May 30: Physical and mental #2

Woke up with the worst hhhhh…ayfever (you thought I was going to write hangover, huh?), so spent a few miserable hours in bed feeling sorry for myself and waiting for the tablet to kick in.

It wasn’t all a waste of time – I listened to more episodes of a thoroughly intriguing podcast called Serial. Being behind the times is a recurring theme in my life – this non-fiction story/series, about a Baltimore journalist trying to find out if a convicted killer is in fact innocent – was released to great acclaim in October last year and I’m only just getting around to checking it out. Highly recommended when your eyes are so puffy from hayfever that you can’t read a book! Or when you’re doing the dusting, or knitting etc, or can’t sleep at night and don’t want to turn a light on. I can’t wait to find out what happens! This definitely ticks the mentally fit box!

Once I was ready to venture outdoors, we put up the tent near the pool with help from Liliane’s friends Fritz and Lotte. Now all we need is clean water (once it’s warmed up a bit more).


Many hands make light work


An action shot from the working bee after-party!

I also mowed a small section of lawn that couldn’t be accessed last week because of a parked car, and then whipper-snippered further down the hill in that area. I don’t like mowing there because the mower gets quite a lean-on, on the edge of the forest, so I had to clean up the edges a bit. It was important to do it today, so it’s nice for when Rene comes home from hospital tomorrow – his operation went so well, he’s allowed to leave earlier than expected. Good news! (Hope I haven’t jinxed it now.)

And in other ‘good news’, here are some articles I’ve enjoyed this week:

My blogging friend Freda (am I allowed to say that, Freda?!) from livesimplysimplylive recently posted this ballet-influenced exercise routine which I’m looking forward to trying. Her blog has many interesting and inspiring musings and themes, and many calming photos.

Improved flexibility and balance have been high on my list of “wants” for 2015 and this article reinforces the need to bend and stretch, reach for the stars

Despite the disturbing headline, this is a wonderful, heart-warming story of true love and having to go to odd lengths for the same rights. I hope countries around the world soon follow Ireland’s lead.

Ariana from paris-to-go has completed one month of washing her hair just with water. See the results and read her thoughts about being chemical free here. Very inspiring!

And presto! The reason for the holes in Swiss cheese has been discovered!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

March 18: 30 minutes of “Badass” Yoga

Local kids have turned a very dull grey wall ...

Local kids have turned a very dull grey wall …


… into a lovely floral work of art …


… but what a shame it’s all going to wash away when it rains! This is on my walk to the bus.

Exercising in the afternoon can be a good thing. Your body’s warmed up and you’ve moved around enough to feel a bit looser and ready. But it can also mean you get caught out by the afternoon slump, when the thought of a workout just seems like one step too far.

That’s how I felt when I came home from the city this afternoon. I’d already walked to and from the bus, then around the city, and I was struggling to get my brain into ‘exercise mode’. Who to turn to? Sadie Nardini of course! She’s becoming a go-to favourite. I found her Yoga Body Workout: Sadie’s Badass 30 Minute Yoga Flow: Energy and it sounded worth a shot.

This is one of at least three Badass workouts she’s posted on YouTube, and come on, with a name like that, who wouldn’t want to be a Badass and do some Badass yoga?! You can also try her Badass Detox and Weight Loss workouts, which also run for about 30 minutes. I might have a go at those two in the coming weeks.

For the Energy workout, you’ll need a yoga block or something to put under your back at the end. I dislike it when a workout suddenly uses a piece of equipment you haven’t been prepped about! I don’t own a block, but used a hardish cushion and, despite not being great, it was enough to prop up my back.

Finding my balance was a bit of an issue in this workout, which I think would be best suited to intermediate or advanced students. But don’t let that put you off! It’s still a great workout, especially if you have tight hips, as there are a few exercises which give them a deep stretch while sitting. I really enjoyed those exercises and hope the benefits are long-lasting.

If you know your balance is a bit rubbish, you can keep a chair nearby to hold onto. Luckily, our ceiling in the lounge room (well, all over the house actually!) is very low, so when I felt wobbly I could grab a beam. There’s no shame in having to put your foot down, literally not metaphorically, when doing yoga. Hopefully, towards the end of the year, my balance will have improved (it can’t get much worse I don’t think!) and I can hold positions longer, without getting my wobble on.

It’s now a few hours after the workout, and I do feel better than I did when arriving home. Another case of a workout living up to its name! The backs of my legs feel tight, as if they’ve done something other than walking, and my arms feel energised too.

Speaking of legs, here’s a random thought I feel like throwing at you today … I have a dent on the side of my right leg, near the top of the calf on the outside, from crossing it over my left. It’s there all the time … this is not a good sign … time to stop crossing my legs!

Following the weekend in Strasbourg and the internet meltdown last Saturday night, I haven’t had the chance for a while to post a list of stories and links I’ve enjoyed, so today seems like as good a day as any to get these out there. I hope they are a cause for inspiration, motivation, consternation or celebration.

1. Every day, I read, and enjoy, a creative lifestyle blog called The Private Life of a Girl. The author, Sophie, recently shared an incredibly moving podcast she’d heard with her readers. If you have a spare 25 minutes and the chance to sit somewhere familiar, quiet and comfortable, I encourage you to listen to Diane’s secret.

2. A new study shows Mozart mends minds.

3. Can you imagine being this flexible and strong? These amazing urban gymnasts are incredibly fit, in a way I could never be (and I feel confident saying never in this case!)

4. Two women do an intense martial arts display. My jaw is still on the floor.

5. Here are some food myths that have been proved incorrect, such as eat small meals throughout the day, full-fat dairy products are bad for you and so on.

6. A wonderful story of community members who learned sign language to surprise a deaf resident. It’s a commercial, but a lovely true story!

7. An article about exercising at different times of the day and what to eat afterwards.

8. And last but not least, these two visual comedians gave me many large and hearty chuckles.


The first tulip leaves are sprouting at the self-pick, honesty-box flower farm. It won’t be long before we have hand-picked flowers at home, yahoo!

Wishing you a wonderful day.