Gosh that was fun!

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Thanks to World Ballet Day, there was positively nothing or no one that was going to dissuade me from hitting London town.  Armistice Day and La Bayadère, you say… ha!

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Naturally, I returned to London, in my ongoing research/quest for more connections to the past as it pertains to the six-volume dream memoirs.  Though I had hoped to publish volume three this year, 2018, ongoing research has meant its delay until Spring 2019.  

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After dropping luggage at the hotel in Russell Square, it was a quick dash on the Piccadilly Line to Leicester Square Station where the 10-day London Pass with Oyster card was collected.  On this gloriously mild Saturday morning, I took a quick snap of St. Martin-in-the-Fields across Charing Cross, before slipping into the National Portrait Gallery.  

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Before having found what I went looking for, I first took a detour through the Tudor Gallery where, alas, there were no portraits of Margaret Beaufort.  That done, I moved down to the open space where the exhibition: Black is the new Black was housed.  

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Stunning portraits, I love the blue-blackened soulfulness of the portraits; these are all eyes that are thoroughly ensouled and lived-in.  Next, it was off to the salon where what I went looking for was handsomely displayed.  

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Enraptured, I passed long forevers fully engrossed by National Portrait Gallery’s recent acquisition of Wim Heldens’ oil masterpiece – portrait of the art collector and benefactor couple, Harry and Carol Ann Djanogly.  The oil on canvas is handsomely hung in salon 38 and was painted in 2017 by Wim.  Wim, I met in NYC at Manhattan cabaret singer, Frans Bloem’s West Village townhouse when we went out back in the early 1990s.  I had been in town visiting with Frans from Vancouver; we met when I then lived in Toronto and finally, the relationship ran its course on my relocation to the west coast and not to be overlooked but sex with Frans was as meh as warm, runny vanilla ice cream.  Of course, by the time that I was visiting Frans and he was out of town, I met Wim; the latter was sick in bed and I looked in on him between going to the theatre and galleries in the city.  Apart from godawful sex, Frans was a little too obsessed with Diana Ross for my liking – it all seemed too sissy-queer-boy, clichéd and banal. 

Distracted by Wim Heldens

Besides, by the visit where I met Wim, who was the warmest of souls – Wim is an old-souled scholar and it shows in spades in his works – I had long discovered the raunchy funk of hot sex deep into the woods of Vancouver’s Stanley Park where the world’s largest city park (1000 acres) is ever ten degrees warmer than elsewhere in the city during the sodden wintry months as the half millennium-aged sitkas keep the place comfortably warm.  There was no need for the ennui of sex with Frans after tying raunchy fuckers to a sitka and whipping them; besides, positively nothing beats fucking in nature – truly, it is the most empowering, grounding experience.  

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On leaving the National Portrait Gallery, I ambled down Charing Cross, took the time to admire the bronze springbok that lords over the entrance to the Republic of South Africa’s embassy with the maple leaf-festooned Canadian Embassy to the west across Trafalgar Square.  

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Down into the bowels of Charing Cross station, I then skipped and hopped the Bakerloo Line to Lambeth North Station.  There on a gloriously temperate and sunny Saturday afternoon, I made my way to the Imperial War Museum and was rather moved by the beauty of the metallic poppies that tearfully bled from a bathysphere-styled window at the museum’s domed rotunda.  This glorious display was part of the centenary celebrations of Armistice Day 100 years earlier which marked the close of World War I.  

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Standing in the atrium of the museum, I was reminded how geography does determine the scale of architecture.  Relative to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D. C., there is no way that the relative limitless wide-open spaces of America would find military gear in such close cramped quarters as at the Imperial War Museum’s atrium. 

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I was there to take in the exhibition, Mimesis, which honoured, on the 100th anniversary of the close of WWI, the contributions of blacks from across the Commonwealth.  Turns out, it was not a photographic exhibition; rather, it was a most evocative of films.  

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From South Bank, it was back to Embankment Station and onto the Circle Line to Tower Hill Station.  There, emerging into the sparkling and relatively warm daylight, one was readily reminded of Vancouver temperatures at this time of year.  Into the perpetual queues one headed for a chance to gaze on the Crown Jewels at Tower of London.  

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Going in, the ravens were keeping a watchful eye… as is their wont and the tourists here were predominantly East Asian.  

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Seeing these metallic simians, I was reminded how good London’s fortune is not to be inundated by predatory monkeys… as is the case in both St. Kitts and Nevis.  

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After having viewed the Crown Jewels, this photo of Tower Bridge, suggested that the fast-moving clouds, though stormy-looking, would not break just yet.  

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About half an hour later, the vista to the west looked dramatically foreboding.  I tried to negotiate and decided that these clouds did not look all that fast-moving, besides they were considerably to the west.  

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Into one of the city’s ubiquitous and thoroughly indispensable Pret A Manger joints I slipped.  There, I dined on a hearty sandwich and had one of way too many raspberry smoothies.  

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Each day, wherever I travelled, there was always one in each pocket.  

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This little rocket was the must-have.  Always, there was one handily tucked away deep inside my black Dorothy Grant messenger bag as I darted about my favourite town, on my favourite West Indian isle – it really does vibrationally feel as though in the West Indies, besotting my insatiable soul with culture, art and more high-end inspiring fare.  

After having interminably waited out the rains, along came 1700 and time for the second to last day of the torch light ceremony at the Tower of London in honour of the centenary of WWI’s conclusion.  And so, of deference one waited out the rains, which rolled through in waves – waves they were which seemed increasingly more monsoon.  Finally, the show was begun and after having been soaked sans parapluie and too many souls – I do not like crowds, I opted to make this short clip as I could not see a damn torch on the ground and headed for the warmth of a hotel suite in Bloomsbury.  

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After being soaked to the gills to get into Tower Hill Station, no sooner than being on the platform and headed towards King’s Cross St. Pancras, along came the announcement that the station was now closed as there were too many souls on the platform to assure everyone’s safety.  Back out into the torrential downpour, we all grumbled, huddled and shivered; this downpour was seriously fierce.  

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After much aimlessly darting about the crowded and flooded streets of the city, two-plus hours later, finally a cab was dispatched and into a very cool hotel suite I arrived.  Somehow, in spite being soaked to the bones and frigidly cold, I managed not to have come down with the sniffles, a cough or runny nose. 

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Soon, wakefulness gave way to sleep and I was readily awakened into a plethora of dreams, which are always thrillingly, lucidly awakened in this favourite city of my well-travelled soul.  A day filled with adventure lay ahead; it was Armistice Day 2018 and I would manage to be captured on ITV film of the ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.  

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and sweet dreams.  

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©2013-2020  Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

Ah summer…

Crazy Rich Asians

After having ravenously devoured this fascinating trilogy last winter, I re-read Crazy Rich Asians in anticipation of the film adaptation. Of course, no film can ever approximate the layers of nuances and breath of ideas between the covers of any book. Moreover, reading is a purely subjective experience and with someone possessed of such a rich dream life, a book is always like the most welcome lucid dream.

