2018 Week 19 Summary

Blog for week ending 10th May 2018

Just in case you were wondering why the “end” of the week is always a date on a Thursday, it’s because I usually post blogs on Thursdays so I talk about the week that passed from Thursday to Thursday.

And because I’ve been behind in my blogging, I’ve been posting late and therefore had to put the dates of which week I’m talking about, at the beginning of the blog.

So this week, week number 19 (I can’t believe it’s only 19.  I actually feel like at least half a year has passed already) was Big Project Week.

What Big Projects did I do this week, you ask? Well, even if you didn’t ask, this week I attempted to complete all of the below:
1.  Project Blog Catch Up – Write and publish blog posts to catch up to 10th May…  Total number of blogs = 6
2.  Project Emails – filing, taking action on, responding to, deleting, emails daily to keep the number of outstanding “to be dealt with” emails in the inbox to a maximum of 25 only.
3.  Project Getting Results – one lesson on Getting results, per day applying learnings each day, for 30 consecutive days.  Currently up to Day 13.
4.  Project French – Complete French Level 1 = 7 lessons behind, do 2 a day until up to date, plus reading lessons 1-30.
5.  Project Kitchen Sink – whatever it takes to unblock the  manky, smelly backed up, disgusting kitchen sink because we’ve got a guest coming and cannot cook for them in our tiny kitchen otherwise.

Paris & Rome
I have to show you this.  It is Paris’ blanket during moulting season. My shoulder hurts from having to vacuum this.  The boys  have several blankets too, 2-3 each at any given time, this is the worst one.

Paris’ blanket during moulting season.

It looks blurry but it’s not.  That’s just how much fur is all over it.  Here it is after I’ve finished vacuuming it.

Paris’ blanket after vacuuming.

It takes me 3 hours to vacuum our 1 bedroom (wooden floor) place because of how much fur sticks on their blankets and towels!!  Who needs a gym/yoga membership when you can just vacuum for 3 hours?!!

Next, I want to show you how spoilt they are.  Since we got to eat at a 3 Michelin Star restaurant, I thought I’d give the bunnies a special meal of their own 🙂

They get one bowl each
Bunnies’ dinner. Pellets, pea protein, dried dandelion, dried sage, edible flower for a colourful snack.

You can tell the bunnies are loved right?

Home, House and Completions
Project Unblock the Kitchen Sink was in full effect this week.  First it was slow draining so I attempted the bicarb, vinegar, boiling water combo but as each day passed, it just got worse and worse to the point where on Wednesday night, I had to use a jug to bail the water out, put it into a bucket and then carry the bucket down the hallway into the bathroom so I could throw the disgusting water down the toilet.  The kitchen sink was well and truly blocked.

I spent hours plunging.  It’s this combined with all the vacuuming that is now causing severe pain in my shoulder where I can’t really lift my arm.

Thursday day, I had to go to the hardware store and find various things to help me clear the blockage.  I bought:
1.  An auger – it turned out to be too short as the blockage wasn’t under the sink but further down the pipes inside the wall, way inside the wall, farther than 1.375m – but it was worth a try.
2.   An under bath pipe – I needed to block off the overflow and thought the cap on one of the pipes would work.  They didn’t sell the caps separately.
3.  An under kitchen sink pipe – yes we already have a pipe and there’s nothing wrong with it however, when we were plunging the water, it would just come back up through the overflow.  When I blocked the overflow, the plunging was sending water into the washing machine.  So I had to find a pipe that didn’t have the extra outlet for the washing machine.  That way, the entire pressure built from plunging would go straight into the wall pipes and nowhere else.
4.  Sealant – the plunging and the pressure built up so much that the seal holding the pipes to the sink started to leak water.
5.  Chemical Drain Clearer – I was loathe to do this, especially since we’ve been doing the whole chemical-free living / be good to the environment type lifestyle for the last 3 years but desperate times, call for desperate measures.  We’re having Tony’s cousin over for dinner on his last night in London which would have been impossible to do if that drain didn’t unblock.  Also, the cost of this drain unclogger was £10 including the auger and pipes, I spent a total of £30.  The cost of a plumber is over £100.

As I write this, it is 3.45am Friday morning.  The sink is finally unblocked but I had to stay up to re-attach all the pipes, make sure it was all sealed and not leaking water and I’m waiting 1hr for the “aftercare” portion of the drain unblocker to do its magic.  PHEW!!

At least this Project (Kitchen Sink) can be completed along with Project Blog Catch Up!

Tones and Joy

Mental Health
I’ve been really focussed this week.  In my inbox I found an article that Tony sent to me 5 years ago called “30 Days of Getting Results”.  I decided to read it – one day at a time, applying one activity each day and…. I’ve been getting results!  Albeit to the detriment of my sleep, I haven’t yet applied the principle of boundaries… I need to set boundaries for my sleep.

I’m getting there.  I can’t expect to have it all sorted and picture perfect.  That’s what learning is.. applying a concept and then tweaking it and practicing it until you get it to  a point where it works for you.  The thing I’m happy with is that I’m creating new habits and that takes some time getting used to however already I’m seeing results.  Remember my game playing addiction?  Well, since I have so much to do, I’ve barely touched my game.

I even managed to catch up on my French Lessons this week and I graduated to Level 2!!  Whoot!!

Dr Demartini did say, “If you don’t fill your day with high priority things, low priority things will fill it for you.”

This is no longer a concept.  I can see that now first hand.  I like this way better (filling life with high priority things).

Physical Health
Another week without yoga but I did some exercise in the form of walking.  It was May Bank Holiday in the UK this week and Tony went to Edinburgh with his cousin, leaving me and the bunnies at home.

I decided to catch up with a couple of friends by spending days out with them and going for walks.

One of the days I went to Epping Forest.  My first time there.  OMG THE AIR!!!  You could feel it in your lungs and the freshness on your skin as soon as you stepped out of the train station.

Spiritual Health
Being with nature has been a blessing along with the continued daily meditation.  The days have been beautiful, I’ve gotten fresh air, sunshine and connection with people, nature and therefore, spirit.  Life is good.

Financial Health
With Tony’s cousin here and us going out about 100 times more than normal, plus their crazy weekend away, I haven’t yet checked the bank accounts to see the damage.  I will have to do that next week.  I’m a bit scared because Tony has spent with no budget and when he has no leash, he just spends.

Social Health
As mentioned I spent one day out with a friend walking around Epping Forest.

I spent another day with a different friend checking out the rolling hills of Kent.  We also visited Scotney Castle.  Here are a couple of pictures I took 🙂  It’s a very photogenic castle and well worth the visit.

This nice day out was finished off with a lovely Sunday Roast at The Tickled Trout.  I couldn’t eat the Yorkshire Pudding since it’s made of wheat but I made an exception for the gravy and just hoped for the best.

Sunday Roast Lamb

Because our sink’s been playing up and we’ve been tired, Tones and I have been having dinner out every day this week.

Tony got back on Monday night and because he was exhausted and I was lazy, we had LEON.

Thank God it tasted better than it looks.

On Tuesday, we had dinner at The Little Viet Kitchen with his cousin.

On Wednesday we ate at Byron because they had a 50% off burger deal and the sink was completely blocked so we couldn’t cook at home.

And today, Banana Tree because I was waiting for the first lot of chemical drain cleaner to do its magic and since it was so toxic, was concerned about accidentally dropping vegetables into the sink.   Besides, everything in the cupboard under the sink is on the table, the floor, the kitchen countertop and really so I could access the pipes, there’s just no space to cook at all.

I suppose any excuse to go out eh?  We were hankering for some vegetables so I had a salad and Tony had a vegetarian noodle dish.

I think we’re going to have to apply some austerity measures soon.  As much as I love giving you so many pictures of delicious looking food, our bank balance is looking anaemic and our stomachs are getting fat, mine’s just inflated because I’m not keeping away from my food intolerances!

New diet and eating in to start….. next week!!  (’cause Tony’s cousin goes back to LA this weekend 😛 )

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2018 Week 18 Summary – The Fat Duck

Blog for week ending 03rd May 2018 – What a week!

There’s this thing called “balance” that exists which made itself apparent this week.  What I mean by that is that we’ve had a week of both elevation and grounding so it was balanced.

We did a lot this week too – this is what happens when you have guests from overseas…

Paris & Rome
Both bunnies are good.  Rome had recently been on a 3-4 week moulting period so I thought he somehow got stuck in a “permanent moult” situation and he was just constantly looking dishevelled.   I was rather worried that he’d go bald with the amount of fur he was losing but after 4.5 weeks of non stop shedding fur, he stopped.

