The Destination Will Lead You Through the Journey

I found this a truly inspirational post fro Lorrele, it felt like I should include it in light of my last post on goal setting

Blog Your Passion

Bright purpose rose with spiral center, International Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon - photo by Lorelle VanFossen.

As we travel along a path, distractions will pull us off the track.

This is a truth.

Yet, we always find our way back onto the path, and eventually to our destination. The path and the end of the trip is too strong to keep us distracted for very long.

Such is the path you travel with your blog.

You may start out with great intentions, a destination in mind. Along the way, you will wander.

Remember that if the incentive to reach your goals is strong enough, it will pull you back on the path.

Wander where you will but trust that voice when it says it is time to move along in your journey.

You know the way. Trust that voice.

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My Table. (And What I Love About Food)

This was such a wonderful peice of writing I had to share, for me it summed up all the good things about food. The joy of preparing food and the simple pleasure of sharing a meal with those people you care about. Made me think back to why I became a chef in the first place and most of all miss what I had.

southern belly

I want to say something about food.

Well, I want to say a lot of things.

And as always, I want to speak out of a place that recognizes my privilege. For one, to be able to sit in a comfy brown chair and write about it, and also, that I have the means to buy good ingredients, cook them, and feed myself and at times, others.

There is something to be said about sitting down at a table with plates with forks and maybe a few nice glasses. Maybe a cute napkin or some candles. Very similar to the picture at the top of this blog. It is a simple joy, that I can reproduce this from time to time. And really, it doesn’t take much.

But there’s something inside of me that gets excited when I know I am to be cooking for people I love and for…

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Are you too thin?


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Just for once you don’t find me sitting in a coffee shop, you find me at home totally blissed out listening to Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler while I drink lemon and ginger tea laced with whiskey.

Flicking through the dailies trying to come up a with  something to write about will it be muscular woman, no I’m saving that for tomorrow or possibly the young woman who’s handed over huge amounts of cash to look like her heroine Barbie or maybe I’ ‘ll have a rant about the woman with eight children, whose never done a day’s work in her life.lives on benefits and claims she needs more money because her and her family inc husband who also doesn’t work. can’t afford to go away on holiday,, she wants a new bigger house in a better area and she ideally wants at least 14 kids. (the blood was boiling.) and then in a little box in the bottom of page three a piece of good news for all us people of average build, e.g. just a little bit over weight.

I don’t mean fat, just a bit over maybe not a spare tyre, just the inner tube. well

thanks  to scientist’ s and other clever people all around the world, that may be a good thing. we may live longer than the ideal weight,  or really skinny people.

Now this wasn’t just one test, this was a hundred different test’ s carried out on men and women all over the world just like you and I. They looked at a person’s body mass index or BMI at the start of the test and how likely they were to have died before the end of it.

Body mass index or BMI is a mathematical formula relating to height to weight.

People are classed as being a normal weight if they have a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 and they are overweight if they have a BMI between 25 and 29.9.

Any one with a BMI above this magic 29.9 number is then automatically considered to be obese.

ok I think I get that as long as we don’t have a test afterwards I’m good so far.

the wonderful scientist’ s who spent their time working on this then went on to offer some wonderful reasons for this longevity when you carry a little bit extra weight. These range from the simple fact that those of us who carry just that little extra are more than likely to  be more closely monitored by our doctors/health professionals than those of a thinner stature to the frankly shocking idea that our genes may just be the reason why some people live longer than others, who’ d of thought it

Via just that as we start off with a little more fat reserved if anything does happen to us we’ ‘ll have slightly more reserves left should we get I’ll,.or become older. (Genius)

Or when we do get older that little bit extra gives us a.nice little cushion should we have a fall, “personally I don’t need to be older to be grateful for some extra padding on my bum when I ride my road bike for any distance, those saddle’ s are a killer”

So please remember when you don’t feel to great about what you see, when you look in the mirror and you’re think your carrying a little bit extra.

When you no longer look like you did at 19, (I know that feeling so well)

Just remember that little bit extra may, just may save your life.

Love & light

Andy x

Information courtesy of the Daily mail and the independent 02/01/2013

Cancer detection dogs.


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Cancer detecting dog at work.

