There have been some grim stories coming out of Afghanistan this week as the Taliban take over: give us all the unmarried women from 15-45 and we will marry them to our fighters (I think they have since denied this is happening). Female journalists hiding their identity in fear of retribution. Women who have fought to have education, jobs have had all that taken away overnight. And as fear of what is to come, prices of burqas in the market have rapidly increased. This is the rise of Gilead from the Handmaid’s Tale. Why did the West go in there and struggle to establish democracy and rule of law for 20 years only to turn around and leave at such short notice? I despair for this world sometimes.
As always, this kind of news makes me wonder, “What can I do?” It’s good to see there are lots of lists out there that contain recommendations of things I can do to help. Time to stop talking and follow up with some action.
On the subject of talking, German language is known for its specificity, and this article from the School of Life gives some examples where a whole English sentence is needed to explain what can be covered in one German word. Some of my favourite examples are:
- Futterneid: food envy – the feeling you get in a restaurant when someone you’re dining with has made a better menu choice than you.
- Kummerspeck: sorrow fat – when you’re sad, sometimes you just want to eat everything in the refrigerator
- Treppenwitz: stair joke -when you think of a clever response, but on your way home
- and my favourite at the moment – Fernweh – distance pain – “The distress of always being in familiar surroundings – and the longing to go faraway”
However we will soon be going faraway! Early next week we will be taking off to Madeira. We have checked the rules and think we have done everything needed – we have our vaccine proofs, we have completed our Portuguese arrival forms, we have booked our return-home-day-2 Covid tests. We have even started packing. I am taking six pairs of shoes which Husband is despairing over. (We are going for two weeks – bearing in mind we have some serious hiking planned, so I need two pairs of hiking boots and some hiking sandals, as well as “dress” sandals, everyday sandals, and running shoes). We have picked out four walks we plan to do, and we know the first day will be looking around Funchal and making plans, because we have another eight or nine days to fill after that. I’m thinking visits to different villages to go swimming in the sea at the local beach, eat lunch at a small local place, back to Funchal in the evening. Husband is thinking, lots more hiking. Hm. I’ll let you know how this pans out.
I found out this week that Scritti Politti are doing a 35 year (+1 because Covid) anniversary tour of their Cupid and Psyche ’85 album. I listened to this album a lot in my teenage years, and continue to listen to it a lot now. This album is pure sweet pop music that shines and sparkles even so many years later. I would love to hear how it sounds live. Unhappily, the day they are playing in London is the day I will be in Fort William, recovering from climbing Ben Nevis. And most of the other UK dates are sold out already. The only date where availability of tickets does not overlap with the Ben Nevis trip is the first show, in Norwich, but that means taking two x half days of annual leave, adding a return train ticket to the concert ticket price, not to mention overnight hotel.
It potentially meant going alone, because Husband hates Scritti Politti – mostly he doesn’t like Green Gartside’s high-pitched falsetto vocals. “He can talk like a normal person, so why does he sing like that?” I was fine with going alone. After all, I’ve been to many concerts alone in my time, having accepted long ago that I’m better going alone and enjoying myself than dragging a friend along with me and putting up with them huffing and puffing and looking bored all evening. “When did you last go to a concert alone?” Husband asked. I gave a few examples. “But that was before we were going out,” he said. “Not really,” I said, listing at least three concerts I went to alone since we’ve been going out.
Seeing that I was going online to book this with him or without, he decided to come as well, despite not liking the band or the music. Much as I’m looking forward to this concert (some songs from the album have never been played live before!) I am steeling myself for some huffing and puffing on the part of Husband during the concert. But I can ignore that. I’m going to focus on enjoying this concert and being in a crowd with “my people”. Cupid & Psyche is a highly produced album and I’m curious to see how some of these songs will be stripped back from their production to fit a live performance.
If you’re unfamiliar with their work, here’s a link to Absolute, one of the songs from Cupid & Psyche ’85.
I’ve had several moments of anxiousness lately over things I needed to do. A complete3y unreasonable fear of “But what if I get it wrong?” The kind of paranoid fear that induces paralysis. I don’t know why this is happening, although if it’s on a day I haven’t had a coffee, it may be my age. Apparently brain fog, mood swings and anxiety are all menopause symptoms. I’m trying to breathe myself through this and talk myself out of this crazy stress head. And that has kind of worked. It’s been helpful at times like this to consider this poem from Erin Hanson.
Whether you fall or whether you fly, you’re still moving. I hope you have a good week.