On a Sunday: Something or Some Thing

Last night something strange happened after I spent an hour on the phone with Marc and we ditched the idea of going to the open air cinema.
Alternate title: Jealousy and Patience
Subtitle: Corn-mush, fresh goat cheese, basil and Mirabelle plums smothered in olive oil

Marc had spend the precious past night not sleeping and reading the newspaper in his balcony irritated over his downstairs neighbors complaint letter about his potted plant irrigation methods that have water pouring on their balcony, while his girlfriend got all the rest she could in his bed. During that hour Marc and I passed review on the intolerance and sheer lack of tact that some people seem so generously endowed with. Narrow-mindeness is not a pretty sight any day. Marc owns his flat, the downstairs neighbours are renting, so in the normal hacking order of things, you can imagine who might need to move if the neighbours have flower irrigation methods that are incompatible to one’s own values. Not Marc, besides that is not his main residence as he only is there on the weekend, still he was irritated and could not sleep, but that had more to do that at this point he has little capacity for absorbing any emotional confrontation from either those close to him or the neighbours.
But that is not all that we talked about, and that is perhaps totally irrelevant to the fact that I woke up this morning on my bed with the PowerBook open and the lights on somewhat surprised at the fact that I had not crushed my reading glasses or thrown the computer on the floor. I must have crashed into my own slumber and in a half awake state while somehow managed the minor tasks of taking off my reading glasses. I really do not remember much, and I did not drink anything stronger than pear juice with mineral water. I did not think that I was that tired, but I must have been. It was irritating from the point of view that there were fresh linen sheets on the bed… and I did not even get to savour that!

Now, where was I?


Ah! Each friday afternoon Aikido training draws a line between the week and the weekend, and what I can never quite understand is the fact that I end up still doing what can be qualified as work during said weekend, especially if I am in Berne. As a matter of fact, I end up doing a lot of work during times that one would consider free time. Yesterday around lunch time I sat at the café diagonal like I often do (if not at the café littéraire) on saturdays catching up with the international press and having either an expresso or something more refreshing like water. Except that yesterday I ended up doing work and writing a few ideas for a project now in its initial stages, and that is to me work. I have other watering holes that I am very fond of, but hey… I do like to hide on occasions.

But this thing with water overflowing to the neighbours downstairs is an old one around Berne. Balcony plants are great, they need
water, and for those casually accustomed to just water plants, getting the right dosis is challenging. This is a problem that I have had often enough, also at Marc’s apartment, as I too have contributed to his neighbours desperation on the few occasions that I got to water his plants during his or Remo’s longer absences. But then, I have heard of other great stories of people complaining to the house owners about their neighbours behaviour about plants and somehow being totally oblivious that the offending neighbour was actually a relative of the house owner. This got us going on the speculation of what these people must do in life, and we had to laugh about it, since it was not clearly a matter of where these people work, but where they are in life. Clearly somewhere along the line these people are dissatisfied and unhappy about life. A drop of water from the potted plants above, and that brings in the projection surface for the whole of their dissatisfaction. That Marc could not just shrug it off and get a good night’ sleep in spite of such nagging, has more to do with his own high level of self-induced stress, and he is well aware of that. We all have our red buttons, and the snag points where we get hooked and hung up. Me too.

It is Sunday. I sit now in the garden after having picked a whole bunch of blackberries, am enjoying the fresh summer breeze, and starting to feel that it is time to make something of those berries and satisfy my own stomach’s command for food. I am also thinking of this life of mine, and the good mud wrestling that I have been having with the word “happy” and the German cousin Glück that is somehow much more innate to what I am experiencing at the moment. Come to think of it, felicity might be a good translation to Glück.

Meanwhile had a coffee with Keith and together we brainstormed on a piece of office furniture that “I” would like to see us co-designing. It is inspired by a 1970’s design and my own need for something more practical and more in tune to my way of working than a filing cabinet. Yes, also had some of those blackberries mixed in a birchermüesli that is very much my own recipe (oatmeal soaked in fruit juice, sheep’s milk yogurt, grated pears and peaches and sliced bananas) and one of the great joys of summer. So, I am into simple pleasures these days! In the summer I live on lots of salad, birchermüesli, and rice mostly.

This afternoon I got some wonderfully ripe Mirabelle plums from our garden. Warmed up fresh goat’s cheese with a drop of olive oil and basil, spread it over rice crackers and put the quartered plums on it. Oh that made a superb dinner!

But what is it with the corn-mush? I love corn-mush, or what the Swiss call polenta. Still, the best one that I have ever had is the one that my cousin Lidia in the Algarve does make. She actually grows her own corn, mills it herself in an old stone mill, and cooks it for hours. Got to actually get the recipe next time that I see her.

Oh, I am drifting, really drifting… there are thousands of little every day things that I could write about, and there is the writing, the challenges and the little things that make life so very enjoyable. Ah, and the jealousy is the part that I could never figure out. I am working on the patience.

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