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JULY - SEPTEMBER 2019

SWINDON EDITION 39

Jason Donovan THE COUNTRY’S FAVOURITE ANTIPODEAN

James Martin's GREAT BRITISH ADVENTURE

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Eastbourne Sat 24th August 2019 8 Days: From £589 per person Eastbourne is one of England’s premier seaside resorts. It has a magnificent Victorian seafront and there are beautiful parks and gardens to enjoy. We will be staying at the impressive Imperial Hotel set on a tree-lined boulevard running off the seafront with spacious lounges and great customer service! Tour highlights include visits to the towns of Rye, Brighton, Worthing Chichester & more! Price Includes: Return coach travel,Tours as indicated, Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal.

cumbrian gem Mon 2nd September 2019 5 Days: From £419 per person Includes Lake District Cruise and a visit to the Birdowald Roman Fort! The Gilsland Hall Hotel sits proudly in 140 acres of manicured gardens, grounds and natural woodland in an idyllic location with spectacular views over the Cumbrian and Northumberland countryside. We take the opportunity to explore Hadrian’s Wall, plus the nearby Lake District as well as Cumbria’s only city, Carlisle. Price Includes: Return coach travel, Tours as indicated, Admissions to Birdoswald, Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal.

Singles in Scotland for Autumn Mon 2nd September 2019 5 Days: From £419 per person Join one of our popular single room holidays to this wonderful part of Scotland whilst staying 4 star Menzies Irvine Hotel with superb facilities! Tour highlights include a circular tour with fabulous Scottish scenery via the Erskine Bridge and Balloch into the Trossachs where we make a lunchtime stop in Aberfoyle, we also visit Stranraer, Edinburgh & a visit to the ruins od Dunure Castle. Price Includes: Return coach travel, Tours as indicated, Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal.

UK & European

coronation street, emmerdale & last of summer wine tour Thu 5th September 2019 5 Days: From £449 per person We will be staying in the Dubrovnik Hotel which was a former mill, now a luxurious hotel! This tour Includes Last of the Summer Wine with a local guide, Emmerdale Locations with a guide then meet a cast member in The Woolpack and Coronation St The Tour. Yorkshire has rolling dales and stunning vistas, colourful towns and quaint villages. Price Includes: Return coach travel, Tours as indicated, Admissions: Emmerdale tour, Last of the Summer Wine tour, Coronation Street tour, Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal.

Coach Holidays

blackpool illuminations Sun 8th September 2019 3 Days: From £219 per person Blackpool is Britain’s largest holiday resort with a flat 6-mile promenade and three piers. The trams on the seafront are the only survivors of their kind in England. We will be staying at the Best Western Carlton Hotel which is located directly on the seafront and just minutes from the centre! Price Includes: Return coach travel, Tour of the Illuminations, Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal.

01793 821303 www.barnescoaches.co.uk

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for full tour itineraries, request a copy of our 2019-2020 holiday brochure!


irelands heritage magical mayo & wild west country Sun 8th September 2019 7 Days: From £699 per person Includes 2 rare VIP experiences, Achill Island, Knock Shrine and lots more extras! With breathtaking landscapes, an enriched history and a bustling culture, discover the best Ireland has to offer with a unique selection of attractions including the country’s most romantic castle, a fascinating pilgrimage site and one of Ireland’s most beautiful historic homes. Discover one of the most beautiful and unspoilt corners of Ireland, renowned as much for its Gaelic heritage and hospitality and for the allure of its stunning scenery. We will be staying in the 4 star Harlequin Hotel, Castlebar town centre with great style & comfort.

High alps explorer plus traditional driving down of the cattle festival Wed 11th September 2019 8 Days: From £747 per person Includes The Austrian and German Alps, Innsbruck & Lake Constance. St Anton is found in the Western Tyrol, near to the Arlberg Pass and close to Switzerland, which we view across Lake Constance. We also see Southern Bavaria, which we explore on a day out. St Anton not only allows for great days out, it is a pretty village with cafes and shops and we have included a transport card which enable us to ride the cable car high into the mountains. On our rest day in resort it is the St Anton Almabtrieb, the Traditional Driving Down of the Cattle Festival! We also travel to and from St Anton on a different route so even the travelling days are full of interest. Price Includes: Return coach travel, Tours as included, Admissions: Cable Car, Channel Crossings, Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal.

norfolk coast & broads Fri 20th September 2019 4 Days: From £329 per person Includes Boat Ride on Broads! Great Yarmouth. Norfolk is a unique area of Britain with the Broads, open expanses of water often linked to rivers. Great Yarmouth is our base and is one of Britain’s premier resorts. We will be staying at the Burlington Palm Hotel which is located on the seafront with extensive facilities, sumptuous dining and a sun deck. Price includes: Return coach travel, Tours as indicated, Admissions: boat ride, Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal.

Free Home Pickup on Holidays 4 Days & Over!* *Terms & Conditions apply see website for full details.

Waterways of london Mon 16th September 2019 4 Days: From £359 per person Includes 2 Cruises, Guided Walk and 2 Museums. London, one of the world’s truly great cities has many tales to tell and this tour will not disappoint. This tour focuses on London’s Waterways and features a combination of interesting museum visits, a river cruise and a relaxing canal boat trip, in addition to free time to explore at leisure. PLEASE NOTE: The walk on the Wednesday requires a level of fitness. The coach can get you from the museum to Camden if you would prefer.

Costa brava & boats of the mediterranean Sun 22nd September 2019 10 Days: From £979 per person Includes 4 boat rides plus local guide on board. Our base is Roses, on Spain’s rugged coast, overlooking Roses Bay and this location allows us to enjoy the very best of the area. On 3 days in resort we have a guide joining us for the day and we also have wine included with dinner each night in resort. Our 4 boat rides are all in very different settings and on one day we have a 2 course lunch with wine included whilst on the boat. Price includes: Return coach travel, Channel Crossings, Tours as indicated, (inc. 4 boat rides and a local guide on 3 days)Hotel accommodation of bed, breakfast and evening meal & one lunch.


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6-7 TRAVEL The delights of holiday cottages in Cornwall 10-11

TWITTERING ON by Angela Kelly

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JASON DONOVAN The country's favourite antipodean

16-17 HOME Light and space whatever the weather 26-30

WHAT'S ON A guide to what's happening in your region

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STEVE HOWARTH'S TESTDRIVE A look at two popular models

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FOOD & DRINK James Martin's Great British Adventure

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THE DELIGHTS OF HOLIDAY COTTAGES IN CORNWALL BY JENNIE CARR FROM SILVER TRAVEL ADVISOR Land’s End

Engine House

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here is no doubt that Cornwall gets in your blood, and more specifically, North Cornwall down to Land’s End. What happens as you drive along the A30, traffic jams abounding in the summer, is a change of pace, a return to a simpler life and the reality of nature. It seems that when you arrive at Indian Queen’s, the turnoff for Newquay, you really do enter a different country. The black and white flag of the county is in abundance, as a sign of tourist affection but also on occasion as a result of the strong sense of identity and separateness of a place so far away from London. We’re off to stay in a rented cottage, a treat we’ve enjoyed over the years, starting when the children were small and continuing now as we embrace our empty nester status. That said, we’ve still had some jolly times, hosting our adult brood and their partners in a larger house, with space for us all! We’ve stayed in some quirky places, houses so different

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to our own, and choosing a different one each year has become a pleasant evening’s pastime, adding to our anticipation of time in Cornwall. Just mentioning the name makes me think of barbeques on the beach, superb fresh fish dinners in humble-looking pubs and a sense of freedom. Suburbia it is not! A visit to the Eden Project at St Austell takes you to other worlds. Here under space age biomes, plants from across the globe flourish. The largest rainforest in captivity is remarkable, remember to take water, it’s really hot. The gardens are wonderful, however this is just the beginning – the food is good, the education centre for youngsters exceptional and the calendar of events reaches all ages. If ecology and sustainability is your bag, the Eden project will inform and delight. I always leave feeling amazed by the planet we live on and keen to grow the most unsuitable plants in my Home Counties garden.

Another serious favourite is the Minack Theatre at Porthcurno. If you like a view, you’ll find it here! It is the astonishing result of human inspiration and intervention on a cliff face. The seats are not quite, but almost, vertically hanging above the stage, looking out to sea. When I saw Kneehigh Theatre’s ‘Tristan and Isolde’, swarms of pirates (all actors) climbed the cliff face to appear at the edge of the stage, terrifying us all. Every production utilises the dramatic setting to tremendous effect. We have celebrated birthdays there, wrapped in rugs and fleeces (the show must go on), marvelling at the actors’ ability to withstand the elements. For summer performances, book as soon as possible. And so to the beaches, glorious, varied and wild.You cannot tame the sea! The surfing is excellent, my knees and stamina now sadly lacking, so graceful body boarding has

Watergate Bay


The Eden Project taken its place. All ages, all shapes and all abilities plunge into the waves in wetsuits, tee shirts and the hardy in swimsuits. The water on the north shore is, after all, the Atlantic. Polzeath is a real pull for families of tourists, you park on the beach, with shops close by providing everything you could ever want. And, years of experience tell me, you are bound to bump in to someone you know! Other favourites are Watergate Bay, famous for Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant (good food, book early), excellent walking along the cliff tops, and the chance of spotting a basking shark too. Fistral Bay in Newquay hosts many world famous surfing competitions, being a spectator now satisfies the daredevil in me. Try Sennen too, just before Land’s End, for wild waves and a great beachside restaurant. My ultimate favourite is Gwenver, we sat on the cliff top,

drinking wine (you do need to bring your own), watching the sunset as dolphins played in the bay. It was nature for real, magical and unforgettable.

earlier. Cornish miners were famous and travelled worldwide, in fact more Cornish pasties are sold in Bolivia than in Cornwall, or so I’m told.

Art lovers are in for a treat too. Galleries in Newlyn, St Ives and Mousehole offer a huge range from the frankly tacky to the excellent, much of it homegrown. The Penlee Museum in Penzance contains unexpected joys, more traditional but equally worthy of merit to those in the Tate and the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden in St Ives. St Just, a place time nearly forgot, surprised me with a couple of quality artist owned galleries. Once you start to look and poke about off the immediate tourist track, little treasures emerge, the Essex Tyler gallery in Mousehole and Badcocks in Newlyn being fine examples.

Each evening, having had our fill of sea, sand, village wanderings and, if our luck’s been in, a fabulous sunset, we return to our cottage, delighted to be staying, once again, in our favourite county!

Everywhere you go, proud chimneys of decaying tin mines litter the countryside, testament to the importance the industry once played. To really get under the skin of this county, a visit to Geevor tin mine at Pendeen is a must.You can go into the mine and visit the works, guided by a retired Cornish miner. It’s eerie, poignant and a further reminder of the importance of the physical world in Cornwall. What hit me most was that this mine only closed in 1990, and yet the conditions seem Victorian, if not

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BIKE & BOAT FROM CYCLING FOR SOFTIES – GENTLE CYCLING ALONG THE RIVER PO BY JENNIE CARR FROM SILVER TRAVEL ADVISOR Café’s around the edges were busy, with a piano and string quartet giving their all for our enjoyment. It is an iconic square, with powerful echoes across the ages and leaves one with so much to ponder – history, religion, the state of Venice too. The Venetians were empire builders extraordinaire in the Mediterranean and beyond, so to see their architecture on ‘home turf’ is inspiring. We bought red roses from the flower seller, a cliché and corny but so what, we thought!

