Gallery

Worden Park

One of our favourite parks to visit is Worden Park in Leyland.

There is so much to do, long walks, huge fields and a giant park. We took a picnic and had a walk and a play on the park. It is home to a hedge maze that despite looking easy had us running around for a while. This time we found that there was a miniature railway with a train that we could ride. I was a brilliant day and because of the good weather we had a good day with lots a fun pictures for a gallery.

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Meditation – My Silence in a Stream of Chatter

In the mornings and before bed I have book ended a special part of my routine. I unroll a yoga mat, sit cross legged on in and silently blot out all my thoughts. Sometimes I even use a little music that I found specially from YouTube

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I never really thought of meditation as important. It was just something other people enjoyed, or it was part of a culture I wasn’t privy to. But when I started to practise yoga meditation seemed to come as part of the deal.The benefits to me were clear.

From the second my family awaken until the second the last one falls asleep, I am constantly bombarded with a stream of chatter. Have you made my sandwiches, change the babies nappy, feed the cat, do your Alien from Wanda and the Alien impression.

Jobs, requests, demand, question after question after question.

Work is no respite either. I run my own business as an Estate and Lettings agent so from the second I get in someone is talking to me, about leaky boilers, or late rent payments, or invoices owed or whether they should market their property furnished or unfurnished. Even my colleague (actually my mum, its a family business) contributes to the stream.

Jobs, requests, demand, question after question after question.

This is by no means a complaint. Most people have to deal with this everyday. This constant stream of voices is a necessity, part of life and a sign of a good and healthy social standing. Any parent/person when really proposed with the alternative of constant silence would relish the idea of such company.

Still, It can build up and I found sometimes I couldn’t cope, after all so much can lead to stress, anger, frustration. You can just hear your mind saying I just want some peace. Sometimes you can hear your mouth saying it too.

In a dizzy whir of voices, just as yin needs yang I find it important to quieten everything, including my own inner voice, for at least 20 min a day.
It it refreshing and it seems to help my mind organise all the jobs, tidy up all the requests I received, deal with all the demands and answer each and every question I have took on board that day.

A tidy mind is a happy mind, so next time I’m in a sea of voices, all wanting my attention, I can give it freely, calmly and productively.

If you feel overwhelmed at any point in your day or lives, I would recommend it. I only sit for 10 min in the morning and 10 min at night and I found I manage a lot better. There are loads of mediation channels on YouTube and Guided meditation can target key areas like stress, depression, confidence.

Give it a try.

Thanks for visiting
Berg

A Cornish Mum

Daddy the “Big Meanie”

This week I’m a big meanie because we went to a petting farm where there were rabbits. My oldest daughter had been asking the owners some questions and found out that the particular rabbit she was holding was for sale.

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She was very insistent that she was going to get this rabbit by the end of the week.

I stuck to my guns and she didn’t get the rabbit.

I do sound like a big meanie I know and really I was, but this is the story why I will never again own a rabbit.

Once upon a time we bought a rabbit. We were a young new couple with our first and only baby girl.

What we didn’t know as we brought it home from the animal shelter was that it was pregnant.

We put it in its single hutch and went to bed, dreaming of our little girl being able to play in the grass with her new friend, just like on teletubbies (seems along time ago now doesn’t it).

When we came down the next day there were 8 new born rabbits in the hutch.

We were so excited. We named them all and got them out in the front room to play with them. They would all hop around and our new baby girl would giggle and grab as they came near. It was idealic.

But our first problem was where to put them. We couldn’t afford a hutch straight away so they grew up all in the same hutch until a month later. The space inside gradually getting more and more cramped. Even with two hutches there wasn’t enough room and soon our problems grew.

They tore up the garden and made burrows everywhere. One was so deep that it went into next door. And they would hide and not come out until we flushed them out with water. Even so we were going to get even more in trouble.

Always think where sayings come from. The one me and Mrs Berg had overlooked was “breed like rabbits”. This saying came to pass because, as we were about to discover, rabbits breed with anything, anytime, anywhere. Soon we didn’t just have the 9 rabbits anymore but at the most count (and this is a real number) we had 42!!!

Now we were overrun and without being able to sex them quick enough there was no way to separate them into boys and girls.

Ultimately we had to make a decision to make. There was a petting zoo near Horwich in Bolton that received 39 baby rabbits one day. That was a lot to take in and we were extremely grateful. We kept the original 9 rabbits. And split them into 3 hutches and hoped that they would not breed again before we could get to the vet.

However that is sadly not where the story ends.

A few weeks after we awoke to massacre. Our hutch was broken, the door torn off. A litter of rabbits lay dead across the garden.

My heart sank as I took in what I saw. Around 5 bodies were recovered from the garden. They looked like they died of shock. 1 of the babies was missing. The big mother of all the rabbits was also missing, we never saw it again.

We genuinely couldn’t work out if a fox had got in and took away the big one and the baby in the night. Chasing the others to death. Or if more sinisterly they had been stolen by a human. Whichever the monster, we were devastated.

Only 3 survived. 2 girls and one boy. Sooty, Daz and Cole. They had hid in one of the tunnels and emerged to tears of joy later in the day.

