Author Archives: Sir50Hopkins

Monkey business I survived

Dear Reader,

I have had the most fascinating 2 weeks of ups and downs: from fulfilling professional behavior in glamorous surroundings right down to the snake pits of monkey business at its worst.

WHAT DO YOU CALL MONKEY BUSINESS?
For me it covers the full spectrum of small, seemingly innocent moments of untruths, backhandedness, non-creative backstabbing and those insults born from ignorance and ineffectiveness.

Endured in small portions monkey business can have a stimulating effect on one’s sense of humor and tolerance; BUT…..if one is subjected to the monkey family for too long, one becomes drained of the energy to even consider suicide, let alone actively fighting the monkeys to claw one’s way back to joyful reality.

My recommended antidote for being buried under mountains of mocking monkeys: visualize the little monsters! The enemies we can identify are more easily faced, analysed and permanently removed from our centre of well-being.

Reminder of what we often see in Facebook posts and on T-shirts: „DON’T LET YOUR ENEMIES (for the purpose of this blog: MONKEYS)  LIVE IN YOUR MIND – THEY ARE NOT PAYING RENT!“ Monkeys are bad tenants if left to frequent your head-space, and if not exorcised in time will leave you barren of any hope for your future.

As visual aid to our weekly exorcism of monkeys, I offer you a selection of actually wearable monkeys found by my brave friend Helen.

FIND YOUR MONKEY: it is your choice whether you WEAR it or BURN it.

HELEN WROTE:
I really don’t see the charm of monkeys, they are too much like animals too enjoy as people and too much like people to enjoy as animals.

But other people do.

Victorians:

1890 orangutan:
Triple monkey cameo earrings

Double victorian monkey bars, Tiffany 1900, with diamonds!

THIS monkey comes with a garnet fez

Animal monkey musician:

Reenacting that famous scene from 2001 with a freshwater pearl

Carved amethyst and rock crystal art deco chimpanzee, thinking hard about something:

David Webb’s monkey is also cogitating

 

Diamond ass modern monkey:

 

 

 

Diamond spats:

 

Modern emerald monkeys:

 

Marc Alary does a lot of oddly robot-like monkeys. Here with briolet citrine banana:

 

 

HALLOWEEN / REFORMATIONSTAG?

KÜNDIGUNGSFEIER @ HALLOWEEN / CELEBRATION OF BEING FIRED @ HALLOWEEN

Weil ich gerade vom Arbeitgeber gekündigt worden bin finde ich die Zeit, die wichtige Fragen des Lebens anzusprechen.
As my employer just fired me, I am making time to address important issues of life.

Als Deutsche fragt man sich zur Zeit: was soll es mit diesem „HALLOWEEN“? Wir feiern doch den REFORMATIONSTAG!
The current burning issue in many german minds: Why are we making a fuss about this „HALLOWEEN“? Surely we should be preparing for the DAY OF REFORMATION!

Religiöse und kulturelle Unterschiede/Anregungen beiseite! Meine Variante heißt: Reformationstag im Herzen und äusserlich üppig mit HALLOWEEN Gedöns geschmückt.
Allowing myself to set religious and cultural differences and stimulation aside, I offer you my solution: keep the DAY OF REFORMATION in your heart while draping any and all bits of HALLOWEEN decoration you can find over your person and your environment.

Fürs Ausleben meiner Variante vom reformierenden Halloween, teile ich Schmuck-Optionen die eine Freundin mir zugeflüstert hat.
As a practical suggestion of how you could partake of my variation of „reforming HALLOWEEN“, I’d like to share some jewelry suggestions I received from a friend with you. 

HELEN WROTE:

Bats, owl and grotesqueries!

Art nouveau loved the dark side and it’s Halloween so let’s dig it!

“Boo.”

 

1905 vesta case with Bat Nude:
She’s a New Jersey girl made by the Unger Brothers


Lalique in 1898 had made her somewhat more flightworthy cousin



This gorgeous little monster is from 1900, no idea who made it


 

No need to waste a good mold, let’s rework Creepy Catfrog with a ginko leaf on his derrière:

 

Richard Mullen abstracted the bat:

 

Lalique moonstones, bats & snake watch

 

A sorceress, bat, owl and the poppies someone was smoking to dream this thing up:

 

Japonisme fad clumsily married the the Creatures of the Night aesthetic, a real artifact of what was “with it” that year:


A ruby, diamond, and leather evening bag of 1905 (notice the pinecone motif frame. Do European owls roost exclusively in conifers?



