Designs For Life Late Season 2016

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0000.5 Designs for Life 8: 3085.5 Chesham Town Talk 3



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Art, Nature, Wellbeing, Community

0000.5 Designs for Life 8: 3085.5 Chesham Town Talk 3

ISSUE 8 – Winter 2016/17 Peter Hawkes ...................... Publisher Amber Tokeley ................... Features editor Anna Sutherland ............... Freelance writer Paula Wyatt ......................... Client liaison James Rand .......................... Copy editor Sophie Honeybelle ............ Social media Mark Cowie ........................... Cartoonist Donna Forbes ...................... Web master ASSOCIATES: • Agnieszka Lukasiewicz • Angela Woodward • Kirsty Wright • Suzanne Parker

• Amy Deane • Caralyn Bains • Penny Goddard • Terry Dean

We are grateful for help with ideas and promotion, in particular from: Marie Knight, Michelle Muggeridge, Sophie Elkan and Louise Moran.

CALL to work with us 01494 793000



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Welcome from Peter Hawkes

Our themes

In these challenging times, it’s easy to think that the world is going mad. I believe there is a bigger picture. It’s not the world’s political systems and the people in positions of power that we need to focus on, it’s our own inner selves. That’s where the real work is. Then, remember that connection is everything. Connect with others, especially those who are like-minded, and with your own spiritual self. Be as fair, honest, positive and creative as you can be in all your thoughts, speech and actions. The heart of our human kind is tolerant, cooperative, caring and courageous. This magazine brings you the best of human endeavours: holistic wellbeing, community projects, philosophical debate, creativity and natural living. Here’s to 2017!

wellbeing Complementary therapies Exercise and fitness Sport and leisure Holistic treatments Health and nutrition Children and parenting Weight management Counselling

green living Farming and horticulture Organics Gardening and nature

Mid-Chilterns coverage We allow people to choose this magazine in selected venues rather than post it through doors.

Designs for LIFE magazine is issued by Hawkes Design & Publishing Ltd ©2013-17. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without the prior written consent of the publisher. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the contents of the magazine at the time of publication, the publisher can accept no liability whatsoever for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, or for any matter in any way connected with or arising out of the publication of the information, including statements made by the advertisers. The Team asks you to note that it does not necessarily agree with views expressed by contributors. We endeavour to acknowledge all copyright sources. All rights reserved.




Herbalism Transport Eco products Environmental groups Local food

positive thinking Psychology Changing perceptions Life coaching Diversity and equality Meditation and mindfulness Philosophy and spirituality Learning and education


Relationships and confidence

by Platinum Press Ltd of Dunstable.


Please pass on to a friend after use, or recycle.

Design & creativity Crafts Theatre and drama Music and dance Comedy Photography and printing

hawkes DESIGN

Film and cinema

& P u b l i s h i n g LT D EST. 1990

2 Laceys Yard, High Street, Chesham, Buckinghamshire HP5 1BU

01494 793000




is an independent group providing a beacon of positivity by connecting like-minded and heart centred people through words and images

We distribute to art galleries, garden centres, gyms, therapy centres, bookshops, cafés, salons, surgeries, art and gift shops, libraries and diverse community venues, all across the Chilterns.


Find us on Facebook

Subscriptions Please call 01494 793000 to subscribe at £15 for 4 issues, to cover postage and packing. dflconnect

Creative founders 2013: Amy Deane, Kirsty Wright, Mark Cowie, Peter Hawkes Designs for LIFE is a supporter of the Link4Growth national community-building organisation 2

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self love

Loving ourselves – healing our lives Plant new seeds today ... learn how to develop transforming patterns of behaviour “Why did you do that ... you are stupid ... that was a big mistake ...” How many of us sometimes find ourselves talking like that? Not to someone else but to ourselves? Talking to ourselves internally in a way that we wouldn’t usually speak to anyone else? Several years ago, I read a book that showed that these negative thoughts could be adversely affecting my life. The book, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, demonstrated that I could change my negative thoughts, be kinder to myself and change my life. At the time, I didn’t think I had negative thought patterns, but I had certainly been experiencing some difficult life events. One day, I suddenly became aware of the way I was speaking internally: “How could I be so dumb? I ought to have known better”. As Louise Hay says, “every thought we choose to think, every word we choose to speak is creative”. Our words and thoughts go forth from us and return to us as experience. If we grew up in a family that was angry and frightened or guilty and sad, then we are likely to think in these ways. But we are never stuck; we can always consciously choose to think other thoughts.

We can choose to change our thoughts Learning to choose to change our thoughts can transform our lives. Changing our thoughts from angry or guilty to being loving, gentle and supportive can lead to massive, positive changes in our relationships, in our careers, in our health, in our acceptance of abundance and prosperity. To truly be able to love and accept ourselves as we are is a great gift. We are not talking about a selfish, vain or arrogant attitude, as that can be based on fear. Love that is based on having a great acceptance and respect for ourselves, gratitude for our body and the natural world around us can be life-transforming. We find that divine love will supports us in this new view and, far from being selfish, we are more able to have love, acceptance and care for others.

Body-Mind connection – supporting our health Changing our thoughts to be more loving and positive can also have a beneficial effect on our physical health and body. Louise Hay is known for her work in this area and says “Our bodies are mirrors of our inner thoughts and are constantly talking to us, if only we take time to listen”. By using life-affirming affirmations such as “I embrace life, life agrees with me” we can encourage a healthy outlook and healing.

Heal Your Life Workshops My workshops are based on the work of Louise Hay, who is a speaker and writer focused on healing and a positive philosophy. This inspirational and effective work has transformed lives by helping to develop an awareness of negative beliefs, releasing old emotions, helping people love themselves more fully and to practice techniques such as using beautiful, positive affirmations. These supportive workshops help transform mindsets that can limit success in personal relationships, financial matters and prosperity, work life, spiritual growth, and much more. ∫ Love Yourself – Heal Your Life Explore ways to enrich your life

Forgiving others and forgiving ourselves It becomes easier to love others, when you love yourself. You will find that you recognise that each person, including yourself, is doing the best they can in this time and space with the understanding and situation they have at the moment. When you start to have this understanding, it becomes easier to forgive. Not to condone harmful actions, but to release yourself from negativity.

Saturday 28 January 2017 1.30 to 4.30pm at Sun House, Chesham ∫ Support your Health Embracing the mind-body connection Saturday 25 February 2017 1.30 to 4.30pm at Sun House, Chesham ∫ One Day Heal Your Life Workshop Open new possibilities, let go of the negative and welcome a new approach to life April 2017

Plant a seed

∫ Short ‘Taster’ Talks

When we choose thoughts of love and joy and freedom, we can find that we start to experience new delight and love and abundance in our lives. “There is so much love in your heart that you could heal the entire planet. But just for now let us use this love to heal you.” Learning to love yourself can be a slow journey. Like many other changes, learning to speak gently and lovingly to oneself and truly loving oneself is like planting and nurturing a seed. However, even small steps can make big shifts in our outlook and our life. We are all a divine and beautiful expression of life. Love yourself for all your experiences. Love is the greatest healing power there is. As a licensed Heal Your Life leader, I am now offering workshops in a gentle, supportive, healing environment. These workshops are chances to explore your experiences, develop an awareness of negative beliefs, release old emotions and learn life transforming skills. The techniques I teach are simple, but extremely powerful and effective.

Joy Johns 3

These can be arranged for groups To book on the above workshops or for further information on these or future workshops: or 07501 276649

Being a Heal Your Life workshop leader is a natural extension of my commitment to helping people live life to the full by teaching them new skills and encouraging life enhancing behaviour. Previously, my Human Resources management background has included experience in training and development in the UK and the USA. This was followed by being a Volunteer Centre Manager in Bucks where I assisted many local charities and helped individuals to find fulfilment through volunteering. My interest in healing began in the late ’90s and I have been a practitioner since then.

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Apsley Lock and Woody’s Vegetarian Restaurant

Who knew? There is a beautiful marina right on the doorstep of Hemel Hempstead, alongside The Grand Union Canal.

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At Dickinson Quay, alongside Apsley Lock, is the outstanding Woody’s Café and Vegetarian Restaurant, which offers high quality food, much of which is organic and Fairtrade. The chefs enjoy creating dishes with locally sourced produce when available. What makes Woody’s different? ∫ It runs on 100% green energy ∫ It uses filtered water in all drinks and soups ∫ It only use healthy oils and no processed foods ∫ Woody’s never microwave your food ∫ All custom contributes to Trees For Life.


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feature article

The sweetest thing Fritha Chambers suggests easy ways to reduce your sugar intake Whenever I talk about “healthy eating”, I can guarantee that someone will mention fat – but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that it’s sugar that scuppers so many good intentions. Highly addictive, it stimulates the same pleasure centres in the brain as cocaine or heroin, so cutting back can initially cause withdrawal symptoms including headaches, shakes, nausea, fatigue and even depression or anxiety. But it’s so important we do! Added sugar is not only a major factor in tooth decay, obesity, diabetes and heart disease but is associated with many cancers, inflammatory diseases and mental health issues. That’s bad news for me as a professional chef and cake-maker – I have a serious sweet tooth! – but it’s got me interested in making healthier, ‘free-from’ alternatives that still taste fabulous. Unfortunately, added sugar is found in a massive range of processed foods from cakes and biscuits to pasta sauce, canned soups and even white bread and pasta. As for ready meals and takeaways, they tend to have the highest percentage of added sugar in any food that we can eat!

Top 10

Here are my suggestions for how to cut back and get started on a healthier lifestyle – you’ll find that the future can still be sweet! 1.






Make everything fresh! A 450g jar of pasta sauce can contain upwards of 40g of added sugar. An onion, a garlic clove, three tomatoes, a pinch of dried oregano and half a crumbled Oxo cube will give you a delicious basic pasta sauce. Use the nutrition labels on food products to check sugar content: 22.5g per 100g is high, 5g and less is low. Commercial cereal can contain as much as 70g of sugar per serving. Look out for “no added sugar” labels or make your own muesli using porridge oats, nuts and chopped fruit. Choose fruit next time you have a sweet craving. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre but does contain fructose (fruit sugar) so limit intake if you want to lose weight. Beware of dried fruit and fruit juice. The sugars in it far outweigh the nutritional content. Opt for wholegrain rather than white. The sugars in wholegrain foods take longer to

In the UK we eat a staggering 700g of sugar a week. That’s the equivalent of 140 teaspoons – almost 100 more than the recommended maximum of 42! And scarily, those ready meals that so many of us love can contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar per serving. Apart from the obvious benefits of cutting back on sugar – losing weight and drastically reducing your risk of cholesterol and heart disease – other benefits may surprise you. Your sleep will also improve, along with daytime energy levels, and your memory will sharpen. Even your skin will look younger! Sugar contributes to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles and sagging; it’s also been linked to facial hair growth. It can be extremely difficult to completely cut out sugar. That said, with a little bit of know-how and forward-planning, it is possible to significantly reduce your added sugar intake. For example, I tend to make meals in bulk and freeze portions so that when my toddler son’s playing up and my husband’s whinging about dinner, I can defrost something and have it on the table in about the same amount of time as a ready meal – with about 80% less sugar! I digest so glucose is released into the blood stream more slowly. This avoids those blood sugar dips that make us feel tired and grumpy. It also helps slow the inflammatory response to certain foods, meaning less bloating and swelling. 7. Sugary drinks are full of empty calories so make water your best friend. If you can’t stomach plain water, try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or make up a jug incorporating slices of watermelon and half a lime to keep in the fridge and drink throughout the day. 8. Include some protein with your sweet snack to keep blood sugars in check: have a sliver of cheese or small handful of nuts with an apple or a dollop of plain live yogurt with some berries. 9. Stress increases that addictive sweet tooth so learn to unwind! 10. Still need some sweetness? Artificial sweeteners such as Stevia or Xylitol can feed your sugar craving so try using natural sweeteners such as fruit purées, juices and even some sweeter vegetable purées in your cooking and baking instead. They will make a huge difference.


