Category Archives: Stories

When I was a child I believed…

Long before babies were born with Iphone implants,
Long before you could do your grocery shopping with interactive glasses,
Long before you could have a video conversation from Sydney to Paris on you watch,
Long before digital televisions,  Long before remote controls,
Long before computers and even wire less home-phones were invented,

I believed that people that I was watching on TV could also see me!

The Real Mary Poppins in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney

Nowadays you can do a video conference with anyone, anywhere in the world, any time of the day or night.  🙂  Does that make me a visionary person?  😉  Well, I guess it only makes me old !! lol
Other people said they believed they could…

  • Walk on water with floaties.
  • Turn milk into butter
  • flap my arms and fly.
  • Hide (from Mum) behind the toilet.
  • Make milk by crunching grass and earth, just like cows do.
  • fly with an umbrella like Mary Poppins.
  • fly flapping my arms.
  • ” I could make milk by crunching grass and earth together , just like cows do.

What about you?

What did you believe when you were a child?

Phobia ? Anyone?

Arachnophobia:

A long time ago, when I was still a young girl… maybe 7 or 8 years old, my family visited my grandparents home for Christmas. We’d stay for 3 or 4 days every year. That was our treat.

It was one early morning, I fetched a children’s book out of the shelf in our bedroom. Sat on the carpet in the middle of the room and turned the pages away. I can’t remember the book. Lots of beautiful drawings of animals. And there, in the middle of the bedroom, as my sister and cousins were still asleep, appeared, on a double page, a huge range of ferocious spiders. All hairier than the next one, all dark and scary, all huge and ugly…

I jumped back from the book, absolutely incapable of turning the pages. I just could not make myself touch the book to make the pictures disappear. I deserted the room and ran for the kitchen to have breakfast, hoping someone would pick the book and put it away forever.

Many years back, I find myself living in Australia. A hostile country where the creepy crawlies reign…  Quite hilarious really. Despite my arachnophobia, I still try to look at them, learn about them and am trying everyday to conquer my fear of spiders.

                                                                                                                                   …/…
  • Nicole Kidman is afraid of butterflies.
  • Anderson has eisoptrophobia, or a fear of mirrors.
  • Basinger has agoraphobia, which is the fear of open spaces.
  • Madonna suffers brontophobia, the fear of thunder.
  • Jennifer Aniston, Cher, Michael Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg are aviophobics  (fear of flying.)
  • Billy Bob Thornton is afraid of antique furniture.
  • Johnny Depp is frightened of clowns , he has coulrophobia.
  • Barbra Streisand is xenophobic – she is uncomfortable around strangers.
  • David Beckham claims to have Ataxophobia, a fear of disorder or untidiness.
  • Kelly Osbourne has Haphophobia which is the fear of being touched.
  • Michael Jackson was Mysophobia – a haunting fear of contamination, infections and related diseases.
  • Sheryl Crow is acrophobic – she is afraid of heights.
  • Uma Thurman is claustrophobic – can’t handle being in enclosed spaces.
Apparently one in five adults  is scared of more things now than as a child. Maybe they’ve forgotten all the monsters who used to live under their bed …

Where do all these fears come from?               How can we fight them?

How about you?             Any phobia?

9 Today! Hip Hip Hurray!!

Today is one of my God children’s birthday.

He is a very special child: very lovable and easy to be drawn to. We live a long way away from each other, be it geographically or emotionally. I don’t know him much. I wish I could get to know him, I’d like to understand his differences, his likings, his views on things and people, his understanding of the world, what he likes doing, where he likes to be or go… We had some special time together a few months back and we were able to make connections, for  few seconds at a time. He is smart, and kind, actually no, he’s not just kind, he is especially very sweet.

The journey he’s taking his parent through is a tough one. I have the utmost respect for both but his mother especially. She has been and is still going through all the dilemmas mums go through, and will still keep going when we won’t have to any more.  Like many mothers she has given herself up, and more, for her children. She is highly inspiring. She is the best mum he could have hoped for.

We often take goodness for granted and sometimes we need to stop and watch the bigger picture, look back and appreciate what others do for us. Everyday. After day. After day… Mothers are amazingly underestimated but I believe this beautiful boy is who he is today because of the guidance of his parents, his mother…

I still remember my first connection with him. We had gone for a walk, just the two of us.  I was surprised his parents encouraged me to take him away by myself. I didn’t know what to expect. They trusted me, they trusted him. I had no idea what I was doing, I was scared. He wasn’t. He didn’t know me, we had seen each other a few times over the years but he had never really met me before. When we walked out, he reached out for my hand. That was it, that was the moment.  My heart melted.

I was told he was a good walker, it was true. Despite his young age he was quite happy to just walk, talk, laugh… I let him choose the way, asking him where to go, left or right? He wasn’t sure so we just kept going where ever his pace was taking us, without thinking… it was very interesting. Soon we  found the dead leaves on the road side were crackling under our weight… it made music… that was it! He glanced at me, like only he can do, and let me in… for a few seconds I felt connected. Music connected us. It seems to play a very important part in his life. We are both melomaniacs.

Today I wish I could be with him just for an hour, to celebrate his 9th birthday with a play of his choice.

Happy birthday Petit Prince!

