Friends, foolishness and peppermint tea

When you don’t know who you are and you try various persona for size, how do you know the ones that fit from the ones that might end up pulling in all the wrong places?

1. A woman who sidestepped a spider on a train platform to avoid hurting it. I love that she was actually paying enough attention to notice.

2. Indian takeaway with friends (and a nap during the World Cup match). We were supposed to go looking for a sari for me to wear at the wedding of a friend in Canada but it was way too hot, so that had to be postponed. Instead we watched France beat Argentina and Uruguay beat Portugal.

3. Foolishness. One of my favourite things is making up silly songs and dances and jokes to make my husband laugh. It gives the expression ‘I’m a fool for you’ a different meaning. I love his laugh. It makes everything better. But I also love that it was me that made that laugh happen.

4. The joy of starting a new book. In general. There’s a world of promise and possibilites that very often can be dashed mercilessly by terrible writing but that’s not the point. The point is that for a while between choosing the book, starting the book and getting into it or not, you might be on the verge of reading something remarkable that can transport you into a different world. I’ve almost finished Lost for Words and although there’s much to admire, I couldn’t get completely on board with the main character. Too melodramatic, too whiney, too miserable. Too Oliver Twist. There’s only so much social awkwardness I can allow.  I guess some people like that. It’s very much a matter of personal taste. Am I growing out of my ‘lost boy syndrome’? What will I read next?

5. The comfort of peppermint tea especially after an afternoon of overindulgence. Or when your tummy feels a bit ginger.


13 going on 30, yoga and summer Fridays

How’s it possible that one day I feel on top of the world and the next I’m frustrated by myself first of all?

1. I’m continuing my research of romantic movies where the main characters were friends first before falling in love. Today was the turn of 13 Going on 30. Not as good as When Harry Met Sally obviously but Mark Ruffalo is glorious in it. Jennifer Garner is so unbearably cute. Shame for the very 90s clothes. However, I like her even better in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past where she does not take any crap whatsoever from a breathtaking Matthew McConaughey (before he became too big for romcoms). It occurred to me that one of the reasons movies with friends becoming lovers work so well is because they tend to enjoy more screen time together since they normally pursue a goal external to getting together. They tend to fall in love in spite of themselves. What are you favourite ones? By the way, a bit of trivia: Christa Allen, who plays Jennifer Garner’s character when she was young also plays a young version of Jennifer Garner in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

2. Yoga around the corner with an excellent teacher. Even though my weight has plateaued (I blame this cold), I feel my body getting stronger and the feeling of joy is at times overwhelming. Why do we find it hard to hang on to positive feelings?

3. Me for doing my expenses ahead of time for once in my life. Massive pat on the back.

4. Smoked salmon on toasted rye bread (with a drop of tabasco). Normally not a fan of rye bread but we’re cutting down on refined carbohydrates and we wanted to try it as a compromise. Toasted with smoked salmon is not bad at all.

5. Summer Fridays are so quiet. Corporate publishing observe summer hours and it’s so quiet and glorious it means I can work on my own project I love it.


A storyboard, the best movie ever and vicks

I’m fizzing with excitement. I’ve been plotting an idea for a book that I’ve been wanting to write for a very long time and rarely I’ve felt so alive. It’s not about the idea per se. For the first time the joy is in the process. So far I hadn’t given myself permission to even consider writing. Why? Somebody said you miss 100% you don’t take. I don’t know what happened but now reality is really hitting me. Maybe the book will be rubbish or maybe it will be ok but that’s not the point. The point is this: am I willing to live the rest of my life not knowing?

1. A storyboard. This is the first time I’ve actually made one and it’s insanely exciting. It makes me feel as if things were actually possible.

2. Watching and analysing movies for research. I could do this for the rest of my life and would never get bored. Tomorrow I’m going to watch another one. 13 Going on 30?

3. When Harry Met Sally aka the greatest movie ever made. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it and yet I always find something new I hadn’t noticed before.

4. Stephanie Butland’s Lost for Words. I had been putting it off because it struck as a bit twee but I’ve started it and it’s better than I expected.

5. Vicks. I’m full of cold. So much so I can’t even smell the Vicks I’m liberally spreading on my nose and throat.

I do have cause for cheer.

A romcom trope, a good night sleep and a big leap.

Who catches a cold during a heatwave? Me, that’s who! I feel like a ragdoll that a dog chewed up and spat out. Hence, the earlier-than-usual post. I need a good night sleep. Oh sleep! And a bed. Oh how I love my own bed.

1. A list of movies where best friends fall in love. I’ve realised that’s the common thread throughout almost all my favourite romantic comedies. Very interesting, considering that’s how the husband and I found eacth other. We met in a bookgroup and we were friends for four years before we got together. Cute!

2. A full moon. I wish I wasn’t such a shitty taker of photos (I can’t even write the word photographer to apply to myself) because then I would show you what the moon looks like from my bedroom. But I am so I can’t. The sky isn’t completely dark quite yet. A lovely shade of blue. Also, and this sounds like sour grapes, I tend to get quite obsessed with the idea of the perfect picture when sometimes I should just live and enjoy the moment. At least that’s what I tell myself. Anyway, look out of the window!

