Sing it George!

Benson, George 22/3/1943 Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Michael: This fragment is a fifth level mature artisan – second life thereat.  George is in the power mode with a goal of growth.  An idealist, he is in the moving part of intellectual centre.

Body type is Venus/Mars.

George’s primary chief feature is subdued arrogance and the secondary impatience.

The fragment George is fifth-cast in third cadence; he is a member of greater cadence four.  George’s entity is five, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – this is a cadre mate of Arvin’s and Merlin’s.

George’s essence twin is also an artisan and he has a sage task companion.

George’s primary needs are: expression, communion and power.

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

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Music is a language and Jazz is the language of a people; it speaks to no one else like it does us.  No other music readily restores one’s humanity and sense of self like Jazz does.  Interestingly, when a student at ballet school, I lived the most famous quote uttered by Diana, Princess of Wales in that Panorama interview that she gave to Martin Bashir: “There is no better way to dismantle a personality than to isolate it.” 

That is why during my two hellish years in Winnipeg, the music of Jazz is what saved me.  Interestingly enough, three musicians I looked to during that time more than any others; years later, I would discover that they are all cadre mates: Natalie Cole, John Coltrane and George Benson.  

With the passing of cadre mates Natalie Cole and Roy Hargrove, it is high time to celebrate and pay homage to George Benson while he remains focussed here and now.  

Keep on flying right whether in the most blissful of dreams or the waking state’s unforgiving grittiness… then again, it is also maddeningly beautiful!  

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

Roy Hargrove 16/10/1969/\/\2/11/2018

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Hargrove, Roy 16/10/1969<O>2/11/2018

Michael: This fragment was a fifth-level mature scholar – 2nd life thereat.  Roy was in the perseveration mode with a goal of growth.  Roy was a realist who was in the intellectual part of moving centre.

Roy’s primary chief feature was arrogance and his secondary was impatience.

Roy’s body type was Mercury/Lunar.

The fragment Roy is second-cast in the fifth cadence; the fragment is in the first greater cadence.  Roy is a member of entity six, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – here we have another entity mate of both Arvin’s and Merlin’s.

Roy’s essence twin is a scholar and the task companion is a sage.

Roy’s three primary needs were: expression, adventure and security.

There are 9 past-life associations between Roy and Arvin and 14 between him and Merlin.

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I have always exquisitely found centre for listening to this recording.  Time seems to drift away and ideas flow with greater ease… indeed, how sweet it is to be richly inspired by an entity mate.  

“I’m in service.  I am here to touch people and make them feel better through music.” – Roy Hargrove.  

Well if that is not validation of being a member of an entity six of a cadre one, I don’t know what it.  

I always good for long days after a concert of his.  A beautiful human being.  

Sweet and blissful dreams be yours dear ennobled entity mate.  

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

An Awakened Dream Like No Other!

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On the final full day of this trip to London, it was also the 29th anniversary of Merlin’s passing.  I had planned on visiting Spencer House, the Monday evening prior; however, the event which was a ticketed lecture had been cancelled –  this was my only chance at getting to Spencer House.  

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Climbing from the Underground at Green Park, the park was relatively empty and there was a crisp bite to the early morning air as I walked along the periphery of the park’s western edge.  I opted to take that route and be close to the park’s trees than use the suggested route – St. James Street and St. James Place.  The only persons in the park were intermittent joggers, looking fit; strange in November it was to see persons running in shorts.  

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Walking along, I passed a narrow break in the shrubbery; the narrow path that ran beneath on the houses stated that it was a private road and to keep out.  A few more steps revealed the signage; yes, indeed, this was the place that I was looking for.  Turning back, I made for the private narrow pathway and awaited as a tanned, moneyed man approached with a wonderful, happy dog before him.  The fat little thing tried its best to act on his vibes and grumbled; staying my ground, I waited for him to get closer, said hello and asked if this was the way to Spencer House.  

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“Is this the way to Spencer House?” 

“It is a private path…” he replied from behind thicker, darker and more-expensive-than-mine sunglasses, to which I brushed past his American accent by elegantly rebutting, “Thanks, I’ll find my way…”  

Entrance to Spencer House: looking west to Green Park & East.  

