a simpler life, el pocito, healtha simpler life el pocito sendero 01


“La enfermedad es la gran maestra en nuestra vida.  Ella es la semilla y la causa de cambio en la vida.  Ella es el camino donde nos encontramos con el reino mineral, el reino vegetal y el reino animal.  La enfermedad nos une con todo y con todos.”

Displayed on the wall in a local homeopath’s office, and roughly translated means:

“Illness is the greatest teacher in our lives.  It is the seed and cause of change in life.  It is the road to the kingdoms of minerals/ vegetables/ and animals.  Illness unites us with all these things.”

One of the most profound things I’ve ever read.  It gave us the focus we needed, and now, after the death of Maureen has, has reinforced my belief that life is a lot shorter than I ever guessed but in order to get the most from what is so little time, we should spend it wisely.  Being part of Nature, not being hoodwinked into the world of money and what it can buy.

Which includes all the current fads for healthiness, each vying with the other to persuade us this is the best to eat/ take as a supplement/ insurance/ complimentary treatment.  Effectively a whole new industry which is worth trillions to those who invent such ridiculous claims.  None of which are true.  In fact, despite all that spending, most of us are a lot less healthy now, and facing an earlier/ more painful death.

Don’t understand?  Well read on and I’ll try to enlighten you with some of the facts of modern day living (in no specific order of importance):


Despite all the information on nutrition available today, and the advent of healthy eating, brought about by an explosion in the availability of whole foods/ natural foods/ organic/ and raw, none of this is in any way good for us or what our bodies actually need.

What we eat is one of the primary determinants for whether we become obese, get serious health problems, or suffer a painful and premature death.  And quite simply this is because what we eat is more often than not totally unsuited to the way our body is designed to function.  Even the stuff we think of as the staff of life, the staples, whole foods/ unprocessed/ and unrefined grains, beans, fruits, vegetables and non-homogenized dairy products.  All these are modern inventions, created by the agricultural industry to be cheap and easy to grow.  None of them is any older than 3–10,000 years, out of the 5-8 million years we’ve been around on this planet, and certainly not long enough for our bodies to have adapted/ evolved sufficiently to safely digest them.

Food therefore is not what feeds us, but what profits those who are involved in agriculture and the processing of those products.  And sector that has steadily grown richer and more powerful from persuading us it alone can provide what we need, rather than letting us do it for ourselves.  Today, of the 20,000 plants we used to eat (foraged for free!), there are only 20 or so used now.  All hybrids, and chosen because they are the cheapest and easiest to grow.

The industry is also backed by government, who we assume are there to oversee the safety of these products.  Wrong.  It has zero concern or culpability.  Which is especially worrying when year on year there are more and more products, and each using less and less ingredients/ cheaper production methods (including more chemical sprays for pests and diseases, and genetically modification)/ more lethal synthetic flavourings to make it palatable.  The most dangerous of the latter currently all sweeteners (highly carcinogenic, and especially lethal for anyone with cancer), and salt.

So powerful is this industry that fortunes are spent on marketing in order to make sure we believe what we eat is good for us, even when it isn’t.  And to make sure they pay too for the unconditional support of the medical profession.  Only a fool would eat any of it thinking it was doing them good.

That is why we have been so busy planting up our own edible forest, to escape the dependency on what is clearly bad for us.  As well as trying to replace those plants in our diet that used to exist so we can eat better.  Sadly it hasn’t been soon enough to save Maureen or the consequences of what I’ve eaten up ‘til now, but it will continue to exist as an example for others to know better.


This bit should be obvious, but amazingly the majority still don’t get it.


There is a finite number of people this planet can sustain (food/ water/ air/ natural materials for shelter etc).  Sustainably, that number is no more than 3 million.  No, that’s not a typo, its reality.  Any greater than this and the planet’s ability to recycle the limited raw materials that exist on Earth begins to suffer, not just for us, but all the other species whose existence and co-dependence depends on the global ecology functioning properly.  This is plain to anyone with a brain, and up ‘til 10,000 years ago somehow we had managed to keep it below this figure for the previous 5-8 million years.  Then something happened, and despite allegedly becoming a lot more intelligent, we disregarded any requirement for balance, opting instead for religion, or what is also known as firster mentality: that the planet was designed solely for our benefit.  Virtually outlawing any restriction on population growth, and in many cases demanding it, until countries like the UK became so over-populated that now there is no public supply of: clean water, clean air, or uncontaminated food (regardless of labelling).  The mortality rate has subsequently rocketed, and if the oil does finally does run out/ or become too expensive, 90% will immediately starve to death.

happiness/ mental health

Quite simply, we are creatures born of Nature, therefore the only place and way to live is part of that.  Anything else simply destroys our equilibrium and leads to illness.  More later in the section on – stress.


We believe that what industry produces is governed in such a way that its products are safe, its discharges are safe, what it sends to landfill is safe, by a system of legislation and inspection/ certification.  This is pure myth.  The only safe product is the one we make for ourselves, using materials we have grown for ourselves.  Until then cancer and mortality rates will continue to rise.

the combustion engine

If the air wasn’t already polluted enough by overpopulation and industry, the internal combustion engine is adding yet another toxic load.  One of the biggest health cover-ups in history.  If you live anywhere within 2 km of a road/petrol station/ airport/ or where fuel is pumped.  If you drive a car/ take a bus/ cycle/ or walk near a road, then you are exposing yourself to a dose which is way above safe.

