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Bobbin

Bobbin

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since 24/05/2001

10

Lavender 28/09/2001

Lavender - The All Round Plant

Lavender Lavender is one of my favourite plants to use in the garden. I think it is a shame the beautiful aroma of this plant has been labeled as an 'old woman' smell! I may have turned 50 this year but I'm no fogey and am here to stand up for lavender! What type of plant is lavender? Lavenders are an evergreen shrub from the Western Mediterranean. The shrub can be quite woody with long, slim fragrant leaves densely growing from the stems which look not unlike rosemary in many ways. The plant grows long flower spikes that are coarse to the touch and some species have delicate petal details around the flower spike. The flowers can be shades of purple, pink or white. The foliage colours of some species can be more silver-grey which make an interesting contrast in borders and displays. The flowers are highly fragrant, the leaves carry a less strong scent of lavender. Most varieties flower between July and August. Lavenders can grow between 1 and 3 foot depending on the variety. The plants can become very bushy and grow up to 4 ft across so if planting a group together remember to give them space to spread. What are the Latin names? Don't be frightened by Latin names. The family name is Lavandula and here are some descriptions of some of the most popular types: Lavandula vela - this is commonly known as English lavender. This lavender has a very strong smell. Lavandula denata - has silvery-grey leaves which are dogged tooth and look fluffy. This is a very ...

Tesco (Shop) 06/09/2001

Far Too Tempting

Tesco (Shop) I was born and raised in a very rural area where a trip to the one and only supermarket was an outing. Now I live in supermarket heaven with the choice of all the big name supermarkets within easy reach. My local Tesco has recently been refurbishment and enlarged. This has not had an affect on the grocery section but means an increased choice in other household goods. The store has also gone 24 hours and provides the internet shopping delivery service. My review is on my own experience of Tesco and whilst some features may be store specific I believe most of them are standard practice. Where are Tesco? Tesco are nation wide with branches abroad as well. There are a number of smaller Tesco Express stores placed in city centres and outskirts, often with a petrol station. These shops provide a smaller selection of products aimed at the quick, casual buyer. I usually shop at the larger Tesco stores. These are more often than not based on the outskirts of cities and towns on large plots which mean the stores have their own ample car parking facilities. My local Tesco has a car park that is only ever three quarters full at the busiest of times. There is also a Tesco petrol station on site. The car parking spaces are a reasonable size with special parking sections for disabled customers and parent and child areas which have extra space between cars so you can get children, prams etc in and out of the car. Outside of the entrance is a large bay for picking up and ...

Cat Collars and Microchipping 06/09/2001

Cats and Chips

Cat Collars and Microchipping Cats with chips, don't worry it's not a recipe!! In my volunteer work for the Cats Protection I often come across stray cats that you just know have been loved at one time or another. Whilst some of these cats may have been turfed out by uncaring owners I see many who I know are genuinely lost, perhaps chased off their territory by other cats/dogs/people. Without a collar and identification the next step is to take them to a vet to be scanned for an identichip. I have dealt with scores of cases and so far have heard the magic beep once. After this the most we can do is issue found notices and contact as many vets and organizations as possible to find out if they are aware of the cat as missing. We rarely find an owner and have to look to rehoming the cat. Ensuring you cat is well identified is an important aspect of cat (indeed pet ownership) and I would like to try and cover a few important things to think about. Why bother with identification? Well imagine if you cat is lost, how will anyone who finds it know where it's come from? It is important to remember a cat may not go missing near to home where your neighbours know your cat and you have a good chance of finding your lost cat. In many instances cats can be chased off their territory quite a difference and totally lose their bearings. In the worst case scenario, many nosey cats will climb into cars and vans. If your cat is nosey, always keep an eye on them when delivery vans etc are about and if the ...