Carved aquamarine owl is not creepy but mightily pissed off about something


And finally the perfect flower vase for the well-appointed guest bedroom with original catalogue description:

 

 

 

 

 

WOTANS RABEN

As the fairytale below is in German today, I’d like to share a catchphrase NOBODY should live without, with my English readers:

…TOO OLD, BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED..

SUGGESTED USE:
-I’m too old, beautiful and talented to show any reaction to your shenanigans /
-Surely you’re too old, beautiful and talented to wear that horrible dress /
-If I hadn’t been this old, beautiful and talented I would have resisted being the shoes.

GO FORTH AND USE IT!

 

UND HIER DAS VERSPROCHENE MÄRCHEN ZUM MONTAG:

Danke, Sofia Pavone!

FRICKAS WIDDER

RACHENDRACHENPERSONIFIZIERUNG-ein Sagenausschnitt
(Scroll down for the English version)

Im Hause der Göttin Fricka herrscht gerade ungewohnte Freudenstimmung. Sei es einfach gesagt, daß die liebe Tante Fricka keine lebenden Freunde hat und gerade die endgültige Trennung von ihrem vierten Ehemann plant. Ehemann 1-3 liegen unter der Esche im Vorhof begraben.

Überschwängliche Freude erstrahlt um die Widdergehege: eine 13-jährige Wiedermutter hat nämlich gerade vor einer Stunde zwei unternehmungslustige Wiederlämmer zur Welt gebracht. Das Personal freut sich besonders über diesen Geburt, weil das Ereignis vielleicht die berüchtigte schlechte Laune der Herrin beschwichtigen könnte.

Madame Fricka hat sich nämlich zum Scheidungsfest 2 junge Widder gewünscht.

So werden die frischgeborene Widderlämmer Fricka präsentiert.
Während das Personal Fricka hoffnungsvoll anschaut, verhärtet ihr Lächeln allmählich zum Gruselkabinett eines Völkermordes.

Ihre Freudenzerstampfungskampagne wird in der Überlieferung noch viele Alpträume auslösen:
-der Widderhirt wird auf der Stelle geköpft,
-die Widderlämmer bekommen die Namen GEH-WEG und HAU-AB!

Wir wissen was passieren wird: Fricka wird den Lämmern ihr ganzes Leben lang nur Sauerkraut und Galle als Nahrung geben um aufs Sichere zu gehen dass zwei einst niedliche Widderlämmer leibhaftige Boshaftigkeit versprühen wo immer sie hingehen.

Was Fricka nicht weisst:
Die alte Wiedermutter ist befreundet mit dem Nachbarsnest giftige Würgeschlangen und hat die bissige Schlangenfamilie schon für morgen um 14:30 eingeladen in Frickas Schlafgemach.

DAS RAD DER RACHE DREHT SICH FÜR JEDEN.

FRICKAS GOATS-a small portion of the legend

The mansion of the goddess Fricka is in an unusually joyous mood. Let it simply be said that the dear aunt Fricka has no living friends and is now planning the divorce party from husband number 4. Husbands 1-3 are buried under the sad ash tree in the front yard.

Exuberant joy reigns in the goat enclosure: a 13 year old mother goat gave birth to two enterprising kids about an hour ago. The staff rejoices about this birth, as they hope that this event might appease the notorious bad temper of their mistress.

Madame Fricka has specifically asked for 2 young goats for her divorce party.

So the frisky kids are presented to Fricka. While the staff hopefully looks at Fricka, her smile gradually hardens to a reflection of the horrors of a relentless genocide.

Her joy-crushing campaign will guarantee many nightmares as this story is retold:
-the keeper of the goats is beheaded on the spot,
-the fluffy kids get the names SOD-IT and BUNK-OFF!

We know what has to happen: Fricka will feed the jolly young goats only sauerkraut and bile for the rest of their lives to ensure that our once jolly kids only radiate diabolical malevolence wherever they might roam.

What Fricka does not know:
The old goat mother is best friends with the neighboring nest of vicious, toxic constrictor snakes and has already invited the hungry snake family for a meeting in Frickas bedchamber at 14:30 tomorrow.

THE WHEEL OF REVENGE TURNS FOR ALL.

Written on 19.05.2017

 

 

FLY AWAY, MONDAY BLUES!

