An Evening Walk

Tuesday, April 29

An evening walk with your Parents, baby sister (or not so baby anymore) and three of the dogs on your family farm is good for your soul.  

Clambering up hay bales and jumping up and down, as you used to when you were a child, is good for your well being too.

I think that most of you know how much I love going home to my Parents farm in South Africa where I grew up.  

I haven't been back in the early Autumn for a few years now, and it was strange to see the maize so tall, hundreds of freshly made hay bales and the grass in fields turning to it's winter shades of yellowy brown.

The evenings after we took these pictures it were so much cooler that we lit the fire in the living room.

I think that growing up in a beautiful place can make you take the natural beauty around you for granted.  Seriously, has the afternoon light and the gigantic sky always been so abundant at home? Or is it the draw of Africa inside of me that has given me new appreciation for how much beauty extends in the place where my Family and so many of my dearest friends reside?

Editing and going through these pictures after my first full day back in London, at the end of a day where everything seems to have gone horribly wrong, is good for my soul too.

I hope that you have had a better day than mine?

South African friends in London, will I see you at South Africa House early tomorrow morning to vote in the South African elections?

Nikki and Trav's Wedding

Wednesday, April 23

I can't believe that it has been almost a week since Nikki and Travis' wonderful Wedding!
We got ready at the incredible Tintswalo Hotel in Hout Bay, and Jeanette who did our hair and Algria who did our make up are not only extremely talented, but were also so much fun to be with!
The Wedding and the reception were at Suikerbossie, and Mickey, James and their team ensured that everything went perfectly on the beautifully sunny and calm day.
It really was the perfect day for the perfectly matched couple!
Congratulations again, and thanks so much for having me in the bridal party - I LOVED being a part of your special day.
Ps: How funny is that last picture-I honestly thought that Chez was joking when she said that she was going to throw my bouquet at me, and then she DID!
PPs: Thanks Nik and Darren for your pictures.

My 40 Days of Yoga Challenge is Done!

Monday, April 14

Wow, my challenge to spend at least 10 minutes on my Yoga mat for 40 days in a row is done!

And Well Done and thank you to the girls who did it with me.

 I hope that I have succeeded in creating a life long habit of doing Yoga every day at home, on top of going to regular classes.

I have mostly loved doing this everyday, although some days I wished I wasn't doing it, were far more difficult to motivate myself than others.  If it wasn't for me posting on Instagram keeping me accountable to myself, I really don't think I would have done it every single day.

And thanks also so much to my Lovely Instagram friends for bearing with all the pictures!

As I type this I am sitting in beautiful Cape Town, Jubes and I went for a run along the promenade this morning, with the sea to our right and the mountains to our left- it was pretty perfect. I love this city!

 And now, Nikki has been whisked off by her cousins whilst we are about to set up for her bachelorette tea party this afternoon.

The weather has been so much better recently than we were expecting and we are keeping fingers crossed for good weather on Thursday- which is looking good so far!

How incredible was this sunset yesterday? 

The view from Doug and Jen's apartment (Nikki's Mum and Dad)  is amazing, and they are just fabulous!

Have a Happy Monday friends! 

My Little Nik is getting Hitched

Friday, April 11

So tomorrow I fly to South Africa for this gorgeous girl's Wedding.

My bridesmaid dress is packed and I can't wait to see my Nik marry her incredible man, Trav.

If you missed their amazing proposal video- have a look here!
The only devastating not so cool thing about their wedding is that afterwards, they are moving to Trav's home country in the US of A.
Nik and I moved to London together 7 years ago and she is one of my favourite human beings in the world.

We did our yoga teacher training together last year, and she is also ridiculously passionate about yoga and yoga for children with special needs particularly. 

Nik I'm so excited for you, and I know that even though you are leaving me in London (sob) it is the right thing for you.
Wow but am I going to miss you.  I was thinking the other day about how many of my biggest passions (other than yoga) in life are also yours.

You adore reading, and you absolutely love treating children in your work as an occupational therapist, you love wondering around art galleries and being a tourist in London, travelling, run your own business and love healthy food.

