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You'll Get Over It

Coping with bereavement, article by William Blyghton

Article by William Blyghton, photograph posed by a model

Those of us who have lost someone we loved, will be familiar with this form of consolation: “You’ll get over it,” well-meaning people often say. But you don’t ‘get over’ this kind of loss. You learn to be with it, to live with it. After all, if you have lost someone you loved, you still love them so why would you want to push the memories or feelings away? They may no longer be there in the way they once were – and that is a loss – but your memories, your recollections remain, you still hold them dear – and why not?

In my book The House by the Marsh, William (yes, I know that’s my name, too) loses his wife and for a while he is overwhelmed by the madness of grief and loss. He is totally vulnerable. But then, he finds something else, something that only those of us who are sixty-plus can really understand. A new kind of love, a new tenderness, a new way of being.

And this is surely the point: nobody chooses loss, but once it has happened there is a kind of beginning again – there has to be. And that beginning cannot really be planned, only accepted – we need to find a way to ‘surrender’ to what might be, what might become. Some people may find this in the company of others; some find it in the privacy of being alone. But even being alone is only ‘being alone with’ – with memories and a deeply-held love for the one who is now gone. We are alone with them, always.

It takes time. Lots of time. And above all else this surrender, this acceptance, is helped by friendships, often with those who are on the same path, in the same place. We find each other.

Much of it is undeniably hard and there are lots of mistakes to be made – nothing new there, then! In my book, William certainly makes a few of those. And there are risks, too, but the great thing is that there are no rules only endless possibilities, some of which will be most unexpected. This is what William also found.

There is something else, too. Those of us who have felt this kind of hurt and accepted it for what it is, may find a different kind of courage: that it’s okay to be frightened – because it helps us see what we think is there to be afraid of. And it can be the spur to courage – courage to see things as they are and live with them as best we can.

One thing that William learns is that love is to be found in the small details of his life, in unexpected tenderness and the loving kindness of others. He stops worrying about the world ‘out there’ and pays attention to what is happening close by. In this way, he is able to find some of the peacefulness that many of us seek. It is not so much ‘happiness’ that he seeks, which is, after all, insatiable, but contentment, which requires only surrender.

The House By The Marsh by William Blyghton

The House by the Marsh by William Blyghton is published by Panacea Books, and is available to order at all good bookshops on online at

Click here for more details and to order the book:

Study Finds those who have Trouble Identifying Odours at Risk of Dementia

Those who have trouble identifying odours are most at risk from dementia

A new study published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has found evidence of a link between smell and dementia.

The study of of nearly 3,000 people aged between 57 and 85, called "Olfactory Dysfunction Predicts Subsequent Dementia in Older US Adults".

Key findings were:

· Those who could not identify at least four out of five common odours were more than twice as likely as those with a normal sense of smell to develop dementia within five years.

· Five years after the initial test, almost all of the study subjects who were unable to name a single scent had been diagnosed with dementia

· Nearly 80% of those who provided only one or two correct answers to the scents also had dementia after five years

Dr. James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society says, “We know that dementia can affect far more than just our memory. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that suggests that someone’s sense of smell could be impacted in the early stages of dementia.

“Although this study found a link between sense of smell and developing dementia, only one in ten people who failed the smell test developed dementia over the five-year follow-up period.

“If they can be made more accurate, smell tests could be useful for detecting dementia as they are less invasive. Currently they aren’t as sensitive as biological measures such as examining spinal fluid.

“As we age, it is common for people to experience changes to their senses and people shouldn’t worry that this is an early sign of dementia. If you notice changes to your sense of smell at any age, it's advisable to speak to your GP.”

About Alzheimer's Society

Alzheimer's Society is the UK's leading dementia charity. We provide information and support, fund research, campaign to improve care and create lasting change for people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, Tel: 0300 222 11 22

Or visit the Alzheimer's Society website at 

New Karma Bites Made from Healthy Lotus Seeds

Karma Bites in Himalayan Pink Salt Flavour

Step aside popcorn. Move over protein balls. There’s a new healthy brand in town called Karma Bites, which is set to revolutionise the way you snack, thanks to its main ingredient: something we guarantee you won’t have tried before!

