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Christmas dinner - JL26014 Celebratory Meals for Christmas and Thanksgiving

The challenge of making holiday and festival meals special. In the past, traditional meals to celebrate major festivals such as Christmas or Thanksgiving were once a year events. Everyone looked forward to them all year and made a real effort to make them special.

At Elizabeth David's Table, cover At Elizabeth David's Table

I have been reading At Elizabeth David's Table in preparation for writing a review. Reading her articles on food has been inspiring. Her writing on culinary travel and culture, rather than cooking, makes me to want to write more on food and its social and cultural role. I love good food but as an amateur cook of modest skills, I am not equipped to provide cookery advice but I hope I can share the simple pleasures of good food and travel, especially when enjoyed in good company.

Nottingham's Council House Shopping in Nottingham

Nottingham has long been known as the Queen of the Midlands and has been a major shopping centre for decades. Despite the opening of out of town malls it draws shoppers from a wide area.

Notre Dame des Anges, Collioure - FF25035 Bluest Sky of Collioure

Collioure, take a break and enjoy the bluest sky in France. The picturesque Mediterranean town of Collioure is an ideal holiday destination as well as a haven for artists. It is unspoilt with a wide range of restaurants and activities as gentle or energetic as one chooses.

Canadian War Memorial on Hill 145 - CH30005 Trenches and Tunnels of Vimy Ridge

Remembering the Second Battle of Arras. The real story ofBirdsong. On Vimy Ridge the closeness of the trenches of the two front lines provokes an emotional reaction which is heightened by visiting the Canadian War Memorial on Hill 145.

Arras, France - CH300073 Arras, Short Breaks in France

Arras could well be justified in being described as “the prettiest town in northern France” but it looks as though it should be in Belgium or Amsterdam. The Flemish influence on Arras is clear through the tall, narrow houses with ornate gables that line the two main squares.

Which way to your future? - GI10002 Daring to Dream, Doing

If you followed the previous article, you should have some ideas about what you want to BE in the next stage of your life. So the next question is; what do you want to DO during that phase?

The 4-Hour Work Week, cover A Guide to Living the Lifestyle of the New Rich

Tim Ferriss suggests that wealth itself is not the aim but a means of achieving a lifestyle. His book, The 4-hour Work Week, argues that a better approach to quality of life is not to wait for retirement but to spread a series of mini-retirements through life. Combined with an alternative portfolio career it will provide the lifestyle of what he calls the New Rich. For the New Rich it is about a rich lifestyle rather than simply getting rich.

Daring to dream - IF23017 Daring to Dream

Someday is here - what life do you want? Having accepted the old certainties have gone now is time to look forward and chart a new course in life. Many people spend their life waiting for the "someday" when they can do something more satisfying. For most "someday" never comes.

What does the future hold? IF23016 Delayed Career and Life Choices

In the difficult economic times many college and school leavers struggle to get on the career ladder. Rather than getting stressed it is an opportunity to think differently about work and life.

Busy man is already dead, graffito HE18072 Job Loss as Opportunity

A better life starts here – losing a job to redundancy or lay-offs is a good time to review career and lifestyle objectives. Once the initial disruption is overcome a positive approach can lead to improved quality of life.

Curiosity of childhood - X1153 Rediscovering Enthusiasm

My recovery from depression is going well but still requires me to actively adopt a positive attitude although it is beginning to be second nature. I am also trying to become open to new opportunities based on curiosity and rediscovered enthusiasm.

The way is marked - GI10002 The Dream has Begun

Not realising a new adventure has begun can get in the way of being happy. It can be easy to miss the obvious. Whilst I was fretting about what new direction to take it was pointed out to me that I had already taken it.

Just enjoy the walk - JH30019 Being in the Present

Living for now; I had a generally good Late Summer Bank Holiday weekend and I learnt some things about living for today. Accepting loss of people, things and what one once was are important parts of the recovery from depression.

No Exit? There is always a choice Accept, Change or Leave

Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.

Denis Waitley

Surprisingly perhaps there are only three high-level responses to dissatisfaction with job, relationships, situations or even one's lifestyle. It can be summed up with a simple acronym, ACE which stands f

Busy is not always the best answer HE18072 Starting Over, New Life

It is over a week since I updated my War Diaries and overall it has been pretty good. There have been many more "up" days than "down" and I am starting to get more done. Now I am turning my attention to some big things that once resolved should have a huge positive impact on my mood; but it is by small steps. I still have to be careful about my energy levels.

Writing in the garden, August Curiosity and Depression

The curious journey out of depression, It is a wonderful, if slightly cool, early morning in August and I have just understood more about my journey out of depression.I am taking time over a cup of coffee to reflect on what I have learned from Kat Tansey’s book Choosing to Be.

No exit sign Unannounced Retirement?

Have I retired and no one has told me? It certainly feels as though I have taken retirement without any decision to do so. The market for my consultancy services seems to have vanished in the last year or so. So I need to make plans to allow me to move into a changed life, a life of the New Rich that can be achieved with modest means.

Writing as therapy Writing as Subconscious Therapy

Writing is a valuable aid to analysis and planning. Writing an article as though it is to be read by an outsider forces the mind to understand and structure the issue. I have had to face up to fact that the profitable market for my consultancy services has effectively disappeared due to austerity, and in any case I am ready for aq change. As consequence it has left me without work. I have no firm plans for my retirement which I thought was at least two years away. It now seems I am facing it now and I need to make sense of my situation.

Exercise does not have to be intense Short, Sharp Mood Swings

Over the last few days I have been taking my own advice of making sure I get out of the house for frequent gentle exercise in the form of a brisk walk and social contact. It has been a busy few days where my mood had been mainly good but with some disconcertingly sharp and uncomfortable mood swings.

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