Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra Broadband – review

I’ve recently signed up for unlimited fibre extra broadband with Plusnet. I’m working from home so need a fast, reliable internet connection. I live with a 12-year-old YouTuber/Netflix addict so we’re both online evenings and weekends, which can slow things down.

Yesterday I received a cheque in the post from them for £70 as a ‘thank you’ for signing up.


Great customer service too. A few days ago they called me to check in on the service to make sure I’m happy, asking if there’s anything else they can do for me.

There are tons of options for business broadband and I went with Plusnet on word-of-mouth recommendation. They aren’t the cheapest, but they provide a good service, fast speeds, and have won awards for their customer service. I can also speak to someone in Sheffield rather than dealing with chatbots and overseas call centres. A huge time suck.

After months of problems with my phone line, scam calls and a very slow service that kept dropping, I am happy and feeling productive! Amazing what a small change in your set up can do. When things are running smoothly you don’t even think about them. The surprise cheque was a nice bonus too.

Just checking out their community blog. Here’s a recent post on the best countries for remote workers.  I don’t think Spain is better than the UK for remote workers though, not based on my recent experience there 😉


Check out their products here:


Warren Lee Wilde:👇🏼my highlights are my art 👇🏼

“Oooh, I love your fringe,” he peers at me over the top of his gold shades as I walk into the salon.

I’m loving the look. Jungle playsuit, gold safety pin necklace, pencilled brows, and platform trainers.

“Take a seat. Can I get you a drink?” asks Amber.

“Water, thanks.”

I sink into a black leather chair, already sticky from the sun. It’s Saturday morning at Urban Hair & Beauty, St Leonards and I’m here for a blow dry. There are three women sat behind mirrors and another next to me, flicking through a magazine. One of them is leaving and my stylist, Kelly, knots a headscarf around her curls to hold them in place. “You look fabulous,” I tell her as she leaves and she smiles. I sip my water and turn to the woman on my right. “What are you having done?”

“Oh, just the usual. Trim and tidy.”

Kelly is ready for me so I settle into the chair and surrender to the shampoo. “Is the temperature ok? Would you like a head massage?”

My favourite six words and the marker of a good salon.

Jungle man is Warren and he’s busy chatting to his client as I sit down to have my hair dried. I catch the tail end of a story about his 11-year-old sister who is getting into dance and wants to try pole dancing. He rolls his eyes. “She’s like, Warren, can I have a Versace bag? I’m like, no girl, not till I have one first!”

“Great music”, I say to Kelly. Warren G. Christina. Kylie. Pounding through the speaker into my left ear.

“Yeah, it’s Radio 1. They play the best tunes on a Saturday morning. My boss doesn’t like it. She prefers Gold and Magic but she’s not here on Saturdays so we have it on. Our customers love it.” I watch Warren getting jiggy through the mirror.

He turns to me: “Didn’t I cut your daughter’s hair? What was her hair colour again?”

“Blonde-brown. Long.”

“Yeah, I remember. Didn’t she have a guinea pig?”


I took Julieta in a year ago to have her hair curled for her year six prom, so I’m impressed he remembered after all this time. I tell him she’s 12 now and has done a year at school in China.

Kelly sprays on some heat protector and gets to work with the straighteners. I tell her I have a pair of GHD’s. 20 years old, and still going strong.

“We use Cloud Nines. They’re made by the same guy who started GHD. There are three types and these are the thicker ones for long hair. I think they’re better.” She carries on ironing and I watch the steam rising while my hair flops in defeat. “It’s so satisfying.”

“You can recycle your GHD’s here if you want to. We sell Cloud Nines as well.”

Warren reappears holding a stunning bouquet of green and white flowers. “Who are they for?” I ask.

“My client. I’m invited to her party tonight on The Lawn. She’s an artist. I have to take something nice. Her daughter will be head to toe in Gucci…”

“Where d’you get them from?”

“The florist on Norman Road. She does all the vintage bouquets herself. £20! Can you believe it? I said, look, I’ve got £20 – what can you do, and she came up with these. Fabulous, aren’t they?” he has a sniff and disappears behind the Prosecco wall. Flowers, steam and hairspray.

It’s 11.30 am and I have serious hair to go with my LBD, fishnets and black Vagabonds.

“I love your look. Love monochrome. You always look fabulous when you walk past. Beautiful figure.”

This is why he gets invited to party on The Lawn with his clients.

“Likewise. So, what’s the look? I love the playsuit.”

“ASOS, darling. Head to toe. I do like a chunky trainer.” He leans in and whispers, “these are Versace though. I love clothes and dressing up. It’s mostly ASOS. Sometimes my friends buy me stuff to wear.”

