Signs of a Woman’s Touch

trying to bring beauty into life

For the decade we have lived on our compound, our Nepalese gardener has trimmed the trees and mowed the playground’s lawn.  Like ranch hands in the West, he and the other men labor and live together, sharing a kitchen.  If he does have a family, he sees them every two years when he returns home for a vacation.

Gardening is a euphemism for what he does.  The lushest gardens are tended by residents’ hired help.  His real, money-making job is after hours when he washes cars.  During the day, this man silently wanders between the garden walls, chatting on his phone, avoiding his boss.  Often I find him crouched in the shade, half hidden, behind a tree.  Lately, he has been particularly preoccupied.

I think he is in love.

There are a few, tell-tale signs.

He has been strutting, not just shuffling, between the houses with a smile on his face.

Known for “supervising” his younger co-worker, who lifts the heavy trashcans onto the trolley and wheels it out the front gate, he has been seen carrying plastic shopping bags for a sari-clad woman.

A silk flower was planted between the bricks outside his door.

And someone placed a vine stem in a vase, hoping it will grow roots.


You Can’t Be Grumpy When Julio Sings

The last three days I have been feeling quite grumpy.

It’s because I am having to come to terms with the age-related adjustments I must make to my yoga practice.  As I watch my young teacher bend, bend, bend, my ego is having difficulty accepting that I cannot mimic her without injuring my knees, back or _____   (insert nearly any body part).

Perhaps next week.  If only I stretch a little further……..

Last night Mojo and I attended Julio Iglesias’ concert at the Arad Fort.  He came to Bahrain as part of The Spring of Culture.  Even though I only knew his “All The Girls I Loved Before” duet with Willie Nelson, we both agreed the show was terrific.


The good news was his voice is still strong.  And he was still surrounded with young women whose legs sliding out of their evening dresses trounced Angelina Jolie on the red carpet.

HRH King Hamad was impressed too.  He presented the 69-year old Spaniard an award for his prolific musical achievements.

I can only imagine Julio must be pretty grumpy today after the local newspaper featured his award on the front page.  Why? The photo was taken from his left side.

Based upon his myriad of publicity shots, Julio prefers his right side.  Even in his younger days, he entered the stage from the left and sang to his partner so his right side faced the audience.  The same was true last night.  His three sinewy backup singers all stood on the right side of the stage.

After flying in from a concert in Moscow and two nights outside in the Bahrain winter, I hope today he is resting and not obsessing about the photo.  But I know as I watched him carefully execute his choreographed moves, his age was on his mind.

“I am 47 years old” he joked with the audience.

He pretended his water was vodka.
When his saxophonist offered him a scarf, he turned it down, shouting “I feel terrific!”

Wearing only his suit jacket, he sang for an hour and a half while being pelted by an icy desert wind.

Watching him I wondered “at his age, why is he subjecting himself to this?”

Today I went to see my young hairdresser after a two month hiatus.  He looked at me and said, “You look great.  Have you lost weight?”

“No,” I said thinking a moment.  “But I have been immersed in my yoga training since January.”

“I have never exercised.  My doctor told me I should do yoga.  Everyone says yoga is excellent for you.” He continued, “You look different, better.  After seeing how you were walking, I am motivated to find a yoga class for me.”

I was so pleased.

“Yoga is great,” I agreed.  And thinking about Julio telling us how his music came from his heart and how much he enjoyed singing to people around the world, I added,

“And always do what you love.  That will keep you feeling young.”


Tales by Chapter

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