#BestDespinaEver!

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Opening nights are always such fun… Tuesday night past, I was reminded of all the opening nights that I would attend with a slightly neurotic Merlin as some show or other that he had directed was being presented to the world… As ever, it was great to see my plus one, Lucian Mann-Chomedy as the ideal partner for these occasions. Always reserved, pleasant and just the right amount of chatter and wit.

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Whilst Lucian enjoyed the pre-show lecture in the Four Seasons Centre Amphitheatre, I slipped next door into the warmth of the Sheraton Centre Hotel and warmed myself on a glass of sherry whilst finishing off 2018’s Scotiabank Giller Prize winner on my KOBO.

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What an utterly stunning tour de force. It was a moment to reflect, this Black History Month on just where we blacks are in the scheme of things. God only knows, it has been bruising to watch Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex become the print media’s most reviled and hunted fugitive from justice of that most vile creature, the racial predator.

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I was still smarting at the events of a week earlier during the winter season’s first major snowstorm. I had been recalling to friends how strange it now was, compared to my first winter in Canada. December 1, 1974 and it snowed that day more than 8 inches. Back then it generally was guaranteed to snow once if not twice weekly. Now at end of January, 2019 and we were finally having our first major snow. This was not like snow from years past… Now it was a dirty, sooty-looking hard mess that lingered, largely in part because the city has contracted out its snow removal services.

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As there are no windows in my apartment – Sol’s too damn bright by far and besides, boarded up windows afford me more art-hanging space – I got down in the early afternoon that Monday with my bike, only to be met by falling snow and several accumulated inches. Back up I went, retired the trusty chrome steed and returned and hopped into a snazzy Audi A6 Uber ride with a Macedonian whose spirit was as smooth and elegant as matchingly was his car. The mood set the tone for my day. As I am known to work 16-hr days, I called another Uber at the end of gig one whilst hoping to get to gig 2 in good time. The snow was still coming down; it was also bitterly cold and windy.

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When finally, Uber #2 arrived, cold and dark with icy pellets mixed in with the snow, the driver rolled down his passenger side window and declared, “Sorry Buddy but I am going to have to cancel this ride…” Already running late, with my wheeled suitcase at the ready, he edged along as I tried to open the door and raised his voice, his eyes almost feral-looking beneath his turbanned, narrow skull. “I said I am cancelling you. One: I never take people like you in my car. Two: you have a shitty rating… Sorry, not sorry. Fuck you Buddy.” With that, he stepped on the gas and I had to swiftly haul me and suitcase out of the way as the rear of his red older model car whose interior did have that blasted malodorous melange of curry, dirty armpit, dirty arse, smegma and whatever the fuck else that passes for immigrants of choice these days. Finally, after having struggled out onto a still-not-ploughed Bay Street, I managed to hail the fourth cab whose West African driver insisted that I call Uber and report him… Days later, I was afforded assurances that the racist Dravidian was no longer part of Uber’s fleet. Similarly, when calling a Beck Taxi with a fairly generic name as Arvin, on coming downstairs the Indo-Canadian drivers on several occasions as though staying on script would feign obsequiousness and state that they were deeply sorry but owing to a family emergency, they were having to take the cab out of service. No sooner than having refused me a ride, they would then be observed heading out to Wellesley, turning on their unoccupied light and picking up a fare off the road. As if the blasted motherfuck, the likes of your overbred arse invented Jazz.

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Each and every time that one experiences racial animus, is preyed on racially, it always harks back to that first winter in Toronto. My best mate from two summers earlier, when I would come to Canada to visit with my dad during school break, had been sick. After Sunday church service at Knox Presbyterian at Harbord and Spadina before returning to our beautiful home at 122 Mortimer Avenue, I would visit – my dad and I – with Tommy who was holding up at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital on University Avenue. My father explained that Tommy was sick with the winter flu, which sometimes could last for months and well beyond winter. I was a scrawny little fourteen-year-old who looked like most ten-year-old Canadian kids as I crawled the halls at Harbord Collegiate where among my mostly Italian-Canadian chums was future lawyer, Rocco Galati. As Tommy, who was a couple of years older than me, had gladly shared books with me the two summers prior that I would take to Knox summer camp and read then have a good stroke off, lusting after my inamorato, Tommy, I readily agreed to do his newspaper route for him until he came home. My first Saturday, the cart was overflowing with the thick Toronto Star newspaper and there was a good foot of snow everywhere. It was hellish but for Tommy, I was game to go the distance – who knows what hot frottage, docking and more was in the offing for having done his route for him! When I got to the northeast corner of Floyd and Bater Avenues that first Saturday to collect the funds, the door opened to a woman whose response to me was the most hideous display of the displaced madness that is white bigotry. Screaming at the top of her lungs, the woman in her upper seventies, vituperatively cursed my black bugger arse off and laid down the law. Never again, “you dirty little nigger” was I to set foot on her verandah.., I was to put the paper between her screen and front doors, knock then return to the top of her steps and wait for her to pay the bill. That first Saturday, she ripped the paper from my hand, flung the money at me. She was terrifying, in her faded blue A-line dress, black spectacles that had those upturned pointed edges at the sides; she wore faux pearls. Most of all, she wore the most hideously terrifying eyes. I remember how much they looked like eyes of a rooster, especially so for being such puffy eyes. Like the evolved, winged and feathered reptilians that roosters are, her eyes truly did look not the least bit human. She was so consumed with racial animus that it was truly frightening. By the time I made it home, I found myself regurgitating. Thereafter, every Saturday, I would take my spot at the top of the steps and consistently she would hurl out pennies mostly at me rather than the verandah where that first winter I had to suffer the indignity of picking through inches of snow on the verandah, steps and lawn to collect my money. Naturally, without fail she called most Saturdays to the Toronto Star, complaining of either not having received her paper on time or that it was missing altogether. This would mean having to buy her a replacement at the corner store, take it and only to be fed on by the hideous-of-spirit racial predator. Like a true cockhound many an indignity I suffered in hopes of my spectacled, full-lipped and scholarly inamorato, Tommy hooking up with me for having been so loyal to him. The summer prior, I had ventured to the public pool on Broadview at Riverdale Park with him and a couple of others and thrilled beyond belief was I to spy his large pendulous balls and that hammer-headed girthsome salami that pummelled his bikinis. Indeed, for Tommy I would suffer much indignity. There was a low-rise apartment building at 1111 Broadview where on the ground floor, there was another predator, this one equally septuagenarian who lived alone, smoked incessantly and always answered the door in various stages of undress, mostly ever only wearing a soiled merino. He was always a generous tipper; a whole 2$ bill in 1974/75 was serious cash. Naturally, in the pre-Ciaslis epoch old anorexic, drunken paunched predator would sometimes tug on the old bulbous semi-flaccid/semi-tumescent, though, pendulous but perfectly useless appendage, trying to lure me in. Sitting there in all that squalor and acting as though he was sugar daddy material… indeed. He was always keen on trying to grab me when giving me the “tip” and I was ever sly and crafty enough to get away from him each time. He, too, lead me to regurgitate, which I had not done since age nine and suffering my first racial attack. Of course, to this day, neither academia nor medicine will concede that there is any such a thing as the racial predator and the effects it has on those preyed on – mostly blacks – and the psyche/mental illness of those who prey on others chiefly non-blacks in varying degrees of severity based on otherness.

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Finally, the house lights went down and I was met by the whimsical vista of the COC’s production of W. A. Mozart’s glorious opera, Cosi Fan Tutte. Previously, I had caught productions of this Mozart gem in Chicago, Montréal and New York City. I was not expecting much at this rate. The Frida Kahlo connection was a bit of a stretch but the butterflies fast won me over.

