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Site Diary 2008


Nothing new at the moment!

25th December - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You All!

My Dear Ladies and friends, I'm wishing you the most wonderful, peaceful and happy Christmas ever! I again will have to keep it a bit short this week- the office move is almost done and during this last hot phase, all that was on my mind were names, key numbers and that hopefully I wouldn't forget anything. So the Christmas spirit really missed to catch me this year.

How can one get into the

Christmas spirit

when the garden is doing that?

Flowers, bumblebees, and traces of snail and catterpillar action

- very weird -

All pictures taken on 24th December!

But now at least our Christmas Eve dinner is sorted and tonight I'm going to have a web cam session with my mom. It's the third year now that we unwrap the parcels we've sent earlier this way and we are both looking forward to what has become sort of a tradition. And for the rest of Christmas: Well, I think I'm going to sleep a lot!

On the 29th it is one more big push in the office, on New Years Eve we are going to have a Raclette feast with friends - hoping to have a few pictures and dinner ideas for you for next week - and then I'm having time off until the 5th.

And then - as predicted - we are already going into the next Race for Life round. I got an email last week to register interest which some of you might have got as well. So get prepared.

But for now keep the Christmas spirit high, despite the odd warm weather and all the flowers and creepies around. Stay fit and healthy and see you next year!



Slightly ruffled and pale, but happy

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18th December - Another year gone by

Proof that the sun did not get stolen. It was just hidden away for almost a week.

I can't believe that there is only one more edition for this year and then I will have to open the Site Diary file for 2009! Although there have been a few rather 'thin' Thursdays because I had a cold or there have been things like the office move from keeping me being really creative, we didn't miss a single one. 52 entries like pearls on a necklace - I'm rather proud of this.

However, for next year I will have to find some new challenges. I will be at Fuerteventura - again, and we will of course have our Race for Life - again, but it's the third year round and we will have to be careful not to become boring. Incredible Ladies is still a lot about 'good old Rika' and I really would like to have a bit of fresh blood rejuvenating the site.

Well, and then there is the layout! Most of you like the style, but it is too uncomfortable to find stuff - even I get lost sometimes.

Something has to happen about that - IL has to become more modern without losing the personal touch. Carine already sent me tons of good tips and links which are still sitting in a special folder in my mailbox. I will have to take some time and see what I can do with this wealth of information.

Again! Please send me your pictures, articles, ideas and comments. This edition will - again - be a thin one. We still haven't finished the office move and apart from shortness of time my creativity is a bit constraint at the moment. All there is in my head are telephone and desk number, names and how many boxes I will have to pack. That takes a bit the wit out of things and my antenna are not as alert to pick up on issues that might be relevant to IL.

So I'm hoping you will bear with me a bit longer for the benefit of my office people. At least they will find a houseplant garden on their desks. We have something like 30 rather big plants for about 60 desks and at the moment I am re-potting them and finding them their new homes - and I can't even show you a picture of how great that looks because pics are not allowed in the office. Shame!

Nevertheless, when Nury wrote a column about 'living the dream' I couldn't help but put my two cents to it, and then there were some headlines in the news inspiring a column which is hitting the same buttons as one of my articles from some weeks ago.

And now we are having the last Afternoon Tea of the year 2008 this Friday and I am looking forward to some candles and a nice cuppa with friends.

I'm wishing you a contemplative Christmas time, a lot of fun and happiness and if you are travelling, travel safely!



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11th December - Count Down to Christmas

Hmm, I think I'm becoming a Christmas bore. Last year it was the first time that we didn't do Christmas. I was a great fan of it before, but with no kids or family around, cats eating the tinsel and bugs coming into the house with the fresh tree, we gave it a shot to not have Christmas. I rather wanted to spend time writing for IL and Detlef wasn't such a huge fan of if anyway. He allways called the Chistmas tree something like a 'lighting device'.

So I was promised: If I would miss it, I could have it back this year. Well, I have to say that I didn't really miss it. I loved not having to move my bookshelf out of the way to make space for the tree, I cherrished the time saved by not climbing into the attic to get the decorations down and not having to polishing the tree.

And this time round everything is a bit messed up anyway. We are moving office at work and with a bit of luck that will happen between Christmas and New Year. So no time really to enjoy a long and peaceful break. The odd thing is that I love organising this move. I'm entirely in my element getting things right so that we can go back to a nice and well organised place after the hols. Hence I can't really claim to be in a Christmas spirit, and hence we are going to skip it for another year. Sorry, again I won't have a tree picture for you. Why don't you send me your pictures? I'd love to see your trees.

There is one inhabitant of my house who is not agreeing with my approach to the festive season. The Christmas Cactus which is sitting on top of the aviary is just about to open the first flowers. Two weeks to go and bang on time. Every summer I think that this chappy is going to die in the heat - it looked so sad, but it never fails to surprise me.

Well, and Nury has a column about Asian books and authors and gives a few recommendations which might be helpful for the ones of you who are still looking for some Christmas presents.

Given my non-spiritual mood it won't surprise you that this weeks column is more a pep talk on how to become successful - well, some of it might work for the family visits as well - although it was mainly triggered by my experience with the half marathon. I'm still very taken by the achievement of our ladies and I have to put on a bit of sackcloth and ashes: I got their times wrong.

They were quite a bit faster due to the fact that they went through the start well after the first ones had taken off. So that is fixed on the video now.

So off I go into another week of furniture labelling and packing boxes, and I'm wishing you a wonderful time and great ideas for your Christmas parties!



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4th December - What makes people tick!?

I always was interested in what makes people tick, and at the moment there are a lot of things happening which make me wonder, but learn from. It is amazing what happens when one hangs ones nose into the wind, and to see the reactions of different kinds of people. Actually it is less scary than I thought it would be - supporting my claim that one has to get the rear up and DO something. I find my previous thoughts regarding 'What's the worst to happen?' still very true and more helpful than ever.

This weekend I was lucky enough to see two wonderful examples in action. Two dear friends attended the Norwich Half Marathon, and although I personally think that they are a little bit mad - you know that I am very proud to just survive the 5K of Race for Life - I now have an inkling why one would want to do that. In visiting the event and taking in the atmosphere I became very envious of them. I can understand their need for the challenge and the wish for wanting to push the boundaries. And they didn't just think about it: They actually did it!

Oh well, we people are funny creatures; so much in need for safety and security that we have developed weird habits. On my last travel I observed the seating patterns at airport gates which actually deprive us of a lot of opportunities to get to know new people and possibly gain some new friends.

Another lady once wrote a blog on Myspace about her photo project: 'Ask 100 strangers if for shooting their portrait' Well, I quite like that idea. Maybe my new challenge, given that over the Christmas break I eventually will starting to get the hang of my new camera. Times just have been too busy.

I hope you are all right and on schedule with your plans for Christmas.

Enjoy the glitter and if you live in a cold country the frost and probably even some snow. Send me a picture, please! Here we only get a bit of sleet when we are lucky. And my garden is rather drab now - I'm running out of photo ideas at the moment.

Any support appreciated; please send to



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27th November - Looking forward to Norwich

Got those from hubby!

Isn't he sweet?

I only have been to Norwich once when we had a proper tourist trip during a visit of Detlef's mum. This time it will be different since we are going to watch the Norwich Half Marathon. Cross fingers that the weather will be decent and that I will get a few nice shots and probably even a little video to show you. And then there is the new mall - well, it's not that new anymore, just that we didn't get round to going to Norwich again. I already did most of my Christmas shopping at 'Off The Wall Accessories', but who knows...

And we might come across my new little travel laptop which is called 'netbook' these days. Luckily we delayed the purchase. Now there is a competitor on the market which might suit me even better. It is Acer vs. Samsung now. We will have to see with which I will end up.

Well, the trip will do me good. My head is getting a wee bit confused now after dealing with several weeks of organising office move at work while keeping IL up and running at least to a minimum. I hope I haven't lost my wit entirely since my mind is wrapped around desk and telephone numbers at the moment - not really creativity enhancing I have to say.

Funny thing though is that when a bit tired and on doing rather repetitive things the brain comes up with stuff of it's own. Apparently some brain cells found it utterly important that I would elaborate on the matter of ''Present, Past and Future'. Don't ask! It just so happened, and who am I to not comply to what my grey matter is telling me. I am a Gemini after all - might be my twin talking there... or I may go a bit bonkers.. who knows?

Best have a look for yourselves and come to see me on Friday for this month's Afternoon Tea.

Now! As promised I have the update on the latest season at Nyx and Holly Blue. They have 20% Off sale, so when you are in the area: It's worth having a look!

That is all I came up with this week, hope to see you on Friday and otherwise have a lovely weekend, only buy what you really want to buy - remember the 'reverse shopping' - and hopefully meet you here again next week safe and sound: Steer clear of the bugs!



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20th November - Christmas Shopping Well Underway

Last week I had my hairdressers appointment in Woodbridge a cute little town next to the one where I live. This is always a dangerous day because this little hamlet is extremely good shopping.

The main shopping strip called the 'Thoroughfare' has my hairdresser at one end and the car park at the other, so I come past all the 'important' shops whether I want to or not.

I had promised myself to not drop into Holly Blue and Nyx - they are just too dangerously tempting - and stumbled over a '20% off sale' sign in the window. So I was a brave girl, went back the next day to take photos to update the site - which I will do next week - and didn't buy a thing.

For this week I found you something else!

I am a bit short of time these days and only have the capacity to do one story. At work my whole unit is moving desk and I'm working overtime like mad. So I decided to present to you the new shop first.

Stumbling out of the hairdresser I got stopped in my tracks by Poppy - the lady to the left. When I was young I had such a weird hat in brown and just loved it. Comfy and warm and somehow cute.

So in I went. Well, it turns out that Poppy has a companion called Sunshine - the lady to the right.

Apparently they got named after the two daughters of a customer who thought that these two beauties shouldn't be without a name.

So I got me a hat, although it is in more subtle colours and at a given time you may see a picture of it with me in it. But first we have to wait for winter! However, 'Off The Wall Accessories' is a brilliant little shop and very affordable.

That is actually all that happened this week. Organising move; getting hair coloured, missing my lovely red hightlights, but having to recover from too excessive colouring, before I can get new ones; having almost all my Christmas gifts sorted; and having to still tell you more about the lovely autumn range of Holly Blue and Nyx.

So my life is a busy one at the moment, although rather successful. The confidence I gained over the last year by training myself to just 'go' for things is paying off now and makes things much easier at work.

So I am a little bit of a Sunshine as well.

I hope you are too!

Until next week



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13th November - Spicing Things Up

Yay! I'm back!

I am feeling so good. It is amazing what one week of skipping sweets and cakes, choosing the lighter dishes over the heavier ones and going back to gym can do. But remember: The gym thing is my thing - yours may be something completely else, it basically is all about feeling good and hence being happy.

If you are happy, by all means, don't change a thing. If you are unhappy then do the things that make you feel good - and for me that just is the sport. And if you don't know what makes you happy: Then experiment! Do a course, go to the theatre or the cinema, or read a book.

Well, for me the right food and moving the old bones eventually got my body back on track, I reviewed my training plan and the new one is working so much better - and that radiates into the mind as well. But on some levels there had been a certain dullness not only recently. Being German and having been brought up a certain way I never saw a problem in addressing those matters (although I try to keep it subtle here) and now even the English telly is getting more and more open.

We have Trinny & Susannah fondling boops and Gok Wan letting women look good naked to then dressing them in figure shaping lingerie, Dawn Porter is having a bus load of topless ladies chauffeured around London and there even was a 'Sex Education Show' with Anna Richardson - which by the way was brilliant. Apart from loads of other stuff she explored ways of spicing things up - and not by using a cook book. Well, some of it was very interesting - I might consider a Burlesque dance course if I find one on offer in our area, but coincidentally I now found a way of my own. See: keeping eyes open for new things and experimenting is paying off!

I know that you might think that I've gone completely bonkers now. It all started very harmless. Really!

Just wanting to wind down a bit after gym to get bed-ready I was zapping through the telly channels and got stuck in a documentary on how to write romantic novels. Anything on 'how to write ...' catches my eyes and ears of course, and I got more and more fascinated.

So off I went and got me some books to research that matter, ... and oh my God, what a discovery!

Ladies, definitely worth trying!

Don't take them as literature, but something you would swap 'Sleepless in Seatle' or 'French Kiss' for. Some of the story lines are a bit weak, but one can hit a real jewel as I did with my first one. I might be and emotional wimp, but they have a 'feel good' factor - and if WE feel good: Anything is possible!



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6th November - IL on fire again!

Moritz was highly impressed by Trick&tTeat and safeguarded the door and the sweets.

Halloween was brilliant and hence worth a gallery of it's own.

Brrr... it's getting cold and wet now - hence the many pictures of mushrooms from my garden.

That is what I call a wet season. I have never seen something like it. If they were eatable - they may be, no idea and I'm not gonna try; they smell good, though - if they were eatable, they would feed a whole big family. Two different kinds and they are huge and they are everywhere. I like them they look pretty and I always wanted to have a wildlife garden - well, now I have one!

Talking of wildlife. The birds love the new feeder, and particularly the starlings are fighting over it. It's amazing, about foot from my nose they are not bothered at all.

After the summer break the start was a bit slow, but now IL are on fire again. I am back to the gym regularly and had a bit of an epiphany. Well, I did preach that before - sort of. But from time to time it's good when old news hit home again ...

And then this email flies into my mailbox telling me that our dear Imola has entered the Norwich Half Marathon. The brave girl!

Has anybody else entered? Let me know, please! I will definitely go to watch and cheer, would be nice to catch up and to meet there. So have a look at the mischief page and see if you want to join in. I will send an email round to our Ipswich Ladies as well.

I have to admit, tough - Norwich is great for shopping - so my mind is shifting a bit from the hard labour of running and cheering, to a bit of Christmas shopping afterwards. Bad girl, I know! I promise to do a lot of reverse shopping!

However, as I said: It is cold and wet! I just have recovered from the first cold of the season and tried every remedy possible, what worked rather well! So I worked two days from home, skipped a few gym sessions and felt pretty good quickly. Let's hope that this was the last one for a while.

Those I even can see from my window upstairs. This is the first year that I have them and I have no idea why.

Nevertheless I don't feel really tempted to go out for running at the moment. So I went back for an indoor rowing session, and now I'm sneakily trying to convince my dear running mate to better come rowing with me during winter.

There is some truth in my story that rowing is very beneficial for runners and helps to improve strength and fitness, ... and well, I'm just a better rower than runner, although I almost killed myself on this silly machine yesterday.

It's only when it is over that one feels really good. And today I'm carrying my muscle ache with pride!

With one last mushroom picture I say bye bye for this week. The first one with the zoom and the new camera from my window. It's the fungus from the picture above taken close-up with the small camera.

