Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Why I’m single…

Over the last few years I believed I was single because I was overweight. I had little confidence, never felt good enough, and never believed it if anyone showed any interest. 

On my recent trip to London friends asked: now that I’m ‘less fat’ (as was kindly pointed out to me), surely I must have met someone? Isn’t that a little offensive? It doesn’t say much for men in general. And why would I want to be with someone whose only concern is the way I look? What if I put on all that weight again??

That aside, I think I’m single because I don’t know how to play ‘the game’. I have been told this constantly over the years and was recently reminded of it. But:

  1. I loathe ‘games’
  2. ‘Games’ imply that there’s a winner and a loser – and the loser is usually me because I don’t follow ‘the rules’
  3. Aren’t there more important things to think about other than: Should I call him? If he doesn’t call me, then should I call him? Do I really have to wait three days to text him? How soon is too soon? Why hasn’t he called? If he calls on Saturday to meet that night and I’m free, should I go? Or am I being too ‘available’? 

How mentally exhausting is that?

It’s simple: if you don’t hear from me, I’m not playing hard to get. I’m just not interested. And the reverse applies: If I want to see you, I’ll suggest meeting up. Is there any harm in contacting someone (not incessantly, of course) and asking them if they want to meet? 

The only game I can compare dating to is tennis (because I know the rules and they make sense). I get to serve (call/text) twice – if you can’t return the serve at least once, then you’re not good enough to be on my court.

But I have to say being single has its benefits too. I can do what I want when I want without having to check with anyone. My time is my own – I spend it however I like. It’s easy.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend this week. He said I didn’t look my age (in fact, he thought I was in my early 30s, bless him). I told him it was probably because I had no responsibilities to stress about. His response (which made me laugh out loud) was this:

Haggard – nag, husband, kids, school run, brat, garbage, argument, sleep in separate rooms, argue, kids, brat, homework, schools, fees, mortgage, university application, daughter’s boyfriend, brat, work, nag

Fresh and young – mani, pedi, spa, massage, personal trainer, pool, Novikov, Bali, spa, lobster, Annabel’s

I know which I’d rather have. For now, anyway.

I’m not saying I want to be single forever. If and when the right person comes along, I’ll give it a shot. Do I really have anything to lose? 

Until then I’ll be hanging out with my friends, drinking mojitos, writing a novel, sunbathing at the pool, going to salsa night and wine club.

And practising my serve.

2012

 

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Your week ahead (17-23 June)

Have a great week!

Aries

Swords_knight

Knight of Swords – finding a balance between being direct/blunt – being frank and outspoken/tactless and rude; being authoritative/overbearing – commanding with attention/forcing a position on others; being incisive/cutting – being sharp and alert/having a barbed wit; being knowledgeable/opinionated – having well-reasoned opinions/being arrogant; being logical/unfeeling – reasoning clearly/undervaluing intuition

Taurus

Swords_ace

Ace of Swords – using mental force – being objective, finding out the facts, analysing the situation; having fortitude – facing problems, finding the strength to overcome; seeking justice – righting a wrong, accepting responsibility, establishing the truth; proceeding with truth – cutting through confusion, being honest, having clear understanding

Gemini

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

Cancer

Cups_2

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

Leo

Wands_king

King of Wands – being creative – having natural artistic ability, being original and inventive; being inspiring – setting an example others want to follow; being forceful – carrying authority naturally; being charismatic – magnetically attracting others, naturally becoming the focus of attention; being bold – being intrepid, daring to stand and be different

Virgo

8_strength

Strength – showing strength – having stamina, being a rock; being patient – refusing to get angry, taking time, maintaining composure; being compassionate – understanding what others are feeling, giving others lots of space, being kind; achieving soft control – guiding indirectly, being able to influence, demonstrating the strength of love 

Libra

Wands_queen

Queen of Wands – being attractive – being appealing and popular, making friends easily, having great sex appeal; being wholehearted – being loaded with enthusiasm, being open and sincere; being energetic – being vigorous and strong, being a natural athlete; being cheerful – having a warm and sunny disposition, having an encouraging word for all; being self-assured – having faith in your abilities, quietly demonstrating self-confidence

Scorpio

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

Sagittarius

Wands_6

6 of Wands – triumphing – having your day in the sun, coming out on top, achieving success; receiving acclaim – earning applause, achieving recognition, getting a pat on the back; feeling pride – strutting your stuff, holding your head up high, having a high opinion of yourself

Capricorn

19_sun

The Sun – becoming enlightened – finding the sense behind the chaos, getting to the heart of the matter; experiencing greatness – being singled out for notice, becoming the centre of attention; feeling vitality – experiencing joy, feeling invigorated; having assurance – knowing you can succeed, trusting your abilities

Aquarius

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

Pisces

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

For previous readings, see Notes by Nectar.

