Sunday, 25 March 2012

Weddings, hair and baby carriers

Interesting talk of weddings. Amazing how they differ from each and every country. Here they are an intrinsic part of life. With weddings come children and children bring such joy and heartache. Around the corner are an endless supply of wedding outfitters. They call this place 'Start Up Nation.' I guess that you can call anything a 'start up' simply because you are starting up from nothing - if it's yours to start up. It's the same with hairdressers. Go to school and learn for a number of months. Work for a bit in a salon and then pingo you open your own place with, hopefully, a following. I mention this because yet another hairdresser is now plying his trade locally, joining the other three that have opened up within the last few months. North West London and we have estate agents. Here we have hairdressers and wedding dresses. What does this mean by comparison?

It is, finally though, fully spring. This means that we have sun and heat and then mist and chill and to top it all, we are expecting rain again this week. I had put the brolly away in the hope that I wouldn't have to take it out again. When descending the steps outside the building a heady perfume of orange blossom hits the nostrils. It's the most evocative of all scents. The blossom escapes at the same time as the oranges fulfill their promise and then plop off their branches onto the street. The bouganvilia has also spread its way along the walls of flats and houses and the hues of the pinks, reds and purples are a sight to see. Tiny birds dart in and out of the branches outside my sitting-room windows. They resemble hummingbirds but without the long beak. They sport a brilliant blue back and one of them made its way into the kitchen recently. He was so tiny and disoriented that  he got stuck behind a pillar twixt window and blind and was unable in his panic to find his way out. It must have been interesting to see me clamber onto the sink, having first put on rubber gloves, and coerce him into my hands. Poor little might was shaking pitifully. It was a bit difficult clambering back down again while hoping that I would not suffocate or let him lose again. The window was open and I pushed him out into the air and he flew off once more. Maybe he's one of those outside who sips from the blossom, only  this time looking in.

Because it was a beautiful day yesterday, I sat on the decking that leads up to the new port. An unbelievable array of humanity passed before me. It was extraordinary. Groups of families with young children and grown up children. Fathers carrying babies in carriers of a complexity of designs and pregnant mothers pushed tiny babies in buggies before them. It's a fashion here to have four children. You don't have to be religious. They are very conventional (believe it, or not) and if fashion dictates four, then four it is. I've no idea how they manage. It's expensive and there's not the sort of benefits that everyone in the UK feels is deserved. However, I do hear that the maternity facilities are excellent. So I watched the Saturday parade. Every kind of colour. Every religion. Every sexual orientation. Every country represented. So many more tourists carrying maps and trying to keep out of the way of the bikes and roller blades, skateboards and scooters. It was a moment to be joyful and to feel the warmth of the sun on my face.

It's my birthday again next week. I can't believe that another year has gone by. When I spoke to Zach last night he reminded me that it was a year ago that he started on his venture. One could most definitely call it a 'start up.' It's continuing. He laughed when he also reminded me that I wanted to send him to a rehab facility in the north for the chronically depressed and addicted. He can't remember the last time that he stuck to something in the way he is now. 'You said,' he told me 'that this would be the best kind of birthday present...' It is. And I'm making notes of what these weddings here entail. Because you never know...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

all this talk of weddings must mean one is imminant!