Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Beautiful patchwork quilt

This is a photo of the beautiful quilt that my wonderful friend Doris in Cardiff gave me ... Isn't it gorgeous?! I was just stunned (although just before I left on my overseas trip I discovered she had made it for me).

Went to yoga last night ... and then when I got home in the evening I was just so exhausted! Don't know why - maybe it's just the whole 'end of year' thing! Don't know what to say about it (my yoga practice). It seems like it's just 'treading water' - waiting till I've had my Christmas break and then start again in January. I've only been able to practice 2-3 times a week this past couple of weeks. Christmas stuff has intervened!

And I've been feeling generally pretty unmotivated! Unmotivated to go out and buy Christmas presents, have not sent a single Christmas card ... maybe it's because I was away till the middle of November, and I just didn't get into the whole Christmas swing!! Ah well - there's always next year! And I saw most of the people I'd be sending Christmas cards to overseas anyway!!

Anyway - off down to Bowral (where my Mum lives) on Saturday. She told me on the phone yesterday she had lined up a whole series of social 'events' that we've been invited to! Visiting people that I haven't seen for a while, so that should be fun (on the whole anyway!)

On my iPod: Faithless - God is a DJ
(gotta love Faithless!)

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Standing Ovation!

We sang the Messiah again on Saturday night at a little country town called Boonah (set it lovely rolling countryside with hills/mountains on 2-3 sides), and we got a standing ovation! It was a beautiful performance - the soloists were wonderful and I just loved it. (Even though I do still get lost in the Amen Chorus at the end!) Really, so much of it can be read as so relevant - I mean, "How Beautiful are the Feet of him that preaches the gospel of peace" - it's about Darshan!!

So, that's it - I've put my score away for another year ...

Yoga is going well, even though I haven't been practicing as much as I'd like ... Marichyasana A is getting easier and easier. B is nowhere near anything! And with C I'm definitely seeing that I can get there, hopefully within the next year.

I finish work for the year at the end of next week. Then I'm off down to my Mum's in New South Wales for Christmas, and back up here on Boxing Day for Woodford (the Woodford folk festival). Yeay - can't wait. That is such a fantastic 6-8 days. I should be able to blog from there - I seem to remember they have an internet cafe setup there ...

on my iPod: the John Butler Trio

Saturday, November 26, 2005

India photos

Well, it's long past time I should be here again! (This blog I mean) Feel like I've been in a bit of a daze since I've been back. Constant running (driving) to rehearsals for The Messiah and consequent lack of sleep has no doubt contributed to this state! The first performance is tonight ... Having rehearsed in the cathedral a couple of nights this week I have to say I don't seem to know it as well as I thought I did!! The acoustics make it hard to hear what people around you (ie your voice part) are singing, and of course it's one thing to sing your part on your own, quite another to sing it against 3 other voice parts as part of a 40-50 person choir ... Still I do think it'll be wonderful.

Yoga has taken a definite back seat this week - haven't practiced at all! At least I know I'll be back in class on Monday night ...

Anyway - here are a few of my photos from India - enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Back in Oz

Here I am, back in sunny Australia (unlike India where I rarely saw the sun!). Got back on Friday night, and after a slight mix-up about being picked up, finally got home around 10.30pm. Mieke pussycat was very pleased to see me!! She tried to tell me she hadn't been fed for the whole 6 weeks I'd been away, but as she was pretty much her usually plump self, I didn't believe her!!!

India already seems a long way away although it's only 4 days ago that I was sitting in a taxi driving through Bangalore to the airport, thinking 'oh, I don't want to leave'!! There's something about India that I really love. But once I got to the airport and was in the departure lounge, it was 'on to the next thing', as it were.

I went to yoga class on Saturday afternoon and spent a lot of time reminiscing with Richard about the time we were there together. The rest of the weekend I lazed around. Did some washing, unpacked my case, but there is a big pile of clothes and stuff on the floor beside my bed that I haven't summoned up the energy to deal with yet!!

Today I've been at work, in a bit of a daze. Just reading emails and telling people about my holiday!! But tonight I absolutely have to drive in to Brisbane to go to a choir rehearsal for The Messiah. I've missed 3 rehearsals already, and really I came back at this time so I would be able to sing in The Messiah, so ... :)

I'll sort out some India pictures to upload soon ... and I'm also going to set up a Flickrs account to post more photos ... Later!

On my iPod: the Alto choruses for The Messiah of course!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Last days in India ... (this time!)

My last days in India. I fly out to Singapore and then on to Brisbane tomorrow night. The plane leaves at 11.55pm to be precise - as always. I guess it's better than last time - I think then the flight left at about 3.30am!! I have no idea why any flight I get to or from Bangalore always arrives/leaves so late!!

Practice has been going well. I was pretty tired on Monday - probably as a result of the ayurvedic massage the day before. But yesterday and today was good. Don't know if I've said this before, but Marichyasana C, which has always seemed like too impossible to imagine, has actually become a possibility for me - a somewhat remote one, but I do now believe I will be able to do it one day!

And pranayama has been going well. This week I've been moved on to the first of the breath retention ones. Interesting!!