Messing Up With Technology

You know how when you talk with your best friend you have no fear of judgement.  You let it all out without thinking:  being too selfish, arrogant, stupid, not good enough, silly, unfair, irrational, overreacting, too fat or else… you know the long list of things that would make you feel ashamed for a life time if anyone else knew! You just say it all,  knowing you will still be loved or accepted as you are…

Well a few years back , that’s what I did in a very private email addressed to my best friend. Revealing my secrets was easy for I knew how it would be received… but months later, I heard from my parents that one of their friends made a comment about my private life: “Well, I received this email about how this or that.. blablabla… maybe she shouldn’t send me this sort of stuff?” . Whoops…  he was right!! I was fairly new to this technology and thought I’d better be more careful with it all. I was lucky, no harm was done. Except for making myself look silly to him, but he knew that already. lol.  I deleted him straight away from my address book and promised myself to be more careful next time! He never mentioned anything to me! We’re still friends today.  Embarrassing but harmless mess that one! lol

Until…

Another time… As I was emailing and texting at the same time with my best friend and other friends and family, you know like when we email and text at the same time and are actually having 3 conversations at once on top of dinner cooking and the children interrupting every second minute… I accidentally sent the wrong text to the whole of my closest friends and family! It was supposed to reach my best friend!  Private joke. Not really appropriate for others to read. That mix-up was embarrassing enough for me to dig my head in the ground for years.

To this day, I am still not sure what they thought of it and rather not know. I don’t want to think about how some of them could have interpreted the isolated comment… You know how you go on with your best friend.. and when one sentence  doesn’t mean what you want it to mean out of its context!! Well, it was that sort of thing… No one mentioned anything except for one of my really close cousin, who knows me enough to understand my distracted ways. Straight away he realised this could not possibly have been addressed to him and texted me back with some funny line!!! lol… At least one of them had humour!

Until…

One of my latest major “hitch” was only last week! I was emailing a lady who I would like to call my friend (Ace) and was repeating the words that someone (called “X”) told me about “the daughter” of  “Mum”. They had been put in the same team and I thought it was going to be interesting to observe the interactions between the daughter and “X” ( It was a good opportunity for “X” to work her feelings for the daughter.) I need to mention that despite those feeling these 2 persons had been interacting peacefully in the same group for many years now. There has never been anything detectable, and to this we still wouldn’t know about “X” ‘s feeling for the daughter if it had not been for what’s following.

All of these confidences were in pure trust and not thinking that “Mum” could actually take it the wrong way if she knew… Well, you kind of guessed what happened.  Along with my email was a document that our group of people could use for their own benefit. I asked “Ace” if the group could find it good enough.  She seemed happy with it and decided to forward it, forgetting that all our previous emails were attached to it!!! The whole group was able to read the thoughts that had been going on about “the daughter” !!! Nothing too bad had been said of course, but “Mum” really took it to a first degree and was highly offended. “Ace” was so apologetic for a mistake I do all the time. “Mum” still doesn’t want to be part of our group any more, probably because she told her daughter, and sent me a couple of insulting emails.

I still don’t see what the harm is in saying that someone doesn’t l like someone. But I understand that the group knowing about it could be embarrassing for the mother… maybe…

…   /   …

Another time, a friend called me after 9pm one night. She doesn’t usually do that. I was quite alarmed. She had a very serious and stern voice and asked me if I had recently emailed her any attachment.  The problem was serious because I  had not and she knew that it could obviously  not have come from me. She explained to me what she had been receiving from my email box for the past few weeks. She explained to me that some hacker must have got into my mailbox and thought it was best to tell me. My mind was spinning with worry. Some children are in my address book what if they also read those? She started to worry too as her daughter is one of those children. We quickly hung up and she checked her daughter’s emails (no trace of the suspicious emails) while I emailed everybody to check their children’s mail-box. I also asked everyone to delete me as the contact they know and to never ever open a mail coming form this address. I created a new email address and all was good again. Apparently not all my contacts had received these very disturbing attachments and no children was harmed on the way. pphewww….  But what a freight! I am so grateful she told me. No one else did!!! That friend and I had a good giggle when all was over, thinking about the face some people must have pulled:   my daughters teachers, my ex-boss, my grand-parents or even some long time family friends… Embarrassing and worrying but in the end, quite a good joke. It also helped me clear up my mailbox by starting a new one from scratch!

…   /   …

These four were  my most embarrassing mistakes with technology, there’s been many more like the one on the way to learning how to use technology. Last night  for example:

I was sending a mail out talking about my children’s academic successes,  you know how mothers can be proudly irrational and irrationally proud when talking about their own children? Well … a really good friend of mine, (the same one as above actually!) , who I had not sent the mail to,  replied to me with a really kind and sweet mail, congratulating the girls and me for the success. Even though the whole email I had sent was typed in French (for my family) she was able to gather the main idea. She was genuinely happy for me and for the girls. That hiccup, was a good one! I knew that friend was a good friend and that she wouldn’t think that I am just boasting or showing off my children’s results. She’s in the same boat and understands motherhood how I see it today. So, that mistake wasn’t such a bad one after all, it turned out pretty sweet. I checked quickly in my sent emails to see who else had received it and wasn’t suppose to!She had been the only one. There must be some contacts that are close to each other in my list and occasionally I probably email the wrong person. Which, now that I think about it,  would explain the blanc look on some faces when I mention certain things or even the lack of replies…   lol

I wonder how many more times it’s happened and people said nothing about it, and how many more times I will send the wrong thing to the wrong person…

Air mail never had this sort of problem. And before mobile phones, we just had to meet the people in person before we could communicate with them, again, no mistake could be done… but today in just one little touch, you can make so much damage…

I am sure there will be plenty more to come! lol Hopefully no one will get hurt on the way.

