Category: Did you know?

Forest Bathing @ Hampstead Heath

Wood shack at Hampstead Heath, photo by PH Morton

Hampstead Heath, photo by JMorton

I love this Manet-like impressionism photo at Hampstead Heath by PH Morton

Forest Bathing @ Hampstead Heath

Forest bathing has become an accepted form of relaxation and stress management in Japan.  It was started in the mid-80s.

But what is forest bathing?

It involves going into a woody land or forest, a green space, and hike leisurely; relax and breathe in all the freshness and negative ions, the so-called air-borned vitamins’, given off by the surrounding trees and plants.

Let all the stress of the day melt in the comparative embraces of the forest.

In London, there is a woodland called Hampstead Heath, a 320 hectares of open, green space perfect for forest bathing, among other things.  It is a place for a great family bonding.  There are numbers of ponds, there is even a ‘secret garden’ which is architecturally excellent.  It also covers a natural swimming pool for ladies and also for men, there are the Parliament Hill, the Kenwood House, Highgate pond, etc.

Be astounded at how great Hampstead Heath is, when it is just 6 kilometres away from the very busy bustling city centre of London, the Trafalgar Square.

It is a place for biodiversity: human meets natures and wildlife in a capsule of forested heath.

So Londoners, now the weather outside is no longer frightful, put on your walking shoes and have a forest bath!

 

Increase Brain Power

It seems brushing one’s teeth is not only for health and hygiene reasons, it is so much more.

Brain Power

Increase Brain Power

There are also some research about the effect of chocolates to brain power.  Apparently the flavanols in cocoa can increase cognitive abilities, allowing for multitasking, i.e. ability to perform two or more tasks at a time.

 

Snuff Bottle – Qing Dynasty

Snuff Bottle, V&A Museum, photo by JMorton

Snuff Bottle – Qing Dynasty

The above object caught my attention immediately, not only because it was exquisitely beautiful but I remember I have a similar one at home, which Peter got me as a gift a couple of years ago.

I thought it was a perfume bottle.  It was only during a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum two days ago that I learnt it was a snuff bottle, which was used during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).

Smoking a tobacco was prohibited during the Qing Dynasty, therefore nicotine loving Chinese and Mongolian people had resorted to sniffing powdered tobacco contained in snuff bottles.  Inhaling finely ground tobacco was allowed as consumption was deemed medicinal at that time.

The snuff bottles were constructed as tactile as possible as they are carried by hand replacing the snuff boxes favoured by Europeans.  There were really beautiful, work of art, snuff bottles as they were a symbol of your position, how high up you were in society.  Sharing a snuff during the 16th century China was a form of greetings.

Wonderful to learn new things.  I now know that my ‘perfume bottle’ is actually a snuff bottle.  Where is the tobacco?!!! 🙂

Dandelion

Through whayt fierce incarnations, furled
In fire and darkness, did I go,
‘Ere I was worthy in the world
To see a dandelion grow?

– G k Chesterton

DSCN9645

Dandelion
Photo by Jean Morton

April 2014 032

Dandelion Flower
Photo by Jean Morton

Yellow Dandelion Photo by PH Morton

Yellow Dandelion
Photo by PH Morton

 Dandelion "Clock" By PH Morton

Dandelion “Clock”
By PH Morton

Seeding Dandelion By PH Morton

Seeding Dandelion
By PH Morton

Dandelions are perennial plants, which are treated more like pernicious weeds in British gardens.  Dandelions grow wildly in lawns and pavement cracks.  They can be hard to uproot as they anchor themselves into the ground with unbelievable tenacity.

Dandelion got its name from the French’s dent-de-lion which literally means ‘lion’s teeth.  The lion’s teeth, of course, refers to the shape of dandelion’s serrated leaves (see topmost photo).

Did you know?

The young leaves of dandelions are edible.  They can be eaten as salad sprinkled with some crunchy lardons and croutons.  It is advised to choose the really young leaves before the dandelion flowers start to appear; the more mature leaves tend to be slightly bitter.

