Curly LIZA

3f3b2216

We haven’t seen each other for 2 years. We have a slight geographical issue, different countries of residencies. The day she finally arrived to the grey island, the sun was shining. To say I was so happy to see her, would be so dull in comparison to the emotions I was feeling the moment I saw her beautiful face, the perfect curls and the style she always wears.

L-I-Z-A

This would be the story of us:) To be entirely honest we only had about 6 hours together and plenty to catch up on. Somehow I always have this feeling no matter how much time we could possibly have it will be never enough. We always talk until our throats start scratching from the non-stopping flow of words, jumping from topic to topic accompanied by laughter. Liza has that laugh, even when you are not next to her but receive a message in your whats up with her name popping up, it echoes right through your head, the high pitched sound that comes out the 1st second of her laugh. I really love this girl, I have a massive smile on my face whilst writing these lines.

We met some 12-13 years ago at a birthday party. It was one of those friendships, when all that is needed is to ask each other names, where are you from and where do you live in London:) Luckily we were both from the same city and we lived 3 minutes away from each other in London. At that moment Liza was studying in Chelsea College of Arts. Her childhood dream was to become a fine artist. That was exactly what she studied there. We hanged around a lot. She has always been this arty girl to me, with her paintings and brushes and colours, with her mind, with her style:) I will probably mention her style a few times. As there is one in every detail that she wears, even if it is a casual super lazy after party look, somehow you would want all of that outfit. She is my fashion guru, 100%.

She continued her higher education in London College of Communication. She studied Graphic design. I used to ask what design?!:))) At some point we even shared the same place of studying, I did my Photography there. These memories drifted me down the memory lane, some moments I really wish we could relive again. Throughout my studies she was my number one photography subject of all time, we shared more than a few experiments ūüôā She would be up for anything, she feels so comfortable in front of that piece of equipment, 100% natural. I love this girl.

Few years later she left the island and went back home to her family and husband to be. Yes there is also a love story here and of course my favourite part:) I love those stories (yes I love all kinda stories of love:)) but especially ones where people leave their life behind and follow the lead of the heart.

The gorgeous curly stylish Liza, followed her career path in graphic design and worked for years in TV. I visited her once at one of the channels she worked for, she was happy and felt completely at ease in her place of work.

One day I received a message from her saying – “I have left my work, I want to do something of my own. I want to start my own brand”. I somehow always knew that she will come to that, really, if somebody can be a clothes designer it would be her. With all that style, one can reflect its own vision and create something of their own. I of course cannot be 100% bias:))) but judge for yourselves:) Inspired by 90‚Äôs grunge (those of you who had been inspired by grunge back in the 90‚Äôs this is your stop:), hand made tailored women suits for women who are confident and know what they are worth. Ouch, I love how I phrased it, pure masterpiece for an advertising banner.

Liza is so precise with her visions, everything has to be perfect, she thinks of every single detail. She will not miss a thing, she has her creative arty approach to every single thing that is created in her head. And when it comes to throwing a party, she does that impeccably too, making it into a place to be. I love this girl.

After this beautiful full of love piece of writing material, my curly Liza, I can settle with the pair of pants from one of those suits as my bribe:)))

On the serious note it is not easy to start something of your own, especially in the era when I think everyone is a fashion designer:) But these suits have their unique style and niche, I know. I wish you good luck my love.

The book the girl can read over and over again: ‚ÄėBrave New World‚Äô by Aldous Huxley

Likes: Music // Dislikes: Injustice

To view the brand click on VAK Project

Love to Create

3F3B1775

Summer, summer where do you go? ‚ÄėSummer time sadness‚Äô the song by Lana Del Rey sums it up just right, one of my most favourite August songs since its existence. I wish I could just grab summer by its hands, kiss them and beg not to leave (gosh,¬†what a miserable picture, should never be applied to anyone but summer and own mama:))) On the other hand,¬†if we are the kids of the big developed cities which always happen to be in a wrong climate regions for some reason then we choose to be in its claws. The ones¬†who¬†don‚Äôt choose, don‚Äôt moan about the weather but¬†go¬†and live the weather. But where was I?!:) ah yes‚Ķ.

