Picking up books on the road

There’s deep joy in browsing and reading books that are connected to the location you’re in. I tend to read non-fiction but really enjoy reading fiction when I’m on the road.

Here are the additions to my bookshelf from a long weekend in Chamonix. Bookstores in France are something special, and I went a bit overboard..! 🙂

Aim for a smaller target 

I’ve been hooked on chatting with Lark about my eating, exercise and sleeping habits — the eternally upbeat tone, the incredible variance in speech, and how it’s learned my habits make the app addictive.

It’s also teaching me how to build healthy habits. 

I really liked this conversation today, when I’d stayed home until 5pm-ish and thought there was no way of meeting my daily goal of 1hr of walking. 

Lark immediately nudged me to set a smaller goal once I admitted that there was no way I was going to make it. 

Once I agreed that yes, I could at least get in a tiny amount, it merrily sent me on my way. 

No guilt, no questions, just — it happens, shall we change the target for today? 

It’s such a simple concept but I don’t know if it’s ever been so seamless to switch gears. How much less stress would we have if we were more accepting and flexible about these types of habit-building goals? How much more successful would we have in the long run? 

In the end, I actually hit my normal goal after taking a long walk with a friend and running some errands. 

Lark didn’t make a big fuss; just congratulated me as it would any other day that I reached it. 

Copenhagen scenes

Here are some photos from sunny Copenhagen, which we found to be a spacious, relaxed city where the food is fresh and tasty and just so. 

Which way you go

As I made my way in Tokyo last winter, the sheer noisiness of this view literally stopped me in my tracks. Five months later and back in Paris, seeing this photo makes me smile… perhaps it’s nostalgia, and I’m missing Tokyo a little bit.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

A place to hang your hat (or art)

I didn’t quite know what to do with this framed piece of art that had been a going away gift from a dear friend, and it was with part intrigue and part sense of duty that I lugged it from Tokyo to my new flat in Paris.

On the first night, I propped it up on the wall, next to my suitcase and a new Ikea mattress that needed another 48 hours before it rolled out straight. The piece added an unexpected and immediate sense of connection to a bare room that didn’t feel like mine yet.

The next morning, I noticed there were some nails sticking out on the walls and promptly tried my gift on all of them, walking in and around the room to examine how it felt from different angles.

A week later, I’m still living out of my suitcase and have no furniture other than a half-constructed bed with a mattress, now flat. With its creaky wooden floor, a fireplace that hasn’t been functional in decades and a darn chandelier, the space is… less foreign. With this guy.


The number of wonderful places I’ve called home in the past 18 years must equal more than half a dozen, but those places have all been in the Tokyo area.

I figure it’s high time that changed. It’s on to the next adventure – Paris!

Photo: Taking a break at Parc des Buttes Chaumont, the big public park close to the new office.

Eat with me: stomach filling cues from different group dynamics


One reason it’s so much fun to eat out with fellow CrossFitters is that everyone loves good food, and lots of it at that. Ordering is a serious matter, dietary considerations are handled with grace, dishes are cheered as they arrive, additional orders are placed throughout the meal, multiple water refills are requested by all, and the food is discussed in detail.

Not getting upset that ‘dinner’ was actually drinks and overpriced olives. Not being self conscious about wanting more food or a taste of someone else’s dish. Not being disappointed that the restaurant chosen specifically for that occasion didn’t garner much interest.

It’s liberating.