Monday, November 06, 2006

London personified?

Something I've been thinking about a bit lately. If London were a person, who would it be?

A large question, and I'm sure a large personality. I'm not so good statistically (though I'm sure that would be fascinating), so here goes my completely non-scientific random, one person's observations-based take on that question.

I'm going to go with female, just to choose a gender for my comments. Diverse ethnically, a mix of say 8 different heritages coming from a mix of parentage, step-and-defacto parentage and grandparentage on both sides.

Perhaps somewhat confused, of fluctuating mental health. Inconsistent, diverse, definately. I think that she would be obsessed by health, which is not to say healthy. That she would wear A LOT of makeup, presenting surface respectability by trowelling makeup into cracks and wrinkley bits. This would help explain another attribute - poor personal hygene, or at least a definate "aroma" which feeds back into that layer upon layer aspect that would make Sara-Lee proud.

A mix of trash and high-brow, definately a participator rather than recluse. I think work-wise something in the media, or at least the public sphere. Possessed of impeccable morals and social graces which are evident in situation-dependent appearances, falling wayside like last season's whatever under the nightfall of a publicly anonymous situation.

A very addictive person, both in essence and to know. Hyper stimulated and stimulating, one of those people you enjoy immensely being unable to get your head around. A font ever-spewing of knowledge, both fascinating and the kind that makes you turn the cheek in the less Christian sense.

That's for starters,

anyone else?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

London in Limbo

It's supposed to be getting yukky here (weather wise). And we keep expecting something along the lines of . . .

instead of which it is park weather.

Park and Scrabble weather. That is where I'm headed tomorrow to geek it up bigtime. Yay!

Escapades of late have included a camping jaunt to the isle of wight, staying in a camping ground that made the shortlist for being the hi de hi camp ground (in my mind anyway) complete and replete with giant denim suited mascot Humphray Bear and Saturday night chanteuse Johnny Beau Geste (who Ferg and I couldn't resist cutting some moves to on tha floor). During this weekend away Ferg and I did our best to win people over to the charms of the lemonheads by fashioning (MacGuyver style) a speaker out of an offcast whiskey bottle tube with which to project the lemonheads classic the outdoor type. The following week we had only managed to convince Ollie and Watson to accompany us on our pilgrimage to the Forum to witness Evan in his latter day (continuing) glory. My phone camera made a tiny blurry speck of him so please enjoy "arty" blurry shots of another feature of the evening - the lighting . . .

Also, strange creatures have been sprouting up around the land. Fashion conscious denim-fetishist trees and cutesy confection have been contesting with Bansky in drag attempting to sweep all the controversy and weirdness (weirdly) under the brickwall.

And on the romanticness front Imery and I just celebrated our 7th year together with a trip to the only hungarian restaurant in the UK which has been going since the 50s and retains a total homespun charm while serving delicies like wild cherry soup and venison goulash. Yay and yumtastic.

Adios : )


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More profundity:

"Don't miss the donut by looking through the hole." - Unknown.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Announcing . . .

sort of, quietly and modestly in a non-egomanical yogaish sort of way the birth of my yoga website. Yoga Seed. Yay! With many thanks to my gurus of technical and visual stuff O & I - much respect.

It's, yes, predictably all about me Jenn Burford but more specifically, yoga with me. The address is

There you can find info on my public class, small group lessons, private lessons, yoga in general and the like, just in case you didn't get more than enough yoga to last you a incarnation or two ; ) by visiting the blog.

Check it out : )

and then one month later

she resumed her "daily" blog.

News of the month in brief muppety form:
Still no passport . . .still no LA trip . . . still no ann-reunion : (
Have been augmenting my stump of natural knowledge with the Daily Mail's free fortnight of David Attenborough docos -geektastic : )
2 fullon all yoga weekends preceded by a dancetastic bank holiday weekend.
Have been spending some time too with my New Zealand yoga teacher who is visiting.

but my fave:

I finally saw the Lucksmiths live last night - only been waiting for that since I was 20 ! : ) Was fab tastic. The pic is from the song called camera shy, thought that seemed appropriate.

Then, tomorrow night is pitch black . . .

