Fortune teller

Bank holiday Monday. What is a girl to do? Go to Greenwich and have you fortune told…

Ok, maybe not the most obvious choice but at least it didn’t involve any drinking ( had a super early start this morning.)  or any moving (I did a 15K run -yay! But am two days after still aching.)

My sister and I went to have a coffee and got discussing zodiac signs and what the rest of this year will bring. This year being the year of the tiger and next year being the year of the rabbit. As you can imagine baby bunnies have a different temperament to tigers.

So we got to the topic of having your (tarot) cards read, which I knew you could do on Greenwich Market… Ten minutes later we were with Hanora behind her pink curtain, slightly giggly also because for the first minutes she was so concentrated on typing in an address on her mobile that there was a very uncomfortable silence.

Turns out that she doesn’t just read your cards, she analyzes your zodiac sign and does some palm reading. Pretty thorough on the ol’ fortune telling, though my sister quipped afterwards: ” Can you imagine if your cards, your sign and your palm tell you won’t be doing anything useful for the next 12 years, after which you will contract a horrendous but non-deadly disease and you will get hit by a typhoon when you next  fly out of the country.  That will have cost you a tenner and you have permanent marker on your hand.”

Luckily enough no such misfortune for me, and though I will not disclose all she said – she seemed pretty certain of one thing. In fact: she wrote it down on a Post-It and dated it.

(Aug 2010) By the end of next year you will know what you want to do and you will do it.

18 months (or 16 really) that is not forever. (Though she did cover herself by saying – “you might make mistakes in between then and now!” – but it gave me hope anyway. You have to admit it is much better than 12 years of nothing!) Apparently by the end of next year  things will calm down and things will settle  –  and there is a big chance I will settle.

Let’s take in that last sentence. Settle. Moi, who has made it an Olympic sport to move house every 12 months… I think that is funny but I am definitely curious what will happen now. Pinch of salt granted – still I,  yes had a hand full of permanent marker but also a smile on my face.

We walked away and bought some marshmallows to satisfy my sister’s sudden craving. Munching away, we discussed all that was said.  ” Perhaps you should make sure you are somewhere nice around the end of next year. Like the Seychelles or something.”  Then she paused to find another marshmallow and grinned: ” Just make sure you don’t have to make an emergency stop in Zimbabwe.”

Ahhh the taste of home made… yoghurt?!

Tonight I have come across possibly the most useless gadget yet:

The Yoghurt maker.

That is right, not even the ice cream maker that was popular in the early 90s (which was pretty useless, you used it once and then stored it) nope, a yoghurt maker. 

The product is described as:

People have been making yoghurt for over 4500 years and the Severin S3516 lets you produce this nutritious food in the comfort of you own home. The S3516 features a memory dial, transparent lid, on/off switch with pilot light and includes 7x glass 150ml capacity jars.
Hmmm doesn’t really clarify usage as yet or make it appealing to buy… pilot lights memory dial what do you do with it? I remember some relative who gave us a yoghurt jar, a jar with some bio culture to which you should add milk that would turn into yoghurt.  Surely you cannot just put liquid in the 7 glass jars, switch on the pilot light and have yoghurt at the end of the ride?
After a little google, i found EasiYo that requires you to mix a sachet of biocultures  with cold water, which you then set aside in boiling water, leave for 8 hours: Hey presto yoghurt!  On the same website also a few live yoghurt packages that one should add to milk or water.
See, the part where I’d trip us is the 8 hours: I would wake up in the morning realise we don’t have any yoghurt, pop some milk in the yoghurt maker and expect breakfast within 15 minutes- and that is pushing it.  Yesterday I started a Nigella recipe at 7.30pm, realising half-way through the recipe that it stated: Let it simmer for two hours… Ah. Good thing I didn’t mean to eat it that night then…
I can see the appeal of fresh-baked bread and cakes, boast-level of home smoked fish or home cured ham, the pleasure of fresh pasta or vegetables from your own garden, but imagine entertaining your dinner party and whipping out your home-made yoghurt. Taaadaaaa!
Just imagine the impressed faces. Just imagine.

