Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Did it just get hot in here?

This must be what love looks like

Daniel battled the undergrowth in my garden (glorified alley) and cleaned my windows because I was afraid of potential spiders. Coincidentally, this was also the day that feminism died.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Too British For Yoga

This weekend I found myself with an unexpectedly free Saturday. I cannot remember the last time this happened, and so instead of frantically calling in back-up, I decided to embrace some (*cringe*) me time, and spend the day selfishly and happily alone.

It started out innocently enough. I read the papers, inevitably fell back to sleep and embraced some menial household tasks. This brought me to about 11am. On a whim, I booked myself onto a two hour yoga class at my gym.

Now, it is fair to say I am an open minded person. I was up for a bit of chanting and incense, and I was even prepared to forgive the hemp, tye die and ironically narrow scarves that informed my fellow yoga goers sartorial choices... I will not forgive the two hours that followed.

We began with some chitchat about our earthly selves and our spiritual selves, and the importance of transcending our human form and human urges. We were told we must move beyond our thirst, our hunger and our sexual appetite. This was where yoga and I first began to part ways. I'm not sure I want to transcend my human urges. In fact, scrap that. I definitely don't. I like to be in control of them (IE, not obese, alcoholic or a nymphomaniac), but during my time on earth, I think I'd like to spend it doing earthly things - rather than floating hungry in the ether.

30 minutes later, and I'm hoping we'll start the stretching bit soon. I thought yoga was all about stretching! Apparently not. A lot of it is about balancing the majority of ones weight on ones head, and then discussing ones resulting dizziness in terms of reaching a higher state and getting closer to your goals. Considering my goal in attending an exercise class was a smaller bottom, I felt an overwhelming sense of being in the wrong place.

After balancing on our heads, we chanted 'Sat Nam' for an extended amount of time. Sat Nam sounds alarmingly like Sat Nav when repeated constantly, and I'd be lying if I said I was entirely focused after this discovery.

After Sat Nav, came the song about love. This is when yoga and I parted ways permanently, and irrevocably. I just haven't got it in me to sing a song about love with my eyes closed with 15 strangers. I felt remarkably stupid. And this really isn't to say I thought my fellow singers were stupid - far from it. I admired their ability to find meaning in it, and to engage with it without embarrassment or inhibition. There just wasn't an ounce of meaning in that room for me.

The next day, I headed to the gym with an iPod full of prodigy and ran. And ran. And ran. I felt free and alive and invigorated. I ran without embarrassment or inhibition. I found meaning. And maybe even a smaller bottom to boot.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Deposit

Princess Jasmine and I have had a bit of a falling out. Truth be told, I've gone right off her.

At approximately three o'clock this morning, my foot collided with a steaming pile of present, personally delivered by HRH.

Now, I know what you're thinking - 'Ah, poor little thing. Probably didn't know what to do or where to go' - that furry little beggar is the most vocal creature I have ever come across, and howls like a banshee at my window when she wants to come in. But when she wants to go out? A truly deafening silence.

My second point of contention is her choice of depositing spot - the mat directly below the toilet. One would have to be a gymnast to miss it - especially in the dead of night. I did not miss it. I, infact, was right on target.

I could almost hear her cackling as I rather unceremoniously shut her out in the garden, and began to load the washing machine with soiled goods.

I have had better mornings.

Lion Heart

Last May Florence told me I had to be a lion hearted girl, who was ready for a fight. And last Thursday night she sang it to me.

Florence and the Machine played to a sold out Somerset House, on a brilliant Summer's evening in the capital. In the company of Hannah, one of my all time favourite people, and with three days of Lovebox just around the corner, my rabbit heart couldn't have been any lighter.

The Concrete Jungle

Arriving in Manhattan amidst busy bustling people, smoke and smog and general agitation was like coming home. I am, and have always been most at home in a city. I know how cities work - how to get where you want, and what you want. Cities energise and inspire me and I love meeting a new one.

New York City and I got on like a house on fire.

Daniel and I were city dwellers for five days, living the tourist dream with trips uptown and downtown, to the lower east and upper west, and pretty much everywhere inbetween. We battled Times Square and Rockefeller Center in the morning, spent a sunny afternoon in Central Park and climbed the Empire State Building at night. We ate Italian in Greenwich Village, Vietnamese in ChinaTown, cheeseburgers on 5th Ave and mexican in Williamsburg. We partied with the indie kids in Brooklyn and the lost kids on Coney Island. We shopped in SoHo and got cultural at MoMa. We took a boat to see the Statue of Liberty, a subway to see Ground Zero, and a yellow taxi everywhere else.

