About

I had a house in Africa. Not Karen Blixen’s farm. Just a house by the sea. On the western coast of Africa, near Conakry, Guinea. Growing up by the sea, for my sister and I, meant a wee bit of home-schooling and most of the day spent in the water. Swimming, fishing, playing pirates with an inflatable dinghy. Fighting jelly fish. Watching dolphins go by. Even a shark once! We stopped swimming just a couple of days. And went back to the sea, to watch the African boats passing by. The odd race by Ghanean canoes, paddling with golden oars.

The Equinox signals the highest tides of the year. Twice, in spring and autumn, the sea would swell, rise to the first steps of the house. Storms would bang the terrace. And we would go out, drenched (why do children love to play in the rain?) and face the high tides from a safe distance of a just a few yards. Magic. Pure and simple. Well, Africa was – and still is a bit – sheer magic.

This blog is about Magic. Fiction. Art. Africa and other places. Like I said: Magic.

 

Note: This is intended as a multi-language blog. English, Spanish (readers have been spared French so far!) I will try to publish one english and one spanish post every week, around thursday/friday. So if you don’t speak spanish, you’ll get an english post and vice-versa. Speak both? Get two posts. 🙂

Thanks for visiting. Gracias por visitar!

129 thoughts on “About

    • Well thank you Jamila. You’re only too kind. Ssieng your blog and others I’ve pushed the door of, it seems to me most if not all, weave some kind of magic. Children understand magic perfectly until they grow up and forget the way. Let’s keep the magic running. 🙂
      Bon week-end in Paris
      Brian

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for stopping by ‘The Bibulous Bibliobiuli’. Keep weaving the magic. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.
    Have a great week-end…:)

    Pankaj

  2. Hi Brian!
    Un poco tarde pero ya he llegado!
    De verdad creciste a la orilla del mar en un rincón de Africa? I love the sea…
    Keep in touch…
    Ilargia!

    • Hola Ilargia. (Ya no me acuerdo si contesté. Sorry!) Yes I did. Treasure island every day. 🙂 Pasábamos más tiempo en el agua que en cualquier otra actividad. Aparte de pelearme con el maldito “Monkey”. Check the picture in African Easter, on the left, with my little sister on the right, that was me. Buen fin!
      Brian

      • Hola Brian!
        Chequeado…
        Me he enganchado a Foglines….I need to stop Reading it now…But I will do it later…
        Have a great weekend!
        Ilargia

      • Hola Ilargia. La palabra “enganchada” me encanta. Thank you very much. When one writes “follies” that come of one’s head, (No I don’t hear voices!) the desired outcome is to… shake and hook the reader. Muchas gracias. Y de Foglines, vien más! Bonita semana.
        Brian

  3. What a wonderful way to grow up. So much adventure you must have had, not to mention all the culture you were exposed to.

    Thank you for visiting my site. Much appreciated!

  4. I am jealous- totally absolutely jealous! I so long to live on a house on any beach (clean)…. oh how i long to live right next to ocean. 🙂

    you had a priceless, wonderful childhood.

    The place where i grew up was great too, cant say it was not fabulous… our parents gave us total freedom and we used to explore the surroundings to our heart’s content, unfortunately i was only 11 when we left that place.

    • To live by the sea with the waves crashing on the shore to lullaby you into sleep has no equal. Beaches are not so clean’nymore, but India has a lot of sea. I’m sure you can escape for a few days not too far from Calcutta. Have you gone back to your old family house? (Never recommended!)
      Be good

      • no, i have not been there after leaving, i.e. in 2005, but the place i was born in was a railway quarter- a small place near famous Agra (tajmahal), it was a real small town with lots of open spaces-fields etc, and our parents allowed us to take long walks there…to add up my father had a great garden, so i will swap my childhood home with yours anytime but mine was not all bad.

        my ancestral home well is really cool, it was like a small hamlet in a town, really stuffy and busy town, even though i have completely detatched myself from my past i still love that house and my ancestral home number 2- in village… i will share some pix if i can shot them from photographs.

  5. no i am two hundred percent bengali, my father worked in tundla as a railway doctor. four of my siblings were born in rajasthan and two of us in tundla- me and my younger brother. 🙂

    I am hundred carat bengali- my ancestors were brought from Kanauj (a place in Uttar Pradesh) by a bengali king centuries ago, to uplift “caste system” we belong to the blue blooded kayasthas 🙂 and after that my ancestors became bengali and stayed that 🙂

    bengalis have three special categories [ 🙂 ] bengali muslims, bangals (the hindu refugees from bangladesh) and ghotis (Hindus whose ancestors belonged to west bengal and lived in west bengal during partition).

    I belong to the last category and since the first Kayastha came to Bengal to uplift caste system. Ha ha ha.

