Diet preventing Dementia

A series of studies have finally developed the ideal diet for preventing memory loss. Regular consumption of tea or coffee and walnuts, spending sometime in the sun to boost vitamin D production and regular physical activities could lower the risk of dementia. Researchers at the University of California have found that people over 65 who drank either tea or coffee regularly were 37% less likely to develop dementia. Drinking coffee at least five times a week, reduced the risk of dementia by 20 percent. Scientists from Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities in New York have found that diet rich in nuts, especially walnuts, delays progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin D deficiency could increase the risk of dementia. Spending 10 to 15 minutes in the early morning or late afternoon sunshine could trigger formation of vitamin D in your body. If you are living on distant northern or southern latitude where long winter months prevent adequate sun basking, you can prevent vitamin D deficiency by consuming eggs, oily fish and vitamin D fortified foods. Scientists from Exeter University have found that people with vitamin D deficiency are five times more likely to suffer from memory loss after 65. A Boston University School of Medicine study has shown that regular moderate exercise could lower Alzheimer’s risk by 40 percent. Source:

Passion by Lauren Kate

Before Luce and Daniel met at Sword and Cross, before they fought the Immortals, they had already lived many lives. And so Luce, desperate to unlock the curse that condemns their love, must revisit her past incarnations in order to understand her fate. Each century, each life, holds a different clue. But Daniel is chasing her throughout the centuries before she has a chance to rewrite history. How many deaths can one true love endure? And can Luce and Daniel unlock their past in order to change their future? I've said it before, that I've got a bit of an equal-parts-love-equal-parts-hate thing going on with this series. I love the world Lauren Kate has built, I love the way she tells a story, I love the way she creates her characters (even the ones that annoy me). But I'm often annoyed by the lack of plot development and Luce is a wee bit irritating. Does this series really have much of a plot anyway? So far it seems to be something like 'There's this angel and he fall in love with a lady and so falls from heaven and so they get cursed which means she keeps getting reincarnated and then they fall in love and she bursts into flames and then he's all lonely till she gets reborn and old enough for sexy time and then she dies again and this goes on and on. Until this one time, she breaks the curse. The end.' I'm not sure this is enough for 4 books. On the one hand I say this, but on the other hand I can never put the books down and can't wait to read the next book. Confusing to love something that irritates me. 

Here's what I loved about this instalment: Finally we get some answers! I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure what they mean or what it's all about or what Luce and Daniel and the others will do next but who cares, at least the plot moved forward. It was very cool to follow Luce through all those lifetimes, and it really made sense that she would want to see all those lifetimes to understand why this keeps happening, and to discover if it is real love that binds them and is it her choice to love him or is it due to the curse. To really discern, is it just fated that they meet up in every lifetime? The writing is as visual as ever. Like I said in the first point, I've got no idea what they're going to do next, but it looks like something big and exciting! What I didn't love about this: I think the story telling is lacking a bit of the depth found in the previous books, it's a little bit more sketch like and not as developed. Luce, bless her, is a bit of a noodle again. This is a spoiler, so just highlight the text below if you want to read it. I have to say I found the depictions of Satan and God a bit caricature-ish and it got a little bit farcical for me in that part. So, again I find myself saying the same thing about this series. It's somewhat annoying but I can't put it down and am eagerly awaiting the final installment raputure.

Week before Christmas

It was the week before Christmas and all through the house, there was a frantic search for spare christmas light bulbs, unravelling of garlands, the smell of spicy Christmas biscuits being made. Yes, I've finally got there, took me a while to get into the swing of it, but I got there. There is a kind of momentum that carries you along, part of which is the whole going round the shops, Christmas music thing, which I don't do. Lots of homemade things and ordering online but I do not do the annual slog round the shops. I thought I'd go for an alternative to the Christmas tree this year, let my, not so inner, stylist loose with some branches and some white paint. A big pot to stick them in, some fairy lights for a bit uplighting, a few of my favourite baubles and, hey presto, a very chic looking little arrangement. Which does not drop needles all over the floor. And the paper snowflakes, oh, the floors were covered in a confetti of paper from cutting all of these, but god, how addictive it proved to be! Once I'd started I couldn't stop. Not that I made anything that fancy I just loved doing it. And very effective all strung upin the living room. I blame Pinterest myself. So now I am going to spend the rest of the week doing some cooking and baking, my daughter comes home at the weekend when she and her dad will cover the kitchen in icing sugar and flour making mince pies together, as they have done every year since she was little. I will be back in the New Year. Hope you can join me then, in the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and wishing you all the best for the coming year!

Smut by Alan Bennett

A few months ago my book club read and loved The Uncommon Reader, so we decided to read this new volume of two novellas. Both of the stories have the themes of characters who are keeping up appearances of normality while the smutty little secrets they think they hold are in fact known to everyone. The first, The Greening of Mrs Donaldson, tells the story of Mrs Donaldson who, recently widowed, had taken to being an actor at the medical department of the nearby university, and has taken two university students, as lodgers. The students, a couple, often have trouble paying their rent and come up with a plan of what they can 'do' for Mrs Donaldson, 'in lieu' of the rent they owe. The second, The Shielding of Mrs Forbes tells the tale of one highly dysfunctional family and a policeman, all doing highly inappropriate things. I can't say that I enjoyed this as much as I liked The Uncommon Reader. The first story has the advantage of a very likeable character who learns to go on with her bad self. The second, while it does contain some very amusing lines and the kind of wit I expect of Alan Bennett, its farce never really seems to come to a point. This is another very quick read if you're looking for something witty and hilarious, but I didn't enjoy it as much as The Uncommon Reader.