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JUNE - AUGUST 2017

SWINDON EDITION 33

Tom Jones THE FAMOUS VOICE FROM THE VALLEYS!

James Martin's FRENCH ADVENTURE AS SEEN ON ITV

Jennie Bond VISITS SOUTH AFRICA

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barnes

Ring for your copy!

01793 821303

www.barnescoaches.co.uk

New Tour NO

NO

Single Supplements

Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire is known throughout the world for its awesome coastal scenery and its golden sands are backed by towering cliffs. Tenby is a delightful little harbour town and seaside resort in a picturesque setting.

Mon 3rd July - 5 Days - £369 Clarence House Hotel Superbly situated with stunning sea views. • Lift • Bar

Single Supplements

Wales on Rails

Criccieth is a small, unspoilt seaside resort with two bays and from the headland there are magnificent views of Snowdon and Cardigan Bay.

Mon 3rd July - 5 Days - £389 The Lion Hotel 3 star hotel tastefully developed from an Olde Inn situated on Criccieth Green. • Lift • Bar

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Scottish Sensations and Trossachs Treasures

Absorb the contrasting scenery and natural beauty of Perthshire whilst staying at one of Scotland’s most iconic and well-loved hotels.

Mon 10th July - 5 Days - £439 Westerwood Hotel and Golf Resort 4 star hotel situated in spectacular grounds. • Lift • Bar • Sat TV • Pool • Sauna • Jacuzzi • Steam Room • Gym

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

New Tour NO

Single Supplements

Llandudno including Snowdonia, Anglesey & Chester

Llandudno is one of the finest traditional seaside resorts in the world with a sweeping promenade and Victorian Architecture that dominates the seafront.

Sat 15th July - 3 Days - £189

NO

Single Supplements

Complete Isle of Wight

The Welsh Borders

Sat 22nd July & Sat 26th Aug 8 Days - £549

Mon 24th July - 5 Days - £409

No Island comes close to this island, and almost half of the island is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty! There is a variety of landscapes, including High chalk downland, woodland and lovely coastline!

This area is a hidden gem, lying on the border with Wales, and set on a backcloth of patchwork fields, wooded valleys and picturesque rivers with rolling hills leading in to the Welsh Marches.

Marlborough Hotel Built in the Victorian era and tastefully modernized throughout. With great views of Great Orme and the pier • Lift • Bar

The Ocean View, Shanklin A charming, well-appointed hotel in a premier location. • Lift • Bar • Pool

Buckatree Hall Hotel A renowned 3 star country house hotel overlooking the scenic gardens. • Sat TV • Bar • Lift • Gym

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Ferry crossing • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

For full details visit www.barnescoaches.co.uk


BARNES

NO

NO

Single Supplements

Single Supplements

Eastbourne and The Sussex Coast & Countryside

Let it be Liverpool

The Best of Cornwall

Sat 29th July - 8 Days - £539

Sat 30th July - 3 Days - £224

Fri 4th Aug - 4 Days - £329

Eastbourne is one of England’s premier seaside resorts. It has a magnificent Victorian seafront and there are beautiful parks and gardens to enjoy.

With its world class attractions and unrivalled musical heritage, Liverpool is the ideal destination to visit and explore. We concentrate on some of that musical heritage with a visit to the world’s only Beatle-inspired hotel.

Explore Cornwall’s Harbour Towns and Villages from the historic fishing port of Looe, where two rivers create a tidal harbour. The bustling harbour is the hub of the town and home to fishing vessels as well as pleasure craft.

Imperial Hotel An impressive Victorian hotel on a tree lined boulevard running off the seafront. • Lift • Bar

Atlantic Tower by Thistle 4 star hotel located on the edge of the historic Albert Dock. • Bar • Lift • Sat TV

Portbyhan Hotel The hotel is situated in an unrivalled position, right at the heart of the Looe • Lift • Bar

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

New Tour

The Alpine Quartet and Lake Constance

The Celtic Connection

Trains of Saxony

This tour visits the four Alpine countries of Austria, Switzerland, Lichenstein and Germany. The mountainous Bregenaerwald area is perfectly framed by lake Constance.

Wonderful circular tour linking the lands of the Celts; Scotland, Ireland (North and Republic) and Wales. En route we’ll take in the Galloway National Forest in southern Scotland. And so England doesn’t feel left out we also make a stop in the Lake District and Chester!

Sat 5th Aug - 8 Days - £769

Fri 11th Aug - 8 Days - £619

Fri 11th August - 7 Days - £675

Hotel Weisses Kreuz, Feldkirk 4 star hotel on the outskirts of historic Feldkirk • Lift • Bar

Maldron Hotel, Belfast Spacious and stylish rooms.

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal

This exclusive tour is a must for all train enthusiasts. Saxony offers a vast variety of little steam trains and you will travel on 3 of the best-known. Combined with cultural highlights such as the watercastle Moritzburg and Meissen Porcelain factory.

Hotel Merseburger Hof, Leipzig Centrally located 3 star hotel in a renovated neoclassical building. Holiday includes • Return coach travel • Tours • Ferry crossings • Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal, 1 lunch

Book online or call: 01793 821303


Twittering on With Angela Kelly Celebrities? Get them out of here!

goes with it – even if they were only in Emmerdale for three episodes. Reality TV show “stars” – that’s just ordinary people who are basically show-offs – are now celebrities and have joined the acclaimed bunch we are supposed to look up to and copy. The sad thing, of course, is that many younger people in particular do look up to these people, they do emulate them, wear what they wear, act as they act.

Don’t you find the word “celebrity” extremely over-used these days? When I was younger, I’m sure that celebrity really meant something. It was someone with Sir or Lady in front of their name, a war hero like Douglas Bader or General Montgomery or an American film star who was so far away from our reality as to be living on another planet.

I really think we need to re-think our values on what we classify as a “celebrity” because we have definitely devalued the coinage. Personally, I don’t want to either look like or have the lifestyle of Kim Kardashian or even have the online followers of the so-called “social influencers” who also now qualify as celebrities.

People who appeared on TV were “entertainers”. Quite a different category. They were famous for being funny or being fine actors or for being an important presenter. Sports people were famous for what they did and we admired them for it. If they got a honour as a result, that just added to their fame and our admiration. I don’t remember hearing the word “celebrity” much at all.

And if we simply reject that standard, the genuine celebrities – the really worthwhile people who have earned their fame in some amazing way – will start to surface and make that category great again.

Fast-forward to 2017 and you can’t move for so-called celebrities. Every actor or actress in a TV soap qualifies for the name and the natural respect that

Ask the expert not the internet We Brits apparently live in fear of the doctor’s waiting room or the dentist’s chair. Nothing too surprising about that, I suppose, except that new research shows that we are definitely a fearful nation when it comes to our health and wellbeing. For example, almost a quarter of Brits questioned feared the doctor’s waiting room and 34% confessed to a fear of the dentist’s chair. Perhaps the most unlikely statistic is that 17% admitted that visiting the optician’s made them nervous.

inside TRAVEL...

jennie bond visits south africa PAGES 6-7

TOM JONES

NEW TOUR PAGES 10-11

BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN... TIME TO APPRECIATE THE GREAT OUTDOORS PAGES 12-16

JAMES MARTIN'S FRENCH ADVENTURE PAGES 20-22

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TWITTER The top fear-prompter was discovery of a previously unknown health problem; 69% felt frightened about that. Maybe that, along with 22% having had a previous bad experience, explains the statistic that 79% hesitate to seek medical advice. The daft thing is that we know that seeing an expert makes sense. We know that we should go to the doctor, dentist or optician if there’s a niggling health worry yet we prolong the agony by ignoring it. I’m always shocked, for example, by the number of women who miss their mammogram appointment when it’s just a simple procedure and it can pick up rogue cells so early. I know it’s not something you’d ever do for fun but it’s quick, uncomfortable rather than painful, and it can be a life-saver.

