last moon

Sunday, October 21, 2018

To exit or no to exit

Yesterday, half a million  people, marched  in London against the Brexit.
I've already written in this blog what I think of this theme.
I love all UK, its people, its multinational culture, its different, strong tradition whatever they might decide to do on Brexit. Even if  they would be out of EU I would keep on loving and respecting their great democracy and their great Country.
Nevertheless I  hope that Great Britain remains in the European Union.
We need them as well as they need us to be together.
United Kingdom, English, Scottish and Irish people are part of Europe.
The European, different people, like English, French, Spanish, Italians, Germans, Danish and all the others, are like those cousins which have a common inheritance to share: it's better to find an agreement and keep on together.
We have already fight too much to conquer and manage on our own, exluding the others, the whole inheritance and it has been a disaster.
Who does not remember the cruel wars the ones against the others? How many have them been? I cannot even count them out since the Roman Empire has collapsed, almost sixteen centuries ago.
That's enough my  European friend.
I want we to stay together, with our differences, with our peculiarities, defending our own culture but sharing our friendship, building a new great Country to face the new millennial challenges against the giants of the world (I don't only mean USA, but also China, India and the others emergeing, dangerous  powers).
And I can't forget the sweet face of Helen Joanne Cox who has died for the European dream to be true.
Please, don't let her blood sacrifice be useless.
I embrace you, brothers of Albion. Do what you think is better for you but don't forget that together we'll be stronger. Europe is strong if we keep together though someone would prefer to split us.
The good things to joint are much more than those to break up.
And London is for ever, anyway.

Friday, October 12, 2018

London for ever - 31

In the entrance, as we walked through the narrow corridor toward the large ground floor hall, I noticed in the backlight a bit of  smoke coming out, along with a soft but intense hustle of animation. The room had in the meantime been filled. Among the fans, as announced by the outdoor parking, there were numerous "motorcycle-rockers", also called "speedies" due to the frequent use of amphetamines, which they preferred among all drugs then in circulation for the particular charge they give them.  They were sold in slippers similar to cachet for the headache and nicknamed in London jargon "speeds". Their typical clothing consisted of robust boots, jeans, short-sleeved cotton t-shirt, and a jacket, also in black leather jeans, usually covered on the shoulders of small truncated-conical metal studs . Not so often, this eccentric clothing, coupled with their high stature, the black beards on which even longer blond hair lay apart, conferred on them  an aspect of metropolitan Vikings.

Nonetheless, these were quitter and more  peaceful than  the most colorful and folkloristic "punks" who  began to show themselves in  the second half  of the '70s, shocking with their appearances the London streets.

Even in the hall, the sight  had changed: a lot of young people were now knocking at the billboards, behind which many young barmaids were very busy  running  from one point to the other in the long counter, satisfying quickly the various requests of the many enthusiasts consumers.

Around the platform, now illuminated, with the musicians already on the stage giving the final touches to the instruments, sat in a semicircle a discreet crowd who was  waiting the music to start laughing and cheerfully joking between a sip of beer and a smoky.

Between the counter and the platform, in the middle of the room, other players had gone to the billiards and were playing  under the gaze of friends and enthusiasts. Above the pedestal, in the right wall, were now visible the sofas I had not noticed before.

I directed my friends straightly to the first floor through the large staircases that were already filled up with spectators, almost a natural queue of that crowd gathered around the footpath. Numerous compartment tables had been busy, and large shelves of beer and drinks could be  noticed up on theim.

Giampiero immediately understood the situation and thought well, followed by Michelle, to go back after asking what we intended to drink. We had seats at the end of the sofa at the back. From my place I saw a nice portion of the footpath, where an athletic  man wearing a black, adorable tights, with long and black hair ending in a thick tail, tried  the efficiency of the sound system with style cries of proof .

"How long have you been  staying  in London?" I asked Martine.