Further information ∫ For more about the benefit of sugar reduction: how-to-cut-down-on-sugar-in-your-diet.aspx has some great tips and some recipes, too. also has some fabulous recipes. ∫ The author has worked in top London restaurants the Ivy and Maze before setting up on her own; she also offers cookery lessons in healthy eating. See

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Prestwood Osteopathic & Natural Health Centre

Osteopathy • Podiatry • Acupuncture • Massage • Nutrition We are well known for the gentle osteopathic work we do with children, babies and anyone with physical or health problems. We have a fabulous ‘Jing trained’ medical masseur who works with deep tissue release and many other therapists, all of whom are friendly, caring, highly qualified professional practitioners.

ALSO: • Cranial Osteopathy • Paediatric Osteopathy • • • • • • • • •

Alexander Technique Nutritional Therapies Reflexology Psychotherapy & NLP Resonance Repatterning Emotional Freedom Technique Reiki Osteomyology Beauty Therapies etc.

PONHC 118 High Street • Prestwood

• HP16 9HD

01494 864700


10% off to any new patient on mentioning Designs for LIFE magazine


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Looking for the art in evidence-based medicine Evidence-based medicine is something of a mantra in certain circles, and I have no objection to trying to base medical systems on scientific evidence, where possible. Indeed, when I am offering remedy options to customers at Healthright, I usually mention the existence or not of scientific evidence. For a number of reasons, however, science cannot be the whole story. I consider that in this country we are continually hamstrung by an archaic divide in our education system, between arts and sciences. This was demonstrated recently by talk of cutting out some arts-based courses from the range of ‘A’ level examinations available to students. I was heartened to hear an interview with someone, an engineer by profession, who decried this artificial divide by saying



“engineering is an art”. He, as others often have done, said the same of medicine. Once anyone accepts that medicine is about people, not just about symptoms, it is clear that an exclusively scientific approach is not appropriate. The solution to a health problem has to be reached in the context of the life of the individual patient. In any case, there is generally more than one possible solution, and pure science may not be the best arbiter. When people decry the lack of evidence for natural remedies and alternative medical systems, they seem to ignore the fact that the majority of procedures used in conventional medicine is not supported by full scientific evidence. They also seem to fantastically overrate the potential harm from alternative therapies, whilst ignoring the full record of drug and surgical treatments. A good starting point for information that puts much of this into perspective is What Doctors Don’t Tell You (magazine and website). Some of the items that are published there come into what I would call the ‘flaky’ category. Nevertheless, having some years ago been subjected to a decidedly ‘quack’ hospital medical procedure conducted by an established local surgeon, I find that acceptable. Many an apparently bizarre idea has turned out to have at least an element of truth or sense in it.

In any case, what is evidence? The so-called gold standard of randomised double-blind controlled trials is probably not only appropriate but necessary for pharmaceutical drugs, but how practical is it in relation to surgical procedures, and the many therapies for muscular-skeletal conditions? Furthermore, how appropriate and practical is it in relation to herbal medicines that contain hundreds of chemical compounds, not just one? Surely, some credibility may be attached to generations of use of a particular therapy or therapeutic agent, combined with a substantial volume of recent clinical evidence. Ultimately, every practitioner, to a greater or lesser degree has to use imagination in helping each patient or client. This is where a rounded education comes in, and why exposure to the more arts-based subjects is vital. All the best scientists and engineers in the past had an imaginative approach to their studies and practice, and medicine, above all, can be no exception.

Roger Oliver Director, Healthright Specialist Health Store

Health and Diet Information Centre


4 Orchard Lane, Amersham, Bucks HP6 5AB Website: Email: Tel: 01494 726228 or 01494 721803 Open: Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm, with free parking. Treatments available outside of these hours, by arrangement.

27 High Street Chesham Bucks HP5 1BG Tel: 01494 771267

Our therapies include: • Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine • Alexander Technique • Aromatherapy • Chiropody/Podiatry • Homeopathy • Manual Lymphatic Drainage • Massage

• • • • • • • • •

Mindfulness coaching Nutrition Osteopathy Psychotherapy & EMDR Reflexology Reiki Shiatsu Western Herbal Medicine Yoga Therapy

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.” RUMI


0000.5 Designs for Life 8: 3085.5 Chesham Town Talk 3



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sky house design centre

Redesigning your interior spaces Redesigning the interior of your home can be a very exciting process. You will, no doubt, have numerous exciting ideas floating around of how you want to change your living spaces, integrate your home and garden, make more space and be able to create your dream home. With all these amazing ideas from magazines, Pinterest and websites you can often get caught up in all of the ideas, which can then make it very hard to pick the perfect one for you and your house. When I’m looking at designing a space, my first step would be to create a mood board. These help you narrow down your ideas and to get a real sense of what you actually like and what are just fantasy items. The next step is to see things in person. Once you have the beginnings of an idea of what you want, it makes it a bit easier to visit showrooms and shops with purpose; there is nothing worse than wandering around a fantastic showroom and having no idea where to start! The issue then comes down to time. Kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces, home technology, garden design, furniture … all the showrooms and shops I like seem to be at different ends of the country and I have spent countless hours travelling between them all trying to find the perfect feel for my home design. This is why the Sky House Design Centre has been such a fantastic find. The large warehouse in Amersham has been fully converted into a modern home and lifestyle showroom, with huge walls of almost frameless sliding glass

doors, outdoor living spaces, integrated home technology and the largest furniture and designer lighting showroom in the area. The team at Sky House have brought together products and services from a range of the UK’s leaders in interior and garden design that all have their own mini showroom and office space within the centre and are ready to answer your questions and help you make important decisions for your own home project. With kitchen designs, driveway gates, bathrooms, wall coverings, windows and doors, staircase designs, accessible home lifts, fireplaces and the latest in home technology all in one place, it makes creating that dream home a lot easier. The bright open plan space is a great place to get inspiration and ideas. They also offer free meeting space in any of their beautiful meeting rooms for local design professionals. Every time I visit there is always something new to see. The furniture and lighting showroom, which takes up the entire first floor, is set to add a home cinema showroom at the beginning of 2017, showcasing the latest in home cinema technology as well as luxury home cinema seating and sofas. The outdoor living space is set to be expanded for summer 2017 as well, with outdoor fireplaces, outdoor flooring and architectural patio roofs creating the perfect exterior living area.

The Sky House Design Centre is a prime location for interior design in the South East, based in Amersham.

∫ The exhibitors include 16 UK leaders in interior and exterior design, including Urban Front, Urban Fires, Exterior Solutions, IQ Furniture, Watermark Kitchens and Bathrooms, IQ Gates, Umbris, Indigozest, Spiral UK, Aritco by Gartec, Decorum, NSSG, Internorm, IQ Glass and Hedgehog Aluminium Systems.

Bryony Sandy

∫ Many exhibitors at the Design Centre offer design or rendering services to enable you to easily visualise what you want in your home. ∫ Make an appointment for the best service. The team at Sky House can then make sure that someone is available to meet with you right away ... and make you a fantastic coffee! ∫ If you have plans or drawings of your project, take them with you and the team may be able to provide quotations for you right there. ∫ It is never too early to start thinking about furniture and fittings. The sofa you want may dictate the type of patio doors you have, and the design of your fireplace may change the internal flooring you pick.

01494 722 880 @SHDesignCentre


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feature article

Sacred space Woods are a much-loved feature of our Chilterns landscape but did you know we also have a tree cathedral? It’s tucked away in the village of Whipsnade, just down the road from the zoo, and worth a visit if you’re in the area. I went in autumn before the leaves turned. Sunlight dappled through the branches creating intricate patterns on the grassy nave and bird song punctuated the quiet of the afternoon. Few people were around, a man sitting on a bench, seemingly lost in contemplation, a couple of dog walkers – it’s a perfect spot for some time-out, a wander, may be even a picnic when the weather warms up. There’s a wide range of trees and shrubs from oak and beech to flowering cherry and Norway Spruce, all planted to roughly follow the floor plan of a medieval cathedral. The trees form the ‘walls’ while grassy avenues and hedged enclosures represent the nave, chancel, chapels (each chapel planted according to one of the four seasons) and so on. It’s a peaceful place – not as toweringly majestic as one might imagine, perhaps, and it helps if you have an imagination or a reasonable knowledge of church interiors. That aside, the trees are beautiful and the story behind it is an interesting one. The Whipsnade Tree Cathedral was created in the interwar years by local man, Edmund Blyth, to commemorate friends lost in the First World War. Deeply inspired by the building of a new cathedral in Liverpool in 1930, so

Amber Tokeley explores the Whipsnade Tree Cathedral

the story goes, Blyth was driving home when he was transfixed by the way that the evening sun had illuminated a coppice of trees: ‘It occurred to me then that here was something more beautiful still and the idea formed of building a cathedral of trees’. He decided to combine the majesty of a cathedral with the healing beauty of nature to create a living memorial to his fallen comrades. Propelled by a vision of fostering faith, hope and reconciliation, Blyth began planting in 1932. It took him and a friend, Albert Bransom, some nine years to complete with work interrupted by the Second World War, during which time Blyth was once more serving his country. The first religious service took place in 1953 and, although the 9.5acre site was never consecrated, it has been used ever since for wedding blessings and interdenominational worship; an annual summer service is held in June and is open to all. The National Trust took it over in 1960 and its upkeep and services are administered by the trustees of Whipsnade Tree Cathedral Fund. I

Further information ∫ Whipsnade Tree Cathedral is two miles south of Dunstable, off the B4540 (post code LU6 2LQ). It’s free and open daily throughout the year. There is a small car park. Find out more at whipsnade-tree-cathedral.

The nave in autumn.

The transepts in summer.

