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Light Box

According to the “smart” metallic device I have, that knows the worldly weather via numbers and little icons, mine currently shows as of today that, Moscow is at -5, London at + 8 and here it is a muggy 30, accompanied by a lightening symbol.

It also seems to predict that this is concurrent for several days.  It must be right, as the red sky at night, was an abundance of distant strobe flashes as if god was switching the heavenly lamp post lights on and off in random, aggressive progressions. What was blind to us in the black domain suddenly came into being. According to my geography, when I left the beach in the afternoon the skies off to the East were of a thick, darkish soup variety and the usual dash to the West to see the sun enveloping the ocean with its kaleidoscopic camouflage,  just never happened. A rare lost cause. The ocean was like a duck pond, not even the motion of the waves were felt and I could easily see the minefields of sea urchins lining up to detach their limbs into the undercarriage of some unsuspecting sea walker.  I could see them unaided, even though this time, I had brought with me some swimming  goggles, which mostly I utilise for stopping the piss and chlorine combination burning my eyes in public pools.  It was my first excavation into the sea using them as it had been a bit cloudy to perceive a great deal recently and I prefer not to see too much anyway.  I find it slightly unnerving to comprehend novelty things like, lonesome turds, sea cucumbers, beach bums, angry crabs, jelly fish, pygmy seahorses, diced carrots, frog-fish(check them out) flamboyant cuttlefish, flamboyant swimwear, tampons, sharks and these sea hedgehogs. In fact, it’s almost everything as I do not fully understand this strange innovative world, were there are no fat food joints like mc doughnuts or murderkings. Especially when you add to it items that do not belong there in the first place.  Adding goggles is like watching a 3D version of the exorcist on acid. (Still can’t watch that film:)  
 
Plastic bags touching me on the back, head or somewhere else I can’t see them,  are enough to induce a marine panic attack of magnitude and propel me off in a frenzied 100 metre dash, resembling Mark Spitz on crystal meth when I am unaware they are just that.  All this has to do with the memories of Swimming in the sea near to Kanazawa of the coast of Japan, when I swam into a smack of jellyfish. Which at the time, felt like going into a sea full of additional salt with multiple gaping wounds, I came out looking as if I had spent the night with Madame whiplash . Suffice to say, it’s haunted me ever since. I met a wise old man at the local Onsen (hot spring) were I went to see if the local natural chemicals in the waters could supress the lesions, he suggested to me that pee was the natural pain killing potion for said infliction’s, but that is a whole other story. This is a story about the elements, not all, yet to find the one about metal, though I do hear Christian metal out here, and that is very weird to me.  
 
A quick check on the general weather also provides the braking news of a warning of a great storm approaching. Typhoon Melor. The weather bureau believed Typhoon Melor had intensified into a category 3 storm overnight, with reputed winds of up to 220 (135mph) kilometers per hour. Tropical cyclones are a frequent invader here and as we all know have caused some severe devastation to land and its population.  They used to name storms or typhoons after women, Like Winnie, Kate, Babs and Betty but now this sexist practice of name calling has been noted by the PC brigade and any name will do, but mostly they are named now after plants, food or others objects, though they have been known also to have been called after the name of the towns they hit. Therefore the word Bagyo, is the Filipino word denoting a typhoon which was aptly named after the great storm of 1911 that hit the city of Baguio.   Whoever’s job it must be to come up with these names must have a whole encyclopaedia full of them by now, as there are a lot of land hits all over the Philippines. There were as much as 36 storms recorded in one year alone.  As I walked around yesterday, all I saw on TV sets was the depiction of this storm looking like a one eyed monster,  as this giant red whirling pool spun around out of control,  making  its journey across land along the northern territory of the Visayas and out to the southern edge of Luzon. Oblivious to this, I lay in my oceanic paddling pool, contemplating and rejuvenating, as these heavyweight clouds loiter, shadowing the islands off into the expanse beyond, formulating themselves as if they were a solid mass, hugging the hilly terrains resembling an overweight futon. In the half light, it is difficult to gauge which is which. The mountains seem to have grown in magnitude resembling volcanic eruptions and every time you look away and then back again, the vision is evolving. Vapours forming into the shapes of nuclear mushrooms are reminiscent of nature’s wrath, as a reminder of the severity of past destruction. 
 
