Thursday, 24 July 2014

Face the Music

Yesterday I got to go for my usual facial with my lovely Polish beauty therapist Eva. She is tiny and talks more than anyone I can think of, and I have never met anyone who did more for my skin than she has.
She started off by waxing my eyebrows. She knows that I have fairly sensitive dry skin and she says 'don't use a harsh exfoliant, it will bring you out in zits, just mix a bit of bicarb of soda with some of your normal facewash in your hand and use that' (she recommends a baby top-to-toe shampoo formula, but any face wash will do). After she had washed my face throughly with that, she applied a mixture of 4oz of coconut oil with 10 drops of peppermint (put the bottle in hot water and the oil will melt), she then put it on pretty liberally and then washed it off again (but you can happily use that as moisturiser if you are careful not to use too much). She said that she also has some with lavender oil or eucalyptus oil depending on whether it is morning or evening. After washing that off she liberally smeared my face with witch hazel and then steamed my face for about half an hour. After that she cleaned out blackheads and other yucky things and then applied some fruit acid. When that was soaked in she gave me a face mask and left that on for a good 10 mins til it was dry to the touch and then washed that off really thoroughly and then smeared me with witch hazel again. So now my skin is starting to settle down, I reckon by tomorrow it will really glow. Happy skin - yaaaay!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Coming and Going (or rather Going and Coming)

After a few tumultuous weeks of running around at the end of term I finally got to jet off to visit the family. I saw my dad recently, but I haven't seen my step mum since last Christmas - a year and a half is a long time!

I got to the airport in good time, but ended up held up in security and got chatting to a lovely man who was waiting for his bag (strange shaped camera tripod) and watched while the security people took out about eight mini pots of jam from one lady's bag.... could you have jam bombs? They would be tasty at least. Maybe jam with popping candy in? By the time I'd finished drinking the apple juice carton that I'd forgotten in my handbag and he had repacked his tripod we were ready to start a business together.

The flight was pretty uneventful, I had a gentleman either side of me, one was in the military strategy bit of the US Navy and the other was a scientist working at Glaxo Smith Klein, both pretty interesting chaps. I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel - I do like Wes Anderson films and The Lego Movie - I really enjoyed both of them, they were a lot of fun.

Then came a five hour layover in Philadelphia airport. What do you do in an airport for five hours? Sit in a rocking chair and read. Yes, they have rocking chairs. And also exercise bikes.

Rock and roll. By the time 9pm rolled around I was ready to get on a flight. By the time we arrived at the house it was about 12pm and I was long overdue for bed. The following morning we hosted the Sunday morning bagel group, and we sat out in the sun and ate breakfast and drank coffee and had a chat. Lovely.

Friday, 18 July 2014

The Sense of an Ending

On Tuesday I had the last Rochester class: after five and a half years of teaching the class has been closed. My heart hurt a lot all day, getting heavier and heavier as I got in the car to make my last journey out to Delce Rd. I set up that familiar room and I was preparing a couple of my students peeked round the door and gave me a bunch of flowers. Just before class started I noticed that the clock in the hall had stopped, and upon checking my watch had too. I bought that watch for meditation - how fitting. We had a little class, there was minimal fuss which was just the way I wanted it. At the end and one of the gentlemen who has been a long time regular gave me some china as a thank you present. By the end of the class I was feeling relieved for it to be over, and a great deal of affection towards my students - I have no doubt that I will lose some and keep touch with others, that is the way of all things. I had a lovely chat with the caretaker, 'I'll miss our Tuesday night chats' he said, and I must agree - sometimes I would talk to him more often than I talked to my friends, he never failed to make me smile. He said that he would send me the odd text about his boys, give me a shout if he was coming to town so maybe we could chat over coffee. I handed the keys back ceremoniously and both of us were a little uncomfortable. I drove home, and the moon hung a misty red and purple blaze in the sky, I listened to Hey Ocean, just like the first solo car journey I made, the roads were clear and smooth and uncluttered and my heart was easy.... and I hope that this is an omen for how life will be too. My last voyage out, my last voyage back, five and a half years of teaching, tens, maybe hundreds of people through those doors - I never wanted to teach, but I am very grateful that I did, I learnt so much. For the last time I get to say: I love my Rochester students.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

'I Give Advice'

I saw this gentleman sitting with a sign on the High St today, so I went over to ask him what he was doing.
Gentleman: 'I'm from Bulgaria, I'm trying to raise some money to stay here for my studies... you want some advice?'
Me: 'I don't know, what advice would you like to give me?'
Gentleman: 'When people ask me that I usually give them this advice: Whatever you want you can manifest it, you just have to align your intention with your actions. You have to behave as though you already have those conditions and then they will start to come true. I really think that things will manifest if you make sure your reality is in line with your thoughts, just live your intentions.'

'I give advice (and information) on: *Life *Love *Work *Astronomy *Anything else (I try) *Partying * Spirituality *Science *Family *Addiction *Dealing with parents *Poetry * Holiday planning *Coping with stress *Computers *Art *Making money *Dealing with children. Talk to me for Free! Pay £1 only if you are satisfied with the answer.'

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The Chap Olympiad 2014

Yesterday we attended the 10th annual Chap Olympiad in Bedford Square Gardens. We brought picnics (and picnic blankets), drank Pimms, drank tea, ate cake, watched the odd-non sporting event, and even had a little dance at the end. But most of all, I watched people: the costumes were incredible. The sporting events were ridiculous. The moustaches were even more ridiculous. The commentator was hilarious. In short, it was delightful, and I expect I shall be doing things of this nature again.

The Sporting Events included:
The Bicycle Race - where you have to cycle with a cup of tea, the one with the most tea in the cup at the end wins

The Strong Man

The Brief Case Dash - form a phalanx, the first team to get the to the other side wins

'Just when you think things can't get any better..... they probably can't'.

Bowler Hat Volleyball - yes, that is a net made of string tied between two hat stands

Not Playing Tennis

and finally there were awards for the Winners (Bronze, Gold, Silver)

Most impressive were the people:
There were many many safari suits

Even the children were vintage

Our next door (well, blanket) neighbours

Wedgewood cufflinks

I'm slightly in love with this man
And I'd quite like to be this lady

The Chaps themselves

Of course we had tea and Pimms cake

And some dancing to round off the day - I even had a dance with a lovely young man.

I wasn't the only one snapping away, someone got an unsuspecting photo of us too (I think it was the gentleman in the purple tie when he wasn't napping....) by jupiterbaal on instagram

And the weather held off until our walk to the tube station. Hurrah! I did leave my brolly behind, but oh well, one can't have everything in life. I'm very happy I attended and I'll be looking out for more Chap events in the future.