“I am not impressed by this”

I received this email a little while ago. Although I don’t agree I have intentionally misled anyone as I based my advice on research evidence, I accept there are other valid points of view that are different to mine.

Thanks to the author for giving me permission to post in full.

Dear Juliet,

I read your blog today, specifically about Agnus Castus.

I take your point about the dosages being screwed up by legislation. It will take a long time before any of this changes. I am a relatively highly qualified healer using East Asian disciplines. I had 8 years of training with an international healer – and most of my contacts agree that there is some kind of backlash going on against the alternative health care industries. I too am frustrated by it.

But you claim that the dosages make the drug ineffective. This is not true. Yes, the dosages may be weaker, but this does not make the drug in and of itself any less effective. The drug itself still has the same qualities. In this respect you are misleading people. As someone who worked in journalism for 14 years, I am not impressed by this.

There is nothing fundamentally stopping anyone from taking the full dose you talk about, other than cost, and even here there are ways out of an inordinate expense (see below), but this in fact may not be necessary.

It is always suggested you start taking the minimum amount of a herb to start with, and not the maximum. There are reviews of women taking one tenth of the dose you say is effective and they are experiencing great results. It is a well known fact that a minor dose of a remedy can be enough to cause the body to kick in its own functions and to start regulating its processes. I am all for exposing hypochrisies and stupidities, but I find your writing on this misleading and insensible, although you may not have intended to create that impression.

As a creative person I never take no for an answer. Blocks only cause me to look more intensively at what is out there. I find other ways. It is not hard, actually….  Here are some:

1-Bristol Botanicals will sell you 500ml of Agnus Castus seed tincture for £22. In general a tincture will be better than tablets because it will be more bioavailable – it will pass straight through the mucus membranes in your body as it goes down into your stomach. Not having to break down a tablet will also be beneficial. Endocrinal organs are linked to the liver and kidneys, which are the digestive and energetic engines of the body, and if there is any possibility that endocrinal impairment may also be impacting digestion, then this would be a better way of taking a remedy than a tablet.

2-Another option is to contact Ainsworth’s Homeopathic Pharmacy, who will be able to supply Agnus Castus in 30C or stronger – they will diagnose and treat over the phone. www.rxhomeo.com also sell it.

3- Here is a wildcraft distiller of tinctures and oils in Crete: http://quickbooker.org/kunden/wildherbsofcrete_com/pages/bakery/essential-oil-of-chastetree-fruits-10.php – this is the one I would contact. Their products look highly concentrated. They are made by a couple. He is a Master Distiller. She is a plant specialist (MSc) and a qualified nurse.

Best wishes

Why I am delighted my period is an inconvenience

I have had a rather stressful week in terms of my doctorate. I was dreading all the things I had to get done and all the things I had committed to, one of which was running staff training in a school I do not know to prepare the teachers to deliver the intervention I am testing for my thesis research – eek!

So Monday morning I am up at 6am after a restless night to find I have come on. Not great timing, but two paracetamol and lots of padding later, I am out the door and the week has begun. Roll forward to Thursday night. I can finally breathe out. I survived the week and on the whole everything went to plan. The training was well received and I am confident I have given my research the best start I could. All the other stuff went OK too.

Lying in bed last night – I reflected on how much I now take for granted that my period although an inconvenience, will not interfere with my daily plans. Yet, only a few or so years ago the thought of being able to do all the things I did this week, whilst on a period would have been inconceivable. Some days I was in so much pain I vomited for hours, and you don’t want to know what was going on at the other end. I am not even sure I would be doing this doctorate if it weren’t for Agnus Castus.

So it was timely that I was thinking about how much Agnus Castus has changed my life and how I much I now take this for granted, when this response came into my message box.

I would just like to say how much Vitex Chasteberry (agnus castus) has changed my life. I’m 34 yrs old and a mother of 7 (2 that are bonus children 🙂 ). I’m from the US and just like you mentioned where you live there is no support from OBGYN or doctors concerning PMS or PMDD. Everyone just wants to hand out antidepressants, prescription drugs. I spent many years with my homes in turmoil, bad relationships, divorce. After my 5th child, I had severe postpartum depression and could not hardly work or handle my busy demanding home life. I finally started researching and found help for my anxiety and severe mood swings. After a combination or GABA calm, Magnesium/Calcium, Fish Oil, and Vitex Chasteberry made by “Natural Factors” in Canada. I’m a whole new mom and woman. You do have to be very careful with herbs (as they are very potent) and on the right does and it’s trial and error but, after being on the Chasteberry for 6 months now I have experienced myself with it and without, and when I stop taking it even for a few days the horrible PMS mood swings start again/anxiety etc. It was my hormones all these years.. I can’t believe after all the doctors I sought help with, not one recommended something as cheap and simple as this.