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he best things in life are so often simple, and so it is with Cycling For Softies and their Bike and Boat trip in Italy, cycling from Venice to Mantua. Staying on a converted barge hotel, you cycle along the rivers during the day, meeting the boat late afternoon, for a short cruise to an evening destination, where you take a walk for cultural points of interest, have dinner onboard and then repeat again tomorrow! It’s a recipe that’s attractive to couples, single travellers and families – we had three generations on our trip, which was in total a small group of around 30. The concept has international appeal: we travelled with Italians, Swiss, Brits, Germans, Canadians and Americans. What’s more the cycling is flat, a word I like in relation to bicycles. Distance I can do, hills I’m not keen on. Everyone is provided for – the e-bikes a real bonus for older legs and clever tandems, where a child’s bike can couple (and de-couple) easily from an adult bike for younger legs. Our age range of 7 and a half (most important) to 82 worked beautifully! Accommodation is in compact, en-suite cabins of varying configurations – again, all combinations happily satisfied. Breakfast of the hearty continental variety and a tasty 3 course dinner, using produce bought en route, was served onboard each day. We were introduced to the ‘packeted’ lunch by our charming Italian crew: essentially cheese, cold meats, fruit, chocolate bars and rolls were provided each

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morning so you could create your own picnic to eat along the way. Although it must be said that we stopped each day near cafes, so there was always the chance to have a plate of pasta or pizza instead. This trip is a variation of the escorted tour (a self-guided option is available) and as always in this situation, much depends on your guides. Our Dutch, endlessly energetic and efficient Hugo, proficient in all languages needed (at least 5!) and a positive walking Wiki on this route was partnered by Italian, friendly Frederico – a European version of Little and Large, if I’m honest! We were delighted to leave the planning and logistics in their highly capable hands, we woke up and did as instructed – a holiday in itself. And I must highly commend the ‘extras’ which we were not expecting, walks around the destinations where we moored, full of interest and information. I’m always humbled by in-depth knowledge – Hugo had it in spades! We arrived into Venice airport and were whisked away by water taxi (it is a truly breath-taking experience, as you approach the city) to Giudecca island in the lagoon, where our hotel boat, the Ave Maria, sleeping around 30 people, was waiting. Cabins were allocated, unpacking done and dinner served. Then before anyone got too comfortable, we were whisked off to Venice’s main island by a vaporetta and the glory of St Mark’s Square.

Hugo herded us back to the boat and we tucked up snug, ready for a full day exploring the city next morning. And it was glorious, weather-wise and the exploration. Our cheery guide was intent on showing us not just the main obvious sights, the Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s itself, the Rialto Bridge, but also the back streets, the narrowest of canals, endless little bridges and of course, gondolas, replete with their boater-wearing gondolier. No singing was heard, however an onboard accordion player entertained on one vessel. Venice is busy, full of tourists and coffees are expensive, the ‘packeted’ lunch came into its own. However, it is totally unique, and no mater how many times you visit, I suspect you’d find something incredible to marvel at. We plan to return to discover more art in the many churches.

Mark Butler outside the e-motion store


We hit the trail on day 3. The boat left it’s mooring, in the mist, very evocative, with a parting glance at St Mark’s from the water. We headed to the island Litorale di Lido, playground of the rich and famous, glamourous and sophisticated, as could be seen from the fabulous houses. A pitstop at a beach cafe and then on to ferry for 5 minutes to Pellestrina, with an entirely different atmosphere: it is a working fisherman’s island with scores of trawlers along the promenade. You sense not much has changed here in generations. Just one bar was open for lunchtime drinks, the siesta is still an essential part of life here. The cycling was easy along well marked trails or almost empty roads. We picked up the boat and sailed to Chioggia, for an afternoon walk in the sunshine. The town has an impressive fishing fleet and is a combination of working port, with a charming town. Our evening routine then followed: shower and change, pre-dinner drinks on the sun deck, a hilarious explanation of the meal by our Italian chefs (a career in TV must surely be waiting!) and then we ate companionably at three long tables, a set menu with variations for any with ‘dietary requirements’. Good value local wines (including a very decent Amarone), beer and soft drinks were available and paid for at the end of the trip. We took a further evening stroll in Chioggia, although bed was calling after all the fresh air and exercise! Day 4 took us into the Chioggia fish market, having woken up on the quayside to see the trawlers racing back with their catch. Mornings started briskly at about 8am for breakfast and ‘packeted’ lunch making, with seats in the saddle being taken by 9am at the latest! No sluggards on this trip, and actually we were excited to enjoy what each day would bring. Hugo’s enthusiasm, the jolly exchanges with our companions and the sheer glory of Italy, fresh air and exercise made those brisk starts bearable. The 7.57am to Marylebone it was not! Then on to Adria, past a superb beach, through wetlands famous for their birdlife, in the warm sunshine, 30kilometres felts like nothing! And there, tucked in the reeds, was our lovely boat, welcoming us back with tea and snacks. Ferrara was the destination for day 5, and apart from a few bumpy cobbles, not great on a bike, it’s a tremendous city. Brilliant buildings which are an integral part of the city today, a real sense being stylishly Italian

and also a place of great intellectual curiosity. I happily managed to enjoy a yummy gelato whilst peddling. After a tour around the Palazzo Schifanoia, what tremendous frescoes, we took a coach to Zelo on the Canal Bianco. A barbeque followed on the communal grills, available for anyone in Zelo to use, then a visit to a local bar later and a darts match with the Italians there, after a drop or two of a walnut liquor, a regional speciality. For me the city of Mantua was a real high spot of this thoroughly enjoyable holiday. We cycled from Zelo (day 6), via a cheese factory producing Grana Padano for a tasting, and on to Bergantino, to pick up the boat again. In totally fabulous soft sunshine, we rounded the corner and there, magnificent in the afternoon warmth, was Mantua. We moored up right by the city walls and I leapt off into one of my favourite Italian towns. The main square, colonnades surrounding it, restaurants with crisp tablecloths and handsome, hovering waiters, is perfect for a pre-dinner drink. Ingrid (82) and doyenne of the e-bike, tasted her first Aperol spritz and loved it. Our final day was spent in and around the city, cycling all morning, then exploring, with an amusing guide, the Palazzo Ducale, home of the Gonzaga and more like a small village within the city. Labyrinthine passages, hidden doors and secret courtyards all hint at the intrigue for which this Italian family were famous. They too, like many of their ilk, supported and displayed the finest art as a symbol of extraordinary wealth. A final wonderful dinner, with shared memories and Hugo’s incredible video of our trip before departure the next morning. What we so enjoyed about this Bike and Boat experience was a chance to explore the Italian countryside with lively guides, get a touch fitter, meet interesting fellow-cyclists and also get a sense of the wealth of history and culture in this region. Fact Box: Cycling for Softies offer a fabulous range of cycling holidays throughout the wine regions of France and Italy. Visit cycling-forsofties.co.uk for full details or call 020 7471 7760. For more information about Bike & Boat holidays, visit www.cyclingfor-softies.co.uk/venice-andmantua-bike-and-boat-holiday

There’s a special 5% reduction on all Cycling holidays in France & Italy for Silver Travellers – quote Silver Travel Advisor at the time of booking. This offer may not be combined with any other offers.

ELECTRIC BIKES ARE NOT JUST FOR HOLIDAYS Swindon’s largest selection of electric bicycles.

Here at e-motion we’re in our 11th year and stock 8 of the very best e-bike brands. E-bikes cut the cost of your commute, help increase fitness levels and safeguard the environment. Do you own an e-bike and wish you could ride out occasionally with like minded people? You’re in luck. Our E-motional Social rides are on the 1st Sunday of each month and take in a new route each time. If you don’t have an e-bike and fancy a go we’ll loan you one for the morning. So if you're wondering what all the fuss is about and fancy a go on an electric bike we’ll loan you one for a test ride from the shop or if you want to go further, join us for 2 to 3 hours on a Sunday morning. To reserve a spot call and ask for me, Mark.

www.e-motionevc.co.uk 01793 251200 373 Cricklade Road Swindon SN2 1AQ Visit our showroom and come for a test ride today! 9


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TWITTERING ON BY ANGELA KELLY

DO WE NEED A RADICAL APPROACH TO COMBAT ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR? think they would never behave like that, it’s a fair bet that some of us did once. But what really works? We’ve seen the army bootcamp idea which certainly had some amazing results but a recent Channel 4 series, Banged Up: Teens Behind Bars had a novel if radical approach. This put eight British teens between 15 and 17 - who had got into trouble with the law in the UK for anti-social behaviour - to one of Florida’s toughest prisons. As well as being alongside some very hardened criminals, they were given tasks and had to endure a variety of physical education “punishments”.

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HERE have been several programmes about how to tame rebellious teens over the years.

Let’s face it, this is not a new problem and, much as the older generation would like to

In the final episode, they were taken to the morgue to be shown the bodies of murdered gang members. Unsurprisingly, they did not cope well and viewers took to social media in a mixture of praise and concern.

There are many people (and I’m one of them) who are enthusiastic advocates of the short, sharp shock treatment and it’s plain that it can work. I always admire the former drug addicts, reformed gang members and all-round bad boys and girls who go into schools to relate their own lives to youngsters in the hope of discouraging them from making such lifestyle mistakes. Their stories can resonate with younger people in a way that a dozen timely warnings or cautionary tales from parents just can’t. Parents and grandparents sometimes find communication with teens difficult, anyway. There is often a natural antipathy on the part of teens for older generations, mainly because they sincerely believe they “couldn’t possibly understand” their lives even though they were teens once themselves. By having more and different systems and methods in place to tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour, we offer hope to families and whole communities. Prisons and young offender institutions today don’t always have the necessary capacity or cash to cope with a possible influx of young prisoners. In any event, youngsters may come out with more criminal “skills” than when they went in. I know that TV programmes like the Banged Up series look at an extreme way of dealing with wayward youngsters but perhaps we need extreme answers today. Certainly, victims of crime and communities blighted by anti-social behaviour would argue that ANYTHING that makes teens think twice about what they’re doing is worth trying. Success story makes anything seem possible RAGS to riches type success stories always stir the blood but, quite often, you just can’t see yourself emulating this. Sally Fielding’s route to an extremely successful company is the exception, however. She started her holiday homes’ company in Keswick, Cumbria, more than 15 years ago with just £1,000 and it has since become a multi-million pound company.

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Her business, Sally’s Cottages, is the only independent holiday lettings company for more than 100 cottages in the Lake District as others have been bought out by larger firms. Sally started the company in her spare bedroom and the first year earned £6,000. This was in a little village called Eskdale but it wasn’t long before a neighbour, having seen how Sally had got so many bookings for her own cottage, asked Sally to take on hers. By the end of that year, she was looking after three cottages, all in Eskdale, and now has 500 throughout Cumbria. Her story is not only inspiring but actually seems still achievable by the determined today. Sally not only built up her company in a solid and consistent way but she works in one of the

REALLY clever film critics often have stomachtwistingly funny lines although often cruel. Personal favourites include one critic’s take on the film Garfield as “marginally better than The Cat in the Hat, though that’s like saying suffocation is mildly more amusing than drowning.” Comedian Mort Sahl’s comment on the epic film Ben Hur: “Love him, hated Hur.” And Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian’s opinion of Grace of Monaco as “a film so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk” all delight. Perhaps the film Isn’t it Romantic? Attracted the most succinct. Critic Leonard Maltin simply stated: “No.” Nature not the needle offers real beauty IT doesn’t seem very long ago that facelifts and fillers were the prerogative of the older rich and famous. Fast forward to 2019 and these treatments are now almost compulsory for any attractive young woman to remain just that. But, whereas the surgeon or beauty specialist figured in

women’s lives after the age of 40, now young women in their early 20s and definitely in their 30s appear to believe they “need” this kind of intervention as a matter of urgency. Presumably, the pressure from reality TV shows to constantly look the part and regular airbrushing of photos even on social media, give an unrealistic idea of how “natural” beauty looks. Certainly, the reality for many young women now is of Botox or other skin fillers and even cosmetic surgery on a regular basis.The result, though, is not always to enhance their beauty, whatever they think. It just makes them look related to each other. There is often an over-fullness of the lips, an unnatural tautness of the cheekbones and a slanting of the eyes that can give them the look of Botox Sisters. Anyone who has a different type of beauty falls outside the current definition of the word. And don’t get me started on eyebrows! When did resting slugs take over ordinary eyebrows? While it’s easy to understand women – and men – wanting to stay young-looking, what does the future then hold? More Botox? More treatment? Soon, it will be impossible to distinguish between the advanced smoothness of robots and real people.

