dream hunter

You wonder if you should take a step to the unknown. She leaped. You wonder if you knew how. She taught you. You wonder if you could. She did. A friend who's always there. A source of inspiration and admiration. Courageous, beautiful and full of amazing thoughts. She's someone so annoyingly perfect you'd want to hate her. But you can't help but love her. by iiris

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

and up we go

I was gently peer pressured into trying climbing. It was not something I had never ever thought about myself but there had been little reason to go, even if it looked like a fun way to waste time.

Last week I managed to book a place in an introductory class and after that I spent the rest of the week counting minutes to my 5hours of torture.

We were six novices in the group, all equally clueless about what to expect but all equally eager to get out there and go up and up and up.

The first hour we knotted. A figure of eight or a snowman or what ever you want to call it was repeated over and over and over and over again until our instructor was convinced that we all mastered it perfectly. After all it would later serve as out lifeline.

Then belaying. How to ensure that the person somewhere up the wall will not fall flat on the floor if he looses his grip. A rather useful skill to have.

Then off we went. First in one group. Then in two groups. Then in pairs.

I tried the two lowest levels and found them rather easy. Almost annoyingly so. Must try something more difficult.

And that’s where the fun started.

I tumbled down the last one, hitting my knee hard on the wall. I gave it another two tries but got stuck at the same spot. My arms felt weak and powerless and I could already imagine what my muscles would tell me the following day.

I glanced at the route one more time but decided to let it be. For now. First thing next time though.

We ended the course by swapping numbers and trying to find time for the next session as soon as possible. Tomorrow? The day after? Three times this week?

I could see my renewed social life fly out the window and my life turn into a series of questions – should I run or climb or climb or run or run and climb or climb and run?

The dilemma.
And now, there is a yellow pair of climbing shoes next to my bed, eagerly waiting for the first climb. Tonight. And tomorrow. And this weekend. Twice.

Monday, January 26, 2009


For Christmas I received a gift card for a deep tissue massage. I had been, as I often do, complaining that my muscles feel stiff and tired (I hate stretching and I suffer as a result) and hence a friend of mine decided to offer me a well needed and apparently deserved treat.

I finally managed to book an appointment for last Saturday. And surprisingly, spent the most of the week looking forward to it.

I had, the very same morning been to training – running with the running club, my usual Saturday morning date – and hence the idea of a massage was increasingly appealing.

I arrived to the place in good time. My coat and shoes were taken from me and I was seated into a comfortable “chair” with a class of water. There was a quiet music playing in the background and mildly scented candles.
So peaceful.

So Zen.
The massage then…

Everything was tailored to my needs. The masseuse carefully attacked every knot and hard bit in my back, my legs and tights. Working slowly and thoroughly she relaxed the parts of my body that had turned into rock long time ago.

It was painful. So very painful.

Over. I lied for a while on my stomach powerless.

After getting up and having dressed I was directed the deep, welcoming sofas and offered a cup of green tea.

I left the place feeling completely drained. By the time I reached home I was exhausted. But relaxed.So that stretching? I suppose I should try that one out to maintain the divine feeling until my next treat. When ever that will be.

THE pool

I am not a swimmer. Every trip to the pool is a struggle and when my sister is present – an embarrassment to her. Despite her numerous attempts to teach me some sort of technique and style, my swimming still resembles modified doggy paddle at its best.

On Friday, however, I decided to bite the bullet and check out my local pool. It had been on my “to do” list for a long while but as could be expected, no tick had appeared to that box.

After a minimum of procrastination I packed my things, hoped on my bike and pedalled the less than 10minute journey to the pool.

£3.99. Not bad in London standards.

I placed my things into the locker and moved towards the showers. Definitely bad in UK standards.

However, I could not spend the whole time in the hot shower so I picked up the pieces of courage still in me and moved to the pool.

Swimming? No way.

I asked the lifeguard if I could aqua jog, IF I stayed very very close to the wall on the slow lane. I was given green light..

So there I went. And the water was warm. Not bad at all. No shattering teeth. No goose pumps. Excellent.

I received some strange looks when pottering slowly forwards but this did not bother me the slightest.

Unfortunately my trip was cut short as after 45minutes they closed the lanes for competitive swimmers. Something I had overlooked when skimming through the timetable.