That is pretty amazing given that I don't have a clue how to operate the big camera. That gives hope for the future. For now I'm peckish for mushrooms...

Have a lovely rest of the week, a gorgeous weekend and stay healthy!



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30th October - Everything Squash

It's Halloween and for some reason this is all about pumpkins. They are a kind of squash which basically is all that stuff with a hard skin a layer of flesh and and loads of seed stuff inside.

Pumpkins are just a bit bigger than the usual squash, and although I'm not a fan of anything cooked out of pumpkin I very much like butternut squash. They often are used - like all the other varieties - for pickling, sweet-ish or rather mild dishes. However, for my taste they then are too - squashy.

So I have them baked with with nice spices and they really can take that! Have a look at my recipe of 'Stunningly Salacious Butternut Squash'.

And of course I have been carving some. Unfortunately this year was very wet and they are a bit tender. One always has a bit of a dilemma; either on buys early, has the full choice, but has to risk that they go bad; and on buying late there may be a lack of choice, and one might end up with something crooked, but at least there won't be foul bits.

Well, I chose to buy early and now have to improvise to cover the holes.

However, here is the movie of me carving one of my pumpkins. Not really exciting, but you can see me moving very fast...

Vinny has a new window board now, which he loves to sleep on in the morning sun.

Oh, and of course the Ipswich Ladies are going to have their Afternoon Tea on Friday - Halloween themed - and of course I do have enough sweets for the kids. I have to admit though, that hubby and I already killed the first batch and had to buy new ones. As a precaution I keep them in the garage now until Friday.

Due to the holes we decided that he is supposed to
look like the victim of a gunshot. On Friday I will see f
or a bit more decoration - hope I will get an idea!

Next week we will have to plan for a bit of Christmas shopping mischief, and I may have some weird advice on how to fight a cold.So have good Trick&Treat'n and hoping to see you on Friday!



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23rd October - Creating Brands

Evening sun from my window

Why do I always end up with columns about shopping? Probably I should go out more and have weird encounters in a social rather than a shopping environment. I guess funny or weird situations happen just too easily when strangers with different opinions on how the encounter is supposed to be executed are clashing - like me wanting to buy my travel computer. Well, that was before the credit crunch. I should try again now and see if the attitude in the shops has changed since people are not spending that easily anymore.

Although I still haven't bought the computer, I am a good citizen trying to help the markets to come up on their feet again and bought a horrendously expensive bird feeder today. I have no idea why two plastic bowls and an stick of metal have to cost 30 quid, but it came together with a bag of 'mealworm crumble' which had the painfully friendly face of Bill Oddie printed on it.

I guess that's what makes it expensive. This is called branded products, and once something is branded it can be much more expensive. Yep, I'm fully briefed and in the picture now. I attended a workshop on branding at work. But I didn't know that this makes such a BIG difference.

We should brand 'Incredible Ladies' better!

...and it's see-through!

However, I bought it anyway because it is the only birdfeeder that works. I already have one - and I'm pretty sure I didn't pay that much back then, probably they only realised later that they can charge much more and silly people like me would still buy it. I may as well have made the mistake in buying from the local pet store, but one has to do a bit of local store charity as well, right?

Well, the one I already own is used by loads of birds and there is no mess underneath. In the past every other bird feeder worked like a seeding machine for my borders , and this one is supposed to hang under the roof in front of the window of my new study - which by coincidence is just above the back door to the garden.

I may have to expect some bird droppings in the future, but at least I won't find a pile of bird food right in front of the door.

Talking of branding: Incredible Ladies is quite a bit out there now! I have accounts on almost every social networking site and some other more specialised sites. And I keep commenting on other people's blogs using the IL link whenever possible. So if you would like to help promote Incredible Ladies, then leave the link: wherever possible.

Mick the Cosmic Gypsy made his mark as well. He created a new MySpace website and was featured on a radio station. So he is having a 'Mick's News' page here at IL now. If you have a project running you would like to keep people updated on: Let me know about it!

And Babul one of our other contributors has done a quantum leap in the quality of his photography. He always was brilliant, but I think he has turned a corner now. He has his latest set on Flickr.

Well, and Nury is explaining the credit crunch for us.

Now I'm going to prepare for next week. I have to find a highly creative brain cell in my head for a new pumpkin design.

It's Halloween!

And it's about time that the big bowl of sweets that I already have waiting for all the witches and devils, is getting emptied - the temptation is just too big sometimes...

So see you all next week - be scared!



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16th October - Groats, Gourmants and Games

I admit this headline is a bit of a stretch, but it has 3 words in it with 'G' that are in this edition. A 'groat' is an old coin worth four old pennies, a 'gourmant' is someone who loves to eat - oh well, and the 'game' is the culprit which started this silly thing in the first place.

Oh how I love my new floor - sorry about bragging on about it, but I only realise now what I missed out on all those years. No more black sock fluffs neatly knitted into the bedroom carpet, no dust mice holding meetings in those corners where the hoover hardly reaches. Now it's a quick mopping and done and dusted. Yippieh!

Really, if there is something annoying in your life and you have an idea of how to abate the nuisance - do it quickly. Although the process might be a bit paintaking... get it done and over with. The reward is waiting for you. I have no idea why I didn't do this 3 years ago...

Talking of nuisance - anybody realised that the Christmas sweets are back in the shops? ... and guess what?

At least I skipped the icing sugar!

The first one to move in. This plant is with us since our first house-warming party 25 years ago and hence considered to be a family member.

I promised myself that this would be the only one this year. It has to be, no sport due to the renovating and having sweets wherever I could find them. Not good! So right now it's the cheesecake or nothing.

While checking through Nury's columns I found one about a new rather weird board game, and got inspired to dig a bit into my gaming history resulting in a column of my own. It will have to be up to you to decide which one you like better or if there shouldn't be a competition anyway. I just feel happy that I am more inspired again. Not having written a lot and having delayed sending the book manuscript out to more agents made me a bit uneasy and grumpy. What in turn doesn't help to fire up the wit needed to write good stuff. So I'm hoping the vicious circle is broken and we will have a lot of fun during this long autumn and winter ahead of us.

Ladies we really need to get out and do something nice!

Oh, one nice thing already happened. I got more coins. A whole bag full of small change, almost 18 pound. It had a few foreign ones as well, and I know that usually banks don't change them back. I'm now hoping that if I collect more of them for charity they would make an exception? Does anyone know about how to get coins changed into English pounds? Almost everybody has these leftovers from holidays lying around.

Please let me know if you know!

However, from the UK small change alone we should have something around £30 already. Great eh? So if you are in the area and have pennies - you know where they can find a new home until the next Race for Life season.

And for the rest of it I'm working on a small new website featuring the book. So I hope soon I can introduce you properly to my alter ego which carries the burden of telling my stories.

For now my dinner is screaming for me - loads of rice and few carrots and green stuff I think. Detlef is on a business trip so I am deprived of his excellent voluptuous lettuce which usually is my treat from him on Wednesday nights.

Have a great week and let me know ( about the money exchange.



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9th October - Welcome to the new Incredible Ladies Head Quarters

It's over! Thank God, it's over!


I'm sitting in my lovely new study now, and when I told a colleague this morning that all four rooms are finished and neat and clean and that I have a cute little study now he said:

Wow, IL-HQ!

One can tell from my lack of wit that I must be rather knackered: Why didn't I come up with this? I like this idea of a real home for Incredible Ladies!

As usual, now that the deed is done I'm not sure anymore what the fuss was all about, but on Monday I took a moment to write when the floor fitter did his bit, and apparently I was rather grumpy back then:

Monday, 6th October

Who on earth had this idea of house make-over in the first place?

Oh, that would be ME!

Silly cow...

How bonkers must I have been? When I see people on the telly ripping whole houses apart I always felt that they must have lost a few marbles or so. I somehow didn't realise that doing four rooms at the same time is not that far from their madness.

Just as a reminder: Initial plan was to get just one room done to eventually have a lovely cosy corner for us ladies, and when we found a good priced laminate we bought enough for the whole lot - who knows if we ever would get the same stuff again.

Fortunately the shop had brought us in contact with a floor fitter. Comment: He is brilliant but a bit scary. Don't worry, he is very nice - just looks a bit rough.

Old study...

... completely messed up...
and the dust!

When he came to give me a quote I must have had a brain dead moment. I fixed dates for Friday (two rooms) and the Monday after (two more rooms). No, he didn't scare me into it! He really is a nice guy and you can find him in the 'Word of Mouth - Lifestyle' section.

So 'scary' Andy did a brilliant job on Friday and until then everything seemed to be straight forward. Yeah well, everything was stored in the biggest room we have.

Now it's Monday!

I have been washing about a trillion cat beds, and calmed down a rather confused Vinny. One thing we hadn't anticipated is that his little claws making clicking noises on the floor - particularly nice at night. The other thing I underestimated a bit was the moving stuff out of the big room into the small one. I'm not really looking forward to putting it all back. I was briefly thinking about locking up the room, and to just not use it anymore.

But the most annoying thing of all was painting wardrobes! Why on earth would I do that? By the time all my stuff goes back in, one can't see the walls anyway. I'm not made to paint wardrobes - I'm either too short or too fat or both. At one point I almost got stuck in an attempt to reach a far corner, and while painting one bit I wipe another one off with my big bum.

However, I did the last one this morning and that is it for the next 10 years - at least!

Oh well, on Tuesday I did shove everything back into place and all that needs doing now is to wash about 10kg of clothes - didn't have space for it to dry, so we are running on our last bits of underwear. What brings me to Nury's column - he found a rather interesting approach to work around this.

However, the one thing that made it all worthwhile is that I moved with the study from the west facing street view to an east facing garden view. Oh you will be so bored about all the garden stories and pictures I will bombard you with. So I thought for the future I'll create a garden diary in a separate page, to easily enable you to avoid the whole outdoors-greeneries-wildlife thingy, but for today you'll have to live with it.

The room is so cosy that it even is nice when the weather is bad, it brings me into 'tea and candle' mood. So I'm hoping to be able to be more creative again, and give the writing career another push.

And I'm happy now that we did it all so fast; this is always a messy job and now at least it's done and dusted - literally. Just that I didn't have a lot of time to attend to you ladies - so this edition again has to be cut short, since it's Wednesday already and I have to get the upload done.

View from my window

Have a lovely week, and if there is something that you are dreading to do, but that can't be avoided anyway: Do it now! Really, get it done and over with. What a relief and a feeling of freedom when it is over!



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2nd October - Weird Coincidences

If I were superstitious I would say that last weeks update triggered this weeks events which unfortunately are a bit on the sad side. I had to kill a sick little rabbit. I didn't want to upset you, so I wasn't sure if I should write about it, but the experience of death belongs to life after all. And as usual: Once the mind has a focus on a certain matter it sees other incidences everywhere.

Nury wrote a column on 'killer instinct', stand-up commedian Jimmy Carr made jokes about death on the telly last night, and then there is still my favourite poem which sums up the whole matter around life and death and legacy. BTW: The familiy and the pear tree in this poem really exist. And so I wrote it all down.

Well, and for the rest of it: I'm thriving on coffee and sweets with much too little sleep and a good dust sneeze, in a house that should be two rooms bigger to get everything stored while the other rooms are made over.

Detlef already suggested to throw all of it in the sky hoping that some Gods will pick it up and holding it for the rest of the week until the flooring is done. Tried it, but unfortunately not working. So I'm sitting between boxes right now and I hope you will forgive me that I'm cutting it short - gotta paint another room.

Take care and have a lovely rest of the week!



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25th September - Superstition, Truisms and Murphey's Law

Vinny the black cat is living with us for years now, so I can't blame him for it! I haven't been walking under a ladder and I didn't spill salt, and if so I would have thrown a few grains over my left sholder to counter the curse. But right now Murphey's Law saying that 'If anything can go wrong, it will' is haunting me.

Well, actually... not really...

For me it's more a version of it: When you are planning for one thing, why does everything else has to pile up at the same time?

It all started way back before the holidays that we got us an appointment in London for passport renewal. No appointments available during hols so we booked it for this week, having to take another day off from work. Well, day off in London is always nice so I wasn't too bothered, until Detlef had to plan for a five day trip to Germany which then had to happen during the same week - meaning for me: Get all the washing and ironing done by the weekend before.

I still wasn't bothered too much since I had this grumpy attack a short while back, and due to that had a lot of ironed shirts in the wardrobe. Then all of a sudden the week before got tight for hubby. One day London, from there to Budapest for one day, coming back and having an importent business meeting the next day - meaning for me: Covering his household tasks, and... having run out of shirts.

Then there are these things that creep up slowly - one knows they will have to be done at one point but they can be delayed, like fish tank and bird cage cleaning and gardening. What can I say: Things have gone over the edge right now. I feel really guilty for the fish and birds, the pond fish haven't seen the sunshine in a while and when I feed the garden birds I can't see them anymore sitting on the lawn because they are sinking in.

This so far only has just been the standard lunacy of life, and now here is the biggie: We are going to renovate the upper floor. More precisely: We are going to have new flooring, meaning everything has to be moved at least once!

The initial plan was to turn ONE guest room - which is almost empty anyway - into a cosy corner for me and the Ipswich ladies using some furniture from other rooms. Then take all the time we need to then clear the other small room and make it a cosy study for me - YaY - and and then, giving it a lot of time and thought do then former study containing all the rest of the clutter and probably the bedroom as well. Target: Be finished around January, using the Christmas break to tidy up and paint.

Well, not gonna happen that way!

Mrs 'Smart' called the floor fitter and turns out it is cheaper to do it in one go, meaning: Two days of fitting! And not in the ring-shift way that makes sense for the furniture, but combining one big and one small room for a day's work for the fitter... Me all excited, and yay, and I can do this, and briliant: All done by mid October!

... and this gives just and impression on how it looks under the desk.

... mid October????...


I must have been brain dead when I made this appointment! The fitter is coming on Friday the 3rd. By then I have to have two rooms painted and carpet ripped out and started to clear up the other two rooms and get the cat sorted, who will be utterly upset losing his beloved cat castle.

I have two weeks one of which Detlef is not around and I won't be flexible in my time since we are having a workshop at work for which I HAVE to be around.

There is a reason for the door not closing!

Then there will be the weekend after the first rooms are done during which we will have to clear the other two rooms, rip out the carpets and paint the walls and ceilings. Oh and you don't know our study - Comic book collections reaching several years back, a whole life of a researcher's publications and paper stuff considered to be of utmost importance, but never touched again, my silk painting and other crafts equipment, all the computer thingies including a trillion miles of cables, piles of IL cuttings and ideas andl little sheets, memorabilia of 25 years of married life,... whatever you want to find in my study - you will!

And it all has to go somewhere.

So, I better get cracking, before another gremlin thinks it a good idea to pile something else into these two weeks. I will keep you posted and I wish you wonderfully boring weeks ahead.



