My Physio School

Thursday, August 28

Hello my lovely Berry Diaries blog readers!

Today I have a post on my Physio related site - My Physio School, titled

It's about how doing Jo Manuel's Yoga teacher training course has made me a better Physio.

My new site is for Physiotherapists to share and learn from each other!

You can read more on the About page here.

If you are a Physio or you know any other Physio's who may be keen to join the My Physio School community, please spread the word!

Thanks so much and I hope that you are having a super day!

I will be back here soon to post about our trip to Norway this past weekend:)

My Birthday Weekend

Thursday, August 21

 On Saturday I celebrated my Birthday in South Africa for the first time since 2006, on my previous Birthday at home, it snowed so much that day that I couldn't even get into work! Thankfully this time it was a whole lot warmer.

I had the most wonderful day, filled with people coming and going for tea and yoga all day! My little cousins especially loved the arco yoga and my little cousin Kylie would have happily continued for hours!

On Sunday my brother Paddy, sister Tess and myself went horse riding in the wintery sunshine. I have not ridden for years and after some initial apprehension I surprisingly managed to pluck up the courage to canter a bit too.  My Dad gave me my own horse when I was eleven years old, she had come from the Namib desert in Namibia initially and was subsequently named Namib. She died of old age (having born many many foals) 18 years later.  I can't believe how fearless I used to be on a horse as a child, I am so much more cautious now!  Namib was such a big part of my childhood, and I am so privileged to have grown up riding horses around my Parents beautiful farm.

After our ride we went fishing and picnicking at one of the dams on our farm, and although the fishing wasn't very successful, we were soon joined by some of my aunts, uncles and cousins and my cousin Scoota and Odette's gorgeous little baby Siena!

On a side note, how well did my iPhone do taking all these pictures? I lugged my SLR all the way back to SA without realising it only had the gigantic lens on it! Great for zooming up on Wimbledon tennis players from high up in the grandstands, but not so much for every day life. Thank goodness for smart phones.

When I am in South Africa and surrounded by so much of my family and so many of my special friends, I feel that I want to move back there immediately. But as the plane touched down in London yesterday morning I was equally delighted to be back here. And super excited to see Pete who stayed behind to work whilst I was in SA.

My heart is torn.

Perhaps I need to find a way to divide my time between South Africa and London equally?

The Most Delicious Lunch for a Wintery Day

Friday, August 15

It's Winter in South Africa at the moment, and although there has been warm sunshine during the day, it is still quite chilly.  Perfect soup weather!

Last weekend, my Mum, sister and I made this incredibly delicious soup and home made bread for lunch.

We added bacon to the bread for the meat loving farmers in my family, but I think it would be equally delicious without it.  I posted a picture of it on Instagram and a number of people asked for the recipe; and so here it is.

The soup is Sarah Graham's one from her book Bitten.
Pea Courgette and Mint Soup

Serves 4-6 | Preparation time 5-10 minutes | Cooking time 20 minutes


1 Tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions (I left these out)
4 leeks, greenest ends removed and roughly sliced (I left these out)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
6 medium courgettes, roughly chopped
800 ml vegetable or chicken stock
3 cups frozen peas
4 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fat-free natural yoghurt
a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper


 1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the spring onions and leeks and fry for 2-3 minutes until softened. Then add in the potato, garlic and courgettes and fry for a further 3 minutes.
2. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potato is soft.
3. Add the peas and simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the mint, lemon or lime juice and most of the yoghurt. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then blend, adding salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
4. Reheat to serve or eat cold as an alfresco option. Garnish with a dollop of the remaining yoghurt, a few whole peas and a little chopped mint and serve with toasted ciabatta or sourdough slices.
And the bread we made from the Springbok Rugby Team's recipe book.

Bacon and Cheddar Bread

1 1/4 cup Self-raising Flour
1/2 t Salt
3 TB Sugar
250g Back Bacon, fried and roughly chopped
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 TB Freshly chopped Parsley (or 1 1/2 t Dried)
2 TB Sunflower Oil
2 Extra-Large Eggs
3/4 cup Milk
1/2 tin sweetcorn
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) - Greece a cake pan or loaf pan.
2. Sift the Flour, Salt and Sugar together - Add the Bacon, Cheddar and Parsley and stir to combine.
3. Beat the Oil, Eggs and Milk together in a separate bowl - Add to the Flour mixture and mix well.
4.) Place in the prepared pan and bake 50 - 60 minutes.

Remove from oven, leave to cool in pan for 5 minutes.
And Enjoy!
I hope that you have a wonderful weekend friends :) 

Diary of a Day on a Yoga Retreat

Thursday, August 14



5:30 am: I am woken by the sound of singing outside my door, it's time for morning meditation and being woken by a song instead of an alarm clock is wonderful. After quickly getting dressed into my all white clothes as is customarily worn by Integral yogi's and brushing my teeth; I walk down to the converted old stone building. The walk takes ten minutes and is gorgeous.  The fields are a lush green and there is a low misty haze between myself and the rising sun that is lifting at about the same rate as the golden ball of light is. We are sleeping in the farmhouse at Radford Mill Organic Farm, and spending the day at the 'Yoga Studio' which is also on the Farm and has a large kitchen attached to it.

6:00 - 7:00 am: Morning meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises).  Thankfully I am getting used to the silence that we have been in since last night and my mind is no longer assaulting me with it's usual nonsense.  Instead I'm feeling that my mind is allowing me stretches of a few minutes of interrupted lightness and peace.  I really do hope that one day I am able to sit down and 'meditate' for a solid stretch of time, for me this remains and ongoing project. Interrupted often by my legs going numb and a little tingly, and me needing to make a position changes as quietly as possible! Just as I feel I'm starting to really zone out, our teacher Padma sounds an 'Om' to signal the end of meditation. and it's time for our Physical practice.

