50 Shades of Grey – My humble opinion

50 Shades of Opinions & Reservations…

Like the books, the media is all over the movie and so are the viewers, and the conservative non-viewers.

I made it through the first 2 chapters of the 1st book – 50 Shades of Grey – over a period of 3 weeks!  A mere 10 or so pages? I can’t recall, but the only pain I remember experiencing was the terrible writing, which actually turned me off from going any further. Nope, no curiosity left.

When the movie was released, I was still not curious.  I do enjoy the soundtrack however, and find Ellie Goulding’s ‘Love me like you do’ very romantic and beautiful.

Early last week, I went to a dinner and some of the girls mentioned they had watched the movie.  I expected them to get in to an uncomplimentary dialogue about it and how I should not bother wasting my time.  To my surprise they just smiled and said that it was quite nice, the lead  actors did a great job and it was definitely worth watching.  Few days later, another group of girls asked me to join them for the movie.  I hesitated as you can gather from my earlier post, I would rather catch up on sleep! Then I thought, why not?

So I braced myself for scenes I thought would be OTT, that I wouldn’t be able to watch them, and to be completely turned off as I was with the book.

Once again, to my surprise, I thought the movie was actually tastefully adapted and that Sam Taylor-Johnson – the director, brought a lot of dignity in to the characters – Christian Grey (HOT Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) – and directed the script very well.  Christian Grey very clearly explains why ‘he was that way’ owing it to being orphaned at the age of 4 and then continuously being sexually abused by his mother’s friend at the age of 15.  But you don’t get the feeling of an obnoxious, power-hungry man who enjoys being the ‘dominant’ in an S & M relationship, instead, you see that he starts to feel uncomfortable in his own skin and he softens up when he is with Anastasia Steele.  Anastasia, a young and innocent virgin, curious and enamoured by this beautiful man, tries to take it as far as she can, in the process of discovering herself and experiencing all kinds of pleasures and found her limits after consenting to  being the ‘submissive’ and challenging Grey to ‘punish’ her.  She was aware of the shame she felt as a result and was able to draw the line.

As I said, I did not read the rest of the books, and hence, am naive myself as to where this is going, butI have to say, I was impressed with Anastasia’s journey in this first part and her strength to walk away.  I am also impressed at how Sam Taylor-Johnson created something nice from all the badly written smut and soft-porn described in the book.  Well done to all 3 – Taylor-Johnson, Dornan and Johnson for carrying this through so well.

Prior to watching the movie, I read some of the circulated letters written to daughters by the mothers who watched the film.  I totally agree that a woman should never feel ‘submissive’ in any way to anyone, especially in a sexual relationship. I wouldn’t encourage every girl to test the limits as far as Anastasia does in the book/movie.  I would like to think that it’s all good in fiction and fantasy, and that reality is a whole different game.

It is important that she (a woman) understands what it entails to be in such a relationship and that she first needs to love & respect herself before engaging in one.


DPDF Series: Red Eyes, Dark Circles, Dull Brain = Zombie Mum

Yup!  It’s NOT always fun ‘n games as I sometimes like to think it is.  (Well, who said fantasising is bad??)

At some point I had this sleep thing down.  Almost 2 years ago, when the boys had turned 1, I employed the assistance of a sleep training clinic to help me sleep… ummmm…. indirectly.  I hired them to ‘teach’ me how to train my babies to sleep through the night.  3 days… and I had it figured out and I had 2 sleeping beauties – well 4, as we finally could sleep a good 6-8 hours at a stretch!  What a novelty that was.

As they say with children, or life in general, ‘it’s just a phase‘, ‘this too shall pass‘.  Well… this ‘phase‘ we are currently in has been way tooooo long and it is NOT passing! A hasn’t slept through the night in about 10 months – yes – okay- once a week we get a reprieve.  But my star sleeper Y was just amazing… head down, good night, and all smiles at 6:30a.m.  Not any more unfortunately, since he had a throat infection over a month ago, he has taken to sleeping ‘on’ me.  That’s all lovely and sweet and I would do that any time, but now, 5 weeks later, he’s still restless at night, and wants ‘only mama’.  This too I can handle, but not when there’s 2 waking up a 30 mins pattern after each other for a stretch of 2 hours and somehow there’s 4 of us in our bed, and they both still want ‘only mama’.

