Sport for all

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by Antonia Beary
Headmistress, Mayfield School

Teachers from my own schooldays might be rather sceptical at my writing an article on the benefits of sport, and rightly so, as any recollections of my youthful endeavours to avoid cross country or the 1500 metres (I think I was the only person in my year not to do it) would elicit, at best, amusement. However, even the most recalcitrant child can surprise themselves and others.

Sport teaches us all, not just our children, skills and helps discover abilities which can prove invaluable as life skills. Playing as a team requires not only working together, but thinking about other people and understanding their strengths and weaknesses.

Good team players will be able to see themselves contributing to something bigger, as they have to look beyond their own individual goals to the shared, common good. Representing our school, or county or country, requires stepping up to the mark and working towards an altruistic goal, espousing what may seem old-fashioned values, which are increasingly at odds with those of the self-centred society in which we seem to live. Most of us can’t avoid having to work with others, so acquiring the tools to do it well, and sooner rather than later, is key. For teenagers to appreciate both that it is not just ‘all about them’ but also that they have something valuable to contribute, promotes a balanced sense of self-esteem.

Practice, as we know, makes perfect. In a world where there is a disproportionate focus on individuals plucked out of obscurity allegedly to fame and fortune, sport offers an excellent lesson: while natural ability may be an advantage, it is nothing without consistent effort and application – rain or shine. With our increasing dependence on mobile phones allowing the best laid plans to be changed at the last minute, understanding the concept of commitment to a match or practice is important. It doesn’t matter if you have a better offer – you have a responsibility to your team. In making sacrifices, so character is built. Captaining a team can lead on to more significant leadership roles and the responsibility being a role model entails.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about resilience: learning how to win and, more importantly, how to lose graciously are skills which should not be underrated. At a time when, increasingly, pressure is put on our children with an expectation they will always get things right, sport provides an arena where it is almost impossible not to make mistakes. Playing sport offers opportunities to learn how to cope when,

inevitably, things do not go to plan. Learning to roll with the punches – literal and metaphorical – is a vital skill. At the same time, having to conform to a set of rules is no bad thing for a child who is used to always getting what he – or she – wants. Fair play and respect for the umpire’s decision needs to be learnt and can’t necessarily be assumed: while cheats may well prosper in the world we live in, it doesn’t mean we should encourage or condone flouting of the rules. Sport should help instil in our young people the fundamental value of integrity.

There’s a reason why the Romans believed ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’. Computer games may offer a certain type of stimulation but there is nothing to beat fresh air and physical activity for real well-being. There is no escaping the fact that an increase in the availability of junk foods or, at the very least, overly processed foods, and less curriculum time devoted to sport is contributing to obesity in today’s young people. Not only does eating healthily help you perform better, but regular physical activity also means that you can get away with spoiling yourself every now and then. Moving to work in a boys’ school, I learnt the value of rugby: one harsh winter I taught classes unable to play sport due to frozen pitches. The windows regularly steamed up with pent-up energy, bordering on aggression. Expending energy on the playing field whether you are a boy or a girl, in my experience, means that you can focus effectively on your academic study. Furthermore, the skills of concentration, focus and determination are easily transferrable and success in a match can boost confidence and instil a self-belief which in turn allows you to approach a challenging maths problem or a philosophical conundrum with more conviction.

There is a reason why we ‘play’ sport – sport has to be about having fun. For some, that pleasure will come from being intensely competitive, for others simply in being part of something bigger than themselves and spending time with their friends, not so much in the pursuit of excellence, but to cement relationships and support networks, to let
off steam and relax after a stressful day.

And the joy of sport is that there is something for everyone. For the record: the girl who, aged 13, tried to arrange her music lessons in PE, in a few short years found herself representing Cambridge University in the Boat Race. Who says miracles don’t happen?

Antonia Beary is Headmistress of Mayfield School, a leading Catholic independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11 to 18 located in Sussex. Described by the Independent Schools Inspectorate as ‘outstanding’ and by Country Life as
“one of the finest schools in the land”,
a Mayfield education combines academic excellence, breadth of opportunity and exceptional pastoral care in a nurturing environment, which welcomes all.
For more information visit the school website at

YOGA for bedtime

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by Charlie Nash

Yoga offers so many wonderful benefits for the mind, body and soul which can help so many aspects of our daily lives. Sleep is a key part of our health and well-being, as it allows our body to rest and restore. Incorporating a short bedtime yoga sequence into your child’s bedtime routine can calm the mind and relieve tension in the body which can help to induce better sleep.

Gently guide your child through this easy to follow mini routine, you don’t even need a yoga mat and can easily practice this on the bed before settling down for sleep.

