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Gordon Sumner

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FAMILY FRIENDLY FINANCE

COUNCILLOR BILLY SHEERIN, MAYOR OF ROCHDALE CONGRATULATES BLUEBIRD CARE ON WINNING NATIONAL AWARD

FROM TEACHER TO SUPERSTAR

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The five year Guaranteed Investment Bond Our current investment bond (Series 4) pays 2.25% annual interest, equating to 11.76%, if held for 5 years* Apply today by phone quoting ‘GIB 2020’ and receive a free entry into our prize draw for a weekend away for two** For more information and to apply, please call 0161

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*Early withdrawals will not receive the full 2.25% per annum rate. T&Cs apply

For full terms and conditions visit: www.unitymutual.co.uk/savings-for-you/investment-bond/ **www.unitymutual.co.uk/competition Unity Mutual is a trading name of The Independent Order of Odd Fellows Manchester Unity Friendly Society Limited, Incorporated and registered in England and Wales No. 223F. Registered Office Oddfellows House, 184-186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, registration No. 109995.

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CONTENTS

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

Gordon Sumner

Travel

FROM TEACHER TO SUPERSTAR

A NOBLE CALEDONIA CRUISE ONBOARD THE SS MISR

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 4-5

TWITTERING ON By Angela Kelly

6-8 TRAVEL A Noble Caldeonia Cruise onboard the SS Misr 9 CELEBRATE THE GREAT BRITISH HOLIDAY At Glossop Caravans 10-11

GORDON SUMNER From teacher to superstar

13-15 HOME Is your home ready for a makeover 18-19

Garden

James Martin

GARDENING FOR WILDLIFE

ISLANDS TO HIGHLANDS

To view more articles VISIT OUR BRAND NEW LOOK WEBSITE WWW.50PLUSMAGAZINE.CO.UK

A SECURE FUTURE With Equity Release

23-24 GARDEN Gardening for Wildlife 25

BALCONY GARDENING Five areas that should be taken into account when planning a balcony garden

28-30

JAMES MARTIN'S Islands to Highlands

37

LIVING WELL WITH DEMENTIA Bluebird can give a helping hand

Bridgeman House 77 Bridgeman Street | Bolton | BL3 6BY. Sales Enquiries : T: (01204) 238180 E: artwork@mcgrathmedia.co.uk

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T wittering O n BY ANGELA KELLY children’s demands and consider their health instead.

the highly inspirational Manchester Arena bomb blast survivor Freya Lewis.

Yes, it is particularly tough being a parent today but the buck still stops with them.

Freya was just 14 when she and best friend Nell Jones attended the Ariana Grande concert in May, 2017. With arms linked and chatting excitedly after enjoying the event, they were just 30 feet away from terrorist Salman Abedi when he detonated his bomb.

Why should children pay the real price of what is perceived as easier junk food and snacks when healthy alternatives are available? It’s not a matter of wealth, either. You can eat well cheaply – if parents can be bothered to take the healthier options.

Supermarkets and parents should join together to fight childhood obesity A CROSS-PARTY report by MPs says that supermarkets will continue to be the “pantomime villains” in today’s childhood obesity crisis unless they combat youngsters’ pester-power. They want supermarkets to place sweets out of children’s reach and stop promotions and discounts on foods with high levels of sugar, salt and fat. The politicians demand that supermarkets place discounts on fruit, vegetables and other healthy produce and promote these heavily instead. They also want new laws to ban multi-buy promotions of unhealthy food. It is time that supermarkets took a genuine stand on this subject and forcing them to offer healthier alternatives more obviously is definitely a way to go. However, the ultimate decision on food lies with parents who need to stand up to their 4

Don’t bother being offended by trivia – there are more important things in life WE live in very sensitive times. In fact, I do wonder sometimes if people are just waiting to be offended by something or other. I’m all for caring about people’s feelings and being as kind as we can be but it has got to the stage where free speech is now far from it. We also have to carefully examine more or less everything we utter, in public or private, for fear that it may upset even one person. Personally, I always thought there was room for all shades of opinion on most topics and that everyone had the right to express this as long as it wasn’t cruel, aggressive, unfair or untrue.

This killed 23 people, including the attacker, and wounded 139 others. Nell died as a result of the blast and Freya suffered 29 terrible injuries. On the operating table, doctors spent “10 hours intricately bolting, drilling, sewing and bandaging me back together again,” recalled Freya. She was in a coma for five days and confined to a wheelchair for three months. This was the first of five sessions of surgery lasting 23 hours. Her recovery was agonising and she also suffered ongoing terror and hallucinations. But now, at 17. having written a heartrending book entitled What Makes Us Stronger, she insists that the experience of the bomb and its aftermath, however harrowing, has made her a stronger person. Her stoic attitude to life and all that has happened to her is so far away from today’s over-sensitive individuals usually whinging over trivia as to be from a different species. Freya has put life into perspective, for herself and everyone, and let’s hope we can learn from her.

Now, if you feel strongly about something you can be absolutely sure that you will grossly offend someone with your view.

Putting names to faces isn’t always easy

What brought this home to me recently was not, surprisingly, all the instances of people complaining about some often completely innocuous statement, situation or action but

ARE you good at remembering names and faces? Apparently, only one per cent of the UK population are actually what are now called super recognisers.


These are people who can pick out a face in a crowd and immediately know who they are. They simply never forget a face.

the gaffe himself in a national newspaper he writes for and on TV’s Good Morning Britain.

The Metropolitan Police actually has an elite squad of these super recogniser officers at Scotland Yard who possess this unlikely super power. It comes in very handy for tracking down criminals in a crowd or on CCTV and it’s an amazing feat of memory.

You can feel sympathy for the usually abrasive Piers as this is just so easily done. I am regularly calling people by their wrong name, convinced that Susan is Sylvia and Derek is David.

The rest of us may just do what Piers Morgan did while at a Hollywood party for the Oscars this year. Seeing someone he was convinced was Friends’ star David Schwimmer, he went up to him and congratulated him on his most recent acting success. Relating this to others, he was roundly informed that this was not, in fact, David Schwimmer but another actor called Dylan McDermott who did look a bit like Mr S. Embarrassment for Piers ensued although, to his credit, he did publicise

People are often too polite to correct you but when you realise your mistake, it’s red faces all round. I like it when you go to an event and everyone is wearing nametags. At least there’s no room for identity opinion or any margin for error.

Dina is just the right Barbie for 2020 BARBIE has always fascinated children with her pneumatic figure, endless legs and enviable wardrobe. But, quite rightly, this extreme doll look can be unhealthily influential on burgeoning minds coming to terms with the more realistic gifts of Nature. It may even help give them unrealistic role models.

So, well done Mattel for creating a Barbie doll which is a modern icon and who has created her success from hard work. The latest addition is a Barbie doll of world champion British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith. The 24 year-old is the fastest woman in British history and just the right example for youngsters to aspire to. Now, let’s look at someone similar for a new Ken.

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50 Plus Travel

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A Noble Caledonia Cruise Onboard The SS Misr BY CATHY BARTROP FOR SILVER TRAVEL ADVISOR The 600 Mile Nile - a Noble Caledonia cruise on board the SS Misr By Cathy Bartrop for Silver Travel Advisor Despite setbacks over the past few decades, tourism to Egypt is back on the up - recent indicators include Sharm El Sheikh being taken off the Foreign Office no go list and Tutankhamun treasures on show in London before being permanently housed in the magnificent new Grand Egyptian Museum which will open at Giza in October. Egypt's no.1 magnet for tourists though will always be a cruise on the magnificent Nile river, the lifeblood of the entire country and simply the easiest and most efficient way to explore the wonders of Ancient Egypt. There are many different options for Nile cruises from exclusive charter Dahabiyyas right up to large, modern luxury vessels. For 6

something more historic and characterful the SS Misr is definitely one to consider. I joined an exclusive Noble Caledonia charter on a 600 mile sailing from Aswan all the way up to Cairo. The Misr (which means Egypt in Arabic) enjoys special status on the river as an historic steamer. Originally built in 1918 by the Royal Navy, she saw active service during the first world war and for several years afterwards before being retired. She was then acquired by the Egyptian government and eventually converted into a luxury yacht to be used by Egypt's last monarch, King Farouk. When the monarchy was overthrown in 1952, she languished in a boat yard for many years until, in 2003, she was rediscovered by her new owners who embarked on a mission to restore her to her former glory using the original drawings.