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Looking and Seeing

In yoga we make the distinction between looking (active, consumptive) and seeing (passive, receiving). In physical asana practice when you stare really hard at something it is an equivalent of grasping, grabbing, clutching. If you can let your gaze rest on something in an even, broad way so that you take in the wider scene, your mind is more still, yet still fluid and adaptable. As in asana, as in life. Rigidity and intractablness create tension which clouds the ability to think and act clearly. Maintaining a certain firmness (discipline without a sense of punitiveness or over-control) creates a spaciousness that allows you to perceive a whole scene or scenario and respond likewise, in a calm, focused and decisive manner.

I enjoyed this article from this weekend's Guardian about looking, hope you do too . . .

How to ... look

Guy Browning
Saturday August 12, 2006
The Guardian

Everyone sees but few look. For most people ,"having a good look" happens only when something interests them. For the small minority who are in permanent "have a good look" mode, everything is interesting. In general, the more you look at something, the more interesting it becomes.

On average we see a thousand advertising messages a day. When we go to bed we might remember one of them. This tells us two things: 1) most advertising is wasted;, and 2) just because we've got our eyes open doesn't mean we're looking.

The song says that you can look but you better not touch. But looking is a way of touching, which is why you can often sense when you're being looked at. Similarly, when you look into some individuals' eyes, it give you a physical jolt, as if you'd been kicked by a small horse.

Many people don't look much because what's happening inside their head is far more interesting. The less they look at the real world, the more unreal their internal world becomes. The level of people's eyes is a good indicator of where their minds are: eyes up, daydreamer; eyes ahead, well-adjusted person; eyes down, introvert or bingo player.

Love is blind but has a great sense of touch. More interesting than love at first sight is love at 74th sight, when someone who was part of your comfortable visual furniture suddenly becomes a thing of incredible beauty. The world would be a much better place if we could see everyone as incredibly beautiful, but that would make falling in love a less intense experience.

Looking at something carefully doesn't mean you can see it properly. That's because everyone wears the distorting glasses of their personality: paranoid people see everything as a conspiracy, greedy people see everything as a potential snack. The rule is, you don't see the world as it is, but as you are.

People see only what they want to see. Being something or someone that no one wants to see is therefore the closest we're likely to get to being invisible. Advanced physicists and philosophers will tell you that things exist only when you look at them. It would therefore be a great experiment if everyone agreed not to look at advanced physicists and philosophers for a while.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

i hate to admit i'm old . . .

" The idols of today are unmistakable - self esteem without effort, fame without achievement, sex without consequences, wealth without responsibility, pleasure without struggle and experience without commitment."

. . . but I agree with this quote, so I guess there's no denying it :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

water bears

. . . win this years prize for cuteness and adapability under 1mm. These weird little things make us seem quite lame as far as impressive biological abilities. They "look more like a candy Gummy Bear than a grizzly bear -- they have the bright orange, red or green colors of Gummy Bears, and a gummy surface texture."

All this cuteness plus they can do lots of superhumanoid stuff like survive amazing heats, freeze and come back to life, be desicated and come back to life (this does not involve coconut in any way : ) but rather means they can lose every tiny droplet of liquid from their system and still reanimate).

For more amazing geeky facts and excitement check out the above link to "the incredible water bear".

Enjoy : )

disclaimer: drawings are cuter than reality - IW still thinks they're very cute
(i say maybe in a liquified orange ameoba/slater type way . . .)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

"When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago"

- Nietzsche

I find this extreme -ly true.

Humans are amazing little science projects of someone bigger standing over trying out stuff in a random jenn-understanding-of-science kind of way! : )

There is the madness (good as well as bad) of sleep deprivation, excesses, lacks, and compacted psychoses borne of compressed and concentrated living.

Kind of like the intense colour and power packed intensity of fruit juice "drinks" the ones that list the fruit around ingredient number thirteen - right behind 5 synonyms for sugar, 5 "colours" disguised as numbers and 3 stabilisers ( i think these are what stop you from going right over the edge on your long way dooooooooown from the sugar high of the drink).

This ramble has been brought to you by one well rested (and falsely buoyed by that ole seductive morning siren caffeine) . . .