We sadly buried the other rabbits but a week later we had to reopen the grave and add Cole to the earth. He was half ate by a fox also.

By this point I had really had a heartbreaking experience with rabbits. Luckily the last two lead a happy and fulfilled life with us until only a year or so ago. It was a nightly ritual to catch them and I thought “feed the rabbits” was Mrs Berg’s catchphrase at one point.

They were very good pets and when they finally joined their brothers and sisters. As a family we are loyal to our pets and they quickly become family, I will never forget the ones we lost.

It is for this reason I will not have any more rabbits and I will have to be a big meanie for a while longer.

Reflections From Me

Too Tired

Currently Mrs Berg and I are running on empty. It’s a struggle to get up. It’s a struggle to focus. It’s a struggle stay focused.

It’s all due to the time old affliction every parent (except that one friend from the school yard pick up, we all have one) experiences, good old sleep deprivation.

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Because it’s summer, the older kids are up later. The baby keeps us up all night and the younger 2 wake us up early.

In my sleep deprived haze I am beginning to believe they have collaborated to ensure one of them is up and keeping us up at all times.

I imagine board meetings where they plan a rota and strategy,

“So you have them 6-9 then I’ll wake up 9-1”

The night time baby shift is the worst, because that is where I get in trouble.It is mostly assumed that I get a good nights sleep between 1 and 5 because 9 times out of 10 I’m not handling the baby.

The baby is still post breastfeeding and enjoys more of the same, can’t help there, or she has a bottle and is really insistent that this is mummy’s job.

It is not me insisting this, she has Mrs Bergs stubbornness and is quite forthright about letting me know that I’m not Mrs Berg.

So I get in trouble.

But really I might not be able to help with the feed sometimes, but because I’m a dutiful father I do get the bottle ready, do the nappy, do my sons night time blood glucose checks and generally stay on alert in case I’m needed.

Neither of us get a full nights sleep.

It is difficult to keep going. Especially when you forget what you were doing midday, or leave a crucial piece of kit at home and have to go back.

So annoying. It seems like the more you forget the more jobs you have to do, going back revisiting the places you’ve just been. Which obviously gets you more tired.

It is a constant, exhausting cycle which can build up stress, resentment, anger and frustration.

One of the most difficult things to do is keep going. The morning child has no concept that the baby kept you awake, he was still sleeping, he just wants to watch Thomas the Tank engine, and if you don’t watch it with him he will find someone who will, like his little sister you spent all night getting to sleep.

My tactic in this situation is usually damage limitation, get the child downstairs quickly and get Thomas on. While he snuggles up to you engrossed in the engines adventure maybe you can get 10 minutes or so in. If your lucky you might get through Mr Men too.

After that its coffee all the way. Caffine is holding me in good stead at the minute. Its keeping me awake while Mrs Berg has her nap. Hopefully I’ll get my sleep shift in soon.

*Baby crys from cot.

Or maybe not.

You Lose, You Learn

I know you’re as disappointed in that tie as we are. – Actually, I’d have preferred a loss. – You’re kidding, right, Coach ? Well, you learn a hell of a lot more from losing than from winning. Coach Orion – Mighty Ducks 3

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Here’s something I noticed that should be a given.

It was Game 2 of the season and we had had a brilliant Game 1 so the same was expected again.

But it wasn’t to be.

We lost by a whopping 16 – 1

During the first period I had made a few mistakes. The puck had been under my feet and I couldn’t get it out, I couldn’t stop the guy in the slot sliding the puck under the goalies pads, and I fell over for no good reason.

My line mate was getting frustrated with his performance, the bench were getting annoyed with the score line.

My head went down, and through the rest of the first period I slumped on and off the ice in a frustrated haze.

Luckily I managed to shake it off for the second period and I played a lot better. The other team still continued to expand their massive lead, but as a whole our teams performance improved greatly.

Still after the match I found myself brooding on my failures in the match. At the time I was watching highlight reels of the Stanley Cup Finals, (well done Blackhawks). As I watched I saw a play in which one of Tampa’s defence-men was in a similar situation I was in in my match.

That was when my funk was over because I realised the obvious truth in that despite our best efforts to improve and become the best we can be, in sport, as in life, mistakes will be made. Not only, in fact, will they be made, but they have to be made in order for either team to progress. Only one man comes out of the one on one with the puck. If this wasn’t the case all sports not just hockey would be draws, the goalie would always save each shot.

Furthermore, the players I was watching was part of the two best teams currently in the NHL, the greatest Ice Hockey League on earth. They are the best and they make mistakes.

I play for a Rec team in Blackburn, not that that’s any less important, but the skill level may be slightly reduced.

Conclusively, we all want to progress in our sport. To be hungry for improvement is vital. But improvement won’t come from being the best and winning each battle. The only way to truly learn is to take the positive from the loss and move on.

Tesco Tactics

All our friends have a shopping day. They get there mothers or inlaws to sit in while they casually browse the shopping isles.

We have a different approach. Its called Chaos…

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Basically the tactic is distract and shop. I generally run the distraction, (actually I’m sure thats just my full time role within our famliy unit) which involves getting a seperate shopping trolly and pileing as many of the kids in as I can.