My personal experience was I started on two 80 mg capsules starting out for the first 6 months (1-morning, 1-night), my cramping improved dramatically, bleeding much better, and my PMDD only occurred a day or two before (severe depression, mood swings) I started my cycle and was still so much better than it had been. ( I had results within a few days, a week maybe) I was so much better and happy, the only thing that started to happen was my sex drive was really low and my periods started to act premenopausal. I was kind of emotionally “robotic” I would say. Then dropped back to only 1 chasteberry a day and this corrected this. I believe was taking too high of a dose, for whatever reason I didn’t have enough hormones releasing. I also use essential oils as well, Clary Sage and I believe this helps balance my moods as well. I’m glad you are sharing this message, It changes homes, marriages, our children! This is affected me so much I want to get the word out and help anyone I can. I do believe a person should find a good herbalist or naturalist to begin with that can help find the right combination though.

God Bless!

Thank you Jennifer for sharing your story. And I agree – it is unbelievable that despite the evidence for Agnus Castus and the fact (certainly in the UK) GP’s have been sent guidelines on PMT (from the National Association of Pre-menstrual Syndrome) which clearly states that Agnus Castus should be tried before anti-depressants, this is still not happening and many women are needlessly taking anti-depressants with their well documented side effects.

I guess it is up to us to spread the word. Thanks for reminding me.

Are half my FB friends racists, or are they just scared?

As a result of the refugee crisis I have found myself increasingly categorising my FB friends as either racists or non-racists based on the posts their share and comment on.  Having friends with such repugnant (to me) points of view leaves me in a dilemma. The easiest option would be to purge my friends list, but in every other regard I admire these people and want to remain a part of their lives.  These friends would also, I am sure, not class themselves as racists, but rather rational pragmatists. So what has led them to express such views?

Fear is a powerful tool. It is used by advertisers to make us buy products we don’t really need and by health campaigners to prompt us to change our behaviour. It is also used by political parties and pressure groups to advance a particular ideology.

Recently, some political parties and anti-immigration organisations have been spreading fear through misinformation that if Britain lets in some refugees then many more will come; and that these refugees will be an economic burden ultimately bankrupting Britain.

However, research demonstrates that both these beliefs are false.

So this is my attempt to share the facts with all my FB friends in the hopes my newsfeed will no longer be clogged up with Britain First posts.

Fiction Fact
Asylum seekers must stay and register in the first country they arrive in. There is no law that states this, but countries find it administratively easier to apply this rule, which is known as ‘Dublin regulations’. These regulations allows one EU country to require another to accept responsibility for an asylum claim where certain conditions apply.

As far back as 2001 the EU published a directive that empowers member states to bypass the system and admit asylum seekers in cases of “mass influx”.  Germany has already suspended ‘Dublin Regulations’. Source: Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org.uk/truth-about-refugees#.VfQY-xFVhBc

Britain can’t afford to take more than 20,000 Syrian refugees because they are all going to claim benefits.

And they will take jobs away from British people.

Research conducted by University College London found that since 2000 refugees were less likely than native Brits to be on state benefit and no more likely than natives to be in social housing. And unlike native Brits they have contributed a net £5 billion to the UK economy in taxes.

Considering there are now almost four million people fleeing violence in Syria, 20,000 just doesn’t cut it!

This can be the case in some areas of the UK if it is not managed well. Minimum wage, for example, is a way of ensuring that immigrants do not undercut locals. Some studies have shown that migrants create jobs for local people – overall taking account of a number of research studies the impact on jobs and wages appears to be neutral or positive. Source: New Scientist, 12th September 2015 edition, p.10-12.

Europe is experiencing an unprecedented influx of both economic migrants and refugees. According to research, labour migration into Western Europe has been falling steadily since 2007. And whilst refugee numbers have been increasing since the Arab spring of 2010, they still have not reached 1992 levels, when millions of people fled Yugoslavia. Source: New Scientist, 12th September 2015 edition, p.5.
If we take in refugees that are already in Europe it will only encourage more to come. This relates to push and pull factors. A push factor is violence, or lack of food and sanitation in refugee camps in for example Jordan or Hungary. A pull factor is benefits, housing or jobs etc.

