27 September 2013

A Tale of Two weekends

A few snaps to demonstrate the amazing difference between my last 2 weekends:

Weekend 1 (September 14th/15th) as part of the Jane Austen festival the delightful regency parade, we took Tea, promenaded and played croquet.

Weekend 2 (September 21st/22nd) Tough Mudder: 12 miles of mud, tears and camaraderie.

Now with weekend 3 coming up (28th/28th) is crossfit 'throw down' a competition day for charity. Man, I'm looking forward to weekend 4 - Nothing!!

Here I am at the throwdown, refuelling and enjoying the company of Sonny - the cutest dog there ever was....


25 September 2013

Tough Mudder - The Review

Dear All,

You will have noticed that scattered around my champagne supping and regency promenading I also set off on quite an adventure of willpower, camaraderie and fitness: Tough Mudder

For those considering such an event, I have advice grasshoppers!

I did a lot of googling leading up to event, especially relating to GIRLS running the event

I found a mixture of terrifying and reassuring notes from past participants: one girl was running 3x 8 mile runs a week to prepare, another said she didn't prepare that much and round the experience 6 out of 10 on the toughness scale, is she saying it was easy?!

Also varying reviews on what to bring - one post said don't take any water or food as they provide water and bananas round the course and another said they has run out of both on her run - now I really like to have a bottle of water whenever I run so I decided to take a runners 500ml bottle and planned to chuck it if it got in the way (which I did in the last 2 miles). In the only available sneaky pocket in my leggings I also stashed a tiny tub of Vaseline and a nakd raw bar. Just in case. (turns out I didn't have time for the bar - should have bought gels and couldn't open the vaseline tub with my numb fingers! next year, chapstick!)

- Crossfit and Tough mudder seem to go hand in hand -so many people I train with have also done tough mudder. 3/4 sessions a week helped me building up the upper body strength for the climbing /swinging/bar obstacles - but I still fell off the monkey bars in about 2 seconds because they were so slippery!
- running - I don't love running, so I found it hard to keep up regular practise but tried to go once a week for a run between 5 and 12 miles depending on how awesome I was feeling that day. It undoubtably helped but it was still very tough and I still had to walk quite a lot.
- Yoga - with all the tough training I really felt that stretching all my aching muscles out in yoga class helped. Maybe meditation helped mentally prepare for facing my fears......

What to Take
- a rucksack with a change of clothes+shoes/small towel/cream/ and a woolly hat - although in the end I was too busy wearing my orange headband to wear the hat.
- a bottle of water and energy bar/gel

What to wear
- Bottoms that cover your knees
- Tight fitting top (I had a long sleeved one) - t shirts get soaked and baggy as soon as you hit your first water obstacle
- Gloves - again, not vital but I think they helped protect my hands

What to do
PICK YOUR TEAM WISELY - Now I can't really talk because I just got really lucky,  I swapped teams rather last minute as my friend dropped out and I didn't know the rest of the team. So I swapped to a team where I only knew one person from crossfit :P

BUT it turned out to be the best decision I could have made - the rest of my team were experienced tough mudders, patient with me being the slowest member and unfailingly optimistic and fun. Also the strong agile boys were essential for pulling the girls over the berlin walls, and even with me slowing the group down we completed in 3 hours which I'm told is a pretty good time :)

Erm Yeah! I suppose this can relate to your specific definition of tough - but I just cannot imagine doing this without training first. My Team was amazing, but I've heard of other people who were disappointed at their team slowing them down- I didn't want to be THAT girl. Even if you walked the whole thing - the obstacles still involved strength, speed, endurance and swallowing your fears. So yes its hard, yes its long, but yes it is awesome, (yes, I'm glad its over)


Woop! I mean, Om......

I'm going to be a yoga teacher! -I signed up today (cos its payday) to my yoga teacher training course.

I actually did the maths yesterday - I have been practising yoga for 23 years!! and I admit I'm somewhat ashamed thats its taken me this long to really start learning about it properly, and that after 23 years I still don't know all the sanskrit names for the asanas, or indeed anything about Patanjali and the Yoga sutras. I could have been an expert long ago....but it just never occurred to me that I was capable, so I suppose it just wasn't the right time for me. Now, it is!

