Friday, 17 August 2012

Heading South, Beach Bound.

Take me there...
My ideal day will always be spent near the beach, chasing waves, salt on my lips, sunshine on my face.  Leisurely morning strolls, lazy afternoons, book-in-hand, head lolling with sleep.  Collecting shells, prodding sticks into wet sand, squealing at crabs, and yes, building castles.  No deadlines, no schedules, no phones ringing, no emails 'pinging'.  Take me to a small coastal town, in a far off land, a sleepy fishing village, a weatherbeaten beach shack, hidden from view.  Fresh crayfish on tap, BBQs at noon, pina coladas, margaritas, that's my ideal day, something like that.

It's been a little crazy in the parallel universe recently.  I'm heading south to a very small isle for a short summery break.  There'll be writing, plenty of sleep and best of all, that salty air.  So, feel free, drop everything, grab your notebook, pack a bag, -come away with me!  -T xox

PS:  What's your ideal day? 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Supermodels With Style And Grace

Yesterday's closing ceremony extinguished our beloved Olympic torch and everyone seems a little lost today.  Or, are we?  Since the athletes hit town, I have noticed an underlying current winding it's way through twitterland.  Don't worry, it's a positive one.  I can pinpoint the moment it happened.  Last saturday night, Jess Ennis, bringing home the gold in the heptathlon event.  Suddenly, noses twitched, sleepy eyes were rubbed and people sat up.  Cue light bulb moment.  We have an alternative to the celebrity culture built on botox and silicone chicken filets, who knew?  And, after reading a recent article in the guardian, which posed the question, what should the legacy from these games be?  I found myself pondering the question further.  Who exactly are our positive role models today?  And, not just for young girls but for women of all ages?

Ask any teenager whose style they'd like to, 'emulate'?  The response is likely, a roll of the eyes, 'whatever', perhaps an irate, '1D' hurled over shoulder in your general direction.  That's 'One Direction' to anyone over twenty years old.  Okay, and, if not 1D, then, I dunno, Miley Cyrus, Megan, um, Kirsten Stewart?  Actually scratch the latter.   Of course, if they're uber-hipsters, you won't get a response at all.  Hold up a picture of Kofi Annan or Mother Teresa, you'll probably draw a blank stare.  Hilary Clinton, Steve Jobs?  Maybe there's a glimmer of recognition, maybe... 

Take a stroll into any news agency, you'll find wall-to-wall fashion magazines.  Beautiful faces, perfectly photo-shopped, bee-stung lips, slims hips.  Some surgically enhanced, others... well you can't really tell.  Switch on your TV in the evening and it's non-stop reality shows at your fingertips.  Oh, I could lament the state of reality TV and it's wishy-washy celebrity with dead-pan eyes.  However, I'll spare you the pain.  It's so not worth it.  Jungles, sing-a-longs, real-life, dirty laundry, trash-heaved upon-trash- all terribly sad.  And tragically, this is where young people form their ideals of what to strive for.  Material wants, false looks, yes, false idols.  I know, I know, it's entertainment too and I'm not denying that it's not compelling viewing at times.  Morbid curiosity isn't a figment of our imagination, but the side effects are damaging to certain vulnerable minds.  Give us something of substance to bite down on, not the paper-thin celebrity, puh-lease!

Every Olympic games begets a new wave of talented superstars, this summer, I spotted a few young ladies providing inspiration for next generation, - Jess Ennis, Jade Jones, Liz Cambage, Nicola Adams, the list is long!  I don't know about you but I'm excited that there are true super models in our midst, not all hip and cheek bones either!  They're fit, healthy, motivated, and above all they are human too.  So, I say, more positive supermodels, less of the silicone types.  And, maybe we should take this whole 'gender thing' out of the equation.  Yesterday, I was lucky enough to watch Australian Super Fish, Ian Thorpe give free swimming tips to anyone who turned up at a local pool in London.  That for me, is the perfect example of providing a legacy and actions like those, are, what really inspire a generation. 

Tell, now, in any aspect of your life, -who is your ideal supermodel?

