Tag Archives: Anne Germain

M Victoria Street

Last week, my friend Anne Germain and I visited M Victoria Street.  Sue Hill was supposed to join us, but was unable to do so (get well soon Sue).

 

Anne Germain
Anne Germain

I had no idea what to expect in M, although I now know there are a couple of branches, I hadn’t seen one before; the Victoria Street branch has only been open a few months.  It’s situated on one of the regenerated sites in Victoria Street.

 

Dining room in M
Dining room in M

The top floor is the wine shop – very tempting, but we managed to resist the urge and go straight downstairs to the restaurant.  It’s not a huge restaurant but very stylishly designed.  The ladies’ was particularly stunning with black embossed wallpaper.   And they have a Japanese toilet that heats the seat, and a few other things…

The ladies
The ladies

Ok, it doesn’t look black here, but….

The Japanese toilet in the Ladies at M
The Japanese toilet in the Ladies at M

The restaurant is the creation of Chef Michael Reid, who trained at Le Gavroche and also with Gordon Ramsey.  He opened the Threadneedle branch of M in December 2014.

There are two menus in the restaurant, the Raw and the Grill.  Anne and I went on a “free-flowing Prosecco” deal, so had a mixture of both.  And a very fine Prosecco it was.

 

Ooh la la!
Ooh la la!

Anne and I both have a number of food allergies, and I don’t eat red meat, so it can be challenging to feed us when we go out, but they managed very well at M.

 

The set menu included Puffed Beef – sort of Prawn Crackers but with beef, which looked delicious but neither of us could eat the wheat, so we passed on that one.  There were also Edamame Beans with Firecracker Sauce, so we doubled up on these instead of the Puffed Beef.  Anne and I both love edamame beans and the Firecracker Sauce was a delicious addition.  It really was a firecracker.

We both had Cured Trout with Pears for starters, Anne without the buttermilk sauce.  I suppose the clue is in that this came from the raw menu, although I didn’t know that at the time.  I may have had raw trout before, in a Japanese restaurant, but this was very special.  I really enjoyed it and it made me want to go back for more.

The Hake
The Hake

Anne went for steak for the main course, while I had Hake with beer-battered mussels and poached clams.  And Anne’s chips.  The Hake was delicious but the beer-battered mussels were even better… I could have had a whole plate of them.  Anne told me that her steak was great too.

 

Anne, Cesar and Natalie
Anne, Cesar and Natalie

We decided against dessert, we had had quite enough food.  I can’t write about this without mentioning our lovely waitress and waiter, Natalie and Cesar.  They were so friendly and helpful, and helped to make our visit even better.  When it quietened down we had a very friendly chat with them both.

We stayed drinking Prosecco for a bit longer before going home.  Anne and I had a lovely day, and will be going back to M.

Thank you all at M Victoria Street for a great day out.

 

© Susan Shirley 2016

 

 

 

Sergio

20151223_200810

I had my Christmas post all written and ready to go, thinking that I was not going anywhere or doing anything out of the ordinary. Well, my meeting with my friend Anne Germain (http://www.annegermain.co.uk) changed all that.  We went to Sergio in Great Titchfield Street which turned out to be a real find.

Anne had been contacted by a modelling agency and she had her photo shoot this week. I’ll be honest, modelling is not my specialist subject, in fact I know zip about it, so she knew there was no point in asking me for any help where that was concerned. Meeting for drinks and dinner after is, however, something I can manage.

I arrived a bit early to do a recce of the restaurants in the surrounding area. I haven’t been out in that particular road before so it was pot luck. Anne and I had both seen an Italian restaurant near to where she was doing her photo shoot so we plumped for giving it a try. And boy, am I glad we did!

20151223_200932

The food was excellent, as was the service. Sergio is a family run restaurant, and has been there for about 20 years.  It’s one of those places where loads of famous people go, not that I’m really into celeb-spotting.

20151223_200944_001

We were both really hungry so we asked for olives and and mixed Italian salami to share for starters. The portions were huge! I had the sea bass with prawns, courgettes and tomatoes, and roast potatoes for my main. Mmmmmmmm. Anne really fancied risotto but was concerned that they would put Parmesan in it but they didn’t so she chose the king prawn, thyme and brandy risotto. We were starting to regret having ordered a starter, but we did a pretty good job of finishing our food. I’m sorry I didn’t take any photographs of the food, but we were way too busy eating.

