Friday, 27 May 2011

BBQ, the South African Way…

The following pictures were taken two days ago, when ‘JJ’ organised a bbq in his back garden, for me and two of our friends. The good thing about his bizarre work schedule is that he can get weekdays off which means he can organise things like that without too much of a hassle. Knowing JJ however, I think he did stress himself to organise the perfect bbq. In a very strange way, he likes running around like crazy trying to set things up and he has a very good eye on small details that I would normally ignore.

South Africans must have a thing about bbqs. JJ shines like a star when mentioned and he’s always up for it. He’s told me that his parents have bbqs three to four times a week! They find it much easier to light a fire to grill stuff outside than cooking indoors. Probably it’s the weather. Greece shares similar warm and sunny weather but they are not that common for us. Maybe it’s the lack of space in the cities I was living in or the fact that when the weather turns warn, it gets so warm that lighting a fire is a torture. Don’t know…

The scene of the 'crime'

Chicken liver and salmon starters


Baby potatoes

Some boerewors (aka the farmer's sausage)

Chicken slow cooked in the oven in case it rained (always a possibility in UK)


Looking again on these photos, I find it strange that they were taken two days ago. London saw lots of heavy rain and even hail yesterday. It was like we went straight from summer to winter in 24 hours.

While speaking to my mother yesterday, I mentioned the bbq. OK, I mentioned it more than once and at some point she got the bait. She asked me where we did it. She knows I leave in a block of flats which is very nice but it’s without outside space. So, I mentioned ‘JJ’. That was the first time ‘JJ’s name was mentioned in our casual conversations. Of course she knows about him, since she stalks me on facebook and checks my photo albums. She also knows about the trips we take together. However, we’ve never actually discussed about him and never mentioned his name.

Giving JJ a name, as silly as it may sound, changes some stuff. He’s not just a random guy I see behind their back. He suddenly gets a personality, a physical presence that he didn’t have before. Also, mentioning his name means that more conversation will follow and my mother might actually ask me about him and start accepting the truth about what’s going on. I think I dropped a small bomb on her and I’ll now have to wait to see the results…

Anyhow, have a lovely weekend! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


Yesterday, it was theatre night. We went to see the Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion in Garrick Theatre. That’s the theatre play where the ‘My Fair Lady’ movie with Audrey Hepburn was based. That’s probably one of the very few Hepburn movies I’ve seen. I’m very ashamed, I know. Apparently, you can’t graduate and become a full grown ‘gay’ if you haven’t followed ‘Gay Cinema Icons 1.01’. But anyway…

In the latest adaptation, Rupert Everett plays the egocentric Professor of Phonetics Henry Higgins and Kara Tointon plays Eliza Doolittle. I was curious to see Rupert Everett act in a play. I liked some of the movies he’s done but I have the impression from recent interviews that he’s growing into a bitter old queen. Prof Higgins as a character is quite obnoxious and I have to say that Rupert was good in it. I have to admit that I liked more the rest of the cast, like Peter Eyre playing Professor Doolittle and Dame Diana Rigg playing Mrs. Higgins, Everett’s mother. I fear that Everett lacked sometimes the passion needed for the role, even the correct articulation. Even Kara Tointon who I didn’t know gave me a better impression. She’s known here from winning ‘Dancing with the Stars’ last year and playing in soap operas.

In any case, I did enjoy the play. The direction was nice and the script well adapted. The story is quite enjoyable and the clash between the sexes and the classes well presented. Overall, I recommend it as a pleasant night out.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Things out of the ordinary…

This weekend without being something exceptional, it involved some things out of the ordinary happening.

I’m not going to go into the rapture non-incident. It was a silly idea to begin with and stayed one. I still can’t believe how many people actually got involved and believed it…

On Saturday evening, after spending my day with ‘JJ’ and kissing him goodbye since he had to go to work, I was walking towards the bus stop that would take me home. A guy approached me. He was in his mid thirties with shaved head and wearing a football t-shirt and jeans. He told me:
‘The German Nazis are coming!’. I expected him to ask me for money or directions or something, but not a statement like that. So, my reaction was: ‘really?’ to which he replied: ‘Yes, you are warned’.

