Are our Zodiacs wrong?

Hi everyone,

Like a lot of other people I can’t help but take the occasional look at my horoscope so often found in magazines and online. Although I remain reasonably sceptical about the wide variety of different interpretations of the stars, there’s something that feels quite ancient and magical about using the stars as a means of divination.

I have, for a long time, been fascinated by how its all worked out, hearing phrases such as “Mercury is in Taurus” has often led me wondering what this looked like as the planets move across the skies and constellations. So, typically, I bought an app, SkyViewFree, which shows me the current positioning of the stars, planets and satellites that surround our earth. I was very excited to watch the sun as it moved through the year into the different Zodiac signs, which is how our “star signs” are calculated.

On my Birthday of this year, which falls in the sign of Taurus, I opened my app and aimed it at the sun expecting to see the sun surrounded by the constellation of Taurus. I was somewhat surprised to find that the Sun was actually surrounded by the constellation of Aries, the sign preceding Taurus. I thought at first that maybe there was a bit of a delay as my Birthday falls at the beginning of Taurus therefore quite close to Aries, so I checked back most days to see whether the Sun had moved to Taurus. Annoyingly and bafflingly the Sun didn’t move into Taurus until just before it was meant to move into Gemini, could it really be that the Sun is a whole month behind where we are told it is?

Apparently the answer is, Yes it is a whole month behind. Since my discovery, I’ve done a lot of research on the internet and it turns out that most websites and magazines do not allow for the fact that the Zodiac was first written about 3000 years ago and therefore over time the Stars have slowly moved out of line with our calendar.

So does this mean that we’re reading the wrong signs? Well, yes unfortunately it does, I went on this website and calculated my real sun sign, which at the time of my birth was indeed Aries, not Taurus which I have been led to believe. This is made more annoying by my recent purchase of a Taurus necklace.

Since my Zodiac revelation I have embraced my Aries side, although I still have the same scepticism as before, if not more pronounced seeing as I’d been reading the wrong sign most of my life. However, I find the science behind Zodiacs fascinating and I am now trying to work out my own Astrology using the SkyViewFree app as a guide.

I hope this post is helpful for those who are interested in astrology and good luck in finding your real sign.

Love Cat xx

 

Rosemary is for Revision

Hi everyone,

Like so many others at this time of year I am in the midst of exams, fortunately mine have just finished but I know so many other people are still sitting theirs and have weeks left.

Lets be honest, exams are some of the most stressful things that a person will go through and they’re completely unavoidable, believe me, I’ve tried. One of the things I think makes exams so stressful is the pressure to remember so much information under time pressure. I don’t think I’m alone in being in that situation when you’ve been asked a question about some sort of terminology and you can’t for the life of it begin to remember what that word or question means even though you know you’ve seen it before!

Anyway, whilst perusing the university forums at the beginning of my many weeks of revision someone mentioned seeing online that the scent of Rosemary Oil can help you retain facts. I think it goes without saying, I was more than a little intrigued.

So I did some research and found numerous studies saying that people who inhaled Rosemary Oil whilst revising and subsequently taking their exams found it substantially easier to recall information when needed. Here’s the news article I read with all the science-y stuff, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33519453.

After I got it out of my head that I wasn’t really hungry for Rosemary Focaccia bread I headed down to my local Neal’s Yard Remedies and got a bottle of the essential Oil. When I got home I put two drops on a tissue which I kept on the text book page I was reading at the time.

I have to say, I was impressed! I was actually remembering things as I was going along, (normally I get to the next page and think, “wait, what did I just read on the last page?”) and even toward the end of my revision I was still linking the information with stuff I had studied much earlier without having to go back to it.

Granted I haven’t done exam revision for 6 years and last time it was for 3 different A-levels that I hated whereas now its for 1 degree that I actually enjoy, so perhaps that meant that I retained the information because I was actually engaging in the subject, but honestly I don’t think I would have remembered as much as I did naturally without the Rosemary.