Make sure the room is cool to encourage a restorative sleep, turn off the TV, computers and phones, dim the lights or use a bedside lamp to give the room a soft light and as a visual cue to the brain to start winding down, ready for sleep.

1. Easy pose

To begin, sit in easy pose, to promote inner calm. Imagine a balloon gently pulling your head up to sit a little taller, take in three deep breaths, counting to three on each breath in and three on each breath out. For the first few times you practice this with your child count aloud; that way they can then fully concentrate on their breathing. Focusing on the breath will help the mind begin to unwind and relax.

2. Cat/cow pose

Start on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips. Cow – inhale and gently drop the belly towards the floor, lift the head and tailbone up towards the ceiling.

Cat – reverse the movement, exhaling deeply and round the spine, tucking the chin in towards the chest. If your child feels happy to do so, ask them to close their eyes as they do this.

3. Butterfly pose

Sit with your feet and heels touching. You can introduce some very gentle movement with the breath by lifting the knees up and down. You can, if you feel it is right for your child, encourage them to close their eyes and imagine they are a beautiful butterfly fluttering round their favourite park or place in nature.

4. Lazy forward bend

This is extremely self-soothing and helps to promote digestion, relieves stress and helps to calm the mind.

Feet should be together and knees bent. The idea isn’t to reach the toes but just to allow the arms to rest where they are comfortable. It’s also nice particularly for bedtime to place some pillows on top of the legs and allow the head to nuzzle into the pillows. Let go of counting the breath and allow your child to fully relax.

They can imagine they are on a boat traveling down a lazy river.

5. Knees to chest

This is another self-soothing posture. It increases circulation to the head and releases tension in the neck and back. Allow for the knees to come to the chest and clasp arms around the shin area of the leg. Gently rock side to side which gives a gentle bedtime massage to the spine.


6. Shavasana

Our resting pose, lay in a comfortable position with a favourite toy to cuddle and begin to relax the whole body. Guide your child through
relaxation by naming each body part, for example “Relax your feet, relax your legs” and so on. You could play some sounds from nature, soothing music or use this time as an opportunity to read a short bedtime story.

If your child is still a little restless you can try making a simple lavender and chamomile pillow sack, two tablespoons of dried lavender and one tablespoon of dried chamomile in a little fabric sack tucked under the pillow will provide a soothing scent to send them off to dreamland.

Sweet dreams.

YogaFrogs – bringing weekly yoga, mindfulness, meditation and creativity to children, teens and families across East and West Sussex,

Wellies – a short history or a tall tale?

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by Kim Jackson M.S.S.F.
Klodhoppers (Hove and Haywards Heath)

I am writing this in the middle of the heatwave and it’s hard to imagine, that when the temperature is touching thirty degrees on the thermometer, it will ever rain again! But we are British and we know our British weather. It will rain for days and days in the autumn and winter, and probably most of next spring too!

Most of us will be forced to dig out our wellies for that walk to work or for taking the dog to the park, or for walking the children to school. Most of us will also realise that our children’s wellies have been either chewed by the dog, are split and leaking due to being stored in extreme temperatures in the shed, or are at least two sizes too small for anyone in the family to wear. This causes mass panic when you realise you’re going off camping at the weekend and are likely to need something waterproof on your children’s feet.

It has to be said that due to the variable British climate most children tend to need a pair of Wellington boots all year round. Plus they are often a big favourite with most toddlers who seem to love to wear their wellies whatever the weather.

But what a funny name – ‘wellie’ – where does it come from? How did one of our favourite items of footwear get its name?

It was all down to Arthur Wellesley the first Duke of Wellington. He was the victor at the Battle of Waterloo and a bit of a fashion icon in his day.

Military uniforms, fame and fashion have always been closely linked. Regimental dress uniforms were designed to stand out and impress young men so that they would join up, with the added bonus of attracting the young ladies who admired them in their regalia.

When the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars (1792-1815) brought most of Europe into battle, it is hardly surprising that they introduced a lot of military fashion trends into civilian life.

In the 1790s officers in the British Army wore boots called ‘Hessians’, which were named after the German mercenaries who fought alongside the British in the American War of Independence (1775-83). Hessians were made of soft, highly polished calfskin. They were knee high with a curved top, similar to a riding boot, but with a ‘V’ shape, decorated with a tassel, cut into the front.

From the 1790s onwards, ordinary soldiers situated in hot climates began to wear lightweight linen trousers, instead of their normal woollen breeches, as they were cooler and more comfortable. Back home the fashion for wearing these tight-fitting trousers became popular in the 1800s. They were most notably associated with the famous style icon of that day, Beau Brummell.