The chancel in winter. 9

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Frame your artworks I come from an artistic family of conservators, designers and fine artists. It's a love of the art world that drives me to make links with creative people and offer an attractive picture framing service. I've a growing selection of frames and mounts on display, and work in cooperation with professional framers and restorers to help bring all sorts of artworks to life. Conservation grade mounts, acid free lining papers and UV-resistant glass can help protect valuable and delicate works of art. A real favourite of mine are restoration and local history projects, but I also enjoy seeing contemporary art and textiles. The studio is in Laceys Yard (next to Cox the Saddler) in Chesham High Street, at the rear of the gift shop. It’s best to make an appointment first on 01494 793000.

Peter Hawkes

N We are a small family business specialising in bohemian silver and gemstone jewellery N Our inspirations are our many travels and the trinkets we found along the way, incorporated

with our passion for crystals and gorgeous silver jewellery N Trained in crystal healing, we describe each gemstone’s properties, so you may have a better understanding of the

pieces that you choose N We bring them to you via our website and upcoming stalls and festivals – check our website for details and join our mailing list N N email: Find a selection of our jewellery at Tring Beauty Box (next to the rear entrance of M&S Tring)


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feature article

Fractured images Mosaic artist Deborah Brett talks about her work with Amber Tokeley His name was Claude. He was pink. And he was lurking coyly by the cul-de-sac. The furtive flamingo was also a giveaway. I began noticing other mosaic work: a Green Man plaque on a sunny wall, the decorative house number comprising myriad shades of blue glass – all clues that this was home to talented Amersham artist, Deborah Brett. A New Zealander with a penchant for funky oriental slippers, Deborah produces eye-catching mosaics in the rich, saturated colours that she loves. Recent commissions include one from Amersham Town Council to honour HM The Queen’s 90th birthday. Entirely self-taught, Deborah only got into mosaics five years ago when she was given a kit for her birthday. She now belongs to the highly accomplished St Dunstan’s art group and creates both representational and abstract mosaics, mainly in vitreous glass, stained glass and foraged materials. Shells such as the iridescent New Zealand pãua often feature in her designs, as well as the glittering black volcanic sand from her homeland which adds extra depth and interest to the grout. A fan of black and grey grout (never coloured), Deborah notes that it allows the image to dominate. It’s fascinating how the clever positioning of tiles suggests light, shade and movement. A natural experimenter, Deborah draws inspiration from traditional Maori motifs, the rugged New Zealand coastline, nature, Art Nouveau, even the glass itself. Water-based subjects lend themselves especially well to mosaic, she says, because grouting fractures the image just as water fractures reflections and shapes. In fact, it was her mosaicked ‘koi pond’ table (above) that stopped me in my tracks at Bucks Open Studios last summer. The large, intricate design in shout-out colours – a splashy circle of cobalt blue, a curve of golden koi, an emerald-green lily pad – was impressive. Equally impressive was the realisation that Deborah achieves all this from a wheelchair. She has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which forced her to ‘withdraw from the workforce’ in the early stages of an auditing career. Deborah has had to learn how to adapt, manage and pace herself according to her energy levels. Sometimes, she works for

The flowing lines of Deborah’s ‘Ocean Currents’ vase incorporates shells and glass pebbles.

just five minutes at a time, other days she can do half-hour stretches; she maximises her efficiency by organising her work bench so that everything is to hand and she can simply pick up where she left off.

A bistro table top mosaicked with a koi and water lily. The work is both therapeutic and rewarding: ‘It gives me a sense of purpose and achievement,’ Deborah explains. It also helps her to manage pain and find solutions to challenges – she has discovered that glass tiles are easier to cut than ceramic – they’re also more resilient and weather-proof – while revolving turntables and wheeled trollies allow her to manoeuvre larger 3-D pieces. Also, that padding tool handles with foam makes them easier to grip, while wrapping rubber bands around them releases the tension when tendons are troublesome. Deborah works mostly in her lounge, supervised by ‘nosey-parker’ tabby cat, Spook, and surrounded by her creations; a glass mobile of a fish shoal shimmers in a window, a colourful harbour scene decorates a wall, a sinuous vase has mosaic plant tendrils climbing up it. ‘I put so much of myself into them that I get very attached to pieces when I’m working on them – I try to factor in enough time afterwards when I can enjoy them before letting them go.’ Her craft table is a scene of ordered chaos: mosaics in different stages of production include a diminutive red pig comprising an incredible 400 tiny tiles; also, various cutters, adhesive decanted into disposable syringes for easier handling and everywhere, the brilliant jewel colours of the tiles. Deborah’s enthusiasm is contagious. She demonstrates different effects and points out recent experiments in mosaicking onto polystyrene, which she cuts and sculpts with a Hot Knife to create 11

exciting 3-D pieces. The layers are glued together, sculpted, reinforced with wire mesh and covered with Modroc (plaster bandage), on to which she mosaics. A wide range of other surfaces are also utilised Claude the flamingo, ranging from coiled mosaicked onto bamboo to glass and a polystyrene concrete. Deborah starts sculptured base. with a rough design, often sketching directly onto the surface. She then cuts and shapes the tiles, playing around with lines and effects. Once satisfied, she attaches them with plenty of adhesive, grouts, cleans and sprays with sealant before covering exposed edges with metal or lead strips. It’s slow, fiddly work involving trial, error and occasionally total failure. ‘Sometimes, though, when you think it will never work out, you grout it and it’s transformed.’ Deborah loves the challenge of commissions: ‘They push me to develop ideas and work out what the client wants and how I can make it work’. Right now, she’s experimenting with the idea of partially-submerged mosaic hippos in a ‘pond’ of grass. … It seems that Claude the furtive flamingo is yesterday’s news. I

Further information ∫ To see Deborah’s latest work for sale, or enquire about commissions, go to her website at

Stained glass mosaicked onto a glass hanging panel.

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artist’s profile

On the cover

Human givens Human givens thinking suggests that human beings come into the world with a given set of innate needs, together with innate resources to support them to get those needs met. Physical needs for nutritious food, clean water, air and sleep are obvious, and well understood, because when they are not met people die. However, the emotional needs, which the human givens approach seeks to bring to wider attention, are less obvious, and less well understood, but just as important to human health and even, in some cases, survival. Our nine emotional needs: Security: A sense of safety and security; safe territory; an environment in which people can live without experiencing excessive fear so that they can develop healthily. Autonomy and control: A sense of autonomy and control over what happens around and to us. Status: A sense of status – being accepted and valued in the various social groups we belong to. Privacy: Time and space enough to reflect on and consolidate our experiences.

I live in a little hand-built wooden home at the edge of the Wiltshire Plain with my husband, six cats, dog and a host of chickens and geese. History is rich in the local landscape and we are surrounded by hills, ancient standing stones, tumuli, horses carved into the chalk hills and the ancient memories of millennia.

Right next to our home and my studio is an ancient apple orchard, full of twisted old apple, cherry, plum and pear trees. The orchard is home to deer, owls, raven, foxes, and many other small animals. My studio overlooks the orchard and I can hear the birds singing happily all day and see my lovely chickens wandering around, munching and looking for grubs. Wiltshire is full of myth and folklore and it is here too that I go for my ideas. The stories, songs, poems and characters that are embedded into the landscape are a constant source of inspiration and inform much of my work. I create jewellery in fine silver, showing the

Attention: Receiving attention from others, but also giving it; a form of essential nutrition that fuels the development of each individual, family and culture.

animals, birds and trees in the landscape where I live, and I set them with beautiful gemstones, sometimes using British stones when I can find them. All of them have poetry or texts on the back inspired by the subject of the piece. I also create nature icons inspired by Byzantine sacred icons of times gone by. I use 24ct gold to gild the artwork in order to show the sacred in the landscape. In addition, I run sacred folklore workshops with my husband and a folklorist friend. To me, nature is the creator, and spirit resides within all. My husband works from home too as a woodturner, and we often collaborate on work to produce pieces that encompass my metal designs with his wood. His work can be seen at: I hope you enjoy my work!

Connection to the wider community: We have evolved as a group animal and need to feel part of something larger than ourselves. Intimacy: Emotional connection to other people – friendship, love, intimacy, fun. Competence and achievement: A sense of our own achievements, that we have what it takes to meet life's demands – which ensures we don't develop low self-esteem. A sense of meaning and purpose: This comes from being stretched in what we do and how we think – it is through 'stretching' ourselves by service to others, learning new skills or being connected to ideas or philosophies bigger than ourselves that our lives become purposeful and meaningful. Meaning makes suffering tolerable.

JAMES R AND copy-editor & proofreader Mobile: 07739 985079 Email: Accurate and professional copy-editing to deadlines Marking up of proofs with British Standard symbols Available for projects large and small, digital or on paper Freelance or occasional in-house Based in Amersham, Bucks

Associate of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders

Hannah Willow

North Hill Farm

at Chorleywood

Tree house, B&B, camping, caravanning, a shepherd’s hut, tipis, flying tents and more... The most visited tourism and accommodation website for the Chilterns. Including the only dedicated Chilterns pub guide.


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0000.5 Designs for Life 8: 3085.5 Chesham Town Talk 3



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feature article

Take action for happiness! Join in and be the Change, say Hannah Dornin and Cara Hitchcock Everybody wants to be happy but unfortunately it’s not a given. If you want things to change, you need to act. Which is exactly what we did when we volunteered to facilitate an ‘Exploring What Matters’ course at the Bagnall Centre – our contribution towards making Chesham a happier place to work and live in. The charity, ‘Action for Happiness’, which is supported by its patron the Dalai Lama and part of the Young Foundation, has devised an ingenious format for reaching out to communities around the globe to join an ever-growing, unique movement of people who want to create a happier and more caring world. The movement has no religious, political or commercial links, draws on the latest scientific research and is supported by experts from a range of fields from psychology to social innovation. The idea is that members pledge to try and create more happiness in the world around them, and the charity provides back-up in the form of ideas and resources. Some 72,527 people from 170 countries are now involved.

