Sunday, 29 September 2013

Getting Creative in Red Corrner

Hello all!!

How has your week been?
How did you spend your time in the past seven days? Productively? Lazying around? Spending time with friends and family? Most importantly, did you enjoy what you were doing?

I have, almost every single thing I did this week. Mainly, because I made a point to enjoy the moment, enjoy the things and people around me. A friend told me two people I know of (I don't know them personally) dying of cancer in the last week and that made me stop and think: all this could end so quickly, I better make sure I am giving it a good shot whilst I am here on Earth. I know, somewhat heavy, but I guess, that is life. 
So, I made sure that every time I felt getting annoyed at something unimportant, to change the way I think, to stay positive and to think of things I can do and people I have in my life. That instantly made me feel better and made me feel grateful for what I have.

Then today, I met up with my favourite people for lunch at a fantastic Turkish restaurant in Stretham Hill. We had this older, most charming and delightful waiter from Cypress. As I walked into a restaurant, he came towards and gave me a hug. Who does that? Fabulous people, that's who. I saw a woman at a neighbouring table rolling her eyes and sort of judging the situation. I thought, you are missing out on a lot lady!! The cheerful waiter was the most charming man I have met in a long time. His laugh was infectious (he laughed A LOT) and he did his job with such satisfaction, it was really nice to be offered food by him. Then I thought, this man is happy, because he works on it; he wants to be happy, he is making sure that he is having a good time engaging with customers to make his own life happier and more enjoyable, not only ours. It turns out, he came to London to see a friend, and the friend asked him to work in his restaurant for three days. And he thought, why not? I like people like that. They make me smile. This particular man has taught me a good lesson as well as served really delicious food. I ate so much, I will never eat again :-)

But onto other things. I have been rehearsing a performance piece with a lovely director I have not worked with in a long while, but have luckily reconnected with again recently. About that very soon, when we have some pictures from our rehearsal process.

I have also been busy knitting and crocheting. I am one of those people that start doing at least three things at one time and then it takes me forever to finish them, because I switch from one piece to the other, until the crunch time comes and I have to start finishing things. So this week I have finished an iPad cover that I have been working on for months. 

I am travelling tomorrow so I needed to have it for my journey. I am not sure if I totally like it. I feel that I should have used more colours. I'll come back to it and maybe add something else to it, not sure. What do you think?

Then I did a little Oyster card holder for a friend. For my overseas followers, Oyster card is a card you top up with money and then use it to travel with. Everyone in London who travels has it and most holders are grey or yellow with IKEA written on them. So, I make my own and I make them for friends. Just to brighten up the London travel a little bit (trust me it is a grey experience travelling on London transport). A friend I am travelling with tomorrow is not expecting it. It is a little surprise I hope she will appreciate. She has become a very good friend in the past 12 months and we often talk "life" stuff and feel very wise whilst having a good laugh too. We get on ridiculously well. She is going away on a big travel adventure in January, and I am going to miss her very much. So, here is a little surprise I made for her:

Of course, this little holder can be used for credit cards too. I have people ordering it for that particular use. It is versatile, just like me :-)

Some months ago, I wrote about making a baby's blanket. Well,... I am still making it. The good news is that I am almost done with it. I enjoyed doing it, but I have to admit, it was not easy. The pattern was easy, (the easiest one you could do), but I am not an experienced knitter, so I made lots of mistakes and had to rip what I did and start over again. I have about 3-4 hours left on it. Here how it looks at the moment; finishing stages:

Once I have finished this baby blanket, I am going to embark on a large one for me. I love blankets and I love projects. I am not a fan of watching TV without doing something at the same time. Who knows when I'll finish it?! It doesn't matter, I am excited about the project.

And before I go, here is a picture of my new jacket. Well, not exactly new. I bought it a few months ago. I saw it in Top Shop but it was expensive and I didn't want to give a £100 for it. However, I never forgot it. So, a few months ago I was walking around Brixton Market and saw this girl selling interesting stuff. What do you know, she was selling my favourite jacket, practically new, in amazing condition, for just £25. What's more, it was my size. Well, it goes without saying that I had to have it. 

I am going to the country side tomorrow to a very sporty trip. I am a city girl through and through and I will not be made to wear unfashionable sporty things :-) I am wearing my skinny Diesel jeans and my new "gorilla" jacket :-) And I will do a trapeze and zip wire and abseiling and I will look fashionable even if it is not exactly comfortable :-) 
As the duchess in Alice in Wonderland says: "And that's a fact."

I started this post thinking I will just show you the bags and the blanket I have made. But I ended up writing a whole story about cheerful waiters and gorilla jackets. Never mind, you can always stop reading if it gets boring. 

I hope you have enjoyed spending time with me this week.

Whatever you do in the next seven days, make sure that you stop and appreciate at least one thing that you see or experience. I am going on a school journey with forty 10 year old kids and I cannot wait. I know it will be hard work and it is a big responsibility but I will make sure to let myself go and enjoy the excitement of others. We will all be doing things we are very scared of, and we will be emotional, but in my mind, that is the way to go.

