Tag: Family

Relationships after 50: Friendships

I’d like to consider here friendships, particularly after the age of 50. These are my experiences and thoughts, let me know in the comments below your views or experience if you don’t mind sharing!

Old Friendships

I sometimes feel that I have lost good friends after the breakup of my marriage over 20 years ago. As a young-ish couple you have couple friends, often with children the same age as yours. We had three couple friends from school days and numerous other couple friends through our children mainly. No one wants to “take sides” (on our divorce), time gets taken up with the children and their hobbies, people move away and friendships take more than an annual Christmas card. Having said that if they were to knock on my door or vice versa I’m sure we’d pick up like it was yesterday……….but it’s not.

All the missed shared times – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, children growing up concerns; GCSE’s, University anguish –these have been missed,  shared with newer friends. I envy people that have kept long term friendships going, it is like having an extended family.

That said I do have friends of old! In particular a childhood neighbour I’ve been friends with for over 50 years, I see her rarely, write to her twice a year and now see more of her on social media! An old school friend who is quite local and I meet up with occasionally. Along with the aforesaid Christmas card friends from days of yore and a close friend of over 15 years, I used to be her Manager in my Accountancy days.

walking in the peak district
My two best friends, Kate and Rufus at Ilam Rock -Dove Dale

You can read about this trip to the Peak District here.

New Friendships

I’m sometimes surprised at the number of friends I have made after the age of 50. They have come from varied places. Massage clients have become close friends to share a meal with or enjoy a dog walk with. More recently, in the last 12 months, I have made new friends through joining a local choir, tennis coaching and a social tennis group. These friendships are in early stages but I’m sure they will be long standing with like minded people.

I joined an online gym over 4 years ago and the community on there is fabulous. The thought of online friends is probably quite alien to many over 50s, and the scare stories of online relationships may put you off. Rest assured the ladies I have met online are delightful, I have now met some of them irl (in real life!), including one visiting from Australia. They are such a supportive and knowledgeable group of ladies, I am honoured to be part of their friendship group.

friendship
Meeting online gym friends irl!

Current Friendships

Here I am in my late 50s with more friends than I have ever had. Some from childhood, some from work places or leisure activities, some clients and my family. I believe that it is important to “work” at friendships. Don’t get irritated if it seems one way traffic or you are more or less available them. Be sure to keep in touch and get a date in your diary for a meet up or drop them a letter or a card.

I have reconnected with people after years and being single makes me more sociable and actively pursue friends. I have a date in my diary to meet a great lady I played hockey regularly with over 25 years ago with whom I’ve exchanged of Christmas cards but haven’t met in all those years. I’m also in contact with an old work colleague through Facebook and arranging a coffee meet up. An old boss dropped his phone number in his Christmas card and said to call.

friendship
1986 British Shoe Mixed Hockey Team on tour

Good friends

I googled friendship and friends here’s what I found “True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils” (dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/friend)

“A friend is someone you can talk with about a problem, someone who is always there when you need a hand, someone you can trust with your deepest secrets, someone who makes you laugh, or even someone you can poke on Facebook.” (https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-good-friend)

Good friends may be hard to find and keep, times change, stuff happens, all part of lives rich pattern. Friendships can be made and developed. It’s never too late to make new friends who may well become good and trusted friends!

How do you know your oldest friend? How do you know you best friend? Do you have a best friend? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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Man of my dreams? When it all goes wrong….

This time last year my life had been thrown upside down. When the man of my dreams decided it was over – no negotiating! I now feel I can share a little more.

Heartbroken

Over 10 years ago I lost the love of my life and was heartbroken, after 5 years alone I thought I’d found the man of my dreams.  He loved the countryside, was caring, loving, respectful and honest about the big things but not about broccoli!

