Thursday, May 19, 2016

ROW Lecture Tour - York,UK.

After leaving Riga, Latvia, I flew to Manchester and caught the Pennines Express train to York, to be met there by my good friend Annette, prior to attending the conference of the ISRN(Incorporated Society of Naturopaths) a unique group who practice what is termed as "straight Naure Cure". This comprises teaching a simple natural lifestyle, and contrary to the usual practice of Naturopathy in the world today, does not use, nor does it advocate the use of, any form of medication, be it so-called, natural, or not. It is very much in line with the teachings of Natural Hygiene, and articles by the Thomson's, of the Kingston Clinic, in Edinburgh, were often published Dr Herbert M Shelton, in the Hygienic Review.

This is the group who attended the conference this year in York.



Here we are, that is those who were able to do so, at the conference dinner.




This was a very happy day indeed for both myself and Guna, as she was presented with her graduation Diploma from the Academy of Natural Living. This then enabled her to become a full member of the ISRN, and the GNC(General Naturopathic Council) in the UK.


Guna in her presentation to the ISRN.


Here we see our very competent secretary Alison introducing one of our speakers.


Alexander, an Osteopathic member presents a very enlightening, and most interesting address on his experiences, and benefits of home birthing.

I had the wonderful experience and great joy of spending a few days with Alexander and his wife Jasmine, and their two children at their delightful home prior to flying out to Canada.


Here is Alex and his wife and children as we walked in the woods enjoying the Spring sunshine. As can be observed, it was still very cold with each day there being the possibility of further showers.







Tuesday, April 26, 2016


America’s Favorite Poison
Are millions suffering needlessly because the EPA hid the dangers of Roundup?
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BY Institute for Responsible Technology
Americans no longer have to wonder why Monsanto asked the Environmental Protection Agency to seal the biotech giant’s studies on glyphosate-- the active ingredient in their Roundup herbicide. When scientist Anthony Samsel, with the assistance of his U.S. Senator, was finally able to obtain these secret studies in 2015, he discovered that lab animals fed even small amounts of glyphosate ended up with cancer and tumors in virtually every organ and gland. One can’t help but wonder how many lives would have been saved if we were allowed to see these studies 25 years ago rather than being forced to wait until last year’s declaration by the World Health Organization that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.
While the government recommends that doctors be cautious to prescribe antibiotics “only when clinically necessary,” they conveniently overlook the fact that glyphosate is patented as an antibiotic and sprayed directly on GMO soy and corn in high doses. Unfortunately, the residues, which we can’t wash off, can wipe out beneficial gut bacteria, paving the way for digestive disorders, immune problems, and numerous diseases.
Wreaking havoc on our hormones
Over the past two decades, science has confirmed that tiny doses of endocrine disrupting chemicals can wreak havoc with our hormones. Apparently the EPA has been napping during that time, since they still don’t require any safety testing of ultra-low doses
of Roundup. In fact, they approved levels
of glyphosate in our food that guarantee the average American is ingesting amounts that can multiply human breast cancer cells and create serious liver and kidney damage.

Because Monsanto told the EPA that glyphosate is the only active ingredient in Roundup, the EPA ignores all the other chemicals in the herbicide mixture and only reviews data on glyphosate. But other chemicals found in Roundup are themselves endocrine disruptors and can be as much as 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate.
XX THE HILL
EPA serving corporate interests
Why has the EPA ignored serious, life- threatening properties of the world’s most widely used herbicide? A letter by the unions representing EPA workers may give us a clue. They cited “political pressure exerted by Agency officials perceived to be too closely aligned with the pesticide industry and former EPA officials now representing the pesticide and agricultural community.”
Those former EPA officials might include William D. Ruckelshaus, the EPA chief administrator who later became a member
of Monsanto’s board of directors; or Linda J. Fisher, who was Monsanto’s Vice President of
Government and Public Affairs before and after holding several high-ranking positions at the EPA, including the second in command.
Ban Roundup
Roundup has been banned or restricted by many countries, counties, cities, and businesses ---from the Netherlands to Cameroon, from Irvine, CA to Montgomery County, MD. Tens of thousands of physicians and scientists have called for its removal from the market.
With 300 million pounds sprayed annually in the U.S., glyphosate residues are now confirmed in our urine, blood, breast milk, and drinking water. Congress must act quickly. Don’t be fooled by corporate “tobacco science.” Roundup must be banned to protect U.S. citizens, not to mention the monarch butterflies and honeybees.
For references and to read the studies that Monsanto doesn’t want you to see, go to ResponsibleTechnology.org/references
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Glyphosate use in the U.S. is closely correlated with the rise of more than 20 diseases, including autism, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, hypertension, ADHD,
anemia, kidney failure, stroke, senile dementia, and birth defects. Although correlation doesn’t prove causation,
scientists have identified numerous ways in which glyphosate-based herbicides disable and damage bodily functions and are likely contributing to these diseases. See ResponsibleTechnology.org/references
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

ROW Lecture Tour 2016 - Latvia


And so by plane to Latvia via Munich, and whereas last year there was a lengthy delay in passing through customs, which culminated with hundreds of people missing their flights all was well this time. And in spite of the upheavals caused by the immigrants from the east, it was a relatively easy straightforward process with little if any delays in the process.

