Feral Fitness, Chewed Law & Gone to Seed

Taken from Lynne’s weekly column ‘Green Scene’ for the Western Mail. 15th July 2017

Feral Fitness

In my continuous quest to keep myself ‘fit for purpose’, I have recently discovered Animal Flow. The training system, invented by American coach Mike Fitch, is described as, ‘a combination of animal movement, strength training, martial arts, and gymnastics. Mastering these arts requires ‘beastly’ levels of strength, and grace so the result is both eye-catching and highly effective’. (see photo of me practising on the beach!)

I absolutely adore it. Not only has it massively improved my strength – important for my job – but it also keeps my mind occupied whilst I train! It’s almost meditative. There is something very primal about mimicking the basic movement patterns of the animal kingdom and it reminds me of all the wonderful health benefits that I discovered whilst training for my barefoot run across Wales. I am sure that something resonates on a cellular level when we explore these primal aspects of our health and wellbeing.

The movements in Animal Flow will at first seem laughably simple – until you try them. Forms like Ape, Beast, Crocodile and Scorpion will have you sweating like a pig to feel like a fox! It’s fab. I have been a dedicated follower of most fitness disciplines and systems over the years, but I have never found anything that is so beautifully profound and which provides such amazing results.

Mind you, as my brother said, ‘You are quite feral – no wonder it suits you; some of us have evolved more than others…!’

You can find out more at www.animalflow.com or contact Total Fitness Recall, who run a variety of fitness classes throughout the Welsh valleys. I train with Kevin at their Headquarters in Brynmawr, and he or Andrea will be able to give you more details. Call Andrea: 07966613411 or Kevin: 07917881261

Chewed Law

Last week I was asked about the legal aspect of dogs barking in a garden all day (not mine I hasten to add) but to be honest my horticultural experience doesn’t stretch that far, so, ‘I don’t know’, is the answer – but I know a man who does! And he will be coming to Abergavenny on Saturday 22nd July 2017 at 2.00pm

The Dog Law Seminar, hosted by Contented Pets, will cover a mix of legal issues that are important to dog owners, including Micro-chipping, Breed Specific legislation, Dog Control Orders, Noise Nuisance, and Civil liability for the actions of your dog, as well as lots of other relevant stuff.

The presenter, Trevor Cooper has specialised in Dog Law for 22 years and has been described by The Sunday Telegraph as, ‘The pet’s saviour, St Francis of Assisi of the law courts and defender of dogs.’ And I have also heard him referred to a ‘The Legal Beagle’. He currently splits his time between acting as a Dog Law consultant for Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs Home as well as acting in criminal and civil dog cases throughout England and Wales and regularly giving interviews and lectures.

Remarkably, Yogi has been much better behaved since watching me write this column – I think she thought she might be ‘up in front of the Bark’!

The Dog Law Seminar will be held at the Village Hall in Llanfoist, will last about 3 – 3 ½ hours and cost just £20. You can book ONLINE at www.DoglawSOS.co.uk or contact 01227 469603 or email tracy@doglaw.co.uk for more details. Or call Angela, of Contented Pets, on 07846 653275.

Gone to Seed

Don’t forget to keep dead heading bedding plants this month, to keep displays at their best. A brain surgeon, in an audience I was speaking to recently, was fascinated to learn that the principle of dead heading is to prevent the plant putting it’s energy into trying to keep faded flower heads alive and instead it can put that energy into producing new, fresh blooms. I never thought I would be teaching a brain surgeon anything!

Also removing the flower heads of perennials and herbs before they go to seed will prevent unwanted self-sowing of plants, especially in adjacent paths or patios. I have spent far too long weeding the paths in my herb patch this year as a result of letting it all go to seed last year. But, conversely, remember that seeds of fennel and coriander, for example, are worth harvesting for use in the kitchen. Simply cut off the seed heads when the plant begins to turn brown and put them in a paper bag. Hang the bag until the plant dries and the seeds fall off.

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