Hannya Melrose explains how first experiences, in the womb and during birth, can impact on a baby’s whole life

The level of consciousness of our civilization is defined by our experiences in the womb, which are recorded in every cell of our bodies. Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, www.birthasweknowit.com I had never thought about the baby’s experience of pregnancy or birth until I started training in psychotherapy and subsequently in prenatal and birth therapy. Indeed – like many others, I suspect – I didn’t know that babies had a real, felt experience from so early on in their lives or that this would get … [More...]

Fresh-air Arts: Why do children have to learn about culture indoors?

Sarah Bird explains how she and fellow mum Rowan Hoban discovered that the arts are more accessible to families outdoors. As a mother of three young children I was doing my best to meet their basic needs, when a well-meaning person told me there was something missing from their development: culture. So off we dutifully traipsed to local galleries and museums, entering these hallowed environments fully expecting the children to emerge at the end with Van Goghian vision and a wit to match … [More...]

The Tooth Ceremony: Vicky Sherrard shares a special family celebration

My youngest child is so excited, because she has her first wobbly tooth. Yes, of course the Tooth Fairy will come, and that will be fun, but she is also excited because she knows she will at last qualify for a Tooth Ceremony. In our house we have a ceremony and party to celebrate this important event. I want to spread the word about Tooth Ceremonies, because to me, losing the first tooth is the beginning of a new stage of life for our children, and I want to mark it with them. I believe in … [More...]

Tim Hutton: Reflections on yurt living

How can yurts help connect us to the Earth, and why do they make such appealing living spaces? Tim Hutton describes his journey of discovery After years of living a city life, and feeling the effects of a lost connection with my rural roots, I went back to live in the country to work with trees. There was no big plan. One of the more romantic ideas was to plant a musical woodland – maple and rosewood for guitars, spruce for violins, and so on. It was a short-lived idea dreamed up in a Spanish … [More...]

Perspectives on Pregnancy: Josie and Mark Maitland share their experiences

Me? A Woman? Josie Maitland on how pregnancy has transformed her into the woman she never thought she’d be. It was New Years Eve – a time for reflection on the most amazing of years. We’d only recently married and moved into a new house. As we sat by the fire talking about things we wanted to leave behind in the old decade and embrace in the new, the discussion turned to having a baby. This was a topic that had preoccupied us for much of the Christmas period – both of us oscillating almost … [More...]

Tamsin Kilner O’Byrne recalls the challenges of restoring a cob cottage in an economical and sustainable way

Our life with cob started when we began searching for that rare property – a detached house with no near neighbours, sufficiently small and neglected to make it affordable! We were lucky enough to find a tiny thatched cottage, wonderfully picturesque with child’s-drawing symmetry; if you can ignore the chaos wrought by three years of substantial building work, it looks like something that might decorate a chocolate box. The original house has a footprint of 4 metres x 8 metres, with, until … [More...]

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