The Great Indoors

Writing

As you down your vitamin D tablets like the sun-loving junkie that you are, perhaps with the other hand you could do something  a little bit more pleasurable (not like that), during these unprecedented times we find ourselves in.

Below, from the fluffy fun depths of my mind, I share with you just some of the activities I had originally planned to do in prison (once they find the body *wink wink)  but thought they could be put to use now, don’t you think?

Yoga

If you happen to have a random yoga mat stowed in your back bedroom since stealing it from a previous workplace, then indulge yourself in a bit of downward dog. If you don’t have the luxury of ‘permanently borrowing’ one then bite the bullet and bruise your hips against your cold wooden floor. Your hamstrings and peace of mind with thank you later even in your pelvic bones do not.

Benefits: increased flexibility, protection from injury (not guaranteed) and stress-relief

 

Spring Cleaning

Not one of my favourite activities I must admit but nonetheless essential these days, given that my present  hibernation antics have led to a state of being that would make a chronic hoarder look like a neat-freak, trust me.  A bit of useless dusting here, a spot of polishing there, all utterly pointless but do them anyway as you’ll ultimately feel much more proud of your dismal dismal cesspit, I can assure you.

 

Benefits: reduces allergies, fosters calmness and boosts your mood

 

Get Artsy

Get artsy not arsey by channeling that inner 8-year old who I’m sure you struggle to contain during your weekly exorcisms anyway. Crack open the colouring book and crayons and create a multi-million dollar masterpiece otherwise known as a unanimous mess that not even your blind mother would be proud of.  If you aren’t a fan of drawing then there’s always pottery, watercolours, glass-blowing and knitting available to tickle your pickle. Me, personally, I always resort to everyone’s old favourite – finger painting.

 

Benefits: your work gives others a laugh, inspires critical – thinking and improves coordination and motors skills

 

Movie Marathons 

Every film is like inception to me , I don’t have a clue what’s going on. But I’m sure in your case you love a bit of Jaws, Shawshank Redemption and Saving Private Ryan all rolled into one sitting. And for this very reason there is no better time to heat up the poppedy pop-corn than the present, am I right?

Benefits: encourages emotional release, problem solving and is actually a light workout

 

I hope you aren’t climbing your walls too much, in negative situations there can sometimes be a positive. Perhaps one of the above has encouraged you to see opportunity in a space you may not have seen it before.

 

Stay safe, stay inside. Hopefully this will all be over soon.

Isle of Wight Festival – The Experience

Writing

Like a herd of African wildebeest, me and what seemed like the whole world and it’s dog made our steady way from our campsite to the main event. As the muffled sounds of electric guitars and pounding drums became clearer and clearer with very step closer, my excitement crescendoed to new climatic heights (ew).

Security checks were over in the blink of an eye (which was slightly worrying) and with that I was just a hop skip and a jump away from the crooning yodels of Rick Astley on the main stage. If his name’s not familiar with you then that’s because you still have your teeth and not a blue rinse. Yes he’s the trench coat loving singer who made dances in the late 80’s the place to be with his hit track – ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

Soon after he started yodelling the rain began pouring, coincidence? I think not! Just Kidding! He was quite good really:

*No photos of him sorry, although loads down below!

Even if there would’ve been hailstones the size of golfballs which skinned you like a butcher’s knife, I still feel the crowd would’ve sang their hearts out. The atmosphere was just electric the whole day. Rain or shine the crowd stayed energetic.

Speaking of energy the next artist to get my attention was the lovely Anne-Marie, the British beauty has such a sexy voice. Mixing her bubbly personality with upbeat poppy tracks made for an entertaining midday set. Some of her biggest tunes are: ‘Alarm’ and ‘2002’.

*She’s hot and I didn’t get a picture, I’m sorry. 😦
Bastille blew me away, I think I’m in love with their main singer. His raspy voice certainly pulled at my heart strings once or twice. It’s interesting because I asked my parents what they thought of the performances (they watched the festival  on TV) and they said he didn’t have a note in his head. Bearing in mind my mum makes the dog yelp when she tries to hold a note for more than 5 seconds, something tells me she’s not one to judge. Whether you can sing or not, if you jump into the crowd and keep the song banging more props to you. Bastille’s full set was fantastic although ofcourse the big hit ‘Pompeii’ was one of the highlights. They released their new album ‘Doom Days’ on 14th June.

