From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MY LOVE AFFAIR ....


How did it start...
Did I know from the start that this was how it would be ...not really you know..
Because this is not someone new...we found each other...purely by chance I think ..
And in the bargain, just found myself..I think ..
My beginning , a brand new me...
I found traits I never knew existed ...
I felt all different, and a little bold..Shiny and raring to go ...
I found peace , love and happiness...that I could finally feel and hold ...
Everyone kept saying ...
You will never go through with it ...
Deep inside I was frightened , I was scared , but something inside me knew..
It's now or never...
I either go with what I love ..or then forever wonder..
How my life would be ...so I took those steps ...one ..two ..three...
And kaboom...it's like I have never felt before...
I smiled and laughed and talked like I have never done...
I walked miles in the cold and in the hiding sun..
My walk had a spring in it's step...
My eyes looked different and luminous , even if I had not slept...
It's like I needed nothing ...
Music made me happy ..
I sat alone for hours , drinking green tea and making plans , that maybe would not walk with me ...
But I was afraid no more...
I had found a little light inside me...
I could actually live alone and travel without a soul...
I ran in the cold and would wake up even before my alarm would ring...
Is life not wonderful when it's just about simple things ...
It does not really matter anymore what will be...
Because my heart is moving at a pace , where I'm happy and it's started a fire , that will roar for quite a while, maybe the flames will die out...
But the embers are going to stay warm forever more...
When I think of this and how I feel...
I wish that everyone has one little chance to feel ...
This special , this loved...
To feel like you have grown wings and are encased in your own little world..
Where the weather is perfect and the fields glow like gold..
Where everyone is safe...
And you have to search no more..
Because your heart is filled with all you ever wanted and more...
To every day there is a night...
To every ocean a shore...
Love is a two-way street ..
It does not pass with time , if it's true..
It make you smile...when you may feel , oh so blue ..
And warms your heart...even if you ,not feeling like you want a part ..
Of whatever is coming your way ...
So with my love I walk ahead ...
I have learnt a few valuable lessons in life this year...
That if you want something with your whole heart and soul ...
You may get it if it's going to be good for you ...and sometimes you may make plans that will never come true...
Know that does not feel too nice...but think it's the universe 's way of protecting you ...
And keeping you true to yourself....
Sometimes you are very sure of something and it just goes all wrong at the very end ...
I wish everyone has a chance to go with what they truly love ...
Sometimes, what we love and what is right may differ like chalk and cheese..but if the twain does meet ...
I think we would all agree...
It could not get better that what true happiness and wonderment could be ....
And so today I thank the One above , for introducing me to my "love" ...
To find something I never really went looking for..
But apparently was knocking on my door...
And so I dived right in and put my all...
I realise that it's my passion , something that is one with my soul...
And maybe it will grow into something fantastic or always stay right where it's been ...
Part of my being ...under my skin ...

I love cooking and feeding people I love ...
I want to envelope all and share what I have learnt..
Every time I see someone enjoy what I make ...
I feel a deep sense of content and pure happiness..there is nothing to lose, nothing at stake ,,but hated exams, they gave me a head-ache ..
It's never to late to walk on a new road...
Take that step...
Take a chance...
How wrong can you go ...
Life is always full of romance...when you are at the right time in the right place ....

My time here at Tante Marie has nearly come to an end...
This part of my life I will never forget...
To walk in the cold, hang with friends and learn food together , gave me joy to no end...
I cherish all the days I spent here...
And will remember everyone with kindness ...
All the wonderful moments that were made mine...
All the people who helped me walk the line ...

We are all now going our separate ways, never to meet again I think ...
But this time ,has just been imprinted in my heart and soul...
In this lifetime of mine...

This is my little love affair, that I'm never letting go ...
And going to stay with me till the very end of my time ...

Of finding out new things and finding joy in little things...
Of music and sitting alone..
And dreaming of mountains so high and paths unwalked..hearing pretty birds sing , of flowers smiling in spring ...of rusty orange leaves falling..
And smiling and laughing ...
Of long fun lunches and playing cards in the sun..
Of us girls giggling in our changing rooms and discussing what's to be done..
Of exams and deep stress...
Of losing and winning ..
Of drinking espresso shots to keep awake . after we had stuffed our faces during lunch, with huge amounts of cake ...
Of deep connections and budget calculations ...
Met wonderful beings ...all under one roof..whose sole purpose was to learn food , so that they could go out and feed ...
One and all , till the break of Dawn...

Dear Andrew and Mrs.A..
Dear Vera, Ally, Kate, Nick, Tim and Al...
You have given me much more than you know...
And thank you for all you have done for me , from the bottom of my heart..
Maybe I'm not good with saying this to your face, but ...
The time I have spent with you , will always be among the most interesting and fun phases of my life...and in my heart will always have a very special place..

And will always look back at Tante Marie , with a great sense of pride and love...
And thank God for making it possible for me to follow my dream ...With a suitcase full of blessings from above ...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

GOOD-BYE AND HELLO DECEMBER....

Sitting today early morning in the dark ..
A million faces cross my heart..
Some smile , some I don't know, some walked away, some I love , some I have had to let go ..
Have been told that when I love , I don't know where to stop..
I'm like a retriever that pounces with so much love that it frightens people off ..
Guess ..
I need to mature ..
And be more sedate and keep my thoughts safe and my mouth in a silent space
Say too much too fast and then feel like an ass...
But will live and learn and every little experience makes me a better urn ...
Filled with more understanding , more patience and definitely more mature than before..
So there is no real reason why I love like I do ..
Maybe that's just how I am ..
All complicated and extreme..
I'm not able to do things in small doses..
Life is too short to hold back or pretend ..
That's how I feel, I maybe totally wrong , but then that's me ...
I dont want to wait till the sun has set....
Because when that happens ..
You miss the day ..
Carpedium.... That's what I believe ..
Grab the sunshine, dance in the rain , twirl with the orange leaves in autumn and make snow angels in the cold ...
So today ..
This Sunday..
I'm gonna ..
Sift through the photo albums in my mind ..
And rearrange it all .. And leave nothing behind that wants to hold my hand....
Gonna fill my heart with all that's good ..
And say bye to those who probably just never understood ..
I want to welcome my birthday that's coming soon with everyone I love, have no regrets and walk ahead..
I love December and all it brings..
My birthday .. Yeah ..
Christmas ..
And that fuzzy feeling ..
In my heart and head..
Wanna wrap presents for the ones I love ..
And cook up a feast for all to eat ..
Will spend today and look ahead and say bye to all these wonderful months gone by, that brought me so much of joy and changed my life inside out..
Touched my soul and made me whole again ..
And released chemicals that somewhere tweaked my DNA, made me feel like a brand new me ..
I walk ahead with my heart bursting with love , that I will shower on the ones I meet ..
It maybe too much ..
But let's see ..
I don't know what tomorrow brings...
I'm just gonna continue walking with shiny stars in my heart and mistletoes in my hair ...
Hug myself with the wind tossling my hair...
I'm waiting for December ..
That's all I know ..
And am sure that I will be enveloped in love like never before ..
So good bye beautiful months..
And hugs again for so much peace, love , joy and moments I will cherish forever ..
Till we meet again ..
this year has been a wonderful loving caring friend ...