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CELEBRITY INTERVIEW

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JASON DONOVAN

THE COUNTRY’S FAVOURITE ANTIPODEAN

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ASON Donovan was having an extremely busy time when we spoke but looking forward to a well-earned break with his family. Well, not content with undergoing a hectic schedule of “an evening with…” type show dates right across the UK, the popular Aussie was also in the middle of co-producing a forthcoming tour of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”. As this was his first time as a producer rather than starring in the quirky iconic hit musical (based on the comedy drama film) chronicling the adventures of three friends travelling across Australia – he was meeting new challenges. But then, possibly the country’s favourite antipodean has always been keen to take on new challenges when it comes to his career. The youngster with the squeaky clean image and the then fashionable mullet hair-do first came into Brits’ consciousness on our TV screens in Aussie soap Neighbours in the 1980s as Scott Robinson. He had been born in Melbourne, the son of actor Terence Donovan (who was Doug Willis in Neighbours). After his parents separated, Jason lived with his father and made his first TV appearance at 11 in a guest role in a series called Skyways in 1980. He went into Neighbours in 1986 and his character quickly became a favourite, not least because of his burgeoning onscreen teen romance with pretty Charlene Mitchell, alias Kylie Minogue. Jason won a Logie Award – the first of many – as Best New Talent in 1987 and also appeared in a World War II mini-series The Heroes which broadened his acting credentials. Scott and Charlene’s romance and subsequent wedding on Neighbours had, by then, firmly established the couple in the public’s mind. So, when Kylie decamped to the UK to a recording contract and an association with Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman’s hits’ stable, it was inevitable that Jason would follow. 12

As a result, Jason and Kylie singing together created a monster hit for “Especially For You” before Jason’s own single “Too Many Broken Hearts”, reached No.1. His debut album “Ten Good Reasons” also topped the album charts and his next single - a cover of Brian Hyland’s “Sealed With A Kiss” - leapt to the top of the singles’ charts. Jason was here to stay. More hit singles and albums followed. In tandem with his musical career, though, Jason branched out into a theatrical career. He accepted the lead role in the re-staged London Palladium version of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat” and had

a UK No.1 hit single with “Any Dream Will Do” from the show. Now, the lad from Neighbours was not only a pop star but also a bankable box-office musical star. The ‘90s proved more challenging for Jason with a damaging libel action against The Face magazine and a struggle with his own drugs’ demons. But, a determination that has been the trademark of his career and his undoubted talent won through and in 1998, he took the lead role of Dr Frank N Further in the UK to9uring production of “The Rocky Horror Show”.


During this time, he met stage manager Angela Malloch who became his partner; the couple have since had three children and live happily in London. Other roles in stage musicals, successful tours, numerous TV shows then and since and taking part in jungle reality show “I’m A Celebrity ….. Get Me Out Of Here!” have all helped cement the likeable Aussie into the UK entertainment scene. In 2008, he released his first album for 15 years Let It Be Me and the following year appeared for the first time in the London stage musical production of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”. At home, the film had “already been part of my life for many years,” he explained during a break from touring at his London home. His main role as Tick, a drag queen, showed not only Jason’s versatility but also his sense of fun and willingness to challenge himself. His love of the show has lasted 10 years and taken him on many tours. “So when I was asked if I wanted to try co-producing, I decided straight away,” he stated. “I already loved the product and to be successful as a producer you have to believe in it first.” This new “role” has proved fascinating. ”It’s very different from being in a show,” he added. “For a start, you have to find the money which is another challenge.You have to flex other muscles.” However, he managed to maintain his original links with the show by reading through with the actors “which I really enjoyed”. The new show, which starts a comprehensive tour at venues from Milton Keynes to Manchester, promises to be “quite different”. Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden is taking over the role that Jason made his own and Jason is completely complimentary about Joe’s skills. “He’s doing a fantastic job,” he commented. They were just about to go into the rehearsal stage and the whole venture was providing an interesting juggling act for Jason, also mid-tour with his “Amazing Mid-Life Crisis” show. This had definitely meant stepping out of his comfort zone but Jason was loving the

different format of a conversation show, sharing moments from the last four decades. “I’m quite an honest person,” insisted Jason, now 50, “so I try to tell people quite honestly about my life. It’s a format that seems to work and audiences have been very warm. In fact it’s all about the audience.” Jason described the show as a “cross between Parkinson and Baz Luhrmann” and it is certainly going well: the tour includes a large number of sell-out dates with more added from the original schedule.

Is it not draining, though, talking about yourself on such an intense tour? “Not when you’ve had to get used to giving eight stage performances a week for months and not being home for six months at a time,” laughed Jason. And with that, it was back to his clutch of current exciting roles and yet another chapter in the fascinating life of Jason Donovan.

* For more information about “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” go to www.priscillauktour.com and about “Jason Donovan and his Amazing Mid-Life Crisis Show” to www.jasondonovan.com 13


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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

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loan amount and any accrued interest is paid back when you die or when you move into long-term care. Most people who take out equity release use a lifetime mortgage. Usually you don’t have to make any repayments while you’re alive and interest “rolls up” (unpaid interest is added to the loan), meaning the debt can increase quite quickly over a period of time. However, some lifetime mortgages do now offer the option to pay all or some of the interest. Some will let you pay off the interest and the capital. In the same way ordinary mortgages vary from lender to lender, so do lifetime mortgages, and if you’re looking at this option it’s worth knowing that the minimum age for this is usually 55. As we’re now all living longer, the earlier you start the more this is likely to cost in the long run.

The average borrower in their late 60s can usually borrow around 35% of the value of their home, but how much can be released is dependent on your age and the value of your property. The percentage typically increases according to your age when you take out the lifetime mortgage, while some providers might offer larger sums to those with certain past or present medical conditions. Many lenders offer interest rates which are fixed or, if they are variable, have a “cap” or upper limit which is fixed for the loan’s duration. Check whether the product has a “no negative equity guarantee” This means that, when your property is sold and agents’ and solicitors’ fees have been paid, even if the amount left is not enough to repay the outstanding loan to your provider neither you nor your estate will be liable to pay any more.


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. 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. 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, rentfree, 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

Empowering you with the retirement you deserve

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.

Retirement

• Lifetime mortgages are helping more and more over 55s finance their retirement • To see if it could be the right option for you, contact an independent financial adviser www.pureretirement.co.uk

#PureEmpowerment

Company registered in England and Wales No. 7240896. Pure Retirement Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA registered No.582621.

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LIGHT AND SPACE WHATEVER THE WEATHER

for a local company where you can actually see examples of their work in a property. The same applies to ORANGERIES and CONSERVATORIES. These are rather bigger projects but not only modernise and add welcome light and air to homes but also create valuable extra space. They may make the back of a house, for example, where you have available but redundant land into a contemporary addition that can transform daily living. By creating a PATIO immediately outside your home, you offer another useful living space for whatever you want to do outdoors. This is ideal for eating or entertaining al fresco or just sitting quietly reading a book when you want five minutes in the sunshine.

T

HE brighter days of Summer offer a chance to celebrate the best that Nature offers throughout our homes.

And whether you’ve got a gorgeous garden or a perfect patch for a little sunbathing, there are plenty of ideas that can soon bring the outdoors inside to enjoy fresh air, light and space - whatever the weather. This is the time of year when we just want to throw open our doors and windows and let the sun shine in. So why not do just that? BIFOLD DOORS are a brilliant addition to any home and can help everyone really make the most of garden greenery. They make a small kitchen seem much larger, pushing light through the house, and can create a wonderful entertaining area for those balmy Summer evenings when you have friends round for a barbecue and a few drinks. The same applies to FRENCH WINDOWS which can quickly open up a room but allow you to keep those rooms cosy during chillier months.

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Take a good look at your WINDOWS, too. Do they seem old-fashioned and gloomy? It may be worth investing in the latest new frames and double-glazing to let light in and keep in warmth when you need it? Try to choose suppliers via a positive reference from someone you know or opt

Creating PERGOLAS, GAZEBOS and ARBOURS also offer unusual areas in your garden to wander through or a quiet place to sit away from the house. DECKING or paving slabs can make an equally useful patio but you might want to consider the ease of maintaining this area and how it fits in with the overall look of your garden.


Treat it with stain or preservation products initially to protect it from sunlight, water damage and mould and liven it up with large POTS and PLANTERS. Hanging baskets can also enhance this lovely sunny spot and the proximity to growing things can add to that image of bringing the outside inside. A patio is also a natural route into your garden. And if you want to create the illusion of more garden, even if you haven’t got much land, PATHS can give this clever impression. A winding path creates a fluid design that leads the eye onwards and you can also make a few smaller seating areas dotted around your garden which add to the idea of size. Of course, if you’re after a separate place completely away from your property, GARDEN STUDIOS are especially popular currently. The rise in people working from home has fuelled this interesting trend but this can equally be a gym or hobby area – or just somewhere to get away on your own. There are garden studios in all shapes and sizes these days, offering a wealth of choice depending on your needs and your budget. Nothing makes you feel relaxed, though, like the sound of running water so installing a WATER FEATURE, POND or FOUNTAIN can add a calming and attractive element to your garden. This can be as big or as small as you want it to be. Garden centres usually offer a wide choice, for example. If you’re thinking bigger and fancy your own SWIMMING POOL, this an ideal way towards a healthier lifestyle and hours of fun for youngsters. It can be installed with its own cover to keep out leaves during Autumn and Winter or even its own purposebuilt “home” which doesn’t bother about the British weather. The British Swimming Pool Federation offers plenty of ideas and advice on contractors on its website www.bspf.org.uk

out when you need it. The beauty of having a dedicated barbecue area is that you can keep fuel, equipment and utensils in one handy place. Unfortunately, even Summer days can be a bit chilly – especially evenings – so it’s well worth considering one or two PATIO HEATERS to ensure that everyone can enjoy being outside without getting cold. Before you finalise any schemes for building in the garden, though, it’s worth planning out the actual garden itself to ensure you’re making the most of it. After all, if you want to spend plenty of time there – and “invite” plenty of the outdoors inside – it should really be the garden that you want. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) offers plenty of tips and ideas on its website https://www.rhs.org.uk including garden designs, what plants to use and even how to start a garden from scratch. They have advice on growing your own vegetables and fruits to ensure that everyone can get the most from their garden – whether it’s just admiring the view or enjoying what it produces.

Manor Garden Centre Cheney Manor, Swindon SN2 2QJ

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HOT TUBS have also become very popular in the UK in recent years – to be used all year round. Go to the British and Irish Spa Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) at www.bishta.co.uk for ideas, advice and to download a useful sheet with information on installation, maintenance and plenty more. Investing in some new GARDEN FURNITURE can really brighten up your whole outdoor experience. Opt for flexible and hard-wearing – although stylish – items. These days, garden furniture has really come of age with handsome and comfortable easychairs and sofas to encourage you to lounge about for hours! A special BARBECUE area in your garden is always handy whether you’ve got a built-in barbecue or one on wheels to roll

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to help with drainage and organic matter to reduce compaction and improve soil structure. Astilbe is one perennial that likes a lot of moisture and can cope with sitting in wet conditions during the winter months. It’s upright feathery plumes of tiny starshaped flowers in summer turn into lovely autumnal seed heads. While it will grow happily in shade, a position in full sun will help it reach full size. Then there’s Cornus alba, a great deciduous shrub for tolerating soggy, waterlogged conditions, providing brilliant stems in different shades of crimson in winter. It will grow well in both sun and shade but sunnier sites will ensure the colours are more vibrant.

PLANTS FOR PROBLEM GARDENS Choosing plants for the garden should be fun and exciting but when you’re battling difficult growing conditions, like the dry shade of a tree or permanently wet soil alongside a pond, it can turn into a real headache. Knowing which plants are most likely to thrive in a problem area will allow you to plan

ahead with confidence and ultimately avoid disappointment.

Permanently wet soil Wet, poorly draining areas of the garden can be a real challenge so try to improve the soil before planting by digging in grit

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If yours is a smaller garden go for Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’. But if space isn’t an issue the gigantic clump forming perennial Gunnera manicata is pretty imposing with sharply toothed leaves that can reach up to 4ft (1.2m) across and tiny brown-red flowers in summer. It’s most definitely a statement plant that adds a tropical feel, however it does need protection from frost in winter. Others worth considering are the elegant grass Molinia, the pure white arum lily Zantedeschia aethiopica and Euphorbia paulustris with its large yellow flowerheads that appear in spring.

Dry shade solution Deciding what to plant around the base of a tree can often be tricky, especially when its over-hanging branches create shade. Trees can also deprive plants beneath them of moisture and nutrients as well as light, so prepare the planting site by incorporating compost or well-rotted farmyard manure or leafmould and water in plantings well afterwards. Where the tree canopy is low or evergreen, causing deep shade, a lovely evergreen shrub to go for is Daphne pontica. With its clusters of sweet smelling yellowgreen flowers in mid to late May, it will grow to just over 3ft (1m) and can spread to 5ft (1.5m). If there’s more moisture in the soil because the tree canopy is higher or the tree is deciduous, consider ground-spreading Cotoneaster salicifolius ‘Gnom’, which has small white flowers in summer, followed by red berries. Ferns for shade include Hart’s tongue Asplenium scolopendrium and there are many grasses that can offer the ideal solution too, among


them Hakonechioa macra ‘Aureola’, which enjoys part shade and will slowly spread to produce gorgeous bright yellow leaves with green stripes that tinge red in autumn and early winter. Of course it’s not just trees that cause shady problems – buildings, fences, walls and hedges all play a part, leaving the soil beneath dry and lacking. One useful ground cover plant is the understated epimedium that not only thrives in shade but loves dry soil. Some varieties, like Epimedium x Warleyense ‘Ellen Willmott’ even retain their foliage in the winter. This clump-forming plant spreads freely and has cup-shaped yellow and orange flowers in mid to late spring. St John’s wort, Hypericum calycinum, is a good choice too and great value for money as it will creep across a wide area once established. It’s almost evergreen and has bright yellow flowers in summer. Take a look at Ivies and variegated large-leaved periwinkle as well.