The problem with the Hessians was the tassel on the front – traditionally designed to be worn with breeches, but now too awkward to fit into the tighter, more fashionable trousers.

At some stage during the early 1800s Arthur Wellesley, then Viscount Wellington, asked his shoemaker, Mr George Hoby of St James’s Street, London, to make a boot which was easier to wear with the new style of trousers. Hoby removed the tassel and cut the boots slightly lower to make them more comfortable for riding.

George Hoby was very proud of his achievement and is reported to have said on the news of the French defeat at Vittoria, “If Lord Wellington had any other bootmaker than myself, he never would have had his great and constant successes; for my boots and prayers bring his lordship out of all his difficulties.”

Even before his great victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, Wellington was already on his way to becoming a fashion icon. By 1813, and the Battle of Vittoria, Wellington’s fame led others to start wearing this new style of long boot. The boots duly became known as ‘Wellingtons’.

These boots were popular with the troops because they were hard wearing for battle yet comfortable for evening wear. The boot leather was treated with wax to make them softer and more waterproof.

Wellington became a well-known figure in politics after Waterloo, becoming Prime Minister in 1828. Political cartoonists used the Duke’s boots and his prominent nose to represent him. By 1830 he was being depicted simply as a Wellington boot with a head (with a rather large nose).

Wellingtons remained fashionable until the Duke’s death in 1853, but had declined in popularity by 1860 when the ankle boot finally superseded them. Nonetheless they continued to be worn by senior officers in the British Army, doing service in Crimea and the First World War.

Meanwhile in 1856, the Edinburgh-based North British Rubber Company had started manufacturing Britain’s first rubber or ‘gum’ boots. With the name of the duke still retaining a patriotic pull on consumers, these new boots were soon also renamed Wellingtons in Britain.

Their popularity did not become widespread until the First World War, when in 1916 the company was commissioned to produce millions of pairs as standard winter kit for ordinary soldiers, to prevent ‘trench foot’, a medical condition caused by prolonged exposure to damp.

At the end of the war, soldiers brought these boots home and used them in their daily lives for very practical tasks such as farming, gardening and general wet weather wear. (A century later, music festivals and fashion catwalks are still benefiting from this wartime legacy.)

The North Rubber Company continued to prosper introducing the Green Hunter and Royal Hunter Wellingtons in 1955. The company changed its name to Uniroyal Limited in 1966. More changes took place until eventually four decades later, the Wellington boot production section became Hunter Boot Limited. Hunter wellies have transformed from being a solely practical item to now a very popular fashion brand.

In the 19th century Charles Goodyear invented a vulcanisation process for rubber which some American boot makers used to start making rubber boots.

Hiram Hutchinson saw the potential and shod agricultural workers in France and he bought the patent from Goodyear in 1852. He started a rubber boot company in Montargis called ‘La Compagnie du Caoutchouc Souple’ (The Flexible Rubber Company). He patented a brand of Wellington boots he called ‘A L’Aigle’ or Homage to the Eagle in 1853. The new waterproof boots were quick to become established and sold well within the large rural population. By 1857 the company were hand making 14,000 pairs of boots per day. Now called Aigle, these wellies have become synonymous with quality and with 95% of the Aigle collection still being handcrafted in France.

A couple of words of ‘wellie advice’ for you:
Parents of rural-based children need to be aware that if their children wear their wellies most of the time (if they live on a farm, for example) then the boots will wear out quicker than usual, especially if the children are young and also have ride-on toys and bikes. Except for some of the more premium brands, most Wellington boot manufacturers will only guarantee children’s wellies for a three month period. However, excessive wear and tear can also ‘void’ this guarantee period.

Also, if young children are in the correct size wellies then – generally speaking – they will have grown out of them within three months anyway.

Parents ask us “Is it alright for children to wear wellies all winter?” The simple answer is ‘no’! It is not good for their foot health. Wearing an unstructured item of footwear such as wellie boots all winter allows the foot to spread and become flaccid, therefore it will prove difficult to get some children back into a structured shoe later on. The child will have become used to the loose, floppy feel of a wellie, and will then complain that any shoe ‘feels tight’ even when it is the correct fit. It is also worth remembering that a child’s gait is slightly different when walking in wellies rather than shoes. They tend to drag their feet along in wellies and grip with their toes, as opposed to using a proper heel to toe motion when walking in a fitted shoe.

If you would like advice on wellies, waterproof boots and other suitable footwear for the autumn/winter season, then please come in and ask.
At Klodhoppers we strive to give you our best and honest advice – we won’t tell you a tall tale!

