Celebrating BIG time… 80 and 50 years young…

IMG_4843The beginning of a week of celebrations for our family…

For a long time Tom and I have had our eye on a spectacular journey through the English countryside, back in time… and what a perfect time to organise it… for Barrie/my dad on his 80th birthday.  Barrie has always been crazy about steam trains, so when we found the Belmond British Pullman (Belmond, an American Company recently bought the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express Business) was available for a journey back in ‘The Golden Age of Steam Travel’, we began to ‘secretly’ arrange it all.  Barrie and my sister Angie came down to London on thursday night and here we are above on the eve of our mystery celebration journey.

Novemember 7th The taxi took us through the London streets to Victoria Station where we walked through to the departure boards… ‘Are we going on a rail journey?’ Barrie asked.  It was all quite exiting.  To the left I saw platform 2 where we had to be, we walked along the platform and came across a red carpet, a 1920’s brass band playing and a grand entrance… to the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express.

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We checked in and received our boarding tickets for our seating in the grand old carriage Gwen…. she had been in service in Britain on the Brighton Belle 1934 – 1972, the first all-electric Pullman car train in the world.  It operated between London and Brighton.  It’s lavish interior of plush carpets, velvet upholstery, marquetry panels, fronted glass lampshades and brass fittings was nothing but luxury at its very best and available to shuttle the wealthy and distinguished travellers around Britain and the new continent.

Life took on major change in the 1960’s and 1970 and the British Pullman trains/carriages were pulled out of service and either sold off or left for the scrapheap. But a man, James Sherwood had a dream… to revive the legendary Orient-Express.  He located all the lost carriages and acquired 35 historic sleepers, pullmans and restaurant cars and using both new technology and the original marquetry business, together they restored the carriages and engines to their former fame and glory. 1981 saw the re-launch of the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express from London Victoria Station.  The cars were all stars once again, palaces on wheels, for all to enjoy.

So here we were, walking up to the front of the British Pullman 35028 (in service from 1948 until 1967) and now once again in service to us for a wonderful journey back in time.  We were greeted like royalty and seated in one of the closed compartments in Gwen’s luxurious carriage. A thick linen cloth decked the table and china, silverware and crystal glistened as the sun shone in through the window. Before we could take in and register this grand abundance of richness, the champagne was served and we tasted the delicious hors d oeuvres.

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We left the station, smoke bellowing along side the carriage, we heard the nostalgic sound of ‘chuff chuff’ as we gained speed, the smell of the coal being fired up and the ‘woo woo’ signal as it approached each station… Our throats were filled with joy and tears came to all our eyes as we were taken back in a time of ‘no time’ with richness all around our magnificent and distinguished self’s.  This was our celebration, we found ourselves in a time capsule, peaceful and truly out of this world…a once in a lifetime experience… quite beyond words to write down.  Instead our hearts and souls expanded and took it all in as we enjoyed the wonderful five course lunch, plenty of champagne, wine, port and liquors, blue skies and sunshine (in England…), lighting up the beautiful lush countryside of SouthEast England.

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Four hours later our journey had come to its end in London Victoria where we disembarked the British Pullman with big smiles and feelings of deep joy and gratitude.  We said our thankyou’s and goodbye’s and made our way back home.  IMG_4931IMG_4939IMG_4947

So Barrie was exceptionally happy today… 80 years old, still wonderfully healthy and active with optimism and a positive attitude which I knew takes everyone into a grand old age of thriving and continuous celebration with family and friends.

We travelled back by modern electric train to Derby and prepared for our next celebration. Angie was becoming 50 years young… which we again celebrated in style together with family and friends in Shardlow… thanks to Jon her boyfriend and friend Tracy for organising it all.  Here’s a few pictures to enjoy… (please note the face masks of Angie that we all wore… just to confuse her) and what do you know… after the wonderful meal Jon got down on his knees in front of us all and asked Angie to marry him.

IAM so so happy… My little sister has found a magnificent person in Jon, a kind active and happy gentleman… Jon, welcome to the family, Tom and I love having you as our younger brother… and looking forward to many more family ‘once in a lifetime’ journeys in the world.  



