Russell Grant Magazine - Dec21 (Santa1221)

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Russell Grant

Dec 2021

* RUTH JONES - CHRISTMAS HOROSCOPES/DATES * ECO-FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS - VEGAN NEWS * FREE 2022 YEAR AHEAD


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RUTH JONES

18 ECO FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS 27 CHRISTMAS HOROSCOPES

8 TIRED ALL THE TIME?

34 STOP THE SILENCE

13 FREE 2022 YEAR AHEAD PREVIEW

40 STRESS FREE CHRISTMAS

14 IMPORTANT ASTROLOGY DATES

48 VEGAN NEWS

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Ruth Jones

Is it the Walk, the Talk or the Charisma? So, what makes a gal succeed? Is it their walk, their talk, or perhaps their super pizazz morphs them into an MBE, or BAFTA Cymru Award screenwriter like Welsh lass Ruth Jones. She certainly hits the high note when it comes to star quality. She is the "Mrs" with the comedic head on her shoulders. The kind of gal that churns up so many laughs she creates sitcoms like "Gavin and Stacey", "Fat Friends" and "Little Britain", even starring in them. But ask yourself, how many balls can a girl keep throwing in the air without one landing on her head? Surely, some mistakes are part of fame's evolution? It could be said that the lovely Ruth Alexandra Elizabeth Jones career as comedienne, writer and producer is evolving full on, even if she avoids making a big deal out of fame and fortune. After all, she is a down to earth “girl next door type” the kind who takes a long hard look at life, and goes realistically funny on it. This is a sun in Virgo, moon in Capricorn lady, people! All that stellar earthiness ensures she prefers a hands-on approach to human absurdities. We roll in the aisles as she blows our contradictions, challenges and idiocies out of the water with never ending laughs. In other words, she builds humour from the bottom up, laser beaming her thoughts into a power house of hilarious giggles. The secret to her fame could be deemed baffling; generally, those graduating from the University of Warwick with a degree in Theatre Studies and Dramatic Art don't end up with an MBE! Perhaps training at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama had something to do with it, or perhaps her enquiring mind and exclusive take on life pushed her up the ladder of success? More Curious than a Cat That moon in Virgo will make her more curious than a cat of course. She wants to learn; she wants to understand the “ins and outs” of existence and will not find peace unless she gets the funny answers. Her cerebral cortex darts here and there, full of perceptions and ideas.. Some might keep her up at night. When she has a visionary breakthrough at three in the morning, she will probably invade the fridge and then work on till dawn, munching on cheddar cheese. She does it for her own laughs.


‘Some say clowns wear a mask to hide their tears. But in Ruth's case those tears can only be tears of laughter…’ Credit: BBC

Let's face it, Ruth is an original, she told Penguin Books that she is also a bit of a “looker backer” finding security in the past, but also the complexity of life's memories. Ruth has a lot to look back on. She adored her dad, a lawyer for British Stell Corporation. She was the youngest in the family, she has two older brothers. She will definitely not forget performing in school musicals as a kid, even shifting scenery and playing the part of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.


Credit: BBC

Her memories might have encouraged her to write about the trials and tribulations of Welsh family life in a book that spans generations, "Us Three". She told Penguin that she considers Welsh parents overprotective. "They want to know all the ins and outs, melodramatic in their responses and catastrophizing everything". Now did she have the type of dad "that brandished his daughter with a khaki money belt before she left for a Greek holiday?" May be, Yet she insists "I love looking at old photographs. I don't know if it is something that gets more appealing as one gets older, and you are trying to make sense of your place in the world.” Her fans certainly look forward to Ruth finding her place on their TV screens this Christmas. The kind of place that gathers together comedic forces in one fell swoop. Ruth has a “hail fellow well met” camaraderie about her. She works well with practically everyone. In fact, she will probably be joining forces with Rob Brydon. Hopefully, those two will get that Christmas karaoke atmosphere off the ground “Nessa and Bryn” Style. “The Gavin and Stacey veterans are planning a one-off show in the Highlands of Scotland as we speak.” A source told the Mirror : ‘It’s a festive half-hour comedy for this year starring Ruth and Rob, who are old friends, in the title roles as Ray and Gaynor. James Corden will join in the frolics apparently. ‘Everyone is delighted to have a little bit of Gavin & Stacey on the BBC this Christmas. Even if it doesn’t have Gavin. Or Stacey.’


"Don't Get Me Wrong!" So, what about the fab James Corden then? Ruth confided in the Express “....., we can argue don’t get me wrong, we have a very brotherly sisterly relationship but our friendship at the heart of it, is so strong and I am so proud .....of the journey that we’ve been on together.” The two of them met on the set of "Fat Friends" and have never looked back. They are adorable together. But then this gal is adorable full stop, even if we continue to ask what makes her so darned "fabulosa" too? Well, her Mercury in Libra makes her warm hearted and a great friend to those she loves. She communicates a "simpatica" , harmonious vibe that draws people to her. Also, according to calculations Ruth's sun could be in the fourth house, which might account for the honour and fame showered upon her in mega doses. That particular star combo would have also affected her childhood. Her dad was probably a guiding light. He might have encouraged her success and yet taught her to protect her privacy, her deeper feelings. She is a private person, married to David Peet, the TV and radio producer and step mother to three. So, what is the final analysis of a unique comedienne with bells on her fingers and rings on her toes? Nobody could doubt she is the “Ultimate Funny Woman of the Year", she won that prize in November 2009. Perhaps the real answer to the Ruth Jones Mystery is music. She told the "Desert Island Discs" host that her favourite track is “Smooth” by Santana. One can just imagine her dancing to the beat with a pen behind her ear, ready to jot down the next joke. Some say clowns wear a mask to hide their tears. But in Ruth's case those tears can only be tears of laughter. Her life does not stop with her astro picture, you see; her Spirit carries us beyond, into the infinite joy of existence. Philip Garcia - Astrologer Credit: BBC


Tired all the time?