Kim Jackson M.S.S.F.
(Member of the Society of Shoe Fitters)
Klodhoppers (Hove & Haywards Heath)

Female entrepreneurs – still labelled ‘overbearing’

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More than half of female entrepreneurs in London have been branded with stereotypical gender labels when running their business, research from NatWest suggests.

Respondents in the capital were the most likely of any region to have been called self-assured, overbearing, feisty, vocal, career oriented, a ‘career woman’, driven and ambitious in a professional environment. Women in the South are more likely than those in any other region to be referred to as a ‘working mum’ or ‘ruthless’. The study suggested that almost half (48%) of female entrepreneurs in the South of England have been labelled with stereotypical gender terms when setting up their own business.

Author, freelance writer and blogger Sarah Turner, who wrote the Sunday Times number one bestseller The Unmumsy Mum and earlier this year published The Unmumsy Mum Diary, said: “As a mum-of-two who works full-time I was sadly not surprised that almost half of the women surveyed had been branded with gender stereotypes because this is something I have experienced. Comments I have had about the work/motherhood juggle range from, “Crikey, who looks after your kids then?” to, “Wow, you’re brave trying to make it work as a ‘mum boss”.

“Interestingly, my husband has never encountered such comments, nor has he ever been referred to as a ‘dad boss’.”

The research also explored how these comments affected female entrepreneurs across the UK. Encouragingly, over a third (35%) of those questioned ignored any negative comments or didn’t care about them.

However, 26% of respondents in the South said they were made more self-conscious as a result of their experience and 22% were upset or angry.

Sarah, who lives in Devon with her husband and their two sons, said: “There is a deep-rooted inequality of attitudes that needs to change, and I am heartened that many of the women who face a challenging attitude are fiercely determined not to let it hold them back.”

Half of female entrepreneurs in the North of England have never been branded with stereotypical gender labels when running their business. Women here were also the least likely to have experienced someone commenting on or alluding to their work attire in a negative way in a professional environment.

More than half (53%) of female entrepreneurs in Wales have been subject to stereotypical gender labels, rising to 55% for entrepreneurs past the start-up stage. But Welsh respondents were the most determined and motivated in the face of adversity of any region in Britain.

Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise for Business Banking at NatWest, said: “While it is clear that a high percentage of women are still experiencing gender specific challenges it is fantastic to see more female entrepreneurs rising above any negative stereotyping and being more determined than ever to succeed regardless. Therefore it is vital to the UK economy that we do all we can to encourage more women to be confident in their skills, champion their strength and to start new businesses.”

To provide this support, NatWest has more than 400 Women in Business specialists throughout the UK. These specialists are accredited by the Chartered Banker in conjunction with Everywoman, an organisation that provides resources and services to support women who are starting or growing their businesses.

Swimming with babies

By | Education, Safety, Sport, swimming, Uncategorized | No Comments
by Fiona Edwards
Little Dippers

Baby swimming has become increasingly popular over the last 10 years and with good reason. As one of the first activities you can do with your new baby it not only gives you special one on one time with your baby, but also imparts your baby with a skill for life.

But taking that first step into the pool with your baby definitely comes with its fair share of questions and nerves. What if they get cold? What if they cry? What about their ears? Rest assured your babies are so much more adaptable than you realise and swimming is a completely natural progression for them having spent nine months in the fluid environment of the womb.
What’s more, babies are born with a natural dive reflex action which means they are already fully equipped to go underwater. It is truly amazing to see your baby dive underwater for the first time and come up again completely unfazed!

One of the first considerations for going baby swimming must be safety. With drowning still the third most common cause of accidental death in children, learning to swim must surely be a priority for all parents. Teaching your baby key water safety techniques and confidence in the water will give them skills that, if they should ever fall into a pool, lake, pond or even the bath, will mean that they won’t panic and can utilise the skills that they have learnt – which could potentially save their life.

Baby swimming is a great way to spend special one on one time with your little one away from the intrusions of everyday life. This is a time when you can truly focus on just you and your baby. Plus the added benefits of skin on skin contact can help to regulate baby’s heart rate and breathing as well as making them feel secure. For mums, it can release hormones to help with breastfeeding and build the nurturing instincts. It’s also a great way for dads to get involved and enjoy special bonding time.

Physical and physiological benefits
The buoyancy of the water enables babies to use muscles they could never use on land and they love the sense of freedom to kick freely. Despite looking gentle, swimming is great exercise for your baby, helping to strengthen their heart, lungs and respiratory capacity which in turn aids the development of the brain.

