Think Brain Health

We see many advertisements and charities promoting looking after your heart and how to prevent heart disease and research tells us that the most important thing you can do is be kind to your heart, especially in your 40s and 50s.  What’s good for your heart is also good for your brain!

Looking after your heart health, including controlling blood pressure and being physically active, can help lower your risk of heart disease and dementia too – particularly Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

According to a report published by leading medical journal The Lancet in 2020, social isolation in later life could be a factor in around 4% of cases of dementia. We know that being socially active, whether that’s picking up the phone, meeting friends for a coffee, joining community groups, volunteering, or jumping onto Zoom for a catch-up can help us feel happier, healthier and more positive in general.  Please reach out, particularly to those on their own.

Some interesting random brain facts from various sources of recent research:

  • A brain weighs about 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kilograms).
  • A 2 year old baby will have an 80% fully grown brain. It will continue to grow until you’re about 18 years old. It isn’t until about the age of 25 that the human brain reaches full maturity.
  • Obesity is linked with poorer brain health in people with and without memory and thinking problems.
  • Your brain only accounts for 2% of your body weight but uses about 20% of your energy.
  • Afternoon napping was linked to better memory and thinking in people over the age of 60.
  • Your human brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons which is about the same as the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
  • Officially called a Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia, a brain freeze happens when you eat or drink something that’s too cold.
  • Every minute, 750-1,000 millilitres of blood flows through the brain. This is enough to fill a bottle of wine or litre bottle of soda.
  • Consisting of minimum 60% fat, your brain is the fattiest organ in your body. This is why healthy fats, such as Omega-3s and Omega-6s, are vital for brain and overall body health.
  • We cry when we are very happy because our hypothalamus in our brain can’t distinguish the difference between strong happiness and strong sadness.
  • The world’s fastest supercomputer requires 24 million Watts of power to operate, but our brains only require 20 Watts and operate about 100,000 times faster.
  • Your brain is the only object in the world that can contemplate itself.

Take their Brain Health quiz HERE.

If you have general questions about dementia or want to know more about dementia research and how you and your loved ones can get involved, Dementia Research Infoline can help.

  • Call 0300 111 5 111 between 9.00-5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
    Calls are charged at the same rate as 01 or 02 numbers and should be included in any free call packages you have. Charges for mobiles are likely to be higher. They try to answer calls as quickly as possible, but if the Infoline is busy or you call outside our operating hours, you can leave a message with your contact details and one of their team will aim to get back to you within three working days.
  • Email:
  • Write to: Dementia Research Infoline, Alzheimer’s Research UK, 3 Riverside, Granta Park, Cambridge, CB21 6AD

Alzheimer’s Research UK is a registered charity, numbers 1077089 and SC042474.


Captain Tom Moore In Hospital With Covid-19

Captain Tom Moore’s daughter Hannah released this statement earlier this evening:

The remarkable and truly inspirational man, Captain Tom Moore was appointed an honorary Colonel to mark his 100th birthday on 30th April 2020 in recognition of his exceptional efforts that has raised almost £30 million for the NHS.

The Nation’s thoughts and prayers go out to him and all of his family.



Trees Planted At Hursey Common

At Hursey Common this morning, 30 saplings were planted. 

A massive thank you & well done to David Leader with the group of volunteers: Stefan, Kirsty, Eden, Linda, pictured above with Peter and Hazel, pictured below.

Photo: David Leader
Scarlet Elf Cup at Hursey
Sarcoscypha coccinea – Scarlet Elf Cup Photo: David Leader

The fungus shown in this photograph is the Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea) – though not poisonous, it is considered inedible.  It can be spotted in several places throughout the common at this time.

We are so lucky to have this woodland on our doorstep – please help look after it and take any litter home.

Read the Woodland Trust’s A-Z guide to British trees from native species to naturalised and widely planted non-natives – Click  HERE.


Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards launch on Monday 1st March.

This is the third year that the team of Paul, Tom and Michelle (and Rosie and Coco the Spaniels) from Surrey, UK have held the competition. The overall winner in 2020 was Mark Fitzpatrick with Terry the Turtle flipping the bird. The other images used were all finalists in last year’s competition. 

To enter the competition, you must visit their website*, complete the online entry form and upload your entry(ies) before the deadline of 11.59pm, BST on 30th June 2021. They state: “We do not control the internet, and are not computer geeks, so we can’t take responsibility for any technical problems. It is up to you to ensure your entries reach us on time, no excuses.
This is a wildlife photography competition and that means no domestic animals and no animals that live in zoos or other captive environments.

Please read all the Terms & Conditions before entering HERE.

