The Monthly Scrapbook | August

August has been a pretty sick month. It started with me getting a little side job that includes writing articles for a blog just before I jetted off with Aaron’s family to Mallorca for a week’s summer holiday. While I was there I was messaged asking if I could come in for an interview at an Italian restaurant. And the next week, there I was, serving pizza and pouring Peroni. It’s been a hectic month but I definitely can’t complain. Below are three highlights from the wonderful month of August!

IMG_3600.JPGGoing on holiday has to be the first highlight. I took it as an opportunity to be truly lazy. I’m used to being all “go, go, goooo!” when I head off into the clouds and to another part of the world. Although we did explore a fair amount, I enjoyed simply slipping on my swimming cozzie and lazily cooling off in the sea. We stayed in an apartment in Port de Pollenca and it’s a really gorgeous location. Recharging the old batteries, reading a new book and eating as much ice cream as possible felt pretty five star as holidays go.

IMG_3972Another highlight is another event I’ve spoken about on the blog before. A couple of weeks ago, Aaron and I went to feed giraffes at Longleat Safari Park. Afterwards we got to make the most of the rest of the park and it was one of the best Sundays ever. I feel so childishly happy when I’m surrounded by animals and it was fun to have a busy Sunday to slot in between lots of days full of work either side.

IMG_4000Last Friday I visited my friend, Callum, from university. Since first year we both claimed we wanted to move to London after uni and he’s actually done it! After a terrible journey on the train, I was delighted to step into sunny London to catch up with my pal. We grabbed an ice cream and chilled for a couple of hours in Green Park. On our way to Covent Garden we took part in some light tourism before we purchased £5.80 beers (eyes widened as we reluctantly handed over our debit cards) and nattered until I had to go home.

Hopefully I’m now in the swing of this adult working business and September will seem less ohmygoodnesslifeissohectic. Although there’s nothing like a bit of self-induced stress which I have decided to give myself in form of challenging myself to blog every day in September. *Hides from Future Kat coming to tell me off.*

~ Kat ~

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A Letter to Guest Writers | Feminism Up

To (Potential) Guest Writer,

Feminism Up is a monthly online newsletter that aims to encourage discussion about sexism, inequality and feminism. As a result, Feminism Up wants to encourage everybody to call themselves a feminist. Each month the newsletter includes six articles, featuring four fabulous guest writers to share their super duper important voices while I contribute two articles. Each issue of the newsletter will be released on the first of the month at 8pm. While it aspires to explore the global and terrifying issues that feminism faces, Feminism Up also wants to hear the stories of everyday sexism. Maybe if we start with what can seem like the little things, we can, by default, conquer the really big things.

If you’re interested in becoming a writer, there are just a couple of rules:

  • While I don’t want to agree with everything you say (I want to debate, understand and learn new things), if I feel the tone or argument of an article goes against what I wish Feminism Up to stand for, I may ask you to alter articles, explore another topic or consequently feel unable to accept an article altogether. I urge writers to understand this before sending Feminism Up any articles or thoughts.
  • My least favourite rule is the deadline rule (yuck!). I’m very aware that without writers Feminism Up wouldn’t work and therefore don’t want to put pressure on anybody but annoying deadlines are a necessity. If you want to contribute an article but can’t commit to a particular issue, that is absolutely fine and you can either take a slot for an issue however far in the future or even just make me aware that you, one day, want to be a Feminism Up contributor. If we’ve agreed on which issue you are contributing to, I ask to receive your article (to feminismup@outlook.com) between the 20th and the 24th (at the very latest) of the month before the release date.

More about your article:

  • Your topic must link – in a discreet or an obvious way – to the need of feminism and/or suggest what feminism can do to help. Hopefully this will promote the idea that we should all call ourselves a feminist.
  • Your article must be between 700 and 1,400 words.
  • I don’t intend to control the topic of the article you write but if you’re stuck, I’m more than happy to have a discussion with you and throw some ideas around. I do like to to know any ideas before you submit an article.
  • Feminism Up wants anything from book reviews to thoughts on any relevant news topics to pieces about fictional characters that help or don’t help feminism. Articles can be a traditional essay or they can be satirical; they can take form in the shape of a letter, a script or a listicle.
  • If there’s more than one topic you’re excited about exploring then you can contribute again!

