Author Archives: kldawes


This is Julia. Not me!

This is Julia. Not me!

The Forge is Julia Buckley’s new fitness programme; 12 weeks of 6 30-minute workouts. I’m not going to bang on about her progs much more, as I’ve already said they’re awesome many times.

I have been ill for a year or so, firstly with depression and in 2016 with a nasty virus which exhausted me plus killer wisdom teeth which meant even yoga was out. (That’s still ongoing, but I really hope it doesn’t hinder me.) Around January, I had to give up training. I’ve got podgy, and I hate it. I want to go back to feeling fit and like my body can do anything. I wanna surf, learn to teach yoga, do headstands, paddleboard over to Lochtyn with the dolphins, work double shifts and not sweat it, put in days digging out the hillside behind the house without stopping, walk dogs for miles. This is a high priority for me in my life, up there with getting the bloody house inhabitable asap, and starting regular writing again.


To lose fat. To be measured in inches, not pounds, and how well I can fit into those nemesis jeans of mine. These goals will be parcelled out by the week.

Pull-ups. Unassisted, 10 of, by mid-August (end of prog). This means I’ll do the Phoenix programme as well. (Hey, 30 minute workouts are short, I can do this.)

My accountability partner (I hate the word buddy) is my mum, who is currently on a Nutribullet mission, is always trying to be as healthy as she can, and always backs me up. I will also tell my boyf of my goals, because he is the most pessimistic person I know and always says, ‘You’ll never do that.’ Several times I have, partly just to prove him wrong (Insanity, taking up running, renovating a house…).

I also want to get my eating and drinking back on track, with more Nutribullet and Deliciously Ella goodness, and better choices when I go out.

I’ll post on here, but also on Instagram, which I use it a lot for motivation and inspiration. Facebook too, a bit, but a Facebook session always leaves me feeling vaguely shit, and that’s not the point here! (Or ever, really.)

The accountability aspects are great, but mostly, I need this kind of structure to ensure I get it done. If everyone else is going to be a workout or two ahead (and posting about how great they feel) if I don’t do it TODAY, then I am more likely to do it.




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Photo 09-01-2016, 13 18 41 (1)After reading Yoga Girl recently (a bit fluffy, but worth a peruse), I have become determined to get upside down more. I used to do a decent headstand, though I never got far with handstands; we never really did them at any of the Iyengar classes I went to. Most of the ladies didn’t want to go anywhere near upside down, but I love it. I really love it. Totally different perspective on the world, which at the moment is just what I need.

So here I am in my new ‘gym’ (more on that later) doing preparation for headstand. I forget the Sanskrit, if I ever knew it. I’m going to try to upload all the stages in this journey, and it won’t be like the usual gorgeous girls with gorgeous backgrounds you get on Insty. Just me, in my sweats, falling over into the piles of old chairs and dust.



sex wax

The best for your stick.

I haven’t written anything for ages. And not just here; I haven’t been writing at all. So I’m going to do Julia again (The Artist’s Way). More yoga, meditation, the other Julia and CBT.


Here’s someone’s list about favourite smells. I know all of these smells, and Hawaiian Tropic (and anything coconut esp. Sex Wax) are my faves too. I also love Imperial Leather and Chanel No. 5, and agree with one commenter that White Musk beings back a lot of memories.

I may expand this to a proper list, but I have a problem with concentrating and can’t be bothered to do any more right now.

I recently read One Day – I gather it’s a Marmite book, but I loved it. And one thing it did was use smell so well. Creative writing lessons/prompts/articles often remind writers to use all the senses, but rarely does smell feature so well in a book. Evocative is a bit of a fancy, poncy word, but here it fits.

Ocean and beach smells – the smell of being out in the surf is something that no-one but a surfer knows. Salt water, seaweed and sea life, always a hint of rot, but clean rot somehow. Atlantic coldness. Smell off the fields and of freshwater, as there’s so much heading out to sea in Wales. Cow shit too, usually. Surfboard wax and the catch-in-my-throat of neoprene that’s never really quite dry.

We raked the drive today, and the moss smell, the smell of green and the underground, takes me back to childhood days spent poking into the dirt in the woods. 

There we are. I wrote something.

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leisure suit

Went to London recently for my bro’s wedding (hello P, my sole reader!), and I was excited to see all the people in the park in their funky leggings and cool running gear. But only a few of them were actually doing any exercise.

I also found myself checking out girls (not like that) in exercise gear walking down the street and wondering where the nearest gym was, then? And how cool, loads of my kind of people who like to train! (It’s only the ‘I bench loads’ boys where I live; only one girl trains.)

I began to think that everyone in London must be on a fitness trip! But as the weekend wore on, I became a bit suspicious – girls in the shopping centre, Sainsbury’s, in Costa etc., with no trace of sweat and wearing full makeup. Hmm, I think ‘leisurewear’ is back in!

Nowt wrong with lots of amazing leggings being made and worn…but some of these chicks shouldn’t have been wearing them as fashion – girlfriend, you need to take those legs to the GYM! And for the ones who are skinny without doing any exercise…well, I was going to say ‘no fair’, but actually I really don’t like the gaunt waif look. At all.

I see this kind of gear as a reward for sweating copiously when I’d rather be in bed with my book. I buy it from howies or on rare trips to the city. It’s a treat. It helps me feel like an athlete. And I’d feel weird putting it on and wearing it all day as an actual outfit.

It also explains why, despite signing up for a few things like Fabletics, I really don’t much like a lot of their stuff. I am not sure now that it’s designed (looks-wise) with my intentions (sweat, sand, spit, snot, mud, sheep shit, blood) in mind.

This morning my vest was on inside out for half my workout before I noticed. Don’t think the seagulls minded.

