The Jean pant thing.

‘I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.’

Yves Saint Laurent

Times I curse throwing out any of my jeans, dating all the way to the 70’s: should rather have had a treasure chest up in an attic somewhere, just for jeans past.  They all told a story; 

  • remember the sewing of butterflies, flowers and sunny sun’s with smiles and rays and everything? And at least one peace sign all “Hair’ and hippy like. Braids at the bottom.
  • Jeans flared at the bottom, like masts on a sailing ship.
  • My sister had tie dye jeans that looked like trees climbing up her legs.
  • Lying on the floor at Uni, trying to get the zip up.
  • Getting into wet jeans because we believed they would fit better if they dried on us. What were we thinking?
  • Salt washed, ripped, high waisted, button up and fifty shades of blue, my treasure chest of jeans would have brought back a million memories.

Hindsight, my old jeans would have been my children’s fashion item, because the truth is, I would never have been able to fit into them now.  Oh dear, there it is, I said it! Ugh, ugh, ugh!

 

But, but she says, not even close to the big ass Mum pant, up there under the diaphragm, Hindenburg covering stomach, enough blue denim to sort out a squadron – but I am looking more a new pair of jeans. So, any ideas as to what I should choose?

Been out of the jean dating scene for some time, wearing the old faithfuls with a keen inkling to add to the jean portfolio, but here in London, so many shops that … sell jeans.  So many different sizes that don’t say 34,36 or whatever but leg this and waist this and let’s face it, those little death boxes with the sadistic lighting will never convince me this is the pair … so I sort of need to do something I have never done before:

Jean research

This could be serious.  Could require detective skills of note.  Could even motivate water in favour of food to allow for the best conditions for the union. 

Jean pant out there somewhere, you have my name on you.  Admittedly there was a time when I though nah, am getting too old for the blue in tight, in favour of gym pant comfort and oh Lord, thank goodness I got over that one after two months of gym pant with dressing gown fashion.  I am back to sassy and the old jean pants will not be forsaken but treasure chest in attic pretend bound.

If you have any great tips for Silver Street Jeans shopping, let me know!

Images pintrest, vogue

 

 

It’s ok to live in the past. Don’t leave your heart there … blood rush exists.

If you’re looking for me, I the one reaching for the Vitamin D.  Days last sun came, and this winter is  rather trying.  It’s post Christmas and the shiny lights don’t do it for me anymore – the mere thought of grey skies until whenever, sans any tan lines, leads to introspective everything.  It’s ok.  Perhaps we need this hibernation of body and soul to reflect, but also to plan.

Tonight I find myself alone, waiting for the impending marriage this weekend of the father of my children, who are all on that shore for the celebration.  I am allowed the shadow on my soul.

A dear friend misses her husband, now gone 17 years ago and as she said, time only allows you to live a different kind of life, but the missing never goes away.

Watched the most depressing, and awful movie about two women who try to recapture their past but they are clearly as awful as the film for not adapting to the times.

My intuitive and gorgeous daughter kindly reminded me that all the stories I ever speak of are ones in the past.  I am effectively a ‘When we’ and I reluctantly, but admittedly find myself doing this – which is totally unfair to them, and to myself.

Is it this Silver Time though?  Have we reached the arc of experience only to find ourselves slipping life into the memories that were, plodding with life now rather than embracing and challenging her instead?  Have we effectively lived our lives and now find ourselves living through others, being reactive rather than proactive?  Why would this be?

Clearly, this generation have fumbled, been victorious, failed and achieved rather a lot in the our lifetimes – our book has chapters within, some great and some not so great, but do we continue to subject those we love, and ourselves to this memory trip and does that in turn become a defeatist forward failing? All around me I see Silver Streeters smiling only for grandchildren, wait for family to visit, get through the day and at every opportunity speak of the past as if it were our only point of reference – which is so sad.  So, so sad. I honestly cannot think of a conversation with my friends that did not refer only to where and what the children are doing.  Their days, and mine are governed by the expectation of others coming into theirs.  How wonderful if I heard a friend saying they are beginning a new business, going scuba diving or taking a lover.  Going to dye their hair blue, climb something (preferably the lover) and smash into 2018 without caution or regret.

