Category Archives: Personal Development

2018 Week 21 Summary

Blog for week ending 24th May 2018

The week of rest.  After a week of healing, this week we ended up doing absolutely nothing.  Just resting.

Paris & Rome
They’ve been neglected this week.  I spend time with them, feed and water them but I haven’t cleaned out their litters and hutch as meticulously as I’ve done usually.  All because I’ve just been tired and in pain.

Normally they’re intolerant of this and create havoc and make a real mess of their toilets.  They know that the more they mess their toilet, the more I’ll feel inclined to clean it out.  Somehow, they’ve understood this week that no amount of messing would get me to clean because I was in pain and unbelievably they have been well behaved and tolerated their dirty toilets without messing it up any more.

Rome has been a little bit naughty and has been taking his time about going to bed every night and also biting under our bed a lot(which shows he’s annoyed at the mess that I haven’t cleaned) but at the same time, he has been really cute and spent hours playing in and around Tony’s towel.  He’s been using it as a tunnel to run through, around and under.

I think they just know when I’m in pain because on my worst days, they were both behaved and quiet.

Home, House and Completions
Nothing fixed this week, at all.

Tones and Joy

Mental Health
I’ve completely paused everything.  I had the worst headache I’ve had in a very long time.  I don’t normally get headaches at all.  Haven’t had one in so long I can’t remember when the last time was.

However, this week, my head was banging / throbbing for days.  So I spent a lot of time just lying down.  However, I don’t take pain killers so I experienced the pain in all its might.  I wanted to bang my head against the wall because that would have hurt less than whatever it was I was feeling.

I put it all down to all the clearing and meditating that we did in the week prior, plus the fact that I was menstrual and changed my diet.

There were too many changes to pinpoint which was the cause so I just let things be and rested.

Physical Health
As per above, didn’t do anything for days.

I did manage to go to my first yoga class in a month (on Tuesday).  Surprised at how well I did and how strong I was.  I now ache post yoga which hasn’t happened in a very long time!! I mean my thighs, quads and even my intercostals hurt!  Proof that I wasn’t as strong as I thought 😉  Boo!  At the very least I got a work out!

I did want to note at this point that I haven’t experienced brain fog in a really long time so my high fat diet has done the trick.

Now I continue to take iron supplements and believe it or not, my hair is falling out MUCH LESS than it ever has before!  It’s still falling out but only at about half the rate than usual.  What a relief!!  I have another 2 weeks of iron supplements to take, I wonder if it will improve any more than this or if this is it…

I also have to check if hair loss comes back when I stop taking the iron.  I won’t know for a while.  I’ll write again about this in 2-3 weeks’ time.

Spiritual Health
Following on from last week’s Hare Krishna experience, this week we actually went to watch Sugato Bhaduri (Mandolin Maestro), playing a concert of classical Indian Music.

I thought it would be a cultural experience but it ended up quite a spiritual one instead.  He normally plays for 10’s of thousands of people and we were blessed to be in a room with him  and only about 20 people.

He plays Ghandarva Veda music and it was our first experience of it.  I can’t explain it as I’m so unfamiliar with it but it’s an ancient Indian healing system – healing through music.  The music is designed to be aligned with the rhythms and sounds of nature.  Different tunes are played at different times of the day and when you listen to it, it regulates your blood pressure and rebalances all the different systems of the body.  This is how I understand it anyway.

I thought I was going to listen to Indian Classical Music… but it was so much  more than that.  The notes vibrate with your soul and we experienced a balancing of all three Doshas, a feeling of calm and tranquillity and overall healing.

How do we know?  Because Tony and I ate out beforehand, ate in a rush and walked to the place as fast as possible because we were running late for it.  The result was indigestion, a bit of crampy stomach ache (what you get when you run or swim right after eating) and feeling really full and bloated.  Half way through the music, the indigestion and bloat were gone and we both felt relaxed and at peace.  Strange?  We thought so but hey, if it works, why not?

This is what we ate by the way.  As you can see it was HEAVY and yet, that music made light work of digesting it!  We ate our very first Shake Shuka at Shakeshuka 🙂

We must have been really out of it because we don’t have any pictures or videos of his performance.  At least we were being present!

Emotional Health
I worked through some emotions on my list of things to clear.  It’s hard to tell if it worked or not because there is nothing physical to feel or see to calibrate.

However, that night, I got some validation that something changed.  You see, I didn’t tell Tony that I’d been doing emotional clearing but that very night he hugged me, looked at me and said “You look much younger today.  What did you do?”

So my clearing must have done something… perhaps wiped a few of my frown wrinkles away 😉

Financial Health
We took a walk on the weekend to have a look at the closest farmer’s market to us and an all organic grocery store that was close by to it.  That was the most expensive fruit and veg shop we’ve done in a really long time!