We had a really, really wonderful time.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Empire State - Goshen

First stop JFK, second stop Knapp Terrace, Goshen. Upstate New York, home to Judy, Mike and David Osburn.

The first leg our trip was a homecoming for Dan, a chance for me to meet his wonderful and welcoming family, and to experience the New York not so many people see. This New York is green and lush and quiet. This New York is about long walks and iced coffees, swimming in fresh water lakes and picnics. It is about barbecues, a bonfire and my very first smore. This New York has groundhogs and chipmonks and deer in its backgarden. This New York goes to see drive-in movies (with extra film lovers smuggled in the boot), eats ice cream and cheese burgers and chicken wings by the dozen. This New York attends eighties parties and dances to Madonna and Culture Club - and jumps over official looking ropes to watch fireworks from the top of a hill on the 4th July.

This is what this New York looks like.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Can I get a Kauwfee?

My first day in America! Upstate in the town of Goshen.

A seven hour flight followed by a two hour drive from JFK through two of the five boroughs, Queens and then the Bronx. I glimpsed a sneak peak of the Manhattan skyline before we slipped out of the city and further into New York. The sky scrapers gave way for lush, rolling green fields. This is what suburbia looks like.

Jet lag reared it's ugly head... I managed to keep my eyes open for dinner with Dan's wonderful family before succumbing to the inevitable.

Morning came early. Half past four to be precise. We tried to dose before admitting defeat at six, and sitting on the porch with coffee, enjoying the day's first rays of sunshine.

It's very peaceful here. There are no fences between the houses, just wide open spaces and tall, tall trees. I'm on the look out for deer and skunks, but no luck as of yet.

We decided on a low-key, all American day.

We went to visit Dan's grandparents who live right down the street, where the smell of pancakes and bacon was already heavy and inviting in the air. The streets are lined with star spangled banners - 4th of July preparation or just general patriotism, I'm not sure.

Dan drove me through Goshen so I could get an idea of the place. It's a bit like being on the set of The Wonder Years, houses with wrap round porches and cheery mailboxes at the end of each drive. I haven't seen any little old ladies in rocking chairs yet but I hope it's only a matter of time.

It seems that going for coffee is the national pastime here, and me and the Osburn boys made a few caffeine stops throughout the day. Using my first American dollars was fairly thrilling - everything here is familiar but different, new and exciting.

Dinner was a traditional restaurant in a quaint little town called Sugar Loaf - a bit of an alternative to Woodstock - and we managed to fulfill two holiday goals on our very first day:

1)"I love your accent! Are you English?" - Cue a very excitable Brit.
2)We were served by a girl that used to be mean to Dan when he was younger. We indulged in a moment of Schadenfreude.

We're heading off to a lake for swimming and sunbathing and maybe a little hiking (I've been promised this just means walking) - It's ten past eight and 24 degrees. I could definitely get used to this.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Princess Jasmine

Introducing Princess Jasmine.

Princess Jasmine is my brand new pet. A pet all of my own, to love and to cherish from this day forth. Well, sort of.

Some of you may remember that 18 months ago, I awoke one Saturday morning to a tapping at my window. Somewhat alarmed, I peered cautiously through the blinds, to find the bright green eyes of a pedigree feline staring back at me. JOY OF JOYS! I thought. My pet has finally found me. Today is my special day.

Alas, it was not to be. I tempted Benjamin (it seemed to suit him) in through the window with about ten quids worth of ham. I quickly shut the window and trapped him - success, i thought. However Benjamin was feisty and not to be tamed. To cut a long story short, he bit me and i threw him out of the window. It hurt me more than him, believe me.

I thought that was the last I would see of Benjamin.

I was wrong.

Last week he returned, back at the window, but this time timid and thin, although still as beautiful as ever. Alex and I quickly stocked up on cat food and Benjamin seemed to fit right in, even staying the night on our sofa and purring contently on our laps. Resident cat expert Dan expressed doubt as to Benjamin's masculinity, and after a quick and slightly unpleasant google search, it was revealed that Benjamin was, in fact, a girl. Even better we thought. We renamed her Princess Jasmine, which seemed fitting to such a fine and exotic specimen.

We very much hope that Princess Jasmine is here to stay.