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Welcome to the year of the Fire Monkey!

I am the seasoned traveler
Of the Labyrinth.
The genius of alacrity,
Wizard of the impossible.
My brilliance is yet unmatched
In its originality.
My heart’s filled with potent magic
That could cast a hundred spells. I am put together
For mine own pleasure
I AM THE MONKEY.

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The Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey will start today – February 8, 2016 – the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice. Of the five Taoist elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, this is the year of the red Fire Monkey. Red means go! Fire brings passion, creativity and joy. Fire types are strong, dynamic, and can overcome illness and obstacles. Following 12 months of the dignified and surefooted Sheep (or Goat or Ram), the New Year of the Red Monkey is going to shake, rattle and roll!

Monkey See ~ Monkey Do!

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The year of the Monkey is ideal for a quantum leap in your life! Now is the time to shake things up, create change, and imagine a new path! This Monkey year will bring an enthusiastic energy for change – when risks are rewarded and anything can happen. Even the most ambitious plans can succeed. There will be more than enough action and opportunity to keep you busy. In Monkey year, it’s just fine to make it up as you go along – but don’t be gullible and trust the wrong people, or wily Monkey will take all the peanuts and leave you only shells!

Monkey Business!

All of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac have a shadow side, and the Monkey is no exception. The Monkey is commonly regarded as the emblem of trickery, so be on the alert for deceptions. It’s innovative problem-solving tendencies can turn the Monkey into being a tricky tactician, opportunistic and not all that trustworthy. Youthfulness hides an unscrupulous adolescent, and independence can turn to unfaithfulness. Talk is fast and cheap and the Monkey type will want to work the shrewdest angle, get the best deal, and win big.

monkey madness1Monkey Madness ~ Monkey Mind!

Be aware not to jump ahead of yourself this year, and try to calm what is called “Monkey-mind” in Buddhism: jump to a branch, grab a banana, peel it, take a bite, drop it. Then jump to the next branch, grab a banana, peel it, take a bite, and drop it… in a never ending tail-chasing cycle of uselessness. As soon as you realize that a path is not fruitful, take a risk and try a new one instead of staying stuck in old ways that are familiar but don’t work. Easier said than done, n’est ce pas? But daring to be different can lead to success.

Be a Cheeky Monkey!

The Year of the Monkey 2016 is a good year to break free and take calculated risks as there is nothing more powerful or rewarding than following your heart’s desire. Run with ideas, embrace the inventive, and don’t look back! Now is the time of courage, action, anarchy, and true devotion to even the wildest of schemes, it’s time to start new endeavors, for they are destined to succeed under Monkey’s influence.

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Go for it you cheeky monkey!

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Sensational Seasonal Sale!

Sensational savings this Festive Season in 3 easy steps!

25% discount off all treatments and B&B booked before December 25th!

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1. Pay a deposit with your booking before 25th December 2015

2. Receive an Xmas gift voucher to pop under the tree.

3. Redeem your voucher between January – June 2016.

What could be simpler?

Under The Lime Tree ~ The Place for a Christmas Pressie!

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Contact me by email to start the savings process!

nikki@underthelimetree.com

 

新年快乐 Happy Chinese Year of the Wood Sheep!

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Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, which began on Feb. 19, and go on for 15 days until the full moon, will say goodbye to the Year of the Horse and usher in another animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. 

Also termed as the ‘Spring Festival’, the new year of the Chinese calendar is an event of much fanfare and excitement. The celebrations kick off on the second new moon after the winter solstice, this year it’s February 19th, and end with the lantern festival on the 15th day of the first month in the Chinese calendar. In what has been referred to as the world’s biggest annual human migration, about three billion passenger trips will be made over the 40-day travel period as China celebrates the Spring Festival. That’s a lot of dudes, dude!

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Each of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac has unique characteristics and each year corresponds to one animal. 2015 corresponds to the Sheep. Or Goat or Ram. This isn’t a sudden identity crisis within the chinese calendar but instead a confusion of the chinese character or mandarin letter “yang”, which describes any horned grazing animal.

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In addition to the twelve year cycle corresponding to each of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac, there are Five Elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) which are associated with their own “life force” or “chi”. This energy blends with the corresponding animal to determine that year’s fortune. In 2015, the corresponding animal is Wood. Wood by its very nature, is the element associated with all living things, the “spring” or life renewal process. Wood relates to trees which relate to the color green. The Year of the Wood Sheep is therefore also known as the Year of the Green Sheep.

