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Tag: story
Flash Fiction: Soft Snowflakes

Soft snowflakes began to fall. “How funny,” she thought, “that winter should come on the very day my heart began to melt.”

“How funny,” she thought, “that winter should come at all.” She pondered this as she sipped her warming wine and tried to ignore the hunger pangs that accompanied every swallow. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d eaten. Not today. Not even yesterday. The day before? Possibly. If that was the day she had left the hospital then definitely. But that could have been a week, a month, a year ago. It seemed to her that she had been sitting in this window seat, drinking wine and tucked up against the world, for decades. For centuries. For eternity.  Little wonder, then, that she was feeling light headed.

Soft Snowflakes

There was a sound, but she couldn’t place it. It was familiar, like a well used door opening or a creaky stair being stepped on. A comforting sound. A safe sound. A loved sound. And that sound, and her knowing that she would soon hear it no longer, made her suddenly weep. She lowered her head to her raised knees and sobbed for the sadness of it all, for the unfairness. Her wine glass dropped, the red liquid cooling and spreading along the cushion she had covered herself in happier days.

The sound came again and she knew it through her grief. It was her husband’s key in the lock. Her melting heart, dwindling and dripping away, bit by bit, made an effort to pound harder, but failed. His key in the lock. It wasn’t possible, of course she knew that. She had left him, all those eons ago, dead from a heart attack. She had left him in the hospital, alone, and she had returned home, alone. And she was still there, and he was still there. Nothing had changed. But that sound…

She didn’t, as many would, rush to the door, fling it open and find nothing. She didn’t move at all. She reached down, picked up the almost empty bottle and refilled her glass. She watched the snow fall and listened as her heart melted.

Short Story: My Gingerbread House

I wanted a gingerbread house. They asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and I told them, a gingerbread house please (making sure to say please as I knew they liked it when I did that). They ummed and ahed about it, but I was pretty sure it was going to come off. The kids at school would go crazy when they saw it. I’d have to invite everyone over to see it, it would make them like me. It would have to. I mean, who wouldn’t like someone with their very own gingerbread house? If it were me, and some kid came up to me at school and told me they had one, I’d be their BFF just to get to see it, maybe to eat a bit of it.

I was so excited about it that I told everyone in advance that I was getting one. And the excitement was kind of like a disease or something because in the end everyone had it. Even the teachers were a bit less strict, as though they thought I might ask them if they wanted to take a look. But I wouldn’t do that. That is not something a popular kid does, and all of a sudden I was popular.

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My birthday was a Saturday and I told everyone to get to my house for around lunch time, because there would be plenty to eat and I didn’t think my parents would mind. Turns out they did sort of mind because they had planned to take me out to lunch, which they did, and by the time we got back there were dozens of school children – and quite a few parents – milling around in our front garden, waiting to be let in.

This was it. This was the big unveiling, wasn’t it? This was when my parents were going to show off what they’d bought me and the others, my friends, I guess, would be impressed.

My parents were probably still in a bit of shock over the number of people who had turned up, especially when I hadn’t mentioned that anyone at all would be coming over. I never had people over, so that was a surprise right there. But they were gracious about it, invited everyone in and set about making teas and coffees, offering juices and squash, rummaging around in cupboards to find snacks and biscuits to offer around. Some of the parents – most, maybe all – guessed this was a bit of a shock for mine, and they suggested coming back later, or the next day, or the next week. Whatever. But I couldn’t have that, not when I was about to get my gingerbread house. “No, it’s all right,” I said before my mum and dad could open their mouths. “Really, isn’t it? Isn’t it?” I insisted.

Mum and Dad smiled, a little stiffly, but what else could they do? “Of course,” said Dad, nudging Mum. “Isn’t it?”

Mum nodded.

The room did not relax. If anything, the atmosphere got more strained. No one was really speaking, there was a lot of foot shuffling and throat clearing. “Nice coffee,” someone murmured. My mum thanked them, glanced out of the window at the garage, looked back into the room. “Well, we were going to do this later,” she declared, the silence shattering at the sound, “But since everyone’s here…” She gave a fleeting look at my dad, willing him to take over. Ten years of marriage and he knew what to do. “Yes, the big unveiling. Do you want your main present?”

I was tempted to shake my head, say no, do it later, forget it completely, it doesn’t matter because I was gripped with the terrible sureness that they had got me something else. Something that, although most probably amazing and brilliant, was not what I had promised the guests. Instead I grinned and jumped up and down and said, “Yes please!”

This cheered my parents up quite a lot. My being happy always put a smile on their faces, which is why I didn’t want to be a pain about things. My dad trotted off to the garage, and my mum ushered everyone into the garden. She looked pretty excited by this point. She was sort of glowing with the fun she was having, showing off what she’d bought me. Fair enough. If it made her happy…

And then there was a strange squeaky sound, and my dad was pulling a massive something covered in a sheet along the grass on a platform, the wheels making the high pitched yelping as they rolled. “Ta da!” Dad shouted tunelessly as he got near to us. He whipped off the sheet and there, golden brown and chocolaty sweet, there in front of me was a gingerbread house. Bet you thought it was going to be a cake or something. It wasn’t. It was huge, and it was mine. The crowd gasped, and there was a spattering of applause from the adults. The kids just stared.

