Casino

Let’s talk about music. But first, let’s talk about something else. I had some busy weeks lately with lot’s of meetings, getting a COVID booster and flu shot, a medical check up, a minor medical issue with Jimi (no worries)… But we’re all doing well.


I had to join my best friend for a meeting with a notary. My friend who owned a publicity agency retired this month and decided to shut down his company. I’ve been a shareholder of the company for many years so I was needed to sign a lot of documents. Afterwards, we went to a local restaurant and had a celebration with delicious pancakes and wine. Later that evening while we were having coffee at his home, my friend showed up with a big box and he said ‘Take it… for services rendered.’ I immediately recognised my favourite dream guitar by the size of the box. What a big surprise!


I’ve been a Beatles fan as long as I can remember. My older sister and brother bought all their albums and I grew up with their music. Last year I watched the Peter Jackson documentary series The Beatles: Get Back 3 times. Get Back received critical acclaim for its coverage of the group’s creative process but I was intrigued by John Lennon’s Epiphone Casino guitar. I immediately started a search to find one but it was almost impossible because this guitar was suddenly hipper and more successful than ever before. After 6 months I gave up the search but my friend kept searching secretly and found one in mint condition on the second hand market. This is the most beautiful gift ever!


Maybe the most iconic image of Lennon’s Casino, and perhaps of Lennon himself, is from The Beatles’ legendary rooftop concert on their Apple Corps office building in London. This was also to be the last public performance of The Beatles.
Jimi took a look at the box but decided that the Casino guitar was more interesting.


Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Almost November

Where do I begin? Maybe I should start my twice a year rant about the DST (Daylight saving time)? We’re setting the clocks back by one hour next weekend. I can already feel my SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) waking up in my mind. I know people say each season has it charmes, and it might be true. But I wish summer lasted for 12 months. Okay, there would be no spring to look forward too…

You can also see in Jimi’s behaviour something is changing outside. He returns back inside to the sofa much earlier now the days are shorter and cooler. A few days ago he was caught in a rain shower and asked me gently for a towel.

The local internet provider offered me a 3 month free subscription for a ton of sport channels. So last week I was watching live the football match (soccer) Liverpool vs Manchester City in the Premier League. Jimi wasn’t interested and fell asleep after a few minutes…

Life can be full of surprises, like opening a little jar of coffee pudding and seeing this drawing on the inside. Does it mean I have to share this dessert with Jimi?

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

August 2022 Update

Time flies. I can’t believe we’re already at the end of August. Time flies so I guess I must be having fun… There were good things and there were bad things. The heat and drought in Europe could be the worst in 500 years. It almost makes me long for the winter. Jimi seems to enjoy these warm and hot days. He refused 3 times to come inside in the evening and spent the night outside, while I was laying awake worrying about him.

Jimi’s birthday is coming up later this week. He turns 4! The next day he’s scheduled for the yearly checkup with his vet. I requested a home visit because Jimi doesn’t like the car rides and I’ll spare you from the nasty details.

But I’ve got also some sad news for you. Jos, the cat from my dear friends got wounded in a fight with another animal and needed surgery. Unfortunately they had to amputate his tail. Jos has recovered well and is doing okay right now.

My neighbours were away for 2 weeks and asked me to take care of a stray cat living in their garden. After a few days the cat was already waiting for me and we almost became friends.

So let’s enjoy this summer and don’t think too much about autumn or all the bad things in the world. And the bloodiness barbaric inhuman Russian army. Enjoy all the little things around you and cherish your family and close friends. Invite them over for a drink. And ice cream.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

The Gentle Art

The gentle art of making music. My studio technician Jimi wanted a new computer because the current 8-year-old Intel iMac was too slow and couldn’t run the recent music apps and heavy sample libraries smoothly. So with some reluctance I went shopping at the Apple Store and bought a Mac Studio (Max) computer and a 27″ Studio Display. Getting everything back to work took a long time, almost 20 h. After using the Migration Assistant app, checking and updating a lot of stuff and solving some compatibility issues, I was back in business.

I was also pleasantly surprised by Jimi a few days ago. After ignoring Mr. Bowie’s cat bed for almost 3 years, he finally decided it was time to sleep in this comfortable king size luxurious bed. It seems everybody is very happy right now.

