Archive for November, 2010

November 17, 2010

Postcard From Bobby Baby (4)

While I travel in my head, in my dreams, in my imaginary bus, my brother Robert travels in reality.


Recently, he and his wife took a 3-day trip to London. They left their home in Saint-Symphorien and went by car to Brussels, and then took the train for the rest of the way. I phoned him as soon as I received his card, last week, and he told me they had a blast.


Let me translate for you:

Wednesday, November 3

A little trip for two in London.
Quick, but superb. We’re thinking of you.
See you soon, big kisses.


I forgot to show you the 2 postcards Bobby Baby sent me over the summer. They’re particularly interesting as they were sent from the region, in France, where our ancestor René de la Voye was born. With all the renovations and stuff lying all over the place, I’ll have to find them first! As soon as I do, I’ll put them up.

And do you know where the next postcard will be coming from? Barcelona. Cool, huh?

For more about Bobby Baby and
his postcards: (1), (2), (3).


November 14, 2010

I Spy with my Little Eye – or how I found the key to happiness

Once upon a time, more or less long ago, you and I were born with a treasure chest snuggled deep down in the fuzzy part of our hearts, and this treasure chest was jam-packed with the most wonderful happiness one could ever wish for.

Because we were such precious beings, the gods and goddesses, angels and fairies, leprechauns and other magical creatures rallied together to scatter keys to our treasure chest in gazillions of places. They wanted to make sure we could find the keys at any time of day or night, at any place here or there, in every city and village around the world.

How easy it was to find the first key in the arms that cradled us as we sucked our warm milk; the next in the brand new diaper that softly wrapped our tender pampered buns; and the very enchanting one contained in the lullaby that was sung to us as we slowly drifted into slumber.


The weeks and months went by, and we discovered with mounting excitement the keys hidden in our Teddy Bears and Barbie dolls, and in all the toys and games that filled our days with fun. Thus it became natural for us, as soon as we woke up in the morning, to think about having as much fun as we had had the day before. And as soon as the thought of having fun popped into our heads, the keys to create it popped up all over the place.

Little did we know, in the early stages of our journey, that the act of focusing on what we desired worked as a magnet to attract the keys that unlocked our treasure chest of happiness. But day in, day out, we focused… we imagined… we pretended… and we embraced with laughter and joy the many magical moments that made up our burgeoning lives.

Oh how happy we were! How passionately we lived every single one of our days, bright-eyed and amazed.

Even when it rained, or when we were stuck in the car on our way to grandma’s, or woe is me when we were sick in bed, we found the key to instant happiness through a game that was then widespread: I Spy with my Little Eye.

How thrilling it was to explore our surroundings; to scan in detail what made up our teensy-weensy world; to look for everything “red” or “blue” or “green.” Was it the red apple in the basket… the blue numbers on the dashboard… the green stripes in the wallpaper? I Spy with my Little Eye prompted us to be still — in the moment — and to sharpen our awareness… all in the name of fun.

But as we grew and our world broadened,
the game changed and the plot thickened!


In our teens, our little eye was deviously driven to spy on less amusing things: the pimple on our nose which we were certain had begun to glow; the tooth in the middle, on the right, that had gotten crooked overnight; and our thighs — jeez! — the way they rubbed together and made this squishy sound that was no doubt heard throughout the cafeteria as we walked towards our table, staring at the floor, thinking everyone was mocking us.

And now decades later, our adult spying eye has become an expert at zooming in on not only our personal faults and mishaps, but also on those of the people in our family and the ones at school, in the office, on the street…  Eager to feed our hungry eye, we scrutinize the news for more: murder, fraud, famine, poverty, bigotry, racism, war… Evidently, it’s all gloom and gore!

And just when we think we’ve reached the peak of horror and disappointment, it turns out the purple drapes we ordered don’t match the purple in our duvet cover.

Disenchanted, we cannot help but recite to our stressed-out self:
I spy with my little eye
no keys, no chest,
no happiness.