This afternoon I took Eva to Commercial Street, to try and find the place where I got my nose pierced 3 years ago. To my astonishment I actually managed to find it, and she got hers done by the same little man!! (And the same Old Spice aftershave as disinfectant!!!) She also bought her nosering in the same place that we all went to then!

And I bought some more gold earrings! I've got 3 earrings at the moment, having lost one a few months ago, so decided it was time to replace that! I really love Indian gold. It's 22 carat, and is soo yellow. A lot of people like white or pale gold but me, I love the really yellow stuff! And India is of course the world's biggest consumer of gold.

We then had a happy time wandering up and down Commercial Street, drinking coffee, buying fabric, etc! It's funny to see Westerners. We never see any western people out in JP Nagar where we live. It's only when we go into the centre of Bangalore that we get to see tourists/travellers ...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Butterfruit milkshake (aka avocado) - YUM!

I never would have believed it. Who's ever heard of an avocado milkshake anyway? Not me that's for sure! But, I had one today and it was just ambrosial! I'm going to have to make them when I get home!! (As far as I know, the contents are avocado, milk and a bit of sugar.)

Today me and Karen went for an ayurvedic massage at the local ayurvedic hospital. Most students staying in the yoga flat have been going every week, so I decided to give it a go! What an experience. Strip right off (or if really shy, you are given a muslin loincloth thing to wear!) Lie on this old wooden 'bed' (reminiscent of 19th century dissecting tables or worse!) and have two women pour thick oil all over you and massage you from head (including your hair) to toe for about 40 minutes! They stand on each side of the bed, and do long strokes up and down your body in unison - quite amazing!! Then after that, go and sit in this little steam bath cupboard for about 15 minutes - just your head poking out!!

When you get out, they have to hold onto you to stop you slipping over (your feet being covered in oil!) and then you are sent into the bathroom for a bucket bath with this thick yellow paste which amazingly gets most of the oil off you. My hair I am leaving till tonight - it'll probably be good for it.

And all of this for 350 rupees - just over $AU10.00!!

We had our butterfruit (avocado) milkshakes on the way back from there. Am now feeling very relaxed and peaceful! My legs are feeling wonderful too!!

Tomorrow back to asanas again ... :)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Government Work is God's Work (!)

India is full of very amusing (to us westerners) signs. I saw that (Government Work is God's Work) carved in large stone letters above the entry doors to a huge imposing (government) building, and cracked up!!

So, it's Saturday today. Here the rest day is Sunday, so we had our normal asana and pranayama classes this morning, then it was 'out of school' !! I have to say my body will be glad of a day's rest! My legs are aching and I'm having to be careful about my right knee. But it's been a great week, yoga-wise. I can get my head onto the ground in kurmasana now - something I would have thought impossible a couple of weeks ago. Navasana is coming back, and I even managed to get 2 feet off the ground in an arm balance - admittedly for half a second only, but still a first!!

Last night 6 of us went out after dinner to a chocolate place that people had found. Basically it just serves chocolate! I had a chocolate cappucino (!) and we all ate lovely home-made chocolates - orange peel chocolate, yum!! Then at quarter to nine we all thought - oh, time to go home and go to bed (big grin).

This afternoon Scottish Karen and I went to MG Road. We just went to the (wonderful) Bombay Store. Air conditioned comfort, no people hassling you, and lots of lovely things to buy! I bought a couple of shirts and a nice bracelet. A few days ago I went to Commercial Street and bought another diamond nosepin (to replace the one I lost a couple of years ago). In fact Mum is giving this to me as a Christmas present (thanks Mum!) It's really nice! I may have to take some of the other women down to Commercial Street tomorrow as at least one of them wants to get her nose pierced.

It's hard to imagine that this time next week I'll be back home in Australia, no doubt with pussycat Mieke curled upon my lap. I've had such a great holiday - done so many fabulous things and spent time with so many wonderful friends and family members!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Yoga and - Dublin

Yoga again this morning ... I had lots more energy than on Saturday which was great. But I am having a bad balance day. And also, despite my earlier triumphs with navasana (how long ago was that?!) having not done it since I left Australia some weeks ago (because I was stopped at Marichysana A in London) I'm finding it very hard again!! Silent screams of frustration were heard!! However, on the bright side I was able to bind on both sides in Marichyasana A both on Saturday and today, which is really good! I was mostly only able to do it on one side before ...

A new guy arrived at the yoga flat today (from South Carolina) - there's 7 of us staying there at the moment. Had a quiet day, and even did some choir practice in my room, singing the Messiah choruses through with the alto part on my iPod!

And now let's go back to - Dublin! I never posted anything about this bit of my holiday before - got caught up in other things. But the first weekend I was away (based in London) Judy and I went to visit another sister, Carla, who lives in Dublin. I've never met her before (these sisters are from my father's prevous marriage, and for whatever reason we never intermingled). And I'd also never been to Dublin before, so it was a great excitement for me. We flew in on Friday afternoon (2 days after I'd arrived in London) and were looked after so well by Carla and her husband. We were driven all around Dublin and surrounds on the Saturday - walked up Fishamble Street to the building where the first ever performance of The Messiah happened. Went for a lovely walk on the headland at the south end of the Dublin Bay. Had lunch in Avoca Weavers (in County Witlow) and drove back over a lovely mountain road - Sally Gap. (Why does every place in Ireland sound like it's out of a folk song?!) Beautiful wild country side, reminiscent of Scotland, complete with lochs!