‘Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions’ ~ Dalai Lama If widely implemented, it’s an idea – and a movement – that could uplift our quality of life at every level. After all, who doesn’t want to enjoy as much happiness and as little misery as possible? So, if each of us made this our goal, it would radically improve life as we know it. By harnessing the latest science about happiness and adding it to our ancient wisdom, each one of us would then be able to consciously create more happiness in our homes, workplaces and communities. It’s an approach that would not only influence how we manage our personal lives and bring up our children but also how we conduct ourselves at work and how public policy is made. Even the happiness of future generations would be affected. There are three values which are central to the work of Action for Happiness. The first is that we can each affect our own happiness and that of people around us – and there’s various proven actions we can take to help us achieve this. While happiness is partly determined by factors outside our control such as our genes and circumstances, it is significantly affected by the choices we make and how we choose to react to what happens to us. Happiness is also contagious: when we feel good, we help make others around us happier, too. The second value is to prioritise those things that create happiness. For example, positive relationships are the most important 'external' contributors to

encouraging people to nurture better relationships in every area of their lives. The website also features the latest information, advice and tips on how to improve your happiness and life skills. We came on board not only because we believed in the message and theory behind it but, as course facilitators and local counsellors, we knew we could offer our community excellent research-based, accessible and life-changing material via the ‘Exploring What Matters’ course. We ran our first course in Chesham earlier this year and more are planned in other areas, including High Wycombe in February. The eight-week course is free although a The movement’s patron, the Dalai Lama.

donation is appreciated. Each week, participants are introduced to mindfulness techniques and new

happiness so we need to put people first and do all

research and are encouraged to listen and share, be

we can to create positive, loving and collaborative relationships in our families, organisations and communities. The leading 'internal' contributor to happiness is good mental health so we also need to prioritise our emotional and psychological health, giving greater support to those struggling with anxiety and depression. The third value is altruism which is essential for a happier society. Self-centred individualism is not the route to happiness. The act of giving connects us, providing us with a sense of meaning and making us more compassionate. It creates stronger, happier communities. The charity spreads its message through its website as well as through campaigning, social media, local action groups, Happy Cafés, events, courses, school projects, work schemes and by simply

more compassionate, learn and spread the messages


and increase social trust in our communities. By the end of the course participants not only improve their ability to deal with their lives and become happier, but are also more prosocial and caring, believes Movement director, Dr Mark Williams. ‘We want to encourage people away from self-obsessed, materialistic and unfulfilling behaviour towards a more collaborative and loving way of living.’

Further information ∫ See or to sign up for a course go to or, for a local angle, contact Hannah or Cara

0000.5 Designs for Life 8: 3085.5 Chesham Town Talk 3


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Page 14


Dealing with lower back pain The mind-body link

McTimoney chiropractic

During the summer I got into my car to drive to the Lake District, feeling very foolhardy. My back was so sore that I could scarcely walk; putting my shoes on was near impossible. On the journey my muscles went into spasm and I was tormented for most of the way. As I drove into the mountains my back relaxed, and the next day I walked for eight hours and climbed 1900ft to the peak of Haystacks – above Buttermere and Crummock Water – involving a few minor scrambles. This strengthens my belief that much of our pain and illness is psychosomatic – a reflection of the tensions, stresses, rigidities and trapped emotions that our minds and bodies hold. Much relief can be found through stillness, communion with nature and relaxation.

I’ve run a marathon with this sciatic condition and do regular stretching exercises, but every so often it flares up and becomes debilitating. This summer I decided to take decisive action to alleviate the condition. I went for three McTimoney Chiropractic treatments with Terry Breeze, a qualified practitioner, who uses light touch, subtle realignments and energy work. It contrasted greatly with the vigorous osteopathic treatments I’d received elsewhere, and focused on realignment of the back, hips and pelvis. My back improved so well that I played basketball again, but the realignment hadn’t fully healed and I put my back out badly in the process. After three more chiropractic treatments, something miraculous has happened – a whole season without back pain and sciatic symptoms for the first time in years. I can only put this rebalancing and incredible healing down to the work of Terry Breeze.

Background I was six foot tall at the age of 12 and spent much of my childhood ducking down and stooping, sometimes in a futile attempt to fit in with the crowd. By the age of 18, I’d reached 6’5” and began a lifetime working at a computer. A troublesome back was fairly inevitable in adulthood. Gardening was a great antidote to computer work but one day, in my late 30s, I stood up straight too quickly whilst working in the garden and something in my spine pinged like an electric shock. I have suffered intermittently with sciatica ever since, as a bulging disc presses on the sciatic nerve, creating pain and numbness in the lower back, down my right leg and into my foot.

TERRY BREEZE 01494 783999 20 years’ experience

Alternative therapies Everyone has different needs and I am wary of evangelising any particular therapy. I recommend experimenting and finding out what works best for you. Personally, I’m taking the time to strengthen my back further and have enrolled on a Yoga for the Lower Back course with Barbara Dancer at the Bagnall Centre in Chesham, and have been recommended by a physiotherapist to take up pilates, and to work on squats and lunges at the gym to strengthen the legs and core.

Peter Hawkes


move better feel better live better with The Feldenkrais Method (see article on p.28) 1-to-1 sessions & group classes in Chesham and Berkhamsted or call Jonathan on 07740 475 879 14

0000.5 Designs for Life 8: 3085.5 Chesham Town Talk 3


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Page 15


A kitchen is the heart of every home Amongst friends and family, I was infamous for tinkering and generally poking about in their kitchens. I would inspect cabinet hinges, drawer runners, worktop joints and light fittings. Nothing was exempt. Although I was in banking at the time, it was clear to everyone that nothing gave me greater satisfaction than trying to imagine ways in which I could improve the design and function of their kitchens. This insatiable curiosity – and disillusionment with City life - sowed the seeds of what would become The Kitchen Company. Thirty-one years on and with numerous awards to our name, our family-run business continues to grow from strength to strength while never losing sight of the values that we believe have made us what we are today. Exemplary service, value for money, quality materials and ingenious designs are the things that keep our customers coming back for more – some of whom are on their fourth Kitchen Company project. Our 70%+ recommendation rate speaks for itself and such is the standard of our work that it’s becoming a brand in its own right, frequently used in estate agent particulars as a noted selling-point. As one of the premier suppliers of kitchens, bedrooms and home offices to London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire and throughout the South East (not to mention France, Sri Lanka and Mauritius!), we specialise in the supply and installation of quality furniture, appliances and accessories incorporating all the latest designs and

We are a close-knit team – staff turnover is almost non-existent – and we never subcontract. We have our own highly-skilled fitters and tradesmen whose pride in their work, attention to detail and years of experience ensure that your project runs smoothly from start to finish. We’re proud of our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction and, rest assured, our courteous and patient staff will mop your brow, answer your queries and guide you painlessly through the project. Employing the right company is essential - getting it wrong can be costly. Word of mouth is the best form of recommendation, so if you would like to get the opinion of some of our customers, ask them about us, how we operate and see our kitchens ‘at work’, just give us a call or drop into our showroom. We would be happy to put you and our customers in touch so that you can judge for yourself. So, if you’re looking to upgrade, or perhaps you’ve recently moved – whatever your reasons, investing in a new kitchen will give your house a whole new makeover while increasing the value of your home. Why not come in for a coffee and a friendly chat? innovations from leading German and British manufacturers. So, it’s safe to say we know our kitchens! The kitchen is the heart of every home – the place where family can gather at the end of a hard day and put the world to rights, where children do their homework under the watchful eye

of the chef and where you can showcase your culinary skills while entertaining friends. Perhaps you prefer the very latest in sleek contemporary kitchens, with understated good looks and easycare practicality or a more traditional space with chic and timeless appeal? Maybe you have your heart set on a fully bespoke kitchen, where everything is handmade just for you – we can do that too. With a huge range of colours, materials and finishes, we’re sure to have something to appeal to every taste. We understand that buying a kitchen is a major undertaking and can seem very daunting. We strive to simplify the process for you so that you understand what’s happening – every step of the way. We consider your budget, listen carefully to your ideas, throw in some of our own and together we create a stunning kitchen (or indeed bedroom or home study) for you to enjoy for many years to come. 15

Chris Sutherland Owner and Managing Director

For further information contact The Kitchen Company at 21-27 Belmont Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 1QS. Tel: 01895 230600.

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Find out more at

For book lovers

from Peter Hawkes, our Publisher

Whoever said that print is dead, and that digital is king, was misinformed. I’m sure that Kindles are wonderful and that online newspapers are environmentally friendly, but I’m not alone in loving the texture, smell and artistry of books and other publications on paper. Here are some relevant recommendations.

On the workings of the ego Several years ago I read Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now, a ground breaking work on the importance of being centred in the present, rather than lost in the pain of the past or the anxiety of the future. I enjoy Tolle’s books for the clarity they provide in explaining life's difficulties and challenges. Rather than hiding from them through distractions and escapism such as alcohol, food, porn, television or shopping for example, they allow us to face them head-on

A New Earth Create a Better Life by Eckhart Tolle, PENGUIN BOOKS LTD, £9.99

An insight into depression and the power of a garden to heal

and find freedom, growth and peace of mind. What's more, it's not just an understanding of ourselves that is gained, but an insight into the state of humanity and the world. This book begins with a description of the energy that runs not only through all human beings, but also through animals, trees, plants and even rocks. It breaks the myth of separatism, and shows that we are in fact all interconnected and one with the universe. Beyond the spiritual, it looks at the science of the human ego - our shared dysfunction and insanity. It is the ego - the voice that we hear in our mind and think is our self - that creates everything from inner conflict, through confrontations in relationships to full scale wars. Individuals, whole groups of people and indeed entire nations carry a pain body developed through past abuses, that cannot be healed through further conflict. The book poses a choice for humanity – are we doomed to destroy ourselves and the earth through our shared insanity based on this ego-led existence, or is our purpose to wake up and become aware of our ego rather than driven by it? Love, peace, understanding and authentic purpose can come through a global awakening to our shared consciousness which lies beyond the self righteous voice of the ego.

I bought this book because I loved the design and photography, but hadn't expected to read such a moving story about Virginia Woolf. The irony is that, despite living at Monks House (near Lewes in Sussex), she never actually touched the garden that is the subject of this book - at least Virginia Woolf’s Garden not in a practical sense. by Caroline Zoob, It was her husband, Leonard JACQUI SMALL LLP, £30 Woolf, who was the passionate plantsman. Rarely could Virginia drag him away from the solace that he found amongst the flower beds and fruit trees. He lived to the age of 88 and spent half a century creating this magical space, but his wife appreciated his work to such an extent that she derived much of her life force from walking among the flowers, absorbing the views across the Downs and finding peace in its sanctuary. Virginia devised most of her books in a bedroom overlooking the garden, and in a writing hut tucked away among the trees, including 'A Room of One's Own'. They were intensely creative types. He was a publisher and founder of the Hogarth Press, she was an incessant writer and home maker, and both were politically active. I recognise in her face the hollow and haunted look of the deeply sensitive soul. She had been sexually abused by her half brothers, was disturbed by noise and turmoil, and found the process of writing essential, yet tormenting. Repeated bouts of mental illness were cured by quiet isolation and Leonard's attentive care. When World War II broke out, and with the tumult of conflict all around her, she plunged into a deep sadness and drowned herself in the river, having filled her pockets with stones. She said that the happiest time of her life was to walk in the garden and to think about the love that she and Leonard had together.

