Number nine Headland Park Road – Paignton 523610 – was a pink house, not originally, but it was distinctly, among the varying shades of beige and white of Headland Park Road. It was a big, semi-detached pink house, six bedrooms in all after losing one to gain another two in the loft. It had a green front door with a brass knocker on it that looked like Aslan, but originally it was blue. The house was called Mirador almost sounding as though, in fact, it was a Narnian house in our childhood Narnias.Continue reading “Mirador”

Creative Kingdom

This week we wanted to share with you a fantastic new website known as Creative Kingdom, conceived and run by Rob and Cathy Browne. Their passion is to be an encouraging hub of creative genius, encompassing art, music, photography and writing.

One of their USPs as a website is the width and scope of variety in creativity that they promote, not specific to only one kind of artist or group, but inclusive of many. In that sense, Rob and Cathy are the King and Queen of the ubiquitous Creative Kingdom

Continue reading “Creative Kingdom”

What do you mean by a ‘good sermon’? (1 Thess 2)

My friend, Andy, works with his family in East Africa to train and teach and preach the Bible. Here’s a refreshing blog article with concise, short and, yet, pointed advice for Biblical preaching.

Utumishi Blog

  • Clear – “declare to you…” (v2 cf. vv6-7, 11)
  • Christ-centred – “…the gospel of God” (v2 cf. vv4, 8, 9)
  • Careful – “our appeal does not spring from error… but just as we have been entrusted… so we speak” (vv3-4 cf. v13)
  • Cutting – “not to please man but to please God who tests our hearts… we never came with words of flattery” (vv4-5 cf. vv12, 13)
  • Compassionate – “Nor did we seek glory from you… but we were gentle among you like a nursing mother taking care of her own children… being affectionately desirous of you… you had become very dear to us” (vv6-8 cf. 11, 17-20)

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Recurring Knee Pain? Try VMO Training

What the chuff is a VMO?

VMO stands for vastus medialis oblique and is part of the vastus medialis quadriceps muscle at the front of the thigh. The position of the vastus medialis oblique is just above and to the inside of the knee cap. The fibres of VMO have a more oblique alignment than the other fibres of vastus medialis. It arises from the tendon of adductor magnus muscle and converges to join the other quadriceps muscles inserting via the patella tendon, to the tibial tuberosity at the top of the tibia shin bone.

Here’s a picture:



Why VMO?

Often times, recurring knee pain can be improved through exercises designed to strengthen this muscle as it has a significantly stabilising effect on the movement of the knee joint and so reducing pain/discomfort that comes from weakness in the muscles or joint itself. You might have noticed that footballers generally have very developed VMOs as part of very strong quads due to their sport specific adaptations/training.

So it’s worth knowing that, generally speaking, the stronger the muscles are surrounding a joint, the more stable/functional the joint is and the less likelihood of discomfort/pain.

VMO Exercises – 4 sets of 10-12 reps 3-4 x p/week

Here are three exercises you can try to specifically strengthen your VMO in the hope of avoiding and reducing knee pain: Continue reading “Recurring Knee Pain? Try VMO Training”

Crocodile Tears

I had a profound moment recently with my good friend Pansaonic Viera while chilling out at the end of a long day. (He is a quality guy but can impose himself too much at times so Mairi and I need to get the backgammon or Uno set out). Anyway…

Channel-hopping as I was, up came Bear Grylls in his new programme The Island in the second episode where a bunch of the bravado-beset guys had just caught their first meal of their ordeal – a decent-sized Caiman Croc. There was much strutting, high-fiving and banter as they took charge of the beast and took it back to camp. Continue reading “Crocodile Tears”

FbN2 Fitness Blender Challenge: 30, 40, 50 or 60?

We follow Fitness Blender as an excellent part of our exercise plan. Amongst swimming, BodyPump, weights and other CV exercise, it’s great to have some HIIT routines (High Intensity Interval Training) to challenge different energy/fitness systems.

Here’s a particularly hard Fitness Blender HIIT challenge. Why not give it a go and see what interval you can get to? I managed 40 but Mairi nailed 50! (tip: make sure you’re properly warmed up). Continue reading “FbN2 Fitness Blender Challenge: 30, 40, 50 or 60?”