EMF (electro-magnetic frequency) radiation

Every single thing we’ve invented has managed to have an equally negative as well as positive effect on humanity (along with the rest of the planet).  The latest being EMF.  It affects our immune system, that incredible function which keeps us healthy and repaired.  Originally detected near pylons, it is now measurable around anything which is powered by electricity.  The highest levels being transmitters for: mobile phones/ radio/ tv/ and radar (up to a kilometre away).  The next highest: wireless appliances, especially phones/ computers/ and wi-fi (up to 30 metres away).  Though as dangerous are the lowest rated, if you are continually exposed to them.  These include: wiring in the home and office/ and appliances switched on all the time.  The only safe place is to live and work as far away from any of them.

mobile phones

Long proven to cause tumours in the brain, so why does anyone continue to use them?  And why are manufacturers allowed to sell ever more powerful versions?

nuclear radiation

It takes only a ONE nuclear explosion/ accident to irradiate the entire planet for thousands of years.  This is because it remains lethal for so long (typically over 500 years) that it can travel the world on the wind and tides.  What else do you need to know?  There is NO argument for continuing to use nuclear power or weapons.

the importance of clean pure water

After clean air, pure water is the next most important/ valuable element on the planet.  More so than food.  Without it we would all die within days.  Yet most people still don’t realise this or what pure actually means.  Pure water is what provides our body with a unique kind of nourishment that is unavailable from any other source (read more in LIVING WATER, the work of Viktor Schauberger, by Olof Alexandersson 0-946551-57-X, and WATER & SALT, by Dr F Batmanghelidj 1-903571-24-3).  Ideally it is found only in mountain springs, but as this isn’t possible for everyone the next best source is from any other kind of (unpolluted) spring or borehole.  Bottled water therefore doesn’t count.  Equally important, we need to drink enough, but more on that in a minute.  Mains or tap water is not healthy.  In fact it should come with a health warning, along the lines of drink this at your own peril.  Personally I wouldn’t even wash with it, especially heated (as this creates an even more toxic vapour), and certainly not swim in it (pools have an even higher chemical load).  Don’t think fitting a filter helps either, it doesn’t.

None of this should be a surprise.  You only have to spend a moment to think about where water comes from these days to appreciate the vast differences between pure and the rest.  Pure is as pollution-free as it is possible to get.  But more importantly is the amazing journey it has gone through to transform it into an essential part of our nutrition.  Starting out as rainwater is just the beginning.  After that it not only travels over plants and soils, homeopathically taking on vital elements, but then percolates down through many different types of rock as well, each with its own unique salts/ minerals/ and other qualities.  And at the same time becoming carbonated, the force that gives it the lift to rise back all the way back to the surface, literally a life force.  Tap water meanwhile has very different journey.  First by being trapped right from the off in vast man-made lakes and reservoirs, where the effects of sunlight causes it to immediately start the process of stagnation.  Add to that mix, air pollution.  Then river water, which has to be the most lethal element imaginable.  Why?  Because far from being clean enough again to support fish, our rivers today contain the greatest number ever of lethal chemicals/ viruses/ and diseases.  This being the legacy of 200 years of legal and illegal dumping by industry/ seepage from landfill/ run-off from fields and roads/ and the national sewage system, which is legally allowed to pump waste onto fields and direct into our rivers.  The latter alone is a nightmare, for it contains not only all the stuff we knowingly but still thoughtlessly flush down the toilet/ sinks/ and drains (including household products/ garden chemicals/ and motor products, all clearly labelled as hazardous), but also ALL our personal diseases, along with the pharmaceuticals we take and the medical treatments we are given (radiation/ chemotherapy).  None of which are rendered safe by dilution or the so-called process of treatment at the sewage works.  Meanwhile, back in the reservoir, all these ingredients are mixing together like one big soup.  Until the moment comes for drawing it off, to send to our homes, when it then undergoes one last chemical treatment, designed to kill off selected bacteria/ pathogens, using yet another form of industrial waste, cleverly repackaged as benign and perfect for the job.  After which it then finally makes its way to us, along a network of distribution pipes, all made from materials long known to leach their own load of toxic chemicals.  Am I alone in wondering why the government is allowed to continue poisoning its people like this?

– cleanliness is not always next to healthiness

Washing ourselves is not as good for us as we are led to believe, certainly not with hot water as it removes essential oils, nor excessively, two or three times a week (full body) is more than enough.  Soap/ shampoo should never be used as both contain harmful chemicals, even the “organic” ones.  Best is the juice of a lemon, diluted in a bowl of hot water, plus it has powerful herbal qualities, and no need to rinse off afterwards either.

Never use detergents to wash your clothes with, especially when scented.  Or empty the waste water afterwards down the drain.  An overnight soak in plain water is usually enough, having first brushed off any obvious dirt spots, or if absolutely necessary use the tinniest amount of pure liquid soap.

Under-arm deodorant is a really nasty product, especially for the lymphatic system.  If you sweat so much that it smells then you should be asking yourself why, not trying to mask it.  If absolutely necessary then use a rock crystal, but beware, many of these products are not what they claim.  Sun-block, and anything containing it, should never be used.  In fact our skin needs far more exposure to the sun, not less, and it is quite possible to do this without harm, by being aware of when are the safe times.  Otherwise, dress appropriately to protect the skin.

Clothes made from synthetic fabrics, or tight-fitting, prevent the body from breathing properly and maintaining an optimum temperature.  This also causes overheating which opens the pores and allows toxic chemicals from the fabrics/ dyes to leach into the skin.  This is especially relevant for areas of major sensitivity (covered by underwear and bras).  For the same reason avoid all internal feminine hygiene products/ chemical-based lubricants/ and contraceptive spermicides.

