Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Any suggestions?

Missed my ATS class last night due to a defective train on the central line. By the time I got to Liverpool Street, it was past 6:30 and it would have taken me another 15min to get to the studio. So, it was time to turn around and head home again. Grrrr, I hate that when it happens!

Over the last few weeks I've been working on a list of things I would like to do in the last year of my 20s. I was inspired by a friend who's doing exactly the same thing. So far the list consists of:
  • learn to ski
  • go on a jack the ripper tour
  • have afternoon tea in London (hopefully at the Lanesborough)
  • try poi spinning and hoopdancing
  • eat pie and mash in the east end (I draw the line at jellied eels)
  • go to a burlesque class

I'm not sure that I am very good at this game, so I'm open to suggestions! Nothing that involves jumping off buildings or crazy nonsense like that. I'm a "both feet on the ground" kind of gal ;o)


Monday, January 26, 2009

Tribal weekend

This weekend had a bit of a tribal bellydance theme as it was Tribalondon. It was my first time at the event and I am already looking forward to next year when I can do more workshops!

Friday evening's treat was a workshop with the wonderful Sharon Kihara. It was two hours of stretching, conditioning and beginning to work on core isolations, which built on the material in her DVD. She is even more gorgeous in real-life and her teaching style is fun and friendly. I loved that she uses terms like "cat-barf" and "gooey" to describe moves, as they just fit perfectly.

On Saturday, Graeme and I planned to visit the Rothko enhibition at Tate Modern. However, when we got there tickets had sold out until 5.30 in the afternoon. It wasn't a wasted day though, as we went for a wander along past the Globe and encountered some parts of southbank that we hadn't seen before. We discovered the Clink Street Prison Museum - on the site of London's oldest prison. Hence the term "in the clink"! We also found the Golden Hinde tucked away next to a Cafe Nero (how convenient). It's rather nice when interesting things happen out of disappointment!

Then, it was off for a Vietnamese meal on Kingsland Road. I observed that there are many vietnamese restaurants on the way to and from my ATS class. It turns out Kingsland Road is the best area for vietnamese food in London, so Graeme and I took advantage of being in the area to try some out. It was very good and wonderfully cheap too. We had two courses and two drinks all for under £30!

The day finished with the Tribalondon show, which was excellent. The first half was slightly hit and miss with some performances much better than others. However, I think that was a lot more to do with personal taste than lack of talent as all the dancers were fantastic. The second half was soooo good though. The tribal section of the Bellydance Superstars put on such a good show and there was a good level of variety between the different dances. I came home determined to get practising more (as usual)!

Sunday was a bit of an odd day. Graeme went off to his study group as usual, so I pootled about at home in the morning. We had booked tickets to go to the Babylon exhibition at the British Museum for later in the afternoon. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived at the Museum I had an awful migraine and my vision was coming and going. The Museum were lovely about it and changed the tickets to next weekend, so there was nothing for it except home to bed. I was fine after some nurofen and a nap thankfully. I even managed to watch "Ratatouille" in the evening, which cheered us both up!

The last few weekends have been really good actually. I think there's a lot to be said about doing loads of things and feeling like you've achieved something!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today I have been totally caught up in the sea of emotion surrounding the inauguration of Barack Obama as US President. I have to admit that I was sceptical when he first appeared in the race for the White House all those months ago. I had no idea who he was and what he stood for. Now, I think I am a total convert and that realisation comes as a surprise. I think he embodies what America and the western world need right now - hope and unity.

A group of us gathered around a PC in our office at work at 4pm to watch the ceremony together. I don't think any of us were disappointed. Obama's inauguration speech hit all the right notes and as a scientist my heart soared when he said "we will restore science to its rightful place". I sincerely hope that he can keep his promises, as so many people whole-heartedly placed their faith in him today.

"...know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy"
- Barack Obama

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Off and running (or should it be "snapping"?)

My 2009 photo diary on Flickr

Kat's already found it! Thanks for the comments, hun!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

52 books in 52 weeks

I received an email from Penguin Books this week about their "52 Books in 52 Weeks" challenge. Now, I'm not really interested in many of the books on their list but it's something I'd like to do as I am a total bookworm! I read every day on the Tube to keep me sane as I am sneezed on, squished into peoples armpits and generally violated on the way to work. So, it was off to the library today to stock up on books for the weeks ahead. I'm going to make a hitlist of books for 2009 and see how many I manage to get ticked off!


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Photo a day?

Every new year there is a deluge of photo a day challenges on scrapbooking forums and I usually ignore them. However, after reading posts on Kat's and Shimelle's blog, I've decided to play along... a little. Over the last few years I have grown to be strict about getting involved with anything that entails any sort of daily/weekly/monthly committment (with the exception of classes etc) as I get upset when life gets in the way making it more of a stress than a pleasure.

However, in saying that, I would like to take more photos in a way that documents the little things as well as big events. So, I am going to attempt to do a daily(ish) photo on Flickr with a little bit of blurb. More like an online photo diary really containing little snippets of my life. I've got some photos ready to go and will be popping them on flickr this weekend. I'll post a link when they are done.

I also think it's a good opportunity for me to play with camera more. I know I need to learn more about my camera and this is a good chance to experiment. The photo in this post was the result of me playing about with a vase of white roses and a spotlight! I really enjoyed looking at the different results as I moved the light around!

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First week back at work

Not had much time to post this week, as I've been busy most evenings. I'm glad tomorrow is Friday as this week at work has just dragged. Really, really bored with the job now but plans are afoot. Hmmmm, I think it was the same story this time last year!

I started a new ATS (American Tribal Style) bellydance class on Tuesday evening, which has made me very happy. I used to do Tribal in Edinburgh but never managed to find a class near enough to home in London. Not that the new class is near to home - it's in Hackney - but it is easy to get to from work. The teacher seems very good and the class were really friendly (one of them accosted me at the bus-stop and chatted all the way to Liverpool Street). I arrived home feeling all warm inside despite the freezing temperatures outside!

Graeme's parents stayed with us last night as they need to get to Heathrow super early this morning to fly to St Petersburg. It's Graeme's Mum's 60th birthday today and this is her birthday treat. Not that she looks anything like 60 years old!

No plans for the weekend as yet. We might end up glued to the TV watching season 3 of Battlestar Galactica. We've a lot of catching up to do!


Friday, January 02, 2009

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

Happy New Year all! We had a bit of an odd Hogmanay this year. Graeme's friends are staying as usual and we all decided we didn't want to stress of struggling into the centre of London again. Instead we went up the road to the roundabout at the top of the hill where you can see the London Eye! Unfortunately, it was a bit hazy so we didn't see much but there were loads of fireworks going on over Putney, which was nice. Admittedly, it was so chilly we didn't spend too long outside before heading back to the flat to enjoy some champagne!

2008 gave me:

  • a new job. So much better than the old one but still not 100% what I need. Nicer workplace + nicer management = much less stress!
  • a new flat and a mortgage to go with it (eek!)
  • a trip to Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro
  • Chai Lattes and the best Yule Log ever (Waitrose patisserie)
  • four less teeth than I started the year with!
Aims for 2009:
  • to do some soul searching and come up with a proper career plan

  • to learn to ski

  • to go somewhere really special for my 30th birthday

  • to improve my bellydancing significantly

  • to write a diary again - started this one already!

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