Saturday 3 December 2011

Good to be back!

This was quite a year!

Some of my projects picked up a bit stronger than expected and somehow the blogs slipped off the tail end. No time for my calm morning hour to jot down a few thoughts... oh how I am missing this. I am determined to get it back! 

OK, I will get it back after X-Factor is over. I knew it spelt disaster when I watched it first; now I am hooked to the US as well as the UK series and will have to sit through it. Amazing how one gets attached to the contestants. Another two weeks and I can skip the telly again, no long addictive TV nights anymore, but good night sleep and early mornings.

Not that watching X-Factor would have been my main projects keeping me from writing. Long telly nights are more a symptom of being rather knackered from the daily tasks and just wanting to hang around at night like an ol' cloth on a hook. So, what have I been up to?

Moritz rather bored
Surely not the garden as you can see. The fish survived so far and got fatter. Hope the heron will not catch them this winter. The cats are still there and actually getting on quite well. Good old bully Moritz is getting old now, sometimes a bit wobbly on his feet, and sleeping a lot, while big fat Bimmel is a bit slimmer now, yet still constantly begging for food and still a bit short of breath at times, bless them!

Almost as much as the writing the training has been lacking attention. So the plan for the close future is to get the two things back which I love doing most and which do me good. I am hoping that all my other projects like registering a charity, becoming a personal trainer, building my own business, travelling... will fall into place once my basics are sorted. Step one: The big sugar experiment is starting now! My goodness, those sugar highs and lows are the first things that have to go. 

And for the rest of it: I am wishing you a lovely weekend and very happy Christmas time


Friday 7 October 2011

It's been a while

Hello Dears,

long time no write! I have been keeping myself busy with work, Personal Trainer school, building business, creating charity and family affairs, and when we went out for a meal with friends yesterday one of them poked me about looking tired. I guess grumpy is a better word. I explained a bit and he suggested I'd take some 'Me-time'.

Good idea! But: how is taking time off going to help, when not having time is the problem? He was right of course, stepping back from it all and reflecting is what I have suggested myself more than once in my blogs. My real problem however is, that I like the things I do. At the moment I even like my day job.

Luckily the guy was insistent and made suggestions of how possible Me-time could look like, and my response was: I usually write, and I have not written in month!

There you are, instead of learning about bones and muscles I sitting here with a coffee, writing: The perfect me time!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Friday 26 August 2011

What's new these days?

Hello Dears,

long time to hear, see, or write: So, what IS new these days?

This darn cold that is going round and round, surely isn't. It has been bothering for almost 4 weeks after I came back from my holidays, and I still hear other people wheezing and coughing wherever I go. I used almost all my remedies, and they seemed to ease the worst of the symptoms, but those bugs just wouldn't give in. The UK population seems to be halved, the ones who have it and the ones who don't. I would like to know what the latter did to avoid it, good for them anyway, it kept me from training and it made me grumpy... In my case that means too much junk food.


... I started Personal Trainer school now. Oh my goodness! The teaching training is fun, odd, but fun. Fun, because I can do it without actually really having to think about what to say. My natural talent of bossing people around is kicking in. Odd, because I have to pretend that the bloke I am teaching doesn't know a thing, whereas he is my teacher and definitely trained. Additionally he is about two heads taller than me. Imagine me wearing varifocals, bending backwards to keep eye contact while explaining good posture... tststs...

And then I had a look at the books... most of it sounds rather familiar, but how is one supposed to remember the details? I need to learn how to learn again... Bloody Hell! I hope I had good reasons to start this.

OK, I kinda had a good reason: I want my own business! So I started investigating on how to actually do it. Hmmm?!? There is a lot of information on the Internet, and good information that is, too. The only hiccup is that it doesn't tell me what's the right decision for me... Bloody Hell! I hope I had a good reason for that idea.

O well, I kinda had: I wanted to do something that I really, really like doing. And I have to tell you: I found a few people who are happy to be my guineapigs in the gym and I am training them since a couple of weeks, and I really, really like it! However tired and cough ridden I might feel before I meet them, during the session I can keep my focus, and I am just happy and very comfortable.

And now I found somebody via Facebook who offered to meet me next week and to discuss my business idea with me. He is a friend who I met at work and who now does his own stuff, he is experienced and a brilliant sounding board. If anybody can whip me into business shape, then it's him. Yeeehaw! What else could I wish for?

... a hobby. I have something better: I have found something that almost feels a bit like a calling... not that I all of a sudden would have become religious. It is the little area in North Sumatra called Tangkahan. The wonderful place where I have been during my holidays, and I am determined to go back next year and help build their language school. So far they only meet regularly at a beach, but they are planning to rent a little house, with proper furniture and to create a library. English is a big part of the ticket for the kids to obtain a sustainable lifestyle. To be part of this is a legacy worth striving for.

