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The good living and community magazine for Exeter, Plymouth and across South Devon DEC/JAN 18 ISSUE 52

produce ❋ energy ❋ land ❋ homes ❋ community ❋ wellbeing ❋ arts

the magic of the season

Pleas e tak e one


It’s your presence that counts

sculptures in the woods Original works from local artists

wellbeing in nature

Support local producers

Ancient healing arts in South Devon

Our message for the festive period

Immerse yourself in good community living and free health and wellbeing - powered by people!

Visit us online at

Here at ENHC we offer a wide range of complementary therapies provided by experienced and highly professional practitioners. The centre, which has been established since 2001, is also renowned for its excellence in training courses. Conveniently situated in the city centre, we have full reception cover and beautiful spacious treatment rooms for therapists to hire or, for bigger workshops, courses and classes, we have a well appointed large training room. Please call on 01392 422555 for more details.

ASK ABOUT OUR START UP SCHEME FOR NEW PRACTITIONERS Starts at only £50 per month for unlimited ad hoc hours!

Relax and Reconnect with your body SHIATSU FRIDAYS @ ENHC


Sue Mansfield Bowen Technique Therapy in Exeter Kirsty Hurd-Thomas 07930 404124 01803 862808 www.kirsty.hurd-thomas.

Devon School of Reiki

Providing High Quality Usui / Holy Fire Reiki Training & Treatments Retreats, Courses for Children, Workshops & 1-2-1tuition also available

SARAH HENDERSON Renew Massages Therapeutic Massage; Remedial Massage with integrated Myofascial Release and Hot Stones Massage APNT, CThA, BCMA TANYA DESFONTAINES Craniosacral Therapy T: 07971 913002 E: Tanya@fifthworldcranial.


Over 20 years experience Excellent reputation

Spring/Autumn courses 2017

Chinese medicine Doctor: Jimmy Huang

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Email: Kirsty Hurd-Thomas

ANNA PARIS Ac.M.MBAC Traditional acupuncture, Toyohari 5 element & Manaka styles E:


Award-winning Training in Professionalism and Excellence


MO MORRISH RSHOM Homeopathic medicine www.thehomoeopathic Authentic Ceremonies www.authenticceremonies.

Phone: 07878 485622 Email:

‘Bringing Your Body Back to Balance’


Contact: Samantha Goddard, Principal 07870 167701 •

Kate Coombs 07928 731246

KATHERINE JENKINS Hypno-catalyst T: 01392 811836/ 07890 364847 KATE DALZELL Swedish and Indian Head Massage, Reiki. CThA reg T: 07980 063335 E: info@katedalzellmassage www.katedalzellmassage SAMANTHA GODDARD Reiki, Massage, Sound Healing, Hopi Ear Candles, Mindfulness, Stress Advice T: 07870167701 E: sam@devonschoolofreiki.

07702889158 Kate Coombs 07928731246

01392 422555

01803 862808 CROWLEY Transformative Coach Centre Manager: Ali Morrish Hypno4Swans Find out more about us NLP, Hypnotherapy, Kinetic on facebook Shift and Timeline Therapy T: 07590821199 or Follow us on twitter 0800 688 9190 @ExeterNaturalHC E: Unruffleme@hypno4swans. com Exeter Natural Health Centre,

FREYA GRAINGER MAR Reflexology T: 07792906900 E: freyagraingerreflexology@ FB: Freya Grainger Reflexology

LESLEY HARPER Nutritional Therapy T. 07968 752032 E.

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Queens Walk, 83/84 Queen Street, Exeter, EX4 3RP

e: w:



Broughttoyou by... EDITOR Scott Williams







Dadfest - page 10

2 months of happenings

ORGANIC GARDENING14 Busyness on short days


HORSE THERAPY 14 Equine potential





Local festive shopping

Have a healthy Christmas Seasonal survival



More exploration of play


Scott x

COVERSTORY... The good living and community magazine for Exeter, Plymouth and across South Devon DEC/JAN 18 ISSUE 52

produce ❋ energy ❋ land ❋ homes ❋ community ❋ wellbeing ❋ arts

the magic of the season

Please take one


It’s your presence that counts

The new life stirring



Calling tree lovers GARDENING EXPERT Joa Grower






EDITORIAL: 01392 346342 ADVERTISING: 01392 346342 SCOTT’S MOBILE: 07751 214656 EMAIL US: or SEND US STUFF BY POST: 18 Millin Way, Dawlish Warren EX7 0EP FOLLOW US AND READ US ONLINE:


sculptures in the woods original works from local artists

Staying well in winter Gaia House appealpage 29



Embercombe sets sail

The RSPB’s big count

ce n

r: g



22 om



Support for the homeless


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WELCOME... to this packed December/January, issue. Winter is a time of hibernation and contemplation, of little warmth and light, where life retreats awaiting transformation and renewal. Christmas/ Solstice/New Year marks the turning point from the longest night, and we hope you have a happy and joyful time sharing hope and giving gifts, and bringing joy to children. Remember that if you’re buying Christmas goodies then visit local, independent stores and stalls (we say it every year but it’s a crucial time for our local economy). Make this time a period of less excess and less waste. Consumer research estimated that last Christmas people spent an average of £425 on Christmas gifts of which nearly a quarter was spent on unwanted gifts. Please donate anything unwanted to someone in need. We’re big fans of gifting people experiences rather than more stuff and our wellbeing pages are full of experiences to gift people this winter. Our next issue is our events special, to be a part of it, get in touch now. Season’s greetings to you all.


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wellbeing in nature Ancient healing arts in South Devon

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Our message for the festive period

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Support local producers

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FEB/MAR issue out end of January - next deadline Jan 5 THESMALL PRINT... PUBLISHED BY Reconnect Magazine, 18 Millin Way, Dawlish Warren EX7 0EP PRINTED BY Kingfisher Print, Wills Rd, Totnes WEBSITE Visit our website at Visit our Facebook page at www.

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news&views Dartmoor: A wild and wondrous region


PLYMOUTH’S Soapbox Children’s Theatre are holding the Bubblicious – NYE rave on a different time zone for families and children 1-5 yrs (1pm – 3pm) and 5+ (4pm – 6pm) on December 31. Free glow sticks, UV face painting and chill out tent (parents get a free glass of fizz). See www.

EXETER’S RAMM hosts an exhibition of Dartmoor inspired works from December 22 to March 31. This exhibition traces the story of Dartmoor, once described as a ‘dreary mountainous tract’ and later as the epitome of the picturesque. This transformation was largely brought about through the imagination of artists such as JMW Turner, Thomas Rowlandson and Samuel Palmer.

Project seeks your ideas


THE part-time, non-residential Totnes Permaculture Design Course will run on Wednesday evenings at Birdwood House from 6.45-9.15pm for 12 consecutive weeks from January 10 to March 28. See events/totnes-permaculturedesign-course-eveningclass-2/.

Nordic beauty

THROUGHOUT December, Studio One in Dartington hosts a beguiling and atmospheric fairytale by The Wrong Crowd. The Girl with the Iron Claws offers a Nordic twist to Beauty and the Beast for everyone over the age of eight.


GLORIOUS Chorus will be performing their annual fundraising Christmas concert this year on December 9 in aid of the Totnes Homeless Shelter. Tickets available from Drift Records.

The art of falling

PLYMOUTH Arts Centre has announced a new exhibition by interdisciplinary artist and educator Clare Thornton exploring her longstanding interest in folding and falling through ceramics and print until January 20.

Christmas carol

LE Navet Bete will be bringing a joyful, comic and family friendly version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to The Plymouth Athenaeum from December 14 to January 7

Works from RAMM’s collections are displayed alongside loans from British museums and galleries as well as rarely seen works from private collections. Dartmoor: A Wild and Wondrous Region is a partnership with Dartmoor National Park Authority, and forms one of the main public outcomes of the Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership-funded Moor than meets the eye project.

A musical seed bomb


YNDON Forster is a percussionist and handpan player (some people know them as Hang drums) based in Paignton. He recently had the opportunity to record a short EP of music working with a very talented young man at Big Red Studios at Seale Hayne. Lyndon explains: “His name is Hayden Francis and he is currently doing a music technology course at Seale Hayne and South Devon College. He helped me with the set up and recording process and was also involved with some of the production. Before the recording day Hayden had never even seen a handpan or a set of Taiko drums, let alone recorded them. I think he did a superb job!” Lyndon is a Horticultural Facilitator for adults with additional needs at Seale Hayne and wanted to somehow combine his love

of music, organic horticulture and Permaculture, so he decided to release the EP as a ‘musical seed bomb’ with 100% of the proceeds going to The Permaculture Association. The EP is dedicated to one of his heroes, Masanobu Fukuoka, the Japanese philosopher and pioneer of Natural farming. The concept of the seed bomb, or Tsuchi Dango (literally ‘Earth Dumpling’) is an ancient Japanese technique that he resurrected, along with many others. Lyndon adds: “With the random spreading of seed bombs across the land, the plants grow where they are best suited to grow rather than where the farmer chooses to plant them. His book “One Straw Revolution” has been a real inspiration to me since I first read it several years ago. The concept of the musical seed bomb is that it is available to download and for people to

use in whatever way they chose - to ‘Grow the tracks’. Some people will just listen to it, others may take a small piece of it to sample for their own music, others may remix the entire thing. I would love to see where this goes and the different interpretations other people put onto my music.” The EP is available to listen to and download (along with the story behind it) at www.Lyndonforster. com.

THE Aller Park Project, a centre of education for the recognition, encouragement and dissemination of spiritual values, is a resource for the local and wider community. In the coming year they hope to encourage speakers and educators to come and talk, sharing hopes and wishes for the direction of education, and indeed, life in general, in the 21st century. The Project, which has 3 rooms available for use/hire at £5 per hour, seeks ideas and creative talent to enhance the peaceful and tranquil space. If you would like to test an idea for a course or workshop at Aller Park please contact David Matthews: – com Phone: 01803 867145. The non-profit group, based on the grounds of the Dartington Hall Estate, is closed until February for essential refurbishment. In November Aller Park hosted a new course with Natalie Duggin. A series of thought provoking discussions, guest speakers and documentaries to strengthen a sense of purpose, meaning and value while looking at the big picture. Watch this space for more courses and events coming soon to this ‘Lighthouse’ of learning and friendship that can offer replenishment for the body, mind and spirit in this transitional time.

Adopting a priority child

FAMILIES for Children Trust, the specialist adoption agency and charitable trust based in the South West, are hosting an information session where people can learn about becoming an adopter and how the Trust then supports adopting families for life. The meeting for South Devon takes place on December 14, from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at Families for Children, Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0EE. Marketing Assistant Imogen Jones said: “We place vulnerable children from all over the UK with new adoptive families in Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, Somerset and the Isles of Scilly. We have a growing number of older children, sibling groups and children with disabilities waiting to be adopted and we are looking for more adopters to come forward quite quickly.” For further details please call on 01364 645480 or visit

Christmas at Sharpham For upcycled and repurposed goods visit The ReSTORE Dartington (nr. cider press); a treasure trove of trinkets, jewellery, useful household items with original artist designs and numerous quirky gift ideas at affordable prices.


THIS year Christmas at The Sharpham Trust is hand-made, with the estate hosting two Saturdays of crafts. First up they are running a daylong craft session of Christmas willow decorations on December 9, and following that up with a Christmas wreath-making session on December 16. Both courses will run from 10am - 2pm in the South Wing at The Sharpham Trust and will be taught by Vivienne Turner.

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Some readers may already be familiar with Vivienne, she’s a professional basket-weaver and willow-worker, regularly teaching in Totnes and South Devon. She has worked on pieces for the Eden Project as well as the Birmingham NEC and the Chelsea Flower Show.

Families for Children patron and adoptee Michael Caines earlier this year, launching the new Centre for Adoption Support, the Atrium. A free service specialising in helping children with complex developmental trauma and attachment difficulties, who have experienced adversity in their early years.

NEWS&views 70th festival

BOOKING will open early in December for the Dartington International Summer School & Festival 2018. It will be their 70th birthday! Expect Imogen Cooper, Jane Glover, Felicity Lott, Tom Randle, Adrian Brendel and Oliver Knussen, Harbottle and Jonas, Trio Gaspard and Heath Quartet. NB: It’s Reconnect’s festival special next issue.

Skin care

WHILST undergoing Chemotherapy Ann Mason was advised not to use any skin products that contained perfumes and so she founded her natural moisturiser company No Frills Cosmetics and donates a proportion of profits to her support group Bosom Pals in Plymouth. See her natural moisturisers at

Duo concert

PIANO and Violin duo Elegance perform a Christmas Concert at Lupton House near Brixham on Sunday December 10. They will also be hosting a celebration of the Russian culture in music with gala concerts in Torquay and Exeter in February.

Original gifts by present makers


Jo Bassett, Katie Fletcher, and Rob Pascoe

Swaddling donation

EXETER based nursery brand, The Gro Company have announced they are donating 1,000 of their Hip-healthy Groswaddles to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. The arrangement aims to support every baby born from now until the 1,000 run out. The Hip-healthy Groswaddle ensures new parents can swaddle their newborns safely and have confidence it’s supporting healthy hip development thanks to an innovative pocket design that ensures baby’s legs are in a natural ‘hip healthy’ position with ample room for movement. Commenting on the donation, The Gro Company’s Marketing Director Rob Pascoe said: “We are so proud to be partnering with our local hospital in Devon and making the Hip-healthy Groswaddle available to all the new parents over the coming months. Getting babies off to a healthy start in life and nurturing the optimum sleeping environment is our top priority and we hope our donation supports parents and their little ones within the area.”

ARBOUR House in Kingsbridge have just one event before closing for Christmas and New Year, and then their next gallery event won’t be until February 20, as they’re having some essential maintenance in the gallery (replacing the glass roof). Running from December 5 – 17 the Christmas themed Present Maker is a richly varied exhibition. Artists and makers from the South Hams Arts Forum (SHAF) present a wide range of interesting and affordable art and objects of beauty. Recycling is a theme: in her mosaics Jane Mahood (below) uses old recycled tiles and broken ceramics, some of which come from the mud of the Kingsbridge Estuary, and Helen Curtis’ mixed media pictures incorporate stones, shells and flotsam from walks on the South Hams beaches. There’s silver jewellery by Christine East and Charlotte Dalrymple-Hay. Textile jewellery, mixed media paintings, and collage by Sally Tapsell-Hall, and miniature paintings

made wearable by Anna Ventura. Teresa Barlow shows screenprints exploring fairground imagery, and pictures in ceramics. Sandra Litchfield presents games, jewellery and bowls handcrafted in lead-free pewter depicting the flora and fauna of the local area. Amanda Brooks’ work is influenced by old Japanese paintings. Painting onto fragile gold leaf with acrylic or oil paint (above). Caroline Barker is a printmaker, calligrapher and collector of quotations, who combines all three in quirky handmade books.

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news&views Memory roadshow

Spare a thought for those on the streets

WITH Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery closed until 2019, their collections continue to travel the county ‘On Tour’. On December 7 the Budeaux Library displays their Reminiscence Sessions: Memory Roadshow offering the chance to handle a variety of objects and photos from the Museum’s collections and browse Library resources. They’ll be looking at memories of courting.


Waste into resources

THE Waste into Resources steering group meets again on Thursday January 4, 6.308.30pm at the REconomy Centre. Email for more info. And they will be at the Totnes Christmas market handing out Boomerang Bags on December 5.

Handmade arts

ASHBURTON Makers Market opens it’s doors again this Christmas for the sale of unusual and high quality locally handmade arts and crafts, alongside a cafe selling nourishing lunches, teas and coffee and delicious cakes on December 2.

New year dance

AQUARIUS Rising will be holding a visionary, loving and conscious dance event for NYE! Alcoholfree and high vibes! From 8pm1am on December 31 at Hex Studio, Dartington. Adv tickets only:

Disability advocate AMERICAN folk singer, songwriter, violinist and disability advocate Gaelynn Lea will grace The Green Table’s café (see next page) stage for one night only on December 9.

What a yarn

THE 3rd annual Wool Gathering will be returning to Buckfastleigh Town Hall on Sunday March 18 from 10am to 4pm.

A silver garden celebration


N 2018, Chagford‘s Stone Lane Garden celebrates a special 25th anniversary of their annual garden sculpture exhibition with the theme “Celebration of the Silver Jubilee of The Mythic Garden Sculpture Exhibition”. The exhibition will be on view from May to October 2018, and they’re seeking entries from artists. Those wishing to enter should consider that the presentation of sculptures in all media should reflect the joy of celebration, possibly silver in colour, or perhaps the symbolism associated with the metal. Submissions should be accompanied by an artist’s statement, up to three images of past work and a summary of ideas for work appropriate to

the exhibition’s topic. See their website www. for more details. Those wishing to enter should send all email correspondence to: admin@ Closing date for entries January 31.

A NEW co-operative and social enterprise has opened for local residents in and around Okehampton. The Harvest Workers’ Co-op operates at the Harvest Farm Shop - a small and organic farm shop. Its seven members have launched a busy schedule of educational events outside the shop that focus on the theme of food and farming. In the next six month they will be exploring local farms, attending a sourdough bread workshop, learning how to ferment food,

watching food-related films, discussing farm-specific topics and creating farm-inspired art installations. Just in time for Christmas, the group have organised a natural wreath making session at Hilltown Farm on December 3 and a visit to West Town Farm, Ide on December 17. To find out more about Harvest Workers’ Co-op and their educational program, visit www.harvestworkerscoop.

Harvest workers co-operative

ITH the onset of another winter approaching and temperatures plummeting, spare a thought for those people who are estranged from families and are faced with living on the streets. Homelessness is a problem in every town and city across the country and has been increasing over the last 5 years. Last year there were 114 people sleeping rough on the streets of Devon, as recorded by Local Authorities in the Autumn returns to DCLG. But this is a snapshot and numbers of people that outreach services work with across the year are much higher. In 2012, StreetLink was set up by Homeless Link as a means for members of public to report rough sleepers in their community. Anyone can become homeless, and sleeping rough is not only dangerous but has long term effect on health. Evidence suggests that some individuals sleeping rough may not be

known to local services. StreetLink aims to help address this by providing the first step the public can take to ensure rough sleepers are connected to local services and the support available to them. There are 3 ways to contact StreetLink, By phone 0300 500 0914, email www.streetlink. or by App (Available through App Store or Android App). Chris Stocks, from Exeter City Council said: “Help is out there and there are a number of services engaging with Rough Sleepers across Devon carrying out welfare checks, encouraging people to access services and helping them to access accommodation. Devon is extremely rural and it is important that we get help to people where they are. If you are concerned about someone rough sleeping in your community then please contact StreetLink, we’ll do the rest!”

Do you dare to dream for 2018?


HILDREN’S illustrator Katz Cowley invites you to rediscover the creative child within you. Katz explains: “In our lives, we can carry creatively curious and unfulfilled parts of us around, sitting quietly and unattended in forgotten pockets of ourselves, whispering: ‘One day I’d love with clay...splash a massive canvas with a jewellery course...paint the walls polka dot pink...’” Katz wonders what quiet, waiting dreams do you dare to finally call to the fore and explore? What forgotten parts do you want to make space for and give permission to spill forth? When is it time to call back the inner child, Katz facilitates workshops who never forgot how to play? in creative self expression “Our inner child shows the way back to the place of innocent delight, our through drawing to explore birthright. These parts we may have at least partly forgotten, along the way to and reclaim our creative ‘growing up’, but how did we lose the child within us, to become an adult?” curiosity and playful delight. Maybe it’s time to call back more of the little boy or girl within, to run along the corridors of You, with crayons in hand, trailing them along the walls with playful delight, abandon and curiosity. What longing is a possibility to be plucked from your pocket and germinated in 2018? Katz is running a giveaway competition of her award-winning children’s book ‘The Wonky Donkey’. Entries are open to big and little kids. You just need to answer the question: ‘What do you really want for Christmas, beyond any material thing?’. Your answer must be in a visual way, be it drawn, constructed, photographed, etc. Entries in by December 20. Please send entries to: titled ‘Wonky Donkey’. Winner will be announced in the next issue of Reconnect.