Even the most natural sounding toothpastes contain lethal toxic ingredients.  But as bad is the realisation that brushing with it doesn’t actually protect your teeth/ gums, it’s simply yet another industry that has grown vast on peddling fear.  Far better is to cut out all food/ drink containing sweeteners, and to brush instead with flor de sal (flowers of salt, 1/2 teaspoon in 1/2 shot glass of water).  Afterwards gargle with the remaining liquid and swallow.  Kills everything, and proven from centuries of use preserving meat & fish.  Also contains an essential source of what the body needs.



Believe it or not, what we take for granted as the only effective form of healthcare (conventional medicine) happens to be a totally new invention.  There are still people alive (just) who can remember when it didn’t exist and a whole range of other methods were used.  The reason why we aren’t aware of this is because the medical profession (as it likes us to be known), has been working as hard at erasing the past, as it does at providing services, in order to convince us that they alone know best.  Even if under their care the general population has become less fit/ less sane/ contracted more illnesses and diseases/ and is now dying off in far greater numbers and much younger than ever before.

There are however at least four healthcare options we can choose:

conventional/ complementary/ alternative/ and natural or original.

· conventional medicine is what most of us in Europe currently know from the state health system, which originally was private and is now once again becoming more so.

Conventional (or western/ or NHS) medicine is where generally you go to a GP with symptoms, and depending on their caseload (up to 5000 patients), get 5-15 minutes of attention from a person whose training could have been last updated 40 years ago, and outside their working hours zero interest in the subject.  They will be worn down by clients who have nothing wrong with them (autopaths) or seek certification to gain illegal access to state benefits, the threat of violence will be constant.  Not surprisingly then their natural reaction is to assess quickly and offer remedies that reduce/ mask symptoms, in the hope that things will get better on their own.  Only if the patient returns will they get referred to a specialist or for tests.  The existence of these means the GP never gains a deep knowledge base of healthcare.

Conventional medicine uses many different scientific tools to evaluate the current state of the body.  It also incorporates surgery and radiotherapy to physically change it.  Plus a whole range of artificial drugs, all toxic, most of which will be outlawed for use in a very short time.

Worst of all, conventional medicine is totally controlled by vested interest.  The pharmaceutical industry, one of the most powerful and ruthless global businesses on the planet.  Whose sole interest is not in greater healthiness (on the contrary), but to become the most profitable parasite yet, with us as its host.

With the state adding and abetting.  For despite various acts of parliament over the years there still exists no mandate for the government or the health service to inform us about what is (or isn’t) safe or healthy, or how or where is the best place/ way to live and work.  Neither does it have any power to enforce industry to make only products that are totally benign.  Just as it no longer considers dentistry or ophthalmic care as part of its role, even though we all need our eyes and teeth just as much as any other part of our body.  The health service is also at liberty to use any method of screening and treatment they wish, without seeking our permission first, even if it is dangerous (toxic/ destroys our immune system/ or causes cancer – mammography being a classic example).

Why is the medical profession so arrogant?  Simple, because it exists solely to serve itself (at which I am reminded of that classic phrase: WE SERVE YOU RIGHT).  A private members club, where only those who possess precisely the right attitude/ background are admitted, those with the will to succeed, increase the corporate and personal profits for its members, protect/ promote the corporate sanctity.  We are merely the means they use to ensure that, units to be passed through their ever more cost-effective one-size-fits-all system as quickly as possible.  Which is why they prescribe so many painkillers/ anti-depressants/ antibiotics/ and anti-inflammatories.  It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than trying to do something that will really help.  But if they don’t work there are plenty more equally bizarre and short-term cheap drug/ surgery-related therapies to try.  The quote: the operation was a success but the patient died, should be enough of a warning to anyone.

Don’t expect anything different with rural GPs (who have a far lower caseload), or the private sector.  The latter seems like a better choice, but on closer inspection is most run by the same NHS consultants, working in their free-time to offer exactly the same type of service, except implying they are more efficient/ faster/ and better.  Remember, millionaires die just as prematurely and pointlessly as everyone else does.

· complementary medicine.  This is a very confusing/ confused area of provision. What little is clear, is that those who work in it are not qualified to act as a GP. They are not experienced enough to diagnose, or cure, anything.  Anyone (you or me even) can set up in practice.  The best way then to describe it is symptom relief.  An osteopath for example.  99% are scams, priced to be affordable by the greatest number, giving the impression of offering all the answers in a pain & stress-free environment, with the added hint of ancient eastern know-how, which all appeals to those who have more time and money than common sense. And the bottom line is they don’t accept any responsibility/ liability.  Mall-culture.  Yet another fly-by-night business exploiting the fallibility and suffering of others.

· alternative medicine is what it says, a totally alternative health service, one where there is no connection with conventional, no referral back.

The approach is also different.  With these you will only ever see one GP, there are no referrals to specialists.  No diagnostic tests or equipment.  No surgery.  No drugs or other toxic treatments.  No allied selling of products with a nearby business.

The consultations always last as long as necessary, there is no time-limit.

Symptoms are noted, the cause may be considered, but foremost is the body’s own system for repair/ care.  Fine tuning that, in order for it to do the work.

Every individual is considered unique, so no single treatment will suit two people.

This is the closest to getting your own personal mechanic, who not only understands your complete life history but every nuance of the way your body functions.