So far there is no evidence of pull factors, but a great deal of evidence for push factors. Source: The Oxford Martin School on Global challenges.

The UK is a soft touch compared to other EU countries. In the UK, the weekly allowance for a single adult asylum-seeker is £36.95 per week, lower than many other EU countries. The equivalent weekly rate in France, for example, is £58.50 (on an exchange rate of 73p to the euro).

Elsewhere in the EU, asylum-seekers must be permitted to work if their claims have not been decided within 9 months, although some countries permit this after less time. This does not apply in the UK, where permission to work will not be granted unless 12 months have past and the claim remains undecided. The UK has introduced severe restrictions on what work an asylum-seeker may be permitted to do even if this condition is met.

Detention is used much more extensively in the UK’s asylum system than in other EU countries. Those countries also have time limits on how long a person may be detained under immigration powers, whereas the UK has no time limit. Source: Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org.uk/truth-about-refugees#.VfQY-xFVhBc

Becoming an Educational Psychologist: Part Two ~ making excuses?

I always believed my inability to take an unwavering position on something was a weakness of my character, something to be a little ashamed of. My compulsion to always see a situation from multiple viewpoints made me insubstantial and ineffective. My need to find ‘excuses’ for a child’s behaviour meant I was deficient in some way as a teacher. That I was too soft. A lefty-liberal responsible for the ‘decline’ in standards both moral and educational in today’s youth. I admired people who, despite persuasive opposition, stuck to their position.

A fence sitter lacking in the conviction of my own thoughts. A FenceSitterchameleon switching sides in an argument. Why couldn’t I just decide on one thing and STOP making excuses!

Take the issue of inclusion; on the one side you have those who believe children with learning disabilities should attend special schools and units, on the other, those who believe all children should be educated together (the environment shaped to the particular needs of the child). While I am unashamedly of the belief that where at all possible children should be educated in the same setting, I can also understand why, in some cases, e.g. challenging behaviour or profound multiple learning needs, a child would be better served in a specialist setting.

Roll forward seven months and term two of my first year as a doctoral student in Child and Educational Psychology. At last, my way of thinking (or naïve idealism as one line manager patronisingly affectionately called it when I was a teacher) has been given not only credibility but a framework in which to develop further. Now I am actively encouraged (expected) to consider as many ‘excuses’ as possible, except ‘excuses’ are not called excuses but problem dimensions – which are developed through testing hypotheses uses various tools (e.g. classroom observation).

A child or young person’s behaviour (however bad) is likely to be a response (albeit maladaptive) to internal and external factors over which they feel they have little control.

Am I weak in character, insubstantial and ineffective, or am I the exact opposite?

When a child presents with behavioural issues and the school and parents are at the end of their tether, locked into an explanation that absolves responsibility and holds the child in a permanent state of dysfunction, my ability to use psychological theory to explore potential reasons for this behaviour, offers a way forward, a route map to a better future. While it may be ‘true’ the child has a diagnosis of autism, dyslexia, or ADHD etc. This ‘diagnosis’ is not the reason for their aggressive/self-harming/distressed/defiant behaviour, rather it is an explanation as to why they may find learning/peer friendships/social situations more difficult to negotiate than other children. The diagnosis which many teachers and parents cling to as if it were the answer is in fact a dead end (unchangeable and consequently disempowering). The role of the EP is not to label to the child, but to focus on the aspects of the situation that can be changed and to empower those around the child to make that change happen. For example a child with autism may have difficulty making friends, but it doesn’t mean they don’t want friends (all human beings desire/seek connections with others). However a child with autism may need explicit and concrete help to make friends and the people/systems around them may need help to provide and deliver the best interventions to close this gap.

Taking the child’s perspective. Seeing the world through their eyes is a skill that educational psychologists must possess in order to be effective practitioners and actually make a difference to the lives of children, young people and their families.

There is nothing quite like finding a career where how you think and what you value fits like a round peg in a round hole. It is like I have come home, and, as it turns out, there was nothing wrong with my thinking in the first place, only my career choice.

Are you in a career/ lifestyle that chimes with who you really are? Or do you have supress who you really are to fit in? Please share your experiences. I would love to hear from you.

Becoming an Educational Psychologist: Part One

Becoming an Educational Psychologist is incredible and exhausting. No half term holiday for starters. But I am so glad I made the decision to leave teaching if only so I can stop saying:

I have a psychology degree but I am not a psychologist.

