Thursday, May 27

Wk 21...Time to Get Out of My Own Way

"I will always find that optimistic way out of a bad situation. You want to take me on, take me on - because I will win! There were certain realities in our life that couldn't be changed. We could sit around and cry about it, or we could find a way around the roadblocks. Our answer to every setback, sorrow, and upheaval has always been to push back, try harder, be smarter. We weren't afraid of failing - only stopping, of giving up. Losing is worthwhile if you learn something from it, but quitting is the defeat of hope."

- Linda Armstrong Kelly (the mother of Lance Armstrong)

So much has happened in my head in the last couple of weeks. It's been cathartic.

It was hard for me to admit to my feelings last week, especially online. However, I feel it's important to be transparent. The truth is, I have alot of people who tell me how I inspire them, and some days I wonder why. Especially when I struggle myself with some of the same issues. As one of my mentorees said to me recently, when I said that some days I don't feel like much of an inspiration (thanks - you know who you are)..."It shows that you really are human". I think if we were perfect, we wouldn't have that same connection with people. It's our shared experiences that enable us to reach out to others and empathise. And as I've come to realise after doing quite a bit of reading lately, that it's all about giving hope.

In the last couple of weeks I've read two autobiographies, and I've been incredibly moved during both....'Full Circle - One Life,Many Lessons ' by John McLean. He was the first paraplegic to compete and finish in the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon; he won a silver medal in the Beijing Olympics (in rowing), he swam the English Channel. And he's Australian! The other is, 'It's Not About the Bike' by Lance Armstrong, no introduction necessary, I'm sure.

I love reading autobiographies because they are real stories of people overcoming. There's some truly amazing stories, and they leave you wondering what's so difficult about your own life. Sometimes, our own challenges pale in significance and reading these stories helps to put my own life and challenges into perspective. It's important to do that periodically.

If you're going through a particularly challenging period, I encourage you to look beyond your own life and focus on others, because that will bring things into perspective for you, and hopefully give you the inspiration, motivation, impetus...whatever, to help move you beyond 'yourself'. I love reading other people's stories, because they give me 'hope'.

So that's what I've been doing. I've made some important decisions recently, as hinted to in my last post.

On the weekend I went bush for the army for a range weekend (shooting). I don't know if I've told you this, or whether you remember me saying this before, but I suck at weapons firing! If you were my enemy in a war, you would have no reason to fear being shot by me (without a firearm, sure...I'll take you on)! So I struggled once again. We don't get the opportunity to work on our marksmanship skills very often, and the pressure to remember everything you've been taught is ever-present. We have to be tested in our weapons safety and handling, and that in itself is stressful when you only touch a rifle every few months, or a machine gun once in a blue moon. There's also something about 'live firing' that gets me nervous. So the whole weekend was full of emotional ups and downs, while I grappled with self-doubt and the fear of failure. Once I'm up on the range and firing I'm fine (even though I still can't hit a target very well), but it's all the lead up and testing beforehand that gets me all churned up inside.

The thing is, everyone experiences similar nerves, but I tend to take things very personally when I don't do as well as I expect. I've always been used to learning things pretty quickly and excelling. Weapons are a whole different kettle of fish, and it bugs and frustrates me that I can't seem to get this. It really affects my confidence, and I hate that!

I'd had a gutful of feeling like this, and the thing is, as long as I'm in the army, this is not going to go away until I do something about it. So I went searching for solutions and I've come up with something that has helped me feel better about myself and this particular skill.

I've decided to join a Rifle club!

I made some enquires and spoke to a very helpful man in the Qld Military Rifle Club. He's ex-army officer and we spoke at length about my particular challenges and how the club may be able to help. They only deal with bolt-action rifles (it's illegal to use semi-automatic weapons, which is what the army use), but he said that regardless, the marksmanship principles are the same. So next month I'm going along to a practice session to meet the club members and talk to a few people I think may be able to help me. I'm hoping that with regular weapons handling and firing and understanding how I can improve in a more relaxed and supportive environment, I will become proficient and I can finally start to enjoy something which everyone seems to!

And on Saturday I meet with my exercise physiologist to devise a training plan working around my hip injury and other limitations. Again, I've been given hope that I can overcome my current challenges with the correct approach, and for the first time this year, I'm starting to think about and focus on my goals, and I'm starting to feel that flicker of determination again, like I had last year. I'm starting to actually believe that 'The Year of the Sexy Bitch' is still within my grasp. And I'm starting to get excited by those mental images of where I want to be!

