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November's News

Getting into the Spirit of Things

Goodness me, just like that, it's the end of November, which means it's time for my end of month instalment ... you lucky things! So, according to the Met Office, our astronomical winter doesn’t begin until 21 December – yes, I appreciate it’s been very mild, however, I’ve already used my trusty Sparks loyalty card to scrape frost off my windscreen twice (oh ... and for a beauty calendar shhh – who says advent calendars are just for kids?!) our heating is on full pelt (after 10 days with a broken down boiler!), my thickest deniers are on, plus the word ‘snow’ has been mentioned more than twice last week on the radio … so in my book winter has arrived. Actually, I’ve just read further down the Met Office page and it does also say “By the meteorological calendar, the first day of winter is always 1 December; ending on 28 (or 29 during a Leap Year) February.” Always good to cover all bases, ok jolly good, thought so, glad we’ve cleared that up. Frosting aside, November has been a lovely sunny month overall don’t you think – on one such sunny day I took my parents to Kew Gardens where we saw the sculpture above – she’s called ‘Leaf Spirit’ - made by a clever chap called Simon Gudgeon using Norway maple leaves as the pattern. The gaps in her face allow you to “glimpse the natural world – leaving her to blend subtly into and become part of the landscape” he also talks about how being “surrounded by trees and nature refuels our bodies and our minds” I 100% agree with that – the homemade tomato soup we had in the café with a glass of rose wine in the sunshine were delicious too. To embrace winter I've invested in a new bobble hat, I also bought a festive hat for wine bottles ... yes I know just what we needed .. not .. 😄 and I've located the fondu set (bought during lockdown, which was a fun purchase). Yesterday, I spent a lovely day in London with my university friends, which also really got me into the spirit of things - we've been friends now for 30 years, how lovely is that. After a mulled wine or two, I shared with them that I was feeling a little antsy (and no and not because I hadn't bought a single Black Friday item – not even a pair of high-definition periscope glasses that allow you to read horizontally, so you can watch TV lying down … I was tempted though) but more the desire / need? to get out and see everyone and do everything tout suite before anything else happens in the world, which blows the whole mindfulness business out of the pudding bowl! How about you? Are you reminiscing about how lovely it was not to see anyone or do anything last Christmas, or is your diary already fit to bust with pantos, parties and pa-rum-pa-pum-pums? Whatever you’re feeling, here are as a few suggestions that might help you get into the spirit of things in different ways: 1. Sustainable Christmas Gifts for under £30 – thanks to Pebble Magazine for these suggestions, there are some lovely ideas here - 2. If you’re into your junipers and would like to drop a few hints to friends and family, or heck why not just pop one of these under the tree without a tag and look surprised when you open it (don’t let on that it was me who told you that) – great suggestions as always from the Good Housekeeping team - 3. I love nothing more than having my apron on, listening to jazz with a G&T in hand – however, when you need a helping hand in the run up to, or during Christmas and you’re looking for something a little bit special – I’ve tried and tested these guys and they get a big thumbs up from me: and & 4. On a more serious note, whilst most of us are getting excited about the next few weeks, for many abused woman and children it can be an incredibly stressful time too, a time when they have to leave their homes quickly with nothing at all. You can buy a Christmas refuge parcel for as little as £15 for a children’s’ parcel or £25 for a for a Christmas dinner parcel – a small token of kindness can go a long way -

What's been happening at Gin & Yin HQ? This month I had allocated time in my diary to get on top of my finances and messy office (a bit like I did last month) … alas, moving swiftly on ... on the event front, I loved collaborating with these two ladies - Roisin Hope, founder of Concrete Jungle Yoga and Francesca Smith, aka DJ Goodnight on a ‘DJ’d Soulful Yoga Flow & Gin Tasting’ at The Ring Boxing Club in London, what a hoot we had, once I'd got over the stress of the pre-ordered Uber not arriving - thank goodness Francesca saved the day! Unique venue, great yoga, top tunes, delicious plant based food, gorgeous attendees and of course delicious Gin, thanks to Haymans – great to visit their distillery in Balham too, they have the best Christmas bottle tree EVER! If you’re up for trying a low alcohol G&T (less than 80% alcohol to be precise) trust me it’s a winner. Photos of the event here: We also donated 10% of all our bookings to the Heads Together Charity & Mind which felt great to give something to a worthy cause too. So What's Next?

LAST ORDERS @ THE ART BAR Local Delivery Only (5 miles of KT6) Life Art by the Glass - On Zoom Weds 1st Dec - 7pm - 9pm - - - That's it, all our 'life art and gin fizz' boxes have now been posted out - we've got ladies and chaps coming from all over the country which is really wonderful - that's the beauty of zoom - you can stay connected and experience new creative activities in the comfort of your own home! Tickets £35pp - Only have 1 Goodie Box left - which incl. art materials, live online tuition, a winter gin fizz (or non-alcoholic alternative); treats and a self-care gift - if you'd like to join us, email me at and I'll let you know if I can deliver to you. Full details below x Tell me more ...

Restorative Mountain Retreat Shanti Som - Marbella Thurs 9th to Sun 12th June 2021 - - - If you'd benefit from something to look forward to in 2022, something that's tailored with you in mind, or maybe to enjoy with a close friend, your mum or sister - this truly is a magical retreat property. It delivers the perfect mix of wellness and seclusion; amazing food; wonderful scenery; lovely outdoor yoga space; a gorgeous mountain hike directly behind us; the best bowls of Gin & Tonic (yes the glasses look like bowls, no wonder I love this place!) - only a hop and a skip from Malaga Airport - if this sounds like just what you need in your diary to look forward to - I have 4 rooms left - the cost is £850 pp sharing an ensuite twin room, or £1,100 for total privacy with your own private balcony - £200 secures your space. To see what we got up to in 2019 - see the Gin & Yin Facebook page - go to 'Photos' then 'See all' and then 'Mountain Retreat' phew .. preferably with a G&T in hand! x

Memories not Things My Uni pals and my new hat in Covent Garden ... and no we didn't go to see 'Frozen' "The most beautiful things in life are not things. They're people, places, memories and pictures. They're feelings, moments, smiles and laughter". Three cheers to that - Thanks as always for getting to the bottom of this month's news. On that note, 'Bottoms Up' to the season - enjoy and see you next month! Ruth xx


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