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Echoes of Flavio's Ghost Dreaming
flavius_m
In case anyone still reads this: A New Dusk tonight at Aces & Eights in
Tufnell Park.
"Spinning contemporary post-punk, minimal, and cold wave"

Djs Dave Exile, Robert Cowlin and Matthew Coulam.

Facebook event here:

<https://www.facebook.com/events/936927466385578/>

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flavius_m
A cold but sunny morning, a stop for yoghurt breakfast and Vivaldi at the Rustique café on my way to a lesson. Good morning!

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flavius_m
You may have noticed, if you read this, that I'm allowing myself to put slightly more personal stuff in here. I still think it is a very bad idea to put _very_ personal stuff in a public social platform or, well, anywhere on the internet. OTOH, what do I care, as long as I don't name people: I'm never going to go for a job interview, nobody really cares what I write in here and my livejournal is read, for the most part, by a tiny number of people in whom I trust. I stil think it is a very bad idea to use this or any other public platform to complain about your boss, your partner or to put any details about your lifestyle, mental health or any other aspect of your life that can be brought up in the future and used against you.

In the meantime, I quite like that there are a few more people writing and, amazingly, reading livejournal. I so much prefer it to Facebook, immensely useful as the latter is -FB has many questionable or worrying sides to it and also seems to encourage a shorter, shallower sort of communication.

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flavius_m
And sleepy a lot of the time. I probably have worn the quip out by now, but I still feel like they lied to me: I'd read in many places that as you got older you needed less sleep. This was reinforced by my granddad getting up at obscene times in the morning, still in the dark, listening to the newscasts on the radio at full volume. No, I need perhaps more sleep than I used to...

Yes, last week-end. Where do we start. Friday, I s'pose. After lessons there was Tufguitar, the monthly meeting of my pupils at the Rustique Café to play the guitar, then off to see the Terminal Gods at Sambucca -they put on a good show. Dance a bit, go back home relatively early, before 2:00 am. Saturday: teach a good chunk of the day, then off to ciphergoth and lovelybug's leaving do -they're going to California and I'm already missing Jess. It was a very good party. Took many pictures, the least worse of which now at a Facebook album. From there I went to the Big Red, to the double birthday celebration of Delphine and Magda's. The Princess Unreachable was there, we had an intense three minute conversation and she left for the Slimelight with a group of happy campers friends. I managed not to cry or anything and had a very good time for the rest of the evening. Again, took many pictures albeit with the phone. Phones have got much better at this but not quite there just yet perhaps.

Sunday was quite unremarkable, almost a non-day. Had a stroll around Chinatown in the rain but there wasn't a lot apart from New Year decorations -apart from many many tourists occupying every available space. Didn't last long and went back home.

Need to get me a couple more occasions to play my current programme, see whether I can get a decent recording or video of me playing Bach's Chaconne in public...

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flavius_m
A few days ago I posted link to a youtube video of me playing a Leo Brouwer piece at a recital in January. I posted it in about 10 social media/etc sites. Have got 18 views. This is a little less than two views per site. Vagaries of the internet..

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flavius_m
Me playing Leo Brouwer's 'Zapateado' in recital at the Kentish Town City Farm earlier in January. Thank you again arkady for coming to see me and for the video!

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flavius_m
This is what I played at last Friday's recital at Rustique:

behind cut to protect those not interested...Collapse )

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flavius_m
A reminder that I'm doing this this coming Friday:

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flavius_m
Happy Birthday, erming!!

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flavius_m
Thank you muchly again to arkady and omnisppot, amongst quite a few others (but these the only two WLJ) for coming to my concert tonight. It was lovely to share that moment with you.

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flavius_m
A sunny morning on a train to Watford, another strange day in which everybody I know is mourning somebody they never met -but who has touched their lives and given them a soundtrack and a momentum, even perhaps helped give it some significance.

As the train moves ever closer to the beginning of my teaching day, I try to recall what I was dreaming last night, or only two hours ago -it seemed momentous at the time, I woke up clearly remembering everything vividly -or so I thought- and now I cannot even recall what it was about, what the astounding insight I was having of the connection between things apparently unrelated in the real world was. All an illusion, but so seductive at the time, leaving me longing for whatever it was that is now lost down the washbasin's plughole.

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flavius_m
Getting those dreams again in which I never came to the UK but instead went to study (and stayed) in some town in Northern Italy. I'm never actually there in the dreams -I'm always somewhere else (normally Caracas) and something prevents me from going back -and my guitars, my computers and my books, as well as my working life, are all back there, so it is almost a nightmare although not quite. But I could describe in detail my room in the house I share there (in the dream) with another musician, the little balcony, the battered garden set in it, the plants, the old music stand I have (don't know where that comes from, never had a wooden music stand). Like peeking into a world that could have been, or into that multi-dimensional shift-space of possible lives that never were....

