My more polite friends say “The water’s too cold for me”. Here’s the secret, it’s cold for everyone. But that’s the point.
On the south coast of Britain, sea temperature varies from 5°C (41°F) in February/March to 19°C (66°F) in September.
We started in September 2020 with a 20 minute dip. No wetsuits. Just a swimsuit. Through the autumn (fall) and winter, we dipped in the sea at least once a week.
With Britain’s unpredictable weather, conditions varied from frost and a millpond sea to lashing gales and three metre (nine feet) waves. We added accessories: silicon hats, neoprene gloves…
Kissing under bunches of mistletoe is a well-known Christmas tradition but its history as a symbolic herb dates back three thousand years.
The Greeks were known to use it as a cure for everything from menstrual cramps to spleen disorders and the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder noted it could be used as a balm against epilepsy, ulcers and poisons.
The plant’s erogenous role started with the Celtic Druids of the first century. Because mistletoe could blossom even during the winter, the Druids came to view it as a sacred symbol.
The Druids coined the term “semen of the gods”…
Many people know little about how, historically, the law helped slavery flourish in England.
You may have heard of William Wilberforce and how he helped to abolish the slave trade in 1807. He also contributed to the abolition of slavery itself in 1833.
You might know a bit about how slavery ended but not how the legal and economic infrastructure also maintained it.
David Allan Green, who writes for the Financial Times, tweeted:
Law and slavery It is not only the ports that need to look at their own history The law and legal profession…
Some of us are used to meeting online with Zoom, Google Hangouts or Skype. To others it’s new. Meetings, webinars, conferences can be quite sophisticated but let’s ensure we get the basics right.
Avoid hybrid meetings. A hybrid meeting is one where one group of people meet in a room together and others are logging in remotely. Unless you have sophisticated conference AV equipment, the result is not ideal.
The remote participants usually can’t hear or see the people in the room very easily. That can create frustration and, at worst, invalidate the meeting. If at all possible, avoid this…
The housing problems that are evident in many parts of the world today are associated with a neo-liberal market model.
Neo-liberalism is an ideology which includes policies such as privatisation, austerity, deregulation, free trade and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society. A central tenet is that the private sector not only delivers more efficiently but motivates higher performance.
These market-based ideas, and the policies they inspired, constitute a paradigm shift from the post-war Keynesian consensus which lasted until 1980.
Neo-liberal state sponsorship of a dominant system of…
We all know that the world isn’t just reacting to change, it is about being part of that change. A year ago, we decided to see if we could galvanise a local group of people to conceive and plan a new type of neighbourhood, a cohousing community.
This is a political project with a small “p”. When people use the word politics, they often mean party politics. That’s a very limited use of this multifaceted word.
In this context, our aim to meet local needs by founding a cohousing community runs against the grain of the current political ideology in…
A year ago, we established New Forest Cohousing with a mission to meet local housing need through the conception, planning and creation of an intergenerational, sustainable, cohousing community.
I had previously used sociocracy in a voluntary organisation and also been exposed to Holacracy, a licensed version of the open source sociocratic principles.
I loved the way that the sociocratic framework empowered people to be their own self-governing managers and not be at the mercy of an arbitrary hierarchy.
I would love to say that “we” adopted sociocracy but I was the only one with any experience of it. I sincerely…
The gaggle of geese on the lake rose with a cacophony of honking and assumed a V-shaped skein in the air. The beat of their wings sent waves of air pressure towards us, a hundred metres away. It was a tenebrous dusk with overtones of red, orange and purple.
Were they Canada Geese, Brent, Pink-footed, White-fronted Geese? It was enough just to enjoy their grace and aerial prowess.
We were trespassing. An afternoon coastal walk on the UK’s Solent had turned into a return leg, as dusk was falling. …
The African San people are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, where they have lived for at least 20,000 years. The term San is commonly used to refer to a diverse group of hunter-gatherers who share historical and linguistic connections.
When European settlers arrived in the mid 17th century, the whole country was inhabited by three different groups — the hunter-gatherers (San), the pastoralists (Khoikhoi/Hottentots) and the farmers (BaNtu). …
Our local Post Office is deep. To get to the Royal Mail counters, you pass a long magazine rack with hundreds of titles. Two caught my eye. They both had the word battling in their headlines.
One was for a chronic illness sufferers’ group, the other part of the multi-billion pound/dollar slimming industry. Both articles were about a fight against an illness and sweet foods respectively.
Metaphors using warring terms have their place. But do we battle against foods and illness? In terms of slimming, surely, if it is a contest at all, it is one in our own minds…