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Tom Hanks AN ACTOR FOR ALL SEASONS
Travel GUIDED WALKING AT LULWORTH COVE
IN THIS ISSUE 4-5
TWITTERING ON By Angela Kelly
8-9 TRAVEL Guided walking at Lulworth Cove
MAKE YOUR HOME MORE LIFESTYLE FRIENDLY
12-13 TRAVEL USA Road Trip with Avis 16-17
TOM HANKS An actor for all seasons
FOOD AND DRINK Recipes for Great British Chef, Paul Foster
27-29 HOME Make your home more lifestyle friendly 35 MOTORS Steve Howarth test drives the Volvo XC60 T6 Hybrid
Towneley Hall, Park & Gardens
Historic House Museum & Art Gallery Woodland Walks
Refreshments Children’s Play Area Pitch & Putt Courses Garden Centres
37-38 GARDENING COVID-19 has transformed the Gardening Industry 40-41 HEALTH Advice for mature women
To view more articles VISIT OUR WEBSITE WWW.50PLUSMAGAZINE.CO.UK
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BY ANGELA KELLY
And so many were crazily accurate. “Set in retrospect, in 2015, not a single person got the answer right to ‘Where do you see yourself five years from now?’” We even found our own occasional desperation worth a smile. “Where is far far away and how do I get there?” was a post offering a bitter tinge. Then there was: “I’m looking for a moisturiser that hides the fact that I’ve been tired since 2010” which hit home. Then there were the clever ones: “I told my suitcases that there will be no vacation this year. Now I’m dealing with emotional baggage.” LOCKDOWN HUMOUR – TRADEMARK OF STOIC BRITS IT may be a particularly British trait but when it comes to ongoing disaster and major concern we tend to turn to humour. I’m sure it was the same in wartime and in other countries. When something enduringly scary threatens, we discover the funny side of it and use it as a form of defence against the awfulness. That has certainly been true of the pandemic. While it’s too difficult and too raw to actually laugh at Covid-19 itself, we have been turning instead to the sideeffects and restriction of lockdown to cheer ourselves up. In fact, I think we are at our most inventive here. Humour surfaced early in the first lockdown and mainly online. One of the first things that made me laugh – a surprise, really, given the seriousness and overwhelming worry of the threat then – was a short video of a good-looking shirtless man in a hat dancing. The before lockdown and after lockdown footage showed the tight torso changing to a wobbly belly. We laughed at the change, soon learning the irony as many of us munched our way through the months ahead.
We’ve laughed at the possible results of lockdown. One of my favourite Facebook postings was: “Do you ever get up in the morning, look in the mirror and think ‘that can’t be accurate!’” We’ve become happy to laugh at ourselves. We smiled at jokes about over-zealous hand-washing, mask-wearing and taking precautions. “Pretty wild how we used to eat cake after someone had blown on it. Good times ….” went one popular post.
Add those to the many cartoons, videos, memes and observational humour and you discover a funny underside to what is plainly an international disaster that could scarcely have been predicted. Personally, I feel it says something fine and stoic about our individual make-up that allows us to react to very dark times by sometimes laughing out loud. Little has been innately funny about this global pandemic and its terrible effects on people. But, our ability to find the humour in it, to share that with others and to laugh together has proved to be a brilliant way
of diluting some of our darkest days, It has helped us move naturally towards future light. FANCY A PAIR OF OUR BET’S BEST EARRINGS? WHEN actress Julie Goodyear became an unusual sort of national icon as Coronation Street’s brassy landlady Bet Lynch her wardrobe was not the envy of women everywhere. The too-short skirts, too-tight tops, heavy make-up and upfront behaviour behind the bar of the Rovers Return brought out the prude in most of us. Tutting at Bet became a national habit – when we weren’t laughing at her antics and lines, that is.
The jewellery was sold in an online auction as part of Coronation Street’s 60th birthday in December, resulting no doubt on a major donation for Willow Wood and some delighted purchasers.
New series of either of the latter are eagerly awaited – that’s not to take away anything from The Bill, its plot lines and acting. But with Line of Duty and Unforgotten, we’re actually hungry to see it – we can’t wait.
Who today, though, would really wear Bet’s finest horrors? Well, me for one. Bring on those earrings like a birdcage – they’re great!
Writer Jed Mercurio certainly knows how to tell a riveting tale in LoD.You’re frightened to miss a second as you might skip a vital clue or move towards identifying who “H” might be or whether the OCG (Organised Crime Group) has more police in its pocket.
COP SHOWS THAT BECOME PART OF OUR LIVES IF there’s one thing the past year or so has taught us to appreciate it’s the TV. Pre-lockdown, we might have been a bit reticent to list telly-watching among our hobbies but now we’re happy to admit its importance in our lives.
Fast forward from 1966 to 2003 when she was in The Street to last year and Julie Goodyear MBE impressing the nation in a different way. The Manchester actress donated a large amount of Bet’s jewellery and her own to help local hospice Willow Wood.
It’s also been interesting to see how our habits have changed. More of us have come to appreciate Netflix and iPlayer and become binge-watchers of series.
“When I heard that they had been forced to cancel almost all of their fundraising events in this their 21st year, I wanted to do something to help,” compassionate Julie explained.
If you’ve watched daily doses of old police programmes The Bill and then back-to-backs of Line of Duty or Unforgotten you can see how far cop series have come.
One thing we’ve also perhaps noticed is how some types of programmes have altered.
Yes, they’re big on acronyms in Line of Duty. The three main characters – played by Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar - have their own little nuances so that everything feels familiar.Yet, things are happening all the time that take us into new territory. Unforgotten is a marvellous showcase for the talents of writer Chris Lang and the acting of Sanjeev Bhaskar and Nicola Walker. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an actress with such talent for showing emotions in her face. The whole plotline is there sometimes. How lucky we are in this country to have such fine writers and performers. And, oddly, lockdown gave us the time to appreciate them anew.
or email: email@example.com 5
Self-drive & coach inclusive breaks
GREAT VALUE 5 DAY HALF BOARD BREAKS
When it comes to inviting, relaxing breaks, we have the ideal holiday for you.. Whether you’re looking for a romantic break for two, a family holiday or getting away with friends, Robinsons’s Holidays offers 12 hotels in 10 of the most popular UK destinations. Our fleet of 26 luxury Mercedes coaches provide return travel in comfort and style from your pick up point and will take you directly to your hotel, aiming to arrive between 3 – 5pm. If you’d like to get out and about to explore the local area on your holiday, then all of our breaks can also be booked on a self-drive basis so you’ve got the freedom of having your own car.
Request your brochure now!
Every break includes: Return coach travel (self-drive option available)
Comfy en suite accommodation
Breakfast & 3-course evening meal
Live nightly entertainment*
Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice We are proud to announce that six of our group – Barrowfield, Daish’s, Devonshire, Bournemouth Sands, Claremont, Hotel Prince Regent – have been awarded the coveted TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award for 2020.
Isle of Wight
Don’t miss these coach inclusive breaks! Local pick up points from make it easy to get away. Price includes return coach travel from:
B1 Pick-up: Poulton-le-Fyde, Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Bispham, Blackpool, St Annes, Lytham, Freckleton, Preston, Bamber Bridge, Chranock Richard Services. All offers are subject to availability and standard terms and conditions (see brochure or website for T&C’s). DATE
Sands Hotel – Bournemouth
Daish’s Hotel – Isle of Wight
Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth
Sands Hotel – Bournemouth
Devonshire Hotel – Torquay
Somerset Hotel – Llandudno
Imperial Hotel – Eastbourne
Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth
Abbey Lawn Hotel – Torquay
County Hotel – Lake District
Imperial Hotel – Eastbourne
Russell Hotel – Weymouth
Devonshire Hotel – Torquay
Somerset Hotel – Llandudno
Russell Hotel – Weymouth
Esplanade Hotel – Scarborough
Barrowfield Hotel – Newquay
Daish’s Hotel – Isle of Wight
Abbey Lawn Hotel – Torquay
Sands Hotel – Bournemouth
Abbey Lawn Hotel – Torquay
Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth
Somerset Hotel – Llandudno
Devonshire Hotel – Torquay
Russell Hotel – Weymouth
Russell Hotel – Weymouth
Imperial Hotel – Eastbourne
Daish’s Hotel – Isle of Wight
Esplanade Hotel – Scarborough
Somerset Hotel – Llandudno
Sands Hotel – Bournemouth
Abbey Lawn Hotel – Torquay
Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth
Barrowfield Hotel – Newquay
Esplanade Hotel – Scarborough
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a Standard Room. Supplements apply on twin/double rooms with sole occupancy. Optional local excursions can be booked at the hotel. Many more coach or self-drive holiday dates available in 2021. If you would prefer to self-drive, deduct £20 per person from prices shown.
Call - 0800 083 9900 Quote - 50PlusP&F or visit robinsons-holidays.co.uk
10 fabulous locations, 12 great hotels. Bournemouth
Hotel Prince Regent
Isle of Wight
Abbey Lawn Hotel
Daish’s Blackpool Hotel
Call 0800 083 9900 or visit daishs.com robinsons-holidays.co.uk
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knowledgeable leaders with accommodation on a full-board basis. Spring and winter walkers may find a pub lunch or afternoon tea replacing the usual al fresco picnic, a popular comfort break in case of inclement weather. In March however, just a week after the Siberian snows sent temperatures plummeting across Britain, I was blessed with blue skies and a light sea breeze. Stunning doesn’t even come close.
GUIDED WALKING AT LULWORTH COVE WITH HF HOLIDAYS By Gillian Thornton for Silver Travel Advisor Standing respectfully back from the cliff edge beside Old Harry Rocks, I’m thrilled to get a clear view across the water to The Needles off the Isle of Wight. For someone who always loved physical geography lessons at school, it’s very special to be standing at the eastern end of one of the world’s most unique coastlines. In millennia gone by, the Old Harry Rocks and The Needles were part of a continuous land mass, gradually eroded by the sea to leave two groups of chalk stacks. Today Old Harry marks the east Dorset end of the UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast which runs westward for 95 miles to Exmouth in Devon.
My base for four nights was West Lulworth House a short walk from the iconic horseshoe bay that is Lulworth Cove. Built in 1881 and brought bang up to date with all modern facilities and stylish decor, the property is open most of the year, but if you want to stay here, you’ll need to book ahead. The 22 well-appointed rooms with views over the village to sea and hills are very popular. But you’ll find similar facilities and an equally warm welcome at all of HF’s 18 country houses. West Lulworth House follows the company’s tried-and-tested formula - a choice of guided walks each day with qualified,
My three days of walking involved two pub lunches – food choices selected the night before – and one of HF’s fabulous picnics. Dinners are all home-cooked and eaten companionably around large tables in the pretty dining room with panoramic windows over the village. And if you are one of the many people suffering from food intolerances, be reassured – many of their home-cooked dishes are marked Gluten Free and managers Mark and Lisa bent over backwards to accommodate my travel companion’s additional allergies. Just as menu choices are made each evening for the day ahead, so too are the walks. In spring we had a choice of two each day, Easier and Harder. Summer clients generally have a third option. Our routes were all between 4 and 8 miles, one starting direct from West Lulworth House, the other two involving a short journey by coach to the start with pick-up afterwards. This section of the Jurassic Coast does not involve the rugged ascents of mountain landscapes, but there are some long, steady climbs. It is not however beyond the capabilities of any regular rambler, and stops for drinks, snacks or photo moments
Any outdoor person will tell you that walking is good for both body and soul, but I’d go one further. Group walking trips should be available on the NHS, the perfect antidote to lethargy, loneliness and any fit of the blues. There’s nothing quite like following a footpath in good company to boost the mood. So a spring break with HF Holidays along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast ticked all my boxes. Spectacular coastal scenery, like-minded company and the promise of HF’s plentiful home-cooked food. Old Harry Rocks 8
ensured that nobody felt overstretched. Along the way, our excellent local guides Kai and Jo added to my rusty school knowledge of this unique coastline. It’s one thing to read about chalk and greensand, Purbeck Beds and Portland Stone, but quite another to see the coloured rock layers jutting out into the sea. The horseshoe shape of Lulworth Cove and the natural arch of Durdle Door still pull visitors by the thousands, but in spring, we were almost alone, and every step brought new views, both coastal and inland. We walked across protected heathland with views of Poole harbour; headed over chalk downs to the song of skylarks; and stood on shingle beaches to the soothing sound of the sea. After three days on the trail, I’d walked around 22 miles, eaten some great food, and met some really lovely people. I felt energised but mentally relaxed and my bathroom scales proved that walking in the fresh air does a great job of burning off calories. So what’s not to like? Honestly nothing. So if you’ve ever fancied a walking holiday but hesitated, don’t. An HF holidays short break is the perfect option with its daily choice of routes. All you have to do is turn up and put one sturdy walking boot in front of the other
Durdle Door – everything else is done for you. And if you fancy a day off the trail, that’s fine too. One lady who had damaged her knee since booking still came with her sister-in-law and simply drove herself to local attractions such as Corfe Castle and Swanage. Another woman let her husband do the walking one
day whilst she sat in the sun at Lulworth Cove. And the company can be invigorating too. I walked with a lovely young French girl living in Oxford and a lady from Bergen in Norway, together putting Europe to rights as we tramped the undulations of Dorset. Just three days on the trail, but an immeasurable boost to both wellbeing and fitness!