Blunsdon Abbey Park SWINDON

It would be interesting to see how we compare in this area with other countries. Are the French as frightened of the dentist? Do Germans hate eye-tests? How many Italians refuse to see a doctor when they have symptoms? It’s probably just human nature to believe that if we don’t know the worst then it won’t happen. The crazy part of this is that, quite often, there’s nothing wrong and we’ve just been worrying needlessly. Me? I always look up my ailments on the internet first and think about the doctor later. Well, you can’t be too careful with suspected dengue fever, can you?

Beautiful bungalow homes exclusively for the over 50s NEW PHASE LAUNCHING SOON RESERVE YOUR PLOT FROM PLAN AND Hands off old TV favourites I don’t mind re-makes of films but I’ve started to get very shirty about the re-creating of some of my favourite TV shows. There is no way that modern producers should touch Dad’s Army or Porridge and yet they insist on fiddling with the format, bringing in a new cast and generally updating them. No-one can ever play Captain Mainwaring like Arthur Lowe, in spite of actor Toby Jones having a good stab at it in the new film. Nor can anyone ever play Fletch in Porridge like Ronnie Barker. They set the tone, create the right humour – they are the programme.

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The old American saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” definitely applies here. Hands off – just keep the re-runs going!

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50 Plus Travel

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Jennie Bond visits South Africa with African Sky Former BBC Royal Correspondent, Jennie Bond visits South Africa with African Sky. Standing on Olifants Bay, a remote beach on the south west tip of the African continent, we were thrilled to see two ostriches strut by, just a few yards away. I’d spent most of the day telling my husband, Jim, how these huge birds run wild on the Cape, but was beginning to doubt my own word. And it was one of so many fabulous sights during our stay on the Cape. The first was actually our hotel. It’s called The Last Word -- there are three of them in the Western Cape-- and they really are the definition of a luxury boutique hotel. We started on Long Beach (the name says it all) and our suite was

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magnificent. There was a real wow factor as we walked in and saw the huge glass doors folded back so that you look straight out onto the blue ocean and feel you are practically on the sandy beach. On the other side of the bay, the dramatic Chapman’s Peak and its surrounding mountains look soft in the sea haze created from the cold Atlantic waters meeting the hot African sun. Every evening, as we watched the sun go down, glass in hand, we were treated to a royal fly-past by parades of squawking Sacred Ibis. Jim had never been to this part of the world before, and the last time I was here was with the Queen in 1995 when I was reporting for the BBC. But the years had blurred my memory of the sheer beauty and vastness of South Africa. We marvelled at the landscapes as we drove around the Cape in our hired 4x4. The mountain passes, across Chapman’s Peak for example, are breath-taking. And the constant possibility of a baboon


TRAVEL crossing your path.....as they did from time to time... was an added thrill. After three blissful days at Long Beach, we headed to the wine country in the Franschhoek Valley. And suddenly it was Autumn in April. Not that the sun was any less searing, but the beautiful burnished colours of the vineyards and trees gave away the true season. And the mountains all around us made us feel we were in a Wild West movie. We were spoiled for choice when it came to wine tasting; vineyards tempt you every few hundred yards as you approach Franschhoek. When we arrived at The Last Word at Franschhoek, it felt like home. The same soft decor welcomed us into a spacious suite. And it proved to be equally indulgent. When we arrived back after a delicious dinner at Le Quartier Francais, our suite was romantically illuminated by candles, there was champagne on ice awaiting us, along with two tiny teacups of exquisite creme brûlée. The final part of our trip was a real adventure. A three hour road trip took us to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in the Little Karoo region. This is a semi-desert reserve, the size of Singapore, where the big five roam free, but are not always easy to spot. We loved the thrill of the chase, bouncing over the rough terrain in our ranger’s big, open-sided truck. The game drives can take more than three hours and there are always wonderful surprises: a giraffe wandering along a track; a pale chanting goshawk perched on a post or the huge paw print of a white lion in the sand.

Jennie travelled with African Sky. For more details, www.africaskysafari.com or call 01342 886404.

On our second evening drive we had a bonanza: rhinos and elephants foraging in a thicket, giraffes taking a sunset stroll and --best of all -- a female cheetah enjoying her Springbok kill. Guarded by our ranger, Chris, rifle in hand, we were able to approach the cheetah on foot and get so close we could almost smell her. We had just one last treat in store: a brief visit to the third The Last Word, this one in Constantia. It was, once again, the last word in luxury, carefully perfected by our softly spoken host, Tess, who exuded the same tranquillity as our surroundings.

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7


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DATE

HOTEL

DAYS

PRICE

JULY 14

Sands Hotel – Bournemouth

5

£254

20

Daish’s Hotel – Isle of Wight

5

£264

24

Devonshire Hotel – Torquay

5

£244

25

Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth

5

£294

29

Claremont Hotel – Eastbourne

5

£289

30

Barrowfield Hotel – Newquay

5

£239

31

Russell Hotel – Weymouth

5

£274

AUGUST 11

Sands Hotel – Bournemouth

5

£274

20

Russell Hotel – Weymouth

5

£274

28

Somerset Hotel – Llandudno

5

£289

29

Daish’s Hotel – Isle of Wight

5

£274

SEPTEMBER 02

Devonshire Hotel – Torquay

5

£244

08

Barrowfield Hotel – Newquay

5

£239

23

Hotel Prince Regent – Weymouth

6

£269

27

Claremont Hotel – Eastbourne

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Tom Jones

The Famous Voice From The Valleys IT’S not unusual for singer Tom Jones to attract almost as much female attention in 2017 as he did when he first burst onto the British music scene in 1964. The famous Voice from the Valleys, even at 76 and a grandfather, is still seen as the same Sex Bomb he ever was before, during and after his hit record of that name. He may have built his reputation on belting out iconic hits of the past five or six decades with his powerful, raspy baritone but he long ago left behind the clinging leather trousers, shirt split to the waist to reveal his hairy chest and gleaming medallion. Today, give or take the odd glint in the eye, he could be any well-preserved former bank manager or city gent – until he either speaks with that Welsh lilt in the background or, better, lets rip with a moving ballad that still has the power to shake the emotions.

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His singing career has been an important part of the British history of pop and he is still making the headlines, both as an entertainer and these days as a coach in BBC TV’s popular talent show The Voice. Even away from music, he can’t help the media taking note of everything he does, because the public still has a warm appetite for Tom Jones. It’s a safe bet none of what came later could have been guessed by Thomas Jones Woodward as he grew up in the small mining town of Pontypridd in South Wales. Like many Welshmen, he began singing at an early age in church and in the school choir. He left school at 16 and was married and having a son a year later. He brought in money for his family from an assortment of jobs including singing in pubs at night.

