Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Your week ahead (15-21 August)

Have a good week, everyone!

Aries

5_hierophant

The Hierophant – getting an education – pursuing knowledge, studying and learning; having a belief system – following a discipline; conforming – following the rules, getting along with the program; identifying with a group – joining an organisation, working as part of a team, being committed to a cause

Taurus

Pentacles_king

King of Pentacles – being enterprising – having the Midas touch, finding opportunity everywhere; being adept – being informed about practical matters, having quick reflexes; being reliable – assuming responsibility and being dependable; being supportive – encouraging the accomplishments of others, jumping in to help

Gemini

Swords_2

2 of Swords – blocking emotions – denying true feelings, being defensive; avoiding the truth – refusing to face facts, choosing not to know; being at a stalemate – refusing to decide, reaching an impasse

Cancer

Cups_10

10 of Cups – feeling joy – having a sense of wellbeing, delighting in good fortune; enjoying peace and serenity – restoring harmony, calling a truce; looking to the family – supporting a relative in need, bonding with family members

Leo

Swords_ace

Ace of Swords – using mental force – being objective, analysing the situation; having fortitude – overcoming adversity and facing problems; seeking justice – righting a wrong, doing what is right; proceeding with truth – cutting through confusion, finding out what is real

Virgo

Swords_queen

Queen of Swords – be honest – face facts no matter how unpleasant, play by the rules; be astute – be quick on the uptake, be difficult to trick or con; be forthright – be direct and open in all dealings, be straightforward and no-nonsense; be witty – diffuse awkward situations with a funny remark, don’t take things too seriously; be experienced – have realistic expectations, be free of self-righteous judgements

Libra

Swords_king

King of Swords – be intellectual – use thought creatively, carry out research; be analytical – apply reason and logic, understand problems quickly; be articulate – communicate ideas successfully, write and speak lucidly; be just – be impartial and objective, be concerned about truthness and fairness; be ethical – take the high road in all dealings

Sagittarius

Wands_3

3 of Wands – explore the unknown – tackle something different, expand your horizons; have foresight – look for greater possibilities, anticipate obstacles; demonstrate leadership – take the main role, set an example

Scorpio

Wands_king

King of Wands – be creative – develop innovative projects and ideas, be original; be inspiring – communicate enthusiasm and instill confidence; be forceful – be assertive when necessary, earn respect and willing compliance; be charismatic – magnetically attract others, make gestures with flair; be bold – confront opposition directly, dare to stand and be different

Capricorn

4_emperor

The Emperor – establish a family line, set direction and tone; emphasise structure – create order out of chaos, stick to a plan; exercise authority – be in a position of strength; establish law and order – apply rules or guidelines, follow a regimen

Aquarius

0_fool

The Fool – new beginnings – entering a new phase, expanding your horizons; be spontaneous – live in the moment, let go of expectations; have faith – let go of worry and fear, trust the flow; embrace folly – accept your choices, pursue pipe dreams, take a ‘crazy’ chance

Pisces

3_the_empress

The Empress – be mothering – nourish life, express tenderness; welcome abundance – enjoy extravagance, luxuriate in plenty; experience the senses – give and receive pleasure (oh, I say!), do physical activity; respond to Nature – feel connected to the Earth, go outdoors and relate to plants and animals

For previous readings, see Notes by Nectar.

 

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Silent Sunday 10

2011

Silent Sunday

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Is there something you want to say?

The first time I read about PostSecret was while I was browsing someone else’s blog. It was listed as one of the blogger’s favourite sites and I’d never heard of it. I think it was late 2006. The first time I looked at it, I added it to my favourites and can’t think of one Sunday that has gone by where I haven’t visited it.

PostSecret invites people to send in their secrets anonymously on a postcard. Secrets are then selected and uploaded to the site each Sunday as Sunday Secrets.

Some make me laugh out loud, some make me want to cry my eyes out, and some make me wonder whether I’d sent them in without realising it because I could have written them…

Because it’s Friday, here’s a selection of secrets that made me laugh:

Postsecret_1

Postsecret_3
Postsecret_4
Postsecret_5

Postsecret_2

Also listed on the site are links and phone numbers for several crisis hotlines across the world – for times when those secrets become too heavy to carry around on one’s own.