My role:

  • I’ll edit each piece and am happy to send back edited versions to the writer to check they’re happy with any changes (if requested). I may also contact you with suggestions or questions! Every article aims to remain at least 95% the same as the original.
  • I may ask if I can take photographs of you for the article and also use them to promote the newsletter and feminism across social media.
  • Similarly I may quote your article on Feminism Up’s Twitter or Instagram. Alternatively, if you wish to write a little something else for the Instagram, I’ll take some snaps of you and accompany an Instagram post with your words. These captions should be no more than 150 words long.

Unfortunately I can’t offer payment for articles but am happy to promote your social media, blog or anything similar if you so wish. If you live in the UK, I’ll most definitely send a “thank you” in some, way, shape or form. I’m very appreciative of everyone that helps my little project out and adore reading everybody’s words. You can contact me via email or any Feminism Up social media. I can’t wait to hear from you!

In the mean time, Feminism Up!

Love from,

Kathryn


Feminism Up needs you. I’ve recently written up a document I intend on sending to those who are interested in becoming a guest writer. I decided to publish it on the blog too in case anyone who comes across my blog wants to get involved. I want the newsletter to branch out; to hear as many different voices as possible. I’ve spoken about Feminism Up a lot on the blog but thought this letter might; 1. Give any of you an idea of what Feminism Up is looking for and, 2. Clarify as much as possible. I’d firstly recommend you check out the newsletter (which you can sign up to HERE) to work out if it’s the kind of project you want to get involved with. If you have any more questions, please let me know! ❤

~ Kat ~

A Sunday at Longleat Safari Park

After a wonderful morning feeding and admiring the giraffes, Aaron and I continued to explore the rest of Longleat as tickets to the park and safari are included with the VIP Giraffe Experience voucher we were gifted. Although the day was tiring and very long, we spent the whole day looking smiley because of how wonderful Longleat Safari Park really is. I had been excited for this Sunday in the weeks that preceded it because of the fond memories I associate with Longleat. And the park really, really didn’t disappoint. It’s a fabulous day out.

IMG_3982After grabbing a bacon baguette and a sausage bap at the pretty well-priced cafe that sits at the beginning of the safari, I purchased some giraffe ears (a necessity) from the gift shop and we said hello to the pygmy goats playing on their little goat park, the lemurs and the wallabies! After this we ventured through the drive through Safari for the next hour or so. We had a final wave to the giraffes and zebras at African village as we listened to the complimentary Safari drive-thru CD we were given. I adored all the animals but, because monkeys are my favourite animals, I fangirled a lot in the monkey drive-thru while Aaron feared for the life of his car. I also adored feeding the deer with a cup of food we paid for (£1).

IMG_3981We then leisurely dipped in and out of parts of the section of Longleat that feels like an animal version of Disneyland; only placed in the lovely destination of Bath. Aaron and I took on the “hardest maze in the world,” where, we beat what we considered to be the world record; getting to the middle within 12 minutes. *Grins bashfully.* I fed the gorgeous rainbow lorikeet and one sat on my head while zoo-goers laughed and pointed. Among visiting the homes of other animals, we queued up for the lovely little boat ride I remember from my childhood very well. I think, other than getting to see Kate (the giraffe) so closely and watching monkeys do their thing, it’s my favourite part of the park. It rained as we hopped on but it felt quite lovely. We spotted hippopotamuses while the guide told us scary facts about them. We admired the gorillas and “aw”d at the funny sealions.

IMG_3987IMG_3988IMG_3979After wandering around Longleat House, seeing the bats and taking on the mirror maze, we popped into the sweet shop to get ourselves some supplies for the trip home. We bought a bottle of red to work on my bottle-opening skills (I now work at an Italian restaurant), caught up on Suits (seriously, how good is this series?!) and cooked dinner together. I’ll remember Sunday 20th as one of my favourite Sundays and I completely recommend Longleat Safari to anyone and everyone- I bet it would contribute to some of your favourite memories too!

~ Kat ~

Guest Post: Aaron’s Day at Thruxton Circuit

Aaron’s a manager at a Mediterranean restaurant. He loves calamari, his dog Bud and his new double bed that takes up his whole bedroom. You can find Aaron over on Instagram or somewhere on the South Coast doing something silly with his friend Jacob. He’s Binging on Beetroot’s first guest writer and has written about his fabulous day (I know because I was there, taking snaps and watching him fangirl about cars) at Thruxton race circuit below! Be sure to also check out the Thruxton website, their Twitter and their Instagram!

