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the best of the alternative west

autumn • issue 62 • august - october 2010

l Dummy copy to indicate what’s inside l More dummy copy l Indicates what’s inside l WIN something inside and more l FIND: everything from acupucture to zen in our unique A-Z directory

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11-12 September 2010 Bristol Harbourside

Just as nature intended Celebrating 10 years as Europe’s largest organic event

This year’s Organic Food Festival offers families and food lovers more than ever before... Over 150 Organic Food Producers • Celebrity Chef Demos • Live Bands • Livestock • Kids Taste Experience • Gorgeous Health and Beauty Products • Organic Gardening • Fabulous Fashion and Textiles. Tickets only £5 Children and Soil Association members go FREE!

Visit www.organicfoodfestival.co.uk for more information

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The Spark

welcome

This issue we bring you a last missive from John, our founding editor, who is leaving The Spark after 17 years. John is the creative force behind the magazine, and his legacy is a truly unique and inspiring publication that we’re all proud to be part of. We wish him every success and happiness in all his future ventures, and look forward to some quality puns when he next drops by for lunch. This autumn we say goodbye to Samantha and Will, and welcome to Naomi, our new finance worker, and Andy, our new designer. Congrats to Hannah and Chris on their new babies!

the team

Photo Robert Bilsland

the spark Issue 62 autumn edition 4

ignite

three months of life worth living

ignite events

10

out

16

classes, events, meets, retreats

curiosities and oddities!

q&a

16 out!

18

cheesemaker James Montgomery hidden curiosities of the West Country

planet

20

Photo Jo Halladey

the early pioneers of wind energy

social change co-housing explored

food

(1.) Ann Sheldon, advertising manager (2.) Darryl Bullock, publisher (3.) Vicki West, editor (4.) Beccy Golding, production manager (5.) Andy Ballard, designer (6.) Naomi Ross, finance worker, Tilly Black (proof reading), Jo Halladey (photography) Contributors: Mike Soldner, Hannah Latham, Gary Lamont, Fiona McClymont, Melanie West, Kate Evans, Claire Milne, Max Drake Interns: James Hairsnape, Kristina Lupton, Alex Cater The Spark was created by John Dawson

family pregnancy and birth special

54

Tuesday to Thursday 10am - 5pm

changemaker

Doug Francis of Invisible Circus

your voice

30

marketplace

32

spark listings 26

28

family

mbs

birth special

autumnal herbs for health Photo Jo Halladey

the small print

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green goodies, ethical products

Please go to the inside back page for our affordable ad rates.

Advertisers are advised that all copy is their sole responsibility under the Trade Protection Act. All adverts must comply with the British Code of Advertising Practice. We reserve the right to refuse, amend, withdraw or otherwise deal with advertisements submitted to us at our absolute discretion and without explanation • Blue Sax Publishing Ltd can accept no liability for any loss or damage resulting from omission or inaccuracies relating to telephone numbers, wording, spacing or positioning or other material regardless of how caused • We reserve the right to vary print run by 1000 up or down• Blue Sax Publishing Ltd, who publish The Spark, cannot take any responsibility for the quality of an advertiser’s service or advertiser’s conduct. In choosing an advertiser you may wish to consult the appropriate professional bodies • The Spark title can only be used under current licence from Blue Sax Publishing Ltd • Intellectual copyright remains with the publishers of The Spark - Blue Sax Publishing Ltd© All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without permission of the publishers.

mind/body/spirit

the results of our Reader Survey

what we do

our ads

26

healing herbs, the placebo effect

(ad enquiries) sales@thespark.co.uk (ad text or alterations) ads@thespark.co.uk (editorial) editor@thespark.co.uk

The UK’s biggest free independent ethical quarterly, The Spark reaches 99,000 readers in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud, Taunton, Glastonbury, Swindon, Bath and Bristol. Our editorial is independent so no advertorials for us. We report on local solutions and people making a difference to their lives and their communities, while our adverts cover a range of ideas to help make the world a better place. We’re looking for new freelance writers (green issues and social change) so get in touch and share your enthusiasm/expertise.

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the West’s future food strategy

86 Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5BB

Tel: 0117 914 34 34 www.thespark.co.uk

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33

A-Z directory of complementary therapists, eco-services and more

letters & comps 52 super spa breaks and workshops

rear view

53

the Spark’s founder John Dawson

changemaker

54

Doug Francis, Invisible Circus

18

52

q&a

comps

Cheesemaker James Montgomery

win! a luxury hotel spa break

booking form

55

buy an ad to reach 100,000 people

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ignite september

4

compiled by James Hairsnape and Alex Cater

Get involved! Turn it on! A campaign calling on Bristol City Council to keep the public drinking fountains of Bristol in good working order in the busiest public spaces across the city. http://epetitions.bristol.gov.uk/epetition_core/community/petition/681

blue blue grass of home

Kemble Airfield hosts three days of live Bluegrass music Sept 2-5. The Didmarton Bluegrass Festival features performances from The Claire Lynch Band & The Down Country Boys. Give it a try, it promises to be a classic. www.didmarton-bluegrass.co.uk

lend a farmhand Join the Working zoo folk Retreat to the glorious Weekend at Lower Shaw Farm Sept 3-5 and try your hand at a range of farm work. The farm provides good food and accommodation free of charge, and you get a chance to work, learn new skills, and turn strangers into friends. www.lowershawfarm.co.uk

surroundings of Bristol Zoo Gardens for an evening of English folk music Sept 4 when BBC Folk Singer of the Year Eliza Carthy & her band, plus busking duo Hodmadoddery perform. Why not take a picnic, sit back and relax? www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk

Make Bristol a Foie Gras-free city! Ask Bristol City Council to ban the sale of foie gras in all council-owned premises, and also from all private businesses and food outlets in the city of Bristol. http://epetitions.bristol.gov.uk/epetition_core/community/petition/596

Pedal Walla is a new pedal-powered taxi service for Bristol. The company is looking for riders to ‘drive’ their pedicabs, so get involved and drop them a line if you fancy working for the greenest taxi service in the city! Tommy 0117 230 5080, email info@pedalwalla.com

fire starters The secret art of

charcoal making is revealed at a weekend workshop in Somerset’s Fyne Court. In addition to discovering the journey from log to BBQ the weekend features evening activities, food & on-site camping. Sept 4-5

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-fynecourt

open up to green

food forethought

A range of green showcase homes will open their doors to the public for Bristol Green Doors weekend Sept 11-12. From no-cost solutions to top-end renovation projects, the event will demonstrate ways in which we can reduce our domestic energy consumption. www.bristolgreendoors.org

According to our reader survey, 80% of Spark readers consider organic food when shopping, which means lots of you will be heading towards Bristol’s harbourside for the 10th annual Organic Food Festival Sept 11-12, showcasing the very best in organic produce from around the world. www.organicfoodfestival.co.uk

grass roots To mark the anniversary

the return of the king

of the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Sept 12 the Pierian Centre in Bristol is screening one of the first ethnographic documentaries. Grass (1925) is a richly evocative silent film following a Persian tribe as they herd their animals through rough terrain on their annual migration. www.pieriancentre.com

Without the aid of either props or costumes Charles Ross performs a must-see, one-man version of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy which promises to take the Cheltenham Town Hall audience on an epic adventure through the whole of Tolkein’s Middle Earth saga in just 3,600 hilarious seconds. Sept 22 www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk

bristol cycling festival

Bristol is gearing up for the biggest fringe festival the city has ever seen from Sept 11-26 with theatre, rides, races, games, workshops, films, poetry and more, all celebrating bike culture. Bristol Cycling Festival’s Hub Day on Sept 18 at the Colston Hall showcases three floors of performances, workshops and expos. The Freewheeling Bike Carnival on Sept 19 is a UK first: a colourful celebration of all things with two wheels and pedals! Starts at Queen Square 12pm and finishes with the ‘Cycle Sessions’ afterparty in Queen Square. http://bristolcyclefestival.com

almanac

Full moons: August 24 (sunrise 6.12am; sunset 8.17pm), September 23 (sunrise 7am; sunset 7.09pm), October 23 (sunrise 7.50am; sunset 6.03pm) and November 21 (sunrise 7.40am; sunset 4.16pm). Spark 63 published November 29.

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The new coalition government has set up a website forum where people can offer opinions on current laws and make suggestions for laws they would like to see repealed. The categories are Restoring Civil Liberties, Repealing Unnecessary Laws; Business & Third Sector Regulations. Expect a diverse spectrum of viewpoints, and you can comment on any of them. Get involved! http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk

The World Cup’s over but Bristol’s women-only football team, the Easton Cowgirls, have been raising money for Luleki Sizwe in South Africa. Luleki Sizwe is a charity founded by lesbian activist Ndumie Funda, to support women survivors of ‘corrective rape’, a criminal practice where women who are, or who simply are believed to be, lesbians are raped to ‘cure’ them of their sexual orientation. Following the horrific rape and murder of South African football star Eudy Simelane on grounds of her sexuality, the Cowgirls are raising money and collecting donations of football gear to Luleki Sizwe. If you think you can help the Cowgirls with their fundraising or would like to donate football boots, balls or tracksuits to Luleki Sizwe, contact sallyheaven@rocketmail.com

The Princess Royal Trust provides support to unpaid carers in the Bristol and South Glos area. In order to give a voice to this mainly ‘silent’ workforce they offer opportunities for carers to meet with health and social care workers to help them plan the services and support needed. Get in touch if you are a carer that would like to find out more. Tel Rachel Stenner 0117 958 9902, see www.prtcarerscentre.org.uk

bris fizz Brisfest, formerly the Bristol

a bit of a dolittle The Bristol

Festival, Sept 24-26 fills the city centre and Harbourside with local talent and culture of every variety, with over 500 bands, DJs, artists, comedians, circus and cabaret performers. There’s also fire displays, boat parties, a kids area, fancy dress, world food and workshops. www.brisfest.co.uk

Do Sept 25-26 is a free family festival of outdoor performances in Portland Square, St Pauls. This year the event includes Motionhouse’s new show ‘Cascade’ as well as aerial circus shows, a comedy trio of wailing alley cats and even talking animals!

Birthdays, anniversaries etc: August 27 is the feast day of Saint Monica, the patron saint of both housewives and alcoholics; September 5 is the 70th birthday of actress and ’60s pin-up Raquel Welch; celebrate the 120th anniversary of the undisputed queen of the mystery novel, Agatha

Christie, on September 15. The authoress was born just five days before jazz legend Ferdinand ‘Jelly Roll’ Morton; September 28 is believed to have been the birthday, in 551 BC, of Confucius: in Taiwan they hold a public holiday every year on that date to commemorate this monumental event;

The Children’s Hospice South West is holding a Midnight Memory Walk in Bristol on Friday September 17. The women’s-only walk is a guided seven miles around the centre of Bristol, after a special candle-lit memory ceremony at Ashton Gate stadium at 11.30pm. Registration for the walk costs £12 and all proceeds go to fundraise for the hospice. Email midnight@chsw.org.uk, www.chsw.org.uk/Page.aspx?pid=386

www.thebristoldo.com

outlaw Bonnie Parker would have had a telegram from the Queen on October 1, if she hadn’t died in a hail of bullets; October 9 would have been the 70th birthday of peace activist and Beatle John Lennon; November 16 has been designated International Day for Tolerance by the UN.

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HAWKWOOD College Creativity & Wellbeing Courses in the Cotswolds

Only 40 mins from Bristol in Stroud GL6 7QW BEAUTIFUL, INSPIRING VENUE “Combines heart, mind and soul with curiosity and fun.” Songs of Nature, Myth & Magic with Damh the Bard Concert on Wed 6 Oct 2010 7.30pm £7.50 in advance

“Hawkwood puts the TREAT in retreat!”

THE SACRED ARTS OF HEALING 3 part training, beg. 23-26 Sept Angela Cotter, Caitlín Matthews, Felicity Wombwell

www.hallowquest.org.uk

SING YOUR HEART’S SONG: Creative Voice Workshop 2-3 Oct Joy Liengaard

www.zenithinstitute.com/youthcamp.html

RUNES AND WYRD: Western Divination & Magic

9-10 Oct

Keith Healing, plus PUBLIC TALK on Sat 9 Oct www.runeshop.net

DRAMATHERAPY: PT University Certificate Course, beg. 15-17 Oct Rachel Perry of Scenario

www.dramatherapy.org.uk

HEALING THE MALE HEART

15-17 Oct

William Ayot www.williamayot.com and Jay Ramsay www.jayramsay.co.uk

INTUITIVE MUSIC 15-17 Oct

Stefan Cartwright, Erik Huele & Andrew Hodges

www.innatemusic.co.uk

SOLUTIONS, SUCCESS & HAPPINESS

Sharon St. Clare, Life Coaching & Hypnotherapy

16 Oct

www.sharonstclare.co.uk

BOTANICAL & WILDLIFE PAINTING IN GOUACHE Simon Williams

www.swillustrations.com

29-31 Oct

SIMPLE PRINTMAKING: Creating Prints without a Press 7 Nov Maxine Relton

maxine.relton@tiscali.co.uk

FORGIVE & BE FREE TO LOVE!

Annie Blampied, plus ADVENT FESTIVAL OF LGHT on Sun 28 Nov

26-28 Nov

www.annieblampied.co.uk

01453-759034 www.hawkwoodcollege.co.uk THE SPARK MAGAZINE Autumn issue 62 • Out 23 Aug to 29 Nov • final deadline 22 July

Bristol Schumacher Conference 2010 LADDER AD, upgrade to colour and increase from 1/8 page to 1/4 page £12.00 per colour strip, payable by course tutor to Hawkwood College.

Zero Carbon Britain

You can see the current Spark online at: http://www.thespark.co.uk/this-issue.html

- from Aspiration into Action

Spark Magazine - the ethical quarterly 10am-5.30pm Saturday 16th October 2010 Helping 99,000 readers find positive change in Bristol Bath, Stroud, Glastonbury and theGreen, West Country Council House, College Bristol BS1 5TR

Juliet Davenport

Chief Executive, Good Energy

Peter Harper

Head of Research and Innovation, Centre for Alternative Technology

Jacqueline McGlade

Executive Director, European Enviroment Agency Britain has the potential, the skills and the natural resources to lead the world in carbon reduction. Join in workshop discussions with Paul Allen (CAT), Eugenie Harvey and 10:10, Prof. Peter Reason (University of Bath), Victor Anderson (WWF), Jean Boulton (Sustain), Mark Gater and others. Become part of the solution. Put the date in your diary! The Schumacher Society, in partnership with the Centre For Alternative Technology, Machynlleth

The Schumacher Society, Create Centre, Smeaton Rd, BRISTOL, BS1 6XN Further info and online booking at: www.schumacher.org.uk. Early bird tickets available until Aug 31. admin@schumacher.org.uk 0117 903 1081

Sponsored by Sustain, Triodos Bank, Rathbone Greenbank Investment and The Converging World spark-ad.indd 1

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ignite october

6 Get involved!

bring & barter If you’re passionate the golden Fleece All eyes will be on Bristol’s famed Fleece Oct 2 when the live music

about preserves, Chutfest ’10 Oct 2-3 in the grounds of Barrington Court, Somerset, is a unique local food fair where visitors bring homemade cordials, chutneys, pickles, jams & curds to swap with other foodie folk. www.foodgloriousfood.org.uk

venue relaunches under the ownership of Bristol’s equally famed art rockers The Blue Aeroplanes. Forget the endless tribute acts which have filled the Fleece calendar for years; the Aeroplanes are promising fans a return to the days when the venue was at the cutting edge of real music, and upcoming gigs include the likes of Cymbals Eat Guitars, Citizen Fish & Sage Francis. With a new state-of-the-art lighting system and sound rig, it’s safe to say that the Fleece will be rocking out for years to come. www.thefleece.co.uk

Bristol’s own Interesting Games Festival (IGFEST) is back on Sept 17-18. Called ‘the madness of yore’ Igfest is drawing inspiration from the traditional folk festivals and celebrations cooked up on these little islands over the last couple of millennia. Igfest want you to come up with the most surreal, exciting and funniest games you can to celebrate our fantastic eccentric heritage. For more information and to submit a game see http://igfest.org/submissions

Igfest also needs actors, walkabouters, zombies, masters of improv and street theatre to turn Bristol into a post apocalyptic zone for their zombie game on Friday and Saturday night.

Please contact: vanessa@igfest.org if you’d like to get involved

word play Way of Awen, lead by poet and grub’s up! The Love Cooking food former Bard of Bath Kevan Manwaring, is a 12-week course starting Oct 3 at the Minerva Centre, Bath, to help people fulfill their inner creative potential by sharing and discussing poetry, writing, music and art while exploring ceremony and meditation.

www.wayofawen.com

festival visits Bristol’s Colston Hall Oct 5 with celebrity chefs including James Martin, Valentine Warner and Thomasina Miers. The all-day event showcases the technique and expertise of these kitchen wizards in theatre-style demonstrations & performances. www.lovecookingfestival.com

book smarts

Cheltenham Literature Festival Oct 8-17 is a family-friendly event for people passionate about books. With readings from authors, as well as lectures and discussions, attendees this year include Jo Brand, Stephen Hawking, Jekka McVicar & Stephen Fry. www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature

Five anti-war activists from Bristol were unanimously acquitted by a jury in Brighton in July on charges of criminal damage. The five were among eight anti-war activists known as the ‘EDO Decommissioners’, who were on trial for breaking into the Moulsecoomb-based EDO MBM factory in Brighton in January 2009 and causing an estimated £180,000 worth of damage. The activists believed that the factory was manufacturing bomb release parts being used by the Israeli Defence Force in its ‘Operation Cast Lead’ invasion of Gaza. Their defence argued that the activists believed EDO/ITT were breaking export rules by selling military equipment to Israel, which they believed would be used to commit war crimes. www.decommissioners.co.uk, www.smashedo.org.uk

The Bristol Anarchist Bookfair returns on Saturday September 11, this time at Hamilton House on Stokes Croft. With workshops, talks, meetings, as well as tables stacked high with books and leaflets, plus a ‘radical history zone’, a film room and a crêche, the bookfair is a great place to meet like-minded people. Bristol Anarchist Bookfair is at Hamilton House, Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY, 10.30am-6pm, free admission, wheelchair accessible. www.BristolAnarchistBookfair.org

Bach to basics The Bach Festival

pitched together The Gathering

Voices Festival of Song October 16-24 is a 10-day singing extravaganza, happening at various venues around Bristol, including the Colston Hall and Circomedia, featuring choirs, singing groups from all over the area and even the occasional choral flashmob. www.gatheringvoices.org.uk

pitched together Bristol’s only

African film festival returns to the Watershed, October 29-31. This year the themes are South Africa & football, with films that look at South Africa’s strategies for reconciliation and rebuilding plus a 5-a-side competition open to all, an African football film and meal. www.afrikaeye.btik.com Photo Alex Cater

October 16-23 has been a staple of the Bath music calendar, despite hiatuses, since 1950. Unfortunately it ends this year, so this is your last chance to catch these timeless compositions performed by accomplished musicians in historical settings such as Bath Abbey. www.chantry-singers.org.uk

photo: Lee Burman

Bath blow out On October 24 and for one night only, the Oxjam Festival – Oxfam’s

fundraising musical extravaganza – is taking over bars and clubs throughout the city of Bath, putting on a range of nights for all musical tastes. Featuring everything from dubstep and folk to rock and jazz, one wristband will gain you entry to everything on the festival roster. The event aims to raise £6,000 to support Oxfam’s ongoing fight against poverty. www.oxfam.org.uk

did you know? Diwali, which starts this year on November 5, is probably the best-known of the Hindu festivals. The word Diwali means ‘rows of lighted lamps’, and the celebration is known as the ‘festival of lights’ because houses, shops

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and temples are festooned with candles, lights and small earthenware oil lamps, called diyas. Diwali is a time for cleaning the home, showing off new clothes, exchanging gifts of sweets and dried fruits and for holding huge firework displays. Diwali celebrates the victory of light over darkness (and

down with dairy! The Free Vegan

Food Fair is held at Broadmead Baptist Church Bristol, featuring all you need to know about being vegan. Pop along for talks, cooking demos, nutrition surgeries and, of course, plenty of food samples Oct 30.