“Is it all right?” asked Mum, a bit breathlessly. “Is this what you wanted?” asked Dad, a lot breathlessly.

I said nothing. I walked up to it, sensing my school mates behind me, itching to rush forward and start chewing. The pink and white candy canes, the massive chocolate buttons, the red and black liquorice laces, the sprinkles, the sparkles, the sherbet and the jellies… it was beautiful.

Before I could stop them, I had tears on my cheeks. That was unexpected. That was unwelcome. But it emptied my head of nonsense and it set my brain thinking. That feeling of tension was still behind me. It was palpable, a living thing raring to be set free. But I, I chose to keep it caged.

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“Thanks for coming,” I said, turning around to face them, their red faces and gleaming eyes looking through me at the gingerbread house. “You can go now.”

Faces dropped. Parents looked at one another. Kids laughed, then stopped because my expression told them I meant it. “Er, that’s not very polite,” my mum said, attempting to save me from exile. I shrugged. “I’m not trying to be polite,” I said. “I’m saying these bullies, these jokers, these snobs who think they’re better than me, the ones who pull my hair and steal my lunch money, the ones who copy my homework and kick me and laugh at my clothes, I’m saying this is mine. All mine. Goodbye.”

I turned back to the wonderful, amazing, magnificent gingerbread house and waited. Slowly, I could feel the crowd growing less until I was alone.

Just me and the gingerbread house.

As it should be.

Two Red Rockers – Memories

On the back porch of our house there are two red rockers. They were bought on our honeymoon, a trip to Devon, nearly sixty years ago, and they have been repaired and repainted a good many times since. But always red. Because that’s what made us buy them. The colour. We spotted them in a strange little shop, not quite antiques and not quite bric-a-brac but somewhere in between, and they weren’t new then. We could see the red paint beneath the white, trying to make itself known, as though only we could see it and appreciate it.

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They cost us all the spending money we had, and we still had to put a bit on tick – it took us five years to pay it all off in the end. And once we had handed over every note and coin, and signed away a heart stopping amount on top, the man in the shop didn’t want to know, so we had to lug them back up that long cobbled hill to the guest house ourselves. I can still remember the look on the landlady’s face when she saw them in her parlour, a mixture of disbelief and all out fury. She was a harridan, that one, but you and your charm persuaded her to let us keep the chairs there overnight. We worried about them all night, like parents with a newborn, and in the morning we rushed downstairs to check nothing had happened to them. Nothing had.

Because we had spent all our money, we had to cut our honeymoon short and leave that afternoon on a train back to London. The guard promised he’d keep an eye on our pride and joys, for a fee, but we had nothing to give him so we took it in turns trundling up to the luggage carriage and back. When we got home, I stayed with the chairs at the station while you ran off to find your dad because he had a cart we could use to get them home.

Home. Home was with your parents then. We had nowhere else to go, and no money (especially after debting on those chairs) so it made sense, but your mother was strict and was never too fond of me, and she refused to let the rockers into her house. Your charm was powerless against her. They had to stay in the shed in the garden. The evenings we spent out there, just the two of us, a glass of beer and each other, rocking gently, were some of the happiest I can remember.

Hard work and denial and we finally found our own house, and it had a room for the rockers, but I always preferred them outside. You promised me that when we were rich we would have a house with a porch at the back so that the chairs would have their own place. I laughed and thanked you and we smiled about it.

We never got rich, but we did eventually buy ourselves a nice, respectable house with a good sized garden. You surprised me one birthday by telling me you had hired some builders to put up a porch, like the one you’d always promised me. The children – we had three by then – didn’t understand and thought it was the worst present they could think of, but I was more pleased than I think I let you know. I always wondered whether you understood how much that gesture meant to me.

The children grew up, they moved out, they visited occasionally. You and I missed them; we were reminded of those early days when it was just the two of us, and at first it was awkward but soon it was natural and as though years had never happened. We sat on those old red chairs and I don’t think I have ever felt peace like it. Every now and then you reached across and squeezed my hand and for a moment I saw the young man you had been.

But now I sit next to an empty chair, and remember.

The Juniper Tree… Yes, It’s A True Story

I was five when I wrote my first play. And of all the memories I have that fight for space in my head, it is that one that always wins. It is that one that comes to the front and shows itself, reminding me of who and what I am. Who and what I have always been. A writer.

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Hampshire. The New Forest. 1986. Imagine the scene on an August summer’s day when the sky was the colour of nostalgia and the sun was heavenly hot. Our annual fortnight in the English countryside was off and running, and my family – grandmother, parents, sister and me – were enjoying every second of it. Isn’t that how it always goes, looking back? There are no dull moments, no waiting for things to happen, no ‘nothing days’ when not a thing was done… Even if, in reality, there were.

It was in this place, at this time, on that one day in August that I wrote that first play of mine. We had gone out for the day to Linford Bottom, our ‘private beach’, a peaceful, somewhat secluded little area somewhere in the National Park. Lunch time had been and gone and the adults were restless. Not so my sister and I who could create a game out of nothing and keep it going for hours. But the grownups were hot and tired and they were about to say it was time to leave. To go back to our little holiday bungalow at that point was just not something we little ones would allow.

