Next week Monday we are off for our summer vacation to Malta. The kids are really looking forward to it (though strictly speaking one already departed today). Packing will be….as always… a last minute affair. But despite not dwelling too much in my vacation destinations before I arrive, I already ordered a book I am intending to get through – Niccolo Machiavelli’s the Prince. I bought it some time ago but gave it to someone in much more need of the strategic advice it has on offer.

But in this very moment I can’t wait to be on a beach with a diet Kinnie (the local bitter orange drink) and a good book in my hand.

Malta here we come!

 

a year ago strolling the city of majestic Mdina

with its many palazzinos

the blue grottos outside Comino

It’s now close to half a year since I started with my training and food regime. It’s probably not much different from before, just more conscientious. I don’t write down what I eat every day (for lack of time), and frankly I don’t hit the gym as often as I would like, but I try to work out 3-4 days a week, either fitting in a small 45 min program at home or a 75 min program in the gym. And if the weather permits (which it is rarely) I go for a run along the Spaarne River.

Have I seen much results? Well I have lost a little over 3 kg’s (realising that loosing weight when you are over 40 is a challenge in comparison to a decade earlier). The fat percentage has gone down from over 34% to 32%. That is still above what is healthy for me (26% to 31% is the ideal range), so there is a little way to go. I put my hope in the holidays, with more sleep, hitting the gym every day, being active on the beach, eating fish and totally banning alcohol from the diet. Let’s see 🙂

tomato and cheese omelette from this morning

There are times to celebrate, and there are times to salute. The former invariably falls in the category of the merry and joyous. The latter marks the passage of time…not as in good or bad…..just mileage. Today is such a day. And with a 2004 St Emilion and a book that was sent to me last year but didn’t get the attention it deserved – Soldiers – I am suitable tucked up in bed for an evening down history lane. Add to that a tad of Tabu on my wrists (vintage fragrance from 1932 by Jean Carles – if the Weimar Republic ever had a scent it must have been this!) and the last episode of the (often) violent yet passionate history of the Romanov’s and the evening is complete.

the end of a long week

and the start of a new chapter

I have wanted to visit the Duchess at the W hotel in Amsterdam for some time now, but opportunity was never there. So when I met up with V the other day, it was the perfect occasion to try it out. The Duchess certainly didn’t disappoint. With the exception of some stringent time slots, and the request for sharing food, due to two plates never arriving at the same time (I sense someone pulled a Blue Ocean strategy here, no minimise the cost whilst creating an experience), the environment, the service, the menu (including an impressive cocktail card) was all to satisfaction and then some. Thank you V for a wonderful evening. x

fine dining in Amsterdam

beautiful art deco in a former bank

liquid nitrogen gets poured into our Chocolate Surprise

  et voila!

This picture was taken three years back when a friend of mine who is a fashion photographer asked me to be participate in a project of hers. It was a fantastic day and I met two other talents on the photo shoot who I still hold dear. A lot has happened since, but however fleeting the moment was, the memories and images still evoke good recollections to this day.

a few things still remain…the classic style, the colour of my nail varnish and my perfumes

The time when days were transitioning into each other, with no beginning nor end, each day just another version if its predecessor, are long gone. Luckily so. The work hasn’t changed, and perhaps not the priorities either….but gradually the clouds scattered and rays of light emerged. One day you are sure you will capture these events and give them words and sentences. Not so much to have a record of what has been, but to close some doors….and open others. Yes that’s where you are….or so it feels instinctively. In two years a lot has changed…and continues to do so. Because life is in constant flux. And even this perpetual motion of change lends comfort…

formal garden at the Canadian Embassy yesterday

For lovers of Italian food and wine, I had a pleasant surprise after a dinner seeing off a hectic day. A superb chicken dish in tomato sauce was accompanied by Biscardo Valpolicella Ripasso. “Their medium body and complex flavor profile make these wines a great pairing with a wide range of foods such as grilled meats, hearty pasta and strong cheeses.”

An absolute recommendation!

rich and complex bouquet

summer evening

with a glass of wine in the garden

 

I’m just wrapping up after a hectic day for Coalition for Defense – a European NGO safeguarding the principles of safety, prosperity and freedom within the borders of Europe. Lately has seen a lot of activities, with a new website, show reel and other marcom and funding related activities. Have a peak on our new website and and read our whitepaper on Defence and Rebuilding the Armed forces in Europe. Any donations to our Non-Profit Organisation would be most welcome too!

It’s somewhere in the early evening and you have finished whatever you were suppose to. Not knowing exactly what to do next, and only having yourself as company, you search for a film fitting your melancholy. Tom Ford’s latest piece Nocturnal Animals promises both that and much needed distraction. You find it on the streaming service of youtube and punch in you CC details for a 48h rental.

Your choice doesn’t disappoint. Within the first half an hour the story of murder, revenge and rejection is filling you with visual sensations – each scene a still life in its own right. As the ending draws to a close and your namesake is finding herself alone in an upmarket restaurant, wishing for yet another drink to obliterate the pain – the familiar chords of Abel Korzeniowski fills the room. You look it up and quickly add it to your classical playlist.

An hour later you are still mesmerized by the pensive sadness that now permeate every atom of your being. It will be an early evening no doubt, one falling asleep to piano, violins, and voluptuous women dancing in red and white circus hats.