Whiskas 27/08/2001

The Cats Whiskas

Whiskas If you seen any of my previous opinions you will know I have two cats of my own as well as a constant stream of feline guests as I foster sick and injured cats for the Cats Protection. As always I will take this opportunity to thank the kind members of the public who donate food to the Cats Protection which we use to feed the cats in our care. Who makes Whiskas? Whiskas is made by pedigree who have developed their food range with the vets from the Waltham. Whiskas is probably the most famous brand of cat food and most of us know their advertising tagline of 'eight out of ten cats prefers Whiskas'. Well for a long time my own two cats were the dissenters as they were wholly unimpressed with the usual Whiskas tinned variety though that has changed so read on! Being one of the most famous brand names people often donate cans of Whiskas to the Cats Protection so it has been well tested by my guests and on the whole it’s a thumbs, or should that be paws, up. What types of food do Whiskas make? The question should be what does Whiskas NOT make? I feel Whiskas were the first brand to diversify and take cat food from being a simple tin to a whole aisle of the supermarket with every eventuality covered. Whether you have a kitten, young or old cat, Whiskas has a specialist range ready to tempt you, if not your cat. The whole Whiskas range now carries the tag 'Lifecare' as they are keen to promote the health aspect of their foods. Because Whiskas have ...

Omron Electronic Pulse Massager HV-F115 24/08/2001

Omron Electronic Pulse Massager HV-F115

Omron Electronic Pulse Massager HV-F115 I bought my Omron Electronic Pulse Massager HV-F115 five years ago, in easier English - it's a TENS machine. I have an upper spine injury situated between my shoulder blades. I have two discs missing and 'spurs' have developed on my spine. Pain-wise - well yes it's very painful and I require daily pain killers. I can only describe the pain as having a permanent, throbbing stitch on my spine. Often this causes my right arm to weaken and puts pain into my neck. Not pleasant! Unfortunately I have yet to find treatment that banishes the pain completely and I'm sure like many of you reading this I look towards pain 'management' to help ease the discomfort. I have tried many things - no doubt I will write about many of them here! However, the TENS machine is one of the few pieces of pain management wear I have bought. What is a TENS Machine? = A TENS machine is a small unit - slightly smaller and lighter than your average walkman. It produces low-frequency electrotherapy which transmitted to the body via electrode pads. The electric pulse has a massaging effect, helps release endorphins and hopefully over-ride the pain signals. The Omron TENS machine has three different pulse variations which are Tap, Knead and Shoulder. These produce different pulse sensations - as the name suggests 'Tap' is a tapping short-sharp tapping sensation whereas 'Knead' feels as if someone is kneading your flesh in small, circular motions. 'Shoulder' is a mixture of Tap and Knead. Another ...

Felix Cat Food 21/08/2001

Five Star Felix

Felix Cat Food We have two cats in our household as well as a constant stream of foster cats as I foster ill and injured cats for the Cats Protection. The cats that come into my care are either ill, injured, pregnant or all of the above! I have two special pens which can house one ill/injured cat, a pregnant cat and her litter or a litter of orphaned kittens as well as another open space room for kittens in an emergency. For instance in the past two weeks I had a cat and her three new born kittens in one pen, a five month old kitten with a broken leg in the other and four kittens in the room who where five weeks old! So you can imagine the chaos at meal times! For the foster cats all their food is provided by the generous donations from the public often at collection bin points in supermarkets etc. I am very grateful for any donation but must admit to being extra happy to see tins of Felix as experience tells me these are always popular with my 'guests'. Felix is the brand I buy most often for my own cats as it is there preferred choice and there is a wide choice to look at. Who makes Felix? = Felix is produced by Friskies who also produce Go-Cat petfood. It is available at most major supermarkets, petshops and online pet retailers. What types of food do Felix make? As with many pet food manufacturers Felix seems to be becoming more and more diverse, producing all sorts of special tins etc. I will look at these in turn. 400g tins of cat food. --------------- ...

Chiropractors 17/08/2001

Should it be no pain, no gain

Chiropractors Of all the therapies I have tried in my quest for pain relief to an upper spine injury chiropractic is probably the one that people are most familiar with. It is now a recognised alternative therapy that conventional medicine seems happy to work with. What is Chiropractic? Chiropractors manipulate joints, muscles and the spine to relieve pain. As I suffer from a spine injury this was one of the most obvious treatments to try. Chiropractors use x-rays to examine areas and take your medical history before performing pulls and stretches on the body which aims to realign the injured part. Some of the movements are very sudden and thrusting and the patient will often be standing or positioned on a special chiropractor's couch which can be angled as necessary. How do you find a chiropractor? I was referred to the chiropractor by my GP. This meant the chiropractor had access to my full medical history including scans and x-rays I had at the hospital, this is one advantage of being referred by your doctor. Otherwise it is an idea to consult the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) which was set up in 1925. The Association has worked with the Medical Research Council and helped form the Anglo-European Chiropractic College which oversees training. Chiropractors can now study for a BSc in Chiropractic which my chiropractor had achieved and he had gone on to study and specialize further. The BCA can be contacted at: British Chiropractic ...