Karma Bites are made from popped Lotus seeds, which come from the revered Lotus flower. A much-loved snack eaten by generations and generations of families in Eastern cultures, Karma Bites have harnessed the nutritional power of this relatively unknown super seed for us all to enjoy!

So what exactly are Lotus seeds?

Lotus seeds come from the beautiful Lotus flower, which represents fortune and purity of the body and mind in Buddhism. Traditionally grown in Eastern Asia,

Korea and Japan, they bloom in May and then the seeds are harvested in September.

Known for their high protein, low fat and rich mineral content, the seeds have been treasured for centuries in Eastern culture and are valued for their nutritional and healing properties in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.

How are Karma Bites made?

Karma Bites use the highest quality Lotus seeds, sourced from flowers in Eastern India. They are then gently popped on a low heat in order to preserve their goodness and nutrition.

Karma Bites: The Goodness Range

At only 120 or 126 calories per 30g bag, Karma Bites are something of a snacking saviour. Healthy, filling and delicious, these nutritious snacks are perfect for eating on the go, at your desk or as a post-gym guilt-free snack.

Whether you prefer sweet or savoury, Karma Bites have an option to suit all taste buds.  The range includes Wasabi, Himalayan Pink Salt, Peri Peri and Caramel.

The range is also gluten free, low GI, free from artificial colours and suitable for vegans.

But what do the experts think?

“Lotus seeds contain more protein and less carbohydrates and less carbohydrate than similar snacks such as popcorn. This means they could be better at filling you up for the same amount of calories and better for supporting your blood sugar levels.

“Another important fat about protein in Lotus seeds is that it’s a high quality or ‘complete’ protein. This means it is made up of a good balance of all the amino acids that our body needs. In comparison, grains such as corn and more nuts and seeds are lacking in one or more amino acids, usually lysine, making them less efficient as a source of protein for our body.

“Lotus seeds also provide a good source of a variety of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, which plays an essential role in energy and supporting our muscles. The seeds are also rich in phytochemicals with antioxidant activity, which can help protect us against disease and have anti-ageing activity,” comments Nutritionist Cassandra Barns.

Karma Bites in Himalayan Caramel Flavour

Karma Bites are £1.59 per pack and available from from

Health & Wellbeing

Ruth Langsford Joins Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk

Ruth Langsford joins the Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Ruth Langsford wears the Alzheimer's Society t-shirt at the Memory Walk

Strictly Come Dancing star Ruth Langsford recently took a break from the dancefloor to join 3,000 people who united against dementia at an Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk.

The Loose Women and ITV This Morning presenter, who lost her dad, Dennis, to dementia, swapped sequins for a blue Alzheimer’s Society t-shirt when she took part in the charity’s Surrey Memory Walk at Painshill Park, Cobham in October.

Ruth Langsford joins the Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Ruth, who brought her dog Maggie along, said: “I know everyone is walking for the same reason I’m walking, which is to remember a loved one who is living with dementia or who sadly passed away with dementia. I know what that feels like, it happened to our family and I know it’s very difficult for those who are dealing with it.

“We are uniting and fighting with this battle against dementia, and we will win it but we need research and that research costs a lot of money. And that’s where fundraisers come into it – people come to events like this and we fundraise as much as we can, as well as raising awareness of dementia.

“My family knew very little about dementia and that was 15 years ago and we were a bit lost. I do think that’s changing and improving, but there’s still a lot to do and we have to do it together.”

Ruth adds, “You can live a good life with dementia, with the support of your family. The atmosphere here is wonderful. It’s an uplifting walk. We all have sadness because our lives have been touched by dementia, but it’s uplifting to walk with people who understand that.”

Ruth Langsford leads the Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Ruth opened the walk along with actress Emma Barton, who is best known for her role as Honey Mitchell in EastEnders.

