A New Yorker comes to Plymouth

a new yorker in devon england

staying in Plymouth

what to visit in Plymouth

Devon attractions

Devon, south west UK

A new Yorker in England

the barbican

may flower steps

Plymouth sea front and dartmoor

staying in Devon

what Devon has to offer

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ancient rocks on dartmoor

dartmoor ponies

dartmoor

giant yorkshire pudding the size of a plate

After Caitlin came to stay, Jason another friend of ours who was also in our Moroccan adventure group came to stay with us in Plymouth for a few days. Before staying with us he spent most of the week up in Bristol with some more friends and wanted to see us before he travelled to London to catch his flight back to New York. Our amazing adventure holiday in Morocco has blessed us with new friends and it has opened our lives up to visitors coming to stay with us and we have also been invited to stay with them in the not too distant future. These destinations include Canada, different parts of America and Australia which is so wonderful! All I can say is, I am so thankful to have met all of them and our door is always open if they ever want to stop here in Plymouth.

We took Jason to the usual Plymouthian attractions like the Light house, the Barbican and May Flower steps where the Pilgrims left to start a new life in America and even Australia. For the evening we ate out at a gorgeous Nepalese restaurant called the Himalayan Spice, if you like spicy Asian cuisine then this is right up your street and I highly recommend you go, the staff are friendly and the food is plentiful and full of rich textures & flavours.
The next day we took him up to Dartmoor to experience the wild terrain, moody skies and curious ponies before enjoying an evening meal at Mount Batten Pub, Jason had his first ever giant Yorkshire pudding and traditional English Roast inside it.

Jason’s stay was short and sweet but was a pleasure having him here, if any friends of ours want to stay and see the sights of Plymouth and Devon, just give us a shout. I am sure it won’t be long before Jon & I plan an adventure in New York and Jason has promised us we will be trying authentic New Yorker styled Pizza, Haut dwargs and Cwarffee! I can not wait!

If you missed Caitlin’s visit, click here.

Plymbridge woods, Plymouth

plymbridge woods plymouth, devon

where to visit in devon

walks and bicycle routes at plymbridge

nature reserves in Plymouth

old ruins of 18th century cottages and mills at Plymbridge

nature parks Devon

where to visit, Devon

beautiful nature parks in the South West

the secret of the Yoga Sutras, Samadhi pada

visit Plymouth

welcome to Plymouth

Devon Attractions

walking routes Plymouth

Cann House Plymbridge

the old mill Plymbridge

life and nature, the great outdoors

Jon & I spent Sunday afternoon at Plymbridge woods. I love it there because you are enveloped in nature, it is such a huge area you hardly see other people and most of them are dog walkers, families having a picnic by the river, cyclists or fitness fanatics. We took a stroll around these woods and to see some old ruins for potential locations Jon has planned as large scale creative projects. It also gave us fresh air and a chance to discuss idle thoughts on our future. Now the house is finished, Jon is unsure what path to take, does he sell it or rent it? With me I am gaining as much training and knowledge in order to work on community based projects involving the arts and health & well being and be skilled enough to potentially live and work abroad if we decide to go down that route.

I have finished my Art Therapy Diploma and Anatomy & physiology course (both with distinctions/100% pass) and now I am finishing off dance leadership training & the Nutrition course. I have just started my Hatha Yoga Teacher Training (which I am both excited & nervous about) & in a few weeks time I will be studying a 6 week course in Sports Psychology, before the end of this year I will also go on to study a Dance Therapy Diploma; all this should keep me busy up until 2015. Spending time in the outdoors with Jon reminded me of the day adventures we took when we first started dating and just being out in nature helps clear your mind and give you a sense of clarity, don’t you think? I really feel that fusing art, psychology, well-being, yoga and belly dance is the way forward, not sure how this is all going to blossom, perhaps I end up running my own ‘Therapeutic’ workshops and retreats? and I love the idea of making art with the body through dance and even yoga postures, why not? and how cool! who knows? What I do know is, I have never felt this excited about my life like this before! Some magic is stirring in the air, that’s for sure!

I am learning a lot already from my Yoga Teacher Jo who runs the Yoga Loft, and who knows if my Belly Dance with Yoga warm-up sessions work out I’d like to develop from that and enrol at the Devon school of Yoga one day. I just feel really connected to my body and the shapes it makes more than ever before and what if I could turn those shapes into a tangible art piece?

Due to being overloaded with finishing off the house, travel with work, training and study we plan to go on a cheap, last minute holiday at the end of August. We are undecided where we’d like to go but we are both in need of a well deserved rest!