Carla has a really lovely garden - she's obviously got green fingers! (I think Dad did too, though he mainly confined his gardening to the vegetable variety!!)

Dublin is such a lovely city - apparently it's the 2nd biggest Georgian city after Bath! Can see why ...

Anyway, it was such a lovely weekend, and really great to meet another sister. (In fact I got quite excited and told Judy I was no longer the oldest in the family! I'm now the 4th sister!!!!)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

India at last - and Diwali!

Oh I've been soo slack! 11 days since I last posted! And now there's so much to say, which has also been putting me off - where to start?! I've left my journal at the flat too, (just 10 mins walk away) so I think I'll jump right in and say - I'm in India!! I'll do some other posts about the earlier bits - maybe tomorrow!

So here I am in Bangalore, on the last stage of my trip. I've got (or had when I arrived) 14 days here. So, for all you ashtanga purists, that is why I'm not in Mysore (much as I would like to be!) but in Bangalore instead, doing class with Vishwanath, who is Pattabhi Jois' nephew, and who trained with him (at the same time as Manju was training with him!) back in the 70s.

Got here early on Friday morning (28th Nov?) - like 1.15am!! Got myself to the yoga flat (where the yoga students stay) sometime in the middle of that day, and have now got myself nicely settled in. We had one asana class on Saturday (he takes Sunday as his rest day) and then today has been a Diwali holiday. So tomorrow morning will be the next asana class - can't wait! I did do sun salutes in my room this morning, but that was as far as I got. We also do a pranayama class each day.

I's great to be back in India. There's something so wild yet wonderful about it! Although I do feel I could have chosen a better time to come than Diwali week! As I've said in a few emails - when Diwali is celebrated in countries other than India, it is a lovely peaceful festival with coloured lights and candles, and a few fireworks. Here it is just FULL ON FIREWORKS (and the lights, but no candles!) From about 6am to 11pm! Constantly! And the vast majority are crackers. So it's 'bang bang bang' all day and all night!!! Ah well - just that crazy Indian spirit I guess!

more later ...

Friday, October 21, 2005


Wendi and Missilu at the Tavira market! Back in London now, but had such a sweet time in Portugal. Went with Wendi, Elena and Missilu (and Pascal) to the beach one day (far too cold to swim, though I saw with horror some English holiday-makers in bikinis - shiver!!) Went to a lovely gallery where the owners make these stunning frames specially for each picture that is shown/sold there. Even went to the movies last night in Faro - saw The Grimm Brothers (luckily it was in English, with Portuguese subtitles, not the other way round!)

At the market in the picture I got some honey (from the Carob tree flowers!) for Judy and Charles. Hopefully it will just have a slight caroby taste! Ate loads of local olives - yum! Wendi and Jack have olive trees and carob trees in their little wild valley. Such a lovely place ...

And tomorrow - probably my last practice at Hamish's ...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Expect the unexpected!

Yesterday I went to Brighton with friends Tina and Linda. We had a great day - they bought some lovely Arts & Crafts kitchen chairs (very plain, oak, but really comfortable) and I got some old sideplates from the same antique shop. I love using old sideplates, but most of mine have broken now and there don't seem to be as many in Australia. I think all the ones I had dated back to when I lived in London before! (Don't ask me how I'm going to get them home in one piece!)

Then we went out to lunch in a wonderful wonderful wholefoods place - it was like a cornucopia of fresh beautiful food! And finished up with a walk along the beach - not actually on the strange pebbley beach, but beside that.

This morning I had it all planned! Go to yoga, don't take my mat but use one there, and then go on out to meet Wendy and walk round some east end markets. Well, first of all when I got to the shala I discovered to my horror that I'd forgotten to bring my yoga pants! I was sadly getting ready to leave again, when Denise (who teaches there on Sundays) lent me a spare pair! Thank you so much Denise!! So that was OK.

But afterwards when I rang Wendy to arrange where to meet, turned out she was having a bad day and couldn't make it. OK - I thought I'd go to Soho and re-visit the wondrous Patisserie Valerie for cakes and coffee (which I notice has sprung up in a few other places now!) But either it's changed location, or my memory failed me! I looked in Old Compton Street but couldn't see it. So I had coffee and croissants somewhere else, and then discovered that I'd walked right past Valerie's without recognising it!! Probabaly that was a blessing in disguise - I would have seriously overeaten there!

Tomorrow it's a Moon Day, so no yoga (sigh!) And in the afternoon I'm flying to Portugal to visit Wendi and Jack, Elena plus baby Missilu, and Badger!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

London days ...

Had a lovely day in London today. Started off with yoga at Hamish's - really nice. Then came home, had a shower and breakfast and couldn't figure out what to wear. I mean, this is London in October right? Should be grey skies, cold etc. But I ended up going out in a teeshirt and jeans and sandals! (with a jumper just in case, which I never needed!)

