New members of the herd


OK, it’s official – I do go off the track once in a while! Off I went shopping for a small side table and came back with an elephant or two – as you do! I once went to buy a bed and also bought a full kitchen so my family are not too surprised.

What a turn-up. Charlie and I had a day to shop and we both fell in love with these two elephants built of driftwood – they now stand in the long grass on the lawn looking magnificent and much admired by everyone.

The sun is out, the sky is blue, sunbeds all in a row overlooking the masterpiece that is nature.

I am happy to say that our menopause programme is proving to be hugely successful in helping so many of you with the menopausal symptoms that most women have to deal with. We are planning to take it one step further and offer our clients a more in-depth insight to how their hormones work, but more on this later. Watch this space! There is a little saying from the team at Simply Healing that when Vivien shakes her sleeve something magical comes out!

But for now, we’ve got elephants… 


Surviving the wet winter / Spring is here!

After reflection on the winter here at Simply Healing it’s clear that laughter is the best form of medicine that we know. We have been, like thousands of other people, dealing with floods. Due to the water we had a power cut – no electricity with a full house of clients – so were improvising in every which way to keep the house lovely and warm, digging out power cables from the old generator which definitely hadn’t been used for at least sixteen years. In the end, lovely Aor’s husband Alan came to the rescue so that we could keep everyone safe and sound and enjoying themselves. I was able to fulfil a childhood ambition to be an usherette, using my torch to guide people from their rooms to their seats in the snug to watch a film. All’s well that ends well!

We were very fortunate that the clients that were here saw the funny side of things and when asked if they would like to leave and come back later said no, we love it – and to our great delight many of them booked to come again later in the year. As normal Kate and I were keeping the home fires going (five fireplaces) with logs galore, making sure that everyone one was snug. I couldn’t be more grateful for our trusty Aga, that kept going regardless for hot water, hot soups and even for drying logs.  The team at Simply Healing pulled out all the stops to get to work through swollen rivers, falling trees and debris. So like everyone – oh my God, what a winter! But we have lots of happy memories to fall back on along with the good old British spirit that always gets us through.


And now, we breathe a sigh of relief! Spring’s here – daffodils are in full bloom, there’s blossom appearing on the trees and we have the most wonderful views across the Sussex Downs. And the second the sun’s out, it’s followed by Sahara sand – you couldn’t make it up if you tried!

We’ve been beavering away with our annual spring clean so Kate and I and an army of builders, decorators, plumbers, electricians and anyone else that we could rope in all descended on Simply Healing for a ten day facelift (very appropriate). Our lovely treatment rooms are sparkling and refreshed. As usual I gave my son Dean a tight schedule to work to (to which he always responds: ‘no pressure then, Mum’) and he managed to get his team finished with half a day to spare. Kate and I did a space clear and filled the cars up, then off to the charity shop and the local tip. In came the cleaners, upholsterers and antique restorers and I spent time searching high and low (in my element matching old and new) sourcing some unusual additional items to add to that homely feeling: Egyptian cotton bed linen, throws and duvet covers and all those furnishings that create a cosy detoxing environment for our clients to enjoy. All bedrooms have been tweaked in their individual style.


We have always had our own detoxing plans that are unique to us. Additional programmes have now been added and can be found on our website – including the Menopause Detox. We have had many enquiries about this subject so we have now developed a great new programme that helps put the client on track to self-healing, including lots of back-up and information to maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle.

It is so rewarding for me and the team to receive wonderful feedback that is so positive and upbeat. I am always reminding the girls that all the efforts that we put in for our guests result in great guest satisfaction. We all look forward to welcoming everyone wanting to spring clean their bodies and minds, and lift their spirits. Here’s a recent testimonial from a Menopause Detox client:

‘I came exhausted feeling terrible and am now leaving happy, shining and seven pounds lighter’ PW (March 2014)

Always great to hear!

Stay well this spring,


It’s a girl!



We’ve just had some wonderful news: Lucy Miller has had a baby girl. Lucy came to stay last year to do the Fertility Enhancement Detox Plan, and we pulled out all the stops as we do for all our fertility clients to set the ball rolling. Poor Lucy was so up and down as we tried to balance her hormones and keep her focused.

But with a little bit of Vivien’s magic the results have arrived.  Congratulations Lucy and Mark – and welcome Lacie Olivia! I can’t wait to meet this lovely little baby who I’ve felt a connection with since conception – and I hope this will inspire those ladies out there who are struggling to conceive to take a leaf out of Lucy’s book and keep their bodies in tip top condition. It’s also so important to keep a positive focus on the outcome because it can, and does, happen!

I have many, many stories to tell from over the years of little miracles like Lacie. Congratulations from Vivien and all the team at Simply Healing.

Oh, but before we go, here’s a little juice to keep you mums going through the night feeds:

Avocado, plum and pear

6 Plums

2 Pears

1 Avocado (peeled and stoned)

Press through the juicer and enjoy a bit of night time revival.

Get your life (and hormones) back in balance


What a statistic: 81% of women, professional or otherwise, are using alcohol to cope with daily stress – whether it be caused by work, family, relationships or just life in general. I’m sure this is not new but we’re more open about it nowadays. What is good news is that so many women are taking control of their health and coming to us for a complete body cleanse to enable them to get back on track. We offer them a safe, nurturing, non-judgmental space to do just that at Simply Healing.