20151223_201027

Our waiter was lovely, in fact everybody was lovely, and it was good to catch up with Anne. I have a feeling that Sergio may become a regular haunt for me, I’ve already told another friend about it.

To find out more, check out http://sergiosw1.co.uk

And Happy Christmas to everyone!

© Susan Shirley 2015

Spiritual Development with Anne Germain

www.susanshirley.myorganogold.com

og_logo_finalize

I attended a Spiritual Development Workshop run by Anne Germain at the weekend. There were eight of us present as students on the first day, nine on the second, plus Anne herself. It was a random mix, everyone who was present lead very different lives but it was an exceptionally well-matched, well-balanced group. The energy was amazing.

For those of you who don’t know, Anne is well-renowned medium who has been in the business for many years. She has a large number of repeat clients, which says something.

Victoria was the first to arrive. She and I had time to sit and chat before everyone else turned up and found that we had a great deal in common. She also brought a gluten and dairy free tiffin that she had made herself – someone had to man up and test the food, so I stepped up to the plate. Literally. It was delicious! Made with 90% cocoa Lindt chocolate…. Mmm.

 

image

Enough of food. For the time being, at any rate. The others started turning up and when everyone had arrived, we settled down ready for the day and did the formal introductions. Of course, we’d all been saying hello to each other as people arrived, but the trainer in Anne couldn’t start a session like that without doing things in the proper fashion: name and what experience we all had. Anne then explained the way that she intended it to work for the weekend. There was an air of expectation and anticipation in the room. We were ready to go.

We started with a guided meditation, to prepare ourselves for what was to come. Then Anne went on to explain about trance work and showed us how to see auras. Like everything else in life, you have to work on these things. Anne’s shown me how to see auras before but I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I don’t practice often enough. Well, you know the answer to that one, Susan!

Then the trance work. I’ve seen Anne go into a trance before, but it was a different spirit this time. He told us that he used to be a headmaster, and taught mathematics and Latin. I know that Anne doesn’t speak Latin (nor Italian, come to that, not that I think that particularly helps with Latin pronunciation) so when I was corrected for mispronouncing some Latin, I found it quite interesting if not a little strange!

image

We stopped for lunch after this; Anne told us that eating or drinking water is grounding and brings you back to the earthly realm. It was a cold buffet lunch, with a whole variety of different things to eat. As you might guess with a room full of women, there was a lot of chatting going on. The clearing up was done quite quickly when we’d finished too; I guess everyone knew the drill from their own homes…

After lunch, we worked with our guides to pass messages onto each other. This was quite new to me, although some of the others present had done it before. Janice and I worked together, and although I was a bit sceptical about what I was giving her, she said it made sense to her. And what she told me certainly did. I find it quite amazing that two people who have never met before and know nothing about each other (we honestly hadn’t had time to do anything more than the superficial stuff when we were chatting) can actually pass on quite obscure messages that make sense to the other person. There was none of the “expect a tall dark stranger to come into your life.” The messages were far more specific than that. I think she and both have a bit of work to do on our confidence in that area though.

We had a group discussion about the messages afterwards. Everyone was getting messages in different ways, which was very interesting, and, I suppose, all part of the development. Then, those of us, like me, who hadn’t done this before, were given a gift from spirit to help us to be able to pass messages on. Different things for different people, things that would make sense to us.

Then a bit more trance work- Victoria channeled one of her guides for the first time, which was amazing for all of us. Anne (or rather, the spirit she was channelling) told me that I have a challenging 18 months ahead of me, challenging in a good way. Mm, that makes sense given what is going on in my life at the moment.

At the end of the day, Anne showed us how to close ourselves down, we had a cup of tea and said our goodbyes for the evening. Victoria was booked into a nearby hotel, so she was staying for the evening meal. Anne had invited her friends Pat and Cal over to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, which had been a few days earlier. Sean arrived while we were drinking our tea – he was the tenth member of the development group but had been at a business meeting that he couldn’t miss during the day on Saturday.

Dinner was fun, and we ended up having a late night, and eating too much, which probably wasn’t a good idea when we had another busy day ahead of us. Hey ho.