I wish such practitioners existed, but they don’t (I’ve only met two so far).  It’s also a very big step to take.  You are taking back the responsibility for your own healthiness PLUS the consequences of someone else treating you properly when you need them.  Really, in order to do this properly you need to change your whole life, not just the GP, and go live in a way that doesn’t risk your health any more than possible (ie where you live/ what you eat/ occupation/ etc).  Then of course is the problem of finding the right practitioner.  And after all my experience of Maureen dying, I wonder whether it is worth it?  Does all this mean a longer happier life than those who are totally oblivious to the risks?  Honestly I have no idea.

But if you do decide to take that step, how do you know whether a practitioner is legit?  Who can not only rebalance the damage already done to your body, but teach your what else you need to know (including dealing with past emotional traumas).  Personally, I would recommend a person who has a wealth of real medical experience, which I take to mean a conventional doctor who has decided to swap sides, because all the theory in the world is worth nothing unless you can read the signs properly and treat appropriately, so avoid anyone who has less than 15 years experience.

I would also probably avoid those who charge to treat, it should be the other way round, like an insurance premium, you pay to stay well.

They should also be practicing what they preach.

Avoid anyone who has so many patients that it is impossible to get hold of them quickly on the phone, or appointments are more than a few days in the future.  This is not a business, it is a path they’ve chosen, to help people.  At which point the whole thing is beginning to sound far too utopian.  But then mostly it is, as I said, I’ve met several practitioners who have come close to the ideal, but not one yet who totally fits the bill.

· natural or original medicine. This involves none of the above. It is the state of being we existed in until around 10,000 years ago.  When we knew instinctively how to treat ourselves, by diet.  It is theoretically possible unconsciously our DNA still carries all that information/ knowledge, but how do we access it again?  And if we could, are all those plants etc still available?  Given that 84% of the planet’s flora & fauna has been made extinct by us in just the last 50 years, it is highly unlikely.  Plus we’ve polluted the planet too.  But no reason not to try and find it.



This is one of the treatments we’ve both tried.  I’ll be brief, because you can read about it in far more depth elsewhere.  There is no doubt it works, even in situations where you’d be seriously worried that not going to a GP/ hospital would be a big mistake.  It’s not painful either.  Also, no toxic side-effects.  Though, as with all alternative medicine, treatment does take a lot longer than you’d think, typically weeks or months, depending on how healthy you are already.


The practitioner who treated Maureen up until she died (from starvation according to the death certificate) used this.  And after four years of this kind of medicine I am still none the clearer how it works, nor have I found a single book or description that helps.  But if you need a reference, the UK Royal Family have been using homeopathy first and foremost forever.

The first visit is usually for an hour or more, to establish the kind person you are and what illnesses you have had in the past.  Then afterwards it is normal to see the practitioner say every three weeks when being treated and be able to talk to them any time by phone.  Treatment lasts from several weeks to months or even years, depending on the circumstances.  This is because the remedies are only to coax your own repair system back into doing its job.  Which means the more treatment you have the healthier you become.  Medication is mostly by remedies, these are tablets generally, which essentially contain virtually nothing, yes the dosage they contain is so dilute (to the thousandth or millionth degree) that is virtually impossible to detect, in fact you could eat a whole box of them, even of the most lethal type, and suffer no ill effects whatsoever.  They are really cheap (currently less than £2 for 80, average dose being one or two a day).  And homeopathy works whether you believe it or not, this is not a faith thing or religion, it is a real science, devised by conventional doctors who lost faith in the way they were expected to treat patients.  Can be used on adults/ children/ babies/ and animals (our cats in Yorkshire were treated by a homeopath, an experience that was a million times better than any conventional practice).  It is also a complete medicine, so there is never a need to refer back to the NHS at any time.  We have both been treated for chronic illnesses and until Maureen died so tragically were very impressed.  Particularly as it removes the fear from being ill, for unlike the voodoo school of conventional medicine, which always seeks to first label and then give a prognosis, this works on the basis that you WILL get better.  Nor do you need to have invasive tests/ anything cut out/ or be bombarded with toxic treatments.  Maureen went through two years of treatment for breast cancer and never wasted a single moment thinking she was going to die, in fact I am pretty sure she didn’t even realise it at the end.

For first-aid/ self-help treatment (when you can’t find a practitioner) homeopathy is the best of all the alternative treatments.  I use the NEAL’S YARD NATURAL REMEDIES book, by Susan Curtis/ Romy Fraser/ and Irene Kohler – ISBN 0140190007.

detox and fasting

This is really dangerous stuff and should NEVER be tried without proper consultation.  Certainly not by anyone who is contemplating it as a treatment then going back to a conventional diet of processed food and weighing more than +/- 55kg (for women) or +/- 65kg (men)/ or continuing to live/ work where there are known hazards to health.  It will probably only do more harm.

Before starting on a fast always spend several days gradually cutting back on the quantity of what you eat and coming off rich/ cooked foods.  The reverse afterwards.

You should NEVER fast for more than 21 days, or do it unless there is a serious health reason.

Commence ten days before a new moon.

…eating.  Only: fruit – this can be as much as you like/ oats once a day (as porridge for example)/ a sandwich using unrefined flour, with something like yeast extract and olive oil (no butter or margarine).  No sugar whatsoever.  Fasting without consuming adequate nutrition will permanently destroy vital organs.

…drinking.  As soon as you wake drink two glasses of water.  Then make up one litre of water that has been boiled in a kettle for 15 minutes, and store hot in a thermos.  Drink this as often as you feel the need or get hungry/ dizzy.  After it is gone you can then have fresh fruit juice (nothing added)/ herb tea/ chicory/ or water.  No coffee or tea.  Each morning also drink the juice of half a lemon (do not heat), adding honey to taste if required.