Met my friend Wendy for lunch - and she's just the same! It must be at least 7 years since I saw her, but she's one of those special friends who you just pick up with where you left off. (The other Wendi is the same!) We sat and nattered away for ages till she had to go back to work. We're meeting again on Sunday - going to some East End markets!!

In the afternoon I was supposed to meet up with Debbie (who I'd met at yoga in Bangalore 3 years ago). But we missed each other - I'd gone into a museum (the Handel museum) and had to turn my mobile off. But we're now going to meet up next week. She is very jealous about me gong to Hamish's shala! Apparently there is a waiting list to go. I guess coz I'm an overseas visitor, and I emailed to ask if I could, that makes a difference!

The Handel museum was really interesting - and I was amazed to discover that Jimi Hendrix had lived there for a while back in 1969!! Also picked up a flyer about a candlelight concert at St Martin-in-the-Fields, with Haydn's Nelson Mass, plus some Handel pieces! I'm going to go - my choir sang the Nelson Mass a year or two ago, and as the dates work it just seems right!

I realise I haven't said anything about my weekend in Dublin - perhaps I will later!

Friday, October 07, 2005

mmm ... yoga again

Showed up at Hamish's shala in London yesterday morning - it was hotter than where I go in Australia in the middle of summer! Probably because here (London) it's a small space with people very close together, while in Brisbane it's in a big space ...

Anyway - it was wonderful! I told him a bit about my practice and he told me to stop at Marichyasana A because I can only just about bind there and no chance of binding in any of the others. Made for a shorter practice (!) but I'm completely fine about it. I'm a visitor here and am just happy to be able to do yoga and follow his instructions. I'll probably only get to class about 5 or 6 times in the time I'm in London, but I feel sure I'm going to gain/learn a lot ...

Other things I did yesterday included going to the Apple store in Regent Street - what a fantastic place! For us Aussies who don't even have iTMS let alone any thought of an Apple store, it was like an Aladdin's cave!! I managed to resist temptation (those iPod nanos are just sooo cute!) but who knows for how long! Also met a friend from Oz who's working here now for lunch. She's gone from being a receptionist in an Animations company to a producer in less than 8 weeks!! (She used to be a graphic designer, and had done a few things that gave her some useful experience for this) Really pleased for her!!

Today I'm off to Dublin - whoohoo!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

At Singapore airport!

Probably won't post this till I get to London (tomorrow morning) but here I am sitting in Changi Airport typing away on my lovely Mac laptop! It all seems to have happened so fast - one minute I was fiddling around at home trying to get myself together, nd now here I am. They have these terminals dotted around where you can get 15 minutes free web access, so I sent an email or two ...

Had a few panicked minutes yesterday when my workmate who is supposed to be housesitting (my house, and more particularly my cat!) seemed to be incommunicado, but it all sorted out. She came round this morning (complete with Playstation and huge TV) and hopefully is happily asleep there now, probably with Mieke pussycat wondering what's going on. She (Mieke) will no doubt be sleeping on the bed with her very soon. As long as she gets fed and some affection she'll be happy.

Saw a couple of premies at Brisbane airport - one going to KL and an event there, and the other back to South Africa, and thence to the Mauritius event! In one way I could wonder about my focus, but no, I'm fine about it now. I really wanted to go to London and visit friends and family - it's been 7 years since I was there. However,I will never again try to add on going to an event at the end of a planned holiday. (I had thought I was going to an event in India in the early part of November, but of course he's moved the dates to the end of the month, and I have to be bck at work on the 14th November - god was I freaked out when I discovered that!) In future I'll make the event the main focus, and add a holiday to that. Lesson learned, I hope! (It's the second time this has happened to me.)

Did manage to do some sun salutes this morning while I was waiting for Lauren - that was the first 'bit' of yoga I've done for about 8 days. I'm aiming to go to Hamish Hendry's on Thursday - and expect to be very stiff after that (big grin)

(later - got excited when soem guys came up to say that my flight woudl have wireless access in-flight! They gave me a card to get 30 minutes free access, but when I tried (somehwere over India!) it didn't work. Ah well - another excuse to have to go to the big Apple shop in London and ask questions!)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Centred again

The event with Maharaji is over. It went bye so fast - really didn't want it to end! After he'd left the stage, they showed a slideshow of shots from the event - lots of pictures of happy happy premies ... and the music that accompanied it was Twameva mata chapita twameva - part of Arti ... (excuse my no doubt crap spelling of sanskrit!) :) I wish I could remember what he said ... but hopefully some of it will trickle through to my consciousness in the next few days. It was just a wonderful, wonderful 4 days :) Re-focused me, reminded me of where my centre is. I truly hope I can keep that connection ...

Now I'm having to pull myself together and work out what I still need to get/organise before I fly out - which is on Tuesday! Wendi and Jack have gone - to Brisbane tonight and then flying to Portugal via London. I'll be staying with them in a couple of weeks!

