Saturday, May 28, 2011

All Hail the Duvet!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I declare today, a Duvet Day.
It is the first duvet day I've taken in quite awhile. But, frankly, I think I've earned it. See last night was Supper Club; and this morning, I'm feeling a bit on the fragile side. I wasn't sure there was going to be a Supper Club this month, so when the e-mail came around with the menu, I jumped in. It really is great fun. If you like good food and great company, this really is the place to be. It's hosted not far from me, in a gorgeous home, by some fantastic people who cook. Oh my God do they cook! You bring your own wine/drink.

The joy is not really knowing who is going to turn up. There are the hard core regulars, of which I'm definitely becoming one, and then there are the people who flit in and out. Facebook has also been part of the getting-to-know-you thang. I rocked up there, kissed loads of cheeks and then I was introduced to two newbies as 'this is Roses, she's just done an NLP Practitioners course.' They were NLP trainers. The other person in the circle piped up that she'd done some NLP as well. How about that. Small bloody world sometimes. For me, that really set the tone for the evening. New people to talk to of similar mind-sets. Brilliant.

It was a smaller than normal group and in a way, that made it so much more intimate. There was less pressure to move on and talk to someone new. I had fantastic time. People come to enjoy the great food, meet new people. For me, dinner parties are a bit of a rarity. It's not how I socialise as such. So, the opportunity to meet couples and single people is very welcome indeed. I've been fascinated by different things people do both in their professional and private lives.

Last night, everyone lingered over coffee. More alcohol was acquired and although I could have easily drunk more, I didn't. I did however, make the mistake of drinking cups and cups of black coffee instead of water. When I finally made my way home, I was wide, wide awake. See, I'm blaming my current state on the coffee, not the red wine I'd been drinking. Ugh.

Forgive me if I take a moment to be smug. I'll only do it this once and then I'll be quiet. Last night, the fab hostess and I took the occasional cigarette break together. Or at least she did. I went out to be sociable. Not only didn't I smoke, I didn't want to. I was talking to one of the guys there about smoking - how much I enjoyed the ritual of it, the pleasure of taking 5 mins to have a break from whatever I was doing. But it was like talking about another me. I was completely disassociated from the pleasure of it. Tomorrow, it will be 5 weeks since I stopped. I don't miss it. There are no pangs, or cravings, or even the odd wishful thought. All of that has gone.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a non-smoker.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Welcome to the Fun Zone

This lunchtime I finally finished The Secret of Being Happy by Richard Bandler. This I started reading as soon as I bought my Kindle, I've been taking it slow. Reading in my lunch hours and stolen moments at home. As reading to finish off my experience of the NLP Practitioner training, it couldn't have been better.

In the book, Bandler gives compelling evidence as to why being happy is necessary for good relationships, sucess in economic activities, and health and wellbeing. It's not only a read book, it's also a work book. There are exercises at the end of every chapter to enable the reader to become happier. Truthfully, these exercises I've already done through my training, but it's always good to see things in print.

I have been the person who had the Self-Pity Gnome, who obsessed, the woman who wallowed. Ladies and Gentlemen, I could have run workshops to teach hippos how to wallow in a muddy puddle, I could have made a fortune. I've spent years wallowing. Wasted time. Especially when you consider what I was wallowing in: drama, depression, dispair. Dull, dull, dull. I made bad, big pictures, lived out fantasies, starred in my own movie all in my head. Not the kind of fantasies where it's me, Robert Downey Jr, a punnet of strawberries, a pint of double cream and a bottle of bolly. Oh no. These were definitely not FUN.

All those years I spent wallowing in a muddy puddle (in my head), I could have been doing obscene things with strawberries with the man of my dreams (in my dreams). I mean, none of it is any truer. It's all about my internal decorating, so to speak. Reality is translated and experienced in my head and my head alone. Occasionally, I share my reality with people...sometimes, not so much.