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Wild shakti women REGULAR readers will know we’ve mentioned Christie Animas’s Fooling Expression Introduction Workshops before. Christie has another one planned at Hittisleigh on January 27-28 - see the Classified Ads section at the back of the magazine for a bit more info. Christie is also offering Wild Shakti Days for women at each season of the year. Christie says: ”How would your life look like if you would resource yourself from your wild nature? Come and enliven yourself with other women for a Shakti dance and some wild times in the woods.” The next ‘winter’ one takes place on February 17 from 10am to 5pm priced at £35 per day (£30 conc.) Contact or tel 07980371335

NEWS&views Good food that changes with the seasons A PLACE with no pretensions, just really good food, reasonably priced, that changes with the seasons, is how head chef, Tara Vaughan-Hughes describes Green Table café in Dartington. Well-known to many as the driving force behind Schumacher College’s community lunches, Tara has brought her skill for creating homecooked local food to Green Table. The place has become increasingly popular since it opened at Easter attracting a mix of locals, visitors, walkers, workers and people with children. Tara said: “We take what’s local and available and start from there. Take eggs for example…we make stuffed eggs or Crespelle all Fiorentina, a traditional Italian pancake stuffed with spinach, ricotta and mascarpone. Or chicken… there’s avgolemono, a Greek lemon chicken soup, or we cook it in almonds and olives.” As well as a great seasonal menu, Green Table is a showcase for local artistic talent. Falmouth designer Kathryn Tyler (famous for her Scandinavianinspired Corkellis House on Channel 4’s Grand Designs) created its interior. She was inspired by the textiles of Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher, which were collected by Dartington’s founder, Dorothy Elmhirst. The distinctive melamine printed tabletops and fabrics are exclusive

designs commissioned by textiles expert, Sarah Burns. There are also some historic pieces of furniture here too, including refurbished original Lamda chairs that were designed by Robert Hening and Hein Heckroth and made on the Dartington estate around1935. Tara is an old hand at building a successful cafe. In her native Vermont in the US she said: “The options at our local Vergennes grocery store were horrible: injected pork, potato chips and manky celery. I thought someone should open a store… hey, perhaps I can do it.” She opened an imported food shop, which quickly morphed into a very successful café with a relaxed atmosphere. Clearly, Vermont’s loss is South Devon’s gain. Green Table is open seven days a week from 9am to 6pm.

New borrow a bag for life scheme


N Kingsbridge a survey taken last summer highlighted that their local independent stores were still handing out around 2,700 plastic bags in an average week! So local beach-loving, family-run organisation Less Plastic and a group of fellow activists, decided to tackle the town’s plastic bag usage by launching a new Borrow-A-Bag scheme, with the support of local residents, local businesses, the Tourist Information Centre, Town Council and District Council. Participating stores are given a stock of reusable cloth bags to offer customers for no charge when they haven’t got a reusable bag with them. The bags are easily identified by a ribbon with ‘Hello Kingsbridge, Goodbye Plastic’ stitched onto their straps. Next time the bag user is in town they return the bag to either the Tourist Information Centre, or any participating store.

10 Station Road South Brent TQ10 9BE Tuesday-Saturday 10 - 5 Wednesday 10 - 1 only three doors up from the old artworks

Less Plastic plan to hold regular ‘bag amnesties’ where the community donates any spare reusable bags stashed at home to be used in the scheme. Could you launch a similar scheme to help reduce plastic bag usage in your town? If you own or manage a shop in South Devon and would like to join the Borrow-A-Bag scheme, please get in touch https:// l Stuck for gift ideas? See the less plastic shop: https://lessplastic.

Sivananda at a Devon based yoga farm VIVEKA Gardens Yoga Farm offers visitors and the local community yoga, good food, meditation and retreat, situated between Crediton and Okehampton. The organic and vegan farm offers a comfortable, simple space, and was established by Fiona Law, (spiritual name Sundari) who trained as a practitioner and teacher in the Sivananda Yoga tradition. The farm is building slowly and organically from a vision experience that Fiona had to create a community that supports local people through difficult

the new artworks gallery

times, helping them to find their way, to reduce loneliness, to bring some life to their week, and to chat things through. Events the farm hosts includes Friday Night Nidras Dec 8 - Jan 12, Tree Planting Pop Up Day Dec 9 , Winter Solstice Day Retreat Dec 21, New Years Eve Retreat Dec 30 - Jan 1, and Introduction to Sivananda Yoga Workshop Jan 14. To find out more go to or call 01837 880050.

Evolution, Exeter’s Holistic and Ethnic Shop has now moved to 96 Fore St (same side at the top of the hill opposite St Olave’s Church) Come and see our incredible and Extended range of products including Books, Crystals, Cards, Candles, Clothes etc. Tel: 01392 410759 Mobile: 07773282861 Email: Website: Facebook:

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Journey to the impossible THIS Christmas Exeter’s Bike Shed Theatre hosts international company Little Soldier’s Christmas show Journey to the Impossible. Inspired by the novels of Jules Verne and 80’s sci-fi films, the show is aimed at an age group often overlooked at Christmas - eleven to fourteen year olds, but with children as young as seven welcome. “It can be a strange time of year for older kids and early teens” said David Lockwood, Director of The Bike Shed Theatre. “You’re no longer excited by the idea of Father Christmas or the local panto but you’re not an adult yet. We wanted to create a show about that transition - one that brings back memories for parents and one that their kids can relate to.’ Set at a time when Walkmans and Bandanas were the latest accessories and The Goonies was the best film ever, Journey to the Impossible will appeal to anyone who grew up in the 80’s. Add live music, comedy and hip hop dance to the mix and this show will entertain the whole family. Runs from Dec 6 to Jan 6. Check website for detailed schedule. Price £12 (£10). See call 01392 434169.


Embercombe sets course for a bright new future


MBERCOMBE, the charity and social enterprise based just outside Exeter, has been quietly going through a period of change. Last issue we heard from their founder Mac Macartney who had been navigating the good ship Embercombe through choppy waters. However after a period of transition Mac’s now plotting a course towards a bright future. Mac explained: “There comes a time when sailing a ship that all the busyness of preparation and setting a course falls away as the wind reaches out to snatch at the sails. Everything that was uncertain, slack and flailing suddenly snaps tight as the ship

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heels over before the wind and begins to carve a passage. This is where Embercombe is and it’s an exciting point of its journey.” Having been at the helm since their beginnings in 1999 Mac still has his eyes fixed on the horizon, adding: “A long voyage lies ahead. All kinds of challenges beckon and not much is certain except that we remain committed to the voyage, feel privileged to be aboard, and love the fact that many old and new friends will join us along the way. Issues that over the preceding months have devoured our time are now becoming clear from which action will result. We are

making good progress and with energy to spare we are leaning into the coming year. “We’ll soon be in a position to post information about new programmes, new developments, and the shape of things to come. If you’d like to be part of a resurgent Embercombe and a torch carrier for the emerging new story, stay in touch, watch for the hilltop beacons flaring through the mist, and watch this space.” l For more details on Embercombe’s courses in 2018 see page 13, or visit their website


south westerlies... YOU can help save the world by not buying unnecessary stuff and it would even help curb global warming and make our economy more sustainable.

The year to decide that less is more


RADITIONALLY I’d be reminding you to shop locally this issue. But, I’m sure you’re ethically supporting your sustainable local independent community. I hope so, so in addition, I’d like to promote a future of frugality. As I write this the festive season is still some way away. Yet by the time you read this we’ll all be only weeks away from noticeably longer days and feeling the optimism of a new year. It’s likely that we’ll have another snow free Christmas. No doubt, to prove me wrong you’ve had to wade through waist deep drifts to pick up this copy now in your hands. But, if previous years are anything to go by you are more likely to still be in shirt sleeves. We’re all quite aware now that there’s the potential for a climate catastrophe in our future. That Christmas card image of snow is getting further way from us as global temperatures rise. I’m starting to wonder if that’s part of a lost message as we exchange gifts and are constantly reminded of the corporate behemoth that is Christmas capitalist consumerism. The good news is there is something we can do about it. As we head into the new year it’s worth considering that if we all consume just five per cent less, we could help curb global warming by ‘de-growing’ our economy. Climate change theory warns us that it’s only going to get worse, all despite our individual efforts to go green by upcycling, recycling, and investing in clean energy and efficient technology. Yet the green commitments we’re making to greenhouse gas emissions are being more than cancelled out by our economic growth. This summer saw the biggest, most destructive storms and monsoon flooding in recorded history, resulting in millions homeless. The global economy keeps growing by more than we’re able to reduce our carbon intensity (CO2 per unit of GDP). New models published last year, show that with a background rate of 3 per cent GDP growth it’s not possible to achieve any level of emissions reductions at all, even under best-case-scenario conditions. Study after study shows the same thing: keeping global warming below 2 degrees is simply not compatible with continued economic growth. Yet nearly every government in the world makes GDP growth their primary policy objective. We in the west are not

going to be able to decarbonise our economies unless we stop the pursuit of economic growth and start to scale down our annual production and consumption. This ‘planned de-growth’ sounds like voluntary poverty and austerity, if we think GDP growth is the only way to improve the incomes and lives of ordinary people. But, redistribution is the real solution. We will have to share what we already have more equally, making equality a substitute for growth. It’s the only solution to bringing global warming under control, sharing what we already have more fairly, we can render additional economic growth unnecessary. De-growth is actually the opposite of austerity. Austerity means cutting social spending and slashing taxes on the rich in order to – supposedly – keep the economy growing. De-growth, by contrast, calls for cutting the excesses of the richest while redistributing existing resources and investing in social goods – universal healthcare, education, affordable housing etc. We can sustain and even improve human wellbeing without the need for economic expansion. Our economy is already more than abundant enough for all of us – we must learn how to share it. In 2018 we must find ways to share our abundance, stop producing or buying unnecessary stuff, and release some of the pressure on our planet. We don’t have to get rid of the stock of stuff that we already have, or completely stop producing and consuming new stuff. We can degrow by 5 per cent per year (which is what scientists say is necessary), by cutting our consumption of new stuff, and completely stopping buying the unnecessary stuff. We need to start repairing, sharing and reusing the stuff we all already have. A de-growth economy may not be compatible with capitalism, but neither is catastrophic climate change. The choice is clear: we need to continue to evolve a future beyond capitalism, or we won’t have a future at all. If you’re reading this before the festive celebrations consider that in your purchasing of gifts this year. Instead of buying more stuff consider gifting the opportunity to develop insights and techniques to improve the rest of their lives, it’s what Reconnect is all about.

John and Jens

A day in the life of a Devon horse logger HORSE loggers are considered keepers of the art of low impact extraction systems. Useful for removing fallen trees and providing horse powered woodland management. Reconnect joined John and Clare Williamson to experience a day in the life of a Devon horse logger…

Making charcoal at Burniscombe Wood

UR day starts early with campfire tea. At dawn, Burnicombe is often shrouded in mist. The horses, Jens and Louie, are waiting patiently for our arrival. Last week we were working on an archeological site in Fingle Woods for the Woodland Trust and National Trust but today we are back on home turf. The horses know the ropes here and need little persuasion to follow us into the barn for their first of several feeds. Breakfast is the most important meal, especially for a one ton Belgian draft horse who needs slow release energy. The horse’s harness, specially made in Sweden, needs checking over. This gives us a moment to plan our days work and to make sure the kettle has boiled. Today we are working a birch stand destined for the charcoal kiln in our own wood. Charcoal is an ancient crop and a carbon neutral fuel that helps restore the woodland by managing neglected coppice. Any

winter weather soon gets forgotten as we work up a sweat. We have a wide range of equipment but today we are using the basic whipple tree to skid our timber. The tack jangles and the heavy tread sounds along the woodland rides until we reach the glade where the kiln waits. We have trained our horses to listen out for our commands, so they move the timber precisely. The horses’ quiet yet powerful presence is part of the joy of working under the canopy. After a few rounds of work and rest and food we unharness the horses and take stock. After a good day’s work the horses like nothing more than a good roll in the field, which we never tire of witnessing. l Join John and Clare Williamson around the campfire to learn an ancient craft - from horse logging tuition and charcoal making to spoon carving and woodland yoga. Check out their website for details



Editorial: 01392 346342



Hours of fun for kids in the fresh air


DECADE on from their beginnings The Dangerous Dads Network continues to offer fathers a more active role in parenting with regular, fun outdoor activities for dads and children, mothers aren’t overlooked either with regular Muddy Mums sessions and family events. Families can access any of the activities run by twenty or so groups across Devon, Somerset and Cornwall. Network Co-ordinator Ian Blackwell said: “Dangerous Dads has really caught the imagination with families, carers and partners. Events are hugely popular with dads from all walks of life attending with their children to have a few hours of fun and fresh air. Dangerous Dads events are varied, from den-building or simply blackberry picking, to campfire cooking, rock-pooling, silly science and overnight camps. “With funding from The Big Lottery Awards for All programme and Devon & Cornwall Housing, and in partnership with Teignbridge and South Hams Children’s Centres, monthly events happen across South Devon, from Buckfastleigh and Bovey Tracey to Dartmouth and Ivybridge. We have a number of great activities planned for the autumn, including ‘wild walks’, den-building, Christmas wreath making, bushcraft skills and animal tracking. Events run on Saturday afternoons and all male carers are welcome to come to any of the activities. Events are usually free with a request for a donation. More information about all our

events are posted regularly on our website and Facebook page, or you can get email updates by joining our mailing list.” The partnership between The Dangerous Dads Network and Action for Children has been important as it means they can reach dads and children from all sections of the community. Elaine Musgrave, from Action for Children, explains: “By offering regular, fun activities, this initiative gives dads and their children the chance to spend quality time in each other’s company, as well as opportunities to explore local green spaces, meet up with neighbours and play. Our work is focused on supporting families and encouraging positive parenting skills, and we believe the kind of activities organised by the Dangerous Dads project helps us achieve our ambitions. We’d encourage all dads to try and get along to the activities.” For all information, contact Ian on 01803 840990 or info@ and see their advert on page 12. All details are on the website and on Facebook: look for ‘The Dangerous Dads Network’.

Branching out in Devon

Training to photograph offshore PLYMOUTH based documentary photographer TONY FITZSIMMONS gets specialist training to be an offshore photojournalist.


ESPITE regular pictorial features in Fishing News and some wonderful emails from readers and comments via Twitter regarding my work, I still considered myself as a relative unknown in this very competitive world of photography and photojournalism. With the end of the Waterdance commission firmly in sight, I essentially figured my best approach was to hit the reset button and start all over again; treat the next venture as if I was about to head out on the Emily Rose for the first time, unpaid, unaware where this may lead, yet hopeful I would be noticed for future editorials and commissions. With the Offshore industry gathering momentum in the last few years, documenting this line of work did seem the next logical step. I certainly wasn’t turning my back on the lives and livelihoods of fishermen; I felt there was so much more to discover regarding this very important industry, particular with our waters (soon?) returning to the UK post-Brexit. With more fingers in more pies, it certainly did seem like a sensible move. I connected with a variety of Offshore companies on LinkedIN and with so much work to show off, and in particular, photography work at sea, gauging interest seemed a great deal easy than when I began canvasing Sutton Harbour, begging for anyone to take me out. The generally consensus seem to be happy to accommodate my every need, providing I successfully

completed an STCW10 (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers). Challenge accepted. I was lucky enough to find a training centre in Estover, Plymouth, just down the road from me. So I arranged a 5 day course although I was somewhat dismayed by the initial price of £800. That said, given what I had achieved so far since graduation, I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way. Thankfully, I was able to get a Christmas job at the Royal Mail as a Data Entry Keyer and this sum of money was quickly paid off. The only downside being I came away with an underlining hatred for everyday people’s handwriting. Under the calm and collected guidance of Paul Symons, Securewest’s Training and Compliance manger, I began the STCW10 with a day of sea survival exercises at Plymouth’s Life Centre, two days of fire fighting training at Plympton Fire Station, before moving back to Estover and into the classroom to wind down with handson medical demonstrations and maritime safety, responsibility and awareness slides and discussions. Experiencing the life of a fire fighter was certainly the highlight of an incredible series of exhausting days, as myself and four other lads were kitted up in full respiratory and fire tackling gear, tasked to rescue trapped dummies from a dark, smoke filled building with temperatures raging into the 140’s. I already had a great deal of respect for our many brave men and women in the life saving service. After this week and the situations I experienced, that reverence went through the roof. You can view Tony’s work at www.

DO YOU feel your community lacks the joys of Reconnect? Are you having to travel a long way to pick up this copy of our magazine? Do you know a business in your community that would like to take copies of the magazine? Perhaps you’re a local South Devon business reading this issue, and you’d like to stock Reconnect in your premises. If that’s the case then talk to Scott on 01392 346342 and see if you can be added to the distribution list. We don’t charge anything to stock the mag – we’d particularly like to hear from potential new outlets in the South Hams.


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Goingout DEC 2017/JAN 2018


ASHBURTON ARTISTS until Dec 2, Birdwood House, Totnes

How to get YOUR events into Going Out... WELCOME to Reconnect’s out of this world GoingOut pages... We connect all the hot stuff from across the region, categorised for easy access. We have an EVEN MORE comprehensive online version at - also available via our busy website at To get YOUR event listed online (and when possible, have it listed here in the mag too), simply register at ReconnectHub and enter the info free of charge. To advertise here or online, email or call 01392 346342.

BP PORTRAIT AWARD 2017 until Dec 3, RAMM, Exeter ABSTRACTION until Dec 13, PS45 Gallery, Exeter WINTER OPEN AT ARTIZAN until Dec 23, Artizan Gallery Cafe Venue, Torquay IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY (FOR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING) until Dec 24, Baxters Gallery, Dartmouth THE ART OF GIVING WINTER EXHIBITION until Dec 31, Brownston Gallery, Modbury WHAT DO YOU COLLECT? A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES until Jan 7, RAMM, Exeter SOME FAR OFF MAGIC LAND BY NAOMI HART until Jan 7, RAMM, Exeter MAKE 2017 CHRISTMAS CRAFT EXHIBITION until Jan 7, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey SIMIN EIVAZI -THE PROMISED LANDS until Jan 10, RAMM, Exeter


CHILDREN/FAMILY COLETON AGLOW Dec 1 - 31, Coleton Fishacre, Kingswear GREENWAY FESTIVE EVENTS Dec 1 - Dec 31, Greenway National Trust, Galmpton IVYBRIDGE CHRISTMAS FAIR Dec 2, The Donkey Sanctuary, Ivybridge SANTA’S GROTTO AT HOUSE OF MARBLES Dec 2 - 22, House of Marbles, Bovey Tracey

CHRISTMAS EXHIBITION until Jan 20, Artmill Gallery, Plymouth

SANTA’S MAGICAL CHRISTMAS AT CREALY Dec 2 -23, Crealy Adventure Park, Exeter


SANTA IN THE CAVES Dec 3 - 24, Kents Cavern, Torquay

BETWEEN (ARTS AND HUMANITIES MA SHOW 2017) Dec 1 - 16, Peninsula Arts, Plymouth

SANTA EXPRESS! Dec 3 - 24, Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company

MEET THE ARTIST BRIDGETTE ANDERSON Dec 2, Eastown Café, Crediton PRESENT MAKER Dec 5 - 17 Harbour House, Kingsbridge



SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS CHOIR Dec 9, Harewood House, Plymouth

CINDERELLA Dec 9 - Jan 1, Exeter Corn Exchange, Exeter STOVER CAROLS Dec 12, Stover Country Park, Newton Abbot CAROLS IN THE COURTYARD Dec 17 Greenway National Trust, Galmpton CHRISTMAS CRAFTS Dec 17, Stover Country Park, Newton Abbot

CEREMONY OF CAROLS Dec 9, Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh MUSIC: PLYMOUTH UNIVERSITY CAROL SERVICE Dec 12, University Of Plymouth BUCKFAST ABBEY CHOIR CHRISTMAS CONCERT Dec 16 Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh

FESTIVE WINTER CRAFTS Dec 17, Cockington, Torquay SANTA IN LOVE Dec 20, The Watermark, Ivybridge

SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS CHOIR Dec 16, University Of Plymouth


EXWICK COMMUNITY SINGERS until Dec 18, Exwick Parish Hall, Exeter

Dec 2, Southernhay Church, Exeter





Dec 7, Theatre 1, Plymouth BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Dec 7, Great Hall, Exeter

ADVENT CHORAL CONCERT Dec 2, R C Cathedral, Plymouth

SHALDON SINGERS Dec 9, St Peter’s, Shaldon

JOY - THE WORLD TORBAY SINGERS Dec 2, St Matthias Church, Torquay SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS CHOIR Dec 8, Methodist Chapel, Mary Tavy CHRISTMAS CONCERT Dec 9, University Of Plymouth

JEANIE MOORE MVO Dec 10, The Duke of Cornwall Hotel, Plymouth CHRISTMAS CONCERT WITH VIOLIN & PIANO DUO ‘ELEGANCE’ Dec 10, Lupton House, Brixham

EXETER PHILHARMONIC CHOIR Dec 12 - 13, Exeter Cathedral, Exeter EXETER CATHEDRAL CHOIR Dec 15, Exeter Castle, Exeter BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Dec 20, Great Hall, Exeter BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Jan 2 Great Hall, Exeter MASUMI YAMAMOTO AND BORIS BIZJAK Jan 19, United Free Church, Totnes THE POMEGRANATE TRIO PLAY HAYDN Jan 21, Courtenay Centre, Newton Abbot BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Jan 26, Great Hall, Exeter

