Third Memoirs of Cleopatra Chat Transcript
|335lines of discussion for
Jun. 6, 2000
|20:56 Torrey Philemon enters...
20:57 Torrey Philemon: Memoirs of Cleopatra chat starts in a few minutes!
21:02 Mara Durotriges enters...
21:02 Mara Durotriges: Hello
21:03 Morgana Flavius enters...
21:03 Mara Durotriges: Hi Morgana
21:04 Torrey Philemon: Hi Mara, hi Morgana! Really glad you could join us, Mara!
21:04 Morgana Flavius: Hello!
21:04 Morgana Flavius: Hi Mara, Torrey!
21:05 Mara Durotriges: I was sorry to have missed the last one - enjoyed reading the transcript though
21:06 Torrey Philemon: There is so much to talk about in regard to the ending of Memoirs. Do either of you have a topic to start with......?
21:06 Morgana Flavius: I am still reading Torrey's posts in the Memoirs board! I could not post nor read during these past 3 days due to RL commitments.
21:06 Mara Durotriges: I made a bunch of notes today at work and in saving them to a disc to bring home, they all disappeared. Maybe my memory will work
21:07 Torrey Philemon: Maybe you can write down your thoughts now, Mara, or type them ......I finished the Grant and Ludwig biographies these week and they have some different interpretations of the story then George does.
21:08 Torrey Philemon: Why don't we each choose one question or issue and then discuss each one....
21:08 Mara Durotriges: I have been thinking about the character of Antony - his seeming to be so much of an overgrown child and also the effects of his increasing drinking towards the end of things
21:08 Morgana Flavius: The battle of Actium is indeed a highlight in George's novel! I guess I am totally absorbed by the whys, hows, whens and whos of this lost battle and the consequences.
21:08 Mara Durotriges: I've been reading Weigall all day
21:09 Mara Durotriges: The Romans wanted Cleopatra to go back to Egypt and leave them to fight without her. There were two ways to do this: overland through Asia Minor and Syria, which would have looked like she was fleeing and caused general unrest and panic among the populations there. Or by sea, which made a breaking of the blockade necessary. Thus, Antony chose this course, rather than a land battle, hoping again to please everyone.
21:10 Torrey Philemon: I'd like to hear about Weigall.......and I'm interested in both topics you mentioned. Ludwig says that the main reason why Cleo stayed with Antony at Actium is because he was no longer competent as a leader and really needed her expertise. He WAS drinking too much and his judgement was poor.
21:11 Torrey Philemon: Yet Antony was not particularly good at sea, his army was superior AND Octavius' general Agrippa was a supreme naval commander.
21:11 Morgana Flavius: The only source I have read besides Memoirs, is Plutarch's "The Life of Antony". And although it is clearly a fruit of Augustan propaganda, it does say good things about Antony.
21:12 Mara Durotriges: Weigall is very sympathetic to Cleo and runs Antony down more - unlike Plutarch, the opposite. He's using a lot of sources - the one I remember is Josephus - I don't think I know who he is though
21:12 Torrey Philemon: Actually according to Grant, Antony's two primary generals did not want Cleopatra to leave - at least at first - because she was needed to inspirit the Egyptian troops.
21:13 Torrey Philemon: Josephus, like Plutarch, wrote a century later........We don't have much information from the actual time (apart from later use of Olympos' diaries)
21:13 Morgana Flavius: I'd like to hear the views of the other biographers about Antony.
21:14 Torrey Philemon: One way or another, I don't think Cleopatra was the type to give up control and leave Antony .....and she probably underestimated the influence of Roman opinion.
21:15 Torrey Philemon: One interesting discrepancy I found.....Grant says that Antony organized a group called "They who die together" and Ludwig says the celebratory group was called "They who defy death". Big difference!
21:16 Morgana Flavius: Josephus was Jewish, but apparently he lived in Rome and was very well versed about all things Roman. I read an interesting report written by him about how the Roman legions were managed and worked. Very interesting.
21:16 Torrey Philemon: George portrayed the former - with Antony's morbidity winning over, and thereby dispiriting his men who thought he had given up. In a way, he had, don't you think?
21:16 Torrey Philemon: I'd like to know what books by Josephus have info on Cleopatra. Do you know which ones, Morgana?