English School in Tangkahan

Sport wise the focus has changed a bit. So far the national bodybuilding competition in Birmingham is off. If I should be in the right form by accident then I might just go, but I will not specifically prepare for it. Somethings gotta give! To build my business and to work with my clients is more important. I would still like to do the Martlesham 10k, though. I am just not sure if I still have enough time to train. I only had two month anyway, and now 3 weeks got nicked away by this nasty bugger of chest infection. Will have to see.

That's it really... oh, stop! Not entirely!

I have a new office arrangement. New challenges need new time management. I need to make time for all those lessons and find time for learning for exams. I found a need for more flexibility, meaning that I have to be able to access my office wherever I am and whenever I need it. That means laptop... which now happens to be a brand spanking new Macbook air. My pride and joy. Only flip side: It took hubby and me about a week to get everything configured. A lot of my stuff is now sitting in the cloud, meaning it is somewhere on a server and I - potentially - should be able to access everything from everywhere. Well, that at least is the theory. As usual it's the human element limiting the performance of the system, some of that stuff I just don't understand... Hmmm?!? There is a theme evolving. I really have to get the hang of learning new stuff.

At the Apple Temple, Covent Garden

Then a friend had a photo exhibition and used one of the pix he shot of me - Yay!

... and I had my  27th wedding anniversary ...

... so, times are good!

Wednesday 4 May 2011


Good morning my dears!
I hope you had a lovely week so far. After my three and an half hours workout yesterday  I am eventually feeling back on track with the training. Tomorrow I will have a photo shoot to test the tan... oh oh. Pictures to follow hopefully soon.

However, as I am getting closer to the my competition I realize that I am running out of time. So I may have to cut down on the writing a bit and may not have an update every day.

So for today I would like to keep it short and to introduce you to my two new friends who I found at Octopus

... they keep stealing my glasses ...
Have a great day!

Monday 11 April 2011

A holiday decision

After my last rant I have decided that I should take the term break, too. I may be publishing a bit here and there if I feel that something needs to get out, but not every weekday.

It is getting rather calm on the Internet at the moment anyway. All the English people at least are enjoying the first sunshine, as it may be their last for the rest of the year, and towards Easter at least the Western world is getting rather busy. So it is a good time for me to take a break,too, to do some gardening, focus on the Bodybuilding and most of all... sleep a bit more.

I am now wishing you a wonderful spring holiday, loads of sunshine, no sun burns, and see you right after Easter"

Thursday 7 April 2011

Spring has sprung, how come...

  • Monday the weather looked fine, I decided that it is spring and wore a thin blouse. The aircon at work decided that it is summer and cranked up the cold air...

  • Tuesday I decided to wear long sleeves and a blazer, but the weather decided that spring had not sprung yet and the aircon agreed, blowing warm air...

  • Today I wanted to be smart, temperature definitely rising I expected the aircon to deep freeze the place again and decided for long sleeve and vest. Very fashionable that I looked, I almost sweat myself to death as the aircon went bonkers and was still heating...
I however know for sure that spring has sprung because of the hayfeverish sniffles, and as long as I stay close to the aircon mayhem, I actually feel better. No two ways about it: The year has arrived in April - the month of too much work, confused sunshine, and inapt insects.

That means for me that only two month are left to get ready for the bodybuilding competition. I seem to have sorted the wardrobe questions (tan and bikini), still need to get leaner, and still have to learn how to pose.

Wish me luck, dears!

Ta ta

Friday 1 April 2011

Another Thursday night

Ok, it’s Thursday again and I remembered to bring the netbook to sewing class, yay! So again I am sitting in my car writing to kill some time until lesson will start. I am still on the toile, so no news there, but I got the DVD from the last photo shoot and the photos are looking good. Turns out that I have to see how to use the dresses, or I even may have to dispose of them… at least on the photos something is not quite right.

The shoulder bits look a bit flimsy now... who would have thought?
And I definitely need a tan for that one

I actually quite like that one - it's the comfiest dress ever, but Bob wasn't convinced either.
He hated the handbag that goes with the shoes, so I tested the green on green - with black or beige shoes maybe?

… and turns out that I still have to learn a lot in regard to posing. It seems to be much easier to model black, as soon as things are getting multicoloured some skill is asked for. Patterns make lines vanish and if arms and body are not properly separated by a gap one looks like a big blob.

Not good! ... and stiff like a log...

... better, but coats tend to pull creases, the jeans are a too dark wash, the shoes are too red, 
and tight jeans don't work in photos if they aren't pulled down straight... Hmmm?!?!

... crop the bottom bit off ... well, it works! I do like the coat!
Dresses are similarly tricky if they are shifting. It looks weird when the dress looks straight while the model is in profile and visa versa. Again: Hmmm?!?!

Oh were to put those darn arms?
Get some posture girl! Straighten your back!