I glide down London Road, buoyed by the compliments, music, service, and happy vibe. Only £15 for a wash and blow dry too. It’s a Good Hair Day.

@WarrenLeeWilde – 👇🏼 my highlights are my art 👇🏼

Urban Hair and Beauty, London Road, St Leonards. Tuesday to Saturday and late nights on request.


16 Ways to Beat the Menopause Naturally

“My biggest ‘aha’ moment was realising that it all starts with the gut!

“I mean everything, absolutely every health concern, starts with the gut! Looking after our digestive system should be the number one priority when it comes to health. Mental health is considerably improved once we begin to work on the gut.”

Which is why we call it the ‘second brain’.

I’m at a “Balance Hormones Naturally’ talk and food demo with nutritional therapist and food photographer Daniela Exley at Cake Room, Hastings. Daniela’s journey into healthy eating and personal development began in May 2013 after she started experiencing a huge array of symptoms including exhaustion, depression, allergies and painful joints – she was eventually diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and is now on the road to recovery through diet and lifestyle rather than taking drugs. I also have RA so am keen to learn from her experiences.

Her first point is that our general approach to health issues is medical care first and diet and nutrition as a last resort. It should be the other way around. If you’re experiencing health issues the first thing you should do is look at your diet and learn about how the gut works and what might be causing a problem. See if you can improve things naturally before you take drugs or HRT or its bio-identical equivalent, which is still chemically manufactured.


  • Hormones are chemical messengers – your body is an orchestra and hormones are the conductors keeping things balanced and on track. When they are out of balance, for example, with menopause, it affects our health
  • Healthy gut flora is important for a healthy immune system. 70-80% of your immune tissue is in your digestive tract. One way to replenish gut microbiome and rebalance your hormones is to eat more fermented foods like Kombucha, Kimchi, Kefir, Sauerkraut, which you can pick up from Trinity Wholefoods, a health food cooperative around the corner in Trinity Street
  • Eat coloured veg for phytonutrients
  • Eat prebiotics – found in green bananas, asparagus, artichoke, leeks, and garlic
  • Drink 1 ½ to 2 litres of water a day (herbal tea counts) to help release toxins in the gut
  • Phytoestrogens are structurally similar to estrogen so they can mimic it and help reduce the risk of conditions associated with low estrogen levels, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Flaxseeds are the richest dietary source of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen. “My menopausal symptoms – hot flushes and breast pain – have stopped completely after 7 days of taking flaxseeds.”
  • Asian women don’t tend to complain of menopausal symptoms, and they have much lower rates of breast cancer – possibly because of a diet high in miso, tofu, tempeh and Natto, a fermented soy superfood which is an acquired taste. “It tastes like old socks… slimy, stretchy but it’s soooo good for you.” Nor do they drink much alcohol, apparently, which made everyone go quiet. “Alcohol is so toxic to the system, it’s the only thing your liver can deal with when you drink, so if you’re drinking regularly your liver can’t help regulate your sex hormones.”
  • Brassicas, baby – they are a good source of indoles which help the liver detoxify and inhibit enzymes that activate carcinogens. Broccoli, bok choy, kale, cauliflower, Brussels
  • We need healthy fats and cholesterol for hormone production. Quality fish oils, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil: “I’ve lived with Spanish people who eat gallons of it – they are one of the healthiest nations.”
  • Get outdoors more – being in nature helps to calm the central nervous system. Don’t overdo the exercise… hardcore workouts aren’t great in your 40s as they can stress the adrenals… try yoga or Pilates
  • For better quality sleep and less anxiety try Epsom salt baths (magnesium) – I buy mine by the bucket load from a garden centre – much more economical and a nice man carries it up the stairs for me. “Listen to Marconi Union’s ‘Weightless’. It’s THE top meditation track. I always fall asleep before the end of it.”
  • Plastics – you can’t avoid them completely, but supermarkets are getting better. Morrisons allows you to take in your own containers for fresh fish or better still, buy from your local fish market where it’s wrapped in paper. In Hastings, you can buy reusable wraps from The Crown pub on All Saints Street
  • Beauty products can be hormone disruptors – lists all known toxins present in products
  • Go organic: when fruit & veg are sprayed with pesticides they don’t produce as many phytoestrogens
  • BEE POLLEN – “You can survive on it. It contains every vitamin, mineral and amino acid known to man. It’s what they feed the Queen Bee and she ain’t got hot flushes
  • Maca is great for libido, energy and balancing your hormones. Blend it with cashews, coconut flakes, dates, and lemon essential oil to make your own truffles
  • Buy quality Essential oils – Daniela recommends doTERRA, which are food grade. We sniffed several: basil (smells amazing, relieves stress, anxiety & depression, relieves itchy skin), clary sage, thyme – all help with hormone balancing. Daniela hosts a drop-in session at The Cake Room on Monday mornings where you can try some of the oils and learn more about their uses