PS: It did happen - I hate gremlins: I got the sniffles! Cross fingers it's only the dust and not a bug. No wonders that my column sounds a bit grumpy today.

However, the IL Tea will take place as usual: Looking forward to the break :o)

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18th September - I love the Salsa

Last Saturday Isabelle had her Salsa party. She is running her Salsa school in Ipswich supported by her husband - who is a fabulous dancer - and once in a while she is organising a party for people to just show up and to have a good time dancing or to find out what Salsa is all about.

So a few of us showed up having never danced the Salsa before, and it was such a fun... and it is a brilliant exercise. Salsa makes it easy on the beginner. If you see professionals dance, it is breath taking. But it is easy to getting started and having fun by just following the music using basic steps.

I once tried to learn the Tango, which almost tied a knot into my legs and without the steps it was not doable at all.

Salsa is so different and easily accessible. Have a look at the movies I found on YouTube for some inspiration. Here are the basic steps, and this one is for the music. So if you are in the Ipswich area you may want to give Isabelle's class a shot. If you are somewhere else, I'm sure you will find a class close to where you live.

What else is new?

It's autumn! It truly is!

When I'm getting up in the morning it is still dark, the trees and bushes have berries on them and the sunflower which the birds have been growing from their food and hence is standing in the middle of the lawn has fully opened and ripened now, providing home and food for many creepies and crawlies.

Ants milking black flies for sugary secretion.


Sort of a beauty!

Today was the first day that I wore a jacket. I refused to acknowledge that summer is over for as long as possible, but today I gave up.

However, here in England is the time of the most beautiful sunsets now. I hope I will be able to take a few nice pictures this year.

And after we will have got our new flooring done upstairs - sweet little black cat really finished the carpets off now -

and after everything will be back in place, and sorted, and neatly arranged, I will get my candles out and will enjoy a bit of reading for a change. It might even inspire me a bit. Last weekend I learned about a giant lobster who now found a new home in an aquarium in Cornwall.

So it might even be not too bad that the summer is gone, a bit of cosy time before the Christmas rush sets in will be nice.

Well, and it will keep me out of the shops. We have a comment on last weeks money edition, and I would love to hear more from you, anecdotes or savings tips. Just send an email to

There is no surprising news on the publishing front: I got a kind rejection letter from one of the agents to whom I had sent the manuscript to and for the rest of it: I didn't get published in a newspaper.

So keep it up ladies, bring the kids to bed (the Nury way), enjoy a good cuppa and a candle, and probably start dreaming a bit again. We haven't done that in a while, did we? Summer was so busy.

So maybe this is the time for a little review, time to think about what we would like to do, what person we would like to be, what would be needed to get there, what we already achieved and what could be done to make the rest of the way a bit easier.

Probably it's time to buy one more thing: A beautiful little pad like the one I got for my birthday, and a beautiful pen. It may be just a few scribbles at the beginning, but it will be a start to never forget our dreams again.

Have a beautiful autumn and a lot of good ideas!



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11th September - The money issue

Sometimes it is funny how things are falling into place. Right after we had transferred our Race for Life sponsorship money to the charity account, I announced at my work place that I would be very happy to take on unwanted pennies which usually reduce the life span of a purse without adding real value to the content.

Well, my reasoning was a bit sneaky, since their value actually lies in being valued. However, people liked my idea of collecting pennies for next years Race for Life and hence I already have quite a few.

Now, only a few month later we are quickly drifting into a recession and almost everybody I have been talking to is committing to tightening the belt.

I did a bit of research in the newspapers and even there the columnists have already picked up on it, depicting that even the rich people have to cut back.

Since we have enjoyed rather good times we might have forgotten that the smallest savings can make a big change, and at this points my pennies will help to give you a nice demonstration.

I counted them, and I enjoyed it! It reminded me of a time when I was a student; whenever I felt unhappy and trapped I counted my pennies - maybe I always knew that copper is in line with my colour scheme - and here is my recent collection:

Doesn't look that much, does it? This is almost eight pounds. And from that you already can cook a nice meal.

So I'm hoping that I haven't spoilt my chances with you for having to swap my pennies over to the big vase, but if it did: I wouldn't blame you!

Given that I splashed out a bit the past year you might have your concerns about whether or not I might be the right person to give money advice.

Hence I thought you might want to learn a bit more about my young years and how my family was dealing with these matters when I was still a kid.

I do wish that you will find this edition boring and not useful at all. I wish that you never will need it, and that you always will be able to enjoy the fruits of your work to the full. However, should you ever feel the need for a bit of thriftiness, I hope it will give you a good guideline on how to break down money management into controllable bits.

Collecting pennies creates this thrifty frame of mind because it visualises the value of money. All of a sudden one will see more and more opportunities to save a bit here and a bit there.

Pennies are the antidote to credit cards and my way of dealing with money especialy the 'budgeting system' is tapping into this line of thinking.

It is something to work and to think through, and occasionally it might need a bit of tweaking here and there to adapt it to ones particular needs.

Well, and using it you will instantly know whether or not you can afford the product Nury is advertising in his column.

To happy counting!



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4th September - I have a travel bug

We still have the rest of summer to enjoy, life is a good one - and I have the travel bug.

I feel colourful, so I threw on my most colourful outfit this morning and hence I'm dotting some random pictures around for you.

The probable cause for the bug could be that I'm in Asian mood - and you have to admit: Whatever we English do, we will never be able to catch up with the abundance of colour Asia is splashing out.

I think I caught the travel bug since I'm reading Nury's columns regularly. He has a rather colourful way of describing the Asian world.

For example he is writing about names that get oh so weirdly pronounced by us Westerners, but did you know that Rika is a very common name in Japan - so common that Google will find a lot of Japanese dominas but not me?

However, as much as I would like to pack my suitcase and have a look for myself as much I am feeling drawn into a friendly Asian-Caucasian competition.

And then I had the wonderful pleasure to see Sonal again.

She was one of the founding members of the Afternoon Tea and then had to go back to India. Now she was back for a short term appointment and unfortunately she couldn't join the August tea party.

So we went for a nice cuppa at the canteen. Well, one thing led to another and now she is going to get me a Sari for the next time she is coming back.

Apparently there are 7 styles to drape a Sari and so many fabrics and length to choose from. I think that will make another article, or even my own movie about 'How To...' . For now I found this one.

And of course we did a bit of mischief planning at the tea party as well. It's already a year now that we started the Ipswich Ladies and fall seems to be the time when we are at our most active - probably because we don't want to let go of summer and hold on to the feeling of enjoyment and having friends around.

Now you might be able to see where I'm coming from: My holidays are over and NOW I would like to travel. Well this way I have to dream something nice during winter.

Hard to see, two tiny fish babies, just about 5mm long fathered by the proud guppy gentlemen to the right.

I know it was him as he is the only one living with a harem of four lovely ladies.

Is he lucky or what?

At least that will work against the the experiences of paranoia as depicted last time. On talking with a colleague about this I got inspired to research a bit further, resulting in a comment to my previous articles. And on top of it all we apparently are facing an economic crisis.

It is a bit as if all the administrative and economic sectors have pulled together to bring us down...

... and:

I will just not allow it!

Say 'NO' to fear!

It is the fear that will bring us down. So I will think a bit about how to tighten the belt without losing the joy of life and will let you know about it next time. And until then:

Heads up!

Have a wonderful week and enjoy life to the full!



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28th August - Weird Encounters

Since a week I'm in a weird kind of trance like condition. I have been writing like mad and tried to figure out ways to boost my writing career. Hence I haven't touched the camera - what is very annoying since I will have to be back at work on Wednesday this week and then I might have trouble to find the time for it. So the pictures here are still taken with the old one.

Along with this strange mood I came across similarly strange things.

First, I had a funny discussion on Nury's blog about the sexiness of vegetables, which at the same time rewarded me with a nice compliment. Of course I had to elaborate on this subject a bit more and I hope that I now have it sufficiently covered.

Then we went to Cambridge, firstly, because we haven't been there in a while, secondly, because Detlef had some catching up to do in regard to the new mall which I had visited before when IL went to see Race for Life, and thirdly, to test the new camera - and what better place to go than Cambridge?

Well, we straight away got stopped in our tracks in regard to 'top 3' as we were forbidden to take photos, what put us a bit off the whole photography experience. It boggled my mind in a way that I wrote two articles in several versions, only to come back to the initial ones. 'Roofs, Pictures and Paranoia' is a more personal view, while 'Panic, Paranoia and Politics' elaborates into a general rant, really. I hope you forgive me!

For the rest of my holidays I was busily working on getting my writing career into gear, and on discussing options we repeatedly came across the issue that one just can't please everybody, what reminded me of the ''Little Tale'. Eventually we found out that it was written by Johann Peter Hebel and that there are many more stories from him. So if you wanted to practice your German on short stories: here is the link, although please be aware that it's a rather old fashioned German, and a bit hard to understand.

And eventually, our last day we spent London where I got hold of a new handbag. You may believe it or not, but I don't particularly like handbags. I find most of them utterly unattractive if not even ugly. So I'm always pleased to find one that is practical and not too unpleasant to the eye at the same time.

Since my transformation from a frump to a fashion considerate I exhausted two work day handbags, meaning that every two years I have to replace the run down recent edition - and I'm always dreading the task. A handbag becomes a good friend, I find my stuff with closed eyes and I never forget it because it's glued to my soul.

However, it was about time to call death on my old one. And now, eventually I stumbled over the replacement. It has almost the same compartments, is a tiny bit bigger - yay, is that tad bit more fashionable - yippiee, and it only cost half of what I had to fork out for the previous ones - running out of cheer words now, but hubby was very pleased about this purchase as well.

So I'm sorted for this fall, what is very fortunate as the fashion is still all A-shaped and has these tiny sleeves attached to any item that is supposed to wrap the upper bit of a female body. This is about the 4th season now that we are in this flow of things, and I'm suggesting that all you small shouldered, long bodied girls out there quickly get your stuff sorted: Because I'm insisting that next season is to be the turn of the more strong built ones again, that A-lines, blouses without stretch and skirts of non-floaty materials are to be banished and that teal comes back as the colours of the year.

For now I say bye bye, see you next week, have a good one!



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21st August - Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now!

Well, a computer crash could...

However, I got my CAMERA - Yippie!!!

A digital camera is of no real use without computer, but what I've seen from this thing so far is brilliant. Some of you might give me a lenient look watching my excitement. But becoming blind like a bat on close range is somewhat disturbing in taking pictures.

While Autofocus is a really nice thing, there are items like birds in cages where the Autofocus gets in the way. If pictures of unfocussed mesh were worth something, I would be a really rich woman.

The new camera has this lovely little slider with which to adjusts the focus so I can take off the glasses and still see stuff as it is supposed to be seen. And it has a viewfinder to look through in the first place. Again if all these pictures where I shot some strangers in weird context... only because the sun was blinding me.

I know - everybody who ever held a digital SLR knows that this is standard stuff, but I nevertheless feel like a child under the Christmas tree. Grinnn...!

Now I not only will bore you to near death with my writing/publishing worries but as well with pictures of petals and birds and ...

This time you are getting away with just a picture of my Hibiscus plant taken with the old camera as for now I still have to learn how to download pictures from the new one.

And as for this plant: Well, it's the first year that it has growing and flowering well, despite the lack of summer. Hmmm, the Oleander also did well this year. Probably the neglect they had to endure because I'm focusing on other stuff like writing articles about the benefits of Omega 3 is doing them good.

For now I'm gonna stop writing and do some gardening. Nury was busy for the two of us, so I've linked in one of his columns again, while my rambling rose thought it a good idea to ramble over to the neighbours.

If you should hear a bit of swearing...Sorry! But this thing is horribly spiky and tends to fight back ferociously.

I'm wishing you a lovely week and a lot of sunshine. See you next week, hopefully in one piece!



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14th August - The deeds are done!

At least two of the ones planned are.

Moritz claiming box

Firstly, we eventually have a new family gadget which is a new laptop. Well, it's more Detlef's laptop, but it is very important that the purchase happened because it was the fist of the gadgets to go into the planning pipeline, meaning: No Detlef gadget - No Rika gadget!

Now that his toy is sorted we can concentrate on mine: Another laptop!

Nope! We can't share!

He needs a big one with a fancy screen and brilliant speakers, to sink into his armchair with it and watch movie trailers and listen to music on Deezer. I need a cute little travel pack. When I was in Germany I dearly missed an electronic device to write down stuff.

I had a little notebook and a pen, which I already had used in Fuerteventura - it really takes me wonder that the travel story made any sense.

Problem and biggest excuse for wanting to have a laptop is my handwriting. It always was baaad - but writing in a wobbly environment like car, train or airplane makes it unreadable even for me. As my memory is not the best either... I need an electronic substitute for this lack of natural resource: small, easy to handle, sturdy!

So I'm very pleased that we blew out some of the content of our bank account for his toy, thus doing the first step towards mine - hols approaching quickly, hence loads of time to investigate further details.

Don't dare throwing me out!

Such a nuisance sometimes to live in the province. We poor things will have to check out Lakeside, Bluewater or even London to actually see the thing before we can decide for which model to buy - and while being in the proximity of other shops there might be a pair of shoes in it as well ??? I'm still short of my anniversary gift since I didn't get the gorgeous faith gladiator sandals. Well, that may sound all a bit superficial, and probably I don't really need new shoes... ahhh? ... hmmm?... we had discussed that earlier, I believe?!

I'm just blabbing a bit to gain momentum to find a way to tell you about my second deed that is done. Remember? There were two!

Here it comes...

I did it!

I really did it!

I wrote a book!

Hence me not being able to write a lot for the site this time.

All of you who read IL regularly might know some of the material, but it's brought more into a context now, and I added a few bits to tie things together and make it ... nope, not telling yet what sort of book it is...

Dear Detlef had to test read - note: guy reading a girlie book - and I was edging around him pretending to have a lot of housework to do in the living room. After 15 minutes I heard a giggle from his corner: Yay!

Then I started to research on how to publish a book: Good grief, it may never happen at all.

Turns out that one best gets an agent who then will approach the publishers. You may not believe how much information there is on the internet, and opinions and ... Threw me completely into an emotional rollercoaster ride from 'I will make it!' to ' Never gonna happen!' and back.

In the end I did what I thought made the most sense - time will show if I got it right - and on 13th August at 12:30 the manuscript went into the mail. Done! No going back! My fate in the hand of the mail services and the Gods of luck.

I tried to calculate how many agents I get to ask to take me on, before I might die of old age: It needs about eight weeks to get a response, and the one who would take me on would need to find a publisher - Detlef read that they are really good, though; they have a 75% success rate - and then it needs at least a year until the book is made.

