Birkenhead Park

We took the tour of Birkenhead park and it was a lovely lesson of history. We’ve been here before to feed birds and squirrels and we saw the poster with the guided tours. I had no idea it would be so interesting.

Birkenhead park is the first public funded park in the world, in 1847. At the opening 10,000 people participated to this historical event. It was an incredible number of participants, considering that there were only 9,000 people living in Wirral.

The ranger told us in that time there were many factories and mills and the people used to go out for a drink after work. So, many of them were ill often and the lifespan was short due to the harsh working conditions and alcohol. So, a place for working out and having a healthy option to spend the free time was very necessary.

The idea of a public park built with public funding was very controversial, but Issac Holmes’ idea was implemented in other cities and countries a short while after the Birkenhead park was launched.

The front gate of the park. Issac Holmes wanted a bigger one, but even so it was still very visible from Liverpool. bp_01

bp_02

Near the front gate there are 2 houses that were used by the gardeners. Now both houses are used; we were able to visit one, the one that is used by Friends of Birkenhead park. The houses have an inclosed garden with big walls, to keep away there stuff from the public eye. You can see in the photo one of the old hooks for cloths ropes.
bp_03

bp_04

The first bandstand. Underneath the bandstand there was a small harbor where were docked 3 boats that were used on the lower lake.

There are 3 lakes in Birkenhead park, all made by man. The dirt from the lakes was put next to them, to create the landscape. This was very good for draining and the trees could develop nicely.
bp_05

The Swiss bridge. The designer of the park, Joseph Paxton, put a Chinese bridge, but Issac Holmes had a different idea. He wanted to recreate the Switzerland landscape with the bridge and the rockery.

Paxton changed the design to match Holmes’s wishes. But he painted the bridge in red and black, Chinese colours.
bp_06

The rockery. All the rocks are from Mersey.
bp_07

bp_08

The oldest tree from the park, it was already there when they built the park.
bp_09

One of the trees that was planted during the park landscaping.
bp_10

The island from the Upper lake. Now it’s not connected to the park and this way the birds can nest without any predators.
bp_11

The garden in front of the Visitor Center. The centre is built on the spot that Hornblower wanted to make a terrace and the garden is like in his designs.
bp_12

bp_13

bp_14

Loosing weight – my journey

I hope you’ll like my journey so far.

3 years ago I went to see a cardiologist because I was tired all the time, my pulse would go up if I climbed 10 stairs and there is a history of heart problems in my family. The doctor said my heart is fine and she said nothing about my weight. I was clueless because I always loved the way I looked. But I wasn’t felling good, I didn’t have enough energy due to my unbalanced diet with only one meal a day, in the evening.

I started a stupid diet with a friend, I dissociated the food by day and group. This was my first diet and I managed to loose 6 kg in one month. After I finished it I was back to my old habits and I put 11 kg in a few months.

2 years ago, on 12th august 2010 I saw I had 81 kg! I was so shocked I started the diet from that day. It’s strange, but I wasn’t aware I was fat until I saw the scale. After I saw the scale I got online and I started reading as much as I could about diets.I realized the diet I had before was bad and that day I read about diets’ yo-yo effect and counting calories.

Now I can say it was a smooth process because my target was being healthy, so I had a diversified diet and I lost weight at a slower pace. I’ve lost 21 kg in 6-7 months by counting calories and macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats).

I had a kitchen scale and I use it to weight everything. But after a few months I broke it by accident and I continued counting, but estimating the weight of the food. At first it was difficult, but I got used to it and after a while it took just 2-3 minutes/day to count them.

When I reached 65 kg, so 5 months in my journey I started exercising regularly. I did some workouts from P90X. Hubby was a huge fan of the program, so I give it a try. I became addicted because it’s so great, I love to push my limits and gain more strength.

I had a relapse when I had to move twice in 4 months. I wasn’t able to train where I stayed and my diet was different due to my move to UK. I gained 5 kg in this 4 months, but this year I lost all the fat with the 2 rounds of P90X (as you can see, I lost almost all the fat in the 1st round).

Now I feel great. I eat everything I want, but I cook because I want to have healthier options and, anyway, ready meals and take away are boring and fatty. I don’t like to eat the same thing everyday.

I use wholemeal wheat, unrefined sugar, full fat cheese or milk and I make at home pizza, pasta, sweets (muffins, cakes), vegetables in so many different ways. I eat cheese, fruits, salads (as a side), nuts and healthy oils (olive oil, for example).

I don’t feel like I’m on a diet…because I’m not. I choose what I eat considering if that product is good for me or not. I rather bake a tray of muffins (it takes 20 minutes, baking time included and I can make so many different types) instead of buying something with additives and white flour from the hypermarket.

Now I do insanity, I’m very happy with the results so far. I finished one month and I see my strength is higher. I love it! In the morning I feel I can “move mountains” and sometimes we go for a walk with Festus in the middle of the night if it’s a pleasant weather… I never feel without energy, not even after an intense workout.

And this is how I look:
nbb_17

Shisha

Yesterday we went to VOOO and we had a lovely Shiha, mix flavour, it was very nice. Hubby had the camera with him, so he took a few pictures.
SV_01

In Romania I use to have shisha and coffee with hell, but now I got used to shisha and mint tea. I must admit it’s better this way, the flavor of the tea compliments the shisha.