Mood

Everybody loves the things you do
From the way you talk
To the way you move
Everybody here is watching you
'Cause you feel like home
You're like a dream come true
But if by chance you're here alone
Can I have a moment
Before I go?
'Cause I've been by myself all night long
Hoping you're someone I used to know
You look like a movie
You sound like a song
My God, this reminds me
Of when we were young
Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song
I was so scared to face my fears
Nobody told me that you'd be here
And I swear you moved overseas
That's what you said, when you left me
You still look like a movie
You still sound like a song
My God, this reminds me
Of when we were young
Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song
When we were young
When we were young
When we were young
When we were young
It's hard to admit that
Everything just takes me back
To when you were there
To when you were there
And a part of me keeps holding on
Just in case it hasn't gone
'Cause I still care
Do you still care?
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song
My God, this reminds me
Of when we were young
When we were young
When we were young
When we were young
When we were young
Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
Oh, I'm so mad I'm getting old
It makes me reckless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song
When we were young

An evening with friends, pizza and a dog

The dough felt cool on my fingertips as I spread it on the baking tray. I worked on spreading it as evenly as possible without making any holes on it, even though Tonia, our curly haired Italian friend who got lashes as long as a woman’s envy and eyes that sparkle when she laughs, said small holes were alright. 

It was seven in the evening but it was as bright as noon time outside. The windows were wide open and laughter rang in the house making Wilfred, Tonia’s overly enthusiastic dog, dance around in excitement, its toenails making faint clicking sound on the wooden floor as it ran from one person to the other asking for treats from obliging humans. The entire flat smelled of baking pizza, enveloping us in a warm cozy feeling of home. It took me back to my childhood days when I would come home from school to the delectable smell of freshly baked cakes and cookies. My mom can whip up anything divine in the kitchen and that includes baking cakes complete with icings and those fancy designs. She has handwritten recipe cards from way back her college days and her most used recipe was the orange chiffon cake which was the house favorite. She never bakes pizza but the one time she did, we were all present to help. My dad tried that trick where you throw the spinning dough in the air and catch it back with one hand as it continuously spins to a thin base. I remembered my mom’s half-hearted  admonishment at my dad’s antics while my siblings and I laughed uproariously at the woeful looking dough that flopped back from the air. I don’t recall how the pizza tasted, though, but the happiness I felt as we sat around the table, laughing while rolling dough and offering crazy suggestions on toppings is forever etched in my mind. And yes, we put pineapple on that pizza which I recently found out was a grave transgression to a proper Italian pizza.

I continued kneading and stretching the dough, its soft smooth texture like a balm to my nostalgic soul. It was very relaxing. I wonder if this was the reason  why so many people love playing with slime? Because if it was, I would understand the buzz, it’s very therapeutic. Also, I realized how making pizza is a lot similar to making friends. I get to choose who I allow to be in my sphere just like when I choose what goes on the pizza toppings. For me, weird toppings are okay as long as they don’t ruin the overall taste of the pizza, otherwise, I can pick them off before eating. In addition to the pizza, my friend Dyo and I cooked chicken adobo (a staple Filipino dish) and it was a hit. Thanks youtube for elevating our mediocre cooking skills up to par. The evening turned out really well. It was an evening to treasure among good friends. 

Oh, and the pizza I helped make was the best ham and mushroom pizza I have ever tasted.

Wilfred and the ham and mushroom pizza❤

British weather

Everything is gray. Rain is pouring. Thunder is rolling. Lightning is flashing. Felt like it happened in a blink. One moment the sun was out and people were walking around in shorts and short-sleeve tops. Others wore flip flops. Teenage boys zoomed past in their skateboards and toddlers were running around trying to catch pigeons…

Then gray clouds descended and covered the sun. It’s as if someone said “cut, change scene” and it was one stormy afternoon in a flash. Just like that. There was no drizzle, it was literally the sky opening up and dumping buckets of cold water. The streets are suddenly clear. Most of them probably hurried home and some, like me, went to the nearest store. I’m currently in Bargain Buys writing this. I am going to The Works later to buy some canvas and paint. I am looking at putting glaze on my paintings to preserve them. I’ll see if they have some. I think I’ll go for the satin finish because I don’t want a highly glossy finish. So, I’ll just wait it out here. Usually the rain would stop after a few minutes. As suddenly as it started, it would stop just as abruptly…another one of those “cut, change scene” moment of the british weather. It’s crazy but there is comfort in its predictable unpredictability. Hmmm that doesn’t make sense when I say it (or in this case write it) but in my head it does.