In 1963, he was singing with his own group in working men’s clubs when Gordon Mills, a performer who had branched out into songwriting and management, saw him perform. He became his manager, re-named him Tom Jones and got him a record contract. His first record Chills and Fever failed to make an impression, but his second, It’s Not Unusual written by Gordon Mills, was a sensation – on both sides of the Atlantic. The sexy singer with the swivelling hips and handsome looks could really sing – anything from pop and rock to R & B, show tunes, soul and gospel music. He followed up his first hit with a string of others and began a hugely successful career, selling more than 100 million records with 36 Top 40 hits in the UK and 19 in the United States.


CELEBRITY INTERVIEW Songs like What’s New Pussycat, Delilah, Green, Green Grass of Home, She’s a Lady and Kiss were what the public wanted to hear. Fans not only bought his records but flocked to his shows and mobbed him on a regular basis. He won a Grammy as Best New Artist in 1965 but didn’t win a Brit Award until he took the title of Best Male Artist in 2000, then after a music career of more than 30 years. He was always appreciated by his fans, however, and added many thousands more when, in 1967, he performed in Las Vegas for the first time. This began a relationship with America’s entertainment capital – and with the States itself which he later made his home - that has spanned the decades and brought him into contact with some of the most legendary names in showbiz.

continue singing to getting him through this dark time. This Summer, he’s on the road again pleasing new audiences, this time on a Forest Tour of open-air venues which include Cartmel Racecourse in Cumbria, Delamere Forest in Cheshire and Cannock Chase Forest in Staffordshire. His voice is as strong as ever and his shows are bound to not only impress with new songs but cover some of his best-known hits. There’s no doubt his many established fans, plus the new ones who have come to appreciate Jones the Voice more recently, will turn up to enjoy the feelgood music and shared love of entertaining that Tom Jones always offers. But then, that’s not unusual, either.

It was here Tom first met his own idol, Elvis Presley, and they became good friends right up until Elvis’s death in 1977. Tom also had an internationally successful TV variety show entitled This is Tom Jones which reportedly earned him millions during the three years it ran. At the same time, he toured regularly – a major attraction with his hit records dominating the charts. Over the years, he has changed his musical style as markedly as he has changed his sartorial trademark, in the last decade or so venturing again into gospel music. He has also recorded with various famous names including his good friend Robbie Williams. Tom was awarded the OBE in 1999 and in 2006 was knighted by the Queen for his services to music. After receiving the knighthood, he stated: “It is fantastic. It was lovely to see the Queen again. I love seeing the Queen and I have always been a royalist. “She has got a great smile and her whole face lights up when she smiles. I told her I have been in showbusiness 41 years successfully and she said to me that I had given a lot of people a lot of pleasure.” “I come from a coal-mining, working-class background. My father was a coalminer. Today is just tremendous.” While his reputation and undoubted talent have endured, his public profile was given a boost in 2012 when he became a coach on The Voice with will.i.am, Jessie J and Danny O’Donoghue. He mentored the first winner and impressed everyone with his down-to-earth humour and self-deprecating approach. He returned to later series, apart from one season, and established himself there as a knowledgeable and much-loved real celebrity. When his wife Linda died last year after a short battle against cancer, Tom attributed his determination to

* For more details about the tour go to www.tomjones.com/tour-dates/ WWW.50PLUSMAGAZINE.CO.UK

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HOME & GARDEN Let’s start with that LAWN if you’ve got one, or want one. Improve the one you’ve already got by aerating it, punching holes throughout to help give your grass a proper medium to grown in. Water it deeply and less often, use natural lawn fertilizer and cut your grass correctly to the recommended cutting height, re-using grass clippings in “grass-cycling” that returns needed nutrients to the soil. And if you don’t want to maintain a lawn and want a pristine one all the time, consider investing in an ARTIFICIAL LAWN. This technology has come on in tremendously and they can be made to fit any sized garden and look remarkably

Bringing The Outside Inside THIS is definitely the time of year that

with borders with flowers and shrubs

we throw off all our Winter worries

bursting into life.

and time spent indoors and start to appreciate the Great Outdoors that

Certainly, this is the time to make the

starts at our own back-door.

most of the garden you have to achieve just what you want from it – budget

We Brits do love our gardens – be they undulating acres of greenery or a small back garden with room for a few pots and a sunbed. And as soon as the temperatures start to rise even a little, we throw open our doors and windows and get plenty of good fresh air into our lungs. Now that more and more of us are investing in our homes to spend sparetime there relaxing, we are also investing more time and money in our gardens. Everyone has their own definition of the Perfect Garden – be it minimalist with gravel paths, large pots and the occasional seated area to lush lawns

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willing.

natural - they’re also pet-proof and child-proof! PATHS can create the illusion of space and small areas of greater interest. A winding path creates a more fluid design than a straight one; use materials that complement those used on the house for a toning, overall look that’s always smart. Most people love sitting out in their garden so take a look at your PATIO and see if it provides a sun-trap. If it doesn’t, think about creating another elsewhere


in your garden. Make your own decked

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Show site at: Manor Garden Centre Cheney Manor, Swindon SN2 2QJ.

Telephone 01793 526691 - OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK www.conservatorycentres.co.uk email: conservatoryworld@btconnect.com

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Kitchens Bathrooms Bedrooms

nuimage is a family run business with 30 years experience, offering good old fashioned service and values with modern ideas and solutions.

Book your FREE no obligation home visit today Our Design Service is free of charge - we listen to your ideas and requirements, take measurements then design a 3D graphic that shows you how the room will look. Our Installation Service, where we provide free of charge Project Management, can include: Wall alterations, Plastering, Electrics, Carpentry, Plumbing and gas work, Tiling, Flooring, Decorating. All our services are fully insured and guaranteed. We’re looking forward to working with you to create a brighter home.

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Call us on 01793 644600

Come and visit us at Manor Furniture Unit 109 Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, Swindon SN2 2DS Showroom Open: Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm & Sat 10am - 4pm www.nuimagekbb.co.uk


HOME & GARDEN finishes. They provide a full conservatory package including tiling and furniture all under one roof, using specialist professional teams of surveyors and fitters. The whole project from initial design to completion usually takes only six to eight weeks. Can a Conservatory be energy efficient? Stephen Wright site manager of The Conservatory Centre explains: “A conservatory which is cold and expensive to heat in winter and unbearably hot in summer would represent poor value whatever the price paid. We all would like a room that we can enjoy in the cold winter months and hot summer days. So how do we achieve this? How do we compare what’s on offer? Quite simply the term ‘U-value’ is used as a measure of heat transfer through a given material. The huge area of glass, and maybe polycarbonate in the roof of a conservatory, if not in line with the very latest technology can reduce your investment to little

than ever. Work out what fits into your garden space and

more than a glorified greenhouse! The higher the U-value

available budget – they can be very basic or quite luxurious

figure, the greater the heat loss will be; conversely,

but they all offer a lovely feeling of being nearer to Nature.

the lower the U-value figure, the lower the heat loss. Remember! for an energy efficient conservatory, compare

Installing a garden studio gives you that extra room, without

U-values and GO FOR LOW.

the big cost of an extension.

