I hope you are well when you are reading this introduction and have had a good time over the festive period. I am grateful to be okay and will hopefully be able to serve you some interesting and informative magazines this coming year – anyone can write in the magazine and items should be sent for consideration to: It would help me for the future if you would consider subscribing to the magazine if you have not already done so – it is free to do so and every month it will be sent free to you. Dean.




Scorpio 24 Oct – 22 Nov
A train conductor may be rude to you this month but do make allowances for the hard and sometimes difficult work they do. A good time to wear a red ribbon in your hair and to start eating brown bread.

Sagittarius 23 – 21 Dec
This month think about changing the newspaper you read as its’ content is so predictable and biased. A priest may have some advice for you on being celibate although you would prefer not to be.

Capricorn 22 Dec – 20Jan
A friend may worry you by losing lots of weight through fasting, but remember it is their choice. A chicken may make a better pet than you imagined and help you establish a higher position in the social pecking order.

Aquarius 21 Jan – 19 Feb
If you’re a woman, it’s an excellent time to try and conceive a baby. A lady with bright red lipstick may not always understand you but will prove to be a true friend when the chips are down.

Pisces 20 Feb – 20 Mar
An obsession with a famous person may get out-of-hand this month and you may start to lose touch with reality. Don’t wait until you’ve lost lots of weight to buy new clothes otherwise you may never wear anything new again.

Aries 21 Mar – 20 Apr
A smart salesman will come knocking on your door but be aware that anyone can look respectable and honest in a suit. A woman with a fat face may help you come out of the closet and find your true self.

Taurus 21 Apr – 21 May
A major incident may make you aware how fortunate you really are. A woman with a beard may fire your imagination with amazing tales about the U.S.A. and inspire you to plan a trip there in the near future.

Gemini 22 May – 21 Jun
A trip to the Caribbean may change your life and may inspire you to change your underwear more often. Someone from a different culture will also broaden your mind and at the same time reduce the size of your wallet.

Cancer 22 Jun – 23 Jul
Something this month will occur that will make you painfully aware how short life really is. It is a good time to donate eggs or sperm if you are not doing much with them, as this may be your passport to heaven.

Leo 24 Jul – 23 Aug
The death of a friend this month will sadden you but they may be in a happier place now – or may not. A good time to have a haircut and start wearing flared trousers again.

Virgo 24 Aug – 23 Sep
A beautiful Japanese woman may break your heart this month if you are a gay woman – otherwise you will get pleasure from admiring her and her fine qualities. Remember xenophobia is for losers.

Libra 24 Sep – 23 Oct
A trip to the dentist may save a tooth even if it costs you an arm and a leg to do so. It is time you told your partner about their bad breath and how you will consider leaving them if they don’t do something about it.


How would you describe yourself? I’m a single parent who lives with his eighteen year old son in the centre of Hebden Bridge. I derive my income mostly from psychotherapy – for over twenty years I’ve been a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist. I’m also a supervisor and trainer. I run a therapy practice from home as a psychotherapist.  Before this in the Nineties, I earned a crust as a mental health nurse.

How did you get into psychotherapy? It was a natural progression as I’ve always been interested in altered states of consciousness and mysticism – it goes back to my mid-teens when I discovered the Qabalah and Tarot and started to investigate western mystic tradition – and then I discovered girls!! All that went out of the window although I did practise meditation back then.

Where did you travel? I travelled all around Europe and was originally going to travel overland to India but my father fell seriously ill. So I came back and did some voluntary work in Cardiff and looked after my dad for a while. After that I ended up in York as an occupational therapist student. Whilst there, I had a series of deep unitive experiences; the distinction between myself and the environment vanished. It blew my mind and I left the course and went to live in a commune for six years, supporting myself selling newspapers on racecourses and working for the local council.

What kind of commune was it? It was a loose aggregation and was in York – very cheap and cheerful living. During this time I was called into a library and Richard Hittlemans Yoga In 28 Days dropped on my foot!  There and then, I commenced two hours of practice a day. I felt as if I was coming home and in the thirty-two years that followed this experience, I have been a yoga practitioner.