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London: Part 2 (and a few hours in Oslo)

On Wednesday morning I was up at the crack of dawn. I left home at 6.15 for a flight at 8am from Heathrow Terminal 5. I got there and went straight through security – I had my handbag and my laptop, that was all I needed for the day. Once I was through security I called one of my colleagues to find out where he was. ‘Oh, we’re in the First Class lounge,’ he replied. He was with the guy I was supposed to meet the day before who decided to go home instead. He invited me to join them so I walked towards the lounge.

I got there, got a cup of coffee, and Tweedledum introduced me to Tweedledee. ‘What happened to you yesterday?’ I asked. ‘Oh, I had stuff to do at home.’ Oh, that’s nice, I thought. We all have stuff to do at home. No apology, no explanation. Not impressed. Luckily they had checked in together so were sitting next to each other. I was far away. On my way to the airport that morning I considered using my airmiles to upgrade to Business Class so I wouldn’t have to sit with them.

We got to Oslo, came out of customs, turned right and went to the Radisson Hotel where our meeting was. It was uneventful – I don’t think my being there was very necessary at all – and we left. Our flight back to London was supposed to be at 5.15 but it was delayed by over an hour. I had to listen to Tweedledum and Tweedledee slagging off my ex boss, my ex ex boss, the ex head of sales and marketing, the ex marketing manager and goodness knows who else. Tweedledee does the job I used to do and now I wonder what he says about me to other people…

We eventually boarded the flight at 6.15pm. We were just approaching the runway when the captain announced that there was a discrepancy between the load counter and the actual number of bags on board. He said we’d be delayed a little while longer. I was getting frustrated because: (a) I was exhausted; and (b) I had dinner with friends at China Tang that evening. Luckily we only had to wait 5 minutes while they sorted it out and we were off.

We landed at Terminal 5 at about 7.40pm. The captain made another announcement. He told us we’d landed in the Domestic Arrivals area of the terminal and would need to take a bus to the International Arrivals hall. What else could go wrong?? I switched on my phone to let my friends know I had landed and to go ahead without me and… nothing. Nothing happened. My battery was dead. I thought about borrowing someone’s phone but then realised that I could only remember three phone numbers and they were all useless.

I eventually got home at 8.50pm, charged my phone, called my friends, got ready and was at China Tang by 9.30pm. I needed a big drink. Had it not been one of the girls’ birthdays I’d have stayed at home… but the food was perfect. We had a table in the bar area and all we had was dim sum and roast duck. Divine. I was home a little after midnight and I passed out.

One of my ex-suppliers took me out for lunch on Thursday. I’d always looked forward to our lunches so when she found out I was coming back for a holiday she took me to Trattoria Semplice, just off Oxford Street. It was great to catch up – and again I felt like no time had passed! She even came shopping with me after lunch. She sat in the next cubicle while I tried on one dress after the other, giving me her approval (or not)!

I went back home after lunch and relaxed for a little while. I had to go back to the office as there were some leaving drinks for the HR department (the team of two had been made redundant – don’t ask). I got there in time for a shockingly embarrassing speech from the Chief Executive. I stayed a couple of hours, met a few ex-colleagues and then had to leave for my dinner that evening.

Some friends were taking me to Maguro, a Japanese restaurant in Maida Vale. I went over to their house first as I wanted to see the kids before they went to sleep and then we headed over to the restaurant.

Maguro is a tiny Japanese restaurant in Lanark Place, just behind Raoul’s. I think the food is great, but the restaurant is too dark and the tables are really close together. We had some sake and dinner (their salmon tartar is amazing – I’d never had it before). Another friend joined us while we were eating and then we all went to the pub next door for a drink.

I went to get my hair cut on Friday morning in St John’s Wood High Street.

2012

I then met the girls for lunch at Oslo Court. It’s one of my favourite restaurants in London – and I always overeat when I go there. The portions are huge! I started with the escargots and had the grilled salmon as my main course. I ordered a chocolate dessert which I couldn’t eat. I felt like I was in a coma. I had planned to go shopping after lunch but was feeling so lethargic it just wasn’t going to happen.