COMEDY EXETER COMEDY CLUB - CHRISTMAS SPECIALS Dec 7 - 8, Corn Exchange, Exeter DANIEL KITSON Dec 11, Phoenix, Exeter

CRAFT ASHBURTON CHRISTMAS MAKERS MARKET Dec 2, St Andrews, Ashburton WREATH MAKING AT BUCKFAST ABBEY Dec 7, Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh WONDERWORKS CONTEMPORARY CRAFT FAIR 2017 Dec 9 - 10, Jubilee Hall, Newton Abbot DRIFTWOOD CHRISTMAS CRAFT WORKSHOP Dec 10, Occombe Farm, Paignton CHRISTMAS TABLE DECORATIONS AT BUCKFAST ABBEY Dec 12, Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh LIFE DRAWING Jan 3 - Mar 28, Words & Pictures Gallery, Teignmouth

SEASONAL EVENTS A CHRISTMAS CAROL PRESENTED BY THE PANTALOONS until Dec 10, The Watermark, Ivybridge AUTUMN COLOURS GLORIOUS SPECTACLE until Dec 24, Fast Rabbit Farm Gardens, Dartmouth A CHRISTMAS CABARET Dec 1 - 2 Dawlish Music Theatre Company, Dawlish THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Dec 2, Cygnet Theatre, Exeter CHSW CHRISTMAS FAYRE Dec 2, The Old Market, Dartmouth

JETHRO Dec 21. The Watermark, Ivybridge

SALTASH CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL 2017 Dec 2, Fore Street, Saltash

KATHERINE RYAN Jan 27, Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth

Turn over the page for more GoingOut listings

Editorial: 01392 346342




Monthly activities throughout the year for dads & male carers with children of all ages. All dads welcome. Also look out for our family events and Muddy Mums sessions. Regular Dangerous Dads activities in… Ashburton - Bovey Tracey - Bristol - Buckfastleigh Clearbrook - Cornwall - Dartmouth - Exeter Exmouth - Ivybridge - Kingsbridge - North Devon Plymouth - Taunton - Tiverton - Torbay Totnes - South Brent Facebook: The Dangerous Dads Network 077 317 95160


NEW YEAR Dance Ritual with Kay

THE POETRY OF WAR Dec 3, St Michael’s, Chagford AN EVENING OF MUSIC, MINCE PIES & MULLED WINE Dec 8, Poltimore House ECLIPSE CHOIR Dec 9, Central Church, Torquay THE STEAMPUNK YULE BALL Dec 9, Phoenix, Exeter FESTIVE PLANT-BASED COOKING RETREAT (VEGAN) Dec 9, Wild Willow Farm, Kingsbridge ACOUSTIC NIGHT WITH SILVINGTON Dec 11, Artizan Gallery Cafe Venue, Torquay NEWTON ABBOT LANTERN PARADE Dec 13, Town Centre, Newton Abbot CHRISTMAS CONCERT Dec 16, St Michael’s, Chagford CHRISTMAS PARTY AND CONCERT Dec 17, Berry Head Hotel, Brixham

AQUARIUS RISING NYE Dec 31, Hex Studio, Dartington MARDI GRAS NEW YEAR’S EVE Dec 31, The Boat Shed, Exeter NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY Dec 31, Moorland Garden Hotel, Yelverton NYE: PARTY IN THE COSMOS Dec 31, Phoenix, Exeter

FARMERS MARKETS ASHBURTON 5 days a week: Tuesday – Saturday Tuckers Yard, Ashburton BOVEY TRACEY Alternate Saturdays every month Town Square, Bovey Tracey BUCKFASTLEIGH Every Thursday Near The Globe Inn, Town Centre BUDLEIGH SALTERTON Last Friday of every month Polle Car Park, off High Street CREDITON Every 1st Saturday of the month The Market Square, Crediton

NEWTON ABBOT MAYOR’S CAROL SERVICE Dec 20, Market Square, Newton Abbot

DARTMOUTH Every second Saturday of the month The Old Market, Dartmouth


DAWLISH Every second Saturday of the month The Lawn, Dawlish

EXETER Every Thursday Junction of South Street and Fore Street EXMOUTH 2nd Wednesday every month The Strand Gardens, Exmouth ILFRACOMBE Every 1st & 3rd Saturday of the month St Peters Church, Highfield Road IVYBRIDGE Third Saturday of every month Hartford Road Car Park, Ivybridge KINGSBRIDGE Every first & third Saturday of the month Town Square, Kingsbridge NEWTON ABBOT Every Tuesday Courtnay Street, Newton Abbot PLYMOUTH Every second & fourth Saturday of the month Town Centre Plaza, Plymouth PLYMOUTH (GOOD FOOD MARKET) First Sunday of every month Royal William Yard, Plymouth TEIGNMOUTH Last Saturday of every month The Triangle, Teignmouth TORQUAY Every Friday Union Street, Torquay

5th, 6th & 7th JANUARY At Harberton Parish Hall, nr Totnes. Using simple ceremony and the maps of 5Rhythms dance we will welcome in the New Year. Giving time to honour the past year, being with the present and breathing movement into our experiences to inspire and support the year to come. Taking time to give thanks & dream into new beginnings Cost: £95 concessions £85 Friday 6.45 pm - 9.15 pm. Saturday & Sunday 10.30 am - 4.30 pm For more info email or call Kay 01803 812584 Book with a £20 deposit: Kay Chambers, The Rectory, Broadhempston, Devon TQ9 6AU Email: A discount is applicable if booked with Spirit of the Dancing Heart


Get YOUR event out there with Reconnect’s Going Out pages TO ADVERTISE your event on our diary website, Reconnecthub, simply visit and register - then you can enter your own events whenever you want. AND many of them will appear in the next (December/January) issue of Reconnect magazine. AND they will be viewed through other HUBCAST websites (across the SW). AND it’s all FREE! (There are some online advertisements available too and it’s first come, first served - so call Scott now on 01392 346342)

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TOTNES GOOD FOOD MARKET Every Third Sunday of the Month


Market Square, Totnes

Dec 8, Barrel House, Totnes




Dec 8, Phoenix, Exeter

Dec 1, Phoenix, Exeter



Dec 9, The Green Table Cafe, Dartington

Dec 1, United Free Church, Totnes



Dec 9, Barrel House, Totnes

Dec 1, The Hub, Plymouth


NODENS ICTUS Dec 2, Unit 23, Totnes FABIO LEPORE JAZZ QUINTET Dec 3, Speakeasy, Torquay PULLED APART BY HORSES Dec 3, The Hub, Plymouth SLIDE BY SLIDE Dec 3, The Royal British Legion Club, Plymouth ROSA REBECKA Dec 4, Kingskerswell Church, Newton Abbot

Dec 10, Phoenix, Exeter JO HARMAN Dec 10, Kingskerswell Church, Newton Abbot

NEWTON ABBOT ORCHESTRA Dec 15, Teignmouth Pavillion, Teignmouth

HEIR Dec 22, Phoenix, Exeter PETE CANTER Jan 3, Phoenix, Exeter

LAND OF THE GIANTS Dec 15, Barrel House, Totnes

PETE CANTER Jan 7, Royal British Legion Club, Plymouth

BANCO DE GAIA Dec 15, Unit 23, Totnes

PETE CANTER Jan 8, Bread and Roses, Plymouth

THE BLOCKHEADS + SPLINK Dec 16, Phoenix, Exeter

KINGSBRIDGE JAZZ CLUB Jan 9, The Fisherman’s Rest, Aveton Gifford


JOHN OTWAY Jan 14, The Flavel, Dartmouth

GLORIOUS CHORUS Dec 17, Kingskerswell Church, Newton Abbot

BRNC BIG BAND Jan 19, The Flavel, Dartmouth


PEDIGREE JAZZ BAND Dec 17, The Royal British Legion Club, Plymouth

Dec 11, Kingskerswell Church, Newton Abbot

ROLAND GIFT Dec 18, Phoenix, Exeter

PLYMOUTH DEATH FEST Jan 20, The Junction, Plymouth


BELSHAZZAR’S FEAST Dec 19, Phoenix, Exeter

FROM THE JAM Jan 21, Phoenix, Exeter

MAD DOG MCREA Dec 19 - 20, Barrel House, Totnes

ADRIAN COX Jan 21, The Royal British Legion Club, Plymouth

THE QUIREBOYS Dec 22, The Hub, Plymouth

BLUE ROSE CODE Jan 26, Kingskerswell Church, Newton Abbot

Dec 12, Kingskerswell Church, Newton Abbot THE NEW CENTURY SINGERS Dec 14, St Peter Paul and Thomas Beckett Church, Bovey Tracey

THE SIMMERTONES Jan 27, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter PELT: CHRISTINE TOBIN, PAUL MULDOON Jan 28, Phoenix, Exeter

SHOWS STUDENT CHOICE CHRISTMAS FILM 2017 Dec 4, Jill Craigie Cinema, Plymouth

A CHRISTMAS CAROL PRESENTED BY THE PANTALOONS Dec 10, The Watermark, Ivybridge CHRISTMAS MEMORIES: NEIL SANDS Dec 11, The Watermark, Ivybridge CHRISTMAS IS MAGICAL until Jan 1, Babbacombe Theatre, Torquay

THE CIRCUS OF HORRORS - VOODOO Jan 13, Corn Exchange, Exeter

THE THREE MUSKETEERS: THE PANTO Jan 20 - 21, The Edge, Brixham


THE THREE MUSKETEERS: THE PANTO Jan 27, St Matthews Church, Torquay

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Dec 2, Cygnet Theatre, Exeter

Events at Embercombe Programmes and events that connect and inspire... How do we respond meaningfully when the world is changing so fast?

Experience Embercombe Embercombe Experience Weekends 15th-17th Dec 2017 & 16th-18th Mar 2018 Come and learn about life at Embercombe - join us for a weekend of working on the land, cooking, eating and sharing with our community.

The Journey 12th-17th Nov 2017 & 11th-16th Mar 2018 A 5-day leadership and personal development course uncovering your deepest love, your greatest gifts and your true responsibilities.

“A life affirming, soul-strengthening exploration of what it means to be truly alive.” Pheobe

The Catalyst

With nature-based and indigenous wisdom is at its heart, Embercombe facilitates programmes that inspire the courageous leader in us all to pledge to creating a better world.

8th-13th Apr 2018 A 5-day course for 18-25 year olds which helps you to develop authentic leadership and change-making skills, and gain a clearer understanding of who you really are, your gifts and where you are going.   @embercombe Embercombe - Nr Exeter - EX6 7QQ Charity Number: 1116793

Email: Or call: 01647 252983

Editorial: 01392 346342


ORGANICGARDENING OUR gardening expert JOA GROWER suggests that a bit of gardening is a great way to manage those winter blues.

Bright dry sunny days in the garden


I have never met any body who T’S time to put your feet up and relax. Surely there is nothing has regretted having beds. to do in the vegetable patch at When constructing your raised this time of year is there? beds avoid making them no In fact I always seem to be just as wider than 4ft (120cm) so that busy especially as the days are you can easily reach the middle so short. from both sides and don’t make There’s nothing nicer than a them so long (8ft to 10ft is ideal) bright dry sunny day in the that you can’t be bothered to go vegetable garden or on the around them and end up stepping allotment to across them. take away the Of course there’s winter blues. things to do on What about the rainy days that area of soil too. You could that you were meaning to get have a flick dug over back in through all the the autumn and seed companies’ never quite got catalogues or around to it? This websites and will be fine to do plan what you’re now, as long going to grow as the ground this coming year. isn’t too wet (I Why not try know I’ve said something new? it before but if the mud sticks to These days there your boots stay are always new off the soil) or it’s varieties that Build raised beds not frozen. are becoming available in organic seed. It’s not like There are plenty of other jobs that can be done. There’s repairs years ago when you could only to compost bins or cold frames get one type of vegetables like and of course the greenhouse cabbage, sprouts, tomato etc. can always do with a wash Even if you are not planning inside and out (this increases on sowing your own seeds this the all important light levels that year and are going to be buying are essential to bring on your vegetable plug plants (of which seedlings in early Spring). Try we at Growers Organics have not to leave these things until the the largest selection in the South Spring when you want to start West) its still a good idea to do a using them again. garden plan. Maybe now is the time to l SEE you all in February redesign the veg plot and build some raised beds. It can transform when we reopen the nursery at Yealmpton (next to Ben’s Farm the garden it to a much easier Shop in Yealmpton) and also space to work in and although the initial outlay can be expensive return to the market in Totnes.

Winter planting- fruit bushes LATE Winter is the best time to purchase and plant fruit bushes such as currants, gooseberry and raspberry but don’t forget to give them plenty of space. Always imagine the plants final size and room to get around it to pick all that lovely fruit when planting and you can’t go wrong. If you miss this planting opportunity don’t worry you can always buy potted organic fruit bushes right throughout the year. We carry a fairly good selection at both our nursery Growers Organics at Yealmpton or on our market stall at Totnes market from early February until late October. On the subject of fruit we had a fantastic strawberry crop again this year and January is a good time to tidy up the plants. If your bed is over 5 years old you will probably be better of replacing them with new plants. If you just want to increase the size of your strawberry bed now is a great time to remove and pot up some of the larger more healthier strawberry runners( the smaller plants that grow from the parent plant) place them in a cold green house or cold frame and plant out in their final position nearer to spring. Then cut the rest the plants down to the ground and they will come back stronger and more vigorous next year. And of coarse tastier!

Sue Blagburn and her teachers.

The therapeutic potential of horses


OW often we find that our greatest healers and therapists are those who have been healed themselves…? Sue Blagburn of Adventures with Horses is such a therapist. Sue changed career at the age of 24, giving up her full-time work with horses to concentrate on a career in marketing communications. This is where her problems started. Skills learnt working with horses such as creativity, empathy, intuition and the ability to think on her feet and work long hours, stood her in good stead for a successful corporate career. However like many others, she had no idea how to cope with the huge personal toll of the endless pressure and overload. In 2008, after 25 years in marketing communications, Sue suffered severe burnout and eventually quit the corporate world completely to go back to working with horses, this time to eventually work in equine facilitated experiential learning and therapy. She is now launching a new equine facilitated experiential learning programme called “Well-being in the Workplace” where working experientially with horses helps individuals and groups build emotional intelligence and resilience which may help with the work related pressures and challenges we can all struggle from. She said, “Horses are wonderful gauges on how congruent or present we are, and excellent teachers of mindfulness, helping us keep a middle path between being and doing. In my past I am not aware of ever being given any information on how to look after my mental health or my well-being at work. I thought working all hours was a good thing, my horses used to scream at me that it wasn’t a good thing, but I didn’t even know how to listen to them until it was too late. As part of her healing Sue began to study and experience more deeply how her own horses were asking her to be when she was engaging with them. Linking this to the new understandings and awareness of the therapeutic and

transformational potential of horses being acknowledged worldwide, Sue has not only healed herself through working with her own horses, she now facilitates, coaches and counsels others at Adventures with Horses with those very same horses and their cousins! Adventures with Horses is a nonprofit community interest company based on Dartmoor. It aims to facilitate personal growth using the naturally-occurring therapeutic potential of horses. She works with vulnerable young people, adults looking for personal growth opportunities and businesses seeking new ways of thinking about leadership and well-being. A successful crowdfunding campaign this time last year raised £8,600 and helped 89 new clients participate in equine facilitated interventions with 44 young people benefiting from bursaries. This included 334 hours of one-to-one sessions, 304 hours of Art of Horse Whispering sessions for children and young people and 211 hours of leadership and personal development workshops for adults. Sue said: “A second crowdfunding campaign started on November 21 and will run for 8 weeks until January 9 2018. We hope to raise £5000 to launch our well-being at work programme and continue to provide bursaries for our children and young people programmes. l To donate to the crowdfunding campaign visit: www.crowdfunder. Adventures with Horses, Well-being Programmes. For more information about Adventures with Horses call 07831 865259. Or visit:

Reconnect’s Organic Gardening column is written by Joa Grower of Growers Organics. Meet her at Totnes market on Fridays and Saturdays. Visit, or call 01752 881180.


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Mother and her daughter counting birds in their garden, photo by Eleanor Bentall (





On your marks, get set…count! ONCE new year is behind us those who love to watch our feathered friends in our gardens feel a flutter of excitement. Here’s MORWENNA ALLDIS of the RSPB to explain....


T THIS time of year I always start to feel a flutter of excitement because the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is just around the corner: 27–29 January. Now in its 39th year, Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s largest wildlife survey. Last year just under half a million UK people donated one hour of their weekend to record the birds that landed in their gardens or local parks. In Devon the top five 2017 Big Garden Birdwatch species recorded were: starling, goldfinch, blackbird, blue Here are a few top tips that you can do now in your gardens to give our feathered friends a comfortable winter home: Energy Boost During the colder months birds need a lot of energy just to maintain their body temperature, so it’s important to feed them foods that are high in fat, such as black sunflower seeds, peanuts or fat-based food bars. If these fatty foods come in a mesh sacking, remove them from the netting and place them in a feeder or directly onto a bird table - birds can get trapped and injured on the mesh. Keep their Whistles Wet Provide daily, fresh water either in a birdbath, pond or an old container like an ice cream tub - birds need water to drink and bathe. During the winter your garden water becomes even more vital as natural sources can freeze. Regularly check your bird baths during the colder weather, in case a sudden frost freezes the surface, making it inaccessible for birds. If your garden water has frozen, carefully pour hot water over the surface to melt it. Cosy Shelter Winter is the perfect time to install a nestbox in your garden. It will allow your garden birds to investigate the box before nesting season begins in the spring. You may even find that some birds use the box as a winter roost, valuable shelter from blustery weather.

tit, and stealing the number one spot - the house sparrow. The beauty of Big Garden Birdwatch is that it’s so simple for you to get involved. It’s an activity that people of any age can enjoy – great fun for families and to start introducing young children to the natural world in their own back gardens. l To take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch and count the wildlife that’s counting on you: visit:

New community pottery in the heart of the Dartington Estate. Studio 45 is a busy hub and interactive learning space for potters and ceramicists. It is an open-plan learning environment where members and students alike have access to wheels, kilns and equipment as well as technical know-how. We provide weekly classes in ceramics from beginners to advanced and specialist weekend workshops on glaze technology, low impact firing, women making big pots and kiln building. We are also offering low cost courses for special interest groups and low-income individuals. For more information on membership, workshops and courses have a look at the website or contact us directly at

Empowering families across Devon & Cornwall since 1999

Above Robin Erithacus rubecula photo by Ben Andrew. Below Blackbird Turdus merula photo by Chris Gomersall (both

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eco homes Working towards a low carbon future

Rocketlog The Or ig ina l One - Log Bonfire

Hand carved in the heart of the woods


A flaming centrepiece for any outdoor event, wedding, party or ceremony

WITH a new season starting, Reconnect caught up with NICOLA LANG from Transition Homes Community Land Trust to give us an update on their end of year activities, and some idea about what we can expect from them in 2018 – it sounds like they’re in for a busy year ahead.


THE NEXT (FEB/MAR) ISSUE OF RECONNECT IS A FESTIVALS GUIDE SPECIAL! Our annual guide to the best festivals across the South West is back - and it’ll be bigger and better than ever! Email to be in it!

locally sourced timber with character

Y THE time you read this we will finally (fingers crossed) have celebrated receiving the formal planning notice for our Clay Park project in Dartington of 27 highly sustainable homes, 19 of them affordable for local people in housing need. There’ll also be a community hub building, horticultural areas, orchard and wildlife areas for all to enjoy. During the long wait for planning, we haven’t been twiddling our thumbs. With a grant from the People’s Postcode Trust twelve local people spent a sunny autumn day with us learning the traditional rural skills of hedge-laying and foraging, with Martin Stallard and Myrtle Cooper. We’ve also uncovered a traditional stone faced Devon bank, so you would be welcome to join us on March 7-9th to learn about stone work and help us restore it to its former glory, and build a new section – please send us an email. We are thrilled to welcome two new trustees to the Board, Tom Winfield and Ruth Sutcliffe, who between them have valuable experience in natural building, managing building projects and developing communities. We launched our CLT membership in June and already have 50 members – it only costs £1 and details are on our website if you’d like to join. You might have seen us at the Eco Homes events in October, including taking part in a panel at the Eco Homes Fair with our fellow CLTs Broadhempston, South Brent, and

Hedge laying in action Harberton & Harbertonford. We’ve also recently met the fledgling Stoke Gabriel CLT group. This coming year is going to be full on. We are working with our architect, structural & civil engineers and project manager on detailed design - which requires the Trustees to make hundreds of decisions. We are having composting loos - so how big a chamber do we need under each house? Which renewable energy options are economical for us to install and run, and reduce the residents’ bills? Is it possible to source all the wood we need for construction locally at a price we can afford? And then there is raising investment – we need to borrow £3million. We’re talking to sympathetic potential lenders interested in what we are doing, but they do need all sorts of reassurance, not unreasonably, that this isn’t going to go pear-shaped. As they say, it is a work in progress. The current plan is to start on site in the middle of next year and before the end of the year to start selecting the first residents. The party to celebrate putting that first spade in the ground will be large and raucous! We can’t wait to invite you. For more information email info@ or visit www.