There are nights I get them to sleep back in their beds, but that’s as long as I sleep on the duvet on the floor in between their beds! Y sometimes is so compassionate at night, he comes and sleeps with me on the floor and says, ‘mama, I share my blanket with you’.  Awwww…. love you baby, but my legs are way longer than yours and somehow your blanket isn’t that long. Then in the 1 meter space between the beds, A decides he too needs to sleep with mama, and we’re all sandwiched together … Yes I know it’s sweet, and I know these days will never come back….:) 🙁 but for now, I’m a Zombie Mum.

When will this too pass?  Is it a ‘phase’? Will I be moaning in a few years that my boys won’t sleep with me anymore?


“That time of the Month?”

I was at Pilates, again. On this particular Saturday, the Studio was packed. There were two women chatting together, quite audibly (I was not eavesdropping) about how exhausted they felt and one of them sighed and remarked, “Well, I always feel like this when there is a Full Moon, I’ve noticed that about myself.”

Now, maybe I misheard her but it did get me thinking. We as women have always talked about the mood swings, the physical pain and fatigue and the generally rubbish-like feeling that we feel during that time of the month but I’ve not heard about this time, the Full Moon, ever given as an explanation before. While my logical internal voice was thinking about the possible scientific reasons for her observation, my other more cynical internal voice decoded, “maybe she was just saying that but what she really meant was that she was having a bad period week?”

As these two internal voices continue to verbally arm-wrestle, my external voice ponders about how women today, including myself, perceive the “chum” as my Mum positively introduced it to me, many years ago. I always thought my monthly bleed was a nuisance but something one could use to an advantage; it was a “get out of swimming” card for many of us at school. I even recall more recently, attending a family funeral and noticing my cousin’s absence, I sought her out only to find her curled up at the top of the stairs, clutching her mobile, mouthing to me that she was (winking) “on” so she wasn’t to attend the prayers below.

I know that by using a normal, biological, monthly occurrence as an excuse, we are probably propagating the notion that women are the delicate sex but the fact is that most women will experience some inconvenience or discomfort during their period and I don’t think we should be ashamed to talk about it. On the contrary, we should and do exercise our right to complain (!) but then we move on.

I read an article about Heather Watson’s explanation for defeat due to “girl things” at the Australian Open. The article suggested that talking about menstruation might set women back in the world of sport but acknowledged that she had every right to point at her period as a reason for under-performing and that maybe more athletes will feel free to do the same from hereon, when relevant.

On the same day, I also came across an article written by an 18 year old girl in India about how fed up she was by the “taboo” label attached to this subject matter. She wrote about how women in India are still prohibited today from participating in normal activities when they have their period and how this is “archaic”. I agree with her (and we all know that this doesn’t just happen in India). However, I had hoped that she would gently acknowledge how and why traditional ideas and beliefs in India evolved: in yesterday’s India and the world, there was relatively no access to good feminine hygiene products and education and so fear and ignorance determined behaviour and bias.

There is little excuse for this cultural cover-up today and for future generations of women, open recognition and discussion of a menstrual period for what it is, plain and simple, should negate the negativity in time. So let that time start now.

Colourful Women – Sumita Batra

On Set
On Set

To the World of Beauty and Henna, Sumita Batra needs no introduction. She literally wrote the books on them! Sumita is also no stranger to the public eye and media as she is Co-owner of the popular beauty chain (currently at 14 salons) in California known as Ziba Beauty. She has also started her own eye & brow make-up line named ‘Sumita Cosmetics’ which has recently been launched as a global brand. A successful entrepreneur and visionary who started a beauty salon with her mum and sister when she was merely 17!