21:17 Mara Durotriges: I think that Antony had a habit of taking the easier road throughout his life, trying to please everyone. It was part of his great charm. But in this case, Cleopatra may have thought that if she left, he might try to placate Octavian once more and leave her hopes for Caesarion and Egypt stranded.
21:17 Mara Durotriges: No, I just remember Josephus being cited a lot in the Weigall.
21:17 Torrey Philemon: (A friend told me a joke the other night.....Antony said, What if you had met King Herod before me and fell in love with him first? And Cleopatra said, "He would have become King of Rome!"
21:18 Morgana Flavius: Yeah... it is intriguing how many opposite accounts we get when we read the different biographies! That Antony must have been a living puzzle! *s*
21:19 Torrey Philemon: Doesn't it seem, Mara, that Cleopatra never lost sight of her main purpose, which was her hopes for Cesarion and the dynasty of Egypt? Her political purpose was always first in her mind, before Antony.
21:19 Mara Durotriges: According to the Loeb catalog I have here, there are a number of volumes entitled Antiquities by Josephus - must be in one of the nine
21:19 Morgana Flavius: What do Weigall and Grant say about Antony's behavior and military achievements BEFORE Actium?
21:20 Torrey Philemon: George portrayed Antony also as very committed to his men, and capable of real sacrifice when leading a battle. He seemed most to fall apart when he felt he had betrayed his loyalties.....
21:20 Mara Durotriges: Yes, I think Cleopatra's prime goal in life was to secure another Ptolemy to suceed her in Egypt and Caesarion would have been best in her eyes because of his tie to the great Julius
21:21 Torrey Philemon: I don't know how good a strategist Antony was but interpersonally he was fabulous with his men, at least according to the biographers. He called them by name, took personal interest in them, always kept their confidence up......I don't recall reading details about him as a strategist though.
21:21 Morgana Flavius: (Sorry, Torrey, but the material I read by Josephus was an article posted in the net and was related to military affairs only. I don't know if - and where - he wrote about Cleopatra and Antony.)
21:22 Torrey Philemon: Cleopatra seemed more interested in Cesarion as future king than as a person, as her own child. The commitment wasn't to him but to her dream of a future Egypt, it seems.
21:22 Mara Durotriges: Weigall praises Antony for his dedication to his men which made them eager to fight for him
21:23 Morgana Flavius: It seems that M.George has drawn inspiration for the last part of her book mostly from Plutarch. Some passages seem almost like direct quotations.
21:23 Morgana Flavius: It seems that M.George has drawn inspiration for the last part of her book mostly from Plutarch. Some passages seem almost like direct quotations.
21:24 Torrey Philemon: Morgana, there's an interesting detail about Actium in the Ludwig biography that I didn't read elsewhere.......Ludwig says that after Cleo's ships pulled ahead and past Octavian and she gave a prearranged signal to Antony's ship, he LEFT his ship and entered a boat with Antyllus and two men and ROWED to her ship, leaving his men and ship behind. I had the impression previously that he and his SHIP with many men left other men behind, not that he actually left his ship in a small boat to row over to Cleo's ship. Don't have sources on this though.
21:24 Mara Durotriges: Yes, Morgana, I noticed that too
21:25 Torrey Philemon: It will be interesting to read Plutarch....
21:26 Torrey Philemon: Did you both find the last few hundred pages of George's book heartrending? I sure did. She really did a very in depth job of describing not only the external action, but also the psychological states of the characters, the anguish and the dignity.
21:26 Mara Durotriges: Weigall says that Antony boarded one of his fasted galleys , which was rowed by 5 banks of oars and caught up with Cleopatra
21:26 Morgana Flavius: That's what Plutarch says too: that Antony was simply fabulous as a military leader. His men would really happily die for him. And that even after the defeat in Parthia, Antony was still able to gather an incredible number of soldiers and that his (and Cleopatra's) attempt to defeat Octavian was a very realistic decision. How come they have lost? Besides, Actium really seemed to have a battle that was never fought...
21:27 Torrey Philemon: Grant says they lost because Agrippa was just about the greatest naval commander that ever existed, and outmaneuvered them.
21:28 Mara Durotriges: I always cry at sad endings. The love part gets me, I guess. It made me wish they'd just minded their own business, without all the scheming for great Empires and dynasties. They might could have had more of life that way
21:28 Torrey Philemon: Mara, is Weigall then saying the Antony left the ship he was on to board a smaller boat (galley?) so he could catch up with Cleopatra?