Beautiful floor frames and roof structures for sale, using genuine Dartmoor Oak from Hembury woods managed sustainably for biodiversity. The carpentry follows the time-honoured Devon vernacular traditions. Ideal for new roof structures and listed buildings alike. Add timeless character and charm to your home with an Oak floor deck or a vaulted roof. The timbers are carefully weathered, hewn and trimmed with side axes and draw knives to express all the subtle colour tones, curves and flow of the timber. Sold either as prepared timber or a completed structure.

Contact Robert on or telephone Joe Bellows on 07789 698 216 16

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Martin Stallard talking about hedge laying, in front of section to be laid

LOCAL PRODUCE Late shopping Buying the best locally THERE’s late night shopping evenings happening all over Reconnectland. Late night shopping is on Thursday in both Exeter and Plymouth.

Plymouth Christmas Market runs until December 21 on Armada Way. Exeter’s Christmas Market will run until December 17 on Cathedral Green trading Monday to Wednesday 10am7pm, Thursday to Saturday 10am-9pm, and Sunday 11am5pm. There will also be Christmas Street Markets in Castle Street and Fore Street. Totnes’ fabulous late night shopping that’s a must visit for readers will take place on Tuesdays (December 5, 12 and 19) from 3:30pm-9:30pm. Kingsbridge and Bovey Tracey both celebrate Christmas (separately) on December 2 with street food, stalls, entertainment, and more.


HRISTMAS is, for most of us, the biggest celebration of the year – a time for families to get together, particularly to share meals. Because it’s so special we want to get it just right, and top of the shopping list is buying the finest ingredients. If you buy local produce you can be sure you’ll get the best – the best flavour, but also the best for the local economy and traceability too. “This was a pet passion of mine when I was Reconnect editor,” says Martin Foster. “And now I’m a local producer myself, I feel even stronger. “I would urge people to buy as much local produce as they can all through the year – but to make a special effort at Christmas. And especially when it comes to buying meat. “Buying locally keeps the money in the community and allows people who really

care, like us here at Tigley Tump, to stay in business.

“Animal welfare is a top priority for us and all small-scale producers. All our stock is truly freerange, we don’t use chemicals and people are always welcome to drop by and see what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. Our Christmas turkeys and geese are wandering across the field right now, eating bugs and grazing.” Tigley Tump can this year offer turkeys, geese, pork and lamb. Call Martin for details on 07837 003962 or visit www.facebook. com/tigleytump.

Our trash . their home . shop zero waste

Earth . Food . Love . 101 High Street, Totnes

the zero waste shop Editorial: 01392 346342


The Greenlife Christmas hamper

LOCAL PRODUCE A late night at Earth. Food. Love

LATE night shopping at Earth.Food. Love has arrived! Nicola Eckersley explains: “We are happy to announce that we are trialing out late night hours every Tuesday throughout the winter months. After speaking to many of our customers, we are aware that even with their best intentions, not everyone can make it to the shop during regular opening hours due to their work commitments.” So, they are extending the hours on a Tuesday and hopefully it will make it easier for more people to shop without packaging. Plus, as an added bonus, parking in Totnes is free after 6pm too! They are open Tuesdays from 10am until 8pm.

A helping hand this Veganuary


ANUARY will see many people taking on the Veganuary challenge; committing to eating only vegan foods for the duration of January. Totnes based Earth.Food.Love, the zero waste shop, is here to help you accomplish this goal. They stock over 300 organic plantbased foods for you to fill your pantry with, ensuring you wont get bored (or hungry) during your challenge. The owners proudly stock only

vegan products (inc. their cleaning products, cosmetics and foods) as the shop is an extension of their own morals and beliefs. It also so happens that all staff members at the shop are veggie or vegan and can provide extensive knowledge and tips to help you on your way. l See their website or pop into their shop on Totnes High Street. Visit http:// for more details.

Shopping for the ethical elf


F YOU want to make your Christmas organic this year, if you have special dietary needs, or if you are an ethical Christmas shopper, then Greenlife, which is located at the top of Totnes on the market square, is well worth a visit. They sell a wide range of Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free and Organic versions of traditional Christmas foods alongside many luxury foods, and a very large selection of organic, raw, dairy free and sugar free chocolates and Christmas novelty chocolates. Many of the food lines stocked in the shop are Fairtrade, which is one reason that Greenlife have attained a regional Fairtrade business award for four years in a row. Greenlife also sell a number of Christmas gift lines. These include various natural body care gift packs,

scented candles, aromatherapy oils and a selection of eco gifts such as reusable water bottles, food containers, bamboo coffee cups and other products made from sustainable materials such as bamboo and coconut. This year Greenlife will also be selling Christmas hampers for the first time. The hampers, available in a luxury organic and a ‘free from’ version, are very reasonably priced at £65. They are an ideal Christmas raffle prize for any ethical business or club, or make a generous Christmas present! Details of the hamper contents can be found online at Greenlife is open from 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5.30pm on Saturday. They will also be open until 9pm on Tuesdays throughout December as part of the Totnes Late Night Shopping event.

Everything you need for Christmas & the New Year ORDER YOUR HAMS, TURKEYS & HAMPERS NOW Christmas orders now being taken. Christmas Hampers, off-the-peg and bespoke. Choose for yourself from our wonderful range of local, award winning produce, including organic vegetables, Fairtrade goods, wholefoods, groceries, bread, homebaking, dairy, fish, poultry, meats and Fairtrade Christmas gifts. Hot drinks and freshly cooked BBQ lunches most days. Call in today and take a look!

Special Christmas Late Night Opening Thursday 7 December


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Naturally nourishing An opportunity for change

OUR resident foodie, JANE HUTTON, suggests some easy remedies to keep away those seasonal winter blues.


OR many people the end of one year and the beginning of another signals a good opportunity to make changes in their lives, to become fitter, give up addictions such as smoking or drinking too much or maybe to find a better job. New Year resolutions have become a traditional way of formulating these intentions and there is always a lot of space devoted to this in newspapers and magazines around this time of year. New Year resolutions are, of course, always made with good intentions - but as the saying goes, ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’ and the reality is that by the middle of January many have been abandoned. The problem with New Year resolutions is not that they are intrinsically a bad idea but that many of them are made as a result of an impulse to improve one’s life but without much careful consideration about how realistic or achievable the end result may be. And in many ways a failed resolution is worse than none at all because the person who made it then feels bad about giving up on their intention as well as the continued negative habit or behaviour. Many readers of Reconnect will be familiar with the concept of SMART goals (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) either from training at work or through personal development they have undertaken but how many people apply these well proven concepts when it comes to making New Year resolutions? Probably not that many. In order for New Year resolutions to be effective, it is important to put time and effort into making

Stay merry and bright this winter


sure they are in alignment with SMART goals. Taking time away from the daily routine to focus fully on this process can pay dividends. Life coach Jeff Sleeman is a keen advocate of doing this and recommends it strongly to anyone who is serious about making positive changes in their life. Said Jeff: “I always take a few days off in January, go away somewhere that I can reflect and think and use this time to set goals and objectives for the coming year. Reviewing the previous year is an important part of this process and I can learn from both the things that succeeded and those that didn’t to set more effective goals next time. I also find that doing a thorough review of the past year helps me to remember and give myself credit for what I have achieved which in turn adds to my sense of self-worth. It’s not essential to do this at the turn of the year but it is certainly worth doing on an annual basis.” Jeff offers one to one coaching to help and support anyone who wants to make positive changes in their life. For details of his work see

Holiday office party, REconomy style

THE REconomy Centre, the little powerhouse of progressive economic activity in Totnes is throwing an office party for local entrepreneurs and enterprises of all kinds, on December 12th, 5pm at the REconomy Centre. Co-founding member Jay Tompt said: “It’s a chance to plug into a network of interesting people doing interesting things and to learn about co-working, incubation and support programmes that are giving a lift to new business and young businesses in South Devon. Did you know that the Local Entrepreneur Forum, for example, has helped raise £83,000 for local enterprises?” The REconomy Centre have encouraged local people to invest in local community-beneficial enterprises through their annual Local Entrepreneurs Forum. In 2018 they’re trying to form a ‘light touch’ network of local people willing and able to make loans or other investments to worthy enterprises/ entrepreneurs at any time of year. 2018 also sees them return with two events. Firstly their Project Design Hackathon - another hackathon event in the coming spring. Secondly the Community of Dragons – they’re already on the look out for entrepreneurs and local enterprises interested in pitching. Can you help scout for worthy projects, or maybe start thinking about pitching something yourself? Interested in being involved in these projects in some way? Know someone you is? If so, please get in touch with REconomy. You can learn more at

EASONAL affective disorder (SAD), is more common in the UK than we might think. Weak, watery winter sunshine, if we get any at all, doesn’t exactly encourage us to get out and about, leaving us at risk of low vitamin D and serotonin levels. So if you, or someone you know, seems to retreat into their shell in the darker months, feel down or lacking in energy, suffer mood swings or find their appetite significantly increases or decreases, they could be suffering from SAD. Luckily, there are some easy remedies. Getting enough daylight is the most important; at least 15 minutes, preferably with forearms uncovered, but if you’re wrapped up, stay out longer. This will keep vitamin D production going, allowing your brain to keep up the levels of serotonin (a brain chemical essential for mood regulation). Eating vitamin D fortified foods, and supplementing will also help – vitamin D is fat soluble, which means you need to eat fat to absorb it. It is naturally found in oily fish (and fish oils like cod liver oil), beef liver, cheese, milk, egg yolks, button mushrooms, and oysters. Eat foods rich in trytophan, which the body uses to make serotonin (such as chicken, turkey, fish, beans, milk, and bananas),

but ensure a nutritious, fresh, unprocessed diet to optimise all the nutrients your body needs to keep mood and motivation high. Choosing complex carbs and avoiding caffeine, sugar, white flour products and saturated fat will help blood sugar levels stay stable. Exercise will stimulate the release of endorphins, promoting a positive mood, doubling your reasons to get out for a stroll in the daylight during the winter. For those who find these steps are not relieving their symptoms quite enough, a lightbox may be the answer. Reasonably priced ones can easily be found on the internet, and they only need to be used for around 30 minutes daily to be effective. Make sure the one you buy has a strength of at least 10,000 lux units. There are vitamin D sprays for a quick boost, but don’t overdo it – total supplementation should include what’s going on in your diet. As with all nutrients, they rely on each other to be used by the body so a balanced, varied daily intake of nutrients from unprocessed, natural sources is essential. Natural nutrients from natural sources are always better utilised, so get cooking this winter to stay merry and bright. Wishing you all a cracking Christmas, and a fabulous festive season. See you in 2018!

Baked chicken with chorizo and olives HERE’S an easy supper dish stuffed full of the nutrients you need for a sunny winter! 3 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika 4 chicken breasts 4 chicken leg joints 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 large onion, sliced 450g plum tomatoes, chopped 2 red peppers, sliced 1 sprig of thyme 250g chorizo, thickly sliced 100g olives Heat the oven to 190 degrees. Sprinkle the paprika over the chicken

and season, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and brown the chicken breasts, then set aside and keep warm. Add a little more oil if necessary, then cook the garlic and onion gently for a few minutes to release all the flavour. Put the tomatoes and peppers in a baking dish with the onions, garlic, chicken and thyme. You can add any other veg that you want to at this point, like leeks. Bake for 15 minutes, then add the chorizo. 5 minutes later add the olives. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Season to taste and serve.

Naturally Nourishing is written by nutritionist and “confirmed foodie” Jane Hutton. Visit her new website, www., and sign up for programmes, recipes and advice.

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MORE FOLLOWS... SINCE giving up his Reconnect editorial chair, MARTIN FOSTER has been getting some dirt under his fingernails – no, he’s not sleeping rough; he’s getting into growing...

Learning the language of growing


LTHOUGH I have been involved in land and landbased projects (some my own, some other people’s) all my working life, they’ve all been based around keeping livestock and I’ve never really been actively involved in growing produce. Now though I’m here at Tigley Tump (an off-grid smallholding just outside Totnes) and fruit and veg production is a significant part of what we do. And I’m growing to love it. Our priority is the production of food for our own consumption and we then sell any surplus at our farm gate stall (check out our map on Facebook to find it – www., and on a local produce stall (run by The Apricot Centre – www. at Friday’s Totnes market. And because we feel very strongly about the quality of the food we eat ourselves – no chemicals, sustainable methods, etc – it means our customers enjoy the same benefits. Although I’ve grown a few things in odd corners of gardens in the past, I’ve always felt I had something lacking. Information about how to plant or sow, tend and harvest is out there in abundance, of course: I’ve got plenty of books on the subject and the ether is positively groaning under the weight of how-to websites. But somehow I didn’t have the ‘feel’ for it. Maybe it was just impatience on my part; perhaps it would have come after I’d experienced enough growing cycles. But I learn best from working alongside someone who really knows and loves their subject and fortunately Tigley Tump has Paul, the radical horticulturist. Paul loves all things plants. He trained at Schumacher College and has the perfect mix of technical knowledge (he can quote Latin plant names, if that’s what’s important to you), practical ability (his pruning skills are a form of living art) and wheelbarrow loads of enthusiasm. And it’s his enthusiasm that I find most inspiring. For me it’s still early days and I’m happy to ‘plant those’ or ‘weed that’ but I’m beginning to see each job as part of a process: the bigger picture is starting to come into focus. Slowly (very slowly) I’m learning the language of growing: not the Latin names (languages were never my strong point), but more the natural rhythm of preparing the soil, sowing and planting and tending the crops. It’s actually not so different from high-welfare livestock husbandry:


working with nature to create a life-cycle that is sustainable and beneficial but non-exploitative. Underlying all this ethical consideration is the commercial imperative. As well as producing food, we need to make a little money (no matter how selfsufficient we might become and no matter how much we pare back our overheads, the bills still roll in) and Paul had an idea. Pea-shoots. They’re the delicious and supernutritious sprouts produced by garden peas – perfect for salads, sandwiches and for sprinkling on and garnishing just about anything. The simple truth about growing is that if you get the conditions right, it will happen. Spread your soaked peas over the correct growing medium and make them comfortable in the appropriate environment and nature will do its job – easy peasy. And that’s fine if you want to grow a few shoots for your Sunday tea. But what if want to produce and sell pea shoots to local stores and, we are delighted to say, even to ensure a regular supply for a major wholesaler? What you need, my friend, is a system. And that is when you need to really know your onions (yeah, ok). You need to calculate the perfect density for sowing; you need to create the ideal environment, on a whole different scale; and you need to be able to harvest and package them in a way that will appeal to the consumer. While at the same time remaining cost-effective and efficient. And that is what Paul has done and that is what is happening right now at Tigley Tump. As well as all the richly varied and complimentary activities around more conventional fruit, veg and meat production, we now have a small but perfectly formed business producing peashoots – and selling them through the aforementioned local stores, market stalls and wholesalers. Paul isn’t looking to make his fortune, and as his (relatively) able assistant I’ll be content to just settle the occasional bill, but we’ve proved that it is possible to make money from an entirely natural, sustainable and non-mechanised project (a pair of scissors for harvesting is as hi-tech as it gets). As I said, I’m growing - to love it! * Follow all the Tigley Tump goings-on at tigleytump

Have a healthy Christmas! From Oliver Cowmeadow at the Macro School


HRISTMAS – Health – are both possible? Of course! And here’s how. Traditionally part of Christmas was to have a feast, breaking the daily plain diet with some richer food – maybe killing a bird, using precious honey or sugar to make a rich dessert, brewing some alcohol etc. With a background of simple eating having a bit of a blow out at one meal can be a healthy thing to do, there’s balance here. However in present times in richer countries like the UK, most people feast all year around, eating meat, dairy foods, fatty and sweet foods, chocolate and alcohol on a daily basis. Then the feast has to be even more excessive, with tons of meat, fat, sugar and alcohol, and becomes extremely unhealthy. Not surprising there is a rise in many health problems straight after Christmas. So Step One – eat and live as healthily as you can every day. The present ‘crisis’ in the NHS is not due to a shortage of money, but is actually due to a shift in society where the responsibility for taking care of all of our health has shifted from us, to the state. Most people’s reaction to becoming ill is to seek out a doctor to give a medication or other treatment to give relief. However there is another way – to first look at ourselves and ask, what I have been eating, thinking and doing in my life that could have caused or at least contributed to this illness? Then making some changes towards a healthier way of living, eating and thinking may well help alleviate the health problem. Science is now showing us what ancient cultures have known for millennia,

that most illnesses are caused by our daily diet and way of living. Of course when an illness is serious or if any symptoms are worsening over time, it is absolutely wise to seek out medical help. But with many common milder illnesses, identifying possible causes in our daily life habits and diet and making changes often works very well. By doing this repeatedly over time, we get to know our bodies better, what they like, what they don’t like, and we learn better and better to care of our own health. Lets respect and care for the wonderful bodies we have been gifted. Step Two – plan a Christmas feast using natural foods, you might want an organic bird, a fish, or a Vegan nut roast as a centre to the meal, along with roasted vegetables, rich gravy, and some salad to balance out the heavy rich dishes. Follow this up with mince pies or Christmas pudding full of nuts and dried fruits, and so not needing sugar, and use a plant-based cream such as ‘Oatly’ or a homemade sugar- and dairyfree custard. If you like a tipple buy yourself some organic beer or wine. Step Three – After your feast, take a fun walk out with family or friends to help your body digest and use it all up. Then rather than continuing to feast for the next 2 or 3 days, get back to your healthy daily diet. You know your life better than anyone, so become your own best doctor. l For some healthy Christmas recipes and our latest courses on healthy cooking and living, have a look on our website www.



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Time for change - I want to be an American!

REGULAR contributor PETE SCOTT has been busy with his work with the Frack Free Totnes group. He’s still made time to welcome three friends from the other side of the pond, and discovered that our American cousins are full of energy and brimming with love. ONE week of being in the company of three Americans was all it took. My friend Katheryn, born on Lake Michegan, but living in Totnes for 25 years, had Steph and Rob visiting her from San Diego. It was a whirlwind. The laughter, quick fire conversation, creativity and sheer energy were simply delightful. I saw my friend in a new context, in company with others from her culture. Suddenly I understood her better. The three of them would walk into a café and within ten seconds the whole place would be full of smiles and good humour. They exuded confidence and openness, friendliness and generosity of spirit. And with such full on energy! Finally I understood how hard it has been for Katheryn to dim her American enthusiasm down to fit in with English reserve. Steph and I are both choir leaders, musicians and activists. We have a lot in common, but I had to say to her ‘I simmer, but woman you are on full boil’. Their ability to spread love in their music was very apparent at the benefit concert they did in Totnes for Katheryn’s cancer care costs. A beautiful event which someone described as ‘a sonic duvet’. Steph left our choirs a song - ‘Love Rescue Me’ by Bob Dylan, the first song she ever sang with her Voices Of Our City Choir for homeless people in San Diego. We will sing it at our benefit concert on Saturday 16 December in Totnes Civic Hall in aid of Beyond Borders, a charity in aid of refugees – another version of homeless. We will sing it and think of them and the marvelous flavour of Americanness they embody – so unlike the ugly white supremacist Trumpist variety that is already in decline. I am opening myself to the possibility of bringing the heat up on my simmer, and being, like Steph, Rob and Katheryn, unapologetic about being a happy human being full of love. I wonder what effect that might have on my choirs. If you have any interest in finding out too, it is SING Exeter Tuesdays, and SING Plymouth Thursdays. All info Come try us out. First session FREE. I won’t be talking with an American accent though!