Now Paris has started to moult and it’s more evident on him as the fur that is growing to replace what he is shedding is significantly shorter.   He looks like he’s balding on his back while he maintains a long skirt of fur right around, starting from half way down his body.  Kind of like Friar Tuck’s head.

We, the house, food, drinks etc are covered in wisps of fur.  I’m in for another 4 weeks of this because he’s pretty much started moulting right after Rome finished.  This is the grounding part.

I didn’t notice it last year but it seems this is what it looks like when they shed their winter coat for the spring one.  A long, 8-10 weeks of bunny fur everywhere.  Now that I think about it, I do recall having a big whinge about their first moult last year…

I’ve been watching vigilantly to ensure both are eating because with every moult, Paris ends up with GI stasis.   It’s only happened to Rome once because his fur is much shorter.  However, so far both bunnies GI tracts are churning like well oiled, ball bearing making machines!  This bit is the elevation!

Home, House and Completions
Nothing to report here unless you look at my inbox clearing.  I have reduced my inbox to a total of 24 emails.  24!!!!  Down from 2546.  You don’t understand how amazing I feel about this.  I tackled that overwhelm like it was nobody’s business!  I responded to and actioned all the emails requiring it, so it was a LOT of work.

Tones and Joy

Mental Health
Having been so lax with my French lessons, this week I really had to catch up.  That was tough too and I’ve still got plenty to go.  I set myself a plan you see.  I was supposed to finish Level 1 French in 30 days.  Level 2 in 30 days and Level 3 in another 30 days meaning I would be fluent in 90 days.  I’m currently on French 1 and I will not finish in 90 days if I don’t catch up now!!  It’s easier to do more lessons of Level 1 in one day than it would be doing the higher levels.

Also, if I start to find it hard, I will have to repeat several lessons which will extend my timeline.  I’ve never gotten to Level 3 before.  The last time I learned I was up to only Level 2 and I was finding it difficult, so I have no idea how hard it’s going to get if I don’t get back on track now.  Time to pull my socks up.

Physical Health
No yoga this week… no exercise AT ALL this week and that was because we had to go to The Fat Duck on the one day a week that we normally go to yoga.

Oh yes, you heard it.  This is the week that we prioritised going to our first ever 3 Michelin Star, world Top 10 rated, gastronomic experience, over yoga.

So.. no, unless you count my enormous list of intolerances which I relayed to the restaurant prior to the event, I did nothing else to move my physical health forward this week and I have no regrets!

Spiritual Health
Still meditating every day.  If it’s going to get you last minute bookings to a really difficult to book, once in a lifetime (but I hope not), bucket list experience, then I’m going to keep doing it!

Emotional Health
I spent most of the week excited about going to The Fat Duck and trying to dumb it down for myself so I wouldn’t get disappointed.  Over and over until the day it happened.  Then on the day I spent a good portion of the beginning confused because everything I expected didn’t happen (not that I knew what was going to happen so my imagination was running wild) and at the same time delighted with what I got instead.

Disappointment normally comes when what you expect and what you get, don’t match.  This is the first time where even though what I expected and what I got didn’t match, there was zero disappointment and instead, I was blown away!

I spent the rest of the week post experience, reminiscing about how wonderful it was.  So yeah, this week was a very positive week in terms of the feels.

Financial Health
There’s a lot of admin on this front that I’ve let go by the way side, in the same manner I treated my email account.  I have not yet set the intention and same amount of focus on this as I did my email account.  I was tackling one thing at a time first.

Within my emails are a number of flagged transactions that I was supposed to check on.  Now that I can finally see those flagged emails, I think the bank accounts are going to need a good looking at.  I will start in the next couple of weeks!  I want to take a breather before I tackle the next big project!

Social Health – Walking, Site seeing, Touring and Eating around London plus THE FAT DUCK!!!
We had a big weekend.  Yoga drinks were on again on the Friday so we invited Tony’s cousin to join this time.  No photos but we were there!!  We took him to dinner at a Thai place beforehand.  We used to like that restaurant but I thought it was getting expensive for what we got.  Tony insisted that he recalls it being really good so, we went.  It wasn’t good. It was worse than either of us remembered, flavour was sweet, portions were tiny and prices were high.  So no pictures of that either and I suspect we won’t be going there anymore for a long time now.

I did suggest Korean but Tony refused.  In fact, he got annoyed at me saying “Why do you keep suggesting Korean?!!” In Tony’s defence, his reasoning was that  his cousin eats a lot of really great Korean food in the States already for much less than what he’d have to pay for it here.  So he didn’t want to introduce him to a sub par, more expensive version.  Tsk tsk, his cousin got crappy Thai instead.  Live and learn!!  That was the grounding.

The Fat Duck was the next day, Saturday, the elevation!

The meal was called “The Journey”, the menu was in the form of a map.

The Fat Duck, The Journey, Investigating the Map

 

The sitting was meant to be 4.5-5 hours.  We ended up sitting there for 6 hours.  The extra time we took must have been the amount of time we took just to take pictures of everything.  We got there at 12.15pm and left at 6.15pm.  We left home at about 9.30am to get the car, pick up Tones’ cousin then drive out to Bray.  We got home at 8.30pm.  What a day!!

Firstly, the whole day was a journey. Our sitting was equivalent to the duration of a flight from London to Budapest!! We left when the sun rose and got back when it was set… I wouldn’t have called it anything else.  However, it was one I will always remember and one very worth the time and money.  After we got home, I really felt like we’d been on a really long outdoorsy adventure.

The only tip I have for you is not to expect what I did:
Firstly, they said “We’re going on a journey and we’ll start off with cocktails.”  So with that, I actually thought, we would be mingling around with the other guests having cocktails.  When we got to the restaurant there was a woman in a Sleuth outfit and she handed me a map.  Then she said “follow me” and took us to our table.  What she said was “This is your table.”  and, she mentioned that our story teller would be with us shortly.  So what do I think?  I think that after showing us our table, our story teller would come and we’d be escorted somewhere else for our pre-journey cocktails and somehow I had to use the  map.  So I stayed standing for ages just waiting for this story teller to arrive.  Ummm… no.  Let me save you the embarrassment.  When they take you to your table, just sit down 😉

Now, they said that we were going to have cocktails and then they gave us the drinks menu for wine pairing.

What does Tony’s cousin say?  “I’ll wait to see what we get before I choose any additional drinks.”  to which one of the servers said “Actually, even though it’s called cocktails, it’s all FOOD.”

OH!!  Right….. Of course!!!   SO, that’s your second tip…. when they ask you what you’d like to drink, order one because you’re going to EAT your cocktails!!

Cousins / Drinks

After that, we all threw any kind of expectations and imagined scenarios out the window.  Nothing you think is going to happen actually happens.

The Journey happens with sights, smells, tastes, sounds and touch, all while sitting and eating at your table.  So don’t expect to go anywhere physically and if you think you’re going to drink something, you’ll most likely end up eating it instead.  You will however go on an entire adventure as you explore Heston’s holidays as a child, through food.

It was a delight.  Not to mention the phenomenal service, the meticulous attention to detail, the genuine hospitality and even the very cool toilets.  Oh and they catered for ALL of my crazy, post Kinesiologist, food requirements.  They put me on gluten free, dairy free, diabetic diet alternatives and everything still tasted amazing!

I don’t want to say much more than this.  I know… I just don’t want to spoil it for you if you’re going.  Most of the excitement and adventure is in what happens when you are there.  Videos and pictures will just ruin the little surprises.  I will however, give you a couple of sneak peeks 😉  Ones that won’t ruin the surprises too much!

If you don’t think you’ll get the chance to go and still want to see, let me know and I’ll get Tones to help me make a photo and video compilation of everything, to post at a later time.

 

Just those pictures alone already represented 9 courses.  9 out of the 17 (?) courses.  You would think that after such a long meal with so many courses you’d not eat for the rest of the day.  WELL, I actually ate breakfast before we left home and, after we got home, we went to eat dinner at the Korean place that Tony kept telling me to stop suggesting!  We didn’t eat a lot but I had to eat because I was feeling peckish!  Each course was light and spaced out so much that I didn’t really ever feel full or uncomfortable.

Anyway, the end verdict was, we really should’ve taken his cousin to Korean instead of Thai!!  Here’s what we had…

Korean Style Steak Tartare with slices of Pear (Yes that is raw egg being mixed into the raw beef strips with metal chopsticks)

We only had 2 dishes. That was enough for dinner and both were absolutely delicious!

Bossam – slow cooked pork belly (marinated in miso/doenjang sauce) slices. You wrap them with the cabbage leaves and eat with radish kimchee. The sauces were shrimp sauce and chilli & garlic sauce. Tony and I LOVE this dish.