21:28 Morgana Flavius: I have not reached the actual passage in Plutarch about the escape from Actium.
21:29 Torrey Philemon: Also with so much of their fleet defeated and burned, Agrippa actually had almost twice as many boats as them.......the odds were terrible.
21:29 Torrey Philemon: Let's have a chat on Plutarch later in the month!
21:30 Morgana Flavius: I think that the final scroll in the Memoirs (the final one written by Cleo) is one of the most thrilling texts I've ever read! I just could not stop reading it! Oh and the anguish! George was able to put it all there.
21:30 Mara Durotriges: I think that the war was planned on too many fronts - land, sea, all the troops were so spread out. And once they allowed themselves to become trapped at Actium, there weren't as many choices, especially when Antony's troops started deserting. But then I'm not a military strategist...
21:31 Mara Durotriges: Yes, George did the pathos wery well
21:32 Morgana Flavius: As far as I remember, there was a point where the battle was not lost yet, when Antony had to decide if he would go by land or sea. He decided to go by sea. And that turned out to be a mistake. Again, probably influenced by Cleo, who had all those fantastic ships, but they were poorly manned... And Antony, with the fantastic legions on the land...
21:32 Torrey Philemon: They were trapped in a terrible place....with little food, and major epidemics. Many men died of disease. It's no wonder some deserted! (According to biographers, the motive for many of the men fighting was be given land in Italy once they won. Once it looked unlikely that Antony would be in a position to give it to them, they wanted to be on the side of one who could!)
21:33 Mara Durotriges: Ot maybe the problem was that the war wasn't planned enough - it seemed like they felt they needed to prepare for anything. Attacking is supposed to be better than defending, isn't it? Perhaps if Antony had figured out an attack plan, things would not have gone so badly
21:33 Torrey Philemon: Yes, I never quite understood why Antony chose to go by sea, except that Cleopatra convinced him too. Just as she convinced him to divorce Octavia. I don't get the impression that he could easily think for himself or take a stand against her when under her influence.
21:34 Mara Durotriges: Those deserters wanted to be survivors - a natural human instinct
21:34 Torrey Philemon: Yes, Mara, I read somewhere that they shouldn't have waited for Octavian to take action, but should have launched an initial attack themselves.
21:34 Morgana Flavius: In my opinion, the morale started to go down after the first surge of desertions. And at that point, militarily, Antony still had the advantage on his side. But with a few more wrong decisions and subsequent new surges of desertions... then not even the greatest general could win...
21:35 Mara Durotriges: Cleopatra apparently felt more at home with sea battles - her country was a great maritime power and that's what she knew best
21:35 Mara Durotriges: plus she always liked having control
21:36 Torrey Philemon: Morgana, although Cleo originally had a huge fleet, weren't over half of them lost by the time of the battle of Actium? Some were burnt, many were destroyed in Octavian's battles with some of their outposts.......the info I found said that by this point they were several outnumbered, something like 175 ships to 300 ships.....
21:36 Torrey Philemon: Right Morgana, and in the case of desertions, the deserters passed on military secrets to Octavian, like their whole plan of "escape" from Actium.
21:36 Morgana Flavius: And there's another factor that I have been having glimpses of: the net of spies that Octavian was able to infiltrate in Antony's camps...
21:37 Torrey Philemon: Plus Cleopatra had her treasure on her ship -- which I don't entirely understand. Why take it all with her? She was afraid Alexandria would be taken in her absence?
21:37 Mara Durotriges: Ye olde Domino Theory - of course when men see others running away to save themselves they start thinking about it too - and the more that had left, the worse chance for those who remained. They could count
21:38 Torrey Philemon: Apparently Antony was too trustworthy, and trusted men who would desert him or maybe who were spies......
21:38 Mara Durotriges: Maybe she thought that she could 'buy' something or someone with it - she was used to doing that
21:38 Morgana Flavius: So, while Antony had more soldiers, more ships, and was more experienced, Octavian had a great naval general (Agrippa) and a wonderful net of spies. It seems that Actium might have been a big case of a battle lost to the "intelligence service" guys.