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“Watch our play!” I shouted from across the little stream. It was a distraction technique, something to keep everyone from packing up and leaving. And it worked. Suddenly intrigued, suddenly interested, they sat back down on stripy deckchairs and waited.

The plan had worked. The problem was that there was no play, nothing to wow them with, nothing to show them at all. Panic settled in the pit of my stomach as I desperately grasped around me for something – anything – to talk about. And then I saw it. ‘It’ was a gorse bush that sat plumply on the banks of the little stream.

“This is the Juniper Tree,” I said grandly. And that’s how it began.

It would, looking back, have been useful to have let my sister in on the plot of my play. That would probably have saved a lot of tears. But I was confident in my role as writer and director, and she was happy to act, so there was really nothing to worry about…

It all went horribly, predictably, wrong.

Amy strayed from the non-existent script. She began to talk to the audience, breaking the fourth wall entirely (not that I had any inkling about the fourth wall, but I still knew something was wrong), making jokes and laughing, skipping around, bringing in new characters, mugging and clowning.

My play was ruined. I could see it, the carefully constructed walls of story, plot, character, they all came tumbling down like the sad end to a fairy story, and I was left with the remnants of it all beneath my feet.

My sister had ruined it.

Which is exactly what I said. I stood there, red faced, tearful, stamping my chubby little leg and shouting, “She’s ruined it! She’s ruined it again!” before storming off to sit behind The Juniper Tree in silence. I stayed there, my parents say, for a good half an hour sulking.

I can’t remember what happened after that. I imagine we went home, dried our tears, enjoyed the remnants of the day as it drooped and dropped from its own heat into a balmy, orange-hued evening.

I imagine that’s exactly what happened.

What Is A Ghost Writer?

I am a ghost writer. And it’s not actually as spooky as it sounds (although, to be fair, my favourite genre is horror).

What Is A Ghost Writer

It’s one of many services that I provide as a professional freelancer, but what exactly does it mean, and how could it help you?

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Ghost writing is the name given to the act of writing articles, blog posts, social media posts, books, stories, or anything else which is to be published under someone else’s name. I’ve produced hundreds of ghost written blog posts for various clients – many on an ongoing monthly basis – and it is their name that is seen when any reader clicks on the author link. Once I’ve written the piece (and, more often than not, posted it using the log in details I have been given), any ownership I might have had is gone; it all belongs to the site owner.

I have also ghost written a number of novels, as well as writing my own. One of these is about to be published, but it won’t be my name on the cover – it will be my client’s.

So what are the advantages to you of hiring a freelance ghost writer?

 

Your Time

Your time is important

Running a business is time consuming – there are many day to day elements that need to be considered and dealt with, and writing a regular blog might not be high up on the list, even though it is incredibly important. Hiring a ghost writer means that your web rankings can grow but you don’t have to lose your own precious time making it happen.

Once someone else is running your blog, the pressure is off you.

 

 

 

You are in control

You Are In Control

Even though someone else is writing the content for you, you as the client are entirely in control of what that content is and how it is used. The writer puts it together for you, but you are the one who uses it to your advantage.  This can be cost effective if you choose to re-use the blog post or article in a newsletter or brochure, for example.

 

 

Ability

Not everyone has the same skills

Your skills lie in your business – whatever the niche, service or product you are selling, that’s where your talent can be found. You might not necessarily also have the talent to craft an interesting, readable, thought provoking, shareable blog post as well. A ghost writer will.

And when it comes to novels and stories, the same is true – you the client could have the most wonderful plot, fully formed characters, but trying to put them all together might prove difficult for you if writing isn’t your ‘thing’. Or you simply might not have the time to sit down and craft an entire novel.A ghost writer is the perfect solution.

 

If you feel that a ghost writer would be the ideal way to grow your blog and website, to publish an article, or to write that novel you’ve always known you’ve got in you, then please get in touch.

I’m Afraid Of Pandas…

I’m afraid of pandas. Don’t laugh, it’s the truth. Oh, they may look cute and cuddly, they may seem soft and soppy, but they are, in actual fact, cruel and creepy. They are evil.

Who's afraid of pandas?
Who’s afraid of pandas?

I don’t say this lightly. I say this with a heavy heart and a troubled mind. But, you see, the thing is… I have had first hand experience with pandas. With a panda. And it was not pleasant.

I was four years old, and that is long enough ago that I really shouldn’t be able to remember it, but I do. The entire episode is as clear to me now as it was then.

I should probably explain…

One night when I was four, I had a nightmare, as children often do. I’m sure that I had many a nightmare at that age, many before and many since, come to that, but this one was so vivid, even though it made no sense in any way, that it’s never left me.

I awoke – in my dream – to find a giant panda sitting on my bed, watching me. There was nothing unusual about this panda (apart from the fact that it was there in the first place). It wasn’t some demon creature, it didn’t have bulging red eyes or scales or horns, it wasn’t holding a knife or even baring its teeth. But it was terrifying. It didn’t blink. It barely moved. It just watched me, and the part that worried me the most was that I didn’t know how long it had been there before I woke up.

Even at four that unnerved me.

To think that it had been waiting for me, silently, patiently.

I wanted to cry out for my mother, but I was too scared to make a sound. I wasn’t sure it knew I was awake.

