Pounding Grape

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Lord knows I pound grape….. For those that dont know what pounding Grape is… Well,this is the consumption of copious amounts of wine on a regular basis. Now, not just any kind of wine.

A particular vintage of your choice. During my postgraduate days, I became quite acquainted with a particular South American grape called Malbec. This changed my life forever.

This wine goes with any mood, food and crowd you are around. Now, I wont get into the details but woooOoooo…. Happy Friday and take care of yourselves and each other…

Whats your favourite wine?

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Wilson’s Prom…

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A few years back when I had lots of energy and my metabolism was super fast I took a journey to the most southern tip of Victoria, Australia which  would change my life forever. About a 4 hour drive South of Melbourne lies Wilson’s Promontory aka Wilson’s Prom. By far the most beautiful place I have ever seen.

A little utopia called Whisky Bay would be my home for about 48 hours.

I am actually going to break RULE NUMERO UNO of my blog: Nothing personal/No personal info but i have to share this with the world.

Breathtaking ...

Surf Club

 

A must see if you are ever in  that part of the world.

When Harry met Sally….

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I am on a roll with these classic romantic comedies … This particular entry  may have a few references from the movie but will ultimately focus on male and female friendships. “The platonic relationship” … This topic was inspired by a fellow blogger who planted the idea in my noodle….

Can men and women really just be friends only? Can we go against the laws of attraction and cohabitate? I have heard of a lot of relationships that fall prey to the horrible phenomenon of “the guy friend” or “the female friend”… We are just really close and he has known me for a long time. Well, the truth is nobody in their right mind will ever be comfortable with their partner having a close friend of the opposite sex.

A little article I read in the New Yorker about a certain young man who befriends this gorgeous young lady at his workplace. They maintain a healthy work relationship until he starts to notice little things like her exceedingly long hair and how she smirks. The story unfolds and he finds himself absolutely smitten by her charm and wit.

For as long as I can remember I have always asked people around me this question. Can guys and girls be friends ONLY?? Can we?

Harry met Sally and struggled to keep a platonic relationship out of fear of ruining their great friendship.

Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.

Sally: Why not?

Harry: What I’m saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.

Harry: No you don’t.

Sally: Yes I do.

Harry: No you don’t.

Sally: Yes I do.

Harry: You only think you do.

Sally: You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?

Harry: No, what I’m saying is they all want to have sex with you.

Sally: They do not.

Harry: Do too.

Sally: They do not.

Harry: Do too.

Sally: How do you know?

Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.

Sally: So you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?

Harry: No, you pretty much want to nail ’em too.

Sally: What if they don’t want to have sex with you?

Harry: Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.

Sally: Well, I guess we’re not going to be friends then.

Harry: Guess not.

Sally: That’s too bad. You were the only person that I knew in New York.

Without spoiling it for those that have not watched the movie I shall stop here..

So dear friends of the blogsphere, I pose the same question to all of you…. Is there such a thing as a platonic relationship?

R.I.P Norah Ephron-  screenwritter of When Harry met Sally

Sleepless in Seattle…

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Cupid, the Roman God of love (apparently)… A small winged little boy who is believed to be armed with a bow and arrow. The arrow makes the target fall in love once struck. We have all experienced the effects of Cupid’s arrows and that funny feeling in your tummy.

When I look back at the movies and moments that really explained the concept of love and the effects , one particular movie and soundtrack comes to mind.

Sleepless in Seattle,a 1993 classic with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The movie has so many things that we take for granted in our relationships put very simply.We tend to  forget that you have to go the extra mile to get what you want in a relationship/marriage.

 

Society and the moral decay we face has managed to rob us all of that courageous leap of faith we are meant to take. Falling for someone without a single worry in the world that you might get hurt or eventually become a raging alcoholic ( my humble definition of how love should be )

The crescendo of the movie is the iconic meeting of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan on top of the Empire State Building. The movie is filled with so many musical gems and because of this it lies at the apex of my top ten movie soundtracks of all time.

Allow me to share:

  1. As Time Goes By” by Jimmy Durante – 2:28
  2. A Kiss to Build a Dream On” by Louis Armstrong – 3:01
  3. Stardust” by Nat King Cole – 3:15
  4. Makin’ Whoopee” by Dr. John featuring Rickie Lee Jones – 4:09
  5. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” by Carly Simon – 3:16
  6. Back in the Saddle Again” by Gene Autry – 2:36
  7. Bye Bye Blackbird” by Joe Cocker – 3:30
  8. “A Wink and a Smile” by Harry Connick, Jr. – 4:08
  9. Stand by Your Man” by Tammy Wynette – 2:41
  10. “An Affair to Remember” by Marc Shaiman – 2:31
  11. Make Someone Happy” by Jimmy Durante – 1:52
  12. When I Fall in Love” by Celine Dion and Clive Griffin – 4:21 

    The proof that we still have happy endings and if you want to be reminded what you should be grateful for in your relationship, this is the movie for you. Take a moment to appreciate the score and how every song adds that much more to the events that unfold. Although the movie is shot in Seattle and Baltimore, the Brooklyn Bridge makes a brief appearance again (random trivia)Fight for what you believe in, get drunk with love, don’t hold back. Life is too short to be careful when it comes to love. You could miss out on something really special.Over n’ Out

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist..