I let this man dictate the pace of our relationship and (perhaps) I made a mistake. But we had fun and adventures; some fabulous achievements walking the Coast to Coast, the Cotswold Way, doing a Wolf Run, renovating and extending a house, rearing chickens……

Only to find 5 years on he doesn’t like broccoli and won’t compromise. I think I’d been incredibly supportive, amenable, compliant and giving but at the 11th hour felt it wasn’t reciprocated. We had an opportunity to move nearer to my family and business, this turned out to be “out of the question” and “there is no way I’m moving in that direction” and that brought us to breaking point.

functional fitness
Bringing the 20kg chick food in

Read what happened next here and here 

Disappointed

This time I was not heartbroken (I had no tears left after the last time) but I was disappointed and sad. We had begun to build an idyllic home and life together, which is not always easy to come by in your 50s with all that life has already given you, and we were comfortable together.

man of my dreams
The home we lovingly restored and extended

The situation was hard and a little bizarre when there was no building up of little niggles to a big fallout. It appeared to come from nowhere. With hindsight I guess it was the right thing to move out and on. As I now reflect on it I’m angry, mainly with myself. My lack of strength to be in control of my own destiny when we were in the early days of the relationship. As I said in my Celebrating 2017 blog I don’t function well in relationships!

Family

My family are very important to me – my Dad was 90 last year and won’t be around forever, although I am expecting a good 5 – 10 years more! My daughters are in their mid twenties and perhaps will have families of their own one day.  I’m in no hurry to be a Grandma tho’, and when they do I’m sure it will be fantastic to be near them. In the meantime it’s brilliant to pop over for a cuppa rather than having to plan an expedition to see them.

Family allotment time!

Life goes on and the next chapter is underway. I’m not looking for the “man of my dreams” or the “love of my life” but enjoying life to the full. Stay tuned further musings of this 50 something fitness lover.

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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You may be interested to read what helped me last year with these life changes – What got me through Jan and Feb 2017

Celebrating last year – what did you learn?

Celebrating 5 things I’ve learnt in 2017

As we are all looking forward to what 2018 will bring and how we might be able to shape it I decided to take a look at what I’d learnt in 2017. It isn’t earth shattering or revolutionary but it is worth celebrating.

I am very much about looking forward because that’s the way we’re going! But we should be celebrating what we’ve achieved and how we’ve grown; the latter may be from some perceived failure or overcoming a fear.

I’m happier on my own

2017 started with an unexpected BANG! I was thrown into a new start when my partner decided we should go our separate ways, you can read about that here –  The *hit hit the fan!. The practicalities of this took over and I quickly established my new home and life – Calmer Waters.
As the year has progressed I have come to realise that I’m much happier on my own. I don’t  function well in a partnership, I become dependent and a little too submissive, yes that’s pathetic and I don’t like this about myself.  On my own I’m more resilient, competent and definitely independent!

Abseiling solo!

I love to sing

I have belonged to low key choirs for a lot of my life. However monetary constraints followed by my last relationship meant I had not been part of a choir for over 10 years.
I was pleased to discover in my new home village a community choir, 30 strong, no audition, no cost and just a short stroll away. This ticked all my choir boxes – as I love to sing I’m not very good, and would never sing solo and don’t really like people hearing me sing along with the radio! However in a choir I can tune in with those more proficient. It is a great hobby, has helped me to get to know people in the village and made me feel part of my new community.

I am resourceful

When my relationship broke down I found myself with my part-time massage business that I’d been letting tick over as I was living an hour’s drive away.  This was the impetus to crank this business back up and to look for other sources of income;  Work Update – Do you do a variety of jobs?
This year I have been a poll clerk and an exams invigilator alongside my massage work and blogging.
I have grown my own tomatoes and picked many blackberries whilst walking the dog. I shop wisely and waste nothing. I want to use my blog to encourage people to take responsibility for their health and live well, this post has some great signposts for low cost health.

I love to walk

Fitness and good health are important to me. I have had a dog for over 10 years and he is an active cocker spaniel that needs two good walks a day. I do not resent this I love to walk. I love that I get out into the countryside on my doorstep twice a day and I enjoy seeing the seasons changing in front of me on a daily basis.

Dog walk
Regular dog walk fun!

This year we walked Offa’s Dyke Path, a national trail on the Wales/England border. It was glorious, hard work and rewarding. A fabulous way holiday – activity, good views and good food! Read my post about it here.

Offa's Dyke Path
We’ve arrived in Prestatyn, in the October sunshine

Friends and family are precious, and I count my clients amongst these

Finding myself single I relocated back to be near my Dad and my daughters and I am so happy to be able to easily pop in or meet up for a coffee or a walk. We were celebrating my Dad’s 90th Birthday in December and it’s great to be near to see him regularly and help him out….even if that means digging over his vegetable patch!

healthy later life
Dad & I

I’ve also made a concerted effort to regularly contact and meet up with friends, something I’d neglected. I seem to do more with these friends than I did with my ex’s! The daily routine of work and TV has been replaced by trips to the cinema, theatre, meals out and other adventures.
These posts are a couple of things I got up to – Peak District and North Devon and there’s more I’ve blogged about take a look!

