About Me

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A few years ago I decided to start a new career as a performer. I used to be a biology teacher but couldn't face walking around in a white coat all day teaching children who didn't want to learn. Actually it wasn't so much the children as the system cause I think all children want to learn - they just don't all want to learn in schools. Anyway I now work as a Life and Executive coach. Work is perhaps not the right word because it never feels like work. I just love to see people grow and change. I love it when they peel of the layers of limiting beliefs and find their true self. And I make some great frends in the process. I've re-discovered my writing and have published two poetry books and now working on 2 CDs, a novel, a book of short stories and talking to someone about a collaoration on a film script. That should keep me busy for a whild. Oh and I do bellydance.
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Saturday, 31 October 2009

Inspired again

Tonight I saw 9 poets at the Drum. 4 South Africans and 5 local poets they spent the last week working with. I have simply been inspired to write again. Listening to their amazing tales I realised why I had stopped writing. (I say had because as of tonight I'm writing again). It was because I thought I had nothing to say; thought I had no story worth telling; nothing interesting that I hadn't already said. How wrong I've been. One of the local poets wrote about her name-its origins and how she has grown into it. I can tell a story about my name if I wish. Lebo talked about how she is formed by the strengths and weakenesses of both her parents and what an amazing 'dancer' that makes her. How am I the product of my parents; what have I taken from them; what would I rather have left? Donata focused on children-his own and other peoples -they are the reason we are here he said-its what its all about-without children there would be no point to it all. (Interestingly I read two poems about Miles at WWB today) What else can I write about children? Me who have worked with them and on behalf of them for so long.

Of the four South Africans I was most inspired by Lebogang Mashile. Bought her book and even asked her to sign it. It was the second signed poetry book of the day- one of the WWB members gave me a signed copy of her book today 'for being an inspiring'!!! When did I do that I asked myself (but kept the question to myself).

The other SA poets were Keorapetse Kgositsile, Donata Mattera, and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers. This was the first date of the tour 'Beyond Words'. They are doing the Southbank Centre 4th Nov; Saville Exchange North Sheilds 7th Nov; The Albany London 10th Nov; Contact Manchester 12 Nov; and Bristol Old Vic 15th Nov. Worth seeing if you are anywhere near.

I've spent the day steeped in poetry and now I'm off to write. Halelulah I actually have some subject matter. I have a rich life; I have a story (or is it many stories) to tell.
Friday, 30 October 2009
Didn't make it to 'The Public' performances tonight. Too hectic a day and I'm chairing the Writers Without Borders meeting tomorrow morning - plus going to the South African poets performances at the Drum in the night.

Met one of my neighbours carer as he was leaving tonight. Got chatting to him - he's doing an access course in health and social care, has an assignment he's struggling with, asked me if I knew anything about psychology and lo and behold I've ended up helping him with his assignment via email tonight. As if I didn't have enough on my plate.

He said I was sent by God - maybe I was jsut in bvthe wrong place at the wrong time. That'll teach me to keep my big mouth shut.
Thursday, 29 October 2009

Breathing space

Got a letter from the court today - the new hearing has been set for 22 January next year. It will be a relief not to have to think about it before or over Christmas.

Did some bellydance practice today and was surprised at how much the muscles are remembering. I can coordinate both floreos arms (even if I have to count 1-2-3-4 over and over again. Pretty pleased with myself. Got some lovely comments from a friend who watched the wedding performance on YOUTUBE. Its encouraging me to keep going.

Back in the property and coaching saddle today - hit the ground running after being kept awake till 1 a.m. by a student Haloween party in Kegworth. Who would have thought it! I had to go back to Brum to get some sleep. Did you know that the police no longer have powers to go in and ask noisy neighbours to quieten down - apparently it is now the responsibility of the Local Authority who don't have a 24 hour service and wait till it becomes repetitive before taking action. Fortunately the students were very co-operative when I went and asked them to turn down their music. They were very apologitic and responded quickly. Some interesting Haloween costumes!!
Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Time out

I've had to take a couple of days out for R&R. The need became evident when I forgot a lunch date with a friend on Monday. I was in Leamington buying furniture at the time I should have been enjoying a three course lunch (had a sandwich from a garage that day-a poor substitute).

Had to hand deliver the court papers on Monday as the post office couldn't even guarantee the Special Delivery service due to the strikes. I took my coach's advice and actually enjoyed putting the stuff together. It was like a well presented report by the end and I was very pleased with it. Took me back to the days when I did reports on a regular basis.

Spent most of yesterday catching up on social phone calls, reading and sleeping. Today I went to the gym and had the most devine massage. After a leisurely pot of Earl Grey and a muffin I followed the Sutton Bonninton footpath for a while. It was an incredibly lovely autumn afternoon but I set out too late to make it all the way to Sutton Bonnington. A long boat owner told me about 'Deep Lock' and thr history behind it.