They did a great job. The minute you step aboard you know it’s going to be a special experience. The greeting is warm and welcoming from the ever-smiling crew, dressed in their distinctive brocade robes and the decor throughout echoes the royal connections. A grand wooden staircase sweeps up from the lobby to the heart of the ship where you find the panelled Marasem restaurant and a galleried area complete with an antique gramophone and chaise longue. The dark wood, rich colours and plush fabrics create an instant feel of opulence. One deck up and there is a sumptuous bar and lounge area, a rich yet pleasing blend of velvets, silks, tassels and vintage style furniture. 22 individually styled cabins are spread over three decks and skilfully blend period charm with mod cons. All have access to a private balcony, just wide enough to perch on the provided stools, the perfect spot to drink in the marvellous fretwork framed views. The boat is wonderful - very comfortable, outstanding food, the highest standards of hygiene and service, a relaxed and friendly atmosphere - but the star of the show is Nile


itself. Surely one of the most scenic and fascinating rivers in the world. The section of the Nile between Aswan and Luxor is the best known and most visited for good reason. If your time is limited, in just 5 -7 days you get to see some of the most celebrated sites of Ancient Egypt: the magnificent temples of Karnak and Luxor, the picture perfect island temple of Philae and perhaps less well known but equally impressive Kom Ombo, Hatshepsut and Edfu temples. There's a chance to wonder at the engineering marvel of the Aswan Dam and the option (if you can handle a 4am start and 4 hour drive each way) to visit Abu Simbel, the temple world famous for being saved and moved due to the construction of the Dam. And then there is the Valley of the Kings and Queens and the fascination of stepping down into the ancient and highly decorated tombs, most famously of course that of the Boy King, Tutankhamun. Even if you are not especially interested in the complexity of the history and the dynasties, you cannot fail be awed by the scale of it, the mythology, the beauty of the art. Awed and possibly a little overwhelmed – it’s an awful lot to take in. To avoid the

heat of the midday sun and worst of the crowds, 5 and 6 am wake up calls are essential. So it’s no 'holiday' but it really is a memorable experience. Thankfully, for the second half of this longer cruise the pace slowed considerably as we continued north from Luxor towards Cairo. This section of the Nile was completely closed for two decades after terrorism incidents but re-opened in 2015 and is slowly regaining popularity. Everywhere we

went ashore and every village or farming community that we passed, we were greeted by smiles and waves - tourism is vital to the Egyptian economy and, having been starved of it for so long, this part of the country is clearly overjoyed to see it coming back. That said, the security risk has evidently not disappeared. We were shadowed throughout by a police boat, additional security personnel on board and both police and armed security escorts on excursions.

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Hatshepsut Temple

At times it seemed so over the top, it made you question just how high the risk might be - hard to know but all I can say is that we certainly felt well protected. The places we visited on our half day excursions on this section were unfamiliar names but no less impressive. The amazing colours of the art at Dendera, Akhenatun's Royal City and the palace at Amarna, the catacombs at Tuna Al Gebel and the necropolis of Beni Hassan. Just when you think you've seen the most astonishing, the best preserved, the most intricate... something else will top it. And we learned to take our cue from our guest historian on board, George Hart, whose excitement grew the further north we went. He told me his personal highlight was the stunning temple at Abydos, built of white limestone and home to the most exquisite wall carvings. George described it as the 'Rolex' of temples - who am I to disagree? Cairo and the Pyramids then provided a predictably fantastic finale to our epic Egyptian adventure.

Half day excursions on this part of the cruise meant plenty of time back on board to sit and stare at the stunning, ever changing scenery, wave at the people on the riverbank (there is lots of waving), to enjoy the heat of the sun deck, the pool and the convivial company of fellow guests. We even had a full day of sailing which gave time to take in a tour of the steam engine room with its small museum, to inspect the reassuringly spotlessly clean kitchens and, quite simply, to just relax. The weather is the only dry thing about this Nile Cruise - yes, there's a LOT of history, guided tours and fascinating lectures, but there is fun too, led primarily by our amiable cruise directors, Mohamed and Sherif. Meals are all open seating and very sociable affairs. In the main people moved around a lot and although like-minded souls gravitate, happily no real cliques formed. Barbecues out on deck on several evenings provided a welcome change of scene and the inevitable Egyptian night was way less

cringeworthy than I had feared. Some went all out fancy dress but most were content with a token effort of donning a colourful 'Galabeya' robe (available everywhere for around £10-£15). They must have done it hundreds of times but what made it so special was that the crew were clearly having a great time, showing off their drumming and dancing skills and their unforced high spirits were contagious. This was one of those trips where there was so much to see, so much to absorb, that it's not until you get home that you fully appreciate the impact of the experience. As one of my fellow passengers so succinctly put it 'Egypt is not so very far away, but it's a different world'. It really is and especially so on board the regal SS Misr. I urge you to put it on your travel wish list. Cathy travelled as a guest of Noble Caledonia and filmed the experience which can be viewed on the Silver Travel Advisor Youtube channel.

For more details on the 600 mile Nile cruise eon board the SS Misr, visit www.noble-caledonia.co.uk or call 020 7752 0000. Silver Travellers receive a 5% discount on all Noble Caledonia cruises. 8


The Great British Holiday

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GORDON SUMNER, FROM TEACHER TO SUPERSTAR FORGING an enduring career in a business as fickle as the pop music world takes a particular kind of talent and savvy – but Sting appears to have both in large amounts. The singer, songwriter, actor and activist has managed not only to have a spectacularly successful career spanning almost five decades but has stayed relevant to the music scene throughout that time. That unique approach probably started with his name. This happened in his native Northeast when his love of wearing a favourite bee-like black and yellow striped sweater was spotted by a fellow musician who christened him Sting. Young Gordon Sumner, to give him his own name, wanted to become a musician from early on in life – not necessarily an obvious choice for a lad from an area steeped in the ship-building industry. For his “day job” instead, he opted to train as a teacher

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and taught in local primary and secondary schools. At the same time, though, he was actively pursuing his music career – which veered towards jazz - playing bass with The Newcastle Big Band, The Phoenix Jazzmen, Earthrise and Last Exit. In the latter, his first efforts at songwriting were featured. That group was big in the North-east but their jazz fusion was doomed to failure when punk rock exploded onto the music scene in 1976. Stewart Copeland, drummer with another group, saw Last Exit on a visit to Newcastle and recognised the potential and charisma of the bass player. The two hooked up shortly afterwards and, within months, Sting had left his teaching job and moved to London.

Stewart named them The Police and they steeped themselves in punk and toured the clubs along with Corsican guitarist Henri Padovani, later replaced by Andy Summers. The band also enrolled Stewart’s elder brother Miles as manager, wowing him with a Sting song called Roxanne. In a short time, Miles had them a record deal but the hip London press saw through their punk camouflage and were contemptuous of their talents so the band’s early releases failed to have chart success. As a result, The Police did something quite unthinkable for the time: they went to America. Here, they had a tough experience touring under their own steam and playing tiny audiences. Their tenacity, however – combined with Sting’s pin-up looks and compelling high, raspy voice - paid off as they built a loyal following, getting some all-important air-play and creating their own unique sound. The band returned to the UK to find Roxanne in the charts. They played a sell-out tour of mid-size venues and their debut album Outlandos d’Amour in 1978 gave


them three sizeable hits with Roxanne, Can’t Stand Losing You and So Lonely. They followed this with Message in a Bottle which went to No.1, then Walking on the Moon hit the top slot. In 1980 they undertook a gruelling world tour then followed up with more hits: Don’t Stand So Close To Me and De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da. More albums and more hits like Every Little Thing She Does is Magic and the group was riding high. However, their style was changing, and so was Sting. He was offered the lead role in the film version of Dennis Potter’s controversial play Brimstone and Treacle as well as a BBC production, Artemis ’81. He had already appeared in a couple of films in minor roles. His acting career was starting to rival his singing. Sting had a surprise solo hit with Spread A Little Happiness and made an appearance at The Secret Policeman’s Ball in aid of Amnesty International, demonstrating his burgeoning interest in humanitarian causes. At the turn of 1983, Sting and The Police recorded what became their final studio album Synchronicity with Every Breath You Take the standout track. This immediately went to No.1 on both sides of the Atlantic and was to become officially the most requested radio song of all time. But the band’s tense relationship was already breaking down and, after an American tour, in 1984, the three decided to go their separate ways. In 1985, Sting released his first solo album The Dream of the Blue Turtles, featuring the cream of America’s young black jazz musicians. This showed that Sting had lost none of his songwriting ability and the new material had a more political stance. The success of this album, a solo appearance at Live Aid and a well-received world tour offered proof that Sting did not need the safety net of The Police, and his solo career was born. Since then, Sting has proved himself to be one of the pop world’s most articulate exponents and a highly literate songwriter.