Well, that is why we do those shoots, right? To figure out stuff like this. So here is to what is working: Leather jacket!

Gotta go dears, stichwork is calling for me. Will add a few photos and post tomorrow. Oh my silly computer wants to reboot… I hate it when they do this. So I will just shut it off  and hence up now.

Ta ta

PS: Keep an eye on my PicasaWeb will post the rest of the pics during the weekend

Wednesday 30 March 2011

A Photo Glimpse

Half way through the week and I got two photos as a preview from last Friday's photo shoot, which was all about trying clothes. I am eagerly waiting for the photos with the dresses as they will determine whether or not I will still be wearing them this summer. 

Since I eventually found some decent jeans I have become a bit reluctant to go through the hassle of dressing up with skirts or dresses. One needs tights or stockings, and in winter boots which never really fit my calves. And even now that spring is lurking one still needs a coat which looks silly on a dress if it is not the right length and colour, and ... ah...

So I didn't wear them in a while and when I tried them for fit before the shoot, I quite liked the feel and  I thought that they still look pretty in the mirror. And then dear Bob, the photographer, seemed to disagree. Wrong shape, wrong colour... not me... Hmmmm?!?

He liked the black coat. Firstly it is a nice challenge for a photographer as it catches and reflects light in interesting ways, creating unexpected light sources, and apparently it compliments my white skin. Well, some years back I would have said that it contrasts and hence I shouldn't be wearing it. But previous shoots and this picture actually show that it looks quite good on me. 

photo by: Bob
The favourite item however was my vintage red biker jacket. I loved that style since I saw Michelle Pfeiffer in one in the movie 'Into the night' (somewhere in the middle of the page). I always thought that red is not a good colour for me, but this thing goes a tiny bit towards the orange rather then the blue and the pictures show that it indeed works very well.

photo by: Bob

So far the dear photographer's opinion seems to be spot on, thus tI am starting to believe that the dresses might not be such a hit anymore. Well, I will let you decide once the pictures are up. I am hoping to receive a DVD next week or so.

Will keep you posted!

Have a lovely day,

Monday 28 March 2011

It's a new dawn, it's ...

... a new day. It's new clothes for me!

This Saturday we did go to Camden marked, despite the protests. A woman who had set her mind on new clothes and a man determined to investigate the iPad situation cannot be scared away by a quarter of a million people.

Oh well, bush telegraphy on Twitter already had broadcast the news that the Apple Store at Covent Garden is out of goodies anyway, so there was no need to enter the danger zone. Only when we attempted to reach Westfield Mall in White City/Shepherdsbush we got stuck at Tottenham Court Road. Trouble at the platform caused officials to only keep open one turnstile, so we decided to abandon the plan, and had to walk back the police lined street, until eventually two stations further we could catch a Tube.

So no success for hubby. In the meantime it is revealed that the entire UK is out of iPad2 and nobody knows when new stock will arrive as even the US is short of resource. I call this: Too good marketing backfiring. Apple only can get away with it because there is no competitor, and the competitors may want to kill themselves right now for the fact that they don't have a product that compares... It would be NOW to hijack the market...

Well, the Camden Market people did better and had plenty of stuff to compliment my growing, goth inspired wardrobe. Here is a preview taken when sorting through my possessions, so please excuse the poor quality

I got this from the market stalls. It goes beautifully with the skirt I already own and which I bought for the purple corset.

And then I found more stuff at Sai Sai at Camden Staples Market. This is the shop where I got the coat and the blouse I used for the last photo shoot.
Find Sai Sai at:
Units 30a and 36a
London, Camden, Stable Market, Chalkfarm Road, NW18PB
lolisaisai (please remove white space before @)
lizhi_lz (please remove white space before @)

This skirt is a wee bit naughty as it looks rather Victorian, but is open in the front and shows a lot of leg.

This long blouse looks a bit odd on the hanger but is absolutely fabulous if just worn with a bra and some jeans or sleek black trousers. It has an open back and is thanks to laces very nicely fitted.

I love this skirt. Again it doesn't reveal the full potential on the hanger. It is a velvety black and very high cut, hence hugging the waist. It can be worn with or without petticoat.

Oh well, I will need to get me a strapless bra, but why not go checked this summer...

And this is a little something in grey from another shop I don't remember the name of. I liked the vest, but the guy was a bit intrusive, wouldn't go there again. One finds similar stuff all over the place. Whereas at Sai Sai they are very sweet, helpful, and honest.

So, I guess I am stocked up in the 'black' department now. I may want to have another pair of shoes to go with the skirts; heels... Yes! but a bit more playful than the ones I have.

Now I am waiting for occasions/weather to wear that stuff and someone to take decent photos with me in them. End of May hubby and I got tickets for the spring ball of you dance school... with proper band and all... decisions, decisions...

On that note I am wishing you a beautiful Monday!

