Marnova – of and from a wandering mind…

Marnova's musings on life, media and Mongolia

Posts Tagged ‘relationships

Warrior days

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Now, I never thought I’d be inspired by anything Clive Owen said or did, but inspired and heartened I was by his views on monogamy and family.

Clive Owen as King Arthur

In this fickle age where marriages can last days or months and relationships come and go faster than fashion fads, commitment is a rare thing. With co-stars like Angelina Jolie and Eva Mendes finding him sexy, it’s refreshing to read that he says he would never have an affair…

“I so value what I’ve got at home with my wife and kids that I’ve never f**ked with that…For me, that’s what it’s about…My relationship is everything to me…I’m often doing incredibly exciting plays and films, but that would mean nothing if I were floating around and didn’t have a solid family behind me. Sarah-Jane is an absolute diamond.”

I’m excited that any modern man can feel like that and honour and cherish their family above all else. Oh, and he is finally turning into a reasonable actor too. Watching his recent turn as King Arthur, it made me wonder where the warriors of our world have gone – those men who fight for love and cause with braveness and integrity. There is no modern day equivalent and all women can weep for that.


Written by marnova

April 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm

[Chip off the old blog] The Ghost of Meredith Kercher

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Meredith Kercher was murdered last Friday

She had recently arrived in Italy from South London, an Erasmus exchange student for a year.  Sharing her house a good University friend (not mentioned in the article) of my sister’s, who apparently found Meredith’s body. 

I can’t imagine what it must be like to bear witness to a brutal crimescene, let alone your housemate who you were just about to embark on the biggest adventure of your life with. 

This brought me face to face with some experiences from my past.  And surprisingly, not the bad ones, but some of the best.  It struck me that I…we all…seek connections (sexual or otherwise) and I don’t think it is coincidence that, for me, the most sublime of these encounters carried the most risk.  And whilst it could have resulted in a headline as tragic as Meredith’s, 8 years on, it is something that I will never regret, in fact cherish above almost any other memory. 

It’s not that I consider myself a risk-taker, but at times one has to have more faith in humanity than would otherwise be considered prudent.  These moments we seek…are there to be found, but to make these connections, we need to strip back the layers and expose ourselves, whether emotionally or physically.  A human is a rare thing indeed – what other animal is as vulnerable as us in its natural state?  We wouldn’t even survive in the elements, let alone being hunted.  But still, without the risk of exposure, there is no reward.

Is this the human condition?  To seek out the solution to this paradox – to find those rare people, who don’t blow cold wind your way when you strip a layer back, but warm your heart so for the both of you, the layers fall away by themselves?  It’s a risky game.  To one side, a precipice where all that is sinister about mankind resides, and to the other – the promise of eternal ecstasy.  I suppose there is no choice – to try to walk the razor’s edge.  Or live our lives in shades of grey.

RIP Meredith

BELOW: This couple that I came across on recent travels – they’re naked, walking the razor’s edge. And doing it well.

Currently listening :
Ripen / Dem
By Murat Salim Tokac
Release date: 01 September, 2004

Written by marnova

November 8, 2007 at 7:35 pm

[Chip off the old blog] Sagacious Solomon?

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Bugger.  Was in London for much of last week and did a photographic blog of one of the days when, amongst other things, I met up with an American guy I hadn’t seen since I met him at a party 10 years ago.  Shooting-from-the-hip on the South Bank, the grime and grit north of Clapham Junction.  But the memory card has corrupted.  Damn.

Instead, there is this.  Is the internet making the world a cheaper place? ask AOL in promotion of their discussion forums.  (if that’s not asking for some babble, I don’t know what is) Single-handedly, no.  Perhaps in bed with competition and globalisation.  A significant part for sure, not least establishing a common language.  So much for academics and their Esperanto.  A truly dead language.  Power to the real people.  We shop, live, eat and drink on the internet, but are we really getting the bargain that we perceive when we look around us and see an ever fragmented society and strangers for a family?  In our culture of materialism, we value a discount, but would you have bought that CD if it weren’t on offer and what human has paid the price for the clothing on your back to be available for a song?