The Bath Bomb, the rabble-rousing, super soaraway free paper giving all the latest activist news around Sparkland’s finest spa city, Bath, is looking for new reporters. If you want to help out, email your stories (no longer than 250 words) to BathBombPres@yahoo.co.uk or send them by old fashioned post c/o PO Box 426, Bath BA1 2ZD. Check out www.TheBathBomb.blogspot.com and www.MySpace.com/BathBomb

Bath Freecycle is now Bath Freegle. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BathFreegle www.ilovefreegle.org

Unchosen is an organisation which puts on film festivals to raise awareness of human trafficking and the issues which surround it. Up to 15 related organisations will be joining together with Unchosen this autumn and working with them at the Colston Hall, Bristol and The Forum, Bath. Come along to find out more and pick up a “How to Respond” pack which will show you the different ways you can get involved with the fight against this 21st century form of slavery. www.unchosen.org.uk Facebook page www.facebook.com/unchosenfilm or twitter unchosenfilm

www.bristolanimalrights.org.uk/veganfoodfair

good over evil), but regions celebrate in different ways. in Gujarat the five-day festival honours Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth) with lamps lit to help her find her way into people’s homes: Hindus leave their windows and doors open so that Lakshmi can come in. Some start the financial year at Diwali, praying to the goddess for success.

In northern India people use the festival to honour the legend of Rama and Sita, and their safe return to Rama’s kingdom after 14 years of exile. In Nepal Diwali commemorates the victory of Krishna over the demon Narakaasura, and in Bengal the festival is associated with the goddess Kali.

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Dance at Arnolfini October 2010 Seeta Patel: Unspoken Voices

Fri 1 Oct 7.30pm £8/£6 concs (£12/£8 concs for both Seeta Patel performances) Familiarise yourself with the story of the The Ramayana by attending one of three free screenings of Sita Sings The Blues on Fri 1 Oct at 5.30pm & Sat 2 Oct at 2pm & 5pm.

Seeta Patel / Mavin Khoo Shringara: A journey of desire Sat 2 Oct 7.30pm £8/£6 concs Presented with Asian Arts Agency.

Jonah Bokaer & Harrison Atelier Anchises

Sat 9 Oct 7.30pm, £10/£8 concs

sosolimited

Ascenders & Descenders Tue 12 – Sun 24 Oct 11am – 6pm, Free

Hetain Patel Ten

Thurs 14 Oct 7.30pm, £7/£5 concs

mouth to mouth Virtual Jukebox

Sat 16 Oct 12pm – 4pm, Free

T: 0117 917 2300 / 01 E: BOXOFFICE@ARNOLFINI.ORG.UK 16 NARROW QUAY, BRISTOL BS1 4QA Image: Anchises, dancer James McGinn. Photo: Jacob Sutton

WWW.ARNOLFINI.ORG.UK

RACHEL ALLEN KIRSTIE ALLSOPP IAN BOTHAM GEORGE CLARKE GILES COREN DAWN FRENCH GERMAINE GREER MARK KERMODE NIGELLA LAWSON PETER MANDELSON ANDREW MOTION GRAHAM NORTON MICHAEL PARKINSON SALMAN RUSHDIE OLLY SMITH ROSE TREMAIN RUBY WALSH GOK WAN DAVID WILLETTS

Booking open now 8 – 17 October Box Office 0844 576 7979 cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature Charity No 251765

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ignite november

8 Get involved!

brrrrr!

Inspired by a trip to the Arctic with Cape Farewell, a charity promoting artistic engagement with climate change, The Shiver (Merlin Theatre, Frome Nov 6) will explore why & how we shiver, through spoken word, science & dance. Before the performance audience members can debate climate change with the show’s artists & scientists. www.merlintheatre.co.uk

child’s play Since its launch in 1997 National Adoption Week Nov 1-7 has gone from strength to strength, reaching people across the UK who want to know if they can adopt. The week encourages people to come forward to adopt those who wait the longest: older children, children with disabilities, brothers and sisters, and children from some black and minority ethnic backgrounds. www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk

Bath Positive Living Group was launched in April 2010 and now meets every Monday night (except bank holidays) in the coffee lounge of The Open House Centre at Manvers Street Baptist Church, Bath. Its aim is to “act as a neutral platform for a variety of alternative ideas and practices which may offer solutions to the challenges of our changing world.” Come and listen to talks on a wide variety of subjects including Astrology, Emotional Freedom Technique, and the Power of Laughter. £5 entry. Telephone Jacqui Storm on 07868 890388 or visit www.positivelivinggroups.co.uk

The European Commission has just allowed genetically engineered crops into Europe, ignoring safety concerns of the public interest. Greenpeace, Avaaz and Friends of the Earth are calling for a moratorium on GE crops in the EU. If they get one million citizens’ signatures, they can make an official legal request to the European Commission. Get involved! www.greenpeace.org/GEpetition

close-up

Bath Film Festival has a mountain of cinematic curiosities Nov 12-20. The festival hosts short films, documentaries & world cinema, with director’s Q&As, silent pictures brought to life with live accompaniment and even an interactive screening of cult classic the Wicker Man. www.bathfilmfestival.org.uk

where there’s a willow

crashing around

At Wiltshire Music Centre Nov 14 O Duo perform a show as exciting to watch as to listen to: family friendly, suitable for ages 6+ and full of energy & enthusiasm, both performers trade places on xylophones, drums & other percussion. www.wiltshiremusic.org.uk

Monkton Wyld Court near Bridport presents a day-long workshop Nov 13 with Norah Kennedy in willow weaving. All materials are provided & you’ll learn how to make Christmas decorations, wreaths & mince pie platters. www.monktonwyldcourt.co.uk

Earlier this year Bristol City’s Planning Committee resoundingly rejected an application for a biofuel power station at Avonmouth. The power station would more than likely be powered by palm oil. Palm oil plantations in Indonesia, South America and Africa are linked to the displacement of indigenous peoples, destruction of local livelihoods and very often to human rights abuses. Developer (W4B) has appealed the decision. A coalition of local and national groups are opposing this appeal. www.biofuelwatch.org.uk

In a collaboration between more than 20 Fairtrade town groups and over 600 Fairtrade businesses in the South West, the South West Fairtrade website went live on August 2, 2010. It’s the first regional website of its kind. www.fairtradesouthwest.org.uk

mini movies

tree huggers

The Encounters International Film Festival, Nov 16-21, at the Watershed in Bristol is the UK’s largest & longest running short film and animation festival. Expect amazing innovation, revealing world cinema & humour. www.encounters-festival.org.uk

The Living With Trees exhibition at Glastonbury Abbey takes place Nov 19–Jan 7. Tommy Barr’s canvas paintings of sacred & important trees, including the Abbey’s own Holy Thorn Tree which flowers twice each year, will be on show. www.glastonburyabbey.com

come inside

faith in the future

Bristol Celebrates Nov 21 will bring together the city’s many faiths for a day of praising diversity & diverse forms of praise. All are welcome to enjoy the talks, music & food; it’s a great opportunity to feel part of a wider faith community. www.bristolcelebrates.org.uk

There are two art trails taking place in Bristol in late November. First up is Front Room Totterdown, which invites visitors to follow a quirky trail through people’s front rooms to enjoy the best of Bristol’s art and design. This is the trail’s 10th year and the wider range of art housed in unique venues is expected to draw in 4,000 people. Nov 20–22 www.frontroom.org.uk Over the following weekend Nov 27-28 the North Bristol Art Trail takes place in more than 50 venues and open studios around Montpelier, Redland and St Andrews, with both professional & semi-professional artists. There will be painting, pottery, textiles, photography, sculpture and more. Maps of the trail are available at every venue and from www.northbristolartists.org.uk

photo Mike Martin Wong

Internationally renowned author and facilitator Starhawk is running a workshop called “Holding the vision: working creatively in groups”, in collaboration with Shift Bristol, at The Trinity Centre, Bristol, on Sept 22/23, 10am-4.30pm. www.shiftbristol.org.uk/?page_id=168

Common Ground is a national charity working to “inspire, inform and involve people in learning about, their own localities. We champion local distinctiveness and encourage celebration as one starting point for local action to improve the quality of ordinary places and everyday lives.” Since 1990 they have declared October 21 to be Apple Day, to celebrate the 3,000 varieties of eating, cooking and cider apples in the UK. Get involved and organise an event, or submit your entry for the longest single piece of apple peel! www.england-in-particular.info/cg/appleday/aevents.html#peel

nowt taken out

Buy Nothing Day will be held on Nov 27. You can participate simply by challenging yourself to spend no money at all for a whole day. The idea is to detox from shopping and re-focus on the more important parts of life. www.buynothingday.co.uk

ignite: more dates than an organic Christmas cake 8

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Build your force for healing with LingZi - The original reiki exercise

Life

Energy FORCE

Vibration

Field

Residential course with Dr Shen Hongxun HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE 15 - 19 September 2010 LingZi is the original Reiki exercise to develop a healing vibration force. Th is energy force flushes old toxins and

blockages from the cells. You will learn how to direct this force for self-healing and to heal others Course fee £250 Full B&B ensuite £220 Venue: www.harper-adams.ac.uk Course: www.buqi.net Ann 0117 377 0103 buqibristol@buqi.net

With an excellent reputation, the Bristol School of Holistic Therapies offer the only AC / IFR / IIHM accredited training in Bristol.

Aromatherapy and Reflexology Professional Diploma Courses Indian Head Massage Certificate Courses Bach Flower Remedies, CPD and Introductory Courses Our approach to training is holistic throughout. All tutors are experienced practitioners with full teaching qualifications. Classes are small, ensuring plenty of one to one tuition and time for hands on practice. We have specialist tutors for different subjects, ensuring you get the most up-to-date knowledge available. The Aromatherapy Diploma and the Reflexology Diploma courses provide in-depth tuition of their individual therapies and include the IEB certificate in Anatomy, and Physiology. Also, to ensure the best start to a new career as a therapist, they include modules in business studies, client practice management and nutrition. Courses start in October and March. The Certificate in Traditional Indian Head massage includes Indian head massage practice and theory, anatomy & physiology, study of chakras and clinical practice. Professional accreditation is by the Institute of Indian Head Massage. Courses run September, January and May. Bach Flower Remedies courses are at three levels. Level 1 is the introduction level, level 2: advanced, and level three is for those who wish to practice professionally. Courses accredited by the Bach International Education Programme. Level 1 course will run in September and Spring 2011. Anatomy and Physiology gives in-depth training required by insurance companies and professional bodies for anyone training or planning to train in the area of complementary therapies. Certificate awarded by the International Examination Board. September introductory courses: Introduction to Aromatherapy will allow you to get the most out of using essential oils for your family and friends, and around your home. Introduction to Massage will show you how to ease muscle tensions aches and pains by giving a relaxing back massage and also give a rejuvenating facial massage. Two one day courses for beginners. Both courses are over one weekend and can be taken individually or together. * No previous experience is required for any of the above courses.

More information on our courses can be found on our website: www.bristolschoolofholistictherapies.co.uk For full details, you can request a copy of our comprehensive prospectus by emailing: info@bristolschoolofholistictherapies.co.uk phoning:

0870 889 0350 or writing to:

The Bristol School of Holistic Therapies, Kings House, 14 Orchard Street, Bristol BS1 5EH

Professional Development Courses starting this year include, ‘Advanced Massage Techniques’ and ‘Crystals and Aromatherapy’.

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three months of essential events. to place your ad call 0117 914 3434 • 80p a word

regular events Mondays Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga at St. Marys Hall, Glastonbury. 6.15 to 7.15pm beginners, 7.15 to 9pm intermediate. Ffi contact Jane Piddington 01458 445077 www.ashtangavinyasayoga.co.uk Mondays Join Bath Positive Living Group for weekly talks of Inspiration. Followed by the opportunity to socialise with like minded people. Refreshments included. £5. The Coffee Lounge of The Open House Centre @ Manvers Street Baptist Church. 7pm. www.PositiveLivingGroups.co.uk Jacqui - 0786 8890 388 Tuesdays Taijiwuxigong 7-8pm. Qi gong exercises that create lasting positive change in your life. Open to all and all welcome. Taiji: 8.15-9.15pm. Redland High School. 0117 9850 829 www.buqimatters.com Wednesdays Taijiwuxigong for health 7-8pm, Southville centre, Bristol. Stretch and relax: one hour of simple exercises to lighten your day. Bring blankets. 0117 9850 829 www.buqimatters.com Wednesdays The Bristol Zen Centre. 7.15pm-9pm. Fulcrum House, 3 Grove Road, BS6 6UJ. 0117 9632 505 info@wednesdayzenmeeting.org.uk Wednesdays South Of The River Community Choir at Withywood Centre. Everyone welcome. 01275 851309 welshl@hotmail.co.uk Wednesdays Ashton Gate Music Workshop & Choir - open to all. See ‘Music’ in Listings. Wednesdays Bristol Feral Choir - group vocal improvisation and performances. Fun, feral and friendly with clearly structured & led classes. Drop in any Weds in term time or email with questions. Cost £5. Fantastic location at Bristol Greenhouse Studio, 292 Ashley Down Rd. See listing in Voice section. www.bristolferalchoir.org.uk bristolferalchoir@gmail.com call 0783 7599 239 or find us on Facebook. Thursdays A series of 6-week courses, throughout the year, using Taijiwuxigong as the vehicle of wellbeing. Covering physical, energetic and mental patterns, Qigong is used to help clear, release and change habits that are no longer useful. These courses will work with individuals on their own programs after an initial assessment. Booking essential. Limited places. Friends Meeting House, Redland 7.00pm. Ffi: Carmel Choron 0117 985 0829 buqimatters@gmail.com

Thursdays Taijiwuxigong 1.00–2.30pm. Jubilee Hall, Wedmore Vale, Bedminster, BS3 5HX. Standing, sitting and lying down. Health equals Happiness. 0117 9850 829 www.buqimatters.com Second Saturday monthly Divine Embrace Meditation and Healing Transmission. An opportunity to experience super-dimensional energy. A peaceful, uplifting and healing afternoon in Keynsham. www.divineembrace.co.uk 0117 986 2675 healing@divineembrace.co.uk Sat & every 2nd Wed Your Community Clinic; making therapies affordable. Aimed at those on low/modest incomes, everyone welcome. A wide range of low-cost treatments are offered by a team of professional therapists dedicated to raising awareness of holistic treatments and their benefits in the community. FFI: venues, dates, etc. www. yourcommunityclinic.com or call Teresa (for Wednesdays) 0798 224 3804, Saturdays 0780 973 6187

autumn Dramatherapy Creating pathways to healing & change

P/T University Certificate Course October 2010-April 2011, Stroud (5 weekends & Spring School)

Theatre of Our Lives 25th September, Bath. Dramatherapy with creative writing

‘Acting 4 Real’ Weekly Group Sept 7th - 26th October, Bath Dramatherapy group for self healing and change. Contact Rachel on

SEMINARS Wed 8th Sept 7pm. Rose tinted Glasses. £10 Delve into the mind & how you view the world, this seminar will question our limiting beliefs & why we recreate an environment that is not congruent with our authentic self. Wed 22nd Sept 7pm. The World’s best kept health secret.. Revealed. FREE TO ALL An inspiring talk discussing what actually defines health, combined with a demonstration of the specialised techniques utilized at Abundant Life. Wed 6th Oct 7pm. The 12 Stages of Healing (PART ONE) £10 Dr. Potts reviews the 12 stages of healing & teaches you Somato-Respiratory-Integration (SRI) exercises to facilitate the release of stored tension and blocked energy. Wed 20th Oct 7pm. The World’s best kept health secret.. Revealed (repeat of 22nd workshop) FREE TO ALL Wed 3rd Nov 7pm. The 12 Stages of Healing (PART TWO) £10 Working with the higher levels of SRI. Wed 17th Nov 7pm. The World’s best kept health secret.. Revealed (repeat of 22nd workshop). FREE TO ALL The lead speaker, Dr. Matthew Potts is a well-known wellness expert, with two successful practices and over ten years experience of treating, training & inspiring thousands of people across the world.

The world’s leading experts in self development, now off er an inspirational drama programme for adults.

• Improve your communication skills • Voice your opinion • Be proud of who you are • Make a difference • Express yourself through drama in a fun, friendly enviroment • Fridays 10:30am – 11:30am • Starting in Stoke Bishop in September

Call now & find out what you are capable of! Ph 0117 900 1602 First lesson free but booking is essential as places are limited. Why not come and try us – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Pre-booking is essential due to limited seating. The last series of workshops sold out within five days, so call to book your seats NOW.

Held @ Abundant Life Wellness Centre, 36 New King Street, Bath, BA1 2BN 01225 318060 www.chiropractorbath.com

august

01225 859530

rachel@scenario59.freeserve.co.uk www.dramatherapy.org.uk Member of HPC

Let drama develop your inner self to become the person you want to be!

am I? What life? WhoWhoam I? isWhat is life? The Interfaith Seminary's one and two The Interfaith Seminary’s one and two year year training brings intense and joyful inquiry to these fundamental training brings intense questions. and joyful inquiry to Recent students describe the journey as these fundamental questions. 'radical homecoming, continued

awakening, healing and  acceptance....'  Recent students describe the journey as Nowhomecoming, enrolling for our Autumn intake ‘radical continued awakening, at various centres. healing and acceptance....’ Call or visit our website to find out more

about our introductory events.Autumn intake Now enrolling for our www.interfaithfoundation.org at various centres. UK enquiry line: 08444 457004

Call or visit Many our Ways website to find out more about : One Truth our introductory events. www.interfaithfoundation.org UK enquiry line: 08444 457004

The Interfaith Seminary is part of the Interfaith Foundation, a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered Charity No: 1099163 (England and Wales) SCO40148 (Scotland) Registered Company No: 4432622 (England and Wales).

Many Ways : One Truth

New Dimensions A monthly meeting of like-minded people to hear talks on a wide range of esoteric subjects

Sunday 19th September 2010 SPIRITUAL HEALING THROUGH HERBS Nathan Hughes Sunday 17th October 2010 FROM SINIXT TO SOMERSET: LIFE WITH NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS Celia Gunn Sunday 21st November 2010 BEYOND 2012 Jude Currivan Held at: The Friends’ Meeting House, 126 Hampton Road, Redland, Bristol. BS6 6JE Everyone welcome. Refreshments included 3.00pm – 5.00pm Entrance £5.00

Ffi please contact 01225 722963 leasurs@tiscali.co.uk

Saturday 28 - Sunday 29 August

Faery,Angel &

Healing Cornwall Fayre Entry £2.50 Children FREE 10 - 5 daily Lots of stalls Healers, Arts, Crafts Readings Workshops Talks & more!

