Figo the Adventurous Squirrel

17 01 2009

I want to introduce you all to Figo ,a very brave and downright crazy squirrel who lives in the tree outside my bedroom window.  Now Figo is no ordinary squirre.  This is not to say that other squirrels are ordinary.  Oh no, far be it from me to commit such a travesty.  I know any number of upstanding, patriotic and fine squirrels who would make their country and neighbours proud if their exploits ever reach the outside world. 

Squirrels understand the role of the media in propagating and projecting an aura of reason, rationality and sensibility upon a species and they are working on it, of course making time for such extraneous activities, however important for the cause of Great Squirreldom, is a very big challenge for the squirrel community at present. 

However I digress.

Back to Figo. 



Now Figo is quite the acrobat.  He’s always ready to jump around and switch the chivalry on to impress the ladies.  Now I appreciate a fellow like that.  Shows class, real class.  It’s not uncommon to see Figo racing to the topmost branches of the trees around the park in pursuit of pigeons (ugly, overweight nincompoops).  This presents its own difficulties in time, as watching the branch bend over to form a circle will find him hanging precariously.  But he never screams for help, even though a battalion of his comrades can be seen ready in position (formation 24 – 3 – 4 – 3-2-2) to save him.  No…Figo decides to take matters into his own hands by running, yes running the length of the branch (what remains of it..) and jumps (*gasp*) to land…cool as a cucumber….on the ground.  He’s not moving…probably broken his spine…but that’s the spirit. 

You can watch him limping off into the sunset.  Incorrigible.


Marquez on Monday

5 01 2009

The sight of the sun breaking through the cloud of mist hanging in the air cheered me up and strangely reminded me of the day Jose Arcadio Buendia took Aureliano to see ice.

Easily one of the greatest books ever written in the 20th century, One Hundred years of Solitude, is a magical tale that weaves the effects of political, historical and social turmoil throught the lives of one incredible family – the Buendias. Gabriel Garcia Marquez won a Noble Prize for this novel, but this is not the reason why I am writing this review. The novel is written in a fashion that is all his own, devotees of Rushdie often claim that he writes in the same manner, but that’s hogwash. Marquez’s words naturally flow in an insane, boisterous ride of passion, feeling, and mad adventure while Rushdie’s often feel like a stuck record. The novel starts with the scene of an execution and a memory that plunges the reader into the past, and the beginning of Macondo, the town where the novel is played out. From a child’s first vision of ice in a tropical land, to a community in exile due to a duel gone horribly wrong, to a Spanish galleon stuck in the middle of desert, One Hundred Years of Solitude binds the mundane with the fantastical. The book winds through four generations of Buendias, who are the ounders of Macondo. Every generation brings a different set of values and all these values clash against each other even as the country plunges into civil war. The novel also holds a mirror to real events that happened in Columbia during the 1970’s. A workers strike and the subsequent massacre that took place and then was wiped clean off public memory. Memory and remembrance play a huge role in the novel as characterswho have died are remembered through memory and suffer a second death when those that remember them have also died. The novel is a thrilling adventure, from the first page till the last. It’s a mystery, a thriller, a epic romance, and a political critique.