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bloom, blossom and grow with our Spring Courses guide

the spark changes start with...

the best of the alternative west

spring issue 64 • mar - may 2011

l positive change, personal growth, holistic health, local food, green & ethical living l unique & inspiring local events l everything from acupuncture to zen in our A-Z directory l it’s getting better all the time

l WIN Yaoh goodies, Wychwood festie tickets, Wiggly Wigglers bird feeders

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Fair Trade


This season we bring a splash of colour to your world a positive outlook towards life can certainly be enhanced by wearing what makes you feel happy. We are celebrating 20 years of fair trade clothing which means that you also get the feel good factor knowing that the Indian artisans who make our clothes are paid fairly and work in good conditions. Our collection blossoms into a sea of wonderful prints while lace and flowers adorn our party dress range. Our key summer coat (shown right) has sash tie style that’s both comfortable and practical. Go online to view the complete collection.

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Modern Spirituality

17/02/2011 16:31


WI LLIA M B LOOM These workshops offer concepts and skills that you can use and share immediately. They are for anyone seeking to clarify and deepen their own spirituality, and for those whose work may include a spiritual or pastoral dimension. In essence, becoming more compassionate and conscious.

MA R C H 12 / 1 3

J U NE 11/12

The Endorphin Effect – Mind-Body Health and Well-Being

Your Heroic Journey – The Psychology of Spiritual Development

Learn the precise concepts and techniques for triggering endorphins, the ‘miracle’ hormones of wellbeing. ‘Profound yet universal and easily applied… good for your health at all levels.’ Dr S. Miller, Penny Brohn Cancer Help Centre

Spirituality is the most meaningful personal journey in the world, but be realistic. There are psychological realities and challenges we need to understand. ‘A genius. Finally someone who separates new age nonsense from spiritual reality.’ Caroline Myss

APR I L 9 / 10

J U LY 16/17

Three Golden Keys – The Power of Modern Spirituality

Strong and Clear – Holistic Leadership, Group Dynamics and Speaking Your Truth

An oasis in which to explore, clarify and deepen your spirituality. ‘Inner peace as easy as breathing.William Bloom has an encyclopedic knowledge of meditation.’ The Independent

There are powerful unseen energetic and psychological dynamics that are at work in groups, relationships and communications. This workshop will give you an effective understanding and the skills to manage them.

MAY 7 / 8

William Bloom is one of the UK’s most experienced educators, authors and healers in the mind-body-spirit field. His work has helped 1000s of people. His books include The Endorphin Effect and Soulution: The Holistic Manifesto. These workshops are also the gateway to five follow-up weekends in a small group, leading to the Certificate in Spiritual Companionship.

The Sword and Chalice – How to Work with Subtle Energies, Spirits and Angels for Healing and Transformation The universe is made of energy. So are you. It makes sense, knowing how to manage it. Gives you the power to change the atmosphere around you so that you can deliver your best. Daily Mail

Venue St Mary’s Hall, Glastonbury. 10am-5pm each day. B&B list available • Price Each weekend costs £135; £70 for claimants and full-time students • Discounts 10% for 2 workshops. 15% for 3 workshops. 20% for four workshops. 25% for 5 workshops. Bring a friend. • Booking Online, by phone, by mail. • Cheques made out to ‘Holistic Partnerships’. Holistic Partnerships, PO Box 2809, Glastonbury BA6 8XQ. • Phone: 0845 3452102 (local rate), 01372 272400. Email: For more detailed information, longer blurbs and booking:

The Spark

the spark Issue 64 spring edition free-thinking and independent, welcome to the UK’s biggest ethical quarterly…

welcome We’ve had lots of

new arrivals

our choice of events to inspire you

classes, events, meets, retreats

The UK’s biggest free independent ethical quarterly, The Spark reaches around 100,000 readers in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud, Taunton, Glastonbury, Swindon, Bath and Bristol. Our editorial is independent: no advertorial 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.

the small print 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.

86 Colston Street Bristol BS1 5BB

Tel: 0117 914 34 34

Tuesday to Thursday 10am - 5pm (ad enquiries) (ad text or alterations) (editorial)


doing it yourself how to self-publish


q&a conductor-on-a-mission Charles Hazlewood


planet planting and nurturing our wonderful woodland heritage


what we do


ignite events

34 out!

Top: Baby Chris, Baby Hannah, Baby Kate. Bottom: Baby Vicki, Baby Will, Baby Gavin (distribution) Spark team: Ann Sheldon (advertising manager), Darryl Bullock (publisher), Bill Heaney (editor), Beccy Golding (production manager), Andy Ballard (ad designer & photography), Naomi Ross (finance worker), Tilly Black (proof reading), Jo Halladey (photography), Alex Cater (intern). Contributors: Bill Heaney, Fiona McClymont, Melanie West, Kate Evans, Will Simpson, Chris Mitchell, Kristen Ashley, Dhinuka Athavuda, Anton Saxon, Finn Dempster, Darryl Bullock, Beccy Golding, Alex Cater. The Spark was created by John Dawson



lovely new arrivals in The Spark team recently. Now Vicki has had a beautiful baby girl called Merryn and we’re all delighted for her and Toby! I’m standing in while she takes maternity leave and I hope I can do as good as job as she does. This is the 64th edition of The Spark and we’re celebrating with a very special cover page inspired by Darryl’s love of the Beatles. We’ve also compiled a special six-page section on spring courses that will hopefully inspire you to blossom and bloom in your career or personal life. Enjoy the new life of spring! Love, Bill & The Spark team…

nuclear power in Sparkland

social change 20 solidarity and protest over cuts



ice-cool camper van, battery hens

54 changemaker

15 doing It yourself

Embercombe’s Tim Macartney

get yourself published



non-competitive games, twins, ME



history & philosophy of ayurveda

courses special




6-page spring courses guide

go hug a tree

26 24 mind/body/spirit family this month’s focus is on Ayurveda

non-competitive spirits



green goodies, ethical products

spark listings


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

letters & comps 52 have your say or a chance to win!

rear view


our resident cartoonist Kate Evans

changemaker 54





advertising info

ices from a camper van

conductor Charles Hazelwood

buy an ad to reach 100,000 people


Community founder Tim Macartney


4 ignite march compiled by Alex Cater

Get involved!

war crime Coming to Taunton’s

Brewhouse Theatre Feb 26-Apr 9 Resistance takes you on a journey through a littleknown but significant moment in history, highlighting the treatment of disabled people under the Nazis.

clothes with conscience

pedal power Art for Sustainable

Transport Mar 5-Apr 6 at the Royal West of England Gallery is the latest solo show from watercolour artist Abigail McDougall. Held in conjunction with Sustrans the show features paintings of areas around Bristol and Bath all reached by foot, bike or train.

In aid of Fairtrade Fortnight The Fairwear Fashion Show Mar 5 at The Mall Bristol will be showcasing the benefits of ethical trade and promoting quality clobber, with stalls, fre samples and affordable clothing promised.

The Bristol Anarchist Bookfair will take place 4 months earlier than usual this year, on May 7 at Hamilton House, Bristol from 10.30am to 6.30pm. Groups, networks, campaigns and individuals are invited to apply for stalls. The bookfair also welcomes proposals for workshops, ideally themed around the concepts and realities of ‘resistance and alternatives to cuts’. There will be an Indymedia room showing films, and holding discussions on media-related topics and issues and a Radical History Zone considering the histories and providing critiques of struggles past, plus an all-day vegan cafe, and kids’ space. “Our collective resistance remains fertile, inspiring, and inevitable. The future can be whatever we want it to be.”

war women Bristol’s Pierian Centre

celebrates International Women’s Day with Shooting The War: Women, a film which uses amateur footage to document the experiences of women during WWII. This free screening (booking recommended) is presented by director Colin Thomas Mar 8.

brassed off With roots stretching back

body brilliant On Mar 11

to 1904, the Chipping Norton Music Festival Mar 11-26 always aims to celebrate local talent, with kid’s workshops, a youth jazz band challenge, a creative writing competition & performances from James Stretton (pictured) and Craig Ogden.

At-Bristol is launching a brand new hands-on exhibition on the human body called ‘All About Us’. The family-friendly show will help visitors discover loads about brains & bodies and even play music through their headbones.

Spiritually Curious Bristol is a new discussion/support group which, “gets together in curiosity, discussion, and above all, to seek joy in each other’s company. This is a group for people who are on an adventure to lead an awakened empowered life, but who are willing to laugh about it,” led by Becky Walsh, a teacher, speaker and workshop leader for many years in the field of spirituality, intuition and consciousness. Topics up for discussion will include: ‘Living from inner knowing over ego’; ‘Communicating authentically from the heart’; ‘Growing in awareness and consciousness’; ‘Learning different aspects of thought on spirituality’; ‘Finding stillness and mindful practice’; and ‘Your being and your body’.

sisters were doin’ it

For the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust is holding a Wonderful Women Guided Tour on Mar 12. This fascinating walk through the cemetery’s peaceful gardens celebrates some of the most inspiring women, from Victorian times to the mid-20th century, who have at one time or another called Bristol home.

loo better bee-lieve it LILI’s helping hand Sparc are running a

Gardening for Bees course Mar 12-13 at Radford Mill Farm will teach you how to make natural pesticides, how to identify different bees & what to grow to feed them. Or they can teach you how to build the ultimate compost loo Mar 19-20? The course will show you where to get materials, how to harvest rainwater, even how to use it to grow crops! Photo by Graham Burnett,

series of free workshops Mar 15-18 in St Pauls, Bristol - including Speaking with Confidence and Stress Management - to help the unemployed and underemployed discover their passions, develop new skills, enhance their confidence, and gain direction towards a more fulfilled life and career. Tea, coffee and biscuits as well as a sympathetic ear are free too!, 0117 373 2565

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, Bristol Anarcha Feminists present ‘Women Of Bristol Come Into The Factory!’ including a bike workshop, self-defence, power tools skillshare and first aid. 10am-5pm, Saturday March 6, The Factory, 2- 8 Cave Street, Bristol BS2 Join the huge tree plantathon in Bishop’s Cleeve on March 11 and 12. Volunteers are needed to plant 420 saplings at the sports field in Cheltenham Road. 01242 674440

Gurt Lush community choir is looking for more singers. The choir has added a new practice venue, St Werburgh’s Primary School, James Street, Bristol BS2 9US. Go along Monday evenings between 7.30 and 9pm.

jolly Bollywood

siberian singing

channel surfing The School of

Bhangra beats & British brass fuse in The Bollywood Brass Band at Wiltshire Music Centre Mar 25, fronted by singer Rafaqat Ali Khan. Accompanied by projections of dance sequences the band will play the colourful music of India & Pakistan plus classics from 60 years of Bollywood movies.

Tuvan throat singers the Alash Ensemble will be appearing at the ICIA in Bath on Mar 26 for their first ever visit to the UK. They’ve won awards for their authentic traditional singing, used by nomadic herdsmen from Siberia where the group orginated, as well as utilising a unique vocal style.

Channelling hosts an introductory weekend Mar 26-7, Discover your Channelling Ability, at the Beacon Clinic, Great Malvern. Course leaders Tony Neate and Greg Branson will give guidance on what channelling is as well as instruction on how to tune in to higher energies


The Spark is published on May 23. Birthdays, anniversaries etc: Daffodils at the ready - March 1 is St David’s Day; Diarist Anne Frank died on March 12, 1945; March 13 marks the centenary of the birth of Sci-Fi author & father of Scientology L Ron Hubbard; time to cast those snakes out and

celebrate St Patrick’s Day, March 17; Artist, musician, television presenter & professional Australian Rolf Harris reaches the grand old age of 81 on March 30; Britain’s Got Talent runner-up & global superstar Susan Boyle hits her half century on April 1; April 9 would have been the 195th birthday of Isambard

Full moons: March 19 (sunrise 6.19am; sunset 6.23pm), April 18 (sunrise 6.12am; sunset 8.14pm) and May 17 (sunrise 5.19am; sunset 9.00pm). The Vernal equinox is on March 20; Clocks go forward on March 26; Issue 65 of


Bourton Parish Council is calling for volunteers to help keep the Cotswold village’s threatened library open for longer. The plan is ultimately to run a fully fledged library in a community centre.

Longlevens Neighbourhood Partnership needs minibus drivers to help take elderly and disabled people in Gloucester on day trips. Please call 0791 812 7712.

Kingdom Brunel; April 27 is the anniversary of the death, in 399 BC, of Socrates (the philosopher, not the footballer); May 12 is the feast day of St Pancras, patron saint of children, not of train stations; May 23 is the anniversary of the death of both Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow.


Whether looking for a new direction, or to take your first step towards a more sustainable future, Schumacher College has delivered transformational courses that skill and inspire people for 20 years.

Events to inspire your heart, mind and soul

St James’s Piccadilly / London

Want to make a positive change?

CAROLINE MYSS Healing Beyond Reason

Practising Resourcefulness With Vicki Robin 31 May – 4 June, 2011

Saturday 26 March – London Renowned medical intuitive and mystic

Expanding on the tools in the best-selling book Your Money or Your Life, the course will set in motion a process of observing and transforming your relationship with the stuff of daily life.


Please visit our website for more course details or Tel: +44 (0)1803 865 934 Schumacher College is part of The Dartington Hall Trust, a registered charity.

Self Power Saturday 7 May – London Global authority on spirituality and personal empowerment

Activities include:

Buddhism & Meditation Land & Permaculture Bodywork, Social Change Healing Garden Kids Area, Workshops Music, Dance & Cabaret


Adults £105 Teenagers £40 Children £20 Babies free Cars £25 Live-ins £30

BYRON KATIE Living a Joy-Filled Life Saturday 16 July – London Founder of The Work of Byron Katie

Book now at

Bristol Stop Smoking Service If you would like to know more about this years No Smoking Day or want to know what’s in your area to help you quit this year, call the NHS Bristol Stop Smoking Service on 0117 984 1650, or email or visit for more information.


13–17 July, Blackdown Hills, Somerset No drugs, no alcohol

6 ignite april Get involved!

moon walk Bristol’s Creative Kids

International, who provide creative workshops for disadvantaged children in Africa and the UK, host a ‘Go to work as an Alien’ fundraising day Apr 1. The Thali Café in Totterdown will also be hosting an Alien Disco on the day with food, music and alien antics.

no joke

crafty kids the Bushcraft Weekend for

What better way to spend April Fools’ Day than at the launch of the Bath Comedy Festival Apr 1-10. Bathonians will be giggling to stand-up and street theatre in different venues around the city, from favourites including Arthur Smith, Jo Caulfield, The Natural Theatre Company and the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre.

Parents and Older Kids April 1-3 Monkton Wyld Court, is an ideal opportunity for parents to engage with their kids over outdoor activites - including building shelters, learning how to identify wild plants and cooking over an open fire - that are both instructive and fun!

Bristol Free Shop, 35 Stokes Croft, open 2-5pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday, provides clothes, household goods, furniture, books and much more to all those in need - and all for free! They are looking for donations of clothes and goods. If you have things that you have finished with and no longer need please take them along. Sims Hill Shared Harvest is a new community growing project with a site in Frenchay, Bristol. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a popular farming model where members come together and invest in the running of a farm, sharing the risk and sharing the harvest. As of February, 31 members had joined. The group received a £1,000 donation, which covers the cost of seeds and compost for the year, and is hoping enough members join each month to build up to the equivalent of 50 full harvest shares by April. To join, contact:

be big The Big Society Or The Selfish Society

a horse, of course Based in Lydney, Gloucestershire, Ehwaz is an organisation

Apr 11 at Bristol’s Watershed, is a timely talk from The Festival of Ideas, where expert speakers will address the Government’s plan for The Big Society, discuss whether it is feasible and how voluntary and community groups can take up the slack left by public sector cuts.

using horses to help with psychotherapy. They are holding a Horse Therapy Taster Session on April 2; an introductory afternoon into Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, which is open to anyone interested in finding out about this unique type of horse therapy for humans. The session will be looking at forming boundaries with horses and humans, meeting the herd and exploring what this meeting teaches us about ourselves. The £75 fee includes tea and delicious gluten free cakes

The Wild Goose Café in Easton for homeless people and those with addiction problems will move to larger premises after a donation from secret millionaire Dawn Gibbins. They hope to increase their capacity from 12 to 100-130. Volunteers are needed to work in the café.

Elm Tree Farm and Nursery in Stapleton, which supports people with learning disabilities, has started small-scale cider production. The first cider should be available for sale at farm events this spring. Farm trainees run a stall on Wednesdays at Bristol farmers’ market in Corn Street and at Eastville Market, Eastgate on Fridays.

sur la plage

Showing at the ICIA in Bath Apr 13, The Beaches of Agnès is an autobiographical film rom celebrated French director Agnès Varda (one of only five people at Jim Morrison’s funeral) who weaves photography and archive footage together in a meditation on youth, loss and ageing.

no nukes

its trad, dad Taking place over

With the government about to greenlight eight Nuclear Power Stations in the UK, renowned environmentalist and Nobel prize winner Dr Helen Caldicott will be giving a talk on the reality of nuclear power, supporting the Stop Hinkley Campaign, at Bristol’s Anson Rooms, Apr 14.

a host of venues this year, Cheltenham’s annual Jazz Festival Apr 27-May 2 will feature among others The BBC Concert Orchestra, Overtone Quartet, James Hunter, Tord Gustavsen and last year’s guest director Jamie Cullum.

Vegan chef Shane Jordon is on a mission to save his local health store, Nature’s Genius, whose business is set to be strangled by current plans to build a bus lane outside the shop at 773 Fishponds Rd, Bristol BS16 3BS. If you would like to help support Shane and help save this valuable health store, please contact him at the e-mail address below.

St Peter’s Hospice is looking for complementary therapists willing to treat patients for free. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Nikki Smith at the details below. 0117 915 9433

Refugee Action in Bristol is looking for volunteers in the following areas: advocacy, mentoring, advice, screening, administration and organisational development.

local folk Head to the Bristol Folk Festival,

amuse-eum Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery hosts a series of free children’s activities

Colston Hall Apr 29-May 1, for a wide range of folk from old hands as well as rising stars such as Rachel McShane, Seth Lakeman, Bellowhead and Show of Hands.

aimed at ages 2-11. Dino-nites! Mar 23 & Apr 20 showcases the Bristol Dinosaur Project and includes tours and hands on activities; make your own moving toys and learn about the top toys of the past at Toy Time Apr 3; kids can dress up as people in the portrait gallery and make their own frame at Pick a Portrait April 12- 13; find out about fossils and minerals at Going Underground May 1.

did you know? The origins of April Fool’s or All Fool’s Day are unclear, but could date back to the reform of the calendar. When the Gregorian Calendar was introduced in 1582, New Year’s Day was moved from a week-long celebration at the end of March to January 1.

sent on ‘fool errands’ and had practical jokes played upon them. The butts of these pranks became known as a ‘poisson d’avril’ (April fish) because a young fish is easily caught: one common practice was to attach a paper fish on someone’s back as a joke. This custom of prank-playing still continues: the tradition

Communication was slow then and some people, especially in remore areas, were only informed of the change several years later. Others, rebelling against the change, continued to celebrate on the last day of the former celebration, April 1. Labelled ‘fools’, these people were subject to ridicule, 6 volunteering.aspx

white dot The international campaign against television.

spread to Britain in the 18th century and was introduced to America by the English and French. Because of this today April Fool’s Day has an international flavour, each country marking April 1 in its own unique way.

5% off

some events for Spark readers code SPK1

Croydon Hall is a holistic venue in the Exmoor National Park


roydon Hall offers a world-renowned venue of choice for holistic courses, training workshops, parties and celebrations. Our superbly relaxed spa facilities include Jacuzzi, Swedish sauna, infra-red sauna, steam room and floatation room and outdoor heated swimming pool. Set in 6 acres of beautiful gardens with rural views Croydon Hall offers flexible room options to suit all gatherings. Our three chefs serve delicious, healthy meals and there is a licensed bar. A complete Qi Gong System Founded by Dr Shen Hongxun and taught by Andy Henry

Tantra for Couples Level 1: “Intimacy” 15-20 March 2011

Bristol Workshops 2010-11

with Roxana Hewett & Chintan Nobila. From £740 per person inc. accommodation, meals and tuition for this 5 day course. Discover more on our website.

18-19 June and 12-13 Nov Shirehampton Public Hall, 32 Station Rd, Shirehampton, Bristol, BS11 0UH Learn a simple yet powerful system of Chinese healing exercises to clear your body, energy system and emotions. Old tensions are quickly released leaving a sense of lightness, clarity and vitality. Students will also receive healing from the teacher. Open to all. £85 per w/end 10am - 5pm Sat & Sun

Spring Celebration 10-13 March 2011 with live music from ‘Presence’ From £139.00 inc. accommodation, entertainment and meals. A 3-day festival of dance, song, and meditations plus Saturday night variety show. Book soon, places going fast.

Meditation Retreat at Hawkwood College, Stroud on 18-22 September. Info at

Spa & Meditation Weekend 25-27 March 2011 Learn meditation in three easy steps to

Contact: Bristol Weekend Workshops and Healing Clinic T 0117 3770103 / 07766 100383 E

relax in a busy world. From £169.00 inc all accommodation in

a twin or single en-suite room, & meals. Includes a 3-hour Spa session with Jacuzzi, steam room, Swedish and infra-red saunas. Morning stretching active meditation sessions.

