A bygone age…..


It was my birthday on Wednesday.    Not a particularly special birthday, although I believe all birthdays are special.  I took the day off work as I was told we were going for dinner somewhere in London.  Since we were going into town, I decided to make a day of it and booked two tickets to the first day of the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the Tate.

The exhibition was breath-taking.  So many beautiful paintings, all in one place.  Some I knew well and some I had never seen before.  Some artists totally unknown to me too.  We spent a couple of hours there, entranced and transported by the ethereal quality of the colours and the beauty of the compositions.

I did know by now where dinner was to be – we were dining at The Ritz!  


And WOW it was!  Stepping through the doors was like stepping back in time.  There is an elegance, a serenity, an atmosphere that cannot be described in words.  The lighting, the mirrors, the high ceilings – it felt as if we had walked straight back into the 1920s.

Dinner was fabulous.  Seated in the most beautiful room, with a quartet playing gently in the corner, we were served by waiters in lovely waistcoats who made us feel as if we were the only guests.  The meal was delicious, I had salmon, and it was mouth-wateringly beautiful, both to eat and to look at.  A sommelier served us the wine of his choice to compliment the food and that was the icing on the cake for me.  Everything just felt so ‘right’.

I imagined my great-aunt and uncle visiting the Ritz in the thirties, socialites that they were, and I saw a room full of ladies in beautiful long dresses and men in tuxedos with live music playing gently in the background.  On Wednesday, there was no such splendour but, in it’s hey day, the Ritz must have been dazzling.

We finished with a glass of Calvados and walked back through the building to the reception area and then back out onto the busy street again, back to reality and 2012.

The whole day was like a time travel experience to me.  I won’t forget this birthday.  

Like I said, all birthdays are special but this one was just that little bit more special to me.  Thank you, KD x



Draw something?


I am shocked and appalled.  Why?  Because I’ve just logged into my own blog for the first time in ages and noticed that I haven’t posted a THING since February!!  So much for the ‘theme a month’ idea!!

I am not sure what happened to be honest.  Did I run out of ideas?  I don’t think so? Time?  Oh, I never had that in the first place so can’t be that.  Motivation?  Hmm, somewhat.  I guess it goes that way sometimes.

And then there was Drawsomething.

This simple little app for the iPhone has taken over my life!  And I don’t even have an iPhone!  I have a little iTouch and you can play it on that.  It’s just a drawing game, for those of you not up to speed with the what is going on in the world of apps.  But it’s so much fun and terribly addictive.  

So addictive I had to buy an iPad.


But the drawings do look much better and I can use a stylus.  

Now, this all sounds very trivial, I know.  A silly little game on an iPad.  What good will come of THAT?

Well, I’ll tell you.  Having purchased the iPad, I discovered another app, ‘Art Set’.  This little programme allows you to paint, draw and sketch using ‘virtual’ tools and different media.  It has blending tools and it is incredibly versatile for what it is.  I’ve just started playing with it and it has totally rekindled my love of art, drawing and creating pictures.

I may have to give up the idea of a writing career/photographer/burlesque dancer and take up being an artist instead now…….


I Love my Motivation!


Well, we are almost at the end of January.  My initial resolve was to take part in the 365 Project and post on the same theme for a whole year.  I chose motivation but quickly realised that I’d bore myself, let alone my readers, if I posted up about that for a WHOLE YEAR!!  So, I decided to adapt the idea and post on the same topic for a month.  I also allowed myself not to post every day.  I pretty much abandoned the 365 Project in fact!

Anyway, I have, more or less, posted motivationally themed stuff throughout January, I think, and I intend to end with a summary of how my own motivation has helped me to keep up my fitness training and started all the other things I said I would do.

Or rather, that WAS the intent

Unfortunately, I’ve just returned from a slap up meal of Tapas with copious amounts of wine and I really feel a bit of a fraud talking about how determined I am to eat healthily and keep fit.

Although I did go to a personal training session at the gym this morning. AND I have been walking regularly. AND…and this is the bestest AND….I have joined a burlesque dancing class.  So far, I’ve only been to the taster session but I’ve signed up for the full six weeks.  It’s so much fun!   The challenge for me is how to look alluring whilst trying to follow the steps.  Not quite there yet but I’m hopeful!  Anyway, I highly recommend it as a fun way to exercise.

