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At this time of year – the middle of May – the last thing we expect to be talking to people about are Coughs and Colds. And certainly not a new Flu like bug doing the rounds. One which seems to be affecting those who wouldn’t normally succumb. 
 
It’s been described as like having Flu but without a temperature. Having been one of the lucky recipients (!) – hence the lack of blog for the last couple of weeks – we can understand why so many people are describing it as Flu. Oh and saying they seem to have lost all their oomph! 
 
Interestingly the same two questions have been raised by clients over and over again in the last few weeks.  
 
Why has it appeared now? And why me? 
We’ve got a very a simple – and quick – idea for you this week.  
 
Ready? Ok, here we go. 
 
Today, why not simply enjoy being alive? 
We’ve mentioned the multitude of cycles that occur in the natural world and impact on our lives several times before in this blog. 
 
At one extreme are the seconds making up each minute, which happen many, many times during our lifetime. At the other end are cycles which take millions – yes millions – of human lifetimes to complete, such as the completion of the galactic year. (The time it takes for our solar system to complete one circuit around the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy). 
 
While the length of the cycle may vary, they each share the same components. A start, maturing and end. Or, put another way, a birth, growth and death. You only have to look out of your window at this time of year to see them in action! 
Like many other labour saving devices, microwaves are such an accepted part of modern life that few people give them a second thought. Providing hot food in only a few minutes, they seem to be the easy antidote to our busy lives. Not only saving time in preparing meals, but in clearing up afterwards too. What’s there not to like about them? 
 
Despite this, concerns continue to be voiced about them and their impact on our health. So what are they – friend or foe? 
 
So let’s go back to the beginning. 
(And spending the day at home, slouched in front of the TV catching up on all those things you never quite get round to watching, dressed in a random assortment of clothes, doesn’t count!) 
 
In this hectic modern world of ours, we seem to have lost the art of having a proper day off. Of having a real break from all the demands of our lives. And we’re not talking about your annual trip to the sun either. 
 
There always seem to be things to be done, whether it be catching up or trying to get ahead. And that’s without all those good intentions, we never quite get round to. 
 
In theory, that’s what weekends are for. In practice they usually turn out rather differently. 
With the Hayfever season rapidly approaching, allergies seem like the perfect topic for this week’s blog post. 
 
Turn the clock back 10 or 15 years and allergies were rarely mentioned. Yet in the last decade or so, they’ve become increasingly common. It’s estimated that one in four people in the UK will suffer from an allergy at some time in their lives. And the number affected seems to be rising every year. 
 
Do an internet search and you’ll find a truly bizarre list of allergies. Some are well known. Pollen and Hayfever. Dust and Asthma. Peanuts. Yeast. Milk – or more accurately, lactose. Others less so. False nails. Adhesive tape. Avocados. And our favourite, squirrel fur, which begs the question of how on earth researchers discovered this one! 
If this sounds like a rather odd question, it isn’t meant to be. Nor is there a “right” answer. As always, all we want to do is get you thinking! 
 
If you still suspect that it may be a trick question, let’s put it a different way. Have you noticed how the modern world focuses on stuff?  
 
On all the things you MUST HAVE to be able to function in this high tech – and image conscious – world of ours. If you’re in any doubt, just look at the adverts on the television or in the papers. 
 
Whether it be the latest clothes, car or mobile phone, the message is the same. If you’re not keeping up with it all, then somehow there’s something wrong with you. 
 
Sadly, it’s easiest to see in children, with countless stories of bullying of those who don’t keep up with the latest fashions. Peer pressure at its worst. 
In the first part of this occasional series, we focussed on antibiotics and the most common – but least recognised – source of them. The food we eat. 
 
Today we keep the spotlight on food, but from a slightly different perspective. The chemicals conventional farmers rely on to produce it. 
 
The farming we’re familiar with today – large fields of identikit crops – is a very recent phenomenon, dating back to the 1940’s and 1950’s. It relies heavily on chemicals – generically known as pesticides – to address every threat a crop may to face. Weeds competing for space and resources. Insects damaging or eating it. Plant diseases affecting yield or making the crop unsaleable. 
Over recent years, sugar has been portrayed as public enemy number one. More addictive than cocaine. Linked to many health problems, particularly the increase in diabetes and insulin resistance in children and young adults. To be avoided at all costs. 
 
But is it really that simple? If you‘re a regular reader of this blog, you won’t be surprised to hear that the answer is no (!); so let’s take a closer look at sugar. 
 
We love asking people questions about things they take for granted. Watching their faces as they think about something for the first time. 
It’s interesting how often this topic comes up with clients. And, here on the blog too. 
 
It seems that there are so many reasons not to be happy these days. Not only in the papers or news. Just watch your favourite soap opera. Or listen to the conversations going on around you. 
 
Added to this, there’s our very English affliction. The belief that it’s perfectly acceptable to be miserable now in the expectation that when X happens in the future – whatever X is – then we’ll suddenly be happy. Whether it be the latest must have gadget, a new house, losing weight or the love of your life. 
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