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro 🙂

With my daughters in North Devon.

What are you celebrating about 2017?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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Christmas Guilt Free – here is some advice!

Christmas doesn’t have to be a blow out. It is a time to celebrate with friends and family. Enjoy the festivities, the food and drink, the company and the catch ups. None of this is bad for you or something to feel guilty about, have Christmas guilt free.

Food Choices – Christmas guilt free

Be mindful of your food choices and portion size perhaps but do not feel any guilt. These special festive foods may only be around at this time of year but there are plenty of days over the festive time to partake of them. It’s not necessary to eat them all ‘now’ or in excessive.

Giving yourself permission to enjoy them will help you to partake of them in a more rational way – eat them when you want or wait for another time. Beat the binge, starve “diet culture”. Ok this won’t happen overnight but perhaps now is the time to consider addressing your attitude and motivation towards food, fitness and body image. Let’s come back to this next year, for now have fun and find happiness in your choices. Stop beating yourself up, this fuels the binge/diet cycle.

Drink Choices – Christmas guilt free

Christmas guilt free
A great alternative to mulled wine

You don’t have to turn to drink to have a good time. Raise a glass or two by all means, but drink plenty of water too. It’s amazing how great it is not to lose the precious holiday time to a hangover, to remember that conversation you had with a loved one or how that heated debate panned out. Too many times, in the past, I’ve struggled to remember what I said and hoped it wasn’t offensive or misplaced. This article in The Guardian looked at a range of alcohol-free drinks and some literature examining sobriety. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/26/millennials-discover-mindful-drinking-non-alcoholic-festval

This website http://girlandtonic.co.uk/ may also give you some inspiration and help on cutting down or stopping drinking alcohol.

christmas no guilt
No alcohol red wine that tastes good

Activity Choices – Christmas guilt free

Finally, keep moving. Helping to tidy the wrapping paper, playing with the kids, carrying to and from the dinner table, washing up, so many little opportunities to keep active why not take them. I always prefer to take a walk after my Christmas dinner I’d rather aid the digestive process than immediately flop on the sofa ……I’ll do that later. Hey why not play some games too, charades or famous people or even a game of cards. All so much more fun and inclusive than the TV.

christmas no guilt
After a good walk!

Do you have any advice to have Christmas guilt free?

Have you read my recent blog on the festive season stress’ ? This may also help to make Christmas guilt free!

Thanks for reading and Happy Christmas!

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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I did Dry January in 2017, read it here

My Dad – life at 90!

My Dad

I’ve always admired my Dad, his steady love of his family, his hard and unrelenting work and his stoical attitude. My Dad was a dairy farmer on a small tenanted farm, he loved his work, this life and community I believe.  I have learnt such a lot from my Dad, I’m sure his approach to life has really shaped who I am today.

My Dad
Dad in his 40s

This week my Dad reaches his 90th Birthday! He lives alone, my Mum died 9 years ago having had Alzheimer’s through which he steadfastly cared for her, often shielding my sisters and I from what this dreadful disease was doing to their life.  He is in good health, cooks a meal everyday from scratch and is still an inspiration to us all.

My Dad
Dad at 80 🙂

Dad’s garden

My Dad has a great garden, he even dug up a lawn to extend his vegetable plot! He grows lots of fruit and veg.: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, cabbage, chard, purple sprouting broccoli, runner beans, french beans, courgettes/marrow, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes (in his greenhouse), gooseberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and rhubarb! This may not be an exhaustive list!

Dad then busies himself freezing or preserving (jam’s, chutney’s, pickles) his fresh produce, thus being self sufficient in this and having gifts for others.

In the last year he has asked us to help dig the garden at the start and end of the season, but he pretty much does everything else himself. He also has some beautiful fuchsia’s, that he and my Mum collected and cultivated. Along with some fabulous Bishop red dahlias.

healthy later life
Soon to be 90!

Recently my sister defrosted Dad’s chest freezer, its contents along with the aforesaid fruit and veg was meat (he buys half a lamb from a local farmer) and game birds (a neighbour beats at shoots and brings Dad game birds…in full feather). The only supermarket products were oven chips and ice cream.

