Your life is your Canvas, your Clay!!

“Life starts on a blank canvas. You are the Artist. Through life, you paint many pictures, some good and others bad. Today, Now, is the time to produce your best pictures yet” ~ Lorenzo
Your life is your Canvas. Take control of what you paint on it!

Very frequently we sit back and reminisce on the good old days, those carefree days when we were young and had little care for the world. We were not burdened by things we had little or no control over.

Continue reading “Your life is your Canvas, your Clay!!”


Today’s ‘Metrosexual’ Man – Blending Classic with the Modern!

Lifestyle Choices

“The eyes might be the window to the soul, but clothing and accessories are the doors leading to just about everywhere else” ~ Lorenzo

According to the journalist Mark Simpson, the metrosexual is dead. Long live the ‘spornosexual’. Is he right?

Personally, I disagree. Athough there’s a growing number of men doing all it takes to be rewarded with ripped bodies, there are many others who are still very much more focused on clothing, accessories, the occasional keep-fit sessions, grooming and less of extreme body workouts.

Being the author of both terms does give Mark Simpson the license to define them as he deems fit. However his take on the metrosexual suggests a rather narcisstic personality, self-loving, “the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city {because that’s where all the best shops are}”, seems to me to be erroneous given that not every man who is conscious of their outward appearance and grooming have high disposable income, live or work only in the cities and somewhat narcissistic.

There is an increasingly generalized influence on men by a feminized culture which educates men that masculinity has suddenly become toxic and therefore being more feminized is the New Man! This doctrine cuts across every economic and social background and has an impact on the perception of most men on how society views them. There are others who are simply expressing themselves as they know how, irrespective of how much they have at their disposal.

Mark further argues that the death of the metro man has unleashed the ‘spornosexual’, a blend of sport, porn and metrosexual.

The spornosexual is seen as the man concerned with his personal appearance such as grooming and fashion, but also keen to emphasize a fit, virile and toned body. He is the man who works out daily at the gym, building those oiled six packs ready for a selfie!

In many respects I do agree with Simpson on the rise of the spornosexual, however I believe the metro man is alive and well. I am one!

Some have also argued in the past, and perhaps many still do today, that men who take absolute pleasure in grooming and physical appearance exhibit a ‘gayness’ or ‘girly’ nature. This may be right for some. But for many, it is the new age hetero-man being conscious of self, wanting to be everything and be that which he is. There are also gays who are proud of themselves and are equally as confident expressing themselves without limitations. It is all about self-discovery and boldness to be as you choose, by way of your physical appearance.

The explosion of male grooming products and advertisements showing body perfection, has also created an awakening in today’s males, that they can present themselves as best as they want without guilt.

Although society does put pressure on men to engage with their more feminine qualities, to be more effeminate, it should not in any way, condemn men who, though have been feminized somewhat, are still able to express manly tendencies. Masculinity should not be confined only to aggression and patriarchy, but rather it is the quality that defines manhood.

I remember some years ago walking into a shop and picking up a bottle of the Original Old Spice Aftershave. Why? I needed to be reminded of that distinctive classic masculine smell, the smell of the man’s man.

Acknowledging one’s softer side such as outward show of emotion, being more caring and accommodating, less brutish and more nurturing, amongst others, should not strip one of one’s masculinity.

Recognising these feminine personalities in oneself and yet exuding strong manly qualities, especially in one’s bold and confident physical appearance, only confirms a man who has successfully struck a balance between the classic and the modern.

Today’s metro man is indeed like Old Spice. He exudes masculinity and is distinctive. He has been around and knows the game. He is self-aware and meets the challenges of being a man in today’s world.

The Metrosexual is very much alive and awake. He is the quintessential gentleman, bold enough to make a statement that he has arrived, yet subtle enough to not wreck the party.

He exhibits a manly confidence and a posturing which suggests he is aware of his time and will do the needful to achieve his goals.

Either you are a metrosexual, spornosexual or non-metro, what’s really important is self-identification. Be who you really want to be. Break the chain and feel release. Feel confident to represent yourself and no one else!

Be distinctive!!! Have your own style and rock it with confidence!!


#Updated. First Published on 9th January, 2017

Travelling with Underage Children!

Most of my holidays/exploring abroad are usually with my two little daughters. We always have an amazing time together, visiting great sights and experiencing new cultures and people.

I consider travelling a form of education for my daughters, where learning and exploring are a part of understanding and developing knowledge of the peoples and cultures of our world, especially in our increasingly more multicultural societies. We are Londoners after all, arguably one of the most diverse cities in the world.

Getting them appreciating where many of their classmates came from is an eye-opener for them as it provides them a better insight of their friends’ cultural backgrounds.

Sometimes though, having young children on holiday with you means you have to shut your eyes to certain events and activities you would have loved immensely. It can be rather frustrating lol.

On a recent trip to Cologne, Germany, I had one of the most amusing moments that got me wishing my girls were adults already.

We often take walks down the Rhein River Promenade, watching folks go by, tourists taking pictures, many in festive moods, drinking, singing and dancing, and lovers in tender embrace.

Walking towards the Rhein River Promenade, Cologne

I had promised the girls, on a previous visit to Cologne, we would go on a cruise up the River on one of those river cruise boats that had on-board restaurants and bars when next we visited.

So, on this beautiful evening, we were standing on the Promenade watching a few cruise boats going up and down the Rhein. One caught my attention. It was a huge tourboat playing loud Dance music. There was a massive party going on with lots of people singing, dancing and drinking. It was electric!

