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Affinity Magazine April 2012 Cover_Layout 1 copy 14/03/2012 13:16 Page 1

ISSUE 11

April 2012

APRIL 2012

As worn by the stars

EXCLUSIVE

interview with Connie Fisher

nteriors

I

outdoor furniture fit for a king

New lines now in store

MILLMAN

Jewellers of Distinction 2 Church Arcade Bedford TEL 01234 354026

AFFINITY MAGAZINE

Miscarriage the secret heartache

BB Creams

tried & tested

Egg-stra special Easter treats for everyone

Your FREE Monthly Magazine

BEAUTY - FOOD - DRINK - HEALTH - FITNESS - STYLE - INTERIORS - MOTORS - WHAT’S ON


Affinity Magazine April 2012 Cover_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 14:49 Page 2

A warm and friendly welcome awaits you

WHY NOT PUT THE SPRING BACK INTO YOUR STEP!

I

The Victoria Arms is under new management and has been refurbished

ER EE FFION F L O TAT I A S UL EC CON 20 SPNITIAL £

A Friendly Welcome Awaits

NY OF IF YOU SUFFER FROM ANY T FOLLOWING, GIVE US A THE CALL & LET US HELP YOU. CAL CALL Home cooked food is served daily with a variety of specials on offer Monthly Curry Night second Thursday of every month with the next one on April 12th Only £6.95

Chiropractic ttreatment can benefit the ffollowing:

CHRONIC/ACUTE BACK PAIN NECK PAIN HIP/KNEE JOINT PAIN GENERAL ACHES AND PAINS NECK RELATED HEADACHES FROZEN SHOULDER SHOULDER/ELBOW/TENNIS ELBOW PAIN MIGRAINES

Book now for your Easter Sunday Roast £8.95 (adults) £4.50 (children)

Join us for the Wilden May Day Celebrations on May 7th A wonderful variety of cask ales, lagers and wines “Relaxed dining at its best” Why not just pop in for tea or coffee Sunday lunch is between Noon and 6pm at only £8.95 (adults) and £4.50 (children)

The Victoria Arms, High Street, Wilden 01234 772437

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call our clinic TODAY TODAY for our consultation and health check.

CALLL US NO OW 012344 353937 0 2TW Bedford Chiropractic Clinic 20b De Parys Avenue, Avenue, Bedford MK42 admin@bchiropracticclinic.co.uk admin@bchiropracticclinic.co.uk www.bedfordchiropractor.co.uk www.bedfordchiropractor.co.uk Registered with the GCC - BCA Major insurance companies


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LIINZI JAMES Medical Aesthetic Practitioner BABTAC, CIBTAC, CITY & GUILDS T.C.H. DIPLOMA, MEMBER OF IAAFA Liinzi has established a huge reputation during the past 20 years as a leader in the provision of aesthetic and cosmetic treatments. Established now for 20 years, in the tranquil village of Oakley, Hazel and her team offer a wealth of experience and knowledge, offering a full range of Hair and Beauty treatments

• Top to Toe days • Lash Perfect - Professional Lash Extensions • St Tropez Tan or Spray Tanning • Nailtiques Deluxe Treatments for Hands and Feet

• Orly fx Gel Manicure Power Packed with Vitamins • Decleor Skin Care • Environ Anti Ageing Skin Care • Award Winning Jane Iredale Mineral Make-up

Wella Premier Salon • Wedding Hair-up Experts • Specialists in all aspects of Hair Dressing and Colour Professionals • Mens grooming and Barbers We offer an excellent Wedding package to meet all the needs of the bride, groom and wedding party, both leading up to and on the wedding day.

Gift Vouchers Available Open 6 days per week, including late nights 01234 826502 www.hazel-kaye.com


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Undeniably chic, and of a quality unrivalled in the area, Affinity is the perfect medium to target the affluent people in your area. Don’t run out of time Advertise now!

call Jane on: 01234 215523 07809 499669 jane@aďŹƒnitymag.co.uk

AB BRAND-NEW RAND - NEW M MUSICAL USICAL FFULL ULL O OFF C CLASSIC LASSIC 6 60s 0s HITS HITS In Including cluding A T Teenager eenager in in Love, Love, S weets ffor or m yS weet, T e Sweets my Sweet, Turn u rn M Me Loose, Loose, H Here ere I Go Go Again, Again, V Viva iva Las Vegas, Vegas, Little Las Little Sister, Sister, His H is Latest L a te st F Flame, lame, Suspicion, Suspicion, Can’t Can’t Get Get Used Used tto oL Losing osing Y You, ou, S Save ave the the Last Last Dance Dance F For or M Me e and a nd m many any m more! ore!

TUE T UE 10 1 0 - SAT SAT 14 14 APR APR 0844 0844 8 871 71 7 7652 652 (bkg (bkg fee) fee) G GROUP RO U P S SALES A LE S 0 01908 1 908 5 547609 47609

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Cover image Model - Bernii Francis Dress - TK Max, ÂŁ16.99 Location - The Mansion House  

  

 

  

 

  

  



 

    

    

     

decorate your house at Easter then check out our egg-stra special interiors on page 44.

I am sooooo excited to announce the first annual Affinity Charity Ball on 12th October this year at The Sharnbrook Hotel. It is in memory of my very dear friend Patrick (Pat) McGirl with all proceeds going to Leukaemia. It promises to be a spectacular evening, so if you wish to book tickets or are interested in sponsorship don’t hesitate to contact me – more details are on page 13.

Finally we caught up with Connie Fisher (winner of ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria?’) over cocktails as she prepares for her new role in Wonderful Town. Happy Easter Everyone

This month’s issue is a chocolate lover’s heaven with chocolate everywhere you look!

Jane x

We took advantage of the nice spring weather with our funky fashion shoot.

P.S. Check out our website www.affinitymag.co.uk, follow us on twitter @affinitymagz and find us on Facebook.

With the sunshine comes talk of outdoor living, so we have brought you a collection of furniture to jazz up anyone’s outdoor living space, and if you are one of the growing number of people that

Jane Fry jane@affinitymag.co.uk 01234 215523 07809 499669

Advertising Affinity is an aspirational, luxury lifestyle magazine for Beds, Bucks and Northants. It features the best in homes & interiors, music & events, food & travel, beauty & fashion, as well as interviews with celebrities and local personalities.

website ensure you are seen by hundreds more potential customers, with links direct to advertiser’s websites we will keep you ahead of your competitors.

Undeniably chic, Affinity is the perfect medium to target the affluent and influential people in your area.

To discuss your requirements, and for all your advertising needs contact: Julia Crofts

We distribute over 10,000 copies each month which equates to an average readership of 55,000 per issue, and our online magazine and

Julia@affinitymag.co.uk 07507 602401 O1234 215523

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Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:24 Page 2

Colour My

hreadcrafts, of course, are more about colour than almost anything else. Whether it’s patchwork, beading, knitting yarns, embroidery or tapestry (or any of a dozen other similar crafts), at the end of the day colour is what makes or breaks the end result.

T

fool the eye (trompe l’oeil), by putting intermediate colours side by side or by overlaying two colours to make the observer think they’re seeing intermediate shades that really aren’t there.

World!

Humans are often very sensitive to quite subtle colour differences or changes, and we appear to develop senses of colour “rightness” which are individual to each of us. With all of this going for us, you’d think that choosing colours for our masterpieces would be a simple matter. But – as most of you reading this will know very well – this is not the case, especially when we are starting out. Painters (and I dabble a bit) can “manufacture” the colour variations they need by mixing two or more colours to get just that shade that they want. That’s not so easy to do with fabric, beads, yarns or embroidery cottons though. However, it is sometimes possible to achieve by setting out to

    

If you are looking for a gift this Easter time, you are sure to find something different at Country Complements. Personally sewn textiles, Organic toiletries, Children's books and toys,Traditional confectionery and much, much more!

We find that people new to threadcraft are often nervous about choosing colours for their first half-dozen projects. We spend a lot of time with them, helping them to select their main colours and then to choose others that will compliment or contrast them. Some crafters never really get the hang of colour and will always require help from craft shop staff or other crafters – but these are few and far between. Most people soon manage to call on that sense of “colour rightness” that seems to be built into us and begin to do some really interesting things with colour. For more information contact: Tudor Rose Patchwork 01234 824983 www.tudorrosepatchwork.co.uk

Come to our Fantastic World of Colour! Whether it’s Fabric or Dyes or Yarn or Thread or Beads or even ... Zips!

We have a fantastic range of colours in all of them

TudorRose Patchwork Opening Hours Tues - Thur 9am - 5pm Fri 9am - 6pm - Sat 9am - 3pm

FRANKLINS FARM, THORNCOTE GREEN, SANDY, BEDS SG19 1PU 07720 640341 daphne@countrycomplements.co.uk www.countrycomplements.co.uk

Your LOCAL Threadcraft Hobby Shop! http://www.tudorrosepatchwork.co.uk

Present this Magazine and get Phone 01234 824983 10% off your next Purchase!* info@tudorrosepatchwork.co.uk *Cannot be used with other offers

Station Road, Oakley MK43 7RB


Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:24 Page 5

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CONTENTS 8 12 22 30 36 38 47 50 56 60

Fry’s Footie Osteoporosis Chocolate Heaven Connie’s Chat On The Couch Interiors St. George’s Ska Easter Dining Drive Time Looking At Prague For All Your Advertising Needs Contact: julia@affinitymag.co.uk 01234 215523 07505 602401

All adverts are printed in good faith. Affinity cannot take responsibility for the content of adverts. Advertisements are accepted on the understanding that description of goods and services are accurate. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. Printed in the UK by Regal Litho 01908 270400 www.regallitho.co.uk


Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:24 Page 6

Fry’s

footie corner

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t’s all very exciting, coming to the business end of the season as we are now. The fight to be Champions or to gain promotion and the dreaded threat of relegation is closing in on all of us with many clubs in this battle.

The Premier League title race will go to one of the Manchester clubs and it could well be decided when United face City later this month. They’ve both had unbelievable runs all season and it will be interesting to see who lifts the silverware. Fourth, fifth and sixth place in the top league will be a battle between the London clubs, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea. Very little separates these clubs so it will be down to who are the most consistent and the same can be said at the bottom. Realistically, five clubs are battling for survival with three facing the dreaded drop to the Championship. In the Championship, it is just as close with Southampton, Reading and West Ham United the three clubs fighting for automatic promotion. Up to 10 clubs below them have a chance of reaching the play-offs. At the bottom, it looks like six clubs will fight fiercely with half of those clubs facing relegation to League One. In that division, it is extremely tight at the top. Charlton Athletic had a bit of a wobble in March but they are still out in front. Themselves, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town and MK Dons all looking like they have secured a play-off spot. Another five clubs underneath them are fighting for the one remaining play-off spot. At the foot of that division, with four going down, it looks like there are 10 clubs in a battle for their futures in League One. League Two is hugely competitive below Swindon Town, who look like they will be automatically promoted after an excellent campaign under Paulo Di Canio. Four other clubs are fighting each other for the two remaining automatic places. Who drops out of League Two is another battle with up to seven clubs in the fight for survival and that really is a fight. The Conference is a huge league, around 85% of the clubs are full-time at that level and the Conference is just as keenly contested with Wrexham and Fleetwood Town pushing each other for the title. All in all, the season has gone very quickly and we are coming to the climax of it now with honours to be decided. Sit back eat your Easter Eggs and enjoy the ride!