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From the moment that she stepped onto stage, my spirit soared aloft higher than Mozart’s glorious music to that point had spirited me. Never before had there been so captivating a Despina. My eyes teared up and I was ever on the cusp of explosive giggles. Then what made me truly come undone was the moment Tracy Dahl took to the stage as the notary… by now, I was losing tears and beginning to emit choked snorted chuckles. Each Saturday back in 1974/75 when doing Tommy’s newspaper route, I would end off taking the Saturday Star to Giovanna an octogenarian Italian, who was plump, charming and more adorable than any mere mortal ought to be. Soon, we were fast lovers and she loved fussing over me, baking me each Saturday nice, warm, oven-fresh biscotti washed down with a glass of ice-cold “gingah raleh”… her thick Italian accent was part of her charm. Hers was a large black and white cat, simply known as pussy gatto, who always sat nesting on the armchair. Each week, Giovanna sat transfixed as I read her the newspaper; her vision was to that point fairly deteriorated. As a way of better forging our bond and because most of my mates at Harbord were Italian, for three years, I studied Italian and that really impressed Giovanna, who was simply known as “Mama Mia.”

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As the opera progressed, Ms. Dahl as the notary, dashed and took cover beneath the table at which point, I buried my face in the program with explosive laughter. Straight away, I was reminded of each Saturday when the ever silent pussy gatto would bolt from the armchair and take cover beneath the sofa where I sat as Giovanna began an explosion of long-winded farts. Even the singer’s voice sounded much like Giovanna’s as she sang the role of notary. Remarkably, it was as though she was channelling Giovanna. In that moment, I was healed of the bile, which the recent Uber incident had caused to surface, bile that dated as far back as 1974.

In the end, Tommy’s parents sold their house and it was not until a couple years later that I discovered from the neighbour next-door that Tommy, who had never returned to their Mortimer and Logan home, had died of Leukaemia. Indeed, the winter flu was my dad’s way of protecting me from the callousness of having to lose a friend so early in life.

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Apart from the catharsis that Tracy Dahl’s performance personally effected, I don’t think that it would be biased of me to state that hers was the runaway performance in the COC’s fantastic, and fast-paced I might add, production of Cosi Fan Tutte.

As ever, mischievously push down and melt with laughter in celebration of the joy that is life and start having yourselves a most glorious of flying dreams. Thanks for your ongoing support of this happening astral joint on this side of the astral plane. I love you more.

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

The Day After the Night that Was.

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By now the effects of the stewed fruit at breakfast has seen my waist shrink; I am grateful.  The morning after the night that was, I am still elated and humming away that catchy melody from Ludwig Minkus’ greatly composed ballet.  

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After breakfast I decamped at Leicester Square where it was time to enjoy the bright, cool sunlight and catch a movie.  The Vue cinemas are rather interesting; I was keen to know if I would have a repeat of what had transpired last winter. 

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Back then, I was upstairs at the same cinemas watching, Darkest Hour, which proved a real tour de force performance from Gary Oldman.  Sat in the back row, soon I became bloated and expansive.  Though not the least bit drowsy, I felt wide-open and lucidly self-aware.  Next, as the film progressed, I watched as several pure white humanoid forms simply stood up and walked to the sides and quite seamlessly walked through the very real walls of the cinema.  

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One of the things that Merlin and I always loved doing, was seeing a film during its opening weekend.  Naturally, so close to the anniversary of his passing, I was keen on seeing a film.  J. K. Rowling is among my favourite contemporary writers and having seen the first film in this series, it only made sense to go.  

 

 

Whilst waiting for the cinema to open, I caught a series of items; all are favourite actors of mine, especially Sir Kenneth Branagh.  

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The first screening of the day was a special affair with about one third of the theatre occupied.  A lovely Chinese couple sat to my right with their precocious son of about ten years stuck between them.  We chatted briefly and I thought it so strange that conversation with strangers is almost unheard of when attending a Canadian movie.  

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I emerged into the crisp Saturday morning in Leicester Square a bit teary eyed as thoughts of Merlin at one point during the film overwhelmed me.  It was after all the eve of his passing some 29 years earlier.  

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Slipping inside this tiny joint – I always favour hole-in-the-world, ma-n-pa joints, I got a couple of really good slices of pizza whilst pouring through the Times of London.  There was conversation close by, which struck me as interesting; it went from Theresa May and Brexit to Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex.  I soon realised that both persons were openly criticised chiefly for being women; in the case of the Ms. May, she is dismissed and not taken seriously chiefly for being female.  As for Meghan, like every woman who marries into the BRF, she is readily reviled, though, some of this has bordered on racial hysteria and seriously threatening.  

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In a bid to cleanse my very soul, after all that, I slipped from Leicester Square for the uplifting sophistication of the National Gallery where I deftly moved through my favourite salons with usual mercurial speed, taking the time to pause and admire the key works of art that bring me the greatest pleasure.  

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Well, after all that art, it was time for more prowling the decidedly unCanadian wintry streets of London.  Along Shaftesbury, I strode my Crockett & Jones booted and blistered feet into Neal Street where my favourite hippy-dippy (as Merlin would remark) New Age store, The Astrology Shop in Covent Garden.  Though, it most definitely does not have the best choices, I still love the feel of the place and their sagebrush collection is second to none.   

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Along with marvellous pieces of crystals and a wonderful Citrine, I really connected with this gorgeous agate ring.  The moment that I saw it, I really resonated with me and it felt so right. 

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After a rather warm conversation with a green-eyed, redhead, she was fascinated by my custom Reuben Mack messenger bag.  

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I then headed back to The British Museum for more shopping.  As it was the weekend, there was now a sizeable lineup to gain entry.  As though my impatience with crowds were not enough but soon, I had two Torontonian women doing what Canadians do best; they spent much of their time gawking at me, talking about me and cultural appropriation for wearing the custom Reuben Mack messenger.  Standing there in line, I was reminded of what petty, small-minded bigoted jackasses the average Canadian can be and god do they love being openly racially predatory towards blacks. 

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Never once had I experienced a scintilla of racial animus from a Briton or for being in London to that point; there you have it, the land where racism is enshrined in law: employment equity law of Canada: All employers must employ, Caucasians, First Nations persons, Disabled persons and visible minorities and therein is the framework of Canada’s own form of Apartheid – state sanctioned racism.  All employers, in particular crown corporations (government agencies – federal and provincial) employ visible minorities to the exclusion of blacks and if and when they do employ blacks, they then hire blacks only as casual workers which means they are not entitled to benefits, pension and guaranteed hours.  

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So smugly established is this state of affairs that the current prime minister refused to attend the 50th anniversary of Caribana – the nations West Indian community’s gift to Canada on its 100th birthday in 1967; however, he attends ever Gay pride parade in the same city as Caribana, Toronto, and has repeatedly been to India, to dress up and act a right clown because who gives a damn about blacks in Canada.  As one friend said, blacks over the past three decades have become as marginalised as First Nations persons.  But enough about aggressive young souls and their racialised worldview.  Meanwhile, as they were openly rude towards me whilst queueing to enter the British Museum, I grabbed my phone and pretended to film them to which one of them suddenly became enraged, demanding that I not film her…  You have to laugh or truly you would go mad.  In any event, I got the feisty Buster a nice but scary Egyptian stuffed cat – he is actually afraid of it.  

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On my return to the hotel, a couple of blocks from The British Museum, I slumped into bed and decided that my aching feet needed a break from the rest of the day’s planned events.  To that end, I stayed in that night rather than return to Barbican Hall to catch a celebration of the Windrush Migration.  At that concert were to have been Calypso Rose and The Mighty Sparrow; though it had been years since last seeing either performer, I just was not into it.  Moreover, I wanted to take the time to be with myself and reflect on the eve of Merlin’s passing some 29 years earlier.  

