i find the transition period between christmas and new years slightly awkward. its kind of like having to wait around for a running race to start but you're two hours early and you can't even collect your number yet. i'm anxious to forget about this year and have butterflies for what may be in store for me in 2009. i'm keen to try to fix things, well a lot of things in my life actually. i wont lie---this year was freakin' tough. i survived though and i know that every moment i've had in 2008 was a 'lesson' in disguise--perfectly picked out just for me to help shape who i am & pave the way for who i will become.

i've been thinking during this 'transition' period about new years resolutions too--should i? shouldn't i? every year i get sucked in to the pressure of creating huge long lists of what to finish by the end of the year. each dec 30/31 i see the lists of things not crossed off and i get frustrated about how time left me. so, this year i'm making changes and keeping things simple.

i've cut it down to three goals:

1- be positive
2- focus on one day at a time
3- be present in each moment

i figure if i work on these that everything else will fall into place--the weight loss, the job, the relationship, everything.

so, we'll see what happens i guess. i wish i could look into my crystal ball and know what's in store. i'm nervous in a way because i want things to get better than they've been . but, i'm just going to have to trust in the unknown and keep going.

"a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step" ~ Lao Tzu


my christmas

1. Canada goose, 3. christmas bokeh, 4. christmas at the observatory, 5. greenwich park, 6. our christmas tree, 7. santa in greenwich, 10. holly, 11. winter, 15. doors, 16. tall swan
{all images by me except for two which can be found here}

just a few pics to show what we've been up to this christmas. we've had a glorious holiday--full of good food, quiet, perfect presents and memories.


happy christmas

wishing you all a magical christmas with blessings & joy in the new year.

images from here.


my first christmas pantomime

image from here.

so, we went and did something apparently very english last night---watching a pantomime for the holidays. we saw 'jack & the beanstalk' at greenwich theatre and i have to say it probably one of the weirdest experiences of mine to date. pantomime's have been around a really long time in this country and the only way i could describe what i saw is a mixture of drama/cabaret/slapstick/audience participation/over the top drag queen show. in american terms--i think if you want to picture a bit of saturday night live, the old variety shows from the 40's or bits of the carol burnett show and times all these by 10. but even still its hard to capture the exact feel of these shows in american terms. anything that we might have had/do have like this was originally inspired by the british pantomimes.

usually they consist of some fairytale, with men dressed up as women, pretty dancing girls, interjecting lots of song and dance numbers, audience participation (booing at the villains), singing at the end, a bit of slapstick, bad acting, over the top costumes & wigs and sets (some that even fall apart mid way through like ours did). the audience is full of people of literally all ages and by the end everyone has had a good time.

although i was in shock for most of the time and couldn't stop laughing cause i couldn't believe it was happening---it was good fun and i wouldn't mind going again. i think what was most shocking was seeing an audience of usually well behaved brits do more enthusiasm & show such sheer hyperactivity in a 2 hour show than they do all year. all i can say is---wow.

anyway, if you want to watch a bit of a pantomime here's a snippet off of youtube.


vintage for the holidays

my gosh, i'm loving darling dexter's blog! she mentioned jessica hische today and her illustrations and style are just up my alley. i love the vintage feel of colors, lettering and everything. these two i thought were adorable for the holidays:

this one i love cause its what i'm doing friday in celebration of somehow getting through another year. {minus the schnauzer of course}

all images from here. jessica's blog is here.


i want muppets for christmas

this was on the tele. this weekend and i've now decided i officially want the muppets for christmas. i adore this movie this time of year and how you don't question the fact that vegetables and mice start breaking out in song. i love the london/east end setting, the english christmas culture throughout and the fact that i understand so much more about these things cause of living here.

too bad muppets aren't real though cause i think the world would be so much better if we all broke out into random song and dance every once in a while. this and it would be so much of a hoot sharing the morning commutes on the tube {subway} with talking barnyard animals. i don't know maybe i should start a petition, what do you think?


thoughts on acupuncture

many moons ago it seems that i started acupuncture. for a few weeks now because i've made such improvement i've been able to move to every other week and hopefully in the new year i'll be able to cut down my appointments even more. so...i figured now is a good time to elaborate on what i think of the whole process of alternative healing.

frankly, its been a blessing & i'm hooked. where western medicine hasn't had a clue what to do with me {and still don't}, acupuncture has provided huge relief. i don't understand how something as simple as a few needles can completely change your entire sense of well being, but it has.