I then go round the complete opposite way to Mrs Berg. I roll round the toy isle, look through the book section. If there is an entertainment section with huge tvs I’m there, just out of reach of those grabbing hands of course.

I go slow, I keep talking. These are the two key factors. If they want to stop to look at a toy, DVD, book, or any product, I stop and talk to them about it. I get them all to interact with it. All while Mrs Berg sneaks round quickly.

In order to be entertaining for the full hour I add a few trolly spins or long pushes. I have particular trick where I tell them to stay there, then I turn and pretend to become engrossed in a product, at this point I push the trolly so that they slide slowly away from me. Then I spin round surprised that they have moved, “I told you to stay there,”. I love these little games.

These tactics are by no means fool proof.

The older children sneak back to mum and put things in the trolley while she doesn’t notice. The younger two grab at anything they can reach for and the baby crys for mummy just when there is just enough strangers about to make it look like I can’t cope.

Finally if the shopping trips getting a little long and the tactics are waining, I have my final bid. A slogan. Woah Berg, a slogan. Parenting advice at its finest. My little saying is as such. Whoever is good round the store gets to pick a pudding for the week. So when they start to be naughty I say. “You have to be good for a pud.”

There it is next years parent advise books title ha ha. Hey it’s cheesy but so are my kids and it works 70% of the time at least.

So that’s my tactics. I reckon however you shop, if you do it with children always have a plan.

Reflections From Me

Virtual Trainers

I can’t afford in time and money to go to the gym. I certainly can’t afford to have personal trainer. So what I have like most people, is a selection of fitness videos and podcasts. Therefore I have a number of “virtual” trainers. People in my life who regularly inspire and motivate me. but of whom I have never even met.

Here are the list of people who I have connected with over the years in the form of fitness videos and podcasts, the people who have made me as fit as I am today.

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1 Shaun T – Insanity

Yes, this is the man who started it off. From a recommendation I got bought the Insanity workout. My friend was doing it at the time. After a couple of months of procrastinating I finally took the plunge and stood the course.

The first Insanity is a 60 day programme with the first months workouts at 45 minutes a day and the last months workout over 1 hour.

It is worth it.

Shaun T is an excellent instructor, he has so much energy, and he motivates you with a sincerity and humour like no other.

I have stuck with the first programme and I have converted it to a computer file so I can put it on my iPhone. I use it as part of my weekly workout still.

Shaun T has produced other workouts since so find the one that works for you. You can find a full range of workouts at http://www.beachbody.com

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2 Laura – Couch to 5k

Even after completing Insanity I still couldn’t run. My friend came with me (he is an excellent motivator) and I still had to rest part way. But when I started to run on my own I struggled.

Luckily I didn’t have too. Because I met Laura.

Laura is the voice to a series of podcasts run by the NHS called Couch to 5k.

The programme itself is brilliant but it is made better with Laura’s expert encouragement and tips along the way.

In fact now that I have completed the podcasts I do miss that extra encouragement Laura offered.

I did the programme, and now I’m running 10k’s and marathons.

You can find the podcasts at –
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx

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3 Tony Horton – P90X

After the success of Insanity I was on fitness rush eager to consume new workouts. Advertised within Insanity is P90X. Now It is on my phone next to Insanity and again I take what I need from it when I plan my weekly workouts.

Tony Horton is one of the funniest trainers I have seen, he is quirky and humourous and very motivational.

The only problem lies with the programme itself. Unlike Insanity, (which you can pick up and do anywhere) there is a lot of equipment needed to perform some of the workouts. Also, some of them are over an hour and half long.

Like Shaun T, Tony Horton has produced more recent workouts that are shorter so don’t let that put you off. The P90x workouts work for me just great. I like the way they have a Kendo specific and Yoga specific workout. I use these regularly. And the weight training is brilliant.

Again check out http://www.beachbody.com for more from Tony.

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4 Adrienne – Yoga with Adrienne

Tony Horton got me into Yoga. Adrienne made me love it. Yoga with Adrienne is a series on YouTube. She runs 10 minute to 30+ minute yoga sessions. If you are a beginner or expert yogi she is worth tuning into.

Again I use my phone to watch the workouts so they are very accessible and you can find an episode for whatever your using for weight loss, running, or just if you’re in a bad mood.

Find Adrienne on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

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5 Jeremy – The Hockey Movement

Another YouTube channel, and this one really is a Hockey specific trainer. The channel boasts a lot advice on getting your techniques right through all aspects of the game. Jeremy clearly plays and loves playing the sport and this comes out in the care he gives in his tutorials.

There are also review of different equipment and training tools, as well as some really inspiring hockey related videos (like the wonderful journey he takes to Lake Louise to play pond hockey).

If all that wasn’t enough there are also some links to other excellent YouTube channels like the fantastic Jeremy Weiss (no relation).
Find Jeremy from the Hockey Movement at
https://www.youtube.com/user/HockeyReviewHQ

So there are my current 5 virtual trainers. I have never met any of these people in person but I see them every week at some point without fail. They have shaped my fitness into what it is today, and am thankful for their support and motivation.