Of course, I didn’t stay to have a proper discussion about it. He was probably drunk and had his views about the world ending which was the talk of many people that day. However, in case something relevant happens, remember that one drunk prophet told me that first!


On Sunday morning I went for a spin class! I had taken two (I think) similar classes almost 1.5 years ago but I decided it was time to give it another try. The last time my personal trainer was the instructor and I thought that it would be better to try something new with an instructor I knew quite well. Unfortunately, they had given him a very early Saturday morning slot and the class wasn’t that popular, so after a while it was cancelled.

This time, I went to my local gym with an instructor I didn’t know. He’s name is Darren (or Darryl) and he seemed friendly enough. The class was packed. There were around 18 bikes, cramped in a tiny space. In order to reach the bikes in the back, you had to really try and squeeze through them. However, the class appeared to be very popular and the whole place was full. Not everybody managed to find a bike and do the class.

I mentioned to Darren that it was my first time, since he asked. Having done two classes so long ago, I couldn’t remember half of it, so I thought it would be nice to be reminded about certain things. I don’t have a bike and I don’t usual cycle in the gym, so I consider my legs not to be properly trained. At the end of the class I was soaked in sweat down to my balls. At times, I felt that I couldn’t go any further but it felt so damn good at the end of the session.

I am now hooked. I believe that spinning will definitely help my running and I hope to keep on going. I do slightly feel my butt sore today, though. By the way, do you know the difference between RPM and spinning? Is it really that different?


My housemate got a new phone, an ‘HTC desire’ and she absolutely hates it. She can’t figure it out much and she finds it amazing confusing and difficult. We were trying to set up a twitter application for her to use and in order to check how it refreshes the screen; I posted a tweet from my account.

The last time I tweeted before yesterday was in December 2009!!!

There were many reasons I stopped tweeting back then after using an account for more than 6 months and having more than 1300 tweets. I did try to take it seriously and I’ve even attended a gathering of gay people in a local bar through tweeter. It was all fun up to a point, but it became repetitive, dull and unoriginal. Most of the gay friends I was connected with were only interesting in silly online flirting and showing off what they think was their fabulous life!

Maybe, they were the wrong people to be associated with but I soon realised that twitter is probably not for me. However, I’m now starting to change my mind and I’ve decided to give it another shot. I will not start using twitter the same way I did before. I will be mostly accessing my account to check on news or other information.

Last week, while I was in the office, we heard something was going on in the area and a medical helicopter arrived on a building close to us. Only through twitter I found out what happened. There was a stabbing on a bus stop nearby. There weren’t any mention to that incident to any website before the next day. However, through twitter news do travel fast.

I admit that twitter can be an unreliable source but there are some serious news casters who use it. In addition, there is information on almost everything, from train info, airports, local events or gigs etc. So, even if I might not be updating my account regularly, I will still ‘spy’ on what’s going on in the world…

Friday, 20 May 2011

Fetishes and Paraphilias

People come in all shapes and sizes and they have their own preferences when it comes to… well, everything. Internet helped various kinds of groups to come together and discuss, explore these preferences. I believe that gay people in particular should be happy about that.

However, what I find a bit funny, different but at the same time totally respectable are the number of sex fetishes that surfaced with the freedom of speech provided by the www. And I am not talking about the simple shoe, underwear or toe fetish, I’m talking about a little bit more let’s say extravagant approach to things. TV series like CSI introduced to the public some of these fetishes, like the guy who liked to be dressed and treated like a baby or bondage fetishes.

Let’s take for example a user in gay forum called ‘Chazz’ who’s fetish is really specific. He admits having a Superhero / Supervillain feet/shoe fetish. I quote: “I like characters like Spiderman, Venom, and Spawn who have shoe soles with colors like Blue and Purple that stands out with their dark costumes and such.” For a gay comic geek person, I think it to be quite reasonable.

Then there is ‘Formicophilia’. This is deriving sexual pleasure from insects crawling on the body, specifically on the genitals. The desired effect may be a tickling or stinging sensation, or the infliction of psychological distress on another person. That one is definitely not for me…

‘Hybristophilia’, involving being sexually aroused or attracted to people who have committed an outrage or a gruesome crime. In popular culture, this phenomenon is also known as "Bonnie and Clyde Syndrome". One of the most infamous examples of this is the large amount of women attracted to Ted Bundy after his arrest.