Dear beloved the reason we have gathered here today is to welcome¬†a¬†new coffee companion and the life path story of this incredibly beautiful lady with very¬†powerful¬†inner strength of knowing who she is. We¬†were¬†introduced¬†at a friend’s¬†birthday drinks. After which we shared the stroll back¬†to our¬†homes across busy streets of night London, chatting ourselves away drifting from one story to another.¬†Didn’t¬†even notice¬†how I was suddenly standing in the heart of the studio where the masterpieces are¬†born, leaving me so inspired:

S-A-R-A-H    B-A-A-D-A-R-A-N-I

Born in London, originally from Lebanon, her parents met on their 1st day of uni in London. Dad lended his future baby mama his books since she didn’t¬†have any. The 1st weekend they went to the book store at Tottenham Court Road where he told her¬†that¬†he will marry her. This is so beautiful, by now you know¬†that¬†I melt from¬†hearing¬†love stories, totally, like an ice cube:) Lana, Lana stay tuned please:)¬†

Sarah was born to a house full of creative women that are very good with their hands (father travelled a lot): her twin sister, grandma, mum, aunt. Mum is a florist, grandma a cook, aunt anjewellery designer. Growing up, Sarah was a very curious girl, at the age of three her nursery teacher wrote in a school report that Sarah spends hours painting, colouring, drawing with attention to fine details and colour.  Later in school Art & Textiles was her favourite subject, where she would happily finish all the tasks ahead of her classmates and help them with their work too. Sarah always looked up to her Mum who has always been very classy, with a good sense of style and confidence. Mama’s style always fascinated Sarah, different but timeless pieces that wanted to be kept forever. 

During her mid teens¬†Sarah¬†started thinking of her career ( I wish I did too:), painting and drawing wasn’t enough anymore¬†and Sarah¬†was¬†exploring¬†other ways¬†of expressing¬†herself. Thats how she learnt that she wanted¬†to be a designer.¬†While studying in university Sarah worked for several designers, together with university work this proved amazing experience and before long, Sarah’s own label was created.¬†The 1st collection was the graduating one. To her greatest surprise it sold out right away.¬†

Feels truly blessed to do what she does every day, she says her dream has come true.  Sarah does everything in her designs herself and is very technical. The pieces she creates share her emotions with women connecting them through the brand. Her garments can be very simple or extravagant but not overpowering. 

I have totally fallen in love with her label and her beautiful self. How down to earth this talented lady is, finding out how many times she has been featured in world known fashion magazines of many different countries and worn by celebrities. Truly she is a fashion designer icon.

The book: ‚ÄúMy Left Foot‚ÄĚ autobiography <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobiography> of Christy Brown <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christy_Brown>, can read over and over again.

Likes: Me (as of me as me:)) Lana:))) // Dislikes: Disrespect

Beautiful girl, Creative mind, Talented hands http://www.sarahbaadarani.com

‘There is a light, don’t let it go out’

3F3B1145

A slightly unusual beginning to this piece of writing since I would like to share how I write, no, not even how but when, when I write. It comes to me when I‚Äôm walking or on the tube, somehow the movement makes me inspired. Then I grab my phone and start pushing those little tiny buttons missing a few in the process but God bless autocorrect or the software developers who have produced this wonderful system, not always it works in our advantage but those are exceptions, sometimes slightly embarrassing ones. This time around I‚Äôm slightly more nervous and conscious about my writing than usual due to my coffee companion:) The thing is this happy beautiful young lady is a primary school teacher so I believe I’ll get marked after this text. I can always say: ‚ÄúBut Miss Hepburn I was walking while writing this‚ÄĚ:)

I admire teachers and that they choose their profession deliberately because they love kids and have patience and teach those loud noisy active creatures and grow personalities out of them. Of course the most of it comes from genetics and family but kids do spend half of the time of their lives at schools, thank God:) So a lot is imprinted on them there. My encounter with this extremely friendly kind and giving lady occurred when she taught my daughter’s class. Since then she has moved to another school but the friendship between us three has continued. On that fine day we sat in front of the Islington City Hall where brides and grooms kept falling out of the building with their newly updated marital status so there was an exceptionally full of love air that gave us even more smiles or sad faces not knowing when that will happen to us:)

V-I-C-T-O-R-I-A

Hails from a city called Wolverhampton, above Birmingham, I had even googled it and learnt that it has a population of 250.000 people and a very beautiful cathedral. In case you guys are looking for a new city to visit on our beautiful island, this one seems like a great option and please do not hesitate to share the experience.