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Thanks to all our family and friends who want to share an extraordinary life with us. Until the next time I put pen to paper… IAM so involved in day to day experiences and focusing on my first book and painting (intuitively from peoples names/passion/colour/birthplace)…  my book will be ready soon and my first painting by name is here… Please have patience, I’ll be back more regularly soon…


Barbara Franken… Inspiriing New Energy Consciousness…


25 years of LOVE and CANCUN… Mexico… Here we are again…


It felt as if Tom and I had stepped into a time warp… back to the early 90’s…

A wonderful breeze of hot mexican air… friendly smiling deep tanned ‘small folk’… palm trees swaying in a beautiful blue sky… stretches of ultra white glistening sand and turquoise seas… ocean waves lapping on the land, a heavenly feeling of Gaia’s gentle caress that touches the depth of your heart and soul that is connected to ALL… laughter and screams of joy from children and young adults as they jump the waves, splash in the pool and dance to the deep music vibrations in the local night clubs… lying on the beach soaking up the sun, drifting off to a place of enchantment and silence… resting the body and mind of the busyness of ‘normal’ life and allowing one’s spirit to come into the foreground and ignite inspiration and passion with a feeling of peace swaying in the background…


“What was it that brought us here year after year for 25 years… to enjoy this small piece of the world”… Tom asked…


This time warp that we had both slipped back into… so easily… connected us to the deep feeling, the joy and passion of life… that had, IAM SURE… spurred us on to settle in Mazarron Country Club 7 years ago… another unspoilt, tranquil and peaceful environment where we allowed ourself’s to connect deeply with ALL OF OURSELF… body, mind and spirit… we had learned to be at peace, to refuel, recharge and experience the nothingness in life… wherever we were…


But today… 7 years later… following the yearning of our hearts… we are back for a well deserved ‘Time Out’ before we move to our new home in Benalmadena, Costa del Sol…  There are more tall buildings, more people, traffic, shops, restaurants and hotels… but nothing could cover up the peaceful hum, the natural colours and shapes of Gaia’s presence here… Long ago we had both connected with the natural vibration of LOVE that is here… that brought us to the core of ourself… and will always remain special to us… Over the last 25 years we’ve shared this paradise with our family and friends… We joined together and committed ourself’s to each other, for better and worse here on our beach… on our rock…


Our Rock… We will respect and honour each other for eternity…


Our old apartment… Carisa Y Palma…

IMG_2117We feel truly home… a place to celebrate our love for ourself and each other… 25 years.. quite a milestone… Enjoy the photos… and here’s to new inspiration for the creation of another post from CANCUN, Mexico… Hasta Luego Amigo/a’s…



A quote that is engraved on a building here on the beach that we have always resonated with…  ‘Life is lost in dreaming… Dreaming is lost in Becoming…’  So let us live mindfully in each moment of our life and allow ourself to be our grandest heart and soul’s dream ever…

Barbara Franken… Inspiring New Energy Consciousness…


p.s.  Please share our Free E Book that can be downloaded from here and my home page on the side bar… ‘A selection of true awakening experiences’… to inspire more and more hearts to allow their natural awakening… that is happening now…


The Wisdom of Golf… at Desert Springs, Almanzora, Spain

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24 years ago today Tom and I got together… a great reason to celebrate a few days in a lovely golf resort, Desert Springs, Almanzora, Spain…  The weather is warm but a little overcast, never mind… Tom and I have an early afternoon start time today to enjoy a nice game of golf and enjoy the beautiful scenery here in Almanzora… We’ve been here before, but I didn’t remember just how beautiful it was.. Desert Springs, like the name reveals is a golf course right in the middle of Mediterranean desert land… It is nature at its very best… wild, colourful, prickly and raw…



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Creative Expression…

This is your invitation to join Barbara on  
Thursday 30th May, 11-17 hr 
Mazarron Country Club, Murcia, Spain

  For a fun and creative ‘me day’ with friends in a safe and quiet space…

Connecting to your innate passion and joy, allowing yourself to imagine, be inspired and express your beingness, your soul voice… and enjoy…
*A Dreamwalk… Expanding into the New Energy  Consciousness 
*Intuitive Painting… Bringing a dream into reality
*A 3 Course Homemade Lunch
*Inspiring feedback of the days experience….
Cost… 15 Euro
Contact Barbara to reserve your place by Tel: 650796579
or email info@sacredheartsretreat.com