Aaron DrivingFor my 21st birthday I was gifted with a Thruxton race car experience from my girlfriend’s brother, Jordan. And wow, what a experience it was! It was the 14th of August and the weather was thankfully good for me. Thruxton race circuit is just over an hour away from home so I had to leave quite early to be there for 9:30, but it was well worth waking up for.

After arriving I signed in and was told when my briefing was. I had time to wander around to see the surroundings before the fun began. The briefing lasted about twenty minutes and it included a video of how to take on the corners- I had no clue what they were talking about and started to feel more nervous than I already was. Two questions were asked in the briefing; one being, “Who is nervous?” and one being, “Who is excited?” I think I was both but more nervous than anything. I wasn’t quite sure how I would manage with a totally different car; the clutch was my main worry. A week before my dad said, “It’s really easy to stall.” This was on my mind all week and throughout the briefing.

Aaron Driving 4.jpgAaron Driving 3The briefing ended and I had a sticker on my chest with my name, the experience I was doing (Racing Car Driving Experience), what session I was in and what car number. I was session 1 and car 4 so I headed over pretty promptly.

The first car I got in was the Porsche Cayman. I got in, put on my seat belt and after a minute chat with the instructor, he said the words I was nervously waiting for: Off we go then. I thought, I’m not ready for this. But off I went and he navigated me out of the pits. This is when I knew this just has to be my next car (a boy can dream!). I went round the 1st lap of the track a little cautiously. I was more comfortable on the 2nd lap and was going pretty quickly. I didn’t really look at the speedometer much but, when I did, I was driving at 70mph in gear 3, so that gives you a idea of the power this car has. It was amazing and I loved the car. The driver was also very friendly which was nice and we were having a chat about this and that as I drove around the track at silly speeds.

Two laps were over and I was back in the pits getting out of the Porsche. I then headed over to the main part of the experience which was the race car (the car in all of the photos). The race car has 130 bhp which isn’t much compared to the Porsches 260bhp, however the 0-60mph in the race car is 4.5 seconds compared to 5.3 seconds in the Porsche.

Aaron Driving 2.jpgI got on all my gear for the race car- my shoes, balaclava, gloves and helmet. My nerves had calmed down a little and I was feeling more excited than anything. I got in my race car- number 3. I had a briefing on how the car worked and how to drive it; the gear stick was very odd. It was simply a lever with no numbers on. He informed me of the gear numbers, how to turn the engine on, and how to overtake. It was very helpful and the man who did inform me made me feel more comfortable in what I was about to do. However I was on my own driving this power machine and that wasn’t going to change.

And I was off. I made sure I rode the clutch and put a lot of acceleration and I managed it. I was out of the pits and put my foot fully down. I knew the corners now and was cornering well until the last corner which I knew was the most difficult. I had to carry it out in a certain way. On the 1st lap I made sure that I had a lot of braking time so I was slower going round it but, as I did it this way, it meant I was in a good position for the following corner. Once I did it the 1st time, I came back round to it and was going much faster. I changed gear and heard the wheels squeaking but I got round it much faster and it was so much fun. I did get stuck behind some others though and had to overtake- which was the best feeling ever. There was also a limit to these cars; they maxed out at 8000rpm which I did hit a few times, and I felt the vibration through my whole body. This meant I was going at 100+ mph. The five laps went so fast and quite honestly I though I only did 3 until I was ushered into the pits.

Aaron Driving 5.jpgOnce I finished the laps in the race car I had one final thing to do- the fast lap, driven by someone else. This was one lap in a Skoda; yes, a Skoda! This is an affordable car which a race driver drove round the track. I got in the ‘best seat’ according to the driver- the middle of the back. Crikey, I was sliding all over the place. We skidded round the corners as I slid from left to right. The lap was amazing and the car was driven so well.

All in all the whole experience was phenomenal and I so want to do it again. That evening I had a huge urge to save up for a Porsche. I was considering the race car, but for practicality the Porsche might be the sensible option.