Sent from my iPhone ..
One fantastic moment is worth a hundred average hours ...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

TANTE MARIE- WEEK 9..A BITTER SWEET WEEK ...











Tante Marie -week 9

Tuesday
After a Monday that I wanted to forget, Tuesday was a wonderful day , filled with my favourite cuisine...Italian ...
We made spaghetti , gnocchi , cannelloni, ravioli, panzerotti. Canoli ....
Well am sure you can imagine what our kitchen felt like, it was buzzing with activity under the precise guidance of Kate...
Who is someone I have come to respect and admire, she is very straight jacketed about her work and very gently insists we do things her way , and frankly , that's why she is teaching us , because she is fantastic ....
We all buzzed about like bees, this is nearly our last week ..and it was a week of lots of pressure and tension and tears...
Because of exams and results ...
But lunch was fantastic..it was nice to spend time laughing and stuffing our faces...
We have stopped counting calories completely at least I have ..
Katie and me were fantastic together and did things in tandem , she is very very good and is very precise and works really fast ...and very adorable...

We were stuffed like Christmas stockings by the fire-side...
And all I wanted to do , was sleep by the warmth of a log fire and eat marsh-mallows ...

Walked out of my class and into Kejanne..who was in tears...
She is South African and is in the 1year course and is a wonderful talented and spirited girl, and exudes an energy which is infectious..she did not finish her exam on time ...
Gosh ...exams...I just hugged her tight, knew exactly how she was feeling ..she was so broken ..and there is nothing anyone can do post an exam ..not gone to well. But pray and let it go ...she sobbed and know she must have sobbed some more when she was alone ..
I could feel her pain ...
And just wanted her to feel better , which eventually , we all get over ..And do ...

We had a demonstration post lunch , which post a fantastic meal , is just impossible to stay awake for, so dozed like a falling daisy and then just went for double shots of espresso..that always works ...

Wednesday
Exam time in our class again ...
So while one group cooked and another cleaned for them ...
Ally and me spent the morning cooking with Nick ...
Twice baked fish souffle..
Beer bread, oven roasted ratatouille ..etc..
We were done really early and I loved our morning together, ally is this pretty girl , with big brown eyes and very sweet..
We arranged the food in plates and it all looked so pretty and inviting and then sat down and ate together, the results of our entire morning sitting happy in our tummy 's ...
Amanda, Tom, Sam and Joe ..
Finished their exams and came and joined us...not every one had the perfect time ..
Guess ..exams are stressful for all, but think Sam and Katie were calm and made no mistakes..neither did Maja...
Well we all have to wait ...
And that's that ...

Thursday
Today flew, like a swan migrating to warmer lands...
It just zipped...
I decided to go watch "breaking Dawn" alone ...
I don't like scary movies ...but it was nice, filled with love, romance, and vampires who fall in love, werewolves and babies ...
And I liked the thought of imprinting ...like finding someone who is your protector and will love you and look out for you ..
And little " renesme"don't know if that's the right spelling ...
But love babies ...
But I was ...I love , love stories...
And so shopped for my weekly groceries and sat and watched the movie, well what can I say , I liked it..
But think I liked Jacob most of all...
He has eyes that I completely love ..
Slightly slanting but not slits...
Very very Peter Pan ....who I completely love ....

Friday
Well today was cooking with Tim...
I really like working with Tim, he is absolutely chilled and very brilliant as a chef and a cool guide...
We finished lots of food very very quickly and for the first time had a break in the middle of our cooking ..
Made " eggs benedict"and we all sat together and devoured our mid-morning snack ...
This is one of our few last meals together...
Seriously gonna miss all of this...
Sat with Maja talking till really late, drank hot chocolate and walked back in the cold ...
It has been an amazing two and a half months

Don't even remember the last time , I set out to do something I love doing..
Learned so so so much , and met amazing people..
Connected deeply , laughed, sang, sulked, giggled, stuffed my face, travelled, got upset, cried, howled, listened to music , shopped, got lost , found my way and found my happy place inside me ....

Now to another week and I'm home-bound ...
Happy and full of new things....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

THIS FUNNY GIRL CALLED "LOVE"





Today as I walked away from class..I felt a little tug in my heart ..
The winds were blowing cold and though the skies were not grey , it was dark..

I was thinking of love ,life and other simple things ..

Men have walked on the moon but still cannot figure how not to get a broken heart ...
Don't do this , don't do that,maybe all you have to do is say the right things , or behave in a certain way ...I don't know ...if someone has a solution ..pray will you tell me so...

Some say , have no expectations ..because that is definitely a bringer of doom...
But I'm sorry after you have had a glimpse of the beautiful moon and the stars above..
You want to zoom around the milky way...
That's only human I say ..

Can anyone of us really live without expecting ...
Well in my opinion it only comes when love has flown and there is just a sharing ..

Im sure there are people in this world who live life in a very different space ...
Who can be in the moment and still walk away, like it makes no difference ...
Are they the ones who are actually content and are searching no more ..
I wonder how it works ..to be in a space , where you can feel so deep and yet walk away in a heart beat ...
Are they callous or just in a place sublime ..

Will someone please explain this , to this wondering heart of mine ...
How to love without expecting ...
How to let go without hurting ...
How to smile without pretending ..
How to laugh without choking ...
How to hold tight without holding ..

No man is an island that is something I truly believe ...
So then how come some of us can be so detached from all life's bringing ..
And some are so attached that it becomes heart-breaking ...

So how do you live ...how do you choose ...
Am I chemically imbalanced or am I a foolish goose.....
We all want the same things in life ...
And there is no difference you see...
Love, happiness , babies all in varying degrees...

We all want to wake up to the sun shining in the eyes of the one we love ..
To walk into the sunset to the songs we love humming in our head ..
To hold hands and say nothing at all..
To hear someone's heart beat till the break of Dawn..
To laugh at silly things...
To dance in the rain..
To have tears of joy and not pain ...

So what do you do with the memories you make...
Do you chuck them and walk away , like it was not a very tasty cake ?

Try and live each day like it were our last , some people say ...
But don't you think , we would all be a little selfish and uncaring ..
Parents, family and a few friends..
That's what makes life wonderful till the end ...

Love is ...
I really don't know ..
Sometimes, she is there, sometimes hovers around and sometimes leaves through the back door ..without even leaving a note..like she don't care...

But if you find, your soul-mate , if such a thing exists...
I'm sure it will be complete bliss..
There would not even have to be an exchange of rings ..
Because if that's an assurance that it won't go away ..
It's a silly way to live ...