I’m very ignorant about yoga so can you explain what yoga is?  yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘union’. Essentially, it refers to all forms of integration; self to Atman, mind to body, mind body to Spirit. The more integrated and less fragmented we are, the clearer our understanding. The understanding or realisation, is that all you are is capacity and the capacity is for the phenomenal world thrown up from one moment to the next. You are not stuff, you are the capacity to know stuff. Stuff here includes thinking as well as solid matter. We tend to identify with our thinking and the personality which coalesces around thinking. When we use yoga techniques to unite ourselves, we disembed from our identification with stuff and know ourselves as capacity. This realisation can continue to deepen and there is no finality to it. Pat Anjali, the godfather of meditative yoga, referred to it as Kaivalya, a Sanskrit term crudely translated as ‘ beyondness’ there are always higher states of awareness. Evolution itself is evolving

Did yoga originate in India? It would seem that way although some research has suggested it may also have it origins in Greece and Egypt.

Do you believe in past lives? Yes.

Do you believe in regression? Yes but you have to be very careful to distinguish between fantasy and reality. I do have some knowledge of my previous lives. Comes of opening the base chakra.

Do you believe in reincarnation? I experience it as a fact.

Do you believe in ghosts? Yes. I believe that they are astral shells of someone who has died. The ghost is not a conscious entity but is more like a dead snake skin that is left behind. This sort of thing doesn’t interest me much.

How can people contact you? Through the Calderdale Yoga Centre in Hebden Bridge which I started six years ago and at which I’m one of the teachers and also run the space. So I can be contacted both for psychotherapy and yoga through the centre. or

Do you believe in what people call God? I think there is God but for a complete understanding of God you have to see God in the first, second and third person. In the first person, I am God for I am a divine fragment. In the second person, ‘he’ or ‘she’ is God when you relate to God as a spiritual other with absolute values as do monotheistic religions. Then there is God in the third person, an ‘it’, the Kosmos. We are enfolded in God as God is enfolded in us. Gerald Manly Hopkins, the Jesuit poet understood God in the third person very well, I feel.

Somewhere, at some time, they committed themselves to me.
And so I was! Small, but I was.
Tiny in shape, lusting to live, I hung in my pulsing cave.
Soon they knew of me, my Mother – my Father.
I had no say in my being. I lived on trust and love.
Though’ I couldn’t think, each part of me was saying a silent “Wait for me, I will bring you love”.
I was taken, naked, defenceless,
by the hand of one whose
Good name was graven on a
plate in Wimpole Street
And dropped on the sterile floor of a foot-operated waste bucket.
There was no Queen’s Council to take my brief.
The cot I might have warmed stood in a shop window.
When my passing was told, my Father smiled.
No grief filled my empty space.  My death was celebrated with two tickets to see Danny La Rue, Who was pretending to be a woman.  Like my Mother was.
Spike Milligan. (Extract from ‘A Day With Mary’.)


By Mary Pate

I opened my curtains and what do you know
We had, had a heavy fall of snow
It looked so clean and white
It was a very pretty sight
And then I looked at my poor old tree
Its’ branches they were hanging low
For they too were covered in snow
It seemed to look a little sad
But then I thought it’s not too bad
For as the months they will pass away
I know quite soon I’ll say
Come everyone come look and see
My beautiful horse chestnut tree


Written by Brenda Condoll (Feb 2001)

My friend Dean is very good to me
He helps me a lot
When I am down and out, when I get lonely
There is no time to let it in
Because he is always there

We read books and travel together
To see places of interest
He has an allotment to help him try and cope more and watch his weight problem –
And mine too
We will soon weed and dig
And plant vegetables and flowers
And tend blackberries to make jam when they are in season
Dean is such a lovely friend


Written by Brenda Condoll (Feb 2001)

I do not like my hair in a mess
As I do take care of my hair –
I wash it, condition it and have it groomed as nice as can be
I really do take pains to keep my hair in good condition
And keep it well groomed
I am a very glamouress sort of lady
And hope to keep it that way
It is good to have a good appearance
And consider all you do and say


Written by Brenda Condoll (2015)

As the old year goes out
And the New Year rolls in
New beginnings are coming
Maybe a new baby, maybe a new house
Out with the old and in with the new – some will not live to see it
Some will have no job to go to
Some will have it hard and some will have it easy
Some will be going to the January sales
Others will be in debt and struggling to make ends meet
The weather will be getting colder
We will all have to stock up the larder or cupboards
All in all I hope there will be peace and happiness in the New Year –
And it will be prosperous as well
God be with us


Written Robert Williams

The return of a pair of ill-matched Timberland boots took me to York. I bought the boots blind for my girlfriend in Portsmouth, in the Deep South of the country, and when she tried them, despite liking the look, they were too narrow for her feet. The Timberland Outlet Store was outside of York, in the Deep North of the Country, so to make a day of it we decided to visit the Jorvik Viking Centre. It was very cold in York and not much warmer in the Viking centre, despite blue skies and sunshine the chill temperatures were a prelude to the approaching dark winter nights.

