Monday, 25 March 2013

I Know It's Snowing, But Spring's Come Early

... in Tokyo

Nice hat. But we've got nicer hair clips.
I tell you what, this global warming business is sure kooky.

My husband went cycling with his insane brother up in Leeds this weekend.

Well, cycling might be a strong word for it.

More like pushing bikes through knee-deep snow, with periodic tossing of bikes over drifts.

It's still a good workout, no matter what you call it.

But Leeds is not what we're talking about here.

No, We're Not Talking About Leeds But Lovely Japan

It might be like Narnia here in Britain, trapped in an eternal winter.

But I figured out who's been snaffling all our spring weather. Yes I have.

It's the season of Hanami in Japan, the Cherry Blossom Festival and the first bloom of Tokyo marking the first day of this popular celebration emerged 10 days earlier than last year, on 18 March.

But, don't worry!

You've not missed out and you can still celebrate as the Kyoto festival only just started on Monday.

We, of course, have appropriate attire to help you get in the mood, even if you are throwing bikes over snow drifts.

Kyoto Scarf Headband in Chrysanthemum Red
If you're a fan of our scarf headbands, make your way quickly to check out our colourful new Kyoto Scarf Headband, available in Chrysanthemum Red (shown left), Tokyo Sky Blue and Peach Blossom.

Numbers, as always, are limited, so be sure to grab yours before these blossoms drift away.

If you're more of a barrette fancier, you'll love the warm golden tones and subtle sparkle of our French handmade Sakura Barrette.

Sakura Bloom Barrette
This is a traditional 8 cm flat barrette, so very effective in fine hair.

The hand-tinted colour looks oh, so rich in strawberry blonde to auburn tones.

Highly recommended and you won't be disappointed.


Looking for more Spring ideas?

Wander over in a swift yet orderly fashion to Stone Bridge Hair Accessories.

There's plenty more to see!

Or, maybe you want to read some more? Check out these posts:

The Looped French Pleat With 2 Hair Sticks (tutorial video)
Got Fine Hair "But A Lot Of It? (article series)
"Why Don't You Have More Pictures With Hair Clips IN Hair?"

All done?

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK

Friday, 1 March 2013

Breaking The Mould

Melissa Chats With Health and Fitness Guru Rosemary Conley About "Stuff You Shouldn't Do At Your Age"

Rosemary Conley - Should you do that at your age?

Last year Britain's leading health and fitness guru Rosemary Conley famously (or notoriously, perhaps?) took part in ITV's Dancing On Ice programme at the age of 65.

If you're one of our long-time readers, you'll know I have a keen interest in figure skating.

Indeed I first met Rosemary through my local ice rink where I, seething with jealousy, saw her working with world class skater Mark Hanretty.

I caught up with her last week to learn more about why, at an age when most people start looking for comfy chair, she became determine to master a new and rather dangerous sport?

The whole thing started when the production team basically contacted all the agents asking if they've got anyone to put forward for Dancing on Ice. And the way my agent put it to me was, "You've been invited to audition."

Of course, then I imagine someone's rung up saying "We'd like Rosemary to audition for our show," which didn't happen at all!

Before this, I'd never been skating in my life. 

So I went and had three lessons before the audition and on the day I was utterly hopeless. Obviously I didn't get through, and it's just as well.

I'm glad I didn't, as I would have gone on the show and been the ultimate embarrassment.

After that I had a two year break to work on a contract, and even though I was still interested I thought I daren't break a leg or a hip, so I stopped skating completely.

But after that I was determined to try again. I started having regular lessons, auditioned twice more and still didn't get in. But I so wanted to give this a go.

It's very strange how life falls into place sometimes. At about this time I went to a dinner where I was presenting an award.

And like a lot of coincidences, that evening I was not looking forward to attending the event at all.

So it ends up I was sat next to a couple of gentlemen who turn out to be the chief executive of the Nottingham ice rink and his marketing director.