Barry Fry

8


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Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:25 Page 8

Spring

Fling Spring has well and truly arrived with some wonderful weather of late, so why not grab some cute accessories and products to brighten up those crisp, clear days. You’ll look great from head to toe with help from the latest in Spring hair and beauty.

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he MUA Love Hearts Collection combines great beauty products with a retro sweet feel. Pucker up with one of their lip balms or give your nails a sweet treat with a pop of colour. The packaging is eye-catching and the colours are perfect for a spring day. With the choice of pastel or bright shades in the nail polish (£2) for your manicure you can pick and mix to suit your mood. The lipbalms (£2) have a hint of colour and will moisturise dry lips in an instant. With five shades to choose from you may have to pick them all up. The cute messages on the packaging will definitely put you in the mood for love, and at such great value your bank balance will love you even more! Available from Superdrug.

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rown & Glory is the perfect pit-stop to pick up some gorgeous floral hair slides. If you have a special spring day planned the slide can be customised to create your own unique stunning hair accessory. Why not add this beautiful Lana Orchid Alice Band (£10) for that finishing touch – ideal with pretty pastels. The Monarch Butterfly Clips (£6) would look striking against an up-do of tumbling curls. All items are handmade with loving care and gift sets are available.

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low away those cobwebs with this Corioliss Vintage Compact Travel Dryer £39.99. It’s perfect for a weekend away or if you are short on space. Dual voltage circuitry means you can use it at home or away, and it can be stored in its’ handy travel pouch. The two speed setting and the 1200ww motor is more than enough for this compact beauty to be an essential part of your hair styling. We love its’ 60’s floral design! www.corioliss.com

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enman’s classic D3 styling brush (from £7.31) has been given a fruity twist, combining the classic look with a fresh design and sweet scent. The D3 styler is suitable for any length hair, and works well to smooth, style and shape. With infused aromas such as Tangy Orange, Green Apple, Wild Dewberry, Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Sherbet, it’ll give you a burst of spring every time you brush your hair.

A

nd it wouldn’t be spring without some cute baby animals, these pucker ducks each come with a different design and flavour. MAD Beauty’s Pucker Ducks come in five fab flavours, Blueberry, Black Boa – Toffee, Hearts – Strawberry, Purple Boa – Vanilla and Silver Tiara – Plum, and would look sweet on anyone’s dressing table. You can collect them all at £2.50, you’d be ‘quackers’ not too! Whether it’s your hair, lips or nails with these spring beauties you’ll be ready to skip into summer. For more hair tips from Kelly visit our Hair Clinic at www.affinitymag.co.uk Kelly Gay www.klghairadvice.com 11


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Osteoporosis ecently I have been speaking to several people who have recently been diagnosed with Osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones and I felt compelled to write about this degenerative disease. There are many causes of Osteoporosis and men are affected as well as women. Whilst I understand their very natural concern about receiving this diagnosis, after a fracture to the wrist or ankle, I want to stress the positive by saying that our bones are constantly regenerating and repairing whatever our age – although this regeneration does slow down as we

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age. There is a constant dynamic interchange between osteoclasts - bone cells responsible for breaking down and re-cycling old bone tissue and osteoblasts, which repair and regenerate bone tissue and this battle goes on throughout our life. Therefore, to strengthen bones we need to create the environment within the body that helps osteoblasts to thrive. I have outlined some Ayurvedic and Naturopathic remedies which will help this process, either if you have been diagnosed or are at risk of osteoporosis.

An alkaline diet Acid forming foods, such as sugar, coffee, overly processed food, white carbs and diet colas leads to acidosis and leaching of calcium from the bones in order to alkalise and balance the body. Over time this weakens the bones. Fruit, vegetables - especially root vegetables and leafy greens, along with nuts and seeds provide the re-alkalising minerals needed to repair bone tissue and keep it strong.

Supplementation Research shows that Vitamin D supplements help to reduce bone fractures. There are some 20 nutrients needed for healthy bones and good quality supplementation is essential. Seek professional advice as to the most suitable supplement for your needs. Herbs There are also several phyto- oestrogenic herbs, which help to protect against osteoporosis, along with calcium from natural sources. These can be tailor made formulas according to individual needs and the cause of the osteoporosis.

Anti-inflammatory foods Also add oily fish, walnuts, and olive oil for their omega-3 fatty acids which act as natural antiinflammatories in the body.

Reduction in stress The stress hormone cortisol can be detrimental to bone health if it’s secreted into the body 24/7 during periods of chronic stress.

Foods rich in Calcium and Magnesium These are just some of the foods which will keep bones strong • Broccoli • Bony sardines and salmon • Tofu and miso soup • Sesame and sesame seeds • Tahini • Blackstrap molasses • Green leafy vegetables i.e. rocket, kale, romaine lettuce • Brazil nuts

Therapeutic massage, with anti-inflammatory herbal oils, helps to slow the rate of deterioration, and massage allows the body and mind to relax. Cortisol is able to take a break from constantly circulating in the body and leaching calcium from the bones.

Ayurvedic Health tip

Exercise Gentle bone strengthening exercise includes walking, some particular yoga postures, T’ai chi and Qi gong.

Eating a handful of white sesame seeds can provide the daily RDA of 1200mg of calcium, along with other valuable minerals.

For further information contact Carolyn Wood-Herbalist and Naturopath MAMH, MANP, ITEC 07944 886502 www.vedatherapeutics.co.uk 12


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Affinity’s

Black Tie & Tiara Charity Ball In aid of Leukemia and in memory of ‘Pat McGirl’ Friday 12th October 2012 7.00pm - 1.00am The Sharnbrook Hotel A6/Park Lane, Sharnbrook, Beds MK44 1LX Drinks & Canapé Reception Three Course Dinner Raffle & Charity Auction Dancing to live band ‘Vision’ And much more.......

Tickets £50 per person Book early to avoid disappointment For ticket or sponsorship enquiries please contact: Jane Fry - 01234 215523 / 07809 499669 Email: jane@affinitymag.co.uk


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Hot off the Press ......

BB Cream I

have recently jumped on the BB Cream wagon. It’s a hugely growing trend that has hit all major brands in the cosmetic world. You may have seen the adverts on TV advertising this product, but haven’t been entirely sure what it’s all about. Well, let me help you with a few key facts as to why this cream should be added to your bag: • It helps soothe the skin like an anti-inflammatory where you might suffer redness or blemishes • It acts as a primer to help even skin tone and brightens your complexion • It covers blemishes like a concealer. • Hydrates the skin like a moisturiser • Contains UV protect like a sunscreen • Contains Anti-Aging properties like a serum

Not bad for one product eh! The brief history: • BB stands for Blemish Balm – although not to be taken literally, as it is more than that as you’ll see! • It was originally used and made popular in South Korea by a famous actress. • It was created by a German Dermatologist in the 1950’s, originally to support the healing of the skin after her patients had undergone Skin Peel Treatments. I have tried and tested it and have to say I love it! My brand of choice is the L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Cream (£9.99) which simply gave me an even complexion without feeling like I actually had anything on my skin! Although there are lots to choose from and all to fit in with your budget. As a makeup artist, it might surprise you to know that like many other people, I hate nothing more than feeling like I have layers of makeup on my skin which I know is just clogging my pores. So this is the perfect new alternative. I’d certainly recommend this product if you wanted to try something new. Sabina Ventriglia, Professional Makeup Artist sabinav@hotmail.co.uk www.sabinaventriglia.co.uk

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Bio-Essence £34.79 ecrater.co.uk

Clinique £25 Debenhams

17 £6.99 Boots

Garnier £7.49 Superdrug

N˚7 £12.95 Boots

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Jackie Kane MBSR, HAR, MIFR Reflexology Practitioner Reflexology is a safe and effective holistic treatment, based on stimulating pressure points in the feet it: • Deeply relaxes and restores the body's energy and circulation, eliminating toxins and relaxing muscle tension • Relieves symptoms of many common ailments, ie asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, digestive problems etc • Successful in the treatment of stress related conditions ie IBS, migraine, insomnia, fatigue etc Reflexology can never harm and treatments can be given to young children through to the very elderly. It is also safe and very beneficial to treat women during pregnancy, giving relief from the associated discomforts, ie backache, indigestion, swollen feet etc. Reflexology can help in a number of ways. If you have any queries or need further information please do not hesitate to contact Jackie on:

The Olney Healthcare Clinic 01234 712003 or direct on 07974756311 jk-reflexology@hotmail.co.uk             

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Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:25 Page 16

Has your diet gone ou It’s reached that time of year where the New Year’s resolutions are long gone and we may well be back to our normal ways of eating.

ating things we know we shouldn’t and saying “I’ll go to the gym tomorrow”. But why? What happened to all those good intentions? On a day to day basis I meet people who have tried diets in the past and tried to eat healthily but failed and having spoken to them I come up with three unbelievable reasons why people fail to make it happen.

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“Low fat” foods On our supermarket shelves we see the words “low fat” all the time. However a ‘low fat’ option doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy. In some cases a low fat option can be where a food brand offer a higher fat version of the same product. For example Walkers crisps sell Cheese and Onion flavour in both their regular range and their Walkers Light range, the regular has 8.3g of fat, the light ones have 5.3 grams of fat per 100g. So the Light ones aren’t really low in fat, they are just lower in fat than their regular counterparts. This is frequently seen across low fat ranges so, always read the label to be sure of what you’re actually getting. If it sounds unhealthy then it generally is. Low fat chips, low fat chocolate, low fat crisps don’t scream “eat me - I’m really healthy for you!”

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out the....

window

“Quick fixes” We all know what these are - the faddy diets, the celebrity diets, the ones that have you popping pills, eating weird green slime and cutting goodness knows what out of your diet.

