Marnova – of and from a wandering mind…

Marnova's musings on life, media and Mongolia

Archive for February 2006

[Chip off the old blog] Fragments

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6AM Bleedin’ Nora! My life just carries on doing its own thing. Two days ago I sensed change approaching fast. Lots has happened since and to top it all off, I am freaking out because I just got this e-mail from a Mongolian friend:

“I am on my way to UK, i arrive tomorrow. I am sorry i just got cheap flight, and was hurry to set up some stuff. If it’s alright then i will head to Bristol on Monday or Tuesday. Seya soon!”

Bloomin’ heck, I know I said (in my new year message) that it was open house, but a day’s notice…almost as bad as the time my friend from Moscow called me and said “Hey, it’s Manu!” “Hey Manu, how the hell are you?!” “Good, good. I’m in Bristol train station…I’ve come to see you” ‘Whaaattt!…which one?’ “I don’t know…” Have been to an awful night of garage and mc-ing…so bad it was funny (“Let’s big it up for Brrrisstooollll”). Never to be forgotten. Damn, the sun’s rising. Need sleeeeppp bad.

Marie [noun]:
A master of storytelling

‘How will you be defined in the dictionary?’ at

LATER PM Was so psyched after getting that mail, I couldn’t sleep! Have been waiting for Gans to come to the UK for five years now. Never thought it would actually happen. Though his e-mail shocked me, I know it absolutely cuts both ways – I can rock on up to his doorstep anytime. And that got me thinking…

A story.  Once, a Dutch friend was having a very hard time and felt alone. Somehow, caught wind of this and got straight on a coach, then ferry, then coach and train to see him at his parents place in the middle-of-nowhere (Heerhugowaard), Holland. But he was nowhere to be found. I took the two hour train back to Amsterdam, where I managed to get hold of him on the phone and went straight back out again. We just had a coffee and then I went home, but it changed things for him. He’s fine now. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

But that’s considered weird behaviour these days. We don’t do this anymore – what happened to calling round your friend’s place to see whether they’re in or can ‘come out to play’? We’ve built our barriers so high – we guard our privacy, our fortresses, our santuaries…seeking sanctuary from what? Our own world? Our own friends? Is it really so rude to just drop by and see your mate? Relationships should be live connections, not ones kept at bay by caller ID and inbox filters. What is it about our lives, that time can really become too precious to spend it with the people we consider to share our lives? We live in separate boxes (well, they might as well be), and yet simultaneously physically we live in closer and closer proximity to each other, the communication web weaving ever tighter. Is this a spiralling Catch 22? Remote communication overload, yet the more we distance ourselves, the more we need to be in touch and the more aggressive the technology has to be to penetrate our protective barriers? Cities seem to be places where relationships struggle to compete alongside our everyday endeavours, relationships start and end with text messages and we’re strangers to our family and neighbours. And yet, it seems to me, cities play host to opportunity in multitude. Chance encounter and serendipity lie round every corner. Myriad possibilities. But we cocoon ourselves. Close ourselves off. Our lives are so compartmentalised, fragmented these days. It’s a dangerous condition.

Personally, my barricades generally tower strong and high, but if you look closely, there’s a small door and the path behind leads straight to the citadel – it’s like the eye in the Hebrew needle.  My friends have the key – and others, well they can always try their luck.  If you press an ear to the door, you may even hear a party going on;  today, I reached out of my little box (by SMS or course, I couldn’t actually speak to them) and contacted all my friends in town – we have to show this Mongolian boy a good time!

For what it’s worth…I prefer letters to e-mails, I prefer telephone calls to SMS, I prefer seeing a person to speaking to them on the phone. But, whaddddevvva, time is precious.  Anything is better than nothing.  If I have the choice, I choose immediacy and reality. I think I suffer from verbal diarrhoea.

Addendum to the addendum:
EVEN LATER PM To add to all this, Gans’ impending visit to Bristol reminded me to call a friend (ex-pat living in Mongolia) as he was meant to be in the country sometime soon.  Turns out that, at the moment that I called, he was literally shipping up into my hometown no less…we keep having spooky coincidences like that.  I don’t think I’ll expect anything less from now on.  Seems that Bristol is the gateway to the world this weekend!

This doodle is about a British condition…

“I know its coming there’s gonna be violence
I’ve taken as much as I’m willing to take
Why do you see we should suffer in silence?
My heart is broken there’s nothing to break”


Angel Cards. What on earth (or in heaven) are they about? This morning I selected/was given one. Everyone else had angels that would help them with specific things in their lives. I had the Archangel Raphael. He said that I was already a healer, like him. That has been said to me once before. And yet, I have just this moment killed a clothes moth with mine bare hands…will someone tell me just what or who am I meant to be healing?