I’ve just started reading The Gentle Art of Tramping by Stephen Graham, originally published in 1926. Stephen Graham was a British journalist, travel-writer, essayist and novelist. The Gentle Art of Tramping is a guide for anyone who has dreamed of taking to the road with nothing more than a bag full of essentials and big ideas. It gives guidance on walking, being open to discovery and being kind – advice as relevant now as it was then. ‘The adventure is not the getting there, it is the on-the-way. It is not the expected; it is the surprise; not the fulfilment of prophecy but the providence of something better than prophesied.’ Tramping is a way of approach, to nature, to your fellow-man, to a nation, to beauty, to life itself.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

How to Enjoy Spring

Spring is finally here! The spring weather brings forth renewal and rebirth just as the promise of Easter brings you chocolate eggs. One more thing: don’t forget to brush and feed your cat.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Fixing a Hole

Wild is the wind. I just realised I didn’t write a post this month. Shame on me… So here’s a quick note. I’m ok, and Jimi’s ok. We’re both enjoying the first warm sunny days in spring. Unfortunately, snow is predicted for tomorrow and it’s no April Fool’s joke.

“I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in. And stops my mind from wandering. Where it will go…” – The Beatles

In February two storms passed over Europe, Eunice and Franklin. I had some minor damage on the roof and a few weeks ago a team of experienced roofers came to fix the problem. Thank goodness we had a devoted supervisor on the site.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Spring-cleaning

Why I should stop recycling. So glad to enjoy this sunny Sunday right now. Just had my first espresso outside in the garden. Ok, I was wearing  a coat and my roof needs some minor repairs after the 2 storms from last weekend. But I can feel spring is near. And it makes me happy.

I started the spring-cleaning and decided to recycle some of the big boxes a kept aside. It was clear from the start this was not going to be easy…

One more thing: I’m always trying to avoid talking about awkward political situations or controversial topics on my blog. But this week a lot of us woke up in shock after a barbaric dictator launched a full-scale invasion on Ukraine. Figuratively speaking this is happening in my backyard. This action is definitely a war crime. Can’t stop wondering what’s next… Invasion of Poland? Finland? Lithuania? Latvia? Estonia?

Poisoning opposition leaders, murdering journalists, suppress populations, invading Ukraine, violently breaking up peaceful demonstrations… Welcome to the world of a pathological liar, dictator and war criminal.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Run for Your Life

Lighting up your life. As the end of the year is coming closer, we’d like to say thank you for your trust in our blog. We look forward to many interesting posts in 2022. We wish you a happy end of the year.
To be honest, I didn’t liked this year. I didn’t liked previous year either. I can sum up various reasons but I’m not going to bother you. And I realise a lot of us are going through troubled times in multiple ways.

There’s plenty of good in the world, we just have to look for it. Putting up Christmas lights is probably a good way to bring more joy in your life. It’s a difficult task but it’s a lot easier with the help of a furry friend.

I bought some extra lights after decorating the studio. Jimi wanted a Christmas tree in his room. But I think he preferred a bigger tree…

Last week, a funny but scary thing happened to me while I was walking in the nature. I’m always staying on the trails because every hiker has a responsibility to preserve nature while hiking. And I’m keeping my distance when I’m encountering forest critters. But this time I had to run for my life after an encounter with some polar bears. We’re all beginning to suffer the consequences of climate change.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Hail to the Sleeper!

What an unparalleled viewing experience! I love to watch movies. I love to watch movies in the best possible circumstances. That’s why I stopped going to the theatres and installed a very good home cinema system. So goodbye to the distracting noises of nasty people around me.

Last night I watched ‘Black Hawk Down’, a 2001 war film directed by Ridley Scott, in UHD 4K Dolby Atmos. What a superior way to watch a movie. I was very impressed and didn’t lose focus for a second. But cats look at this in a completely different way…

Mr. Bowie didn’t like watching movies with me. He always disappeared after a few minutes and went to the studio or bedroom upstairs. Jimi prefers to keep me company and sit out the movie. Well, kinda…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding. 

A Reason to Be Cheerful Today

Happy Gotcha Day, Jimi! Today we need to celebrate Jimi’s Gotcha Day. Two years ago he decided to move in. But I also feel the loss of Mr. Bowie very deeply on this day. He will be missed for ever.

Jimi got 2 plates of his favourite food, shrimps. But he was wondering if there was also dessert… Well, the human had a celebration with chocolates.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Once a Year

This is not my beautiful house! (Reprise) Jimi was due for his second annual checkup today. Just like last year, all went well and Jimi’s in top condition. But unfortunately, Jimi was so, so stressed… I have mentioned before how Mr. Bowie enjoyed the car rides. What a contrast compared with Jimi, he’s so scared inside the car. Glad we’re back home and enjoying our treats in the garden on this warm summer day.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Three Years Ago Today, Approximately

Happy Birthday! It’s Jimi’s birthday today, well kinda. He turns 3 years old in human years. We don’t know the exact date of birth. Jimi arrived sans papiers in the shelter and the local vet estimated Jimi was born early September and wrote down ‘2018, September 1’ on the registration papers.

