Flirting in El Paso

Looking out my hotel window at dawn towards Mexico

Looking out my hotel window at dawn towards Mexico

This title is more innocuous than it sounds. I flirt with everything – cats that I meet, old ladies, young men. It must be part of my personality or I have inherited my Dad’s charisma. When I worked in community mental health, I developed a knack of getting people to trust me quickly by gently focusing on them and asking pertinent questions. You can probably imagine that if you are a guy and met me at a bar then you would think your luck was in…and it certainly would be, having the pleasure of my company (so humble, too).

Amazing bank with a bell tower, right under my window

Amazing bank with a bell tower, right under my window

I met a fellow blogger, Lisa on one evening and that was a delightful experience – see this post Kerry in the City. On two consecutive nights, I chatted to a charming Silver Fox at the bar who was in El Paso on business (the other Hispanic Silver Fox (Senor Fox de Plata) was just interested in sex….) Gringo Silver Fox told me all about his wife but clearly enjoyed the ‘flirting’ enhanced with a Scottish accent. We left at the same time and took the elevator upstairs. As we got to his floor, I bid him goodnight and he awkwardly hugged me and then ran away! Is my sexuality so potent that he was afraid I would drag him back to my lair?? He took me by surprise and I had a small concern about meeting him on the third night in case I had to gently turn him down. Actually, I am really tactless so it wouldn’t be gentle 😆

Roof top bar Hotel Indigo

Roof top bar
Hotel Indigo

On the third night, I was chatting to a fascinating guy. He was the lighting guy for Penn and Teller (Non-Americans might like to click on the red link), who were starring in the local theater. I learned a secret…Teller does actually talk, all the time! As we were laughing and talking, Silver Fox came up and said hello to me. I greeted him with a warm smile but as soon as he realized I was chatting to a much younger guy, he made an excuse to make a call and disappeared completely. Awwww – it was like being at high school💋. Lighting guy then had to leave so I just chatted to the bar staff until a very attractive woman came up and sat next to me.

She made a comment about the awkwardness of sitting at a bar – I am never awkward since my blessed tongue won’t stop even when I want it to! By the next drink we were sharing cosmetic secrets, love lives – it was a ‘bromance’ for girls!!! (Some how ‘sismance’ doesn’t do it) She was very well preserved, a couple of years older than me and dressed beautifully. Then we started telling each other how amazing we looked (for our ages). Somehow it was even more fun flirting with a heterosexual woman because you knew she wasn’t just saying it just to get your knickers off! We have since emailed.

I teetered off to bed, relieved but a little sad that I didn’t have to turn down the nice Silver Fox. I wonder if any of the bar staff said, “She could talk the hind legs off a donkey” or whatever the Spanish equivalent is.

PS. I found two Spanish phrases that might apply to me –

• En boca cerrada no entran moscas
Flies don’t enter a closed mouth
Meaning – Sometimes it’s best to keep your mouth shut

• Mucho hablar y poco decir juntos suelen ir
Talking lots and saying little usually go together
Meaning -Someone who talks too much, but actually doesn’t really say anything

Bunny and the dungarees

bunny-dungarees

I wish I had a photograph to illustrate this little tale. My childhood soft toys lived with me until I was about 40 years old (then they went to the dump toy heaven). I was particularly fond of Bunny who was given to me by my aunt Gretta. It must have been very expensive, plush white fur bunny with pink silk lined ears and the topper was that she was wearing blue striped dungarees! Bunny even held a little plastic bouquet of carrots. The stuffing seemed to be like fine sawdust and over the years it went down to her feet. Every so often I would give her a really good shake to distribute her stuffing properly.

I married young and the toys came to bed with us. My husband (aka Teddy) bought me endless new soft toys and his first gift to me was a human sized stuffed Panda as a late 21st birthday present. Then we got cats, so the poor old toys had to sit in Nana’s rocking chair. During the ’80s we lived in an old bank in the North of Scotland and the proportions weren’t quite right for a regular house. The upstairs hallway was as big as a bedroom with a huge window. I loved to see Bunny, Teddy (the toy) and all the others basking in the sunshine as I went up the stairs.

Bear in mind, I was in my ’20s so my hormones were raging with really bad PMT AND a mental illness… The first batch of cats was young and very, very naughty. They chased each other up and down those stairs like fairy elephants and also loved to bask in the sunshine. One day they had just pushed me to my limit – fighting and playing noisily all day, throwing up on the stairs, a stray poop on the carpet and general mayhem.

It must have been close to dinner time and I went upstairs only to see the upstairs hallway in disarray. Worst of all, poor Bunny had been taken off the rocking chair and somehow those bad cats had taken off her dungarees. Teddy (the husband) came home to find me sobbing inconsolably holding my poor naked Bunny in my arms. Through choking sobs, I said, “They took Bunny’s dungarees off”. He looked perplexed and said, “Who did it?” “Those bad cats!” was my snot filled response. I could see so many emotions passing over his face. “WTF?” “Oh Lord, she has her period!” “The cats??” He was struggling so hard not to laugh while kneeling down comforting me.

