by Jeanne Hambleton ©
NFA Leader Against Pain-Advocate

Now there is only about 24 days left to Christmas have you, as a long suffering fibromite, given any serious thought about what you really really want for Christmas.

If you are lost for ideas I have, quite by chance, discovered the ultimate festive gift. It is one you can share with your loved one. If I was not still tangled up with crutches I think I might have given my eye teeth for this gift. Thinking about that, this would rather spoil the illusion…..

When I say FFF – fabulous for fibromites – there are a few exceptions – me for example, as I am confined to an armchair. But if your get up-and-go has only temporarily got-up-and-gone, and you want it back, this will do the trick. It could make a new woman of you. Have I got you interested? You could forget all about your pains – for how long, it is up to you.

It is a bit of a luxury and you might have to dip into his and her piggy banks but it would certainly set you up for the wet, windy and cold winter yet to come.

It would boost your self-esteem and confidence. It would provide you with just the right amount of exercise (no, it is not a treadmill). Your spouse, partner, husband … him indoors … would see you in a different light… a sort of goddess……. if you decided to share this present with him.

You could forget struggling around the shops for something he really does not need or already has. This gift will be all he needs. Trust me – I am fibromite.

You might decide it would serve as presents for this Christmas, your birthday and his, next Christmas gifts and depending on how much you usually spend at Christmas, maybe even the festive gift for 2009. You might even consider it is worth taking the hat round the family at Christmas.

Perhaps you should to look at it more as an investment in your wellbeing… a practical healthy gift. If you shared this gift with your husband I feel sure it is something you would certainly not forget in a hurry.

Have I got you guessing? A new car? No, you can get one of them anytime. Moving house … no, this is one of the biggest stresses next to death and divorce. I am sure you do not want the first. Re the second idea – it all depends on how you are getting on at the moment. When he shares this gift I think he certainly will not want a divorce. Something to wear – no, that will wear out or go out of fashion.

This ultimate gift is one you will remember for the rest of your life and the delights of this gift will go on and on. One tiny condition of this fantastic gift for this Christmas – you must be free between 7th and 16th January 2008.

This is one big clue. The next one is “Susegad” freely translated (so I am told) it means relax and enjoy life while you can’. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.


The ultimate present is for you to learn Egyptian dancing (belly dancing) while enjoying a romantic back to nature holiday for two in Goa overlooking the Indian Ocean in glorious warm weather, dipping in out of the warm rippling waves.

Yes you can do it – all fibromites should do it. Egyptian dance is a way to empower yourself as a woman, no matter what age, size or level of ability you are – even though you are a fibromite! Egyptian dance can help improve muscular control, balance, co-ordination, flexibility, confidence, weight loss and tone the body. Plus you get to dress up in those sexy saris and meet lots of new friends.

Egyptian dancing is perfectly suited to a woman’s body shape accentuating and isolating different parts of the body to interpret the rhythms of the music. This style of dance goes back to the time before the Pharaohs and has long been used ritually and socially.

Over the years and with the migration of the gypsies, the dance has spread and we see many similarly related styles, to name but a few; Flamenco, Bollywood, Persian, Turkish, Katak and the most recent Tribal Bellydance which encompasses all styles.

Egyptian dance has many names but they all come under the same umbrella. Each teacher you go to, or performer you see, will be unique even if they are dancing the same steps because it is your own individuality and expression, which comes alive when you dance. This develops as you go through different changes and life experiences. So there are no right or wrong ways to do it, all you need to do is practice!

While you are making yourself into a seductive Egyptian goddess, the man in your life could be toning up his muscles with Tai Chi and Qi Gong. These provide a series of exercises that promote natural correct posture. Throughout the exercises the cardiovascular system is gently exercised. By the use of the postures, visualizations and defined movement, the energy in the body is balanced which can lead to a feeling of well being and an improvement in health.


No worries – loose easy clothing. You can pick up local clothes very cheaply and the authentic floaty sequined veils and things at the markets in Goa for a few rupees I am told. The costumes are beautiful, sexy, seductive and who can resist them. If you want to know what you will look like, log on for a preview to


It is worth remembering you are travelling in a male dominated country and you should consider dressing discreetly as a mark of respect for local customs when visiting the shops and town.

I have looked at the following website about what to wear and this suggests – leave the bikinis, halter-tops, tube tops, spaghetti straps, shorts, mini-skirts and anything over the top at home. Dressing “sexy” and close fitting clothing in Goa may attract the wrong kind of attention. Wearing flower in your hair will apparently also send out the wrong message.

This website is a personal view of the writer, but Rough Guides print advice on what to wear and what not to wear while in India.



Katie, who lived in Worthing, West Sussex, before moving to Goa two years ago with her husband and two young children, has been dancing since she was three years old. If you met Katie in the supermarket shopping with her family, you would be amazed at her transformation when she is in costume and dancing.

She has studied Ballet, Tap, Modern, African, Samba, Bollywood, Classical Indian, Sacred Nepalese, Tribal Fusion and Egyptian. Combining traditional with her own unique interpretations – fusing herself to an ancient culture whilst dancing into the new. Her magical energy inspires everyone she meets.

On her quest for deeper understanding and precision of movement Katie pushes herself into the unknown and onto higher levels, keen to share her knowledge and expertise on her journey. This includes studying to be a Reiki Master and being one of just twenty people currently studying on an advanced dance training course with Hossam and Serena Ramzy and performing with them at Planet Egypt and the Bloomsbury Theatre, London.