Cancer detection dog at work.

I love the english tabloids, 98% of the time they contain no end of trash. If it isn’t the latest story from Katy price/Jordan depending on who she is this week. It’s a front page banner headline that Kate Middleton has morning sickness, now there may be fighting in Iraq, land slides in asia or floods in devon we get a full-page of Kate Middleton been rushed to hospital with morning sickness.

But occasionally tucked away in the middle there’ll be a shining diamond glinting out from the dross.
In the Daily Express 01 January 2013, (still can’t get used to that.) There was a wonderful article that caught my eye.

Medical detection dogs in Milton Keynes uk, a charity launched in 2008.

It’s the only centre of its kind in the world, it was founded after Claire Guest, heard an interview on BBC Radio 4 with surgeon John church.

He was asked by a listener whether animals could help human medicine.
He believed that dogs could detect Cancer and asked for anyone who thought that they would be able to train a cancer dog, to get in touch with him.

Claire who at the time was working with dogs for deaf people, contacted Mr Church and in 2003 they conducted a study together they were amazed by the results.

It appeared that a dog could be trained to detect cancer in human urine, the findings were published in 2004 it was then obvious then that this was big news.

While our brains are dominated by our visual cortex, dogs brains are dominated by the olfactory cortex or sense of smell. The olfactory bulb in a dog is about 40 times bigger than in a human. And has between 125 million and 220 million smell receptors.

Her dog, Daisy is one of the countries elite cancer detecting dogs. And three years ago Daisy successfully picked up Claire’s breast cancer.

Which medical tests later missed, Claire says she began acting strangely around me, she became anxious and kept jumping up.

They were going for a walk one day and instead of running off into the park as she usually would, daisy jumped on me and nudged Claire in the chest.

It hurt more than it should have and Claire found a small lump.

Her GP referred her for tests’ on the lump which originally came back negative, but further scans showed there was a deep-seated cancerous tumour.

“I wouldn’t have known about it till it was too late if it hadn’t been for Daisy. She saved my life.”

The key to the dogs success is early detection of cancer.
“The dogs success rates vary on grades and stages but for bladder cancer they have one dog who’s has a. Sensitivity of over 90%. Explains Claire.

As the cancer becomes more advanced the dogs become less accurate.

A team of scientists from the open university created an electronic nose which only had an accuracy of 60%.

Claire says it goes back to the way we train the dogs, you’re trying to train the dog to differentiate from any background odour.

So the dog is making a discrimination.

However as the cancer gets more advanced the background odour becomes stronger.

In the earlier stages, when the body is quite well there is a bigger distinction and the odour stands out more.

Currently the dogs are only used in laboratories, and Claire feels that it would be unethical to use the dogs directly with patients.

Instead Claire see’s the dogs work as teaching us about cancers that can be used in discovering and diagnosing cancers.

However Medical Alert Dogs (MADs) trained by Claire and her team become an active part of families.

Medical alert dogs trained to smell changes in people with conditions such as diabetes, narcolepsy and Addison’s disease, which can cause light headedness and falls these dogs are never parted from their owners.

“Someone with type 1 diabetes could have a normal blood sugar level, but within 15 minutes it could drop to dangerously low levels. The dog will smell the changes and alert the person by staring at them, nudging their hand and fetching their medical kit” says Claire

The dogs do not come cheap and the demand for them is high, so high in-fact that people have to wait nearly four years.

Claire says

“The cost of selecting the dog and training the dog to recognise the odour is about £5,000 but you can easily double that when you factor in interviewing and meeting up with clients and setting them up with the dogs”

The patient breathes into a specialist filter and the captured odour is used to train the dog.

“Once we’ve taught the dog to recognise the odour not only has she learned that low blood sugar is an important odour, but also the first time she meets the client. Its like the dog already knows the person, they immediately feel bonded to the dog.” Says claire.

To help support its health work the charity also trains the dogs to sniff out bed bugs, which are currently making a comeback in the uk and the numbers are on the increase in urban areas.

One of Claire’s dogs a wire-haired Hungarian Vizsla Midas is one such dogs and has such a sensitive nose she can detect a single solitary bed bug in a room..

