Welcome to my blog. My thoughts, my musings and a place to ponder over the myriad of things that go through my head.

Theme? There isn't one other than it will be something I want to write about. 

These are not sponsored posts, the links are there for interest and not affliate links. All my own work, as they say.  Thanks for reading. Theresa.

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  1. person-holding-a-sticky-note-1485548


    Are you sick of the constant bombardment of 'get it now, buy today, you are missing out’ media that is being thrust at us every second at the moment?

    Black Friday has turned into Black Month and it seems to all be about how if we don’t get it now, we will miss out and be worth less for not being part of something.

    I am not sure that it is doing any of us any good. We are at risk of missing the important things, things like what makes each of us unique, special and far better than £1.50 off something we don’t need!

    Do we value ourselves and each other enough for the simple and unsung talents and traits we have? I don't think we do. Maybe we should make more of the special skills we may have or the things we have done that go unspoken.

    I think that many people are probably more special than they think they are and perhaps we should take the time to celebrate little victories and simple pleasures while we can.


    ME! ME! ME! Yes, you are important!

    Why am I thinking about this? At the beginning of the year, a good friend of mine, WIll Hadcroft, took a career change and trained to be a Funeral Celebrant. Not a job we all rush out to do, is it? But if you think about it, we should be grateful that people like him want to do it and do it well. 

    Although Will had not ever planned to go into this line of work, he found himself taking a couple of family funerals almost because there was no one else available, he found that he was able to conduct a simple and meaningful service and received positive feedback. His experience in public speaking helped him deliver the ceremonies with ease, his experience as an author helped him create an articulate, personal and heartfelt eulogy. 

    As with any career change, there is more to it than just wanting to get on with the job, so he went through some formal training to understand the ins and outs of it and then set about visiting local funeral directors to offer his services. As with any new venture, it takes time to get it up and running, but eventually he began to get some funerals booked and has since had previous clients ask for him by name when suffering the loss of another family member. Praise indeed for his services. 


    "Once again many many thanks for today. The service was beautiful and very much my dad. We have had so many compliments about what a lovely service and how well delivered it was by yourself. 

    Many of the older ones said it was the best of the services they had been to recently."

    Gaynor, September 2109.


    So, what does that have to do with wondering if we are all worth more than how we feel we might be? It is easy to see that he will get some clients with full and varied lives, everyone in the family will know of their exploits. Some have even prepared their own funeral in advance. But for others, the bereaved family often begin with, 'we are not sure there is much to say about them, they led a quiet uneventful life.'

    Of course, the role of the celebrant is to interview the family and find out the details of their life to be able to create a picture of them, a summing up of their life. One thing Will has discovered is that even the quietest of people that may not have had any major roles, still have something special about them. Maybe they a simple thing of helping someone in an accident or believing that while they were fit enough, money could be spent on better things than busses and so walked everywhere. Perhaps they took up painting and had pictures displayed in a local exhibition, but never shouted about it.


    It seems to me, that we need to look out for the hidden treasures in the people around us. Whether it is an act of kindness or the fact they make amazing cakes. Maybe they grow all their own veg or perhaps they have helped out in the community without ever shouting about it. Let's not wait until that person is gone and we reflect on their life before think about or discover all the things they were good at. However small, look for those details that make someone who they are.

    A Funeral Celebrant is not the job for everyone, it takes certain skills and a good understanding of people. I know Will finds it rewarding and extremely humbling that people entrust the character and personality of their loved one to him and he works hard to capture the essence of them. Whether it is helping the family find the right piece of music or poems, or capturing them in his talk, he knows it is a privilege to be part of the journey for the family. 

    The feedback he has received has been touching and shows he finds those hidden details in lives that some consider so ordinary. Family members have commented that he 'completely captured their nature,' or how he 'summed up Dad perfectly, he would have loved what you had to say.' Others have commented how having someone creating the service in the way he did made the whole process so much easier for them. the ceremony becoming a celebration of life, rather than a deeply depressing event. The sorrow will still be there, but the personality of the loved one shines through. 

    So, what have you done today that is amazing, special, kind, or have you allowed yourself to enjoy a simple pleasure? Celebrate and allow yourself to see the magic that is you. If you know someone that has gone the extra mile, the unsung hero, the person that made you a lovely meal or simply gave you a smile, let them know how important and special they are. Let's not wait for someone to interview us before a funeral to discover how valuable we all are in our own small ways. 

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    Although it is not a situation I would wish anyone to be on, if you need a caring and professional Funeral Celebrant and you are lucky enough to live in the Bolton area, check out Will's website here


  2. Shouting about the menopause. 

    Today, Friday 18th October 2019 is World Menopause Day. A day to raise awareness of the menopause and the impact of it on a woman's life, as well as aiming to break some taboos around it. 

    In some cultures, as a woman gets older and her periods cease, she is revered and considered a wise and experienced woman. One who can pass on knowledge and wisdom, a valuable part of the family and community. Women are encouraged to enjoy the freedom that the ending of a menstrual cycle brings. In much of the Western world, it is a different story.