Have a lovely, lovely, lovely week, wherever you are.

Red xx

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Pretty Things In My Corner

Hello all!!

My week has been very busy and pretty fabulous. I got lots done (lots of life admin stuff too!!) and also enjoyed myself on the way. Some of my highlights - eating dinner with favourite friends, walking through London streets late in the evening in very warm weather, rehearsing and being on the same page with my director and striking a conversation with a random person on the bus. Pretty good going, I think.

On Monday I got a lovely present from a friend. It turns out not only do we share the love for reading, but we seem to be interested in similar subjects too. She recommend a book called 26a by Diana Evans and now I have a duty to recommend it to you too. It is written by an English/ Nigerian writer and the story is about two identical twin sisters. They are inseparable, but something happens when they are young girls and their lives change forever. The book is beautifully written and it has made me cry quite a few times. One of the sisters tells the other: "Life tastes better with you." It is probably one of my favourite quotes ever.
Well, on Monday this friend surprised me with another book, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (author of The Virgin Suicides). 

I will only tell you this: it is a story of a person who was born a girl, but was actually a boy. If that doesn't grip you, I don't know what will. I am already hooked. The good thing is that the book is very long, so I have many enjoyable hours ahead of me. There is nothing more exciting than when someone recommends a good book. One of many life's pleasures, don't you think?

Now, to slightly more trivial things in my life. I have been very lucky to have received lots of nice presents this year. Some of my favourites are these beauties. Paraben and SLS free, very natural and they smell really nice. I strongly recommend both:

A fabulous necklace from someone who doesn't know me that well, but knows my style. Apparently when they saw it, they thought of me. They got me spot on with this:

And then when I came back from my holiday, I treated myself to something very cheap, but in my mind, priceless. I absolutely adore crockery. I can never have enough of it, and charity shops in London are full of these little cups. These are my latest finds:

The first cup is really tiny although it appears pretty big in this picture. It is quite old and clearly a part of a big set. They only had one and I just couldn't resist it. The other two are perfect for when I want a coffee but not too big. All in all, lovely things.

I hope you all had a good week too. What is the book on your coffee table at the moment? Have you bought yourself something nice lately? 

And, and,... at the moment I am watching the last season of Dexter. Not really sure how I'm going to go through my life once it ends, but I suppose I'll manage somehow. 
That's all for now, I am off for my date with that charming serial killer.

Have a happy week everyone.

Red xx

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Last Days of Summer ...

Hello all!!!

I have not posted in a very long time. Few reasons for that: firstly, I felt I have not many interesting things to say and secondly, I have been away on a 5 week summer holiday and frankly when you are on holiday, you are allowed not to do things that you usually do.
But I am back now. Last two years have been very, very stressful at work (in particular the last one), so this holiday is exactly what I needed. Things are much better at work now, I am relaxed and my batteries are totally recharged and I am happy. I am busy and productive and I am enjoying life.
But let's see how my summer holiday looked through the pictures:

I went to the beach almost every day of my 5 weeks holiday. I loved the water, but even more, I enjoyed the sunshine on my skin. It was hot, over 35 degrees, just how I love it ( I ADORE being hot):

Saw some interesting and beautiful sights. One of them was The Old Bridge in Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina where water is cold/ freezing/ clear/ beautiful:

I had many, many, many coffees and some seriously good food. Amongst others, figs (my favourite) and water melon (you have to have lots and lots of water melon in the summer. It is a must):

I celebrated my birthday and had a few beers (these pints are not all mine!!). My mum and I made my birthday cake. As it is the tradition in our family, the cake is made very late at night. Not because we want to but because we are busy and only have time at the end of the day. I remember as a kid waking up late at night going to the loo, only to find my mum in the kitchen making a birthday cake for me, or my sister, or my dad. At the end of the day, after working and doing all sorts of other things, she could only get time to make it late at night when everybody was asleep. Even though she'd have to get up early the next day for work, we never had a birthday without her making a cake. And it was always delicious, as was this one we made together at midnight (full of walnuts and chocolate), just as my birthday came. My mum making sure we had our birthday cake on our day is one of my best memories of my childhood. 

And so, my summer has been more than fabulous. I spent good quality time with people I love; I read 7 books in 4 weeks (only one rubbish, i.e. John Grisham; all the others were actually quite heavy going and not what you'd call a summer read, but I enjoyed them all). I came back to London recharged, refreshed and full of energy to do and see things. 

I hope you all had a good holiday and you soaked up the sun until the next summer. The weather is grey in London now but I am o.k with it. We actually had a good few sunny days here too and I managed to squeeze in a few barbecues when I got back home to London.

I'll leave you with my favourite tune of the year. The new Arctic Monkies' song. I cannot stop listening to it and I cannot believe how good they still are. Turn up the volume, here is to a fantastic and great autumn:

See you very soon at Boye By Red.

Red xx