Almost six years ago I flew to Portland Oregon to train with the Gypsy Caravan Dance Company. It was spring.  Portland was in bloom.  Cherry blossom, rain, bookshops, clogs, fresh coffee, bright sunshine and dancing. Laughter. Then more dancing. I loved the city almost as much as the spirit and kinship of the studio.

Tribal belly dance is about connection – connection to our selves, to the music and to each other. It’s about moving with unified purpose, sharing and soul. Community is too, isn’t it?  I think about it a lot – Portland. And the importance of community.

I’m on my way back today. Part of me feels as if I’m flying home.  Maybe our spirit still travels occasionally to the places we have lived and loved.



On my way
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 18 April 2012

Hearth is a place to gather, to be our selves, to regenerate, to laugh and connect.  It’s our place of wisdom and power, a place for communion with family and friends.

Did you know that the latin word ‘focus’ means hearth, fireplace, fire, flame, center, central point? I love that.

Our hearth is the actual and symbolic center of our home – a place of basic comfort, warmth and light.  We light a fire everyday.  For summer evenings, we dug an old tractor wheel into the earth beneath two huge Scotts pines for our fire pit. Such happy times.


Hygge and hearth
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 13 April 2012

Sometimes a street is lifted by one person’s particular vision and peculiar bravery.  Something inspiring, almost comforting has arrived in Hastings with Alastair Hendy and his nostalgic, elegant Homestore full of useful and beautiful things – honey coloured string,  pear wood brushes, fat cream candles, wick trimmers, milk jugs, felt slippers, old desks, linen and book ends. And when he opens his café at weekends, the store will come alive with friends sharing simple seafood and, hopefully, good coffee. Hastings could do with a decent cup of coffee.

Beautiful and useful
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 7 April 2012

I find the smooth, round stones that I gather at the beach in the pockets of my old sheepskin coat, wrapped in picnic blankets and handkerchiefs and hidden in the bottom of my bag. These touchstones feel warm and solid in my palm.  They look like tiny planets.  They are totems, gifts from the tides, small reminders of the generous ebb and flow of life.  I pick them up when I need consolation and strength and give them to the children for good luck. Usually, I put them by our bed and on the mantelpiece. Yesterday I played with them and made a circle to welcome anyone who steps into our house.

Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 6 April 2012