Alexander Technique 17/08/2001

Posture buster...

Alexander Technique Yes I'm afraid it's another opinion by me talking about my back pain again! To bring new readers up to speed I have an upper spine injury which causes constant pain and have spent the last seven years trying out all methods of pain relief and I have tried a lot! Here I would like to talk about the Alexander Technique, an alternative therapy you don't often hear about. I was aware of the Alexander Technique as my bosses' wife trained as an Alexander Technique teacher. As a keen amateur singer she had been attracted to the Alexander Technique as it is a method of improving posture which is of particular use to performers. Because I knew her level of training and commitment I was happy to try out a course of Alexander Technique with her although I had not met anyone who'd undergone it before. What is the Alexander Technique? = As I said above the Alexander Technique teaches you to improve your posture and deportment. The technique was developed by an Australian actor called Frederick Matthais Alexander at the turn of the 20th century. Alexander begun having vocal problems that conventional treatment was not helping. He noticed how he changed his posture when he spoke his lines and put it down to the stress of performing which leads people to shrink and lower their heads. He noticed if held himself better his voice returned and he developed his techniques to teach himself how to have better posture - neither slouchy or too stiff. His techniques became very ...

Acupuncture 15/08/2001

Just a little prick...

Acupuncture Last year I undertook a course of acupuncture to treat the nerve and muscle pain in my upper back. I was interested in acupuncture as it is well regarded now as a form of pain management for such physical and mechanical problems as I have and I had also begun to use a TENS machine. I have written an opinion on my TENS machine which is waiting to go up when a new category is created for the make of TENS I use so I won't bore you again with the details of my back injury again just to say it is an upper spine structural injury! What is acupuncture? Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy where needles are stuck in the skin at certain points. These points relate to what are called 'meridian lines' on the body which are believed to be channels along which energy flows which link the body's organs together. The needles are meant to either block, lower or increase the energy along these lines to rebalance the body and give therapeutic relief to disease and illness. How do you find an acupuncturist? My acupuncturist was recommended to me by my GP. The acupuncturist in question was also a GP who worked part-time as a private acupuncturist. Because of the recommendation of my doctor I was more at ease at seeing the therapist. I had heard many horror stories of untrained people practising acupuncture. As the therapist I saw was also a medically trained doctor this increased my confidence in her. I recommend you choose your acupuncturist carefully and ask about ...

*Homoeopathy in general* 12/08/2001

Homeopathy - I'm a convert

*Homoeopathy in general* Welcome to my first opinion for Ciao - I hope it will be useful. For my first opinion I have decided to write about homeopathy, an alternative therapy which I approached with a lot of cynicism almost ten years ago. Since then I would not say I have become an out and out convert but I truly feel homeopathy has a place alongside conventional medicine for myself and my family. I suffer from chronic back pain having been injured at work almost 12 years ago which requires daily pain treatment. My daughter suffers from eczema and asthma as did my work colleague who introduced me to homeopathy. I will include our experiences of homeopathy in this review but I hope I don't get too anecdotal and can give an all round view of the therapy. What is homeopathy? = In the early 19th century a German doctor called Dr Samuel Hahnemann was interested in a more gentle way to cure ails than the current system which often involved such hash treatments as bloodletting. Hahnemann was very interested in the discovery that Malaria was treated by a herbal remedy from the bark of the cinchona tree which also produced similar symptoms to that of malaria. Hahnemann struck on the idea that if the body was given a small dose of a herb which produced the same effect as the illness the body would fight against this small amount and aide recovery. 'Homeopathy' actually means 'like disease' which echoes the ancient Greek belief that 'like cures like'.. He was also struck that the treatment should ...
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