Anyway, there is a point to all this rambling (there's always a point, be patient I will get to it eventually - like my tax return) I had a lightbulb moment tonight.

I was sitting there, trying to get my head around the exercise whereby I'm supposed to plan my life in 5 years time. Now, I'm not a person for whom long-term planning worked in the past. If you look back at my Life in the last 15 years or so, there's no way I could have planned to be where I am now. I suppose it could be argued that had I had a Plan, I'd have ended up somewhere completely different. I've been flitting from degree to career, to occupation to degree, to job to job to job. In all honesty, looking back, I have no regrets. In the main, I've learnt a lot and I've had fun, not as much fun as I could have had, but fun nonetheless. But now, I'm beginning to think, had I really had a Plan and stuck to it, how much could I have achieved? This is not an exercise to berate myself, yeah, there were mistakes I'd have rather stayed un-made, but that's in the past. I've learnt from it and what is most vitally important now, is how I go forward from this point.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am 41 years old. I might feel like my 18 year old self internally, but the clock is ticking. I have some decisions to make. I've decided to turn the 5 year Plan round a bit. The work I'm doing now is all centred around the following question: HOW MUCH FUN CAN I HAVE IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?

I'm being dead serious. How much fun can I have in the next 5 years? How many awesome people can I hang out with in this time? How many great memories can I make? How many times can I make Boy laugh? How many times will The Cat purr for me? How many times can I hold my friends close? How many times can I flirt with guys? How many times can enjoy my garden?

I can't think about this too much, my head starts to hurt. I'm breaking it down into bite-sized portions. That's what my work is all about this weekend. This weekend, I am going to be answering these questions.

And to kick it off: tomorrow I pick up my Funmobile and in the evening it's the Supper Club. I'm really looking forward to it, the menu looks totally awesome and I can't wait to see everyone there.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Procrastination as an Art Form

Yes, I know I promised I wouldn't go on and on (and on) about the NLP course: how fabulous it was, the wonderful people I met there and how positive and life changing it's been for me. However, I do have a good story to tell.

Now, long term readers of this blog and those who know me IRL, know that I procrastinate. Or I would, if only I would get round to it. I can put off studying for exams, writing essays, cleaning the house, filing my tax return, tidying up....and that's not an exhaustive list. My excuses see me on the sofa reading, watching a rubbish dvd or at the laptop wondering what do for the day...for the whole day. I kid you not. I really can do this and do this very, very well.

On the last teaching day, The Man Himself asks if there's anyone with a problem motivating themselves. Of course my hand goes up. He picks a guy not sitting far from me. Graham. Yes, this is his real name. I asked him. He said I could use and abuse him in the telling of this tale. (So, when he pops up and starts making corrections, you won't mind if I have a quiet word with him. This is still my blog).

Graham also is a champion procrastinator. He has a list the length of his arm of DIY stuff that he should get done around his house. He, like me, does nothing instead. The Man Himself asks him how he procrastinates. Now in NLP terms the question how is of paramount importance. The How, reveals the method with which to cut short the madness. In Graham's case, he had two voices on either side of his head, one telling him how rubbish he was, the other predicting the disaster he'd make of the job (which would include the house falling down around his ears, if he tried to hang a picture on the wall).

The Man Himself asked for volunteers from the audience. Firstly, he asked for 3 women with sexy voices. These lovely ladies he arranged seated in front of Graham on the stage. They said in their most husky, pleading voices: "Please do this for me...."

Then two other lovely ladies were chosen. They sat either side of Graham. One lovely lady, in her most sexy voice, moaned "oh, oh, oh." The other lady, "ah, ah, ah."

The Man Himself then asked for two big, burly, beefy, manly men, with deep deep voices to sit behind Graham and together, in their deepest, most Arnie accent, they commanded 'Just Fucking Do It!' and thumped poor Graham on either shoulder.