Mmm - now I'm making a playlist for my iPod of inspirational music to listen to on the plane! Norah Jones - You do something to me, Aaron Neville, Every day of my life ... yum! And must put something from The Messiah in there too.

btw - my music collection is pretty old - I'm waiting for iTMs to open in Australia so I can (legally) download heaps of stuff!! There's an Aussie website called Appletalk with lots of discussion forums on it. The longest by far (about 50 pages to date) is about when oh when is the Music Store going to open here. Latest rumour is tomorrow (that's the 3rd October)but it's probably another unsubstantiated rumour!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

In another world ... :)

Last day at work (for a while) was Wednesday. On Thursday I came straight to Amaroo and started organising the Internet Centre for the event with Maharaji next week. Took some colourful pictures from the walls to brighten the place up, and it's looking good. (Well, as good as an old demountable building can!!) Wendi and Jack have been staying with me for a few days, now Wendy and David and Vic have arrived too! A full house - lovely!

3 days later (Sunday) we had a staff training, and opened for business at midday. Already there have been quite a few people through - straight off the bus/plane from overseas and into the internet (!)

Vic went to the introductory event in Melbourne and ... Maharaji also spoke at Parliament House in Canberra (!!!!) - part of the United Nations anniversary celebrations. Somehow Vic got to be invited to this (he always gets to these things, don't know how!) He was just in awe about how beautiful and powerful M was ... just a couple more days and we'll all be sitting in front of him ... :)

I did manage to get to yoga yesterday afternoon. Probably the last class I'll get to before I get on the plane in 10 or so days' time (after which I'll be showing up at Hamish Hendry's shala in London for a few days). So I was determined to go.

I got a lift down to the front gate with some guys in a ute - and believe it or not as I got in and closed the door, I shut it on my hand! I just couldn't believe it - stop!! stop!! My hand's shut in the door!!! Luckily it didn't hurt too much - somewhat unbelievably. A Brazilian American guy gave me an ice pack to put on my hand and I drove into yoga with it balanced precariously on my hand. Difficult when you've got a manual car!

I was wondering how it would affect my practice, but down dogs were fine and everything except where I have to balance on my knuckles (because I can't quite get my hand flat to the ground yet). Felt a bit tender there. But this morning, I hardly know i did anything! Thank goodness ...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

She died young but she burned pretty bright

Great article about Carol - says it all! So many funny stories I'd forgotten and/or never knew ... :)


We both had nose-rings back in the early 70s when it was unheard of! (I got rid of mine and have only recently started wearing one again ... )

Monday, September 19, 2005

almost a hippy funeral

A week ago I heard a friend of mine who I've known for 30 years, had died. I was just shocked. We're the same age. We're far too young to die ... She'd had various health problems, and I suppose they finally caught up with her.

The funeral was on Friday. Another friend flew in for it and we drove down to the beautiful northern NSW countryside where Carol had lived for so many years. I was really glad to see her and have her company on the drive down. It was held in the grounds of a country hall, on a lovely spring morning. Amazingly the coffin was brought there by horse and cart. So many people came - from so many different walks of life and from all over the state. There was music and young children playing in the grass. We laughed and cried and laughed again as we said farewell to our friend/mother/sister ... and sang that old Neil Sedaka song "Oh Carol" over and over.

Among many other things, Carol worked for years at The Echo, which is the local newspaper in the Byron Shire in Northern NSW, and which has been at the forefront of the fight against developers there. Her death was front page news there.

Au revoir Carol ...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sing for Water - wowww!

What a weekend! Technical rehearsal for the Sing for Water concert from 4pm to 9pm on Saturday, and concert rehearsals then performance from 1pm to about 9pm on Sunday!

Concert was fantastic - deadly!! (my new word - means GREAT!!!) Singing with 450 people is just such a buzz! And those African songs we sang - Dubala and O Sifone Mungo - were just awesome. Particularly Dubala. There's one bit in that song where the conductor had us altos singing it to the sopranos (and them back to us) like 'hey you, who do you think you are' and vice versa. It was - I'm running out of words but suffice to say I just loved it! I'm hoping the organisers are going to make the recording available to us.

Mind you, I was completely wiped out when I got home last night - not helped by my immediately turning on the TV to watch the cricket. :) Getting up to go to work this morning was not easy!!

My friends Wendi and Jack are here in Oz now - they're up in FNQ (Far North Queensland) Wendi rang me from Cape Tribulation a couple of days ago. You can see what Captain Cook thought of Australia when you hear all the names he gave to various bays and capes. Had a fair few problems I think!! Anyway, they're flying down here on Wednesday and I'm going to pick them up from the airport. They're staying till after the event with Maharaji (only 2 weeks again way - yeayy) And there's going to be another 3 people staying here for the event too - 6 of us! It'll certainly be cozy. :)

Friday, September 09, 2005

coming and going ...

Well, the binding is coming and going (on the right side) and nowhere on the left! But I guess it's all good (as they say!). In class on Monday Richard helped me with supta konasana - gave me a few pointers. I'm still finding it hard to come back over with straight legs, and also avoid that big crash down onto the floor!

While I'm in London I'm intending to go to Hamish Hendry's shala. It's only about 15 minutes on the tube from where I"ll be staying. Must email him next week to check it's OK ...

