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General Wellbeing

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby KeenCook2 » Sat May 08, 2021 2:05 pm

EM, a technique my GP told me about that I found helped me a lot when I was working and couldn't switch off was to consciously put all your thoughts into a box with a lid. That is, a box that you already have and always use the same one.
I did find that helped and I hadn't "forgotten" what I had stowed away in the box the next morning.

A former boss told me that she used to "zip up" her thoughts in her head, across her forehead, and that worked for her!

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby Earthmaiden » Sat May 08, 2021 3:00 pm

Yes I've heard that one before. My problems with going to sleep are more related to a neighbour's automatic outside light and my heating boiler, both of which have a habit of turning on at that crucial moment before sleep kicks in! One day I'll address both.

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby halfateabag » Tue May 18, 2021 5:42 pm

There are times (at the moment) when I can't control my head. It seems to be in turmoil. Calming music sometimes helps. Can't do rock ATM.

I find watching the clouds drift by from my boudoir can assist, it is better if they are white and not grey.

My 'helper' at the Nelsons trust is due to call me tomorrow morning, I am finding she does seem to understand how I feel at the moment and that really helps, I don't feel so alone or misunderstood.

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby Earthmaiden » Tue May 18, 2021 5:59 pm

How helpful to have someone like that to talk to. Clouds, the right music etc all bring you into that meditative state where you switch off from daily life don't they.

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby jeral » Tue May 18, 2021 6:10 pm

Have you thought of keeping a journal? Some say that writing (pen and paper) all one's random thoughts down helps get them out of your head as the book can then be set aside (not to be read and re-read of course). Writing To Do lists might helpt to see if you can get to what it is that's really worrying you that you're trying to bury under other thoughts.

Please ignore this armchair stuff but try everything till you find what works for you.

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby Earthmaiden » Tue May 18, 2021 7:37 pm

I've got a friend who gives journalling classes. She has kept one for years, each day illustrated with her drawings, paintings, photos and oddments collected as well as writing. They are quite beautiful and worth doing if you feel you can set aside the time each day (which we all could but might mean not doing something else!).

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby jeral » Tue May 18, 2021 8:03 pm

Diverting attention to something you can do or would like to learn to do might help, e.g. baking, knitting or sewing complicated things, crosswords or one-person patience card games, or addictive apps like Tetris.

However, if that's just putting off something you know you should be tackling, it's just delaying having to deal with it. If you can isolate "something", maybe there's help out there or in here that could help you tackle it.

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby KeenCook2 » Wed May 19, 2021 4:49 pm

I just posted a moan about Chinese garlic on the supermarket delivery thread and thought to post it on this one as well.

I really don't think we should be eating Chinese garlic!

KeenCook2 wrote:Apologies for a repeated grouse, re garlic. I can't remember on what thread I was moaning about the fact that it all seems to come from China nowadays.
I remember reading once how it is all bleached and have been avoiding it ever since.
Now I get online deliveries it's not possible to know where it's from before it arrives as it is not usually stated on the website.
I thought I'd give the organic a try as it claimed it was in line with EU standards etc.

BUT

I did some googling and came up with this article:
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/lif ... d=61336739

Sure enough, the Asda organic garlic I've just received is from China.

That's it, I'm never ordering it online again. Oh for a French garlic seller on a bicycle :cry: :(

I have just read this as well:
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/do ... 57_EN.html

In another article I read it is grown in sewage water.

I think I'm going to copy this post to thewellbeing thread!!!


I'm attaching the label and a picture of the garlic - which has no roots.
I've just read that if the bottom of the bulb is clean and concave, then the roots have been removed - one of the signs of Chinese garlic even if it isn't labelled as such.
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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby Stokey Sue » Wed May 19, 2021 6:33 pm

I'm not sure I'm totally convinced by what's clearly meant to be a sh*t stirring article in Times of India, there's very little from government or academic sources that I can find to support that level of excitement - or indeed any concerns

Human night soil is traditionally used in farming in China in exactly the same way as animal manure is used in Europe and the Middle East, it has been routine for millennia, any risk is to agricultural workers not to consumers

Article on this aspect from McGill University - apparently garlic probably isn't grown in night soil anyway
https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/you-a ... %20fashion.

It seems impossible to find out for sure if methyl bromide treatment is used to fumigate Chinese garlic, the use of methyl bromide for this is banned in EU and UK but sort of permitted in the USA, so it's more than likely it is used by a country that sees the US as a primary export market; I don't think we ban its use in country of origin either. Possibly also used in various dried grapes from countries other than China. It's not nice stuff, but you would have to eat an enormous amount of garlic to get a significant dose, by the time it has got here on a slow boat there would be very little left. I certainly don't think it should be there at all, but I wouldn't be very worried about it due to it only being traces

I tend to buy garlic from the greengrocer rather than the supermarket, the source varies but currently rose or undried new season garlic seems to be mainly Spanish, the source moves during the year as it is a seasonal product

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby scullion » Thu May 20, 2021 12:16 pm

KeenCook2 wrote:In another article I read it is grown in sewage water.

well, that's basically what aquaponics is - only it's fish rather than human 'waste'.

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby KeenCook2 » Thu May 20, 2021 12:57 pm

Stokey Sue wrote:I'm not sure I'm totally convinced by what's clearly meant to be a sh*t stirring article in Times of India, there's very little from government or academic sources that I can find to support that level of excitement - or indeed any concerns


I appreciate the Times of India isn't necessarily the most objective source of info when it comes to China :D But in my rather superficial google I came across quite a few American articles too, and I thought the EU written question was interesting. I must see if I can find the written answer. It's been a long time since I was writing/researching about Europe and the days are definitely gone when I would know exactly where to go on the Commission website!

