A Beautiful Apology


The Last Day of October

It is a beautiful Autumn day. The sun is shining, the air is crisp in the shade, but the sun warms the air where it shines.

It is probably the last day of the year to comfortably sit in the garden. The first lovely warm day for weeks. I anticipate partaking of one my favourite pastimes, sitting in the sunshine surrounded by greenery.

So I sit in the small patch of sun on the grass nearest the house to eat my lunch. At this time of year the sun, being lower in the sky, illuminates the garden differently. Whereas in September that part of the garden got sun all afternoon, if you’re late for lunch, you miss it and sit in the shade.

All is not lost; the garden is very long and narrow, and all I need to do is up-sticks and move farther away from the house. So I do.

But, my enjoyment is dashed because this part of the garden is engulfed in thick smoke from a neighbour’s garden bonfire. It’s wafting through and around my dry washing hanging on the line. I don’t want to go into the smoke to rescue the clothes and bedding which all reek by now. The smoke keeps billowing; the sun dips behind the roof, and the smoky garden goes shady.

My lovely afternoon is spoiled. I fret. My next door neighbour says the people with the bonfire told him they would warn him next time they burn something. His wife rescued their washing earlier. He told me that they had a very overgrown garden and had a lot more to clear.

Saturday 5th November

The following weekend is another fine day, cold but dry as I hang out my washing. I am about to go out all morning tutoring children, so I write a note to the gardeners.

Dear Neighbour,

I understand that you have a lot of overgrowth to clear in your garden.

The bonfire you had the other day caused strong air pollution over a large area. My washing that was drying outside needed two more washes before it no longer smelled of smoke. I was prevented from sitting in the sun because, as you can appreciate, sitting in a cloud of smoke is neither pleasant or healthy. It’s likely that one of the many neighbours surrounding you suffers from asthma, which is a serious condition.

I would, therefore,  like to offer a solution. If you hired a shredder, you would save the air and keep your many neighbours happy. You would also have mulch that you can use when you create your new garden.

I wish you a pleasant weekend.


I fold the paper and write Happy Saturday as a greeting.

I spend a while trying to create a non-judgemental message. I would love to improve in this area, so if you have a suggestion on wording it better, please post a comment. I would so appreciate your help.

I walk around the corner to find the house. I know I have the correct one when I find a partially cleared garden with a large charred circle in the middle. I see no postbox to pop my note through. I see the light on in the kitchen, so someone is up. I walk around to the back, and a man walks out of the door. I say “Hello, Can I give you this note?”

He takes it, and I walk back to be in time for my first tutoring session.

I come back after tutoring and shopping for food and notice a bunch of flowers sitting in the porch. It is an autumnal bunch of Chrysanthemums. I move closer to read the note.

Dear Patricia,

Sorry about the bonfire and your washing!!

Look forward to meeting you.

John, Maddy, Oscar and Josie

Oh! That’s so sweet! I want to rush round to say thank you but my foot is hurting, and I need to cook my lunch because it’s nearly mid-afternoon. I will go another day.

Let’s keep in touch. Let me send you posts as they come hot off the keyboard.

Can Essential Oils Heal Us?

Today, during an email conversation regarding essential oils with a friend of mine, who suffers from severe eczema, he stated,

“Oils are good, but I have not found them curative for anything.”

This got me thinking about the question: Can essential oils heal us?

No External Substance Can Heal Us

It is not surprising that he hadn’t found the oils to be curative for anything because the oils do not cure anything. In fact, no substance external to ourselves can heal us.

Yes, some people have been seemingly cured after using certain oils or taking vitamins or minerals, but these have had a good effect because the body was lacking in that specific nutrient. The body used the nutrient to restore balance to the system.

Therapeutic essential oils, like the ones that Young Living produce, support the body’s cells and systems so that our body can heal itself.

Where Does Our Ill Health Come From?

It starts before we were born.

We were all created within our mother’s womb. She had a level of health and could only nourish our growing body according to how nourished her own body was at that time. I’m giving my age away when I tell you that my mother smoked cigarettes throughout her pregnancies because no-one had told her it was harmful. But it’s not just the mother’s health who is a factor here. Animal breeders all know that the health of the father is of great importance to the offspring. It’s funny that when it comes to human reproduction that is not taken into account at all.

So we all come into the world with a certain state of health. Those people who believe in karma and reincarnation also say that the karma we made or experiences we had in previous lifetimes affect how healthy our body is.

We come into a world full of toxins where it’s been discovered that  newborn babies have over 200 industrial pollutants, heavy metals, pesticides and chemicals in the umbilical cord blood.

Then we breathe and ingest toxins in our food, water and air even if we are diligent in what goes into our body (and most people are not diligent). We take in substances that cause inflammation in our body, which shows up as many different health issues. So adults have had 20, 30, 40 or more years of adding to the body’s toxic load. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that this will create disease.

Our ability to detoxify efficiently also plays a part in our health. Many people do not consider detoxing and other people have bodies who don’t do it very well, like if they have the MTHFR gene mutation.

Then we have the emotional component to our health. It has become more widely understood that our emotions affect our body’s health. We know what stress does to our blood pressure and cortisol levels, and those are just two examples.