From "My Songs Tour 2019" He has extended his musical repertoire to play mandolin, piano, harmonica, saxophone and pan-flute. He also received an honorary Doctorate of Music from Northumbria University in 1992 and from Berklee Colege of Music in 1994. As well as continuing to create best-selling albums, including collaborations with everyone from Rod Stewart to Mary J Blige, he has racked up a remarkable number of awards including 17 Grammys. He has also appeared in more than 15 films, executive produced the critically acclaimed A Guide to Recognising Your Saints and starred in The Threepenny Opera on Broadway. Sting’s most recent theatre project is the Tony-nominated musical The Last Ship, inspired by his memories of the shipbuilding community of Wallsend where he grew up. He is married to film producer Trudie Style and has six children with her and ex-wife, actress Frances Tomelty. He owns a Jacobian castle in Wiltshire, a place in London, an apartment in New York, a place on the beach in Malibu, California and a Renaissance Florentine Villa in Tuscany. His concern for the planet is welldocumented. In 1989, along with his wife Trudie and a Brazilian Indian, he started

the Rainforest Foundation to help save rainforests. Not outwardly flashy or controversial, Sting has praised “the geniuses of music like Bach and Miles Davis” as they “used silence beautifully.” Of his own songwriting talents, he stated: “I’m so glad I have this way of expressing, in a veiled and artistic way, my most intimate feelings. A lot of people have the same feelings, but in others it must get bottled up. “I’m proud of my being able to make it into artifacts that some people find beautiful or engaging.” The much-awaited shows of his planned 2020 tour, entitled My Songs, may have been curtailed for now by the worldwide pandemic. But the good news for UK fans is that the London Palladium dates in September have already been re-scheduled for June, 2021. Nor will American fans lose out, either. His residency at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, for instance, has also been re-scheduled for early next year. And for the performer who so graphically uses his music to share with others his own experiences and feelings, perhaps Sting may manage to reflect on even this difficult time for the world in songs to come.

* For more details about Sting: My Songs dates go to www.sting-tour.com 11


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has been simply incorporated into a room. So why not change this? Bringing back a fireplace offers a centrepiece and focal point for a room like no other. Reclamation yards might offer some originals if you’re prepared to look or invest in one of the many smart new fireplaces on offer now. These can be free-standing or inset – there’s plenty of choice. But this is definitely one way to really alter the look and appeal of a lounge or sitting room. Take a good look at your windows Window technology has come on so much in recent years that you really can buy just the right kind for your home.

IS YOUR HOME READY FOR A MAKEOVER WATCHING TV makeover programmes and how clever interior designers make the most of homes of all sizes makes most of plain jealous.

Yet, there are simple tips that can help in any home – to make areas look bigger or smaller, brighter, more contemporary and certainly more interesting. Improve or get rid of your old front door While a coat of paint can really do the trick on a tired or old-fashioned door, it may be worth investing in a new one to make that vital first impression on any visitor. It also cheers up your day every time you come home! Make those stairs really stand out Stairs are often the first thing that anyone sees coming into your home and if they are shabby or just plain boring that gives totally the wrong impression. So cheer them up with a smart and stylish stairrunner to banish those shabby treads. Go for colour if you really want to make an impression, perhaps with a bold pattern, or keep classy with a lush neutral weave.

Gaps around sash windows can also let out costly heat so it’s definitely worth getting in someone who knows what they’re doing and either renovating the windows you have or going for new ones. Bear in mind the style of your home outside and also how new windows will blend in with your interior furnishings. The big bonus is reduced heating bills and a really cosy glow for you!

Look after those original features If you’re lucky enough to have original features like cornices, make a feature of them. Bring out the period detail by stripping them right down and then highlight them with stain or a fresh coat of paint. Treat yourself to good storage space We all acquire so much stuff these days that we need plenty of storage otherwise everywhere just looks cluttered. Investing in bespoke shelving in those wasted, awkward areas of your home – or even in alcoves - can add a better look and that much-prized storage space.You could also have a go yourself! Fireplaces add a special glow Many homes have original fireplaces although some were ripped out in previous decades when they weren’t considered stylish. This has left many homes with a bare chimney breast which

Shutters, blinds or curtains? While you’re looking carefully at how effective and attractive your windows are, examine how you are framing them, inside and out. Smart shutters are back in fashion and accessible to everyone. And today’s curtains and blinds come in so many different types choices will be difficult so seek expert advice. Even changing curtains or blinds can make a huge difference to any room, especially

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Mirror a window to reflect light and create height by raising curtains to the ceiling. And make a focal point in your bedroom, like using a piece of art as a headboard instead of a traditional headboard. Call in the lawn arranger If you want a green space outside but can’t wait for one to grow, invest in an artificial lawn. Today’s lawns are remarkably like the natural thing and very resilient. They just need cleaning and they won’t yellow in the sun or dry out. Seek advice on the best type for your outdoor space from a local company. HOW TO MAKE YOUR KITCHEN LOOK LUXE By Andrea Fawell, Sales & Marketing Director at Kebbell

teamed with matching soft furnishings like cushions and throws.

beforehand so that you get the right flow in your room and it does what you want it to.

Don’t look down on carpets and flooring Take a fresh look at your carpets and flooring and see how you can improve them. You may have original floor tiles which are well worth proper restoration, either by you or by a professional cleaner.

This might also be a good opportunity to de-clutter and make some space, or move an item to another room or area if you can’t bear to part with it.

In a busy area like a hallway, for example, you don’t have to settle for a practical but boring carpet. Go for a gleaming wooden floor or choose a wool blend carpet in a bright colour or pattern that’s durable but impressive. Again, consult your local flooring specialist as they know what works out well where, and how to get the best value. Sofa so good If you have a vintage sofa that’s comfortable but simply looks tired, update it with a bright, contemporary new fabric. If you like the idea but don’t have the upholstery skills, go to an expert. It’s worth the investment to keep your much-loved sofa and give it a new lease of life. Have a moving experience Sometimes, just re-arranging your furniture can give a whole new aspect to a room. Rather than waste energy pushing around that heavy sofa, make a plan of it all 14

Paint is your friend Just giving a room a fresh coat of paint can sometimes make all the difference. Create an accent wall or make stripes using taped lines. Think about your ceiling: a lighter colour here draws your eye upwards and makes your room appear bigger. If you’ve already got very high ceilings, lighter colours on the walls with a darker shade on the ceiling can make the room feel cosier. Painting your kitchen cupboards can also work well and save you buying new units. Or, buy some modern handles, or vintage if you prefer. Simple changes in familiar areas can often have great effect. Enlarge that bedroom Make a small bedroom seem larger by colour co-ordinating décor and furnishings. Use simple bed linen for a minimal approach. Raise your bed to create extra space and buy a flat-weave rug for interesting texture.

Andrea Fawell, Sales and Marketing Director at Kebbell, the property developers known for their elegant and high quality homes, has taken the time to share their top tips on how to make your kitchen look and feel welcoming yet luxe:Hardworking but beautiful kitchens need to be clutter free. Kitchens are no longer just places to prepare and cook your meals, but a central space for quality family time, dining and entertaining. Because it is such a busy place clutter is unhelpful. Aim to keep your worktops as large sweeping spaces free of paperwork, bits and bobs and ingredients. Organise your cupboard space and recycle gadgets, crockery and kitchen aids you don’t use anymore. Love your lighting Lighting in kitchens is often overlooked so make sure you take the time to consider it. As well as practical LED lighting why not add something unexpected like a chandelier or statement pendants to create a feature element in your kitchen. Localised lighting for every working surface offers higher illuminance in specific positions whilst also creating ambience. Use art to give an upmarket feel Artwork elevates any room, gives a nod to your artistic side and can add a pop of colour to a neutral kitchen.