Working with clay By its very nature clay can be extremely difficult to work but as it is able to retain nutirents it can also be quite fertile. Be prepared to help it by digging it over in autumn to expose the clods of soil. This way, when the water in the soil freezes and then thaws it expands, helping to break down the clods and make them easier to work. Dig in some course grit to aid drainage and open up the soil along with plenty of organic matter like leafmould and manure. There are lots of plants that will tolerate a heavy soil that’s slow to drain. Again, the wet-loving astilbe and gunnera are perennials that favour the wetter conditions along with monarda and trollius. Shrubs you can count on are Hydrangea macrophylla, Kerria japonica and weigela and for trees choose ash, birch or elder.

Hot spots In a south-facing bed that becomes hot and soon dries out in summer ideal shrubs and perennials are: • Cistus ladanifer, an evergreen shrub.

Its beautiful large white summer flowers have blotches of red at the base of each petal; • Eryngium, with its thistle like flowerheads; • Allium sedums, penstemons and hebes; • Helianthemum, a low growing rock rose, available in a variety of colours

Nepeta Catari

Stones and chalk If you want to plant some low growing hardy perennials in chalky soil look at • Allyssum saxatile;

• Ajuga reptans; • Hypericum calycinum; • Campanula; • Primroses; • Nepeta

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The Easi Drip Micro Kit from Hozelock can water up to 15 containers (credit Hozelock)

HOLIDAY CARE FOR PLANTS IN POTS Just a few simple measures will give you peace of mind about your garden containers while you’re away from home says gardening writer Julia Heaton Container planting is a great way to bring colour to a patio, balcony, deck, windowbox or any drab corner where planting in the ground isn’t possible. Plants in pots are a moveable feast for the eye too – when you tire of a particular grouping you can shift them around for a bit of a change. But their confined growing conditions and susceptibility to drying out, also mean they need extra care and attention, especially before you pack your bags and head off for a long weekend or two weeks in the sun. Fortunately there are lots of tips, tricks and even hi-tech gardening gear that you can call into action to see them safely through. Auto irrigation systems An automatic watering system is the best way to keep your garden watered with no supervision and is cost effective when used throughout the season – saving time, effort and cutting down on water use too. Various drip systems are available for linking to outside taps or water butts and regulating watering by using a pre-set timer (prices start at around £30). Water is released 20

The solar powered SOL C12 kit comes with 5m of cable and 12 drippers for £79.95 (credit: Irrigatia) Solar powered versions are another effective way of regulating water delivery. Attached to a water butt or garden tap and positioned in a sunny spot, the SOL C12 system from solar specialist Irrigatia (& irrigatia.com) will water every three hours, reacting to weather conditions by watering for longer when it’s really sunny.

Use Hozelock’s Cloud Controller (RRP £134.99) to keep on top of watering via your mobile. slowly and evenly to plant roots, the delicate sprayers and nozzles are also softer than a hose or a watering can might be on young plants. If you want you can go really hi-tech with a timer linked to a smart phone app that will give you details of weather back home and allow you to create your own watering schedule.

A cheaper method would be to use a bucket of water and a strip of old towelling material to act as a wick. Find a shady area and raise the bucket off the ground on a garden chair, standing your pot beneath it. Soak the towelling in the bucket leaving one end in the water and tucking the other half-way down the inside of the pot. The towelling forms a wick – water gradually soaking along the fabric and into the compost. Using the same bucket you can repeat the process for other pots. This method is ideal for greenhouse plants as well. But remember to leave the door and window vents open if you don’t have an automatic opener. And help keep temperatures down with a good coat of shading paint on the windows.


Capillary matting from & garlandproducts.com is on a 2m x 60cm roll (£13.68 plus £4.95 p&p) ready to be cut to fit Off with their heads

process. It should all help to create a damp micro-climate, increasing humidity around the pots, keeping soil moist for longer. Going to ground If you’re away for less than a week and have some space in a partly shaded area of the garden then you could use it to give your pots some protection. Sink them into the soil, so container lips are level with the surface, then thoroughly water them and the surrounding area well in. Moisture from the soil will help to sustain the plants, encouraging roots to grow deeper as they search it out. Adding a layer of bark or slate chippings will slow the evaporation process or you could cover your plants with shade netting material. Available from most garden centres, it can be cut to the length required. A watering spike attached to a plastic bottle delivers water through pre-drilled holes. (pic credit: Thompson & Morgan) Water Spikes A watering spike attached to a plastic bottle delivers water through pre-drilled holes A long weekend away is a perfect opportunity to put used plastic drinks bottles to good use. After watering the plants fill bottles with water and screw a watering spike on top – there are now lots of these readily available from garden centres and online. Turn the bottle upside down and insert into the soil where the spike will gradually release water from the holes along its length. At the same time group plants together somewhere sheltered and shady to slow down the drying-out

Capillary matting For houseplants place capillary matting on your kitchen draining board, allowing it to trail into a sink of water. Once it has soaked up the water arrange the pots on top, pressing them down to ensure they make good contact with the material and can draw up the moisture they need. Make sure they are well-watered beforehand and that the area isn’t in full sun. For larger groups of plants use damp matting or towelling in the bath and stand them on it.Alternatively, if you’re only going away for a short period, you should be able to get away with giving plants a thorough watering then helping them to retain moisture by adding a layer of gravel to the watering saucers they stand in.

Harvest any ripe crops and remove fading heads on bedding to prolong flowering and encourage new blooms. If you’re away for an extended period be completely ruthless and remove mature buds and flowers as well – you’ll return home to new blooms rather than plants that have run their course and run to seed. Simply use your thumb and fore-finger to pinch-out, or secateurs for tougher stems, taking the flower back to a healthy pair of leaves or a side shoot. Take the opportunity to remove any dead leaves as well – they not only look unattractive but can harbour pests like slugs and snails or even cause the spread of fungal disease. Feeding time After deadheading it’s worth applying a balanced fertiliser like Growmore. This granular feed is longer lasting than a high potassium liquid one, which is formulated to provide immediate nourishment and quick results. Instead it will break down over the following six weeks, building plants up to produce results on your return, rather than while you’re away on holiday. Welcome home Follow these steps and all should be well on your return. Then a good dousing from the garden hose and a shower with a fine rose watering can a few hours later should do the trick. Add some liquid tomato fertiliser to the water if you didn’t feed before you left. Where a pot is very dry though it’s best left to soak in a bucket of water for half an hour. Finally, keep an eye out for any pests and disease that may have taken the opportunity to set up home.

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INCREASE YOUR LIVING SPACE AND ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME you could install a conservatory. You’ve acquired a new room, full of light. A fabulous place to have your morning coffee and enjoy views into the garden.You can also reflect on the cheering thought that you’ve added around 15% to the value of your house. The Conservatory Centre based at Cheney Manor have a large showroom displaying a wide range of styles and finishes. They provide a full conservatory package including tiling and furniture all under one roof, using a professional surveying service. The whole project from initial design to completion usually takes only six to eight weeks.

O

ne of the fundamental requirements and first requests made by people contemplating a conservatory or glazed garden room is that they wish to use it THROUGH THE YEAR, not solely a glazed room for grey Summer days. Those familiar with well designed glazed sun rooms, may suggest they are not really suitable for that purpose. However, the many thousands of people who have such buildings and find them to be by far their most popular and well used room, thoroughly wish to disagree! Many enjoyable evenings are spent well into the early hours, comfortably enjoying the unique opportunity of dining and being entertained in a conservatory. The temperature outside was well below freezing and often snow on the ground. Heating was of course required - but not much more than will be required within your home if the conservatory is designed and constructed to a suitably high specification. If you’re pushed for space, and have considered moving to a larger home, think again. For a fraction of the cost of moving,

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They offer the best quality roofs, frames and smart glass, available on the market at the best possible value. They also supply the best in lightweight tiled roofs, ensuring that you get great value while helping to keep your energy bills low. For NU-Look tiled roof conservatories with vaulted ceilings, call The Conservatory Centre in Swindon. They

guarantee a comprehensive service and real value for money, every time. COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE  If you’re looking for a tiled roof for your conservatory, that is in-keeping with the roof of your home, then consider a NULook tiled roofing system. They build each system from scratch because no two conservatories are exactly the same, giving you peace of mind that the finished system will be perfect for your conservatory. 10  YEAR GUARANTEE The Nu-Look system has substantial heat retention and reflection benefits over other conservatory roof products, which will not only transform the comfort of your conservatory, but will also save you money on your energy bills. Incredibly, they achieve U-values of 0.18 which is the Building Regulations requirement for an extension. And provide a full 10 year insurance-backed guarantee on all installations. They will remove your old conservatory roof, and their specialists in joinery will construct your roof in the same way as the roof on your house.


TRANSFORMATION  By replacing your conservatory roof with a new light weight solid roof, it will transform the outside of your conservatory, but they will also transform the inside, their highly skilled plasterers will finish the inside to a high standard, they can also install stunning energy saving lighting or a lighting pelmet which will make a wonderful focal point to your new room. The ceilings of our NuLook Conservatories are vaulted, giving you even more space. TAPCO SLATE The Tapco Slate highlights the handsome character of slate, at the same time enhancing roof performance through innovative design, the slates are created with mould cases from real slate to capture genuine peaks, plateau and curves. The colour through design and UV stabilisation ensures “stay-true” richness of colour. The most popular colours are Pewter Grey,

Chestnut Brown, Brick Red, Stone Black, Plum, and Red Rock, but alternative slate colours are available. ROOF INSULATION  The Conservatory Centre install 3 layers of insulation, Alumaflex multifoil insulation is installed between the membrane and the timber rafters, they then fit 40mm insulation boards between the rafters, this is then covered with 27mm insulated plasterboard, which is then skimmed to provide a smooth perfect finish to your vaulted ceiling.

Visit the Conservatory Centre’s Large Showroom at Cheney Manor

The Conservatory Centre attain Which? Trusted Trader status The Conservatory Centre based at Manor Garden Centre at Cheney Manor was recently endorsed as a prestigious WHICH? Trusted Trader. Much like the successful WHICH? Best Buy Scheme, WHICH? Trusted Traders can use the icon. Each Trader is put through a rigorous assessment meaning that consumers get the best service and WHICH? Trusted Traders get the business and recognition they deserve. The Conservatory Centre is one of a very exclusive section of their industry to achieve this award.

One of the many testimonials from The Conservatory Centre, Swindon. “Both Joanne and I had to write and let you know how happy we are with our new conservatory and are very pleased we decided to go with The Conservatory Centre. Martin and Joanne Buck.

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Telephone 01793 526691 - OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK www.conservatorycentres.co.uk email: conservatoryworld@btconnect.com 23


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LEISURE

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE 3rd AUGUST 2019 ROD STEWART TRIBUTE EVENING

Join us at Bowood's Shelburne Restaurant & Bar for a 3-course dinner, a welcome glass of Prosecco, entertainment, and dancing from the Uk's No. 1 Tribute Act, Stan Terry, a silent auction and more. All proceeds go to Julia's House, Wiltshire's only children's hospice. Julia's House provides much-needed care for children with life-threatening/life-limiting conditions and support to their whole family unit. From 7pm Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf, Derry Hill, Calne SN11 9PQ For tickets call 07795538366

WHAT'S ON A GUIDE TO WHAT'S HAPPENING IN YOUR REGION ...