Recently I saw an advert for a weight loss pill that claimed it could help you lose 1-2lbs per day. Now we all should know by now that this extreme weight loss is not healthy by any stretch of the imagination, so I looked further into it to see how it actually worked. Basically you were required to take a drop containing a hormone found in pregnant women to decrease appetite yet still allow for the correct and essential nutrients to be absorbed. I thought - wow this sounds interesting so went on to read more about it, thinking ‘it can’t be that simple that a single drop of this hormone can make such a dramatic weight loss - so I read

“Only 97 calories” This is my biggest concern when it comes to ‘diet’ foods, when a product says “only 97 calories” or something along those lines. The reason this worries me is because a small serving of a very, very unhealthy food product may only have 97 calories but that’s because it is a small serving NOT because it is healthy.

on......on the third day of taking the drop you switch your normal diet to one of just 500 calories per day - that is 1/5th of the recommended calorie intake for an average male. No wonder people are losing weight - they are starving themselves! There is no such thing as a ‘quick fix’ - there are faster ways of losing weight and slower ways, but weight loss should be a steady lifestyle change rather than a dramatic alteration. A fad diet is exactly that - a fad. Any successful weight loss should be done and maintained with eating a balanced, healthy diet that promotes good eating habits and a healthy relationship with food not limiting you to 500 calories per day.

actually our diet bar isn’t looking too healthy anymore. There are 85 less calories and 8 grams more of sugar (per 100 grams) in the ice cream than in the diet bar. Now I’m not saying for one second go out and eat ice cream instead but it’s a classic example of how we see what we want to see and how we perceive the advertising campaigns of such ‘healthy food’ products. (By the way Kelloggs spent £6.6m on TV advertising on the launch of the cereal bar brand in 2008)

A perfect example is the Special K Bliss Mint bar, it says “only 90 calories, it’s a little indulgence you can enjoy” It sounds too good to be true......and it is really. The bar only weighs 22g so it is as described - under 90 calories, however if you look at the nutritional information per 100g you will The best diet food around is the natural food you find in the fruit and vegetable section of the find that it has 403 calories, 10 grams of fat and 36 grams of sugar. If we compare that to say supermarket. Combine that with the leanest meats and fish you can find, such as turkey, Haagen-Daas, Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream which contains per 100 grams, 318 calories, 20.7 grams salmon, chicken, venison and there you have it diet food! of fat and 28 grams of sugar, we realise that Julie Holl - Personal Trainer - Holl Fitness Studio 07808 739651 - jules@hollgroup.com


Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:26 Page 18

Eco

Life

Chocolate lovers have every reason to get egg-cited as Easter approaches, and the good news is the ever increasing range of Fair Trade Easter Eggs on offer means that there really is something for everyone

Organic White Milk or Dark Chocolate Cheeky Bunnies £4.99 per Box montezumas.co.uk

Luxury Fairtrade Milk Chocolate Egg with Silver Pearls £10 Marks & Spencer

WIN! WIN! WIN! We have 2 Montezumas Organic Easter Eggs up for grabs just email ‘Montezumas’ to info@affinitymag.co.uk for your chance to win Cute Easter Biscuit Tin £24.99 biscuitvillage.co.uk Super Thick Half Dark & Half Milk Chocolate Egg With Truffles £17.99 montezumas.co.uk

Trio of Chicks £5.99 biscuitvillage.co.uk

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Management skills: delegation, motivation and managing change Managing pressurised workload: stress & time management, life balance Project management: creative and pragmatic planning tools Assertive conflict management: adult to adult communication, rapport and negotiation Presentation skills: confidence for the new presenter, refresher and public speaking Team working: taking stock of strengths, creating a vision and values, reviewing the team dynamic Neuro Linguistic Programming Business Applications Personality Profiling using Myers Briggs, Belbin Team Roles and Strengths Deployment Inventory

            

  

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Bunny Carrot Cake £11 Marks & Spencer

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The Rocket Easter Egg £12 hotelchocolat.co.uk

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Sporting Targets junior taster sessions

ith the Easter holidays nearly upon us it is often a challenge to keep the kids entertained, trying to find something that they will find rewarding and memorable.

talk about Robin Hood. They then headed to the air rifle range, and after being shown how the air rifle worked, the children were presented with a number of targets, from the traditional to targets that fly round and round when hit, which caused a lot of excitement. They are then given the traditional targets to take away, so they can compare their scores, a nice bit of memorabilia!

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Sporting Targets may very well have the answer to this dilemma. They offer an experience for the 8 to 18 age group that will leave the kids talking for days afterwards. Under expert supervision and instruction, they can experience using a bow and arrow, shooting a shotgun (they have very small ones for those of a small stature) and shooting an air rifle. In short, they will experience what they have seen in the films, but in a safe and professionally instructed environment. It begins with the children being introduced to their instructor, there are never more than six in a group, and they keep the same instructor throughout all three activities. This way each child gets to know the instructor and vice versa. Parents are encouraged to watch and there are plenty of opportunities to take photographs.

Finally on to clay shooting, this time with moving targets. Each child in turn was given the chance of breaking the clay flying through the air - at 110mm in diameter this is a challenge. Each child managed to break the clay with help and instruction.

Each activity begins with a safety briefing followed by each child having a one to one on each of the activities, the instructor demonstrates how, in each case, to hit or break the target.

The children were all excited and buzzing about their experience, comparing scores, shots, etc.

The activity started with archery, with each child using a bow and arrow suitable for their stature, with the instructor close by to provide all the assistance needed. Each child had the opportunity of hitting the bulls eye of the large target, some twenty meters away. Indeed a number of children achieved this, with a lot of

To finish, everyone received a certificate to show they had attended and completed the experience. It was very impressive how the instructor taught respect of the equipment used and maintained vigilance on safety throughout. It is not surprising that Sporting Targets is recognized as one of the top shooting schools in the UK. The facilities are second to none, with an on site clubhouse and restaurant, all completely child friendly. This is a perfect activity for a birthday party or just that special treat. An experience that will keep the kids talking for days. 01234 708893 www.sportingtargets.co.uk 28


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Unlock Your Door Without Any Keys! W

e’re all used to unlocking our cars with a remote control, but what about our homes? The new Keyfree lock from Yale allows you to do just that!

A UK first, Keyfree allows you to access and secure your home using a handy remote control fob or a personalised PIN code, with no need for a traditional key. The small remote fob can be used within a 15 metre range to activate the lock, so when it’s pouring with rain, you can unlock your front door from the car! Alternatively, the PIN code can be set using the keypad to any 4 to 12 digit number of your choice, which means you no longer have to worry about carrying or losing your keys.

For peace of mind, the PIN code can be reprogrammed from the inside of the door at any time. There’s also a separate visitor code function that’s ideal if you have relatives coming to stay or if you want your neighbours to check on your home while you’re on holiday. Simply set the visitor code and they can have access to your property for as long as you need them to. The Keyfree lock is easy to use, thanks to the illuminated keypad and clever built-in voice guide, which tells you when the door is locked, unlocked or low on power. It also has a number of advanced security features, including a tamper alarm and a ‘fake’ PIN code system that allows you to enter any number of digits to distract onlookers, as long as you start or end with your real code. Like all Yale products, Keyfree has undergone rigorous security and weather testing, and has been designed to meet Secured by Design – a UK police initiative for safer homes.

Keyfree is operated by four AA batteries and requires no hardwiring or electrical support. The unit has a low battery warning light, but there are also two back-up options – a mechanical key and a 9v battery point, which are both hidden in the handle. The Keyfree lock can be installed on uPVC, composite and timber doors by your local Yale Security Point installer – a nationwide network of professional security installers. The lock is supplied in a choice of polished chrome or brass to complement other door furniture. For more information on the new Yale Keyfree please visit www.yaledigital.co.uk. To discuss with David Robinson of Yale Security Point please call 01908 887721 or 07723 534194.

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C

onnie Fisher - who won BBC show How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria in 2006 - had been told by doctors that she would never sing again.

Connie found fame in 2006 when she beat thousands of hopefuls to win the BBC show and take over the role made famous by Julie Andrews in the 1965 film. She played Maria in the Sound of Music in the West End on and off for five years to excellent reviews. Married to Jeremy Reed, a banker whom she met on the platform of Cardiff Central station, Connie’s life seemed to be perfect, until last August when she announced that she would have to quit the role of Maria for good after a vocal condition left her unable to hit the right notes. Never one to give up, after undergoing surgery Connie sang in public for the first time in January this year with a special performance in her new role of Ruth Sherwood in Leonard Bernstein's Wonderful Town. We caught up with Connie three weeks into rehearsals for Wonderful Town which comes for a stint in Milton Keynes later this month, “The role was previously played by Maureen Lipman” she told us “Making the character my own is really important to me, I don’t want to be Maureen Lipman I want to make my own Ruth I want it to be funny and quirky so I’m working on that, my job as an actress is to tell a story and that is what I am trying to do with Ruth. Over Manhattan cocktails, cups of tea and biscuits we asked Connie: Shopping, what is your weakness? Shoes, I only have one pair of designer shoes though, I tend to buy myself something designer when I get a big job, I also like bags especially Mulberry I have three Mulberry’s although the one I have at the moment I think it may be a fake, I brought it from the outlet online, so I’m not sure, but it’s fine from a far no one knows (laughs) I shouldn’t be telling a journalist this (laughs again) but that’s fine it shows I’m human. Also with being an actress I have to live out of a suitcase a lot so I would say I have about 15 suitcases all in different colours I do like bright ones so shoes, bags and suitcases are my weakness. Do you have any hair and beauty tips? I had extensions because I wanted long hair – don’t have them is my tip, I had eyelash extensions ouch don’t have them they rip your eyes when you pull them out and you loose your own lashes, I wear falsies now for the show, I am


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talking the full ones don’t have those individual ones don’t bother. I would just say wear Mac - I wear Mac I love Mac - it’s brilliant and never comes off. I have had the same make up on all day (it was 6.30pm) and I haven’t touched it up or anything since 7 o’clock this morning; it works on stage for me with the lights, it doesn’t melt with the heat and everything – and I’m not sponsored by Mac or anything. I just think it’s brilliant, it just pops your eyes

shopping I have done whilst I’ve been away What was the last good deed you did? I gave someone my travel card this morning - I brought a 1 – 4 and then realised I’m not using this, so I gave it to someone, but it’s really weird when you give someone something, they are like “no no no, I don’t want it”. I had to say it’s free, I brought it and don’t need it you can have it - its so strange. What can’t you leave the house without? My mobile phone - I think the ideal is every girl should have a mobile phone, it’s a safety precaution, if you lock yourself out the house as long as you’ve got your phone you have a way of getting back in!

What makes you laugh? This show is very, very funny so in rehearsals I am laughing everyday. There’s a lot of comedy in it so it never fails to find something new to laugh at! What makes me laugh, hmm..... I love ‘New Girl’, this new thing on TV which I think is hilarious. Ricky Gervais, Sarah Milligan, Michael McIntyre they all make me laugh.

