Love your bum – lose the loo roll

clean bum, no paper, save money

Washing your bum after using the loo is normally reserved for young children and fans of the bidet. But the Geberit AquaClean, a toilet with a built in shower spurt, actually cleans your bum as you flush, then blows soft, warm air to dry your tender bits clean.

The British are generally a nation of toilet paper softies, but the bidet is widely used throughout Europe.  However, elsewhere in the world – Arabic world, African continent and Asia – washing your bum is the preferred method of cleaning. The tools and techniques may vary – bucket rinse, shower douche, bidet – but there is no paper involved.

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Feng shui frogs for health and wealth

feng shui frog with gold coins

Recently I’ve been exploring the practical applications of feng shui around my home and home office so this blog explores the feng shui frog. Which leads to the obvious question – how can a frog affect wealth or health?

That feng (wind) shui (water) works with the natural flow of chi to tap into nature’s hidden forces thus enhancing our lives is fairly straightforward, but placing a frog in the corner of a room to improve my bank balance – is this real? Yes, it is.

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Feng Shui Bagua – what is it?

image courtesy of

Previous posts have explored ‘what is feng shui?‘ and its practical applications for a home office, so in this post I’d like to look more closely at the feng shui bagua – that essential piece of kit that denotes which area of your house or room correlates to specific issues such as health, wealth, romance, family, career and so on.

Ancient wisdom for modern living

As we know, feng shui derives from the i-ching, the ancient Taoist philosophy of working with nature to achieve peace and harmony.

However, unless you’re a seeker of such wisdom, you may only encounter Tao proverbs when cracking open a fortune cookie. Great for dinner conversation, not so great for the paying the bill. Yet feng shui consultants the world over adamantly believe that if we get the chi energy of our homes right – we can reap the benefits.

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Save money & energy with eco showerheads

control water pressure and reduce costs with an eco shower head

Everybody loves the feel of water pounding their head, cascading over tired shoulders or cooling hot skin, but showers can generate a lot of water, and while we think they use less water and are more economical than baths, that’s not always true. say that some high-volume power showers use more water in less than five minutes than a bath does and large shower heads with big holes use more water then a smaller head, but does not guarantee more power.

And there’s wastage waiting for the water to run warm, which increases water bills, especially if you have a water meter installed. According to Ecocamel, the average family of four uses around 100,000 litres of water each year in the shower.

But there are easy ways to cut down the amount of water spewing from a shower without reducing the desired force.

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Green & healthy BBQ options

Eco BBQ burns to ash after use - no waste or toxic fumes

Whether you’ve got a garden, terrace, small patio or are taking the family to the beach, park or countryside camping, a barbecue is THE summer accessory. Two in three households own a barbecue and as summer has started early for many of us, they will get more use than usual.

But according to experts at Kew Gardens, most of the 40,000 tonnes of charcoal we get through each year (and the figures are growing) derive from un-sustainable sources. In 1997 the barbecue market was worth £150 million, today it’s a £7billion industry.

So what does that mean for green BBQs?

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EU ban on herbal remedies – what next?

Echinacea is licensed and legal

The EU Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD), signed and ratified by the UK government in 2004,  came into force on April 30th 2011.

However confusion is rife amongst consumers, retailers and manufacturers as to what it actually means – will unlicensed stocks be withdrawn, will consumers have fair choice of product and a right to choose health remedies or will an elite group of wealthier manufacturers lay claim to herbal remedies?

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Feng Shui. What is it?

Fancy a cup of Qi?

If the idea of living in harmony with the elements of wind (feng) and water (Shui) appeals to you; and if you wish to allow in  health, wealth and wellbeing, then Feng Shui, the 3000 year old, made-in-China, power tool may work for you.

This system of placement and alignment stems from the iChing and Taoist thinking, and takes in sacred geometry, the yin yang polarity theory, and the forces essential to human life: earth, fire, wood, metal and air.

It’s a well armed device for knocking the socks of stuffy old houses, relationships or stagnant career growth and it can put sparkle back in to domestic scenes.

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