Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last nights fortune cookie read "I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship." As the year draws to a close, I am not viewing its passing as a year lost, but rather a year gained - in knowledge, love and life. I wish you all a Happy New Year, and hope you get the best of the best in the year to come.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

We put our Christmas tree up this week. I love winter, the smell of pine trees, crisp sparkling snow. I also adore wolves, bears, the wilderness, the Aurora Borealis… I knew even before I went, that I would LOVE Alaska. We honeymooned there in 2004. Mere words cannot do justice to its raw, untamed beauty. On a boat trip into the Kenai Fjords we saw orca and humpback whales, otters and porpoises frolicking amongst the ice and inky blue depths. As we sailed up close to a glacier, a chunk of ice sheered away and crashed into the water; the resulting wave slapped into the boat, causing us to rock violently back and forth. Very exciting! Very scary! One day we flew in a light aircraft into the wilds, past the majestic Mount McKinley, snow topped even in August. We landed on a lake, and rowed in a tiny boat towards shore, where we watched black bears fishing for salmon, and encountered a friendly (or hungry!) brown bear, who swam right past us. It was amazing. As is this little known fact: Alaska law says that you can't look at a moose from an airplane. That’s pretty a-moose-ing isn’t it. Moving on.. Just in time for Christmas, I offer you “The Swimming Bear”, mounted in white, size 14x11 for $100. This is a limited edition of just 20 prints. If you are interested please email me for further details. All proceeds go to the Children of Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization located on Long Island. With the help of donations they provide dignified burials for abandoned babies at the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury. The Children of Hope Foundation advocates the Safe Haven Law, which was first passed in New York in 2000. According to the Safe Haven Law, a birth mother is allowed to relinquish custody of her child in a safe manner, and not be criminally liable for abandonment. A Safe Haven is a designated public place, such as a hospital, firehouse, EMS station or police precinct where a baby can be left, in a safe condition, so that it may be permanently cared for.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Just give in to the ocean, the only way to tame your fear, is to feel her rocky motion Maybe it’s because I grew up a stone’s throw from the rolling seas of Scotland that I’ve always loved the ocean. It’s got a hold on me that’s totally unshakable. It comforts my mind and soothes my soul. When I need to clear my thoughts, the only place to be is staring out at the murky indigo water, lapping back and forth. When I fight with loved ones, and salty tears abound, there is solace there. When I go jogging beside it in the morning, I inhale its energy and somehow I can run faster, breathe more deeply. When I lived in Los Angeles I would sit on the empty winter beach in Santa Monica, staring out at the Pacific, looking for answers to questions that would otherwise go unanswered. I would see shapes turn into shadows, turn into nothing, but maybe something. Being Scottish I am enthralled by folklore. When reading Seal-Folk and Ocean Paddlers - Sliochd nan Ròn by John MacAulay, I was suddenly transported to another time, huddled next to a fire, listening to his tales of the magical seal people of the Orkney and Shetland Isles in the far north of Scotland. The tale is that seals could assume human form, but could not return to the sea without their sealskin belts. It is believed that the male Selkies are responsible for storms and also for the sinking of ships, which is their way of avenging the hunting of seals. I just spoke to my mother in Scotland. She held the phone to the wind, which was, she said, an icy gust coming in from the Firth. Suddenly I felt as though I was there, beside the water, with the wind whipping through my hair, whilst I drew strength from the eternal motion of the lashing waves.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

In light of recent events, here is the glorious Monica Bellucci, and some thoughts. Maybe in sharing these, I will put to rest some demons of my own. Some facts. I am a mother of 3. I am not Demi Moore. I do not have a personal trainer in my basement 24/7. Nor do I have a nutritionist on standby. I do have good common sense. Like knowing that if I exercise and eat less I will maintain a good, healthy weight. But like most women, every day I fight a war with the mirror. In the past I have suffered from very unhealthy eating patterns. Disorders. Cliché as it is, women and girls all round the world, right now, are “dying to be thin”. Literally. The sad news of yet another model dying last week, should be, but will not be, a wake up call to women everywhere. And yes, the age-old cry of the absolutely fabulous, “you can never be too rich or too thin” is a lie. In the past couple of months 2 models have died because they were simply too thin. Thinking one can exist on diet soda and lettuce, is not really thinking at all. What happened to the hourglass figure? Where have all the Marilyns gone? The same girl consuming 0 calories a day is the same girl wearing the pin up girl t-shirts, and cinching their waists with big belts, trying desperately to create curves. Why not just have curves? Women are women after all, not men. What is wrong with being 5’ 7” and a size 8? This I ask myself everyday, and yet still, I wonder what it’s like to be the size 2s I see on the rack. Do those girls have a better life than me? I seriously doubt it. Are they happier than me? Probably not. After all, I get to eat a few slices of pizza now and again, and not spend the next hour in the bathroom, wasting time amongst other things. I get to experience the scientifically proven mood enhancing chocolate, and the “good for your heart” red wine… without working out like a mad woman in order to get rid of those extra, unwanted calories. After all these years of being miserable on a diet, trying to be something, in all likelihood, I won’t ever be, I can now try to be content with who and what I am. Which, according to my husband is just about perfect.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, I thought I should offer up a festive cooking tip. Domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson, knows the best way to roast the big bird is breast down. Suits you sir. And, as it turns out, suits the bird too. I am yet to get a dry turkey breast. And, for your enjoyment, here is the yummy mummy at her finest.

Friday, November 17, 2006

In school I studied Toulouse-Lautrec, and long before seeing the girls in his Moulin Rouge works, I yearned to be on stage. To work in theatre darling!
I wanted to be the high kicker, with feathers in my hair and on my tail! There’s just something about a fishnet-clad thigh that makes a girl think that she too, can be that girl. Hands on hips, smile a mile wide, center stage – yes, that will be me. My newest adventure, here
in the big smoke is, drum roll - I want to be a Rockette. I have set my goal. I have my plan, my dreams, that’s all anyone needs. When I was a little girl I would watch old films with my Grandmother; the musical “42nd Street” was a favorite. For those who have never seen the original 1930s film, you simply must. Here’s the deal: Unknown chorus girl steps in, to play lead in musical, and shines. I remember just before she takes the stage the director utters, "You're going out there a kid, but you've got to come back a star!" As I head towards my 29th year I realize that I walk around in an adult's body, feeling 5 years old most of the time. I act out things that adults do, but that’s all it ever feels like, an act, sometimes not even a good one. But, I learn, I become wiser. That’s all being an adult is, being wiser, not about gaining years, more about gaining knowledge. So there it is. I don’t want to be a star; I want to experience being a star. And maybe I’ll grow wiser in the process. And until the time comes for me to take high kicking center stage, I continue to rehearse this thing called life. And I can always look like a star until then, with the new line from OPI!. Maybe a feather in my hair on New Year's Eve. Fishnets for day - not a problem. So tap class here I come!

"Come and meet those dancing feet on the avenue I'm taking you to...Forty-Second Street."