In the Jorvik centre we were greeted by a woman who sounded somewhat Scandinavian and was dressed in a replica costume of the day. The glass floor that covered the also replica remains troubled my partner. She said it made her feel uneasy. Mel has a strong sixth sense and I wondered if it was the 20cm or so gap in between the glass floor and replica remains or perhaps a stronger sense of the past that had gone before in this place that troubled her.

For some reason my over-riding sense was one of smelling coffee and cake, probably because I really wanted a coffee and had done all day. The somewhat addictive nature of coffee had made me stop drinking it some two or three months previously. The Viking experience at Jorvik was similar in nature to Ghost Trains at Fun fairs, with the exception of poorly crafted ghosts and ghouls being replaced by very life-like and authentic replicas of Viking folk that had been living and working in Jorvik. The smell of wood smoke was strong at the Blacksmith’s house and equally the smell of excrement was strong in the latrine area which was complimented by what was described as “a very rare find” of a whole human stool, which was proudly displayed in a cabinet further into the Viking experience. The solidity and size of the stool was a stark reminder of the large quantity of meat that was in the Vikings’ diet. The sights and sounds that I experienced on the Yorvik train were authentic to the Viking times 1000 years ago. Seeing a craftsman with a Thor Hammer pendant was a reminder of my ex-Danish girlfriend who seemed upset at not being able to buy me a similar pendant once. Not because she could not obtain one, but rather because I did not want to wear one.

We exited Jorvik to a bright sunlit street; blue skies preluded a cold evening. We decided to have lunch in Pizza Hut and later regretted it. Pizza did not agree with Mel or me. Although some aspects of the Pizza Hut buffet are very tasty, it was a direct reflection of the Viking age diet, a millennia before, that I had to wait 15 minutes to obtain a vegetarian pizza. The best thing to eat in the Pizza Hut buffet was the salad, which was also obviously the healthiest.


I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic. It’s syncing now.

When chemists die, they barium.

I know a man who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop anytime.

How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

When you get a bladder infection urine trouble.

Broken pencils are pointless.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.

Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

Velcro – what a rip off!


She always felt like this at Christmas – alone, unloved, old and neglected which was strange because she knew she was none of these things, if truth be known.
Yes she had her family – nothing unusual there. Her fifties were a relief in many ways – fewer responsibilities, only herself to think about, no obligations to go anywhere she didn’t want to. And … yes, birthday and Christmas cards appeared automatically at roughly the appropriate times, bringing the most heart-melting verses of love, appreciation and fondness. Strange how it all evaporated so soon! And they always left her feeling flat when they were supposed to lift: lonely, when they invariably reminded her she was a ‘beloved’ mother, sister and friend.

She strolled on through the Christmas Malls, the Arcades, the familiar streets which revelled in their glittering and glorious messages of ‘Peace and Goodwill’. She felt far removed from the joy which yelled out from so many dazzling displays.

It was a long time since she felt that joy. So long since she could only try it imagine it now. Even the coffee shop – a favourite haunt of hers in ‘normal’ times – was engulfed in reminders of ‘Festive Seasons’ and hard to ignore. She paid her usual visit, got her usual latte and headed for her favourite seat, unsettled by the fact that it was already occupied.

She didn’t linger. It was beginning to get dark as she wove her way to the bus stop, in perfect time to see the 14A crawl away into the heavy traffic and darkening night. At least there was a bench in the bus stop, and she had nothing to rush home for, unlike the rest of the population, it seemed.
The local radio was out among the city shoppers asking about their plans for the coming days. Much the same response came from everyone. Variations on the usual festive themes.

Eventually, she arrived home and was glad to sit down with a cuppa and think over the day she’d had. An announcement on the local radio station broke into these thoughts; as it mentioned the nearby Baytree flats, built fairly recently where the old Baytree pub had stood for nigh on a hundred years. Another victim of the vanishing fabric of England’s villages. “There will be a social evening for residents in the local area at the Baytree flats this evening at 7 pm. All over 50 years of age are invited to attend. It may become a regular event if enough people are in favour. There will be a film of the development of the locality over the past few decades, a light supper in a relaxed, friendly environment. Cost £2, including supper.”

Well, that’s a turn-up for the place! She thought – just what’s needed to bring some vestige of a community back into folks’ lives.
Ellen arrived promptly at seven, armed with a dozen of her speciality homemade buns. The film took her back to her childhood. She had lived in that area most of her life and had fond memories of the beautiful, old buildings, now long gone.