…   /   …

If you also have put yourself in a very embarrassing posture, please share it here by dropping a comment, it will make us feel better!

Carte De Prédiction Du Sexe De L’Enfant

Article trouvé sur Chine Nouvelle.

Lors d’une fouille récente d’une ancienne tombe royale, un archéologue chinois sortit de terre un étrange document. Ce féru d’astrologie sentant l’extraordinaire de sa découverte, le ramena dans son laboratoire afin de mieux l’étudier.

Un beau matin, après de longs mois d’efforts, de sueur et de solitude, notre chercheur en perça enfin le secret. Ce qu’il avait, dépliée sous ses yeux et rédigée il y a plus de 700 ans par d’illustres ancêtres, n’était autre que la fameuse «carte de prédiction du sexe de l’enfant». D’une exactitude déconcertante La carte est actuellement conservée en sécurité à l’«Institut des Sciences de Pékin».

La validité des prédictions a été vérifiée depuis, sur des milliers de personnes, avec un taux de succès frôlant les 50%.

De cette découverte hors du commun, nous avons conçu un outil pas comme les autres.  Cependant, l’équipe de Chine Nouvelle décline toute responsabilité en cas d’erreur. Les bébés ne seront ni repris, ni échangés.

Avec tout le respect que je dois a ce document je ne peux m’empêcher de trouver particulièrement  amusant le coup  du “taux de succès de 50%” …  😉

Adaptable

Life changes all the time:  the environment, the weather and people change their minds constantly. In order to survive happily, as far as you can go in History,  human beings have become highly resilient to the always variable conditions of living. Today, the fast pace of the world around us had pushed us to be even more flexible.

Looking back at my life, I see an on going pattern: my life is constantly testing my adaptability skills.

When I was younger and studied to become a hair dresser, I was able to do my 3 year course in 1 year. The down side of that short cut was that when the exam day came I had almost no models to do hair styles on or haircuts, perms and colours! Everybody else had been working on the same friend or family member for 3 years. My family was 500kms away from the capital and building my model capital wasn’t my priority back then.  All my peers knew what they were doing… Out of the 5 models I needed for the big day, I only had 2.

On the morning of the exam, one phone call: cancellation of my only male model. That should have taught me a lesson by the way!! lol.

Really … that was an absolute sure bet that this day was turning into a tremendous disaster!! lol.  I never lost heart though, and gave it my best shot: I drove more than an hour to get there and I still turned up, full of hopes.

I had to find a way. Rather quickly for the exam was starting at 8am that day!

1)      The first “test” was easy because I had a model! Someone from my far blood related family travelled from the other side of Paris to lend me her head so I could perform a perm on her. I had never worked on her head. She said the result was a bit curlier than usually but was very happy with my job. And at the time, that’s all I needed to hear to make my day.  She had been so generous with her time I will be forever thankful.

2)      The next one was a woman’s hair cut. Which had to be transformed in a medieval hair-do for the second part of that test.              gloups…    (heavy swallowing)… here I am …  no model. The infernal chaos is starting, run for your life people , I need hair!!!

I went to speak to the judges (which was a disqualifying mistake, like in any exam, you are not to talk to anyone at all.  I knew that. But since I had nothing more to lose, I simply tried anyway.) They told me to go down in the street and fetch some “head”…

…   /   …

Lucky me, eventually a young girl gave in! Her hair was as thick as a horse’s tail and probably also as long, for it was reaching her bottom! The challenge was getting more and more interesting! lol. If there are hair dressers out there, you’ll know what I am talking about. Up we climbed the stairs, 4 by 4, walked in quietly where the “surveillance people”  guided us to my station. The task had started 15 mns ago, I had to catch up, only 30mns left. Talking to the model was also a disqualifying act of course, but I had to ask her what she wanted, it was her hair after all. And what hair… wow… length, volume and health, she had it all!  Simply beautiful…  Since all was lost except for my eternal positivism, we only went for a light 2cms trim in one straight line! I didn’t have the heart to do a proper hair cut for the sake of some exam. She was thrilled! lol. I don’t think the judges were very impressed with that but exam 2 was ticked off!! And in time too!! Easy peasy… By then, I am starting to enjoy the challenge! This is kind of fun!

