Monday, August 30, 2010

Om stands for Oh My God!

For those of you that have been following my blog for some years now, you'll know that whilst I lived in the US I was a keen yoga student. I would go to practice at the studio a couple of times a week (not much, but enough to develop my practice). Since my arrival in Edinburgh eighteen months ago, I've not managed to do any yoga at all. Primarily because I've not discovered a teacher and studio and primarily because I've managed to find a gazillion other things and excuses as to why I can't.

I did briefly pop along to a session in a church hall but...well, I think the venue may have said it all. It was snooze-time yoga for octogenarians and, fresh from my Vinyasa flow, I was in need of faster things! "More fluidity!" I cried.

Finally I did find a studio, and in my infinite wisdom, signed myself up for a ten week course of led Ashtanga.

I had great visions of a svelte figure, inner peace, finding a flat tummy (it's a never ending quest!) and being able to get back to doing crane pose and head stand, which I'd mastered before I left.

What no one ever tells you though is that it takes months to build this up, but only seconds to lose it all.

Dignity and flat stomachs catapulting out of my grasp as fast as I could unroll my mat, this morning's lesson found me sweating like a badger's arse, discovering parts of my anatomy that I'd long since thought had left the building and struggling with pranayama and a full on cold, so that it may have been thought that there was an escaped pig in the room. The toned muscles, that were a thing of the past and may still be yet, were riddled with lactic acid rendering me almost immobile by the end and my eyes, saddled with cold and an inability to breath through my nose had me auditioning alongside Bugsy to steal his role in Bedtime Stories part 2: the revenge of the bulging eye balls !

She had me moving through the first five standing poses with grace and flexibility, (on her part - wobbles and shakes on mine) until I really regretted the decision I'd made to eat my tuna sandwich before the class started and began mentally assessing the exits and carpeted areas that needed avoiding, in case I felt the need to share this with her.

By the time we reached Savasana an hour later, I knew I'd arrived at the poor man's version of yoga Nidra without effort. "Try not to think about anything you need to do, relax your mind, allow yourself to feel heavy" she crooned. Who was she kidding?  Time to die I think!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

By jove she's done it!

I'm actually surprised I made it home at all today!

Exam results came out on Tuesday - well, except mine that is! This year results were coming out two days earlier than normal - electronically... only not for everyone.

So we've had two days of irrational panic, for which Mr Beehive has been unable, naturally, to say the right thing. Poor bloke, he's had his ear well and truly chewed this week.

Of course, in my defense m'lud, the university's offer letter stated that the result had to be with them by August 31st, so there was an element of panic- - worse case - the sky's fallen in - type scenario, that I'd have to go through the whole interview process again, not least sit the bloody exam all over again.

Anyway, quite what Edinburgh made of the slightly mad middle aged woman with a red, flushed face, bouncing through the city this afternoon like a school kid (oh yeah, I was, temporarily!) with a permanent grin, flapping a piece of paper, talking to herself, giggling, walking into yet more lamposts... I'm surprised no one threw me a quid or two.

I needed a C - all my life I've been the C student.
I do well enough!
I work hard, I study hard, I'm a tryer,
But I don't do brilliantly.
But, I'd like to be brilliant - just once!
Today was my day to be brilliant - just once.

I got an A* - just as well really cos it would have been bloody embarrassing to get anything less for an exam that 15 year olds are sitting and receiving A's and A*'s!!

Now for that first class honours degree!! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bird on the Braai.

Mr Beehive visited the South African cafe with master Beehive the younger on Saturday. They'd been soaking up the endorphins of football practice, marshmallow floats and chatting with the girl behind the bar and well.. one thing led to another and:

No! That's not him!

However, dinner of Gallus gallus domesticas, ended up looking like "Pullus in laboro"!!

He was persuaded to buy a beer can chicken cooker for his smoker - okay, he bought two *sigh*,... really cheap apparently - yeah, I can hear the sales pitch now along with the extra dollop of cream on his hot chocolate!

I have to say, this way of cooking the chook certainly made for a succulent and beautifully browned bird (bit like me really ;-)) but I'm not sure it appreciated the can of London Pride up it's innards!

I also wanted to share with you our "howler" moon of Saturday evening!

All it needs is a pack of hot young wolves to come out of the shadows ;-) Perhaps they'd like a can of London Pride and a piece of beautifully browned bird?
 *dirty chuckle*

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summing up Summer

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Summing up Summer!

Mum sent through some photos of our visit to sunny Fenland this evening and, as I put my children to bed after their first day back at school, after having been drowned in a Scottish downpour, after hunting (once again) for lost school uniform, rushing to cook a tea after activities after school and trying to fit in the gazillion things that need doing before the next day,  I think this particular one sums up why I love summer more than anything:

My babies, lazy days, sunshine, ice creams, time together, bliss...all that's missing is my man xx

Friday, August 13, 2010

Something old, something new...

Well, not so much a "thing" as a person and not so much "old" as "lost" really as she should take warranted umbridge at being described as "old"!

