Yoga, sunshine and a six foot lion

The tendons in my left leg are slowly but surely stretching, the muscles are getting stronger and that’s in no small part thanks to yoga.

When I think how tight my tendons and muscles were around my arthritic hip and down my leg last Autumn, when early onset osteoarthritis was diagnosed… I was in pain most of the time, I couldn’t sit cross-legged without my left knee being up in the air – and I immediately tipped over to the right. Bit of a mess really.

Nine months of physio, strengthening exercises and yoga and I’m almost balanced. I’m now on to a course of core strengthening, squats and lunges.

I go to classes weekly and practice daily but in the Autumn I started taking yoga more seriously and i wanted to study it in more depth so I began a monthly, all-day Saturday yoga course which ended last week.

Best feet forward in yoga

Best feet forward in yoga

It was a sad-happy day full of laughter and tears as the group talked about what they’d gained from the course. It’s powerful stuff, yoga. It can change much more than your body. It can open your heart and help you mould the way you view life. Sad though it was to say our ‘good-byes’ at 5 o’clock, it’s not a complete goodbye as we’re all getting together in December for a full day of yoga with our beloved teacher. And some of us will see each other before then, because a number of us – including me – are going on to yoga teacher training.

Believe it or not, even in the north, the sun is shining.

Bolton - early morning sunshine

Bolton – early morning sunshine

This is Bolton. Yes, that’s right – not Bath, Bolton. We have a beautiful cobbled crescent and as I trotted off to work on Friday I snapped some views for the University facebook page. The town hall was looking pretty gorgeous too.

Bolton Town Hall

Bolton Town Hall

And on Tuesday I made a new friend in Bolton, Lofty the Lion.

Lofty the Lion

Lofty the Lion

Lofty was at a local primary school, helping one of our graduates tell children about their new green energy business as the mascot of the town’s football team where their company, FibrLec, is principal sponsor.

The children loved Lofty and, of course, it’s difficult to resist a big cuddly lion. As you can see!

Lofty the Lion

You can’t resist hugging Lofty.


A taste of summer

Is there anything better than making your own food? Possibly growing your own food, I suppose.

But with work commitments and bought lunches it’s very easy to slip into buying convenience food isn’t it. A sandwich here. A tuna pasta salad there. A pot of guacamole here… you get the picture. It looks healthy enough but exactly what’s in it? How long has it been in that pot?

Being off work for a week I’ve been able to make my own food every day.

Today I made my own coleslaw. Which must have cost all of 20p for a hefty bowl full and tastes 1000% better than anything ‘finest’, possibly because everything has just been grated and therefore fresh as a daisy.

But pictured is my lunch. So easy I could throw it together at work. Which I might well do next week. Sadly Hades calls. *Pulling a face*

Tomato and mozzarella salad

Tomato and mozzarella salad

Basically it’s two large tomatoes, pips removed and blotted with kitchen towel to remove some of the excess water. Ripped mozzarella cheese (half a ball) and ripped basil (has to be ripped – it adds to the flavour. Slicing with a knife looks too done and you don’t see the structure of the cheese). Drizzle with olive oil and a smidge of balsamic vinegar on the plate. A grind of black pepper’s very nice as well.

This salad reminds me of being with my friend Anja in Croatia. She’s from Slovenia, which is next to Italy, so it’s not surprising that this popular Italian salad is a favourite there. Rather than mediterranean, Croatia is on the Adriatic and Anja has a house by the sea. it’s an idyl. I can’t think of a better word.

When we’re there we swim in the clear sea, ride bikes and read books, lots of books.

Istrian coast, croatia

The coastline in Croatia

Sunshine food for sunny memories. Do you make food that reminds you of good friends and good times?