Sunday, 31 July 2016

Bed-bound: Pressure sores/bedsores and how to prevent them



This video discusses the causes of bedsores/pressure sores/pressure ulcers and a few ways to prevent them.

I really hope you enjoy watching the videos and that they can help you or someone you know.

Do you have any suggestions for helping prevent and/or treat bedsores? Are you worried about getting bedsores?


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Saturday, 30 July 2016

A few of my favourite things: JULY 2016


July 2016's favourites...including:

Deep fried goat's cheese

De-caffeinated tea

Agatha Christie

Learning about self-doubt and self-perception




What drink sums up July for you? Have you been watching any sport this month? What's been your favourite lesson of the month?

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Monday, 4 July 2016

Not your average day: Lunch at the House of Commons

Just over a week on now from the UK's referendum regarding our EU membership; and with our world going a little crazy with the uncertainty, "what nows?" and the inevitable political fall-out, I thought I would try to lighten the mood with this post about a rather special lunch I had recently.
Just before the referendum the Members' Dining Room in the House of Commons was opened to the public for two days only. I was asked if I wanted to try out this rather unique new lunch spot, and so jumped at the chance to explore and experience this (probably for me) once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

I rocked up to a side-entrance of the Houses of Parliament and was hustled through security; there's nothing like a security pat-down to whet one's appetite. Having passed this first test, I wandered through the jaw-dropping halls to meet my lunch companion at the Members' Dining Room.
Unfortunately, you're not allowed to take photos inside, so I have one very blurry one I quickly snapped before I realised you weren't allowed! Whoops!
The lunch itself was simply fantastic; the food was absolutely outstanding and the service was second-to-none. I happened to ask one of the team, purely out of curiosity, whether the kitchen was a bit cramped, considering the ancient age of the building. The lovely man then proceeded to organise for me to go and visit the kitchens and meet the head chef! I think that says it all - they made us feel incredibly welcome and went above-and-beyond to make the whole experience one to remember (for the right reasons).
(Left) Seared sliced beef skirt, maple and smoke sticky glaze, char-grilled gem lettuce, chive sour cream, dill pickles. (Centre) Slow cooked pigs cheek, crisp pork belly, sage creamed potato, potato crisp, roast globe artichoke, glazed carrots. (Right) Brioche feuillete, chocolate ganache, puff pastry ice cream, sugar crisp.
After this feast, including beautiful petits fours and an excellent cuppa, I headed off for a tour of the Houses of Parliament. As it turned out I had a 1:1 tour, which was amazing. I'm sad to say I have reached my grand old age and lived in London for going on three years and never been to look round one the most iconic buildings of London.

Being shown around it's hallowed halls and oddly familiar chambers, was an incredible experience. Soaking up the atmosphere of power, politics and history whilst thinking about the people who serve within it's walls was inspiring and thought-provoking. Knowing that later that week a seminal and unprecedented vote would take place, which had the potential to change the face of our United Kingdom, and the world beyond made the day all the more poignant. A vote which now, with the result, has shaken the foundations of that historic building and all of us with it.

It was an incredible day, an outstanding lunch and has been an historic week.
I would highly recommend you check out the House of Commons website, in case they open the Members' Dining Room again.

What are some of your city or country's landmarks you are yet to visit? Any suggestions for must-see sights or unique spots? 

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Saturday, 2 July 2016

Veg patch: How does your garden grow?

Pottering about in a garden can help both your health and happiness.
Not only are you doing a little exercise (all that digging and weeding), but you're outside in the fresh air and creating something beautiful that you and others can enjoy, and in the case of this post, also creating something delicious. 

I live in London, and am therefore a little limited for outside space, but I manage to get my hands dirty and exercise that green thumb of mine by using raised beds and free-standing pots. I'd also recommend grow-bags for an easy, (relatively) mess-free option for growing veg.

I love to grow fruit and veg every year, on a tiny scale, because there is nothing more satisfying than cooking and eating freshly-picked food. There's something incredibly fulfilling about planting, tending and harvesting your own crop of something. Even if it's just a few sprigs of mint!

This year I'm trying to grow some of my own produce again.
I've ditched last year's salad selection, after a disaster involving some of the city's fox population.
I'm hoping for a bumper crop of tomatoes, edible flowers and sweetcorn. The verdict isn't yet in on the tomato and sweetcorn front, but I have had some wild success with my edible flower garden.
From seed to plate in less than two months (see the video below) - the flowers make a delicious, exciting and colourful addition to salads, hot dishes, baking and drinks.
video

Many people find solace in the garden; a way to unwind, create something beautiful and escape from the day-to-day. I would highly recommend investing some of your time in your outside space, even if it's only a window-sill. Herb boxes, lavender, strawberries, pansies: all manner of attractive, delicious, body/mind-boosting and low-maintenance plants can grow in confined spaces.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab a trowel (or in my case an old spoon), a bag of soil, a handful of seeds and get growing (in more ways than one)!

What treats does your garden hold? Are you a beginner gardener or a pro?

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