Ten things that I fear

Rodents... they are evil

1. Rodents. I even have trouble holding someone’s hamster, for some reason I think that it will die right there, even though I am not squeezing the thing. 

2. Dead Rodents.

3. Running in public. This is going to be an issue when I start training outside. Tomorrow.

4. Men whose opening sentence is: Are you Thai?  Mostly because I fear point five:

5. My own temper and the day that I cannot control  it. (Inevitably set off by point four.)

6. Big knives.  Small slip up, huge bloodbath.

7. Evil spirits, I am ok with the good ones.

8. Long spiral staircases, especially descending them. Something I rarely think about when I climb them.  Yes, spot the mistake.

9. The day that I mistake a freelance project for saving the world from Armageddon. I mean: Come on, that should not be done on a freelance basis anyway.

10.The morning that the overcast skies stay.

Will it be yes or will it be…

It’s a bit like Marmite, but I am a lover: Dawson’s Creek. That’s right I said it out loud. Oh I know, it was ridiculous: teenagers using multi-syllable words as well as cynically debating things like ever changing lives, ambitions and high-school crushes (Basically everyone wanted to sleep with Joey played by Katie Holmes and it proved that buying a brick wall as romantic.) Yet that was kind of who I was at 15: multi syllabic and cynical, though I didn’t need to sleep with Joey. If ever I was confused as a teenager- not that confused.

Although I guess she might have been my first girl crush, when the show launched I was the same age as the characters. I used to watch it and discuss it with one of my friends at school: I can only imagine that he identified with Dawson. Dawson passionately wanted to be a film maker, my friend passionately wanted to be an actor. He tried out for theater school, got to the second round, took a year out to prep and didn’t get through. Then he studied Film/Television/Theatre science -yes it is a science- but he is currently working in IT to pay his mortgage. Funny, the things that life throws at you.

In one of our conversations I said that I wanted to change the world, to which my friend replied: ” Ha! How do you know what you need to change if you don’t know how it works?” Fair point. So I changed my ambition to experiencing the world. I wanted to see the world, live  it, breathe it and make it a better place. Who on earth would ever want to have a 9-5 job? What ever I was going to do ( and at that point in my life, it was a close call between a gyneacologist for a charity in a Third World country or an actress. Yes, imagine the look on my parents face when I told them I thought med-school wouldn’t work out for me…)  it was going to be amazing!

A decade on and my flatmate has a week off and started to watch the complete series now. I have to pull myself away to prevent myself from getting suckered into it. (Bye bye half-marathon!) Still, it is pure nostalgia. It makes me smile and a little sad: I am less cynical but also less ambitious. Some mornings I find it hard to get myself to the Tube, let alone taking on the world and its problems. God at the time, 25 wasn’t even on my radar: that’s how old it was.

It is easy to forget how passionate and how arrogant you once were, when one morning you wake up and you find yourself working in IT or realise that the high-light of your day is going to be the Sweetcorn soup for lunch they have every Wednesday. Worse even, that you find yourself looking forward to lunch time. (In the first office job I had, a guy who had started around the same time as me, came  back from lunch one day. He had sat next to an older guy in a suit who commented with glee on the massive sandwich he had. My poor colleague just shook his head and sadly said: “One day it might be me.” Bless him, it was too much for a graduate of Italian and philosophy.)

So there is comfort in the fact, something  is still stirring when I hear the theme tune again from the living room: I don’t want to wait for our lives to be over.  I want to know right know. What will it be?

The Quote of Paul

People Magazine reports the divorce of Elin and Tiger Woods on their website. Like the day Sandra stepped out of the shadows, it is a sad day. Still, like the day Sandra stepped out: Well done Elin for not letting walk over yourself. Not with an infidelity of that scale, not with public hurt of that size.