I've been deliberating on so many things, unnecessarily, and as Craig Harper eluded to in a recent post, it's time to get out of my own way and become part of the solution. Time to stop thinking and doubting and JUST DO!
* Weigh-in...61.9kgs! Army weekend...rations...lots of carbs...horrible stuff!

Wednesday, May 19

Wk 20...Not Myself

The last week has been a real doozy. In this process of 'Discovering My Best Me', I forgot to remind myself that some things take time, and as much as I thought that I'd figured things out and could get on with things immediately, the opposite has been true. There was a bit more struggle yet to come and one that had me come to some more realisations. No doubt there'll be a bit more unravelling yet. But I'll just have to deal with it as it comes.

The problem with listening to what your body is telling you, is that it can be very confronting.

So...after deciding to temporarily ditch Crossfit and return to a commercial gym, there was still one area I hadn't dealt with...the Army stuff...physical that is. It's the last kink in the chain of my recovery (or so I thought...more about that later).

I'll be frank...the AA is not for cry babies! So if you like sympathy and positive reinforcement - don't join the army!
Okay...okay...I'm over-dramatising this a little. And here's the thing...12 months ago I relished the thought, but today, 12 months later, I'm apphrehensive. This hip injury has affected me more than I thought. I'm so anxious about training these days, and especially about the army stuff.

I took care of the 'unknown' factor in Crossfit, and I needed to take care of the 'unknown' factor in the AA, which is difficult. It's made more difficult, because I've made it that way. I put so much pressure on myself to do everything that's asked of me, even with this injury. And when I can't physically do something, I feel...well...inadequate. I hate the fact I can't put my best foot forward. But the reality of the situation the moment I just can't do some things at the moment. It's been really screwing with my head!

I have a 15km forced march coming up in June. It's held every year. Now, this isn't just any leisurely stroll, you're pushing yourself to keep up the necessary stride (hence the name, 'forced march'), because you usually have a time limit to complete it in. I'm not too sure what it is.

Now don't get me wrong, despite this, I actually love being in the Aa, and I think it's because they do tend to push you out of your comfort zone, and don't take any shit. I enjoy the discipline and what the army stands for. I also believe in what they do and the bigger purpose of why they do things the way they do.

But at the moment, I feel like a cry baby.

I've been so anxious about this march, because after our Tuesday night sessions, just doing practice for the forced march with webbing and rifle I've been struggling. My hip and right side, is sore and I experience spasm in my lower back and pain, for days afterward. And I'm not even carrying a load yet! To make matters worse, this has then been affecting my normal training, or my 'return' to normal training.

I've also been experiencing extreme fatigue. It's taking me days to recover and I'm exhausted all the time. I sleep for 10 hours and still feel like shit when I wake up. Some nights I can't sleep, because I'm anxious about training or AA PT, wondering if I'm going to hurt myself and jeopardise my recovery. I appear fairly calm on the surface, but I've been going through emotional periods, where I want to cry at the drop of a hat. And it's usually only when I'm thinking about having to approach a hard training session or AA PT session...I'm that apprehensive.

Needless to say...I am not myself!

My body is telling me it needs a break. I'm not too sure what's going on. I thought it was just maybe a little tiredness, but I've been experiencing fatigue since the start of the year, and it's been getting worse. Even while training, I physically can't seem to put in the same intensity. And the emotional stuff is a recent occurrence. I think it's mainly from going over stuff in my head and feeling apprehensive all the time about injuring myself further.

Anyway...I'm still pushing through and keeping my body moving. Nutrition is fairly good, and I have to say that because of Ideal Bodies Online and the programs I've completed, it's helped me keep a handle on things. I've integrated the program principles so well, that some things, like nutrition are taking care of themselves. I haven't done any emotional eating or felt the need to, and I'm so aware of what's happening (through education and mentoring), it's allowing me to be able to observe myself from afar and approach things with more insight and acceptance. It's given me the tools to help overcome these current challenges, and I don't think I would have handled things as well, if I hadn't done the programs. I'm still keeping my weight at a good level, considering my lack of consistent, high intensity exercise, and that's a testament to the program.