The most devastating tropical cyclone to affect the Philippines is thought to have been the Haiphong typhoon which is estimated to have killed up to 20,000 people in September 1881. With the hindsight of meteorological accounts, the most recent deadliest storm was Typhoon Haiyan, known here in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda, which became the strongest land hitting tropical typhoon ever  recorded when it passed over the Central Philippines on November 2013. I remember the vivid images portrayed as these inadequate structures most can only afford to live in here, would be treated as if they were formulated out of pieces of paper and fixed together with glue as natures furry with winds of up to 190 mph, crushed them to a paper mache sludge.  Image that? The poverty here in some places is gut wrenching as I know I’m in a paradise bubble, I have many views on what I think might change things, but who am I?  

As I speak another storm is coming. A tropical depression, locally named “Onyok”, was heading for the southern island of Mindanao as Melor moved further out to the South China Sea after claiming at least 20 lives, the government weather bureau reported Thursday. Today its Friday and the sky is that colour again!
 
Let’s add some classical music as a backdrop and set the scene further, with a deep purple skyline. There is a “fire in the sky”. I am inferring I enjoy electrical storms.  I am not suggesting I like super typhoons in any way, just the spectacle of viewing the heavens electricity in motion is interesting to me. So much so, if I can I like to go to watch them.  I am no nut job storm chaser, but given the choice of an evening in to watch easterners (doesn’t deserve a capital letter) or an evening out to watch Cumulonimbus. I know which gets my heart pounding vote. Spain just so happens to get some incredible cloud fights in late September of which purposely, I have arranged myself in prime locations to go and see some of these fiestas, as the angry gods party hard into the night, splitting the atoms . The observation from the highest point of Menorca is El Toro, located in Castilian, is just one of them.  At the height of 358 meters, overlooking the ocean as the storms brewed and rolled in from the African sub-continent, the view is in inordinate, where lightening battles have been imprinted into my brain, conductivity in motion, in trepidation my body feels alive as if I connect with it, body hairs expanding to the friction of the energy in air.
  
Enough doom and gloom, there’s a whole in my bucket! Dear Liza. Where’s the karaoke machine when you “REALLY!” need it.  (Yesterday, I heard a guy trying to sing “I will always love you” by Witney Houston, but this version was accompanied by not only himself, but with Johnny Walker and not it was not in the same key, if only I had a gun!)   Yes, the world is falling to pieces all around me, but my very useful, pail is finished, and I am no Henry.  As I sweat away the midday moisture, there seems to be no amount of inward flowing fluid that seems to stay put or cool me down. My bucket was not only used for washing my clothes with, but also used as a showering device. There is a shower already here; it is just that the water that courses from it is outside high up upon a scaffold that receives the maximum amount of sunlight a vessel could. Consequently, it is warm when I need it to be cold.  I have taken to filling my bucket with frozen ice which I now make religiously every day from old fruit juice containers that I fill up and freeze along with Mr Miguel. (Sometimes) There are now 3 of these receptacles taking over the limited freezer compartment. I was so keen to hose myself down today, that I ended up getting in the container so as to save the water for the next 20 minute session. This ritual normally starts around 11.30 and concludes around 3pm when it’s cool enough to hit the road. It really comes into effect with the added feature of a fan. So adapting the posture of a lazy seal, I bask, very pleasurably, for periods until the process has to be repeated. If you haven’t tried it before I thoroughly recommend it. In fact,  I have been doing  this for a long time now, and even when I do not possess an ice box,  I will somehow, or someway procure the crystallized water in one way shape or form! I used to buy it for 5 pence a bag from the convenience stores of Thailand.  Now, like the song there is a moral to this story, which will be concluded at another venture, dear Liza.

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