I read somewhere you’re designing your own jewellery I am and do you know, shamefully, I am not wearing any today – can you tell us a little more about it – it’s not available at the moment, but it will be from July. I have been working with a Welsh designer called Carrie Elspeth who lives down the road from me. It started as more of an off stage hobby, something that I did in the wings or when I had a scene off. I would just quickly make something in my dressing room and it developed into me speaking to Carrie. Everything is handmade here, it’s not made in China, it’s not mass produced, everything is made by hand, even I’ve made some of it, it’s all Swarovski or Austrian crystal and it’s very colourful and vibrant and for all ages. You can see Carrie’s range online and mine will be available through my website www.conniefisher.co.uk

Do you have any bad habits? I pick my lips, I sing all the time and I change my nail varnish like everyday – that’s weird; why? to match what you’re wearing? Yes, look I am going to have to change it again I’ve chipped it Any Phobias? Spiders, pretty typical, but spiders. I also have a fear of very steep hills, I have dreams about them, and I know it sounds very ‘Sound of Musiccy’ but it was well before that. I would be climbing it and never quite able to reach the top before sliding back down again, - it’s a horrible recurring dream. I don’t know what it means, maybe it means I like a challenge. I also have actors dreams where I forget the lines, my throat goes dry and nothing comes out. Has that ever happened? Yes, yes, I forgot my lines at Wembley, horrendous, at the Concert for Diana in front of 8 million people!

Finally, Connie what would you say has been the highlight of your career so far? Obviously winning Maria was a real boost for me as, until then I had been sitting in telesales trying to get a job whilst selling advertising, and I am eternally grateful to everyone who voted for me and even though I have had a few vocal troubles this has meant other opportunities have come up allowing me to reinvent myself as an actress. II am so looking forward to performing in ‘Wonderful Town’

What do you do to relax? A nice hot bath, a massage. Part of my job is to have a massage so that I’m relaxed; it’s not a luxury leisure thing it’s a physical proper elbow in your back going aaaah kind. And also a vocal massage to help me cope vocally and not letting myself get too fatigued and stuff like that – those are things that I have to have for the job - it’s not stuff I really enjoy, it’s not really pampering. I love shopping, I have to take two suitcases, I mean two additional empty suitcases, so I can fill them up with the

Catch Connie in Wonderful Town at Milton Keynes Theatre from 24th – 28th April www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

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Of the Web Best

Google Privacy Changes - Nowhere to hide now Their motto has always been 'Don't be evil' but during March Google have very quietly changed their privacy policies to allow them to store everything you type or do in Google (and all its’ associated products) and store it indefinitely. This data will be used for targeted advertising and product placement initially, but in the long run Google will know more about you than your partner! You can turn this off in your Google account settings quite easily but, of course, the default setting is to allow. Our advice? Start using Yahoo again!

elcome to Best of the Web - Affinity Magazines Monthly update on the best (and worst) the internet has to offer.

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Latest News Windows 8–Latest OS release more touch screen based The latest version of the world’s default operating system was released as a preview version recently for anyone keen to keep ahead of the crowd to download and install. This latest release has been heralded as the best version of Windows ever and Microsoft's saviour. It is pretty smart and does have some nice features but when you strip back all the sparkle - it's just Windows 7 with a snazzy new applications screen but, in fairness, I expect this is aimed at the ever growing tablet market. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows8/consumer-preview Warning - you cannot reverse the install!

Jellybean Anyone? Android 5 warming up on the touchline The latest version of Android is set for release very soon and keeping in theme with it's cute and friendly naming conventions the latest phone and tablet software will be called Jellybean. Not all phones will be able to use this latest version of the software, but no doubt as your latest upgrade comes through you'll be greeted with this sweet little offering.

e.com

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Wunde ffering ards at their latest o oking to z iz w lo is d Those underkit it rena an ultiple W again. anagement a a move to m s. The h m it n k s w d a n ote t ll rivals nagement a t the web a h s a sm ject ma p is great bu ome. ts, pro p c accoun sion of the a t magic is to r first ve n shows wha 's Twitter This month versio tes

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From The Stock Cupboard Each month the person who is lucky enough to be selected will receive such wonders as an old USB memory stick, wireless mouse, keyboards, laptop stands and many more junk items - it's all tat but it has to go somewhere!

@jamieoliver is @leighfranc n ow br en rr @de

This month’s winner is Roberto Forte of Bedford for sending in the following question: Q : I need a small website for my business but am keen to do this myself, what are my options ? A : Difficult to sum this up in a paragraph but Wordpress or Joomla are probably your best option. There are web design wizards too but can be quite limited and don't allow for future growth. Of course, you could always contact Banilla to sort this for you! A 4GB USB stick will be making its way to you ASAP To win randomly selected IT kit from the Banilla stock cupboard just send your questions, links or recommendations to bestoftheweb@banilla.co.uk

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Leigh Millard, Banilla Web Applications www.banilla.co.uk


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Welcome to the musings of Yummy Mummy. Living in Bedford she is married to ‘The Husband’ and together they have 3 children, Rafferty, 7, Violet, 5, Roman, 3 and baby No 4 is due this year.

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ll my views are my own and are not intended to offend anyone but, alas, I may frustrate you as I certainly do myself and no doubt those around me at times. I would love to hear from you, your views, questions or indeed just to share your experiences of trying to be a Yummy Mummy. Email me at info@affinitymag.co.uk Party Fun (or Hell)!

of research and deliberation, and trust me this took a lot of time as there are loads of fabulous options to choose from locally, we eventually decide to compromise and actually do some of the work ourselves. So with the local hall booked, we wade through the list of entertainment options. Magic show? They are too young to sit still long enough. Bouncy castle? I cannot cope with the stress of potential injuries. Disco? Far too loud and dark for us (and you cannot disco dance in the daylight – especially when sober!). We come across the perfect solution - a ‘Mini Strikers’ party, lots of running about doing fun activities to keep them occupied and with the added bonus of wearing them out.

By the time you read this our ‘party mission’ will be accomplished and no doubt a large wine drunk too! Just as Christmas is over our thoughts turn to child number three’s birthday. From November, when the eldest two children celebrate their birthdays, through to the end of February our home seems to be knee deep in cards, presents and wrapping paper! And there’s no let up as Roman’s birthday looms large, hence ‘operation party’ begins again in earnest.

Now, the final part of my mission is to organise the party bags and as most parents will testify, this is a serious task! I swear I have been to parties where the contents of the bag must have cost more than the gift we gave to the birthday child! Being a family who try to embrace the green lifestyle I refuse to hand out a bag of plastic and E numbers so instead they all get a book each (and of course the E numbers – I relent on the sweets, after all they will be on their way home when they get to eat them!)

Now when I was a child, and my memories of that should be hazy according to the children who think I am ancient, it is clear to me that I had a total of only three parties. However these days it seems impossible not to let a single birthday pass without a grand celebration. Whilst investigating the options available it becomes apparent that children’s parties are big business. From chauffeur driven limousines including fake bubbly, makeover parties or a day filled with action and adventure, there are literally millions of services on offer. Whatever happened to pin the tail on the donkey, pass the parcel and jam sandwiches? Relenting to pressure (my own and thankfully not the children’s) I decide there is nothing for it but to organise Roman a party. Now you could argue that as I’m harking back to the parties from the ‘good old days’ why don’t I have the party at home? Not on your nelly!! Loads of four year olds smearing chocolate into my cream carpets – the cost of cleaning surely balances out the price of somewhere else hosting the party! So following plenty

The day of the party arrives and all we need are the party bags, the food - individual food boxes from good old, now online, Woollies (that’s Woolworths to anybody in their twenties and younger!) and the cake. Mini Strikers do all the hard work entertaining them, we feed the children and then it is time to blow out the candles. One word of warning though - if in a public building beware of the whooshing firework candles, as they can set off the fire alarm that doesn’t stop until the fire brigade arrive! Still it was one way to get everyone to leave on time!

Yummy Mummy 33


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Special Needs The Need for Change for

plus. For a small number of children a full statutory assessment could be carried out and the child may be given a statement of Special Educational Needs. This would identify not only the needs of the child but the support that the school must provide to meet those needs. Funding would then be given from the Local Authority to the school to ensure that appropriate support could be provided. This document – the Statement- would then be reviewed each year at a meeting involving school, family and any other professionals e.g. educational psychologist or medical professional, to ensure that as the child’s needs change so the support changes to meet those needs. Places within ‘specialist’ schools maintained by the local authority are usually only allocated to students with statements, although many students with statements are educated within mainstream schools

f you are the parent of a school aged child the chances are you will have heard of the term Special Educational Needs (SEN). In addition many may have heard on the news that the government are changing the way assessments are made and support is provided to children with special educational needs.

I

What has happened in the past is that there has been a graduated approach to SEN. Schools could identify a child needing some additional support in order to progress with their learning as being at School Action on their SEN register and, keeping parents informed would seek to meet those needs from within the resources of the school. For other children the school and/or parents may need some additional support to what the school could usually offer and these children would be identified as at School Action 34


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One of the problems with this system has been that in some ways to meet the criteria for additional help the child has to fall significantly behind. For those children who are offered a statutory assessment the process takes 26 weeks, (and many take longer) - that is a long time in the life of a child who is struggling for any reason, and a long time for parents who are usually anxious to ensure their child is supported and able to progress with their learning. Other problems highlighted by the government are that parents have often found the whole process bureaucratic, bewildering, frustrating and adversarial.

“By 2015 we will give schools £2.5 billion to help them give extra support to the poorest children, nearly 33% of whom have special educational needs or a disability. Schools will be able to choose how they spend this money, so that they can choose the best way to help the children they teach. We will introduce a new national curriculum that will include ideas for helping children with extra needs.” All in all it sounds good! However we know that it is happening within a context of radical cuts to local governments, which in many areas are already leading to cuts in services. Many of the parents of children with special educational needs that I work with, welcome some of the changes in principle but are sceptical about how much improvement in services and support to individual children it will actually bring about. Individual experience of course, varies with some parents feeling very supported by their local school while others feel that accessing any kind of support is a huge battle.

So, time for a change and ‘Support and Aspiration’ – a new approach to special educational needs and disability’ was launched. Even as someone who regularly reads government documents this is complex and wordy at best, not your ideal bedtime reading but the main changes proposed are • • • • •

Earlier identification of problems Parents to have more say in the help their child is given Schools to offer better support Plans for help when young people become adults Improvement to services

Several support groups exist to help parents, some of these are run by other parents, some receive funding from local or national government and others are charitable. Many parents have found help from such groups invaluable. For any parent who is worried about their child it is worth talking to the child’s teacher, or if the child is very young to their health visitor or GP.

All sounds very promising. There are plans for a single assessment process and that this should take no longer than 20 weeks, with the actual assessment taking no more than 9 weeks. Statements of special educational need will be replaced by a health education and care plan, which will continue until 25 years of age. There is an increased emphasis on ‘joined up’ working among professionals – the lack of which is often very frustrating for parents. The early support plans suggest that a key worker can be appointed and the government are also suggesting a greater role for the voluntary sector, charities and community groups in both the assessment, process and support for children.