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Grew, well, ok "aquired" a moustache, no really . . .


Handiwork and design care of one I. C. Watson origamist extraordinaire, big ups! (hippy floral body art issuing from same source . . . ).

The occassion? Other than general lack of hairyness demanding to be dealt to ?

My friend Marese's birthday in the park, summer summer summeryness, rockabilly band and picnicing, all the things that make you forgive London's naughtynessess (for a bit at least).

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Went to see a kundalini guru

and practice kundalini yoga with her. Not really sure how i feel about it, other than a bit weird.

Also went to see Undercover Surrealism at the Hayward Gallery. I listened to voodoo, looked an animal entrails and admired Miro's scribbles.

My latest madcap adventure will be a trip to the US to visit my bestest homie ann, dependent on the altruism of the British passport peeps, fingers crossed xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx those are standing in for crossed fingers in lieu of some spiffy new keyboard fingers crossed lingo from tha kids.

Next weekend we're off to the countryside to check out Shrewsberry and hook up with the kiwi connection.

nano nano

jenn from zen

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds

I am currently very into Bob. He is great. I am (again) tired but I wanted to write something so I didn't completely bail on my new resolution. I was just going to post some Soho scenes but my camera had other ideas. . . grrr.

So, more Bob:
The stone that the builder refuse will always be the head cornerstone.

Open your eyes and look within; are you satsified with the life you're living?


How to live a joyful life

(not by Bob).

See ya

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Composed via a mixture of bad cliches:
1 On a brown paper bag (now transfered to screen)
2 In a cafe with jaunty energetic jazz dicatating the ebb and flow of the pen
3 Accompaied by a ridiculously frothy (hippy) soya cappucino

Rusty could be tautologised as a cliche too: use it or lose it.

Here I am thinking about my penchant for excessive verbiage. My natural predeliction to over indulge my mouth :) and wondering how I came to be so removed from my philonomosity (working it here).

I was thinking about how simple truisms slip from the edge of our minds. The limited rainbow that our mind's palette can display to us allows many colours to muddy into a brown that is indistinguishable from the backgound that they sit upon.

So they're there but not there until somehow the brush unwittingly catches some of that colour and transfers it somewhere else making it visible again.

I wish my palette could hold a rainbow.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Picnic in ze park

IW likes to call this photo "Jenn trys to pretend her hippy drink is actually nice". Nuff said. I couldn't really argue with an assessment that accurate.

Monday, July 10, 2006

This American Life

What is the suspiciously named link to the right?
Would anyone want to jump into courting American Life?
If you could have a choice between the superpowers of flight and invisibility which would you choose?
What do you think this says about you?
Where can you find out?

At a cool-long running radio show from Chicago. When I asked IW to summarise what he thinks its about (since he put me on to it) he said . . .

A 4 act documentary radio show on humanist topics.

Its great, check it out :)

ps. I would fly
to find out what that says about me . . .
go to the site and search for "superpowers",
have fun! : )

first class

My first yoga class that is. As to the quality and whether it was in fact "first class" well, you'd have to ask a participant that :)

I had 7 students including the lovely IW. I really enjoyed it and I finally feel a sense of going for my dreams. Terror did not even try to court me. I felt capable and calm. how yogic. ;)

namaste, one and all . . .


Sunday, July 09, 2006

getting in early : )

at the mighty early hour of 12.

Meditated again today after three days off (2 due to inescapable jackhammer noise and 1 due to saturdayness)

I had missed it : )

Tonight is the world cup final. If it seems strange that I might be interested in this know that my interest comes more from the fact that we reside atop bar italia and if the scenes from our street on the nights of regular matches are anything to go by, tonight will be interesting indeed.

We, therefore, are giving actual matchtime a miss (VERY loud doesn't begin to cover the volume) and heading over Angel-ward to try a Japanese restaurant that looks (to harken back to that pop-culture bible of my youth Heathers) very . . . : ) yum.

I'm sure festivities will still be exploding all over the place on our return, so there may be some pics of tonight to follow. In the meantime the above is a morsel from an earlier game . . .