We took sit  on one of the dark circular stools that were scattered around the tables.
"Four months," she replied after a half-voice mumbled count, pulling out of the bag of strange, thin cigarettes from a brown and crumpled package.
- "And what are you doing, right here in London?" I insisted, looking at her as she whispered a voluptuous mouthful from  her strange cigarette.
- "I started a new job two weeks ago; I distribute female magazines at the Metro exit, but I hope to find something better; Also because, working twice a week, I do not earn enough, do you understand? "
"Do not worry," I replied half  serious and facet, in order to shed the sad and worry air that, as I later understood, was a mirror of her most intimate being, rather than a momentary mood .. "" You can join the great family of the street-traders and this should not make you feel alone, at least! "
- "But I do not feel alone at all!" She protested, always with her melancholy face.
- "You don’t miss Paris, then?"
"Certainly I don’t," Martine said in a convinced tone of voice- "I've run away from a boring job as a secretary; My parents are Baptists who observe and pretend to observe strict rules of life; Moreover, I had a boyfriend  who wanted to dominate me so bravely and possessively as never before. You know why I cannot have any kind of  nostalgia .......... "
- "How did you first arrive in London? - I asked her again after pointing to a distant guy who seemed to have come out straightly from the "Woodstock" movie, with a wide band that held her long hair and with numerous necklaces hanging on his neck on a pink shirt and a hallucinated look, fixed in vacuity while turning his hands open, slowly, as in trance, following with  the movements of his body, a music that only he had to hear.

Martine laughed, hiding her mouth with her hand before answering.

- "I turned to an au pair agency, and so I came to the airport. A family of teachers with two children, home in the greenery, at North Finchley, on the Northern Line, do you know? I had to work for  six days a week with them  always out and I at home watching children and eating, or rather not eating, the impossible English food. I  could go out only once a week and I had to come back early in the evening, before midnight.  Even  worse than my parents. Not to mention that I also had to clean the room and the stuff of the children! All for a wage of nine pounds a week. My friend Michelle got me out of  troubles ............ "

As evoked by Martine's tale Michelle appears from afar. Launches a festive cry, cuts the crowd  for herself and for Giampiero who  looks like an eight-handed equilibrist, a sort of goddess Kali. I try to help  Giampiero. I can get some bottles he  holds under his arms; he smiles to me on his  flaming face.
31. to be continued...

Saturday, October 6, 2018

London for ever - 30

And he really came right away; The time to browse distractedly some magazines under the reddened and careful eyes of the owner of the shop, a middle-aged Pakistani, with big, fleshy cheeks.
- "Hello!" Giampiero motioned to me as he came in sight, just  outside  the underground exit barrier. Even Michelle, who I already knew, greeted me with her hand in the air. They then presented me to Martine, a not very tall but nice girl who was wearing jeans on an embroidered white blouse, white-green "Adidas" shoes, and a blue ribbon at the front that caught her short-cut brown hair. She made a smile on his teeth a little irregularly, just pronouncing  "hello!" ,  with a hand holding his coat on his shoulders and the fingers of the other hand slipped into the pocket of his jeans with the only thumb outside. Soon after I asked Giampiero for news of Tommy that I had not seen for a while.

- "No, it's a long time  I do not see Tommaso; The last time he came to see us with his  girlfriend, but he was really down! "
-" Oh yeah! Major decisions are being made; Maybe he goes down to Italy, "I said in a lazy, humorous tone.
- "It’s no such a great a decision!  I've already made the same  decision!" – he said in a great tone of self importance. - "Didn’t you know the news?" He continued, stopping the march, astonished by my own surprise. - "I have recently contacted Italian executives of our firm; They seem to be looking to open a representative office right in Genoa, in my city, and they are looking for people who are expert and trustworthy to speak English well to widen the network of contacts and then .......... "
- "Hey! Really high points, then. You may also become a 'Big Boss'! - I told him, knocking his shoulders.
- "But, I do not even know if I may  like it. I need to change air, this is it! It's a life I'm here in London and I think my trip is over. And did not you ever have the idea of ​​having a son? "
"What has  to do a son with your moving from London?" I interjected, resuming the path she had interrupted another time. - "You can also do the baby here if you want."
- "No! It would not be the same. In this city there is too much chaos. It is not the ideal environment: with all this racism that there is still, violence, smog, do you understand? And I need another situation; Even Michelle would enjoy  changing  to Italy....... "

He turned instinctively backwards and saw Michelle and Martine talking, very close, arm in arm.
- "What are these secrets?" Giampiero asked.
"Nothing that matters to you," Michelle said with her air, at the same time naughty and naive.