For more information about HF Holidays call 0203 974 8878 or visit www.hfholidays.co.uk. HF Holidays offer a Book and Travel with Confidence policy which includes flexible booking and full financial protection for all holidays. Their country houses are Covidcompliant; they only work with handpicked partners who are ‘Covid-compliant’ ; and they only operate and travel to locations that are deemed ‘Covid safe’ by the FCDO.
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ANGELA ILIEVSKI 63, BOURNEMOUTH
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UK & European Holidays
www.reevescoachholidays.com ~ Distilleries & Lochs Our Wee Vehicles Drams are Ready to Roll ! Based at The Rob Roy Hotel
We continue to follow Government Guidelines and ensure:
All of our holidays include a door-todoor service which transfers you from your home* directly to our coach and the same system will operate on the return part of the journey to take you home again. No changing coaches along the route or waiting for feeder coaches. No additional hidden costs, no entrance fees to pay.
A Little Luxury in the Peak District Based at Best Western Derby Midland Hotel
Before departures our vehicles are vigorously cleaned using anti-bacterial cleansers, this includes all touch surfaces, grab rails, seat belt buckles, armrests, glass, flooring & drivers area.
Our driver/staff have been instructed on Safe Operating procedures, as advised by our Government to ensure anti-bacterial cleaning is done every day when our vehicles are away from our base & depot.
Passengers are requested to allow us to temperature test them prior to boarding our vehicles and to inform staff of any changes in health whilst away on tour.
The mandatory requirement, currently, requires the use of face coverings whilst in enclosed areas this may be enforced until restrictions change.
Look what’s included: 4 nights half board accommodation. Our vehicles carry hand sanitiser& andExcursions we request Entrance to: this to be used by all when boarding our vehicles. Aberfoyle | Boat Cruises on Loch Katrine, Loch Our vehicles are| ‘fogged” with an electronic Lomond Glengoyne Distillery & Glenturret machine & sanitiser periodically at our depot. Sanitised fog misttours fills the vehicles interior| toCrieff. **Lite-bite. Distillery & taste settle onto all areas, leaving no area untouched.
** At Crieff Visitors Centre A Voucher to the value of £8.00 is choice of item/lunch ~ provided ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ by~ us, ~ ~should ~ ~ ~the ~ cost ~ ~ of ~ your ~ exceed this value then the difference is to be paid by yourself at the time of purchase.
We continue to follow WINCHESTER WONDERS Government Friday Guidelines 27th - Monday 30th November 2020 Date 2021 Days Price
~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~
Based at the Norton Park Hotel Winchester
£339pp SRS £79 21st-25th June 5 £349pp
Day 1: Once our door-to-door service is complete we make our way to Winchester, with comfort/lunch stops along the way.
Day 2: Today we explore the historic streets of King Alfred’s 9th century Shropshire & Severn London Weekend Saxon Capital of England, Winchester, as we visit the Castle, Great Hall with
Based at Crowne What’s included: 3 nights’ H-B accommodation Entrance & Excursions to: Winchester Castle, Great Hall, Bombay Sapphire Distillery tour & taste, Winchester Cathedral, Salisbury
King Arthur’s Round Table. Then on to Based the Bombay Sapphire Distillery for a & Golf Resort Plaza, London at The Telford Hotel
leisurely afternoon tour and a sample of their
Day 4: After a leisurely breakfast we retrace our steps homewards to our local areas where our door-to-door service will see you home again. Norton Park Hotel, a splendid hotel with character and charm set in 54 acres of countryside near the historic city of Winchester. Lift to all floors.
Porterage Door-to-Door service ~ ~ ~ ~
produce ’pass me the Gin’.
Day 3: This morning we have time to visit Winchester Cathedral or the City, if you prefer. This afternoon we visit the historic City of Salisbury, home to the magnificent Cathedral which boasts the tallest spire in England, some free time here for shopping or sightseeing.
All Coach transportation
Look what’s included: 4 nights half board accommodation. After dinner tea/coffee Entrance & Excursions to: Birdswood Cromford/Leawood Canal Cruise UNESCO Tour Mill & Village | The Full Flagon Tour/National Brewery Centre | Ecclesbourne Valley Railway/ Wirksworth/Duffield **includes cream tea | Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop ~ tour & pudding making experience | Visit to Crich Tramway Village Date 2021 Days Price SRS 10 28th June-2nd July 5 £445pp £95
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If you ever requireofcoach transport a day out for your family, group orincluded: Look what’s London, the capital England and thefor United 4 nights half-board hotel accommodation Kingdom, is also a 21st-century club, we do coachcity hirewith too,history just call our office for a quotation, Entrance stretching back to Roman times. we can take you there with pride and care … 01254 830 545 & Excursions to: | Chester | River Cruise on Severn Loop Look what’s included: 2 nights half board For Bookings call: 01254 830545 After or complete the reservation page on our Website. accommodation. dinner tea/coffee. E: firstname.lastname@example.org including tea/coffee | Shrewsbury Entrance & Excursions to: Page 2 | Steam Railway Bridgenorth-Kidderminster Bicester Village | London | Ludlow | Blists Hill Victorian Town Museum Royal Leamington Spa | Trentham Estate Shopping Village Date 2021 2nd-4th July
Days Price 3 £185pp
Date 2021 22nd - 26th August
Price SRS £385pp £100
Wells ~ Wilds ~ Wells
Based at The Best Western Swan Hotel
Look what’s included: 4 nights half board hotel accommodation. Entrance & Excursions to: | Hereford | Bath | Jane Austin Museum | Wells | Somerset Steam Railway journey | Tour of the Longleat Estate House & Safari * (some areas of Safari may not be accessible by coach) Date 2021
2nd - 6th Sept
A Wight Royal Island
Based at The Royal Esplanade Hotel
Look what’s included: 4 nights half-board hotel accommodation. Hotel’s own entertainment. (2 nights) Entrance & Excursions to: | Royal Osborne House | Yarmouth & Castle | Needles Park, **return chairlift ride | Return journey on Isle of Wight Steam Railway | Shanklin Date 2021 27th Sept - 1st Oct
Price SRS £449pp £60
Thursford Christmas Spectacular Based at The Mecure Hotel, Norwich
Harrogate Flower Show
Treasures of Northumberland
Based at The Cedar Court Hotel, Wakefield
Based at The Holiday Inn, Gosforth Park
Look what’s included: 3 nights half board accommodation. Use of hotels leisure facilities. Entrance & Excursions to: | Skipton Canal Cruise with lunch | Harrogate Flower Show | York | National Mining Museum
Look what’s included: 4 nights half board accommodation. Entrance & Excursions to: | Carlisle Durham | Alnwick Castle & Gardens | Chester’s Roman Fort | Hexham | Colbridge | Bamburgh Castle | Seahouses
Date 2021 17th - 20th Sept
Days Price 4 £295pp
Little Trains of Wales
Based at The Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon
Date 2021 20th - 24th Sept
Days Price 5 £395pp
Incredible Isle of Man
Based at the Rutland Hotel, Douglas
Look what’s included: Look what’s included: www.reevescoachholidays.c 4 nights half-board hotel accommodation. 4 nights half-board hotel accommodation. Entrance & Excursions to: Entrance & Excursions to: | Chester | Ffestiniog Railway | West Highland Railway |Hello, | Laxey | Castletown Steamwell Train Wheel whatJourney a year we’ve had so far, 2020 has certainly | Porthmadog | Portmeirion Village | Barmouth | Castle | Ramsey been a testing | Peel time Rushen for us all. With all the Covid-19 | Marble Church at Bodelwyddan cancellations and | staying SmokedatKipper’s tour home requirements, here at
Date 2021 4th-8th October
Days Price 5 £375pp
Beverley Christmas Market
Based at The Mercure Grange Park Hotel, Hull
Reeves we have been busy staying at home and we have put together an assortment of coach holidays that we hope will interest you . Our lovely blue brochure of 2020 practically Date 2021 Price bySRS became defunct due to all theDays cancellations caused Covid., but we are October still here and we hope welcome our £50 valued 20th-24th 5 to £429pp customers old and new out of isolation to enjoy some time away as we move to the latter part of this year and into 2021. If you would like to join us just give us a call on 01254 830545 for further details or view our website. All of our holidays include a door-to-door service which transfers you from your home* directly to our coach and the same system will operate on the return part of the journey to take you home again. No changing coaches along the route or waiting for feeder coaches. Light refreshments are available to be purchased onboard our vehicles, with many complimentary items, regular comfort/meal stops made en-routes to ensure you feel rested and relaxed throughout your holiday, even whilst travelling to your destination.
For Bookings Telephone:
On arrival and departure Porterage is provided for our passengers Email: email@example.com which makes the whole journey as care free and easy as possible, Or visit www.reevescoachholidays.co.uk (where porterage is unavailable it will be stated).
Look what’s included: 2 nights half-board hotel accommodation Entrance & Excursions to: | City of Lincoln | Sheringham | Thursford Christmas Show | Norwich
Date 2021 14th - 16th November
Price SRS £305pp £50
Look what’s included: 1 night half-board hotel accommodation. Entrance & Excursions to: | Beverley | City of York Perfect opportunity for some lovely Christmas shopping
Date 2021 12th - 13th December
Days Price 2 £115pp
So why choose to travel with us? OurLtd. holiday prices are final - there are Reeves Coach Holidays no additional hidden costs, no entrance fees to pay, no optional Unit 9, Stancliffe Street Industrial Estate, excursions fees and as a local family-run Company, two members of our Blackburn, Lancashire BB2 2QR staff are on each tour to make you feel escorted and looked after. If UKprefer, Registered Company you you can come and visit usNumber in person -to11113445 make a booking or enquiry, we’d be happy to see you. Following C-19 all our vehicles are specifically cleaned with anti-bacterial formula, supplied as * door-to-door collections service please notehand that gel restrictions standard, weplease meet the national standard “We’re Good To Go” may apply, check yourtourism postcode with our office
to ensure youour arefriendly within team our free Contact on: collection 01254 area. 830545
Member of Confederation of Passenger Transport
For Bookings call: 01254 830545 or complete the reservation page on our Website. 1
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to a show of 1,200 dancing fountains, whilst the Mirage hosts an erupting volcano each evening. There are an astonishing number of shows to entertain visitors and we took in KA by Cirque de Soleil at the MGM Grand. It was a marvellous combination of acrobatics, special effects and stage manipulation that is all alleged to have cost $165 million to stage. Worth every penny in our opinion and hats off to the skill and strength of the performers. No human creation can match nature’s own though and our helicopter ride and landing in the Grand Canyon was wow moments heaped upon wow moments. It’s an extraordinary experience to get up close and personal with even a relatively small section of a canyon that is 277 river miles long and measures a staggering 18 miles at its widest point.
USA ROAD TRIP WITH AVIS
By Steve Aldridge for Silver Travel Advisor
its Roman Forum streetscape (with a magnificent sky ceiling which mimics the sky outside), the great hall, spiral escalator, aquarium, and the animatronic Fall of Atlantis show. The Bellagio Hotel treated us
Our road trip began in Nevada, as we overcame our jet lag with a few days in Las Vegas. Sing along now, “...give ‘em the old razzle dazzle, razzle dazzle ‘em, give ‘em an act with lots of flash in it...”. Whilst the words might come from the musical Chicago, the description pretty much defines Sin City (as Las Vegas is often known). Yes, it’s brash and sometimes outrageous, but there’s plenty to admire and so much that is exceptionally well done. Caesars Palace has much to marvel at and we took our time to take in its treasures, particularly 12
AVIS conveniently delivered our hire car to the MGM Grand hotel (to save us travelling out to the airport pick up depot) and whilst it didn’t quite have the power of the helicopter the previous day, the Chrysler 300 packs a decent punch. Its 3.6 litre V6 would give us plenty of pulling power for the mountainous roads ahead, whilst the boot (I know they call it a trunk) could accommodate our 3 medium/large holdalls. Inside we were cosseted in leather seated luxury, with a built-in satnav to help guide
our way. We’d gone for the full package, zero excess insurance, breakdown cover etc. Preferring to know that whatever happened AVIS had us covered and no unexpected bills awaited us on return. , the road trip began and where better to test out the efficiency of the car’s air conditioning than the driest desert and hottest place in the world, Death Valley. This truly had to be one of the best drives of our life. From the heights of Dante’s View at 5475ft we could see Mt Whitney & Badwater with spectacular views over the whole basin. This location was used in Star Wars, Episode IV, A New Hope for the view looking down on Mos Eisley (may the force be with you). Driving down to the basin, we marvelled at the moonscape scenery of the devil’s golf course. Here we could literally hear the salt crystals popping in the heat (bit like a bowl of Rice Krispies - snap crackle pop). At the salt flats of Badwater (the lowest point in North America at 282ft below sea level) it is eerily beautiful, but a hike out into the basin at 43.4C/110F to see the salt formations (which take the shape of large polygons), left me gasping to get back to the car’s air-conditioned coolness. Perhaps the best aspect of the valley (from a driver’s perspective) is Artists Drive, a one way scenic route which shows off some of the best geological aspects of the park and had us gawping around every turn. We spent the night at Stovepipe Wells, within the boundary of the Death Valley National Park, relishing our day. Our accommodation was close to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes (also used in Star Wars as the sand dunes of Tatooine) but otherwise in the middle of absolutely nowhere! Could our next stop have been a greater contrast? I think not! We stayed alongside June Lake, which has a scenic loop we drove around. Along the way we saw cascading waterfalls and stopped at some some truly tranquil spots alongside the various lakes (Silver, Grants) where fishermen bob about the lakes in small boats hoping to catch one THIS BIG! From there an interesting and scenic drive (with views of snowcapped mountains) took us to the south side of Mono Lake. Here the underground streams have bubbled up from below the surface for centuries and created calcium deposits called Tufas. These deposits create strange other worldly towers, some in the water and some on land due to the reducing level of the lake. It’s quite a site to behold and well worth the trip out here. Some quick driving tips for USA At crossroads (without lights) you proceed in the strict order of arrival. Takes a little getting used to but locals are very disciplined, so it works well. Petrol (gas) stations mostly require pre-payment prior to filling. Double check that they will give you change/refund if the car takes less than you think, particularly if you use a credit card. Gas prices vary greatly, the more remote your fill up, the higher (rule of thumb). Google Maps often gives you gas prices in the reviews section of the app.
For more information visit www.avisworld.com or call 0808 284 5566. Silver Travellers receive a 10% discount. Avis offer a Safety Pledge to ensure minimal contact with Covid-safe procedures at every stage. Their all-inclusive car-hire packages ensure that there are no hidden extras and fully transparent pricing.
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Thoresby Hall is set near beautiful Sherwood Forest and is one of Nottinghamshire’s most important houses. Thoresby’s original features are still enjoyed by Warner’s guests. There are deep armchairs in the vaulted splendour of the Great Hall, and the house’s broad terrace overlooks a croquet lawn and acres of classic parkland. DOO
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A stunning Grade 1 listed house set in beautiful grounds bordering Sherwood Forest. The 21the ultimate luxury break. The hotel is exclusively for adults and has an Warner’s hotel 0is r2 fowelcoming unrivalled atmosphere. There are a wide range of activities, from fencing to
a day in Lincoln. There is so much to see and do including the Cathedral where you can spend hours admiring the architecture and history. Close by is the castle with its Medieval Wall Walk where you can enjoy spectacular views across Lincolnshire, or there are plenty our choice of hotel: of shops, cafes, and restaurants for you to choose from. We also visit the market town of Boston, where the open-air market has been held for over 450 years and boasts up to 172 - Adults only stalls. Don’t fill up on the local produce just yet, as our next stop includes a ploughman’s A lunch! stunning Grade 1 listed house in beautiful bordering We visit the Bubble Car set Museum wheregrounds we enjoy our lunchSherwood before weForest. travel The back in Warner’s hotel is the ultimate luxury The hotel is 50 exclusively for on adults and and has aanrow of time to explore a fascinating era ofbreak. history, with over microcars display unrivalled welcoming atmosphere. There are a wide range of activities, from fencing to recreated shops to pick up some memorabilia. falconry, swimming, sauna or steam room. There is entertainment each evening. There is a *Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, porterage and entertainment may not be available. lift in this hotel.
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2021 DAY EXCURSIONS ILKLEY & HARROGATE
Travelling over the Ilkley Moor with its beautiful views that provide the stunning backdrop to the traditional spa town of Ilkley with its highly recommended shops situated along ‘The Grove’. After Ilkley we travel the short journey to Harrogate with its handsome and historic buildings and verdant gardens.
Levens Hall is located at the gateway to the Lake District National Park. Levens Hall has grown from a stark, imposing Pele Tower built c1250-1300, into a warm and welcoming family home. Marvel at this beautiful privately-owned house and gardens, home to the world’s oldest topiary gardens and centre of a thriving 9,500-acre agricultural estate. Includes entrance and guided tour.
SOUTHPORT DURING THE AIRSHOW We are travelling to Southport for you to spend the day as you please. Enjoy shopping on Lord Street, Pleasureland or Waterpark for the kids or, we will be there for all you aircraft enthusiasts, during the airshow. Tickets to the Air show are NOT included.
Thursday 24th June
Tuesday 29th June
Sunday 4th July
Adult: £19 Senior: £18 Child: £5
Adult: £35 Senior: £34 Child: £10
Adult: £16 Senior: £15 Child: £5
First pickup point & time Blackburn 8:30am
First pickup point & time Barnoldswick 08:00am
First pickup point & time Barnoldswick 8:00am
SHREWSBURY EXPRESS Explore Shrewsbury’s picturesque, cobbled alleys and squares. Be astounded by the exceptional number of interesting, independent shops that make it so special. Enjoy a drink by the river or take a river boat cruise from Victoria Quay. There is so much to do in this medieval town.
ENDEAVOUR WHITBY EXPRESS The Endeavour Experience is the only life-size replica of Captain Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour in the northern hemisphere, and Whitby’s newest family tourist attraction. Climb aboard and experience two decks of interactive features and displays that will help you imagine what life was like for the 95 crew members during the three-year voyage.
SOUTH LAKES SAFARI ZOO South Lakes Safari Zoo is home to over 1,000 of the rarest and most endangered animals in unique natural environments which enable you to get as close as physically possible to experience the amazing creatures with which we share our planet. Participate in animal feeding experiences or be a zookeeper for a day. Includes tickets to the Zoo
Tuesday 6th July
Saturday 10th July
Thursday 22nd July
Adult: £23 Senior: £22 Child: £5
Adult: £41 Senior: £40 Child: £16
Adult: £37 Senior: £36 Child: £25
EXPRESS SERVICE Barnoldswick 8:00am Matalan 8:45am
EXPRESS SERVICE Matalan 7:15am Barnoldswick 8:00am
First pickup point & time Blackburn 7.30am
Check availability, request a call back or book today using our new and easy to use website15
50 PLUS MAGAZINE
AN ACTOR FOR ALL SEASONS ... A consummate professional who has played goodies, baddies and romantic leads in equal measure. He’s now 64 and with as much experience behind the camera as in front of it and if you mention his name to most people, they will have an opinion about his best role. And whether that’s as a businessman who falls in love with a mermaid, a widower whose son is determined to find him a wife or a plane crash survivor marooned on a desert island, Hanks never disappoints. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he had no acting experience in college. He was born in California and grew up in a fractured family, moving around a great deal after his parents’ divorce and making his home with a succession of step-families. He auditioned for a community theatre play and kickstarted his acting career in Cleveland. After a one-shot guest appearance on popular TV series Happy Days in 1974, he impressed fellow actor 16
Ron Howard so much that when Howard – by then a producer - was casting the film Splash in 1983, he asked Hanks to read for the role of the main character’s wisecracking brother. This role eventually went to John Candy. Hanks, however, was offered the lead role instead and this unlikely tale of romance between a mermaid and a human subsequently became a box-office smash. It wasn’t all plain-sailing after this, however, as he had several flops before enjoying moderate success with comedy Dragnet in 1987. It was fantasy-comedy Big in 1988, though, which really established him as a major Hollywood talent, earning him his first Academy Award nomination as Best Actor and a Golden Globe. Hanks has never been afraid to challenge himself or to play flawed characters. The
1992 film A League of Their Own saw him as a washed-up baseball legend managing women’s baseball team. Always self-effacing, he has been the major critic of his own performances. In an interview with magazine Vanity Fair, he observed that his work “has become less pretentiously fake and over the top.” The more “modern era” of his work began first with Sleepless in Seattle in 1993 and then moved on with Philadelphia the same year - two very different roles. In the latter, Hanks played against type in one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality and homophobia. For this moving performance, he won the Academy award for Best Actor.
The following year, he followed Philadelphia with one of the most successful films of his career, Forrest Gump. This grossed more than $600 million at the box-office worldwide.
About the rise and fall of a 1960s pop group where he also played a music producer.
impressive films which have won praise like Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies, The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. Perhaps less well-known is Hanks’ enviable track record as a producer for film and TV. Film-wise, he was producer on My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mamma Mia Here We Go Again among many and his TV work goes across a broad section of successful miniseries, documentaries and music videos. He has also produced stage plays. Universally seen as a likable, mild-mannered and good-natured personality, Hanks has been married to actress Rita Wilson since 1988 and they have two children. He also has two children with ex-wife Samantha Lewes and two grand-daughters.
He won his second Best actor Academy Award for Forrest Gump, becoming only the second actor to win consecutive Best Actor awards. Hanks himself remarked: “When I read the script for Gump, I saw it as one of those kind of grand, hopeful movies that the audience can go to and feel some hope for their lot and their position in life. I got that from the movies a hundred million times when I was a kid. I still do.”
Even more memorable – and very different – film roles followed. In 1999 he won an Academy Award nomination for Saving Private Ryan and an Oscar nomination in 2001 for Cast Away, for which he first gained weight and then lost 55 lbs for the role. In 2002, he joined Leonardo di Caprio for Catch Me If You Can and in 2004 another change of direction saw him star as a refugee in The Terminal In 2008, there were more plaudits and a Golden Globe nomination for Charlie Wilson’s War and another in 2014 for Captain Phillips. During 2020, he was again Oscarnominated for Best Actor in a Supporting role for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood in which he plays a television icon. Interspersed among Hanks’ award-winning nominations have been many other
Odd facts you might not know about him include being a huge fan of Doctor Who and enjoying collecting typewriters. He has more than 80 and his interest generated the idea for a successful iPad app called Hanx Writer which simulates the sound and feel of antique typewriters. Hanks is certainly an honest man. He once said: “I do not want to admit to the world that I can be a bad person. It is just that I don’t want anyone to have false expectations. “Movie-making is a harsh, volatile business and unless you can be ruthless too, there’s a good chance that you are going to disappear off the scene pretty quickly. So appearances can be deceptive, particularly in Hollywood.” But, as long as Tom Hanks keeps making films with his Midas touch, his fans will just keep on loving him.
His next acting role could not have been more different when he became astronaut and commander Jim Lovell in the docudrama Apollo 13 in 1995, reuniting with producer Ron Howard. The movie earned nine Academy Award nominations but, never resting on his laurels, the following year came another departure for Hanks – as the voice of Sheriff Woody in Disney/Pixar’s computeranimated film Toy Story. A year later, Hanks made his directing debut with the musical comedy That Thing You Do!