Saturday, July 08, 2006

long day . . . tired girl

busy with lotsa yoga seed stuff for first class on monday . . . check out the beautiful logo imery made for me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

new resolution

And ok here it is. To put something on this every day, even if it's just a photo or a quote. Observe above the teaser campaign for my eventual tale of our Japanese Escapade exploits . . .

Something like . .

Stumbling out of ye olde misty mountains Jenn is set upon and almost savaged by deer, but fortunately discovers her emergency supply of deer defusing biscuits and then, having circumnavigated seemingly inescapable peril, she retires to the cherry blossom infused zen garden to meditate on the day's events . . .

whatchya think . . . ?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

i don't have an iron

For those of you who know Kit, this may not surprise, i have been indeliably marked with the notion that ironing can and should be avoided as a waste of one's time, sanity and energy.

More often than not in my life i manage to live my carefree ironfree life without a twinge, however of late it has been disturbing me as I at last come to realising one of my many looooooooooooooooooooooong-term projects: getting my weird little creature drawings onto teeshirts. You print them onto teeshirt transfers and then just dimply iron them on . . . hmmm. I think I shall have to approach my friends in that "grown up" end of the job market that requires un-wrinkliness (all age prejudices aside o'course) as a pre-req to employment.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blogging my way back to you

Bet you forgot that this crazy girl existed.
I did.
but am back from the unwelcome hiatus of being myself that was my time at the job which for there is no description that can be befit by words.

Here is the last year minus said unverbable.

What a punchy beginning and now, 3 days later I'm still waiting for inspiration to strike. Ah well, may have to proceed sans inspiration and hope that it sidles up to me for the ride at some point along the way.

I think I'm gonna start by going backwards, how Jenn.

It is now May. Freaky. I am 30, or to borrow Tom's fave phrase triple x. Freaky x 3 Despite this heady proclamation I am in possession of neither the feeling of maturity or adulthood which one imagines in each of those years prior to such an age.

London continues to be mystifying and rewarding by turns, turns that are sort of reminiscient of a whirlygig. At the moment I am in the process of starting to build my yoga teacher business. I have 5 private students to begin with whixh is great.

My love of yoga continues to expand and I see its application in most aspects of daily life, something which I could go on at length about except that my tendency to go on at length after lengthy silences renders that an unwise proposition if I want anyone to make it through reading this blog.

A bientot mes amis . . .

Friday, May 19, 2006

Spain for Xmas

Yes, that was approaching six months ago!
: )

We went to Girona, a beautiful medieval Spainish city outside of Barcelona, on the sage and much appreciated advice of the lovely Spainyard in self-imposed Belgian exile Francesc. Thankyou Francesc!

Here we did engage in all manner of cliched (though no less enjoyable for it) episodes of rambling ancient cobbled streets, gourmand dining, market visits, coffee and chocolate indulgences and excessive consumption of laughing cow cheese (maybe not so cliched touristy the last, though the pension we were staying in insisted upon it as a breakfast fortifier in a way reminiscient of that motherly eat your carrots, it helps your night vision kind of way), to this day Imery cannot see it without.

We balanced out this break from the pace of london madness with . . .

Barcelona madness : )
Barcelona was only a 45 minute trip by train so we made the trip several times. It was here I visited my favourite thing in Europe to date -

The Miro Museum!!
Imagine several hours of natural elation. I was in heaven. I have lots of Miro works. Imery has lots of photos of me beaming.

We also checked out some really nice design stores. As per its reputation, Barcelona is a city of style cats and is not so much eye candy everywhere you looks as eye coffee - rather more smooth refined flavours than nasty sugar highs. The food convinced Imery that baby octopus and squid ink are not merely edible but delectable and initiated me into what I'm sure will be a life long love affair with real tapas.

We took a side trip to the Dali Museum which stewed my brain a bit with attempts to comprehend the man. It gave me a much greater appreciation of his work which previously I had identified with merely mysogyny and weirdness. The mental space that holidaying provides to allow you to properly engage with things like art is superlative worthy. His ideas and deconstruction of the concept of literal "wholes" really captured me.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Jenn in Nature

I'm a little concerned how similar our hairstyles are.