I won’t ask you to stop playing the game — by now, it’s deeply ingrained. I won’t tell you to turn a blind eye on the state of your nose and the world around you — people will claim you’re letting yourself go or, worse, that you’re an insensitive jerk.

We don’t want to hear that, do we?
No… there’s enough drama as it is.

So the only solution I’ve found — and believe me, I’ve lived through numerous pimples, pitfalls, and pffft — is to play the game, see the drama… but focus on the humour underneath the tumour.



I’m sure you’ve heard people declare, when something unfortunate happens to them, “One day, we’ll look back on this and laugh.” Well I say why wait, let’s laugh right away!

Because my karma has taught me the following lesson: Our level of happiness is directly proportionate to the time elapsed between the unfortunate event (pffft) and the burst of laughter (lol), i.e.:

happiness = pffft-lol

In this equation, the *hyphen* represents the shortest elapsed time possible between the disaster and the roaring laughter.

This is precisely what we are shooting for.
This tiny line — the hyphen — is the key to our happiness.

Now, I don’t know how long your line is at the moment, but if it takes you a few years to finally be able to chuckle about something that hurt you or broke your heart, I’d say your line is pretty long. Don’t worry, though: your humour is alive and well and growing under your pile of manure.

If it takes you only a month or two before you crack up and laugh — during which period you complain, bicker, rage, and have either migraines or heartburn, BUT you also either meditate or jog, read about Buddha or study the Torah, take up fly fishing or watch Oprah — then this means you are determined to snap out of your rut and quit tormenting yourself. Bravo! For this, I give you 500 Giggle Points and a Bamboo Back Scratcher.

Eventually — and this I know for sure — you will reach a point where immediately upon hitting a bump in the road, you will accept, forgive, let go, relinquish control, trust in the journey, and spy with your little eye something that is funny.

That day, sweet soul, you will roll on the floor,
laughing your heart out.

It will be


and you will live happily ever after!


November 13, 2010

Boredom begat Madame Pipi

I would have loved to spare you these “BEFORE” pictures of my bathroom, but you would have missed my Frida Kahlo / Fernando Botero period, and that would have been such a shame.


Yes, sweet souls, it was way too many years ago that I painted Madame Pipi during one of my numerous fits of boredom. The walls were already banana yellow, so I opted for the *green-yellow-red* colour combination, hoping this would give the room a Jamaican look.


I started by measuring and drawing nice neat squares. Afterwards, I proceeded to paint: one green — skip the yellow — one red; one green — skip the yellow — one red. And it’s in the midst of this repetitive and meditative exercise that I eventually had the spontaneous urge to create Madame Pipi.

Unfortunately, my Kahlo/Botero period didn’t last long enough for me to finish my masterpiece. After all these years of putting up with this creature, I’ve finally decided to get rid of her and adopt a more Zen decor. So whatever happens to me in July 2011, if I move out of here or not, it’s plain to see the room is in dire need of an exorcism, right?

More photos to come.
Bring on the change!

November 13, 2010

The importance of rewarding oneself

The beat goes on! Now that the renovations for the doors and windows are done, I need to give my bathroom a make-over. I also need to create my Theatre of the Absurd / playroom. This means a significant part of my living quarters will be a mess for the following two, maybe three weeks. Which is — I have to admit — something that bothers me quite a bit.


Here’s what I bought last Sunday when I spent the weekend at my son’s place: a new counter top for the bathroom sink; baseboard heaters for the bathroom and the Theatre of the Absurd / playroom; all the stuff for painting; mini scaffold step ladder (not at all to be used for painting — it will become a prop for my Theatre of the Absurd… I’ll tell you more about that later); and the reward = a Christmas tree.

Once I got back home on Monday, it was clear I was going to put the tree up that same evening…


Ta dah!

Why decorate 47 days before Christmas? Because at the end of each day’s work, I can reward myself by snuggling into my comfy armchair and letting myself be carried away to the magical world of Christmas.

Ain’t life beautiful?