I got my phone out and began recording the scene. Within five minutes the tourboat docked and more people started getting on-board. My girls turned to me and with excitement, said, “daddy let’s go”, pulling my hand and dragging me towards the entry point, where other revellers were walking up towards the boat.

As they pulled me closer, I gave it a brief thought and decided to go see the possibility of joining the party. Deep within me I knew this was not going to end well for the girls. Looked like an ‘Adult-Only party’ 😂.

We walked boldly to the docking point where this rather youthful lad was standing at the entrance, ushering ravers on-board and letting others off. He looked not older than 18!!!

Got to him with my two escorts in tow. I asked if it was possible to join the party and how much it would cost me and my girls, smiling rather sheepishly. Looking at me with concern, he smiled back at me and in very hurried English, stated that the party was for 18 years and older only!!

“Dang”, I said, turning to my girls and calmly explaining to a very disappointed duo that they’d have to wait till they turned 18 to enjoy more adult stuff. Oh well, to say I didn’t feel I had missed out on some big party is putting it mildly 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣.

The Shabby Chic Culture – A Fast Growing Trend

Over the years, there has been an explosion of a culture, or perhaps a movement, in interior decor, of furniture and furnishings, known commonly as the Shabby chic look, which seamlessly blends the old with the modern, resulting in a distressed, tired, yet modernistic appearance.

This style was quite popular in the 1980s amongst modern Bohemians and Artisans in the United Kingdom who challenged the fashionable and expensive culture of the upper middle classes with their unconventional, non-bourgeois style.

Today, it is well-loved in the urban community, with many fashion-savvy folks, ‘urbanistas’, keen to evoke a more rustic decor than an ostentatiously lavish, gleamy look.

The Shabby chic style does remind one of those old English country houses where you find well-worn Chinz sofas, heavy fleur de lis curtains showing wear, embroidered curtains whose gold material and threads have faded into dull creamy colours, of old French chateaux and farm houses where most of the paint have peeled off the external walls and hardwood furniture, revealing original wood or a blend of discolourations, or even of the 18th century Swedish painted decoration.

Conservative yet bold, the Shabby chic culture represents a very cosmopolitan take on the vintage, of age and well-used, yet stylish, trendy and exuding great taste.

Timişoara, Romania, 2018

Recycling old fabrics and furniture is very much part of the Shabby chic culture.

I fell in love with the look when, many years ago, I holidayed with my family in the village of Maffliers in the Val-d’Oise department in Île-de-France in Northern France.

There, I was fascinated by the old, faded-looking beautiful French buildings lining the narrow streets and in one home I was invited into for a drink, I was blown away by an old chaise longue. The piece had this time-worn heavily embroidered, silk-like material covering. But what caught my attention was the old Satin blue paint peeling off the entire wooden leg surface, exposing a rather dull creamy-coloured hard wood underneath. The design on the legs of the furniture was ancient-looking, very Gothic. The material covering the chaise longue looked tired but adorable. I fell in love!!

That was my Shabby chic awakening moment!!

Now I’m always looking out to rediscover that feeling in every piece I come across.

Here’s one I designed and hand-painted recently:


If you haven’t been bitten by the shabby chic bug just yet, you just wait, there’s no escaping it!

An old building typical of many structures I saw and fell in love with in Maffliers, a French village in the Val-d’Oise department in Île-de-France in northern France. This was the little village where I fell deeply in love with the shabby chic culture.

The Cultural Richness of the Native Indians of America


The Native Indians are undoubtedly one of the most culturally-rich people of the world.

I have always been fascinated by stories of how the Indians who inhabited America fought long-drawn wars with their new settlers, the Europeans, who came and made a home for themselves in the lands the Indians recognised as their ancestral home for thousands of years.

From the Cheyenne, to the Sioux, Navajo, Apache to the Osage Nation, these groups of native Americans continue to intrigue me with their history and spirituality, which influences me in no small measure, especially their very soothing meditating music, old Sayings, and not forgetting their closeness and respect for nature’s elements.

Sometimes I feel empathy for these people who had migrated from Asia more than 15,000 years ago, possibly through Beringia as many scholars have suggested, to the great plains, lands we now call the United States of America, as most of their cultures and traditions have been lost or displaced through time. May I add though that this is not unique to the Native Americans as this is replicated in some urban societies where there has been a huge influx of foreigners into their lands. A case in point are the Aboriginal people of Australia.

Societies however have been built on the backs of great migrations of people, building communities of common and shared values, embracing cultures and traditions of the indigenous people and oftentimes influencing settled cultures with their own cultures, resulting in what we now term Multiculturalism.

A couple of weeks ago, while taking a leisurely stroll down a South London town centre with my two daughters, we came upon this beautiful Native American pop-up stall exhibiting their wares.

This was one of those Sunday street markets where traders exhibit their products, from food prepared on the spot, to home and clothing wares, to anything you could possibly buy on the go.

We were drawn to this particular stall by the beautiful soothing Navajo flute music coming from a small set on a table beside some colourful displays. The stall owner was a middle-aged Native American. The elaborate colours of his items on display, the sheer richness and bold statement being made by these items which showcased the richness of the Native Americans was tempting enough to get me whipping out my phone and capturing the beauty before us.

The girls and I had to buy a few items as they were too gorgeous not to grab a few.

As we continue to develop as urban societies, I hope that we do not lose thousands year old cultures and traditions and that our technologically-driven societies will leave spaces for these old traditions defined through their languages, ornaments, clothing, objects and all other artforms.