Meanwhile, we had come near the pub that stood on the corner of two streets; In front of the right side, the extreme border of a small square delimited a large parking lot for motorcycles where there were now a large number of parked vehicles; Motorcycles of all cylinders, brands and colors, with a prevalence of midrange Triumph and Honda red and blue.

30. to be continued...

Sunday, September 23, 2018

London for ever - 29

Michelle was a Parisian girl. The two had met in London and had always been together. Her charm was not the ordinary allurement that usually circles  on long-limbed French girls, a bit diaphanous, with the features of their faces eternally ingenuous and gentle.
 It derived instead from her rather cheerful and carefree air, symptomatic of those who can live day by day, with no particular moods linked to sentimental events, work issues, or perhaps existential complications. Much more than her  attitude of disenchanted non-chalance, if not of deliberately informal and countercurrent behavior, it was astonishing the  contrast with the almost serious and formal behavior that Giampiero was going through even more than the hated bourgeois he declared to be still in fight with.
Michelle, on the other hand, was a painter and earned her living by selling her paintings and making portraits in Portobello and the other large London-based large markets; Her attendance allowed Giampiero not to lose all contact with a certain kind of culture and alternative minds, to which, though not in the depths of his being, he had been tied.
– “Whoever does not die,  comes alive, soon or later!” Giampiero said to the phone, returning my greeting, “What have you done all this time?”
– “I found a pub that resembles an amphitheater!” I said laughing- “and tonight performs a Rock band with square balls. What do you say?”
– “I say we were thinking about going down the corner to have a drink; But the idea of ​​a bit of good music would be even better. But where are you? “He asked then translating from English, as he sometimes did speaking Italian.
– “I’m here in Paddington Station, in a newspaper store”.
-” I get it. From Notting Hill is a step away. Wait for me to come. Maybe even with Michelle and a Parish friend who comes to visit us. I’ll see you right away!”

29. to be continued…

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

London for ever - 28

It was Giampiero who answered at the phone. He was a Ligurian friend I met at Tommaso's home, come to London in the same period of his. With Tommaso he shared the long-standing Italian militancy in the non-parliamentary left-wing groups; the same troubled ideological path: from the confused revolutionary militancy among the Maoists and  Marxist-Leninists to the softer Italian groups of  left ideology, such as the Continuous Struggle, Serving the People and Workers Autonomy.  And after that the gradual but inexorable disillusionment. And even without waiting for the 1977’s  second call, he had withdrawn from his mind all his past, reached London, and set up, licking his wounds  and trying to reconstructing himself and his life. Differently from  Tommaso, Giampiero's ancient political and revolutionary anger had dissolved into London's fog. Nevertheless, though  for the rest of his generation London had been  a bridge to the Oriental philosophy, he had continued on  cultivating  his youthful socialist readings in Italian and in English language; and I did not really despise to spend with him long night-time dissertations at his home,  after dinner, when between his flavoured smoking  pipes and my proletarian selfmade  cigarettes, sunk in a large and comfortable armchair, with disarming but at the same time eye-catching social vision, he still prophesied the  advent of  the power of the proletariat as a unique and inevitable solution to the conflicts of the  counteracting social classes of the capitalist society,  already long-standing in the edge of a fall. And it was so much the strength and security of his arguments that I never  doubted  that Giampiero would hesitate, at the time of the announced socialist victory, to renounce to his good and wealthy position in  a multinational transport company, with the smile of the one who feels, nonetheless, victorious. But what of his bohemian and revolutionary past seemed to survive in him more authentic and strong, was his girlfriend Michelle.

28. to be continued...

Saturday, September 8, 2018

London for ever - 25

We cut off Leicester Square  and, through a maze of lanes, we hit the Trafalgar Square. We stopped at the center of the huge square, sitting on the edge of an imposing square fountain, whose tall, wide bushes at moments tickled the mouths of the four mighty stone lions that majestic delimited it at its four corners.