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On entering Spencer House, I noticed that the splayed and slightly bloated feeling that began on approaching the stately home continued.  Inside were two men; both were rather pleasant.  We began speaking; for the next half an hour, we warmly visited.  Seemingly, there was a group tour booked and they thought that I had simply arrived especially early.  

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As members for the guided tour arrived, I slipped into the ante room and enjoyed the still-life.  Remarkably, there was a real ease for being in his place, which seemed more than passingly familiar.  Finally, when enough of us were arrived for the tour, a silver-haired lady with clear, focussed eyes entered the foyer, walked up to me and smiling, we warmly greeted.  A group of no more than twenty-five persons, the informal gathering was cosy and engaging.  

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As the tour began in earnest, it dawned on me that this house was remarkably familiar.  There were no doubts in my mind that I had never previously visited it; however, even the tour guide approached me and asked when I had last been to the house.  She was convinced that I had been there before and scoffed at my response that I had never before visited the stately home.  She had done so because I seemed with uncanny accuracy to know which door to next use to progress on the tour.  That aside, the energy between us flowed with the greatest ease.  

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As she spoke, the guide mentioned that Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch, who lived in the same street as Spencer House had actually had their wedding reception in the Georgian masterpiece.  As she spoke of the ladder, I suddenly experienced a vision and it was of seeing the room as it looked during Georgian times; however, as in dreams everything was back-to-front from the current life experience.  Indeed, I had definitely been in this room in the past; moreover, I had a rather memorable dream, which was set in this house.  Then as I intently looked to one corner of the room, the rather knowledgeable tour guide announced that in that very corner, Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson loved sitting in that spot as he was a frequent and favoured guest to the house as the 2nd Earl Spencer had been First Lord of the Admiralty.  

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In this marvellous salon is a painting of the Death of General Wolfe… it is even more grand and emotive than the painting of General Wolfe’s death on the Plains of Abraham at the Royal Ontario Museum.  

During that time, as a countertenor with Merlin (then female) my accompanist on harpsichord that I would have encountered Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson.  I have dreamt of this man many times and some were set in the very house where, though it had not been planned, on the 29th anniversary of Merlin’s passing, I was taking a tour.  

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Just before we left the library, the tour guide then announced as she drew our attention outside the window from the library, there on the grounds of Green Park were cattle and other livestock kept.  Indeed, in one such past-life dream, which was set at Spencer House, there was the intense smell of livestock.  For this reason, I had assumed on awaking that this stately home on the edge of vast acreage was situated in the English countryside rather than in London.  

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Definitely, this room – the great room – was familiar; however, somehow, it did not seem as large as it ought to have been.  

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The view from the great room out to the beauty of Green Park.  Suddenly, it dawned on me as I looked out the window that is why on Armistice Day after I left the splendid exhibition: Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs at Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and cut through Green Park en route to Green Park Station, I felt so joyous. 

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That is why too, for moving past Spencer House earlier on November 11, 2018 and in essence, becoming harmonised with the locale of a past life that I would have such lucid flying dream activity on returning to the hotel that late afternoon and napping.  

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Without doubt one specific dream was centred in this room and there, a play was being staged in the past life dream.  In between acts, one retired to this room from the great room and visited whilst the performers took almost forever at costume changes.  

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This was the setting of great music and laughter; indeed, I may well have performed for the Georgian glitterati on this balcony/stage-like staircase.  

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Lady Spencer’s room.  lovely.  

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The Music Room where 2.5 centuries earlier, Merlin and I were in creative full bloom.  I had a really powerful response when in this room.  I was left teary eyed and on looking in the mirror, I actually saw the outline of my aura; it was silvery as it picked up the stunning sunlight streaming through the windows on either side.  Somewhere in spirit, Merlin was with me and there was further validation that this place, this day… indeed, nothing is coincidental.  

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This room was pure sensory overload.  I felt gay and as though on the cusp of flying.  This visit was more adventure than even I could have imagined.  When the tour was concluded, I warmly parted with the staff and assured them that I would be back.  Then out into all this balmy, glorious sunshine, I headed into St. James Street and made my way to Piccadilly Street. 

