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  1. First I'd like to thanks all those sunny people who came to our Solstice event in Zen.

    For us it was certainly a night to remember know ... one of those nights that you dread.  First of all the speaker we had booked, Nigel Mortimer,  cancelled on the Friday as the Solstice was on Saturday. umm so that's 1/12 hours to fill - mind you we had lots of activities to offer so we just got it together with some of those things planned in.  We should have practised with the fire !!!  We were planning to have the meal nicely served at the end of the talk but without the talk well (chaos) Then the soup kettle decided to blow a fuse or whatever soup kettles do, so each bowl of soup had to be heated individually in the micorwave  and you know ... it just went on from there.  So we didn't have a lot of time to socialise have a chat or two and get to know some lovely people who had come for the first time (aghh what must they think) or friends who we hadn't seen for ages.

    So apologies for our sparce presence.

    Hey but it wan't all bad, good sports that they were most people let me loose with their faces (paint) and got some flowers etc on them.

    Despite it all we enjoyed ourselves and hope that all who attended had a good meal and a good socialising event.

    Through the pictures on the slide show you can follow some of the activities.

    Our little buddha standing duty at the front door was treated to a home made flower and leaf garland and as people stepped into our centre from the street their path was strewn with leaves to walk along.  Our fire ball was at the front door.

    People were greeted with a tray of canapes (and I think they thought that was all they were getting) with a chilled lemon balm herb drink.  While we waited for everyone to arrive and some unexpected people too I started to work doing a bit of face painting on willing volunteers.

    When everyone had arrived and got to know each other we honoured the solstice with an introduction by Barry and a meditation for a few moments on the heat of the summer sunshine and the power of that energy.  Meanwhile i was preparing the soup - summer garden soup.

    Then we moved onto the main course and that was burgers, sausage, filled potatoes skins with curry cheese or florets & cheese.  There was mixed chargrilled vegetables and summer slaw salad, herb salad and rocket salad, pizza too but the finale was the sweet that was a representation of the sun designed by Barry (you will see the pics).

    The activity you can see with petals was a mandala making exericise that could be taken home and meditated upon.  there were some brilliant designs but I have to give James the biscuit.  Rebel that he is it was no circle but it was a fantastic piece of artwork - and now he's hooked, he wants to do more.

    We thought for a moment or two about our wishes and meditated on the energy of the sun helping us to acheive our objectives.  We wrote a simple sentence and then tied it around a home made wreath.  When all the wishes were on the wreath we offered it to the fire to have a reiforcement of energy to help us achieve.

    We finalised with a prayer read out from a scrit that was given to everyone and a candle meditation around the candles you can see in the pics.



  2. fruit

    Thanks to all those who enrolled onto our mailing list and took advantage of the free Graze box.  Not only are you able to get your hands on healthy snacks delivered to your door but you ahve also helped us to donate to charity.  For each person who enrols we get £1 to donate.  We recently paid another £10 in so well done everyone.  If you haven;t yet enrolled just sign up to our on line mailing list and you will get the offer automatically.  The choices seem to be getting so vast that there is definately soemthing for everyone.

  3. tea pot

    All tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. It is  the way the plucked leaves are processed, that changes its character, chemical composition and appearance.


    White tea, the youngest leaves

    White tea is thought by many to be one of the highest prized teas you can drink. Always handpicked, a high quality white tea is given such care ensuring the natural withering process and gentle drying are the only process the leaves are exposed to. Just as in green, black and oolong tea, white tea is from the plant Camellia sinensis. New growth buds and young leaves are plucked before they are fully open and it is the silver hairs on the new buds that give the young leaves a white appearance. The removal of any real processing is believed to yield the high antioxidant health benefits associated with white tea identified in recent studies.

    Green tea

    Green tea is one of the least processed teas. As a result, it retains high levels of antioxidants (polyphenols), often referred to as ECGC or catechins, and it is their abundance that provides us with some specific green tea health benefits reported in many of the leading health journals - one of the more topical ones is of course green tea's ability to boost the metabolism and burn fat. Many regions produce green tea, however the more well known are from China and Japan.