When Victoria was all baby and cute she wanted to become a vet but once she chose Chemistry and Biology for A-levels, she realised that they were not her strong subjects so the dream of curing animals had left as fast as summer leaves the UK. Instead Victoria took up Theatre Studies at Coventry University and worked at a school during her free time. Upon finishing her studies, she came to ‚ÄúLondon Bridge is falling down‚ÄĚ town. It used to be ‘all roads go to Rome’ but those who have been to London would know that all roads and waters and air spaces lead to London and there is no way out it’s just too god damn good. But let’s go back to our gorgeous lady I seriously keep losing my track here. Too much spring in my step perhaps;)

Once in London, Miss Hepburn worked in sales and was good at it and she loved it. Unfortunately after one though year she was made redundant and lost her flat, had no money, not even a penny. Her then boyfriend invited her to live with him and his parents. So she did, luckily they were Sicilian and fed her nice food but to her great disappointment, made her fat and slightly more unhappier. Eventually she found another job in sales at an accountancy firm but hated it big time. Complained about her boss to the MD and when she got sick was asked not to come back. What a lovely bunch:) Remembering her uni experience working at a school and how much she enjoyed it, she got a job at a school as a teaching assistant. And this is where her wonderful talents and great potential were appreciated and recognised and she got offered a fully paid teacher training program. After a year Victoria became a qualified teacher. She loves it so much, I know it, I have seen it and kids, kids just love her and it is important to be just strict enough but to also inspire respect and to be able to have a good laugh. Next big step is to be a Head Teacher one day and I wish her to be and have no doubt that she will. I know it. She recently even got nominated for future leaders development program. I‚Äôm not sure what it is but I think in the teachers’ world it’s something very important. Love you and good luck and wishing you an easy way up to where your dreams may lead you.

P.S. As an addition I have asked Victoria what book or books she can read over and over again and why are they so important to her. I love reading and I have my books I love so much and its always interesting which ones are those for others. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’¬†by Harper Lee because she found the characters of Scout and Atticus Finch truly inspiring. ¬†Scout for being so fearless, how she always sees the good in people and is not afraid of what society may think of her. Atticus because he is so forgiving, and commuted to justice even in the face of blatant racism. Second, ¬†‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allen Poe¬†because it is so haunting and intense, she likes the way it makes her shiver every time she reads it.

Likes: Gym // Dislikes: Drama

Immortal Love

3F3B0903I know it has been some time, so here we go….

Meeting strangers is not a challenge anymore. I don‚Äôt get shy and all loud and speak more stuff that I usually do in real life, now I just stay loud and talk but then mainly listen. Everything happens for a reason doesn’t it? Maybe my little project was born for me to break my fear to approach, speak up and reach out. And write, I started to write, I have learnt to be able to express my emotions on paper. I have joined few writing groups but fear to share with people out there is still strong in me, u-n-f-o-r-t-u-n-a-t-e-l-y. A slight update of progress in my personal development, in case you are interested of how am I doing:)

Some months ago a friend advised to friend my across the table coffee companion. After checking out few pictures of handsome man with long hair and muscles that teaches kundalini, I pressed the magic button, add friend. For the following months a total stranger was all the time in my newsfeed with his updates on the classes and personal teacher training and shirtless pictures, Coffee_Me was bound to happen. Not because I’m some maniac seducer and created blog to pick up guys preferable shirtless, but because I was curious, to find out who is he and why his posts have occupied all the space where usually I’m able to catch up with outs and abouts of my friends, since my FB account is quite personal. Funny how now when I sat down to finally write the text and need few questions answered he is nowhere on the picture, together with the new moon and its manifestations, disappeared in deep woods or fields of  Wales and is out of connection. So lets improvise:)

A-M-A-R

Amar Prem to be precise means Immortal Love, himself given name to himself. Beautiful mixture of nations half Austrian, half Persian. Born in Austrian mountains at Blacksmiths village, straight away I get transformed to medieval period times with the described set up, but a passer by saluting his friend: ‚ÄúAlraight Mate with the most southern accent ever, brings me back in time‚ÄĚ:) Was brought by mum to London at the age of 8 where he attended Catholic school. When I ask him what is your favourite place to be, replies: ‚ÄėAustria, in the mountains, it‚Äôs my sanctuary‚Äô. I saw the pictures, easily could imagine as my sanctuary too, high mountains, cold mounts rivers and wild nature, ahhh nature.