Yaron Schmid
– The look on his face! That was brilliant!

Competition Categories:

  • You can enter a total of up to 10 images, 4 portfolio entries AND an additional 6 entries into the other categories, and 2 videos – that’s it, no more.
  • You can enter up to 3 images into each category, except the Amazing Internet (and they are…) Portfolio category where you have to enter 4 pictures. (More info on the categories below.)
  • The total number of images across all categories must not exceed 10.
  • There is only one category for video.
Muhammad Faishol Husni – I love you darlin’

Here are all the Categories with details of what they are asking for:

The Alex Walker’s Serian Creatures of the Land Category

Enter up to three of your funniest pictures of wildlife which lives on the land. Couldn’t be simpler. Don’t panic if the animal, like a squirrel, for example, looks like he is flying, it still lives on the land, so bung it in here. Another thing, remember if your pic is hilarious but in the wrong category, fret not they will put it into the right category, simple as that.

The Spectrum Creatures in the Air Category

You guessed it, birds, bats and any other creatures that fly. If you have a funny pterodactyl image, put it in, seriously, although that might mean the image is more than 99 years old, so wouldn’t be acceptable, but perhaps worth trying.

The ThinkTank Photo Junior Category

This is a category for kids with a talent for taking great and funny wildlife pictures. You have to be less than 16 years old by 11.59pm 30th June 2020 (BST). So, if you are 15 and turn 16 on July the 9th, bummer big time!! Enter your funny pics into the other categories! If you have a query, fret not ping us an email; PJ and Tom (who run the competition and write this drivel are desperate for emails, as they have no friends.)

The Amazing Internet Portfolio Category

Amazing Internet websiteThis is a brilliant category and to be honest a hard one. They want a collection of 4 images which are a collection, or portfolio, (that clue is in the category title) of really funny wildlife images. You can put 4 unconnected images in, as your portfolio, but you will get more points if the 4 images are connected, say “4 African Mammal Funny pics” for example, or they can be 4 images which are really funny from a single scene, I think you get where they are going with this one.

The Underwater Category

Ok, you can put an underwater picture of an elephant swimming and farting at the same time, but they  would move it into Creatures of the Land, so this category is for creatures (fish mainly to be honest) which live in water. There are a few marine mammals, amphibians and reptiles and so on which live in water so the spectrum is broad.

The Video Clip Category

Listen carefully; this is the category where you can enter up to 2 video clips and each one can be no more than 60 seconds. They should be a maximum resolution of 1080p HD at 30fps with a maximum file size of 150MB but any resolution below that is acceptable too. Videos will be uploaded to Vimeo which accepts most major and popular video types. Please check the Vimeo website if you have any questions.
Please do not add music, captions or anything like that to the video (don’t worry about peoples voices that’s ok), but do make sure you edit it as judiciously as possible. Much better you send them a 15 second clip which is short, sharp and brilliant, rather than them having to trawl through 45 seconds of dull video to find the funny 10 seconds at the end.

To view their Gallery of all previous finalists and winners – click HERE.

*Enter the Competition from 1st March 2021.

If you have any queries, please email
Competition Director & Chair of the Judging Panel :

Daniel Friend – Oh what have I done…

This year the Comedy Wildlife Awards are supporting a wonderful grass roots conservation project; the Gunung Palung Orang-utan Conservation Program in Borneo, which helps to protect the environment that the wild Orangutans inhabitat, so they can survive and hopefully flourish. You can go to their website HERE and have a look at the incredible work they do and spread that word as well.


Children’s Mental Health Week 1st – 7th February

We have all been through a lot over the past year and it’s important that we all talk about how we are feeling. Help is out there if you or your child needs to speak to someone.

The theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘Express Yourself‘.

In Dorset there are free and confidential mental health services that can help support your child:

Kooth is a free, confidential online service that helps young people aged 11 – 18 who want to talk about their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

ChatHealth is a free school nursing text service available to all young people aged 11-19. Young people can use this service to get advice about a range of subjects including mental health, relationships and drugs and alcohol.

Dorset Council’s Educational Psychology Service has a helpline to support those who are worried about their child or teenager during the lockdown.

Text SHOUT to 85258 if you’re any age, it is free on most networks even if you get a warning message about costs.

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading mental health charity for young people. If you’re a parent worried about your child please contact the Parents Helpline for advice on 0808 802 5544, open from Monday to Friday, from 09:30 to 4pm.