Shopping for only organic is idyllic but not currently realistic for the bank account.  We spent a good £30 on what would normally cost us £10 or less at a normal supermarket.

Why does eating chemicals cost less than not eating them?  Surely they should be charging more for the addition of chemicals?

Social Health
Our friends popped over for a quick visit and chat on Sunday afternoon.  It’s actually nice to know people in the area who can walk over and say hello.  I haven’t had that for a long time!

We had tea and because we have no snacks in the house, we had nothing to offer them but tea.

Why are there no snacks you say?  WELL, they actually brought us snacks (like preserved plums, pork jerky, wasabi pistachios, rice crackers etc), an entire shopping bag full of them and in less than 4 days, we ate them ALL.

That’s why there are  no snacks in the house.  Snacks don’t survive a couple of hours in our household so you can imagine just how much they gave us and I wonder why I never lose weight!

That is sarcasm by the way.  I know I don’t exercise much and I’m on a high fat diet and eating lots of snacks too.  Tony says my arms are starting to look like ham hocks.

He’s been getting me pork rinds for snacks and I’ve been eating the whole 350g pack in 2 sittings.

We also went back to Byron to have 50% off all burgers again.  We made friends with the waitress there because we go so often.

They now do FLEX burgers which are patties made with a combination of mushroom and beef (so you can eat less meat).  They also do vegan burgers, veggie burgers and battered cheese burgers (so you get a beer-battered cheese instead of a meat patty for your burger).

I love that they serve their burgers “skinny” ie replacing the bun with salad instead and with all these other options, they really do cater for all sorts of dietary requirements!!

The best thing is that our waitress always knows to order skinny for us without us mentioning it and she also knows that if I order chicken, I get it grilled instead of fried (the fried one is in batter and I can’t have wheat).  So even if I just say chicken, she knows already that I want it served skinny and grilled.

The best part is, even if we haven’t yet showed her our code/voucher, she automatically reduces the bill according to whatever deal is on because she knows we never turn up unless there is a special on and we’ve got a voucher/code.  Haha!  She rocks!

There was one time we turned up and she wasn’t there.  My God we had a hard time ordering.  That’s because we didn’t say “skinny” and I didn’t order my chicken “grilled” so they gave me a battered chicken and Tones just stopped the order in time for them not to put them in buns.  I didn’t ask to swap, I just ate the wheat….

This alternative waitress also kept telling us that we couldn’t have the things we were asking for.  It was painful and I guarantee you, if we had experiences like that every time, no amount of coupons would have us come back!!

That’s when we realised just how spoiled we were by having this waitress look after us.  It’s all about the service and she is awesome!

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2018 Week 20 Summary

Blog for week ending 17th May 2018

So tired!!!  This week was definitely one for rest and healing.  LOTS of healing for all of us in the household!

Paris & Rome
I bought some orgonite for the boys.  Orgonite is a man-made substance made by mixing metal and crystals together with resin (or plaster) for energetic healing.  One of my customers for kefir told me about them 2 years ago and I didn’t buy any because he said you could make it yourself.  Well, 2 years later I still hadn’t made any so I went and bought some.

I bought it for the bunnies because, there is no placebo effect with them.  Either it will work or it won’t – they’ll tell the truth and won’t distort any of its effects with their own expectations or thinking.  Nor will they tell me it works just to make me feel better about my purchase!

Also, they sleep in the lounge where most of the electronic devices exist.  All our mobile phones, TV, internet, wi-fi, computers, printers etc are all in the lounge.  The bunnies are exposed to EMFs constantly 24-7 and in high quantities. We must remember that we are about 50 times larger than our pets.  Our bunnies are only 1kg each.  I weigh 50kg!  Most people weigh much more.  If we, at 50+ kg already are affected by EMFs then our pets are affected to a much greater extent!

Yes, we switch everything off at night but we share walls, floors and ceilings with neighbours, all of whom we expect, don’t turn their wi-fi or electricity off.  I had a feeling that the EMFs were affecting the bunnies, so I thought I’d put some orgonite near them, to nullify the effects.

So far, we have witnessed a miracle since their placement.  Paris is on a heavy moult at the moment and every single moulting time he’s been through (4 times per year), he actually goes through some gut stasis problem because his ingested fur clogs up his system and I have to stay up ’til all hours of the night chasing him around and massaging his stomach until he poos.  He actually ends up curling into a ball, in pain and refuses to eat for hours and hours.  Usually, by the 6-8th hour, I start panicking because I know I will have to take him to the vet if he doesn’t eat.  This can and has happened 1-3 times per moult and it’s a stressful time for both of us.