‘Burusera’ is a Japanese term for a panty fetish. It is an extremely prevalent fetish in Japan. There are burusera shops in Japan that sell used schoolgirls' panties, and there even used to be vending machines on the streets where men could buy them. The men buy them to smell them!

‘Forniphilia’ is a form of bondage and sexual objectification in which a person's body is incorporated into a chair, table, cabinet or other piece of furniture. It is an extreme form of bondage because the subject usually is tightly bound and expected to stay immobile for an indefinite period of time. They are often gagged and/or placed in position where there is a danger of being smothered. Proper safety requires frequent checks of the submissive's well-being.

‘Vorarephilia’ (often shortened to vore) is a sexual fetish and paraphilia where arousal occurs from the idea of being eaten, eating another, observing this process, or by the general process of eating. The fantasy most frequently involves the victim being swallowed alive, and may or may not include digestion. Since the fetish is very hard to achieve in real life, it is more commonly enjoyed through pictures, stories, videos, and video games!

The list can be endless and I'm missing so many interesting cases, but I couldn’t not mention Erika, 37, former soldier who lives in San Francisco. She has the slightly unusual fetish of falling in love with inanimate objects. As seen here, she in now madly in love with Tour Eiffel. She has pledged to love, honor and obey in an intimate ceremony attended by a handful of friends. She even changed her name to Erika La Tour Eiffel! I don’t want to be judgmental and criticize her but my poor little brain cannot understand some things. I will of course respect her feelings. But imagine being her friend and receiving an invitation for such a ceremony! What do you buy as a present?

(By the way, same-sex marriage cannot legally be performed in France, though some foreign same-sex marriages are recognized and the PACS, which confers some of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, is available to same-sex couples. However, Erika managed to 'marry' the Eiffel Tower. Go figure...)

But at the end of the day, let’s celebrate diversity!!!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

It’s official…

Since I opened all my birthday presents, the trip to Paris being the last one, I can now say that I’m officially in my 30’s. It’s not like I’ve been hiding it so far, but I was a little bit in denial. I’ve even updated my profile which you can glimpse on your right. I will need to properly update that at some point.
That means though that I can play now with the big boys …

The question now is where I’d like to see myself in 10 years time… Hmmmm. That’s not an easy one.

The first and foremost thing I’d want is to be healthy. I’d also like to be financially more stable in the process of paying for own house, somewhere outside the busy and noisy city centre. I’d also like to be married, content with a lifestyle that suits me. Call me old fashioned but I like the idea of a small house with some outdoors growing my own things on a quiet neighbourhood.

The questions that are buzzing through my ears are “Do I see myself living in London?” or “Do I see myself in 10 years with JJ?”. My most honest reply would be “why not?”. The way things are I must say that I can go wherever there is work. I am not afraid of changes and I can try making a good living almost anywhere there are good working conditions. I’ve been in London for the last 5 years and I’ve been greatly enjoying myself.

Regarding JJ there are no clouds in the sky. I’m pretty much in love and we’re having our fun. We generally don’t fight and there are no major ups and downs. He’s a stable, reliable, caring person and we do get along very well. I’m never bored when I’m with him and he always makes me laugh. However, there is a small stupid voice in the back of my head that is always worrying. I can’t help asking myself a silly ‘what if?’ thinking about bad things that can go wrong. I think I’ve inherited this voice from my mother. Our next step would be to live together. On one side I can’t feel anything but excited about it and on the other I can’t help but worry that we will grow tired or sick of one another in due time.

I’ll give you an easy example. JJ’s mother is very religious. She’s always been. She’s been sending him scripts from the bible on his mobile phone and mentions God when they talk on the phone. She of course disapproves of him being gay but she’s trying not to put that too much between them. She knows her son is a good person and is making efforts to maintain a healthy relationship with him. JJ grew up with all these. He has his own Bible that she sent to him. Lately he mentioned that he sometimes reads that Bible himself. Although there is nothing wrong with that, that little voice on the back of my head starting ringing an alarm bell! What if in 10 years time he becomes one of these religious fanatics? What if he turns like a bad version of his mother? What if there are more signs that I can’t see?