Property at Hollis Hill – £650,000

This detached property up Hollis Hill is on the market with Purple Bricks and a guide price of £650,000.  The four bedroomed house has the following highlights:

  • Four double bedrooms
  • Finnish red pine
  • Sociable living area
  • Four ensuites
  • Stunning views
  • Outhouses
  • Sustainable living
  • Ample parking
  • Potential B & B


Finnish solid log – red pine; Triple glazed windows; Engineered oak flooring throughout the ground floor; Solid pine flooring throughout the first floor; Plant room housing the boiler and water pumps and filters, there is further potential for additional outhouses.
All the details, floor plan and many more photographs can be viewed HERE and of course the opportunity to purchase.


CPRE – The Countryside Charity

Broadwindsor, the parish and the surrounding villages have always had difficulties when it comes to public transport. The CPRE (formerly Campaign to Protect Rural England) believes without regular bus services, many people in rural communities can become cut off, isolated and left without the means to live an independent life. Formed in 1926 by Sir Patrick Abercrombie, the CPRE claims to be one of the longest running environmental groups.

They have launched a petition calling for a reliable bus service for rural communities. This will be forwarded to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps.

More buses means:

  • Less traffic and air pollution
  • Better access to local green space for everyone
  • More spending on our local high streets
  • Access to training and jobs for everyone
  • A ticket out of loneliness and isolation for our friends and family.

By signing this petition, you will show the Government that this is an issue that thousands of people across the country want them to act on.  Sign the petition HERE.

The Dorset contact for the South West region of the CPRE is:

Peter Bowyer, Chair, Dorset CPRE,
PO Box 9018, Dorchester DT1 9GY
Telephone: 0333 577 0360
Visit their website HERE.
Charity number: 211974.


Tales from the Phone Box Library

The weather is certainly not conducive to more Music From The Square Window and both Julie Andrews and village resident Margery Hookings need a well earned break.  From music, Margery has focused on reading and has a new Lockdown project on the go to keep the spirit of reading in the village alive and connect as book lovers in the community.

Broadwindsor’s Book Exchange at the telephone box by Bernards’ Place became a book exchange early in the first Lockdown of 2020.  With content for all ages, it has proven very popular indeed.

Love Reading!So much so that Margery now invites you to submit your book reviews on books that you have already read from the book exchange or a book you are planning to donate.
She will initially create a blog or a podcast her “Tales from the Phone Box Library” on her site When enough have been collected, will create a page on the village website for them all to be available.
Later, Margery will include Kindle books and others you’ve bought, especially if you’ve really enjoyed them.  If you’d like to contribute, please email:

Reviews and previews don’t have to be long or intricate. Here are a few guidelines for those reviewing:

  • Reviews should not exceed 200 words in total
  • Please include:
    1. Title
    2. Author
    3. Genre
    4. Body of Review (no spoilers please).
    5. Would you recommend/not recommend?
  • Send all reviews to

Space is obviously very limited in the telephone box – please do not just dump books or boxes in there.  The conditions are too damp to accept journals and magazines, so no more of those please.  Thanks go to Ruthie Stevens & Wendy Shields – who has now removed all the cobwebs 🙂 – for keeping the telephone box tidy.

We are all aware of the rules – Please act responsibly
You enter the Book Exchange at your own riskScroll


Countryside Classroom

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, home schooling is set to continue for some time.  Discover Farming is the education programme run and managed by the Melplash Agricultural Society.  They have provided several activities and resources at their Countryside Classroom Home Education Hub.

All resources available in different Modules for 3-6 years, 7-11 years and 11-16 years.

  • Science:  A selection of super science activities including videos, games, worksheets and a Big Worm Hunt Competition – a  chance to win a wonderful wormery kit for your child to enjoy at home!  Click HERE.
  • Maths: Support your child to develop their numeracy skills with their maths resources: activity booklets, worksheets and helpful guidance on how to look for examples of maths in everyday life.  Click HERE.
  • English: Module includes quizzes, activity sheets, photo packs and a free virtual book that are all based around the theme of food, farming and the countryside. Click HERE.

The Melplash Agricultural Society is a registered charity (charity number 1130201) with the aim of promoting and improving agriculture and horticulture in West Dorset for the public benefit.


A Request Re: Bernards’ Place

Chris Edgerley is making excellent progress building the wall by the play area in Bernards’ Place.  He is asking if anyone has a large ammonite or anything that could go into the wall as a feature, you will see the picture of the stone carved horse’s head which was donated and has been placed in the wall and is very impressive.

Also. . .

The Treasurer of the Comrades Hall Committee has need of a smart phone to allow him to do his online banking.  If anyone has a redundant one they no longer need and could donate – please get in touch asap. Telephone David Leader on: 01308 868275 or 07867 608652.  Thank you.