Many people complain of feeling tired all the time, with as many as 90% adults saying that they don't get enough sleep. But feeling tired isn't just about the hours spent asleep. Quality of sleep is also a significant factor is how well rested and healthy a person feels. Let's consider some reasons as to why you could be so tired all the time: It's important to check if there's an underlying health condition. Feeling continually tired, with low energy levels may be indicative of a health-related issue, so it's worth booking a check-up with your family doctor. Boredom and low mood can result in reduced energy levels, as well as feelings of apathy, inertia and ongoing tiredness. Notice if this continues, as an inability to be interested, motivated and inspired by what's happening around you can be symptomatic of depression and other health-related concerns. Stress may be an important factor in how tired you feel. Living with constant stress puts your mental and physical wellbeing at risk and, if left unchecked, can become a cause for serious concern. Being stressed can impact on a good night's sleep, with those worries playing on your mind and disturbing your ability to relax and rest. Notice if your dreams have become troublesome or disturbing. They can be an indicator that you have problems playing on your mind. Supporting healthy habits can improve your wellbeing and quality of sleep. Good dietary habits, with fresh fruit and vegetables, less junk and processed foods, plenty of good hydration, more water and less caffeine and pop drinks are important. As is fresh air and regular exercise, often an important way to take a break and manage your stress levels.


Becoming more organised can help you feel less tired and overwhelmed. Some people are reactive, which may well result in them working on several tasks at once, starting a new one as soon as they're asked, rather than complete the task already in hand. A chaotic and often unproductive use of their time! It can be more beneficial to list all that needs to be done and then plan accordingly. Delegating is often a useful step, which at home may include giving children responsibility for some chores. This can help clear your mind and encourage others to become more appreciative of what they have. Being proactive at work may involve becoming less

obliging and handing over work to others, perhaps resulting in them learning new skills. Sometimes hiring help at home, maybe with tasks like cleaning, ironing and gardening, or at work, with admin, book-keeping, PR, can free up some time and be money well spent. Certain areas benefit from being kept free of clutter, even if there's a backlog of impending work that needs your attention. When you're in need of a good night's sleep it's especially important to be disciplined about having a clear bedroom, ensuring you have a calm refuge that's tidy and peaceful. Turn off your tech, leave your phone charging elsewhere, enjoy a relaxing bath or shower and unwind in


the peace and calm of your own, special place. Check on how comfortable is your bedroom? The quality of your mattress, pillows and linen can make all the difference. Clean sheets are top of many people's wish list, perhaps with a little lavender in the final rinse. Also, the temperature of your bedroom. We sleep better in a slightly cooler bedroom The change in seasons can impact on how well we sleep, with the dark, cold nights of autumn and winter often introducing a hibernating mentality. Invest time and effort into making your home cosy, bright and cheerful, paying particular attention to lighting. Lamps, wall lights and candles are often more soothing than severe, overhead lighting. Create a cosy atmosphere that supports a relaxing mood. Throughout the colder months, wrap up warm and get outside to top up your vitamin D and daylight levels. Autumn and winter can be a time to enjoy cosy evenings shared with family and friends. A brisk walk kicking through fallen leaves and then home to a warming soup or casserole, followed by board games or a good book can be a positive way to unwind and enjoy the darker seasons. And during the lighter days and nights take opportunities for walks, outdoor sports, activities and entertaining. Plant your garden, maybe even growing your own fruit and vegetables. All ways to support an active lifestyle, whilst also being an investment in your health and wellbeing. Finding balance in life is not always easy. Sometimes we may be too busy, other times worryingly quiet, with both situations being equally stressful, so affecting our ability to sleep well. Being over-tired or under-occupied can be helped by finding ways to utilise your time well, schedule breaks, invest in fun, exercise and reinforce your sense of feeling valued and valuable. Adopting good self-care & quality 'me time' can be a satisfying approach to good health, wellbeing & be a refreshing way to ensure a good night's sleep.

Susan Leigh A.C.H.Qual, M.N.C.H.(Acc), M.S.M.S.(Acc), H.A.Reg from Altrincham,Cheshire, is a counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor,writer & media contributor who offers help with relationship issues,stress management,assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients,couples and provide corporate workshops and support.


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Important December Astrology Dates

Neptune goes direct in Pisces After a very long delay, Neptune finally moves into its home in Pisces. As this fivemonth journey comes to an end, you will find this month to be a time of reckoning on most fronts. If you have been lagging behind in romance, you need to stop delaying and make a choice. Either you are going to ask someone out, or you need to let yourself be forever stuck in the friend zone. When it comes to work, you are going to have to decide what is best for you. Lastly, on the home front you will have to decide what part your family is going to play in your future. While you do not have to make all of these choices today, you will need to have answers by the end of the month, so you can start out the New Year in a much better place.