All in all, a fascinating evening and I came away feeling inspired and energised. Good company, good food and useful information. Daniela made a rocket & walnut pate/pesto while we were there served with homemade chia & flaxseed crackers. Easy and yummy: blitz lemon juice, olive oil, rocket and walnuts. We drank homemade Kombucha tea from Vikki from Bullet Café (has a kick and could be Prosecco if you drink it in a flute…) and polished off the Maca truffles.

I bought her book, the 28 Day Mind & Body Reset and have been enjoying the recipes – blitz and bake easy dishes and things I actually want to eat. I found bee pollen granules in Trinity so have been taking those; let’s see what a difference they make to my focus and energy levels as an alternative to multivitamins.

We had a chat before I left, and she gave me another nugget. “If you’re looking to do some deep work on energy and manifestation, I recommend Lacy Phillips. Check her out, powerful stuff.” I have since signed up for The Pathway and she’s right, it is life-changing work and another tool to support you on your journey.

Dive in… The Deep Connect Nature Retreat, Romania – 1 – 8th June 2019

Photos: Daniela Exley



A Night of Flamenco: Jesus Olmedo & La Kati – review

I went to see Jesus Olmedo perform at the Kino Teatr last month. A graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Madrid, he is now working across the globe and runs a collective in London called Flamenco Soul – live shows combining ‘cante jondo’ (traditional song) with Spanish guitar and flamenco dancing. He rose to fame as Pippa Middleton’s flamenco teacher on the back of this article she wrote for The Telegraph.

First up: Flamenco guitarist Adrian Sola who just sat down and started to play. Following a big bang – technical hitch – he looked up with a shy smile, fiddled a bit and carried on. He has such grace – a beautiful, transcendent sound that grounds you and lays the foundation for the rest of the show. He doesn’t say much but has a fantastic stage presence and can hold his own as a solo performer. I noticed I had started crying. After a couple of sets, he was joined by percussionist Ayoze de Alejandro who worked his way into the sound and they played off each other. I think of flamenco as a solo performance, but it’s about teamwork and collaboration with lots of eye contact, banter and gesturing between performers. It was lovely to feel the connection between the two men.

Jesus is petite and slender with a determined chin and an intense expression – he reminded me of Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman. For the first performance, he wore a black and white suit which looked a bit Michael Jackson with a shirt that came undone as he moved. He is an excellent dancer and gave an accomplished performance, but for some reason, he didn’t dominate the room or give me tingles down my spine. I wanted him to push it to the edge. Maybe that would come later? For the second half, he wore a red and black suit which looked sharper and took it in turns to dance with La Kati – an excellent flamenco performer.

“You need to watch Israel Galvan,” my friend whispered into my ear. “I saw him in London. He’s such a force… dominates the stage. Such charisma. Chunky, not too skinny. Great ass, too.”

One of the highlights was an improv session around a wooden table featuring all performers. They started out tapping the table with their fists, building the sound, smiling and laughing and ended with a cracking tabletop performance by Jesus and La Kati. Would it collapse, or would they fall off first? Good tension and the audience got into the swing of it, clapping along in delight. I can imagine this scene being played out in bars across the country as a voice for political protest.

All in, an accomplished show, though I was left wanting more. For me, the standout performance was Sola’s solo guitar playing. Graceful and immersive, he took the audience with him on a journey – the total opposite to the flamenco but the two work well in tandem – he sets the stage for the physical movement and didn’t need any vocal accompaniment.

Looking around the Kino Teatr, St Leonards’ Russian art gallery and performance venue, I felt a bit depressed that most of the audience were over 50. £20 per ticket is a bit steep, but this is live theatre and something you don’t see every day in St Leonards. I prioritised this over other events as I wanted to feel something and thought it would help with the winter blues.

When we got home I watched Israel Galvan and Silvia Pérez Cruz on YouTube. She has a stunning, ethereal voice and he is such a force on stage – simple black outfit, hair swept back in a ponytail. He draws you in with his graceful hand movements. I can see why flamenco is Spain’s premier art form and a powerful tool for protest. Not sure I’d be any good at it with my joints, but I look forward to being energised by more of it.

Jesus Olmedo will be back at the Kino Teatr, St Leonards on May 25, 2019. Booking and info here.

Photo by Dolo Iglesias on Unsplash