 

On the Sunday, we went for a long walk around the city.  I wore heeled boots.  Of course I did.  Actually, I did it specifically  because I don’t have flat ones (I haven’t found any that I like and my size is hard to find to begin with).  I’ve also gotten rid of a lot of shoes so the only flats I have that are good for walking, are sneakers.  Faced with the choice between sneakers and boots, on a cold day, I decided on boots.

Mainly it was because we were taking Tones’ cousin out and I didn’t want my shoes to be the reason why we couldn’t get into an establishment.

So where did those boots take me walking?  Through the city and a few Warner Bros studio filming areas where they’d blocked off streets for the day, which meant we had to walk around those areas instead.  We didn’t even see any movie stars, just a whole bunch of Warner Bros trucks and film crew stuff.

We went to Liverpool St, to Brick Lane for a salt beef bagel then walked to The Barbican to see their indoor garden.  They had some pretty cool plants in there like this one which I’d never seen before!  It almost doesn’t look real huh?

Here are some more pictures of plants.  I don’t know why but I really love plants and flowers and giant greenhouses.

After that we went to Fenchurch St, the Walkie Talkie to visit SkyGarden but they’re only open for walk-ins at specific times and we had to come back later because we didn’t have a booking.

We walked to Sushi Samba but his cousin was wearing sneakers were an issue for their dress code.  At least it wasn’t my fault we couldn’t go in but I then really wished I’d just worn my runners!  So we walked back to Leadenhall Markets, Bank…

Bank

…and around the Bank of England  and Monument (at which point I was pretty much limping and wincing in pain so sat in a juice bar to give my feet some respite, while Tones and his cousin walked around some more).

Cousins walking through the city

We then walked to Yuu. Here are the pictures of the food we ate at Yuu.  It was our first time there and they had just introduced their Filipino menu.   It was on the pricey side and presentation was schmancy because the chef had worked in Nobu for a while, previous to him setting up this restaurant.

It was a fusion of Japanese / Hawaiian and… Filipino food.

Afterwards they specifically asked me what I thought of the Filipino food part of the menu that we’d eaten and how close to authentic it was.  First let me show you the Filo dishes we had:

I had to tell them the truth… ALL the food was good, it tasted nice, great presentation, good flavours but it didn’t remind me of my childhood or any of the Filo gatherings I went to.

Unlike Heston’s food which immediately took you back to a childhood experience when you tasted it, this didn’t take me anywhere, let alone the Philippines, so I couldn’t say it was authentic.  It was as if I was eating things that were new to me.

The Bistek didn’t taste like anything I knew and when I told them that, they did mention that they reduced the amount of strong flavours (like garlic) to make it more palatable for the Western tongue.

We had Lechon Kawali and the crackling was thin, light and crisp, the fat was soft and melty and the pork meat was so soft, it kept falling apart when I tried to pick it up… with chopsticks because that’s what we were given to eat all the food with.  Filos don’t eat their food with chopsticks.  They use spoon and fork!! But that’s by the by.

Anyway, it came out more like an extremely soggy Chinese Roast Pork (siu yuk) served with Mama Sita Lechon Sauce instead of having that thicker, cracklier (vs crispy) skin and chunky, juicy meat of a Lechon.  Having said that, if you didn’t tell me that was supposed to be Lechon, I would have told you that it was REALLY good pork!!!

Lechon Kawali

Afterwards, we walked to The Sky Garden and this time we got in.  Beautiful views from up there, it was our first time there too.  I bet it would be even more beautiful in the day when you can see the blue sky and leafy vegetation along with the London and Thames views.  I didn’t realise it but it is EXACTLY opposite where I used to work (London Bridge) and I have always loved those views.

Note – it was difficult taking pictures of the night view due to the reflection off the windows of the indoor lighting.  Our eyes saw everything so much more clearly including the Tower of London and Tower Bridge!  I didn’t get pictures of them.  After these few shots, I just gave up… just go and see it for yourself!  It’s free.  🙂

So that was our jam packed, motza of a weekend full of experiencing new things, for all of us!!  That definitely was the elevation part.  The grounding?  I won’t show you but I had a giant watery blister on the soul of my foot which I’ve never had happen in my entire life.  I was walking on the side of my foot all day the next day.  Boots were a bad choice!!

See you next time!

2018 Week 17 Summary

Blog for week ending 26th April 2018

This is the week that Tony’s cousin arrived from LA.  He’s here for work but has mentioned that the work pace is so slow here compared to how they operate in the US of A, he almost feels like he’s on a holiday.

It seems the concept of work-life balance, looks like “lazy” to him.  Whereas we see that gung ho American attitude as OTT, unnecessary stress.

I must admit, coming from Sydney to here, I noticed the difference in pace too. Things that would take 1 day in Sydney, took about a week to get done here.  Things that would take 10 mins in Sydney, I would have to wait 3 days for and it used to drive me nuts but after 13 years of being here, I’ve finally become accustomed to it.  Sh*t just doesn’t work here, that’s why people complain… they’re not called whinging poms for nothing.  If things worked, what would they do with themselves?

Still, our time is so limited on this planet, why spend it all at work?  Especially if people don’t like their jobs… the beautiful, wonderful, idea of the work-life balance allows you some time out from the daily grind.  Work some, rest some, play some… I much prefer this way of living, any given day.

Paris & Rome
After searching quite a bit for organic hay for the boys, it’s come to my attention that no Timothy Hay growers have labelled their hay “organic” in the UK.  Well, none that I could find anyway.  The reason for that is because they use herbicides around the crop at the early stages of growing.  Argh!!!

It pains me to know that I’m feeding my bunnies herbicidal hay.  I found organically grown hay but it wasn’t Timothy Hay.  It was another form which I got a sample of and the bunnies absolutely LOVED.  Sounds great right? Well no, the hay is too soft so as much as it helps bunnies’ digestive tracts and is chemical free, it does nothing to help them keep their teeth ground down which will mean having to take them to the vet just to get their teeth burred.

Which is worse?  Cancer from eating too much herbicide or constant trips to the vet so they can open your mouth and grind down your teeth with a machine?  The crap we do to animals seriously…  where is the choice for NEITHER?!!

So until I find an organic form of Timothy Hay which I’m still on the lookout for, I bought for them a bag of a mix of oat and Timothy Hay.  Unfortunately, the smallest bag I could get from this new supplier (who also make that organic soft hay) was a giant 9.5kg bag which is the size of our dining table.  It’s taken up the entire lounge.  It’s one of those giant bales that belong in a stable to feed horses.

The best part is that it turns out that I am allergic to it.  Yes, that was sarcasm.  Every day since bringing this hay into the house, each time I open the bag to feed them, my eyes and the back of my nose and throat get really itchy.

Now I have a giant bag of hay that I’m allergic to sitting in the lounge that I am in contact with every day.  It will take them several months (or more) to finish this bag which means I’m going to be like this for several months.  FML.  Me and my bright ideas!!

I also bought the bunnies some hay toppers and all natural pellets.  I bought from a company that sources all their products from Europe and so all the labels are in German.  However, I love the choice, there was so much product to choose from, that had ZERO wheat, ZERO rice, ZERO corn, ZERO soy and ZERO sugar (apart from any naturally occurring in the plant), ZERO fruit!!! So I can feed them now lots of leaves and flowers ORGANIC too.  God bless the EU.  None of that stuff exists in the UK without importing, so will become very expensive soon enough 😦

The boys didn’t receive simple organic leaves and flowers very well.  It’s like trying to feed vegetables (not even fruit) to kids who have only known donuts and biscuits but they’re becoming better with it as each day progresses.

Home, House and Completions
Since Tones’ cousin is here, we are not doing any works to fix the flat.  He has seen it as it is and pretty much told us that our entire flat is the size of his bedroom.

People always think I’m over exaggerating when I tell them our place is small.  It’s been likened to living on a boat.  Some “Tiny Homes” that people build are BIGGER than our place.

It sounds like I’m making it up but when he saw our place he actually laughed sheepishly when I said “and you thought I was lying….”

I know it’s hard to imagine but it’s true.  Our place, the lounge, dining, kitchen, bedroom AND bathroom altogether were smaller than his cousin’s bedroom in the USA.

Yes, 4 of us (Tony, myself, Paris & Rome) live in a shoebox that needs constant repair!!  Do I sound like a whinging pom yet?  This is why you can’t work all day because there are things in the house that constantly need fixing!!