I was beyond wowed by this film. Nick and Rachel were beautifully cast; however, I had always envisioned Astrid to be deliciously long-necked and more reserved… I think that they ought to have gotten an exquisite beauty who is in repression mode because no one does refined hauteur like a woman in repression mode. Love the greens of Tyersall Park. This was one of the most glorious movies that I have seen in long ages.

Il Trovatore

Also this summer, I headed off to the Cineplex in Dundas Square to catch an opera production, which initially I had not when it premiered three years earlier. Lucian Mann-Chomedy a mature scholar entity mate and I have been catching movies and attending the opera together. He is a world-renowned expert on Voltaire. Sublime and strastopherically knowledgeable, he is always welcome company. Usually, we gather at my place once per fortnight and have tea, talk ideas but of late, we have naturally been looking at the recent royal wedding of TRH Duke and Duchess of Sussex. More of that later…

In any event, there were we happily settled in in our back row seats, eating popcorn and excited at being transported by Verdi’s mastery. As ever Anna Netrebko was superb and nothing was more moving whilst simultaneously sad than seeing Dmitri Hvorostovsky in glorious song. We both held hands and silently lost tears as his passing two years later, November, 2017 was highlighted at the end of the film. A truly remarkable performer with a lot of sage and king energy going on somewhere in his casting and role in essence.

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So there were Lucian and I returned to Dundas Square to have yet another vicarious theatre experience. This time, it was the Royal Ballet’s new production of Swan Lake with choreography by Liam Scarlett and the most fuck-all fabulous sets designed by the gifted and visionary George Macfarlane – that gold-leaf-looking set in Act III is worth flying to London and seeing it in person at Covent Garden. Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nunez were the pricipal dancers. Now this is world-class dancing of the highest order. I would rather fly to London and catch a performance than time-waste and money-waste on a season of the National Ballet of Canada. If I’m honest, the only dancer in NBC I ever recognise, when onstage, is Skylar Campbell thanks to his russet afro.

Swan Lake Act III

Besides, I was deeply disappointed when in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary as captured territory – let’s be real here – rather than look forward to the future, one just had to go raiding the Canada Council Grant system. I can understand that these are all friends socially but I am so tired of this “one Anglais, one Français” approach to things. God forbid that Canadians outside of Québec should ever be nationally presented on their nightly news with what goes on in Montréal each July 1, Canada Day. After a week earlier celebrating Fete National, everyone moves house rather than celebrate the country’s holiday. Of course, for the poor anglo newcomers to Montréal, living in English enclaves, who did not secure indoor parking, they find themselves with slashed tyres and knocked off side view mirrors – all for being anglo in god forbid supposed Canada.

Instead of saluting the fact that Indo-Canadians in the GTA (greater Toronto Area) have arrived by mounting a production of La Bayadere, instead we had to settle for two non-choreographers mounting crap that you know I had no time to waste on. I heard from friends that it was utterly dismissible fare as can well be imagined. After the opening night performance of a new production of La Bayadere, one could then cross Queen Street West to the grounds of Osgoode Hall (Law Society of Upper Canada) with a few pitched marquees and have an Indian themed party with a handful of Bollywood stars thrown in for good measure. Naturally, this would see new sponsorships for the NBC – god knows arts funding is always hard to come by – and it would be a wonderful way of being both inclusive of all Canadians and looking forward to the next 150 years. The maudlin fare staged will not be in the repertoire ten years hence, you can count on that.

Alors, enough about what might have been… this after all is Canada. Lucian and I had ourselves a fantastic time vicariously enjoying a live performance from Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The dancing, staging and orchestration were all stellar. Vadim and Marianela were fabulous. Of course, had I flown to London to see Swan Lake, I would have opted for Natalia Osipova’s interpretation of Odette/Odile or a partnership wherein Steven McRae danced Prince Siegfried.

Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor, United Kingdom - 19 May 2018

One of the things that Lucian and I also do when getting together for tea, entity mates as we are, is we delight in looking at the recent royal wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex. When initially her overleaves were channelled as requested by moi, she was said to have had two prior lives as a high ranking member of the British Royal Family. Naturally, as I was completely taken with the sweeping theatricality of their wedding, I had those past lives explored and was not surprised in the least.

Margaret Beaufort

Back in 1995 whilst living in Vancouver, I spent a glorious weekend with a friend who had moved from Toronto at least a decade earlier. A great cook and marvellous raconteur, he also happens to be an artisan entity mate. In among his stellar library was a book that he highly recommended; he devoured biographies with true relish. The book was a favourite of his, The King’s Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby – it proved a most fascinating portrait of someone whom I had never before heard of. There was no doubt in my mind that this was a phenomenal woman without whom there would have been no House of Tudor.

Margaret Beaufort Portrait

Cousin to King Henry VI, mother of King Henry VII, grandmother to King Henry VIII and great-grandmother to Queen Elizabeth I, here was the most sweeping portrait of a life lived in full and of a truly remarkable woman. Not surprised was I then to learn that the soul now incarnate as Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex was in that past life, Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby. Indeed, there sat Meghan, holding hands with her beautiful-of-spirit husband, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex with the black marble tomb of King Henry VI behind them in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Furthermore, like true Queen and Mother of the House of Tudor returned, Meghan on entering St. George’s Chapel was greeted by fanfare, which is reserved for the arrival of the Sovereign.

Lucian and I have spent much time, trying to spot as many persons who attended the wedding beyond the usual fare: Oprah Winfrey, Amal and George Clooney – whom I thought were both sartorially off. One does not wear a hat on the left side of the head anymore than one would a medal on the right breast as David Beckham did at the royal wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. I loved every shot of Emilie van Cutsem; she looks like a real tough broad who is definitely got a goal of dominance. Of course, there she sat in the quire next to Jack Brooksbank in her ruby brooch to match her monochromatic outfit. By far the most handsome of her four sons, is Hugh van Cutsem who sat two rows in the nave behind royals, Cleopatra and Franz-Albrecht zu Oettingen-Spielberg; a baroness at birth, her husband is a Bavarian prince and friend of HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex. Hugh van Cutsem also sat two rows ahead of Chelsy Davy and her brother Shaun.

So many persons seemed to have gotten it wrong, claiming that Chelsy looked glum whilst being simply focussed and meditative – I rather suspect that she is either a scholar or warrior soul, which would give her that singleness of focus. There was a beautiful moment, one of my favourites, where whilst chatting with two ladies, she and one of the other women silently break open their faces in spirited laughter – it was one of the more memorable moments. At the time, they stood next to another troika Jake Warren father of bridesmaid Zalie Warren and HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex’s goddaughter as he chatted with Marcus Mumford and his wife the actor, Carey Mulligan.

Edward van Cutsem is, of course, married to another the late Gerald Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster’s daughters, Tamara, older sister of Dan Snow’s wife, Lady Edwina who sat directly ahead of Adam Bidwell – a man with a most sexually dynamic face – who entered the chapel’s south door in a cluster of males which included Jake Warren, Mark Dyer, Thomas and Charlie van Straubenzee, Arthur Landon, Hugh – the current Duke of Westminster – and Jack Brooksbank.

