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It’s June and the forecast is for a mini heatwave over the weekend. Well, in the mid 20’s, which is a heatwave for the UK. 
 
Cue the usual headlines about the dangers of the sun and sun bathing. Not forgetting global warming and pollution. 
 
We all played outside in the sunshine as children, without any ill effects. And, if you Mother was anything like ours, she believed in fresh air and sunshine all year round. Not just in the summer. 
 
So when did spending time outside in the sunshine become so dangerous? 
 
And is slathering yourself in sun tan lotion really the answer? 
Worries. Worries. Worries. There seem to be so many different things to worry about these days. 
 
Your health. Family. Money (the number one worry according to all the surveys). Job. 
 
And that’s before you start on the so called “big issues”. 
 
Humans really do seem to be the worrying animal. But is this how life is meant to be? On a continual treadmill of one worry after another. Or juggling several at the same time? 
 
Compare this with the rest of the animal kingdom and the difference quickly becomes obvious. Watch any animal in its natural surroundings and you’ll notice that worry doesn’t enter into their life. 
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. 
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