FRENCH WINDOWS are a popular choice these days to modernise any room and add light and space to your home. Many people are ditching old back-doors in favour of this modern addition to living that allows you easy access to the garden. There are all kinds of styles in durable materials that require minimum maintenance so

Manor Garden Centre Cheney Manor, Swindon SN2 2QJ

it’s worth going to more than one company to compare styles, work and prices. Or, installing BIFOLD DOORS can also be really worthwhile, especially if you’ve got a small kitchen you

Free

Scatter Cushions

want to open up or if you love being close to your garden. They immediately bring so much light into your kitchen or dining area, they can be bespoke to suit your needs and create brilliant entertaining areas. And allowing everyone – especially children and pets – to wander in and out easily really makes for an easygoing lifestyle while genuinely appreciating your garden more, too. PERGOLAS, GAZEBOS and ARBOURS come in all shapes and sizes to suit your individual garden and offer an often unusual attraction. They also give places to sit and enjoy the outdoors and the fruits of your labour! GARDEN STUDIOS are particularly popular now as an extra room, an office or a playroom or gym. Prices are

large selection on display Free local delivery l Open 7 days a week

Tel: 01793 526691

www.conservatorycentres.co.uk

more competitive these days and there are more styles

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HOME & GARDEN There is nothing more relaxing than the sound of water, is there? So it’s definitely worthwhile considering a WATER FEATURE, POND or FOUNTAIN. Even quite a modest budget means you can install a pond yourself with a pump and suitable plants, with fish, for a reasonable amount. Of course, if you’re thinking bigger, there’s nothing quite like your own SWIMMING POOL in the garden to enhance your lifestyle – and make the neighbours green with envy. Site it in the open air with its own cover for poorer weather or during the Winter, or give it its handsome, purpose-built home. It’s guaranteed to be a hit with the younger members of the family and offers readymade exercise and good health for all ages. Go to the British Swimming Pool Federation’s website on www.bspf.org.uk for useful help. You might prefer a HOT TUB – still very popular as a way of relaxing outdoors with many people - and the beauty of a tub is that you can use it all year round. Visit the British and Irish Spa Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) at www.bishta.co.uk to get advice and ideas and to download a homeowners’ handbook.

Don’t forget to add a BARBECUE area to your garden if you want to spend quality time out there. If you prefer a mobile barbecue there are plenty to choose from, even brazier-type barbecues that heat the area, too. In fact, as this is the British Summer that we’re talking about, treating yourself to some effective PATIO HEATERS could turn out to be the very best buy of all!

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Call 01793 644600 now for a FREE At Nuimage, Unit 109 Cheney Manor, Industrial Estate, Swindon computerised design & quotation SN2 2DS www.nuimagekbb.co.uk SHOWROOM OPEN: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Sat: 10am-4 pm

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GARDEN a few notes before you get out your trowel Soil: For herb and window boxes, the multi-use potting soil you buy in massive bags at DIY warehouses and garden centres will work just fine. Fill your boxes almost to the top, plant your seeds or cuttings and give them a really good drenching with water. Once a week, in summer months, it’s worth giving them a capful or two of plant feed, available from the same places as the soil. Containers: The larger your containers, the better, though herbs can survive for shorter times in tiny pots of around 5cm (2in) in diameter if you don’t have much room. The ideal container gives each plant at least 10cm (4in) of space on all sides, to allow for roots and over-ground growth. Put a layer of stones into the bottom before adding the soil, or make sure there are a couple of little holes in the bottom to allow for draining. Seeds and cuttings can be planted in containers outside unless otherwise stated.

Plant l Grow l Eat There’s a real joy in growing your own herbs and flowers, in using the fat of your land to add flavour to your cooking. Having spent an entire childhood avoiding anything to do with my parent’s garden, I’ve discovered the pride involved in snipping off a sprig and popping it straight into your pot. And the best thing? It’s really pretty easy. This guide intends to show you how simple it is.

Quality TGB garden buildings for any situation Bespoke sizes available Base laying & installation available

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The

Conservatory Centre

Manor Garden Centre Cheney Manor, Swindon SN2 2QJ. Telephone 01793 526691 - OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK www.conservatorycentres.co.uk

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Planting seeds: Unless the specific guidelines tell you otherwise, all you need to do is sprinkle a row of seeds over the top of the container, covering with a light dusting of soil and giving them a good water. As they start to shoot, separate any that are too close together, leaving a gap of at least 2.5cm (1in) between each plantlet. Then, after a couple of weeks, discard those that look a bit weedy and meek to leave room for the ones that are flourishing, this time with at least 5cm (2in) of space between each. cuttings: Flowers like lavender and honeysuckle grow best from cuttings rather than seeds. Snip a healthy, nonflowering shoot from an existing plant – you want it to be around 5–10cm (2–4in) long. Keep only one or two pairs of leaves at the tip, dip the bottom in root power and poke the cutting into your container, leaving space around it. Water well and watch it grow. Once it’s about 15cm (6in) high, you should pinch off the top two leaves to encourage it to grow outwards – repeat this every 10 days or so. Plants: The fastest way to success, of course, is to buy plants from the garden centre and replant them. Squeeze them out of the pots they come in and gingerly break up the clump of earth that clings to their roots, taking care not to damage the roots. Place them into your container and pat some soil in around them. Water them well and you’ve got a ready-made garden that you can cook from straight away.

“How lovely is the silence of growing things.”


Chive

tarragon

BASIL

tastes: Strongly like onion.

tastes: Fragrant, like aniseed.

tastes: Peppery and sweet.

when to plant: Early spring to midsummer.

when to plant: Spring to late summer.

when to plant: Late spring, starting off inside.

when to pick: After a couple of months it will have grown enough for you to be able to slice off most of the chive, leaving just 2cm (3/4 in) to grow back. Chopping off the edible flower head will encourage more to grow.

when to pick: Late spring until late autumn. Snip off the stalks and pinch the leaves.

when to pick: Until late September, removing the leaves from growing stalks.

how to plant: Start growing the chives inside, sprinkling the seeds in a row and then barely covering with soil. Water them well and move them outside once they’re 5–6cm (2–2 ½ in) tall – you can carefully dig them up and transplant them to another container if you like, spacing them about 15cm (6in) apart. Although they might disappear in the winter, they are still alive – you can leave them outside and they will grow back again in the spring. plant it with: Chives tend to grow pretty tall, so plant them with squat, equally reedy herbs like dill and thyme. works particularly well with: Beetroot, chicken, haddock, goat’s cheese, parsnip, potatoes, sour cream. substitute it with: Basil, oregano, winter savory.

how to plant: Tarragon is one of the easiest herbs to look after – it is hardy and doesn’t need much care. It likes a bit of shade, so choose a spot that gets some light but also some respite from the sun. Plant the seeds in shallow dips in the soil, cover with a light dusting of earth and water frequently, making sure the seeds doesn’t dry out. Thin the plants out so that there is 10cm (4in) between each one. Either let it die off in the winter, or bring it indoors where it will live happily on a sunny windowsill. plant it with: Chervil, coriander and chive. works particularly well with: Chicken, lemon, green peppers, mushrooms, potatoes. substitute it with: Oregano, lemon balm, chervil. can be eaten: Raw, roasted or in sauces.

how to plant: Plant the seeds sparingly in small pots and cover with a very fine layer of soil; water well. Leave on a sunny windowsill. After about 5 weeks, move them outside, thinning the plants out until they are about 20cm (8in) apart. Basil needs sunshine and small amounts of water often, and will perk up quickly if it dries out a little. Pinch out the top leaves to stop it from growing too tall. plant it with: Mint, rosemary and thyme for a very fragrant box. works particularly well with: Chicken, pasta, Parmesan, salmon, peaches, tomatoes. substitute it with: Mint, lemon balm, oregano. can be eaten: Raw or steamed, although it can turn bitter if it is cooked for too long.

can be eaten: Raw, steamed or cooked in sauces.