FRI 2ND AUGUST

SUNDAY 4TH AUGUST BJ BIG BAND - SWINGIN' IN THE PARK

The BJ Big Band will continue their 10th anniversary season of concerts by performing on The Bandstand in John Coles Park, Chippenham. The BJ Big Band is based in East Tytherton nr Chippenham and members have a wealth of experience covering a wide variety of musical backgrounds. The band uses the same swing band formation of Saxophone, Brass and Rhythm sections as the classic big band leaders such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller along with more recent bands like Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. The band's aim is for the audience to always have a great time and enjoy being entertained as much as the band members enjoy entertaining the audience. Fleet Road, Swindon, Chippenham SN15 1NZ 07988 544180

Imagination runs wild and logic is abandoned in this fantastical, larger-than-life musical brimming with nonsensical fun and excitement for the entire family. Follow Alice and the White Rabbit as they set off on a colourful, topsy-turvy adventure like no other and meet a host of outlandish characters including the troublesome twins, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, the notorious Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire cat and of course, the Mad-as a bat-Hatter! Immersion Theatre proudly bring their trademark energy to their most spectacularly bonkers show to date, as children and adults alike are invited to join in the hilarity of seeing this classic story brought vividly to life before having the opportunity to meet the characters after the show…why not come dressed up as your favourite? A perfect day out for the entire family, you’d be mad to miss it! Bring picnic blankets, rugs or low-back chairs and enjoy live theatre in the beautiful surroundings of Lydiard Park. Refreshments are also available on site. Car parking is available at Hay Lane and Hook Street entrances. Please note: parking charges apply. Lydiard House and Park Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon SN5 3PA For ticket prices and to book visit www.swindontheatres.co.uk

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2 SEPT 2019 COUNTRY FAIR 15:00 - 19:00

6, 13, 20, 27 AUGUST 2019 CLARE'S CIRCUS SUMMER FUN ACTIVITIES

This summer, the Neeld Community and Arts Centre will be offering fun circus skills sessions with Clare's Circus! There will be lots of exciting activities for children, and parents will be very welcome to join in with the fun and games! Clare's Circus can teach you to juggle, you can learn tricks with spinning plates and diabolo and there will be stilt walking and pedal go's, as well as soft play for the little ones and a tightwire for thrill seekers. In addition, there will be a great craft making table and the chance to make balloon animals with Mr Twister, the best balloon twister this side of the River Avon! High Street, Chippenham SN15 3ER 01249 446699

11th AUGUST 2019 OUTDOOR CINEMA: THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

The Luna Cinema returns to Lydiard Park this summer! Enjoy a musical masterpiece with an all-star cast from one of cinema’s most successful live-action musicals ‘The Greatest Showman’, inspired by the story of P. T. Barnum's ‘Barnum & Bailey Circus’ and the lives of its star attractions. Take advantage of the full bar and gourmet street food available on site, or feel free to bring a picnic. Capacities are limited and all tickets must be booked in advance, so start planning that date night or round up your friends, and get ready for the ultimate night of cinema under the stars. DOORS 7:15PM FILM 8:45PM Lydiard House and Park Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon SN5 3PA For ticket prices and to book, visit www. thelunacinema.com

Welcome to Royal Windsor Racecourse's Country Fair; the most exciting and picturesque location for everyone, including children, teens and adults alike. From family fun to hard-core racegoers, you can't go wrong. FRIDAY 30 AUGUST 2019 THE BEACH BOYS TRIBUTE SHOW

Let us take you on a journey of time and space, back to the 1960s and across to the sunny shores of the Golden state of California where the surf sound was conceived. Whether you are coming back to see them again or coming for the first time, the show is exhilarating as ever, filling the auditorium with glorious, rich vocal harmony, the five all singing, all playing boys that are Beach Boyz Tribute Band continue to amaze, astound and defy belief in their recreation of America's biggest and longest selling pop rock band The Beach Boys®. No other tribute act can provide a lively fun packed show showcasing over 30 hit records that are performed 100% live. You'll hear Beach Boyz Tribute Band re-create the early rock and roll sounds with such accurate authenticity you will be transported back to the days of black and white; then carried on a wave of harmony to the multi coloured complex orchestral works of Brian Wilson and Pet Sounds. Standard ticket £21. This is a seated event. Please contact the venue for any access requirements. Neeld Community and Arts Centre, High Street Chippenham SN15 3ER www. neeld.co.uk T: 01249 446699

FRIDAY 30 AUGUST 2019 GAG HOUSE COMEDY SUPERSTARS

A night of live comedy with acts that will be familiar to you from shows such as Q.I., Mock The Week, Live At The Apollo, Have I Got News For You, The John Bishop Show, Russell Howard’s Good News and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.Recommended Age: 18+ This bill is jam-packed with quality, headline comedians - you won’t find a night with this level of comedy for less money… so come and enjoy! Wyvern Theatre, Theatre Square, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1QN Ticket Office: 01793 524 481

Expect a lively atmosphere and get ready for a jam-packed evening with all things country, delicious food and plenty country style activities for the whole family to enjoy. Windsor Racecourse Maidenhead Road, Windsor SL4 5EZ

7TH SEPT 2019 COOKHAM REGATTA

Cookham Regatta is an annual fun event for families, friends and organisations alike. It is organised jointly by the Rotary Clubs of Cookham Bridge and Marlow Thames to provide funds and raise awareness for charities both at home and overseas Throughout the day there will be a variety of races on the river for dragon boats and canoe cats.  There will also be the Cookham Challenge event which involves teams competing against each other both on land and on the water. The Moor, Cookham, Maidenhead SL6 9SB

TUE 10 SEP, 19:30 BEN PORTSMOUTH THE KING IS BACK

Ben Portsmouth, a multi-talented musician, singer and songwriter had Elvis’ DNA in his blood from an early age. His father was an avid Elvis fan and Ben grew up on a diet of Elvis songs. Having honed his musical talent Ben started his journey as an Elvis Tribute Artist in 2005 when he formed the Taking Care of Elvis band. Audiences quickly realized that this was someone with a special talent. Internationally renowned as one of, if not The Best Elvis Tribute in the world today, Ben Portsmouth will bring his unique style and charisma to The Hexagon and show audiences why he is regarded as the best in the business. Ticket information £33.50,  £29.50, £26.50 HEXAGON THEATRE Queens Walk, Reading RG1 7UA www.readingarts.com

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LEISURE

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

THU 12 SEPTEMBER RUBY WAX HOW TO BE HUMAN

We created the “Ask a Swindon Vet” Facebook group for the Swindon pet community to have a safe and welcoming place to ask questions regarding the health and wellbeing of their pets. We wanted people to be able to easily and freely access accurate veterinary advice for minor concerns but also to share useful tips and knowledge with other local and like-minded pet owners. Although this is not an alternative to a visit to the vet and shouldn’t be used in cases of emergency, we do hope that our “Ask a Swindon Vet” group will help make veterinary advice more accessible to the local community. While I am able to provide some advice and guidance, it is important to note that I am not permitted to diagnose conditions

or provide second opinions on existing treatment plans for your pet through our “Ask a Swindon Vet” group. If you have a question about treatment already taking place, it’s nearly always best to go back to your own vet. If you have a question that you would like to ask, please start a new discussion so that it doesn’t get missed. I will aim to respond to your question within 24 hours and if I’m away either our vet Nicola or Chloe will reply to any posts. Please also feel free to share your own experiences, tips and advice with other members of this group but please respect the rules that we have put in place to keep this a safe and positive online community. I look forward to speaking with you and meeting your furry-family members soon!

Wyvern Theatre, Theatre Square, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1QN Ticket Office: 01793 524 481

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Based on her bestselling book, Ruby’s new show How To Be Human answers every question you’ve ever had about evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, sex, kids, the future and compassion. We can’t stop the future from arriving, no matter what drugs we’re on. But even if nearly every part of us becomes robotic, mechanical fingers crossed we’ll still have our minds. Hopefully we’ll use them for things like compassion, instead of just chasing what’s ‘better’ like a hamster on a wheel. If we can do that, we’re on the yellow brick road to happiness. This show is the follow up to Ruby’s sell out shows Sane New World and Frazzled and incorporates what she discovered whilst writing her latest book, including finding out about how the mind works with monk Gelong Thubten and learning from neuroscientist Ash Ranpura where everything that makes us ‘us’ can be found in the brain. Outrageously witty and smart, blending brilliant comedy and insightful life lessons, How To Be Human is the show you need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you’ve upgraded your iPhone. Recommended Age: 14+.Tickets: £24.50

FRI 13 SEPTEMBER ROCK AND ROLL REVOLUTION WITH THE BLUEJAYS

Award-winning band The Bluejays (featuring stars of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, Dreamboats & Petticoats and Million Dollar Quartet) take you on a jiving journey through the fabulous fifties. Packed with over 40 classic hits including Rock Around The Clock, That’ll Be The Day, Jailhouse Rock, Johnny B. Goode, Tutti Frutti, C’mon Everybody, Stupid Cupid, Great Balls of Fire and La Bamba, all performed live on stage. Wyvern Theatre, Theatre Square, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1QN Ticket Office: 01793 524 481


LEISURE

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

Coming up Jane Eyre

WED 18 – FRI 20 SEPT, 7.45PM, THU MAT 1PM See this gothic masterpiece of tempestuous passions based on the Charlotte Bronte classical novel adapted for the stage by Blackeyed Theatre. Jane Eyre tells the thrilling story of an orphan girl and her journey from a childhood of loneliness and cruelty to falling in

Choice Grenfell SAT 28 SEPT, 7.45PM A tribute and celebration of the 40th anniversary of the loss of the great, unremittingly genteel, comedienne and monologist, Joyce Grenfell. Featuring some of her best songs and monologues, Joyce is our guide for a delightful delve into some of her most endearing characters, ably accompanied by her trusted pianist William Blezard.

Come Dance With Me FRI 4 OCT, 7.45PM

JUBILEE LAKE NATURE RESERVE

Jubilee Lake is an area of ancient woodlands and flower-rich meadows located north east of the town, just over a mile from the High Street with plenty of parking available at the entrance.

There is something for everyone … For wildlife lovers the lake is bursting with a variety of animals from the family of geese to the long eared brown bats! Children can be kept entertained for hours in the large play area or go on a nature trail in search of butterflys and rabbits or if you enjoy peaceful walks, you will be sure to find that here. Jubilee Lake also has a thriving Angling Club, for more information please contact Terry Strange on 01793 346730. Visitors can stop and refesh at Jubilee Lake Tea Rooms. It is run by a local resident and can be found next to the large play park. The Tea Rooms are opened Thursday to Sundays 10am to 4pm. Jubilee Lake Nature Reserve Malmesbury Road, Royal Wootton Bassett

The true story of the survival of two girls through extraordinary circumstances spanning 1938 to 1951 including the tumultuous years of the Second World War. A warm-hearted, poignant family saga which adds the glory of ballroom and golden Hollywood era dance styles: the darker side of Victoria Wood with

This powerful adaptation of the much-loved Dickens novel delves into the hopes and fears of young Pip, as he begins his adventures in the windswept marshes of Kent, to the haunting cobwebbed lair of Miss Havisham. Pip’s epic journey sees him come of age and discover the adult world of loss and regret.

Aladdin

FRI 29 NOV 2019 – SAT 4 JAN 2020 From the highly acclaimed creative team who brought you Dick Whittington And His Cat (2018) comes South Hill Park’s mystical re-imagining of Aladdin. Will Aladdin and his magical lamp defeat the forces of evil? Will the princess and Aladdin find true love? Join a host of colourful

BOX OFFICE South Hill Park Arts Centre and Wilde Theatre, Ringmead, Bracknell RG12 7PA

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Celebrating the sound of a generation Music fans are invited to the biggest party of the year as the unstoppable Magic of Motown show steams into town! Seen by over a million people, it's no surprise that the show is one of the biggest success stories in British theatre history, even performing for Her Majesty the Queen, as special guests at the Royal Variety Performance. Prepare yourself for 40 back-to-back classic Motown hits, glittering costume changes, dazzling dance moves and outstanding musicianship in this explosive concert experience. With timeless music of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson and more, are sensationally recreated for you by an exceptionally talented cast and band. This breath-taking concert spectacular takes you on a musical journey through all your favourite songs. Ticket information £30, Concessions £28. Groups of 10 + £3 off. HEXAGON THEATRE Queens Walk, Reading RG1 7UA www.readingarts.com

8TH-9TH NOVEMBER THE GIN & RUM FESTIVAL, SWINDON 2019

Great Expectations

WED 23 – SUN 27 OCT, WED & THU 7.15PM, FRI & SAT 7.45PM, MATINÉES THU 1PM, SAT & SUN 2PM

THU 3 OCT, 19:30 MAGIC OF MOTOWN 2019

THU 26 SEP, 19:30 THE ILLEGAL EAGLES 2019

The World’s Official No.1 Eagles tribute returns in 2019 for another outstanding show promising more of their trademark musical prowess, acute attention to detail, and incredible showmanship. This phenomenal group of musicians have been touring for over two decades and remain true Eagles fanatics! Their longevity and continued international acclaim are due in no small part to their extraordinary mastery of the Eagles’ distinctive sound. Featuring the very best from the Eagles’ repertoire including Hotel California,Take it to the Limit, Life in the Fast Lane,Take It Easy, Lyin’ Eyes, Desperado and plenty more! Ticket information £28 , £26 HEXAGON THEATRE Queens Walk, Reading RG1 7UA www.readingarts.com

JThe UK's largest Gin & Rum Festival tour is coming to Swindon! Get ready to be spoilt for choice with over 60 different Gins and 60 different Rums in an amazing venue for you to discover. On arrival, you will receive a branded Copa glass, guide and glass satchel, which are all yours to take home. The guide showcases all our products and where you can find them, some of these being exclusive to the Gin and Rum festival. Our award-winning resident DJ keep will keep you entertained playing music from all genres. There will also be some great live entertainment so please bring along your dancing shoes. To purchase drinks, you must purchase tokens at the top up station, bars do not take cash. However, you can pay for tokens via card or cash. Drinks are £5 each including mixer/tonic. Soft drinks and mixers are free and unlimited. Steam Museum Fire Fly Avenue, Swindon SN2 2EY


Barnes coaches Summer Day Trips

By Coach

View our full list of summer excursions on our website or contact the Barnes Team to request a free Day Trip Leaflet!