Visualise this scene if you will:

We are in a hotel conference room, chairs in neat rows. There were about 150 NLP babies there, there's the training team of about 12 people. You've got one guy sitting in a chair, in the middle of the stage, three women sat on the stage in front of him; two women one either side of him; the burly men behind him and Richard Bandler conducting.

"Please do this for me"
"Just fucking do it!"

We were fucking rolling about the floor. I was laughing so hard, my belly hurt and the tears were rolling down my face. Let me tell you, it was me and 149 other people cracking up. It was fantastic.

Shit. The memory of it still gives me the widest smile.

The thing is with NLP business, it's a little bit pesky. You see, I wasn't up on the stage. In fact, I wasn't even in the first two rows. Richard Bandler did not put me in a trance. And lets be honest about things, I'm heterosexual. Five women saying provocative things, isn't going to motivate me.

Yeah, right.

Except ever since I came back from London. I've got the Motivation Choir in my head. Every flippin time I try to procrastinate something, I hear the whole thing:

"Please do this for me."
"Just fucking do it!"

The net result has been, I've got things done when I came back from London; I had no intention of doing them. I was content in letting them sit there and gather dust. Richard Bandler has just gone and uninstalled my Procrastination programme and no, I don't miss it.

PS. Graham and I've been in contact through the joys of Facebook. His DIY list? Done. In fact, done in the first week home.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Beginning of the End

The interweb has been buzzing all week with the news that it's the Rapture this weekend. Yes, tonight from 6 o'clock the Godly, the pious and the devout are going to ascend to Heaven. Apparently, it's going to be a zombie appocalypse from then until Judgement Day, which according to some is on the 12th of December this year.

Which is great news as far as I can make out.

Consider this: the righteous, the pious and the devout (the terminally Boring) are buggering off leaving the Party People behind. Just think, of the upside. Not only that, the Earth is going to be several millions lighter, therefore more resources/jobs to go around. We'll be able to go shopping without having our eternal damnation screamed at us from the badly dressed, supposedly Christian people, shoving leaflets at us as we desperately try to find Aunt Ena's birthday/Christmas present. We'll be able to answer our door, only in fear of the double-glazing salesman. We'll be able to go about our business on Sundays without fear of reproach.

The downside is obviously the zombie appocalypse. But if we adopt a Shaun of the Dead approach, we'll be able to convert these mindless, flesh-hungry, walking cadavers into call centre workers, garbage collectors, litter pickers. Let's be enterprising people. You know, there's too much doom and gloom these days. We can turn this into a real opportunity.

When I sent out invites for my birthday party, I wasn't aware that it was the Rapture. Not to worry, I can celebrate the End of the World, just as easily as I can my birthday. In true style, I went out and bought a new dress and sparklies to go with the dress. Well One must look her best for the beginning of Judgement.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Totally Loved Up

That's exactly how I feel today. Totally loved up. My birthday messages have been arriving via text, post, e-mail and Facebook. They've been from new friends, blogging friends, family, special people, people I love more than life itself, people I work with, Facebook friends, heck even the woman in Tescos, said Happy Birthday when she saw the cakes and cakes I bought for work.

Talk about feeling great. I can't stop smiling. My boss gave me a lovely card and some sparklies. She really has the measure of me, they are gorgeous. Boy gave me the most perfect card and a voucher to spend on my shiny toy. We're going out for dinner in moment, when I finish blogging and tomorrow we're going to the cinema.

I am so blessed. So blessed by the love and affection of those around me.

Whatever Life has in store for me in the next year, my Path is illuminated by these blessings. I am deeply honoured.

Okay, enough with the mush. I'm now feeling a bit emotional. My advice is turn your mobile phones off, don't answer any calls from me tonight. Take it as read. I love you guys loads. xxxxx

Monday, May 16, 2011

Song Titles - Smile

As today has dawned grey, cold and damp and to top it all off - Monday, I thought we should spread some sunshine around. So to help you feel good for no reason, I thought we should do a song title quiz. Come on people, start flicking through your record collection, playlists or the ultimate cheat: Google.