New moon solar eclipse in Sagittarius This is a good time to take a small break and think about not only what you what to say but also how you say it. Even the right words spoken in the wrong tone can convey a different meaning. You might also what to rethink the location and your body language. You would not tell someone you love while in the middle of a business meeting, just as you should not discuss business at a romantic restaurant. Clear and concise communication is what is crucial now. Once you have reset your thinking, then you can re-join the rest of the world in the rush to get things done before year’s end. You are finally near the end of a long journey, and while the goal may be insight, it does not mean you rest on your laurels until you have reached the goal line!


Mercury in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces Those around you are having a difficult time keeping on task. Although you may be the one who has to keep them on task, be very careful in your choice of words. Miscommunication and confusion abound and there really is not anything you can do to clear things up. If others keep looking at you like they are lost in a brain fog, it is because they probably are. Take the time to thoroughly explain to them just what you need done. While you have a seemingly unending list of things to do, it does not mean you cannot finish your duties. Although you might feel some frustration about the slow pace of things, keep going and you will find success.

Sun in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces If you have been bored with life, hold on as things are about to change. You may find yourself thinking more about the future and what you really what out of life. Have you been considering making a career change or moving to a new city? Then this may be the time to consider turning your dreams into reality! Your spiritual nature takes centre stage as those around you make you reconsider some of your core beliefs. While you have been pondering your place in the universe for a while now, you may what to take some respective time to make sure your beliefs still work for you. It is not that you need to change your religion, but you may need introspection and adjustment in perspective.

Full moon in Gemini The new moon marks the end of one cycle and the beginning of something new. There may be some contradictions between what you hoped would happen and what is really happening. While there is no need for you to make a decision right away, you may be confronted with something which demands your attention in the next few days. Be extra careful of your word choices, as the phrases you choose in haste may come back to bite you. When others come to you to solve an issue, you need to keep in mind that there are two sides to every argument. Making a choice based only on one person’s input could be as dangerous as making no choice at all. Gather the information you need before moving forward.


Mercury in Capricorn trine Uranus in Taurus This is your chance to grab onto an opportunity without putting forth much effort. While getting the chance to fulfil your dreams may be easy to grasp, it can be more difficult to hold onto if you are not committed to making the change. All changes come with a cost, sometimes in cash and sometimes in personal commitment. Either way, this is about chasing your dreams, not the dreams of others. Do not be afraid to think outside of the box for a solution which will be more beneficial for you. It is going to take all of your negotiation skills to ensure you do not let this opportunity pass you by. If you are asked to keep quiet by the other party, be sure to keep you lips closed until the deal is done or you could find this prospect slip through your fingers very, very quickly.

Sun enters Capricorn/Winter Solstice — Ceres retrogrades back into Taurus The moment you have been waiting for all month long has arrived. For good or bad, it is time for you to make a decision about your future. On the one hand, you could stay where you are; there is nothing wrong with being warm and comfortable in a place you know well. On the other hand, if you are not being challenged you may not grow into the person you want to be. While those around you may not understand the bases for either choice you make, you know deep down which one is right for you; go with your gut and you will never go wrong. When it comes to love, you may be down, but you are not out of the race. It is time for you to get up, put one foot in front of the other and march!

Venus in Capricorn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn Although the rest of the world may be in celebration, all you might be able to see is the darker sides of life. This is not about being a naysayer; it is more about digging into the depths of yourself to find out who you are and what you want out of life. You cannot hide from yourself and if you have been waiting for the best time to tell someone something, then it is time to have your say and see what happens. Others may see this as a time of comfort and joy, but you need that same feeling in your heart. Hiding how you're really feel, or who you really are is only going to cause you more pain and anguish in the future. No matter what you do, this will be a day for everyone to remember.


Mercury in Capricorn conjunct Venus in Capricorn — Mars in Sagittarius sextile Saturn in Aquarius

Jupiter enters Pisces All the stress and worry of the month finally flows away, it is time take your extra energy and give of yourself to those in need. You have both the time and money to help those around you to find insight and meaning to their lives. You will function best when you work on a project you believe in or care for the ones who have the most need. While you may have felt drained by the events of the past, a little time giving of yourself will help to replenish your batteries and give you hope for the New Year. If you do not know where to start this new adventure, pick a place close to home, you will find there is more need than you would have thought in your own community.

Be on your guard as negative thoughts and emotions have sway over your thinking and can cause you problems. We all have those negative monsters in our heads which work against us by keeping our darkest thoughts and fears close at hand. The question is not if they are there, but are you going to let them overtake you and drag you down? Do not let yourself be overrun by unhealthy and untrue mental constructs. You have value and worth, even if it is hard to see right now. If you continue to have difficulties overcoming negative ideas, seek the aid of a trusted friend or professional as soon as possible. Very quickly you will find even a few good words and acts will help you to chase away the wintertime melancholy.