This time last year I had just completed the application form after digging out my ancient degree certificate, momentarily panicking that degrees have a shelf life and mine had expired. I’d toyed a few times with applying over the fourteen years I had been teaching, but talked myself out of it because we couldn’t afford to lose my wage. This time round the loss of my wage remained an issue , but at 43 it felt like a now or never moment. On top of that the odds of me actually getting a place first time around were extremely low.

I got a place. It was like winning the lottery, but without the money 🙂

So how are we managing without my wage? Well I do get a relatively substantial bursary (around 1/3 of my previous wage) and a student railcard, student bank account with free overdraft, 25% discount on Council Tax and student discount in Top Shop (although I would prefer M&S).  However to  make ends meet (particularly as our two children are at university and their maintenance loan doesn’t even cover their rent) a house move to something smaller is imminent. I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband, who encourages me all the way despite the pressure it has put on him to bring home the dosh.

I don’t think I will ever take for granted how privileged I am to be able to study full time and not have to juggle a job at the same time. The course is pretty full on with so many strands to get my head around like research methods and statistics, carrying out psychological assessments, placement competencies, RLO’s and SOP’s (don’t ask), as well as the academic stuff – theories, models, frameworks.

This half-term the focus has been on literacy and Wow! I have learnt so much?

WARNING! Nerdy stuff coming up.

Written English is one of the most difficult alphabetic scripts to learn? This makes it much harder for children to learn how to read and write than say for example children in Spain. This is because in Spanish the grapheme to phoneme correspondence is 1:1 – this means ONE letter makes ONE sound. In the English alphabet the ratio is 1 to many – this means the same letter (or letter combinations) can have many different sounds.

For example: “He took a bow.” “She wore a red bow in her hair.”

However, that doesn’t mean we should be trying to teach pre-schoolers to read , rather research has found that developing oral language significantly improves later reading comprehension.

In other words in the early years of a child’s life focusing on developing oral story telling skills is much more important for later reading comprehension than actually learning to read the words in a book.

It makes sense if you think about it.

Learning to decode letters and words on a page and understanding what punctuation marks mean is an example of transcription skills. Everyone needs them, but they alone don’t make someone or something literate. For example there are many computer programmes that can convert text to speech and read a novel, but the computer couldn’t produce a summary of the main plot points of the story (the emotional resonance). The research suggests the more words a child knows (vocabulary) before they begin to read the easier it will be for them to derive meaning from the story. And the more a child understands about story structure and how ideas link to each other the easier it will be for them to pick up what is happening in the book (the main plot points) and make predictions about what might happen next.

These comprehension skills are vital if children are going to move from learning to read, to reading to learn.

That doesn’t mean we can just let children get on with it in terms of ‘transcription’ skills. Learning to make sense of the written version of language is not innate. Alphabetic scripts (or orthographies) are relatively new in human evolution. While a child will pick up oral language without having to be directly taught it (as long as they are exposed to it), they will not spontaneously learn to read and write. For children to learn to read they must be taught the grapheme: phoneme correspondence (letter to sound), hence the evangelical focus on phonics by the government. The research certainly backs this up, but also recognises the English language is eccentric to say the least and many words are not regular and just need to be learnt (whole word recognition).

I know there is a lot of debate amongst teachers and parents about compulsory phonics with some claiming it is hindering progress, but the research does not support this view.

For a reading programme to be effective for the majority of children it must contain both phonetic and whole word recognition components.

Phonics is the tool for deciphering new words and while it can only take you so far in being able to decode unfamiliar words, good comprehension skills will aid in this by allowing the child to access the content and meaning of the sentence. Whereas as if a child has good transcription skills but poor comprehension, they will have to rely on decoding skills alone and this will become frustrating and they are likely to give up because the word won’t ‘sound out’ and make sense.

So my take on this is in terms of advice is that parents of pre-school children should focus on generating stories from pictures so the child can learn how to build a coherent narrative. This will increase their vocabulary as they search for words to express their ideas, which in turn will make comprehension of written English that bit easier once they start school.

And finally…. I now understand the reason for the made up words in phonics assessment (which also creates fierce debate from teachers and parents). It is to test if the child’s grapheme to phoneme knowledge is secure. This is vital for decoding new words. The problem is this assessment has become high stakes politically and therefore rather than schools using it as diagnostic, they are focusing on getting as many children through as possible. It should be viewed as a checkpoint so those children who are still struggling can be helped with specific interventions, not as a measure of how ‘good’ the school is.

If you got this far do you have any views on how literacy is taught in primary schools?