I ended up meeting a friend of my mum’s for coffee at Fenwick in Bond Street. I called her and told her I’d just eaten, that I don’t eat bread, and that I would just have a coffee. By the time I got there she’d ordered smoked salmon sandwiches and scones. I couldn’t touch anything. I had a coffee, she ate, and we left.

I walked around for a while and then went to the pub with the boys. On my way there I got a text from one of them saying he had a surprise for me. I had images of vodka shots lining the bar and thought about going back home. When I got to the pub his dad was waiting for me. He heard I was going to be there and wanted to see me and see how I was settling into Dubai life and so on. I was touched. I was there for an hour and then went home. Later that evening a friend came over and we opened a bottle of red at home. He stayed about an hour and then I had to get ready for dinner.

That night a friend had organised dinner at Novikov (or Escortikov as I like to call it). I’d heard so much about this place, good and bad – it was interesting to see it all in the flesh, so to speak. I’ve never seen so much cleavage in one room. Butt-skimming dresses, plunging necklines, fake lips, fake breasts, fake cheeks (both kinds). On the table next to ours were two guys with what looked like female twins – same short red dress, same long black hair in a ponytail, same everything really. After dinner we went down to the club for a few drinks. At 2am, the two of us that were left decided to go to Boujis in South Kensington. It was totally unnecessary but it seemed like a good idea at the time. We were there for an hour and then decided to go to Maroush for some food. We walked home at 4.30am and it was after 5am by the time I went to sleep.

One of the girls had her birthday lunch at Pearl Liang on Saturday. I could barely string a sentence together for most of the meal, but dim sum and diet Coke were just what I needed. After lunch I met one of my cousins for coffee at Selfridges and then walked home.

That evening was another friend’s 40th birthday. They’d booked a room at The Cinnamon Club in Westminster, champagne was flowing and the DJ was great. It was just me and two of the boys – their wives weren’t out with them that evening. It was like old times. And by that I mean there were shots, more shots, dancing and more dancing. We left at about 1.30am and on the way home one of the boys said ‘We should go somewhere – it’s just the three of us!’ So we ended up at Trader Vic’s (like old times) followed by the Colony Club (like old times). And once again, it was 4.30am when we got home (like old times).

I don’t know how I managed to wake up in ti
me for brunch on Sunday. We had a reservation at Cut at 45 Park Lane for 12.30 and we were on time. We’d booked it ages ago and I’d been looking forward to it. We sat down and as soon as I saw the menu, I knew what I was having. ‘But you’re supposed to have steak or some meat – that’s the specialty,’ my friend said. I didn’t care. To start with I had the fresh burrata, prosciutto di Parma, roasted peppers and basil pistou:

2012

And for my main course I had… buttermilk pancakes with whipped maple butter and seasonal berries:

2012

They were the most expensive pancakes I’ve ever had in my life, but they hit the spot. Along with the Bloody Mary.

On Sunday evening I went to a friend’s sister’s wedding reception. More champagne, more wine, the food was good, the music was amazing – I felt like I was back in the 1980s – ‘Caribbean Queen’, ‘Rhythm of the Night’, ‘All Night Long’, ‘Ain’t Nobody’… it was another heavy night.

Read more about London here.

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London: Part 1

So I’m back in Dubai now. I got home from the airport at 9am on Tuesday, went to sleep in my own bed, and woke up with a fever and sore throat. It’s no surprise really – the last three weeks were bound to catch up with me somehow. I’m just glad I didn’t get sick while I was there. That would have really pissed me off.

My holiday was fun, but exhausting. I’m pretty sure I was more tired after this London trip than after my brother and sister’s weddings combined.

I got to London on a hot Thursday afternoon – my flight landed at about 2.30pm. I switched on my phone to a message that said: ‘Welcome home – fancy a pint at 5?’ Why yes, yes I did. I got to my friends’ place where I was staying at 4.30pm, unpacked a suitcase and walked over to the pub. It was HOT. I had a pint with the boys and then headed home. That night I hung out with my friends, we caught up over dinner at home, and we were all in bed reasonably early.