When I found this via Facebook it clicked:

ACTIVEWEARA video for girls who wear activewear, to do not-active things.#activewearBeat Produced by EightySeven

Posted by Skit Box on Tuesday, 22 September 2015

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SUPI have a new toy.

I always swore I would not get one of these ugly, dangerous-in-the-waves, silly-looking hipster old-fart craft. However, I am quite old now, and I never cared about looking silly (anyone who does will not learn to surf).

I’m not a kayak person, but I wanted to go further than I can paddle my fish, and take stuff with me (or more to the point, bring it back). I also wanted something surf-like to do on flat days. Then I saw Yoga Girl (Rachel Brathen) doing yoga on one and that tipped it for me.

Mine is inflatable, because the solid ones are frankly a ridiculous price. I’ve been on it three times and fallen off A Lot. My legs and stomach burn, which is a good, good thing. YouTube saved me from the poo-man stance but otherwise I haven’t really got a clue. But it is so peaceful out there with just a paddle to work. Wish I had more time on the water – soon, soon. I might even surf it sometime.

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a heart in stone

pebble pendant

A heart in stone

After two weeks of crap weather and no market stall for me, I have had a chance to drill lots more pieces and make some more silver charms/Carreg Bica pendants. (They’re not on Etsy yet, so contact me if you want one.)

I have started playing with drilling hearts into pebbles, and they drill easier than glass, so it’s fun and satisfying.

I did well on the stall yesterday and loved having girls come up and choose their favourite piece of seaglass to pair with a special charm. I remember going to New Quay’s Shell Shop was always the height of my summer holiday, and I bought everything from mood rings to shell bracelets to little tortoises modelled out of cowrie shells. So I love helping girls spend their precious holiday money on something they really love, and tend to do myself out of a profit sometimes so they can get what they want! I remember the pain of having just not quite enough money for something really pretty…



pink seahorseHere’s one little girl who looked so pretty in her seahorse pendant I asked her dad if I could take a photo. I made this one specially for her, but I think I’ll need to make a few more as I love the way this silk cord from Kernowcraft looks.

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kefir day 6

Feeling pretty healthy, probably mostly due to no alcohol though! And eating really well – superfood bread this morning with 1/2 avocado and 2 boiled eggs.

Have to say that I have a bit of the runs today, as we were warned about by Shann at Chuckling Goat…otherwise I haven’t noticed any differences. But I’ve been reading about all the vitamins and minerals that I’m getting so I feel quite smug!

My auntie used to tell us when we were little about the little men who lived in our stomachs. They all have shovels and are busy moving the food to where it needs to go all day. Some things are really hard to move – rubbish foods like crisps and chocolate (or eating too much) slow them right down and that’s why you get a tummy ache or feel tired. This explanation seemed to make perfect sense to me and I believed in those little men until I was in high school and learned a bit more about biology! So the idea of ‘the Whos in Whosville‘ that Shann uses to explain the microbiome in the gut just makes even more sense. Instead of ‘raining death’ down on my little men (and women) with shit like booze and processed carbs, I’m going to try very hard to give them things that make them leap for joy, like avocados, oats and the gorgeous local heather honey I got last week (not with the kefir, of course, as they cancel each other out).

It also makes me wonder what would be the best food for puppydogs, as I often thought about a homemade diet for my girl, but was too scared to change her diet too much when she was old. Fish, meat, carrots, grains, a bit of oil, glucosamine. Not that there will be another one anytime soon.

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kefir diary

I went to the Chuckling Goat open day on Saturday to see the farm and goats and to get some more of their lovely soap. I ended up buying a lot more than that!

Since my little Furtle went I have been feeling awful in every way, so maybe the kefir sounded like a miracle cure to me. But everything that Shann said made sense, and I hope that my skin will be better, my energy and mood improved, and that it’ll help my asthma, constant thrush and recurring hives (I’m a treat!).

It was fascinating to see the grains (more like pale scrambled egg) that is the live culture, and I quite like the taste of it fermented in goat’s milk. I’m drinking a third of a pint every morning. Mum is too – she’s had some adverse reactions, but so far I haven’t. But then, I do eat clean most of the time (just need to cut out the beer – the  less sugar the better with this).

I did wonder how getting up and glugging it at 6.30am then doing an hour’s (hard) training would work, but apart from a little burping in the cardio section it seems to be okay!

So no crisps, white potatoes (except the odd new potato), chips, refined sugar in anything, processed carbs like white pasta and rice, no beer/cider (I have had a couple of G&Ts though!) and generally trying to eat greens, good fats and grains. I’m doing okay so far but the weekend is always a toughie…and the chip bucket at work, especially when I am exhausted.

Basically I am trying to stick to my routine to get through a difficult time, and hope that this will give me an extra boost. If I think it’s worked, I’ll probably do a couple of courses a year, or even start making it (but they do say that’s really tough).

What a wonderful place to have just up the road…I wonder if they need a writer…or anything else.

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beach time

green ankletI wish I had more time to spend on the beach! I do most of my training programme on there at the moment, and walk the dog, but oh for a few days sunbathing, swimming and reading good books.

The market is still going well, and people who have booked some time for all of the above are turning up in increasing numbers.

One family who bought lots of stuff last year came again and bought more! I had a request for an anklet which I was happy to make up, then I decided to make more for the stall. I love anklets! The above is the custom ordered one, a green bead charm and mermaid, and below is a silver anchor, light blue seaglass and silver chain, £10. See it on Etsy.

blue anklet

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what a colour

green blue seaglassThis is a really unusual colour – I don’t think I’ve ever seen this kind of deep green-blue before. It’s paired with a simple silver anchor and silver 16″ chain. I love it…it might not make it onto the stall!


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