In fact, the exercises taught in baby swim classes, kicking, reaching, learning and responding to commands, provide the perfect stimulation for your baby’s brain and helps to develop their cognitive skills and hand/eye co-ordination. It has also been proven that the combination of activities in the pool strengthens nerve pathways between the two sides of the brain, helping to store and retrieve information more effectively. All good for future learning!

What’s more, regular swimming can improve your child’s eating and sleeping patterns – surely a bonus for everyone!

Fun for all the family Swimming is great exercise for all the family and is something you can enjoy together even when babies are very little.

Parents’ confidence
Don’t worry if you are not confident in the water yourself, most baby swim classes take place in shallow pools and don’t require you to do much more than hold your baby. However nervous you may be feeling make sure you try to remain calm and keep a big smile on your face as your baby will pick up any apprehension that you may feel. It’s amazing watching parents’ confidence grow as they watch their babies thrive in the water.

Meet new friends
Besides learning key survival skills swimming is fun! Singing songs, splashing around, blowing bubbles and playing games, it’s an easy way for parents to get involved and meet new friends along the way. It’s best to go somewhere with small groups so that everyone can get to know each other and your baby will respond to other babies in the group and enjoy the clapping and splashing.

A few things to think about before you go swimming
You can start swimming with your baby from birth although most parents tend to wait until their baby is around six to eight weeks. Contrary to popular belief, babies do not need to have had their immunisations before coming to a pool.

It is best to book a course of baby swimming classes before you take your baby to the pool on your own, so that you can learn how to hold your baby
and exercises that you can practise with them. Smaller classes with groups of around six or seven in private pools provide a calmer quieter environment for you and your baby. Try to find warm water pools; babies can’t regulate their temperature so look for classes that take place in pools ideally heated to around 32 -34O C.

Before choosing a class think about your baby’s feed and nap times. A tired or hungry baby won’t enjoy their class and give yourself plenty of time to get to your class and get changed. It’s amazing how much longer everything takes with a baby in tow and you don’t want to start your class flustered and stressed.
You can help prepare your baby for lessons by having fun in the bath splashing, grasping toys and singing songs.

With all these benefits surely it’s worth taking the plunge!

Little Dippers have been teaching babies to love the water for 25 years.
Classes in lovely warm water pools in the North Laine and Patcham in Brighton with free drop in sessions.
Free trial available to book.
For more details check our website or call 01273 229 390

Marriage vs Cohabitation Understanding your legal rights

By | Education, family, Finance, Legal, Relationships, Uncategorized | No Comments
by Deborah Bailey
Gowen & Stevens Solicitors

Marriage, or indeed a civil partnership, which is treated the same as marriage upon breakdown, is not for everyone. Even though there have been changes in the law allowing same sex partners to marry, a growing number of couples still regard it as old-fashioned and believe they have no requirement for ‘a piece of paper’ to confirm commitment to each other. Living together or ‘cohabiting’ remains the fastest growing family arrangement.

Often, it is only when facing the breakdown of a relationship that unmarried couples realise how that seemingly irrelevant piece of paper could have altered their situation. Furthermore, even if you remain blissfully together, there are still potential pitfalls for cohabiting families as time passes. Read on to find out how you can protect yourself and your children.

Even if you have lived together for a long time or have children together, the law will not protect you if you break up. Despite the media’s love of the term common-law wife, or indeed husband, this is not a recognised term in law. The fact that your relationship even existed, when it comes to the law, may be irrelevant. Often, the only issue to resolve in a breakdown of a cohabiting relationship will be what happens to the home. The fact that there may be children to re-home may not be a consideration and you could end up in a desperate situation.

Conversely, when looking at how to distribute a family’s assets on divorce, a spouse can call upon the matrimonial law to look at all the relevant circumstances of the relationship, often before but certainly during and after the marriage. The goal in these circumstances is to seek a result that is fair to both spouses with the welfare of the children being treated as a primary consideration. The future living arrangements of all involved will be a concern as will the financial position of each spouse following the divorce.

Whilst campaigners are lobbying for a change in the law to protect unmarried families, until this happens, people need to be aware and take steps wherever possible to protect themselves and their children. So what can you do?

If you own property together and both names are on the property register, then you probably had a discussion with your conveyancing solicitor about how you would own the property so there is a chance that your ownership will already be clearly defined.

Matters become more complicated if the property is owned by only one of you. However, the non legal owner may still have an interest in the property dependant upon how finances were arranged during the relationship and what agreements you had. Seeking legal advice in this scenario is essential and can help determine your interest and how you can realise this.