One of the more beautiful intimate moments between the Sussexes went unnoticed by 95 per cent of persons watching the ceremony. Yes there was that beautiful moment during the Kingdom Choir singing Stand by Me when the camera cuts to an adoring HRH Prince Henry as he taps on his beloved’s fingers and she turns and smiles into his familiar soul, being the only sunshine that lights his world – this is the 21st time that these two souls have met during the course of reincarnations. As he slipped the golden ring onto her finger in movement that was sexually charged, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex then winked his left eye at his ravishing bride – sly, intimate and subtle, most persons would not have noticed the wink as it happened.

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Veiled, I love this photograph of Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex as the veil represents the vision of Lady Margaret Beaufort having a lucid dream of herself into the future where she is being crowned, as it were, at a wedding in Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel. How like a true queen, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex appears as her train is carried by the Mulroney twins, who along with the other eight pages and bridesmaids beautifully fulfilled their tasks. The dark and umbra lighting also suggests the past and that soul, having been the mother of the House of Tudor coming through to claim her reward as a member of the House of Windsor, which would not have been Anglican, indeed might have gone the way of so many other monarchies were it not for the shrewdly calculating and indomitable Lady Margaret Beaufort from whose womb like an acorn indirectly passed two of the greatest of the United Kingdom’s sovereigns, King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.

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Theirs was a truly remarkable and beautiful wedding. Here’s to TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex and their tasks ahead as Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors, charter members of the Royal Foundation, the driving force behind the Invictus Games and strongly bonded entity mates who have found each other anew. Hip! Hip!

For now, I have returned from the emergency at St. Michael’s Hospital after being thrown from my chromium steed by rain-smeared steel crating. As ever, I got up and after a vituperative bouquet, I resumed singing and scatting my heart out as it is the only way to stay focussed when bike-riding in this town. Though it has done my arthritic right knee no favours, my laptop survived unscathed.

As ever, thank you for your ongoing patronage. Don’t ever forget to deeply breathe in, plié then push off because life is but a most glorious of dreams and right here is where it’s at. Sweet dreams as ever.  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha. All Rights Reserved.

Overleaves Validation and All That Jazz!

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In the lead up to the annual Jazz Festival here in town, I decided to seek a bit of inspiration and take in a couple of documentaries.  Both proved rather satisfying.  On a temperate Wednesday midday in June, I made it to the Bell TIFF Lightbox building, to which I had never been before to indulge.  

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Relaxed in my comfortable seat whilst waiting interminably through too many ads, I focussed on the latest book on my KOBO being enjoyed to the hilt.  Just then the lights began going down and I was about to be wowed by Grace Jones in all her fabulousness.

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Without doubt, Grace is a force of galactic dimensions and thoroughly absorbed and entertained was I.  There was no getting around the fact that she felt like family in her West Indian realness of essence.  Of course, she also happens to be a cadre mate of both mine and Merlin’s.  

Jones, Grace 19/5/1948 Spanish Town, Jamaica

Michael: This fragment is a seventh-level mature warrior – first life thereat.  Grace is in the power mode with a goal of dominance.  A sceptic, she is in the moving part of intellectual centre. 

Grace’s primary chief feature is arrogance and the secondary greed, is fixated on accomplishment. 

Grace’s body type is Mars/Saturn. 

The fragment Grace is second-cast in third cadence; she is a member of greater cadence two.  Grace’s entity is five, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – yet another cadre mate of Merlin’s and Arvin’s. 

Grace’s essence twin is a warrior and her task companion a sage. 

Grace’s three primary needs are: power, freedom and adventure. 

There are 10 past-life associations with Arvin and 16 with Merlin. 

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The weekend prior, I decided to drop everything and go catch the André Leon-Talley documentary.  I knew that it had been playing, Juan-Felipe de Castro — a most exhaustingly funny sage… no, they are not all funny — had raved about it and insisted that I go.  In any event, there was I, playing femme au foyer with my Swiffer and came across the coffee table gem: ALT 365+ and immediately took a shower, booked a ticket, opted for some Tom Ford Black Orchid eau de parfum instead of patchouli, hopped on my bike with my Dorothy Grant messenger bag and my snazzy Wellingtons.  

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I got to King West and John Streets, opted to lock up my trusty bike on John Street and dashed across John for the 40 storey plus condo.  There are too many of these damn hideous things and more people jump from them than one would care to have to admit.  That aside, I made my way inside, for the first time — I never do TIFF — and was wowed by the place; seriously, though, what’s with having to climb stairs when your bladder is about to give out?  

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Comfy, the beautifully interiored salon’s lights went down and thus began the pleasurable and immensely enlightening adventure that is, The Gospel According to André.  Great it was to see the grand dame, Diana Vreeland.  Of course, I was reminded of the summer of 1983 when working in the garment district, running errands for milliner, Frederick Jones; these were all persons whom he knew and with whom I became briefly acquainted for tagging along with him to some mid-afternoon or mid-morning meeting after which we would be off to buy fabric.  Frederick had actually taught me how to block hats, which gladly I did as he feverishly worked away in his West 43rd Street Studio/home.  

Talley, André-Leon 16/10/1949

Michael: This fragment is a fifth-level mature atisan – third life thereat.  André is in the passion mode with a goal of acceptance.  An indealist, he is in the emotional part of intellectual centre. 

André’s primary chief feature is greed fixated on satisfaction and the secondary, arrogrance.  

André’s body type is Jupiter/Venus. 

The fragment André is fifth-cast in the first cadence; he is a member of greater cadence three.  André’s entity is six, cadre one, greater cadre 6, pod 414. 

André’s essence twin is an artisan and the task companion a sage who is known to him. 

André’s three primary needs are: expression, expansion and communion. 

There are 14 past-life associations with Arvin and 10 with Merlin. 

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Last Saturday feeling deathly exhausted and suffering from allergies — my sneeze is phenomenally loud — I debated whether or not to make the Liona Boyd concert at Church of the Redeemer, on Bloor Street West at Avenue Road.  

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Slipping inside the pyramid, I grabbed a clutch of crystals, intently focussed on ridding myself of this allergic morass and dosed off for a spell.  When I came to, sneezed louder than normally I would then found myself nose-blowing and ejecting a pond of phlegm.  At that, I felt grounded, focussed and as though I had never been in the throes of allergies.  I took a cold shower, in my perpetually freezing apartment, the AC is always on at 61° — I cannot abide heat… to say nothing of summer.  

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With unassigned seating, I went and sat at the edge of the last pew in the stage left transept.  No sooner than having taken a seat that the smell of the persons to my right precluded remaining where I was; they, frankly, smelt like burnt flesh which also had a melange that was not dissimilar to the loud smell of a long-haired dog when wet.  Who knows what Canis Major world from whence their hybridised alien stock originates but I always find the smell of such persons off-putting.  

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Thus, I opted to stand for the performance’s duration and a gloriously magical interlude it proved.  This was billed as a celebration of Yorkville in its 1960s heyday.  After the youth choir had opened, out walked Liona Boyd in a flowing white and blue gown, looking positively ethereal.  