Ta ta

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Late today...

Ahhh, the lady of the house had a lie-in. I thought that the best way to get in holiday mode is to be well slept. Now I am well slept and a bit slouchy. I guess I will need another couple of lie-ins until I eventually will be able to jump out of bed all energized.

On a side note: I think the spellchecker in blogger is broken. So please excuse the weirdness that goes beyond the usual, but you all know by now that my spelling is rubbish...

So yes, as usual too many plans for a short week, as one does when the wish to eventually catch up with everything becomes overwhelming and one isn't quite sure where to start and where to end. The fishpond definitely needs a good scrubbing... frogs are already mating like mad, the garden altogether needs a bit of attention, but the air is still a bit nippy, can't really get myself inspired for a proper garden session. On Friday I have another photo shoot. Yes, I am in demand, and I am loving it. Who would have thought that this silly woman who six years back hated to have her picture taken now is chasing cameras. 

And then there is the biggie - posing training! I got a fantastic boost during the last weeks photo shoot when I saw my back. Of course I never properly get to see it and even without glasses I could see something rather big in this little camera screen. Again pictures have been proven to be a good tool for self assessment. I feel rather confident now, all I have to learn is how to show it off. 

Well and if everything fails I just put a top hat and a red nose on... it worked for Red Nose Day last week.

Ta ta

Monday 21 March 2011

Good Morning to week 12

Yes, the year is 12 weeks old now, and eventually the weather Gods seem to realise this as well. I am mega-busy and really could do with a bit of warmth and less fuss on the dress front. All those cardiagans and warm coats go on my nerves. I have so many nice coats which basically replace Blazers, but can't wear them because no other coat would fit on top of them, but they are too thin as stand alone, at least for now.

So, I have to show them off in photo shoots. I don't have too many pix because it was not about clothes but light experiments. Very, very interesting indeed. I am looking forward to doing more of that type of stuff. During the weekend I eventually managed to update all the blogs, shoved some files on how to subscribe and how to block adds to the bottom of the page to make the right hand side menu more airy, and I - sorry - added an advert block into the menu, the money it makes is just too tempting to not do it. Well, I always was an open minded person... or at least I thought so... I will let you choose whether or not you want to see the ads, hence the article. I hope the blogs have all the same structure now so that you find similar links in the similar places. Now I can move on to the scary stuff... Bodybuilding is next on my agenda!

I gotta dash. I should be on leave, but have to work a bit more for work, and then it's the garden... oh my... the garden... don't get me started on that!

See you around, dears! Have a fab day!

Thursday 17 March 2011

Gotta Dash...

Good morning Dears,

The next two days I will have to dash a around a lot and I won't be able to write myself. Well, I do right now, but you know what I mean. My brain is empty and I have no opinion to be opinionated about, so I am giving you sombody elses.

Dear Nury Vittachi, columnist, writer and a little bit of an idol of mine always has a wealth of funny columns to dive in. So why for a change don't you read his stuff? Like the one about protests!

Gotta put make-up on now: Red Nose Day event at work looming. Going a bit burlesque, eventually something nice for the guys at the end of financial year!

Ta ta

Monday 14 March 2011

So many plans...

... oh my goodness, I hope a lifetime is enough for what I have on my mind.

One thing on it is wealth... I need money. Well, who doesn't? But I need serious money, and hence I am starting to sell advert space on my blogs. I personally don't like ads and hence I am herewith sharing with you my little wisdom on how to avoid my ad-attack.

All my previous plans were about self improvement and having fun while doing a day job that is OK. I am now working on plans to self improve and to have fun while working in a job that I love, meaning my own business. Aim is to have that done in 3-4 years time. So, now I have to learn how to do business. And offering my assets is a first step... no, not what you might mean...! Tsss...

At the moment I am updating all the blogs with the latest information about Columnbina and getting the settings right - for the time being I will keep the Diary and the Column clean from ads - and I am advertising the book, It is not selling brilliantly, but hey! already made something like £10 from it for Orangutan Land Trust, to which the profits of the first 100 sales will go, another 90 to shift.

I now urgently need to swap over to put focus on the Bodybuilding competition in June. I will have some pix soon, so brace yourselves, and then my big 5-0 is coming up and the trip to Sumatra right after. That should be an experience of a lifetime and should add some interesting insights to the travel blog.

And when I am back I will reveal what I am up to for the grand plan!

Have a great start into the new week. Here the weather is lovely and all is good,
Wishing you the same!

Wednesday 9 March 2011

So far so good!

In my naivety I thought I could go straight into the bodybuilding challenge after the book was out, but I am now in some sort of hovering state... the brain is numb. Additionally I of course have to advertise the book. So I am visiting all my social networking sites... which are plentiful... amending the profiles, and I have to go into all the blogs as well and add the link.... still so much to do!