Tones and Joy

Mental Health
This week I continued to clear the inbox and managed to get it down to 125 emails.  PHEW!  Progress feels great.
Got a little behind on my French Lessons though so a catch up is needed.

Physical Health
We found out this week that our favourite yoga class, the only class we actually go to at the studio and my only form of exercise for the last few months, has been cancelled due to lack of interest.  It was there as a trial and not enough people turned up for it to warrant continuing, or so, that’s what they told us.

Huge disappointment.  Although I cancelled my yearly yoga subscription to the studio, I am attached to them via a min. 4 month contract paying £65 per month for 5 class passes per month and it only just started which means I have to find alternative classes to what I really want, so I can use up my class passes, until August.

If they’d told me BEFORE I signed up to the 4 month, 5 class pass that they were going to cancel the only class I attend, I might have made a different decision.   Now I’m totally demotivated to do any exercise at all because whichever class I do, it’s not really the one I want.

On the up side, I went to the dental hygienist this week, after 8 months of zero checks (big deal given my dental history) and she said I was all good.  When I asked her when I had to see her next she said, “Well, normally 6 months but….just see how you go… I mean, it’s been 8 months and everything’s fine!!! So yeah, 6…… or so….just see how you go.”  I understood that was her way of saying “I’m supposed to tell you 6…. you read between the lines.”  I’m happy with that.

She also said that my gums show that I am stress free.  Did you know that the amount of stress you are under shows on your gums?  I asked her to explain and she said that you can tell just how stressed a person is by how inflamed their gums are.  Usually stressed people are tenser so they brush their gums harder which can cause inflammation and generally, their gums become inflamed anyway when stressed.  Interesting right?

I thought back to when I had the worst of my gum problems and what job I was doing and what was going on in my life at the time and I’d have to agree.  I was REALLY stressed.  These days…. I’ve gotten rid of the crappy jobs that work me to the bone and pay me nothing, I’ve gotten rid of the bosses that expect way more than they’re paying for, I’ve cleared a lot of emotional issues and worked through grief, and I meditate and low and behold, my gums are good ie strong and resilient so they recover faster even if I’m not being strict with my oral hygiene routine!!

Spiritual Health
Still meditating every day though sometimes I do it so late that my app misses recording it for certain dates.  My consecutive day tally is now only ever between 1 and 4.

Emotional Health
Emotionally, I think I’m alright this week.  A bit whingey, so not as clear as last week after the Kinesiologist visit but alright and as my gums are showing, compared to the past, I am brilliant.

Financial Health
Due to not being able to enter over a certain number of transactions on the Mobills app in any given month, I stopped using it, in order to work out what would be the next best approach.  The result?  I’m continuing to use the app but not breaking the receipts down into so much detail.  So far so good.  Also I am considering paying for the premium service but won’t do it unless I really need it.

Social Health
After his arrival, we’ve spent a lot of time with Tones’ cousin and our going out / eating out began.  We started him off gently, to allow him to settle into the country and recover from any jetlag he may have been feeling but it turns out he didn’t have any jetlag at all!

He arrived on the Saturday.  We went here as our first port of call because it was close to where he was staying, it was dinner time, I was hungry and we were getting really lost in that building.  It was expensive for Middle Eastern food but what do you expect for a restaurant in Harrod’s?  I’m not sure why but my guess is that Tony decided not to take pictures that day and I have no photos of the food at all 😦

The  next day, Sunday, we were invited over for a BBQ at our friends’ place who live in the same neighbourhood as us, so we all went there for the day.  Again, no photos… sorry.  It gets better next week, I promise!

So as not to disappoint with zero pictures, let me do a throw back to circa June 2015.  Yup… 3 years ago when we visited STAX Diner at Kingly Court.  This is back when we did a LOT of yoga (sometimes over 7 times per week) and so we just ate anything and everything… Tony was even considering doing their ultimate burger eating challenge… to eat 5 x patty and 5 x cheese burger, fries and supersized milkshake in under 15 mins.  I think he’d be avoiding that right now.  I tell you, we are missing the days when we could eat everything AND stay skinny.  Oh how things change in 3 years!!!

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2018 Week 16 Summary

The sun is out.  Today (Thurs 19th April) is the hottest day of the year (so far… I’m hoping there are more beautiful days to come) and it’s 28’C.

Yup… that’s the hottest.  Before I came to this country, I never understood why English people worshiped the almighty Sun and basked (or rather, baked) themselves in all its glory.

I now totally understand.  For now, I will be grateful for today because it will slowly decline to 14’C in the next 5 days and at the same time, I’ve enjoyed a few rays and won’t go crazy and lie on the grass in my underwear like everyone else.  Yes, they do that here.  I will save you the trauma and the subject of the pictures from embarrassment by not taking or posting any pictures of what I mean.

They’re making the best of their circumstances!

Paris & Rome

The boys have been happy.

On the days I sit with Rome, he is SUPER happy, running around as fast as he can, binkying non stop and just to make my heart melt even more, he flops next to me so that a part of him is always touching me.  Whether it be his back, his foot or his bum, he will choose a place to lie down where a bit of him is in physical contact with me while he rests.   I think it’s their way of hugging.  Isn’t he adorable?

When I’m working at my table and sitting on the chair where he can’t reach me, he’ll actually lie down under the chair I’m sitting on!!  Bless his little heart, twitchy nose and furry cotton tail!

He’ll lie there and rest / sleep for a while and then he’ll get up and repeat the whole process of running, binkying and back to flopping by my side again.  The best part is when he can’t decide whether to binky or flop so he binkies and then flops, making a loud vocal noise because he has winded himself in the process of flopping over so enthusiastically.  Ah my baby.  He makes my heart smile so much when he’s happy.

Paris as always is the complete opposite.  Every time I choose to sit with him, he will just hide and avoid me.  The only time he’s come to me is when I’m completely engrossed in the computer with my back to him.  Then randomly I will feel his whiskers tickling my back.  As soon as I turn to look at him, or even make the slightest movement that he thinks I’m going to try to touch him, he’ll run away and hide in his hutch.

So, I’ve started to force pats.  They say you shouldn’t put your hand into a hutch so the rabbit knows it has a safe place and a place of his own.  I’ve ignored this for the sake of his well being.

If I stuck to that rule, Paris will NEVER get a pat.  While he’s outside, he runs away from all touching but once he’s in his hutch, he’ll actually sit still to receive it.  SO, I reach inside his hutch and pat him there.  It is the most difficult and uncomfortable thing to do.  My arm always gets tired having to stretch out to reach him and I’m kneeling the whole time but I persist because every body needs physical contact for their emotional well being.  I don’t care how shy or scared he is, he needs to know he’s loved.

The best part is when he jumps outside for pats because he’s become OK with them outside since me forcing them and even better, he starts doing funny binkies after the pats.  By funny binkies, I mean, he actually jumps sideways or on the spot!!  Normally they binky and run forward, or kick to the side while they’re running but somehow Paris does it on the spot from a stand still position.  One minute he’s just standing normally, the next, he flicks his head, jumps up and ends up on the very spot he started.  Or, he flicks his head, jumps and ends up exactly one body’s width right next to where he started.  It is very cute!  He also does the running binkies but I find the binkies he does on the spot adorable and unique to him as Rome’s never done that.

Home, House and Completions
This week I have focussed solely on clearing one of my email inboxes.  I have so many email addresses and therefore so many inboxes to clear.  My “personal” email however, had over 2500 emails in the inbox.  2546 emails to be exact.  It’s full of subscription emails, notifications, ads from places I’ve bought from etc and it has personal emails in there as well.

The result?  Overwhelm and the personal emails have gotten completely lost.  Some things I was supposed to action just moved to hidden pages because I can only ever see 50 emails at any given time and once you see 50 emails screaming for your attention, why would you scroll and search beyond that?

Things have been forgotten, expired and not completed.  Things have been left outstanding for years!!

After a whole week, dedicating hours to clearing it, my progress up to today, is that I have managed to get my inbox down to just under 500 emails.

For now, there’s just been a lot of filing and deleting.  The lower this number gets, the slower I’ll get because eventually I will end up with all important and actionable emails, which will take longer to sort through.

There was once a time when I’d only have important emails that I was taking action on, in my inbox and there would never be any more than 30.  I will get there eventually….. give me another couple of weeks!

Tones and Joy

Mental Health
Strangely, clearing my inbox has given me some sense of focus and being in control.  Creating order out of chaos, deciding what is irrelevant and just deleting it and filing things away, brings a feeling of being more organised and fuels the motivation to continue doing this with everything else.

We are on our 2nd week of refreshing our French lessons too.  I feel more proficient this time around and am actually pleased that I remembered a lot of it!

