Happy Friday

Friday, September 26

Hello and Happy Friday friends!

Oh my goodness this week has flown by - I can't believe that it is already Friday!

It was so wonderful having Jen to stay with us last weekend, and as you can see in the picture above we had a little hen do for her last Saturday.  We started with a delicious afternoon tea at Sam's house (how anyone with a 2 week old baby can pull off hosting a full afternoon of ladies for tea I have no idea- you are amazing Sam!), followed by dinner at Roti Chai and then some dancing at the cheesy Reflex bar.

It was so so much fun and so good to have Jen back here after she abandoned us to move back to South Africa at the end of last year! I can't believe that the next time I see her it will almost be her Wedding in December!

Roti Chai is such a great restaurant.  It is very reasonably priced, the food delicious and the staff really go out of their way to help you (they even offer to take photos of your little group wearing glow stick ears!). 

Catherine suggested that we go there last week when we had a blogger catch up dinner and I liked the Indian street food that you share between you so much that I insisted we go there again on Saturday.  

It was so lovely to see my blogger ladies, Catherine, Che, Siobhan, Jo and Freya never fail to make me laugh! Although the poor girls were also regaled with all my tales about the pelvic floor assessment course that I've been on since I last saw them! And were also hopefully all convinced to do their pelvic floor exercises regularly...

The charity that I teach Yoga to children with special needs at on a Friday is back on again after the summer holidays and I have had the BEST morning teaching 1:1 Yoga sessions to 3 gorgeous little ladies!

Enough rambling from me, have a super weekend!

The Big Issue Seller who made me Stop and Think

Monday, September 22

A few weeks ago, Pete and I were on our way through Waterloo train station, when we decided we had better get some lunch before meeting friends to go Go Karting for his Birthday.

We picked up take away Burrito's, which weren't actually very nice, but at £7.00 each we ate them anyway.

I find eating on the go a little awkward at the best of times, and we certainly didn't want to be those annoying people eating smelly messy food on the train.  

So we ended up standing at the entrance to the station, on the side of the busy road.

As we stepped outside we became aware of a man on the sidewalk trying to sell the Big Issue.
(The Big issue is a magazine produced by an independent charity foundation, and sold by homeless people as a way to earn some money)

His energy was infectious, and standing still watching him working at selling these magazines whilst the world rushed past him was incredible.

Mr Big Issue Seller: Tries to make eye contact with person rushing past. "Good Afternoon Madam, I hope that you are having wonderful day, may I interest you in purchasing a Big Issue magazine today?"

"Madam" casts her eyes down and shakes her head (as I usually do too).

Two tourists walk up to Mr Big Issue Seller, gigantic cameras in hand: "Can you tell us where the South Bank is?" 

Mr Big Issue Seller: "Of course I can!" Very patiently directs tourists where they need to get to and makes them repeat the directions back to him to make sure that they know where they are going.

Mr Big Issue Seller: Smiles at a couple walking past. "Good Afternoon! I hope that you are well today.  May I interest you in purchasing a Big Issue magazine today?"

Couple look the other way, man pulls out his phone and shakes head in annoyance and some disgust.

Mr Big Issue Seller smiles at them as they walk away.

A group of 5 people walk up to Mr Big Issue Seller, carrying shopping bags: "We looking for the so and so hotel" and show him a map on an iPad that they are holding.

Mr Big Issue Seller: "Let me see" he says , and then steps two steps around the map being displayed on the screen to orientate himself. "Oh yes" he announces and then enthusiastically describes the best way there.

Three of the 5 wonder off. The remaining two ask him where the nearest toilets are.

In the next five minutes he approaches another 3 or 4 people with absolute joy and delight asking if they would like to buy a magazine. And gets nothing but a grunt in return.

In the same 5 minutes he happily assists 3 more people with directions.  None of whom even really thank him properly. 

In between this, he sees me watching him eating my overpriced horrible burrito.

Mr Big Issue Seller: "Would you like to buy a magazine?" he beams at me with a crooked smile, but before I can answer he begins to apologise profusely "I am terribly sorry, I think I have asked you already and now I'm interrupting you while you eat!"

At that point a large group of tourists needed more directions so he turns to them with gusto to help them find their way.

I threw away the food wrappers and pulled out the only money I had left on me which was a £5 note. As we walked past him to get to the trains again, I interrupted him as he gave directions to someone else.

"I don't need a magazine" I said, " but you energy is amazing" and I gave him the measly £5 I had in my hand.

He looked at me with utter amazement, and did a little jump while thanking me profusely and then enveloped me in the most gigantic hug.

You would think I had given him a £1000 pounds, and I seriously wish that I could have.

I don't think I've ever seen £5 create such a happy response in anyone!

What an amazing man.