I have other potential exciting news I can’t wait to tell you guys but it’s not confirmed just yet so stay tuned!

The Lotus: Bloom a Flower with your Mind


I already adore Shilo Shiv Sulemen and her art, I would love to meet her one day and spend an afternoon illustrating lazily under a tree over a cup of Chai in India. Ah, a girl can dream.
Currently Shilo has been involved in a beautiful project centred around meditation. As the lead artist working with a Neuroscientist, Business Entrepreneur & local Artisans in India Shilo created product designs for a new meditation product and app in the shape of a Lotus flower.

“This is a a hand crafted mental and physical health tracker blending beautiful design and biosensor technology. The Lotus responds to your brainwaves through a supported brain-sensing headset. When it detects you’re calm and relaxed, the flower blooms and begins cycling through colours. Over time the Lotus gradually closes and more slowly changes colours when it’s time to meditate again. This acts as a physical and visual reminder, gently nudging you to take a mindful break during your day.”

This is such a wonderful product and when not in use it is a pretty gadget or ornament for the home. It is a brilliant reminder to encourage meditation and mindfulness as well as fusing it with your Yoga practise. This product is something I would love to own, although it is at the finishing stages it is not as of yet on the market but you can pre-order if you wish. Once The Lotus is readily available to buy I think I will treat myself to one, especially now that I am focussing all my energy into Yoga, Belly Dance, Meditation, Nutrition and Well-being; The Lotus will be a great companion to me and I know some of my friends would love to own one too.

Check out their Kick-starter page: The Lotus

Pre-Order a Lotus here: The Lotus Product

Back bends and Circles with Samantha Emanuel

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I decided to book one to one tuition with renowned Belly Dancer and master teacher Samantha Emanuel. A few years back I took a class with Petite Jamilla to learn double veil spinning techniques, now as I am training in Dance Leadership, nutrition, finished my Anatomy & Physiology course & just started Hatha Yoga teacher training I felt like I need to expand my learning even more with those I look up to for inspiration. I will be taking 2 intensive classes with Rachel Brice in November which I am both nervous & excited about because I have loved this dancer since I was 19. One day I hope to receive tuition from Moria Chappell for her knowledge in temple dancing & odissi, Deb Rubin for her expertise in Belly Dance Therapeutics & holistic medicine and Didem for Turkish belly dance & drum solo techniques.

With this new found sense of ‘I am just going to do things that make me happy’ I contacted Samantha for solo tuition at her home dance studio in a little village near to Chagford in Devon (about an hours drive from Plymouth) and it was awesome. Samantha is very dedicated and precise when talking about how the body works and dance dynamics, far from airy fairy she tells you exactly how it is, what you need to work on and delivers excellent guidance during your practise. Very down to earth she encourages development but tells you not to strain your body. With me she worked on arm co-ordination, upper back strengthening for back bends, using theatre and contemporary dance related circular movements to help with stage presence, how you project your body and how to flow from one move to the next within a space. She also told me to research the work of Eric Franklin for further study.
Just like one of my Yoga teachers she noticed my left ankle likes to be crooked when doing downward-facing dog and taught me techniques to work on that with a rubber band to pull on the muscle to strengthen and correct it otherwise one day I could end up with a broken ankle. The session was short but sweet and I learned a lot from her, I do hope to attend future classes with her again for further development.

If you would like tuition with her before she moves abroad for 9 months, click on her website here: Vagabond Princess

Here is an interview from her latest DVD:

A very Fiery Tarot Reading

the wild unknown tarot deck
Although full of passion and a pro-active enthusiasm towards life, I am still a human being who at times worries about my life direction? Am I on the right track? What will people think if I do this? What if I fail? What if I am not good enough? Will these ideas be fruitful? and so on. I am going through all these questions at the moment as I am going through a very changeable time in my life. I have always been a free spirit growing up (ask my mum & sister) who leaned towards unconventional life choices which was hard to grasp for a very normal working class family-What do you do with a child like that when all you want them to do is play hopscotch, ride a bike and dream of being a dentist or journalist, a normal person in society? Now as a woman they have accepted I am just a bit strange but well intentioned and full of imagination so when I tell them my next mind boggling idea, they are kinda used to it now.