01793 821303 www.barnescoaches.co.uk travel@barnescoaches.co.uk Summer

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MOTORING

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

STEVE HOWARTH'S TESTDRIVE

Cruise control too was most welcome, although not adaptive, and I particularly liked the car’s smart dark blue paintwork (Mystery blue) and stylish alloy wheels.

LEON 5DR FR 1.5 TSI EVO 130 PS 6-SPEED MANUAL

W

There is also a fire-breathing 370bhp version, the Cupra which has all-wheel drive and will give even the legendary Golf GTi a run for its money. Seat is on a roll at the moment, with the latest Ibiza and Ateca SUV winning praise. However, it was the current, series three, Leon that kicked off the brand's revival back in 2012 and this stylish hatchback was refreshed in 2017.

HEN I recently got invited to a VW event in deepest Berkshire the fact it was a 400-mile plus round trip was a bit daunting… so the selection of the right car for the job was crucial.

Under the skin, the Leon is closely related to the Audi A3, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf, while non sibling rivals include the Focus and Astra.

Something a bit sporty to make the journey more fun but also economical so I did not use too much of the ever more expensive go juice. Step forward the Leon 5dr FR 1.5 TSI EVO 130 PS 6-speed manual, which can go from 0 to 62 in around nine seconds and hit 126mph yet returns up to 65mpg on a long run.

crawling traffic. This was partly down to a clever economy system which shuts down two of the four cylinders when not needed and an eco mode (there is also normal, sport and individual).

And the Leon also boasts comfortable yet supportive sports front seats so you arrive with a still functioning back despite over four hours on the road (yes the M6 was the usual nightmare).

That 1498cc petrol engine proved smooth and responsive and was paired up to an excellent six speed manual box – mind you with VW technology behind it that is no surprise.

Firstly it has to be said that SEAT’s impressive mileage claims seem quite achievable as the sporty hatchback averaged in the high 50s despite lots and lots of

And I also appreciated the Leon’s excellent sat nav touchscreen system which got me to the very remote location and was, unlike some other manufacturers, straightforward to use.

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The Leon cones in several trim levels from SE running through SE Dynamic, FR, FR Sport, Xcellence up to Xcellence Lux and with a choice of two petrol engines (1.0 and 1.5) plus 1.6 and 2-litre diesel units.

Prise wise the range starts at £18,260 going up to £28,785 for the Xcellence Lux. Our mid-range FR TSi Evo is £21,520 on the road. A fourth-generation model is expected to be revealed next year so dealers may have some great offers in the coming months on the current version - which has aged well with its sporty styling and is a great all round package for those looking for a stand out family hatchback. More information at www.seat.co.uk


This car’s off-road ability is provided by an extra 60mm of ground clearance, fourwheel drive and hill descent control, all of which come as standard. And, should you find yourself on a particularly challenging off-road route, there are plastic sills, lower bumpers and wheel arch extensions to help protect your pride and joy. There’s only one Cross Country variant and one engine offered at present, an 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel (badged D4) that powers all four wheels through an automatic gearbox but a petrol version is in the pipeline. The Cross Country still handles well even with the additional height. There is little leaning over on corners where the tyres deliver plenty of grip and should you find yourself in a muddy field, clever electronics bring the rear wheels into play to keep you moving.

VOLVO V60 CROSS COUNTRY HARD to believe but there was a time when Volvo’s were not seen as being cool – I can remember a geography teacher at our school had one as well as leather patches on the elbows of his jacket, which we also thought was a bit naff. But that was a long time ago in what seems a galaxy far, far away and both are now the height of cool – especially Volvos. Here in 2019 I got behind the wheel of the latest V60 D4 AWD Cross Country - but the reason I came all over 1970s was its colour… metallic dark brown! Now I still have memories of two cars which must be in the running for the worst motors ever made – the Austin Allegro and Morris Marina – and they both came in a very similar colour. And while I am fully on board with the coolness of Volvos today I am a bit less so about metallic dark brown… but if there is one car which can perhaps pull it off then a big 4x4 off road estate is in with the best chance. But apart from the colour the V60 AWD was a great bit of kit – mind you for £45,815 it needed to be, although the V60 range does start from £32,410 for the FWD D3 Momentum plus 150 and

One standard feature worthy of note is a system which detects pedestrians, animals and cyclists that wander into your path. This proved a lifesaver when I came across a drunken cyclist, presumably on his way home from the pub, at night without lights on an unlit country road and the car spotted him before I did! This warning was flashed up on the 12.3in digital screen ahead of the driver in place of traditional analogue dials – clever stuff. The display can also show media, telephone and navigation data.

the AWD Cross Country versions from £38,270. For that the car has as standard a nine inch central swipe-able iPad style infotainment touchscreen, navigation, voice control, power tailgate, cruise control, a digital adjustable driver’s display, front and rear parking sensors and, as you would expect in any Volvo, a whole raft of safety features. That was boosted by a number of option packs and extras which included heated wiper blades, adaptive cruise and even more safety kit taking the final on the road price to £45,815. The V60 has also got a five-star crash test rating.

The interior is typically Volvo with quality materials and a minimalist Scandinavian design which is sumptuous, light and airy – thanks in part to the panoramic glass sunroof. And there is also loads of space in there – both for tall passengers and luggage with 529 litres of space - more than its immediate rivals can muster. The rear seats also fold completely flat to help get bulky items on board. So if you don’t wat to follow the crowd down the SUV route and want a vehicle with style and performance the V60 Cross Country could be the one for you. More information at www.volvo.co.uk

FOR ALL THE LATEST CAR TESTS GO TO: www.50plusmagazine.co.uk/motors 33


FASHION

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

skin pigment which falls into four groupings which are defined by the unique combination of depth, hue and tone. According to Venables and her 100 strong team of colour and style consultants, which colours suit us is determined by the pigments in our skin and eye colour. “We all fall into one of the four seasonal categories which have an array of gorgeous colours that look amazing on you and some of these will be your wow colours. ‘Autumns’ are best suited to muted, soft, warm colours such as rust, and dark olive. ‘Springs’ look best in bright, clear, warm colours such as like geranium pink and apple green. ‘Summers’ wear muted, soft, cool colours like dusty pink and smoked grape. ‘Winters’ wear bright, clear, cool colours like electric blue and raspberry, and yes they are the ones that can wear black!” Ok so we know that black doesn’t suit all of us (some of us begrudgingly), but we have neutrals and other gorgeous hues that truly do. So how does colour really impact our look, mood and indeed how we present ourselves to the world?

BLACK SUITS ONLY 1 IN 4 OF US Wearing black doesn’t make us look truly slimmer and only just over quarter of us actually suit black. There we have said it. But before you run to the hills, colour specialist personal stylists from House of Colour advise us that we all have neutrals that look incredible on us and wearing these, and the other colours that truly suit us, can be transformative and supersede many of our need to wear black.

styles makes us look attractive and glowing and we feel good about ourselves.” Venables is quick to point out she is not demonising black clothes. “It looks gorgeous on some people. It’s just that it only looks good on just over 25% of us, the Winters.” In the 20th century the Swiss artist Johannes Itten established that each of us has a basic

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It is interesting when you consider that colour is everywhere, yet nearly impossible to describe. Venables says: “Clothes are just fabric, it is the person that is important, but our relationship with our clothes and our colour and style is highly influential and sometimes transformative. Wearing the wrong or right clothes and colours can trap or free you. One good example is if your whole wardrobe is full of colours and styles that suit you, it makes getting dressed in the morning a whole lot easier. Accessories are the beautiful finishing touches.”

Managing Director of House of Colour, Helen Venables says: “Whilst black absorbs light so less detail is detected by the eye in the hope that lumps or bumps may appear to disappear, what actually makes us look slimmer is wearing the right colours because this draws the eye up to a face which looks radiant and healthy, so the focus is no longer on the body and its wobbly bits. “Black is also often worn at work in the hope that is symbolises professionalism, prestige and power, however, is it memorable? Black on the wrong person will drain us and make us look unhealthy, whilst wearing the right colours and

“There are many years of research that show the effects of light and dark on our well-being. We know that to see gorgeous colours is mood lifting, which can even affect our physiology including improving our blood pressure, as well as our mood. Many of us wear dark clothes when we are grieving or low in mood, whilst we wear bright clothes as symbols of hope and positivity. Colour also is proven to have a deep impact on the way people view others, objects and brands, helps us makes decisions, and is linked to memories. No one can doubt that our spirits are lifted at the first signs of spring and we try to warm ourselves as autumn becomes established.”

HELEN VENABLES Managing Director www.houseofcolour.co.uk

But Venables hastens to add that it is not about wearing to wear a rainbow of bright colours but choosing the right colours that suit us, not those that look good on someone else. “Great


quality neutrals ooze style kudos especially using a pop of colour.We all have our own wow colours that always look amazing when worn close to our face. Even the wrong lipstick will drain us, but the right colour will make our complexion glow and can lift your whole look. Once you know what colours suit you, you can successfully make unlikely pairings and change things up a little bit if that is your style personality.”

STOPPING THE ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS OF FAST FASHION (AND STILL LOOKING STYLISH) The fashion industry is the second largest contributor to global landfill, largely due to the amount of clothes we throw out. Do you bear in mind the processes that are needed to make our clothes including the environmental impact of them being picked or produced, washed, spun, knitted, woven, finished, sewn and transported when you go shopping? We need to make our wardrobes sustainable and ecofriendly. Even making small changes could make a difference. Here are some of the best ways of how to do just that. People are buying more clothes and wearing them less. See the contents of your wardrobe as an investment with longevity in mind. Knowing what truly suits you and seeing past fad trends is an important step. Aim for timelessness. Buy less but concentrate on cost per wear ie actual cost is not the purchase price, but the price divided by how many times you are going to wear it. Choose better quality clothes to get great cost per wear. Avoid cheap tat. Look out for products that are made from recycled fibres, organic cottons and quality materials. Use locally sourced renewable materials when you can. Avoid polyester or nylon because they’re non-biodegradable. Synthetic fabrics are fashion's equivalent to single-use plastic. Typically (but not always) middle and higher end retailers tend to have better supply chain ethics than their fast fashion retail compatriots. Buy cheap and someone else pays.The likelihood is if your ‘perfect’ dress was only £20, then it was probably made in factories practicing cheap labour and poor conditions. Buy from brands who are actively working to improve the environment and put pressure on fashion firms to eco-fy their labels, by choosing companies committed to eco fashion practises. Having a disposable mindset is not good for the planet’s health. Be choosey and ask yourself do

Here are Helen Venables’ 5 best ways to be bold with colour 1) Use colour to look vibrant and radiant, this includes the neutrals that suit you. When you think colour, think both contrast and combinations. 2) It is true that once you know your colours, most of us need to do a spring clean of our wardrobes, but after that every piece should work effortlessly together meaning you can be more eco-friendly and don’t need an endless supply of new items. Instead boost your wardrobe with gorgeous accessories as the icing on the cake. 3) We all have a colour that we wished suited us, but we feel healthy and radiant when we are wearing the colours that best suit us. 4) Primary red is the only colour that suits every skin tone because it is neither yellow nor blue toned. 5) Know that colours are thought to be over 60% responsible for our first impressions of one another. For those of us who are more conservative at work, use good quality neutrals for professional kudos. A pop of colour can have the final say.

you REALLY love the garment you are about to buy. Don’t buy something on the sale which you wouldn’t have bought otherwise. Consider where you are making purchases – look out for vintage and pre-loved items (including charity shops). It goes without saying - never ask for a plastic shopping bag. If an existing garment doesn’t feel quite right for you, ask a friend who is nifty with a sewing machine to alter it or take it to the tailors. Changing the neckline, leg length or hem length is a classic way to make an item that has always felt slightly wrong, feel really right. Create a virtual filter on your wardrobe. Always offer hand me downs and see if any of your friends are interested in a few wardrobe swaps. Re-gift unwanted presents, take unwanted clothes to the charity shops and sell through dress agencies or online such as eBay.