Choosing love over fear through mindfulness ‘It is now very common to always be complaining about the weather or the government' is a sentence that caught my eye in a book on Mindfulness published by the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery at Great Gaddesden. It's in a chapter on Kindness. It explains that the English use of the word 'love' often refers to something that we really like, and that we become attached to enjoying in that state. It introduces the word 'metta', which means that you love

your enemy; it doesn't mean that you like your enemy. It means that you can love them (people who are different from how we want them to be) by refraining from any vindictiveness, from any desire to hurt them or annihilate them; not dwelling in aversion or being caught up in their unpleasantness. 'To be mindful means to have metta towards the fear in your mind, or the anger or the jealousy... You can also minimise the fear by recognising it is the same kind of fear that

everyone has, that animals have.' Loving from a distance is often the answer. Drawing close the people we resonate with, holding at arm's length those we clash with, and removing ourselves from those who seem intent on destroying us – at all times maintaining a compassion for our shared humanness, and desiring a timely healing of rifts and divisions. The Amaravati Monastery offers meditation workshops every Saturday afternoon. 16

Mindfulness by Ajahn Sumedho, AMARAVATI BUDDHIST MONASTERY

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book reviews

The story of a journey for peace, from a great environmentalist I've just finished reading No Destination by Satish Kumar. In 1962, at the height of the Cold War and at a time of increasing tensions between East and West, Satish Kumar hit headlines around the world when he walked 8,000 miles from New Delhi to London, on a peace pilgrimage, without any money, and through mountains, deserts, storms, and snow. When he was only nine years old, Satish Kumar had renounced the world to join the wandering brotherhood of Jain monks. Dissuaded from this path by an inner voice at the age of 18, he became a campaigner for land reform,


working to turn Gandhi's vision of a renewed India into reality. In 1973 he settled in England, taking on the editorship of Resurgence magazine, and becoming the guiding light behind a number of ecological, spiritual and educational ventures. Following Indian tradition, in his 50th year he undertook another pilgrimage: again without any money. He walked to the holy places of Britain: Glastonbury Lindisfarne and Iona. All of this and more is recounted in this fascinating autobiography. Satish's Resurgence magazine has long been a strong influence on my

thinking. I share the values of nonviolence, respect for all beings and all religions, anti-consumerism, sacred earth, community cohesion and localism. In recent years Resurgence has joined with The Ecologist magazine and is under the new editorship of Greg Neale. The hardback 4th edition of Satish Kumar's inspirational book was published to commemorate 25 years since the foundation of Schumacher College, with new chapters about the college and bringing Satish's story upto-date. Well worth a read.

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No Destination Autobiography of a Pilgrim by Satish Kumar, GREEN BOOKS, £17.99

Like and share the book reviews of ‘One Year Wiser - a gratitude journal’ and ‘Be More Tree’ that feature on our Facebook page and you’ll stand a very good chance of winning a free copy of either book. We’ll notify the winners by 28/2/17, via Facebook messaging. TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY.

How gratitude leads to a calmer life

The hidden meaning behind trees

Mike Medaglia is a London-based cartoonist, illustrator, comics editor and Zen Buddhist practitioner. He has created a journal to encourage us to keep a lasting record of all those special moments that we experience. Every life is full of difficulty and struggle, and the human mind has a tendency to focus on these negative aspects of our daily existence. This can lead us to miss the magical moments, the positive connections and a sense of gratitude for everything that is right, and going well for us. Some years ago I kept a ‘Positives Journal’ to raise me out of depression. By listing everything good that happened to me day by day, however trivial, and refraining from dwelling on the negatives, I brought myself up from the spiral of decline to a place of great gratitude, and recognised how lucky I was to have health, friendships, family and work. These were not always exactly as I wanted, but they were there nonetheless and worthy of recognition. One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal contains exercises and tips to help you live gratefully, illustrated quotes to

In Be More Tree, the author Alice Peck explores trees from four perspectives: their roots – wisdom and understanding; their branches – symbols and rituals; their leaves – healing and science; and their seeds – transformation and spirituality. The book explores the ways in which these grounded yet soaring entities can steady, move and teach us. The book is full of beautiful illustrations by illustrator Melissa Launay. As Alice Peck reflected on the maple tree in her backyard, she began to notice and then study its intricacies and changes. This became her regular meditation and inspiration. Alice shares what she has learnt from that maple tree, and from the trees all around us. Every tree tells a complete and ongoing story, from its powerful taproots to the birds that alight on its fragile high branches. Trees reflect our lives through their perseverance and seasonal rhythms – always changing yet consistent. They evolve along a much more protracted timetable than humans. Like us, trees feel and react to their environment, and communicate with us in subtle but distinct ways. From the Bodhi Tree to the Garden of Eden; the Druids to forest monks; medicines to tyre swings – people have always received physical, psychological and spiritual sustenance from trees. Filled with insights from botany to poetry, Be More Tree ecology to mythology and herbalism to A journey of wisdom, symbols, sacraments. healing and renewal Alice Peck writes about finding the by Alice Peck, sacred in the ordinary, and is the author of CICO BOOKS, £12.99 Next to Godliness and Bread, Body, Spirit.

colour in and plenty of space to document those moments that evoke the richness and variety of life. Whether it’s finding beauty in the every day, appreciating small acts of kindness or being thankful for life’s challenges, this book provides an enjoyable way to remember and record all the wonderful things that happen to you. By revisiting the details of your everyday experiences, you’ll learn to develop a calmer and more confident approach to life.

One Year Wiser A gratitude journal by Mike Medaglia, SELFMADEHERO, £11.99 17

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Find out more at


Directory of healthy and creative living in the Chilterns £5

Feature here for just (£10 with your website listed, which will then show up as a hyperlink in the online magazine. £15 to include your logo. £50 and you get a banner on our website too!).


Natural Therapy and Remedies for Animals – Agnes Schmitz ITEC CST BFAP 01923 269600

Creativity Art Journaling Courses Isabel Clements, Chesham 01494 775962 or 07909 908573 Copy Writer, Editor & Proof Reader Anna Sutherland 07857 803208 Bookbinding & Restoration Amanda Slope, 99A High Street, Great Missenden HP16 0BB 01494 891319 Digital Illustration & Artworking Sophie Honeybelle 07747 745041 Picture Framing Peter Hawkes, Laceys Yard, Chesham High Street 01494 793000 Suzanne Parker Watercolour Artist Lessons given and commissions taken Tanis Mills – Supplier of Phoenix Greetings Cards Do you help raise funds for a charity dear to your heart? Then Phoenix cards and stationery could be an ideal way of promoting it and increasing donations. Ask for a free info pack from Tanis Mills: / 0788 55 67450 Thursday Art Classes 10am-12pm, Chesham Adult Learning Centre. Mary Pomeroy 01494 771230

Feng Shui & BaZi Consultant

Home Health Choice


The Sacred Earth School Meditation, Healing and Slow living. Permaculture, Reiki, Roots Community, Shamanic Journeying and Retreats in Hertfordshire

NewGen Superfoods Plus All-in-one supplement instead of many. Revolutionary 100% natural formula. Vegan & vegetarian friendly. Perfect for New Year detox. Find out more at our health shop, 164 Broad Street, Chesham HP5 3ED 01494 786413

Cara Hitchcock – Person-Centred Counsellor Confidential, supportive and nonjudgemental counselling services, allowing you to fully explore your thoughts and feelings. Registered member MBACP. Based at the Bagnall Centre, Chesham and also at Aylesbury. 07427 998219


Horticulture & Garden Design

Caroline Masters – Homeopath Bagnall Centre, 71-79 Waterside, Chesham HP5 1PE 07961 407142

Vanessa Scola Gardening/Mosaics 07944 868209

The Hillingdon Homeopath Anne Healy, BSc, LCHE Qualified, Registered Homeopath & Reiki Master Uxbridge-based family clinic 01895 235627 or 07773 964254

Cowie Design Associates garden design Mark Cowie 01494 772735

The Listening Post Qualified counselling. Amersham area. Offering understanding, support and a sense of direction in life. Relationships, depression, stress, loss. Reasonable rates. 01494 812074

Meditation Natural Home Clean Debi King Dry carpet cleaning 07967 372 005


Vegetarian Restaurants

Terry Dean Massage Therapist (ITEC Dip) Hons. Based at Weston Turville near Wendover/Aylesbury 07769 790 690

Woody’s – Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant 19 Dickinson Quay, Apsley Lock, Hemel Hempstead HP3 9WG 01442 266280

Laurie Elliott Accredited teacher of ancient wisdom meditation – 30 years experience – private sessions and at Champneys Health Spa, Tring 01296 625392 / 07549 998448

Resonance Repatterning Diana Eder 01844 344555

Now find us on Twitter


Emma Hudson Also yoga, meditation and retreats 07853 874283

Great job opportunity


Here at Designs for LIFE magazine we’re looking for someone with good telephone sales and negotation skills to join our team and help build this successful and growing Chilterns publication. This is a part-time position, with potential desk space or working from home. Contact Peter Hawkes on 01494 793000 /

Michael Thornton ND DO Osteopathy Practice with 3 Clinics Tring 01442 822990 Amersham 01494 433072 Flackwell Heath 07799 713117

Pilates Hazel Hussey Pilates Pilates classes in Buckinghamshire 07958 649989



Jo Mitchell (Xiao Qin), Feng Shui & BaZi Innovations Attune your mind’s eye to the possibilities of Feng Shui & BaZi. E-mail: Mobile: 07595 507068 Tel: 01494 783189

Holistic Treatments/Courses

Barbara Dancer Yoga Yoga classes, individual Yoga, Yoga therapy and Yoga for healthy lower backs, based in Chesham/Amersham. Barbara Dancer 01494 726141 18

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Remarkable healing Transformational Regression Training (TRT) We live in an age where the health systems of many countries are straining under pressure from lack of finances and resources. Consequently, countless more individuals and professionals are starting to investigate complementary or holistic forms of therapy and return to what is an ageold concept – that the source of many forms of dis-ease is rooted in our spiritual essence; in our Soul. Early current life events register easily within our consciousness as a child, as we absorb things in our environment like a sponge during the early years of life. As a result, we develop internal belief patterns based on the information and behaviours that we observe in the world around us. The subconscious mind that creates those belief systems and programmes often does not judge whether the incoming information is right or wrong. So it is possible that any event that is experienced, whether good, bad or indifferent can become a part of our belief or value system and stay there. As adults we continue with these programmes functioning in our subconscious and governing our lives in ways that we do not always entirely understand. Not all subconscious programmes come from the current incarnation. Sometimes they are triggered by events or people in the current life, though actually originate in what we call ‘past lives’. Whether this is part of your

I have more than 10 years’ experience with hypnosis and regression, and have run training programmes in the UK, Mexico, Italy, and South Africa. I regularly run hypnosis and regression training in Buckinghamshire on behalf of my school Cara – the Centre of personal belief system or not, it is the belief system of approximately 25-30% of the world’s population, and there is increasing anecdotal and circumstantial ‘evidence’ in the West for a Soul that reincarnates over a series of lives.

change many others’ too by going back to the source of the issue. When revisiting earlier memories and experiences, whether from past or the current life, or even the womb, the purpose is to gain a new perspective, thus enabling energetic blocks from the past to be released resulting in positive resolution for the clients’ emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being. When we engage in the Journey of the Soul using regression, we can start to achieve closure for parts of our story, reframe old perceptions that no longer serve, dismantle old limiting belief systems and take responsibility for our thoughts, emotions, beliefs and all parts of our energetic system. Then we can start to take back our power and truly live.