On Friday morning I had a doctor’s appointment – I’d booked it weeks in advance as I just wanted to get it out of the way and not have to think about it during my holiday. That afternoon I met a cousin who was also visiting London for lunch – we went to Phoenix Palace. Oh, pork – how I’ve missed you! Char siu pau, char siu puffs, char siu

I then popped in to see my old work friends at the office – it was just before 5pm and we ended up going to The Wimpole across the road. Some things never change. I had three glasses of wine and before I knew it, it was 8pm and I had to leave to get ready for dinner.

Seven of us went to the Arts Club for dinner. I’d never been before but it’s a great place to people-watch. We ordered starters to share (Spanish charcuterie plate, yellowtail with citrus dressing, endive gorgonzola and walnut salad and a few other things). For my main course I had the lamb chops – which were really good. I can’t remember what we had for dessert (so it couldn’t have been all that)!

It wasn’t a very late night – we didn’t venture up to the bar or down to the club – but it was a fun evening. It was like I’d never left London, but had only been away on holiday for two weeks.

On Saturday I had to go to the chatti (naming ceremony) for some friends’ twins. I didn’t even get to meet them as I had to leave at 1.30 and the ceremony wasn’t finished yet. I left Cricklewood and headed to Raoul’s for brunch with the girls – SO good to be back. I had scrambled eggs and sausages, and we shared the French toast for dessert. Yes, it is bread, but it was a special occasion. After that, one of the girls and I sat in Baker and Spice for a couple of hours, catching up. Again, it was like I’d never left.

That night was going to be a long one. A friend was having his 40th birthday at The Ivy Club with an afterparty at a different venue. He’d invited about 100 people and I thought it would be a good way to meet everyone at the same time. Good timing!

The party was fun – we got there at about 9.30 and at 10pm I realised I’d already had three glasses of champagne and would have to slow down if I was going to have a coherent conversation with anyone there. I switched to water for a while, and then moved back to the champagne.

The Ivy Club shut at 2am and the venue for the afterparty was the Montcalm Hotel in Marble Arch. Finding a cab at that time of night was impossible – I ended up taking a rickshaw with one of the guys. It’s not something I want to do again – ever. The rickshaw cycled through Shaftesbury Avenue, Regent Street, Oxford Street and Marble Arch. Cars and buses came dangerously close and I had to close my eyes a couple of times because I wasn’t sure I wanted to see what was going to happen. We got to the Montcalm Hotel – the music was on, breakfast was being served, and the bar was open.

The bar was supposed to be open until 5am but I left at around 3.30 – the rickshaw ride had killed whatever buzz I had going and the woman at the bar was taking too long to sort out the drinks. I found out the next day that even though the venue shut at 5am, some of the guys carried on until 10am and beyond. Impressive. At their age, anyway.

Sunday was relaxing – I went to Busaba for lunch with a friend, wandered around the shops for a while, met some friends and their kids in the park, and then had dinner at Le Cochonnet in Maida Vale with some other friends. I was so tempted to have a pizza but settled for the fish instead. Later that night I wished I’d had the pizza. I woke up at 3am feeling queasy and unsettled – basically the fish made me really ill… It was 4am by the time I went back to sleep – and I was exhausted the next day.

I was home most of the day on Monday – I had a follow-up doctor’s appointment in the afternoon and didn’t do much else. Early that evening I met a friend who was in town from Tenerife. We went to the Duke of York in St John’s Wood and had a couple of drinks. After that I met one of the boys for some martinis at our usual place in St James’ – it was surprisingly empty. After a couple of drinks we walked up to Nobu Berkeley for some dinner and more drinks. It was fun to catch up. Lovely evening, as always.

I didn’t do very much on Tuesday either. I woke up feeling a little ‘dehydrated’ and ended up going to Primrose Hill for brunch. We went to Cafe Seventy Nine – a vegetarian cafe. I ordered the full English breakfast (vegetarian sausages included) with gluten-free toast. I’d never tried gluten-free bread before. When my friends asked what it tasted like, I said ‘Anything drenched in butter tastes good.’ I couldn’t even taste the bread. We walked around the shops for a little while and went home.

I was supposed to have a 4pm meeting with the guy who is now doing my old job at the office, but when I got there I was told he’d gone home. Charming. I hung around the office for a while, printed off my boarding pass for my work trip the next day, caught up on some emails, and then went to the pub with my work friends. We were at the pub for a while and then decided to go to Busaba for dinner. I know I’d just been there but the food was so good I didn’t mind going back. It wasn’t a very heavy night as I knew I had to be up at the crack of dawn for my flight the next morning…

Read more about London here.