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With each performance passing by, my group of friends and I managed to creep closer and closer to the front, yes I became one of ‘those’, I admit it. I’m sorry I wanted to make out some features on their face! Even while halfway in the crowd I felt like I needed a telescope to make out Astley’s eye colour so no wonder we tip toed ever closer to the front.

By the time George Ezra took to the stage to sit on a stool and serenade us, I can safely say I could make out each string on each his well polished guitar. As his smooth vocals caressed my ears I suddenly had the stark realisation that my bladder was about to explode. WTF! What do I do, just hold it or fight through the hundreds upon hundreds of people back to the minging portaloos? I had to make a decision. Quick! I tried to hold it in, initially that is, with each passing word of his song my mind drifted in and out of consciousness, my eyes crossed, beads of sweat dripped from my bow, by his 3rd song I couldn’t take it any longer!

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*Yes I know I should take up photography.

My knights in shining armour came in the form of 4 ladies, each linking arms, snaking their way through the crowd. This was my moment! Using them as a divider of the red sea of people, they saw me through the first three quarters of the crowd. But with a quarter remaining I found that I’d lost them! Somehow they’d vanished and I was by this stage about to pass out from the pain of my toxic urine filled-bladder. As I made my way towards the beacon of light shining over the portaloo on the horizon, I tripped over what seemed like every foldable seat, beercan and small child in the country. Arguably more challenging to move through than human bodies I found the struggle well and truly real at the final hurdle, prohibiting me momentarily from reaching my final destination of peeing the equivalent of the Niagara Falls in 10 seconds.

 

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64895393_2567011619995803_5399880205927972864_n.jpgAfter 15 minutes of limboing, sashaying and foxtrotting through the crowds, George Ezra was still mumbling some small song called ‘Budapest’ in the background. And finally the waterfall or shall I say Tsunamis was released.

Apologies for diverging from the actual music, and going off on a rant about my bladder almost bursting!

As Ezra finished his set the sun began to set too. And with darkness approaching came the appearance of strobe lighting, lazers and the pounding synths of the megastar DJ Fatboy Slim. From his psychedelic visuals to his heart racing beat drops, he closed the show sensationally:
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**The quality of these photos are something else, you almost feel like you’e there.

Would I go back to the IOW festival – Hell Yes! Even if it meant kipping in a sleeping bag which almost gave me pneumonia. Umm…if I must. 😦

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One lasting image of this one again to finish on ahahha so smart:

 

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Keeping Fit (Minus The Gym)

Writing

Not one for the gym, I like to think of alternative methods of keeping myself ‘fit’ (using the term loosely). Below are some ideas if you are like myself and find yourself in the deep dark hinterland of monotony when forcing yourself to run on the local gym’s treadmill, or if you’re just after something different then have a look at the below:

 

  1. Squash

 

If you ever want to get back at that ‘friend’ who never paid you back for the drink you bought them then take them to a tiny squash court. Here you can smack the ball for all your worth, hitting them where the sun don’t shine, all while playing it off as an accident.

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Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

 

2.  Dance

You knew I had to put this one in, in my opinion there’s no better way to work up a sweat than by throwing some serious shapes. Whether you book a dance class or a night at the silent disco, either way you’re guaranteed a workout that you don’t even notice that you’re doing!

 

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Photo by Matan Segev on Pexels.com

 

  1. Martial Arts

Having experienced the combative world of Taekwondo, I can honestly say that during this time I was the fittest I’ve ever been. Even if you’re not into fighting, the pure technique and skill of the movements in martial arts overall is a bonus you earn ontop of simply keeping fit. From Judo to karate, Muay Thai to Jiu Jitsu .there are so many choices.

 

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Photo by Coco Championship on Pexels.com

 

  1. Lacrosse

If you don’t fancy a hunchback from hockey then try this other fun stick wielding game, fast paced and agile makes it enjoyable, plus it’s a team sport so you’ve got socialising as a major plus as well.

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

  1. Zorbing

Yes, it is infact a sport believe it or not, who wouldn’t want to be trapped inside a giant inflatable ball being hurled down a grassy knoll at 100 miles an hour?

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

We aren’t all made for gyms, and that’s ok, there’s a form of fitness out there for everyone!

Silent Disco?