I know I’m being silly. There is absolutely no reason to worry about all these. I do manage to shut that voice up and I try to look on the positive side of things. I am ‘Mr Worry’ though sometimes. The plan I have now is to move in with JJ beginning next year. It would be interesting to see how my parents would react to these news!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

À Paris…

This Saturday morning we left for Paris. We took the early morning train and we headed for the City of Lights. I hadn’t been there for two years and I wanted to spend some nice time with JJ, away from the everyday troubles.

Upon arrival we headed straight to ‘Île de la Cité. The weather was wonderful. It was sunny but not too warm. After walking around a bit, we visited ‘Notre Dame’. JJ had never been inside and I thought to give it a try. It’s an amazing Cathedral worth visiting. The first time I went inside I was surprised that they allow small shops with Paris souvenirs in a church. That’s something you’ll never see in an Orthodox establishment. However, this time I was prepared for this and the hordes of tourists.

Notre Dame

After that we went for a walk at the city centre to see ‘Les Halles’ and the ‘Les Marais’ area. We sat for lunch in a nice brasserie close to the Les Halles forum, where JJ enjoyed ‘Moules Frites’ and I had a massive seafood salad. The place was lovely with reasonable prices when to came to food but amazingly expensive for beverages. A cappuccino and not that great to be honest was €6.5! Then, we headed towards Champs-Élysées for some quick photographs and back to the hotel to check in and get some rest.

Outside 'Centre Pompidou'


In the evening we headed towards Montmartre. We walked around a bit, enjoyed a beer in a nice bistro and went up the stairs to ‘Sacré-Cœur’ to enjoy the lovely view. From there we headed back to ‘Les Marais’ area and we sat for dinner in a restaurant called ‘Le Gai Moulin’. I found the place online and it had some reasonable reviews. It’s a gay restaurant with 3 course meal ‘a la carte’. The atmosphere was nice and the place was packed with French people. The vast majority of the customers were gay men, in their 30’s and 40’s. It was funny because the waiters knew most of the customers and the atmosphere was quite friendly. Under the table next to us there was some mild ‘action’ going on…

View from 'Sacré-Cœur'

Chocolaterie in Montmartre

After that we went to a gay bar close by called ‘Raidd’. According to online reviews, that’s one of the trendiest places in Paris and boy were we surprised. Don’t get me wrong, we had a very nice time but the place was weird. Music wasn’t bad but they had black lights, smoke effects (!!!) and ridiculous light effects. There was also a place on the wall with a shower for a performer to appear, who we gladly missed. Cocktails weren’t that bad but we didn’t stay long.

What was amazing was the fact that ‘Centre Pompidou’ had a late opening and we headed there around 11:15 at night. There was a queue outside. We went to the sixth floor and were mesmerized of the view of the city. We also visited the permanent exhibitions. Modern Art is so much more interesting if you had half a bottle of wine and two tequila cocktails! We had such a nice time there!

'Saturday night outside Centre Pompidou'

The view from the 6th floor

Modern Art?

Next morning, after breakfast we headed towards the Seine. We saw ‘Grand Palais’ and ‘Petit Palais’ and from there we walked towards the ‘Eiffel Tower’. We paid a visit in museum de ‘Quai Branly’ which I find an amazing exhibition centre. The building is so well designed. From there we took a guided river boat to learn some stuff for the bridges and buildings surrounding the river.

La Tour Eiffel

Before heading back to the train station, we had a big walk around the city centre. We visited the bridge with the ‘Love Locks’, ‘Jardins des Tuileries’, ‘Place Vendôme’, ‘L’Opera’ etc. It was all very nice. We managed to see lots of stuff in a short period of time without stressing about it. We did walk a lot, but that is something we are both familiar with. We don’t mind it…

The Love Locks (Le Pont des Arts)

Monday, 16 May 2011

Friday random…

That's the I wrote and prepared on Friday but couldn't post due to 'Blogger' problems. I'm posting it now as written without any changes...

It’s the end of the week, so it’s an opportunity to celebrate. The weekend is upon us with vast opportunities to see friends, do stuff we like, get some rest, etc… That’s why, I don’t want to spoil anyone’s mood but I can’t help it.