Dad’s social life

When the weather is clement he’ll go for a daily walk and I often find his social life is better than mine! One week in the autumn he was out for coffee on three mornings, lunch with friends one day, a wedding anniversary party (60 years, Dad had been Best Man) and then I was cooking a family Sunday lunch. Pretty good eh? Dad cooks a full Sunday lunch for my younger sister and her husband most weeks!

Celebrating 90 year of age!

So this weekend we celebrate Dad’s 90th Birthday with over 50 family and friends. Please raise your glass and toast my Dad this weekend!

My Dad
Dad as a youngster!

Who inspires you?

Read my tips on having a healthy later life here, it’s not too late!

Checkout my 4 Pillars of Health blog post here https://www.jenafitlife.com/4-pillars-good-health/

and my Functional Fitness blog here https://www.jenafitlife.com/?s=functional+fitness

 

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Sign up to get notified of my new blog posts – pop your email address in the box at the top right of the page. I promise I won’t be sending spam or selling my email list!

Do you find the festive season stressful?

Festive season stress

December is fast approaching and many people find the looming festive season stressful: family dynamics and arrangements, gifts and money, food and entertaining can all be contributors, on top of all your usual day to day concerns.

My family are no different. Since my divorce, many years ago, my daughters have alternated Christmas between their Dad and I. This year, now they are in their late twenties and with bf’s families to factor in, my eldest breaks the tradition! She wishes to host Christmas with her sister and bf, her bf’s parents and me and my Dad, all invited for the day (giving me two consecutive Christmas’). I’m not complaining!

Here are my thoughts on dealing with the stress’ of the festive season.

Family arrangements

I have previously found that it is the making and settling of these arrangements that are the most stressful thing at this time of year. Once these are made I can settle to making preparations.
Ensuring everyone is happy with the plan, no one feels excluded or left out and no one is forgotten can involve clandestine conversations and diplomacy second to none!

Festive season
Festive fun with my Sisters and Dad!

Gifts

My younger daughter is saving hard for a house deposit and wants to limit her Christmas spend. She is good with her money and will achieve this. I limit my spend on the people I buy for, which now number around 10 people, and I budget for £10-20 per person on all but my daughters. Making sure I have the money to do this and not running up a credit card bill are important for me.
I also ask my daughters for a wish list, just like their letter to Father Christmas. That way the money is well spent and not wasted on unwanted items.
Shopping early. shopping online, planning your purchases and sticking to it, keeping track of your spend and keeping to your budget will make for a happier time, with less stress both now and when the credit card bill arrives in January!

festive season

Food

The Christmas festive season is a wonderful time for good food and entertaining. But we neither need to over indulge or spend a fortune.  Like at any other time of year – meal plan, portion control and make from scratch. This goes for your everyday meals to Christmas lunch to the Christmas drink drop ins. Don’t be tempted by the many and varied foodstuffs on offer in our supermarkets, when did a Panettone, Stollen, Christmas cake and Mince Pies all become a requirement for us to have at Christmas?
Be savvy with leftovers. A good turkey can be made into many things here are some great ideas!

Do you have any tips for a peaceful festive season?

Looking for ideas, help or inspiration for Christmas on a Budget? Then just put Christmas on a Budget or Christmas Food on a Budget into Google and lots of useful and interesting things will pop up!

Last year I blogged about why I was excited for Christmas, read it here, most of it still applies 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Sign up to get notified of my new blog posts – pop your email address in the box at the top right of the page. I promise I won’t be sending spam or selling my email list!

Further reading on Stress Awareness here

Have you wondered if your Mindset may help you deal with some of life’s stress’? Have a read of this

Bargain weekend away in North Devon

I’ve just had a bargain weekend away, spending less than £140 for 3 days and 2 nights in North Devon.  Ok, ok we were camping and we did borrow a big tent and we do have a car to transport us about BUT I have included our petrol costs.

Camping

My daughters (in their 20s and paying their own share), my dog (Rufus)  and I had the most fabulous break over Bank Holiday weekend in North Devon. We chose to camp for a couple of reasons;

  1. We needed to book for the Bank Holiday weekend but didn’t want to lose too much money if we chose not to go because…
  2. We wouldn’t go if the weather was going to be bad!

So we booked 2 nights at the Little Roadway Farm campsite near Woolacombe, all in this cost us £56.