And it is important to do, as even the people who know about it so far haven't bought it yet.  Well, I can understand that they are not as excited as I am, while I am rather impatient at the moment. I still only have the sales of the people in my closest proximity, which is 5, plus somebody from the US - yippee! thank you! - and I am getting nervous if I will ever make the 100 sales of which I promised to give the royalties to Orangutan Land Trust.

So please, please help me spread the word: Info about Rika's ebook and where to buy is on Kindle Apps for PC, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Blackberry, Android phone are available for free on the Amazon site.

Another task is to get me a bank account. It is a wonderful thought, my own little vault for my personal achievements. 

I hope my brain will now settle and that I will be able to write something substantial again, rather than book, book, book....
Thanks for bearing with me, have a lovely day!

Monday 7 March 2011

The deed is done!

Columnbina has her own web-home now, with domain name and all. She lives at, is of course embedded into the ILP landscape, as she is our representative and mascot after all. I have to admit, I am rather proud of the achieved.

Since I uploaded her to the Kindle publishing site on Saturday, she is now doing her first shy steps into my bookshelf. It is wonderfully thrilling to see, how step by step the information trickles in, the pictures are getting added on the store site, the price is getting allocated. She is already looking pretty good in the US and one can expect that by the 8th March, tomorrow, right in time for carnival and 100th International Women's Day, everything will be in place. So please prepare for the big launch day, visit her website, and feel free to pass on the link.

Thanks you so much for all your support throughout!
See you tomorrow with the URLs
Ta ta

Friday 4 March 2011

Crunch Time

Oh, it was one of those days yesterday: Day job buzzing like a bee hive, then sewing course at night, and Columnbina's title illustration needed to be finished. Doesn't sound too bad but at the moment it's the list of tasks to work through, now and during the next week, that keeps me in a weird state of alertness.

This drawing had cost me a bit of headache already as I had accidentally deleted it half way through with no option of recovery. I don't have a suspicious mind, but ...

Afternoon went OK and off I went for sewing, no fog this time and even a bit of daylight left over at 6:30PM, things definitely seemed to pick up. Coming home by 10 at night I decided for a cappuccino! The face is the most difficult bit, I love the picture I use as template, but it is so pretty because it is a bit out of focus, a feature very unsuitable for a template. Every little grey cell needed to be on high alert.

Somebody then apparently decided otherwise and guided my little finger to get stuck in the handle of the cup, distributing a quarter of a pint of hot frothed milk evenly over the kitchen. It is amazing how far a quarter of a pint can stretch, especially with appliances in the proximity. However, calm, collected and oh-so-grown up woman I am claiming to have become, I cleaned the kitchen which had just seen the cleaner that morning, while preparing another cappuccino. At least we were not out of milk and I was not willing to let take over that 'bad omen' idea again.

Having lost half an hour of precious time, drawing went well, and at around midnight I included it into the files to run the program that eventually would create 'The Book'. I had done it before, it worked fine, should be just a final test before bed time... 'File created with warnings!'...

Panic mode!

'File was create with warnings' for the next two hours. I tried previous versions, amended files, hubby joined in trying every trick from the book and searching the entire Internet for solutions: Turns out that I am an idiot! Apparently the cappuccino had not been reaching far enough to keep me alert for this last task - From a set of three files making up the entire book, I had been running the wrong file.

Eventually! By 3AM 'The Book' had a cover and the Nauck household was able to retire. And here it is:

Thursday 3 March 2011

Columnbina - A Teaser

Find the eBook at the Kindle store from 8th March 2011


Who is Columnbina?

I’m not much of a theatre person; Commedia dell’Arte however, is a kind of art that suits my temper. According to Wikipedia this is a form of improvisational theatre that started in Italy in the 16th century, using general plotlines around all too human issues like old age, love, jealousy and adultery, but tweaking them into satire or farce whenever local scandals or regional tastes would give additional fire to the punch lines.

Characters were easily identifiable by clothing, make-up, posture and gesture. There were the diva, the rich man, the servants, the foolish, the lover, … and one of them was Columbina. She is a servant of the diva, often drives the story and is usually depicted as untamed, smart and crafty. She is the female counterpart of the Harlequin – the clown. She is engaging with the audience and hence is having a role between the lines of the plot.

If I were to chose one of all the characters: I would want to be Columbina! A networker, an enabler of people and situations, yet down to earth with a genuine interest in what makes people tick.

I like the Commedia dell’Arte because its plotlines are crisp, and to the point, and that is why I like columns. A personal view of a particular part of the world condensed in about 600 words, witty and at times a bit sarcastic, but always quickly plotted to catch the Zeitgeist, to document changes, and to show how people live. Columns connect people; one doesn’t feel alone when somebody else even writes about it: 'See? Told you so…! Exactly what I thought!'