Refresh your cabinets If your cabinets are looking a little tired change the cabinet doors to revitalise the kitchen. Perhaps opt for deep pigmented heritage shades if your kitchen is large or choose lighter colours to create the illusion of space. Rediscover your fridge Clear your fridge door of postcards, thank you notes and letter magnets if you are looking for a sleek appearance. Keep treasured items in a study or bedroom perhaps. Splash out on new splashbacks They are key to a kitchen.You can modernise the look of the kitchen by adding glossy tiles, reflective coloured glass, textured antique European style tiles or rhythmic Arabic patterned tiles. Marble tiles are increasingly a go-to style too. Whatever you style this is your opportunity to let it shine through! Invest in a standout item Choose a standout piece like a beautiful stone sink or a gorgeous new tap to make your kitchen a talking point.

Sumptuous countertops Update your worktops with marble, quartz or granite, or if you have a country style home then smooth wooden counters can look particularly beautiful. Refresh your paintwork every year Because splashes of tomato or oil stains are never a good look! Create a feature wall with creative wallpaper or a grandiose deep coloured paint. Pantone’s colour of the year is Classic Blue, which evokes feelings of calm and serenity. Herbs and plants Plants add to the elegance of any space, help to filter the air and studies show that being around plants is soothing and restorative. Display fresh herbs on your windowsill in matching pots to add a lovely fragrance to your kitchen and as well as your cooking. Invest in other potted plants or weekly cut flowers displayed in a beautiful vase. Buy a special one-of-a-kind driftwood bowl to display fresh fruit.

Dress the kitchen window Kitchen windows are often left neglected, but a room will not look ‘finished’ if the window is left undressed. Traditional shutters look upmarket, are practical and a good investment. Elegant rooms are light and airy, so make sure the windows are clean and free from clutter. Have striking features like a sleek coffee machine, or copper pans, iron casserole dishes or an old style kettle positioned proudly on your hob to trigger feelings of home-cooked food and warmth. Sparkling long stemmed wine glasses on display on an open shelf or within a glass cabinet with interior lighting will get you ready for entertaining friends and family.

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Outlets in Heywood, Bury & Buxton

Helping to create beautiful homes A message from Karen Simpson… Thank you so much for taking the time to read this message, on behalf of Simpson Furniture I genuinely do appreciate it.

A range of British and Italian suites.

Genuine leather chairs.

It’s the support from people like yourselves, customer loyalty and customer recommendations that has enabled our business to go from strength to strength. Starting in Bury, then to Heywood and in our fourth year in this business, we have opened our 3rd outlet at the Springs Shopping Centre, in Buxton.

Manual reclining cinema style suite.

High quality dual motor lift and tilt chairs.

We continue to abide by our ethos of ‘Great Quality at a Fair Price’ and to ensure we put our customers first by ‘Listening to you’. Our belief in the principle ‘each customer buys from us – we don’t sell to them’ is as strong as ever. Our commitment is to deliver an efficient and professional service alongside helpful advice.

Exquisite contemporary suites to suit any home.

Beautiful chair in the lift position surrounded by sustainable furniture.

We believe that value and quality should never be compromised.

Free Delivery within 30 miles of each outlet Buxton

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Bury Showroom - Church Pace, Hartley Street, Heywood OL10 1LT Bury Outlet - Bury Market Hall, 1 Murray Road, Bury, BL9 0BJ Buxton Outlet - The Springs Shopping Centre, Buxton, SK17 6DF


Call us on: 01706 368628

Removal Services available

A wide selection of Suites, Couches and Chairs can be found in all our outlets. We have an extensive range of Quality British Made suites that can be purchased from the outlet or ordered is the fabric of your choice. In addition, we have a wide range of exquisite Italian Fabric and Leather suites in the colour and finish of your choice.

Quality at a Fair Price

Warm Welcome Guaranteed

We also supply a wide range of high-quality occasional furniture. We actively seek out products that are made from sustainable wood sources or recycled material. Sustainability: Mango Wood - Once mango trees get too tall to harvest the fruit or stop bearing fruit altogether, they are harvested for timber and a new generation of trees is planted. In the past, the cut-down mango trees were just discarded but now these trees are used to produce a wide range of items, in our case, furniture!

We have built excellent relationships with some of the country’s best suppliers of lift and tilt chairs and continue to supply our outlets Lift and Tilt chairs from Teak Root Wood - Our ‘Root’ £595.00 (ex VAT). collections are made from a This allows us to give our reclaimed teak tree root. Every customers choice as well as great piece is individual and uses the value for money and it also means natural contours of the wood to we can offer NEXT DAY DELIVERY if shape its design. This range can be used indoors or outdoors. needed!

Hand carved sculptures from sustainable wood sources.

Wide range of quirky accessories to suit any taste.

We continue to provide FREE We have recently launched a new DELIVERY of suites and Lift & Tilt range of accessories that are Chairs within 30 miles of our completely made from recycled materials outlets. New products are being added to our range continuously enabling us to offer a wide range of occasional furniture, stunning lamps, mirrors and some very quirky accessories.

We invite you to visit us at any of our outlets for a browse and a warm welcome is guaranteed. At Simpson’s it truly is ‘all about you’!

To view more of our range visit: www.simpsonfurnitureuk.com

Occasional furniture sourced from sustainable wood.

Heywood Showroom

Or find us on social media at:

Simpson Furniture LTD @simpsonfurnitureltd

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FINANCE

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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.

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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.

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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 - Q1 2020.

To find out how much money you could release and to request your FREE guide call

Freephone 0800 141 3628 Age Partnership Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA registered number 425432. Company registered in England and Wales No. 5265969. Company address: Age Partnership Limited, 2200 Century Way, Thorpe Park, Leeds, LS15 8ZB. VAT registration number 162 9355 92.

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New concept for the active over 55s offering a beautiful collection of cottages and apartments. Sanctuary, Wilmslow is an exclusive, gated community offering a collection of stunning 2 & 3 bedroom cottages and apartments set in an enviable Cheshire location. This innovative concept from Jones Homes offers bespoke mature living for the active over 55s looking for something a little different. Our low maintenance, high specification homes have all been built with your lifestyle, security and independence in mind. With 2 bedroom apartments from ÂŁ315,000 and 2 & 3 bedroom cottages ready to move into from ÂŁ370,000, there really has never been a better time to buy your dream home.

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GARDEN

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

Cosmos – An easy to grow summer annual that comes in a variety of colours.

GARDENING FOR WILDLIFE Garden writer Julia Heaton explains how to use your outdoor space to provide food and shelter for birds, bees and other wildlife. With an estimated 16 million gardens in the UK we have a wonderful resource, quite literally at our fingertips, ready to help us provide for our native wildlife. And by inviting in flying visitors, like the birds and bees, we get the added benefit of seeing their wonderful activities up close. Planting the right kinds of flowers will encourage bees and other pollinators into your garden and provide them with the pollen and nectar they need to thrive. Go for native plants where possible and those with single, open flowers that allow easy access to the pollen and nectar. Bees prefer bright colours, especially blue, purple, violet and yellow and those with lots of perfume. If you’re unsure what to go for take a stroll around your local garden centre to see which ones in flower are attracting them.You can check if these are suitable by gently rubbing your fingertips into the flower - any pollen there will stick to it. Plant suitable flowers in clumps so they can move quickly and easily around them. And try to provide plants that will provide pollen and nectar for as long a season as possible.

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Plants for bees and pollinators Crocus – Blooming from late winter to early spring these look good in pots but also pushing through grass on the lawn. Mahonia – Hardy evergreen shrub with bright yellow flowers in Spring. Lavender – Rich in pollen and nectar, with gorgeous scent.

Verbena bonariensis – Its clusters of small purple flowers on tall spindly stems will provide nectar throughout summer and into October. Michealmas daisy – Brings late summer and autumn colour. This perennial can be planted in any soil and a well-lit position. Plants for birds The trick here is to select a range of plants that will provide food in the form of berries, nectar or insects as well as shelter where possible. Go for plants that flower and seed at different times, providing nourishment for them throughout the year. And remember that they have different preferences when it comes to nesting. So, for example, if you’re looking to provide for blackbirds then wall plants or climbers will attract them, while deep hedging is something wrens prefer.

Dahlia – The single flowered forms are best. They also tend to be hardy and lowmaintenance. Scabious – A common wildflower on chalk downland and a valuable source of nectar in early summer. Foxgloves – Has bell shaped flowers in a range of colours and grows well in shady areas. Common ivy (Hedera helix) – Its autumn flowers are a fantastic source of nectar and it provides berries for birds. Buddleja davidii – The butterfly bush thrives in most soils in a sunny space. Go for a dwarf type that is less prone to self-seeding. Sedum spectabile – A hardy perennial that thrives in sun and a real draw for bees and butterflies in late summer.