The Journey

Our bargain weekend away began very early Saturday morning, to steer clear of the Friday traffic and to avoid putting up an unknown tent at the dead of night:). We traveled from Leicestershire to Woolacombe, with a quick coffee stop at the lovely M5 Gloucester services (a family business, a farmshop and no franchises) . We’d prepared some overnight oats (in jars) for the journey, these were a nutritious travel breakfast.

We arrived at the campsite at about 10.30 as the dew was disappearing and the sun came out.  The campsite, although fully booked, was not crowded we had a choice of location on the site, which was not huge but was green, pleasant and the facilities were good. We managed to put up the tent in not much more than 30 minutes.

Bargain weekend away tent
Our pitch!

Woolacombe

All unpacked, we headed off to walk the 1.5 miles to Woolacombe for a well earned drink and some lunch. Woolacombe beach has the Trip Advisor Award for Best UK Beach 2015 and 2016 , it is a large beach, very well equipped and it was busy as the day was warming up.

Bargain weekend away walk to wool
The walk to Woolacombe

The beach may be good and dog friendly but the town itself was a bit too (tacky) seasidey 🙁 for us! Lots of buckets and spades, arcades, ice creams, crazy golf……..all the good stuff! The walk back across the fields was lovely. We chilled at the tent, basking in the glorious sunshine before changing and heading off to Ilfracombe for the evening.

Bargain weekend away Wool
The view over Woolacombe

Ilfracombe

We parked the car near the small harbour surrounded by cliffs and met Verity! the controversial Damien Hirst statue that stands at the entrance to the harbour overlooking the Bristol Channel over to South Wales. What do you think of Verity?

Bargain weekend away Verity
Verity by Damien Hirst

Before dinner we had a wander around the town and hit upon the Beer Festival, right up my street so a local ale overlooking the sea was enjoyed. We had booked into the Blacksands Bistro for dinner , a family run bistro serving homemade, locally sourced, honest food. We sat outside, so Rufus could stay with us. As it gets chilly in late August evening the chiminea was lit and blankets provided (we didn’t need the latter).

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Our table reservation at Blacksands Bistro

We ordered a cocktail whilst we perused the menu, which had some lovely choices and local produce.

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro Cocktails

I chose a trout and cous cous dish, the girls had a cured meat platter and a chicken dish, all very delicious.  Our food was fabulous; the dessert choice was limited (and expensive) so we opted for a locally made ice cream en route back to the car.

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro 🙂

Our first night’s sleep went well, I was a little chilly but not uncomfortable. We all had to get up in the night for a wee, not ideal! Rufus was a star and slept soundly. We were woken early by the cockerel and the cows on the nearby farm.

Croyde

Sunday morning – our plan for the day was to drive to Croyde for brunch, have a walk and then find a beach.  We sat outside at The Stores and feasted on avocado on toast with a side of bacon, slugged down with a good coffee.  We watched the world go by at this busy corner of this lovely village.

Bargain weekend away Croyde
Sitting outside The Stores Croyde – Sunday brunch

Later we then walked directly towards Croyde Bay, near a campsite that looked more like a festival site with tents tightly packed in. The sun was up and it was heating up, people were flocking to the beach, not dog friendly.

Bargain weekend away Croyde Bay
Croyde Bay – crowded beach

Our plan was to walk along the coastal path up to Baggy Point (National Trust), from here we could see Woolacombe beach, it was also very busy, although the end near Putsborough Sands appeared quieter. The walk was glorious with great views.

Bargain weekend away wool bay
From Baggy Point across Woolacombe Bay

We headed back down to Croyde and dropped into Blue Groove for a drink, a popular place but plenty of space at this time….everyone was on the beach!

Putsborough Sands

We decided to head for Putsborough Sands, only to find parking was £8.50!!! After a little deliberation we agreed that between us for a full afternoon on the beach it didn’t amount to much. We were right it was worth it, although it was busy and there were lots of dogs, which we didn’t mind!  We walked along the sands and found a relatively quiet spot. We’d changed into our swimming costumes in the public toilets (new and very clean) so we spread out our blanket and settled down to read, people (and dog) watch, play with Rufus and enjoy the sun.

Bargain weekend away Puts
Putsborough Sands

The sea was bracing but we all went for a swim, including Rufus., we soon got in and got used to it. More chilling and an ice cream, left us feeling exhilarated and chuffed with our day.

