Getting Away From It All

Many people may look at this post for short term tips; perhaps to get ideas of how to fit in that swimming cossy; how to alleviate stress and get a much needed break; perhaps how to get revitalised at a Spa session, but the ultimate Staycation is making every day a holiday of stress free health. Shunning the hamster wheel of consumerism and easing off the gas while on the    Road to Hell , may allow you to start looking for alternative routes.

Stopping Smoking

I did this a long time ago after being a (woodbine) smoker for several years. The plan remains as fresh and simple as ever - grabbing the hobbit by both lapels and smooching until it's exhausted.
1. Move to a quality brand, away from the supermarket rubbish that probably have filters more toxic than the burning tobacco.
2. Being stronger, you'll only need to smoke a half of one at a time.
3. After a while, start having a mint with the cig, or just afterwards.
4. A month later, swap to Menthol cigarettes, still smoking them halfway.
At this point you've cut your consumption by 3/4's, pretty painlessly. Used to less nicotine, and enjoying the menthol, your system will show alot less chemical withdrawal if you decide to go further and stop altogether.
5. Having a mint now instead of a cigarette I found very easy. Something like Kendal mint cake, or Fox's mints are the healthiest, whilst Wrigley's chewing gum can give a similar lift.
This step cut's the nicotine to 1/8th of your previous levels, and stopping altogether should be somewhat easier than a couple of months previously, when Cold Turkey looked the only option.

Substituting a quick surf on a phone to check the news / weather can alleviate boredom and fill a work break. Some people move to electronic cigarettes, lollipops, nicotine patches - even working the breaks and going home half an hour earlier if management allow. It's true that appetite and snacking can be a danger - but there's nothing wrong with snacking healthily. Crisps now are fried in vegetable oils and lower in salt; or a bag of nuts, a flapjack, a bit of fruit etc. One thing you shouldn't do is beat yourself up if you succumb to the odd chuff - an odd cigarette (or half of one) at very stressful times is negligable compared to a heavy habit.

Biorhythm widget free
Biorhythm of a Lloyds bank may pay to pick your date for that finance interview..!

One thing worth noting is your biorhythm - have a look via a website or phone app, and try to time any changes so there aren't any   massive Low's coming up - so all vital signs are seperate and aren't rollercoasting together. Another important consideration is rescuing the tiny hairs or scillia in the bronchial tract. After 60 years of Woodbines my father found himself on Oxygen cylinders with IPF lung - possibly, in my opinion, through stopping too quickly. Had he gone to menthol and sweets, the vapours would have continued exciting his lungs, possibly keeping the alveoli clear of mucus and functioning. Similarly, a move to hot curried and spicy food could have played a palliative rôle.

Other Habits

Annoying repetitive compulsive pleasurable passtimes time wasting....such a set of conflicts can be tackled similarly. Many sexual habits are one of the strongest hooks, and psychologists will quickly point out that a healthy, more natural outlet be found for unresolved physical urges. Riiigghhtt!!. Most people don't want the emotional baggage, some consider themselves too old, ugly, poverty stricken..; some are already in (unfullfilling) relationships. Again, much can be done by weaning oneself away, by stopping paying and fueling the porn industry - there's lots of free images around the internet; by keeping away from the violent, abusive and bizarre. No doubt there is an innate desire to see other couples / people naked - it is the natural state. When the Pacific Islands were colonised, couples were frollicking naked in paradise...whereupon they were whipped, told to put clothes on, and given a 'Bible'...
Food urges are mainly down to being press ganged by parents into eating other beings, or drinking their milk. Being ravenous for baby carrots rarely occurs, but being short on vitamins quickly causes gums to recede, teeth to protrude, eyes to get a sunken look, poor skin, tiredness all day whilst needing orgies of munchies at night; a natural animalistic survival mechanism of bloodlust; photosensitivity to sunlight.....