You probably think I'm a basket-case. Today is a good day. I have felt better in the last few days because I've made some more decisions, one of them was to take some steps to get to the bottom of my fatigue levels. I saw my Chinese bone doctor on Saturday, which helped reduce the pain and tension in my lower back, hips and right hand side in general. He also said that my liver is a problem and something Thyroid. Hmmm...maybe that has something to do with my fatigue. So I had some blood tests on Monday with my western GP, and I get the results back on Friday. I don't expect it will show anything though. I've never had any problems with my thyroid or anything like that. Maybe it's all in my head!

I also made the decision not to do the forced march. As much as I feel like I'm 'piking', I don't need this right now. I need to get on top of my injury. I was told recently that I didn't have to do the march (or subsequent pre-training prep) to be compliant in the army. That's been a huge relief. So once I find out the results of my blood test, I can bring everything together and start formulating a program and plan for recovery.

Phew!...glad I got that off my chest.

* change.
* a plug for my new blog...Recipes in Richness

Thursday, May 13

Wk 19 & Discovering Your Best You

"Don't give up.
Sometimes you don't get it right the first time.
But keep going, keep chasing your dreams
because the journey
is just as important as the destination."

- John Maclean

It's been apparent that this year has been one of struggle for me so far. Has it been enjoyable?...heck no! Has it been easy?...hell no! Has it been a worthwhile lesson? Definitely!

It feels wonderful to be on top of the world...when everything is going right for you. You feel in your element and you never want that feeling to stop. You think it's going to last forever.

But know this...whatever goes up, must come down. Life is a continous roller coaster ride, so you better enjoy it when you're sitting at the top of the ride. Hopefully, there'll be more peaks than troughs, and there'll be some time spent in-between, where it seems that things are neither going forward nor backward.

I keep thinking back to when I felt at the top of the ride, only 12 months ago. It's when you're in the midst of struggles, trying to find your way out that you resort to thinking of the good times, or when you otherwise felt at your best, hoping to find the answer to the question of why you are, where you are at this moment in time.

I think that's really important to do. To stop and re-assess where you're going. It's so easy to get caught up in life and then be carried along, thinking that you're on the right path, and getting closer to your goals.

So how do you know when you're not getting closer to your goals? You listen to listen to your listen to your thoughts and what that voice is saying. Not only in your head, but in your heart....really listen. Sometimes your desire to achieve your goals can drown out those voices in your head and weaken the pulse of the messages your heart is conveying, to the point where your desire drowns out your intuitive calls for help.

"Errors become mistakes when we perceive them and respond to them incorrectly.
Mistakes become failures when we continually respond to them incorrectly."

- John C. Maxwell

You would think that after making the same mistake in years gone by, that I would have learnt from those. But you know, sometimes you don't even realise that you're doing it. I just caught myself doing just that, except it's taken me six months of hard lessons and alot of learning.
To be honest, I thought that I was getting closer to my goals.

However, when I think more deeply about it, I failed to heed the saying that I said I would heed..."To Thine Self be True". Or rather, maybe I didn't fail. I am heeding those's just taken me longer to recognise my failings.

You're probably wondering what the hell I'm talking about! I'm jibbering in riddles again.

I'm talking about how I've been training for six months and what I've been doing. I'm talking about my decision to shelve (thanks to Deanne for that word) Crossfit (temporarily...who knows), and get back on track, and listen to what my body is telling me.

I've done this before....listened to someone else and taken on board their words and committed myself to achieving goals based around their ideals, rather than working towards goals based on my own ideals. And thinking that it would be the only option that was best for me.

Of course, it's important that we try different things to discover who we truly are. But at some stage, if your intuition is telling you that something is amiss, you need to listen, because when it's screaming out to you, it means that maybe, just maybe, this isn't what's best for you after all.

We think that someone else's path, is the path you need to be taking, to be the best you. I've learnt that being the best you isn't about playing someone else's game. It's about finding your niche in life...finding your strengths and passions, and then following that path...your path. It doesn't make you any less of a person. In fact, in helps you become more of the person you are meant to be.

"Some goals you achieve, others you don't.
In the end, it doesn't matter. The key is to keep on setting them."

- John Maclean

So I've been thinking about my goals again. And I've been thinking of the last time I felt my best. What was I doing? What is it that makes me feel uniquely me?

And you know what I came up with? Pre-Kapooka! and...Martial Arts.

You see...I went back to the gym on Monday night. Whoa! What an AHA moment! It wasn't as easy as I thought. I came to the realisation that 12 months ago I felt stronger...I felt fitter...I felt leaner. Of course, last year I was training 6 days a week, both doing weights 3-4 days and cardio 6 days.

"...eighty per cent of success is rocking up. I know that to be true. You just need the courage to get into the game."