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This performance for me was just as bucolic as when passing late afternoons in childhood high up my favourite fruit tree in St. Kitts and being swept along by air currents as the branch on which I would be perched, rocked and swayed, taking me higher as I blissed out to the magic of Beatles’ tunes from the neighbour’s radio; naturally, no such ungodly music was ever allowed in our household.  Great fun it was to hear Liona’s recollections of Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, John Denver and others.  For the first time, after her anecdote about working in a London, England studio where also John Denver was working, Jet Plane proved a most poignant moment in the concert.  

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There was a hush after we all sang along to the John Denver tune, with Liona on vocals and guitar, that moment was simply rapturous.  This performance was just as intimate as if we were merely a few persons in a backyard, hanging out by candlelight after a fine meal, good wine and having a sing-along whilst some august soul strummed on guitar.  A truly soul-stirring adage, the evening proved.  I was only too happy to grab my autographed copies of her memoirs — which I have yet to devour.  One had a true sense of communion when singing along and afterwards when briefly chatting whilst she signed both memoirs.  I really didn’t need the overleaves to have validated the connection; quite remarkably she felt solid which is how all soul connections register… at least for me they do.  

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Boyd, Liona 11/7/1949 London, England

Michael: This fragment is a mid-cycle mature sage – second life thereat.  Liona is in the perseveration mode with a goal of growth.  A pragmatist, she is in the moving part of intellectual centre. 

Liona’s primary chief feature is impatience and the secondary, self-deprecation. 

Liona’s body type is Lunar/Mercury. 

The fragment Liona is fourth-cast in fourth cadence; she is a member of greater cadence three.  Liona’s entity is six, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – Liona is an entity mate of both Merlin’s and Arvin’s. 

Liona’s essence twin is a sage and the task companion an artisan who is known to her. 

Liona’s three primary needs are: freedom, adventure and power. 

There are 18 past-life associations with Arvn and 12 with Merlin.  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

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Naturally, no trip to the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall would be complete without crossover from the hall to the old majestic red-bricked building that faces onto Bloor Street West and pay a visit to the Bella Bartok statue.  Vibrationally, I don’t know why, but I am always reminded of Leonard Cohen when looking at this statue.  20180626_194633

Settled in comfortably and it was time to be wowed by Savion Glover and boy did the old shamanic griot deliver!  Never had 1.5 hours of dancing been so phenomenal.  This was sheer uneclipsed beauty of spirit.  Whilst I sat there waiting for the house lights to go down, I poured through photos to include in my instagram account.  

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Just then, I came across the account of someone met days earlier whom I had added to Instagram but who has yet to follow in kind.  Naturally, this lost soul claimed to be impressed that I knew of crystals and had a pyramid but like too many Canadians, he was really big on letting me know that he was too busy to check  his Instagram account.  To look at it, it is the most flaky, crowd-following, lost soul bullshit imaginable.  Of course, this clown is too busy dropping whatever to even know that there is a Jazz festival afoot and likely would dismiss it as not evolved enough.  

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After having been wowed by Savion’s sheer genius, I stumbled out onto Bloor Street West lightheaded both from the performance and the fact that I was quite frankly hungry.  There had been no water in my building all day; not able to cook, I sped to the performance by bike and soon realised that I was more famished than I reckoned.  Throwing caution to the wind, I poured into the revamped McDonald’s across from the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) — wouldn’t like to be a homeowner in the swank new condo only to have the smell of French fries night and day permeating your tony Yorkville digs?  

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After having repeated my order three times to the vapid-looking but shade-throwing Southeast Asian server, I finally spoke up 15 minutes later, demanding to know what was taking so long.  As the order got to me, I was so bored of having to look at stupid, overbred fools, I took the food said my best “fuck you/thank you” and departed the store.  When finally, I opened up, glad to be able to dig into my two McChicken sandwiches, the above is the sight with which I was presented.  Inside the clear top of the container, which would normally hold eggs, pancakes or other breakfast fare, were two greasy, deep-fried patties that for all the hell I could have cared might have been dog as it certainly was not chicken.  Not in the mood to row with anyone just then, I ubered some Jerk chicken and some coconut water.  20180626_194039

Almost an hour after initially I had ordered food to address my hunger along came my order.  Sure enough another overbred fool presented with the most god-awful malodorous bouquet of smegma, dirty arse, armpits, curry and bad breath that suggested that he had at least half a dozen cavities.  Right about then, I was one none-too-thrilled and hungry motherfucker.  So repulsed was I that I simply tossed the food in the fridge and had one of the coconut waters.  How unaware must one be that you are going to have the fuck-all temerity to serve the public and smelling as unhygienic as is humanly possible?  

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Another day and another church for sinner man moi to grace.  The Jazz festival this year was missing its usual verve as the concerts would usually be hosted by on-air hosts from Toronto’s JazzFM.  Since a couple of months earlier, the absence of Garvia Bailey from the airwaves on her morning show and I began counting down the days to her return from holiday.  Of course, this being Canada, I always worried when Garvia was away from her show as being Black in this country means that job security is as rare as pussy at a bathhouse.  

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Never before had Garvia been missing from the airwaves this long; heck, I had even called the station one Friday to ask when she would return and was told that she would be back on Monday.  That Monday rolled around and Mark Wigmore, who had previously worked at the city’s Gay radio station, was still hosting and now there was no more mention of Garvia Bailey.  Now I was beginning to get more than a little bit pissed off.  Was she ill?  Had she quit?  Had she been fired?  At least, Garvia was still there on her twitter account.  Then one day, I looked at the JazzFM website on-air host page and Garvia’s name was gone.  Wow, I would really have to start rethinking my support.  

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Then the unfathomable unfolded as I opened the day’s Globe and Mail newspaper to read that five on-air persons had been fired and there had been a string of sexual harassment allegations against Ross Porter.  Brazenly, he was still on-air and the station, which relies on listener support, had the gall to keep Ross on-air.  Regardless, there is nothing more odious than having to suffer someone who has been the focus of sexual allegations, true or not; it is just immensely disquieting. 

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So there was I to see Cecile McLorin Salvant weave her indelible magic.  I sat in the back pew in the balcony which afforded a commanding view of the stage and in particular the very engaging drummer.  Cecile was in superb form.  Next to me sat a couple, who clearly did not care to be there; one had to buy tickets in blocks of three concerts — at least for that venue.  Naturally, the night before conflicted with the Savion Glover concert at Koerner Hall.  The third concert would be the day following and as life is about making the most discriminating of choices, I had positively no fuck all intentions of time-wasting seeing another fraudulent arsed Canadian ape black culture and turn Jazz singer because, let’s face it, there is no such thing as a viable pop music career in Canada especially if you don’t stand a chance in hell of crossing over to the America market.  Besides, from my years of crawling the halls of the CBC when Merlin worked there, being the product of the moneyed classes and being able to buy a career does not a Jazz singer make.  Besides, ain’t nobody gots time for chit the day after Cecile’s held court and wove her magic.  