Eco Friendly Christmas

With the wind getting chilly, it’s time to welcome the Christmas decorations, the beloved Christmas tree, and the much-awaited festive holiday season. Ranging from the pumpkin spice latte, to perfectly marinated turkey and lovingly wrapped gifts. Christmas traditions have us hooked. However, for a long time we’ve all been consuming far too much around this time of the year. Which doesn’t really align with the sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle many of us are trying to achieve nowadays. So, if you’re an eco-conscious family and don’t know how to make your Christmas eco-friendly, we have some amazing ideas in store for you! Here are a few ways to get in to the Christmas spirit in an eco-friendly way. Make Your Own Christmas Cards We all have extra paper and cards lying around in the cupboards, so what’s the point of purchasing new Christmas cards when you can get some DIY card ideas and make the cards at home? All you need are some papers, your art and craft box, and some colours to make the homemade cards pop while staying sustainable!


purpose, just use the old gift wrapping papers that you’ve collected over the Gift wrapping is serious business, but it years and use them rather than doesn’t have to be green and red purchasing new ones from the cute Christmas-y wrapping paper. Instead, stationery shop by the corner. You can you can use old newspapers to wrap the also reuse last year’s Christmas cards as gift (it’s truly a unique wrapping paper), gift tags – just cut out the picture on the use green paper to cut out the Christmas front and add some string or ribbon to tree, and paste it to the gift for some attach to the present. sprucing up. In fact, you can search for wrapping paper ideas to make the Gift Something That Lasts newspaper wrapping look unique. Gifts are an undeniable part of Christmas, but when we hoard on them, they are left unused and don’t really help the planet. So, why don’t you get your loved ones some indoor plants that last for months, if not years? Needless to say, the indoor plants are kinder to the planet, and the receiver will cherish them long after Christmas is over! Make Homemade Stocking Stuffers Wrap Presents In Old Newspapers

Who doesn’t love hanging the Christmas stocking on Christmas Eve – after all, that’s where you get all presents! However, store-bought stocking stuffers only add to the landfill, so isn’t it better to get some homemade stocking stuffers? You could make homemade beauty products such as body scrub or lotion, or make candles or even bracelets made of yarn or thread. Homemade gifts are always extra special because of the time that goes into making them. Use Recycled Gift Wrap Paper There is nothing more sustainable than recycling, right? So, using the old and recycled gift wrap paper is the epitome of a green gift wrap idea. For this

Handmade Christmas Gifts If you are someone who is good with crafts and have a creative side, handmade gifts are perfectly sustainable and more personal. It doesn’t matter if you like baking, painting, or sewing, just use your creative side, put your stamp on their Christmas gift, and watch the receiver smile with joy.


Handmade Christmas Decorations We’ve all purchased tree toppers, ornaments, stockings, and tree skirts at some point during this time of the year. However, when you’re trying to save the planet, try switching to handmade Christmas decorations instead. Not only does it look captivating, it’s also great for the environment. In fact, many stores now even offer handmade Christmas decorations. So don’t forget to check them out (personally, we love handmade stockings and ornaments made from biodegradable materials). Say No To A Christmas Tree Wait a minute, we aren’t stopping you from having a Christmas tree – we are just saying that you should stop purchasing special Christmas trees. The idea is to spruce up your big houseplant, decorate it with fairy lights and ornaments, and the Christmas tree is ready. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a particular fir tree or pine tree, just use what you have available to you. You could even buy a live, potted Christmas tree so you could plant it outside afterwards. Or, even keep it in it’s pot so you can use it again and again each year. Plant A Tree When the whole world is busy cutting down the trees to decorate their home, why not set a new tradition of planting a tree? It’s innovative, great for the planet, and you’ve no idea how rewarding it feels! Green Travel Christmas trips are always fun, but they don’t have to be in your car always. We suggest that you use local busses and trains to travel to help reduce carbon emissions. Not to forget, these trips are amazingly interactive since you get to meet new people on the ride! The Lifestyle Blogger


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December Horoscopes from Russell Grant

oon New M

New M oon Full M oon


ARIES Turning your dreams into reality will be easy at the beginning of December. The New Moon on the 4th could attract an opportunity to write, study or travel; a prestigious organisation will be happy to cover the bill. Don't be intimidated by a long application; you'll get the funding you need. Business discussions could take up a great deal of time during the middle of the month; emphasise your leadership ability when applying for a job or negotiating a raise. Good news will reach your ears on or directly after the 19th, courtesy of an uplifting Full Moon. Beware of mixing friendship with finance in the second half of December. Spiritual pursuits could assume a greater importance as the year comes to an end.

TAURUS A stalled dream could be revived in the opening days of the month. On the 4th, the New Moon will deposit some additional money in your account from an inheritance, royalty payment or legal settlement. Use this windfall to advance your career or professional profile. The Full Moon on the 19th brings more good news on the financial front; don't be surprised if you're awarded a lucrative job after a lengthy interview process. Don't let the thought of assuming heavy responsibilities cause you to turn down this opportunity; you're overdue for a big career challenge. Getting paid to exercise your imagination will give you an extremely attractive glow. Your social life will burst into flower in the final days of December.


GEMINI Work will become much more rewarding in December, when you're given a chance to interview for your dream job in the opening days of the month. On the 4th, the New Moon opens the door to an enticing partnership. Giving your heart to an adventurous flirt or entering an alliance with a seasoned expert are among the exciting possibilities. Towards the middle of the month, you will struggle to achieve a healthy balance between your personal and professional lives. Try to be fair. The second half of December warns against getting embroiled in legal battles. It's better to settle out of court than get dragged into a protracted struggle. Opportunities for professional advancement will abound during the last week of 2021.