Open To All Organisers Croydon Hall offers a fabulous venue with it’s own marketing team to publicise your course, workshop or event. Please contact us to discuss details. Whatever your needs — educational, party, fun, retreat, health, walking, relaxing or teaching any subject, we can help to promote your event and improve the number of participants.

tel. 01984 642200 Croydon Hall, Felons Oak, Minehead, Somerset, UK, TA24 6QT Croydon Hall can host your event, function or workshop.


event highlights

Signs of spring trail Easter holidays Sat 9 – Mon 25 April Follow the clues around the wetlands. Easter weekend Friday 22 – Monday 25 April Follow the easter egg trail to win a prize. Reptile encounters Sunday 10 April & Animal antics Saturday 23 April Get close to scaly and unusual animals.

imagine sex is natural, sacred and beautiful


Spiritual Sexuality

Downy ducklings

Residential Workshops with Batty and Rose

See adorable ducklings in the first days and weeks of their lives at this enchanting event. Learn about eggs, incubation and hatching and meet a variety of different feathered friends. Sat 28 May – Sun 5 June. Many tours run a day. Duckling crèche in the classroom. Complete the duckling crafts and treasure hunt.

For further details visit A long weekend journey of discovery grounded in ancient shamanic wisdom. “A liberating and life-changing experience” . Level 1: April 22-25 Poulstone Court Level 2: September 22-25 Croydon Hall


booking now

Wetland Centre

01458 241831

Slimbridge, Glos GL2 7BT T 01453 891900

WWT reg charity in England & Wales, no. 1030884 and Scotland, no. SC039410


Spark advert 132wx182d spring ev1 1

17/2/11 13:10:43

8 ignite may Get involved!

Bonnie Greer at last year’s festival

feet first

Did you know that walking a mile in 15 minutes burns the same amount of calories as running a mile in eight and half minutes? May is the first National Walking Month, held in association with Walk England and Living Streets. To find out more visit

for art’s sake Local artists will

exhibit their creative crafts at Bristol’s Montpelier Art Trail, which kicks off the art trail season May 7-8. They will be taking over living rooms, cafes & pubs throughout the area turning them into galleries, theatres & exhibition spaces.

book your place Bookworms

will come out of the woodwork for Swindon Festival of Literature May 2-14. Enjoy readings, talks and debates on subjects from sport to philosophy, with writing workshops, slam poetry competitions and book signings too.

The Factory Social Centre at 28 Portland Square, Bristol is a new social space with a function room, screen-printing/art room, apothecary, facilities for film screenings, trapeze and more. The centre is free for community groups to use for meetings, workshops, activities and events. Donations and help with maintenance and care of the building welcome.

Get involved with Bristol Indymedia, a volunteer-run, non-commercial, grassroots news website run in an open and free atmosphere. You don’t have to be a member to post to the newswire or contribute articles. Face-to-face meetings each month or as the need arises.

monkeyshines Robin Ince, Professor plant your future Starting May 12, Herbs for Healing near Cirencester will

Brian Cox, Dr Ben Goldacre, Simon Singh and more will be at the Colston Hall, Bristol May 12 for the first ever national science tour. Uncaged Monkeys is a celebration of the universe, apes, the big bang & everything inbetween.

be holding fortnightly Plant Spirit Evenings. Set in the centre’s beautiful, thriving herb garden and based on the ancient wisdom of shamanic teachings, plant spirit journeying is a means of concentrating on individual plants to discover their personalities, strengths and potential. The evenings will involve gentle meditation, inviting plants to offer healing and wisdom, and learning the unique qualities of a range of useful plants or herbs.

stone me

who cares? Foster Care Fortnight

Megalithomania May 14-15 at the Assembly Rooms, Glastonbury is a two-day conference on the wonders of ancient monuments and the people who made them, with talks from Robert Temple, John Major Jenkins and Carmen Boulter and others covering topics such as ley alignments, archaeoastronomy and geomancy.

veggie venture

National Vegetarian Week May 23-29 aims to raise awareness of the benefits of flavoursome meat-free meals, inspiring more people to take up a vegetarian lifestyle. Lots of organisations are involved, from schools to businesses: you can find your nearest event by visiting

May 16-29 highlights the skills required of foster carers as well as the number of children in need of foster homes. Over 54,000 children already live with foster families; the Fostering Network estimates that a further 10,000 foster carers are needed across the UK.

Migrants to England bring with them valuable skills, qualifications and experience which can lie untapped unless they have the chance to learn English. The best way to achieve this is through publicly-funded English language provision known as ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). Through ESOL people can reach levels of English which enable them to join the jobs market, access training and participate more fully in their local communities. But funding is under threat. Support ESOL by signing the Defend ESOL petition.

Sukey is a set of mobile phone applications designed to keep you protected and informed during protests. It is an interactive service that relies on updates from protesters. With your GPS turned on, tweet clear information on riot police positions, size and movements using @sukeyData, #dayx5 and #sukey. You can also use Google Latitude, or send pictures via TwitPic and Flickr. Sukey sends out this information using Growl or Roar on mobile phones. Alternatively, you can follow @sukey on Twitter, or you can text “follow @sukeySMS” to 86444.

Walk to School week takes place in May each year and over 1 million children take part. There are resources available for this year, which is focussing on road safety. Join the crocodile!

Republic, the campaign for a democratic alternative to the monarchy, is organising nonroyal events to coincide with the royal wedding on April 29. Do you have an idea for an event here in Sparkland? Let them know at:

good wood

fringe benefits Bath Fringe Festival

The festival season kicks off with the fourth WOOD festival, celebrating music and nature in the beautiful surroundings of Braziers Park, Oxfordshire May 20-22. WOOD aims to be Britain’s Greenest festival: the event runs entirely on renewable energy, highlights green issues and promotes an eco-friendly lifestyle, with composting toilets, showers heated by wood-burning stove and a solar-powered stage. Dance in a bicycle-powered disco, take part in workshops in singing, woodcraft & yoga, join in the lively discussions and enjoy headliner Eliza Carthy.

May 27-Jun 12 brings together a cornucopia of the eclectic and the unusual for 17 days of theatre, comedy, music, guided walks, cabaret, dance, circus skills, spoken word, free events and street performances.

Finally well done everyone, especially 38 Degrees and Hand Off Our Forests, in getting the government to climb down on selling off our forests. And well done to campaigners, including Not In My Cuppa, who managed to stop a megadairy in Lincolnshire. People power works! But let’s remain vigilant...

ignite: your essential events guide. take one every three months 8

Mystical Mind, Body and Spirit Fair 28 – 30 May, 10am - 4pm

• Free entry • Over 50 mystical stalls, healers, therapists and readers from all over the country • Workshops and talks in Clifford Hall – additional charges will apply

01278 655042 The Walled Gardens of Cannington, Shop & Tea Rooms, Church Street, Cannington, Somerset TA5 2HA

Mystical Mind etc Fair_The Spark_Feb2011.indd 1

11/02/2011 14:07

Liminal Shapeshift: Dance • Move • Meditate


waken in the moment using moving meditations to extraordinary live music with Dawn Morgan & Nicholas Twilley. Dawn Morgan and Nicholas Twilley guide and facilitate each session inspired by 50 years study of 5 Rhythms, Authentic Movement, Body Mind Centering, Shintido and Suprapto work.

13th March, Arriving in the Body. 10th April, Presence. 15th May, Shapeshifting in the Liminal Space. All 10am-4pm. Bring food to share for lunch. 3 days £150/ 2 days £100/ 1 day £60. Redland High, BS6 7EF. 07854 183740 / 01453 791066 Contact: /

Book Yourself a Therapy Counselling, hypnotherapy, life coaching, psychotherapy, weight loss hypnosis, energy healing, shamanism.

Magic Trip in Peru Book now for May 2011

Life-Change Seminars The Whispers Of Love Creating Your Dream Life The Path To Enlightenment Advanced Presentation Skills How To Run A Training Seminar Business Business Secrets For Therapists and Coaches 9

10 ignite regular Mondays Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga at St. Mary’s Hall, Glastonbury, 6.15 to 7.15pm beginners, 7.15 to 9pm intermediate. Ffi contact Jane Piddington 01458 445077 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. Ffi: Jacqui - 0786 8890 388

three months of essential events. to place your ad call 0117 914 3434 • 90p a word

Saturdays & every 2nd Weds

New Dimensions

Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 March

Your Community Clinic – Making therapies affordable! Open to All. Low Cost Treatments for those on low income. Therapies to suit everyone including the pregnant/ elderly. Massage - Deep tissue, Hot Stone, Indian Head, Shiatsu, Thai. Homeopathy, Hopi Candling, Reflexology, Reiki (shares/courses). Ffi Teresa 0798 224 3804 (Wednesdays), Saturdays 0780 973 6187. Venues, dates etc:

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

Transition Training. With the Transition Network. A two-day training on setting up and evolving with a Transition Town. An in-depth exploration of working towards local resilience and sustainability. Unleash the collective genius of the community.



23rd March 7pm



6th Apr 7pm


TRIAd Of cHANGE: £10

St James’s Piccadilly, London


20th April 7pm

Events to inspire your heart, mind and soul

4th May 7pm

CAROLINE MYSS HAWKWOOD College Second Monday of the month


Healing Beyond Reason – Sat 26 March Astrology Evenings 2nd Monday each month. Harbourside café Creativity && drinks. Wellbeing “Under the Stars”. Food Details: 0117 924 7163 A lovely venue in the Stroud Valleys Self Power – Sat 7 May Only 40 mins from Bristol in Stroud GL6 7QW

18th May 7pm





We will be running a T.L.C “Hawkwood puts the TREAT in retreat!” Living a Joy-Filled Life – Sat 16 July Mon 2nd May (Total Life Conditioning) “Combines heart, mind and soul with curiosity and fun.” The Abundance Group. FREE TASTERS, FUN, retreat over a weekend in 10–12.30pm, weekly LIVE MUSIC & FOOD June 2011. It will be held of Creative Musicdrop-in. Making Launch Concert 31 March School Relaxation Centre, Bristol, Only £5. in a countryside location First session free. Looking at how near to Bath. Spaces will we manifest in our lives. Using law CO-CREATING in MOMENTOUS of attraction principles, meditation, TIMES: A Transforum 25-27 Mar be VERY limited, please Gill Edwards Jude Currivan and others express your interest and visulization, sharing, games, art, you will receive music, movement, writing, role CREATIVITY as GATEWAY to HEALING: Promise of New Beginnings confirmed information play, EFT, Ho’oponopono. Annabel Hollis Series of days: 26 Mar, 30 Apr, 25 Jun, 24 Sep, 29 Oct, 10 Dec before it goes public. Contact Tina 07951 246 890, MAKING RUNES: Crafting personal tools for divination 27 Mar Keith Healing Two-day course continues 15 May . More Runes 1-2 Oct. Wednesdays SPEAKING with CONFIDENCE & THE UNDEFENDED HEART Apr /May The Bristol Zen Centre. Nicola Belle Sensitive feedback, caring environment 7.15pm-9pm, Fulcrum House, 3 Grove YOUR Road, BS6 6UJ. SING HEART’S SONG: Breath, prayer and music 9-10 April 0117 9632505 Joy Liengaard Chantons L’Amour: Songs of Love & Hope concert 12 Mar SCULPTING STONE or WOOD: Beginners & Improvers 6-8 May Thursdays David Lovemore Well-equipped studio, supportive, friendly tutor . FREE TASTERS, FUN,

01225 318060

Christina Strangsessions Beginnersevery and advanced Mob: 07786 268117 Psychotherapy

Thursday. Closed Groups. EXPERIENTIAL Chart constellations 20-22 May 10.30-12.00 WomenASTROLOGY: only. Margaret Koolman & Derek Hawkins 1.30– 3.00pm Mixed Group. Limited places available. PLAYING with WORDS: Ways into creative writing 21 May Dramatherapy 2011 Ffi and self-referral formfun, please Jo Bousfield Combining depth and surprises! contact Kate - 0117 953 2055 or “The purpose of playing at the first and now, was and is, to hold as twere,25 theJune email A NEW LIGHT ON TAROT: Understanding archetypes mirror up to nature” Richard1054109 Abbot An empowering day Charity Number Dramatherapy ‘Take One’ Taster Days Third Thursday of the month Sat 6th March Stroud 7th May

2nd Saturday of the month

1/4 page and small events box for IGNITE page

Alexander Technique and Qi Gong in the Wye Valley. Day courses to refresh and inspire. £30. Tel: 01594 531 129

Ffi please contact 01225 722963

Friday 4 - Sunday 13 March Trek the Sahara for Tree Aid. Trek 100km through stunning desert landscape whilst raising funds to transform the lives of communities living in Africa’s drylands. Trees mean life. Saturday 5 - Sunday 6 March LingZi - To Develop Energy Forces for Healing with Dr Shen Hongzun, Bristol. LingZi is for anyone interested in heath and energy work, to direct energy for healing. Dr Shen will teach LingZi exercises to create a physical vibration. This focused energy can be used for self-healing or extended as a Qi “ force field” to heal others. Ffi call Ann on : 0117 3770103 or email: Friday 11 March Solution Focused Hypnotherapist Stephanie Betschart hosts a free event: Take One Small Step Towards Happiness. 6.30pm, The Southville Centre, Beauley Road, BS3 1QG 0117 908 9478 Saturday 12 March

Saturday 12 - Sunday 13 March

Bristol 10-4pm £75 01453-759034 Authentic Power - low cost

in Bristol Bath, Stroud, Glastonbury and theMember Westof Country the Health Professions Council

Held at: The Friends’ Meeting House, 126 Hampton Road, Redland, Bristol. BS6 6JE Everyone welcome. Refreshments included 3.00pm – 5.00pm Entrance £5.00

Conference with Prof. Ursula King: Spirit in Action - connecting people and communities in Bristol and the South West towards more spiritual and ecological ways of living. All welcome. or 07947 114553. See events.htm

GRAPHOLOGY: Science & art of handwriting analysis 14-15 May Low cost Dance Movement

3 Day Intensive development and networking Bath 3rd-5th June groups for people interested in the THE SPARK MAGAZINE Law of Attraction and Conscious P/T University Certificate Autumn issueFacilitated 664 • Outbyend Feb—May Creation. Course in Dramatherapy experienced coach and accredited October 2011-Apr 2012 (5 weekends & Spring School) LADDER AD, upgrade to colour and increase from 1/8 page to 1/4 page therapist Richard Braybrooke, Hawkwood College Stroud. Authentic Power groups are held £15.00 per colour strip, payable by course tutor to Hawkwood College. Equivalent to 40 credits at level 5 on the third Thursday of each & 6. Res/non res month The Elemental Sanctuary, You can seeat the current Spark online at: FFI see website Fishponds, Bristol. Scenario Arts in Personal Development Call 0117 9393999 or email Tel: 01225 859530 Spark Magazine - the ethical quarterly www. Helping 99,000 readers find positive change

Sunday 20th March 2011 2012 AND THE GLOBAL AGENDA Andy Thomas Sunday 17th April 2011 LIVING IN HARMONY WITH SPIRIT AND YOUR OWN SOUL Dr Helen Ford Sunday 15th May 2011 EMOTIONAL FREEDOM ‘LIGHT’ TECHNIQUES Rowena Beaumont




14-15 May



01453 759034

Tuesday 15 March An Introduction to Permaculture. Four Tuesday evenings with Sarah Pugh. An exploration of the principles and practice of permaculture. A simple, common sense approach to designing sustainable, productive, waste-free systems in our gardens, homes and communities. Thursday 17 March Early Bird deadline for The Spark Summer issue. Advertise your festivals, fayres, camps and holidays.. then sit back and wait for the sun. 0117 914 34 34 Book and pay online at Friday 18 - Sunday 20 March Naked Voice International Weekend Gathering with Chloe Goodchild, Brecon Beacons, Wales. Discover your authentic voice and learn new skills to express yourself in ways you never imagined possible. Followed by the Five Day Naked Voice Training, 20-25 March. An opportunity for an in-depth experience of this ground-breaking work. 0117 927 7020 Saturday 19 March Wild Ways To Writing. Creative workshops in a beautiful setting with yurt near Bath. All writing abilities welcome. Also April 2nd, May 14th, June 18th, 10.30-3pm, £25, 4 sessions £80. Ffi: 01373 463437 Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 March Calling All Lightworkers! Two-day Residential Workshop: “Pulling The Threads Together - Exploring our Individual Experiences and Understanding of The Shift so far” - a personal / spiritual development workshop by The Diamond Sanctuary Group. £80-£100, at the beautiful Flanesford Priory, Goodrich. Call Jackie on 01594 835016 or visit www.thediamondsanctuary. for more details / booking Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 March Sacred Earth Camps. Spring Equinox Sweat Lodge. Details: 01884 881467,

Jill Purce

The Healing Voice

Rediscover the Ancient Power of Group Chant Magical Voice Techniques ∞ Mongolian & Tibetan Overtone Chanting ∞ Mantra & Vocal Meditations ∞ Sonorous Mandala Ceremony ∞ Healing Family & Ancestors ∞ Ritual & Resonance ∞





Healing Voice Week Intensive April 29 – May 6 near Glastonbury May Day Celebration Life changing week. Overtone chanting, vocal purification practices, purification of chakras, sound healing, breath yoga, healing ancestral lines. Extended sonorous Mandala Ceremony of Conscious Dreaming, Rainbow Body and the Clear Light.


Healing Family & Ancestors - Ritual & Resonance June 17-24 week intensive near Glastonbury Summer Solstice Celebration Jill’s unique ceremonial shamanic healing rites, using chant and family constellations, restore resonant family fields in magical oracular ways, unavailable to normal therapy. Transforming destructive inherited patterns into blessings. Family members do not need to be living. Individuals and families welcome.

All activities & meals included in ticket price

Healing Voice and Healing the Family

Prices : £150 (dorm)/£108 (giant heated yurt)/£80 camping. Kids under 12 FREE

Weekend workshops in London Recognized internationally for 40 years, Jill is the author of The Mystic Spiral, and pioneered both the sound and ancestral healing movements world wide. Her workshops are well known for being extraordinarily powerful, magical and fun.

Early bird bookings by 31 March (15% more after this date) INFO/BOOKING: Tel.0789 199 0642 • 0207 435 2467 •


Surviving the Debt Crisis A Spiritual Perspective


Beaumont College of Natural Medicine INTENSIVE COURSES in MASSAGE, AROMATHERAPY, REFLEXOLOGY Beaumont College is a centre of academic excellence for the study of complementary medicine. Courses are specially structured to suit those students who prefer intensive, parttime training. Student numbers are strictly limited to ensure personal attention and to maintain our exceptional examination results. The Principal Denise Whichello Brown has been teaching and lecturing since 1979 and established Beaumont College in 1987. She is recognised internationally and greatly respected as an authority on complementary medicine.

Wells, Somerset 01749 675090

inancial and physical loss brings our health and life-style issues to the fore; mention Cancer, Heart-attack or Stroke V Debt, Repossession or Bankruptcy and the same debilitating “Fear of Survival” leaps into play, experienced as hopelessness and anxiety.

The First step to Freedom is a shift in perception:

A Holistic approach accepts that physical illness often proves a blessing. This is not so readily understood with financial difficulties; whilst physical illness elicits sympathy, financial debt draws judgement and yet the same opportunity for freedom lies within both challenges.



You are not your Debt


Money has not replaced Love



l l

F ear and shame are ego based tools used against you.  emaining objective removes fear, R recrimination and self-judgement.  niversal law does not support the U current banking system. You do not have to do this alone.  nowledge is Power and K practical Support equals Survival.

Further details, talks and seminar dates Blessing of Debt Kings House, 14 Orchard Street, Bristol BS1 5EH

Now Enrolling for June 2011 11

12 ignite Fri 25 - Sat 26 March

Sunday 27 March

Massage in Schools Programme, Swindon. Become an instructor in peer massage for 4-12 year olds, in schools, families and communities. Help them calm, connect and concentrate. Visit website for our inspirational courses. Ffi: T: 0117 325 0925, E: W: Saturday 26 March

Why Am I Always on a Diet but Never Lose Weight? Slim people find it easy to eat naturally. They don’t understand how hard it is to lose weight. They eat when they are hungry, eat what they like and stop when they’re full. The rest of us are on a continuous cycle of dieting – trying to deprive ourselves and feeling guilty when we fail. Even so, as soon as we stop our latest diet the weight piles back on. Why?

Thursday 21 April

Going Feral. A monthly series of creative vocal playdays in the woods near Bristol, with fire and hot snacks. With Mel McCree, Bristol Feral Choir leader and Itta Howie, movement artist. £20/£15 concs. Booking essential, limited places. Also Saturday 7 May. email bristolferalchoir@gmail. com text 07837 599239 or find us on Facebook

Final deadline for The Spark Summer issue. Get an ad and reach our many, many, lovely readers (that includes you!) preparing for a long hot silly season. 0117 914 34 34 or book online at

Sun 10 April - Tues 3 May

Friday 1 April

The Power of Compassion Geshe Tashi Tsering 1 April 7:30pm

Public talk at the Guildhall, Bath • £5

2nd & 3rd April 10-5pm

Retreat at New Oriel Hall, Larkhall £15 per day + pot luck lunch

One day Workshop: Why Am I Always on a Diet but Never Lose Weight?

Geshe Tashi is a dynamic and learned Tibetan Buddhist teacher with an excellent understanding of English and the Western mind.

Bristol Natural Health Service 407 Gloucester Road On Saturday 26 March 10am to 4.30pm £80

At the Workshop:

If you are interested in becoming a counsellor or psychotherapist, come along to our Open Day on 27th March where you will be able to meet the tutors, some students and graduates and get an idea about becoming a counsellor or psychotherapist and also get a feel for BCPC’s teaching methods. Visit our website or contact us by email on or by phone on 01225 429720 to book a place or for further information

Saturday 9 April


Join this one day workshop; find out how your brain sabotages your efforts to be ‘good’ with food and identify what triggers your bad eating habits. Experience a guided hypnotherapy session with weight control specialist Judith Goldsmith DHP; HPD; MNCH and start to re-programme your relationship with food so you can regain control and eat like a naturally slim person.