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Our Christmas survival guide Giving the gift of wellbeing


F YOU’RE looking for something special as a gift for a loved one, instead of that ethical trinket how about giving them a wellbeing experience that could last a lifetime. In November we visited the lovely people at Ola Chiropractic in Totnes to sample a selection of the experiences their practitioners offer. These were through free taster sessions and wellness talks during Ola’s open day. Jasmine and Claire There was a wealth of new things to try out in the various rooms of the centre, all excellently offer a friendly co-ordinated around their reception with nibbles, welcome and drinks on hand too. Talks and tasters included acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, Shiatsu, Feldenkrais, Heart Speak, Functional Integration, essential oils, massage, harmonised spaces, and animal acupuncture. Dr Claire Ryan, the principal chiropractor, greeted us as visitors bustled by eager to sample new experiences. Claire said: “The clinic is thriving with excellent practitioners, nice team environment, with nurturing care at the heart of the clinic.” The clinic is committed to a high standard of practice and open to new practitioners. We had a chance to enjoy the practices of recent additions Medical Herbalist Isha Olsen Wells and Shiatsu Therapist Lucie Thring. The centre will have another open day in the Spring. Dr Claire added: “We have Christmas gift vouchers available in all our therapies. Just pop into the clinic to purchase for a loved one.” Dr Claire will be doing one of her renowned clear days on January 27. The Network chiropractic works on the spine’s integrity and stability, allowing a person to deepen their awareness and confidence in their spine. Contact Ola on 01803 862 565, see website www.totneschiropractic. for more details, and see page 27 for a special offer.

Tis the season to be resourceful CHRISTMAS is such a great opportunity to encourage sharing and there are many ways to reduce your impact on Earth’s resources too…Devon Community Recycling Network Coordinator BEN BRYANT gives his tips for reducing waste over Christmas, a time when the average UK household generates at least 25% more rubbish.


Love the skin you’re in - be gentle with


HE first ever festival of body acceptance took place in Totnes this autumn. Its founder, DINA GIBBONS talked to Reconnect about the BodyKind Festival and why she wants us all to learn to love the skin we’re in… When did you first become interested in body image? When I was eight, my beloved older sister (10 years my senior) told me she was learning to smile without using her eyes because she wanted to avoid getting wrinkles. Years later, I became a midwife and I was really struck by the way that new and expectant mothers spoke about their bodies. Rather than talk about the miracle of conception and birth – and it is a miracle – they said things like “when will my body get back to normal?” and “will my husband/ partner ever want to have sex with me again?” Their disgust with their bodies was palpable. Please tell me how the BodyKind Festival came about In 2014, I wrote to Susie Orbach because I was so concerned about the way the medical profession treats pregnant women who are overweight. We began running workshops together teaching student midwives about the importance of body image. I ran a public workshop in Totnes in April and it was obvious there was an appetite for more. I began to wonder how we could feel more

Tips for reducing waste at Christmas from Devon Community Recycling Network.

HRISTMAS is a time to get together with friends and family to relax, offering some quality time and vital respite from the pace of modern life. It’s not presents but your presence that counts; human kindness and the sharing out of love in big helpings. By just being thoughtful to others, you’re almost guaranteed a lovely Christmas. Speak with a kind heart and bring the love, laughs and good local food. Spare a thought for your elderly neighbours and help those less fortunate than yourselves. Remember the best option is to simply not to create the extra waste and to REDUCE; preventing waste from the outset is champion. Think Zero Waste and consider a New Year’s resolution to join the Zero Waste Journey (see facebook group) or take part in the plastic free initiative. You’ll becoming part of a rapidly growing movement of people who want to do more than just recycle.


Buy wrapping paper made with 100% recycled material. Avoid shiny foil or plasticized wrapping. If paper tears easily and the paper fibres are visible it’s generally good for recycling. Plain brown paper makes nice traditional wrapping, personalised with a ribbon. The paper can reused as a liner for your food waste caddy. Stick to tradition and put presents inside a Christmas stocking that can be personalised and reused each year. Save decent pieces of wrapping paper for next year. Use ribbon or string rather than tape it’s easier to salvage materials for reuse. Remove tape, tags, bows and ribbons from recycling, as these can contaminate the material.

WHATEVER your spiritual perspective, you can’t escape the fes when consumerism fills the air. We’re here to help put those gre practice. Support your local business, local producers, local art



Can you make your own Christmas decorations, Christmas cards out of scrap resources, or even your own Christmas crackers? For more info and inspiration contact your local Scrapstore; Plymouth, Torbay, Holsworthy and Exeter all have one; they often run Christmas decoration making workshops to get you into the spirit. Visit projects or email info@ to locate local community recycling projects in your area.

Try to buy Christmas cards and other paper based products with high recycled content or better still try sending ecards. Think small with Christmas cards as you’ll be saving big on cardboard. A nice idea is to save and send the same card to the same person each year with previous messages included as reminders of years gone by, things personalised are all the better. Reuse images and salvage what you can for Christmas tags the next year and the written half for shopping lists. Recycle any Christmas cards that have been repurposed or reused already via the kerbside scheme, or check to see if a local retailer accepts cards for recycling.


Plan food menus in advance and stick to your shopping list (listen up men). Remember to store products carefully to keep food fresh and freeze what you can. www. provides great recipes for using Christmas leftovers and gives excellent guidance on planning Christmas shopping, freezing and reusing leftovers plus saving energy. Birds love Christmas leftovers too; any scraps of fruit cake and mince pies will go down a treat providing energy and nutrients to help them through the cold winter months. Be sure to Home Compost all those vegetable peelings and all uncooked food (except meat). For tips on home composting visit Devon Community Composting network


comfortable in our bodies. I asked money out of us feeling bad? Neu us that something is “wrong” then beauty industry, the exercise indus can sell us a “solution”. BodyKind these questions. Will there be another BodyKind F Yes. In Totnes from 12-14 October At New Year, there is a lot of focu getting fit, do you have any thoug Susie has published a brilliant boo reminds us what we intuitively kno l To eat when we’re hungry l To listen to what our body is asking for l To taste every mouthful l To stop when we’ve had enoug l If we eat when we’re not hungry ask ourselves what we actually need Rather than making resolutions ab losing weight or getting fit this Ne Year, how about resolving to be m We have two copies of Susie Or to give away. Please email Reconnect at editor with the subject line of Orbach C

Try Furoshiki

TRADITIONAL Japanese wrapping cloth or gift-wrapping all sorts of presents in a manner. Imagine origami using fabrics. simple or multifunctional pieces of cloth, t more beautiful the better to be passed on and reused again and again ideally for more furoshiki. Online demonstrations of the many different folds can be found on youtube or check it out on Wikipedia.

Planning is an essential, make a list of what you need and what you’ve bought. Very often the joy is in the giving not the receiving so it’s easy to over buy, especially when it comes to spoiling the little ones. Support your local town market and independent stores and keep your money within the local economy. Shopping with independents. Buy seasonal and locally sourced goods to reduce food miles and carbon footprint. Take your reusable shopping bags and buy loose to reduce packaging.


Look out for presents made from recycled or sustainable materials. You don’t have to buy new stuff for people, consider making presents as that personal touch is far more meaningful. Make a present pact between friends or family - have a maximum value, locally sourced only, buy only from charity shops, or only buy second hand items. Experiences make brilliant Christmas presents. Arrange activities and gettogethers, purchase event tickets, vouchers for therapies, subscriptions, support a crowd fund, adopt a cause, or buy memberships. Reuse an item you no longer use as a present to someone else who will like it and use it. Focus on spending quality time together, that’s the best gift.

Visit for details of Christmas waste services offered by your local council. Contact DCRN for recycling advice and information on how best to reduce-reuse-recycle across and please find/like/s Recycling and Composting Networks’ on facebook. If you are interested in recycling and resource related projects to help your community save Earth’s precious resources and reduce waste then please email info@dc


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EVON has one of the highest number of small farms and food producers in the country - but much of the food produced here leaves the county. The more we can localise supply chains so that food may be bought directly from the producer, the more money remains circulating locally, which greatly benefits local communities. These days, no sooner have we recovered from Christmas than another one looms into view……. and with it the dilemma of what to do to make the whole experience meaningful, and not just a frenzy of over-consumption. Surely none of us wants to add to the mountain of plastic which will be bought and discarded within days, or at the most weeks. Most of us like to give and receive gifts that are made with care, and that will give lasting pleasure. Whether you visit Ashburton’s Tuckers Market for all the ingredients for your festive feast. Offering a wide range of local meats, local and organic fruit and veggies, wholefoods, bread, pastries and cakes, and an impressive selection of Fairtade products and gifts. We’re a big fan of their pasties, and their barbecued lunches, plus they stock Reconnect. They’re open all day Monday to Saturday. See their advert on page 18. Making your own gifts is of course wonderful, but if you do not have the time, or maybe the skill, then

why not consider buying items that are hand-made locally. Whilst we are big fans of buying experiences and adventures as gifts for your loved ones, rather than spending cash in the big high street stores, if you are on the hunt for unusual gifts, why not check out what’s on offer in a nearby town of village where you don’t usually shop. Living near Teignmouth we’re fans of the artisan quarter there. If you’re based around Totnes end of the A38 try popping along to South Brent. There you’ll find Artworks, which has a great selection of goods all sourced from local artists and makers. The work ranges from ceramics and jewellery to locally made leather bags, hand-bound books, glass, artists’ prints and paintings, and a great range of cards, wrapping papers, and stocking-fillers too. Artworks is always full of surprises. And right next to Artworks is another little gem of a shop – Fogg’s Deli is a small but delightful place where you can buy an extensive range of organic vegetables, local cheeses, and lots of interesting edible things that make great gifts. You will often find it full of people – enjoying the atmosphere, having a coffee or a light lunch (there are two seats in the window that create a tiny café area). Find yourself a local artisan quarter to shop in, and you cannot fail to enjoy your shopping experience!

The perfect unusual gift


HIS time of year is perfect for burning those local eco presents. We’re not suggesting that you set fire to the gifts under the Christmas tree, but instead invest in a sort of moveable wooden, free standing bonfire that burns for 3 - 5 hours. We’re talking Rocket Logs! A cross between a Swedish candle (a log sawn into quarters stood on it’s end) and a rocket stove (a fire at the base of a chimney fed with air through the base). Created by Doug King-Smith at The Hillyfield, on the edge of Dartmoor, near

South Brent. “Rocket Logs create a fantastic flailing centrepiece for any outdoor gathering,” (think Festive or New Year) said Doug. “And when you buy one, you are also supporting ancient woodland regeneration at The Hillyfield - they’re made of Japanese Larch felled to make way for young, native saplings.” They also make perfect unusual gifts. They cost just £25 each or five for £100, plus the cost of the courier to anywhere in the UK. Find out more and order them at www.

WHILST this time of year is seen by many as a time of joy, spare a thought for those who dread this time of year, and struggle to deal with feelings of isolation and future uncertainty.

Suicide prevention update and support……


Natural trees rule OK especially if they can be grown outside and loved all year around. Plastic trees are fine if you already have one and plan to reuse it every Christmas but try not to buy new. Don’t feel a need to replace tree decorations each year. Broken Christmas lights and upgraded electricals can be taken to local council recycling centres.

Photos taken at Dartington ReSTORE


Make a pledge to buy locally

no sent o .


OUTH Devon’s Hope & Help network are here to help. Begun in Kingsbridge in 1999 as Carers One to One Link, the project ceased in 2015 but the support groups now continue under the umbrella of the national Rethink mental illness charity. They meet in a variety of locations across Devon sharing information and our common experiences as well as having fun together is a source of comfort, and everyone is welcome. Volunteer, Claudia Benzies, said: “We all have experiences of mental illnesses, our own or of a friend or relative’s, diagnoses such as psychosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression... Some of us have lost loved ones through ‘misadventure’ or suicide. We get tremendous support from one another and lasting friendships have been made. We are no longer isolated.” See the panel on the right for the details of their group meetings.

Be a first aider at this festive time and beyond AS WE approach the sun moving northwards and we need to calm down and nurture ourselves and others at this time of year. Chukumeka Maxwell from Suicide Safer Communities is on a mission to raise the money for his CIC to train over 600 suicide first aiders across Devon. Chukes said: “Be a first aider in the broader sense. If you are concerned and worried about people see what you can do to support people who are lonely and isolated.” Suicide Prevention Crowdfunding have a



lease find/like/share ‘Devon Community se email for info and support.

EMEMBER the five ways to well-being with the acronym CLANG =CARE

Connection Learning Active Noticing Giving

video, and are hoping 50,000 people can donate £2. Reconnect readers’ support would be greatly appreciated and please share with friends and family project/suicidefirstaiders See the website for more details. Remember the Samaritans free phone 116123 if you are worried about someone at risk of suicide. Chukes and his team wish you all a wonderful festive season and happy 2018.

Dartmouth COOL: Every Thursday 10.30am to 12.30pm St Clements Church Townstal TQ6 9SN Kingsbridge COOL: 2nd Tuesday of the month 10.30 - 12.30 Harbour House, TQ7 1JD South Brent COOL: Last Thursday of the month 10.30am - 12.00 Pack Horse Inn, S. Brent TQ10 9BH Teignbridge COOL: 1st Monday of the month 1.30 - 3.30pm United Reform Church Teignmouth TQ14 8TB For more information contact Aden Watkins, Groups & Involvement Officer tel: 07484001927 email: aden.

with friends and strangers alike new things being active try not to be too stressed the environment around you and the changing season time, money support to enable others and the wider community


Compassion Acceptance Respect Empathy

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rewilding Making space for the primal nature of kids

Part two

YOU know it’s time to rewild our children when Unilever get in on the act and launch a ‘Dirt is Good - Free the Children’ campaign. It follows a report that half of children worldwide spend less than an hour outside, and over a third have never played in the mud. Timely then that we have Earth Wright’s Mike Jones and the second part of his article on the exploration of play.


N WREXHAM, locals have been running ‘The Land’, a natural adventure playground which is the star of a film ( It shows that “... for special places to work their magic on kids they need to be able to do some clamber and damage. They need to be free to climb trees, muck about, catch things and get wet. We need to recognise the humble places where this alchemy occurs.” They do not need to be big, expensive affairs. Second-hand lands, hand-me-down habitats, the unofficial countryside provides ideal settings, woven into the fabric of our neighbourhoods. “During most of our history when children have been left to their own devices they flee to the nearest scrap of wild place. To play unobserved by adults.” That’s what we did when I was growing up — outdoor scrounging, spontaneous adventuring on rough ground. My roaming range extended five miles along the coast or railway line to the local town. In the current climate of fear for children’s safety, this kind of freedom has evaporated. Play habitats now need to be close at hand, places kids can flee to on foot or bike, with the permission and trust of their parents. The current buzz around making our towns and cities more ‘playable’ is a move in the right direction. It also fits perfectly with existing ideas about encouraging wildlife and biodiversity back into our neighbourhoods through the creation of green corridors peppered with natural habitats. In permaculture terms they represent a stacking of functions. Children and nature are good for each other. Playing children help preserve unkempt patches by giving them local meaning and value. Nature meanwhile fosters all that is unkempt, feral and instinctive in the child. It may be a stretch of

imagination, but for all we know the woods and trees may miss the clambering hands and feet of young humans. The stream may mourn the loss of dam-making and Pooh sticks. These places are old enough to remember times when human children were as at home in the woods as squirrels or crows. The beauty of play in nature is expressed by Paul Shepard: “Trees are perhaps the most important plants in the lives of children. Because of our forest origins we have an affinity for trees, a tendency which is virtually compulsive in childhood and shared with most other primates... It would be hard to overestimate the degree to which trees give internal shape to the space in which the child plays. They are, on the one hand like great, protective, benign adults whose whispering and lightly percussive tremolo is like the humming of a kindly Aunt or Uncle. On the other hand, trees structure space as though it were a Labyrinthine underworld, where hiding is like survival itself. Trees were made for climbing, a return to quadrupedal motion, touching a chord in our genetic memory of an arboreal safety. The rough texture of bark against the chest and arms, the smell reminiscent of a time so long ago that we still had whiskers, the gift of nests and fruit, the green, galleries and corridors, the vestibular possibilities in being rocked by the wind or bouncing on a limb are part of my own childhood recollections that go deep. Building tree houses like nests, like the spectacled bears in South America or chimpanzees in Africa making platforms, prompts delight at the thought of sleeping in treetops.” In these natural spaces where children are free to follow their instincts, ideas and interests, they often gravitate towards practising ancient survival

activities like shelter building, foraging, fire lighting and cooking, exploring the land, hiding in bushes, play fighting, and nurturing babies. A closer look at one of these activities, shelter building, reveals how kids are drawn to huts or bushes with protection overhead and permeable sides that enable viewing out. Long ago this would have afforded protection from being eaten by large beasties, and this survival instinct is still running in the ‘background programme’ of modern kids. They are also immersed in a kind of research, collecting and analysing experiences, putting things together in new and different ways, experimenting and making mistakes, building and testing their own ideas of what life is about. Lost in play they’re fluidly trying to match what they need at that moment with what the environment has to offer, taking ‘the pulse of both the organism and the planet.’ They are thus given opportunity to express their primeval, biological selves and satisfy their evolved genetic instincts and needs. This magical, mercurial activity is a driver of evolution that’s helped humans see changes coming, creatively and playfully grapple with them, develop adaptive strategies and so avoid stagnation and extinction. Kids playing freely in nature looks on the surface like a simple activity, but on a deep level they are tending to their own well-being and the well-being of their species and culture! For more details about Earth Wrights Ltd, who design and build natural play spaces visit www.

The turning of the wheel of the year


S THE wheel of the year turns towards the darkness, we enter a period of quiet. If we can, this is the time to surrender to dreaming and hibernation. Yet our busy lives often don’t allow us to follow these natural rhythms. Instead, the festive season becomes a time of frenetic activity, full of distractions, busyness and stress. Untamed Social Enterprise is running Earth Connection sessions to allow women to reconnect with this descent into darkness and stillness. Organiser, Maren Freeland said: “Twelve years of living off-grid at Landmatters Permaculture community gave me a tangible appreciation for the natural rhythm of the seasons. Earth Connection is opportunity for women to cozy up round the fire and be with what is.” These fireside sessions are the prelude to a women’s group mentorship programme, which starts at the time of the ancient festival of Imbolc. Literally translated, Imbolc means ‘in the belly’ – it is the time when life begins to stir again in the womb of the earth.


Maren added: “This is the beginning of a journey that promises a transforming experience of community. The group will grow together over three months, connecting to self, each other and nature, into the fullness of spring in May when we will hold a weekend ceremony.” Shareen, who was a participant on the programme last year, said: “I never thought I’d be a part of something so powerful and special. It was the most fulfilling, connecting, intense and moving experience I’ve ever had. I’ve never felt so fulfilled and grateful in my life! The course has given me a base, a foundation, skills that I can use whenever I need to. It has empowered me to be myself.” Earth Connection takes place on 10 December, 7 January and 21 January, from 10.00am to 12.30pm. For more information, to book onto an Earth Connection event, or to arrange a free discovery session to see if the group programme might be for you, visit or contact: marenfreeland@, 07906 399990. Places are limited.

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land matters Calling all tree lovers!

With love from Tigley Tump


OR those looking to connect with nature, the folks at Sharpham are offering a chance to help the South Devon charity by restoring and caring for the trees in their estate. Tree lovers will join their team of volunteers, who lovingly look after the Sharpham Estate grounds, on Tree Care Day which takes place on Sunday February 18, from 10am to 3.30pm and is free. This year the focus will be on planting new trees on the Estate. Volunteers will get guidance and advice that they can use in their own gardens. The Trust has been working to preserve that landscape, whilst ensuring that future planting works not only for our eyes and hearts, but for birdlife, insects and other animals. The day will involve a range of tasks: some heavy and some lighter. Participants should bring gloves, boots and suitable clothing. If you’re keen to try something new in the New Year, consider giving some time to a good cause – and getting out and about in the fresh air too. “It’s a win-win if you volunteer with us,” said Maya. “Volunteers gain experience in working on the land and in this special landscape, they gain gardening and tree knowledge and they stay fitter too.” The Trust will supply a tasty lunch to keep volunteers warm and refreshed. Participants interested in getting

+ Delicious, high-welfare meat - oven-ready Christmas turkeys, geese, pork and lamb + Keeping chickens? We have birds of all shapes, sizes and colours - plus GM-free, soya-free feed and lots of friendly advice + Visit our farmgate stall (see Facebook map) Contact Jenny - involved can just turn up on the day, without booking. However, the day is not suitable for very young children. Before you set out, check the website and their social media for announcements if the weather is terrible. For more information, with directions on how to get to Sharpham see their website

Tigley Tump is... an off-grid, chemical-free smallholding just outside Totnes, run by family and friends Visit and Facebook/tigleytump

Each week, a team of volunteers works on the Sharpham Estate, helping to conserve the grounds on the banks of the River Dart. Volunteering at Sharpham can be a great way to learn more about trees, get hands-on experience, improve health and well-being, and meet new like-minded people. Find out more about volunteering at The Sharpham Trust throughout the year by emailing Maya on or on the phone at 01803 731802.

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THE natural health and personal development PAGES Inside wellbeing...