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and ever remember to push off and start flying.  

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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,  

When Things Don’t Go to Plan.

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Just another hotel that looks onto Bloomsbury’s Russell Square

Monday morning, November 12, 2018 rolled around with me being a bit on the antsy side.  Just a couple of days before leaving on the trip, I received an email notice that a talk and drinks scheduled for that evening at Spencer House had been cancelled.  That being the case, I emailed, called and prevailed on each day Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club in Soho to try and get my reserved seat for the Tuesday evening show, moved up to Monday evening instead. 

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Finally, the night before, I got a human rather than no voicemail or no email replies from Ronnie Scott’s.  Incredibly, the rep did not know the number for box office and let me know that the Monday show was booked and I could not change my itinerary.  Trying to reason with her proved a nonstarter.  If I could be missing for my reservation on Tuesday, so too could someone booked on Monday be missing which means that I could at the very least stand in the back of the club and sip on a drip.  Nothing doing.  Monday came and passed and not box office nor anyone ever once answered the phone.  

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One of my favourite journeys when in London is to get to Piccadilly Circus and head towards Burlington House.  There, one is always going to be wowed by great art – this trip certainly delivered,  

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This, without doubt, is the show that I came to London highly anticipating.  What I had not anticipated was the sheer scope of the exhibition.   Certainly, it was a welcome change after paying to move through the Klimt / Schiele exhibition.  One thing that struck me, which always occurs regardless which museum or which continent, whenever there is an exhibition of non-white art alongside another of white art, the latter is patronised by a ratio of three to one,  

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Franz Hauer 1914  Egon Schiele

To be sure, the space for the Klimt / Schiele was much smaller than the ten salons for the Oceania exhibition – the same salons in fact which were used for last winter’s, Charles I: King and Collector.  Indeed, there is a certain appeal about being able to view art this up close and intimately.  Nonetheless, the crowd here was predominantly older – the diapered set and they of course can be expected to have little relish for adventuring beyond that which is deemed art or superior.  

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Nude Self-Portrait 1916 Egon Schiele. 

Naturally, not having read up on the exhibition prior to arriving in London, I had assumed that it would be paintings of both artists in the exhibition.  As it turned out, my weak vision could not fully appreciate these drawings and the cramped quarters was no good for my usual wariness of crowds.  

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Female Bust,1916 Gustav Klimt.  

Thoroughly underwhelmed more than not, I made my way in search of the Oceania exhibition.  Imagine having made that treacherous trek all the way up those potentially slippery metallic stairs, only to have been left none-too-inspired.  Oh well, too many old fossils in too tight a space pour moi-meme.  

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Straight away, I was soothed, uplifted and engrossed by the fecund richness of the blue-interiored salons.  Where months prior were hung van Dycks, Rubens and a most memorable Tintoretto, now into these large magical ten salons, I slipped lucidly awakened with wonder.  

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Here, in this marvellous exhibition, the worlds of dreams and spirit were fully realised.  I was in awe, inspired and fully engaged for moving through, as though in a lucid dream, salon after salon of this mammoth, breathtakingly beautiful exhibition.  

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Papuan soul canoe.

Steeped in animism and ancestor-worship, these beautiful cultures of the South Pacific (Oceania) speak to me.  Naturally, much of this is due to strong resonance, owing to past-live memories.    

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What I found rather interesting about this exhibition, is how locals reacted to the art and artefacts on display.  They were actually deferential, which is worlds removed from the usual open ridicule and vile remarks made by persons when touring the Barbara and Murray Frum African Art Collection at Toronto’s AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).  Indeed, days later, I would be reminded of how archly racist Canadians currently are and with a smugness that defies reason.  

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This exhibition is handsomely curated and the show was staged with the greatest sensitivity and respect for the cultures represented.  Rather refreshing an approach.  

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Marvellous.  Powerful and so like the totemic masks of West African cultures.  

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I especially loved this sculpture and found it vibrationally rather powerful.  

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Sublime.  

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My attempts at capturing this marvellous piece proved frustrating as a German couple who were close by were slow to move along; my impatience is of course legendary.  

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Beautiful textiles featured in the exhibition,  

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Positively love this Papuan mask.  

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Star map for navigating the seas of Oceania’s cultures.  

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August.  Regal.  There is something deeply astral about the cultures of Oceania; these are cultures which are firmly grounded in the worlds of dreams and spirit… indeed.  

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Wow!  This is what I came hunting for; I was most definitely greatly inspired.  What past-life dreams are yet to be triggered by this lucidly awakened journey through Oceania and my own reincarnational past.  

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Hands down, this was my favourite piece in the exhibition; it seemed like some interdimensional craft for travelling between distant worlds and galaxies as is only now possible in dreams.  The lines are so amazingly elegant and masterfully executed.  Phenomenal.  

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What a wonderfully uplifting exhibition!  Bravo!  

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The view on exiting the Royal Academy’s Burlington House.  

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Just look at the view across Piccadilly from the Royal Academy…  Fortnum & Mason.  Well, off we go for some retail therapy; on crossing the street, I delightfully hummed the most memorable melody from La Bayadère.  

Oh look, way below that famous Fortnum & Mason blue beckons.  For now though, I made another feverish perusal of my email.  There is nothing from Ronnie Scott’s and the hotel has emailed to say that they have not received word from them nor have they called back.  

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A gourmand’s wet dream.  

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Art whilst shopping… truly civilised.  

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A trip to the basement and my favourite Jamaican clerk was not on duty.  I did though meet a lovely, lively West African who much reminded me of the spirited gardener in the dreams of July 9, 1993, which proved one of the most beautiful yet of this incarnation wherein I travelled and had the most lucid astral plane dream encounter with Merlin in the afterlife – it will appear in the sixth and final volume of my dream memoirs of Merlin and me, Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey, which will prove human civilisation’s first dream memoirs when fully published.  20181112_124934

Thanks to the West African clerk and how beautifully she spoke of the Canada’s Weston family, who own Fortnum & Mason, I was sold.  To hell with dropping money at Ronnie Scott’s when they could not be bothered to accommodate me.  With that, I had a couple of signed copies of Tom Parker-Bowles’ recently published cookbook, Fortnum & Mason Christmas.  For good measure, it is always good to have wonderful fragrances.  

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On getting outside, whilst prowling Piccadilly in search of the Herrick Gallery in Mayfair where a Nevisian artist was having an exhibition, the skies opened up and delivered a monsoon deluge, which readily reminded that this truly was the age of climate change.  The Herrick Gallery was a beautiful affair; however, I had arrived a day early so there was nothing to see as large canvases were being unwrapped and hung.  Getting into Green Park Station, I ducked in to use the toilet and was reminded of 28 years earlier, when you didn’t then have to pay to use the facilities.  That day, in the heat that was London in July, an old, homeless black woman sat on one of the toilets in a stall, which like all the others had no door affording privacy.  She seemed utterly otherworldly and just as removed.  Certainly, she was impervious to the bacchanalia afoot; a tall East African with the most massive cock to that point seen, was actually charging various denominations based on what the throng of near-ululating size queens were prepared to do to that unrivalled wunder schmekel of his.  

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Onward, the journey continued.  The next stop was Westminster Station where my main focus was touring the exquisite architectural gem that is the Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey.  Built by King Henry VII as Lady Chapel and deemed as the ode to the Virgin Mother, I rather suspect though that the Lady in question is his mother, Margaret Beaufort.  Hers is the only effigy that is not marble but distinctive bronze. 