If you are buying a property in which you intend to live together, speak to your solicitor about the ways in which you can own the property and how you can protect yourself.

If you are looking after the children, you can claim maintenance following a break-up from your former partner for your children. If this cannot be agreed, apply to the Child Maintenance Service.

Unlike divorce, unmarried former partners cannot claim maintenance for themselves from the other partner, even if they are the stay-at-home parent looking after the children.

As cohabiting partners, unlike married couples, there is no automatic right of inheritance if your partner dies without making a will. Whilst you and your children could make an application against your partner’s estate if they were maintaining you prior to their death, this could be a stressful experience at an already difficult time. Making a Will could avoid a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for your loved ones.

Partners should also think about taking out life assurance.

Consider also making Lasting Powers of Attorney. If you become ill and incapable of managing your own affairs a cohabiting partner has no legal right to make decisions on your behalf. This could cause difficulties with the wider family who may or may not know your wishes. Appointing your partner as your Attorney could avoid such difficulties.

Cohabitation Agreements
It’s not very romantic but thinking about your arrangements before you buy a property or move in together can save a lot of heartache if things go wrong. A cohabitation agreement is strongly recommended and a solicitor can help you consider all the issues that could arise and, provided it is properly drafted, could protect against costly court proceedings.

Ultimately, every situation is different but being aware that living together is very different from being married means that you can take steps to avoid problems later if things go wrong. Always seek advice from an experienced solicitor who specialises in this complex area of family law.

An established practice for over 120 years with offices in Cheam, Banstead and Sutton. Offering a highly personal service tailored to all aspects of your family and business life.

Brows to wow!

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Browologist and the ‘Go to Brow Artist of 2018’ Samantha Trace shares how Microblading is the biggest secret to youthful looks!

Over the last few years brows have become one of the biggest beauty trends in the UK. The correct shape can frame your face and enhance your best features.

With many of us having over plucked our brows, or lost hair through pregnancy, breastfeeding or medical conditions, we can then find ourselves spending a lot of time every day filling in the patches and trying to get them to look the same as each other.

It was Cara Delevingne’s iconic natural bushy beauties that made us all want to grow our brows. Gone now are the pencil-thin brows that resemble tadpoles and it’s hello to fluffy, feathered brows that look natural and well-groomed.

But it’s hard to grow out your eyebrows as the hairs can grow back patchy and sparse. Luckily there’s an easier way to get those ‘Wow Brows’ with Microblading and Semi Permanent Cosmetics which can help you achieve the most natural and flawless look.

Microblading and Semi-Permanent Cosmetics can instantly take your brows from barely there, to full and beautiful!

Using the most advanced techniques that apply pigment into the skin using a pen like devise and tiny micro needles that replicate the look of real hairs.

The needle can flow in the same direction as the hair, forming a wonderful natural brow. This technique of ‘hair stroke’ is the finest form of eyebrow tattooing. The brows are designed around your natural face shape, bone structure and, most importantly, the way you want them! The correct colour pigment will be chosen to replicate your natural brow hair colour and complement your underlying skin tone. Samantha says that she has never believed in the saying “Brows should be sisters not twins” so by using state of the art technology she can ensure the best symmetry of the brows for the perfect fit to your face shape.

By mimicking realistic hairs this method can create any desired look such as beautifully bold brows, or a light fluffy finish.

Natural beauty is the most beautiful of all, so opting for a procedure like this can offer you a helping hand to get that flawless look all ready for you to jump out of bed for the school run! The added bonus, of course, is not having to worry about smudging your pencilled brows or the brow gel sweating off while you are busy with daily life.

Celebrity mums such as Victoria Beckham, Gwen Stefani and Angelina Jolie all sport natural Microbladed brows which are not only waterproof but also bring your youthful face back to life.

With Microblading and Permanent Cosmetics, two sessions are needed around four to eight weeks apart. This is because it is not as deep as a regular tattoo and may take two sessions for the body to hold the pigment.

The good news is that a topical numbing cream is applied to make the procedure less uncomfortable so you can lie back and dream about having that extra 15 minutes in the morning not having to apply eye brow pencil! The effects can last 12 to 24 months with annual colour boosts recommended.

Microblading with Samantha costs £350 for both treatments and the aftercare kit containing products for the best-healed results.
Samantha also offers free consultations to help give you an idea of what your brows can look like.

Herbs to soothe your child’s chickenpox

By | baby health, children's health, Food & Eating, Health, Uncategorized | No Comments
by Henriette Kress
author of Practical Herbs 1 & 2

Chickenpox (varicella) is caused by the varicella virus. It’s belongs to the herpesviruses. You can remedy all problems caused by this group the same way, including cold sores (herpes simplex) and shingles (herpes zoster).

