Danebury Hill Fort

Danebury is one of an extensive network of fortified sites across the Hampshire countryside.

The site is a rich chalk grassland and from the hillfort, there are magnificent views including several other hill forts and prehistoric burial mounds.

History: Evidence suggests that Danebury Iron Age Hill Fort was built 3000 years ago. It started life as a Late Bronze Age stock enclosure, while the main defenses that are now visible were built around 2500 years ago. The fort remained in use until c.100BC.

Route distance: 0.8 miles

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Longparish Dead Mans Plack

The valley is about half a mile wide, flanked by low ridges, with Harewood Forest to the north and west.

An excellent network of footpaths, including part of the Test Way, links the settlements. The paths provide some memorable views of the old cottages, the landscape, and the river.

History: Dead Man's Plack itself is a Grade-II listed 19th-century monument erected in the memory of Earl Athelwold. According to legend, Athelwold was killed there in 963 by his rival in love.

Route distance: 6.5 miles

New figures show that around one in eight people across Test Valley suffer from depression, with 13.1 percent of adult GP patients across the borough having had a diagnosis of depression in 2019-20.

WITH increased numbers of people suffering from anxiety, stress, and depression this last year, nature has often offered comfort to those struggling to cope.

Hannington Cottingtons Hill

Hannington is situated high in the North Wessex Downs.

A network of public rights of way gives walkers opportunities to explore and enjoy spectacular views that extend south and west from For Down, and north and south from Michael’s Field.

During most seasons you can see skylarks, yellowhammers, and many other wild birds. Fieldfares and redwings are regular visitors in winter.

Route distance: 4.5 miles.

Kingsclere Walk

Kingsclere has varied countryside including open downland, steep slopes, small fields, and woodland.

This walk is not for the faint-hearted. It has some steep gradients but is worth trying for the beautiful views. 

Route distance: 5 miles.

  • Matcha Tea has long been associated with ancient Zen tea-drinking ceremonies performed by monks.
  • It is part of the Zen mindfulness meditation, where the entire process of preparing and drinking tea is a complete meditation.
  • The fine green tea offers minerals, vitamins, polyphenols (a form of antioxidants) and other nutrients that regulate blood sugar and protect against heart disease and cancer.
  • Drinking matcha tea using the ‘slow down’ technique of Zen monks has added benefits: lower inflammation, lower blood pressure, and reduced stress hormones.
Matcha Green Tea

Matcha is a trendy new green tea which is finely powdered, and traditionally mixed with hot water, whisked and drunk.

The matcha tea is manufactured in a delicate manner to preserve their texture and flavour. They are dried and aged before being stone-ground into fine powder. It has about the same amount of caffeine as found in coffee, along with a natural substance called l-theanine, which induces an ‘alert calm’ in the body, a kind of relaxation without drowsiness.

The strong, umami taste of Matcha tea is like a mixture of grass and spinach and may need to be sweetened to taste, though milk is not recommended.

Lead consumption is a concern, as with all kinds of green teas. Matcha tea may have more lead content than other green teas.

Apart from tea, matcha powder can be used as an ingredient in various dishes like muffins, brownies and puddings.

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners used in diet food and drinks do not help in losing weight but actually trick our bodies into thinking that sugary foods do not have any calories. People who consume artificial sugar also tend to eat more calories by increasing their portion size.

A brand new, extensive study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that there are complications associated with eating non-nutritive (artificial) sugar, like increased BMI (weight gain) and cardiometabolic issues.

Switching from Cole Zero to regular Coke will not help, and even the ‘zero-calorie’ or the so called ‘natural’ sweetener options are only helping our sugar-addiction.

Sugar is no longer classified as food, but as a drug, similar to cocaine. It is not good for us and we need to kick the habit of consuming it in any form.

Just reframing the painful experience as something that is beneficial and can be simply endured, increases the tolerance levels in humans who have been accustomed to popping pills in order to feel better, at the cost of long-term complications.

Most drugs and over-the-counter analgesics only suppress pain, and we think that’s normal as we are brought up believing that pain is wrong and we have to feel good at all times.

Research in the 1980s showed that Americans are having more options to treat their problems and yet are having more illnesses than about 50 years before. This is ironic as these years also witnessed the maximum progress in treatments and vaccines, increasing life expectancy.

Pain: A Complex Phenomenon
  • We all have experienced pain, be it physical or psychological.
  • Trying to quantify or define the intensity of the hurt being experienced isn’t easy.
  • Pain is relative, as each of us has a different anatomical and neurochemical build, a different context that makes it unique.
  • All these factors make pain a complex phenomenon, and most of us are managing it pharmacologically (popping pills), which generally causes problems.

The basic mindset on how to tackle pain, by suppressing it with dangerous opioids or pain-killers is like treating a human body like a piece of machinery: Finding the broken part and fixing or replacing it.

The approach fails to understand how integrated the human body is, and completely ignores the cognitive processing and emotion that goes on inside it.

Some of the effects of media multitasking include reduced attention spans, lapses in attention, and forgetfulness of information due to reduced brain-signal patterns.

The lower sustained attention can also result in people having memory recall issues in the long run, as the everyday behaviour evolves into a steady pattern.

A Daily Deluge Of Junk Information

The way many of us, especially young adults, consume digital media, often by multitasking, can impair attention, according to new studies.

Media multitasking, which is engaging in the TV program while texting or using social media, is a common activity among the younger population.

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