CANCER Stalled educational or travel plans could finally move forward at the start of December, much to your delight. If your energy has been flagging, launch a fitness regimen on the 4th, when the New Moon will prompt you to be more attentive to your body's needs. Improve your diet and exercise habits. In mid-month, you will enter a partnership that relieves you of heavy responsibilities. A spiritual revelation will arrive on the 19th, courtesy of the enlightening Full Moon. Getting romantically involved with a friend could be serious cause for regret in the second half of the month; keep things platonic. Pursuing an advanced degree or writing a book will uplift and inspire you in the final days of the year.


LEO The New Moon on the 4th could pave the way to a passionate romance or rewarding creative project. An experienced partner will give you the courage to take some risks that are incredibly fulfilling. Hard work will be a theme in the middle of December; you could be putting in long hours for the sake of a demanding project. If you're unemployed, you may plunge into a rigorous interview process. The Full Moon on the 19th marks the conclusion of a stimulating group project. You'll miss your colleagues, who have become integral members of your social set. Try not to take out your frustrations on your romantic partner or work associates in the second half of December; they're just innocent bystanders.

VIRGO A dream relationship could take off like a kite in the opening days of December. Whether you are single or attached, this should be a delightfully romantic time. The New Moon on the 4th finds you devoting more energy to domestic pursuits. If you've been thinking of moving, this is an ideal to time to search for a place to live. You could find excellent interest rates on home loans. On or around the 19th, the Full Moon could find you getting a raise, promotion, or professional award for a job well done. Beware of confusing passion with love in the second half of the month; the two are not interchangeable. Spend the final days of 2021 cuddling or condoling with your favourite person.


LIBRA Sharing your expertise with an appreciative audience will be a welcome trend at the beginning of December. Starting on the 4th, the New Moon could find you teaching an online course or record some instructional videos. The pleasures of home will call your name at the middle of the month; take time out of your busy schedule to connect with friends, relatives and neighbours. Hosting a big party will be very rewarding. The Full Moon on the 19th could bring pleasing results for an exam or application. Arguments about the division of money or labour could shake up a romance in the second half of the month. Get a jump start on New Year's resolutions by starting a fitness program in the final days of December.

SCORPIO An additional source of income could arrive on or around the 4th, courtesy of an enriching New Moon. Any job that allows you to work from home will be fulfilling, stable and lucrative. Lengthy business negotiations could begin towards the middle of the month. Be patient and supplement proposals with reliable facts and figures. By the time the Full Moon rises on the 19th, you'll see a financial windfall in the form of an inheritance, legal settlement or tax refund. The second half of December could be stressful, due to a business or romantic partner's erratic behaviour. Establishing firm ground rules for your interactions. The final days of the year could find you floating away on a cloud of love, thanks to an attentive admirer.


SAGITTARIUS Spending more time at home can soothe your fiery energy during the first of the month. You'll be back in the public eye on the 4th, thanks to a fame enhancing New Moon. Don't be surprised if you are put in charge of a community or educational project; people respond well to your upbeat energy. Your financial situation should improve before the end of the month, especially if you take it upon yourself to negotiate a higher salary. On the 19th, the Full Moon will bring a fruitful partnership to a satisfying conclusion. Your health might be delicate in the second half of December, so avoid overindulging in food and drink. Moving to a spacious and beautiful place near the water is a distinct possibility at the end of 2021.

CAPRICORN Solitary pursuits can bring tremendous pleasure at the start of December. On the 4th, the New Moon will urge you to take yourself off to a quiet place where you can hear yourself think. A spiritual epiphany could inspire you to devote more time to the activities and relationships you most value. You should use the power of your increased magnetism to promote your personal and professional agendas before the year ends. The Full Moon on the 19th may find you reaching a personal best regarding your health; give yourself a handsome reward for having worked so hard. Don't let a financial shortage cause you to panic in the second half of December; you can find some creative and inexpensive ways to have fun at year's end.


AQUARIUS The New Moon on the 4th is ideal for joining a society or group devoted to your favourite subject. You're sure to meet some accomplished people through this association. Spend the middle portion of the month attending to administrative tasks and paperwork. This will leave the second half of December free for more pleasurable pursuits. On the 19th, the Full Moon will bring news of an engagement, marriage, or creative achievement. Enjoy the round of parties that ensue from this happy event. Don't discourage a relative from pursuing their dreams as the holidays approach; your approval will pave the way to their success. The final days of the year will bring at least one extraordinary earning opportunity. Ring out 2021 in style.

PISCES Dedicate yourself to leading your best life at the beginning of December. If you can conceive it, you will achieve it. On the 4th, the New Moon will deliver a fantastic professional opportunity. A position involving publishing, higher education or travel could bring much-needed financial stability. Put your creative talent on display at work towards the middle of the month; it's a great way to gain distinction. The Full Moon on the 19th could find you leaving one home for one that is more spacious. Beware of making angry posts on social media in the second half of December or you could regret it. You'll command the spotlight in the final days of the year; this is a great time to launch a website.


Stop the silence

How many of us hate the thought of any whiff of confrontation? It's often a scary, unnerving prospect, as we cannot know in advance how we will be received, what will be unleashed or what the outcome might be. Work, at home or with friends can sometimes have undercurrents or escalations of tension that may have simmered and remained unspoken about for some considerable time. But keeping silent can bring its own complications and issues, as not speaking out may be interpreted as silently giving permission for things to continue as they are. 'You should have said', 'why didn't you say something?, may be comments justifiably levelled at us if we eventually disclose that we've long been unhappy at the way things have gradually evolved. There are several things that can contribute to our apprehension at breaking the silence and starting to talk. Apprehension might manifest about inadvertently saying the wrong thing and causing friction or even appearing foolish, unintelligent or ignorant. Could our words be misconstrued and add petrol to an already inflammatory situation, resulting in messy consequences?