7:00-8:30 am: Hatha Yoga Class. The Integral Yoga class has a big emphasis on the meditative and restorative aspect of Yoga, I often wish that our classes were more active. Today's class is more physically demanding and I LOVE it! Doing a headstand with the sun streaming onto my face through the floor to ceiling windows feels quite magical.

8:30-9:30 am: It's breakfast time and I'm struck again by how much more flavour I
am able to find in my muesli and fruit when eating mindfully in silence.

9:30am: Padma Om's and announces that the silence that we have been keeping since the evening before may now be broken and although I've tolerated the silence better this time than I ever have before, I'm relieved to be speaking again!

After breakfast we have a catch up about who will be preparing the evening meal and decide that we don't need to shop today as the vegetarian meals that we have all prepared and bought along will suffice for today.  We do need some salad things for lunch though and it's a pleasure to be able to buy some freshly picked tomatoes and basil from the farm workers that have been grown organically on the farm!

10:30-12:00: I have prepared a workshop on the Pelvic Floor which I teach to the rest of our group.  It seems to go quite well and there are many giggles when I pass around the tampon shaped pelvic floor strengthening weights!

12:00-12:30 : Meditation in the garden for some of the group whilst the karma yogi's prepare lunch.

1pm: After the meal prayer, lunch is served.

2 - 3pm: We go back into the studio and lie down on our yoga mats and snuggle down with blankets. It's one of my favourite parts of the day, Yoga Nidra.  Padma talks us a through a guided relaxation and we slip into that wonderful space of conscious sleep. Some of the group do fall fast asleep and are given away by their snores!

3:00 - 3:30 pm: Tea time.

3:30 - 5:30pm: It's time for our afternoon program and we have a guest speaker who educates us on the power of the feminine life force called Shakti.

5:30 - 6 pm: We prepare the final bits of dinner as I've been on Dinner duty so left the Shakti workshop early.

6pm -7pm: Delicious dinner.

7:00 - 8:30 pm: Our evening program is lead by the wonderful Tim Chalice chanting and playing beautiful music, for us to sing along with him to, known in yoga as Kirtan.

8:30 - 9:00 pm: Evening Meditation which finishes with us entering into silence.

9:00 pm We walk back up to the farmhouse and I shower before bed and then try and find a spot in the house with enough phone signal to text Pete good night.  I haven't had a hint of any 3g signal for days and it's good to have a break from the internet!

I loved my Yoga retreat last week with my teacher Padma and incredibly didn't have any major meltdowns this time! Being in silence and spending so much time in quiet meditation soon awakens any fears or regrets that you may have lingering in the depths of your mind. The first retreat that I ever went on left me sweating and freaking out as I lay in bed as I convinced myself that I was dying of cancer!

You need to go on a retreat.  It will challenge you and scare you and you will shed at least a few tears.

And if you are used to drinking coffee you will very likely have a gigantic headache from the caffeine withdrawal too!

But you will be stronger as and happier as a result of it.

And you will meet some of the most genuine, kind and caring people in the world.

And you need Yoga in your life, but if you read this blog then you knew that already :)

Arriving Unannounced

Monday, August 11

Things have been a little stressful at my Parents home recently, and with my business being really quiet over August as many of Patients go away for the summer, I decided to surprise my Family with a visit.
I told only my Claire, my brother Paddy's girlfriend, that I had booked my ticket a month ago, and I amazingly managed to keep it a secret until I arrived!
As I was waiting to board my flight on Thursday evening, I sent Paddy a photo of my boarding pass, as I was banking on getting a lift from Durban for the 3 hour drive back to my Parents Farm after he finished work on Friday afternoon.
When we drove into the yard, my little sister Tess came out to meet Paddy, and he told her to look in the passenger's seat as he had 'got her a present for doing well in her high jump' that afternoon.
When Tess opened the car door and saw me crouched down, she totally freaked out. I have never seen her in such shock before! She couldn't speak and began to sob, she stood completely still and just pointed at me through her tears!
After she had regained her composure we went inside to where my Mum was busy in her sewing room. Mum stood up to greet Paddy, and upon seeing me she was also completely shocked! She had to sit down as she thought that she was going to faint. Dad was similarly shocked and said he couldn't believe his eyes.
It is so wonderful to be at home, although leaving sunny England for very chilly home has been weird! It is my Birthday on Saturday, and the last time that I was in South Africa over my Birthday was in 2006.  So it's been a LONG time since I've experienced winter here!

It also feels really strange seeing everything in shades of brown. I am used to seeing our Farm with green grass and the garden in full bloom when I come home!
I hope that you are having a super Monday so far, I'm going to do some screen printing now with my Mum and then we are going into town to fetch Tess from school :)

I just wish that Pete was here too!

Happy Friday

Friday, August 1

Hello and Happy Friday friends,

I posted a picture of Instagram this week of me in this brightly coloured top as I felt it matched my sunny mood this week perfectly!

I have had the all clear from my Oncologist at my check up, and my other Doctor is relatively pleased with how I am doing too!

What a relief.  

Although sometimes it freaks me out a little just how relieved they look after giving me the all clear too. Like they are a little surprised.  But it also reminds me of just how lucky I am to be able to be doing and enjoying what I love each and every precious day three melanoma's later.

Tomorrow I'm off to a Yoga Retreat for a Week with my lovely teacher Padma, for a 'Week of Ashram Living.'

I may be on Instagram, (@luluberrydiaries) but obviously won't be very active on my blog!

Have a super weekend,


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