• Find out why diets don’t work - how your mind sees a diet • Identify your emotional triggers • Learn to recognise signs when your primitive mind has taken over • Discover the 5 strategies to put you back in control • Experience a powerful targeted hypnotherapy session with professional hypnotherapist, Judith Goldsmith • Continue the process with her selfhypnosis CD, included in the price

three months of life. to place your ad call 0117 914 3434 or email its only 90p a word!

Attend all or part. For more info or to book, see

Friday 1 April Ad 3.indd 1

Get off that diet bandwagon. Join us to find out how.

Call to book your place 01275 331 743 Or visit our website

12/12/2010 12:38:05

The Tao of Bart. Use Simpsons’ archetypes to understand your inner self. Are you hiding a Homer deep inside? Can you manage your Marge? Learn form your Lisa? Want to merge with your Maggie? Organic fairtrade doh-nuts supplied. Part of the Ralph Wiggum Lifelong Learnding Programme. “Excellent” CM Burns. Springfield House (turn right at Hinckley C). Finished by noon Friday 1 - Sunday 3 April Weekend Woodland Workshop - deepen your awareness and connection with nature and learn traditional skills. Near Moretonhampstead, Devon.

Saturday 26 March

Saturday 2 - Sunday 3 April

Living Voice - creative voicework exploring the natural voice with Anthony Johnston – open to all 10.00–4.30pm - Wildgoose Space, St Werburghs £40 or £35 early bird. 0795 005 2100

Sacred Clown workshop: a weekend of play and spirituality with Reuben Kay, at The Isbourne Centre, Cheltenham. To book call 01242 254321 or visit or

Sunday 27 March

The Work That Reconnects, Bath. A residential weekend strengthening our ability to address concerns about the world, drawing on Joanna Macy’s empowerment approach. Also one-year facilitator training starts in May. With Jenny Mackewn and Chris Johnstone.

Soap-making Fun Day at Herbs for Healing garden near Cirencester. Make 3 different soaps using plant extracts and make you own colours and textures from herbs and spices. £65.

Friday 8 - Sunday 10 April

Thurs 21 April - Mon 2 May Discover spring at Westonbirt • 21 April - 2 May, Discover Spring fortnight: activities, guided walks, trails and traditional Silk Wood fair to celebrate spring at Westonbirt • 21-25 April, Easter Challenge family activity weekend: sending kids into the heart of the spring woodland to discover bursting buds and colours • 22-25 April, Discover Spring exhibition and walks programme • 29 April - 2 May, Silk Wood fair: Westonbirt celebrates the heritage of its working woodlands with a traditional fair selling handcrafted products. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8QS

Thursday 14 April

Friday 22 - Tuesday 2 April

Childrens’ Holiday Workshop. Planting pots and making in the workshop Herbs for Healing garden near Cirencester. £16, lots to take away.

Buqi Energy Field for Health Information Transmission Residential – Harper Adams, Shropshire

Saturday 16 April Cook yourself healthy and detox your everyday diet! Learn to choose the right foods and prepare them the right way to maximise long term benefits of your detox without healing crisis. Find out how to feel good and vital throughout your detox. 11am to 1pm. Price: £29.50 - includes tasters and a recipe booklet. Book now space limited: 07768 253 384, For more info: Saturday 16 April Winter Gardens, Weston-super-Mare. Free Admission 10-6pm • Readers • Healers • Therapists • Crystals. 01934 624939 Sunday 17 April Make your own face creams, oils, body lotions and cleansing grains at Herb for Healing garden near Cirencester. £75 incl lunch. Plenty to take away. Tuesday 19 - Tuesday 26 April Living Tantra Courses with Jan Day. Experience richer relationships, set boundaries and ask for what you want, discover how to be intimate - the key to successful relationships • Living Tantra Introduction 19-21 April • Living Tantra 1 19-26 April • One Year Training starts May (Living Tantra 1 is a prerequisite for this training).com Tel: 020 8123 9831

Open to all who would like to develop their energy field for healing self and others, this course may be taken separately to the full BUQI training. Discover how to activate, direct and clear energy in the human body. This starts a new UK BUQI training with founder Dr Shen Hongxun. Learn how to create an Energy Force Field and treat by transmitting health information. You can use techniques to aid family and friends. 0117 914 34 34 or book online at Friday 29 April - Sunday 1 May


FRI 29 APRIL - SUN 1st MAY Wiltshire ★ SIMPLE LIVING, ★ JOYFUL CHANTING, ★ SACRED FIRE CEREMONY, ★ MUSIC & DANCE WORKSHOPS ★ YOGA, EASTER EGG HUNT! £155 (dorm)/£108 (yurt)/£85 camping. Kids under 12 FREE Tel.0789 199 0642

Friday 29 April - Sunday 8 May North Somerset Arts Week. Over 300 artists are opening their homes and studios to exhibit a diverse and vibrant set of work. Check www.northsomersetarts. for details of venues

may Sunday 1 May Plant Spirit Day at Herbs for Healing. A full day to explore the potential of meeting with the plant spirits in the garden, field and woodland at Herbs for Healing near Cirencester. £30. We have ongoing fortnightly evening meetings. Sunday 1 - Saturday 7 May

Thursday 5 May Lotions & Potions made from the garden at Herbs for Healing near Cirencester. Creams, ointments, tinctures, teas. Emphasis on learning and fun using all your senses. £75 including lunch. Tues 10 May - Thurs 2 June Quaker Quest: Silence speaks. Four informal meetings to discover who Quakers really are and if they have anything to say that is relevant to you... at Quaker Meeting Houses in Taunton and Wellington from 10 May to 2 June, 7-9pm. e-mail: or ring 01823 601229 Wednesday 11 May Self-Enquiry Group – 8 weekly sessions exploring the nature of reality through the age old questions, Who am I? What am I? What is Life? Discover the truth for your self. 7.30pm-9.30pm, Wildgoose Space, St Werburghs. 0795 005 2100 Saturday 14 - Sunday 15 May

VV Spark advert 2011 182 x 270 PRINT



Page 1

Close to the ‘Lycian Way’ on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast:Yuva is secluded amidst wild forest and mountains, right by the sea.The Faralya Hotel, with magnificent sea views and organic fruit and vegetable gardens, is 30 mins walk from the sea.We specialise in traditional Turkish vegetarian/vegan food, using our own produce and many local organic ingredients (The Faralya has meat and fish options too).We offer good yoga facilities and a range of natural therapies. Prices from £280 for 7 nights (excluding flights).

Celebrating 22 years of VegiVentures, with a choice of UK walking breaks in Snowdonia, the English Lake District and the Peak District, plus short breaks in Derbyshire and Christmas in Somerset. Latin American tours are led by an anthropologist renowned for her deep knowledge of the indigenous cultures. Prices range from £35 for 3 nights Work Camp in Derbyshire to £1659 for 15 night journeys in Peru (excluding flights). For dates and info, request a copy of our Programme & News.

Journey into Life: Begins March 2011 ®


A Year Group in 5 Rhythms Dance with Dawn Morgan

Creativity & Wellbeing

“What a ride! Exhilerating, enlightening, nurturing and fulfilling. I can’t recommend this highly enough. Having regular stops throughout the journey of your year to fill up on the nourishing energy of this practice and group provides a fantastic undercurrent of transformation and support to take out into your daily life!” Richard, 34, barman and acupuncturist.

A lovely venue in the Stroud Valleys Only 40 mins from Bristol in Stroud GL6 7QW

“Hawkwood puts the TREAT in retreat!” “Combines heart, mind and soul with curiosity and fun.” School of Creative Music Making Launch Concert 31 March

OPEN DAY Mon 2nd May


CO-CREATING in MOMENTOUS TIMES: A Transforum 25-27 Mar

Gill Edwards

Jude Currivan and others

CREATIVITY as GATEWAY to HEALING: Promise of New Beginnings Annabel Hollis Series of days: 26 Mar, 30 Apr, 25 Jun, 24 Sep, 29 Oct, 10 Dec

MAKING RUNES: Crafting personal tools for divination 27 Mar

“Dawn is a sorceress who creates a magical world. I’d leave each

Keith Healing Two-day course continues 15 May . More Runes 1-2 Oct.

SPEAKING with CONFIDENCE & THE UNDEFENDED HEART Apr /May Nicola Belle Sensitive feedback, caring environment

“I loved the rituals, the parties, nature, the depth of belonging to community. And of course the dancing!” Kevin, 57, teacher. “The Journey feels like a magical part of me, such special memories, a mixture of the greatest fun and real learning from the soul....each rhythm coincided beautifully with my life journey and was a real support. Thank you Dawn, for a precious space.” Chloe, mature student.

We will work with the 5 Rhythms, incorporating somatic movement exercises, rituals and sacred parties. The 5 Rhythms are a beautiful dancing map of the movement of energy; both resourcing and catalytic. This course will be an oasis of nourishment and growth in your life, helping to bring alignment to your purpose and clarify your place in the web of life. Together we create a dancing community that holds and supports you as you change through the magic of this transformational practice.

SING YOUR HEART’S SONG: Breath, prayer and music 9-10 April

Joy Liengaard Chantons L’Amour: Songs of Love & Hope concert 12 Mar

SCULPTING STONE or WOOD: Beginners & Improvers 6-8 May

David Lovemore Well-equipped studio, supportive, friendly tutor .

GRAPHOLOGY: Science & art of handwriting analysis 14-15 May

Dawn has been working with Movement for 20 years, she is trained to teach both levels of Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms and is currently studying for an MA in Dance and Somatic Education. Total price, for 5 modules, fully catered and residential: £1,335 payable in installments. For info see website or get in touch.

Christina Strang Beginners and advanced Mob: 07786 268117

EXPERIENTIAL ASTROLOGY: Chart constellations 20-22 May Margaret Koolman & Derek Hawkins

PLAYING with WORDS: Ways into creative writing 21 May Jo Bousfield Combining fun, depth and surprises!

A NEW LIGHT ON TAROT: Understanding archetypes 25 June

S haanpce es h i f t

Richard Abbot An empowering day


01453-759034 THE SPARK MAGAZINE Autumn issue 664 • Out end Feb—May

“Working with Dawn and the same group of dancers was liberating and incredibly holding: a deeply held safe space was created in which to dance, laugh, “Thoroughly enjoyable, its benefits echo into my cry, experiment and life. I have discovered play. Dawn’s teaching is intuitive, sensitive, so much about myself, empathic and fun; she life and friendship that challenges me to go I have taken with me, I continue to feel blessed. further and deeper and I will remember the this was enhanced by tears, joy, laughter and the safety of the group.... it was a joy and a the beauty that helped me transform into a privilege. I made friends much more positive and who I love deeply and stronger person.” James, I feel will stay with me 30, healer. through life’s journey.” Sophie, midwife. weekend feeling tenderised and opened up.” Alison, director of communications Kingston University.



Please note the NEW DATES March ▪ 18th-20th ▪ Body May ▪ 6th-8th ▪ Heart July▪ 13th-17th ▪ Mind September ▪ 16th-18th ▪ Spirit November ▪ 18th-20th ▪ Soul


tel: 01453 750608

14 ignite Friday 13 - Sunday 15 May Walk the Jurassic Coast for Tree Aid. Walk 23km along the challenging and stunning Jurassic Coast whilst raising funds to transform the lives of communities living in Africa’s drylands. Trees mean life. Weds 18 and Thurs 19 May Weaving Magic – Skills for Resilient Groups. With Nick Osborne. A two-day workshop on working creatively and effectively with other people. How making decisions, communicating and dealing with conflict in your organisation can be exciting, dynamic and creative. A simple and down to earth approach to successful collaborative working.

three months of essential events. to place your ad call 0117 914 3434 • 90p a word

june Thursday 2 – Saturday 4 June ‘Bristol Quilts 2011’ Bristol Quilters Exhibition, Badminton School, Westbury Road, Bristol BS9 3BA. Thursday 1pm–6pm, Friday 10am–6pm, Saturday 10am–4pm. Refreshments, sales table, traders. Admission £3.50. Details: Trish Aldrick 01275 878352

Saturday 18 – Sunday 26 June Satsang and Yoga with Satyananda • Satsangs: weekend 18th-19th and weekday evenings (please check which evenings) • Yoga weekend: 25th–26th. Venue: Southville Methodist, Stackpool Road, BS3 1NW (see ‘Spiritual Paths’ section) 0117 944 1618



Eco-house for sale

Thursday 7 - Sunday 10 July

Thursday 2 - Sunday 5 June

on Stroud Cohousing Project

Tuesday 17 May

october Friday 14 - Sunday 30 October Wednesday 13 - Sunday 17 July Friday 10 - Sunday 12 June

Yoga Holiday & Retreat in North India.

With Duncan Hulin. Idyllic retreat centre in foothills of the Himalaya. 14-30 Oct 2011 Sunday 22 May

For more information please call

Windmill Hill City farm will be holding their annual family event on Sunday May 22nd from 1pm till 9pm. We will have a licensed bar, live music and food from Café Maitreya. See our website for more details You don’t want to miss it! Friday 27 - Mon 30 May Forest of Dean Singing Camp at a magical retreat centre. Organic vegetarian meals, beautiful spaces, saunas, fantastic facilitators. 0117 965 8485 Friday 27 - Mon 30 May Sacred Earth Camps. 4-day Shamanic Transformation Camp includes sweat lodge & good food. Details: 01884 881467 Saturday 28 - Mon 30 May Mystical Mind, Body and Spirit Fair at The Walled Gardens of Cannington. Over 50 stalls, healers, therapists and readers from all over the country. Free entry. Everything to heal, guide and relax you through the weekend. Workshops & talks (additional charges). Cannington, near Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 2HA Tel: 01278 655042

� 13–17 July, Somerset

No drugs, no alcohol

Friday 10 - Sunday 12 June EarthHeart workshop, Monkton Wyld, Dorset. A residential weekend strengthening our ability to address concerns about the world, drawing on Joanna Macy’s empowerment approach The Work That Reconnects. With Jewels Wingfield and Chris Johnstone. Sunday 12 June The Green Scythe Fair. Magical environmental event on the Somerset Levels • Music • Crafts • Ecostalls • Kids Area • Scythe Championship • Delicious organic local food. 11am-11.30pm Friday 17 - Monday 20 June Paddlesong with Bristol Feral Choir. Sing while we canoe together down the beautiful Fowey estuary. Expert tuition in a stunning location, with lush food and accommodation. Booking essential, limited places. text 07837 599239 email or find us on Facebook

Friday 22 - Sunday 24 July Glastonbury Symposium: Investigating Signs of our Times. Speakers include: Jeremy Gilley, Dr Christine Page, Ian R Crane, Robin Heath, Andrew Peake, Andy Thomas, Lucy Pringle – new consciousness, conspiracies, alternative health, earth mysteries, power of music and much more. 3-day ticket £110. Day tickets a/v and single lectures. Crop circle tour 21 July. Tel: 01278 722000

august Monday 22 August

Summer Lovin’.. with the Summer issue of The Spark - out today! 0117 914 34 34 or go to to book your ads online

01392 420573 or email

The Devon




classifieds Distributors Wanted Be your own boss, Great potential, full training provided 0800 8406 425 houses for sale

Large Victorian House for Sale (6 bed). Fishponds Road, Bristol. Would suit family/ investment. Comes with bungalow style building, in excellent decorative order, could be used as granny/teen flat or business. Currently well-established therapy centre, including rooms, sauna, jacuzzi and hot tub in large garden. Besley Hill (estate agents) tel: 0117 965 3162 house swap wanted Like to lead the “Good Life” for a year in rural Co Donegal? 3/4 acre holding with polytunnel, organic gardens and chickens. Warm cosy house. Stunning views. Sandy beaches 5 miles away. Looking for a year-long house swap in the SW, preferably Stroud area. More details showproperty-european.php?pid=82407 or email

4/5 bedroom Scandi-style open-plan house with spacious, flexible accommodation. Ideal family home with lots of families on-site in this award-winning cohousing project in Stroud, Glos. High performance construction - band B (83/87) EPC rating. Triple-glazing. Electricity-generating photovoltaic tiles. All 34 homes have own kitchens and private living spaces, plus 24/7 use of the 3-storey common house with shared meals and activities.

£399,000 Tel 07976 661114 or visit Jobs Job With A Difference And Unconventional Hours! Lively disabled woman values: integrity, positivity, and Holistic Living. Loves…. music, good food, gardening, nature and creativity… Requires PAs for facilitated assistance with all practical aspects of daily life, personal support., and getting out and about on a 24 x 7 basis ** Please note: this is not a care position however **. No previous PA experience necessary but basic common sense required of running a home. Involves all types of driving, a varied work day, adaptability, dependability and the capacity to be self-motivated, focused and “on the go”. • Essential Requirements: female, 25 yrs+ with a full clean UK driving licence & one year’s driving experience; fluent written and spoken English. • Also: hardworking, practical, a fast learner; with a high level of physical fitness and stamina (comfortable with busy days). • Desirable: Applicants should be mature (not necessarily in years), genuine, flexible, reliable, positive, willing and easy going. Gross Pay: £7.86/£9.16 per hour. Block shifts: 24hrs+. Location: Keynsham/Bristol area. For accessibility reasons, please reply by texting your name and address to receive written details and application pack to 07984 819469 (This advert complies with Section 7(2b) of t he Sex Discrimination Act 1975)


doing it yourself I

t’s time to share all that home grown knowledge that you lot are harbouring. Whatever you’re building, brewing, creating or inventing we want to know about it! Email your insider info to and we’ll print the best of ’em each issue…

How to self publish by Kristen


risten Ashley lives in Clevedon and has self-published three novels. Here’s her advice to other wouldbe self-publishers:

“Right, you’ve written a book and you want other people to read it. You could either spend a lot of time sending submissions to editors and suffering heart-wrenching disappointment before you hit the jackpot, or you could just self-publish…

Kristen’s 5 top tips

1. F  irstly, get your manuscript edited. This is essential: this book is reflecting you and your work. You don’t have to get it edited line for line but a good editor should correct grammar, punctuation, spelling and check the flow. You should also be open to their comments if something doesn’t make sense to them. Editing may cost you, but it’s worth the money, trust me. You can see the difference in my books. Rock Chick was published unedited; the next two, Rock Chick Rescue and Rock Chick Redemption, edited. There is a world of difference and now I can’t even read Rock Chick without cringing at each error I was sure I caught before submission (and it was published without page numbers!). 2. S  tart a website. Nothing says, “I’m serious!” more than a website. Put your personality into your site and blog. People read blogs. You can get readers interested in your writing and you can establish a presence. There was practically no movement in my books until I launched my website. Now, I’m contacted frequently by people I don’t know who have read or wish to read my books. If you can’t afford to get a bespoke website built, there are plenty of free blogging (Web log) platforms available online, which enable you to build an online journal/diary that is easier to manage than a website. Try Blogger (www.blogger. com), Wordpress (, or Wetpaint ( 3. Learn how to write a press release and send them to local newspapers and radio stations. Even if it only gets into the local paper, this will attract attention, interest and maybe readers. Almost all publications have information on their websites of how to send a press release. To get anyone interested these have to be smart and professional. This isn’t about your personality, it’s about getting media attention so you must learn how to do it correctly. 4. F  ind a publisher. Most self-publishing firms cost around the same and offer the same services. But you MUST make sure they

Spring guerrilla gardening



ike a wild flower pushing up through gaps in the concrete, guerrilla gardening is about creating new life in a space occupied by the lifeless. Many city folk don’t get to enjoy the experience of growing their own food. But when you clear out the weeds, plant your seeds or bulbs and nurture your patch, and when you harvest and taste the fruits of your labour, your patch begins to nurture you. At this point you realise you are not just messing about in the dirt, you have entered into a relationship. In a world where our relationships with nature and with our communities are increasingly fractured, growing your own food is a revolutionary act. Guerrilla gardening is not concerned with the lines on the map, but the places in between: the wild places. It is the art of covert food production in unused land, for those without access to a garden or allotment. Finding a spot for your patch requires a bit of creativity - potatoes near an old quarry, onions by the edge of a few trees. Anywhere that gets some sun and isn’t too likely to be discovered.

offer the following: firstly, an interior proof of your book and secondly, a physical proof of your bound book prior to publication. Do NOT publish without proofing the interior or seeing the physical book and having the right to approve or make changes. Changes may cost you (this is where having it edited prior to submission fits in) but be certain to proof both. If the publisher doesn’t offer this, do not use them. Although your book will look spiffy, in the end you will be doing most of the work. They should also assign you an ISBN number as well as making it available to online booksellers and offering you significantly discounted author copies. Discuss royalties (how much you will make, how you can track this and when and how you will be paid). My first two books were published through a government funded programme (a good way to get started and learn) but the royalties were paid twice a year, I heard nary a word from them between royalty periods and royalties were less than £1 a book. Now I publish with US company CreateSpace, my royalties are paid monthly and I receive over US$6 from each book sold. Good self-publishing firms will offer you dashboards to track your sales and earnings and, if you earn enough, pay you monthly.