Love should be imprinted in your heart not stamped in ink..
It should be able to transcend and meet above the clouds ...
To be felt without a sound ..

If you wake up in the morning and break into a smile , while snuggling in your bed..
I think you have found love ..
Even if you don't know it yet...

Because that's what she does..
This funny girl calked love ...
She makes you laugh , she makes you sing, she makes you do unbelievably stupid things ...
She makes you talk like you never ever have and whispers in your ears..things that you would never have heard..
She sits and flits around and disturbs you when you are working ..
And stands at traffic lights and winks at you when you driving ...
And steals your food when you not looking ..
And runs around the garden tossing maple leaves , when you are mowing ..
She hides in closets and messes your clothes...
And sometimes leaves you little notes..
And jumps on your back when you were least expecting ...
And when she Stares into your brown eyes and smiles , you are promised a thousand things ...
And then she runs away laughing...
So all you have to do is wake up and start believing ...

I like her this funny girl called "love"...
And when she comes visiting ...
I welcome her with open arms and a cup of rich dark hot chocolate ..
And that's the only way I know ...because she never asks my permission, but jumps through the window, or barges through the door ...
And when she leaves, yes it's heart-breaking ..
But know , she will be back again ...
Because frankly, I am and will always be ..
Her best friend ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TANTE MARIE - WEEK 9-FINAL EXAMS..21st NOV 2011....

Week 9 -EXAMS...21st nov 2011

Sunday was really fantastic, Olly and Ally picked me up and we headed to their place in Guilford..
It was a lovely day and they have a beautiful family and a pretty home, two dogs running around , wonderful friendly warm parents...
And there was one path that we were passing that was so beautiful , and then Olly says that "the holiday " was shot there...
No wonder it was gorgeous ...
We made a list of what we wanted to make for the day and then went shopping for all the ingredients...
And because we could not find our "chined rack of lamb", we went in search of it and came across this beautiful place called " secrets" that was having this Christmas fair, so Olly and me sauntered around , tasted all the free pies and cakes and some mulled wine and did a bit of shopping and then went back ...
Love hanging with her, she is adorable and eats as much as me and is sweet and so much fun ..
Post our little escapade, we cooked like Santas elves, we made, rack of lamb, coq au vin, profiteroles , tart aux fruits and cheese cake, we finished ,famished in the evening and happy that we have practiced enough ...
I was happy to have spent the day with them , it was fun and relaxing and I was waiting for my practical exams ....
Then before I went to sleep , I was introduced to a song I love , by my at the moment favourite singer Michael Buble, singing , " all I want for Christmas"....
My day just could not get better than this, went off to sleep with a big fat smile..

Day 1-final practical exams ...

Monday could not have broken better than this, I woke up really early, listened to music, went through all my recipes and got ready for class , with my uniform all ironed and raring to go ...
Exams ...gosh I really detest exams, and realised I'm no longer good at them ...
But I was happy cooking and so was waiting for this ...
Went to class, met Ally and Olly and we giggled and were so happy to have practiced all our stuff...

Andrew our principal came in and gave us our menu for the day ..
Baked chicken, potato, leek and broccoli mash and cheese cake ...

Not bad at all...
So within some time we were ready in our kitchens cooking away ..
Baked chicken is something I have done so many times..that it's not even funny...
Think it's the first dish I learnt from my mum, it's something I make when I'm in doubt...or suddenly have guests over and need to whip up something...

I prepped and stuffed and trussed, the damn bird and put it in the oven at 190 degrees...
Was feeling good , but utterly stressed, another reason why I cook for pleasure and leisure and would die of stress if I had to cook on a competition , where you have to prove a point ...
Well, to make a long story short...
My exam dish did not go as well as I thought it would ..
Baked chicken , something I have done for most of my life , went all wrong , if you ask me what went wrong , well , at this point of time , frankly , I don't want to talk about it ...
But I was a mess post my exams ..
I was in utter shock and on the verge of tears...
Something that I completely love and do because I love cooking so much , was just not as fantastic as I expected ..
Today was the day that I had to prove a point and I was a mess..
Guess it's also a big lesson in life ..
Don't be too sure of anything , because even stuff that you are completely familiar with , can suddenly go all wrong and different ...
Post my exams, I went out of the kitchen and onto the road outside and cried my eyes out...
I cried so much that I thought I would never stop...sobbed till I choked,, my glasses were blurred and I was just back to being a little girl in a chef uniform in a complete mess..
Baked Chicken...I got it wrong ...and the most perfect day for a complete disaster, my final exams...
If my mum knew . I think she would laugh in disbelief...
But ...I messed up my exams ... And then instead of serving 4 little cheese cakes, I for some reason served three little circles, because it looked better, don't know what I was thinking ..
I am not good with exams , I have realised , they stress me out, cut the blood supply to my brain and make me paranoid ..
I'm no longer the girl that used to max my exams ..
I'm no longer the class topper ...
And guess that's how it's meant to be ...
I have not been sadder or more upset in these two months like I was today...have cried sooooo much that my eyes are swollen and red ...
This is what I was here for and I mucked up the most important day in these two months ...
Why ? Why?why?
But I must say, today when I was down , I saw friends in my class rally around me ...
Sweet cute Katie, came and gave me a tight hug ...she was such a doll...felt so nice and warm ..
Amanda...ate the chicken when it was rectified and said she liked it , it was good..she just kept telling me that it's gonna be ok ...
Joe was so sweet and encouraging ...
Ally and Olly were sooo sweet and kept encouraging me and all the three of us laughed and told one another all the stuff we messed up with...
Tom gave me a tight hug ...that boy is too cute, warm , helpful and friendly and just felt like I was amongst people I could be at home with ..
Never felt so nice with all of my colleagues like I felt today ..
Felt so good today , not been hugged and felt so close to all like I felt today ..
They all rallied around ...
Felt so nice inspite of how €$¥%#^* I was feeling ...
It's only when you are down that you can actually know, who are the people who care for you ...
Then came back home to Eve's and called Maja who was not well, she is a complete doll...she Said ," Maria I feel for you " and that's all I needed, someone to be there...
We can't always be perfect, I went all wrong today, the day I was to go all right ...
I don't know why ..would have liked to present the perfect meal , but did not ...
I'm upset, horribly upset, I have cried so much , but know my tears cannot rectify anything ..
And so I have to let this go ...I would like to have this day again , so that I could be perfect, but guess it was not mention to be ...
I need to live a bit in doubt, like a dear friend once told me, if you live your life comfortably, with no insecurity it's like being dead , there is nothing to do or make better...
I'm upset...very very...
But today was a bad day...
I know I cook from my heart..with lots of love and make good food ...and enjoy cooking and will not stop...
Am going to put today's disaster behind me and walk on..
Yes I wish I made the perfect meal for my Cordon Bleu Exams , but I did not...I DID NOT..there I said it aloud , but I'm not going to let it get my spirit down, a bad day does not make your life all awry..
You get up and walk and make it better, you learn from your mistakes.. And I'm sure something fantastic will happen out of today's disaster in the kitchen...
Just want to rewind the clock but cannot ...
So am going to make the most of my remaining days here @Tante Marie...
And cook my heart out and have fun ....
And will remember not to do anything that has exams involved anymore , because I'm not good with them anymore...
But thank God for today,because found people that care for me and happy about that...
Yes would love to be the best at what I do, but a bad day does not make all I have put into this all bad...