The second day started with a meditation, a recap of the day before and then some details about what was to come. Anne told us that it’s important that the channel (medium) stays in control when spirit are talking to them, the channel needs to control the speed of the messages and ask spirit to make it clear what they mean. She also said that if someone was laid back when they were on the earth, they won’t become a little firecracker when they go to spirit. I suppose that makes sense too, although when I stop and think, I realise that I have more questions than answers.

image

We moved onto the Spirit Board. Anne said that it doesn’t always work, it’s up to spirit, and that you must always bless the board before starting, asking for help and guidance from your Guardian Angel. You have to ask them to speak in truth and love. We split into two groups for this. The first group did get the board to work, the second didn’t. What was most amazing was that the message spelled out the name of one of the members’ new company…. A name that no-one else in the room new at the time… that’s a bit hard to explain if you are a sceptic. Back in the same realm as the messages that Janice and I were giving to each other.

After lunch, there was more trance work. Victoria channelled her guide again, then Lorraine, one of the other members of the group, channelled someone, a couple of people, in fact, but Anne’s guide, Tall Trees put a halt to the proceedings because Lorraine had not given permission for the second person to come forward. That was a bit weird.

Our day carried on until it was time for the session to end. A cup of tea and then we all made our ways home. I will confess to being exhausted by the end of it – Sean and I travelled together on the train and both of us fell asleep. A fascinating and enjoyable couple of days.

Anne doesn’t know when she will be running another workshop, her work takes her all over the country and over Europe, but I’m sure if she gets enough interest, she will organise something soon.

You can contact Anne through http://annegermain.co.uk

And follow her on Facebook, look for Anne Germain or Spooky Anne.

© Susan Shirley 2015

CATS

www.susanshirley.myorganogold.com

I spent some time with my friends Anne Germain and her husband Keith last weekend.  Anne and Keith have four cats, Gizmo, Bilbo (usually referred to as Bo) Simba and Frodo.  Gizzy and Bo are sisters and the boys are brothers.  For the first time in their little lives, the girls willingly allowed me to stroke them. Funny that, because I’ve known them for years. The boys have always been friendly towards me but not the big girls.

2015-04-04 00.49.55

The boys, both gorgeous long haired black cats, had two sisters who have both, sadly, died. Anne tells me that the change in the girls’ behaviour has been since the most recent death.

It started me thinking about my own cats and cat behaviour generally.  I know very well that my beautiful Telesto was not happy with having her teeth scaled last year.  Then earlier this year, she started to exhibit stress related behaviour so I plugged in a Feliway diffuser and crossed everything hoping it would help.

HELLOMOTO

Amazing stuff, that Feliway, because within two weeks, she was much, much happier and had returned to her old self.  The manufacturers, by the way, say it can take up to six weeks to make a difference, so I was very impressed that it was so quick.

I had discussed her behaviour with my vet who explained that cat behaviours and social structures are very complicated, way too complicated for us humans.  So the change in Anne’s cats is maybe not surprising.

Telesto’s behaviour was also probably not difficult to understand.  Cats are territorial creatures and don’t much like change.  There is a particular cat that comes into my garden; we nicknamed him Dave that she particularly dislikes. In fact, she is scared of him.  A year or so ago, she spent all night awake, sitting on top of a neighbour’s shed because Dave was in my garden and she didn’t want to pass him to come in.  I know this because I kept getting up to check on her.  Even when I shooed him out of the garden, she wouldn’t come in; cats are stubborn too.  Anyway, he kept coming back as soon as I turned my back. Telesto also gets upset when I work long hours and she doesn’t feel that she gets enough of my attention.

It’s not just Telesto who has benefited from the Feliway though.  Oceana has been more relaxed too.  It’s only my little girls who don’t seem to have been affected, but then they don’t seem to be affected by very much. They are happy little souls and apart from the fact that they were abandoned at a couple of weeks old, they have lived with me for all but three months if their lives so clearly have a lot to be happy about!  They are well looked after and loved so don’t have a bad life.

20111226_170329

The little ones don’t go out very much, and if they do, they like me to leave the door open (we don’t do cat flaps). If I close the door they both do an impersonation of a meercat, standing on hind legs looking through the window.  So cute!