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flavius_m
.. or was. The decs on the tiny table-top tree in my tiny flat will probably stay there till February but otherwise it is all over, once more. Christmas itself I spent with Venezuelan friends in Kent, one more time. We had the Venezuelan Christmas dinner (late on xmas eve, although not at midnight), with turkey, hallacas, pan de jamón, and other Venezuelan and Portuguese (my friend's wife is V'zlan-Portuguese) foodstuffs, plus christmas pudding. The usual opening of presents by the xmas tree brought me a gin making kit. Not a still, mind. It was quiet and relaxed and I think I needed that.

On New Year's Eve I played at the londongothsluts's NYE party at North Nineteen organised by djpsyche, with encores with the help of sbp and Red; all this seemed to go down quite well. Took my guitars away and came back for the party, danced and caught up with people (and had a very good and illuminating conversation with Alicja, WOLJ) then got offered a lift to the Slimelight so I went ... leaving my bank card behind, at the bar. Luckily djpsyche brought it over to the Slime for me.. many thanks many times over, Psyche, for that and for the night and for thinking of me for the playing.

The ensuing tow days have been rather quiet, as they should be, but I have a maelstrom of things coming my way this January: two concerts (small and local but that makes no difference) to prepare, tax returns to get ready and a tax 'error' that HMRC claims there was in last year's return which means they want several hundred quid from me (and now I think they may be wrong or one of my schools may have deducted my tax but not passed it on -messy either way).

Last night, instead of going to AntiChrist (had perhaps one or two reasons not to want to be there), found me at German goth friends' near here, relaxed conversation and wine and playing with Luna the cat...

Today, meeting with friends for Sunday roast at a pub in Holloway, guitar practice and spreadsheets and a million little unreadable receipts to sort out....


xmas dinner at M's: hallaca, pan de jamón, turkey, 'taters and nips (not neeps)

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flavius_m
Merry Crimbo, all! :)
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flavius_m
Thursday I met with a young friend at Amorino in Covent Garden to eat fantastic ice-cream and sit at the tables outside under the leaky grey, grey skies exchanging life stories, mostly about our respective fathers.

In the evening I went to North-Nineteen for the londongothsluts meeting, this time celebrating boxcat and myz_lilith's return from their travels. After listening to very good stories of far away and having a so-so dinner (a first for the place; I won't be ordering fish and chips there again), left to go and see The Creeping Terrors at the Unicorn. Very good gig on their part, not that many people in the audience, though. Pictures of the gig, here. The band that followed was playing 'ironic' covers of hard rock and generic 'cock rock'. I'm getting tired of 'ironic' so I left with friends for a glass of wine at their place and to make the acquaintance of Luna, their visiting cat. A lot of wine and good conversation, although it is not the conversation that results in a pounding head the morning after.

Friday -I totally failed to make it to Nambucca to see Prof Elemental (I wasn't that taken with the idea of this, I must say) and the Memepunks (I was, but still didn't make it). Instead I stayed at Veronique's Goth Christmas Party and Jason's Birthday Commiserations (at Aces & Eights; no link as it was a 'private' event), which was a fantastic party. Again, pictures here. Really really lovely. More head pounding in the morning.

On Saturday, after lessons and meeting a friend for coffee and catch up at the Rustique Café, I went to the Slimelight to see DKAG and Alien Vampires' concert. Wasn't intending to stay long or drink much but people kept giving me conversation and buying me drinks and .. the morning after started lated and went rather slowly and heavily. Maybe there is a theme developing here.

Sunday didn't exist apart from some guitar practice and one lesson, this one online with my pupil in Kuala Lumpur.

Monday -ah, getting to meet lovelybug at St Pancras and spend some lovely time with her there, then joining Krisztina and yog_sthoth at the Tricycle Theatre to see _that_ movie. Which I liked. Quite a bit. May have to see it again in a larger screen, maybe in 3D.

I didn't mention the letter from the HMRC where they allude to a possible error in my tax return last year which will mean me having to magic a lot of money to pay more tax. No, one wouldn't mention that sort of thing, would one.

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flavius_m
A pupil was very late for his lesson so ended up finishing at some point after 10:00. At that point decided to make dinner. So, what to do.... ok, put some chorizo sausage from the local butcher, garlic, potatoes and olive oil, salt and pepper and quite a bit of rosemary (and a little bit of oregano) in an oven dish, stick it in the oven for the duration of three rounds of Bach Chaconne's arpeggios plus a few chromatic scales. It works!

