all politicians are is hot air and worth nothing.

I really hope they tough it out. It will be crap for everyone if Greece defaults – but maybe then there would be some sort of wave of dissent against the banks and then, just maybe, something will be fixed?

A night at Blue Note and the thoughts in my head; downloading a video from Facebook

I can’t help but stare at him.

He’s young, probably about 25. He has that “floppy” hair that seems in favour, certainly with the gay people, here, in Milan, and he has a “kind of” beard. He plays the violin.

I stare at him because of the thoughts in my head. They race through, from one thing to another.

How lives are different; when I was his age; I could have been in this world; I’m envious that I’m not in this world; how fascinating to be creative; I wonder how much he practices; assuming he’s gay, I wonder what his boyfriend’s like; or maybe he has no time for that; always practising; up late every night performing; no money; no, I couldn’t have done that – no willpower to keep practising; how much do the whole band practise; he doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the band, they are much older, like “this is where not-famous musicians go to die”; but he’s too young for that – he has still to “make it”; so why is he here on stage with the oldies (none of them will be under 40); I wonder what his life’s really like; does he really have another job and this is only a hobby he wishes were something more; I wish I could do something creative; but I’m good with people; but that’s not really creative, is it; I wonder if I could do something creative with that skill; I would like to be on stage again; how did I get here – listening to this, in a foreign land, in a foreign tongue; am I lucky and will it always feel strange?

And so on, and so on.

That’s one thing.

There’s another.

We are at the concert of a “friend”. I mean, she’s not really a close friend but a friend of one of F’s colleagues, I. And she is a florist. And she sings. Good enough to have the stage at Blue Note in Milan – the kind of jazz/blues venue. And she was a student of mine once, for about 6 lessons.

We, in the audience, are a group of 5. There’s I, another girl, S, who is a very close friend and also works in one of the shops, and E who I’ve never met before. But they all know R, the singer. We don’t have a great place to see, being at the side of the stage but R has to walk past us to the stage and gives F her mobile asking him to take some pictures.

So, during the whole thing, F, E, S and I are taking videos and photos with her phone and theirs and then checking the photos and checking with each other for the best photos.

About the second song into the set, I am struck by the fact that, if I look around the place, everyone is watching R sing – except all the people in our group, who are, instead, checking their phones. OK, so R asked them for some photos but, really, even if all these people are friends of R, how come our world is now only really seen through the small screen of a telephone?

I find it a shame, really. People, as last night, are so busy with the technology, they forget to enjoy the experience.

I ate almost the whole plate of chips. And had two beers. And, after the concert, we went for an Indian. And, after a while, R and the entourage came too. But without the guy I mentioned at the beginning.

Of course.

Anyway, I’ve found out how to download a video from Facebook – that is, 1. Open the video in a new tab; 2. Change the part of the url from “www” to “m” and press enter; 3. As the video is playing, right click and “Save target as …..” which will save a copy to your hard disk.

Unfortunately, it seems the video doesn’t work (on this page – although I can play it on my desktop).  Damn the problem with browsers not supporting certain formats, etc.  Still working on it though.

In the meantime ……

It’s not that I haven’t been writing.

It’s just that I haven’t been able to finish anything.

I don’t know – it’s a strange time. F has been away for almost a month now. I was joking with people the other day that I didn’t know who he was. Of course, the side-effect of this is that I have been incredibly busy, since I have to do everything at home. I don’t mind that, of course, but it all takes time.

There’s also another thing. Since I moved the blog and went through all the posts to delete some and ensure links still worked, I’ve become a bit more aware of the better writing and the boring stuff (this would go under the heading of “boring stuff”) and there’s a part of me that doesn’t finish the posts simply because I realise it’s not good writing or it falls into the category of “boring stuff”.

Of course, I should get over this. I can always delete posts later if they are really boring – like I did when I tidied things up after the move.

Also, because I’ve been so busy, there is also much less angst than usual and, as you will know, angst results in better writing. So, too busy = less angst = worse writing. A no win situation.

There have been many things that I’ve wanted to comment about, from the news, from life – but nothing really “strong”, nothing really important.

I am well. The dogs are well. F is stressed and tired but well. Summer is coming (it’s reasonably warm here if a bit temporal.)

So, that’s another thing – nothing is really happening.

Still, there ARE posts I want to finish so, who knows, maybe I will finish them soon.

In the meantime, apart from this post, I’ve been posting songs 8as you may have noticed) as a temporary stop-gap. Sorry.

Trying something new

I have, this year, downloaded an app to my phone which, in theory, permits me to write posts. This is my first attempt. Problems may be caused by the poor reception here which, for example, has meant I can’t reply to Gail’s comment on the post below.

Anyway, if this works then that would be a great step forward for the summer!

Not first, last nor everything

Not first last nor everything

2nd June is a national holiday here.

It is also the date that I met V all those years ago. Of course, I don’t forget that. He remains a significant part of my life even if a “past” part.