So it takes a sustained and consistent application of a healthy lifestyle, avoiding that which causes our body to be inflamed and adding healing nourishment in the form of nutritious organic food and supplements and detoxifying our body to enable the nourishment to be absorbed into our body. Therapeutic grade essential oils can be a very effective part of this regime because they can help the detoxifying pathways and help restore our system to balance, which of course usually takes time. One bottle is rarely enough to complete the job depending on how out of balance our bodies are. I have read that once we are on the right healing path for our body, it can take one month to restore the body to balance, for every year that we have had the condition.

 Let’s keep in touch. Let me send you posts as they come hot off the keyboard.

If you want to learn more about therapeutic essential oils check out this page or ask me a question below.


What is LETS and How Does it Work?

Let’s start with the question “What is LETS?”

LETS is an acronym for Local Exchange Trading System.

It’s a bartering system.

When I lived in Reading I had a big house that needed furniture. I had no transport. I would obtain furniture via freecycle and ask a guy on the local LETS group to collect it for me. I paid him petrol money (cash) and also tokens called “Readies”. Each area has it’s own name for the token.

‘Readies’ in Reading

‘Locks’ in Wakefield (because of the canal system)

‘Tones’ in Wellington/Taunton because of the river Tone.

These are the ones I know about because I’ve lived and been a member there.

Wellington LETS members are keen on the gardening work party. Probably because, being in the country, people have fairly large gardens. So once or twice a year they organise a day where other members come and weed or prune etc. There is usually a complimentary lunch thrown in, some chatting and community spirit.

The picture above was taken at a work party. Such fun on a glorious day.

The garden owner then pays the workers so many Tones per hour for their effort which is agreed between them.

Another things that LETS does is hold a market. Usually once a month. People bring produce they’ve grown or food they’s made and sell them for Tones (and sometimes cash). These are open to the public so the public just pay cash but regulars are encouraged to join. People might also have a table selling bric-a-brac.

People also barter their services. When I was in Reading I looked after a member’s son for a few hours and cut another member’s hair. I hosted the AGM barbecue and was paid in Readies for the hire of my home and garden.

So now I’m looking for people who are available to give lifts when I want to do errands etc.

Bye Bye Bonny Blue

I’ve been very remiss in my blog posting this year.

I haven’t even told you about Bonny Blue. I bought her at the beginning of April after selling the camper van.

I made the decision to to buy a very cheap car because I needed the money for other things, mainly to pay back some debts I needed to pay.

She cost me £450. That first week she cost me £185 to repair something, and then a month or two later another £200 to repair something else.

It’s very fortunate that there is a garage (workshop) in the village within easy walking distance to my cottage. It’s combined with the village shop.

Road tax and MOT test is now due and I found out today that it would cost between £300 – £500 for her to pass the MOT. So she wasn’t much of a bargain after all.

I decided to cut my losses and release her and was going to give her away to someone who would enjoy tinkering on her (the majority of the cost was labour charges). But on my way to the garage I thought that  someone would probably be willing to pay £100 for her to tinker on.

And sure enough, when I was talking to Lorna at the shop about letting someone tinker on it, her husband, the mechanic asked me how much I was selling it for. I told him £100 and he snapped it up.

So instead of me paying for the failed MOT test, I came away with £100 (and a bag of free mottled bananas.)

I thank Bonnie Blue for her service. She’s been great to drive and has transported chairs, tables, shelves galore to furnish my cottage via Freecycle.

Now I just have to work out a way to shop and do other errands with no car, no public transport and 7 miles to the nearest town. The village shop would be useful if Lorna stocked organic vegetables.

Fortunately I’m a member of the local LETS group – but that’s another post.

Good Eggs, Fish and Honey

We like eggs but we’re very fussy about them. I want free range – proper free range, out doors. Not ‘with access to outdoors’. Not free to roam in a barn. The real outdoors with the sky above and real earth beneath the feet.

I’m also concerned that the layers pellets that the hens are fed contain GM corn. Most egg producers I asked didn’t know if the feed they bought was GM. I steer clear of those people because if they don’t know, then they just buy whatever’s cheapest, and the cheapest pellets will be GM corn. It’s mandatory in this country to label GM food but if an animal has eaten GM food then it doesn’t have to be labeled as such.

I was having to resort to buying organic free range from the supermarkets. But the problem with that (apart form being expensive)  is all the eggs are washed. When an egg is washed the stuff that’s in the water gets absorbed through the shell. Even if they don’t add chemicals to the water there is still chlorine in it.

I found a lady at Wellington Farmer’s Market who keeps her hens outside and she doesn’t wash the shells and although she doesn’t do organic her pellets are GM free. She checked. And she’s the cheapest around so when I manage to get to the Farmer’s Market in Wellington I get a load from her. Unfortunately it’s not on every Saturday so it gets complicated.

I also found a lady running the amazing fish mongers in Taunton who has an orchard for ‘her girls’. All the eggs are different colours and sizes and all organic. And all are delicious.

I pop in on Thursdays when I go to the farmer’s market there. I love to see the enormous fish in the interesting display. I get a cod carcass for £2 and make delicious fish bone broth from it. I also rescue a bowl of fish from the bones and head too.

As a bonus the other lady who serves the fish has a beehive and sells jars of honey in the shop from time to time. It’s the best honey! I like to talk to the beekeeper to see how processed it is and she says the spinning process (to remove the honey from the combs) heats the honey a little bit but that’s all the heat it gets. Honey doesn’t tend to be labeled raw in this country as it is the the USA.