This trailblazing organisation is still young and any money raised from the bed bug detection side of the charity is immediately ploughed back into the training side or cancer dogs.

“We have two main objectives” says Claire “firstly to raise more funds so we can get the waiting list down for the medical alert dogs, but also to prove principles.

“We already know that dogs can detect colon, kidney and bladder cancer in urine samples but were about to embark on a new study into whether breast cancer leaves an odour in breath samples. If it does this could have a massive effect on the way we screen for breast cancer.”

Daisy is an 8 year old labrador and although I’ve never met her or her owner I have to say she does an incredible job.

If you’d be interested in finding out more about Daisy and Claire or the work they do at Medical detection dogs please visit their fantastic website.

It’s a fantastic site and well worth a visit.

Love & light

Andy x

I’d like to say a massive thank-you to the daily express. And Joanna Della-Ragione for her wonderful article. Which I did get a lot of information from and indeed the work of Claire Guest and Daisy they are truly inspiring and do such a wonderful thing. Please visit their site…

Cancer detecting dog taking a well earned rest.

Cancer detection dog taking a well deserved rest.

365 and counting…


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So a new year a fresh blog from the trainee hypnotist and a uncontrollable desire to blog every day. All 365 of them, I know I’ve counted and I had a slightly better calender than the Mayans.

now don’t get me wrong this isn’t a new year resolution this is a truly passionate desire to blog every day. No my new years resolution is to throw my self out of a perfectly good plane at 12,000 feet for charity.

I can’t do the London to Paris well three days my cardiologist won’t let me but jumping put of a plane, really how hard can it be?

I don’t think I’ll imagine that anymore with my luck, it becomes a full colour vision of horror, actually I say full colour it seems to involve lots and lots of red stuff.

So here I am resolutions up to the max well, the one about a parachute jump and full of desire to write my blog every day.

So I guessed were better to start my ambition than back in that bastion of sanity my favourite Costa coffee shop, where the drink are hot the staff are friendly and the tables are so close together you can’t help people watching.

Even if you wanted to, I personally don’t it’ s like doing my home work except I enjoy doing this and I’m not doing it at 7:30 am on the school bus and I don’t have to excuse myself for not doing it due to the dog eating it, or being abducted by aliens. (funny my English teacher never bought it she just made me write out my excuse and hand it in as homework, strange I always got better marks with my excuses than my carefully written prose. anyone would think she didn’t believe me…)

So now I’ve got one down and 365 to go, happy New year to you all.

Love & light

Andy x

2012 in review


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The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you all for visiting, so looking forward to seeing you all and many more in 2013.

Love & light

Andy x


To infinity and beyond…


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  • Happy New year

    2013 Happy New year

    Ok sorry Buzz, I know that’s your particular catchphrase but it was so good I had to borrow.

Firstly I hope you have all had a truly fantastic Christmas and enjoyed all the time that you got to spend with your loved ones over the festive period and that you all got everything that you desired for Christmas.

so we’ve come to the end of yet  another year 365 days, have seemingly flown by in the blink of an eye. Many wonderfully inspiring events have taken place as well a few things that should really never have happened, and we should work to ensure that they will never happen again.

There’ s going to be so many post’ s, reviews and tv specials in the next forty eight hours that I really don’t need to ‘re- hash them for you now we were there, we don’t need reminding we all lived 2012.

so instead Im going to look ahead to what’s just around the corner what’s coming up in 2013.

I hate to say it I may not necessarily the best hypnotist in the world in the next twelve months. I do however have a number of great plans for the coming year.

The podcast will get launched, big goal for me I always wanted to be the midnight caller, you can’t beat 80′ s tv shows.

My hypnotherapy practise gets launched properly, full on business start up. complete with website, press release and who knows what else, certainly not me…

And I’ve been so incredibly lucky to be able to say a number of incredibly talented people have agreed to do guest blogs for me.

They range from not only incredible hypnotherapist’ s but also personal trainer’ s, crystal healers massage therapists and all kinds of complimentary therapist’ s.

So thankfully mine won’t be the only opinion you get on this page in the coming year.

So last but not least I’d like to wish you all a truly happy healthy, and successful New year to one and all.

Love & light.

Andy x