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Category Archive for ‘Mel’s Blog’

Well, once again I have neglected this page and I have often considered that I am slacking, but maybe that’s how this should work. I don’t like being tied to it but do love to add to it from time to time. So, from now on I shall stop apologising for any lack of updates because isn’t that what we all do too much of… Apologise?

This time I disappeared because I changed direction. Let me explain. Have you ever mulled over exactly where you are going and what you should be doing? Well, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I should do. The thoughts in my head went something like this…

Do I make a full-time career out of art but risk the likelihood of being very poor?

Do I give up art and get a ‘real’ job full time? I actually considered going back to full time in the job I had had for the past 20 years. Having my children, and a frequent dislike of my work environment were key factors in reducing my hours in the first place. Plus management treated staff terribly… don’t get me started.

Or, do I find a brand new job and give up art?

So, during a time of much soul searching I started really thinking about what I wanted to do. My children were getting older and I felt that i had more choices.

And then suddenly, after lots of preparation, because a job you really fancy doesn’t land on your plate, I was offered the perfect job for me. A Family Liaison Officer in a school that would really benefit from the experience that I could bring following my last career. And one bonus that comes from this wonderful fulfilling job is that I can continue to enjoy my art at the weekends, in the school holidays and very occasionally in the evenings.

I count myself incredibly lucky. Two jobs, which clearly means hard work but oh, so very worth it for the both of them and I wouldn’t change a thing. I am under no pressure to find painting jobs because I’m knocking out a job, nevermind the art work, and a day off every now and then is probably a good thing.  Simple. No pressure.

I have heard that some artists believe you have to be full time to be a success. I believe in the opposite. Many face painters come and go, often before they reach a good level because they give it up to earn a regular wage. I’ve now been going around 14 years. And this, I believe, is due to how I’ve chosen to play it  🙂

 

 

This is the final amazing edit of Runningman4Kath

The support has been fantastic… take a look at this!

I have a close family member who is running out of time. Kathryn’s story   ….Read more here

I have not posted for ages which pretty much says how busy i’ve been, But, i won’t be alone. Its the end of the school holidays and is it just me or does every household have a layer of dust and rooms that need tipping upside down and starting again. I just get nothing done. If I’m not working i want to be doing things with the kids. Quick update on the Paleo life. I made the decision recently to eat only paleo food. I don’t regret it a bit and it means i am feeding no non paleo foods at home even on the odd occasion. Kids aren’t always thrilled but as parents we do what we think is best. And it does mean I am on the hunt a bit more for sweet treats to make. Up until now i haven’t been that bothered with doing this as we would treat ourselves to what we fancied when we went out, but now i won’t do that I am planning to stock up on my recipes for cakes and other goodies made without all the cheap fillers that you find in the shops. Personally I feel so much better for not eating any wheat, sugar and other bulky things that make processed food edible. I won’t say its an easy journey to begin with but one that is well worth the effort. If you are new too it, stick with it. Before you know it you will be eating fruit with nuts or meatloaf for breakfast and it will feel normal ! However, i will never be an angel and for this reason i just can’t bring myself to ban red wine, coffee and very dark chocolate from my diet. I call it baby steps and loosely speaking, these are Paleo foods so i forgive myself…. well…. it has been the school holidays!

Run Or Dye !

I got everyone at home in their running shoes for the Run or Dye at Penshurst Place recently. It was absolutely amazing and if you are trying to get your Xbox fanatical kids out of their bedrooms for a while this is one of the best ways to do it. I didn’t see one child not willing to go round the 5k course. It was absolutely exhilarating. And if i don’t get mine back in their running gear for the next few months… well…. at least i know i managed it for one day of the year! And my favourite thing??? All that COLOUR !!

 

 

The lovely wife of my tirelessly patient Website man, David from Webexpand,  shall be setting off at Midnight on 16th May in London wearing a decorated bra with the theme ‘Saturday Night at the Movies’. Please help Juliet and the other 15000-ish ladies raise £6 million for their vital breast cancer causes. Good Luck Juliet from Mel. x

Click here to Sponsor Juliet

 

 

 

I love Homoeopathy !

I turned on the TV last night to find a program that has been focusing on Harley Street. I have been casually following this so I was particularly interested to see that it had turned its attention to alternative therapies. I converted to homoeopathy many years ago. This was for a number of reasons, I had a condition that could not be cured with conventional medicine, but who’s symptoms could only be kept at bay because it was viral. It also came at a time when I was concerned about the number of antibiotics and steroids my children were being prescribed. I will be quick to point out that my attitude is ‘never say never’ but since that day around 12 years ago our household has only ever used anything prescribed by a homoeopath.