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flavius_m
As I sat to write this, it was a dark and stormy night. Now, it was only 4:20 pm. I could live in this island a hundred years and not get used to the short days of winter, it suddenly being pitch black night in the middle of the afternoon.

The week end was good. Some bits of it were rather very good, in fact.

On Friday some of my pupils met, as they do once a month, at the Café Rustique in Tufnell Park to play together. From there I rushed to The Forum to see New Model Army do their by now traditional Christmas concert at the forum. This was... excellent, Mr Sullivan still is full of anger in all the good ways.I'd lost my friend Lara in the crowd (which was full of familiar faces) but eventually found her and we withdrew after the concert to have a coffee and catch up.

Saturday was Reptile. This was very good -dance and catch up with lots of lovely folk. One of the highlights may have been a particular absurd conversation with friends on the outside terrace under the rain. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun but it was.

On Sunday, after my nightmare lesson, met with a few lovely people at the Landseeer for Sunday roast and conversation. This was just what I needed after a difficult, demanding lesson the morning after a very good night out.

On Monday there was the by now traditional Bleak Xmas dinner and carol sing-along at the Rochester Castle (the Roch, for the regulars) in Stoke Newington. This was a lovely meeting of peeps, some of whom I hadn't seen for years and some who I only see, these days, on that one occasion once a year. Thanks again chris_damage, andyknifton and suicideally for organising this.

And for something truly terrifying, the rendition (I use the word advisedly) that night of 'Silent Night': https://youtu.be/6f_yUg99z9o

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flavius_m
Lots of guitar lessons to do today. Youngest pupil is 8, oldest is 63. Range of interests just as varied. Before all that... coffee. Good morning...

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flavius_m
Remarkably busy week-end. I should start that on the Thursday, when I went to the londongothsluts meeting at the Doric Arch -particularly since I didn't have to go to school on the Friday. I did go to deadandburied (ah, that's still there, even though Nik hasn't posted for many an eon) in Archway. That was an excellent party. Saturday was very good, if a tiny little bit bittersweet for me in parts. A couple of lessons, then to the Bart's Christmas Bazaar with my friend Jennie with the idea of buying a couple of little pressies for redd_foxx who always buys me lots of little presents for xmas and I hardly buy her anything back. Didn't find anything that would really catch me but did buy a couple of things. We left and ended up in a Nicholson's pub nearby, had a lovely catch up and finally each left for their home -I only briefly, as was going to Cavey Nik's (seems he has finally deleted his old LJ) birthday meal at Jashan's Indian restaurant in Turnpike Lane. This turned out to be very good, perhaps not the cheapest but very very nice food. A lovely meeting of people, too. I think the birthday boy was happy.

Sunday brought, apart from my most difficult lesson of the week, the Alternative Bring & Buy at the Dome in Tufnell Park. This was, as always, a lovely event. Again, I came back with a couple of small things. In the evening there was the 'after-event' party at Aces & Eights in Tufnell Park. Pizza and beers with friends.

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flavius_m
Get up, check how much sleep I've had (the Pebble tells me that) -never enough. Drag myself up, take the pill that I probably don't need but a prescription is a prescription, grab a change of socks and underwear, wake the computer up as I stagger to the bathroom, drop the socks, etc, gargle some Corsodyl and stumble over to the kitchen to grind some coffee beans, switch the Gaggia coffee machine on, stagger back to bathroom, brush teeth, have a hot shower, back to the kitchen to make coffee.. and those two things are the nice little things in my morning -the hot shower, the first sip of home made espresso. Check livejournal, check FB, check my calendar, send a couple of birthday greetings, drink the rest of the coffee.. get ready to leave for lessons. If it is a Tuesday, I no longer have to get up at 5:20 am (that's the good bit) but have fewer pupils at WBGS and therefore less money coming in and have to negotiate the Northern Line right at peak hour for the first time since forever. I'll be on the Met Line to Watford slowly making its way out of London, replying to emails, writing little poemoids, looking out the window, trying to resist the temptation of writing to the woman I love because there is no point. The world outside slides quickly past, it seems to be full of things -it shouldn't feel so void and empty. Moor Park, Croxley; we're getting there. Somewhere. But it doesn't really feel like we're getting anywhere.

