An internet meme is a a term coined by Richard Dawkins to describe songs, catch phrases, clothes fashions, or other cultural information passed from person to person) that is passed over the internet by word of mouth.(Wikipedia)
Rita Zeinstejer, a friend from Argentina, has just invited to take part in one of these. The idea is for each blogger who accepts the invitation to reveal five things most people don’t know about them. Then they pass the ball over by tagging five other bloggers.
Let me think what I can possibly tell you that you do not know about me yet. My professional and personal life, photos and impressions are already all open and scattered all over the web in blogs and other social platforms like 43things, 43places, 43 people, Flick and Elgg.
So look at your computer and satisfy your curiosity by reading about this other person sitting in front of a similar screen.
My frame of mind is very much influenced by my senses and it is through them that I connect, capture and remember very vividly the world around me. It is not difficult to understand why I love:
- Perfumes, scents and smells
L’Eau par Kenzo or lavender to sleep, Ô de Lancôme for the day and J’adore for special occasions, scented oils, manicure, pedicure and massage. However, I am extremely allergic to most chemical products in this list so must pay attention.
I made my first trip to Europe when I was eleven. France and Italy stand out in my memory. I associate Paris from that time with the smell of the buttered croissants for breakfast and the fragrance of the muguet bouquets sold by flower girls in May, while white-gloved chauffeurs helped beautiful ladies in glittering evening dresses out of their cars in front of the Crazy Horse (my father and mother hurried me back to the hotel after dinner!). Marseille smells bouillabaisse and feels the mistral while the interior of Provence is a profusion of lavender, rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf and thyme.
From Italy what comes back is the light and touch of the warm sun on my skin, the taste and feel of the ruby red cherries which I savoured in Rome, dazed by Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel and overwhelmed by the grandeur of Saint Peter’s Square.
Also, quoting recently deceased Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński , travelling brings you in contact with “people, their mentality, their way of seeing the world…from each spot in the world one sees the planet differently. A person who lives in Europe sees the world differently than a person who lives in Africa. Without trying to enter into these other ways of looking and perceiving and describing, we won’t understand anything of this world.”
Not deserts or cakes as they require method, precise doses and order. I love combining different ingredients, inventing dishes – none is ever quite the same.
For me, “cookery means the knowledge of Medea and of Circe and of Helen and of the Queen of Sheba. It means the knowledge of all herbs and fruits and balms and spices, and all that is healing and sweet in the fields and groves and savory in meats. It means carefulness and inventiveness and willingness and readiness of appliances. It means the economy of your grandmothers and the science of the modern chemist; it means much testing and no wasting; it means English thoroughness and French art in Arabian hospitality; and, in fine, it means that you are to be perfectly and always ladies — loaf givers.”
John Ruskin, Quoted in the first edition of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1896).
I smile in understanding and sympathy for the women characters in Volver, cry like a baby when watching Dersu Uzala, cannot forget The King of Hearts or 1968 British IF and am strangely fascinated by the symbology and interplay between reality and fantasy in Pan´s Labyrinth.
Finally, something that just crossed my mind. Before I started teaching , I worked for a very short time as a secretary for three Brits who came to Sao Paulo to launchRolling Stone magazine, translated articles from French magazine Lui into Portuguese.
Well, I guess this is more than enough about me me – so let´s challenge the next 5 victims.Augustine has already done her homework. Who has a blog and is friendly enough not to mind spending time on answering this? I am not good at passing memes…argh. So tagging :
Michael Coghlan (who will problably produce a podcast)
Leigh Blackall (who invited me to NZ and whom I’d like to know better)
Patricia Glogowski (who is moderating the OWP course with me and am sure will tag other people in the course)
Georgina Nou (who is a participant in our workshop and works with indigenous communities in Australia )
Janos Blasszauer (another participant in our session, whose name I have often surfed upon the web but about whom I do not know much)