Physical Health
This week, I went to a Kinesiologist and Tony went to the Chinese Medicine doctor.  A first for both of us.

I made a list of all the ailments that I wanted her to check (such as my lethargy, sore shoulder) and particularly, I wanted her to check my gut and test which foods were causing it to keep bloating to the point where I just always look like I’m pregnant.

I had it all planned but when I got there, she asked me about medical and personal history (emotional stuff), then she tested for I don’t know what and THEN after she did her tests, told me what my problem was.  I never even got to tell her what I wanted to get checked!

It turns out my ICV (IlleoCecal Valve) isn’t working properly and this is what’s been causing my gut to be funny, my tiredness and my shoulder hurting.  All three were symptoms of the same cause and all 3 were on my list.

Long story short, I went in there feeling frazzled, tired and emotional.  I thought it was PMS.  I came out of there feeling like the world was a wonderful place.  I was calm, at peace and not tired at all.  I went last Friday… her treatment results have lasted the entire week.

Tony went to the Chinese Medicine Doctor.  He told them of his ailments such as a sore hamstring in the groin area, sore neck and shoulders and overall tiredness.  They did acupuncture and cupping on him.  His whole back was bruised but he hasn’t felt any pain in his leg or neck and shoulders since.  He went on Saturday.

Now both of us are recommending the treatment we got to each other.  He wants me to go to the Chinese Medicine guy and I want him to go to the Kinesiologist!  Except, I didn’t come away from my consultation with giant hickeys!!  So Tony is actually keen on seeing the Kinesiologist whereas I’m a little wary of going to see the Chinese Medicine Doctor.

There is one commonality in our visits though.  BOTH practitioners made it a point to tell us that we’re healthy.  The Chinese Medicine Doctor told Tony “You are very healthy.  Whatever it is you’re doing, just keep doing it.” and the Kinesiologist said to me “You’re almost there.  Considering the circumstances and what you’ve been through, you’re really healthy.   Your core is strong.  You’re doing really well.”

We are both very grateful for this.  I’m going to persist with the Kinesiologist to ensure I don’t confuse which treatment provided which result.  Once I’ve seen her a few times and can feel what differences she is helping with, then I will try the Chinese Medicine guy.

I’m going to suggest the same approach with Tones but he seems fixed on seeing the Kinesiologist.  My thought was that if you mix them up then they could work synergistically or they could work against each other.  Either way, if you do both at the same time, you  won’t know which treatment is effective and which is not but hey, if he wants to do both, that’s up to him.

Spiritual Health

I mentioned this strange phenomenon which has been happening a lot these days.  If I haven’t said it before, I came across this definition of enlightenment which had me thinking about it for a while:

Enlightenment is the absolute ability to spontaneously fulfil desire.

WELL…. here’s a story.  When I first got here in 2005 a friend of mine said that he wanted to go to the Fat Duck but it’s really hard to get a table there.  What’s the Fat Duck I ask?

It’s a 3 Michelin Star restaurant by Heston Blumenthal.

So, for his birthday I attempt multiple times to get a table.  He was right, it was difficult.  I was trying to get a table for 3.  Lines opened at 12pm but when I called at 12.30pm, all tables were booked for the next 2 months and they’d only allow for booking up to 2 months ahead.

So I attempted again and again.  Lines would be busy each time I called and when I finally got through, even at 12.07pm, all tables would be booked out.  Eventually I just stopped calling.  I even went on a waiting list and they actually called me back when a table was cancelled but the table was for either 2 or 4 (not 3 which is what I was looking for) and it meant either ditching one friend or having to find someone willing to pay £250 for a meal to come with us and with only a split second to make my decision, I passed up the opportunity.

Later on that year, my friend told me that one of his other friends got a table and asked him to go along.  I got ditched.  So I had to wait for other people who wanted to go, to try and book again.  I put it on the bucket list and forgot about it.

13 years later, it’s been renovated.  Prices have gone up.  It used to be £250 per head without drinks or tips.  It is now £325 per head without drinks or tips.

Tony’s cousin is coming over from LA.  I mention that we have to think of places to take him out to and choose a couple of nice restaurants.

Tony says “How about Fat Duck?”
I say, “Fat Duck…. what’s that again?”  I’d forgotten you see, I remembered the name but couldn’t work out which restaurant it was.
Tony “Heston’s restaurant?”
Me:  “Oh yeah, oh but that’s hard to get a table to, I doubt they’d have an opening.  Besides, he’s getting here on the weekend, we won’t have a free weekend except for in 2 weeks time right?  Yeah, it’ll probably be all booked out.”
As I say all this, I check the website to look for the times I have to make a phone call.
Me:  “Oh!  You can book online now!” so I click on the one and only date that I know we can all go and there is a table for 3 available.  Just one table.  Everything else is booked out.
Me:  “Is this a joke?  Honey…. this says available right?”
Tony looking at the screen says… “OMG, it is! Yes!  Book it!!!”

And it was as simple as that.  There were a couple of hiccups.  Like, in my excitement I closed the tab for my booking and couldn’t get it back again.  Talk about self sabotage!!

But after refreshing for 10mins, the table was available again and I could book it and this time I made sure I did it slowly, correctly and to completion!

Enlightenment is the absolute ability to spontaneously fulfil desire.

If this is what enlightenment looks and feels like, I’m really liking it!!!!

Emotional Health
I started the week off quite angry as mentioned before.  I thought it was PMS but after the Kinesiologist did some adjustments, all anger was gone.  She says she did some emotional clearing  “more than you know” she said to me.

I don’t know what she did but I’m happy with what ever it was.  She worked on releasing the emotion from the part of my body where it was stored through various massaging, exercises etc  She worked it out of me in the direction of body to mind.

I’m currently actually coaching someone via video calls, using techniques I’ve learned for emotional clearing.  It’s all clearing from the  subconscious mind and with that, tensions in the body are also released.  So we work clearing the emotion in the direction of mind to body.  This person probably thinks the same thing.  “I don’t know what she did, but I’m happy with whatever it was.”

So I’m not new to the concept that mind and body are connected, nor the idea that emotions can get stored in and around the body to create aches and pains (or tumours and other diseases).

For a long time, I thought I could sort it all out myself.  After all, I had all the tools to help others.  Why couldn’t I be self sufficient?

What I realise now is that no matter how resilient or resourceful you are, you cannot sort ALL things on your own because it’s not easy solving your own problems when you are in them.  It is much easier to find and pinpoint problems when you can step away / outside and see them objectively, without all the emotions, baggage and filters, distorting your view.

Just as quickly as I helped someone else clear anger from their life, this woman helped me do it through another way.

It is all energy and it’s all connected.  We are all energy and we are all connected.  What goes around, really does come around!

Financial Health
Within 10 mins, we went from thinking of going to a 3 Michelin star restaurant, to booking and paying for it.  We also had to book car hire.  We just dropped £1000 ($1500 USD, $1800 AUD), just like that.

To some this isn’t a big deal.  To me it is.  Spending £1000 (without tips or drinks yet) on one meal, even for 3 people, is a big deal.  I think it’s the most we’ve ever spent on a meal.  For me anyway, unsure about Tones.

The event hasn’t even happened yet and the money has already been spent.  That’s the price of 2 airfares to an exotic holiday.  That’s more than what we spend in 2-3 months for groceries for the two of us.  That’s an entire year of yoga classes (I guess, thank God I just cancelled my yoga subscription??!).

All  I can say is that I am grateful we were able to do that and still have money left in the bank account.  Phew!!

Social Health
We hung out with our newly adopted family this week, eating at a burger joint we like, called Dip and Flip.  They drown your burger in gravy.

Dip and Flip Burger

Not only does your burger arrive already drenched in gravy, they give you a dish full of gravy that you can dip your burger into as well.

I could have neither gravy nor bun.

Wheat Free Dip and Flip, no gravy, no bun 😦

The Kinesiologist said I had to stay off the wheat and they use wheat flour in the gravy to thicken it.

As you can see, having it bun free or “skinny” or whatever term they use for it here…. it was no longer as enjoyable as it used to be.  The meat was dry and I needed to add sauce (ketchup and mustard).  It wouldn’t have mattered if it was covered in gravy.

That stuff that looks like grated cheese next to my burger is cabbage which I’m not allowed to eat either, along with the raw tomatoes which is also on my list of foods to avoid.  I mean seriously… WTF can I eat man?

I missed out on a gravy drenched burger which was the whole purpose of the place and ended up with vegetables, half of which trigger some kind of inflammation due to intolerance!  And I wondered why I was always looking pregnant.  Everything I like to eat I’m intolerant to!!