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(Though photography is not permitted, I managed rather skilfully to have captured a shot of Lady Margaret Beaufort’s bronze-effigied tomb whilst in the spectacular Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey)

Of course, that soul is now incarnate and though the most reviled black woman on the planet at present, I have every conviction that Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex will just as nobly distinguish herself as when a key figure during the War of the Roses, mother of King Henry VII, grandmother of King Henry VIII after whose coronation she died days later, and great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth I.  She who founded Christ’s College and St. John’s College at Cambridge University and for whom Oxford University’s first college to admit women, Lady Margaret Hall is named.  Indeed, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex has been a feminist for some time.  

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A lone shot of Westminster Abbey from the quire, looking to the altar before being approached by security and asked to cease doing so.  Before departing I took the time to pause at the three wreaths in the stalls of Lady Chapel, which is the spiritual home of the Order of Bath.  In recent months, three knights of the order had passed.  

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The view from the Cloisters from Westminster Abbey, to the courtyard fountain and the grandeur of Palace of Westminster’s Victoria Tower to the rear.  It was also a chance to wait out the downpours.  

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Excitedly the dash back from Westminster Abbey to Westminster Station on the Circle Line was one filled with giggles as I tried to avoid being dowsed by puddles as traffic sped past.  Next stop, Mansion House which eventually led to a break in the rains as I emerged from the Underground.  

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Look at that, the monsoon had eased up and there was even sunlight trammelling the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  Always, it is good to mount the steps to this grand shrine.  

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As it is the season of Remembrance, it was time to pause and pay homage at the tomb of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson whom both Merlin and I knew in our past lives in London when musicians at court during the reign of HM King George III and the Regency of HM King George IV.  

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The Earl Jellicoe. Admiral of the Fleet.  Love that there are actual poppies on his tomb.  

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Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington.

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One of the sights whilst ambling after yet another tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  

With that, it was back on the Underground and a return to Bloomsbury, where dinner and dream-filled sleep awaited.  

As ever, dream as though every moment is a dream memory of a past life (this one) for you in a future incarnation.  See it, experience it fully – without bias – appreciate it and be richly inspired by it.  Again, I can never say enough how deeply appreciative I am for your ongoing support.  

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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.  

Two Weddings, A Baby, A Gaggle of Racial Predators and Hadrian’s frightful ghost.

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The recent wedding of the Duke of Huescar to his handsome bride was a stunning bit of theatre. He is, of course, the future Duke of Alba, grandson of one of the grandest nobles of the last century, the inimitable Duchess of Alba.

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The cut and design of the bridge’s dress is truly elegant; apparently, it was designed by her creatively gifted mother herself. They make a truly handsome couple.

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At this juncture, I have not yet found any video of their nuptials on the Internet; perhaps, it will surface at a later date. The sublime elegance of her dress deftly reflects the undeniable harmony between this couple. So good it is to see a couple of souls who after having suffered lost through death in recent times, return to find each other anew, to further explore their loving bond.

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Whilst awaiting the second royal wedding, I passed much time reviewing the coverage of the royal wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex last May. I was ever intrigued at the notion of an even larger guest list for the marriage of Jack Brooksbank and HRH Princess Eugenie of York.

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

A simple wedding, I was moved by how vastly different it was to that of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex’s months earlier. The most obvious difference in both ceremonies being the latter’s carriage ride; a rather simple affair. This, of course, was an affair filled with aristocrats – some of whom had attended the earlier wedding last May.

Sophia Wellesley & James Blunt

Along with Tom & Lara Inskip and Guy Pelly with a wife more noticeably pregnant, there was the ever stylish Sofia Wellesley, this time equally stunning in a Dolce & Gabbana dress.

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Tom & Lara Inskip processing towards the Lower Ward and St. George’s Chapel.

Guy Pelly

Guy Pelly attending the second royal wedding of the year.

Elizabeth Pelly & Astrid Harbord

Guy’s expectant wife, Elizabeth Pelly accompanied by Astrid Harbord.

Zoe & Jake Warren

Also, attending their second royal wedding for the year, Zoe & Jake Warren.

The wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, Pre-Ceremony, Windsor, Berkshire, UK -  12 Oct 2018

Back for more, Pippa Matthews with her younger brother James Middleton with that Tsar Nicholas thing going on with his look. For me, a woman is most beautiful when expectant – fecund, voluptuous, primal she is then most powerful; she is then truly the creator of life. How beautiful is that Kelly green?

Chelsy Davy

Perennial favourite Chelsy Davy with Melissa Percy, who wasted little time in saying, this mum don’t babysit and there went Tom van Straubenzee. Gorgeous periwinkle dress.

Cressida Bonas

Cressida Bonas radiating the light magical essence of artisan souls everywhere.

Franz Albrecht & Cleopatra zu Oettingen-Spielberg, young Bavarian royals attending their second royal wedding at Windsor Chapel this year.

Holly Candy

Holly Candy – hands down, the best dressed lady at this royal wedding. Those matching pink bow gloves took her outfit stratospherically to the next level of |über soignée. I really did not think that Amal Clooney deserved that honour at the royal wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess; for one thing, her hat was worn on the wrong side of the head – always on the right side!

Naomi Campbell

Coming on strong in second place, like Secretariat was phenomenon, Naomi Campbell. Readily, so many people were carping on about what is she doing at the royal wedding; hello, how many times has Sarah, Duchess of York not been a guest of Ms. Campbell’s whilst holidaying on some yacht or other in the Mediterranean. I love the way that Ms. Campbell feigned disbelief when asked by an attendant to leave the seat in the front row of the royals’ side of the quire where she sat speaking with Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and his family.

Emiily and Oliver Proudlock

Made in Chelsea star, Oliver Proudlock and his fiancée Emma proved among a couple of the best-dressed men.

Tracey Emin & Alexnder Gilkes

Admittedly, though, not the best photograph, the urbane Alexander Gilkes, Paddle8 CEO, arrived in the company of artist Tracey Emin.

Cara Delevigne & Derek Blasberg

Cara Delevigne – another dead-ringer for magical artisan soul with the planet’s most ubiquitous plus-one, Derek Blasberg.

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

Kate & Lila Moss bringing the glamour.

Poppy Delevigne

Poppy Delevigne sporting one of the best fascinators at the royal wedding of Jack Brooksbank and HRH Princess Eugenie of York.

Marie-Chantal Pavlos Maria-Olympia

Other notable royals in attendance, Princess Marie-Chantal, Crown Prince Pavlos and their daughter, Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece. Also, the Crown Prince’s younger brother, Prince Philippos of Greece attended.

Gabriella Windsor & Thomas Kingston

Lady Gabriella Windsor and her fiancé Timothy Kingston; yet another royal wedding is on the horizon. By far, the most statuesque of the Windsor ladies.

Lady Helen & Timothy Taylor

Lady Helen & Timothy Taylor; the minor royals whom we never see enough of. Love her dress.

Jwan Yosef & Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin and his artist husband.

Stephen Fry & Elliott Smith

The always witty thespian, Stephen Fry and his husband, Elliott Smith.

Holly Branson

Holly Branson coming through.

Sam Branson

And her brother Sam Branson

Princess Eugenie Of York Marries Mr. Jack Brooksbank

The irrepressible mother of the bride, Sarah, Duchess of York and her firstborn who seems resigned to the fact that there is always an opening for spinster lady-in-waiting. Back in the 80s when Merlin was then incarnate, I shared with him a dream had that night of ‘Fergie’. Set somewhere in east Africa, she was riding atop the roof of a Land-Rover with several others… it was a dusty, tree-lined road and they were loud, happy persons all – her husband, Lord Porchester’s offspring was not present in the dream. As the vehicle hit a bump in the road, Fergie went flying from atop the vehicle’s roof and landed on her head; it was the most startling affair – we all screamed.