Saving On Household Bills

a set of 4 quarterly electric bills for 11,12,15 & 27pounds   Increasing Fuel Poverty
Imagine cutting your bills to a fraction of their current levels - it is possible if everybody is disciplined in the way they use the utilities. Much of the angst that leads to people needing a holiday is probably generated by the ongoing grind to fuel their lifestyle.
The bills on the right refer to spring, summer and autumn, with energy efficient bulbs in lava lamps for heating. I do listen to music most of the time, cook fairly regularly, and have a washing machine going once a on for tips to escape the human 'rat race'....

Glitter Lava lamp amongst electric products in shop windowLava lamp in a Horncastle shop display
I'm lucky in that I don't have gas as a utility - making savings tends to be easier with electric. If you haven't tried one of the newer halogen heaters, then do go out and buy one, even if your old element fire is still working. If you rely on these little heaters alot, then you'll immediately take 1/3 off your bill by swapping to the halogen bulbed heaters. Unfortunately the room goes cold rather quickly if they're switched off - imagine if they had heated an oil radiator while on - the stored heat would gently warm the room for some time after. This is essentially what you get with the decorative 'lava lamp', made popular in the sixties. Their bulbs are 1/10th that of the halogen heater! I've built a small collection up gradually, and usually stand 3 in a row to form a radiator. Putting them on a timer for 15 min on and 15 off, halves the cost again.

three lava lamps in a row
50W Lava Lamp Radiator!

If you mainly live in one or two rooms, then I've found several of these lava lamps will do much of the work through late autumn and early spring. In summer I put a small 4 or 7W energy efficient bulb in the holder, and a Pringles tube over it - gets my smalls dry through the course of a day! In the Lincoln Waterside shopping centre, up the escalator, is a toy-gift shop. On the rear wall is a lava-lamp display which is uncomfortable to stand next to for any length of time. It heats the entire shop with around 750 Watts (not one bar of an old electric fire).
Of course, with odd lava lamps strategically placed around the house, it's not often the lighting gets used - but I have energy bulbs and large shades on all mine, and dry the washing quite well on a rainy day. At the bottom of a stairwell, a 30W spotlight bulb will gradually warm the air all the way up the stairs.

Negotiating tariffs with suppliers is half the battle these days, and Economy7 for electric and Solo for water help budget spending. One or two energy companies are starting to do no standing charge accounts. It also pays to look and listen for small 'air' leaks in water pipes, and buzzing or flickering on wiring - and to get them fixed asap. The water efficiency tips include putting a brick in the toilet cistern; using the washing machine's halfload function, and getting a travel kettle.

antique small copper kettle on gas cooker next to extra large mug, which it fills comfortably
Recently moving into an apartment with gas, re-using a small antique ornament. I've found it to be expensive compared to my lamp exploits, with £10 /wk for hot water & cooking, and (2.5) radiators usage. So it's something that'll be put on the back burner, excuse the pun. Bizarrely, the bedsit I've moved to seems to have more room than the cottage I rented.

Most electrical products have a silver wattage label, and obviously a 900W kettle is going to make savings over a 2200W..... ...As far as cookers go, it's probably   safer and also cheaper to do away with the microwave oven altogether. A normal cooker is also as cheap to run as some of these small grills and hobs. Snack type meals, whilst breakfasting on a bit of fruit or flapjack, keeps cooking and washing up in lite mode. Elsewhere in the house, watching the wattage of the Tv, music center and computer set up can pay dividends. This website was made predominantly by small phone, and checked occasionally on a normal computer, whilst listening to a 10W mini CD which is quite capable of upsetting the neighbours if needs be.
Showering instead of baths is a water saver, but invigorating cold showers even more so! A strip wash / bird bath, using a kettle or two, is also a good way to avoid using the costly hot water tank.


mountain bike in hilly ice & snow

Transport wise, there's many, many people in Britain that need to move next to their work! There's many more that are within 3 miles that could easily cycle. Usually the excuse is the weather, but in reality it rarely rains at rush-hour. Nothing that setting out 10 mins early wouldn't solve. Those that have a little longer to commute might remember, as petrol spirals upwards, that they have automatic moped entitlement on their licence. If you're stuck behind an annoying bus repeatedly for much of your commute, have you considered riding on it instead?!

  Horncastle News 2007
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v.small animated critter eating stalks

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