21:38 Torrey Philemon: Actually it amazes me that Antony kept as many supporters as he did, given he was away from Rome so long and Octavian was a master of anti-Antony propaganda.
21:40 Morgana Flavius: This is - for me - the only explanation for the first desertions... I mean, how could someone desert from an army that was superior? Probably because they heard that they would have rewards if they shifted.
21:41 Mara Durotriges: Every writer repeatedly remarks on Antony's great personal magnetism. Also there may have been a number of people in Rome who did not care for Octavian and saw Antony as an offshoot of Julius Caesar, who seemed to have been very popular
21:41 Morgana Flavius: Let's not forget that nearly one half (that's 50%!) of the Roman senators came to seek refuge with Antony prior to the final confrontation with Augustus.
21:41 Torrey Philemon: Here's a question for you all......Was Antony or Cleopatra's Octavian's primary enemy? It's my impression that he was out to disempower Antony.....but it was more politically savvy for him to proclaim Cleopatra as his enemy instead, so he didn't unduly antagonize Antony supporters and could unite people against a "foreign" enemy.
21:42 Mara Durotriges: But Actium was a trap - militarily and disease wise.
21:42 Torrey Philemon: Morgana, it was my impression that the desertions started when Antony made the decision to fight by sea. Many doubted the wisdom of that........
21:43 Torrey Philemon: Yes Mara, and Octavian was not known for his personal magnetism. My impression is that he was a cold stuffed shirt!
21:43 Torrey Philemon: Amazing that so many Roman senators came to him when he was not actively courting them and Octavian was!
21:43 Mara Durotriges: And how many of these senators may have thought that Caesarion, as a son of the great Julius, may have been the right person to support? It can't have only been Antony and Cleopatra who championed him. Caesar did acknowledge him when he was a baby
21:44 Morgana Flavius: And all this brings me back to Torrey's most isightful comparison between Augustus in the past and big corporations in the present, vs. Antony/Eastern way of life and a more academic and human centered way of life in the present.
21:44 Mara Durotriges: I rather like Antony, in spite of all his faults. I wouldn't want Octavian in my yard!
21:44 Torrey Philemon: Ah Morgana we could get off on a great tangent with that one.....
21:45 Torrey Philemon: Actually I think Octavian was a kind of Bill Gates..... <-:
21:46 Morgana Flavius: Yes, the battle field was also poorly chosen. Actium was a swamp, full of deseases and unbearably hot in the summer. Yuck!
21:46 Mara Durotriges: When Antony was in Athens with Octavia, he behaved in much the same way that he did in Alexandria - taking on the personna of the God, participating in the local rites, dressing as a Greek, immersing himself in the life to be found there, partying and such. I think the Eastern ways were more akin to his basic nature than Roman ways. They seem to have been pretty stuffy
21:46 Torrey Philemon: Octavian just about dismantled the Senate, right? He couldn't tolerate any competitors. He had to undercut them.
21:47 Mara Durotriges: Bill? hmmm...I 'll have to ponder on that
21:48 Morgana Flavius: And it seems that in Rome, Republicans (Octavians) and Democrats (Antonians) were balanced political forces. Proof of it is the half senators running to Antony and half of them staying with Octavian.
21:49 Morgana Flavius: Mara, I wouldn't like Octavian not even a hundred miles away from my yard! But then again... I must read more about that fellow. He was one of the greatests Emperors the world has ever seen.
21:50 Mara Durotriges: Great rulers have to be ruthless I guess, niceness gets one nowhere with that sort of thing
21:50 Mara Durotriges: But I don't really know anything about him apart from the Cleopatra reading I've done lately
21:50 Morgana Flavius: It seems that up to Actium, the greatest asset on Octavian
21:51 Torrey Philemon: Grant has an interesting philosophical discussion at the end of his bio about what A&C stood for, their vision, what might have happened if they had won.....He says that Cleopatra really had a vision of Hellenistic/Roman cooperation, alliance, equality.......an intermingling of the two powers, with the Greeks viewed as equal citizens to Romans.......she was not trying to conquer Rome with seek equal alliance with Rome. Octavian however viewed Rome as the end all and be all of existence, destined to conquer "lesser" cultures. He could only cooperate after he had conquered.
21:51 Morgana Flavius: ...on Octavian's side was propaganda.
21:52 Torrey Philemon: There is a whole book out on the subject of Octavian's genius with propaganda.....