Armed with a trowel, a hand fork and a large bottle of water, you head out as the light fades. Snaking through backstreets and old footpaths you reach your destination and after a quick look around, you begin. As you start to dig, your heart races with the thrill that at any moment you could be caught green-handed! Whether you’re growing green beans by a disused footpath or bright flowers by the side of a motorway, finding time for your guerrilla gardens is easy, because it doesn’t feel like gardening; it feels like mischief, it feels like adventure. In a recklessly unsustainable culture, where 70% of our food is imported and a large part of our food is grown with chemical fertilisers and pesticides, we have to question the logic of the way our food is produced. Guerrilla gardening is a rejection of convention; a defiant pledge to create islands of green in a sea of metal and concrete. So pick up your tools and don’t delay: I assure you it’s the most fun you’ll ever have with a trowel. Matt Cummings, Facebook Bristol Eco Village May 1 is International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day,

TRIED & TESTED d We tried this flea repellant on our dog and it seeme this that ber to work, although you need to remem will not get rid of any flea eggs in his coat – you’ll have to comb them out instead. Cut a lemon into quarters, cover with boiling water and let it soak overnight, or you can use lemon juice if that’s easier. Take the quarters of lemon out of the juice and then mix the juice with equal amount of white (distilled) or other suitable vinegar (don’t use malt vinegar – it will stink!) Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and give a good shake to mix. Spray all over your dog, especially behind the ears and around the head generally (be careful not to get it into his eyes), around the base of the tail, and under your dog’s legs. If he has long hair you might want to put on a rubber glove and massage the spray in to his coat. Repeat over the next four days. DB

5. Get the word out. Tell family and friends by starting an email bulletin (these should also be designed carefully, professionally, with an eye to your ‘brand’ but inject your personality). Create a FaceBook fanpage for yourself, recruit fans and communicate through that site. Ask friends to request your book from the library. Offer yourself up to talk to book clubs or groups. If you have money to invest, purchase professionally designed bookmarks and posters (or make them yourself). And encourage people to write reviews on online bookseller sites. Useful websites: They will sell your eBooks for you and also have free downloadable materials that will give you information about publishing and marketing (a self-publishing firm) (another self-publishing firm) Join the community here and you can submit chapters and receive feedback. To get feedback, you must give it too. They teach you how to offer feedback in a constructive way as well as tips on how to utilise feedback you receive. Both skills help enormously as you edit your own work. Use my contact form if you have questions. I’m happy to hear from you and offer advice

PET TIP Tina has always been one of those forever-itchingscratching-nibbling cats. The de-flea chemicals aren’t kind to her skin. A lady told me she thought Tina was an ‘F&F’ cat; if they’re allergic to fleas, they’re often also allergic to fish. Since then I’ve avoided any cat food with fish in it. She’s still an itchy cat, but much much better. I’ve also supplemented her diet with a homeopathic coat enhancer. Again, a marked improvement. ‘Skin & Itch’




ancy signing up to the Self-Repair Manifesto? This was devised by a couple of US students who write free repair manuals. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: Repair is better than recycling. Making our things last longer is both more efficient and more cost-effective than mining them for raw materials. Repair saves the planet. Earth has limited resources and we can’t run a linear manufacturing process forever. The best way to be efficient is to


reuse what we already have! Repair saves you money. Fixing things is often free, and usually cheaper than replacing them. Doing the repair yourself saves serious dough. Repair teaches engineering. The best way to find out how something works is to take it apart! If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it. Repair connects people and devices, creating bonds that transcend consumption. Self-repair is sustainable.” Join the repair revolution at

The Relaxation Centre To relax is to enjoy life

16 q&a

Charles Hazlewood, conductor Interview by Fiona McClymont • photo by Jo Halladey

Hidden in a quiet street in Clifton the Relaxation Centre is so much more than a health spa – it is a secret which you discover. We are an oasis in the middle of the city. A place to let the cares of the day slip away and replenish your vital energy. There are only a few decisions you’ll have to make. A sauna perhaps? Maybe a steam? Relax in the hot tub or are you brave enough for the cold plunge pool? We also have a blissful floatation room and a full range of treatments including Holistic Massage, Reflexology and Hot Stone Therapy.

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Charles Hazlewood, 44, is an awardwinning conductor renowned both for his new ways of approaching music and for his desire to bring it to a wider audience. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2003 and has since conducted over 50 orchestral world premieres. He regularly appears on BBC television and radio and has won three Sony Awards for his Radio 2 show which juxtaposed Mozart with Ivor Cutler and The Streets with Handel. His band, Army of Generals, has recently started a residency at St. George’s Bristol. He lives with his family on a farm in Somerset, from where he hosts his summer orchestral festival, Play The Field. reaction was still valid. It was. I found a litany of the most foul, despicable bile.

What’s the best thing about living in the South West? I feel very passionate about the West Country. I live in Somerset and I love its tremendous sense of self-sufficiency and the fact that idiosyncrasy is not just tolerated but welcomed. Look at Glastonbury High Street, for example: if you’re looking for a loaf of bread, you’re probably out of luck, but if you want a crystal ball there are plenty of shops that will sell you one, along with tarot readings or tantric massages. It’s another universe running parallel to the ‘normal’ world, almost like going into Diagon Alley in Harry Potter!

What’s your musical background? I was a choir boy from the age of six. Then my voice broke, I gave it all up and played in punk bands instead. My school were tearing their hair out saying “We’ve lost him, there’s no future for him now”. Luckily, I had an amazing music teacher who kept the faith with me. One day he managed to persuade me to go to a choir rehearsal. It was a 100-strong choir at school but then he didn’t show up to it. I was sitting there twiddling my thumbs and after a while I got so bored I thought “Screw this! I’m going to have a go at taking this rehearsal”. So I walked in the middle of everyone and started directing them and the moment I did that: whoosh! It was like all the lights came on in my head and I knew what direction to take. It turned out the teacher had been there all along, just waiting to see what I’d do.

What would you like to see more of in the area? A hell of a lot more culture. Culture is in dire peril here, not just because councils are stupid in Somerset and have, this year, cut their arts budget by 100%, but also because for ages there’s been a lack of both imagination and investment. I feel very strongly that I, as a citizen of Somerset, have a responsibility to bring what I do home. I spend my whole life – and how lucky am I? – travelling to New York, Tokyo, Paris, but I hardly ever get to make music in the West Country. There’s something wrong in that and I’m on a mission to see if I can’t change it.

What does a conductor actually do? Essentially, you’re moving air around. You’re ‘playing’ that orchestra, but you have no tangible grip over any one of them. So if there’s no trust there, you can flail around all you like and it will have absolutely no bearing on what they’re doing. Orchestras like to play the “How long will it take to screw up the conductor?” game; it’s like their blood-sport. So you ask them to pull back, they’ll move forwards; you ask them to be big, they go small. They’ll try every trick in the book. What an orchestra really wants is for this person standing in front of them to have some clarity about what it is they are trying to say with this piece of music. You don’t need to give them a big thesis, you just need to show it. It’s not about being dogmatic – you need to listen as much as you speak – but you do have to say “This is the line I put down in the sand, and on this side is good and on this side is not good”.

What inspires you? Music is my lifeblood. Without being able to make music every day, I would quite simply dry up, become desiccated and die. And I say that as a very happy father of four children, who I love more than life itself. I am incredibly lucky to have access to this life-affirming, life-giving, thing on a daily basis. How could I not want to share that with everyone else? Every piece of music is a form of communication. It’s simply a story that somebody tells somebody else. I want to create environments and situations where anyone and everyone, particularly those people who think they’re ‘unqualified’ can climb right inside music. I believe it’s my duty here on the planet, as a conductor and musician, to empower people in that way.

What’s been your biggest mistake? When I was younger I was so at sea with who I was and whether my voice was valid or not, I didn’t have that line. Now I do, so I regret that time I wasted.

What drives you mad? The Daily Mail. I hate it with a kind of livid passion. It’s cancer in print-form and it diseases, infects and warps the mind and spirits of too many people in our country. I came across a copy on a train a few months ago and had a look just to see if my rabid

What’s been your greatest achievement? Having four children, no question about it. Beyond that, a project I feel particularly proud of was the setting up of an opera company in South Africa 12 years ago. Along 16

with a colleague of mine, we put together a company of about 40 of the most jawdroppingly talented singers, none of whom had been inside a theatre before, but all of who had been singing in virtuoso choirs in the townships since a couple of years old. Within a year they were selling out at the West End and playing New York. What’s your favourite piece of music? I have to play Mozart often enough, maybe three times a year. If I didn’t I would become unwell. I’ve got very broad tastes, anything from Monteverdi to Barbra Streisand, but Mozart speaks to me more completely than anything else and I come back to him again and again. Is classical music accessible? Should it be? People think of classical music – a term I hate incidentally; it’s music, full-stop – as a funny little outer bit of the music world as a whole; like a maiden aunt who sits in the front parlour that no-one wants to talk to. That perception is nothing to do with the music itself, it’s to do with an absurd and rarefied world that surrounds it. There’s an inner club of people who think that classical music is their private property and they’re buggered if they’re going to share it with the great unwashed. This idea that it should only be the preserve of the privileged people from the right background that are ‘in the know’, is not just nonsense, it’s an outrage. It’s despicable, actually. What’s your greatest fear? I’m frightened about the climate, the poverty gap, the aggression in the world. You’d think, according to Darwinian principles, that each generation that comes along would be that much more compassionate, open, tolerant and sophisticated than the one before. But the grubby truth is that we just keep going back to base-line over and over again: we still fight other people who aren’t like us. But I do believe that music has a role to play in helping to soften those barriers and generally, I’m an endless optimist! What has life taught you? The only - tiny - nugget of wisdom I’ve learnt is to trust yourself and to know yourself. If you know yourself and how you feel about things and what your boundaries are, then you have much more to offer other people. Otherwise, you’re a landslide.

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18 planet

fight the power!

low-tech lowdown Anton Saxon muses on on modern appliances and ‘appropriate’ green technolgy.

With nuclear back on the energy agenda Bill Heaney meets the Sparklanders making some noise about it.


esistance is mounting against plans to build a huge new nuclear power plant right in the heart of Sparkland, in Shepperdine, South Gloucestershire. Horizon Nuclear Power (a joint venture between German companies E.On and RWE) has passed the first planning hurdle and is now going through the second consultation on its plans. Campaign group Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy started in August 2009 (with 13 people) and has now grown to 450 people. Reg Illingworth runs the group. “We really need lots of volunteers, for all the usual stuff, and also anyone with IT skills and communication skills. It’s a struggle and it won’t be just short term.”

blot on the landscape

Professor Gareth Williams of Bristol University says the new plant is so huge it will not be able to be cooled by the River Severn. Horizon will need to build enormous cooling towers 200 metres tall, twice as tall as Didcot power station and half as tall again as the top of the nearby old Severn road bridge. “The towers will be visible from Tewkesbury,” said Gareth, who lives near the new site. “The Severn Estuary is not an industrial landscape: it is a special area of conservation (SAC), an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), a Ramsar site (internationally recognised wetlands) and a site of special scientific interest (SSSI): it features unique and fragile habitats.” The adjacent Wye Valley has 45 SSSIs, as well as being an SAC. Together with the Cotswolds, they were among the first sites to be designated AONB. Shepperdine is also a level 3 flood risk site, which could increase with climate change. The coalition government’s position on nuclear power mirrors that of the previous Labour government, whose 2008 white paper states: “ …nuclear is an important part of the UK’s energy policy, alongside reducing our energy use, increasing renewables and investing in new energy technologies.” One of the most comprehensive studies done anywhere in the world, on the effects of nuclear power production on the health on local populations, was conducted over 20 years and the results published in 2007 by the German Childhood Registry in Mainz. It looked at 16 nuclear power stations in Germany and found a 120% increase in childhood leukaemia and a 60% increase in solid cancers in children living near to the nuclear power stations. The German government has accepted these findings. No study this comprehensive has yet been done in the UK. Professor Andrew Blowers of the Open University and Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (a campaign group in Essex)

got a passion for green issues and writing experience? email


s winter melts into spring I sit inside my a very low-tech alternative in use known as The poorly insulated home, dreaming of bad Larder. This is a well ventilated cold cupboard, appliances. Central heating, the least usually on the north side of the house, with cold efficient appliance, immediately springs to mind. shelves (slate or marble) and insect screens. The The washing machine, with its high energy household food sat quite happily in the larder usage, is another contender. I’m pondering and our ancestors didn’t drop like flies from the philosophy of ‘Appropriate Technology,’ food poisoning. They were also healthier than something I’m increasingly interested in. This us, perhaps because they didn’t have such poor refers to technology which is appropriate for the food production practices which result in food environment and people who need to use it. For containing less vitality and more chemicals. me, it’s the embodiment of simplicity. Maybe we are obsessed with food preservation Take your standard washing machine as an at the expense of our own? example. A more appropriate model is a low I decided I needed guidance and direct access energy twin tub, taking only five minutes to to the Truth, so I called up the government, via wash and five minutes to spin. Job done! I know the Food Standards Agency. When I suggested a family in Ireland who run we all go back to using larders one off a 12volt battery array. “Back in the 1950s we had I received an icy response. I Another, even better approach, a very low tech alternative then asked what foods we don’t is a small, camping, hand actually need to store in the operated device I’ve seen which to the fridge. It was known fridge and was told emphatically as the larder…” cleans clothes with nothing but to go and follow the food a cup of boiling water (which manufacturers’ guidelines. Yet gets turned into steam by rotating the drum most labels simply state ‘once opened store in a manually). refrigerator’. I think this is pure anti-larderism, But the winner for worst appliance, bizarrely, and some of my best friends are larders. is the domestic fridge. It seems to me the A more appropriate approach might be to fridge is essentially a white box stuffed with build larders and use smaller fridges. Peltier environmentally unfriendly chemicals into heat pump fridges (used in caravans) are also which we pump electricity all year round. They worth looking at. They have no moving parts are designed with in-built obsolescence, lasting nor toxic gases and can be run on 12 volts: on average 11 years. Rather than repair them, good for use with small scale renewable energy. most people buy a new one and chuck out Although not as efficient as a normal fridge, they the old one, which leaves an environmental would encourage us to use fresh foods up more headache for our grandchildren to deal with. quickly. Might this not be good for the local food The average fridge chills food down to about economy? Even more radical, what if we got rid 3 degrees. But do we actually need to store all of fridges and grew our own food to eat freshly foods at this temperature? Back in the Ice Age harvested? Just a thought. For now, it’s time for (prior to the 1950s) when most people in this me to close the door on my frosty adventure. I country didn’t actually have a fridge, there was just hope the light doesn’t go out.

spoke in Thornbury recently about the “relentless push” towards nuclear from successive British governments. Andrew is concerned that the government is pushing ahead despite having no “permanent” solution for storing waste deep underground. During his visit he suggested that people should challenge the government’s suggestion that waste be stored on site “for as long as it takes” to find a permanent store. The consultation document for the proposed plant at Shepperdine also brushes aside the flood threat at Oldbury, saying “the Environment Agency has advised that it is reasonable to conclude that a nuclear power station within the nominated site could potentially be protected against flood risks throughout its lifetime.”

Hinkley campaign

Meanwhile the campaign against a new reactor along the Severn Estuary at Hinkley Point is squaring up against French company EDF. Stop Hinkley organiser Crispin Aubrey says: “The reaction to these plans from Sedgemoor, West Somerset and Somerset county councils and local people has been very negative. The construction process is going to be very disruptive, and, according to the councils, EDF has done nothing to mitigate this.” Crispin says he is concerned that the application can now go to the Infrastructure Planning Commission in Bristol, which is a new way the government has introduced to fast-track projects like Hinkley. EDF will make the application in the spring. The Stop Hinkley campaign needs people to get involved by writing to their MPs and by joining their protests. EDF is proposing to carry out preliminary works at the 430-acre site even before they have planning permission, and apparently the company has already moved badgers off the site with the help of Natural England. “We say this is unacceptable when you don’t have permission to build yet…” Crispin says.

bat to the future Finn Dempster


n the last 200 years the UK has lost 500 of its native animal species. The tide is turning, however, with some animals even staging a comeback, thanks to the belated protection of the Conservation Priority Status laws. These laws have had some of their most positive results right here in the West Country. Let’s start with the Mendips. Here, thanks largely to the sterling work of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, visitors can choose to visit any of three interlinked reserves in the area: Black Rock, Longwood Forest and Velvet Bottom. Check out for tons of information on local wildlife such as redstarts, hunting peregrine falcons, horseshoe bats and numerous rare butterflies. The reserves are also home to many marvels of the scaled and furry variety: reptiles can be seen basking in Velvet Bottom and you may spot badgers in the beautiful Longwood forest. The storms of the late 1980s released enough captive boars into the wild for breeding colonies to develop in the South West. The upshot is that for the first time since the 1500s, it’s possible to go on a wild boar safari! This is one for the more determined, though. Although the boar’s feeding-grounds will be easy enough to find during the day, you’ll need to venture back at night to actually see them. Go in a group, tell others where you’re going, and take a torch and map. You’ll need a good supply of patience: sensible clothing and a warm flask. For butterflies, head to the Cotswolds. The Duke of Burgundy butterfly – Britain’s rarest butterfly, with gold speckled wings – is steadily

what can you do?

1) Write to your MP opposing the plans. 2) Write to the Department of Energy and Climate Change pointing out how inappropriate these sites are. 3) Write to Natural England, responsible for areas of outstanding natural beauty ( 4) Write to Steve Webb, the local MP for the Oldbury area ( 5) Write to Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for the Hinkley area, 6) Join a group like SANE ( or Stop Hinkley (


building its numbers up. If you’re lucky, you may spot the vibrant Adonis Blue round these parts, too. And finally, to the otter. Pushed to the brink of extinction in the UK in the ’70s due to pesticide poisoning in the rivers, most estimations put the current otter population back up at around 8,000, thanks to ecologically responsible new industrial regulations. Indeed, the South West is now quite literally home to as many of the fiercely territorial creatures as it can hold. Spotting an otter is one of the toughest English safari challenges you can undertake. Try a muddy part of the river Avon or the Wye river and look out for the otter’s distinctive webbed footprints in the wet riverbank mud (print off some internet photos of otter prints to take with you). Happy wildlife spotting!

TOBACCO FACTORY MARKET Every Sunday from 10am to 2.30pm Fine Food - Craft - Music - Brunch

Family Friendly Environment Café Bar opens from 10am Stock up on delicious local produce: fruit and veg, bread, cheese, meat, fish, sausage, cakes, pies, honey, jerk chicken, jam, chutney, local craft, clothes and many more treats. Join our Facebook page Tobacco Factory Market for regular updates.

For directions please visit

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20 social change

cut back on the cut-backs Chris Mitchell is fired up by the funding cuts and offers a starter kit of ways to fight back and get your voice heard.


hen last year the coalition government announced a comprehensive spending review (CSR) designed to cut the national deficit, no-one expected it to be a painfree way of dealing with the effects of a global recession. But when Chancellor George Osborne announced his budget-slashing plans in October, it soon became clear that the pain was going to be spread more thickly in some areas than others, and none more so than in education. The fightback against the cuts that followed have proven astonishing and inspiring, with young people often leading the way. While

the rise in tuition fees was the first big point of mobilisation, the threat to the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for those at school or in further education colleges proved even more inflammatory, and inspired thousands to take to the streets with rarely-seen militancy. Organising through word-of-mouth and online, using witty placards, banners and posters as much as Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones, the anti-fees/proEMA protests quickly snowballed, with massive national mobilisations in London as well as large local ones up and down the country. Young people showed the way, and despite MPs voting by a narrow margin to triple tuition fees, it is the mass movement begun by students which is now developing in protection of social housing, welfare, employment, the environment and community funding. A huge number of direct action groups have sprung up around Sparkland. To help you get in contact with like-minded people fighting the cuts in your local area, we’ve put together a directory of all those we are aware of in the region, plus some links to nationwide groups too. For a regularly updated list (and other related information), visit the Sparkland AntiCuts Info blog at

Knightstone Housing Association

Knightstone is one of the biggest housing associations in Sparkland, with more than 11,000 homes from Portsmouth in the south to Hereford in the north, Minehead in the west to Marlborough in the east. Its ‘Tenant and Community Support Fund’ disburses around £60,000 each year from a pot currently £200,000 in size, and anyone can apply to it for funding, so long as it will “directly benefit Knightstone residents or service users”. Grants under £1,500 are fast tracked and can be approved by a single Knightstone director at any time; larger sums have to be approved

Will Simpson

solidarity groups

FITwatch Forward Intelligence Teams (FITs) are the ‘harassment policing’ specialists who follow activists around for extended periods of time even if they have not broken the law. FITwatch made the news when it published advice to students and other protesters who may have got caught up in the police dragnet following November’s Millbank protest, which led to the Met trying (unsuccessfully) to shut down its website. FITwatch is a tactic, a campaign and a blog based around ‘citizen sousveillance’ of the FITs.

Green & Black Cross Drawing on the experience of anti-authoritarian struggles and environmental activism, G&BC offers useful frontline support to the many campaigns springing up, including legal support, street medics and action kitchens.

further contacts Bath Against The Cuts BATC has organised a number of demonstrations against the cuts around Bath. Email: Bath Fund Our Future Student union-led campaign to hold LibDem MPs to election promises on education. Bristol Against Education Cuts Coordinating effort focused in the city’s unis to challenge the threat to EMA, raised tuition fees and wider funding cuts. Bristol & District Anti-Cuts Alliance BADACA brings together unions and community groups but is also open to individuals, and has organised large demonstrations in the city.

finding funding With the CSR cuts slashing nearly 20% from central government budgets and reducing local government funding by more than 7% for five consecutive years, many charities, voluntary groups and other community organisations are at risk of losing their budgets. One third of the sector’s funding, about £13 billion per year, currently comes from government, and much of it is at risk. However, there are a number of revenue streams available to projects whose budgets are threatened. Here we round up some that may be able to help you carry on your good work…

a game of three halves

“There are a number of revenue streams available to projects whose budgets are threatened…”

Bristol IWW The Bristol branch of the syndicalist union Industrial Workers of the World.

by Knightstone Charitable’s board, which meets every six weeks. Projects can be funded for up to three years.

Bristol Uni Resistance Group of UoB students who occupied Senate House to protest the cuts.

To apply contact Community Development Manager Liz Barnes at 0182 362 4282 or download an application form from

Gloucestershire Against The Cuts Supports unions and campaign groups

Community Foundations

Community Foundations are local charities set up to distribute privately donated cash to deserving causes. They make all kinds of grants of all kinds of sizes, each with its own set of criteria, though the rule of thumb is that it must be for a local cause and of benefit to the wider community or a disadvantaged section of it. There are four community foundations across Sparkland.