Having said that, we are also warriors and captors of the past.  Our hearts have soared and broken so many times.  This may just be the time that we stop to really think about it.  And we are allowed to.  Sometimes we want to remind our children and friends that the good times did exist, that happiness was manifest, our egos took preference and love was physically and spiritually perfect. We are allowed to be ‘when we’s’ for our when we’s were amazing. Now our hearts break when children leave, relationships end and people die.  It happens at this time.  We downsize, miss our gardens, find exercise just a tad straining.  We don’t run anymore. We drink pills, and wine and our eyesight fails us. Clothes don’t fit, menopause is a bitch and we slump, in every way.  So we try to remind all, and ourselves that we were once the hectic, amazonian wonder women.  Or are we still?

We are.  Throw out all the ‘Get over it’ announcements.  Don’t get over it, all of it, but don’t let it define you, as it has me for far too long. Change is scarier at this Silver Street time, the odds are stacked just a little more, but I for one am a long way from knitting and accepting it – needed to wallow and nurse the broken threads that held my life together, but in all honesty, even I am getting tired of the story.  My friend is allowed to mourn forever, we all are, but only if it does not turn our hearts to ancient stone of memories and prevents us from finding new ones, our own ones.

Living in the past is beautiful, only if it spurs us on and doesn’t hold us trapped. Admitting to loss and pain is part of the healing.  We have nurtured and fought for and I think part of the when we thing is also a new found anxiety of having to face being just you – no parents, no partner, no children, and some no more friends. 

Tonight, in the midst of winter …

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.’ Camus

My friend, mourn, talk about the one you miss as much as you want.

I will talk about the past incessantly.  

Don’t leave your heart in the past – she still gets a blood rush if you let her for the future.

Tomorrow we will kick some ass.

 

Images Peintres

In a day …

 

Times when living in a small apartment is too small and the getting out to remind myself that living in London is a privilege means hopping on a bus, any bus (as it turns out) to navigate into the city. 

Today it was the number 39 and 87 (the new major has bestowed on us locals a free second bus within an hour) and so to Clapham Junction and then onto Parliament Square.  Being on a bus is still and remains a novel experience and the best way to discover the city.  Being high up, I have the opportunity to gaze into windows of apartments, into the backyards of dwellers and peer into the lives of urban citizens in every shape or form.  Pristine, unkept, rented, owned. Some with neat squares of garden, some with weeds overgrown amongst bins and debris. People are living there is the story. It is the London few tourists see, hidden and sullied in urban resilience . And resilience is what it is all about. I am in awe of these great Londoners.

It reminds me of the shock of actually becoming other than the tourist.

Still, there is something fundamentally brotherhood in seeing the council houses, the chicken and kebab shops on the route. The bus fills with personalities of all race, ages and types.  Chocolate children and young mothers with no wedding rings, glued to phones in the standard track suit of daily being. Their lives are as small as a punnet of strawberries, tasted and forgotten. The route is of children with instant dinners and soda, of turbans and old ladies with shopping carts. I sit on this bus with the idea of a past life and a story no-one cares to hear.  Some are silent with music for comfort, other talk loudly in broken English.

‘Yeah, innit just the most random my man.’

‘I swear, the baby is gonna get that conjuncti … summin’ that glues up them eyes and makes them brutal sick an she got no man and no babysitter sort the shit out when she gotta go to work.’

‘Well he said, that she said, that he said that Shamiqua was throwin’ her booty around like last year’s Christmas puddin’ and so he said that she said that he said …’

Everyone’s listening to everyone else … everyone is clutching the grocery bag.

They get off closer to Westminster Abbey. Life for them is not the places tourists visit, nor do they know of these, many having lived here for years without tasting any of it. It’s expensive London.

  

I see what the tourist don’t see.  I see a city in it’s totality. The poverty, seediness, delight and creativity of city living. I pass the back alleys, the derelict churches, the rising mosques.  I see demolition and growth and try to remember what was there before.  I pass MI6 at Vauxhall and think of Bond. I think of Brexit. I think of the Co-po funeral plan. The London that swells and shifts and the river that runs through it.