That’s when I first met Sumita – in 1988 about a year prior to the 3 dynamic women starting this successful chain of salons. In these 27 years our acquaintance turned in to a wonderful friendship, then business partners, mentor and someone I am privileged to call my sister. (That’s purely because she does not hesitate for a minute to give me a swift kick – metaphorically speaking – when I need straightening out!)

Sumita – thank you for being a Colourful Woman and for allowing me to share the Sumita that I know with the world.

Beautiful Family

Other than being known as the ‘Ziba Beauty Girl’, you are a mother of 3 gorgeous and talented children; wife to an amazing man – Jay Batra; daughter, sister, friend, mentor, social worker, a short film director/producer, author, and the titles keep adding on…

  1. How do you do it? How do you wear so many caps & juggle so many balls so perfectly? 

I don’t really know the true answer to this question, as I am most times not really planning and thinking things through. I just do what needs to be done, and can be done, without giving it too much thought. I feel that maybe that helps me maximize my time…And it may look like I get everything done… but some balls get dropped 🙁

  1. Do you have a favourite role you play or are they all equal to you?

I’m not sure I approach life as playing a “role”… I come from a perspective of solids. Not too many shades of grey. I’ve always had a very clear sense of right and wrong, and though these thoughts and ideas have evolved over time…I am still quite clear on my responsibilities and my duties. I guess this may be the Indian in me? Duty bound!

  1. I have seen you grow through all these relationships while you are growing on a spiritual path. What would you like to express about this?
With her parents - Mr. & Mrs. Sabarwal
With her parents – Mr. & Mrs. Sabarwal

I’ve seen my mom all my life give priority to her spirituality. I’m naturally drawn to people that are spiritual. They are like magnets to me. I am also naturally – not super close to people who are not “believers”.

  1. I have seen you multi-task effortlessly and you seem to have this gift of giving ‘yourself’ and ‘your time’ with no barriers or limits. What makes you do this?

I enjoy giving. I am a giver. I know no other way. It’s an instinctive and automatic reaction.

Can being selfless also have its drawbacks or does it always give you a ‘high’?

I’m not sure I am selfless. It is not always easy to give…especially to people that are ungrateful. I do my part and move on in most instances…but at times it hurts because, it’s a human tendency to want appreciation. I don’t really give to anyone, wanting something in return. I have, at times, experienced people that take and then behave like they never received anything. It hurts…I shake it off and leave them to their Karma and I do mine.

  1. Do you take time to recharge yourself? If so, how do you do it?

Massage and Music… I just threw myself a music party on my birthday and invited a couple of hundred people …I know – crazy…but boy was it fun. I also love to cook…it relaxes me.

  1. What is your sense of self? How do you see yourself?

I am crazy. I am grateful. I am blessed. I am here to make a difference. I am responsible. I am sensitive. I am loyal. I am what I am and its ok! I am happy! Did I mention, I am blessed?

  1. You naturally become a mentor or a role model to everyone who literally comes into contact with you. How does that make you feel?

Responsible. I don’t really seek the pressure or the attention that comes with this word “Mentor”. I do however take it quite seriously. If anyone has considered me their mentor, I have always made sure I give them all I can.

  1. Life is a journey, and yours definitely has been quite a fascinating one. Please share a bit of your background and how you came to be known as the ‘Ziba Girl’.

I am who I am because of my mom. She lost her job and decided to start Ziba Beauty with her last pay check and one credit card. She was just turning 40. She was in a new country, with three children and a lot of responsibility. She believed in herself and was a hard worker. I watched and learned from her. It’s been 26 years in this business and I still learn and grow every day. It’s a lot of responsibility. 200 families count on me every day. I take my job as the CEO of Ziba Beauty very seriously. It’s a daily grind, a daily challenge. My mantra – ‘must get it done one step at a time.’ Onward!