Another concern may be about opening a 'can of worms'. Once said things cannot be unsaid and verbalising how something made us feel may prompt the other person to have much to say, resulting in a barrage of comments, examples and much stored-up resentment that's been festering awhile. We may end up regretting that we said anything at all, though our desire to air our feelings and hurt was valid and justified. Even so, stopping the silence and starting to talk does bring a situation to a head and means that issues are more likely to be dealt with and addressed. Of course, the other person has also got to be prepared to participate, but if they choose not to engage and instead stay silent and unforthcoming that can frustrate any chance of resolving matters.

Some positive tips to stop the silence and start to talk. Get used to speaking up and hearing your own voice by practising having opinions on 'safe', more generalised, less emotive topics, like local news and events. Improve your confidence levels by suggesting interesting events to your group or by sharing informed views on what's happening locally. Practise speaking in a variety of settings. Appreciate that many people also have concerns as to how they'll be received, what others will think of them when they tentatively voice their opinions. Joining in conversations will enable those relationships to benefit. In your personal relationships, start by conversing with each other, properly discussing what's happening in each other's lives rather than simply delivering domestic updates about the shopping list or children's diaries. Maybe go for a walk while dinner is cooking or when the children are busy with an activity.


Sooner rather than later is best. Avoid silence becoming the norm, a default habit, by aiming to regularly set aside time to talk, share and discuss any issues in your relationship. Even minor niggles benefit from being talked through, as it's often the small items that eventually irritate the most. Listening is important. This means staying quiet long enough to let the other person process their thoughts and find what they want to say, no matter how inelegantly it's phrased. Avoid the temptation to second-guess or finish each other's sentences!

Beware of using too many examples. If your partner cites a particular problem, try to avoid responding with justifications and examples as a way of explaining yourself. Instead, practice empathy and learn more about how they're feeling and why. Accusations, recriminations and retaliation merely rehash old wounds and rarely improve a situation. Don't underestimate the positive role gentle, affectionate humour and self-deprecation can play at these times. Both can make valid, helpful points in a light yet significant way.

If one person has a better vocabulary, is quicker-thinking or is perceived to be Investing in important relationships better at arguing or more intelligent it can means making time for each other feel intimidating to be in a 'clearing the and demonstrating mutual respect, so air' discussion with them. Lacking the that everyone feels able to speak, confidence to proceed or feeling wary share the good and bad in their lives can inhibit any useful attempts at and enjoy a quality, supportive level conversation, particularly if there's no of communication. In doing this you attempt to converse on a more level stop the silence and start to talk! basis. Be sensitive to any perceived inequalities. Susan Leigh A.C.H.Qual, M.N.C.H.(Acc), M.S.M.S.(Acc), H.A.Reg from Altrincham,Cheshire, is a counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor,writer & media contributor who offers help with relationship issues,stress management,assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients,couples and provide corporate workshops and support.


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A less stressful Christmas

Most people love the festive period with the build-up and all the excitement in the run up to the big day. Of course, spending the Christmas season enjoying quality time with your loved ones as well. It’s a wonderful time but it can also be very stressful for those who oversee all the planning and organising. That’s a job that often lands on the mothers. The good news is there are lots of things that you can do to make Christmas less stressful. So you too can focus more on enjoying yourself and spending time with your family instead. Get Yourself Organised The first thing you need to do to reduce Christmas stress, is to get organised. Choose the way you’re most comfortable. Whether it’s a notes app on your phone (handy because you can access and edit it from wherever you are). Classic to-do lists on paper, or even a dedicated Christmas planning notebook if you’re feeling extra festive. To feel organised and in charge, you need to get all those to-dos out of your


head and written down. Make lists of everyone you would like to buy a present for. Along with any gift ideas you already have. Shopping lists and meal plans for the Christmas dinner and the festive period. Plus anything else you need to buy or sort out before Christmas, like some new Christmas decorations perhaps. Once it’s written down on paper or on your phone, you can let your mind relax a bit. This should immediately reduce your stress levels massively and help you feel in control. Which should allow you to actually enjoy the process of organising Christmas.

Get Prepared Early There are lots of things you can do to prepare for Christmas to make things easier and less stressful. In the kitchen, try to use up things you have in the fridge, freezer, and cupboards. To make more space for the yummy Christmas food shop. You can also start buying nonperishable items since the shops have lots of Christmas stock already. This will help spread the cost and will make the shopping more manageable too. When you’ve bought a present, write down what it was on your list and who it’s for and wrap it up straight away. Put a name tag on it and put it away. Then it’s done and you don’t need to factor in the time needed for a big present wrapping session right before Christmas. Delegate Tasks

Declutter Your Home Christmas usually comes with added stuff which can quickly clutter your home if you haven’t made space for them beforehand. Clutter can be a huge stress trigger for many of us. So it’s important to be proactive and have a decluttering session before the holiday season. Making sure you have space for anything new that comes into your home over the holidays.