Just wanna say..
Dear Chicken,
I'm sorry that I had to cook you, nothing personal about you, just wish you cooked like I expected you to ...
Was so upset with you, that did not want to bite into you and was seriously thinking of turning vegetarian ...

But in hindsight .....guess what you put down on paper, does not always happen in real life ...
I came back to Eve , and poured my heart out to her and Ralph ...
She could not believe I messed my exams ...
Have cooked for them quite a lot ...
And they were too cute and supportive ..

Anyway made plans with Maja to watch "Twilight "and taking Eve and Ralph for an Indian meal..
As for me , today I'm gonna be spending time with the man I'm completely addicted to ...
"Michael Buble"... I have fallen hook , line and sinker for his song , "all I want for Christmas " have been listening to it since yesterday ..
So guys, we all mess up ,I messed up big big big time, but I know, that what I'm taking back from Tante Marie is more than anyone can imagine...
I love cooking and food and experimenting and am not going to let this " very big set-back" get me down ...no not me ...
I'm gonna use this experience, to know not take anything for granted ...
Anything and everything could change without a warning ..
Just know, in life have faced bigger problems than "perfectly baking a chicken...."
So will walk on ...and keep doing what I love...
Making yummy food and feeding people and feeling fantastic , every time I see their faces breaking into smiles...
And know, too err is human , but to leave your past behind is divine ...
I can't undo today...
But can make the most of my tomorrow and the rest of my days here at the wonderful and fantastic Tante Marie ...looking forward to spending time with Maja, Katie, Olly, Ally, Amanda, Tom, Sam , Joe and Martin ...
And all our wonderful Chefs Nick, Vera, Kate, Tim, Al and Ally ....
I thank you for all that I have learned from you , And never going to forget my time here at Tante Marie ...
Andrew and Mrs.A...you have been wonderful ...

Like my friend Sambo wrote to me this morning, "Listen Maria, u know passing & failing have absolutely no relevance. Its the journey to your goal that really matters. How and with what intention you travel. This is a lesson for u to learn that perfection doesn't exist!!! WE STILL LOVE U & ABOVE ALL LOVE YOUR COOKING.....SO GET YOUR ASS BACK & START COOKING...HERE'S TO LOTS OF HAPPINESS INDULGENCE FRIENDS PARTIES & CELEBRATION"

Well I could cry some more or then like Ritambhara said "This was a beautiful experience so treat it like that,you are better for having gone through this,not many people can truly follow their dreams like you have, so be proud of that, and the experience and fun cannot be matched" .

And like my friend Mini said to me,"Haaahaaa , I can't wait for your food , even if it's not cooked on time , you serve food in your house at 3.30 am, we never complain, we give you distinction na "

And then Warsi said," do you think we won't eat your food, just because you did not do well in your final exams, do we go to a restaurant and ask for the report card of the chef, before we eat his meal....ha ha ha ..."
Well I cannot argue with that ..

Thank you all...you made me feel better on a day that I have not felt worse ...
Needed the biggest, tightest, bone-crunching hug....
And felt it from all of you ...felt surrounded by love and care...
Know that when you down, you know who really cares for you ...
And know when you down the only way is up ...

So with yesterday behind me , and so much love and everyone back home waiting for me and all eager to taste the feast that I'm waiting to prepare...
I say hello to a brand new day ...,
Now how many are blessed enough to follow their dream ...
Well thank you God !!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

TANTE MARIE-WEEK 8
















Week 8

Cannot believe I have just two weeks left.
It has just gotten over too fast .

Woke up this morning , with Rihanna singing "only girl in the world"...
Yup , that's our Spain anthem, so was full of beans and really excited about the day..went to class...
And walked into Andrew our principal, who was in our class, giving us the barging of our life , for trying to bunk Friday morning ....
Well it's not a nice feeling at all...

My partner this week..Sam..
He is a quiet , shy boy, who communicates very little and is excellent at pastry...
We got down to cooking for the day.
In silence, think it was the first time ever, because we were pulled up ...
The food was really nice, duck and various other stuff...
In the afternoon, we baked...
And all that was going through my mind was RIHANNA....
Why ????
Seriously , you can't be asking me why....????
Because I'm going to watch Rihanna in concert in the evening ...
How did I get to go ..
Well because Rachna, very sweetly , decided not to go, and let me have her pass...
Of course now, I have to find the recipe of the best scone in the world and make it for her back home , or she is going to make me her "Cinders " for life ...
Ha ha ha ...
Rachna....thank you for this, it was really large hearted of you ...
I had a blast ...

So Monday after class, I ran back , and I mean literally, ran , with my Ugg boots, haversack going wobble wobble and cake box in hand...
7 minutes I was at Eve's , had a shower, slathered on some kohl and lip- balm and , the sweet-heart that Eve is, she was driving me like evil-knievel to the train station...
I was super excited...
Reached Sanjay and Rachna's , and left in some time for the O2...
Which is just such an awesome place...
We waited there for a very long time...
And final the gates opened and everybody walked in without pushing or yelling and without any chaos...
Something that me being Indian is not really used to seeing ...
We are always in a rush in India, even while getting into an airplane, where our seats were allotted ..ha ha ha ...
Calvin Harris the dj, who is quite hot at the moment in the world of discos , opened the show, he played a fantastic , high energy set...and the entire stadium were hypnotised with the display of light entwined with his skill with vinyl ...
Sanjay was dancing ...
I was in shock...well he did eat an entire pizza , so that explains why...ha ha ha
But seriously , Sanjay, it was fantastic and fun watching Rihanna with you..
By the way , he has a photo with her and has been to her earlier concert ..
So yup big Rihanna fan...sang, jumped screamed and was happily exhausted ...

Well Rihanna did not get on stage for really long ...
10.45... The lights go dim, the music starts ...
And Rihanna has walked on stage , sexy toned legs in beautiful neon green shoes...
And for the next two hours, she sang , danced and covered the stage with her energy and innate sexiness ...
Oh my God , she is hot...
And sings in that raspy beautiful voice...that just mesmerises you...
The show was fantastic...
Everything, from , lights, sound, music, costumes, dancers was just fantastic...
I have been to a whole lot of concerts , thanks to MTV, and this came an easy second to the MTV music awards 2000...
She was all I expected her to be and more ...
At 12 past, we left the stadium , jumped into a train that was packed like sardines and headed back to Woking ...
The last train back was filled with people who had just come back from the concert.
There was singing and sharing of videos and excitement and laughter emitting from the train ...
I reached and passed out a very happy bunny...
Thank you Rachna for sitting home ...
And thank you Sanjay , for being such fun company ...