Since 2007, I’m running my website now, and since then I wrote a column once in a while with increasing frequency. Reading back through them it is amazing how much they reflect my life and what happened around me. I have written miles of other articles – my husband calls it writer’s diarrhoea – and they only tell a fraction of what these little bits of writing reveal.

So here’s to share with you my newly gained wisdom: My collection of little insights into myself, human nature in general, how to rule the world, save it, and how to know everything better anyway.

Columnbina's Tasks, Tussles and Temptations

As opposed to the Columbina of the 16th century the modern day Columnbina is usually married and/or has kids plus a day job. Thus instead of being a servant to one diva she has two divas to serve: The family and the job.

She has to juggle through the days using every skill imaginable: creativity, abstract thinking, managerial, and so called soft skills – what basically means ‘keeping everything together and everybody happy’.

Deep inside she may be a shy person, an accountant’s personality or a chaotic madwoman: Nobody cares whether the task suits her abilities, the nitty-gritty bits always fall into her lap anyway.

No wonders that once in a while she snaps. She might take some time off for bitching, or spending, or ranting. But at the end of the day she always comes out of it with a smile, looking gorgeous and the drive to go on with it! Well, almost always …

Table of Content

Columnbina’s Tasks, Tussles and Temptations
1. Dawn till Dusk
1.1. He’s so Sweet
1.2. How Embarrassing
1.3. Emotions
1.4. Creams and Ointments
1.5. Names
2. Shopping of All Sorts
2.1. Food Shopping
2.2. Buying a Car
2.3. Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!
2.4. How Four Silly Buys Make One Good Outfit
2.5 Oh No, Not Again!
3. Rebellious Bonce
3.1. I’m on Strike
3.2. What a Rubbish
3.3. About Criticism
3.4. Fraudster and Customer Service

Columnbina Going a Bit Bonkers
1. Idols, Ideas and the Implementation of the Same
1.1. Fan Letter to an Idol…Eh, Two Idols!
1.2. Colours – Colours- Colours
1.3. Weight Loss through Weight Gain
1.4. What’s the Worst…?
1.5. From Strength to Freedom – Summing It Up
2. Autocars, Appliances, and the Admiration of a Little Boy
2.1. Gagoria & Co
2.2. Homage to Mukuefchen

Columnbina Thinking Deep
1. We Had It All
2. Homage to Monica
3. Passion
4. Challenges
6. Live and Let Live – Or: What we can learn from cats

Columnbina’s Getting the Hang of It
1. The Way We Are
2. Humble Pie
3. Wrongly Wired
4. You Can’t Cheat the Sandman
5. Good use for Chocolate
6. Am I Too Spoilt?
7. A little Tale
8. Achievements
9. Pushing the Limits
10. Columnbina sings: And The Chicken Can Fly


Wednesday 2 March 2011

Columbina and Orangutans

Since Columnbina is an illustrated character and in that respect a pencil drawing, you might be interested to know that actually she is a red-head. Well, not a natural one, but it is the colour that underlines her boisterousness and the one that she feels most comfortable with. She truly believes that on her creation somebody forgot to add this vital ingredient of red hair and that it should have been hers in the first place.

Thus it does not take any wonder that she feels a strong relationship to another red-headed relative, the Orangutan. She loves to engage in charity work for the furry fellas and hence the the profits of the first 100 downloads of her eBook will go to Orangutan Land Trust, a charity working hard to preserve the land suitable for Orangutans to live in.

And now,again, I will attend to drawing the ladies skirt... why does she have to dress up so much?

Ta ta

Tuesday 1 March 2011


Nope,... not a typo!

Oh, I admit it: It is a silly little word game, but I like it nevertheless. When I looked back over the columns I had written during the first good year of Incredible Ladies, I realised that there is some sort of story line evolving. The beginnings were rants in good 'old grumpy women' style, then things turned more and more into an attempt to make sense of things which I observed in me and others, to then finding remedies or at least conclusions to some of the issues raised. 

So I decided to tie those columns together into a book and the character most suitable to do so appeared to be Columbina of the Commedia del'Arte. Well, and there you are: The slight name change makes it more silly but even more suitable.

On that note I will cut it short again, the good lady is waiting for me to finish her last illustration, as she is now keen herself to get out and about and to meet you on 8th March at the Kindle store.

Ta ta

Monday 28 February 2011

Meet Columnbina

Columnbina is my alter ego in my eBook which is due to come out on 8th March. I am still hoping that uploading to the Kindle store, approvals from Amazon, and whatever else might crop up will go as smoothly as advertised on the Kindle website, but at least it looks like as if I am going to make it from my end with editing and drawing illustrations.

I am looking into stores selling ePub format as well, but it for sure will come out as Kindle book. Well, and Kindle has applications for PC, iPad, iPhone, Android phones and PC... so, no excuses at that end to not buy it.

I am all excited now and throughout this week I will tell you a bit more about Columnbina, how she came about and how things go in regard to her birthday. So, please stay tuned.