One of millions of making it through the day.  And as I alight in the Parliament of power, those people are gone, tourists and corporates take their place.  The London of postcards, the winter of lights, the tree from Norway on Trafalgar Square. Looming in her ever present state, The National Gallery to which I am headed for the shaking of life and the falling into another.  The lives of painters, long gone, now revered on walls. Their poverty and struggles are in the colours.

   

Cravavaggio.  He is a favourite and I am sad he died alone on a foreign beach at such a young age. I can stand before him now, with Vermeer, Rembrandt, Monet and Van Gogh. Room to gallery room I am in the company of historical genius in Art. They too were the lowly ones, the hired guns of the paintbrush, the angry young men, the dreamers and students of others.  There are never enough hours to stand before greatness, created by the gifted from stories not unlike those I left on the bus a few moments ago.

In a day, on a bus, from a sector of London to another, the richness of life on the streets to the magnificence of Cezanne and Manet.  Lautrec to Lavender Hill.  This is London, in a day, a short day with so much more to discover. There are artists now, the city inspires, the stories of everyday life are waiting to take their place …

And on my way back, on the bus, now clouded in human vapour and rain pouring down the windows, I wonder of my own place, somewhere in the middle and what it means. The opportunity to witness the greatness and the ordinary man – and who knows what talents lies within the city still?  Blessed I am to see it all.  Food for thought for sure. I am privileged to be part of this moving life …

 

All change the Fat Controller says.

‘But what if I don’t want to?’  she asked him humbly.

‘You have no choice.’ was his tort reply.

‘Don’t want to.  Don’t like change.’ she said defiantly.

‘We all have to change.  Change is the only constant in the world.’ he sighed as he said it.

‘Hurummph!’ she hurummphed.

‘Don’t you hurummph me!  Change is good for you.’ He clicked his tongue and pushed out his chest.

It ain’t good for me.  Let me off this change train Mr. Fat Controller.’ 

She is standing on the empty platform.  It’s the change train or the no train.  The platform is chilly.

We all love change when it’s of our own making, and we have control, but times that change gets thrust in your way and it’s ominous, it’s nasty and unwelcome.  But, it happens. If only someone had told us to get ready for it, handed out the handbook or something and given us fair warning.  So what to do when change comes in the mantle of ‘it’s good for you’ , or ‘you will be fine’ when you know it is the last thing you ever imagined.

You stop the bus.  Halt the train, get off the airplane.  Just for a little while until you can take it all in. Rage against the unfairness of what ever change you never anticipated, and then, when you realise it is still coming, and going to happen, you take control of it and buy a new ticket. Maybe the destination has changed, the passengers are not the ones you thought were on your journey till the end, your luggage went missing, but in life, just like the platform, you can either stand there, morbidly still and freezing, frozen in time, or find another schedule and get on the fast train you name after yourself.

The Fat Controller in life is change.

The Fat Controller could be anyone, or anything. He is a bully or a friend. You decide.

So she asked the Fat Controller.

‘Can I have a minute to think about it?’  feeling a little lost and caught in the aftermath of the train she just missed.  The life train she was on left her behind.

‘Take all the time you need.’ Grinning just a little.  ‘There are plenty of trains coming along soon. You decide which one you want to get on.’

‘I don’t know.  What if I don’t like the one I get on?’ she whispered.

‘Then change at the next station.  Just travel light this time, no need for baggage where you are going.’

We Silver somethings have plenty of baggage and change is baggage enough.  The trick is to fitter through it, keep the best and pack the rest. Unclutter your life, uncluttered your mind if change is here – make space for the new journey.

Just make sure you have some pretty lingerie, a comfy sweater, a fresh notebook and an open heart.

Your story continues …

Image: thomastankengineandfriends

 

 

 

 

The Guilt and ‘grrr’ of beggars on the street in Paris.

No woman, man or child should ever have to beg for their lives, dignity or daily bread.  In an ideal world, which we all know is nothing like the stories we read as children.  

Watching people beg upsets me. Coming from Africa, I thought myself quite immune to this, right down to the many street children with cupped hands at the lights.  But no, children no older than four doing the job for mother who is breastfeeding by the side of the road tears me up.  Or the blind man being led to my window for change.  I am a wreck when this happens and like PMS, on an emotional day, it’s me handing over all my money and sobbing all the way home.  Why is life so unfair?