The rest of the week went at great speed ...time is really moving very very fast...
Guess because we are cooking a lot , and also eating like crazy, feeling a bit rounder , need to go running...
Wednesday evening, went back into London, for the Marlebone Christmas street fair...
It was just too lovely...
There was a choir of people singing carols, lots of food stalls, all the shops on that street were giving discounts the lights were up, there was the lovely aroma of mulled wine, which is a must have on an evening like this ...
Had such a beautiful time...Sanjay , Rachna and me , hung there and just absorbed it all ...
And then went to RotiChai, Rachna's favourite place for dinner, excellent food...after a lovely evening filled with tons of great conversation and laughter..
I went back to my place in Woking...
Cannot believe what a wonderful time I'm having ...

Thursday evening, Olly from class was going to Bond Street to see the lights, and asked if i would like to come along...
(She is great fun, and eats a lot , like me ...)
And after really long, I actually have started getting up and going , and doing what I want ,if I feel like it ...
It's very very liberating and in a weird way , kind of surreal...
So we drove to London and realised that nothing was really happening ...
So asked Olly what time we driving back...
Well after some silence from her and shocking silence from me ...
We both realised that I did not know that we not driving back to Woking , and she did not know, that I did not know that , I was staying at her place ....
Ha ha ha chaos...and confusion and amongst peals of disbelief and laughter...
We went up to her apartment and then decided to make a night of it, we went to Bennyhana 's for dinner, which is a really cool food joint, live tables of food and super funny chefs making food and chucking bowls n rice and tossing bottles of oil and soya , with funny lines thrown in..
We stuffed our faces and headed back to Ollys apartment ...
Which by the way she and her cousin Paschal are doing up together...
So after YouTube'g a few songs...in a bit I was fast asleep in Olly's apartment in her clothes..tucked comfortably in a lovely warm White duvet...
Can't believe I had a sleep over ...ha ha ha ...unbelievable....
I slept like a baby and woke up to my alarm..
Half an hour later, she was zooming through London traffic towards Tante Marie in Woking ...
We kept awake to "moves like jagger" and reached early...
I went home , to realise Eve was not there...
God....I was so happy that I was out that night ...
I'm so not good staying alone...
I would have died...Of fright ...and please don't laugh ....
Realised for the umpteenth time, that when something untoward happens, it happens for the best..
If I was to spend the night alone , I would have been awake ...

Spent Friday washing vessels all morning for the group that is doing their final exams...
Gosh...it's mine on Monday and then , I'm done...really done ...
I liked today , it was a good Friday...came home happy and full of beans..
Got home the "extremely naughty chocolate cake" I baked in class...
My fat is gonna get fed some cake today ...
Somebody please stop me ...

Came home to be greeted by Eve...
And very quickly we made a little shopping plan and in less than half an hour , we were out shopping, bought tons of baking stuff, ice-cream making machine and tons of fruit and salad in the hope that I will eat healthy...
Came home and went to sleep early ...
Not because I was sleepy , but did not feel like staying awake...just one of those days , when you feel better going to sleep ..
Bad idea, because I was up at 3 ...
And actually had a very nice early morning and went off to sleep with voices in my head ....6.15to be precise..., had a class in London at 10...God I have lost it ...

Saturday
Was up and at class at 10 sharp...
Caldesi..the Italian cooking school...
Katie Caldesi and Stefano Borella were fantastic ...
I love Italian food...
And I love how they cook ...
Katie said the food is made with tons of AMORE ...
Which means the food is well looked after and pampered with tons of olive oil...
So 3 hours later, we were all sitting together, all 20 of us, eating what we cooked ...
Was so happy I came for this class..
Because it was so different from school..it was like a holiday...
It was relaxed and full of funny jokes from chef Stefano, and the banter between Katie and him was lovely...
So some White wine later, armed with my pasta maker, I walked into shopping paradise, Bond Street ...and spent the day, buying things for my little Zeke and Zene ....
I miss them tooooooooo much ...
And thank Warsi for making this possible for me ...and both Zeke and Zene , for being so supportive of what I'm doing, that I can concentrate on my work ...Zeke and Zene have been fine, which is why I'm fine...
Thanks to everyone who has rallied around them ...

I sleep in peace , and immense love in my heart ..
Sometimes feel like I will burst into a million shiny stars...
What a fantastic week...
Just two weeks more ...and I'm back home...
This feels like a dream , with an expiry date and time , attached to it...
Cinderella at the ball, just about to swirl around with Prince Charming, and poof the clock strikes 12...
But I'm happy that I got to the ball and had such a blast ...no regrets, none whatsoever....

In my heart , I'm at the ball in my prettiest yellow BCBG gown and daisies in my hair ,dancing in the moonlite to Andrea Bocelli singing Con Te Partiro....
The stars are shinning and there is a fragrance of Kenzo in the air...
Candles hanging from the trees and the shadow of the moonlight on the lake...
And after it's all over and the music has ceased, I sit on the grass and look up to the stars in the sky...
It's perfect...would not change anyone or anything ....

So me and my supremely fertile imagination are calling it a night ...
My pillow is missing me ...
See you all soon ...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

SAY.....




So what do you say ..
When someone goes away ..
Do you stop them at the door..
Or do you just let them go ..
And hope they return some day ..
Well frankly I'm of the theory ..
That you say what you feel ..
Sometimes I may not be nice , but at least I come clean ..
I say what's in my heart ..
Before the other departs ..
So yes, if I have to apologize or be still I will ..
But I would never let them go , before I have given it my all and more ..
And then if they choose to leave ..
I would have to respect how they feel ..

I take a bit long to make friends ..
Or to love someone and truly connect with them ..
And to the very few that I adore ..
It kills me if I ever see them walk away through that door ..
But then again , if they can so easily let me go..
Or make me feel like it makes no difference at all.
I rather not be there..hanging on a gossamer thread ...
I guess that's how it's meant to be ,
Because I realise that they do not feel as deep as me ..

I have walked too long alone ..
And sometimes feel it's better that way ..
Because the moment you tell someone that they mean something to you ..
It all goes askew...
I wonder why , I really want to know the reason for a sudden change in season ..

And with this ..
I bid Autumn adieu ..
All her beautiful , fiery colours and rusty orange hues ..

I love the cold and all it brings ..
Winters, mistletoes , hot chocolate, carols and buying presents for my loved ones ..
These are my favorite things ..

I may not be perfect , but I'm real ..
I love what I love and that's how it will stay ..

On this cold winter day, as I devour my chocolate cake ..
Listening to carols in the cold ..
All snuggled and happy faced ..

