Sad news

I’m sorry to report that our little black cat, Keema (which means ‘monkey’ in Swahili), was run over a couple of weeks ago. We’re very sad. He was a friendly little thing who used to sit on the fence to welcome clients and sometimes greet you at the gate. Unfortunately he went missing for a week over Christmas and we found out a week or so ago that he had been run over. Poor little thing. Here’s a picture of him ‘helping’/distracting me from revising for my MSc nutrition exams a few days before Christmas.

So, at some point, we will be looking for two little kittens to keep me company and to act as your welcome party! Do let me know if you have any kittens in need of a good home!

PS – Just to reassure you, pets are never allowed in my treatment room or near my towels/blankets for those of you allergic to cats!

Local places for coffee and a browse while you wait…

Some of my clients like to come for a treatment with their partner. This means you can enjoy your massage with your partner in the room, reading quietly whilst enjoying the relaxing ambience of my treatment room, before it’s their turn for a massage. I think this is a lovely thing to do together as you should both feel really relaxed by the time you leave.

Others like to go for a coffee while they wait for their turn. So I thought you might like to know some nice local places for coffee or a snack, while you wait! With Cowley Road less than five minutes walk from my treatment room, you’re spoilt for choice really. My absolute favourite place to go is Door 74 – local, seasonal, delicious food and friendly staff – it is probably a 10 – 15 minute slow walk away as it is towards the ‘town-end’ of Cowley Road. There’s also the Truck Store – about a 7 minute saunter – I haven’t been myself but clients highly recommend it for it’s speciality coffee. Then there is Kazbar for a mint tea, Coco’s for lunch – both again around a 15 minute meander away towards town. There are also lots of new places springing up – Miro’s is a middle eastern and Mediterranean coffee bar which looks lovely and Rick’s is also good. There is also a Costa and Coffee Republic, but personally I prefer the little independent places.

If you come on a Saturday morning, there is a local farmer’s market which has fabulous bread, cakes, gifts, milk, cheese, meat, veggies – and a lovely cafe. It opens 10 – 1pm in the school hall behind Tesco.

There’s also a myriad of charity shops, hair dressers, jewellery and bike shops on Cowley Road all well worth a visit and a pleasant browse while you wait!

Training in the snow…

Well, like all of you who have also signed up to fitness type events this year, I am not sure whether I am excited or nervous about a half marathon in the new forest and Bicester triathlon – both in March!

I’ve been out cycling this morning – to the gym so I could combine it with a run – and blimey it was a cold cycle through the snow! It’s pretty difficult to get motivated in this snowy, slushy, freezing rain kind of weather – but it’s also a pretty quick way to warm up on such a cold day!

One of the reasons I’ve signed up for these events is to support my husband in his marathon training – Dave is running the London marathon on 21 April for Helen and Douglas House – a local children’s hospice. Doing this event for charity means he is determined to raise as much money as possible. And – as you may expect – he’s lining up his pre and post training massages from me!  Those of you who live in East Oxford, may know the great work done by Helen and Douglas House supporting terminally ill children and their families – if not, check out the videos on their website to be inspired. If you’d like to sponsor Dave, please visit:

What events are you signed up to this year? Remember to let me know if you’re training hard for an event so I can tailor your massage to give your muscles the quickest recovery time!




Kick start your resolutions with a massage

Happy new year! I hope your first days back at work go smoothly and you’re wrapped up warmly against the recent drop in temperature. It always feels tough in the first few days back to work to get going at full speed again. Perhaps you are feeling full of energy and ready for the new year? Or you may be feeling a little frazzled, tired and drained after a busy couple of weeks entertaining and hosting. Massage can be a wonderful way to reconnect with yourself again – a little ‘me’ time after the busy-ness of Christmas. I’m running a special offer to help you get back into the swing of the new year: book a treatment for January and receive 10% discount in February – get in touch to book your treatment!

Massage can be very helpful in detoxing the system from both the lovely indulgences of food and wine over the holiday period, and to help kick-start any new fitness or diet regimes. I’m currently studying for an MSc in nutrition so you can expect to see lots of healthy recipes and top nutrition tips in my blog – check out the previous  postings for healthy recipes.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to make the most of everyday. Often we find ourselves worrying about the minutiae of something in the past, or something yet to happen in the future. My resolution is to live more in the present day and to look out for and savour, the small wonders – a stranger’s smile, new buds poking through the soil, the birdsong that often wakes me up in the morning! What are your new year resolutions?




Alternatives to mince pie temptation!

It’s almost mid-December and many of us are now on the count down to Christmas, with mince pies popping up to tempt us all over the place! It’s lovely to indulge in these treats at Christmas, but also easy to end up on a diet full of fat, sugar and alcohol! Not the way to feel your best, or look your best at Christmas parties! It’s worth trying to pop some extra veg into your meals if you can, to get a boost of vitamins and goodness, in amongst the treats.

One way to do this is to add more veg into dishes you’re already making. Fish or shepherd’s pie for example. I made a big fish pie last night and there was more veg in it than fish! I added in curly kale, spinach, peas and plenty of shredded cabbage. Not only do these add plenty of fibre (to help digestion), but also vitamin A (needed for bone growth, reproduction, and skin health), folate (important for conception and energy release), thiamin (important for growth and development), vitamin C (you probably know about that one already – it is essential in collagen formation , wound healing and is also an antioxidant helping to protect against infection), vitamin K (helps in blood clotting)!

Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel are also full of essential fatty acids – essential because we can’t produce them in the body naturally so we have to eat them, and because they’re necessary for all sorts of important things – particularly growth and development. More on these essential fatty acids another time!

Back to the veggies! I’m a big fan of sticking them in in extra quantities into existing meals – I add spinach to scrambled eggs (more folate and iron) on toast, courgettes, carrots and more spinach to bolognnaise or shepherd’s pie (as well as plenty of chopped tomatoes and a good spoonful of cinnamon) and even beetroot into brownies! It gives a lovely moistness and squishiness. Most meals can have more veggies added to them, either obviously, or you can sneak them in if you’re also feeding fussy eaters.

It really is worth keeping up your veg intake, not just to help you look good throughout the party season, but also to feel less bloated by all the sugar, fat and alcohol on offer. Although ‘5 a day’ is the officially recommended number of fruit and veg a day in the UK, your body will thank you for eating a lot more – especially veggies. On top of this, there is also lots of evidence now that diets rich in fruit and vegetables are associated with reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases associated with ageing*. So it’s worth sticking them in when you can…


*Dietary supplements and functional foods, by Webb, 2011; and Food Standards Agency (FSA)