St Johns Hall, Penzance

SAT 28 & SUN 29 AUGUST

More info call 01736 330201

www.loveandlight.co.uk

september Sat 4 - Sunday 5 September Sacred Geometry Healing Workshop, with Jaime Delgado, Bristol. For more information: www. school-of-life.net/sacredgeometry Fran 07821 414004

10 Saturday 4 September Good Mental Health Workshop: Dance Movement Therapy with Emma and Pat. A safe space to explore how our thoughts and feelings shape the way we move. Absolutely no dance experience necessary. 10.30-1pm. Open to women and men. £2 unwaged / £4 waged. No booking required, just turn up. Held at Bristol Mind, 35 Old Market Street Bristol BS2 0EZ. Ffi email: sishbristol@yahoo.co.uk or look at www.bristolmind.org.uk Sat 4 - 11 & Sat 11 - 18 Sep English Lake District Walking Holidays. Friendly and relaxed; fabulous location on the shores of Buttermere; week 1 gentle pace, week 2 moderate pace. Call us for a brochure or visit our web sites. Tel: 01760 755888 www.vegiventures.com & www.yuvaholidays.com Thursday 9 September ‘Would You Like To Change Your Reality?’ – evening with Vernon Frost. Vernon has a special ability to assist people to clear limitations and open their perception. The Isbourne Holistic Centre, 4 Wolseley Terrace, off Oriel Rd, Cheltenham GL50 1TH. 7.15pm, admission £10 no booking required. Contact Ruth 07961 044949 ruth@vernonfrost.co.uk www.vernonfrost.co.uk Thursday 9 September Health: Emotions, Posture and the Mind: A Talk. What is Health? Can we change the way we perceive health using simple tools to remind ourselves of our natural self-healing capabilities? Buqi Therapy is radical. Often starting with the physical, using energy, giving postural realignment. This has a domino effect throughout the whole body and its systems. It is not complicated, it has radically re-thought the causes of illness. Taijiwuxigong, a qi gong exercise system that is the complement to Buqi and stands in its own right as a tool: both preventative and corrective. How are they relevant for your daily life? Demo. Q&A. This is a talk for all people, all ages and healths. Friends Meeting House, Redland, 7.30-9.30pm. Contact: 0117 985 0829 or 07590 405736 buqimatters@gmail.com Friday 10 - Sun 12 September Tai Chi (Yang style) and Qigong residential weekend. Sharpham House, Devon TQ9 7UT Details: Cheryl Mountford www.bubblingsprings.org.uk 01278 781544 (disability code: T) Friday 10 - Sun 12 September Traditional Building Skills: Working with Lime. Residential Weekend Courses at Over the Rainbow, Cardigan Bay. Contact: info@overtherainbowwales.co.uk

free cd! our classified ads are on page 51

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Dramatherapy

Persephone College UK Unfolding human potential   

“All human

challenges are opportunities for spiritual development”

“Where theatre allows us to look at human issues in new and unexpected ways, Dramatherapy allows participants to experience their lives in new and unexpected ways.” Jennings

P/T University Certificate Course

Psychophonetics is a new form of holistic counselling, coaching and psychotherapy. It is a unique method of enhancing self-awareness and renewing the whole human being - body, life energy, soul and spirit.

October 2010-April 2011, Stroud (5 weekends & Spring School)

Theatre of Our Lives 25th September, Bath. A one-day workshop combining Dramatherapy with creative writing

“Psychophonetics will clearly become a major new therapeutic discipline” Dr Rosy Daniel Bsc. MBBCh. Medical Director, Health Creation, Bath

‘Acting 4 Real’ Weekly Group Sept 7th - 26th October, Bath A closed group of 8 evenings using Dramatherapy for self healing and change

For details of Talks, Workshops, Master Classes and the Training programme go to the website above or contact:

01225 859530

uk@psychophonetics.com tel: 07920 100794

Contact Rachel on rachel@scenario59.freeserve.co.uk www.dramatherapy.org.uk

www.psychophonetics.co.uk



Member of HPC



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

                   ���          11

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three months of life. to place your ad call us on 0117 914 3434 or email ads@thespark.co.uk 80p a word

Saturday 11 - Sun 12 September

Saturday 25 September Free Festival of Light. Winter Gardens, Weston-super-Mare. Healers • Readers • Stalls • Presentations. 10am-6pm. www.festivaloflight.biz 01934 624939

Sponsored by

11-12 September 2010 Bristol Harbourside www.organicfoodfestival.co.uk

Monday 13 September 012927A2_RF_OFF_AD_85x50.indd 1 11/08/2010 Open Meeting, 6.30pm: Help us create a more spiritually and ecologically aware Bristol – for networkers, educators, group facilitators & social activists passionate about spirituality and connecting people. More: www.holisticmap.org/ about/events.htm

Wednesday 22 September ‘Would You Like To Change Your Reality?’ – evening with Vernon Frost. Vernon is conducting a series of weekend workshops in the UK. Come to this evening to get a flavour of his profoundly transformational work. The EcoCafé at The Fold, New House Farm, Bransford, Worcester WR6 5JB. 7.15pm, admission £10, no booking required. Contact Ruth 07961 044949 ruth@vernonfrost.co.uk www.vernonfrost.co.uk

Sat 25 Sep - Fri 1 Oct Peoplecare and Permaculture Course. Deep learning to design 18:03 your sustainable life. www.designedvisions.com contact mel@designedvisions.com 01271 817509

Thursday 16 September Early Bird deadline for The Spark Winter issue 63. Especially good for advertising your Christmas pressie ideas, fayres and events, and your ‘New Year New You’ opportunities. 0117 914 34 34 sales@thespark.co.uk Book and pay online at www.thespark.co.uk

october HAWKWOOD

SPEAKING WITH CONFIDENCE 2 Oct SING YOUR HEART’S SONG 2-3 Oct

ENCOUNTERING NATURE RUNES & WYRD

3 Oct

9-10 Oct

HEALING THE MALE HEART 15-17 Oct

INTUITIVE MUSIC SOLUTIONS

15-17 Oct

AND SUCCESS 16 Oct

PLUS LOTS MORE…

IGNITE

Tuesday 28 September

www.hawkwoodcollege.co.uk

www.thefleece.co.uk

Raising awareness of human trafficking through film, discussion and Q&As with the film directors. EVENTS BOX Tuesday 19th October 7.30pm Hall2 Colston Hall, BRISTOL £2 UK PREMIERE:

Paths of Pain

Introduced by The Pierian Centre, Pre-film: Mimi (La Boheme) Post-film Q&A’s with Director Rui Simoes Wednesday 20th October 7.30pm The Forum, BATH. FREE ADMISSION. NICK BROMFIELD in person:

Ghosts.

Introduced by Gangmasters Licensing Authority Pre-film: Mimi (La Boheme) Post-film talk & Q&A’s with director Nick Broomfield

Fri 17 - Sun 19 September Sacred Earth Camps. Moon of Falling Leaves Camp. Celebration/ ceremony. Medicine wheel way teachings. Sweat lodge • Drum • Chant • Dance. Details: 01884 881 467 www.sacred-earth-camps.co.uk

Tuesday 26th October 7.30pm Hall2, Colston Hall, BRISTOL £2 Three Shorts

Sunday 19 September Mayan Calendar for 2012 01458 835506 www.stargaia.com Tuesday 21 September ‘Would You Like To Change Your Reality?’ – evening with Vernon Frost. Vernon creates a powerful sacred space of love in which more is possible. The Assembly Rooms, High St, Glastonbury, BA6 9DU. 7.15pm, admission £10, no booking required. Contact Ruth 07961 044949 ruth@vernonfrost.co.uk www.vernonfrost.co.uk

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Saturday 2 October

01453 759034

Fri 17 & Fri 24 September Nutrition workshop for babies and young children. 10am. Playful Toyshop, Gloucester Road. Lara 07876 231 843

Sat 18 - Wed 29 September ‘Hybrid’- Art Therapists Exhibition @ Centrespace Gallery Bristol. Eight women artists who are also art therapists exhibit work that includes paintings, drawings, screenprints, etchings and mosaics. FFI: fiona.williams@awp.nhs.uk

Tuesday 5 - Saturday 9 October

Angels, Intuitive Music, Parzival, Earth Hawkwood College,Christianity, Stroud GL6 7QW Energies, Universal Simple Printmaking, Wildlife Illustration, Jewellery

SPARK ISSUE 62 Aug—Nov 2010 Unchosen Film Festival

Sunday 26 September Introduction to Thai Massage: simple techniques to practice on family & friends; all welcome. 10-5pm Yogasara. Details: Fiona 0774 7514971 fiona@bodywisdom.org.uk

Saturday 2 October Good Mental Health Workshop exploring how the global environmental situation affects our mental health and how we can take positive steps to move away from despair and overwhelm. 10.30-1pm. £2 unwaged / £4 waged. No booking required, just turn up. Held at Bristol Mind, 35 Old Market Street Bristol BS2 0EZ. Ffi email: sishbristol@yahoo.co.uk or look at www.bristolmind.org.uk

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1. Bristol Bike Project

Directed by Alistair Oldham 2. Echoes Directed by Rob Brown

Tuesday 28 September Chanting for Inner Peace. Weekly sessions to open the heart & quiet the mind. All welcome. timchalice.webs.com 0117 902 1829

3. Brazil’s Child Prostitutes

Tuesday 28 September ‘Would You Like To Change Your Reality?’ – evening with Vernon Frost. A fascinating evening of healing and insight with this gifted international teacher. Friends Meeting House, Champion Square, Bristol BS2 9DB. 7.15pm, admission £10, no booking required. Contact Ruth 07961 044949 ruth@vernonfrost.co.uk www.vernonfrost.co.uk

Cargo

by Chris Rogers, investigative journalist for BBC Our World Post-film talk & Q&A’s with each director Wednesday 27th October 7.30pm The Forum, BATH. FREE ADMISSION – live musical with animation Directed by Unchosen Patron Paul Field Introduced by Glynn Rankin, Human Trafficking Consultant Post-film talk & Q&A’s by composer Paul Field

www.unchosen.org.uk Friday 1 – Sunday 3 October Journey Into Freedom weekend workshop with Vernon Frost. A life changing weekend of letting go of old limitations, connecting with your own truth and learning how to change your world on a daily basis. “...an unforgettable weekend of magical gifts...” Begins Friday evening at 7pm, location: Gloucester. Contact Ruth 07961 044949 ruth@vernonfrost.co.uk www.vernonfrost.co.uk

Mega Launch Party with the new owners!

The Blue Aeroplanes + support Saturday 2nd October £10 adv, £12 door

Sat 2 - Sun 3 October Heal Your Life Weekend Warwickshire. Been experiencing poor health, bad relationships, unfulfilling work, ongoing feelings of sadness or unhappiness? Then this is for you! Can it change in 2 days? Yes, read amazing testimonials at www.aplacefortheheart.co.uk Tel: 029 20710744 email: contact@aplacefortheheart.co.uk Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 October Yoga and Art Weekend, Glastonbury. Exploring the meeting points between yoga and art practice. Ffi Jane Piddington 01458 445077 www.ashtangavinyasayoga.co.uk Monday 4 October Horfield Quaker Meeting, 300 Gloucester Road, Horfield, Bristol BS7 8PD. Helen Bamber, Founder of the Helen Bamber Foundation, will talk about the UK based human rights organisation which helps to rebuild lives and inspire self-esteem in survivors of gross human rights violations. Light refreshments 6.30pm for 7.00pm. 0117 942 9142 www.bristolquakers.org.uk

get a room! our classified ads are on page 51

Thursday 7 October Thornbury Quakers invite you to attend a light-hearted Celebration with Poetry and Music as part of Quaker Week. This will be on Thursday, 7th October at 7.30 pm in the United Reform Church, Thornbury. Rosie Bailey will be reading some of U. A. Fanthorpe’s Poems – some of which have been set to music. FFI: Maggie Jeffery 01454 413535 Friday 8 October Redland Quaker Meeting, 126 Hampton Road, Redland, Bristol BS6 6JE. ‘The Spirit Level: Why more equal societies almost always do better’. Martin Wilkinson will introduce the book written by his brother, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. Talk begins at 7.30pm. 0117 942 9142 www.bristolquakers.org.uk Friday 8 - Sunday 10 October Traditional Building Skills: Working with Lime. Residential Weekend Courses at Over the Rainbow, Cardigan Bay. Contact: info@overtherainbowwales.co.uk

13/8/10 14:58:18


ACT NOW - please don’t put this at the bottom of the pile This is your proof document from The Spark Magazine. Please check for any mistakes. Unless you get back to us we will assume everything is ok with the ad. Please get back to us if there is a problem as soon as possible: on fax at 0117 914 34 44 or by phone at 0117 914 34 34 or by e-mail ads@thespark.co.uk

issue 62 Date: 06/08/10 Proof No: 1 Ad No: 62-156 Sort: Display 1/2 vertical Company: haydon bradshaw

3 YEAR MA PROGRAMME IN DANCE MOVEMENT PSYCHOTHERAPY Validated by Canterbury Christ Church University. Interview dates and further information on application. 1 YEAR BTEC NATIONAL CERTIFICATE IN DANCE MOVEMENT

(The quality of reproduction theTHERAPEUTIC mag will be better than the proof) ANDinTHE PROCESS (Edexcel Award) - Interviewing now for September start.

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ignite

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three months of essential events and more • 80p a word

Saturday 9 October Open Day from 10am. Sunday 21st November Beautiful Christmas Fair. Pupil spaces still available for September 6 year+. The Meadow Steiner School www.meadowsteiner.somerset.sch.uk 01749 813176

Friday 22 - Sunday 24 October

Unchosen Film Festival Raising awareness of human trafficking through film, discussion and Q&As with the film directors. Tuesday 2nd November 7.30pm Hall2, Colston Hall, BRISTOL £2 SOUTH WEST PREMIERE:

Saturday 23 October

Mind, Body & Soul Occasion

Westbury-on-Trym Saturday 23 October 11am-5pm Vivienne. Bridal make-up for brides to be & facials Kay Smith DipAc, CCOSD, MCMIR, MBRCP. Ayurvedic facial & neck massage Sheila Singleton. Reflexology & psychic readings Vicky Rowe MTI, DS, Reiki Master. Shiatsu, holistic massage, reiki Elaine Saladino. Crystal healing Annie Gogdell. Tarot cards & angel cards

Saturday 16 October Quaker Theatre Company presents ‘The Word’ by Kaj Munk. The play asks questions about faith and our relation to the teaching of Jesus. 2.30pm. Redland Quaker Meeting, 126 Hampton Road, Redland, Bristol BS6 6JE. Tickets £8 from 0117 942 9142 www.quakertheatrecompany.co.uk

Strictly by appointment only.

Saturday 16 October

Phone Vicky Rowe 0117 950 3115 All treatments £15 Refreshments provided

Bristol Schumacher Conference 2010

Zero Carbon Britain from Aspiration into Action

Saturday 23 - Sun 31 October

Saturday 16th October 2010 10am-5.30pm

Directed by Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti Introduced by: The Poppy Project Pre-film: Indian Classical Singer Jatanil Banerjee Post-film talk & Q&A’s with director Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti Wednesday 3rd November 7.30pm The Forum, BATH. FREE ADMISSION SOUTH WEST PREMIERE:

Understanding Trafficking

Directed by Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti Introduced by: The Poppy Project Pre-film: Indian Classical Singer Jatanil Banerjee Post-film talk & Q&A’s by director Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti Tuesday 9th November 7.30pm Hall2, Colston Hall, BRISTOL £2

Cargo

– live musical with animation Directed by Unchosen Patron Paul Field Introduced by Glynn Rankin, Human Trafficking Consultant Post-film talk & Q&A’s by composer Paul Field Wednesday 10th November 7.30pm The Forum, BATH. FREE ADMISSION Directed by Ken Loach Introduced by Glynn Rankin, Human Trafficking Consultant

Post-film talk & Q&A’s with Ken Loach

Juliet Davenport Peter Harper Jacqueline McGlade

www.unchosen.org.uk

Further info and online booking at: www.schumacher.org.uk tel: 0117 903 1081

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Thursday 21 October Final deadline for The Spark Winter issue 63. Get an ad and reach our many, many, lovely readers (that includes you!). Don’t forget listings ads also go online for free! 0117 914 34 34 sales@thespark.co.uk Friday 22 October Songs Of Longing & Belonging: Celebrating the Indigenous spirit of Bristol. Chloe Goodchild and world musicians in concert. Circomedia, Portland Square, 7.30pm. In collaboration with The Pierian Centre. www.thenakedvoice.com now@thenakedvoice.com 0117 927 7020

Understanding Trafficking

It’s A Free World…

Council House College Green Bristol BS1 5TR

Monday 18 October Frenchay Quaker Meeting, spark65x50.indd 4 Beckspool Road, Frenchay, 23/07/2010 Bristol BS16 1NT. Quaker Quest: Exploring Quaker Spirituality: Quakerism and Peace. Light refreshments 6.30pm for 7.00pm. 0117 942 9142 www.bristolquakers.org.uk

Sunday 28 November

The Future of The Soul 2012 & Beyond

Monday 11 October Central Quaker Meeting, Champion Square, Bristol BS2 9DB. Quaker Quest : Exploring Quaker Spirituality: Quaker faith in action. Light refreshments 6.30pm for 7.00pm. 0117 942 9142 www.bristolquakers.org.uk Monday 11 October Psychotherapist, trainer & supervisor Michael Soth presents: 80 years of Body Psychotherapy, Quantum Leaps in Theory and Practice. 7-9.30pm, Fulcrum House, 3 Grove Road, BS6 6UJ. £20 (£15 if booked before September 18th). Ring: 0117 330 5336 or email: info@fulcrumhouse.co.uk

november

Sunday 7 November

Monday 25 October Horfield Quaker Meeting, 300 Gloucester Road, Horfield, Bristol BS7 8PD. Quaker Quest: Exploring Quaker Spirituality: Quaker Worship. Light refreshments 6.30pm for 7.00pm. 0117 942 9142 www.bristolquakers.org.uk

Saturday 6 November Good Mental Health Workshop: Finding Your Inner Voice. Work with your voice as a tool to self-healing. 10.30-1pm. £2 unwaged / £4 waged. No booking required, just turn up. Held at Bristol Mind, 35 Old Market Street, Bristol BS2 0EZ. Ffi email: sishbristol@yahoo. co.uk or look at www.bristolmind.org.uk Saturday 6 November

One Day Seminar With 4 Exciting Speakers Sunday 7th November 2010 Clifton, Bristol. Early Bird £48.50 The 2012 Energy Shift Author & Philosopher Ian Lawton Messages from Spirit Council Channeler Janet Treloar Creating Your New World Regression Academy Tutor & Therapist Hazel Newton Living From The Heart Internationally Acclaimed Author Louise Langley Further Information visit www.eventmastery.co.uk Enquiries : 07776 241824

Fri 12 - Sun 14 November Creative Cooking Weekend, Derbyshire. Your chance to learn professional secrets and how to cook healthy, balanced meals with Nigel Walker, founder of VegiVentures. Call us for a brochure or visit our web sites. Tel: 01760 755888 www.vegiventures.com & www.yuvaholidays.com Fri 12 - Sun 14 November Salsa Residential Weekend: Over the Rainbow, Cardigan Bay, with Norma Daykin. All welcome. Contact: info@overtherainbowwales.co.uk Saturday 13 November Boost Your Energy with Fitter Foods: a hands-on nutrition workshop. Learn to avoid energy slumps, find out how your blood sugar works and how choosing the right foods helps you control your moods and appetite. Half a day to change your life! Bristol Folk House. To book call 0117 376 34 95. For more info: www.eatforlifeuk.co.uk Saturday 13 November Open Meeting: Celebrating spirituality and connecting communities in Bristol – an informal gathering to meet like-minded people, holistic practitioners/therapists, educators and anyone interested in spiritual/personal development. More: www.holisticmap.org/ about/events.htm Sat 20 & Sun 21 November Ashtanga Yoga weekend with Brian Cooper in Glastonbury. Ffi Jane 01458 445077 www.ashtangavinyasayoga.co.uk Sunday 28 November Introduction to Thai Massage: simple techniques to practice on family & friends; all welcome. 10am-5pm, Bristol City Yoga. Details: Fiona 0774 7514971 fiona@bodywisdom.org.uk

Fri 29, Sat 30 & Sun 31 October The Template: Sacred Geometry Activation. 01458 835506 www.stargaia.com Saturday 30 October Free Vegan Food Fair. Broadmead Baptist Church, 12-5pm. Find out more about veganism. Lots of free food! All welcome. www.bristolanimalrights.org.uk/ veganfoodfair

jazz, man classified ads are on page 51

Monday 29 November Cosy up with the new issue of The Spark - Winter issue out today! 0117 914 34 34 sales@thespark.co.uk

december Fri 24 - Tues 28 December Xmas on Exmoor. VegiVentures 20th Christmas event; warm houseparty atmosphere; choice of activities or none! Call us for a brochure or visit our web sites. Tel: 01760 755888 www.vegiventures.com & www.yuvaholidays.com

january Full Permaculture Design Course. One weekend per month for six months starting January 2011. Frome, Somerset. www.spiral-garden.co.uk Tel: 01373 467884 Sat 15 - Sun 16 January Traditional Hedge-laying courses in Gloucestershire. £120 per weekend. Lunch provided. Also 22-23 January. Booking info 0799 094 7934 www.dayscottage.co.uk

march Saturday 12 March Conference: Celebrating spirituality and connecting communities in Bristol and the South West. See: www.holisticmap.org/about/ events.htm

april Friday 1 - Sunday 3 April Yoga and Walking in the Black Mountains. Yoga tuition; guided walks; bare-foot paddling; comfortable accommodation; vegan food. For further details contact: Lesley Charters 0775 263 7860 lesleycharters@btinternet.com

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VERNON FROST

This gifted international teacher creates a powerful, sacred space of love for healing and transformation.

