Law and Order

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Once upon a time Coffee_Me went to university but didn’t meet many people there like others do. I did but from other universities since mine was far away, connecting with freshers located in the centre was easier:) The few I have from my institution of higher education seem like the most important ones:)

G-E-O-R-G-E

Throughout the years I have been observing this gentleman and he truly is one: he stands up when you approach the table to sit down (I was very late for this one, maybe he was tired of sitting:), the way he speaks, rides his horse, wears his shoes, went a bit broad on describing gentlemen qualities, but one knows when one meets one. I give the best possible description to this word, most surely thesaurus Oxford Dictionary type material:). Now ‘observing’ sounds a little creepy at the beginning of the sentence. There were frequent links on FB to George’s many broadcasts of all sort of political things, since politics to me is what fire once was for the stone age people, my reaction was always ‘wow this guy is on TV and I went to uni with him’:) But I polished my edges and started writing and with my new obtained intelligence decided to reach out:) So here we sat across the table from each other, catching up and me listening to yet another incredible story of a person with stamina and clear vision of things he likes, wants to be and wants to achieve.

Born in Athens, the capital of the country with beautiful everything, as a boy he dreamt of becoming an archeologist. Upon discovering history for himself, he got drawn to it and kept reading it and while coming of age discovered his passion for modern politics. Whilst deciding what to study – law or politics- he made a decision of a well balanced person I’d say:) and concluded that: politics can be read and learnt about but law has to be studied.

And so he embarked on his adventurous journey of law education: in Belgium, Paris and London. Constitutional law was his most favourite since he was young and it was his connecting point with politics, his aim was to study it in each country he lived in. He also studied EU law MA at LSE after which he travelled to Brussels for a year to work for the European Commission. Upon his return to Big Ben city he did PhD at UCL. A year after he moved to California as a visiting scholar researcher at Stanford University and spent 9 months there. Subsequently he travels to Qatar as a university lecturer (drafting contracts and USA law), feeling very privileged to get to know this closed nation and forming a very strong connection with it. I remember his pictures and writings on Facebook at the time, they were clearly of a person who is deeply fascinated by the culture and his experience. Around this time in his life he gets approached by Al Jazeera news channel to talk about politics: Greek and EU, and it is here that he makes his frequent appearances. Upon finishing his lecturing at the university in Qatar he goes back to Brussels to pursue his law career and works there, then going back to London to finish his PhD. But duty calls and takes him back to his home country to the army where he serves as gentlemen do:) and back again to the mighty capital of UK, to pass his PhD and bar exam. He then settles down to work at LaW (all sort of TV series of law kind run through my head but I keep a tight hold on my questions of the kind one can come up with not working in the industry). If there wasn’t enough of dedication in the area, George also writes articles for newspapers about Greek politics.

Likes: Swimming // Dislikes: Small Talks

Music is a Tool

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The day Coffee_Me shares coffee with a new companion, I rush to meet each one of you, I might come late rushing, nevertheless I rush just as much to introduce you to each one of you and to my experience with each one of you:) (Have I lost you on this one?! Read again, I swear, it makes sense:)  The thrill from your stories is just so energising and I really love the fact that you so easily share them with me, for me to put it out there, thank you for your trust and dedication to sharing it all. This was the moment of sincere gratitude to everyone who is part of this project, born out of a moment of having coffee with people I hardly know, connecting and sharing a picture and thoughts of the person right that second, a project which has grown into a blog of  story treasures.

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We met some time ago, I was shooting a cover picture of Sabio and my musician friend who collaborated with Sabio on one of many projects this beautiful human being works on. Followed by a Facebook friendship button accept click, along comes coffee_me and I meet Sabio across the table.