We both ended up laughing, of course. Bunny had her stuffing redistributed and the dungarees put back on. Order was restored to the upstairs hallway and the cats were forgiven…eventually.

A precious moment

istanbul abu dhabi 259

I was going to complete my week’s blogging with some more flower photographs but I had a precious moment today that I thought I would share with you. Those of you who regularly follow my blog know that I have been unwell of late and seem to be having a protracted recovery. This week I have turned a corner and regularly walk to the local cafe for a delicious cappuccino. It was previously a bakery and the owners retired. We were all excited that a new Argentinean bakery and coffee shop was opening.

It has been an instant success both with regular gringos and many different Latino people who live here. We have a local wealthy population of Latinos who have immigrated from countries that are unstable, such as Venezuela, and also from Mexico. I really enjoy hearing all the dialects chatting about how delicious the pastries are. They have a funny chalkboard outside that implores us to eat pastries because skinny people are easier to kidnap. The nice young man, who I assumed was Latino, asked me if I would like a pastry. I said, “I would but I am not going to…” The man next to me said, “Didn’t you see the sign outside saying skinny people are easier to kidnap?” We all laughed and I told them that I lived too close to the cafe to regularly eat pastries.

The young man asked me where I was from (Scottish accent) and I, in turn, asked him. To my surprise he said Jerusalem. “Arabie or Hebrew?”, I asked. His face lit up with delight when he realized I spoke a little Arabic. I wished him a good afternoon in Arabic and he beamed. Eventually (good coffee is slow) my coffee was ready and I thanked him in Arabic. He said, “It is so lovely to speak Arabic!” We forget that immigrants can feel lonely in their new country and, let’s face it, Arabic speakers are not particularly popular right now. I was always very grateful to Egyptian taxi drivers speaking a little English to match my little Arabic. Pay it forward, folks and have a good weekend!

Radio Static

radio

When I was growing up we didn’t have a TV – WHAT???? We had a huge radio that was the size of an old fashioned TV. In the UK, the hip radio stations were pirate radio that operated offshore on ships and they would change their frequency. That combined with your parent’s choice of music (blah MOR), you had to fiddle about with the dials to find a station with music worth listening to and often you would just get radio static. Occasionally, I was lucky enough to tune into Radio Luxembourg, which played all the latest hits.

Right now my followers might get blog static – sometimes I will be writing every day, then not for a while. Some days I will look at your blog but if I don’t, please excuse me. I will just be resting and waiting for the menopause to be over! My latest symptom is mini hot flashes – 30 seconds and they are over. It is utterly fascinating especially since I normally have lizard DNA – always cold out of the sun.

No mood swings, thank goodness, nor night sweats. How can you tell when it is almost 100 degrees and humid for the whole summer? 😌 Anyway, thank you for tuning in…more to follow.

Nikita and the flamingo

NIKITA

NIKITA

This is the adorable ‘poodle’ Nikita that friends of ours had brought from Azerbaijan to Egypt (via Kuwait). She was not 100% poodle but near enough that it made no difference. Our friends arrived in Egypt shortly after the second Gulf War broke out and had been evacuated from Kuwait. They needed to travel shortly after arriving and asked if we would look after Nikita in our villa.

I was delighted, Teddy not so much. At this stage we just had Mrs. Stripe, who was still very feral and living in the garden, so not our pet as such. Before we arrived in Egypt I had lost my mum and the two remaining elderly Scottish cats. I didn’t really lose them – they died… We had decided “NO MORE PETS!” Despite that, I really missed having little fur babies to cuddle.

So as indulgent aunt and uncle to Nikita, we spoiled her rotten. She came with her toys and food but we could tell that she, too, was traumatized by the recent move. Firstly, I insisted that she sleep in the bed with us, under the covers, because she might be frightened with new people in a new house. She was SO excited, Teddy not so much…

I noticed that she didn’t really play that much with her toys which included a pink stuffed flamingo. We decided that she might like a silly game. Our villa had an open staircase in the living area with a balcony. Teddy would steal flamingo and run up the stairs and dangle flamingo through the bars. Then he squealed in a high ‘flamingo’ voice, “Nikita, help me, help me!” I was at the bottom urging her to save flamingo from bad Teddy. She LOVED that game and would collapse in doggy giggles while rescuing flamingo. I would then praise her for her rescue skills.

Every day, when Uncle Teddy came home she would run to him with the flamingo in her mouth and the game would start all over. We had one small incident with jealous Mrs. Stripe who tried to scratch Nikita on the face – my leg got it instead. Finally mom and dad came back and I think Nikita was sad to leave us. The next week at work, Nikita’s Daddy said to Teddy, “You have ruined my dog. Why does she keep bringing me the flamingo and looking sad?” He probably wondered why Nikita wanted to sleep under the covers, too.