Writing

Always keen to try something atleast once, I thought I’d lend my supple body to a bit of shape throwing in a silent room full of strangers. Yes, the Natural History Museum in South Kensington is home to the type of event suitable for just about anybody, from dancing dads to tameful clubbers, the event I assure you, will enthuse us all.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘silent disco’, as I was weeks prior to the event, in summary it’s like a ‘one man party’ but not in the sad kind of way. On Friday night the set up was that there were 3 DJs, each playing a different genre of music: Hip-Hop, EDM and Cheesy Classics. Every person had their own headphones provided, which had special switches you used to change the song, so for example if you were sick of listening to Snoop Dogg and Pharrell’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ (as if), then you just flick a switch and suddenly you’re listening to Abba’s ‘Take A Chance On Me’.

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So it really was like your own personalised party. But what made it even better was actually when you momentarily removed your headphones, it was such a bizarre experience but basically it was like some weird clashing choir. All I could hear was a mix up of three songs being sung out loud mainly by middle-aged men going gloriously off-key. Plus people were ‘dancing’ to what appeared to be no music.Weirdly enough, more people were dancing at the event than I’ve seen drunk in a club.  Yes, it looked very strange indeed. To say it was entertaining would be an understatement.

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At one stage the DJ’s had us doing the macarena followed by a massive conga line before finishing foff the night with a good ol’ rendition of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. What a fun night out.

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To check out other fun things you could try in London or even in a city near you have a look at my other post.

Prepare To See A Camel Race!

Writing

Standing in a field in the blustering weather on a Monday afternoon in Northaw, you’d forgive me for doing a double take at the sight of a bright-eyed, beige- bodied spitting camel come hurtling down the hill, with the jockey in tow gripping onto the camel’s moulting mound for dear life. Yes, cheltenham eat your heart out, for camels are fast becoming the new stallions of the racing world.

Whether you’re a betting man or not, you can’t resist the urge to stick your hand  into your pocket to help a good cause, of which today’s was raising funds for the Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulances. And I guess there’s no better ways to raise funds than to put on a good race. Boy were we in for a treat, from shetland ponies to hunting hounds, it seemed like every animal in the ark had its chance at being the next Usain Bolt of the animal kingdom. It’s safe to say the day did not disappoint.

Shetland pony racing

Adorable! As you can see tiny children jockeyed the mini horses, put even a toothpicked adult on the little things backs and you’ve damned them to a life of osteoporosis.

Look at their little legs go! Aren’t they adorable!

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Hound Racing:

Letting their natural instincts shine through, barking with excitement, prancing back and forth at the starting line, these rowdy canines put on quite the show for the spectators. With the only bait to the finish line being their overly loud whistle-blowing owner you can see why it was no surprise that all of the mutts enthusiastic activity was for nothing for as soon as the race  started 3 of the 6 hunting hounds ran in the opposite direction to the finish line while one stopped to take a wee and two just trotted to the finish line with ease. Poor owner. 😦

**Sorry I didn’t get a picture of the dogs. 😦  I’m a bad person.

Pony racing

Slightly larger than their Shetland cousins but still just as cute, these miniature maestros certainly moved round that track in a motion rivaling any stallion at the Grand National (ok maybe not). But still, to have children riding these little beasts made me think 1) I need to call NSPCC for someone’s parents doesn’t love them, putting the on a horse moving at the speed of light.  2) Give this kid a medal of honor for having the courage to even get on the rambunctious things nevermind race them!

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Camel Racing

But obviously the two-toed mountains of sandy fluff were all of our favourites. It was a bit of a chaotic start for the camel race in all fairness. One camel ran the opposite way as soon as the starting whistle was sounded. So 3 /4 were the automatically in the race for 1st place, then with a sudden turn of events,a jockey falls off her camel (in green shirt below)! The fall looked bad but gladly the lady was fine. Then the camel set to win the race only goes and does a complete u-turn just before the finishing line after galloping down the track like a pro. And as a result  quite literally hands over victory to the other lazy one who I swear stopped to chew grass halfway down the racing track. Sad times! Although I doubt the camels really cared!

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(Please bite his finger hehe)

 

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This one looked  as if it’d seen some things.

 

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What animals would you love to see race?