Hereford Solidarity League The HSL is built around local anti-authoritarian newspaper the Heckler. North Devon Anti-Cuts Alliance An umbrella set up “to unite everyone who wants to campaign against these unfair and unnecessary cuts to essential services”.

Devon Community Foundation Gloucestershire Community Foundation, The Community Foundation for Wiltshire & Swindon Somerset Community Foundation,

Stroud Coalition Against the Cuts A group set up by the local Labour party and ex-Stroud MP David Drew. UWE Students + Staff Against The Restructure & Cuts



t sounds like something from a Monty Python sketch. Three-sided football? How on earth does that work? Surely football is a simple affair that involves two teams, one referee, a ball, jumpers for goalposts etc etc? Well, not necessarily. Though the idea of playing the beautiful game with three teams has probably been bandied around by philosophers and eccentrics since time immemorial, 20th Century Danish situationist Asger Jorn was reputedly the man who formulated its rules. Jorn saw it as a means of conveying his notion of trialetics, a variation of the Marxist theory of dialectic materialism (the idea that society is driven forward by the struggle between haves and have nots). Later the format was taken up by the Association of Autonomous Astronauts, a loose affiliation of anarchists, futurists and pranksters from the quirkier end of the anti-globalisation movement that saw the game as a tool to dissolve the ‘homoerotic/homophobic bipolarity’ of traditional football. Thankfully you don’t need to know any of the accompanying theory to enjoy the game, which takes place on a hexagonal pitch with three goals. Unlike conventional football you don’t keep a tally of the goals you score, merely the ones you concede. The ‘winner’ of the three teams is the team that concedes the least. The central conceit is that instead of aggression and competitiveness, co-operation between teams is essential for the game to function. The game has been played at a number of activist events over the years. The London Psychogeographic Society organised the first game on British soil at the Glasgow Anarchist Summer school of 1993. I played it myself at an international sports tournament organised by Bristol amateur football side Easton Cowboys a couple of years ago. It was a fascinating, highly enjoyable match, with alliances constantly shifting between the three teams. One-on-one tackling was rare. More often than not a pass would be hit to a member of the team you were ‘allied’ to only for them to change their mind and charge headlong towards the goal your side were defending. Interestingly, team orders concerning alliances were often disregarded as individual players made up their own mind who to pass to, often based on whose goal they were nearest to. It proved that its originators’ high minded ideas weren’t actually so far off the mark, in that it provided a sporting experience which was competitive (though not overly so), thoughtprovoking and largely non-aggressive. Certainly, the overt hostility towards the opposition that is a by-product (some would say an essential ingredient) of modern football is unlikely to break out in a three-sided game when everyone is laughing so much! So does three-sided football have a future as a non-adverserial alternative to traditional sport? I can’t imagine FIFA or the Premier League will be very interested in its potential but parents wishing to push their footie-mad offspring towards something more nuanced and thoughtful might.

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22 food

ideals on wheels

season’s eatings

Darryl Bullock meets the Bristol woman scooping a career out of ethical ice cream.



ristol-based mum of two Bridget Pilkington has launched a unique new business venture by combining her passion for Volkswagen campers and her love of ice cream and other sweet treats. Bridget, from Bedminster, came up with the idea for Vee Double Moo when she and her kids Jack and Lily decided the ice cream on offer at events they went to was pretty uninspiring. Cue Bridget’s decision to set up a mobile catering company on her VW wheels. Bridget has owned VW campervans for over a decade and as fate would have it, she came across a converted 1973 campervan up for sale that had already been used for food deliveries. Rebranded with a distinctive blue cow print and christened ‘Daisy’, Vee Double Moo had their first outing last August and have been busy whipping up sweet treats ever since. Initially selling award-winning, soft-serve ice cream in organic cones, Vee Double Moo has already extended its range of products to include frozen yogurt, homemade organic cupcakes, cookies and muffins, Fairtrade tea and coffee as well as bottles of Frank water. “Setting up a new business in the middle of a recession was a challenge,” says Bridget, who took a voluntary redundancy from her job at an environmental consultancy in 2009.

pring means new life, new growth and loads of fresh, locally-grown fruit and vegetables, as well as new-season meat, game and poultry. The perfect antidote to winter’s carb-heavy roots, nature’s larder springs to into action after a long, dark hibernation. You’ll soon be able to buy gorgeous purple sprouting broccoli, spring cabbage, kale, and spinach; the British asparagus season runs mid-April until late June and, during May, we’ll have new potatoes appearing. Early crops of carrots, cauliflower and calabrese (broccoli) will also be about. Early varieties of rhubarb will be available in March, with main crops appearing in April and May; strawberries will start to arrive in late April/early May, and raspberries and cherries will be ready come May. Foragers should look out for wild garlic and nettles in April and May. Meat eaters will be able to purchase spring lamb in May, and game and poultry will include pigeon and rabbit from March, guinea fowl for April and duck for May. If you’re planting, you should be sowing broad beans, carrots, leeks and potatoes during March; April is the time to plant spinach, lettuces and Brussels sprouts, and May is the time for potatoes, courgettes and sweetcorn.

“I was inspired by my passion for VW campers and the good feelings that surround them. Offering delicious local ice cream seemed to be a winning combination. Vee Double Moo’s range has developed as we’ve gone along but is based on taking pride in using organic dairy ingredients to make buttercream cupcakes, hot chocolate and most recently, frozen yogurt.” Vee Double Moo made an appearance at the Severnside Music Festival, the Best of Bedminster Show and the VW Oktoberfest show in Cheddar in 2010, and Bridget says she is “very much looking forward to a whole range of events next year; from festivals through to community fairs and food markets.” “We’ll be at lots of VW events in the South West, kicking off with a brand new one, Dub Aid, at Castle Combe on March 18-20,” she says. “This is followed by Van West in Brean on May 6-8 and Volksfest at Washingpool Farm near Bristol in early June. Daisy will be travelling down to Cornwall for a wedding booking in May and this may well tie in with a Run to the Sun VW festival in Newquay. We’ll also be at the Tobacco Factory Market in Southville regularly throughout 201”

viva las vegans


egFest takes place over the last weekend of May in and around Bristol’s historic harbourside. Organiser Tim Barford (founder of local hemp products specialist Yaoh), is expecting 10,000 people to turn up for the weekend to mingle with like-minded souls, and enjoy good food and a good party into the bargain. Vegfest, which began life as the Vegan Fayre back in 2003, is likely to be the biggest vegan event in Europe in 2011. This year entry will be free to the public during the day (Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29) although it becomes a paidentry event in the evenings (from 6pm-11pm) for the bands and DJs. The show starts on Friday May 27 with a dance party and is preceded by a weeklong fringe of veggie-related arts events around the city, helping to raise the profile of vegetarian and vegan activists and groups including Viva!, the Vegan Society, Animal Aid and the Vegetarian Society. “We think we’ve got the balance just right after years of trying different formulas,” says Tim. “It’s free to the public during the day and it’s cheap enough for stallholders too.” All the food and produce on sale will be 100% animal-free and the show will once again see over 100 stalls with caterers, juice bars, talks, cookery demos, detox clinics, a cinema, live music, a kid’s area, two stages and more over the three days. During the Fringe week Mike Abrahams, of Bristol’s Wild Oats, will be hosting a series of talks, Café Kino will be holding free vegan cookery classes from their new premises in Stokes Croft, and samples and information about veganism and VegFest will be available from pop-up stalls outside wholefood shops in the city. Saturday night sees a massive dance party; restaurants and cafes will be offering special menus and discounts on vegan food, and there’s a film night lined up in conjunction with Bristol Animal Rights Collective, with more events to be confirmed nearer the time.

cage rage H

ere in the UK we consume almost 11 billion eggs a year, 85 percent of which are produced domestically. According to the RSPCA around 58% of the UK’s eggs come from hens kept in battery cages, in which each hen has about the area of a sheet of A4 paper to live its productive life in, not even enough space to allow the birds to spread their wings. All of the hen’s natural instincts – including nesting, perching, scratching and pecking – are denied. In other countries its even worse: up to 80% of eggs produced in the EU come from battery hens; the United States produces 95% of their eggs in caged systems. The ban on the use of barren battery cages within the EU is due to be brought into force in January 2012. This means that, by the beginning of next year, all battery egg producers will have to – by law – improve conditions for their chickens. Yet Bristol-based vegan campaigning group Viva!, as well as other animal rights groups including the RSPCA, claim that the new ‘enriched’ cages which are being introduced are little, if any, better than those in current use. These new cages are required to give birds more space (roughly 30%

intense scrutiny over the coming months as the campaign against their use hots up. 
Viva!, which hit national headlines last year after releasing undercover footage of allegedly ‘unhappy’ free-range hens at one of Noble Foods’ (the owners of the Happy Egg Company) production plants, is planning a national day of action at Easter to raise awareness of what enriched cage systems actually are. The concern is that ethicallyconscious consumers who had switched from battery cage eggs because of concerns over animal welfare might be tempted to switch back to cage eggs because they believe that enriched cages offered laying birds a vastly improved environment but, says campaigns director Justin Kerswell: “To call these cages enriched is a sick joke. Hard fought welfare

extra) as well as a nesting box, a perch and a scratching area. Viva! state, however, that hens will still be severely restricted and unable to stretch or flap their wings. As there will only be one nest box and very limited perching and dustbathing areas in each cage hens will be forced to compete for access: dominant hens may prevent others from ever accessing these facilities. Most birds in enriched cages will still spend a significant proportion of their time standing on wire mesh floors with little room to move around, and they will all still be denied fresh air and sunshine. For these reasons animal welfare organisations in the EU continue to push for a complete ban on both conventional and enriched cages. Egg producers converting to enriched cages for their laying hens will come under


improvements are to be welcomed, but this is a baby step so slight that it’s almost a step backwards. Hens are still crammed into cages, without access to range or sunshine. Almost all that is natural to them is denied. These sentient, intelligent animals are still suffering because of the stack ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap mentality.” The RSPCA said it, too, opposed enriched cages because they failed to “properly meet the hens’ physical or behavioural needs. On these grounds the RSPCA is calling for a ban on all cage systems and for them to be replaced with well-managed alternative systems which offer higher welfare standards for the hens.” Find out more about Viva!’s day of action at

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24 family

a win win situation


“I know people still scarred by school sports day”

competitive kids?

Lots of board games are based on the competitive principle. Whether you’re trying to beat someone, bankrupt them or conquer their territory: your success is based on someone else’s failure. But hang on a minute… shouldn’t children be able to be competitive? The world is certainly competitive, so should they perhaps learn how to survive from an early age? I have ex-Steiner school friends who bemoan the fact that anything competitive was no-go and how that drove them mad as a kid; conversely, I know people still scarred by school sports day. I recently found an alternative to the ‘competitive’ board game. Family Pastimes are a Canadian company that produce board games for kids, designed specifically to encourage co-operation and teamwork. They produce over 40 games, grouped in ages (five to seven, seven+, 9+ and 12+), all designed to help children “play together not against each other”. Founder Jim Deacove started by making games for his family. Friends began to ask him for copies and before long he’d found a workshop and started a business. A leaf through his catalogue reveals games such as Earth Game: “not a war game but a peace game! Players look after fictional nations, managing resources and solving problems” and Community: “a game about

why I do what I do…

r Esther Crawley, a researcher at the University of Bristol, has been leading a team investigating CFS/ME in children, working on a variety of studies, trail work, interviews, data from the Children of The Nineties project (ALSPAC) and long-term regular contact with over 800 children and young people who use her clinical service, She has found that the old stereotype of ‘yuppie flu’ is definitely untrue. “Research shows this illness is actually more common in those less well off, and what is also worrying is that it seems likely that they are also less likely to receive help,” said Esther. It also has a significant impact on their education. “This illness can be devastating for young people. We have shown that children often have significant memory and concentration problems, in fact 62% of children who come and use our specialist service only attend 2 days a week of school or less, prior to their treatment.” “Diagnosis is important,” she added, “children often have headaches, sore throats and muscle aches and pains so it can be easy to dismiss them as just having another virus. Most children will get very much or completely better if they access the right treatment, however, we suspect that only 10% or so of children actually get a diagnosis.”

Helen Moore


Fiona McClymont and her family experiment with some non-competitive board games

don’t know about you, but in my house, the suggestion that we “all play a board game’” is a bit like a call to arms. A seemingly innocuous game of Cluedo or Snakes and Ladders could be accompanied by any the following: tears, recriminations, name-calling, triumphal crowing, sore losing and at some stage, someone storming off. Not to mention the possibility that it may turn physical, with someone getting battered over the head with the board itself. Ah yes, the joys of a family board game session. Playing games with your kids is supposed to bring you together, isn’t it? Quality time and all that? Well, many is the time I’ve looked into my eight-year-old son’s eyes, as he cheerfully taunts “Ha! You’re bankrupt and I own EVERYTHING!” while playing Monopoly, and thought to myself: “There’s nothing quality about this!”

child ME study

communal living, where we try to develop a happy, complete village”. All very commendable and right-on, but are they any fun to play? Could they bring harmony to my household gaming? I bought one to find out. I chose The Secret Door: A Co-operative Mystery Game for 5-8 year-olds, based on the old classic of having to uncover and match pairs. Printed on a gameboard (made to look like an old mansion), there are 12 clock squares and 12 ‘valuables’ squares. Then there are little cards, which you place on the board: 12 clock cards, and 12 pairs of valuables (crowns, rubies etc.). The object of the game is to match all the valuables and beat the clock. If midnight ‘chimes’, then it’s game over. There are also three ‘valuable’ cards hidden behind a ‘secret door’ so the kids must work out together what they are. I wasn’t expecting much, to be honest, thinking that the game looked too simplistic and old-school to interest the modern, clued-up kids I’d assembled as my testers. But to my great surprise, Family Pastimes’ mission statement came to life… they did actually work together! There was co-operation instead of conflict. An amazing result!

Research info: childrencomplexhealthneeds/chronic-fatigue/ Info about the specialist service for children with CFS/ME that Dr Crawley runs in Bath and click “about us”

chi dance


et one your feet, older family members! St Werburghs Community Centre in Bristol offers free tea dances every Thursday afternoon for over 50s, followed by free tai chi classes every Friday afternoon – held in the local Mina Road Park when the weather improves. The tai chi will be led by Dennison Joseph, known for his essential tai chi classes running at the centre for nearly 10 years. Tea dance is run by Norma Daykin, experienced salsa and ballroom dance teacher. No experience necessary for either class and a great chance to exercise, socialize and energise!, 0117 955 1351

What do you do?

I work with Bath Forest School. Our weekly group for home educated or flexi-schooled kids is called Wood Dragons.

Can you sum up your job in 3 words? Child-led learning outdoors.

I know it’s been a good day when…

I have great job satisfaction. I always go home with an afterglow.

What I’ve learnt about others is…

The lovely thing about children is you might teach them something one day and then weeks later they say ‘Oh, a cowslip!’ and you know it went in; they’re like sponges. As teachers we shouldn’t be attached to a specific outcome – its about trusting the organic learning process.

When I was younger I…

Used to love playing outdoors and having the freedom many children don’t have these days.

Was it a direct journey or a slow meander?

Quite a direct journey. Having grown up post the removal of Nature Studies in schools, I began teaching myself about the natural world and realised the need for the new generation of children to become eco-literate. I saw Forest Schools as the path to meeting this need and was able to get a grant to fund my training and set up Wood Dragons.

In ten years’ time I’d like to be…

I’m also an eco-poet and children’s author. I’d like these aspects to be more established – all the threads of my work will have their own momentum and I’ll be able to weave more fluidly between them.

If you want to do this job:

Go ahead and do it. Seeing how well children respond outside the four walls of the classroom, with so much more freedom, and helping young people have a deeper connection with the natural world is a beautiful way of being., 01373 463437

a twin win situation

common goal

Identifying the clock as the common enemy somehow bound them together beautifully in an effort to beat it. I did hear comments of “I got more pairs than you” and “I want to go first!” so clearly the competitive streak still asserted itself but I was genuinely taken aback by how the children seemed to be helping each other to reach their common goal. The game finished, they’d all enjoyed it, no major incidents to report and off they all wandered, still friends. Strangely, it was the adults present who had a problem with it, with comments such as “But there are no real winners!” and “It was always the arguments I enjoyed most as a kid…”. I too remember the heightened emotion, the adrenalin rush of trying to be the one that won. It was as though all the intensity of childhood was channelled and legitimised by playing competitive games. There was something cathartic about it. Is that missing from these co-operative games? Who knows? The jury’s still out in my house. I certainly found the whole thing fascinating and plan to get another of Family Pastimes games and repeat the experiment.


arah Howard-Jones is a volunteer for the Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba). “I’m a mother from Bristol who had two children and found that I was pregnant with my happy accident … twins! In May 2010, once all my children were at school, I became one of 30 TAMBA-trained Parenting Facilitators delivering ‘Practical Preparing for Multiple Parenthood’ seminars across the UK. As a parent of twins I know that even 5 years ago it was difficult to know where to go to get tailored advice - everything was ‘This won’t apply to you you’re expecting twins’ which gets more than annoying & also not very helpful.” Tamba runs a range of regular courses for expectant parents and for families with children aged 1-5 and 5-11. There’s a free telephone support line, a monthly e-newsletter,

Family Pastimes Co-operative Games are available in Bristol from Playfull Toyshop at 87 Gloucester Road. For other stockists and to see the whole range of their games, visit 24

and many free resources including guides on having a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, Neonatal care, Postnatal Depression, etc. Their website offers access to forums, events, discounts, an online bookshop, product reviews (including a buggy and pushchair guide) and specialist support. Tamba also undertakes research, and campaigns on issues such as school admissions, care for premature babies, and family support. “Bristol has a very healthy twins & more community,” Sarah said, “with clubs meeting regularly across the area, and Tamba is extremely important in supporting families blessed with multiples. Twinline, 0800 138 0509, free to use, 10am-1pm & 7-10pm, TAMBA membership £36 per year, discounts available

Dramatherapy “The purpose of playing at the first and now, was and is, to hold as twere, the mirror up to nature”

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P H O N E T O D AY 0 1 1 7 9 5 3 3 8 7 0 Knowing someone you care about is using drugs and alcohol to cope can be devastating.


26 mind body & spirit

spotlight on… Ayurveda Dhinuka Athavuda studies and practises Ayurveda as part of her family’s tradition. She explains the principles of the Ayurvedic belief system, and the history and philosophy which underpins it.


mystery of nature: the air yurveda is the ancient which they could not see but healing tradition of could feel, and which gave north west India and them life; the fire that gives is the oldest documented light; and the water that medicinal system known binds the Earth and recreates to modern humans. This life. They also pondered philosophical yet practical the existence of an overall, health system is as relevant greater energy. today as it was 5,000 years Their aural tradition had ago; for its understanding of kept their stories alive for nature and our relationship thousands of years and with her, for its utilisation these largely philosophical of plants and minerals in thoughts were eventually medicine, and for bringing written down on palm leaf together healing practices manuscripts in the Sanskrit which focus on every aspect language, in rhyming verse, of the human being. between circa 6500-2600 Ayurveda strives for BC. harmony between the These writings are known human being and the collectively as The Vedas environment around him or (Knowledges). The her, functioning foremost healing tradition of to prevent disease and to Dhinuka Athavuda Ayurveda stems promote well-being; to directly from avoid the need for cure. The these original manuscripts & was aim of Ayurveda is to maintain a perfect state set down as the Atharva Veda of Swastha (health). manuscripts in circa 1000 BC, Ayurveda treats a human being as a complex which contains 2,000 verses whole. All forms of Ayurvedic therapy focus relating directly to medicinal on the whole person: healing. •Manas (Mind); During this time, the •Sharira (Body); associated culture was known •Atman (Soul). as the time of the Vedic An Ayurvedic doctor will usually people, whose artwork also recommend yoga & meditation practice as demonstrates their highly part of the (w)holistic treatment. evolved spiritual existence.

the history

Ayurveda’s roots lie in the Indus Valley of north west India, in the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range, whose indigenous people thrived on the abundantly fertile land. Today the area is known as the borderlands of Kashmir & Punjab (Five Waters or Rivers). As the ancient Harappan people reaped their harvests they wondered at the profound

•Fire (Sun) emits the principle of Light; •Water (Rain) is the cohesion of Love. At an atomic level all the elements of nature are in a constant state of flux. The three forces of universal nature interact and change, creating the five elements which we can physically perceive with our five sense organs on Earth. So Ayurveda has built its foundations on the theory of the five Great Elements (air, fire, water, earth and ether). If the human body is a reflection of the universe, then all living beings consist of the five Great Elements.

the Doshas

As all the elements are in a constant state of interaction, our bodies are also in a constant state of change, finding the right balance at all times. The Doshas are bio-energies, (similar to the four Greek Humors). •Vata (Air Bio-energy) represents gaseous matter and the energy of all the body’s movements; •Pitta (Fire Bio-energy) represents the energy of metabolism and transformation; •Kapha (Water Bio-energy) is the liquid state of matter and the energy of growth. Vata is associated with the air and ether elements, Pitta with fire and water, and Kapha with water and earth. Each Dosha is associated with different body types, in terms of physical characteristics plus emotional, mental and spiritual qualities. We all contain within us all the three Doshas; however one or two of them will usually be more prominent at different times of the day and night, in different seasons, and according to the food we eat. Together with the Dosha’s various properties and relationships, they explain our complete physiologies.

the science

In the Ayurvedic tradition, the human body is viewed as a micro-cosm of the macro-cosm, or greater universe. The three primary forces of nature are associated with different qualities in the human body. •Air (Wind) gives the energy of Life;

Vicki West visits Bristol’s only Ayurvedic clinic

Ayurveda is known as an ancient yet adaptable science & seeks to work hand-inhand with modern Western medicine. The invaluable role of Ayurveda is that this wealth of knowledge was documented for us to read, learn from & to refer to, again & again, into our future. Dhinuka’s website: Ayurvedic Herb Suppliers: Pukka Herbs Ltd, Bristol, BS14 0BY, The Yoga of Herbs - An Ayurvedic Guide, 2nd Edition (1986), by Dr. Pandit David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad The Ayurveda Institute of Europe Ayurvedic Practitioners Association Ayurvedic practitioners available at Neals Yard Bath 01225 466 944, Bristol 0117 946 6034

Disclaimer: This article was written for purely educational purposes. The information contained within the article is not intended to be offered or taken as medical advice.