Went to a rehearsal for the Brisbane River Festival 'Sing for River' concert that I'm singing in (along with about 500 other choristers) on Sunday. We had a great time! We're singing 2 or African songs and I was a bit worried about trying to learn those words, but when there were about 300-400 people all singing, it somehow all worked!! The concert is this Sunday - and we've got to go to a tech rehearsal on Saturday from 5pm to 9pm!!!

And then there's the cricket! That concert is going to seriously interfere with my cricket-watching!! Even though I really want England to win, I can't help but be in awe of Shane Warne's bowling. His private life may be all up shit creek, but he is such an outstanding bowler. Quite possibly the best bowler alive at the moment.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Finally - I can bind!!!

Wow - I can't believe it! After all this time - I think it's 5 years since I first went to an Ashtanga class - I can finally bind (on one side) in Marichyasana A! Something that most people can do immediately, or within 6 months of starting! But I guess that's skinny people! Those of us who have more to 'wrap around'(!) find it more difficult! I can do it on the right side by myself - did yesterday in class. The left side I still need help but hopefully won't take long till I get that too. I know I was getting closer anyway, but I also think that losing weight (as I have been) has definitely helped! In fact, this was one of the reasons why I started trying to lose weight! They say you should set yourself weight-loss goals and then reward yourself when you get there. Well, I didn't need to go out and buy anything new to wear or anything! Binding was the reward and was it sweet!!

What else? On Wednesday (choir practice) we started rehearsing some songs we're going to be singing (as part of a massed 450+ choir) at the finale of the Brisbane River Festival. Should be great - we're going to be backing Kate Ceberano (among others)! Not quite as good as someone from another choir's experience, who joined a scratch choir that went and sang at a choral festival in Italy, and ended up singing with/backing Luciano Pavarotti (triple wow!!!) but still a real thrill! Concert is 3 weeks today!

And my sister was complaining that I hadn't mentioned Ireland in the description of this blog (along the top)! So, I've fixed that now Judy!! (btw - if you want to comment here, you need to get a 'blogger identity'. That just means chosing a username and password - you don't have to set up a blog or anything. Try it!)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

winter hiatus ...

Feel like I've been in a bit of a hiatus (nice word!) for the last couple of weeks, yoga-wise anyway. I've really had to push myself to practice at lunchtimes, and when I've made it to class I've felt pretty lacking in energy. I think it's more mental than anything (oh, cue for a song!) It's silly really - progress is coming in the marichyasanas (though this is coming from someone who can't even bind in 'A', so there's a lot of ground to cover!) ... Anyway ...

Got my head down at work, it's only 5 weeks till I go on holidays, and I'm trying to hang onto the projects that I like! Right now I'm tearing my hair out trying to do a website in CSS - using absolute positioning etc. Why oh why can't Microsoft make Internet Explorer standards-compliant! I can't blame it all on Ms though. This is the first website I've done not in tables (or almost not in tables!- there is a university banner that is in a table but I have to use it as supplied) And trying to work out what doesn't work, and why, has my brain spinning! I fix something and then find that something else has changed as a result ... I do think I'm making progress here though!

Monday, August 15, 2005

To the inventor of blogs: Thank You!

I've got a friend with Hepatitis C. It developed/manifested in the years since I've last seen her, although she would have had the virus at that time. I knew virtually nothing about HepC and when I first heard that she had it I was really scared for her.

At the beginning of this year I heard from her that she was going to start treatment for it, and was going to write a blog. So I started reading it, and following along with her ups and downs. I discovered there is a whole blogging community of people with HepC, giving each other the personal support and advice (from people who've been there and done that) that they could never have gotten before the days of blogs.

It has been so inspiring to read these blogs. Everyday people facing and dealing with a life-changing/threatening disease. Having to self-inject, self-treat with chemotherapy (pills) ... and go through all the side-effects of the medication.

She has now done her last injection, and either today or tomorrow is the last day she has to take the pills. I'm so proud of her, the strength she has found to get through this. And I'm so grateful to whoever it was (Dave Winer?) who invented the original blogging software. This has been one of those inventions that has really changed lives. I love reading all the ashtanga blogs (and the cricket ones and the techie ones!) - but for people who need support and don't necessarily have a community of people in the same situation around them, it really has made a difference ... :)

Monday, August 08, 2005

Yaayyyy! England won!!!

England won the test match!!!! What an amazing match that was. Only 2 wickets left and 107 (?) runs to get, everyone thought it'd be over in 10 minutes! (Although the ground was completely sold out!)

But it went right down to the nail. In fact, when Australia only had to get 15 runs I had to stop watching - the suspense was too much! So I was watching Doctor Who (which I'd taped) and switching back and forth every couple of minutes. And, of course I ended up missing the winning moment!!!

But such a great match! And people have been mumbling about how boring test matches are and we should stick with one-dayers or even the shorter 20 over ones. Ha!! Well, that's woken everyone up to how wonderful Test matches can be ...

btw - I love cricket, in case you hadn't realised ... :)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Singing and cricket (among other things!)