There was deathly silence as her khaki-clad body remained motionless for what seemed an eternity. Suddenly, as though jolted by lightning, much as a ginger cat with a few lives yet, Fergie shot to her feet, ramrod straight then began rushing about from one side to the other of the parked Land-Rover, mugging and waving to the perfectly immobile and non-human trees. I awoke from the dream laughing, the image was so bizarre. Seated across the Cabbagetown breakfast table from me, Merlin casually declared whilst remaining focussed on the Globe and Mail in hand, “So that’s how she became unhinged…” Yet again, I was reminded of that dream as Sarah, Duchess of York bounded from the Rolls Royce and made a mad dash, mouth ajar, mugging and waving to god-only-knows whom at the foot of St. George’s Chapel’s west door the day her daughter took possession of her man. This eccentric behaviour, much as in that dream, was on display as she entered the quire at St. George Chapel at the wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex on seeing Misha Nonoo and her date, oil heir Michael Hess. These days, she always seems only too happy that she has not ended up like Diana, Princess of Wales.

Another soul who seemed spooked to be at the ball was the groom’s gin-blossomed father whose daft expression throughout was more than a tad distracting. One was reminded of how odd Thomas Markle would have looked, had he been allowed to attend the Sussexes’ nuptials.

Jack Brooksbank & HRH Princess Eugenie of York3

Here’s to the lovely young couple; here’s to life indeed. Happy for them that they have found each other anew in this life experience. To paraphrase Prince Seeiso of Lesotho when speaking of the Sussexes, I wish them buckets and buckets of healthy, happy children.

Sussexes

Even more glorious than their beautiful wedding was the recent announcement of the pregnancy of Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex. You cannot begin to fully fathom how excited this makes me for HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex. He has always seemed so alone, so vulnerable and emotionally fragile for having suffered the tragic, violent and sudden loss of his fantastic mum at age 12. So happy to know that they will be parents, and so quickly, and am fully confident that they will make the most fantastic parents. What more than two parents truly in love does a child need on coming into this world… again.

DoS pregnant

In all of this, what has not been cool, has been watching her racially predatory white relatives act as though she is nothing but a runaway slave. There is no doubt in my mind that were the Markles a wealthy family with a net worth of more than 200$m, would any of this acrimonious dreck be taking place. How dare she, the otiose, racially impure step-sibling, Meghan, end up doing better than them in life? Not only had this runaway slave managed to have escaped capture but she had gone and married the scion at an even more wealthy plantation.

Alas, nothing was more abhorrent than having to watch the most venal racial predator interject herself into the Sussexes/Markles’ “drama” as she opined on the ABC TV documentary, The Story of the Royals. So what if a twelve-year-old Meghan Markle wrote to you about a dish detergent ad; she also did same to then First Lady, Hillary Clinton. Straight away, the puppet-master orchestrating the Markle step-family’s media campaign of slander, grudge and none-too-succinct racial predation became fully focussed. Who else but this vile racial predator, who uses the U. S. justice system to wage personal racially predatory campaigns, against blacks with heretofore impeccably clean public personae, seated there in its invisible grand wizard Klansman’s hooded costume, could be directing this media putsch to sabotage the Sussexes’ marriage? Well near the end of the 9th decade of racially obsessing over blacks, you would think that having finished off Michael Jackson, made a joke of Tiger Woods and a jailbird of Bill Cosby would be enough; no thank you, there is bigger game to prey on. Clearly, the clown knows nothing of the BRF.

Enough about those who truly do not matter.

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Hier soir, as I live an almost exclusively nocturnal existence, I got into a compensatorily parfumé Uber, driven by a recent Dravidian arrival with rather pleasant overleaves. I was stunned by how much traffic gridlock there was at pushing six in an already dark, autumnal and cool, too, evening. The driver could not figure out why traffic was so bad in Toronto and as I have always been a most vocal backseat driver, I soon began educating him on why Hogtown is the only major North American city without exclusive one-way streets in the downtown core. Back in the 60s through 70s when streetcars were being removed from streets like Avenue Road, Bloor Street, Sherbourne, Parliament, the city’s old WASP guard decided that for nostalgia’s sake some streetcar lines ought to be maintained a little while longer.

Well in excess of 40 years, the city still only has the two subway lines, two million more citizens and what seems like the fungal viral growth of condos. Naturally, the city’s constabulary and the TTC (Toronto Transit Commmission) made an unwritten alliance to keep themselves gainfully profitable by maintaining the streetcar lines that were left. Hence, each summer, kilometres of tracks are ripped up and replaced with the necessity for TTC outdoor workers and police staff on hand to maintain traffic. Well into the 21st century, a woefully inadequate 19th century technology clanks away, holding up traffic and as recently was the case this past monsoon season – climate change is truly upon us – the new streetcars were caught in feet of flooded water with faecal matter afloat their flooded interiors. All this so we never end up with new subway lines, one way streets with the discontinuation of streetcars. At least, Montréal can be commended for having owned up to the crippling corruption at the municipal level of government.

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Finally, after directing him along streets that he didn’t even know existed, I got to the southwest corner of University and Queen Street West, hopped out, crossed the city’s widest boulevard and made it into the lobby of the Four Season’s Centre for the Performing Arts at 1831. Lucian Mann-Chomedy who happens to be a scholar in my entity and a professor emeritus at University of Toronto, who also happens to be an unrivalled Voltaire scholar glowed as I dashed inside. We hugged and kissed and it was good to see his eyes light up; he does have more than a passing resemblance to Merlin… vibrationally. Gave him his ticket to the first opera of the season that we’ll be seeing, Hadrian. Whilst he took to the amphitheatre for the pre-opera lecture, I swiftly made it west along Queen Street West and got myself some very deliciously spiced beef teriyaki washed down with a dash of prosecco.

Returned to the theatre, Lucian shared that he found the lecture rather stimulating; heaven only knows what that meant, I was though too busy creating a post of the evening for my Instagram. What then unfolded was the most god-awful unmitigated bullshit conceivable. Look this was nothing more than effete poseurs of Toronto’s gay mafia, throwing government money around to keep their friends afloat. Watching this bit of bold-faced arts larceny was at times cruelly embarrassing. Of course, it was staged by consummate professionals, thus there were truly sublime moments when the production was marvellously realised. However, I was reminded of all those downright dogfests at Toronto Dance Theatre in the 80s – do they even exist anymore – where god-awful retro-Neanderthal movement was set to, of all things, J. S. Bach.

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Act I opened with vaguely lissom dancers upstage posing overlong as Roman statuary. Naturally, they were lit such that when they finally began moving downstage on the diagonal, in movement that had been first realised by Vaslav Nijinsky (he is a mature sage, in my entity and currently reincarnated and an actor on the Portuguese stage) a century earlier, you really had to squint and try to make out if they were truly nude. Naturally, there was no such luck. That was just as lame as the opening of Act III after an intermission where there was much cruel laughter at what a dog’s breakfast we were having to slug our way through. There was the none-too-fey/verile or lissom-looking Antinous cavorting on a bed that was reminiscent of a couch I frequented in the late 70s where the city’s only queer psychiatrist and I had an ongoing affair. This bit of uninspired staging in the post-AIDS paradigm was as lame as having to watch two bored manatees going at it. Goddamn, where is the frottage! They seemed to be sleepy hobos, trying to make out which side of the bed they wanted to sleep on rather than obsessed lovers engaging in the gay world’s paedophiliacal obsession – let’s not go there just now.