Look to the following: Rowan – Can provide berries from summer through to November depending on which species you choose; Honeysuckle – This climber will provide shelter as well as berries in autumn; Sunflower – Great to grow in summer then watch the seeds ripen and the birds flock to 23


GARDEN

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

them. Go for varieties with the largest flowerheads and therefore the most seed; Berberis – Thorny cover from nest predators. In mid to late spring has small orange to yellow flowers then purplish berries in autumn; Rosa glauca – Virtually thornless, scented deciduous shrub with small pink flowers in June and July and red autumn rosehips. Can grow up to 6ft tall. Creating a place to live Offer the right kind of habitat and all sorts of wildlife will make their homes in your garden. Here’s a few ideas to consider:

Ponds Whether large or small, water features always attract a rich range of animal life from amphibians and invertebrates to bathing birds. They don’t need to be deep but do need to be shallow at the edges and gently sloping so that thirsty mammals can get easily in and out to drink. Plant up with some dense vegetation to provide frogs with hiding places from predators. Log pile A pile of logs tucked away behind a shed, or out in the open as an attractive garden feature, provides the ideal damp and shady conditions that will be used as shelter by many species from insects to voles and toads. When you have to lop a branch off a tree simply cut it into different size logs and pile them up. Add some fallen leaves to attract even more creatures.

Compost heap As well as being a way to recycle waste a well constructed heap is also an important habitat for wildlife.Worms, slugs and a host of other creatures will make it a place of hibernation for hedgehogs, grass snakes and toads. Hedges Although providing privacy a hedge also supplies wildlife with food, shelter from the elements and cover from possible predators. Three to consider are: hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna); privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium) and Yew (Taxus baccata). Don’t tidy it up too much as fallen leaves and seed heads will help attract insects, birds and hedgehogs. Man-made homes There are now so many artificial shelters to choose from that can be bought ready made or require some simple home assembly. Apart from bird boxes and bee houses (see our competition) there are now insect hotels that will pull in ladybirds and lacewings, the natural predators of all types of aphids. A hedgehog house will provide ready-made hibernation shelter for a creature that’s the ultimate in biological slug control and don’t forget butterfly buildings and bat boxes.

Interactive Solitary Beehive Do your bit to help solitary bees and see them at close quarters with this original design from Wildlife World. Made from durable FSC certified timber, the interactive solitary bee habitat contains stacking trays that you can open up to view the bees egg cells and larvae development. Its pre-drilled holes are just the right size for attracting non-swarming bees, like the Leafcutter and Red Mason Bees, so safe around children and pets. And at just 17 x 16 x 18cm it can be sited in a warm and sunny spot at ground level or on a wall or fence where these fascinating pollinating friends of the gardener will find it hard to resist. Price £32.99 plus £3.95 p&p. These delightful hives can be pre-ordered for delivery on or after mid-July. Simply visit www.wildlifeworld.co.uk or Tel. 01666 505333. Use code SBHIVE25 when ordering to receive a further 25% off.

Flowering lawn This is a great alternative to a wildflower meadow when space is at a premium as it will still attract all sorts of insects and the birds that feed on them. Use white clover, birds foot trefoil, self heal and speedwells and don’t mow so often. Alternatively mow around them. There are lots of wild flower lawn seed mixes available or create an area immediately by laying wildflower turf. PRIZE DRAW

You could also be one of 10 lucky readers to win a Solitary Bee Hive. To enter simply visit www.50plusmagazine.co.uk and leave your details. Winners will be chosen at the end of July and notified by email.

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BALCONY GARDENING Containers If you have no soil to plant directly into, containers are a great alternative and will provide the conditions needed to grow flowers.You can choose from pots, hanging baskets and window boxes. Containers are a great way to let your personality shine. For the eco-conscious you can use an old wellington boot as a container or find a bright yellow pot to add some happiness and colour to the space. Direction Think about the direction you want to grow your plants. Using bigger plots and growing vertically is easier and definitely a popular option for balcony gardens. Having several hanging baskets all at different heights against a bare wall can create a great feature, and could be the main focus of the space.

Plant experts from GardeningExpress.co.uk have advised on five areas that should be taken into account when planning a balcony garden. Considering the weather conditions, such as the amount of sunlight the balcony gets and how windy it can be, will help when deciding which flowers to purchase or grow. Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk said: “Gardening on balconies can be more difficult than back gardens as there’s no soil to plant directly into, and often the space is much smaller too – but this doesn’t meant that you’re unable to enjoy the beauty of plants and flowers. “Using containers and pots means that you can position your plants anywhere in the space and is a great way to personalise and add colour to a balcony. “Adapt the size and amount of pots to the space and your taste. Plenty of pots may add charm and personality, but you may prefer a more minimalist space with subtle pops of colour.” These are GardeningExpress.co.uk top tips for balcony gardening: Sunlight You need to consider how much sunlight your balcony gets. This may mean you have to position plants in certain places and it will also help in deciding which plants to choose. If you get sunlight pretty much all day choose varieties such as Petunias or Marigolds. If sun is hard to come by, Primroses and Foxgloves would be good options. Wind If your balcony is quite high up, your plants may have to also survive the harsh wind. If this is the case, try and find more sheltered areas to position the plants. Plants which are low-lying and therefore less likely to break in the wind, such as Begonias, should fare better than taller plants such as Delphiniums.

Watering Plants will need to be watered in order to survive and look their best. Think about the best way to do this. If you can, install an outside tap that will save you carrying water from inside the building. If this isn’t possible think about the number of trips you’ll have to do, and don’t get more plants than you’ll be willing to water.

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MOTORING

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

STEVE HOWARTH'S TESTDRIVE adjustable front anti-roll bar coupled with Bilstein high-performance dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs front and rear. But all that performance and handling needs some serious braking which is provided by AP Racing twin-piston ventilated discs for fade-free stopping power. Adding to that go-kart like handling are Yokohama Advan A052 tyres which provide loads of grip both on road and track where the standard steel roll over bar adds yet more strength and torsional rigidity to the chassis.

LOTUS ELISE CUP 250 NOW I have to start off by admitting a little bias as I have had a Lotus for almost 20 years and, unlike some owners, I am still a big fan. My bright red 1988 Esprit Turbo has only let me down once – and that was mainly due to an expensive maintenance mistake made by me – the rest of the time the car has been a well behaved crowd puller. So when those lovely people at Lotus invited me to the first post lockdown UK driving day offering a couple of hours behind the wheel of the latest Elise Cup 250 around the twisting lanes of Warwickshire I was more than happy to oblige. Against a backdrop of cars from their heritage fleet they let me loose in the 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds pocket road rocket and what a load of fun it was. Cup cars are even more paired back than the standard Elise with nice touches like an exposed gear shift mechanism and track mode yet there are still some creature comforts such as air conditioning, a dab radio and electric windows.

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But it is the track which is this car’s natural environment as Lotus say the Cup badge is not for show. It’s the mark of a car that was built to lap hard all day without complaint and could be raced competitively by adding little more than a roll cage. Bred for the track but brilliant on the road, the Elise Cup 250 uses highly advanced aerodynamics to generate 148kg of downforce when flat out. That amounts to a 14% increase in the car’s weight at high speed, literally out of thin air. Chargecooled for a consistent 245 bhp, the all-alloy, 1.8-litre supercharged fourcylinder rockets the Elise Cup 250 to a top speed of 150 mph and for the 2020 model Lotus’s acoustic engineers have improved the exhaust note for ‘even greater driver engagement’. The slick six-speed manual gearbox with that beautifully detailed open-gate design provides faster, more positive changes and the Cup 250 features fully independent double wishbone suspension and an

The latest Elise Cup 250 is 14 kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to more use of carbon fibre, titanium and aluminium and standard features include a LithiumIon battery, carbon race seats, ultralightweight motorsport forged alloy wheels and a polycarbonate rear screen. Our test car also had the optional Carbon Fibre Aero Pack which includes a front splitter, rear wing and bargeboards to help the Cup 250’s radical aerodynamics modify airflow over, under and around the car to increase downforce at speed. As I said earlier the Lotus team brought along cars from their heritage fleet including a couple of Esprits (both much better than mine) including a white series one model with a very famous number plate – although a lack of burly security guards gave away that fact that this was not the original James Bond car from the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me but an identical model (apart from the ability to go underwater!) So it is quick, fun and great to look at – but all this comes at a price as the 250 Cup is £47,800 although you do get supercar acceleration… and around 40mpg with some careful non-track style driving. For more information see www.lotus. co.uk CAPTION: That lookalike James Bond Esprit.