A parent partnership service exists in both Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire to support parents of children with special educational needs and information about their services is available on the council websites. Or for advice and support on any aspect of SEN, the assessment process and the changes that the new legislation may bring you can contact attuned education. A copy of the green paper can be downloaded form the Department For Education website www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/ sen and an ‘easy read’ version is also available as a PDF

The paper also sets out the intentions for personal budgets for children so parents will have more say in how the funding made available to help their child is actually used. And that is in addition to funding which will be made available to schools -

For more information: 07921 193479 info@attunededucation.com www.attunededucation.com 35


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On the

Couch

Miscarriage The secret heartache

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are no official government statistics held on women who miscarry (the figures that exist are only collated for women who are admitted to hospital, they are not recorded for those women who go to the GP after a miscarriage), pregnancy charity Tommy’s says one in every four women will miscarry a baby; this will equate to a quarter of all your female friends. And the chance of losing a baby increases with each miscarriage.

iscarriage is a frequent, yet often misunderstood experience for many women. Following a miscarriage emotions often include: anger, sorrow, guilt, depression, grief, despair, and feelings of emptiness. Whether your pregnancy was planned or a surprise, the loss of your precious baby can send your emotions on a roller coaster ride. You want answers to many questions. Validation of your feelings. Acknowledgement of the loss of your baby.

Even knowing one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, there’s a lot that we still don’t know about why it happens. That means that most women never find out the cause of their loss, even if they have investigations.

It’s a situation of bleak sadness. In one devastating moment, more often than not for no reason at all, the pregnancy suddenly goes away. “Sorry, we can’t see a heartbeat”; a spot of blood; a nagging pain in the stomach. And for many women through the heartbreak and the guilt and the endless internal questions, the only option is to put on a brave face. To present tomorrows presentation like nothing has happened, to fuss over a friend’s new baby with a smile. Because while losing a friend or relative immediately activates a support network of understanding and sympathy, losing a baby can bring a very lonely silence.

It can be very difficult to cope with not having an obvious reason for your miscarriage. If you know why it happened, it can help you make sense of it all, and perhaps help you plan for another pregnancy. If you don’t know, you may begin to wonder whether it was somehow your or your partner’s fault. It’s important to know that your miscarriage is extremely unlikely to have happened because of anything you did or didn’t do.

The figures relating to miscarriage are shocking. There

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The main causes of miscarriage are thought to be: Genetic: In about half of all early miscarriages, the baby does not develop normally right from the start and cannot survive. Hormonal: Women with very irregular periods may find it harder to conceive and when they do, are more likely to miscarry. Immunological/ blood-clotting: Problems in the blood vessels which supply the placenta can lead to miscarriage, especially if the blood clots more than it should. Infection: Minor infections like coughs and colds are not harmful, but a very high temperature and some illnesses or infections, such as German measles, may cause miscarriage.

The physical effects of a miscarriage tend to clear up quickly. Your next period is likely to follow between four and eight weeks later but it may take several cycles to re-establish a regular pattern. You may feel physically ready to return to normal activities (such as exercising and going back to work) around a week after an operation, or a few days after treatment with medicines or expectant management. However, the emotional impact of having a miscarriage can be much greater than the physical effects. A miscarriage can cause a range of feelings. Everyone reacts differently and there is no right or wrong way to feel. It can be equally difficult for your partner and it’s important to get the support you both need. You could consider contacting support groups where you can talk with people who may have similar experiences to you.

Anatomical: There are three main anatomical causes of miscarriage: • If the cervix (the bottom of the uterus) is weak, it may start to open as the uterus becomes heavier in later pregnancy and this may lead to miscarriage. • If your uterus has an irregular shape, there may not be enough room for the baby to grow. • Large fibroids (harmless growths in the uterus) may cause miscarriage in later pregnancy.

Ways to help you emotionally get over a miscarriage Choose who you speak to: Many people don’t know how to respond to someone telling them they’ve had a miscarriage, so choose the first person you speak to carefully. Make it someone you trust, or who has been through it themselves, or try a support line. Involve your partner: Not only will this help him recover too (40% of men suffer significant psychological distress after a partner’s miscarriage), researchers in the US found that couples who worked through things together felt closer after the experience. Choose the right treatment: If your miscarriage is found on a scan, you will often be offered the choice of medical intervention to remove the foetus, or to just let nature take its course. In a study by Jane Ogden (professor of Health Psychology at the University of Surrey) it was found that women who chose a medical intervention seemed to recover quicker than those who had gone through a natural loss.

Know the facts: One miscarriage doesn’t mean you’re destined to have another one – there’s an 80% chance that all will be ok after one and 75% after two. Don’t be scared to try again: Women used to be advised to wait 18 months after miscarrying to try again, but Doctors at the University of Aberdeen, have found that women who try again quickly are more likely to conceive and have a successful pregnancy. They don’t know the exact reason but it might be to do with avoiding the increase in maternal age that occurs with leaving longer intervals. You may decide to begin trying for another baby right away or you may think this is too soon and you need longer to recover emotionally. There is no right or wrong thing to do, you need to do what you feel is best for you and your partner.

If you have suffered a miscarriage and want further information visit: tommys.org or miscarriageassociation.org


Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:28 Page 36

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Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:28 Page 37

homes and

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Conservatories Available From Barclay Development Ltd


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DorneyTesco Outdoor Table 8 Chairs and Umbrella Set ÂŁ998 Tesco Direct

Rayne Garden Furniture John Lewis


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Sunset Sofa £1299 livingitup.co.uk

Love Sofa £399 livingitup.co.uk

Darwin Corner Sofa Set £798 Tesco Direct


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Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:29 Page 41

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Egg-celent Easter Room Sainsburys


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Sophie Allport Chicken Egg Cosy £6 sophieallport.com

Wooden Easter Sign £8 John Lewis

Wall Hung Chicken Egg Holder

Easter Floral Egg Wreath £23.95 ilikechickens.co.uk Pinkchikbag £60 diannefox.co.uk

Mini Polka Dot Tea Light Lanterns - £5.99 Each tch.net

White Rabbit Lamp £60 Each berryred.co.uk

Rooster Easter Egg Serving Bowl £17.50 styleishlife.co.uk

Easter Egg Trees (frosted Or Matt) £12.99 Each tch.net


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Affinity

April tips....

gardening

hia once it ᴥ Prune forsyt ck to a rin we g. Cut ba has finished flo ey are th – u yo s good to shape that look on gh ni s it’ d an g very forgivin t it wrong. impossible to ge

Flower of the month

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the ring bulbs once ᴥ Deadhead sp the ck ba t cu t but don’ flowers are over yellow, by ed rn tu ve ha ey leaves until th have gone goodness will which time the r next y e bulb read fo back down to th . ar ye so give t already done ᴥ If you haven’ horse d tte ro ll we ed – roses a good fe rk a fo ly best – light manure is the base of e th nd ou ar l esfu couple of spad you with they will repay each plant and e year. A th in r te la s m wonderful bloo do the se food will also proprietary ro trick. ot and with a black sp ᴥ Spray roses treatment. ic em st sy ew powdery mild ble any signs of trou Do this before sis ba r la gu on a re appear and then ep ke to on as se e throughout th y. problems at ba ble fruit and vegeta ᴥ If you have a w ne t an pl to the time garden now is ones. Cut g in ist ex e un pr fruit bushes or ground canes down to old raspberry e ones that th e ar s ne ca d level. The ol routing. ds or foliage sp have no new bu it’s til un b e this jo If in doubt leav ’s fruiting ar ye is th e ar obvious which canes.

Dicentra Spectabilis Alba pring has now well and truly arrived – daffodils have been in flower for a few weeks, tulips are just beginning and now that the clocks have gone forward we have an extra hour of daylight. More snow is unlikely in April, though not unheard of, but there could still be some ground frosts for a few weeks to come. There’s an old saying ‘don’t cast a clout till May is out’ which basically means ‘don’t put any tender plants out until after the end of May’. Over-wintered tender plants like geraniums should be kept in the warmth of a greenhouse or sunny windowsill until all risk of a cold snap has passed.

S

In a few weeks time the garden centres and nurseries will be full of summer bedding plants - a riot of colour to fill your pots, baskets and troughs. You don’t have to stick to the usual containers – an old hat box or a wicker bicycle basket makes a great planter. Just line with some polythene, make a few slits in the bottom for drainage, fill with potting compost and pop in a variety of plants. I cram in as many as I can – they are only meant to last for several months so it’s ok to crowd them and the more their roots are restricted the more energy they will put into flowering. My plant of the month is Dicentra Spectabilis which has a variety of common Summerhouse Candy Foldaway names, Bleeding Heart, Venus’s Car, Lady in Chair. Perfect for those sunny a Bath and Dutchman’s Trousers to name spring days in the garden £30 but a few! It has attractive feathery mid www.leekes.co.uk green foliage with arching sprays of heart shaped pink flowers edged in white. There is also a pure white flowered variety, Alba which is my favourite. Dicentra are happy in sun or shade and have a long flowering period from April to early summer.

Affinity loves.....

Alison Wallbank The Lady Gardener 01234 782383 or 07795 246558 www.bedfordshiregardendesigners.co.uk

String Paper Solar Lanterns Brighten up any garden this spring with these colourful lanterns £8, Matalan

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St. Georges Day

Skanking

ollowing last year’s sell out show, the St. Georges Ska festival is back for another great evening of live music on Saturday 21st April at The Bedford Corn Exchange with some of the biggest artists on the scene. Headlining this year’s event will be Bad Manners. The band quickly became firm favourites of the Ska scene through their bald, enormous-bodied frontman's on-stage antics, earning early exposure through their Top of The Pops TV exploits and an appearance in the live film documentary, Dance Craze.

F

Bad Manners were at their peak most popular during the late 1970s and early 1980s, during a period when other ska revival bands, such as Madness and The Specials, The Beat and The Selecter, filled the charts. Bad Manners spent 111 weeks in the UK Singles Chart between 1980 and 1983 and have continued as a worldwide popular touring live act to this day. Some of Bad Manners' more notable hits include "My Girl Lollipop", "Lip Up Fatty", "Ne Ne Na Na Na Na Nu Nu", "Lorraine", "Just A Feeling", "Walking In The Sunshine", "Can Can" and "Special Brew".

One of the main reasons for their notoriety was their outlandish huge-tongued and shavenheaded frontman, Buster Bloodvessel. His manic exploits got them banned from the British BBC TV chart show Top of the Pops and they were also banned from Italian TV after Bloodvessel mooned a concert audience, after being told that the Pope was watching on TV! A full supporting line up features very special guests: King Hammond & The Rudeboy Mafia, our very own home grown Ska Masters, The Pressure Tones, and DJ Ben Ford will be back in the main hall doing the honours between the bands spinning ska and reggae vinyl’s and Hammy and Geoff will be spinning classic and Northern Soul in the Howard room until 1am. Tickets £20 advance from the Corn Exchange Box Offfice / Seetickets

WIN! WIN! WIN! We have 2 pairs of tickets to give away to 2 lucky readers, to be in with a chance of winning quote “St. George’s Day” to info@affinitymag.co.uk Good luck!


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The

Mansion House n the heart of rural Bedfordshire in the beautiful picturesque village of Old Warden is The Mansion House, over 130 years of age and located in 500 acres of beautiful parkland it is a hidden part of Bedfordshire’s history.