Well, if you can’t hack a pop career in these parts, the next best thing is, go compose an opera. Lord Jesus… why? I am only too grateful that he didn’t set his sights on appropriating black high art and opting for a Jazz career. Last evening, Tuesday, October 23, 2018 proved without doubt that the kinder of minor Canadian celebrity should never be indulged when they elect to pursue whatever line of work mama or papa pursued. I am reminded of “Bathhouse Pierrette” as he is charitably dismissed, playing party leader in these parts and forever looking gripped by stage fright. I was much humoured this past summer as he followed the future Duke of Sussex about Buckingham Palace at the Commonwealth banquet desperately trying to score an invite to the royal wedding and being clearly snubbed by HRH Prince Henry of Wales who was gruffly dismissive of his attempts to score a pair of tickets – in the 11th hour – for him and his insufferable fag hag wife.

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There were points where persons in back of Lucian and me were laughing at how embarrassingly bad the opera was. Small-time, one guy to my rear readily dismissed. Goodness, if there was one more unpleasant reference to “the Jews” in this horrid farce, I was ready to get up and walk out. The opera was frankly a reflection of the archly conservative and frankly sphinctered worldview of Toronto’s incestuous gay elites – many of whom I went through in the 70s through early 80s and who then were just as smegmaed as a can of freshly opened corned beef – those, indeed, were the pre-plague years.

Getting on the elevator to make it to the basement where I collected my pea coat, I remarked, to one woman who asked my verdict, “You know, it would truly have been great theatre if that strobe light in Act IV had suddenly flashed brighter and erased this entire madness from memory. Trust me, dreams are never this bad!” You can fool those of your tightly incestuous social crowd all of the time but never those too shrewd to give a damn about you and your BS.

As ever my darlings, dream like you’ve never dreamt before and by all means, push off and start flying for at least there, you can readily escape the madness that’s got this paradigm saturated to the gills with BS. Thanks so much for your ongoing support, I love you more!  

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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.

@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.

Royal Wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex!

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After having waited months on end, the day of the royal wedding arrived and there was I sporting a killer headache – one of which I have not had in long ages.  What with the inordinate negativity of trolls online and the utterly disgraceful meltdown on the Markle relations on the father’s side of the family, I just wanted the bloody wedding to get going.  Moreover, I was hosting, in my art-filled home, a right English royal wedding breakfast: six different teas, smoked salmon, scones, Johnny cakes (a West Indian variation on scones) champagne, jams including, of course, guava jams.  As busy host, I missed a lot of the goings on as it unfolded live.

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Rising at 0300, I was up and ready, making the first teas as guests soon thereafter began arriving for the 0400 starts of the live broadcasts.  Naturally, we looked at the BBC coverage whilst multiple broadcasters were simultaneously taped: PBS, CBS, CNN, ABC & CBC.  Pandora my lovely sister was in town with her urbane hubby and overnighted at my place so that they would not have to travel far at 0300.  Also present was Dr. Lucian Mann-Chomedy, who left his sprawling mansion atop the hill in Hamilton, to be with me; he is a world-renowned expert on Voltaire.  Eventually, along came siblings Rio, Penina and Isha with legal professional, like Pandora, Hyacinth Fitzroy-McIlroy.

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Though I wanted to take an Advil, I knew that copious amounts of champagne to follow would preclude doing so.  Alas, I drank fresh-squeeze orange juice and lots of water.  Finally, the fare catered by Daniel et Daniel arrived at 0459 sharp – I am better at working magic in the bedroom rather than the kitchen, so why sweat it!

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In between fussing with the catered fare, I caught a glimpse of George and Amal Clooney looking like the power couple that they are.  What a gorgeous colour and her hat was fabulous.  I especially loved the Valentino worn by Sofia Wellesley with her diminutive hubby James Blunt, a man whose devastating wit makes following his twitter account a must.  There was Oprah Winfrey looking regal; she is of course a member of entity seven of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414, which would make her a cadre mate, along with other notables who are also cadre mates of mine and Merlin’s, like: Sir Anthony van Dyke, Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Jim Henson, Vaslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev, Natalie Cole, Grace Jones, Annette Bening, Warren Beatty, President Barack H. Obama, Joshua Redman, Katherine Hepburn, King Richard I, George Benson, opera singer Maureen Forrester, Painter Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Giovanni Canaletto, Camille Paglia, Cassandra Wilson, Art Blakey, sculptor Henry Moore, River Phoenix, Halle Berry, Victor Brauner, choreographer Merce Cunningham, Charles Mingus, Esperanza Spalding, Alvin Ailey, Zora Neale Hurston, Lena Horne, Jazz drummer Tony Williams, Otis Redding, Vasco da Gama, Roy Hargrove, Toller Cranston, Oscar Peterson, Jennifer Holliday, Roger Hodgson, National Ballet of Canada founder Celia Franca, Constantin Patsalas, Charles Baudelaire, Liona Boyd, Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, Youssou N’Dour, writers Gabriela Mistral & James Baldwin and comic genius, Robin Williams.  Of course, many of these overleaves are to be found across the six-volume opus of Michael Overleaves appendices which accompany my dream-filled, and sex-besotted memoirs a first in all of human civilisation… because someone had to do it first and naturally yours truly has got to represent for the old 1/7/414!  Enough of digressing and coming off like that blasted ham, who in true American fashion, the right rev’ron thinks that his grandstanding noisemaking at the wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex was a hit – sorry it was not; it really did a number on my headache.

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I especially loved it when the royals began entering from the Galilee Porch into the chapel and took their seats.  HRH Princess Anne, Princess Royal’s reaction to the guests assembled across the aisle was priceless.  Indeed, Ms. Markle had really sprung the big guns, namely Ms. Winfrey on them.  There sat Oprah at the very back where she got a good view and strategically enough, she uncomfortably sat across the aisle from that flat-arsed, no-calved pretentious bigoted boor, HRH Princess Michael of Kent.  She is such a pitiable lost soul, she with the million and one tiaras (google image her); she and her tiaras, looking like a third-tier drag queen who’s not done too badly for herself on the pageant circuit.  God when will people like her realise that on this planet melanin trumps blood.  Oprah’s presence was a none-too-subtle missive, keep up with the racist charades and there will be an Oprah interview.  Seriously, that Blackamoor brooch last Christmas worn to the Buckingham Palace as Ms. Markle made her debut was as coincidental as if HRH Princess Anne Princess Royal were to have worn a swastika for the inaugural Christmas at Buckingham Palace when Princess No-Calves’ coke-headed son brought along his Jewish wife for the first time.  Poor thing, what was she to do, to look right across the aisle at St. George’s Chapel, there sat Serena, reminding her of one of two of her black sheep named Serena & Venus; to then look left, there sat Oprah, looking as though famished and ready to feast.  Matters not, from here on out the Princess Rhino will have to curtsy to Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex.

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Wonderful it was to see Jack Brooksbank greet his mother-in-law, Sarah Duchess of York, who thanks to HRH Prince Henry of Wales’ insistence was invited to attend the wedding of the year.  Whilst many came and went past the tomb of HM King Charles I whose art collection retrospective at the Royal Academy ranks among my favourite exhibitions, there stood George and Amal Clooney holding court; at one point, they were joined by the dashing Dan Snow with his statuesque wife and sister to the very eligible Duke of Westminster who is godfather to HRH Prince George of Cambridge, who looked smart in his Blues and Royals uniform as page boy which smartly matched those worn by both his father HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his uncle the groom, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex.

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Loved watching the always elegant Victoria Beckham being greeted with a bear hug whilst in the company of her husband David Beckham and a decidedly matronly looking Sir Elton John and his partner, David Furnish.  Serenely composed was the twenty-three-year-old Indian charity worker, who looked exquisite in her saree.  Though I had envisioned her in saree, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex’s friend, the actor, Priyanka Chopra looked no less lovely in her lilac suit with matching hat.  By far, one of my favourite royals was the very expectant Zara Tindall whose husband now looks even more handsome after corrective rhinoplasty.  Whilst the Chicagoan made an arse of himself in the pulpit, there sat Zara who with a look made us all roar with her wary side eye.  Seven years earlier, I was equally charmed by her beauteousness as she smiled whilst slipping a breath mint as the soloist sang and the bridal party, TRH Duke and Duchess of Cambridge et al, were off in St. Edward the Confessor chapel at Westminster Abbey signing the registry.

