I know a lot of people are very anxious lately due to coronavirus so I thought I’d share a short guided meditation for temporary relief.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. This will pass, sooner than you think.
In Cumbria, the Marsh Fritillary reintroduction in partnership with a Natural England Program is going from strength to strength, reports Steve Doyle of Butterfly Conservation’s Cumbria branch.
It became extinct in the county of Cumbria in 2004 but thanks to reintroduction schemes and efforts in 4 sites the population has rose from 149 larval webs in 2007 to 278 in 2009. It then rose year on year reaching 2,130 webs by 2014.
There were 4 more introductions in 2015. It took a total of 10 years for it to start self-colonising and expanding its range.
Today Marsh Fritillaries are flying at 21 sites in Cumbria and despite the web count decreasing in 2019 compared to the recorded web count numbers of 2016 (2,506 in 2019 & 3,252 in 2016) the population remains stable and sustainable.
A new challenge is to ensure habitat is managed in accordance with agri-environemt schemes which isn’t currently the case at some sites.
Agri-environment schemes include the utilisation of grass margins.
Check out the Butterfly conservation website for more details on this story.
Butterfly Conservation and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust have joined forces to change the fate of pollinators in crisis. Join them, and Dr Amir Khan, to help save them.
Visit their website and sign up, let’s all help the pollinators! 🦋🐝🦇
High on the Hampshire Downs, within an intensively farmed landscape a golf course has become a surprisingly important haven for wildlife.
Corhampton Golf club has created several chalk scrapes for butterflies following recommendations of Clive Wood, the Chair of Butterfly Conservation’s Hampshire and Isle of Wight branch. The improvements led the club to winning the Syngenta Operation Pollinator Award 2019.
Clive believes that Corhampton could host breeding populations of many butterflies, moths and other pollinators. In particular, it has the potential to be colonised by three High Priority species of conservation concern;
The small blue butterfly
The white admiral butterfly
And the Striped lychnis moth.
The course has also introduced small areas of lightly managed or unmanaged ground, often between, often between a green and a tee which are ideal for wildflowers such as cuckoo flower and garlic mustard, the main caterpillar food plants of the orange-tip butterfly.
Wouldn’t it be an awesome idea if more golf courses would also serve as butterfly habitats!!
The NHBS’s moth trap is an exciting new lightweight and highly portable Skinner moth trap. Designed and manufactured by NHBS (Natural History Book Service) Devon workshop in collaboration with Butterfly Conservation, this new trap is designed with portability in mind.
Unlike other moth traps on the market this weighs a mere 2kg in weight. It is constructed from lightweight panels covered with a light-coloured nylon material and is easily assembled using velcro rather than using hardened plastic.
Once assembled the trap container has two panels which help to prevent trapped moths from escaping. The trap is mains powered and runs from a single 20W Blacklight bulb which doesn’t shatter when it comes in contact with the rain.
The trap has been tested and approved by the Butterfly Conservation expert Phil Sterling who recommends this trap.
For each trap the Butterfly conservation will recieve 10% from the sale of each moth trap.
This moth trap is available using the following link: https://www.nhbs.com/nhbs-moth-trap?bkfno=249100
My back garden is doing really well this spring, theres still some work to do but I am pleased with what has come up so far.
Corn flowers come back up every year; lots of bluebells, lots of forget me nots that have spread from last year, some little bushes that have established from last year and more wildflower seeds growing! 🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿
This original series is an inspiring story of trailblazing African American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker who built a haircare empire that made her America’s first female self-made millionaire.
Background on Madam C.J. Walker:
If you’re looking for something new and truly inspirational to watch, I would highly recommend you watch this!
As suggested in the title, the four-part limited series, starring Octavia Spencer,chronicles the real-life pioneering work of Madam C.J. Walker, who is credited as America’s first female self-made millionaire thanks to her haircare business in the early 1900s. Inspired by On Her Own Ground, the book written by her great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles, the show highlights the many challenges the entrepreneur had to face including racism, sexism and a lack of opportunities for black women in that period of time.
While watching the new series, you may find yourself asking questions about the real Madam Walker: Starting from the beginning, she was born Sarah Breedlove to Owen and Minerva Breedlove in December 1867 on a cotton plantation in Louisiana.
According to History.com, Owen and Minerva were former slaves who had just been freed before Walker’s birth. Tragically, they died before their daughter turned seven.