21:52 Mara Durotriges: From how Octavian has been described here, I would think he was somewhat insecure, behind his ugly facade. He wasn't known for his great generalship, was he?
21:53 Torrey Philemon: And Antony was like an absentee landlord. He had less ability to effectively disseminate his propaganda.
21:53 Morgana Flavius: That's interesting, Torrey. And yes, it seems that what Cleopatra wanted was to carry own Alexander's dream: East and West cultures mixed, with the best parts of each one forming a new world.
21:54 Mara Durotriges: Is Octavian considered then to be the 'father' of modern day propaganda? And what is it now ...spin-doctors?
21:54 Torrey Philemon: What did Octavian really want? What did Antony really want? What did Cleopatra really want?
21:55 Morgana Flavius: It seems that Octavian Augustus was a handsome man, with great power to convince others. But he was a poor general and courage was not one of his strenghts...
21:55 Torrey Philemon: Hmm. The subject of Octavian's influence on western culture would be an interesting one to explore. Perhaps he is the father of Modern Hypocrisy <-:
21:55 Mara Durotriges: I think part of her wanted Alexander's dream and the other part of her wanted to secure her own place, and, through her children, her continuance
21:56 Torrey Philemon: Just so you know, Mara, Morgana and I read Ovid's Metamorphoses and Amores together, and encountered Octavian/Augustus as the enemy of Ovid and the somewhat overbearing hypocritical dispenser of moral laws that he didn't follow.
21:57 Torrey Philemon: Yes I agree, Mara, that securing her continuance through her children was primary.
21:57 Morgana Flavius: I think you just said what Octavian, Antony and Cleo wanted: Octavian - to impose Roman values and culture to the "lesser" cultures. Cleopatra - to get the best from East and West. Antony - hum.... it seems that Antony didn't want anything specific, but to be happy and make everyone at his side happy as well. *s*
21:57 Mara Durotriges: I read that Octavian was unattractive, sallow, thin, didn't take baths enough, thought he was cold all the time and wore layers and layers of clothes, had sores (or scars, I forget which) on his skin
21:58 Torrey Philemon: Yes, Antony was not as ambitious as the other two. Or perhaps not motivated by a longterm vision.
21:58 Torrey Philemon: Oh goodness, Mara, he sure doesn't sound appealing!
22:00 Mara Durotriges: Speaking of moral laws - Octavian was said to have been interested in both sexes and also to have had young girls of good families captured and brought to him for his 'use'. He doesn't appear to have had much of a personal moral code. Remember when Cleopatra was in Rome with Caesar and she discovered him in the temple, or whatever it was, where he was a priest, having it off with someone?
22:01 Morgana Flavius: Yes, I'd say Augustus would be the father of Modern Hypocrisy. And hypocrisy is a big part of propaganda in general. I mean, how can most of all our present generation be convinced that a dark drink, with a flavor that resembles medicine for stomach aches, is the best thing we can get? I mean, I like Coca-cola, but... there are things far better than that. But those don't enjoy all the propaganda. So, how could Octavian get support after taxing Roman people to pay for his outnumbered army to fight Antony?
22:02 Mara Durotriges: There was also a sentence somewhere about him having been a - can't find the word - lover is too personal - of Julius himself
22:03 Torrey Philemon: Maybe people thought they were choosing the lesser of two evils......if Octavian had convinced people that Antony was aligned with Cleopatra and was going to attack Rome? That he was leading a campaign of East against West?.....Or maybe Octavian made a lot of promises of land, status etc.
22:03 Mara Durotriges: Fear can get someone a lot of support - Octavian sounds like he could have inspired that
22:04 Morgana Flavius: Mara, it seems that the Octavian you described was the Octavian of his last days. When he was younger, and that was the time of Actium (he was on his early 30's) he was a handsome man. Only a bit short (that's why the high heel shoes).
22:05 Torrey Philemon: Maybe people recognized his political genius too. (Like Nixon in the U.S., not personally popular but politically sharp)
22:05 Mara Durotriges: You are probably right - I don't know enough about him to back up the time frame - will go look for it though:)
22:06 Morgana Flavius: Octavian having an "affair" with Julius?! Oh my! That's totally new to me!