As a boy dreamt to be a Fireman, I think he can still be one with that physique, ah yes you cant see it, I decided not to disturb the female audience so as intimidate men that are reading and decided to use a picture of our companion in full on cover up. Besides soul is the most important part of the human experience. From this encounter I felt a lot of self search is happening in this boy here (after many coffee_me‚Äôs I’m turning into an expert of human souls:).

Went to study Ayurvedic but dropped out. Instead he got into personal training and additionally is a masseur. At the age of 23 he has discovered Kundalini yoga, after obtaining all the needed education in the sphere possess the teacher qualifications and is happily sharing kundalini practice with his students (brief info for not knowers of Kundalini yoga  is a school of yoga that is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra. It derives its name through a focus on awakening kundalini energy through regular practice of meditation, pranayama, chanting mantra and yoga asana). One of his hobbies is music and he is studying classical Indian music at the moment.

Speaking of his emotions, shares that he needs to feel a subjective sense of feeling. Personally I‚Äôm not sure what it means, but I just leave it here in case some of you would feel these lines. The reason why he is so passionate in his career and it chose him or other way around due to strong personal liking to get into peoples worlds. The best way according Amar is to get through the body. In a way I agree, we do feel better when we are in touch with our body and happy of how it looks and its healthy mind state of feeling. In the last post from our companion here, he writes: ‚ÄėThe Story continues‚Ķ‚Äô. Of course it does as everyone has its own story and is a master of its context.

Likes: Creativity // Dislikes: Control Systems

For those that are interested to check out Amar’s classes and what he offers, that he is real and I don’t make things up:) is at: www.amarpremjiva.com

‚ÄúLights, Camera, Action!‚ÄĚ

3F3B0282

I have to admit that writing in Spring is not of the easiest tasks to undertake. In fact, writing in Spring is close to impossible, as everything inside is just expanding, the air just blows the mind away with all its thoughts. I walk with a biggest smile on my face, I stop by each flower and tree and inhale and then inhale again. Then I start itching and crying as I’m allergic to all the pollen. All this doesn’t matter, I fly up high in the skies and jump from one cloud to another, and then I come back to earth and continue running bare foot on the soft fresh grass in a long light summer dress. I bow to writers, journalists, bloggers and all who are able to write in such difficult times:)))

S-A-S-H-A

An interesting charismatic person, he is quite serious but also its very easy to be around him. His aura is light and makes one smile, but then yes, at the moment, I have a constant smile on my face, so not sure whether it is Spring or Sasha after all:))))

We met over a year ago at my friend‚Äôs, who is a musician, and he filmed her music video. Of course, we have become BFF‚Äôs on FB as aren’t we all:) Coffee_Me was therefore bound to happen.

Born in Serbia to a photographer father and an economist mother. Growing up, dreamt to be a rock musician (leather jacket, studs, tight pants Ahhhh love musicians:))). Most probably he was dreaming of this image while singing in the choir right until his puberty. In university, studied cinematography but dropped out and started to work at post production in animation. This was not to his taste either.

In the process of self-discovery, he starts to draw and gets himself into higher art school where he studies for three years. Upon finishing his studies he goes to Amsterdam and here comes my favourite part, love story:) My love for romance and being a complete and utterly full-on romantic persona, at this point my eyes sparkle once I hear the L word. Admit it, all beautiful stories and self evolution comes with a love tag, with love we jump fully in, we dive into the beauty of it and we don’t care what comes after, because it doesn’t matter what’s after as now matters and nothing else. I beg my pardon, I‚Äôve drifted off….

So he meets a beautiful Dutch girl and they take off to India for 2.5 months, and travel all over the continent. Next the love birds travel to London, where the Dutch girl kills all the romance I was looking forward to hearing about, she breaks up with our companion here. Sasha tries to survive in the big city, gets into a squatters community and challenges his possibilities and talents: paints, plays music, engineering but is not good enough in any of these at that time. Sasha eventually goes back home where he bumps into a girl that he met while travelling in India and that happens to be a turning point of his life (ahhh women:). They go back to India (as it clearly happens to Sasha and the girl business:) to work on a travel documentary series for which he is a cameraman. Once he is back, his newly acquired profession (and he did study cinematography as his 1st choice in uni, remember?!) takes him further down the career path. He works as a camera assistant on his 1st feature film and after starts working for television. All this would have been fine and continue further, if not for another form of love we experience, a love for this city. London Love ‚Äď it is like this woman that appeals to all tastes (London is a she city for me:), to all genders and nationalities. Sasha comes back and again has to start from scratch. He works in equipment rental company, makes connections and starts to freelance. Little by little our boy here:) follows his passion and as of last year has to-date shot 6 short films! And this is only a beginning:)