I want to see song titles with Smile.

YouTube is being a bit of a primadonna as far as my choice is concerned, so ya'll gonna have to click the link to Gnarls Barkley Smiley Faces. This song captures my mood, the lyrics are upbeat and apt.

And remember, smiling is the easiest way to confuse; it makes people wonder what you've been up to.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dusting off the Resolutions

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have dusted off my New Year's Resolutions. I've given them a quick polishing and here: look how shiny they are!

I am nicotine free, I am meditating regularly and today I've started exercising again.

How pleased am I? Very. It feels great, doing good stuff. I'm enjoying the sensation very much. Life is indeed good.

I've managed to totally freak Boy out today. I ironed 3 of my shirts and 2 of his. Now, close personal friends of mine will remember I don't iron. I only bought the iron and ironing board on the off-chance Hottie might want to use when she came to stay. Both live in Boy's room. He uses it. I haven't. In fact, I'm pretty sure that today was the first time I've used that iron. Boy keeps feeling my forehead. But the shirts look much better ironed and the chances of getting Boy to do it were minimal. Rather than fuck about with it any more, I ironed.

It's quite amazing really, I got more energy, I'm more productive around the house, I'm content in my head. Hard to imagine, but all of this came from me standing outside, smoking alone, contemplating the retreating year of 2010. I have a note stuck on my board that says 'Stop Thinking About it! Do it!' That was over five months ago now. Good grief! How much time has slipped by. How many things have changed. How many things are thankfully still the same.

On Tuesday, I will be celebrating my 41st birthday. Did I think, when I celebrated my 40th, this would be my Life now? No, not really. I had no idea. I feel a shiver of anticipation when I consider the year ahead. What other changes will happen? I know my braces will be coming off and I'll finally have my Hollywood Smile. I'm really looking forward to the next few months at work, it's going to be exciting times. I'm going to work my butt off and I'm looking forward to the rewards of the hard work. Towards the end of November Boy will turn 18. He will be an adult. Able to vote, get credit, continue in education, get a job. As he takes his place in civil society, I'm still amazed at the wonderful person I had a hand in creating and guiding.

This last year I learnt to enjoy my own company. I learnt to value the silence. Will I find love and companionship this year? Don't know. The Universe may or may not have plans for my love life this year. Until then, I'll be dancing one step at a time, smiling and feeling good for no reason at all.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shiny Toys

Ah Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a confession to make, I have sucuumbed. I am now the proud (sheepish) owner of a Kindle. For all of you who I ranted at, that such a thing would never be possible...yes, I know. This lady was indeed for turning.

Nine days in London, away from my library (2 floor to ceiling alcove book shelves, 3 standard book shelves) and I realised I wanted the convenience of having all of that available to me at the push of a button.

I did try to use my shiny, new iPod Touch to read. But the small screen and my fast reading pace made it impossible for me to concentrate because I was constantly scrolling. Yes, I do read fast. I can read a 50,000 page Mills and Boon in an hour and a half, I can read a novel in under 4 hours if I'm engaged.

Having done the NLP Course (and here you were thinking you'd got away with one post not being about the course) made me think about the way I read. For me, reading is an active process. I turn the words into a movie, which I then step into and live out. Any writing which is turgid (which a lot of literature is) or just down-right appalling (think Dan Brown) seriously interferes with this and leads to a lot of grumbling and book flinging across the room. This has it's up sides and it's down sides. It means I when I get 'into' a book, I really enjoy it and interuptions are not welcomed. I've learnt not to read novels when I've got other things to do. Other things to do, tend not to get done. The serious downside to this, is that reading for knowledge acquisiton is more like hard work. You can't create pictures out of Management Accounting for Decision Makers (yes, this really is the title of a book, currently languishing on my bookshelf).

I realise now how much NLP suits my learning style. I really enjoyed that tranced-out learning, letting the knowledge seep into my skin and then letting my unconscious process everything. We didn't take notes during the 9 days. In fact, there were serious words from the speakers when people got their pens and paper out.