Some other interesting cat facts:

  1. On average, cats spend about 16 hours a day sleeping.
  2. Female cats tend to be right pawed. Just watch them to see!
  3. Cats can hear high frequency sounds about two octaves higher than humans. Their hearing is better than that of dogs.
  4. A cat can run at a speed of about 31 mph over a short distance.
  5. A cat can jump about five times its own height in one leap.
  6. When a cat rubs its cheeks against you or objects it’s not just a sign of love, it has glands in its cheeks that mark you or the object with its scent. Its tails and paws also carry the cat’s scent.
  7. In many parts of Europe and North America, black cats are considered to be a sign of bad luck, however, in Britain and Australia, the opposite is the case. However, back in the Middle Ages, they were considered bad luck here.
  8. The reason that cats don’t like water is that their coats do not insulate them well when wet.
  9. Cats usually have twelve whiskers on each side of their face.
  10. Cats don’t have such good colour vision as humans, and can’t see things very close up.
  11. Isaac Newton invented the cat flap.
  12. Cats almost never meow at other cats, they reserve that for humans.

© Susan Shirley 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cafe Rouge

I met with my friend Anne on Wednesday, which was good because we are both so busy we rarely get time to see each other. I must start by saying that we had intended to have a quiet drink and maybe a little bite to eat in the Grosvenor Hotel. It’s attached to Victoria Station, so very convenient, and we went in there the last time we met up.

I hate to say this, but the last time we met, we found the maitre d’ a trifle off-putting, and Wednesday was exactly the same. I don’t know why, Anne was dressed in casual clothes and my coat is a bit old and tatty (what can I say? Buying a new coat hasn’t been at the top of my list of priorities. I know I need to get one for next year, but I can tell you all, I’ve seen very wealthy people look far worse than I do). Anyway, one way of another, the first time, he got a pass. This time, we decided to take our custom elsewhere. So we went to Cafe Rouge in Victoria Place instead.

How pleased am I that we did! We had the best waiter in the whole of London, a lovely young man named Curtis who was so attentive and pleasant that we nearly missed the meeting we were due to attend. Curtis, I hope you read this, because you were a star.

Anne and I had both had dental things going on, so our “meal” was quite strange – chips and olives. And, of course, wine. So the Grosvenor’s loss was our gain. The food was cheaper too.

Germain 032

As usual, Anne gave me some interesting info from her spooky friends, I am keeping everything crossed that they have got the timing right. I shall report back on that in due course.

I ended up going to a meeting with Anne about Organo Gold coffee. Organo Gold is known as healthy coffee, with a reduced amount of caffeine, and containing Ganoderma lucidum.

Ganoderma is a genera of mushroom currently being investigated for their potential to assist in antioxidant activities, protecting the liver, lowering blood glucose, antibacterial and antiviral effects and in reducing blood cholesterol to name a few. Ganoderma lucidum specifically is being trialled in chemotherapy patients and has been shown to give a better response to the drug therapy, although I think it’s fair to say that those trials are in the early stages. It’s also been shown to improve immune functions in those patients (chemotherapy often compromises the immune system, so anything that helps strengthen it is a plus.

It is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to enhance longevity and generally enhance health. If it does all the things I’ve said above, it’s easy to see how it would do all these things, although like most things, you can have too much of a good thing, and it also thins the blood, and is apparently useful in altitude sickness.

I am unashamedly a full-strength caffeine, filter coffee type of girl, and I don’t normally buy instant coffee at all, but I will say that the Gourmet Black Coffee was remarkably pleasant. I don’t think I’ll give up normal coffee, but as someone who has a couple of types of liver disease, I think I will try Organo Gold, to see what effect it has. I’m also going to get some for my friend Geoff, the one who had the rare form of leukaemia. They do tea and hot chocolate too. I’ve tried the jasmine tea, but not the other yet, so I can’t comment on that. You can purchase it here if you are interested in trying it:

http://annegermain.myorganogold.com/gb-en/

A little bit of history of coffee in England

Coffee is thought to have originated in Ethiopia as far back as the thirteenth century. The Arabs tried to prevent it from being cultivated elsewhere so they banned the export of fertile coffee beans. It wasn’t until 1616 that the Dutch managed to find a way around the ban and took plants back to the Netherlands to grow in greenhouses. By the late 1600s, the Dutch were growing coffee in India, in Malabar, and in 1699, they took plants to be grown in Java (now Indonesia), hence the name of my favourite, Hot Java Lava. By now, the Dutch were the main suppliers of coffee to Europe.

coffee-beans-399466_1280

Of course, coffee had competition: from tea and hot chocolate. Tough choices. The first European coffee houses opened in Venice in 1683. Lloyd’s of London, the largest insurance market in the world, started life in a London coffee house in 1688. The coffee houses flourished because there was no alcohol, so they were considered to be more serious places. It’s always better to do business without those beer goggles. They played an important role in what is known as the Age of Enlightenment. In fact, the first coffee houses in England were established in Oxford rather than London, the first being opened in 1650, called the Angel. Christopher Wren was one of those who frequented the Oxford coffee houses. However, London wasn’t far behind, with the first being opened in 1652.

hot-chocolate-570509_1280

The coffee houses were also closely associated with news, and The Spectator and The Tatler were widely circulated and considered to be the most influential publications in the coffee houses.