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Feeling way too glorious, I decided against using the Underground and instead, headed east along Piccadilly and slipped into the Burlington Arcade’s splendour, browsed then went coffee table book-shopping at the Royal Academy.  Though I hardly had room to pack the six books.  Well in excess of 300£, the handle-barred and zoot suit-wearing poseur – eccentricity is never affected, asked way too condescendingly what did I mean by VAT “dear” and why would I get money back.  You blasted, silly little twit; as I do not gladly suffer fools, I shot back, “Look do us both a favour and go restock these… and try finding a brain while you are at it…” the latter stated whilst walking away from the counter; you’ll get no commission from me.  Who are these people, forever trying so damn hard? 

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With that, it was across the street into Fortnum & Mason to buy more teas and rose petal marmalade and jelly.  From there, further easterly I bopped and grooved in the glorious sunlight and circumambulated Piccadilly Circus and bailed into Coventry Street and into the crowded intensity of Leicester Square. 

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From there, I snuck from the rear of the National Gallery and inside.  

The delightful guide at Spencer House had insisted that I return to the National Gallery before leaving London and catch the Mantegna and Bellini exhibition.  She could not have spoken more highly of it.  I did tell her that I had reservations about seeing Italian art as it was much too ecclesiastic for my liking.  However, since she had been such a gracious host, I decided to just this once to go with an open mind and just explore. 

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You cannot believe how fast, I got out of there.  As I said to the West African museum worker, who asked why I had left the show so quickly, “You cannot imagine how deeply disturbing I find a culture that goes to such great length to never address in their art their savagely ‘civilising’ influence in the world.  It is as though it never happened or they played positively no role whatsoever in the brutal murder, enslavement, extinction of peoples and cultures.  His response was, to the victor go the spoils and the shaping of history in his image; he added that he was very very proud that I am aware, unlike so many of us.  With that, we bumped fists and it was back out into the bright sunlight of this glorious day.  

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Apart from the usual suspects, Yodas seemingly levitating – now there’s a gig! – I made it past a rather engaging African artist who had the soul of a sage if ever anyone ever did.  Being drawn to its beauty, I drew closer to get a really good shot of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and it was then I made the most glorious of discoveries.  

Well, there could be no better way to restore the spirit after the disquiet that I experienced for moving through the Mantegna & Bellini show.  Great art should reflect life, not neatly reinvent and compartmentalise away all that which one would rather not address – likely, though, Bellini had no knowledge of Columbian expeditions to the New World. 

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Presentation at the Temple – Giovanni Bellini c 1460

Certainly, the prominent artists of the 16th century: Tintoretto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian were supported by the Church of Rome, which by its patronage of these artists was intent on depicting itself in a glowing ecclesiastical light rather than the brutal realism which afforded it the prominence and wealth it then enjoyed… which endures even now. 

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So with that, richly inspired by both the guitarist and Spencer House and all that it represented, I slipped into the National Portrait Gallery, to drink once more Wim Heldens masterful Oil on Canvas of the collectors Harry and Carol Ann Djanogly – she passed earlier this year.  Satiated of spirit, it was off to grab a bite and then a nap of glorious dream-filled sleep – one of which was a flying dream.  God it felt goodly glorious to have returned in spirit to Spencer House.  

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After having overslept by a hair, it was a mad dash by Underground and taxi make it by mere minutes to Royal Albert Hall.  One of my favourite concert halls, any show would do.  

Ah nothing beats a good old nostalgic adventure.

Interior of Royal Albert Hall.  

Intermission from the stalls at Royal Albert Hall.  

You cannot beat a room full of love and wonderment.  Truly spectacular.  Of course, it goes without saying that Merlin was wild about Jim Henson, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.  This was a glorious way to have capped off a great trip and to remember the life of an extraordinarily phenomenal human being, Merlin.  

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And like that, the following day, I was returned to Toronto, my art-filled home and this most glorious photograph of the most magical fellow who made life truly a happening, for seven glorious, love-filled and magical years.  

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

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

Shopping @ British Museum.

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On the occasion of HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales’ 70th birthday, the sunrise was the most glorious display of apricot orange, manseport orange and blood orange tonalities.  So ravishing was it that I had to get up from the breakfast table in the hotel and take a few shots, threw them up onto Instagram feed, where other Londoners whom I follow also featured the glorious sunrise.  

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HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales by Ralph Heimans,  Charles @ 70.

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Charles en famille… beautiful.  

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HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales @ 70.  

Though the plan this day was to go out to Richmond and visit Hampton Court Palace, as I had develop not one but two blisters – one per foot – I decided to postpone it until the weekend.  