Back to Croyde

That evening, after a change of plan, we were short of eatery options – Bank Holiday Sunday and we hadn’t booked! We headed back to Croyde and ordered Pizza from the pop-up pizza guys from Stoned, wood fired pizza ovens and great pizzas. We ordered 3 different ones to share, bought some drinks from The Store (see our Brunch) and had a feast.

Bargain weekend away pop up pizza
Stoned pop up pizza at Croyde

Lynton and Lynmouth

After a more comfortable night, we awoke to more brilliant sunshine, great for tent packing! We began to get packed up and whilst the tent dried out we had bacon butties from the campsite store. They were excellent and a bargain. Tent dry and car packed we headed off for a morning and a cream tea “lunch” at Lynton and Lynmouth.  Lovely picturesque villages “where Exmoor meets the sea”.

Bargain weekend away the Lyns
Lynton and Lynmouth

A cream tea had been on our list of things to do on this break and we hadn’t yet achieved it, as we wanted to be heading home before 2pm we decided that it’d be our lunch. The Pavilion came highly recommended we weren’t disappointed.

Home again

We hit the road, beat all the holiday traffic and were home before 6pm. We did miss another unbelievable afternoon’s sunshine and beach opportunity but both the girls were back at work at 8am the next day.

Bargain weekend away homeward
Rufus on the journey home

A great time was had by all, a bargain weekend away and we talked of making it an annual mother and daughter trip. The weather really helped to make it, we ate at some highly recommended (Trip Advisor) places and stayed at a top notch location, all for less than £140 each. North Devon is beautiful well worth a visit and we’ll go back to explore more of it.

Thanks for reading.

Do you have any bargain break suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

For more information about me and my message click here

More family and outdoor swimming fun here

Another bargain break from earlier this year 4 days/3 nights in the Peak District for under £200!

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Swimming in Henleaze Lake

A family weekend catch up, when I was introduced to an outdoor swim in Bristol!

My niece and nephew live in Paris, although my nephew is moving to Warsaw with his Polish fiancee to begin a new adventure. So we don’t get to see them very often.

A weekend in late July they were in Bristol, at their Mum and Dads (my sister and Brother in Law), having narrowly escaped the horrors of the floods in Coverack, Cornwall – they were there but The Old PO in the harbour escaped any damage. Anyway my elderly father (90 in December) took no persuading to join me on a trip down to Bristol to see his grandchildren and great grandchildren (my nieces two young daughters).

Family allotment time!

We had a great journey down on Friday morning, beating the busy holiday traffic and the rain! It did however pretty much rain all day once we’d arrived. It takes a lot more than that to dampen high spirited kids.  We chilled out, gossiped, played and managed to mooch in the garden.

Do you live near to your family?
Are you close?
Do you travel for family get together’s?

Saturday was a better day weather-wise. We had a family trip to my sister’s allotment, picked various varieties of beans and raspberries. All consumed with lunch later on 🙂

The Autumn raspberries are ready in July in Bristol!

Outdoor Swim

I’d been feeling a little ‘coldy’ but when my Brother in Law suggested a trip to Henleaze Swimming Club  for an outdoor swim (I’d taken my kit and was always saying I’d never been there)…….I couldn’t refuse.

outdoor swim
Henleaze Lake, Bristol – Tranquility 🙂

Henleaze Swimming Club, established in 1919, a former quarry providing 125 metres of deep spring water, a haven in the City. It was about 20c and felt OK to get in to. I got in quickly and swam for 20 – 30 minutes. At that point I was getting chilly, you had to keep moving or freeze!

outsoor swim Henleaze Lake
Straight in! Henleaze Lake, Bristol

They don’t have any fancy facilities – heated changing rooms, fancy showers but they do have a SAUNA! A great place to thaw out and heat up. After I was dressed I tried to type a text but I had uncontrollable shivers 🙁

It’s fabulous to swim outdoors, peaceful and exhilarating, I loved the experience. I used to swim 2 – 3 mornings a week before I moved to Warwickshire, now I’m back perhaps I should introduce swimming to my schedule. I loved it – and this lake swim reminded me of that but it also was nothing like an indoor, chlorinated, laned swimming circus……..