“I wanted to support Alzheimer's Society as it is a cause that's close to my heart,” Emma said. “This is only my second ever Memory Walk and it’s amazing to see so many people here to support Alzheimer’s Society.

“Memory Walk is a great way to celebrate the life of a loved one with friends and family as well raise vital funds that will support others. It is a beautiful walk at Painshill Park and the turn-out has been unbelievable – it just shows how many people are touched by dementia.”

Ruth Langsford and Emma Barton lead the Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Other dedicated fundraisers donned their walking boots to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society, included Nerissa Davies and her brother Glen, whose father had dementia.

Nerissa’s dad, Richard Davies, was a television comedy actor who starred in shows such as Fawlty Towers and Please Sir, and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and passed away on 8th October 2015 – the same day as this year’s Surrey Memory Walk.

She says, “My dad was on TV his whole life, and now he can’t remember anything about his amazing achievements. Memory Walk is a great event.”

Ruth Langsford with her dog, Maggie, lead the Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Sue Rennie, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for Surrey, says, “Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer.

“We are calling on family, friends – and furry four-legged supporters – to unite against dementia this autumn. Dementia devastates lives. Walk with us at Memory Walk and dementia won’t win.

“Every pound raised will help Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year’s Memory Walk such a huge success.”

For further information about Alzheimer’s Society please visit 


Going to the Theatre is Like Half an Hour of Cardio Exercise

Going to the theatre is like half an hour of cardio exercise

Watching a live theatre performance can stimulate your cardiovascular system to the same extent as doing 28 minutes of healthy cardio exercise, a new study has found.

The research, conducted by University College London and the University of Lancaster in association with Encore Tickets, the UK’s leading independent ticket provider, monitored the heart rates, brain activity, and other physiological signals of 12 individuals at a live theatre performance of Dreamgirls, the Tony and Olivier award winning musical.

During the performance, the heartrates of audience members spent an average of 28 minutes beating at an elevated range between 50% - 70% of their maximum heart rate. The British Heart Foundation identify this level of heartrate as the optimal heart rate to stimulate cardio fitness and stamina. So, although they were seated for the performance, audience members spent an average of 28 minutes engaged in healthy cardio exercise.

Dr Joseph Devlin, Head of Experimental Psychology at University College London, says, “This demonstration paints quite a clear picture that attending a live performance has an impact on cardiovascular activity.”

The study showed that two of the most interesting peaks in heartrate activity come just before the start of the interval, and at the end of the show. The soar from a lower heart rate suggesting captivated concentration, to a higher peak of arousal reflects the surge of deep emotion and energy seen on stage.

Dr Joseph Devlin continues, “By the end of the first act, heart rates nearly doubled from their resting state at the beginning, while in the second act, it tripled. You see comparable changes in heart rate in professional tennis players during burst of highly intense exertion such as long and fast rallies.”

Theatre experts at Encore Tickets note that Dreamgirls is unique amongst current West End shows as it often receives a mid-show standing ovation as well as at the climax of the show.

Over the past decade, scientists have explored a range of studies have shown that listening to music and experiencing live events can have a positive impact on our well-being. However, until now, no one has looked into the benefits of attending a live theatre performance, despite the numerous apparent effects it has. New research for Encore Tickets shows that for a third of people (33%), the thing they most enjoy about the theatre is the feeling the live experience gives them, such as emotions and goosebumps. Yet, only 15% have noticed a change in their breathing, whether that’s slower or faster, whilst almost one third (31%) have experienced gasping or jumping in shock.

Recent advances in wearable technology have allowed scientists to gauge the emotional engagement of groups spectating and participating in performance, ceremony and social interactions. They can track various physiological signals linked to the autonomic nervous system, which in turn relates to emotion and arousal. These signals can then be averaged across audience members give an indication of the time-course of a shared experience. As part of the study, University College London neuroscientists also conducted a literature review of other research that supported their findings on the thrill of live theatre, and the interesting impact it has. One study they reference tracked the heart rate of students during a lecture, using it as a measure of their interest and engagement.