Clutton designed the building in Jacobean style and the high chimneys and 100 foot high clock tower have defined and distinguished the mansion for over a century. In addition, Clutton designed many of the interior features such as the carved doors, balustrades and chimneypieces.

I

Old Warden was originally called ‘Wardone’ meaning a watch hill, presumably referring to the wooded hill called the ‘warren’ located on the estate.

Gillows of Lancaster made many of the interior furnishings and there are several magnificent examples of 19th century paintings, that still decorate the house today, by prominent artists such as Sir Frank Dicksee, William Leader, George Vicat Cole and Frank Holl

The house, as it stands today, was built by Josesph Shuttleworth who bought the Old Warden Estate in 1872 and commissioned Henry Clutton, the prominent Victorian architect, to design the mansion based on Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire. 48

The Shuttleworth crest and arms illustrate the origins of the Shuttleworth family’s wealth in weaving and wool.


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During the second world war, the house was a Red Cross convalescent home and auxiliary hospital for airmen. It then opened as an agricultural college in 1946.

The Mansion House today plays host to a variety of events ranging from family fun days, chilli festivals, wedding fayres and much more.

The House, as it is now, transports you back into years gone by with its paneled walls, paintings that come to life when you look at them, and ghostly goings on! When you walk around the building there are definite cold spots and rumours are rife that the study/library room is home to the ghost, shadows have been seen, and whatever the weather or temperature of this room it never warms up, as we found out for ourselves when we used this room to get changed in when we were doing our fashion shoot - it made the hairs on the back of our necks stand up without explanation!

It is also available for weddings, conferences and corporate events, as well as providing overnight accommodation in their en-suite bedrooms.

The Mansion House Old Warden Park, Biggleswade, Beds 01767 626262 www.themansionhouse.org

Today, Bedford College Services manage the Mansion and the Shuttleworth College on behalf of the Shuttleworth Trust.

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Spring Lamb

Casserole Ciao everyone! Easter Sunday in an Italian home is a joyous occasion spent with family and friends. Typical of Italian cuisine, most holiday tables are planned around seasonal favourites, and springtime is a wonderful season for doing just that. Artichokes, fava beans, baby peas, and asparagus fill the market stands across the country. Lamb, or kid is often the meat of choice and is cooked in many ways, particularly by roasting. For dessert, a number of regional specialties are offered, including many that are rich in eggs and cheese. In the recipe I am going to show you, bitesized morsels of baby lamb are braised until tender and then covered with a mixture of beaten eggs and Pecorino cheese. The dish is then baked so that the eggs solidify, covering the lamb like a blanket. In Italy we call this: ‘Spezzato d'Agnello Cacio e Ove’ Buona Pasqua

‘’The Don’s Delicious Dining’ is exclusive to Affinity. Each month ‘The Don’ will be sharing delicious recipes for you to WOW your family and friends with!! 50


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Ingredients ¼ cup olive oil 3 medium onions, diced 1 baby lamb shoulder, boned and cut into 2-inch cubes (approximately 4 pounds meat) Salt Freshly ground black pepper 3-4 sprigs thyme ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley 2-3 cups lamb, chicken stock, or water. 3 cups fresh peas, blanched, or thawed frozen peas 6 large eggs 2/3 cup grated mild Pecorino Romano cheese

Recipe In a large casserole dish, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the onion; cook until it begins to turn translucent, about 10-15 minutes. Toss the lamb pieces with salt and pepper to season, and then add them to the onion. Cook and stir until lamb pieces are browned on all sides. Add the thyme, half of the parsley, and 2 cups of the stock or water. Cook to a simmer and reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the liquid hasn’t completely evaporated, adding more liquid if necessary. Add the peas and cook for a further 10 minutes. If you want to, transfer to an ovenproof serving dish (you’ll bring the dish straight from the oven to the table). Beat the eggs with some salt and pepper, the cheese, and the remaining parsley. Pour over the lamb and peas. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes on 220C or gas mark 7, until the eggs are set and begin to puff slightly.

BUON APETITO! 51


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Corner ocktail

Whilst the children are indulging in a little more chocolate this Easter, why not indulge yourself in this month’s cocktail. The colour alone is enough to die for, and isn’t it true that if you drink calories they don’t count!!

Bunny - Tini Annie’s

Simnel Cake The Easter Bunny may bring you a basket of eggs, but as an alternative why not make this traditional Easter cake instead. For the almond paste Ingredients 250g caster sugar For the cake 250g ground almonds 175g butter or margarine 2 eggs, beaten 175g soft brown sugar 1 tsp almond essence 3 eggs, beaten 175g plain flour Pinch salt ½ tsp ground mixed spice (optional) 350g mixed raisins, currants and sultanas 55g chopped mixed peel ½ lemon, grated zest only 1-2 tbsp apricot jam 1 egg, beaten for glazing Method Place sugar and ground almonds in a bowl. Add beaten egg and mix to a soft consistency, add the almond essence and knead for one minute until paste is smooth. Roll out a third of the almond paste to make a circle 18cm/7in in diameter and keep the remainder for the cake topping. Preheat oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1. Grease and line a18cm/7in cake tin. Cream butter & sugar until fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs, sift in the flour, salt and mixed spice. Then add mixed fruit, peel & grated lemon zest and stir. Put half the mixture into the cake tin. Smooth the top and cover with the circle of almond paste. Add the rest of the cake mix and smooth. Bake for 1¾ hours. Brush the top of the cooled cake with apricot jam. Divide the remainder of the almond paste in half; roll out a circle to cover the top of the cake with one half and form 11 small balls with the other half. Place the circle on the jam and put the balls round the edge. Brush the cake topping with a little beaten egg. Place on a baking tray and grill for 1-2 minutes, or until the top of the marzipan begins to brown.

Grape Vodka Triple Sec Blue Curacao Sweet and Sour Mix A splash of 7-up Grenadine Fill a mixing glass with all the ingredients (except the grenadine) and stir. Layer the grenadine in the bottom of a cocktail glass and pour in the mixed drinks. Add a cherry to garnish.

Happy Easter “All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!” Lucy Van Pelt


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Chick in a Cracked Egg £3 John Lewis

Chocolate Nests These chocolate nests are a perfect way to enjoy Easter, and kids will love making and eating them. Ingredients 100g butter, cubed 1 tbsp cocoa powder 50g milk chocolate buttons

Happy Easter Garland £10 John Lewis Chirping Chicks, £5 John Lewis

75g golden syrup 4 Shredded Wheat Mini chocolate eggs Easter Egg Head £4 Marks and Spencer

Easter Egg Cup £4 Marks and Spencer

Method Put the butter into a medium bowl, add the cocoa powder, chocolate buttons and golden syrup. Microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds, or until melted, then stir to mix everything together. Hold the Shredded Wheat over the bowl one at a time and squeeze in your hand to crumble it in. Repeat with the other Shredded Wheat. Mix altogether Line the bun tin with 12 paper cake cases and put a generous tablespoonful of mixture into each of the paper cases. Press the centre of each nest with your fingers to make a slight dip, then arrange 3/4 mini chocolate eggs in each of the dips. Chill for 30 minutes before eating.

Felt Carrot Bag £5 John Lewis

White Chocolate Lamb £35 John Lewis

Baby Basil £3.50 Marks & Spencer

Mr Potato head £7 Marks & Spencer


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Dear BBW Members April is all about business education! Are you and your team in the loop with your market, do you thrive on change and continually review your performance? My recommendation of the month is to learn your market, develop your skills and adapt to every fresh challenge thrown at you – a mantra taken up by Bedford College’s new ten week Small Business Enterprise Course which starts on Monday 26th March from 6.00pm – 9.00pm for ten weeks. This course will not instruct you how to start a business but will give enterprising small businesses the tools to continually assess their processes and adapt in a fast moving market place. Cost of the course is usually £202.00, but as an Affinity reader you will pay just £180 when quoting us as a reference. Please call Gina Bubbins for more information on 01234 291389

Since September we launched a brand new website, are displaying three new colourful banners at our monthly meets, have sponsored Adult Achiever Award at Pride in Bedford Awards 2011 and are now proud supporters of Business Women of the Year at the Bedfordshire FSB Awards to be held in June. It is guaranteed to be a tremendous occasion to celebrate the achievements of local businesses and will be attracting a huge guest list of companies from across the county. Be sure to nominate your business and give it the publicity and recognition it deserves. BBW is now busy prepping for our next major event. Our annual Man Day gives us a valuable networking opportunity to increase business potential with both female and male business contacts. Book your place and join us on Thursday 17th May at Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden from 10.00am – 2.30pm. We would like to thank our special guest speakers on the day including Ian Rowe, who will share his inspiring Atlantic Odyssey Challenge story, which hit the headlines earlier this year. Thank you to the Federation of Small Businesses for supporting the event and ensuring it will be a big success. Don’t miss it! Book your place on our BBW website www.beds-businesswomen.org.

I am delighted to report that BBW is once again the networking talk of Bedfordshire following the success of February’s International Women’s Day event. Guests mingled with new contacts and are now actively following up business. See our new business success stories on our Facebook page. We can also proudly announce that since last month seven new BBW members have joined, bringing our new membership total to 112 since September. Welcome to Isabel Kelly PR, Rosewarne Gardens, Mercedes-Benz Bedford, KC Learning & Development, Toddington Osteopathic Medicine Clinic, Road Victims Trust and Seabrook Investments Ltd - we look forward to seeing you at a monthly meeting very soon.

We are now taking bookings for our April BBW networking lunch. The meet is all about our nominated charity of the year, St Johns Hospice. We start with a tour of St Johns Hospice followed by a delicious lunch at the Kings Arms, Cardington. Our guest speakers will give us an insight into the marvellous work they do for St Johns. Since September BBW have raised in the region of £8000 from raffles and auctions. See you on April 19th - book your place today www.beds-businesswomen.org

Now for some news from the BBW committee, I am pleased to announce that Emma Garratt of The Product Marketing Company has joined the committee and will be promoting BBW through our social media channels. As well as a Facebook page we are tweeting away and joining in discussions on our BBW LinkedIn page. Follow us at twitter@bedsbizwomen. A big thank you to Jane Fry from Affinity Magazine and Tracey Smith from Rawlinson Pryde who have also joined the committee. As you know, BBW is all about our members and membership money is invested on developing the group we simply love to be a part of.

Warm Wishes, Kerry Cash President BBW www.beds-businesswomen.org For enquiries - kerry@5thavenuespa.co.uk

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Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:30 Page 54

Aston Martin V8 VANTAGE

A

There is also a subtle new look inspired by the firms' motorsport activities. The 2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage range receives some very discreet styling changes inspired by the Vantage S and N400 limited edition. At the front, there is a new bumper with a larger air intake to feed the engine and brakes. It also has an aero-tuned lower splitter.

With a lower final drive ratio, the firm says it's been able to optimise acceleration throughout the range and also make best use of the performance-tuned 420hp 4.7-litre V8 engine. The engine itself is, however, unchanged for 2012.