~ Aaron ~

A Boy and a Giraffe | Longleat VIP Giraffe Experience

For the boyfriend’s 21st birthday, my mum gave him a meet a giraffe experience (Aaron’s favourite animal) which, by extension, meant I was able to go along too. Months later, Aaron and I finally booked the trip for August and it had been something we were both really looking forward to. Even though I couldn’t wait to meet the tall beauties, I was super excited to be back at the w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l Longleat. I went lots when I was younger and have very fond memories of the place. So, on Sunday morning, with my favourite new loud shirt on (that just so happens to double up as giraffe merchandise!) and silver rucksack strapped to my back, Aaron and I travelled an hour and a half to get to Longleat Sarafi Park!

IMG_3930IMG_3903.JPGWe arrived about twenty minutes before our experience was to kick off (at 9:30) and were immediately offered a beverage when we met our awesome guide, Mike. With a tea in my hand and a souvenir guidebook (which you’d have to pay for normally!) that told us about the animals at Longleat, we waited for the other two to arrive and join our We Love Giraffes party. Soon enough we were heading out in a zebra-print Land Rover to meet the uniquely spotty animals.

IMG_3916IMG_3926IMG_3921The first section of the experience entailed taking buckets of food to feed the giraffes. The giraffes are easily scared and, for this reason, you don’t always get the opportunity to feed them- although, if you’re heading to Longleat, there are times where you can pay to feed the giraffes so you might get an opportunity to be up close with them then anyway. We were lucky enough to have Kate (in the pictures above) wander over to munch on her breakfast. And she went for it. She chewed all four buckets of the food and Mike told us that she’s feeding her young child and, therefore, is very hungry.

It was hard not to spend the whole time admiring Kate’s beautiful eyelashes and crumpled ear that sets her apart from the others. She is quite a gingery giraffe, but this isn’t the case for all giraffes, we were told. Later, we noticed other giraffes that were more white in colour or had lighter colouring in general. Mike warned us of how strong giraffes are and we almost toppled over occasionally, as Kate yanked the plant out of our hands. Her tongue was maybe my favourite part about her. Super long and purpley black in colour, she would twirl it around the plant to grab the leaves to munch on. It was hard not to giggle at her perfected routine. This was my favourite part of the day, feeding the lovely creatures and watching Aaron become very excited. It was super special to have such isolated time with the hungry Kate.

IMG_3965IMG_3950Mike told us lots about giraffes and this list far from includes everything he taught us but here are a few facts about giraffes:

  • Giraffes have seven bones in their necks (just like us!)
  • There are few animals that would successfully challenge a giraffe in the wild but, when they do, they are likely to have taken them down when they’re vulnerable: necks down as their legs are apart
  • Their tongues are 45cm long!

IMG_3953IMG_3949Mike then drove us closer to the rest of the tower (the equivalent of the term “pack of” for particular animals- not sure that I’ve used this correctly here!) and we were able to “awww” at the gorgeous younger giraffes. Sometimes a giraffe would follow the vehicle, nibbling on it as it did and we’d have to drive away. On the way back we got a glimpse of one of the new babies born recently. The giraffe hasn’t yet been named but we got to see the creature run, its gangly legs almost in slow motion as it panicked a little.

Thank you to Mike for a wonderful morning and teaching us lots of facts that will definitely help us in pub quizzes in the future. If you adore giraffes or know someone that does, this is the ideal day out or present. They are such lovely creatures and it was magical to get to know Kate for half an hour or so. Finally, thank you to my mum for buying us the experience. We had the best day and Aaron looked star-struck when he met the lovely Kate! I will be blogging about the rest of our day at Longleat on Saturday!

~ Kat ~

P.S. Be sure to check out Longleat’s website, Twitter and Instagram!

Feminism Up: Five Things I’ve Learnt

Feminism Up is a monthly newsletter I compile that aims to share the voices of anyone and everyone. It aims to encourage everyone to call themselves a feminist and, in turn, share their own version of feminism. In tackling every day sexism and archaic and disturbing sexism, I believe we can tackle the massive global issues feminism faces. I have definitely learnt a thing or five from this little passion project of mine. If you ever compile a newsletter or anything similar, you may find these tips and tricks useful in making the process a little smoother.

Alissa

Picture from issue #4, to be released on September first.

Plan: From pictures to articles to spreading the word on social media, it all takes a lot of planning. Or it should do. Getting yourself into some kind of routine is vital. When Feminism Up is going smoothly is when I have at least three out of four of the next month’s writers ready to get writing while I’m sorting out the current issue. It’s when I have photos taken and ready to be edited half way through the month (I release the newsletter on the 1st of every month) and when the newsletter is completely edited and perfectly proof read three days before release.

