Beginners’ Guide to the Gym

Whether you are a complete newbie, or just out of practise, we have some great resources to help you get back to the gym.

An easy-to-follow session to get you going.  This Workout for Beginners is full-body and only eight moves, but very effective.

Livestrong has this great and very straightforward  beginner workout plan for women.

Nuffield Health offer these beginner workouts to help you feel confident and get the most out of your gym time.

Just got your first gym membership?  Ryan King, Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach at the English Institute of Sport, gives you the lowdown on how to hit the ground running and get the most of your first few visits in this video.

 

 

 

 

 

Recommended Reads

Our Book of the Week this week is A House Through Time by David Olusoga and Melanie Backe, which looks at British history through the lens of our homes. We have put together a list of similar non-fiction titles for you to look through and enjoy. Happy reading!

 

black and british book cover

Black and British, by David Olusoga

Published to accompany Olusoga’s BBC 2 series of the same name, Black and British calls for a re-examination of our nation’s history. Olusoga’s work illustrates how Black British history is all around us and has been for thousands of years. From Roman nobility, to medieval courtiers, to modern day street names, black and white Britons’ intertwined past is laid bare for all to read.

 

the anarchy book cover

The Anarchy, by William Dalrymple

In his in-depth examination of the East India Company, Dalrymple charts the transformation of the organisation from multinational trade company to aggressive colonial army. Within 40 years of its inception, the Company had amassed a security force of over 200 000 men, using them to subjugate the entirety of India by 1803. The Anarchy reveals the horrific exploits of the first global corporate power for a chilling account of Victorian colonialism.

 

love in the blitz book coverLove in the Blitz, by  Eileen Alexander

Told in letters, Love in the Blitz illustrates the lives of a couple, Eileen and Gershon, torn apart by war. Although Gershon’s letters have been lost to history, Eileen’s remain as a testament to their love. These letters are an incredibly intimate portrayal of life in London during WW2, particularly as they so eloquently illustrate the lives of women living and working during the Blitz. This is a must-read for any fan of wartime history, providing an inside perspective into the realities of living and loving through war.

 

in the land of men book cover

In the Land of Men, by Adrienne Miller

This fiercely personal memoir is Miller’s account of coming of age as a woman writer in the journalism industry. Miller was hired as an editorial assistant in her early twenties at GQ, dealing with misogyny and the unquestioned authority of powerful male egos on a daily basis. Miller’s book charts her journey to the top of her industry, making it an empowering read for any woman wanting to push the boundaries of her glass ceiling.

 

Some of these books are available to download from our cloudLibrary here.  All you need is an RBKC library card and if you are not a member, don’t worry,  just click here – it’s completely free to join and use our resources. 

Recommended Reads

This week’s Book of the Week is The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was born on the 21st July 1899, this week marking his 121st birthday. We have put together a list of similar titles for you to look through and enjoy.

life of pi pic

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

The Patel family decide to sell their zoo in India and sail to Canada with a few remaining animals. Suddenly, tragedy strikes in the form of a horrendous storm, leaving the Patel’s son Pi as the sole human survivor. However, Pi is not alone in the ocean; a fearsome Bengal tiger has also survived the storm. The pair must learn to trust one another over the coming months if they are to last their voyage.

 

the great gatsby book cover

 

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald’s most famous work, The Great Gatsby, has been heralded as a modern American classic. When young and impressionable Nick moves in next door to extravagant millionaire Gatsby, he is drawn into a series of events leading to catastrophic consequences. Gatsby spares no expense in his attempts to win over childhood love Daisy, now married to old-money brute Tom Buchanan, and Nick can only bear witness to his friend’s downfall.

 

the alchemist book pic

 

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Originally written in Portuguese, The Alchemist has become an international bestseller. It is an allegorical novel, following the life of an Andalusian shepherd named Santiago who dreams of finding treasure in the pyramids of Egypt. Believing his dream to be prophetic, Santiago journeys to Egypt to seek his fortune. There, he experiences love, loss, and adventure in a powerful and moving tale.

 

if beale street could talk book pic

 

If Beale Street Could Talk, by James Baldwin

Set in Harlem in the 1970’s, Baldwin’s classic is a love story following the lives of Fonny, a sculptor, and Tish, the book’s narrator. When Fonny is falsely accused of rape, Tish, 19 and pregnant, must help their families win justice for her lover. Past and present mingle to form a passionate and powerful novel, widely regarded as an essential read for our time.

All of these books are available to download from our cloudLibrary here.  All you need is a RBKC library card and if you are not a member, don’t worry,  just click here – it’s completely free to join and use our resources.

Children’s book of the week: I will not never not ever eat a tomato

Lola can’t imagine a world where she will ever eat tomatoes, carrots, peas, fishfingers or mashed potato.  Will her brother Charlie’s stories help Lola to change her mind?

Make your day a Book Themed Day!

A Book Themed Day is an awesome way of bringing stories to life – especially when it comes to mealtimes.  The Happy Mummy site suggests creating some delicious tomato-themed dishes with your child here.  The bruschetta looks particularly appealing!

Make a vegetablethemed superhero cape

Charlie uses his imagination to encourage Lola to eat different food – in a similar spirit, here is another imaginative way to celebrate vegetables.

Grilled veggie skewers

Kids love getting involved in creating veggie kebabs – and building these colourful skewers might broaden their vegetable horizons.

Charlie and Lola paper dolls

The traditional activity of making paper dolls gets the Charlie and Lola treatment.  Have a go at making your own over here.

Lola’s mobile

This is a very cute project for Lola fans and a great opportunity to showcase their colouring skills.

 

 

Let’s make escabeche

Our book of the week, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, tells the story of an unlucky fisherman in Cuba fighting hunger and the elements while in a three day battle with a large Atlantic blue marlin in an attempt to reverse the curse on his fishing. The novel won Hemingway the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and was cited as one of the reasons he won the 1954 Nobel Prize.

We were inspired this story to try a classic Cuban recipe Pescado en Escabeche which translates to pickled fish. We tested out a recipe that doesn’t call for pickling the fish for 24 hours but instead creates a vinegar sauce that can be poured over the fish. Continue reading “Let’s make escabeche”

Gardening and Wellbeing

Gardening involves fresh air, exercise and being outside, close to nature and in the elements.  Being in the garden can have great health benefits so we have collected a range of articles and videos to inspire you.  Have a look at the resources below to find out the proven benefits that gardening can have on your health and wellbeing.
Continue reading “Gardening and Wellbeing”

Recommended Reads

Our Book of the Week this week is Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, which is an historical novel centred around the French Revolution. We have collated some more historical novels dealing with a number of different time periods for you to browse through and enjoy! Continue reading “Recommended Reads”

Let’s make French onion soup

This week we’re reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Set before and after the French Revolution, the novel tells the story of Dr Manett’s release from imprisonment in the Bastille and his reunion with his daughter.

14 July is Bastille Day which is a major French national holiday commemorating the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 which was a major turning point in the French Revolution. Today is also known as Fête de la Fédération which celebrates the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790.

To join in with these celebrations we thought we would make a staple of French cuisine which is easy to follow and delicious – French Onion Soup. Continue reading “Let’s make French onion soup”