Yesterday, really late at night for a school night, there was a documentary in BBC3 called ‘the world’s worst place to be gay’ and it was about homophobia in Uganda. A well known radio presenter and commentator called ‘Scott Mills’ who is a white gay male in his late thirties, visited the country to see firsthand how homosexual people are treated.

At first he does enjoys his visit but it doesn’t take long for him to see the signs. There are newspapers daily writing about homosexuals and forcibly outing them. There are articles about how gay people should be jailed or even hanged, an opinion shared by the vast majority of the population, even by the younger generations. Scott visits gay people living in the slums, disowned by their families, chased away by friends, beaten and stoned. Local priests preach about how gay people are like paedophiles, trying to seduce the innocent in their own evil schemes. They forcibly believe that being gay is something curable, so Scott visits a local witch doctor to be treated without any effect of course. The story of a young lesbian is introduced who was raped, in order to be ‘cured’ to like men. She was exiled, infected with HIV and got pregnant after that. At the end of the show, Scott visits a politician who’s favouring an anti-homosexual bill to be introduced in the country. After admitting to the politician that he is gay, the interview stops and Scott has to be rushed away not to be ceased by the police.

In general, the documentary is not of the best quality because I believe it’s a very superficial but is depressing nonetheless and proves how bad the situation is. In late January, a Ugandan well known gay rights activist, called David Kato, was beaten to death in his own house. Police say that the beating had nothing to do with David being gay but I don’t think they’re fooling anyone. I’m not sure if the anti-homosexual bill is already introduced or not, but it is a very scary piece of legislation.

This kind of stories makes me feel so happy that I live in the UK and I’m enjoying liberties I took for granted. Some might say that Uganda has much more serious survival issues to deal with than the gay minorities like malnutrition and sanitation but it is sad nonetheless. In a country of 33 million people, there must be more than 200,000 gay people tormented. In any case, Uganda is not a popular tourist destination to my taste…


OK, with that out of the picture, I can concentrate on other, less important, things. I watched ‘Hanna’ and ‘Thor’ recently. The first one was good but not something exceptional. I liked the music by Chemical Brothers and the direction by Joe Wright. The appearance of a half naked Eric Bana was a nice touch as well. I also enjoyed Cate Blanchett in it. I found however the story quite predictable, unrealistic and somewhat boring. It is worth watching though if you like action movies. ‘Thor’ I watched in 3D, in IMAX in Wimbledon. The screen was huge and the visual effects impressive. I feared that it would be a disappointment and I was somewhat negatively prepositioned. However, I found it entertaining and the actor playing Thor quite good. If you’re thinking about watching it at a cinema theatre, go for it. I doubt it would be as impressive in DVD.


I’m off for the weekend in Paris with JJ. It would be a quick visit for one night, but I know I’ll enjoy it nonetheless. Have a great weekend too! I’m living you with some hotties I quickly gathered online:

You have to love rugby players. That's Nick Youngquest

Chris Loulis - Greek Actor

A test: Do you know who this guy is?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Arguments against...

I ran into this in a blog that unfortunately I can't remember, but I loved it:

Monday, 9 May 2011

Europe Day

Cubby asked me on a previous post to talk a bit about Greece and the situation there. Since, I’ve been (happily) living in the UK for the last five years (has it been so long?), I don’t have the best picture of the situation, but I do read and hear about it and I try to stay up to date. It’s only appropriate since it is today ‘Europe Day’.

In a nutshell, I can say that the situation is not improving. The country had to be saved from bankruptcy with €110bn rescue loans last May, but continues to struggle to raise revenue as its economy shrinks.The government is trying to reduce the Deficit and the National Debt. The terms of the rescue loans are steep and the deficit is proven worse than expected. The European Union wanted a 9.6% deficit last autumn but Greece now hangs at 10.5%. Unfortunately, the country is stuck in a vicious circle with no easy way out.

The terms of the rescue loans and plans to reduce the deficit and debt demanded ambitious privatisation programs, letting off a number of public workers, reducing wages / annual bonuses, creating different more flexible working plans, increasing taxes and minimising governmental expenses. These terms however backfire.