For now I have to get cracking!
Have a wonderful and successful week,

Thursday 24 February 2011

Red Noses

I have dealt with the networking issue last week, I have been commenting on beauty this week, it's time now to address the matter of red noses. Apart from the fact that my cold is still not entirely vanished, this is not what I mean: We have 'Red Nose Day' in England. It is a charity event that is taking place all over the country to help children all over the world. Well, and a red clown's nose is the signature item. So I ordered nine of them... and now I have no idea how to put them to good use. I thought I'd put them onto the noses of our managers at work and send them out to collect money, but they smartly have put themselves a very boring yet incredibly important all day meeting into their calendars. I am now thinking of finding a room with glass front for them, making them wear the noses nevertheless, and asking people to give me money for being allowed to watch them meet. This meeting might not be a successful one, though... well, it might not be anyway.

I am finding it difficult to be funny and to make money from it. We had loads of cross dressers in the past, that usually works well, but only in one direction... don't think hubby would get excited, oh my... any other ideas welcome! It's the 18th of March, by the way: So should you have a few pennies, cents, or whatever currency make your purse appear too heavy, please consider donating. As I said, it's for kids all over the world.

And now I have to get back to my drawings. Hanging horribly with my book publishing schedule. Will keep you posted about the red noses!

Ta ta!

Monday 14 February 2011

It's networking week

I had a lovely incident this weekend which reminded me of a networking workshop I did some years back. It culminated in a series of articles which I now decided to re-publish. Firstly, I am sneaky thus saving me some time to work on the book, and secondly I think this is a really important thing to know about if one really wants to improve the lifestyle. We ladies usually are not really good in networking - real life networking that is, social networking that seems to be a different matter. In real life however, we know a lot of people, but we are not good in calling in the favours, and in social environments we tend to hide in the shadows of our men... So here is the first article in this weeks networking series: Knitting 21st Century Style - About the Importance of Networking.

Have a wonderful and successful week,

always your, Love

Friday 11 February 2011

Busy weekend ahead

There we have another weekend, and I should be falling into panic mode. I'm too busy for that, though. Luckily busy with nice things, but busy nevertheless. Hence I looked for a another thing to re-publish and found something amusing: Quite the thing we need to compensate for the bad weather predicted.

In regard to the panic I mentioned: Well, 16 weeks to the bodybuilding competition, 4 weeks for the book, dance class and sewing lessons are a lot of fun but take time, and as usual: The day job gets in the way. All those things that need a bit of brain capacity, a very useful thing of which I seem to be running out. I have to be careful not to go to dance lesson in a toile and start dancing in sewing class.

Since this lack of memory capacity doesn't make me very amusing anyway, I will now rather release you into the weekend by wishing you a good and successful one.

Until Monday
Ta ta!

Wednesday 9 February 2011

A bit of re-publishing

Good morning everybody,

I hope you forgive me when I am doing a bit of recycling. I haven't been re-publishing stuff from the original IL site in a while and last night I got caught up a bit in scribbling my illustrations for the book. So I thought it's a good opportunity to save a bit of time and still give you something to read.

Although you may have read it before it may be good to be reminded of the fact that lack of iron is a sneaky thing. After I wrote this article I didn't have those problems again as I am still taking my pills. It seems that especially during the menopausal decade with wonky hormone levels I have to rely on them.

So, cutting it short today I am hoping for a lovely clear spring-ish day similar to yesterday, and wishing you a good mid-of-the-week: Weekend not too far anymore!

Ta ta

Tuesday 8 February 2011

What's new?

Well, nothing really. The year at least is not new anymore! I cannot comprehend how February arrived without me noticing. I am contemplating a study with different age groups, to figure out if it is an age thing that time feels like flying, or if time actually does fly. Although I should not complain, at least not at the beginning of the year: The weather is definitely getting better, the crocus are out and the forsythia looks all knobbly. I can't wait to watch the yellow shrub from my study window. A bit of a spring breeze will surely help to progress the four main projects I am attending to at the moment.

I am working a lot for the eBook right now. I finally found the sub-title for it, and the publication date on Amazon should be the 7th March if all goes well. It's the Carnival Monday and as Columnbina, my alter ego in the book, is derived from a character of Comedia del'Arte, that sort of makes sense... if it must. So, please cross fingers that all goes well!

Then of course the Bodybuilding. I am starting to find my audience in the gym so it seems. At least dear friend Imola claims to observe guys ogling ... what is fine by me. To be honest, one has to be a bit of a show off to consider such a challenge in the first place, doesn't one? So the one or the other stare does me good and makes me huff and puff a bit more straightaway. So, please keep throwing eyes...