“Well – if it isn’t Ellen Hardcastle! You were at the old Stanley Street School when I was – we were milk monitors together. Don’t you remember? And that fiery old Miss Stretton, nasty old bugger she were! She stood no nonsense! We were all scared stiff of her!” Ellen looked towards the voice coming from above her.
“Cyril Threadgold! I never did! What on earth are you doing here?”

“Well I thought I’d leave my lofty penthouse suite for once and see what this ‘ere meeting was like. An’ with it being near Christmas like, I thought I would make an effort to be sociable for once. I’m up on the fifth floor! Quite a view from there, seeing ‘em all scurrying about like little mice! I don’t come down very often these days – can’t be bothered and I’ve everything I need up here. Glad I did bother now, though! Yer a right blast from the past!”
Ellen noticed Cyril had a plateful of food, amongst which she spotted her buns! She felt a strange satisfaction at that.
“Do you mind if I perch ‘ere? Most of the seats are taken. Looks like being a success – this getting together lark.”
“’Elp yourself Cyril. We did share the same desk one year, didn’t we? It was so ‘andy I couldn’t do sums for love nor money and used to copy yours!”
“Yes, I noticed alright, but didn’t mind cos you came in useful when it came to spelling tests. We were both good copiers. At least it kept us out ‘o’ bother with Madam Threadgold! She spent most of ‘er time with that George Appleyard – do you remember ‘im? A proper little bugger ‘e was! Nearly drove ‘er scatty! As mucky as ‘ell, too!”

The memories came flooding back. By the time Cyril was gathering his last few crumbs, time was nearly up and they were asked for a show of hands to see who was in favour of making these meetings a regular thing.
“Not ‘arf! Yelled Cyril. It’s been great to get out of a bit and specially great to meet up with an old school pal.”

A week later, Ellen spotted a poster on the Baytree flats’ window: Special Community Group Meeting. Local over fifties are invited to attend our Christmas buffet on 25th December. Dancing, chatting, raffle, fun! £5, including supper. Please bring an edible offering if you can.
Just the job!” she thought. “I’ll do my special lemon drizzle. It always went down well with the family in years gone by. And I might just do a few of those butterfly buns specially for Cyril. He was fairly tucking in to those.

The family rolled up, unexpectedly, on Boxing Day. Ellen was out. On the fifth floor, Baytree flats, having a post-party cuppa with the milk monitor.


Phil, can you tell me a bit about yourself? I have had a Shiatsu practice and have been practising Shiatsu for about fifteen years. I live in Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire and have two children who are both at primary school. I love living in this valley because of the hills and woods and my family is very settled here. Beyond Shiatsu, I’m also chairman of an allotment association and I’m a keen cook – I love my food!

Do you eat all kinds of food? I eat all foods but with meat I make sure it’s hand-reared and produced within a three mile radius of where I live – that’s easy in this valley.

So what is Shiatsu massage? It’s not strictly a massage as a massage involves oil on skin whereas with Shiatsu, it’s done through clothing and a blanket or a shawl. Shiatsu uses pressure along meridian pathways – energy flows through our body along these channels and when there is a challenge in our lives, this affects our flow of energy and can cause blockages and stagnation. With Shiatsu, it’s about recognizing where people are holding their energy and then removing the blockages enabling their energy to flow smoothly.

Shiatsu follows the same theory as acupuncture in many ways, the difference being whilst both acupuncture and shiatsu do diagnosis through reference to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a Shiatsu practitioner diagnoses the balance of a client and responds to what is going on energetically during the session – we work the acupuncture points which are located along your meridians (energy channels) but unlike acupuncture we work the entire meridian. When I am working I can feel which parts/points are having a positive effect on someone. Generally people feel an improvement immediately following a shiatsu. However, when releasing deeper trauma, as you get to the root of a problem, things can come up initially which can temporarily exaggerate symptoms, yet as these older anxieties get released, in the long-term the treatment will have a positive effect long lasting.

Where did Shiatsu originate? Shiatsu developed in Japan but it is important to realise that the whole of Japanese medicine is based on Chinese Medicine – though Japan has modified it. So Chinese Medicine has constantly evolved over five thousand years. In Japan a man called Shizuto Masunaga married it with Western Medicine from which Shiatsu evolved about one hundred years ago.

Where did you study Shiatsu massage and are there a lot of centres for it in England? I studied with Shiatsu College which has centres in London, Brighton, Hastings, Norwich, Newcastle and Manchester – I trained at the latter where I am now the Principal and teach professional Shiatsu Diploma training, a three year course which involves: eleven weekends a year, practice treatments and assignments.

