Every year, my family meets up in Hawaii. We have been getting together like this probably for the better part of 20 years. My kids have gotten to know their cousins even though we have never lived close by. My parents get to see all the grand kids at the same time and I get to spend time in a place I love. I have also had the pleasure of seeing my nephews grow up into thoughtful, funny people who are also great athletes.
I have been wanting to consolidate my cooking and blogging under one roof for awhile now. It was also recommended that I buy my own domain and pay for hosting. That was the easy part. So now what? I managed to get my posts moved over, come up with some tabs, decided there should be a tab on translating as long as I’m at it, then the problems started. It turns out that if you have a non methodical mind, these things are very hard to comprehend, let alone navigate. Who said this blogging software was easy and anyone could do it? I couldn’t figure out how to add photos, I could upload them, but the same stupid tree that came with the template just wouldn’t leave. And that was just the beginning.
So I decided that I’m going to have to bite the bullet and pay someone. Now for those of you who’ve read my Scammed Again post know that paying people online has not worked out that well for me lately. So an anxious few days ensued when I realized that I was going to have to pay this so far very reasonable and friendly person my internet budget. It seems to have worked out, and I think we are on our way.
What this whole exercise has made me realize is that I am heading towards branding myself. Now, I’ve heard all that talk about personal branding and I always thought it was hooey. But, now it is starting to make sense to bring all the different things together under one label. Maybe there should be a tab for Dress for Success? I have volunteered there for 4 years and it is very much a part of my life. While I don’t think that I need to share my entire life with the internet world, maybe there’s information that I can share which would be of actual interest to people.
I’m planning to give it some thought over my holiday and hopefully come up with some decent content. I need to work out a schedule for my autumn classes and maybe even do a bit of marketing.
My next post will probably be about what a relaxing time I’m having. Fingers crossed.
Oh, by the way, I just signed up to participate in the second Underground Gourmet farmer’s market. in September. I will be doing a demonstration and potentially selling some stuff. I think I took a monumental step doing this, but as with most of my decisions, I didn’t think that much about it, it felt right. So I hope everything comes together, I’m not sure I have any time to be lounging around on the beach.
The kids and I went to Prague to visit hubby last weekend. He’s been there for about a month now, lured by an interesting new job and a chance to live in a new city, and I thought I was the one with the wanderlust. I’ve stayed behind in London and so began our commuting marriage. With a daughter at uni and a son just graduated high school, I feel like our days of family trips are numbered. And so it was that the four of us had a wonderful weekend in the blazing heat of Prague, exploring and discovering a new place together.
We walked 10km on Saturday, just seeing the sights. Prague is a small enough city so that it is easy to get around on foot in the touristy parts. We climbed the 208 steps up to Prague castle, toured the cathedral and bought the most expensive bottles of water ever. I took some arty shots of the cathedral, here is one.
No holiday for us is complete without lots of eating, and this was no exception. We tried local Czech cuisine, a little hearty in 30 degree heat but still great, Chinese, Italian and even Mexican (I opted to sleep and skipped that expedition).
But mostly we enjoyed spending time with each other. I am so proud of my kids, how they noticed and appreciated the gorgeous architecture, the enthusiasm they showed for getting to know a new city and the ability to embrace new experiences. They have matured into thoughtful interesting young people and I love knowing them. Okay, enough mom gushing, I’ll talk about something else now.
All too soon, we were back at the airport, saying good bye to hubby/dad. We’ll all be together again in 2 weeks time, in a different city.
Looking back on the first half of this year (okay, it’s a little over half) I’ve noticed that this year has been full of beginnings and endings. I thought I would recap some of them to see if I can see a pattern.
Hubby took a job in another country, thus ending a period of self employment. It is also the beginning of a commuting marriage although so far he’s doing most of the commuting. It is only a 1 hour time difference but still makes communicating a bit tricky.
I started teaching cooking classes at home which signals the end of many years of raising children and thinking up crazy schemes. It turns out that the simplest idea is the easiest to launch, go figure.
Because I am such a great time waster, I have also started doing translating work. The deadlines force me to plan my time, something of an alien concept for me.
My son graduated from senior school, or high school to those outside the UK. We went to the ceremony, got a glimpse of what his life has been like the last 5 years and loved that he has made such great friends. He is home now for a gap year after having been away at school. I’m sure this will take some adjusting on both sides, but I am looking forward to it.
My daughter finished her first year at uni and is moving into a house for the autumn. She will really have an address that has nothing to do with home.
I began a new exercise regime. Now this is brand new. I had joined a gym last year when I overhauled my eating to get into shape. I was lucky enough to meet up with a great personal trainer who really knew his stuff. But the gym itself wasn’t great and it became harder to get to once we moved. I realized that for the last couple of months I was only going to the gym to see him. So it was a waste from both a financial and fitness perspective. Then a new gym opened in my neighbourhood. I had been watching it being built for months, since it is so close to my flat. But when I told my son it said it was a mixed martial arts gym, he said to me, “that’s cage fighting, mom”. Well that didn’t seem at all like the kind of place I belonged. But when they finally opened, I went on their website and saw they had classes for women. I
e mailed them basically saying that I am a 51 year old female, is this the gym for me figuring I would either get no reply or a polite this is for hard core athletes kind of answer. Instead, I got a very friendly e mail back inviting me to come down and have a look around.
To make a long story short, I went, I saw and I took my first boxing class. It was lots of fun, the instructor was very patient and nice and made sure I was doing things correctly. Everyone on staff has been really nice too. Now I have no interest in doing any mixed martial arts, but I understand how the training could be really beneficial even for someone who doesn’t want to stomp on the other guy. Since all the classes are included in the membership, I plan to take advantage of it as long as my body holds out. Who knows, I may finally shed some of the fat that’s been covering my muscles for decades.
So I guess it’s a big transition year for me, this blog is a new thing too. I’ve been in contact with lots of different people through this blog and am following some truly fun blogs. There are lots of talented people out there.
I hope the rest of the year is as action packed as the first half. Stay tuned.