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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Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Secret

I'm watching The Secret again, about the third time this year. Thinking I could benefit from watching it once a week. We (me and another friend) set up a small group in September to help us focus on the principles of The Secret. We've called it The Secret Society. We've met to help each other create vision boards, to share our goals and to keep us firmly believing our goals are acheivable. I'm living the Secret. I've had an incredible year. Not everything's gone according to my plans but the outcomes have been better than expected. I've lost three dear friends, and while I will miss them on this plane I know their energies are still with me.

I've claimed being a writer performer. I mean deep down 'this is who I am'. I've finally felt brave enough to publish my poems and I've even recorded my voice in a CD of a selection of poems. A few big things happened this year. I started a novel. Writers Without Borders was 10 years old. I took on a big chunk of organising our anniversary celebrations in October as part of Birmingham Book festival, which was a huge success. First time ever we sold out the Library Theatre. I co-wrote a play about Mary Seacole with Mahogany Tree which we performed in November. I performed a solo dance at the Bellydance Hafla at the end of Nov, and was the lead dancer in one of our two class dances. I published the books and CD in December. I've got a restaurant review in a food magazine which came out last week. 'Taste the Caribbean' is a high quality glossy on Caribbean food, what to buy, how to cook, and where to eat it. My piece was on a restaurant in Barbados. I'm doing a writing course at Boldmere centre and in the process building up a selection of short stories which I'll publish next year. I'm very excited about writing and performing.

Eleven days to the end of the year. Been an amazing one. Really looking forward to 2011.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Island Safari

Getting into a higher holiday gear. Went on an Island Safari today in a 4x4 which took us to places you wouldn't normally get to in an ordinary car. I was expecting to be taken into the forests and up on the hills (such that they are in Barbados) and all my expectations were more than met on that score. What I wasn't expecting was to be supplied with gallons of rum punch on the trip. My other 8 travel companions began drinking at 9 a.m. and continued almost non-stop till our lunch stop at 2 p.m. Not happy with the strength of the punch supplied they asked the driver to stop and buy a bottle of Mount Gay to top it up. They were pretty sozzled by lunchtime and one became particlarly abnoxious. Trust me to be sitting beside him.

Lest you be put off taking such a tour if you come to Barbados - let me say that there were lots of other jeeps whose passengers drank responsibly. Some of them felt sorry for me. It felt like being the driver on a drinking night out, the sober one who. I have every admiration for the driver and tour guide who navigated his way around them with professional aplomb. Just the right amount of humour and gentle steering (especially one of them back to his seat after each stop).

Lunch at the splendid Sunbury Plantation House was a dream Caribbean buffet which three people from our party felt the need to complain about. I felt duty bound to put a different point of view to the manager who offered me a free visit for my trouble. Not sure if I'll have time to get back up there. The journey back was a pretty straight drive for which I was really grateful. I asked to be dropped of at the beach. I don't think I could get complacent about the beauty of the waves as they gather and then release their power over the sand; the way the sun sets slowly into the sea and the translucent air as day slowly turns to night. Everything is perfect then.

I asked my friend "What am I supposed to have learned from today?"
"Tolerance" she answered.
Sunday, 9 May 2010

Beautiful Barbados

Amazing what 12 days in one of the most beautiful places on God's earth can do lift one's spirits. Flight re-booked for the 28th and I was happy to accept the extra six days because they couldn't fit me into a flight 14 days later. As they say....it's an ill wind....

I've just come back form a Mother's day lunch at Weisers Cafe Restaurant on Brandon Beach. Lucky me to have 2 mother's day in the same year. The buffet meal bagan with a virgin pina colada (just as well it was virgin as there was probably enough rum swilling about inside me from last night to make it a real one) and ended with a bread and butter pudding with guess what? Yes, rum sauce. The bit in between included breadfruit and redherring salad, rice, lamb, fish and a 'carribean jeark chicken' Now I'm not wishing to be nationalistic here but Jerk Chicken is is a Jamaican dish and sorry Weisers but it does not have a sauce of glazed mango. Don't get me wrong it was lovely, but putting some jerk seasoning on it does not make it 'jerk'

Anyway, that aside, the atmosphere was festive but relaxed. The baloons and ribbons made us mothers feel special, as did the waiting staff. And the view of the beach and turquoise water in the distance...well...a bit different to Cafe Rouge in Brindley Place. It would have been perfect if we could have stayed to watch the volley ball game. Those fine young men doing wonderful things with their balls.

It took me a few days to settle into the holiday mood, to leave the concerns of everyday life behind. Last night we went to Plantation night club in Christchurch for their 'Golden Oldies' night and I resolved to learn ballroom dancing when I get back. I was envious of the way some of these older folk glided gracefully across the floor. Made some of us younger ones look like clumsy oafs. I say some.. because some of the younger ones have obviously been practicing and also looked graceful. It was such a pleasure to be asked 'young lady may I have this dance'. Despite my protestations that I was inexperienced I was assured that if I just followed his lead I would be fine. And I was was. It wasn't all waltzes and foxtrots though. We got a chance to get down to some classic reggae lovers rock and wine to some soca. Could have rung my clothes out. Not since my wedding did I get to bed after 4 a.m. from a night out.
Monday, 19 April 2010

Not going to Barbados

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse - it just did. Within the last month another friend died. I went to his funeral on Friday. I say friend but in fact he was someone I grew up with like a brother; the son of my second mom.