The miracle is, that so far, he’s already into his 2nd to 3rd week of moulting and he’s been absolutely fine and experienced zero gut stasis.  He maintains a healthy appetite and is still pooing.  I’m watching him closely just in case but this is a marked improvement from every moult gone by!

Just this alone has made me quite satisfied with my purchase.  As for Rome, I put some orgonite above his box in his hutch.  He never uses  the box to sleep and usually he just bites and chews the crap out of the wood ceiling of the box but since placing the orgonite there, we have found him sleeping in his box almost every morning and he has not bitten it any more.

So does it work?!  I won’t be returning them for a refund that’s for sure!

Home, House and Completions
For the house, we bought the scotia to complete changing the skirting in the hallway.  Last time, Tony only did one side.  We now have the scotia so he can complete the other side.

We also had a surveyor come to inspect our place because the next door neighbour is going to demolish/reconstruct an extension/kitchen to their house.

Lastly our intercom is playing up.  Anyone who buzzes will always think we’re not home because they cannot hear us answer.

The number of complications we have in our home is starting to annoy me.  I mean seriously, isn’t there ever a time where EVERYTHING just works?  First it’s the boiler for weeks, then the washing machine doesn’t work, then the sink is blocked and now the intercom doesn’t work.  Seriously, it’s only May… that’s one problem per month!!  Old houses suck, big time.

Tones and Joy

Mental Health
French is getting really hard, I’m speaking really slowly, getting all my tenses incorrect and having to repeat some lessons.  I’m also behind because I skipped some days.  I feel like I need a special needs teacher, for French.  Patience… Ou est vous?

I’m still doing the 30 days to getting results document and one of the exercises was to do a “brain dump” task, which is to write down all the things that are taking up your thinking space.

Do you know what preoccupies MY brain space?  Unbelievable.  It seems the only things I think about are every single emotion that I want to clear, beliefs I want to install, beliefs I want to clear, people I want to do processes on whether for positive or negative reasons and that’s pretty much it.  Until I did this task, I had no idea that this is all I think about, all day, every day.  That’s weird right?  Even I think that’s weird and I’m the one that’s doing it!

Physical Health
Tony’s cousin went back to the States and we spent our first weekend not entertaining.  So what did we do instead?  We went to see the Kinesiologist of course.  We were with her all day.  She spent hours with us.

No yoga again and now we have to work out how to get rid of all the things in the cupboard that we’re not supposed to be eating.

All I’ll say for now is, on the Kinesiologist’s suggestion, I’m taking iron supplements to reduce my massive hair loss.  Over the years, I’ve tried many things to stop my hair from falling out including changing brushes, making my own chemical-free all natural shampoo, washing with lukewarm or cool (instead of hot) water, massaging the scalp with hair oil, not washing as often, not brushing wet hair etc. and none of it worked.

My hair would just constantly fall out regardless.  Some things helped reduce the amount of hair falling out but not by much or, for only a short period of time and then my hair would start falling out a lot again shortly afterwards.

So, the experiment is on.  I’m taking iron supplements for a month to see if it makes a difference.

We’ve also made sure to cook and eat at home more.  Here are a few things we made.

Chicken Liver (for more iron)

Chicken Liver

I also went through the cupboards and decided to finish off the coconut flour and desiccated coconut we’ve had in the cupboard for yonks.  I mixed in stevia (leaf powder NOT extract) and so everything I cooked turned green!

Spiritual Health
We spent our Sunday on a one day meditation retreat.  It was at Regent’s University London.  Our first time to go into those grounds, a University located in Regent’s Park.

We went for a walk through the park after our lunch break.  We didn’t like our lunch.  It was very bland – a vegetarian meal served at the cafeteria.

On reminiscing of what our best vegetarian meal was, I thought of Govinda’s (a restaurant run by Hare Krishnas) and Tony thought of Vantra (his favourite vegan restaurant).

We decided we’d go to one of them for dinner, after the retreat was over, to make up for our substandard lunch.  Govinda’s was closed according to Google so we headed to Vantra, only to get there and find out that it had moved location!

We decided to walk to the new location except on the way, we walked past Govinda’s which had a tonne of people inside eating.  Confused because we thought it was supposed to be closed, we enquired at the door.  It turns out, they were closed but every Sunday, they hold a Love Feast.

What is a Love Feast?  A meal provided by volunteers, and Govinda’s opens its doors to feed all who are hungry.  In return for your meal, they ask for donations of any amount.

Since we were there, we decided to stay and eat.  We gave a donation and had a nice vegetarian meal.