    Pouchong is classed as between Oolong tea and Green tea. It has a more mellow taste than Oolong tea yet stronger than Green tea. Pouchong tea is considered to be a special taste by tea experts all over the world. Pouchong tea is only slightly oxidised, between 8 and 10 % and the process involves solar withering, indoor withering, panning, rolling and then drying for the finished tea.

    Oolong tea

    Oolongs as a group, are classed as 'semi-oxidised' which means the leaves have been left to wither, a process which produces a chemical change in the leaf, oxidation. The physical change visible is the leaves begin to curl and the edges begin to turn a coppery colour. To produce Oolong tea, this process is stopped before fully completed and thus the leaves are 'semi -oxidised'. The variety within oolong tea is largely due to the point in the process the oxidisation is stopped, and that is where the skill of the tea master comes into play to ensure the quality and consistency required for each tea.Oolong tea', 'wulong tea', 'wuyi tea', 'wu yi' tea - what's the difference? These are simply names for the same thing: oolong tea. The different names originate from the different areas they are produced

    Black tea

    The reason black tea is different is because the plucked leaves are 'fully oxidised'. There are many variations of methods and processes used by tea producing regions, hence the wonderful variety of colour and flavour.

  4. blood clot


    Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue:

    During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

    They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.

    Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

    It only takes a minute to read this.

    A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


    Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and


    Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

    Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

    S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

    T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A

    SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
    (i.e. Chicken Soup)

    R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

    If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

    New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue

    NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is

    'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.

    A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.

    I have done my part. Will you?

    Blood Clots Cause Strokes: What Are The Symptoms Of A Stroke

    Blood Clots http://patientassistanceprogramsofame
    If You Have Symptoms Of A Stroke, Blood Clots Can Kill You If Don't Act Fast.

  5. 1537h0008

    Would your desires, when pushed to the limits, make you grab the nearest screw driver and start plunging?

    How far away from madness are you when you have a yearning desire for something - as most of us do?  You might already be saying 'ridiculous' because you might not recognise that you do have a strong desire.  Often these desires are so embedded that they become a part of how you see yourself.

    It may not be a material desire, it could be a state.  Some times just need a strong belief  and a desire for others to also believe or at least conform to your belief is enough.

    Let me explain, maybe you have an overly strong yearning for world peace; or maybe you have a yearning for world dominance, possibly because you think your belief system is the one and only or maybe its a strong belief that you deserve to have as much material wealth as the next man.

    Maybe you believe in monogamy and expect your partner to conform or maybe you don't and again expect your partner to accept that.

    So desire is more than a shooping list for the big FC in December, it is very fundamental to how we see ourselves and how we feel  that we fit in with the society that we 'belong to.;.

    How far into madness would you be driven if, for instance, your partner was betraying you and not even attempting to hide it or trying to restrict the  behaviour that you thought was acceptable.  Of course, you are going to say that you don't have to go mad to deal with these things - divorce in this example is the most obvious ... but  - what about children you might have together, what about the insecurity of being alone or the finacial burden you wouldn't want to experience, or even the shame!  Are you getting a little more mad now?

    What if you had a strong belief in some religious figure head, what if you were constantly being told that opposition to that belief was going to wipe out the choice and overule your beliefs.  If you were constantly being goaded how mad would you be.

    What about if you believed that the world was meant to be equal and the odd burgalary here and there was a right thing to do - equalising the inbalance,. But what if you were caught facing a potential jail sentence.  How close to madness would that panic take you.  We all know that Robin hood who robbed the rich to pay the poor was a hero to the underclasses and a hunted menace to the ruling ones.

    If you do have a yearning for world peace and you see that being threatened - how mad would that make you.

    If you believe in animal rights and feel the gross injustice of experiments on animals and the justifications offered - does that make you mad? You are in complete opposition  - how does that bring you closer to madness.  How far would you go to stop it.

    Maybe you believe society owes you and so you have not been declaring your income.

    All of the above examples have happened. Apparently sane people have murdered, mass murdered, maimed and sabotaged for any of the above reasons.  Whether or not they have been recognised with 'madness' they have originally been pushed into that state by their desires.

    Maybe it's just too much of a cliche to say 'Careful what you wish for.' but if it makes you think  about how close the line  to madness that you mustn't cross is ..... maybe it is worth saying.


    Andrea Lowe