The most important thing to know about chickenpox is that it can get a lot worse if you use aspirin or ibuprofen. Leave them in your medicine cupboard whenever somebody has chickenpox or herpes.

The second important thing to know is that you have the virus for life. You can get rid of the symptoms, but you can’t get rid of the virus itself. Chickenpox is fairly mild if you get it in childhood. It’s a lot worse if you first get it as an adult, and it’s very contagious. It’s dangerous to the fetus if caught by a pregnant woman.

Herbs for chickenpox
I like three herbs for chickenpox:
1. Lemon balm
Lemon balm (Melissa) has been shown to be effective against various herpes-family viruses. It’s a mild herb and can be given freely as a tea. Here’s how:

Lemon balm tea
1-2 teaspoons dried lemon balm
or 3-4 teaspoons fresh crushed leaves of lemon balm
200 ml boiling water
Pour the water over the herb, let steep for 10 minutes and strain. Let cool until it’s drinkable and let your child drink as much as he likes.

2. Coneflower
Coneflowers (Echinacea-species) are wonderful herbs that help strengthen the immune system. They’re also effective against different viruses in the herpes family. Purple coneflower is widely available as a tincture. To use, dilute the tincture in water and give it to your child:

Diluted coneflower tincture
15 drops coneflower tincture
100 ml water
Mix and let your child sip this throughout the day. Generally, coneflowers work better in acute problems if they’re taken as small doses often rather than as larger doses three times a day.

If you find dried coneflower herb, you can make that into a tea instead. The recipe is:
Coneflower tea
1-2 teaspoons dried coneflower
200 ml boiling water
Pour the water over the herb, let steep for 10 minutes and strain. Let cool until it’s drinkable and let your child drink as much as she likes.

3. St. John’s wort
An infused oil of St. John’s wort works wonders for the itch of chickenpox. It’s also great for the pain from shingles. You can make your own, but you can also buy it in well-stocked health food stores. If you can’t get an oil or salve of St. John’s wort, you can use a calendula salve instead.

Infused oil of St. John’s wort
• Fresh flowering tops of St. John’s wort
• Extra virgin olive oil

Fill a jar with the chopped-up flowering tops, then cover the herb with olive oil. Leave the jar in your oven on 50 ºC for two hours and strain the liquid into a wide-mouth jar. Let the water settle out until the oil is clear instead of murky, for about 5 days. Bottle your oil and add a label: ‘St. John’s wort oil’ plus the date. Store in the fridge.

It’s an excellent oil for bruises, sprains, strains and similar and is very effective for chickenpox and shingles.

4. An oat bath
An oat bath is extremely soothing to the itch from chickenpox. To make it, you’ll need a small or large bathtub and rolled oats:

Anti-itch bath
A handful of finely rolled oats
warm (not hot) water
Draw a bath with warm water and adjust the temperature to suit your child. Lower your child into the water and very gently rub a handful of finely rolled oats over his skin. Older children can to this for themselves, too.

5. Chickweed
Chickweed is among our best herbs for various itches. It’s an abundant weed in lush garden soil. Use scissors to take the top off the chickweed and crush it in a little water. Strain and use the resulting green-tinted liquid as a gentle wash on your child’s itchy spots. Chickweed can also be made into an infused oil (see under St. John’s wort); it’s soothing in that form, too.

Those who have had chickenpox can get another outbreak of the same virus decades later. This time it’s shingles, though. Shingles is usually brought on by stress or by an immune system that’s laid low by some other disease. You can use the same herbs for shingles as you used for chickenpox.

Practical Herbs 1 & 2 by Henriette Kress, are available now, published by AEON Books, priced £19.99 each. For more information see:

The benefits of yoga for children

By | children's health, fun for children, Health, Mental health, Sport, Uncategorized | No Comments

by Charlie Nash

We potentially think of yoga as something for adults, yet yoga has so much to offer everyone beyond the adult learners. It’s no wonder then that a growing number of children and families are opting to participate in yoga classes tailored for children. With many yoga teachers now offering yoga for both children and their families, there’s plenty of opportunity around Sussex to experience this, whether it might be in your local community hall, yoga studio, festival, after-school club or a 1:1 session in the comfort of your own home.

Yoga was developed up to 5,000 years ago in India as a comprehensive system for well-being on all levels; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. In the West we often focus on the physical aspect of yoga. The other elements, which go hand-in-hand with the physical, are starting to be recognised and shared with students both young and old alike.