Herbs & Flowers: Plant, Grow, Eat by Pip McCormac (Quadrille, £7.99) Illustrations Louise O’Reilly

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FOOD & DRINK

JAMES MARTIN’S FRENCH ADVENTURE

Whole John Dory with clams & courgettes

Also known as Saint Peter’s fish, after the patron saint of fishermen, John Dory is a beautiful fish. This was the first dish I cooked on the show, and no sooner had I finished and walked away to wash my hands than some eager French people huddled around the pan and started to dive in. A vote of confidence, if ever I saw one!

INGREDIENTS SERVES 2 2 courgettes, thickly sliced 2 heritage tomatoes, thickly sliced 2 shallots, thinly sliced 1 x 1kg John Dory, gutted and fins removed 50ml olive oil 375ml dry white wine 15 basil leaves 300g clams, washed handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Arrange the courgettes and tomatoes over the base of a roasting tin. Slot the shallot slices in between the courgettes and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Season the John Dory with salt and pepper, place on top of the vegetables and drizzle with half the olive oil. Pour the white wine over and scatter with the basil leaves. Cover tightly with foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Carefully lift the foil and add the clams, then cover again and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until the clams open up (discard any that remain closed). Remove from the oven, scatter over the parsley leaves and add a final drizzle of olive oil.


Braised Chicken with Red Wine Vinegar and Tarragon We ate so many lovely braised dishes in France that it was diªcult to choose just a few to go in the book, but this one made the cut: tarragon is such a classic French herb and the red wine vinegar really lifts the sauce. INGREDIENTS SERVES 4 1–2 tablespoons olive oil 1 x 1.25–1.5kg chicken, jointed into 8 portions knob of butter 1 teaspoon tomato purée 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 50ml red wine vinegar 110ml white wine 500ml chicken stock 2 tomatoes, skinned 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard 250ml whipping cream 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper For the mash 500g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 125ml double cream 125g unsalted butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°C/gas mark 4. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan or flameproof casserole over medium to high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and fry to a good golden crisp all over. Remove the chicken from the pan, then tip out the fat, wipe the pan clean, and add the butter. Stir in the tomato purée and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the vinegar and reduce until it has all but disappeared. Add the wine and reduce by a third. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, then return the chicken to the pan, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, quarter the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds. Cut the tomato flesh into small dice and set aside.

To make the mash, cook the potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted water for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and pass through a potato ricer back into the saucepan and stir over low heat to dry out. Gently warm the cream in a small saucepan until just boiling, then remove from the heat. Gradually beat a little butter and then a little of the cream into the mash. Keep adding and beating until the potato is soft and creamy, then season with salt and pepper to taste Remove the pan from the oven, lift out the chicken pieces and keep warm while you finish the sauce. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a clean saucepan and bring back to the boil. Whisk in the mustard and cream, then simmer to reduce and thicken slightly. Check the seasoning, then add the diced tomato and tarragon. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with the mash.

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Croque monsieur INGREDIENTS SERVES 4 8 thick slices white bread 100g Cheddar cheese, grated 4 thick slices ham 100g butter sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

The ultimate cheese and ham toastie... Simple. I love it.

For the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour using a wooden spoon, then cook gently for 1 minute, still stirring. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon, until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and leave until cold. To make the sandwiches, spread a layer of the béchamel sauce over one side of four slices of the bread, then top each one with cheese, ham and another slice of bread. Melt the butter in a large, non-stick frying pan until foaming, fry the sandwiches, two at a time, for 2–3 minutes on each side. Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Crêpes Suzette I’ll never forget cooking this dish on location: it was 34 degrees in the shade, and we were under a beautiful tree by a swimming pool overlooking Saint-Tropez. The other thing I should mention is that the person I was cooking it for was my great friend and three-star Michelin chef, Michel Roux Snr… We were at his house. No pressure, then. INGREDIENTS SERVES 2 For the crêpes 250g plain flour 2 eggs 2 teaspoons melted butter, plus extra for cooking 600ml milk

For the sauce 50g butter 3 oranges, 1 zested and all juiced 1 lemon, zested and juiced 3 tablespoons caster sugar 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier 2 tablespoons Cognac

To make the crêpes, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl to form a smooth batter. Set aside for at least an hour in a cool place. Place a small frying pan over medium heat and add a little butter, then a ladleful of batter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1–2 minutes until just set, then flip and cook for a further minute until the underneath is lightly browned. Remove the cooked crêpe from the pan and repeat until all of the batter is used – you should end up with four crêpes. Place layers of baking parchment between the cooked crêpes to stop them sticking together. For the sauce, place all the ingredients in a large frying pan and bring to the boil, gently shaking the pan to ignite the alcohol. When the flame dies down, fold the crêpes into quarters and nestle them into the pan of sauce. Let them warm through for a few minutes, then dish out.

JAMES MARTIN’S FRENCH ADVENTURE (Quadrille, £20.00) Photography: Peter Cassidy.

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For the béchamel sauce 25g butter 25g plain flour 300ml milk


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HEALTH

Hearing impairment affects 1 in 6 people “It sounds like I’m listening through a tea towel”. That was how a recent patient described hearing when he went back to his previous hearing aids, having worn the new hearing aids for only five days. My career as an Audiologist has enabled me to improve the quality of people’s life by using the latest technology to improve their hearing. Being able to hear means that the individual remains in the group, this is very important to a person’s self-esteem and their mental wellbeing. Becoming an Audiologist was not something that my careers master suggested, and even today few young people go through school wishing to become an Audiologist. For my part I love science and engineering and I wanted to work in health care in a clinical capacity. Initially I thought of working in the renal world, because a friend of my father had a kidney dialysis machine at home, but there was an opening in Audiology so I took that. An interesting point in that the kidneys and the ears form from the same part of the embryo. Such that a person with Alports syndrome is likely to have hearing loss and kidney failure. My early career in the NHS exposed me to fitting non-electric hearing aids such as speaking tubes and the banjo. The main hearing aid was the OL56 designed by the Post Office telecommunications department, a body worn hearing aid which ladies