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For that you get what would have been considered luxuries on Corsas of the past (as I remember our 1990s model did not even have a radio as standard!).The list includes multimedia infotainment and sat nav on a 10inch touchscreen with DAB radio, Bluetooth and Apple Car Play/Android Auto.

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CORSA FROM £14,865 MANY years ago in a rare moment of generosity I bought her indoors a brand new car… a very small and very basic Vauxhall Corsa. Now the key word there is small – because I discovered when a new Corsa test car arrived at Howarth Towers recently things appear to have got bigger. The latest version is more Astra-sized (although Vauxhall say it is only 39mm longer than the outgoing car and even 48mm lower) and also gone is the very basic spec because this was a mid-range Elite Nav Premium model with the 1.2 Turbo three cylinder petrol engine. The first thing to say is you can see the influence of new owners Peugeot Citroen on Vauxhall as the latest Corsa is a move away from models of the past. The styling is very European – no surprise as the basic underpinnings are the same as the Peugeot 208 and Citroen DS. Also the Corsa has been built in Spain since 1982 and that continues with this fifth generation model. Customers currently have a choice of two petrol engines and a diesel recently joined by an all-electric version.The entry-level 1.2-litre three-cylinder develops 74bhp but, with the addition of a turbocharger, this increases to 99bhp on our car. There’s a fairly wide selection of spec to choose from with 11 different versions from the entrylevel SE up to the range-topping Ultimate Nav model. Our test car is the Elite Nav Premium 1.2 and although the Corsa range starts from £15,550 this ‘Power Orange’ version is £20,350.

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Ashton Market Ashton Hyde Market

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Hyde Market

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Hyde Market Mossley


FOOD & DRINK

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

Soused Mackerel With Beetroot Salad This dish relies on the freshest mackerel and, in my opinion, it’s one of the most underrated fish out there as well as one of the cheapest.We surprised all the cameramen when I went mackerel fishing and – within 30 seconds of dropping the line in – we pulled up nine! Simply prepared, this is a magical dish. Ingredients 2 mackerel, filleted and pinboned 50ml gin 6 pink peppercorns juice of 1 lemon pinch of sea salt

Since going on his Great British Adventure in 2019, James Martin has taken to the road again (and the sea and skies, too!. Here he shares 3 fantastic recipes from his new book.

For The Salad 3 tablespoons redcurrant jelly 50ml red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 large cooked beetroot (not pickled in vinegar), diced To Serve 1 pickled onion, thinly sliced 50g thick crème fraîche small handful of micro herbs

Put the mackerel on a board, flesh-side down, and use a sharp fish knife to cut through the skin in a criss-cross pattern. Place the gin, peppercorns, lemon juice and salt in a shallow, non-metallic tray or dish and stir together. Lay the mackerel fillets on top, fleshside down, and set aside for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the redcurrant jelly and vinegar together in a small pan to dissolve the jelly. Bring to the boil, then simmer until reduced by half. Put the mustard into a bowl, season,

Serves 4 then pour the redcurrant sauce into it and whisk well. Add the diced beetroot and toss everything together. To serve, divide the beetroot salad between 4 plates. Drain the mackerel from the marinade and place on top of the beetroot. Top each with sliced pickled onions, a quenelle of crème fraîche (see tip) and the micro herbs.

JAMES’S TIP To make a quenelle, use two metal teaspoons: scoop up half the crème fraîche with one spoon, scrape the other spoon against the crème fraîche to lift it off the first spoon, then do the same again to make a smooth oval.

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Shetland’s Paella

Serves 8

This was the last dish I cooked on the trip and it really summed up the amazing produce they have in this part of the world, featuring both local fish and shellfish. I want to thank all the fishermen that brave the seas around these parts to deliver our catch – particularly Rob, who managed to get all this produce for me. I hope he enjoyed the dish, as I gave him not just the meal, but also the pan, the table... in fact everything on the last day of filming on location! Ingredients 50ml olive oil 6 boneless chicken thighs 2 onions, sliced 3 garlic cloves, crushed small bunch of oregano, thyme and marjoram, chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 150g paella rice 5 vine tomatoes, quartered 4 teaspoons smoked paprika 1 monkfish tail, cut into 2cm pieces 16 whole shell-on prawns 8 scallops 300g mussels, cleaned and debearded (see tip) small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, very finely chopped

Light your BBQ. When the coals are silvery in colour, it’s ready to cook on. Place a 30cm paella pan directly onto the BBQ or over a medium heat. Pour in half of the oil and fry the chicken thighs until golden all over. Add the onions, garlic and herbs, season well, then scatter the rice over the top. Stir once to combine, add the tomatoes, pour over 500ml cold water, then sprinkle over the paprika. Gently stir everything together and simmer for 20 minutes. Season again, then add all the fish. Drizzle the remaining oil over the top, cover with foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove the foil, discard any mussels that have not opened and sprinkle over the parsley just before serving.

JAMES’S TIP Fresh mussels need to be alive before you cook them. To prepare them, pull off the stringy beards, knock off any barnacles and give the shells a scrub in fresh water to clean. Throw away ones with broken shells or any that don’t close tightly when you tap them.

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Black Butter And Apple Bakewell Tart Bolton’s Award Winning Market

Bolton market has over 200 stalls including a bustling food court serving food from all over the world, cafés complement our food offer, and we even have a licensed bar.

In the Channel Islands, I went to see how Jersey black butter was made. It’s not actually made with butter – to be honest there’s none in it at all. In fact, it’s a preserve made with top- quality apples, liquorice, spices and sugar, which is cooked in the traditional way over a firepit and stirred all the time to prevent it from burning. As it slowly cooks it develops an amazing, caramelised, sweet flavour. It is not only great in this tart, but also fabulous served on its own, spread on toast or scones.

THE NORTH WEST’S

....

You can buy everything from fresh fish, meat and game, locally sourced and exotic fruit and vegetables with speciality stalls selling deli meats and a huge selection of cheeses, plus there is a whole host of traditional stalls selling everything from furniture to flowers, bedding to broomsticks and much more.

Well worth a visit!

Bolton Market has it all.

Serves 6-8 To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the icing sugar, then add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg and water using a round-bladed table knife, then gently bring the mixture together into a ball.Wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/gas 4. Grease a 23cm fluted tart tin lightly with butter.

Opening Times; Open every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 9am-5pm. How To Find Us Bolton Market, Ashburner Street, Bolton BL1 1TQ. Contact: 01204 336825 Email: bolton.markets@bolton.gov.uk

Visit our website for a list of special events and activities that we are running at the Market.

www.bolton.gov.uk

Dust a little flour over a clean work surface and roll out the pastry into a large round big enough to line the tart tin. Lift into the tin and press into the edges gently. Trim away the excess pastry, then spoon the black butter preserve for the filling into the base. Use the back of the spoon to spread it out to cover the pastry dough. Make the filling by beating the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Mix in the eggs, then fold in the ground almonds and flour. Spoon the mixture evenly over the black butter and layer the apple slices over the top. Bake for 35–40 minutes until golden, then remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature in the tin. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Pop the sugar and boiling water into a small pan and heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Brush the tart with the glaze, then carefully remove from the tin to a serving plate. Slice and serve with the cream.

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Ingredients For The Pastry 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting pinch of salt 2 tablespoons icing sugar 100g cold salted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing 1 egg, beaten 1 tablespoon iced water For The Filling 4 tablespoons black butter preserve 225g softened salted butter 225g caster sugar 4 eggs, beaten 175g ground almonds 50g plain flour 2 English apples, cored and thinly sliced For The Glaze 1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water To Serve Jersey cream, whipped

Extracted from James Martin’s Islands to Highlands, Quadrille, RRP £25.00, photography by Peter Cassidy.


CHIROPRACTIC CARE

What Is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, including hands-on manipulation of the spine. As well as manual treatment, chiropractors are able to offer a package of care which includes advice on self-help, therapeutic exercises and lifestyle changes.

