Best. Day. Ever.

Wednesday was an action packed day. These Dutch people, they don’t mess around, they get things done. It’s invigorating and inspiring, and you are so ready for bed when the time comes.

The day began with some yoga and a meditation with Izzy outside our little chalet, which we have been doing every day. They say it takes 30 days to develop a habit, and I think I just hit that. Right now I’m loving the Sivananda sun salutations, probably because that was the style we were doing in Spain every morning. The meditation is the 108 breath meditation, which involves alot of heavy breathing which is kind of awkward…. But it sets you up for a very peaceful morning meditation.

 

Bums
Bums
Saluting the Sun
Saluting the Sun

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After that, we had our green smoothies and did some weeding and gardening. I am learning all about which ones are weeds and which ones are plants, which is quite useful to know. I needed to be taught, otherwise I would just go around pulling everything out because it “‘looks messy”… We went foraging for greens to have in our lunchtime salad, now I know that things growing all around our feet are totally edible and actually taste kind of good. Apart from some things which will make you ill, don’t eat those ones…

Then we ate lunch, then we made a raw apple pie for our dinner party that evening! Oh boy, it was good. Its free of.. gluten, dairy, processed sugar, and… meat. You would hope so.

Here’s the recipe, if you’re into that kind of thing. Or maybe you do not know how to work the oven, in which case this is perfect for you.
Raw Apple Pie
Base
200g ground almonds
150g dates, soaked, or a date paste
pinch salt
Filling
3 apples
1 cup dates, soaked
raisins
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
half a tsp ginger
pinch nutmeg

Blend together the base mixture in a food processor, press into the bottom of a shallow dish lined with baking paper. The mixture doesnt need to be around the sides. Blend the filling ingredients, press on top of the crust and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Put it in your mouth.

 

Cat and Pie
Cat and Pie

After making our pie, Mariken took Izzy and I on a trip to a nearby town called Chantelle, where there is a monastery with REAL NUNS, a forest and a river. Dreamy. We had a look in the nun shop where they sell all their homemade goodies, then hiked into the forest to forage some wild garlic for our pesto. I was expecting bulbs of garlic to be popping out of the hillside, but no, they are leaves that taste like garlic! Magnificient leaves! And pretty flowers that you can also eat. Oh nature, you never fail to amaze.

Then we found a swimming hole and decided to go swimming. Naked. Because there was no one around, and because we could. Initially I was like oh my word, I barely know these people! I cannot bare my flesh to them! Then I thought, meh. They can just deal with my awkward tan lines.

It was the shortest swim of my life because it was so GOSH DARN FREEZING. It literally took my breath away.

We drove home singing along to Bob Marley. Bobby never fails to capture the mood.

Mariken showed me how she works with her ponies without using a halter. They have seven ponies, all of them a little bit mischievious. They try to eat my gumboot on regular occasions.

Ponies
Ponies

That night we had a 3 course raw vegan meal with some of the guests – Auke, Saskia and their wee tot Shuart. I have no idea how to spell his name, but its pronounced as a combination of Stuart and Short. We had wild garlic pesto, raw lasagne and, of course, our apple pie. And wine, because whats a dinner party without wine? Then we had a soul shakedown party, which is essentially all of us dancing around and Auke the giant swinging around the pole in the middle of the room like a giant pole dancer. He is genuinely the tallest person I ever met. He has to duck to get in everywhere.

Shuart on his machine
Shuart on his machine
The Brenazet Family
The Brenazet Family

We made a bonfire outside and sat around making up stories. A pretty awesome day. Izzy and I are looking after the farm for the next 3 days while Mariken, Ron, Igor and Nikola go back to Holland for Opa’s birthday party. We are excited to have some quality farm time, make some exciting meals and walk Elsa the dog. This place is beautiful! Who knows why some of the photos are black and white and some are in colour…. I am too tired to figure it out.

Ron
Ron
Little guy
Little guy

Brenazet france mei 2014 001 (219)

Brenazet france mei 2014 001 (217)

Brenazet france mei 2014 001 (221)

Let’s disco!

Anyone who knows me well enough to have partied with me, will know that I am a dancing MACHINE in da club. I pay no interest to my surroundings, I clamber on to tables, I shake what my mumma gave me and feel the rhythm flow through me like a tambourine. It’s become something of a joke between certain groups of my friends (you know who you are) that if you give Rosie enough beverages, she will climb onto an elevated surface and dance like nobody’s watching. (Except usually people are watching, which makes things awkward). She will throw her hair around like Britney Spears, and if Flo Rida comes on the beatbox then you had better lock up your children.

Needless to say, I haven’t really had the opportunity to hit the clubs whilst in Combe Martin, and I’ve been getting a bit restless for party time. Last night, my wishes were granted in the form of an ‘Ecstatic Dance Group’. Not my usual choice, but I will try anything once.

A woman who lives up the road has just returned from India, having been there for a month training in Ecstatic Awakening Dance and Yoga. She wanted to try out her newfound teaching skills and so we applied sturdy sports bras, got a group together in the living room and cleared out all the furniture. We were told to keep our eyes closed through the whole two hour class, because this type of dance is more of a meditation, where we look inside ourselves rather than at others.

We warmed up by just bopping along slowly to some wailing Indian music, rather self-consciously. I laughed to myself, once again, about the situations I find myself in, far too regularly. I was scared to move out of my little bubble, for fear of being hit by a flailing limb.

Prior to the class we had been warned that some bed and breakfast guests may arrive mid-class, I couldn’t help but wonder what they would think when they peeked through the door and saw a group of people, flopping their limbs around with their eyes closed.

The next part of the class was the Kundalini shake, which is meant to shake up all the energy in the body and work up to the ‘release dance’. It’s all quite sexual, really.

The motion was a sort of bouncing upwards and downwards from the knees and pelvis. I began a mild thrust then realised it was up and down, not back and forth. Awkward.

My knees jarred self consciously on every third or fourth bounce, and I giggled to myself as I thought about how I nearly wore a less supportive sports bra. I would have been unconscious on the ground at this point, had that been the case. I began to vibrate slightly, which was alarming.

Then we RELEASED THE ENERGY! I had acquired a lot of energy, and ideas for moves that would be really awesome. Every time we felt ourselves getting too carried away with distracting thoughts, such as “what the shit do I look like right now?”, we were to come back to the breath of fire, which went something like this: “sniff sniff haaaaaa, sniff sniff haaaa”.

Every time I got bored with my moves of squatting and shaking and swinging, I automatically opened my eyes a little bit, then forced them closed again (not without taking a peek at what the others were doing….sssshh.) Stewart was wandering about with his hips leaning forward and chin tucked in, fluttering his hands gently. Katherine was raging in the corner, threatening to smash the window pane with her jutting elbows. Somebody was rolling about on the ground, running their hands through their hair, another was crumpling gently in the corner to the rhythmic bump of an Indian drum.

I’m not going to tell you what I was doing, but I can assure you I had the best moves.

To conclude the class we did a meditation and joined hands in a circle…. Cute.

I felt so energised and wonderful afterwards, I went for a walk in the darkness to the beach! Dancing is good for your soul, and everyone should do it, no matter how much of a knob you feel like. If it’s really a problem, just close your eyes.

See, I thought I’d covered all the weird stuff, but it just keeps coming! Three more days here – who knows what could happen.

A little secret? I am scared to leave, and face the real world again… How am I going to deal with all of the choices I have to make, such as whether to drink red wine or white!?

I can’t even think about that right now.

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