Erica, London, UK


I experienced my first boxing training today. Not “boxer-cise”, not Tai-bo. An authentic, old-as-the-Greeks boxing lesson. The type Muhammad Ali championed.

I’m not sure why I’ve found boxing a fascination. (more…)

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I got into it today with a Chinese waitress. I sat down with a friend to lunch and everything but the main dish and our tea arrived on time. My friend’s tap water I had to ask for twice. The soup arrived when we were ninety percent finished. The bill came out to £8.80, and we gave her £10.40 (Me, I wanted £1 back exactly). She didn’t come back to our table with the change. My friend got up to go use the loo, so I suggested I’d walk over and ask for what was owed. The waitress stood by the side of the counter, and when I said, “May I have my change please?” she shook her head and pointed at a tin holding tips.

Did I feel inclined to tip her? No. I felt the quality of service didn’t warrant it, and it’s not required to tip in England, although culturally, it’s becoming more American here to imply gratuity. But you still have a choice to exercise, and it wasn’t stated as a requirement on the menu. (more…)

Once upon a time, there lived a man. He did not live in dreams. He faced the world with an even, steely view, never trusting situations or people. Life was not cushioned for him, and he often ended up in fights. Sometimes he provoked them and sometimes the other person gave cause. Tightly muscled, he always won however, outmanoeuvring the opponent with wit, fists, and tackles. In back alleyways, he scuffled and unbalanced his enemy, pounding heads into pavements and breaking limbs.

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Sister Maria would blush but I have to tell you, a sex toy wasn’t always my favourite thing. Twelve years ago, I felt repulsed by the thought of owning a sex toy. “Ew! Why would anyone want that? It’s foreign, it felt cold to touch, and is it really necessary? Some smelled like cheap plastic, and others were bumpy. Still others were shaped in ways I couldn’t fathom using, didn’t seem convenient or comfortable, much less useful for getting off on.

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In Marcus Buckingham’s book, Now, Discover Your Strengths (ever since I started hanging around business people, I am now given these self-improvement books to read), he talks about how, in order to transition from childhood to adulthood, our child brains must lose billions of synaptic connections in order for our personalities to refine and the brain to focus its energies developing the strongest traits. Buckingham writes:

“Losing connections isn’t something to be concerned about. Losing connections is the point. (more…)

Best days in are: every time I come home, plug in my iPod and crank on the tunes. It’s a good feeling. The music fills my flat with its beat. A hot shower after a long day out in the wet and cold is so comforting, washing away the dirt and grime. I hear the music as I wash, and softly look after my face, imitating the hands of my facialist. It’s the way she pats with the softest of hands. The music is on shuffle, and other times, a playlist. I have one that is entitled, “Go, Erica, Go!” Why the hell not have something that jazzes you up? Going about London to my own soundtrack is like watching my life in a music video. It’s awesome to travel that way.

But like I said, I’m home now. It’s comfortable, and neat. The radiators are on and the room’s getting warmed up. Now for a spot of tea. The electric kettle is my friend, and makes continuous litres of hot water. I am a fanatic for a good hot cup of English tea, and notice that I’m low on Tetley’s. A helping of sugar and milk, and I have love in a cup. (more…)

Yesterday I shouted “I LOVE MY LIFE!” down Manchester Street. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt this way and by saying it emphatically aloud I felt a twinge of self-consciousness, yelling this down a not-so-vacant London street. The self-conscious feeling didn’t stop me no more than I could stop the feeling of goodness welling up and out of me.

Hi. I’m thanking myself this Thanksgiving. I feel thankful for my own perseverance and drive to create a meaningful and balanced existence for myself. I take inspiration from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Millennium message:

While engaging in material progress and taking care of physical well-being we need to pay equal attention to developing peace of mind and thus taking care of the internal aspect of our being.” (more…)

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