There are a few options I have in mind for  teaching yoga in Bath. It may well be I will maybe teach just 1 or 2 sessions a week, but a yoga teacher I will be!

And so the journey begins...... :) I'm excited and happy - I love a new goal, and a new challenge!


19 September 2013


I had a New goal of teaching yoga and intended it for the sometime future, but after researching my yoga training options I've learnt some interesting things. Turns out there is no one official training system that qualifies you to teach yoga - but a variety of training options to prepare you for the challenge. The yoga alliance 200hr training sessions are very comprehensive with lots of hands on experience, but cost £3000, and turns out the British School of Yoga offer a yoga teacher certification, with which you can teach for £300/400 - which changes things a bit.

As soon as I found this out a plan hatched itself in my mind - get my teaching certification and start teaching short yoga sessions at the crossfit box, at first for free, for the experience, and then if I can afford it perhaps a residential course or yoga retreat.

This is not a change of career as such but a new branch of my life, and I'm excited! I've decided to give myself a month to sign up and get studying!


17 September 2013

Why Generation Y-ers are unhappy...

A very interesting article from Huffington Post

Their tips?

1) Stay wildly ambitious. The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success. The specific direction may be unclear, but it'll work itself out -- just dive in somewhere.
2) Stop thinking that you're special. The fact is, right now, you're not special. You're another completely inexperienced young person who doesn't have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.
3) Ignore everyone else. Other people's grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today's image crafting world, other people's grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you'll never have any reason to envy others.


30 things I wish I had known about life before I turned 30

This comes from a post from fitness coach Martin Rooney so some are very fitness orientated, but still a few good tips here:

1. I wish I spent more time deciding what I really wanted from life.
Figure out your passion and purpose. Don’t wait until 30 to find that out. Chances are the guys that figured it out earlier already have the dream house, the dream job, and the dream girl.

2. I wish I would have known protein was essential for post workout nutrition.
I went from just water and no eating, to carb-only “sports” drinks. I know I would have had way better results if current science had been available. A Gatorade just doesn’t cut it.

3. I wish I would have been more excited for other people’s success.
This will get you ahead faster than only being excited for your own success. Take time to hear what people think. You won’t ever get called a jerk for listening too much.

4. I wish I would have had a full length mirror in my house.
Then I would have known I had to train my legs, too. To think of all the times I did biceps curls instead of squats…

5. I wish I had paid attention to the effect food had on me.
Some foods made me drowsy and others gave me a throat full of phlegm. I thought it was “normal.” Now I replaced that word with “allergy.” Start figuring how foods you eat are affecting you.

6. I wish I would have known girls are more attracted to guys who have fun.
Guys who try to look big and tough miss out.

7. I wish I would have learned to keep my house and car neat.
Someday a girl is going to come to one of them and care about chewed fingernails and the stain on your pillow case. Protein bottles in the back? They smell worse than you think they do.

8. I wish I got rid of things faster.
Once your favorite t-shirt has more holes than a Tiger Woods alibi, it’s time to let it go. Same goes for the old sneakers you’ll never wear again. Same thing with resentment and ill-will.

9. I wish I would have saved more money.
Get a financial planner, an IRA going, and invest. Don’t wait until you’re married and someone else is counting on you. And regardless if you have much money or not, put some away now. Learn the Law of 7 and the idea of compounding interest.

10. I wish I would have learned that driving 20-30 miles doesn’t make a bar any better.
Odds are the bar in your town will be just as fun. And your chances of trouble (DUI, etc.) go way down.

11. I wish I would have known what kinds of food weren’t good for me.
Most labels with “Light,” “Healthy,” or “part of a nutritious diet” are really just trying to cover up how crappy the food actually is.

12. I wish I followed my instincts more.
Listen to that knot in your gut. If you think she might not be the right girl, she probably isn’t. Same goes for your job. Of all the voices you hear, your own may be the wisest and hardest to listen to.

13. I wish I had been more coachable.
Welcome feedback and understand that criticism is positive. Just like rubbing alcohol on a scrape, it will be painful at first. But you’ll be better off cleaning strategic areas of your life.