You may or may not have noticed, that my humour can be dry. Forgive me – it’s in my blood, the Bristolian species are amongst the most sarcastic in the world. My tongue can often be found firmly wedged in my cheek. However, this much is true – open house in Bristol. More than a day’s notice, much appreciated.

Currently listening :
By Stevie Wonder
Release date: 21 March, 2000

Written by marnova

February 11, 2006 at 5:58 am

[Chip off the old blog] Einstein’s Space

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Current mood: thankful

Yesterday at work, we were in a bit of a fix and to bail us out, I ended up doing a shedload of complex calculations (hope I did ’em right!)  Delved into a part of my brain that I hadn’t used in oh so long…maybe 10 years.  For all my arty farty ways, I really miss solving maths problems.  There’s the rub.  I never consider any of my artistic creations to be finished and yet in Maths there’s always a solution .  You just have to find the way.  If only that ease was universal. 
There’s something very pure about Maths.  Sometimes I come close to understanding the obsession of Pythagoras and his followers.  They thought the secrets to the world were bound up in mathematical form.  It was clouded in mystery and illegality then.  Cloak and dagger – the truth has always been perceived as a threat.  We think now of science as de facto.  But there was a time when it was an art – in the period of Enlightenment, when Man was making sense of the world around Him; beyond fanciful belief, superstition and wonderment.  Having conquered the world’s penetrable territories, He tried to make sense of His world – being creative with the instruments, tools and techniques that were available to Him.  It was whimsical thinking for the rich and not to be taken seriously.  Science is now staunchly prized, by some, over art and vice versa.  Yet, how far apart are they really?  There are so many spillings over – light, pigment, composition, structure, understanding.  I’m not sure that Arthur Koestler was far off the mark in saying, “Einsteins space is no closer to reality than Van Gogh’s sky.”  In one form or another, we strive to impose order on the chaos that is our world.  If you beg to differ, you’re missing the point.

still remember when a substance with oval atoms was discovered.  I realised then that molecular theory was just that, a theory.  Just as medical diagnosis can be imprecise guesswork.  We long for explanations of why and our existence.  Put structures and rules in place to protect ourselves…from…I can only think ourselves and anarchy?  But we’re weaving ever more complex patterns around ourselves, creating questions that we can seek the answers to whilst actually, so many of us just yearn to sit still and be.  I  do like the comfort and protection of a family and society (that sense of belonging that every human looks for), but I need to make it work for me just as much as it needs its members to pitch in and contribute.  It’s the people in that community that make it – without them, it languishes and fast approaches extinction.  I don’t think it’s all or nothing by any means.  There is always a choice.  Live by the rules, break the rules, make your own rules, never read the rules in the first place.  There is no machine sucking us in, but the one we perceive and hold onto.  We freely hand over and supply the Power ourselves – out of fear of what else there may be.  The power needs to come back to the people.  Consciousness of action – that’s what I believe in.  It’s up to us what we embrace.
And to some, Maths still holds esoteric promises – I wish luck to Ilija, a Cypriot, obsessed with circles.  He was in pursuit of a reality that would be revealed by circular, not linear planes…his near-mystical quest for ‘reality’ has led him via the whirling dervishes of the Sufis and didgeridoo playing of the Aborigines. The next stage will take him to temples in the mountains to find the beginning of nothing (Zero).
My mind does wander so.  What is this all about?  I love art, I love science.  Am I boring you yet?
Half a scribble, my friend…


“Hilary went to the catholic church because she wanted information
The vicar, or whatever, took her to one side and gave her confirmation
Saint theresas calling her, the church up on the hill is looking lovely
But it doesnt interest, the only things she wants to know is
How and why and when and where to go
How and why and when and where to follow
How and why and when and where to go
How and why and when and where to follow”
“One foot in sea, and one on shore” – to quote the bard, which I don’t often do.

Currently listening :
Onda Sonora: Red Hot + Lisbon
By Various Artists
Release date: 20 July, 1999

Written by marnova

February 9, 2006 at 5:54 pm

[Chip off the old blog] WTF?!