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flavius_m
In trying to avoid reading 'Infinite Jest' by David Foster Walace, which is the book marked for discussion on the next bibliogoth meeting -book which I'm finding extremely tiresome to read, I have been reading or re-reading a few other books, including a couple of the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch, the whole Merchant Prince series by Charlie Stross, re-reading 'Matter' by Iain M Banks, which was the first Culture book I read and finding that I had missed so much detail and reference the first time round, and also now 'Starship Troopers' by Heinlein. Have enjoyed all of these in different ways; Aaronovitch books present bits of London that are part of my life in a different light; the Stross series is yet another Parallel Worlds story but a very well told one -and although it is a bit late it is nice to see G W Bush and Cheney dispatched like that, at least in prose. 'Troopers' is a slightly different case. I'm enjoying reading it but I can see I wouldn't be able to see eye to eye with Mr Heinlein on practically any social or political issue, I find him profoundly reactionary, the society he depicts borderline fascist. It is a good read, though.

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flavius_m
Another week-end sailed by almost too fast to notice. This time I didn't go out much, only to Tanz Macabre on Friday. Spent the rest of the time mostly indoors, reading and practising a few things I intend to play in those two little gigs in January. Let's see what the week brings...

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flavius_m
On Friday, after lessons, there was Tufguitar, the meeting of (some of my) adult pupils at the Rustique Café to play together, as they do once a month. This went quite well, enjoyable for all people concerned with the possible exception of the couple at a nearby table who couldn't look more annoyed at us.

Saturday had more stuff happening. Our friend Nicole Raine was in town for only a couple of days, having been in Paris the night before and she and andyravensable having been rather worryingly near to the site of the tragic events of that night -a group of friends went to meet her at Garlic & Shots; it was a lovely encounter of friends old and new -but had at least three other things to go to, knowing I wouldn't be able to make more than two.

Next stop was Big Red for Federica's birthday drinks. I am not that keen on rock pubs, as I have mentioned before, but it was a good little party; being at the back of the pub mitigated somewhat the roar from the covers band at the front. From there I went to Reptile; it was Arif's and Pete Maxdmyz's birthday so I felt I had to be there. I was, and had a very good time, but also aware that I was missing out on the gig at the Slimelight, in which I had friends in two bands and would have liked to attend.

Next day, apart from a nightmarish early lesson, brought something different: my artist friend Maya Ramsey was involved in the jazz festival in the South Bank, as one of her recent works had been a wall rubbing of the wallpaper in Jimi Hendrix's London flat, flat in which G F Händel had also lived previously (like, two hundred years previously..) and she had been involved in the preparation of Traces, a show based on those wallpaper rubbings. Not a genre of music that I normally go out of my way to listen to, but a very good evening nonetheless, some interesting music, new people met and interesting conversations had.

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flavius_m
The week-end had the big shadow of the incidents in Paris over it -and the reaction of the media and of people, mainly on Twitter and Facebook (and, in one case, in person, where a friend of a friend started having a go at the refugees and the old 'there's too many of them lot over here already', as if not aware that she hadn't been talking to somebody who, albeit in very different circumstances, started life 'out there'). But all that came later.

Thursday evening I went to the Gothsluts weekly meeting, this time at the Angel in Bermondsey. A Sam Smith pub, it seemingly has many strange rules of the house that I wasn't aware of. First the Italian guy at the bar (I think he's the manager, he seemed to be in charge) stopped me short when I spoke to him in Italian, 'speake in Englishe, the customer over there (points at a customer at the bar) could think we're talking about him'. I refrained to mention that the pointing thing was more rude than any imaginary offence for not understanding what other people were saying. Rules of the company, he said.

I had gone to the pub straight from a lesson so I had a guitar. Dylan wanted to have a go so we brought the guitar out of the case -and the same Italian member of staff came and told us. We weren't allowed to make any sort of music in the house. Rules of the company, he said. Ooh kay then. The booze is cheap there, the food is cheap and ok, the view of the riverside is lovely but I don't think I'll be voting for that pub for the meetings again.

The company was excellent, though.

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flavius_m
On Friday mr lproven was celebrating his birthday at a pub in Chiswick, the so I went. The pub was ok, made me think a little bit of the Pembury Tavern for some reason -certainly not for the variety of ales on pat, mind. It was ok and it was a good gathering, though. I had occasion to remind Liam of how he embarrassed me in the summer at Infest, embarrassing him in turn so perhaps we're quits. Ok, I'll never forgive him.. :D

Saturday brought about dj_alexander's and Liz's wedding in faraway Bexley, which was a good party if, for a party of goths, not a goth party at all. Made it on time for the last train back to Charing Cross with, again, lproven, which was good. Once home I phoned (on Skype) maragotika to say happy birthday.. ended up going to bed at 4. My photos of the reception are here.

Sunday came with the most challenging guitar lesson of the week -after that, shattered, I staggered to the Landseer in Holloway for Sunday roast with a few friends, which was very and made up for the earlier horrors.