  1. What drives the entrepreneur Sumita?

What drives me is legacy and a sense of accomplishment. Saying I am going to do it and then getting it done! My word means a lot to me. My commitments are part of my honour. I drive me.

  1. Your energy and your creativity know no bounds…you are constantly creating… a product, a strategy, a party, a book, beautiful children…..What is your secret? Man these are tough questions. I have never really thought about them and I find it second nature to do all this. I can relate to the Apple Ad – The Crazy ones…written by Steve Jobs.

          What makes you ‘tick’ like that? I like to surround myself with positive quotes, sayings…I find solace and peace in inspirational words. They help me in many ways.

  1. Top 5 Tips on being a (Female) Entrepreneur.
  • Work long and hard
  • Hire slow- fire fast
  • If it’s to be – It’s up to me!
  • If you want to get something done, ask the busy one – the other kind has no time
  • Common sense is really not that common
  1. The highlights of being a woman for you…

My babies – of course. They hit a chord in me that is impossible to explain…yet every mother gets it.

  1. The top 5 things you enjoy about being a mother…
  • Watching them grow
  • Watching them fall and get back up
  • That moment, where they learn a lesson, and understand the consequence of their actions
  • Their laughter
  • Realizing that they got “this – whatever it is” from me…
  1. Sumita, you have also been beside me through all the most poignant phases of MY life…. milestone birthdays, heartbreaks, being my make-up and hair-stylist for my engagement in London, being by my side in India for my wedding, and to top it all…….. it was you who happen to be with me for the first few hours of my labour… which coincided with a business trip in London.  What drives you to be such a loyal, committed & dedicated friend… to any/all of your friends?

I know no other way Anupa. I am blessed and happy that I can be and do whatever possible for the ones I love. I don’t believe it’s me…I am a vehicle God uses to get stuff done. I believe we all are. Internally my conversation is…if I can do it…I do it. It’s that simple for me.

  1. Your Top 5 beauty tips
  • Know what you like and stay with it
  • Be your age – I’m not one for too much cosmetic enhancements
  • Be happy – it shows on your face
  • Once wrinkles show up – avoid powder
  • Add highlighters to the cheekbones to reflect away from dark circles.
  1. Your Top 5 make-up/skin care products – hmmm…. without the bias of your own product line of course – (btw, I used your Sumita Face Mask last week and have been told that I am ‘glowing’ by a few friends).
  • Chanel – Concealer & Foundation
  • Dior Lip Liner
  • Guerlain – anything!
  • MD Solar Skincare – prevent skin cancer
  • Trish McEvoy Brushes
  1. Your Top 5 Tips on Marriage/Relationships
  • Let it go
  • Say sorry and mean it
  • Compromise – It means to truly give the person the gift of something you don’t want to do without resentment
  • Forgive – for your own sake
  • Give your happiness a priority. If you are not happy – you have no happiness to offer to anyone. This happiness is not gotten nor dependent on anyone but yourself.
  1. You have recently been working on 2 fascinating projects: Namas Kaar & Em Didi. Please could you share with us your motivation behind each one respectively?

Namas KaarA Sikh documentary discovering the answers to why we do some of the basic things we do in the Sikh faith. The goal in this film was to create a dialogue and showcase the meaning behind the things we do in our temples and our religion to respect their importance. I don’t think you can respect something if you don’t understand it.


Em Didi – Sisters : A vocational training program teaching the Art of Threading & The Art of Mehndi in Siem Reap Cambodia to victims, survivors and “at risk” young ladies of human trafficking. This documentary shares our journey, as we travel and discover as a group that it was not really “us” that gave these young ladies anything…but rather, we received so much more from them. ‘Em’ means little sister in Vietnamese, and ‘Didi’ mean big sister in Hindi. We created a symbiotic mentor and big sister/little sister relationship between these young ladies, in the hopes that they can teach these art forms forward, and earn a living from them. We partnered with an organization called Senhoa to do this venture. www.senhoa.org/

Senhoa Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to combating modern slavery through long-lasting partnerships with excellent local partners. Our programs in support of vulnerable persons and survivors are delivered in conjunction with on-the-ground partners.

