Thursday, 29 March 2012

Marvellous Davy's Alphabet

Hopefully everyone knows by now that there is a short, 1 hour, health walk from The Hub every Wednesday. We leave at 1045 from the Cathedral Green end of the passageway. We return with tales of the marvels we have seen, normally by the waterside, to drink coffee and knit, or chat, in The Hub. You will certainly be aware that walking is the best and easy cure for a multitude of health issues. The "dementia time bomb" can almost certainly be offset by walking and activity, watch this space for new government initiatives. Walking also especially favours ladies of a certain age with regards to bone density issues and absolutely everyone benefits from the mental positivity walking brings. There are so many good reasons to walk but from A-Z here are 26 of them:

Anxiety: Distraction from worry. Escape the source of torment. Space and time to consider your issues.

Blood Pressure: 25% of adults suffer from high blood pressure resulting in a significant increase in the risks of heart attack. Walking can reduce this as rapidly as 3-4 weeks with daily and increasingly longer walks.

Cancer: Walking and other exercise helps to prevent cancer (as part of an overall healthy lifestyle) and during recent trials it was found that incorporating walking into a recovery plan helped sufferers to get better quickly.

Diabetes: 18 million people in the UK suffer from diabetes, a rise of 30% since 1996. Walking can significantly reduce the risk that you will develop diabetes.


Esteem: Walking will improve your self esteem especially if you walk within a group.

Flexibility: Walking maintains joint flexibility. It also strengthens muscle and tissue around the joints promoting a greater range of movement.

Gradients: Get your heart and lungs working and help improve fitness.

Heart Disease: You can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by up to 50% by walking.


Introducing Others: Your friend/partner/relative will discover the benefits and you will have more people to walk with.

Joy: Walking, especially in Green Spaces provides a proven sense of well-being. Walking by water gives a healthy dose of negative ions.

Kids: Couch potato children are constantly in the headlines. Walking is an excellent, non-competitive way to introduce youngsters to exercise.

Longevity: Walk More=Live Longer. It's official. One study of retired men showed that walking 2 miles a day cut their mortality rate in half.


More in the next exciting episode! Best, Davy

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Exeter Homebirth Group - April Meeting

April meeting: Tuesday 10th April at the Hub on the Green from 7.30 to 9.30pm. Having learnt about the Doula role we can focus on the Midwife role at a Homebirth. Supervisor of Midwives, Gwenllian Riall, will be giving an informal talk for us including what happens at a homebirth, homebirth safety, when babies are born before the midwife arrives.

Hub your magic!

It's all change on the helping front. I have managed to persuade Sal to make a coffee and walnut cake and Crafty Hannah K. will be making something special too. 
The cafe team now is as follows:
10:30-11:30 Nigel (now confirmed)
11:30-12:30 Andy
12:30-1:30 Lynda
1:30-3:30 Zoe with Jo at 2pm
3:30-4:30 A rather sleepy Jane (it's all the swimming) 

Dad, Sal and Ben will be popping in in the afternoon to lend a hand too. Loving the community spirit everyone-thank you. 

Choir was lovely today. I wasn't there as I had to look after the reception desk in the health centre but I didn't miss out. I put Isabel's baby monitor in the hub so I could listen from reception. 

Lisa was on a day trip with her mama today so Hannah looked after crafting. It wouldn't have been safe in my hands. We were decoupaging eggs. I decoupaged an excellent chicken but you will have to take my word for it as I forgot to take a photo. 

these were make and take club's eggs
And Jane drew us. Jane has an exhibition soon at Inc in Exmouth but I already have my own original. Thank you Jane. That is very special. 

This afternoon Babyccino (I've just learnt to spell it) was lovely and busy. It's a very special group. When I peek in I see new mums supporting each other and having a good time. Just how it should be but in a lovely relaxed, happy environment. 

Arabella (babyccino) spent a lot of her time sending people up to the reception where I was, in fact I think she brought up five people during that time. It just goes to show that I should be in the porch, by the red door, permanently which was the original plan and my long term aim. One of the visitors was Chloe who would like to run a 'make your own baby sling' sewing session and another was Susan who came in to see the roof and as a result she is going to run some wool spinning workshops at the hub. That's what it's all about.

Today has been a model of what I imagined the hub would be...full of laughs, full of people, learning and sharing, supporting and having a good time. 

The other wonderful thing about today (and yesterday) is the planning. Yesterday Nikkie and Penny came up with the plan for the quiet, creative zone (alternate Tuesday afternoons). Then today Lauren came in with her plan for a baking club. She had floated the idea on Facebook and today it became a real club for Friday afternoons at the hub on a fortnightly basis. Lucky us! There are still some details which need finalising but I will keep you posted as to her plans. On twitter use #ExeterBakingClub and click here for the Facebook page

Hannah K who is running the crafting table at out Cake and Craft Fair on Saturday popped by to make some nest material for the Easter baskets. We managed to make the 'straw' and accidentally fixed the shredder at the same time. Bonus!

Hannah has been busy tonight. She has just texted me this photo. This is what Hannah will be making with you all on Saturday. It's very cool! And she will have chocolate eggs for you too. 

Tomorrow Davy's walking group will be leaving from the hub doors at 10:45am. I so wish I could go with them but I look forward to hearing all about it on their return. 

Then knitting group starts at noon or just pop in for a coffee. Last week was so much fun. I love Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Mum has made pumpkin seed brittle for knitting group (she just rang to tell me) so it will be worth turning up. It's my sister Tama's recipe so it'll be a goody.  Then it's a quiet afternoon and evening at the hub. I'm going to ask for something special to fill the gap here and now as yesterday when I asked on the blog for something on Friday, something turned up. Come on Hub your magic!

The other scoop of the day is that I think (everything crossed) we will be working a lot more closely with the Exeter Homebirth Group in the future which is very exciting as they bring such a lot to the hub. This week has been particularly productive. Good work hub people. 

And finally, a message from my step-mum Sal (although she didn't ask for it to be shared publicly it seems a shame not to). She said that community initiatives and hairdressers are what we need for a happy future. What do you think? It is important to note that she was, at the time, in the company of both her hairdresser and her step-daughter. 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Bloggy Catch-Up

Friday seems a long time ago but lets see what I can remember about it...
Shillingford came really early and delivered the 'order & collect' vegetables, pilates and Wriggle Rhythms filled the rest of the morning, Penny was in the alley promoting her vegetable order and collection scheme which is really taking off and coffee time was a goodie. Friday afternoons are quiet now and just waiting for someone to fill them with something special. Tai chi was great as always and the plans for World Tai Chi Day celebrations centred at the hub (for the south west region) are taking shape. We will go to the Cathedral Green and Princesshay for parts of the morning on 28th April and back to the hub for tea and cake.

Saturday was an early start. Lucie Benchouiha was running a full day Reiki course, Sophie Headlong-Moore (Wriggle Rhythms teacher 11am Fridays) had her baby fair at the hub and Lottie and I also visited Janette Davey (Daisy Birthing teacher 6:30pm Mondays)'s Children and Baby Market at Magdalen Court School and a multi-cultural bazaar at The Corn Exchange. This is our perfect kind of day...pottering around, looking at stalls, meeting people and nibbling our way through the day. 

Sophie's baby fair was to launch her new Under 1 Roof Baby Newsletter. If you would like a copy you can pick one up at the hub...
After opening up the hub, Lottie and I found time to sit in the sun before town got really busy. 
 This was taken at The Corn Exchange at their fabulous fair.  
My henna pattern
Davy and Penny at Sophie's baby fair. 
Davy's walking group on Wednesday morning will have a special visitor on 4th April so if you are an 'every so often' walker with Davy, I would pop 4th April at 10:45am in you diary.  

Sunday was just gorgeous and, as Exeter seemed to have run out of fairs, Lottie and I went to the quay. There was a 5th birthday party at the hub in the afternoon so we opened up and then went to welcome by little brother home from university. A huge thank you to Ruth and family for such an amazing tidying up job post-party. 

Monday at the hub...
There is a lot of fair sorting to do this week. Andy is heading to Bristol for work so I have asked him to pop into Ikea to get us some more mugs for the fair. We have so few left after six months of vigorous washing up. I think we will get purple ones so they don't clash with the dresser. 

I have a rota of friends to replace my mum who will be away so you can pick your time to visit the fair according to the server you wish to test and torment! I will be there all day too. 
10:30-11:30 Nigel (although he doesn't know this yet!!!)
11:30-12:30 Andy
12:30-1:30 Lynda
1:30-3:30 Zoe with Jo at 2pm 
3:30-4:30 Sparkly Sonia fingers crossed x

Penny will be at the fair selling her vegetables so you will be able to pick up fresh Shillingford Organic vegetables which are being delivered to the hub on Saturday morning at don't get much fresher than that. 

Coffee time today was's a Monday thing! But Nikkie 'Yoga Babies' Huddart and Penny 'Vegetable' Ritson came up with a fabulous idea. The alternate Tuesdays when Arabella isn't running babychino is going to be a Creative Pop Up Writing Zone (name to be tweaked!). It will be a quiet space for people to write, draw, concentrate on assignments etc. We have a lot of fabulous writing groups in Exeter and this will be a chance for people to do their 'homework' in a creative space. Anyone is welcome but from 1:45-2:45pm it will be a silent space with 'help yourself' refreshments followed by an hour of chat/networking/idea-sharing for those that would like to stay on. There will be a small cost per person. Please get in touch if you are interested in coming to the group. 

It was lovely to see Jo today who popped by for a hug, a chat and a bit of mischief. Upstairs Dan stuck his toe into the hub...he'll be knitting his own socks before the year is out!

We have had soooo many enquiries about having a stall at the fair. I am not sure where the sudden influx have come from but it is lovely to be asked. The only thing I am wondering is whether we should use the alley but I think we may need to wait one more month until it is a little bit warmer. 

I have been shopping. We now have a wicker sofa to go at the end of the alley so if people arrive a little bit early for classes they can have a sit down and enjoy the view of the cathedral. I have a noticeboard for the porch so it will be easier to see what is going on in the hub and the health centre. I have a rotating display for community leaflets. I have a table and chairs for the reception in the health centre so when people pop by to plan we will have a place to sit and I have a pavement A-board which will be for the Sustainable Health Centre most of the time but on Craft Fair Days we can put it on the cobbles for the day. This is called getting organised. Just a freezer and I have everything I would really like to make life easier. Arabella, I would still love to buy your A-board P:)

Hannah 'Half of The Craft Hub' Coopland-Smith is craft-sitting Lisa's contemporary crafting group tomorrow as Lisa is in London. Thank you Hannah. She will be making decoupage eggs Easter decorations. 

I have just heard that Lauren 'Through the Magic Door' Blogger & Cake Baker is popping in during coffee time tomorrow to talk about setting up a cake club which may be at the hub. The hub ladies on Facebook certainly like the idea :)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Plotting and Planning...

Today was a bit of a blur. The Sustainable Health Centre was like Piccadilly Circus so I escaped for a coffee, honey on toast and Simon and my planning meeting. It is amazing when you have a weekly meeting how much easier it is to note the progress. Life moves fast in hubland. Plans that weren't even a twinkle of an idea a week ago are already well on the way. 

The next big thing for me is The Cake and Craft Fair a week on Saturday (31st March). I heard from Lauren today what she is planning to bake for us...Easter cupcakes and maybe phoenix cake. Zoe has a lemon cake in the pipeline (if I can find her favourite tupperware box which was last seen in my hands) and  I even got an offer of carrot cake from upstairs. 

Sophie has her Baby Fair at the hub this Saturday from 10:30-12:30 (ignore the time on the poster) so the hub will be busy but I will be be enjoying the ambiance and doing a fair safari! Four fairs in one day :)

I am organising a tea party at the hub for all our group leaders and any regular hub visitors. I would love to get as many of you together as possible (there will be NO pink pig - this one's on me) so you can meet each other if you haven't already, hear what each one of you has planned and tell me what you would like me to do for you. If you would like to come let me It is going to be hard to find a time that is good for everyone but we will try.

Tuesdays Crafting Group...

Next Tuesday we will have no Lisa for Crafting Group on Tuesday as she has a exciting trip planned with her mum. But we should love to see you at the hub anyway. Could you bring your own projects or come for a cuppa and a chat?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wow! What happened?

So Monday was so quiet that I was able to spend an hour and a half with Penny talking food things.
Tuesday was so calm that I managed to sit down and enjoy a civilised conversation.
Today everyone came at once. It was so busy. And whilst Liz lovingly mended Cathy's crocheted blanket, I took care of her little Penny and we played hub hostesses together. We did really well as there were a lot of people and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who put a contribution in the pink pig. 

We had exciting visitors too. A local GP which we are always on the look out for, the brownie leaders who are joining us after Easter, a brave an who battled through the knitters, Luke our 'fast-track to advanced' knitter was there as were lots of other lovely regulars. 

A big thank you to Verity's girls for doing an amazing tidying up job. 
A big thank you to Liz for helping Cathy.
A big thank you to Arabella for mucking in, making teas and tidying up.
A big thank you to Sophie for my chocolate rabbit (now all gobbled up).
A big thank you to David for your blackcurrant jelly - so good on teacakes :)

Please help...
I would love a few more bakers to be able to bring along a donation of a cake to our cake and craft fair. 
I would love a second hand A-board/pavement sign.
I would love any plastic milk bottle tops or stamps for charity. 
I would love to see lots of you on Friday for a cup of tea and a teacake. 