However, I have also been on the other side of hostility emanating from those I thought I was helping.  Those very same children would, at times, reject my offer of nourishment – it’s the money for glue they want.  I have been spat on, cursed and told, with laden sarcasm, to ‘have a nice day because you can.’  This is the ‘grrr’ part coming to the fore.  I must say that in London, most homeless/jobless people are selling ‘The Issue’ and always polite.

The reason for writing now is my trip to Paris was riddled with beggars on the street.  Why do I always forget this part? Perhaps it’s my eternal romance with the city that causes selective memory but when it’s cold like this in December, at Christmas, the beggars are on practically every corner.  Some wearing Christmas hats.  All ages, men and women, sitting on cardboard or mattresses, many with animals beside them.  I believe they are given more government funding if they have and maintain good care of their dogs and cats (I actually met a man with a white rabbit on the sidewalk yesterday – quite entrepreneurial as the children could seldom resist.)

I know this is a controversial subject.  Been going on for years.  I thought I was immune.  I am not.

Reading up on where these individuals come from, Google has endless articles, all with varying opinions regarding the beggars in Paris.  Be it the older women, kneeling on the sidewalk, the mute but persistent young girls who thrust clipboards under your nose (and once tried to whip my Starbucks from the table – you should have seen me move and tell her to f … off, much to the delight of my children – goes to show what instinct brings out in all of us.)  Then there are the ‘did you lose this gold ring’ scam and the unwashed babies who should be safe and warm.  The signs and plastic cups are now so far placed in the middle of the sidewalk, one poor American kicked it over by accident – you would have thought he had killed Bambi. Kicking the man when he’s down’s cup is kicking the man when he’s down.

There is help.  Charities work tirelessly to feed, cloth and home the homeless and the hungry.  It is not a permanent solution.

I cannot give money to everyone. I work hard for mine and if I want to buy my children Christmas presents, it is my right to do so without guilt.

I would rather buy a broom from a person who has risen and found a solution to poverty by selling their wares rather than simply holding out their hands.

Every year for Christmas, each child receives a present of charity in their names:  a meal for a homeless person, a school uniform for a child, a lifeline for a donkey, these are some charities we support.

A few months ago, when I was in South Africa, I watched a documentary of a man who climbs down into the sewers everyday, wading through the muck in hope of finding objects he can sell and raise money for his family.  You would be surprised what treasure lies within the merde – diamonds and rings, cutlery and mobile phones – and though he may be killing himself with the toxic fumes and ecoli exposure, the man is doing something positive in his life.  He is not begging. 

To those I walk by, I do feel so guilty that I cannot make all your lives better and warmer this winter.

I feel powerless to help you when there are so many.

I should never develop a disregard for human need and those less fortunate than myself.

But there are times, and forgive me, when I just feel the ‘grrr’ of demands expected from me when I am doing my best not to make demands upon others.

And I hope … that there are Samaritans out there for you.  Or Angels, angels would be better …

 

Images Bread.org and Daily mail

To be at peace today

Today I found myself beside a pool, in the summertime, in another part of the world. 

With my best friend, all of fifty seven years ago.  We were spoiling ourselves with a little ‘extra’ pampering, post weddings, life, relationships and all that goes on in our beautiful, messy, glorious worlds.

Having longed for a pool for so very long, and ok, the body is not what it used to be, I wanted for three things:

  • To remember what it felt like as a young girl to swim.  Really swim, no holds barred. No worrying about the hair, open eyes under water kind of swim.
  • To lie in the sunshine, wet from swimming, heat on water. No stress about sun factors, technology, how I looked but just to lie and feel the beating African sun on my body.
  • To be utterly care free.

Being care free is something I have not felt for a very long time.  Life happens.  

Surrounded by Jasmine scent, white iceberg roses, deep water in a place of prettiness, I could submerge myself in it all for the lazy Saturday afternoon.  Thinking about afternoons of childhood when parents took their naps and we entertained ourselves with diving, mermaid moves and reliving the ideal of ‘chilling’ for the sake of it.

And it was glorious.  And it brought me back to the self sans FOMO, sans the next day, the next year, the next everything. 