Rain stopped. Later!

Note: Written a few months back. Currently 26°C. Zero percent chance of rain. We drove almost two hours to an outlet store. We found some great deals.. stayed out a bit to bask in the sun. Here’s our view.

Chitchat

I was general cleaning the other day and I found unused colored pencils in one of the plastic bags stashed on a random corner in our flat. I don’t remember buying it so it was probably my dad’s. He loves doodling, painting, taking pictures and lots of other things but he is the best at gardening. He actually has a big rice field where he now plants with corn, peanuts and honeydew. He also planted giant sunflowers (they were taller than him). My mom took these pictures and sent them to us. 

My dad is happiest when he can grow things. He actually has this tradition of planting at least five trees during our birthdays. He has planted hundreds of trees. Some of them we were able to use in building furniture, most were left to grow and flourish but a few were stolen, like my dad would arrive at his mini forest, as he calls it, and find the stump of the tree. He’s sad about it but it does not happen as much now.

I was just video calling with him and my mom earlier and I showed them the painting I did the other day. I got it from a youtube tutorial since until now I still can’t paint on my own. I proudly hung it in the living room and my sister asked if I could put it in my room instead. We all laughed. I told her it will go well with the black and white theme we are planning to do when we redecorate the place. Bless her indulgent heart. She has to put up with my enthusiastic endeavors. Reading my novelas, buying materials for a new found hobby, trying on or tasting stuff I made (which she claims she needs a hazard pay). 

Today, I tried drawing. The prompt said to draw an object that reminds me of a happy memory. That sewing machine does, not because of anything sewing related. I sometimes marvel at how well I could stitch a laceration closed but could never put clothes together. No, this happy memory is of my youngest sister and I squeezing ourselves underneath, perched on the seesawing pedal and pretending we were in a car. Our mom would find us giggling from trying not to topple over when the pedal moves. She had to chase us away everytime and would sometimes rant when she had to use the machine and had to put a block underneath the broken pedal. My mom learned to sew from her mom and she loved making dresses for us. And they were not just dresses, they were beautiful dresses. Like my dad, she can do many remarkable things. I live in a household with very talented individuals. This is probably why I’m proud to be a nurse. My only talent is the life-saving skill set of an angel of the sickroom honed for more than a decade.

Book Review: The Beekeeper’s Promise

My Book Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was horrified to be told that the last time I picked up a book was in 2018, which I have to emphasize is not true. It just so happened that I recently reactivated my Kindle account and the only record of my last reading streak was in 2018. Nevertheless, I was greatly unsettled by this so without even reading the book description, I opened the first recommendation in the store which was The Beekeeper’s Promise. Perhaps it was my lucky day because the book turned out really good. 

The book was written by a bestselling author, Fiona Valpy. It is a captivating book which entwined the stories of two enduring women from two different times- separated by decades. One lived in the chaos of war, a famous beekeeper who met the love of her life through it, fell in love and got separated but in its wake became a fighter on her own right for France’s liberty and the other in the 20th century, a heartbroken woman from London who came to France for a yoga retreat but ended up taking a summer job in the beautiful Château Bellevue, the place where both their stories connected.

It is considerably a light read despite being written against the backdrop of war. I prefer stories that do not involve the grotesque mistreatment and heartbreaking sufferings of people caught in the war but this book is an exception. The story was focused on the main character that the details about the war were just mentioned in passing. This way, I was spared from the usual gloom I feel when reading books on this subject. 

The book also depicted the soft tenacity of a woman’s fortitude amidst grief and hardship. Eliane in particular showed great dignity and confidence in the way she carried herself and when dealing with difficult situations. 

I also enjoyed the crash course on bees and their behavior, the different medicinal herbs and their uses and the grave cycle of abuse. I appreciate how much research has gone in this book because although it’s fictional, they offer factual information.

The Beekeeper’s Promise is a beautiful story of love, loyalty, courage, resilience and healing which will be found enjoyable by everybody. 

In the midst of winter, I found that there was within me an invincible summer.-Retour à Tipasa, Albert Camus (1952)