Create a capsule wardrobe that makes you look and feel amazing. A capsule wardrobe is the minimum number of items to create the maximum number of outfits. Don’t repeatedly buy items you already have - how many coats, neutral tees and pairs of trousers do we actually need? Don’t double up.The strongest basis for a capsule wardrobe is using your colour palette and understanding your style profile because you should be able to wear any of the clothes in your wardrobe with one another. Educate yourself about landfill.The North Face and Marks & Spencers allows consumers to drop off unwanted items in their stores, regardless of condition or brand and they are then repurposed for another use. High-street names such as H&M, Levi’s and MAC reward you for recycling your unwanted goods. Being wasteful is far from cool.

Water wastage is very environmentally unfriendly so cutting down on your laundry or always doing a full wash will help. 35


FOOD & DRINK

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

JAMES MARTIN'S GREAT BRITISH ADVENTURE

CRAB CAKES WITH HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE Brown crabs are extremely commercially important and the crab fishery in British waters is one of the largest in the world, although the bulk of crabs are still exported to Spain and France. Brown crabs are found all over the British Isles where the rocks and weeds provide cover and, of course, the cold water. I’ve never eaten crab as good as the ones I tasted in Cromer and in the Orkney Islands on this trip.These cakes showcase the delicious flavour of fresh crab. Start by making the mayonnaise. Whisk the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar together in a medium bowl until smooth. Slowly pour the vegetable oil into the bowl, starting with a little drizzle and whisking well. This is easiest to do with an electric hand whisk. Continue to drizzle in the remaining oil, 36

whisking all the time, until the mixture has thickened. Season to taste. Put the crab into a large bowl with the potatoes, spring onions, chives, lemon juice and egg yolk. Season and mix everything together well. Divide the mixture into 8 portions. Dust your hands with flour and form each into a round fish-cake shape roughly measuring 8–10cm in diameter and 2cm thick. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Drizzle with a little oil and pop the fish cakes in. Cook for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden and heated through.You may need to do this in batches, depending on how big your pan is. To serve, pop 2 crab cakes onto each plate, garnish each with watercress and a lemon wedge and serve with a dollop or a little pot of mayonnaise.

S E RVES 4 400g white crab meat 400g cooked potato, pushed through a ricer 6 spring onions, sliced small bunch of chives, chopped juice of 1/2 lemon 1 egg yolk sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 25g plain flour, for dusting olive oil, for frying For the mayonnaise 3 egg yolks 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 200ml vegetable oil sea salt and freshly ground black pepper To serve small bunch of watercress 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges


WHISKY CHICKEN WITH WILD MUSHROOM & MUSTARD SAUCE Heat a large, wide, non-stick sauté pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the butter and heat until melted, then add the chicken pieces, skin-side down. Season them all, then fry for about 10 minutes, until deep golden. Stir in the shallots and garlic and cook for 3–4 minutes, until starting to soften. Turn the chicken over so it’s skin-side up. Pour the whisky into the pan and bring to a bubble to burn off the alcohol. Stir in both types of mustard, then add the potatoes, mushrooms and tomatoes. Season well then stir in the stock, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Cut through the thickest piece of meat and check there are no pink juices. When the chicken is cooked, pour over the double cream and stir in the parsley. Add the wild garlic to the pan and cook for around 1 minute until it’s wilted, then remove from the heat, sprinkle the flowers over the top and serve.

S E RVES 6 25g butter 1 x 2-kg chicken, jointed into 8 portions sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 shallots, diced 1 garlic clove, chopped 50ml whisky 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon grainy mustard 200g new potatoes, halved 100g wild mushrooms 4 medium tomatoes, quartered 750ml chicken stock 75ml double cream small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped small bunch of wild garlic, plus wild garlic flowers to serve

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FOOD & DRINK

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BREAD & BUTTER PUDDING WITH CHERRY COMPOTE

S E RVES 6-8

The keys to a great bread and butter pudding have to be the egg and egg yolk combo, the cooking time and temperature of the oven.Too many eggs and it tastes eggy, too hot an oven and the mix will soufflé and split, too long in the oven and it will be too firm. When made right, it’s a great dessert and one that should be on menus around the country. By the way, Paul Ainsworth doesn’t make a bad one at Number 6 in Padstow. METHOD Preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan)/300°F/gas 2. Butter each slice of bread on one side only, then cut off the crusts. Slice each piece in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. Lay them in a 30 x 20cm ovenproof dish, overlapping each slice as you go. To make the custard, put the eggs and egg yolks into a large bowl and add the sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk together to break down the eggs then pour in the milk and cream and continue to whisk until smooth. Pour as much of the mixture over the bread as possible to cover and set aside to soak for about 20 minutes – you won’t use all the custard at this stage. Keep topping up with more custard until all of it has been poured into the dish. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35–40 minutes. The pudding should be bubbling hot but not necessarily golden brown. To make the compote, put the cherries and sugar into a saucepan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar then bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and pour into a bowl. 38

100g butter, at room temperature 1 loaf medium-sliced white bread 4 eggs 8 egg yolks 200g caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 300ml milk 300ml double cream 2 tablespoons icing sugar For the compote 200g cherries, pitted 50g caster sugar

Dust the bread and butter pudding with the icing sugar and use a blow torch to caramelise the sugar or place it under a hot grill for a couple of minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve with the compote alongside.

EXTRACTED FROM JAMES MARTIN’S GREAT BRITISH ADVENTURE BY JAMES MARTIN (QUADRILLE, £25) PHOTOGRAPHY © PETER CASSIDY


HEALTH

BEATING JET LEG AS BEST YOU CAN

SELECTIVE FOOD - Certain foods are known to be better for you than others when it comes to avoiding jet lag. If you’re looking to sleep on a flight in order to adjust to the new time zone, it is recommended by some to eat carb-dense foods as you produce

50 PLUS MAGAZINE

Get out and about if you need to be staying awake until later.

more of the sleep-inducing neurotransmitter serotonin. Proteins on the other hand are more likely to increase your sense of alertness and therefore encourage your body to stay awake so eat more proteins if you are trying to stay up upon arrival!

Unfortunately for business travellers and holiday makers alike, there is no universal trick to prevent jet lag as a result of long-haul travel. Jet lag influences each of us differently so its best you find out what works for you but here are our top tips to help with jet leg and hopefully make your long-haul trip that little bit more enjoyable!

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AND LIQUIDS – Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Although you might find a G&T helps you drift off and a coffee helps to keep you up, their effects are generally shortterm and can further mess up your internal clock. The air inside airplanes is also dry, which can bring on migraines and dry out your skin so replace wine with water to keep your body well hydrated. TEMPERATURE + LIGHTING – Adjusting your body temperature and lighting can hugely influence your body’s ability to sleep. Bring a good eye mask and ear plugs with you to reduce distractions. Darkness helps the melatonin in your body tell your brain it is time to sleep. Also make sure your room is cool as this will lower your body temperature, making it easier to fall sleep.

ACCLIMATE – If you are very keen to avoid jetlag, try acclimating before you set off by slightly altering your meal and bed times. The same can be done in reverse when you come home. PLAN A STOP OVER – If your wallet can stretch that far and you have enough time, plan a stopover halfway to your final destination to help you acclimatize. Make sure you allow yourself some down-time amid the exploring to allow your body to adjust to the new time zone so you have plenty of energy and be raring to go when you reach your next destination! MELATONIN – Melatonin supplements are known to help prevent jet lag but is a prescription only medicine and is not fully licensed in the UK, although it is available over-the-counter in many other countries. Some foods naturally contain melatonin and are therefore good to have at an evening meal, such as bananas, oats, sweetcorn, rice, ginger and tomatoes. Avoid blue light from electronics, darken your room and quieten things down before bedtime to help the melatonin that you natural produce do its job to enable sleep.

Today’s hearing aids do a lot more than just amplify sound. With their advanced technology they can adjust to the sounds in your busy life automatically improving speech detection and minimising background noise everywhere you go. And they can make things easier by streaming music and phone calls wirelessly to your ears.

Hear as w e l l as you fee l

To book an appointment call us today on 01635 523343. 10 Weavers Walk, Newbury, RG14 1AL newburycentre@maryhare.org.uk www.maryharehearingcentres.co.uk

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HOME | 50 PLUS MAGAZINE

IS IT TIME TO DOWNSIZE YOUR HOME?

RETIRED HOUSING is one choice, usually aimed at people over 55 or 60.You have a tenancy granted for a long period of time and the leaseholder usually pays a large amount upfront and a smaller amount of “ground rent” to the landlord each year. So it’s important to understand what is charged initially and whether and how often this increases before making any financial commitment. Services are provided in retirement housing. These vary and are set out in the lease but usually include cleaning and general upkeep of communal areas and grounds’ repairs and maintenance.You are normally responsible for maintaining and repairing the inside of your own property.

F

OR many people, there is a time in their lives when they survey their previously much-loved home and decided that they need to downsize. It may be because this was a family home and the children are now grown-up with homes of their own or because your current home is too expensive or just doesn’t fit your needs anymore.

This type of housing offers independent living but with the company of others easily accessible. At Housing 21, for example, which operates in nearly 200 local authority areas and manages around 20,000 Retirement and Extra Care Living properties there are care packages tailored to suit individual needs. A dedicated Housing and Care or Housing Manager is on-site with a 24/7 care team. There is an impressive range of communal facilities and pets are very welcome.

Health and financial necessities often play a part in these considerations but, whatever the reasons for looking at a smaller property, the good news is that there are plenty of options available today. Th eU K’s Mo st Ou tst an din gR etir em en t

Retirement Village

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Please call to make a private appointment at your leisure we would love to welcome you. Contact Ruth Wilson on 01753 378 127

www.castleviewwindsor.co.uk

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PARK HOMES provide another excellent way of being independent but part of a community. They are cleverly-designed to fit everything you need into a smaller living area - so could be suitable if you want a home that’s easy to manage - and they are all on one level. You will own a park home but pay rent to the site owner for your pitch and be liable for council tax. It’s worth considering before you choose whether the site has a residential licence, so you can live there all year round. Look, too, at the energy supply arrangements, age restrictions and whether they allow pets, if there is an active residents’ association and whether the site manager lives on-site. Park homes are often situated in picturesque areas so offer a better quality of daily living. Lillybrook and Church Park, for example, are in the beautiful North Wiltshire countryside, just a five-mile drive from Royal Wootton Bassett. Here, a long-established family company look after the two parks which in total have 183 homes for around 300 residents. They are


also currently expanding to another 12 homes to be available around September. “Many of our residents are downsizing although some come from smaller homes in town and this is their first chance to own a detached property,” explained Director Philip Burchell. Their homes are built to an exceptionally high standard – 50 per cent higher than BS standard 3632 – which makes them especially well insulated. This is also means smaller bills and is part of the whole ethos of the parks and their eco-friendly homes where there is a strong and consistent commitment to protecting the environment. Their parks also form comfortable communities which are pro-active in the wider local community. Seven of the nine members on the local village hall committee, for example, are from these parks and the village hall is the company’s chosen charity to support.

There is sheltered housing to rent or buy and most is provided by local councils and housing associations. In most areas, the councl runs a waiting list of people looking for sheltered housing and many housing associations fill all their sheltered properties this way. A small amount of sheltered housing is available to rent privately. There may still be a minimum age threshold but you may not have to meet any other criteria. Waiting lists are likely to be shorter although rents may be higher. ASSISTED LIVING and EXTRA-CARE HOUSING is a type of “housing with care” which offers more support than sheltered housing but still allows you to live independently. It means you keep your independence while you’re assisted with tasks like washing, dressing, going to the toilet and taking medication. You live in a self-contained flat with your own front door but staff are usually available 24 hours a day to provide personal care and support services which are tailored to your needs.