During my exams, I did the same thing, I put the oil on a tissue and just left it on the desk and I genuinely felt that I was remembering all the terminology and facts that I had wanted to. Perhaps it was a placebo but hey, whatever works right?

Now if only there was an essential oil to make the time between sitting the exam and getting the results go quicker!

Love, Cat xx

Why are we panicking over lettuce?

In years to come we will talk about the great lettuce famine of 2017, where lettuce levels were so low that panic buying struck the nation, what did we do without our February salads?! Joking aside, we are currently gripped by a lettuce famine, due to a bad crop in Spain. Supermarkets have begun to ration the amount of lettuces per person and the whole situation has made headline news. 

Now we find out that Spain have been hoarding their lettuces, preventing the U.K. from the full lettuce quota we are entitled to. 

I really hope I’m not the only one who sees the nationwide fear as a bit of an over reaction in the current political climate.  

Do we really need this much lettuce? In February? I feel there must be nutritional alternatives out there in the world. I also feel we can go without a salad for a couple of weeks whilst things right themselves. 

As to Spain “hoarding” lettuces, why not? They grow them after all. The only reason we have to import them in February is because we don’t have the correct growing conditions in the U.K. at this time of year. Maybe we should wait until the summer when we have our own crops to eat and let the Spanish have the food they grow. 

Seems like the polite thing to do anyway, it’s not their fault they had bad growing conditions. 

What can Theresa May actually do about Donald Trump?

Short answer: not a lot it would seem. Unfortunately for Jeremy Corbin Theresa May is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom not President of the United States. The President, whether we like it or not is a democratically elected leader of a free country. If he’s answerable to anyone then its to the 63 million people who voted for him (and the 65.8 million people who didn’t, but that’s a debate for another day). Americans have made their decision and now they have to live with it. However, Americans have managed to irritate most of the world in the process. Mexico is being bricked off and anyone from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia have been banned from immigrating to the USA. Not only is this deeply hurtful to these people but shockingly intolerant. Whether Trump admits it or not, to judge someone simply on the country they were born in or the religion they practice is prejudiced beyond belief. And this is the leader of one of the most powerful and influential countries in the world! 

Back to us in Britain, what can we possibly do, well Theresa May has made it clear that she is not going to intervene in American politics. Whatever her reasons, only she can know and we can speculate over. But, the harsh truth is, America is not our country, our Prime Minister can only influence our policies not those of any other country. Can you imagine a world where a leader of a country can tell any other country what it can and can’t do? It’s dangerous to start doing that now even in these circumstances. We only need look back at Neville Chamberlain to see why leaders intervening in other countries affairs doesn’t work out well. 

Theresa May is also correct in saying that we all knew that this was his plan, but Theresa has forgotten that in Britain, it has practically become a tradition that what a politician promises to do, the opposite will happen (Nick Clegg and Sadiq Khan spring to mind). But Donald Trump is not a politician, so perhaps that’s why. 

So what can we do about this political tyrant that’s not a politician. Well I suppose we can start by treating him as what he is, a businessman. Businessmen are motivated by the potential of success. If Trump bans certain people from his country and the rest of the world follow – success! However, what if we use this as an opportunity to essentially do the opposite. If we, and other countries, show compassion and tolerance and inclusivity, by working with the countries so victimised by Trump we can create better understanding between nations and eradicate this fear of the one in a million and focus on the other 999,999 people who are just ordinary people trying to get by in life the same as anyone else in any religion and any country. I don’t mean leave it up to the politicians either, this is something we all can do just by getting out a bit. Doing this will reveal Trump to be the bully that he is and we’ll end up a happier world all round as well. 

No leader wants to be left out from the rest of the world, but with putting a wall on a land border and preventing people from certain countries immigrating it’s clear, the USA wants to be left alone and are going to have a right tantrum about it until they get what they want. So let’s do it, let’s show Trump that the rest of the world does not depend on America, will not be influenced by its extreme stance and will cope just fine without it. Everybody wins. 

Bye Granddad: One year later

It’s been a year since you left.

