Eat, Pray, Love on holiday

I saw another trailer has been released for this film. I can't wait. When I go on my trip to the US/France in about 3 weeks I'll get to see this in the states with my mum before it comes out in the UK. I'll probably be a blubbering idiot through the whole thing. Maybe this is what its like to be a 'Twi-hard'? What should I call myself an E.P.L.-junkie?

I'm hoping that there will be a UK premiere for this flick in the city and that I'll get to go and be wild and crazy and stand in line for about 6 hours for the chance to possible meet Javier Bardem and Julia Roberts. Its been a while I've been to one of these, so maybe I need a bit of screaming girls in my ear for a few hours for a good time? I'll be standing there like a real book nerd...but can you imagine having all those sig's on my little ole beaten up copy of E.P.L? Maybe I should get one done for e-bay?

I don't know what it is about this story that has hit such a chord with me. Its in my top 5 favorite books of all time. I think its kind of a combination of being able to relate to finding yourself through travel, relationship problems and really not knowing what the hell to do your life. I think Liz Gilbert puts it in such a way that makes you want to be a better person too through her writing. I hope to be able to write a book like this...that inspires and connects to people one day.

Anyway, I guarantee you'll be hearing about E.P.L. on this blog again in future.



Save Greenwich Food Court

Recently we found out that Greenwich Hospital Trust is trying to close down a large portion of of the food section of Greenwich Market.  There's been a lot of speculation for the real reasons why this is happening but its almost certain that its due to money and plans for redevelopment.  It bothers me when an organisation who clearly has never set foot in Greenwich and has no idea about the market or what it means to the locals (and tourists) goes in and wants to destroy an integral part of the village.

James and I love Greenwich and the market.  We shop there all the time and the food court is the best part.  I know for a fact a lot of tourists just come for the food.  I even remember seeing some stalls being awarded a Local Food Hero mark by the British Chef Gary Rhodes.  The stalls offer something that the outlying restaurants do not....good quality, unique, fresh, inexpensive food.  If the food section is taken away, it will most definitely kill the rest of the market and one of the main tourist draws to Greenwich village.   That is something I don't really want to see happen.  I have a lot of wonderful fond happy memories from my times in this market. 

I am all for refurbishing what's already here so that it will last...but redevelopment to a World Heritage Site?  Preservation not Desolation is what I want to see.  Profits not put ahead of community.  Sadly this happens frequently to treasured sites doesn't it?

I'm just one person though and these are just my opinions.  There's been a petition circulating the market and online.  You can sign it if you'd like...Here's the link.  I sure hope the petition will stop this stupidity otherwise our lovely weekend walks mixed in with the market will get a lot more depressing.


My evening with Seane Corne

picture from HERE

I had the pleasure of being able to do a yoga class with Seane Corne last night at TriYoga in Primose Hill. Seane Corne is a world famous yoga teacher.  I credit her DVDs to being my first 'real' exposure to yoga about 5/6 years ago when I started practicing.  I think I had tried doing some 'weight loss' yoga DVD before hers but it wasn't really yoga or a very good video at all.  When I finally got Seane's DVDs it was like, 'oh so this is what yoga is'.  She made it feel familiar, right and wonderful all at the same time.

I think without yoga I'd be in a completely different place right now in my life.  I'd probably still be well over 250 lbs and much much unhappier.  Yoga started me on a healing journey (that I'm still on) and completely changed who I am....or maybe I should say....it has brought the real me back out.  It also eventually led me to get more interested in healthy eating, the environment, etc.  Without Seane Corne's DVD's honestly none of this would have ever happened.

So, you could say I was BEYOND nervous to actually take a class with her in person.  In an indirect way she greatly influenced my life and is one of my heroes.That kind of thing tends to bring the butterflies out.


The minute I walked into the TriYoga studio, I felt my nerves dissipate.  Its like a spa with candles and incense all around painted in colors that soothe:  purples, blues, yellows.

 I waited patiently in the class (on the back row).  I was a tad apprehensive about being the biggest girl there.  Yes, I was but I managed to hold my own in the class I have to say.

Seane walked in and my first impression was oh my gosh she's stunning.  She's so little but yet radiates such peace and calm.  Physically she's gorgeous....and boy she's got a head of hair on her!  She also looks strong enough she could bench press a NFL line backer without breaking a sweat.