PostSecret has become so popular that there are exhibitions of secrets throughout the year. Tour dates are listed on the site and I’m still waiting for it to come to a city near me! In the meantime I’ll have to be content with the PostSecret book collection and weekly updates!

 

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Week 2 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

I’ve written about my weight gain – and last week I mentioned I was going to join LA Fitness in Marylebone… but first let me take you through the week I had…

I wrote that I was down with flu last week – I was home from work on Tuesday and Wednesday, feeling rubbish. I decided to go back on Thursday as I knew there would be tons to do and it would be more peaceful than staying home. I had a full house last week – parents, brother and sister-in-law, sister and monster nephew.

2011

He’s adorable but he took over my room. And my bed. I was relegated to a mattress on the floor. So staying home on Thursday wouldn’t have been very restful. I felt worse on Thursday than the two previous days, but just stuck it out at the office. I got home and collapsed on the sofa. My dad made me Lemsip (awwww) and I didn’t move for the rest of the evening. When I woke up on Friday I felt like I was finally on the mend. 

When I was in the office on Thursday and Friday I was trying again to eat healthily – and I think I managed. Soup for lunch and no biscuits!

To keep me motivated, I downloaded an app onto my new iPad called MyNetDiary. It helps you keep track of what you eat, how much you exercise, how much water you drink, and so on.

2011

(Not the clearest picture, but you get the idea)

When you log in the first time, you enter your weight, how much you want to lose and by when, and it calculates how many calories you should be eating and whether they should be protein, carbs, fibre or anything else. I’ve been using the app for about 10 days and I’m quite impressed by it. There’s a huge variety of foods already entered into the database, so you just type in the first few letters of what you’re looking for and several options appear. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can add it to the database. And if you don’t have your iPad to hand, you can always update your details online with a laptop.

I’ve also been using my Zaggora HotPants for the last four days. I’ve had them a while but had only used them sporadically until now. I’m going to do the whole two weeks and see what happens. When they arrived, they weren’t what I expected at all. I thought they’d be like regular cycling shorts, but they’re made from neoprene, polyester and nylon. They’re black on the outside and fluorescent yellow on the inside – and they have a zip. I had planned on wearing them to Zumba and while doing other exercise, but they’re actually very noisy when worn on their own! I keep thinking of that episode of Seinfeld with George’s noisy trousers. Or of Mammy from Gone With The Wind and her rustling red taffeta petticoat. Worn under trousers or jeans, though, the noise is significantly reduced (I hope!). I’m not sure what good the HotPants are doing while I’m sitting at my desk all day, but we’ll see.   

I weighed myself again this evening (I’ve decided once a week is more than enough for me) and I’ve lost 0.8 kgs (1.76 lbs) this week. Not as much as last week, but something is better than nothing – and it’s still a loss of 2.1 kgs (4.62 lbs) in the last two weeks. And I’m joining the gym this weekend.

Watch this space!

2011

Read more updates here.

 

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Your week ahead (8-14 August)

Have a great week!

Aries

Pentacles_ace

Ace of Pentacles – use material force – become involved with nature, improve the body/health; prosper – enjoy abundance, see efforts rewarded; be practical – use common sense and be down to earth; proceed with trust – feel safe and protected, know you have total security

Taurus

Pentacles_7

7 of Pentacles – assess – pause to check results, make sure you’re on course; reap rewards – finally see some results, get returns on investments; consider a direction change – ponder alternatives, think about change

Gemini

Cups_knight

Knight of Cups – romantic – emphasise feelings, idealise love; imaginative – tap the fertile unconscious, never take the mundane path; sensitive – be aware of moods and feelings, respond deeply to life; refined – appreciate beauty in all her forms, understand subtlety; introspective – question your motivations, seek below the surface

Cancer

17_star

The Star – this is one of my favourite cards! Regain hope – have faith in the future and think positively; be inspired – regain motivation and realise an inner strength; be generous – spread the wealth and open your heart; feel serene – find your still centre and relax

Leo

Pentacles_page

Page of Pentacles – have an effect – make your plans real, act on your dreams; be practical – take a realistic approach, stop daydreaming; be prosperous – increase your means, enrich yourself; be trusting/trustworthy – have faith in others, prove yourself dependable

