Saturday, August 18, 2007

Life as treasure hunt


"Why is life worth living?" Asks Woody Allen's character, Isaac Davis, in 'Manhattan'. He continues, "It's a very good question. Well, there are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile...Groucho Marx, to name one thing, and Wilie Mays... the 2nd movement of the Jupiter Symphony... and... Louis Armstrong, recording of Potato Head Blues, Swedish movies, naturally... Sentimental Education by Flaubert... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... those incredible Apples and Pears by Cezanne... the crabs at Sam Wo's"

In this brief soliloquy, Woody hints at an intuitive approach to life: keep seeking out those simple pleasures and add to and diversify your portfolio as you go along. Don't take your eye off the ball and go for the big chest of buried gold when you can walk along the beach and pick up the little gems.

For me, Woody himself is one of those gems. And I'm feeling quite pleased because I've just picked up another shiny one, one perhaps that most others are little aware of. This is the music of Madeleine Peyroux, a French-American jazz singer that is highly evocative of the peerless Billie Holliday's work. You can hear a small clip of her version of Edith Piaf's 'La Vie en Rose' here.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Resumption of normal service


A year and a half since the last post. During which time, I've re-relocated back across the globe, and now find myself back in my old office at Reading. The little tin of Chinese green tea I had left behind in my desk still sits there, and my temperamental laser printer still inserts annoying dots onto documents at random. A bit surreal; indeed so complete is my re-integration into my old life that I sometimes feel that the whole Bangkok sojourn was a dream. However, scrolling down this page and reading posts about Burmese days and the Chao Phraya river causes all those memories to come flooding back.

I confess, the heart grows heavy sometimes when it harks back. I left behind much that I loved there - that beloved river, the river-top perch that we inhabited, and of course, the incomparable Bee. Did I choose wisely? Incomprehensible as it may seem, I probably did.