‘Would You Like to Change Your Reality?’ a fascinating evening of healing and insight September 8th Bristol| 9th Cheltenham| 21st Glastonbury | 22nd Worcester

JOURNEY INTO FREEDOM

weekend workshop 1-3 Oct, Gloucester

An opportunity to make a deep and permanent shift in your life, release limiting patterns, and step out of fear and negative stories into a higher resonant space of love, trust, vision and empowerment. Learn simple esoteric processes that can change your world. Previous participants spoke of ‘an unforgettable weekend of magical gifts... having become free from long-held hurts... It was truly a journey into freedom!’

Ruth 07961 044 949 or 0114 201 4092 | ruth@vernonfrost.co.uk | www.vernonfrost.co.uk

VERNON FROST “Simply stunning” Circomedia’s new home in Portland Square, Bristol, is a breathtaking and inspirational space available for hire. Suitable for a variety of uses including workshops, meetings, performances, training, etc etc. Small meeting room and café/kitchen area also available.

o al s s e in urs le Co ailab ter av rces Wo

For further information or to arrange a visit. PLEASE CONTACT JO telephone: 0117 924 7615 joanna@circomedia.com www.circomedia.com

We are currently recruiting for:

Listening and Communication Skills 10 weeks part-time

Foundation Course in Counselling Skills One year (part-time), Wednesdays 5.30-9.30pm

We have been providing Psychodynamic Counselling Training, accredited by Westminster Pastoral Foundation, since 1983.

Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling Two years (part-time), Mondays 2.00-7.30pm If you would like to know more please telephone 01373 453355 or you can email office@wessexcounsellingservice.co.uk

Wessex Counselling Service, Fairfield House, King Street, Frome BA11 1BH www.wessexcounsellingservice.co.uk

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OUT! curiosities & oddities ignite

16 12

three months of essential events and more • 80p a word

Photo Roy Raymont

Photo Robert Bilsland

Melanie West delves into the wonderfully weird world of West Country follies…

The Highwayman Inn, Okehampton

Nestled on the edge of Dartmoor’s wild hills lies this hidden gem of a pub. Driving past, you could be forgiven for wondering how someone parked a stagecoach in the front wall. Go insid e and the sheer inventiveness of the interior will have you scurrying arou nd, peering excitedly into corners and wishing you could spend longer than the time it takes to lift a pint. The inn’s highly unusual style was the brainchild of Buster and Rita Jones who took on the pub in 1959 and it richly reserves the accolade of “Britain’s most unusual pub”. Every nook and cranny is adorned with historical flotsam and jetsam, the place resembling something like a gypsy grotto crossed with a pirate ship. Buster’s daughter Sally and husband Bruce now run the pub, and fine hosts they make too. Accommodation is available to suit different pockets. The Angel and Victorian rooms offer four poster beds, cabin and bunk accommodatio n starts at £35 a night. Gothic holiday let “Cobweb Hall” is across the road. The Highw

The Bakelite Museum, Somerset

The Rock Gardens, Chudleigh

For the uninitiated, bakelite was marketed in the early 20th century as “the material of a thousand uses”. It replaced shellac, a similar yet expensive product made by the resinous secretions of a species of Indian louse! Patrick Cook believes the world’s first synthetic plastic is worthy of two floors of exhibition space in his 17th Century water mill, in Williton. This colourful display is presented in a relaxed atmosphere and signage is kept to a minimum. The museum houses a huge variety of items including kitchenware, clocks, gramaphones, radios and jewellry. One of the more unusual items on display is a coffin, which, due to bakelite’s heat resistant properties, never really got off the ground. The museum also features bandalasta, an unusual, marbled Art Deco version of bakelite designed in 1925. After your visit, stroll outside and relax with a cream tea at the museum’s nearby café.

The Rock Gardens are set in what was once the Palace Quarry, close to Ugbrook House, which has a history dating back 900 years and features in the Doomsday Book. Eight acres of wild, tranquil gardens lie in the shadow of Chudleigh Rock which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. From the top there’s panoramic views across the Teign Valley towards the tors of Dartmoor, and highlights of the garden include the beautiful ginko bilboa, weeping ash and 80-foot elm trees. Other treats include the variety of koi carp who live in the pond and an illuminated grotto. The pixies amongst you won’t be able to resist walking in the Fairy Glen, part of the Clifford Estate and accessible from the gardens, where the Kate Brook tumbles down the rocky falls into the valley below.

The Rock Gardens, Station Hill, Chudleigh, Devon, TQ13 0EE tel 01626 852134 Open Daily 9-4.30pm, £1.50 www.therockgardens.co.uk

Wells Reclamation, Wells

One man’s passion for collecting vintage household and farming items from the last 40 years has led him to open this museum. From sweets to soapflakes, haberdashery to hosiery this collection is well preserved and well presented, some things still in their original packaging. Keith Sherrell began collecting in 1966 when he bought and sold used farm machinery and his Aladdin’s Cave grew from there. While the museum holds mainly household goods and groceries, including local names such as Fry’s and Babycham there’s also a collection of over 100 tractors and a 1920s American fire engine!

Oakham farm, Portbury Lane, Portbury, Bristol BS20 7SP tel 01275 375236 www.oakhamtreasures.co.uk

This aptly-titled miniature performance space is certainly a treat for all who stumble across it and it doesn’t get much smaller than this! Located in Malvern, it has been converted from a Victorian gentlemen’s lavatory and it’s even listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the smallest theatre in the world. The founder, Dennis Neale, opened the doors in 1999, and runs it as an independent, not-for-profit enterprise. Neale is a drama enthusiast whose skills include puppeteering and performance. The theatre features an unconventional stage and a “commedia dell’arte” Italian style décor. The interior walls are adorned with greenery, summer skies and the sea. Seats are limited to just 12. Shows happen every Saturday between noon and 5pm on an “on demand” basis. The theatre has hosted drama, storytelling, music, monologues, poetry and even an opera. Dennis encourages anyone with an interest in theatre to get in touch. The Theatre of Small Convenience Edith Walk, Malvern, Worcs WR14 4QH tel 01684 568933, www.wctheatre.co.uk £2.50/£1.50 adults/children.

The Bakelite Museum, Orchard Mill, Williton, Somerset, TA4 4NS tel 01984 632133, £4/£3.50/£2.50 adult/conc/kids, In term time open Thurs-Sun 10.30am-6pm

ayma n Inn, Sourton, Nr Okehampton, EX20 8HN tel 0183 7 861243, www.thehighwayma ninn.net

Oakham Treasures, Portbury

The Theatre of Small Convenience, Malvern

Jay’s Grave, Dartmoor

Perusing this cache of salvaged paraphernalia is one way to spend a couple of hours marvelling at the curiosities of human creation. Wells Reclamation have a weird and wonderful selection of items for sale, although you’re going to need a large garden and sympathetic neighbours if the Soviet tank from 1993 captures your heart. Here you’ll find old portholes from ships, ancient diving gear, Chinese dressers and fans, and old wooden baby carriers from the last century. Amongst the selection you’ll also find rows of cinema seats, old staircases, enormous (and sometimes grotesque) garden ornaments and even the top of a bell tower. More a museum than reclamation yard, stand and dream of the English countryside of yore while admiring the old corn-threshing machines and apple carts!

Crazy Golf, Cheddar

While most visitors to Cheddar are lured by the dramatic geology or subterranean caves, a small number of initiates go searching for something entirely different.You may be surprised to learn that there is a British mini-golf association and they feel that this 18-hole crazy golf course is worthy of their official stamp. The course is set in the lower levels of the gorge and landscaped with trees and shrubs all benefiting from the dramatic backdrop that the area affords. A 19th century grotto forms part of the course and nearby Glastonbury Tor inspires one of the obstacles. Groups of up to 50 are permitted, pets are welcomed. You can even ask them to open outside of normal opening hours by appointment.

Wells Reclamation company, Coxley, Wells, Somerset, BA5 1RQ tel 01749 677087 www.wellsreclamation.com

Cheddar Crazy Golf, 7 Queens Row, The Cliffs, Cheddar, BS27 3QE tel 01934 741112

The unlikely heroine of this tale was born an orphan around 1790. Mary or ‘Kitty’ as she was later known was taken to Wolborough poor house and named Mary Jay (unfortunately, slang for a prostitute at the time). She later moved to Canna Farm where she secured an apprenticeship. When she returned the affections of the farmer’s son she fell pregnant and was branded a whore. Rather than face the shame of returning to the poor house she hung herself on the farm. She was buried at a crossroads, away from consecrated ground, and strange phenomena started happening soon after. A cloaked figure is often seen kneeling at the graveside, and fresh flowers have been found there every day since, yet no-one has ever seen who delivers them…

3km from Manaton, Devon Grid Ref SX7379

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british school of homoeopathy

Upledger Therapy More than CranioSacral Therapy

Postgraduate Training for Health Practitioners

(25th successful year of training) is moving to

Upledger CranioSacral Therapy offers a profound way of listening to the body and gently assisting it to self correct. Working from the fascia and fluids that surround the brain and spinal cord, we gain a deep connection to the central nervous system. We treat both structurally and energetically to realign and release restrictions and emotions held in the body, facilitating a deeply effective change.

Exeter Natural Health Centre Centre managers Mo & Ali Morrish ●

Take the 5 core curriculum modules, developed over the last 25 years by Dr John Upledger and the Upledger Institute, at your own pace. Our exam system offers qualification and national registration if desired.

CST1 is the first intensive 4 day module. The focus on practical experience brings CST theory and the relevant anatomy to life as you explore the body’s subtle rhythms and develop your hands’ listening skills. Leave with a clear and efficient set of treatment techniques to safely integrate immediately into your practice.

Interested? CST1 costs £565, is open to most health practitioners, and will be running:         Bristol

Easy commuting inc railway main line connecting station within 500m Well established as Complementary & Alternative Medicine centre with links to Peninsula Medical School Professional clinical training led by experienced, practising homoeopaths. Working with patients from year one, we aim to provide the best in active clinical training 4 year fully accredited course with well structured syllabus & student centred learning

19-22 November 2010     

Coventry 28-31 January 2011                  London

City centre location in large, beautiful listed building

To find out more and to apply for interview please call

8-11 April 2011

Mo or Ali Morrish 01392 422555

Call 01934 733611 or visit www.upledger.co.uk

Ad for Spark July 10.indd 1

“It has been a privilege to become part of the BSH. Even when I thought I could not cope, I was encouraged and supported and made to feel that I was valued. I am dreading leaving this year, I will miss it all so much. I think I have made friends that will last a lifetime.” Krystyna Baker

bsh@enhc.org www.homoeopathy.com

7/20/2010 5:01:22 PM

Two for one entry to this year’s Organic Food Festival.

Discover the sacred fire within you A warm and friendly sacred fire community has evolved out of caring hearts fuelled by the fire. To shine a light in the darkness, being with nature and to thank all our spirit helpers. As therapists we promote inclusion, honesty and integrity, working together towards your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. Therapies including: Acupuncture, Crystal Therapy, Deep Tissue, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi & Holistic Massage, Aromatherapy, E.F.T. Reiki, Yin Fu, Abhyanga, Shirodhara, Reflexology, Hypnotherapy, Indian Head Massage, Plant Spirit Medicine, Spiritual Healing Clinic, Shamanic Journeying, Shiatsu, Space Clearing, Sports Massage, Thought Field Therapy, Dynamic Theatre. Therapists: • Carole Fofana, elementalsanctuary.co.uk • Richard Braybrooke braybrookehypnosis.co.uk • Berkeley Wilde berkeleywilde.co.uk • Helen and Keith Bevan • Jackie Gower-Johnson • Rev. Sarah Mumford • Shaun Bailey • Anthony Williams Looking for dynamic therapists and teachers to join us in our work at the Elemental Sanctuary Carole Fofana and Rev. Sarah Mumford are running workshops in our beautiful spiritual spaces Sept 25th Introduction to Shamanic Journeying Oct 9th Our Animal Friends Oct 10th Sacred Fire Community gathering + Sacred Fire and Clean up Oct 16th / 17th Introduction to Plant Spirit Medicine & 5 Elements Oct 23rd / 24th Introduction to Dynamic Theatre Oct 30th Introduction to Shamanic Journeying (Under 25) Oct 31st Dynamic Theatre-Community and conflict resolution Nov 6th / 7th 5 Elements METAL A time to clean up let go and respect Nov 13th / 14th Healing the Ancestors Nov 21st / 22nd Healing The Earth Nov 27th / 28th 5 Elements WATER A time to flow with our fears and become free Dec 4th / 5th Creating ceremony for personal transformation, releasing and healing Dec 21st Solstice Sacred community Fire + Sacred Fire

T

he Spark has teamed up with Real Food Festivals Limited and the Soil Association to bring you a great reader offer – two for one entry to this year’s Organic Food Festival. Taking place around Bristol’s historic Harbourside over the weekend of September 11-12, the tenth annual Organic Food Festival offers families and food lovers more than ever before, with over 150 organic food and drink producers, demonstrations by a host of Celebrity Chefs (including local culinary heroes Richard Bertinet, Barny Haughton and Sam Moody), live music, a Kids Taste Experience area and livestock events such as the Sheep Show. Then there’s organic health and beauty products, organic gardening and organic fashion specialists on hand to keep

For an up to date list events go to elementalsanctuary.co.uk

ELEMENTAL SANCTUARY 427 Fishponds Rd Bristol Bs16 3AP Contact: 0117 939 7368 mob: 0772 718 8630 email: fofana@blueyonder.co.uk website: elementalsanctuary.co.uk

you keen shoppers happy. It’s a great family day out and THE foodie event of the year: not to be missed. For more information on what’s happening over the weekend go to www.organicfoodfestival.co.uk Tickets are normally available on the gate at £5 per day but you can get two for a fiver if you take this voucher along with you. Take your partner, take a friend: take advantage of this great offer and take anyone who cares about where their food comes from.

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Q&A

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James Montgomery What’s the secret to Montgomery’s Cheddar? I haven’t the faintest idea! But I’ll tell you the list of things I think are important: keeping the cows on deep straw (every other cheese-maker I know uses cubicles); spring water (our water comes out of the hills the other side of the valley); fantastic staff who really care about what they are doing; using good traditional bacteria starters in pint (liquid) form; the peg mill – the list goes on and on. And if you change any one of those you stand to lose a part of what’s really good. One thing I do know is that every time I’ve moved away from the old ways, the quality has suffered. What’s your favourite book? I was given a copy of a book written in 1917, called Practical Cheddar Cheese Making by Dora Saker. It’s just beautiful and the more I understand about cheese-making, the more I appreciate it. It’s a personification and record of a tradition, which, when I read it, I am reminded not to stray too far from.

Interviewed by Fiona McClymont • photo Jo Halladey That was our training: it’s what gave us a sense of value which I think is really important.

James Montgomery, 49, is a third-generation farmer based in North Cadbury. His farm makes about 60 truckles of unpasteurised Cheddar each week with the milk produced by their 140 friesian cows. This is done by hand using traditional materials and methods. In 2004 he helped to draw up guidelines which defined what an artisan Cheddar should be, as part of a Slow Food initiative to protect and promote local, traditional food. He has recently been made Chairman of the Specialist Cheese-Makers’ Association in Stroud.

What’s your greatest achievement? This is going to sound really weird, but it would be my re-design of the traditional cheese peg-mill. As part of the traditional ‘cheddaring’ process, the cheese passes through a peg mill and is shredded. Most cheese-makers use a chip-mill because it’s so much quicker, but I didn’t want to because I think you get a better texture with a peg-mill. Problem was that it was taking forty minutes to mill the cheese, which is too long. So I redesigned how the cheese falls down into the blades of the mill, sketched something on paper, built a mock-up of it and tested it. We can now mill the same amount of cheese in ten minutes. My grandfather was a bit of an engineer and I think he would have been really proud of me. It’s about using new ways of keeping the old ways going and thinking, “I don’t care how everybody else is doing it, this is how I’m going to do it”.

What’s the best thing about living in the South West? My grandfather bought the farm here in North Cadbury back in 1911, so it’s been in our family for almost a century. I have always lived here - I can’t remember any occasions when I was even tempted to go anywhere else. We’re on the edge of Salisbury Plain and it’s just beautiful. In farming terms, we have wonderful, rich, deep soil in our valley – it’s great land. Our young cows roam on South Cadbury “Camelot”, an Iron Age hill fort on the farm, which was heavily fortified at the time that King Arthur defended Wessex from the Saxons. So it’s rich in other ways too.

What’s been your biggest mistake? I’ve made some horrible mistakes. When I came home from agricultural college I’d learnt farming but knew very little about cheesemaking and I made the huge error of following the crowd. I took advice from an ‘expert’ who persuaded me to stop using our traditional pint starters and switch to the powered starters that everyone else uses. It’s three months before you know what the flavour’s going to be like: when it was ready I tasted it and there was just no character there – I realised that if we carried on down this road we would be dead within a year. It was such a good learning curve because it taught me from the start that if you follow the crowd, you will make the same cheese as everybody else. And what’s the point in that, really?

What would you like to see more of in the area? Well, there’s a lack of information about the history of this area. I feel quite sorry for the tourists who come here. In fact, something I’m quite proud of is that I arranged for a display, explaining the history of Camelot, to be put up in the local pub (which the farm owns) in South Cadbury. You shouldn’t need to go to a visitor centre and pay to see some Disneyfied version of history; this kind of stuff should be available more freely.

How do you relax? We produce cheese seven days a week. The only time production stops is once a year, for ten days, when we service all the equipment. Does that answer your question?!

Is farming a tough life? I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I was born and raised in a happy family and was doing stuff on the farm as soon as I was old enough. I never resented it, it was fun. As a kid, if I wanted something, like a pair of roller-skates or whatever, I was expected to go out and pick enough spuds to earn the money to get them.

What inspires you? Very simple: the flavour. The best feedback I ever had was quite a few years ago, when I was doing a tasting in the Neal’s Yard shop in Covent Garden. An old gentleman, in his late eighties, staggered in, glanced at my cheese and muttered darkly that he had “given up eating Cheddar thirty years ago”. I was then on a mission to persuade him to try it. I got him to taste it and looked very deep into his eyes, looking for a memory and I saw it! He looked miles away and said, “Yes, that reminds me of something”. Just thinking about it actually makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It’s well known that taste and smell are the things that trigger memory in the strongest way – especially if it’s something you’ve not eaten for a long time. God, it can take you straight back! People ask me “Is your cheese the same as your grandfather made?” I have no idea, but the look in that man’s eyes tells me it’s probably pretty close. What drives you mad? Look, I’ve got some mates who make very good block Cheddar and my understanding of why they do what they do is absolute: they’re supplying a supermarket so it’s always got to be exactly the same. There’s room enough for all of us. What drives me mad is people trying to pretend they’re something they are not; you know, sticking ‘olde worlde’ labels on something that is actually completely industrial. Will your farm continue on into the next generation? I’ve got a 17 and a 15-year-old from my first marriage and I don’t think they’ll ever come back to the farm. My seven-year-old, I don’t know what’s going to happen there. But Polly, who’s just turned two, I’m holding out for her really. I think she’d be great! What has life taught you? To trust yourself and to trust your own judgement. James Montgomery, Manor Farm, North Cadbury, Yeovil BA22 7DW You can find James’ cheese in Trethowan’s Dairy Shop in St Nics market in Bristol and in Bordeaux Quay, Bristol, as well as in his local shop and in good delis across the region.

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planet

Got a passion for green issues and experience of writing? Email vicki@thespark.co.uk

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The generation game Mike Soldner and Roger Hollies are the directors of sustainable energy consultants Save & Generate and have travelled around the South West talking to some of the early pioneers of renewable energy. This issue, they focus on wind power and look at the practicalities of installing a wind turbines in your homes or community...

