Copenhagen

It’s old. It’s new. It’s fascinating.

People are tall! Bikes everywhere, no traffic jams in sight.

It feels clean and efficient with wind-mills turning in greeting to the airplanes gliding towards Copenhagen.

English is spoken flawlessly. Their manner is breezy and matter-of-fact, soothing to my straight-talking Virgo soul. It feels organizationally sound somehow.

I found the metro easy to use and the food was tasty–coriander is the spice that we brought home. (We like to look for signature flavors from each country or area that we visit.) Did you know that coriander comes from Cilantro? Coriander is the plant and cilantro refers to the stems and leaves. When we use coriander, we are using the plant’s seeds.

We were told that we must see Christiania–so I sought it out, hopping the metro to Christianshavn St, I asked until I found Pusher Street. Everyone knows. Christiania is an evolved community stemming from counterculture values expressed in the 70’s when squatters took over government buildings that had been abandoned. It is an indication of the liberal attitudes of the country and is tolerated if not accepted. It has its own flag, schools, cafe`s, shopping kiosks and eateries. There is a “no-tell” feeling of keeping Christiania discreet. I felt like I must be flashing back to Haight-Ashbury in the 60’s.

Definitely take a boat tour of the canals–it’s an amazing view offering the feel of transportation old-style, more convenient than winding through streets and traffic.

And the icing on my Danish (pardon my metaphor) was the Street Food Court! What a hoot. People gathered around a fire pit on the dock, watching water traffic and birds sailing in and out. Beer stations are sprinkled throughout and kiosks of food crowd a warehouse of hungry patrons. If you aren’t hungry when you get there, the smells of delicious offerings will rapidly whet your appetite for more.

SLOW DOWN TIME

 

With so much to do– getting ready for a trip, tying up loose ends at home, paying bills for when I’m gone, maintaining my busy work and grandparenting schedule– I could easily become overwhelmed.  Instead, I’ve decided to  SLOW.  DOWN. TIME.

I use this technique often—and it never lets me down.  It feels quite magical!

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Love without Unity

Peace signs in my eyes sometimes get in the way of my vision.  For others, it maybe dollar signs.  We all feel what’s important to us differently.  There are as many ideologies as there are people to uphold them.

Love without Unity?

It’s been done before.

What of the many civil wars, not only in our country, but world-wide?

Brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, husbands and wives– aligning with different sides.

How is it that humans having so much in common can be so definitely divided?

A test of strength for sure. it’s a wake-up call about the assumptions we make based on what we believe.

Strong belief does not guarantee Truth.  Not even my own.

We all have a Path to walk.

My job is not to judge how you walk yours–my job is to keep putting one foot in front of the other as I determine my own.

Ah… back to baby steps.

Simple but not always easy.

Man, I’m stiff!

As a massage therapist, I relate to ‘feeling stiff” a little differently than most… as an aging boomer, I feel it all too well.

I see it as the body’s way of slowing us down until we become warmed up.   It makes me feel old and creaky, compromising my balance and my confidence as well.

The soreness is inflammation from the waste our muscles have created.  Movement and warmth help to carry it away, allowing freer movement while enabling circulation on many levels (it’s not just about blood–it’s lymphatic and hormonal too.

But when we don’t move much–ie sitting on the couch;  working at the computer; lying in bed; tensing up while driving;, etc,–

-we feel stiff.

What to do?

  • Rub what hurts before you get up and go.
  • Warm up literally–in the shower or with gentle movements–such as pumping your legs back and forth or making circles with yout ankles, etc.
  • Avoid over-stretching until you have moved around a bit
  • Use heat patches from the drug store–or some old fashioned Tiger Balm to warm up joints and tight muscles

Ok, that’s my preachy-massage-therapist-advice for this cold Winter’s day.

Let’s not allow inactivity to keep us down.

A limber body makes good use of a limber mind.

(you can quote me  on that!)

Sometimes I sleep like a baby, Many nights, I don’t…

 

What is it about being older that interrupts our sleep-style?

And is that indeed what it comes from–is it this a “getting older thing” ?

I know that a late-night wine habit can play a part in the mid-night wake-up.

And many evenings, I decide that it’s worth the risk, placing  a glass of water near my bed for the dry-mouth that often follows.  Dehydration is the factor there–so drinking a full glass of water pre-sleep, often seems to help.

But on those nights when I do not indulge, I often find myself eluded by the sandman (sand person?), revved up and ready to–do what?

If I start a project late in the evening or even read something engaging, or play WORD on my app,  I’m doomed to a racing mind and a dozen quick looks at the clock to see how much sleep that I’m missing.