Unfinished business! In the same way that core events in the current life affect our behaviours, belief systems etc., so do the significant events and unfinished business from past lives. What is unfinished at the end of those particular lives also remains, ticking away in the subconscious again when we reincarnate, and begins affecting our everyday current life in some way. Symptoms that have been traced back to past lives are numerous and varied, including emotional, physical, mental, relationship and energetic ones. The story of our Soul is one that dictates who we are in the current life as much as our choices do on an everyday basis. When working with what lies in the subconscious and what might be holding us back in some way, I work with Transformational Regression Training. It changed my own life and it helps to

Transformational Learning and Empowerment. Prior to that I worked as a director of an international shipping company, only shifting from that environment 15 years ago when I followed an inner prompting and passion to move into a very different arena of life. I have many wonderful client stories, such as the following: A participant on a recent training course gained remission and significant freedom of movement for what had previously been a severely arthritic wrist for a few years. It happened within a single two hour session and the results of that over the next few days were a joy to behold, as well as a powerful testament to the efficacy of regression.

Live for NOW Wherever the blockages come from, it is important to remember that the answers you are seeking to this life can only truly be found by living this one. Look to your past to see where you have been and gain a new perspective, and remember that the life that matters most is the one that you are living now.

Doug Buckingham – Trainer, Therapist & Talker SOLUTIONS FOR THE MIND, BODY & SOUL Next TRT cycle starts June 2017. Hypnosis Training runs regularly. Contact me any time.

Tel: 07979 750291 Email: 19

In her words “…my wrist is now fabulous, I have the occasional twinge, but apart from that, I have my life back … something as simple as being able to turn my door key and not enter the house fighting back tears. It is a miracle.” This is remarkable healing.

Doug Buckingham

0000.5 Designs for Life 8: 3085.5 Chesham Town Talk 3


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holistic healthcare

Neuro Emotional Technique – for a healthier and happier you Sometimes there comes a time in life when we decide that a change is needed for ourselves and we begin our search for solutions. For me, that time came when I recognised that my chronic depression was being helped by conventional medicines and ‘talk-it-out’ therapies, but these weren’t ultimately going to lead me to the recovery I was seeking. I had a choice to make – to stay as I was feeling, like I was surviving life, or to make the necessary changes to get well. I began by trying various different holistic therapies whilst working on my diet and exercise. I also travelled often and it was whilst visiting the United States that I was introduced to Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) and from the very first session I was blown away. I knew I had found something wonderful! My practitioner seemed to get right to the core of the problem, and offered a quick and effective solution which meant the years of built up and stuck ‘emotional baggage’ could be safely discarded. Months later I was healthier, happier and on a path towards helping other people to feel the benefits I had discovered. Those of us that love NET have all experienced life-changing transformations and I wanted to share what I have learned and help others to feel the benefits that I have experienced. My clients often come to me when they have reached that same realisation. Still others just feel stuck and are struggling to reach their full potential. And others have experienced difficult situations in life which they are finding hard to overcome. Thankfully NET is one of several tools I can use to help all sorts of patients.

NET – what is it? NET offers a new approach to your emotional health. It works by addressing the negative emotions that are subconsciously influencing how you feel and act. Using muscle testing responses to find neurological imbalances associated with unresolved stress, we are able to help you discover events which may be having an influence on your behaviour,

was to experience that afternoon. I came out feeling lighter and brighter than I had in years. This feeling of calm and a sense of wholeness lasted and grew stronger and more embedded over the next few weeks and has now become a real part of me. It has transformed and lifted my yoga teaching, my relationships across the whole of my life and my general sense of wellbeing. I cannot recommend Jonathan and NET highly enough. I hope more people have the chance to experience this gentle yet powerful therapy.” When a client such as Helena or Harriet reports back to me that they feel so much better, it encourages me to use this technique for more of my clients. Would you like to let NET help you create a healthier and happier you?

feelings or health. It is a way of releasing that emotional charge in a safe and positive way. Plus, NET is harmless, fun and you always remain in control. My clients frequently report that they feel ‘free’ using this technique, allowing them to move forward with their lives.

NET – why does it work? We all know that our stomach churns when we feel anxious. The reasons for this were scientifically confirmed by neuroscientist Candace Pert PhD and described in her book Molecules of Emotion. She found that emotional stress causes the body to produce peptides and signals which effect the way we feel physically. Yes, emotions are physiological! NET seeks to harmonise mind and body with extraordinary results.

Jonathan Dudley

What NET patients say Helena says, “NET is a new experience for me. It is unique in being a simple, non-invasive practice that goes very deep. Jonathan is an extraordinarily intuitive practitioner. Through NET, he has targeted issues and beliefs which have hindered my life quite severely for many years. He hits the centre of these issues and powerfully strikes them at their root, dealing with and resolving them immediately. I have made huge progress and change through working with Jonathan! All other talking or emotional therapies have been useful but NET addresses things on the subconscious plane – things that affect our lives but are very difficult to interact with or improve. Perhaps Jonathan is my interpreter with my subconscious – helping me to discard strong ideas that are harming me. Marvellously, I now feel more safe, in my body, in this world.” And Harriet says, “Upon meeting Jonathan, I had an immediate sense of ease and felt that I was in the hands of someone I could trust implicitly. I was open to suggestion and hopeful that he would be able to help, given that I had heard positive things about NET. Nothing prepared me for the transformation that I 21

Jonathan Dudley is a certified Neuro Emotional Technique practitioner to Level II and is one of just four therapists in the UK who are certified in this technique. Since 2011, he has worked closely with clients to provide them with individualised treatments which focus on the mind/body connection. He attracts clients from across Europe.

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Demystifying group therapy Kirsten Heynisch, an experienced Clinical Psychologist & Group Therapist, gives us a glimpse into the workings of group therapy. Group therapy is alive and well and just about everywhere these days – universities, hospitals, psychology departments, rehab clinics, private practice etc. However, I sometimes feel that group therapy is still one of the most misunderstood and underrated modalities of psychotherapy. Why? Firstly, most clinicians specialise in some form of individual therapy and don’t have experience or training in group therapy, and thus therapists themselves often portray group therapy as second best, which is a great misunderstanding. Secondly, group therapy can be scary – it can be hard enough to share one’s problems with a therapist let alone a group of strangers. In my view, group therapy is powerful and amazing. Having undergone a lengthy training in group-analytic therapy which included six years of being a patient in a therapy group, I have become a great believer in its value. The experience of being in group therapy, whilst simultaneously studying and practising it, helped me see, feel and experience first hand the potential of this therapeutic modality. Group therapy certainly has changed me, my sense of belonging and connectedness, my way of communicating with others. It helped me to feel much more at ease in groups, which is most of the time, given we spend much of our time in groups.

The rich potential of analytic group therapy ... how does it work? Thinking about it, we are all born into a group – our family. Group therapy is a place where one can be 're-familied' or 're-socialised', meaning a healthy group culture can help us to learn and grow in ways that our family of origin was not able to offer. For instance, most people struggle with how to deal with the conflicts which inevitably arise in families and groups. Also, many of us struggle with the balance between belonging, closeness and intimacy on the one hand; and authenticity and being true to ourselves on the other. Both parts of the equation are core to our experiences in life. Without a doubt, group therapy is a great way to practice and better understand how to relate with others and work on more effective and enjoyable ways to love, argue and negotiate differences. In this sense, group therapy offers a great opportunity to reflect and correct limiting original family dynamics and patterns of communication. Many of us could do with this kind of therapy.

Having different and corrective experiences is one of the main therapeutic factors in group therapy. As we grow up, we take on board the spoken and unspoken rules and dynamics that colour the emotional climate within our family. If our family culture was marked by a lack of thoughtful and open communication with each other, we are bound to experience difficulties in our relationships later in life. This is serious, as it can undermine our sense of well-being and belonging and manifest in emotional and relationship problems. In group therapy, the therapist and the group members together develop a healthy and safe emotional climate in which unhelpful patterns of relating can be noticed and challenged. The group becomes a kind of 'play ground' in which new ways of communicating can be experimented with and reflected upon. These opportunities make a therapy group a rich and fertile ground for change. The group-analytic therapy situation can be likened to a 'hall of mirrors' where the group members learn to see themselves more accurately through the multiplicity of responses and perceptions presented by the group. This is how our often negative selfperceptions can undergo modification. For example, feelings of inferiority ('I am worthless, unlovable, selfish, unwanted') as well as feelings of superiority can get replaced by a more balanced and, therefore, less anxiety-ridden view of the self. This will result in a more realistic self-image, integrating different aspects of who we are. We discover through the group's reflections that we have gifts, talents and strengths that had been ignored. As our self image evolves from the feedback of the group over time, we can see ourselves differently – in a more differentiated and true light. This can inspire far-reaching changes and enhance our sense of wellbeing – a hopeful destination to aim for! Stimulating interactions between group members become the focus of the therapeutic work. Reflecting on group interactions becomes a powerful way of learning about oneself and others. Here is an example: 22

Martha, a middle aged woman, grew up in an oppressive country. Moreover, her parents' expectation of undue compliance undermined her authentic self-expression. Her need for selfassertion was stifled and disapproved off throughout her childhood and teenage years, which was a traumatic experience for her. When Martha expressed anger within the family, she was met with strong disapproval and was often labelled as inconsiderate and ungrateful. This left her feeling bad and unwanted and she became more withdrawn and silent. As an adult, Martha easily felt like a 'troublemaker' when she expressed disagreement, even when articulated in a thoughtful and considered way. This was a major problem as she felt unable to set boundaries with her friends, co-workers and husband. Group therapy offered a fertile ground for corrective emotional experiences around the theme of authentic self-expression which helped her to loosen old relational patterns. In her therapy group, Martha became much liked and valued for taking the risk of articulating some of the more difficult issues within the group dynamics. The group offered a space in which she was able to recover aspects of her authentic selfexpression. Her group therapist also valued, enjoyed and invited her ability to question her and the therapy group which deepened and enriched the group process. Martha stayed in the group for three years and was able to internalize the group's validating and encouraging stance which had changed her and touched her life deeply. By working through these issues, Martha also helped other group members to discover and articulate their own capacity for self-expression and self-assertion as an essential and creative expression of being and feeling alive.

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psychotherapy continued…

Hesitations to join a group... It is not uncommon for people to initially feel some reluctance to join a group. Fears that it will be too difficult to talk about problems in the group usually disappear, sometimes quickly, and other times more gradually, in the encouraging atmosphere of the group. Sharing feelings and experiences in an intense, lively and supportive group creates an atmosphere in which mutual confidence and support can develop. Group members often make dramatic changes in their life and relationships, partly through the therapeutic effects that result from seeing themselves in the eyes of others, and partly through the opportunity to witness and participate in the therapy of other group members.

