Month: August 2012

Yorkshire Moors, Good Thought Experience

Last year while doing research for my upcoming novel, The Blindsided Prophet, I bought into the concept that we somehow influence our every experience with our thoughts. I know it’s a tough sell. I couldn’t buy it years ago either. And here lately, I am beginning to understand why.

Case and point: I can’t imagine that I’ve had any thoughts that led to my well kept recycling container being switched out for a broken scrubby one. No way, I thought as I picked up the old one and headed down the street to put things right. Only when I got to the container that I thought might have been mine was I unsure. Lost my nerve and brought the old scruffy one into my front garden.

All is not lost, I told myself entering the house. Surely my passport has arrived today. After all, I sent it off in May to the said agency in this country to get a very straight forward update. Nope, I flipped through the post. Not here, not here.

So much for the belief that if I write about the passport issue, therefore, I think negatively about it, and so on. You see where I am going, right? Rubbish! I have tried every positive thought you can imagine and even resorted to asking for divine intervention, which ought not to be used on such petty matters.

Forgive me, I cashed in. I can only hope my request will be honoured soon and very soon. In the meantime, what about the well researched concept? Well there is good news on that.

First, the bulk of the writing is done. And the concept really does make for compelling fiction. Watch this space–The Blindsided Prophet coming soon! Next, I have seen an awful lot of Great Britain by keeping this belief close to my chest. Don’t worry about your passport; just enjoy the moment. etc…

Never mind that the continent of Europe is on my doorstep and that Britain has hit or miss weather.

And sure enough last weekend, the good weather hit in London and missed in Yorkshire. Still, we had reason to go north. So we made our way to the spa town of Harrogate and spent our weekend in the Yorkshire Moors, a place of unrivalled scenery.

From crags such as the Cow and Calf to hillsides such the Kilburn White Horse, the views are stunning. And though we mostly drove around and enjoyed  the scenery (rivers and valleys), we did go for a walk or two.

As we climbed the moors, even with dark clouds hanging over us, I had a Great Wall of China moment. Okay, no not really but the point is that the beauty there is unmatched in Britain. On the descent, I had to admire the dry wall fencing. I even appreciated the natural paths covered with heather. The Yorkshire Moors are a hit indeed, even if the good weather does often miss them. Never mind, as long as you remember to wear hiking boots. We did this time, unlike the time we took a woodlands walk in Gleneagles in Scotland. You see on this occasion, we thought it through well in advance.

Maybe there is something to the concept of thoughts influencing experiences after all. Think about it.

Right time to be an American expat in London

On this side of the pond, everyone is talking about Usain Bolt, who won the 100 meters race last night in 9.63 seconds, and Jessica Ennis, the heptathlon champion;Mo Farah, winner of the 10,000 meter race; Andy Murray, the gold medallist of men’s tennis, etc. On the other side of the pond, I expect the nattering is well underway about Usain also, even if NBC didn’t show it live (excuse me!). His name has to be right up there with Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Serena Williams, Gabby Douglas, and Sanya Richards-Ross.

Yes, now is the time to be a citizen of the world and ever so right to be an American expat in London. Lucky me!  I am beaming with pride. To have both my birth country and my adopted country in the top three slots of the medals table is more than any expat could expect. China is first, the US second and GB third. And to live in the great city where it is all unfolding is the icing on the cake.

I didn’t think it could get any better than the athletics of Saturday night (Jessica Ennis and Mo Farrah firing up the stadium for team GB) until I saw Sanya Richards-Ross take her Olympic 400 meters gold in Chanel earrings. Now I know, I was not supposed to be focusing on style when this 27-year-old woman was making history, winning her gold in 49.55 seconds to give the U.S. its first track and field gold of the 2012 Olympics. But I couldn’t help myself.

May the team get more! But in the meantime, I have to give Mrs Richards-Ross her props. The athletes all have their own style, some with colourful beards and others with tattoos covering their muscled arms, but Sanya, if you ask me, is a cut above the rest in the style department–jewelry, nails, make-up, hair, etc…

Enough said but since I’m on the subject of style, I’m going to have my say about Gabby Douglas. The girl’s pulled back hairstyle is fine people, nothing wrong with it. And anyhow, as Gabby has so much as said, what’s hair got to do with it? This 16-year-old has won two gold medals in three days for goodness sake.

Were it not for her, team USA would be lagging behind China big time. It’s enough that they are three gold medals ahead of us as of this posting. Let’s stay focused here.

Tomorrow, Paul and I are back at Olympic Park for our final event and looking forward to being there and getting there. Last time around we discovered the Javelin, a high-speed train, from King’s Cross.

One Olympic volunteer described it as being faster than Usain Bolt. Maybe…okay so it is but it is a machine you know. But one thing for sure is that when this London Olympics is all said and done, we’re likely to stop talking about the Javelin. For years to come, however, the world will go on and on about Usain Bolt.

Go Jamaica and Happy 50th Independence Day. As I said, now is the time to be a citizen of the world! And to be an American expat in London is just right.