Including this shake that Tony got to enjoy all on his own…

Oreo Cookie Milkshake

I think now is about the right time to remind you that both Kinesiologist and Chinese Medicine Doctor said that we were healthy… maybe they were just being encouraging, you know, a nice way to help people who are really bad, to feel good about themselves!

But we did enjoy spending time with our “family”.  I call them our newly adopted family because we only started hanging out with them quite recently (maybe since late last year).  A yogi friend of ours introduced us to his family.  His kids are almost in college and therefore engage in adult conversations.  He and his wife are not much older than Tony and I.

So Tony and I are right in the middle.  Kind of like younger siblings to the parents and older siblings to the kids.  They’re a really lovely family and have even invited us over to their upcoming family get togethers (the ones where various family friends come together for picnics).  I used to love those when we had them as kids and I do miss feeling that connectedness with family friends.

As a group, we actually get quite loud.  It’s quite funny.  The women in the family are like me…. quiet but excitable and once you get that motor started, it doesn’t stop and it gets really loud!  So by the end of the meal, we were pretty much just yelling and laughing while we walked down the road.  Such a far cry from the posh etiquette of the local community.  Ooops….

Regardless, we were really happy to have spent time with them.   As mentioned last week, slowly creeping out of our anti-social behaviour and enjoying having other people’s company again 🙂

Our re-emergence into the community coincides with the re-emergence of the sun…. SAD syndrome much?

This is all part of my love-hate relationship with London.  I really need to live in a place that doesn’t have such drastic differences in daylight from summer to winter.

Anyway…. until I write again….

2018 Week 15 Summary

Blog for week ending 12th April 2018

It’s been a while, almost a month since 12th April however I want to update you (and me so our progress through life this year can be documented in some way).

I suppose it’s a good thing to be so busy living life that you have no time to record it.  At the same time, if I let it get away, I will forget what has happened and be unable to recall it, which was the whole purpose of recording it in the first place!

Paris & Rome
They’ve been pretty boring and I think it’s because they are bored.

We have established a routine with them and stick to it.  Things get done exactly the same way every day so they know what to expect.  I read that rabbits like routine and I’ve found out that they really do enjoy it but it does mean, since we’ve kept them as protected as possible (from the elements and predators) that there is no “excitement” in their lives.

Both their spaces have maxed out so there’s no more further for them to explore and they’ve figured out that there are no repercussions for ignoring my instructions so they’re not engaging with any of my attempts at training them tricks which I’m not consistent with anyway.

Most of the time they just look at me, turn their head away and give me a look that says “Do I look like a dog to you?  Hmph, I’d rather not eat.  Besides you’re going to feed me later anyway.  I’ll just go take a nap while I wait…”

Home, House and Completions
Rome chewed up the new skirting that Tones installed.  We knew it would be a possibility but were disappointed that he did it so soon.

However, it was my fault.  I forgot to put his water bowl out for him and he couldn’t find a drink.  So, to get my attention and/or in his frustration, he bit the skirting.  It worked… I heard the noise, saw him, stopped what I was doing, realised he didn’t have any water and gave him his water bowl.  As soon as I did that, he drank… a lot.

I have remembered his water every day since.  He has also never bitten the skirting ever again.  Still, Tony’s going to have to redo it all over again but we’re waiting until AFTER Tony’s cousin’s visit to get it done.

Tones and Joy

Mental Health
After realising just how addicted I was to my computer game, I attempted to create a new system for how to play.  I turned on a timer that would go off every hour.  I made a checklist of all the actions I was supposed to take.  Then I would use that alarm to stop what I was doing and go in to play the game, attempting to complete everything on my previously made list for 5 mins.  Then I’d stop and go back to do my work.

I thought it would help but it did nothing. This didn’t stop or kerb the addiction, it just structured it so instead of playing 2 hours straight, I’d be playing 2 hours over the course of the day.  It actually turned out to be less effective because I kept interrupting my work at the most inconvenient times.  You can’t really know when you’ll be in the zone and that alarm was very disrupting to all the times I was really concentrating and/or getting things done.

Still, you can’t know until you try.  I just learned that this method doesn’t work for me!  Once interrupted, it takes me ages to get back to concentrating.

The Truth About Pet Cancer docu-series was on for free for the week so I watched this too, learning a lot about cancer in animals, quality of pet food, vet care and alternative ways to help heal your pet if they get cancer.

Most of the details were about dog and cat cancer which was slightly disappointing since I have neither dog nor cat and the title was “PET cancer”.

I have rabbits as pets, they get cancer too and, they are the next most kept pets after dogs and cats.  The good part is that rabbits are very similar to horses and they gave some tips on horses as well as certain best practices that could be generalised for all animals for example, feeding your animals a “species specific diet” ie the things they’d eat if they were in the wild.

My bunnies get some pretty good stuff already but it did make me think twice about what sorts of pellets I’m giving them  (they absolutely love and go crazy hyper for the ones with wheat in it) and  whether or not there was pesticide or insecticide in their hay.

I realised the naive way that even if it says “grain free” on the label, they will contain soy instead.  The things that say “wheat free” will contain rice and/or soy.  I mean seriously… I’ve never seen a bunny wade around a rice paddy or eat tofu or biscuits in the wild but here I am feeding them soy, rice  and wheat flour through their pellets.  Why is it in there if animals wouldn’t normally eat it?  Because the pet food company need it to bind the otherwise unappetising powder and turn it into the pellet shape.  Yes, they add sugar in some things too.

There’s more to the series, I learned a lot and my mind has turned now to making sure I am more mindful of what the bunnies eat.  What I didn’t think about and so have become more mindful now of, is that fact that the animals are so much smaller than us.

So if we get affected by eating insecticides and pesticides in our vegetables for example, they will be even MORE affected since they’re only 1/50th my weight and size.  1/100th to some of you!!

I think the worst statistic that really got me listening was that 1 in 1.65 dogs get cancer.  That’s more cancer in their population than we have as humans!!!!  Cancer is the highest cause of death in animals    😦  It was never this bad before and the only difference between now and back then, is what we’re feeding them.  How could we?!!

Physical Health
Still yoga once a week and breakfast smoothies every day, nothing has changed in this arena other than my drastic search for organic hay… which for some reason, I cannot find in the UK.  If anybody knows of a place that sells organic Timothy Hay(for the bunnies, not us) , please share that info with me!!

Spiritual Health
Still meditating every day.

Emotional Health
I’ve created a long, LONG list of emotions I would like to deal with.  Sounds odd but when you get to know yourself and listen to your emotions, they actually tell you things that you need to deal with.

For example, anxiety.  If you feel anxiety, it is your unconscious mind’s way of telling you that you are focussing on what you don’t want.  For example, if you’re going to a meeting and you feel anxious about it, then it means you are visualising all sorts of disasters happening, whether it’s about getting there late, not getting there at all or the meeting itself going wrong or the person not liking you etc… all of those imagined, unwanted events are what are causing the anxiety.

If instead you focus on what you want (getting there safely and the meeting going really well and you being well liked / received), then there’s nothing to be anxious about and the anxiety goes away.

Anyway, there are many ways to deal with different emotions.  Just listing a whole bunch of them as and when I’ve felt them, has helped.  Since my unconscious mind knows I’m going to deal with them, it knows it doesn’t have to keep telling me or nagging me about it.  The result?  No more thoughts on replay.

The key here is actually dealing with it.  You have to deal with it otherwise your unconscious mind won’t trust that adding it to a list is going to be doing anything.  So, what happens now is I feel the emotion once and write it down on my list of things I’m going to deal with and it’s done.  Of course, if I don’t deal with it… then I’ll get reminded again 😉  More of how I deal with emotions on  a later blog!

Financial Health
I found out that the app I downloaded doesn’t allow for more than a certain number of transactions unless you pay for the premium version.  I feel somewhat like I’m back at square one.  Tones suggested I go and find another app.  After how long I took to find this one, I’m loathe to do it…. time to think about next steps.

Social Health
Many personal development teachers I learn from, categorise life into different areas (usually 6-7).  The goal is to empower ALL areas of life so that you are well rounded.

As you can see, I’m addressing each area of life when I update on us (Social, emotional, financial, physical etc).  Once we’ve mastered the basics and put some focus and attention to an area, I add another and I will do this until ALL 7 areas are being worked on each week!

Social has been quite low on both of our lists and that’s because for a long time emotionally, I just wanted to withdraw from the world.  Tony goes out with his work mates but often relies on me to book our social engagements with everyone else.  So, if I’m not up to seeing people, he doesn’t see them either.  The thing is, he doesn’t care.  Between the 2 of us, I’ve always been the more social one.  So if I’m not making an effort, we both end up anti-social!

