Autumnal Vegetable Stew with Pearl Barley

Around this time of year I start craving home-comforts, including in my food. Root vegetables are my all time favourites for easy cooking and a comforting base and they really compliment the season. Add in a few carbs for sustenance, some "star" vegetables and a splash of red wine for depth and you've the ultimate Autumnal treat.

How to Keep the “Fresh Eyes” You Had When You First Walked in the Door

It's a fairly well known phenomenon that when you enter a new job you will often find weird processes that you at first question and then forget about as you settle in. If you're lucky/pro-active enough, hopefully a few of your observations will go into forming new processes, or even getting rid of tasks that no longer serve the company. But all too often, the work you are doing consumes your time in the initial training phase and three months later you realise that you had ideas but you can't remember what they were.

The Hunt for a Vaccine: Where Are We Now?

The first cases of COVID-19 in humans were recorded in the Wuhan region of China in December 2019. By the end of January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, a warning for all countries to prepare for the spread of the virus. On the 11th of March, this warning was increased to a declaration of a global pandemic. Governments across the world scrambled into action; delivering lockdown mandates for residents, raising funds to build hospital facilities and supply PPE, and calling world leading scientists together in the search for a cure.

Stop Fall-ing Down into the Despair of Winter – Swede, Carrot and Ginger Soup

I love Autumn. I love the smell of my jumpers coming out of the wardrobe, releasing them from their mothball caves. The taste of hot chocolate when it's finally cold enough for a drink that warms you through. I love the streets getting quieter and the rhythm of traffic returns as the kids head back to school and sing about the things they love so well.

Not Going Down the Line: Ending a Relationship in a Pandemic

He holds my hand as he lets me down easy, he doesn't see this "going down the line". I'm sat with my back to the wall of my bedroom, in the safest corner of my bed, being told yet again that I'm not worth the paper I'm written on. But at the same time that I'm great and worth more than anything offered to me so far. It's the usual doublethink of a break-up; you're great and worth more than I can offer, just not good enough for me to give any time at all to right now.

The UK’s Misguided War on Obesity

he UK just became the world’s largest open-air fat camp, with compulsory attendance. Certain foods will no longer be eligible for special offers, sugar taxes are being re-evaluated and tightened, and, from next year, your doctor will receive money for referring you to weight loss plans. While we wait for this initiative to kick in, there’s an app for that. The spark igniting this flame is Boris Johnson, who struggled to “bounce back” after catching COVID back in March. Johnson blames his weight, and that sounds right doesn’t it? After all, we are consistently taught to count calories and watch our figures. Over the years we’ve seen “extra pounds” linked to various debilitating illnesses such as diabetes, lower life expectancy and general lack of health. Unfortunately for Boris, biology is never that simple and the latest research suggests that weight isn’t the worrying factor at all.

How to Read When Reading Sucks

We've all been there on those lethargic, grey, Sunday afternoons. Sky falling in and rain racing down the windowpane as you sit listlessly on the sofa, trying to read one of "the greats". But after every page, paragraph or punctuation mark you find yourself distracted, fantasising about hot weather and sipping mojitos by the pool as you make your fifth cup of tea and dig out a second cardigan.

The Importance of Second Chances for Healthy Workplace Relationships

I love a good podcast as much as the next girl, having started listening to them on my commute to university as a student. I'm particularly fond of a good old self-improvement podcast and a long time favourite is Straight and Curly run by Kelly and Carly, who have sadly just announced that the podcast may be coming to an end. While listening to a recent episode on communication, Carly from the show gave such a great piece of advice that's resonated around my brain ever since.

How To Come Across as an Extrovert in Conversation

Being extroverted is often seen as a distinct advantage in an age of increasing free access to our private lives and an "on-call" feeling approaching 24/7. The "obvious benefits" of being stereotypically extroverted are considered to be the ability to be confident and comfortable around people, especially in conversations. This isn't to say that introverts can't do these things with the same quality or kindness, but sometimes we need a little help to keep our energy up for these interactions, so here are some pointers.