Fun Facts about Honey Bees

Honey Bees are amma-zing – they have five eyes and can carry half their weight in pollen.

In winter, you won’t see any Honey Bees around. That is not because they are hibernating, it is just that they slow down and spend their time huddled together to stay warm.

To make one jar of honey, Honey bees have to fly the distance of approximately twice around the planet.

O57IFCOLA6Honey Bees communicate using their bodies and they use a ‘dance’ to give directions to other Honey Bees to tell them where to find food.

Humans rely on plants to survive and more than a third of the food we eat is pollinated by insects and Honey Bees.

Honey is in actual fact nectar that bees have regurgitated and then dried out.

There are over 20,000 known bee species on earth and only a fraction of all the species are Honey Bees.

 

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Banana & Strawberry Ice-Cream

This lovely recipe is not only healthy, but also uses one of the tastiest ingredients – Coconut Cream

Ingredients

Screenshot_2015-12-06-00-36-04-1-13 peeled frozen bananas

1 cup of frozen strawberries

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 cup of coconut cream (which is the fat from the top of a refrigerated tin of coconut cream)

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor.
  2. Mix for about 2 minutes to ensure it is a nice fluffy consistence and smooth.
  3. Add any additional decoration that you prefer.
  4. Serve immediately!

This recipe can be enjoyed in conjunction with other wonderfully healthy supplements which make health and well-being easy with Isagenix

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Fruit & Honey Lollies

This delightful recipe for 4 ice lollies is fun for kids to follow, only takes 10 minutes preparation time and 4 hours of freezing.

Fruit ice-lollyIngredients

2 ripe bananas

250g natural yoghurt

1 tbsp runny honey

40g dark chocolate

Method

  1. In a blender or food processor, mix the (peeled) banana, yoghurt & honey until a smooth mixture.
  2. Pour the mixture into lolly molds and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours, until it is set.
  3. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces.
  4. Microwave or melt the chocolate in a double cooker (ensure you stir halfway through to prevent burning)
  5. Get the lollies out of the freezer and place in hot water for a few seconds to loosen the lollies from their molds.
  6. Dip the tip of each lolly into the melted chocolate.
  7. Place the lollies on a baking tray (or something similar) and place back in the freezer to allow the chocolate to set.

A great recipe the kids can help to make and it is a great recipe to use as a base. Why not experiment with other fruits, making layers in the molds, and maybe flavouring the chocolate with coconut bits.

Enjoy the sunshine!

 


Mandela’s 90th Birthday in London

Nelson-Mandela_1On the 29th June 2008 I went to Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday concert in Hyde Park in London. This is what I felt at the time:

I have not been this touched, moved and inspired for a very long time. This event was just perfect!  The artists were talented, committed, passionate, and felt so privileged to be there. The crowd was there for one reason – to celebrate the life of this remarkable man.  I stood crying when Mandela came onto the stage – I just couldn’t believe I was there. And I was seeing him with my own eyes! 47,000 people were DEAD quiet and you could almost touch the love and admiration.  (Tears are streaming down my cheeks even as I type this.)

What this concert has reawakened in me – life is so very special and people are just so wonderful!  My social media message to Mandela last night was “You are Africa!  You are humanity!” He embodies the person we all want to be – I want to be!  Life’s trivialities seem so insignificant – there are greater issues at stake…and today those issues include Zimbabwe and more than ever HIV/Aids.

I am more motivated than ever to take my emotion and put it where is counts – where? I don’t know, but it will come to me.

My favourite Mandela quotes are:

“It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given that separates one man from another!”

“I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed, but, nevertheless, sometimes fails to live up to expectations!”

Both of these quotes have a massive impact on my life.

Happy Birthday Madiba!  You ARE humanity!


One Year On

There is a physical connection with family. It is magnetic, it is spiritual, it is timeless, it is organic.  And we all take this for granted. We don’t consciously even think about it but if you stop now to consider it, and bring your mind, body and soul into the absolute present moment and reach out to the universe, you will feel it.

I don’t. …

A year ago my only connection with my physical universe, my past, was severed when my dearest mother passed away. She was my foundation, she gave me a sense of belonging and she made me who I am….I am in this world because of her and every atom in my body is empty since her passing.