Agnus Castus: HELP! Where can I get it from?

I have a lot of women send me links to Agnus Castus products and ask if they are at the right dosage. It is very difficult for me to judge because they doesn’t seem to be a standard way of reporting this. Some labels talk about extracts and others talk about accubins, others whole herb.

My advice is always the same however.

1) Contact the company and ask them how their Agnus Castus compares to the 20mg standardised extract used in clinical trials. If they don’t bother to reply, then don’t bother to buy.

2) Be wary of wild claims about potency. You only need 20mg standardised extract (200mg approx whole fruit). PURECLINICA, for example, claims the most potent dose on the internet,  however I have emailed them three times asking them to explain their dosage simply and clearly in relation to the standardised extract. They have never replied.

3) Avoid products that have Traditional Herbal Registration THR logo as they will be restricted to 4mg per tablet. Boots and Holland & Barrett have, but be wary of any high street product. On the internet HealthSpan are also only selling 4mg tablets.

So where can you buy Agnus Castus from at a dose that will be effective? Unfortunately the choice is limited. Prime Health Agnus Castus

Prime Health Direct sell 20mg tablets for £11.95 (180 tablets). I have taken these for a number of years and found them to be effective. They are competitively priced, but often they run out of stock, so can be unreliable.

ACsupportNatural Health Practice sell a food supplement of the whole herb (in capsule) 200mg called Agnus Castus Support. I have been taking these for just over 2 months and found them to be equally effective. They cost £19.97 (60 capsules). They are more expensive than Prime Health Direct, but they do contain black cohosh, skull cap and milk thistle. I also like the packaging and how you can actually smell the herb in the capsule – but in terms of effect I haven’t noticed a major difference between them and Prime Health Direct, although my last two cycles have been longer, 28 days rather than 24 – (but then I have also had some major changes in my life recently, which may also be the reason).

A. Vogel Tincture: I haven’t tried this, but others report success. The dosage does seems to be lower –A vogel

20 drops of A.Vogel Agnus castus tincture contains 54.2mg of dried fruit, or 542mg of extract (which is the fruit once it’s been macerated in a water/alcohol mix and extracted). So if you take a daily dose of 40 drops you get 108mg of dried fruit or 1,084mg of extract.

– but it is certainly an alternative to tablets/ capsules. The product has a lot of positive reviews.

All three companies I have linked to above spent time answering my questions and were more than happy to talk about their product and what the dosage actually means.

On women: Why should I care what a Power Morcellator is?

‘Power Morcellator’ until very recently was not a phrase I had ever uttered, but it seems women should be talking about this very thing.

In brief, a power morcellator is used in key-hole surgery to break fibroids into tiny pieces in gynaecological operations, making it easier to remove them and avoiding open surgery with its attendant risks such as infection and long recovery times.

However, there has been some worrying evidence emerging from the US that in women where the uterine fibroid turns out to be cancerous (about 1 in 350), their long term prognosis is severely reduced.

“Earlier this year, the United States Federal Drug Agency (FDA) expressed concern about women undergoing laparoscopic power morcellation for the treatment of uterine fibroids and the risk of inadvertent spread of unsuspected cancer (sarcoma) to the abdominal and pelvic cavities, and issued guidance on its use.” BRIEFING September 2014 – Sarcoma UK


The current explanation to account for this is tiny pieces of fibroid tissue are inevitably left behind in the pelvic cavity, which in the case of a malignancy aids the cancer in spreading throughout the abdomen. A way to reduce this risk (from my reading) is to use a bag to collect the tissue (so all the morcellated tissue is contained and removed), but this is not happening routinely at the moment, although the reason for this is unclear – may relate to cost as it makes procedure longer, or the fact that surgeons are not aware of this safety modification.

Clearly there are benefits to this method and I have not looked at data on mortality rates for alternative and possibly more invasive or complex surgical methods. This article from the Wall Street Journal gives the background to the campaign (started by a doctor whose wife developed stage 4 cancer after morcellation) and presents a relatively balanced view on this technique.

“Hooman Noorchashm isn’t a gynecologist, but his battle against a common—and potentially dangerous—hysterectomy procedure has triggered a heated debate and yielded changes in how it is done.”

Although there doesn’t seem to be any current cases in the UK, Sarcoma UK has published some guidelines to women about what to ask your surgeon and what to do if this method was used on you and you are now worried. NICE is apparently publishing guidelines on the use of power morcellators in fibroid surgery in October 2014. But until they do, I think it is important that women are made aware of this issue so they can make informed choices and be able to ask for an alternative surgical method if they are concerned.

