Your week ahead (28 April – 4 May)

Greetings from Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon! I’m here for a few days attending a friend’s wedding. Have a great week!

Aries

21 World

The World – integrating – experiencing wholeness, combining, working in unison; accomplishing – realising your goals, seeing dreams come true, finding a beautiful solution; becoming involved – rendering a service, using a gift or talent, sharing what you have; feeling fulfilled – savouring the present, taking pleasure in life, enjoying peace of mind, counting your blessings

Taurus

Pentacles 10

10 of Pentacles – enjoying affluence – feeling financially secure, having a good run of fortune, being free from money problems; seeking permanence – looking for a solution that will last, having an orderly family life, being concerned with the long term; following convention – being conservative, taking part in traditions, proceeding according to the rules

Gemini

Pentacles Knight

Knight of Pentacles – finding a balance between being unwavering and stubborn – staying fixed to a chosen course and refusing to listen to reason; being cautious and unadventurous – checking/double-checking and being too conservative; being thorough and obsessive – being meticulous and being too picky; being realistic and pessimistic – predicting problems in advance and dooming a project from the start; being hard-working and grinding – being tireless and unflagging and forgetting life should be fun

Cancer

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Page of Cups – being emotional – being moved or touched, responding to beauty, letting your heart lead the way; being intuitive – acting on a hunch, trusting your gut reaction; being intimate – starting or renewing a love affair, meeting someone you’re attracted to, sharing something personal; being loving – making a thoughtful gesture, forgiving yourself, brightening someone’s day

Leo

Wands Knight

Knight of Wands – finding a balance between being charming/superficial – being physically attractive/focusing on style and appearance; being self-confident/cocky – totally lacking self-doubt/overestimating abilities; being daring/foolhardy – risking anything without fear/being reckless and rash; being adventurous/restless – loving travel and new experiences/never being content to sit still; being passionate/hot-tempered – taking a vocal stand/acting without thinking

Virgo

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2 of Cups – making a connection – joining with another, celebrating a marriage or union, working together; calling a truce – bringing together opposites, letting bygones be bygones, forgiving and forgetting; acknowledging an attraction – recognising a bond that is developing, accepting your preferences, feeling a positive response

Libra

Wands 2

2 of Wands – having personal power – commanding attention and respect, holding the world in your hands, having authority; being bold – daring to do what you want, speaking your mind, seizing the day; showing originality – taking a different approach, doing what no one else has done, marching to a different drummer

Scorpio

0 Fool

The Fool – beginning – entering a new phase, expanding horizons, beginning an adventure, heading into the unknown; being spontaneous – letting go of expectations, acting on impulse, surprising someone; having faith – staying open, feeling protected and loved, recapturing innocence; embracing folly – taking the ‘foolish’ path, being true to yourself, trusting your heart’s desire

Sagittarius

Pentacles 2

2 of Pentacles – juggling – coping with demands, having a lot of irons in the fire, keeping everything in balance; being flexible – going with the flow, seeing the possibilities, handling challenges; having fun – taking time to play, feeling in high spirits, seeing the humour in the situation

Capricorn

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Queen of Cups – being loving – dispelling anger and hate, having infinite patience; being tenderhearted – being kind and gentle with all creatures, feeling what others are feeling; being intuitive – being guided by the heart; being psychic – having a well-developed sixth sense; being spiritual – having reverance for all life, appreciating the deeper meanings of life

Aquarius

Wands 5

5 of Wands – disagreeing – quibbling over details, quarreling, arguing and bickering; experiencing competition – rising to the challenge, trying to outdo yourself, looking for a fight; experiencing hassles – getting annoyed by demands, needing to take care of details, being bothered by trivialities

Pisces

Swords Queen

Queen of Swords – being honest – facing the truth, even if it’s unpleasant, playing by the rules, avoiding lies and deception; being astute – sizing up a situation quickly, being quick on the uptake; being forthright – getting to the heart of the matter, being candid when necessary; being witty – never taking anything too seriously; being experienced – having seen and done it all, having realistic expectations

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For a personal tarot reading, please contact me.