3)     Well I had a ball for that one!!! I had so much hair to play with, it wasn’t funny! So looooong and soooo heavy… and no hair spray (either because I was broke or because I had forgotten it or even worse, the can was reaching its end!! lol. My luck hey… lol). That was tough but since she had the perfect outfit and face, beautiful clean hair, in such a healthy state, the result was an absolute miracle! To this day, I am amazed that it actually held until the judges walked around to give us the required points for our test and become an accomplished hair dresser! She walked away, her head proudly high up like a queen, with a beautiful hairstyle. I never saw her again but surely she had never had 2 hours so entertaining in her life!! lol

4) Round 4: Man’s hair cut. Oups… Where’s my model????!!! Oh year… that’s right , I don’t have that one either… lol. I can feel the adrenaline levels escalating again…Ok, back down the streets I guess. I don’t need the approval of the judges any more, they know me now, I am quiet, respectful, cool and happy, polite and controlled, they just trust me to do whatever I need to do. They have realised I am different from the rest of the students and I think they were enjoying the show to much to stop me! lol . Took me longer to find someone but eventually he ran up the stairs with me. I showed him the 3 pictures available, he picked one, (remember that no one is to talk to anyone). I had 10mns left out of 45. And then, one of the judges came out of their office, walked towards me and told me: “The next exam (woman’s hair cut) is part of this one,  you can combine both times to cover both haircuts.” No one in the room knew nor paid attention to who had just walked in, but I did. That’s when I thought I must have done pretty well so far because they were actually giving me a chance! I had a chance! My other fellow students had started their next model already and I was still working on that kind man’s hair… I worked fast and focused, then quickly thanked him and said goodbye to my model, running down the street that had been so good to me so far.

5)     As I am walking through the crowd of children in the school I realized it was afternoon recess time. Yay!!!! I had had no lunch break and nothing to eat or drink since 6am in the morning when I left my studio.  So many heads to choose from!!! My head was spinning from ecstasy! lol Would my luck stick with me and let me take one crazy soul along with me for the last draw?

Believe it or not, a young 14 year old trusted me enough to skip the afternoon class and miss her bus for a free haircut. No Mobile phones back then, she couldn’t call her mom. I assured her I’d drive her home. The deal was done! Once again I ran up the 2 storeys into our exam room. Everybody was working steadily, almost finished, adding the last details to their master pieces, and getting ready for the last part: blow-drying, shaping the style. We walked rapidly through the chairs and settled in my empty space. 3 pictures on the table.  As usual, still risking to be disqualified for talking, I gave first choice to my model and here we go…  I finished on time, blow dry and all. I roughly remember this young 14 year old girl, she was really cool. We left the room together, we talked about each other’s lives and experiences as I drove her back home, somewhere in what seemed the south of France!! It was so far, in the beautiful countryside of the outskirts of Paris, somewhere so refreshing. Her mother was quite happy as far as I can remember. Thinking back at it, she was under 18, had missed school and ran away with a stranger in a car… I could have been in so much trouble… but those were the days… we’re in 1994…

A few weeks later, the exam results were published on the board at school. That was a great occasion to take a day off ; I didn’t turn up. I had had a great experience, an absolute ball, it was so entertaining, so much fun, people were so respectful of me, kind and generous but since I had blown all the rules, my chances had sort of melted in my hands to a non existent state. I thought I’d rather keep it as a good memory. I had learned so much that day. My usually quite reserved and shy nature came out of its shell, and I realized that when needed I had the potential to explode and find resources I had never suspected in me. What an achievement! I wasn’t too sure how I was going to explain that to my parents back home but hey… lol!!!    I wouldn’t give up that day on my life for anything today.

So here I am, home, in my little studio, when the phone rings. It’s the top of-the-class girl. I pull the wire to the bed and sit, (the phones back then were still attached to the base but lucky me, my studio was small enough for the wire to go anywhere around it!lol). And then, I hear my red head friend’ voice yell:

” you’ve got it!! You passed!!!!”.

Today, I am so glad I was seated on the bed! I was so confused that I asked her if she was sure. The choir behind her was echoing :”yes you did , we all saw it!”.  All my friends are there, gathered around the phone booth, in front of the school. I can’t believe it!

They all checked the board, looking for their names. I hear such and such got it and such and such didn’t… so much excitement and effervescence in their voices. The phone sounds like a swarm… In the quiet of my comfy “home”, I am happy genuinely for them.

-“What about you? How many points did you get? Surely you got the best results”. She was the best in the class, very pro, very hairdresser like, a kind and steady friend, hard working too, pretty and smart too…

Silence for a while. One of the longest in my whole life.

Gloups… I would have eaten my hat…

-“No…   I didn’t make it”

I was devastated. How unfair was that? Out of all of us she really deserved to own her hairdressing salon, she would have been so good, she was made for it, but didn’t cut it that day…

 

69 verses 12

There’s a huge pile of clean clothes that need my attention on the bed. I don’t think I can sleep with 3 loads of washing on my feet tonight. Got to think quickly… It’s getting late, the day has been very long again today… I need motivation… I just can’t leave it for tomorrow,  simply because unfolded loads of washing perpetually seem to multiply overnight…

I’ll just set the lap top with something entertaining on it. Let me see….mmm it’s been a long time since I’ve watched Woodstock, the movie. It doesn’t matter how many times I watch this movie, I always thoroughly enjoy it. It’s been a constant A+ over the years, seeing me through younger years to just married, to mothers years until now almost 40… still a great movie.