When he was 4 years old, he started to play classical piano, attending music school and then getting a master’s degree at the Academy of  Music in classical percussion. This education prepared him for playing in phylarmony as a classical musician. While studying he preferred to play in Jazz and D&B bands (proper music, he says), choosing his instrument: drums (no shirts kinda guys, well, rock guys for sure, didn’t ask if the same dress code applies in Jazz:). Alongside Sabio creates his own Jazz and Electronic music projects. Upon finishing his studies he tours around the world with bands, collaborating with big names such as Roger Waters, Michael Feinstein, Esma Redzepova and many others.

He then pursues further education at LCCM in Music Production and Performance. For two years he plays with “Peyote for president “ touring with them in the UK, playing at popular festivals such as: Glastonbury, Bestival, Secret Gardens Party, touring in Europe as an opening act for Massive Attack, Manu Chau, Ojos de Brujo, Ozo Matli. At this time Sabio also worked with other bands but he suddenly stopped all the collaborations starting his own One Man Project. Throughout his journey Sabio learnt how to play many instruments, to be precise he has counted 150 instruments (my jaw has dropped right to the ground and maybe right through it too:) I mean I can only play triangle and still probably won’t get in sync with the music. He can play: piano, guitar, drums, flute, vocals, saxophone, violin, beat-box etc. So when Sabio is composing as by now he composes music for many different projects including for contemporary dance companies, he plays every single instrument himself and he doesn’t need a single musician. I have to leave the link with some mash up videos of Sabio’s many talents (http://sabiomusic.com/sabiojaniak/).

Additionally Sabio did a sound therapy course ‘In depth cellular music therapy’ which changed everything for him. He realised that after years and years of academic music education he actually knew nothing about music. The knowledge of the sound changed his perception of what music was all about and lead him to a deeper understanding of reality. All this leads him to create a unique project: Sound, Light Lab. A platform which combines all these experiences and knowledge of science of sound, music, art, entertainment connected to healing and self-discovery. The purpose of music is not only for entertainment anymore. There is an aspect of it but the sound is a carrier wave, delivering many sorts of information. Sound can heal and can kill and it is extremely important to project it in the right and safe way. This platform’s purpose is to deliver different projects: live music performances, workshops and sound journeys all in one person. Music is a tool, an instrument is just a paint (quoted by the master himself Sabio:)) sound therapy is not about music, it is about frequencies.

Upon coming home, I went to Sabio’s webpage and listened and read and exclaimed. Amazing to meet him in person, very calm and I’d say synchronised:)

There is an event this Sunday Sabio is doing with his Sound, Light lab platform, I will kindly leave a link, it looks like peace and great culmination to the week and positive start to begin a new one.

https://www.facebook.com/events/907765812642158/

http://soundlightlab.com

Likes: Source // Dislikes: Limited Beliefs

Didgeridoo-doo-doo

3F3B9531Coffee_Me’s journey seems like it is only just beginning. I’m being reached out to by people outside of my friends’ circle. People I do not know. It doesn’t stop to surprise and amaze me – this diversity of our human form, things we do and like, follow and believe. But mostly I love how we all live side by side perfectly coexisting and keeping our minds open to the variation of our differences. London is of course the city of all the mixes one can think of, one can find their own native home corners in certain areas of London. There is no other city quite like it, I have no doubt about that after each journey I take with my coffee companions. This brings me to introduce my next participant who wrote to me on the coffee_me page, saying how inspirational he finds my blog. How can one resist to offer coffee_me after such words:) Meeting him in a cafe as a total stranger my 1st words were: ‘You are not a serial killer or smth?!:))’

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To be precise, Alex Akal (the latter is a given Osho name meaning ‘timeless’). We had very good laughs during our conversation, funny how easy it is to connect with a completely unknown persona, just because you are open to the experience, it makes such a difference. Since he was a kid he had lucid dreams about experiencing inter dimension travels, needless to say this course of direction of Alex’s future path was set right there. Leaving his native Italy at quite an early age, Akal sets off on many trips around the mother earth embarking on different journeys. Amongst his travels, he goes to Asia spending a lot of time there following a mantra teacher who had taught him Bija Mantras, the premolar sounds that created the universe (FYI, didn’t you know?!:)) At some point he lived in Luxembourg where he sang in a psychedelic rock band called ‘The Green Altar’ (the name of the band just made me giggle a bit, I have very good visual imagination too:) As a musician and singer, Alex’s instrument is Didgeridoo which has two ways of sounds – techno sound or meditative sound.

