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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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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Belly dance Chinese Style

No belly dance costume in sight, but that's because we're having a night off. Our teacher is on the far right and you can just about see me on the back left. The food was plentiful and the stomachs empty, but, because of my dodgy belly from the night before I stuck to dishes without sauce. It wasn't difficult - I had crispy duck in wraps and millions of prawns (butterfly in garlic, and salt and pepper sauce.

As a result of forgetting my secret Santa gift, it was suggested that I put one of my books in the sack. It was a blessing as the person who pulled it wanted it signed. Another member of the group, Claire, had bought Dare to Love last week and had nearly finished it. She gave it such a good report that others have ordered copies for when we meet after Christmas. One person suggested taking it to her readers group. So much exposure from a mistake!
Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Getting into the Christmas spirit

Today, Tuesday 13 December, the ship carrying 200 copies of Dare to Love sails for Barbados. A barrel was the best option in the end. It's a relief to know they are on their way and I can truly relax and and enjoy the Christmas celebrations.

Been doing a few lunches, and my first Christmas dinner is with the Tai Chi class tonight, at the Jolly Sailor in Hemmington. My first turkey roast. I went to the gym this morning to prepare, and to repair the damage done by two lunches last week. The first on Friday with Dali (who took the lovely picture and posted it on Facebook, recommending all her friends to buy Dare to Love) and on Friday with Deirdre from St Lucia, and my friend Ernestine from Montserrat. I now have contacts in both St Lucia and Dominica, and a place on Hagley Road to hold book promotion events. Thanks Deirdre!!

It's the belly dance dinner tomorrow. No turkey roast. We will be at Modern China at Stockland Green.

Jerk chicken, paella and dumplings

In my last blog I said that Birmingham had a festival of European foods. I take it back. I just hadn't explored far enough to see the Chinese, Indian and Jamaican stalls. It seems crazy after the event, but Andrew and I went on Saturday night before going to see Birmingham Rep's production of Sleeping Beauty at the Crescent Theatre. (The Rep is closed for rebuilding to integrate it and Birmingham Central Library). Writers Without Borders members were offered free tickets as a way of saying thank you for taking part in a lottery bid with the Rep.

I say crazy because it was absolutely heaving. It was shoulder to shoulder penguin march for most of the time in the main central areas, but thankfully there was space to breathe by the Jamaican and paella stalls. We had the seafood paella and jerk chicken with fried dumplings. Not a mix you would get in any restaurant but that's what's great about the food festival. Desert was chocolate covered strawberries and kiwi on a skewer from a German stall, and handmade fudge from an English trader. Picture is of Andrew tucking into dumplings while keeping warm by the BBQ. I can't capture the smells here - sadly.

Alas, it was so cold I headed to the theatre earlier than planned, for a cup of fruit tea laced with rum. Not Mount Gay, but who cares when it's in fruit tea. The effect is still the same.

And Sleeping Beauty? Yes, definitely, go and see it. The set is amazing, another triumph for the Rep. The adaptation is exciting, as is most of the acting. Only two criticisms. It's drags a little in the second half before it picks is for a very Shakespearean end. Secondly, did the cleaner and the ogress have to be black??
Saturday, 3 December 2011

Back in Brum

We all know that one of the drawbacks with being away for six weeks is the mountain of paperwork you return to. Just opening all those envelopes takes time. I'm not going to bore you with the tedious stuff, we all have them, the thing I've trying to grapple with is the most cost effective way of sending 200 books to Barbados for distribution.

On the way to Writers Without Borders this morning, I was unprepared for the heaving masses visiting the German market in Birmingham Victoria Sq. It's more than a German market, it is a festival of European food. Heart shaped candies, Stollen, doughnuts, ostrich burgers, Angus beef with whiskey relish, roasted hog. A cacophony of smells and flavours, and the music of the merry-go-round drawing you in, like the Pied Piper, to stop and savour the delights.

Birmingham at its best - only drawback - IT'S COLD!!!

Last few days in Barbados

Wow, a week ago I was just getting ready to go to the Plantation in Barbados for what turned out to be the last of my revelling nights. I had to turn down the offer to go to McBride's on Sunday night to listen to techno music, on the grounds that I could hardly stand up from fatigue. And seriously, could techno top the whole reggae experience of Wednesday night?
I did, however, have some very delicious fishcakes made for me on Sunday. Thanks David, we all enjoyed them.

Imagine my disappointment when I got to the beach on Monday (my last day) morning to say goodbye to the Rasta guy - and he wasn't there. It's so unlike him, everyone was surprised. Hope he's OK. I did, instead, meet up with the woman who was willing to give up her massage session for me, (in the photo with the head wrap) and the police officer who featured in the novel, whom I'd been looking out for all the time I was there.

Barbados cried for me as I left, big bulbous tears, hundreds and thousands of them, throughout the whole day. And I gather it's still crying. 'Don't cry for me Barbados, the truth is I never left you.....' somehow I think that's one's been done.

Eight hours later, I arrived in Manchester, to be greeted by the cold, the grey and the sniffer dogs.