So I lay there, paralysed with fear, my heart slapping against my ribs, my eyes mostly closed but just open enough to watch the panda watching me.

We stayed like that, the panda and I, for an eternity.

And then, out of nowhere and for no discernible reason, the panda plucked a cigarette out of the air, lit it with an unseen match, and smoked it, right there, in my bedroom. On my bed. It’s large, furry rump nudging up against my stiff, sweating legs.

I found my voice.

It was meek and weak, trembling and far too soft to attract any attention, but I called out anyway, desperate, needing to do something; “Mummy! Mummy! Help!”

Now the panda looked at me. It turned its head and stared into my eyes, smoke curling from its snout. It was angry. Its eyes narrowed and it hunched backwards. And then it was gone, I could feel its weight lifting from the mattress, and I saw it bolt.

The dream becomes hazy after that. My mother appeared in the doorway and I think I must have woken up by then because she was really there. She remembers it still, remembers me calling out so pitifully, so quietly, and yet waking her anyway. But what she doesn’t remember, and what I can’t explain, is that she passed the panda on its way out.

It ran out of the door as she ran in.

She never saw it, but it saw her. It growled at her.

She took its place on my bed and told me not to worry about it. It was just a dream, after all. Just a panda, and it was just smoking a cigarette. Nothing else.

I believed her then. But in the morning I cried out for her again because in the dawn light I could see something that we had both overlooked the night before.

There was a cigarette burn on my duvet cover.

We still talk about it. Every now and then it comes up in conversation. And neither of us can explain it.

I’ve been trying to exorcise that demon ever since.

I don’t think I’ve quite made it yet.

I'm afraid of pandas
I’m afraid of pandas

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My pricing guidlines

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Type of Work

£

Magazine Writing & research per 1000 400
Magazine Editor per day 250
Magazine Sub-editing per 1000 120
Magazine Fact checking per day 200
Newspaper (regional) Writing & research per 1000 220
Newspaper (regional) Sub-editing per 1000 95
Newspaper (regional) Fact checking per day 200
Newspaper (national) Writing & research per 1000 700
Newspaper (national) Sub-editing per 1000 450
Newspaper (national) Fact checking per day 200
Online/digital media Writing & research per 1000 180
Online/digital media Sub-editing per 1000 95
Online/digital media Fact checking per day 200

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Email

lisamarie20010@gmail.com

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WHAT I CAN DO

Blog Writing

A blog is an essential tool in ensuring your website is seen. I can create regular blog posts that will move you up the rankings and give you a better placement within your industry.

Ghost Writing

Have you ever wanted to write a novel, memoir or short story but don’t have the time? Do you have the ideas, but the words don’t flow? I can help. Contact me for a confidential chat.

Articles

I am happy to carry out research, conduct interviews, and write/edit articles of any length. Contact me for more information about my rates and services.

Web Content

From your home page to your about me details and everything in between, you want a website that has snappy, interesting, high quality content. Let me create it for you.

Sales Letters

If you have a product that you want others to know about, you need a sales letter that is going to get attention – and keep it. I can write that letter for you.

Emails

Are you thinking of starting an email campaign but don’t know what to include? Or perhaps you want to send a special email to that special someone, but you can’t think of the right words. Contact me and we can discuss exactly what I can do to help.

Product Descriptions

Selling products online can be an excellent way of making a business, but if your products sound boring and your descriptions are dull, no one will want them. I’ve written thousands of products descriptions, and I can make your products shine.

Copy Editing & Proofreading

Have you written something that needs that extra level of checking? With my years of experience I can proofread or copy edit your work so that it’s the best it can be.

Social Media Management & Digital Marketing

Getting your digital marketing and social media strategy right is essential. I can provide and implement a social media marketing plan that works for you. Contact me to find out more.

About MeAbout Me

I'm a content writer

Excellent work by Lisamarie, on time, great quality and constant communication. Would not hesitate to recommend and in fact use again as soon as opportunity arises.

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Andreas K

Lisamarie was great to work with - she did a fantastic job that completely met the brief and was delivered before the deadline.

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Quick and brilliant, nailed the brief! Will work with her all the time 🙂

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Roshni S

Fantastic work A++++

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Rob C

It was a pleasure to work with Lisamarie, she adjusted to our workflow and process with ease and completed work quickly and effectively.

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Geoff J

Lisamarie is a very good writer and is very easy to work with. She reacted well to my guidance and provided me with content I'm very happy to use. I look forward to working with her again soon.

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Ola F

Great work from Lisamarie, articles are exactly what we wanted

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Brilliant work from Lisamarie. I would definitely retain her again and recommend her to others.

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REVIEWS

I studied English theory at university and have always been interested in the mechanics of writing, but it wasn’t until 2010 when my daughter was born that I started to write professionally. Although this was out of necessity (it was a job that I could do from home, and it brought in enough to pay the bills!), it soon became a passion. Since that time, I have been published in over 40 fiction anthologies and have written seven novels.

Find out more about my publications on my Amazon Author Page.

I am now a full-time freelance writer. The majority of my time is spent writing SEO-friendly blog posts for businesses in all kinds of niches from bakeries to florists to roofing specialists and plenty more in between. 

Between 2014 and 2020 I was the features and online editor for insideKENT magazine.