Virgo

7_chariot

The Chariot – achieve victory – reach your goals, come out on top; use your will – be determined to succeed, rise above temptation; assert yourself – establish an identity, feel self-confident; achieve hard control – master your emotions, hold in your anger

Libra

Wands_5

5 of Wands – feeling disagreeable – being at odds with others, quarrelling and bickering; experience competition – go for the gold, you’ll find yourself having rivals; experience hassles – expect minor setbacks, you’ll be annoyed by demands from others

Scorpio

1_the_magician

The Magician – take action – do what needs to be done, practise what you preach; act consciously – know what you’re doing and why, understand your intentions; concentrate – be totally committed, feel centred; experience power – create miracles, have vitality

Sagittarius

9_hermit

The Hermit – be introspective – think things over, focus inward; search – seek greater understanding, go on a personal quest; receive/give guidance – go to or be a mentor; seek solitude – the need to be alone, desiring stillness

Capricorn

Cups_5

5 of Cups – suffering a loss – saying goodbye, letting go of a hope; feeling bereft – grieving, longing to be reunited; feeling regret – wanting to turn back the clock, wishing for what might have been, crying over spilt milk

Aquarius

Wands_ace

Ace of Wands – use creative force – invent better ways to do things, expand your potential; show enthusiasim – feel fired up and eager, give 110%; have confidence – believe in yourself, know things will work out; proceed with courage – face your fears, dare to take a stand

Pisces

Pentacles_5

5 of Pentacles – experiencing hard times – feeling insecure, struggling to make ends meet; suffering ill health – neglecting your body and its needs, feeling run down and tired; being rejected – feeling excluded, standing alone

For previous readings, see Notes by Nectar.

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Silent Sunday 9

2011

Silent Sunday

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Review: Freedom

Cover_-_freedom

A friend lent this to me and told me I must read it because she loved it. I didn’t ask her why. I didn’t ask her anything about the book. I just read it.

I have to say, I didn’t love it. It’s a good read, but I wouldn’t list it as one of my favourite books.

It’s a bleak tale about family life. None of the characters have any redeeming qualities, right down to Bobby the cat (who appears for only a few pages). I can’t think of one character I empathised with. And yet I kept on reading. I wanted to know what happened to these dysfunctional, despicable, materialistic characters – hoping to find a glimpse of why they turned out that way. 

Franzen mentions the word ‘freedom’ several times throughout the novel, but it made me ask myself – how many of us are really free? Free to make decisions without worrying about consequences? Emotionally free? Financially free? We all end up in prisons of our own making while training to attain ‘freedom’.

Having said all that I’m glad I read it. Franzen’s beautiful writing makes up for his loathsome characters. And I even shed a tear at the last sentence (on the bus – very embarrassing).

That’s number 11 of my 20 books in 2011. I’m still on track!

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Week 1 update: 10 kilos by Christmas

Last week I wrote about how much weight I’d gained over the last year or so… and I decided that something needed to be done about it.

I was quite careful about what I ate last week when I was at work – and I think I did pretty well (apart from the rum cake on Thursday afternoon, but there you go)! I don’t usually eat breakfast and if I do, it’s granary toast and Marmite from the cafe across the road from the office. I sometimes stop on my way to the office (if I have time) and get some. For lunch, I had either a jacket potato with tuna or soup from EAT – their soups are delicious and they tell you whether they contain wheat, dairy or less than 5% fat – you know what you’re getting into.

And then came the weekend. On Saturday morning, my brother and sister-in-law arrived and we had family lunches on both Saturday and Sunday – the spread on Saturday was never-ending. And if it’s possible there was even more food on Sunday. I felt like lapsing into a food coma after both meals. My problem is: if it’s in front of me, I’ll eat it.

I had my first yoga class on Sunday morning – and it was TOUGH. A six-week break and mild hangover do not a good yoga class make. My triceps are still aching and that was three days ago! And since Monday morning I’ve been down with the flu, so I’ve been snacking on things during the day and healthy eating doesn’t seem to be a priority.

I thought I’d face the music by weighing myself this afternoon – and was shocked to find I’ve lost 1.3 kgs in the last 9 days. I must be doing something right? Or perhaps it’s because I’m ill? No idea.