A month ago I booked a break to Barbados - needing some sun and a change of scene. I've been chomping at the bit to go - only to find today that the flight is cancelled. I've been willing it to happen but alas to no avail. The worse thing though is that the airline kept telling me the flight was still on and to make my way to the airport. I had everything packed. Even had all my toiletries in one of those little plastic bags I detest. Then I checked the website and it said all flights out of Gatwick cancelled. It's been a tortuous rollercoaster. I'm going to have a very large glass of wine and go to bed. Tomorrow will look different. I guess one plus is that I get to fit inanother bellydance class and not have to miss too many classes. BOO Hoo Hoo!!!
Monday, 22 March 2010
On Mother's Day my friend who had been with us on the Joseph McClendon weekend phoned to tell me her mother died that day. It was a cancer death . I was knocked for 6 and a week later still reeling from the shock. Why so many people with cancer?
Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Next Step

Now that the pressure of building has eased there's a little more time for us to catch up on a few social things. The Glee Club on the 20th was a great night out - 5 tenants and 2 friends came (that's not to imply that the tenants aren't friends - they are - and they are great fun. After the sidesplitting laughter (the last act being the funniest - don't think it was just the wine), and the boogieing on down to the 'disco', we found an Indian restaurant and somehow didn't make it home till 3.45 a.m. The only downside was that we were entertaining in Kegworth the next day - late lunch at 2.30 so no lie in. It was fun though.

The big thing was this weekend. We went to a 3 day 'Law of Attraction' seminar in London run by a guy called Joseph McClendon the 3rd. He's Tony Robbin's head coach/presenter and he was amazing. Yes it was very American; lots of loud music, clapping, dancing, shouting, hugging, baring of the soul etc etc etc. BUT IT WORKS if you really get into it. It doesn't work as well if you sit on the edge and think too much about it. If you're prepared to make yourself look silly, let yourself go - its powerful stuff. I learned new techniques to work on manifesting; to let go of negative emotions; to take care of my health (stop eating sugar that feed the parasites).

Andrew said he felt taller (scary stuff at his height) and I certainly walked on air for at least some of the time. It was a totally rejuvenating experience. I would really recommend him. I think he's back in London in November. He's running a health retreat in Geneva in July but at 3000 euros each we passed on that one. Feel I know a fair bit about health anyway.

Made some new friends and got reacquainted with old ones. Ate in an Ethiopian restaurant for the first time - not impressed with the flat bread. It had the texture of lace and just dissolved in the mouth. May have been tastier if it was served warm, but a very friendly place. Lovely, lovely weekend!!
Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Back in the arts

Not long back from new belly dance class; and still buzzing. This new teacher (Stella) is very meticulous in her choreography and making sure we all get it. Even after just three weeks we are looking quite coordinated. This week I've really been practicing my isolations and its paid off. I was doing fine with my Egyptian walk till she said 'now do it on the spot - flatfooted' I obviously need a lot more flexibility in my hips to master that one. She kept telling me to keep my back straight and my shoulders down. It would be really helpful to have mirrors but alas; the Conservative club is not a dance studio. It feel good to be this excited about dance again.

On another note - after months in the theatre dessert we went twice in three days. If you get a chance to catch 'Cling to me like Ivy' at Birmingham Reps 'Door' you will not be disappointed. On the surface its a play about hair but there is so much more; and if you have a fear you have been terrified of facing - this is a MUST - but you'll have to hurry its only on till the 21st Feb.

'Forever Young' is playing at the Nottingham Playhouse till 27th Feb. Be prepared to burst into spontaneous laughter and to have some of your stereotypes seriously challenged. I heard an article on the radio a few days ago that researchers found that one of the 6 most effective things at keeping you young is laughter - being able to see the funny side of life. Go with an open mind and you may shed a few years by the end.

I declined an offer to perform peotry at the Public in West Bromwich on Friday 26th. It's an evening with Spicy who's promoting his new book. Not sure I'm ready for sharing a stage with him yet but that aside I have a prior engagement. If you are interested it starts about 9pm.
Monday, 8 February 2010

Tina Turner for a night

Last night I was Tina Turner at one of the most hilarous karaoke parties I have ever been to (not that I've been to that many) I figured that as I can't sing to save my life that total fancy dress would win me the comedy vote - and I wasn't wrong. Picture it - very high heels, very short skirt, very tight top, very big wig, much hip thrusting and tiny running steps. I don't know how she did it cause I was out of breath trying to sing and dance at the same time (and that's after a morning at the gym) I've just watched a recording of it and can't stop laughing. As soon as I can get it off the camera I'll post it on the blog. I can't believe I'm that bad a singer - but my mane tossing is to die for. Any my song 'Simply the Best' of course.
Thursday, 28 January 2010

Thanks for your support

Just a note to thank all of you who contacted me to offer your commiseration and support over the lost court case. No - I'm not particularly special for letting go of it. Forgiveness is not for the other person it's for me. Why? Because I then travel light. Last week I went to see one of my sons at work. His colleague thought I was his sister. It's very flattering and has much to do with not being weighed down by issues that I could let go of - and having great supportive friends of course.