When it comes to the final preparations (or any before that if you wish), remember that you can – and should – delegate tasks too. Remind yourself that Christmas is not YOUR responsibility. The whole family and any other people who are involved should help too. This could be by making some of the food, doing some of the shopping, getting the decorations up or helping to declutter and clean the house. Christmas is a family event that we should prepare for and celebrate together. The Lifestyle Blogger


Many people decide to make resolutions at New Year. They carefully select what they are going to give up, berate themselves for their old, bad habits and put themselves under increasing pressure to stop doing things that they have often enjoyed. Many of those resolutions last a week or two before stress, desire for comfort and simple forgetfulness propel them back into their old ways. Let's look at another approach that may have a better chance of success. Positive resolutions are supportive, encouraging and gentle. They encourage us to improve with kindness, especially kindness to ourselves. Let's look at some of the best positive resolutions, taken from my postbag: Maxine asks “I struggle to say how I feel in my relationships. I always dread how people are going to react if I disagree with them or I worry that they will find my suggestions and ideas foolish. I need to change my approach because I'm finding that I'm becoming increasingly resentful. Have you any suggestions on how to do this?” Relationships are about compromise. People evolve and change over the years. Being respectful and accommodating those changes allows people to maintain their individual identity whilst appreciating each other within the context of their relationships. Some thoughts for resolutions: - Start voicing your opinions. Speaking in a calm, respectful manner prompts positive discussion. Remaining silent can lead people to feel that you agree, have no strong opinions or are fine about what has happened. - Consider the outcome you want from each situation and work towards that goal. Fear and anticipation of what may happen is usually far worse than reality. Many people get into the habit of second guessing how others are thinking and feeling. Being assertive and dealing with issues immediately avoids negative selftalk.


- Allow others to take responsibility for their own choices and decisions. If they choose to accept situations you need to respect their decision. Being respectful includes respecting yourself and deciding what's right for you. Honesty in communications improves the quality of your relationships. - Start to vocalize ideas and viewpoints, suggest topics for discussion, become more noticeable in your group. - Work on improving your confidence. Maybe undertake therapy to improve any negative patterns or expectations you have identified. Do things to improve how you feel about yourself. Benefit your self-image by becoming fitter and taking more care about how you look, dress, feel. Improve your conversational skills by noticing how others interact, keep up to date with popular culture and gradually enhance your life skills. When you feel able to be yourself, are confident about speaking openly and honestly, you become happier, more positive and relax into a more fulfilling quality of life. Interestingly everyone benefits as your relationship with yourself improves. Heather asks “My work situation is feeling increasingly like a treadmill. I know that I should be achieving far more in my career. I don't feel appreciated at work where I'm taken for granted and under-valued. What should I do?” It's important to feel useful and satisfied in your work. Most people spend more time at work than anywhere else. The truth is some people are more ambitious than others. Not everyone wants to be a managing director or senior executive and some people are content to do the same tasks day in, day out. Some thoughts for resolutions: - Decide to be the best you can be each day and commit fully to each job you undertake. Many people complain about work, say that they would love to leave and retire or do something else but are trapped by the need for a regular income. People who do leave their jobs often find that they soon replace one occupation with another. They may start a new business, undergo training, volunteer, but many people find it important to fill their days with activity. - Appreciating that you are fortunate enough to have a job, have work that keeps you occupied, gives you a role in life, is one way to turn a negative viewpoint around. Starting now, be the best you can be, whether you are sweeping roads or doing brain surgery. This mindset gives a sense of pride and satisfaction in your daily efforts and accomplishments. - Acknowledge that work provides more than income. It provides a structure to your days, gives a reason to get up in the morning, have a shower, be smart and


presentable. Many people value the social element of their job, the interaction with others and camaraderie, the team dynamic. - Take responsibility for improving your situation. Is there potential for training, changing your role, an opportunity for more responsibility, perhaps the chance of a secondment elsewhere. If your company offers staff appraisals tell your manager that you want a more challenging role, are keen to develop and improve. Even if there are no immediate opportunities at least you have indicated your willingness to progress. - If you have no choice but to continue in your present work situation look at the other areas of your life and ensure that they provide stimulation and satisfaction. Perhaps commit to interesting hobbies like amateur dramatics, set physical challenges or join a team sport that requires regular commitment to training, offer to help a charity. Alternative means of finding commitment and satisfaction can ease a less than positive work situation. By taking responsibility and making positive changes you can feel more in control and less like a hamster endlessly running on a wheel. Having fun and fulfilment in some areas of your life helps to reduce the frustration felt in other areas. Mandy asks “I am tired of my social life and the people I mix with. My friends seem increasingly negative and superficial and I am bored with the same old pattern of clubs, drinking and gossiping. What can I do to change the situation?” Sometimes a group automatically make the same plans and arrangements without any real thought about alternatives. It becomes a habit to just turn up regularly. No one really thinks about it. Could it be that if you were to suggest something new or different people would relish the opportunity for a change? Some thoughts for resolutions: - Make the decision to surround yourself with positive people and conversations. If you feel that you have outgrown some of your friends commit to a fresh start in those areas. People annually sort out their Christmas card list and shed a few names each year. Why not do the same with any negative, unsupportive friends and acquaintances in your life? Start to spring clean the unpleasant people out of your life and make more time for positive, upbeat people. This generates better energy around you. - We all have to compromise and support each other's choices and wishes on occasion. Compromise is part of sharing our life with others, but it's important for our interests and choices to be accommodated at times. Be sure to voice your ideas and make suggestions for activities that interest you.