A peaceful afternoon is a prolific experience.  A little burnt, cool, a little must get the body into shape, cool, the water experience, uber cool x

Bestie and moi got much planning achieved – like in the old days.

 

Let’s talk about the ‘Invisibility Syndrome.’

 

 

Times we feel that is all we do.  Exist. But it’s not true.  No matter how ‘invisible’ you feel – you aren’t.  You are unique and you are present.

Why is it that so many women in this Silver Street part of our lives, feel that dejected feeling of being ‘invisible? Just the other day, chatting to a beautiful and vivacious women of a certain age, she said:

‘I just feel, well, invisible right now.’ She is not alone.

It is a tricky time, this time, and many find ourselves at odds with the world.  Children have flown, parents have passed, relationships have changed. A lack of purpose for nurturing and the role we played, pretty well I think, is vacant.  No more mummy, daughter, spouse or whatever required. So what next?

It is a common dilemma amongst us fifty something Silver Streeters.  For those who continue to have positive careers, the void is somewhat lessened, but what if you were a stay at home mom for example?  Or had a part time job whilst building up the other one’s career? What if you were the eternal care-giver and that is no longer needed? What happens now?  Are you too old to begin a business, a new career path, who will hire you, how to you prove your skills – make use of all this experience you have and want to share – where to you begin again to being for the first time? What to do when you feel so low, so invisible at this stage of your life?

  • Give yourself time to just sit and sit, and sit and think.  Times have changed and things have happened.  It is ok to grieve or miss the life you had. To feel vulnerable, even frightened.  Baby steps time. 
  • Take a deep breath and tell yourself you are ok.  You do matter.  You have a lifetime of experience which you can turn into something in an entirely different direction, even if you can’t see that right now.
  • You are valued.  Even if they don’t show it, those you nurtured do appreciate you and everything you mean to them. Recognise that.
  • Have you let yourself go in more ways than one?  Take stock of your appearance, your attitude, your surroundings. You will feel better if you look better, make your environment prettier, sort the world out of the unnecessary, the hanging on stuff and clear the decks so to speak.
  • Begin with your health.  You are the only one responsible for your well being. Exercise and the right diet will transform your inner being, your outer being and charge your mind.
  • Wine is ok.  It is our go to friend if need be, in moderation. Rather than anti-depressants and loads of sleeping pills. Eating too much is not ok.  It is going to bring you down.
  • Stop being an addict to anything.
  • Start a gratitude diary. List the things you are grateful for and act on the small stuff.  Be grateful for something you do everyday.
  • And then, body right, mind right, situation right …
  • Plan.  You can. Recognise that feeling ‘invisible’ to others does not mean being ‘invisible’ to yourself.  You have history, gifts, experience and you are now ready to fly …

 

Step one.  Learning to enjoy what you do and saying no to things you think you should do, but does not make you happy.

You have the strength to start a new business, a new venture and live the life you want to. It may not be the CEO or becoming a neurosurgeon but you have passions right, act on them and don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t possible.  It is. Look for inspiration from other women who have done it, against the odds, and surround yourself with friends and inspiring women who will support you.

Most important.  Realise you have decades still to live and only you can make it happen for the better.  Only you have the power to believe you can and act upon it.  Why sit and wait for the world to pity you? Change it. Be it charity work, painting, a small home business, going back to work.  Be it studying for something you love, open your garden to the public or write your life story … just do it!

The invisibility cloak is yours to use when you wish. Don’t make it your favourite fashion item.

And, you are not invisible.  I see you … and I love what I see.

Images Pintrest

 

 

Death cleaning. The new renaissance in clutter bashing.

fullsizeoutput_7837  Talk about Karma and a little bit of background.

We re-located to England a number of years ago and I insisted on taking with me, every piece of memorabilia I ever owned.  Literally.  Talking about diaries from high school, an old uniform, tokens from holidays, photographs, the works.  Chatted about this yesterday, about keeping my children’s childhoods intact in the boxes – well, they all followed us across the ocean.

No space, but made space.  Years later with my mother passing away, I boxed up her life and dragged it, literally, around with me.  Add to this a divorce and trauma of where to live and ALL the stuff congregated moved again. Let’s just say the shipping companies did well.

blue-purple--green-gift-boxes-set-of-3_a I am the keeper of everything!