To say the least, these terms increase public unrest with weekly strikes. The unemployment rates have increased and more people are now into benefits demanding more money from a government who can’t afford to spend, while the inflation rates have increased. People are reluctant to spend any money and the markets fail. There are no investments, no new construction projects and the stock market plunges.

For example, from one day to the next, Christmas and Easter bonuses were scrapped for all pensioners and public sector workers. Up until that point according to legislation, an extra salary was given on Christmas and another one before Easter. Also, lots of benefits and allowances were cut. Because of these decisions, my parents saw in a single night their pensions diminished by around 25%. Also, there was a massive increase in VAT and most products’ prices rose dramatically like the price of petrol. That left most people very worried for the future and unwilling to spend more money than absolutely necessary.

My parents are not well off but they are OK, being luckier than other families. They however worry for their lifetime savings in the local banks, in case the country defaults and the bank accounts are frozen. My mother admitted not going general shopping for months. I have old colleagues from the university who are well educated engineers with postgraduate diplomas unemployed, not being able to sustain themselves financially. It is very sad to see them move back with their parents because they can’t afford rent or live on their own and expecting pocket money from their parents to do anything. Driving around bigger cities, the number of shops which are closed is heart breaking. Only the city centres do see some movement but the commercial sector is dying. What’s more worrying is the fact that apart from everything’s being done, the situation is not improving, the debt is increasing and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Fortunately, the smaller cities, towns and villages manage to sustain themselves. Their economy does not rely too much on services. Also, they say that tourism isn’t doing that bad with popular destinations maintaining same figures as the years before. However, these good news are not enough…

I’d like to mention to this point the political games which are being played on Greece’s expense. I’m not an expert but I agree that the way EU tried to ‘help’ Greece is debatable. I believe that on one hand there’s Germany and on the other mostly France. The current president of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet agrees that Greece shouldn’t leave the EU and go back to the former currency. However, ‘Der Spiegel’ published a false article that the prime ministers had a meeting regarding changing Greece’s currency. That article alone made euro reduce dramatically its value today! There is a general panic at the media and the country’s credibility rate is degraded by organisations like ‘Standard and Poor’ not helping foreign investments invest in the country. Needless to say that Germany generally benefits from the steep interest rates of the rescue loans given to Greece. These are only part of the games played in a national level. The powerful of Europe are trying to take control of the countries in peril like Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal.

That's the Greek Prime Minister in the middle, the people on the right and Merkel on the left

I might be saying the wrong things and my analysis might be childish to say the least. Economists with the right knowledge will analyse things differently. However, these are some facts that I read and hear that sadden me tremendously. I do love my country which unfortunately has become the laughing joke of late.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Thoughts on nutrition, exercise and my future…

When I was a small boy I was very skinny. You could count all my ribs without a problem. I was like a living X-Ray. My mother was worried that there was something wrong with me. What I remember from that time is that I believed sitting down for dinner was a huge waste of time. I didn’t almost any of the food offered and staying still for a period of time to eat, was a torture for a hyper active child like I was.

That all changed when I hit puberty. From very skinny I became chubby. I discovered the pleasures of chocolate, fries, eggs and other unhealthy things. My mother was all too happy to see a healthy appetite in me, so she encouraged me. For a Greek mother, stuffing her son is pure bliss. She feels a worthy member of the mothers’ community.

I did play tennis and I tried swimming as well. I even periodically joined a local gym. However, my weight fluctuations had tendencies to go up. Even now, I’m more comfortable reading a book and doing other static activities than exercise. Especially in Greece, massive feasts with friends is a favorite pastime. Christmas, birthdays, Easter, national celebrations are all excuses to eat and eat some more.

Fortunately, that changed recently. I am amazed to find myself a constant member of a gym with a personal trainer for more than 2 years. I also have a series of medals to prove some races I’ve managed to finish. I’m even thinking of trying other activities like wall climbing, yoga or swimming.

Many years of bad habits do not die easily though. I like good food. I like having friends for dinner and I always cook for more than the actual number of people invited. My weight constantly goes up and down. I haven’t been able to maintain it properly. I always fashion a hairy belly, not from drinking beer but from eating. That belly in some cases does go away during summer but always comes back in winter. I’m a bear (excuse the pun) accumulating fat for the cold season…

I also know that I could never be a vegetarian. Have you seen in ‘My Big Fat Greek wedding’ the scene where John Corbett says he’s a vegetarian and how everybody else reacts? Exactly that. Some jokes in that movie are so real!