  1. Do you have a mentor? What is the most powerful thing they said or did that has impacted you?

Yes, my mom. I have also had several business mentors throughout my career. Each one has taught me something. But my mentor is my mom. I have learned everything about who I am from her. My spirituality, my strength, my parental skills, my survival skill, my business acumen…I can go on and on. I dedicated the Celine Dion song – “I’m everything I am – because you love me” to her on her 45th birthday. It applies today too. Every word.

  1. If you look back at your life (w)holistically, is there anything you would change or do differently?

I have wasted my time on a few people – that taught me some tough lessons. I would not undo all of it…but I made the lesson longer than needed. I should have moved on a lot faster than I did. I’ve learned and now move on faster when things don’t feel right.

  1. Do you feel like you have ‘arrived’ in most aspects of your life or is there still a journey of improvement in any specific area?

I have arrived – and it is a mental state I have had for years. One would think it has to do with finances…but for me … it has to do with milestones. Every milestone I’ve met has delivered for the feeling of – I have arrived.

  1. What is your weak point… if you have any?

I have many weak pointsJ. I have a temper, and if and once I lose it…its not a pretty sight. I also shut down on people. It’s not healthy but it’s my coping mechanism. I keep trying to work on my weaknesses, my fears. One step at a time, one day at time.

  1. When you and I were launching ‘A Beautiful Event’ in 2000, our mothers separately sat us down and gave us a talk on friendship and business and how the latter can damage the former. They reminded us that we had a very special friendship and that we should not risk losing it by going in to business together. We had a chat about it and decided they were right but we were still going forward with the business anyway and were conscious of not hurting the friendship. Sound advice that we carried with us. Would you leave us with a thought or a quote to live by?

We come to this world to make a difference. We each have a part to play. The moment of consciousness when we realize that part is an amazing moment. Seek it, look for it and you will find it. You will know that this was what I was born to do, and do not give up until you find it. It is totally worth it.

Thank you again Sumita. I am sure all our readers will be inspired and motivated by your experiences and advice.

A moment… with Jay





DPDF Series: 9:15 a.m. – And I’m ready to call it a day!

9:15a.m. and I’m ready to call it a day!

The boys were up at 6.15 a.m. and it’s been all go go go since then – and yes, in different directions.

Since their room is on the middle level, mine on the 2nd floor and everything else on the ground floor, obviously, one wanted to go up to my room to Papa and the other wanted to go make his new puzzle with me downstairs.

We all march up first, then all go down to begin the day.  And then it starts:

‘Mama, make the puzzle with me’.  ‘Mama I make breakfast with you’. ‘Mama I want to mix it’.  ‘Mama I want to put the raisins’.  ‘Mama give me water’.  ‘Mama what’s this?’.  ‘Mama I want to draw the curtain’.

And then when we all sit for breakfast – ‘Mama! You feed me!’ x 2!

A few spills of ingredients in the kitchen.  Breakfast done.  I’ve cleaned up and now racing against time to get us all ready for the day.  All the way up again to play with the toys in my room so I can shower.  Y barges in to the bathroom and fiddles with all the cosmetics and pours out my ‘ear piercing solution’, A turns on the tap.  Running out of my shower, I stop them, clean up, get them out, call out for Papa to take over.

I’m ready now and we’re getting the boys ready.  2 very hyper boys this morning, keep slipping out of our hands between each garment strip and each garment wear oh and this is after a toothbrush has been chucked in to the toilet.  We get these two slippery boys in to their uniforms and down to the buggy/stroller.  Another chase to get shoes & jackets on.  Then the hats and gloves.  Got one done, and the other one undoes his.  We do his and the other gets undone.

That’s it!  I roll them out without hats and gloves, just hoodies and tell them to sit on their hands.

