Lavender for Lunch & Dinner


On a recent trip to the UK the bumblebees were prolific in the lavender flowers. They were busy all day and even into the early summer evening. It was lovely to watch them, especially as many of the species are in decline and two have actually become extinct.

I always remember studying them in school when I was doing my A levels and the teacher telling us they were aerodynamically unable to fly. This always puzzled me, but I now read that this was a misconception of the 1930s and in 2005 it was shown through high speed photography, that the way they flapped their wings was different to the way previously understood. I do love science!

Bumblebees are mainly under threat because of changes to the countryside in the UK. Changes in agricultural techniques have meant that there are far fewer wildflowers in the landscape than there used to be, meaning that many of our bumblebee species are struggling to survive.


Don’t forget Rosemary




Hot olive oil splashed on my finger as I dropped the pattie into the frying pan. I swore and jumped back, withdrawing my hand before swiftly running it under the cold tap. The water came out lukewarm, after all, the temperatures had been in the high 30s all week. It did little to abate the pain.


I fumbled in the over-laden freezer. The relief was immediate but the ice-cube dissolved in my hand, drips running down to my elbow. As soon as I removed the ice, the pain came back, intense. I swore again at my carelessness. It had been years since I’d had a bad burn.


I used to always leave a bottle in the kitchen. Where was it?  My daughter would have been using it in the bathroom. The bottle was leaning against the tea tree and neem bottles in a small basket. I dipped my throbbing finger straight into the bottle. It felt good, but still hurt like hell. I removed my finger and examined it. No blisters. Give it time I told myself and went back to the kitchen to rescue the patties with my hand held out in front of me in an oily middle finger salute. Left handed I turned the patties. The chickpeas hadn’t stuck; I’d used enough oil for that.

Minutes later, nursing a ‘medicinal’ cup of tea, third finger still pointing to the heavens, I realised the pain had gone – completely gone. I’d forgotten how wonderful lavender oil could be. Twenty odd years ago when I first discovered aromatherapy I had marvelled at how effective the remedies were and how useful the oils were, whether mixed in creams, inhalations or as insect deterrents, and also how they could give balance to life simply by drifting in the air.

Where had all that knowledge gone?

I sipped at my tea and looked out of the large french-window. I glimpsed the basil behind the rosemary bush and thought it needed some water to revive it from the intense heat. I’d already lost two of my basil plants and didn’t want this one to meet the same fate. What was basil good for apart from its yummy taste? And what about rosemary? Wasn’t rosemary good for memory?

Maybe that’s why I forgot to use the knowledge I once had at my fingertips. Did it take a burn of the aforementioned digit to remind me how once I had revelled in the knowledge of so many useful things that I now, apparently, neglected to use. But why? If they worked so well, how could I simply forget to use them?

Or had I forgotten?

The diffuser sits in the middle of our living area and the heady fragrance of geranium frequently wafts throughout the house. I can’t remember why I so often choose it but it always makes me feel good.

I look it up now as I write this and see that it is, amongst other things, an uplifting tonic. So of course that was why I so frequently used it over the years. And there is always a bottle of thyme next to the diffuser; I use that when someone has a cold or flu. Then the tea tree and the eucalyptus I leave in the laundry and the citronella for keeping the creepy crawlies at bay and the clove oil that is great for toothache or breath freshener… the list goes on.

I hadn’t stopped using the oils, they were simply so ingrained in my life that I no longer consciously thought about their usage.

Or maybe I just need to start using a bit more of that rosemary oil … if only I could remember where I put it.