When we talk about chiropractic care, it’s important to understand that the nervous system and spine are integral to your long-term health. The spine should move in a certain way and continuously during the day. As humans, we sit too much and don’t move enough. It starts to affect the function of the spine and can impair brain function. And since the brain is the master system of the body it can begin to have a negative effect on those areas.

Chiropractic treatment involves safe, often gentle, specific spinal manipulation to free joints in the spine or other areas of the body that are not moving properly. Apart from manipulation, chiropractors may use a variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice about posture and lifestyle. BACK PAIN Back pain is very common. Most people will suffer one or more episodes of back pain during their lives. In many cases, it starts suddenly and gets better quickly, without the need for any treatment. However, back pain can be painful, debilitating and persistent, and some people suffer repeated episodes. It can also be associated with other symptoms, such as leg pain or sciatica. It may start following a specific incident, such as bending awkwardly or lifting a heavy weight. Or it can develop gradually, perhaps as a result of poor posture, an uncomfortable work position or repetitive strain. NECK PAIN Neck pain is very common. Most people will suffer one or more episodes of neck pain during their lives. In many cases, it starts suddenly and gets better quickly, without the need for any treatment. However, neck pain can be painful, debilitating and persistent, and some people suffer repeated episodes. It can also be associated with other symptoms, such as arm pain or headaches. Neck pain may start following a traumatic incident, such as a road traffic collision, or it may start gradually, perhaps as a result of poor posture or an uncomfortable work position.

“I’m in pain” “Can Chiropractic help me?” OFFER PRICE £35 Expiry date 30th September 2020

Your initial visit will include: • A private consultation with chiropractor • X rays if necessary (normally £70) • Spinal examination, orthopaedic and neurological tests • A confidential report of our findings • An explanation of our treatments procedure if we determine Chiropractic can help you

For a limited period we will complete a full consultation, examination, X ray (if necessary) and a full report of findings all for

£25.00 (Normally £120.00) Offer open to new patients only. We treat these conditions • Headaches, back pain, neck pain • Prevention of migraines • Muscle spasms, joint pain • Tired all the time, tension

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please call our clinic today for an appointment

Marple Chiropractic Clinic 8-10 Derby Way, Marple SK6 7AH 0161 449 5006 www.chiropractichealthsolutions.co.uk Stockport Chiropractic Clinic 466 Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey, SK4 3BS 0161 432 6708

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LEGAL

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

PROPERTY ON THE MOVE AGAIN Stamp Duty Land Tax Changes “Many home movers were relieved to hear the news that the Stamp Duty threshold was raised from £125,000 to £500,000. I see this news as a real opportunity to kickstart the economy and will certainly increase the number of transactions we see. E.g. Many retirees who have wanted to downsize into a smaller property more suited to their current needs and lifestyle have been put off due to associated costs (which could possibly affect the inheritance of their families).“ explains Victoria. Speed of Transactions

It’s been strange not seeing ‘FOR SALE’ boards popping up all over our local area and seeing all the local estate agents offices shut. Many of us were online browsing, maybe dreaming of more outside space during lockdown, or spotting the ideal house, but if your move was a corona cancellation it was no doubt a worrying time. However the property market has sprung back into life and footfall to our local estate agents is returning. However, now as we worry about a second wave or a local lockdown there are some changes to property transactions that are bound to happen and change the way we exchange and complete.

Another change I have noted is that clients are anxious and indeed happy to speed up the whole process. The old model of a period of time between exchange and completion is no longer as valid as it once was; in fact some people want to do it on the same day. This is not always possible with new builds where it can be weeks if not months between exchange and completion, but many of my clients now want to just get on with it and enjoy their new home. The corona clause can be a double edged sword, certainty for one side and unease for the other, but as we ease towards a new normal they may be here to stay,” she added.

Coronavirus Clauses ‘Coronavirus clauses’ came into being during the early part of the pandemic, what they essentially outlined was that if a party contracted the disease and could not progress with their house move, or had a mortgage offer pulled then completion was allowed to be delayed, or in some cases they were able to pull out of the deal entirely without incurring any penalties. “These so called ‘corona clauses’ do bring an element of uncertainty into the house buying contract but in the early days they kept house moves on track and gave some degree of flexibility and confidence to both parties,” said Head of Residential Property at Pearson, Victoria Marshall.

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Local Solicitors For advice on your property move contact Victoria Marshall, Head of Residential Property on: 0161 785 3500 or email her directly at Victoria.marshall@pearsonlegal.co.uk

If you are looking to move house and need some local advice our property team will be only too happy to discuss your plans with you.


HOUSE MOVES ARE BACK ON WE’RE HERE TO HELP

Buying a home Selling a home Re-Mortgaging

T.

0161 785 3500

E. enquiries@pearsonlegal.co.uk pearsonlegal.co.uk


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Email: admin@bankfieldcare.co.uk Bankfield House Care Home, Bankfield Road, Woodley, Stockport SK6 1RQ

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HEALTH

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

How to Cope with Isolation at a family gathering or anything that makes you happy, or a place of calm. Make this an opportunity to get projects done – Use this time as an opportunity to get some organising and sorting out done in your home whether that is painting the bedrooms, cleaning the kitchen cupboards, putting up shelves or gardening. It is also good for bone strengthening and stress release. When a task is finished, the brain releases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, leaving you feeling happy and fulfilled. Make a list and feel satisfied as you tick items off.

Around the world, people are facing a once in a lifetime period full of anxiety and uncertainty that also requires us to isolate ourselves from each other. We all know that we are naturally social and are not meant to live in isolation and that feeling lonely or trapped can contribute to poor mental and physical health but being physically isolated doesn’t have to mean being totally socially excluded. Loneliness is a horrible and debilitating feeling but with the right frame of mind and a lot of creativity, solitude can both be avoided in part or used as an opportunity.

Combat anxiety and stress with exercise. Find ways to be physically active – walk up and down the stairs as much as possible, look for your workout DVDs or enjoy exercise outside in the garden. Prolonged periods of raised stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol have a negative impact on nearly every part of our body. Side effects include increased blood pressure, muscle tension, insomnia, headaches and depression. There are plenty of apps or online videos to guide you through a yoga or Pilates class which will help you to relax and release some feel-good hormones.

Worried about feeling lonely? – If you are home alone, try listening to the radio or podcasts and organise a time to phone or WhatsApp / Skype friends and loved ones. When we spend time with other people we get on well with, feel-good hormones are released and reward neural activity in the brain is activated, even if they are not in the same room. Since you may find you have a bit more time in the coming weeks, try the ‘old fashioned’ way and actually pick up the phone and give Be mindful. Start with a smile and hugging someone a ring for a feel good moment to lift yourself each morning. No one else can hug you right now so you might as well go ahead and spirits. give yourself that much needed cuddle! Look Support vulnerable and elderly people for apps that inspire calm and clear mindedness Post a note through their door with your such as Calm, Buddify and Headspace. Print contact details should they need help with out positive affirmations that you can say to something like shopping. Set up the less yourself and have visualisations by your bed of tech-savvy members of the family with video what you will be able to do once this period of calling so you keep in touch and help them with instability is over. Picture yourself with friends, online deliveries. Research shows that helping Have a positive mindset – Research shows that positivity is also contagious so approach your home isolation period with as much zeal and positivity as possible, and your family members, especially children, will catch on to the positive vibes. Research also shows that outcomes are better for positive people. Set up a home school for your children and have some routine, but also make it fun!

others activates parts of our brain associated with wellbeing and at the same time, stress responses are lowered. Again, call the elderly or vulnerable for a chat. Make sure you go outside each day Spend at least twenty minutes in your garden if you are lucky enough to have one, ideally in the morning to help maintain your circadian rhythm and to get a dose of vitamin D. If you are in an apartment, open the windows and get some fresh air coming in. If you have big open spaces around your house, go for an invigorating walk. Prioritise good quality sleep – home isolation may mean we step out of our usual routine, disrupting our sleeping schedule. Stress is the most common cause of sleep loss in the UK. Lack of sleep can cause anxiety and depression as well as reduce our physical health. Be mindful of keeping to a good schedule, limit screen time before bed and enjoy a relaxing night-time routine. Start a new hobby – How many of us say we would love to start a new hobby, learn a language or read a great literature epic which we don’t normally have time to do? Apps and online resources are a great way to learn the basics of a new language. Studies show that reading improves our memory, language skills and reduces stress and depression. Is there a hobby you can do from home, like painting, trying new recipes or even just doing a puzzle? Cherish some family time – As well as protecting our loved ones from serious illness, self-isolation means spending loads of quality time together with the people you live with. Make a plan for each day so you don’t lounge on the sofa too much. Be creative and come up with fun activities that you are normally too busy for like board games, baking together, making a beauty salon and painting nails or a den to hang out in, start an ambitious art project together or watch some classic family films together with a bag of popcorn or even enjoy a nice lie-in. www.drlyndashaw.com