Do you make most of your living through being a Shiatsu practitioner? Yes, shiatsu is my sole income split half and half between teaching and practicing.

Do you work at home? No, I practice from within Bodyworks Natural Therapy Centre in Hebden Bridge.

Do you want to add anything about Shiatsu? Yes, two thirds of my clients come to me with stress or anxiety – I feel that it is stress and anxiety that causes most ailments today, different people hold it in different ways in their bodies and it becomes a physical problem such as breathing difficulties, shoulder/back stiffness, IBS, digestive problems. I also treat people with: pain, insomnia, during pregnancy and with mobility issues. I find that the Shiatsu tradition of combining both Western Medicine and Eastern (Chinese) Medicine puts me in an excellent position to treat and understand my clients.

Do you follow any faith? I’m closest to Zen Buddhism and that’s because it’s about empowering everyone to be able to gain spiritual enlightenment. However, I do believe in all religions though I think what you believe in usually depends on where you were born.
Can I just add that I run a Qigong class in Mytholmroyd which involves body movement in time with your breath and with an awareness of your energy flow.

If people are interested in your work, how can they contact you? 


Written by Rumbi Mapanga

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV)

As I look outside my window I realize that winter is now upon us, trees are bare and they show their bare bones. What strikes me the most is that although they look dry they are not dead? Their roots are deep in the ground and are supplying them with all the vital nutrients they need in order to survive. Yes they look dead but are alive, however any tree which is has its roots barely in the ground will not survive the harsh elements of winter.

The same can be said for every human being and I think it’s high time we all stopped and took stock of where we are and where our roots are sunk. Today I want you to ask yourself who or what is the anchor that will keep you together in the winter of life? That is when trouble and persecution has stripped you to your bare bones, when what you have been believing will work has not yielded the results you desire, when the doctors have told you that there is no cure, when you don’t have enough money to feed yourself or your family. Where do you go when there seems to be no hope anymore?

If you don’t have answers then keep on reading because I have good news for you today. There is someone who is always willing to carry the burden for you. His arms are already outstretched beckoning you to come to Him and lay the burden on Him. His name is Jesus Christ, the anointed one. He is ready to heal, restore and break the yoke or bondage in every area of life. He will become the anchor of your soul and will protect you and guide you in every area of life. The verse above shows clearly that all that we need to do is tune into what God has for us is and trust in the Lord and have our hope in Him and then – He will supply every vital need that even in times of draught or frost bite you will not be anxious or fear and your life will still yield results even when everything around you looks barren and dead.

What is it that is draining your energy? What is it that is causing you to have nightmares? What is it that is causing you to walk in fear and anxiety? Whatever is stealing your joy, peace and health is subject to the power of Jesus and His anointing. Whatever it is bring it to God, He wants you to come as you are and lay down the burden on Him. He has already paid the price in full for you and wants you to enjoy the good life that can only be found in Him. He wants you to have nothing missing and nothing broken in all areas of life, which is spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially and economically. His desire is to do you good all the days of your life.

Friend, if you are saying I want to know more of this Jesus, then today ask Jesus to come into your heart and make Him Lord of your life and then dig deep your roots in the word of God. If you decide to do this then this will be the best New Year gift you have ever given yourself. I pray that 2016 will be a year that God enlarges your territory and where you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Happy new year everyone.


Dear Editor

I live in the UK and work six days a week to support myself. However, I must say that although it is good we have a Welfare State to support people who are genuinely out of work and/or vulnerable, I do think that some people (especially some young people) abuse the system e.g. people who have lots of children so that they can claim more benefits – I do think there should be limit on Child Allowance so that people are more accountable for their offspring. I also think that some young men walking with sticks to claim Disability Benefit are really just pulling the wool over our eyes.

Jon Shillitoe, Huddersfield.

Dear Editor

Like you I suffer from mental health problems but I think society’s attitude to mental health is much more positive than it used to be.

I want to say something that may surprise you: the most effective treatment I have received in my battle against depression has been E.C.T. although some people think this is barbaric in a modern society.

I also think people with mental health problems should be treated in the community if possible which is ironically cheaper than keeping people in expensive mental health units.

Harry Parker, Garforth.

Dear Editor

I think the government has a cheek making people pay 5p for carrier bags while they are still being chauffeured around in gas-guzzling cars. Like most people I am all for protecting the environment but it has echoes of “we’re all in this together”. I think not.

