Musings about my world as I see it

Feeling the passion

Passion.  What exactly is it? Are we really hollow without it? Once we feel it, are we its slave?

Most of us today think of passion in terms of love and sex, or an ardent enthusiasm for something else. An ambition to win an Olympic gold medal perhaps, or to be the yellow jersey winner of Le Tour de France could be your passion. It could be as simple as loving a TV show, or a football team, or breeding dogs. In earlier times it had other meanings: suffering, misery, a martyr’s death.

One thing is certain. Passion is intense and all-consuming. Angelus from Buffy the Vampire Slayer exhibited passion that saw some die, and others driven to madness. Angelus, the soulless version of the vampire Angel, was passion personified.

In the Middle Ages it was regarded as a type of mania, a madness. Something a lunatic would experience, especially during a full moon.

moon - view39190

These days we think of it in terms of sex, or any other intense emotion such as hate, envy, jealousy. Passion is a stratospheric thing. You can’t like with a passion, but you can hate with a passion.

We want passion in our relationships. A few hundred years ago no one would have made that complaint. Perhaps they were right. We may only be physically and mentally able to tolerate a certain level of passion before we lose ourselves.


The French have a legal term for crimes that are caused by passion: crime passionnel. Anyone committing murder when influenced by passion in France has a legitimate legal excuse for those actions.

So if you were to ask me if I want passion in my life, I would say that I do. And also that I don’t. I want its exhilaration and euphoria, but I don’t want the shadow side of passion. The hate and envy that will poison every relationship if they’re allowed to. No. I wouldn’t want that.

But I don’t want a ‘hollow’ life. So yes, give me passion. Let my blood rush and my heart race. Let me scream with frustration, or love, or rage if I must. As long as I mainly get the highs I will tolerate the lows.

Signing off, passionately.

Signing off, passionately.

Curing a sick love corner

Have you ever tried to do something and found that things just get worse and worse instead of better, kind of like they did in the movie Bridesmaids? (Think of the scene in the posh dress shop after the dodgy lunch before it.)

Sick bridesmaids

Such was the case for me when I decided to take the plunge and Feng Shui my love life, to reinvigorate it. What was there to lose? I put in a bit of study and it all seemed easy enough.  Feng Shui experts speak about love corners and, as there are only so many corners in my home, I figured this should be a quick job.

So, compass in hand and several internet sources later, I was ready. One site had a few good tips. Another site seemed a little more hard-core, but in the spirit of plunging in, I read it and a few others.

They all agreed that you need to sort out your love corner.  Apparently it’s:

“the area of your home against the back wall on the far right (when you’re standing at the entrance and looking in.) You can apply the Feng Shui ba gua to an individual room, such as your living room or master bedroom, to your whole house, or even to your property.”

Okay, ba gua aside, that seemed straightforward.

These are some of the things to do in order to nurture a love corner:

  • Hang pictures of men in your home. (I am SO on board with this idea.)
  • Try not to have a toilet, kitchen, or storeroom in that zone (phew, but only by luck)
  • Keep computers and books out of love corners as they encourage study and work, not romance
  • Flowers or candles can infuse the space and, hopefully, the love life
  • Declutter the corner

My love corner is in my bathroom.  In fact, it’s where the shower is, right beside a window.
As I entered the bathroom with my Feng Shui radar on, I recoiled with horror to see what was on the window sill.

What Johnny Depp left behind when he fled my apartment.

No, not Johnny Depp, but a packet of razor blades.

Razor. Blades. In. The. Love. Corner.

How is a girl supposed to recover from that?  What could I do to cure it?

What I found out is that I have to put something in that corner that is of my element: earth.

Cure me, sweet Bonsai.

A Bonsai tree has earth in the pot. Perfect. The plant was acquired and put on the window sill.

Relieved, I told a friend of my near miss.  She listened, full of sympathy, until I told her about the Bonsai.
Her face contorted until she exploded into laughter and it was several minutes until she could speak.

“What if you get a guy with a small…” I didn’t let her finish but was out the door and down the street. I had to get rid of that Bonsai immediately.

I discovered that it was the wrong cure anyway as a plant is more the wood element than the earth element.

Oh no, how could I?

These days I have some pretty crystals in that corner. Two of them, as things should be in pairs to attract love.

I just hope my love life recovers from the threat of razor blades and shrunken parts now that the crystals are placed and working for me.

I’ll keep you posted.

Perfect delivery

You may wonder what the science-fiction movie, Gattaca, could have in common with a baby born recently in China.
They’re both stories about prejudice against imperfect humans. In Gattaca the bias is held by society against a man who is intelligent, but who has physical deficiencies. In China, a baby’s own father has had his revulsion of his child backed-up by the legal system.

Vincent and Irene. Gattaca

A Chinese man, Jian Feng, recently divorced his wife because she gave birth to an ugly baby. His ultimate argument is that he wouldn’t have sired a child with a woman whose DNA could potentially produce the child it did.

The baby in question.
‘There’s only one beautiful baby in the world, and every mother has it.’ Anon

“Our daughter was incredibly ugly, to the point where it horrified me,” Jian Feng said.