Facing the Monday of calendar week 38 of 2017 with a horrible head cold could easily have deflated all my creative survival instincts – if I didn’t have reliable, realistic friends who help me see every attack of germs or energy-vampire fellow human beings as an invitation to do a slow pirouette, blink twice and find the other options of looking at the current problem.

Looking at the full 360 degree spectrum of challenges life serves us, even without a preparatory pirouette, opens up so many possibilities of spring cleaning the physical and mental baggage we unknowingly treasure as necessary for our survival. The false security of habits and addictions we hide behind needs to be dusted and rearranged, or at least labelled for future action, if they are not to drag us down.

Thus I attack my Monday challenge with a re-labelling action.

Living in a lovely corner of Europe where Switzerland, Germany and France meet, greet and cross-pollinate merrily, one becomes accustomed to hearing, speaking and dreaming in whichever language best fits the situation. A rather marvelous side benefit of living in an area where German, French, Italian and English co-exist mostly peacefully is that the brain comes up with alternative translations for even the simplest everyday subject.

Enter MONDAY:
my defusing of the MONDAY CACTUS involves starting at the root of the problem. As a big problem faced in smaller sections seems more manageable, I came up with a simple re-translation of „Monday“.
Let’s read „mon“ in French = MY, and then leave „day“ English, one arrives at a far more inviting „MY DAY“.

Every good action needing the fitting theme song, I have come up with „THIS IS SO MY DAY!“ sung to the tune of Paul Anka’s „MY WAY“ tune.

Reminder of the lyrics:

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain

I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
THIS IS SO MY DAY!

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption

I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
THIS IS SO MY DAY!
etc.

To help you visualize the Monday blues and make it, and ALL its‘ soul-drenching relations FLY AWAY, I include pictures of jewelry & Info shared by my friend Helen Bickers. Her text in italics.

I have a file of “wing” jewelry, a popular motif. This thing is the acme! It’s a wind up brooch, the diamond star rotates and flashes. The tacky/cool ration is incalculable. If you’ve ever read Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate 1949, there’s a character who wears a clockwork brooch with a rotating diamond, a symbol of tacky excess. I always thought it was fantasy. Nancy got around, I wonder if she had heard of this guy?

 

 

About
Diamond, pearl and enamel automated turban brooch (sarpech) attributed to Garrard, circa 1910. A gold and silver turban brooch composed of a central circular case with rotating mechanism set with one central cushion shaped old mine diamond in a silver claw setting with an approximate weight of 0.80 carats, above a pair of eight rayed stars which when wound rotate in opposing directions set with fifty two round rose cut diamonds in silver bead settings, the cover of the case in dark blue engine-turned enamel encircled by a single row of thirty six pearls in bead settings, the case also set to top and bottom with twelve round rose cut diamonds in silver collet settings on individual rays, and flanked by two double tiered wings set with one hundred and forty two round rose cut diamonds in silver topped gold bead settings, all two hundred and six rose cut diamonds with an approximate total weight of 5.34 carats, the reverse mounted with a gold hinged pin and scroll clasp, the reverse of the case with a hinged winding latch, engraved with a crown, and with an approximate combined diamond weight of 6.14 carats.Formerly belonging to the estate of Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar II (r. 1926-48) of Indore.

Here the same form worked in two different types of enamel – If it sells, why not?


(wing enamle opal diamond skinner)

 

Flying opals were popular

(wings opal gold diamond wings)

Carl Giuliano’s workshop turned out this interestingly colored zircon number.

(wings giulianoenamel zircon)

Also from Giuliano, a lacy design centered on a mabe pearl

(wings mabe pearl enamel giuliano)

Giuliano star sapphire

 

Ruuuuubies diamonds and a big ol ‘pearl

French peridot 1880s, they were turning out some amazing metalwork detail

Green enamel & amethyst

 

Belle Epoque graceful diamonds

This one is about to achieve liftoff! It looks to be an aigret.

This is 1900 cupid not at all aerodynamic

(wings enamel baroque cupid 1900)

Heart shaped moonstone, 1890s

Boivin sapphires 1935

 

Paul Flato made a line of shoe brooches – these ones inspired by Mercury

 

WHEEEE Horseshoes!
ARE YOUR TOENAILS STILL PAINTED PINK?

 

IN CELEBRATION OF THE FULL MOON SNAKE

Do read this blog as the snake-charmers guide to surviving the onslaughts of life and nature.

 

(Serpent brooch, enamel, diamond, ruby, gold, art nouveau, Austrian)

Having just survived the height of full moon crazies 6 days ago, my mind, like my body is still being tossed around on a tsunami of actual and imagined physical and mental influences.