 

Heart Attacks

Did you know?

download (8)A study done by the Manchester Royal Infirmary with  600 patients who were heart attack victims, showed that a sufferer halved his/her chance to a repeat attack if he/she has a partner or close friends.

Enjoying a close relationship with a lover, a partner, friend or a relative can lower the stress-inducing hormone called cortisol, which is linked to high blood pressure.

Those without  partners were likely more to drink and take illegal drugs.

A study also examined what victims of heart attack were doing prior to the event.  It was found that more than half of the victims reported of being very upset and under a lot of stress within the 24 hours period.

Spring Clean For Health

One day there will be a telephone in every major city in the USA.
– Alexander Graham Bell

How partly prophetic! There is telephone everywhere now. Many have.

mobile
Spring Clean For Health

It is spring and what better time to examine health hazard objects in our everyday life.

Did you know?

17 per cent of all mobile phones in the UK are contaminated with nasties from the toilet.  And what’s more, office telephones are so full of germs.  Apparently we do not clean our hands well enough after going to the loo.  yuck.

Toothbrushes.  Dentists recommend that toothbrushes are regularly changed every three months.

81 per cent of contact lens cases contain harmful bacterias.  The cases should be washed regularly and changed every month.  It is safer to just use disposable lenses.

This is scary but did you know?  The handbag can be dirtier than the loo.  Whether the bag is designer or from a second-hand shop, it can get dirty.  Be careful where you park the back, in the toilet floor, toilet basin, etc.  Disinfect it inside and out regularly.

Your favourite mascara can contain harmful bacteria after three months.  So take note of the time you had used it, toss in the garbage bin when three months is up.

Pillows, wash the cases every two to three weeks and the pillow itself every three months.  Otherwise you will be sleeping on your own dead skin and the mites who feeds on them and notwithstanding the poo they make.

Man’s Best Friend

Diesel

Man’s Best Friend

jean & diesel

Did you know?

According to findings, dog owners are fitter and less prone to depression compared to those who do not have a canine pet.

This is rather bizarre but studies also show that just by looking at photos of cute puppies can increase your productivity at work.

Not only that owning a puppy/dog can enhance your social life too.  I remember a friend who used to ‘borrow’ our cute yorkshire terrier so he can walk her in the park.  Apparently our little yokie was a babe magnet. 🙂

 

Trees and Forest

Trees and Forest

Kew Garden, Photo by PH Morton

Kew Garden, Photo by PH Morton

 

Aren’t these trees beautiful?  Aren’t we lucky we have them?

We should look after them, the best we can.

Let’s say NO to deforestation; No to illegal logging!

Coconut trees

Coconuts in the mountain, photo by PH Morton

There are people who are scared of the thought and sight of trees and forests. Some have pathological fear. I do understand these in some ways. When I was very young, I tagged along with my father to go to our farm. As he was doing some farm and field chores, he told me to sit under the shade of a big Narra tree. Anyway, it was so quiet that day, all I can hear was the occasional sound of wind brushing through leaves of trees around me.

As I looked up, I suddenly got very frightened of the many coconut trees. I felt they were looking at me. For some reason, I felt rather claustrophobic surrounded by trees. How strange was that – being claustrophobic in the open?!!! Probably there is another word similar to claustrophobic but that is how it felt. Luckily the experience was a one off. I love trees, I love forests as well though I find them mysterious.

I love nothing than watching horror films with a forest/woods theme. 🙂

Did you know?

Fear of trees and forest are very real, in fact, there are some official phobia terms allotted to them.

Dendrophobia comes from two Greek words, Dendro for tree and phobia, of course, is fear.

Xylophobia
is the fear of wooden objects or woods. Xylo is a Greek word for wood and phobia as before is fear.

Hylophobia is the fear of woods and can be of materialism as well. Hylo comes from the Greek for forest.