She is also working closely with Simon Webster (drummer with Abdullah Chhadeh) running dance and drum holidays in Morocco and is making a teaching DVD, which it is hoped, will be available in the spring.

Katie Holland who is married to Glen, a Tai Chi instructor, encourages dancers to achieve their highest potential without compromising the quality or interpretation of the dance. Her methods of teaching and performing have evolved over the years and are influenced by the teachers who have inspired and encouraged her.

This is an ultimate gift that you should both enjoy – a romantic holiday retreat for two with lots of time to relax in the sun and enjoy the experience. Nothing matters – only the willingness to enjoy.

If you have a husband like mine who refuses to fly, you could go with a girl friend (even your carer) and have a lot of fun on this holiday.


Your retreat – a cabana (your back to nature home for the holiday) is 200m from Palolem beach – arguably Goa’s finest and safest beach – on the terraces of a coconut grove that gives holistic travellers a feeling for the rhythms and flavours of Goan village life. Staying here provides simple earth friendly global luxuries such as genuine ayurvedic massages, yoga classes, organic food (including home made pasta, tofu and wheat grass juice), nature trips and anything else, which is thrown up in the course of an evening’s conversation with the retreat’s founders.

Your cabana is fashioned from local materials like rice straw and bamboo and are furnished with antique Portugese furniture and I am told they look really nice. An eco friendly compost toilet accompanies each cabana. Built to include trees, leaves and the star spangled skies the living areas combine a rural feel with a surprising degree of comfort for an alternative resort.

While staying at Bhakti Kutir guests make their own choices in a completely informal non-commercial community environment. The mainly vegetarian restaurant also serves fresh sea food, wine and tribal liquors. Guests can effortlessly participate in the nightlife on Palolem beach and yet retire to a world of complete quiet, security and privacy when they so desire.

This holiday not only offers Egyptian dancing, Tai Chi but also a wide, even if somewhat unpredictable, range of healing programmes. There are short trips to wild life reserves, heritage towns and homes, spice gardens, little known islands, mountain lodges and holistic healing centers are all easily undertaken from Bhakti Kutir. Even a short stay may help connect visitors with a network of holistic resorts in the region. You can also extend your stay if you cannot tear yourself away… just phone home like ET.

In the Rough Guide To India (Fourth Edition) by Bill Bryson states -.

BK : on the headland above Colom fishing village Tele: 0832/2643469 /72 – email
bhaktikutir@yahoo.com homely, eco-friendly thatched village huts equipped with western amenities (including completely biodegradable chemical toilets), in a secure, leafy compound five minutes` walk from the south end of Palolem beach. Beautifully situated and sensitively designed to blend with the landscape by Goan owners.


If you are planning on flying to Goa direct which takes about 8 hours, and maybe not coming back one global travel agency on the Internet is offering flights at £99 one way. I guess you could come back but this might involve a bit more expense as it often does on a return journey. Elsewhere you can find flights for around £477 -presumably there and back. You will also need to apply for a visa when sorting out your tickets.

This particular ‘goddess grooming experience’ and delightful winter escape is only available from 7th to 16th January 2008 but I am told there will be other holidays in Nepal and Morocco.


In the New Year Katie Holland is back in the UK with muscians for concerts at the Planet Angel Nightclub in London, Croydon, Glastonbury, and a Bodies and Beats concert in Shoreham in April. Her ‘Goddess Show” is at Brighton Race course on March 15th and 16th. For more details about events look at:


There are lots of photographs of classes, dancers in costume and dates for teaching and workshops in the Isle of Man, the UK, as well as in Morocco and Goa. To join this holiday or arrange your own personal tailor-made holiday contact Katie Holland by email: info@katie-holland.net.

Over the winter season there will be classes most days in the Palolem (South Goa) area. There will also be intensive workshops held regularly with drummers. Look out for workshops in other areas of Goa and India!

Katie said, “If you are in another part of India and would like me to come to you get in touch. If you are in Goa email me for details of classes or if you are in the area look out for the posters! Bhakti Kutir and Blue Planet are two of the places you will find me. If you are thinking of coming to Goa and would like to combine the two see the holidays page for more information.”

If you decide to make this holiday part of your mature gap year Katie is happy for you to email her. I should warn you Katie and Glen went there for a holiday with their children and never came back… well not to live. How is that for relaxing and really living the life you want?

In her own words she said, “After 2 weeks we knew we couldn’t continue living in the UK and decided to set up our own business here and see what happened. Life here is much more relaxed, you have to have patience as nothing happens fast and there are power cuts and the Internet crashes frequently etc.

“But the people are friendlier and you never know what might happen, it seems the energy here is a lot clearer and more positive. The children prefer it, they can swim everyday and have more time with us because we don’t have to work all hours of the day and night just to be able to live here. We have to be aware of things that we wouldn’t have to be in England, (local customs and dress codes) but it seems to make it more exciting somehow. Plus the kids are learning Hindi and learning about other cultures. They have friends from all over the globe here. “

Just imagine if you decided to live there and your called your bank you might discover their call centre was just round the corner. That would be a plus – you may even be able to understand the person you are speaking to.

There seems to be mass migration to Spain with those fed up with life in the old country, which no longer feels like the old country. Why not migrate to Goa like the birds do – they fly south and keep warm.

Just make sure you have Internet so we can keep in touch. I should hate to lose you all just because you are living nearer the equator.

For more information about the holiday experience, bookings or even planning your gap year please email: info@katie-holland.net

You must agree this is the ultimate gift for the fibromite who has everything….. Have a great time… We would love to know how you get on. Jeanne



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