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I always love the look of this stately edifice that looks as though it would be right at home in India, I turned and took a few shots as I entered Russell Square park.  

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Lovely, what was even more glorious was the sound of leaves sounding like crisp, ruffled bedding as I confidently strode through the park.  

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Though in the upper teens, I enjoyed the sight of four guys in their late 20s rushing through this fountain in Russell Square; the water must have been freezing.  They certainly appeared to be having great fun.  

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Yes, I was come to pass yet another glorious visit at The British Museum.  With each visit, there is always some new discovery.  Walking along, en route to the gift shop, I was stopped by a man named Felix; he complimented me on my Dorothy Grant messenger bag and as we began speaking, I soon recalled a dream had more than two decades earlier when then living in Vancouver. 

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Felix was the subject of the dream and twenty-three years earlier, I had been the one to walk up from behind and stop him, engaging him in conversation.  As you never want to come off sounding like you are on really bad drugs or a cheap player, I resisted to urge to share having previously dreamt of him.  

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What coffee table books to buy this trip.  I had been en route to the bookstore, after abruptly taking leave of the stately Grenville Room.  I had discovered a piece of jewellery, which I had previously dreamt of.  I knew straight away that I wanted to have it; however, the Dravidian sales clerk incredulously replied that they were for display purposes.  I had asked him to open the case so that I could inspect the exquisite amber necklace.  Naturally, he by his response implied that I could not afford it and was likely a damn thief.  

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From there, I went to take in the Elgin Marbles and enjoyed seeing them yet again.  The crowds, though, were a bit distracting.  Feeling unresolved about the matter and because I really wanted to look at that amber necklace, I returned to the Grenville Room Gift shop.  

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As I approached, a pleasantly smiling clerk whom previously I had not noticed, came from the entrance to the gift shop and said hello.  He diplomatically asked if I had found everything that I was looking for; as it was not worth wasting time on a petit clerk who did not matter, I told him that there were a couple of items that I wanted to take a look at.  A more gracious host there could not have been. 

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In the end, I got the necklace which came pretty close to the one in the dream, which to make that dream come true, I was intent on gifting it to the ever elegant wearer in the dream.  This man spent nearly forty-five minutes, finding five sets of earrings to go with the lovely necklace and finally we narrowed the choice down to two pairs; he even got a small light so that the amber earrings chosen would be the closest match to the necklace. 

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A font of information and anecdotal gems, he then insisted that I go and tour the King’s Library, which I had previously never toured.  Yes, indeed, knowing what a rascal his son was, HM King George III had his entire library donated to the British Museum so that HM King George IV on his passing, would not go selling off his father’s priceless heirlooms to buy furniture or whatever else.  

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As the sales clerk, with a more than passing resemblance to milliner Stephen Jones escorted me to the Grenville Room’s rear entrance into the King’s Library, the Dravidian who had thrown so much shade my way and not served me, I paused to look at, then dismissively down at the floor with the British Museum bag with more than 500£ of sales and its commission, which he had allowed his stupid ignorance to steal from himself.  Yes, indeed, I promised the bald pleasant clerk that I would return to Fortnum & Mason and hunt down some rose petal jelly.  

After an initial tour of the King’s Library and a lunch of too much pasta with two glasses of prosecco whilst charging my phone, I then returned and took this video.  Clearly, from all that huffing, I had too much to eat.  Finally after more than six hours at the British Museum, I ambled out into the late afternoon and enjoyed walking about Bloomsbury.  

As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and happy holidays… here’s to your every dream coming true.  

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

The Remains of Armistice Day.

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Strangely, though the major part of Armistice Day celebrations were long concluded, there were still more persons moving westward towards the Cenotaph than easterly towards Trafalgar Square.  My companion, a spectacled, freckled guy in his early 30s, was keen on having me come back to his flat in South Bank – We were headed towards Charing Cross Station to take the Bakerloo Line towards his place.  

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Stalling for time, as I really was not feeling him, I firmly suggested that we go tour Banqueting House as I had never been, which was the truth.  Of course, it did not help that the only thing at Banqueting House was the great ceiling art and the throne; the rest of it was just as empty as clearly, James, my “Mate” was dense.  Long years ago, a channeller of dubious skills stated rather imperiously that I would meet someone named James, who would prove rather loyal and a long-term affair.  

