The Rainforest Foundation-TAUT 10K RUN

In my forever long quest to loose weight, I did a 10k (6 mile) run in support of the Rainforest Foundation yesterday in Regent's Park. Regent's Park is in Northwest London, in a very posh part of town near Harrod's and Kensington and Chelsea (I believe Madonna has a house overlooking the park). It was a lovely place to do a run especially on a Sunday morning and consisted of a 3 lap circuit. I did great for the first two laps (nearly 7k) without stopping but then the last lap it hit me and I had to stop a few times. But persistence pays off and I managed to shave off a few minutes from my last run earlier in the month, The Nike 10k. Onward and Upward to Fitness!!

Should you want to check out what the Rainforest Foundation is all about here's there link: http://www.rainforestfoundationuk.org



Semi-Finalist in the International Open Amateur Photography Contest 2006.
(Cross your fingers, I may win!!!)
This picture was taken by me in southern Thailand in the Krabi Penninsula. We were spending a couple of glorious days on raft houses in the middle of no where. The boat is a long tail boat which is a common mode of transport in Thailand. As you can see, very quiet on this lake so you can be alone with your thoughts.


Engagement Story

When you think of engagement stories--you tend to expect the romantic, the chivalrous offering of a ring on one knee and of course lots and lots of tears. I never expected that I'd ever have anything like this in my life--but of course my life has never really gone the usual route.

I kind of expected this engagement thing was going to happen for a long time. I wondered about the little comments and the "secretness" James was implying for months before that usually only surfaced around the holidays. Little did I know that my suspicions were obviously correct particularly with what James had in store for me.

James planned a weekend break to Nice, France in December 2005, as a birthday present for my 30 birthday. Nice is in the South of France along the Mediterranean or Cote D'Azure. The Cote D'Azure or the Blue Coast as it's called lives up to its name in every way. One could easily see why the South of France for such a long time was (and still is) the getaway for so many rich and famous as it's just incredibly insanely beautiful. The weather was of course fabulous. Although it was in the middle of the winter, you easily could get away with just a light jacket. I can also just imagine what the summer months would be like--how the sun would be so warm whilst you can hear the gentle lull of the waves.

We stayed in a Boscolo Hotel, very "belle epoque" old style french. I had never stayed in somewhere that nice to that point in my life and our room was nearly the size of our flat (apartment)--Ah such indulgence! For breakfasts we were treated to an array of yoghurts, pastry's, baguettes and meats-absolutely everything you could ask for. After sleeping so soundly on a bed nearly double the size of a standard king bed (who knew they made beds that large!)--the breakfast was a perfect compliment.

Our first two days were fabulous in the city. We looked around the sites and had amazing food. Nice is a combination of french, italian and spanish influence in its architecture which is not surprising as its in the Mediterranean and surrounded by all these countries. The old section of the city has red cobbled rooftops which when the sun sets give such an amazing view and aura and when you see this you can understand why painters paint--beauty like this has to be shared.

On the second night we went out for a fabulous 3 course meal consisting of a very nice bottle of wine, filling pasta of penne pasta and tagliatelle and a typical french dessert. After the meal, we made our way slowly to the beach. The Christmas lights were all strewn all around the city including the palm trees lining the beach which made them stand out in the night. We walked down to the beach and I noticed how bright the stars and the half moon were, how the waves were loudly hitting each other and how cold it was getting as well. It was so peaceful and my heart was full.

James looked me in the eye and said how much he loved me and that you could never really prepare for moments like this. He commented on how we had talked about getting married but never had a ring. James then pulled out a small blue box and got down on one knee. I started crying mostly and my heart was beating because I was nervous and I couldn't believe it was happening. He said Christine Jolley , will you marry me? I said yes and we both burst into tears and of course sealed the whole thing with a kiss. The ring was perfect, the setting amazing and I knew for one brief moment what happiness felt like and what it feels like to be loved so unconditionally. I couldn't have asked for anything better and I didn't want the trip to end.

The rest of the trip was obviously amazing and we were sort of floating on the high of the proposal. I am always very sad to leave places when I travel because it's like saying goodbye to old friends. However, I know with certainty that the South of France will always hold a special place in my heart for the memories it holds. I am very grateful for James and of course love him dearly. You never expect to get proposed to, let alone having someone so amazing and decent loves me the way he does. I truly feel blessed. I look forward to the future and although at times it may be uncertain, I know that my best friend will be right there every step of the way.
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