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The Alchemist is one of the greatest books I have had the pleasure of reading. People may wonder, is it overrated? My answer is no. Truth be told there are several self-help, inspirational and motivational books out there but most do not have the effect The Alchemist has had on millions of people all over the world. This book has a created a life of its own with its increasing impact. The difference with this book is that it translates what we experience through a great work of fiction.

In the form of a simple yet enthralling story The Alchemist is a parable translating the meaning of life and the key to the journey of life. An internal testament of the power of dreams and achieving these dreams by listening to our hearts and challenging our deepest fears. The story is of a young shepherd, Santiago, who travels from his home in Spain to Africa in search of a hidden treasure. The author shares the boys experiences along his journey and in each obstacle or encounter there is a positive message received. His journey taught him how to follow omens, signs and a universal language of the soul which we know but fail to understand. After he meets the alchemist, everything is put in to perspective for Santiago and the alchemist urges him to complete his hearts desires.

I truly loved the book, I enjoyed every second I read it. I felt as though as I turned each page I learned something new about Santiago and myself. With each obstacle he faced I interpreted my own life, my own dreams, my own fears. The spiritual message I received from the story was very inspiring and motivational. We are born to choose our own destinies but are unable to because we are afraid to fail. What people think of us becomes more important than our dreams. After I finished reading I felt the message within me. Within my own heart as if I had to share it. I had to share the joy I felt. You begin to realise that the world has a lot more to offer your dreams than you realise or previously believed as a child. You pay attention to the sound of your heart and begin to open your eyes to a wider possibility that you are able to follow your path no matter what tests may face you ahead. Your dream is now worth it. The closer you get to your dream the more difficult things may become. In pursuit of a dream we are constantly subjected to tests of persistence and courage. It may take you across the world and bring you back to where you began but it does that with the hope that along the way you learn, you grow and appreciate what life has to offer you. Everything you need or want is waiting for you, take chances and follow your own personal path.

My favourite quotes from the book :

“When you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you achieve it”

“If someone isn’t what other want them to be, others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own”

“The world’s greatest lie is that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what happens to us, and our lives become controlled by fate”

“Dreams are the Language of God, he speaks to us through our dreams”

“There is nothing to hold us back but ourselves”

“We see the world in terms of what we’d like to happen not what actually does”

“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse”

 “Sometimes there is just no way to hold back the river”

“Making a decision is only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him places he never dreamed of when he first made the decision’

“intuition is a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life”

Dimples

The Book Of Negroes…….

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I don’t read much but when I do I find myself telling everyone about the books I read. This really should have been my first blog entry if you think about because it is by far one of the greatest books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

A few years back I had some extra time on my hands because I was in a new city and didn’t really have that many friends so I decided to read this book. The book was scripted to perfection by Lawrence Hill in 2007. Now, the fascinating thing about this book is that it is published as “Someone knows my name” in Australia,New Zealand and the USA. In good ol’ Canada where Lawrence is from, it is published under “The Book of Negroes”..

The book is a perfect mix of historical fact and a bit of tear jerking fiction. It really captures the darkness and horrors that came with slavery. The author really paints a vivid picture of the pain that the protagonist(Aminata) went through from the moment they are abducted from Africa and whisked off to the new land.The unimaginable things that happened on the slave ships and almost cumulative pain that the heroine endures. It is an amazing read that will make you appreciate all you have and curse the money hungry imperialists. The book also has some informative references to slave landmarks around the world. Before this book I honestly didn’t know that there was slavery in Canada.

The Book of Negroes is a book that actually does exist and copies of it can be found in the USA at the New York Public Library, the Rockefeller Library at Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia) and the U.S. National Archives in Washington D.C. In Canada, copies of the same historical document can be found in the Nova Scotia Public Archives and in the National Archives of Canada.

I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone. I bet my bottom dollar that you will get back to me when you do read this.

Regards to all…

Fort Jesus….

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This shouldn’t really count as a blog entry but I had to share this beautiful place. It’s located in Kenya,Mombasa and  is just amazing. Initially a Fort during the “Scramble For Africa” but now is host to many a tourist worldwide.