- John Maclean

So I have alot of work to do to get me back to that place, and my circumstances are slightly different with my current injuries, as well as my level of fatigue. But I'm optimistic that with a new program, that I can work myself back up again. I think the fatigue has alot to do with my state of mind too. My physio seems to think that it will only take me about 3 months with what I've got planned. I'm thinking more like 6 months. Fingers crossed hey?'s to getting back on track and listening to what my head and heart are telling me. And here's to continuing to discover my best me! I haven't quite figured it out, but I think I'm well on my way.
* Weigh-in: 60.4kg

Monday, May 10

Tough Decisions

“The point I am making is that things happen. I can’t change what occurred twenty years ago, but I have tried not to let it change who I am or what I love to do – and that’s sport. I’m not riding a bike competitively anymore – it’s only going to be recreational – but I’ve been a professional athlete for a long time. Riding a bike or paddling or whatever – whatever – I’ve kept on going, essentially because the love I had for exercise pre-accident didn’t change post-accident.”

‘Full Circle – One life, many lessons’, John Maclean

I made some tough decisions over the weekend. I struggled with those decisions on Friday. It’s the most I’ve struggled internally for a long time, and my emotional state was fragile. It felt like when I was pregnant and had all those hormones raging. I would cry at the drop of a hat. Things had been building, and I was hoping that what may possibly happen, might not happen, given some time and rest. When all was said and done, and I delved deeper into the reasons I was feeling like this, I realized that I couldn’t bring myself to make the decision I knew I had to make.

It was a turning point, which with the help of a good friend, became more clear, that it had to be turned. As she said, “Sometimes we have to go backward in order to move forward.”

So it is with a heavy heart that I have to change how I’m training. I’m been going backward for months, in the hope that my injury and subsequent weaknesses and imbalances would improve enough to maintain my genre of training.

Come Friday, I was still slightly in pain, still had slight headaches, was extremely fatigued, and my upper body still tense, even after two chiropractic adjustments. I was supposed to go to Crossfit on Friday night. But you know, I couldn’t bring myself to do it, because I kept thinking of how I’d be hurting, because I was so apprehensive about what might happen, as it was a for time workout. It’s difficult to control your technique and maintain form when you’re core supporting muscles aren’t firing properly and too unstable/weak to keep everything together, at prolonged high intensity. And I can’t help but give 110% in my workouts. I’m not the type of person to drop my intensity just because I have an injury. I would feel like I’m piking out on myself.

On Friday afternoon, I sat there trying to read my book and drink tea, procrastinating. And then I knew that I couldn’t go. My body was just not going to handle it. I was a mess. I cried a little. I sat there, and knew that this was just crazy. I shouldn’t feel like this. If I can’t even bring myself to train, then there is something wrong…I love to train! But you know, I’m just sick of hurting and feeling like this. Things had to change.

I can’t do Crossfit at the moment. There…I said it!

It’s just too much for my body to handle right now. I’m devastated. I mean, I know I was still very much a beginner, but I’ve had my heart set on this for a while now. The thought of not being able to do Crossfit has been eating at me inside.

What was even worse, the thought of going back to a commercial gym made me feel sick in stomach. My husband said he thought I might be posturing. Hmmm…maybe he’s right. Maybe I’m too full of myself.

So I went to the local gym. I felt sick. It was so spick and clean and polished. There was no grunge…no chalkdust…nobody panting with exhaustion from being hammered or about to puke….nobody dripping profusely with sweat. It all looked so perfect and felt so clinical!

I slept terribly over the weekend, running things over and over in my head.

I joined the gym on Saturday. Big decision!

I’ve spent the weekend getting my head around it all, and realizing once again that it’s not the end of the world, and telling myself this is temporary.

In the big scheme of things, it is (temporary). As I’ve said in earlier posts, I need to concentrate on getting my core super strong and having my upper and lower body muscles work in unison with my trunk. That’s not just happening at the moment, and I need to go back and work on rehabilitation, whilst maintaining muscle strength and endurance. I don’t want to lose what I have gained, but I know I can’t move forward unless I overcome my current weaknesses.

So I’m now looking at 12 months rehab, to be realistic, with the intention of going back to Crossfit.

The photo at the top is of John Maclean. I’m currently reading his autobiography, 'Full Circle'. His quote at the top of the page alludes to is what I’ve come to truly understand, in making my decision to change how I train.

