A book celebrating the joy of front gardens

This book heroes 20 commonly found plants growing in the front gardens of one road in London. Ben’s observations in Grove Park – such as hollyhocks growing at number 92 being ‘serotonin for the summer soul’ – are insightful and full of joy. Ben takes us with him as he walks up and down theContinue reading “A book celebrating the joy of front gardens”

A no-holds-barred extreme health memoir

Life & Death Decisions by Dr Lachlan McIver packs a punch and gets a five-star rating from me. It gave me everything I want from a memoir, containing jaw-dropping stories, a reminder of human resilience and fragility and a warning about the very real consequences of climate change. The medical challenges Lachlan has faced asContinue reading “A no-holds-barred extreme health memoir”

Are we ever ‘fixed’?

I’m just one of the many writers who has penned a memoir saying something like, hey, I had something terrible happen to me but I’m ok now and you can be too. The reality is that none of us is ever completely fixed are we? Granted those writers who are in remission from cancer orContinue reading “Are we ever ‘fixed’?”

Recommendations for The Cactus Surgeon

I’ve been extremely grateful for the wonderful reviews readers have shared with me, and here are just some of my favourites: ***** A lovely book with some important messages about living well, a cracking read. I enjoyed this book a lot and read it in a very short time as it really pulled me in.Continue reading “Recommendations for The Cactus Surgeon”

A bad mental health day can sneak up on you

I have climbed the peaks and troughs of mental health over the years. I have had depression and beaten it. I pride myself on the proactive strategies I take to keep mentally well. Two weeks ago I felt happy, energised and well. So, imagine my surprise when on Sunday and Monday last week I feltContinue reading “A bad mental health day can sneak up on you”

How do you beat Autumn fatigue?

Autumn can be a difficult time of year if you are living in the Northern hemisphere. The nights draw in, temperatures drop and some days it feels like maybe the sun has disappeared forever. I recently asked the members of my Cactus Surgeon Group how they combat seasonal affective disorder, and general low mood, inContinue reading “How do you beat Autumn fatigue?”

You can play your part

Reading about climate change can be really depressing. It’s hard to feel like any of us can do anything meaningful. I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been able to do (even as a busy mum, company director and someone who always has too much going on!). I’ve changed my shopping habits. I shopContinue reading “You can play your part”

Hanging out with the olive elders

I’ve just spent a glorious week in Puglia, Italy for my Dad’s 70th birthday. Like so many things this holiday has been delayed by Covid and at one point I began to wonder whether all the extra travel admin was really worth it. It turns out it was, although I probably wouldn’t travel abroad forContinue reading “Hanging out with the olive elders”

How to deal with FND (or unexplained medical symptoms)

In 2009 I was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder (FND). The symptoms, including severe and uncontrolled twitching and spasms, came from the body not functioning because of faulty brain signals. There were no structural changes to be seen on a scan. I had a diagnosis, but whilst I now had a name for it theContinue reading “How to deal with FND (or unexplained medical symptoms)”