Who is the ideal candidate for group therapy? Group therapy is for everyone. Why? Everyone deals with groups (family, work, social settings) and everyone has room to improve their ability to relate with others, whether understanding one’s feelings and sharing them or being more assertive and having better boundaries. Group therapy can be helpful for a variety of life situations and difficulties. Anxiety, depression, stress and trauma, relationship issues and low self-esteem are typical problems for which a group might be recommended. It may also be helpful to those who suffer from the effects of loss, separation, divorce or the psychological impact of health-related issues. Group therapy is also concerned with uncovering undeveloped aspirations and creativity of group members. Group therapy affects the deepest levels of the personality and thus is not a rapid therapy.

“ My two advertorials in Designs for LIFE magazine brought

60 referrals to my GONG BATHS at the Bagnall Centre, Chesham.” Sam Hyder –

Group therapy in Chesham... I am currently in the process of setting up this kind of group in Chesham. If you are curious about this and would consider joining a group, please feel free to contact me on or via my website


Kirsten Heynisch is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Group Therapist.

Chiltern Psychology & Psychotherapy Practice Working in the NHS and in private practice at the Bagnall Centre, Chesham

07751 710277

HALF AN HOUR FREE TRIAL LESSON for Designs for LIFE readers 23

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Join us at Missenden Abbey every first Friday of the month for a very informal networking group, in the coffee lounge. We learn about each other, what we are passionate about, what talents we have, and how we can help one another. Totally inclusive, open to anyone who is giving and supportive. Link4Growth is all about nurturing, supporting, and connecting with local people, businesses and communities


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feature article

From Bucks to Bhutan Anna Sutherland explores textiles and culture in the Kingdom of the Clouds Dragooned into helping us, the young embroidery student giggled uncontrollably as we attempted to replicate the delicate handiwork of her classmates. It was clear that we weren’t going to be considered for a coveted place at Zorig Chusum, Bhutan’s renowned Institute of Arts & Crafts, any time soon. Our disparate group of six women was on the first day of a two-week textile and culture tour of Bhutan. Our common denominator was Cheshambased Jamie Malden, who runs inspirational textile art workshops in Buckinghamshire as well as cultural tours overseas. Bhutan holds a special place in her heart – a sentiment we came to share. Also known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan nestles deep in the folds of the Himalayas with its surging, glacial rivers, vertiginous peaks, meandering plains and gentle, fun-loving people. It’s an unspoilt cultural gem. Bordered by China to the north, India to the south and a close neighbour of Nepal to the west, this tiny kingdom is an amalgam of all these influences while still guarding its own unique and proud individuality. Our journey took us from west to central Bhutan. It was a white-knuckle drive along treacherous roads that took us hundreds of metres up and down, through broad valleys of red rice and pinkflowering buckwheat. Chillies lay ripening on every roof and freshly dyed yarn hung drying in the sun. Each day offered a fascinating glimpse of Bhutanese life: we saw textile museums and papermaking, teenage monks carving wood blocks into labyrinthine designs and ancient Buddhist temples steeped in myth and legend; groups of young men played roadside darts – large projectiles thrown at improbably small targets

A weaver dries her yarn in the sun.

Portable and inexpensive, the backstrap loom is found in most homes. from impossibly long distances – or competed in the national sport of archery, complete with the Bhutanese equivalent of a haka. The main focus of our trip, however, was weaving – Bhutan is considered one of the most sophisticated weaving cultures in the history of civilisation. An intricate skill handed down orally from mother to daughter and generation to generation, weaving forms the very warp and weft of Bhutanese society. Associated with status, wealth, protocol, commerce and religion, it is practised by more than half the population and it would be rare to find a household without the ubiquitous backstrap loom.

With the introduction of modern, less time-consuming techniques as well as competition from cheap imports, some of these centuries-old skills are now in danger of disappearing, despite the concerted efforts of the Bhutanese Queen Mother to bring them to international attention. In Bumthang, Central Bhutan, famed for its Yathra cloth made from yak and sheep’s wool, we managed to track down the last remaining weaver of her region’s traditional pattern. Surrounded by sacks of bark chips, walnut leaves and peach kernels all ready for dyeing, the weaver proudly unfurled a long strip of tightly woven fabric that had taken her many months to complete. On chatting to her three young daughters whose English was faultless, it was clear that they had no desire to continue their mother’s legacy. Their education, and that of their friends, was preparing them for a very different life.

Unique pattern Until the 1960s the country had no telephones, hospitals, schools, national currency or postal service. 97% of over-60s are unable to read or write so any correspondence was carried by sure-footed ‘runners’, able to negotiate the daunting mountain passes. Long-distance travel was almost impossible until the recent advent of road-building. Each region was therefore isolated from its neighbour and, as a result, developed its own unique textile pattern using nettle fibres, cotton, sheep or yak’s wool and silk. Towns sell their own regional woven products and it’s commonplace to walk into fabric shops and see weavers sitting on the floor, strapped into their portable backstrap looms. Painstakingly producing the merchandise, they are intent on the web of thread between their fingers, silent but for the rhythmic thump of the loom. Some patterns are so complex that, despite working up to 12 hours a day, weavers can only complete one inch in that time; a few metres may take many months. A high quality ‘gho’ or ‘kira’ - the national dress for men and women – can take years. This backbreaking labour, known as ‘heart-weaving’, takes a heavy toll on weavers’ eyesight and health. 25

Complex designs can take months to complete. Greeted on our last day by a fabric shop proprietor who regaled us with quotes from Shakespeare, Wuthering Heights, Dickens and The Highwayman, it seemed churlish not to do our bit for Bhutan’s Gross Domestic Happiness – an index by which the Government measures its prosperity. Thus we returned duly laden with fabric and weavings as a final ‘thank you’ to the enchanting Bhutanese people who made our trip truly unforgettable. I

Further information ∫ For Jamie Malden’s local textile art workshops or overseas cultural tours, see

0000.5 Designs for Life 8: 3085.5 Chesham Town Talk 3


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art & nature

Agnes Schmitz holds qualifications in Craniosacral Therapy, EFT, and works with dogs and the Bach Flower Remedies. Her Garden Practice is in Kings Langley. Contact her on 01923 269600 or email: or visit her websites:

For all your fine art & craft materials, we stock: Papers, canvases, card & board Pads & sketchbooks Varnishes & paints: water, oil & acrylic Clay, plaster & block printing equipment Brushes, pencils, charcoal, chalk & pastels Portfolios, cases, bags & sleeves Pens, markers & ink Gift sets, easels & greetings cards Children’s crafts


At Arty's we aim to help you bring your art, design & craft ideas to life through expert advice & the supply of fine art & craft materials


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feature article

Life in focus ‘Saying you want to be a wildlife photographer is like saying you’re going to become a professional footballer,’ says 28-year-old Tom Way of Iver in Buckinghamshire. ‘The reality of making it is quite slim.’ Incredibly, though, that’s exactly what this talented, self-taught newcomer has done. In just five whirlwind years Tom has already won a clutch of prestigious photographic awards, establishing a promising career that regularly takes him to far flung parts of the globe. He’s been ‘up close and personal’ with gorillas in Rwanda, chilled out with penguins in the Falklands and swum with blue whales off Sri Lanka: it’s an unexpected and rapid transition for a young sports graduate with no previous interest in the arts. The catalyst was a three-month trip to Africa after university: Tom decided to create a photographic record of the wildlife he saw and soon realised he had discovered a new passion – serendipitously, the resulting images were good enough for people to sit up and take notice. ‘Brave or stupid,’ he took a leap of faith: ‘I went straight from quitting my job as a personal trainer to wildlife photography – and it’s just snowballed.’ Today, Tom’s work is widely published and he sells and exhibits his fine art prints around the country. He most enjoys photographing big mammals and – since ‘there’s no better place on the planet to do that than Africa’ – he has also forged links with specialist travel companies to lead photographic safaris there and elsewhere. On top of that, Tom runs popular UK workshops and also lectures around the country. Not surprisingly, his diary is often booked three years ahead.

Award-winning wildlife photographer Tom Way talks to Amber Tokeley

Tom, pictured below, spent summer 2015 photographing foxes in Buckinghamshire. African lions were a different matter. The power of ‘View To A Kill’ hinges on the placement of the feet and eye contact. It took three weeks to achieve and was one of Tom’s most challenging shots. There’s no such thing as a typical day. ‘This time last week I was teaching people how to photograph leopards in Africa. Today, I’m home having an admin day – processing orders, answering emails, liaising with printers – before going to High Wycombe this evening to give a talk.’ Tom usually has an ongoing UK project photographing animals such as foxes or badgers (he uses Canon equipment, his preferred combination being a 1DX and 400mm lens) and at the time of speaking was covering the annual deer rut, splitting his time between Richmond Park, Bushey Park and Windsor Great Park. Most wildlife photographers try to shoot as many species as possible but Tom believes you end up with quantity rather than quality. In a determined effort to capture extraordinary images he concentrates on fewer species so that he gets to know them really well. It’s not all about capturing a dramatic action shot, explains Tom. ‘You’re looking for a characteristic or behavioural trait – the cute cock of the head or lick of the paws – which you can sum up in just one photograph.’ And that can take hours! ‘Lions, for example, sleep for about 22 hours of the day so you can imagine the tiny window of opportunity that gives.’ Tom’s favourite British mammal is the red fox but he also loves photographing badgers and deer, usually from either a temporary or permanent hide. Here in the Chilterns he uses private farms, and has also had success with muntjac and roe deer in woods near Amersham and brown hares around Wendover. 27

Revisiting a location regularly is key to improving your photographs, believes Tom: it establishes familiarity with an animal’s behaviour as well as with important issues such as light. Detachment is also vital for a realistic critique. Tom typically waits eight weeks before processing photos on the computer; he can then look at them dispassionately to decide which ones will stand the test of time and make it into a big print. Although producing fine art photographs and seeing them ‘blown up six feet wide on someone’s wall’ gives Tom his biggest buzz, one of his most important early lessons was learning what people wanted on their wall. Having Googled ‘Top 10 Animals’, he quickly realised it wasn’t weasels or great white sharks! Happily, those that did feature, such as lions and elephants, interested him most and also gave him an excuse to return to Africa. Next year, Tom’s globetrotting will take him to Kenya, Scotland, the Welsh coast for puffins and Sumatra (a recce for a future photographic safari) before heading to Zambia for six weeks in the autumn. ‘I live and breathe wildlife photography, 24/7 – I love it!’ says Tom – and if his work is anything to go by, it shows. I

Further information ∫ See Tom’s photos and find out more about his photographic workshops and safaris at

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Learning how to learn: the Feldenkrais Method The Feldenkrais Method (pronounced fel-den-krise) is a remarkable approach to human movement, learning and change originally developed by Dr Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-84). A distinguished scientist, physicist and engineer, he was one of the first Europeans to teach Judo. Living in England in the 1940s, Feldenkrais found himself unable to walk following a serious knee injury. He began an intense exploration into the relationship between movement, healing, feeling, thinking, and learning. As a result, he restored his ability to walk and made revolutionary discoveries; synthesizing insights from physics, motor development, psychology, and martial arts to develop a powerful, effective and practical application that reconnects learning with human health and function. Feldenkrais’s insights are now being backed up by recent discoveries in neurology, especially regarding the brain’s ‘neuroplasticity’ – its capacity to adapt, recover and learn new possibilities throughout our life. The Feldenkrais Method is increasingly recognized for the strategies it employs to improve posture, flexibility, coordination, athletic and artistic ability and to help those with restricted movement, chronic pain and tension (including back pain and other common issues such as RSI), as well as neurological or developmental problems, including MS, Parkinsons, or recovery from a stroke. Through our personal history, upbringing, culture, injuries and illnesses, we each adopt patterns of physical and psychological behaviour. These habitual patterns are deeply embedded in our nervous system, and often become outmoded or dysfunctional, creating unnecessary physical, and psychological limitations. The Feldenkrais Method uses a process of organic learning, movement, and sensing to free individuals from these habitual patterns and allow for new patterns of thinking, moving and feeling to emerge.