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So as I bobbed and weaved, enjoying the soulful groove that is Jazz — black high art — the Indo-Canadian couple next to me could not have been more disinterested.  She, seated closer to me, kept her hands clasped at her cross-legged knee.  He on the other hand kept on slamming his back into the pew as protest for my enjoying myself.  I think she might have clapped once or twice.  What really struck me as the couple next to me engaged in the usual passive-aggressive BS that one fully expects to manifest partout from tout le monde , is that as JazzFM restructures and returns with new on-air hosts, it’ll doubtless be persons of their ilk who will be the chosen replacement hosts; god only knows, the landscape has been deftly rid of all semblance of blackness in the television medium of late.  A true mystery to me how Canadians can so blithely whistle Dixie whilst purporting to be enamoured and passionate about Jazz, all the while slowly but irretrievably excluding blacks — whatever did we black have to do with Jazz; surely, we must be mad if we so much as entertained the notion that we could have done something so phenomenal as having invented the art form and that there is anything remotely ‘black’ about Jazz.  Indeed, the Canadian way…  That aside, I really missed having the on-air hosts from JazzFM being part of the hosting lineups during the annual Jazz Festival which was exquisitely memorable.  

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 Until next year, as the full moon in Capricorn climbed high in the sky above Yorkville, I say, sweet dreams and as ever thanks so much for your ongoing support.  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights .Reserved.

All Too Human… And Then Some!

man-s-head-self-portrait-1963

Well, after having been dazzled by Natalia Osipova, there was no doubt what next adventure my soul had to devour.  I arrived at Pimlico Station and enjoyed the cool brisk walk to the red and white gorgeousness of the neighbourhood architecture.  I arrived at 08:50, a good hour ahead of the opening.  I took the time to place my palm on as many of the august sycamore trees in the neighbourhood as I could.  There were some high-end cars waiting out front of the Tate Britain Museum to take in All Too Human as yet another jetliner roared towards London Heathrow.  Definitely bulletproof, a stately Benz sat closest to the entrance with a smoky grey Bentley, SUV no less, parked furthest of the cars.  

the-big-man-1977

Eventually, persons began turning up and the engaging West African security agent who had the same strong, proud, full-lipped mouth as Leontyne Price’s closed one of the two heavy black doors to protect me as I waited outside the main glass sliding doors as a private event was underway — thus one couldn’t be allowed inside.  Finally, persons began leaving, one of whom — in a beautifully vivid red coat — was Cherie Blair CBE, QC.  She was proud-looking and had the kind of broad body that as I child was so familiar when growing up in the West Indies.  She had that air about her that bespoke a life in the public eye; someone made a curt remark and she was quick on the rebuttal.  I was much humoured and reminded of Saddam Hussein trading insults with the men who moments later gladly terminated his life.  

two-plants-1980

Finally, it was on to the business in hand and what a beautifully stunning exhibition; one of the best contemporary art exhibitions that I have attended in years.  The greatest discovery was the lush, richness of the Lucian Freud still-life, Two Plants.  Thoroughly layered, engrossing and lyrical in its deft vividness.  I was left teary eyed by its sublime beauty. 

Sleeping by the Lion carpet Leigh Bowrey

Of course, I was moments earlier moved to dewy-eyed focus when drinking in the rich tableau of the portrait of creative artist and true eccentric, Leigh Bowery whom many years earlier I had seen perform in New York City.   I was reminded, of course, in Leigh’s passing of the countless many whom I have lost along the way to AIDS.

All Too Human

The poster for the show at Russell Square Tube Station in Bloomsbury.  A wonderful tribute to Leigh who covered a fair bit of ground during his lifetime… sweet and blissful dreams be yours…  

Francis-Bacon-Portrait-1962

Naturally, I booked my flight based on two things: one, Giselle with Osipova and secondly, a joint exhibition featuring Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon.  For that, I would gladly hop a Tesla to Iapetus.  Of course, this exhibition was a pilgrimage of sorts for me and it was a way of paying homage to the artistic accomplishments of cadre mates.  

Study for Portrait of Lucian Freud Francis Bacon

As per the portrait of Lucian Freud above, these two artists are cadre mates of mine and Merlin’s.  Lucian Freud is a mature priest in our entity (6).  Along with Rudolf Nureyev and Grace Jones, Francis Bacon is next-door in entity 5 of our cadre.  Francis is a mature artisan, Grace Jones a mature warrior and Rudolf Nureyev a mature sage… and how.  I was thoroughly warmed to have drunk of their spirits.  

Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne 1966 by Francis Bacon 1909-1992

This particular portrait, Isabel Rawsthrone, I especially loved.  Raw, primal and emotionally intense there is something decidedly operatic about the focussed intensity of this portrait.  After initially getting over the intensity of it, it proves rather warm and enveloping.  

Three Figures and Portrait 1975 by Francis Bacon 1909-1992

This was a thoroughly arresting and soul-stirring adage; it was a beautiful way to have begun the day’s adventures.  

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After walking past the noise of the construction/renovations taking place on the first floor — one of the workers was a real pulse-racer, looking as he did like no end of hot, rough sex and in work gear no less!  Then it was downstairs to take in the Impressionists in London exhibition.  I did not buy the catalogue.  I always am a bit put-off by the association of the word “dream” when describing the works of impressionists.  There is nothing unfocussed or diffused about dreams.  Trust you me, as someone who recalls at least half a dozen dreams on average, oftentimes, dreams prove the most lucid part of any given day.  Perhaps, it was all the wine the French impressionists consumed but the maudlin-feeling lighting just doesn’t do it for me… most times.  

Notting Hill Gate

Having had my fill, off I went from Pimlico to Nothing Hill Gate in the wet snow and made the long trek to Kensington Palace where one of the most glorious flying dreams in this lifetime was set — also, in that dream was a then incarnate, Diana, Princess of Wales with her two beautiful-spirited sons, the future HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Duke of as-yet-known after he marries his beautiful bride, Ms. Meghan Markle — a mature artisan, to his mature warrior and an entity mate of his no less.  

Kensington Palace

On the long trek along Broad Walk in Kensington Gardens from the high street, I enjoyed the look of snow everywhere.  The odd flake fell from time to time as joggers braved the fierce wind off the park.  One brave soul with a shock of close-cropped red hair, sported the greatest thighs as he jogged strictly in a pair of wrestler’s shorts.  He proved warming for my blood, indeed.  

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As I got towards the edge of Kensington Palace the handsome raven above swooped in from off my rear right and towards the palace.  He alighted, cocked the head at me and kept taking to the wind to come closer, all the while fixing me with a hard gaze.  “Yes, of course, you can see my heart.  Love is the password” I said aloud to the totemic creature as it kept on calling at me and edging ever closer, though, not being confrontational.  Satisfied with my password, seemingly, it bobbed and took to the air never to alight again.  I rather appreciated the warm welcome.  

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I loved the sparse beauty of the King’s Gallery at Kensington Palace, which — for me at least — was lauded over by the Equestrian Portrait of HM King Charles I by Sir Anthony van Dyck, who happens to be in entity 1 of my cadre; he, presently incarnate and one of my oldest friends, shortly is about to return from his winter stay at his Acapulco penthouse; I will be visiting him later this spring on the Canadian west coast.