Whoop whoop!!! Follow your dreams, always!!! And don’t stop dreaming!!!!:)

Likes: LOVE // Dislikes: BOREDOM

Health, Healthy, Healthier

3F3B0276

Meeting a personal trainer with perfect flat stomach (I assume it was since the t-shirt wasn’t rapped tight around his abdominal area) right after winter with a lot of extra comfort fat spread all around from top till bottom of my not so high complexion, I felt awful. Don‚Äôt know why, not like someone was judging me, but you know the feeling when you meet these sporty people that are so confident in their body instead of stretching out the hand for introduction all you want is to start excusing yourself for such an awful behaviour of not looking after yourself for the past months (ever:). I mean this winter was long and cold, cold and long. How else one keeps himself warm? Nope, not layers of clothes, incorrect:) but bread and potatoes and avocado. Literally my all winter comfort food ah and I forgot dark chocolate or vegan brownies for desert (yes I’m vegan so my diet includes more then just paper and lettuce salad:). I also chose my outfit wisely for a petite and sporty look illusion: extra tightening tights, skirt with top button undone to make it easier to breath and a long jumper covering all the details. So here I sat in front of this tall flat stomach, already in his summer bikini body persona, listening to his story and thinking: “summer don‚Äôt come, I’m not ready for you or I can‚Äôt afford a personal trainer but I really need one or even two:)))”

D-M-I-T-R-I

Like most of the men is not very talkative and reserved. Well familiar with rules of etiquette and have asked me if I’m hungry, I straight away remembered about the button on my skirt and refused politely. Starting and equally connecting point of conversation was love for coffee: one is addicted so as the other one:) After that ¬†dialogue flows easy.

As a boy he dreamt of becoming a scientist: white laboratory coat and goggles was the most inspirational part. Growing up turned his childhood wish into a set course of direction of future him. Enrolled to a¬†Human Genetics Course at Biology Faculty at UCL. While studying, worked at the uni bar and across the corridor there it was, The gym ’52 club’. The healthy body room clearly had a drawing effect on our companion here. He gently swapped sides, serving drinks to sports equipment. ¬†Additionally the gym ran training in nutrition, that Dimitri happily put a tick next to. By the time he had finished studies, he already had his clientele list as a personal trainer and nutritionist. Working in the laboratory seemed quite dull in comparison to all that action.

A year after graduation Dimitri takes his new profession level higher and enrols to MSc in Public Health Nutrition Course back at UCL. He leaves 52 Club and works in different gyms before he starts his own business epochfitness.co.uk. Studio offers group and personal training, nutrition programs and pilates. A person that is truly devoted to what he does and loves doing and that is always a bonus to know you are in good hands once trusting yourself with our most precious that is health.

I have of course asked Dimitri what would he advise our readers on how to get fit fast, its bare legs kinda weather already. My option was: don’t eat apart from air, drink plenty of water and if you manage to work out on all that hunger, do so:))))

But I received a wise reply of a professional: ‚Äú The best thing to shape up last minute is to not panic! Begin your day with a 15 minute HiiT workout and stop fooling yourself that ordering sweet potato fries is the same as having vegetables.‚ÄĚ

Likes: Spontaneity // Dislikes: His Addiction to Coffee

FYI: HiiT is high intensity interval training, involves boosts of intensive exercise followed by rest.

Hats Off

3F3B0012-2

Few years ago whilst attending a birthday summer barbecue bash and enjoying the atmosphere and chatting to familiar people (or just chatting to not so familiar people or to myself as talking is my most favourite of hobbies:), some late comers had arrived. A girl with dark long hair and brown eyes and bold eyebrows and benevolent smile was one of them, her strong features carrying a very strong presence. In no matter of time we found ourselves talking (Of Course:). Over the years I have been following this lady on Facebook and from time to time attending some of the events she has been inviting me to. Learning along the way her strong passion for fashion especially for discovering new talents and becoming friends with them. Not a long time afterwards Coffee_Me project was born, my companion here had created her own brand of exquisite handmade hats which she creates using her own imagination and documents the progress most wonderfully on her Instagram page which I have been following as soon as it was created.