Initially erected by the Portuguese and lost to the Arabs and then the British. The town of Mombasa is an amazing mix of the three cultures and it is shown in the food and the diversity in the way of life. 

One of the little gems in Africa……. Things you must do in Mombasa

  • Eat Mishkaki/Mushkaki… like kebabs of some sort..
  •  Get absolutely hammered by the beach..Regards to all……

Bridging the East River….

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One of the most amazing structures to ever grace the landscape of  North America. This man-made wonder has such a profound effect on the lives and well-being of residents of New York City(The Big Apple).

The story behind this engineering feat of sheer awesomeness is one that matches its remarkable beauty. I have been absolutely obsessed with this bridge for as long as I can remember and every year I appreciate it more.

Bridging the East River which happens to be one of the busiest water ways on Earth was a very difficult task. A very dedicated German immigrant and his family would ultimately be responsible for what has now been adopted by many as an emblem of hope,love and perseverance.

John Roebling ( J-bling as I now refer to him) had a dream to connect New York and Brooklyn which were two separate cities back in the 1800’s……..

The Roebling family had a significant strong hold on all the planning and execution of the cultural icon. John Roebling’s foot got severely injured during a routine surveying of the project and contracted tetanus which sadly killed him. His son Washington took over the project and was also killed when he fell ill to caisson disease. Washington Roebling‘s wife Emily taught herself the dynamics of the project and basic architecture while she nursed her husband. When he passed on in 1872 she took on the project that had managed to rob the family of two generations of great Architects. When the bridge finally was finished and opened, she was the first person to cross it. Today the bridge stands poised in all its glory symbolizing a sad but amazing story of love,perseverance and raw determination. I salute the Roebling men and of course Emily Roebling especially for giving us what we now call the Brooklyn Bridge.Brooklyn Bridge at Dawn

The bridge has made a lot of cameo appearances in many a movie but one stands  out for me. Meryl Streep in the 1982 movie Sophie’s Choice as she stands on the bridge with her lover and that moment really represents how grand and romantic the bridge can be. There is something about the bridge that brings out the hopeless romantic in all of us.

If you find the urge to research more but are not too fond of reading like myself then the documentary on BBC known as “Seven Wonders”

Regards to all…..

The Sun amidst small stars.

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Greetings to the masses of the world-wide web.  This being my first entry, I shall not concentrate on any particular topic but merely paint a little picture of what goes on in my mind. It is by no means supposed to be taken too seriously and as time goes by I will get better with how I construct my blog entries.

The week has been very exhausting with 12-13 hour days of work that have left me becoming quite the resident in my mind. One of the repercussions of being a tourist of your own mind is that you start to remember a lot.  Normally a song or a scent will take you back to a place but in this case I found myself remembering things from all the places I had visited as a young man. What spurred them on, I don’t know. But it was a beautiful couple of moments and I actually decided to tweet them in order of how they came to be. ( yes I do tweet) . This moment of complete utopia stretched over 2 hemispheres, 8 time zones and 3 continents. Everything was exactly as I had initially experienced it. I always joked to people that I would take mental pictures of events or moments that had a profound effect on me. Here is a list in no particular order of the places I had in mind.

  • Kamloops , British Columbia, Canada ( Sun Rivers Golf Course) which is perfectly poised in the heart of British Columbia. A stunning 18 hole course which prides itself with having one of the best restaurants (Hoodoos) in the Shuswap . I was lucky enough to have gone there during my first 48 hours in Kamloops during one of the harshest winters I have ever experienced. http://www.sunrivers.com/
  • Vancouver,New Westminster Quay,British Columbia, Canada. Now this particular place holds a very dear place in my heart. I was new in the city of Vancouver and i had a glorious apartment right by the quay. No better place to get initiated into the vibrance of Vancouver than watching Canada Day fireworks at the Quay. It also holds a rather fascinating structure which for lack of a better description is the largest “tin soldier” in history. New Westminster made a quaysider out of me as I found myself taking plenty a walk along the boardwalk and managed to find a few gems along the river. A little hidden secret garden that has a little private beach to go with its secluded beauty. An old railroad crosses the boardwalk and is a great look out place and makes for amazing scenery
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  • Melbourne, Victoria (Southbank along the Yarra River), Australia. There are a string of restaurants that are worthy of the most prestigious culinary awards along the South of the Yarra River and are ideally positioned to capture the Melbourne skyline. Probably one of the most amazing places in Australia.
Overlooking the Yarra River, Southbank - Melbourne, 2007
  • A very special shout out to the Northside Community Church, Harare , Zimbabwe.

This is again just a little walk in my mind. These places are accompanied by certain scents, food tastes, ambience that I can’t really describe with words alone.

I am sure this list of places will increase as I grow as a man and citizen of the world.

Regards to all.