I can’t remember if I’ve folded quickly or slowly, I hope I didn’t put my husband’s undies in the children’s pile or their little tee-shirts on his… Anyway, the clothes are folded up all into the shelves (hopefully the right ones! lol), I run back to the pause button to keep watching… How cool is that? You can pause… there’s no advertisement either…

Later on, when my chores are done,  here I am, in the comfort of my homey bed, watching people run in the mud and trash themselves, listening to the best rock and roll History will ever know, sucking in every bit of love that is oozing out this revolutionary hippie vision of the world by the present(we’re in 69) new generations of America…

Who would have thought this would happen? I am not only talking about such an eventful repercussion on the world, but I mean sitting in bed with a piece of technology that allows anyone to view colourful sounding moving pictures, with no wire attached, no fee… it’s highly enjoyable and still perfectly legal, in pure luxury and all of that for  free!!Somehow it feels wrong. Wrong by them, all those people from back then…

Now when you look back at 1969, they had none of that and were probably happier, definitely less stressed and their future was looking bright and happy despite the amount of children from the baby boomer’s years. They developed creativity to make human connections with the world, they enjoyed life as it was coming,believed in themselves, in a better world too,  were hard working and they still had values.  Values that have completely vanished today…

Somehow it feels wrong to watch this movie tucked under the comfort of my spotless doona. We all have more than we actually need, our never ending greed for materialistic nonsense has brought us nothing but more worries to keep up with the Jones.  We’ve created so much need for material items we can’t figure out how to be happy without those… we’re constantly missing the point. And we’re still seeking “happiness” or love or both and more…   As long as we ignore our human fellows’ needs, rights, love and all we are signing for failure if you ask me … we will not find happiness. Buying more won’t satisfy our eternal quest for happiness.  Sharing, touching or being touched emotionally as well as physically is what we’re all lacking. That’s what love does. I am not talking about the love you find in the family, I am talking about friendship love. Ok you’ll say you have 279 friends on Facebook but really… let’s be honest, how many real friends do you have today?

Back then, they had it all worked out… peace, love, drugs and rock and roll. And who cares about the future? lol

What a date they chose! When you think about it, they couldn’t have picked a better year for this festival, promoting peace and music through so much love… lol

And who doesn’t know about Woodstock 43 years later?

Many articles have been written, many websites and blogs… It has certainly set a different mind on what are peace and rock & roll and how they can work together hand in hand despite all the preconceived ideas.

How did this event come together, make History, ruin some people on the way and snow ball into such a Woodstock frenzy still up to this day?

Who wouldn’t have liked to be 20 in that little suburban part of New York on those 4 days of August 1969?

How many stars regretted turning this “little” festival down?

Have you watched the movie? Have you got a black vinyl disc (I think you called those LPs) at home? Who hasn’t been affected in a way of no return  by this amazing state of love around music? and by the music itself…

I grew up with this kind of music around. Dad was religiously playing those big black discs, only once each  in order to not use them. He had some huge machine to record it all on, a 3 hours track band going around the two poles. Occasionally he would play the enormous music-tapes-like, spreading happy party ambiance through the whole house. I’m not sure mum enjoyed it as much as he did but Dad and I surely did! The cover of that disk was such a scene for a young girl like me. I was born 3 years after Woodstock and wish I had been born earlier to witness this amazing experience with my own eyes and heart. Music was passion back then. Many greatly talented musicians. real music was invented. Today, our poor children only have poor replicas of those days. Our today  music is dead compared to 30 years ago…

Here are a few bits and pieces gathered around for you to feast on!      Please add more  links if you feel the need.

Have fun!

From                     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock

Woodstock Music & Art Fair (informally, Woodstock or The Woodstock Festival) was a music festival, billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”. It was held at Max Yasgur‘s 600-acre (2.4 km²; 240 ha, 0.94 mi²) dairy farm in the Catskills near the hamlet of White Lake in the town of Bethel, New York, from August 15 to August 18, 1969. Bethel, in Sullivan County, is 43 miles (69 km) southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York, in adjoining Ulster County.

During the sometimes rainy weekend, thirty-two acts performed outdoors in front of 500,000 concert-goers.[2] It is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history. Rolling Stone called it one of the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.[3]

The event was captured in the 1970 documentary movie Woodstock, an accompanying soundtrack album, and Joni Mitchell‘s song “Woodstock” which commemorated the event and became a major hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Planning and preparation

Woodstock was initiated through the efforts of Michael Lang, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, and Artie Kornfeld. It was Roberts and Rosenman who had the finances. Lang had experience as a promoter and had already organized the largest festival on the East Coast at the time, the Miami Pop Festival, which had an estimated 100,000 people attend the two day event. Roberts and Rosenman placed the following advertisement in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal under the name of Challenge International, Ltd.: “Young men with unlimited capital looking for interesting, legitimate investment opportunities and business propositions”.[4]

Lang and Kornfeld noticed the ad, and the four men got together originally to discuss a retreat-like recording studio in Woodstock, but the idea evolved into an outdoor music and arts festival, although even that was initially envisioned on a smaller scale, perhaps featuring some of the big name artists who lived in the Woodstock area (such as Bob Dylan and The Band). There were differences in approach among the four: Roberts was disciplined, and knew what was needed in order for the venture to succeed, while the laid-back Lang saw Woodstock as a new, relaxed way of bringing businesspeople together.[4] There were further doubts over the venture, as Roberts wondered whether to consolidate his losses and pull the plug, or to continue pumping his own finances into the project.[4]