Geesh.

What’s a boomer to do?

Ideas:

  • Relaxing soak in an epsom salts bath before bed-time
  • Yoga and muscle relaxation to soothe my mind
  • T.V.–oft times boring enough to put me to sleep
  • Relaxing herbal tea:   camomile; all mints but peppermint–which is a stimulant;
  • Hot toddy–just 1 :  little whisly, little honey, and lemon in hot water
  • Tell my body that I’m “letting go” and build a habit of progressive relaxation as I talk myself up from toe-to-head (or vise versa)
  • Quit worrying about it and “get up”, taking a nap later to revamp, even having coffee as if I’m starting the day anew

 

What about you?

Something to add?

London Blog

big-ben

 

I can easily imagine spending more time in London Town –may I call it that now with my new-found familiarity?  Traipsing the Burroughs and exploring London’s underbelly, via the tube lends an up close and personal view of what it’s like to live there.

I am assured by those more familiar with London that the tube is usually dependable and user-friendly.  But if you’re traveling there in the near future, beware of extensive line-maintenance closings and spontaneous rerouting–quite a challenge, for the novice, for sure.

*Disability Warning: escalators and elevators (lifts) may be out-of-order, which can be a real hassle.  Luckily, wonderful people saw my dilemma and grabbed our suitcases and carried them up the steep and numerous stairs which made all the difference!  (Bless you all!)

stairs-at-train

There are twelve Inner London boroughs and twenty Outer London boroughs–much of which you will miss if you use the tube everywhere you go, so I suggest mixing it up with a tour bus, Uber, taxis or a river cruise to get the whole picture.

bus

Why haven’t I lost 20 lbs by now, with all that exercise?

Could it be the great food paired with wine or the panoply of British brewed beers? Or the melt-in-your mouth fish ‘n chips, soaked with malt vinegar and dipped in an interesting red curry sauce?  Perhaps England’s boring-food reputation is passe’, because we found the the menus to be both creative and imaginative– quite beyond our expectations.  And if you are a gin-lover, you will feel right at home.

Many neighborhoods have “food co-ops” , small like our convenience stores but packed full with organic and healthy choices.  The prices were more reasonable than I imagined and when you purchase a temporary membership for $10, your discount is immediate and a portion of the price goes to the community.  Impressive.

Friends suggested that we visit Camden Town or Camden Lock, a borough in NW London, located near 3 canals used in the late 1800’s.   Little did we realize that Sunday is Market Day which feels like the circus is in town, with people thronging the streets, music playing mostly American hits, vendors dealing and my senses reeling from all the food aromas, crazy signs and people gathering to do what people do best–socializing and letting their hair down before the work-week begins anew.

 

We took in the traditional sights too– Big Ben, living up to expectations, a sentinel above Westminster Abbey; Buckingham Palace at night with the Queen mum and possibly Kate, locked safely within; and St. Paul’s Cathedral where feeding the birds is more than a scene from Mary Poppins.  Arriving just at evening’s edge, we were beckoned within, silenced by the sacred ambiance, heavy with incense and layered with centuries of prayer.

But my big surprise was walking late at night from Trafalgar Square and arriving at Piccadilly Circus–oh my!  Like Times Square, upbeat with lights flashing, music pulsing, and people lined up to see the next play.  With restaurants and pubs competing for your attention–it’s a haven to your hunger or thirst for the thrill of London’s famous city life.

There appeared to be many homeless people camped on sidewalks or near subway stations but they are polite and careful not to “beg”.  We were told that the police leave them alone as long as they give something in return– such as directions to tourists who obviously need advice (personally speaking).  Everyone said, “thank you”, even if not given money.  So very civilized, those Brits.

England Swings

Cheers!

That’s the definitive greeting of merry old England, gin is the drink of favor and I took both to heart.


We took the train, modern,and restful-to-the travel-weary, to Sheffield, located north of London in Central England, and named after the River Sheaf which runs through the city.  It was a surprising treat. 


In the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for steel production which put it on the map during the First World War. There is a museum for history buffs (Ellioto), and a nice cafe’ for those waiting for the history buffs (that would be me!).


The city is surrounded by hills, contains 250 parks, woodlands and gardens within the city, and an estimated 2 million trees, giving Sheffield the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe.[5] The city has a long sporting heritage, and is home to the world’s oldest football club (that’s Soccer, you know).


It is home to two major universities– the largest in England. So nightlife was thriving and we had a taste along with some local color.


Vintage shops are big there and I dutifully made the rounds, wearing the wheels right off of the suitcase!