    • 🙂 How interesting. I Boogled it up: the Kayastha were a lterate scribe caste! You are following tradition! 🙂

      • best brains of bengal are kulin kayasthas (we are called kulin- because we upheld the caste system quite snootily in marriage- kulin kayasthas almost never married anyone else kulin kayasthas basu (bose), Ghosh (Ghose) and Mitra married amongst themselves…) but after the bangals entered west bengal everything changed it seemed when they crossed border everyone became either brahmin or kayastha 🙂 – cant blame them, if you have to leave everything then why not try some leverage… but they absolutely screwed up the caste system (for bad), too add up they often end up claiming they are ghotis… ha! they are really disturbed lot and try to accomplish everything under the table and then say that they succeed because of hard work… ha!

      • sorry before i get killed replace the starting part “best brains of bengal are kulin kayasthas” with “a hunge number of best brains of bengal are kulin kayasthas”

  6. I like magic, fiction, and art. You have the ingredients for an excellent blog. I’m excited to read more.

  7. Quite an interesting world out here. 🙂 Gotta press the button before I forget the link – I’m so absent-minded! 😳

    Just read your ‘Crows’, it all felt too real and was going to ask about that when I read about the waves of life and where they carried you around the world. Must’ve been heavenly, as a child, to live by the ocean. 🙂

    Anyway, I’ll be back (but I’m not the ‘terminator’ 😀 ) to check out all the rest, whenever possible. Keep it up, I like your style! 😉

    • Multumesc! (Mersi) for your kind comments. It was heavenly as a child. Also before all the violence in Africa.
      I’ll keep up the style. 🙂 (Not sure I have one, but thanks all the same.
      Buon finale di settimana!
      Brian

      • All the good things come to an end, they say. Some sooner than others. Unfortunately. It’s up to us to create other good things, otherwise all we’ll end up with is that place where it says: “Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’ entrate”. You can do that with your stories. 😉

        Grazie tante! Take care! 😉
        Dragoş

      • You’re only too kind about my stories. 🙂 But, yes, it’s up to us to create other good things. Working on a novel about that. 🙂 Take care!
        Brian

      • Non si bisogna lascare speranza!
        (Spending a week in Italy end of July. Will see if I can buy Dante’s Divina commedia and try to read it in italian!!!!)

      • Most important thing is for us to set (and respect) the markers for good and evil using the common-sense, not the power of money. Only then we know if whatever we build is right or wrong. 😉

        I really need to escape from this sense of constant exhaustion and start reading your stories carefully. Many great things there, for someone like me who never left the country. 🙂

        I’ve spent about three years in a row watching exclusively italian television (my girlfriend back then was desperate because of that! 😀 ) so I got to learn it pretty well. But that was… wow! twenty years ago. I can still watch an italian movie without a subtitle, lest it uses some dialect I don’t know. 🙂

        Alora mai perdere la speranza, heh? Vabbeh, ma lo sai come si dice: “la speranza e una buttana, perchè tutti vivono con lei” 😆 É uno scherzo, eh, non prenderlo male. 😉

        Io uno dovvrei leggere L’inferno, magari mi preparerà per il futuro (sia qui o nel’ altro mondo). “Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’ entrate!” 😀

        Have a good time on your italian trip and good luck with reading that book! 🙂

  8. I have not problem with any of the three mentioned languages 🙂 How come you speak all three of them? Which one of them says “magic” best to you?

    • French born in Pakistan, raised in Africa. That’s two, plus a bit of Swahili. Then took Spanish. Live in Mexico now. Picked up portuguese in Brazil, backpacking in the seventies. Un po di italiano nella abissinia! All languages when used right have magic: “Douce France cher pays de mon enfance”, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” (Frost), “Fala de amor Itapoa” (Caymi) Merci pour le suivi et bonne fin de semaine!
      Brieuc

    • I did see the movie. Then read the book. I used to ride horses near Karen Blixen’s house in Nairobi! Close to the Ngong hills.
      And when I saw the movie, after ten years of living in France I decided to go back “South” again! 🙂

  9. seriously? you are luckier than i thought! i have not read the novel, but adored the movie! its amazing! I love Meryl Streep- she is one actress and she and Robert Redford just made the movie magical!