When the truth about Tiger came out, it seemed it was the beginning of many a celebrity couple unravelling. What happened? From tattooed biker Jesse James to seemingly squeaky clean Ronan Keating, all of them confessed, repented, lamented and hoped to save the relationship or even family, they had forgotten about for a night or a month or two in repetition.  Sura has the theory that any man who is adored by hundreds of women will cheat (unless he is gay and I guess even then enough flattery might  turn someone homoflexible for a night.) She is convinced that any heterosexual man exposed to so many temptations will cave and will cheat.

So perhaps it is only natural: why shouldn’t he? Monogamy is a social concept surely, created to keep those pesky STIs at bay and to keep debauchery and alimony cases to a minimum.  Sting sang it: If you need somebody, call my name
If you want someone, you can do the same. If you want to keep something precious. You got to lock it up and throw away the key. If you want to hold onto your possession. Don’t even think about me.

So is it only natural? If it is, shouldn’t all humans be created the same: why does it always seem to be the guy who cheats? Cynics might say because the woman is looking after the children or perhaps woman are just better at cheating? Are the repercussions the same if a woman gets caught? Vanessa P got called names one couldn’t find in the Bible (ok maybe under Mary Magdalene) when she allegedly slept with John T. She wasn’t even married at the time, he was. The fact that he was her ex’s friend made her a bad person. Once again, may I point out that she was going through a divorce, he was married – is still married. It was a rumour, nothing was proven just a smoldering gun so to speak.

It makes me wonder, with all these options these days, all the choices and temptations : why on earth would you want to choose for just one person? Why would you take the risk and commit yourself to this one person, the only person who you will sleep with for the rest of your life (and believe me  in that context and as a twentysomething that  still feels like a Long Time), who you would build your life with and whose opinion you have to take into account when choosing the bedroom wallpaper and  livingroom sofas? Why?

Personally I wouldn’t know.

Still here is a nice example, even though at 33 he was already one marriage down –  the late, gorgeous and surely exposed to enough temptations Paul Newman tied the knot again with Joanne Woodward. It lasted 50 years and it seems that staying faithful  is simply a choice, as Paul once nicely worded: Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?

Half Way Wall

This afternoon I ran 10K for the second time in two weeks and with 48 days to go (or so the events website says) I feel comfortable to say that I am half-way there. Though technically it is: 21.0975 km, so I have another 500m to go to be on a quarter marathon. I appreciate that by the time I run, I really need to run the full length and not just go : ” Aw, another 1km, well never mind – I was nearly there anyway…”

On top of that the 10K or any halfway point is notorious for being the time you hit the wall. You’ve already run that far and now you need to run it again: Man! Who thought of this?!  Actually my main worry is that I get bored. Yes that is right: bored. I am no longer afraid of dying during this project but of dying of boredom. After weeks of training, running is still not fun for me. Perhaps because I still need to take this  show on the road, I know that running outside is different from running inside –  but I wanted to get myself up to a certain level first before making a public spectacle of myself.

When I know I am nearly there, I get restless and just want to get to the finish line (or so to speak, on a treadmill you don’t actually go very far.) Still I know I have to keep running the same pace if I ever want to get there and not die indirectly of arrogance and impatience.  So then boredom sets in until I reach my goal that is: then there is satisfaction and then tiredness.

Nope I can’t see myself sticking to this running malarkey and I am apparently not the only one. As I asked  my sister today: “Pff only halfway, can you imagine how I’ll feel when I double this?” She said: “Well you’ll feel even more tired and then you’ll feel like you can do it all over again. And then you think: No actually I can’t. Hopefully before you have started running again. Teacake?”

Erhm thanks sis, I’ll try to remember that!

Smells like…

Pina Colada
Image by elgin.jessica via Flickr

Sitting at the table, trying to think about something to write…

Suddenly I think I smell alcohol. As in nice alcohol: the drinking variety, not the disinfectant.  Those things are not the same…

Brain goes to lovely Tia Maria’s, Pina Coladas and other sweet and fruity cocktails…when I realise the smell comes from the opened lilies on the table, strangely mixed with the smell of clementine peel.

I think it is time to go to bed, getting ready for a happy Friday!

PS: my new  automatic tag generator suggests that I add Addiction and Counselling to my post… Ouch bit much methinks..