In April 1969, newly-minted superstars Creedence Clearwater Revival were the first act to sign a contract for the event, agreeing to play for $10,000. The promoters had experienced difficulty landing big-name groups prior to Creedence committing to play. Creedence drummer Doug Clifford later commented “Once Creedence signed, everyone else jumped in line and all the other big acts came on.” Given their 3:00 a.m. start time and non-inclusion (at Creedence frontman John Fogerty‘s insistence) in the Woodstock film, Creedence members have expressed bitterness over their experiences at the famed festival.[5]

Woodstock was designed as a profit-making venture, aptly titled “Woodstock Ventures”. It famously became a “free concert” only after it became obvious that the event was drawing hundreds of thousands more people than the organizers had prepared for. Tickets for the event cost $18 in advance (equivalent to $75 in 2009 after adjusting for inflation)[6] and $24 at the gate for all three days. Ticket sales were limited to record stores in the greater New York City area, or by mail via a post office box at the Radio City Station Post Office located in Midtown Manhattan. Around 186,000 tickets were sold beforehand and organizers anticipated approximately 200,000 festival-goers would turn up.[7]

Selection of the venue

               

The crowd and stage in 1969.                                Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in 1968.

The concert was originally scheduled to take place in the 300-acre (1.2 km2) Mills Industrial Park (41°28′39″N 74°21′49″W) in the town of Wallkill, New York, which Woodstock Ventures had leased for $10,000 in the Spring of 1969.[8] Town officials were assured that no more than 50,000 would attend. Town residents immediately opposed the project. In early July the Town Board passed a law requiring a permit for any gathering over 5,000 people. On July 15, 1969, the Wallkill Zoning Board of Appeals officially banned the concert on the basis that the planned portable toilets would not meet town code.[9] Reports about the ban, however, turned out to be a publicity bonanza for the festival.[10]

According to Elliot Tiber in his 2007 book Taking Woodstock, Tiber offered to host the event on his 15 acres (61,000 m2) motel grounds, and had a permit for such an event. He claims to have introduced the promoters to dairy farmer Max Yasgur.[11] Lang, however, disputes Tiber’s account, and says that Tiber introduced him to a real estate salesman, who drove him to Yasgur’s farm without Tiber. Sam Yasgur, Max’s son, agrees with Lang’s account.[12] Yasgur’s land formed a natural bowl sloping down to Filippini Pond on the land’s north side. The stage would be set at the bottom of the hill with Filippini Pond forming a backdrop. The pond would become a popular skinny dipping destination.

The organizers once again told Bethel authorities they expected no more than 50,000 people.

Despite resident opposition and signs proclaiming, “Buy No Milk. Stop Max’s Hippy Music Festival”,[13] Bethel Town Attorney Frederick W. V. Schadt and building inspector Donald Clark approved the permits, but the Bethel Town Board refused to issue them formally. Clark was ordered to post stop work orders.

Free concert

The late change in venue did not give the festival organizers enough time to prepare. At a meeting three days before the event, organizers felt they had two choices. One option was to improve the fencing and security which might have resulted in violence; the other involved putting all their resources into completing the stage, which would cause Woodstock Ventures to take a financial hit. The crowd, which was arriving in greater numbers and earlier than anticipated, made the decision for them. The fence was cut the night before the concert.

The festival

The influx of attendees to the rural concert site in Bethel created a massive traffic jam. Fearing chaos as thousands began descending on the community, Bethel did not enforce its codes.[9] Eventually, announcements on radio stations as far away as WNEW-FM in Manhattan and descriptions of the traffic jams on television news programs discouraged people from setting off to the festival.[14][15] Arlo Guthrie made an announcement that was included in the film saying that the New York State Thruway was closed.[16] The director of the Woodstock museum discussed below said this never occurred.[17] To add to the problems and difficulty in dealing with the large crowds, recent rains had caused muddy roads and fields. The facilities were not equipped to provide sanitation or first aid for the number of people attending; hundreds of thousands found themselves in a struggle against bad weather, food shortages, and poor sanitation.[18]

On the morning of Sunday, August 17, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller called festival organizer John Roberts and told him he was thinking of ordering 10,000 New York State National Guard troops to the festival. Roberts was successful in persuading Rockefeller not to do this. Sullivan County declared a state of emergency.[14]

We were ready to rock out and we waited and waited and finally it was our turn … there were a half million people asleep. These people were out. It was sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.

And this is the moment I will never forget as long as I live: a quarter mile away in the darkness, on the other edge of this bowl, there was some guy flicking his Bic, and in the night I hear, ‘Don’t worry about it John. We’re with you.’ I played the rest of the show for that guy.

John Fogerty[5] regarding Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s 3 a.m. start time at Woodstock.

Although the festival was remarkably peaceful given the number of people and the conditions involved, there were two recorded fatalities: one from what was believed to be a heroin overdose and another caused in an accident when a tractor ran over an attendee sleeping in a nearby hayfield. There also were two births recorded at the event (one in a car caught in traffic and another in a hospital after an airlift by helicopter) and four miscarriages.[19] Oral testimony in the film supports the overdose and run-over deaths and at least one birth, along with many logistical headaches.