I'm getting really curious about how to use NLP more for knowledge acquisition and education. I wonder if it would be possible to explore new ways of learning, using NLP? As someone who thrives on learning and knowledge acquisition, I'm committed to that lovely phrase 'life long learning'. This current UK government seems to be doing it's best to tear down the traditional bastions of learning, so I wonder whether it would be possible to turn this threat into an opportunity?

This is merely a random thought. Obviously, I don't have enough knowledge and experience with NLP to answer these questions, nor indeed have an educational background (I have a learning background). But it's enough to make me start thinking....hmmmm.....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 4 of Life post-NLP

I'm really going to have to tone it down. People are beginning to wonder about my sanity. I'm bopping to my tunes in the car to work. Picture me, sitting in traffic having a totally awesome time, all by myself in my car, surrounded by grumpy commuters and that's on the way in.

As you know, I tend to do my best thinking on the move. On the way home last night, I considered the impact of the course on my attitude. I feel all bright and sparkly. But it's not at all forced, which I have had reason to adopt when I've been working after I came back from Trinidad last summer. After all, when I had jobs to do, it was a good thing to put my grief to one side and slap on a cheery face. This feels nothing like that. This feels like my pancreas is smiling.

Richard Bandler, the Man Himself, warned this would be the case. After all, I've redecorated my internal world: it's had a massive clearout, the wall paper has been stripped, walls scrubbed and re-plastered. The dusty, old carpet pulled up and under-floor heating and a wooden floor installed. The windows have been replaced. Everything is more energy efficient and green. It's light and airy.

The thing is that the Man Himself and the Man with the Pony Tail, John La Valle, through their anecdotes, exercises and drills, installed a heck of a lot of optimizing programmes. These programmes are making their way through my neurology, updating, clean-sweeping and deleting. It's going to take awhile before the system settles into it's optimum running. But I feel the changes already. They manifest primarily in my mood; my energy levels, which frankly I can't remember being this up; there's a marked improvement in my creativity at work; my confidence has improved; I'm more productive; I'm looking for ways in which I can become more efficient at home and at work. I'm trying different routes to drive into work; just because I can.

One of the exercises we did, was on changing our responses to people we really, really didn't get on well with. You know, the kind of people who when you hear their name, your teeth start to grind - just the thought is enough. And as for dealing with them in person, think nightmare. Everything goes wrong, nothing is ever good enough, you never say the right thing at the right time, they make you feel stupid. Everyone has these sorts in their lives. I certainly have. I used my main teeth-grinding person for the exercise. I had to deal with this person for the first time since I came back today. Talk about a change. All the anxiety I'd been feeling, disappeared. In fact, I couldn't help but grin everytime we had any contact. This person seemed a bit perplexed that I wasn't my usual self and that confusion was enough to stop them indulging in their usual game of poke holes in Roses.

I've had a lot of fun today and the Lovely Ursus is downstairs with Boy, taking him through his chemistry revision, so I'll be having fun tonight too.

I know I'm going on about this. But I never, ever thought this would be the result. In a way, I had it in the back of my mind, that it was all a bit of a scam. That it couldn't possibly be a good or as effective as the books and literature make out. I suppose I was planning for disappointment. Instead, I spent 9 days with some really amazing people of all ages, from different parts of the world, intelligent, bright. I did things I never thought I could do. When we parted company, although it was difficult, it hasn't felt like 'goodbye and thanks for the fish'. I have loads more friends on FB and it's not just making the numbers up either. We're leaving messages, sending e-mails. I've got a whole new community of people to have fun with. Fantastic.

Note to Self: start looking up synonyms for awesome, fantastic and great. Time to widen the vocabulary.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 3 Back in Real Life

It's Wednesday, or as our friends across the pond are wont to call it: hump day. I kinda like the idea of it: cheeky, bawdy and fun.

