Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Think of that question.    Not as in what your net asset value is or capital is or anything in financial terms. There was a recent survey that said women are slow at asking for pay rises. The journalists pseudo psychologists said because women lack self esteem.  But what you earn is not your worth.   And self esteem is to do with sense of worth - sense of value.  But what you earn has nothing to do with your value. Value is something much more complex.   What constitutes value? I mention all of this because I've just had my home here valued and one in France valued and they are not how I would value them. No way.  One is too high, one too low. They are both in their own way priceless because they are homes. And I've just had a conversation with my friend. She has a relative who feels she's wasted her life. That her life hasn't been of value.
She got divorced in her thirties and is now in her seventies. She didn't work, she did some voluntary work. Her ex was a control freak, who chipped away at her confidence during their marriage and continued to do so after the divorce, using money to control. He always supported her, giving her enough to survive but not live - you know the difference. So did he. And would gently drip drip feed at every opportunity to her that she couldn't survive without his money. She bought into that. A lot of women do. If you are told you lack value continually its difficult to walk away - especially when you are tied with children.He married again, with kids. Successful career. She looked after the children. Wonderful children. Wonderful grandchildren. He takes all the credit being both successful, characterful and financially solvent. His infidelity and cruelty forgiven if not forgotten. But I know this old woman. She lives close to her doting intelligent beautiful daughter. She sees most of her grandchildren every day. She is loved. Really loved. I told my friend to tell her mother that she hasn't wasted her life. She has children and grandchildren she sees regularly. Whom love her and always give her cuddles. But my friend's mother needs to be reminded of this. That she has family and that is what she has 'done' with her life. Because that is worthwhile. 

Monday, 27 October 2014


Yoga Show yesterday. Turned up with head full of 'stuff'.   Thankfully met some very helpful people including a life coach and meditation expert.   Both live in the real world, not rainbows and unicorns if you know what I mean, which this sort of show can attract.   Highlight - the sex yoga.  Originates from Santa Monica (allegedly) hilarious. Its not yoga porn. Its porn.   Teacher called Psalm Isadora - thats a porn name but I think is actually her real name (she is from LA after all)
Its called Orgasmic, sexy sweaty flow yoga.   Going to try it with the class tonight.   They're gonna love it.

Check out Julie Smith who produces meditation tapes.   Specialises in those who can't sleep. Going to recommend her to all of my friends.   Her tapes are brilliant. She's having an intriguing one day event in St Johns Wood.   Saturday 13th December for all those with 'emotional issues' - which is about everyone yes?

Check out      If you want to get happy.  And have the money to spend.    If it doesn't work, and you're still miserable, they give you your money back - although you may feel you've wasted your time as well as money.

 There's something called a power breathing workshop   Breath is power but if you have £20 spare, give it a go.   17th January for an hour and half of heavy breathing.

Yoga retreats - breathspiration  Dislike the name but the range of holidays looks really good.   Includes scuba diving as well. Ideal for those going through mid life crisis - or any crisis. Again, if its a financial crisis you can't really go on these things can you?  Begging the question the people who need this the most can't afford it, only the neurotic ones can.   But it may cure their neurosis.  Or feed it…

Also check out Met Amanda York briefly at the show.  I liked what she said on the leaflet. For those with time management issues, good to go to.    And she's not expensive either..

If you're going to go to the States for yoga, go Santa Monica. They are all bonkers there.   Ashtanga is a competitive type of yoga.   My opinion, but I feel it is one of the most competitive so appeals to men a lot.    There's an extensive weekend in July check out  Not sure if its actually in Santa Monica as the leaflet doesn't say  (not helpful), but the classes look interesting - flying floating and hand sanding, eight limbs and daily life. All very LA.

Other holidays, check out  You can ski and yoga, walk and yoga,  surf and yoga (I presume not at the same time),  hike and yoga and detox and yoga.     Going to put it on my website.

Yoga for children and also those with special needs. Excellent and worthy ideal and idea

Ariel yoga (where you hang from ropes. Love to try it but think its only for the Chelsea set at the moment.   But they do it in Newbury  It looks a lot of fun (see pix)  if slightly mad.

Face yoga  Absolutely lovely this.    Nothing like a good scream.

Also check out  and the excellent life coach  Andrea Forizs.    Ex BBC, she knows her stuff. She said I should meditate more, focus more on me, rid myself of energy vampires and mood hoovers and meditate more.  I need some of the stuff I'm teaching.