Messages from the heart are not as straightforward, however. A higher average heart rate does not necessarily indicate a higher overall emotional or cognitive engagement in a performance or a lecture. This is because sometimes at moments of deeper engagement and concentration, arousal and heart rate can decrease. What might be indicative of a richer experience is a greater range of heart rate responses, from a low heart rate of concentrated engagement to a peak of arousal. For example, the UCL neuroscientists reference another study, which tracked heart rates of audience members listening to either a live performance by a pianist, or a video recording of that performance. They found that only during the live performance did the audience’s heart beat shift in response to the tempo of the music.

Dr Joseph Devlin, says, “Within the results of the heart rate data from the theatre audience, there was a large dynamic range consistent with the fact that being in a live audience increases the emotional intensity of the experience. The results indicate that the highs and lows of the theatre performance allow for a range of emotions that can stimulate the heart and induce heartrate activity that is parallel to an exerting cardio work out.

About Encore Tickets

Encore Tickets offers theatre, attraction and event tickets for London’s vibrant live entertainment and arts. Encore is the UK’s leading independent ticket provider and has sold more than 29 million tickets to theatre fans from over 170 countries. It is an official ticketing partner for more than 160 theatres, shows and attractions in London, helping them sell over £1bn of tickets since launch. Based in London and staffed by 150 theatre and live experience fans, Encore has 17 years of expertise helping Londoners and tourists enjoy the best of the city’s entertainment and culture. For more information about Encore Tickets visit the website at 

About Dreamgirls

The research for Encore Tickets was gathered at a performance of Dreamgirls. The UK and West End premiere of this sensational Tony Award® and Olivier Award-winning musical is playing to standing ovations every night at the Savoy Theatre, London. Dreamgirls transports audiences to a revolutionary time in American music history and charts the tumultuous journey of a young female singing trio from Chicago, Illinois called ‘The Dreams’. They learn the hard lesson that show business is as tough as it is fabulous. Tickets are available to buy from

  Geberit AquaClean
 Provides Bathroom

Geberit AquaClean

   For young people at the Crocus
      Fields Respite Care Facility

When Nottingham City Council refurbished the bathrooms at its respite care facility, Crocus Fields, specifiers Kingkraft selected Geberit AquaClean 8000plus Care shower toilets to ensure comfort and functionality for its residents.

Crocus fields provides short breaks for young people with learning and/or physical disabilities and those with additional health needs. The aim behind installing the Geberit AquaClean 8000plus was to make the bathroom more accessible for the less able as it combines the convenience of a warm water wash and a warm air-dryer.

Easy to operate and virtually touch-free, the shower toilet gives the user a greater sense of independence, leaving them with a feeling of cleanliness at the touch of a button.

“The Geberit shower toilets are fantastic and have made a huge difference to the young people that use them. Having them installed means they have more independence with less intrusion from care givers, which is hugely important to them,” comments Joanne Wright, Crocus Fields Manager.

Geberit AquaClean

“We needed the shower toilets to be easy to operate, as the youngsters may not always be familiar with the technology, and the Geberit AquaClean is extremely simple to use.”

Commenting on the project, Russell Bland, Geberit Area Sales Manager says, “The whole ethos surrounding Crocus Fields is built on treating each young person as an individual and making the facilities as homely as possible. Those staying at Crocus Fields for respite support may not be with their parents or usual care givers.

“The Geberit AquaClean shower toilets enable them to have a good level of independence when using the bathroom, an important consideration for young people, particularly when they are in an unfamiliar environment.

“When new staff join Crocus Fields, Geberit will provide ongoing training and support, to ensure the advantages of the shower toilets can always be fully realised.”

Crocus Fields

Geberit AquaClean 8000plus Care was chosen for the project by Kingkraft, a company with many years’ experience of working with Geberit in helping to maintain the independence of people with varying degrees of mobility.

“When Crocus Fields were looking for a WC that was flexible enough to meet the varied user needs and a product that was reliable, Geberit AquaClean was the natural solution,” explains Kingkraft Sales and Marketing Manager Dale Spademan. “We installed all four shower toilets within three days, with no problems at all.”