Today I live with my husband, daughter, and a cat called Cheryl in a cottage in the Kent countryside, writing, painting, and – whenever possible – watching horror films.

http://www.facebook.com/lisamarielambwriter

info@lisamarielamb.co.uk 

MY STORY

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The Healing Power of Nature: Reconnecting with the Earth for Wellness

In our fast-paced modern lives, filled with technology and constant distractions, it’s easy to lose touch with the healing and grounding power of nature. However, reconnecting with the Earth can offer profound benefits for our overall well-being. From reducing stress and anxiety to improving mood and enhancing physical health, the great outdoors provides a natural prescription for wellness.

The Call of the Outdoors: A Natural Prescription for Wellbeing

When we immerse ourselves in nature, we tap into something primal within us. The gentle rustle of leaves, the soothing sound of a flowing river, and the sight of a breathtaking sunset all have a profound impact on our senses. Nature beckons us to slow down, breathe deeply, and embrace the present moment.

The Science Behind Nature’s Healing Effects

Research has shown that spending time in nature has a multitude of positive effects on our mental and physical well-being. Being in natural environments can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and boost our immune system. Studies also indicate that exposure to nature can improve cognitive function, increase creativity, and enhance overall happiness.

Ecotherapy: Nature as a Therapeutic Tool

Ecotherapy, also known as nature therapy or green therapy, is an emerging field that utilizes the healing power of nature for therapeutic purposes. From nature walks and gardening to wilderness adventures and animal-assisted therapy, ecotherapy offers various modalities to support mental health, personal growth, and emotional healing.

Forest Bathing: Immerse Yourself in the Healing Woods

Forest bathing, a practice originating from Japan, involves immersing oneself in a forest environment and engaging in mindfulness and sensory awareness. By simply being present in nature and observing its beauty, we can experience profound relaxation, improved mood, and a sense of rejuvenation.

The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise: Boosting Physical and Mental Health

Exercising outdoors provides a double dose of wellness benefits. Whether it’s hiking, biking, jogging, or practicing yoga in a park, outdoor physical activity not only improves cardiovascular fitness, strength, and flexibility but also enhances mental well-being by reducing anxiety and depression and increasing self-esteem.

Gardening Therapy: Cultivating Wellness in Your Backyard

Gardening is a therapeutic activity that allows us to connect with the earth, nurture living things, and witness the beauty of growth and renewal. It provides a sense of accomplishment, relieves stress, and promotes relaxation. Whether you have a spacious garden or a small balcony, cultivating plants can be a rewarding and healing experience.

Nature’s Soothing Soundscapes: The Impact of Natural Sounds

The gentle sounds of nature, such as chirping birds, rustling leaves, and babbling brooks, have a profound effect on our nervous system. Listening to these natural sounds can induce relaxation, improve focus, and promote better sleep. Incorporating recordings of nature sounds or visiting natural environments can help create a tranquil atmosphere in our busy lives.

The Role of Biophilia: Humans’ Innate Connection with Nature

Biophilia, the concept introduced by biologist Edward O. Wilson, suggests that humans possess an innate affinity for nature. We are naturally drawn to elements such as greenery, water, and natural light. By consciously incorporating biophilic design principles into our homes, workplaces, and public spaces, we can enhance our well-being and foster a deeper connection with the natural world.

Eco-Conscious Travel: Exploring Sustainable Destinations

When embarking on travel adventures, consider exploring destinations that prioritize sustainability and environmental conservation. Eco-conscious travel allows us to experience the beauty of nature while supporting local communities and preserving natural habitats for generations to come.

Choosing the Perfect Dining Table: A Guide

The dining table is the centerpiece of any dining room or kitchen, and it plays a crucial role in your home decor. It’s where family and friends gather to share meals, catch up on the day, and make memories. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect dining table. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips to help you make the right choice.

Consider Your Space

The first thing to consider when choosing a dining table is your space. Measure your dining room or kitchen to determine the size of the table that will fit comfortably. You don’t want a table that is too big or too small for your room. Also, consider the shape of your space. A rectangular table works best in a rectangular room, while a round or oval table is better for a square room.

perfect dining table

Photo by Mike Little

Think About Your Needs

Next, think about your needs. How many people will be using the table regularly? Do you need a table with leaves that can expand for larger gatherings? Do you want a formal or casual style? Do you need a table that can double as a workspace? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your choices.

Choose the Right Material

Dining tables come in a variety of materials, including wood, glass, metal, and composite. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. Wood is durable and timeless, but it can be heavy and require regular maintenance. Glass is sleek and modern, but it can show fingerprints and scratches. Metal is sturdy and easy to clean, but it can be cold and noisy. Composite materials like MDF and laminate are affordable and low-maintenance, but they may not have the same quality as natural materials.

Consider Your Style

Your perfect dining table should reflect your personal style and complement the rest of your home decor. If you prefer a traditional style, a wooden table with ornate details may be the perfect choice. If you prefer a modern style, a glass or metal table with clean lines may be more your style. Consider the colors and textures in your home and choose a table that fits in with your overall aesthetic.

