lovely Rita, silverscreen goddess

Let’s take a weekend break from this coarse, brutish world and travel back to the mid-1940s of Hollywood.

rita bw one

Since watching the 1946 film, Gilda, for the very first time in January of this year, I have become subjugated by the beauty (inside and out) of Rita Hayworth.  Why it took me so long to see Gilda is beyond me, but everything about the movie blew me away, including the controlled, gritty performance of Glenn Ford.  Gilda is the role that defined Rita Hayworth.

ritahayworth

gilda2

But what a sad personal life she had.  Rita’s real name was Margarita Carmen Cansino and she started dancing at the age of 6 to support her family.  Throughout her teen years she was subjected to sexual and physical abuse by her father who was also her dancing partner.  She would be exploited by men for most of her life – in her personal life, her professional life and even in the onscreen characters she played.  Her five failed marriages included Orson Welles and playboy Prince Aly Khan.  She would maintain a lifelong friendship with Glenn Ford.  Her later years were marked with struggles with alcoholism and then the disease that ultimately took her from us in 1987 at the age of 68 – Alzheimer’s.

I wonder how Rita’s life would have been had she been born 20, 30 or even 40 years later.

Such was her talent, she could dance with the best of them (Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly). 

Here’s a short YouTube video showing best moments of Gilda –

Timbuktu

New York magazine – An urgent, visually striking film.

The Guardian – Searing and brilliant.

The New York Times – Breathtakingly beautiful.

Rotten Tomatoes – Gracefully assembled and ultimately disquieting, Timbuktu is a timely film with a powerful message.

Juliet in Paris – Wow.

Sissako’s passionate and visually beautiful film Timbuktu is a cry from the heart – with all the more moral authority for being expressed with such grace and such care. It is a portrait of the country of his childhood, the west African state of Mali, and in particular the city of Timbuktu, whose rich and humane traditions are being trampled by fanatical jihadis, often from outside the country.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

If you see this film in Paris, I suggest you go to the beautiful and independently-owned movie house, Le Balzac, just off the Champs-Elysées.  Below is a trailer of the film and below that, Le Balzac website.

http://www.cinemabalzac.com/public/affiche/film_semaine.php

la journée internationale de la femme

Below is an article from today’s Guardian that lists, in their opinion, the ten best feminists.  As I was reading it, I thought to myself – why are there no men on this list?  And then, at the very bottom, I saw that one man had been selected.

There are many men on this planet who are feminists.  Just as there are many women who are not.

My father was a feminist, bless him.  “You can do anything….and your mother and I will support you” is the message I received growing up.  I was encouraged to travel, broaden my horizons, see other cultures, learn other languages, and, in general, get an education.

“l’émancipation des femmes passe par l’éducation”

“women’s empowerment involves education”

That’s my message on International Women’s Day and in that respect I pay homage to Malala Yousafzai who, while on her way home from school in 2012, was shot in the head by a member of the depraved Taliban group; medieval degenerates who, among other things, force women to wear sacks over their bodies.  At age 17, Yousafzai is the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate and an activist for female education.

But males need to be educated too.

Education, for both girls and boys, women and men, is a first step to freedom from oppression and ignorance.  Because oppression and ignorance are prisons.  As is poverty.  As are those sacks that women are forced to wear over their bodies.

Plus les hommes seront éclairés, et plus ils seront libres.

The more enlightened people are, the more they will be free.  (Voltaire)

Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.

George Washington Carver

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/mar/06/the-10-best-feminists

coconut balls and Paleo

coco balls

My Swedish friend….or rather, my slim Swedish friend….has been following the Paleo diet for a few years now.  He says it’s more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle.  Below is his recipe for coconut balls.  They are raw, delicious and packed with protein and good fats. 

Clueless as to what Paleo was, I did some googling and came up with this –

the Paleolithic diet – what our hunter/gatherer ancestors ate.

In other words, the caveman diet.  Everything you can hunt, fish, grow or pick.  (Somehow, though, I can’t imagine our Paleo ancestors making coconut balls.)

The Paleo regime includes:
– Meat
– Fish
– Plants
– Vegetables
– Fruit
– Nuts and Seeds

What the Paleo regime doesn’t include is refined carbs as in flour, sugar, bread, pasta, rice and other white foods which have no nutritional value whatsoever.  Anything made from white flour is banished (high carb, high calorie, high glycemic index, highly processed).  Bye-bye crusty baguette, pain au chocolat, linguine, pizza, breakfast cereals and a dozen other things that, frankly, I don’t miss at all.  Last week a work colleague brought me a baguette sandwich for lunch.  I opened it up, ate the chicken, tomato and lettuce inside and didn’t eat the bread.  I’m totally off white bread and pasta.

Pancakes on the weekend?  Take one ripe banana, mash it up with one or two eggs in a bowl, add a small amount of almond milk and coconut flour, cook in a skillet and they’re more delicious than regular pancakes.  Serve with fresh fruit and drizzle with organic honey or maple syrup.

My resolution for 2015 is to lose 8 kilos (17.6 pounds), so in January I enthusiastically embarked on the Paleo diet.  In the first week I lost one and a half kilos (3.3 pounds).  Two months later I can say that I have loads more energy, clearer skin, clearer eyes, a flatter stomach and my lower back pain has diminished.  It’s like all that white food was dragging me down, bloating me, and holding back my energy potential.

Back to the coconut balls, which were a big hit at the office by the way.  Did I mention they’re great with coffee?  Recipe below as well as some Paleo links.

ball

  • 10 dates
  • half a litre of almonds (I mixed almonds with pistachios)
  • (half a litre is 500 grams, 17.64 ounces or roughly 2 cups)
  • half a litre of shredded coconut
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil (organic)
  • 3 tbsp of cocoa (the real powder stuff)
  • 3 tbsp coffee (as in the liquid state after making a cup of coffee)
  • orange zest (optional)

Mix dates and nuts in a food processor.

Add the other ingredients and mix to a smooth dough.

Form balls then roll them in (additional) shredded coconut.  Chill in fridge or freezer until ready to serve.

http://paleoleap.com/paleo-101

http://www.thepaleodiet.com

http://livingpaleo.com