We get to school and now they want to run around before going down to class.

I carry A down the stairs, deposit him in his class, and go up to get Y and repeat.

Both in the safe hands of their teachers, snack bags in their cubbies, gloves in the pockets.  Coats hung up and I’m out the door.  Ready for bed.  I’ve had my work out and my challenge/s for the day.  I’m ready for a cup of tea and my bed!

Hello/Goodbye @ The Hampstead Theatre

I walk/drive past the Hampstead theatre on an almost daily basis but I’ve somehow never had the opportunity to go. So when my dad suggested we go see a play/musical last Friday, I suggested we see what’s showing at The Hampstead theatre. As luck would have it, there was a show on called Hello/Goodbye by Peter Souter. I knew nothing about it but the poster looked good and the story sounded interesting.

The Hampstead theatre was a lot smaller than I imagined it’d be and very basic in it’s decor. If you’re used to the sights and sounds of West End productions, you may be slightly disappointed. But we had pretty good seats so I can’t complain about the view.

The play has 2 acts. Act 1 is the first hour of the relationship between Juliet (Miranda Raison) and Alex (Shaun Evans) and act 2 is the last hour of the relationship between them. The play starts with Juliet – sassy, self-centered, sexy (and she knows it) moving into a new apartment where she finds Alex doing the same thing. Turns out her estate agent screwed up and it’s actually his apartment. Alex is everything Juliet is not – introverted, awkward and the collector of some very odd items (every McDonalds happy meal toy). What they do have in common are witty comebacks and that’s what keeps the first act going: it’s the witty, funny and very sarcastic banter between the two.

In act 2 the writer has fast forwarded 10 years…Juliet and Alex are getting divorced and the last hour is spent sorting through their personal items. Although I enjoyed the second act, it was emotional and pulled at my heart strings, the ending was a bit of a cliché. Saying that, I don’t think it took away from the great acting and the chemistry between Miranda Raison and Shaun Evans.

Having had a nosey online this evening, I’m glad I didn’t read any of the online reviews in advance or I probably wouldn’t have gone to see it. It’s not the best play I’ve seen but if you want a funny, light hearted rom com then go see this one.

It’s on until the 28th of February at the Hampstead Theatre in Swiss Cottage.

DPDF Series: Out and About

Since the boys were around 5 months old, I started to take them to various playgroups.  Some organised ones by companies such as Baby Sensory which lead to Toddler Sense, and others were groups friends with their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd child about the same age as my 2.  The friends groups I probably started when they were about 3-4 months old and still laid on their backs.

I didn’t always have a nanny with me, but some times I did.  With and without, I was always quite a site – 2 car seats or 2 babies in a double buggy/stroller and all the paraphernalia that came along with us – snacks for 2, milk for 2, water for 2, lunch or dinner for 2 and a gigantic diaper bag.  I actually used the ‘Wistful Weekender’ by Petunia Pickle Bottom.  Yes a ‘weekend’ bag for 1 baby was my DAILY bag for 2!  (I do highly recommend this bag as there’s a pocket for EVERYTHING! Including 4 bottles!)

Petunia Wistful Weekend


With an accompanying nanny, we were quite the entourage going to someone’s home!  But those were fun and special days, watching your babies grow along with their friends and the great bond that starts to develop between us mothers and between the children.  Their first friends.

I also would meet friends and their babies on ‘play dates’ at venues like Toddler World at the Hendon Leisure Centre.  A bit smelly at first (thank God they redid the place while we were still going there) but large, bright and enough to do for babies through to 3 year olds.  Ball pits, gymnastic balance beams , hoola hoops, climbing frames, a large ground trampoline, soft play areas, pilates balls,  etc. etc.