Were women allowed in coffee houses? Historians disagree, with some saying they weren’t allowed, while others say that they mostly chose not to go there because they and their conversation were male dominated. There was, however, a “Women’s Petition Against Coffee,” by those who claimed it made men sterile and impotent!!! Interesting when you consider that when it was first introduced, coffee was considered to be a medicinal drink and I can think of a number of women who’d be force feeding their men coffee if that were actually true.

By the end of the eighteenth century, the coffee houses started to decline. Again, historians don’t universally agree on the reason, in fact, it seems that there were a number of reasons for it, not the least being that the government tried to influence the demand for tea, as a result of positioning of the British East India Company (the John Company). Certainly, tea overtook coffee in popularity.

As far as I can tell, it wasn’t until the 1950s that coffee bars started to rise in popularity again. Predominately frequented by the young, there is the image of juke boxes and Teddy Boys that comes to my mind. But it was in 1894 that Lyons opened a teashop in Piccadilly. By 1909 the chain of Lyons Corner Houses opened up, finally closing in 1977. They were four or five stories high, and were open for twenty four hours a day for a while.

Costa Coffee opened up in the 1970s and from there they’ve gone from strength to strength. You barely go anywhere nowadays without seeing a Starbucks or Caffe Nero or a Wild Bean Cafe. There’s even opened up a little coffee bar at my local station.

So there we have it. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate. They’ll all do for me. As I’m such a big tea fan, I probably need to write about that soon.

© Susan Shirley 2015

-

by - [-]
Rank/Rating: -/-
Price: -

My Day of Thank Yous!

One of the joys of having your own blog is that, within the confines of legality, you can write pretty much anything you want to write.

So today, for me, is a day of “Thank Yous.”  I have so much to be grateful for, and, walking through my beloved St James Park yesterday, where the daffodils and crocuses are out in bloom, just made me realise how fortunate I am.  Thank you Universe, for all that beauty!

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog!  Anyone who knows me knows that I am preparing myself for my future life if I am made redundant later this year, hence writing as much as I can now.  This is a showcase for some of my work; so thank you all, and please keep reading.  (And, if you like the posts, maybe you would consider “liking them” on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.)

Next, I want to thank my friends and family.  In particular, I’d like to thank my friend Anne Germain.  Anne and I have been friends for many years, since we first worked together, and have shared tears and joys and the odd glass of wine or two!  Anne took the plunge and started doing what she loves a number of years ago.  I’ve had a number of private readings from her, and I can tell you, she is spookily accurate.  Always makes for an interesting evening, when she can tell me what’s happening in my life before I know about it!

You can check out her website at http://www.annegermain.co.uk

I’d like to thank Linda Formichelli, a freelance writer.  I don’t know Linda personally, but I wholeheartedly recommend her book “Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race,” not just for wannabe writers, but anyone who is thinking of becoming self-employed.  And while I’m on the subject of writers’ resources, thank you also to Sheryl Jacobs for “50 Freebies for Frugal Writers.”  There are lots of other books out there, but I haven’t read them all yet.  (Note the word “yet.”  I’m sure I’ll get around to it.)

Lisa Irby is another one of my heroines.  She has a website about setting up websites, and she explains things in a really simple way.  http://www.2createawebsite.com

Sophie Lizard is also a favourite.  With so many resources available on the web, sometimes it’s hard to know which ones are worth looking at.  I’m not saying that none of the others are any good, just that these are ones I like.  http://beafreelanceblogger.com

Thank you everyone, for all your help and support.  I’ll let you know on this blog when I publish my first book, and I shall pray that you all buy it.

And if you want to check out more of my work, take a look here:

http://wizzley.com/authors/Telesto

 

You can follow me at:

https://twitter.com/SusanShirley2  or https://www.facebook.com/susan.shirley1

©Susan Shirley 2014