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flavius_m
Yet another Facebook killer:

http://www.tsu.co

Looks ok, it's quite busy at the moment and has several interesting angles (some of which in their Wikipedia page). Do they have a chance? Erm... probably not. So many have come and gone. The main problem with Facebook is not features, it seems to me, but momentum and, most of all, reach. If you can persuade my sister in Venezuela, my cousins and old aunties in Italy, my friends in the four corners of the globe to switch away from Facebook I'll then believe you have a FB killer. In the meantime, it's just a little fun to play with.

In any event, I'm there at http://www.tsu.co/flaviomatani -you can set up an account starting on that link.

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flavius_m
Not giving interviews today! 😆
"WHAT HAPPENS WHEN GOTHS GROW UP?"
https://t.co/in4tqqdxFv

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flavius_m
Half term week. This means not just the schools but many of my private pupils stop lessons for the week.

Not a lot to do -oh, I have plenty of things I need to be doing, but not that many of them to a timetable. Yesterday morning met tar0r for coffee and catch-up, which was well overdue and lovely; we met at Renoir in KT, which kaerasta (best flatmate in the world, she was) used to like so much but I'd stopped going to a while ago. She had to put up with my stories of girl trouble, quasi-imagined and non-existent relationships and work and things, but she did update me in turn on the story of her life to date. It was a lovely moment in what otherwise was more or less a non-day, filled in with reading, practising guitar (not enough) and going to the gym. Ah, and editing and uploading the pics for the Renaissance festival last week-end, which I should finish doing today.

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flavius_m
... and a good week-end it was.

On Thursday there was Tufguitar: (some of) my pupils met to play at the Rustique café, as they do once a month. A very good one, had five pupils present which is good going for something like this, including a new face.

On Friday there was A New Dusk at Aces and Eights; this was a lovely night of dancing to post-punk music and catching up with friends and making a few new ones. A small basement in a bar in Tufnell Park, a lovely atmosphere, a very good night.

Saturday promised to be a bit hectic: I had lessons to do and other things, then there was the Renaissance Festival at Electrowerkz and the Gothic Valley WI's Hallowe'en party. I managed to attend both, or at least the first four or five bands at the festival, a few hours at the party and then the last couple of bands at the festival again and, again, a little bit of dancing and, again again, catching up with people. Both good, in very different ways. I still missed a couple of things that were going on, mainly Shenanigans which -oops, I forgot it was that evening. Sorry Sal and Zeke... I don't think they missed me, though; all reports were of a very good night there.

This is half term week so no school. Today, a couple of lessons and meeting a friend for coffee (me, she doesn't do coffee much) and book exchange. On which topic, just finished Charlie Stross's 'Merchant Princes' trilogy -very very good, gripping story that I read almost in one sitting but with a rather rushed ending with some loose ends left. He must have had a lot of fun writing this -it takes place (and was written) in the mid 2000's in the aftermath of 9/11 and he gets to have G W Bush die in a nuclear attack, replaced by Dick Cheney who, in the story, is in league with a cartel of drug smugglers from a parallel Earth. Ok, that's kind of a spoiler but you weren't going to read it anyway, were you. And the story is much more complex than that. I don't think he can write a follow up book to the series, given all the things in it that have become anachronic. More's the pity.

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flavius_m
Waves and waves of people with long, disgruntled faces, with sad or indifferent faces. Each one of them a miracle, the child of the explosion of a star long long ago, the result of the most improbable chain of events. But maybe not this morning, when most of them stare blankly into space and warily cast side glances at each other, jealous of the minimal personal space conquered, or burying their faces into the free morning tabloid full of lurid but insubstantial stories and of a vague, distorted approximation to the news of the day. This morning I am one of them. There is somebody I know in the carriage and it is very clear that they must have seen me but do not want contact or to be spoken to.

I only have to do this once a week. I suppose I am rather lucky.

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flavius_m
http://fflav.tumblr.com/post/128656330621/miraflores-and-the-setting-sun


Oh, ok; nobody ever follows links, so this is my little piece:

