More than a year in Provence

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I received a message from a friend the other day explaining how she had read something I wrote a while ago about my adventures of moving to France, and the epic trek I made to school everyday (even Saturdays!) for almost 2 years. She had found the story on another of my previous blogs which I had failed to update for a long time. So, I dug the tale out of its dusty interweb cubby hole and spruce it up for a re-publish here.

It has been a goal of mine to write all about those golden years of living in a foreign country, but life throws so many other obstacles in your path that such an achievement is yet to become a reality…

The scene at the bus stop was like Vietnam Veterans at a Wham video shoot.

Click here to read More than a year in Provence – Planes, trains and automobiles

Acronyms

CREAM
ac·ro·nym  [ak-ruh-nim] –noun
1. a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words, as Wac from Women’s army Corps, OPEC from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or loran from long-range navigation.
2. an acrostic.
–verb (used with object)
3. to make an acronym of: The committee’s name has been acronymed MIKE.

Thinking up acronyms is good fun but it’s also very difficult. You need to explain something using the letters that spell it out and in their correct order of course. Rappers have always been attracted to good acronyms, but few can pull it off. The Wu Tang Clan (Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game) were masters of the acronym and managed to create entirely new words to the lexicon of street life; a technique immortalized in their hit single C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rulez Everything Around Me) which designated the hunger for greenbacks. But the Wu weren’t the only lyricists spelling out their name in acronyms, the late great Keith Elam of Gangstarr was best known as Guru (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal), LL Cool J let the world know that Ladies Love Cool James and Bronx legend Fat Joe placed the warning out to other rappers with his self-titled album Jealous One’s Envy. An honourable mention goes to Boogie Down Productions frontman KRS-One who, whilst cleverly using his real first name Chris, proclaimed himself as Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone (?). I think that last understatement is fairly humble for a rapper of his stature. Ha!

So, to follow in suit with these skilled wordsmiths, I thought I would see what my initials RLD could stand for:

  • Real Life Drama: Luckily my life is not like Jack Bauer’s, but rappers do like to recite tales that sound like scripts for The Wire.
  • Reign Like Drops: Clever play on words, not that it means much.
  • Ralph Loves Danger: To some extent yes, but if I can make it to the corner store hassle-free then I’m happy.
  • Rhymes Like Diamonds: A clever metaphor to describe the value of my words. I also like the subtle repetition on the “Rhy / Li / Di” sound.
  • Rebel Lyric Disciple: In tune with the Wu Tang monikers I train my skills of mixing and matching words.
  • RadicaL Dude: This is me in surf shorts and flip-flops.

Tell your story

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I’m starting to lose count of the number of blogs I have created, but I think I’ll stick with this one for now. Focusing on my curriculum vitae, First Name Ralph should be a one stop shop for people who want to find out where I’m from, where I’ve been and maybe where I’m heading.
On the subject of CVs, a friend of mine sent me an article entitled, “The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King”. The general gist of the piece is that it’s better to take future employers on a journey with you, and not stick to basics. I can’t say if I agree with this stance, but it could definitely help human resource people dream a bit more.
Finally, I also helped the same friend with a biography of sorts for his art show. Instead of a basic CV stating the obvious, he asked me to write a story and invent a character with a past and a present to represent the artist: Runy. Runy is in fact a collaboration between my friend and a photographer. One takes pictures whilst the other draws over them. Following his brief, I let my imagination run and imagined who Runy could be and why he created such pieces of art.

‘Runy’s earliest memories date back to his 4th birthday where a table stacked with plastic figurines of knights in shining armour and dragons was laid out for him under the warm June sunlight of suburbia.’

Click here to read Runy’s biography.