Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Busy Week, A New Page, A New Recipe and the Giveaway

Where is the week going? Talk about flying by at lightening speed! We have been out every night except Tuesday so far, and we are out tonight and tomorrow as well.

Last night we were in London at a talk by Richard Bandler, the co-founder of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). It was a fascinating seminar and I learned an awful lot. There were 350 people there!
Of course, you never agree with everything any speaker says, but it was very interesting indeed. I am using some of the techniques he discussed today and they are very effective!

I had met my husband earlier in the evening in a very rainy Regent Street so that we could head over to the West Brompton hotel where the seminar was being held together. I’m fascinated by London in the rain - and how busy London streets turn into a sea of umbrellas. Coming up the stairs from the tube station, there is a huge human traffic jam as people stop on the top step to open theirs. It’s a challenging task as the street in front of them is full of people trudging by with their own brollies, and you have to find a tiny space in which to open yours, hopefully without impaling anyone or poking them in the eye. This generally involves having to stand on tiptoe and attempting to open your brolly as high above the heads travelling past you as you can. It’s a dangerous thing, as if the brolly gets caught you will be dragged along with the crowd, who are generally (through some weird twist of fate) all heading in the opposite direction from that in which you want to go. Finding a space big enough to hold both you and your umbrella, which allows you to join the crowd and move along your desired path can take some time. All the while you are being jostled by the crowd behind, who quite rightly want to get up to street level as well! Once you are out in the sea of people, navigating along the pavement is a seriously challenging task as people dart here and there clutching their umbrellas, never seeming to follow a straight path. Just as you have gotten used to this strange dynamic, you will see an umbrella approaching that is twice the size of the person holding it - usually a golf umbrella - heading dangerously towards you at what seems like great speed. It’s like a weird game of dodge ‘ems or bumper cars played by people holding umbrellas of all sizes and shapes on some of the busiest streets in the world. Ah, London....

Tonight and tomorrow night see us at The Reading Comedy Festival, which has been held annually for the last six years. This year there are over sixty performances during a two week period, from big names like Alistair McGowan and Jimmy Carr to young performers looking for their first big break. There are also comedy workshops and even plays, like Victoria Wood’s “Dinner Ladies”. It’s a wonderful festival, and well worth a visit if you live anywhere nearby.

By the way, lots of you have emailed me to ask about tips for surviving (and hopefully thriving!) during the recession so now there is a new page on to check out - Recession Busting. If you have any tips you think I have missed, do be sure to email me on the usual address -

And don’t forget to enter this month’s Giveaway. I’ve had lots of entries already, so be sure to get yours in before the closing date - Monday 26th October. Remember you don’t have to live in the UK to enter - the last giveaway winner was from Portugal.

Oh, and check out a really yummy new recipe I developed this week - Maple Pecan and Apple Loaf. It’s a delicious, not too sweet Autumn loaf that is somewhere between a “bread” and a “cake” - plus its low sugar content and the addition of whole wheat flour mean it is good for you too! It’s on my Food Blog - to see it, click here.

Got to go now - see you later in the week!