 

(Serpent ring, Diamonds, sapphires, gold)

The frequency of being whacked by negative incidents seems to be proportionately higher during the full moon phase. With every next full moon I survive, the side effects of relaxedly howling at the full moon seem to take longer to wear off – or am I just becoming more aware of them?

(MEDUSA)

Sticking to my guns with the assumption that dealing with any problem or question is easier when one can visualize the enemy, I have chosen snakes as a symbol of my full moon crazies and its side effects. Being a daughter of Eve, I can thus satisfy my natural curiosity by seeing every new full moon incident offered me as a fresh temptation in paradise – to be questioned, enjoyed and acted upon.

Some symptoms of full moon crazies to help you diagnose the condition:
Silly, smooth, slithering gait instead of walking,
Nasty noises erupt spontaneously, followed by inappropriate vocabulary,
Anti-social apathy,
Kvetching without due motivation, and the
Elegance of a huge tiger stalking its prey.

As I gradually accept the departure of my full moon crazies in the shadow of the by now waning moon, I can feel my toes tingling in anticipation of the next pallet of surprises life has in store for me at 20:40 on the 5th of October, when the next full moon will smile at me.

[Musee des Arts Decoratif]
Thanks to my friend Helen Bickers for the virtual snake-hunt.

SPELLS OF REQUIREMENT / AN ODE TO INEFFICIENCY

Let’s talk about the environmentally friendly conversion of an untapped, readily available source of energy.

Although I’m drowning in images of the horrendous floods threatening the lives of so many people right now, the catalyst for today’s blog is my personal celebration of horrendous customer service on various continents.

It is always the small foxes of repeated irritation that threaten to drown us with their inevitable recurrence.
As visualizing potential disasters could be helpful in averting them,
I’ve spiced this blog with pictures of non-decorative objects – thanks to the creative internet sleuth HELEN BICKERS.

HORROR I
The dripping-tap-torture of unnecessary bureaucratic complications is visiting me in the form of changing bank accounts. To avoid lawsuits I’ll call the bank threatening to rob me of my sanity the Merzgrüftler Spottkasse, abbreviation: MS. It started off very innocently with me needing to insure my bicycle and ended up with me moving my accounts to the charming MS  because the staff was so friendly, helpful and VERY talented at hiding the reality of what I had signed up for. What should have been, according to the friendly staff at MS, a simple procedure, has already cost me an extra 9 precious hours of my life. An urgent phone call this morning added another 95 minutes to my Odyssey MS – AND did not bring me any closer to concluding this fury-inducing situation.

FURY  = UNTAPPED ENERGY

Like a natural birth, one knows that SUCH procedures, duration unknown,
despite empty promises,
Are to be suffered and mastered SOLO.
Likewise, procedures of a bureaucratic nature are to be endured and accomplished SOLO.
If you are very fortunate you’ll have a friend to wipe your brow, make encouraging noises and most importantly,           when it is necessary, tell you to GET-ON-WITH-IT!

SOLO & SHARED SUFFERING = UNTAPPED ENERGY

 

So instead of wasting the natural energy of any rising waves of aggression and sheer bloodlust one is inevitably subjected to,
I am looking for ways to convert the rampant energy of sheer frustration into something useful.
If clever scientists can find ways to convert sunlight, wind, and waves into useful, environmentally-friendly sources of power, shouldn’t we be able to convert the negative energy sometimes spluttering through our veins into a positive, non-threatening enhancement of our daily lives?

A SHORT HISTORY OF PERSONAL HORROR
I fondly look back at the first time an airline lost my luggage…..aaah, the innocence of assuming THIS does not happen too often….the joy of celebrating being reunited with the battered and bruised suitcases ONE WEEK later,  not yet aware that the global airline hobby of sending luggage to alternative destinations would enhance and develop  my survival instincts to the point where I suspect I’d survive if you dumped me in the forest with cabin luggage only right now.

If one travels by DB (our German train system) regularly, one automatically becomes part of an army of travellers, fondly remembering delays, suicides, and the best-of English announcement with the extra-thick German accent. Seasoned travellers can be recognized by how quickly they simmer down from
let’s-kill-the-DB-and-blow-up-the-train!!!!
to
where-is-the-closest-bar-to-trade-war-stories?