Given that I intend to become 80 years old, -1 year for the book making, -1 year for finding some mad publisher wanting to sell a book of a 79 year old: that makes 78 years of age. I'm 47 now what gives me 31 years to achieve my goal, or 201.5 agents to try. I think that is about the length of the list I found on the internet. I hope they are all younger than me.

Wish me luck!



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7th August - Family Reunion

I got adopted as family when my former boyfriend and his wife decided to make me godmother of their second daughter. He is very smart; his wife has the same name as me. Saved him a lot of confusion...

However, when we split up we stayed friends and you already got to know Jori the lovely girl. She became 18 this year, and her sister who is 20 had just finished a year as Au Pair in America. Thus a lot of things to celebrate - not that my friends would need a reason - but with a reason it was almost a 'must'. So the aunties and uncles were invited and so I made my way to Germany to join them.

We had a great time and Tuebingen is just lovely. We went for a guided tour of the town, had a wine testing and did some punting on the river Neckar - I think I never slept better!

Well, and for a change it was nice to have a proper German supper, with bread, different types of red sausage and cheeses and nibbly bits.

For now I'm going to keep this update short. Enjoy the articles and my weekly Nury Vitachi choice, and the next time I'm going to tell you what else I was up to during the past weeks - exciting times, and a wee bit scary.

Have a great week!



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31st July - Travelling Spirit

I just had to show you this flower, although it's not that special. This one however, drove me nuts all winter and was close to being exterminated. Oleander needs it a bit warmer than the usual English winter and so I kept it in my study, where the climate is all wrong as well.

Vinny used the base as a bed for a while, hence me not watering it properly; it was big, dusty and towards the end of winter it started losing leaves.

There is a smaller one which I abandoned in autumn already and thus left outside. The place below the vent of the boiler seemed to have been well chosen as it was thriving better than the big one inside.

And now look at that. The first two flowers have opened and it is full of buds - as well as the smaller one which isn't blooming yet.

All the previous years I made a fuss about them, keeping them in the conservatory and if I got lucky I was rewarded with one flower some time in September before everything went downhill. Now I almost killed them and they flower like mad.

Difficult to draw a teaching from this. Better don't tell your kids!

And now it's almost August and I have bumble-bees in my pants. Well, that's what we say in Germany when one is moving about a lot and won't stay in one place. As Detlef and still I can't travel together due to silly cats we decided to do at least day trips.

Thursday we went to London where I was treated to a brilliant lunch at the British Museum. We even were sitting next to an actor, Julian Sands - have to admit, I had to look him up as he is not necessarily playing in my favourite movies, what is more down to my odd taste rather than his choices. And of course we did a bit of shopping. Although that was a bit disappointing. I had promised myself a pair of silly, absolutely useless shoes and found them... one size too big! Grrrr.... Bless my dear husband who thanks to his electronic gadgets found all London stores selling these damn things - with no success. Now I'm on a mailing list to be notified when they will be stocked again in the internet store. Cross fingers! I really have put my heart on them.

On Friday we drove a bit up North to Lowestoft to see the Air Festival - and it was breath taking! I only learned later that this is the biggest show in Europe. The displays were just magnificent. I definitely want to go again next year.

And soon I will be off to Germany from where I hopefully will bring something to tell.

For now I'm leaving you with my choice from Nury's weekly output and a link where you can donate your old tights - no kidding, it's for charity. I hope that you will have lovely trips and that you will enjoy yourselves, and if you come across something you want to share - just drop a line to



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24th July - Holiday Season

Eventually! I don't care anymore whether the weather is good or not, as long as the holiday season eventually starts. This year it will be a bit different - sort of distributed holidays. We'll see how that feels.

In previous years I thought to have a big 3 weeks break would be the ultimate holiday. I managed to get that once and it was good. I got entirely out of work, but needed another one to get back, and my brain had to put in a real effort to get into working mode. After that I was so knackered that I could have well done with another holiday. A bit like having a long and hot shower, by the time I'm dried off, and have applied all the creams and ointments I'm so sweaty, I need another shower.

So this time I will have distributed holidays. With a good week towards end of August which will include the Bank Holiday thus saving a day of annual leave for the long and dark autumn/winter phase and then two long weekends during the weeks before - starting... NOW!

Tomorrow I will go to London with hubby. It's our anniversary and I'm allowed to search for one pair of incredibly useless shoes, he will be allowed to browse book and electronic gadget stores, lunch table at the British Museum Court Restaurant is booked and we might go and see Walle in a big London cinema.

Poor Moritz suffering from summer heat!


This little dogs kennel stays cool inside even if the conservatory is searing hot.

Then on Friday we will go to Lowestoft for the Air Festival - cross fingers for at least no rain - not looking all too good so far. Then weekend at home with catching up on a few things and after that another short work work week with flying to Germany on Friday to see my dear goddaughter and her family.

I hope that will do the trick to not take work too seriously for a while and to safe me the hassle to get back into it again. Well, and on asking myself which might be the right way to plan a time-out I thought a general check on all the advice I've given here in this place might be appropriate. Since more than a year I'm writing about everything that grabs my mind, what I have changed and why - but is it still all valid? Have things changed again or not worked out and I forgot to write about it, hence having invalid stuff hanging around? So I had a good thought about how far it has brought me to 'Push My Limits'. And on pushing on I came across another oddity which ended up in one of my infamous columns.

As usual I picked one of Nury's columns of this week, and we have another treat: Imola is getting the hang of writing stuff down and cooked up a great recommendation for a pampering session. Something I definitely will follow up on after the holiday break.



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17th July - Yay!

Two days ago I almost didn't trust my eyes, twice. But first things first: You know how much I like writing - almost as much as I like talking - and like every writer, at least that's what they say about writers, I worry about not being good, witty, original, inspiring and 'thousand other things' enough. Then I found this site with columns of Nury Vitachi who is really 'somebody' in the business and I just love his style - hence me linking a few of his columns already. Thank God that he is producing like mad, so there is always something that I'm happy to pass on to you and thus filling my site in doing so. On wondering how he creates these huge amounts of material I found a calendar with archives and on the first click it produced a column which explains it all. So I couldn't help myself but add a comment.

This then led to MY first column of the week. Next day - first time of wiping eyes - he had responded! And it was a very kind response, actually: It was a brilliant response. So for now my worries are put at ease and the whole thing inspired me to MY second column of the week.

The second eye wiping occurred when I red his column of Tuesday the 15th. It was about the Mongol Rally. Remember? I previously had written about an old friend of mine going one a silly adventure - That's the one!  They almost have reached their sponsorship target and are ready to go. Well, looking from where I and probably the rest of the world are standing they are not ready, not ready now and probably never will be. But they feel the urge of embarking on this mind-bogglingly absurd journey as soon as possible. As far as I know they don't even have a Swiss Army knife (McGyver style) and ladies tights (fan belt replacement and useful item for all sorts of things) in their luggage. Oh oh, ...

So this very joyful encounter with a writing pro and the subsequent wave of inspiration resulted in what hubby calls 'writers diarrhoea'. Apart from the two columns I worked through a pile of fresh fruit to answer the question: Is it really reasonable to not buy prepackaged?

Well, and as the practical outcome from answering this question was a really nice fruit salad, we have a recipe as well this week.

On top of it all there was one thing in particular that got stuck from Nury's response: One doesn't want to disappoint the reader in not writing!

Hence I made Detlef download the log files and again: Yay! Our numbers are climbing. Slowly, but still. There are definitely more than the expected two readers, and Yes! Nury is right! What keeps me going is that I don't want to disappoint you. I know that we are going into the holiday period, and that numbers might go down a bit. But as long as there is a single one of you logging on once in a while, I will keep it up. Promised!

Have a lovely holiday season!



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10th July - You'll beat me up for this idea

Since I have Incredible Ladies there are patterns emerging. Apparently things are getting very busy right before a holiday season. Thus we have to shove the Afternoon tea to Friday 18th, because on the 25th I have to go to Lowestoft for the Airshow. Never have been at one and really looking forward to it. Well and if it is not for the planes then it is for a day at the beach. Cross fingers for good weather.

As for the rest of the week I was thinking bits here and pieces there, trying to get deeper into my ideas for the fundraisers and the more I did the more scatterbrained I became. I needed a pep talk. As nobody was around to give me one, I wrote one for myself. Result: Well, I didn't get my idea to a stage where I can sincerely write about it, but I found out what I want for Christmas.

Yes! It's time to think about the festive season. I know you think I'm mad - I call it a bit pro-active, maybe...?

But think of it: Now everything is bright and nice and the days are long - well not today, but generally. So we are much more inspired and we are wishing for things to happen or to own. Clothes, shoes, jewellery, gadgets, even household items, books, a painting for the living room - oh well, a print then. So write it down. It's only fair to the people who will want to give you a present to let them know - they get less and less the older one gets. One has to make it easy for them and keep them in good spirits, otherwise one will end up empty handed. Nope, sorry... I don't believe that you don't need/want/expect anything... EVERYBODY likes a little something!

... and it's a brilliant time to buy gifts. Now we like to move about more than at any other time of the year. And we are moving anyway, to holidays, day trips, keeping the kids busy. New environments, creative minds! Collect your gifts as you go along. AND it's sale time. You may get your giveaways for a bargain. Sit down with a nice cappu, make a list who needs covering and keep it in your purse. By the time the Christmas stress sets in you are already sorted.

However, my present will be a new camera. I always wanted to have a digital SLR and learn a bit more about photography.

I already have the little click-click with which I shoot all the pictures for this site. But I would like to be able to do really good pix that could even become posters.

So hubby has still some time to research this matter and to find a good deal, and then cross fingers that I'm not too silly to use it well. The normal digital cameras are pretty amazing. I've put some of my very early deeds on Flickr and given that the skill is entirely with the camera I'm rather happy with the outcome. Future will tell if I have it in me to tame the beast.

BTW: What are you planning for your hols? Going abroad? Beach holiday? City trip? Hiking? Some location we should know more about? Send over some pix and a story to let know the others!

Have a good rest of the week and a lovely weekend!



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3rd July - So many lovely things

First and foremost - we got another 20 pounds! So the final score for Race for Life is £1214.70! THAT is not too bad for year 'one', not too bad at all! I thank you all for participating in a brilliant Race for Life season. I'm already working on new fundraising ideas and I hope you will like and enjoy with what I'm coming up. I'm still very much in the brainstorming phase and will tell you next time about it.

Cars - Cars - Cars

Eventually I got my new car. A brand new Vauxhall Vectra. I'm driving it since a week now and I just love it. This car has things I didn't know that cars have those these days. Well, and I knew that it is a big car, but I didn't know that it is THAT big. It has the same length as the Volvo Estate - just nicer - Yippieh! Meanwhile I learned how to reverse into the driveway - It's all the wrong way round since the old one was a left hand drive and well, it's twice as big.

And ... you might have noticed: The colour is Teal! Well, they call it peacock - Whatever!

Although it was horrible to leave the driveway with the old little Punto for the last time. I'm such a softie.

Mischievous Things

Then we had the afternoon tea and it turns out that my latest version of cheesecake is a much bigger success than the last one. So here is the recipe for 'Weird Cheesecake - Take II'.

We have seen 'Sex and the City - The Movie' and we liked it! It was so funny how some of the audience was living through the story with laughing, moaning, hissing and shrieking. Oh, and these gowns! Well, and those wrinkles! Good to see that these girls have been ageing together with us. Hence a big 'Thank You!' to the producers for not making it just all glam and beautiful, but to let us see a bit of a real face as well. However, the story is well made so one didn't have to know the series to enjoy the movie. And of course: Before the film we had the usual cappuccino at the bar.

This Saturday, 5th July there is a charity Dragonboat race in our area, at Alton Waters. Detlef and I will definitely go, should be a nice family day out given that the weather is keeping up, and on 24th/25th July is the Lowestoft Air Festival, which should be fun to attend. I only will go on the 25th as hubby and I are occupied with having our anniversary on the 24th. We will have to see what - hmmmm... probably London has on offer these days...

So loads of family day out opportunities and if you don't have a family go anyway. It'll be fun and you might meet a bunch of us.

I got mail!

When I got home today I had a big envelope lying on my doorstep, and it turned out to be what I had hoped for: The CDs from Mick, the Cosmic Gypsy. So I listened to sexy sax tunes and some more all afternoon feeling all happy now. Hubby already spoilt me with the recurring Wednesday's 'Voluptuous Lettuce' meal (the Feta cheese version) and now I'm going to call it a day and upload the whole lot.

I hope you'll enjoy this weeks edition, and if you have a story to tell - you know where to find me!

See you next week,



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26th June - Time greed

I can't get enough of time. My greed for time is as big as for chocolate. For some reason I'm running late again for the IL edition. Well, I at least got my report of the fashion show finished. One could argue that it's fair enough that I only got that: It was a rather bold job to cut almost 3 hours of footage down to 10 minutes. On one hand it's annoying that YouTube has the 10min restriction - however, it keeps one from going overboard.

And I have to admit I got distracted. I got a lovely email as response to Carine's birthday present on Flickr. A nice gentleman from Texas worked his way through the IL website and very much likes my approach of sharing my stories. This is very uplifting and in order to respond with comments I got me a Flickr account - which is more fun with some photos uploaded. Given that I'm not really good in taking photos it needed a bit of time to find some rather decent ones. So this time I don't have some flowers here - they are all on Flickr.

Then I'm thinking a lot about the new car. It is decided, but I'm not telling you yet. Tomorrow I will pick it up and then have some pictures going with it next week.

And now I will cut it short because otherwise you might not have an upload tonight. Well, too late anyway as it is tomorrow already.

So have a good night and a nice and sunny rest of the week - and for the Ipswich Ladies: I'm looking forward to seeing you on Friday!



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19th June - And moving on...

Slowly the aftermath of Race for Life is cleared, all the sponsorship money is collected - have a look at the final numbers - and new tasks are lurking around the corner already...

For example I need a new car. I'm not a particularly good shopper, although you might not want to believe that. But I need to be in the mood and cars are so expensive and so many things one is supposed to be reasonable about. Shopping and reasonable, just doesn't go well together, does it?

Well, after having read my column you might be interested to read some really good ones. Detlef found me the site of Nury Vittachi.

Other tasks involve new mischief activities for the Ipswich Ladies. I definitely want to see 'Sex and the City: The movie' so I hope a few of the Ipswich Ladies will join me. Iwona already saw it and despite not having seen the series she liked it and she said the story made sense to her nevertheless. So off we go and have a look this Saturday!

Then there is the Dragon Boat race organised by St Elizabeth Hospice. I have never been at Alton Waters. So given that the weather is a bit nice on the 5th July I definitely will go and watch. I think it would be a lovely Family day out.

And then I got an email from an old friend I hadn't heard of in a while. He always did all these things 'us' normal people are too scared/lazy to do. And this time he has chosen to do the Mongol Rally for charity. Don't ask... just read the blog: he and his friend are mad people, but in a nice way!