i would say that about 60% of my health symptoms have either drastically improved or completely disappeared. i still have quite a few things to deal with in regards to pain and other health ailments but i no longer feel like the plague of death for 3 weeks out of the month. i feel like i'm slowly getting my life back & for me that's a huge thing to smile at.

i now also enjoy the chinese herbs where i once gagged on them. i've embraced them and look forward to my brew of mother nature's goodness. i think its amazing how so many things for healing are right in our own backyard. who knows what cure's are out there already given to us by the universe? {makes me think of the sean connery movie, 'medicine man' and the cure for cancer being destroyed in the rain forests}

on the downside--acupuncture has put a bit of a dent in our wallet. i get anxious about the cost particularly as i'm struggling to find work STILL and james has had so much financial burden on him already. but he assures me that health comes first. i just hope that he feels the same way in a month or so after i have to start seeing a private doctor but can't get insurance to cover things {pre-existing condition/chronic illness}.

acupuncture can hurt too, like really hurt, like feeling like a sharp knife in your nerve kind of hurt. putting in the needles every session initially hurts too, but then its pretty funky what happens after that. after the initial 'hurt/pain'---incredible feelings of well being, relaxation and 'clarity' {if that's the right word for it} come over you. i've also had a few weird side affects--nothing major. after sessions i've had to pee, i've cried uncontrollably and its all because those little simple needles release so much emotion and toxins built up over the years. its just an amazing, cleansing, healing experience.

so.....i would recommend it to anyone who can afford the sessions. it is worth it and works for reasons i can't explain. even if i can't explain it or western medicine still doesn't understand everything about it---i think embracing all ways of healing can be beneficial. some of the most wonderful things in life people can't explain, but its about having faith & trust in the unknown. i'm sold & i would encourage anyone who is interested to embrace complementary healing too. you never know may actually be in for a pleasant 'healing' surprise.

bronte's doll house

funny how i started to read jane eyre just this morning and lo & behold i see this later. charlotte bronte decorated this dollhouse and its up for sale. read more here.

images from here.
thanks to marvelous kiddo for the heads up.

it reminds me a lot of another famous doll house i saw over at windsor castle. {which blows my mind away}. running water, real lights, real teeny books and art commissioned by really famous people. doubt you'd ever find something like this at toys r us.

image from here
click on pic to see detail {pic is of just one side, there's 4!}


twinkly lights & all things nice

who knows, with all these festive goodies across blog land & the internet--this ole grinch may just find herself getting into the holiday spirit this year.

{picture from here}

twinkly lights

christmas card courtesy of dooce.

the perfect tree courtesy of u.o.

{thanks to even*cleveland for the heads up}

stockings from sundance.

with a bit of snow:

little elves from down under


of course contemplation on presents from one of the cutest blogs on the planet: darling dexter

{even still is xmas really only like 2 1/2 wks away, eek!}


covent garden christmas

had a glorious time in covent garden over the weekend.
ate a bit of lunch at carluccios,
bought the rest of our christmas cards

did a bit of window shopping

took in the christmas decorations

did a bit of people watching

and found a new hidden gem: neal's yard.


note to self

dont weigh yourself if you've recently been indulging too much in:

image from Flickr


image from flickr

you may have sudden urges to attack the scale with a sledgehammer.

the holidays and my waistline never mix very well.

i don't know how some girls can have appetites like blokes but when i even look at a freakin' fruit cake i pack on 10 lbs.
i swear they must not be from this planet.

thank goodness god created news years resolutions & the month of january.
a girl needs a bit of time to make a comeback.


staying warm

1. chickadee and the snowman, 2. winter sunset, 3. strip-tease!!!, 4. 17.365 scarves much?
{images from flickr}

it gets cold here, darn cold. but london gets so cold it wont snow that often {if it does it melts really quick}. we get a lot of gray, wet freezing blustery weather.
from the months of like september to the end of april i swear the sun rarely comes out.

the houses aren't built with central heating. most have space heaters attached to the walls that come on at night. we don't get double glazed windows either unless you physically have them put in. see-- most houses are still old victorian ones and double glazing wasn't invented yet and they just transferred this little idea to apartments/flats. its only recently that the government has said put double glazing in new properties cause of environmental concerns.

so every winter i am bundled up like a little eskimo. even with our heaters, i still walk around our flat with blankets and sweaters. this winter seems colder than last years. either that or i'm just getting old. james darn him doesn't feel the cold like i do. maybe its a girly thing.

at least we've stocked up on the hot chocolate.
nothing like dark hot chocolate with marshmallows
on a cold December day.