Finding Active Hope

Experiences are the perfect gift Winter discounts on EAV Feeling AuraTransformative

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Your dreams are my business A new womens circle


Surrender in relationships Young people’s mental health The gift of herbal remedies Give mindfulness in 2018 The classified adverts

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HAT do you want? This can be a surprisingly difficult question to answer, as psychic, Bell Bartlett knows only too well. She sees her job as being to provide information that will enable, encourage and empower people to create more of what they want in their life. But this presupposes that you know what you want, of course. Bell said: “When people come for a reading with me I encourage them to come with questions, things that would be really helpful for them to know. Let me offer a few examples. How can I meet the right person for a relationship? Is there anything I need to change in myself to enable that to happen more easily? I want to change my working life/where I live/my level of wellbeing, how can I make this work and when would be the right time? “Often, I find people are unaware that we can look at what if questions as well. So, we can ask what would happen if I chose this course of action or that course

• Full health history • Blood pressure, nerve tests, lung tests & orthopaedic tests • Digital SPINAL SCAN with stateof-the-art NASA technology • An introduction to Network Spinal Analysis care (NSA) • Written report of findings The voucher is valid for care with DC Chris Bundy only

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of action. Basically it’s about looking into the future to see the consequences of actions taken now. Yes, we can do that.” She explained that it can be especially tricky to know what we really want if we are used to putting other people’s wants before our own. So, how can we connect to our innermost wants? “I often suggest that in order to find out what we really want we must listen deeply to our head, our heart, our solar plexus/gut instinct and also what I call the basement, where we keep our deepest fears and longings. In my basement there is a longing to be able to be peaceful, irrespective of events, for example.” As we approach the turning of the year and the returning of the light, Bell suggests that we may like to consider what we really want in the year ahead. She points out that having a reading can be an effective way of building the foundation upon which our dreams can flourish. Contact Bell on 07796 900509 or

Kate Philbin

The home of natural wellbeing WELLBEING is the home of natural health and personal development in South Devon - the perfect place to find your perfect therapy, retreat or workshop. And if you work in natural health, it’s the perfect place to get your message out there. A 1/8-page advertisement, like those below, can be yours for just £41.85 a month. A 1/4-page is only £66.60 a month. And you can tell the story behind what you offer in our free editorial - with help from our Wellbeing editor, Kate Philbin. Our designers will even put the artwork together for you at very affordable prices. The Wellbeing deadline for the next (Feb/Mar) issue is January 5 so get in touch today and let’s get the ball rolling. Call Scott on 01392 346342 or email editor@ reconnectonline.




Please telephone to arrange your appointment at our beautiful clinic in the he♥rt of Totnes

01803 862565

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Ola Chiropractic Centre, 5a Fore Street, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5DA

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Juliette Medder

EMOTIONAL HEALTH Welcome back to our exploration into all things emotional. In this edition our Emotional Health columnist Leigh Smith explores the struggles of living with Separation Anxiety Disorder, its powerful effect, how to identify it, and how to treat it.

The nightmare of separation


HE pain filled cry of “please don’t go” from a toddler clinging to a parent at the door is something that many of us will encounter at some point. Reassurance that they’ll be fine five minutes after being left persuades us to get on with our day. Generally speaking, clingy children who display distress at parents leaving is a normal childhood developmental phase, but for some children there is more to the tears, a sense of genuine terror at being separated which indicates a deeper rooted problem, Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD). For children who suffer from SAD, the anxiety doesn’t pass in a few minutes and there is very little a teacher can do to distract the child and diminish the feelings of anguish and fear that can be both persistent and relentless. SAD is characterised by the fear of leaving home or parting from a particular individual, usually a parent or caregiver. The sufferer is plagued with excessive worry and dreads that something terrible will happen if they are apart from the significant person. They experience high levels of anxiety at even the idea of a separation for a few moments. Their distress is not purely developmental and requires some specialist attention. In those diagnosed with SAD the anxiety must exceed what is expected at the individual’s age and developmental level, and must persist for a period of over 4 weeks for children and longer for adults. Children suffering with SAD will consistently display excessive levels of fear and terror when separated, even when the significant person is only out of sight for a moment, perhaps in the bathroom or in the garden. It will seem to the sufferer that something horrific has happened and they will experience deep distress that is not appropriate for the situation. If your child is having nightmares about separation, experiencing excessive distress or physical symptoms (headache, nausea, dizziness) when separated from home or certain people, or worrying about bad things happening, and this has been going on for more than 4 weeks, then it is time to seek help. SAD is more common in younger children but can affect any age including adults and is not gender specific. It can be painful to witness children in so much distress, and not knowing what to do for the best is a parent’s nightmare. The pressure to ‘fix it’ can be overwhelming. Trying to figure out whether to leave for work even when your child is begging you to stay is an

impossible task! If you stay are you reinforcing the fear? If you leave are you deepening the anxiety? SAD can occur as a result of a trauma, a significant loss, or a change in routine or environment, but the trigger may not always be easy to identify and the symptoms can be overwhelming and effect the whole family, putting huge demands on the parent or caregiver who can feel trapped, imprisoned, overwhelmed, and at a total loss. As with other anxiety disorders, tests show that SAD often produces a chemical imbalance in the brain, and the neurotransmitters that normally regulate mood may not be activated as they should, often leading to feelings of acute anxiety at anticipated dangers. The normal fear response is not regulated and becomes out of balance to the actual event. There are different approaches to supporting someone with SAD, depending upon the age and particular symptoms being displayed. For younger children you can support them by staying calm and level headed, explain that you are leaving but that you will be coming back, and remind them that they are safe. Treat their anxiety seriously but without drama, and show calm, patience and understanding. Avoid the temptation to sneak away without telling your child you are leaving. This can seem like the least distressing way to depart, but in the long run it can lead to developing mistrust and even more difficulty next time. Build a sense of security for your child by giving them lots of positive affirmations when they manage mini separations. These affirmations embed the fact that you can be parted and nothing bad happens. For older children and adults, exposure therapy is commonly used to treat SAD. The person is gradually exposed to the distressing situation in increments, built up until being separated becomes tolerable. This type of therapy can be very challenging and I urge you to seek medical advice from a doctor who may refer your child to the local child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS), where the workers are trained to help young people with a wide range of problems. And in the case of adults with SAD I advise support from a trained counsellor or psychotherapist who has experience dealing with this disorder. In some cases your doctor will advise a combination of emotional support and medication in order to regain control and manage the disorder. The most important thing is to seek out support, which is invaluable for both the sufferer and the carer. Remember to trust your instinct and follow the guidance of the professionals. SAD can take over your life, take one step at a time and accept all the support you can.

Leigh Smith is director of studies, course designer and tutor at Heartwood Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Training. Visit or call 01803 865464.


Experiences are the perfect gift


UR traditional picture of Christmas morning sees giftwrapped parcels piled under a Christmas tree. But growing numbers of us are choosing to give experiences as gifts rather than things. Sam Goddard, Principal of Devon School of Reiki, told Reconnect why she believes that Reiki is the perfect gift to share this season. She explained: 1. Reiki is suitable for all Reiki is a gentle and effective system of energy work which activates the body’s own natural ability to heal itself. As a natural healing system, Reiki can benefit everyone, from young babies to adults and is a safe, non-invasive therapy. It can be given hands-on or hands-off. 2. Reiki sessions can be a blissful experience Reiki can reduce stress within the body, thereby inducing a state of deep relaxation and allowing the body to realign itself, producing a feeling of total wellbeing. This can have a positive effect on our immune system, among many other benefits. 3. Learning Reiki is simple but can be transformative Reiki can also promote selfdevelopment, allowing you to be at your optimum to deal with all aspects of life. It is a true system of attaining and promoting wholeness of Mind, Body and Spirit. Reiki helps us to help ourselves. 4. Children love it! In my experience, working with Children with Reiki can have

Sam Goddard extremely positive results both through teaching and sessions. Most children are incredibly intuitive, receptive and eager to try Reiki and are, therefore, truly open to the experience. 5. Reiki is a way of sharing love, light, and peace Much of Reiki teaching focuses on intention. When we give or receive Reiki, it is shared peacefully and lovingly, for the highest good of ourselves and others. As a gift, what could be more beautiful? The Devon School of Reiki offers high quality Usui/Holy Fire Reiki Training at all levels, as well as private clinic sessions, Reiki massage, Reiki shares, retreats, meditations and workshops. Gift vouchers are available. For more information, visit: www. or email Sam:

Don’t get it right get it written


RAPHOPHOBIA is the fear of writing. Reconnect’s Wellbeing Editor, Kate Philbin reckons that quite a lot of us are closet graphophobes and she is on a quest to help us overcome our fear. Kate works with businesses and individuals to help them to get their message out there using powerful written content. To supplement her one-to-one work with business people, Kate is writing a series of ebooks to teach people the basics of non-fiction writing. The first of these – Don’t Get it Right, Get it Written – will be launched in January and there are three copies up for grabs for Reconnect readers. Kate said: “There is normally one primary reason why people’s writing doesn’t sound the way they want it to. Writing is a free-flowing process and anything that restricts or obstructs that flow can hinder the process to a greater or lesser degree. When writing doesn’t flow well it can sound stilted, formulaic, uniform, dull, awkward… So, what it is that restricts our flow? Normally it is our thoughts. You’ve probably heard that expression “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.” I’ve found this to be absolutely true in relation to writing, and to life in general. Don’t get it right, get it written was a piece of advice given to me by a TV scriptwriter many years ago and

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I have found it to be a very liberating way of approaching any kind of writing project.” The ebook looks at the things that can get in the way of you writing well and shows you how to overcome them. It teaches a few simple techniques designed to get you writing and relieve some of the pressure you might be feeling when you sit down in front of your computer.” To enter the draw for a free copy of Don’t Get it Right Get it Written or for one-to-one support or help with creating content for your business, email

WELLBEING Real food, Real life,

Real health Classes Targeted advice Books Eating plans Free resources Online courses Healthy recipe blog 1-2-1, online, phone/Skype ME, gut disorders, mental health nutrition, cancer recovery & weight management.

Spirit of generosity at its heart


INCE it was founded in 1983, Gaia House near Newton Abbot has become one of the world’s leading Insight Meditation retreat centres. Visitor numbers have reached more than 1,000 a year and the site has launched an ambitious building development project to help it meet this growing demand. The venue is calling on friends and supporters to help it raise £780,000 to meet the cost of phase I improvements, which will total £1.3 million. More than £520,000 has already been raised. The first phase of development will double the number of single rooms and increase toilet and shower facilities. There will be a further ground-floor single bedroom and bathroom for wheelchair users, a self-contained resident teacher area and improved accommodation for the eight residential coordinators. Gaia House Communications Manager, Hannah Seyfert said: “While, on the surface, things at Gaia House may seem effortlessly serene, a tremendous amount of energy and care goes into supporting its continued existence and with the centre’s facilities now stretched to the limit, we are facing some challenges. The building project is needed to meet the growing need from visitors and to improve accessibility.” Gaia House is a silent meditation retreat centre, offering meditation instruction and teachings drawn from a variety of Buddhist traditions. Its retreats are led by experienced teachers from around the world and are open to both experienced

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mediation practitioners and novices. The aim is to explore and develop serenity, wisdom and compassion through meditation and mindfulness practice. The centre has a group retreat programme as well as personal and work retreats. All retreats, with the exception of family retreats, are held in silence. Devin Ashwood, Finance and Development Director at Gaia House, added: “The spirit of generosity is at the very heart of Gaia House, and we are so grateful for all the support we have received over the years. Every donation to our Building Appeal will make a difference and will help ensure that Gaia House continues to be a place of refuge and transformation for thousands of people, long into the future.” Retreatant E.T. added: “Discovering Gaia House saved my life. I hope it will be there for centuries to come, making the teachings of wisdom and kindness available to all who seek them.” To support the appeal or find out more, visit: building-appeal.

It’s as easy as drawing a breath


T comes as naturally as breathing, we say, meaning that something is apparently effortless. But, actually, how effortless is it to breathe in a way that optimises our health and wellbeing, can we do it without thinking about it? Not always, according to transformational breathing practitioner, Les Elms. He points out that many of us hold our breath when we feel stressed or anxious and that we could access greater resources of energy and deeper levels of calm if we learned to control our breathing. Les is determined to introduce as many people as he can to the power of transformational

breathing. He has created a brief evening workshop to introduce the basics. Les explained: “In this two and a quarter hour workshop, I will explain the principles and practice of transformational breathing and then we will have a group breathing session of around an hour and a demonstration of breath analysis. If you’d like to discover the power of your own breath, I invite you to come along.” The next workshop takes place at Changes Now in Dawlish on Monday 22 January from 6.45pm to 9pm. It costs £25 and is limited to six participants. For more information call 07828 566553 or email les@

Andy Thompson, Clin. Hom, Dip. B.F.D. ‘Helping you to heal yourself’

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WELLBEING Ancient therapy comes to Topsham



10-DAY beginners course in Topsham will introduce you to the ancient therapeutic art of Thai Massage. Emma Cayless has spent many years practicing and training people in Thai Massage. She is bringing her extensive experience and unique playful teaching style to the Estuary Clinic in Topsham for an in-depth course spread over 10 sessions. Aimed at beginners, the course includes, ‘sen’ work (applied pressure along the energy Thai masage practitioner Emma Cayless. lines running through the body), deep of compression, stretching and soft compression, passive stretching, tissue work encourages the release gentle harmonics and integrated of blockages and congestion found soft-tissue techniques. in the muscles, joints and fascia. This Emma said: “It is suitable for stimulates the flow of blood, lymph, complete novices who are keen to nerves, breath and energy around the start out as massage therapists as body, creating improved flexibility and well as existing therapists who want movement in the body and a deeper to expand their skills and practices. clarity and stillness in the mind. We will be creating a relaxed, The 10-day course will run on enjoyable and informed atmosphere March 23-24-25, April 14-15, and for people to learn this deeply May 19-20. For more information effective, ancient healing art.” visit or call 07971101332. She explained that the combination

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The Human Energy Field Part two


IN THE last issue Marc Blausten talked about the chakras and how they support us to communicate and relate to the world. In a further exploration of the human energy field, Marc discusses the Seven Levels of Consciousness..……

HE Seven Levels is a map of consciousness describing the spectrum of energy that increases in frequency as we go from the physical body up into higher states of consciousness. Combined with what we know about the chakras, an understanding of these different levels allows us to build a comprehensive map of human consciousness. As we receive energy through our chakras, it passes down through all seven levels of consciousness, and is ‘coloured’ or distorted according to what we carry in our energy field. This then manifests our body as our unique expression, as well as our state of health or disease. The seven levels we experience are: 1 The Etheric Level – This is the closest to the physical and is an electro-magnetic web of lines of light. In health, it is bright blue and pulsing with life force. When we are unwell, it becomes a dull grey colour. 2 The Emotional Level – This is composed of multicoloured clouds of light. Different colours relate to different emotions. In health, the colours are bright and the clouds flowing without impediment. Unexpressed emotions create stagnation and blockages. 3 The Mental Level – This is where our rational, logical, problemsolving thinking happens. When a thought is repeated enough

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times (such as recurrent worries) a ‘thought form’ is created which keeps spinning on its own. 4 The Astral Level – This holds a record of all the experiences, thoughts and feelings that we have ever had. This tends to be where most of our healing is needed as all of our “stories” reside here. The Astral is also where we connect with our ancestors, dreams and the collective consciousness. It is a vast realm of possibilities, beyond our imagination. 5 The Template Level – This is associated with our personal truth and integrity. 6 The Celestial Level – This holds unconditional love. When our conscious awareness is here we are filled with love and gratitude for all of creation, including ourselves. 7 The Causal Level – This is associated with the peace and serenity of knowing that all is just as it is meant to be. Marc has 30 years experience with Homeopathy and Energy Healing. He was clinical director at The College of Practical Homeopathy in the 90s, one of the first people in the UK to graduate from The Barbara Brennan School of Healing (USA) and was founder of The School of Energy Healing (UK) Marc sees clients in Totnes, Plymouth, Exeter and by Skype. For more information visit: www. or call: 0333 433 0454.

WELLBEING A unique baby massage programme

TIUKAAN is the ancient Chinese art of loosening up nerve endings that have become hard and lumpy, causing pain and discomfort or even severe disability. Throughout December and January, nerve release practitioner Terry Loh is offering the first two Tiukaan treatments at half price. A treatment entails gently manipulating nerve endings with specially shaped sticks. These are used to reach deeper and deeper into the problem. Over time, the effect is to ‘re-wire’ the nerves so they perform as they should. Terry said: “The treatment is natural and non-invasive and you may find that general body function improves. The positive effects of this treatment can be far reaching.” Among the conditions that can benefit from nerve release therapy are: general skeletal alignment, persistent back, neck and shoulder problems, stiffness and numbness in hands, twisted or stiff ankles, knee problems, muscle spasms,

headaches, and sports injuries. Terry was inspired to train as a nerve release therapist after his own back problems were cured by a Tiukaan Master Healer in Asia. Terry trained for five years before becoming a practitioner 12 years ago. He now trains aspiring nerve release therapists. One client commented: “Ten years ago, a steel joist fell on my hand, which I then couldn’t open without prising it open. The pain was immense, but after a few treatments with Terry, releasing the nerves in my back and shoulders, my hand was 100% again, and still is. Terry also sorted my twisted back and neck.” Another said: “I dislocated my shoulder and could only lift my arm six inches. By the end of the first treatment, I could lift my arm straight up and after the second treatment, I could do a full rotation. After several treatments, I was back practising Kung Fu.” For more information visit: http://

Providing High Quality Usui/Holy Fire Reiki Training & Treatments Courses for Children, Workshops & 1-2-1 tuition also available Next classes with availability: Usui / Holy Fire Reiki I - 2 December and 27 January Usui / Holy Fire Reiki II (Practitioner Level) - 27/28 February For further information on classes, contact: Sam Goddard, Principal 07870 167701 •

Exeter • Tedburn St Mary • Plymouth • South Molton

Thai Massage Practitioner Course



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HOUSANDS of midwives, nurses and other health professionals from all around the world have been introduced to a unique programme of ‘Baby Massage and Movement’ developed by a man in Plymouth. Peter Walker has devoted his entire professional life to supporting mothers and babies with developmental delay. This programme seeks to alleviate birth trauma and limit the effects of physical problems like hypo/hyper muscle tone (extreme stiffness and floppiness) which are associated with birth and inter-uterine trauma and conditions like Prada Willi and Cerebral Palsy and others (unknown) Lori Boggan, a Registered Neo Natal Nurse, said: “Having worked many years in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it is easy to wonder what the outcomes of some of the extremely premature and asphyxiated babies are - those that leave with the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy and/ or developmental delays. Watching one of Peter’s documentaries during our training gave me a sense of hope. Peter channels years of Yoga practice as a wonderful addition to the practical side of his teaching.” For a consultation with Peter regarding developmental delay, telephone: 01752 218392.

ALSO, Peter offers a two day certified teacher training course for children’s centre staff and accredited health professionals who work with mothers and babies. On completion of this course you will receive a fully recognised teaching certificate, accredited by the Federation of Prenatal Education (FEDANT) and Independent Professional Therapists International (IPTI). This course entitled ‘DEVELOPMENTAL BABY MASSAGE’ covers birth to standing (1001 Critical Days) And includes 1. HOLDING REASSSURANCE • Pre and Post Natal teaching from birth to show how to improve respiration and circulation. • Remedial touch and emotional intelligence to relieve trauma and assist mother infant bonding • Remedial techniques to limit disability with babies thought to be at risk of developmental delay. • Holding and stroking to relieve physiological flexion and abdominal tension. • Developing a loving touch, secure holding and safe tummy time. 2. DEVELOPMENTAL BABY MASSAGE EIGHT WEEKS TO STANDING Includes: • ‘Therapeutic play’ and a loving touch to assist attachment and observe baby’s cues in communication. • Maintain and improve flexibility while baby strengthens. • Develop a secure emotional foundation • Maintain and improve circulatory, respiratory rhythms, back strength and joint flexibility. Includes contraindications, and suitable baby massage oils and usage. 3. INFANT BALANCE AND GOOD POSTURE Includes: • Primary preparation for sitting and standing using gravity assisted techniques for stronger structural foundations. For further information on this course email:


Learn the deeply therapeutic, ancient healing art of Thai Massage. 10 days over five weekends.

