Tuesday, 30 June 2009

5 things to smile about today

1. I smiled today when on the tube, after a sharp break from the driver, a woman fell into the arms of the man standing next to her. I've heard of people meeting that way. Unfortunately neither of them took the incident as a window of opportunity.

2. I smile now remembering that I have only worn a short sleeved shirt all day. I love summer. Even when said shirt stuck to my chair, I was still in love with summer.

3. Someone asked me this morning who the photos on my work mug were of, which I was drinking tea from at the time. Pointing out my favourite shot of my beautiful oldest niece - I smiled.

4. I smiled to myself when I could share with work colleagues the peanut brownies my mum lovingly baked, wrapped and posted to the other side of the world for me.

5. I smiled and thanked my wonderful housemate after she listened to me describe my awful day, blow by blow. A crappy day shared, is a crappy day halved.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

52 Shots - #23

One of my favourite things about London is the jet streams. Sometimes you can see the sky crisscrossed with lines, just as if the gods are playing a massive game of 'pick up sticks'.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Sitting in the middle of my very own fig tree

I have finally gotten around to reading 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath which I have been meaning to pick up for months.

At one stage the protagonist describes her situation in life in such a way it was as if Sylvia had ripped these very feelings from my soul and woven them into this beautiful embroidery of angst. It was like a much more poetic and elegant Emma was talking to me from the page:

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig-tree in the story.

From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One life was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another was a brilliant professor, and another was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and off-beat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above were many more figs I couldn't quite make out.

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig-tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.'

Women my age are very lucky to have mothers and grandmothers who fought tooth and nail to ensure we would have vastly more choices than any generation of women who came before.

We were raised to believe we could have the world; and could become whatever we dreamed of. I would never hope or wish to have been raised in any other way but it makes for a constant feeling of my limbs being tugged in every direction by all my dreams and aspirations.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The 5 most awesome things I saw in New York last weekend

(in no particular order....)

1. Hundreds of people having a bubble fight on a Friday evening in Times Square. We duly got involved.

2. The incredible late night jazz vocals of KJ Denhert from a little wooden table, behind a complicated cocktail at 55 Bar in Greenwich Village.

3. The most beautiful cupcake shop I've ever seen. In the depths of Chelsea Market, past all the other seemingly tasty looking cupcakes, just before you absolutely have to give into your temptation, you will fall into the frosting covered arms of Ruthy's. With its bright pink walls and glass case the length of the store containing all the cupcakes you can possibly imagine and more. They even had an Obama version.

4. This beautiful piece of sailing technology ripping up the harbour, spied from the Staten Island ferry, as the rest of the boat tried to get the best shot they could of Manhattan Island whilst attempting to avoid the heads of 200 fellow tourists.

5. Ant eating all of this amazing 'half a cow' sandwich at Katz's Deli on the Lower East Side.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

52 Shots - #23

The staff of London Underground exert their power by going on strike for two days. Londoners are forced to think outside of the tube.
My journey to work takes the form of a bus, a boat down the Thames, and then a walk through Canary Wharf.

Commuters still manage to look just as bored whilst waiting for their boat at Waterloo.
Meanwhile to my right, I find someone who has a rather unique morning cleaning job.

I have a very pleasant boat trip to work, accompanied by London Mayor Boris Johnson and a load of other determined commuters.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

52 Shots #22 a & b - 'It will feel like -10 degrees in exposed places'

That 24km run over hills in the Lake District seemed like a nice idea when we planned it six months ago.

'It's when? In June? Great! It'll be sunny, warm and we'll frolic like newborn lambs amongst the spring growth'. Oh the naivety.

The meteorological service forecast snow for us. The organisers were scared enough to cut the highest (and most scenic) part off the run, taking it down to 17kms. My face wore a look of disappointment. My knees on the other hand, loudly shouted their approval.
Post-race 10 shoes lie in the recovery position, exhaustion written all over their soles, whilst their owners celebrate with red wine and a whole lot of good, hearty Lake District fare.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

52 Shots - #21

Three ladies spend a ridiculously balmy Tuesday evening preparing the garden for a season of bbqs and outdoor living. Now we just need three banana loungers and we are set for summer.