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s the world’s natural resources dwindle, oil spills pollute our coast lines, and electricity prices rise, more and more people are looking for renewable energy solutions. “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind,” sang Bob Dylan, and he might just have been right. A growing number of people in the UK are turning to wind power to counter rising electricity prices and to generate clean, on-site electricity. This article takes a closer look at the practicalities and the costs of generating electricity from a small wind turbine in the UK and brings you the real life experiences of some of the early pioneers…

The nuts and bolts

There are two main types of turbines currently available: vertical axis (VAWT) and horizontal axis (HAWT) wind turbines. ‘Small’ wind turbines are defined as being between 2.5kW and 100kW rated capacity (this is the maximum output the turbine is capable of generating in high winds). The most common small wind units in the UK market are currently between 2.5 and 15 kW. These turbines have 2 to 12-metre blade length and are usually mounted on masts 6 to 20 metres in height.

The location

In the UK we have the best wind resource in Europe, but you have to have the right conditions where you live. The wind speed is critical. To make it worth your while to generate wind energy you need a wind speed of 5m per second for most turbine makes. There are websites that can give you an idea of the wind speed where you live: just put in your post code and a basic description of your area. Bear in mind, though, that this is only a modelled approximation. To be really accurate the best thing to do is to use an anemometer at your proposed location and measure the wind speed over three months (the more time you measure, the more accurate the result). It is a relatively low-cost way to find out, definitively, if an investment in a turbine is worthwhile. Also remember that turbulence kills wind speed. Any obstructions within 200m of the turbine – even below the height of the blades – can reduce the wind speed and potential yield.

The cost As for the cost, small wind turbines currently cost between £15,000 and £80,000 fully installed, depending on size and model, and can generate anywhere between enough for a single domestic electricity demand or up to enough power for over 50 homes (3,000 to 200,000 kWh/yr) depending on the wind resource. The electricity can be used on site, stored in batteries or exported to the grid. So the real question is: how does anyone afford this technology? Two schemes are in place to try and get renewables implemented on a wide scale (and thus stimulate the market). They are the Feed In Tariff (FIT) and the Pay As You Save initiative.

The Feed In Tariff

The new Feed In Tariff involves domestic users selling surplus electricity they produce back to the grid at a (new) fixed rate. The scheme is only available to people installing wind turbines, solar panels, hydropower or anaerobic digestors from April 2010. Early pioneers are still paid the original rate for their electricity. For new installers, your electricity supplier is obliged to pay a fixed rate for all of your generated electricity (up to 34.5p per kWh). At a good location in the UK (average wind speed of at least five metres per second) this represents an annual income of at least £400 per kW, per year, on top of electricity bill savings. This could mean a payback time of 10 years or less, after which time you could be receiving both free electricity and a source of income. The tariff is set for 20-25 years so it represents an investment opportunity to someone with a good wind resource and the money to invest in the

Case study two: the environment centre

beginning, or to a community of people who can club together to stump up the initial costs. See www.fitariffs.co.uk for more on this For info on Feed In Tariffs check out the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s handy guide at www.cse.org.uk/ downloads/file/feed-in_tariffs.pdf

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he Carymoor Environmental Trust was set up in Castle Cary, Somerset, in 1996 by a small group of enthusiasts who wanted to offer environmental education to their community. Based on reclaimed land from a landfill site, the centre (now a charity) comprises a main building plus a straw bale house, a beautiful ‘sensory garden’ of native herbs and plants, two ponds and a reed bed system. Carymoor runs volunteer days every week and gives training courses and workshops at the centre on waste reduction, sustainability and wildlife conservation, offering ‘Wild Days Out’ to schools, universities and community groups. One of Carymoor’s central aims is to help people understand and adapt to the challenges of climate change. The team at Carymoor felt it was important to lead by example and so they did a feasibility study for a wind turbine. In 2001 Carymoor installed a small 1.4kW Fortis Passat wind turbine which enabled staff there to familiarise themselves with the technology. The next step was to install a bigger turbine to demonstrate the new technology really effectively to the centre’s visitors. Site education officer Graham Jennings led the project and even cycled 1,119 miles from Land’s End to John o’ Groats to raise £1,500 towards it. After securing grant money to top up their fundraising efforts, Carymoor installed their 15kW Proven wind turbine in 2006. Although both turbines have only generated 75% of the energy predicted, the team are still hugely proud of their achievement. (The UK market for turbines is

Pay As You Save

The really innovative solution, though, is the Pay As You Save (PAYS) scheme. This gives households the opportunity to invest in technology such as wind turbines, solar panels and wall insulation with no upfront cost. Householders get a loan for their installation and make repayments spread over a long enough period so that the repayments are less than the amount of money they are saving on their energy bills. This means that people can save money and shrink their carbon clodhopper from day one. This scheme is already widely used around Europe. The PAYS scheme is currently undergoing a pilot phase with 500 households across the UK.

To find out more on how to participate in the pilot, visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Home-improvements-andproducts/Pay-As-You-Save-Pilots

Case study one: the lone pioneer

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ric Blatchford is a conservation works officer for Dartmoor National Park who has spent his working life contributing to conservation and sustainability projects in the region. Accutely aware that reliance on fossil fuel is a precarious strategy Eric and his wife Heather outside their for the future, he home in Torquay wanted to give his children and grandchildren a means of generating energy safely for their families in the years to come. Eric lives in a small town house on the outskirts of Torquay. The house is located in an urban area but sits on a hillside overlooking Torbay, and is open to the south west aspect. It does, however, suffer from ‘wind shadowing’ from the north and east. Wind shadow is the shadow of turbulent wind (dramatically reduced wind power) that is cast by any obstruction (buildings, trees etc). Eric says getting the right information was difficult a few years ago and only one turbine was really suitable for his location and available to him with a local installer: the Proven 2.5kW. He had some initial opposition from his neighbours who were worried about noise (the nearest houses are 50m away). After a consultation with his neighbours, the planning office and environmental health officials, they reached a compromise. The design would be scaled down from a 11-metre mast to a 9-metre one (which, ironically, brought the turbine closer to the dwellings!). Once the neighbours were satisfied that noise and visual impact wouldn’t be a problem, Eric pushed forward with the installation. Today the turbine can be seen from afar as it sits gently turning in the evening breeze on the hillside next to Eric’s family home. The total installed cost of the turbine came to almost £12,500 – a substantial outlay – but with the Feed In Tariff scheme coming into force, Eric estimated that he could recoup his investment costs within 10 years. As an early pioneer, it’s not been an easy road but Eric says he is satisfied that the industry has come on in leaps and bounds since he installed his turbine. He remains upbeat. “I am happy to be doing my bit in helping to move our society towards a more sustainable energy future.”

The Carymoor Centre in Castle Cary

still in its infancy and lessons are still being learnt about accurate predictions for energy generation). Graham says: “The big success story has to be the educational value the turbines have added to our centre. They raise awareness and motivate our visitors to follow in our footsteps, leading the way to Graham on his ‘Ride the Wind’ cycle tour across the UK a sustainable energy future.” www.carymoor.org.uk

“Make sure you visit all the neighbours so that they know exactly what you are planning. That way you can stop rumours or misinformation, intentional or otherwise!”

Case study three: the school

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ead teacher of Blue Coat Primary School in Wotton-under-Edge, Jo Woolley, was keen to teach her pupils about renewable energy by having some working examples of it on site. The government has imposed targets on schools to cut their carbon footprint and since the school already had good insulation and a modern condensing boiler, they looked at other ways they could cut down their fossil fuel use. Alex and Caroline Alliston, both engineers, have sons at the school and got on board with Jo’s idea, devoting a lot of time to researching the possibilities. In the end they found that a Proven 6 wind turbine and a solar PV system could be installed with the grant money available, and together, could provide Blue Coat School with 50% of its electricity needs. The school got funding from the government’s Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP, now superseded by the Feed In Tariff scheme) which they match funded with money from the Community Sustainable Energy Programme’s Big Lottery Fund and Scottish Power’s Green Energy Fund for the wind turbine. They tried to get match funding for the solar PV system but in the end the school had to fund the other 50% of that cost themselves. There was some local opposition to the turbine. Many local residents cited health and safety concerns about the blades falling off, but these claims were rejected. There were also objections on the grounds of noise and visual impact. On the visual impact front, the turbine is relatively small, and sited close to a line of trees of approximately the same height. The school made up a montage to show how the turbine would look when installed. Luckily, there was already a large fire station tower and a mobile phone mast close by, so the turbine could not be said to be damaging the landscape. On the noise front, the school commissioned noise surveys which showed that, based on the data given by the turbine

Jo Woolley with some of her pupils at Blue Coat School, (photo courtesy of the Gloucestershire Gazette)

supplier, the turbine would not cause a noise nuisance to the neighbours. There were petitions for and against the turbine, but with the vast majority of people in the town in favour, the turbine finally got the go-ahead. Jo Woolley says: “It has taken us nearly two years of effort to get to this point. As well as meeting the school’s targets to reduce carbon emissions, the educational value of these installations is huge.” Caroline Alliston has this to say to anyone trying to install a similar wind turbine in their community: “Make sure you have a suitable site with plenty of wind, which is well over 100m away from the nearest residences. Engage with the local community and visit all the neighbours to ensure they know exactly what you are planning, so that there can be no rumours or misinformation, intentional or otherwise!”

www.bluecoat.gloucs.sch.uk

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social change

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Abode with me What is cohousing? Vicki West looks at some pioneering projects and talks to people across the South West searching for a new life in community…

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ohousing is simply a development of private dwellings with communal spaces designed and built into the project at the start. For a very simple concept it has sparked a quiet revolution in the way people think about housing and has been firing people’s imaginations on both sides of the Atlantic for the last decade. In Denmark, where the concept of cohousing originated in the 1960s, 5% of all houses are part of a cohousing development and in other parts of Scandinavia and in the USA many more projects are springing up. In the UK, more and more people are forming groups to try and set down a shared vision for living, before finding property or land, and creating the kind of cohousing community they want to live in. The central tenets of cohousing are shared resources and shared human time. Many of us long for more community but it also represents a pragmatic way to face a future of scarce resources and a changing climate. The appeal of cohousing is inter-generational – from young people who reject conventional and expensive housing traps, to families who want to bring their children up in a community, to older people who want company – not isolation – in their retirement. Cohousing doesn’t mean sharing all your space with other people, and it doesn’t mean compromising your privacy or your independence. What it might mean, is any or all of the following: shared resources (better tools!); shared space for socialising (hot tubs? barn dances?); neighbours who know and care about you; people with varied and useful skills on your doorstep; willing helpers for your projects and ideas; babysitters aplenty; shared dinners; carfree streets; and above all, a more healthy and socially stimulating home environment.

Trailblazers

Some members of Lammas in Wales

The Lammas co-housing group (some residents pictured above) has broken new ground by gaining planning permission for a new build eco-development in rural Wales. Lammas will combine “the traditional smallholding model with the latest innovations in environmental design, green technology and permaculture.” They plan to build nine eco-smallholdings, a campsite and a community hub building, sited on 76 acres of mixed pasture and woodland in Pembrokeshire. Stroud’s flagship cohousing development Springhill (set up in 2003) has been described as “the 21st century alternative to commune living” by The Guardian and was the first newbuild cohousing development in the UK. Other cohousing projects have been pioneering in opening up the concept to people who don’t have money to invest. The Threshold Centre in Dorset works directly with a local housing association to offer affordable housing to people on low or moderate incomes, and acts as an education centre as well. The LILAC initiative in Leeds offers affordable cohousing (in the form of straw bale new-builds) to people in all income brackets and is regenerating brownfield land within the city limits.

A quiet revolution

The UK cohousing network defines a ‘cohousing’ community as follows: “A cohousing community is set up and run by its members for mutual benefit. Members are consciously committed to living as a community and developments are designed to encourage social contact and a sense of neighbourhood.”

The social benefits are obvious. A few weeks ago I went to a national conference on cohousing, where the authors of the ‘Cohousing’ book, architects Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant, spoke about their experience of ‘Senior’ (over 50s) cohousing. They noted that in the US elderly people were moved around an average of five times during the last ten years of their life, as their care needs increased. A properly designed ‘senior’ cohousing development, by contrast, would seek to provide various degrees of sheltered and modified housing to allow for these changing needs. A woman from OUCH! London (Older Women for Cohousing) stood up and said that her group had been looking for a potential site for 12 years. “I was 68 when we started this,” she said, “so you can guess how old I am now! But I refuse to give up: this is how I want to live out my final years.” Charles and Kathryn cited various studies that proved the social benefits of cohousing. One study found that cohousing residents spent 80% of their time in their front gardens and 20% out the back, compared to the exact opposite ratio on your average housing development.

Rural voice Gary Lamont Our new columnist, Gary Lamont, works for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and lives in the village of Wylye with his wife and two children…

O Some members of Prospect at a potential site in Devon

courses, and even employ local people if we had workshops on site.” Prospect still needs more members to commit to the project if they are going to realise their dream. They also need more people with capital to invest in buying a suitable property. (See contact details below). “There’s got to be a better way of living that’s less isolated than the current model,” says Frances. “We want to become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”

“At Springhill there were 35 houses and you knew everyone… and you knew their friends, their kids, their grandparents… it was this huge network…”

Urban Vs Rural

Edward Munns-Faleyev, 25, and his wife, Radmila, 23, are members of Prospect and used to live at the Springhill cohousing development in Stroud. Springhill was the UK’s first newbuild cohousing scheme and has won much praise for its eco-credentials and pioneering example, including a nod from the government’s Sustainable’ Communities’ award panel in 2005. Edward was working as an apprentice when he was 17 and put a deposit down on a plot for a studio flat at Springhill. “My dad had been looking to join a community for years, and when he finally found Springhill, I decided to go for it too. At that time – and considering my age – there’s no way I could have afforded my own place anywhere else.” He later volunteered abroad, met and married his partner Radmila, and together they moved back to Springhill and lived with his parents for a while. “We both agreed that living in a community was the most important thing for us,” he says. When their children were born the couple moved to their own place in Gloucester briefly but always kept in mind their dream of finding another community. “Springhill is beautiful, but it’s quite urban,” says Edward. “We wanted to be somewhere more rural, somewhere with a bit of land. We’re quite environmentally aware and we’re conscious of the need to get away from reliance on fossil fuels and things like that.” For Edward and Radmila, cohousing offers a return to a way of life that until recent times was the norm. “At Springhill there were 35 houses and you knew everyone,” he says. “And you knew their friends, their grandparents, it was this huge network. There were no cars on site, loads of safe, pedestrianised zones, so kids could just run around and they were perfectly safe. Everyone kept an eye out. It’s nothing new, it’s what people have always done.” I ask what advice he might give anyone looking to do the same. “The most important thing is the people,” he says. “If you have a shared dream with a group of people then it can work. We also have a policy at Prospect that everyone has a fair and equal voice, regardless of how much capital they are investing in the project. Money and power can get in the way. The most important thing is to have the same dream. Things can get complicated if there is too much compromise and it won’t work. It can be an emotional journey but it’s worth it.”

Prospect cohousing

Frances Jannaway and her partner Richard are working hard to form a cohousing community somewhere in rural Devon, based on permaculture principles. They want to “share responsibilities, resources and fun with other like-minded people” and their journey has been going on for a few years. “We tried to do all these things on our own and we couldn’t,” says Frances. “Then we tried to join other groups but none of them were quite right for us, so in the end, we’ve decided to form our own.” Going by the name of Prospect, the group feel strongly that they want to live lightly on the land and make a positive contribution to the surrounding community. “We don’t just want to sort ourselves out and say ‘Sod the rest of you!’” says Frances. “We would hope, that by doing this, we might facilitate some change in wider society by showing other people that it is possible to live in a different way.” Prospect plan to buy a property with buildings to convert. They will insulate their houses well, car share and make use of renewable energy as much as possible. Planting trees, growing crops organically and keeping some animals, such as chickens, are also essential to their vision. Frances admits that it’s a real challenge finding a location to suit a whole group of people, with different needs, wants and work commitments. “We’ve met some amazing people in this journey,” she says. “But getting people to commit is not so easy! There are many logistics to work through. Of course, if you can’t get on with people, then there is no point taking things further. We have a policy that if any existing members feel strongly that they cannot work or get along with someone new who comes along, then they must voice that concern early on. That doesn’t happen often but when it does, it’s quite challenging. It feels awful to say to someone ‘I don’t think this is going to work’. You learn a lot about yourself.” Some members of Prospect intend earning most of their income on site by, for example, running residential courses and retreats, including woodland crafts, green woodworking and complementary therapies. Others are considering running a business installing renewable energy systems. Other ideas include setting up a Forest School and establishing a tree nursery. “We also want to have a LETS system and reduce the need for money,” Frances tells me. Frances says they would look into running a local community minibus if it was needed. “We could act as a venue for local events and festivals, bring tourism into the area if we run

Contacts

Prospect Cohousing: Call Frances on 01243 430314 or Lyn Meyer on 01837 840516, See www.prospectcohousing.org. uk/wordpress UK cohousing network www.cohousing.org.uk Lammas www.lammas.org.uk Threshold Centre www.thresholdcentre.org.uk Springhill www.therightplace.net/coco/public

ver two years ago, my family and I moved to the country from the urban sprawl of Belfast. We wanted to create a permaculture homestead that would trim our resource use and let us tap in more fully to nature’s abundance. In addition, in the back of my mind was the quietly nibbling worry that someday the over-consumption party would end: the oil would run out and things might get ugly. I wanted to be settled somewhere where we could be less dependent on the fossil fuel umbilicus when the cord finally snapped. We’ve gone a long way toward making that dream come true. From the garden flows a steady procession of fruit and vegetables, eggs from our free-range chickens, meat from our pigs and milk and wool from the sheep. We get involved with the local community, too: master gardeners, the parish council and village fetes are all great ways to be firmly embedded into the local way of life. Rural communities face a myriad of challenges. From threats to farming (cheap imports, avian flu, supermarket price squeezes), to the closures of local pubs and post offices; to the influx of second-home owners looking for the pastoral idyll on a weekend-only basis. The BIG barrier to rural communities remaining self-sustaining, and

“Our local pub has closed due to lack of passing trade. We locals do what we can but for the sake of our potbellies and our shrinking bank balance, we have to curb our enthusiasm somewhere” reducing their environmental impact, is the issue of transport and accessibility to essential services. This is a complex issue. The centralisation of jobs, shops, education, healthcare, training and services over the last few decades has led to many rural services closing down. Our local pub has closed due to lack of passing trade. We locals do what we can but for the sake of our potbellies and shrinking bank balance, we have to curb our enthusiasm somewhere. Current trends whereby people are choosing, and can afford, to live in the countryside and commute to work over long distances makes the problem worse. The demand for local services goes down. Private car ownership has a big part to play in all this. But what about those people who cannot drive and are reliant on public transport? They face potential transport poverty. Different rural dwellers have different needs, too. People who live, work and access services locally have very different transport needs to tourists or visitors, and an ageing rural populations also affects the needs of rural communities. So what can be done about this transport conundrum? The main problem in our village was the school runs and commutes to work, so our local community took steps to work with local authorities, public transport operators, and the private and voluntary sector, to develop a range of transport-related solutions. For example, where we used to have only one bus travelling to and from the village each day, we now have three and we all car-share a lot more. We see more of each other on a daily basis and we talk about our visions and hopes for our little village. Vehicle-sharing, and new business practices such as home-working and internet communication are all contributing to the overall solution. There is now a real sense of community cohesion in our little village, which have come with the better transport links. It is amazing to think what our community has achieved. It represents, for us, quite a significant change. Through the increased bus routes, car-sharing and even cycling, people stop to chat at the bus stops, catch up with the latest gossip and pop in to the local pub for a drink at the end of their working day. I have a smile on my face writing this, thinking about my friends in the village in their daily routines. I can’t wait for that pint in the pub this evening!

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Who am I? What is life? The Interfaith Seminary's one and two year training brings intense and joyful inquiry to these fundamental questions. Recent students describe the journey as 'radical homecoming, continued awakening, healing and  acceptance....' 