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Your week ahead (10-16 June)

Hope you all enjoy your week!

Aries

Swords_ace

Ace of Swords – using mental force – being objective, finding out the facts, analysing the situation; having fortitude – facing problems, finding the strength to overcome; seeking justice – righting a wrong, accepting responsibility, establishing the truth; proceeding with truth – cutting through confusion, being honest, having clear understanding

Taurus

Swords_7

7 of Swords – running away – shirking responsibility, sneaking off, leaving; being a lone wolf – wanting independence, staying aloof, preferring solitude; choosing hidden dishonour – covering your tracks, lying or stealing, avoiding a shameful secret

Gemini

Wands_9

9 of Wands – defending yourself – being paranoid, protecting others, feeling wary and guarded; persevering – trying repeatedly, keeping your resolve, refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer; showing stamina – holding fast, keeping up the pace, continuing despite fatigue

Cancer

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

Leo

1_the_magician

The Magician – taking action – doing what needs to be done, producing magical results; acting consciously – acknowledging your motivations, examining the known situation; concentrating – feeling centred, being totally committed; experiencing power – having vitality, feeling vigorous, being creative

Virgo

Cups_9

9 of Cups – having your wish fulfilled – obtaining your goal, having your dream come true; feeling satisfied – feeling pleased as punch, indulging in a little smugness; enjoying sensual pleasure – relaxing, making love, appreciating the arts

Libra

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

Scorpio

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

Sagittarius

Pentacles_ace

Ace of Pentacles – using material force – working with the physical, improving the body/health, focusing on concrete results; prospering – having the means to reach a goal, seeing efforts rewarded, increasing assets; being practical – using common sense, being realistic, accepting the tools at hand; proceeding with trust – feeling safe and protected, having a support system, believing in the good faith of others

Capricorn

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

Aquarius

Cups_10

10 of Cups – feeling joy – radiating love, delighting in good fortune, counting your blessings; enjoying peace – doing away with hostilities, reducing stress and tension, calling a truce; looking to the family – working for peace in the home, supporting a relative in need, reaffirming a family commitment

Pisces

Pentacles_8

8 of Pentacles – showing diligence – making an effort, plugging away, producing steady results; increasing knowledge – taking a course, researching, increasing expertise; paying attention to detail – being painstaking, checking and re-checking, noticing the fine points

For previous readings, see Notes by Nectar.

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Silent Sunday

2012

Silent Sunday mocha beanie mummy

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Your week ahead (3-9 June)

June already! Time is flying… What a lot of court cards we have this week!

Aries

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

Taurus

Swords_7

7 of Swords – running away – shirking responsibility, sneaking off, leaving; being a lone wolf – wanting independence, staying aloof, preferring solitude; choosing hidden dishonour – covering your tracks, lying or stealing, avoiding a shameful secret

Gemini

1_the_magician

The Magician – taking action – doing what needs to be done, producing magical results; acting consciously – acknowledging your motivations, examining the known situation; concentrating – feeling centred, being totally committed; experiencing power – having vitality, feeling vigorous, being creative

Cancer

Cups_king

King of Cups – being wise – giving good advice, understanding many levels of experience; being calm – keeping your head in a crisis, never seeming nervous or tense; being diplomatic – balancing the needs of many people, being able to diffuse a tense situation; being caring – feeling compassion for the less fortunate, doing volunteer and charity work; being tolerant – allowing others their freedom, being patient in trying circumstances

Leo

Wands_10

10 of Wands – over-extending – trying to do too much, refusing to say ‘no’, having to work overtime; feeling burdened – assuming responsibility, being left holding the bag, never having time to relax; struggling – doing everything the hard way, pushing against the current, having to work for every gain

Virgo

Cups_queen

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

Libra

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

Scorpio

Wands_3

3 of Wands – exploring the unknown – expanding horizons, leaving the secure behind; having foresight – getting a premonition, being visionary; demonstrating leadership – assuming a responsible position, showing others the way

Sagittarius

Swords_knight

Knight of Swords – finding a balance between being direct/blunt – being frank and outspoken/tactless and rude; being authoritative/overbearing – commanding with attention/forcing a position on others; being incisive/cutting – being sharp and alert/having a barbed wit; being knowledgeable/opinionated – having well-reasoned opinions/being arrogant; being logical/unfeeling – reasoning clearly/undervaluing intuition