It’s only recently that I’ve started to make new friends and reconnect with others.  It feels nice to finally be able to open myself up and be OK with people again.

We were invited to go out for drinks with the yogis at our studio.  Drinks and yogis together?  Yes.  We told them that we’d attend the drinks after watching a movie.

We watched Black Panther.  Tony had a free coupon to the cinema so only I had to pay.

It was alright Black Panther…. though neither of us thought it lived up to the hype.  It seems when things are hyped up, Tony and I get disappointed.  I wonder what sorts of expectations we set… they must be really high because stuff just never lives up to our expectations.  It was an enjoyable movie, not an OMG THAT WAS SO AWESOME type movie 😉

Anyway, the yoga drinks didn’t quite work out either.  We went to the pub post movie and couldn’t find anyone we knew because it was late.  Apparently there were still people there but we didn’t see them and were branded blind and given some grief for being a no show.  Oops!

Here’s a picture of another time we went to drinks with the yogis.  This one was to say farewell to one of our yoga teachers, Sharky except she went and came back already and that was a long time ago!! circa Nov 2016….  Better late than never!?!

Tvist Tvist Tvist!!! Saying farewell to Sharky who has by now, gone and come back already…

2018 Week 14 Summary

Blog for week ending April 05 2018.

I’ve read some things on addiction this week and have opened my mind to understanding that addictions aren’t just of substances but can be of anything in life (shopping, eating, gambling, sex etc).

Basically, anything that you do incessantly because it satisfies a deep craving or gives temporary relief (usually from pain).  Addictions are only a problem when they have negative consequences associated with them.

On reflecting on my activities during the day and night, there are 3 things that would fall into the addiction category:
1.  Browsing Facebook feed / the web
2.  Playing “Township”
3.  Watching series / movies

There are positives to each of those activities but the negative consequences far outweigh those positives.  That negative is time spent.  Time that I will never get back.  Time that I cannot spend doing something else.  Time is worth more than money.  If you lose money, you can get it back but once time has passed, it’s gone.

The other negative is sleep.  Most of the time when I go to bed at 3am, it’s because I’m doing one of the above.  The bags under my eyes exist and I’m tired from lack of sleep every morning because of one of those 3 things.  When I think about it like that, those 3 things are so not worth it!

All of it is screen time and so my eyes remain focused on one distance for extended periods of time and I wonder why my eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be or why my eyes are dry!!  Methinks it’s time to dramatically reduce my screen time and curb those addictions!

Paris & Rome
The boys have been happy and quite surprisingly well behaved, especially after last week’s adventures with multiple chewed up cords.

Tony spent 4 full days at home over the Easter long weekend and this influenced the boys’ behaviour.  They’re both cautious around Tony.  It’s because Tones is heavy footed and tends to move loudly and suddenly.  For example, he sits very still when reading or working.  He can do this for hours at a time but then when he moves to get up, he’ll jerk the seat back, drop the phone, move things around the table and then thud the floor with his foot while attempting to put his slippers on.  The sudden kerfuffle scares both bunnies.

The difference is, Rome will stop to listen and watch out for anything peculiar before deciding to run, Paris will just bolt straight into his hutch, even if he’s in the middle of eating or toileting.

During the 4 day long weekend, after multiple times bolting back into his hutch, Paris eventually spent all day every day in there, hardly ever coming out.  He even bit Tony when Tones attempted to move his pellets closer to him.  We reckon he was having an issue with Tony cleaning around his hutch and play area as he’s used to only me doing that.

As soon as Tuesday hit and Tones went back to work, Paris was out and about, running, jumping and binkying, as usual again.

His current “thing to do today” (he’s been doing it every day for the last 3 days) is to pull out the newspaper from his litter tray.  It’s a miracle.  The newspaper sits underneath some absorbent wood pulp and hay which he’s supposed to wee and poo on.  He actually manages to pull out the newspaper without spilling any wood pulp or hay outside of the litter tray.  Unbelievable.  I don’t know how he does it and I don’t know why he does it but  “Look Ma!  No hands!”

Home, House and Completions
I finally got my act together and sorted out my hair.  I usually grow my hair to really long and then chop it to a bob and then wait until it grows really long again before I go for another hair cut.

Usually I just have the hairdresser sweep it up off the floor and throw it into the bin but this time my hairdresser suggested I cut it off in a ponytail and send it off to The Princess Trust so they could make a little wig using it.  I thought this was a much better use of hair and so I’ve now finally sent it off.  It’s been sitting in an envelope, on the table for months!  Hopefully they can do something with it.

My hair that I sent to Princess Trust

I also collected a bag of unwanted, unworn, no longer used items of clothing from the cupboard and dropped them off to the clothes charity bin.

Another completion which is quite a relief is that I sent a very late birthday card.  I’m talking 10+ YEARS late. I bought the card 10 years ago and kept forgetting to send it.  Well it’s done now!  I never have to “remember” to do it, ever again!

I packed and sent a thank you gift – one that I really should have sent back in January but hey ho.  This is what completions are about.  Just getting stuff that’s been hanging over your head for ages, finally completed.

Lastly, I’m reactivating my kefir grains.  Someone at the yoga studio asked for some so I promised her I’d give her active ones instead of the stored ones we had in the fridge.  It’s going to take a few cycles and I’m up to the 2nd one but it’s getting there.

With those things sorted and wanting to surprise Tony with a treat, I made a  cinnamon bun cake using almond flour.

Cinnamon Bun Cake

Given the name, I thought it would taste like Cinnabon which I know he likes, but it didn’t.  Still, Tony really liked it and asked if I could make it again.

It seems I’m becoming OK with this baking thing.  I always think that it’s not good enough and Tony is just very encouraging or forgiving of me.  Being very critical of my results, I haven’t yet found the confidence to let others beyond Tony, tell me what they think.

Tones and Joy

Mental Health
Considering addictions are things we do to find relief from pain, I pondered on my reasons for movie watching, game playing and Facebook browsing and it’s pretty simple.  I’m procrastinating and therefore using screen time and looking like I’m doing work, to avoid actually doing work.  It’s as simple as that.

I would rather do any of those 3 things than clean the bunny hutch and vacuum every nook and cranny that has bunny fur, do the finance admin, clean the toilet or clear the clutter and list things for sale online.

This is why I take years to get anything done.  Those completions I listed above were just put off for months and years!  Except when I actually just got it all sorted, it was done in a couple of hours.  WTF?  Definitely a wake up call.

Meanwhile, Tones has been watching various videos on Quantum Mechanics with his eyes closed.  Haha.  I love it.  Every time he has a hard time understanding something, he closes his eyes.  That’s when you know he’s REALLY concentrating.

Physical Health
Declaring that I will sleep earlier hasn’t worked.  We’re still getting to bed at 1.30am and the long weekend made it worse.  It seems with nothing to do the next day, Tony and I don’t care if we’re up until 4am surfing the net or playing games.  We’ve been doing this for years and have proven that old habits die hard.

Rome hasn’t helped either.  I suppose he’s used to sleeping late too.  Last night we attempted to get to bed early but he refused to get with the program and wouldn’t go into his litter to be carried into his hutch to go to bed.  The result was, instead of getting to bed at 11pm, we got to bed at 12.30am.

My yearly yoga membership has expired too and after collating feedback from people on FB, the consensus was to “Use a Class Pass”.  So that’s what I’m going to do.  I also managed to do a tripod headstand in my one yoga class a week, this week and lifted my knees off of my arms!  I never managed to straighten my legs or body and collapsed shortly after lifting my legs but it was progress!

Having failed on my sleeping goals, I immersed myself in watching health and nutrition documentaries to remind myself to stay healthy and the result from that is that I am on smoothies for 2 meals a day, since Tuesday.

We’ve had smoothies for breakfast every single day for the last 4-5 years now, can’t remember when it started but it’s about that.  Now I’m going to have smoothies for lunch too.  It’s not for weightloss.  God knows I’ve lost no weight by drinking smoothies every morning.

Besides, I leave the morning smoothies to Tones to make and all he puts in there is 1 banana each plus superfoods and that’s it.  Sometimes an avocado, sometimes berries.

Starting today I’m making my own breakfast smoothies and having lunch time smoothies specifically to ensure I eat more fruit and vegetables, equivalent of the min 5-a-day (or  more) requirement.

Getting to sleep early is still on the cards.  Perhaps reducing my screen time activities, increasing physical work via cleaning and eating more vegetables will actually help.  We have yet to see the results of this new experiment.