For next week I will have to finish the 'Fashion Show' report. I've shot more than two hours of video footage which needs sorting out. So please bear with me a bit longer on that one.

And last but not least: I will have to crank up my training efforts a bit. I skipped weight exercises for two weeks and I need to get back on track. When I tidied up my overflowing mailboxes I found some links of Nike adverts which I think are really great. I've listed them under 'This and That'.

I hope you are as happy as the bumble bee which was digging through the Thyme blossoms of my front garden today.



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12th June - Ladies with Luck

This week is entirely under the sign of Race for Life. Saturday I picked up my parents from Stensted and it was pouring down without any break. I never showed such a stubborn behaviour before. I just ignored the rain and went ahead with my preparations.

Lady or supporter?!?!?!

Well, given that he is the 'dad to be' the answer is supporter - I suppose!

Well, every half hour poor Detlef had to check the weather and to estimate the velocity of the rain area. And perseverance paid off: Sunday morning was a bit misty still, but as soon as we went to the start line the sky turned blue, and the sun all of a sudden was too hot. The park had turned into bog land, and warm moist air rose from the ground.

Given all that we had a good run and we all did very well with Imola arriving first closely followed by Claire, not so closely followed by me - at least I was about as fast as last year - and then in less than an hour Dominique and Iwona arrived.

We even got caught by some movie published at the Evening Star. I'm the weird waving woman (I had just caught an eye of my mum) with a silly pink thing in my hair.

Additionally it turned out that we raised the money we wanted to - and a bit more, while still collecting outstanding lists. So I'm hoping to have final figures next week. I'm rather proud of us. We have come far within the one year the IL exists now.

And then we had the well deserved picnic. Thanks to the glorious weather and the great atmosphere we stayed on until the run for Bobby Moore fund started. After a stampede of 2500 women had been running through the park in the morning the poor guys had to struggle through the mud, and it had become even warmer. But they did well and there were even a few daring pink skirts around. However, for next year somebody might tell them that red and pink doesn't really go well together.

Don't forget to have a look at MySpace - Cosmic Gypsies the offer is still on that you can have a CD for less than £10 and something like £3 go into the big pot. Every penny counts and the music is really nice.

That's it for now. Tomorrow is the Nyx&HollyBlue fashion show and I'm hoping to catch a bit of nice footage for you.

See you next week, and enjoy the nice weather while it lasts...



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5th June - It's crunch-time!

I hope that I did all that could be done, and now the whole thing has to take off. Even the weather Gods seem to be generous and predict some sunshine. So this Sunday we will have our Race for Life event and our team will join together with about 2000 other women and possibly dogs and kids and will do their best on 5km.

However, all of us already delivered part of our performance. We have raised quite a bit of money for cancer research already. We are still a bit short of our target but we haven't counted the money raised off-line yet.

And very silently I'm hoping that even after the race we could persuade a few more people to help us to get to the 1000 pounds.

930 is such an odd number, don't you think?

1000 is much nicer and it has 4 digits.

That would be just wonderful!

So if you were up to helping us: Just go to the fundraising page and use your credit card. The money goes straight to charity and doesn't touch our hands. And you don't have to be UK citizen - that's the nice thing with credit card - you can use them everywhere. Just please be aware that the amount you donate is in £ (GBP)

And to give you an idea of what to expect: We have been in Cambridge for the run on 1st June. Have a look at the video. Despite the odd drizzle the atmosphere was just great! And we had a lovely day altogether.

Now I'm looking forward to hubby coming back from his conference and to pick up my parents on Saturday. Then the family will be ready for Sunday and the picnic we are planning around the event to give a bit of stomach lining to our supporters. We expect heavy cheering - that needs a lot of energy!

I will close down now and write a few more begging emails. Well, and a bit of sleep will be welcome as well.

Have a nice rest of the week, hopefully see a lot of you at the run, and a big thank you to all of you who sponsored us so generously.

Next weeks edition will be a bit short due to my parents staying a bit longer for my birthday. However, I'm hoping to have a little preview for you.



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29th May - Like a symphony

Things are coming together like a symphony. Remember? When I did all these networking workshops, networking was compared to throwing stones into water causing ripples. Others do the same and sometimes something good effortlessly comes rippling back to you. This happened to me during the past few weeks. And due to all the Race for Life preparation I was so tense that I almost missed to catch up on that little tingle.

Thanks to ripples in the virtual MySpace world I found a few friends who really deserve this title. One I introduced last week, and this week I would like you to meet another one.

Mick the 'Cosmic Gypsy'. He is a wonderful supporter of our Race for Life team offering to donate half the profit of each of his newly released CD which we are selling via our channels. The CD is expected to come out of the press (how does one call this these days - gosh I'm too old...the last time I had an interest in music we still had records) any time soon.

However, as our run is in less than two weeks time, I thought you might want to listen in at his MySpace page - the CD contains the songs on there plus another 11 tracks 6 of which are sexy sax tracks (lovely laid back late night romantic tunes ...) - and then register an interest with me via The price is expected to be less than £10 including shipping. I think for something like 17 tracks and supporting a good cause that is a bargain.

So please let me know if you are interested!

From all that I now noticed that music really does connect people and I discover a taste in music that is very versatile.

I love the idea of real people making real music and I found different styles for different moods of mine which you know can change rather quickly. And it is not just music - I'm very keen to see the artwork on Mick's CD as he is a brilliant painter as well and a poet, and...

So I would like to say a big 'Thank You!' to these new friends who have such a passion for their art which is contagious. It's normal people doing these wonderful things, the only difference between them and us is that they went for it, while we are still sitting here and moaning.

Thus we will have a 'Music & Art' section now where you will be able to meet them and hopefully get a bit inspired. Already in 2003 Mick has written a poem which pretty much wraps it all up.

And although you might find my choice of pictures a bit odd, I believe you will understand once you've read my introduction to the new section.

As for the rest of today's edition: I found some justification for some of my miss-buys and spending habits and thought I'd share it with you.

Well, I hope you don't mind that I invited a few more guys to the site - IL is about connecting so it shouldn't matter who gives the inspiration as long as it is genuine. And again ladies: Don't be so modest in what you are doing, show it off. We need your inspiration!

You know where to find me!



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22nd May - Sacrifices

Working for charity means a certain amount of sacrifices. And so it turns out that I again had to amend my lifestyle. With the garden work looming and the day job around the corner time was getting short again. Given that I'm not really good in running having to practice, what in turn makes me a bit knackered - something's gotta give: In my case the fishtank I used to have next to my screen.

So the last weekend saw me carrying buckets of water through the house and washing another bucket full of gravel and then heaving this huge thingy up the ladder into the loft.

Actually the plan was to save some time AND space. However, half the space already got claimed by Vinny who right now is lying there and snoring his head off.

Yes! You guessed right: I'm getting the Race for Life jitters now!

And I'm about to ask you for some sacrifice: To please bear with me, with the ladies and the site, although there are not a lot of interesting new articles published and only a little bit of 'This and That' which thankfully some of you are sending me. It's just that - I am a one woman business, and I have written so many emails to people asking for sponsorship that there was no time to think about anything else.

So for proof: Here I am on my keyboard writing begging emails with a sleeping cat next to me.

However, today I had a lovely surprise in my mailbox - the real one! Jason one of my MySpace friends - and I really only know him in the virtual world - sent me three, that is:

3 - THREE!

CDs with his music; from the US of America. Postage must have cost him fortune.

I don't know enough to be able to describe this style to you - you will have to listen for yourself. These three music projects have separate sites on MySpace where you can listen in. They are called: Mourning Knight, Reality's Mirror and Ceiling Unlimited

And now I'm going to say bye bye for today, but not without another one of my usual appeals - c'mon I have to at least ask!

Please, Please!

go to our Team Page

and spend some of your hard earned cash on one of the fundraising pages listed.

The money is for a good cause and goes straight to cancer research.

So it is not us getting hold of it, and sponsoring is easily done via credit card.

I'm looking forward to a lovely weekend - a long one for everybody in the UK, and sending you my best wishes with some more photos of my plant collection.



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15th May - Making Noise

Things are getting noisy now - And they have to! Only a good 3 weeks to go and then Race for Life is on! We have to start the drum roll now to reach our targets for the fundraising. So everybody reading this:

Please, Please!

go to our Team Page

and spend some of your hard earned cash on one of the fundraising pages listed.

The money is for a good cause and goes straight to cancer research.

So it is not us getting hold of it, and sponsoring is easily done via credit card.

We have our banner now, so at least we will be visible, and as usual when I put something flat somewhere: Vinny had to claim it instantly! He went bonkers running up and down, we even have a first little scratch - silly boy!

All mine!

The ducks don't seem to be bothered.

For some reason they are staying on this year. Apart from my cats: the laziest animals under the English sun.

And as if the birds knew that noise is asked for now: They are screaming their heads off.

Since two days I already could hear them in the trees and today they came down to the lawn. Little starlings in abundance and hectic parents trying to keep them at bay. Poor Moritz cat has to stay indoors for a few days now. That's the draw-back of a wildlife garden - too many hiding places for cats. Hopefully neighbours cats will stay away in fear of Moritz. Luckily they are not that smart and realise that his cat flap is locked.

And now I hope you will forgive me that I am cutting it short. Since the last edition was delayed I didn't manage to come up with a new article and Race for Life needs a bit of attention now in regard to fundraising and 'Party Planning'. Thus my life is not boring but full of little bits that need to be done but which are not really interesting to talk about.

However, I know that a few of you have ben away or going away - so how about sending me some pix or anecdotes for the next edition? Or some comments/questions on stuff from previous editions - like Carine's on my restaurant report from last week?

I hope you are enjoying Babul's new pix and his website tip off about photo technique.

For now let's hope that the past two weeks of great weather was not 'The English Summer'. We had that last year and I think we deserve better.

So enjoy it while it lasts!



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8th May - Getting serious about things

Oh what a week! It started all very harmless with the long weekend and the prospect of sunny weather, and all of a sudden I was in the middle of some serious gardening. This was it! This weekend it had to be done!

Moritz loves it when I'm in the garden. He is the laziest cat ever and hardly goes out, but when I'm in the garden he is lurking around.

Only trouble is: It's almost impossible to get a decent picture of him. I either can shoot from far or he instantly comes running for a cuddle.

I have been delaying the gardening all spring as it was still rather cold in the wind and the ground was soggy. Nature doesn't bother, does it? It grows anyway. So I did a quick photo spree in the daisies before they all got mowed down, and then went for it.

I love daisies, some say it's weeds, but I think they are really pretty. Well, they are not very kind to the lawn, but when the flowers are gone it's still something green.

And they are good for all sorts of insects.

Since I declared my garden a wildlife garden I save a lot of time not weeding!

Thus the pond is rather overgrown - what is appreciated by the fish and frogs. As long as they find a place for a sun bath they are happy and feel protected from the heron.

Well, I did weed a bit, some borders were so overgrown that I found plants which I had forgotten that I had them.

So this one should look quite nice now when it opens its flowers, the sages of which I thought they had died away are all going to flower soon and the Chysanthemums have a chance now of having recoverd by autumn and hopefully will add a bit of colour to the garden before everything goes downhill towards winter. So to clear the whole mess I needed two days of the long weekend and filled two of those:

Already booked hubby and the Volvo to get rid of them.

Even the ducks seem to appreciate my gardening skills. During the past few days I only saw him dropping in for a quick breckie from time to time, but today they both showed up and stayed all day. Even Moritz couldn't scare them away.

Apparently they feel safe in all this green mess, and they are really hard to make out.

By the time the new work week started I had a deep red sunburn on my back and a rather big workload ahead. Things never come in singles, do they? On one hand I was very relieved that most of the garden was done, on the other I hadn't produced a single line for IL. Not that I didn't have enought to write about.

I had been at the boxing class on Saturday morning and on realising that I wouldn't be able to get to town all week I interrupted the gardening for a quick dash to the shop to get me my boxing gloves.

Yes, I'm getting serious about it now!

And I got these straps which get wrapped round the hands before slipping into the glove in order to support the joints and tendons of the hands on impact. And I got me a gum shield as well - gosh, they even come in colours. Who wants to run around with something green or purple in the mouth.

Well, I'm far from wearing it, but when I got it as part of a package deal I sort of realised what I'm about to experience.

I proudly showed the gloves to Imola on Sunday and explained that they come in red as well and that I chose black as I like to wear orange and have red hair so I thought if me old cow is doing this I should at least try to look cool.

Her response: Hmmmhmmm.... and black is sooo slimming!!! I'm still giggling!

Will keeping you posted...

Monday saw an early start with Claire at the gym. Oh you would be surprised seeing her there. She is improving every session and is starting to catch up on my size of weights.

Well, and now you CAN see her in the gym because she agreed to play the model for me.

We both are getting really serious about our weight exerceises and changed our training program accordingly. Thus there is a leg/bum/back exercise which I haven't covered yet. So she will be showing you how it's done, while I tried to get some decent pictures taken. Babul, we miss you!

Then the week started with two full days of work, due to visitors coming from abroad - that was the end of an 'on time' edition. Additionally I had booked myself into the 'Follow-up Networking Workshop' which of course was on the Tuesday as well. Not the last Tuesday, not the next Tuesday - no, exactly this Tuesday when I was involved in hosting the visitors.

Flying between locations with burning feet - I don't think that the perfect pair of shoes really exists - I thought I might not be able to enjoy the workshop as much as I would have hoped for.

But again: Heather's catching way of approaching things and the way she delivers information straight down into the subconscious made it a great experience. And again: Having her input sitting in my grey cells since a few days now, things are starting to bubble up.

And this time the information means serious business and hands on advice on how to go about things. This story will not end there!

Well, in the end everything went well and I was invited to one of the finest restaurants in the area, which was a very interesting experience.

And now the week is almost gone and Race for Life is creeping closer and closer. All is left for me right now is to ask you to consider to join the team as there are still some places free in the Chantry Park race, and to visit our team page to find the links for the sponsorship pages we have set up. Every single pound is very much appreciated and goes straight to Cancer Research UK. We already paid for the admin bit of the races. So your sponsorship will go into the research, and will pay for equipment and staff needed to do this important work.

Have a beautiful weekend with a lot of sunshine, and however serious things might get: Don't forget to find the fun in it!



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1st May - Punch Time

I'm hooked! I'm running really into trouble now with all the kinds of sport I like. Four years ago I would never have thought that I would do all these things AND enjoying them. I couldn't really rely on my body - well, I could rely on being able to hang in an armchair until even that became painful. Now it is just fun to explore new things and whenever I think I have reached my limits there is something beyond. Rather nice actually!

When about a year ago I got this idea about the Training Club I of course thought about weight exercises. Now it turns out that we can keep that much more flexible. We have a running section, a weight exercises section and now we might even include a boxing section - if you were interested...