To constructively use the energy we so often waste on temper tantrums and shopping, instead of converting them into positive, FREE energy, I have compiled an alphabetical list of spells/chants/mantras to be used for safe energy conversion. If applied conscientiously in conjunction with the user manual, these spells should lower blood pressure, limit outbreaks of anger pimples and strengthen your abs.

USER MANUAL

The following spells may safely be used while driving.                                                                                                                   Most effective if all consonants CRACKLE, SNORT & POP.

BASIC EXERCISE: Pick a letter and spell matching your shoes, the weather & your mental state – take a deep breath – chant 9 repetitions of the chosen spell on ONE breath – roll your eyes once and REPEAT THE EXERCISE  UNTIL YOU CAN FEEL THE ENERGY  CONVERSION REACH YOUR TOENAILS.

WARNING: inserting short, explosive words into spells renders them useless. extending them with words containing more than 8 letters doubles efficiency.

SPELLS OF REQUIREMENT

ABOMINABLY APOPLECTIC ASS (i.e. donkey!) OF AVERSION!
BONEHEADED BRISTLY BEAST!
CRAZED CLUSTER OF CLOYING CUD!
DISGRUNTLED DODO OF A DISAPPROVING DUFFER!
EXPLOSIVE EXCREMENT OF INEXCUSABLE EXASPERATION!
FECKLESS FLOUNCE OF FLATULENT FRENZY!
GRUESOME GIT OF GRISLY GOOF!
HOSTILE HEAP OF HEINOUS HORROR!
INCESTUOUS INTERLOPER OF ILLITERATE INABILITY!
JERKING JOKER OF JEALOUS JABBERY!
KNUCKLEHEADED KLUTZ OF CLAMS!
LOATHSOME, LUBBERING, LAMEBRAINED LUNACY!
MALICIOUS MUFFER OF MEANDERING MORDACITY!
NASTY, NAUSEATING, NEANDERTHALIAN NINCOMPOOP!                                                                                       OBNOXIOUS OBJECT OF OFFENSIVE ODIUM!                                                                                                        PASSIONATE PILE OF PROCRASTINATING PRATS!                                                                                                             QUEASY QUID PRO QUO?                                                                                                                                    REVOLTING RATBAG OF RANK REVULSION!                                                                                                          SENSELESS SLEEZE OF SICKENED SPLEEN-SLAMMING SQUICK!                                                                        TENDERFOOT TWERP OF TUMULTUOUS TENACITY!                                                                                                        UMBRAGE OF UNCTIOUS UNINTELLIGENTSIA!                                                                                                               VACUOUS VEGETABLE OF VINDICTIVE VEXATION!                                                                                                       WORTHLESS WHACK OF WOODENHEADED WORMS!                                                                                                     XENOGENOUS XYLOMA OF XEROXED XYLOCARP!                                                                                                       YOWLING YODLER FROM PLANET YUCK!                                                                                                                             ZEBRAIC ZESTY ZEALOT!

If you don’t know where to start chanting spells try                                                                                                                 SHAMELESS SHIFTY-EYED CHARLATAN!

These spells were tested on 3 humans without any noticeable side-effects. If you experience weird sensations while chanting my spells, please sit down with a cup of tea, buy a dictionary OR new shoes and leave me a comment about your experiences of energy conversion.

 

 

 

 

Having grown up on a farm located in a semi-desert area, I have learned to accept the extremes of
raging fires with the accompanying POP-sounds of little animals not able to escape,
alternating with surprising cloudbursts causing decimating flooding.

As a teenager caught in a cloudburst while out riding I first learned to appreciate available natural protection and inherent survival instincts:
I couldn’t breathe because this heavy cloudburst felt like a sudden dunk into deep water.
My horse, following its‘ natural instinct, stopped dead and tried to hide his trembling head under his belly.
Trusting the natural instinct of the horse, I crawled under its belly so we could shiver and shake out the vicious onslaught of water together.

After what felt like an eternity, the sun leaped out and had the rolling fields steaming with joy in the blink of an eye.
On the long walk home I experienced my first craving to paint my toenails bright pink, put on a celebratory tiara and dance an exuberant reel of gratitude into the sunset.

Now, after decades of nearly compulsively painting my toenails pink,
I can recommend mentally stomping complications into oblivion on a regular basis.

Even if your high heels or heavy boots cannot possibly remove all of life’s problems,
dragging your shoes off your tired feet at the end of another nerve-slaughtering day
and being greeted by PINK TOENAILS
should get your smile back out of the mudslide to where it belongs.

HO JO TO HO!