                     


These are some of the old buildings which stand empty in the main city area which quite intrigued me. Upon questioning my friend Aigus, I was informed that the people who owned these buildings were mostly not able to afford the financial out-lay to refurbish them, and the local authorities could not make them do so.


Quite often nearby were beautifully renovated buildings as can be seen in the following photos.


This is one of the many wooden structures which has been re-furbished, and as can be seen is decidedly attractive, and pleasing to the eye.



In amongst these magnificent old buildings is to be found a lone Lutheran church.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia (LatvianLatvijas evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca, or LELB) is a LutheranProtestant church in Latvia. Latvia's Lutheran heritage dates back to the Reformation. Both the Nazi and communistregimes persecuted the church harshly before religious freedom returned to Latvia in 1988.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia sees itself as being in a continuous tradition of Christian life since the earliest recorded Christian missionary work in the area, in the 12th century.[1] Latvia was highly influenced by the Reformationand the style of Lutheran church which emerged followed the more Protestant German-type Lutheranism, rather than the episcopal or Nordic-type Lutheranism that emerged in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Finland. However, following the establishment of the Republic of Latvia (1918) the church moved towards a more historical catholic polity, and accepted consecration of bishops by the Church of Sweden. Along with the Church of Sweden, the ELCL now claims full apostolic succession. In 1975 the church decided to ordain women as pastors,[citation needed] but since 1993, under the leadership of Archbishop Jānis Vanags, it no longer does so.

Since the fall of communism, the church has experienced massive growth and expansion. A special Synod in April 1989, following the return to post-communist independence, established a network of revived congregations, and put in place an almost entirely new leadership.[2]






The Nativity of Christ Cathedral (LatvianKristus Piedzimšanas pareizticīgo katedrāleRussianХристорождественский кафедральный собор), RigaLatvia was built to a design by Nikolai Chagin and Robert Pflug in a Neo-Byzantine style between 1876 and 1883, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. It is the largest Orthodox cathedral in the Baltic provinces built with the blessing of the Russian Tsar Alexander II on the initiative of local governor-general Pyotr Bagration and bishop Veniamin Karelin. The Nativity of Christ Cathedral is renowned for its icons, some of which were painted by Vasili Vereshchagin. During the First World War German troops occupied Riga and turned its largest Russian Orthodox cathedral into a Lutheran church. In independent Latvia, the Nativity of Christ Cathedral once again became an Orthodox cathedral in 1921. Archbishop Jānis Pommers, a native Latvian, played a key part in the defence of the cathedral, including defence from the Latvian government which was extremely unfriendly to Orthodox Church in the first years of an independent Latvia. In the early 1960s, Soviet authorities closed down the cathedral and converted its building into a planetarium. The cathedral has been restored since Latvia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.




Here we see more of the historic buildings which have been beautifully restored. 

ROW Lecture Tour 2016 - Croatia & Slovenia

After leaving Milan, I travelled to Irdija in Slovenia via Ljubljana by bus. My time in Slovenia was spent mostly arranging for next years visit, and subsequently I completely forgot to take any photos to share. The time went so quickly that it seemed as though I had just arrived, and I was once again on my way, this time to Zagreb by train  supposedly. Unfortunately I missed the train by five minutes or so due to heavy traffic conditions. Fortunately though, I was able to travel by bus to my destination arriving two hours later than expected.
 This turned out to be very fortuitous as on the bus journey there were only two occupants, with the other occupant being a tennis coach with whom I found we had much in common. So a very valuable friendship was made, of mutual benefit to us both.



Having arrived safely in Zagreb, I then transferred once again, with the invaluable assistance of my new found friend to the train to take me to Varazind, where my friends would meet me to travel to the nearby town of Cakovec.
The above photo is part of the main street in Cakovek,and in spite of a cold wind blowing there were a few hardy souls sitting at the outdoor cafe.






A further view of the main centre of the town with the towHall clock.


Looking back through the town centre. I believe that in the earlier years there were more trees.


One of the ornamented old buildings in the town.


This is the new cultural centre at the end of the town centre.


And the first flowers of the year after winter.



The interior of one of the yet to be completed room of the Rufolf Steiner Centre


This was the delightfully airy lecture hall




These two photos are of the Rudolf Steiner building which, when visited last year was far from completed and tended to look rather derelict. The present director, whom I had the priviledge of meeting previously,Dijna Posavec, is very much to be commended for her dedication and application which has resulted in this much to be commended, and ongoing, outcome.


