The power of a single word

It’s such a powerful, brilliant word, and yet it’s horribly overused. We say it when we don’t mean it and get ourselves into obligations we can’t get out of. We attack questions using it as the bullets in our machine-gun defence. It becomes staccato. Unrhythmic. It’s everything this word wasn’t meant to be. I’m talking…

Pathway signs: a love story

Confession: Every time I see a sign marking a public footpath I get a little bit excited. Our communal spaces have been eroded over the years, so when I see an actual sign telling me I can walk across an actual field on someone else’s actual land, I breathe a sigh of relief. In the…

Get seedy! The five minute taste sensation

I’m all about adding good stuff in with minimum fuss. And by good, I mean tasty AND nutritious. I haven’t got a lot of free time (as you might have worked out if you’ve read this page), and when I used to read in some high-falutin chef’s cookbook about toasting some seed I’d never heard…

The twenty-minute Bohemian

I’m not saying I actually want to be an impoverished artist in fin-de-siecle Paris, living off cigarettes and the goodwill of others, pale and interesting and destined for tubercular demise. But I think you can’t beat a little bit of fantasy to enable a small escape, and I love nothing better than packing my notebook and pretending I’m heading off to Les…

The classic way to pamper yourself, step by step

This idea is so well-worn it’s like your favourite gauzy old bit of blanket, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. And face it, when was the last time WE did this for ourselves? The activity below will give you a hit of just about everything we’re aiming for with the self-care / alone time element…

Want to tune out the chatter? Here’s how.

Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to concentrate on the task in hand, but you keep losing focus thanks to the noisy babble around you? A few years ago I discovered this handy little trick to help me maintain my attention, and it really works. If you can get the right track for you (make sure…

A tiny step towards being in the moment

We’re all busy people these days, me included. I used to rush everywhere, always living in the future, and when I wasn’t in a hurry I had my head bent over my phone. When I started trying to slow it all down, I began looking into the art of being in the moment, or mindfulness. So one day…

Get a new perspective at midday

Sometimes I need a new perspective on life right here, right now; sometimes we all need to break an old routine. It doesn’t matter if we only have five minutes to spare, this easy little activity helps us to change things about in the middle of the working day.   1. Look at or imagine your…

The easiest way to do something you’ve never done before

Sometimes we all need a break from the old routine. This is a fun little exercise just to roll that dice and see what happens next. There’s no pressure, but let’s see what happens when we give ourselves permission to try something new.   1. Stop by the next newsagent’s you pass. Go in.  …

The ten-minute fix for a calmer commute

  If anyone – like me – commutes daily by public transport, you’ll totally understand how cancellations and delays play havoc with our stress levels. Sometimes I just need a quick fix to help me bring my central nervous system into a calmer place – and what could be more calming than escaping – even as…

The twenty-minute black bean chilli

I can make fast, nutritious and delicious plant-based evening meals like nobody else. I mean it! Just follow these steps and you won’t go wrong. The amounts below are for two people; double everything for more eaters, or if you’re extra hungry. 1. On your way home from work stop by your local food shop….

Get a nature fix in the city

  We all need an injection of nature every now and again. But what are we supposed to do when we live (as I do) in a flat two floors up with no garden? I’ve got a GREAT way to have a mini-escape to the country, and it won’t take us any time at all.  …