A/N: I'd like to apologise to my blog for mentioning Miley Cyrus and 1D in this post,  don't worry, -it won't happen again. Ever.  Yours,  T xox

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Game, Set and Match, London's Sports Renaissance

It's no secret, London is currently in the throes of games fever.  We have slung bunting across ancient oaks, threaded it through gates and wrapped it around lamp posts.  Babies in strollers  are waving teeny tiny red-white-n'blue flags, that infamous Canadian Maple Leaf hangs on nearby doors, police officers have perfected 'the Bolt pose', and tonight, I spotted an enormous yellow kangaroo, sitting comfortably in a neighbour's dining chair.  He was wearing red boxing gloves, and a very defiant stare.  It's all very 'Olympic' around our little town.

After an incredible opening ceremony just over a week ago, our Inner Cheerleader has revealed herself.  And she's not leaving anytime soon.  If you follow me on twitter, you'll know, swimming, has been top of my list.  Swiftly followed by sailing, equestrian, the triathlon, tennis, gymnastics, beach volleyball... what?  Okay, the list is endless.  With such incredible performances from the athletes, it's hard to pick a favourite, they have all been a pleasure to watch, but if you insist, let's see...

For myself, I have to say, the young ladies in swimming, in particular, 15 year old Ruta Meilutye who won the women's breaststroke.  Super fast, super fish.  I racked my brains wondering what I did at that age.  And of course, Michael Phelps.  22 medals, of which 18 are gold.  If you contemplate that long enough, you might need to sit down, -it's phenomenal.  However, let's remember, we are talking about the Olympics, the 'best of the best', fighting it out.  Another favourite, is our uber-cool-lady, Jess Ennis, whose award-winning abs and derriere, pretty much knocked Pippa Middleton off the number one spot for oggle-worthiness.  Yes, bow to the new Queen of Abs! Our very own,  Women's Heptathlon Champion Of The World.

The other six billion dollar question, is who to cheer for?  I cheer like a wild thing, not so un-pretty though definitely, a trifle disturbing.  I've found myself whooping for Team GB, before switching gears to squeal for my old Kiwis, Team NZ, and I've a soft spot for the Aussies.  Luckily, at these games, they seem to have excelled  at different events so there's no real conflict of conscience.  And, Team GB's won an astounding number of Gold!  We're all pinching ourselves and Londoners are walking just a little taller this week.

'Inspire A Generation' is the tagline for our games and as cliche as this sounds, I think it should be' rebadged' as 'Inspire A Nation'.   Lord knows, post sunday's closing ceremony, when all the bunting is taken down and flags folded away, we'll all need a group-city-country-hug.  In the meantime, if you're watching, I hope you're finding inspiration from the games.  It's been a wonderful reminder to everyone, sports fan or not, to keep reaching for our dreams.  And, yes, that's reaching, not retching, okay?  Good.  *tosses pom-pom high in the air*   

A/N:  Photo's via yours truly.  Just a few snaps from the past week.  I hope you will enjoy them. - T xox

Tower Bridge and THOSE Olympic rings!
Snapped off the back of the ferry...
Scribe Junior, reluctant poser... kinda

Women's marathon
through the streets of London

Olympic Hat!

Rather like the quintessential park bench...
Yes, in the hood!?

Sweet Couture Cupcake man,
lunch market beside the mega yachts...
Canary Wharf

We're gone bunting mad...

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Games Have Begun!

After last weeks stunning Olympics Opening Ceremony, I confess, I've been struck with Games-fever!  I hope you are all enjoying the games, its all been a little exciting!   And another celebration has been underway this week.   J.C. Martin releases her debut novel, crime thriller Oracle! To celebrate, she's holding a month-long Oracle Olympics Blog Tour, with tons of games and prizes, including a possible grand prize of an iPad3, for more details, visit J.C's blog

With London gearing up to host the Olympics, the city doesn't need a serial killer stalking the streets, but they've got one anyway.

Leaving a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police force is no closer to finding the latest psychopath than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer is in finding a solution for his daughter's disability.

Thrust into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family with the safety of a growing population of potential victims.

One of whom could be his own daughter.

Fingers point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and Lancer's only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at each crime scene.

Purchase Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

To win a copy of the book, visit all the blogs in the Parade of Nations in order (for a complete list of blogs, visit Olympics HQ here), including this one! Each blog will have a secret letter. Collect them all to decipher the secret message. Then go back to J.C.'s blog and enter your answer in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win! The contest will remain open till midnight EST on Friday 3rd August. The winner will be announced on J.C.'s blog!

So here is my secret letter: [U]  Click on over to the next letter!  Good luck to everyone!