Yet, in tune with the idealistic hopes of the 1960s, Woodstock satisfied most attendees

Declined invitations

  • Bob Dylan, in whose “backyard” the festival was held (to get the poet laureate of the counterculture to come out and play)[citation needed] was never in serious negotiation. Instead, Dylan signed in mid-July to play the Isle of Wight Festival of Music, on August 31. Dylan set sail for England on the Queen Elizabeth 2 on August 15, the day the Woodstock Festival started. His son was injured by a cabin door and the family disembarked. Dylan, with his wife Sarah, flew to England the following week. Dylan had been unhappy about the number of hippies piling up outside his house in the nearby town of Woodstock.[27]
  • The Beatles/John Lennon: woodstockstories.com presents two scenarios as to why The Beatles did not perform. The first is that promoters contacted John Lennon to discuss a Beatles performance at Woodstock, and Lennon said that the Beatles would not play unless there was also a spot at the festival for Yoko Ono‘s Plastic Ono Band, whereupon he was turned down.[28][unreliable source?] The website claims the more likely explanation is that Lennon wanted to play but his entry into the United States from Canada was blocked by President Richard Nixon.[29][30][unreliable source?] The Beatles were, in any case, on the verge of disbanding. Also, they had not performed any live concerts since August 1966, three full years before the festival (not including their impromptu rooftop concert given on January 30, 1969 a few months before).
  • Jeff Beck Group: Jeff Beck disbanded the group prior to Woodstock. “I deliberately broke the group up before Woodstock.” Beck says. “I didn’t want it to be preserved”.[31]
  • The Doors were considered as a potential performing band, but canceled at the last moment; according to guitarist Robby Krieger, they turned it down because they thought it would be a “second class repeat of Monterey Pop Festival“, and later regretted that decision.[32]
  • Led Zeppelin was asked to perform, their manager Peter Grant stating: “We were asked to do Woodstock and Atlantic were very keen, and so was our U.S. promoter, Frank Barsalona. I said no because at Woodstock we’d have just been another band on the bill.” However, the group did play the 1st Atlanta International Pop Festival on July 5, as one of 22 bands at the two-day event. Woodstock weekend, Zeppelin performed south of the festival at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in New Jersey. Their only time out taken was to attend Elvis Presley‘s show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, on August 12.[33]
  • The Byrds were invited, but chose not to participate, figuring Woodstock to be no different from any of the other music festivals that summer. There were also concerns about money. As bassist John York remembers: “We were flying to a gig and Roger [McGuinn] came up to us and said that a guy was putting on a festival in upstate New York. But at that point they weren’t paying all of the bands. He asked us if we wanted to do it and we said, ‘No’. We had no idea what it was going to be. We were burned out and tired of the festival scene. […] So all of us said, ‘No, we want a rest’ and missed the best festival of all.'”[34]
  • Tommy James and the Shondells declined an invitation. Lead singer Tommy James stated later: “We could have just kicked ourselves. We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’s how it was put to me. So we passed, and we realized what we’d missed a couple of days later.”[35]
  • The Moody Blues were included on the original Wallkill poster as performers, but decided to back out after being booked in Paris the same weekend.[36]
  • Spirit also declined an invitation to play, as they already had shows planned and wanted to play those instead, not knowing how big Woodstock would be.[37]
  • Joni Mitchell was originally slated to perform, but canceled at the urging of her manager to avoid missing a scheduled appearance on The Dick Cavett Show.[38][39]
  • Lighthouse declined to perform at Woodstock.[40]
  • Roy Rogers was asked by Lang to close the festival with Happy Trails but he declined.[41]
  • Procol Harum was invited but refused because Woodstock fell at the end of a long tour and also coincided with the due date of guitarist Robin Trower’s baby.[42]

From  http://www.woodstockstory.com/

Woodstock was the pop culture music event of the decade and arguably to this day the single most profound event in the history of music. Acts from all around the world met at Max Yasgur‘s Farm in Bethel, NY on August 15-18, 1969 for a celebration of peace and music. What began as a paid event drew so many viewers from across the world that the fences were torn down and it became a free concert open to the public. 500,000 youthful individuals gathered peacefully at Woodstock 1969 creating the largest gathering of human beings in one place in history. Woodstock 1969 defined an entire generation and its effects on music and American culture can still be felt today.

” TIME     IS     LOVE “

Just after the famous Summer of Love, came Woodstock. The event that brought individuals from all over the world to one location to show how much difference a little love can make. The largest gathering in any one location to date, Woodstock 1969, an event constantly on the edge of catastrophe went over without incident thanks to love. The magnitude of Woodstock does not need to be replicated in order to make the world a better place, small scale acts of love and peace can go a long way in everyday life and help to make the world a better place. Don’t think of Woodstock 1969 as an outlet for love, but a shape of how love can and will eventually change the world.

The 1960s represented a much different time in American culture. The recently adopted hectic lifestyle and breakneck speed in technological advances has made it virtually impossible to slow down and recognize the important things in life. The world has changed so rapidly in the last 40 years that the truth is, it would be incredibly difficult to organize another Woodstock 1969 or live by the same ideals of the time period. That doesn’t mean that steps can’t be made once again make peace, love, and music recognized as the essence of happiness.