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tucked into their bras and men had to wear shirts with a breast pocket to accommodate the hearing aid. A wire trailed up to the ear and a large earphone clipped to a solid earmould. Soon the NHS introduced behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids and it seemed like everyone wanted them yesterday, the rush was amazing but understandable, people wanted to have better hearing in a discrete format. The turn of the century witnessed the development of the first digital hearing aids and once again there was a mass clamor for the improved technology. Science fiction precedes reality and in the same way people have demands that are always ahead of the technology which is great because it fuels the development. Today patients want hearing aids that make speech louder and noise quieter and that are not obvious when worn. So, we have hearing aids with tens of millions of transistors in them all on a chip that is a fraction of the size of a finger nail. Hearing aids make millions of changes per second to the sounds

that are presented to a patient’s ear. Hearing aids can connect via blue tooth technology to telephones, radios, televisions etc all enabling the wearer the best possible information for their brain to work with. Above all else my most important message to the reader is, if you, a friend or relative suspects a hearing deficit have it checked out early. We know now that people who do not address their hearing loss early are more likely to be sad, depressed and are more likely to develop dementia. Whereas people who do wear hearing aids successfully have a better quality of life, better relationships and a positive selfperception. Choose your Audiologist carefully because it will be a lifelong relationship. Hearing aids last on average 5.2 years and you are likely to see your Audiologist many times during the life of the hearing aids. Be prepared to share your lifestyle with your Audiologist so that the hearing aids can be programmed to suit your lifestyle. Hear well and have a happy life…..

For more details contact : Dr David J Reed BA MSc MBS AuD RHAD Consultant Audiological Scientist Reeds Hearing Care Ltd. 4 Raglan Close, Lawn, Swindon SN3 1JR T: 01793 692815 www.reedsear.co.uk


OUT AND ABOUT

Out & About A guide to the amazing events around Swindon for 2017

Shopping in Swindon?

7th-8th July

Avebury Rocks Festival – Two days, two stages and loads of great live music! Avebury Rocks Festival is set in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside just outside the village of Avebury, with an eclectic line up of everything from rock to folk there’s sure to be something for everyone along with a delicious selection of food and drink from local suppliers. For the more energetic festival goers there is also a 16km sponsored walk you can join on Saturday morning which takes in the historic sites of the area and with some added music stops along the way. For more information or to book tickets please visit www.aveburyrocksfestival.net. 7 July - 9th July

Crudwell Strawberry Fayre This year, to celebrate 30 years, we also have a musical theme. There will be performances, workshops and plenty to get involved in throughout the weekend, all kicked off by an evening performance by the Dursley Male Voice Choir on the Friday evening. Of course, there will also be plenty of strawberries and cream!

Why not go by bus ?

The Street, Crudwell crudwellstrawberryfayre.co.uk 8th July

Chilli Fiesta Calling lovers of all things chilli in Chippenham and beyond – we have some spicy news hot off the press that we know you’re going to like the taste of… Chippenham’s Street Chilli Fiesta is making its way to YOU on Saturday 8th July at Chippenham’s Market Place for a whole day packed full of pepper poppin’ and spicy shopping – where admission is completely FREE! Market Place, Chippenham visitwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/chilli-fiesta-p2264523 15th July

Melksham Party in the Park 2017 Melksham Party in the Park has grown over the years since it started in 2000 to become a ‘not to be missed’ event, a highlight fixture on the calendar. Such is its standing and

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OUT AND ABOUT profile that thousands attend each year for what is a great day out for all the family.

Grange Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire strattonstmargaret.gov.uk/stratton-festival-2017/

King George V Playing Field, Melksham melkshammusicfestival.co.uk

22nd July

Summer Action Festival

Enjoy the usual winning action day format of track time, club displays, drift demos, parades & the FREE lunchtime club cruise There’s something for all Action Day fans whether you want to hit the track for a 15 minute session, enjoy a leisurely paced parade, polish and shine on a club display or just walk through the many trade stands and along the viewing banks for the drifting! And don’t miss a special appearance from the Bristol Vintage Buses! Castle Combe, Chippenham, Wiltshire castlecombecircuit.co.uk/shows/summer-actionfestival/22/7/2017/ 26th July

6th July

Stratton Festival 2017 The plans for this years festival are well under way and the festival promises to be a jam packed event for everyone to enjoy. With various attractions coming back for another year of success. Find out who’s coming and how you and your business can get involved.

The HandleBards: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Join the HandleBards in the grounds of the beautiful Rockley Manor for their all-male, bicycle-powered production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream! Four young lovers find themselves enveloped in the dream-like arms of a magical forest full of sprites, where a feuding Fairy King and Queen are at war over the possession of an Indian boy. A group of amateur actors share the same forest. They’re rehearsing for a play. Fairies and humans collide. Hilarity ensues. Rockley Manor, Rockley, handlebards.com 5th August - 3rd September

Malmesbury Carnival & Festival The ancient market town of Malmesbury has been home to a Carnival for nearly 100 years, and the heart of Carnival is still the procession, which this year is on the 2nd September; 6pm onward. The route is up through the town and is always lined with enthusiastic and generous spectators, enjoying the spectacle and invention of the local participants and the wonderful marching bands. These days though, Carnival and Festival is so much more than the procession. Malmesbury malmesburycarnival.co.uk 5th August - 6th August

Cheese and Chilli Festival We are delighted to announce that the amazing Cheese and Chilli Festival is coming to Swindon in 2017 at Lydiard Park! The event will again bring an amazing array of tastes, colours and experiences to town and is a ‘must go to event’. Come rain or shine, the event will be fantastic! The event in 2017 will see cheese and chillies from around the world brought to you along with amazing arts and craft stalls selling great and authentic products.

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Hulme Community Garden Centre cheeseandchillifestival.com/swindon/ Swindon 6th August

Great British Proms The National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Inglis, make their debut at Bowood to celebrate British music from across the home nations. They will be joined by Classical Brit Award winning Welsh male vocal group Only Men Aloud, Soprano Philippa Healey and traditional piped band, for performances of Proms favourites, closing with a spectacular firework display. Bowood House, Calne greatbritishprom.co.uk/general-information.html Thurs 10th - Sound 13th August

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 150 Hot Air Balloons from across the globe. Made possible this year by Bristol Energy, the Fiesta truly is a sight that can only be seen in Bristol. Held over four days in August at Ashton Court Estate, the event is completely free with charges made for parking on the event site. Tickets can be purchased from the website. Alongside the fantastic site of hot air balloons filling the skies, we have a large number of gr eat trade stands, fairground rides and entertainment. http://www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk

Days out with the Grandchildren?

Cut the fuss

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OUT AND ABOUT 20 Aug 2017 - 27 Aug 2017 Free

27 Aug 2017 - 28 Aug 2017

Edington Music Festival

Devizes International Street Arts Festival

90 of the UK’s top choral singers and organists come to Edington to sing the most beautiful music ever written. Organ recitals, plainchant, new commissions and sacred music across the centuries combine to make the Edington Music Festival.

30 Aug 2017

Confetti Battle 2 Sept 2017

Devizes Carnival

Priory Church, Monastery Lane, Edington, Westbury, Wilts, BA13 4PG T: 01380 831454

A fortnight of free outstanding outdoor arts events and festivities with two weeks of colourful celebrations including Picnic in The Park, the famous Confetti Battle, Carnival Parade and Devizes International Street Festival on August Bank Holiday weekend.