50 PLUS MAGAZINE
HAVE A COMFORTABLE RETIREMENT WITH EQUITY RELEASE By Alison Martin, The Later Life Lending Network I have worked in financial services for many years but it still surprises me that there is still the wrong perception that you will lose your home or it will no longer belong to you if you do equity release. The fact is you retain full ownership of the property and are free to live in it for life. Alternatively, if you choose, you can move home and transfer the lifetime mortgage to a new property as long as that property meets the lender’s criteria. Clients can use the tax-free cash released for any purpose, the most common reasons being; pay off a mortgage or other debt, carry out home improvements, help out family, move home, care in the home or just supplement retirement income. As we live longer, many people are finding it difficult to ‘just survive’ and having considered and discounted alternatives 18
such as downsizing, they find that releasing tax free cash from the value of their property can give them a long-term solution to their financial difficulty and allow them to stay in their home. The amount you can borrow is based on your age and the value of your property (not on your income). You need to be at least 55 years old and have a minimum property value of £70,000. There are no
monthly repayments and interest will roll up over your lifetime. However, many lifetime mortgages offer the option to pay all or some of the interest and some will allow you to pay off the interest and the capital. The debt is repayable from the proceeds of the sale of your home after death or when the last borrower enters long term care. All plans we recommend are covered by Equity Release Council Rules, i.e. you would never leave a debt to beneficiaries and you can stay in your home for life or transfer the mortgage to a new property if required. You can choose to release one lump sum or take smaller amounts as and when you require them. I have been working in financial services since 1995, specialising as an independent equity release adviser since 2008 and during that time I have seen the number of products multiply adding more flexible
features and lower interest rates to benefit the customer. With increasing house prices, competitive fixed interest rates for life and increased popularity, perhaps now is an ideal time to take a look at how a lifetime mortgage could benefit you. As an experienced equity release specialist and member of the Equity Release Council, I love advising my clients and getting to know their needs and aspirations so that I can make a recommendation to them. Also, as a mother and grandmother myself, I believe I can empathise with most circumstances. I’m a great believer in equity release and know from experience that it can transform lives. I offer a free no obligation consultation by telephone or zoom/skype/facetime but will also offer face to face meetings when it’s possible. I will provide you with all the information you need including the costs involved so that you can make an informed decision.
Testimonials Alison you were like a friend dropping in. You really put me at ease as I had done nothing like this before and didn’t know how to go about it. My family told me to go ahead with it. After I lost my husband in October, I needed some extra cash for home improvements. It really was straightforward and very soon completed with no fuss so I am really pleased with the outcome – all thanks to you. Mrs Ramage Stockport I recommend Alison to anybody wishing to apply for equity release. I feel very lucky that she acted on my behalf. She is a lovely person who put me at my ease right away. She was so helpful, she explained every step of the process fully so I was quite sure of what I was doing. I can’t thank her enough. Mrs Mahon Liverpool Prompt action – always kept appointments and kept us informed by telephone at every stage. Alison was very knowledgeable and gave us all the detail required for Equity Release. We were given time to process the detail and did not feel forced into a quick decision. Mr and Mrs Hall Warrington
Ring me on 01254 397936 or 07866 965441 or email me at email@example.com to arrange a meeting or just to have a chat about equity release.
Unlock Unlock the the value value of of your your home home and and enjoy enjoy the retirement you’ve always dreamed of the retirement you’ve always dreamed of As a homeowner, your property is probably your biggest asset, but have you ever As a your property is but have ever considered releasing some the tax-free cash tiedyour up inbiggest it? Best asset, of all, you useyou the cash As a homeowner, homeowner, your of property is probably probably your biggest asset, but can have you ever considered releasing some of the tax-free cash tied up in it? Best of all, you can use the cash lump sum however you wish.of the tax-free cash tied up in it? Best of all, you can use the cash considered releasing some lump lump sum sum however however you you wish. wish. If you’re a UK homeowner aged 55 or over, with a property value of at least £70,000, then a lifetime If homeowner aged mortgage could be right for you.55 If you’re you’re a a UK UK homeowner aged 55 or or over, over, with with a a property property value value of of at at least least £70,000, £70,000, then then a a lifetime lifetime mortgage mortgage could could be be right right for for you. you. Call Alison Martin on 07866 965441 or 01254 397936 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Arrange a no obligation Arrange a no obligation appointment today. www.lendingforlaterlife.com Arrange a no obligation appointment today. Arrange a no obligation appointment today.appointment today.
This is a lifetime mortgage. To understand the features and risks, please ask for a personalised This is is a a lifetime lifetime mortgage. To understand understand the features and risks, please askorfor for a your personalised illustration. Check mortgage. that this mortgage will meet your needs and if yourisks, wantplease to move sella home or This To the features ask personalised illustration. Check that mortgage your needs if want or you want your family tothis inherit it. If youwill aremeet in any doubt, seek independent advice. illustration. Check that this mortgage will meet your needs if you you want to to move move or sell sell your your home home or or you want your family to inherit it. If you are in any doubt, seek independent advice. you want your family to inherit it. If you are in any doubt, seek independent advice.
<Insert firm name> is an Appointed Representative of The Right Mortgage Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales no. <Companies House Number> A fee may be charged for Right equityMortgage release advice. The is exact amountand will regulated depend onbyyour but Authority. we estimate this will be £XXX onand completion. <Insert firm name> is an Appointed Representative of The Ltd, which authorised the circumstances, Financial Conduct Registered in England Wales no. <Insert firm name> is an Appointed Representative of The Right Mortgage Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales no. <Companies Number> A fee mayis be charged for equity advice. The exact amount willAppointed depend on your circumstances, but weof estimate this will be £XXX on completion. The Later LifeHouse Lending Network trading stylerelease of TRM Financial Ltd an The Right Mortgage Ltd which <Companies House Number> A fee may beacharged for equity release advice. The exact amount will depend on yourRepresentative circumstances, but we estimate this will be £XXX on completion.
is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority registered in England and Wales no 09832887. Registered Address: 70 St John’s Close, Knowle, Solihull, B93 0NH. A fee may be charged for equity release advice, the exact amount will depend on your circumstances but we estimate this will be £995 on completion.
FOOD & DRINK
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GREAT BRITISH CHEFS. Paul Foster is the owner and Head Chef at Salt in Stratford-upon-Avon.
From the industrial reaches of Coventry to sunny California, Paul Foster has made a name for himself cooking well-executed food with a focus on taste. His signature style of taking humble ingredients and giving them a gastronomic twist has seen him well placed as head chef at restaurants across the UK.
VEGAN CHICKPEA AND TOMATO BHUNA A quick, flavourful vegan curry that’s delicious either on its own or as part of a larger spread, this recipe from Paul Foster takes top quality tomatoes and chickpeas and cooks them in a spice-tempered oil with plenty of lime juice for freshness and acidity.
Ingredients • 3 large onions, chopped • 200ml of sunflower oil • 1 star anise • 5 cardamom pods • 1 tsp cumin seeds • 1 stick of lemongrass, bashed • 1 knob of ginger, 2 inches long, half chopped, half grated • 4 garlic cloves, chopped • 2 limes, zested and juiced • 1 tbsp of curry powder • 400g of Mutti Polpa chopped tomatoes, (1 tin) • 2 tbsp of Mutti Concentrato tomato purée • 300g of chickpeas, drained from a tin • salt • 1 handful of coriander, finely sliced • basmati rice, and/or flatbreads, to serve
Method • Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over a medium heat. Add the star anise, cardamom, cumin seeds, lemongrass, garlic and the chopped ginger. Fry for a few minutes until very fragrant and the ingredients turn golden, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly • 20
Pass the oil through a fine sieve into a clean pan, discarding the solids. Place the pan back over a medium heat and fry the onions for 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Pour in enough water to just cover the onions,
then leave to simmer until the water has evaporated and the onions start to release the absorbed oil, stirring regularly •
Add the curry powder and cook out for 2 minutes, then stir in the tomato purée and cook for a further minute. Pour in the tomatoes and chickpeas, give everything a good stir, then leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes
When ready to serve, stir in the grated ginger along with the lime zest and juice. Season with salt, garnish with the coriander and serve with rice and/or flatbreads
LAMB SAUSAGES IN TOMATO SAUCE WITH BACON SAUERKRAUT Ingredients • 12 lamb sausages • 500g of Mutti passata • sunflower oil, for frying • 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped • 1 small onion, finely chopped • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika • 250ml of white wine • salt • 400g of sauerkraut • 8 smoked streaky bacon slices, finely chopped • 50g of unsalted butter • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 1 chicken stock cube
Method • To make the tomato sauce, add a dash of oil to a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic until softened and beginning to colour. Add the smoked paprika and rosemary leaves, cook for a further minute, then pour in the white wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half • Add the passata, bring to the boil, then season, turn down to simmer and cook gently for 20 minutes. Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 • Meanwhile, make the sauerkraut. Sauté the chopped bacon in the butter over a medium heat until crisp. Turn the heat down, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or 2 until fragrant. Pick the thyme leaves, then add these to the pan too • Add the sauerkraut and crumble in the chicken stock cube along with 100ml water. Cover the pan and leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring regularly •
Add a dash of oil to a frying pan and sear the sausages so they’re a nice golden brown all over. Pour over the tomato sauce so it is around halfway up the sausages, then cover with a lid or tinfoil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the sausages are piping hot in the centre
• Serve the sausages in the sauce with the sauerkraut on the side
FOOD & DRINK
50 PLUS MAGAZINE
TOMATO, PANCETTA AND TRUFFLE JAM WITH PARMESAN PUFF PASTRY STICKS Crispy, buttery pastry sticks flavoured with Parmesan are the perfect dippers for this seriously luxurious tomato jam, bolstered with rich pancetta and a generous dollop of black truffle paste. An incredible make-ahead snack when you’re entertaining (or just fancy treating yourself before dinner
· VISIT ·
A traditional market with over 200 stalls, Fleetwood Market is a shopper’s delight for gifts, clothing and household goods!
· Open ·
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 9am to 4.30pm
All year round! Victoria Street / Adelaide Street, Fleetwood, Lancashire FY7 6AB
Cash machine on site
Dementia friendly market
We are Covid-19 secure
Follow us at FleetwoodMarket FleetwoodMkt www.fleetwoodmarket.co.uk
Ingredients • 50g of sunflower oil • 100g of pancetta, finely chopped • 1 banana shallot, finely diced • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked • 400g of Mutti Pelati peeled tomatoes, (1 tin)
• 100g of light brown sugar • 1 bay leaf • 20g of black truffle paste • 100g of puff pastry • 30g of Parmesan • 1 egg, beaten • salt
Method • Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and add the sunflower oil. Fry the pancetta for a few minutes until just beginning to crisp, then turn the heat down to low • Add the shallot, garlic and thyme, then cook gently for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Drain the tomatoes from the juice (reserving the liquid) and cut into quarters. Add the tomatoes to the pan along with the juice, bay leaf and sugar • Cook gently for around 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens to a jam-like consistency • While the jam cooks, prepare the pastry sticks. Preheat an oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Roll out the puff pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin, then brush liberally with the egg and grate over the Parmesan • Cut the pastry into 1cm-wide strips and twist from both ends. Place the sticks on a non-stick baking tray (or a baking tray lined with baking paper) and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool, then store in an airtight container until needed • Once the jam has reduced and thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the truffle paste. Season, then leave to cool before serving with the pastry sticks
What’s On Guide... 18th November 2021 Sounds of the sixties
10th October 2021 Paul Smith
17th October 2021 An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson
13th November 2021 The world famous Elvis show
19th November 2021 Martin Kemp back to the 80s dj set
27th November 2021 Beauty and the Beast
12th February 2022 Opera Boys
For more info, visit; www.alberthalls-bolton.co.uk For tickets, visit; www.quaytickets.com/boltonalberthalls or call 0843 2080500
GOLD STANDARD A private dental practice that has a team of highly trained specialists has launched in the Ribble Valley.
Renovo Dental is one of the few practices in the North West to offer such a high-level of inhouse specialist dentistry. The brainchild of Dr Usman Riaz, Ribble Valley-based Renovo Dental has brought together a team of highly-trained specialists and dental practitioners to offer general dentistry, sedation, orthodontics, implants, cosmetic dentistry, root canal therapy and gum disease treatment all under one roof.
“This has been a dream of mine for so long,” says Usman, who as a dental implant surgeon, was one of the youngest dentist to actually be awarded the diploma in Implant dentistry from the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. “At Renovo Dental being an independent clinic is a massive advantage as we have the full clinical freedom to choose the very best for each patient.” Phase 1 of the £1.2 million Renovo Dental project has taken two years to complete and has resulted in a state-ofthe-art surgery that has seen Pendle House in Chatburn,
a smile design, allowing us to express our creativity and present our vision. The interior has evolved around the work we do here – it is a calm, non-clinical environment, operating under a strict infection control and hygiene policy, which is CQC approved.” “It’s no different to how we carry out our dentistry, with attention to detail being key.” THIS IS BESPOKE DENTISTRY AT ITS VERY BEST. EVERYBODY HERE HAS A SPECIALISM THAT THEY ARE DEDICATED TO AND HAVE WORKED VERY HARD TO ACHIEVE.
transformed. The building has been completely refurbished by local Lancashire tradesmen: “We wanted to use local businesses to give something back,” says Usman, who is ultimately proud of the stunning new space in which he now works. With parking and disabled access, Pendle House has been
brought back to life by Usman and his team: “The building had lots of character and we were keen to retain this. We have also invested in the best digital technology and the best people,” says Usman. “We treated the design and renovation in a similar way to the way we would carry out
The specialists at Renovo Dental can treat and stabilise most problems, from gum disease to prevent tooth loss to full mouth rehabilitation with dental implants and bone regenerative treatments. Minimally invasive dentistry is vital to the team, covering all aspects of cosmetic dentistry from clear braces, composite bonding to life-like ‘ultra-natural’ porcelain veneers. Focus is on methods and treatments that are less invasive.
