In these uncertain times, the rhythm of the gardening year can be very comforting. Even in the depths of winter, Richard Orton finds plenty of therapeutic jobs to keep him busy at Lewis Cottage, both inside and out, such as sorting seeds, potting up plants and pruning trees and shrubs. He also suggests some gardens to visit in February.
The Guardian recently ran an article called 100 ways to slightly improve your life without really trying. What a great idea we thought. So here’s a truncated version to help you stick to your New Year resolutions - or make new ones with Crediton’s help!
Having a new baby can be an exhausting and difficult experience. In the West we expect new mothers to bounce back into their old lives soon after giving birth, but local pregnancy expert Jojo Hogan believes that women should instead be allowed to rest and be cared for by others. In this interview she explains how she was inspired by traditional cultures to start the Slow Postpartum Movement and why she offers new mums support, massage and nutritious home cooked meals.
With winter approaching and Covid still circulating among us, you may be wondering how to boost your immunity and reduce the risk of getting ill. We asked local nutritionist Ella Gale for some top tips on what to eat to help keep the bugs at bay and to recover if we do become unwell.
With gyms and swimming pools closed, team sports banned and our movements restricted, many people have had to find new ways of keeping fit, such as walking or cycling. Keen runner Nancy Dowling reflects on how her exercise regime has changed over the past year, to include online Pilates and aerobics, as well as taking a dip in her local river.
At Lords Meadow Leisure Centre a military operation is underway. The sports hall, usually abuzz with fitness, badminton or martial arts sessions, has been transformed into a vaccination centre where local medical staff are working tirelessly to deliver jabs to all their patients. Our editor Rosemary Stephenson went along to help out and reports here on an impressive campaign involving the whole community.
If you are a busy person, with others to care for, you probably feel you don’t have the time to look after yourself and do the things you enjoy. But introducing a self-care routine can have unexpected benefits, as counsellor Laura Sollis explains.
These are strange times; we are living with confusion, a lack of clarity and a barrage of information and mis-information. But could the uncertainty created by Covid actually provide an opportunity for us to reconsider what is really important to us? Could we use this time to make positive changes in our lives? Facilitator and story artist Fiona MacBeth thinks we can and she is using storytelling and writing workshops to help people to do this.
Although hospitals in the South West have been coping well with the pandemic, staff are anxious about what happens when restrictions ease. And, in her second report, senior NHS manager Kate Lock says they are starting to contemplate how to live with Covid – permanently.