 The sky was cloudy and the warm sunshine dominated the great shining and cheerful square that day, as I had never seen before. Along the benches, arranged at regular intervals throughout its perimeter, some retirees were lovingly launched to hungry doves, crumbling bread crumbs or corn seeds, these bought in small bags, directly on the spot, by some street vendors.

In the sun, the many badges that Nancy, as I had found was named the pretty Irish girl, shone on the faces of his black leather jacket. In addition to the rose he had bought shortly before, there was one that depicted a sort of american-style jolly with a red tongue out; Others reported slogans of youthful movements that were in their favor. One in particular,  struck me more than any other, because it depicted a green leaflet asking for "legalize marijuana".

"Do you like to smoke?" He asked me, looking me half-eyed.

 To my assenting  answer she gave me a joint already  packed! It had a truncated-conical appearance, tapered and solid, close to the base, wider on top; it had been packaged with three cigarette papers; The base was closed by a cardboard filter; At the top it had been folded inside to prevent the contents from falling out ; His manufacturer, whoever he was, had been very skilled.

- "What is it?" I asked, smelling it.
- "It's a black Pakistani ", he replied prompting his lighter. - "It comes from Kashmir,  advanced from a party last night. It's very good, smoke it quietly! "

With a burst  of laughs I realized she was right. Smoked in  the morning, furthermore!

- "You have more badges than   the shop!" I said laughing, passing over the joint and continuing to look at his pins. - "And what is this ?! I immediately added, intrigued by a banal white brooch on which a German-language spelling out I had not even noticed before. There was  written: "Das Mütterrecht".

"Let me think about it," she said, concentrating on a complex response. - "It is the opposite of patriarchy." And she smiled, aware and amused by her strange explanation.
She continued after a further moment of reflection: - "Patriarchy is our social order, centered on the father's figure, while in the  Matriarchy the mother is the predominant social figure. 'Das Muterrecht' is to indicate a social and legal system that governed the life organized before the classics of Greece. We do not know exactly when, but before the gods we know establish their power in the world, there was another authority and another law: the natural rules  of life. This is in short the Matriarchate. "

She paused as if to realize whether I was following her speech or perhaps to give me a way to interact.

.- "Go ahead," I said, passing the joint again, "I'm following you with great interest."

25. to be continued...

Saturday, September 1, 2018

London for ever - 24

One day  a girl,  who struck me at first sight for her pleasing appearance, stopped to look at some badges, who were showed in a moving showcase in the centre of the shop that housed my sales outlet.
She was tall and slim and had short cut and combed back reddish hair; The green eyes, of a very intense color, stood on a freckled face, with a well-proportioned nose, slightly upside down.

She was standing there, his chin protruding forward, as if she  were short-sighted, rotating  the shopwindow on its four sides, with a little enthusiastic expression on his face.

I felt a sudden impulse; I came up and gave her one of the "badges" that stood down, pinned, like the others, on the velvet covering the exterior walls of the window.

- "This is perhaps the best one," I said, handing it over.

She turned and spoke softly, after watching me for a moment with the badge  in her long, slender fingers, she said,

-" Are you Spanish?"
- "They ask me many," I said, amused - "I wonder why!"
-"An Englishman, of course, would never offer a rose to an unknown person!"

There was no tone of reproach or annoyance in his saying; Indeed, it seemed to me to catch a flattery in the woman's voice.

- "Where do you come from?" I asked in turn.
- "I am Irish, but lately, between one trip and the other, I spent a lot of time in Spain and I repeat it, looking at you, you look like Spanish. You have at least a few Spanish blood in the veins, don’t you? "
- "Well, you can say it! Spain has dominated us for over four centuries and who knows? My official language is Italian anyway! "
- "I did not make it a matter of official idiom," she said, dropping that speech.
- "Do you feel like taking  four steps outside?" I replied immediately.
- "Yes, why not!",  she retorted.

I handed the cash coin and the ice cream lever to the shop manager's store, begging him to look at the machines in my absence. Although the operations of the two activities were separate, there was between us ice cream sellers and the staff of the store that housed us, a  solid and sympathetic relationship.
24. to be continued...