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Indeed, Central Casting could not have scripted a more gloriously perfect day.  There is a special magic to the isle of England; it goes without saying that it is vibrationally harmonised with much of the West Indies.  I truly do feel at home when in England; of course, much of that is because I passed a ‘high-point’ life there in late 18th century London and Windsor and as well Merlin was then present with me.  One thing that I have come to realise that many past-life dreams afford one the perspective of the former incarnation.  As a result, as is always the case when happening on a place where I have been before and had past-life dreams thereof, I am always mildly surprised to find that the waking state reality is a 180° reversal of the past-life perspective from the most lucid dreams of questing to previous lives.  For instance, Windsor Castle in past life dreams where there is much wood fire smoke, horse activity and the fashion are specific to that time frame, the castle always sits on the north bank of the River Thames with the majestic Eton College Chapel lording over the southern bank’s landscape, looking pretty much like Valhalla rising from the mist.

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My first visit to London was so thoroughly confusing, everything proved back-to-front as it had always appeared and been experienced in the most lucid dreams.  In such dreams, horse drawn carriages are everywhere with the loud smell of smoke, horse dung.  Strangely enough, in many of these dreams, my breath tends to be foul with drink, though, here in this lifetime, I hardly ever drink.  This past spring, as I moved through Windsor Castle’s St. George Hall, I was surprised to find the ceiling so far removed.  Later, during conversation with a gentle-souled female manager at the castle, I was reassured when she shared that after the great fire of 1992, the hall’s ceiling was raised considerably.  I had a really visceral response to seeing the bullet that felled Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson; he, of course, has a storied connection to Nevis.  I also knew him in that 18th century past-life at court when then a countertenor and Merlin, then female, was my accompanist on harpsichord.

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There were moments this past March when in certain rooms both at Hampton Court Palace but especially so at Windsor Castle that everything was back to front and I felt what I refer to as being “In-Between” – one does not exactly feel faint but you experience a moment of feeling as though you were vibrationally tuning in between here and elsewhere in time.  Finally, with a second round of tea being served, I was able to take a breather and start looking at the arrivals; currently the minor royals were arriving.  Good it always is to see the gracious HRH Duchess of Kent in a lovely black and white ensemble; I was purse-lipped as she was being helped to her seat.  Finally, a Benz minivan pulled up at the bottom of the middle ward and out sprang two dashingly handsome men, wearing Blues and Royals uniforms.  Straight away, I was teary-eyed; of course, it goes without saying that on occasions such as this, one cannot help but think of their lovely mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

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Champagne nicely chilled was on standby, awaiting the taking of vows to be popped.  I love the fact that Chelsey Davy was at the wedding of her ex, HRH Prince Henry Duke of Sussex, along with Cressida Bonas.  I love this aspect of English aristocratic society; their weddings almost always feature exes… and why not?  Theirs are very tight, limited circles and exes are likely to be, in some cases, godparents.  When finally, I was able to watch the wedding uninterrupted, for having played host the day of, I was truly spellbound and stunned by what an absolutely beautiful wedding it was.

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Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex was nothing short of Arthurian as she entered St. George’s Chapel alone.  At once she was magical, empowered; a queen staking her claim both on history and her throne.  Nothing was more beautiful than watching the Mulroney twins in their matching Blues and Royals uniforms, carrying her sixteen-foot veil’s train, which was decorated in the flowers of all 53 nations of the Commonwealth and California’s state flower.  After moving through the gorgeous boughs of white roses and peonies, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex was then met by and escorted by HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, a man with whom one always enjoys the most august dream encounters.

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Seeing the uneclipsed look of love in HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex’s eyes and written all over his face as he drank the intoxicating drink of his bride approaching with his father, no less, made me come undone.  Uncontrollably, I cried out for joy and began crying.  I cried out anew when with a stride no less confident than Queen Maxima of the Netherlands’, the day she walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 as TRH Duke & Duchess of Cambridge were wedded, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex did an energetic shake of her head as she beamed at her lover, her champion at her warrior-prince.

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At this point, my whole body was awash in glorious ripples of adrenaline as these two souls, who happen to be both entity mates along with HM The Queen, celebrated their twenty-first incarnate relations.  The way that this man looked at this woman with open love for her, was the most soul-warming adage imaginable.  His cheeks aglow, he blushed, smiled and declared his love for his lover for all the world to see.  Long had I forgotten how beautiful it used to make me feel when Merlin would look at me exactly with the same magical glow and twinkle in his eyes.  I was so immensely happy.  The way they chatted, the way he looked at her whilst falling in love all over again, was the most beautiful sight.  Even the way that Jessica Mulroney reached across and rekindled her vows in a touch with Benedict Mulroney was wonderful to have witnessed.

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Uncovering her face of the veil and revealing the Queen Mary bandeau tiara in its uneclipsed glory, just as the first time after they had made love and reaffirmed their soul connection, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex said a warm, hi; they were two familiar souls, looking into each other and keeping aglow the fire of their unbreakable bond.  Entity mates in love is a most beautiful thing, there is no greater bond.  They way that they looked at each other, spoke to that enduring love that had endured across twenty prior lifetimes.  Now here they are, of choice, he an older soul (fifth-level mature warrior — fourth life thereat) she (mid-cycle mature artisan — third life thereat); there is nothing that this formidable team cannot accomplish.  As it is her third life at the level, expect her to be accomplished, ambitious, daring and a force to be reckoned with.  Like his second-level mature artisan mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex has an innate sense of theatre, which was dramatically on display as she walked the aisle to stake her claim on history and validated that she had twice previously been a high-ranking member of the British royal family.  Truly regal was she as she walked the aisle to take her vow and return to life, for the third time, as a member of a much-loved institution, the House of Windsor.

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Seated there in that beautiful blue dress, I was reminded of Lynn Woodman, actor Wayne Robson’s wife in the way that Jessica Mulroney’s smile and eyes warmed me each time.  Of course, horrified was I last summer just before departing for London, England to learn from Xerxes Hamelin, my ex-wife and now transgendered to a bald and bearded marvel of modern medicine that their only son Louis had died at Christmas 2016.  Straight away, all those dreams of Lynn looking forlorn on grey-skied, rainy days and always on a bridge before a swollen river made so much sense.

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Britain Royal Wedding

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Britain Royal Wedding

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As the service progressed awash in the magic that is evoked by two souls with strong reincarnational bonds, I took a look at the gathered souls.  Loved the look of Sam Chatto, he of the pronounced spiritual focus in this life as he sat two to the left and west of HRH Princess Michael of Kent.  Also, on that upper row was the young Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, whose father, Gerald Grosvenor, sixth Duke of Westminster, like HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, was the same soul age and role in essence — seventh-level mature warrior soul.  His older sister, Edwina had earlier been chatting with George and Amal Clooney with her husband Dan Snow as the guests arrived.  Good it was to see the always regal HRH Princess Alexandra whose father, the very dashing HRH Prince George, Duke of Kent after his untimely death may well have recently been Diana, Princess of Wales — this is just a suspicion of mine and not channelled information.  I could not though help but think, whilst watching Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex being wedded then later in the evening when emerging with her husband in that glorious white halter neck Stella McCartney dress, that Diana’s soul may well choose to reincarnate to her former son, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex and his very elegantly stylish wife, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex.

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First Duchess of Sussex, where previously the first Duke of Sussex fervently supported the abolition of slavery, a cessation of the persecution of Jews, now here were these entity mates — HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex and first Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, taking up the noble mantle of HM Queen Victoria’s uncle and HM King George IV’s younger brother, HRH Prince Augustus Frederick to work and help develop the potential of the developing nations of the Commonwealth.  Sadly, for most persons, these two souls chose to be part of the BRF by unique circumstances; when you consider the impact that black Africans have had on the wealth of the BRF and much of West Europe, it would seem fitting to these two souls and those in agreement within the BRF for them to have chosen to be an interracial couple.  Of course, it must not be forgotten that without exception, all Caucasian persons who are gap-toothed were in their immediate past life, black.

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When you keenly pay close attention to HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex’s life, you will see this being validated.  This man has always had an ease and affinity for blacks whether in the diaspora or in Africa.  There was nothing more glorious than watching his soul bleed through its reincarnational awareness, when on a trip to Jamaica, once invited by a young girl to join her dancing to Bob Marley’s soulful singing, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex danced with an ease that immediately made everyone black warm to the core; in his movement, we instinctively recognised his ‘blackness’ – we were responding to the fact that this was someone whose soul had been black in his immediate past life.  The way that this man slipped into the groove and wind his waist was as groovy as if hearing Marvin Gaye soulfully crooning.

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There is a purity of spirit that HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex possesses, which speaks to the very nature of his soul.  More than that, it does speak to his having inherited his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales’ empathy gene.  For me a man is most beautiful when he openly displays his love for another human being; there is no denying that as they took their vows, here was a man at his most beautiful.  Throughout, there sat Doria Ragland, mother of the bride, a study in dignity, pride and reserve.  Of course, any mother who calls her child ‘Flower’ is a mother who will ever be proud of how her daughter has blossomed into her own woman.  This love saw Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex become a woman of substance and a truly dignified human being.

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One interesting to note is how truly simpatico both Camilla, HRH Duchess of Cornwall and Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex are.  Of course, the reason for that being, is that they are both exactly the same soul age and both are living their third life at that level.  What that, of course, means is that warrior soul HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales will always be warmed by and favour Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex.  Though both are mid-cycle mature souls on their third lives, Camilla, HRH Duchess of Cornwall is, however, a scholar soul.  Keeping her grounded and focussed with uncharacteristic drive is Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex’s warrior task companion.  That warrior, however, is not her husband, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex; it does, however, prove grounding for her, to be wedded to a warrior, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex.

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All warriors live by a very grounded motto: feed me, fuck me but do not annoy me!  To say the least, Lady Kamasutra aka Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex is ably qualified to ever keep her husband engaged both physically, emotionally and intellectually.  Warriors make the best of partners because when the love is strong, they are the most loyal and devoted of souls.  Regardless what those on the outside may think – and god has there been a spate of dissenting opinions about their union; fact of the matter is that they are more suited to be man and wife and life partners than most persons in the public eye.

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Without doubt, no one wore a more stylish hat than did Camilla, HRH Duchess of Cornwall.  I also loved the wonderful hats worn by Catherine, HRH Duchess of Cambridge and Lady Kitty Spencer, daughter of Earl Spencer, niece of Diana, Princess of Wales and good friend of Viscountess Weymouth who would have looked smashing had she attended the wedding.  Not wanting to be the butt of every joke, this time around, the Princesses of York wore hats that were demure and understated.  Reminiscent of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, HRH Princess Eugenie, soon to be wedded to Jack Brooksbank this autumn, wore a lovely white pillbox hat.  Ever exuberant, it was good to see Sarah, Duchess of York greeting her son-in-law at St. George’s Chapel, though, she did not sit with the royals but across the aisle with the invited guests.  Kudos to HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex for having invited and included her in the Sussexes wedding gathering.

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After that solipsistic buffoon made a point of overstating the obvious – if I were not hosting, I would have readily tossed a box of Kleenex at the screen, it was good to have been wowed by the Kingdom Gospel Choir.  I thought that at least one of the female singers in the front row was a priest soul, along with the choir leader; if not a priest, she definitely would have strong priestly makeup in her casting.  Their presence and performance were one of the many details, which went a long way towards making this wedding one of the most memorable.  Finally, after old windbag’s grandstanding, it was time for the lovely couple to take their vows.  Yet again, I was moved to tears.  Doria seemed at times to be experiencing rapture during points in the ceremony. Britain Royal Wedding

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Like Mr. Curry’s grandstanding, there was also a moment that left me disquieted.  The moment that she entered St. George’s Chapel off the Galilee porch entrance with the other royals, I was disappointed at the sight of Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of TRH, the Earl and Countess of Wessex.  Back in Spring 2016 on a tour of the Bahamas and Cayman Islands, there was Sophie HRH, Countess of Wessex wearing the same dress that her self-conscious daughter wore to a wedding that would be globally televised.  Nothing like human society to straitjacket children into rigid social roles.  It would have done a lot of this young woman’s self-esteem if she had been bought a new dress for the wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex.  There is nothing empowering for any young woman, having to wear their mother’s hand-me-downs.

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That aside, there was nothing more glorious than the prodigy, Sheku Kanneh-Mason masterfully weaving his magic on cello.  Later, as the married Sussexes emerged from the beautifully boughed St. George’s Chapel into the crystalline blue-skied day then kissed, the most glorious thing then happened.  As the unmistakably in love couple stood on the lower steps, the gospel choir again began singing.  As if it were not moving to watch, Diana, Princess of Wales’ older sister, Lady Jane Fellowes who gave a reading during the service, there was she bobbing and dancing whilst enjoying the gospel music.  And what glorious music it was too.

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That song, This Little Light of Mine, was a favourite of mine since childhood.  Back on Sunday, August 2, 1964, I had gotten a good spanking, on my birthday no less, from Harella my mother, whom I had always been convinced was not my mother as she was all of forty years old when I was born.  I wanted that day to wear my favourite pair of shorts to church – it was after all my birthday.  However, the shorts were dirty and crumbled and expected to be washed during the week.  Nonetheless, I threw a tantrum and got to wear my shorts after having my naked bottom spanked – therein lay the seed of my crop and riding boot fetishistic sex.  Sitting there in church, which Harella owned, I began singing at the top of my lungs, the song of protest.  Whilst my mother looked at me, utterly sure in her conviction that I was demon-possessed, I looked away and out the door to the east and the mountain ridge in St. Kitts.  Just then, the sparkling sun struck something within the growth of the foothills and it caused a blazing reflection that danced and shone even more blazingly than the sun; indeed, it matched my singing.  I knew that day that my mother would never succeed in having me sublimate my will to her and her mad and make-believe god.

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As the gospel choir sang, I began tearing up again, as the camera pulled a lovely crane shot back from the top of the St. George’s Chapel’s west door, steps and the couple below preparing to get into the landau, beyond lay the lowlands of the magical kingdom.  In that moment, I was suddenly struck by the very real sense of Diana, Princess of Wales.  Yes, indeed, her lovely boys were now wedded and to beautiful strong wives at that.  Her work here was done; now she could fly off as that crane shot implied to the west, the horizon, the astral plane, the future and to lives up ahead.  Diana, Princess of Wales had made a handsome success of life and with both TRH Princes William and Henry fully grown and wedded, her work was done.  Even, HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales was every bit a loving, older soul – seventh-level mature warrior and entity mate of king soul and Canadian artist, Robert Bateman.

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Without doubt, this was one of the most glorious weddings in long ages.  To be sure, it is always good to see two souls with an abiding soul connection, renewing and validating the ties that bind and truly matter.  Here’s to TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex!

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