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The final few

I had a lazy few days while Randy was on holiday and finally had a session with him on Wednesday. He went easy on me as it had been a couple of weeks!

I started with a 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then did the following circuit:

  • Bench press (3-kg weights) x 15
  • Leg raises x 15
  • Kettlebell swings (6 kg) x 20
  • Tricep dips x 12

I did that circuit three times. In the last set Randy increased the weights for the bench press to 10 lbs.

I did 3 more minutes on the cross-trainer and began the second circuit. It consisted of:

  • Combined squat/upright row/military press x 12 (on each side)
  • Lateral pulldown x 15
  • Leg-lowering abs x 15
  • Bicep curls (3-kg) x 12 (alternating sides)

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then Randy stretched me out.

That was the only time I worked out this week!

Low point of the week? Only working out once – I’d been feeling a bit fluish on Monday/Tuesday and even cancelled my yoga class on Monday.

High point of the week? Thank goodness Randy’s back – I need someone to force me to the gym these days.

Weight loss? My weight has fluctuated between 68 and 70 kg this week! I can live with that…

Healthy

Read more updates here.

Your week ahead (21-27 April)

Try and have some fun this week!

Aries

Swords 2

2 of Swords – blocking emotions – denying true feelings, hiding distress, maintaining your cool; avoiding the truth – refusing to look at facts, choosing not to know, ignoring the warning signs; being at a stalemate – staying stuck, refusing to decide, being unwilling to rock the boat

Taurus

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Page of Swords – using your mind – analysing the problem, using logic and reason; being truthful – acting honestly, exposing what is hidden; being just – acting ethically, righting a wrong; having fortitude – facing problems squarely, keeping a firm resolve

Gemini

Wands 5

5 of Wands – disagreeing – quibbling over details, quarreling, arguing and bickering; experiencing competition – rising to the challenge, trying to outdo yourself, looking for a fight; experiencing hassles – getting annoyed by demands, needing to take care of details, being bothered by trivialities

Cancer

Pentacles Page

Page of Pentacles – having an effect – making plans real, using your body, acting on your dreams; being practical – taking a realistic approach, using common sense, finding a solution that works; being prosperous – increasing your means, enriching yourself, becoming secure; being trusting/trustworthy – having faith in others, keeping your word, establishing credibility

Leo

Swords King

King of Swords – being intellectual – ably carrying out research, using thought creatively; being analytical – applying reason and logic, understanding a problem quickly; being articulate – being a lucid writer and speaker, being a stimulating conversationalist; being just – being impartial and objective, being concerned with truth and fairness; being ethical – encouraging high standards, living by your highest principles

Virgo

Pentacles 5

5 of Pentacles – experiencing hard times – running into material troubles, feeling insecure, struggling to make ends meet; suffering ill health – feeling run down and tired, getting medical attention, neglecting your body and its needs; being rejected – having the door slammed in your face, feeling excluded, lacking support

Libra

Pentacles 6

6 of Pentacles – be generous – you are either about to be the beneficiary or giver of something with value; share what you have – there is always someone who needs it; generosity does not have to have monetary value – it could be a listening ear, spiritual support, etc.; don’t be too proud to accept what is offered, if you are the intended recipient

Scorpio

wands_page-scaled5001

Page of Wands – being creative – taking a novel approach, finding a new area of self-expression; being enthusiastic – getting excited, being passionate; being confident – stretching your envelope, moving beyond doubts; being courageous – taking assertive action, overcoming a fear

Sagittarius

14_temperance-scaled5002

Temperance – being temperate – finding the middle ground, reaching a compromise; maintaining balance – recognising all sides, feeling centred and secure; experiencing health – renewing energy and vigour, flourishing; combining forces – joining with others, finding the right mix

Capricorn

Wands 7

7 of Wands – being aggressive – going after what you want, taking the offensive, making your point forcefully; being defiant – holding out against pressure, combating criticism, resisting authority; showing conviction – demonstrating strong character, knowing you are right, being firm

Aquarius

Wands 2

2 of Wands – having personal power – commanding attention and respect, holding the world in your hands, having authority; being bold – daring to do what you want, speaking your mind, seizing the day; showing originality – taking a different approach, doing what no one else has done, marching to a different drummer

Pisces

cups_queen-scaled500

Queen of Cups – being loving – dispelling anger and hate, having infinite patience; being tenderhearted – being kind and gentle with all creatures, feeling what others are feeling; being intuitive – being guided by the heart; being psychic – having a well-developed sixth sense; being spiritual – having reverance for all life, appreciating the deeper meanings of life

For your monthly readings, click here.

