Sunday, 21 June 2015

Gits and Shiggles: Improv Actually - Richard Curtis

Last Sunday night, I was alerted by a well informed friend to a fun event in Hackney starring Richard Curtis.

I had never been to the Proud Archivist in Haggerston before. The furthest east I have been is Brick Lane / Shoreditch so it was fun to see somewhere a bit different. 

I got there a bit early so walked all the way along the canal almost as far as Islington / Angel. There was so much to see and it was the perfect chance to gather one's thoughts before the start of the week / reflect on the weekend. 

I came across an actual book shop canal boat - I loved looking at all the canal / boat homes - I guess some people live on them all year round ? 

Finally the clock struck 6 pm and the whole reason for me to be in Haggertson / Hackney arrived.... The evening was an improvised comedy show based on an interview with Richard Curtis. 

Two groups called Monkey Toast and Bleak Zoo were the cast - there was no script, nobody knew what would happen next.... 

Richard was interviewed by Andrew Hunter Murray and every 12-ish minutes, the interview would pause and the groups would improvise based on what they had just heard. It was very entertaining. I don't know how they did it. 

There is so much that Richard has achieved - Comic Relief (both in the UK and the US), Vicar of Dibley, Notting Hill, Four Weds and Funeral, Love Actually, About Time..... you name it....there is much more! 

The whole evening was a privilege to watch and hugely entertaining. The perfect end to my week. 

Saturday, 6 June 2015

A picture says a thousand words....

This is the first of four photographs released by Kensington Palace today of Prince George and Princess Charlotte - the first official photo we have seen of her since she was born. 

Monday, 1 June 2015

The art of stillness - Pico Iyler

I am really trying hard to be mindful and meditate - I don't mean crunching extra hard on my bran flakes or noticing the green grass or yellow car. I mean proper sitting, back straight, eyes closed, slow steady breathing for 5-10 minutes in the middle of the afternoon or just before I leave for work in the morning. 

This morning I got to work 15 minutes early and instead of scrolling through Instagram, which is a great way to kill time, I found a bench and sat very still for 10 minutes. It was SO hard to begin with - but by the end I didn't want to open my eyes. I noticed everything about the rest of my morning seem calmer and clearer. 

Instead of listening to the same old playlist every morning as I trundle to work, I now try and listen to a TED talk. Most are better to watch because of the added visuals but you get the gist of many of them if you tune into the audio clip. 

This morning, I listened to Pico Iyer on the art of stillness and found it really profound. 

I want to go on a retreat where there is no "outside" distractions - no phone, TV, twitter, email.... I found a 10 day one but that seemed very intense / jumping in at the deep end. If anyone knows of a gentle 2-3 day one, please let me know !