So what does it all mean? What do the characteristic of the Sheep mixed together with the elements of Wood bring? According to Chinese tradition, the Sheep is kind, tender and sympathetic. Sheeps are creative and elegant and because of their soft nature, they are symbolic of peace and harmony. Combined with the evergreen and renewal characteristics of Wood, the Sheep’s creativity will be unleashed. Watch this space as the Year unfolds…!

If last year was the Horse’s year to gallop and take off, this year will be the year for contemplating and appreciating what has already been accomplished, to think about bringing goodness to others, to take a deep breath and calmly look at what’s ahead. A steady path, generosity, and keeping the peace are this year’s mantra.

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That certainly sounds like a good philosophy to me! But it doesn’t appeal to everyone! Sheeps avoid confrontation and are not born leaders. It is because of these characteristics that being born in the Year of the Sheep is not that highly regarded by some Chinese who prefer the energetic and dynamic characteristics of some of the other signs, like the Dragon, Tiger and Horse. However, the Sheep is the 8th sign of the twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac, 8 is the lucky number for the Chinese, and being born under the 8th sign is auspicious indeed, and who wouldn’t want their child to be kind, forgiving and loyal? Sheep babies are good-hearted and will always look after everyone else first.

Get ready for an exciting and peaceful new year and

May the Year of the Green Sheep bring prosperity, wealth
and longevity to you and your loved ones!

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Under The Lime Tree makes it to main stream media! But only just…!

UTLT gets a featured slot in Elle magazine’s “Hot Weekends” travel section in the November issue! And nearly fluffed it! Here’s how…

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“Si elle lit, elle lit Elle” (If she reads, she reads Elle)

According to Wikipedia, Elle is the world’s best selling fashion magazine focussing on fashion, beauty, health and entertainment and reaches over 21 million readers. Oh my! The vast majority (82 percent) of Elle’s audience are women between the ages of 18 and 49, with a median age of 34.7 years.

“Our readers are young enough to think about life as an adventure and old enough to have the means to live it”, says Robbie Myers, current editor in chief. Well, I can honestly say that I haven’t thumbed through very many editions of Elle in my more-than-median-age range, but that hasn’t stopped me still thinking about life as an adventure!

Elle was founded in France in 1945. In the 1960s, it was considered to “not so much reflect fashion as decree it”. Among its past editors is Jean-Dominique Bauby, who became known for writing the book “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” after suffering almost total paralysis during a stroke in 1995. (The book is a fabulous read by the way, and the film does it great justice).

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So how did the feature article come about? The Cool Place to be is Hot!

We can all have the best product in the world, or offer the best service, but how we sell our product and market it to the world is an entirely different ball-game, and it’s not always based on meritocracy. We can spend an inordinate amount of time and money climbing the marketing mountain ~ advertising here, promoting there, re-inventing ourselves always ~ hoping that our efforts will reap rewards. None of this happened in this particular case. In fact, it’s a good old fashioned lucky break, and a classic example of never knowing who’s  going to walk through your door and what they’re going to say about you!

I first got an email in early August, which without any prior intro, was from the Picture desk at ElleUK asking for “hi res images to be sent asap for a feature article in the november issue”. Yeah right! I put the email in my Trash, thinking it was a spoof (I get lots of them) and didn’t give it a second thought. Later the same day, there’s a message on my ansaphone, “Hi it’s ElleUK, we’re doing a feature article on Under The Lime Tree, please send hi res images asap…” Ok, now it got my attention!

I grabbed the email from the Trash mailbox and was in touch immediately. After inquiring as to what was the focus of the feature, I got the reply, by email, two words only, “Hot Weekends”. Well hello? Excuse me? Hot Weekends? I know I have a hot tub, but really? Hot weekends here, at UTLT, really? It’s said that any publicity is better then no publicity, but I was getting pretty hot under the collar thinking of the potential misunderstanding ~ especially as a residential massage therapist! Not good!

Anyway, long story cut short, turns out it’s for Elle’s travel section ~ hot places to be. Ha! Ha! But Under The Lime Tree is the Cool Place to Be! No matter! I sent images, (never used, incidentally). By the end of September I still had no idea of who was writing the copy, despite relatively persistent requests to find out. I had to let it go. Do you say to Elle, over 21 million readers world wide, no you can’t use my images if I don’t know what you’re saying about me, or do you trust and hope for the best? I hoped for the best ~ and got a luck break! Out of the blue, a regular B&B guest emailed to say “Hi Nikki hope you’re well, I’ve written about you in this month’s Elle”. And that was it! PDF’s included.