For your weekly readings, click here.

For a personal tarot reading, please contact me.

Dubai 2013: Week 14

My sister and nephew left Dubai early on Sunday morning and the house was so quiet when I woke up. That afternoon I went to Onyx Spa and Fitness for a Brazilian keratin treatment – I’d bought the voucher on Groupon and was keen to use it before I forgot! I’ve had the Brazilian keratin treatment done in Dubai three times since I moved but the results have never been as good as used to be in London. It could be the weather, the fact that I exercise more, who knows?

Later that day I met up with someone who works in publishing. I’d never met her before but a friend of mine introduced us on Facebook as he’d met her on a night out and thought we should meet. We met at the Media One Hotel (where her office is) and had a juice at Cafe M. She was friendly and helpful – she asked me to send her my CV and she would forward it to a few people. I’m not sure how I feel about working full time again but if any freelance work came my way I wouldn’t say no to it.

I met up with a friend for lunch on Monday. We went to Ping Pong at the Dubai Mall. It was entertaining as always! After lunch, I went to the Al Qasr Hotel as some friends from London were staying there. They stayed there last year when we went to their fabulous Friday brunch! We sat by the pool for a while, watching the kids splashing around. We then took the kids to the kids’ area where they played ‘chef’ and served us various dishes! We took an abra back to their villa (beautiful rooms). The kids were in the bath and I sat on their balcony with a glass of champagne reading my book – does life get any better than this?? We decided to try the Spanish restaurant Al Hambra for an early dinner. We ordered a selection of tapas and a jug of sangria! We were done by 9pm and I went home.

I did a juice cleanse on Tuesday. Luckily I had a few things to distract myself from the fact I wasn’t eating all day. I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon followed by a piano lesson. There were a couple of times when all I could think about was a big burger and some French fries, but I resisted! Just as I was finishing my piano lesson we heard a strange creaking coming from the next room. My teacher and I went in to see what it was but couldn’t figure it out. I told him that if I didn’t know any better I’d say the building was swaying. As I left the building a friend sent me a text asking if I was OK? I wasn’t sure what she was referring to but said I was fine and why wouldn’t I be? She told me (all the way from South Africa) that there had been an earthquake. It’s quite possible that the building I’d been in had been swaying after all – but being on the first floor we didn’t notice!

On Wednesday I went back to Onyx Spa and Fitness as I had another voucher for a Dermalogica facial and massage. The last time I’d had a facial and massage there was back in November. My therapist was Lulu, an Indonesian lady. I told her I wanted the facial first followed by the massage, but she said the treatments had to be done the other way around. I couldn’t be bothered to argue with her so just left her to get on with it. She was very good – much better than the previous therapist I had (the one with the cough).

A friend invited me to a girls’ night out on Thursday night. It was at someone’s house in Jumeirah and everyone had to take a bottle of whatever they were going to drink. Everyone was very friendly – and a many of them were ex or current Emirates staff. I heard some interesting stories! We were there till about 1.30am and then went home.

I met up with a friend for dinner and drinks on Friday night. We met at Caramel and had dinner there (carpaccio, spicy tuna rolls, TNT shrimp, yellowtail) and a bottle of white wine. After that we walked over to Zuma for some more drinks. After that we thought we’d go to The Act but when we got to the Shangri-La the staff told us that they’re only open on Thursdays. Oops. Oh well, we settled for a drink at the Balcony Bar and then went home.