Conclusion

Choosing the perfect dining table may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By considering your space, needs, material preferences, and style, you can find a table that will be both functional and beautiful in your home. Whether you prefer a classic wooden table or a sleek glass one, the right dining table will be a centerpiece of your home for years to come.

The Green Man: A Foliage-Covered Mystery

Have you ever seen a figure with leaves, vines, or branches sprouting from his mouth, nose, or ears? If yes, you might have stumbled upon the Green Man, a mythical being whose roots can be traced back to pre-Christian times.

green man

Origins

The Green Man is a pagan symbol that represents the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. He is often associated with spring and the renewal of nature. In the Middle Ages, this symbol became intertwined with Christian iconography and was depicted in churches and cathedrals across Europe.

Evolution

Throughout the centuries, this figure has taken on many different forms. In some cultures, he is a wild, untamed creature, while in others, he is a gentle, nurturing spirit. In medieval Europe, he was often depicted as a foliate head or a human face surrounded by foliage.

Symbolism

The Green Man is a complex symbol that can represent many different things. In some cultures, he is a fertility god, while in others, he is a symbol of the wild and untamed natural world. In Christian iconography, he is often associated with the resurrection of Christ and the renewal of the spirit.

Popular Culture

In recent years, the Green Man has experienced a resurgence in popular culture. He has been featured in everything from literature to music to television shows. Perhaps the most famous representation of Green Men is in the hit television show Game of Thrones, where he is depicted as a mysterious figure who lives beyond the Wall.

The Mystery of the Green Man

Despite his prevalence in popular culture, the origins and meaning of the Green Man remain shrouded in mystery. Some believe that he represents the ancient Celtic god Cernunnos, while others see him as a symbol of the natural world and our connection to it.

Conclusion

This figure is a fascinating and enigmatic figure whose origins stretch back thousands of years. Whether he represents the cycle of life, the untamed wild, or something else entirely, one thing is certain: the Green Man will continue to captivate and intrigue us for generations to come.

Relaxing at Home: A Guide to Unwinding and Recharging

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s essential to take some time to relax and recharge. However, with our hectic schedules, finding the time to unwind can be challenging. Fortunately, you don’t need to leave your house to get some much-needed relaxation. Here are some tips for relaxing at home.

relaxing at home

Photo by Chait Goli

Create a Soothing Atmosphere

The first step in relaxing at home is creating a soothing atmosphere. Dim the lights, light some candles, and play some relaxing music. You can also diffuse essential oils like lavender, which are known for their calming properties.

Get Cosy

There’s no better way to relax than getting cosy. Put on some comfortable clothes, grab a blanket, and snuggle up on the couch. If you have a fireplace, light a fire and bask in its warmth.

Indulge in Your Favourite Activity

What’s your favourite way to unwind? Whether it’s reading, watching a movie, or taking a bath, indulge in your favorite activity. You can even combine activities, like taking a bubble bath while watching your favorite show.

Disconnect from Technology

Technology has made our lives more convenient, but it can also be a source of stress. Disconnect from technology by turning off your phone, computer, and TV. Instead, try meditating, journaling, or practicing yoga.

Treat Yourself

When was the last time you pampered yourself? Treat yourself to a spa day at home. Take a long bath, apply a face mask, and give yourself a manicure. You’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Spend Time with Loved Ones

Spending time with loved ones is an excellent way to relax at home. Whether it’s having a game night or cooking dinner together, spending quality time with the people you care about can help you unwind and recharge.

Conclusion

Relaxing at home is essential for your mental and physical well-being. With these tips, you can create a soothing atmosphere, indulge in your favorite activity, disconnect from technology, treat yourself, and spend time with loved ones. So, the next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take some time to relax at home. Your mind and body will thank you.

Eat More Cheese: It’s The Perfect Food

If you’re a cheese lover, you’ll know that there’s nothing quite like a good slice of cheese. Whether it’s a classic cheddar, a creamy brie, or a tangy blue, there’s a cheese out there for everyone. But did you know that eating more cheese can actually be good for you? That’s right; it’s time to embrace your cheese addiction and indulge in the satisfying taste of cheese.

eat more cheese

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

The Benefits of Cheese: It’s Not Just Delicious, It’s Nutritious Too

Before we get into the cheesy goodness, let’s talk about why cheese is actually good for you. Cheese is a great source of calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth. It’s also high in protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. Plus, cheese is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium.

So, if you’re looking for a healthy snack that will also satisfy your cravings, cheese is the perfect choice. And if you needed any more convincing, research has shown that cheese can actually help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

How to Eat More Cheese: Embrace the Cheesy Goodness

Now that you know why cheese is good for you, it’s time to start eating more of it. Here are some tips to help you embrace the cheesy goodness:

  1. Experiment with different types of cheese: There are so many different types of cheese out there, from mild to sharp, soft to hard. Try something new and see what you like.
  2. Pair cheese with other foods: Cheese pairs well with a variety of foods, from crackers and bread to fruit and nuts. Try different combinations and find your favorite.
  3. Make cheese the star of the show: Cheese can be the main ingredient in many dishes, from pizza and pasta to sandwiches and burgers.
  4. Don’t be afraid to indulge: Cheese is a delicious treat, so don’t be afraid to indulge every once in a while. Just make sure to balance it out with healthy foods too.

