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Issue 2 March 2010
A BITE OF THE BIG APPLE A GREAT FOOD DESTINATION
BRIDGES EAST & WEST
MEET THE AUTHOR
ARTIST HIDEYUKI SOBUE
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CONTENTS COVER STORIES
BRIDGES EAST AND WEST Meeting Japanese artist Hideyuki Sobue
A BITE OF THE BIG APPLE Edith Cocker on a great food destination
MEET THE AUTHOR We meet David Makinson
A HAPPY BUSINESS? An interview with Nancy Jaeger
THE GESTURE Part 2 of a heartfelt story by Lilly Hughes
REGULARS EDITOR’S NOTE
ABOUT THIS ISSUE
FOOD & DRINK
THE FINAL WORD
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editor Welcome to Issue 2 and a massive thanks from all the team for those of you who read our first issue and registered with us. This month, again we stay committed to advancing the ageless agenda and we hope our variety of content provides entertaining reading. No. 2 is loosely known as our New York issue thanks to another fascinating article by Edith Cocker on Page 18 which Iâ€™m sure will leave everyone wanting to jump on the next plane and trying out these great eating venues. The articles we have selected focus on pushing boundaries, overcoming adversity and looking at life from a different perspective, something that it is very much embodied by Nancy Jaeger (page 10) and David Makinson (page 26).
Douglas Watt-Dugdale Editor
I would like to extend an open invite to any of our readers who would like to comment on either of our first 2 issues, and we really thrive on feedback that enables us to give you what you want. If you would like to get in touch please visit us at www.reallypositiveco.co.uk and leave your thoughts. I hope you enjoy the issue and I look forward to seeing you again next month.
about this issue
Irene Chenery, Andrew Coghlan, Liz Faye, Janet Harrison, Joe Holdsworth, Lilly Hughes
Barrels & Bottles
Chenery Maher Solicitors
East Cheshire Hospice
The Insurance Surgery
Over 50s Find Love
Palm Financial Care
Wendy J Levy Contemporary Art
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A HAPPY BUSINESS? met with Nancy Jaeger, the founder of over50’sfindlove.com, to get an idea about her life and how, if at all, this shaped her decision to become a matchmaker. Nancy is a fascinating person with a huge amount to say on most subjects - it certainly wasn’t a boring interview!
Encore Living’s Janet Harrison meets Nancy Jaeger and learns far more than she expected.
Nancy herself is 54, the age Tony Booth (actor and once left wing activist) was when she first met him. At the time, Nancy was 31. They had an immediate connection and a relationship, marriage and daughter followed. Yet despite this and for a short period of time, becoming Cherie Booth’s step mother this relationship was not the catalyst for her passion for politics, or friendships with well known cabinet ministers. I ask Nancy what she would say to a girl in her late twenties about hooking up with someone 23 years her senior. “Obviously, on the face of it, such a young person would not entertain the thought of dating such an older guy, but sometimes you just meet people in life who you have an immediate connection with” she states. She also adds that it was more the class differences and lack of things in common which was the real reason the relationship failed – not necessarily the age gap.
“I wanted a happy business…...I thought that the dating game would be perfect – matching people together who wanted love, what could be better?”
Nancy came over from Canada as her father worked as a diplomat for the United Nations. She had, by then, travelled extensively and finally put down roots after studying Social Psychology at Sussex University in 1973. However, it was whilst she was taking an MA in London that she became an active labour party member. At that time, rubbing shoulders with Mandleson, Charles Clarke and news reporter John Draper. Exciting times it seems and you can see Nancy’s brown eyes come alive when she recalls the memory. “People often think that my only connection with the Booth/Blair family came from my marriage to Tony Booth” says Nancy “I had already met these guys before. We moved in the same circles and had many interesting debates and causes during the 70’s and 80’s – quite a different political landscape then” she added.
Nancy has a great voice. To hear her talk about her life is mesmerising. It is a mixture of the amazing stories and her Canadian accent – one minute low and serious, the next shouting some expletive about how someone has p.....ed her off! She is big on courtesy and communication and despite having lived in the UK for most of her life, still groans at the bad service we have come to expect here. She certainly doesn’t hold back – but you love her for this and she makes you laugh out loud at some of the stories she tells. After separating from Tony and setting up her own PR business, she had a serious riding accident, actually breaking her back. She quickly lost her business, became involved in a legal battle for compensation, then heard that her mother was ill and went back, with her daughter to Canada.
Cherie’s father Tony Booth with his daughters Emma and Lauren
Unfortunately, her mother died very soon after her return and it was clear that the UK was really her home. So, she returned, looking to set up another business. “I wanted a happy business” states Nancy “I thought that the dating game would be perfect – matching people together who wanted love, what could be better?” However, as she has found out, it is not all sweetness and light! “People tend to be very narrow minded about things, sometimes refusing to even meet because they have one or two small things in their profile which don’t match.” It would seem that those who are the most flexible and are willing to step outside of their comfort zone occasionally are the ones who really win out in the romance stakes. Nancy admits that people in their 50’s and over can sometimes be more set in their ways, but in these days of increasing numbers of singletons living alone, it is getting harder to meet potential partners. Obviously in these circumstances you do need to be pro-active!