But what I am going to miss most, is how honest and true to yourself and your friends you always are.  I know that whatever you say (even if it's not what I want to hear) is absolutely spoken from your heart.  I'm going to miss  your always cheerful face and how if I throw an idea for a little adventure out (no matter how obscure), your reach for your phone and make us diarise it immediately.  I'm going to miss how you prioritise catching up with me, how you are my NUMBER 1 fan of my blog, and how excited you get for girl time and weekends away.

  And wow am I going to miss your incredible cooking!

I love you my friend and I'm looking forward to visiting you in California!

Trav, you have the best girl.  And you deserve to.

Two sleeps til I see you in Cape Town, and six sleeps til you are a MRS <3

See you on Sunday!


Tuesday, April 8

Something that I've never shared here on before is my Yogi name, which is Anamaya.

A number of times, I planned to write about it, but then the thought of how to try and explain how and why my teacher Padma bestowed all of us (who didn't already have a Yogi name), with a new name at the end of our teacher training, overwhelmed me.

Perhaps one day I will find the words to more eloquently explain the meaning behind this, but for now, my Yogi name is Anamaya and this is the name by which I am referred to in the Yoga world.  I love it, and it means 'the troubleless' and 'untroubled by past illnesses or sorrows', which I find very fitting and pertinent.

Yesterday, Padma emailed me with a link to the Anamaya Yoga retreat venue in Costa Rica,  saying that she had seen it and thought of me.  It looks wonderful, and I have spent far too much time today dreaming about how to get myself over there.

And then I was just scrolling through this month's online Om Yoga magazine and saw two articles about retreats in the UK.

Seriously I think the Universe is trying to tell me something here!

Yeotown is in Devon and offers health and detox stays.  They stress on their website that they are not a boot camp or fat camp or weight loss spa, and that any weight loss will come from healthy eating and exercising.  The setting looks idyllic and I love that they are sustainably minded too.  The accommodation, food and natural setting looks AMAZING. At £1780 for the 5 day stay - I need to start saving, ASAP.

The second place that is leaping up at me from my iPad screen is the Inner Guidance Retreat Centre in Suffolk.  Oh my goodness guys, how INCREDIBLE does this Yoga and Chocolate retreat look??     Meditation, yoga and chocolate making classes in an idyllic setting - YES please!  And at £350 per person for one of the cheaper rooms it's more attainable budget wise too!

I definitely need to chat Pete about these when he gets home from work today...

Have you ever been on a Yoga retreat?

Disclaimer: The kind people at Om Yoga Magazine, have given me a free online subscription in return for me occasionally sharing articles in the magazine on Berry Diaries. Considering that I buy the magazine every month anyway, I was delighted to be asked, and I hope that you enjoy hearing about the online Om Yoga magazine on here too! I am not receiving any compensation from Yeotown or Inner Guidance by writing about them here either!

Richmond Park & Petersham Nursery (Again)

Friday, April 4

A stroll through Richmond Park and tea and cake at the Petersham Nursery Cafe after drooling over everything in their shop,  is now pretty much compulsory for anyone who comes to visit me in London!

Paul, Heidi and Nins were as taken with the whole experience as I always am, and the cakes were delicious as always too! The carrot was my and Nins favourite, but Paul and Heidi thought the flour less chocolate and almond was the winner.

Have a Happy Weekend friends, I will be playing tourist in London again!

Life Lately

Wednesday, April 2

I feel like I am holiday!

The sun is shining and we have guests staying with us from South Africa, so I'm playing tourist too.  Last night we went to watch Matilda in the West End, WOW, we absolutely loved it!

I would highly recommend it for any adults or children who loved Roald Dahl's book.

On Friday afternoon, I went to my first ever class at the Sivananda Centre in Putney, and it was wonderful.  The building is gorgeous and our teacher was fantastic, you should really try it out of you live nearby. Again I was fascinated by some of the ladies in the class who were probably 20 years older than me doing advanced postures!  And this wasn't even and advanced class - it was the intermediate! It totally reinforced what I said here.  I then got home and tried to do the transition (from headstand to scorpion) that had really impressed me and landed in a big heap against the sofa...

But I will persevere!   

I hope that you are having  super week so far, I have a big day of patients ahead of me so no touristing today!
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