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My Goal To learn Aerial Silks

Writing

Most people pick up a hobby like going swimming or painting at weekends, I’ve decided to pack all that in and run away to the circus.  Not literally but……physically. In the form of ‘aerial silks’. For anyone who is none the wiser as to what this mysterious terms refers to, let me enlighten you.

It’s basically the most elegant way to slip a spinal disc, fall to your death, or, do both, with such finesse. Yes, indeed, signing away my soul was as easy as a £250 transaction  and turning up to the first of 10 weekly lessons.

Things must be going somewhat ok because I’m on lesson 5 this week and well…..as you can tell I’m still here, or else it’s my ghost writing this post. Which is very plausible.

But really why have I decided to embark on this elegant challenge? It is because of just that – it’s a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, being ‘comfortable’ is great, sitting at home watching Netflix really does sound ideal 9/10 times for me. But for about a year now there’s been this little nagging voice in my head encouraging me to try something new, to do something different. And this difference was in the form of actually getting myself off the sofa and into the realms of uncertainly in the form of a big silky green curtain with too much give and not enough grip.

The aim of this challenge is with any to learn and progress. I do feel like I’m getting better if only slowly. In the first week I couldn’t even climb off of the ground, by week 5 I can climb a decent height and tumble purposefully and no longer accidentally.

My goal is to perform a choreographed piece without any flops which actually looks half decent. So watch this space, I’m planning to post it on here when I’m successful!

Being comfortable is boring, what challenge will you try to develop yourself for the better?

Flip Out

Writing

If you want to sign up for your unexpected yet highly likely dose of concussion and ligament contortion then enjoy a day out at  Flip out.

Where the only thing coming out is your hip from its socket when you take the plunge into the shallowest ‘safety’ pool known to man, woman or child on Earth.

Flip out for those of you that don’t know is a ‘fun for all’  trampoline centre. Fun if you’re 5, a death trap if you’re any older. I had the absolute luxury of attending a while back and I’m still nursing the long term injury of mental trauma from that brutal day.

They have this thing called a ‘ninja obstacle course’ which involved 3 mini obstacles and finished with the grand finale of a concave climbing wall thing. Kind of like this. 3 obstacles, this is going to be a doss about I thought. I ashamedly fell at every hurdle.

Obstacle 1. monkey bars – I f*cked that up my hands were so sweaty from anticipation.

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Obstacle 2. Floating boards – basically boards like you see in Ninja Warrior. Only these things were made from the cheap nasty kind of plastic which would slice through you like a hot knife through butter. I tried lurching onto one to the next (there were 3) but decided to retire out of fear of decapitation.

Obstacle 3. Swingy bridge thing – moving rickety planks that made up a bridge. The only thing that came to mind was this movement (not the bod. unfortunately).

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Photo by antas singh on Pexels.com

The warped wall – thank my warped sense of judgement for ever thinking I’d be able to get to the top of that without potential neck break. To be fair all I limped away with was a sore sense of self as I watched on as kids half my size swanned up the wall when with all my might I still couldn’t even reach the ledge.

The trampoline part was fun though!

**I actually really enjoyed the experience, I just enjoy whinging about the aftermath also. No offence intended haha

 

Tough Mudder…..

Writing

So…..it happened folks, there I was, kneeled down  on one knobbly knee reciting the rules and regulations of how the organiser will take no such part in my untimely death had I decided to fall off that 10ft wall or drown in those muddy trenches. Oh yes, washing their hands of any liabilities while I got knee deep in sh*te. I don’t blame them, for deadly this course was indeed! Let me tell you why:

Let’s start with the weather conditions. It just so happens we were blessed with sunshine but cursed with the 30 heat it brought with it. When you hear people screeching through megaphones “if you have to quit, quit!” You know it must be BOILING!! Anyway, undeterred by the ‘egg-frying-on-rock’ temperatures I tied my shoe laces up that little bit tighter and set off.

Obstacle 1: Stick Your F*cking Face In Shite

Picture barbed wire knee high, picture manure knee high. Now army crawl through that sh*t like your insignificant life depended on it  for a full minute. I can definitely say that the event lived up to its name from the get go.