Love Feast at Govinda’s

As we were eating, the people at the table next to us started to chat to us.  It turns out they were devotees / volunteers that help to run the Love Feast every Sunday and they invited us to come back.

As we were about to leave, someone else came to chat to us and he invited us to go upstairs.  I was scared.  An adult female getting invited to “go upstairs” with an old guy had me feeling super dubious so I made sure Tony accompanied me.  I had no idea that Govinda’s was actually part of the Rhada Krishna Temple.

What was upstairs?  The part of the temple where you pay homage to the deities.  They also have a shop and lecture rooms further up the staircase but we didn’t go up there to see.

We were welcomed to witness and participate in the Arati Ceremony and Darshan.

People were lovely and very welcoming, they smiled throughout, some danced and many clapped their hands and sang.  They were normal people ie not dressed in orange with bald heads as one would normally imagine when Hare Krishnas are mentioned.  I guess we just attended a Hindu type mass.

We sang Hare Krishna with them too.  Having participated in Kirtan at a yoga workshop we went to with Sri Dharma Mittra a few years back, we were familiar with singing Hare Krishna and other mantras, so the singing part was alright!

Before our first Kirtan, I used to think Hare Krishna was some weird cult, chanting  and praising false Gods but it’s actually a call to God (the one supreme God).  It means “Oh Lord” in Sanskrit.  What’s the difference in saying Oh Lord, Hare Krishna and Ay Dios?  Absolutely nothing but the language you’re speaking.  After I realised this, I was happy to sing “Hare Krishna” and they do it so joyfully too!

I thanked them for inviting us to the temple and for welcoming us non-Hindus there.  They replied that it wasn’t them who invited us, it was Krishna who called.  I thought that was beautiful.

I was just grateful to have experienced something new and different and to have become open enough to finally see that we do all praise the same God, in different ways, only because of our different cultures and different languages.

At the end of the day however, it doesn’t matter what language you speak or culture you come from, God will always call you and it is inherent in every human spirit to search for and find God.

We believe that there is no such thing as coincidence.  Somehow, our meditation led us there that day.  Overall it was actually the perfect end to our meditation retreat and healing weekend!

Emotional Health
As mentioned, I have my brain-dumped laundry list of things to clear which I will go through a little bit at a time.  At least I have a list!

What I love about the list is that there’s nothing major in it.  It seems that I’ve cleared most, if not all of the big stuff and for that I am eternally grateful.

When your unconscious mind decides to give you its long laundry list, it is proof (to me anyway) that it knows the list will get cleared AND I’m ready to clear it!  That’s 2 awesome things!  It means, I’ve found an effective way to clear my emotional baggage and my unconscious mind knows and trusts in those processes.  Isn’t that amazing?

To have found effective ways to emotionally heal (especially from things that people say you can’t heal from), to have found this kind of peace within, in this lifetime, after so much drama and trauma, is a miracle that I feel so blessed to have experienced.

I can definitely say wholeheartedly to anybody out there who has experienced some kind of trauma, if you want to heal, there are many ways to do so.  Just know that it is possible to heal completely.  Continue to find the way(s) that work for you and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Financial Health
I still haven’t looked at the finances.  I’m an ostrich burying my head in the sand.

Methinks I have some trauma to clear around money 😉

Regardless of what trauma this might be, it’s not that bad…. if it was bad, we’d have zero money and will be in the red which has happened to us before and those were some tough times.

For now, even without looking, I know we’re doing better than we’ve ever been.  The only debt we have is a mortgage and our nett worth is positive so we’re doing OK.

I’m just burying my head because I know we’re not doing as well as what we would like and the last few weeks put a giant dent in our savings.  Unfortunately, we are not yet at a level of wealth where £3000 out of pocket doesn’t hurt.

We’ve also got to change the boiler completely and fix the windows which are two huge expenses worth about £3000 each too.  If we had way more cash, maybe this wouldn’t feel like such a big lump of clay in my belly.  If only I had a good £10,000 to easily throw around!

The best way I can describe my current attitude towards our finances is this…. it’s like falling down, hitting your head, knowing you’ve split it open and not wanting to see how much blood is gushing out to fix it, even though you know it looks worse than it really is.

Social Health
Well, it can’t be all bad…. we made a donation, had some good meals and made friends with the Hare Krishnas 🙂

The Beatles did it, having Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as their guru and now I understand why!!

You know, I didn’t even notice until recently that this song, which I’ve always liked since I was a kid, sings in both Sanskrit and English “My Sweet Lord” / “Hare Krishna” plus the chant to the Gurus (which we do in yoga).

And it finally all comes together.  Who knew so many things in my life would be enveloped in this one George Harrison song.  Amaze-balls!   🙂 ❤

See you next time! xx

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 😛 )

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…