Spring 201 8

March 23 | 24 | 25 Apri l 14 | 15 + 28 | 29 May 19 | 20 + Practice day & Exam day: dates tbc

Es tu rar y C l i n ic, Topsh am, Exe ter For more info:

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WELLBEING Don’t be afraid, you’re already dead

New beginnings



EW Year is a time of new beginnings, a time to let go of what has gone before, to reflect on what is no longer working for us and to explore new things that will enable us to grow. Sadly, many New Year’s resolutions fail to stick or peter out as the months roll by. This can be due to unrealistic expectations or putting too much pressure on ourselves. So, how can we ensure that we flourish and move forward in a positive way this year without dooming ourselves to failure? Yoga teacher, Natalie Austin suggests keeping it simple. She believes that committing to a regular yoga practice is a great New Year gift to ourselves. Natalie said: “Starting a regular yoga practice will reignite and deepen the relationship you have with yourself on a level that will benefit everyone around you. You will become attuned to what your body needs. You will gain balance (both physical and mental). You will develop greater clarity which will enable you to build confidence and discover what your needs and

boundaries are. Ultimately, a regular yoga practice will help to equip you not only to deal with what life throws at you but also to make good choices that serve you in a much happier and healthier way. “Why not step out of your comfort zone and try some different styles of yoga? See what feels good and stick with it - it is much easier to keep doing something that makes you feel good!” Natalie is running two Yoga Therapy Winter Workshops: Lower Back Relief in January and Back, Neck and Shoulder Release in February. She also holds the following weekly classes at Chapel House Studios in Totnes: Yin Yoga Monday at 6.30pm and Wednesday at 10.45am Vinyasa Yoga Thursday at 6.30pm For more information email:, call 07516 720246 or visit website www.loveyogatree.

EATH is not a moment, but a process. True, a doctor will still mark by time the precise moment considered medical death, but new studies are seeming to show that consciousness survives long enough to be aware of the body’s death, and physically, the body slightly warms immediately after death as cells continue blindly dividing until they realise the body’s exhaust system isn’t functioning, and they too succumb to darkness. It’s not hard to imagine that further advances in our scientific awareness will stretch the moment of actual cessation even further back. Premature burial or cremation is a fear for many people, and many cultures talk about the time the soul or spirit needs to disentangle itself from the body. For us, there are strong practical and psychological reasons for a decent amount of time between death and a funeral. It allows time to fully craft the ceremony, and the subtle natural changes in the body convince the family that wherever the dead person has gone; somewhere, nowhere, they have most definitely left this world. We have created a performance ritual that centres around the line “Don’t be afraid, you’re already dead” a line we appropriated from the Brooklyn band Akron/Family. The dissonance created by this idea is meant to blur the boundaries between the living and the dead, to make us realise we are all absent friends in waiting, with the responsibilities of Ancestors, archetypes we tend to automatically imbue with wisdom and

The Green Funeral Company’s RUPERT CALLENDER explains that death is not a precise moment. kindness, quick to warn, urging us to act in our own interests. The intention is to allow us to prematurely enter this realm of the dead, to peer back through the mirror at ourselves. We have performed this ritual in front of small and large crowds, and it often has a disorientating effect on some, inducing a sort of spiritual dislocation, a metaphysical uncertainty that we hope is healthy, if only by briefly altering our perspective. The truth is we are often dead before we actually die. When we stay in a dysfunctional relationship out of fear even though the love has gone, when our work is meaningless, or worse; bad for us and bad for the world. When we fail to stand up for truth and justice out of moral impotence, when we allow the dazzling array of physical phenomenon that is the backdrop to our everyday life to become a wash of grey. When we allow our fear of death to drain the energy of living. May you live your life, and live your death with your eyes wide open with astonishment.


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WELLBEING Setting your emotional house in order


HE urge to declutter can often take hold of us at this time of year. There is something very liberating about clearing out unneeded stuff from our living space, but how about doing the same with our crowded minds?

Tennyson - In Memoriam

Juliette mentioned to us that she had read a poem by Tennyson recently and really enjoyed the quote. She wondered if we might like to put it in somewhere if there was space. We thought it apt for this time of year, and so of course we obliged. IN MEMORIAM Ring out, wild bells to the wild sky,

Counsellor Juliette Medder suggests that just taking a fresh look at the clutter of thoughts and feelings in our minds can help decide what we want to keep or let go of.

The flying cloud, the frosty light: The year is dying in the night: Ring out wild bells and let him die.

She says: “Sometimes our minds and emotions are just too clogged up to see the wood for the trees. Coping with life’s challenges - either past or current - as well as juggling earning a living with caring for children or older adults can mean there is no space for reflection. It can be difficult for us to sense what we would even like to feel and do and be.

Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. Alfred Lord Tennyson

Setting aside time and space in the week to just air our thoughts in a confidential and well-held space, can sometimes be all we need to find the clarity and new ways of moving forward. Even just six sessions with an empathetic and objective counsellor can help us to make sense of the jumble in our minds and ‘make way for the new!’

Winter discounts on EAV


they have cleared our system. INTER can be a challenging time for our EAV screening is an effective immune system. These way of diagnosing the infectious challenges can be even more causes behind poor health, acute if we are already suffering which can then be treated. I have from infections that make us prone put together a range of Winter to ill-health. discounts to make this and other treatments more affordable at EAV – short for Electrowhat is, after all, a costly time of Acupuncture year.” according to Voll – uses an Andy is offering electrical device to an initial EAV measure energy in consultation for acupuncture points £50 (regular price and diagnose £70). Three full-body underlying pathogens massages (one and in our system. These a half hours, using pathogens – including organic oils) cost viruses and bacteria £150 (regular price – can contribute £180) or three upper to chronic health body massages (one conditions such as hour) cost £100 unexplained fatigue, (regular price £120). IBS, migraine, Four reflexology Andy Thompson fibromyalgia and skin treatments cost £105 conditions. (regular price £120). Andy Thompson, who offers the Sessions need to be paid for screening at BioEnergetic Health in advance and are valid in Totnes, explained: throughout December and January. For more information “Recent or long-standing infections visit: or call can make us prone to further Andy on 07503 111057. infection, even after we think that

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WELLBEING Get in touch with your authentic self


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AVE you ever wished you could reprogramme your mind to calm your negative self-talk and connect with what you really want in life and who you really are? Lynda Cooper is a qualified hypnotherapist, and life coach who practices from a rural setting close to Dartmoor. She works with clients to tackle the underlying beliefs that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Sometimes this entails dealing with past issues, but sometimes the approach is more forward-looking without needing to delve back into the past. Lynda Cooper Lynda explained: “The client is at the heart of the hypnotherapy process, so what we do is dictated by what the individual needs. We have an initial discovery session which then determines the course of treatment. I use a mix of hypnotherapy, life coaching and meditation to help people overcome the negative beliefs that hold them back. “Getting in touch with their authentic self, putting aside the “story” that goes on in their mind, seeing clearly what they need to change in their life are all keys to finding the confidence to move forward in a powerful way. The only requirement on the client is a willingness to engage with the process and an open-mind to the benefits of this approach.” One client, from Ivybridge, said: “I feel more confident in myself and my anxiety has improved so much I can now confidently go through life as myself . I’d recommend Lynda to anyone who needs that extra help in life don’t struggle on your own.” For more information visit or call 07495 809223.

Brace yourself, The T word is coming THE mindful man CASPAR WALSH, author, poet, journalist and founder of Words from the Earth has been thinking about the end of the world. I READ, ‘When the Wind Blows’, the graphic novel by Raymond Briggs’, as a kid. The cold war back then was everywhere. But none of it touched me like Briggs’ naïve, elderly couple, deeply in love, struggling to understand what had happened to their world. Through those beautiful panels and poetic text, the possibility that it could globally kick off at any minute became very real to me. And here we are, back there again. When T ended up president of the United States I was dumbstruck and frightened. His and other world ‘leaders’ obsession with nukes is utterly alarming. And with my alarm I remembered Briggs’ story. As tensions across the planet rose this year, I lost more and more sleep. I started looking at this stunning place I live with a different eye. The beauty of it became more intense. The high hills and deep river valleys of Dartmoor have taken on a sharper, more immediate edge. The walks into the woods, my sit spot, the smell of autumn earth, the rotting leaves. I started thinking, really? Could all this turn to ash in a white flash of heat? The fear became immobilising. And as I got ambushed day to day by what Morrissey calls, ‘the news designed to frighten you’, I wondered, will we make it through this crisis? The number of dangerous idiots in charge of the world defies

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belief. I kept wondering how could such an amazing, creative and often wise species allow so many lunatics into power? And what did that say about us? Could we seriously do anything about it? As the year marched on, the possibility of losing this beauty, these connections, friends, family, the earth, started to do something unexpected to me. The fear finally snapped me back - to this moment. Clichéd as it is, this really is it. It’s all we have. All we ever had. The truth of that will continue, moment to moment. And there’s nothing like the threat of species extinction to bring us humans into the moment. Does that make what’s happening across the world some kind of gift? Is it possible that this viral insanity could be the route to realising the truth of the moment? To what it really means to be alive now? Really? Is it possible that T and all the other gothic henchmen stalking the world right now are waking us up to the beauty and power we each have in this moment? To do something with it, to be fully awake? When and whichever way the wind blows, this moment can and will, make all the difference in the world.

Sarah Jennings, founder of Dare to Be and AuraTransformation practitioner


Immediately after AuraTransformation IF, like me, you’ve ever wondered what role your aura serves and how an AuraTransformation might benefit you, read on for a firsthand account from Sarah Jennings, founder of Dare to Be and AuraTransformation practitioner…


ITHIN 24 hours of having an AuraTransformation I realised something profound was happening - strangers were striking up conversations on the London underground, and children were staring at me in the street. The non-stop negative mind chatter I had had for years was completely silent! This poisonous voice that put me down all the time, stopped me loving myself, and prevented me from enjoying life, was gone. It felt odd at first, but became bliss, as the only voice I could hear was my own intuition. Within two days, my avoidance of certain tasks and tendency to procrastinate was replaced with a drive to just get on with it all. I finished all my paperwork, my taxes, cleared the piles on the stairs, reorgansied the kitchen cupboards, took car loads to the charity shop and tip. I was no longer attached to my stuff emotionally. Getting all this stuff out of the way left me the room to pursue my big plans. Around this time, it felt like my daughter, then 6, really saw me for the first time, and me her. Our relationship has never been the same since. All my years of running away from myself were over, I could energetically and emotionally make room for her. She still talks about how AuraTransformation changed our life. I made huge changes in my personal

DANCE SCAPES Movement Medicine with Rosie Perks IN DARTINGTON, DEVON

medicine in motion SERIES OF ONE DAY WORKSHOPS

2 DEC 2017 | 17 MAR | 2 JUN | 29 SEP | 8 DEC 2018 life and friendships. Having this different perspective on my own life and a new connection to my heart meant I could really exercise compassion for myself and others. The soothing balm of forgiveness was novel and sweet, no longer retriggering daily from old traumas. A month after receiving the AuraTransformation, I was already gathering the funds that would enable me to train as an Aura Mediator. I knew this was the most profound gift and I wanted to be instrumental in helping other people to receive it. My energy levels were consistently high and my focus crystal clear. People in my community really saw something was different. Five years down the line I am still feeling the benefits. Since completing my training, I travel throughout the UK talking on AuraTransformation and have introduced the process to South Africa. l Sarah offers AuraTransformations in Exeter for £425, payment plans available on request. For more information visit: www.withsarahj. com, email daretobe@withsarahj. com or phone 07812 571141 l The next UK-wide opportunity to train as an Aura Mediator with Sue Jonas Dupuis is coming up 26-29 January in Exeter. For more information visit the official http:// or email Sarah.

Shifting out of dysfunctional patterns


T CAN be hard to get your head around the idea of distance healing. How can it be that someone who is not in the same room as us, maybe not even in the same country, can bring about any kind of change in our being? But, according to Modern Psychology practitioner and healer, Gwen Channer our cells respond to actions and intentions, even at a distance, so we don’t need to be physically present to effect change. Although she admits it can be mindboggling, it makes no difference how great a distance there is between the practitioner/healer and the recipient. She said: “Some of the most profound healing I have personally experienced was on a Skype call with more than 10,450 miles between the practitioner and me. As a practitioner I often work with clients who are located a long way from where I am. Even though we are physically apart we are energetically together and able to effect change on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of our beings.”

Gwen conducts sessions via phone and Skype. She believes that, for many people, distance healing and coaching provides an attractive alternative to a face-to-face session. She said: “A great benefit of phone sessions is that you can relax and be yourself, able to go deep within for your answers without being self-conscious about being in front of another person. Skype video sessions brings us together visually also while still offering the security of being at home. This can be particularly appealing during the winter when it is cold outside. “A combined coaching and healing session can help you reconnect to your inner truth and spirit, shifting you out of dysfunctional patterns into alignment with a love of life and an expanded awareness of yourself and that which brings you fulfilment.” For more information about distance healing and a special new client offer visit inherentwellbeing.

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WELLBEING New womens circle at Nautilus

Combining hypnotherapy and life coaching to make the changes that you want in your life, moving yourself to that next step. . .

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Developmental Baby Massage Advice and guidance for parents and parents to be Peter Walker is a Plymouth based physical therapist who has devoted his professional life to mothers and babies and to children with developmental delay. Peter is available for Developmental Baby Massage Teacher Training and consultations with mothers whose babies suffer from stiffness / floppiness / developmental delay. For consultations telephone: 01752 218392 For teacher training please email:


IT’S a busy time at The Nautilus Rooms in Totnes. The centre is pleased to be welcoming a new massage therapist, Laura Parmisciano, who will be offering relaxing massage on a Friday evening and Saturday as the perfect wind-down to the busy working week. Inspired by participating in women’s circles in India, Katy Potts is bringing this unique way for women to connect and share sacred space to the Nautilus. The Nautilus rooms provides the perfect space for creating a holding environment for the Women’s Group. This is an opportunity for women to connect to the feminine through a mix of storytelling, yin yoga, discussion, guided meditation and dance. There will also be creative activities including making herbal teas and tinctures. Katy said: “Women throughout history have gathered in circles to empower each other and share wisdom. A women’s circle is a safe and sacred space for women to come together, use our voices, be heard and be seen.” The cost is £15 for a two-hour session with some concessions available. For more information email: Another new group starting in February is based on the Work of Byron Katie. Counsellor, psychotherapist and facilitator for the Work of Byron Katie, Sylvia Karathanos explained: “The Work of Byron Katie is a kind of enhanced mIndfulness practice. It has been called self-help, but it is far more than that: it is self-realisation.” Sylvia will also be running a oneday workshop on 13 January called How to be Grateful for the Body I Live in. This, too, is based on the work of Byron Katie. Cost £60. For more information about the group, workshop and one-toone sessions, contact Syliva on Find out more at A range of talking therapies is on offer at the centre. Freddy Weaver is a highly experienced Integrative Counsellor working with chemical and behavioural addictions, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and more. Contact Freddy on 07737 092625 or

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email: Sue Whiteley recently brought her practice Change Therapy to the Nautilus Rooms. Sue is a Systemic Psychotherapist and Family Therapist working with Individuals (adults and children), couples and families. She is also a Systemic Supervisor. Sue has worked with young people and families in schools and mental health services for more than 15 years, as well as running a private practice. She believes that talking things over with a professional, either individually or together can make a huge difference to families. Sue explained: “It enables family members to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on family strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives. It’s not about taking sides, blaming, judging or providing simple answers. The aim is to work together with the family to find shared understandings and explore ways forward that work for them.” Different combinations of family members can be seen separately and together to ensure that everyone can be heard and talk through what is on their mind. As well as working in Totnes, Sue offers sessions in Exeter, via Skype and telephone. She added: “I have experience of working in many areas where families face difficulties such as communication problems, child and adolescent behaviour difficulties, separation, divorce and stepfamily life, anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders, fostering, adoption, kinship care and the needs of ‘looked after’ children, selfharm and the effects of trauma.” Sue also offers supervision sessions for individuals or groups across the South West. Contact her on 07527 857751 or email: See the Nautilus Rooms diary (on the inside back cover) or contact Ruth Baker for details of creative therapy training days at the centre, including sandplay, therapeutic art and mindfulness. ruthbaker1@

WELLBEING Try a feel good rejuvenating therapy


UR face, like our body, has muscles that need to be kept toned and flexible – more than 90, in actual fact. Indian Face Massage is like a workout for the face, simultaneously relaxing it and releasing “fixed” muscles and tissues. Indian Face Massage acts like a natural facelift, helping to drain away toxins and produce a more defined face. According to aromatherapist, Annie Stone MFHT, the entire body feels the benefit. Annie is offering the treatment in Exeter and Starcross, either on its own or as part of an extended aromatherapy facial. She recommends three treatments for

best results, with the third one at half price. Annie added: “I use a mix of gentle acupressure and manipulation to relax and redefine your face while you lie on the couch. And don’t worry if you’ve overdone things over the festive season, I also offer body detox massages!”

New Practice opened at the Totnes Natural Health Centre Marc Blausten

To book, call Annie on: 07890 877986.


Learning to surrender in relationships Sexological bodyworker and sexual empowerment coach CATHERINE HALE shares on the topic of surrender.


 from my client’s list of HROUGH my work I often see surrender missing sexual behaviours. Its not surprising really given the fast paced world  of us incur in our we live in and the background of stress that many daily lives. Some of us may choose to unwind at the end of a day with a  glass of wine or chocolate or whatever your go to substance is, and while this may offer some temporary relief its avoiding the underlying issue of patterns of holding within the body.   work, their I see many of my clients in service to the world, in their relationships, their family dynamics. However when we get stuck in one way of relating we limit how we can experience ourselves and others.   you are active in Serving is considered to be a form of ‘doing’ meaning  your role, the other active role is taking.  to be in taking and In relational dynamics surrender requires one person  their own pleasure, the other in allowing, meaning the taker is taking for while the allower surrenders to the taking and may be transported into deep states of surrender and bliss. Many of us fear the notion of being a taker, justifiably so, the shadow side of taking isn’t pretty: its groping, creepy behaviour all the way through to rape and war. However when we can own our internal taker we can learn to take with integrity, with clear consent and safety for all. In doing so we provide a great gift for our partner/s through our conscious taking they experience being ravished, teased, played with and taken to places where the body opens more deeply than our every day state of being. If you find that you’re not nourished in your life, that you get burnout or feel resentful in your relationships, or that surrender is a foreign concept for your body I suggest that you’re spending too much time in serving. Or if you long to touch and to express your desires but you fear being rejected it could be you are avoiding taking and again have restricted your freedom in relating. Using the Wheel of Consent as a foundational framework I support clients in becoming better communicators, where they learn how to serve and accept touch, and to take and allow touch, thus opening up deep gratitude, integrity, generosity and surrender not only in their relationships but throughout their whole lives. If you want to deepen your experiences of relationship and life, to be able to expand your touch and sexuality and ground consent and boundaries into your everyday life to be the empowered being you are born to be, then please get in touch. Contact Catherine via email on and see her website at


Barbara Brennan Healing Practitioner Registered Homeopath







Healing and Teaching for 30 years For a free initial chat call 0333 433 0454 PLYMOUTH - TOTNES - EXETER - ONLINE

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The Bowen Technique Arcturus Clinic, Totnes Home Visits AMANDA MORRIS


For an appointment please call 07931 505 312

Mental health in young people


OUNG people will be the focus of Iron Mill College’s conference in April 2018. Promoting Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing in Young People has attracted a prestigious speaker line-up, including Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of Childline, and the chair of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Dr Andrew Reeves. They will be joined by other leading figures in the field Speaker Dame Esther Rantzen. as well as charities, Young Minds and Education has an interest in the wellbeing of Support Partnership. young people, from right across the South West and beyond.” College Principal, Rose Bedford, described the conference as: “A Iron Mill College is a leading very timely opportunity to come provider of mental health and together and share what we can do to wellbeing training, based in Exeter positively impact the lives of vulnerable and Poole. and distressed young people.” The college’s one-day conference She said the college was particularly takes place on Saturday 7 April excited about the calibre of 2018 at Canford School in speakers, adding: “It will be a Wimborne, Dorset. For more valuable experience for teachers, information or to book a place visit: parents, carers, health practitioners, or call: 01392 219200. youth workers and anyone else who

Align the body, heart, and mind

Take a deep BREATH...

Learn how to use your breath to overcome stress and re-energise your body. Improve your health and help clear emotional blockages. Workshops and 1:1 sessions available. Mon 22 January 2018 ( 6.45-9pm) – Intro workshop at Changes Now, Dawlish. £25 See website for details.