Steven Styles, Bolton.

Dear Editor

I am writing to say how irritating I find it when young people in a group are busy texting and not talking to each other. I think technology has its place but surely we should still talk to each other face-to-face and not be dominated by machines!

Alison Peacock, Bradford.

Dear Editor

I think it is right for gay people to be able to marry one another but I don’t agree that they should be allowed to marry in church – God intended marriage to be between a man and a woman. I am sorry if my view offends anyone but this is how I feel.

Michael White, Coventry.

Dear Editor

Recently I was shocked when a close friend confided in me that he had visited ladies of the night in the past. Now he is happily married with two children and is devoted to his wife.

I have since got over the shock of this information and I have had a good think about the subject of prostitution. I have come to agree with those who call for the legalisation of prostitution so that it can be made much safer for those involved. But don’t mention pimps to me!

Sarah Woodcock, Manchester.

Dear Editor

Some people still like to follow the tradition of marriage but I am not one of them. I live happily with my partner and son and we don’t feel the need to have a ceremony and publicly commit ourselves to one other for we are secure in our relationship. Still everyone to their own.

Joe Hughes, Manchester.


Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients:                ¾ lb mince
¼ lb mushrooms
Tin of Bolognese sauce
Small tin of tomatoes

Method:                      Fry mince and onion till brown. Put all other ingredients in together
and mix for 20 minutes.

Oatmeal Muffins 

Ingredients:                   2 ¼ cups of oat-bran cereal
¼ cup of chopped nuts
¼ cup of raisons
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ cup of brown sugar or honey
1 ¼ cups of skimmed milk
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Method:                         Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl combine oat-bran cereal,
nuts, raisins and baking powder. Stir in the brown sugar of honey.
Mix the milk, egg whites and oil together and blend in with the
oat-bran mixture. Line muffin pans with paper baking cups, fill with
batter and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Makes 12.

Pork Chop Suey

Ingredients:                    3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 beaten egg
1 bunch of spring onions cut into 2 inch pieces
1 slice of root ginger, peeled and finely cut
1 crushed garlic clove
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
6 tablespoons of chicken stock
freshly ground pepper
8 oz of cooked pork cut into thin strips
10 oz of bean sprouts

Method:                         Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok. Add the beaten egg and swirl
round the side and fry into a thin omelette. Remove and keep warm.
Heat the remaining oil in the wok. Add spring onions, ginger and
garlic and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add the soy sauce,
tomato puree, chicken stock and pepper to taste and mix well.
Add the pork and bean sprouts and cook gently for about 8
minutes. Cut the omelette into strips and serve the chop suey
garnished with the omelette strips.


Tom can you tell me a bit about yourself (married/family/where you originate from)?    I’m married to a midwife; we met 15 years ago at university and have recently had a baby boy called Thor. I’m from Norwich originally but try to split my time between my two spiritual homes Yorkshire and Scotland.

What did you do before becoming a paramedic? I worked as a health care assistant at Pinderfields hospital in Wakefield, and volunteered with Bramley Elderly Action for a couple of years before starting training. Before that I was a primary school teacher, mainly inner city schools and the top end of primary school.

How long did it take to qualify as a paramedic and what did your training consist of? Training is a two year diploma, although it is soon to be made into a three year degree programme. Training was a mixture of theoretical teaching, practical lessons and then working as a student in an ambulance to gain genuine experience.

Do you get paid during your training? The local health authority paid our student fees and we got a bursary of £6000 a year. It is possible to do in service training as well which pays better.

What qualifications do you need to begin training as a paramedic? It is a skills and experience based profession so a good university puts much more emphasis on picking the right and motivated people rather than those with the best qualifications. That being said, GCSEs in Maths and English at C grade or their academic equivalent are required. After that I think a level three access diploma or A-levels of some sort are required to demonstrate a basic ability with academic writing. But there is nothing academic wise that should put off someone if it is what they really want to do.

Are you also qualified to drive an ambulance? Yes everyone front line in YAS A&E operations is trained to drive the ambulances on blue lights. You have to have been qualified for two years and go on a familiarisation course to drive the rapid response car.

Can you describe a typical day on the job?  Part of the charm of the job is that every job and every patient is different. To give a broad outline I work 12 hour day or night shifts but rarely finish on time (although I’m not often silly late off). In that time I will see on average 7 patients at somewhere around an hour and a half per job from getting the call to coming clear at hospital having handed over to the nursing staff.