"Human night soil" is a somewhat euphamistic term I haven't come across before, I must say!

Neither did I know that Aquaponics was the fish equivalent :oops:

I must admit, I've never washed garlic before using it - it never even occurred to me to do that -
presumably the McGill article doesn't mean you should wash it after you've peeled it?

And if I use it whole in its skin then it's usually being roasted.

I remember being quite shocked the first time I noticed garlic was from China, and not Spain. It was at Lidl some years ago.

We don't have a reliable greengrocer where we can buy garlic. I bought some at a new "organic" place that just opened on Fulham Palace Road but it was very hard to find a bulb that wasn't totally dried out and was altogether extremely disappointing. Unfortunately I remember noticing that they were selling Chinese garlic at the North End Road stalls as well, the last time I was there which was pre-pre first lockdown.

Maybe EM was right on the other thread, that I'll have to grow it myself :lol:

In the meantime it's useful to know that it's almost certainly Chinese if the roots have been shaved off so we'll always look for garlic with lots of roots in future. The whiteness has always been a bit of a tell-tale sign, but I didn't know about the roots until I read that they have to be taken off for the US market as you're not allowed to import "soil" into the country.

As you say, Sue, it's entirely possible that they use the methyl bromide because it's not exactly banned by the US which is one of China's main markets for garlic. One of the articles I came across suggested that Chinese imports of garlic were damaging the market for home-grown Californian garlic ...

Ane, of course, one of the best reasons for not getting it is that it's not actually very tasty :lol:

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby WWordsworth » Thu May 20, 2021 11:02 pm

"Human night soil"

The historical novels, probably Catherine Cookson and the like, that I read in my teens, often referred to the night soil man .
He seemed to collect the contents of the outdoor khazi but it was never specified if the waste was re-used or disposed of.

My grandmother's bathroom contained a bath and a hand basin.
The toilet was outside.

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby Stokey Sue » Thu May 20, 2021 11:10 pm

I’m a little surprised - I thought night soil was a really ordinary phrase, I’ve known it since I was a child!

Too many history Zoom calls perhaps :D

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby KeenCook2 » Thu May 20, 2021 11:22 pm

You learn something every day!!

My last discovery was "vivipary" - when I googled whether you can eat tomatoes with sprouted pips :lol: :lol: :oops: :oops:

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby herbidacious » Thu May 20, 2021 11:33 pm

I remember being taught in geography classes (in the early '80s) that they used night soil to fertilize crops in India.

Generally, it's not considered to be a good idea to use the excrement of any creature that eats meat to fertilize crops. Dare I say it, large swathes of India are vegetarian...

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby Suffs » Thu May 20, 2021 11:35 pm

Stokey Sue wrote:I’m a little surprised - I thought night soil was a really ordinary phrase, I’ve known it since I was a child!

Too many history Zoom calls perhaps :D


I thought it was quite well known too ... probably a combination of interests in social history, Victorian urbanisation and gardening history :lol:

The Night Soil men were also known as Honeypot Men
... and places known as Honeypot Meadow, for example, were probably not quite as romantic as they sound.

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby aero280 » Thu May 20, 2021 11:49 pm

In Cornish fishing villages there used to be a small building against the harbour wall with a trough. This emptied via a pipe to the sea on the outside of the harbour wall. It was used after dark, when the men of the village came down and emptied their night soil there.

An alternative version of "Turn your face to wall my dear, while the gentlemen go by" maybe? :)

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby Stokey Sue » Thu May 20, 2021 11:50 pm

As someone who studied a fair bit of biology (and has babysat the occasional garter snake) of course I would know the difference between viviparous and oviparous but wouldn’t expect everyone to know it - but I had to think seeing the form vivipary not the more usual viviparous

As part of zoology I did parasitology, which is the stuff of nightmares. The trouble with using human manure is not so much meat as same species - most parasites and many diseases are (human) species specific and some can be transmitted from one human to another via a short stay on the fields. Steps can quite easily be taken to break the cycle, and they usually are.

The Cornish method of disposing of night soil sounds effective aero!

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby Earthmaiden » Fri May 21, 2021 12:47 am

I grew up in a village where main drains were only installed in 1967 so many people in older houses without cesspits didn't have flushable loos. Those with plenty of land, dug holes, emptied the waste and a year or two later that patch was used to grow veg. It seemed perfectly normal but I can see that there could be parasitical dangers.

That said, it is fairly well known that tomato pips and sweet corn do not digest and so when you used to visit old style sewage works (as I did sometimes in connection with work) there was always a part of the process where they were rejected with a little sludge into a skip. The finest tomato plants you can imagine grew in the skips. I believe they were readily snapped up to take home! Probably not allowed any more.

These days a great deal of sewage sludge is dried, treated and heated to kill anything nasty and the resulting rich fertiliser is used on farmland. It is known as biosolids and quite good to know that it is recycled, but safely. Like this - https://www.severntrent.com/sustainabil ... biosolids/

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Re: General Wellbeing

Postby Stokey Sue » Fri May 21, 2021 1:47 am

A combination of cold winter soil and lack of other species such as specific snails involved in the parasites’ life cycle means there’s not much chance of getting parasites from traditional use of night soil as fertiliser in the U.K.

I’ve heard that the soil in the Wakefield rhubarb triangle is so fertile because the area was the traditional dumping ground for night soil from the surrounding towns - not in living memory though!

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