3. A good night sleep in my own bed. 

4. My ears just popped. Finally.

5.  The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. I finished Mel Robbins whose ideas I found incredibly useful. The beauty of the 5-second rule is its simplicity, which means there wasn’t enough to fill an entire book. I’ve heard good things about Gay Hendricks. I’m particularly interested in his concept of zone of genius. I’ve just started the book and he’s talking about limiting beliefs. I will report back.


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Cherries, Legally Blonde and life in general.

What can I do to be more connected? At times I feel I need to protect myself from the outside world; other times I get so tired of communicating via social media. Have you noticed how we’re so meaner on the internet than we would ever dream of being face to face? Of course you do. It’s no secret. But it saddens me, you know? All our worst instincts and pettiness come out and it makes me wonder whether we can trust each other even less. As if we needed further encouragement. But there are still things I’m grateful for.

1. Cherries. It’s the little pleasures like the first cherry of the season, or ten.

2. Life in general. I am grateful for being alive.

3. Legally Blonde. If you want to study narrative structure, it’s the perfect movie. Have I mentioned it before? It’s got something of Jerry Maguire, another excellent movie.

4. Stealing Hollywood by Alexandra Sokoloff. Almost as good as John Yorke’s Into the Woods if you want to learn how to structure a story. At some point I have to take the plunge. Otherwise what are we on this earth for?

5. Kindness.

The secret about growing up well, dancing and Stanley Tucci

WIll there ever be a week when Monday won’t feel so grim? Not even the summer temperature can temper the sense of ‘what the hell am I doing with my life?’

Anyway, not giving up is how you move forward. Like at the Iranian team today. They lost but they never ever gave up (and got some help by the referee while at it). Keep asking questions.

1. Dancing. I used to dance a lot. But then I moved to London and life happened. Nothing quite made me feel as good and as carefree and as on top of the world as dancing. Why do we give up the things we love. Why are we such dicks to ourselves? Is this the secret of growing up? To do it well you need to make sure not to lose sights of all the things that make you happy when you’re a kid. Dancing was such a massive part of my life. Why did I let it go?

2. To Do Lists. And then you grow up, become an adult, concentrate on the things you need to do and forget about the things you enjoy doing. You have a massive list of things to do and you feel when you can cross a couple of things off it. You feel pretty good about yourself. So why not sticking things you enjoy doing on it? Like writing, or dancing.

3. Ta-da lists. Productivity is such a massive thing nowadays. Even for me. I go to bed if not happy but with an easy conscience if I’ve been able to cross a couple of important items off my list. Or do I? Do I even care? Is happiness the same as not guilty or ashamed? Live well. Love well. Laugh. Because at the end of the day, the people you love and who love you are the only thing that can protect you from evil.

4.  Differentiation. Be who you want to be. Be yourself and nobody else. Make up your mind about right and wrong. Have principles, values, tastes, likes, dislikes. That’s the only thing we shouldn’t delegate to anybody: celebrities, ideologies, the media. Not even books. Only by making our own mind we can truly withstand the elements.

5. Stanley Tucci. He’s a good actor and he’s peaking late. I’ve just watched Shall We Dance? with Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Jennifer Lopez. Nice idea, terribly developed. It didn’t really know what it wanted to be. All over the place. Shame. But Stanley Tucci playing the closeted dance fanatic absolutely stole the show. Watch this.


Aliou Cisse, another England win and massive imperfect action

Why do I punish myself? Or rather, why do I feel I deserve to be punished? For being overweight, for indulging, for finding yoga hard, for not being as successful as I think I whould be at my age. Why? Why can’t I be kind to myself? I want to stop being such a dick to myself. My weight is yo-yoing wildly at the moment; I don’t seem to be able to make a decision about my future; I’m in a limbo of indecision. This morning I experienced a wave of self-loathing so strong it scared me. Why do I feel as if I wasn’t good enough? Could it be it’s because I still haven’t given myself permission to do what I really want to do? I’m still grateful for all I have, for the small and big blessings in my life, like my husband, my cat, my friends, my book.

1. England won and then some. I’m happy; the husband is happy. I really dig Southgate. I like a man in a three-piece suit.

2. An early morning Vinyasa class. I’m just kidding, it was torture. But I’m grateful for having the good sense to go so there’s that.

3. I downloaded Jo Watson’s Love to Hate. It’s recommended for fans of Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game. Let’s see about that.

4. Aliou Cisse, Senegal’s coach, is the most giffable coach ever. By the way I love watching clips of silly goal celebrations. They cheer me up no end.

5. Massive Imperfect Action. For god’s sake, do something. Don’t just sit there, staring into space. Move! Move forward, sideways, anything as long as you take action. Hasn’t it happened enough times that you took a chance, a quick 5-seconds decision, with incredible consequences to know that you never ever know what might happen? What are you so afraid of?