Some shifts you can find yourself with lots of patients who really aren’t that poorly or whom you are taking to hospital as a place of safety. Other times you might have a run of patients where your decision making and getting them to hospital quickly might make a significant difference.

Would you say it is a job full of glamour like on T.V.? Not a chance, there are far too many bodily fluids that you have to mop up off the floor or your uniform for glamour to play any part. Whilst every now and again you might get a job where the adrenaline is flowing and you might be working to save someone’s life most of the time it is a case of being nice to old people and treating alcoholics with dignity that are your bread and butter jobs.

What do you see yourself doing in five years’ time? Probably not much different to what I am now. Eventually I would like to get my masters, work on the air ambulance, I would love to volunteer with mountain rescue and possibly to have helped volunteering in a disaster relief capacity – but all of that requires several years’ experience first so it is more long term. And having a family now requires much more of my emotional and physical energy; anyway, to some extent what I want is on the back burner for a good few years now anyway.

The Planets in January 2016: Western Astrology:

By Michael Conneely 

(With a Vedic Astrology Footnote, below)

Western Astrology Chart:

The western astrology chart for 1.1.2016 is at the foot of this report:

In January 2016:
Sun moves from 9 Capricorn to 11 Aquarius
Mercury moves from 29 to 17 Capricorn. Mercury is retrograde from January 5th to 25th
Venus moves from 2 Sagittarius to 10 Capricorn
Mars moves from 28 Libra to 14 Scorpio
Jupiter moves from 23 to 22 Virgo. Jupiter is Retrograde from January 7th for 123 days until May 9th.
Saturn moves from 11 to 14 Sagittarius
Uranus moves from 16 to 17 Aries
Neptune moves from 7 to 8 Pisces
Pluto moves from 15 to 16 Capricorn
North Node moves from 25 to 23 Virgo
Chiron moves from 18 to 19 Pisces

To simplify, the five factors are the major factors we will all generally need to be aware of in January 2016. We will need to develop perception around them, and if needed take steps of healing or empowerment, meditation or mantra.

1. The Transiting Saturn – Neptune Square:
This Saturn-Neptune square has already been within 90 degree orb, but not yet exact, in December 2014 through to early May of 2015. And Saturn and Neptune then came back into orb from late September of 2015 and will continue thus to mid-November of 2016.
The square will actually be exact on 17th June 2016 (Goodness, when Neptune will be at 12 Pisces opposition Jupiter at 15 Virgo on the Nodal axis, T-square Saturn at 12 Sagittarius) and on 10th September 2016 (Goodness, when Neptune will be at 10 Pisces opposite Sun on the Nodal axis, T-Square Saturn at 10 Sagittarius).
Neptune energy represents vision/sensitivity or illusion/delusion, depending where your level of awareness it at.

Saturn energy represents blocks and hard lessons calling for patience and responsibility to hard-earned golden reaping.
So the combination of Saturn and Neptune can bring us a painful feeling that our life-reality is far removed from our dreams and inspiration. It can be felt as suffering, renunciation, and asceticism.

In this month of January 2016, You will feel this most if you have planets where Saturn is now transiting (currently 11 to 14 Sagittarius, or opposite in those degrees in Gemini) or where Neptune is now transiting (currently 7 to 8 Pisces, or opposite this in those degrees in Virgo).

So the key question this transit energy is raising for you is; what are you going to do to manifest your dreams and inspiration? How will you give them realistic form? How will you lift or circumnavigate or smash the blocks? Relevant here are definition of strategies, spiritual practices and appropriate healing and empowerment techniques. I feel that EFT could be good here. Vision journeying would be good for those who have abilities in that direction.

2. The Transiting Conjunction of North Node of the Moon (Rahu) and Jupiter 
North Node moves from 25 to 23 Virgo this month and Jupiter is retrograding around 23 Virgo. This means that we will all need to watch the purity of our minds, consciousness and our spiritual path. Rahu the North Node is an obsessional and driven energy that can be associated with compulsion, darkness or mass movements, and it can tend to sully the purity of Jupiter, thus taking our minds down dark pathways unless we are careful and take steps to keep our mind stable. This tendency gets worse over coming months and lasts until August 2016. It can especially be associated with dark, manipulative spiritual teachers and you need to be careful to have nothing to do with these, especially if you have planets around 23 Virgo or opposite in Pisces.
Note that Jupiter is Retrograde from January 7th for 123 days until May 9th.