I still don’t understand what that means, you left in so many ways. You left your body, you left this world, you left us, you left me.

Death is a natural process of life, the only inevitable thing, natural and normal. Yet unnatural and abnormal.

The space you once called home, is where I live now, and even though the same number of people inhabit it now as before, it is emptier, the life has gone from it. Rooms are just walls, books are just paper. Their life force was you and now that you’re gone, their meaning has gone.

Grandma doesn’t live their anymore, she felt the loneliness of that place without you. You made that house a home for her, now it’s just a house. She lives by the sea, remember how she used to dream of living by the sea? Her dream came true, and I wish you could be enjoying it with her.

I don’t think she knows who I am anymore. I promised you I’d look after her, but I don’t know how, and I’ve failed. I’ve failed to do the one thing that you needed me to do. I can’t do it. When she looks at me, she doesn’t see me. I don’t know who she sees. She knows what I look like, who I am, but every piece of my personality recognisable to her died with you.

I’m sorry. Every day I’m sorry, and mostly I don’t know what for. I just have no idea how to make this pain go away. It’s not ok to talk about, and everyone thinks I’m fine. I smile, put on my make up like its some sort of mask, if I look different, maybe I’ll be different, someone who is not broken, is not lost, not left behind. But it’s a lie, some people are tricked but those closest to me are not fooled, but it’s too hard for them to deal with. I don’t want to be a problem to the people I love.

They’ve moved on I think. They all have a purpose in their lives, and good for them, seeing them happy makes me heal a little bit, but I feel like no one has noticed that in my head I’m still holding your hand, feeling your last pulse, hearing your last breath, see you look at me for a moment then look away. Gone. I’ve never left that room, left that second. I want to leave it behind, but I cling onto that moment as the last moment I was with you.

My life has gone on, and somehow a year has passed. There is so much of it I feel I’ve missed, the time has just gone, and I don’t know what happened. I’m just here a year later, and everything other than you going, feels like a dream, like it could just be imaginary and yet that is not true.

People like to tell me, how strong I am. In their eyes they see someone turning their life around, I quit my job to do a degree, I don’t talk about you, so therefore you can’t affect me. Yet my degree is in History, a passion you and I shared, whereas before I was on course to be a chef. It is conflicting that before you left my life had no direction, and now it has potential, but at a price I never wanted to pay.

I wish I could talk to you, well, I wish you could talk to me. To hear your voice, the person who was more of a Dad to me than my own Dad was at times, although now I think Dad’s the only person who understands me. I just wish he would talk to me more. Anyway, you are the only person who’s actually been through the same pain, the only person who would truly know what this feels like. I wonder now, if you wished when your Dad died that you could talk to someone who knew the exact same relationship and the exact same pain, and yet it was your own death that created the only other person that that could have been possible with. It’s ironic and cruel, that at the time we should have  been closest we were separated by the vale between heaven and earth, whatever that actually means.

I feel that one day I will heal, but I know that I am forever changed. At the moment I am numb to the world and I can only hope that doesn’t continue, I do try my best. My heart broke when you died and at the moment its barely holding together, but if I keep it together, it might heal, and the joins might be stronger than they were before.

I don’t blame you, like I said its part of life to die. I’ve accepted that. The only thing left for me to say now is thank you. Thank you for being so important in my life and making it so happy that when you left this is what remained. I owe you everything, and I hope that part of your soul is now in mine, that by my actions and my decisions you are still alive in a sense. I miss you. Everyday. And I will not forget you ever. I love you always, your Catherine.

Hope: A Poem

Hope.
you are eternal.
You stay
when nothing else remains.
You see us through our darkest times
and come hand in hand with fear.

You are my friend when no one else will be.
You take away the sting of despair.
You’re always near
but forever out of reach.
And you lead me away from pain.

You stand in between dreams and reality.
Neither the abstract or the present
you create our lives and weave patterns for us to follow.

There is nothing you cannot achieve,
you are more powerful than the darkest things this world can throw at us.
You are eternal.
Hope.

Hope