So, what is Real Life like now for me?

Hmmm....I'm still getting used to it.

I go to bed at night, curled up, very content to be back in my bed. I think about the day that's been and the lessons I've learnt and then I think about the coming day. In the morning, I wake up and lie there, letting every cell in my body wake up as I wonder how much fun, how much pleasure I'm going to have that day.

Yes, I really do that. And yes, it really is a huge amount of fun going through my day, finding different ways to amuse myself. At present, my favourite is turning my car stereo up and getting down to hot summer tunes. I like to dance and it has been known to amuse a car-full of coppers before.

It's really weird, but when I look at myself in the mirror, my reflection is different. I swear I don't look the same. Gee said I look softer, I've lost the tension I've been carrying in my face. Someone else said I look fuller, bigger; not like I've put on weight, but as if I'm finally present here in my body.

I've already test driven my newly acquired skills and it was great to do, for the other person as well as for me. Damn, I'm not half bad.

This is where the learning really begins. This is my challenge. I feel great and it's safe to say that I've never felt a 'great', like this before. I feel really comfortable with me in my own skin. But you know what, the real test will be when Life kicks in. Because how I deal with it, whether I can apply my learning, my new skills and my new confidence to the situation and kick it's hairy arse, I'll know I've really got it. I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I have no doubt it won't be long in coming. Until then, I'll be boogying in my Pride and Joy.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Bliss of the Familiar

Ladies and Gentlemen, as I type this I am wearing the pink, fluffy dressing gown and I'm drinking coffee. Yes, you read right, I'm home. For the first time in 8 days I am enjoying decent coffee and I am all blissed out. I slept in my own bed, listening to the night sounds of my home: the creaking of the stairs as the cat padded up and down, the occasional creaks as the house settles, the sigh of the central heating (I was cold last night).

I'm having difficulties formulating the right sentence to describe what it's like at the moment. My beliefs in myself and what I can achieve have been peeled back, not like a banana, but like an onion, chopped, fried in butter with loads of wonderful ingredients. Now, I'm sniffing this wonderful new dish in front of me, salivating a bit, wondering where to dip my fork into first.

It was such an amazing time. After we finished yesterday, we celebrated at the pub down the road and we were laughing and joking about the first day. Everyone was nervous, stiff as a board. Nine days later we were laughing, dancing and hugging each other. It amazed me the breadth of the people there: ages, occupations, nationalities and religions. Yes, there were the injured birds who desperately wanted to play Issue Top Trumps, but by in large, they were in the minority.

Breakfast was a multi-cultural affair. I would eat with a guy from Germany, another from Vienna, there was a gorgeous Chinese lady from Hong Kong and then there was me, born in Trinidad. People flew all round the world to study with Bandler, not only that, some of them had done the Practitioner's Certificate more than once. In the NLP parlance, each 'Prac' course is different. Apparently, they don't have a rigid structure to it. Because they know their subject back and forth, up, down and inside out, they just wing it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I had a great time. I'm not sure I'm prepared to give them my money like that just for the thrill.

At the end, Bandler said to us that the course is just the beginning. Our work started this morning. He started the process, now it's up to us to carry it through.

So, the question he taught us to ask ourselves: how much fun and pleasure can I have today?

Friday, May 06, 2011

Hotel Rooms Part II

When I started to write yesterday's blog post, I had a clear idea of where I wanted to go with it. It never happened that way. So today, I'll tell you what I wanted to tell you yesterday.

Remember I said one of the good things about this hotel, is that the rooms are clean? If when reading that you realised the implication there is that there are more bad things, you win a prize. One of the bad things is that the walls are paper thin.