But all this is great and loads of fun with 1 child, and it’s the time either parent bonds with their child in a playful environment.  However, once the boys began crawling, then walking…. I was in BIG trouble!! I didn’t know which way to run as inevitably they both would run in different directions! Every 5 or so mins I needed to do a head count and make sure my eyes in the front were on one boy and the eyes on the back of my head were on the other.  The were times I thought I lost one, only to see that he made a friend somewhere in the large room, or found something he really liked.  Other times I was really glad the attendants, or facilitators were familiar with me and my very active boys and would help me out.  (and then I learned… dress them in the brightest of colours so I could do quick spot checks any time!)

Needless to say, it helped me keep fit as well as I would run faster than I thought I could, stretch wider than I thought I could while holding one baby with my right hand and the other with my left leg, and get exhausted by the end of that hour as if I had completed a grueling triathlon!



“English(Wo)man in New York”

So yes, I am back in London now, safe and dry but boy, what a weekend! I love the Big Apple (still haven’t worked out why it is called that – references to a Big, Sweet, Juicy Prize have been found but then I don’t believe everything I read on Wikipedia)!

They say that all the big cities of the world are the same essentially, but I disagree. New York has always had a special place in my heart; everything is bigger, almost brash like a confident child demanding “Look at ME”. On this visit, I returned to the first department store I ever visited in Manhattan, Lord & Taylor. After having legged it there from Grand Central with two minutes to opening, I ran through the front doors to find rows of folded chairs lined up (like at a school assembly) with eager shoppers’ bottoms hovering, ready in sprint position to start their deal-hunting day. The security guards were standing (mob control!) and announced “Please rise for the National Anthem” and yes, everyone did! I stood with them, feeling a little alien, in awe, with respect and with slight disbelief too. Solemn faces, even some hands on chests – no singing, it was the instrumental version. A keen yellow poncho-clad woman temporarily disturbed our moment of American meditation with “It’s 10am for crying out loud, I need the 3rd floor!” but was made to wait like all the others until the melody faded.

It seems that Lord & Taylor have found a way to remind their shoppers, every day before opening, to take a minute and be mindful that they are in the States, maybe to feel proud or grateful. It certainly allowed me to pause and take stock. But I do also wonder about making people listen to the anthem, like at school, rather than giving them the choice. This would NEVER happen in Selfridges, Lane Crawford or Galleries Lafayette. I don’t think this would be permissible anywhere except New York.

So in acceptance of our differences, here’s to enjoying the feeling of being foreign in a city that really never sleeps – I raise my glass and cheer “to my next visit over the pond!”

P.S. Intrigued, I’ve come home to find out more about this “cultural difference” – and stumbled across this article from the New York Times, 2008:



The Ladies behind the Scenes

Have you enjoyed reading the most recent posts?

1.  The Rosie Project – Natasha Mahtani

2.  Late Fragments by Kate Gross – Natasha Mahtani 

3.  Gym-nasties – Jaya Lalwani

I would like to officially welcome Natasha & Jaya to the CMW Team.

Both amazing women in their own right who with their wit, charm, smarts, funny and interesting experiences have a lot to enlighten us with.

Like me I hope you enjoy their posts and insights.

Happy reading!


The Rosie Project: A review

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was my April book club read. Its narrated by Don Tillman, a lecturer in Genetics at the University of Melbourne. Don is almost 40 when he reads that married men are happier and stronger and so he sets off on “The Wife project” to find himself a partner. Having Asperger’s syndrome, Don is very frank, highly organised, very literal and quite direct. He struggles to read social cues, finds it difficult being flexible and generally has his life planned out by the minute.

In steps Rosie who is everything he isn’t…with a zest for life, chaos and totally “messed up”, she turns Don’s life upside down when he decides to help her with “The father project”. He suddenly finds himself doing and being everything that he is not and he simply can’t help himself.


I really enjoyed the book. While it’s a very easy read and quite funny at times, it also focuses on what so many of us might look at as “weird” in real life. You can’t help but warm to Don as he navigates through his emotions and thoughts to realise that although he may not understand what he is feeling, what he is feeling is love.

This book is an honest, simple and touching tender-hearted love story, I’d definitely recommend it 🙂