Photo by Ray Piedra

The Bottom Line: Eat More Cheese and Embrace Your Cheese Addiction

In conclusion, cheese is not only delicious, but it’s also nutritious. So, if you’re a cheese lover, there’s no need to feel guilty about your addiction. Embrace the cheesy goodness and experiment with different types of cheese, pairings, and recipes. And remember, everything is better with cheese – even a bad day. So, go ahead and eat more cheese because life is too short not to enjoy cheese, the more perfect food.

Breathe Easy: The Benefits of Breathing in Fresh Air

Breathing fresh air is one of the most important things we can do for our health and wellbeing. It is a simple yet powerful way to improve our quality of life. In this blog post, we will explore the many benefits of fresh air and how it can help us feel our best.

benefits of breathing in fresh air

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

Boosts Oxygen Levels and Improves Respiratory Health

Fresh air is essential for our respiratory health as it contains high levels of oxygen. Breathing in fresh air can help increase the amount of oxygen in our bodies, which is necessary for our cells to function properly. This can help improve our respiratory health and prevent issues such as asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory illnesses.

Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Spending time in nature and breathing in fresh air has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Studies have found that people who spend time in nature have lower levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress. This can help us feel more relaxed, calm, and centered.

Improves Cognitive Function and Brain Health

Fresh air can also help improve cognitive function and brain health. Studies have found that people who spend time outdoors and breathe in fresh air have better memory, concentration, and creativity. This is because fresh air can help increase the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain, which is necessary for optimal brain function.

Boosts Immune System Function

Breathing in fresh air can help boost our immune system function by increasing the number of white blood cells in our bodies. This can help us fight off illnesses and infections more effectively. Fresh air can also help reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with many chronic health conditions.

Improves Sleep Quality

Fresh air can also help improve our sleep quality by promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels. When we breathe in fresh air, we can feel more relaxed and calm, which can help us fall asleep more easily and sleep more deeply. This can lead to better overall health and well-being.

Promotes Physical Activity and Weight Loss

Fresh air is also essential for physical activity and weight loss. When we breathe in fresh air, we can feel more energized and motivated to move our bodies. This can help us engage in physical activity such as walking, hiking, or running, which can help us burn calories and lose weight. Regular physical activity can also help improve our overall health and reduce our risk of chronic diseases.

In conclusion, breathing in fresh air has many benefits for our health and well-being. From improving respiratory health to reducing stress and anxiety, boosting cognitive function and immune system function, promoting physical activity and weight loss, and improving sleep quality, the benefits of fresh air are numerous. So, make sure to take the time to breathe in fresh air every day and enjoy the many benefits it has to offer.

Get Ready to Scream for Ice Cream with Creams Cafe and SCREAM VI

This March, everybody’s favourite destination for truly decadent desserts, Creams Cafe, is partnering with the release of SCREAM VI hitting UK cinemas on 8th March, Creams has created a frighteningly good limited-edition dessert, available from 1st – 31st March.

The chilling new SCREAM VI Sundae is a treat that’s not to be missed. This creepy concoction features creamy vanilla soft serve and coconut gelato, served with terrifyingly tasty blood-red strawberry sauce and a Creams Cafe signature wafer for the finishing flourish. Whether you’re a horror fan looking for the perfect pre-cinema treat or just a lover of the nation’s favourite dessert brand, don’t be afraid to head to Creams to give this petrifying pudding a try.

creams cafe

Available nationwide from 1st – 31st March, head to your nearest Creams to snap up this limited-edition treat for £8.95…but only if you dare. The Scream VI Sundae will also be available via delivery with Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and Just Eat.

As an extra special spooky surprise, Creams will be offering someone the chance to win a truly one-of-a-kind, money-can’t-buy experience. One lucky individual will win an exclusive screening of SCREAM VI with up to 23 friends of their choosing in a totally private cinema. As if that wasn’t wow factor enough, the winner will also be given a £250 Creams Cafe voucher, so they can order whatever sweet treats their hearts desire. Keep your eyes peeled across the Creams Cafe Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok channels from 1st March for full details on how to be in with a chance of winning.

A SCREAM VI Sundae at Creams followed by a frightfully fantastic screening of SCREAM VI – name a cooler combination?

Creams Cafe – the place where I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

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How To Make Waxing Less Painful

Waxing is a popular way to remove unwanted body hair, but it does have its downsides, and one of the worst is that it’s painful. Of course it is; you’re adding hot wax to your skin and then ripping it away, taking the hair underneath with it! Yet it’s so effective, so many people just suffer through the pain. The good news is that you can make waxing less painful; here are some of the ideas you can try.

Use A Numbing Cream

One way you can make waxing less painful is to use a numbing cream – read the labels and check that it will do what you want it do to and ideally it should contain lidocaine or something similar. Also, before applying read the directions fully – the last thing you want is to make a mistake right at the start.

The usual way to use numbing cream is to apply it to the area you’re going to wax and then wait for it to take effect, which might be a few minutes. Make sure you wear gloves when you’re applying it as otherwise your hands are going to go numb, and although the cream will make waxing less painful, you won’t be able to do much else besides wait for the anaesthetic to wear off and give you the feeling back in your hands!