The prices are wrong, the flights quoted are to the wrong airport, but hey! A vegetarian and vegan B&B gets mainstreamed alongside other hotels and B&Bs because of it’s emphasis on providing consistently good food and good service.

And there’s the rub! You never know who’s going to walk through your door. A business does well because it builds up a good reputation and people want to come back for more and they recommend you to others. You’re marketing yourself every moment ~ so do it with love, naturally, and to the best of your ability. And of course, with equal respect for all your clients, because you just never know…

Under The Lime Tree ~ The Cool Place to B & Be!™

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Open Day! success

Open day at UTLT! 2pm – 6pm Sunday may 4th

Natural Facelift Rejuvenation Massage ~ product launch & introductory offer!

Come along on Sunday May 4th (may the fourth be with you!) and join Nikki & Friends for an afternoon of fun and discovery! Sign up for workshops and courses running at Under The Lime Tree and enjoy a delicious cake or two while you browse the stalls and chat with your family & friends.

We have a great line up for you! Teas & bakes & scrummy cakes by Mary Cadogan; unusual accessories & gifts from Namaskaar Accessories; a variety of good-for-you and safe-for-the-environment products from Sophie Stokes at Neal’s Yard Organics; gorgeous, colourful and outrageously soft fairly-traded banana yarn from Shakti Creations; as well as demonstrations and talks about Qi Gong and Yoga, and the benefits of including them in your daily life.

Nikki will be launching her new Natural Facelift Rejuvenation massage treatment! facelift_graphic2 - Version 2Experience a 10 minute taster session and see for yourself how deeply relaxing and effective it is at making us look and feel younger naturally! Take advantage of a 20% discount Introductory Offer available on the day!

“Just thought I’d let you know that Mick noticed a change in my face as soon as I got home and he was seriously impressed! I also noticed a real difference in my skin texture and colour. It’s given me a real boost!” Mary

Under The Lime Tree is very pleased to be collaborating with the best artisans in the area! Improve your craft skills, add strings to your bow, and sign up for any one of a number of courses and workshops being held at UTLT. Sean will be available to talk you through the format of his Digital Photography and Knife Making courses available all year round; Danielle Jackson will be running a demo of her Painting Furniture workshop in May and showing you how easy it is to turn shabby into chic; Sue Hackney will share her knowledge of Native American Culture with 3 workshops set for the summer and a group Mandala to get involved in; Jocelyn Bridge will carry on running her immensely successful “A Taste for Art” painting workshops and she’ll be sketching on site and available to advise you which of her courses would suit you best.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to ‘meet the team’ and hang out with like-mined people! We hope that you will join us on Sunday 4th May (may the fourth be with you still!) as we share our passions and ideas with you and encourage you to do the same. Why not fill your diary with great things to do this summer and learn a skill that will last a life time!

For information and enquiries please contact Nikki at http://www.underthelimetree.com

 

 

The Year of the Horse has Galloped in!

Hold on to your hats folks, it’s going to be a fast ride! Wild, willful, independent and free spirited, the firery impulse of the Horse is unrestrained in this year’s fast growing generative and extrovert Wood element ~ Yeehaa! Here we gooooo…!

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Some are saying there won’t be a bigger shift in energy in the entire 60 year cycle of Chinese Astrology than this one coming up. Twelve animal signs, five elements, a yin or yang characteristic ~  we’re in the seventh year cycle where fire Horse meets yang Wood. We have slithered out of the year of deep introspection of the water Snake into unrivaled forward propulsion that the wood Horse brings.

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The time for pondering, procrastination and planning has passed ~ now is the time to act fast, have a break through – take a leap and fly! Your trusty steed is here, full of vibrant health and tremendous stamina. Light, hope and clarity of vision gallop in so this is the time to follow your intuition fearlessly. Freedom of instinct is the Horse’s main attribute, and reaching out into the unknown is the main attribute of the Wood element ~ unleashing an awesome power that you won’t be able to reign in, even if you wanted to!

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So untangle your thoughts, get clear on what your true purpose and passions are in this life time, grab a fistful of mane, cast out any doubts, feel the wind in your hair and ride fast and furiously into the year ahead!

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Happy Chinese New Year! May it be a blessed one. www.underthelimetree.com