Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hang on Tightly, let go lightly: contemplations and images upon leaving Lebanon

Read from bottom to top!

18 August (St. Pryve, France)
Sunset over the Atlantic from Ericeira marking the end of another moment in our transition to Ecuador. Following the Yoga Therapy training, Cecile and the boys came for a holiday proving to be a very pleasant sojourn in the sun. Ericeira....very chilled and very friendly.

On Monday we pack our bags and head off into this sunset destined for Ecuador to see what shenanigans await us there. 

07 August (Ericeira, Portugal): Second half day off my Elemental Yoga Therapy course . A fascinating and enriching learning experience, corner-turning game changer. Will be done in 6 days. What to say....OM.

17 July (London): Here we are, 1 week into our new reality. It is taking a while for it all to sink in....we have actually left Lebanon. Wow. Will we ever go back? Kasem said the other day....'i'm so happy to be travelling', we've been through Wales and this morning as we packed up at cousins in the Cotswolds he said 'and so the little travellers continue their journey'. A very prescient little fellow. Both are coping very well, sleeping well and seemingly understanding of the situation and their separation from their Mum. Time will tell, I mean they seem happy, but I expect some kind of crisis to precipitate as emotions are bound to bubble through. We keep active but there are clear moments of reflection in the car, the train, etc when we talk about where we have been and where we are going and whats to come....and we skype Cecile in Beirut, that helps a lot.

We are in London tonight, a city pumping up its heart rate as the Olympics loom in 2 weeks time. I might be sensitive to it but it is true, people are more friendly in an openly sincere kind of way that simply exudes acceptance. Had dinner tonight with two excellent friends and the boys in a touristy Indian restaurant. The boys were going from table to table offering people a lick of the big lollipop they were sharing that Zaki was given by a street performer (a story in itself!). People just thought it was so funny, the staff loved it, no one seemed bothered or to care. I think some thought there was a hidden camera somewhere! Just light-hearted laughing.

There is a sense of anchoring here in the UK, perhaps more like sea anchor helping to maintain a steady course and even keel that allows things to feel more stable. But then it is more stable....I mean Lebanon feels on the edge of war or some reasonable facsimilie of instability and violence. But its more than that, here laws of all kinds are made and are followed, people obey not only because there might be a penalty for an infraction, but because they realise it makes things work better. Watched today as a traffic light turned red and the traffic including cyclists waited even though there was no traffic coming through the opposite green, it allowed the pedestrians to cross safely....thats what traffic lights are supposed to do....not so much an option as they are in Beirut.

Zaki and Kasem had their street performing debut yesterday at Covent Garden...selected from the crowd by a would-be Charlie Chaplin, like a dream come true, particularly for Zaki who ended up sharing the stage for nearly 30mins. It was really quite hilarious.

And we went to the Apple Store in Covent Garden today, biggest in the world they say! The boys had a hoot and I would have had too except my Mastercard was declined and declined and declined. Bugger Lebanese banks!! Someone tell me, why do credit cards from Lebanon not have the chip, only the stripe?

Those two boys in the corner are having a serious Mac Attack....on the iPad for nearly 2hrs! iYikes!

06 July (Beirut): Gladly but sadly, sold the Volty, I loved that bike. 2 more sleeps in Beirut and we're outta heeya. 

05 July (Beirut): Folks this is a Welsh dragon drawn in Arabic which when translated to Welsh reads 'The land of our Fathers' the first line of the rather fantastic Welsh National Anthem, a fine going away gift! thanks Richard!

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