It's been a fantastic week this week. To begin the week I met with a friend that I was in the fourth and fifth year (yes, see that even demonstrates how long ago this was - we are talking "old school" class, not "year 11 or 12!!) at school with and lost contact with after that when we both went our separate directions after we left school.

22 years ago!!

This is all down to facebook (for much of its faults, there are some huge benefits!).

Emma has been living in Oz for the last ten years and has fairly recently returned to her Fen roots. We decided to meet this week after having chatted online for a while. Of course, in the history of facebook reunions, this really has to come up on the 100 oddest "dates", as in our similarity to each other, we decided to go on a chicken course together!

Girls chatting about old times!

 It is a cliche to say that it doesn't seem like we've been out of contact so long because we just seemed to slot back together like it was yesterday! We then continued to have a meal out together on Tuesday evening, taking in the limited, but excellent, culinary varieties that our little Fen town has to offer, and managed to spend a good three hours making up for lost time.

I am REALLY looking forward to seeing her again and remaining a "real life" friend rather than a 2D picture on the screen. If you're thinking of keeping a few chickens then visit her blog to learn about the things we were told.

Then from friends old to friends new, I met this week with a couple of girls who are going to be at the same University as me doing midwifery. One is starting this year (yeah, touch of the green-eyed!) and the other is in my cohort. We spent a lovely day having a picnic at Milton Keynes with our kids, although the elder Beehive got stung by a wasp so spent much of the day feeling miserable and smelling like the local chippy thanks to the vinegar!

I feel like my life this week has reached a really comfortable and happy place. I also spent a very happy evening with my wonderful pal, Soph and her lovely family over in Berkshire.

The lovely Soph getting her laughing gear around a breakfast burger!

I always enjoy Sophie's company and can't wait to be a short drive up the road rather than a seven hour slog in the car! I'm so happy to be back in contact with Emma and am thoroughly looking forward to spending more time with her, my current friends and my new midwife friends.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I dreamed of Africa - part 2

Hmmm, where was I?

It already seems so long ago, but the fortnight was truly amazing.

We flew into Nairobi and spent a night there before taking a smaller plane out to the Masai Mara. The week was being spent in a permanent lodge up in the hills just near Rekero.

First impressions were just the vastness and vacuousness of it all. Flat, space for miles around. Although I've seen this kind of enormity of space and land in the US, this was yet again, different. The ground would vary between red earth, threadbare grass and then grasslands that were yet to be eaten down and the colour! The colours are something that really are impossible to verbalise. Bright, contrast between the vibrant yellow of the grassland and the bright vivid blue of the sky, then the starkness of a lone ostrich just standing in the middle of it all - a photographer's paradise.

We spent five days here in all, doing early morning game drives and then late afternoon, early evening drives. Within hours of arriving we'd seen giraffes, elephant, warthog, impala, zebra, ostrich, wildebeest and...the creme de la creme - a leopard. A night time viewing whereupon we stumbled across the impala behaving warily and their snorts and stomps alerted Loli and Salaash our guides. I was totally unprepared for the sighting of this beautiful creature. He was completely relaxed with our presence - rudely interupting his hunt, and sat and posed for us for a full 20 minutes before we moved on to allow him to go about his night meal!

Over the course of the five days we also were able to witness lion cubs and also a very direct lesson for the kids on procreation from some willing lions who treated us to repeat performances of the 18 second task, all of which is caught on video for posterity to show the grandlions!! Fortunately for the children of a doula and midwife in training who have been brought up with the sight of birth and pregnancy, the sight of copulating mammals is greeted with disdain and the comment of :

"Oh great!: *sigh*  "Lion Sex!"

The final day in the Mara we were invited to the village of some friends of our guide. I'm always torn when I'm a tourist in a country that, yes, I do want to see the culture and learn about the different ways of life, but I hate watching the ritualistic-putonforthetourists-dancing or artificial celebrations. I always feel very conspicuous. I'd rather just see normality. So this was a lovely surprise and we went to have tea with them. It was lovely to see our children play with their children and try to milk the cows (unsuccessfully) to get the milk for the tea. It was nice to just be embraced into the family and not feel uncomfortable and it was nice for the children to have such a life lesson too into what determines wealth and happiness.

After this too-short time in the Mara, we were all very sad to say goodbye and there were a few tears shed as we flew off to spend a week on the coast in Malindi.
Eleven years married!!!

Now I'm left with only memories and a few more weeks of Malaria tablets to remind me of Africa.

Monday, August 09, 2010

I dreamed of Africa - part 1

We're back - well, nearly. We're not back in Scotland yet, but we're back on UK soil again. I'll aim over the next few days to get back blogging to tell you all about the wonderful trip we had, but for now, a picture speaks a thousand words.
Being "twitched" Vervet Monkey style
Male Ostrich - yum!
Salaash - our Masai guide for the week, showing us how to shoot bows and arrows!
Mother - the non Masai Guide, showing LMB how NOT to fire bows and arrows!
Spending time with Nygoe's family
Feet on African soil!