She chatted to the class for about 1/2 hr giving us an introduction to her style, to her philosophy of yoga.  I can't remember everything she said but I remember how I felt.  This was going to be a class that would change me.

We then hit the mat.....two hours of yoga flew by.  It was exhausting but motivating and inspiring at the same time.  When she came around and adjusted us (including me)....it didn't feel like any unusual yoga class at all.  It felt like I was working with an old friend.  Seane's class was funny, challenging, motivating and incredibly inspiring.  I wasn't surprised that by the end of the class, tears were streaming down my face.

Afterwards I went up and got a chance to chat to her for a minute.  I told her Thank You and a little bit of my background on why it was such a joy for me to meet her.  I was shaking a bit talking to her but I managed to say what I wanted to.  She gave me a hug goodbye.  It was absolutely amazing to meet her.  She was humble, gracious and an absolute delight.

It was one of the best experiences I've ever had.  I know it probably sounds a bit strange gushing about people like I have...but I think everyone has had individuals cross their paths that have greatly influenced them.  Seane Corne just happens to be one of mine.  I hope I'll get to work with her again.  In the meantime, I'm going to keep practicing yoga...getting stronger and stronger in something I adore.


A little bit of Monty Python goes a long Way

There's nothing more British than a bit of Monty Python. James happens to ADORE this franchise. His collection of memorabilia is huge and James can quote all the Python sketches and films by heart. Well, when I heard that Michael Palin (part of the Python gang) was doing a book signing....I convinced James he just had to go as he's never met any of them.  The tickets although they included dinner were enough that James just went by himself to save a few pennies.  I stayed up till nearly midnight waiting till James got home to hear about the evening.  Based on the huge smile on his face it was well worth the £40.  I think there's something about getting to meet one of your childhood heroes that tends to make you want to burst with joy.  James really needed this which made this ole' girl smile too.   

James wasn't able to get a picture with Michael Palin, but got some general pics, managed to have a nice chat with Michael and get a book signed.  These pics aren't the best quality (James took them) but I thought I'd share them anyway:


What I'm Longing For

A vacation....a really long one. Start off in Paris, go to the South of France...move to Italy and spend like 6 weeks in Italy eating gelato and pasta.
A new pillow.
A good nights sleep.
My own money....enough so that I can finally make my own decisions about my life.
A job that will make me beam from ear to ear when I get up every day and makes me feel like I have a purpose finally.
A garden where I can sit outside for a cup of tea.
Girlfriends to go out and have fun with and who won't leave me if I'm having a rough time.
A house with a room full of books.
To go to this place again.
A DSLR camera that is good enough I wont need another one for a long time.
Courage to do things that I don't want to do.
To make a difference in this world.
People to stop judging me or taking offence with things I say so darn easily.
A family that loves me unconditionally. 
A pet dog or cat.
The good days to outnumber the bad days.
A clean house.
A big bowl of soup with nice warm squishy bread. 
A big warm bubblebath (our water heater fixed).
To be able to forgive people easier.
Long walks through the park.
A no fly zone over London again so I can hear the birds.
A big huge gooey chocolate brownie that wont make me fat.
To be healthy on the inside and out.
To be happy with simplicity and quiet and with myself.
A good hearty laugh session.
A long session watching Old Movies.
A relationship that is nurturing and happy.
For people to like me.
Good Hair.
A big fluffy duvet day.

As inspired by Jen.

The 7 link Challenge

I'm playing along with a blog challenge today from Susannah Conway. Here's my interpretation.  It was awfully hard to pick just one post for some of them....so I cheated and picked a couple:

My first Post: Welcome

A post you enjoyed writing the most:  One of the best things about Christmas and Lost in Translation

A post with great discussion:  I'm not a mommy blogger and British Stereotypes

A post on someone else's blog that I wish I'd written:  This one, this one and anything by Denise.

Your most helpful post:  How to do London on a Budget

A post with a title that your proud of: How I left religion and found God and Pigs and the City

A post that you wish more people had readWhat I like best about London


Deptford: the Wild West of London?