14. I wish I would have written down exactly what I wanted.
Spend more time planning where you’re going in life than planning where you are going on Friday night.

15. I wish I started my “private” university earlier.
Build your personal library and read. 20 pages a night 5 days a week turns into 100 books in 5 years. 100 books in 5 years can turn you into an expert…in anything.

16. I wish I would have know there was a rotator cuff, feet muscles, neck muscles, hip adductors and abductors.
I would have worked on those more.

17. I wish I had learned the true power of a thank you.
Since I’ve adopted an authentic “attitude of gratitude,” my life has been much smoother. Hint: send a card or gift to someone that deserves it today.

18. I wish I had not been “too busy” for my parents.
When you get older, get a real job, and get married, you only have less time for your parents. Realize that they’re people, just like you. And that they’re actually pretty smart and fun to be around.

19. I wish I used my “down time” better.
Speaking of “too busy,” never say that you are. 24 hours is enough time to get stuff done and still have fun.

20. I wish I was less concerned with what everyone else thought about me.
I now know a thick skin isn’t just important for your hands and working out. It’s important for life and not caring about other people’s opinions of you. The fastest way to be unhappy is to worry about making everybody else happy and not staying true to yourself.

21. I wish I would have laughed more.
Make sure to laugh everyday. Learn to speak the language of “serious fun.” As it implies, get the serious stuff done…but make sure you have your share of fun and play, too.

22. I wish I would have quit some things faster.
Know when to quit things. Although it may seem counterintuitive, there are people, situations, and places where you are spending your time that aren’t serving you. Quit them.

23. I wish I would have defined my values earlier.
Decide what you stand for. If you don’t stand for much, you’ll fall for anything.

My first jobs, workouts, and girlfriends were because other people said they would be good for me. Make that choice for yourself and you won’t develop a weak set of knees when the time comes to stand up for yourself.

24. I wish I didn’t let other people’s expectations hold me back.
Eight words to remove from your vocabulary: “What will people say? What will people think?”

25. I wish I had gossiped less.
Build people up to their face and don’t talk to people behind their back. It only leads to trouble.

26. I wish I had trained around injury better.
Your body has incredible recuperative powers. Don’t let injuries or time off hold you back. And remember, even if you took time off, it’s never too late to start again toward fitness.

27. I wish I would have treated my body like my car.
In other words, don’t just pay attention to your body when there’s a problem. Also, make sure you are putting the right things in the gas tank. Just because it looks good on the outside doesn’t mean everything is good on the inside.

28. I wish I had “kept in touch” better.
Don’t let more than three months go by without staying in touch with the important people in your network.

29. I wish I had built my network even faster.
Surround yourself with people more fit, successful, and wealthy than you are. Just like the tide, you will rise or fall according to the influential bodies around you.

30. I wish I would have realized that the world is “service” oriented.
Serve others. You’ll learn as you get older that it’s not about what you get, but what you give back that really counts.

12 September 2013

Note to self...

Sometime this blog is great way simply to remind myself to do things -I think pinterest might be something similar but my techno-interests don't spread that far...anyways Petworth has always been a divine part of the South but I have just found out that this beauty also resides there: The Old Railway Station hotel


I must stay here! xxxx

11 September 2013

47. Make chutney

Its a rainy autumnal evening and I've made a spiced fruit chutney (Along with some banana chocolate muffins).


10 September 2013

I enjoyed reading these words of advice, and feel there are some useful tips in here for us all:

My posthumous advice for my daughter

Published at 12:11PM, July 13 2013 in The Times

My daughter is about to turn 13 and I’ve been smoking a lot recently, and so – in the wee small hours, when my lungs feel like there’s a small mouse inside them, scratching to get out – I’ve thought about writing her one of those “Now I’m Dead, Here’s My Letter Of Advice For You To Consult As You Continue Your Now Motherless Life” letters. Here’s the first draft. Might tweak it a bit later. When I’ve had another fag.
“Dear Lizzie. Hello, it’s Mummy. I’m dead. Sorry about that. I hope the funeral was good – did Daddy play Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen when my coffin went into the cremator? I hope everyone sang along and did air guitar, as I stipulated. And wore the stick-on Freddie Mercury moustaches, as I ordered in the ‘My Funeral Plan’ document that’s been pinned on the fridge since 2008, when I had that extremely self-pitying cold.
Look – here are a couple of things I’ve learnt on the way that you might find useful in the coming years. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. Also, I’ve left you loads of life-insurance money – so go hog wild on eBay on those second-hand vintage dresses you like. You have always looked beautiful in them. You have always looked beautiful.
The main thing is just to try to be nice. You already are – so lovely I burst, darling – and so I want you to hang on to that and never let it go. Keep slowly turning it up, like a dimmer switch, whenever you can. Just resolve to shine, constantly and steadily, like a warm lamp in the corner, and people will want to move towards you in order to feel happy, and to read things more clearly. You will be bright and constant in a world of dark and flux, and this will save you the anxiety of other, ultimately less satisfying things like ‘being cool’, ‘being more successful than everyone else’ and ‘being very thin’.
Second, always remember that, nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit. You’d be amazed how easily and repeatedly you can confuse the two. Get a big biscuit tin.
Three – always pick up worms off the pavement and put them on the grass. They’re having a bad day, and they’re good for… the earth or something (ask Daddy more about this; am a bit sketchy).
Four: choose your friends because you feel most like yourself around them, because the jokes are easy and you feel like you’re in your best outfit when you’re with them, even though you’re just in a T-shirt. Never love someone whom you think you need to mend – or who makes you feel like you should be mended. There are boys out there who look for shining girls; they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart. The books about vampires are true, baby. Drive a stake through their hearts and run away.
Stay at peace with your body. While it’s healthy, never think of it as a problem or a failure. Pat your legs occasionally and thank them for being able to run. Put your hands on your belly and enjoy how soft and warm you are – marvel over the world turning over within, the brilliant meat clockwork, as I did when you were inside me and I dreamt of you every night.
Whenever you can’t think of something to say in a conversation, ask people questions instead. Even if you’re next to a man who collects pre-Seventies screws and bolts, you will probably never have another opportunity to find out so much about pre-Seventies screws and bolts, and you never know when it will be useful.
This segues into the next tip: life divides into AMAZING ENJOYABLE TIMES and APPALLING EXPERIENCES THAT WILL MAKE FUTURE AMAZING ANECDOTES. However awful, you can get through any experience if you imagine yourself, in the future, telling your friends about it as they scream, with increasing disbelief, ‘NO! NO!’ Even when Jesus was on the cross, I bet He was thinking, ‘When I rise in three days, the disciples aren’t going to believe this when I tell them about it.’
Babyiest, see as many sunrises and sunsets as you can. Run across roads to smell fat roses. Always believe you can change the world – even if it’s only a tiny bit, because every tiny bit needed someone who changed it. Think of yourself as a silver rocket – use loud music as your fuel; books like maps and co-ordinates for how to get there. Host extravagantly, love constantly, dance in comfortable shoes, talk to Daddy and Nancy about me every day and never, ever start smoking. It’s like buying a fun baby dragon that will grow and eventually burn down your f***ing house.
Love, Mummy."

2 September 2013

A New Goal


I'm fresh off the plane from Chicago and had a glorious time exploring a new city (photos to follow), and trying out a few stateside yoga classes with Core Power Yoga and Trump hotels' Sunrise Yoga, and fresh from the feeling of opportunity and reinvention that holidays can bring on, I present you with a new goal:

53. Do a teacher training course via the Yoga alliance and teach Yoga

I've often pondered the possibility of packing in the office job and teaching yoga, and whilst I still would like to focus on getting a Job working with animals - I think that in the future I would like to train so that I could teach yoga part/ or full time. Courses are usually a 200hr programme and cost around £2,000

Its also one of those jobs like hairdressing and nursing that is universal and in theory I could go anywhere to teach yoga -tho of course USA would be where I would most like to go to teach!

So there is today's new goal, and I feel confident that whilst it may not be right for me right now - it will be a great challenge I can take on one day.