First thing

The way they start their day: 2. Leslie Kenton, New age health guru, Pembrokeshire
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Indy Lifestyle Online
"Morning is my favourite time of day. I'm like a child when I wake, and think excitedly, "What am I going to do today?" In the summer I get up between five and six o'clock, but now we're approaching winter, I'm getting up at 3am, because I like the darkness. In the dark, everything is unified, and nothing distracts you. Also, I'm now working on my second novel, and I find this is the best time to do creative work, because the world doesn't impinge on you. It's also a good opportunity to ring friends in other parts of the world that I can't get hold of during the day. Basically, this is my time alone; Daniel, the man I live with, stays in bed for a couple more hours.

We sleep under an eiderdown in a bed with a magnetic mattress, which puts you in a negative magnetic field and which is very beneficial to the cells of the body.We haven't always slept in the room we sleep in now: it used to be the room in which I did my shamanic healing, but I got to like the atmosphere of it so much that I decided I really wanted to sleep in it instead. It's a very airy room, and I'm obsessive about air: it's under the arch of the roof, with the beams exposed, and has six huge windows, which are invariably open, in summer or winter. It's full of plants - I have fern trees either side of the bed that reach the ceiling - and shelves of poetry, fiction and art books line two of the walls. I also have a beautiful dressing table, converted from an 18th- century pianoforte, and a huge mirror that was a Christmas present from one of my sons.

When I wake up, I'm very awake. I only have two modes: flat out, or completely in motion. When I wake, I get up straight away and go to the lavatory, and then look in the mirror to brush my hair. I tie my hair up, and then clean my teeth, before going to my writing room. A whole wall of this room opens out into the garden, and I have the doors open when the weather allows, so that the outside world can come in. I will then do about three hours of work, before doing my exercise. I put clothes on to exercise, but until then I just stay in my dressing gown.

Exercise is the main activity of my morning. I do weight-training, and sometimes I go running along the cliff path in Pembrokeshire National Park, near where I live. At the moment, though, I can't go running until about 7am, because it's too dark. Also, in the summer months, I might go and swim in the sea at 6am, but usually I'm to be found in my gym at home. I tend to use free weights, like barbells and dumbbells, though I do have a rowing machine as well. Doing weights is a kind of meditation: it's the only form of exercise that gives you an absolute feeling of radiance. While I exercise I like to listen to tapes of people talking - I'm a big admirer of Joseph Campbell, who makes recordings of mythical stories.

I usually eat after exercise, though if I'm going to go for a run I might eat before. I have a product called Pure Synergy for breakfast, which is a mixture of lots of different plants - algae, mushrooms etc - which I mix with spring water. I also take DHEA and pregnenalone, which are two natural hormones that stimulate the immune system. I feed my animals about the same time: I have two dogs, both bearded collies, and two Burmese cats. I like to have animals wandering around the house - not kept as "pampered pets" - and I take the dogs for a walk later in the morning. But first, when I've eaten, I take a combination of hot and cold showers and baths, which stimulates the immune system. It's a technique used among athletes, and I love the intensity of the changing sensations.

Piles of mail arrive every morning, but I have an assistant who comes in three days a week, and it is left on her desk for her to deal with it. I'm one of the few people in this country who actually enjoy postal strikes. I never read newspapers, never watch TV and don't listen to the radio, unless I'm driving somewhere. You may think me a terrible philistine, but I just don't care about these things - in the morning, or at any other time.

Interview by Scott Hughes

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