Friday, 24 October 2014


So there I was writing my psychology essay (is deindividualisation and contagion what makes crowds the way they do or is it our sense of group identity? discuss sort of thing but they used longer words).   And finishing off my new website which I'm v pleased with (thinking should I put the 'blond''s pix under 'vain' as it is so the pose he would do) albeit he is better looking and he knows it, and also working on next book which has a sad ending, coz I can't think of a happy one. Mercury in retrograde till tomorrow. As far as I'm concerned its left the solar system.   And one of the cats has eaten my supper. The cat jumped off the mat and went on the kitchen table and ate the chicken.    Bloody thing.

And then a friend comes round for a chat and gives me a travel log which is lovely.   Isn't that a lovely thing to happen to you, just out of the blue.    I have had so much crap its laughable now.    I look up at the sky and think 'what now you arsehole' which isn't very zen of me, but even my editor would say this level of stuff couldn't happen to one person. Perhaps its because I moved something in the wrong feng shui area, or something, but its bonkers.   I am not going to be deterred.    I am seeing family this weekend. Always an intriguing prospect reserved for Christmases and funerals.  Its an engagement party so the atmosphere will be a combination of both - terminal excitement.

Apart from finishing aforementioned essay, website, book, I am off to the yoga show this weekend.  There will be lots of mats, oils, joss sticks, buddhas, emaciated people, and there is the latest trends one of which is something called broga, which encourages boys to do yoga. (bromance and yoga - get it)

If they say its where you will find fit young ladies then they will go. Anything else will not work.  I know men who have taken up pilates and yoga just to pull.  Gives the yogi phrase 'be as one' a totally different context.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


I have been asked to go surfing in Cornwall. As a hurricane has just struck - or a non hurricane as the weatherman/woman stated, is this wise?   A death wish perhaps.  Its for work so I'm going to give it a go and see if I can ride the storm….

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Posting those photos of the phenomenal food we had in Verona (check out the squid ink risotto - it was incredible and on a parr with the breakfast I had years ago in Rajasthan - curry no less), has made me think of cooking. I do not cook.  I mean, I can cook, but its not something that does it for me (nor anyone else who has tasted my food).  I am wasted on a good restaurant - unless its in Verona in which case its not.   (miss it already) and when you looked down there were roman ruins under the glass floor INCREDIBLE!   (see pix). But I did cook ok cake.
So I am making German Marble Cake.   Tom's away on a geography field trip and I'm gonna surprise him (unless of course he reads the blogs which I don't think he does).  
BTW the photo is of the roman ruins underneath my feet at the restaurant. For the name of the restaurant, read February edition of Richmond Magazine which comes out in January - ideal for Valentines or anytime really….


 the arena in Verona

 eating salade caprese in the Piazza del Erbe

Sunday, 12 October 2014


No, not the black latex covered, masked minx with a whip, Michelle Pheiffer look-a-like although I have been known to wear a fluffy tail for fancy dress, party optional.    I am now looking after two cats. for a friend who is going to India. Its not forever (we have put a time limit on it) but it is educational.
I love animals, as in I will more likely cry at an animal being treated unkindly or dying in a film than I will a human being, unless of course that human being is very very special.  And I'm more likely to cry about them not fulfilling their potential or suffering unrequited love than death which is much more final and stops the pain, for them anyway.
As for pets, my father had a cat called Smokey that behaved more like a dog.   I liked him but I think my grandfather who lived with us treated him unkindly but then again it could have been my mother who did that, as she was the one who told me this, and she didn't particularly like my grandfather.
A part from Smokey, we didn't have pets. I had a hamster which died in his sleep, although my best frenemy, Rosemary, told me at Sunday School that I had buried the thing alive as they hibernate. I went  home crying to be told by my dad that the hamster had indeed died, that no, I wasn't able to dig it up just to check, and that Rosemary was a spiteful arsehole - although he didn't say the arsehole bit - just intimated at it.
Tom has had four gerbils - the first two were wonderful creatures, brothers and loving towards each other and everyone who handled them. The second two were not wonderful creatures, one was nervous as hell, the other one I'm sure was possessed.  I should have called it Damien.   The thing escaped from the cage and went wild for several months, darting about. Even at my fiftieth party I had to explained to bemused guests that the thing darting about the floor wasn't a rat/mouse but Damien.  He nibbled at the sofas, shitty little thing, but he escaped, and I hope he's somewhere safe and happy now.  Sort of.
I've had two tortoises for twelve years, who look like a married couple - miserable but contented in their misery because its safe.   They move slowly but in the summer with stealth, as long as there's a dandelion leaf going.
Bruno the street cat visits us on a regular basis as he does everyone, looking into their eyes and getting fed and stroked.  He is a charming rake of a cat, but he goes and doesn't shit in your house, which is more you can say for the human variety.
Back to the two cats.    I have to keep them in for three weeks, or they find their way home. One probably would, but the other is special needs - their owner says that, that's not me, but I agree with her. The cat doesn't know who or what he is (or if he is indeed a he) - her words not mine.  Very fluffy, very 'big boned' and darts off at any direction, he's been up the chimney three times.   I thought he had escaped but no, he hadn't.  He meowed loudly at me at five in the morning by my bed and I told the owner he was still OK after, poor girl, she had cried a bucket and I had felt guilty for a day.  So I have two cats.
I prefer people to cats. Or animals for that matter.  Given the choice, I'm not sure I would choose to live with either.  Tom I love unconditionally but I have never met a man worthy of the same.  Having just been to see Gone Girl, which reminded me of my ex husband - him having the qualities of both the woman and the man, I think you compromise when you have pets as you do when you have a relationship.    You're cleaning up after them, in return for some affection. Although I'm not sure we should expect even that.   At least with humans you get some conversation, although again, even that may not be very good and if, like animals, they are 'on send', its not two way.    I suppose animals can't be emotionally abusive, but the cats wake up at five am meowing the house down to be fed, so I suppose thats a sort of torture, but at least it means I'm starting work early.  I would be happy to get up for Tom when he was a baby every two/three hours but only because he was my son.
Perhaps that's why some people prefer living with animals as they've had very bad conversation, because I can't really see how and why living with a pet is better to living with a person. They do not love you unconditionally.  Cats definitely don't and dogs may love you, but unless you feed them they die or eat you, which is a bit of a bore.  Probably why I stick to tortoises.

Friday, 10 October 2014


Two days in Verona, two in Lake Garda.   Sherbert coloured buildings glistening in the Italian afternoon light.   The exquisite architecture, fascinating history, and walkability.   It is a busy city that does things slowly.   Everything is blisteringly romantic and you will find it challenging to find a partner to match the moment.   Visit Boghetto and the Sigurti Gardens.   Ideal places for romance if you can't like the Clooneys afford Venice.
The least romantic bit about Verona is Juliets balcony.   You queue for the pleasure of woo hoooing to a courtyard full of tourists.   Stayed at the effortlessly stylish and polished Hotel Due Torri, in the centre, walking distance of the Arena where you can sit on hard stone seats and watch opera and ballet.   Take a blanket and cushion. I was here when I was 18 and didn't have that advice. And the ballet was bad so the Italian audience booed.  You wouldn't see that at the National.  Well, not since I've last been.
Food phenomenal. People wonderfully friendly and well, Italian, so happy about being happy. Italians are unfaithful to their meals, they talk about breakfast when they are eating lunch and talk lunch when they are eating supper.
The British appear so stilted when they travel to Italy, as though their anality stands out more in this environment, which was captured well in a Room With A View.   The Italians have their own stuff.   I talked to one of the hotel managers and we got onto the subject of Italian men.   She said she would never go out with an Italian man.  "They are all liars. As long as you know that you are fine. They will tell you anything and everything and be the centre of your world and then go and tell the next one exactly the same.    And they are passionate, the best lovers.   And they will always be true to their mothers.   They are vain.   And they are lazy."  But their country is wonderful.
Cycling along Lake Garda was bliss, on route to and from the wine festival there - although not a good idea to cycle back along the Lake, but I made it.  Veneto is dreamy.
And from one extreme to the other.
And I went to see Gone Girl, a film about a marriage which is toxic.   I would say it would resonate with over 90% of those who are married or who have been married, probably even higher.   OK, its extreme, but I don't think that extreme.  The man is lazy, unfaithful, selfish, boorish, self absorbed.  The woman is calculating, manipulative, angry and very disappointed.  And they are both fake and wish each other dead. Yup, true of most marriages I would say.

Thursday, 2 October 2014


After a horrid summer, the smell of Autumn is almost intoxicating. It has that distinct sweet smell.  I've taught loads of yoga which I've loved, and even had time to try out keratin hair treatment  (brazilian conditioning) at Metropolis in Kingston
which works really well on my hair smoothing out the wrinkles. @l_kerabelle @metrpoliskt1   The hair looks lovely but I've still got loads of work to do on the face.
 I visited the Olympia Show and tried out an Elemis facial which was brilliant, and had my nails painted turquoise which goes with my rings, although I had an interview the following day and had to explain away the nails.
A part from that I've been living a hermit existence but went out tonight to celebrate a very good friends birthday at the London Corinthia Hotel. Met some fascinating people, and took a photo while crossing Waterloo Bridge.  London is a wonderful city, especially on a warm Autumn night.