Book Review Jessie Burton The Muse

Read in November 2016

So this is a good book. It is not a great book but a good book. Burton writes absolutely beautifully. The prose just flows along like a summer stream. The story flips between sixties London where the odd character of Odelle. a Caribbean immigrant working at an art auction house is mixed in with the story of a family living in pre-war Spain. The common thread is a painting. Though I liked the writing style I found the book a little dull at points and I couldn’t really get interested enough in the story of who painted the mysterious painting. I felt the story lacked suspense and drama and I am not sure I really believed in the characters. The settings were beautifully described, both London and rural Spain. Ultimately, something was lacking

Yogi Cameron Diet – Week 7 Review

So I am already on week seven of the Yogi Cameron diet. The diet rules remain the same this week as for other weeks. The spiritual emphasis is on refraining from sex. Yogi Cameron suggests it takes away your energy from more important things like developing your spiritual practice. I think this idea will be very hard for most Western people where we are taught that a healthy sex life is good for us. I think when I was younger I would have scoffed but now I am older I can see some wisdom in it. My interest in all matters sexual has certainly waned in recent years. Yogi Cameron even abandoned a relationship to concentrate on Yogidom. You have to admire the dedication that I think most people could not emulate.

I have felt better than last week though I think I am still a little under the weather and get tired easily. I have discovered the joys of stewed fruit for breakfast. This is recommended as part of an ayurvedic diet as it is easy on the digestion. Just add water to fruit and simmer for a while. Add a little sugar though nowhere near as much as they tell you to in traditional cook books. The result is divine. It works for lots of kinds of fruits like cooking apples, pears. I have even tried strawberries and nectarines.

I have been sticking to the vegetable curries and rice for lunch. I have been doing much better this week on the no alcohol rule though I did have two glasses of wine on Thursday when I went out for a Thai meal. It was easy to stick to ayurvedic principles in Thai food. I had a vegetable curry with rice. I should have resisted the wine but I didn’t.

I still haven’t lost any weight. Sigh. To do this I think I am going to have to make some  significant changes to the diet.

I have kept up yoga and meditation. I am now meditating for twenty minutes. I am more successful in going deep on some days rather than others. I feel calm and I am not so bothered by negative events as I used to be. I am learning to manage stress and to bounce back from setbacks. I think I still need more help in this area. I really need to believe in myself as a trainee yogi and convince myself I can do it.


A Romantic Event

Today I have been thinking about romance. As a novelist of twisted romances I suppose I should be thinking about it all the time.

I have found real romance to be very rare. Having been married for twenty-one years there isn’t much room for it any more.

I always remember something that happened to me which was as close to a truly romantic gesture I can think of. I was at university and sitting in the library reading room. I was a first year. I went away to get a book and came back. When I sat down there was a note on my desk.

It said: You are absolutely beautiful and I’m not one for absolutes.

I looked around but I couldn’t see anyone who could have left it. I thought about asking the girl opposite if she had seen who it was but I didn’t. I knew it was someone in my Philosophy class because we had been studying Plato’s absolute forms that week.

I didn’t ever find out who it was.

This sort of thing doesn’t usually happen to me and men don’t normally tell me I’m beautiful except my husband who probably does it because he thinks he has to. I always wonder why whoever it was didn’t reveal himself to me. It was a gift given without hope of return. Now that is romantic.

It’s a beautiful memory.

Yogi Cameron Diet Week 6 Review

Week 6 of the Yogi Cameron diet is the same as Week 5. The spiritual emphasis is on not stealing.  The diet is the same. I have kept to it about eighty per cent of the time. I have still been drinking alcohol which I am still annoyed with myself about. As of today I have eradicated all alcohol from the house so as of today I haven’t had any. I have taken the pledge. Food wise I have been doing pretty well and eating healthy whole foods. I notice when out and about how difficult it is to get healthy food in town. Most choices seem to be really unhealthy and don’t fit with ayurvedic principles.

I haven’t been feeling well this week. I don’t think it’s to do with the diet. Maybe I am coming down with something. I am not sure if it’s mental or physical or a  bit of both. The week has been full of minor irritations. I am facing up to a lot of my demons and I know this means I have to make changes in my life. I need to change the way my mind works. It is a  lot of work and sometimes overwhelming. I am hoping I will be better when I get through to the other side.

I have been reading more about ayurveda. There are a lot of conflicting opinions as the diet comes from ancient Vedic texts which are thousands of years old. Some ayurvedic diets allow meat and fish but Yogi Cameron does not. I am doing the more strict type. The emphasis is on fresh foods that are grown locally and organically. Eggs are almost never mentioned. I have read this is because they are considered dirty and low because they come out of a chicken’s bottom. I have still been having the odd egg. Most Indian recipes with eggs in them stem from the Raj and the British influence.

Here’s hoping to a return to health and well being next week.