Transformational Breathing Les Elms •

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HAVE you ever wondered what Movement Medicine is? Rosie Perks, a faculty teacher and mentor for the School of Movement Medicine, describes it thus: “Movement Medicine integrates the intelligence of our bodies with therapeutic, creative and shamanic understanding. It is deeply rooted in our connection to the natural world and the cycles of life. It is a dancing mindfulness practice, developed by Susannah and Ya’Acov Darling Khan, that aligns body, heart and mind, so you gain more access to the emotional and physical intelligence inside you.” Rosie has many years’ teaching experience and recently trained in Processwork which influences her understanding. From this she invites you into the freedom and permission of including every part of yourself, bringing the depth and breadth of your being into movement. A long standing closed group participant says: “I feel on a cellular level what a loving and supportive community feels like. This is where I come to drink deeply.” Rosie has been teaching locally since 2011 and offers a range of different ways to access her work, all of which are in Dartington. Closed groups: “In a closed group we are able to build trust, enabling more freedom of expression and space for both our curiosity and our acceptance,” said Rosie. One-day workshops: “You are encouraged to awaken and surrender, receiving yourself as you are and moving into what is emerging,” she explained. “To move with integrity and courage in whatever life presents; to accept and trust yourself as you are; to welcome the creativity available each moment; remembering as you do so your relationship to self, those around you and the wider web of life.” One-to-one sessions “Using the body and less cognitive routes to what is emergent can be a remarkably quick and effective way of tapping into resources we weren’t aware we had and of finding different paths through a challenge,” said Rosie. “What happens is individual to you, it is led by what you are bringing and what is comfortable for you.” A recent client said “Rosie’s calm, grounded presence in combination with a focused, steady determination gives me time and space to learn to feel safe to listen and trust what is true for me.” Rosie also works with grief and in January will be offering a ‘Spirit of the Dancing Heart’ workshop with Ben Yeger dancing with grief and conflict as a resource for life. For more information visit

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WELLBEING Make a herbal remedy as a gift TORBAY herbalist Dawn Ireland of Green Wyse offers our readers a few suggestions on making herbal bath sachets that could be a timely gift for friends or family.


HERAPEUTIC herbal bath sachets are easy to make for unique gifts and can be made easily and stored in airtight jars. Oats (the same ones used to make porridge) are very soothing and anti-inflammatory for itchy or sore skin, with a particular tradition of being used to calm down eczema. Take some unbleached cotton or muslin (or even a sock!), Put about a handful of oats in and then add some dried herbs, a couple of handfuls of whatever you fancy. Here’s a few suggestions: Peppermint is great for soothing itchy skin. Rose petals smell wonderful, and have antiinflammatory action. Lavender is calming and relaxing. Thyme and oregano are antiseptic and anti-fungal. Dried citrus peels are uplifting and refreshing. Add up to 5 drops of essential oil to increase the effects if desired. (I don’t recommend this for children under 3 or those with very sensitive skin). Then tie up with a ribbon or piece of string. Perhaps add a personal message and a list of ingredients and their desired effects. Use by swishing around in bath water (or a foot bath), squeezing the water in and out of the bath sachet will cause the oats to release their lovely milky therapeutic benefits.

The Feldenkrais Method® with Lifeworks Somatics • Reduce pain • Relieve stress • Improve performance • Move with ease

One of the plants available at any time of the year is ivy. Common ivy (Hedera helix) leaves contain saponins which have a beneficial action when applied to the skin improving the circulation in cases of varicose veins and cellulite. The easiest way to extract these saponins is to chop up some leaves and fill a jam jar, then cover with vodka. Leave for a couple of weeks and then strain off, discarding the leaves. The remaining liquid can then be diluted 75% to 25% water, and used as a cooling spray to use on the legs after showering or bathing. For more serious cases of varicose veins, varicose eczema or other skin conditions it may be best not to self treat but seek professional help.

Functional Integration© individual lessons for those with chronic pain and injury, muscle pain and tension, RSI, chronic stress, physical and emotional trauma, degenerative and neurological disorders. Awareness Through Movement© group lessons: Somatic movement explorations to help with posture & poor movement habits, to increase body awareness, help relaxation, & improve balance and coordination. Suitable for those wishing to maintain/improve mobility. Learn naturally & organically. The way of “less is more” to being more flexible, strong & agile.

With Nikhila M Ludlow (registered Feldenkrais Guild UK 2005)

07989 394904 |

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Creative CBT for the new year

Café now open!


HE full creative potential of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often lost, according to Ken Rabone, Director of Training at the Dartmoor Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy. He believes that this particular form of therapy has great potential to relieve psychological distress and promote personal growth for clients in counselling but that too many training organisations limit its impact by “forcing CBT into the narrowest of time and practice limitations.” Ken said: “The creative spirit of CBT is rooted in an experimental and active relational engagement with therapy. This opens practice to art, therapeutic games, dramatic

28 The Strand, Dawlish, EX7 9PS. role play, visualisation and journaling that works successfully with both adults and children. The advent of mindfulness-based CBT expands the potential of this therapy still further.” These and other perspectives are explored on the CBT Diploma at the Dartmoor Centre. The course, which begins in January, provides a thorough grounding in CBT, considering how it can be used to work with depression, social anxiety, anger and OCD. For more details about this and other professional development programmes, visit: www. safespaceforcounselling. com, email office@ or call Ken on 07801 248421 Editorial: 01392 01392 346342 346342 Editorial:

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Sharpham House nestled beside the River Dart.






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Yoga with Natalie @ Birdwood House - Totnes

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Give them mindfulness in 2018


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ITH the festive season upon us, there’s no end of new promotions trying to tempt us to part with our cash for some new fad. Here in Reconnectland we have had The Sharpham Trust teaching mindfulness and meditation practices for 30 years – way before the mindfulness ‘bubble’ blew up. It’s the quality of the Trust’s teaching, and the teachers they host there, that continues to inspire many people to attend courses and retreats in their hundreds. Sharpham offer an alternative to the usual annual shopping binge. Instead of buying more ‘stuff’, Sharpham has for decades propounded the chance to gift your loved ones the opportunity to develop insights and techniques on a mindfulness retreat that will last the rest of their lives. Retreats planned for next year include their 8-week Mindfulness for Health and Wellbeing courses – as developed by doctor and mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn – suitable for those new to mindfulness, as well as those wishing to refresh

Mindfulness courses and practice their skills. The non-residential, weekly course of two hours provides an in-depth exploration of mindfulness skills and techniques within a tried and tested framework recognised by the UK’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence. The course is a synthesis of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and is led by their team of qualified and highly experienced mindfulness teachers. There are courses at Sharpham and in Totnes and Torquay. Sharpham’s programme of mindfulness retreats in 2018 continues across its three venues: Sharpham House (a Grade 1-listed mansion), Sharpham’s woodland campsite and The Barn Retreat Centre.

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Sharpham House offers some new additions to the programme alongside their evergreen retreats like Mindfulness for Beginners, Moments to Savour: conscious cooking and mindful eating, and the ever popular mindfulness through walking and yoga retreats.

Kaira Jewel Lingo The new year will see them welcome internationally-known teacher Kaira Jewel Lingo for her debut retreat in the House (she taught at the Barn last year). She’s teaching the cultivation of true love on her Mindfulness for Relationships retreat, beginning March 9. Over at The Barn, the ever-popular six-night meditation retreats are augmented by themed retreats with live-in leaders, allowing participants to stay alongside an inspirational teacher. Retreats offering deep rest and heart connection, beginning in Buddhism, practices for ageing, illness and death, and retreats for men-only and women-only are available at The Barn, which offers meditation based in the Buddhist tradition. Woodland retreats, where participants explore mindfulness in the Great Outdoors, have really taken off at Sharpham, and 2018’s programme includes retreats that are mixed, retreats for women and creative writing – all under canvas in cosy, furnished bell tents. Visit for details of their 2018 programme. For more information and how to book call 01803 732542 or email

Walking retreats

Dawlish gallery cafe warmly welcomes tourists, travellers and the local community SEA Light - the Dawlish gallery and cafe has completed the next step of its transformation from derelict pub to a space to inspire the senses and revive the soul with the opening of their tourist accommodation. There are three rooms available to rent which can be rented individually by single travellers, couples and small families or be combined to accommodate larger groups. At the front of the building, above the cafe and overlooking Dawlish’s pretty green is a two bedroom flat. The front bedroom sleeps up to 6, the second bedroom sleeps up to 3 and share a modern kitchen diner. The decor throughout is crisp white with accents of turquoise, Sea Light’s signature colour. At the back of the building the old pub store rooms have been converted into a luxurious one bedroom apartment. Entering at street level you find a kitchen, dining and lounge space with French doors that open onto a walled secret garden. Overhung with vines and greenery, the space has a magical quality - fire up the chiminea, pour a glass of wine and on a mild evening you could dream yourself on a Mediterranean retreat. Upstairs the

flat boasts a generous double bedroom and luxurious bathroom complete with a huge stand alone bath, perfect for romance or just drifting away from the stresses of the day. Downstairs in Sea Light the gallery cafe is proving popular with locals and tourists alike, and although it has only been open a few weeks it already has its regulars. With the cafe established, Katie Sarra & Kian de la Cour, the inspiration and force behind the Sea Light transformation, have turned their attention to getting the therapy spaces up and running. With three local practitioners signed up, Sea Light now offers hot stone massage, Thai Yoga Massage and Sound Baths every second Sunday of the month. Katie and Kian describe the building as a Venetian Palace and with the addition of the accommodation and the therapy spaces, they’re well on their way to realising their dream. To find out more about the Sea Light, gallery cafe, therapy rooms and accommodation visit New winter opening times for the Cafe are 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Awareness and movement – keys to unlocking your potential “MOVEMENT is Life, without movement life is unthinkable” says Dr Moshe Feldenkrais – and lies deep at the heart of The Feldenkrais Method®, says practitioner, Nikhila Ludlow. Nikhila is a practitioner of The Feldenkrais Method and registered Holistic Counsellor based in Dartington and Totnes. Dr. Feldenkrais saw that our health is intrinsically linked to our ability to learn. He defined a healthy person as someone who had developed the resilience to recover from setbacks - like Nikhila’s: She was inspired to train as a practitioner after someone taught her a simple Feldenkrais technique that changed her life, having been in constant pain after a riding accident. This technique gave her back some control and enabled her to envision a future where pain did not rule her days. “I also realized that the Method was helping me resolve old trauma - I had discovered a way of directly re-setting my nervous system – and to cut a long story short, it had a lot to do with learning, and how I learned.” Dr Feldenkrais said: “Health is measured, not by the capacity to stay standing, but by the ability to be knocked down and then return to standing”, he emphasized that “Both our problems and the solutions to them lie in the domain of learning”. He’d say that the only thing preventing our beliefs and habits from changing were the beliefs that they could not, and “I need flexible minds, not flexible bodies!” recognising the symbiotic nature of the body mind and being. He was talking about the neuroplastic capacities of the brain years before neuroplasticity was discovered.

“Feldenkrais is a method of somaticallybased education, using movement, and inquiry, I sometimes call it ‘mindfulness meditation in movement’, (I was studying meditation when I first discovered Feldenkrais). ‘Somatics’ emphasise internal physical perception and experience – body awareness.” Feldenkrais is taught through group and individual sessions. Awareness Through Movement© sessions guide groups through sequences of movements that are designed to improve range of movement and overall mobility. Oneto-one Functional Integration© sessions involve gentle hands-on educational guidance done with the client clothed on a special low table – and are noninvasive and not painful. Students are encouraged to release judgments of their current abilities, to explore within their limitations, respecting them, and, through sensing and feeling, to discover new ways of moving, being and thinking. “That way, we allow our faults, our aches, pains and limitations to become our teachers and our inspirations, presenting learning opportunities rather than problems. Most of what we know as humans has been learned. What has once been learned can always be unlearned and relearned – and it is this makes our humanity such a gift. Noone is ever too old to learn.” Dr Feldenkrais says: “When you learn how to learn, you will realize that there are no teachers, that there are only people learning and people learning how to facilitate learning.” For more information call 07989 394904 or visit

Arcturus Clinic Holistic Physician: Dr. Stephen Hopwood Beautiful Treatment Rooms Available in Totnes £25 for 1/2 day(5 hrs) Please contact reception to view our professional space & find the room for you

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Care and Nursing at Home

Do you need a Helping Hand? If you are looking for an alternative to residential care or extra support for those everyday tasks that are becoming difficult for you or a loved one – then we’re here to help in Exeter from 30 minutes per week to full-time Live-in Care. Our care teams have been providing award-winning quality home care since 1989 and can help with: personal care, housekeeping, help getting around or even to provide a break to an existing family member or care-giver.

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EXPERIENCED Aromatherapist (Anne Stone MFHT) is offering Body Detox treatments and rejuvenating Indian Face Massage In Exeter or Starcross. Call Annie on 07890877986.


HOLISTIC counsellor specialising in trauma/abuse, and for those feelings/ emotions difficult to put into words working with art, sand and outside amongst nature. Annie, www. natureswaycounselling., 07760 439760.


SYSTEMIC & EcoConscious Coaching (ICF) Supportive and in-depth coaching for life, work and change. Speak to Audaye www.thebrighthorizon. org or 07543114535


CREATIVE counsellor. Heartful, Supportive Counselling. Creative Exercises including Art, Sandplay etc. Adults and Young People. Ruth Jenni Adv Dip Couns 07974097787 Dartington, Newton Abbot and on Skype

EXISTENTIAL counsellor. My aim is to help you deepen your insight and expand your vision to find a more beneficial and meaningful way of living. Get in touch when you are ready to take the next step.... Tel: 07956 07956 028631 Email : Also Skype


GRIEVING and want relief? Supportive sessions BY DONATION @ Bowden House, Totnes with counsellor/ author, Carmella B’Hahn. carmella@ 01803 867005 www.

FOR READERS... an at-a-glance guide to services and products - plus diary dates. FOR ADVERTISERS... an affordable way to get your message across. Boxes are £55 and £98 and the lineage ads cost just 90p a word, with a minimum of 20 words. THE DEADLINE... for the February/March issue is January 5. Call Scott on 01392 346342 or email


CONNECT Parenting Supportive, experiential Circle of Security courses available across Devon. See www. or 07543114535

PSYCHOTHERAPY WHOLISTIC (Gestalt) ‘Counselling’ focussing on body awareness and what arises in the moment. Low cost service Exeter/ Crediton. Matthew Hart MNCS Accred. 07376426039


MOONSISTERS yearlong closed group for Womb Yoga, Earth and Moon connection, Shakti rising and Menstrual Empowerment. Next course starts Jan 2018 in Totnes. Details www. or Nikki 07541098865


SOMATIC Therapy: mindfulness and bodybased, enables trauma release. Creativity Coaching and Personal Story work. Agata Krajewska ATH 07795002816 www.

GONG BATH & SOUND MEDITATION GROUPS & individuals Groups already take place in Chudleigh and Newton Abbot/ Bovey Tracey. For more information contact Paula on 07956 028631 or paula-bs@hotmail.

OPEN classes with Ailsa Lucas. A held space to experience the life in you and let it dance; to be as you are and discover new ways of being. Monthly Saturday mornings in Dartington and Plymouth. Find out more at movementmedicine ailsa.clare.lucas@, 01803 849039, 07999 486059.



CLEANSE, relax, balance mind/body connection. £30 full-hour, discounts for initial treatment or course of 3, £75, book 07522344291, nicolasuzanne@ based Totnes Natural Health Centre

TOMMY Hutchinson BSc (Hons) Forestry, ND Arboriculture, NPTC Qualified. Sensitive, professional tree care. Free consultation. Call: 07837486388 Email: universaltreecare@ and https:// universaltreecare.

PURPLE RAIN A Spiritual Imperative Goddess Boy with 2 rescued cats seeks goddess girl 30+to transition together into AQUARIAN Violet Light Of Love. WHY HESITATE? To get in contact write to Reconnect Box 23, 18 Millin Way, Dawlish Warren, Devon EX70EP DAVID OXLEY MA: Fully qualified Accredited BACP counsellor and psychotherapist. Psychosynthesis and Core Process. Working with Relationship, Depth, Integrity and Soul. Central Exeter, Totnes and Plymouth. www. davidoxleycounselling., 07876051093.

property to let commercial kitchen FOR ARTISAN chefs, RAWFOODIES, expanding FOOD producers, Caterers: rural, COMMERCIAL KITCHEN TO LET on a daily, weekly or monthly basis nr Loddiswell. More info @ 07972 092338 or 01803 762688

WORKSHOPS & MEETINGS FRACK FREE TOTNES wild shakti days Meetings are held at the Seven Stars The Plains Totnes at 7pm on last Sunday of the month.

fooling workshops

JAY Ramsay MA: Oxon, UKCP. 20+ years experience with individuals and couples, Psychosynthesistrained, now working in Totnes: www. 07752-719331

Advertising: 01392 346342

January 27-28 and March 10-11 at Bowacre Farm Hittislieigh. Contact Christie Animas 07980371335 or

“How would your life look like if you would resource yourself from your wild nature ?” Come and enliven yourself with other women for a Shakti dance and some wild times in the woods. Next one on the 17th of February - 10am to 5 pm. £35 per day ( £30 conc.) contact or tel 07980371335.

Small ads with BIG impact! You can advertise in this classified section for as little as

£18 (therapists also get a free picture, while space allows - first come, first served). Call Scott now on 01392 346342 or email


COURSES AND WORKSHOPS Dec 6th 7.30pm – 9pm

Sound Healing Journey Through the Chakras Scott Grant Interdimensional Healing Transformational journey with 10 crystal singing bowl. Return to a state of happiness, peace and balance. Tel: 07723313005

Cost £10

Dec 10TH 4PM – 6PM Women’s Circle

Take time to ground your body in a wholesome nurturing space. A safe and sacred space for women to come together, usetheir voices, be heard and be seen. Women throughout history have gathered in circles to empower each other and share wisdom. We will connect to the feminine through storytelling, yin yoga, discussion of the feminine, guided meditation and dance. Through this we can all share our own experiences and learn from each other and more… Contact:

Cost £15 (concessions available)

January 3rd and 17th 7.30pm – 9pm Sound Healing Journey Through the Chakras Scott Grant Interdimensional Healing Transformational journey with 10 crystal singing bowl. Return to a state of happiness, peace and balance. Tel: 07723313005

Cost £10

January 13th 10am to 5pm How to be grateful for the body I live in’ One-day workshop Using principles from The Work of Byron Katie this workshop will focus on the relationship with our bodies. Call: 01803 868379 email: Find out more at

Fabulously located in the centre of Totnes, yet tucked away in a quiet alley, with easy access to short and long-term parking. Check out our amazing list of highly qualified therapists and interesting events. Leafl ets are available at the end of the alley way opposite The Mansion and next to Lloyds bank. If you are looking for a wonderful venue for a group, meeting or CPD event, do come and check out our lovely group room.

Cost £60

January 14th 4PM – 6PM Women’s Circle

Take time to ground your body in a wholesome nurturing space. A safe and sacred space for women to come together, use their voices, be heard and be seen. Women throughout history have gathered in circles to empower each other and share wisdom. We will connect to the feminine through storytelling, yin yoga, discussion of the feminine, guided meditation and dance. Through this we can all share our own experiences and learn from each other and more… Contact:

Cost £15 (concessions available)

Mid-January 2018

Tuesday Evening group of Mindfulness, Sandplay and Art



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February 2018 New Group

The Work of Byron Katie with Sylvia Karathanos - a supportive and small group to learn and practice the work of Byron Katie (Fortnightly on Sunday evenings 7-9.30pm) Call: 01803 868379 email: Find out more at

February 3rd and 4th

Introduction to Sandplay Therapy facilitated by Ruth Baker Association of Integrative Sandplay Therapists accredited course. Ruth Baker Email:

February 7th and 21st 7.30pm – 9pm

Sound Healing Journey Through the Chakras Scott Grant Interdimensional Healing Transformational journey with 10 crystal singing bowl. Return to a state of happiness, peace and balance. Tel: 07723313005

Cost £10

February 18th 4PM – 6PM Women’s Circle

Take time to ground your body in a wholesome nurturing space. A safe and sacred space for women to come together, use their voices, be heard and be seen. Women throughout history have gathered in circles to empower each other and share wisdom. We will connect to the feminine through storytelling, yin yoga, discussion of the feminine, guided meditation and dance. Through this we can all share our own experiences and learn from each other and more… Contact:

Cost £15 (concessions available)


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Further ahead (March/April) Introduction to Therapeutic Art (March 3)

Sound Healing Journey Through the Chakras (March 7 & 21) Women’s Circle (March 17, April 14) Introduction to Sandplay Therapy (March 17 & 18) Mindfulness and Creativity (April 21)

Please enquire for more information:

Certificate in Integrative Sandplay Therapy facilitated by John Daly Association of Integrative Sandplay Therapists accredited course. Ruth Baker

The Nautilus Rooms • 35a Fore Street • Totnes • TQ9 5HN • Call Ruth on 07736 334454 or Peter on 07826 414404


Anna Karthauser - massage therapist Offers individual and group tuition on request. To find out more contact Anna.

Call: 07912612462, email: or visit

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