I looked for him again last week when I was at Waterloo, but couldn't find him, I will continue to keep an eye out for him though.  

If you are in London reading this, and you see an African man with a beaming smile trying to sell Big Issue magazines in between giving the world directions outside Waterloo station, please spare him some change.

He deserves it.

Way more than I need another soggy burrito.

WIN FREE TICKETS to the London OM YOGA Show 24 -26th Oct 2014!

Monday, September 15

You guys!

I am so excited to be able to give away two pairs of tickets to the Om Yoga Show in London next month.

The line up looks awesome, from Broga for the boys, to awesome shops for the girls, and loads of free classes, workshops and meditation sessions!

I have two pairs of tickets, courtesy of Om Yoga Magazine, to give away that enable you (and a friend/boyfriend or acroyoga buddy) to attend the full three days of the show!

Che from Indieberries and I will be there on one of the days with the tickets that Om Yoga have kindly given me too - so hopefully we can catch up with whoever wins, for a green smoothie or a downward dog!

You can see more about the Workshop Schedules over the weekend here!

To enter, simply let me know that you would like to win tickets by Sunday the 21st of September!

You can comment below, or Tweet me on @berrydiaries or let me know on Facebook on the Berry Diaries page!

Winners will be chosen randomly!

I will also be giving each of the winners one of the gorgeous Chakra necklaces that my aunt makes, which are made from sterling silver and silk thread and are the perfect accessory to wear to 3 days of all things Yoga!


Congratulation sto Monique Kidd and Jessi for winning the tickets!

Girls please contact me with your email and postal addresses for your tickets to be sent to you and also choose which Chakra necklace you would like me to send you!

See you there! 

Life Lately

Tuesday, September 9

With the end of the British school holidays last week, I am almost back into my normal routine of work life.

I've been so lucky to have not worked for most of the past month.  I am very fortunate to absolutely LOVE what I do, but I'm very grateful that having my own business allows me to take time off when I need and want to.

Having some down time has allowed me to work on some other projects, and I am SO grateful for all the love that my new site for Physio's has been getting - THANK YOU to everyone who has looked at it!

If you are a Physio and reading this, I would love you to contribute to the site - please look at the Contribute page on My Physio School.

I have started working on my case study for the Pelvic Floor examination course that I did recently and I am finding it all so interesting. I really am such a nerd. And I am so relieved that the vaginal examinations have nowhere near as difficult (or scary) as I expected them to be.  Incontinence affects so many ladies, and yet so many women are too embarrassed to talk about it.  

If you are reading this and struggle at all with accidentally leaking urine - Please go and see a Women's Health Physio.  They will assess you and advise you, and there are exercises that you can do that really do help!

I am also a week into doing the 12 week Creativity course in the book The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron which is a course in "Discovering and Recovering your Creative Self."  And I am loving it so far! I've had the book for ages, (thanks Robs) and was reminded of its gain recently (thanks Nicole) and so I fished it out of my bookshelf last week.

This first week has involved writing 3 A4 pages of longhand writing every morning, which is just a stream of consciousness.  You aren't supposed to ever read or look at the pages again, and so it gives you the ability to jot down whatever thoughts are rushing around in your head.  I'm finding that it allows me to write down the clutter in the forefront of brain, which is then allowing me to think a little more deeply (and creatively?) as a result of it. 

I'm finding it quite 'meditative' actually.

She also encourages you to have an 'artists date' with yourself which is two hours of a creative project each week, and so I did some screen printing on Saturday.  The key for me is to focus on enjoying the process and not to let my ego become too obsessed with what I have ultimately created...

I think you should get her book and do the course, as I think that it really has the potential to be a kind of creative journey and inner healing at the same time? 

If that makes any sense?

I will keep you posted with how I get on! 

Nama - Our Amazing Raw Vegan Dinner

Friday, September 5

Last Friday, Jubes recommended that we go to Nama, a Vegan Raw Foodie haven in Notting Hill.  Jubes had seen it recommended by Ella on her amazing blog, Deliciously Ella.

I was delighted when Pete agreed to along come too, and very impressed that he was happy to spend the last evening of his 20's eating only Vegan food that hadn't been cooked! 

(Some of the dishes are dehydrated in a dehydrator which is how they create dishes like the crackers and the pizza base below)

I did what I usually do whenever when I go to a restaurant with Jubes, and got her to choose all the dishes for us to share. Jubes has usually studied the menu before we arrive at a restaurant, so between what she had liked the look of beforehand, and the dishes that Ella had recommended we had an incredibly delicious feast!

Above you can see that for starters we had the seed crackers and hummus, and the crackers and nut cheeses.  Remember it's a vegan restaurant so no dairy allowed.  It was the second time I have tried 'cheese' made from nuts and again I loved it! It actually tastes quite similar to soft regular cottage cheese.