    We have such media presure to look younger, thinner, glamourous and Instagram perfect, that may women struggle when they reach a stage where they are no longer fertile and have a whole bunch of symptoms to contend with too. Hot flushes, weight gain, memory wobbles, dry skin, tiredness and emotional ups and downs associated with the hormone imbalance can leave you feeling less than wonderful. 


    Why should aging be seen as a bad thing? We should embrace the changes and aim to live well as we are, rather than try to turn the clock back. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, be healthy and make the most of who you are, but perhaps we should celebrate being who we are right now, much more than we do.

    For some women, they feel useless and suddenly worthless. Maybe their children have left home or only home during university holidays. Loneliness along with all the menopausal symptoms can bring on low moods and anxiety. It can feel a pretty desperate time, where in a way it should signal the start of a fresh new stage of her life. 

    One of my distant aunts was placed in a mental asylum in the early part of the 1900s, she wasn't suffering from a mental illness at all, she simple had a very early menopause at the age of 29. At that time, the menopause wasn't really understood at all, it was just something that happened and not at such a young age. She had numerous symptoms and didn't cope well and didn't really know what was happening to her. The solution was to lock her up! How desperately sad that a young woman was taken from her family and incarcerated, all due to a very early menopause. Thankfully, that wouldn't happen today. 

    Finally, it is being recognised that not all women sail through it and that it can have an effect on your work, but shouldn't be treated like an illness. Much praise to Channel 4, for being one of the companies that is taking the issue seriously and have announced that they will work with women going through it and look at options such as flexible working and accomodating the individual. 

    It's not just the unpleasentness of hot flushes and needing to hang out of the window or jump in a shower. It can be the fact that your peoriods become so heavy that you have to plan your work life around loo breaks and changes of clothes. Yes, let's get real here, it might not sound like the best topic of conversation, but it happens! 

    As I spend much of my life in the health food trade and a lot of time recommending supplements to consumers, it was interesting to find myself in need of extra support when the hot flushes and night sweats started with a vengeance. I could not believe that I could get so unbelievably hot! Wow, however many times you hear of hot flushes, no one can prepare you for the sensation of them starting off and travelling throughout your entire body. 

    Hot is not a strong enough word! Flush? More like a furnace! 


    When you are not sleeping because of it and you are faced with trying to do a normal day’s work and getting over-heated every couple of hours, you need to start thinking of doing something about it. I knew I didn't really want to take HRT, I was aware of plenty of natural alternatives that I wanted to try first.

    I started with a food supplement called Meno Joy by New Nordic. I was already aware of a lot of research on red clover as a source of isoflavones, substances that mimic female hormones. So, as this product was based on red clover, it seemed a good place to start. The isoflavones are phyto-oestrogens that go to the oestrogen receptor sites in the body. The great thing is, they don't just collect around breast and ovarian tissue, research suggests they will go to sites in the bones and circulatory system too. 

    red clover

    Hops have a long history of use as a calming agent and helping sleep, Damiana has an adaptogenic effect and helps with energy levels without sending you off the planet, much more balancing than that. 

    The mineral magnesium has so many properties, but is especially good forrelaxing muscles and helping balance normal psyclogical function, especially when taken with B vitamins. All of these things together felt like a sensible and balance formulation. 

    I have always loved it when I have been working with a store and a consumer returns saying something has really helped them and made a difference. In all the years in the trade, I have never tired of this reaction and I am the same when it comes to things I take. For all the things I know about how a substance works, I still get a real thrill when it does actually work!

    I can honestly say that within one week my flushes had begun to lessen, within two weeks, the results were significant. I was sleeping through most of the night, with perhaps one flush in the early morning. During the day, by the end of week three I was flush free! 

    The excitement I felt was incredible and I am sure added to my overall improvement in wellbeing. It always amuses me when my nutritional head will look at a product ingredients and have an understanding of how well that product will or won’t work. Yet when I use something myself and it gives me great results, I am over the moon and very excited. 

    In fact, I was so thrilled with the results and keen to share my experiences with other women, that I wrote an article for them that appeared as part of their advertising in a number of womens magazines. It was highly amusing when I got a text from a couple of friends who were sitting on a sunny beach, reading the magazines they had bought at the airport and suddenly came across it.


    I appreciate that not everything works for everybody, so it is a case of give something a try and see what works for you. I would suggest taking anything for a good three months before giving up. Although for me, by the end of the first month I knew I had found the right product.  

    If you or someone in your life is experiencing the menopause, treat yourself or them kindly. Look for solutions that fit in with your lifestyle. Get help when it is needed, whether that be a cup of tea and a chat with a good friend or a visit to your GP for more extensive help. Know that it will come to an end and you will get out the other side. Love yourself and celebrate moving to a new stage in your life. Don't give in to media pressure to look younger or different to how you are.

    You are amazing! 



    Discovering More

    If you are interested in looking for natural solutions for the menopause, start with a visit to your local health food store. There you will find not only advice on supplements to take, but plenty of dietary and healthy living advice too. You will also find extras such as natural skin care products to look after yourself from the outside too. 

    A great books is Natural Solutions to the Menopause by Marilyn Glenville, her books are incredibly easy to get into, with lots of down to earth and practical advice. Diet and lifestyle changes that are actually achievable and easy to follow without turning your world upside down or costing a fortune.