But as the years go on and my relationship with F becomes fuller with memories that we have of our own, the date itself becomes less important (although it will always remain significant.)

During my trip back to Milan I had several calls and texts. I don’t answer them as I am driving and really don’t want to be distracted when I’m hurtling along the motorway!

So I looked when I got back home.

And one of them was from V.

Obviously from an English phone. But it’s too strange. The things that are written are as if we are still together. Except one sentence:

I hope you feel comfortable to think of me and us on this very special day

Well, yes, of course I’m comfortable. I had already thought of it, of you – but it’s memories now and not the here and now. Here and now I’m on the beach, soaking up the sun. This is my life now.

One thing was a bit unfortunate although it may have been a slip of the fingers on the keyboard – he said it was 28 years ago – whereas, in fact, it was 27. I couldn’t resist pointing that out. Was that bad of me?

But, anyway, I’m afraid I can’t reply in the same way as he wrote. I told the truth which is that I don’t forget and am grateful I met him 27 years ago. For, as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t be here now without him. I wouldn’t have been lying on a beach on the Tuscan coast if it weren’t for him. But, I’m afraid he’s not “my first, my last, my everything” as he put. He was but now he isn’t.

And, anyway, given his modus operandi, the stuff he writes or says aren’t always exactly the truth. And if it is the truth, this becomes lopsided relationship since it isn’t reciprocated. It’s not that I don’t wish him well, nor that I don’t have love for him, it’s just that he isn’t my everything (nor even my first or last).

He’s someone who was a big part of my life and because of whom I am here, with F and for that reason he remains a part of my life. But only a part.

Running out of books …….. again!

Running out of books again

Well, we’ve started the summer and, by that I mean we went down to Carrara for the weekend.

I had an extra 2 days (the Tuesday being a national holiday here and so the Monday being what they call a bridge day – but it’s mandatory and taken out of your holiday allowance) whilst F, bless him, had to leave on Sunday because he was flying to Greece on the Monday (for work).

I didn’t want to take a huge suitcase so took three books with me. They were: Reasons To Stay Alive (I had to finish that one off), The Humans (would be a just-in-case reread – it being one of my favourite books last year) – both by Matt Haig and Because She Loves Me by Mark Edwards which I “won” and was, therefore, free.

Reasons To stay Alive was a good book. I was hoping it would help me with BM but I’m not sure it will really. Of course, I finished that within an hour or so. So, then on to Because She Loves Me. I did really enjoy this book. I don’t know that it’s my “usual” read these days being a cross between romantic fiction and thriller but I enjoyed reading it and I didn’t guess “whodunit” which was good.

But, unfortunately, I finished that within two days and so I was on to the re-read of The Humans. This remains a great book but it was a different read this time around as, in fact, it was his thoughts on Depression and during his Depression wrapped up in a type of Science Fiction (although I really think that’s the wrong genre for it – I think it’s more of a book on what it is to be a human being – even on the first read), as explained in Reasons To Stay Alive.

I tried to slow down my reading but it didn’t really work and so, in the end I had to start re-reading Reasons To Stay Alive!

Needless to say that last night I gathered together all my books to be read. I don’t want to be in that position again! And I find, to my surprise, that I have quite a lot of books to be read, so that is great.

This weekend, we go down again and, this time, a number of those books will be coming with me!

p.s. The weather was quite nice and mostly sunny but the wind was quite cold. The temperatures were about mid-20s°C

How is it possible to work?

This is another draft post from a while ago (I’m not sure when now – but sometime before March of 2014).

I am, of course, good at my job.

This is in part because I am old and, therefore, have a LOT of experience across different competencies.

It is also, in part, because I am able to see both the “bigger picture” (as it’s come to be known) and yet have an eye for detail.

And, you know the most frustrating thing about work, in general? Most people don’t have this – however bloody old they are. And now I’m working in Italy and, in particular, for a smaller company which (as far as I can tell) is run like businesses have always been run here.

So, to give an example. I need some information. This is fairly simple information which will be given to a customer. It requires about, say, half an hours thought and ten minutes writing down. Worse still, one of the people to supply me this information has actually already done this but his boss is blocking it because ……. well, just because he’s a complete arse, I suspect.

The dialogue involved the fact that they can’t give me the information because they haven’t had the material to look at. Well, I know that. We’re looking for guesses right now. There’s no way we can do more. And I won’t be holding them to these guesses in the future, as I explained. But I do need more than the couple of lines that they produced originally. After all, sending our customer those couple of lines would have made us seem really quite stupid! As I explained.

So, as I couldn’t get the information to do my job I had to go to the MD to explain. She, of course, understood immediately, what was required. And has told the arse-hole now and I shall now get the information that I could have had yesterday.

Perhaps I should be more like the effing Italians – wait until the shit hits the fan and let them take the shit?

Sometimes, I just want to say “fuck it all”. Dozy pillocks!