Miraflores and the setting sun

I have seen fairies. Without recognising what it was that I was seeing, as we often do. One afternoon on Avenida Sucre, on ,my way to the conservatoire in Santa Capilla, the sun low on the horizon, in front of me the white walls of Miraflores where the President of the Republic, whoever it may have been then, woud have presided over the roller coaster of trying to govern our tropical madhouse of a country. The guards, military police, the turrets with machine guns at the ready. The ever-gridlocked, snarled up traffic, the horns hooting, the flashes of temper, steam rising from the cars’ bonnets. Traffic cops trying to direct the traffic, as ungovernable as the rest of the country, along the six lanes of gridlock on Avenida Sucre. And then, on the last bend as you could see the sun setting on the right (is this correct, or is memory deceiving me once again?) there she was. Normal eighteen, nineteen year old girl, somewhat hippie-fashion, brown hair floating in the breeze. And she smiled at me and I tried to smile back, shy person that I was, that I still am although I have learnt to deal with it to an extent over the years. Never saw her wings, never saw the minute tracery of burning stars after her feet in her wake. Just turned around and, in that expanse of nothing by the wall of the Presidential Palace, she was gone. Disappeared. Perhaps she suddenly realised she was in the wrong part of the world for elves or fairies, the South American Caribbean is a land of a different kind of magic.
So I continued my climbing up the hill to Avenida Urdaneta towards Santa Capilla, starstruck, pierced with a bittersweet arrow of longing for something i had never seen or known, somebody who probably did not exist, a vision from another world or from a dream, deaf to the noise of traffic, the whistle of the traffic cops, the radios in the cars blasting out salsa while stuck in the jam, blind to the Palace military guard looking at me quizzically, the lights changing now green, now amber, now red, the people beginning to pour out of the office blocks invading the streets, the shoe shines at the corner of Carmelitas offering their service to the passers by (but not to me, with my long hair, torn jeans and boots falling to bits), the street vendors peddling trinkets or voicing ‘El Mundoooo’ but it was not the 'world’ that they were offering but just a tabloid evening newspaper instead…

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flavius_m
Went to the Big Red last night to meet a friend, we had a good time. By 'good time', I mean we had to shout at each other to be able to have a conversation, she eventually started messaging me on Facebook even though we were sitting next to each other, while a covers' band was belting out some 1970's rock song I hadn't heard since about then. We eventually gave up and left.

I have this love/hate relationship with rock pubs -mostly hate, last night. They more often are places where they serve you expensive bad beer in glasses of questionable cleanliness, with a scowl and where you have to shout to have a conversation. In that, I know I feel differently to some who still may read this, but that is how it is for me. I go to those places because people I know and like do but I don't really enjoy them.

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flavius_m
Recorded at Susi's Atomic Powered House Warming Birthday Bash.

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flavius_m
Theremins! Hypnotique performing 'Vocalise' by Rachmaninoff at Susi's Atomic Powered House Warming Birthday Bash on 26-09-15

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flavius_m
People don't post here because they have 'nothing to say' or 'nobody will read it'. But they do post their nothing-to-says abundantly on Facebook. Still pondering on that one. A fair few people still seem to come by and read stuff and enough people post here that it keeps my interest to come back and look at what may be on my friends' page.

I have said a few times that LJ does seem to stimulate longer, deeper conversation but then ten years ago about half the posts were those quizzes and memes, 'which DC superhero are you', etc. That, too, has gone to Facebook and I don't miss it.

ION, an interesting article here by sashagoblin about the many obstacles and intolerances that bi people face. I'm not one myself, but wearing the tags of a few minorities and having to put up, in a much .. lesser, more minor way, with stereotypes and prior assumptions, made me think. We make sense of the world, amongst other ways, by putting labels on things and putting them in boxes, but those boxes seldom describe the whole reality of what we're dealing with -and we get it wrong. And we still deal with difference in ways that may have been advantageous ten thousand years ago but not in the society in which we live. There is such thing as progress, attitudes to these things have changed so much in my lifetime, but it is so slow and so localised.

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Current Location: flavhaus
Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

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flavius_m
On Thursday I invited my friend Jennie over for dinner. Did my usual caraotas refritas (refried black beans) dinner -a take on a traditional Venezuelan dish. It involved, apart from the beans, rice, plantains both ripe and green in a few different ways, cassava and arepas. The whole thing took about three and a half hours to prepare.

I hope she liked it! The pictures have proved rather popular on Facebook. I don't invite friends over for dinner that frequently these days, maybe I should do this more often.

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flavius_m
Why am I wide awake at 5:00 am on a day I don't need to get up early?

I should be chasing clouds, or trying to find my way out of an unknown city where my friends live, down by the Southeast of a faraway continent, or reaching out to see the face of the woman who whispers in the dark, or exploring the rooms that my old crumbling house in West Caracas grows every night, full of echoes of people's voices, of their stories, while the lions roar and fight on the streets outside and the moon, huge and yellow, ascends from behind the mountains into a deep blue, blue sky.

I should not be awake at this hour.

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flavius_m
A month on from this entry, it still feels like that

But it would be absurd to expect, to hope that it would be different.

Feeling a bit like Gaston at the end of the Meaning of Life. And yet I know it is absurd to feel like that.

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flavius_m
Some conservation programme on BBC Radio 4 in the background while I'm cooking:

"Yes, you can see lots of dolphins there..."

"And, do you also see marine mammals in there..?"