Ah, happy days and such a lovely memory especially since Nikita and her Daddy have both gone to heaven. Do you think they are playing the flamingo game in Heaven? Click on this link to read about my book, Letters from Cairo

Teddy and Nikita at the crime scene

Teddy and Nikita at the crime scene

The TV scolded me…

Retro TV

Bloody TV!

As many of my lovely followers know, I have a Scottish accent, although I was born in California and am AMERICAN! I work at an airport and am driven to distraction by all the comments about my accent. One Chinese gentleman, with a very thick accent, asked me to speak English….I kept smiling but inside I had jumped over the counter and done a ‘Jackie Chan’ move on him. Mostly, it is all to my advantage, with many, many propositions (some of them are from young, handsome men – the rest I won’t speak about). Unbelievably, I am understood better in Spanish where at least they pronounce their vowels properly. I have to make stupid YMCA signage to show an A or an E, smiling all the time…

Most people think I am Irish (almost right), Swedish (Ya, I can accept that), Australian (really?) or occasionally English (do you want a slap?). Starbucks is a nightmare, unless it is at my place of work, and then everyone knows I like a Vente Skinny Latte (I also have a name badge). At strange Starbucks my coffee can be labeled Kirsty, Katie, Carrie, Kumbaya – anything but Kerry and I still SPELL IT OUT. For some unknown reason Teddy, my husband, decided that we need the new voice recognition remote for our Xfinity system. It can’t understand a bloody thing I say.

The final, hilarious straw came yesterday when we were looking for new series that we had missed On Demand. We had enjoyed watching the last series of The Ship, so I pick up the remote and say “The Ship”. Up comes, “The S***” – Big Brother can’t have misunderstood cuss words on the TV! I started laughing and tried again – same answer. Finally, on the third attempt, the TV said, “Sorry, I don’t handle demands with that type of language. Try again”. WTF!! I was swearing like a sailor while uncontrollably laughing. The only way it would understand me was if I imitated a thick East Texan accent.

This is a link to a hilarious sketch by two Scottish comedians who are in a voice recognition elevator or lift. (Click on the red) You might not understand all of the words but I think you will get the gist and feel a little of my pain. All the Scots I know in Texas just have to say the word “Eleven” and we all fall about laughing. On our recent break to Tampa the fancy elevators, in the Grand Hyatt Hotel, had a Scottish accent. Every time it said “Going Down” I felt I was being propositioned by a Scottish call girl. I hope there were no cameras in the elevator because Teddy and I were being very rude about it. Not that it matters, they wouldn’t understand us anyway!

This is a link to my very well enunciated accent. Kerry chatting.

The Chicken Murder…

Feral chickens in Ybor

Feral chickens in Ybor

It’s Friday, the global market is falling apart so let’s have a laugh and get down to basics. As soon as Teddy got his job offer, I raced to the internet to book a short trip before he started work. It had to be somewhere hot, not raining and preferably with wildlife – so Tampa it was. In the next week I will give you a step-by-step tour but I just want to share this story.

We went to the old town of Ybor in the center of Tampa to look at the architecture and museum. I noticed all the chickens on porches of houses and businesses. It reminded me of Key West where you are not permitted to harm them. After we spoke to the museum ranger, she confirmed that it was much the same in Ybor. When the Cuban immigrants moved here they brought the practice of cock-fighting, so they banned any mistreatment of the chickens. Now they are feral, like pigeons, but much prettier.

The ranger went on to tell us that she was leading a party of museum guests (including children) when they heard a blood-curdling scream from outside. They all ran out to see a red tailed hawk blissfully eating his lunch (a young chicken) in the tree with blood dripping down into the courtyard. The city folks were traumatized but I almost fell on the floor laughing. It would have been a perfect opportunity to show that chicken nuggets don’t come that way and that the cute little baby hawks need to be fed, too.

On a more serious note, I am quite knowledgeable about animal husbandry both from living on a farm, having grandparents who were farmers and working in animal sanctuaries. I rarely eat meat and always try to eat happy meat. In Scotland, our butcher used to accompany all his animals to the slaughterhouse and then brought them back. On the chalkboard would be listed which animal you were eating today. This is why you should give thanks for every animal that has died to feed you. It was much the same in Egypt. One day you are living on the farm, next day you go for a little trip, someone chooses you and snap you are in chicken heaven. That is a much better life than most first world chickens.

Since I took such delight in the chicken murder, the ranger took us aside and told us about her sister in New York who is a teacher. They had a biology project where they children cared for a caterpillar that pupated and finally emerged as a beautiful butterfly. The children were so excited to gather in the playground to release the butterflies. As soon as they did, a flock of blue jays came and ate every single butterfly! Can you believe that they got counselors in? What the heck is wrong with parents today – you should tell your children where there dinner comes from and then there might be more vegetarians around. Again, it was a perfect opportunity to show pictures of fluffy little baby blue jays that also needed fed…

Teddy and I did wonder if the blue jays gathered at the school every year for the lovely buffet lunch that was provided by the kind children. 😉 HAPPY FRIDAY!!! Stop worrying about your stocks and shares, you could have been born a chicken – LOL!