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Somehow, this nebulous bit of arcana seemed to be the only sane reason why I was suffering this oaf overlong.  His constant bitching about “Nutmeg,” as he referred to the Duchess of Sussex, was not winning him any favours in my books.  I had hoped to have found much more archival fare associated with the spot where HM King Charles I was executed.  Alas, there was nothing save a throne and an impressive ceiling.  

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With the toilets at Banqueting House fully occupied and alarmingly foul-smelling, back outside we dashed in hopes of finding a toilet.  A pub, whose name I did not even catch a few door towards Trafalgar Square, proved the right spot.  He ordered a couple of lagers – I never drink beer, and off I went to the toilet to relieve myself.  I waited overlong, waiting for him to possibly come in then use the stalls so that I could make a mad dash for it.  No such luck.  However, on rejoining him, he lustily talked about what he wanted me to do to him.  Never one to miss an opportunity, I suggested he go unclog his plumbing so that I could give it to him good, long and hard when we got back his place.  

Naively quick to take the bait, out I dashed into the larger-than-usual crowds when he eagerly bolted to the toilet; once outside, I then caught the tail end of the latest regiment to go moving from the roundabout as they made their way from the Strand and onto Whitehall.  With that, I swiftly made it across Pall Mall, crossed Canada House and made my way to the new entrances to the National Gallery – this James clearly was not the one.  

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Taking the time to avail myself of the museum’s free wi-fi, I sipped on a boost of Pret A Manger’s little magic, yellow potion, Hot Shot.  I then decided against the Bellini show – Italian art is way too religious for my liking and it strangely enough has never once addressed the fact that the Church of Rome has, in its role as civiliser, proven the most disruptive terror group this planet has thus far known.  For me, there is something alarmingly dangerous about a culture, which would completely and utterly eclipse this rather crucial aspect that has decided their place in the world – but enough about that for now.  

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Having dodged James, I decided to do the Courtauld exhibition as it would beat having to attend the museum on this trip.  Whilst standing in one of two long queues, along came Ms. Thang, who simply looked at us and grandly walked up to the next sales rep as though she had exited St. George’s Chapel on Ginger’s arm on the gloriously sunny early afternoon of May 19, 2018.  

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As I was next in line, I just as imperiously declared to her and the rep, “Take you, the weave and that blasted fake channel handbag to the back of the line; there are not two lines of invisible persons waiting to buy tickets.”  Before she could turn nasty with me, the lovely Dravidian lady informed her that I was next in line and, more importantly, she intended to serve me next.  Fake boobs that looked like flotation devices and feet that were too big to fit any glass slippers and, of course, there was a bulky turtleneck to hide the Adam’s apple.  

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Though “she” was prepared to do drama, I came to do me and look at art and that I did.  I was really wowed by some of these works, which I previously had not seen.  

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Naturally, this Degas masterpiece only warmed my soul.  Straight away, I was left humming the music from the grand pas de deux in Act II of La Bayadère, which I could not wait to see at week’s end.  

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Shades of Canada’s Group of Seven, to be sure.  I like the fact that the artist did not include the entire tree in the portrait.  

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Ah yes, and who doesn’t love the sublime soulfulness of a Gauguin tableau.  

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Trees, trees and even more trees.  What’s not to love!  

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After having been greatly inspired by the Courtauld Impressionist show – well worth the price – I bailed outside; there were too many parents using the free admission to the museum as a place to come in out of the elements and babysit their way too young children.  Once outside, I hailed a cab, though, not the above – wrong day and time of day.  This cab proved one of the most memorable journeys.  As The Mall was closed, we took the roundabout from in front of Trafalgar Square and headed along Pall Mall.  I wanted just then to get to The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace but did not want to use the underground; it was way too glorious a day out. 

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Finally, I laid down the law to the driver, who was a burly soul and looked like the quintessential slave soul.  Soon enough, we got into a conversation when we began chatting about Canada, which I shared that I would give anything to flee in hopes of living in London.  Soon, the topic turned to sex and whatever one would have to do to get by.  Ha!  Said he, he would give up this gig of 22 years and counting by marrying a fat, ugly rich broad to which, without so much as missing beat, I chimed in, “Don’t stop there, if you can find rich, fat, ugly and toothless, now you’ve got it made.  To paraphrase Frank Sinatra from The Best Is Yet To Come, you ain’t been blown until you’ve had a gum job!”  Never in long ages had I heard a grown man laugh so hard and for so long – a fellow cab driver going in the opposite direction even honked at him and asked what was so funny. 