I got home at around 3am and put my key on the door only to find that one of my parents had left their key in the door on the other side and I couldn’t get the door open! My dad is usually up until I get home but that night he’d decided to go to bed ‘early’. I called his mobile it was off. I called my mum’s mobile – it just rang and rang and went to voicemail. I called the landline – no answer. I rang the bell continuously – no answer. Shit. At 3.40 I texted a friend to see if she was awake and told her I was locked out. No answer. I was outside my front door until 5am, ringing the bell and calling the landline constantly. By then I needed the loo too! I thought about going back to the Shangri-La and getting a room. And then my friend texted me at 5.15 to ask if I managed to get in? Nope! So I went to her place and spent the night there. What a nightmare. What if it had been a real emergency??

I got home at about 1pm the next day, to very apologetic parents!

That night I went out with a friend to an over-35s Meetup group at the Marriott in Marina. The venue was The Observatory on the 52nd floor of the hotel. The views from up there are quite spectacular. We were there during happy hour so we had some mojitos and mingled with some interesting characters. We also ordered some food – baked Camembert, calamari and a mezze platter. It was all average – I’m not sure I’d go there again.

I got home after midnight and was absolutely shattered. I’d hardly slept the night before and couldn’t wait to get into bed!

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.

Dubai 2013: Week 13

After the excesses of my birthday weekend, we showed no signs of stopping.

My friends who were staying at the Shangri-La invited us over on Sunday to hang out by the pool. We were there by noon and we took Vinay with us – he thoroughly enjoyed splashing around in the water. The poolside was crowded and my friend managed to convince the pool staff to turn a couple of sofas into a very large sunbed!

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We had pizza and several bottles of wine. At last count, it was four bottles (I think?). At about 4pm I went to The Fairmont to see my other friends who were leaving that evening too – we had a few drinks in the bar. I got home at about 7.30. I chilled out for a while and then met up with my parents, sister and brother-in-law at the Dubai Mall. We had dinner at PF Chang – their hot and sour soup really does hit the spot! By this point my hangover was starting to kick in. That’s the trouble with daytime drinking!

I was home all day on Monday – I was exhausted and was starting to feel jetlagged. That evening I met up with a couple of friends at iKandy for their ladies’ night. We met at 7pm and shared a few bottles of Prosecco – my sister and brother-in-law also joined us as the three of us were going on to have dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse at the H Hotel. I’d booked a table but the restaurant was completely empty apart from one couple in a booth. We each had a steak (my cousin joined as too) and shared the dessert and two bottles of red wine. I managed to use a couple of Entertainer vouchers too! My brother-in-law left late that night for Lagos…

By Tuesday I was sure I needed a new liver. The last few days had been mental and it needed to stop. I cancelled my piano lesson and stayed in my pajamas. All day. I was shattered. I did some work but didn’t leave the house. It was also my first day without alcohol in 5 days!

It was my cousin’s birthday on Wednesday and she had organised a girls’ lunch at Apres at the Mall of the Emirates. There were six of us at lunch – we shared a cheese fondue, some pizza, and some other random starters. We also had a bottle of wine between us. After lunch, we had planned to walk around and do some shopping but we walked around for about 20 minutes and quickly lost interest in everything. We headed home instead.

Thursday was busy. I had lunch at Vapiano at the Dubai Mall with my sister and then we did some shopping. She bought me a lovely Ted Baker dress for my birthday and had some of her own things to do! We went home for a while and then decided to go to Safa Park. None of us had been there – and Vinay was very excited. We got there at about 6pm so it wasn’t too hot.

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We walked around for a while and then my sister took Vinay and the nanny for a boat ride. It was getting dark by the time they’d finished…

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But Vinay didn’t want to leave!

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That night my sister and I went to iKandy for a drink. We just wanted to get out of the house really – and I hadn’t tipped our waiter from the night of my party as every time I’d been back to iKandy he’d had the day off or was ill. I finally got to meet him on Thursday evening – he told me that there he had kept what was left of the Patron XO Cafe and could pour us a shot now if we wanted one. I looked at him like he was crazy. I’d have to do that another night…

We had lunch with my cousin and her parents and kids on Friday. We went to PF Chang at Mirdif City Centre which was nice for a change. After that everyone went their own separate ways – my dad went home, my mum took Vinay to the kids’ area, my sister and I walked around the shops for a while.