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Current mood: amusedI don’t know that I shall ever forget the conversation I had with a complete and utter ignoramus I met at a party tonight:

“I’m from Hong Kong.”
“My dad is from Hong Kong.”
“Oh.  I thought you were Hawaiian. (Ha ha – another to add to my list)  Do you speak Chinese?”
“No, but I understand Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka and a little Mandarin”
“It’s a little like Hokkien” (actually it’s one of the predominant dialects in Hong Kong after Cantonese)
“Hokkien?” (blank look)
“Which part of Hong Kong are you from?”
“Hong Kong is a really small place”
“Not that small…(six times the size of Washington DC) 
Where are you from?”
“I’m from Kowloon.”
“Which part of Kowloon.”
“…”(blank look)
“Which part of Kowloon.”
“What do you mean?  Hong Kong is all one city.”
“What part of Kowloon are you from?  Sham Shui Po?  Kwun Tong?…Do you actually live there?” 
“I don’t know what you mean, it’s all one city.”
Eh?  There is more than one city. 
My father comes from the area near Yuen Long”
“…”(blank look)
“Do you actually live there?”
“Yes.  I go home every holiday…it takes thirteen hours to fly. Have you ever been there?” (blink blink)
“At least seven times…we have a house in our family village.”
(and even though I don’t live there permanently, I know friggin’ well that Hong Kong isn’t all one city!…she can tell that to the people working in the paddy fields round my village if she likes)
“…”(surprised, she looks at me as if she still thinks I’m Hawaiian and that I’m having her on)

And Joana – though I know it’s not quite the same, don’t you dare post saying that Malaysia is all one city and that Penang is a suburb of KL!!!  Or that England is all one big farm.

Addendum:  Spoke to my father about this.  Apparently a lot of people from the New Territories won’t admit this fact – because it all used to be peasant farmland.  Ironically, many of these villagers are now rich because their fields have rocketed in value…but the stigma remains (and village life has changed for the worse with no turning back, but that is another story).  Personally, I won’t ever understand this, it is where they are from.  It’s a crying shame if we run from what makes us who they are.

Currently listening :
By JJ72
Release date: 11 September, 2001

Written by marnova

February 6, 2006 at 1:01 am

Posted in Myspace Archive

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[Chip off the old blog] A bearded stranger with wildness in his eyes

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A murder in Patchway?  Times are a-changing.

I spent the evening helping out a friend the other day – cooked her some food for the week, carried her laundry…that kind of stuff. Her neck, jaw and shoulders had seized up and she was immobile.  Brought me right back to when I was 18, just before my second year of university.  One day I was fine, the next day I was in a wheelchair.  My back had gone on holiday without me. Inexplicable. 

I recovered, and my perspective started to shift (the words of Horace, “caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currant”). My soul ran across the sea, but my spirit didn’t change. Simple as that. 

Many a notebook I have filled with random ponderings.  In one, I wrote about amazing people I had met.  I wrote this, “He bridges the real and imaginary – making the unreal tangible, questioning the real. I only know his creations and a bearded stranger with wildness in his eyes.”  But he has been lost in my mind, and I am only left to wonder who this bearded stranger may ever have been.  In honour of him, some pages (scanned at random!) from one of these notebooks (not to be confused with any kind of sketchbook!).  They don’t amount to much, at all:

Control Perspective Perception Light of my life


A routemap Till the End of Otherworld 4 = infinity All life is here 'A day' event

These are never the quiet times

“Even if no sounds are being made, the echoes reverberate through the weeks and years.  Absolutely resounding in more ways than one.

Why do people search for silence in the way of Gaia, the earth mother – so that they can hear their thoughts more clearly.  There are always your throughts and somewhere under that…your heart beat.  The Earth’s beat.  Gaia’s beat?  A pattern beneath the chaos?  So these may not be the explosive times but they are far from quiet.”


“There is a man who has had his face sewn back together and I’m sure he sometimes forgets until he sees the horror and the people that don’t know where to look…I couldn’t even see into his eyes. I pretended I wasn’t looking but he had seen already.”

Dreamcatcher – catch me if you can.

“What is my dream?  And do I still have it?  Is it world peace or is it peace from my fears?  A clue about life?  Or does it all just come down to mutual respect?  Can you spend a lifetime treasuring it?  I think my dream is not to waste a moment. Live all that life will give me.  It’s about the choices and the answers to the questions.

Let’s play catch.”

“The road goes ever on and on and others follow it who can” – someone paraphrasing Tolkien

Currently listening :
Beyond Skin
By Nitin Sawhney
Release date: 14 December, 2004

Written by marnova

February 4, 2006 at 4:05 pm

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