In fact, the combination of a great home in stunning countryside with like-minded people around you creates, as Philip states, “just a lovely place to live.”

Common features include a scheme manager or warden or a team of support staff and an alarm system. Social activities may be arranged and there may be the opportunity to buy or rent privately.

SHELTERED HOUSING is a possible living choice if you need a bit more support or if you want to live in a smaller, easier-to-manage home. It’s usually available to those aged 55 and over and some common features include help from a scheme manager (warden) or support staff and 24-hour emergency help through an alarm system. There are also likely to be communal areas like gardens and or lounges if you feel like company and social activities for residents. Features do vary from scheme to scheme and at some you may get more support than others. Check what is available and how much they cost before making any long-term decisions.

You will also have to pay council tax, water rates and energy bills but you may be able to get help with your rent and/or service charges through Housing Benefit if you are renting or Pension Credit if you own your home. Help with Council Tax and the cost of care and support may be available through the local authority. *For more information on downsizing and housing choices go to www.ageuk.co.uk

New 12 Home development in North Wiltshire Luxury Park Home living for the over 50's Show homes available to view from September 2019, prices from £225,000

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For sales enquiries please phone 01249 890250 Email: living@lillybrook.co.uk Website: www.lillybrook.co.uk 41


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STILL UNDECIDED WHETHER A SMART METER WILL BENEFIT YOU? Lots of us are still uncertain about why we should get Smart Meters in our homes and how to make the switch. Warm & Safe Wiltshire is here to help people get a better understanding of the role of Smart Meters in our homes and help with any queries about your experiences with smart meters so far.

Don’t yet have a Smart Meter? If you don’t yet have one and are hesitant about getting one, we can talk you through what’s involved: if they’re safe, what the In Home Display is for, if they are available on pre-pay and if it’s possible to switch suppliers.

Already have one? If you already have a Smart Meter but don’t feel you’re making the most of it or it’s not doing what you thought it would, give us a call or come along to an event.

Get in touch with our team for free impartial advice: • Call 0800 038 5722 • Email warmandsafe@cse.org.uk • Come to an event near you www.warmandsafewiltshire.org.uk Warm & Safe Wiltshire is working with Smart Energy GB to help people understand smart meters and how to use them to get their gas and electricity under control. Warm & Safe Wiltshire is a commitment from Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Energy.

How do Smart Meters work? Why should I get one? Are they safe? What if I have a prepay meter?

Lots of us are still uncertain about why we should get Smart Meters in our homes, how they work or how to make the switch. Warm & Safe Wiltshire are here to help de-mystify the transition to Smart Meters.

Call us for free impartial advice 0800 038 5722 A few reasons people like Smart Meters ... • See what you’re spending in real time. • Start good energy saving habits by setting goals and budgets. • No more manual readings. • Easy to use with a pre-payment meter. • Helps to create a smart grid, collectively conserving our energy. Warm & Safe Wiltshire is a commitment from Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Energy | www.warmandsafewiltshire.org.uk

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HEALTH

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HOW BEST TO COPE WITH A LOVED ONE WHO HAS DEMENTIA It can be very upsetting to see your loved one go through dementia. If you feel overwhelmed by the level of care needed for your loved one, do not hesitate to contact professional help or book an appointment with your GP. There are a number of excellent voluntary agencies that support carers as well as sufferers.

HOW TO HELP SOMEONE WITH DEMENTIA With currently over 850,000 dementia sufferers in the UK, including one in three people over the age of 65, it is likely that someone in your life will be affected by dementia. To follow are some tips on how to help someone with dementia and how to take care of yourself as carers. Keep your loved one as appropriately active as possible to stimulate the brain and improve overall mood. Keeping up their confidence and making their lives feel valued is vital, as is keeping up a healthy diet. If the person finds speaking difficult, speak slightly more slowly and simply, and be aware of your tone of voice even if you feel frustrated. Having good eye contact will help them focus on you and your conversation. Try not to speak on their behalf in a conversation and give them time to answer.

labelling where things are in the kitchen and have important phone numbers by the phone. Practical solutions can make a huge difference to daily life. It is also important to attempt to make their life as safe as possible. Forgetfulness could mean leaving windows and doors open and not switching off appliances. Try to make sure this doesn’t occur with regular checks and phone calls. Understand that moods and personality traits of a loved one with dementia will change. Sometimes someone with dementia can get very upset by a sudden movement or sound so bear this in mind with any activities you do together.

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Everyone will experience caring in their own way. There may be days when you feel like you can cope well, and other days when you don’t. Many carers feel torn between different responsibilities such as their own family, work and their relationship with their partner. Remember you are only one person and there is only so much you can do. Supporting a relative with dementia can be hard for the whole family, and will mean changes and disruptions to everyday life. Talk things through with your children if they are affected by any changes.

CHOOSING CARE AT HOME Homecare is the first choice for people who need help with their personal care to lead independent lives. Many people use a homecare service as an alternative to moving into a care home. Homecare, also known as domiciliary care, is a term for support provided in the home by careworkers to assist someone with their daily life.

Organise an appropriate treat or outing to include the person with dementia, such as a walk in the park or perhaps take them out to lunch to somewhere they might enjoy. Look over old photographs and spend time with them when you can. Offer practical tips for how to make life easier such as writing instructions on how to turn on the washing machine, or a

Dementia can have a considerable emotional and practical impact on those supporting them. Accept offers of help with little things for example if someone else can the school run, or do some shopping for you. Ensure that you are still enjoying your life and that you are getting out to do things that you enjoy. As is the case with any carers, the role of caring is easier if you are refreshed yourself.

By Dr Riccardo Di Cuffa, Director and GP at Your Doctor www.your-doctor.co.uk

Enabling people to remain at home helps them maintain personal independence, comfort and contact with their local community. Homecare is flexible, with just the right amount of assistance given at any one time.


Bluebird Care UK provides high quality homecare and support to keep you safe and comfortable in your own home. We want to support you to maintain your chosen lifestyle. We believe that each customer is unique, with their own individual preferences and needs. So, we keep you in control and provide you with the homecare and support you want, where and when you want it. It’s your life and your care, so it must be your way.

The services we offer Choose our flexible homecare services, anything from a 30 minute check call, to 24 hour live in care. We can offer short term help (following an illness or because your usual carer is having a break), or longer term homecare and support. Our dedicated team of homecare workers are fully trained to: Assist with a ‘good morning’ start to the day, helping you to get up, wash, shower or bathe, dress and have breakfast l Remind or assist you to take your medicines and collect or return medication l

from your pharmacy or dispensing GP surgery l Prepare meals with or for you and assist you at mealtimes l Collect your pension for you or with you l Shop with you or help you to make a shopping list, go to the shops, come back and put it all away l Help with your laundry or ironing and keeping your home clean and tidy l Support you with social activities such as going out for a walk, attending a day centre, visiting friends or family, going to your church or club etc l Give a little pampering when you need it – the occasional visit to organise bathing, clean clothes, fresh bedding and a thoughtfully prepared meal before bedtime l At the end of each day, some help with getting ready for bed l Overnight ‘sleeper’ or waking support, respite care or a 24 hour live in service l Some of our offices can also offer homecare and support to children and their families either on a regular basis or for short term respite care

My life My home My cuppa, just the way I like it Home care from Bluebird Care Swindon

Find out more about home care and the difference it can make to your life. Email the Bluebird Care team: swindon@bluebirdcare.co.uk or call us on 01793 239499

bluebirdcare.co.uk/swindon

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CARE

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50 PLUS MAGAZINE

“My children were grown up and I was looking for something to do. I have always been a caring person, so when I saw an advert for a carer I applied,” said Sue. “I love it and I can’t imagine ever retiring, even though I am almost as old as some of my customers. “It gets me out, I love chatting to people and helping them, and I think it does me as much good as it does them! And Bluebird Care are very flexible so they are great to work for.” Carol Telling, 63, began her career in care in her 50s. She’d spent most of her working life in an office, which she enjoyed but she wanted a change.

WHY A CAREER IN CARE CAN SUIT OLDER PEOPLE

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e’ve all heard the saying ‘you’re only as old as you feel’ and one way that older people can ensure they remain young at heart is by working. In fact, statistics released earlier this year shows the number of those working into their 70s has doubled in the last decade – nearly one in 12 – and those in their 50s are said to be driving growth in employment. So working later into life is increasingly popular, and one sector with obvious appeal is care. At Bluebird Care Swindon

we welcome applications from people of all ages, but are particularly delighted to take on older people. They share life experiences, are hardworking, committed and – often have brought up their own children and grandchildren – are very caring. In other words, ideally suited to the role of carer. At the age of 73, Sue Lane has been a home care support worker for 30 years, and has been with Bluebird Care Swindon since the company was set up.

Meet Sandy Sh e l i s t e n s , s h e ’ s k i n d , s h e ’ s p a t i e n t she is Bluebird Care Swindon’s l on g es t s t a n d i n g c a r e a s s i s t a n t . I f yo u h a v e s i m i l a r q u a l i t i e s t o Sa n d y a n d w o u l d l i k e a r e w a r d i n g ca r eer i n h ome ca r e. . .

...We would love to hear from you! Bluebird Care Swindon Call us: 01793 239 497 Email us: s w i n d on @b l u eb i r d c a r e. c o. u k

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“On my first day I was hooked,” said Carol. “I was living in Wales at the time and the company I joined was new but offered really excellent training, so I felt very confident going out and seeing people. “I love what I do, and I love our customers. I especially love looking after those with dementia, because I can see the person they used to be. We see people from all walks of life, and I’d say 99% never complain. “When I walk out of the door to go to work, whatever worries I have leave me within minutes, because I have all that time chatting to people and helping them. And when I close the door and leave them I know they are safe, clean and fed, and I’ve kept them company.” Tanya Johnston, 51, has a long career in care and moved to Bluebird when her previous employer introduced 15 minute visits. “We don’t do 15 minutes visits at Bluebird Care, it’s just not long enough to do what we have to do and we all like to go that extra mile for our customers. I love my job, and the minute I put my uniform on I am off! If I can put a smile on someone’s face then it makes my day.” All three would urge anyone interested in working in care to give it a try. At Bluebird Care, all new recruits get excellent training and work shadowing, so they are fully supported until they feel confident enough to deliver care on their own.

For more information about a career with Bluebird Care Swindon, call 01793 239 499, email swindon@ bluebirdcare.co.uk or visit www.bluebirdcare.co.uk/swindon.


CONFIDENCE

N

ow that summer is here, for most of us it is a good time to get out in the fresh air, whether that is a visit to a garden or a park in and around Swindon - Lydiard, Stanton, Coate Water and Old Town Gardens come to mind - or the many other open spaces and gardens around the area to enjoy.

Going out and about for a lot of people is all about confidence: that could be worrying about where the nearest toilet is, or about a lack of support when walking. Even if you are wheelchair-bound, confidence plays a big part: for instance, is the person pushing the wheelchair fit for the job?

So, if your worry or lack of confidence is stopping you or a loved one getting out and about, pop into one of the Mobility Stores around Wiltshire (contact details listed below). There you will find a choice of products which can help with confidence and independence – from a radar key for the disabled toilets, a walking aid (with or without a seat), to a device to motorise your wheelchair.

We also need confidence that the sun will shine. Enjoy it! WM

MAKE LIFE EASIER On the move: Mobility scooters Footcare: Mobility scooter repairs shoes and slippers Large range of mobility aids Footcare appointments Hire services FREE Hearing health Stairlifts THE MOBILITY STORE 7 Clive Parade Cricklade Road, Swindon SN2 1AJ

01793 701313

swindon@thehearingandmobilitystore.co.uk

THE MARLBOROUGH MOBILITY STORE

Rise and recline furniture Adjustable beds

check

THE WROUGHTON MOBILITY STORE

56 George Lane, Marlborough SN8 4BY

Unit 9A, Ellendune Shopping Centre Wroughton SN4 9LN

wiltshiremobility@mail.com

wroughtonmobility@mail.com

01672 511550

01793 815083

THE BOURTON ON THE WATER MOBILITY STORE Lansdowne Bourton on the Water GL54 2AR

01451 810088

bourtonmobility@mail.com

FREE LEVEL ACCESS PARKING AT ALL STORES www.thehearingandmobilitystore.co.uk

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Profile for 50 Plus Magazine

Local magazine for the over 50s, includes leisure, lifestyle, travel, health, finance  

Local magazine for the over 50s, includes leisure, lifestyle, travel, health, finance  

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