What were your New Year resolutions? Having now waded knee-deep into 2015, that fateful day when we awoke bleary eyed with a sore head, then scribbled down some idealistic ramblings because it was the 1st of Jan, is now a distant blur. Staying motivated to keep New Year resolutions can be hard, even with the best of intentions.
Shock. Horror. The sign on the hotel spa door reads FKK Bereich, next to a picture of a swimsuit with a big red cross through it. That can’t be right – something must have got lost in translation. Perhaps special sauna suits will be provided inside the changing room? No such luck.
Later in the steam room, I find myself sitting opposite a rather large, mature gentleman – naked, manhood fully exposed. Then comes another one. Apparently the towel-wrap isn’t highly thought of in Germany. After the initial shock, I find myself uncomfortable for other reasons. Are they giving me dirty looks because I’m wearing a swimming costume? Yes. It turns out in the German sauna penises are polite and swimming costumes are rude. Freikörperkultur (FKK) is a German movement which translates as Free Body Culture. It is based on a naturist approach to sports and community living and the joy of being nude without any relationship to sexuality. Continue reading
This year kicked off with four weeks spent volunteering at Sadhana Forest India – a sustainable living and reforestation project. It’s nearly the end of another year and I find myself reminiscing.
It was December 2013 in London, grey and cold. After a bout of uninspiring circumstances on the job and relationship front I decided to leave London and spend some time with Mother Nature. I wanted to get back to my roots. I needed to plant some trees. After some online research I decided to volunteer at Sadhana Forest, a project set-up in 2003 by Aviram Rozin on the outskirts of Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India. Sadhana Forest India has three main aims: the reforestation of 70 acres of severely degraded land with the indigenous TDEF (Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest); practicing water conservation techniques and providing environmental education to all.
Last night I had the strangest dream. To describe it as psychedelic would be an understatement. Millions of stars danced around a luminous azure blue sky, colliding with each other from all angles. Every star in the universe was a shooting star, not a single star stood stationary. And that was just the start…
Not really being a Chinese takeaway kind of girl, only on the very rare occasion does a stir-fried vegetables and tofu in black bean enter my system. It is not that I am against ordering a Chinese to enjoy in front of the telly (read that how you please) – it is just that sushi or curry will always win. That said, due to a combination of location and laziness, last night was one of those rare occasions. The slightly unwell feeling after finishing my dinner was expected, the night-time adventure quest definitely was not. Putting two and two together upon awakening, a slightly alarmed Googling session ensued.
It’s time to face the inevitable…winter is coming. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) affects approximately 2 million people in the UK, and more than 12 million people across Northern Europe. Everyone needs a little helping hand through the colder months, and whilst hot chocolate puds, mulled wine and Sunday roasts most nights of the week might make you feel perkier at the time, the likelihood is that you’ll end up feeling pretty yuck. And potentially enter the New Year ten pounds heavier.
Shorter days and darker mornings mean less daylight, in people with SAD the lack of light is thought to affect the production of the hormones melatonin and serotonin. Unless you’re one of those sporty types, the majority of people also find that they do less exercise in winter, sending endorphin levels plummeting. Walking in the pitch black freezing rain to the gym after work never quite seems to win out against an evening spent snuggled up on the sofa. Continue reading
Jade facial rolling is the new Botox. Apparently every beauty-savvy woman now owns one of these little green gadgets. The idea of incorporating the healing properties of crystals into a daily skincare routine is immediately intriguing.
In ancient China jade was the ultimate symbol of beauty, grace and immortality. Synonymous with wealth and opulence, this beautiful green stone has numerous healing properties. Commonly worn for protection and good luck, jade is also known to balance the emotions, calm the mind and release negativity. Jade can refer to two different types of crystal – Jadeite and Nephrite. The former is a lighter translucent stone, with the latter generally being darker in colour and easier to find. Both stones have similar healing properties. Continue reading