27 January 2013

Guru Samsung

So my new mobile phone here in India is called "Guru Samsung"! This made me laugh a lot. No need to get up at 5am to practice yoga, read ancient texts, chanting, meditating etc... Just get yourself a guru in the form of a mobile phone ;)

25 January 2013

Home Sweet Home Mysore... what's changed?

So I have finally arrived in Mysore after an EPIC journey (both physically and metaphorically).

I have the same room in the same apartment and practising yoga in the same shala with the same teacher as I did 11 months ago. A lot has happened in those months but especially in the past few weeks.

When I registered at the shala I mentioned to Sharath that I have a healing wound in my chest. He gave me a reasonable time slot and told me to "take it easy". First two days of practice were on the stage. When placed here last year I was terrified. Having been through bigger issues since, I really didn't bat an eyelid -What's changed? I have Gratitude! 

22 January 2013

Chandos House - beautiful hotel in London

Last weekend my husband and I decided to have a "mini break" and go and stay in a hotel.
We didn't have a weekend to spare and didn't want to drive far, so we booked into this beautiful central London hotel called "Chandos House".

Chandos house is a beautiful grade 1 listed town house, situated between Portland Place and Oxford Circus in central London. Its a small 17 bedroom hotel and a real hidden gem. It has lots of function rooms and is often used for medical conferences. It would make a stunning wedding venue for a London bride.

You will not find this hotel advertised in many places, so if you're looking for a night in town, contact them early. To book http://www.chandoshouse.co.uk/contact-us.aspx

21 January 2013

Yoga Dog

Phew! That was a hot and sweaty yoga practise... Better get me some coconut drink.

20 January 2013

Heathrow airport terminal 5 snow chaos

So I should be sunning myself in India right now, but because London had some snow I am still waiting to start my journey.

Yes, I was one of the many sat on the tarmac at terminal 5 for 7 hours on Friday waiting to be de-iced, blow dried and all the other scenarios we were told were happening to the plane. British Airways had looked after me when boarding the plane, and had allocated me two seats to myself (as I am recovering from a medical procedure). Having had the week from hell and not being able to control the outcome, sitting on this flight was fairly minor in the greater scheme of things.

I understand we have no control over the weather but many European cities deal with snow on a daily basis, so I don't understand why an airport as large as this one gets it so wrong.

We were shipped off the plane and left to our own devices. There was no information whatsoever. After waiting a couple of hours for my baggage, I overheard someone say "no more bags will be coming out". Having left the baggage hall, I tried to speak to a member of British Airways staff. I was given a number to call and told to make my own arrangements. All the enquiry lines were either closed or busy. I'm one of the lucky ones as  I didn't have to sleep in the airport. My knight in shining armour (my husband) came on his trusty stead (an Audi) and took me home. So now I am booked on another flight leaving on Monday. I have no luggage as its now "in the system" somewhere???

I have been told to turn up early for my flight on Monday and they will try and find my bag. I am all for trusting things will work out, but given the state of terminal 5 on Friday, I am not entirely convinced this will happen. I am flying to Bangalore and then have a 3-hour taxi ride to Mysore. Fingers crossed for me that I will have some clothes when I get there.

07 January 2013

A Remarkable Man

On Friday the 4th of January, I attended the celebratory funeral service of a truly "remarkable" man. An academic scholar, who spoke 5 languages, and was awarded many accolades for his services both in the UK and abroad. At 81 he swam and windsurfed and indeed had the greatest enthusiasm and passion for life of anyone I have ever met (except for his wife).

All of these things mentioned would be fantastic things to be remembered by; but for me I will remember him for the following:
  • His compassion
  • His humility
  • His love for his family
  • His interest in everyone's life
  • His love of art and opera
  • His acceptance of all beings
  • His ability to encourage his children and grandchildren to be who they wanted to be
  • His large gin and tonics and his passion for cooking
We visited him in hospital a week before he died and - despite being very unwell - he was surrounded by his children and grandchildren and when one of them asked "what does namaste mean?", he knew the answer but was too unwell to articulate it. A gentleman and a scholar. I don't know if I will ever meet anyone quite like him again but feel honoured to have known such a wonderful man.

A quote from him in his younger days as a hitch-hiker, that seems to express his philosophy in life. "When I hitch-hike, I put myself in the hands of chance. I go wherever the next car takes me, which is often quite a long way. It is fatal to plan your whole journey in advance, because at some point you are bound to be disappointed: whereas if you make no plans at all you are often pleasantly surprised."

04 January 2013

Words of wisdom: when times are hard.

A beautiful saying for when times are difficult:

"Bear patiently, my heart, for you have suffered heavier things"