But getting back on track, the internet has devalued communication, relationships and when it comes down to it, human beings.  No one makes the effort anymore.  It’s ALL too convenient.  The world is a hyperlink away.  No one even makes real arrangements to meet, “txt me when ur there  I’ll c if I can join u” = “I’ll see if I get a better offer”, we catch up via annual round robin e-mails and don’t even know the last names of those we call our friends.  Friendships end on e-mails incorrectly identified as spam, relationship start and end with txt msgs.  Our worldly desires wait for us on the world wide spider web, with us ensnared at its heart.  But where is the traditional cornershop?  The pub where everyone knows your name?  The quest for a rare record made all the more savourable by the insane odds stacked against its discovery?  Even academic concepts are devalued by the collective wealth, when really they have taken just as much effort, observations and calculations to arrive at as in the past.  It’s not just about love for le object, but the experiences that make our lives.  I don’t care for collections or grand shows…I crave real people, real experiences, real touch.  Forget communication, we live in a disposable age.  Who cares to maintain a friendship when we can always find new ones in an instant (message)?  But can they be there when you need a shoulder to cry on and theres a power cut?  Can they give you a real hug when you need it or get out of bed to pay for your petrol at 4am in the morning when you’ve forgotten your credit cards?  Who can’t just block you or ignore you with the click of a mouse?  Whose circle of friends does not involved a list onscreen?  Don’t undervalue these acts and people.  And when you find them (via whatever means), hold on to them…they are what life is made of.  Read your Little Prince (Antoine de St Exupery) and understand that those close to us are special and precious because, just as they have left their marks on us, we make them who they are.  That and our world is an markedly ephemeral one.  I look back and remember a letter I wrote to a stranger and somehow, some magic was carried in those words for him.  He carried it in his pocket for two months and unwittingly it changed his life.  The power of physically written words.  And yet, I haven’t sent a personal letter in the past two years.Are we so scared of engaging with life that we can’t talk to each other anymore?  What are we scared of finding out about our world and ourselves?  What has the world come to if we can’t talk to each other, can’t greet each other on the street, ask questions when we’re curious and when we only feel safe communicating at a distance?  I’m not saying that our pursuit for friendship should be restricted solely to those who are physically close to us, nor those who remain virtual.  Good people are hard to find whatever the means.  But effort needs to be invested into making, and keeping, them real.  That means honesty and integrity, not perfection we all have our own lives to lead and the mere word human is synonymous with fallibility.  But flakiness does breed upset and paranoia.  Would Earl need his lists and Buddhists look to karma (apologies if I blaspheme) if we weren’t so bound by expectation?I don’t want to cocoon myself in remote safety, I want to go through the highs and lows, share the laughter and tears, veer between disappointment and elation, lean on my friends, be the rock.  Yes, humans are fickle, but we need to stay close (at least at heart) – remoteness breeds distrust.  Throughout, we need to maintain trust or die alone.  We build our barriers ever higher but who are we trying to keep out?  Is the reality that we are furiously bricking ourselves in (and indeed, bricking it!)  If only we would peek over these walls of our towering Babels, we would see that in the faces of our neighbours, our own fears are mirrored.  None of us are so different.  A man, Tenzin Gyatso, once said that all can appreciate compassion (  It is the one thing that unites us.  Levels us.  Humbles us.  We can’t live as islands, a network of trust must exist.Yes,  you can indeed buy everything on the internet – a schoolgirl’s virginity…even humans.  At what price?  I certainly wouldnt call it cheap.

BTW you should know me well enough to know that I’ve been plugged right into the net since Year Zero. On my terms, I’d like to think.  It’s not a way of life.  And that, I hope, can make all the difference. 

Song thing ain’t working – I’m listening to Mr E’s Beautiful Blues by The Eels

**************************************************************************Star Wars-esque conversation from last week:

“If there is this bigger entity, you shouldnt be trying to butt heads with it.”

“I’m not trying to.”

“It will destroy you.”

“I’m not trying to.”“You should divert the energy and move with it.”“Errrrr…”

Written by marnova

April 19, 2006 at 1:12 am

[Chip off the old blog] Hungry?

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Have just had an awesome few weeks with a good Mongolian friend.  A conversation we had:

“When I marry, I will try to be faithful.  But I definitely won’t take a mistress or a lover…I will just have sex with different women.”

“Because it’s so hard to be faithful?”

“Would you be happy eating the same food for the rest of your life?”

“That would depend on how much I loved it.”

“Cultural difference?”

For him – having sex was like eating.

Then last night I watched a documentary about the Bonobo monkeys in the Congo.  Peaceable creatures unlike their close relation the chimp;  the commentary theorised that because the Bonobo have sex at every possible opportunity – even mid-charge, it took the aggression out of their daily life. 

Left me with a few thoughts.

The worst translation ever?
“Since October 16 2002 on Aeroflot flights over 5 hours the most small passenger – an childrens before 2-h years is given baby road set, in composition which enter the subjects a hygiene and first need during journey of the tot.” – from the official Aeroflot website

Now playing – Okna Tsaham Zam, Shaman Voices (cool guy from Kalmykia…)

Written by marnova

March 9, 2006 at 6:08 pm

[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