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After having sat in traffic for far too long, though the metre read 12£, he asked for a 10£ note and thank me, saying he ought to have paid me for the company and humour.  With that, I dashed past St. James Palace en route for The Mall which, of course, was closed.  Finally, I made it up to the Queen’s Gallery and took in the Russia: Royalty & the Romanovs exhibition, which did offer some truly inspired gems from the Royal Collection.  

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Well, of course, he ruled something.  

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I was reminded in this portrait of Tsar Nicholas I of the 1970s when the goods were readily on display; however, along came AIDS and all that display and ogling readily evaporated.  Instead, men were morphed into true peacocks with long blow-dry locks, which really did become tiresome after a season or two.  Now, of course, it is the great and truly civilised age of the Internet, which lest you forget, is saturated with more than 80% pornography.  

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The Vladimir Tiara which is not dissimilar to the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara, which always looked truly handsome when worn by the ravishing, Diana, Princess of Wales.  

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Set in the green drawing room at Windsor Castle, where on May 19, 2018, Alexi Lubomirski took the official photographs of the wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex, you cannot possibly begin to imagine the overwhelming scope and grandeur of this tableau.  Truly, one is left in awe of the fact that HM Queen Victoria was a tiny acorn who matured into a mighty oak who, through her womb, extended her empire far and wide across the continent.  This was a ravishing exhibition and one of the most stunning paintings that I have ever seen from the Royal Collection.  

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After all that inspiring art, I needed to ground anew; thus, I opted to take a brisk walk, cutting through Green Park where the light fast shifted and danced below the horizon… never to be experienced again.  With that, I hopped onto the Piccadilly Line at Green Park Station and made my way back to Russell Square Station; there, I resorted to my hotel room and took a lucidly awakened, dream-sodden nap before getting on with the final celebrations of this poignant Armistice Day.  

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Before making it to Barbican Station on the Circle Line, I had had the most awakened flying dream, which had me spirited across the spiral arms of Time to a past life in London.  

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To reflect, celebrate and give thanks, how could I not indulge in an evening of music and song with the London Symphony Orchestra.  

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Nice, plush comfortable seats with a troika of gay Jewish dancer/actors seated ahead of me.  The evening was beautiful, the singing stellar.  

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As there was an empty seat on either side of me, I offered to move to the left and afforded the lovely young couple from Paris to sit together – she had been sat a row ahead and away from her spectacled, fey lover – he had more than a passing resemblance to Merlin.  Leaning in, I whispered to him, “The universe always conspires to accommodate lovers…” he blushed, they both blushed sweetly and were pleasant company that added a certain magic to the evening.  Here’s to lovers… indeed.  

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En route back to the hotel… a little late night smoothie snack was in order.  As ever, sweet dreams, don’t forget to push off and start flying and as always, thanks for your ongoing support.  

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

Armistice Day 100.

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Cenotaph, Whitehall, Sunday, November 11, 2018.  

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Whilst tucking into the best stewed fruits ever, which I have now- two visits to said Bloomsbury hotel – discovered actually causes my paunch to disappear, a light drizzle dreamily danced outside the dining room windows, readily reminding me of those interminable days of rain in Vancouver.  Vancouver has at least a dozen different types of rains; always the most anticipated are those days in November when it lazily, interminably rains for five to seven days non-stop; best reading times ever.  

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Handsomely festooned, it was off with me and parapluie as the drizzle departed on emerging into the pleasant morning air, around 0845, from Embankment Station and readily got into queue, which eventually poured into Whitehall Place where the security checks were thorough.  

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As can be imagined, the security at this event was second to none. 

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After having cleared security, it is now on to Whitehall proper.  This, however, is not quite my desired spot.  

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Palace of Westminster is now visible… getting closer still.  

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Wow, look at that, getting closer still.  The three balconies where the senior royals will review the ceremony is within sight.  I will eventually edge my way westward along the wide, heavily peopled sidewalk to just to the east of the Cenotaph. 