Maybe I got a bit lucky with Darren as boxing trainer, as my taster session took place in such a relaxed atmosphere. I definitely will stick with it. Gosh I will be so fit and gorgeous by end of summer... Wanna join in??? Let me know! I'm happy to arrange. If boxing - then this is a brilliant place to kick it off!

Then I had the Kickboxing taster on Monday. Well not as much my thing, although I believe that there are some of you who actually would prefer it. Have a look at my review to see what I mean.

And as a reward we had a lovely dinner at Artista. It was seven of us and we were so busy to chat, to eat and to get to know each other that we forgot to take a picture. Well, at least the mission is accomplished - it is about the mingling and getting to know each other, isn't it? And as without a picture I will skip the usual 'mischief achieved' article, thus not having to confess to you that I ate much to much. The food is just too good and I always get lost in the starters already. By the time I munched myself through the pizza (thin base but very big) I'm overfed - but there is no way that I would skip the tiramisu. So there you have it! Much too much!

So this was a busy weekend and now things are calming down.

The next event planned is the trip to Cambridge on Sunday 1st June for Jen and Kirsties Race for Life.

Talking of which: We have a new team member - YaY! Claire registered for the Chantry Park run on the 8th June and raised our fundraising target to £930.

Thus we have to start raising money now!

Please, please, please... All of you out there reading this:

We need your help!

Breast cancer is not just something happening in the UK. It just happens that we all live here to collect money for a first class research unit.

These people won't keep for themselves what they find out, their efforts will help women all over the world.

So please,

go to our team members page,

choose any one (or all :) of us

and click the link to get to the sponsorship page.

All you need is a credit card and you can spend

as little as


(4.26 Australian dollars, 6.65 Brazilian real, 30.99 Hong Kong dollars, 643.33 Hungarian forints, 159.53 Indian rupees, 29.14 Moroccan dirhams, 2.54 Euros, 414 Japanese yen, 8.72 Polish Zloty, 3.98 US dollars, ...)

and the sky is the limit!

Altogether things are falling back to the good old routine, eventually. With the warmer weather no more illnesses are to be expected and training can go it's way, the IL website had a little dip in February and is now back to the usual approx. 350 unique visits - not huge, but we have a fan base. My schedule for weekly tasks like food shopping seems to be working. So altogether we can look forward to a lovely spring time and a good summer.

Let's enjoy!



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24th April - Celebrity Hunt

Did he just see Jen sitting on the Satellite map with a cuppa in the garden, reading a bloody gorgeous book?

Did you know that we have a celeb in our midst? I just found out that our beloved Jen, our Cambridge Race for Life companion, the one who sent me the 'Bloody Gorgeous Salt Book Bag' is on Wikipedia? And at the end of the page there is this link Maps of Great Wilbraham.

How many ways are there to get to Great Wilbraham?

And is the number of maps listed in proportion to celeb status?

Well, that's how the bag looks like when our sweet Vinny is not sitting on it. He claimed it instantly and in a cat-fight I claimed it back for a good flaunting around town. Thanks Jen! We are very much looking forward to meeting you and Kirsty on the 1st June for you run!

Race for Life - dear Ladies! Haven't been nagging in a while. There are still 510 places available from 2500 for the Chantry Park run. That should be a great event with so many women running and walking and having fun, and with all the families coming and cheering on.

For a bit of inspirations have a look at the pictures of the 2007 Chantry Park run. And then just go for it and register here. And if you would like to be listed on our IL-RfL-Team page then drop me an email with the link to your sponsorship page (please put 'Incredible-Ladies' in the team member field) and a mugshot. Well, you can do it wherever you are in England and if you are not too far away we might even visit you on the day.

Eventually I worked a bit on the training guides again. It's amazing how time consuming this is. Babul took so many photos - it's hard to choose the right ones. Well, wanna look pretty, but wanna look serious as well. We are not doing this for fun, after all... oh, OK! Yes! We ARE doing this for fun! And for a 'killer cleavage'!

The 'mouse au chocolat' clip is a tip off from Carine (she never told me that the French kiss four! times to say hello!) Have a closer look, there are more recipes of that kind... and last but not least I found a map that I can colour in. So we have a means to document the colours of Incredible Ladies now. Ladies! Start networking. We need more of us to go entirely teal.

So that's it for this week, don't forget to have a look at the news-corner and the mischief section. It is getting busy now for the Ipswich Ladies and if you are busy elsewhere in the world, let me know about it ( Would be nice to have an IL-Satellite some place else.

Enjoy the warmer weather, get your summer skirts out and have a great week!



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17th April - Back to the roots

Well, this first quarter of 2008 was quite a rollercoaster and this update could have been called 'Back to square one' as well; with my e-mails still not being delivered to you, it's even harder to organise things than a year ago.

Back to square one' however, would draw a picture of defeat that is untrue. We have achieved quite a bit. The site has grown, the Ipswich Ladies have become more and have a lot of ideas for mischief, and we have a few things planned. I got the one or the other lovely feedback from strangers who stumbled over the site and we have our own stationery and favicon.

And then I had one of my moments - this time it was the ironing. People say it's boring, I'd say it's contemplative.

So I had this floating moment showing the reason why I'm not really happy right now like written on a canvas.

I could spell it from the inside of my forehead in capital letters: I so desperately wanted to make IL a success that I had forgotten what I love about it!

All these technical hiccups caught me in a world that I never liked and never will really understand. I felt like Don Quixote fighting the windmill, thus draining all my energy from the one thing I really love doing: Writing!

Thus it is back to the roots. I decided to drop the technical bits for now. For the next few month I will be focusing on the writing again. When I started around this time last year I didn't bother if there would ever be a single person reading that stuff.

I just did what I liked doing and it was enchanting and fun. It gave me more energy than I ever thought a person can have. I must have done something right back then. And it is what I'm preaching here, right? Find out where your passion lies, and then go for it. If you do something with all your heart, things will fall into place.

So, let's move from 'hard work' back to 'heart work'!

And what else does woman do if things are not going entirely her way? She finds an excuse to visit her favourite boutique!

Thus it came rather natural to me to just quickly pop up to Woodbridge to see Nicky and Sue from nyx&HollyBlue to see if they still had enough of our flyers. To be honest: I still don't know!

... it was like a deja vu of 'Oh no...' Just this time I went overboard big time. However, be assured I have a really good reason for every single item I bought. Have a look at the nyx&HollyBlue new-stuff page to find out what is new on their rails and take a good guess what I might have bought of it. Well, as I'm not able to keep my mouth shut I'm telling you anyway.

Girls having fun!

This dress has ruffles down the rear - as if I wouldn't have a bum anyway!

Well now it's down to guesswork whether this is dress or Rika that is visible.
And I can wear the belt I bought the last time with it - bargain, isn't it?
And I even have several pairs of shoes to match!

So! Give me a reason why I shouldn't have bought it!
You know where to find me:

I don't know it happened, but on my way back to the car those two fellas jumped into my bag.

And look what else I stumbled upon: An excerpt of a magazine from 1943 on how to deal with female employees. I'm still not sure whether to giggle or to cry.

My mum is born in 1940, hence that was the attitude our grandmas had to deal with - who in the end of the day were the same people who brought their kids through the war time.

Well, what a coincidence that I have a forum now on RFOS where I already had decided to depict a story showing that this sort of attitude is still alive in some heads.

It seems that in many ways we have it good these days, but it shows as well that there is still a lot left over to be taken care of. To read the forum entry on RFOS you will have to sign in, so I'm publishing it here as well. If you would like to comment on it here please, send me an email to or to participate in the forum please log into RFOS. There you will as well find my 'muscly profile' - no login needed for that.

And on a final note: nyx&HollyBlue only have about 35 tickets left for the fashion show on 12th June. If you wanted to attend you will have to decide quickly. Either give me a shout, or call them to get one reserved, or pick some up - but be careful, you might be buying something else as well.

Now my house cleaning is waiting for me as my weekly cleaner skipped the second time in one month. The house is a mess and with the afternoon tea coming up next week I can't have that, can I? So I will have to keep it short now. Have a good rest of the week, a lovely weekend and a lot of sunshine!



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10th April - Networking, Networking, ...!

Eventually I have my drive back. Last week I was whizzing around a lot and brought our leaflets to shops and from every one I got another new contact instantly. That is great. People really like what we are doing!

Now the flyers are with Heroes sport supply at Tower Ramparts in Ipswich, where I was advised to get in touch with the shop assistants of Tower Ramparts. They did a calendar of the girls last Christmas to raise money for Cancer Research - I'm hoping to get hold of a calendar soon! So they are an exciting bunch of ladies and it would be great to do some stuff together some time.

And then 'The Fitness Unit' has flyers as well, and there I firstly met a couple of ladies who were over the moon about the boxing course that is on offer there - I'm not exaggerating - they would like to have more ladies joining to make the course more sustainable. So I will see to negotiate a teaser session for us. Please have a look in the IL mail-corner (mail from 5th April). I need your feedback to finalise a deal.

Secondly I met a gentleman who instantly took a leaflet to give to his physiotherapist - bless him! It turns out he is a professional toastmaster!

I didn't even know what this is... so if you ever will have a big event and need a master of ceremonies: IL has one in it's network now.

It's still frost and my strawberry is flowering, as is the dandelion.

Talking of a teaser boxing session: don't forget to have a look from time to time at the Mischief section. 'On now' is rather big at the moment with restaurant visit end April, Cambridge trip, Race for Life with picnic party and Fashion show in June. Our 'Mischief in Planning' section is filling up as well so let me know if I should push any of those forward.

My lurking around in MySpace is starting to pay off as well.

I met - well, this is a bit of a silly wording, but how to put this differently - so I met Tuesdai Leigh, a musician from London.

I think she is really good if you like everything from rock to blues to raggae to country to...

I don't know a lot about that stuff, but I know when I hear something that I like, and I think she mixes styles beautifully. You know that I like everything that mixes things up a bit.

We will stay in touch...

... and she will let me know about gigs she is having - thus giving us another entry for the Mischief section.

Apart from dashing around I wrung my brain matter a bit and came up with a follow up article on networking: How to build a network and which mistakes to avoid.

Oh, and I almost forgot:

We have a favicon now!

That is this tiny image displayed in front of the link when the site comes up in the browser.

Oh well, that is actually what will be displayed:

So Incredible Ladies will show this in front of the link from now on. It hasn't trickled through all the pages yet, but soon we will be there.

Carine had put me onto that trail quite a while ago. I think it's a nice idea and it will bring us a bit closer to developing a brand.

- Whoops doesn't seem to show in Explorer but only in Firefox - will fix that by next week! -

And finally I found a real treat for all 'Sex in the City' addicts.

Ladies, end of May definitely is Movie-Time!

Now let's hope that it will get a bit warmer soon. Looking out of the window the weather looks lovely, but every morning my car is covered in frost and it stays rather cold throughout the days.

Soon Imola will be back and I won't have been out for a run once: Oh oh, I will get told off! It's just... I hate cold!

Well we didn't have a summer last year, we just insist in having one this year.

A toast to that!



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3rd April - David vs. Goliath

Most of you will already have heard either via my emails or otherwise that some of the emails I've sent haven't reached you. I'm increasingly feeling like little David fighting the big Goliath players like Yahoo and AOL, although I don't think that I can win in any way.

E-mails - Providers - RSS feeds - and 'How to find previous editions of IL'

All I can do is to let you know that this is what is happening. It will be up to you to check the Spam folder and de-spam them in case they did end up there.

At least I found several pages on the internet where non-AOL and non-Yahoo people like me felt like cut off from the world because AOL and Yahoo declared their emails spam and refused to deliver them properly. So instead of researching something nice, I wrote an article about that stuff.

Feeling a bit like the little Viola: Just seen the sunlight,
and then got ruffled by a hungry caterpillar

Thus I'm introducing an 'IL mail corner' which I will update whenever needed and regardless of the weekly schedule. In the long run we will have an RSS feed as well, for the time being it's just a button on the top level pages where you will find info that has to get to you quickly and which I usually would send in a mail.

Talking of RSS feeds: Since we don't have them yet; please don't forget that you can find all the previous editions by date under 'Previous Editions'. The link for it is just under the 'last week' publications of the right hand side top level menu. So if you've been in hols for more than two weeks - oh, you lucky you - you can easily catch up on what I came up with. Another option is this Site Diary. All the links are in here and even are explaining what the story is behind them.

Race for Life and the 'Incredible Ladies Team'

This picture was taken on Monday - what a lovely day it was. My goldies were all hanging on the surface having a sunbath.

Well, and now that the sun is out everybody is getting busy - including the Race for Life organisers. They have been starting a promotion round visiting BT at 1st April to recruit participants.

As I suspected, after Easter it will fill up quickly. Have a look at the numbers. If you want to get in, you might have to decide quickly.

I met the organisers during their promotion event and we definitely can have a picnic within the boundaries of the event - YaY!

We are 8 people in the team at the moment (two in Cambridge, six in Ipswich) and I'm adamant that we will have a lot of fun with and around the event - despite any weather, AOL, Yahoo, and other possible hiccups! We will have some sort of party and I got some pink shoe laces from them - well, not much but it's a start, isn't it? We might want to get some seagreen shoe laces a well and then we can go mixed - going silly now...

Mood Changes

Well, I'm writing this part of the weekly edition as I go along.

This time I started to do so on Sunday when I realised that the email problem was far from being resolved. On top of that on Monday the news about RfL promotion at BT as sort of competition to our little bunch got announced, and then our cappuccino machine broke down, gnahh!

Me without cappuccino is not a good combination.

And then the sun came out, I managed to fix the waterfall for the goldie pond, and Detlef came home with the queen of cappuccino makers, taking on an almost 2 hours drive to pick it up - the lovely, dear sweet man in my life.

Now that I've had the best of all cappuccinos in a long time, life is good again!

Ipswich Ladies may want to look forward to the next Afternoon Tea, which might as well evolve into an Afternoon Coffee.

And finally we have a bit of 'This and That'. Babul found and interesting links about photography teaching 'What to do when?' and then...

... I'm such a silly girl, but I just love stuff like that. I can't go to the movies when something like 'Nemo' is on - it's just too embarrassing to cry and sniffle in front of everybody - it's a fake fish, for crying out loud!

Now the same people made a new animated movie: Do you know Walle? He just can't keep his fingers from stuff...

The other link Detlef found me is a teaser trailer of the Walle movie. Ladies, make a note into your calendars: End of June we have to hit the cinema!

Have a great week and a lot of sunshine!



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27th March - The Future is a Rainbow

I hope you all had a lovely Easter break, and a

Happy New Year

to all our

Iranian Ladies and friends

As it happens the Iranian New Year goes along with the beginning of spring, 20th March this year - and what kind of spring did we have... ?