As we're chatting I told him that all I wanted to do was work on my skating.

They said they'd do everything they could to help, set me up with their head coach and finally I started really making progress. 

How I finally got on Dancing on Ice, after three failed auditions, was I made a tape of my skating and wrote to Christopher Dean saying I so want to do this. 

I've completely fallen in love with skating. Please consider me because I would love to fly the flag for the older person.

And they let me through. It was like a dream!

My daughter was worried initially. She said, "You mustn't do theheadbanger."

And I said, "They won't do the headbanger with me, don't worry." Over time my enthusiasm overruled her concern.

She actually came along to one of the practice sessions fairly early on. She wanted, I think, to see for herself that my skating partner, Mark, was looking after me and that he was strong enough to lift me.

Then she was satisfied and she felt I was in good hands. My husband came as well, I think for the same reasons.


True to form, when Rosemary discovers a good thing, she's keen to share it with others.

Following her success on Dancing On Ice, Rosemary toured the country with her Skate Into Shape days.

These were so popular and Rosemary enjoyed them so much they are running the sessions again in 2013.

I asked her about last year's Skate Into Shape programme.

We had the full age range attending. People from their 20s, honestly, up to their 70s.

It was lovely.

People of all weights, sizes and fitness levels joined us.

One nice story, there was one lady who was carrying a bit of extra weight. At the end of the day she said, "I'm just so proud of myself that I've survived!" She wanted her picture with me because she said no one would believe she had done it, but there she was on the ice with her skates on.

Just to survive the morning was her goal, which when there's quite a lot of you, it's quite hard when you fall.

It was a very special experience. I'm hoping this year that not only do we have people attending from our diet and fitness groups, but that other people will come along as well.

I just want to share an amazing email we received from one of the ladies who came:

I'd never been on the ice before and wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone. When I left I can proudly say I can cross the ice and fall over! I feel very honoured to be told I fall gracefully. I'm still smiling and my head buzzing with the experience. Thank you. 
I got over my initial fears and now have the confidence to go skating and to take my children.

Don't tell me you don't want to skate with Mark!
Would you like to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try skating with expert guidance from world-class skater Mark Hanretty?

Would you like to learn more about diet and fitness that's appropriate for you from the UK's leading guru in the field?

Well, you can do both.

Rosemary Conley is running her Skate Into Shape whole day programme at ice rinks around the country this year, with more dates and locations to be added soon.

Even better, she offered Stone Bridge friends and customers (that's you!) an exclusive 10% discount off the already reasonable price of £100.

The day includes:

  • 3 hours skating tuition for beginners
  • A performance by Mark and Rosemary of two of their ice dance routines
  • A solo skating performance by Mark
  • Lunch and white skate boot hire
  • A talk on healthy eating by Rosemary

Plus you will receive a signed Skate Into Shape certificate to celebrate your achievement.

This is quite a special day with two very inspiring professionals that you will definitely not regret.

More information is available here:

Skate Into Shape With Rosemary Conley

Spaces are limited, so to make sure you secure your place, ring Peter Legg on 01509 622059 (or click to email) and be sure to ask for your exclusive "Stone Bridge" booking offer.

Current dates and venues:

(More to be announced)

Tuesday, 30 April
Planet Ice Arena Coventry
Croft Road, Coventry  CV1 3AZ

Wednesday, 5 June
Planet Ice Arena Basingstoke
Leisure Park, Basingstoke, Hampshire  RG22 6PG

Wednesday, 26 June
Planet Ice Arena Ryde, Isle of Wight
Quay Road, Esplanade, Isle of Wight  PO33 2HH

Wednesday, 25 September
Silver Blades Ice Rink Widnes
Unit 1, Venture Fields, Earle Road, Widnes  WA8 0GY


Why stop now? More posts you'll like:

Accessorising With Scarves For Every Occasion
How To Feel 30 Again Without The Angst
My Open Reply To The Response To "What Diet Is Optimal For Growing Longer Hair"

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK