Skin Care – Why Bother?

Skin care is much more than just buying expensive skin care products and hoping they’ll keep the skin looking healthy and young. The skin is a living, breathing organ that reflects the body’s general state of health, irrespective of what skin care products you choose to use.In the following article we will look at the type of skin care that should be used at different stages in our lives and other factors you need to include in your ‘health plan’ to maximize the long term health of your skin.TeenagersWhy should a teenager, male or female, bother with skin care? After all their skin is young, supple, has no wrinkles, and has all the elasticity it requires.This is a stage at which skin is undergoing considerable change. Hormones are going ‘crazy’ and the whole body of a teenager is developing into its adult form and functions – even the skin.Acne is a probability during the teenage years and this is a very good reason to pay particular attention to your skin. Acne affects almost every teenager to some degree. In some cases acne can be so bad that it is necessary to seek professional medical advice and resort to having it specifically treated. However, in most cases, acne is more of a nuisance then a medical problem and by adopting a daily skin care regime using natural and organic skin care products, the effects of the acne can be reduced if not entirely eliminated.Young men have an additional issue with their skin – shaving. Not only do they get acne, but they start growing facial hair and begin shaving. Razor blades and acne pimples do not mix and cuts can lead to infections and spreading of acne.This should be avoided at all costs. Using natural shaving products which contain antiseptic herbs and essential oils will help to minimize infection and spreading of acne pimples.AdultsFollowing the tumultuous years of being a teenager, putting up with acne and if you’re a male starting to shave, now is the time for giving your skin all that you can to maintain its health, youthful looks and build its resistance to prevent premature aging. By now, your skin will have developed its basic skin types and your choice of natural skin care system(s) should reflect your skin types. Yes, there are usually more then one skin type.Often there is an oily T-zone while the cheeks, neck and eye regions are either normal or have a tendency to be dry. If this is the case, you literally need to treat the different areas with different products. That is, you need to use skin care products for oily skin on your oily T-zone and products suitable for normal or dry skin on the remaining area of your facial skin and neck.Again you need to take care of your skin on a daily basis and should include an exfoliant and/or facial clay mask at least once every week.As the body ages, skin cell renewal slows and elastin and collagen production also take a nose dive. This is when fine lines and wrinkles start to appear. The precise age at which this starts to happen depends on your genes and to a large extent on how well you’ve been caring for your skin; how much sun exposure your skin has been subjected to and how much exposure it has had to the elements and other environmental factors. Changing hormones also become a factor again during the 40′s and 50′s in most women.Some people’s skin looks 30 in their 70′s and they did very little to make this happen – they are the very lucky and isolated ones. Most people find that as they get older the skin reflects this by showing its age too. This is where the effort of the past few decades will start to pay off, if you’ve been using a good quality, daily skin care regime, stayed out of the sun as much as possible, eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and generally looked after your body’s health, your skin will reflect this also – you are what you eat and this truth starts to show itself in later years.Bothering to take care of your skin is not just for preserving a youthful, healthy skin, but your skin’s health will have a marked effect on your body’s health. The skin is a major organ that has many important functions to perform and if we do not look after the health of our skin, this can result in other, more serious health problems.Similarly, if you have health problems, these will be reflected on your skin. For example, liver problems can cause skin discolorations, as can kidney problems. The skin around the eyes is often tinged brown or black if there is liver or kidney disease. Jaundice is a well-known symptom of liver disease, for example hepatitis.Chronic dehydration will lead to dry wrinkly skin; chronic inflammation or infection can cause hypersensitivity of the skin. Skin problems can result from a deficiency of vitamin A, niacin, vitamin C and many other nutrients including several amino acids, a deficiency in dietary minerals, and so on.All the skin care products in the world will not make your skin look healthier or younger, if you do not look after and treat your internal health problems.

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

An Introduction To The Art Of Garden Design

This article is the first in a series that will explain the many facets of garden design and provide you with the knowledge required to plan a functional and aesthetically pleasing garden. In these articles you will find the necessary information required to undertake your own garden project from conception through to completion.Every garden benefits from good garden design. Whatever your expectations are, planning and design are essential. One of the first questions I ask a client (as a design consultant) is “what do you want from your garden?” The planning will focus on these needs and create a personalized garden that can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.To provide a definitive guide on garden design I would need to be writing a 500-page book, so we will only look at the absolute basics in this article. One thing I have learnt over the past twenty plus years as a garden designer is that few of us are totally content with our gardens. Despite the immense pleasure we derive from them, there is always something that could be better.Many long for a larger garden, a few for something smaller and more manageable, but the vast majority will make the best of their existing plots. Improving our garden spaces, coaxing the maximum impact from them is an enjoyable challenge that most avid green thumbs would rise to. The trick of course is knowing how!Gardening is essentially about growing plants, but the setting in which we place them is probably the single most important element that makes a garden appealing or otherwise. Personal tastes in garden styles vary as much as in other aspects of living, and what appeals to one person may not appeal to another. The true test of good garden design is whether the result appeals to you. As a garden designer I have always seen my role as a facilitator, aiming to assist my clients to create a garden that reflects their taste and personality.A good garden designer will open a magic box of inspiration and imagination. We show you what other enthusiastic gardeners have done, and how others have made the most of potentially insurmountable plot issues.Your own level of interest is the key factor to consider when making a decision to have your garden designed and constructed by professionals or taking on the project yourself. It will cost you a great deal of money and the chances are that it won’t give you as much satisfaction as having created a garden through your own efforts.Engaging a design consultant to explain the basic techniques and perhaps provide some inspirational ideas may be all you need to get the ball rolling. In the end only you can decide what is right for your garden. Tastes in gardens vary as much as in interior design and preferences for art or music. The true acid test of whether your new garden design has worked is only gauged by the pleasure that it gives you.Make use of a professional designer by allowing them to suggest ideas and explain the techniques they use. Have faith in your own ability to soak up their inspiration and experiment on paper. You will soon develop skills that will enable you to design your garden with confidence.The best gardens are carefully planned. The most important elements include:
Creating your wish-list
Surveying and measuring
Drawing your plans
Creating patterns
Choosing a formal or informal layout
Understanding garden styles and themes
Using shapes – both geometric and unusual
Overcoming gradients
Front versus back gardens
Creating Illusions
Preparing a planting schedule
Maintenance – high or low
Understanding these facets of landscape design will enable you to create a 3-dimensional image in your mind of the desired end result.In future articles I will look at some of these specific elements of sound garden design in more detail, and provide you with the information required to tackle a design project yourself. A little knowledge goes a long way and I have no doubt that you will surprise yourself by discovering exactly what you can achieve.As always… Happy gardening!