“We don’t file teeth down or drill them down to tiny stumps because it contradicts our concept. In some veneer cases, to optimise the results, 0.5mm of enamel reduction will suffice. This is thinner than your nail plate. We then contour and smooth the enamel to correctly bond the porcelain shell. Our aim in each case is to maximise aesthetics with minimum invasion.‘’
come together with a similar mindset and vision to achieve excellence. We work to our best ability and go above and beyond. There is no special secret to our success. It’s a passion first and foremost.” The increase in demand for aesthetic dentistry treatments can be partially put down to a
Pendle House Clitheroe Road Chatburn BB7 4JY 01200 441000 Hello@renovodental.co.uk www.renovodental.co.uk
We are here
Shackletons Home & Garden
individuals – it is all about our patients, changing mindsets and attitudes and giving them support and confidence by providing outstanding dentistry.” “We work hard because we love what we do. The team is unique. We are a group of passionate people who have
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Since launching Renovo Dental, the team’s reputation has spread through word of mouth. “We are very proud of it. For us this is a lifelong commitment. We are very fortunate in what we do and what we have here, and we are all passionate and very dedicated. Renovo Dental is much bigger than a group of
BECAUSE WE ARE AN INDEPENDENT PRACTICE, WE CAN PROVIDE PATIENTS IN THE NORTH WEST WITH AN ALMOST LIMITLESS RANGE OF EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENTS, UNDERPINNED BY OUR PHILOSOPHY OF TAILOR-MADE, PATIENTCENTRED CARE.
“As a new clinic, set up in the midst of a global pandemic, the biggest surprise was the sheer demand for cosmetic and implant dentistry. The response has been incredible.”
As a Denplan accredited practice, Renovo Dental also provides general day-to-day private dentistry. Children of Denplan registered patients receive free treatment up to the age of 10. “We believe prevention is better than cure. That’s at the heart of our ethos, so our aim is to get the next generation decay-free.”
“There are no quiet days. Purely through referrals from dental colleagues and patient self-referrals, the clinic has been working around the clock.”
The experts at Renovo Dental receive many referrals from dentists throughout the North West. They provide the specialist treatment required then refer patients back to their own dentist for routine care. Patients can also refer themselves to Renovo Dental if they feel that a consultation with them will be beneficial, safe in the knowledge that if they require specialist treatment all the expertise is inhouse at Renovo Dental.
WE HAVE INVESTED IN A SKILLED TEAM AND SUPPORT THEM WITH THE LATEST DIGITAL DENTAL TECHNOLOGY. THAT MEANS PATIENTS NOT ONLY RECEIVE THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF CARE, BUT TREATMENTS THAT ARE FASTER, MORE COMFORTABLE AND MORE CONVENIENT THAN EVER.
“We are using technologies to communicate with each other, more than we ever have. Video conferencing. A lot of people were doing Zoom meetings, Instagram lives and facetimes with their families. So you are spending even more time looking at yourself. A huge number of clients frequently mentioned that they never really realised how noticeable and unsightly certain aspects of their smiles were until they had to do this video conferencing on a daily basis, where the flaws were up close.”
“This is bespoke dentistry at its very best. Everybody here has a specialism that they are dedicated to and have worked very hard to achieve. We are a group of like-minded individuals who are thrilled to bring this practice to the Ribble Valley - it’s great to have a place here to showcase our work.”
spike in video calls as a result of the pandemic.
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Do You Fancy a Wood Burning Stove? Not quite sure what to look for? Why not book an appointment for us to visit you, complete a free survey and supply a detailed quotation followed by a visit to our showroom at Oakhouse, on the A59 Clayton-Le-Dale. We are open by appointment only to ensure you get our full attention at all times during your visit. Simply call us on 01706 822208, and we will organise a time which best suits you and one of our staff will meet you to discuss your stove dreams. If you are not sure you want to join other stove owners just yet, don’t worry, we offer a free survey with an emailed quotation in just 36 hours. If you are not happy, there’s no obligation. If you are interested, you could have a stove fitted in just three weeks* We are only a few short months from winter, as the cold winds begin to blow, get ready to sit with your favourite book next to the crackling of your new wood burning stove. As a Hetas registered installer we are ready to perform all tasks to ensure you have a functioning stove, from fireplace alterations to CCTV surveys, we can get the job done. Get ready for the cold snap this coming winter and call Stove Installers to book your free quote.
For over 15 years Stove Installer have been delivering high quality work to the people of Lancashire, the Ribble Valley and even further afield. We work with some of the best stove manufacturers within the industry; Clock, Chilli Penguin and Wanders, to name but a few. Our goal is to deliver the best possible service so that you can enjoy a new stove perfectly fitted to your home, whether you have a chimney or not, we can fully install a system from scratch. We will ensure you’ll be the talk of the street.
*dependent on season and installation schedule, 3 weeks minimum time from survey to completion.
STOVE INSTALLER l
WE ARE AN INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF WOOD BURNING AND MULTI FUEL STOVES Every customers needs are different from the next but all the customers we have worked for, have commented what a difference our ‘one stop shop’ makes not having to go through various tradesmen and companies. Meaning you get that special one to one working relationship not only with the people fitting the stove but with the same people you have purchased the stove from.
Call: 01706 822208 www.stoveinstaller.co.uk Stove Installer
Oak House | Longsight Road Blackburn | BB1 9EX
Clayton Le Dale
have recently been relaxed and so you may not need planning permission. It’s important, though, to ensure it’s all done properly so one way is to look for a design and build company that comes highly recommended by someone you know, preferably with work you can see. The National Association of Building Contractors (NABC) is a good place to start so go to https://nabc.org.uk/ or try other places like Rated People at ratedpeople.com/local/builders which gives you recommendations from other customers.
MAKE YOUR HOME MORE LIFESTYLE FRIENDLY By Angela Kelly
HAVING gone through 2020 as The Year of the Pandemic we now face 2021 as The Year of Change. So many people have had to stay home for so long during large parts of last year and this year that we are now viewing our lives very differently. Relationships, hobbies and health have all come under close scrutiny. Forced to confront home vs lifestyle, we’ve discovered that some are not fit for purpose and we may have made the decision that the way forward is to move house.
For some people, there is the realisation that their home is too small for their needs and only a move to a larger property will do. For others, the plan is to make the current property bigger and more lifestyle-friendly. This may mean an EXTENSION to your home, either just covering the ground floor or creating two floors with more rooms. The permitted development rules
Individual extensions like ORANGERIES and CONSERVATORIES can also involve a wide choice of local suppliers and installers. Again, try to go on recommendation and see their work first before getting them along for an initial discussion about possibilities. As well as the cost of building, you will also be looking at a new area to furnish so having in mind exactly what you want to do with this is helpful. It may offer an opportunity to RE-DECORATE and to re-think FURNISHINGS in adjacent areas or even throughout your home. It may be that your property is too large for you and you want to DOWNSIZE or go to something smaller with a garden or nearby green space.
Covid has thrown several other curveballs our way during the year, too, so many may have had to change jobs, pursue a totally different career or become self-employed. For some, covid has been the catalyst to reevalue lives and recognise that things need to change dramatically. Whatever the pandemic has brought your way, it’s very likely that this year will represent a chance to move forward and do things differently.
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There are plenty of options open here. You may be considering RETIREMENT LIVING in a pretty rural area or somewhere more central and convenient. Before you start looking, go to Age UK’s site at ageuk.org.uk as they have plenty of advice on what suits you and what to look for as well as the range of options available. If you’re staying put but changing your surroundings, take an objective look at your LIFESTYLE first. Decide what needs to alter physically to better enhance it and be realistic about what is possible, especially within your budget. For some couples, grown-up children have moved back home and suddenly home seems a lot smaller! If this arrangement is going to continue for some time, get the advice of a builder on how you can re-configure your home to suit you all. INTERNAL CHANGES rather than building extensions might be the answer. Walls could be knocked down, areas
SAFETY & QUALITY NEVER COMPROMISED The Premier Garage Door range blends the convenience of power operation with smooth, vertical opening and the benefits of insulation to provide the perfect solution for any garage. Manufactured from foam filled aluminium lath, available in a full range of colours and four wood effect finishes. We are confident we can accommodate your requirements and enhance your property.
re-purposed and fitted units used to free up extra space. We can get so used to our current lifestyle that it takes an objective view to challenge our usual ideas and come up with innovative ones. Now that so many people have had to work from home, it may be that you need a designated OFFICE in your home. That objective view might well throw up some useful thoughts on turning dead space into somewhere you can happily work.
HOME ENTERTAINMENT has had a huge boost during lockdown months and it has never been more diverse or accessible. It’s also fairly bewildering for the novice so a quick visit to charity the Consumers’ Association website which.co.uk will help you sort your sound bar from your home cinema system and select the right upgrade for you.
Prices start from
Operated by a tubular motor complete with a manual override facility and controlled by a comprehensive remote control system to include courtesy light and full safety system we guarantee all year round access. Features include a unique auto-lock system to prevent the door from being lifted when in fully closed position and a safety brake mechanism to prevent the door from falling when in the fully open position, making your garage safe and secure at all times. Additional benefits compared to conventional garage doors are the reduction in noise and heat loss whilst freeing up valuable garage space. A vehicle can be parked within 50mm of the door inside or out without disrupting operation.
Acorn Door Systems Your local garage door company Sample colours The above swatches are for guide purposes only and do not represent an exact match.
Phone: 01254 704132
ACORN DOOR SYSTEMS
Again, consider first what you want from an office. As well as somewhere for a desk and your equipment (computer, printer, files etc). You probably need good light and you might prefer a view. Fitted units could well turn a small boxroom into just the place or even part of a larger room into a dedicated workspace. There’s plenty of initial advice online including smallbusiness.co.uk which shows how other small companies have set up home offices effectively. The KITCHEN may have come into its own as the heart of the home over the last year. It’s already a place families naturally gravitate to so if you’ve spent much of your time here, identify what you need to improve it.
You may need a dedicated TV here, a more comfortable or bigger table and chairs or invest in a large central unit Today’s fitted kitchens boast user-friendly fitments like hot water taps and specialist appliances amid the streamlined units and clever storage. Local kitchen stores are a great place to start but don’t forget to have a wish-list of what you want in your new, ideal kitchen and be realistic about what’s possible and what you can afford. Your BATHROOM may also seem past its best and need improving. If you’re thinking of a new bathroom, the size of it will influence the cost along with the structural changes and the quality of the materials you want used.
If you have a particular look in mind, this can influence the final bill and there may be other costs like re-wiring and new pipework. Check out individual costs like a new toilet, shower, bath, panels and tiles yourself to discover a basic guide even before labour costs are involved. And we have all definitely come to appreciate open space outside so give your GARDEN a chance to shine in 2021 whether it’s by buying a hot tub or having a complete re-design. If you’re looking for garden ideas, try the Royal Horticultural Society’s website at www.rhs.org.uk They explain how to make the best of small gardens and all gardens, garden designs and styles and how to use plants well plus everything from garden furniture to hedges and boundaries.
For more tips on how to spruce up your home visit our website www.50plusmagazine.co.uk ADVERTISEMENT
Benefits of renting in a retirement development
enting in a retirement development is a great way to beat loneliness and be part of a ready-made community of people to socialise with. The benefits include an onsite manager, 24-hour emergency careline in all apartments, communal lounge and gardens to enjoy with friend and neighbours, plus the rent includes service charges and property maintenance. After living in a private rental, 80 year old Jackie
Corrigan decided it was time for a change and there were few retired people living close by. After doing some research she moved into retirement development Homemoss House in Buxton, not far from where she was living. Jackie absolutely loves living there and has quickly made friends. Jackie says, “Since moving here I’ve been much happier. I have made new friends and a few of us regularly meet for a natter and cup of tea. There is a communal lounge where activities such
are let on assured tenancies, as afternoon teas, bingo and which provide the same quizzes take place, as well security of tenure as as security measures which homeownership. gave me confidence in my choice of moving here.” “I highly recommend moving into a retirement community. As a woman living alone it’s really reassuring to know I have Visit the blog on our website people I can speak to and for the latest information socialise with, plus the on living independently in development manager is retirement. wonderful.” Girlings Retirement Rentals To find out what we is the specialist letting agent for retirement property and have available in your area visit www.girlings.co.uk has properties available throughout the UK. Most or call 0800 525 184
HOLT LIVING LUXURY DESIGNER BATHROOM & KITCHEN SPECIALISTS
Showroom & virtual appointments Worldwide luxury brands Design, supply and installation service available Working with your style in mind
28 Kay Street | Rawtenstall | BB4 7LS T: 01706 600472 E: email@example.com W:www.holtliving.co.uk
HOLT LIVING LUXURY DESIGNER BATHROOM & KITCHEN SPECIALISTS
Working with your style to create custom built bathrooms and kitchens unique and personal to your space. Start your journey by arranging a consultation with our expert inhouse designers. Our well-trained team can take care of the entire process; from developing a design, through to production and installation if you wish. We gain an understanding of the style of your home, the functional requirements, materials and colour schemes. Our aim is to create the highest quality projects to meet the exact needs of our clients. Together we design spaces for you, using the best products from around the world to produce bespoke built spaces you are content to call home.