Book review by Beccy Golding



Joanna Webber

“Ayurveda is known as an ancient yet adaptable science & seeks to work hand-in-hand with modern Western medicine…”

ethical wills

Ayurvedic massage for pregnancy he Bristol Ayurvedic Clinic was set up in 2008 by Ayurvedic practitioner and Sivananda Yoga teacher Joanna Webber. Her clinic offers practical diet & lifestyle advice to help people “feel full of life, minimise physical illness and reduce mental stress”. Practitioners use Ayurveda and Yoga to enable their clients to “discover their purpose,” while staying in balance with their own nature and the changing world around them. The clinic has treated clients with a variety of problems, including pre- and postnatal care, skin disorders, digestive complaints, respiratory problems, allergies, hypertension, stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and much more. I was keen to try out remedies for hayfever but since I was seven months pregnant at the time, I couldn’t take some of the detox herbs so Joanna suggested instead a special pregnancy massage with Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner Sole Salido (Satya). Sole discussed with me Ayurvedic remedies for my various pregnancy-enhanced niggles (mainly my sensitive nose!). For the massage itself, she used warm sesame oil (packed full of vitamin E) mixed with a powder called Shatavari (good for pregnant women

Ayurveda utilises natural herbs and minerals, correct nutrition, purification and positive ways of living to focus on preventative treatment, combined with a healthy lifestyle. Practised by a skilled and compassionate doctor, who explains to the patient his or her own active role in the healing process, Ayurveda has been known to radically reduce the causes, signs and the symptoms of stress, depression, anorexia, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.

ccording to Jo Kline Cebuhar, the author of this book, an ethical will is not a document about who gets what in a fair-share kind of way. In fact, it’s not a legal document at all; it’s something you leave for others that conveys your philosophical and spiritual essence. You could say an ethical will is your ‘personal mission statement’, but that phrase might put you off (by the by, the author and publisher are American, but don’t let that put you off either). Put simply, an ethical will is a way to convey ‘this is how I want to be remembered.’ The vehicle is immaterial: for me the first thing that springs to mind is a document or a letter, but for you it might be a video, or a scrapbook, a recipe book even, or a keepsake box full of bits and pieces gathered or created by you. Whatever way, this book guides you through the creation of an ethical will starting with its three essential elements: sharing your core beliefs & values;

Sole Salido (Satya)

or for treating any women-specific health issues). The combination of textures had a wonderful exfoliating and soothing effect on my skin. The massage itself was focused on my back, arms, legs and finally my neck and head. Sole explained to me that she chants mantras in her head while she is massaging so she can channel and work on the body’s energetic system. The massage enabled Sole to tune into my mood, mental state, and how my body was feeling energetically. We discovered together that I needed to relax a lot more (mentally and physically) during the remainder of my pregnancy. The massage was much needed and gave me some really useful insights. I felt wonderful afterwards! 26

your life lessons; your hopes for the future. It can be about storytelling – recording family jokes or holiday memories, or reconciliation – mending bridges and rifts. It’s also about saying ‘I love you’ and ‘goodbye’, but it needn’t be created because you feel your end is imminently nigh. As I read I found myself thinking about what I would include in my ethical will, and jotting notes in the margin such as ‘find beauty, be a tourist, look at the sky’ and ‘inner contentment’. Because as you try to identify and describe your beliefs and values for others, you have to identify and describe them to yourself, and that’s the beauty of this book. It’s a practical how-to manual, and at the same time a guide to self-reflection. And that’s a good thing to do at any time of life. So create an ethical will now, then top it up in five years time, and after that, another ten. Jo Kline Cebuhar, Murphy Publishing



It’s the perfect time to get out, try something different or discover the new you. Read on for some of the best courses around this spring. We hope to inspire you to grow your self, take a new path or even start a new career.


pring is the time when in addition to clearing the cobwebs from the house and getting the garden ready for new growth many of us think about feeding our minds on a new course. Often it’s just for fun or for personal development, but sometimes it’s in response to a deep personal desire for change in our lives and careers. In this special Spring Courses Guide we gathered some information that might help you decide on the direction you’d like to take. We’ve interviewed some practitioners who studied on vocational courses in Sparkland and who are now following new career paths and we’ve also asked some experts to describe the courses they do, particularly in areas that were unfamiliar to us. Hopefully their descriptions

a whole range of training opportunities. I took a typing and shorthand qualification (my mum approved), attended a herbalism workshop, did a ‘Motor Mechanics for Women’ course at South Bristol College (now City of Bristol) and got a place on a six-week improvising course called ‘School for Fools’ at Bristol’s Fool Time (now Circomedia). I loved the fact, and still delight in telling people, that Maggie Thatcher paid for me to learn to be a clown! Alex: Last January I started an evening class on documentary filmmaking at the Engine Room, Bridgwater. The final project was a 15-minute mini-documentary that followed my personal experiences as I explored Buddhism for the first time. It was an opportunity to learn more about a subject that had long interested me; taking the course was really rewarding and the finished film was a great testament to what I had learned in class as well as on the meditation mat. Bill: In the mid 1990s I did a hypnotherapy

will inspire you to try out their courses or look around in similar areas. We don’t just write about courses here at The Spark, we enjoy them too. Darryl: I’m really proud of the mirror I made on the Creative Glass Guild’s one-day stained-glass course. So much so that instead of giving it to my mother as a gift I decided to keep it for myself: it now has pride of place in my loo! Walking away at the end of the session with something beautiful that I had created myself was a real bonus. Beccy: Back in the 80s I was on a government scheme called the Community Programme (CP). The great thing about CP schemes were that they gave you access to


e d i gu

course, although I never intended to practise as a therapist; my interest was in the workings of the subconscious and an exploration of my own mind. It was great being able to put others into a trance and to read what was really going on inside from external clues. Mostly I use what I learnt to cope with stress and to solve emotional and intellectual problems. Naomi: I attended course called ‘Life Stories’ run by UWE at SPAN (Single Parent Action Network) in Bristol. It helped me understand how to write a story and the different ways you can write to express what you want to say. Writing part of my life story helped me deal with some things that had happened in my past: it was a brilliant experience. Check out our events ads (from page 4) and listings ads for more inspiring ideas: Courses, groups and workshops start on page 41, the counselling training section is on page 41 and the Training section starts on page 50.

e d i 28 spring courses u g went and had a chat with her at a talk in Bristol. I was hooked. It was 1984 and I was at home looking after the children. I got a job soon after that selling textbooks to schools to pay for the training. Before that I had semi-voluntary job at a children’s bookshop in Ambra Vale, called Where The Wild Things Are. I could take the children along there when they were small. Why did you decide to study and make homeopathy your career? I was always interested in helping people by

Penny Stirling Trained at The School of Homeopathy


ow did you first hear about homeopathy? It was a complete fluke. There was a woman training at the School of Homeopathy called Margaret Ecclestone who gave a talk at my husband’s office. He said I would love it. The very next day I

o al s s e in urs ble r o C aila te av rces Wo

Persephone Institute Unfolding Human Potential with Yehuda Tagar founder of Psychophonetics “All human

challenges are opportunities for spiritual development”

A Foundation Year in empathy skills and personal development leading to the professional training as a Psychophonetics practitioner (2 years), next intake starting March 17th 2011 in Stroud, GLOS. Taught in 4 blocks of 7 (or 8) days in each year Learn to work with gesture, movement, visualisation and sounds, to heal past experiences and meet life’s challenges as opportunities for personal growth. Please look at our website: for info about talks, workshops, master classes and the professional training course. Personal sessions also available.

Tel: 07920100794

Putting Health

Back in Your Hands The Contemporary College of Homeopathy


• Weekend introductory courses • One year foundation course (part time) Four year professional training for • practitioner level (part time) CALL NOW to book a place on our next FREE OPEN DAY Tel: 0845 603 2878

listening to them. I had experiences with my own children getting them treated with conventional medicine and didn’t know what to do for alternatives. I loved the combination of art or magic and science or pragmatism in homeopathy. I studied literature before and loved what made people tick. I was looking for a philosophy and didn’t know that was included in homeopathy. What aspects of the job give you most joy and which most frustration? I still find it wonderful when people get better. Some people’s lives change completely. For example, when children have eczema, often it makes them miserable, cross and unloveable. When they get better, they become normal, playful, happy children. Sometimes after a long time working with someone you find a remedy, a small change, that changes their lives. This is very gratifying. It is frustrating sometimes to explain the whole other viewpoint involved in homeopathy. It can be harder to explain the treatment to someone used to conventional treatment. Money can also be a problem: we don’t charge very much, but to people used to free treatment on the NHS, they can’t afford the follow-ups and this can be frustrating. How has homeopathy changed your life? It’s been such a huge part of my life that it’s hard to explain it sometimes: it took me over; I just loved everything about it. Homeopathy has changed my life. When I first started studying I was quite unhappy really, lacking in direction. I started to mix with a different group of people who were into healing and psychotherapy and discovering themselves. It is perhaps not so much my life that changed; I changed a lot. You have to look into yourself in homeopathy. What would you say to people considering a homeopathy course? Homeopathy is a very particular thing to do. Try and see if it is for you. Most who do the course continue, but some people aren’t prepared for the amount of work. The course is quite intellectual; there is a lot of book-learning. Tell us about getting started in your career once you’d finished your course. Setting up my first practice was quite slow. I used to teach first-aid adult classes on homeopathy, five times a week. One was at Cotham Grammar School, one in Portishead, one in Clevedon. There was only a handful of us homeopaths in Bristol then, only about 10 of us. Now there are a lot more.

Joanne Crovini Trained at The College of Naturopathic Medicine


here did you find out about the college? I googled naturopathy and CNM came up! So I went to an open evening and signed up. What did you like most/least about the course? Least: it was more work than I had anticipated to cover all the topics to the required depths! Most: I liked learning about nutrition; as soon as I started I was really motivated and it never felt like going back to school. What kind of support did the college/tutor offer you? Lecturers were very supportive, always happy to answer questions during classes, lunch breaks and via email. At the end of the course, what skills/knowledge did you have? I got my qualification as a nutritional therapist and I’ve never stopped learning since, from my experience in practice, and in how to market and promote myself. How has the course changed your life? I now work part time for myself and can be flexible with my hours and I can earn money doing something I enjoy, which isn’t something many people can say! Would you recommend doing the course to someone else? Definitely! It never felt like a chore to study as I so enjoyed the content. The best thing were the lecturers, they had amazing knowledge. Professionally, I have just finished delivering a sports nutrition course and I’ve been working at boot camps, as well as giving talks to the WI and to Cardiff University. I was also a guest on BBC Radio Wales recently talking about weight loss. I am a general nutritional therapy practitioner and treat men, women and children with a number of conditions. Having had my first child in May 2008, I have a particular interest in nutrition for fertility and pregnancy as well as children’s nutrition and health from weaning onwards. As a nutritionist I believe passionately in identifying and treating that cause with relevant nutritional interventions, rather than masking the symptoms. I work from two clinics in the Cardiff area.

spring courses guide Helen Allen Trained at The British School of Homeopathy


arrived for my first homeopathic consultation with Anna Woodhead, who is a homoeopath in Bath, wondering what on earth to expect. I was greeted by a very calm and supportive practitioner who helped me take an in-depth and holistic look at the journey of my life; my physical and emotional health, my responses and fears. Anna and her remedies helped me through a very challenging time to a state of greatly improved health on all levels … and I was keen to learn more about this mysterious practice. I had already begun to make vital connections between traumatic life events and emotional and physical wellbeing as well as the influences of family medical history and life experience. After my first consultation Anna said, “Have you thought about being a homoeopath?” The seed was sown… After years of working with homeless people I felt the tides changing for me and turned my eye to homoeopathy courses in the South West. I was led to The British School of Homoeopathy by an advert in The Spark and made contact. The course sounded thoroughly inspiring with plenty of support from tutors all with very broad clinical experience. The course was part-time for four years and it was the most wonderful time with monthly weekend college meets. Here I

formed a strong bond with fellow students and tutors and a realisation that I had found my calling. I studied the principles of homeopathy, the remedies we use, anatomy and physiology as well as looking in-depth at case studies, prescribing techniques and ethical issues. In our final year we ran a college clinic taking live cases. I cannot recommend this course enough; the quality of the teaching and clinical preparation was outstanding. The college is thriving and recently moved to Exeter. Being a homoeopath feels to me like a calling; a vocation in the truest sense of the word. The course was challenging yet inspiring and now my homeopathic work challenges and inspires me. I am now a qualified and registered homeopath and am enjoying a busy practice in Norton Radstock covering Radstock, Midsomer Norton and surrounding villages. Working for yourself and building a practice in complementary health can be tough sometimes but I am deeply motivated by seeing people getting better. Homoeopathy is now very much ‘in my bones’ and I am very glad to be raising my family with the wisdom of this very important medicine at our side. I love my work and feel very honoured to be working in a profession where I am able to treat people of all ages with a range of conditions and issues. I offer talks and information days to raise awareness of this important medicine and I have also had the pleasure of guest lecturing at Bristol City College on a complementary health course.


Jeremy Dymond Trained at Bristol College of Massage & Bodywork


hy holistic massage? I had a bad back for a number of years and found massage to be one of the best ways of easing the discomfort and helping me on the path to recovery. I found there was a big variation in the quality of the massage I received and from this I gained an interest in trying some myself and, after a bit of internet research, I found an Introductory course with the Bristol College of Massage & Bodywork (BCMB). To my surprise, this introductory course managed to incorporate a great amount of hands-on practice. Once I’d seen the knowledgeable and caring approach of the BCMB tutors I knew I was going to enrol with them for the full Massage Training Institute (MTI) diploma course. What was good/bad about it? What did you like most/least about it? The MTI diploma course in holistic massage was very well structured by BCMB. It gradually introduced topics that coincided well with the handson work and made the process feel natural, considering the volume of theoretical knowledge and bodywork techniques to learn! I was also impressed with how they taught us to have great thoughtfulness toward clients and toward ourselves at work; for if we are not in good form, how are we to deliver our best massage? The bit I didn’t find as easy about the course was that it also leads you to take a good look at

yourself and how your sense of self affects your massage, yet this turned out to be of great value. It helped me gain greater understanding of where my personality and experiences affect my work and how to make best use of this knowledge. What kind of support did you have? Throughout the course the support from the tutors was great as they were very approachable and always listened and helped. And with a few of them working together to deliver the course you never got too bored of any one tutor’s teaching style! As well as getting a whole wealth of input from their different backgrounds of experience. What did you gain from the course? From the course I have gained experience in many effective massage and bodywork techniques and have the relevant knowledge of the body to support this. The many hours of study and practice needed for the course has given me the confidence to take this knowledge and begin to practice massage independently in Bath. How has the course changed your life? It has set me up to be a competent massage practitioner, provided me with good friends and happy memories, and boosted my confidence. It has also helped me to be more aware of my own feelings, self-restrictions, and to be comfortable in reassessing these. Would you recommend it to anyone else? All-in-all, if anyone asked me for advice on where to study holistic massage I would simply answer with four letters: B C M B. Jeremy practises in Bath. Relax in Bath|Holistic Massage on Facebook


MASTERS PROGRAMME IN DANCE MOVEMENT PSYCHOTHERAPY validated by Canterbury Christ Church University Interviewing now for September start. Please enquire.


NATIONAL CERTIFICATE IN DANCE MOVEMENT & THE THERAPEUTIC PROCESS (Edexcel Award) - Interviewing now for September start. Please enquire. INTRODUCTION TO DMP STUDIES SUMMER SCHOOL. 1st–6th August. 6-day intensive taster course. Students should be aged 16 upwards.

Find out more about this great healing practice and the School of Homeopathy. We have been training the world’s professional homeopaths since 1981. If you’re interested in homeopathy, healing or healthcare, then get in touch? Become a homeopath Attendance Practitioner Course, one weekend a month, held in Stroud, enrolling now for Sept.

Try a Home Study Course First Aid Course (1 month), Taster Course (4 months), Foundation Course (1 year) and more.

Find out more Request a free prospectus, look at videos online or come for a free School visit and sit in on class.

home of homeopathy T: 0800 0439 349 · E: ·

e d i 30 spring courses u g Well Dressing Explained by The Chalice Well Trust


n spring time the traditional art of well dressing occurs. This ancient echo relates to the seasonal changes and rites enjoyed by our ancestors. The elemental energy of land and water have awakened, and traditionally this was a time for pilgrimage to a holy well or spring for blessings, rites and healings. The ancient art of well dressing has continued almost uninterrupted to the present day. Some sources trace it back to the Black Death of 13489, when a third of England’s population died. The villages whose folk didn’t die attributed this to their clean water, and gave thanks by ‘dressing’ the well. Some well dressing ceremonies today have a “Well Queen”, implying once again this echo from the past. Well dressing today still takes place in April/May, though luckily without the ancient blood sacrifices attached. The hanging of green branches and garlands of flowers over the spring or the well replaced those ancient rites. During Henry VIII’s reign, Thomas Cromwell oversaw the destruction of all well-dressing equipment and water worship was strictly forbidden. Bad news for well dressers! From 1818 something new emerged: wooden frames or bases, five feet wide and six feet high. These were immersed in water for a week (known as ‘puddling’). Moist clay was placed on top, about

an inch deep. A design was chosen and drawn on paper, laid on the clay, then ‘pricked out.’ The paper was peeled off, and petals and other items placed in the areas laid out by the design. This is still the same process today. By its nature it requires time and patience, so is akin to meditation and fascinating to see. At Chalice Well we have the lovely Glennie Kindred who dresses our well for special occasions, or to simply to offer the process. With each petal that is placed bringing the picture to life, people flow throughout the process and a natural space of joy and communion arises. It’s delightful to watch and participants seem to glow with joy. Once finished, the well dressing is taken to our well head, where it stays in place for a week or so for all our visitors to enjoy. The end result is a stunningly beautiful collage of colour and design. 01458 831154 or Admittance price to workshop: Please bring a variety of flowers in shape and colour.

Agroforestry Explained by Patrick Whitefield


groforestry is about growing productive trees and ground-level plants together. One example is walnut trees and wheat, which are much more productive when grown together. The wheat starts to grow in October when the leaves are off the trees, and it starts to grow again in March

when the trees are still bare. The trees start to grow leaves again in May, staying in leaf until October. The wheat can be harvested at the end of July or start of August. “This method makes more use of light over time,” says Patrick Whitefield, a permaculture expert. “The principle is if you have two plants that differ in size, shape and yearly cycle, they can make use of the time and space together more productively than if they are a monoculture.” Planting more than one crop at the same time makes more efficient use of sunlight, water, mineral resources and space. Patrick points out that it is also better for the stability and health of the crops as more diseases spread rapidly through a monoculture.It also creates a beneficial habitat for the insects that feed on pests. An added benefit is increased resilience: if the wheat crop fails, there is still the possibility that the walnut crop will be fine, or if the price of wheat falls, the price of walnuts could go up to offset the losses. This sort of agriculture is also possible on a small scale, for example in a garden or on allotments. One example is Mike Feingold’s community orchard at Royate Hill in Bristol. Mike lets people grow vegetables under his trees as they are still small and let enough light through. Patrick writes books and teaches on the subject of permaculture. His “Earthcare Manual” is the standard handbook. He teaches 2-week and 5-week courses at Ragman’s Lane Farm in the Forest of Dean, as well as shorter weekend courses.

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

Maureen Hendy Trained at Bristol School of Holistic Therapies


t’s getting on for twenty years since The Bristol School of Holistic Therapies was established, and it’s nearly eight years ago since we took over its management. The school was created to provide the highest quality of training available for those who wished to become highly skilled, confident holistic therapists, regardless of experience. This was the exact reason why I signed up to be a student at the school shortly after it started. I had been having a number of “Is this it?” moments over the previous years when a devastating family bereavement caused me to question my life, the direction it was taking and, on a deeper level, the values I held. I had been fascinated by essential oils and began using them at home. The effects on me were amazing and I needed to know more. Thus began my journey to become a holistic therapist when I joined the Aromatherapy Diploma course at the school. I have never looked back, ever! The course gave me all the professional skills to make me more confident than I had ever been. It enabled me to see what I was truly capable of and just what was possible to achieve. As soon as I qualified and started my own therapy business, I was back again to learn Reflexology, and then again for the Traditional Indian Head Massage.

british school of homoeopathy

Professional Courses in Holistic Therapies Aromatherapy and Reflexology Diplomas

From a complete novice, you can become a fully qualified confident professional Aromatherapist or Reflexologist in only eighteen months for the Aromatherapy course and one year for Reflexology. You can learn all the skills to have your own therapy business and join top UK therapy associations. Courses start In April and October.

25th successful year of training now at

Exeter Natural Health Centre Principal: Mo Morrish

Anatomy and Physiology Certificate for Therapists

This course is for those who plan to become professional therapists where they will need to confidently converse with doctors and medical staff about clients’ conditions and welfare. Courses start in May and November.