I’d been toying with the idea of joining a gym for the next few months – but I know that if it’s not within a 10-minute walk from my house or the office, I won’t go. I also didn’t want to commit to a gym for a whole year. But then I got an email from LA Fitness in Marylebone offering membership for six months only at a discounted rate. Is it a sign? Hmm, maybe. And then I read my horoscope for today which said: ‘Start eating right and working to get back in shape. Why not take out a membership at the local gym?’ I’m pretty sure LA Fitness don’t sponsor these horoscopes, so I’m taking it as a sign!

From Wednesday I’ll be going to the gym regularly, before or after work and will keep you posted with updates. I chose next week to start as my sister and nephew arrive this evening for six days and I want to spend some time with them, my brother and sister-in-law are here until Monday – and I want to get over this horrible cold/headache/lurgy I’ve got going on… 

Watch this space.

2011

Read more updates here.

 

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Your week ahead (1-7 August)

Yes, I’m still using the Universal Waite tarot deck for these readings. I love this deck…

Aries

11_justice

Justice – respecing justice, insisting on fairness, seeking equality; assuming responsibility, being accountable; preparing for a decision, determining right action; understanding cause and effect, recognising the action of karma

Taurus

Wands_6

6 of Wands – triumphing, walking away with the prize; receiving acclaim, getting praise or a comliment; feeling pride, holding your head up high

Gemini

Wands_ace

Ace of Wands – using creative force, inventing a better way; showing enthusiasm, inspiring others; having confidence, having high self-esteem; proceeding with courage, daring to take a stand

Cancer

14_temperance

Temperance – being temperate, avoiding excess; maintaining balance, recognising all sides; experiencing health, flourishing; combining forces, finding the right mix

Leo

Swords_2

2 of Swords – blocking emotions, hiding distress; avoiding the truth, refusing to face facts; being at a stalemate, staying on the fence

Virgo

Wands_page

Page of Wands – be creative, be original; be enthusiastic, show optimism; be confident, focus on success; be courageous, be daring

Libra

Swords_4

4 of Swords – resting, giving your body time to heal; contemplating, listening out for your inner voice; quietly preparing, typing up loose ends

Sagittarius

Wands_9

9 of Wands – defending yourself, being paranoid; persevering, trying repeatedly; showing stamina, continuing despite fatigue

Scorpio

16_the_tower

The Tower – going through sudden change, being surprised; releasing, having an emotional outburst; falling down, experiencing a crash; having a revelation, suddenly realising the truth

Capricorn

Wands_4

4 of Wands – celebrating, enjoying well-deserved rewards; seeking freedom, cutting loose; feeling excited,  getting caught up in the moment

Aquarius

Swords_8

8 of Swords – feeling restricted, experiencing few options; feeling confused, lacking direction; feeling powerless, looking for a white knight

Pisces

Cups_9

9 of Cups – having your wish fulfilled, achieving what you desire; feeling satisfied (almost smug), feeling all is right with the world; enjoyig sensual pleasure, relaxing

 

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August – my tarot reading

I used the Universal Waite tarot deck for my monthly reading for August.

The monthly spread I do has two rows. The top row contains one card (the overview of the month); the second row has four cards, one for each week of the month. Here are the cards I dealt for July. 

Overview – Temperance – being temperate, reaching a compromise; maintaining balance, experiencing harmony; experiencing health, enjoying wellbeing; combining forces, finding the right mix

14_temperance

Week 1 – The Magician – taking action, realising your potential; acting consciously, understanding your intentions; concentrating, being totally committed; experiencing power, creating miracles

1_the_magician

Week 2 – 4 of Swords – resting, taking a break; contemplating, taking time alone to think; quietly preparing, getting ready for the future

Swords_4

Week 3 – The Empress – mothering, nurturing and caring for others; welcoming abundance, having more than enough; experiencing the senses, appreciating beauty; responding to nature, embracing the natural

3_the_empress

Week 4 – 5 of Swords – acting in your own self-interest, knowing you must concentrate on yourself; experiencing discord, being in a hostile environment; witnessing open dishonour, losing your moral compass

 

Swords_5

 

 

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