Now enrolling for our Autumn intake at various centres. Call or visit our website to find out more about our introductory events. www.interfaithfoundation.org UK enquiry line: 08444 457004

Many Ways : One Truth

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food

24

A taste of the future

Oil at any cost?

So why are local food initiatives so important? Quite simply, our present system is dangerously linked to the price of oil on the global market. 95% of the food we eat relies on oil for its production and transport. We all know about climate change and Peak Oil but another key factor at play here is the cheapness of oil. Cheap oil has created our globalised and industrialised food system, where food is made cheaply for us at the expense of workers in developing countries, who work for, in many cases, less than a dollar a day. The supermarkets profit, poor people work for next to nothing and millions of people eat processed junk food. As oil becomes more scarce, however, it will become harder and more expensive to extract. This means oil – and therefore food prices – are set to rise. As the cost of food production increases supermarkets won’t be able to make the profits demanded by their shareholders without charging prices so high that people would simply starve. Their model will not work once the price of oil goes up. This renders our current oil-intensive globalised food system unfit for purpose. We need to create a new food system urgently that’s not reliant on oil. We will still need to transport food small distances, but we will need less oil for processing

West. These initiatives are slowly but surely working to put food back into the hands of local communities, far from the reaches of profithungry corporations.

© www.marksimmonsphotography.com

P

eople often wonder why I am so passionate about transforming our food system; why I feel so strongly about the havoc supermarkets are wreaking in our lives. The truth is, I am a casualty of our globalised and industrialised food system. I grew up on one of the worst junk food diets you could imagine (which, indirectly, is a result of greedy supermarket profiteering) and I now have a variety of diet-related health conditions that make life pretty challenging. I believe passionately that if we can transform our modern food system we can free ourselves from the grip of the supermarkets and the trap of a poor diet. My food work started at the national level in London, at Sustain (the alliance for better food and farming), where I coordinated the Food Poverty Project: a network of community food projects around the country working to make healthy, sustainable food more accessible, particularly to disadvantaged communities. My role also involved working with Tescopoly, the national campaign to stop Tesco’s relentless growth, representing the voices of disadvantaged communities in the government’s enquiry into the dominance of supermarkets. While I was at Sustain we realised that community food projects were hindered by their tendency to work in isolation. They had no voice at a national level and they were often underfunded. When I moved to Bristol three years ago I was determined to bridge the gap between those working at the grassroots level and those policy makers at the top of the chain. Over the last three years I’ve coordinated various initiatives across the South West. These include working as Sustainable Food Coordinator at Bristol City Council, helping set up and steer Transition Bristol, and founding Bristol Food Hub: a small social enterprise running food education workshops including the ever-popular bicycle-powered smoothie maker, Food for Mood courses (for people with mental health challenges), ‘Growing Food in Small Spaces’ workshops and general healthy and sustainable eating workshops. The Transition movement, in particular, has provided an exciting platform to deepen and reach out with our efforts to transform our food system and I have much gratitude for the inspiration and opportunities to learn it has afforded me.

Eat Somerset

This pilot project brought together Somerset’s local food producers with a handful of local retailers in Bristol and Bath to explore how to make more local food available in Bristol and Bath. The project highlighted the need to create a collaborative distribution system with suppliers working together to share delivery journeys and shops and restaurants potentially collecting from one delivery point. This would enable everyone to benefit from the economies of scale supermarkets rely on for their success – while also being far more environmentally sustainable. Eat Somerset has developed a Directory of Somerset food producers. This is a really useful resource for shopkeepers, restaurants and anyone else wanting to find local food producers.

© 2010 danieloliverphotography.co.uk

Claire Milne has been raising awareness of local food initiatives in the West for the last three years. She tells us why she believes the supermarkets are a threat to our health and to our future food security…

www.sustainweb.org/esdirectory

Somerset Land and Food

One of the biggest challenges communities face is accessing land for food growing. Somerset Community Food’s new project is enabling landowners, community groups and others interested in local food to map and catalogue land for food growing through a revolutionary new online tool called FoodMapper.

and packaging since more of our food will be fresh, seasonal and not mass produced. The social enterprise model seems to offer a solution to profit-driven food production: with

“Totnes recently calculated that it could feed itself using a permaculture growing model. Once they added neighbouring Torbay into the mix, however, things got more challenging!”

Visit www.somersetcommunityfood.org.uk for more information.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

profits over and above wages and running costs ploughed back into the business to make food more affordable, while still being sustainable and treating everyone in the food chain fairly and with respect.

producers and consumers together people are able to find solutions that work for everyone. The scheme is staffed by volunteers and a part-time manager funded by a percentage of the turnover. Consumer members commit to spending £24 per month – which can be supported by loans from the local Credit Union, and to two hours voluntary work a year to help the project succeed and better understand the realities of food and farming. To find out how to get funding to visit StroudCo to learn how to replicate this model in your community contact

Richard Snow (Plunkett Foundation) on 01993 814388, see richardsnow@plunkett.co.uk

Can Britain feed itself?

Further south in Devon, Transition Town Totnes has piloted Transition Network’s new project: Can Britain Feed Itself? This project uses GIS mapping to calculate the extent to which towns, villages and cities across Britain can feed themselves. The work looks at population forecasts and nutritional needs then combines that data with climate forecasts, and information on the land and what can be grown where. Totnes found that by using a permaculture land-use model it could just about feed itself but that the large neighbouring town of Torbay made the whole question far more challenging! Initial national findings suggest that if we are particularly nice to our Welsh and Scottish neighbours, and persuade them to help feed us in England, then Britain could feed itself. The reality is though, despite our tendency for a superiority complex, England on its own is too densely populated to be self-sufficient. Other Transition towns around the country have started to follow suit and in time we will have a better picture of what needs to be grown where, if communities are going to be able to work together to meet the nutritional needs of our nation once increasing oil prices mean importing food from across the globe no longer makes financial sense.

“Community-supported agriculture works a bit like a veg box scheme but with more direct relationships between those buying and those growing the food…”

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way of bringing more land back into food production and is basically a farming model that brings communities and farmers together. The ‘consumer’ members pay a set amount of money per year to cover the running costs of the farm, and in return they get a fair share of the harvest (their fruit and veg needs covered). It works a bit like a veg box scheme but with more direct relationships between those buying and those growing the food. Prices are lower and the food grown is much tastier and healthier than supermarket equivalents. Some local CSAs include The Community Farm overlooking Chew Valley lake run by the Better Food Company. It is now in the process of becoming an Industrial Provident Society (IPS) which means it will be owned by shareholders who invest to support the project rather than to make a profit. The Community Farm specifically aims to supply local communities, shops and restaurants around Chew Valley and Bristol.

The South West’s food strategy

Last year I drafted a Sustainable Food Strategy for Bristol, as part of the Bristol Food Network: a loose network of organisations and businesses in Bristol involved with food issues. The Strategy offers a vision for transforming food in Bristol and the South West. A central theme is the need to build relationships now between local farmers and food producers, and their potential customers across the region. We need to show small producers that we are willing to support them and use local shops rather than the supermarkets. By doing this we can hopefully move towards a more sensible and resilient system. What follows is a taste of some of the new food projects established across the South

See www.thecommunityfarm.co.uk

Sim’s Hill Harvest Share CSA is about to be launched on rich agricultural land in Frenchay on the outskirts of Bristol. They are currently recruiting members so to find out more visit www.simshillsharedharvest.wordpress.com

StroudCo

A primary school in Stroud has become the collection point for this online local food ordering scheme. Run as a social enterprise, StroudCo is jointly owned by its membership of local producers (all within 15 miles of Stroud) and 300 ‘consumer’ members. By bringing

Somerset Food Direct

If your busy lifestyle makes you feel like supermarkets are your only option: think again! This online ordering service will deliver a wider range of local produce to your doorstep. So far its customers are households, however there is scope for this to expand to supply shops and restaurants. If this happens we can hope to see more of Somerset’s produce available in our local shops. To find out how to order visit www.sfmdirect.co.uk

The future?

Looking back over the last few years I am amazed at how much has happened to transform food across the South West. There are so many amazing and inspiring projects starting up all the time, as people take more of an interest in where their food comes from and get real joy from sourcing local, fresh food from small suppliers. Perhaps the most important thing I have learnt is that we need to truly empower each other to believe that we can make a difference. The numbers of people mobilised through the No Tesco in Stokes Croft Campaign in Bristol, for example, has been overwhelming. If each one of us takes responsibility for our share of the transformation, in whatever way that may be, then we will make the changes we need. In the beautifully inspiring words of Arundhati Roy: “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing.”

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family

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Our own Hannah Latham took over the family page for this issue as she prepared for the birth of her first child… Home birthing

Many women are reluctant to choose a home birth for their first child because they don’t know what to expect or fear leads them to give in to pressure from the medical profession, but if you’ve had a healthy pregnancy, and aren’t far from a hospital, there is no reason not to. Statistically, women who give birth at home have less medical intervention. It’s a more relaxed environment and two midwives monitor you continuously and get you into hospital if any issues arise. Local home birthing support groups are great places to get your questions answered and hear positive stories from parents who’ve done it. They tend to be run by, or have guest midwives, who can answer all your concerns. The popularity of home birthing is on the rise locally. The Bristol group had to move to a bigger venue recently to meet demand and the local Bath group were interviewed for an Australian documentary (their government are

moving to ban home birthing). At 14%, Bath has the highest rate of home births in the UK. “The midwife unit and obstetricians here really support home birthing,” says Rachel Stacey who runs the group.

Bristol: www.bristolhomebirth.org.uk, info@bristolhomebirth.org.uk Bath: Rachel Stacey, 01225 868961, bathhomebirth@aol.co.uk www.borninwater.co.uk Frome: Fiona Willis, 07930 100151, frome_homebirth@yahoo.co.uk Malmsbury: Juliana Beardsmore, 01666 824945, beardsmore@easynet.co.uk Swindon: Great Western Hospital run a homebirth support group. Lisa Marshall, Community Midwifery Manager, 01793 604 829, lisa.marshall@gwh.nhs.uk Mendip: homebirth.somerset@tesco.net Dorset: dorsethomebirthgroup@googlemail.com Taunton: Tessa, 01823 275045, tessadean@hotmail.com

Real nappies

Aside from the landfill issue, there are many reasons not to put your child in disposable nappies. They contain chemicals that were banned from cosmetics 20 years ago and on average children in disposables do not potty train until the age of three, compared to the age of two in washables. However, info on washable nappies can be a bit of a minefield. Many local councils encourage us to use them but information about schemes and services can be hard to find or out of date. Many nappy advisors seem to

Hypnosis for birth T

hroughout my pregnancy I was horrified by the social pressure to accept that giving birth is awful and painful. Mothers would tell me horror stories guaranteeing it would happen to me. Even people without kids would say unhelpful things about pushing melons out of your vagina. As much as I respect other women’s journeys, the fear-mongering is shameful and unhelpful. I refused to buy into it. Millions of women give birth every day across the globe. Women in Africa work the fields, go behind a hut, crouch against a wall and ‘receive’ their babies without fuss, then go back to work. Plenty of women here have positive births (especially in Sparkland) but they often tell me their stories in secretive, hushed tones. If you were running a marathon you wouldn’t focus solely on the pain. You’d prepare your body and focus on that goal. Physical strain indicates you’re nearing success and you work with it. I prepared myself to give birth in the same way. I saw it as a labour of love, an amazing rite of passage that would set me up for parenthood. I wanted to own and celebrate it. So apart from bull headed, naïve determination, I armed myself with every tool I could think of. The main one was hypnosis, which has amazing rates of success. Studies done in the 1990s found medical intervention rates went from 60% to none (Toronto), pain relief for first babies was 10% with hypnosis compared to 50% without (Wales), and lengths of labour were substantially shorter. The field has come a long way too. Hypnobirthing was developed by American Marie Mongan in the ’60s and is now a worldwide movement. Her book Hypnobirthing gives a revealing insight into the history of childbirth, breaks down the mental and physical aspects of labour and provides useful tools and hypnotherapy scripts. There are various hypnobirthing teachers in the UK, and many hypnotherapists have developed their own techniques for childbirth, making it more accessible: you can have sessions to suit your needs instead of signing up to a course. All the women I’ve spoken to who’ve done it found it helpful. My partner and I worked with hypnotherapist and ex-hypnobirthing coach Eleanor Copp, based in Taunton, who is also a practising midwife. She had many positive stories to tell

be employed by manufacturers and although helpful, they’re ultimately selling a product. Trial kits are a great solution to these problems. After a consultation, they’re hired at a minimal fee or loaned free, so you can figure out which nappy suits you before you buy. There are three types of reusable nappy: flat, fitted or all-in-one, and despite recommendations, not all are suitable from birth. Some councils offer a £30 cash back incentive when you spend over £50. This tends to apply to new washables from specific retailers, however Wiltshire Wildlife Trust extends it to second hand nappies. Their nappy adviser Gary Lamont has 10 years experience in the field and will give you excellent, impartial advice. You might have heard the myths about washing nappies at home. Festering buckets stinking the house out? Washing at high temperatures not environmentally sound or financially viable? Neither is true. Once you’ve flushed poo down the loo (and biodegradable liners should you decide to use them), storage in a sealed bucket with a few drops of tea tree oil gets rid of odours. Some people also find soaking in water and vinegar works. The NHS recommends washing nappies at 73º but this is more of an issue commercially. Once you have a full load (every couple of days) you can wash at 30º. Try with your normal

detergent first. (Bio D is a good one to use). If your nappies are not getting clean you could try natural product Potion, or a few drops of tea tree oil in with your powder.

South Wales Nappies can supply nappies, buckets, liners, hire kits and eco-friendly detergent Bio D on a weekly delivery basis to areas in South Wales, and they also deliver to Bath. Their shop is in Tintern. www.southwalesnappies.co.uk or tel 01291 689333. We’ve also just heard that Nappy Tales will offer a real nappy laundry service to Bristol residents. The charge is £9.50 a week (they supply the nappies so there no costly outlay: just a minimum service period of four weeks. Call 01420 521248, mob 07951 687730 Trial kits: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/Environment/ Recycling+and+waste/Real+nappies/ Hire+Kits.htm emma@northsomersetnappies.org.uk Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Gary Lamont: 01380 725670 www.wiltshirewildlife.org/ReducingImpact/ Waste/nappies/EmailForm.aspx www.boocoo.co.uk www.southwalesnappies.co.uk Money off incentives: Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, as above. Bristol City Council recycling services: 0117 922 2100. www.bristol.gov.uk/ ccm/content/Environment-Planning/ Rubbish-waste-and-recycling/projects-andcampaigns/reusable-nappies.en Useful websites: www.goreal.org.uk www.northsomersetnappies.org.uk www.usednappies.co.uk www.thenappysite.co.uk www.changeanappy.co.uk

WIN! Boo coo real nappies Boo coo are a friendly team of local mums who sell washable nappies and offer free consultations for parents using them for the first time. Boo coo test every reusable nappy on the market (over 200 to date) and also sell low cost trial kits to help you make up your mind. They are on hand to help with any questions you have once you start using your nappies. Boo coo are offering one lucky Spark reader a starter kit made up of seven Swaddlebees cotton velour nappies, with three Popolini small velcro wraps plus a roll of liners and a small laundry bag. To win this lovely prize, just tell us: How long does it take for a disposable nappy to decompose? (answers on the Boo coo website). Answers on a postcard to Boo coo comp, The Spark, 86 Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5BB. Deadline for entires is October 21. Details of how to book a free, no obligation demo and information about their hire kits can be found at www.boocoo.co.uk. Tel 01275 373735 or email info@boocoo.co.uk

Pregnancy yoga Hannah prepares for birth with some specially designed hypnosis techniques we’re really focussed on something that’s an alert hypnotic state. When we daydream that’s a relaxed hypnotic state. You aren’t forced into anything against your will. You’re just going into a relaxed state and embedding positive resources into your unconscious. Visualising a positive experience gives your body practice because it doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination. You’ll feel revitalised or like you’ve had a really restful sleep. It can be a lot of fun creating your own analogies too. I liked visualising floating on an ocean, contractions coming as waves that build and pass. I also worked on protection against negativity so I could respect other people’s stories without taking them on board. Life got very complicated by the end of my pregnancy. My mother was admitted to intensive care and I was under so much stress I was 18 days overdue going into labour. Despite holding out, most of my birth plan went out the window. I was booked for immediate induction at St Michael’s hospital after a scan showed very little fluid left around the baby. After my contractions started, different visualisations got me through the sensations that night. I used baths, a birthing ball, toning, aromatherapy, paracetamol and Rowena, my partner, pressed my accupressure points. By the time I went back to hospital in the second stage of labour, I was very tired but an altered state took over and I was totally inside my body. With a little help from a hormone drip, I pushed our baby boy into the world. It did hurt; however the hypnosis gave me strong internal tools to cope. I also realised that I’m okay with it hurting: it’s supposed to and womens’ bodies are designed to withstand it. The hypnosis helped me achieve the natural birth I wanted under exceptionally stressful circumstances. The delivery midwives were very supportive. They said they’d never seen a woman in labour smile so much! It was an incredibly positive experience and one I’ll be proud of for years to come.

“We worked on releasing fear which puts the body into fight/flight mode… and shuts down production of labour hormones” and knowledge to impart. The big thing we tackled was releasing fear which puts the body into fight/flight/ freeze mode, shuts down production of labour hormones, draws blood away from the uterus and makes the cervix stiffen and contract. “Many women don’t trust that their bodies and their babies know exactly what to do,” says Eleanor. “They get frightened by the sensations, tense up, then give their power away to doctors.” A big moment when women give in to pain relief is during transition – when contractions speed up as the body gets ready to push the baby out. This can be overwhelming because you may be tired after hours of contractions, the new sensation is intense and can feel like you’ve lost control. “I try to talk women through this because they’re nearly there,” says Eleanor. Visualising the positive goal that drove you to have children (e.g. seeing your loved one holding your baby) in hypnotherapy sessions can help you through this. Eleanor provided a general birth hypnosis CD and after reading it I wrote and recorded my own scripts. There’s nothing mystical about trance: it’s natural. When

Eleanor Copp runs one-day workshops (£95) as well as private sessions (£50/hour) and sells hypnosis CDs on her website. She also runs Taunton Birth Forum. www. relaxedparenting.co.uk http://tauntonbirthforum.wordpress.com/ Amanda Hare acupuncture www.bristolfertilitysolutions. co.uk

I’ve always got a lot out of my yoga practice but I didn’t anticipate how much it would guide me physically, mentally and spiritually through pregnancy and birthing and into parenthood. I arrived apprehensive to my class at Bristol City Yoga as I had done something serious to my pelvis that had rendered me 90% immobile with pain and on strong painkillers. I was worried I had pubis symphysis dysfunction (the pubic bones rub together as the ligaments relax and stretch). Solé, my teacher, was very knowledgeable as she had experienced this in pregnancy. She immediately advised me how to protect my pelvis: how to get up from lying down, roll over in bed, sit, get in and out of a car, all of which were extremely painful. Throughout the class she adjusted any exercises for me which she felt were too much. We worked through spiritually connecting to our babies with chanting and visualisation, alleviating water retention in joints, strengthening and deepening different breaths for stages of labour, exercising the pelvic floor and resting and stretching techniques for labour. We also learned light massage which our birthing partners could apply between contractions. Considering one midwife said she attended a yoga teacher’s birth and the woman was so relaxed it was impossible to tell when she was having a contraction, I would have happily gone on a yoga retreat for the rest of my pregnancy! Bristol City Yoga, various classes, £64 for 8. 0117 924 4414, www.bristolcityyoga.co.uk BCY also run one-off birth preparation workshops. Birthlight Yoga, Bristol/Stroud, 07890 996782, www.yogafrankie.co.uk Yogawest, 0117 924 3330, www.yogawest.co.uk Yogasara, 0778 950 1884, www.yogasara.co.uk Bristol Yoga Space, 07530 053543, www.bristolyogaspace.co.uk

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2_ourcity adverts_Layout 2 12/08/2010 12:39 Page 1

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FOSTER. Change a life forever. 27

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mind body & spirit

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Where the wild things are

Beccy Golding on the pwlacebo effect, compassionate communication, separation support and more…

Max Drake on the healing herbs abundant in our urban spaces this autumn…

Sparkland is fortunate to be the venue for a range of talks, retreats, introductions and foundation trainings in Non-Violent Communication (NVC) this autumn. Also known as ‘compassionate communication’, the method can be used in everything from conflict zones to family homes and is a way to bring compassion to our interactions with others. With dates in Bristol, Bath, Stroud and more, and fees operating on a sliding scale, these opportunities seem timely, positive and hopeful.

