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