A creative interlude

It's Writers Without Borders 10th Anerversary this year and the planning for a celebratory event's begun. It will most likely be as part of the Birmingham Book Festival in October. We're hoping to get an audience of 250-300 which means our usual venue - the Library Theatre - will be too small. We went to look at South Birmingham College's performance space in Digbeth and was mightily impressed. Great acoustics, modern comfortable seating, versatile performance space; they even have a green room (or the equivalent of). It's a vibrant place and one we may not have considered if it hadn't been recomended by the organizers of the book festival. We're also considering the CBSO centre - would have liked the Conservatoir but the seating is either 150 or 500.

After being a bit disconnected from poetry performance today's meeting reinjected a great deal of excitement and enthusiasim for the project. It feels great that we'll have a reasonable amount of time to plan it.

I wasn't quite as excited about my belly dance class last night. I came home wondering how on earth I'm going to be an international dancer if after two years of classes I can't do a competent Egyptian walk. There really is no short cut. This week if you see me anywhere walking a bit wierd - ignore me - just practicing my Egyptian walk.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A Royal night

I've just had the most randomly lovely night out with two of my tenants/housemates. I'd been invited for a coffee/green tea to one of the houses and suggested a drink out at Sutton Court Hotel instead. I wanted to show her a pub in Sutton that does music at weekends. We managed to persuade one of the housemates from Arthur Rd to conme as well (despite his essay referencing). It was only meant to be a couple of hours but lo and behold there was an open mike music night. The music was brill and one of the tenants took part. She has such a good voice that they were suggesting that she comes again. Insteadof being back home by 9.30 p.m. as planned we didn't make it till midnight. A couple of nightcaps later and it's nearly 1.15 a.m before I head up the wooden hill to a paitent and forgiving bed.

It's definitely worth a night out at the Royal in Sutton Coldfield on a Tuesday night; even better if you take part or bring someone with you who is prepared to take part. Sometimes life just hands you a bowl of cherries - totally unsolicited.
Monday, 25 January 2010

Change of Heart

Never thought the answer to the lost court case would come so soon. In fact it came the next day and I've spent the weekend assimilating it and making sure I understand it properly.

First let me say that on reflection I think the judge made the right decision with the information he was faced with. The injustice was not his. Second let me also say that I think the drainage man was entitled to far more than I had originallhy thought. When the judge went through everygthing point by point I could see that. It had never been my intention to not pay him for what he was due-I just couldn't see how he could have been due that much. I still don't think he's due quite as much as he got but I hold no grudges and will attempt to ensure he gets his money as soon as possible (he's waited long enough).

So what was the purpose? One of the main one that I can see is to bring me and Andrew closer. It's the first real adversity we've had to overcome and it has made us much stronger. Another is to help me to practice forgiveness. Now this has been challenging (particulary as I know that the drainage man lied in court), but I have been astounded at the help I've receive with this. Marrianne Williamson's 'Age of Miracles' showed me the way - that and 'A Course in Miracles'. So I can now with all sincerity send the drainage man the following heart felt message.

I release you and pray that you walk with angels
I release you and hope you dreams come true
I release you and wish you happiness
If I've caused you any pain on the way - please accept my apologies. God bless you.
Friday, 22 January 2010

Lost Court Case

Well, I don't mind admitting that I was totally gobsmacked when the judge found in favour of the drainage man today. It took a long time and a lot of questions but in the end he decided that I owed for most of the work carried out. Prior to going to court I had handed over the whole case to divine intellengce/the universe/God and made my mind up that I would go with whatever the judgement was so long as I did not compromise my integrity or my authentic self.

The final judgement including costs and interest came to just over £4700. If I'd been willing to compromise prior to the judgement the drainage man was asking for half that figure. This may seem strange to say but I will feel more comfortable paying what I'm told I have to pay because I still do not believe I owed him any more than a fraction of that. To have agreed to a compromise would have been doing things for expediency and in the end I had to do what was right - so that I am able to look myself in the mirror and know that I have remained authentic.

I have been in this position before when things have not gone as I expected them to - when I have known an injustice to have been done. On all occasions there has either a) been an unseen reason which has worked to my advantage later on or b) the person has not benefited from the injustice. I am aware enough to know that one of these will become evident in time. In the meantime I'll just carry on enjoying life without any regrets.
Monday, 11 January 2010
Yesterday's date 10/01/10 Today 11/01/10. Binary numbers rule. Just getting settled into the year, trying to loose the extra pounds hanging around since Christmas - especially as I've found a new bellydance class. Trying to slow things down a bit and reconnect with friends. The snow is certainly helping with the slowing down. Amazing how clean and fresh everything looks, how cleansed every street corner is. When nature takes control we are humbled.
Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy 2010

A nice bottle of Chablis an Hootanany. Bliss