COUNCILLOR BILLY SHEERIN, MAYOR OR ROCHDALE CONGRATULATES BLUEBIRD CARE ON WINNING NATIONAL AWARD

We were joined by Councillor Billy Sheerin on our second birthday to celebrate that and the recognition we had received across the franchise of 200 businesses, coming first in a staff survey, showing how we value our team members, As a result we bought vouchers from local businesses, many of whom have been closed during lockdown and the Mayor kindly virtually presented them to team members present.  36


Living well with dementia Dementia has not stopped impacting on the lives of people during the recent pandemic and life certainly does not end when a person is diagnosed with dementia. There will still be plenty the person can do. Encouraging them and supporting them to continue enjoying their usual activities will help maintain that independence. Evidence shows that keeping active, both physically and mentally, is good for slowing down the onset of the condition. It may be a good time for them to think about taking up an interest or a hobby to keep their mind and body active such as visiting museums, going swimming or joining an art class. It might be something family members or a friends could do with them. There is much material out there about everything that could possibly happen in the worst case. It might not. The progress scale and rate of dementia is very difficult to predict.You will likely encounter differing views, which can be confusing. Research enough to get an overview and then deal with each situation as it arises. Living in the now Try not to predict the future, focus on the present. Make plans for the future but live day-to-day. Take each day as it comes and enjoy it to the best of your ability.

What course dementia will take is hard to predict and may not follow an expected path. Live in the present, make the most of each day, be ready to adapt and make changes to deal with anything that might occur but do not focus on these changes. Encourage the person you are supporting to do the same. Focusing on strengths Concentrate on taking advantage of what the person with dementia can still do. If they always loved gardening, find gardening projects to do together. It can be difficult to judge ability to do things as it may vary from day to day. Pushing too hard to do things can result in the person becoming irritable. Be adaptable and adjust activities to suit. In the early stages, using memory aids such as lists and notes will help. Later you will need to use other tactics such as always beginning a conversation, laying out their clothes in the right order, and so on. Using activities to maintain wellbeing and self-esteem Continuing to participate in daily life and doing things, contributes to maintaining self-esteem, general well-being and a feeling of being in control of life. It also acts as a distraction from the condition and helps the person focus on positive aspects of life.

However, the tension caused by declining ability and the need for involvement can make it a constant struggle for you to help the person find appropriate ways to stay active and pass the time without becoming bored. Balancing this, you will find that using your creativity to find different ways to stimulate someone with dementia can bring you closer together, help you find new ways of relating to each other and be very rewarding and satisfying. Caring for yourself Supporting someone with dementia can have a significant effect on your own health and life. You may often put their needs before your own, but unless you look after yourself you will find it more and more difficult to cope. This in turn will impact on how you look after the person with dementia.You may cope well to begin with but, be aware that as time goes on it becomes more and more physically and emotionally exhausting. It is best to be prepared, safeguard your own health and well-being, ensuring that you will be able to continue to cope in the future. Bluebird Care Rochdale routinely deliver Dementia Friends sessions to their team and others to explain how Dementia can manifest itself and what to look for. If you want to know more then please give them a call on 01706 759933.

CARE VISITS AT HOME We care passionately Bluebird Care (Rochdale) Tramway Offices, Mellor Street, Rochdale, OL12 6AA

Telephone: 01706 759 933 What we offer We offer everything from personal care to shopping, cleaning or social visits. In fact everything you need to stay in the comfort of your own home.

Alternative Bluebird Care offers a realistic cost effective alternative to residential care. With familiar friends, relatives and possessions around, Bluebird Care ‘just happens’.

Our staff Our staff are caring, trained to give medication and police checked.

www.bluebirdcare.co.uk 37


HEALTH

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

HOW TO DEAL WITH PANIC By Dr Lynda Shaw, neuroscientist, business psychologist and change specialist.

Fight and flight hormones – When faced with a perceived threat the body responds by releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, readying you for action. These hormones narrow down our focus in order to concentrate on survival, which decreases our productivity. Stress can reduce work productivity by on average 25%. Prioritise deep breathing exercises and if you have some outdoor space, getting into it each day.

COVID-19 is alarming for all of us, and for many our anxiety levels are on high alert which in the long term can be at the expense of our mental and physical health. So what should you do when the anxiety is getting too much, or you are starting to feel panic.

Stopping socialising can obviously deeply affect our mood. Humans are social creatures and when we hang out with people we like, feel good hormones like dopamine and oxytocin are released and reward neural activity is stimulated in the brain. We feel good and have nurtured ourselves without even realising. Communicate using the wonders of technology. Arrange virtual coffee mornings and dinner parties on WhatsApp and Skype so you can see your friends and loved ones faces, especially those that might be feeling lonely.

Uncertainty is difficult - The brain finds ‘the unknown’ the hardest to deal with and research shows that uncertainty is scarier and more alarming than known outcomes, even if they are bad outcomes. Control and organise what you can to a reasonable extent if it brings you comfort but don’t fixate and go to extremes including at the expense of other people.

We often see the very best in people in very difficult times. Think if you can help any family members, friends or neighbours in any way, whether that is going for the shop for them or picking up meds. We also really need to support the frontline ie our medical workers.

Anxiety is bad for our health - Long periods of raised stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol impact almost every part of our body. Side effects include increased blood pressure, muscle tension, insomnia, and headaches which can ultimately lead to an increased risk of serious illnesses. So whilst this is a difficult time, make time for activities that relax you and release feel good hormones like yoga, reading or cooking. Turn off news alerts on your phone if they are making you feel on edge.

Catastrophising and panicking about what might happen rarely helps. Acute anxiety is an immediate reaction to a real danger, like a near miss whilst driving, but chronic panic is the fear of change, of something that might (or might not) happen in the future and anticipating a bad outcome. It causes you to live in a state of trepidation and confusion. Don’t let your imagination run wild and accept that some things in life are unknown and unpredictable. Be confident that you have the strength and versatility to overcome challenges when required and that this difficult period will pass in time.

Make good use of the time. Think about what you can do if you are going to have a prolonged period at home. Is it time to do some gardening, paint the house, get fit indoors, sort the paperwork out or take up that homebased hobby you always said you never had time to do.

38

Being panicked makes people susceptible to ‘fake news’ – when the brain perceives a threat, it works very hard to neutralise the hazard and make you safe again. People are naturally inclined to believe information that lies close to their current

inherited beliefs even if they are not based on solid science. Stress hormones decrease your rationality and critical thinking and make you more susceptible to inaccurate information. Avoid listening to other’s ‘strong opinions’ and check government websites for official advice. Anxious minds do not sleep well - Sleep loss only adds to the stress which is the very thing stopping us sleeping. When you are overtired you have trouble concentrating, are less productive and feel irritable. Don’t watch or read about the news just before bed if the content is making you feel dismayed. The benefit is two-fold because screen time is known to delay the onset of sleep. Have a relaxing bedtime routine revolving around reading a book, a warm bath, or a bit of mindfulness. Fear can be transmitted to other people – Chronic anxiety about potential future dangers can cause low mood, short tempers and grouchiness. Children in particular will pick up on your anxious mood and sense of dread which can trigger their own feelings of stress. Be aware that this happens and control your emotions, so they don’t control you or infiltrate those around you. Its ok to talk to your children about difficult subjects because it actually makes them feel more secure that things are not being hidden from them, but too much detail or making them very scared really doesn’t help. Don’t descend into treating each other badly – During times of confusion and anxiety our stress hormones rise, we sleep less and consequently can be more irritable and shorter tempered. Be aware that this happens and make a conscious effort to smile and be positive. Positivity also rubs off on people, so smile and find things to laugh about, one of our best healers. Prioritise self-care like eating well, exercising, virtual socialising, doing your hobby, planning nice things to do when this is all over, reducing your time on social media and sleeping as best you can. www.drlyndashaw.com


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