Rosie versus the void

Rosie versus the void

May 27

Mindfulness is said to be so life transforming it’s prescribed by the NHS for depression. But can meditation really turn a stressed-out near breakdown into blissful mental clarity? I did it the hard way with Vipassana, an intense meditation retreat involving 12 hours of meditation every day for 10 days. even years of 15-hour days in the Andaluz heat with two kids under five sent me into...

Sober as a drudge

Sober as a drudge

Apr 05

“I’d rather die than give up alcohol,” said my father, five years before he did die of alcohol-related cancer of the everything, a bottle of Cab Sav wedged between his hospital bed and the wall. Since then I’ve been faithfully knocking it back, night after night, like tens of thousands of wistful middle-aged mothers faced with another evening of cooking along to those hateful...

Christmas Schmistmas

Christmas Schmistmas

Jan 09

On Christmas Eve I watched two grown women fighting over the last huggable unicorn. Actual fighting. Security called and everything. “Put me in your microwave and I will keep you warm,” promised the unicorn. That’s all it was. The promise of warmth. ‘Cos they all looked cold, those last-minute Christmas shoppers. Cold and hard and horrified at the amount of cash they’d haemorrhaged...

The sexy horseman of Andalucia

The sexy horseman of Andalucia

Jan 06

Once, not so very long ago, I lived in Niguelas, a beautiful but remote Andaluz village, folded into a crack in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Populated mostly by geriatric olive farmers, Niguelans are known locally as ‘Los Lentos’ which either means ‘the relaxed ones’ or ‘the idiots’ depending on whether or not you live in Niguelas. Life here moves at the speed of a geographic era, and aside from...

Kitchen Yogalates with Blessed B Love part 1

Kitchen Yogalates with Blessed B Love part 1

Nov 28

Blessed B Love is a nutty Australian yoga junkie. She claims to have “redefiniated yoga into my very own format…Kitchen Yogalates…for instant enlightenment!”. Her shy friend Karen films her in the kitchen, but disaster strikes when BB’s routines go haywire, with tragic consequences for Karen. Part 1 of...

Ecstatic dance

Ecstatic dance

Nov 01

Ecstatic Dance is having a resurgence in popularity, despite it’s hippy dippy image so I went along to a session in Bristol to see what it’s all about. I was told it is as a unique energy experience that uses shaking, dancing and breathing to ignite your life-force. I was expecting a sweaty crowd of disilusioned clubbers writhing together in a semi orgasmic trance but I tried to...

Don’t believe everything you read about the NHS – it’s like a fun hotel!

Don’t believe everything you read about the NHS – it’s like a fun hotel!

Oct 27

Like most people, I have a fear of hospitals. They spell MRSA, Clostridium Difficile, limbs wrongly removed and exhausted, sub-qualified Congolese nurses misreading decimal points and giving people overdoses. So when my son was injured and a visit to A&E led to a two night stay, I envisioned us lying in a corridor listening to a dehydrated old lady scream herself hoarse for a glass of water....

How to make friends with the bully in your head

How to make friends with the bully in your head

Sep 20

I felt as perky as Victoria Beckham’s breasts when I read that the Coalition have pledged to place treatment for stress, anxiety and depression on a par with physical illness. I’m so TIRED of asking my acquaintances how they are and being fed a lily-livered “Fine thanks” in reply, when they clearly resemble Nosferatu with M.E. How I wish we could all stop being so bloody British about how...