…turmeric.  Four times a day (including first thing and just before going to bed) take one flat teaspoon of (organic) turmeric powder.  The best way to do this is to combine with a little warm water and drink in one quick gulp.

…can I carry on as normal during detox?  It should be possible to continue pretty much as usual, as long as you don’t overdo anything, so no strenuous activity demanding a lot of energy.  You will feel a lot more tired and want to sleep, this is normal so go with it.  Light-headedness is common too.   As is feeling cold, so dress appropriately.  Toxins will be eliminated (in the usual way) more quickly if you rest.  Stop immediately if you have ANY pain.

…new moon.  On this day eat ONLY one kind of fruit (nothing else), though as much as you like.  Drink as before.

The primary function of fasting is to reduce the pressure on the body’s repair system, otherwise it gets taken up first with the job of processing food, especially the kind the body doesn’t need.  Whenever we eat or drink something this happens, like this: if the body needs any of the nutrition being offered, at that particular moment, it takes that and uses it.  Everything else though is either sent straight for elimination, or if considered harmful stored somewhere, that’s the reason we get fat basically, it’s stuff the body has no design to deal with, and why we get illnesses like cancer.  It’s also another spectacular example why conventional medicine hasn’t a clue.  No hospital (and especially hospice) EVER considers the implications of what food it is serving its patients with.  When you are very ill the last thing you need is stuff that is going to slow down or even halt the healing process.

As it is always our body that cures us, and not medicine or surgery (never forget this), fasting can in desperate times be used as the sole cure.  I have done this myself when I couldn’t find a practitioner, eating nothing for two weeks, only drinking water.  It wasn’t a wonderful experience, but as I felt I had no other option I was prepared to take the responsibility.  And it worked.  Maureen died though, because her practitioner said it was okay to stop eating.  Be aware of the dangers.


The one thing I thought we’d be tripping over in Spain (and Portugal), has been the hardest to track down, so far I’ve not found a single genuine practitioner.  Nonetheless I remain interested enough to learn for myself and have been growing plants here to try out.  Successfully enough to decide all the forest garden plants will be herbs from now on.  For advice I can definitely recommend THE RHS NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBS & THEIR USES by Deni Bown (ISBN 0-7513-3386-7), my personal favourite, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MEDICINAL PLANTS by Andrew Chevalier (0-7513-0314-3), and the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBAL MEDICINE by Thomas Bartram (ISBN-13  978-1-85487-586-0), plus any titles by Juliette de Baïracli Levy.  We started off by using herbs instead of tea, and now have over fifty different types to pick from fresh each day.  If you are interested in this there is a downloadable plant-list (showing which herbs can be used for tea) click here.

…remedies that have worked for me.  First off, I have to say they take time, weeks if not months to see results, so you need patience.  But they do work, unlike many other alternative medicines, and even if you have to buy the raw material is very cheap compared to other medicines.

…cataracts.  I was diagnosed with these in 2016 and at that point could not see at all in low light conditions, read by artificial light at night, and everything was blurry.  As there was no way I wanted to go the route of conventional  treatment I started to try to find a solution for myself.  Surprisingly there was nothing on the internet by individuals with first-hand experience (though many ready to recommend things they had read).  I started with urine therapy, then honey, and finally homeopathy, but none of those worked.  Then came across a herbal remedy.  Which is simply bathing both eyes in boiled water with one drop of the (well shaken) tincture euphrasia (eyebright) added, once a day.  A 10ml bottle from Ainsworth’s on-line is all you need for this.  It’s been three months now and the change is already dramatic.  My vision is a lot clearer, I can see in the dark, read, and unbelievably no longer need the glasses I was dependent on for the last 40 years (to accommodate an astigmatism).  My aim is to continue with this until I don’t need reading glasses either.  This has also be in conjunction with spending 15-30 minutes every day doing eye exercises, based on the ideas of Aldous Huxley/ Dr Bates/ Harry Benjamin/ & Meir Schneider.  Here is the synopsis of their teaching that I use each day:

The idea is to restore muscle-tone to the eyes, cataracts are formed when the eye doesn’t do any the work, ie when wearing spectacles/ sunglasses, so try and not use them.  At the heart of this is an eye chart, with gradually smaller and smaller print.  The one I got was on American-sized paper which couldn’t be photocopied, so I’ve re-set it for A4.  You can download this here then print it off and stick to a piece of stiff card.  When this gets grubby photocopy another.
The whole lot take about 15 minutes, and this is the order I use them.  There is no limit to how many times a day you do them, depends on your stamina, the more the better.  They should all be done outside in natural daylight/ sunlight.
1)  Eye chart.  Hold the eye chart at arm’s length with the left hand, and cover the right eye with the other hand.  Read from left to right.  It will get easier as the days/ weeks progress, but it will also vary each day, depending on how you feel and your health, so don’t worry.
2)  Varying focus.  Stand in a place where you can see far into the distance, and focus on a point for a few minutes until the image becomes clear and stable.  Then change to another point, this time ¾ of that distance.  Then ½.  Then ¼.
3)  Increase the healthiness of the eyes.  Using the tips of both hands massage the skin around both eyes simultaneously in a circular motion.  This is to stimulate blood flow.  Do 15 times.  Then widen the motion to massage the face/ scalp/ and neck.  Feel where there is any pain, and massage more.
4)  Slow blinking.  Very gently hold down the eyelid of one eye with a finger while focussing with the other on a point in the distance.  Then as slowly as you can, blink.  Do this 15 times.  Change eyes and do the same.  After that blink both eyes very slowly together.
5)  Peripheral vision.  Focussing on a point in the distance, raise both arms up and outwards in front of you, bringing them together so they curve like an arch and the fingers touch, stop at the point where the hands are still just in vision.  From this position you then make a flowing circular movement, with the hands moving outwards and downwards, so the hands are always at the furthest point you can still them while still looking ahead.  At the bottom stop, then reverse.  Do this 15 times.
6)  Sunning.  This is to get the maximum benefit from photosynthesis of sunlight and vitamins.  Stand outside and face the sun.  Close your eyes and move the head slowly from side to side.  Do this 15 times.  Without opening your eyes turn round and put your hands over your eyes.  Concentrate on the darkness and try to see it as black as possible.  Turn round and repeat.
7)  Repeat exercise 1, this time with the other eye.
8)  Balance.  This one can be done inside.  You will need a piece of stiff card 50mm x 250mm, in the middle of which you cut out a slot 55mm x 17mm.  Also, a tennis ball.  Place the card on your nose (yes), and while focussing on a point in front, juggle the ball from one hand to the other, hands as wide apart and throwing as high as you can without dropping it all the time.  Do this 15 times then close one eye, for 15, then the other, then both.
And that is it.  Feel free to get in touch with any questions and I will endeavour to help.  I hope it helps, but of course isn’t any kind of substitute for a real practitioner advising.  It won’t do any harm, nor cost you much either.  What it taught me was that opticians really have no idea what they are doing, and surgery is a really bad idea.   


…haemorrhoids.  Had these for 25 years, and been progressively getting worse.  So started drinking a tea made from sage (salvia officinalis), one teaspoon infused for at least five minutes, once a day, and even after a month the change is very noticeable.

…sinusitis.  All my life have I suffered with this.  First as a child from earache, then as an adult with blinding pain over the eyes and in the teeth.  When I had root canal work done all those sites subsequently became infected with abscesses, which have never healed.  Same with dental crowns.  Also it has been impossible for as long as I can remember to have a conversation in a crowded room.  Finally at the end of the summer of 2017 I went partially deaf in both ears, a sign that the infection had really taken hold, followed the next summer (2018) by labyrinthitis, which affects balance and creates a sensation of nausea.  Thankfully though there are things you can do without antibiotics.  The most important is to stop drinking any caffeine, especially coffee (it suppresses the immune system).  Keep fully hydrated.  And drink cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered and unpasteurised, the best quality available).  Three tablespoons taken with some honey and a small amount of water each day upon waking.  When the symptoms have cleared completely (this make take some weeks) reduce the dose down to two or one tablespoon but continue with it indefinitely.


a simpler life el pocito tincture cistus

Making these were our next foray into herbalism, as they were also a good way to store plants that were only around for a short time in the year.  Easier to take as a dose too.  So far we’ve used cistus ladanifer (which is my soul plant, a form of rock rose), salvia officinalis (sage), and symphytum uplandicum (comfrey).  Couldn’t be easier.  All you need is to collect enough of the fresh herb (newest top growth) to fill a clear glass jar (one litre size is enough, with an airtight lid).  Cut into small pieces, pack into the jar until it is full, then pour in enough apple cider vinegar (or better still vodka, increases the shelf life) to fill, and seal.  Store in a warm darkened room and shake every day for 2 weeks.  Then strain off the liquid and bottle in dark glass containers.


cold infused oils

Just as easy to make, but needs plenty of sunshine over a long period.  Prepare as before, this time using virgin olive oil instead of vinegar.  Then place the jar in full sunlight for at least six weeks (the longer the better), inverting each day (having made sure the lid is on really tight or it will leak) to mix thoroughly.  Strain (or use a press) and bottle in dark glass containers.

urine therapy

This is one of the most weird and wonderful things I have ever encountered.  We first heard about it when a friend sent a copy of THE WATER OF LIFE, by J W Armstrong (ISBN 0-85032-052-6), and it seemed so appropriate (Maureen was very ill at the time) we decided to adopt the idea entirely.  The book, an internet search (try http://universal-tao.com/article/urine.therapy.html), or the THE GOLDEN FOUNTAIN by Coen van der kroon (click here to download) explains better than I can, but very briefly it’s about using your own urine as a medicine, basically in the same way homoeopathy works.  Drinking it mainly, but also applying to an infected area.  Sounds truly nasty (dangerous even), but perfectly safe and with time even becomes totally normal, honest.  The benefits being:

…homeopathic – helps kick-start a lethargic self-repair system into action,

…recycling – all the precious nutrients our body discards, because we don’t eat properly,

…as a complete medicine – both for self-treatment (first aid/ minor ailments), or in the hands of an experienced practitioner to cure anything (even on animals).

…and an indicator of healthiness – from the colour/ smell/ and taste when you pee you can tell how well your system is functioning.  Have a go.  Next time catch some in a glass, ideally mid-stream, then hold it up to the light and sniff.  A healthy person’s should be transparent/ crystal clear/ and odourless.  If not, drink two glasses of water then check again next time you pee, repeating until there is a change.  If after 24 hours there hasn’t been any improvement, start discounting the possibilities, one at a time, by cutting out things like – meat/ coffee (limit is one espresso a day)/ all milk products/ anything with white flour in it/ alcohol (no more than a glass every now and then)/ smoking/ anything with sugar or artificial sweetner added (honey is fine), or salt (use flor de sal instead).  If after all that there is still no improvement then see a practitioner as soon as possible.