28 Kay Street | Rawtenstall | BB4 7LS T: 01706 600472 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W:www.holtliving.co.uk
Fitting a conservatory is a popular option, as it’s an effective way of increasing the space within your home and creating a statement. Ensure the finish of the conservatory flows with style of your home with perfectly styled doors. French doors are beautifully suited to conservatories and can create an impressive entrance to your garden or a seamless transition through your living space.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR HAVEN AT HOME The UK has spent more time at home than normal, and with uncertainty around moving to a new house, Brits have decided to improve rather than move, with many undergoing home improvement projects. In fact, the 2020 Renovation Nation Report stated that spending more time at home inspired 65 per cent of homeowners to invest in renovations to their properties.
Making our home more comfortable, creating a space which we can enjoy all year round has become more important than ever. The 2020 Renovation Nation Report also suggested that the trend for investing in our home is set to continue, as 73 per cent of UK homeowners admit they’ll continue to spend more time at home. With the home improvement trend set to continue, Eurocell Home, the UK’s leading manufacturer, distributer and recycler of UPVC window and door systems looks at how you can create a stunning living space at home, you won’t want to leave! Creating an open space Many homeowners aspire to create a seamless link between the indoor and outdoor space of their homes. Bi-fold doors have become increasingly popular in recent years, they can create a stunning finish to a range of home styles including new builds, modern extensions or period properties. And, with a wide selection of colours and frame sizes to choose from, bi-fold doors
can bring your home to life and create a wow-factor! Bi-folds are perfect for letting natural light flood into the inside living space and can often make smaller homes feel larger, providing you with low-maintenance luxury of modern living. Increase the floor space For many, increasing the floor space of your home is highly desirable, whether it be attached to the house, or as a separate space in the garden, there are many different ways to create extra floor space to your home.
A same level extension or lean to is also a good option for increasing floor space, either extended on a kitchen or living room with a large glass frontage, a lean-to extension can create more of an open plan living space. Home office A space at home which you can call ‘my office’ is now more important than ever. With many people now working from home, creating a home office can help to separate work and home life. A desirable home office would include lots of natural light, whether that be from a skylight, patio doors or a big window, natural light can make a huge difference to the working environment. It’s also important to add personal touches to your home office, decorate it to be a style you like, install good lighting and find a way of separating your office from your home life.
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Rossendale Interiors Full Page.qxp_Lay
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Kitchens Bedrooms Bathrooms
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Bacup - 352-358 Newchurch Road, Stacksteads, Bacup. OL13 0LD Tel: 01706 252122 • Massive choice of traditional or modern Oswaldtwistle - Oswaldtwistle Mills, Colliers Street, Oswaldtwistle. BB5 3DE Tel: 01254 30 • Fabulous showroom with 60 displays open 7 days Ulverston - Kitchen House, Brogden/Market Street, Ulverston. LA12 7AH Tel: 01229 5818 • Owned by JJO Furniture Manufacturers offering very keen prices and a quick turnaround. Blackburn - Blackburn Market Hall, Church Street, Blackburn. BB1 5AF Tel: 01254 6692 Financially solid • Project-managed installation.www.rossendaleinteriors.com All aspects covered • Established over 150 years with four experienced designers See h o w plus CAD designer for outstanding visual aids quali ur ty fuo • ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ subject to status r nit is
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Bacup - 352-358 Newchurch Road, Stacksteads, Bacup. OL13 0LD Tel: 01706 252122
Oswaldtwistle - Oswaldtwistle Mills, Colliers Street, Oswaldtwistle. BB5 3DE Tel: 01254 304068
Ulverston Kitchen House, Brogden/Market Street, Ulverston. LA12 7AH Tel: 01229 581828 Bacup - 352Bacup -- 352-358 Newchurch Road, Stacksteads, Bacup. OL13 0LD Tel: 01706 252122 Blackburn - Blackburn MarketMills, Hall,Colliers ChurchStreet, Street,Oswaldtwistle. Blackburn. BB1 5AF3DE Tel:Tel: 01254 669215 Oswaldtwistle - O Oswaldtwistle - Oswaldtwistle BB5 01254 304068
Ulverston - Kitc Ulverston - Kitchen House, Brogden/Market Street, Ulverston. LA12 7AH Tel: 01229 581828
Blackburn - Bl Blackburn - Blackburn Market Hall, Church Street, Blackburn. BB1 5AF Tel: 01254 669215
MOTORS | 50 PLUS MAGAZINE
Every XC60 is extremely well equipped as standard and comes with an automatic gearbox, iPad-style, swipe-able large centre console infotainment and control system, a premium sat-nav and great connectivity thanks to the Volvo On Call app, which can control some car functions remotely and has an emergency and tracking service. XC60 models come with petrol, diesel and petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain choices giving from 197 to 405hp with CO2 emissions from as little as 47g/ km. There are two petrol (B5 and B6), two diesel (B4 and B5) and three petrolelectric plug-in hybrid versions.
STEVE HOWARTH’S TEST DRIVE
Volvo XC60 T6 Hybrid YOU’VE got to hand it to Volvo – thanks to clever marketing, great design and being constantly at the forefront of technology and safety they now find themselves with some very desirable vehicles on the forecourt. For those who, like me, have been around for a while the image of Volvos has changed beyond all recognition, from boring beige estates driven by people like my tank topwearing geography teacher to prestige motors people aspire to owning. One such is the latest XC60 which we tried out in near top-of-the-range R-Design T6 trim and with a recharge plug in hybrid power system. Something else that geography teacher could not have dreamt of are mpg figures of over 100 thanks to an 87bhp electric motor which can power this substantial SUV for around 30 miles without using a drop of precious petrol. Alongside electricity the car boasts Volvo’s excellent 2-litre petrol engine which means a combined 340bhp – 0 to 60 in a very rapid 5.6 seconds and a more modest 112mph top speed.
The XC60 was also the first Volvo fitted with Steering Support, a technologically advanced safety aid that can automatically apply the steering or provide additional input in an emergency to help avoid a collision. Reflecting that upmarket image Volvo say they see the XC 60’s main rivals as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
This XC60 is the second generation of Volvo’s premium mid-size SUV, and brings new levels of sophistication, connectivity, efficiency and safety to the class. It also showcases the company’s award-winning design – it was named World Car of the Year in 2018 and is Volvo’s best-selling model globally, the second-best-seller in the UK. On the inside, the XC60 combines elegant Scandinavian design, top quality natural materials, skilled craftsmanship and the innovative Sensus entertainment and control system to create a modern, luxurious place in which to travel. There’s loads of room for five adults to sit in comfort and a large load capacity - 483 litres with rear seats up or 1,410 litres with the rear seats down (slightly less in hybrid versions).
The entry-level Momentum starts at £40,460 in FWD diesel form and other trim levels are Inscription, Expression (Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 only) dynamic, R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription and Inscription Pro. Our car had several pack options which boosted it’s on the road price to £58,645 from the car’s base price of £52,570. These included adaptive cruise control with pilot assist auto brake and steering assist, premium sound system and wireless charging smartphone integration, heated front screen and steering wheel, 360 degree camera view, hands-free power tailgate and power front seats with memory function for the driver. So thanks to their drive to be at the forefront of design, safety and technology Volvo are enjoying strong sales, weathering the Covid 19 global downturn better that many in the automotive industry… perhaps that geography teacher was just a man ahead of his time?
For all the latest car tests see the motoring section of our website at www.50plusmagazine.co.uk/motors/
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COVID-19 HAS TRANSFORMED THE GARDENING INDUSTRY – SO WHAT ARE THE NEW TRENDS? By Craig Sams, Co-founder of Carbon Gold this, so I’m confident these new growers aren’t just a flash in the pan - they’re here to stay. GROWERS ARE SPENDING MORE Not only does the gardening industry have more customers, but growers as a whole are spending more as they stock up their horticultural armoury. The HTA Garden Retail Monitor found that sales of gardening products were up 34%, 17% and 19% in June, July and August respectively in UK garden centres, compared to the same time last year. On average, individual customers were spending 35% more on gardening products.
For all the negative consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic - and there have been many - there have been some positives. Namely, the huge boom in home gardening and grow-your-own. As the world entered lockdown, many millions of us were furloughed or forced to isolate at home, leaving growers with plenty more time to spend in their gardens and allotments. Little did we know though that while coronavirus would endanger many industries, the gardening sector would explode due to budding horticulturalists seeking a connection to nature and more food security. In fact, the industry has been positively transformed in a matter of months - and many trends appear to be here to stay. So, what does the post-Covid gardening industry look like today?
IT’S BIGGER, AND YOUNGER I’ve been heartened by the millions of new British growers who have sprung up this year - almost three million, according to research from The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA). Nearly half of these new gardeners are aged under 45. As you might expect, many of these new growers said that the lockdown gave them more time and energy to immerse themselves in a new passion for growing.
Sales also surged in bedding plants (29%), seeds (59%) and gardening equipment (51%), while garden leisure categories were higher than in August 2019. According to Garden Trade News UK, outdoor plants were the country’s most popular purchase, followed closely by compost. GROWING TO EAT When Coronavirus reached our shores, panic buying swept across the UK.
The National Allotment Society also reported a rise in the number of people joining their local council’s waiting lists for plots during the lockdown, proving that this is an urban as a well as a rural trend.
Walk into nearly any supermarket and you’d see swathes of shelves that were either severely depleted, or stripped bare. Meanwhile, food delivery slots had weekslong waiting times.
Whether garden or allotment, such wonderful patches of nature have become crucial sources of green space in urban areas, and key to keeping good mental health in these trying times.
For fruit and veg lovers, the lack of fresh produce was particularly grim. So individuals and those sharing community gardens decided that growing and harvesting their own fresh food would be a no-brainer. In fact, seed producers reported a massive rise in sales during lockdown. And in March,
It’s said that it takes 66 days to form a new habit. Lockdown lasted much longer than
the Royal Horticultural Society said visits to their web pages with advice on growing vegetables had more than doubled compared with the same time last year. Growers will know that homegrown veg not only tastes better than shop-bought food, but you also have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve grown it yourself, and, with no plastic or drive to the supermarket, have cut your carbon footprint to boot. With potentially millions more of us growing some of our own food, we have become less reliant on shop-bought fruit and veg, which is often imported from abroad. This will ultimately help to make the UK’s food chain more resilient. WE’RE GOING GREEN – AND ORGANIC The world has gradually been waking up to the unavoidable threat of the climate crisis. However, although the lockdown led to a decrease in pollution, the immediacy of the pandemic has made it difficult to give our environment the attention it deserves. I’m hopeful that the influx of new gardeners - who will surely deepen their love of the environment - will add to those forces fighting to protect it. But their activities and buying choices will be crucial.
Thankfully, many chemical inputs once relied upon by growers and gardeners for fertility and disease control are now avoided due to fears about their impact on human and environmental health. In fact, some 67% of UK gardeners say they’re eco-conscious and 46% of this group already use organic fertilisers. This is also a growing trend. The 2020 Organic Market Report revealed that the organic market had seen an eighth year of strong growth. It grew 4.5% in 2019 to reach a record £2.45bn. However, David Ware, head of eco garden centre Edibleculture in Kent has warned consumers to be wary of ‘greenwashing’ from brands who sell faux-eco products, “The real problems for the environment from horticulture come from this kind of greenwashing, peat and peat-based compost where its production destroys a fragile ecosystem”, he added. The use of peat-based composts is something that resonates with me in particular. After learning that they destroy natural, CO2absorbing habitats and fuel the climate crisis, I realised how important biochar (a type of charcoal) is in providing a more sustainable and effective solution. Biochar delivers comparable benefits to chemical and peat products, yet lasts far
longer in the soil and locks away CO2. I ended up founding Carbon Gold to make sure that organic biochar products were available to UK growers. Dr David Bek is a reader of sustainable economics at Coventry University who studies how the horticulture industry can increase sustainability in the supply chain. He told Horticulture Week that Covid-19 has “emphasised the need for all businesses to review their resilience and sustainability”. He added: “There is a sense that the pandemic is a warning sign about humans’ relationship with the planet - a real wake-up call.” Stronger still are David Attenborough’s wise words that “Covid will be a footnote in human history - climate change will change everything.” I truly hope that all who care about the natural world do not lose sight of this. I am, however, heartened that growers will be a key force in fighting climate change. Against all odds, a global pandemic transformed the gardening industry, making it bigger, stronger and more resilient. Having rewarded us greatly in these dark times, I now hope that all of us who make up the world of growing will help to protect the environment that we love.