3. The Transiting Uranus – Pluto Square:
Uranus at 16 Aries squares Pluto at 15 Capricorn
And Sun reaches 15 Capricorn by 14th January, when he will be conjunct Pluto!
This is the last throes of the long-running Uranus-Pluto square (running on and off through seven peaks since 2012).
Uranus is the awakener and the Liberator. With Uranus in Aries, people with planets in Aries and Libra have been pushed to reinvent themselves and face sudden changes. They need the courage to accept their old selves don’t fit any more and make the needed change or face unpleasant consequences.

With Pluto in Capricorn, Capricorns are breaking out of their traditional caution and are being offered pretty heavy duty transformation.

To varying levels all of us may feel edgy, jittery, or impatient, and you likely are picking up on these looming shifts you need to achieve. Uranus frees us from old baggage and the dead husks of what we no longer want. Pluto empowers us to make our own choices and live by our souls’ desires and needs.

4. Mercury Retrograde from 5th to 25th January:
Be careful of internet usage. Double check posts and communications. Try to speak the sweet pure truth.

5. Venus is conjunct Saturn 
Transiting Venus is conjunct Transiting Saturn around 11 to 14 Sagittarius and this will be felt all January, and the aspect is especially close from 2nd to 15th January. This could give quite painful blocks in love, feeling loved and the expression of love, so if you feel this is the case, take extra special care of your loved one at this time.

And always be aware of the movement of Saturn in your birth chart. If Saturn is in your 12th House (behind your Ascendant) you will feel reclusive and lacking in confidence and things will die in your life, so you need to learn the spiritual lessons of these feelings, losses and deaths and separations. If your natal Moon is in Sagittarius or Capricorn in western astrology, you need to know about the powerful and accurate Vedic Astrology phenomenon of Sade Sate, the seven and a half-year period when Saturn transits through the Vedic Sign before your Moon, through the sign occupied by your Moon and through the sign following your Moon. Get a reading from me if you think this applies to you. Another key transit from Vedic Astrology is when Saturn transits through the 8th House from your natal Moon. This is big and painful with key spiritual lessons to learn and big effects in areas of spouse, children, health and morale, so again, if you think this applies to you, also get a reading from me.

Footnote: Vedic Astrology Signs : Transits: January 2016: 

Sun goes from 16 Sagittarius to 18 Capricorn
Mercury goes from 5 Capricorn to 23 Sagittarius and is retrograde from 5th to 25th January
Venus goes from 8 Scorpio to 16 Sagittarius
Mars goes from 4 to 21 Libra
Jupiter goes from 29 to 28 Leo and is retrograde from 7th January onwards
Saturn goes from 17 to 20 Scorpio
Rahu goes from 1 Virgo to 29 Leo
Ketu goes from 1 Pisces to 29 Aquarius

Note that this shift in the Vedic sign through which the Nodes of the Moon are transiting for the rest of 2016 will mean a major worldwide shift towards expression of power and creativity, with dangers of torsion or tension in this if you are not aware. Check out the House in your Vedic birth chart to understand where especially this pressure (and potential) will especially manifest in your life.

Note also that transiting Mars is closing on transiting Saturn, and when those two are conjunct for several months from February onwards, this will be an energy of very hard work and of death of what is out of your Saturn-Mars focus. Again to understand where this will manifest exactly in your life, check the House that Vedic Scorpio occupies in your Vedic birth Chart.

And note that the combination of Rahu (North Node)-Jupiter plus Mars-Saturn in the heavens, could mean great driven achievement – plus fear and terrorism in the world.

And please note my course-linked worldwide weekly webinars: four webinars a week for you to enrol on: February to November 2016:

Starwheel Webinars 2016: Summary
How do I Enrol now for this wonderful worldwide opportunity?
You can enrol using the PayPal ‘drop down menu’ on the relevant astrology course website shown below.
My weekly Astrology Webinars:
Level 1 Western Astrology Course:
Webinar: Every Saturday at 17.00 hrs UK time. Starts Saturday 6th February 2016
Level 1 Vedic Astrology Course:
Webinar: Every Saturday at 19.30 hrs UK time. Starts Saturday 6th February 2016
Level 2 Vedic Astrology Course:
Webinar: Every Thursday 19.00 hrs UK time Starts Thursday 4th February 2016
Level 3 Vedic Astrology Course:
Webinar: Every Wednesday 21.30 hrs UK time. Starts Wednesday 3rd February 2016
When Enrolling, please remember to email me separately with your natal data and preferred email contact address.
There is an Early Bird option if you Enrol by January 16th 2016.

My Astrology Readings:
For your reference, my Astrology Readings website is:

And, lastly here is the Western Astrology Chart for 1.1.2016:

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