Select Page
Sleep Blog 1

Sleep Blog 1

  Sleep – I can’t get no sleep! or Trying to come off sleeping tablets and get to sleep naturally It may officially be spring (somewhere) but it still seems like winter to me until at least the clocks go back. It is dark and dreary, and I am thinking about hibernation and sleep. This is not a coincidence. I am coming off sleeping tablets that I have been on for more years than I would like to remember. I went on them after a burglary which set of memories of being burgled a few years before 3 times in 5 weeks. I left that house but as I had bought this house that wasn’t possible. So I ended up at the doctors on sleeping pills. They were great. For the first time in my life I had no problem sleeping. I had always had a problem getting off to sleep. Not so much staying asleep but falling asleep in the first place. Sleeping tablets seemed like the answer. I knew they were addictive, but I had managed to cut down my dose by half so what was the problem? Every time I went to the doctors they told me I should come off the pills. They didn’t offer any real advice about how to do this apart from to stop taking them and suggesting an NHS leaflet. Not very helpful, especially as I had read so many books and articles about sleep, so after a couple of attempts that left me with nights of no sleep at all I gave up. But the last time I went the...
February in the Wood

February in the Wood

February in the Wood Today I was very lucky. I went on my first foraging trip of the year today with Martin Bailey of Go Foraging in Bristol . So far this month it has rained – a lot! So I was expecting my first foraging trip to be in the rain, with a bit of sleet and hail thrown in. But, it was sunny, and we only had one small rain shower.  What a surprise. In February there is not that much out, but there are lots of things emerging from their slumbers and poking through the ground or starting to bud. The first plant we looked at was wild garlic. This plant is one of the first we can forage and enjoy. The leaves can be eaten in salads, omelettes or pasta and when the flowers bloom they can be scattered over food to add a lovely garlicky taste as well as looking great. Martin told us that we need to make sure that it isn’t mixed up with  Lords and Ladies whose leaves look similar when they start to grow as these plants are poisonous. Another plant of interest was cleavers or sticky buds. You will probably know this plant as its seeds have sticky spikes that stick to jumpers or pet’s fur and great fun can be had sticking them on friend’s clothes! These are a used in herbal medicine as a cleansing herb and can be drunk in a tea along with nettles as a spring tonic. There were other plants coming up including cow parsley, stinging nettles and dock leaves. All these were...
January In the Wood

January In the Wood

Into the Woods, January 2020 It may be a new year for us, but in the woods most things look dormant.Nothing much is growing at the moment. There is some sign of life but most of this is still left over from last year as it has not been very cold this winter - yet! January always seems dull, grey and faintly depressing to me. It comes after Christmas which is full of light and fun but then comes January, all damp and grey. but there are signs of life out there, if you go and look for them. I am lucky enough to live by the coast, the estuary actually, the sea is usually brown rather than blue but I’m not complaining. This is the view from the top of my walk over the sea. On a beautiful sunny day, like today it is wonderful. But as the battered trees show, it can be bitterly cold with a strong, penetrating wind. Today birds were singing, I identified blackbirds, robins and great tits among the sounds. As I walked through the park there were snowdrops in flower and crocus and daffodil coming up in my garden. It looks like spring is on its way. But I know how easily that can change! There are some plants growing. Nettles are coming up and there are buds on the trees. I saw these little plants starting to grow among the ferns and mosses. There are other signs of life too. Birds flying by with twigs in their mouth. Insects buzzing - something bit me while I was pulling up weeds in...
Is change always good

Is change always good

Is change always good? Just lately I have been thinking about change. Some of the people close to me have been going through big changes and it has got me thinking about what makes me happy, how I can feel more content in life and looking at what I have to change to make this happen. I have been through some big changes in the last few years. I have moved town twice, retrained and changed my job and moved in with my partner. Things have changed a great deal, and mostly for the better. Yet still there are things that could be better, and I would like to make this happen. We have an odd relationship with change, it can be scary. We are told that change is a good thing, that we should strive to change ourselves, our lives and our circumstances if we are not happy with them. But is this always a good idea? Is change good or bad? Is change always a good thing? If you are unhappy with something should you just change it. What about changes that are forced on you such as losing a job or a partner? What would you call a ‘good’ change, is it one you initiated yourself or that turned out well? How about bad changes, are they the ones that were forced on you or ones that did not improve our life? There are different types of change. Some traumatic changes we have no control over such as the death of a loved one or losing your job. More trivial changes like a change in the...
How to be a Wise Woman

How to be a Wise Woman

What is a Wise Woman and why I want to be one? When I started to write about being in my 50s, I couldn’t find a word that I liked to describe the age I was at. The ones I did find were not very inspiring: Middle aged (often used as an insult for being dull and boring) Mid-life (associated with ‘crisis’) Mature (what, like a cheddar?) Menopausal or even worse Post-Menopausal (yuk, far too clinical) Crone (too old and warty) Which is when I decided on ‘wise woman’. I don’t really want to be any of the above, do I quite like being a wise woman.  Then as started to look at what a wise woman was I found that there were a number of images that came to mind. A healer or midwife A shaman or medicine woman A fairy Godmother An elder stateswoman or leader A witch or crone They all represent an older woman who has a certain amount of skill and power, so I knew I was onto a winning name. So now, I want to reclaim the title wise woman for all women who are at or past menopause. How you can become a wise woman If you look up the word wisdom it means ‘someone who has experience, knowledge and good judgement.’ But I would also include the following as traits of the wise: Being authentic and trusting your intuition Learning from your mistakes Being independent and resourceful Open to learning new things Is non-judgemental as they are aware that they are not perfect Wanting to work for the common good rather...