Waking Up to Fun and Games; Solving Relationship Problems on Reddit; Sultan Character Analysis; Defining Pageantry Happy Hippo; From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

I woke up to such fun and games. One was an email from CPI who can be so funny, so concise, so wise and intuitive. The Complete Polar Opposite from her high school and uni friend Alexis. Here are some of her priceless comments. She wrote of a person no longer in my life,

She: You are not slipping away from him you have slipped away from him no matter what he may think. No, you have deliberately stepped away – let’s be stronger.

Me: That felt so good to hear. That I have stepped away. It makes me feel so good to hear that from you and it is true.

But then she becomes quite funny about certain traditions in this country.

She: I have never been able to understand the American Thanksgiving syndrome – seems to be a series of horror stories around the table as people tear their families apart. But no Thanksgiving, no plays, novels, short stories. Well, that is an exaggeration but ….

Me: Are you implying that I am living in a self imposed cultural wasteland?

She: Black Friday without credit cards, oh dear.

Me: Well help is on the way. There is a promised replacement to come. I have no idea just what happened to me. Perhaps the loss was a gift from Allah .

She: If you became a Muslim, you’d probably have to change your bank.

Me: I was planning to anyway. My bank is in Marin and it is a pain to have to go there.

She: Many women have taken up falconry.

Me: Perhaps, but just reading H is for Hawk is, and was, enough for me.

She: Wonderful to be able to communicate with your medical practitioners.

Me; Indeed!! If I were still in Vancouver, I would not even have a medical practitioner.

She: Wimpy feels left out.

Me: Well you could change his name. He could be Fazza the Second. Bunny is Fazza the First.

What an unlikely correspondence going on between two seventy-six year old women who met at Ross Sheppard High School in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It is rather amazing, really unbelievable as a matter of fact. But it is true. We are discussing big issues here – when you read between the lines. She is so helpful – I guess my job is to entertain her and I am doing my very best to do so.

And then this from an individual who does not, as yet, have a nickname, but I am working on it.

He: Remove your blanket, get up from your bed, brush your teeth and now say eeeeeee. Good!!! Now check out the world outside so flamboyant and colourful. Good Morning and have a beautiful day ahead.

Me: What a lovely message to wake up to. However, it is still dark out. So back to bed?

The man is on a totally different time zone, but there are advantages to that.

So who could not be in a good mood? I definitely feel cared for, that is for sure. No conflicts, no worries – just fun. A recent Atlantis article talked about the joys of Reddit, a site used to solve relationship problems.

“There are more than 1 million subreddits on Reddit, though the number of active communities is somewhere around 140,000. With more than 2.6 million members, r/relationships is currently number 74 on the site by size—a little less popular than basketball, a little more popular than tattoos. Last month, it recorded more than 40 million pageviews, and added an average of 1,516 new members each day.This is is a space to air your dirty laundry and request that perfect strangers tell you how to get the stains out. And as many different schools of thought as there are for red wine on silk, there are exponentially more for dealing with infidelity, dishonesty, poor personal hygiene, a partner who is perfectly kind in person but then tweets all his negative feelings about the relationship on a public Twitter account.

The idea of asking 2.6 million people to deliberate on how one should conduct one’s personal life is, obviously, a chaotically optimistic one. And sometimes, the crowd just can’t be trusted to handle it, even if technically no rules are being broke.”

I personally prefer old girl friends and new guys – definitely less hassle that way. Actually the guy is not new, he is recycled. But he was recycled at my initiative when I rather incidentally read his last message. It was so touching (so very touching) that I called him. He is not exactly a local boy but is talking about a visit.

Me: Everyone in my life gets a nickname because of the blog. Yours can be DEBE. It stands for Darling Expressive Blue Eyes. Like it?

But back to the Sultan. I am going to get the prize for the most hours spent viewing the Sultan on the Internet. They are rather fascinating because they are so natural and he is shown in all sorts of settings doing all sorts of things. All very different, showing different aspects and facets of his personality (and his accomplishments). One of my favourites for sheer pageantry can be found by Googling Crown Prince of Dubai Police Academy 2019. What is pageantry? It is elaborate display or ceremony. Many grand and glorious synonyms: spectacle, display, ceremony, ceremoniousness, magnificence, pomp, glory, splendour, grandeur, glamour, flourish, glitter, theatricality, drama, show, showiness; informal pizzazz, razzle-dazzle, razzmatazz; rare grandezza.

Is this EVER a spectacle, a razzle-dazzle, a razzmatazz. It takes place at a huge parade ground, almost everyone is clad in a uniform, and such uniforms they are – mostly white but with gold braids, and hats and boots – others with more traditional uniforms of blue and grey, but all most handsome. There is much ceremony, although I have no idea what they are saying as Arabic is not my first language – nor my second or third. But such incredible precision as all march about in perfect coordination. I am not sure if these men and women are going to be good cops but they sure are good marchers. Orders are spoken, people obey showing such pomp and circumstance and grandeur. It is a thing to behold. The star of the show is the Sultan – but here is the interesting thing. He his wearing traditional Arab garb, white with a diaphanous gold coat. Sandals, not boots. It is in marked contrast to all of the masculine, military garb worn by everyone else. He arrives, shakes a million hands and it seems that the instructors of the academy are introduced to him. He cordially shakes their hands and says a few words to each. Then he is escorted to the great out of doors where he is seated on a sort of Dias between two uniformed high officials. Then much marching in formation to drum rolls and music. Later, he rises and insects the ‘troops. He seems small in rather frail actually, although he is not in any way. The inspection progresses with everyone walking in a special cadenced step. He does as well and It is amazing.

Me: How in the world can he do that? Look at his precision? It seems natural.

Alter Ego: Stupid! Remember he went to Sandhurst Military Academy.

Me: Of course! How could I have forgotten that!

He is most serious throughout most of the proceedings, serious and respectful. It is his country and these people who are being showcased and not him. He instinctively realizes that, it seems and makes way for the ritual. One can see that his is a wealthy country – the uniforms, the artillery, the parade ground, the sheer spectacle. It does seem a country that is respectful of tradition and, I suspect, the rule of law. Admittedly the Sultan watching began as a way of staring into those eyes and drooling over his handsomeness but it has turned into something entirely different. It has become the study of character as almost each and every video shows another facet of his personality. Some make no sense to me at all. There is one on Kite Beach of Government Games. He is a member of a team, well the head of the team actually. They do the dumbest things, all showing a great deal of stamina and athletic prowess. Here he emerges as a true team player, works so hard with everyone, concentrating intently on swinging in the air, pulling on ropes, walking into ropes, being a human ladder. But there he is, being humble and rather selfless but my goodness, such concentration, such a fine physical specimen as he is in fantastic shape. There is a great deal of male bonding going on there but it so positive, so uplifting actually. There is another video, the Sultan is shown going to various restaurants in Dubai, his sheer presence boast patronage. It is such a humanitarian act, when one thinks of it. Another video, in a mosque, with respectful prayer and supplication. Again, not being the centre of attention but letting something else take precedence. Fascinating, there is more to be revealed in countless other videos. But, at his core, is a graciousness which we all should learn. But . Gentle reader, do not forget, this man fist-bumped me in an elevator in London. Perhaps when I am back at the hotel at Christmas I should have a sign installed. Hahahah.

The photograph is Happy Hippo, a souvenir from London. From the sublime to the ridiculous, which mean . From outstanding to measly, famous to infamous, wonderful to silly. This expression appears to have been coined in America by Thomas Paine in his The Age of Reason (1794). The full quotation is, “The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related that it is difficult to class them separately.

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