Harvest Meeting

Last night's meeting at the hub organised by HARVEST was a great opportunity to hear all the exciting things that are join on at Mincinglake Orchards, Broadclyst Community Farm, HARVEST, Shillingford Organics, Love Local Food, Food Bank, The Hub on the Green, Real Food and Penny's Recipes We had quite a feast :)

What was great, was to hear what everyone else at the table had planned and share what Penny and I had been plotting. There are some amazing things happening all over Exeter...if you would like to know more either google the places mentioned above of pop in and ask at the hub. 

Monday, 19 March 2012

Monday's Hub

I spent most of the day talking about the future of weekends at the hub. Penny and I were thrashing out some ideas about foody things. 

Tomorrow HARVEST have organised a meeting of local foody organisations and we had given the hub as a meeting place. I learnt a little late in the day that it is a bring-a-plate meeting so I will be knocking up one of our cafe favourites at the hub tomorrow before 5:30pm. 

I am also desperate to organise a jumble sale. I love the idea. Jumble sale, tombola, tea and cakes. Sounds perfect to me. Hannah 'Make and Take Club' Coopland-Smith was well up for a bit of jumble sale rummaging and that's all the encouragement I need. Let me know what you think. 

We are booking in more and more birthday parties. It is such a great venue for little ones' parties. It's central, we have everything you need and it's a little bit magical. 

Wednesday evenings at the hub are now taken. Tai Chi is moving to an early Wednesday session from 6:30-7:45pm so there is still a later slot available. Brownies are coming to use the hub on Friday nights which is going to be great. I am going to put the availability on the website asap to make it easier for prospective course leaders to see what is up for grabs as there is a bit of chopping and changing, as is the nature of a place like the hub as courses finish and plans evolve.

Tonight's Make and Take Club were making Easter baskets. They were such busy bunnies...
Ella and Olivia with baskets :)

Joe and Pip

Tom and Sue

Tomorrow at the hub...
...toasted teacakes (Make and Take gobbled them all up so I'm off shopping first thing) with David's blackcurrant jelly (Penny and I sampled the combo today and it was a goody). Choir with Peter at 10am, contemporary crafting with Lisa at noon and coffee time too, there is NO baby group tomorrow afternoon but you are welcome to come and play at coffee time. Then there will be the HARVEST meeting at 6pm and Fencing at 9pm...touché!

At Heavenly Yarns on Fore Street

Anna from the wonderful Heavenly Yarns sent this through on email:

Summer Classes
Come and learn to knit in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.  Classes are kept small so that there is plenty of individual attention and time to learn at your own pace, with lots of cake and laughter.
Socks:  Five Monday evenings from 6.30 to 8.30pm starting on April 23.                                     
For this class you need to be a fairly confident, basic knitter, happy with knitting, purling and ribbing.                                      Cost £40
Learn to Knit: Six Monday evenings from 6.30 to 8.30pm, starting on June 11.                                        Cost £50
Tricky stuff:
Sunday June 9, 10.00am to 4.00pm
A one day skills workshop eg sewing up, kitchener stitch, shaping, reading patterns and general trouble shooting...!
Light lunch included.                 
Cost £40
Refreshments are included and there is a 10% discount on all materials bought during a course.
To secure a place please pay a non-refundable deposit of £20, the balance to be paid two weeks before the start of the course.
               Be warned, knitting can be addictive………….
Heavenly Yarns, 137 Fore Street, Exeter EX4 3AN. Tel: 01392 215131

Last Friday at the hub...

Friday was a lot of fun at the hub. Penny was in the alley letting people know about her fabulous vegetable scheme that means you can order whatever you like and collect it from the hub on Fridays. Lottie was making good use of the mushrooms this morning and we're cauliflower and almond souping it this evening. I think I have fed her too much purple sprouting broccoli - something I didn't think was possible. I think Lottie and I may have developed a slightly purple tinge to our skin too. 

The absolute bonus of Penny being at the end of the alley is that she sent lots of people into the hub who had never been in before. I met a lovely history student, a whole group of day visitors who came in en masse and loved our tea and biscuits, the man who flew in for a coffee and straight out again and the three WI ladies as well as the lovely lady who used to live here as well as Ruth Tucker who is the health facilitator we used to work with at our last hub in Cullompton. I remembered to curtsey to the president of the St Thomas' WI. She said there was no need but I think there was. The lovely Anne, Madie and Joyce came in to have a nosy and stayed for a giggle. I am going to join them...fourth Wednesday of every month. Beetle drives, scrabble nights, baking's perfect!

Please Help Us Collect..

Milk bottle tops and stamps.