Went out to lunch at a Chinese restaurant with some of the uni choir I sing with yesterday - it was fun! There were about 20 of us - we didn't sing at the restaurant (as threatened!) as there were heaps of other people there - but maybe they'd have liked it?! Who knows ... :)

We're rehearsing a whole lot of Gilbert & Sullivan stuff from Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance and other pieces - lots of 'tarantara tarantara' etc! It'll be a really fun performance, but I'll be in London when it's on! (Or maybe Portugal?) Still, I'm enjoying the rehearsals even though I won't be in it ... (But I will, I will, I will be practicing for The Messiah in November while I'm away!!)

After that I went to the afternoon mysore yoga class, which was great. (It doesn't start till 4pm so I figured 3 hours was plenty of time between eating and doing yoga if any yoga people notice)

Ended up watching the cricket on TV last night - the Ashes tour. I have to come out and say it - I'm barracking for England! I'm just fed up with Australia always winning - it gets boring! From the news this morning it looks like England is close to winning the 2nd test - hoorrayy!! (But better not get too excited in case the Aussie bottom order bowlers manage to bat better than the batsmen!) I'm dying for England to win! In fact I want them to win the Ashes, not just one or two tests!!

on my iPod/iTunes: Don Shiva - Bollywood Lounge

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Daypacks, yoga and Maharaji's Keys

Went into town today, visited the travel gear shops in the Valley (Fortitude Valley). I'm looking for a new daypack. I need one that can carry my laptop too, since I'm taking that with me. I guess I can leave it where I'm staying in London when I go out, but definitely don't want to leave it anywhere when I'm in India! Specially since I'm probably going to Delhi and will end up staying in some cheap(ish) Lonely Planet-type hotel!

Found a really nice Macpac one (how appropriate, since I'm a Mac user!!) They're going to order it in and I will bring my laptop in to make sure it fits OK ...

Yesterday it was just me again doing yoga at lunchtime. Craig seems to be too busy at lunchtimes at the moment. This time I tried something different which someone suggested on the Ashtanga discussion board. Normally I just go through and do what I can in an hour. But this time I did the standing sequence, and then started from Navasana. Seems like a good idea - I think I'll alternate where I start the sitting poses from now on ...

Tomorrow I'm going to a repeat showing of the Keys videos (well, dvds) - at Amaroo. Saw them there before on the Queens Birthday long weekend, but it'll be wonderful to see them again. I remember how completely stunning they were ... I decided not to sign up for the dvds till I come back from India - well, probably not till next January really. But there's plenty of time. It's going to be wonderful - like going through the process of preparing for Knowledge again.

On my iPod/iTunes at work: Robbie Robertson - Music for the Native Americans

Monday, July 25, 2005

Got my air tickets !!

They arrived at work today!! Wowww! Is that scarey or what?! I worked out that it's 8½ weeks till I stop work, 10 weeks tomorrow till I fly to London ... Lauren who I work with is going to housesit my house and Miss Mieke Pussycat (see sweet photo of her). So that issue is sorted!

8½ weeks also means it's 9 weeks till the event with Maharaji -woohoo! Can't wait! I'm running an internet centre at that - I'm sure there's stuff I should be doing now for that!! And Wendi and Jack (from Portugal) will be arriving in about 5 weeks - god it's all rushing up at me!! I really need to get focussed and - yes, write another list <.grin>

Flew down to Sydney on Friday - met Mum at the tax accountants, and then met Johm, Jo and Peter for lunch nearby. Great to see them all again - I guess it'll be Christmas till we meet up again. Then Mum and I drove down to Bowral (countryside) for the rest of the weekend. Had a lovely quiet, not too cold weekend. Wasn't able to regale people at work with my usual horror stories of Bowral winter - frozen water in the bird-bath etc!

Class (ashtanga) tonight - really looking forward to that. It's been 2 weeks since I went to an actual class.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What Communication Skills?!!

Well, obviously the lessons learnt in my Communication Skills course haven't sunk in yet. (Either that or I need to practice them ) I'd booked one of our seminar rooms at work for lunchtime today to do yoga, and when Craig turned up for yoga there was a lecturer sitting in there! I couldn't shout at him so went chasing round the office to find out what was going on, inwardly fuming! Luckily he'd just been plonked there to look at some of his course materials and was easily moved to another room!

Anyway - soo good to do some yoga. Didn't go to class last night as wasn't feeling too good. So it's been almost a week ... my hamstrings were certainly telling me that! My head is nearly on the ground now in Prasarita Padottanasana A. I can touch the ground if I try for a second! I'm losing weight (mostly inspired by the need to do certain poses!), so things are getting better ...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

INFP ... "I dig my heels in and won't budge from my ideals"!!

Been a few days since I wrote. I went to a 2 day course from work last week - on Communication Skills! One of the main reasons I'd wanted to go on this was because you do the Myers-Briggs personality test and I've always wanted to do that! Turns out I'm an INFP - which is worked out like this:

Energy line:
Between Extrovert and Introvert I'm an Introvert (anyone who knows me knows that!!)
How I perceive things line:
Between Sensate and Intuitive, I'm Intuitive
Decision-making line:
Between Thinking and Feeling, I'm at the Feeling end
And the Structure line:
Between Judgemental and Perceiving, I'm more on the Perceiving side.