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

Obstacle 2: Time To Get Winded

As if scaling a 10ft wall wasn’t challenging enough, let’s add a God almighty slant to that wall. So the it’s  basically falling forward toward you at an angle. This means the wall’s big long ledge is now at a decent head-banging angle. If, like me, you tried to take a run and jump at the thing you were in for a treat. Let’s not forget I’m 5 ft 6 inches/ 167.64 cm, so I’m certainly not going to hurdle this. Learning this the hard way I take a massive lunge toward the forbidden wall of terror with the premise of  basically scalping myself, retreating back concussed I ask for a foot up over. Only to be dropped mid lift and crush my lungs against the ledge. By this stage I started to truly understand why the organisers take no responsibility for injuries sustained to the competitors!.

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

Obstacle 3: Hay Bale Hurdle

One of the more forgiving obstacles and one of which I could infact hurdle over.  3 hay bales, jump over. Bish bash bosh. You’re done. NEXT!

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

Obstacle 4: Piggy Back Ride / Fireman’s Lift

Yes. Finally some respite, some unfortunate fool’s gonna carry me 50 metres. *collar bones cave in. My sister just mounts me like a mutt in season as I’m forced to walk bow legged for what feels like as far as the eye can see.  You can tell this was one of my favourites, right?

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

Obstacle 5: Slippery Slope

A curved 10 metre wall you had to run up and if you were lucky at the top you were greeted by an equally sweaty hand, if unlucky you braced for the burns you’d endure over 80% of your fragile body as you skid back down awkwardly to face the run up all over again.

This obstacle relied heavily on human kindness. So the fact that I fell down the slope more times than I’d like to admit should really set off alarm bells in all of our compassionate minds, no? Just kidding, kindness does exist, I got yanked up the slope like a ragdoll in 5 seconds flat.

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

*By this stage of the fun I could feel a slipped disc and some facial 3rd degree burns setting in. At this point, I had continuously soaked myself with so many cups of water around the course, so much so that I had managed to wash off all of my sunscreen from parts of my body I needed it the most to parts where I need it the least – my eyes!

Obstacle 6: Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Anyone with phobias, you’re truly spoilt for choice with this one, confined spaces and murky water marry together to give you the experience of a lifetime. Crawling on your stomach through ice cold muddy water with the only thing in front being someone’s hairy ass, and only view behind was your very own. Why did I pay for this torture!

And while I let this thought marinade in my mind, I think it’s a good stage to have a little pause.

Have a read tomorrow for a run down on the obstacles which blessed the  second half of the course, there’s a few cheeky ones in there believe me. My fingers are tired typing so see ya then!

Tough Mudder – S.O.S

Writing

For any naive soul out there who doesn’t know what ‘Tough Mudder’ is exactly, I suggest you keep it that way. For it seems to be the hybrid spawn of Satan and someone your mother dearest just isn’t too fond of. In other words – it’s going to be hell. And guess who just signed themselves up for a first class pass straight through its gates!

But before I get too over the top let me take a step back and explain what I’ve let myself in for. Not dissimilar to your casual Sunday walk in the park, I’ve just went ahead and signed myself up for a 5 mile f*cking track around a farm in the middle of nowhere. Inbetween this mammoth jog there just so happens to be 13 obstacles slowing me even further down from the finish line. If names are anything to go by then what would you take from obstacles that go by: ‘birth canal’ , ‘the human pyramid’  and my personal favourite ‘skidmarked’? My ass cheeks are clenching at just the thought of this (because of nerves about the race not because of the last obstacle)! Anyway, because I’m a big wimp, this race type isn’t even as bad as it could’ve got, I should’ve really treated myself and went all out with a 10 mile and 20 obstacle jaunt through pig sh*te. Boy have I missed out.

I’ve physically paid for this moment of insanity months ago and have been to the gym about 10 times max. The race line is nearing with less than 2 weeks to go. So I think the moral of the story is – I’m f*cked.

**I’m secretly really looking forward to the above, just having a friendly rant, Tough Mudder is fast growing in popularity and I can definitely see why. Certainly no spawn of Satan and more like the child of Christ! This event is as godly as they come. I can’t wait to see all of the Adonis’ squatting and lunging in some slippery mud. I just hope there’s room for one more in that tight trench!

A great event for charity and team building, I highly recommend giving it a go or an event similar. You may sprain an Achilles but atleast you’ll feel like Hercules doing so.

**BTW they don’t sponsor me to promote them in any way (but can if they’d really like to).

Other events similar to Tough Mudder include:

 

My kind of Races, pit stops of Red wine and doughnuts:

 

Come on warriors take on Tough Mudder!

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