Jimi gave himself a little present, namely a mouse… I’m always trying to save the life of a caught mouse and set it free again. But this time I was too late. But hey, it’s Jimi’s birthday!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Daytime Job of a Cat

More rainy days. The summer of 2021 is already the wettest summer ever recorded in this part of the world. And it looks like it’s also one of the coolest. It makes me think about all the heatwaves in the previous summers and the ice cream we enjoyed in the garden. What is going wrong with the weather lately? All these extreme changes in weather conditions…

I’m spending more time in the studio because of all the heavy rainfall. Sir Jimi, the studio technician, keeps me company but always falls asleep on the job, just like my previous technician, Mr. Bowie. But there’s one big difference; Jimi stays in the studio while Mr. Bowie always left the building due to his ear problems and the effect of very high-frequency sounds of synths. Or maybe he just didn’t like my music.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Fallen Astronaut

Man in Space. Once a famous FBI agent, Dale Cooper, told me following wise words, “I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. It could be a new shirt in a men’s store, a cat nap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee.” I love getting advice from a spiritual seeker, an amateur philosopher, a loyal friend and a lover of coffee. So every day I’m giving myself a present, like an extra espresso or a chocolate cookie. Last week I was lucky to find and buy a beautiful numbered sculpture inside a blue acrylic block called ‘Fallen Astronaut’. Do I have to tell you I’m very happy with this gift? Jimi was more interested in the box but finally disappointed to find no ‘Cat in Space’ sculpture…

Fallen Astronaut is a 8.9 cm aluminium sculpture created by the Belgian painter and printmaker Paul Van Hoeydonck. It is a small stylised figure, meant to depict an astronaut in a spacesuit, intended to commemorate the astronauts and cosmonauts who have died in the advancement of space exploration. It was commissioned and placed on the Moon by the crew of Apollo 15 at Hadley Rille on August 1, 1971, next to a plaque listing the 14 men known who died. The statue lies horizontal on the ground among several footprints. The crew kept the memorial’s existence a secret until after completion of their mission. 

In January 2019, Van Hoeydonck and Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Al Worden announced the sale of a limited edition replica inside a blue acrylic block, as Van Hoeydonck originally intended, which would have allowed the statue to be placed upright on the Moon to “symbolize humanity rising” via space travel. NASA had rejected the acrylic enclosure’s inclusion on the flight as a fire hazard. A smaller number of enlarged sculptures are also to be sold. (From Wikipedia)

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

I’m Still Here

Missing us? I just noticed I didn’t post something on the blog in July. Shame on me! So here’s a quick update…

Well, there was a lot happening, I had good days, I had bad days. There were some unexpected issues concerning the inheritance from my father and the real estate sales. And summer doesn’t seem to start overhere.

Two weeks ago we were all shocked by the disaster floods. It was one of the greatest natural disasters Belgium has ever known. It cost the lives of many people. I’m lucky to live in an area that was spared.

Last week I invited a few friends to celebrate a special day. All of my friends and family are vaccinated but we still follow the Covid-19 rules, just to be safe and sure. We had delicious desserts, wine and coffee outside in the garden. Jimi seemed to enjoy the people hanging around and had some treats too.

Jimi loves my garden and is always trying to catch some butterflies in the large bushes of lavender. He also tries to catch mice in the stone walls and waits patiently for hours…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding. 

June 10, 2021 Partial Solar Eclipse

The Beginning

……….

Hey Jimi, there’s a partial solar eclipse in a clear blue sky…

……….

The Observation

……….

Conclusion: I don’t care…

……….

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

The Missing

Summer’s here! Late spring/summer finally arrived in this part of the world, after weeks/months of rainy and cold days. Temperatures are above 20° Celsius and everybody is so happy, especially from a mental point of view. Sunlight is often perceived as a cure to your health, however, because of risks of sunburn and skin cancer, we need to be careful how much sun we get. But it feels so good to have breakfast outside in the morning sun…

Unfortunately, there’s someone who’s going to miss the daily rainfall. Jimi went outside between the rain showers to drink fresh rainwater almost every day. Mr. Bowie also loved to do this, probably as most cats. 

Jimi stays outside the whole day and is still discovering all the special places in the garden. Some of his favourite spots were also the spots Mr. Bowie liked to stay for hours. I noticed he prefers to stay in the shadow from noon. One of my previous cats, Mrs. Jones, was a sun cat. She stayed in the sunshine, even on the hottest days during a heatwave. Jimi loves to disappear under the numerous bushes.

Finally, I just got the message I’m getting my Covid-19 vaccine next week. I should had it weeks ago but due to a human error or computer failure, my name was removed from the list in the local vaccination center. 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Chairman Part 2

Garden update. A few days ago, on a rainy day and Mr. Bowie’s birthday (he would have turned 12), a crew of technicians and workmen arrived at my home. They brought a lot of heavy duty material to install a construction covering the terrace outside my kitchen.