You guys. That pile of kale salad that you can see in front of Pete was Incredible!

For our mains, the three of us shared the "Chilli" which looked like mince! But was actually a pile of deliciousness made from mushroom, walnut, carrot & pepper chilli served with guacamole, probiotic sour cream and corn chips.

I could happily have tried all the mains on offer!  The Thai coconut curry looks amazing...

 The pizza was also great, the base was made from courgette and walnuts, and the topping was pomodoro, nut and seed 'cheese', caramelised onions, marinated mushrooms, olives and sun dried tomatoes. 

The decor is simple and elegant and our waitress was wonderful.

For dessert we share their 'Bounty' bars which were perhaps my highlight of the evening. I am such a fan of coconut and chocolate! And a dehydrated blueberry cheesecake which was ridiculously good too!

It was such a wonderful dinner and experience and if you are in London I would totally recommend that you go there!  

And for my lovely Vegan blogger friends Michelle and Siobhan, you guys would love it there if you haven't already been!

Norway in a Nutshell

Monday, September 1

Pete turned 30 on Saturday, and after the amazing trip that he surprised me with to New York last year for my Birthday, I wanted to surprise him with a long weekend away too.

Neither of us had ever been to any of the Scandinavian countries, and we have often discussed wanting to see the fjords in Norway, and so Norway it was.

I booked it ages ago and managed to keep it a surprise until the week before.  Whilst I was in South Africa I sent Pete a few letters each day and he had to unscramble them to work out where we were going.  I eventually had to tell him that it was two cities and a country that he was guessing, as although it seemed obvious to me, it was actually quite difficult to guess the phrase:

Oslo to Bergen in Norway

We flew into Oslo at midday on the Friday and spent Friday afternoon wandering around the city and visiting the Viking Ship Museum.  Friday afternoon was also where we realised how when people say Norway is expensive, they are not kidding! Oh my goodness, it makes London look cheap.  We were shocked to realise that Pete's 400ml beer at the 'lower budget' cafe we went to for lunch cost £8.80!

On Saturday morning we were up early and caught the train from Oslo to Myrdal.  The scenery was AMAZING. From what we saw of Norway its appears to be covered predominantly by trees, secondly by water, and then it has a few open spaces where people have built houses!  

In Myrdal we changed trains to catch the Flam line to Flam.  The train line from Myrdal to Flam is just over 20km long and start at 868m above sea level on Myrdal, and drops down to Flam which is at sea level.  The scenery is incredible, and it's no wonder that this train trip is SO popular with tourists.

The train stops at a point for a viewing of this gigantic waterfall.  As we all clambered onto the platform to take photo's, music began playing from the hilltops, and two women coordinated a dance on the mountainside.  It was an incredibly surreal experience.  Especially as the women were dressed identically, and only one appeared at a time, looking as though she had instantly (magically) moved to a different point on the mountainside.  

The houses in Norway are almost all made form wood, and appear to all be painted white, maroon, blue or mustard.

In Flam, we got off of the train and then caught a two hour long ferry along a fjord to Balestrand, a very scenic fjord town.

How incredible are the views from the hotel that we stayed in in Balestrand!

On Saturday morning we went for a mountain walk in the forest in Balesrand. Despite Pete and I ridiculously forgetting to pack trainers or suitable wet weather gear for the weekend, we loved our walk!

On the Saturday afternoon, we caught the ferry for 4 hours to Norway's second largest city after Oslo, called Bergen.  It rained for most of the 24 hours that we were there, but it wasn't that cold and we felt like the rain and mist added to the old and slightly mystical feel of the city.

We caught the Funicular to the top of the mountain behind Bergen on Saturday morning, and although the weather wasn't in our favour, the views of the city were still pretty impressive!

Norway is the home of the Trolls.

The fish market is one of the notable attractions of Bergen, but again the prices were exorbitant! And Whale being on the menu just didn't feel right to me so we didn't end up buying anything from the market.

Londoners, divide the above prices by 10 for the cost in pounds.

And South Africans, times the prices by 2, and that pretty much the cost in rands!

On the Monday evening we flew from Bergen back to an equally rainy London.

 We loved our weekend in Norway, and it really is the most BEAUTIFUL country.  The train and ferry route that we did is a very popular one for tourists and is actually known as "Norway in a Nutshell."

The Norweigans (who are almost ALL blonde)  are very friendly and were very helpful where ever we went! 

I would definitely recommend visiting there, even though it was a rather expensive weekend away...

I booked our hotels, train and ferry rides through Authentic Scandinavia, who planned our itinerary for us and I would really recommend them!

We flew there very cheaply on Norweigan air to and from Gatwick.

I would also recommend to any Norweigans reading this that your next holiday be to South Africa, it will feel like the cheapest destination EVER!
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