The first few months after her death I was numb. The numb became pain – it was incredibly painful…mourning is such a physical pain. My body still aches when I think of her not being here anymore. This pain has evolved, matured maybe, but I now feel intense loss. At times the loss is still uncontrollable and heightened – it peaks at the quiet times when my brain is not busy, when I am alone or when a memory is triggered through situations or people.

So…naturally I keep busy. I do everything possible to avoid being alone, but I have had to spent much of the last 5 months on my own which has been, at times torturous and often agonising. I have unconsciously withdrawn into a world where few things remind me of her, avoiding people, places and conversations.

Now I am in a very strange place….

IMAXMy mother was my remaining link with my past…that is gone.  I have not had the privilege of having children, which means I have no link to a future family tree – no DNA legacy, no one to carry my mother nor me into the next generation. My father chose to leave us 42 years ago, so his line of life has sadly ceased too.

And, as I am an only child, there are no nieces or nephews to take my family tree along another branch….I am alone…completely alone…the thought often overwhelms me. I feel like a bottle, bobbing around the Pacific Ocean with a piece of paper in it…and on the paper….is nothing – there is no message….just a bottle with no route, no direction and no intention.

Mom, you were my wisdom, my advice, my ‘voice of reason’, my support, my encouragement, my shoulder and you understood me like no other human being on this planet. Mostly I miss your love and laughter and I long to hold you again. This year has been so hard for me, and even though you gave me the tools to travel through this life without you, at times I still struggle to make sense of the world without you in it.

Thank you for who you were while here on earth and who you remain, deep in my soul.


Autumn

First day of September and the weather gods have flicked a switch.  The crisp morning air is now officially autumnal – and it has happened suddenly.

Autumn has always been my favourite season – the leaves change to deep mature colours, the shrubs and trees start closing down for the winter months as the flowers and leaves start fading or shrivel back. There is a sense of calm after the buzz of summer and this special time is for thanksgiving – a time to thank Mother Nature for the gift of summer and now to prepare our bodies and souls for the winter months that lie ahead.

The pace of the universe has slowed – the birds are quieter as they start their preparation for their journeys southwards, and the last spurt of growth from the grass creates a carpet of luxury.

For millennia our all-knowing matriarchal planet has followed this pattern – she understands the season change well and she performs it with grace and empathy. As a parent, she knows this is what we need, even if we don’t – she has no need to explain – she knows what’s best for her little ones.

And because of autumn we know we are loved.


Urbanisation – the Changing Face of Africa

Africa is a kaleidoscope of nations and identities, which is exceptionally colourful and culturally rich. There are one billion people in fifty five officially recognised, legitimate, sovereign states on the continent.  South Sudan is the youngest state in Africa.  They gained their independence from Sudan in 2011.

Sadly the twentieth century has seen mass human migration across the continent, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.  Millions have moved from traditional rural communities to the urban centres that offer a very different cultural lifestyle. The ‘promise’ of a new and exciting life with economic benefits has been the biggest draw card.

It is not just the cities that are alluring and seem irresistible. Small towns across Africa are vital to the livelihood of many of the regions – they are the focus of economic activity with thriving markets of livestock and produce – bought, sold and exchanged. Some travel for days, across many tribal borders, to get to the markets. These urban centres thus bring together many different languages. Communication and basic advertising can be difficult, but the trend is to create colourful hand-painted signs and murals to convey messages about goods and services on offer. Each town therefore has a wonderful unique atmosphere.

Only a few small traditional communities in some of the more remote parts of the continent have been able to preserve their unique way of life. Few manage to survive as hunter-gatherers without feeling the magnetism of city life.  Tribes like the Batwa pygmies (‘forest people’) of East African have been squeezed off their tribal land and have been forced to make a life for themselves on the outskirts of small towns. The Khoisan (Bushmen) of the southern African Kalahari are finding it challenging to survive in urban centres, which is so far removed from the life they know in the natural environment where they have been for millennia. Many tribes that hunt to survive have had to turn to town or city living and adapt to a modern lifestyle as the animals they hunt have been pushed off the land, have been overhunted or have become extinct.

Surprisingly, most Africans still live a rural existence, despite the rapid increase of urbanization.  But, it is believed that in the next ten years most Africans will be city dwellers.

Today Africans live in an rapidly-changing world where circumstances constantly propel them into an urban future, and yet there is still often an overriding urge to remain rooted and connected to their heritage, history, tradition and culture in an environment that is completely foreign to them.

With the continent on the move, this is a most fascinating and challenging time for Africa.