Despite all this, she has a thriving business and gives her clients great advice. “I tell people to be more open minded and that it really is a numbers game” she states “Using a dating agency is only one of the many options open to people who want to find a partner”. She also urges people to seek friendships with other people even if they are not going to be the love of their life. “If two people are lonely and live in close proximity to each other, I still encourage them to get together for companionship – who knows who they have in their own circle of friends and it’s good practice to get out and about speaking to people!” she adds. It is hard to say goodbye to Nancy. I have enjoyed her company so much and could listen to her all day. Her best friend says “every one of your friends has a story” which I can say is very true. I would like to be Nancy’s friend, but I wonder if I am interesting enough!
For more information on over50’s dating have a look at Nancy’s website.
BRIDGES EAST & WEST A review of Japanese artist, Hideyuki Sobue by Wendy Levy
ideyuki Sobue was born on 8th March 1965 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. He came to live in the U.K. in 2005 settling in Grange-OverSands in the Lake District where he creates his wonderful paintings.
Hideyuki is an extraordinary artist who has become known for the sensitive and distinctive technique he has developed. His unique style has attracted a great deal of interest in the artistic community and was recently featured on the BBC Cumbria website. Hideyuki describes his technique as follows: “I create images by first using a line hatching technique with Japanese sumi ink on canvas then laying transparent selective acrylics one by one so that I don’t lose the condition of pure colour.” His technique is also inspired by the classic method disegno, based on drawing, established in the Florentine school during the early Renaissance era.
Autumn ‘06 (Above) “I’m always amazed when I see the grand design of nature with its unique texture, colour and harmonious beauty.”
Sandcastle (Below) “With this artwork seemingly nothing but a snapshot, I tried to portray some multilayered life-scape.”
A Welshman In Cumbria (Above) “While observing a series of movements of this gentleman in his business meeting, I wanted to capture his gentle character in his ordinary office setting”
Couple (Left) “As I grew up in a children’s home, I always think of what the authentic meaning of “couple” is, especially living in the epoch of the demise of family structure.”
His aim is to create something simple yet thought-provoking, portraying someone iconic, somewhere universal, precious moments and eternal fragments. Through his work Hideyuki aims to explore the bridging of East and West, combining traditional Japanese art with a more contemporary Western ideology, with the emphasis on the more intricate aspects of nature, as Hideyuki says, "I love to portray leaves rather than splendorous flowers." In 2006 he received the Peter Tyson Award at the Lake Artists Society Summer Exhibition and in 2008 was elected a member of the Lake Artists Society. He has exhibited his work in both Japan and the U.K and his work is currently held in private collections in Japan, UK, Australia, Canada and USA.
Hideyuki’s work can be seen at an exhibition entitled ‘Country Life’, until Saturday 27th March, at:
Wendy J Levy Contemporary Art Ltd 17 Warburton Street, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6WA. Tel. 0161 446 4880 email: email@example.com
Gallery opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Entrance is Free
Hideyuki’s fascinating approach to bridging eastern and western influences creates a harmony that echoes throughout this superb exhibition.
See more at www.wendyjlevy-art.com
A BITE OF THE BIG APPLE Culinary tourism is fast becoming big bucks. In this feature, Edith Cocker explores what seems an unlikely food destination.
ith food tourism on the increase throughout the world, where do you start with a guide for people who might want to try one or two trips out? France and Italy immediately come to mind and would be the obvious choices – but who wants to be obvious? Thinking a bit more laterally, how about a city which actually has food in its name (well, sort of) – New York, aka the Big Apple. New York is literally littered with restaurants over many districts and offering just about any type of food from around the world. Their Chinatown and Italian eateries are legendary. However, dig a little more deeply and you will find that various companies have sprung up to give people a flavour of all that New York has to offer – in one day.
The first website to mention belongs to a company called Foods of New York Tours: www.foodsofny.com - they have a number of different options from a ‘Sushi and Japanese Tapas’ tour to ‘Chelsea Market and the Meatpacking district’. Starting from around $44 per person, these walking, talking and obviously eating guided tours sound fascinating and delicious. For those who always find it difficult to chose where to pitch up, armed only with a Lonely Planet guide for help, this is both exciting and a bit of a relief.
Murray’s Cheese Shop is a feature of the Foods of New York Tour.
You could, of course, go straight to the places themselves, for example Chelsea Market www.chelseamarket.com has many food shops, restaurants and other retail outlets within its walls. Occupying a whole block (from 9th-10th Avenue and 15th-16th Streets) housed on the ground floor of an 11 storey building. As it states on their proposed itinerary, you could happily spend a whole day inside, chomping away to your heartâ€™s content (perhaps the wrong phrase to use!) and wandering around the shops without ever seeing the light of day.