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In the far left balcony was placed, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, spouse of HRH Princess Anne, Princess Royal, next to Sophie, HRH Countess of Wessex.  

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On the central balcony, Camilla, HRH Duchess of Cornwall, HM Queen Elizabeth II, Catherine, HRH Duchess of Cambridge.  

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On the right balcony, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s wife, Elke Büdenbender and Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex.  

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Captured from the ITV YouTube coverage of the Armistice Day celebrations, the red line passes just below the right ear as my silver-haired head is tilted to left and sunglasses handle can be vaguely discerned.  Standing sixth deep with the Household Guards in their bearskins standing three deep, I never actually saw the senior royal males as they stood directly in front of where I stood, as they faced west towards the Cenotaph.  

 

 

Before the royals were placed, the honour guards filed into position with the Royal Navy taking their positions beneath the royal balconies.  At this point, it was a balmy 17°C in mid-November and rather reminiscent of Vancouver climes.  

 

 

With the arrival of the Household Guards after the Household Cavalry had marched past, a Welsh man in his late fifties, who came to honour his great uncle called out, Oh bloody ‘ell when the Household Guards replete with bearskins took their positions three deep in front of us.  

 

 

Moments after HM The Queen and the senior royals appeared on the balcony, the senior royals who would be laying wreath, took their places on Whitehall.  Though I never once sighted them, they included: HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex, HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, HRH Princess Anne, Princess Royal, HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, HRH Prince Michael of Kent.  

 

 

After the bells of Westminster Abbey tolled, the guns boomed and the stark stillness of two minutes of silence was broken by the Bugle salute.  

 

As the senior royals solemnly laid wreaths, the frenzied sniping of the paparazzi lenses were almost deafening to my rear.  

 

As wreath-laying royals were followed by dignitaries, starting with PM Theresa May and ending with the Commonwealth heads of states, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Funeral March No. 1 B Flat Minor majestically set the tone as there were many tears lost at this time as we who were gathered reflected… remembered.  

 

More of the honourable service persons depart long after the royals have taken their leave.  This endured for several hours after.  

 

This was a truly majestic ceremony and befitting those who had given their lives,  

 

At this point, more souls have departed and I am able to inch even further to the kerb and eventually chatted with Constable Snell; she was lovely.  

 

Indeed, patience pays off and alas, the Household Guards departed and there was even more to see… or what was left of things.  

 

There go more of the brave warriors.  This has been an immensely moving ceremony.  I had no idea that I would be so deeply stirred by it.  

 

As both my legs and bladder were doing a number of me, I decided to duck into a pub with one, James, who was pretty up front about what he was after; I figured it was time I began meeting people in the city.  So we stopped and took in this marvellous band before ducking into a pub along Whitehall after we had been to Banqueting House – more on that in next blog. 

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Meanwhile, as I convinced him to go lighten his load before we went back to his place and carried on like Rottweilers, having had more than enough of his open animus towards “Nutmeg” Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex, as he went to dump, I slipped out of the pub and into the thick throngs then headed towards Trafalgar Square – who has time to waste on dreck like that!  

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

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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.

swan lake

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.

@ROM

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Monday past, in a bid to escape the near-insufferable heat – why does it seem to be even hotter at nighttime? – I rode up onto the sidewalk from the bike lane in a bid to park my bike, I was accosted by yet another vile, little, arse-munching, lisping ninny. Why is it that white females and white gays are so quick to be animus-charged and spew so much hate… every frigging time. As you can well imagine, I was quick on the rebuttal with even more forceful vituperative-charged impatience.

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This past Pride parade, which I have never once attended, I was being invited to come to march in solidarity with the missing and murdered victims of Toronto’s gay serial killer. Without hesitation, I was almost violent in my refusal to do any such thing.

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Two years earlier, whilst returning home from a work gig, I had to cut through the remnants of that year’s pride parade on Wellesley Street East, when just east of Church Street en route home, I had a tall skinhead-looking guy with lots of tatts and no shirt on with rainbow-coloured open leather vest, start shoving my bike, which at the time I was walking rather than riding.

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Soon, he began taunting me: “Yeah Bud! All Lives Matter! Next someone in back of me shoved me into him and soon enough, I was being kicked in the arse, shoved, punched and my bike similarly abused. At the end of it, somehow, I managed my way home with bruised pride and a bike, which eventually had to be repaired. Later, when I got home, I discovered that earlier at the start of the pride parade, the Black Lives Matter group had been invited to participate in the march.