This chap was so hungry that he was chasing for starlings in our garden and had an exhausted rest when the hunt didn't work out. I think it is a sparrow hawk, but you might want to correct me on this.

It's end March already and in another two month time IL has it's first anniversary. That is worth reflecting on: Where are we? Where do we want to go? What do we need to do to achieve that?

A bit more of brushing up on 'networking skills' doesn't hurt for starters. Some of you already got my message about P.I.F.s as an IL-Newsletter already - however, I found it so useful that I'm putting it on here as well. It's working for me, why shouldn't it work for you?

And then I updated the 'Future Plans' page firstly, to help me to sort my thoughts and secondly, to let you know what I'm up to. As I said before: IL is for you! So this is your chance to let me know whether or not you like it.

Whatever the outcome: we definitely will go on with our mischief planning, don't we? I have to cancel the Afternoon Tea for the 28th - this Friday, though. However, the next month is back to normal: Have a look at the Afternoon Tea dates for the next half year!

Accordingly, I pushed on a bit regarding our plans for all the other events. We have a draft itinerary for Cambridge now, I arranged for Nicky to call me when she is running short of tickets for the fashion show, so that you will get a chance to still snatch one - there are just 100 available altogether,... Well and when I went to see her to deliver our new IL-Flyers I had a little mishap, again! I actually was supposed to write something about Vitamins, but who wants to read about that when I have to tell you what I got me.

The main event at the moment - Race for Life on the 8th June - is taking shape as well. We are getting support from Germany and whatever the weather, I intend to have a great day! What a nice coincidence that some of our hubbies are playing golf and thus own big umbrellas! So at least our supporters are sorted - however, I'm hoping for a few more of you to join! Some promised, but I'm still waiting for the sponsorship URLs and mugshots to trickle in?! C'mon Ladies we have a walking team and a running team, you are not asked for a big target to reach - and they have plenty of loos there - what else reason could you have not to join! Do I sound desperate? You should see me... sitting under the table hardly able to type from clasping my hands...

Let me lighten you up a bit then. Here are some of the P.I.F.s I got. Detlef found a cute little movie. Unfortunately the voice is in German so I've written a brief description of it.

Another P.I.F. came from Carine. She found a site where you can play face make-over. I didn't try anything one needs to register for, but you can play around a lot without doing so.

So the P.I.F. thing is starting to be real fun. I got one more from an unexpected end: MySpace. One of my 'friends' gave me a brilliant one without knowing. So that will be covering our sport section. Have a look - the movies are amazing, and somewhat funny.

... and don't forget to take a rest once in a while!

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20th March - Ladies on Fire

Now we are starting to kick off! I hardly know where to begin:

OK, let's start with Race for Life! We have 7 team members now - thanks ladies for joining; one more who promised to join, I'm waiting for her confirmation; one who is thinking - oh, that needs a bit more nagging then; and a few who seem to be in hiding. Well, they are sort of excused as I had a bit of trouble with my email and I still don't get email to Yahoo accounts quickly. So you may want to expect a phone call from me soon.

Thing just is:

Races book out quickly now!

Ipswich, Chantry Park, Sunday 8th June, 11AM: 1216 Participants, 1284 Available

Ipswich, Trinity Park, Wednesday 09 July, 19:30: 723 Participants, 1377 Available

Cambridge, Jesus Green, 1st June, 11 AM: 2157 Participants, 843 Available

Colchester, Essex University, Sunday 27 July 2008, 11:00AM: 1225 Participants, 825 Available

Colchester, Lower Castle Park, Sunday 11th May, 11AM: closed

as of 19th March.

Thus when they close, our race to build a real big team is over!

So please please join NOW!

Then there is the mischief bit. Ladies, it's getting busy now! Firstly we went to the movies and I eventually got my cappuccino upstairs. And secondly, we have plans - loads of plans! From a restaurant visit, via RfL to a fashion show. Have a look and see if something is catching your eye and let me know, so that I can get into gear with planning it.

As you can see I found me a some new little friends. There is another one you might have met already some place else.

I'm wishing you


very happy Easter time!

With a lot of sunshine, sleep, and nice people around.

Jen is travelling to Florida and will have her birthday there

Have a good one, Jen - and travel safely!

We need you for the race, otherwise we might not make it to Cambridge - and we don't want that!

I have to confess a minor crime: I did a bit of shopping in my favourite boutique.

These are two truly Incredible Ladies owning it. I first got to know 'Holly Blue' - close to my hair dresser. Every 7 weeks I had to withstand the temptation. Most of the time I failed misserably. Then a friend and later the owner of Holly Blue recommended 'nyx', what I found a bit odd. It's not real good business sense to recommend the competition. Tuns out: They are mother and daughter!

After a long autumn and winter of struggling, they eventually managed to get hold of the perfect location to move in together - what saves me half an hour of commute between the shops. And it's still close to the hairdresser. Hence my gratefulness!

Right now their web site is just a brief snapshot. But that will evolve and show more of the new ranges. However, I'm sure you will get a feeling for their style, and the clothes and accessories are just great. Nicky who owns nyx, knows her business in special occasion wear, and if you want to avoid the usual pink satin bow in front of your belly for your Prom - then this is the place to go.

I'm rather desperate at the moment to find an occasion - anybody marrying soon? Oh, please invite me!

And Holly Blue is the even bigger danger zone for me - because it's very stylish every day clothes. So one doesn't need a reason. And Sue knows how to sell. Be aware, she is a lovely lady, but dangerous. Out of the blue - is that where the name comes from? - she shows you something in a very unobtrusive way and you think: No, that's not my style! Believe me: It is! She never showed me something that wasn't ME. Sometimes I got lucky and she didn't have my size.

So if you are in the area it's worthwhile to stop by at nyx and Holly Blue, to have a browse and a chat.

Remember? Last time I had an article about 'How to choose your sport'? Well, Imola jumped on it and put me through said 'Fitness training' consisting of short powerful bursts with breaks in-between, also called interval training. What an interesting experience! Highly efficient, I have to say. I tried it before, but never to that extent. Very interesting experience ..., we are on again next Saturday! Oh oh,...

And of course I did a bit of thinking. Well, I tried to do a bit of thinking, and came up with an article on ... networking! I got some backup about what we are doing here from a very professional source, and I wanted to share that with you.

It is a subject very close to my heart - you may have guessed - and to find that I seem to be doing something right was a real boost. I would be very interested to hear what you think about all this. About networking in general - worries, good or bad experience - or the article in particular, and about areas of which you think I could improve, even if it might bite me a bit.

Incredible Ladies is for you. I love this project, but it can't live without you ladies. So if you are missing something, which you think Incredible Ladies could provide for - let me know. You know that I love a good challenge!

And last but not least, Babul found a 'How-To' website for photo enthusiasts.

So that's it for this week, and before you move on and forget all about it: Join the team, for crying out loud. I'll promise you: We will have a lot of fun!

C'mon, we are 7 ladies now, let's make it at least 10! And let me know the link to your sponsorship page and send me a mugshot if you have one that you like.

Have a lovely Easter weekend!



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13th March - Let's get down to business

No, we are not going commercial - I only decided that from today at noon it is spring! Winter is over and my moaning has to stop!

This Saturday I went to the gym for a first walking session after the flu. I wanted to test my lungs and my endurance, and walking on a treadmill is the best to do that. It's a controlled environment, and in case things go wrong one can stop instantly. But! All went really, really well.

Another advantage of walking is that the mind has a bit of time to float, and a few things fell into place. So we will give a bit flesh to the bone regarding sport today. There will be an update on the walking experiment, and there will be an article which might give you a bit of a kick to help choosing the right sport for you. I already wrote a few things about that, but during the past half year I did some experimenting and gained a few more insights.

Well, the 'down time' this winter - again! - taught me, that one should try to remember what one already knows. I believe I mentioned before that I'm a fan of food supplements like vitamins and minerals. I have quite a bit of experience especially with Vit C and had completely ignored on how to use it in case of a damaged immune system. So I'm going to wrap this up, and will use this article as a start into a series of nutrition articles during the next few weeks.

And of course the Ipswich Ladies are on the move again. We have a new member of the Incredible Ladies Race for Life team and we are going to the movies this weekend.

However, for myself I decided to turn things up a notch now. Race for Life is the deadline!

We need a bigger team: Ladies, don't chicken out! It's fun, and it's good for you.
And I'm looking into getting a banner for Incredible Ladies. I hope it won't be too expensive; but would be nice to have one, wouldn't it?
Furthermore I'm determined to start running from next weekend on. We might even team up for some sessions together? Let me know if you are interested!

So, no excuses anymore! Off we go!



PS: And in case you have a few pound too many: The IL Team would appreciate your sponsorship. Please choose your favourite Lady from the team list and visit her sponsorship page.

Thanks a bunch!

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6th March - Mischief, Fun and Charity

I was thinking since a while on how to bring our 'Mischief Activities' together with charity. One idea I already had with having 'day outs' for the race days of Race for Life. And now I stumbled across a local charity which might be worthwhile exploring. The Elisabeth Hospiz is doing great stuff although I think we will have to plan those activities carefully, as we don't want to burn our sponsor base by asking for money too often. However, check it out and let me know what you think!

What else is new? Well, it truly is spring now! Our ducks are back. Last year a duck couple visited our pond. Due to cats they didn't seem to be keen on breeding, but they surely enjoyed the breakfast and in late spring the dinner as well. When I first saw them I couldn't believe my eyes! Our pond is a tiny goldfish and frog overstocked thing, and these guys are huge. They need about 3 strokes to get through the whole pond. However, they are proudly cruising it back and forth.

Just to give you an idea of the proportions -

Pond new
Pond 2007 - the yellow grass overgrown by Iris
These two messing about

Have a look at the gallery for this years duck pix!

Additionally I have updated the Gallery with the Fuerteventura movies and a few landscape pix, so they are in one place now.

Then the Ipswich ladies have been in the pub and now want to go to the movies in March and to a restaurant in April. So there is an update on the mischief page, and we have the first registration for the Race For Life team - YaY!

There is an updated link for BodyGossip which previously went into MySpace. Now they have updated their own page and getting serious about the writing competition and getting celebs on board. This site gives gives much more information than the previous link. I think it's an interesting project and we should consider it a mischief option, by travelling to London and visit the show when it is on!

Babul has posted new pictures on aminus3. Taj Mahal - and more, ah.... The poor thing almost froze off his butt on shooting those.

And then there is a new kind of sport facility in Ipswich - a concept that sounds very interesting. Some personal trainers with ambition opened their own place. It is a well equipped gym in which they do their highly professional classes and 1-2-1s. It's called The Fitness Unit! Everything is supervised and the idea is, that you are never left alone like in other gyms, where one easily can get lost. Additionally the kind of classes on offer are very interesting: I might give the boxing class a go... to be continued!

Well, and I have been writing a bit about colds and silly brains and friends who send you butterflies. So have a look at the column and the lifestyle section.

I wish you all a good week and a lovely weekend! Hopefully the weather will be a bit warmer soon, so I won't feel so guilty when I'm nagging you to go out and to start training for Race for Life. And don't forget to send me the link for your sponsorship page once you have registered!



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28th February - Spring has arrived

Oh, there is real sunshine and the sun even is a bit warm. The pond fish are getting greedy for food and the frogs are quaksing around already.

I love this time of the year, although it usually means a bit of re-scheduling because the garden becomes more demanding again and I'm more in the mood for running/walking in the fields rather then on the treadmill. Well, that doesn't really cost more time but it means different sort of clothes and more shoe cleaning.

So, how about my UK ladies? Already in running/walking mood? This silly flu has thrown me back a week during which I already wanted to have nagged you a lot regarding 'Race for Life'.

That's the plan:

We don't have to be in one location. I'm going to run at Chantry Park, Lisa will most likely run Suffolk Showground. I might have a lady running in Cambridgeshire and I thought it might even be an idea to make a trip with some of the other Ladies to see her run and have a good time there.

So I need:

  • People who run/walk for Incredible Ladies
  • Sponsor a lot of money
  • Come at the day and fire us on - whichever race
  • Tell everybody about it

Interested in any of those roles?

Would be so great to have you on board - to whichever degree.

I will update the IL - Race for Life Page accordingly. Have a look please as well at my sponsorship page, to firstly see how easy it is to collect money and secondly - of course - to sponsor me! To register for the race go to the location finder of the Race for Life site.

And right in time to motivate you all, I got Imola's Story!

It is her account on what keeps her sane and how it all fell into place. I happen to know, that thanks to her previous experience which she is sharing with us here, she has thrown herself into new and exciting challenges and I'm looking forward to hearing more of her inspiring stories!

Thanks Imola! Keep it coming!

Well, and I did a bit of cooking again. For some reason I all of a sudden love prawns. I couldn't stand that stuff a couple of years ago and all of a sudden I developed a greed for those pink, naked curly things, brrrr. At the beginning it only were the small ones, but now I upgraded to King Prawns. So find my new version of 'Voluptuous Lettuce under Prawn Indulgence.

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21st February - Down with Flu! Again!'

How annoying! I'm down with a flu since 3 days now, and it's the worst of the four I had this winter.

What is that this year? It's not just me - my colleagues and friends and Detlef as well - we have a brief period during which we think we made it and - wham! The next virus catching up.

I had started to prepare a few nice things for you and then it all went down the drain.

Firstly, I have been working on a cooking video. I wanted to try this since a while. However I don't have a beautiful show kitchen and thus I wasn't sure if it were possible at all. So far it looks promising, although it's not a Nigela sexy me licking food from finger thing - will try this the next time if you insist...

Nevertheless, I think it will do the job to show you how easy it is to play a bit with ingredients and flavours. Well, the movie is sitting half finished on my computer, but with my attention span of a rabbit - what is probably a mean thing to say about a rabbit - and a voice of a grizzly, you probably wouldn't like the outcome if I'd finished it now.

I wanted to post a snap of our daffodils in full bloom - but I didn't step out of the door at all. And I got a few ideas for activities for the Ipswich ladies for which I will have to do some more investigation.

So I'm very sorry, but this sad little update is all I have for you this week.

Take good care of yourselves and avoid the nasty little buggers.

Stay well and healthy!



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14th February - Fuerteventura

So here it is! The Fuerteventura edition. Five pages on Landscape, Travel Diary and Clublife, Jet ski Experience, Shopping and Bits and Pieces. So I hope you will enjoy it. All the links to external pages which are dotted all over the place are collected in the External liks page as well.

And if you should get bored, Detlef found you bubblemania for distraction.

Oh yes, and Ipswich Ladies are going out again. We seem to be all back from our New Years trips and half terem week will be over as well by then. It's the 23rd Feb and we are just popping into a pub, sort of as a meeting to plan a bit more mischief for the next month.