Don’t be your own worst enemy: I can be so busy gathering articles from other writers and taking photographs of them that I put off writing my two pieces for an issue as well as putting off making the time to get the photos of me taken. It’ll be constantly on my mind that I haven’t written my pieces when this whole problem doesn’t make sense anyway… I adore writing about feminism.

Sarah

Picture taken from issue #3, which you can receive if you sign up before 8pm (GMT) on September first.

Social media is your best friend: Despite all of its flaws, the array of social medias we use offer brilliant platforms to get your project heard; to gather some interest. You have to be pretty persistent. I find Instagram harder to post frequently (due to a lack of pictures) but Twitter is super easy to constantly update- not that I’m doing brilliantly with this tip. When I am, however, my project feels relevant.

Trust your writers: I have found that I have every reason to just trust what my writers are going to say. I have wonderful friends (and amazingly people I don’t even know) writing for my newsletter and, originally, I was simply grateful. I kind of thought they were just doing me a favour for the chocolate I’ve been promising them. But it’s nothing to do with me (hence a couple of writers I don’t know writing me awesome pieces). Feminism is a subject that inspires such passion and people love thinking about it; people love writing about it. It’s inspiring to know and gives me butterflies when I’m reading their pieces.

It doesn’t always go to plan: Sometimes things don’t go to plan. Whether someone who is supposed to help you doesn’t in the end or your newsletter doesn’t send properly (*nods knowingly*), that’s life and all that. When I sent out a draft of issue #1 rather than the actual copy (to everyone who had signed up), all I could do was face palm a couple of times, send it again and remember it’s a learning curve. *Shrugs triumphantly.*

You can sign up HERE but if you don’t, in the mean time, Feminism Up! ❤

~ Kat ~

P.S. You can follow Feminism Up on Twitter and Instagram or email with any thoughts, questions or newsletter entries at feminismup@outlook.com!

All that She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher

All that She Can See tells the story of Cherry; a baker who creates a little bit of magic to be tasted with every single bite. Only her bakery’s customers have no idea. But, after a slice, they do know they’ll be back soon. Once again, Carrie Hope Fletcher has written a story the oozes a heaped tablespoon of magic with a slice of an endearing love story. This time there is quite the portion of adventure too. Cherry has a party trick that proves to be a little more terrifying than rolling your tongue or crossing your eyes. She can see the worst parts of people; whether they are haunted by Loneliness or Mischief. Little does she know, she is less alone with this skill than she first thought.

IMG_3834.JPGWhile the book is endearing, charming and delicately so, it’s also exciting and adventure-packed. Essentially, it’s the whole shebang. The novel begins with sweet Cherry anxiously taking on the UK with her little bakery business and we soon realise All the She Can See is a story of our lovely protagonist’s progression. We egg her on to bake up some confidence and take on the local villain, Chase. He chooses to mess with the locals’ feelings rather than translate them into some goodness.

Maybe the most poignant theme of the novel is friendship. Cherry bakes up a summer day and brings it with her wherever she goes; creating friendships with all of the locals. Meanwhile Chase is baking up a storm and we, as readers, instead fall for the support Cherry offers, and the locals offer it right back at her. The calm, of course, does precede something less so tasty. I loved the pace of the novel; it developed gradually, allowing tensions to rise, eyes to widen and therefore, the pages to be turned more and more quickly.

I read this on holiday a couple of weeks ago and it was such a good sunshine companion. I highly recommend that you pack it in your suitcase if you’re going away because you click with Cherry instantly, wanting her to be your friend (and drooling at all of the cakes). Meanwhile you enjoy escaping to another world that oozes a perfect dusting of magic to accompany you on your own little escape to magic (sun, sand and water).

The story brings us moments that offer bittersweet discomfort; and thank-goodness-relief that makes up for it. All that She Can See combines a delightfully sweet tale with a sprinkle of fantasy. It’s sweet and sour and it’s bloomin’ brilliant at being just that.

~ Kat ~

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel | Feminism Up

Not only do the strands of feminism differ slightly or even dramatically, but so do our own versions of feminism. I believe my feminism is different to anyone else’s as it’s shaped by my own experiences, my background and who I am. However, since compiling this newsletter that tells the experiences of men and women alike, one quality of many writers’ feminism appears recurrent: gender expectations. My own experiences have repeatedly seen my gender as a marker of how I should act, what I should wear and even what I should order at a bar. While they may sometimes seem trivial (and they sometimes are), they leave me questioning what birthed such thoughts. Most of the time, comments I experience laced with gender expectations appear to be children of that pesky patriarchy.

