Basilique du Sacre-Coeur and the bracelet guys

Before, in a previous post, I mentioned about the guys who stand on the steps of the Sacre-Coeur and try to give you tread bracelets. I have had them approach me two times, the second time one of them grabbed my arm. Both times I said very sternly ‘Non’ and kept walking.  Well, I have been doing some further research on them, turns out this IS a scam, as i thought. They target single women or couples and thread the cotton around your hand then demand payment.  They may seem frindly at first but that changes when they demand money.  Here is a link written a few years ago, but still very relevant http://www.outandaboutinparis.com/2011/06/bracelet-guys-near-sacre-coeur.html My advice is the same as appears in this article…walk with purpose and don’t stop, ignore them and they will leave you alone. Don’t let them put a damper on your Paris trip, Paris is a beautiful place and I believe safe (I will test that next Tuesday when I need to get a flight to the UK to see my sick dad, so will need to walk to Gare de Nord at 5:15am then back to my studio, when I return to Paris, at night).







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Everything is booked:

Studio is booked in Montmartre, Paris. Flights all booked, saved myself $800 by going to France instead of Costa Rica…which surprised me!! Always worth checking different countries to see if you can get a better deal. This has been an answer to prayer: a safe place for me to stay in.

I have started stricter training sessions, to prepare me for travelling alone. Intense boxing bag routines etc…relearning my self defence moves. Why you may ask? Well, only a few people know this (and now it will be a lot more people) but i was raped, as a young woman, by someone i was dating. A few years ago i started training in a self defence called Krav Maga and i found that the more i trained the more my internal strength came back. I KNOW i can protect myself now, or at least go out fighting hard lol. i also used to train my female students in self defence and I would encourage every woman to learn it. But, training has taught me even more than defence; it has taught me about stricter discipline, the knowledge that i have more internal strength than i thought as well as physical strength and it has fine tuned my focus

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The first blog of many…I hope lol

Travelling from Australia to the USA after the death of my mum, the admittance of my dad into a dementia home and the break down of my marriage was in a way a new start, a chance to think and regroup. During this time I hoped I would spend more time with God, reconnecting to him after finding that I wasn’t speaking to him as much as I had been before.  Why hadn’t I been speaking to him? Well in honesty because it hurt, I found that I felt like a child sitting at his feet not wanting to look up at him because, I knew that when I did, I would start to cry over all the things that were happening and I wasn’t sure I would stop crying if I started.  So I kept my face looking down and didn’t speak to God much.  I knew he was always there, loving me and holding me close, but it was hard to look up.  To the world I kept a typical ‘stiff upper lip’ of my British culture, smiling and trying to help those around me, few knew what was happening in my life, I didn’t want to burden people and also because we Brits don’t cry in front of people, we are private people.  So, after all was packed away in Australia I came to a remote farm in Washington state, a beautiful, peaceful farm with no tv (my initial reaction to that was ahhhhhhh!!!!) and silence.  I have always been a busy person, mentally and physically.  Loved learning and also challenging myself, so to just ‘be’ was a new experience for me.  To sit with no music/tv/anything but nature and God was something that I thought would be too hard at times.  But, as the last 5 1/2 months have slipped by, I have found that I crave the silence.  My aim was to start writing a book about ministry; what really happens in ministry and how can we help ministers and their families thrive and not die in it.  Instead God has spent this time talking to me and teaching me.  I started looking up again at his face and yes the tears came, but with it came the healing of the pain of all that had happened.

During my time here I also found a best friend, someone who means so much to me and now knows me better than anyone in the world. Someone who let me cry on their shoulder and encouraged me to look up to God again. I will miss them terribly when I leave.  Thankfully there is always the Line app so I can keep in contact 🙂

So, why this blog.  Well the aim of it is to share with you my travels, what God teaches me, reflections on ministry, advice on travelling alone as a woman and the fun times I encounter.

My tentative itinerary is as follows: head to Costa Rica on 10 Feb, stay there till 11 Mar then head to see my son and his family in Germany and their new baby.  Then head to UK to see my dad and sister, head over to Amsterdam to see one of my students and then back to my son’s place, and do all this with minimal cost, because I am not working at the moment :-/ By the time I am back in Germany in April I hope to have an idea what I will do from then on lol. So, please follow me on this adventure into the unknown.