How do you make decisions on what to buy? What influence does ‘Branding’ have? The impact of packaging, design and presentation. The differences between what you want and need. What is Brand Stretch? What are RFID tags used for? Will you buy imperfect fruit and veg? An insight into some marketing techniques and how you can be a ‘Savvy Shopper’ when going to the supermarket and much more.
Menstruation - Why are Periods such a Bleeding Shame?
This frank talk reviews the impact of women’s menstrual cycles through the ages, looking at historical and modern approaches to handling this vital natural process, and how until recently menstruation led to women having virtually no rights. It covers different cultural attitudes, the disgrace of period poverty and how religions respond to menstruating women, along with the latest changes enabling girls in developing countries to continue their education.
Behind the Bathroom Door
A look at how people have kept clean (or not!) through the ages, including the multitude of up to date toiletries we use; the history of items such as the toothbrush, toilet paper, salt deodorant and floating soap, why is soap better than detergent but detergent is what most of us use, along with a look at the possible demise of the modern toilet and how safe sanitation can be brought to the developing world.
Saffron - Threads of Gold
This most expensive of spices has many diverse uses, from food flavouring and fragrance through dyeing, cosmetics and medicine. It has long been held in high esteem by royalty and aristocracy, from Ancient Egypt to modern times. Includes tasting samples of saffron infused in oil and in water.
A look at some of the quilts, wall hangings and other textile art that can be created either from new fabrics, or by using old textiles and other items that some would call ‘rubbish’. A talk with a whole suitcase full of patchwork examples, from classic patterns, to modern, abstract designs, hand and machine work, patchwork without measuring, and more. Can include a sewing machine demonstration of some techniques and form a workshop for sewers.
The history of underwear, with examples, among others, of Victorian and Edwardian drawers, pantaloons and combinations, and a selection of 20th century pieces such as a range of stockings and suspenders, girdles, a bullet bra, a Liberty bodice, exotic knickers and the modern waist cincher. For male audiences, includes male underwear.
The Painted Face – Hope in a Jar!
How women have used cosmetics to enhance their appearance from ancient Egypt to modern day, with numerous samples of the materials and chemicals used in the pursuit of beauty, and just how much make-up can change a person’s appearance and chances in life.
Oranges and Lemons
Citrus fruit are far more than just food. Here is a look at their history, uses and impact on human culture, health and well-being. Curious citrus facts include Paris saved from the plague by lemonade, oranges in classic paintings representing wealth or prostitution, and a plane’s Black Box is in fact bright orange. This talk is illustrated by a selection of antique citrus cooking utensils.