Earlier I mentioned how important drinking (pure spring) water is.  The quantity is critical too, particularly as we each need different amounts.  The best way to find out is checking your pee, and after a few days you’ll know.  Also get into the habit of starting the day off by drinking two glasses as soon as you wake (before anything else).

In the past urine was far more highly respected, revered even.  Crofters used it to clean the raw wool prior to spinning/ weaving.  Soap was made from it.  And the Romans even bathed in pee, something we also tried for many years while travelling.  Seriously it is as effective as soap at cleaning, takes nothing positive out, and in fact moisturises and stimulates the skin and improves blood circulation (excellent for frostbite or chills).  The only reason we stopped was a slight lingering odour, which we later discovered could be avoided by simply rinsing with hot water (but we don’t have any).  Urine can also be used to wash clothes, even in a washing machine (which has a heated cycle), totally replacing the need for any detergent/ conditioner.  At the very least we should all be saving it to put back into the eco-system, either by peeing outside, or better still (avoiding any build-up of smell) in a bucket which is then added to the grey water or compost heap.

a good night’s sleep

The time when the body is free to get on with repairing/ healing.  Make sure it can do that, uninterrupted.  Some ideas we have tried:

Our bed has been deliberately constructed as much from wood as possible.  No chemical treatment and no metal that could hold a charge.  Originally we had a futon mattress on top, but when that wore out we couldn’t find an equal so now have natural latex instead.

Whenever we are in houses with AC mains electricity we switch it off at the fuse box.

Can’t get off to sleep?  Toe therapy works and only takes about fifteen minutes.  Done by squeezing the appropriate acupressure points.  Instructions can be found at:



This is a way of removing the harmful electrical charge that builds up in each of us from living in a manmade environment.  You can do this in several ways.  The first method we came across was putting a conductive copper sheet on the bed, attached to a cable which led out to an earthing rod buried in the soil.  To buy they were very expensive, so we made our own, knitted from ultra thin strands of copper wire.  Great idea but like the princess and the pea, impossible to lie on.  What did work though is even more bizarre.  Sitting barefoot on the soil.  A friend suggested this for eczema.  I’d had some on my back for many years and given up ever finding a cure.  The first time I did it for an hour (luckily it’s warm enough here to do that, though a friend of ours in Scotland did it in the snow!).  Not surprisingly I didn’t feel a thing, but when Maureen had a look at my back it was like it was on fire.  Two further sessions cleared it completely.  I have also found it good for severe mood-swings.

stress and back pain

All alternative medicine is founded on the belief that illness is caused not directly by toxicity (otherwise everyone would be dying off), but by the body’s own repair-system failing to deal with the exposure to it.  One of the reasons being overwhelmed by stress instead, so the brain gets first call for that with resources.  Now you know why some people can smoke 40 Woodbines a day and live forever, because they are always happy, while wonderful people like Maureen are dead.  For this I blame our nine-year search for our land.

It makes sense.  Neither of us had been ill before.  Six months into our trip, Maureen had problems.  A couple years later she got ill with something else and spent a whole year being healed.  Then she ripped her sternum, followed by cancer.  Same for me.  Four years into our trip I had a hernia of my spine, so bad I couldn’t walk or carry anything.  Two years later an inguinal hernia, which for lack of an alternative practitioner required conventional surgery.  Both of mine were definitely stress-related.

How do you deal with stress?  Frankly I have no idea, some people have it others don’t.  But for anyone with crippling back-pain like mine I can recommend something that really does work.  It grew out of using a book of exercises entitled THE ART OF BACKSTRETCHING by Neil Summers (ISBN 0-9538123-0-8), but don’t bother buying it because one it is out-of-print and two seriously flawed.  However it pointed me in the right direction.  This is not a cure as such, but if you do it every day will keep you off pain-killers and away from doctors, I guarantee.  Plus the act of doing it also allows for finding a spiritual/ meditative place to relax in each day.

You will need a yoga mat and about 15-30 minutes every day.

…exercise one.  Lie on your back, arms above your head and stretch with hands and feet.  Do this for as long as possible (5+ minutes), keep your eyes closed.  Cat optional.

a simpler life el pocito back exercise 02

…exercise two.  While still on your back, bring your arms up and grab the knees to your chest and rock gently to massage the base of your spine with the floor.  Do this for a few minutes then lie back again and swing your legs up in the air, bringing them gradually down until over your head and the toes touch the floor.  Take your time with this one.

a simpler life el pocito back exercise 03

..exercise three.   Gently return to the lying position then turn over and sit on your feet, with your eyebrows touching the mat, arms lying back to the feet.  This one is a really good stretch and way of relaxing totally (I often fall asleep), you can feel each disc in your spine pull apart.  Do for at least 5 minutes, more if possible.  It is also a good emergency/ first-aid pose if you get sudden back spasm/ pain.

a simpler life el pocito back exercise 01

And that’s it.  Try it out for a couple of days and see for yourself.  I have had a hernia of the spine for 15 years now and never taken pain-killers, this is all that is necessary to keep me pain-free.

If you are not good at any kind of routine, another incredibly good/ cheap way of doing the same exercising is horse riding.  Yes.  I had no idea either, but was asked to go with a friend recently and the effect was astounding, I am actually stronger now than before the hernia, after only 2 hours (and a cost of just 25 euros, beats any so-called therapist).