What has become a lack of time in people’s minds is simply a misappropriation of the time given. It’s proven that certain things strengthen mood and relationships with others. Love is one of the most powerful forces on planet earth, and isn’t even close to being exercised enough. If there’s one thing that Woodstock 1969 showed the world, it’s that the power of peace and love cannot be denied and can change the world forever. 40 years after Woodstock the achievement of the 1960s counterculture is still remembered. Who’s to say that a conscious effort to love others can’t once again change the world for the better?

Put down the cell phone, turn off the computer, stop worrying about making a jillion dollars; spend time with your family, your kids, or show kindness to complete strangers. Great acts of love happen every day all over the world. Let’s stop seeing these as isolated incidences and take a unified approach in making the world a better place. Time is love, peace is love, music is love; take the time to embrace these parts of life as 500,000 people did in 1969. Share your thoughts on improving the world as well as your experiences at http://www.timeisloveblog.com

 

 

Les Deux Cruches

Un porteur d’eau transportait deux cruches suspendues aux extrémités d’une pièce de bois reposant sur ses épaules, mais l’une d’elles avait une fissure. Pendant que l’autre jarre conservait parfaitement toute son eau de source jusqu’au village, la première perdait la moitié de sa cargaison en cours de route.
Cela dura deux ans et à chaque jour le porteur d’eau ne livrait qu’une cruche et demie d’eau à chacun de ses voyages.
La jarre parfaite était fière d ’elle car elle remplissait sa fonction sans faille.
Mais la cruche abîmée avait honte parce qu’elle n’accomplissait que la moitié de ce qu’on attendait d’elle.
Un jour, elle s’adressa au porteur d’eau au moment où il la remplissait à la source:
-Je me sens coupable, et je te prie de m’excuser.
-De quoi as-tu honte? demanda le porteur d’eau.
-Je ne réussis qu’à porter la moitié de ma cargaison d’eau à cause de cette fissure qui laisse fuir l’eau. Par ma faute, tu fais tous ces efforts, et, mais tu ne livres que la moitié de l’eau. Tu n’obtiens pas le fruit de tes efforts à cause de moi.
Le porteur d’eau, touché de cette confession, lui répondit :
-Ne songe plus à ça et pendant que nous retournerons à la maison, regarde les fleurs magnifiques au bord du chemin.
Sur la route, la vieille jarre vit de très jolies fleurs baignées de soleil et cela lui mit la joie au cœur. Mais elle se sentait toujours aussi coupable parce qu’elle avait encore perdu la moitié de son eau.
Le porteur d’eau dit alors à la cruche :
-T’es-tu rendu compte qu’il n’y avait de belles fleurs que de ton côté du chemin, et presque aucune de l’autre côté?
J’ai toujours su que tu perdais de l’eau, et j’en ai tiré parti. J’ai semé des fleurs de ton côté et toi tu les arrosais pendant le parcours. Sans toi, jamais je n’aurais pu obtenir des fleurs aussi fraîches et gracieuses.

Nous avons tous des éclats, des blessures, des défauts. Nous sommes tous des jarres abîmées. Certains d’entre nous sont diminués par la vieillesse, d’autres ne brillent pas par leur intelligence, d’autres sont trop petits, trop grands, trop gros, trop maigres, mais ce sont les éclats, les défauts en nous qui rendent nos personnalités intéressantes et exaltantes.

Winter Beach Walk

“Yes, mum, I promise, we’ll use the scooters all the way.

Mummy… pleaaaaase….”

2kms later

The walk along the beach and back home is about 5kms…

It’s a freezing cold winter, the sun is slowly and beautifully loosing its power, I’m wrapped up in a feather coat and drinking in the peace. I don’t mind carrying the scooter any more.

This walk is offering soothingly mesmerising beauty.

 

To Lend Or Not To Lend ?

One would have to wonder what is the best behaviour from a parent towards their child when it comes to lending them our belongings…
When I was 10, I was given a box of 24 colouring pencils. Excellent brand , they were so smooth to use…

I made numbers for them so they would always find their spot in a shading rainbow like arrangement. I don’t remember having a case at all for them but recall clearly taking them out and displaying them neatly on the table prior to using them, always following the numbers. They always had to be in that order. I didn’t like people touching them and always made sure I was the only user. People, drop them, forget to bring them back, let alone put them in the colour order!!

Now, being a mother of two, I’ve had to go through the dilemma: “lend or not to lend”… ?

I did. I did lend them my pencils. I waited 10 years though… just to make sure!! lol

They loved them right away and quickly became  their favourite for they are so great to use, excellent quality.

For 20 years I have kept my best pencils in great shape ( some of them would only be 5 or 6 cm long only!), my rubber collection was still in its special case,  and many other fantasy stationary items…

It’s been one year now and only 1 is left! The grey one.

Today… they’re all scattered, lost , damaged, broken… Who knows what happened?

Now what did I teach my children by doing that?

What did they learn?

“You’ve learned to not lend us your stuff mum” said “big chérie”

What did I learn?  Never to expect anything from people.

 

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