See you later, have fun,



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7th February - Happy Chinese New Year

A very happy

New Year to all our

Chinese ladies, families and friends!

I only learned today that there is a cycle of 12 signs taking rains on a yearly schedule (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, pig). And this year is the 'Year of the Rat'.

If you are interested: Here is a site on traditional celebrations of the Chinese Culture Centre of San Francisco.

Additionally the characteristics of the Rat are tempered by one of the Chinese elements: metal, water, wood, fire, earth which add a five year cycle to the 12 years of the zodiac. So this is the Year of the Earth Rat.

Oh well, and as you can see: I'm back from my holidays.

I had a lovely time and it was good to see my mum and to catch up on everything. It's just different whether you have a telephone call, or if you are sitting on a sun floated terrace, sipping coffee, having cake that you didn't have to bake yourself and just chat away without any time pressure.

Although it was mostly a lazy holiday we did a few things about which I will tell you a bit the next time. By then I will have sorted through my picture material and will be able to give you an impression what Fuerteventura is like. It is a rather particular island - but you'll see!

Thus this will be a rather short edition.

Unfortunately I had a bit of a headache on my trip back, so the next day I was too knackered to produce something useful. I hope you don't mind my decision to not rush it. So I'm only going to quickly update you on how it went with 'not taking shaving stuff', and then I will sift through my myriads of movies and pictures to carve something nice out of it. I so much enjoyed shooting those with you guys in mind that I regret a bit to not having done more stuff to show off with. Well, but then: it was to see my mum...

However, for further trips I will keep my eyes on that matter and prepare a bit more. This trip was a brilliant experience for my video-freakishness. So I hope you will like with what I will come up the next time.

See you then!



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31st January - Spring Holiday at Fuerteventura

Eventually! This is the one where I won't even be around when it goes live. Not that I don't like to be around, but it's just nicer to sit in the sunshine in a holiday resort.

Isn't it brilliant when one has staff! Well, dear sweet hubby will cuddle and feed the cats while I'm away and he will press the button. Kudos to him!

Last week's Wednesday I dashed home to upload the edition of the 24th and to start preparing everything for this one, when I realised that it really IS spring.

Only almost end of January and the weather still dull - however, it was warm. I'm starting to throw my jumpers and jackets off, and when I reversed into my driveway I saw those little fellas from the corner of my eye.

Investigating it a bit further I found that the daffodils are 15cm long and the hyacinths have dense buds sitting in a ring of green leaves.

Well, usually there is some clear frost in February, but for the time being it's just nice to see them.

With all the juices rising and Valentines Day approaching I had a few general thoughts about Relationships, the clichés ranking around them and the traps attached.

And well, well, well,... I just got an email. We are on!

Race for Life is up and running. I will update you on our Race for Life 2008 page in a bit more detail when I'm back from my holidays, but while I'm away you might want to think about joining as part of the Incredible Ladies Team. And I will think about how we bring it all together. I have some ideas whizzing around my head and I will think them through while I'm sitting in the sunshine sipping a nice drink. I even bought myself a little notepad for that purpose. See! Even during holidays I'm thinking of you!

Speaking of hols again: Remember? Me and my plan for not having to travel with heavy shaving gear and moving on from shaving and waxing to laser?

So worthwhile! So far I only can briefly comment on it as it is only a good week in, but there is a silver line at the horizon.

I have to dash now. I'm going to leave the house in 7 hours time and haven't packed a thing. I hope you will enjoy my little edition and when I'm back I'm hoping to step it up a notch. Ipswich Ladies have to go out again, we will have to organise Race for Life, I have a few new recipes, and we have to do a bit on the exercising front again. So if you have any suggestions, things you want me to cover or just a comment: Please let me know about it!

See you in a week!



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24th January - Holidays needed!

I need a break, or a new brain, or both! Can you believe this? I went to work on Friday morning wearing a brown and a black shoe! I would have loved to see my face when I realised. I felt a bit like in slow motion while my thoughts were racing to determine whether I got colour blind, these were not my feet, or if that really could be the truth. Outcome: Truth! Still in slow motion onto the next level: Who could have seen me? Outcome: Everybody! Well it was early morning and not everybody was there yet, but ALL the people who where could have. It was Friday after all - plant watering day! Meaning me showing up on almost every desk and having friendly chats at the coffee area.

Everywhere else in the world something like this would be a first sign of the need to being delivered into a loony bin - what a luck that we are in England; one might get away with being considered a bit eccentric. So I marched to my desk, calling hubby who just had his morning cappuccino, asking him to find the other brown shoe and bring it. At least he had a good giggle!

I told you before that I have a thing about shoes. When I was rounder my feet were as well and I had trouble getting nice shoes. So whenever I found some I got them in all colours, and I still have that habit. Well, that now backfired. Although it had something good as well - I never considered wearing the black ones with the dark brown trousers, and the look can be considered an improvement. Be aware of browns, they come in odd variations and sometimes they don't go as well together as one might think. Apparently sometimes one needs an 'out of mind' experience to enhance the fashion sense.

Well, given all that it is lucky that I AM going in holidays next Sunday. Thus the next two editions will be a bit short as I won't be around, and hubby will have to do the weekly upload for me while I will be enjoying club life at Fuerteventura. I hope I will be able to bring you some nice pictures and impressions. I have been there two years ago and I just loved it. It's a bit different than what one might expect from the Canaries, though. But you will see!

What else are we up to this week?

We will have the Ipswich Ladies Afternoon Tea this Friday, 25th. The Ipswich Ladies on my mailing list should have received an email already. If you are in the area and would like to join us please drop me a line and I will get in touch with you to let you know the address. And you may want to think a bit about mischief we want to achieve in February. Let me know about it so that I can start planning for it when I'm back.

And I have another little story. Last week when I found the story of the 'Monk and the Traveller' I got inspired to write one myself about our cats and what we can learn from them. Their behaviour sometimes mirrors human social interaction in a way that it is somewhat scary. The blanket that we call civilisation seems to be thinner than one might think, or wish for.

Sport! Hmmm... I left you alone for a while because I thought that this is the time of the year, where one sort of gets told off all the time anyway with all the New Years resolution stuff going on. I felt that this time of the year one needs contemplation and time to find the rhythm again, rather then rushing too fast into new things. And... the training movies which I already have published are accessed rather frequently. As they have their home on YouTube I get the counts on that. The Basic Tummy Exercises Video has made the 1000 hits mark this week. I am thrilled! Some of you seem to be doing their bit anyway!

I hope you are having a good week and I'm looking forward to seeing some of you on the 'Afternoon Tea'.



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17th January- I'm going for it

The other day I was browsing the Internet for information on a guy who is doing all this lifestyle stuff professionally and I thought I should check out the competition a bit. Well, I did find him, but I found as well another site dealing with these issues - a bit more company related, but nevertheless very interesting. They have a section with the loveliest stories one of which fits the motto of Incredible Ladies so well. Please have a look at the story of 'The monk and the traveller'.

As I'm starting to get confused about my own website at times, I decided to introduce an additional menu entry. We already have the 'Finding Things' entry, but I thought something like 'Factfiles' could be useful which will list all the articles which contain some sort of 'flesh to the bone' info. So if you wanted to look something up and don't know anymore in which section it was published you might find it there - hopefully. I'm still building this page and if you have any suggestions to it, please let me know.

Then I updated Daniel's gallery (FemPhysPhoto). He had asked me to replace one of the previous photos because he improved it, but I was a bit sneaky and left the previous version in. So if you are interested in these sort of digital photo enhancing things have a look, it's the third from the top. Additionally there are a few 'real' bodybuilding ladies on there now as well.

At first I wasn't sure if it were a good idea to have them, as you might get scared off the weight training entirely. But look at it realistically: I am far from having their shape and you know that I work out quite hard. If the only change to your usual workout would be to use heavier weights, there would be no danger whatsoever of you getting as bulky as them. All that would happen might be that you reach your goals a bit quicker. In order to get their muscle mass you would have to work out at least 6 times a week with a very elaborate schedule and diet and supplement regime.

On the other hand you can see in these pictures how much effort is needed to build muscle tissue in women, because actually: They are not even that bulky. Of almost all the women who would look bigger than those, one can assume that they take steroids. So I decided that the pictures may go live as an encouragement for all of you who do gym work, and all of you who liked my last weeks idea of trying things a different way.

Well, and then I promised you last week that I would stick with this motto and just go for new things. And now I'm telling you: Last week I was at a 'Laser Clinic' and had a first consultation and patch test. So find my report on 'From Fluff to Buff - The Sequel'!

And of course my usual appeal: Do you have anything you would like me to cover? Is there anything you would like to contribute? So far I made everything up myself as I went along, and I only can hope that you like it. So let me know what you think! And send me loads of emails to inspire!



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10th January - I like it!

Don't know what happened, but all of a sudden I get compliments on my muscly figure, coming from various corners. Not that I would abandon it if I wouldn't get them, but still; it is nice to get confirmation, especially if it comes unexpectedly.

One reason I hear for not getting muscles is that men might not like it. Well, never had a problem there, as my man was the one making me cling to the iron. For me it was more this 'not fitting in anymore' thing. When I was younger I wanted to be slim in order to belong to the group of cool slim girls. Going for muscles meant a conscious decision against that. And 25 years ago there were not a lot of muscly ladies around, well and here in the provinces we don't find so many these days either. So I had to accept to become either a bit of an outsider in that respect, or a leader of the gang and convince others to go for it as well - hmm, what a tempting thought that is...

If you would join the gang now, you wouldn't be an outsider anymore. Here in this area you have me, and looking around in the internet I found out that this is a growing community, and most interestingly in all sizes - from really huge to 'visible but moderate'. What I call: Athletic! Luckily more and more women say 'good bye' to 'size 0' or extreme dieting and go for the 'athletic' approach.

And this idea of 'men not liking athletic women' doesn't seem to be true either. Most of the compliments I get are from men, loads of them. There was this gorgeous guy - about 20 years younger than I am, who I didn't even know and who only wanted to leave something for a friend on my desk - bursting out: 'Wow, what great arms you have', and then blushed and appologised. How sweet is that?

Or a friend who admits that I turned him round. From that I take that men might say that they don't like it, not actually knowing what they are talking about. Ladies who are working for an athletic figure should consider themselves as 'exotic fruits' - looked at suspiciously at first, but once acquainted with not to be missed anymore!

The other lot are people on MySpace - no, not all of MySpace consists of internet creeps - who are genuinely interested in athletic women, wanting to know how I train, eat and how others respond to my shape. One of them is running an internet site promoting female strength and was so taken by what he found out about me on 'Incredible Ladies', that he offered me to publish my profile on his site. Gosh, me - little Rika from Ipswich - between competing Bodybuilders and professionals. I take that as a huge compliment.

But the biggest compliment of all I got from ... I couldn't believe it... my mum. It's this thing with mums, that one always stays daughter, and with a lot of things one does baring mum's preferences in mind. There is nothing wrong with that, but from time to time I find myself making conscious decisions against those preferences. So, I know she likes sportive, fit, slim and athletic in a aerobic kind of way. I had a hunch that I might have gone beyond that, and that I had become bulkier than appreciated by her. Well, she would have had the right to comment, as I did that to her daughter. However, I would not have liked to hear that comment.

Tsss, tsss ... never anticipate other people's preferences, however well you might think you know them. I got a phone call, my sweet darling mum asking for absolution that she printed my bikini photos for showing them off to her tennis friends - full of pride of what her daughter has achieved! Wow! One of whom grabbed the photos from her, saying that she wanted to put those up on her fridge door. Wow, again!

What do I take from all of this?

I have to admit that I feel rather proud. Firstly, it is something that I achieved all by myself, and whether one likes my shape or not: It nevertheless is an achievement. Secondly, I dared using a solution which is off the mainstream - and I won! I'm healthy, I'm fit and I think I'm not looking too bad for my age. I'm going to approach matters more often in this daring way now. You will find me starting on that straight away, and I will tell you about it in next weeks edition.

Well, and most importantly I will stop using my anticipation of other people's perceptions for my decision making process. Gosh, I'm such an old cow, but my mum still can teach me a lesson!

Stay healthy and trust yourselves!



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2nd January - New Years Resolutions!

'There we are, 2008 is here! I hope that you all made it in one piece and that you are well and up and running, now that the New Year is starting to age already.

Today was my first day back at work, and I have to admit: I didn't even mind. This winter break is always a bit washed out and I'm never really sure what day of the week it is. Everything is out of rhythm and apart from meeting people - what is nice - and sleeping a lot and watching a lot of telly - what is nice as well - nothing really happens.

I guess that's one part of the population, the other part is working their butts off for the lazy gits mentioned above, feeding and hosting them.

To be back to the old routine seems to be a good thing for both parts. And apart from travelling to some place where the sun is shining: What can one do? It's boring weather, boring shopping, boring everything ...

That is quite a discrepancy, isn't it? Nothing really happens, and there is a New Year arriving and one is supposed to feel at least some sort of excitement. Probably that's why there are New Year's resolutions. I have never heard of birthday or anniversary resolutions: "Darling for one year until our next anniversary I promise not to nag anymore, and in turn I want you to bring out the rubbish."

Could be an alternative! But that never happens, it's always the New Year that raises expectations. And the media and the businesses are hitting that spot over and over again. All of a sudden all the perfume adverts are gone and all these exercising machines and slimming videos are on. No darling, if you didn't acquire your perfume by now, you have to wait - you could slim down a bit using this excellent product.

And if the resolution is not working out: Well, then we are a failure - again!

There is only one thing to do about it: Don't make them! Really, don't join the gym now! It is breaking full there in January and it's no fun there then. The gym is sort of my second home and I hate it in January. Well, there might be a good deal in it, but you should be really sure what you are expecting from it. And be sure to be able to make time for it. Actually it would be better to make a schedule for home exercise or walking or running, and to stick with it for a while before deciding for a gym membership.

You want to quit smoking? Very honourable, but why on earth would you want to do this at the darkest and dullest time of the year, where there is no distraction like gardening or other outdoor activities. At the time of the year where one is moody anyway, you decide to torture yourself. Better find a time where you know that you are at your happiest - and then start your cure.

The same with food: If you love chocolates - Winter is the worst time ever to wean oneself off it. Again, why not determine a time for yourself where you know you will be distracted by something nice and then do it. And don't tell people about it - just do it!

This way the calm and moody time of the year becomes a time of planning and dreaming and getting ideas. Sit down with a cuppa and write it down what you would like to do at some certain point of the year, or draw a doodle of what you are thinking and dreaming. And then work slowly towards your deadline, don't be afraid of it, make it your secret friend. While you get there try a few things out to see what works for you and what not.

And then, at the verge to the New Year 2009 you might look back and find that you achieved more than you ever thought, and all that without a single resolution.

All the best to you and a fantastic 2008!



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Copyright 2007
Author: Rika