CAN touch THIS!

Tuesday morning. Hi there! Back in the body business today. Sticking to that morning walk? Excellent. If you discover any fun stuff along the way, drop me a line. And if you don’t feel like walking, we’re gonna…

… dance – that’s great for your body. If you’re like me, you can easily replace gym with a dance session for day. When I was a student, I tried aerobics. It worked for a bit but I got bored with dancing on the same music just because it fit the exercises for the various muscles. Good thing I didn’t give up the parties. And man, in those days did we dance at parties… There wasn’t much booze available in the communist stores, not to mention drugs. Just before I was born, an anti-abortion law had been passed which stayed in place until 1990 – you got it, no contraceptives of any kind, sex was a tricky affair, better not. So what could you do at parties? Play the philosopher guy and hope you’ll bewitch the (more intellectual) girls, or dance. Which is why people in my generation are not only pretty good dancers and sophisticated philosophers (yes, of course they don’t say anything), but have also stayed relatively slim into old(er) age.

I love dancing. As a kid I had asked my mom to put me in ballet lessons. At the end of the first one, she excitedly asked: “so how did you like it?” “I didn’t” – I said. “Why?” came mom’s surprised voice. “Well, they asked me to stretch and stretch and to just go around the room.” “Oh, honey, it takes some time and exercise to get into the ballerina moves…” “But I don’t want to learn those moves – I just want to wear the pretty dresses and dance.” That was my first realization that sometimes you gotta work hard for a pretty dress. So I dropped the ballerina thing, absolutely no regrets – and later on became one of those rare architects who also wear colours besides black.

Anyway, no big deal. I continued to dance whenever the occasion arose. Not to brag, but I was the soul of the parties and I did dance almost all night long. I remember once we returned home at 5 am – it would have taken forever to get the buses, so we had to go through a park. My feet were hurting so bad, I removed my white shoes and walked home barefoot. Liberating. (I probably would have done it at 1 pm, too. I’m just that kind of person.) Oh, and I danced a bit more on the way. You see, I was in love.

Dance has the amazing ability to put you in a good mood. A loving mood. And if you don’t have somebody specific in mind, how about loving yourself? Swing, baby, swing. You can put on Swan Lake and twirl through the house, or a waltz and go one-two-three, one-two-three… Or go easy with Ella & Louis and don’t wake up just yet, keep dreaming … And when you’re quite ready to start your day… full steam with M.C.Hammer – trust me on this!

Let’s dance! Happy Tuesday!

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Good Stuff

Wednesday morning. Well, more like lunch time now as I’m posting this, as I was too tired last night to write this and schedule it for posting in the morning. But the timing is good and here’s why: this post is about food!

Remember Monday you took care of your self. Tuesday you walked a bit to exercise your muscles. Now it’s time for some good food and whether you are a cook or not, you are going to try making this from scratch. The only thing you can complain about is it takes 10 minutes to make, otherwise it has only advantages: it’s good and healthy, it doesn’t have any food additives because it tastes excellent on its own, plus you know exactly what’s in it, it’s easy and beautiful to look at, it’s cheaper than processed food. It’s also pure vegan or you can have it as a side dish with meat or eggs or cheeses. You can have it for lunch or serve it at a party as an amuse-bouche (appetizer in English – I like the French term because it is a great description of the function this food fulfills: it amuses the mouth – and the eyes!)

So grab the following:

One pepper of each colour you can think of and/or find it in the store: red, orange, yellow, green should do the trick.

A few types of olives: green, black, mauve, spicy or not, depends on your personal taste.

Some cloves of garlic.

Olive oil (or any other kind)

Some fresh herbs: Best is rosemary leaves, it also works with marjoram, thyme, sage.

Now chop the peppers and the garlic in big chunks, they’re tastier this way.

Get a pan, heat it up a bit and pour the oil in it. Add the chopped peppers and garlic. Fry for a few minutes until the skin of peppers looks soaked. Add olives and rosemary and fry for another minute or two. Ta-da!! Ready. Add salt or not.

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The trick with cooking is to not be afraid to taste stuff as you make it. That’s how you know what it still needs. Tell me you made it. Tell me I’m helping with turning you into a courageous cook. Or don’t tell me a thing, just do it.

You owe this to yourself. You need good food. Enjoy!

Happy Wednesday!

 

The Winner

I met him once at a party. Slight chances for both of us to have been invited to the same event, never mind attending it. We are in different professions, different social strata, different network circles. Close age though. In a rather ordinary manner, we crossed paths at the bar. There, he grabbed my drink by mistake. He seemed absent minded as I watched him bring the rim of the glass to his lips. 

“Excuse me, that’s my drink. And I believe you won’t like that.”

He blinked and looked straight at me. “Oh. Pardon.” He stretched his hand so brusquely, the drink spilled.

“That’s fine” I said as I took the glass and handed him his. “You look a bit lost. And more than a bit like Vincent Cassel.”

“I am Vincent Cassel.” He smiled.

“Oh. Pardon.” I smiled.

“Pourquoi?” 

“For striking a bit of conversation. You will think I am a fan.”

“And you’re not?” The smile was still there and it got an amused touch.

“I saw you in a few movies. Tough guy. But quite flexible. The Ocean 12 scene where you steal that fake jewel is literally one of my favourite. I think the background music did the trick.”

“Interesant…”

“Will you stop switching to French? This gets flirty.”

“You don’t like French?”

“What is this, an interview? I have a date tonight. Excuse-moi, s-il vous plait.”

I made myself lost in the crowd. Joined one or two other conversations. Tried to make business with an elderly couple who wanted to redecorate their empty nest. As I was handing them my card, I heard his voice over my shoulder.

“I wouldn’t mind a card, s-il vous plait.”

I turned around and smiled broadly. “That was my last. But I can send you a text so you have my number. If you have a phone, that is. Provided you tell me why you want my number.”

“I have a phone, oui.” 

I waited.

“You want the number?”

“Why?” I insisted. 

“Because I need a decorating quote for my new house.”

“That’s not true” I said.

“No, c’est pas vrai. But there’s no other way to continue talking to you. We know nothing of each other.”

“A-ha. And there are no subjects you can think of. Are you always so unsure of yourself? I thought French people had unbounded confidence.”

“And why is that?” he inquired.

“Why, French are arrogant. Who is better than the French? Does anyone dare compare?”

“What other French have you met?”

“A few from France. And lots of Quebecois. I live in Canada. We the Anglophones are not particularly fond of them. Though it really should be irrelevant. French are losers. History has proven it repeatedly.”

“Hmm… vous utilisez des clichees. I thought you’d be more interesting than that.”

“… And yet, no subject. Seulement du flirt.”

He laughed. “I like you.”

“So flattered, monsieur. Where do we go from here?”

The funny thing is that we kept talking. He was quite a conversationalist. Or in French, un causeur. The proof to that is that I do not remember one iota of what we talked about. We wandered through the crowd, seemingly open to talk to others, but I had this strong feeling none of us wanted to let go. At some point, a friend grabbed my arm and said “I got a deal for you.” I looked at Cassel and said:

“It seems like we never exchanged those numbers.”

He laughed. “You’re a sore loser, ma chere anglophone.”

“Right. C’etait un grand plaisir de faire la votre connaissance.”

There was tons of gallantry in his blue eyes. “Moi non plus, madame.”

“Oh, you French! Incorrigible.”

I haven’t heard from him since. There was no way I could have. We are in different professions, different social strata, different network circles. The only thing we have in common is a beautiful conversation we inadvertently had one evening some time ago. And in that, dear Vincent, you’re not the sole winner.