That night we went to see Olympus Has Fallen. I’d heard it was good but had no idea what it was about or who was in it – I thoroughly enjoyed it!

We were back at the mall on Saturday. A sandstorm (or shamaal, I’ve learnt) had blown in and there was sand everywhere. My sister and I went to Tim Horton’s for a coffee but there was nowhere to sit inside so we ended up outside – in about 10 minutes we were covered in dust. It was gross. She ran her errands, I tagged along and then we went home. At about 8pm she realised she had to go back to the mall to change the iPad cover she’d bought. Kaleem, the driver, had already gone home so we had to get a cab. It was windy outside! We were in the mall for about 20 minutes and then took another cab back home. On the way home it started raining. There was lightning every few minutes and it was windy! It was so windy that when we got home I couldn’t push the cab door open – the driver had to turn the car around so that we weren’t against the wind! We had sand everywhere when we got home – our hair, our eyes, our ears. Yuck.

My sister and Vinay left late that night – the house was going to be very quiet after that!

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.

The final few

As Randy was still away I went back to the gym on Sunday morning. I walked for 20 minutes (2.1 km) and did two sets of lower body exercises. I then did an abs circuit from an app I downloaded to my phone! It’s called ‘Daily Ab Workout’ and I have the free version. You can select workouts of either 5, 8 or 10 minutes – I thought I’d start with 5 minutes. There are three workout routines but because I have the free download I can only select the first routine. It consisted of 30 seconds each of the following exercises:

  • Basic crunch
  • Right oblique crunch
  • Left oblique crunch
  • Bicycle crunch
  • Reverse crunch
  • Long arm crunch
  • Crossover crunch
  • Half curl
  • Vertical leg crunch
  • Plank

By the end of it my abs were really feeling the burn!

I had yoga on Monday. My cousin couldn’t make it so it was just me. My teacher chose that day to be very hands on – insisting I stretch further each time I was in a new asana.

After the excesses of the previous week(s) I thought it might be a good idea to do a juice cleanse, just to clear out my system. I found a company online called Essentially that delivered all the juices you need for your cleanse, and all the bottles are labelled so you don’t have to think about what order to have them in. I went for the Revitalization cleanse – the beginner’s option – and I chose the 1-day cleanse. The six juices were delivered on Monday afternoon and I did the cleanse on Tuesday. The juices (in order) were:

  • Green juice (cucumber, celery, apple, spinach, parsley, lemon, ginger) – I loved this – I found it so refreshing and I love anything with ginger!
  • P.A.M. (pineapple, apple, mint) – I’d been dreading this one (as I’m not very fond of pineapple) but was pleasantly surprised
  • Green juice
  • Spicy lemonade (water, lemon, agave, cayenne) – This didn’t make much of an impression with me – I thought it was a bit insipid
  • Red roots (beetroot, carrot, apple, orange, celery, ginger) – Again, I really liked this one (must be the ginger!)
  • Cashew milk (water, cashew, agave, coconut butter, vanilla, sea salt) – I enjoyed this more than I thought I would as it was quite filling after a day of just drinking juice

I thought it would be a lot harder than it was. I did spend much of the afternoon thinking about burgers and fries, but I think that might be normal if you know you just can’t have it! I’d consider doing the cleanse once a month. I didn’t lose any weight (that wasn’t my aim anyway) but I did feel less bloated afterwards. The only thing I really did fancy was a cup of tea in the afternoon and something warm at night. I could have had some herbal tea but I didn’t have any at home – I’ll be better prepared next time.

I didn’t make it back to the gym this week. I had planned to go on Saturday but was so tired after a weird Friday night I just didn’t have the energy! Oh well, something to aim for next week!

Low point of the week? Going to the gym just once.

High point of the week? Making it through 1 day of a juice cleanse.

Weight loss? Back to 68/69 kg again…

Excuses

Read more updates here.