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A truly beautifully tailored, handsome suit, this one.  I am not a big fashion person — I believe that one is best dressed when naked and preferably tumescent.  I did, though, rather enjoyed the movement through the Diana, Princess of Wales exhibition.

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A very beautiful second-level mature artisan, she was too.  

HRH Catherine Duchess of Cambridge

Having been inspired by Diana, Princess of Wales’ portrait, I made my way to Charing Cross Station in Trafalgar Square and cut across the street where there was a broken water main flooding the street.  As usual, Yoda was there doing his routine and, no doubt, earning a pretty quid.  I took in the HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge-curated exhibition, which had opened two nights earlier on my arrival.  Though, I had stood outside the National Portrait Gallery to catch a glimpse of her arrival, I soon dashed off in the increasing snowfall, if I were to make my Jazz at Lincoln Center performance across town at the Barbican Center.  So, having missed seeing her in person, the next best thing was to go gaze at the portrait of HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.  I love it as it is so layered and complex; she is a late-mature warrior soul.  

National Portrait Gallery

As I move very, very quickly, I was out of there and soon grabbing a take-away fish and chips at Ben’s on Shaftesbury.  I then headed back to my hotel, ate, napped and got ready for a night at Royal Albert Hall to see OVO.  

Royal Albert Hall

Never before had I taken in a Cirque du Soleil performance — I have my reasons…  Nonetheless, I just wanted to enjoy anew the ambiance and acoustics of the marvellous auditorium.  

OVO

The show was no more engaging or exciting than bad bathhouse sex, which if it weren’t so late, one would never have bothered engaging in.  A perfectly forgettable tourist sort of thing to indulge when there was no other nighttime entertainment going that was worthwhile.  I could have taken in 42nd Street in the West End but I had already seen it at least a dozen times when then living and dancing in New York City in the early 1980s.  The idea of taking in 42nd Street was only slightly less irritating than the thought of messy bathhouse sex… options… choices, indeed!  

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After the show, on the long walk from Royal Albert Hall to South Kensington Station, a young mesomorph asked me for a fag — I don’t smoke — but it was obvious what he was after.  He sat across the narrow aisle on the eastbound Piccadilly Line ride and the rest proved a rather memorable night.  

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The morning after the night before, it was off to Windsor Castle, of which I will next blog.  

All Too Human Catalogue

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As ever, sweet dreams and thank you for your ongoing support.  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved,

Two Albrechts but what a Giselle!

Giselle Royal Ballet

Second night in London and there was still lots of snow — at least, by London standards; after Montréal where three feet of snow is no horror, 1.5 inches seemed to have arrested London in its tracks — I was all excited to see David Hallberg whose recent memoir I read on the flight over and carried in my custom Ruben Mack messenger bag, to have it signed after the performance.  Enjoyed my glass of champagne and being in the balcony at Royal Opera house was magical.  My seat was smack in the middle of three Japanese young ladies who were being chaperoned by their lovely teacher.  I negotiated and they excitedly expressed their appreciation at being able to switch with me being on the end so that that they could all sit together.  The closest two sat on their coats and I even offered the tinier future Giselle my coat to sit on.  

Natalia Osipova Matthew Ball

Naturally, I was returned to London as last June, I had pleasantly discovered Natalia Osipova dancing in Marguerite and Armand and was instantly a fan.  There was no way that I was going to miss her Giselle.  Midway through Act I of Giselle, David whom I had never previously seen perform, failed to have impressed.  He seemed not to be dancing full out and the partnership seemed strained; it was as though they had not had enough rehearsals.  Then after intermission and really good champagne, the company’s artistic director came to the stage to announce that Mr. Hallberg had been injured during Act I and would not be proceeding; he then announced that the youngster, Matthew Ball would dance the role of Prince Albrecht in Act II — the house went wild as he had days earlier made his debut in the ballet.  

Natalia Osipova

What then unfolded was the most glorious of evenings in the theatre.  Ms. Osipova, who has the most phenomenal ballon ever witnessed on any ballerina — to say nothing of her turns — danced as if truly overjoyed.  Mr. Ball was also fantastic and I howled for joy at their curtain calls.  Heck, I, who never go backstage, went in hopes of having Mr. Hallberg sign my copy of his book; however, he was a no-show.  Ms. Osipova, inordinately gracious and an ecstatic Mr. Ball, who had had to dash back to the theatre that evening, was only too happy to sign my copy of the program as a steady drizzle fell beyond the double, glass stage doors.  

BernsteinJLCO

Of course, the night prior, I had trekked in even more snow out to Barbican Centre to catch yet another performance of the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra led by the unparallelled genius, Wynton Marsalis.  The programme was exclusively Leonard Bernstein in a celebration of his centenary… and what a phenomenal show it was.  London’s Jews were out in force to be sure.  I sat next to a princely 93-year-old Jew whose energies were rather like those of Yehudi Menuhin and boy was this man gracious of spirit.  To say the least, I had a ball.  

Barbican2

Naturally, one goes to a Wynton Marsalis performance for the encores!  And boy, he did not disappoint.  As always, I unashamedly howled like mad at the end of all that.  This musical genius’s fabulousness is out of this world.  This truly was a marvellous way to celebrate  a homecoming of sorts; London truly does feel like another West Indian isle.  As Merlin and I shared a rather accomplished life as court musicians in late 18th century London, it is always great to be in London.  

Arvin da Brgha 1.3.2018 Royal Academy London, England

Though I had downloaded the app and had planned on biking whilst in London, the snow everywhere precluded any such adventure.  So there was I next morning — the night of which I attended Giselle, leaving my hotel in Bloomsbury and making it from Russell Square to Piccadilly Circus to, of course, look at art.  

Royal Academy2

Naturally, I had arrived at the Royal Academy at Burlington House to see what for me was the most eagerly anticipated art exhibition in years:  Charles I, King and Collector.  I was the first to have arrived for the show, slipped inside from the snow before being asked to wait outside by security.   Whilst waiting at the head of the queue, there were three gentlemen who arrived, all on the other side of 70 years of age and they were the most urbane aristocrats whom I had ever encountered.  The way they spoke; there was no denying that they were posh.  Moreover, it was more than their accents; their use of language made it sound as though they were speaking a form of English which was mannered, musical and as though another language entirely.  

Royal Academy

Finally, once inside the exhibition, I was truly enthralled, moving from salon to salon as though in the most lucidly captivating dream.  Here were all my favourite Sir Anthony van Dyck paintings in one place — plus, there were some which previously I had not seen… at least, in this lifetime.  Naturally, there were also some rather intimate Sir Peter Paul Rubens in the exhibition, which featured the art from the impressive collection of HM King Charles I… that ode to swaggerliciousness and a young sage to boot.  

