The (not so) Great Outdoors

This morning I put on my walking boots and set off on a 7 mile coastal hike in aid of Velindre Cancer Centre. The Lighthouse Walk takes in historic churches, castles and of course, a lighthouse. Velindre’s work is very close to my heart and I wanted to show my support for the incredible work they do for cancer patients in Wales.

Admittedly I am more at home in slingbacks than in hiking boots but I’d like to think I can get down and muddy with the country-types too….I can’t.

I got lost. Hopelessly, ridiculously lost.

I know. How is that even possible on a (large) group walk? Trust me, it’s possible.

Most of the group had stopped for a cuppa just past the Lighthouse, but I decided that pressing on was a better option for me (I know my own body, if I stop, my poorly knee will seize and i’d never make it to the end)

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It was all going so well….

I stuck with a small group of expert ramblers (this is an assumption based on the fact they had poles…gotta be pros, right?) Lots of chat was going on, we laughed when one of the old guys wanted to hold my hand (I let him) and commented on my nail polish matching my hiking socks…in summary, we were happy ramblers!

I spotted a field which I thought looked pretty and got my camera out of my pocket to take this (rubbish) photo…

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When I looked up, the group had disappeared.

There were three lanes spreading out in front of me and not a single marker in sight.

Uh-oh.

It was like wearing the KNIGHTMARE helmet without any team to guide me.

Which path?!

This is the point where I should have waited for the ‘cuppa group’ to catch up and make our journey together.

Nope.

Little Miss Rambler here thinks she knows the way and plumps for lane number three.

Bad decision.

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I is for Ice Cream

I love ice cream.

I love it so much.

I don’t own a freezer (Don’t look at me like that, we eat fresh foods so we don’t need one) and the only thing I really miss (other than ice in my summer drinks) is ice cream. It is a rare treat which makes me appreciate it even more. That said, I am on first name terms with the lady in the ice cream shop at the beach (she lets me know when new flavours have landed) so perhaps it’s not as rare as I’d like to think.

I really do love ice cream.

I love it even more when it’s free.

Ben & Jerry’s had their first Free Cone Day in 1978 and have been giving away free scoops of ice cream on that day every year since. Aside from this being a brilliant PR example, it is also a perfect case of good old-fashioned niceness. Who else does that?

Their brand, their philosophy, their FLAVOURS (holy moly their flavours….) it all adds up to LOVING ice cream.

Here we are enjoying #FreeConeDay (peanut butter for me and mint for F….if you’re wondering!)

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Do you love ice cream as much as I do? (I doubt it!) What’s your favourite flavour?

You’re a heifer…but a hot one

What Katie Price thinks about anything doesn’t really keep me awake at night. She may very well be a fascinating thinker (shame on me for judging) however her ponderings are usually pretty inconsequential to me.

This week in her Sun newspaper column (don’t ask me how I saw it) Katie Price wrote about recent bikini photographs of Kelly Brook and reached the incredible conclusion,

“You’re a heifer…but a hot one”

Kelly Brook is size eight.

Yeah she’s got boobs (don’t we know it) and hips and bits that go in and out.

NEWSFLASH – SHE IS A WOMAN. THAT IS CALLED BODYSHAPE.

But a “heifer”?

Three things….

1. The fact that a size 8 woman could ever be considered a “heifer” both sickens and saddens me. Utterly ridiculous! I’m especially concerned that Katie Price is a mum to a little girl (who probably doesn’t read The Sun…yet. But also who probably doesn’t have great body positivity messages at home.) Worrying.

2. Sisterly solidarity. Sometimes other women can be our biggest ‘enemy’. Jealousy, insecurity, ignorance, good old-fashioned bitchiness…whatever factors are at play – women can be horrible to other women when really they could be our strongest allies. We’re in this together!

I don’t know Katie Price personally but I’m going to take a wild guess that she has issues with her own body acceptance. Ladies and Gentlemen I present a catalogue of surgical intervention as Exhibit A.

I’m sure she’s had her fair share of nastiness directed at her and I’m also sure, despite a tough exterior, that it hurt.

Why on earth then would you inflict that hurt upon someone else? (The use of ‘FLAB-bergasted’ is just plain nasty)

3. The BUT…..”….but a hot one” Does that make it ok? Does the ‘but’ make it acceptable?

I’ve had plenty of ‘buts’ in my time (behave)

Those ‘but’ moments can be said or unsaid – either way they hurt just as much. Sometimes they can arrive disguised as a compliment (“You have such a pretty face…..what a shame” – assistant in a clothes shop) or as well-intentioned advice (“The thing is Kate, you’ve got to have something wrong with you. If you were thin as well….you’d just be TOO perfect” – a male ‘friend’ offering dating wisdom)

I could go on with real-life examples – they are all stored on my mental hard-drive – but I’m sure I’d bore you. And I’m sure you wouldn’t believe that people could possibly say such things. You’d be surprised.

Bottom line is (I’m obsessed with butts…) my body, your body, Kelly Brook’s body, ANYONE’s body is not up for comment. With or without a ‘but’ to soften the blow.

100 days

Hanne Blank is an amazing woman.

We’ve never met but she feels a tiny bit like a best friend.

Hanne’s book “Big Big Love” which looks at fat sex and relationships, had such a massive impact on me, so much so that I feel reading it should be compulsory. (It is on the Essential Reading List for my boyfriends anyway…”Come back when you’ve read this, you’ll understand me better”)

Her latest book “The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise and other Incendiary Acts” is now on my wish-list prior to its release on Monday and I just know it will speak to me in the same way that BBL did. (Am I sounding like a complete fan-girl? Sorry)

Anyway, gushing aside…a few days ago I read about her 100 day challenge

In a nutshell, you decide on one or more new actions you will commit to doing with your body for 100 days.

I like challenges! I also like that Hanne herself has chosen belly dancing and singing (See? I told you we could be BFFs)

100 days is a fairly long time and I wanted to choose something both achievable and FUN (I know if I choose sit-ups I will be miserable) so after careful consideration I made my decision.

Starting TODAY for the next 100 days……when I get up in the morning, I will pick one song and DANCE.

I might be pogo-ing to a punk number or doing the Okey-Cokey, it doesn’t matter! What matters is that I am making an easy, fun and enjoyable commitment to my body that isn’t painful, punishing or problematical. And that’s what it’s all about! (*clap clap clap*)

I am a busy working Mum. Time is precious. But dancing to ONE song everyday…who can’t fit that in?

Music plays a massive part in my little family. It fills our home with joy and our ‘kitchen discos’ are LEGENDARY (there are just two of us…sometimes we pretend we’re in a nightclub…) Those of you following me will know that I have previously shared my love of dancing in Basketballs. What a great way to make friends with my body again!

I really like the idea of setting an energetic, positive tone for my day and because I also really like lists, I’m going to publish my music selections (in case you want to dance along with me – My Spotify ‘dance’ playlist will be coming soon)

Combining things which make me happy, being kind to my body, reaching a 100 day goal……it all seems pretty brilliant from where I’m dancing.