A remnant of the enthusiastic group who attended the lecture with the director, Dijana Posavec in the front row to the right.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

ROW Lecture Tour 2016 - Milan



And so to Italy and the city of Milan. Here I was able to spend a couple of days with my friend and student Giovanni. Some would describe this part of my journey as from "the sublime to the riciculous", having flown from the tropical heat of India to the wintery and cold conditions of Italy. And I must admit that whenever I make such a journey, I am reminded how much I appreciate and enjoy the tropical climate, and why I have chosen to live in such a climate.

Nevertheless it is good to be reminded, and to once again experience the extremes of the weather, for extreme it can be, and usually is, with the snow on the mountains. And on some occasions, when Europe is experiencing a cold winter, still to be found in the cities and towns as well. This year though, so I am told, it has been a mild winter.






The buskers on the streets are a great joy to me, providing great music in what can be a rather dreary background, especially in winter. And yes I am aware that the saxophonist is wearing short sleeves and shorts which gives the impression of warmer weather. You will notice though, that all the other people in the photo are wearing winter gear, and I can assure you it was decidedly cold.



Yours truly with my friend and student Giovanni.





Naturally enough, there will always be a castle.
Originally a Visconti fortress, this iconic red-brick castle was later home to the mighty Sforza dynasty, who ruled Renaissance Milan. The castle's defences were designed by the multitalented da Vinci; Napoleon later drained the moat and removed the drawbridges. Today, it houses seven specialised museums, which gather together intriguing fragments of Milan’s cultural and civic history, including Michelangelo’s final work, the Rondanini Pietà, now housed beautifully in the frescoed hall of the castle's Ospedale Spagnolo (Spanish Hospital).


Adjacent to the castle is the statue of Garibaldi.
Giuseppe Garibaldi(born July 4, 1807Nice, French Empire [now in France]—died June 2, 1882, Caprera, Italy), Italian patriot and soldier of the Risorgimento, a republican who, through his conquest of Sicily and Naples with his guerrilla Redshirts, contributed to the achievement of Italian unification under the royal House of Savoy.



This man was indeed a most interesting Sculptor. The flowers and figuirines he was sculpting were sculpted from, of all things, different coloured fruits and vegetables.


And of course there has to be a cathedral.

An exceptionally large and elaborate Gothic cathedral on the main square of Milan, the Duomo di Milano is one of the most famous buildings in Europe. It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world.


So you are wondering what I am doing here, just as I did upon first observing others at this spot. Below my right foot is a depression into which you place your foot, rotate yourself in a clockwise direction three times, and make a wish. I have no comments as to whether your wish will be answered or not.


                        The statue of Leornardo da Vinci graces a square adjacent to the cathedral.
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, more commonly Leonardo da Vinci or simply Leonardo (Italian: [leoˈnardo da (v)ˈvintʃi]; 15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519), was an Italian polymath whose areas of interest included inventionpaintingsculptingarchitecturesciencemusicmathematicsengineeringliteratureanatomygeologyastronomybotanywritinghistory, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of paleontologyichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time.[1] Sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachutehelicopterand tank,[2][3][4] his genius epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

ROW Lecture Tour 2016 - Cochin

The time had come for me to move on from Kolkata to Kochi, also known as Cochin, on the south west coast in the state of Kerala. Kerala is the most densely populated state in India as well as being the richest. This is well born out by the type and size of many of the residences.


Of course not every-one lives in such opulence with most living either in much smaller homes or in high rise apartments.



This is the home of the actor and screen-writer Sreenivasan, whom I spent some time with viewing his magnificent and extensive garden which he is developing along purely organic lines.





As can readily be seen he is putting in much work in his garden.


Yours truly with Sreenivasan


Sreenavisan with his good wife.



An organic food store which is next to and part of a Pharmacists shop.


One of the really old Jak fruit trees to be seen in the area, mostly loaded with fruit. Jack fruit is commonly used as a base for curries as it readily takes on the curry flavour. Because of this it is one tree along with the mango, which is to be found in abundance almost everywhere.


This sign is written in the local language which is widely spoken in Kerala, Malayalam. As can be seen it is advertising a lecture by myself and a local Dr.


This sign is on the other side of the entrance to the restaurant at which the lecture was given.


The gentleman, his wife and daughter, along with the photo of his father who developed the retreat which he now operates as an homeopathic centre.


Walking along the railway line to the station to catch one of the local inter-city trains.


A group of local organic farmers who attended one of my lectures on organic farming and health.


A local magazine on organic methods of farming produced locally in Malaylam.



The Marari Beach Resort is a magnificent resort which has been developed along ecological lines using only organic methods. This is the dining room which as can be seen is a magnificent structure providing an  in-door, out-door experience.



The Greater Cochin Development Authority overseas the development, amongst other things, of agriculture.



This display of sunflowers and cucumbers(loaded with cucumbers) is to be found fronting the Cochin's Authority building.