I know , I have just this one life to live ..
Want it to be filled with beautiful moments in time ..
Got no time to play games ..
That's for children , to pass time ..
Me, I wanna make the most of the little time I have ..
And so , if you wanna stay ..
I would walk and laugh for miles ..

But now I'm going to sleep ..
And pray that the one above keeps ,all my love in his arms ...
Safe , protected and till the dawn breaks ..
Will wake up and smile to a brand new day ..
Because I know , that I have arms wrapped around me ,that no one can see ..
And so no matter what happens in life ..
I have angels around me , who will put up a fight , to protect me their child , from all and everyone that may or may not be ,good for me ,or then probably, perfect or not quite right ..
So with this I sleep , peace in my heart and a smile on my lips ..
Happy and content ..
Know I will be guarded , till my eyes open again ..
I'm happy with my day ..
See you tomorrow ..
Blue skies and singing magpies ..
Gonna grab my day and laugh till the sun goes down ..
And wake up at the break of dawn ..
Gotta go for a run , have eaten at Tante Marie ,for my friends, Romans and countrymen ..
So now I have to make it up and be good..
I like being fit and healthy..
But all the chocolate I eat is such a treat that , I lick my fingers and say to myself
"you have one life , live it well, whatever it maybe, have fun and feel happy and free"
From me to you...
God bless and sleep tight ..!!!!





Sent from my iPhone ..
One fantastic moment is worth a hundred average hours ...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Who am I to tell fate ...

Who am I to tell fate where it's supposed to go ...
That's why I no longer want to know what the future holds..
There was a time in life..
Where all I wanted to know ,was, will the next day bring enough sunshine to brighten my day ?
Would it rain on my parade ?
Or will it snow as I was walking out of the door ?
Inquisitive to the core..
But of what use is knowing , when only the power above knows the whole story ..
I'm convinced that our universe is ruled by a feminine force ..
Because everything changes when you least expect it too ..
And frankly it's a woman's privilege to Change her mind ...
And so in this world of ours..
Just when you think you have all the answers ..
Our questions don't make any sense no more ..
So as I sit and watch the rain fall softly to the ground and the cold winter wind blow the rusty leaves around ..
And wonder ..
What will tomorrow bring ...
I feel, I don't care, but I can smell the beautiful scent of Christmas everywhere ..
Windows all aglow with falling snow ..
And reindeers all dressed up in red bows ..
It so beautiful and sometimes feel a twinge in my heart ..
Walking in winterland alone ..
Joy and happiness need to be shared ..
Because it doubles and triples with abundance then , everywhere ..
And then suddenly think of ummmm my happy place ,
and Lightening strikes my heart ..
It makes me feel all warm and happy ..it wakes me up and makes me smile at silly things ..
Like elves in the window and Santas rosy cheeks and my glittery ruby red toes..
Takes me back to a time when life was so simple and just a hand written note to Santa ..
Would get me all I want ..
Thinking of doing just that ..

Write a

Dear Santa,
All I want for Christmas is .......!

Yup that's all I know ..
Maybe my wishes will come true ..
Maybe no one , in this world will be heart-broken or blue ..
The world always looks like it's filled with love during this time ..
I want to walk around with mistle-toe in my hair ..
Just in-case I bump into my smile-bringer...
And have this un-wipeable smile on my face ..
Drink hot chocolate ..
Sit on a bench in a park ..
Close my eyes and feel so much love and peace because of what I hold in my heart ...
That's mine and will always be ..
And yes , let it be told , it does not matter what the future holds ..
One great moment in time is worth a hundred average hours , I say ...

So till we meet again ..
I close my eyes and can feel the warmth of your smile ..
Your laughter, the silly things you say..
Always stay that way..

It does not matter where you are..
To me you will always be just a heart beat away ..

And that's why I don't care ..
What tomorrow brings ..
Because I have you and all the rest of my favorite things ..
Babies, friends and pets and more ..
So think now I should give in to slumber ..
To love and more ..
Siempre ...

TANTE MARIE - WEEK 7










Week 7

This week was budget exam week and theory exam week ..
Do not like exams ...that's what I know ...
Just do not ..
Been there done that and very very well ..
For a long time of my life used to top class ( and yes I'm showing off) well why not ha ha ha
But I owe all those "1st " to my mum who saw to it that I was better than the best ..
Left on my own , I lack ambition or that little stamp that can prove that I'm the best ..
Well I like to do well but ...
God I don't like exams..

Remember when I was doing my graduation in Economics, the whole country side and their pets had finished their exams, but me , mine went on for a month and a half...
And I was learning about per capita and demand and supply and Market trends ..and why did I choose Economics ...
" because it's tough and so I wanted to " I wanted to kick myself, well I love taking the path that is seldom travelled...that's me...
The only thing that I have taken for life , from all the big fat books I studied for my exams, is the Keynesian theory that states, " in the future we are all dead" ...
So live in the moment , I'm not saying , spend foolishly or live your life hanging by a thread, but make the most of it, because who has really seen the future, and by the time we reach our future, it becomes our present , hope you guys understand my rambling by now...

So got back from gorgeous Ballyfin ..
(Thank God I went , it was Gob-Smacking Awesome raised to the power of at least 1000000 ...)
Straight into the open arms of my Tante Marie kitchen ...
I love it there , every moment of it ..
Last week I was incharge of cleaning the floors , this week to carry crockery and cutlery for lunch and to carry the soiled ones back ..
When we cooking on the ground floor it's great but when we at Alsace which is on the 2nd floor, seriously it's a great work out ...
Have washed so many dishes that it's not even funny ..
My hands are not the prettiest hands, but they are hands that can make wonderful food and I'm happy with that..
Now God made petite and sweet , so I should be thankful ..because all the best things in life come in small pretty packages, and I'm sticking to this theory ...
Can't get everything in life ...

So ya had practicals on Wednesday, I was ready and prepared to cook, but the moment our time started, I really got nervous...
I cooked , but my heart was beating like thunder during a storm....
It got over, after two and a half hours...whew...finally thank God ...
In the middle,I forgot how to switch the warmer on, dropped hot baking beads, cried cutting onions and had fits of giggles...thank God , if nothing better I'm at least entertaining in the kitchen ...

Went and cooked after that , everyone in class looked happier and we were back to our noisy, singing selves...

Did I tell you that this week , my partner was Martin, he has hair like my little Zeke...
Curly , absolutely curly, he is a sweet boy and we worked well together, but most of this week , we did a lot of stuff on our own , so did not really get to know him...
Went back terribly tired..