Do these people do their homework? And, failing that, do they not edit their programmes at all?

Oh, BBC how I love thee. Quite apart from their slant on the treatment of news from Cuba, Palestine or my country of origin, Venezuela, or the way in that in their news Corbyn is always described as a 'left wing' leader in a way that Cameron or even Farage never are. Mind you, the alternatives on offer are worse, so I'll still not grumble too much when I pay my licence fee, but, jeez, sometimes they're really, really irritating...

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flavius_m
Another week-end went past.

Friday is better left unmentioned.

Saturday was better but had a sting in the tail for me. Still, dancing and catching up at Reptile was good. In the afternoon I'd met a friend at the Rustique Café in Tufnell Park and spent a very pleasant couple of hours catching up and sipping coffee in the garden.w

Sunday was the bibliogoth meeting, discussing Michael Marshall Smith's 'Only Forward'. This was an interesting discussion over a book that, as I have mentioned already, I fully expected to hate and ended up loving. Also, that passage..

Today would have been normally a school teaching day at St Al's in Highgate, but they changed my timetable from very convenient Mondays to very very inconvenient "Fridays. Bah. So, I spent this rainy Monday indoors, practising Bach's Chaconne (I have two pupils playing it at the moment so I thought I better play it; it is quite a difficult, challenging piece and a fantastic finger work-out as well as being a beautiful work) and reading again 'Wild Swans' by Jung Ching, at the instigation (not the right word..) of my friend Jennie WOLJ who is reading it atm. Amazing book and terrific but also terrifying accounts of life in China throughout the 20th Century for three generations of women. I'd read it many many years ago in one sitting and i'm pretty much discovering it anew again as I'd forgotten it all.

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flavius_m
Week end was fantastic fun ending, as it sometimes does, with a a strange come-down which is only the product of my own mind. Friday I went to caveynik's Dead & Buried upstairs of the Archway Tavern -had a lot of fun, danced and talked with a lot of people. Didn't take a camera but still took a few pictures with the phone, which are somewhere on Facebook. Saturday brought the Hampstead Alternative Picnic -photos here. In the evening I went with Jennie to Luton to Club After-Life/September Forever; which was reasonably good. A little dance and, in my case, only drink as I was driving and before 1:30 we headed back to London.

Sunday was the Alternative Bring & Buy and lunch with Jennie Ikin at Lalibela, the Ethiopian restaurant in Tufnell Park. Later, return there to Aces & Eights for the after-party of the AB&B and final bit of londonjon's birthday, which was a lot of fun and reminded me of a good Sunday evening at the old Dev.

Monday has been generally horrible, as Mondays are wont to.

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flavius_m
Infest. That was a blast! Also slightly painful and bittersweet on some personal levels, but that doesn't go into this story. Had less than eight hours' sleep the whole week-end, caught up with old friends, met new ones, had interesting conversations late into the night (well, also.. "have I told you about my three wives. No, wait, have I told you?.." oh,drunken friends. Because of course I was completely sober.. oh, ok; maybe not), enjoying Project Pitchfork, Mind-in-a-Box, Mikey's AlterRed , Roi's Mechanical Cabaret.. missed quite a few bands this year but decided early that it wasn't going to be a band watching marathon, I was there to see music but also for other things. Tons of giggles over late breakfast at the Titus Salt with Laura, Blanka and a few other mad people. Mr Moxy's mad antics outside Halls in the mornings. Catching up with Jillian and Bryon. After parties in the halls in the early hours, from dancing to loud pumping music to quiet slightly drunk conversations by a ball pit (didn't get in it, should have). So much fun!

Pictures I took -so far for Friday:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153585358494919.1073742014.544159918&type=3

and for Saturday:
https://www.facebook.com/flaviomatani/media_set?set=a.10153587435979919.1073742015.544159918&type=1

pics for Sunday still being sorted out...

So looking forward to next year!

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flavius_m
This is the set book for the next meeting of bibliogoth.

I really disliked the basic premise of the book when I started it and thought it'd be a hard slug. It was, for a bit. At some point it started to grab me. I'm at the half-way point in the book and completely transfixed with it. It is not perfect and it did take me a lot of effort to get going with it, but at the point I am, it is just beautiful.

It is not science-fiction, really, although I suppose if you have to put it into categories that's where it would go. The characterisation is ... not subtle, to say the least, the plot thus far has perhaps too many 'not this, you've got to be kidding' moments, the general feel, at least for me, is of a comic book in words instead of pictures -and yet. Any details would contain spoilers, mind, so perhaps none.

Thus far, enjoying it enormously. We'll see how it ends.

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flavius_m
A week end of many parts, most of them good.