IMG_3768“Kathryn, that’s not very womanly of you,” “… For a girl” and “You want a beer?” would be the first three tracks of my debut album if someone would finally agree to fund it. However, with a glass half full attitude, if we keep addressing both the ridiculous and also frightening gender expectations, we really might be able to pour the notion down the sink once and for all.

1. Kathryn, that’s not very womanly of you

Track one’s inspiration began along time ago, in a place not so far away. While my character has never been traditionally “boyish”/”manly,” nor has it been traditionally “girly”/”womanly.” Once again, Feminism Up is no stranger to discussing this restrictive recipe for A Gin-der Exclusive Cocktail. It’s an impossible aim to suggest even one of us can fit the mould of a “manly man” or a “girly girl” perfectly. Yet, my love for Star Wars Battlefront 2, fashion choices that see me wearing a movie-print T-shirt and jeans instead of a dress and ability to out-burp any male I have come across yet, has always apparently warranted sexism on draught. Should my ability to belch not simply be disgusting much like that of a guy’s? Not a silly burden on my own gender.

2. … For a girl

Track two captures the notion of receiving a compliment before it is destroyed with three little words. For as long as I can remember, any achievements my female peers or I achieved in a traditionally male-dominated area produced further segregation between the two genders. We would have run “really well… for a girl”; we’d have said something “funny… for a girl.” I myself once claimed, after potting a ball in a game of pool, that “I’m pretty good for a girl, aren’t I?” Thankfully a (male- not that this detail is particularly relevant) friend corrected my mistake, “No, you’re just good.” Our talents (and, as usual, this isn’t a story that only tells the female’s story) are restricted by the Gender Rule Book.

3. You want a beer?

As a 21 year old, I listen to track three the most. So much so that I used to hope no one would notice when I nursed a FOR MEN ONLY beverage at the pub. One time, as a bartender pulled a pint of sexism, he took my order, seeming confused. “Wait, he wants a beer and,” *turns to me* “you want a beer?” *I responded that he was correct.* “You drink beer?” I’ve been a fan of beer from my first sip and yet I’m so often called out on it. I’ve patronisingly been called a lad as if I’m the punchline of a joke; I’ve been made to feel like I’m only drinking it to be a lad. And just like that we create a world where a drink – a drink – is gendered.

I think this discussion needs to continue. While I feel lucky that I am a victim of these kind of gender expectations rather than heavier social forces, the conversation needs to continue. If we keep bottling up our feelings about subjects such as these, far more generations to come will still be fighting the battle. Call me naive, but tackling issues that are close to home like these could help tackle the issues we are grateful to call so very far away from home. Now I’ve got that off of my chest, it’s time for a beer.


This is an article from issue #3 of Feminism Up, a monthly online newsletter (that gets delivered straight to your inbox on every 1st of the month) that aims to encourage discussion about inequality, sexism and feminism. All the while, it aims to inspire everyone to call themselves a feminist. If you wish to, you can sign up to the newsletter HERE, follow the Instagram HERE, the Twitter HERE or email at feminismup@outlook.com! In the mean time, Feminism Up.

~ Kat ~

A Run with a View | Port de Pollenca

We don’t typically associate exercise with holiday. We go on a few more walks than normal but as soon as we’ve arrived back at Holiday HQ we’re looking forward to a few beers and a lot of tapas. And there is nothing wrong with that. While we wind down in the humid holiday heat, the much cooler morning will be promising to arrive and slipping on your trainers as the blue sky is already ready and waiting will be far more inviting than you might first assume.  I have aimed to run everywhere I visit. I haven’t entirely stuck to it, but on my holiday to Mallorca a couple of weeks ago, I did. It was wonderful and made me want to write about why you should run on holiday. Spoiler: I’m going to preach about why you just must run on holiday…