I can say that I have never felt happier with this decision. I have had some scary moments when I’ve hoped and prayed that my homeopath would not let me down… I have a husband who does not necessarily share my confidence in homoeopathy and to this day has to be reminded of all the fantastic things we have seen.
So, to sum up the amazing work of my homoeopath, my son who was in and out of hospital from the age of 3 months to probably 3 years with breathing problems at the first hint of a cold and would need nebulisers and asthma pumps during these ill times has not needed any of this since the day I took him for his first visit. No, not even once.
My homoeopath may be fantastic but she is not brought from a higher being. She is doing what homoeopaths have done since Samuel Hahnemann developed his theory that ‘like cures like’
So it saddened me but it didn’t surprise me that the program ended with a lady that was not cured by her alternative therapist. People who choose this route will always be mocked to some extent but lets not forget that there is a reason why conventional medicine is constantly endorsed and that comes down to one thing. Money. It makes lots and lots of money.
Samuel Hahnemann had this exact problem so its interesting how nearly 250 years later its the same old story. Oh and for the record…. One family who have always used Homoeopathy and always will…. The Royals. And when it comes to keeping healthy they are most definitely King….

 

My Hero Samuel Hahnemann —  Only a Wikipedia page but you get the idea!

Im not going to say much here. I just want to add a link to the Government website that links in a code of practice for handling requests in a reasonable manner. Its easy for everyone to understand if they want too. Read this if you are a working parent and need some flexibility with your working life…..   Flexible working

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2015

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Its national eating disorders awareness week. (Monday 23 February to Sunday 1 March 2015) and in the same week a Danish magazine published pictures of an extremely thin, unwell looking model. Mmmmm, just about sums up what is important in the fashion world. Let me get one thing straight, I do not believe for one moment that thin models within the industry are the sole cause of eating disorders but I certainly do believe that portraying these girls and lads as ‘perfect’ is not exactly helpful. I downloaded the picture in question but decided that there would be no positive reason for showing it.

Even though i have worked with many people addicted to self harm I was shocked to discover that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. However when i thought about it, I wasn’t surprised. The strain on the body through extremely low weight, binging, purging, continuous starving or/and abuse of laxatives is enormous… and just like cutting, hair pulling, head banging, alcohol/drug abuse (among many others) eating disorders are incredibly addictive to the individual. Once a habit is formed it can be very hard to break, even if or when the person wants to break it.

Im not sure how we as a nation can tackle eating disorders but i do think that considering the death rate linked to it more funding should be made available. AND…. how about some of these ultra slim celebs/athletes/role models coming forward to admit that they don’t eat healthily to look the way they do. That maybe, just maybe, they starve themselves, use laxatives, slimming tablets, eat non-edible items, vomit profusely and take illegal drugs to maintain their slim bodies. That some binge when they can’t starve themselves any longer.

Sadly though these people are often also in the depths of an eating disorder and not necessarily accepting of their situation(even if their management companies are) In which case they are not capable of feeling responsible for their often young followers.

So again this falls to funding. Lets spend money on educating young people, not just on healthy eating but about their physical and mental wellbeing. Lets enable young people to feel capable of being in control of their lives as well as their bodies. Lets help young people to understand that having a skinny body does not mean that your life is perfect, that everyone will love you, that you will be better looking, that you will achieve more and marry or become a celeb. Let concentrate on getting people to talk about their situation and understand how they can gain control of their lives without having to hurt themselves further in the process.

Mel on a Microwave Mission

In 1989, a Swiss food scientist called Dr Hans-Urich Hertel made some worrying discoveries. The study showed that blood could change after eating food that had been cooked or warmed in a microwave. Especially at risk were babies drinking milk that had been warmed in this way. However initially this information was covered up by the order of the Swiss courts.

I first came across this information around 15 years ago and shocked by what I read I threw my microwave away and never looked back, to the amusement of many a visitor! Until now….

Due to my Paleo lifestyle I spend a lot, yes an awful lot of time in the kitchen, often preparing food for the next day. And the next morning I spend yet again more time heating the prepared food for us all to take with us to work or school. I often think about how easy life would be if I could just pop a container into the microwave and warm it in a ping.

I keep telling myself that 15 years ago I did not have a wifi’d object in every corner of the house. Surely these are just as bad? Maybe they are far, far worse? Maybe the risks from a microwave are a drop in the ocean compared to the time bomb’s we have in our house’s today?

So I am adding to my list – research the dangers of living with and eating food from a microwave oven and then decide how these risks compare to what surrounds us every day.  Maybe the safest place is with the  Bruderholf community ……  But would they have me ?!