Since, I’m turning a bit older and I am (more or less) making some progress, I’d like to take it to the next step and start monitoring how many fruit and vegetables I eat and how much water I drink. My family’s history of heart disease, high cholesterol and bad genes is not helping. I can’t remember the last time I had all 5 of my ‘5 a day’. And there is no way I had many days in a row, all 5 portions of fruit and vegetables.

Since, I’ve been showing some signs of persistence (writing this blog, going running etc), I do hope to have for the first time in my life a healthier body and a flat stomach… It's mostly about being healthy. Yes, sometimes I am insecure regarding my weight but I am not getting any younger and I don't want to follow my family's history.

How many of your 5-a-day, did you have today?

All these thoughts came to me when I was checking 'Cancer Research UK' web site. I've registered for another run and I might choose to fund raise for them. In their website, among other things they have some tips on healthy living. There's an easy test regarding life styles here. Of course it's not something I didn't know before, but it made me wonder...

Anyway, that's enough deep thinking for a Friday afternoon! Have a nice weekend...

5 on the Fifth

As promised the other day, I'm posting my part for the 'State Of The Nation UK' this month's Five on the fifth, even if a bit late. For those of you not aware with it, it's a project where you have to take some pictures and upload them on the 5th of each month. There is also a theme / subject you can follow if you want. This month's suggested theme is 'Clothes' or 'Happy'.

For this month, I've decided to post 5 things that make me happy. These are all photos I took last week.

A good book and a nice cup of coffee. I like spending time on my own.

My running shoes

Traveling / Road trips

Laying under the sun.

My boyfriend...
That's the flowers he got me this year on Valentine's Day.

That's me being happy a few days ago in Greece:

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Back from Greece…

I’m back and I had a really nice time.
Weather wise it wasn’t that great. I’ve noticed that Greece in general has the opposite weather from UK. When the weather here is warm and sunny, it’s crap in Greece and vice versa. That is why, most days of the year, Greece enjoys a nice, dry, warm weather. That didn’t stop me though from having a nice time.

walking around the city center

I hadn’t told most of my friends that I’ll be in Greece. I only saw two of my closest friends I missed the most and hadn’t seen during my last visit. I mostly wanted to stay at home, see my parents and get some rest, which is what I did. I even organised with my parents a day trip to a city called ‘Kastoria’ in northern Greece. That’s a lovely picturesque city by a . I hadn’t been there before and it was very nice to see. My parents loved the fact that we spent the whole day together.

Arriving in Kastoria

Walking around Kastoria

As expected, no serious discussions were made and the ‘gay’ issue wasn’t brought up. To be honest, that’s what I expected. As a family, we don’t easily discuss difficult, sentimentally charged topics. Especially, when my visits are short, a topic that might end up in an argument is not raised. I did however wanted to tell them about JJ. I know that my mother is keeping an eye on my facebook page and she must have seen the countless pictures. I’ll just give them more time…

View of the sea and the Aristotelous square from a lovely coffee place

The financial situation in Greece is abysmal. Driving through the city, the number of closed shops you see is frightening. Apart from the very city centre which is always busy, other major commercial roads are failing. The government in their attempt to minimize the national debt is taking measures that do not really help the market. Increasing yet again the VAT and the taxes made people afraid to spend. My parents for example are not wealthy but they are considered to be financial stable. They saw their pension schemes cut and the price of everything increased. My mother told me she’s terrified to spend more than necessarily needed, for fear of what will come next. The dark cloud of Greece defaulting is looming. When consumers are so scared, I can’t really see the situation improving any time soon.

Anyway, I’m back now and I’m as busy as ever. Work’s been interestingly challenging lately and I’m out of town tomorrow to visit a client. I love these visits because they’re a nice excuse to be out of the office. The place I’m going now is not that bad either and when I’ll be back, it’s going to be almost the weekend.

Being out of London means that I might not be able to take part in ‘5 on the fifth’ on time. I’ll probably upload my pictures on Friday…