What has this got to do with my Tarot reading? Well everything. I am going through a transitional period in my life which involves new ideas and new challenges. Yes I am still an artist, yes I am passionate about the community arts and yes I do still have ambitions to be an art therapist of some kind. But I have other ideas I want to pursue (because life is too short to go on the straight and narrow) and it will seem like an odd change of direction and in all honesty although excited, I do worry about the things I mentioned above (such as judgement from others & being discouraged which then can put doubt in anyone’s mind) so I gave myself a small Tarot reading and here it is:

First of all you can see it’s a very fiery reading with 3 out of 4 cards being from the suit of wands which are represented as the element of fire and the last card is an illustration of a heron standing over the warm glow of a fire. So to start with you can see it’s a very active, passionate yet temperate group of cards.

the six of wands wild unknown
The Six of Wands:(Signifactor Card/represents the individual) Public recognition, victory, progress, self-confidence. The Six of Wands focused on creating success and building your personal brand and reputation. You want to be successful at what you do but at the same time, you want to ensure that others know about it and give you the recognition you deserve. You may need to promote yourself more frequently by sharing your success stories with others and encouraging them to follow a similar journey.You have overcome the challenges along the way, and now you are focusing your energies on the one goal that will lead to your success. This is your time to shine and to come out on top. Have courage and convictions in your beliefs. There is a blue butterfly flying out of the darkness in this card, the dark wands below her represent past struggles and perhaps people who have undermined her. A butterfly represents transformation, be aware that others will freak out at your soul’s new found strength and metamorphosis, that is their problem not yours. Blue is the color of the sky and sea, so perhaps something overseas is coming your way? It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

seven of wands kim krans
The Seven of Wands: Challenge, competition, perseverance. expect competition, jealousy and challenge, as other people will no doubt also desire the same things as you. The Seven of Wands can also indicate a challenge to the continued success of a venture or creative project from an external source.There needs to be acceptance with this card that you are not always going to be able to win everyone over. There will always be challengers and opposition to your point of view and you cannot keep everyone happy all of the time. Thus, now is the time to draw your line in the sand, and say, “This is who I am and this is what I need right now.” There cannot be any compromise or negotiation at this time, just hold your ground with determination and courage. the Seven of Wands is inherently a card of independence for the nonconformist.

ace of wands the wild unknown
Ace of Wands: Inspiration, power, creation, beginnings, potential. The Ace of Wands is a sign to just ‘go for it’. This highly action-oriented card sees you feeling incredibly inspired and enthusiastic about pursuing a new idea or project that you have in mind. Encouraging you to listen to your instincts, if it feels like a good idea, it probably is. So, start with a few basic actions to get things under-way, and then continue to grow and develop your ideas through more complex actions later on. The important thing is that you act now, rather than spending more time planning or researching. You are being offered an opportunity here that shows great promise but it will be up to you to make the most of it and to maximise the potential for the longer-term. In the present position, the Ace of Wands indicates your need to take a definitive stance. Many people who are leaving an old career and beginning a new, risky venture see the Ace of Wands in this position when they receive a Tarot reading. Starting your own business or pursuing the life of a creative artist (be it singing, writing, painting or whatever) is reinforced with this card in the present position. If you are torn about working in a rigid, confining, safe career or breaking out into the unknown and making your own way in the world, the Ace of Wands in the present position guarantees that it is time to abandon all drudgery and blaze a trail of your own.

Temperance card, Kim Krans
Temperance:Balance, moderation, patience, purpose, meaning. A time of peace and calm after the storm. You are at peace with what you are doing and it is all coming together very well. Your inner voice is guiding you gently to the right outcome and you are patiently listening and following. You have a very balanced perspective on the situation at this time and you are in a very good position to make the right choices. In this card we have the water and fire mixing at the heron’s feet so he could actually be the Temperance angel (The Temperance card is usually depicted as an angel), the alchemist mixing opposing elements to get something new.
Herons are water birds but they are waders too, straddling both the realms of land, water and air since they are powerful fliers… Straddling different realms, different elements is seen as very magical just as places where different elements meet are magical places.. This fits well with the image of Temperance as an alchemist, using science and magic to find the Philosopher’s Stone, the Elixir or Life of the magical formula to turn base metal into gold. Heron’s are associated with balance too – they have long, skinny legs and so they are seen as birds that take balancing very seriously. This is perhaps a card that is personifying you, you are the alchemist patiently mixing magic with reality to make your dreams come true. A very calming card.This is one of the most welcome cards in the Tarot deck when it is in the future position. No matter how tense your struggles are now, or how unforgettable your past may appear,after all your hard work and after constant opposition from those around you, the future is a sunrise of peace and well-being.

Learn more about Tarot card meanings at Biddy Tarot

Want this deck? Here it is: The Wild Unknown