Walker, now orphaned, moved into her sister and abusive brother-in-law’s home in Mississippi. To escape her brother-in-law, she married Moses McWilliams and soon after welcomed a baby girl, Lelia (later known as A’Lelia), in 1885. When she was 20, Moses died of unknown causes. And so, on a $1.50 per day salary, Walker did what she could to support herself and her young daughter.
In 1894, Walker married her second husband, John Davis. As she later explained, she was at a crossroads at this point of her life. “I was at my tubs one morning with a heavy wash before me,” she told the New York Times in 1917. “As I bent over the washboard and looked at my arms buried in soapsuds, I said to myself: ‘What are you going to do when you grow old and your back gets stiff? Who is going to take care of your little girl?’”
This is when the story of Madam C.J. Walker begins and you are therefore shown her life from this point on.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series and it opened my eyes to what a woman of her social stature and colour had to endure during that time period and how she overcame it all.
The series chronicles the events in her life from the time she decided to sell products to when she became worth nearly $1 million before being diagnosed with terminal kidney disease.
The more intimate details of her life and emotions are told in a series of flashbacks and brief skits, such as placing her in a boxing ring to combat her business rivals, a dance line of dapperly dressed saleswomen of color prancing around an empty warehouse she wants to turn into a factory or the light-skinned model from her advertisement taunting her- personally I loved these scenes as it gives you a real insight into the characters mindset and these skits illustrate the development of Walker’s personal and professional growth and relationships throughout her life.
I was able to maintain engaged with Walker’s character emotionally through the series due to the modern twist Netflix chose to convey the story.
During scenes of Walker working on her products or celebrating milestones of her success with loved ones, the producers opted for upbeat rock or funk tunes, yet during scenes of conflict, such as fighting with business competitors or encountering physical violence, scenes would fall silent not only of music, but natural sounds, drawing focus to the scene and impact of what happened and to really add an impact to that scene.
The only downfall of this series I can think of is the focus on the other characters especially her daughter which I would have liked to see more of during the series as when I started watching it I wasn’t aware she had a daughter as it was easily overlooked with the focus being on Walker.
I did love how the show show also introduced fictional characters, such as Sweetness, a pimp and hustler who attempts to swindle Walker’s lawyer into letting him invest in her company, and Dora, Walker Hair Company’s top sales agent who also becomes Walker’s husband’s mistress. These fictional characters in the series might represent a distillation of the real adversity Walker faced as she grew her company in some way or another and give you more of an insight as to the difficulties she would have been facing.
The series truly is an inspirational and uplifting series to watch!
Let me know what you thought below.
Until next time.
In this post I am talking about a recent Netflix original show that I have watched. This show is truly an inspirational show, based upon a book which I think everyone should take the time to watch.
Below are details of the show, author and the book- Warning, it may contain spoilers….
And my review and thoughts on the show.
Netflix’s new four-part dramatic series Unorthodox tells the story of young woman’s journey of self-discovery.
Esther “Esty” Shapiro (played by actress Shira Haas) leaves the extremely tight-knit, ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community and her husband in Brooklyn to move to Berlin after issues consummating the relationship and having a baby. There, she meets new friends and has new life experiences outside of her comfort zone.
The show is “inspired by” the best-selling memoir Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman, which was published in 2012.
In a new interview with The New York Times, the author talked about what it was like to see her life adapted into a Netflix TV show.
“It’s scary to give someone your story for the screen because you can’t control it. On the other hand, I knew I didn’t want a part in controlling it,” she told the publication. “We had a lot of discussions about when can you sacrifice accuracy and when not. We agreed you can sacrifice accuracy as long as it doesn’t impact the narrative.”
The Netflix show is 100% accurate according to the author but she loves the additional scenes and details added into the series such as the one scene where Esty explodes on her husband—that she absolutely loved, but it didn’t really happen in Feldman’s life.
“She finally says everything that has been going on in her head. She finally lets loose: It’s like a volcano… I also felt jealous because I never had a moment like that—I had many small moments where I tried to express myself, and I tried to speak up for myself, but I love how she just lets it all out,” Feldman said. “It really touched me, and it made me wish I had been the same way. It made me admire her. I hope that other people will see that scene and want to be like her, too.”
The show also glosses over the important details of Fieldman’s life in an unorthodox Jewish community however she agrees with Netflix producers that the show should be solely focused on the character Etsy.
“When you’re watching the series, you don’t really meet anyone far beyond Esty’s family. The community is there in the background, but it never confronts you. You have a rabbi, but you don’t see her in school,” she says. “You don’t see anyone in the synagogue. It’s not about explaining the world in which the story takes place. It’s just about the story itself.”