HM King Charles I Three Positions Sir Anthony van Dyck Oil on Canvas

I had managed to snap four paintings whilst moving through the first of ten salons when a kindly security agent asked that I obey the rules and refrain from taking photographs.  This truly was as though caught in a flying dream as I moved intoxicated of spirit from salon to salon, I managed whilst looking at murals in one of the larger salons, to make my way to the inner sanctum where the most glorious Sir Anthony van Dycks were hung — the two equestrian portraits one from the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square the other, which previously was hung at Buckingham Palace; there was also that most striking portrait Charles at the hunt which normally is hung at Musée du Louvre.  A lovely henna-braided African security agent informed me that I had progressed improperly and ought to retrace my steps and view the art in the salons on the periphery of the three large internal salons where murals, tapestries and the prized, aforementioned van Dycks of the Royal Collection collected by HM King Charles I were hung.  

Sir Peter Paul Rubens Self-Portrait Oil on Canvas

At the point at which I was about to leave one salon for the next, I suddenly and distinctly thought of Kritika Bhatt the Michael channeller who had been trained by Sarah J. Chambers one of the original channellers in the Michael group.  I thought it odd at the time as I only ever would think of her when a request for overleaves are outstanding and my impatience is having her surface to mind as I wonder if I would be receiving the requested overleaves that day.  Since this was not the case, I thought per chance, that I was thinking of her as she is known to have King Charles spaniels.  Yes, that must be the out-of-nowhere association, I concluded.  

Esther_before_Ahasuerus_(1547-48);_Tintoretto,_Jacopo

On entering the next salon, I immediately moved towards the largest masterpiece and was struck by its depth and impressive use of strong bold colours.  What’s more, I had never seen the painting before.  Fascinating, I whispered before heading to the title to see the title and artist.  I was struck dead in my tracks when reading, Esther before Ahaseuras by Jacopo Tintoretto.  Wow!  I exclaimed.  Years earlier, in an email regarding the overleaves for other artists, Kritika had made mention that her current son had previously been the 16th century Italian artist, Jacopo Tintoretto!  I was floored and for me that out-of-nowhere associative thought of Kritika was validation of the overleaves and information shared years earlier.  

Sir Anthony van Dyck Self-Portrait with Sunflower Oil on Canvas

Earlier, whilst moving through the first salon, I had never come so close to Sir Anthony van Dyck’s Self-Portrait with Sunflower before.  Taking the time to really study the painting, I was struck by my response; suddenly, at my solar plexus, I began experiencing a — not though rare — thumping which was independent of my cardio rhythm.  Never before had I been able to so closely inspect the eyes in the self-portrait.  What was really interesting was the look of the artist’s left eye in the painting; it really was a darker version of my Dutch born and oldest friend, Joop who previously had been Sir Anthony van Dyck.  Though Joop’s eyes are a strong, soulful blue in this lifetime, they truly are the same eyes as Sir Anthony van Dyck’s in the self portrait.  Different colour, same vibration… same intensity.  I had not been expecting that and just as later whilst moving from one salon to the next, I was not expecting to have the Michael Teachings and overleaves validated.  Nonetheless, there is was, two instances of overleaves validated and that was the kind of bonus that one could not have anticipated whilst planning this trip.  

Fortnum & Mason

After purchasing my lovely catalogue of the exhibition, I moved across the street and did some shopping at the grand old dame, Fortnum & Mason.  Let’s face it, I was there to slip into the eatery and score myself the best free lunch in London… and as ever, the bites on offer did not disappoint.  I bought marvellous teas as only can be found at Fortnum & Mason then hopped onto a double decker, driving westerly along Piccadilly.  Making my way up the stairs, I soon had to double back on myself when realising that the upper deck was packed with a sprinkling of London’s homeless, who obviously had been afforded refuge out of the cold and what for London was unheard of snows.  God it smelt atrocious.  As the bus made a right onto Buckingham Palace Road, I hopped off and made my way past the Royal Mews which were closed owing to snow and made it for the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace.  

Charles II Art & Power

I was there to be wowed, though, sadly was not by the Restoration exhibition.  Naturally, how could it have been a show to rival that at the Royal Academy when most of that art had been sold off by the time of HM King Charles II’s coronation.  I would have been rather underwhelmed, had I gone to London just to take in this show.  As it was, it served as ample reason to have appreciated the Royal Academy show even more.  

HM King Charles IIb

Really got off on the vibration exuded by HM King James II as he held court in all his glory in the portrait in the same show at the Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace (following painting). 

HM King James II when HRH Prince James Duke of York

Well having had my fill of the Restoration art or the paucity thereof, I enjoyed trekking in the snows along Buckingham Palace Road to Victoria Station and descended into the depths of London’s Underground for yet another adventure.  

St. Paul's Cathedral

Emerging from the bowels of London, I made it to the soul of the nation to pay homage, yet again, at St. Paul’s Cathedral.  

St. Paul's Cathedral4

I wanted to go and light a candle, I lit two actually, in homage to the ennobled lives that both Merlin and I enjoyed in this glorious city three centuries earlier — the memories of which readily surface in the dreamtime.  

St. Paul's Cathedral3

Before one gets too old to be able to make the trek, I managed my way to the whispering gallery, sat down and caught my wind back whilst reflecting on my life.  

Henry Moore

This place so rich in history, is also the sacred shrine where entity mates have left their mark.  Henry Moore is an old artisan in my entity.  

Arthur Duke of Wellington

Of course, no visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral would be complete without paying a visit to the soul of the nation at its crypt and paying homage to ennobled souls who’ve made an indelible mark on London… on history.  There is great and fittingly so, grandeur in the tomb of Arthur, Duke of Wellington’s resting place.  

Admiral Nelson

Of course, the other tomb which dominates the crypt at St. Paul’s Cathedral is that of Admiral Nelson, whom both Merlin and I knew during that incarnation.  Doubtless, it was his passion and tales for and about Nevis, which planted that seed that sparked three lifetimes later with my soul’s choice to reincarnate into Nevis; indeed, it has proven an isle no less magical than his captivating anecdotes then must have been.  Days later, of course, I would see the bullet which felled this great man whilst visiting Windsor Castle; that is for another post.  For now, I rushed home, took a dream-filled nap before heading to Covent Garden and being wowed by two not one Albrechts and the most exciting prima ballerina on the planet… at least, as far as I am concerned.  

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and look forward in coming months to book three of my dream-filled memoirs, mandated by Merlin and which prove human civilisation’s first dream memoirs.  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

President & First Lady Obama.

President Obama

Oil on Canvas

©2018 Kehinde Wiley

Provenance: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.  

 

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Oil on Linen

©2018 Amy Sherald

Provenance:  National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.  

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Beautifully exquisite!  Happy Black history month.   Love the fact that Mr. Wiley captures the essential warmth of President Obama as reflected by the glowing light of the President’s left eye.  Both artists, Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley masterfully used the medium in which they chose to work, linen and canvas respectively.  First Lady Michelle Obama is wearing a design by fashion designer, Michelle Smith @MILLY on Instagram.  I cannot wait to see both in person.  Thanks again for your ongoing support and as ever, sweet dreams.  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved. 

Here’s to You!

Just a wee glimpse into my magical life where dreamquests are all begun in the groovy comfort of my collapsible pyramid.  I have had a pyramid since 1984 in one form or another.  This incarnation of my dream chamber, I rather love.  Being surrounded by art is about being greatly inspired.  