What will be? What will youryour legacylegacy be? Leaving a gift in your Will ensures we can continue our work giving shelter to over 1,000 animals each year. We depend totally on the generosity of our supporters. ANIMAL CARE has a long history in the Lancaster & Morecambe area so by remembering us in your Will you are supporting a local charity in a lasting way.
Darcy is a red/white collie he came to Animal Care 6/7/2013 Darcy is in need of -Experienced Collie owner - Darcy is a complicated young lad with lots of fears and worries poor Darcy has not had the best start in life and Collie, Male, 6 years 9 m because of this has a real fear of people especially men. onths old Darcy was badly treated and not well socialise meaning he gets so worried around new people he will snap and bark at you until he feels he can trust you. He needs an adult only home with people who are used to collies and understand the breed, people who can work and control his behavioural problems. Darcy is keen to learn and like all collies very clever and very loving he has the ability to be a fantastic dog with the right people who have the time and love to put in with Darcy. Darcy loves all dogs and plays well off lead he loves to play ball and is fantastic at fetch. He has shared kennels with other dogs while he has been at Animal Care but can become very protective over his food, toys and bed so we feel he would be better in a home as the only dog. He can become very stressed on lead and will bark at dogs and strangers he does not know. The staff have helped him overcome some of these problems and he now walks well on his halti. Darcy has never been in a home environment so his owners will need to take on the challenge of house training but he is bright so with time and love he will learn fast. Our dog trainer Kathryn has worked with Darcy and he was very well behaved. kathryn is happy to give advice to any new adopter.
ANIMAL CARE is a small rehoming centre helping stray, unwanted and ill treated animals until caring new homes can be found for them. Registered Charity No. 508819
(Lancaster, Morecambe and District)
Blea Tarn Road, Scotforth, Lancaster, LA2 ORD | Telephone: 01524 65495 | Fax: 01524 841819 Email: email@example.com | www.animalcare-lancaster.co.uk
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HEALTH ADVICE FOR MATURE WOMEN Staying healthy becomes even more important as we get older. When we’re young, we can easily overcome illnesses, falls, and other issues, but as we age these things become more difficult. However, if we take care of our health in the long term, we can ensure that we feel and perform well no matter how old we get. Below, you’ll find the essential health advice mature women should follow in 2021: Stay Up To Date With Your Healthcare Provider Start by staying up to date with your healthcare provider. Don’t ignore letters asking you to book an appointment, and don’t ‘worry about making a big deal’ out of any health concerns. Booking a private covid test could be the best thing to give you peace of mind. Eat A Balanced Diet A balanced diet should include plenty of color, so fruits and vegetables should be a regular purchase at the supermarket. Balance also means eating a little of what you fancy, however deprivation is not the key to happiness, and happiness is a must for health, too! Try to make smart choices, but don’t go to extremes. You should enjoy your food. Stay Active Exercising can help you to strengthen your muscles and bones, and improve your flexibility and stamina. This can help you to go about your day to day life with ease, as well as reduce your risk of trips and falls. Just find a form of exercise that you really enjoy and you should have no trouble sticking to it. Do something you enjoy, and start slow if you need to. There is plenty of time to build up your sessions and increase intensity if and when you feel ready to do
so. Don’t feel under pressure. A gentle yoga session can be just as good for your health as a more intense resistance workout. Enjoy A Rich Social Life There is a risk of loneliness as we age and lose touch with our loved ones. This is why it’s so important to put effort into cultivating a rich social life. Join clubs and meet like minded people, and call your friends and family to catch up every so often, even if only for 10 minutes. Don’t Neglect Sleep We tend to need less sleep as we age, but this totally depends on how much we naturally need, as well as how active we are. 8 hours usually allows us to perform out best, but it’s up to you to pay attention to how much sleep helps you to feel great. Remember that less than 6 hours is just as bad as none at all, and it can even mean a shorter lifespan. Keep Your Brain Active Keeping your brain active is one of the most important things you can do later in life, too. Doing puzzles, reading, and learning new things can all help you to keep your brain and body healthy.You’re never too old to learn something new, and keeping your brain sharp will ensure you stay healthier for longer.
How to clear your brain fog Many of us have been talking about brain fog of late, whether that is because of ageing, feeling burnout, recovering from illness, or juggling too many balls in the air during this incredibly difficult last year. So what is brain fog and how does it relate to memory and what exactly can we do about it? What is brain fog? Brain fog can range from mild to severe and is associated with poor memory, not being able to focus clearly, not being able to retrieve information and a lack of clear thinking and can negatively affect all aspects of our lives. Brain fog can be most apparent when we struggle with our memory and our ability to acquire, store, maintain and reclaim information that we have previously experienced or learned. A review by Theoharides et al (2015) discusses evidence that suggests stress, exposure to certain toxins and medical health problems causes inflammation of certain molecules in the brain which can contribute to brain fog. Even lack of sleep and nutritional deficiencies can add to the problem. So, what can we do to help ourselves? How to clear brain fog, sharpen our thinking & improve our memory Make sleep your top priority. On average, a person goes through 3-5 REM (rapid eye movement) cycles per night which is when we dream and is vital for mental and emotional regulation. It is important to maintain a regular and healthy sleeping pattern in order to prevent or clear brain fog and to be at your sharpest and allow your brain to do all its sorting and coding. Exercise to get the oxygen flowing. Exercising increases oxygen and blood flow, so incorporate 30 mins of exercise into your daily routine to help clear out the cobwebs especially if you can get outside. Don’t overload. Take time to properly focus on activities and avoid trying to do too many things at once. The misguided notion of multitasking has been linked to poorer episodic memory, along with a reduction in efficiency, performance and focus. Slow down and do one thing at a time. Brain fog could be hormonal. Low levels of hormones, particularly oestrogen, have been linked to changes in memory and difficulties thinking or processing information. These disturbances most frequently occur during the menopause.
Check medications. Some over the counter medications can cause brain fog so check the label for side effects. Chemotherapy can prevent the production of oestrogen which may explain changes in memory otherwise known as ‘chemo brain’, which is another type of brain fog. Consult a medical professional if you think depression, sleep disorders, anxiety or medication you are taking could be contributing to the brain fog. Reduce stress. Most importantly if you are feeling overwhelmed, remember to be kind to yourself. Have downtime, work out what you need to feel better that can be realistically achieved and surround yourself with positive people. ONCE THE FOG HAS CLEARED, IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY BY:Activating as many senses as you can. Sensory memories are fleeting, and we are not often aware of them. But stimulating the senses can help us feel better which encourages us to continue that activity thus bringing it into our conscious awareness, enjoying the process and develop long term memories. Using mnemonic tools such as using as a phrase, acronym, song, rhyme or image to help remember a list of facts in a certain order. Learning something new that you enjoy. Novelty is a sure fire way to get our attention. So think of something you haven’t done before, try it and if you enjoy it keep going. The neural plasticity of the brain is incredible and you will lay down new connections and pathways and have fun at the same time. Attaching meaning to what you want to remember. If you are bad with names or dates attach a meaning by associating it with something familiar.This link provides a stronger association in your brain, increasing the likelihood of you remembering it next time. Repetition. Intentionally repeating something that you would like to recall in the future is one of the oldest tricks in the book – but it works. Repetition will encode information beyond your sensory and short-term memory, into your long-term memory. MANAGING ANXIETY COMING OUT OF LOCKDOWN During the pandemic we have all coped in different ways; some of us have adjusted more easily whilst others have had to deal with pain and hardship, or with feelings of burnout or isolation. Whilst people who have had to shield may understandably need time to adjust to coming out of lockdown, many of us may be
feeling anxiety for a variety of reasons. Now as we are slowly opening up the world again it is important to ensure that we are best equipped for what may still be a series of uncertainties and ups and downs. Here are some tips that may help:Take your time – Before getting up each day perhaps listen to the birds or practise gratitude for a few minutes and make happiness and health a daily choice. Going forwards in the weeks ahead, try to avoid rushing big decisions, prioritise what needs to be acted upon first, take your time to get it right, avoid comparing yourself with others. Positive thinking - Facing challenges head on and realistically whilst thinking positively helps to move forwards and build resilience. Research shows that those who face adversity with a positive mindset deal with stress and problems better and have a better health outcome long term. Avoid the traps of negative thinking and swap in more positive language. Re-examine negative situations from a different angle and try to find a workable solution. Ensure you live a healthy lifestyle including regular physical exercise, a good sleeping pattern, low stress and a healthy diet. Focus on things you can control. Be safely social and inclusive - Follow the rules but remain sociable where possible, even if that means keeping events virtual. Through brain imaging, scientists have found that when people experience social exclusion and social distress some areas of the brain are similarly activated as if they were experiencing physical pain. Work out your new priorities – The pandemic has made many revaluate their priorities, leading people to ask themselves what truly makes them happy. Are you happy at work and in your relationship? Are you happy in your own skin? Set some goals for yourself which you feel will make you happier and revisit them once a month to track your progress. They could be anything from exercising, to getting in touch with old friends to getting a promotion. Be careful of burnout - Identify the signs early. Signs of burnout include fatigue, irritability, sleepless nights despite feelings of exhaustion, anxiety and physiological changes in your body like raised blood pressure. Ensure you aren’t consumed by your old life once restrictions lift and that you use what you learnt in lockdown including perhaps slowing down. 41
came first at primary school and then at St Bernard’s High School for Girls at Southend on Sea in school productions. Determined on a career in theatre, at 18 she auditioned for the National Youth Theatre and at 20 impressed early on stage at the Old Vic in her role as Cleopatra in Anthony and Cleopatra in 1965. The result of her work with the NYT was an invitation to join the Royal Shakespeare Company. A clutch of high-profile roles followed including Diana in All’s Well That Ends Well and Rosalind in As You Like It. She also appeared in touring productions, all the time adding to her reputation both for acting and as an independent-minded woman. In 1970, a documentary film Doing Her Own Thing about Helen and her time at the RSC was made and shown on TV. Throughout the ‘70s, she was often offered roles that showcased her feisty, passionate nature and she became a favourite in West End theatres. In 1972, she was famously dubbed “the sex queen of the Royal Shakespeare Company” by the BBC’s Michael Parkinson. In 1977 at the RSC in Stratford and the following year at the Aldwych Theatre, she played a steely Queen Margaret in the three parts of Henry VI. In 1979, she was winning praise as Isabella in Measure for Measure.
A NATIONAL TREASURE TO describe actress Helen Mirren as the Queen of British theatre and film would definitely not be far from the truth. After all, Helen, now 75, has played a queen on film a total of six times and Queen Elizabeth II twice. In fact, she is the only actress to play both Queen Elizabeth I and II and won a BAFTA for her role as the latter in the 2006 film The Queen about the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death. 42
Perhaps she was always meant to play such regal roles as, although born into a working class family, her paternal grandfather was a Russian diplomat and her great, great, great, great grandfather was Field Marshal Kamensky, one of the Russian heroes of the Napoleonic wars. Helen Lydia Mironoff – her father changed the family name to Mirren by deed poll – she was the second of three children. Her introduction to acting
Probably inevitably, she made a breakthrough on Broadway and was subsequently twice nominated for Tony Awards as Best Actress. Later, in 2015, she won a Tony as Best Actress playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience which also won her an Olivier Award in the US, joining luminaries like Ingrid Bergman, Dame Maggie Smith and Al Pacino. Alongside her enviable theatrical career, Helen has appeared in a large number of films. Early on, these included A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Age of Consent, O Lucky Man! and Caligula. Pivotally, in 1980, she starred with Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday which really made film audiences sit up and notice her. Excalibur, 2010, White Nights, The Mosquito Coast and When the Whales Came followed. Her film repertoire was wide: The Madness of King George, Some Mother’s Son, The Prince of Egypt, The Cook,
CELEBRITY INTERVIEW | 50 PLUS MAGAZINE National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Inkheart, State of Play,The Last Station, Greenfingers and The Pledge continued her on-screen presence. Her latest film releases include The Good Liar, a crime thriller with Ian McKellen, and a couple more projects held up by Covid look set to enhance her reputation in 2021 and beyond. She has won a whole cabinet-full of awards and in 2014 received the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2003 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to drama. In 2014 she received the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. But TV also beckoned and in 1991, she took on the iconic role of Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect. Tennison, one of the first females at her rank in the Greater London Metropolitan Police Service, had been created by writer Lynda La Plante. Tennison rises to the rank of Detective Superintendent, confronting institutionalised sexism in the police force while solving complex crimes. The no-nonsense role was made for Helen Mirren who put her special stamp of acting excellence on Tennison. The series ran until 2006 and, still today, re-runs reveal her consummate skills in both acting and holding an audience – even one in its millions and at home.