Tuesday morning I was woken up at 5 am by my neighbour having an arguement over his mobile phone in a foreign language. He had the mobile phone on loud speaker, so I got to hear the response in foreign too. Bearing in mind, I'm not my sharpest first thing in the morning and to my mind, 5 am is still the middle of the night, I had problems deciding which foreign tongue he was having the argument in. At first I thought it was German. The Manbabe is German, and the intonation and inflection was similar. I then realised I couldn't make out individual words, I decided it must be a Slavic language. He wrapped up his argument at about 6 am. Personally, I think picking a fight with someone over the phone at that time of the morning is mean. It was pointed out to me that there might be some time difference going on, which made sense. I rolled over and went back to sleep for another hour and a half, no harm done.

Wednesday evening, my brain is full. I go to bed early. I'm lying there, doing my relaxation exercises, focussing on all of the information I'd gathered that day, which my poor over-worked unconscious was going to have to process, when all I could hear was a woman moaning. Not the whinging about the the bloke not putting the toilet seat down. Moaning, as in getting the best sex she'd ever got (I assume). Moaning for a whole hour. I was timing her. It got to the stage when I wanted to bang on the door and ask if they needed some water, more lube or oxygen. Let me tell you, it's depressing listening to someone have sex, when you sleep on your own.

This morning, at 7 o'clock, half an hour before my alarm went off, my neighbour did. Again. On the phone berating and swearing at the poor bastard on the other end of his phone. I pity that guy, I really do. In the end, I decided he was Dutch. There were a couple of times when it sounded like he was talking a very slurred version of German. At least he left it to then. It gave me enough time to decide what I wanted to do today.

I never thought staying in a hotel room by myself could be so entertaining. Hey, it's entertaining you, isn't it. Nod and smile.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Hotel Rooms

So, I'm in currently in London learning to be an NLP Practititioner with Dr Richard Bandler (I want you all to pretend like you know what it is and to be impressed. Google if necessary. Nod and smile in the meantime). It takes me twenty minutes from my doorstep to the train station. It then takes me an hour and fifty mins to get to London, from London Liverpool Street it takes me at least 50 mins to get to the hotel in Earl's Court. For me to get to Earl's Court on time, I'd have to leave Norwich at 5 am. Knowing me as you do, for not being a morning person, you'll understand why this isn't really an option.

For the past 6 days room 1155 has been my home. It will continue to be so for the next 3 days. For London prices, it's okay. It's clean. When I go to bed, I do so alone and I wake up alone. Always a good thing in a hotel room, where (according to MJ) there's always the risk of little blood-sucking buggy things. Ugh. I have a huge TV (with the option of Adult Channels....zzzz), a kettle, two mugs, sugar and 4 pots of UHT milk. The bed is big enough for two and is just the right size for me to starfish across it. Apparently that's the Chelsea ground in the distance. I was told that, I haven't confirmed it for myself, not being the slightest bit interested in football of any persuasion.

On Day 4, I made it out of the hotel and saw daylight for the first time since I arrived. There are some disadvantages to being a non-smoker in these circumstances. The staff in the pub, know me really well. They don't ask if I want ice in my cider anymore. They're quick learners. They stopped doing it after the second time. The food is London prices and isn't that bad. I'm beginning to explore wider afield now. Had Nandos today. Apparently, there's a Wagamamas around here somewhere. Uh oh.

The bathroom is really nice. I'm a sucker for girlie cleaning products. I found a Superdrug that had a cool selection of travel sized stuff. I was in a frenzy. It's stuff for dolly! Last night, my brain was particularly fried. When I got to my room, I had a really good girlie session. By the end of it, I was warm, smelt fantastic and was so slathered in body lotion, had there been anyone here to give me a hug, I'd have popped out their arms like a pea popping out of a pod.

Tonight, my brain is full. It needs some time off. There's a talk going on, but I really can't do anymore today. I've got some more books for further study, but not today. Tonight, I'm going to find some more cider and then have an early night. Let my unconscious mind deal with the information, I'll let it process everything and put it away somewhere close to hand. It's a bit like getting a basket full of clean laundry, folding all the clothes and putting it where they need to be.

Anyway, lovelies. I'm off to the pub and then to bed. Don't miss me too much. xxxx