I personally think the story itself and the approach Netflix producers took for this series was perfect. Whilst watching the show I was totally immersed in Etsy’s life and I was trying to see the world through her eyes- even though I did wonder during the show what the rest of the unorthodox Jewish community was like I know if the series focuses on that too much the inspiring and extra-ordinary story of Etsy would be lost amongst all the details.
Of course, after watching the show I was so interested in this unorthodox Jewish community that I have never heard of before that I spend some time researching it to learn more about it, but I would never have done this if the initial story of Etsy didn’t draw me in and kept me captivated throughout the series.
The series certainly did tap into what happened to Feldman in her life as it produced quite the emotional reaction from her whilst watching it and she found the last 2 episode very emotional to watch…
I personally found this series very emotional for me to watch because as a feminist you are seeing a young girl being treated like a second class citizen, being brought up in an environment where every action she takes is being controlled by her family and elders, she is being made to think she isn’t normal for wanting to learn, having a passion in music, for wanting to be herself. She is only valued by how she serves her husband and is denied any type of freedom which is very difficult to watch, so of course when she finally escapes and you realise why, you are rooting for her, you are experiencing her Joy’s, her vulnerabilities and you are hoping she gets the life she deserves as a woman in her own right rather than a second class citizen.
This movie is very much on the feminist agenda and worth a watch. Limiting women in ways mentioned above is not uncommon in a lot of religions but the unorthodox Jewish community is extraordinary and watching this you soon learn why.
I very much enjoyed this series and would definitely recommend you watching it, however it will get emotional and if you are passionate about human rights and feminism (like me) it may make you a bit angry but the ending is all worth it!
Until next time,
This post is an odd one, it is about how I conquered loneliness, mostly unintentionally. 👀
This article is somewhat spiritual and very personal.
When I was a teenager I somewhat skipped the essential part that most teenagers go through; going out, partying, sleeping around (I don’t mean this in negative terms), getting used to being free, independent and on your own.
I pretty much rushed into my first long term relationship!- Yes, I know that was silly, but I was 18 years old, in love and after thinking I would never find a boyfriend after being surrounded by not so good relationships and years of trauma I jumped in with both feet to the first man who was nice to me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret being in the relationship as it was good to start off with and it has gotten me to where I want to be, it has especially taught me many essential lessons of which this is one of the most important.
How to conquer loneliness and stop relying on others to make me happy.
When I was younger I simply hated being on my own.
I’ve always been an introvert so for a short while it wouldn’t bother me, but after long periods it did start to get to me, I would feel increasingly isolated, alone and this is where my head and therefore my depression would kick in and once the depressive voice kicks in it makes things a whole lot worse and it’s really difficult to shift.
I put far too much pressure on myself to be productive and achieve without regarding self care or what limits my health puts on me and therefore I was constantly going round in a viscous cycle of being over productive, spreading myself too thinly and then having to go through a period of self recovery and this seriously affected my mood and my self confidence.
I expected other people to make me feel better, to make me feel somewhat whole again but it never worked out the way I wanted it.
Don’t get me wrong, speaking to loved ones does help but how can you expect loved ones to love you and help you when you can’t help yourself.
My last relationship came with trails and a lot of lessons with the most important one making me realise that anybody can be lonely, loneliness isn’t necessarily present in just those of us who are on our own but loneliness shows itself in all different forms and in all different situations, people with partners can be lonely, people living in with a large family can be lonely- loneliness affects everyone.
During my last long term relationship I felt more alone then rather than in my situation now where I am single and without a partner, which has really made me think.
It is all about your state of mind, yes I live with family but my family are out working and have their own lives and so do I BUT we are all there for each other and through all these life lessons and through my past relationship I have now finally learnt to be comfortable in my own company and not ever feel lonely.
My mum personally thinks this is a weird concept but I understand it completely.
As long as you are comfortable in your own skin, you take time for self care, to see those you love, you have someone to talk to and confide in, have a routine and a purpose than you are not likely to feel lonely and even if you do sometimes,… you know what, ITS NORMAL!
Lots of people feel lonely, you can reach out and ask people to help but never rely on other people to permanently make yourself happy, you must only rely on yourself to make you happy…
And this is how I have conquered loneliness.
So if anyone asks as an adolescence what I have learnt, this will be the answer….
• self love
• feelings are not facts
• loneliness is natural and ok