For more information on the benefits of Geberit AquaClean call Geberit on 01926 516800 or visit

For details on the Crocus Fields facility visit

For information on the work of Kingkraft click on  

    When Did You Last
 Take up a New Hobby?

Enjoy painting as a hobby

     BHF reveals top 10 hobbies adults
         have lost from their childhood

New statistics released by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) show 90% of adults have given up at least one hobby from their childhood and almost a third (31%) can’t remember the last time they took up a new one. The BHF is encouraging people to shake things up by reviving an old hobby they used to enjoy, or starting a new one, to help raise money for life saving heart research.

A survey of UK adults revealed almost a third (31%) said they can’t remember the last time they took up a new hobby or tried something different, and as for the hobbies they did in childhood, two fifths (39%) said the last time they did them was over 10 years ago. For almost a third (32%) it has been more than 16 years.

Of the 2,000 people polled, over half (55%) of adults said they used to try more new things when they were younger, while 30% say they have grown up to be someone who tends to say no to new things.

The BHF can reveal the Top Ten Hobbies we’re most likely to have given up since childhood are:

Learn to play a musical instrument

1. Musical Instruments (39%)

2. Football (26%)

3. Swimming (23%)

4. Cycling (20%)

5. Other sports (17%)

6. Drawing (16%)

7. Gymnastics (13%)

8. Painting (13%)

9. Arts and crafts (13%)

10. Dance (13%)

Learn to dance to take your mind off the stresses of life

Almost two thirds of those polled (61%) said they would like to re-engage with an old hobby as they saw the benefits, with almost two fifths (38%) saying it would give them a sense of fulfilment. Over a quarter (29%) said introducing a new hobby into their life would take their minds off life stresses.

One of the main reasons people said they haven’t rekindled an old hobby is that they were just lacking the motivation. However, the BHF suggest that doing something to raise money in the fight against heart disease could be a good incentive to revive one of your favourite pastimes.

Marc Shaw, Fundraising Manager at the BHF says, “Taking up a hobby can be extremely fulfilling, and can be a fantastic way of keeping active and meeting new people. Our survey shows that the majority of us would love to reignite an old passion from their childhood/younger years, as many of us used to be much more open to trying new things when we were younger. By taking up an activity you used to enjoy, you can help raise money for our life saving research and help us make a difference to the millions of people fighting a daily battle with heart disease.”

The BHF relies entirely on the enormous generosity of its supporters to continue funding life saving research, and is calling on the public to fundraise in ways that they enjoy. Do that thing you do, and do it to raise money to save lives. Why not get the family involved, make opportunities to re-engage with that hobby that you used to enjoy, even just for one day, and fundraise for the BHF in the process.

Take on a swimming challenge

It could be taking on a swimming challenge if you haven’t taken the plunge for a while or getting on your bike if you miss the wind in your hair. Gather together your friends, old team mates or colleagues for a kick around, or even hold an arts and crafts day where you can all get creative.

Heart disease devastates the lives of millions of people across the UK, often without warning, so why not get together and have some fun by hosting a fundraiser or taking on a challenge of your choice.

Get your free fundraising pack by visiting  

  LOVE Life Healthy  
 Chicken Minestrone

LOVE Life Healthy Chicken Minestrone

Keep warm with this healthy recipe from Waitrose.


· 750ml Cooks’ Ingredients Chicken Stock
· 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
· 2 essential Waitrose Vermicelli Nests
· 100g Waitrose Sliced Fine Green Beans
· 75g frozen Waitrose Garden Peas
· 2 salad onions, thinly sliced
· 1 tbsp Waitrose Green Basil Pesto


1. Place the stock and chicken in a large pan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

2. Crumble the pasta nests into small pieces then add to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the beans, peas and salad onions and simmer for a further 3 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the pasta and chicken are cooked through. Stir in the pesto then ladle between 2 bowls and serve.

For more recipes visit