Aston has fitted what it calls 'race-derived' side sills, while at the rear, there is a new diffuser. The tyres are also 10mm wider and they house revised brakes. Overall, the changes clean up the lines of the V8 Vantage, without radically reinventing the appearance of the baby Aston. This is the most comprehensive programme of enhancements from Aston Martin since 2008. These technical and styling changes have been applied to both the V8 Vantage Coupe and Roadster models, with prices starting from RRP ÂŁ84,995

ston Martin has face-lifted the Vantage range for 2012 with its’ new line-up of sports cars debuting at the Geneva Motor Show this month. Prices for the new range start from £84,995.

Changes are focused on the V8 Vantage, which now gets a seven-speed Sportshift II transmission, plus revisions to the chassis that, says Aston, enhance the car's feel, response and control. The new seven-speed unit has closer gear ratios for a more sporting response, while Aston has also engineered the shifts to be faster and more refined.

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Further up the range, the Vantage S produces 430hp from its tuned 4.7-litre V8, and will again be more responsive on the move thanks to the new seven-speed gearbox. Vantage S models also get a bespoke exhaust system, plus a more sporting aerodynamic package detailed in carbon fibre. Satellite navigation, Bluetooth and cruise control are all standard on the Vantage S. The Aston Martin V12 Vantage, however, is unchanged for 2012: Aston is instead focusing its V12 activities on the V12 Zagato, which will debut at the Geneva Motor Show prior to going on sale later in the year. Combining iconic styling, thrilling performance, true craftsmanship and exclusivity the revitalised Vantage range boasts unprecedented breadth and appeal.

• ALL-ALLOY, QUAD OVERHEAD CAMSHAFT, 32-VALVE, 4735 CC V8 • FRONT MID-MOUNTED ENGINE, REAR-WHEEL DRIVE • (420 BHP) AT 7300 RPM • ACCELERATION 0-60 MPH IN 4.7 SECONDS; • MAXIMUM SPEED 290 KM/H (180 MPH) • ALLOY TORQUE TUBE WITH CARBON FIBRE PROPELLER SHAFT


Affinity Magazine April 2012_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 15:30 Page 56

MAN of the month

Phil Collins Age: 57 Occupation: Owner, Bedford Wheels, Kempston Resides: Bedford

Describe yourself in three words? Sincere, old fashioned and occasionally eccentric

you can sit for hours looking out to sea. You can’t leave the house without? My tablets!

What makes you stand out in a crowd? My bald head

Where do you see yourself in ten years? Hopefully backing off my current workload and taking the time to travel more, hopping on a train to visit different places of beauty within England,

Your top three movies? Where Eagles Dare, Heat, North by North West What do you do to relax? Play a lot of tennis, leisure cycling and listening to my Itunes, I have 240!!!!

What three people dead or alive would you invite to a dinner party and why? Margaret Thatcher - she always achieved her ideals and had a real strength of character; the stories she could tell! Duke of Wellington, he was an excellent general and I loved this particular time in history - I love watching Sharpe and I imagine myself part of the army! Inspector Morse - I see myself in him. He has a great character and has a presence about him. He shows his emotions, doesn’t follow the rules and also he likes a drink! I have to add this dinner party would have to last a whole week as there would be so much to talk about.

Your most extravagant purchase and why? My motorcycles. Over the years I have blown all my money on them, they are an extravagance but they are my passion. I don’t ride them like I used to but I still have to own one and it stays in the garage where I can visit it whenever I like – I even say goodnight to it! If you could be anyone or anything what would it be? The Tardis, so I can travel through time and visit different places and events from history. I would love to spend the day seeing what life used to be like and then return home until the next time. Describe your ideal woman? Curvy, sexy and a little bit naughty (little chuckle!), Nigella Lawson and Christine Hendricks spring to mind.

What makes you happy? I have to question this – If all loose ends are tied up I am then able to relax and enjoy myself and this in turn makes me happy – but all loose ends have to be sorted I cannot leave something until tomorrow.

Best Holiday destination and why? Cornwall, it is a beautiful place and I have some treasured memories. There is a raw beauty and

Bedford Wheels, Kempston, Bedford 01234 216662 www.bedford-wheels.co.uk

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Bedford Wheels for friendly professional advice with competitive prices The price we quote is the price you pay!

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Prague

Pottering Around

I

price. We chose a small restaurant serving traditional Czech and Italian food and enjoyed some local wine and a pasta dish with salad for the equivalent of £25.00. Prices always look a bit frightening as you get 27.000 Czech Crowns for £1.

love holidays and travel and from the moment the plane touches down on our return to this green and pleasant land I am planning my next getaway. In order to make it through the grey damp days that are often our autumn I like to escape for a bit of ‘culture’ to a European city. One of the great advantages of living in Bedford is the nearness of Luton airport which quite literally means lots of destinations can be almost on our doorstep. We recently enjoyed a weekend in Prague, leaving Thursday evening and returning Sunday with a short 2 hour flight that gave us a chance to take in the sights and enjoy some much needed R & R.!

The hotel room was reasonably sized with all you would expect from a city hotel, comfortable bed, tea/coffee making facilities, en suite bath and shower and it even boasted a sauna and ‘therapy’ room though we were far too busy to fit in a massage! After enjoying the ample breakfast buffet we headed out to explore, enjoying the renowned Charles Bridge, full of portrait artists and souvenir stalls, before heading to the Old Town square just in time to join the growing crowd waiting for the astronomical clock to strike. An iconic feature of Prague the clock face not only shows the current time but also shows movement of the planets around earth and the sun and moon through the signs of the zodiac. Coffees in this area were very expensive but walking just a couple of streets away saw a great reduction in the price.

Flights from Luton to Ruzyne are very frequent, so length of stay and time of travel can almost be adjusted to suit your own itinerary. We chose to travel on an early evening flight so we could work that day and only take one day as holiday to give us a three night break. On arrival, we decided to take the bus into the city centre. Tickets could be purchased from a machine with pretty clear instructions, but it seemed tourists are the only people who actually pay! We considered buying a travel card but were glad that we didn’t preferring instead to walk, the city isn’t big or too spread out and the weather was wonderful, cold at times but with constant bright sunshine.

Many of the cafes had patio heaters and thick blankets to put over your knees making it quite possible to sit outside and enjoy the stunning architecture as well as coffee and pastries. After a visit to the Baroque church of St Nicholas we headed over to the Jewish quarter where we began with a leisurely lunch of soup and potato dumplings, cheap nutritious and delicious, especially when washed down with the house cocktails.

After checking into our hotel we headed out to find a restaurant and really you can never walk far before coming across a variety in terms of food ambience and

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A leisurely hour or two was then spent wandering around the lanes of the quarter with a visit to the Jewish museum and cemetery. In the evening we enjoyed sampling several local beers at a bar that offered a taste of five different brews chosen from an extensive selection, much fun was had simply reading the descriptions. There was no shortage of restaurants serving traditional Czech food though as vegetarians we often had to choose something less traditional in order to avoid meat, though we were pleased that most restaurants offered an excellent range of fish as well as European staples like pizza, there are also a number Italian restaurants so eating was always a pleasure. The following day we headed over to the castle and found many cafes serving warm mulled wine, which seemed decadent in the morning but hey when in Prague…. We could wander around much of the castle site for free but admission to the interiors was a few crowns. St Vitus’s cathedral is a spectacular Gothic cathedral which looms over the city and is truly an ‘unmissable’ site in Prague, the interior being no less impressive. It would be easy to spend the whole day in the castle area, but we decided to head on to the much more modern Wenceslas square. In the evening we went to a classical concert in Municpal house, Prague’s most prominent Art Noveau building and a simply stunning environment which boasts a café as well as concert hall and from the nearby powder gate tower there a great views over the city. Sunday dawned bright and clear and with an afternoon flight home we still had time to enjoy a walk up Petrin Hill and take in the beautiful views, in a somewhat breathless fashion having decided NOT to take the furnicular to the top, which with hindsight may have been the better plan. So for anyone looking for a weekend getaway there is a lot on offer in Prague, great architecture and a city that is compact enough to walk around, though buses and trams are readily available. A vast array of hotels and restaurants means that all tastes and budgets can be catered for, and it needn’t break the bank – 3 nights for 2 people with flights and hotels was under £150 person. Many people may think of Prague as a destination for stag or hen parties and it is true that alcohol and accommodation can be fairly cheap there, but the history, river Vlatava, architecture and café culture means it is a destination that has something to offer for everyone.


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Discover your.......

Destiny Sue has over 30 years experience in the psychic field, is an authority on crystals and psychic energy, and is a world renowned Tarot reader and teacher. Each month readers are welcome to send their questions in for Sue to answer at info@affinitymag.co.uk Sue also offers private readings on a one to one basis, workshops, courses and much more, please visit her website: www.sanctuarybedford.co.uk Tel: 01234 327090

Healing trees It is not just the weird and the wacky amongst us who find a deep solace amongst forests, woods and trees, Bedford has a host of ancient willows, black poplars and silver birches, which are known for their healing qualities for those who are able or willing to take advantage of this wealth.

control of mental health, due to it’s silvery bark and it’s shining state under a full moon. Hugging this tree is thought to be beneficial for people who suffer from depression. You do not have to look far to see that there are many such trees in town centres all over Bedfordshire, all would welcome you with open branches.

Along the river path from Bedford to Kempston are avenues of tall crack willows, so named because in wind and heavy rain the branches can be heavy and send an ear splitting C-C-C-rackkkk ! of warning before falling into the river below. (This is the way they propagate themselves, with the fallen branches floating along to mud banks on rivers, and then setting down roots. ) A form of Aspirin is derived from the under bark of willows. On Spring days if you can settle yourself with your back to the tree trunk you can feel the energy rising, and filling you with peace and strength, as you sit there. It takes only a few minutes of this peace to settle anxious minds, and give new strength and hope. The black poplar is again along the banks of the river Ouse, its well spaced branches look like arms reaching into the sky, next to other trees it is very much a giant! In late April it floods the air with tiny airy silver tendrils, which cover the water like smoke, with the heavy beautiful scent of the red caterpillar like catkins driving away all thoughts of sorrow or worry, as they sway high above the river paths. The silver birch has long been associated with the 62


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Meditation for those who don’t do ‘meditation’ Busy lives and noisy lives full of bustle, hurry and anxiety are the normal way of life for most people in today’s Britain. Long gone are long distance walks to work, and home again, or daily sojourns to a store for daily food. Now we buy in bulk, we eat in bulk, we sit in front of the television and ‘entertain ’ourselves in bulk. Everything in today’s world is too much, too quick and too invasive, and we have forgotten that taking time with things, and being deliberate with things, was once the only way. No one expects us to go back to being hunter gatherers, but there are many other things which you can do which can be stress reducing rather than stress promoting. Personally I love untangling things, like wool or string or necklace chains, and losing myself while my hands move without thought to untie knot after knot , with each one untied bringing more peace of mind; once jigsaws, and knitting used to have the same effect. How long since you’ve mended something that was broken - perhaps into many pieces - just to

have the satisfaction of fixing it. Some children now will never have had to mend, and are too used to just buying new and binning old things, contributing to the throwaway society which we all distain. I have a friend who takes old watches to pieces, and makes pictures out of the parts, and another who repairs watches for people who cannot be troubled to take them to a watchmaker; both are very laid back people. Perhaps putting a life together out of fragments of hurt is also worthwhile, if taken bit by bit, and instead of throwing away friendships or relationships when things get too hard, look at what you are left with after troubles and building up little piece by little piece, into a semblance of normality - to make life more easily liveable is the better way. We should perhaps learn from our forbears about what is really important to us all. But don’t just stamp on a Rolex in a fit of pique, just try putting it back together!!!