Tom is Thursday , just one last day left for our "theory exams" ...
This was just looming on my head...
Thursday , we spent the entire day cooking ...was so tired..
I could have cried..
Came home and crashed...
But in my head I was running through quantities of flour, sugar , butter, teaspoons , tablespoons, cuts of meat, how to buy fish, culinary terms, French words, how many gm of vegetable per person, how much of soup per person, culinary terms, recipes....my mind was a restless whirlpool...so just got up and hit my books...
..crashed by 10.30pm....
But was up 4.30, and frankly was not able to sleep , so poured through it again and at about 6 am , I put my alarm off and decided , I'm not attending class, I'm gonna sleep and go straight for my exams at 2...
I was up at 9... Was leisurely eating breakfast...
Called school to tell Debbie the secretary that I'm not coming...Because was tired, sleepy, my head was aching and I was so stressed that thought I would not be able to cook...
But Mrs.A , picked up the phone, and I was stuttering and trying to tell her why I'm not coming to class ....
And she said to me, " Young Lady, I should not be telling you what to do , but I do believe you should come to class and cook "
Well I stuttered some more and was trying to come up with some plausible excuse, but she is a wise lady ...
And so in spite of telling her that I need to sleep.
After 10 minutes, I was running in my uggs, with all my might to class....
And Thank God I went, because as soon as I took my knife set out, I was at peace, I was calm and relaxed , and all of us were, revising stuff together as we cooked...
So two and a half hours later, "coq au vin"in place and profiteroles au chocolat ...looking shiny and tasty...
We all sat and ate together...
I stuffed my self...
Ok let it be known, I have put on 3 kgs , so ya start running from Monday...
The next one hour, we were scattered all around the school doing our last revision...
Tim took our exams ...
He said that Martin, Maja and Maria get half an hour extra , because English is not their first language...
Well I actually thank God, they did not think so ...ha ha ha ..
If only they knew , it's the only language I actually speak...my Hindi I'm still learning and Spanish , well will study it again ....
We all finished our paper in about one and a half hour...
And then you could hear , the clicking of pens, scribbling sounds, coughing ...and finally giggling ...
Think our class is really low on good behaviour, but I really have a lot of fun, because , they are all mad in their own way and really nice and frankly pretty good at their cooking ...
But who am I to judge because I'm learning myself ...
We all got out of class with smiles from ear to ear, so we all really done fantastically or then , we have no clue that we are clueless ...ha ha ha

Got back in full jubilation mode...
I think good happy moments need to be celebrated , so went with my lovely land-lady Eve to Morrisons, and did my weekly fruit and vegetable shopping , then got myself a bubbly bitter chocolate , crackers and chips...and had a party , me and all the 7 voices in my head ..ha ha ha
And also packed , all the stuff I don't need...
1 bag packed, now 2more to go ...
How's that for multi-tasking ...

I love Saturdays, went to London...
Bought the dress, that had my name on it ...ha ha ha ...
And spent the day with Rachna, roaming, eating and shopping...
And then found my Kitchen-aid and my Ice-cream making machine...
So felt really happy..
Then it was decided that I should spend Saturday-Sunday in London with Sanjay and Rachna..
So yes did just that...
Talked..shopped some more..
Went and spent time with Rachna, getting glitter red toe nails , to go with the Christmas Spirit...
Now I need to find a mistletoe toe ha ha ha
And ya bought two more Sweaters...somebody please STOP me ...
Sanjay then took us to his favourite haunt for dinner...
"Burger-King".... Ha ha ha I love junk food too, but have never seen anyone devour junk food like Sanjay ,and still be fit...
Well think he either has great metabolism or then "worms" ha ha ha...
He is gonna kill me...
Slept and woke up at 4 , talked to my favourite girls in Mumbai...
And spent the day with Rachna,who is such a wonderful soul, she has so much peace in her heart ..and enjoys , the little moments in her life..
She is full of spark and positivity and is very secure and humble ...
We went to Rose bakery ...
Well not seen another person who loves "scones as much as she does" ...
She is so proper on one hand and adventurous on the other ...
And carries her elegance very casually...
Well these two days with Sanjay and Rachna have been crazy food wise...
You know how , scientists have White rats in their laboratory..
Well felt like the rabbit, because have tried so much of food, chocolate, fudge, burgers, pasta, salmon,gelato, pizza, dough balls etc ...
And discussed what was nice, what tasted great, ha ha ha ...actually since I love food..it was fun...but came back feeling like a turkey stuffed with goodies for Christmas...
Sanjay and Rachna, just want you both to know,it's always too much fun hanging with you...
And just to let you know..
I'm going running tomorrow morning..
Feels good , finish this piece that I'm sharing with all of you, I sit snug in my new fleece jammies, that say " let it snow" ..
Listening to Paris cafe jazz and drinking green tea...
Could not have asked for a better week and on this note ...
Good-night ..
And to a wonderful new week ,filled with food, fun and lots of laughter...

Monday, November 7, 2011

NEVER SAY NEVER....







If someone told me a few weeks ago..
That i would be going to Ireland ..
And sit by a lake in the cold and gaze into waters shimmering like gold ..
Cycling through paths of gravel ..
And gazing at ducks as they swim and quack ..walk up and through the blue mountain range ...
Peep at the sun through falling leaves..
And look at the shadow of the moon on a placid lake..
Stay in a chateau ...
that is unbelievable , steeped in history,culture and luxury beyond compare ..
With help waiting on you everywhere ..
I would never believe a word...never...
But today as I cycle through valley and dale..
Soft cold breeze blow my tresses away ...little drops of dew falling on my nose..
Cycling on paths I have never even dreamed of before...
I feel a calm ..
I feel washed over by peace ..
I feel a love , that is so deep ..
The paths are so inviting and the trees sway..
Leaves totally a fiery orange ,and some barks all bare..
Paths strewn with shades of fiery leaves..
Inviting, beckoning, playing in the breeze..
I walk a bit and join in the game ..
With beautiful fiery orange leaves..
Rustling my name ..
I say good-bye to trees that look ablaze in the suns warm gaze ..
To me orange is the colour of sweet and sad good-byes....
It's the only time that mother nature turns this beautiful shade of rust ..
And burns in all her glory ...
And then goes away ..
Quietly and without a fuss..
Or turns to dust ..
Not to be seen for many a day ...
So I squint into the sunlight and bask in this beautiful orange warmth ...
Don't know when I will ever see this again ..
It makes me feel , like something is about to end ...
I don't want to ponder or even think to much ...
I want to live in this moment ...to me this is more than enough...
It's more precious and perfect than so much I have seen ...
So I close my eyes and just be ...
I say a silent bye, for all the warmth and love that I shared in it's rustic shade ..
Sun-kissed and happy ..
I walk away ..
I go another way and find new paths through tunnels of gravel , that lead to bales of hay...
Beautiful blue skies and lush green fields ..
Puffy clouds that make you smile...
So I stand on the plateau and shout out loud...
And say all the things I want to say ..
Everything that's in my heart ..
I call out to the ones I love and tell them all that I feel , all that i am not able to bring to my lips ...to form into audible words..
The ones that get stuck in my throat, or I'm to scared to say...
Most of the time I just about whisper to myself ..
My eyes cloud with tears from the sun ..
And I feel better that this conversation is done...and my message has been sent...out to the blue skies ..
That Ireland holds ..
This will always stay with me in a special place in my heart..
What the heart feels.. Cannot be put into mere words sometimes .....it's only the eyes that can say a thousand words...without saying anything at all...
Silence , and in that space..is when you can read someone's gaze ...
I loved these two days,it filled me with warmth ,love and peace ..
Thank you dear God for giving me this day ..