And, joking apart, I am really enjoying my exercise, whatever form it takes.

The Italian classes are great fun too, not too hard but I’m learning new stuff.  It’s fun doing the class with KD who has a fantastic accent and we practise our new words during the week so I fully expect to be fluent by the end of the course (well, I hope to be able to order wine and food at least. Or just the wine even….).

As for the other projects I had intended to pick up on, well, the photography is slow. The weather has been poor and I have yet to find the subject that inspires me….but I will. I am a frustrated photographer.

I have not done any more drawing and I have totally forgotten about the needlecraft apart from a brief spell (one evening) where I got out the knitting needles for half hour.

Still, it’s only January.  Eleven more months to achieve my goals!

I have decided to make my theme for February ‘Love’.


Not sure what I’ll post yet but isn’t that the beauty of it all?

Ciao Belle.


365 Project. A year of projects!


It’s always nice to have a new project I think.  Unfortunately, I have many ‘new’ projects -started and never finished.  Needlework, knitting (I still have a cardigan I started for my six month old daughter.  She is 29 now), painting and drawing, machine embroidery, web designing, photography, blogging (well, that’s kind of consistent in a fluctuating way), gym and keep fit….the list just goes on.

So, this year, I am going to write the list out and work my way through it and do every one of these projects by the end of 2012.

To add to the list, and a brand new project for me, I shall be starting Italian classes next week with KD.

I’m really looking forward to this as it is a very different sort of project compared to my usual ventures.  It is only a 12 week course, just to get us through our next holiday in Italy in June.  As long as they teach me how to say “Just leave the bottle on the table thank you”  and “mine’s a double”  I will consider it money well spent…..

365 Project – a new plan!


Yes, I know the idea is to blog about the same thing for a year but, seriously, a year of motivation posts?  If I haven’t bored everyone to death by March I think I will have lost the will to live anyway….there is only so much you can write about motivation.

So, true to form, I’m giving up!  Well, I’m not actually giving up, I’m just adapting the challenge to suit me. I have decided to stick to one theme per month, January being the month of motivation and February being the month of whatever it is I decide it will be about and so on….

I think I can cope with that, there will still be some structure to it and it should hopefully be a little bit more interesting than a whole year of me trying to find something interesting to say about motivation.

Does this sound like the ramblings of a de-motivated person?

Not at all.  In fact, I am INSPIRED!!!

Now, the question is, can I still be in the 365 project???

This is me, pondering…….

Project 365 – The Conception


Well, after spending most of the night awake, pondering on a topic to write about for a whole year (yes, I really did spend half the night thinking about this!) I have decided that the topic I am going to write about for a whole year is


I have chosen this theme for several reasons

1. I find the whole topic of motivation fascinating.  My job means I teach motivational techniques to help my clients think about change and it never ceases to amaze me how powerful these motivational tools can be or how much can be achieved when the motivation is there

2. Despite the above, I sometimes find it very hard to motivate myself.  This blog is an example of where I have flagged and lost some of my drive to write.  The 365 project inspired me to try and stick at something for a whole year so, what better topic to write about than motivation?  I’m hoping it will inspire me to keep up with my blog!

3. I am trying very hard to become fitter and healthier this year.  I am hoping a daily reminder to stay motivated will encourage me to keep at it!

4. I can incorporate sketches and photos if I am inspired, something I really want to do more of this year as part of my resolution to start being more creative again

And finally

5. I can get away with writing a post saying very little if I can’t be arsed and say I just didn’t have the motivation that day!  The perfect get out!!

If you are intrigued by what I might write about over the coming months, well so am I!  

I have no idea where this will take me but I hope it will be a bit of a voyage of discovery for me and possibly for my readers!!



We visited Italy earlier this year and stayed in a little place called Scala, up in the hills near Amalfi.  It is a beautiful place and we will return

I had just started sketching again at the time and here is one I did of Ravello, which we could see from our hotel

We are off again next week, this time to Porto Santo so I expect I’ll do a bit more drawing while I am there

To be honest, I don’t know how I manage to find time to go to work these days!!!