Practitioners’ Certificate in Traditional Indian Head Massage

This course teaches a specially designed massage sequence to give a deep and therapeutic therapy and gain an insight to Ayuveda and Indian spirituality. It allows students to gain a qualification that will allow them to practice professionally if they wish. Courses will run in May and September.

Aromatherapy and Massage Introductory Courses

These are two fun one-day courses running over one weekend for complete beginners who wish to dip their toes and get a basic understanding of the therapies. Courses will run in March and September.

Visit for further details of our courses. You can request a prospectus by emailing: or calling

0870 889 0350




City centre location in large, beautiful listed building Easy commuting inc railway main line connecting station within 500m Well established as an Integrative 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

To find out more and to apply for interview please call

Mo or Ali Morrish 01392 422555

“It has been a privilege to become part of the School. 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

spring courses guide Quantum Laughter Explained by Joe Hoare


8 months of insomnia hell showed me beyond any doubt there had to be a better way of living. Being tense and strung out and not knowing how to relax was excruciating ignorance. My old way of living life was inadequate for current realities and my own sanity and even survival required me to learn a new set of skills. My proper journey had started, finally, at the age of 31. One thing I had discovered towards the end of these 18 months was if I squeezed, held for a few seconds then released my shoulders, I relaxed, it changed my frame of mind, and sleep became easier (Laughter is a muscular relaxant, and one of the best stress-busters). I became aware of meditation; focusing the mind, calming it, watching lit candles, listening to meditative music, following guided visualisations. These experiences helped me appreciate the ‘now’, and this felt much better than tension and worrying (Laughter is a ‘now’ experience. When you laugh, you let go and really laugh, you are 100% in the experience of the moment, the ‘now’). A thunderbolt moment arrived with the unexpected overwhelming of my rational scepticism, and my initiation into healing, self-love, compassion, universal consciousness. My heart was wrenched open, I realised I was connected to all

life everywhere (Laughter connects. It connects us to ourselves, to each other, to strangers – it has been called the shortest distance between two people - to other forms of life. It builds an appreciative and a good-natured relationship at the core of our being). I ran 10 years of self-development courses including free your natural voice, healing, stress management, and they all looked to develop compassion and open-heartedness, letting go and being present, appreciation and generosity, connection with universal consciousness. Spontaneous, good-natured laughter was always present in big dollops, but I still resisted running a laughter workshop where people would expect to be made to laugh. Suddenly the idea re-presented itself, another ‘A-Ha!’ moment, and I realised it was about people making themselves laugh. The responsibility is with each of us individually. My role became to help people remember what whole-hearted laughter feels like on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels, to access their own laughter more easily, and in self-development terms, to develop their natural joyfulness, presence in the moment, and sense of connection. This is the healing power of laughter. My teaching went through the fire when my own life had a meltdown affecting my home, wife, family, career, all the things I’d feared losing, all happening simultaneously. Sometimes when I didn’t know what to do next, I practised my healing power of laughter exercises, one breath and one laugh at a time. Quantum Laughter was born and is living healthily and happily.


Jo Magner Trained at The School of Homeopathy


hy homeopathy? I had always been aware of homeopathy – my sister was treated homeopathically for severe eczema when she was a child, but I didn’t really use it myself until I had children. My children were each treated homeopathically for problems that conventional medicine had been unable to help with and I was amazed by the results. I did a brief homeopathic first aid and acute prescribing course and decided to study homeopathy further. At that point I moved abroad so completed the first two years of the course by correspondence. I picked the college because it offered distance learning – a happy, if uninformed, choice. What was good and bad about the course? The tutor marking by correspondence was excellent and when I arrived at the college for the last two years, the teaching was also superb. The college has a wide range of lecturers, all of whom offer a slightly different approach. This ensures that we are equipped to practice in whichever method we choose. Although the college offers classical training, it now also teaches Sankaran and Scholten in the 3rd and 4th years. We are encouraged to make our own decisions as to how we practice – the college is not prescriptive, it just offers choice. I honestly enjoyed pretty much every minute at

college. Since the college has moved to Stroud it is now much easier to travel to for most people and is in the most amazing setting. What kind of support did you have? I always knew that if I wanted advice or help about any aspect of the course I could find someone who was willing to help. Even studying by correspondence, when it is easy to feel isolated, I always felt that my tutor was available for me. At the end of the course, what skills/knowledge did you have? I felt ready to set up in practice and I felt confident about my homeopathic training, philosophy, remedies etc. I also enjoyed the anatomy/physiology and pathology and disease aspects of the training as I felt it gave me sufficient knowledge to recognise certain conditions and know how they should be dealt with, both conventionally and homeopathically. How has the course changed your life? I had a job/career in off shore banking and was working abroad when I started the course. I now practise from home and also work as a tutor for the college. It’s a very different lifestyle! What I love about homeopathy is that you never stop learning; every case brings something different and exciting. I have an enormous fondness for the college as it enabled me to pursue something I love. Would you recommend it to anyone else? I would recommend the course highly on every level. The teaching is varied and brilliant and the student support is excellent. Hawkwood College is such an exquisite setting in which to study.

07973 732 842

Starting June

The Clifton Practice

A unique holistic rejuvenating facial massage sometimes known as “Angel’s Touch” or “Fingertip Facelift”. Gentle, very precise massage of 91 muscles of face, neck and shoulders, releasing pent-up stress. Also working on meridians and acupuncture points, restores the natural flow of energy, balancing and revitalising body, mind and spirit.

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

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.

Training consists of 4 weekends set over 4 months, June - September.

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


e d i 32 spring courses u g Took Living Tantra course with Jan Day


he Living Tantra course is not like mainstream tantra as there are no breathing exercises. It’s more about emotional depth and intimacy. It’s about relating in some ways, and it’s about really being able to be here now in this moment and enjoying that. I can’t do it all of the time, but when I’m there I feel

and so get to understand each other. It’s impossible to describe what goes on. In the course there’s a lot of stuff about setting boundaries so we feel safe. You only need to do what you want to do. Jan is great as a facilitator. She dances the edge of making you feel safe but also challenging you. During training we have one-to-one coaching sessions with her. Everyone has their own hot buttons in the areas of intimacy and relating to others. It changed my life in so many ways. I have more self-worth and confidence. Now I’ve started

a very real joy in life. I did Jan Day’s tantra training over a year, which we go through as a group and grow together. There are four seminars which other people can join as well. Jan’s work is on many different layers. What I really learnt from it was first how to relate to myself and then to other people. I worked in a corporate macho environment and this affected my relationships. So working with Jan helped me look at myself as a feminine sensual woman. As men and women we exchange a lot of information about what we like between the sexes

NEW YEAR, NEW DIRECTION WITH BCPC If in 2011 you want to take a new direction, either professionally or academically and the areas of Counselling or Psychotherapy interest you, then BCPC is the place to consider. Our courses are all part-time and accredited with BACP or UKCP. We run a Foundation Certificate as well as a Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling which is linked to Bath Spa University and an MA in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy in collaboration with Middlesex University.


Louise de Caux

If you are interested in becoming a counsellor or psychotherapist, then come and visit us at our Open Day on 27th March (please contact us in advance to book a place).

For further information visit our website or contact us by email on or by phone on 01225 429720 PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELLING TRAINING


teaching a dance class which has a tantric side to it and I realise that’s where my heart is. I also realised how empty the corporate world is. In fact, some of Jan’s techniques could be brought into the corporate workplace. I now attract a different kind of man, the kind I used to think was not my type at all. I’d recommend the course to everybody. A friend in Cambridge told me I’d really changed and she was interested to find out why. She came along to the course and got a lot out of it about her., 01353 666093, 07999 842905, Skype

Foundation, Teacher Training & Yoga Therapy Courses, Classes, Workshops & Retreats in Devon.

The Devon




A member of the Independent Yoga Network.

t: 01392 420573 e:

marketplace 33 art


• Arts • Crafts • Gifts Open to all

Supporting Children’s Scrapstore.

OPEN: Mon-Sat: 10am-5pm

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

Jewellery, Gifts and Curiosities from around the World. Watches, Silver, Costume and Body Jewellery. Watch Batteries and Straps fitted Free. Aromatherapy Oils, Crystals, Music Tarot and Meditation Cards. Candles Woodcarvings Furniture, Soft Furnishings and more. 18 St Marys Street, Thornbury, Bristol BS35 2AB Tel &Fax: 01454 415303 E-mail:

green 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. • See ebay store: happy holistics • email


gift shop 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: For details of our ethical trading policy visit our website or pick up a leaflet in our shop.

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

design for print stationery



Contact: Andy Ballard 26 Cleeve Drive, Cleeve, Bristol BS49 4NW T: 0758 3345562 E:

coming next issue:


SUPERMARKET Weavers Walk, 33 Silver Street, Bradford-on-Avon

• Organic • fairly-traded vegetarian foods • Supplements • Remedies • Essential Oils & Toiletries • Organic bread in daily

01225 866590


our improved and expanded Marketplace. the best way to reach up to 100,000 local customers for as little as £90 a quarter. call ann on 0117 914 34 34 or go to for details 33

ignite 34 OUT! let’s go plant a tree three months of essential events and more • 80p a word


Who are you calling a tree-hugger?.... Melanie West finds out how you can get involved in preserving our woodland heritage

Woodland friends, Glos

Woodland Friends are taking unused farmland and creating vibrant native woodlands from it. By signing up to their “Adopt a Plot” scheme, for seven pounds a year, you become a member, receive a certificate and be allocated a specific piece of woodlan d. Your contribution will help protect the patch of trees you’ve adopted and you get updates on the progress of the whole wood. In the early years your money will help to keep down weeds, provide necessary fencing and protect the trees from errant mammals including rodents! You can sponsor one particular sapling if you choose and pay a little more for a traceable, numbere d tree. The beauty of this scheme is that you can visit the planting site, currently Hundred Acre Wood in Gloucester. Businesses can also offset commercial activities by tree planting. 01453 521025 Woodland Friends, Tyley Bottom, Combe, Wootton under Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7ND

The Woodland Trust

Tree Life Centre, Bristol General Enquiries, The Woodland Trust, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG31 6LL Call 01476 581135 Call Ben Hall 0117 960 5447 / 07764 655606, email tree-life-

The Woodland Trust is rallying the troops (that’s us!) to help preserve our wonderful, wooded heritage with the Woodwatch Project. The Trust have initiated many projects over the years; including creating a national map of over 54,000 ancient tree sites and providing ongoing support to two million school children to plant 12 million trees. The idea behind the Woodwatch Project is simple. When out and about in your area (whether it be strolling through the local woods or supping a pint in the local) keep your eyes and ears open. At the first niff of a suspicious planning application, take action! Contact the Woodland Trust for infor and gather your community together to highlight the issue and raise a petition. It has been proven that communities can provide a strong voice against unwanted threats to their muchloved local woodland habitats.

Moor Trees, Dartmoor

Moor Trees is an environmental charity whose mission is to repopulate Dartmoor with broadleaf native trees, which once would have covered this wild landscape. As well as re-forestation projects, new woodlands are created and training opportunities offered. Local people can get involved gathering tree seeds and growing the young charges in community tree nurseries.You can connect to the forests via their Tree Dedication scheme. A tree can be dedicated to a person or an event and the Sunday volunteer team will tuck its roots into the ground for you.You can join them if you wish. A special message will be read out as the tree goes into its spot. Messages are not tagged onto trees and there is no public access but a certificate will be sent to mark your special occasion. Call 0845 456 9803 Moor Trees, The Old School Centre, Totnes Road, South Brent TQ10 9BP (1 tree £15, 3 trees £35, 10 trees £90)

The Tree Life Centre concentrates on taking seeds and nurturing them into saplings to be sold on or planted out. They couldn’t carry out this worthy work if it wasn’t for the help of volunteers. Once collected the tree (and wildflower) seeds are brought on in their community nursery by volunteers from many different backgrounds. Volunteers can gain valuable skills as well as knowing that the fruits of their labours will eventually benefit the wider community when they leave the nursery to be planted out. The centre works on sustainable principles and materials are locally sourced. No chemicals are used on the trees. If you decide to get involved you will be supported by a project or volunteer officer and there’s the opportunity to work towards Level 1 NVQ in Work based Horticulture. The volunteer days are from Monday to Thursday with a central Bristol pick up point if you need it.You can even go on a taster day to see if you like it.

More trees for BANES

The Tree Council

The Tree Futures programme is offering the opportunity for community groups to apply for funding for tree planting projects in your area. You must involve children under 16 in the tree planting as part of the project. The cost of your tree planting project can be between £100 and £700. As with all funding, there is no guarantee you’ll get the full amount. 25% of the cost of the project must be provided by the group or other sources. The Tree Council will be looking for “well planned projects” with a guarantee that the trees will be safe for a minimum of five years. To ensure you have a good plan then talk to your local authority arboriculture officers, tree wardens or other conservation organisations in your area. Applications need to be in by March 31, 2011. You’ll have to be a bit patient as your planting event will be part of Tree Week which isn’t until the end of November!!

More Trees for BANES want to help anyone who has an idea for planting or protecting hedgerows, trees and woodland. Maybe even a forest or two. Get involved by volunteering, join them on Facebook or Twitter, buy a t-shirt or find out more about their Give a Tree, Adopt a Tree or Adopt a Woodland schemes. They’ll provide certificates, free advice (or even free trees) and help with site surveys, events and aftercare (you bring the hobnobs).

Life for a Life, Som

Life for a Life memorial woodlands has 30 sites around the UK, several of which lie in Somerset.You can visit your chosen site, walk around and select the tree you would like to commemorate the life of your loved one. Four types of tree are planted: Oak, Scots Pine, Silver Birch and Mountain Ash. You can choose up to 35 words to be engraved onto a commemorative plaque which will be displayed near to your tree. If appropriate, you can also have the person’s ashes interred beneath it. The cost includes 25 years of maintenance of the tree and the site; if the tree fails a new one is replanted.You can visit the woodland when you wish, some sites are also registered conservation areas. Part of your payment goes directly to local hospices, currently St Margaret’s in Somerset., email

Tree Aid

It’s the UN International Year of the Forest this year. Bristol-based development charity Tree Aid is aiming to plant 1 million trees in Africa - show your solidarity with African farmers and the environment by signing up to their Tree Revolution plant trees and raise awareness and funds. Email ‘I’m in’ to: 0161 624 2299 07890 443705 grants/community-trees


Westonbirt Arboretum, Glos

Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire run an Adopt A Tree scheme, designed to commemorate a person or event while supporting their work.You select your tree from a supplied list which features different varieties, age and locations. The trees will have already been checked for health, although it is stressed that their wellbeing can never be guaranteed. If a tree was to fail then an alternative would be offered. A label will be attached to the tree stating “Adopted for…..” and you have the option of also inserting a commemorative page in the Books in the Oak Hall. Ashes cannot be interred and they ask that wrapped flowers or cards not be left around the tree. The Arboretum is open to the public all year round. Westonbirt Tetbury, Gloucestershire 01666 880220 westonbirt@forestry@g



Reg. charity no.1135156

Woodland Friends RECREATING BRITISH WOODLAND Adopt a plot of new woodland or sponsor a sapling • birthday • marriage • birth • anniversary • remembrance Corporate sponsors welcomed • offset CO2 • benefit the local community • protect wildlife

Discover spring at Westonbirt Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Gloucestershire, GL8 8QS Tel: 01666 880220

01453 521 025 Please mention ‘The Spark’ when contacting us

(Find us in the Cotswolds, only 25 minutes from Bath)


Public Speaking Workshops with a difference in Bristol, London & Manchester

You can learn to speak publicly and be the centre of attention Imagine being at ease and in your flow in front of a group. And if that was true what would you do with your life? Overcoming your fears?

Becoming a powerful speaker?

John Dawson

Most people are scared of public speaking. It’s not just speaking - it could be being the centre of attention or having everyone’s eyes on you. So you may be uncomfortable in tutorials, not able to speak up in meetings, scared to make presentations or dreading the full blown speech. It’s a very well known fear - it can stop you feeling good at work or ruin a social gathering. But in four evenings or in a day workshop you CAN change the way you speak and feel in front of people. I’ve been running the course for ten years with people at all levels of speaking experience who want to be more comfortable, more themselves and more effective in front of people. Lots of people are scared but the way we work really helps to make it as safe as possible. I am trained to use the work called Speaking Circles® developed by Lee Glickstein. It’s an innovative, warm, and very human approach. In a Speaking Circle you are provided with the support you need to express yourself naturally and effectively in front of any group. By learning how to be present your listeners, you can discover the key to establishing connection as well as reducing the fear. Its all simpler than we think.

Instead of “delivering presentations”- hiding behind equipment and drowning participants with information - you can choose to have a real connection with the audience. Powerpoint has its place but its place should be as a tool rather than to dominate the process. Audiences crave a real person to connect with rather than “death by powerpoint”. You are the main feature - and the software should be in a supporting role. Are you really yourself when you stand up in front of people? Or do you find a mask to hide behind? Do you feel really tired when you’ve been giving a training or a speech? Maybe you would like to have more mental capacity or freedom when you are facilitating a group. Are your presentations humdrum and do you feel ill at ease? The work lets experienced speakers re-examine the fundamentals of being in front of a group. Our work is to develop presence - where there is more space, freedom and more connection. You move from a “performance” to connecting with the audience, inspiring them while feeling at ease. So your presentations become conversational, passionate and connected.

My passion is helping you find your voice when you are the centre of attention so you can take part more fully in life. It’s about helping you to understand what’s going on and how to be more yourself in front of a group. My core purpose is to help you take your space in the world and I love the work. I’ve been a Licensed Speaking Circles® facilitator for 10 years and I'm the senior licensed facilitator in the UK. In Feb 2009 I was appointed to the Speaking Circle International Advisory Board. I also have a Diploma in Group Facilitation (IDHP). I also founded and edited The Spark Magazine for 16 years. For a chat or to book a course ring 01934 830 512, e-mail me on or see

“I feel liberated from my fear which is a fantastic feeling and one I quite honestly never felt I would experience in this way. I always felt I would have to struggle on with it and probably never enjoy teaching again. But, now I feel that I have been given a secret and that although I will probably feel nervous, I don’t think I will ever again feel totally mortified and want to run away.

I feel liberated not only in relation to public speaking and teaching but also in relation to being with people in general; I feel more relaxed and the need to try so hard has vanished with very kind regards Gerry

Participants’ feedback

I have been on various public speaking courses in the past and this is the first one that actually helped me relax and enjoy the experience of public speaking. I think the course and the facilitator’s approach is excellent. Melanie Very supportive, human, real. Cuts through to the heart of the issue and helps deal with them in a safe way. I wish I had done it three years ago! Ed I liked the core ideals of the course. The course works beautifully. I liked the way you gently layered the learning and the way you modelled the teaching. Roger A fantastic course which has given me a new perspective on things. A safe environment was created from the start and everyone was made to feel welcomed and accepted.

Joe Thank you very much! An excellent course that I’d recommend highly to every body no matter how nervous you are. I am very pleased with my progress Lorna The course was excellent, very useful, informative, logical, with an exceptional and inspirational coach. John has a genuine interest in your improvement - its invaluable. David

infront workshops spring/summer 2011 • learn how re-think public speaking and presentations


day workshops


one day fundamentals

if you can’t make Fridays evening course

re-thinking presentations


7th May Saturday Bristol

starts May 4th (star wars day as in May 4th be with you) 4 Wednesday evenings

May 20-21st Fri and Saturday

The most popular way of doing the work. You will learn how to: • Ease fears of speaking in public • Compel rapt attention without “performing” • Improve personal & professional communication and probably have an enjoyable time (honestly!). Read the feedback on the website.

Designed for people who want to do the popular single day course but can’t make a Friday. May 7th speaking fundamentals - see left for details

Bristol, Colston Street 7pm - 9.45pm Individuals £100 or £85 if booked by April 20th People paid for by Organisations £120 or £100 if booked by April 20th

Bristol Pierian centre 9.30 - 5pm Individuals Price £115 or £95 if booked by 25th March 2011 People paid for by Organisations £130 or £105 if booked by 25th March 2011

We cover the same fundamentals as the day course plus • More course hours than the day course • You have the chance to absorb the work over the four weeks • You have the chance to bring up issues that occur throughout the course

booking courses

Send to Infront c/o Church House Mews, Broad Street, Congresbury, Bristol BS49 5DG.

Please ring 01934 830512 or e-mail me at Please say if you want to pay by Paypal via your debit card or send a cheque made payable to John Dawson (Please indicate which course you want), and include your name, telephone, address etc.

Please note my cancellation policy


• Friday 11th March Manchester • Friday 25th March Bristol • Friday 27th May Bristol • Friday 17th June Bristol • Friday 29th July Bristol • Friday 30th September Bristol Venue in Bristol is the Pierian centre 9.30 - 5pm Individuals: Price £115 or £95 early bird price if booked and paid by a month before. People paid for by Organisations £130 or £105 if booked and paid by a month before

• up to a week before workshop - free • cancellation 6 days or less - no refund.