And for Rachna and Sanjay...
Bless them keep them well ..
May warm hearts and big smiles, be their friends forever and a while ...

IRELAND-BALLYFIN...MAKES YOU FEEL LOVE and PEACE












And so Friday evening after class,I run home in the rain...
Heart pounding madly , I reach the Riding...
My bags are already packed, my notes are all ready, because I have my theory next week ..
The thing is when I met Rachna on Monday, she told me of this place in Ireland that they were visiting on the weekend...
And asked if I would come along , frankly I jumped at the idea, and the plan was made, but tuesday after class, just felt that I should , stay back and study on the weekend, so Wednesday morning, woke up and read through , by Thursday morning, I was wondering why on earth I'm not going and then spoke to a dear friend, who told me that this time is not coming back and I should go ....
Frankly my gypsy heart needs very little encouragement to travel...
So a few sms's later to Rachna, and I was going off on the weekend...

Got onto the train , and got off at Bond Street to be greeted by a crazy jam because the escalators had stopped working...
Frankly when you are 5.2 " being crushed in a sea of tall people is pretty scary...
Pushed my way out with a sigh of relief...
My train was the last one to stop there...
Luck of the Irish I say....
Got out of the station to be greeted by the pretty lit decorations on Oxford Street...
I love London in winter and during Christmas ...
Everyone is dressed so snugly and smartly, and people are holding hands, drinking coffee or hot chocolate, hugging one another , kissing at the street lights....it's just makes for the most wonderful setting , to hang with the one you love...
Waiting for the Christmas fair at Marylebone street ...to buy little goodies, sip on mulled wine in the cold ....
God I could easily live here ....but....
So I walk around like a kid in a candy store and stop , gob-smacked in front of this window that has a dress with my name on it...
Not literally , but I swear it was telepathically sending me a message to come and pick it up...
I look I stared and decided to walk away ...
Went to Rachna and Sanjay's house no:8...
And after a lovely Indian meal and lots a green tea and some lovely soul talk , I retired to my pretty room and sunk into the pillows and slept like a baby...

Next day ,two breakfast's later , we were on our way to Ireland....
We had an hour and a half car ride to Ballyfin...

When we reached there...
It just took our breath away, it was a chateau that took nine years to get restored ...
And as we got out...
The staff there was waiting to greet us ..like you see in old English films...
The building , the architecture, the attention to detail , the furnishing, the coloured, the upholstery, the paintings , the flooring , the library, flowers, crockery ...just took your breath away....
When I walked into my room..
I just died , it was absolutely adorable in a old fashioned classy and completely decadent , luxurious yet comfortable, inviting sort of way...
There were pretty flowers and paintings, with a breathtaking view, and the bathroom...called out to you to be indulged....
We had a quick lunch, took our cycles and went cycling all over the property , with the cold chasing us...
It was really lots a fun...
We came back tired and then just went around, taking in the chateau , that's has been made with a whole lot of love and tenderness...
Everything is absolutely beautiful and inviting , without being too in your face or too loud, it has chandeliers that belonged to Napoleons sister and , secret pathways, a summer garden to have tea, an indoor warm pool...
Gosh...just feel so so so blessed that I got a chance to experience this...
I must have done something good , to get a chance to come study at Tante Marie and then, travel most week-end to places I never even imagined...

The evening was filled with laughter and , we all dressed up and had dinner that looked like edible art...
Retreated for the night...
But did not really sleep...
Stayed awake...for a long time to come...
A lot of quiet , some music and moments...I will cherish..
Feel this is a dream and I will wake up ..
But right now...I'm just gonna live my dream...maybe it's what I always wanted and the heavens have just opened up and have presented all I want on a platter...

Was up at 6, but it was dark outside...so hung inside till it was a bit brighter and went and had break- fast in my night suit...
Eggs and brioche, hot chocolate...fruit..
I think the owner died of shock ...Fred Krieble, the man who owns Ballyfin and 20 other properties like this ....

After then took a cycle and just explored the propert on my own for an entire hour, went through paths , found new places, chased ducks, sang loudly, talked to the wind, about stuff I find difficult to say out aloud...
Called out to the people I love, and sent them messages that i yelled to the sky...
Therapeutic, felt free and happy and like Alice in Wonderland...really thought a Rabbit would just pop out from somewhere and take me for another adventure,the paths were filled with orange leaves, the trees are about to shed all their leaves, and I just fell in love with the rusty fiery beautiful orange that adorned the trees...
It's the most beautiful site I have seen....
An hour later...tired happy and hungry , I get back and join the rest of the gang, for a trek up the Blue Mountains...
Julianna , James, Rachna , Sanjay and me...
Julianna is adorable, she is tiny, Italian and just too cute, James her husband is a good guy, funny and friendly..
Rachna is full of life and adventurous and a risk taker, very straight forward and grounded ,smart and ready for adventure...
Sanjay, is easy and loves junk food, and funny and extremely smart and has the best business sense ever, and is forever planning another trek or drive , or what we doing next week , while we still on a fantastic adventure luxury vacation....
Thank God , that we are all friends..
And getting to know each one more and better ..

So we all head onto the mountain with John our guide , who was full of knowledge about the flora on the mountain , and told us stuff about various fungi, trees , leaves, the rocks on the bed of the river, the soil etc.etc...

Then he told us about this plant that Achilles was dipped into as a kid, called "yarro" ...
I love Greek mythology...and the men in it are all so beautiful ...
And so two hours later, with my wellies all coated in muck, and everyone of us happily tired and hungry , we head into the village , to this little eatery, with lovely home-made fresh food...

We head back , chill, stuff ourselves with more goodies from the Ballyfin kitchen, laze around the fire and just chat and laugh and can't believe we have to leave in two hours..

This was something, that I would probably not do on my own...
But I have learned one thing, "never say never"
You don't really know who comes into your life suddenly , and how it all changes, but I do know , that whatever happens, it will open your heart,help you grow and make you a better and more loving person...
So yes, every night before I go to sleep , thank God for all the wonderful people he has sent into my life this year, and how he has changed me around ......
I sleep knowing fully well that when you keep your heart open , everything that will make you a better person will happen to you, it may come tinged with happiness or sorrow, but change your heart for the better it will..
Writing this on my flight back from Ireland...
Stay happy and smiling...
And wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, when you wish upon a star, your dreams will come true...Disney-Pinnocchio

Thank you Rachna and Sanjay ....
Big hug and God Bless you ...