Monthly Archives: June 2010

Beach Break Live

Apologies for the lack of posts. I haven’t been trekking in out Mongolia, nor have I been wrestling buffalos in the Serengeti. Nope I’ve been on holiday!

Well last week I was on holiday and as followers of Daisy will know the week before I was in Pembrokeshire at the UK’s biggest student festival egging post exam bums to get up and move their shape.

Dirty Beach do Beach Break Live

The weather was glorious, not a cloud in the sky. Making hula hooping on the beach a dream, yoga in the park a delight, the parkour displays sizzle and the snow on the dry ski slope melt. The sun did also make lie ins an absolute no go. So all and sundry were up buzzing around the site from 8am.

With all the activity campers were in need of good feeds. Being on a budget, we packed stove, picnic set and culinary skills. Who says you can’t eat well with no running water, one pot and some meths?

Dorset Cereals, Organic UHT Milk and Blueberries

Thai Green Vegetable Noodles with Fresh Lime and Mint

On the opening day, myself and two lovely helpers (they’re pictured below) donned our best 80s togs and set out optimistic. We didn’t account for the 30 degree heat, our lack of water and the fact that lycra actually melts under intense conditions. So rather than rally a train of excited runners as anticipated we had to settle for infiltrating small groups, setting aerobic routines, relay races, push ups and comedy stretches. Resulting in a comedy fun-run meets aerobic art installation.

Lycra Lovies

Festival lesson learnt – it’s no good diving in head first and trying against all odds to stick to your spectacular plans. Any event organoser needs to be flexible, adapt to the conditions of the day and adapt their event accordingly. Mission accomplished.

After our lycra induced fun, daisy and her crew held daily yoga sessions in the wild wood.

Feeling Yogic

It was certainly the first time we’ve seen a 6ft man wearing a lace mini dress, articulating the tree pose with absolute seriousness. Sadly no picture.

Also on the agenda were daily hula-hooping classes. Expert Lisa Harris was on hand to get hips wiggling. It was good to see just as many boys as girlsgiving it their all. Although it did give Daisy et al rather too close an insight into the bedroom antics of some such students. For the record, when it comes to gyrating, hula or no, take it from me, less is more.

Lisa getting Hooptastic

Getting A Wriggle On

Thrice daily parkour demonstrations had everyone holding their mouths aghast as the three strong team balanced, leapt and tumbled with urban grace. Then audience members flashed pants attempting to recreate their moves (under supervision of courses).

Daisy didn’t have time to accumulate rope burns on the dry ski slope, but she did manage to snatch a go on the toboggan run. If anyone has a chance to visit Pembrey Country Park – and I highly recommend it, then you must catch a ride on this. A ready made trail marks your path, while a semi-automatic sledge is your chariot. The metal seat gently hauls you up, en solo, to the peak of the highest hill, then races down, snaking around trees and offering a breathtaking panoramic vista. Happy days indeed.

After all the fun, some R&R was needed. So I grabbed a delicious coffee from the Organic Coffee Co, a strong, cup of chocolaty brown with a silky foam resting on top. And headed next door for some fish therapy.

Organic Coffee Company

Fish Therapy From Therapy Sucks

Dipping festival weary toes into a pool of cool water and letting little mouth sucker off your dirty dry skin, does feel a little surreal, but after the initial tickle (freak out) the sensation is relaxing. And afterwards, smooth, supple feeling footsies. Sorry fishy wishy.

In terms of festival fashions. I was mostly sporting blue. Having sliced my thumb open earlier in the week, I figured that rather than hide it, it’s best to embrace a good old fashioned glued up cut. So I went all frankenfinger and painted my nails Barry M sky blue to draw attention to the goulish accident, then matched that up with a Topshop stripy maxi. Natch ;0)

True Blue

Sand Castle

Ok so the sun may have gone to my head a little…

Either way, no one can deny, that Beach Break Live was a roaring success. And I for one have never seen a festival site that is so alarmingly beautiful.

Wildflower Woodland


Gulliver's Travels?

Empty Beachy

Must it be back to work time already? Sad face.


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Sunday Times Style

Anyone else see today’s DPS on a new breed of coveted physique? Fit rather than thin, toned as opposed to Madonna terrifying, sculpted over skeletal. Finally the media is catching on to what a lot of us have been thinking for yonks. Athletic is in. Anorexic is out.

Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of a trend but the start of a new era that celebrates wellbeing over achieving a gap between thighs.

Shame they used the Reetone trainer to illustrate  their point (see my previous post). Maybe I’ll be the one who ends up eating my words…?! Will scan in the article and post it tomorrow.

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The Not So Fit Flop

Call me old fashioned, but I’ve been brought up to believe that if you want to get results, you have to work hard.

Exams. Relationships. Climbing Mount Everest. None were achieved with only a glimmer of thought. Or a mere trickle of sweat.

You need time, energy, dedication and the right tools to succeed.