This is the introduction to his site, to give you a little background on this extraordinary Australian…

“You can count on one hand those who've had what it takes to both swim the Channel and complete the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon, one of the world's most demanding tests of endurance. John has completed the Hawaii Ironman three times.

He represented his country at the 2000 Olympic Games.

In 2006 he took part in the invitation-only extreme endurance event Ultraman World Championships, in Hawaii.

He was recently invited into the sport of rowing. In September 2007 he and his rowing partner claimed a silver medal at the Rowing World Championships. and a GOLD in Italy at the International Regatta in April 2008. John went on to sensationally win a Silver medal at the 2008 Beijing games.

He's done all this from a wheelchair: John is paraplegic.”

You see, on Friday after my meltdown, I decided I needed to do something physical. I couldn’t do Crossfit, so I needed to do something. I got on the mountain bike (AW’s), and went for a ride. It felt good to feel the wind in my face, the burn in my legs, and my heart pumping fast. I haven’t been on a real bike for a very long time, and I’d forgotten that feeling of freedom. I felt better for the ride.

And that’s when I came to the realization that, as what John’s quote alludes too…it’s not about what I do physically. As long as I’m doing something physical! As long as I’m able to push myself and move my body, and most importantly, as long as I’m enjoying it, that’s all that really matters in the end. As my good friend said…being physical is part of my identity. As long as I’m being physical, I’m happy and content.

So I’ve been warming to the idea now of going back to the gym. There’s so much I can do, and the best part is, I can change my program to work around any physical limitations I may be experiencing at the time. If I’m a little too sore in my lower body and legs, I can switch to upper body and vice versa. I have more flexibility now and more control, to ensure that I don’t continually injure myself.

For the first time, in a while, I’m feeling motivated and excited to train again…and to me that makes all the difference!

As for what I’ll be doing, I’m not too sure at this stage, but stay tuned. I’ll be having a program made especially for me, by someone who understands exercise and rehabilitation. It will be in conjunction with my physio, and taking into account my current injuries and imbalances, and concentrating on my core strength, of which it will mostly revolve around.

So today I begin anew! I feel motivated...I feel optimistic...I feel energised...I feel excited about the possibilities!

Sunday, May 9

Mad Hatter's Garden Tea Party

"One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others."

- from 'Alice in Wonderland', by Lewis Carroll

Yesterday, we joined Alice and friends in the beautiful gardens of Trellaurel, in North Tamborine. We went along to two open gardens , and at Trellaurel we were treated to a pantomine of Alice in Wonderland, set amongst the three acres of gardens. It was performed by a local theatre group of children, and split into three scenes. It was just magical!

My favourite part of the pantomine was the Mad Hatters Tea Party, and you can see Philomena in the very first photo, sitting with the Hatter, the Doormouse, and the March Hare. She asked me, and then AW later, when she was going to be on stage. I've been nurturing her love of drama, and hope to keep her encouraged. I think Philomena will love acting and drama. I'm just waiting to find the right time to introduce her to formal classes.

This is Philomena having a go at Croquet. And below are some photos from the scene 'Pack of Cards'.

More photos from the garden of Trellaurel. The owner said it took her 24 years to create her beautiful garden, and she raised three boys amongst it, of which the tree house was their favourite part of the garden. She says she misses those days.

"What is the use of a book without pictures and conversations."

- 'Down the Rabbit Hole', Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

The following pictures are the from the scene, 'Down the Rabbit Hole'. It was performed around a beautiful pond in the gardens of Trellaurel, complete with striking purple water lillies and stepping stones.

Here is Philomena sitting on a bench underneath an enormous Camphor Laurel tree, which was also home to a tree house.

The path and entrance to Trellaurel.

This was the first open garden we went to called Magnolia Brae. It's 50 years old and was the first time it was opened to the public. Below are some photos from this beautiful garden which is known for its' deciduous trees...maples, dogwood, oaks, jacarandas, etc. And of course the magnolia trees were on full display, as well as the Camelia's. I've never seen them grow to such heights, as they are on Mt Tamborine. They are trees! And the blooms were so magnificent and rich in colour and variety.

This is actually the neighbouring property, but I just loved the cottage look and the flowering camelias, so I had to take a photo or three.

This is the rear of the garden. A beautiful outlook of the surrounding properties, forest and horizon.

A lovely spot beneath a magnificent Magnolia tree, overlooking the mountains.