Oh well. More next time.

As I made my way home I realised that I no longer had any excuse or reason to not go to the pool.


But a good discovery nevertheless.

(this morning I was at the pool at 7AM and did some training before coming into the office…surely that cannot be good for me…)

Friday, January 23, 2009


Long time ago, when I still lived in Paris, somebody brough crumpets to my work and all the English in that place went completely crazy.


As these flat, white, bready looking things were guarded like the world’s rarest treasure I never got to taste one. Untill yesterday.

Last night my flatmate came home from training with a bag full of groceries. She too had heard about crumpets but had never had one. Low on sugar she had spotted the so called delicasy at the store and bought a packet.

So we decided to try them.

She place two crumpets on the grill to toast. We waited and waited. Finally they had gathered some golden shimmer to them and we decided they must be ready.

Butter. Apparently butter is a must on crumpets. So we dutifully spreaded butter over the surface of the bready thing and watched it melt into the hot dough.

Total silence.



We looked at each other and started laughing.

Neither of us could really understand what was the earth shaking, mindblowing thing about crumpets. They were ok. Nice even. But hardly anything special and definitely not a delicasy worth writing home about.

I suppose crumpets will be place into the pile of things I will never ever be able to understand about the English.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

the office MacGyver

Yesterday I struggled to motivate myself to go to training after work. I had a heated debate in my head arguing for and against a run with a running club and a run with my broken ipod.

The decision was made for me.

I sneaked out the office early. Well in time, but compared with the past several days and weeks, early.

I squeezed past a red bike to get to mine and opened the lock.


Bike key in two pieces. One in the lock. One in my hand.

I was gutted. But there was nothing I could do. I through the half in my hand into the bin and started walking home. In heels.

By the time I was home I had already missed training or the train that could have taken me to training on time. Well that was easy. However, instead of keeping company to my ipod I went to bed, thinking how to solve the newly appeared transport related issue.

This morning I got ready for work – pliers, bike/lock oil, spare keys. And heels. In my handbag.

I walked back to the office and straight to the bike rack. Luckily there was just enough of the broken key sticking out the lock (I have a chain lock as thick as my wrist so my bike was still happily there, waiting) for me to slowly twitch it out with the pliers.


Then the next mission. I took one of the spare keys and carefully opened the lock. It worked. I then sprayed the lock with oil so that it moved a bit more smoothly despite the wet and rain and rust. Done. And as I was at it, I greased the chains as well.

This whole process was carefully examined by some random office worker, who had come out for a smoke.

“Broke the key, didn’t you?”

I was very pleased I was not forced to resort to asking someone for big chain cutters – might come across as slightly suspicious. Besides, as my lock is worth probably more than my bike, would hate to see it cut in two.

And what do we learn from this? A set of pliers and a spare key are a necessity in every girl’s handbag.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

new year’s resolutions

This year, or last year or when the year changed I sort of overlooked the whole episode. Admittedly I was drinking bubbly and had brushed my hair, which should be considered as making an effort but even still the New Year did not start in a glamorous fashion.

Nor did my New Year’s resolutions.

I had, yet again, decided to redesign my life. After all that is what the New Year (and every Monday) is for. However, as I had failed to write down my plans they have now been revised and re-revised numerous times. And they are still not written down.

I was, as usual, going to reduce my sugar consumption. This lasted…well it did not really start yet during the holidays, because during the holidays you do not have to change your bad habits into better ones…well it didn’t last. I did consider trying again on the first Monday of the year but then I had to go back to work and something else happened so chocolate was simply in order.

I then thought rewriting my last year’s resolutions as I did not really, technically live by them last year so I thought I should really try again this year. So far I have not dared to open my old diary because I remember it saying something about nice nails and pedicures and the rest and this, considering the current dismal state of my feet would increase the list of things to be done exponentially.

A friend of mine had decided to say “yes”. She would stop hiding behind her habits and routines and try out new things whenever possible.

I should do the opposite – learn to say “no”. But somehow “say no” does not sound impressive enough to pass as a resolution.

I have now decided that I will have, by the end of this month, written down the re-revised version of my re-revised resolutions. I will, then, start a new life on the 1st day of the second month of the year.

That will be a Sunday.