M-A-R-I-A

Since her early years of life Maria has had a strong need for accomplishment. Growing up among very diverse professions of family members (doctors, economists, poets) Maria loved to study. During summer holidays in the countryside residence she had always staged plays, created outfits and invitations for people to come a see her performance at the end of the summer season.

Her enthusiasm for learning resulted in finishing school early, to be precise at the age of sixteen she already had a place at Oxford University to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Whilst studying in her 2nd year, she got an internship at Goldman Sachs and upon finishing the studies a position was already awaiting for her at the prestigious bank. And the world of finance had stolen our girl here, traveling and working but her strong sense of style stayed strong in her spirit.

Hats¬†had always been¬†her passion since¬†they suit her bold features¬†perfectly. Maria admires the accessory for the many qualities it carries: an element of instant mood changer, strong¬†femininity,¬†the mood and the character of the person could be perceived¬†differently¬†all thanks to¬†different types¬†of¬†hats they wear. Mystery and elegancy and something very old fashioned but carried¬†through¬†to the present.¬†As part of the family extravaganza, all family members have always worn hats, an idea of putting her passion and dream into reality had¬†struck¬†our girl here. Maria has a strong belief that asking people for help and reaching out and not being afraid is the best way of connecting and finding your right path¬†for the¬†targeted destination. Through friends¬†she¬†met¬†a British hat designer Zoe Sherwood¬†which resulted in a collaboration¬†and commissioning¬†of¬†a hat Boater for Ascot. Next she enrols¬†onto two different courses¬†at the¬†London¬†School of¬†Fashion. It’s a learning curve which¬†Maria patiently¬†works through, finding¬†her inspirations along the way and reflecting¬†her vision and things that inspire her¬†in¬†her hat creations, reaching¬†out to well-known hat designers¬†and¬†spending¬†a day or two in their studios to learn and observe.

I personally love her designs,¬†wearing one makes me look¬†as if¬†I¬†had¬†just came down from the mountains and tried¬†to sophisticate myself, don’t take me¬†the¬†wrong¬†way, I’m sophisticated (in my own way) but sometimes we just don’t have that face type. ¬†Nevertheless I tried all of them¬†and¬†I admire the art and the visualisation of one’s idea. So if you,¬†my readers,¬†are heading off¬†to¬†Ascot and looking for some special designs¬†for yourself or your partners do get in¬†touch¬†with this lady, after all,¬†summer is coming and we need to hide our faces from all the sun that shines upon us on this island or¬†to¬†express our uniqueness.

Instagram: @HATS_BYMARIA

Likes: Adventure // Dislikes: Envy

There is little something extra for you: Like and Share the post for a unique opportunity to win the exclusive experience of hat making with Maria. The winner will be announced in a week.

Eat, eat, love

3F3B9808

A few weeks ago, I shared my personal review of the Gastro tour that I took with this incredible lady. During the tour, due to my naturally curious personality I asked her where the idea for such a business came from. Hearing of her adventurous path, I couldn’t resist and asked her to be on my blog. This was shortly after I tried some delicious pickled garlic at the Spanish supermarket, thank god it was odour free, I doubt one could get a positive response with that kinda breath.

C-E-L-I-A

At the age of 19 after dropping out of uni where she studied drama wanting to become a director, Celia leaves the picturesque state of Colorado and ventures to London to follow her dreams: directing on stage. That was pre internet times and mobile phones, the times of reaching each other by land line or letters or pigeon post ( just kidding, I still use the latter:) life was more exciting when people engaged with each other face to face.

In London Celia fulfils her dreams, working as a stage manager and director for few years, but gets disillusioned with all theatre business and embarks on the self search path. Becomes a life model for art schools, works in a bakery (serving pastries and making coffee’s), lives in squats without telephones. (Can you imagine your life without one now, I mean no telephone, NO TeLepHoNe! By now you are probably going through your pockets checking if your phone is there with you since the fear of not having it raises your blood pressure, take a deep breath, most likely it’s in your hand since you are reading this right now:).

Celia gets introduced to Christiane Kubrick, a painter that needed models for head and face and starts working for her. Once at their house, she is asked to go and make some potatoes for lunch, not knowing how to cook (apart from perhaps a pack of pot noodles), she meets the AGA cooker and Aga meets Celia (it‚Äôs a big stove with 4 ovens that is¬† continuously working/burning). Little did she know, these were the shores of her new passion and career path. It all started with making lunches, helping out with catering, playing with ingredients, using fresh vegetables from the garden. Those were the times when food wasn’t some gourmet obsession we are all used to now, it was just food. Nevertheless Celia was doing her personal educational journey and learning what goes with what and how it tastes. Keeps all the recordings of her recipes while she cooks at the house of Kubricks. The maestro himself once trying a dish that he liked and asked for it to be cooked for weeks, until one day he would say ‚Äėnever cook this again‚Äô.