A nice life and spot for the chickens, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 4

Wk 18 & Change of Seasons

Every year I dread the coming of winter, and even though I love snuggling up on the couch with a hot cuppa on a cold, rainy day, the reality of it is...I hate the cold! At this time of the year though it is just lovely, and today as it rains, I'm scrolling through my most memorable images of autumn. This year, it's been especially lovely being somewhat warmer than normal.

As said, last week I took the week off and with it, alot of the pressure I've been putting myself under. Routine went out the window, and my presence on facebook and blogland was very scant, and I noticed, not missed.

I took the opportunity to get in touch with my senses and more in tune with the simple things around me. On Saturday morning, Phil and I went to Nielsen's Native nursery at Loganholme. It's a beautiful nursery and has a coffee shop, as well as an aquarium shop, all manner of plants, pots, water fountains and features, a beautiful pond and bridge, exquisite garden sculptures and all things gardening. Needless to say I was in heaven, and Phil had a wonderful time exploring the nursery and all it's little surprises, like gold fish, carp, and a cheeky little frilly necked lizard which decided to sun itself on top of a huge boulder, as we sat and had morning tea.

Above is a picture of a Camelia sasanqua called Marge Miller. It's quite unique in that it's the first ground cover Camelia. I bought one to put at my front entrance as they're great for pots, and when a little larger will spill over, and produces an abundance of beautiful double pink flowers. I bought another Camelia which will grow to about 3m. I also bought Salvias, and Azaleas and an array of herbs for cooking...Sweet Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, and a lovely verigated Oregano. So I was in my element planting. I also topped up the garden with lovely free, organic mulch, compliments of all the leaf litter on my carport roof and in the gutters (which was chockers), which I spent about 2 hrs just doing that. The things we do for garden mulch!

And yesterday afternoon I took Philomena to the Eagleby Wetlands where we did a 1km river walk which I'm sure was longer than 1km. We played in the park and she ran, and ran, and ran, chased butterflies, swung on the swing; took in all the lovely sights...swans, ducks, other birds..walked alongside Albert river, etc. We had a lovely time soaking up the tranquility...well I did anyway. Philomena was too busy talking or chasing she does. :)

So I had a beautiful, restful weekend and it helped me regain my composure and focus on what's important. Part of that for me is being true to who I am and what makes me feel like me, and that's inextricably tied to my health and fitness. So you know, I still want to be a 'Sexy Bitch' in 2010. So I sat down and really thought about what I need to do to achieve what I want. It's all a matter of making a plan, and continually focusing on what I want to feel and look like. In amongst that of course, I still need to stop and take the time to enjoy other areas of my life. This morning I weighed in at 60.2kgs. So it's all good, and I'm back on track! I've been back on my Ideal Bodies Online nutrition program too. I'm just experimenting with the fat portions, as I did find my energy levels were too low. On the Zone diet, my skin flared up and I started packing on the weight again. Mostly because I just couldn't stop eating those damned macadamia nuts - they were starting to put an end to my lean days! I changed back to my IBO nutrition plan because I'd realised that it works for me.

Okay...more autumn memories. It goes without saying...FOOD, FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD!

Yes, we're coming into those months more famous for COMFORT EATING...he..he..he...It's definitely one of life's greatest pleasures. And as I explained to someone recently, we have to start to thinking about food a little differently, especially when we're concerned about gaining weight.

For me, rather than think about gorging myself on food, as I used to do, food or the sharing of food is more about the event itself and bringing together people who are important in our lives and sharing our experiences and the joy of being together. The simple act of sharing a meal is about defining moments that encapsulate how we feel about life and the people in it, in all its' richness and variety.

So I've been thinking more about preparing some beautiful meals for us to sit down and enjoy as a family. Friday nights we sit down, just us three...we turn off the television, we give thanks for what we have to eat, and we share our week. This is a little ritual that I've begun, and it usually revolves around beautiful tasting, and beautifully presented food. It just makes it all the more memorable.

The last photo is a scene from one of my favourite movies, Chocolat. This would have to one of my favourite scenes where Judi Dench is celebrating her birthday and the town folk come together in all their diversity and share a beautiful, exotic, meal ('Quails in Chocolate Sauce'). It's not just because it's about just love all the elements of this movie and how it captures those feelings that I said before, that revolve around the simple act of sharing a meal, and allows us to experience such simple pleasures. The french feel and exquisite richness is so abundant in this movie.

Anyway...gotta go. Maybe you can think about what you love about Autumn and hopefully you might share it with us. Have a great week!


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