Storm in a tea room

When I worked in quality management some years back, before I had ever considered feng shui, I was told an interesting story by an auditor.

A company employing a workforce of mainly unskilled female workers was having trouble retaining staff. This was impacting on the business because recruiting and retraining takes time and money.
The management decided to ask why the staff kept leaving. They sent out a questionnaire and were surprised by the answers.
The main issue was the tea room, it was dingy and uninviting.
The company took this on board and redecorated the room. A few new chairs and a microwave were put in to improve the facility.
The result was that after that point no more staff left and the turnover problem was solved.
Although this was considered a quality issue for the company, the answer really lay with a feng shui solution (except for the microwave, sometimes you have to bend the rules!)

I like to think of feng shui as auditing for quality of life.

Feng shui is about asking questions to find out what would make peoples lives better. Asking the right questions will help to get the best responses to help make those positive changes.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

Well, Mary Berry has really put the cat among the pigeons by saying that the dining room is a relic of the past.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells has been working overtime since she made that bold statement.  The editor of The Telegraph has been inundated with letters that quite vehemently disagree with her.  There were many case for not eating in the kitchen.  One was that these people often have their kitchen in a mess and don’t want to see that while they are eating.  Shame on them, I clear up as I go!

I must say that we haven’t eaten in our dining room for about 10 years.  The reason is that the dining table has been moved into the now extended kitchen.  Prior to that, you couldn’t swing a cat in there, let alone accommodate a table.  We now have a very functional kitchen diner which is at the heart of our home and is central to our family life.

I do agree that Mary’s comment was rather sweepingly broad brush.

In feng shui, peoples situation, house layout and lifestyles are taken into account before making recommendations.  I certainly wouldn’t have felt it appropriate to make such a statement.

One the other hand, if the room isn’t being used at all, then this becomes a stagnant space which isn’t good for a house.  If you choose to use your kitchen as the dining area, all well and good, however do put the other room to good use.

In my book I addressed the ‘unoccupied bedroom’.  All too easily these rooms can become junk repositories.  We renamed our vacant bedroom “The Library” and was put aside as a quite space for reading, meditation or listening to music.

It’s all in a name, if you don’t use your dining room for that purpose, call it something else and use it well.

Back in history, rooms would have been used for numerous functions, depending what was required at the time.  If you do need a dining room, maybe for such times as Christmas, it can be reinstated for that one occasion and then changed afterwards.

To dine or not to dine?  I’m sure the jury will be out for some time on this one!

Best wishes




Spicy Solutions

I have been on a mission this year to tame the contents of the kitchen cupboards.  Stuff that has gone out of date but is still OK – ish!

The  cupboards containing and the tea and coffee and the herbs and spices were in need of a good purge.  I don’t believe in wasting anything so I set to the task of using up as much as possible

The main sources of clutter were overbought packets of tea, about 13 in total at the start, I don’t even drink tea.  My husband and daughter decided to try some fruit teas, didn’t really like them because they had very little taste, so they went and bought some more! 2 packs of real coffee, one that I hadn’t got round to finishing and the other was a gift.  One tub of hot chocolate, my daughter has been off chocolate for about 2 years since we bought it, and 2 tubs of cocoa powder.

Progress to date is that all the tea and coffee have been used and there are only 5 servings of cocoa left – Result

The herbs and spices were no better, I counted 15 that were out of date.  They don’t go off, however they do lose their flavour and pungency over time.  With some careful meal planning to get to grips with all of these there are only 4 that are past their best, 3 spices (2016 not too bad) – only one of which I bought, and a tin of mustard powder.Free stock photo of wood, dry, glass, rustic


I mentioned this crusade to a friend.  We were chatting at the weekend and she and bought a new cookery book which she is keen to get stuck into.  Her partner said that they would go and buy all the ingredients for the things that they wanted to cook.  Having heard my story, she decided to plan in advance what she is going to cook and ask around for the herbs and spices she needs because we have all got much more of these things than we need.

What a brilliant idea to help reduce waste, I hope she needs some of the stuff I have left.

A tip for herbs and spices is to store them away from light.  Sorry, the spice rack needs to go!

We can now see what we have got which will help to prevent accidental overbuying.

What is hiding at the back of your cupboards?  Take a look, you might be surprised.


Best wishes