Moving on, Celia starts working at Books For Cooks (store at Portobello), the golden age before the Internet. If anyone had any questions about the recipes or ingredients, they would telephone the shop for the answers. There was also a kitchen where Celia part time cooked to taste the dishes. Meanwhile she self publishes her 1st cook book. Makes 1000 copies, puts to sell in the store, loyal customers that knew Celia by then and later word of the mouth of its great content, sells all the copies within 3 months.

The Cook book had no pictures, it’s hard to imagine right now as we live in the era where we see food pictures of someone’s breakfast and brunch, lunch, tea time, dinner, supper on all the social medias that has been invented by the humanity, and mind the fact usually without the recipes.

In 2000’s Celia gets noticed by the publishers and goes international, 2nd book was a Best-seller.

Progress and development, creating and bringing your ideas to life are probably some of the greatest things one can achieve. Celia creates a new project that could bring her two passions together – cooking and teaching. The ‚ÄėCulinarium‚Äô was born but it fell apart at the last moment. This made her realise she needs to use what‚Äôs already there.¬† She pioneers with her idea and creates the gastro tours – Portobello and then Borough Market. You can always have a look at the content of the tour at the ‚Äėwhat if‚Äô section on my Coffee_Me website.

Celia Brooks: http://www.celiabrooks.com

Likes: Thrills // Dislikes: Fakes

Life is paintful

3F3B9934

It was a sunny and a cold day, the universal day of love. The only time of the year when we as humans connect in unity of love and are not afraid to share it with others. I generally believe we should express it every day and as much as we can with people around us, with people we love and care for. A few of such believers sharing the same views gathered ‘on the violets are blue’ and ‘I love you’ day. He was among them, a visitor of the capital from the western side of the English speaking part of our planet, where they make the ‘R’ letter sound very 3D as if it had to be pronounced in writing. This extravagant persona with one right shoe and right side of his pants heavily painted over with just a few brushes on the left, upon noticing my gaze, said: ‚ÄėEverything has to be in balance, right side of the brain represents our creative side and the left is analytical‚ÄĚ. I suddenly felt so plain with my perfectly black tights, my thoughts wondered if he paints tights too?:).

J-O-H-N

He changed his travel plans, so that we could stroll around an ancient cemetery for Coffee_Me (well, in reality it was a business related delay but let me add some special credit to our beloved project besides 10% of me still thinks it was for the coffee picture and story time:).

John’s life reminds me more of a movie script, Terry Gilliam would be the perfect director in my opinion:) maybe because even the darkest moments John narrates with wisdom of the experiences and humour mixed in.

Born in Zahoya, ‘the Jewel of San Diego’ he says. His early childhood was spent in Hawaii and running fugitives, in Mexico for two years due to his stepfather’s problems with law back in the USA. Growing up as a teenager he was quite suicidal, experimental I’d say:). Later on he changed his places of higher education 7 times. He studied psychology, communication, computer science then went back to studying communication. The day he enrolled onto his psychology class and got his books, flipping through one of them, he found a photo of his sister and himself in a case study book when he is still a kid. The photo was taken by some American journalist whilst they were fugitives in Mexico. In between he worked as best ever valet, he says, I believe him, I can see him the best one ever:) later on he decided that he doesn’t want a piece of paper to define him and went back to work for a guy who built his empire by becoming the biggest seller of exotic cars. Some years later, John is a managing director of three companies working with artwork: one California based and other two are based in London. He says: “We sell everything you don’t need but you fucking want it!” I like that:) so true as well. He also patented his pant and shoe art and you can get your pairs done by the master at: lifeispaintful.com. John describes himself as: I’m everything everyone is but they don’t admit it.‚Äô He was wearing sun glasses of course, I did ask him to remove those for the picture, once he did, he said: ‚ÄúGood that I have my eye liner on‚ÄĚ. I was happy he did too.

You can imagine how many things I did not include in here about this character, because he is like an erupting volcano and sometimes its better to admire it from the side rather then try to describe its hot lava splashes.