Why it is hard to give up sarcasm entirely

Britain at the forefront of the modern museum movement . . .

Tales from the City

Cultural Lessons from the Motherland
Tale 1
Tofu Tale
I went to Sainsbury's (Supermarket) and I couldn't find the tofu anywhere so I asked a shop assistant, "excuse me, where is the tofu?". "Tofu?," she said. "Tofu", I said, thinking this was an accident of accent, which happens quite often here. "What is tofu?", she asked. "Um, it's white and made from soy beans", I told her. "Is it tinned?", she asked me. "No . . .". "Let me just ask someone else . . . Yo, Marlon, we got any tofu?". "What's tofu?". . .

How many seemingly self-evident truths in life are part of the ego's self absorption that the rest of the world is completely oblivious to?

Tale 2
Why it is tiring to live here
Microphones that can be left permanently on so as to unleash the wisdom of drivers on a morning-weary precaffine stunned public : "Ok man, wake up! Hello, Hello, Can you see the buzzer, does it look like a joystick? Can you see the stopping sign?"

Tale 3
Why it is great to live here
Crazy Nick and his musical traffic cone. I will try to get a photo sometime but we are really bad about taking our camera with us. For now you you will just have to trust me that he is a new musical genius.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Begin where you are

Don't really know what to say except that its nice (that most bland of adjectives) to hear from so many people I haven't been in contact with for a while.

The title of this post refers to something I was reading today from Heart of Yoga (Desikachar). He talks about how to construct your own yoga practice. It's a really down to earth book, very accessible and it is the style of a teacher I really admire so it is cool for me to see the tradition she is coming from. (ann it is that friday woman sue who you always really liked).

IW and I are both reading (different) books on Jung at the moment. He just told me something interesting a la Jung:

That youth and adolescence are a process of separating yourself from the universe and adulthood is a process of reintegrating and finding your place in the world again.

It makes me wonder then if it goes back again to withdraw for death and separation when you are elderly.

it's interesting because in my book today he was saying that individuality is a somewhat contentious state, which in a simplistic way would account for the above but perhaps in that case reintegration is the wrong word and it is more conformity that we go through in adulthood.

He discusses indivduality as subject to and moulded by the church and the state.

We have made science (statistical data) paramount in our society, and as a medium it discounts the individual as incompatible subjective data, yet any statistic if broken down is comprised of the same data it denies the validity of.

The church acknowledges the individual only through its adherence to their dogma which is basically again placing it in a collective category.

Jung says:In both cases the will to idividuality is regarded as egotistic obstinancy.

Which maybe explains why it is so hard to make sense of your own place in the world.

So, my novice advice?

Begin where you are.

: )

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hippy Stuff

The colour purple. (without Oprah)
Where I work there is an awful lot of the colour purple. In that statement IW would stress the word awful. For us, purple has become synonymous with the concept of hippyness. IW takes much delight in teasing me about the many shades of lilac I am currently exploring.

For me, yoga has become a microcosm of life. The more i try to understand living in my body the more i understand living in the world. Which says not that I have answers for many of life's questions, rather that now I have more questions following on from what understandings I have gleaned.

Creating a sense of space in the body (flexibility, freedom, looseness) creates a sense of space in life (room, time, possibility). As freeing up the body allows it to move in new ways or ways that are now comfortable where they have not been before, conceptually creating this feeling simultaneously means room to see how we behave removed from the immediacy of our own behaviour. Seeing ourself in this new (perhaps truer, perhaps not) way gives us choice. In seeing our forthcoming action/response as a choice rather than from the safe veil of hindsight we can truly decide. Preempting in this way allows the choice to respond in new ways, to explore alternatives and to move away from old patterns that have and are limiting us.

Friday, January 20, 2006


courtesy of

A puzzling, often paradoxical statement or story, used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining spiritual awakening.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Here is my new blog. Created not for the propogation of such self-evident information but as a way to address my appalling record at correspondence. I want my brain to work. Maybe you feel the same. I hope so.

the idea is for ideas,

what are you interested in, reading, thinking, at the moment?

here's my me at the mo:

yoga (duh)
jung - the undiscovered self
learning to understand balance
the breath

and you?