We have been on the case – advising our clients about the best detox cleanse for them, not just one programme that fits all. Our newly devised Hormone Balanced Detox Cleanse can help you to focus on a more balanced lifestyle. We have created a very special detox plan for women who have reached a crisis point with the menopause. This is one of the many emails that we receive on a daily basis:

“I am 51, and my health in recent months has not been good. I am very tired and have aches and pains everywhere and a huge bloated stomach. I am thirty to forty pounds overweight, my hair has turned to wire wool and I am often crabby and seem to be premenstrual every day. My skin is dry like parchment and I am consuming a bottle of wine every night to cope. A bit of a wreck, you could say. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME?”

Over the years we have seen many, many women whose children have left the nest, whose partners don’t understand, whose bosses don’t understand and who are told nothing but “you’re menopausal” so they struggle along trying all sorts of different formulas, from HRT to complimentary therapies – and while some work, some don’t. From our dealings with hormone issues we have been able to gauge how to help symptoms like: mood swings, weight gain, insomnia, hot flushes, dry skin, dry hair, brittle nails, frequented visits to the loo (and the list goes on and on). All of these symptoms can lead to lack of self-esteem and sometimes it is very hard to see your way forward.

We can help you, yes we can! A bit of advice – start by cutting down on the wine, and make a juice instead. A fresh apple, pear, lemon and ginger juice can bring up your blood sugar so that your sugar cravings lessen. Take time out, kick off those shoes, put your feet up for ten minutes, and forget the kettle. This juice will rehydrate your body. 

Read more about Simply Healing Centre’s juice cleanses

Love Vivien

The Peru diary: Last meal in Lima

Rosa Nautica restaurant

Rosa Nautica restaurant

Back to Lima, and to my favourite restaurant on the Pacific Ocean, Rosa Nautica, for lunch. It is the most amazing place, with excellent food, and a great atmosphere, with the waves lapping gently on the pier. As we ate lunch the whole reason for our journey came together, and we remembered what these girls had really come here for – to change the things that didn’t work in their lives, and initiate the things that could work. It’s not a magic wand but taking a trip like this is a powerful insight into your own psyche, and into what you could be doing to bring you happiness, fulfilment, and positivity.

Now back to my story about the alligator. Peter, the owner of the lodge in the Iquitos jungle, joined us for lunch. He asked if I had enjoyed the food at the lodge, and I replied that I was surprised to have seen alligator on the menu. I asked how long he’d had it in the river, because two of our group had also thought they’d spotted one when we were on our way to see the Bora Bora tribe (I’d told them it was probably a log).

He said ‘what do you mean?’ Then the light went on and he said, ‘oh my God’. Peter owns a reptile park in the jungle – and two years ago twenty alligators had escaped. He had assumed that they’d all been eaten by the locals – but no, they’d obviously found a new home. I couldn’t stop laughing – I was hysterical at the fact that he’d changed the whole ecosystem of that river without even realising.

It was a long flight home, but we hit the ground running the next day as Simply Healing was full of detoxers, new friends and old friends, and it felt a little bit like my ‘retirement’ had been a nice diversion – fun while it lasted! But watch this space, Peru could be a two-yearly regular trip…

Of course, we still have so many stories about Peru to share – look out for snippets on our blog soon.


The Peru diary: Back on the train to Cusco

Ancient and modern living side by side

Ancient and modern living side by side

Two and a half days in Cusco – the most amazing city that I think I’ve ever been to, that carries so much ancient culture and tradition that is kept alive by indigenous people and those that know how to integrate this tradition into people’s lives. Here I had half a day off to – believe it or not – get my hair done, and my nails done, and generally be pampered and find out what had been happening in Cusco for the last few years. I met old faces and was introduced to new ones.

My grandson, who was with us on the trip, told me he felt that Cusco was the right place to be, and I knew just what he meant. While here we spent two days with Pedro and his family. They have been part of my life for about 20 years. His youngest daughter, who is my goddaughter, has a photograph by her bedside of her and me when she was tiny, and I was very touched by how she still had that connection. We had great ceremonies with Pedro and his team, partly because he lives in the centre of one of the most powerful places in Cusco, Saksaywaman.

Cusco is also a very cosmopolitan city. And everybody agreed they all felt at home there – they loved it, and they shopped ‘til they dropped. The hotel doorman quickly picked up on who was who, and he would let me know who had gone in and who had gone out shopping (again!).

One young man who was selling jewellery on the street told me I had a very familiar face and I said I had been coming a long time. About an hour later, as I was on my way back to the hotel, he came up again and told me that he remembered my son Dean, who had travelled with me in the past. He reminded me that Dean had taken on board two young underage street traders that used to sell postcards and jewellery – he used to take them for food, and buy all of their stuff so that they could go home with some money. And this was one of those young men that Dean had befriended. And though he was still selling jewellery on the street, he was very smartly dressed, and his jewellery was good quality, and even better he had a big smile on his face. He told me he’s married with a child now.