Happy New Year!  Thanks for your ongoing support and here’s wishing you the very best this year!  Sweet dreams as ever! 

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Going Live!

The second volume of Human Civilisation’s first Dream Memoirs are dropping.  Please do get your copies.  I will also be hosting a launch/art collection event with open bar at my place over the holidays.  Will keep you posted.

MAASDO II

This is Volume II; notice the clever roman numeral indicators in the different colour schemata of the title.

ASVMOA II

Appendix II of the six volume Michael Overleaves appendices.  In this appendix the Michael Overleaves for the following persons appear:  George Balanchine, Robert Bateman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Benson, Pierre Berton, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Liona Boyd, Dave Brubeck, William F. Buckley Jr., Fernando Bujones, Carlos Castaneda, Dick Cavett and lots more.

Tis the holiday season, these marvellous books would make great presents for the ones you love and especially the bibliophiles in your circle.

Do stand by as the podcast is slowly coming together.

As ever, sweet dreams and thanks so much for you ongoing support.

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Four Standing Figures.

Four Standing Figures Henry Moore

Four Standing Figures

Lithograph

12.5 x 15 in

11/50

©1978 Henry Moore

Provenance: Collection of Arvin da Brgha

Let there be art.  Let there be love.  

Back in 1982, Merlin and I were holding up at the Trockadero loft — home of Natch Taylor and his dancer lover, William Zammy Zamora.  Theirs was a beautiful loft in New York City’s Chelsea where across the street presided the block-long, imposing green edifice of one of those grand buildings found only in America.

One evening after rehearsals for a dance concert, I hung out with dancers from the Nanette Bearden Dance company, then finally made my way home late at night.  When I got in, Merlin was at the loft’s rustic kitchen/dining table with a large sketch pad with director, Jim Henson with whom he would be working in Toronto, filming the inaugural season of Fraggle Rock.  Tall, slightly drooped and intense, Jim briefly chatted but remained focussed on the task in hand.

Presently, he and Merlin were going over sketches and design ideas on respective pads for the shows.  At the time, whilst standing behind Merlin seated at the table, I remarked that the sketches were not unlike Henry Moore sculptures.  Both men simultaneously responded, “Hmm” to which we all laughed as it was reminiscent of the creatures in Mr. Henson’s feature film, Dark Crystal which had weeks earlier opened wide in theatres.  The film was a definite favourite of Merlin and mine.

Merlin remarked that the design were not dissimilar to Henry Moore’s sculptures whose massive curvaceousness, Merlin and I had agreed were feminine, .elegant and beautiful.  This discussion about art was had late at night, after having fucked like rottweilers at the Hotel Chelsea where he held up one weekend when in town from Toronto to both network but mostly to secure a right, proper ploughing of which he could never get enough… we both could never get enough.

On the whole, both men agreed that there were unconscious Henry Moore influences to their design sketches.  Those sketches would be further refined and were recently shared herein.  What none of us at the time could have known, was how spot-on was my observation.  As it would turn out, Henry Moore happens to be an old soul artisan who is an entity mate of both Merlin’s and mine.  Furthermore, Jim Henson who is an early mature artisan, also happens to be strongly bonded to Henry Moore, Merlin and I as he is in entity one of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414, to all three of us being in entity six, of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414.

Always, it is nice to find the ties that bind and it was really good of me to have picked up on that cadre connection when looking at the sketches and throwing Henry Moore ‘out there’ as it were.  The evening was lovely but I was in my restless youthfulness, dying to be alone yet again with Merlin and get on with the business of sinfully sweating whilst celebration life… love.

As ever, thank you for your ongoing support and do know that I shall shortly be starting a podcast, plus volume two of both my dream memoirs and the Michael Overleaves appendix will be launching soon, here at my art filled and recently redecorated home…

Sweet dreams as ever!

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Happy Reading…

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Recently, I made a quick visit to Montréal to catch the March Chagall exhibition at Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal.  The exhibition closes on June 11, 2017 when I will be away.  For that reason, I simply had to go.  Besides, in advance of my trip, i needed to indulge my soul at Spa Ovarium.  

The show was more stunning than the Marc Chagall show at Toronto’s AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) a few years back.  For one, the décor of the show was spot-on.  What’s more it is a tribute to Montréal more august Jewish community — comparable to Toronto’s — that this show was so extensive and rich in works of art.  There were pieces in this exhibtion that not even I previously knew of.  Hampstead, TMR (Town of Mount Royal) Westmount, Outremont, Côte-Saint-Luc, Côte-des-Neiges, all Montréal neighbourhoods with strong distinctive Jewish burghers.  He had a strong sense of Montréal’s Jewishness for taking in this exhibition as compared to Toronto’s.  I returned the next day to soak it all in before returning to Toronto.  After the initial visit, I Ubered along rue Sherbrooke Ouest to Est in search of Spa Ovarium.  

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There, I had what was possibly the greatest massage ever — thank you Valerie —  This woman is truly magical, shamanic even.  First I indulged a neuro-spa, then massage then capped it off with the limitlessness of a bain flotant which was exceptional.  

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Twenty-five years earlier, I had been to Montréal to celebrate the city’s 350th anniversary.  At the time, my companion was the very exciting and truly eccentric, Milan Newcombe — his Michael Overleaves appear in Volume I of A Six Volume Michael Overleaves Appendix which débuts June 21, 2017.  Two weeks after the 375th anniversary on May 17, 2017, there was still excitement in the air.   I met up with an old Writer friend from high school has lived in Montréal for the last twenty-plus years.  We dined on exquisite Thai fare in Old Montréal at his beautiful loft.  We then walked along rue Saint-Catherine Ouest through the Gay Village and shared  a toast to Montréal — both of us sipped on calming teas.  

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Calvary

Oil on Canvas

1912. Marc Chagall

Provenance: Museum of Modern Art, New York City

En route back to Toronto, though there had been forecast for more rains this very wet and soggy late Spring, there was nothing but sunshine.  Driving along Highway 401, I captured beautiful photos of prismed light in a streak of clouds… it was truly magical.  Then, I got in to the most glorious piece of mail, a hardcover copy of both Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey and A Six Volume Michael Overleaves Appendix.  In the photo, the mug bears a copy of the Camel Mandala which Merlin created in 1977 for one of his choice friends.  A detail of the Lion Mandala (1986) — which he created for me and it proved the last mandala that he would create — serves as the cover art for what proves Human Civilisation’s First Dream Memoirs, Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey.  The detail of the Phoenix Mandala for Slava Gagarian — his Armenian Jewish theatre mentor who lost his entire family during the Shoah — serves as the cover art for A Six Volume Michael Overleaves Appendix.  

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Here’s to life, here’s to lovers everywhere and here’s to you for your support these past several years.  I am ever grateful.  Happy reading!  

The Rabbi of Vitebsk

Oil on Canvas

1914-1922 Marc Chagall

Provenance: Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Galleria Internazionale d’ Arte Moderna di Ca’ Pesaro.  

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