Today, I have a dirty little secret to confess. In recent weeks, I have felt very stressed, if not frazzled… Crowd funding, house selling and waiting more than two years for an operation on the NHS will do that. Well, if it’s okay for Ruby Wax to talk about mental health, and open frazzled cafes in M&S to deal with the one in four of us, who will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives, then I’m happy to say that sometimes I don’t feel okay. I feel overwhelmed. If more of us could be open about not coping, then hopefully, we can find the support and answers we need and re-discover the joy in life. So, let me say that being a journalist turned sustainable entrepreneur is the hardest gig I’ve ever taken, and its mostly, because I now feel I have to do six jobs, instead of the one I’m trained for and love with a passion – journalism.
So, I spent the beginning of the week in A & E with acute, sore, blurry eyes and facial pain, crying on a friend’s shoulder, with a tear-streaked right cheek that matched Brigitte’s Jones’s, after a night of solitary Chardonnay for one. I was convinced I had something seriously wrong with me.
After a lot of gentle probing, the kindly NHS medic, with the most handsome, covetable, vintage briefcase, announced that my face and right eye was in spasm, because I’ve been grinding my teeth in my sleep. I also had a nice little infection brewing where a filling fell out and I ignored it. He then looked at me intently, and said I needed to take better care of myself. I’ve been here before with teeth grinding, usually, in times of high stress. Running a start up magazine, living hundred fifty miles away from my partner, until I can sell my flat, and the challenges of raising funds and crowd funding, are all good reasons why I am probably going ten rounds with Mike Tyson in my sleep. So that is why I wake up feeling exhausted.
But it is no good. Stress is life sapping and dangerous. You have accidents, the joy goes out of life, there are constant, niggly health issues and it places a strain on our closest relationships. Life and work is going to have to change, and quickly. Why am I trying to run Ethical Hedonist single handedly, with just a bunch of contributors, and one or two, very part-time interns? I’m here to say if you are experiencing prolonged stress, ask for help. Take up tap dancing, watch re-runs of Mad Men, try Pukka’s stress adaptogen, Ashwagandha, in our organic producers shop which I find very effective for calming frazzled nerves. Then, learn to meditate and read Ruby Wax’s book – A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled You can also join the mailing list to attend a Frazzled Cafe near you here- www.frazzledcafe.org.
Do whatever it takes to get stress out your life for good. After the hospital visit, I took my friend to the local foraging pub for lunch, and for several blissful hours, I switched off from work and the other areas of my life that are causing me anxiety. We feasted on local duck and poppy seed pancakes stuffed with buttery potato and marvellous, Pantone green, local, organic purple sprouting broccoli. Have I told you how much I love broccoli? Then, imagine my delight when I discovered the perfect pink, life-enhancing accompaniment to pear and almond tart, with a rich vein of dark gooey chocolate? Yes, Luscombe, purveyors of sublime organic elixirs, now make Rose Damascene, a non alcoholic, too pretty to drink, bubbly, inspired by the rose of the Orient – and yes it is the palest, salmon pink, and is just the thing to put a smile on my face and soothe and restore a frazzled, feminine wordsmith.
Ethical Hedonists! Can You Help Us Get Ready for Crowdfunding?
So, all this has got in the way of me writing to you about crowd funding. Are you ready Ethical Hedonists, because I am intent on pushing the button, at the end of March. It’s time to take this different, disruptive, sustainable magazine to the next level and Ethical Hedonist has never looked better. It’s jam-packed with important stories on David Attenborough and the hauntingly talented Sarah Class, asking us all to fight for the rainforest, wildlife and seriously endangered species, Steve Backshall racing for Borneo and the orangutans, plus inspiring stories on the stars of slow fashion, renewable energy deals, competitions and our excitingly different ethical shopping pages, using polar bears as the stars.
You can help by signing up to our magazine email newsletter, so we can send you the letter that says – let’s do it, let’s make Ethical Hedonist bigger and better together, get me the help I need and reach for the stars! Our newsletters also come with lovely offers and more news about what we are up to. Here is the link to the campaign, in case you haven’t read it yet.
Go mad, spread the word, and get ready to create a media for nature revolution. And to those of you who love what we are doing, could you help out and share the magazine and our crowd funder campaign on Facebook or just with your friends? We would love some help with gathering supporters and emails for the crowd funder. We need you!
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Now, I will do my best to make you smile and giggle. It’s that tricky time of year, when winter is on the way out, and on days when it feels like Spring, you want to throw off the winter coat and wear something a little jauntier, and lighter, that will still keep the March winds at bay. The answer is the poncho. I adore this elegant, throw on style staple. But please don’t ever do what I once did in my twenties. Fresh out of uni, I went to Camden, and bought a poncho, or should I say horse blanket?! What was I thinking?!! This was my girlish homage to Clint Eastwood and the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone. I still love Spaghetti westerns, but this was not a good look. I thought I looked like the coolest cowgirl in N1. My sister and my flat mates had other ideas. They came home from work and discovered me practicing my laconic moves in front of the mirror. The next moment, they had collapsed on the floor, to howls of laughter. Alas, they pointed out, that I looked more like Calamity Alison Jane than Clint’s little sister.
Clint Eastwood and a Teenage Crush
I blame it all on my teenage crush on the boy next door. Neil, had long, messy, outlaw hair, doleful, sad eyes, and used to write me long, serious, poetic love letters from university, about the wild west, and the iconic style of the American cowboy. It was all very intoxicating to my feverish, over imaginative, sixteen- year old self. I was hopelessly smitten, and Clint became my eternal style hero. Okay, so horse blanket ponchos don’t really work on a rainy day on the Liverpool Road. How about a Withnail and I velvet frock coat? No? Oh well, the girl just can’t help it. I’m in love with Lacorine’s soignee, fairtrade, cruelty free, Elysee shawl, transforming lives in Peru, and doing no harm to animals. As we reported earlier, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge is a fan of Lacorine’s fair- trade, Dr Zhivago, alpaca hats. This this is the ethical, slow luxury cape to flaunt this Spring!
Love AJ Editor xx
Tweet to me EthicalHedonistMagazine @AlisonJaneReid
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Picture Credits – Image of bird of prey over London. Courtesy of the RSPB. Luscombe Damascene Rose Bubbly, image courtesy of the Exeter Food Festival.
Picture of AJ at The Bingham Hotel Richmond, By Intern Elisabetta Landoni Vintage flapper dress by Frank Usher, bought from a charity fashion sale.