26th August - 28th August

Great British Food Festival The festival is even bigger and better this year, featuring with new additions such as plant your own area for kids and cooking in a camper demos. The recipe for the weekend, well take over 50 top artisan producers, a big serving of stunning hot food, real ale and wine bars, add a dash of craft and gift stalls, lots of activities for the kids, top chef demos from the likes of Great British Bake Off finalist Val Stones, Luis Troyano and Jane Beedle, stir in a cake competition and the popular Men V’s Food, with lashings of excellent live music and mix together to make a lovely foodie family day out.

Market Place, Devizes, Wilts, SN10 1JG Tel: 01380 723099 Sunday 3 September 2017

Swindon Half Marathon 2017 The New Swindon Half Marathon will take place on 3rd September 2017. Whether you're on a fitness kick, want to test yourself or simply want to raise money for charity in a healthy active way, then this is the perfect event for you! The Route: The new, flat route for 2017 will start and finish in the town centre.

Bowood House, Calne greatbritishfoodfestival.com/bowood-house/

www.totalswindon.com

Barnes THEATRE TRIPS

BARNES

01793 821303 www.barnescoaches.co.uk Unit E, Woodside Road, South Marston Park, Swindon, SN3 4AQ

Annie Sat 1st July Piccadilly Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £107

Adele - Coach Travel Only Sat 1st July Wembley Stadium, London Coach: £36

Dirty Dancing Sat 8th July Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol Ticket & Coach: £74

U2 - Coach Travel Only Sat 8th July Twickenham Stadium, London Coach: £36

Motown Sat 15th July Shaftesbury Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £129

Dreamboats & Petticoats Sat 29th July Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol Ticket & Coach: £52

Aladdin Sat 2nd Sept Prince Edward Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £119

The Lion King Fri 15th Sept Lyceum Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £82

Les Miserables Sat 16th Sept Queens Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £119

The Phantom of The Opera Sat 16th Sept Her Majestys Theatre, London Ticket & Coach: £74

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Community Centre @ Christ Church Cricklade Street, Old Town, Swindon SN1 3HB

Afternoon Teas Programme 2017 Every Tuesday 2pm - 4pm Tuesday 4th July

Music Alive Tuesday 11th July

Card Making Tuesday 18th July

Photo Session Tuesday 25th July

Railway Village Talk Monday 4 to Sunday 10 September

Salisbury Food & Drink Festival 2017 From Monday 4 to Sunday 10 September foodies and families will come together to celebrate the very best of local and regional produce, with all activities culminating in the ever popular Market Day on 10 September. Whether you’re a keen cook seeking culinary tips, a food lover looking to sample local produce, or if you’re just after a decent pint of ale, there’s something for you at Salisbury Food & Drink Festival. Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival 87 Crane Street, Salisbury, SP1 2PU General Enquiries: 01722 332 241 Saturday 9 September 2017 - 10am - 4pm.

Swindon Artisan Market Swindon Artisan Market is launching this September and will be taking over the streets of Swindon! Think quality produce, original art, designer crafts and sizzling street food, all mixed in with family activities, music and more... The ‘Feast Street’ section will get your taste buds tingling with a mouth-watering selection of locally produced dishes.

Eating out? Why not go by bus ?

The Designer-Makers promise to fill your bags and homes with gifts and all manner of unique designs and vintage treasures. The food producers will fill your cupboards with ciders and sauces, breads and pastries, meats and sweet treats. The Kids corner will provide activities and entertainment for the little ones while you have a well deserved break and a coffee. at Wharf Green, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1LD Price: Free. T: 01793 485523 Saturday 9th September 12-4pm

Garden Fete Prospect Hospice hosts an annual Garden Fete each September set in the grounds of the hospice itself in Wroughton. Enjoy a variety of stalls, games, refreshments and family entertainment for the afternoon as Prospect welcomes the community to them. For more information please visit www.prospect-hospice.net/gardenfete.

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OUT AND ABOUT

Theatre The Russian State Ballet return to the Wyvern Theatre this November with not one but two stunning productions; The Nutcracker and Romeo & Juliet, both featuring a live orchestra with over 30 musicians. Tue 21 November at 7.30pm

is based on The Nutcracker and the Mouse King written by E.T.A. Hoffmann. It tells the story of Marie, a melancholy little girl, whose godfather Drosselmeyer gives her a nutcracker doll as a present on Christmas Eve. But the simple wooden nutcracker turns into a prince and the magic starts…

The Nutcracker – A timeless classic of festive season. Music by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker is an eternal seasonal favourite directed and choreographed by the former Bolshoi Ballet Soloist, Konstantin Uralsky. The Christmas story

Wed 22 November 7.30pm

Romeo & Juliet

Music by S. Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet is the world’s best known love story. William Shakespeare’s story of Romeo and Juliet was one of the first works of literature to inspire ballet choreographers, so perfectly suited to dance are its drama, romance and tragedy.

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Tickets are priced from £32.50, with concession rates for children, seniors and groups of 8+. Book online now at swindontheatres.co.uk or call the Ticket Office on 01793 524481.

Summer Raffle - £3,000 to be won. How would you like to win £3,000 this summer? Enter our Prospect Hospice Summer Raffle for your chance. Tickets go sale from the 30th June – 9th September. Contact Sarah Sabin on 01793 816199 for more details.


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LEGAL

Dementia is on the Rise so Make Your Lasting Power of Attorney Figures released by the Office of National Statistics have revealed that dementia, including Alzheimer’s, has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales. More than 61,000 people were victims of dementia in 2015, equating to 11.6% of all deaths registered. Women who died of the condition accounted for twice as many as men - 41,283 as opposed to 20,403. According to Alzheimer’s Society, there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. Around 225,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year; roughly one person every three minutes. Although age is the most obvious contributing factor, around one in 20 people (over 40,000) living with dementia are under the age of 65. One in six over the age of 80 have the condition and 70% of those in care homes suffer from dementia or severe memory problems. While most people think of dementia as a disease it’s actually an over-arching term used to describe the signs that appear when brain cells stop working properly. The symptoms include memory loss, confusion and disorientation, difficulty in communicating and changes in behaviour.

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Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or a series of strokes. It’s a progressive condition which means that over time the structure and chemistry of the brain becomes increasingly damaged, leaving a person with a declining ability to remember or understand and communicate. The rate at which it affects people depends very much on the individual; physical make-up, emotional resilience and the level of support available all play a part. At around 500,000, there are more women than men in the UK living with dementia. Although it’s not certain why this is the case, the view is that it’s because more women are living into their 80s - in fact, nearly three in four people aged over 90 are women. Worryingly, Alzheimer’s research has found that women over 60 are twice as likely to develop dementia as they are of getting breast cancer with the risk doubling every five years after the age of 65. There are four main conditions that make up dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the most common. Vascular dementia occurs when blood flow to the brain becomes reduced, while Dementia with Lewy bodies occurs when tiny deposits of protein form in the brain’s nerve cells. Frontotemporal dementia, meanwhile, is caused by damage to cells in the frontal and temporal lobe areas of the brain which regulate personality, emotions, behaviour, reasoning, planning, decision-making and the understanding and production of language.