– de-stress.  One way we have found to do this is to feel more rooted at home.  Nesting.  Just because everyone else feels they have to go flying around everywhere every minute of the day and night doesn’t mean it is a good thing.  I now only venture out twice a week, either on foot or cycle, and that’s more than enough to remind me I’m not missing anything.  What haven’t stopped though are the panic attacks.  I’ve had these all my life, especially with sudden news, or in crowds.  Also I occasionally get this strange sadness which completely overwhelms me for days, even weeks at a time.  To try and solve these we have tried several therapies.

One being  the Bach Flower Remedies.

To be totally honest (and that is what this site is all about) I had no luck whatsoever with these, although the RESCUE remedy has always worked every time when used on our cats.  I even bought the books, which Dr Edward Bach wrote specifically to enable anyone to treat themselves: THE TWELVE HEALERS (ISBN 0-85207-01-1) and HEAL THYSELF (ISBN 0-85207-301-1).

Then a BFR practitioner came into my life, offering to explain it all. And now I have finally experienced the awesome power of something so simple you can even make your own remedies. What could be better? A health system that costs nothing! And pair that with urine therapy which could change your life.

Rather than try to explain here, badly, I heartily recommend a book that tells not only the story of Dr Bach, but explains clearly everything else you need to know: THE BACH FLOWER REMEDIES – FORM & FUNCTION by Julian Barnard (ISBN 1-58420-024-3).

I would also suggest if you are buying remedies to use the HEALING HERBS (http://healingherbs.co.uk) product over the A. Nelson & Co Ltd ones.

What has had a positive effect was taking Valerian.  I’ve always loved this plant, especially the perfume, our cats do too, and it is a well known treatment for depression.  But every time I asked anyone about how much to take they all wanted to dissuade me.  Finally I decided to try it anyway.  Bought a 125ml bottle of the tincture, but instead of taking the full dose, limited myself to just one teaspoon (first thing in the morning), purely because it is not a habit we can afford.  A week later the difference was noticeable, I felt a lot calmer, less worried about stuff, however priced well beyond our resources.

– more on eyes

This is another area of the NHS which really pisses me off.  That the primary care for it has been hived off to a totally unsupervised private sector, which of course exists only to make money, and as with dentistry only available to those who can afford it.  Also that what is on offer, regardless of what you pay, is so appallingly bad.  I base this on personal experience, having being born with an astigmatism, and over the next fifty-seven years met only one decent and honest conventional practitioner, whose surname appropriately enough was ANGEL, the rest being rude, slapdash, or downright dangerous.

Conventional optical medicine, be it prescription glasses/ surgery/ or medication, is always going to cause some and probably permanent damage.  This is because it is so artificial.  It doesn’t take into account that seeing is a combination of seeing with the eyes and interpretation with the brain, in fact every second you see differently, depending on your mood and state of health, it makes eye check-ups a total waste of time.  The eye is also one of the only organs that can repair itself (even cataracts, which are caused by the eye not exercising enough).  So bearing this in mind I suggest: wearing glasses only when absolutely necessary/ NEVER contact lenses (they are a cause of cataracts)/ only lenses made from glass, NEVER plastic (it is vastly inferior optically and scratches) and clean them only by washing first, followed by drying/ polishing on a soft cotton/ microfiber fabric, NEVER use paper tissue/ NEVER wear sunglasses/ treat any injury or infection to the eye with neat honey first, it will sting like hell but does the trick.  Read about eye exercising with the books of Aldous Huxley/ Dr Bates/ Harry Benjamin/ & Meir Schneider.

– teeth.  The dental industry has made billions telling us how to look after our teeth yet we still go to the dentist as often as 60 years ago.  The reason why is their advice is crap.  All you need to keep your teeth and gums in good condition is salt and tea-tree oil.  Brush your teeth with just water, then rinse/ gargle (for 5 minutes) with a small glass of water in which half a teaspoon of salt and three drops of tea-tree oil have been dissolved.

and finally, how society turns you into an addict

No this isn’t a joke, if you really do want to become healthier/ lead a happier life, then you have to appreciate what is normal (ie the manmade world) is no more than an illusion.  A vast marketplace/ bazaar, where everyone in it is trying to sell you something to earn the necessary currency to stay alive.  You need to escape/ switch off from that.  We first began to notice this about fifteen years ago when we stopped watching television.  A friend (an ex-cop in fact) told us about this loophole in the tv licensing act which allows you to have a set but not pay the licence if it is used solely for playing videos/ DVDs.  Not long after we started doing that I began to realise I was losing my patience with my usual daily habit of reading THE GUARDIAN and the INDEPENDENT.  Followed swiftly by the same reaction to Radio 4, and then Radio 3.  It was like there was this conspiracy to keep the really bad news out of the media, meanwhile only featuring stuff that was lightweight/ staid/ and commercial.  Cutting all those out had the knock-on effect of inspiring us with new ideas and views of our own.  Based not on the usual accepted sources, but now from our own experiences and the work of others we discovered in bookshops, most of whom were to all intents totally obscure and forgotten.  It made us realise that perceived knowledge/ wisdom, that body of information we all accept as true without needing it to be personally validated, and is what shapes and dictates our behaviour/ lives, is nothing of the sort.  Just another creed to get us to be compliant.  As the saying goes: believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you hear.  Do this and I guarantee you’ll feel far a lot more positive/ less fearful, and able to work out what it is you really want from the rest of your life, and provide the zest/ energy to make that happen.

a simpler life el pocito sendero 02

a simpler life, el pocito

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