Apparently last year the NYT did a travel piece on Deptford.  They said that it was edgy and definitely 'the Wild West of London' (Well the SE).  There was a big hoopla over here in the Daily Mail and other news agencies saying how you've got to be kidding, how could you ever tell people to visit someplace as run-down and depressing as Deptford.   Well, considering I live about a 15 minute walk from Deptford and I've frequently walked through it to pick up packages and get to Greenwich I'd have to agree that it is not something to write home about.  I'd never go there at night and unless I have to go through it, I'll avoid it.  However, I do agree with the NYT that there is an 'edge' and 'charm' to it as well and its at least worth a one off visit (on a Sat morning if you can).  I've been to some pretty posh destinations in my years of travelling but I've seen extreme poverty too.  Often its the unpolished places and off the tourist path that you learn more about a country and that end up sticking in your mind the most:

 (All photos taken on the way to pick up a package)

P.S.  Here's another post of mine that has pictures of Deptford.


How Photography can Make a Difference

This has been making the rounds on blog land. I've already put it on my Facebook....but I like it so much I'm putting it here too.

I once thought photography was just something you avoided at family get-togethers and vacations but these last few years I've discovered it can be quite healing. Particularly the last 8 weeks, I've been doing an 'Unravelling' course which uses photography and writing to discover yourself, build self-esteem and heal. Its been changing my life in a big way. So hearing Jen say what photography did for her and those around her...I'm not surprised.

I do like what Jen says about when your heart opens your photography completely changes. I've noticed this with my pictures....the more I allow myself to connect and to open myself to gratitude and love....the more my pictures speak that too.  The technique comes later.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the video.



Wordless Weekend


Emergency Shopping

I had an emergency shopping trip yesterday. Usually avoid these trips like the plague because I find them draining on my energy and self-esteem. Had to look for a birthday present for James' niece and an interview outfit though, so I had no choice but shop. 

I stopped off at Regent Street to London's version of FAO Shwartz: Hamley's toy shop. Its 5 floors of kids on sugar highs and parents trying to avoid spending an absolute fortune on toys that will be broken in a week. My mission for buying a present for James' niece was to get something girly cause she's turning SIX. So, after much searching and disappointment at how much the housewife and mother role were like in practically every girls' toy (not that there's nothing wrong with being a housewife/mother)... I caved and got a Barbie doll. It wasn't just any Barbie though, it was Doctor Barbie. I thought if I had to get some stereotypical girl doll I'd at least give James' niece the message that she could be something more than Malibu Barbie, Fashion Barbie or Wedding Gown Barbie. I'm hoping Gloria Steinham would approve.

On the way to Covent Garden to look for clothes....I stopped in the National Geographic Store. I always like going places that feed my inner traveller. They've got great pictures lined everywhere for inspiration. One day I hope to have one of my pictures hanging in their store.

Leicester Square (next to Covent Garden) was busy . Its tourist season and also when loads of school groups from Europe come over for school trips (beats the lousy stops to the state capitol I had in school). I always find it interesting how many half-price ticket booths for the theatre there are in the square. I would never use one of those booths...you can never guarantee what you're going to get.

Covent Garden was a painful shopping experience. After convincing from James I popped to Canary Wharf and managed to find something for my interview last minute. I did manage to take a few pictures whilst perusing the shops. Don't you love the 'street piano' where anyone can sit down and play?

So it took me nearly 6 hours to find one barbie doll, a pair of trousers and a top.  I can see why my preferred means of shopping is online.  I don't know how some girls do it with these long shopping excursions.  They must build up their endurance with little trips to flex the ole' muscles.  If you have secrets on how to shop better...do tell.  I could use any tips on improving my technique. 



Running and July 4th Expats

Its been quite a busy weekend. Saturday I did my 10k race for Run for Women Congo/Women for Women International. The heat made it pretty darn tough. I ended up accomplishing my goal of raising £150 though and I got some amazing exercise in the process.

The race was held in Regents Park in North London and it was gorgeous. I've been there before but I managed to notice things I didn't the last time:

Today we joined about 1k other US expats for an afternoon of music, picnics and American food.  It was nice to be around other Americans for a little 4th of July celebration even though the heat was unbearable.

Overall an enjoyable weekend. Would love to hear about what all of you have been up to the last couple of days!!




Summer Inspiration

One Blue Wren.  Polaroid available for purchase here.

The weather in London has been hot/humid but glorious.  Looking forward to the weekend.  Have my race tomorrow (there's still time to sponsor me!) and then Sunday I'm going to a 4th of July picnic with about 700 other American expats.  Yes, Christine is being social!
Hope you have a great weekend.