The third project is starting to become a bit of a passionate relationship with needles and pins. The wonderful thing about the sewing course is, that during those two hours I am in a bubble. Everything is falling off me, and total focus on the task gives such a peace of mind. I only can recommend doing something artsy-craftsy... It has something peaceful about it, trying to bring hands and brain into a rhythm... I didn't know how much I missed this until I did it again.

And then there is a fourth thing clawing its way into our lives. It's dance classes with hubby. We wanted something that we do together. We danced a little bit some 30 years ago and then never again. Oh what a fun that is! In this case it's more about bringing brain and feet together which seems to be much more of a challenge than hands and brains.

See, those four are summing up quite nicely what is needed for happiness in life:
  • A challenge or at least a goal to find a bit of a drive, 
  • then something one can do on ones own, something where one can meet new people without the baggage of existing friendship or family, a place to be 'one self'.
  • and something to spent quality time with a partner, and again 'without the company of other friends'. This is about creating experience and environment that is 'ours'.
  • most importantly though, there are 'bubble' occasions. Especially the dancing and the sewing take all the attention. No mobile, no texting, no straying thoughts about work or the other tasks.
So there seems to be something is new after all: I found a set of things to do which keep me terribly busy, but have the potential to make incredibly happy. Yay!

Have a wonderful Tuesday

Friday 4 February 2011

And sleep does help

What a great week I had. I thought it was lack of time keeping me from performing the way I would like to perform. Turns out it was lack of sleep. Although I had less waking hours I got so much more done. I have been writing about this before, but firstly, I seem to forget my own advice and secondly, at times I tend to fall into the comfort trap, meaning, start rotting in front of the telly.

This week I didn't watch any... not because I didn't want to, but because I went to bed instead. One has to go with the preferred rhythm and mine is early bird. So nodding off in the arm chair at night is not a good option when wanting to get stuff done in the mornings. Now I am back to 'very early bird': I get up at 5:30, I was at work at 8 today - Yippee, nobody in the office, got so much work done. Had a good parking spot, too. I had a little performance dip in the afternoon, but for some reason everybody has, even the long sleepers. So that might be more down to lunch sluggishness than anything else. Depending on how deep the dip is, I use the time to tidy house, or Facebook, or to indeed have a nap... oh well...

... and nevertheless managed to go to the gym, was alert and happy at work, finished an illustration, went to dance class, started sorting ISBNs, did my sewing homework, went to the sewing class, did quite some blog admin due to the new blog and still had enough time to Facebook and Twitter. Most important of all: I was not as hungry and was a really rather happy bunny, because everything went so smoothly.

So, I should listen to my own advice a bit more often which in this case is: Food, sport, work - one can tweak them to improve the lifestyle, but none of those have an as big impact as sleep.

It seems that I will keep nagging you with this. Hubby found me some German articles, which I will wrap up for you. What do you say? You have kids, you don't have the luxury? Throw away any other comfort, cancel the social events, the swimming session, the beauty appointment... All very important to have, but not if you are lacking sleep. Get the odd 5 minutes here and there for a nap - even just closing eyes and resting is better than nothing, and just call it a day when it's a day!

On that note: I will edit this tomorrow morning for publishing - off I go to bed now. Until next week.

Night night!

related links
Can't cheat the sandman

Monday 31 January 2011

Life's busy

My goodness me, everything has kicked in now. Training wise I am running to the gym four times a week, I found two victims to torture with my gym and free weight wisdom, dance classes with hubby are in full swing, literally!, and the sewing course demanded some homework which I completed yesterday, nothing pretty yet, but to a decent standard. I at least learned a lot.

My task for this week will be to get to bed in time. The one morning last week which I overslept really taught me a lesson, I felt so much better all day. I guess it will need some getting used to, though. Yesterday I was so tired that I considered it a good idea to start the new regime. By the time I hit the pillow I was wide awake. The body is a weird thing. I will take it as a new experiment! So, at least for a while I should not be availble on FB for a chat at night; although the computer is live I shall be shifting dreams.

And now the new week is upon us. I am wishing you all a successful and happy one.
Wishing you sweet dreams, too!

Ta ta

Friday 28 January 2011

A new blog - Lucky number 13

And there is the weekend approaching! And it has a lot of work ahead for me. We have a new blog: The Seamstress

It's still a bit pale and needs some work to it, but it's a start. It's the arts and crafts section of ILP and given that I just started sewing class there will be a lot of sewing on it for now. But as I know myself there will be all sorts of stuff coming up over time. I could think of photography, painting/drawing on paper, fabric or digital, wood work, knitting/crochet, welding, DIY stuff in general...

So this weekend I have to do some sewing homework, dance lessons, and of course the gym: The moment of truth will come tomorrow when it is weighing and measuring day. This morning I put on some trousers which I haven't worn for a while, and they are horribly tight, although I fell very lean already. Please, please let it be the muscles that have grown!

Off I go now, be back on Monday. Have a fantastically successful weekend!