As her reputation grew, she was offered more and better roles, sometimes glamorous, sometimes dowdy. In 2001 she appeared in Gosford Park with Maggie Smith and took a starring role in the inspirational Calendar Girls in 2003 with Julie Walters and a cast of actresses that resembled a Who’s Who of the nation’s best. The Clearing, Raising Helen and Shadowboxer continued to enhance Helen’s glittering career. In 2006, she took on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the film The Queen, providing a mesmerising performance of the monarch at a particularly tough time for the royal family and the nation. No-one was surprised when it swept the awards’ board.
Her private life has often mirrored the fascination of her on-screen roles. She lived with actor Liam Neeson for four years after meeting him on the set of Excalibur in 1981 and met her husbandto-be Taylor Hackford when he directed her in White Nights in 1985. They married later in the Scottish Highlands with Hackford dressed in a traditional Scottish tartan kilt. She is stepmother to Hackford’s two children but has never had children of her own, reportedly stating:
“I am so happy that I didn’t have children.Well, you know, because I’ve had freedom.” She is plainly her own woman, a brilliant role model for older females and regularly speaks her mind. When she became a Dame, she stated:
“In England, it’s a big deal. I do feel like it’s a great honour. “But I had to think about it quite seriously for a couple of weeks. It does sort of squash you into the establishment thing. In the end, my base feelings got the better of me. I succumbed to pride.” Helen Mirren is obviously making every decade of her life as memorable as possible, and still plans to – for which her many fans around the world are eternally grateful. Written by Angela Kelly. 43
50 PLUS MAGAZINE
A SECURE FUTURE WITH
EQUITY RELEASE? THESE days we have to look at a variety of ways to raise cash and ensure that our future will be secure and one popular way for anyone over 55 to do just that is via equity release, which offers the chance to access the cash – the equity – tied up in your home. It can be as a lump sum or in several small amounts, or a combination of both. There are two equity release options: lifetime mortgage and home reversion. The Money Advice Service explains that a LIFETIME MORTGAGE means that you take out a mortgage secured on your property, provided it is your main residence, while retaining ownership. You can choose to ring-fence some of the value of your property as an inheritance for your family or you can choose to make repayments or let the interest roll-up. The loan amount and any accrued interest is paid back when you die or when you move into long-term care.
Most people who take out equity release use a lifetime mortgage. Usually you don’t have to make any repayments while you’re alive and interest “rolls up” (unpaid interest is added to the loan), meaning the debt can increase quite quickly over a period of time. However, some lifetime mortgages do now offer the option to pay all or some of the interest. Some will let you pay off the interest and the capital. In the same way ordinary mortgages vary from lender to lender, so do lifetime mortgages, and if you’re looking at this option it’s worth knowing that the minimum age for this is usually 55. As we’re now all living longer, the earlier you start the more this is likely to cost in the long run. The average borrower in their late 60s can usually borrow around 35% of the value of their home, but how much can be released is dependent on your age and the value of your property. The percentage typically increases according to your age when you take out
the lifetime mortgage, while some providers might offer larger sums to those with certain past or present medical conditions. Many lenders offer interest rates which are fixed or, if they are variable, have a “cap” or upper limit which is fixed for the loan’s duration. Check whether the product has a “no negative equity guarantee” This means that, when your property is sold and agents’ and solicitors’ fees have been paid, even if the amount left is not enough to repay the outstanding loan to your provider neither you nor your estate will be liable to pay any more. Consider whether you can pay none, some or all of the interest. If you can make repayments, the mortgage will be less costly. However, with a lifetime mortgage where you can make monthly payments, the amount you can repay might be based on your income. Providers will have to check you can afford these regular payments.
Look at whether you can withdraw the equity you’re releasing in small amounts, as and when you need it, or whether you have to take it as one lump sum. The advantage of being able to take money out in smaller amounts is you only pay the interest on the amount you’ve withdrawn. If you can take smaller lump sums, check if there is a minimum amount. It’s also worth finding out if you have the right to move to another property, subject to the new property being acceptable to your product provider as continuing security for your equity release loan, as different lifetime mortgage providers might have slightly different thresholds. A HOME REVERSION involves you selling part or all of your home to a home reversion provider in return for a lump sum or regular payments.You have the right to continue living in the property until you die, rent-free, but you have to agree to maintain and insure it. You can ring-fence a percentage of your property for later use, possibly for
inheritance - the percentage you retain will always remain the same, regardless of the change in property values, unless you decide to take further cash releases. At the end of the plan, your property is sold and the sale proceeds are shared according to the remaining proportions of ownership. You will get a lump sum or regular payments – normally between 20 per cent and 60 per cent of the market value of your home, or the part you sell. With home reversions, it’s worth checking whether or not you can release equity in several payments or in one lump sum and the minimum age at which you can take out a home reversion plan. Some providers insist you’re at least 60 or 65 before you can apply. Keep in mind the percentage of the market value you will receive. This will increase the older you are when you take out the plan but might vary from provider to provider. Also check whether you have the right to remain in your property for life or until you need to move to long-term care, provided the property remains your main residence
and you abide by the terms and conditions of your contract. Again, check whether you have the right to move to another property, subject to the new property being acceptable to your product provider as continuing security for your equity release loan and whether the product has a “no negative equity guarantee”.You will also need to know what level of maintenance you’ll be expected to carry out and how often your property will be inspected – this could be every few years. Overall, equity release might seem like a good option if you want some extra money and don’t want to move house, but it’s worth bearing in mind that equity release can be more expensive in comparison to an ordinary mortgage. It’s also worth considering any additional changes taking out equity release could make to existing arrangements, with the potential to lose means-tested benefits being key among them. It’s also worth considering involving your family throughout the process, as any equity taken out of the home will impact their inheritance later down the line.
Unlock tax-free cash from your home
FR EQUES EE T Y GU OUR IDE
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Speak to one of our advisors for your free, no obligation quotation and to find out how much tax-free cash you can access to spend as you wish. They will explain how equity release could affect the amount of inheritance you can leave and if your entitlement to means-tested benefits could be affected now or in the future. Equity release may involve a home reversion plan or a lifetime mortgage which is secured against your property. To understand the features and risks ask for your personalised illustration. Equity release requires paying off any existing mortgage. Any money released, plus accrued interest, would be repaid upon death or moving into long-term care. Only if your case completes would a typical fee of 2.25% of the amount released be payable (minimum £1,695). 1 You only continue to own your own home with a lifetime mortgage. *UK’s No1, based on volume of plans, source: Touchstone data 2018 - Q2 2020.
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JAMES MARTIN’S HIGHLANDS TO ISLANDS
Since going on his Great British Adventure in 2019, James Martin has taken to the road again (and the sea and skies, too!) to bring us more of his favourite stunning recipes.
STEAK WITH WHISKY-BRAISED ONIONS AND MUSTARD SAUCE Every chef becomes obsessed with certain ingredients at some point in the year and right now, my obsession is onions. These, combined with steak and a simple mustard sauce, were a favourite dish of Johnny on Camera Two when we were filming the show.
SERVES 2 4 onions, peeled 50ml whisky 600ml beef stock 100g salted butter 1 garlic clove, crushed a few pine sprigs, washed and patted dry 1–2 tablespoons olive oil sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 400g rump steak, 5cm thick 150g long-stem broccoli FOR THE SAUCE 2 tablespoons Scottish grainy mustard ½ teaspoon English mustard 2 tablespoons salted butter 25ml whisky 75ml double cream
If using, light your BBQ. When the coals are silvery in colour, it’s ready to cook on. Place the whole onions in a pan with the whisky and beef stock. Cover and bring to the boil then reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 40 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to lift the onions out of their cooking liquor and set aside to cool a little. Reserve the liquor. Meanwhile, place the butter, garlic and pine sprigs into a separate pan and place over a low heat to melt the butter. If not cooking on the BBQ, preheat a griddle pan over a high heat. Cut the onions in half horizontally, then drizzle over the oil and season well. Cook on the griddle pan or on the BBQ, flat-side down, for a couple of minutes until charred. Lift onto a plate and set aside. Season the steak all over, then brush with some of the melted pine butter. Cook on the hot griddle pan or on the BBQ for 2 minutes, then brush with more butter, flip over and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the long-stem broccoli to the pan or BBQ for the last 2 minutes of cooking, again brushing with pine butter. Lift the steak onto a boar and rest for 4 minutes. To make the sauce, put both types of mustard in a pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter and 200ml of the reserved onion cooking liquor. Pour in the whisky, then flambé to burn off the alcohol, tipping the pan gently and carefully to ignite. Place over a medium heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, then stir in the cream and season well. Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to finish. Slice the steak into 3-cm thick slices and place on a platter with the broccoli, then spoon over the sauce. Pull the onions into petals and dot around before serving. JAMES MARTIN’S ISLANDS TO HIGHLANDSBY JAMES MARTIN (QUADRILLE, £25) PHOTOGRAPHY © PETER CASSIDY
ISLES OF SCILLY POLLOCK WITH A BEAN AND TOMATO STEW Pollock is deemed the poor man’s haddock or cod, which is sad in a way, as there is plenty of it and it’s a great-tasting fish. Slightly salting it for ten minutes before cooking will firm it up and makes it easier to cook with. I used some of the great sea salt that is produced all around Cornwall for this and created a simple bean and tomato stew to go with it. SERVES 4 4 x 150-g pollock fillets, skin on sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 50g salted butter FOR THE STEW 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 garlic cloves, sliced 1 shallot, diced 1 small fennel bulb, half diced and half thinly sliced 12 cherry tomatoes, halved 2 large heritage tomatoes, diced 50g Sunblush sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped 50ml dry white wine 400g can haricot beans, drained small handful of rock samphire small handful of sea beets or baby spinach 15g salted butter
Put the fish onto a tray and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of sea salt. Leave for 10 minutes, then wash off and pat dry. To make the stew, heat a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Pour in the oil, then stir in the garlic, shallot and all of the fennel and cook for 2–3 minutes until starting to soften. Add all the tomatoes, along with a spoonful of oil from the sundried tomatoes, and stir everything together. Pour in the wine, bring to the boil, then stir in the beans and cook gently for 10 minutes. To cook the fish, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot, then add the 50g butter. Once the butter is melted and foaming, slide the fish into the pan, flesh-side down. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season on each side. Finish the stew by stirring through the samphire, sea beets or baby spinach and butter. Taste to check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. To serve, spoon the stew onto a large warm platter and top with the fish.
WELSH LAMB RAGOUT WITH PENNE I genuinely meant it when I said during our filming in the Brecon Beacons that it’s tempting not to bother going abroad on holiday when we have places like this on our doorstep. The scenery around Wales is spectacular, it was one of my favourite locations on the whole trip, and I loved it so much that I have been back there four times since filming.
SERVES 6–8 25g salted butter 3 garlic cloves, chopped 1 onion, diced 2 carrots, diced 1 leek, diced 1 celery stick, diced 300g lamb mince 200g lamb leg, diced into 1-cm cubes 1 tablespoon tomato purée sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 500ml lamb or beef stock 100ml red wine 200g canned chopped tomatoes 2 bay leaves 400g fresh penne pasta large bunch of basil leaves, roughly torn 50g parmesan
Heat the butter in a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Once the butter is foaming, stir in the garlic, onion, carrots, leek and celery and cook gently for around 5 minutes until starting to soften. Increase the heat to high, then add all the lamb and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring everything together and using a wooden spoonto break down the mince. Stir in the tomato purée, season well, then pour in the stock, wine and chopped tomatoes. Give everything a good stir, then tuck the bay leaves into the mixture. Leave to bubble over a high heat for 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reduces by around half. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add a good pinch of salt, then add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to lift the pasta out of the pan and transfer it to the pan with the sauce. Cook for a further 2 minutes, then stir in the basil and season. Divide between pasta bowls, then grate over the parmesan and serve. 47
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