Archive for February, 2012

Half Term

February 27th, 2012

I love half term as it gives us more time to do stuff with the children – this week we’ve been out on lots of healthy walks looking for early signs of Spring. We visited the Roman museum in Canterbury and had a fantastic day at Bewl water.

 I’ve also managed to track down a second hand run for the guinea pigs so they’ve been able to swap the nightly romp round the dining room floor for the healthier fresh air alternative of the garden.  The only drawback is that they are now more exposed to the over eager attentions of next door’s dog Barney.  From the kitchen window I can see him, nose pressed up against the run like a kid outside a sweetshop trying to decide which one to sample first!
Half way through the week I flew out to Finland for two days to represent NIVEA at a fitness class for international journalists.  I was really worried about the shockingly low temperature (I’d been told -37!) as I’m definitely more of a beach babe than a snow bunny!  Worried about the risks of immediate frostbite on arrival, I dressed in five layers and managed to cram a pair of moon boots into my carry-on holdall,  I then spent an uncomfortable flight suffering slightly from heat  exhaustion!  In the end I needn’t have worried as it was -3 and not bad at all.  The fitness class went off really well, no one was suffering too much from the cocktails the evening before.

I loved Helsinki and would really love a return visit to visit Lapland and sample all of the Finnish delights.
The food was interesting – having politely declined some bear pate, I then tucked into a stew which was totally delicious but which I suspected might have been Reindeer – ignorance is sometimes bliss.
I’m now back in England, basking in the Spring like conditions and the hayfever has started to sneak up on me so dosing up on anti-histamine and looking like Rudolph already! 

Bootiful Booty Camp

February 8th, 2012

I was so excited about my first ever British BootyCamp day this week and was a bit disappointed when the day dawned wet and drizzly! I then had a call from one of the ladies who was lost in the wilds of the Kent countryside (Note to Self: remember to send out comprehensive directions next time!) I luckily knew where I was going!!!
By 9.30 though, an lovely bunch of ladies had found their way to the beautiful Oast House Barn we were using for the day, all determined that the gloomy weather wasn’t going to dampen their enthusiasm for a day of fitness fun – and fun it was! I was joined by the lovely Clive a trainee Fitness Instructor and together we filled the day with a varied array of fun exercises, including kettle bells, team games and an ab. work shop. The drizzle lifted, the day brightened and we managed to fit in a lovely walk with the dogs so even Benson and Sophie were happy! Everyone brought a healthy packed lunch and there was only one case of smuggled contraband – a chocolate muffin I spotted peaking out of rucksack!
By the end of the day, all agreed that they’d really enjoyed themselves and had got a lot out of the day. Over the next few days some of the ladies were kind enough to report back that they could feel that they’d been exercising but nobody felt horribly stiff or uncomfortable.
Buoyed up by the success of the first day I’ve decided to investigate some interesting venues with a view to holding a few more camps over the next few months possibly with an extended timescale of two or even three days – watch this space!
BootyCamp was followed by another successful photoshoot for Grazia (out on 28th February) on behalf of Reebok Easytone workout, I was dressed by the lovely Bronagh Meer (@BronaghMeer) who is a fabulous stylist and great fun to work with while the wonderful Sadie Hewlett (@sadiehewlett) had the unenviable task of dealing with my hair and makeup, both Ladies were a delight to work with.
On the pet front things have calmed down slightly with a truce having been declared in the Battle of the Guinea Pigs due to the need to form a defensive alliance in the face of hostile intentions from next doors dog Barney. Meanwhile I’ve started looking for a second hand run so that the Guineas have somewhere to let off steam outside – at moment we’re letting them run round the dining room floor all evening. Whilst this has the advantage of providing an opportunity for family exercise while chasing them around the room, it is unfortunately outweighed by the piles of piggy poo that is the natural consequence of such activity!
This week saw the arrival of the much anticipated snow and we had lots of fun family exercise together on the sledges, however the downside of 5” of the stuff was made apparent today as I helped to dig out THREE delivery vans that got stuck on our drive

Sticky in Slovakia

February 1st, 2012

Last week I flew out to the beautiful Czech Republic for a photo shoot and press conference for NIVEA. At the end of a late night taxi ride and feeling smug that I had prepared well for the trip, I pulled out a Last week I flew out to the beautiful Czech Republic for a photo shoot and press conference for NIVEA. At the end of a late night taxi ride and feeling smug that I had prepared well for the trip, I pulled out a vast wad of Euros, only to discover that the Czech currency is the Koruna!

When I finally reached my hotel room (after a slight diversion to take in a cash machine) I was delighted to find a huge bouquet of flowers, not bothering to read the card I assumed they were from my hosts NIVEA and so inadvertently upset Hubby when he rang me to see if I liked HIS flowers!

The next day was a Press Conference for the Czech media. I felt quite proud of myself as I spent some time learning a little introductory speech in Czech and they actually seemed to understand what I was saying! For the rest of the conference I worked with a presenter/translator who helped me to get the whole room of journalists joining in with my ‘at work/under the desk’ exercises – mind you I had to put on my now infamous 5” stillettos to show that exercise is still possible even in ‘unsuitable’ footwear!

The following day I did a photo shoot for a well known Czech magazine, followed by a four hour car journey through unbelievably beautiful scenery to Slovakia. I was very well looked after on the journey by the lovely Michaela who fed and watered me all the way to Bratislava

Not a good start to the next day – I took a very early shower and sorted through the bottles in the cubicle – they all had Czech labels on but some were translated into English and I was delighted to find one labelled ‘Body Lotion’. After using it however, I was horrified to find my clothes sticking to my skin and came rapidly to the conclusion that the bottle was in fact mis-translated shampoo!

The Slovakian press conference was however another great success and I was relieved that I managed my introductory speech in Slovakian without accidentally slipping into Czech and offending anyone!

I was up at the unsociable hour of 4am next morning to get to Vienna for the flight home. I arrived home fully expecting the usual chaos of homework books, underpants, doggy bin excavations and guinea pig fights only to find the place absolutely immaculate – my lovely husband and kids had tidied the place up as a welcome home present!

Mind you I came back down to reality with a bump at 6am this morning as I dealt with the messy digestive consequences of both dogs raiding Hubby’s secret butter stash!

Next week it’s my first Bootcamp and I’m really looking forward to it, however I’ve been a little dismayed by the number of worried emails and texts I’ve had from people worried that I’m either going to cripple or shout at them! Bootcamps seem to have acquired a bit of a negative image recently and mine is going to be completely different – it’s really just a day of fun female fitness in the fresh air and so henceforth it will be known as BOOTY CAMP!!

I’ve also had a few requests from people to run couples and singles fitness days and I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas for fun variations – if you have, or you are just interested in coming along to the next event, please email Annabelle Perry by clicking here: email address hidden