These benefits are being recognised by educational authorities across the country with more primary and secondary schools acknowledging the benefits yoga has on their students’ mental and physical health, particularly around SATS and other public exams.

In an age where technology has taken over our lives, the benefits of yoga couldn’t be in greater need. Whether we like it or not, children and adults are bombarded with information overload from television, the Internet and smartphones. It’s said that in the course of a day, the average person in a western city is exposed to as much data as someone in the 15th century would encounter in their entire lifetime.

Yoga allows children to take time out from all of the above. With continued practice there’s a wealth of benefits that can enrich their entire lives all the way through to adulthood. Yoga is not only fun, it encourages children to think freely and let their imaginations go wild, as they explore the many asanas (postures) that link to nature and animals. Children thoroughly enjoy the connections with their bodies, with movement helping to promote self-awareness of their limbs, joints and muscles from a young age. Yoga subtly teaches us about the interconnectedness of our bodies. From toes and jaws, to heart and lungs. This allows us to keep every part of our body alive and supple, no matter how small.

With regular practice children can find deeper concentration, which may have positive effects in both school and family life. This is achieved through the opportunity and encouragement to clear the mind and to focus single-handedly on each asana at a time. Beyond the physical, yoga teaches children to quiet the mind through different relaxation and breathing techniques. This can help with anxiety and stress, being a skill the children can practise anytime and anywhere.

Children learn to be non-competitive and non-judgemental of themselves and others. They learn to share and take turns with other children in the class, promoting kindness and gratitude from a young age. They learn, through yoga, that they are OK just the way they are and don’t need to compare themselves to others. This allows them to become more accepting and understanding of not only themselves, but also everybody else around them.

The Dalai Lama said “If every eight year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation”. With a rapidly expanding and growing world, this quote could not be more relevant. Allowing children to be grounded and centred in their thoughts is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Making sure their true nature is made up of compassion, love, and wisdom, which can then be shared with the world.

YogaFrogs – bringing weekly yoga, mindfulness, meditation and creativity to children, teens and families across East and West Sussex,

What you need to know before considering mediation

By | Education, family, Finance, Legal, Relationships, Uncategorized | No Comments
by Sarah Brookes
Brookes Family Mediation

The mediator will not tell you what to do or make any decisions for you
The mediator’s role is to support you both towards reaching joint decisions, on the issues that you each identify as needing resolution. Whilst the mediator will help you to reality test any proposed agreements; to ensure that they will work as intended, in meeting and protecting each of your needs; they will not seek to influence the final decisions that you make. You will be supported to jointly take responsibility for the shape of your future. This approach reduces conflict and minimises the need to compete; unfortunately, the exact opposite is true of court proceedings. It is for this reason that mediated arrangements have proved less likely to break down than court ordered arrangements.

Mediation is more likely to be successful if you keep an open mind
Whilst it is helpful to give some thought to what you would like to achieve through mediation; you will also need to be able to consider ideas and proposals put forward by the other person. This approach enables all options to be explored, in order to find the best solutions for you both. Agreement is usually reached quickest when both people feel that they have been fully and equally involved and listened to within the process.

A mediator does not make moral judgements
Mediation is not about raking over the past to decide who was right and who was wrong. It is about dealing with the here and now, and the practical arrangements and decisions that need to be made, to enable you both to move forward in the best way possible. The mediator will remain impartial and committed to helping you both equally, throughout the process. Emotional outbursts are fairly common within mediation, and will not affect the mediator’s ability to remain entirely impartial.

A mediator is not a passive observer
The mediator will take an active part in your discussions, and whilst they will not give advice, they will often make suggestions, flag up points that have not been considered, and give relevant information. Where necessary, the mediator will also refocus the conversations, to ensure that they are constructive and moving forward towards solutions and agreements.

Where there has been domestic abuse, mediation may still be
the best option
It is the mediator’s duty to provide a safe environment where you are able to freely express your views, without fear of harm. If you do have concerns relating to your safety, the mediator will be able to asses and advise as to whether or not mediation is appropriate in your circumstances. If you don’t feel able to sit in the same room as your former partner, mediation can take place on a ‘shuttle’ basis, which is where you will sit in separate rooms, with the mediator moving between you. The mediator will usually also arrange staggered arrival and departure times. There is even the possibility of mediation taking place through Skype, so that you do not have to be in the same building.

Sarah Brookes spent 16 years working as a family lawyer in Eastbourne, before setting up Brookes Family Mediation. Sarah is passionate about the benefits of mediation. If you are uncertain about whether mediation is right for you, or if you have any questions, give Sarah a call on: 01323 411629 or email her:
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