Capricorn

Pentacles_king

King of Pentacles – being enterprising – making any venture successful, attracting wealth, having the Midas touch; being adept – having quick reflexes, handling any situation competently, having a wide range of abilities; being reliable – being counted on in a crisis, assuming responsibility, meeting all commitments and promises; being supporting – encouraging the accomplishments of others, sponsoring worthwhile projects, readily jumping in to help; being steady – having a stabilising influence, maintaining a calm approach, avoiding mood and behaviour swings

Aquarius

Pentacles_7

7 of Pentacles – assessing – evaluating the status, making sure you’re on course, finding out where you stand; reaping a reward – receiving payoffs, reaching a milestone, finally seeing some results; considering a direction change – pondering alternatives, thinking about change, standing at a crossroads

Pisces

Wands_king

King of Wands – being creative – having natural artistic ability, being original and inventive; being inspiring – setting an example others want to follow; being forceful – carrying authority naturally; being charismatic – magnetically attracting others, naturally becoming the focus of attention; being bold – being intrepid, daring to stand and be different

For previous readings, see Notes by Nectar.

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One!

Notes by Nectar is 1 year old today!!

I never imagined I’d make it to 1 year. More importantly, I never imagined I’d have regular readers!

Thanks to Google Analytics, I’ve been able to extract some information…

Notes by Nectar was visited by people in 82 countries. Most visits were from the UK (2362), followed by the UAE (963) and the USA (947). People from 723 cities visited the website – the most were from London (1166), followed by Dubai (939) and then Lagos (442).

Over 1000 people stumbled across the website searching for various things in Google (I do wonder how some of them ended up on my site). Some of the funniest things they googled are: 

  • korean sizzling spicy pork
  • scared to go back to bikram
  • nigerian visa shit 
  • my wafi sleeping and my sister sexy
  • michael mcintyre book swivel chair
  • 100 kilo fat blonde woman

I’d just like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who has stopped by (intentionally or by accident), commented, contacted me, and even met me! It has been an amazing year!

A. 
xx 

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Dubai: Week 22

What a busy week!

I didn’t have my usual session with Rama on Sunday. Instead I was invited out for an early(ish) lunch at Siddharta Lounge at Grosvenor House Tower 2. It’s a beautiful restaurant – it reminded me of the Sanderson Hotel in London. It was all white – white bar chairs, white sofas, floor-to-ceiling windows all the way round. It’s a gorgeous venue for lunch, but I’ve heard it’s also very popular on Thursday and Friday nights. 

After lunch, my mum, grandmother and I went to the Patchi store at Mercato. My grandmother and I both needed to buy gifts for a few people. Unfortunately the store at Mercato was being refurbished and they didn’t have a big variety of gifts on display. I picked up a few things but we decided to go to the store at the Dubai Mall as well. We were there for what seemed like forever. Between us we ordered about 20 boxes of chocolates and waited around for them to be prepared. By the time we got home it was 6.30. I rushed upstairs, changed and freshened up and was out again by 6.45.

My cousin had asked me to join her and some friends at Capital Club in DIFC for quiz night. I love quizzes so I went along. There were six of us on the team and that particular evening it turned out to be an all-music quiz. My five teammates weren’t very happy about that but I was thrilled about this as I thought my musical knowledge was pretty good. 

Which is why it pains and embarrasses me to say that we came last. LAST. Out of seven teams. There were eight rounds consisting of eight questions each. The first two rounds were fine (TV themes and Oscar winners) but it went rapidly downhill after that. We were by far the youngest team there and the rest of the quiz seemed to revolve around music from the 1960s and 1970s – and I think my musical knowledge only begins with the 1980s (unless it’s classical music). I hate losing. When I got home and told my parents, they were shocked that we lost too!

I had my usual yoga class on Monday and then worked for the rest of the day. I had a lot of work to get through and didn’t want to have to do it when I got to London. That evening we went to a restaurant called Aryaas in Bur Dubai, another vegetarian Indian restaurant. On the menu was a ‘family dosa’ which we were told was their specialty. I have never seen such a big dosa in my life. I don’t even know how they managed to make them so big. I thought the food was just OK – I still prefer the palak dosa at Sukh Sagar! 

I had a session with Rama on Tuesday and then went to Sharjah with my parents. Our work barely took 15 minutes and we were on our way back home. We decided to stop at Mirdif City Centre for lunch. I’d never been there – it was quite empty compared to the Dubai Mall and it was nice to walk around. We ended up at PF Chang’s. 