Friday was a strange day. I was feeling down and lonely, for various reasons but especially one which will not go in this story. Had nothing planned for that evening and wandered around for hours, walking seemingly having some sort of calming or restoring effect when I feel like that -walked past the Unicorn on Camden Road where there was a punk gig but didn't much like the environment so walked on to Big Red, which was empty -it was too early. Walked yet further down to check out the new location of the 12 Bar Club but didn't go in. Back at the Big Red, a friend turned up and chatted with her about entropy and the pointlessness of existence (maybe I'm hanging out with goths a bit too much) until at some point some other friends and people I know turned up -and it turned out an excellent evening. Made it back around 2:30 or so.

The following day brought about, apart from a couple of lessons, a visit to the Bart's Bazaar Macabre Market at St Bart's Hospital. Didn't buy anything and didn't take pictures but it was a very good outing. I do have to say that seeing all those pathology exhibits just makes me think of how much suffering they brought to their bearers, but it was very interesting -the market itself was small but interesting, full of lovely trinkets although none that really really caught me enough to buy. In the evening, it was Dylan's birthday at Garlic & Shots. There'll be pictures of that but for now, just a very short video of him extolling the virtues of a German Curry Energy Drink..

From there they went on to Decadence but I went to see the Terminal Gods at the Slimelight. Wasn't taken by the two opening bands I saw but the T Gods were very good. I heard some people criticising their music as derivative and.. well, I suppose it is, a little bit, and their influences are very very clear, but there is nothing really wrong with that when they do their stuff so well and I enjoyed it a lot. Took many pictures, I may put up some somewhere.

On Sunday met with Jennie at the Satanic Flea Market, had a browse and generally a good time (good to see mister_ed and Natasha) but again I felt that although there were lovely and interesting things none caught me enough to actually buy. We went next door to Raizes, the Brazilian restaurant next door. Had a good feijoada and arroz carreteiro and we shared a Caipirinha -it was a bit early for that sort of thing but it was nice. Later, we went for a walk down the South Bank. I always enjoy just that feeling of soaking London in, walking past the Globe or the Royal Festival Hall. We stopped at the Real Food Market for a cider and then each went home. Turned out to be a rather good week-end in the end.

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flavius_m
... and the view changes. For a moment, there's blue skies and hope. The following moment, the feeling that all is doomed and it doesn't really matter how I feel, only how I play the games I do not want to play.

No change, then. Life goes on, although perhaps with a new dent, a new bash, perhaps a weather bone that when next time I'm in the situation will hurt, perhaps inappropriately -as each situation is unique, much as we tend to follow the same patterns, in ever decreasing spirals.

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flavius_m
Thursday, the londongothsluts meeting at North Nineteen, saying a temporary farewell to boxcat and myz_lilith and, for me, a long conversation that was a window into somebody's soul -but, alas, cannot go any further. Friday brought meeting Tasha at Ruby Violet for lovely ice cream, followed by visit and sortie to the Pineapple with friend -she is considering taking up the guitar -and there might be a good guitar teacher near. After that, Metalchrome for a bit, and share vodka & tonics without vodka (or was it gin & tonic without gin? Is there a conceptual difference?) with djpsyche who it is always good to see. Saturday was a bit hectic, with lessons, origamitiger and Stjon's BBQ, another engagement and finally Reptile, which was a very good night. After three hours' sleep, I got up early to be picked up a pupil to go to the West Dean Classical Guitar Course and Festival near Chichester. It was a lovely but intense day and it was made to feel much longer after those scant three hours of sleep.

Next week-end should be a little more sedate. And then comes Infest.

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Video by augeas. Freezing wind by the English Gods of Weather. Any wrong notes, by flavio.

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flavius_m
This was a quiet week-end. Had thought of going to the SOS festival but things happened otherwise, for no particularly important reasons. Saturday did see the Hampstead Alternative Picnic, organised as always by londonjon and... that was pretty much it. Went to the Slime after the picnic to try and catch up with a couple of the bands, but two of the ones I was interested in seeing had already played and I wasn't particularly interested in seeing Assemblage -so turned back.

My pictures of the picnic on Saturday (Facebook album)

On Sunday, on the way there again I thought better of it and instead had a wander down (or is it up) the South Bank from Embankment up to London Bridge, taking pictures of the sunset over the Thames. A quieter and fresher time than at the festival although not that much less crowded.


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A little doodle done some time last year in a few minutes on Garageband. Or was it Logic (cannot find the original file). No prizes for guessing where the inspiration for this came from.

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flavius_m
A fresh Tuesday morning with quite a bit to do but time enough and not a lot of pressure. Sunny, bright and warm. If only real life was like this.

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