Over the years residing in Osho communities he was trained in Shamanic Dance and Subtle Body Healing. Upon arriving back in the capital (the city he first travelled to when he left Italy) he set up Urban Shamans Movement. The idea behind it is to bring awareness in the city, help people wake up their third eye. Dancing to psychedelic tribal live music allows the body to move freely without the mind interfering, with some shamanic chants and physical poetry in between to help increase breathing for the energy flow. Thank God I had a shamanic experience once before so I was slightly more aware and not packing my bag unnoticed and running away. Alex also laughed, saying that it does sound surreal when you try to explain it out loud to people outside the usual friends circle. I have to admit that during my first shamanic experience I was like: ‘are these people for real?!’:) I had an amazing experience though, once again maybe when one is open and unpresumptuous, with a healthy dose of curiosity and good intentions of exploring, the experience can be a positive one and lessons can be learnt.

Few days ago I was invited by Alex to come to his next event, why not, after all if something is not to your liking, you can always walk away:) I’ll leave the link to his event below, maybe some of you out there would find it curious like I do or something you practice on the weekends away from the office crowd:) or perhaps it is part of your lifestyle and you didn’t know of this particular movement.

Likes: Music // Dislikes: Unawarness

https://www.facebook.com/events/1044389865595142/

 

Destination: forward

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Coffee_Me welcomes you in the New Year and back to reality. Those that are still absent from it, enjoy while it lasts. Meanwhile as usual I am rushing to introduce you to my new coffee companion. This beautiful lady is our opening act of the year. While consuming the most favourite drink of all times and indulging in conversation, rays of sunshine were kissing her face, the weather has been treating us with some smells of spring lately. I had the pleasure of meeting this girl at a friend’s baby shower. That was the fun kind, a lot of champagne and no tea and no cupcakes, those are the right ones as expecting mothers know, it is much easier for the guests to talk about baby stuff and look through the presents while being slightly intoxicated:) So talkative I’m at the beginning of the year, I blame it on all that food:)))

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Started her career at the age of 14, modelling (ahhh these girls with long legs). Apart from long legs that are very beautiful by the way:) Daria is very soft and gentle but also, needless to say, very focused.  At the age of 16 she travelled across the whole world for photo modelling, shows and cat walks. Landing in London at the age of 18 and continuing to work as a photo model she then made her way to become a house model as she has the ideal figure size that perfectly fits into clothes made for the real people. Modelling is not forever and it was time to start thinking what is next. At this point, Daria and her model friend thought of starting their own business. Together they decided to europenise traditional Russian village winter wool boots aka ‘valenki’, giving them a fresh and trendy design but with the tradition still instilled in them. After travelling throughout Baltic countries and Russia in search of old school valenki production, girls eventually found one in Finland. Family owned business going from one generation to another and caring for the tradition of making wool the way they did in Russia many many many years ago hand made and with love and soul. As the 1st batch was done, girls took their valenki with other 4 designers to a pop-up store in Covent Garden. It was an instant success, they all sold out. Since then they had been featured in magazines, pop-up shops, videos, blogs, even Channel 4 Sunday News had expressed an interest and had shown them in one of their programmes. Valenki are sold online and girls run their business themselves, in charge of their customers and margins. You can even find these beauties in various Ski Resorts!

Decided to make the reading short but right to the point this time, as I know your mind is still relaxing and digesting, so let’s take it step by step.

Likes: Life // Dislikes: Dishonesty

As a non advertising agent:) but always loving what friends and people I meet do, I would like to share the girls’ website, I really love their idea. I have the slippers and I just adore them:

http://mishavalenki.com