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Friday, 25 July 2014

Travel: My favourite places in Cape Town, South Africa

I've spent quite a bit of time in Cape Town and have very fond memories of being there. My happiest Capetonian memories are of time spent in the outdoors. Here is the list of my favourite places to appreciate the natural beauty of this wonderful city:

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Food: Byron Talbott's Orange Chicken

I've only recently started watching cooking videos on YouTube and at first I was a bit unsure whether it was a format I was comfortable with. I've watched the Food Channel in the past, but had never ever attempted any recipes where I didn't actually have a print copy first.

I stumbled upon Byron Talbott's Orange Chicken recipe quite by chance. I think it might have popped into my YouTube What to Watch list and I was immediately interested.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Travel: Day trips from Edinburgh during the Summer

Edinburgh is lovely during the summer, especially when the weather is dry. July is relatively quiet in the city compared to the frenzy when the Edinburgh Fringe, International and Book Festivals take place in August. The chaos can be fun, but sometimes it can be a bit of a relief to leave the city for a while, even just for a day. All my day trip suggestions will take just a few hours and are suitable for everyone, including kids.
Cramond Beach is in the north of the city and can be reached by car or the Number 41 Lothian bus. This is a popular location for families, runners and dog-walkers. It has a cafe and a pub and an ice-cream van is parked along the promenade during the summer. The Cramond Kirk is very pretty and the 'secret' walled children's play park can be found just past the kirk hall. The highlight of any visit to Cramond, however, is the walk across the causeway to Cramond Island, which is one mile out to sea. The causeway is only accessable at low tide, so it is crucial to check tide-times in advance of any visit and also to check the safe crossing times at the entrance to the causeway and leave enough time for the return leg.

Linlithgow is a charming town to the west of Edinburgh  and Linlithgow Palace, which is now a beautiful ruin, was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. The town can be reached by train from Edinburgh and a typical journey takes about 20 minutes. The Linlithgow Canal Centre is a 5 minute walk from the train station and during the summer, boat trips from 30 minutes to 2 hours are run during the afternoons. This is a wonderfully relaxing way to while away an afternoon. For the more active, a walk around the picturesque Linlithgow Loch takes about 45 minutes, and has wonderful vistas of the palace.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Running: Coping with Injury

I still haven't recovered from my injury and am now beyond frustrated. I am so tempted to just throw caution to the wind and go for a light jog, but I know that that will set me back even further. I am so desperate to get back to full fitness that at my last physio appointment  I asked for even more exercises and was given a theraband to start doing some resistance work. I do my exercises diligently because I need to feel that I'm helping myself to get better.

I've had to start watching my weight so that I don't gain weight due to my more sedentary lifestyle. This mainly means cutting out all alcohol, drinking herbal tea so that I stay well-hydrated and skipping the rare treat I usually allow myself. So far it's working.

In the meantime I have no races planned and I'm having to learn to take things one day at a time. I have been doing quite a lot of reading though, all running-related. These are all books I've been wanting to read for a while so I thought I'd get it out of the way before I started my summer reading.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Life: Grabbing a little bit of Zen

As time has passed, my life has gotten busier, my worries have grown and my responsibilities have increased, least of all because I have people in my life that need me. In all of this, it is so easy to lose the sense of oneself. It is so important that I also take care of myself, especially when I feel overwhelmed.

I've incorporated a few things into my life that keep my head in a happy place.

1. Mindfulness meditation.
I've mentioned this first because I always wish I could meditate more. Yes, I find meditation, especially mindfulness meditation, hard to do, but I always feel better for having tried, and hope that over time, I will get better at it. I can recommend Jon Kabat-Zinn's wonderful book "Wherever You Go, There you Are" to learn more about mindfulness meditation and also his CD "Guided Mindfulness Meditation" to get you started.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Travel: A short break to Morocco

The best part of travelling for me is experiencing the culture of a place. By culture I don't mean art or theatres, I mean catching a glimpse of what the people are really like, eating like a local, speaking with a local and the most fun bit, shopping like a local. I love to have a real sense of a place by the time I leave.

All Images Copyright Clementine Buttercup 2016