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your guide to .........

What’s On April 2012 Wed 28th March Sandy and District Horticultural Association 7.30pm David Fowler (a Bedford Town Guide) is giving a talk featuring the story of 'Laxtons in Bedford and Sandy’. A meal is available afterwards which needs to be prebooked with Tony Munns on 01767 691055. New members and visitors are always very welcome.

'Amazing', 'Superb', 'Wonderful' and 'Brilliant' production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's sparkling family musical continues to enjoy huge success across the country with standing ovations at every performance. www.atgtickets/milton keynes 0844 871 7652

Sun 1st April Easter Egg Hunt St John’s Hospice, Moggerhanger An afternoon of fun for Easter this year. An egg hunt, stalls, raffle, games, cake decorating, mask decorating and face painting. A chocolate Easter egg for each entry and a chance to win a special prize! Adults can also have fun with the egg hunt and other activities with the children, or relax and have a tea/coffee and cake and browse the stalls. £3 for children and £1 for adults. The £3 entry fee includes the egg hunt and a chocolate easter egg For further details contact Lauren Hasdell on 01767 641044

Tues 3rd – Fri 13th April Extra-usual Easter egg hunt at The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre For all ages: throughout the Easter Holidays join us on an Easter egg hunt around the Museum. Find all the eggs to earn a chocolate treat. 01494 892192. 81-83 High Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 0AL Sun 8th – Mon 9th April Easter Trail, The Forest Centre & Milennium Country Park, Marston Moretaine Follow the trail and look for clues to answer the questions on the wildlife quiz. When you are finished, head back to the Forest Centre to check your answers and collect your prize. No booking required, just turn up! 11am - 4pm £2 per child

Sun 1st April Steaming Open Day 10.30am – 5.30pm A full size steam train will offer unlimited rides, Rides on the miniature railway at small extra charge. The Centres large collection and museums will be open. www.bucksrailcentre.org Adult £10.00 Senior £9.00 Child £7.00 Family £27.00 Buckinghamshire Railway Centre ,Quainton Road Station ,Quainton, Aylesbury

Sat 14th – Sun 15th April West Anglia Country Show The Showground, Wood Green Animal Shelter, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2NH

Tues 3rd April Junior - Easter Cupcakes Coromel Cakes are running a Junior Cupcake Workshop where you can create something special under our expert guidance, to take home or give to a loved one. All materials and equipment are supplied. All you need to bring is an apron and a smile. Workshops cater for all abilities and ages from 8 to 16. All of our workshops can be found and booked through our website. 10am -12pm £20 01234 294338 Coromel cakes Workshop, 2 Church Road, Wootton Bedfordshire MK43 9EU

Thur 19th April The Inn at Woburn A 2 course luncheon with a glass of wine and fruit punch on arrival with guest speaker Elaine Boddy from Green and Brown, a renowed local image consultant and personal shopper in and around Milton Keynes £25.95 Thur 19th April RSPB A.R.A. Social Club, Manton Lane, Bedford 7.30pm 01234 822035 www.rspb.org.uk/groups/bedford

Tues 3rd – Sun 8th April Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat Milton Keynes Theatre Having enjoyed sensational reviews, Bill Kenwright's

Fri 20th April Frock Swap and Evening Sale Emmaus Village, Carlton 7pm to 10pm

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Sat 21st April Wedding Fayre – 11am to 4pm The French Partridge, Horton, Northampton, NN7 2AP Visit the wedding Fayre at this luxury boutique hotel 01604 870033 www. Frenchpartridge.co.uk Sat 21st – Sun 22nd April The East of England Food Festival at Knebworth House. As well as all of the fantastic stands, we have a full demo programme including Hector Bunting, our very own Chef/Compere and all round foodie champion, as well as the chefs from local restaurants - all cooking up a storm, together with other demonstrations. To complement all of this gastronomic delight, we also have wine and beer tasting sessions. Sun 22nd April Open Garden Howbury Hall 1.30pm -5pm £4, teas available, plant stall All profits to British Red Cross Sun 22nd April The Manor House, Stevington - Open Garden for NGS. A modern 4 acre country garden with unusual twists, designed and cared for by owners Simon and Kathy Brown. Tulips and other bulbs bring fantastic colour to the cottage garden, the formal parterres and herbaceous borders. Major container displays, blossoms in the orchard and elsewhere, plus extensive naturalistic planting schemes offer further delights. Admission £4.50, Children free 12pm – 5pm. :01234 822064 Sun 22nd April Rhod Gilbert: The Man with the Flaming Battenberg Tattoo Milton Keynes Theatre Rhod's stand-up rants on life's minor irritations are legendary, but this year, he's a more mellow fellow altogether. He's now so laid-back he even let someone tattoo a Battenberg on him. Will the new, chilled-out Rhod get his girl and live happily ever after, or will it be microwaved baked potato for one again? Could it be the Mr Angry of comedy as you've never seen him before?... www.atgtickets/milton keynes 0844 871 7652

Sat 28th April The Mansion House, Duathlon This duathlon event combines running and cycling within the beautiful parkland estate of The Mansion House. The event will be held in support of the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust and is suitable for a range of abilities. www.onestepbeyond.org.uk Sat 28th April Table Top Sale for St James School Parent Staff Association Biddenham Village Hall, 2pm to 5pm Seller Tables are £7 and must be booked in advance as space is limited Buyers admission free. Refreshments available Contact Rachel on 07970 869402 or stjamespsa@hotmail.co.uk Sun 29th April Open Garden, Shortmead House, Biggleswade 1.30-5pm £4, teas available, plant stall All profits to British Red Cross Sat 5th – Mon 7th May Local Beer, Food and Talent festival The White Horse, Newnham Ave, Bedford We are having music and dance outside in the car park for all 3 days, a BBQ and we fill the garden with stalls (charity and otherwise). Tues 22nd May Piano Recital, Bedford School Recital Hall 7.30pm Mario Mora Saiz - Royal Academy of Music. Tickets £8/£4 students Central Box Office 01234-269519/Heather Turnham 07774-17-33-44

Last Month’s Compe tition Winners: ‘Breakfast’ - Rebecca Vernon, Sandy, Polly Anderson, Kempston

If you have an event you would like us to mention please email jane@affinitymag.co.uk


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Quiet night in with..... Is love always worth saving - no matter what the cost? The car crash should have killed her. But rookie paramedic Peter Webster takes the emergency call, and helps the young woman, Sheila Arsenault, to survive. After the accident, she haunts his thoughts, despite his misgivings about getting involved with a patient. Soon he is embroiled in an intense love affair and in Sheila’s troubled life. Eighteen years later, Sheila is long gone and Peter is raising their daughter, Rowan, alone. But Rowan is veering dangerously off course and for the first time in their quiet life together Peter fears for her future. He seeks out the only person who may be able to help Rowan, although Sheila’s return is sure to unleash all the questions Peter has been carefully keeping at bay: Why would a mother leave her family? How did the marriage of two people in love unravel? Rescue is so well constructed, understated, gripping and emotionally true that you won’t be able to put it down. I was dead to the world until I’d finished it… this remarkably moving and strong novel gets ten out of ten from me’ A. N. Wilson

WIN!

WIN!

WIN!

We have 2 copies of this book to give away please email ‘Rescue’ to info@affinitymag.co.uk by 14th April 2012 for a chance of winning.

SUDOKU The object is to fill the grid so that the numbers 1 to 9 appear once in each row, column and 3 x 3 box, with no repetitions. The answer to this puzzle will be in next months issue. 2

6

1

4

3

5

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2

1

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1

2

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5 2 8 7 1 3 7 9 2 3 5 6 8 6 8 4 9 5 2 4 7 7 9 4 3 1 2 5 66


Affinity Magazine April 2012 Cover_Layout 1 copy 15/03/2012 14:51 Page 2

A warm and friendly welcome awaits you

WHY NOT PUT THE SPRING BACK INTO YOUR STEP!

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The Victoria Arms is under new management and has been refurbished

ER EE FFION F L O TAT I A S UL EC CON 20 SPNITIAL £

A Friendly Welcome Awaits

NY OF IF YOU SUFFER FROM ANY T FOLLOWING, GIVE US A THE CALL & LET US HELP YOU. CAL CALL Home cooked food is served daily with a variety of specials on offer Monthly Curry Night second Thursday of every month with the next one on April 12th Only £6.95

Chiropractic ttreatment can benefit the ffollowing:

CHRONIC/ACUTE BACK PAIN NECK PAIN HIP/KNEE JOINT PAIN GENERAL ACHES AND PAINS NECK RELATED HEADACHES FROZEN SHOULDER SHOULDER/ELBOW/TENNIS ELBOW PAIN MIGRAINES

Book now for your Easter Sunday Roast £8.95 (adults) £4.50 (children)

Join us for the Wilden May Day Celebrations on May 7th A wonderful variety of cask ales, lagers and wines “Relaxed dining at its best” Why not just pop in for tea or coffee Sunday lunch is between Noon and 6pm at only £8.95 (adults) and £4.50 (children)

The Victoria Arms, High Street, Wilden 01234 772437

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call our clinic TODAY TODAY for our consultation and health check.

CALLL US NO OW 012344 353937 0 2TW Bedford Chiropractic Clinic 20b De Parys Avenue, Avenue, Bedford MK42 admin@bchiropracticclinic.co.uk admin@bchiropracticclinic.co.uk www.bedfordchiropractor.co.uk www.bedfordchiropractor.co.uk Registered with the GCC - BCA Major insurance companies


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ISSUE 11

April 2012

APRIL 2012

As worn by the stars

EXCLUSIVE

interview with Connie Fisher

nteriors

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outdoor furniture fit for a king

New lines now in store

MILLMAN

Jewellers of Distinction 2 Church Arcade Bedford TEL 01234 354026

AFFINITY MAGAZINE

Miscarriage the secret heartache

BB Creams

tried & tested

Egg-stra special Easter treats for everyone

Your FREE Monthly Magazine

BEAUTY - FOOD - DRINK - HEALTH - FITNESS - STYLE - INTERIORS - MOTORS - WHAT’S ON


Affinity Magazine April 2012