Use A Cold Compress

Although using a cold compress won’t make the process itself less painful, it will help afterwards. Applying a cold compress to your freshly waxed skin will make waxing less painful overall – it will soothe the affected area and reduce the swelling.

All you have to do is take a clean cloth or flannel and soak it in cold water. Wring it out and then apply it to the irritated area. Most of the time, the pain will immediately lessen and ultimately disappear altogether. Remember, though, that a cold compress should only be used for a short amount of time, otherwise you might damage your skin. And as ever, if the pain persists or the skin becomes more irritated and inflamed, the best thing you can do is see a doctor.

Go To An Expert

One of the main reasons why waxing can hurt so much is because you’re doing it yourself. Unless you actually are an expert who does this for a living, it’s unlikely you’ll have the experience to do it in a way that causes the least pain. Because of this, another way to make waxing less painful is to go to an expert.

They will be quick, efficient, and they’ll do their utmost to make the entire experience a pleasant one (or at least not a horrible one). I’ve tried a few different experts, and the best experience I had was at Reynolds Retreat in Borough Green – but there are sure to be a variety of experts to choose from no matter where you happen to live.

What Are The Benefits Of Staying Hydrated?

Staying hydrated is an important part of a healthy lifestyle that is sometimes overlooked. As we get older, it becomes more and more important. Adults over 60 are more likely to get dehydrated for a number of reasons, such as a natural decrease in thirst and changes in the way their bodies work. Also, older people are more likely to take diuretics and other drugs that make the body lose fluid. Read on for some of the benefits of staying hydrated to help you get the most out of your body.

Enhanced Brain Performance

Mild dehydration can affect your memory, mood, ability to focus, and speed of reaction. Adding a few glasses of water to your daily routine can help you think more clearly, calm your emotions, and even get rid of the signs of worry. This is especially important for older people, who are more likely to get dehydrated and have trouble thinking.

Digestive Balance

For digestion to work well, your body needs water. If you don’t get enough, you might have bowel movements that aren’t regular, gas, bloating, heartburn, and other pains. Taking in more fluids might help you get back on your feet. It breaks down the soluble fibre in your food, which helps keep your digestion running smoothly. Mineral water is especially good, and you should look for kinds that are high in sodium and magnesium.

More Energy

Dehydration can slow down blood flow and cut off oxygen to the brain. If you don’t drink enough water, your heart may have to work harder to move oxygen around your body. All of that wasted energy could make you feel tired, slow, and unable to concentrate. You can stay hydrated and have more energy throughout the day by simply drinking more water.

Weight Loss and Weight Control

Because it makes you feel full, water helps keep you from reaching for unhealthy snacks when you’re in between meals. As an added bonus, it can aid with weight loss. Drinking more water before meals and staying hydrated is associated with significant reductions in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and body composition in a study of overweight women.

About 60 percent of your body weight is made up of water, making it the single most significant chemical component of your body. You can’t go very long without drinking water. Every single one of your body’s cells, tissues, and organs relies on water to function properly, which is why staying hydrated is so crucial.

How To Take Care Of Your Team Better

When you expand your company and hire new employees, you also have responsibility for their well-being, so you need to take care of your team in the best way possible. Employee happiness, morale, and motivation are crucial to running a successful business and doing the right thing by your staff. To build a successful business, it’s essential to reward the hard work of your employees. Workers of all types yearn to be a part of forward-thinking companies that make their employees’ happiness a central aspect of their business plans.

Putting in the effort now will pay off in the long run, and with the time and money it takes to replace departing employees, it should be a priority. But where do you even begin if you’re brand new at managing people and you want to make sure they’re happy and healthy? Read on to find out.

Be Serious About Mental Health

Mental health, long ignored, is now receiving the respect it deserves, and the national debate about it has become much more open; thus, businesses need to be on the same page. Because of the prevalence of work-related stress, anxiety, and depression, it is crucial that workers receive the training and assistance they need to prevent minor events from becoming major ones and to encourage them to proactively monitor and manage their own stress levels.

Consider the stress levels of your employees and promote healthy work-life balance by facilitating things like outdoor activities, lunch breaks away from workstations, after-work social gatherings, and so on. It’s also a good idea for businesses to invest in providing their employees with specialised training in mental health support to take care of your team.

Think About Physical Health

Naturally, the other half of the equation is taking care of employees’ physical needs. Health and safety regulations and personal protective equipment (PPE) must be properly adhered to at all times in any workplace that has machinery or a warehouse. In an office setting, you might not expect to encounter many threats, but spending eight hours a day in one place poses serious health concerns.

In order to ensure that workers are appropriately configuring and using the technology on their workstations, it is important to promote activities such as walking meetings, regular screen breaks, and training. Regular eye exams, reminders to drink water and get up and move around every half an hour or so, and other such measures should be taken.

Offer Flexible Working

In a project-based work setting, the old work ethic of presenteeism needs to be replaced with a new one. Flexible work schedules are becoming the norm in most companies in order to compete for top talent and keep employees satisfied.

Work can fit a little better around other responsibilities and passions if workers are given the flexibility to choose their own working hours, the ability to work from home when feasible, and the freedom to take different types of lunch breaks. In most cases, everyone benefits from a fair system that provides for some leeway in decision-making. This improves employee engagement, loyalty, and productivity and helps you take care of your team.