There in lies my problem with all these MBT, Fit Flop, Fat Busting Bugly Boots (ok I made that last one up). There’s been a recent surge in quick-fix, thick-soled ‘training’ shoes. Shoes that claim to reshape your thighs, bum and calves if you only just slip them on for the commute to work.

All very well if your legs already resemble Beyonce’s. But what if you’re like the remainder of the nation and have a wobbly bit here, a flabby bit there and a spot of orange peel, er, like, all over your derrier. Well my friends, let me tell you, the fit flop fat flipper is not going to help.

I find it confusing that a brand can market training shoes, and a fit flop in near the same breath. Are a brand’s core values about wellbeing, victory, the high you’re rewarded with after a hard workout ? Or are they about promoting a quick fix route, that to be honest, if used in isolation, will have an imperceptible effect on your muscle tone anyway.

With one breath we’re trying to inspire people to get up and move and in the other breath we’re handing them a chunky shoe and sending the message that that alone is enough to change their body shape. And why should changing your body shape be heralded as the primary reason to exercise anyway? Bore off.

One friend argued that the MBT trainers are unique in that they realign dodgy body posture and tone your backside to boot. Their design is ‘unique’ as it is modeled on the traditional Masai shoe. And as we all know the Masai are lean, energetic warriors. If you think wearing a Masai modeled shoe will give you the physique of a Masai, you may as well throw one of their traditional red kangas over your shoulders too – sure to broaden the shape and even up muscle tone no? Exactly.

If looking like Kelly Brook meant just pulling on a pair of her panties, I think she’d have a throng, (I said throng, not thong) of stalkers scrabbling at her smalls drawer. And the ‘lean’ body shape of the Masai comes in part from days of walking cattle across harsh terrain and in part being undernourished. Do they write that on the side of the box?

Masai Shoe

Masai Shoe


Not So Masai Shoe

Not So Masai Shoe


There are no quick fixes.

I think our sports brands should take responsibility for marketing that message clearly. You won’t turn from couch potato to super hero over night, but to be honest, thank goodness. As anyone who has actually taken the time to fall in love with sport will know, that the arrival, the win, the victory, the glory is all very well, but the real fun comes from taking the time to get there.


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Beach Break Live Free Ticket Giveaway!

Dell Beach Break Live

So I blogged on Tuesday about the Fun Run I’m doing at Beach Break Live festival next week.

But then I felt bad, that while I’ll be sunning myself on the sands and listening to (Katrina and) the waves, all of you will be at work/in the library/locked in your bedrooms downloading music rather than listening to the real thing. Sad times.

So… I had a word with Dell and Beach Break Live and because they are both smiley happy folk they’re letting me give away TWO FREE TICKETS to one lucky winner so that you can get in on the act at this years biggest beach party. Pow. Uh oh, I’m starting to talk like a student, someone bury me in the sand now…

The Craic:

The event is just days away from the 14th to the 18th June at Pembrey Country Park in beautiful South Wales. At the moment great weather is on the cards, along with top acts and that quintessential festival atmosphere. Headbands, face paint, bare feet, lost in music, er, falafel – you know the score.

Dell are partnering with Beach Break Live to make sure that 2010’s festival on the beach is the best yet. Firm favourites such as Vampire Weekend, Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris (to name a few) will grace the mighty Dell Main Stage and will be rocking the festival.

To make sure you know exactly what’s going on at this year’s biggest student party and have the lowdown on all the festival activities you can log onto Dell’s online Digital Festival. It will give you a sneak peek of the acts appearing and the ultimate guide to getting the most out of Beach Break Live.


You need to log onto the Beach Break Live website and tell us who the headline act appearing on the Dell Main Stage will be at this year’s festival. Email your answer to me at by 6pm tomorrow, (that’s Friday 11 June). I’ll announce the winner then!

Good Luck! And don’t forget the sun cream! (FYI you must be over 18 to enter the competition and indeed the festival).

Dell Beach Break Live

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Team Green Britain Bike Week – Celebrities Design Their Dream Bikes

Daisies. Stars. Peppermint. Checks. Polka dots and maybe a splatter of neon. That’s what would happen if I was allowed to design my own bicycle. In short – a total mess.

Good job, Team Green Britain Bike Week has left the ‘design your dream bike’ event up to the professionals then. Starting tomorrow Team Green Britain Bike Week, the UK’s biggest mass participation cycling event, is being supported by celebrities including Giles Deacon, Orla Kiely, Victoria Pendleton, Wayne Hemingway, Dawn Porter, Lord Sugar and Amy Fleuriot of Cyclodelic, all of whom have donated sketches of the bicycle of their dreams.

The seven bicycles will be auctioned off to raise money for the three cycling social enterprises that have immortalised the sketches turning them from pen and paper into wheels, spokes and handlebars.