Holiday

  1. Feeling fresh – Although running on a hangover has been proven to be a bad idea (among other reasons, it dehydrates you further- not good!), if you’ve had a pretty chilled evening in terms of the infamous holiday boozing, it could make you feel super fresh to start the day with a run! I go from feeling holiday groggy (I seem to just want way more sleep than I ever need at home when on holiday) to feeling pumped to get the next sunny day on the road.
  2. Happy and healthy – Along with feeling relaxed, making the most of the wonderful fruit abroad and making a few healthy choices here and there, running is going to make your body give you a round of applause. And it’s a good idea to let it praise you a few times on holiday.
  3. Adventure time – As I often insist this, I’ll insist again: It’s such a brilliant way to explore a place. You might find a few restaurants you want to try out, a quieter slice of beach and that ice cream flavour you’ve been waiting to try all week (just me?). The best way to get to know a place is by foot. Change up the walking for a run for one or two mornings during your stay!
  4. An early start – If you want to beat the intense midday onward heat like most of us, you’re gonna kick off your day pretty early. If you want to spend the day exploring, reading and finding the best food, a day inspired by an early morning run is a wonderful idea.
  5. That after-run dip – When your sprint finish is greeted by a delicious dip in the water, it will be confirmed that you could never regret a run on holiday. Whether you simply walk around, have a paddle or make it a full on biathlon, the water cools you down tremendously; and those endorphins, I believe, love your choices even more!

HolidaayPort de Pollenca provided us with the tastiest views. It was around about 30 degrees at seven o’clock and Aaron and I enjoyed the challenge. We ran all along the bay, finding new places to drink cocktails and headed all the way along to where I stayed seven years ago. Nostalgia flooded in and I smiled remembering little parts that make up the very lovely area of Mallorca. As runners, we were far from alone. They whizzed past us as we gulped our water too quickly and dreamt of breakfast. Shortly after holiday I surprised Aaron with a gift that revealed he is to run the Edinburgh half marathon with me next year. I’m just the worst loveliest girlfriend. It was fun to run alongside him for the first time in for ever, without him knowing that’ll it’ll become a regular occurrence as we train for 10 more miles than we ran that morning soon enough!

I’m a big believer in shoving some trainers in your suitcase (or popping them on for the flight for weight purposes). Get the whole family out or drag along your friend. You’ll laugh at the sweat dripping off of your forehead while fellow runners who are used to it look as if they have their own air con system. But it’ll all feel well worth it in the end!

~ Kat ~

Five Quick Benefits of Swimming

Slicing my arms through the inviting water at my gym is my favourite way to start a day. I rejoined my gym at home since moving back from university and decided to bite the bullet and buy an all-inclusive membership, swimming pool and all. As much as I adore running, no day feels more accomplished than the days the start with a few lengths. And that’s probably because swimming is a bit more challenging for me. I remember being picked to compete in a biathlon at junior school, feeling okay about the run, but feeling obliged to insist to my teacher that I could let the team down when it came to the swimming. Whether I did or not, I remember climbing out of the pool at thinking, you only went and did it!

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  1. Sleep Swimming has helped me have a far better quality of sleep; allowing me to also drift off easily when I get into bed earlier than normal. I seem to be getting less sleep and feeling far better. Being someone who claims there aren’t enough hours in the day, this is my favourite benefit of tiring myself in the water.
  2. Endurance – At the end of each swimming session, I seem to realise I have been able to manage 2-4 more lengths more in the same period of time (about 45 minutes) than the time before. Similarly, the endurance I gain from swimming appears to encourage my body when doing other exercise. I feel my core has strengthened, thereby helping my runs feel smother.
  3. Strength Over the last couple of months my arms (although I’m sure it’s strengthened other parts of me too!) seem to have strengthened and this translates into other workouts. When I train my arms in the gym I can more quickly up my weight and I assume this is down to the fact swimming is just unbelievable as an all-body workout.
  4. Content muscles  While I feel a wonderful kind of challenged when swimming a few lengths, it is a low impact exercise. I think swimming complements running perfectly; I believe any runner should also swim. Your muscles will thank you if your body is telling you that you need a break from running, if you’re recovering from a race or if you’re simply looking for another exercise that works really well alongside your running. You will soon feel how it cheers on your muscles while the impact from running may sometimes encourage your muscles to hiss at you.
  5. A healthy mind – Exercise, in general, has consistently proven to be brilliant for our mental health. During a swimming workout I feel relaxed despite working really hard (the whole no sweating thing probably encourages this feeling) and the endorphins seem to be felt all day long.

I can’t sing the praises of swimming enough! How have you found swimming to help you?

~ Kat ~