22:06 Torrey Philemon: Are you interested in reading Massie's bio of Augustus later in the summer to learn more about him, Mara? Morgana and I are planning to (though admittedly Cleopatra and Antony are much more appealing)
22:07 Torrey Philemon: I read somewhere too that there were rumors of Julius Caesar's dallying with boys and young men.....
22:07 Mara Durotriges: Yes, I'd like to do that with you - What's the full name of the book so I can go find it?
22:07 Torrey Philemon: I think it's just Augustus by Raymond Massie but I"ll let you know in a moment
22:08 Mara Durotriges: I find that I dislike Octavian and would like to be able to back it up with a few facts
22:08 Morgana Flavius: Anyway, Octavian (who had no personal nor family tradition in politics in Rome) was able to undermine much of the supporters of Antony in Rome by throwing a lot of negative propaganda about him. And even so, he could not convince all of them. But he could convince key people in Actium. And they deserted Antony in the most crucial moment.
22:09 Torrey Philemon: Allan Massie, actually. A number of people recommended it at FabBib.
22:09 Torrey Philemon: LOL, Mara! You sound very objective! You want to read his bio so you can back up your dislike with a few facts! <-: Actually I'd like to find something positive about him so I don't dislike him as much.
22:10 Morgana Flavius: All I have read about Octavian is negative, in general. First, what we found out about his hypocritical morals (yes, he had girls brought to him for his use - though I never heard of any case of homosexualism with him, but for Julius yes). And some of these girls or women were chosen by... Livia! Now that was an interesting woman, huh? LOL!
22:10 Torrey Philemon: All the desertions. And in the end, even Cleopatra's fleet. How awful, particularly for a man who so much sought camaraderie and loyalty with his men.
22:11 Mara Durotriges: I like most people - need a real creep to take all my frustrations on - Augustus may do.
22:11 Mara Durotriges: What a fine wife that Livia!
22:12 Torrey Philemon: Morgana and Mara, seems like we ought to form an anti-Augustus society! I'm already a member of the anti-Aeneas society.
22:12 Torrey Philemon: But Aeneas according to Virgil is just part of the Augustan propaganda campaign.
22:12 Mara Durotriges: I think that Actium is when Antony did whatever growing up he was ever to do. It must have truly broken his heart to have all these men trusting him and dying for it
22:13 Morgana Flavius: It is interesting that while throwing all those nasty things about Cleopatra, Augustus married a woman that was not much different. Livia only had a different approach, but she married Octavian when she was still expecting a child from her previous husband. She had her own net of followers in and outside the palace and many politicians sought her favor before pleadging before Octavian.
22:13 Torrey Philemon: Speaking of fine wives....someone ought to tell the story of Octavia. What ever became of her, apart from her raising the children of Antony and Cleopatra. She obviously was a woman of considerable virtue and altruism.
22:14 Mara Durotriges: When he went back to Alexandria and lived as a recluse, he was finally learning that actions may have consequences that cannot be charmed or partied away
22:14 Torrey Philemon: I don't know much about Livia. Why do you think she married Octavian, Morgana? Was it entirely for political reasons?
22:15 Mara Durotriges: Yes, there must be something written on Octavia, she put up with a lot - and taking all those children in from so many other mothers
22:16 Torrey Philemon: Interesting observation Mara, about Antony growing up at Actium. I was actually thinking more in terms of him maybe being a kind of manic/depressive type, and going through a depressive cycle <-: rather than growing up!
22:16 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Aeneas and Augustus seem to have shared some "qualities" I don't like either. I'd sign up for the society, Torrey, but I must first read more about Augustus. Even if only to back up my dislike, as Mara! *s*
22:17 Mara Durotriges: Lost: Who is Aneas, Morgana?
22:17 Mara Durotriges: starting to grow up at 50 would be depressing
22:18 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Octavia is a puzzle to me. How could she put up with so much? And what has become of her after Actium?
22:18 Torrey Philemon: Uhh, I'm almost 50 and I'm just starting to grow up, and yes it can be depressing <-:
22:19 Torrey Philemon: Actually I equate growing up with Egypt being conquered by Rome and having to adapt to the norms of corporate life (Rome)
22:19 Mara Durotriges: We know she took in Helios and Selene and Philadelphos after their parents deaths
22:20 Mara Durotriges: I'm almost 50 also and I want to be like Peter Pan - I don't want to grow up :)