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Somehow, it was assumed that they had crashed the parade; either way, their presence was clearly not wanted because they were being verbally assaulted and also pelted with water bottles from accounts I learnt from persons, who had witnessed the episode on Bloor Street East at the start of the parade. At the time of the assault that I endured, during which not a single soul on the crowded street and sidewalk did anything to intervene, the attack made no sense; sure, I knew from personal experience that gays are the most racially hostile persons – still, it seemed a bit extreme to be attacked out of the blue.

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Like the true Rat that I am, having taken the lisping, arse-munching bigot to task, I slipped into the cool, airy sophistication of the ROM, which lords over that end of Yorkville. I had been intent on seeing the spider exhibition in B2; however, the elevators were not going there. So in the end, I opted go up to level 4 and take in the visionary fashion exhibitions by Iris van Herpen and Philip Beesley.

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As previously, I had been so underwhelmed by the Dior exhibition @ ROM, I went into this one expecting very little.

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Boy, was I wowed! This was like the most surreal, lucid dream imaginable. Two designs into the exhibition and I had to hightail it to the photograph and bio of the artist; I was readily impressed and warmed by her soulfulness.

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This was so phenomenally uplifting an exhibition that I soon turned on John Coltrane’s, who happens to be an entity mate of mine and Merlin’s, 1958 masterpiece, Blue Train.

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Those lines! Truly sublime and elegant.

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Truly visionary.

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Seeing these gorgeous fascinators, I was readily reminded of New York City milliner and friend of Merlin’s, Frederick Jones who – like so many black American friends of both mine and Merlin’s – perished of AIDS in the 1990s.

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The fascinators also reminded me of the gorgeous recent royal wedding, which for having looked at it several times to date, I have now noticed more persons than initially on the day of.

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What I found truly fascinating was that Charlie van Straubenzee has the exact same facial quirks as does Merlin’s oldest friend; the same shudder followed by mouth and nose-twitching.

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Well, after all that, I could not wait to cross to the other salon and discover Philip Beesley’s creative genius.

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By this point, I was certain that I would be just as equally wowed!

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I was completely besotted!

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For this visionary tour de force, I switched to Miles Davis’ 1959 gem, Kind of Blue.

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Blow that horn Miles!

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Notice the raptor-like birds staking their predatory claim to the fashion victim.

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This exhibition was so breathtakingly beautiful, I was left swaying and bobbing, pretty much like Baroness Fellowes to the gospel choir singing, This Little Light of Mine, as her nephew, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex got into the Ascot Landau carriage and the elegantly ravishing Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex wowed the world – I don’t think that I have ever seen a white dress so white; I have been referring to it as supernova white, the damn colour so fiercely popped.

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One of the most touching moments at the recent royal wedding was when designer Roland Mouret repeatedly kissed Victoria Beckham on the cheek with his sexually dynamic lover, James Webster, being the centre of my libidinally focussed and undivided attended.

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Some of Philip Beesley’s whimsical designs look like something that Isabella Blow would readily have favoured. So sad to have recently lost equally stylish, unique and creative fellow English eccentrics, Annabelle Neilson and Lucy Ferry-Birley.

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I really loved this dress.

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This masterpiece is truly iconic.

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This confection of autumnal oak leaves really moved me.

To truly be appreciated, these next marvellous creations had to have been filmed.

For this series of suspended installations, I listened next to Thelonious Monk’s 1958 masterpiece, Misterioso.

By far, this was one of the most enjoyable exhibitions ever mounted @ ROM.

This truly was amazing! Wow!

ROM

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and 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.

Winnie Mandela… Amandla!

Winnie Mandela

For standing up to the absurd indignity of the racial predator with their absurd construct, Apartheid, in your homeland, Winnie Mandela thank you so much; were it not for you, Nelson Mandela would never have made it out of Robben Island alive.  Amandla!  Sweet and blissful dreams be yours… you were nothing short of an African Queen in full; you were not perfect but triumphant leaders are never without their flaws!  Amandla!  You were unwavering in your conviction that your noble people would be free of the absurd indignity that was Apartheid, in your lifetime.. and that they were, in very large part to your able leadership.  Amandla!  

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