It is very vogue to be ‘into yoga’. The first question from peope is: ‘do you do Bikram Yoga?’ to which my answer is always ‘no, sounds awful’. Any exercise where it is advised to stay in the room, to avoid throwing up or collapsing outside, doesn’t bode well.
But I do ‘do’ Yoga. Hatha Yoga apparently. And while it definitely hasn’t turned me into Gwynth Paltrow, I am grateful for the ‘gifts’ it has brought (if we are going all yogi).
The big news is I can now touch my toes. And even more impressive, for an hour one evening a week I focus on something that isn’t electronic. My mind wanders. There is a bit at the end when we sit in eerie darkness, staring up a stained glass windows and our instructor tells us, in her slow, amazing voice that we must ‘let go of all emotions that no longer serve us’. What a fantastic phrase hey? I think she should make audio books or something. I once fell asleep in class and she had to wake me up. That was awkward.
There will be people who are expert on this ancient art, who can convey exactly how the body, working in harmony with itself, benefits circulation, flexibility, muscular function and well being. But all I can say is I love it. Not because I know what I’m doing, not because I’m any good, not because my arms now look like Geri Halliwell’s when she released that DVD looking ‘worryingly toned’ (they don’t).
But because I leave feeling much lighter, rejuvenated, unburdened and peaceful. I think everyone in the class does. Its nice to do something that doesn’t matter for a while – and somehow that becomes one of the most important rituals of the week.
My yoga instructor, the amazing Kasia Steyn’s 12 week yoga course has restarted now – but she will no doubt be offering courses again in April in Belle Vue Village. Check her out!
I first stumbled upon the Bellevue Village Fair in 2012 and I’ve been going back ever since.
Its a funny place, this road. Despite being cornered by gridlocked city traffic, it has an ‘out of London’ feeling.
Village life in the big city
The fair is just one of my favourite things – mostly because you can pretend you are in the Cotswolds for the day, buying local beer (from the exciting Belleville Brewery), and everything from art and jewelry to flowers (I was *thrilled* to see the Battersea Flower Station, as have always wanted to visit). It goes without saying that the fair attracts a very well-heeled crowd which makes for great people watching – lots of beautiful parents, with beautiful kids and immaculately groomed dogs (there was a dogs show this time) – I was half expecting David Cameron to show up.
The food is always a particular highlight – I stuck my face in an amazing hot dog and eyed up about 572 cakes before settling on a chocolate, orange and almond number from Dee Light Bakery. I also bought some marmalade from an incredible woman wearing an apron calling her a ‘Jam Tart’.
The Bellevue Village Fair sadly only happens twice a year (the next one should be Christmas *fingers crossed*) but they best things about Bellevue road are here all year round:
- The Althorp – amazing local gastropub looking out on the Common. Plays live music. Does a lush chicken burger.
- Jo Partridge – lovely hairdressers with the best shellac deal known to man – £35 for a manipedi – WTF?! They did my hair for the first time and for once it looks nice.
- The Good Earth – amazing Chinese restaurant. So good I wrote a blog about it.
- The Hope – another great pub (there’s a theme here). Iconic corner pub. The place to be on summer nights.
- Wandsworth Common – way classier than Clapham Common (i.e.s not full of gangs of 23year olds drinking cans and applying tanning oil like its Benidorm beach)
This year there was the first dog show on the Common at the village fair
Oliver – the gallery – always does creative games for kids that I have genuinely joined in with