A

s we approach the season of mists and The root contains many different compounds, mellow fruitfulness there is a feeling out some of which work in harmony with its strongly there in the country, for a short time, that stimulant oils in order to produce a therapeutic the land is full to bursting with nourishment. So effect. It is particularly beneficial for sinusitis it is in the wild and green spaces in and around and sinus-type headaches, as well as being useful the city. Something I’ve noticed while leading for treating coughs and colds. Research has herb walks around Bristol over the past few years demonstrated anti-bacterial activity, and this is the sheer diversity of the local habitat, with may account for why it is so effective in helping certain parts along the river, untended common with sinus problems. The oil is destroyed by land in Knowle and Lockleaze, and several other cooking, so horseradish is only really beneficial urban green gems displaying a a more varied when used raw, and the fresh root is way hotter tapestry of wild herbs than their more rural than the stuff you get in bottles. The oil also counterparts. I suppose it might be because I breaks down, and loses its pungency after about am focused on looking for herbs, most of which 20 minutes exposure to air, so it needs to be are commonly regarded as ‘weeds’, and many of prepared quite soon after chopping if you want which take a pounding out in the agri-chemical to preserve it. hinterland. Here in the city they are often left Preparation: For treating sinus problems, to their own devices, thankfully, and find many headaches, and colds, you can make a simple places to thrive. horseradish syrup, which will keep for several Knowledge of herbs, months in the fridge, their properties and “Many wild herbs take a pounding out in preserving the properties of uses, has been variously the fresh root. Grate/blend the agri-cultural hinterland, but left to fresh root, let sit for three suppressed (by most their own devices, flourish in the city” governments and mins to allow enzymatic religions through the reaction to occur. Put it ages), vilified (the witch in a sterilised jar and add craze) and hijacked (by sufficient raw honey to modern pharmaceutical companies) but they just cover. Allow to stand at room temperature for carry on growing all around us, and a little bit four weeks, and then strain out through some of knowledge can go an awfully long way. As the muslin cloth. Keep it in an airtight jar in the eco-psychologist, Mary Gomes put it: “forming fridge, using about a tablespoon whenever you a satisfying relationship with the natural world feel like you need it. It is best to avoid using directly conflicts with the artificial needs created horseradish if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. by large scale advertising and the peculiar form of narcissism suited to consumerism”. While there are some fairly well known and straightforward applications of common herbs Another great autumn ally is for common ailments, such as using Feverfew for the elderberry. Elder contains migraines, or Valerian for insomnia, there are so some compounds that are many other lesser known but fabulously complex antiviral and have been and useful herbs with which one can develop demonstrated to be effective quite an intimate relationship. against various strains of flu’ and against the herpes simplex virus type 1. You can make an Elderberries elderberry ‘rob’ to use at the At this time of very first signs of a cold, and year, for instance, to take every hour or so until the cold is gone. If hawthorn berries it doesn’t ward the cold off it may well decrease will be ripening. its duration and severity. An elderberry rob, if The main healthkept in the fridge, will last through until the giving properties of following summer. All you do is this: hawthorn berries are Preparation: Pick some elderberries and strip Hawthorn due to the presence them off their stalks with a fork. Press out the of high amounts juice using a wine press or jelly bag. I usually put of flavonoids and anthocyanidins. These them into a large piece of clean used cotton sheet compounds have a tonic effect on the heart and twist one end around until you can’t squeeze and on the rest of the cardiovascular system, out any more. Add ½ tsp dried ginger (optional) including peripheral arteries. They are mild and per 2 pints of liquid in a heavy bottomed pan slow acting, being most effective when taken (preferably stainless steel or glass). Reduce over regularly over time, and can help reduce high a low heat until the juice is the consistency of blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and generally molasses. Bottle and store in a cool place. Dose: protect the heart from the ravages of age. take 2 teaspoons every hour at the first signs of Preparation: pick a load of berries, score them, a cold. and soak them in brandy for several weeks: fill Safety is obviously an important issue a kilner jar with the berries and pour in brandy when exploring medicinal herbs, and is often until it’s just covering them. Shake this every used as a stick to beat herbalists with. While day, and then press it out through a muslin cloth acknowledging that part of the globalisation and bottle the resulting tincture. This should project involves scaring people into submission give you enough to have a teaspoon or two every (and healthcare is really no exception here), it day to last from Christmas until the hawthorn is very important to know what you’re doing flowers come out the following May. The flowers when using herbs. When I was studying, one have very similar properties and dried make a of my herb teachers told me that I could only very pleasant tea, again for daily consumption. expect to properly learn about six new herbs Hawthorn is really a very good place to start in per year, and this has turned out to be quite your personal herbalisation programme. accurate. If you have no experience of gathering herbs, then you need to study some good books, and preferably do a short course to give you a grounding in gathering herbs safely. If you’re a The bushy dark complete novice then go out foraging only with green leaves of experienced people until you gain sufficient horseradish are knowledge yourself. often found Max leads herb walks around Bristol, helping people to identify what is growing around and about through the growing wild in different seasons, and running workshops and courses city allotments, to help guide people towards a useful and safe way of parks and gardens learning about herbs. at this time of www.urbanfringe.co.uk year, and it is best known for its hot, pungent and Horseradish fleshy taproot, which can grow up to 60cm long. You can harvest it from early autumn through to spring, leaving a bit in the ground, so the plant will grow again next year.

www.seedofpeace.org or write to Seed of Peace, 87 Sommerville Road, Bristol BS7 9AE

Maypole is a charity set up by women who have experienced separation, divorce and the family court system, and who want to help other women going through the same thing. Maypole offers information on legal processes, as well as emotional support and, importantly, they provide specialist information on domestic abuse and how it affects women and their children at separation. The website has a ‘cover your tracks’ button, if you would prefer to keep your viewing private. www.maypole.org.uk

David Hamilton has a first class honours degree in chemistry and a PhD in organic chemistry. He’s worked as a scientist, been an athletics coach, founded a relief charity, produced a festival of peace and taught chemistry and ecology. He has also spent a lot of time looking at the placebo effect. “A placebo is a dummy drug made to look just like a real drug, used in medical trials as a control. Being a control, it’s not supposed to heal, but it does. For years this effect was dismissed as ‘just placebo’ but there is no such thing as ‘just’ placebo.” David told me, “After spending four years in the pharmaceutical industry and finding that hundreds of people in drug trials get better on placebos because they believe that they are real drugs, I set out studying the connection between our thinking and our health. I have since discovered that there are certain ways of thinking and things to focus on that are health-giving and some that are not, rendering the average person much more in control of their health as they learn to control their minds. “My main angle is for individuals to learn how a positive mindset and attitude can help their recoveries from illness. I’m trying to show that in addition to making healthy lifestyle changes to benefit health – eg dietary and exercise – it is also important to make changes of mind. Some mindsets are good for the heart, for instance (ie kindness, compassion), and some are not so good for the heart (ie hostility, aggression). My most recent area of research is on the scientific evidence for the health benefits of kindness: how being kind affects the brain and heart in a beneficial way.” David is speaking on Quantum Field Healing at the Natural Health Show in Cheltenham on September 23/23. “Quantum Field Healing is basically a visualisation technique that changes a person’s perception of an illness or disease. It is well known that different perceptions lead to differences in nervous system function.” David’s also running a full day workshop on Friday December 3 at The Pierian Centre, Bristol. Together with Joe Hoare, the laughter specialist, the workshop will demonstrate practical techniques for increasing laughter in life, plus some of the scientific evidence for the health benefits of laughter and kindness.

Elder

Hawthorn

www.drdavidhamilton.com David’s latest book is Why Kindness Is Good For You. The book that deals most with placebos is How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body. Both from Hay House, £9.99 each www.hayhouse.co.uk

Horseradish

NHS Bristol has unveiled its new, innovative iPhone application – the country’s first free NHS service provider and Bristol’s essential health directory. The application features details of each and every health service in Bristol, their contact information, their GPS location and more, all at the touch of a button. So you can use it to find a GP, an NHS dentist or the nearest walk-in centre. The application can be downloaded for free through iTunes: see http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nhs-bristol/ id370563393?mt=8

Two new holistic health centres, Shamanka and Wild Mary Ellis, have recently opened in Sparkland. Both are run by women who worked for many years in more mainstream caring professions. Cate Haynes describes the opening of her ‘nurturing, Shamanka ethical holistic centre’ Shamanka, in Chagford, as “the result of an eight-year journey of personal and professional development, following a 25-year career in the NHS as a registered nurse.” Her gallery and shop space offer ‘a unique collection of artwork and crafts, some produced by people who make their living from creating and others who simply find it therapeutic.’ Cate offers reiki, shamanic healing and meditation training, with a wide range of other therapies available, plus therapy rooms and gallery space are available for hire. Sarah Bellis says she worked in “a very stressful social housing environment in Bath” before opening Wild Mary Ellis in Bradford-onAvon last September, where “I now have the opportunity to help others de-stress their busy lives.” Her shop front centre sells only chemical-free, vegan and organic products such as candles, skincare and mineral make-up and the treatments available include organic waxing, facials, hot stone massage, reiki and reflexology.

http://shamankatherapy.co.uk 1 Mill Street, Chagford, Devon TQ13 8AW Tel 01647 433777 www.wildmaryellis.co.uk 5 Market Street, Bradford on Avon BA15 1LH Tel 01225 866470. Shop opening hours Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm

Why I Do What I Do… Linsey Gordon, dance movement psychotherapist.

Describe what you do?

I’m a dance movement psychotherapist, tutor and clinical supervisor. I enable the expression of emotion through movement and body.

Something that might surprise you about my job... Is the diversity of people I work with, and the range of emotions I am met with.

What I’ve learnt about myself is..

It’s okay to have boundaries and still have a huge capacity to empathise.

What I’ve learnt about others is..

There’s a huge amount of pain, trauma and disrespect in humanity but there’s also a huge amount of possibility, hope and compassion.

In 10 years time I’d like to be..

Still doing my job. I’d like to be seeing it being used more widely, and not have to say “No, I’m not a dance teacher I’m a dance therapist!”

If I wasn’t doing this I’d..

Own a toy shop or health food café. But I’d also be less fullfilled physically, emotionally and spiritually.

If others want to do this I’d say..

Go for it, but you need passion, commitment and to be grounded in reality with an ability to selfnurture. Linsey works for Dance Voice Therapy & Education Centre. Dance Voice, Quaker Meeting House, Wedmore Vale, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 5HX. Tel: 0117 953 2055 admin@dancevoice.org.uk www.dancevoice.org.uk

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Training for Beginner and Practising Hypnotherapists Enrol now for 2011 Courses

Become a Hypnotherapist Hypnotherapy and NLP Training taught locally in a dynamic, interactive way in small classes by a qualified and accredited teacher and full time hypnotherapy practitioner.

Plus, short courses for practising hypnotherapists in NLP Self Esteem and Confidence and helping problem gamblers. Evening, weekday and weekend classes available. For course details and interviews contact Hilary Norris-Evans on 01249 740506 or via www.getmindfit.co.uk To download a brochure go to www.hypno-nlp.org Course accredited by the National Council For Hypnotherapy (UK) and the National Guild Of Hypnotists (USA) and NCFE (UK)

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the spark readers’ survey 2010 editor@thespark.co.uk

30

Back in issue 59 we launched our first Readers’ Survey in years, tempting you with offers of chocolate and herbal tea in an effort to find out exactly what you thought of us. Well, the results are in! We had a fantastic response and, thanks to the hundreds of people who took the time to fill in the survey in the magazine or online (www.thespark.co.uk), we can now reveal all…

T

he majority of our readers – at least those who answered our survey! – are female, (one fifth of you are male), most of you are aged between 25 and 55, more than twothirds of you are working, and 60% of you own your own home. You’re an educated bunch, with almost three quarters of you educated to A-level standard and beyond. Just over 40% of our respondents have kids, and around a third of our readers either have already adopted or fostered children at some point in their lives or would consider doing so in the future. Most of you exercise regularly, holiday in the UK and a high proportion of you like to eat out and go to concerts. Lots of you have taken (or currently take) dietary supplements, have used various complementary therapies and, no surprise here, you’re not just concerned about the state of the planet (both environmentally and socially), you’re actively doing something about it: a whopping 79% of our readers have volunteered, and a great number of you are worried about climate change, food issues, animal welfare and slave labour. The survey prompted many of you to provide ideas for content, which we’ve taken on board and will endeavour to address if possible. Next issue we plan to run a new DIY page and you can read our new rural column on page 22 of this issue. Lots of you took the opportunity to tell us exactly what you think of us. You were pretty nice to us. Anyway, enough waffle. Go make yourself a herbal tea and have a shufty at the full results of the Spark Reader’s Survey 2010.

* all figures rounded to the nearest whole number

PHYSICAL FITNESS 70% of Spark readers exercise regularly; that’s loads! According to the biggest survey conducted on exercise, the Active People Survey in 2006, more than half the population of England do no physical activity, so our readers are really bucking the trend.

ACTIVISM/VOLUNTEERING An enormous 79% of our readers have volunteered at one time or another, and well over half (57%) have been involved in activism. The major local issues which concern you include traffic/transport, the environment, homelessness, animal rights and building on greenbelt land. Globally, the big issues are climate change (more than a fifth - 21% - of readers who responded to this question listed that as their major worry), the environment, poverty, human rights and war.

LEISURE TIME When it came to what our readers enjoy doing with their free time, a huge 78% of you listed reading as your favourite leisure activity, followed by 71% who said that you liked outdoor activities, 67% spending time with the family, 66% enjoy taking part in creative activities, 62% of readers like spending time around the home or in the garden, and over a third (38%) enjoy sporting activities.

Employment: employed – 48%; not working – 22%; running a business – 6%; self-employed – 17%; studying – 7%

A huge 92% of you enjoy going out to eat, 82% go to the theatre regularly, and exactly two thirds of our readers (66%) are regular concert goers. When it came to your favourite newspaper, we discovered that more than half of you regularly read a newspaper, with The Guardian (27%), the Times (10%) and the Observer (8%) being the top three reads. Of the magazines you mentioned, the Spark came out on top (17%), Venue – Bristol and Bath’s weekly what’s on guide – scored second (7%), with the Big Issue, Permaculture and Resurgence all tying for third with our planet-savvy, socially aware readers

Accommodation: home owner – 60%; tenant – 34%; other - 3%; unspecified – 3%

TRANSPORT

Do you have children: no – 58%; yes – 41%;

ACADEMIC EDUCATION

Almost half of our readers (47%) told us that their own feet were their favourite mode of transport, followed by cars (38%), bicycles (18%) and the train or bus (17%). 62% stated that they had reduced the amount that they used the car or took flights over the last two years, with 53% of those doing so for ethical reasons, 40% for financial.

O-level – 32%; A-level/BTEC – 9%; Degree/ Diploma – 37%; Postgrad – 16%

HEALTH

CONTINUING EDUCATION/ VOCATIONAL TRAINING

We’ve already seen that more than two thirds of our readers exercise regularly, but almost half (47%) take regular supplements too. Over half of you – 57% – use complementary therapies, with favourites including massage (18%), homeopathy (13%), acupuncture (9%), osteopathy (8%), herbal medicine (6%), and reiki, shiatsu and reflexology scoring equally with 5%.

In the last year 38% of readers have attended a regular class; 28% a weekend workshop and 13% a residential course.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT 62% of our readers have used counselling and/or talking therapies, and more than a quarter (28%) of readers use other forms of therapy.

Female – 79%; Male – 19%; Unspecified – 2%

Have you ever adopted? Yes - 5%; No – 92%; would you consider adoption? Yes – 31%; No 44%; Unspecified – 25%

More than three quarters (77%) of you told us that spirituality is important to you, and nearly half (48%) practice meditation, attend prayer groups or go on retreats.

93% of you holiday in UK, 80% in Europe and 56% elsewhere. That means lots of Spark readers holiday more than once a year.

ENTERTAINMENT

Income: under £10,000 – 20%; £10-15,000 – 12%; £15-25,000 – 24%; £25-35,000 – 19%; £35-50,000 – 12%; above £50,000 – 9%; unspecified – 6%

SPIRITUALITY

HOLIDAYS

YOU

Age: 18-25 – 8%; 25-35 – 18%; 35-45 – 26%; 45-55 – 30%; 55-65 – 11%; 65 plus – 4%

38% of Spark readers use our magazine to find complementary therapists, nearly a quarter of you (23%) use us to find teachers and 17% to find counsellors.

YOU AS A CONSUMER We asked you what different ethical decisions affected the choices you made when shopping for food, clothes and household goods. Where groceries were concerned, 80% of our readers consider organic food and 75% are concerned about animal welfare, but by far the biggest issues for you as consumers are local food (85%) and Fairtrade (84%). When buying clothes or shoes the biggest ethical concern for almost half of survey respondents (44%) is animal welfare. The use of organic materials came next (42%), with child labour of concern to a third of readers (33%). When shopping for household goods the biggest concern with our readers is environmental impact (80%), followed by natural or organic ingredients (75%) and animal welfare (70%).

were regular Spark readers, 24% occasional readers and 12% were new to the magazine. We found out that 63% of our readers respond to the ads in The Spark, which is great news, because without them we couldn’t bring you the UK’s biggest, free ethical magazine! We wanted to know which sections of the Spark you enjoyed and, in reverse order, they are: Families (26%), Out! (28%), Spotlight (42%), Ignite (45%), Q&As (47%), MBS and Social Change (both 65%), Food (68%) and Environmental Stories, which came tops with 75% of readers. And finally, for this year at least, we asked you if the Spark helped change your life. Of those that answered this question, 73% said YES!!! Here are just a few of your comments: “It (The Spark) has inspired me to do more.” Diana, Bristol “It’s switched on, upbeat, green and inspiring.” Mandy, Westbury “(The Spark is) a fantastic place to find out about alternative events, holistic health options and spiritual gatherings.” Abi, Bristol “It’s very informative and well produced.” Graham, Buckfastleigh “It’s positivity makes me feel good. I wish it was published more times a year!” Becky, Bristol “It gives me a sense of belonging to a community of like-minded people across the South West.” Louisa, Totnes “I dislike the staples; because they’re unnecessary and because I use the paper to light my fire with and it’s a pain removing them!” Louise, Bristol “It makes me feel more positive about things when I read it.” Clare, Lichfield “It’s interesting to read something that’s trying to unite so many alternative interests.” Michael, Minchenhampton “(The Spark) reaffirms what a great place the South West is, and what a good heart the place has.” Sally, Chew Magna So, thanks once again for letting us know exactly what you think of us. Incidentally the two things you dislike most is that the newsprint rubs off on your hands and that it isn’t out more often! It will be interesting to se if you feel the same way about us in a couple of years time we certainly hope that you do!

US

The winners of our Reader’s Survey draw are: Mrs E Brown, of Weston super Mare, who wins £50 of Divine cholcolate and Mrs K Fisher of Oldfield Park, Bath, who wins £50 of Pukka teas, massage oils and detoxifying Clean Greens…

The last section of the survey asked you what you thought about the Spark. We wanted to know how long you’ve been reading it, whether you find it helpful and what, if anything, you would like us to change. This provoked a lot of useful feedback and brought up some really good ideas from you. 62% of people who responded to the survey 30

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Inspiration for Self-Reliance Over 100,000 Readers! A magazine that makes a difference today! Permaculture Magazine – Inspiration For Sustainable Living features stories from people who are creating a more sustainable, life-enhancing human society. Their inspiring solutions show you how to grow your organic food, eco-build & renovate and how to live an environmentally friendly. It is full of news, reviews, courses, contacts & clever money saving ideas for you, your family and community. Permaculture Magazine is published quarterly in full colour, 80 pages. Subscribe and SAVE 20% on the cover price: UK: 1 year £12.95 / 2 years £24.95 Permaculture Magazine is available online at: www.exacteditions.com/exact/magazine/409/460

Permaculture Magazine, SP, The Sustainability Centre, East Meon, Hampshire GU32 1HR Tel: 01730 823 311 Email: info@permaculture.co.uk

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The CLIFTON PRACTICE Classroom courses in Bristol Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy for future practitioners.