 You can make a bid online for the bicycles from TODAY – 16 June at

I’ve got an actual crush on Orla Keily’s sunny frame. If I were a bike I’d like to think this is what I’d look like. Maybe a bit shorter though…

Orla Keily's Design

Orla Keily's Design


Orla Keily ‘The bright retro yellow reminds me of sunshine. This cheerful colour combined with the print makes it a unique bike. The classic style of the bike and the bags add practicality! There is nothing better than going for a ride on your bike, either after a hard day at work or on a sunny day. I always feel really good after a bike ride. I love that it’s an environmentally-friendly way to travel too and am glad that cycling is becoming so popular.’

Mr Deacon’s is pretty damn perky too..

Giles Deacon's Design

Giles Deacon's Design


If like me, wheels, fresh paint and a sexy frame get you as excited as a Christopher Kane sample sale then check out all the bikes available on the Bike Week website – but better yet cycle down and ogle them for real.

The exhibition is at the London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC from 10-16 June

Get yourself down, support a good cause and indulge in a healthy dose of bike porn!


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Nike/(RED): Tied Together London

Last night I took part in the Nike / Red: Tied Together relay event. For those not in the know it was described by the PR as ‘an epic journey that unites cultural connectors across fives cities (London, New York, Berlin, Milan, Tokyo) in a five-day relay race to raise awareness for (RED) efforts’. A big hand to the press release that says it way better than I would have.

Nike’s global energy team basically partnered up with 24 of the most influential and creative ambassadors in each city to form 24 teams that raced non-stop for 24 hours through each city. Exhausting stuff.

In London, VICE and WAH Nails each made up a team, alongside mine – the Run Dem Crew massive and Harriman Steel, the design team behind many of Nike’s campaign visuals over the past 10 years. Harriman Steel raced in red body stockings, with smoking batons – Red Arrow’s stylee passing on the baton to us at Run Dem Crew for the final leg of the London event.

Harriman Steel

Harriman Steel do catsuits for the cause

RDC paced around the canals and roads of Hackney stopping only for some arresting live street poetry. In fact the opening poem was so brilliant I’m going to get it transcribed and post it on here.

Post event we drank wine, in our running gear (it did feel a little bit like a weird dream, when you suddenly realise you’re at a party and everyone else is dolled up and you’re in your gym kit – I had to keep checking I was still wearing my shorts), and ate king prawns, blue cheese and fig and raw carpaccio of tuna, taking in the t-shirt designs by celebrated graphic designer Kate Moross who had produced individual team designs.

WAH Nails

WAH nails goes RED


Red: Tied Together

Post run entertainment. You can see why I thought I was having a bizarre dream...

When I take part in events like this, I’m always reminded just how much of a community running inspires – bringing together ideas, people and even cities in this case. Anyone who still thinks that running is a solitary sport should look at the pics from this event on the Red: Tied Together site. I’ll post a link as soon as they go live. They certainly depict the team atmosphere.

Anyone wanting to come and join Run Dem Crew, it’s on every Tuesday night, 7.30pm at Nike’s 1948 store on Batemans Row, E2.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – running is the hardest thing to start, the easiest thing to improve at.

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Beach Break Live Festival – Retro Run

Beach Break Live

Oh to be a student again. Loans. Lie-ins. Love ins. Now the lucky buggers have even got their own festival Beach Break Live.

It’s next week. Not only that. It’s on a beach AND a nature reserve. Surfing, cocktail shacks, dry ski slope skiing, zorbing, yoga, parkour, Vampire Weekend, Plan B. How come those pesky students get to have all the fun?

Well, I always say if you can’t beat them. Join them. Which is why I’m hot footing it down to Pembrey Country Park next week to put the lucky lot through their paces!

Bring on the Daisy Does Beach Break Live Fun Run. Dressed in my finest retro sports gear I’ll be leading up to potentially 17,500 students (gulp) around the festival site. Zooming up hill and down dale we’ll be racing at sunset to take in all the festival highlights in all their golden, early evening glory. Stopping only for a few obligatory star jumps and ending with a sprint along the sands.

I know, I know… When we were students the most exercise we did was the old wine glass to lips gesture, but these are a new breed of student. The festival is set on the beach and while it has its fair share of dancing and pint swilling, the onus is on getting involved and being active. Hence all the amazing events and facilities such as skate parks, horse riding, dance classes, free running etc etc.

The festival is about to sell out, but there are a few tickets left, and the organisers now accept non students too (at a slightly higher ticket price). So dust off your trainers, pull out the suncream and get on ticketline faster than you can say ready, steady, go!

Come and sign up to my run at the activities tent. I’ll be the one in vintage Lyrca (two words I never thought could be put in the same sentence) and possibly a martini in hand. Well, it is a festival after all…

NB. If this festival sounds familiar but you can’t put your finger on why, you might remember the organisers Ian and Celia winning the hearts and wallets of the Dragons Den financiers. Or perhaps the BBC documentary that followed them round for a year. Clever kids these and not even nearly 30.

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