- Be more assertive. If you don't like an idea that someone has suggested, the way they are behaving, the way a conversation is going then say something. You have a responsibility to yourself, to your quality of life and the choices you make. Saying 'no' can be a positive word in your vocabulary as it allows control over your decisions and choices. No one really knows how you think or feel unless you tell them. - There is no need to put all your eggs in one basket and commit to spending your free time with just one group of friends. Many people form friendships in several areas of their lives. They may have friends from work, neighbours, parents from their children's schools, friends from childhood, people accumulated along the way; all are socialized with at different times throughout the year. An assortment of people can accommodate your many interests and areas of life. - Make a commitment to yourself and ensure that you schedule certain things that give you pleasure on a regular basis. Put yourself in your diary just as you would an important client or meeting. Whether it be time for exercise, lunch with friends, reading a book, having a leisurely bath, commit to some regular personal time. It supports your health, is a good way to minimise stress and keeps you better humoured and feeling more in control of your life. Positive resolutions support you and provide a better approach to improving yourself and your life. When you treat yourself with kindness you become a happier person, everyone benefits and your quality of life is enhanced. Resolutions are often associated with New Year, but in truth, any time can be a good time to commit to improvement.

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Susan Leigh A.C.H.Qual, M.N.C.H.(Acc), M.S.M.S.(Acc), H.A.Reg from Altrincham,Cheshire, is a counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor,writer & media contributor who offers help with relationship issues,stress management,assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients,couples and provide corporate workshops and support.


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Kay asks “I feel like my life has barely begun and I worry I haven't lived fully. Will I get to have an adventure?” Kay is a Taurus with Mercury and Venus in Gemini and Mars in adventurous Aries. She asks will she get to have an adventure but it is likely that if she looks back on her life, she will have had many exciting journeys. 1985 for instance will have been a year of change and opportunity while Uranus linked with Mars in her chart. The start of this millennium will have been fun, stimulating and unpredictable with some interesting friendships that will have helped Kay change and grow. This pandemic has brought a period of restriction for everyone but there will still be opportunities for Kay to have more adventures with a big change set to happen in 2023.

Janice asks “I have just split from my long-term partner. Will I find someone new?“ Janice is a Libran with planets in Virgo and Scorpio. This suggests that as well as relationships being important to her, she is a loyal and honest and loves very deeply. That’s why she will need time to get over this breakup before starting a new relationship. Rather than rushing into anything, Janice should press the pause button and spend some time reconnecting with her inner-self. This is her chance to do things that make her happy and that nourish her beautiful soul. With Saturn linking with Venus in her chart, Janice could find herself reassessing many aspects of her life and relationships as she deals with old wounds and learns to love herself unconditionally.


Vegan News

Gregg’s Vegan Festive Bake go on sale for the Christmas season Greggs has launched its first ever vegan Festive Bake as part of its Christmas 2021 menu. The vegan Festive Bake went on sale last month and is a take on the Christmas dinner, with chicken, sage & onion stuffing and sweet cure bacon smothered in a sage and cranberry sauce, encased in crumb topped pastry. Greggs added a vegan version of the Festive Bake Credit:Greggs to its Christmas range, following in the footsteps of the Vegan Sausage Roll, Vegan Steak Bake and Vegan Sausage and CheeZe Melt. Greggs says: "Taking inspiration from the original masterpiece, the vegan-friendly version is filled with Quorn mycoprotein pieces, sage & onion stuffing and a vegan bacon crumb, finished with a mouth-watering sage & cranberry sauce encased in delicious puff pastry." Hannah Squirrell, Customer Director at Greggs, said: “The Festive Bake is the latest iconic Greggs Bake to receive a vegan-friendly makeover, and it retains all the classic Christmassy flavours of the original. There’s nothing better over the festive season than tucking into delicious Christmas food, and we’re confident that customers will love our latest tasty Bakes.”


Asda scoops Vegan Retailer Of The Year Plant Based News announce that Asda has been crowned the top British supermarket giant for its vegan offerings at the prestigious Quality Food Awards 2021. As well as bagging the Vegan Retailer of the Year title, the store also scooped Free From Retailer of the Year. And, both Retailer of the Year and Bakery Retailer of the Year. The news was announced this week and follows a strict judging process from a panel of food experts. Moreover, one of the championing products was Asda‘s festive Plant-Based Vegan Cranberry & Credit: Asda Chestnut Wreath. In a statement sent to PBN, Asda’s vice president of own brand, Sam Dickson, said the company is “At Asda, we strive to give all of our customers the very best, no matter their dietary requirement or preference. So, winning Vegan and Free From Retailer of the Year is a real seal of approval for us. As we head into December, these awards really are the icing on our Christmas cake” Borna Foods' pistachio milk Vegan food and living have reported that UK-based nut enthusiasts Borna Foods are launching a new type of plant-based drink – pistachio milk. Borna Foods have used the ‘king of nuts’ to create two delicious, velvety-textured nut drinks that are low in calories yet high in fibre and nutrients. The 500ml cartons are available in lightly sweetened and unsweetened varieties and are both fortified with added B12 and calcium from natural sources. Both varieties of pistachio milk will be available from Amazon and Ocado. Pistachios are a great source of antioxidants, protein and fibre. They’re also one of the lowest calorie nuts available, and boast a low glycemic index. And not only are they good for you, but they taste great too! Credit:S Borna Foods


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