These things get recycled but are much more use to individual organisations. Lottie's school collects bottle tops for Whizz Kids and Darren's Mum collects the stamps for something useful...more info to follow!!! Please just collect and we will have tubs at the hub to put them into.

Thank you

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Action in the Alley

Tomorrow as well as the usual (Pilates, Wriggle Rhythms, coffee time and Tai Chi) and our new tablecloths (thank you Lisa for the inspiration) and new layout Penny will be providing entertainment from noon. After a chat on Monday we came up with a cunning plan. It involves getting out onto the green (or the end of the alley), with nibbles and cups of tea and showing people who aren't quite brave enough to come through the door/s, what we do as well as showing off her fabulous new vegetable scheme. The Hub on the Green is a drop off point for vegetables from the wonderful and local Shillingford Organics. Regular Friday hub users and local office people love it so Penny is ready to grow and grow. 

Today was a bit of a revolution. I kidnapped Simon Mills (who is the reason we started the hub and the rest of out work) and we planned. Rather than dealing with the day-to-day, which can be very exciting and time-consuming (apart from the washing up - that's just time-consuming), we looked to the future and it looks good. We have a plan of action and lists (I love lists) and tomorrow we are meeting with Lorna from The Fruit Tree. All of this is tied up with Darren doing more in reception which frees me up to go and explore elsewhere. I would love to spend the next few weeks visiting all the local groups who I have met through the hub but always when they come to us. 

On Tuesday evening we have given the hub to HARVEST for a meeting of local food people with the aim of creating a network. I hope to have more details tomorrow. 

We are getting lots of interest in booking the hub which is great. This seems to come in waves. People are now planning for courses starting after Easter. We do have big gaps in the 'after school' slot other than on Monday when we have the fabulous Make and Take Club run by The Craft Hub. If you are particularly interested in activities during this time slot please do get in touch.

I am collecting willing bakers to bake for the Cake and Craft Fair on Saturday 31st March. Zoe has promised another of her infamous lemon sponges, mum will be doing chocolate brandy cake and brownies, I'm covering cupcakes but I hope Hannah K will do a few too with her usual finesse, Lauren has promised something yummy. So it's looking good but We would love more bakers so please do get in touch if you are happy to make a little something. 

This weekend the hub is having a rest but next weakend we will be back in full swing with Sophie's Under One Roof Baby and Toddler Fair on Saturday 24th March 10:30-12:30, Lucie's Reiki course all day on Saturday in another room and a birthday party on Sunday. 

To ring Sophie for more details on the Baby and Toddler Fair ring 07738 237928

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Respect Festival

On Monday I had a great chat with Penny who does so many fabulous things in and around Exeter. Penny has recently started her organic vegetable collection scheme at the hub and it has been so successful. Every week more and more people come on board and they all order weekly. Orders from individuals have got bigger which means one thing...Penny has happy customers and Lottie and I are two of them. I love it when someone come into the hub with an idea and within weeks it is a scheme that is up and running and working well for everyone. Thank you Penny. Now, never one to rest on her laurels, Penny will be in the alley outside the hub on Friday between 12 noon - 1:30pm (our coffee time) to show you what she is up to, answer any questions, make you a cup of tea, hand out the odd biscuit (hopefully) and hugs (if you are lucky) and share what she has created. 

Choir was in the safe and experienced hands of Sarah yesterday and the sounds coming form the hub were fabulous. When the crafters arrived we stood outside dancing. Peter will be back next week. We had new members and another new person will be starting next week so the choir is really growing. 

Yesterday Crafting was great. Sharon who worked at our cafe and community hub in Cullompton came to visit us with Lisa who runs her crafting sessions on a Tuesday. It was so lovely to see her. The group were printing their own wrapping paper. I love Tuesdays. 
I spent the evening at St Sidwells Centre at a meeting about the Exeter Respect Festival 2012. I volunteered us for bunting-making and there are lots of other opportunities to be involved either as a volunteer, a community group, a practitioner or preparing artwork/craftwork to decorate the park. I am still thinking it all through. I will talk to hub group leaders individually but if anyone would like to know more, do shout. With over 20,000 people through the 'doors' last year, most of you know all about it but if you don't then put 2nd & 3rd June in your diary and head to Belmont Park. It's a free festival and it's such good fun as well as a celebration of respect and diversity. We spent the whole weekend there last year. This year I will have to pop into Crikey It's Vintage briefly on the Saturday but then straight back to Respect. 

Today we have chocolate crispy cake and tea cakes to help us through Wednesday. 

Under One Roof Baby Fair

Sophie Headlong-Moore is launching her 'Under One Roof' all things baby/toddler organisation at her Under One Roof Baby Fair...