All this meant that I didn't make it to my belly dance class this week. Teacher said to keep practicing the floreos and ballet arms. I feel I'm getting them a bit better now as I naturally hold the ballet arms as I take up the dance position.

A couple of opportunities for poetry performance coming up; this Friday at the 'Public' in West Bromwich and again on the 13th Nov. Also going to see a group of South African poets at the Drum on Saturday night. Looked at the BBC My Story site last night - still thinking of a story to write. But I have decided to write one.

Its a juggle between property and performing at the moment and property is definitely winning.
Sunday, 25 October 2009

End of an era

I no longer have any teenagers. Youngest son turned 20 on Thursday and I wasn't invited to his drink in. Complaining to son number 1 he asked 'would you have gone if you'd been invited' 'No I said but it would have been nice to be given the option to refuse' 'I guess he couldn't risk the fact that you might have accepted'. So the end of another era. All sons now in their 20s and I don't feel more than 25 myself.
Thursday, 22 October 2009

Remembering who we are - and why we came

Another discussion tonight with one of the housemates reminded me that I am responsible for what happens in my life - that I attract people and situations for the lessons that I need/want to learn. So John, thank you for being in my life, for helping to teach me patience, persistence, and putting it in writing. Complaining to my coach about the inconvenience of having to sort out the court papers he simply said - and what is your learning? What if you were to view this situation differently. What if you were able to relax into it and simply observe the process with curiosity. Then it is not a chore but an opportunity to wonder, to marvel and to learn. I was reminded why I pay this man.

Apparently Neale Donald Walsh has a new book out for children that explain in simple language and concept the interconnectedness of us all. Didn't even know he wrote children's books but it sounded good. Must have a look.

Have been trying social networking - reactivated my Facebook account to find several requests for friendship - have now accepted them all. Not quite sure how to send them messages though.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Letting go

Added new bits to the choreography - locks and dramatic arm movements. Spent half the lesson on ballet arms. Apparently my wrist actions are getting better - still a long way to go though. I'm becoming more motivated to put in the practice - I think the muscles are laying down memory. I listen to the song over and over again. Its a good thing no one else shares my car and the brilliant thing is I can now match the moves to the music in my head. I'm constantly doing the dance in my head.

Had meeting with S today about being 'stuck' with my writing. I thought it was because I am so happy and most of the stuff I have written about is dark. Turns out its because I'm afraid of not being good enough. Now where has that been lurking. Need to start sharing my work again, the good, the bad and the ugly. I've had three invites to perform. I''ve been very reluctant recently but will accept and get back out there on the stage. Need to be like that frog in the David Attenburough programme that just freefalls. I've been a bit too planned recently - need to just let go; surrender to the will of 'God' the Universe, Infinite Intelligence.
Picture is from February 2005, Paradise Island, Bahamas. How carefree is that hanglider? Need to remember every day that life can be like this.
Saturday, 17 October 2009

When in doubt first consult your inner guide - and then have a reading. I did kinda know what I had to do before I went for the reading on Tuesday but it was good to have it confirmed. Basically the message was to seek legal advice and stand my ground. I sought legal advice which was indeed good advice. So I feel a lot more confident as to how to complete the statement. But at the end of the day I have to follow my conscience. In fact the reading was more focused on other aspects of my life - apparently its ok keep bellydancing. If nothing else its good for the figure.

So I went for my lesson on Wednesday afternoon and spent nearly 30 minutes learning how to rotate my wrists and another 30 minutes working on downward undulations. The lesson was over so quickly we didn't have time to add anymore to the choreography. Not sure if I'm going to be good enough to perform at the Hafla in December - though my teacher Dawn keeps assuring me that I will be. I've been using every spare moment to practice the wrists movements as they are the least embarassing to do in public. Had the gym to myself for a while today - mirrors galore so was able to go through the routine a couple of times. Then kind of undid a lot of the good work at the gym by going out for lunch at a fab little pub outside Melbourne. Can't rememebr the name of the pub but they've got huge wine glasses and lovely food. Worth going back just for the glasses. Discovering some of the beautiful vilages in Derbyshire - on the doorstep!!
Monday, 12 October 2009

Love and Forgiveness

What gorgeous weather for this time of year. My brother pointed out how little light pollution there is in Kegworth compared to a big city. I hadn't noticed for I rarely look up at the stars. Him and his family really enjoyed watching the DVD (particularly as there was so much of them in it). I've been re-reading Marianne Williamson's 'A return to Love' and marvelling at the power of love and forgiveness. There is no problem that cannot be solved when we surrender it to God. Need a lot of practice.
Saturday, 10 October 2009

Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

This morning I was grappling with the problem of how to respond to the court case and was taken back to an observation by Dr Martin Luther King Junior which I have on my wall.

Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?
Expediency asks the question - is it politic?
Vanity asks the question - is it popular?
But conscience asks the question - is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it BECAUSE it is RIGHT.