It was all really interesting! Once we'd been given the results, we were put into 3 groups and sent off to work out our design for a new university for 20 minutes. Couldn't quite work out the groupings at the time, but unbeknownst to us we'd been grouped according to our personality types, and it was quite amazing the way the results turned out! My group spent 20 minutes talking about the big picture, and ethical issues. Another group spent the whole time working on systems and rules and workplace issues. And the third one spent about 5 minutes working out how to keep staff happy, and then finished and when the convenor walked past, were busy doing deals on the side for freelance work!! We were all doing exactly what our personality types do!!

Anyway, it was a very interesting 2 days. Nice to be lifted out of my normal worklife too ... :)

Apart from that, I had to pay for my ticket on Friday - scarey!! But Singapore Airlines is going to put on some more fuel taxes next week, so this was the only way to avoid them! I'm already having to pay about $480 in taxes - can you believe it!!!

Yoga - been a bad week I'm afraid. I went to class on Monday evening, and did lunchtime yoga on Tuesday. But wasn't able to do any more during the week. Hopefully I'll manage to do some this afternoon, and then back to class tomorrow evening. I'll be really stiff at class if I don't do some today, that's for sure!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Windy Ekka weather

Only people who live in Brisbane will know what that means! In Australia, all the capital cities still have big Agricultural fairs/shows – and they’re a public holiday for people who live there. In Sydney it’s the Royal Easter Show. In Brisbane it’s the Brisbane Exhibition – known colloquially as the Ekka! It’s in early August, but the month or so around then are usually really windy – and that’s always known as Ekka weather. Not the sort of day to spend much time outside!

At yoga yesterday I got 2 new poses – kurmasana and supta kurmasana. I’m thrilled! Note I have not linked to supta kurmasana. It just seems completely ridiculous to imagine that I could ever do this!!! Though I guess I thought that about hasta padangusthasana which 3-4 years later I can do, even though not completely properly. Practicing at least 4 times a week (twice at class, and twice at work during lunchhour) has made a big difference to my practice.. My balancing is getting a lot better, and having straight legs in navasana has been a big boost to me. Yeah, I know it’s not a competition, but I have to say it does make me feel good! Specially when there’s so much else that I still can’t do!!

Off to meet my ex in a bookshop (Avid Reader) in Brisbane … I absolutely cannot spend any money!!!

Friday, July 08, 2005

London London London ...

omigod ... got home late-ish last night and the news started filtering through as I sat down. Tried to ring people in London but all the lines were engaged when I tried. So I ran to the computer and started firing off emails to friends and family there. Having sent them I checked my email and found emails from Judy (half sister) saying they were alright. Then checked this blog (OK, it's new, I'm a bit obsessive!!) and found that Wendy had put a comment here to say that she's OK too. Back to my email and further emails from both Judy and Wendy! What a relief ...

Reflecting on it all, and the reported calm acceptance (or at least not violent panic) of Londoners - I remembered when I lived in London and was actually in Harrods when that bomb went off there. I guess Londoners got used to bombs with all the IRA stuff that went on in the 80s. (And, as my mother would remind me, the Blitz during WW2!) You just have to get on with your life. After all you could get run over by a bus tomorrow! Doesn't have to be a bomb!!

However, it is one of those times when I feel very strongly the British half of my (dual) nationality!

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Thought I could cross another thing off my list of things to do, but turns out getting a mammogram was never on it ...:)

Still haven't found someone to housesit the house and Mieke (pussy cat) but I've put an ad in the University News, and sent blanket emails around. Hopefully someone will turn up.

Did yoga at lunchtime yesterday - I was the only one doing it (again!) Just did an hour, and took it easy as I was feeling a bit off. I'll do it again at lunchtime tomorrow, and then go to my normal Saturday afternoon class.

Still hanging out for iTMS to be released for Australia! A few weeks ago there were big announcements in the press - Russell Crowe had let something slip. But it all got put on hold because one of the aussie music companies decided to hold out. If that hadn't been announced and got us all excited I probably wouldn't mind so much, but it really pisses me off now. Mind you - probably a good thing it's not available yet. The temptation to download song after song would be extreme!!

Oh and another thing (this was crossed off the list!) On Monday night after class I went and spoke to the choir conductor for the choir I sing The Messiah with each Christmas. I've been worried coz I won't get back till about halfway through the rehearsal period for this year's performance, and wasn't sure that he'd allow me to join in just 2 weeks before a performance. But luckily, my enthusiasm won the day and he agreed! i've got the alto part on my iPod and will copy the music (words) and sing it to myself while I"m on holiday! I have done this before for a different choir concert, so know I can/will do it!! Singing in The Messiah every year is a big highlight for me - I just love it!! I think my Mum might be coming up from NSW to hear it this time ...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

have to start somewhere

So I guess it's here and today! Just got an email from Vishwanath in Bangalore saying I could do yoga and stay even though it's for less than 14 days (which is their current minimum period to stay) ...

I said in an email to Wendi on Sunday that this trip feels more real than the September event with Maharaji at the moment! Probably just coz I'm all excited about it - Judy emailed me asking if I'd like to go to Dublin for the weekend (to visit another of my un-met half-sisters) I've never been to Dublin and I'm thrilled!


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