    I loved the scene when that lioness was coming towards her and she was asking redford to shoot it, and the scene when she saw redford’s men on the train, standing on her stuffs and was trying to shoo them away 🙂

  10. Hey there~ I’m so sorry I just found your comments in my SPAM folder on my blog 🙂 I feel horrible for not answering ~ 🙂

    • Pas de probleme! I’m actually in italy right now so i’ve been a bit disconnected. How was your beach vacation! (‘Sides the great pictures) be good.
      Brian

      • Thank you. As for safety, the perils of traveling in Italy (done) and Paris (right now) are somewhat limited.
        The greatest risk for tonight will be opening a bottle of red wine (Morgon) for dinner.
        Be good.
        Brian

    • Thank you my dear Mituri for your kind words!
      🙂
      (And the follow!)
      ‘Will do my best to keep up the promise.
      Have a great week-end
      Brian

  11. What is your email id brian? My datacard is still dangling, it will be fun to exchange emails sometimes. 🙂

    Sharmishtha basu @mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

  12. You gor me hooked with the “magic” 🙂 Thanks for the follow that led me to your great blog. Ravie de faire votre connaissance et suivre votre magnifique blog. Et en plus en 3 langues, bravo! Plein de belles choses des Philippines, et au plaisir de papoter ici ou là ..

    • Oh les langues, dans mon cas, c’est des “maladies” qu’on attrape dans la rue. Je fais pas le tagalog, mais je me mets au Malais avec une E-Amie de Penang.
      Ravi aussi de faire ta connaissance. Philippine, Philippines, on doit avoir 13 heures de décalage. Ici il est 19:21, là-bas il doit être… 9 heures du mat’
      L’heure d’aller prendre un bain de mer avec les Attila.
      Bonne journée.
      Brieuc

  13. Wow! Your childhood sounds truly magical. Like something out of a storybook. Fighting Jellyfish! haha. Amazing!

    Great to finally get my “arse” over here and read your about page. And what an interesting one it is! I’ve been missing out!

    Your friend from chilly England, Amandine 😉

    • Welcome to Equinoxio. Door’s always open, and the light on. And for you I’ll add on a magical chimney with burning logs always. Warm slippers and a heavy woolen robe can be supplied free of charge on demand. A bientôt “Amandine”. (I see you’ve adopted the “surnom”) 🙂

      • Wow! Magical chimney and wooden robe. Sounds just divine! Count me in 🙂

        And oui! I’ve taken a shine to Amandine. Has a ring to it? Doesn’t it?

        Have a wonderful day 🙂

      • A wooDen robe might be a tad stiff. 🙂
        Glad you like Amandine, it has a sweet ring to it.
        And one can adapt one’s names at will, though they are chosen by our parents.
        (After all, Brian is not really my name…)
        A bientôt

      • 🙂 Sometimes typos can be quite poetic. I can imagine a Hobbit waering a wooden robe. 🙂
        (I also noticed that your writing is flawless… My compliments. I see so many horrors written -massacred – in french these days…)
        I’m lat on some of your posts. need to grab time, but lately I feel like Mr Lewis’ rabbit: “I`m late, I´m late!”
        So since i am not up-to-date in your post, I do hope you are ok, sorting things out.
        “Brian”
        😉

      • Why thank you. I’m glad you don’t spot all my typos 😉

        No worries about being Mr Lewis Rabbit. The story of my life! I understand. There should be 25 hours on the day – We would have enough time then.

        Things are much better though 🙂 I’ve got my smile back! Yay!

  14. I loved your “about” and enjoyed the pictures in your blog. You know what I loved above all? the curiosity that your pictures made me feel 🙂 Aun necesitamos unos posts en frances no? I ll start following 🙂 gracias por comparatir. A bientôt,

    • Thank you Ran. Or is it Kami? Now that I re-read your posts with greater care, I understood.
      La mayoría de mis posts son en inglés, tengo algunos en español, pero pocos, xq no tenían mucho tráfico. Voy a rebloguear algunos.
      Quant au français… Working on it. Mais la majorité de mes lecteurs sont anglophones…
      Where are you two from?
      Bonito fin de semana
      brian
      A +

  15. I feel glad to have discovered your blog, quite inspirational, magical and a great accomplishment you have done here that i really look forward to getting close to. You have beautiful posts everywhere, i look forward to reading more of your posts Bud. Cheers! from your new follower – Cezane 🙂

  16. Thank you for your comment 🙂 My blog is Porsche is a joke. A Kurdish rapper says that about ”his rap” because it’s so good ha. I don’t think many people will understand it. It’s a in-joke with myself.

    I write in German at the moment but I’m thinking of getting one in another language. I moved to Germany and thought it might be appropriate to write about the country in German ha.

    Thank you for the follow. Your blog is interesting. It’s nice to come across great blogs.

    Ha, I’m half-asleep. I forgot that you wrote me in German. I don’t know why I wrote you this in English 😉

    • Joke understood. Thank you for the “interesting” qualification. I will strive harder. And do keep writing in english (where are you from?) Ich kann nicht mir Deutsche sprechen… My German was always limited and I haven’t practiced at all. I pick up a word here and there. Take care. A bientôt. Brian

    • Idyllic yes. Fortunately we were spared the drama. Though there was around and after us. Come back any time. Light is always on. With a few logs in the – virtual – chimney. Cheers to you too.

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