There have been times in my life when I've felt I've had to act in a way that felt right for me; and that must be the case here. Whatever the outcome I must be able to look myself in the eye in the mirror and know that I have not compromised my integrity. I will do whatever the judge instructs if we cannot come to an agreement out of court - but whatever - I must know I have acted with integrity.

The sun came out as though to say 'Amen'. I feel incredibly fortunate to be so close to beautiful countryside in Kegworth. A two hour walk along the river this afternoon was perfect. My brother and his family are coming tomorrow and I've spent time making curry mutton, jerk chicken and apple crumble. And the belly dance? About 10 minutes of hand practice. I'm strugling to get the downward undulations right - I just look like I need to go to the toilet.
Friday, 9 October 2009

Champney Springs

A relaxing day despite the conveyor belt approach. The approach to the reception is very unusual - you walk across a bridge above a fish pond filled with brightly coloured fish with fountians playing tuneful jets. And as the tension begins to drain out of you its very quickly replaced by the barrage of information about all the features of the place. Where the spa is, where the gym is, where the Thalassotheraphy pool is, where to go for your treatment, how to wait in the room with your surname initial, where lunch is served, what time to check out, how to add purchases to your tab etc, etc. When the informer had gone we both looked at each other shell shocked. 'I feel like I've done a day's work' I said. 'Information overload' Andrew agreed as he sank back into the luxurious settee; one of the many reserved for day guests. We munched on fruit coctails and craved ginger stem biscuits.

We managed to find the Thallasotherapy pool which was no less military style; being told when to move from jet to jet, when to sit on the bubble bed (blissful and I could have stayed there all day). If you ever use this pool be ware the jets that massage the back and sides. If you're wearing a low cut suimsuit it can pull the top down and leave you unintentionally topless.

First experience of an aromatherapy wrap; skin brushed, oils smoothed on, foil wrapped over and tucked in under my chin (yes I now know how a turkey feels) and left to cook on a heated bed. Where I had it over the turkey though is that I had my feet massaged while I gently broiled. But again it was over all too quickly 25 minutes is not long enough to really go deep, but I would love to have this again for an hour.

Lunch was all healthy stuff and beautifully presented; even had a chef cooking veg tortilla to order. Felt very virtuous until about 4 o'clock when we headed for the cafe and tucked into muffins (we tried to mitigate this out by having green tea). And so the last two hours passed in those beautifully soft settees reading and jsut being together. It's good to turn the phones off for a day.

And the belly dance practice? Hand movements in the Jacuzzi - a few strange stares but do I care?
Thursday, 8 October 2009

Taking a break

Who would have thought life would beocme so hectic again. The hen night reunion was fabulous. It was like having a DVD night - but we were starring in the film. Unfortunately the bridesmaid couldn't make it as she was ill. Shame as she was heavily featured. It was good to use our cards, books and numerology to track our progress in life and find out so much more about ourselves. Thanks for the Osho Zen cards A. Love the way they invite you to think.

Used my SATNAV for the first time on Sunday as Andrew refused to drive to the christening (after dropping some of my friends back to Brum on Sat night) Not as bad as I thought - used it again today to get to Oldbury for tiles. Lovely christening although we just about made it to the church in time. Eats at Kenilworth Cricket Ground. Beautiful sunny and warm day - seems we are getting July's weather now. It's been a long time since I felt the need to have a kip in the afternoon but he settee saw a lot of me on Sunday afternoon/night.

Went to court on Tuesday - judge a bit miffed that stuff from my blog was being used - could not see the relevance and said he had no wish to wade through pages of irrelevance. Neither of us filled in the statements properly so he wasn't best pleased. A new hearing will be set in November - which will allow me sufficient time to respond to the plaintiff's statement (unlike last time). Think I'll use a lawyer for the next hearing. Plus for the day was a lovely meal at in the Jewellery Quarter and a large glass of Servignon Blanc while we waited for the traffic out of town to die down.

Andrew putting in some manic hours and I've just realised today that I've either been trying to match him or feeling guilty that I'm not. We're both taking a break tomorrow - going to Champney Springs for a relaxing spa day (wedding present); massage plus two other treatments; lunch and our phones turned off. Really looking forward to it.

Working on bellydance routine - lots of hand moves - it's all in the wrists.
Friday, 2 October 2009

Hen's reunited

Tomorrow the hen night possee come together to view photos, DVD, drink wines, coctails, eat savories and sweets and relive the day (and night). The house is cleaned, the albums sorted and the curry mutton cooked. It will be supplemented by some samosas, veg curry, and maybe a chocolate cake. There should be about 10 of us and there should be some laughs. Need some sleep as we've got a christening on Sunday morning.
Thursday, 1 October 2009

Delayed Telegraph

While searching for something completely different last night I just found this link to the Daily Telegraph's article on our wedding. If you didn't manage to get a paper on the day (or didn't want to spend £1.99 just to see a few words about us) here's your chance. Mind you - it's not the full article - there were more pictures in the mag.