If you want to know more about this issue click here for the American Recall Centre, but bear in mind the website is sponsored by WEITZ & LUXENBERG P.C., a law firm focusing on providing legal services to clients injured by negligent corporations and/or entities.

Are you about to have surgery for fibroids? Do you know what method is being used? Have the risks been fully explained to you?

On Writing: Blog Hop

A writer who I admire for many reasons such as the way she brings her characters to life with so few words, gets to the raw truth of an experience and most importantly gets her novels out there (rather than stalling an moaning like me), invited me to take part in a blog hop.  Thank you Katie O’Rourke.

The simple principle for this blog hop is to answer a question about what I am writing and why and to link to two other writers blogs whom I rate.

Why are you working on the project you are writing now? Why is it important? (to you, or to the world, or…)

This is a painful question to answer as I am still working on a novel I started seven years ago and can’t seem to move on from. I think I know why it is important to me, although knowing doesn’t necessarily help.

1) It is based on my sister’s experience and she asked me to tell her story before she died (no pressure then).

2) I have had a number of agents interested (based on the partial MS) only to turn it down once they had read the full MS. This make me believe it has something, if only I could tell it right.

Whether it is important to anyone else (the world) I am hoping to find out by publishing it in serial chapters on this blog (see tab in top right hand corner – Forever In-between). If nothing else I will at least have got it out there to succeed or fail (subjective terms I know) and I can move forward.

Now onto the nice bit, giving a shout out to other writers who have been there for me (despite my pathetic track record of actually getting anything completed).

First off I would like to introduce Anne Goodwin and her blog Annecdotal which in her own words

is the persona through whom I navigate that in-between space both here and in the comments boxes on other blogs, with mutterings about reading and writing peppered with snippets of psychology and a quiet rage at social injustice and stolen childhoods.

I first read Anne’s writing on Your Write On and was blown away by her ability. I am honoured she counts me as one of her writing friends.

Secondly is a writer I met through the peer review site, Authonomy. Juli Townsend and I were part of the Women’s Fiction Critique group, but Juli, unlike me, has gone on to get her novel, Absent Children, published and I admire her tenacity and self-belief and wish it would rub off on me.

I know I am only supposed to nominate two writers, but there is one more shout out I must do. Stephen Gallup has written an incredible memoir about his son with a developmental disorder and the fight he and his wife faced to get him help.

Nobody knew what hurt little Joseph, and no one was offering a way to help him. He cried most of the time, and thrashed about as if in pain. He wasn’t learning how to crawl, talk, or interact normally. Doctors told his parents to seek counseling, because nothing could help their son, and the quality of their own lives was at risk. Refusal to accept that advice changed their lives forever. WHAT ABOUT THE BOY? A Father’s Pledge to His Disabled Son chronicles a family’s rejection of hopelessness and their commitment to the pursuit of normalcy.


When things are too good to be true it doesn’t always mean they are not!

After posting yesterday, I had a call from Donna at NHP. She is happy to endorse Agnus Support and stand by the ingredients list for this food supplement. In fact she is so confident it is what it says it is, she is sending me the product to try.

I am scared about switching products (my period pains were very, very bad) but I am also conscious that I have only so far found one place that I can recommend – and that scares me just as much. What if they stop supplying it? Go out of business?

So for the sake of all the fantastic women out there who support this blog and give me the encouragement to keep going, I am going to give it go as soon as it arrives.

In fairness, I will give it at least three months before recommending it to others – but am I cautiously optimistic I have found a supplier who actually believes their products work and refuse to compromise for the sake of profit.

A thumbs up to NHP for communicating with me so fully and frankly.

Filling the pail

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." - As W. B. Yeats never said


Mobilising Psychology for Social Change


My views on Teaching & Education

Sara Crowley

Words - writing, books, reading, musing.

Scenes From The Battleground

Teaching in British schools

 Body of Evidence

Medical journalist Jerome Burne investigates...

Mom At Work

Work is the easy part.

Juli Townsend's Transition to Home

Moving back to Australia after ten years living overseas

Anne R. Allen's Blog... with Ruth Harris

Writing about writing. Mostly.

Helen Bowes-Catton

sexuality, research methods, social justice

The thoughts of Billy Gotta-Job: some new, some old, none borrowed, and mostly not at all blue

Stuff about politics, faith, and the world in general, flung straight out of my head and into the blogosphere's deepest obscurity

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