Lately, we’re having a lot of rainy days and I would love to stay outside having my coffee instead of running inside for shelter. I decided to use the same materials like the carport; dark grey painted posts made of aluminium and transparent polycarbonate panels. Can you spot Jimi in the photograph?

After the construction was finished we had some heavy rain showers but we could enjoy our coffees without running for shelter.

Jimi also likes this new place a lot. Immediately, the chairman picked his favourite spot on the wooden bench. It looks like I have to look for another spot…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Chairman

What is a chairman? Someone, especially a cat, who is in charge of a garden, a meeting or directs the work of a committee or an organisation. Meanwhile, new outdoor chairs arrived and new work planned in the garden. Something big is about to happen. I will soon be updating my blog.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

The Guard Post

Shedding new light on a geopolitical hotspot, confronting the myth of a war between a cat and two blackbirds.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

CIS

Feeling like a fraud? Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Like your friends are going to discover you’re a fraud? Research has shown that cats experience impostor feelings. Cat Impostor Syndrome (CIS) refers to an internal experience of believing that a cat is not as competent as other cats perceive the cat to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Beware

Forewarned is forearmed. I decided to place a warning sign at the entrance of the garden so that unexpected visitors know which hazards are waiting for them. A cat under the influence of illicit drugs like catnip may suddenly and unexpectedly act very weird and threatening.

Meanwhile, Jimi’s chilling out on a rock. Unfortunately, the negotiations with the blackbirds ended in a stalemate.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Snow On a Tuesday

And you may ask yourself, “Where is that beautiful spring?” Last week I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I was drinking coffee outside in the garden. Today I’m wearing winter clothes. It’s cold. It’s snowing. O Spring where art thou?

Jimi keeps checking out all the special places in the garden, just like Mr. Bowie did. While walking on this high gabion wall he can spy on the neighbours.

Meanwhile, I declared war on those pesky blackbirds. Each morning, they keep destroying our catnip plantation. Jimi’s also kind of in a foul mood. We need to take some action asap…

A few days ago I came across this remarkable phenomena of nature. This tree fungus is called Tonderzwam Fomes fomentarius. According to a specialised website this is lethal for the birch in a long term. I’m always enjoying my daily walks in the nature. There are always new things to discover. While walking is the most underrated form of exercise, it improves fitness, cardiac health, alleviates depression and fatigue, improves mood, creates less stress on joints and reduces pain. And when you get back home there’s always chocolate and an espresso waiting for you…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

One Fine Day

Letting the days go by. It’s been a while since a wrote a post. I’m still busy with getting everything about my Dad’s passing officially in order. I was shocked to see all those papers required by the government. But it seems I’m almost at the end of an unpleasant task.

Last week I had one, no, a few fine days. I watched the latest Spike Lee film, David Byrne’s American Utopia, a concert film from a critically acclaimed Broadway performance. The film includes several songs from Talking Heads and David Byrne’s solo career. David Byrne is joined by 11 musicians, singers and dancers from around the globe. I also enjoyed the brief monologues from David Byrne when he addresses various sociopolitical topics from police brutality, immigration and climate change. After watching a few songs you want to jump up, dance and sing with the musicians on your TV. This concert film makes me feel good, every time. David Byrne’s American Utopia calls on all of us to think, connect and dance. The musical masterpiece is thought provoking and gives us exactly what we need today. Something to celebrate life.

And you may ask yourself, “Where is that beautiful cat?” Well, Jimi’s doing fine and enjoys his walks in the garden. Last year he always seemed to be anxious outside. But recently, it seems he got used to the environment. And I love the moments in the morning, when he jumps up the table and asks to play with him.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Flore

How to warm you up on cold winter days. After a few days of hesitation, Jimi decided it was time to go outside and check out the garden covered in snow. Much to my surprise, he was enjoying his walks and soon he was following the tracks of the sparrows and blackbirds in the snow. As you probably know, I don’t like the winter but I do enjoy my daily walks in the snow.

Thank goodness I found a good recipe for these cold days. I just bought the latest CD from Gabriel Rios, ‘Flore’. Gabriel Rios (born 1978 in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican-Belgian singer songwriter currently residing in Belgium and New York. It’s his 5th studio album and a pecan to the music of Latin America and the Caribbean. It’s a Latin album made in isolation and exile, not only because it was birthed during last year’s pandemic, but because it finds Rios looking back from afar, maybe for the first time, to what remains of his past and his roots. More specifically, these are songs that go back to both his father and grandfather’s youth; songs they would have loved to hear him sing. Feel free to check out this warm album of a great musician. (Info from Sony Music)

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

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