Although not exhaustive, signs affecting your daily life which could be the result of dementia are: • If you struggle to remember recent events, although you can easily recall things that happened in the past • If you find it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV • If you forget the names of friends or everyday objects • If you can’t recall things you’ve heard, seen or read • If you lose the thread of what you’re saying • If you have problems thinking and reasoning • If you feel anxious, depressed or angry • If you feel confused even when in a familiar environment or get lost on familiar journeys • If you find that other people start to notice or comment on your memory loss Being diagnosed with dementia ultimately means there will be issues with maintaining your independence and as your metal ability starts to fail, it’s important to know that there’s someone who will look after your interests when the time comes that you can’t do it yourself. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that gives someone nominated by you (your attorney) the authority to make decisions on your behalf. There are two types of LPAs. The first allows your attorney to handle your financial affairs, such as any property and savings you may have. The second addresses your personal welfare, such as the medical treatment you should receive or where you live, for example. You’re not obliged to take out both LPAs but if you do, you can have the same attorney for both or they can be different if you prefer. Don’t worry about giving up control of your finances or treatment suddenly, you can choose when your Lasting Power of Attorney becomes effective. Although an LPA is a legal document, what it really gives you is peace of mind. No one wants to think that they may develop life limiting conditions, but the reality is that dementia can affect any of us at any time in later life, so it’s reassuring to know that if you’re unable to make a decision yourself, they’ll be someone who can. Because you’ll have chosen your attorney, you’ll know they will have your best interests at heart and will make decisions based on what you want, rather than leaving it to a stranger or someone you don’t trust. An LPA also prevents family or friends having to apply for similar powers in the future, which can be an expensive and time-consuming business. The key to remember is that you can only set up an LPA while you’re well because the law won’t recognise it as a legally binding document once you’ve lost capacity.

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If you’re interested in drafting your LPA, contact Pooleys Solicitors to guide you through the regulations and to discuss what’s right for your circumstances.

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CARE ageing. Dementia usually first appears as forgetfulness. Other symptoms may include difficulty with many areas of mental function, including language, memory, perception, emotional behaviour such as anxiety or agitation, and cognitive skills such as abstract thinking, judgment and disorientation. Most types of dementia are nonreversible (degenerative) but some causes of dementia can be prevented if identified soon enough, including after brain injury or chronic alcohol abuse.

CARING FOR THOSE WITH DEMENTIA But who cares for those suffering with dementia? According to the Alzheimer’s Society:-

DEMENTIA EXPLAINED Dementia is an age-related syndrome that affects 850,000 people in the UK. It is estimated that there will be one million people with dementia in the UK by 2025 and that two thirds are women. Dementia is becoming increasingly important because we are living longer and it is now the most common disease in the elderly with one in six people aged 80 and over with dementia.

WHAT IS DEMENTIA? The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease and there is currently no cure but many believe we can help ourselves prevent or at least slow down a decline into dementia, so that we can enjoy those precious later years. Alzheimer’s Disease destroys brain cells and nerves disrupting the neuro transmitters which carry messages in the brain, particularly those responsible for storing memories affecting memory, understanding, judgment, emotions and even personality and can be both frightening and exhausting for those with Alzheimer’s Disease as well as their loved ones. Vascular Dementia affects men more than women and is due to cerebrovascular disease, which occurs where oxygen supply fails or is no longer efficient in the brain, brain cells die, leading to strokes. Dementia with Lewy bodies are abnormal collections of protein deposits, found in the nerve

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cells of the brain. Fronto-temporal dementia is relatively rare and affects people at a younger age when damage to brain cells usually begins in the frontal lobe of the brain.

HOW DO WE DIAGNOSE DEMENTIA? Currently it’s difficult for doctors to make a clear diagnosis for dementia because in the early stages the clinical symptoms can be quite ambiguous as cognitive impairment needs to be distinguished from brain changes during normal

Cognitive Psychologist and Neuroscientist, Dr Lynda Shaw www.drlyndashaw.com

• There are 670,000 carers of people with dementia in the UK. • Family carers of people with dementia save the UK £11 billion a year. • 80 per cent of people living in care homes have a form of dementia or severe memory problems. • Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community while one third live in a care home.

PREVENTION Most causes of dementia are not preventable but there are many things you can do to best protect yourself or slow down the rate of dementia including:1. Regular physical exercise 2. Quitting smoking 3. Controlling high blood pressure and diabetes 4. Eating a low-fat balanced diet may reduce the risk of Vascular Dementia. 5. Sleeping well 6. Managing stress 7. There is also treatment with vitamin B which has had notable effects. Folic Acid, B6 and B12 seem to help reduce the rate of brain atrophy. 8. Early identification of dementia In recent years, however, treatments that can improve the symptoms of dementia are becoming available, as well as treatments that may slow down the progression of the disease.

HELPING THOSE WITH DEMENTIA • Understand and respect the person with dementia - help them feel


valued – be tolerant; listen properly and slow down; be affectionate; address them with the name they prefer e.g. Mr or Mrs … be courteous, kind and non judgemental • Respect cultural values and privacy • Regardless of how bad the dementia is people still have feelings, so help the person feel good about themselves • Help them express their feelings. • Choice is confusing – so keep it simple and easy • Remember each person with dementia is still a person with unique and valuable experiences • Isolation as a direct result of dementia is rife. Help those with dementia still be sociable and connect with their loved ones and people of all ages.

HELPING CARERS & THE FAMILY • •

Understand that caring for a person with AD can have physical, emotional and financial costs. The demands of day to day care, changing family roles, and difficult decisions about placement in a care facility can be hard to handle.

Offer support, information and a listening ear. • Becoming well informed is really important. • Help them develop their own coping strategy with a strong network of family and friends

• Fully trained, compassionate staff who respect your home and your privacy • A flexible service, where every day can be different • A wide range of care and support– personal care, housework, social activities – you choose

When you need extra support for continuous care, you may not want the added stress of having to leave your home. Bluebird Care gives you the option of high quality care without moving to a care home. Our care visits service offer the reassurance of care and support in the comfort of your own home.

• A proper introduction to make sure we have found the right person for you • Regular follow up from a Bluebird Care manager to check you are happy with our service As a nationwide provider, Bluebird Care work to accredited training and induction standards and are able to provide full support and supervision in person with the management team on hand to oversee any issues and to offer a fully supported care service. Bluebird Care completes all the necessary employment checks, such as with the police or criminal records authorities and care worker references. Each care worker receives on-going training and support while they are looking after you at home.

We never take a one-size-fits-all approach to care, our customers’ unique needs are considered every step of the way, meaning you stay in control of your care and support at all times. A member of our team will ask what is important to you so we can provide the care you want, the way you want it. Choosing Bluebird Care means: • No need to move to a care home •

A personal service where your unique needs are considered every step of the way, available as and when you need it.

CARE VISITS AT HOME We care passionately Bluebird Care (Swindon)

Suite E6, Gemini House, Groundwell Industrial Estate, Swindon SN25 5AJ

Telephone: 01793 239499 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

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Swindon issue  

Local magazine for the over 50s