Everyday Small Things

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Happy, Healthy, Strong – Music

Introducing Jamie Pye

A good ol’ friend and I recently stumbled upon a new young talent in Barwon heads.  His name is Jamie Pye.  According to his facebook page he is only 16!  As he played his instrumental, finger-style, original music we were blown away.

Barwon headsOur view at Barwon Heads as we listened to Jamie’s original music that just fit perfectly with the landscape.

It was a beautiful, autumn afternoon and as we sat over-looking the rivulet and out to the ocean, his music fit perfectly with the Australian, coastal landscape.  He doesn’t appear to be on iTunes yet, but you can here him on triple j unearthed.  We bought his album, a full length album called ‘Vibrations’ and I haven’t stopped listening to it.  He’s one to watch out for!


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Healthy, Happy, Strong: Fitness Freak

Today I am resetting some Fitness goals.  Getting my Fitness Freak back on!

Where am I now?  A year ago I was Cross Fitting everyday at a great box (that’s a Cross Fit gym folks) called Hertford CrossFitCrossfit Hope July 3Prior to that my headaches/migraines were so severe that I couldn’t even walk around the block without making them worse (I’ll go into that story another day).  So I’d worked really hard to get to a reasonable level of fitness and probably the strongest I’d ever been.  Then I got a new teaching job in inner London which was really difficult.  Not so much because the teaching or students were difficult, but because I had just been without my support network for too many years in the UK.  And all the great friends I had made were up north in the midlands.  Getting to the gym was just adding additional stress and guilt (when I wouldn’t get there after work as had work to do or was just so physically exhausted).  I was cracking pretty badly and it was really affecting my work.  In fact for the first time in my life I was having quite a bit of time off.  So I made the executive decision to just not stress about exercise and stop going.

Then my knee cracked it.  It said (if you speak knee (that’s primarily grinding and crunching) as I have learned to do since I hit puberty), “Katrina, you’ve worked so bloody hard to get me strong again, and now this… you just stop strengthening me?!  Well I quit!”  The physio listened to my knee, went white and told me to stop running and squatting.  Great!  Slowly I lost interest in my physio exercises…

…so here I am.  Not quite the most unfit I’ve ever been, but just really slobbish and unmotivated.  Every time I decide to do some form of fitness, if I don’t get straight to it that moment, my mind kicks in builds this wall of worry and excuses.  I think I am worried that I’ll fail again at realising my goals.  Yet I love sport and fitness.  I’ve won rowing races and represented my state playing soccer for goodness sake.  I am at heart a Fitness Freak – just dying to get back on it!

Shoes runners 130516 Merri CreekBrunswick velodrome 2 Merri Creek view Merri Creek graffiti Merri Creek Grevilea Run clouds Merri creek path Merri Creek Shadow

I’ve lost a lot of sleep feeling guilty over failing at lots of attempts to get my Fitness Freak back on – but in reality having not coped with isolation, loneliness and hating my job in the UK for the past couple of years it is not surprising I’ve failed so much.

But that’s fine.  I have the time now and the opportunity to…

…just get off the couch!

Where do I want to be? 

  • I will be able to do triathlons.
  • I will be able to join a hockey club.
  • I will be able to become a Pilates instructor.
  • I will be able to do crazy yoga poses.
  • I will be able to get back to Cross Fit.

What are the goals I am setting today?

  1. Set realistic goals – I haven’t done this in the past if I really take into account living a busy lifestyle and not being one of those people with boundless ends of energy.
  2. Be kind to my body – take it slow.
  3. Do 10 minutes of Physio everyday because it does actually work!  I know because when I stop all my problems (e.g. talkative knees) come flooding back.
  4. Run a mile a day Challenge.  I like the idea of short little challenges as a way of focusing myself.  I’m not able to run far on my knees, so I’m not interested in time or distance.  I’m interested in getting out there and keeping my form.  Short strides to protect my knees and listen to them.  Bless them they are weak because I have not listened to them for ages.  So knees… I’m listening now!

So that’s it for now.  I was going to write down about three more challenges… but then I referred back to point one!

I just went for my first Mile a Day Challenge – and the Melbourne weather was just great!  I got back on my old running track here in Melbourne along the Merri Creek.  And I must make a big shout out to the Friends of Merri Creek gang… gosh it’s come along!  Just a beautiful 45 mins.

I’ve popped in some of the sights from today!  And the smells:  Snags on the BBQ at Ceres, Stringy bark (eucalyptus trees), Ironing, and fresh clean air!

Brunswick VelodromeBrunswick Velodrome

What are your fitness goals?  How do you get your Fitness Freak on?  How have you overcome getting in a fitness rut?

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Everyday Small Things: Rainy days


Today the weather is miserable outside.  The first of the winter cold is setting in here in Melbourne.  I’ve come back to Australia wpid-DSC_0436.jpgfor a short holiday to see friends and family – just what the doctor ordered!  So it has been a very emotional but nourishing trip for me right now.  And somehow the rain today feels right.  Like it is washing away the dust… ready for a fresh, new beginning.  I have a rare day to myself and it is so nice to be snuggly by the window that I can peer out of reflecting!

I went out for breakfast with a new friend and as soon as I stepped outside I was hit with the comforting smell of Australia after the rain.  I smelt:

  • seaweed – argh yes I am close to the ocean again (a place you’ll hear me talk a lot about…) as I’ve always lived inland in the UK and seriously miss  it
  • Gum tree (Eucalyptus) – yep.. I must be back in Oz!
  • I didn’t smell car fumes 🙂
  • I didn’t smell ‘city’ – the earth must be being cleaned.

We walked to a new cafe around the corner.  It is so nice to see new cafes popping up here in Brunswick, but the oldies are still being supported and have hung around!  Today we went to East Elevation and sat in the window getting to know each other and contemplating the world.  They make chocolate there and we saw a girl meticulously sorting through cocoa beans – so of course I had to buy some of their chocolate (we’re going to see if you really can taste the difference between chocolates from different countries tonight… so I’ll keep you posted!).  The coffee was perfect too!  Yum!  Once our tummies were full, out we went.. and the rain had started to bucket down!

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Luckily I had bought my trusty umbrella.  I’ve often wondered what he’d say if he could say anything at all.. as I got him back in 2008 when I first arrived in the UK – so he’s travelled all over with me.  I paid to much for him (£12 from Marks and Spencer), but I needed the colour he bought in my life.  He’s getting to the end of his life now.. rusting.. not 100% waterproof any more… saggy… but he’s not down and out yet.

We then had a look in a new shop nearby which supports local designers.  I couldn’t help myself.  I have been looking for a cute new little purse for ages… and this little purse by Utopia Goods has an Australian print so it had to be mine.  I also have a real affection for olive oil soaps as I find normal soap too harsh for my skin and travelling with liquid soap just annoying.  And these Soaps by Jules have real Aussie flavours which just seemed so fitting today with the rainy, earth, aussie smells!  My justification for getting them:  they’ll provide a little moment each UK morning in the shower to remember home AND if you keep them in your clothes draws your clothes will smell amazing!

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Another bonus of rainy days is that I don’t feel guilty for not going for a run.  But as I write this the scene outside has turned from torrential rain to gorgeous Autumnal afternoon glow.  Hmmm…  Nope it is bucketing down and the sun is shining… ?!  yes yes it is :S

What do you love about rainy days?