There are also evening classes in Bristol and other courses in London & Manchester. More details on the website


Do you want develop your skills to be a confident presenter with or without powerpoint? Do you want to work with what the audience really wants? There are 20 million powerpoint presentations done every working day around the world: how many of those are simply reading out slides? What would it mean to re-think presentations and bring them fully alive? The course will help you re-think presenting. Bring simplicity, integrity, and passion to your presentations and learn about the best ways to connect with the audience. Can we be ourselves and be conversational in a presentation? The course is not anti powerpoint - its about finding new and better ways of presenting. Pilot course - limited to 6 places only. Requirements - you need to be reasonably confident about being in front of people and to bring a 5 minute presentation to work on. A little pre-course reading (about an hour) is necessary. Talk to me for more information. Pilot course prices £400 £150 for two days

Find out about the public speaking secret that shouldn’t be a secret and about other courses and coaching on

All your efforts, energy and caring creates something rather wonderful An Evening of North Indian Classical Music

Friday 18th March 2011, 7.30pm Ricky Romain & Jon Sterckx perform an evening of North Indian Rag &Taal. Their engaging & dynamic performances range from slow, meditative melodies through to fast & detailed rhythmical interplay. "The brilliant sitar of Ricky Romain in duet with Jon Sterckx's tabla wizardry was a first class example of musicians ‘playing off’ each other." (Colin Sell)

Spring 2011 Miranda Prochazka Clinical Hypnotherapist


Using solution focused techniques, hypnotherapy can help with weight control, smoking, depression, anxiety, skin problems, eliminating fears and phobias. I offer self hypnosis for pregnancy & childbirth Please contact me for a FREE initial consultation. M: 07717 170 865

Presentations? Public speaking? Introducing yourself at meetings? Public speaking courses with a difference with John Dawson 01934 830512 imagine being at ease when you are the centre of attention

Classical Homœopathy For Health & Wellbeing

Paul Hudson ACH 0117 958 4092

Health & Wellbeing Talks Menopause – for Women & Men Tues 22nd March, 7.30pm

Heather Fairbairn approaches Menopause with both scientific rigour and first-hand experience. Her talk ‘Menopause – the informed choice way’ outlines her new national initiative, Menopause Support CIC ( She shows how The Change can be a positive experience for all involved! Tickets: £10 (some concs) – booking essential or 0117 924 4512

Healing the Heart - Sarah Warwick Weds 18th May, 7.30pm

A journey to wholeness through sound & song

Sarah had a string of chart hits in the 90s as Sarah Washington – but breast cancer set her off on a very different musical exploration. She trained with Chris James in Healing Sound, and now teaches regularly at Skyros. She’ll be sharing landmarks of her journey, singing, and joining you in mantras & chant. Tickets: £12.50 (some concs) – booking essential or 0117 924 4512 WARM THANKS FOR THEIR ONGOING SUPPORT TO:

Tickets £10 (£6 concs). Booking essential on 0117 924 4512 or

Chakra Workshop W/end April 30th – May 1st

FREE Chakra evening workshop April 13th. Learn practical techniques to activate and connect with your chakras.

The UK’s longest running laughter workshops

Laughter workshops With Joe Hoare

Please contact us on FREE chakra alignment meditation for download Or call Clare Russell on 07966 253111 0781 215 9943 3rd Tuesdays monthly: 15/3, 19/4, 17/5 etc. 7.30-9pm, group prices from £6pp

The WHOLE Treatment for the WHOLE you!

A complementary approach to your Health • Psychotherapy • NLP • Psycho Visual Therapy • Psycho Sexual Therapy

• Clinical Hypnotherapy • Acupressure • Clinical Psychology • Sexual and Marital Psychotherapy

Contact The Centre for Whole Healthcare 0117 230 2831

THE HEALING POWER OF VOCAL SOUND with James D’Angelo, author of The Healing Power of the Human Voice.

A workshop to resonate, balance and re-tune the chakras through various kinds of toning, mantras, natural sounds and tuning forks, complemented by simple movements. No previous experience necessary, only the deep intent for self-transformation.

SUNDAY 17th APRIL, 10am-5pm. Info/Booking: Tel: 01452 413220 /

The Art of Dragon Whispering Conversation and Creativity with the Spirit of Place

Dr Patrick MacManaway Weds 16th March 7–9pm £10 01453 889184

Take One

Dramatherapy Taster

Author of Find Your Power



The new science of happiness. Sat 28th May, repeated 23rd July


A scientific and spiritual view of life on earth. Sat 4th June All courses 10am – 5pm. To book, email or phone 0117 924 4512 More details at:


Sound Relaxation and Meditation Sessions Thursday 17 March, Thursday 7 April, Thursday 19 May. 7.30 – 8.30pm, £10

Stuck with a client issue? Looking to grow your coaching?

1:1 or group sessions with Sarah Gornall

New voice and sound group starting in May – details at

Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday Book in time for clarity & development

Celia Beeson



Intuitive therapist/catalyst Expert in getting your flow back when areas of your life feel a little stuck. 0117 307 0019 ‘Spiritually Curious Bristol’ A meet-up group for people who are on an adventure to lead an awakened empowered life, but are willing to laugh about it. 4th Thurs of every month at the Pierian Centre

0117 330 2017

Finding your way with words

NEW fortnightly creative writing sessions! Wednesdays 6.30–8.15pm, starting 23rd March Join a regular writing group to nurture your creativity & wellbeing. Writing for Wellbeing sessions, facilitated by Clare Benjamin, offer you a chance to: • explore your creativity in a supportive environment • find fresh inspiration, experiment and gain confidence • relax and support your wellbeing Please book early to secure your place. Sessions costs £12 each (£10 concessions). Early bird discounts available. For more information and dates please contact Clare Benjamin on 07800 634309 or

Nonviolent Communication

with Shantigarbha, certified trainer 5-6th March: Two-Day Foundation Training, Pierian Centre 19th March: NVC West Gathering, Hamilton House.

A slide show presentation discussing 20 years of work using earth acupuncture and nature spirit dialogue to improve human & animal health, and enhanced productivity in farms and gardens.


20th March: Facilitating Social Change, Hamilton House. 4-5th June: Two-Day Deepening + Conflict (intermediate) workshop, Pierian Centre. Info and booking: & 0117 907 4689

Poetry & Film Tues 5th April, 7.30pm

Sat 9th April, 7 for 7.30pm Eclectic musical improvisations to inspire and soothe your soul Pete Appleton Moussa Kouyaté Juan Gabriel Gutierrez Matthew Heyse-Moore Bex Baxter Jacob Morrison Dominic Munton

Didgeridoo Kora Various Clarinet Voice & Guitar Guitar Flute & Voice

Tickets: £10 with concs – booking on 0117 924 4512 or

London 1961 Photographs by Lutz Dille at Picture Space

Saturday May 7th 2011 10-4 A fun & informative practical introduction to methods & application of dramatherapy. Scenario Arts in Personal Development 01225 859530

Bristol Poets at the heart of the South West – brilliant entertainment from top Bristol poets performing their work. An evening of evocative, superbly crafted, award winning poetry films made by director Diana Taylor, complemented by live performance from the poets themselves.

£7.50 entry (some concs) – booking essential 0117 924 4512 or

Lutz Dille’s work is a celebration and dissection of human nature – and a unique snapshot of London 50 years ago! Free entry. Open Tues–Fri, 10am–6pm Launch 11th March – runs till 12th June

The Pierian Centre Community Interest Company Company No: 6275797 27 Portland Square, St Pauls, Bristol BS2 8SA. Tel: 0117 924 4512 Email: Web:

52 Letters & Competitions

Letters Write to: The Spark, 86 Colston St, Bristol BS1 5BB Dear Spark, If ever there was an example of the paucity of “green” analysis to the point of paralysis then Will Hinchcliffe’s “Green Giants” (Spark 63, p. 16) is an example of unapologetic and privileged seizure. Bristol is a dynamic and expanding city, there is population drift in UK from east to west and north to south; in other words into the South West. Housing in the South West is amongst the most unaffordable in the country in Bristol at £150 grand to start, or six times the median wage. The UK population has gone up and people tend to live alone more, so housing is less well used. Bristol is surrounded by housing estates full of old, retired and middle-aged homeowners that were built on green fields in the 1930s and 1950s; these are the “Blue/Green Giants” of which he speaks, who have provided intense self-interested opposition to house-building and even a proper football stadium for Bristol on an old brownfield site that legalistic arrogance has described as a “village green”. These blue/green NIMBYists know that development will directly affect the value of their “property”. The consequence of Labour’s failure to build housing or regulate rents is that the market in Bristol is now dominated by buy-to-let landlords charging high rents to pay off the speculation that broke RBS and Northern Rock. House prices remain well past any point of sustainable justice in relation to ordinary earnings but not of course unregulated rents that are part of the cost of the massive housing benefit bill; the price for tenants of the landlords profits; eternal insecurity of tenure. The release of 6,000 “empty” homes in Bristol will not make even a dent in the colossal waiting list of people wanting to buy or council tenants needing larger homes; in the meantime land supply for homes is choked by self-deluding greens who dress self interest as idealism while a generation pays off the gambling debts of their landlords and the idiocy of young, greedy bankers who chose to ignore the wisdom of the centuries old mutuals that they had taken over and within less than a decade had destroyed. If the green movement in Bristol wishes to retain any electoral credibility it should address the fact that it is intent on housing people at best in small flats while it lives in large houses in Southville; or is basic housing justice of affordability something to which the green movement now holds no sway?  I would like “greens” to coherently answer how are we to bring down housing costs in line with

our European competitors so that next time we have a boom and a property bubble the credit bust does not again break the bank; a reasonable target being three times median income i.e. £75 grand? If that was affordable for our fathers why not for our children? For that we need planned and sustained land release from here to Bath, along communication lines, with green space and allotments and green and straw bale self-build, with plots released to young people at an affordable price (i.e. £10 grand) and stuff the old nimbies who claim to be “green”. Brownfield sites are for work and industry, or have we given up on that ? I appeal to greens to engage with this reality; realign the 1948 greenbelt and engage with a modern garden city for Bristol’s future or have Wimpey build brick monstrosities for you. Best, Peter Hack Dear Peter, I can definitely sympathise with you, I don’t think many people my age can ever envisage owning property at the moment, if they ever manage to pay off their student loans. Until people start to think seriously about maintaining a sustainable population unfortunately I think there is always going to be conflict between people wanting new housing and those who wish to protect green spaces. I also hope an alternative method for bringing down house prices to simply building more can be found, this doesn’t seem to offer any possibility of solving the problem, more a way of feeding a monster. Cheers, Will Hinchcliffe Dear Peter, We feel your pigeonholing of Paul and Jill, the couple who want to pass on the land that they have farmed for more than half a century to their family rather than have it snapped up by developers, as NIMBYs is unfair, but clearly this is a really important debate, and one we will continue to have: hopefully your letter will spark our readers to discuss this further. Kind regards, Darryl Bullock Publisher, The Spark

competition winners 63 William Bloom Course: Hilary Allen (Bristol), Jennifer Mills (Bristol), Anneli Connold (Wells). Tangent Books: Main prize to Sharon Barnard (Gloucester); other winners were M Davis (Portishead), Ivor Disney (Shepton Mallet), Gemma Dale (Conwy), Tim Fox Evans (Corsham), Sam Pritchard (Coombe Dingle), Anna Ferguson (Bath), Jim Smith (Bristol), Sue Wilford (Wellow), Kathleen Ager (Bristol), Margaret Pegden (Bristol). Finisterre Coat: Joe Burt (Bristol).

have you seen what’s happening at • exclusive articles, news and reviews • browse our a-z directory • enter our competitions • read this issue on your computer

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Comps WIN! birdfeeder’s starter packs


he Spark has teamed up with the lovely people at Wiggly Wigglers to offer readers the chance to win one of nine Birdfeeder’s Starter Packs (catalogue price £32), the perfect way to look after your feathered friends or to entice birds into your back yard. If you’re just starting out feeding the birds then Wiggly Wigglers’ Birdfeeder’s Starter Pack has everything you’ll need to outfit a small to medium-sized garden. The pack contains a two-perch Droll Yankees seed feeder, 3kg of WigglySeed Extra, WigglySeed in suet, WigglySeed Extra in suet and a Wiggly Block cage square: you’ll be attracting birds in no time! Each pack also comes with a free Nesting Spiral, stuffed with wool, straw, hay, hemp, grasses and feathers to help the birds line their nest. Committed to supporting British Farms and farmers, all the wheat, barley, oats, millet, canary, black sunflowers, rape and linseed

in Wiggly Wigglers’ birdseeds is sourced in Britain: as much as possible from their own farm. To be in with a chance of winning one of these fabulous prizes simply answer the following question: What is the name of the Herefordshire farm where Wiggly Wigglers is based? (Hint: You’ll find the answer at www. Send your reply, on a postcard, to Wiggly Competition, The Spark, 86 Colston St, Bristol BS1 5BB. Entries must be received by April 21; you can also enter online at competitions Even if you don’t win a prize you can still get £5 off your first order at www.wigglywigglers. (before March 20). To claim your discount simply enter the following code when you check out: SPARK1.

WIN! super suncare kits


et ready for summer with one of Yaoh’s award winning suncare kits! Our friends at Yaoh are offering Spark readers the chance to win one of three suncare sets, each containing a bottle of SPF 15 and SPF 30, as well as After Sun, Sun Cream, an SPF 15 Coconut Lipbalm and a pot of Salve. All the products in the Yaoh range are rich in organic hemp seed oil, are suitable for vegans (no Yaoh products have been tested on animals), and the entire range is free from unnecessary chemical additives and preservatives. The SPF 15 and 30 came top in Ethical Consumer’s Best Buy section (July 2010) ahead of all the leading ‘green’ brands, and the Suncream is perfect for those with darker skin or already enjoying a tan. The Coconut lipbalm will keep your lips lush and moist as well as protected, and if you overdo it then the After Sun offers instant relief. Yaoh’s Salve is just the job for any burnt or damaged skin, as well as being excellent for rashes, stings and bites, making it an essential

part of the holiday travel kit. It’s included in the main prize, but 10 runners up will also get a pot of salve courtesy of Yaoh. To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the following question: What date does the Yaoh-sponsored VegfestUK Bristol start? (Hint: You can find the answer at or Send your reply, on a postcard, to Yaoh Competition, The Spark, 86 Colston St, Bristol BS1 5BB. Entries must be received by April 21; you can also enter online at competitions.

WIN! wonderful Wychwood weekend


ne of the UK’s biggest, family-friendly festivals, Wychwood is back for its 7th year at Cheltenham Racecourse June 3-5. It’s set to be a phenomenal three days, with a fantastic range of workshops and activities and legendary acts gracing the stages, providing you with the perfect soundtrack to a magnificent weekend. Nominated Best Family Festival people come year after year for all the festival has to offer, including an awesome line-up of musical artists who never disappoint. This year’s festival will see over 100 indie and world folk acts perform including The Charlatans, Robyn Hitchcock and Ian Anderson. Wychwood offers a plethora of activities throughout the day for all the family, with old favourites such as the Roald Dahl Museum, the fantastical Sunday afternoon parade and lots more surprises to keep you thoroughly entertained throughout the course of the weekend. Add to that comedy, over 100 workshops for all ages, The Headphone Disco, a Children’s Literature Festival, great food and ale, healing gardens and idyllic camping beneath the Prestbury Hills, and you have your perfect summer-opening festival!

The Spark has joined with Wychwood to offer a pair of weekend passes for the festival. To win this great prize just answer the following question: which member of the Specials plays the festival on Saturday with his band? (You’ll find the answer at Send your reply, on a postcard, to Wychwood Competition, The Spark, 86 Colston St, Bristol BS1 5BB. Entries must be received by April 21; you can also enter online at

Rear View


By Kate Evans

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

Wessex Counselling Service, Fairfield House, King Street, Frome BA11 1BH

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 To download a brochure go to Course accredited by the National Council For Hypnotherapy (UK) and the National Guild Of Hypnotists (USA) and NCFE (UK)

got a course to fill this autumn? don’t miss out on our autumn courses guide! an advert in The Spark is the best way to reach up to 100,000 potential students locally. call ann on 0117 914 34 34 or email

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 VegFest 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.

54 changemaker Tim Macartney, eco-charity founder Interview by Fiona McClymont • photo by Jo Halladey Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney, 61, is the founder of Embercombe: a charity and social enterprise that works with people from all walks of life to inspire committed action for a sustainable world. A 50-acre site in the Teign Valley just outside Exeter, Embercombe houses two yurt villages, a lake, woodland, organic orchards and gardens. Courses are run for everyone from schoolchildren to corporate executives and NGOs. Mac is also the author of ‘Finding Earth, Finding Soul – The Invisible Path to Authentic Leadership’. Everything begins with a dream. In our culture we talk of dreams in such a disparaging way, which is a shame. Of course, there’s a journey towards making your fantasy into reality, but it has to begin somewhere. I was always searching for something, but for years it was without focus. I had what you could call adventures, but were actually more like the actions of a pretty lost and struggling young man. But I also had a very strong sense of the poetry and beauty of a life that I aspired to - I just couldn’t see how on earth that had any place in the society and culture that I’d been born into, where it was all about ‘get a job, get a house, get married, start your pension plan’ – I found that dreary beyond words. I got very close to being in big trouble in a squat in London and realised that if I continued on the path I was on I would end up either hurt or in prison. I went back to the things I really loved. As a child I had the joy of being allowed to play and live outside a huge amount and developed an absolute passion for the outdoors. So at 32 I got a job as head gardener in a management-training centre in North Wales. I lived for two years in a teepee in the garden there, and would lean on my hoe, overhearing the conversations between all these managers, from Sainsbury’s or Marconi or whoever. I was fascinated by their world and equally, they were curious about me. Teepees are pretty impractical for our climate, but I had two lovely winters sat inside, with a little fire crackling away, and many of those managers would ask to come in and join me. So I’d end up of an evening, sat in there, chatting with people from the business world. I became very aware of the longing for meaning that sits not just in my heart, but in people who have chosen a very different route in life. Previously, I’d had a rather self-righteous feeling that the sub-culture to which I belonged was the worthy one, where people were doing the right thing. But when I met some of these business people, I was astounded to find that I met with more honesty, more generosity, more openness to new ideas than I did in my vegetarian, spiritually orientated friends. It was a revelation.

I asked if I could go on one of the outward-bound type courses with the managers; they said yes, as long as I didn’t talk; I was just the gardener after all! But what actually happened during the day was that I ended up calming down a conflictual situation, stepping in and facilitating and calming everyone down. When I got back to the centre, the leaders there asked me if I’d like to do more of that kind of work. So I began to direct some of the courses at the training centre there and I found I enjoyed it and could brings skills from all my past jobs and experiences. I began to facilitate and direct some of the courses and eventually ended up as head of consultancy. Fifteen years later I’d set up my own company. In parallel I was also continuing my exploration of, and training in, the spiritual path of the Native American peoples – something I’d started years before: I loved the way their traditions brought together a love of nature with a sort of fierceness. It fitted me. I was leading a wonderful two-track life. One week I might be in North America participating in 2,000-year-old Native American ceremonies, spending several days without food or water; and the next week I’m back in my suit, going to my office in Blackfriars. Embercombe is my dream made reality. As part of my consultancy work I’d been working with two company directors over a five year period and at the end of that time the company was sold and millions were made. The two founders then came to me and said “Mac, what is your dream?” So, I described this picture I’d had in my head since my twenties, of a land-based community of people who could learn about what it means to live on this earth as human beings. They asked me what I needed; I said “land”. They then pulled out their chequebook and wrote me a huge cheque. They just pushed it over the table to me and said, “Well there you are then, go and live your dream”. I was in shock! I found the site here in 1999, after a lot of searching for exactly the right place. I arrived here, on my own, in April that year.

I knew this was it, this was my life’s work, this is where I’d give the biggest part of everything that I’d learnt. We got planning permission to set up as a training centre, allowing us to run courses, build yurts, pull up the old airstrip. The tractor arrived, we put in miles of deer-fence: it all started to evolve and it’s still evolving. Who we are is in our mission statement. Embercombe exists to touch hearts, stimulate minds and inspire committed action for a truly sustainable world. The hearts and minds are not an end in itself, rather the means and the process that leads to the crucial bit: committed action. What is committed action? That’s for the individual to ask themselves and think, ‘Right, given what I love, given who I am, my history, my experience, my unique qualities, what would serve me as a person and serve the purpose of changing the world for the better?’. We are a catalyst: a little valley in which we seek to incubate and then give birth to, the dream and longing of every single human being to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life. It’s about value and purpose. It’s not about being a martyr, it should serve us as well, and that’s a joyful thing. It’s like falling in love, I think. It makes you feel good, but it may feel dangerous too. We are not a retreat: what we do here is wilder than that. We run a course called The Journey for adults who’ve approached some kind of crossroads in their lives and want to go deeper, take the next step and find their way. It’s quite an emotional voyage, which may well involve quite a lot of tears as you work your way through the storms towards a place where you commit to a lifetime journey. It doesn’t make any sense unless it gets to that part of the mission that is about going out into the world and doing something in some way differently and deeper. Two years ago that I realised that the story was no longer about Mac pushing a boulder up a hill. Embercombe is not about me now, it’s much more profoundly about ‘us’. I can’t control things anymore. What’s that like? Joyful and wonderful!

advert info

The Spark, 86 Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5BB 0117 914 3434

credit card hotline (tues-thurs): 0117 914 3444

ad enquiries:; ad text or alterations:; book online at

listings includes FREE web listing. see page 31 for examples All prices include VAT at 20%. Charities call for non-VAT cost. listings ad name

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4 issues





save £26

30 max




save £41

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90 max




save £92

header 110 text with graphic at top




save £123

15 max

15 words maximum

deadlines 2011 issue summer 65 autumn 66 winter 67

spring 68

early bird March 17 June 16 Sept 15

final April 21 July 21 October 20

publishing May 23 August 22 November 28

December 15

January 19

February 27

listings ads info

save time: book online!

All ads MUST be paid in advance

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To get the Early Bird rate your booking form, words, images and full payment must ARRIVE by March 17. You can pay by phone (0117 914 3444) using a credit or debit card, or book online:

full page listings






listings pages available in colour. call Ann on 0117 914 3434 for prices

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• 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.

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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.

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

Bristol needs foster carers for children of all ages

Find out more about fostering, and the children and young people you could be caring for, by visiting Or telephone 0117 353 4200 for your fostering information pack.

FOSTER. Change a life forever.

The Spark issue 64  
The Spark issue 64  

The West Country's ethical quarterly