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Posts from March 2019

There’s nothing like the first fresh spring greens of the year. Sprouting broccoli, spring cabbage, kale. After the traditional, heavier foods of the winter, it’s a real treat to have some fresh spring greens. 
 
But what about something much more local and you can easily pick yourself? One that you’ll never see in your local supermarket or probably have ever considered before. Nettles. Yes, nettles. 
 
Sadly, nettles have something of a PR problem. And that’s putting it mildly… Not only were many of us were stung – hopefully not too badly – during childhood, but their invasive nature gives them a bad reputation for gardeners. This is a real shame as it means that we miss out on their many benefits too. 
While the age for leaving school – or college – may have increased over the years, from 14 a few decades ago to 18 in more recent years, the sentiment expressed by many on reaching this milestone has not. 
 
And, with testing now starting early on in Primary School, it’s completely understandable that many teenagers have simply had enough of formal education by the time they reach 18. Vowing to NEVER EVER take another exam again. 
 
While some do manage to avoid any further formal education – and the dreaded exams – is it really true that you’ll never need to learn anything else again? 
Not surprisingly there are some questions that regularly come up – and we’d be very rich by now if we had a pound every time they did (!). The one we’d like to focus on today is one of the most popular, although that doesn’t make it an easy one to answer. 
 
Bitter experience shows us that, if we go into too much detail, people’s eyes tend to glaze over as they go into mental meltdown. Making it too simple isn’t any better, as people tend to end up completely confused… 
 
Having – unintentionally – caused mental overload to various people over the years (!), we’ve found that an analogy is the simplest way to explain how the two approaches differ. And having experimented with various different ones over the years (!) we’ve found that the one which works best uses the example of how you look after your house. 
 
So, if you're sitting comfortably, then here we go. 
 
It’s been a while since we’ve written about the all too human tendency to make snap judgements on whatever happens in our lives. “This is good, that is bad.” “She is nice, he is horrible.” Not forgetting the perennially favourite one: “How can she – or he (!) – go out looking like that.” And, if you think you’re above all those petty judgments, think again… 
 
On one hand, there’s no doubt that being able to make a snap judgement is a potential life saver in an emergency situation. However, ironically, in those situations it’s not our conscious mind that calls the shots. It’s just too slow and too limited. 
 
Instead, our subconscious mind takes over, aided by a burst of adrenaline hitting our system. Before we’ve consciously realised what’s happening our subconscious mind has assessed the situation, considered the options, made a judgement and started taking the necessary action. What’s particularly interesting is that often, with the power of hindsight, the action taken falls outside our experience – and makes no logical sense – but was just the right thing to do. 
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