Permaculture Magazine display ads 2010

The Clifton Practice (CPHT) Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma Course is a comprehensive ten month course part-time. Two-day weekend courses or small group weekday courses are available.

This PDF layout is CMYK 300dpi If you require an ad in another format i.e. tiff, please contact Tony Rollinson, tel: 01730 823 311 or email: tony@permaculture.co.uk.

The course is approximately 150 hours of classroom study. After successfully graduating the practitioner course you will be awarded a Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy (DHP) and the Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma (HPD) accredited by the NCFE(NVQIV). Designed and written by practising professionals the course will give you a thorough and sound knowledge of the application of ethical clinical hypnosis enabling you to become an effective practitioner. Students travelling from outside the Bristol area may be helped with travel and accommodation expenses. For a brochure and details of forthcoming courses please telephone The Clifton Practice on 0117 973 3260 or simply visit our comprehensive website www.thecliftonpractice.co.uk

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marketplace art

20 32

green

clothing one caring world

Natural Bathing & Skincare Products Made Locally • From the finest Organic and Natural ingredients, sourced locally where possible. • Made with 100% Peace, Love and Respect for Mother Nature. • No Parabens, SLS or Artificial Colours / Fragrance. Recycled containers • Please see our website for new products and details of Events and Markets. • On-line shop at www.happyholistics.co.uk • email happyholistics@hotmail.co.uk

• Arts • Crafts • Gifts OPEN TO ALL

All of Artrageous’s profits are gift aided to Children’s Scrapstore.

OPEN: Mon-Sat: 10am-5pm

Artrageous at The Childrens Scrapstore The Proving House, Sevier Street, St Werburghs, Bristol BS2 9LB Tel: 0117 914 3025 Reg. Charity No 2624238

Ethical Trading Centre, Weavers Walk 33 Silver Street, Bradford-on-Avon

bishopston trading company

shops

café

Beautiful clothes for women and children Fair Trading and Fair Prices 01225 867485 www.bishopstontrading.co.uk

THE COTTAGE WHOLEFOODS

gift shop

 

          

PAKIS TAN F L

Trading in a peaceful environment in the heart of Bristol's busy shopping centre, we offer gifts and homeware, 3/4 of which are bought direct from developing countries and small suppliers. We work with the communities who supply our goods, providing them with access to larger markets and asking them where they need support. Our profits go to fund Buddhist projects internationally and community projects amongst our suppliers. Visit us on the first floor of the Galleries, Broadmead (next to Waterstones) Tel: 0117 922 5877 E-mail: bristol@evolutiongifts.co.uk For details of our ethical trading policy visit our website www.evolutiongifts.co.uk or pick up a leaflet in our shop.

DEC

OODS APPE

THE COTTAGE CO-OPERATIVE ORGANIC VEGETARIAN CAFE Fair Trade • Homemade Food 01225 867444

Celebrating our 30 year anniversary! 55 Gloucester Road Bishopston Bristol BS7 8AD Tel: 0117 942 5625

Open Tues-Sat 10:00-5:30 Fairtrade clothes • Bags • Gifts • Funky Tights Comprehensive range of Jewellery • Body Jewellery Scarves • Cards • Knitting yarns • Haberdashery and other Fantastic Stuff

The Alternative Department Store

Jewellery, Gifts and Curiosities from around the World. Watches, Silver, Costume and Body Jewellery. Watch Batteries and Straps fitted Free.

AL

Aromatherapy Oils, Crystals, Music Tarot and Meditation Cards. Candles Woodcarvings Furniture, Soft Furnishings and more. 18 St Marys Street, Thornbury, Bristol BS35 2AB © Reuters/Adrees Latif

Your donation can save a life

Organic • Fairly-Traded Vegetarian Foods • Supplements • Remedies • Essential Oils & Toiletries • Organic Wines, Beers & Lagers • Freshly baked bread and pizzas 01225 866590

Please donate any time day or night

0370 60 60 900

Tel &Fax: 01454 415303 E-mail: bibelotuk@hotmail.co.uk www.mythornbury.co.uk/bibelot

furniture

www.dec.org.uk Any income received after end of January 2011 will go to the next appeal

Send donations by post to: DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal, PO Box 999, London EC3A 3AA. Make cheques payable to: DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal.

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Rear View

53 And A Last Word from John…

P

eople who have been reading The Spark for a while will probably be wondering where John Dawson has been of late. Well John, who set up the magazine, has decided it’s time to move on. But his departure does not mean the end of The Spark: Darryl, who has been writing for the magazine for more than eight years and who has been running things in John’s absence, has decided to buy the business. The team – Ann, Beccy, Vicki, our new designer Andy, our new finance worker Naomi and all of our wonderfully talented freelance writers – are staying put. John will be missed. But the magazine he created, the energy he inspired and the direction he provided will carry on. Here’s to the next 17 years! Thanks too to Will and Samantha, our former designer and finance worker who have served the Spark so well for the last couple of years. We wish them all the best in their new lives: Will and his girlfriend have moved to France to raise their first child and Samantha has decided to bring up her daughter nearer to family (and the beach!) in Cornwall. We think, if you’ll excuse the pun, that there’s a bright future for The Spark and we hope that you, our readers, do too. We asked John to write a few words for this, the last issue of the Spark under his ownership. “I’ve just bought a T-shirt with the slogan “chaos, panic, disorder – my work here is done”. Well ignoring the panic bit – how do I write my final 750 words as the publisher of The Spark now that my work here is almost done? It feels like almost an impossible task as the magazine has been so much of my life since 1992. It’s been a very personal journey, which has been made possible by the help of hundreds or maybe thousands of people. If you are one of those people I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without your help this project would have stumbled and stayed down many times. In spite of the odds, the Spark survives, thrives even. For an independent free magazine about positive change to grow into the biggest free alternative magazine in the country says a lot about what a great place the West Country is. It also says a lot about the power of staying true to some basic ethical principles. I think the strength of The Spark comes from our core purpose, which is not just writing about how to create a better world in the magazine but also in how we are at work with each other making the magazine. The way of working at The Spark didn’t spring fully formed but emerged as we learned. We took the bold step of paying everyone the same hourly rate – so the editor got paid the same rate as the van driver. That was a sign of commitment to each other. We also created a place of work where people cared about each other and their lives at work and beyond. From day one we shared lunch together, where we had really great conversations and laughed and laughed and laughed (we even got

complaints from our neighbours that we were enjoying ourselves too much). In a way that simplicity of breaking bread together helped create a powerful sense of community. I know I didn’t always get things right but I’m proud to have been part of creating a place where people felt respected at work. And when things went wrong we nearly always found our way back to the core values of respect and honouring each other. So I want to thank and honour everybody who has worked at The Spark through the years. I like our size, our massive distribution, I loved the almost daily conversations we had as team to develop the magazine and I enjoyed working on the covers with Tony Sigley. I’m proud of our writers and connecting you with people who deserved coverage, and grateful to everyone for never missing a publishing deadline and the way that we all mucked in to do whatever we had to. I also really miss Greenleaf bookshop but I’m glad that through The Spark community we raised enough money to cover their debts when they went. However, it seems all worthwhile projects demand far more from you than initially you think. Growing and editing The Spark eventually took its toll on me. Two years ago I hit the hard, painful, solid wall of burn-out. So I snuck away to recuperate. It wasn’t an easy time for the magazine or me. But now, looking back on that burnout, it was a real gift for both of us. It was time for me to withdraw and time for The Spark to have a much needed renewal. I’m now very excited about my future (see below) and also The Spark’s. The Spark moves forward with a refreshed sense of purpose and energy. The team has done so many good things without me and I know The Spark is in really safe and creative hands. I wish the team all the very best for the future. It’s 30 years ago this September that my mother took her own life. Her tragedy led me to create The Spark. So it’s been a very powerful lesson about how life can change and have different meanings. Together both as readers and workers on The Spark we have transformed one person’s misery into a vital life enhancing way of looking at life that is The Spark. I now know that my work here is done. I wish you well.” John is moving to Bath in the autumn. He runs his public speaking workshops in Bristol, Manchester and London. He also works with leaders and has been enthused by strength-based practices (especially Appreciative Inquiry). www.speaking-infront.co.uk

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the Spark: at the heart of the amazing West country phenomenon The world’s biggest organic food festival is held in Bristol • The Glastonbury Festival is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world • The Bristol Eco-Veggie Fayre is the biggest vegan event in Europe • The largest concentration of organic farmers in the UK is in the South West • Bristol has the more art trails than any other city in the UK • The longest running anti-war vigil in the UK is in Bristol • Café Maitreya, Easton has been voted the UK’s top vegetarian restaurant by the Which? Good Food Guide, the Observer Food Magazine and the Vegetarian Society • Bristol Festival of Nature is the UK’s biggest celebration of the natural world • The National Cycle Network has made the greatest overall impact to UK national life of any Lottery project. Sustrans of course is based in Bristol • The Bristol area has more counsellors per person than anywhere in the UK.

www.thespark.co.uk

changemaker

54

Doug Francis Interview by Fiona McClymont • photo by Jo Halladey Doug Francis, 41, is founder of both ArtSpace LifeSpace and the performance wing of that organisation, The Invisible Circus. ArtSpace LifeSpace is an artist-led initiative (currently based at the old fire/police station in Silver Street in Bristol city centre) that recycles vacant and problem properties into multi-use art venues. With a background in street performance – as part of a troupe he has travelled all over the world, settling here in Bristol five years ago - Doug can be spotted in his role of Master of Ceremonies at The Invisible Circus shows. It’s our world, our city, but our surroundings are very much dictated to us.

If it’s not impossible, we’re not interested!

The first building we took over was the old Audi Garage on Cheltenham Road. It’s always a gamble whether you’re going to make it work. It was a massive project to commit to: four floors, thousands of square feet and totally vandalised. There were junkies and vagrants in there, all the pipes had been ripped out, water was going everywhere. But I just couldn’t watch this huge space going to waste. No-one else was taking it on, so we did.

Most of the general space that we live and walk around in, is purely commercially oriented and a huge amount of it is just wasted. We could all be a bit more aware of the spaces around us and the potential that might lie in them. I’m constantly on the lookout for big, weird buildings; it becomes a bit of a fixation! I’ve got a reputation for seeing the amazing possibilities and not looking at the grim details.

All it takes is determination and commitment.

When we took over the old Pro Cathedral in Clifton in 2007, it was totally derelict but I knew it could be amazing. We were there 11 months, seven of which were spent regenerating the space. It was a real education because it was a listed building, so there were lots of things you couldn’t do. Once we got it sorted though, we did a four-month season of back-to-back events: all different kinds of circus, cabarets, theatre, exhibitions, music. It was worth it in the end.

We secured the door and sealed up all the ways into the building, which meant we displaced the street people living there, which was a bit of a heart-breaker, but the place was just getting trashed. A group of about 12 of us moved in and occupied the place. Start from the bottom and work up.

We make a lot of effort to visibly improve the state of a place quickly, before we do anything else. A lot of being accepted is how you present things. Even with a modicum of a clean-up, suddenly the atmosphere was different. The building had become a real problem for people living round there – there was a back-alley where lots of drugs and prostitution was going on – it was making the whole area around it depressed. After about a month of being there, we had an open day. We opened the doors and put up an exhibition of the kind of stuff we wanted to do in the building. And we had hundreds of people coming through, including lots of local people, which was great because there’s always a certain barrier if you’re squatting a venue: you don’t usually get the locals in for tea! But I think they were all so curious about why we seemed to be scraping graffiti off instead of spraying it on, that their curiosity got the better of them.

We’re not your usual theatre experience.

The challenge is to manage the chaos.

It’s a constant balancing act. It’s grown so quickly and become so successful that it can be hard to keep on top of things. The big shows can be a logistical nightmare with sorting out all the cast, the health and safety, power specifications, managing the budget (we didn’t used to even have a budget!) and still trying to make sure everyone involved gets the most out of it. You learn a lot about yourself and your strengths and weaknesses.

People feel like they’re part of some kind of revolution when they come to our shows.

There is always an element of compromise in making your dreams come true.

The recession is an amazing opportunity.

Suddenly property developers are in a different position and so they’re more willing to listen to your ideas. We moved to our current site on Silver Street two years ago and it was owned by Urban Splash, who were planning to turn it into flats. The recession kicked in and everything shifted dramatically. We’re still here.

Circus and art is a great medium to get past that fear factor of “what are these people doing with this building?” We turned that building into an amazing performance space and because there are a lot of creative people in that area, it snowballed quite wildly. It was free-style and open, very much ‘if you’ve got an idea there’s a space over there, let’s make it happen’.

We have always believed in putting something back into the community we are part of. Artspace is a genuine attempt to create a platform for other people to do what we’re doing. We’ve actually created a manual, a howto guide for people about how to do what we are doing, the real nuts-and-bolts of it. For example, to take on a lease with developers you have to be registered as a co-operative or a CIC (Community Interest Company). They are not going to sign a building off to one person, that’s what we discovered. So all the stuff we’ve learned over these five years, often from bitter experience, we’re passing it all on for others to employ. Because, you know, it takes a lot of effort but it’s not impossible, which is what people seem to think it would be. We want to spark things off in other people to the point where they go “Yeah, we could do that too, couldn’t we?”

The biggest plus about what we’re doing is that it’s inclusive. It brings new audiences to things they wouldn’t normally expose themselves to. When you come to one of our events you don’t just get your ticket, sit down quietly and watch. You get a more immersive experience, where you don’t know what’s going to happen next. We try and create a whole other world for people to get transported to.

Usually most of the audience get into character and get dressed up as well, so it becomes hard to tell who’s ‘one of us’ and who’s not. Different events have different themes – Day of the Dead, Heavy Metal Panto, Carny Ville – and people really embrace the themes and let go for the evening.

Being able to make that much of an impression on somewhere is something I find inspiring.

We create room for all kinds of stuff to happen.

It’s always a bit more complicated than you thought it would be, but the results and achievements outweigh the difficulties. The feedback we’ve had is insanely positive, right across the board from the city council and the developers themselves, to kids coming to the shows. Someone said to us: “You really crowbarred the heart of the city open” and you can’t argue with that really, can you? ArtSpace LifeSpace and The Invisible Circus is based at Silver Street in Bristol. The venue hosts performance, public access, training rooms, 40 artist’s studios and a whole programme of events. For forthcoming events visit their websites: www.invisiblecircus.co.uk www.artspacelifespace.com

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advert info

The Spark, 86 Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5BB 0117 914 34 34

ad enquiries: sales@thespark.co.uk; ad text or alterations: ads@thespark.co.uk; book online at www.thespark.co.uk

listings directory includes FREE web listing

save time! book online!

www.thespark.co.uk

listings ad name

early bird

standard

4 issues

savings

15 max

£20

£25

£75

save £25

30 max

£35

£40

£120

save £40

60 max

£55

£65

£195

save £65

90 max

£80

£90

£270

save £90

£120

£360

save £120

15 words max

header 110 text with graphic at top £95 £450

£530

£1600

£520

full page listings

£830

£900

£2700

£900

earlybird standard

eighth page

88 x 132 mm £220

£275

£790

quarter page

182 x 132

£330

£400

£1160

Half page vertical

370 x 132

£525

£645

£1990

Half page landscape

182 x 270

£525

£645

£1990

Page

370 x 270

£915

£1035

£3190

Formatting ads:

Early Bird: pay by Sept 16, pay less

Please send words by e-mail or typed or CLEARLY handwritten. Send images in TIFF or JPEG format. 300 dpi. Headers are 63mm wide and 25mm high All Directory ads follow our house style. For more information download our sales sheet at www.thespark.co.uk.

Charities:

• ALL ads have bold contact details at the end •15 /30max get five bold words at start • 60 and 90 max get seven words bold title plus secondary title to list your qualifications • NO other bolding, italics, underlining or words in CAPS in max ads •Headers get up to 15 words italic or bold in body text •Tel number and code: 1 word • Street number and name: 1 word • Postcode: 1 word • Words with slashes and hyphens: 2 words • E-mail and web address: 4 words each • Qualifications: BA.Hons 1 word; BA.Hons (Cantab) 2 words etc.

Charities always get Early Bird prices. Please quote your charity registration number.

Pay Monthly by standing order:

4 issues

Paying every month helps you spread the cost of advertising. You get Early Bird prices and you don’t miss an issue (4 issue minimum), plus you CAN change your wording each issue. Ring Beccy on 0117 914 3434 for a standing order form.

display ads colour earlybird standard

publishing November 29 February 28 May 23

All ads MUST be paid in advance To get the Early Bird rate your booking form, words, images and full payment must ARRIVE by Sept 16. Don’t forget that you can pay by phone using a credit or debit card.

display ads mono/grey size h x w

early bird final Sept 16 October 21 December 16 January 20 March 17 April 21

listings ads info

beat the VAT rise! pay before January 4 and save 2.5% name

deadlines 2010/11 issue Winter 63 Spring 64 Summer 65

listings pages can now be in colour. call Ann on 0117 914 3434 for prices half page listings

credit card hotline (tues-thurs): 0117 914 34 44

events and classifieds

80p a word - great position in the front of the magazine; Accommodation Wanted/Offered, For Sale, Jobs, Van Hire etc. Or take an events box to make sure your ad stands out from the crowd

name

size h x w

4 issues

eighth page

88 x 132 mm £297

£330

£1090

quarter page

182 x 132

£428

£475

£1560

name standard

Half page vertical

370 x 132

£675

£750

£2480

medium

Half page landscape

182 x 270

£675

£750

£2480

large

Page

370 x 270

£1080

£1200

£3960

marketplace: shops, products, websites

FREE • with every display ad a header 110 ad worth £120 • FREE Design fee of at least £30 (incl vat) will be charged for preparing non-artwork ready display ads this includes ads supplied as Word files. Ads should be supplied (at 300 dpi) jpegs, pdf and tiff

inserts £50 per thousand - minimum run 10,000 max 34,000 booking form Your name: Organisation: Charity number (if relevant):

size h x w 65 x 50 mm 85 x 50 200 x 50

name

size h x w

box

early bird £84 £104 £141

60 x 64.5mm £94

£117

£338

double

131 x 64.5

£164

£188

£592

triple

202 x 64.5

£211

£235

£752

out or photocopy

I’m booking an ad for issue

Please remember all ads must be pre-paid

Hey Sparky people please run the following ads

Please indicate clearly type, section, disability code and price for each ad

Telephone numbers

signature

£181

4 issue

e-mail: Home address inc postcode:

please include a home/out of hours for deadline checking

£130

standard

✃ Cut

early bird

standard £104

Total: Disability Codes: A - Level entrance to building; B - Room with level access; C - Adapted toilets; S - (number)Steps; NA - Not accessible; H - Home visits available; L - Lift Available.; T - Tel for further info.

Have you enclosed ✓ clearly written/typed wording for my ad header artwork with clear instructions a cheque made payable to The Spark entered Disability access code

❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Please make cheques payable to The Spark. Please return to: The Spark, 86 Colston Street Bristol, BS1 5BB

Please attach extra sheets if needed and staple or attach text/text changes/logos and cheque to this form. 55

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BD0537 - Spark Ad_270mmx370mm_Layout 1 16/07/2010 10:56 Page 1

A cycle festival for the people of Bristol by the people of Bristol... 11th-26th Sept

rides | cycle carnival | films | art | sports | games | your ideas

Including the UK’s first bike dedicated carnival!

FreeWheelin’Carnival Setting off from Queen Square at midday on Sunday 19th September 2010

Supported by

www.bristolcyclefestival.com

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The Spark Issue 62