Feldenkrais is taught in two complementary formats: group classes, called Awareness Through Movement; and individual sessions, known as Functional Integration. In group classes, students typically begin lying on mats (lessons are taught in a variety of positions, including sitting in chairs or standing). Using a combination of guided attention and pleasant, purposeful movement, a teacher guides students through the essential dynamic relationships in a particular pattern of movement. Awareness Through Movement was developed by Feldenkrais as a means to re-engage the nervous system in the kind of learning we all do as infants, but later usually abandon. Unlike traditional exercise, where movements can become mechanical or the objective is to burn calories or stretch, Awareness Through Movement teaches the secrets to reducing unnecessary muscular effort and improved awareness of your whole self in action. This emphasis on sensory learning results in movements that are more flexible, pleasurable and free from aches and pains. The lessons are easy to do, of benefit to everyone, and the results can be extraordinary. In Functional Integration (or FI), the client lies fully clothed on a low table. Learning, change and improvement are achieved through specific skilled manipulation and touch, individualized for the client’s needs. FI is gentle, subtle, effective, and widely recognized for its ability to address both minor aches and pains, and serious muscular-skeletal and neurological problems, chronic tension, and developmental problems of children. Feldenkrais’ insights have contributed to the field of somatic education and continue to influence the arts, education, psychology, child development, physical therapy, sports enhancement, and gerontology. Today there are over 10,000 Feldenkrais practitioners across the globe, with over a hundred certified teachers in the UK.

What is Nia? The Nia Technique is a dance-fitness class that empowers people of all shapes and sizes to step into a joyful relationship with their bodies and movement. Nia combines martial arts, healing arts, and dance arts to create a highpowered, synergistic workout that no isolated exercise technique can match. Part choreographed and part free-form, Nia delivers a solid aerobic workout, with each experience adaptable to individual needs and abilities. Classes are generally done barefoot to soul-stirring music that motivates every part of you to move. Step into your own joyful journey with Nia, and positively shape the way you feel, look, think and live. No experience necessary.

YMCA Abbots Langley 11.00-12.00 on Mondays College Road, Country Park, WD5 0GU Kings Langley 09.15-10.15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays Kings Langley Community Centre WD4 8ET 19.00-20.00 on Wednesdays Rudolf Steiner School, Kings Langley WD4 9HG

Michele Kaye is the author of the new book ‘Eat Dance Shine’ – see issue 7 DFL.

Chipperfield 9.30 on Saturdays (monthly) St Paul’s Church Hall, The Common, WD4 9BS Contact Michele for more details:

07786 172407



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Electric bikes



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Accessories, full repair service, agent for all leading makes

Jonathan Young

01494 784255

For more information, to try a short, free audio lesson, or find a local teacher, visit the Feldenkrais UK Guild website: 56 Broad Street, Chesham, Bucks HP5 3DX


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feature article

Winter wonderland A scenic cycle through Buckinghamshire’s stunning parks This is an interesting, reasonably flat cycle (21.8 miles with 666 ft total ascent) through four of Buckinghamshire’s beautiful parks, Black Park, Langley Park, Stoke Park and Burnham Beeches, taking in some of our most precious countryside along the way. We have started the ride at Burnham Beeches (1) with its parking, cafés and toilet facilities. Historically, this ancient beech woodland was pollarded for firewood and grazed by livestock, practices which allowed in light, controlled undergrowth and created a rich wildlife habitat. In recent years this practice has been restarted and, as well as helping wildlife, it makes it a great place for cyclists and walkers. Just keep an eye out for grazing animals!

Continue along Stoke Common Road to Windmill Road where we turn right up the short hill and left into Fulmer Common Road. We cycle through the beautiful Fulmer Common (8) to Black Park (9). There are many through routes but we normally head to the east side to see what’s going on in neighbouring Pinewood Studios (10) – they were shooting Star Wars last time we went by! There’s a lovely café at the side of the lake where you can enjoy a well-deserved break before leaving Black Park at Billet Lodge. Take care when crossing the busy A 412 dual carriageway, and head down Billet Lane through Langley Park (11) (another café opportunity) to Love Hill Lane and Trenches Lane. Then, right briefly onto the B470 Langley Road, over the canal and immediately left, ducking under the road to join the towpath along the Grand Union Canal (12) to St Mary’s Road.

We turn right past the school and convent and left into George Green Road to the main A412 dual carriageway. Here we turn left, dismount and cross to Church Lane using the footbridge. We follow Church Lane to Stoke Green (13), passing the cricket ground on the left, and then meet the B416 Stoke Road where we turn right past Duffield House and left into Park Road near Stoke Poges. Follow this for just over one mile and turn right into Parsonage Lane which leads to Victoria Road in Farnham Common (14). Here we cross the busy A355 Farnham Road into Kingsway, turn right into Green Lane and left to Beeches Road, returning to where we started at the Burnham Beeches Car Park. I

Further information ∫ Compiled by Dennis Keeling and Ken Davies of the Chiltern Society Cycling Group.

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Black Park Country Park

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Burnham Beeches The route takes us along Halse Drive, up a short hill passing an ancient moat on the right and then across to Abbey Park Farm. Here we turn left into Littleworth Common (2) and right towards Wooburn Common (3), following the old farm road (Green Common Lane) at the back of Odds Farm (4), a popular family attraction, and down by Broomhill Coppice to Ship Hill (5). Here we turn right uphill to lovely Harehatch Lane: beware of big lorries using it as a cut-through. We then cross the A355, joining Kiln Lane which starts as a well-surfaced bridleway past Pennlands Farm, before reverting to a road leading to Hedgerley. On Village Lane we turn right up Hedgerley Hill (6), then left along Collum Green Road, bringing us to the top of an attractive plateau. Turn right down Gypsy Lane, through Timber Wood and Stoke Wood, then left into Templewood Lane, before going over the Gerrards Cross Road (7).

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Map illustration created by Sophie Honeybelle Giant Redwoods at Langley Park 29

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∫ OS maps are available online to download on to your devices: and Memory Map: _ _ store=eu_en

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Don’t just text! Tips for getting kids to open up Sometimes it may seem easier for parents today to text their teens or tweens than to get kids to sit down and really talk about what is going on in their lives. Here are some tips for parents to keep in mind that, when practiced regularly, can build trust and open communication.

David Cunningham

First, really listen Many parents talk first and listen later. Flip flop that for more effective communication. If your child gets upset because he or she is not going to get to do something they want to do, it’s important to first really listen and focus on your child’s concerns. If you are focusing on what you are going to say while your child is talking, you are probably not really listening. Just listen. This is a great way to talk to children about anything, but particularly touchy topics.

Address their concerns A pitfall for many parents is trying to justify, explain or argue with their kids without speaking to their concerns. Be careful not to invalidate what they’re concerned about by beginning sentences with words like: “I can’t believe you’re worried about …” or with gestures such as rolling your eyes. Also, give your kids some space and breathing room to go through what they need to go through, and to ask questions. For a 10-year-old, wanting to know why he can’t have something is a legitimate concern. It's reasonable for a 16-year-old to ask why she can't borrow the car or go to a show. Your children’s concerns are valid.

tight. If the answer is really “not now,” think of ways to engage your kids in creative solutions. Can they help to save money for something they really want by clipping coupons, doing extra jobs or pooling their allowance? Ask them for their ideas and solutions. Use these three tips to have a conversation with your child tonight. Listen first, address their concerns, and then talk straight when you answer their questions. Most importantly, when the conversations get tough, really listen before you speak. Listening is often much more powerful than what you say. See more communication techniques at

Seeing and addressing their concerns will strengthen your communication and your family.

Talk straight This is also about clarity. Strive to understand what your child is saying before you speak. If a child is asking something, and the answer is “no,” parents often try to soften the blow by saying “not now” or “maybe later.” It actually helps the child (and frankly you as the parent) when you just say “no.” Then it’s decided and clear. For instance, if your child tells you she wants something that the family can't afford, simply talk straight about how the family budget is

David Cunningham, M.Ed., is a communication expert and seminar leader for Landmark, a personal and professional growth, training and development company that's had more than 2.4 million people use its programs to cause breakthroughs in their personal lives as well as in their communities, generating more than 100,000 community projects around the world. In The Landmark Forum, Landmark's flagship program, people cause breakthroughs in their performance, communication, relationships and overall satisfaction in life. For more information, please visit

A contribution to the healing of society An End Note Author, public speaker and self-described ‘degrowth activist’ Charles Eisenstein has suggested that depression and anxiety aren’t chemical malfunctions of the brain; rather, they are forms of legitimate rebellion against life structures that are unworthy of one’s full participation or attention. They are more symptoms of a social illness than of a personal deficiency. He refers to Kelly Brogan's books which argue that depression and anxiety aren’t unlucky chemical imbalances in our brains that can be magically removed by medication, but are symptoms of

something deeper. She writes: “We are told that these psychiatric medications are ‘fixing a chemical imbalance’ when they are doing anything but. They are suppressing consciousness.” She offers a multi-dimensional holistic protocol for treating depression, involving diet, body ecology, exercise, and other practices. Part of this worldview is trust in the body’s wisdom and innate healing capacity. No longer is depression an enemy to fight. The response is to restore wholeness on every level, including that of work, relationship, and life purpose. Thus, depression becomes a gateway to an expanded normal, that brings the qualities of interconnectedness and wholeness to all aspects of life. 30

Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Eisenstein believes that we can take this a step further. To be well in a profoundly sick society, one must contribute to the healing of that society. That is the purpose of this magazine. PH

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