i saw this on a blog i frequently visit and thought i'd go for it too. beware old embarrassing pictures of me to follow.

what i was doing 10 years ago:

summer 1998, i was 22 years old and attending college in central washington as a music education major. college was very complicated for me. i was thrust completely out of my comfort zone socially, academically and emotionally. i had a lot of worries for someone of my age including trying to pay for college myself and i seriously struggled to cope. looking back i'm surprised i didn't drop out but i'm glad i somehow made it.

that year i was in orchestra and symphonic band. i remember staying up all hours studying for dr roth's music history exams. i wore jeans and t-shirts, anything that was comfortable and wasn't bothered about trying to be girly. i didn't have time to listen to much on the radio besides the required for classes. i remember finally getting over a crush i had on a particular boy and vowing to avoid all things that would bring me in contact with males in future. i never practiced my instruments like i should have. i worked close to 6 part time jobs that summer to try to make ends meet including working at the gorge summer concert series making baja burritos. saw rod stewart, james taylor, the b-52's and metallica because of it which was a plus. ate lots and lots of ramen noodles. had a born again christian as a roommate for a term who tried constantly to save my soul. was active in church although i didn't have many friends. started counselling later that year. started an exercise routine of running at 5 in the morning that lasted one week.

i have to admit its weird thinking of where i was then 10 years ago and where i am now. talk about progress.

5 things on my to do list today:

1. listen to teenie boppers perform
2. go to the bank
3. see 'sex and the city' the movie

4. dishes
5. sleeping

5 things on my lifelong to do list:

1. learn how to swim & ride a bike
2. visit my friend lucy in india
3. drive across italy or the south of france

4. make a difference somehow
5. run a marathon or hike through the andes or nepal.

{sorry its hard to pick just 5}

{took a picture before our first 5 a.m. run}

sweets i enjoy:

jelly bellys. organic ice cream. really really dark chocolate. blueberry or chocolate muffins. chocolate fondant. rhubarb or lemon tarts. warm chocolate chip cookies.

last 3 books i read:

1. no country for old men
2. a new earth
3. the power of now

last 3 movies i saw:

1. indiana jones 4 {ugh, disappointing}
2. into the wild
3. daddy day care

places i have lived before:

england {currently}

people i want to know more about {or anybody who wants to play too}:



picnic with diana krall

i am so incredibly excited as we've booked tickets to see diana krall, {one of the coolest jazz vocalists on the planet} for early aug. the best part is its up on hampstead heath which has beautiful views of london and you can enjoy the evening with a pre-concert picnic from one of our favorite restaurants carluccio's. i know its a couple of months away but i'm really looking forward to good music, good views, good food and good company {james}. we don't do nearly enough concerts like this and that's why it will be such an amazing treat for this summer!


there is a season.....

i adore fresh blueberries. i love how you can put them on or in anything and how their flavor just pops when you heat them and add just a tiny bit of sugar. forget candy or sweets, give me blueberries anyday. the best part is that these beautiful, blue little balls of good health are in season in summer so i can eat even more bucket loads of them and not worry about my waist-line or the environment.

if you buy fruits or veg. in 'season' you are less likely going to have blueberries from china or some other far off place. you end up not contributing to global warming {flights to ship the food} and its way healthier not to mention cheaper {food prices go up when you include transport costs}. the minute those blueberries are picked, they start loosing their goodness and the longer those little things have to travel the worse off. so its good karma all around when you try to buy whenever possible according to the seasons.

i've got a great little list of what the seasons are for fruit/veg here for you to help in your shopping. its not completely exhaustive of everything and depends on where you live in the world, but its a good start:

summer {june-aug}

beets, bell peppers, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, chinese cabbage, corn, cucumber, eggplant {aubergine}, green beans, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries, summer squash, tomatoes, watermelon, zuccini {courgette}, cherries, carrots, potatoes, peas, kiwi

fall {sept-nov}

acorn squash, apples, endive, butternut squash, cauliflower, celeriac, figs, garlic, ginger, grapes {aug-oct}, mushrooms, parsnips, pears, pomegranate, pumpkin, quince, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, persimmon, cranberries

winter {dec- feb}

apples, chestnuts, grapefruit, kale, leeks, lemons, oranges and tangerines, raddichio, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, brussel sprouts, papaya, mushrooms

spring {mar-may}

apples, apricots, artichoke, asparagus, avacado, carrots, celeriac, chives, collards, lettuce, onions, fava beans, fennel, mango, mustard greens, new {baby} potatoes, pineapple, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, peas, watercress, green onions, okra


books & the city

i saw a list recently compiled by my favorite bookshop waterstones with books either set in or about the city of london. this list made me think of a blog post a few months back and a request from a reader for a list of good books on london or by london writers. so although its late i think its better late than never and a great list to share for all those who love a good read like me! the area bold is the title, followed by the author in italics and in {parenthesis} is the area of london discussed/set in the books:

  1. 253, geoff ryman { elephant & castle}
  2. bleak house, charles dickens {chancery courts}
  3. brick lane, monica ali {brick lane)
  4. the buddha of suburbia, hanif kureishi {bromley}
  5. the crimson petal and the white, michael faber {notting hill}
  6. the end of an affair, graham greene {clapham common}
  7. fingersmith, sarah waters {borough/lant street}
  8. a handful of dust, evelyn waugh {belgravia}
  9. hangover square, patrick hamilton {earl's court}
  10. keep the apidistra flying, george orwell {hampstead}
  11. lady's maid, margaret forster {marylebone}
  12. london, edward rutherfurd {tower bridge & more)
  13. london fields, martin amis {portobello road}
  14. neverwhere, neil gaiman {knightsbridge}
  15. saturday, ian mcewan {cleveland street, w1}
  16. small island, andrea levy {earl's court}
  17. white teeth, zadie smith {willesdon}
  18. wise children, angela carter {brixton}
  19. the book of dave, will self {richmond}
  20. how to be good, nick hornby {camden}
  21. the line of beauty, alan hollinghurst {notting hill}
  22. the drowned world, jg ballard {leicester square}
  23. hawksmoor, peter ackroyd {spitalfields}
  24. notes on a scandal, zoe heller {islington}
  25. the ballad of peckham rye, muriel spark {peckham rye}
  26. the lonely londoners, sam selvon {notting hill}
  27. london novels, colin macinnes {notting hill}
  28. jonathan strange & mr norrell, susanna clarke {hanover square}
  29. mrs dalloway, virginia woolf {westminster}
  30. notting hell, rachel johnson {notting hill}
  31. londonstani, gautam malkani {hounslow}
  32. the adventures of sherlock holmes, arthur conan doyle {baker street}
  33. a dead man in deptford, anthony burgess {deptford}
  34. a metropolitan murder, lee jackson {baker street}
  35. diary of nobody, george & weedon grossmith {holloway}
  36. 4.50 from paddington, agatha christie {paddington}
  37. the heat of the day, elizabeth bowen {regent's park}
  38. twenty thousand streets under the sky, patrick hamilton {euston road}
  39. the long firm, jake arnott {soho}
  40. mother london, michael moorcok {notting hill}
  41. the necropolois railway, andrew martin {waterloo}
  42. only in london, hanan al-shaykh {bayswater/westminster}
  43. possession, as byatt {british museum}
  44. three men in a boat, kingston upon thames {kingston upon thames}
  45. the tiger in the smoke, margery allingham {mayfair}
  46. towards the end of morning, michael frayn {elephant & castle}
  47. the last days of newgate, andrew pepper {city}
  48. sleep with me, joanna briscoe {bloomsbury}
  49. the queen of the tambourine, jane gardam {merton}
  50. under the net, iris murdoch {camden}
  51. growing yams in london, sophia acheampong {cricklewood}
  52. harry potter & the philosopher's stone, jk rowling {kings cross}
  53. the haunting of alaizabel cray, piccadilly circus {piccadilly circus}
  54. paddington bear, michael bond {paddington}
  55. peter pan, jm barrie {kensington gardens}
  56. stoneheart, charlie fletcher {natural history museum}
  57. stormbreaker, anthony horowotiz {science museum}
  58. madeline in london, ludwig bermelmans {buckingham palace}
  59. this is london, miroslav sasek {st paul's cathedral}
  60. raven queen, pauline francis {tower of london}


a few things

here are a few things i'm really into lately:

these shoes.

handmade food.

river cottage yogurt.

this book.

and this one too.


a little bit of philosophy.

indiana {can't wait}.

walks in the park.

a cup of really great tea.

living your best life.

anyway, have a good week. i have to get back to listening to kids perform. so far, it hasn't been too painful. i'll cross my fingers this trend continues.


daily photo

i am going to start a regular feature on my blog that i've seen elsewhere called, 'daily photo' where you capture something random/inspirational from the day on film {although you don't necessarily have to take a picture every single day}. i think its a good excuse to practice my photography skills which i'm desperate to improve on as i'm no pro. i've always liked art but really started liking photography a few years back. its only recently that i decided i am finally getting off my backside and learning something so i can seriously progress with this new hobby of mine. who know's where my hobby could lead eh? anyway-- this picture is from a gorgeous little park 2 minutes from our flat. i found the colors of this pic relaxing, what do you think?


brave boy

9 years, 10 months is how long james has had facial hair. i've known him for 9 years and been with him for 7 1/2. besides pictures from the past, i've never seen him sans goatee until yesterday. i dared him to be different and he surprisingly just went with the moment. whether this will last, its hard to say--but how super brave is this? change is good now and then and i think its shaved years off not only his looks but his spirit as well.


photo rebel

i'm really resisting at the moment having to listen to pre-pubescant musicians from across the country perform endless interpretations of 'titanic' and who give a new meaning to 'in tune' {thank goodness i'm paid for this pleasure}, so i decided i would treat you to my newly discovered work distraction: flickr mosaics. the above are random photos i've taken over the years.

off to yoga soon which i'm certain will give me at least a bit of 'zen' or inner harmony to get through a few more hours of performances. at least due to statistics i'm destined to hear at least a little inspiring music every now and then. although i do have a confession and admit i secretly enjoy doing this even if its only temporary. heck-without those painful to hear, the truly excellent wouldn't sound half as sweet.

have a good weekend.