Do you like to swim?
Any wild/outdoor swim recommendations?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

I love to have activity/fitness challenges read about some more here https://www.jenafitlife.com/fitness-challenges/

PS my cold disappeared after the outdoor swim 🙂

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Be:Fit London 2017 My Experience

Be:Fit London 2017 My Experience

Last week my daughters and I traveled to London to Be:Fit Health and Fitness Festival at the Business Design Centre, Islington.  My eldest and I had been to a previous incarnation of this event 5 or 6 years ago, at Earls Court, and had really enjoyed it.  At that time she was getting into running, really interested in food and losing some weight. I’ve always loved to be fit and have achieved this in many ways over the years (previous blog post).

 

work research!

Be:Fit 2017 – work research!

Both my daughters and I are currently doing combinations of weight training, HiiT and cardio work. They regularly go to the local gym and I workout at home with Julia Buckleys online gymWe are all interested in real food, good nutrition and home cooking. With all this in mind here are my thoughts on Be:Fit.

In the last 5 or 6 years the fitness industry has exploded with the 20-something year olds social media phenomena, particularly You Tube and Instagram reaching so many people and colouring the market. This means this Festival was dominated by these “influencers” * and a predominantly young attendance.

Be:Fit

Be:Fit Health & Fitness Festival for Women

This is no bad thing. I LOVE the message these ladies are sending out. They speak of empowerment, respect for your body, working out because you love yourself not as a punishment, eating to fuel your body and happiness.

We listened to Carly Rowena and really enjoyed her straightforward message. Carly acknowledged it is not  “one size fits all”,  you have to do what works for you and your body. Carly offered clear, sensible and sound advice with lots of options and alternative ideas for you to individually tailor. Similar messages were echoed throughout the day by the other social media fitness stars!

Be:Fit Influencers

#girlgains preparing for their Be:Fit slot

I think the Health and Fitness industry is currently lacking some basic nutrition and cooking advice. Many people are ill-informed in this area and the current trend seems to be over complicating our food and nutrition requirements. This leaves Joe Public in a confused state. The Festival trade stands did nothing to help address this. Perhaps there is a gap in the Market for some simplification or basic nutritional advice.

The Fitness Studio, Functional Studio and Yoga Studio provided an opportunity to get your workout fix during the day. However the queuing and lack of clear ticketing arrangements (unless you’d purchased a VIP entry) was frustrating.  Perhaps a deli counter ticketing mechanism would work for the Walk Up only events .We did manage to get into the #girlgains workout which was good fun.

Be:Fit Trade stands

Be:Fit Trade stands

One of the disappointing elements of the day was the trade stands, they were a bit “samey” . Too many “healthy” snacks, protein supplements, post workout drinks and not enough real food ( sorry Heck sausages https://www.heckfood.co.uk/)  but two food/recipe subscription services!  Not enough good offers to tempt you to purchase but lots of tiny tasters for you to try. The presentation was often dull, more variety and fun needed to be injected here.

KIND at BE:Fit

KIND bars did have a great offer on!

Also in relation to the stands, more variety was needed. Where were the purveyors of weights? Resistance bands? Gym Balls?  Also a more comprehensive range of active wear in terms of price range would be good.  Fitness wear is very expensive and much of the merchandise at the Festival  was prohibitive to the average girl (earning less that £20k pa). Particularly if they are on a weight loss journey and their body is changing shape continually! Not to mention  – not everyone wears fitness gear 24/7 and they need other clothes in their wardrobe! The clothing needed to cover more than the workout crowd, and the footwear more than runners.What about crossfit, cyclists, swimmers, tennis players, yoga ….?

Be:Fit purchase

My Be:Fit Festival purchase – no special deals from Reebok

Finally I think the Festival and the Fitness Industry should wake up to the growing interest in health and fitness from the over 40s and 50+, a huge market with possibly a greater disposable income.  Everyone needs to take responsibility for their health and fitness, and this sort of event is a fantastic showcase for empowering women and giving them the right tools.

In conclusion, this Festival was possibly marginally better than the one I went to a few years ago. I think the trade stands and the food/nutrition offerings were much better despite my misgivings. However on reflection some sort of hybrid of the two events would have nailed it!

 

*Check out
– Carly Rowena https://www.carlyrowena.com/about
– #girlgains –  aim to empower, inspire, educate and motivate women to be the best        versions of themselves.http://www.girlgains.co.uk/about
– The Food Medic – Dr Hazel Wallace https://thefoodmedic.co.uk/about/
– Clean Eating Alice https://en-gb.facebook.com/CleanEatingAlice/

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

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