Today it is me and the past of everything. So the the Karma thing.  An article I found, today of all days, is about Death cleaning – and how we should take care Not to leave our children with so much stuff to deal with when we are gone. Go figure, this is me.  

Guilty as charged.  As much as I wanted to carry the legacy of my life through all the changes and decades, I was doing just that.  Leaving my children with tons of stuff they would have to deal with when I am gone, like my mother did with me.  On the one side, I valued it, on the other I was living her past life, right down to the souvenirs of all her trips, postcards, hair locks, report cards and the like.  The burden is heavy.

So today was the day I escaped from the world: slowly read and re-read all her history, my history and decided a few tokens would suffice for my children to know our lives, but the clutter had to go.

A bittersweet day.  Fortunately there are many who could cherish something I was simply putting in a box.  Swept through the stuff, kept the important and said goodbye to the rest.  Why would they want to read my love poems to Robert Redford?  My accounts of everyday life decades ago? Slips of paper that meant something to me, but would never to them?  A day of de-cluttering.  If I died tomorrow, they would have the best of me, and not the entire rest of me.

Strangely, it has been a liberating experience also.  I am far from gone, but I have taken the past, the material past and said goodbye, in so many ways.  I have a lot more living to do, than live in the past of other’s lives and though I have kept some poignant pieces, I am free now to create and accumulate new experiences.

It feels fantastic, it has been hard, but I am now down to a box or two of memories that will tell them all about me and my family past.  They can keep their childhood memories until they too decide, it is time to let go.

More than wanting them to know I had a crush on Robert Redford, or was it Kris Kristofferson, or even Bruce Lee?  My first dates, my lost loves, jobs and more jobs, ambitions and failures – that was my time and they shall have the mom time.  For me, the best times.

images-81

My darling mother, I have you in my heart.  Your things have to go.  Darling me, a simple letter will suffice when I am gone to remember me by.  Shred, shred, shred, the boxes are bare.  My legacy is in my living years and I am officially de-boxing stuff to leave to my children a few tokens of love.

Feels awesome to have done it.  Now what shall I buy next?

Images:golakechelan

Believe. Engage. Flourish

Believe. Engage. Flourish

‘We were not created to be barren or unfruitful. We were created to blossom and flourish. Nobody starts a garden with no expectation of seeing it sprout and blossom. You have to make the decision to break through the barriers and break up the ground. This process is vital so that what you plant in the garden of your life will flourish and produce much fruit. We live below our privileges when we do not blossom and produce fruit in our lives.’

Jamelle Sanders.

dc60b9fce1027faf414479e016a87b57--passion-flower-floral-arrangements Georgianna Lane

have an admission to make.  Once, or twice, I resort to the monster that is Amazon and ‘Paris in Bloom’ by Georgianna Lane was worth it.  I have fallen in love with her work – her photographs are uplifting and inspirational and oh, so romantic.  I fall in Love with the world again.  

I can also sit in my little nest for days and ogle over beautiful pictures and pretty places and dream … so good at that, but I need to flourish, and in order to do that, I need to re-establish belief in myself, go out and engage, and if I am positive enough, work hard enough, I can do just that … flourish.

So what could be stopping me?

Flourish rosesNo idea is an original idea … no success started at great.’

  • The good old Fear of failure – like the albatross around the neck
  • Not always sure what it is that I want to do?  Got many ideas, too many?
  • Out of ‘connection city?’  Don’t have the contacts, the local roots so ‘who you know’ could be a problem.
  • Age related ‘am too old for this’ holding me back?
  • How to begin a new chapter when it is so difficult to let go of the previous one?

To flourish in any aspect of your life, you need to flourish in every aspect of your life.  Begin with the personal, and we know that there have been bumps and sadness (we have lived that long) which may have brought about a numbness of heart, a slowing of pace, a dullness of life.  So begin with the things you love, small things, like nature, hobbies you may have put aside, family relationships, friends … put these in order and your work will benefit.  Starting again with a new business, wanting to change, if you are strong enough in yourself, in your daily life, you will have the courage to change and grow in business too.