Initially he accused his wife of infidelity for the abomination that was his own child, but DNA testing proved his paternity. Eventually he sued his ex-wife because he felt she had married him under false pretenses. He thought he’d married a beauty, and he had. What he didn’t know was that she’d spent six figures on plastic surgery to achieve her beautiful look.

Before surgery, left. After surgery, right.

The judge found in the man’s favour and awarded the father $120,000 in damages.

This disturbing story has raised a multitude of questions for me.

  • Should women (and men) disclose all medical procedures if they’re getting serious about each other? If so, when?
  • What should be disclosed? Personally, I have no issue with a person’s looks, but would worry at genetic problems such as haemophilia, or a family history of cancers.
  • What happens if there is a latent genetic problem that isn’t known about?
  • Should we all sign comprehensive genetic information disclosure documents in future, so our potential partners are fully informed?
  • Aren’t relationships turbulent enough without this extra stress?

This situation, like the one in Gattaca, leaves me feeling disappointed in people. It also makes me want to weep that a newborn baby has been judged so harshly the moment she was born.

Gattaca is a great movie, mostly because it seemed so unlikely a premise that I couldn’t be offended by the content.

“A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.”

That’s not to say the story’s premise isn’t offensive. It is. What I loved about it was that the main character Vincent, played by Ethan Hawke, fought against his fate to improve himself. His defiance is inspiring.

Vincent plants some DNA

An interesting parallel between Gattaca and the Chinese father is that DNA testing was used in both cases.

Uma Thurman plays the genetically perfect love interest, Irene, in Gattaca.

Perfect romance, Gattaca style

She collects Vincent’s DNA material from his work area for professional testing. She considers Vincent a likely partner but needs to know the quality of his DNA first. The results say she’s picked a thoroughbred. (If you want to know more, watch the movie.  I don’t want to spoil it.)

Ultimately, nobody can claim perfection. Perhaps the old adage ‘buyer-beware’ should apply in these cases. Anyway, they call it ‘falling’ in love for a good reason. Maybe we overthink these things too much. Or maybe in a country that has a one-child population control policy, parents really have to think about these things.

What do you think?

How Lance Armstrong broke my heart

Fallen heroes. They break quite a lot of other things on their way down.

Take Lance Armstrong, for example. I loved Lance as a hero, as a winner, and as a champion who beat the cancer demon.

I thought success sat well on his shoulders. I loved how he conducted himself in interviews. I loved that he was in movies like Dodgeball.

I loved him.

It seems now that Lance’s dodging skills are actually dodgy skills. Lance, if the accusations flooding the media are true, is a cheat.

I’m crushed, and I have to ask:

Lance, how could you?  Why did you?

For years I held him above other athlete for what he did on Le Tour de France, which has to be the biggest test of heart and stamina in the modern world. I respect every man competing in that race, let alone the one who wins it.

Lance then did wonderful work raising awareness and sympathy for cancer causes through the LiveStrong Foundation. The LiveStrong site describes the character of Lance beautifully:

‘…a combination of physical conditioning, a strong support system and competitive spirit took over. He declared himself not a cancer victim but a cancer survivor. He took an active role in educating himself about his disease and the treatment. Armed with knowledge and confidence in medicine, he underwent aggressive treatment and beat the disease.’

Lance was heaven sent. His appeal was in his honesty as a person, being a champion who beat cancer to go on and raise money for charities.

Until now.

Now Lance is called a ‘serial cheat’ and a bully, and it’s crushing to know. It makes me lose hope in my athletes.

From now on, the only cyclist I can be sure is clean is Cadel Evans.

I love Cadel but if he turns out to be a huge cheat then I’m changing sports!

Underwater cycling, anyone?

Old dogs and new tricks

After decades in the workforce I have returned to full time study.

I wish someone had told me years ago that you’re always learning and that formal education is nothing to fear. Not if you’re interested in what you’re learning.

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
Henry Ford


 It’s true. When I started working:

  • the company I worked for used couriers to deliver and receive documents
  • no one had smart phones, and
  • the office was full of golf-ball typewriters.


  • couriers are seldom used because of email and cloud technologies
  • everyone has at least one portable telephone device, whether it’s ‘smart’ or regular, and
  • the only place you’ll see a golf-ball typewriter is on an episode of Mad Men.


We deal with those technology changes without thinking about them. Some people still say they can’t learn new things despite the massive technological changes of recent years.

So I came into class earlier this year to find that my mostly 20(ish) year old classmates use all the new things I’d been avoiding til then.  They record their lives, thanks to their smartphones, on Facebook, via Instagram, blogs and tweets. I have to say that it’s been exhilarating and so much fun to enter into this new world and partake in it.

I love it now.  After long-held perceptions (I don’t need a smartphone) were broken, it’s like I’ve been set free.  Truly, I used to look with wonder at The Robot from ‘Lost in Space’. Now? I feel young, just like Henry Ford would want it to be.



Hey there,

Welcome to my blog where you will come to understand why it meanders.

Interests include history, travel, art, photography, politics, philosophy sci-fi, writing and sport to name a few.

Be warned, I am a master of none of these topics!  Sometimes a girl just needs to vent.



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