Category Archives: health

Courtyard Garden : Indoor Scrubbers #courtyardgarden #houseplants #aircleaners #gardening #plants

Fresh air is not something we get enough of in modern life, especially as most of us seem to be increasingly stuck inside with our great British weather and modern double glazing and central heating add to the fug. When you add various troublesome household chemicals, air freshener sprays and plugins, then a lack of clean air in the home can be a serious health issue.  Chemicals include:

  • Benzene – Glues, paints, furniture wax and detergents
  • Formaldehyde – Engine emissions, disinfectants, fixatives, preservatives in consumer products (carpets etc)
  • Trichloroethylene – In homes undergoing renovation
  • Xylene and Toluene – In a variety of household sprays
  • Ammonia – Aerosols and sprays used in the home.

Of course opening windows will always be the answer but that brings a trade off between having windows open to allow fresh air in, and freezing between September and April, or having them closed and suffering the problems of stale air choc full of allergens.

So how do I combat this?

spidersMy friend Misha recently drew my attention to living air filters and how the humble house plant can make all the difference – cleaner-plants work hard at sweeping our air of these toxins and releasing humidity back into the atmosphere. Misha then presented me with a pot of Chlorophytum (Spider Plant).  I duly repotted the clump into three separate containers; one for the kitchen, one for the dining room and one for the sitting room (though may relocate one to the bathroom). Continue reading


Sugar is Hidden

blueberryyog465x280.jpgThe sugar tax on drinks comes in today – but it is a given that sweet drinks have a lot of added sugar.  Ditto cakes, biscuits, chocolate and other ‘treats’

So what about those hidden sugars? Continue reading

BFree Pittas and Wraps

bfree-pittaHaving only recently mentioned the demise of the Tesco Free From Pitta Breads I came across BFree Breads.

These are quite palatable. They have a good flavour and are not ‘rice flour gritty’.   Makes a reasonable sandwich and has sufficient structural integrity to take a moist filling without getting soggy too quickly.  8/10

Downside: a little on the thin side so that when opening them up as a pocket it is very easy to inadvertently cut through the sides.

bfree_wrapsThey are in many ways very similar in flavour and texture to the BFree Wraps. I am not sure how good that is. I did find the wraps a little rubbery but better than some make of rice-based wraps which have a tendency to crumble. 8/10

Good and Thin

The sanidshot_540x540dwich ‘thins’ from the Tesco Free From range are not bad at all. Probably one of the closest approximations to ‘proper’ bread that I have found yet.

These have a good flavour, decent texture and keep for several days.  They also freeze well and maintain all the above qualities provided they are used quite quickly after defrosting; though of course that is the case with most baked products. Continue reading

Miss Dilly & Co

Dilly queen smallEver since we had Miss Dilly and Betty Poop from the CPL they have had grubby noses.

Continue reading

Free From…

Morrisons_Free_From_4_Choc_Chip_Brownies_120g_5010251538202__T1Free From Choc Chip Brownies bought today.  For me it tasted like neat sugar and had all the texture of candy floss.

Continue reading

Number 42

Peter Coleborn


So there I was, sitting in the phlebotomy clinic’s waiting area waiting for my number to be called. Eventually a phlebotomist asked me: “Are you number 42?”

I said yes, followed her into the blood-letting area and said, “I am the ultimate answer to life, the universe, everything.” There were six phlebotomists who all looked somewhat bemused. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?” I suggested. They stared at me as if I were raving mad. I shrugged, sat down, and was venesected.

The phlebotomist was new and obviously quite nervous. But she was very good, she didn’t panic (nor did I) and I didn’t feel a thing; not even a tiny prick.

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