This encounter was of a personal journey and experience as meeting a person from another side of the planet and starting talking as if we had known each other for ever and like we only saw each other just yesterday is a truly heart-warming feeling. The thought of us being all connected once our hearts are opened makes me love us humans more and more. Jonh is also a hugger:) those that know me will know that I prefer hugging to all that hand shaking business, so we gave each other a big long hug before we went in different directions.

Likes: Challenging beauty // Dislikes: Bullshit

Laugh, live, experience

3F3B9866

Sometimes when we meet¬†a¬†person for the 1st time,¬†their¬†aura and extravagance imprints in one’s mind. You want to tell them that you love them and want to be friends with them, taking walks and holding hands:) but if we did share these emotions with each other so openly¬†then the world would be a much better place¬†or¬†the thought of you being extremely mad would be closer to reality.

S-O-P-H-I-A

I have been talking about this gorgeous lady, I’m sure you have guessed by now. I’m glad that the time was once¬†right and I could share my feelings with her:) and here she sits and tells me her story.

Sophia¬†spent her childhood¬†in the woods outside Cambridge, running bare¬†foot and enjoying freedom. No,¬†she wasn’t some sort of a Mowgli¬†adopted by¬†a¬†wolf family, her parents built¬†a house in the forest, allowing their kids run free and wild. She rode horses and breathed fresh air from night till day¬†(I straight away imagine Jane Era times upon hearing that:).

Whilst studying in Sixth Form,¬†she¬†couldn’t wait to go out there and live the real life, and so she does, by leaving education by paper behind her. Visiting hair dressers¬†salon¬†for a haircut,¬†she¬†enjoyed the atmosphere¬†so much that¬†next day¬†she¬†came¬†to Toni & Guy¬†enquiring¬†how to become a hairdresser. They take her right in for two years of training where she works hard, 6 days a week, gets the job and becomes the apprentice of the year. Next stop was London.

The capital didn’t keep her for long, it was not the right time just yet. After one year working, Sophia got¬†bored,¬†she had no desire in¬†opening her own hair salon and moving into fashion wasn’t also her thing, although I‚Äôd say fashion would be good with her as she has a very good sense of it. Instead she breaks up with her boyfriend and goes off travelling taking her scissors with her and cutting hair along the way. In California, U.S.A. she buys herself a photo camera, since she was now fully embarked on her solitary¬†travelling and walked alone, taking pictures was her own way of connecting with¬†the¬†environment.

While in Sydney, Australia¬†she¬†wonders into Wim Wenders exhibition¬†and is so deeply¬†moved by the photo of Twin Towers after the disaster¬†that¬†upon her arrival back to the capital,¬†she¬†enrols¬†at¬†LCC (London College of Communication) to study photography. After¬†a¬†few years of assisting and doing event photography,¬†music and live portraits, Sophia¬†ventures¬†out of her comfort zone and jumps¬†in¬†the back of the van with¬†a¬†hardcore¬†music¬†band¬†going off¬†to their¬†concert in Belgium. As an outsider¬†she¬†takes pictures reflecting her experience and the feeling of it, in the crowd, out of it, by the stage¬†and¬†on it. Upon arriving back¬†she¬†shows her work to the drummer. He loves the diversity of¬†her¬†pictures and¬†their¬†uniqueness. She then¬†decides to work on¬†the¬†hardcore book.¬†She takes off with the band and travels with them to¬†concerts to shoot material¬†in¬†France, Germany, Poland¬†and the¬†UK¬†and gets¬†noticed by publishers¬†who¬†commission the book. She travels around with¬†shows¬†but¬†unfortunately¬†the¬†publishing company collapses and the book is printed as a limited edition¬†but there are some second hand copies available on Amazon you can get your hands on (for the lovers of hardcore and the vision of it, here is the name of the book ‘Balance: European Hardcore’). Three years she worked on the book that has¬†her unique creative expression of human emotions¬†captured¬†through the lens.

After the Rolling Stone kinda life, Sophia finds herself shooting other forms of human emotions, she captures love in a commercial way. Weddings. Sophia feels that it is a real honour to be part of magic moment between two people who share strong feelings of love in forever union.

So this is the story up until now of this ever changing adventurous soul and one day I would do a Coffee_Me revisits section to catch up with what the free children of the universe are up to.

Likes: Connection // Dislikes: Raw Cheddar Cheese