2 Cellos Live in Madrid

I had a fantastic time at the 2 Cellos gig last Saturday in Madrid. It was an open air concert at the botanical gardens at the University of Madrid, and the 2 Cellos came on just after sunset, and because of a summer heatwave, the outside temperatures were still around 28C at that time of night.

In case you are not familiar with this duo, they are two rather handsome Croatian lads, who play a mix of classical, pop, rock and heavy metal on, yes you guessed it, 2 cellos!  Starting off gently with one of Bach’s Cello Suites, this was followed by some Spanish guitar played on cello (the crowd breaking into football chant “Olé Olé Olé Oléeeeee”, with the two lads joining in on their cellos!), and they then ripped into the heavier stuff like AC/DC, The Prodigy, Michael Jackson, Nirvana and Led Zeppelin.

These guys are truly amazing, and if they come to a town near you, I highly recommend you go and see them. :)

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Being there, doing that!

Yes, most of us have “been there, done that”.

At just a month shy of my 50th birthday, I am still “being there, doing that“!!!! :D

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Scotsman Playing Christmas Tunes on Bagpipes in Lanzarote Parking Lot

Found this Scotsman (who introduced himself as Gordon) playing his bagpipes in the middle of a parking lot in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote on Christmas Day…. How random is this?! LOL

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Hilarious Cat Lady Video

The tune isn´t half bad actually! By Tudor Williams (Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Song)

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St Patrick´s Day in Lanzarote

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Depression – it is possible to beat

“Stay” by U2.  Such an utterly gorgeous song.  I still think this is their best ever.

And it still makes me cry, it holds so many memories – when this came out I was suffering from depression and I would listen to this 10 or more times in a row because this song would actually make me feel something (don´t ask me what though), and at the time I wasn´t able to feel much in the way of emotion, the depression was making me so numb to everything around me.

It´s depressing just to think about it.  I think the tears I shed just now are for the girl I used to be and how sad and desperate she was back then.

It still terrifies the shit out of me to ever slip back into it.  There have been short bouts of a month or two up till 2003, but nothing since then.

Between 1992 and 1996 I had counselling and various other “treatments” battling with it, but you know what, none of that really helped – it aids and guides you, yes…. but in the end, the only one that can get you out of your deepest black hole is YOU.

It´s one of the worst nightmares (those years were the darkest in my life) and one you think you never wake up from. And to persevere and try and beat it is just such an impossible task, because you just can´t, because you keep slipping back into the “I don´t really care” and “what´s the point” way of thinking.  I don´t know the amount of times I cancelled my counselling sessions just because I thought “this is not helping anyway” or I couldn´t face going outside, and then going back the next week because I felt that tiny 1% more positive again…. sigh

 But any of you who suffer from depression… if I can do it – so can YOU.  But it´s just so NOT EASY.

People who have never suffered from it could never understand what it is really like.

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Kiss – My Favourite Band when I was 12

I remember one year during the summer holidays me and my sister were send off to camp, and after a wonderful 3 weeks of adventure and activities with other kids of a similar age we all had to come up with some kind of performance for the party at the end of the holiday, before returning home.

My group of kids chose to do an impersonation of the rock group Kiss. I used to love that band and at the time “I was made for loving you” was a huge hit.  Dressed up and painted up to the 9s we totally ruled the show that night and we won 2nd prize out of all the performances that each of the 15 or so groups had put on.

Although my musical tastes have always varied to include anything from the Foo Fighters to Straight No Chasers, the fantastic music from the 70s by Kiss still holds a lot of magical qualities for me – and I remember this particular holiday with very much fondness still…. even though it´s now more than 30 years ago!

I mentioned some of my favourite bands above, so if you want to see them live go and get yourselves some Foo Fighters ticketsStraight No Chasers tickets, and the fantastic Kiss tickets from www.ticketamerica.com and have a brilliant time!

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Meditation on the Beach under the Full Moon

I have never been good at switching off completely.  Even though I have “dabbled” in doing meditation previously, I have always found that any small sound keeps me from relaxing and shutting my mind off. It could be something like the rhythmic ticking of a clock, but in most neighbourhoods I have lived it´s more the barking of a dog or a neighbour´s child bawling [insert more noise examples here]. For me, it has to be utterly quiet, but even then…. I would feel the rushing of blood in my veins or listen to my breathing, and it´s all over again!

Last night I went to a full moon meditation meetup at one of Lanzarote´s most beautiful places, Playa Mujeres, one of the beaches at Papagayo. At least 60 people were present, all sitting peacefully in a circle with some candles burning at the centre. The guy who had organised this group was speaking softly in Spanish, guiding us through the first relaxation stages.  However, the feeling of being surrounded by so many people and the odd sound of someone in the group coughing kept me from relaxing, even though the gentle rush of ocean waves was wonderfully soothing. So I gave up my attempts at meditation, and because of upper back and hip (fibro) pain lay down and looked up at the myriad of stars and planets (Venus, Mars and Saturn) in the sky to try and find my own relaxation technique.

About half an hour into the meditation, the music started. Tibetan singing bowls and a didgeridoo made me sit up again and listen, and I found myself getting lost in the music (with the ocean waves in the background). It was like magic, and finally I managed to relax a little as well.

By this time, the full (super) moon had started rising over the volcanic mountain skirting the beach. I was almost blinded, it was so bright! As its white light spread over us, people were slowly coming out of their meditative states and were talking softly to each other and some were taking photos of the moon.  I didn´t bring my “big” camera, so all the photos I took with my “small” camera didn´t really do the reality of it any justice.

I have spent the last few days in some kind of “non-state”, with no motivation for anything but, strangely, today I feel more perky, alive and happy than I did the whole of last week. Even though I didn´t manage to meditate, I feel that last night has “done” something positive to me.

So I should say: thank you supermoon for recharging me. :)

Meditation group after sunset with Venus above

Antique Himalayan bowls (text taken from accom...

Antique Himalayan bowls (text taken from accompanying text at Singing bowl) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Beastie Boy dies from Cancer

It was a sad day yesterday when one of rap´s greatest icons died at age 47 – Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch who was diagnosed with a tumour in his salivary gland in 2009, joined the hall of fame in the great beyond.  

Back in 1987 I was a huge fan of the Beastie Boys and followed them round the UK with my friend Katie, including the infamous riot gig in Liverpool (I was hardly ever so scared in my life, even though we were backstage with the crew!).  I count myself lucky to have met Adam and the boys and their friends and crew who travelled with them back then and had a great time at their gigs.  

All I can say is rest in peace MCA, you were a fantastic inspiration to generations of young rappers and artists, and will, no doubt, continue to be….

A photo from one of the gigs in 1987 of my friend Katie and me (on right) with Adam. 

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