Spiritual Health
Apart from life chugging along like it ain’t no thang and all the tweaks I’ve been able to make as each week goes by, there isn’t anything to report in this arena this week.  We continue to meditate every day.

Emotional Health
I’ve noticed that nothing has sent me off the rails in either positive or negative directions lately.  I’ve been pretty even keel for a while which is amazing!

Even my annoyance at Rome chewing wires last week was nothing more than wanting to whinge which was gone as soon as I found a replacement wire the next day.  So emotionally, I think it’s very safe to say I’ve made a massive improvement from times gone by!

Financial Health
I sought and I found.  After what felt like hours and hours of research, I managed to find an app I could use for managing our finances.

Coincidentally (or is it..?) I found it just in time for the start of the new Financial Year, UK.  We’re now using Mobills for our personal expense recording and budgeting.  Can’t say much about it because I only just downloaded it 2 nights ago but so far so good.  All of April’s expenses have now been recorded on it.  This new financial year is looking more organised!

That’s the “summary”.  Tones suggested last week I split this into 2 blogs.  If my blogs continue to be this long, it’s looking more and more like that’s what I need to do!

See you next week x

2018 Week 13 Summary – Part 2

Here is Part 2 of Week 13 Summary.  This part is just an update on the different areas of life for me and Tones.

Mental Health
I’ve eaten less fat this week and the effects were immediate with my mind slowing mid thought.  I even had an episode where I started a sentence and completely lost the rest and it never came back to me.

I ate less fat because of the flu.  I was avoiding fatty, oily and milky or creamy foods in order to reduce the amount of phlegm and snot production.  What I got instead was a very dull mind.  Duller still when you have a blocked nose and limited oxygen to the brain!

Physical Health
Apart from recovering from the flu and going to our favourite yoga class once a week, I’ve attempted a number of things to help improve my physical health.  Things including going to sleep earlier.

However, when it comes to physical health, nothing works without long term maintenance and we are just not being consistent.

Despite wanting to get to bed earlier, Tony and I are still up and about at 12.30am 6 out of 7 nights, 3am at least one night a week.  I suppose this is an improvement from the usual going to bed anywhere between 1-3am every day but lack of sleep is detrimental to many organ functions as well as something that contributes greatly to ageing and a weaker immune system.  They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!

What’s the point in taking superfoods and supplements, doing meditation and yoga and sticking with day only jobs if you’re just going to negate it all by staying up to all hours of the night and early morning?  And for nothing too.  Usually we’re just watching a movie, playing games, surfing the web or reading.

So, for this following week, especially now that it’s daylight saving, I’m going to attempt to be in bed and asleep by 10.30pm each night.  What a feat that will be.  Even just saying it, sounds impossible.

Spiritual Health
“Enlightenment is the absolute ability to spontaneously fulfil desire.”

This is a definition of enlightenment that I came across in recent weeks and is a new concept to me.  I never once thought that enlightenment would be connected with physical results because to me it was a spiritual, non-tangible thing only accessible to the deeply spiritual (ie vegetarians who meditate all day on mountain tops aka monks).

However, this definition makes enlightenment accessible to all.  If one’s desire is something physical, then surely an enlightened being would be able to absolutely and spontaneously fulfil that desire.

In that vein, we have experienced mini periods of enlightenment already.  That is, every problem we have had a desire to find a solution for, we’ve found the solution to, pretty much straight away.

For example, Rome broke my computer charger cord, Tony lent me his computer (which we’d been waiting for, for 2 years to receive but happened to have exactly when it was required).  We found a spare replacement cord for my computer, in the house, the next day.

Example 2, Rome broke the power board cable, the electrical shop near us was having a sale and power boards were half price!  What were the chances?  So it was also replaced the very next day.

Example 3 in the last 3 weeks we have not experienced running out of anything in the house.  Every thing that runs out or that we need more of, I’ve managed to have ordered just in time so that it gets delivered either just before, or on the very day that we need that item.  This has never happened before now.  Usually there have been days, even weeks or months of waiting for replacements but not in the past 3 weeks.

Can you imagine living life where you never run out of anything? Take something really simple like, you never run out of ink because there’s always another pen and then apply this to EVERYTHING and that’s pretty much been our life for the last 3 weeks.  The universe has become a constant and unlimited supply of everything we desire and it’s happened so often, it’s become normal.

Even just last night I was thinking, “Oh, we’re on the last bag of hay for the boys.  I will have to order some more in soon.” and guess what was in the mail that Tony brought in 15 mins later?  Discount vouchers from the pet store that I buy their hay from.

Of course we still have to order and pay for things.  I didn’t say we got things for free.  My point however is that we haven’t had to do without, even when things break, there is always a replacement ready to go straight away and as we never like paying full price for anything, discounts are available all the time to us.

Last night (again) we went to the store to buy milk so Tony could finish the Matcha Green Latte powder we had bought.  The woman who used the self service till before us didn’t pick up her receipt or discount coupon.  So it was waiting for us at the till when we got there.  Guess what the coupon was for?  You guessed it, discount off all milk products.

When it happens all the time then surely it’s not coincidence.  Is this really what enlightenment looks like??

I wonder if the more enlightened you get, whether your desires become bigger too so if you want you will get a jet plane, or if desire diminishes to complete contentment with nothing but the clothes on your back, the roof over your head and nourishment to maintain a healthy body and a mountain top to sit on…  I’ll have to wait and see for myself or meet a monk with a Ferrari.

Emotional Health
So this is what it feels like when the universe conspires in your favour!

I had glimpses of this in the past and when it happened, I would cry in overwhelm and my hands would get the shakes like I was in shock or had too much caffeine.

Looking back I realise that the crying and the shock would be because I was feeling undeserving.  I didn’t think I was worthy of my super powers ie the power to manifest things into my life.

After each event where this happened, I would feel scared that the ability to manifest would disappear just as easily as it came.

Side note:  I didn’t cry or shake after receiving discount vouchers.  I was manifesting free tickets to Anthony Robbins’ events for 2 people worth $5000, taxis in rural areas exactly when I needed them who would then give me a ride for free because “I was heading in that direction anyway”, free empty bus rides because an out of service bus just stopped to pick me up and take me where I wanted to go, win tickets to the comedy club off a radio station (when I never entered the competition) right after I thought about wanting to go to the Comedy club that night, free tickets to movies, win every raffle I entered etc etc  and all this happened within a 3-6 month period.  People said I was really lucky but it literally freaked me out.

After that I’d have even more fear that either my luck would run out or that I’d manifest all sorts of horrors into my life just as easily as I manifested the good stuff.  Kind of like how the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man became Godzilla in Ghost Busters.  Out of control.

But now it’s different and that is because now I know better.

Firstly, I know it’s not me that’s making anything happen.  It never has been.  Miracles happen all the time, to all of us, constantly.  That is the nature of the universe.  I just finally learned how to get out of the way.

Secondly, when they happen, I’ve learned to acknowledge them, accept them and let them be instead of ignoring them, rejecting them, battling with receiving them or flat out pushing them away with fear.

Lastly, I understand now that because it isn’t me, I have no control over it.  I just have to allow it to happen and be there to witness it.

The result?  No shakes or crying.  Just, “Thank  you. ” or “Thank God!” or “Yes! This is awesome!”  Every single time is like receiving a gift and I really like presents, especially if they’re things I’ve wished for.  Those are the best presents!

Mind you, nothing big or expensive has come through lately but then again, I haven’t asked and I’m not going to.  Not unless I really desire it.  It is a privilege that I must use wisely.

Ask and you shall receive.  It really is that simple.  The asking is always easy.  It’s the receiving part that I needed to learn.

Financial Health
If I was a horse with blinkers, health and spirituality is right in front of me and finances continuously sit in my periphery.  Tony loves finance but he leaves household finances to me because he thinks I’m better at it than he is.

Just how good am I?  I went to a tax accountant once who asked me to bring “all my receipts” for the year and when I did, he chuckled and said “You have enough paper work to look like you’ve been in business for 10 years!”

He told me to go away and sort it all before coming back to him.  I had to sit for 3-4 days doing nothing else but filtering through it all and making sense of it.  The process was both cathartic and traumatic all at the same time.

There has been little improvement since.  The blinkers have prevented me from finding another way.  Instead I just pile the papers up until I get so overwhelmed I stuff them in a box or bag and then shove that box/bag in the cupboard.

So this coming week, I’m going to find another way.   I’ve already learned to ask and receive.  I suppose, it’s now time to experience “Seek and you shall find”!

I’ll let you know how I get on next week!

Until then, may you receive all that you ask for xx

 

 

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