One thing I realised, after all these years in a new country, in a tiny home, is that I have never quite called it home.  This is the start, to create a real home for my family, not simply been living here.  So, am off to get myself a pin board to create a visual inspiration tool, create a small space that is my office to work in, bring out the boxes still tucked in the garage and break up my day between work, staying active and have fun. The whole package is on offer.

No longer just working days, or resting days, but days that allow me to flourish.  Once accomplished, the belief intact, it is out to engage with the world.  In this new act of flourishing, of giving to myself and others, that the flourishing will emit far further than myself.

Be more that just be.  Flourish.

Images Georgianna Lane @parisinbloom #parisinbloom @davidaustin 

 

 

No day is the same, and we learn … London you beauty.

Charlotte-6-1024x683  The Vagabond, Charlotte Street

Some say they sniff Autumn in the air … and I shall ignore them.  The sun is out and reporting from my office balcony with the sun still high, pj’s on (I heart NY T from my daughter and my son’s longs) the view over the lake is stunning.  

It has been an London day.  We all have opinions about this city, she has been trying at times as you know, but then there are days like today when you just have to go … yeah.

My day going into the city starts like this:

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It’s not rush hour (poor wee souls) but the time when I find the tourists confused. ‘Did they say get off here for The All England Tennis Courts?’  Yup, keep walking I nod and smile … good to have the turf sown up.  Metro in hand, music in the ears and there is something about the subway I will never lose my fascination for.  Rocking on the tracks, rocking to the music. And walking fast – this is my gym, London is, walking fast is the trademark of belonging – don’t waddle we do, we stride with purpose.

Met a friend at The Library in Covent Garden.  The Library is an exclusive club – women who do business meet up in Private Clubs, it beats the endless meeting up in coffee shops. Behind a door that continues to perplex the tourists for there is not real entry, the Library is an eclectic mix of decor and architecture.  

fullsizeoutput_7619fullsizeoutput_761b Go electic at the Library

Afternoon trip to Covent Garden – I know it well, it never ceases to amaze.  And wow, the new Petersham Nursery shop is open! For one who pops into Petersham all the time, and I mean ALL the time, this is a gift. Vintage french furniture, flowers abounding, a deli – feel almost like the local has had a little part in the success.

fullsizeoutput_761efullsizeoutput_7622 Petersham shines …

As if this was not enough, off to Mysteries with Paula.  Paula is a PR guru in London and her Hothouse meetings are brilliant.  So, she takes me to Mysteries – for an education on Tarot reading, crystals and that sort of thing, which this c’est moi, has little knowledge of.  But I do recognise the Tiger’s eyes.  Gosh, we used to pick them up on the dirt roads in South Africa or the Scratch patch in Cape Town.  When the little card says ‘ a tiger’s eye is a talisman for travellers, gives confidence and reminds one of the strength within … well, there we go, bought some for the whole family.  

Did I mention the Tea Shop? Let’s overdose on Tea here.  Based in Neal’s Yard, if there is a certain tea you want – it is here.  Sniff, sniff, smell and sniff at all the aromas till I just go back to the Rooibos – or redbush, or roibus as the English like to say.

Daughter says to meet at Vagabond in Charlotte Street for an after work wine.  I keep thinking Vulcan (no idea why) and struggle to find, but what a find it was.  In my naivety I can only describe is thus, and I must say the staff were very patient with me when I kept saying … what … how…by myself…no ways!  Thus:  A wine bar where all the wines are behind glass, right in front of you, with tubes rising from the necks of the bottles.  You buy a card, put down a deposit and get a glass.  A sort of do it yourself tasting thing.  As you wish, you simply slot in your card, select your wine and bingo, you have wine! Choose from any country, red, white or rosé – now why don’t more people think about it? 

fullsizeoutput_762c  Wine on tap. And they serve Biltong.

Now I am back on my balcony.  I have spent an afternoon in a Library, smelling tea, talking crystals, side-stepping tourists and drinking wine in a trendy wine bar.  Back in the flat, the Dribuddy is a new thing to combat the Chinese laundry look.  Sputnik like I hear her buzzing in the background.  The fact that the washing machine gave it’s last, deathly and audible throes does not worry me for I have had a London day.

In this city, it is a never stop finding the new, experiencing it all and feeling alive day. I shall say, it was a good day, don’t you think?

Image: vagabond