After lunch, I went to the Dubai Mall as I needed to pick up a few gifts for friends I was seeing in London. I also managed to sneak in a quick visit to Gloria Jean’s. I stayed in that night finishing off some work and thinking about packing. 

I started packing on Wednesday morning. And by that I mean I started looking at my clothes, trying things on, and deciding what to take with me. I left everything I was going to pack on my bed. That afternoon I went to get my hair cut, coloured, highlighted and blow-dried. When I got to the salon I decided to get rid of the highlights and skip the cut. For months the hairdresser kept telling me how ‘terrible’ my highlights were and the colour was all wrong. I was so sick of hearing it I just thought it would be best to get rid of them altogether. I also had a mani/pedi.

I went to have tea with my cousin after getting my hair done. She had flown in from India the day before with her husband and one-year-old daughter and was staying at the Fairmont. It was good to catch up, even though it was just for an hour. I went home, finished packing, did some work and then we went out for dinner. 

It was my grandmother’s last night in Dubai so we decided to go somewhere nice for dinner. We went to Bice Mare at Souk al Bahar. Sadly they didn’t have a table outside but we could still see the Dubai Fountain from our table. The three of them ordered some starters but I decided to have just a main course. I ordered the baked turbot with artichokes and black truffles. It was fantastic. 

2012

My parents ordered the seafood platter to share and my grandmother had a vegetarian pasta. When we had finished our meal we went out on to the terrace and watched the fountain. 

2012

We were home before midnight and I was in bed by 1am. 

I woke up at 6am on Thursday and my mum and I left for the airport a little after 7am… I couldn’t wait to get to London!

I love my life.

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The final few: Week 7

I didn’t have my usual session with Rama on Sunday as he’d injured his knee playing rugby the day before. I thought about going to the gym anyway but decided against it as I was out for an early lunch.

On Monday I had my usual yoga class.

I had a 9.30am session with Rama on Tuesday. I did 5 minutes on the cross-trainer followed by two sets of 15 push-ups to warm up. And then the circuit began. I repeated it four times.

  • Squats against a Swiss ball holding 10-lb weights x 30 seconds
  • Swiss ball crunches x 30 seconds
  • Swinging squats holding a 10-lb weight x 1 minute (30 seconds with the weight in each hand)
  • Boxing (jabs and uppercuts) holding 3-kg weights x 1 minute

There was one more exercise but I can’t remember what it was. 

‘So what are you going to do in London?’ Rama asked me during one of the breaks.

‘Eat. Drink. Shop.’

‘I meant to stay fit.’

‘Oh. Er. Walk to the pub and walk home.’

I don’t think he was very impressed.

‘My friends are also going to let me use their guest passes to their gym.’

‘That’s more like it.’

The next circuit consisted of tricep extensions, tricep dips and bicep curls – 15 per set – and I did that circuit three times. My arms were exhausted by the end of that.

I then did two more sets of Swiss ball crunches.

And my session was over. It would be my last session for a while as I was off to London for a couple of weeks.

I didn’t work out on Wednesday – I had last-minute errands to run – and I left on Thursday morning. 

I did a lot of walking on Friday but I had blisters by the end of the day after walking around in sandals. I’d deliberately left my sneakers in Dubai as I knew I’d then be forced to buy a new pair in London. I’d been wearing mine for years and they really needed replacing. 

I spent Saturday and Sunday eating and hanging out with friends – which is what I knew would happen in London!

Low point of the week? Having a sandwich and two-finger KitKat on the flight to London. I was famished – there’s something about flying that makes me really hungry. Also, as soon as I got home, I unpacked my suitcase, freshened up and went to the pub for a pint. I also shared French toast at Raoul’s on Saturday… Oh well, that’s what holidays are for!

High points of the week? Seeing my friends and their reactions to my weight loss:

  • ‘You’re a fraction of the woman you were 5 months ago!’
  • ‘Your legs look amazing.’
  • ‘You’re skinny!’
  • ‘Dubai suits you – you look… happy.’
  • ‘You look hot.’
  • ‘Your clothes are too big – when are we going shopping?’

And actually going shopping on Friday and buying four dresses (I always felt frumpy in dresses and never wore them).

Weight loss? No idea – I don’t think I’m going to weigh myself until I’m back in Dubai!

2012

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