Elenis Located at Chelsea Market thay make "Hand-painted" "art cookies" "for any occasion" (think "beautiful" bunnies and carrots for Easter, storks with bundle in beak for new babies or other shapes "designed for you") are the specialty of this Chelsea Market charmer that a "great gift" source.
The most intriguing though is a unique
experience called Famous Fat Dave’s 5 Borough eating tours! www.famousfatdave.com – a guy who drives a cab whilst giving his customers a range of exclusive foodie cab rides. The web site is amazing – featuring his ‘Five Borough Eating Tour on the Wheels of Steel’ and linking browsers to his various you tube videos and many, many pieces of press coverage. The ‘Not for Tourists’ warning is obviously tongue in cheek (no pun intended) and you can choose from three ‘signature’ tours: 1) The Chunky but Funky Monkey Package 2) The Junk in the Trunk 3) The Fat Elvis
With additional choices of 2-3 stops, 4-7 stops or a gut busting 5-10 stops! So as not to spoil things, see his story on the website, you can also hire a minibus for larger groups and even buy a Famous Fat Dave t-shirt. This guy was definitely thinking outside of the box when he presented his business plan to the bank!! New York is still a great place to walk around – given a flat pair of shoes of course. Aside from the unique nature of Fat Dave’s cab, what better way to get a feel for the culture, people and diversity in this fantastic city than to literally taste it too!
RECOMMENDATIONS OYSTER BAR NY For those of you who love seafood, architecture and many gangster films, you have to visit the Oysterbar on Grand Central Station. In terms of people watching, fresh seafood and an amazing setting, it just cannot be beaten. www.oysterbarny.com
BOND 45 Located right in the theatre district within walking distance of every Broadway show. Bond45 feels like part of old New York, because it is. The building is a theatre district landmark. The Ziegfeld Follies began on their roof, back when the building was the Hammerstein Theatre. Bond45 serves up a genuine Italian experience including real American 'firsts': Your roman mozzarella bar and cheese focaccia from Liguria, Pantondo, and a new Antipasti bar that is even more spectacular than ever. www.bond45.com
RIVER CAFE For an absolutely stunning view, Michelin starred cuisine and an experience to remember for the rest of your life, visit the River Café. Bookings are essential as it is such a special place – but you won’t be disappointed. www.rivercafe.com
DOING NOTHING COULD COST YOU EVERYTHING One of the hardest decisions in your life will be to admit that as a son or daughter you cannot cope looking after your mother or father and that they need to move into either residential or a nursing care home.
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As if that decision wasnâ€™t hard enough, you then have the complexities of how to find a home that you consider suitable and then the more daunting task of how to arrange to pay for the care. Not many families are aware that there are now regulated products on the market that, with the right advice, can provide tax-free funding for care home fees for life. These products can be tailored to suit each individualâ€™s needs and can ease the worry about how to fund for the ongoing cost of care.
Palm Financial Care Limited is Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Palm Financial Care Limited is registered in England. Registered Office: Palm House, 14 Ashton Drive, Nelson, Lancashire. BB9 0UA. Reg No. 6261386
meet the author David Makinson, author of Just a One Night Stand tells us about his life and inspiration.
avid lives near Bolton, Lancashire with his wife, Chris and Giles, his son from his first marriage.
Just a One Night Stand is David’s debut novel. His second book will be a true and inspirational story set in 1911 about a fourteen year old Scottish girl who emigrates to Australia with her family, with tragic consequences. That book is currently in the research phase with publication anticipated to be in late 2011. Other than writing novels David has also written some poetry, just for pleasure rather than publication. Before embarking on his new and exciting career as a writer, David spent over twenty years in Financial Services. The last nine were spent as a partner in a Bolton firm of Independent Financial Advisers, where, apart from creating hundreds of bespoke client reports, David produced the biannual client newsletter which he also branded and sold to other firms with a circulation of around 4000 copies. David sold his share of that partnership in June 2008 to pursue his writing ambitions. David is also in the process of establishing a new venture called Select Words, through which he will provide copywriting and editing services to businesses and individuals.
David was born in London in May 1964 with a complex congenital heart condition known as a Tetralogy of Fallot. Consequently, he spent the first few months of his life at the Middlesex Hospital in London whilst the medics assessed the severity of the problem. As his young, unmarried mother was unable to care for him, David was transferred to a boardingout house under the specialist care of Dr Barnardo’s (now Barnardo’s). In May 1965, David was very fortunate to attract the attention of a young couple, a Church of England clergyman, Andrew Macintosh and his wife, Mary, a former nurse. They agreed to foster David, full in the knowledge that his chances of long term survival were at best precarious. He moved to Lampeter to live with them and their young daughter, Rachel, before the whole family moved to Cambridge. Over the next ten years David gained two foster brothers, siblings to Rachel; first Alexander and then, seven years later, Thomas. Forty-five years after joining the Macintosh’s, David is still proud to call that family his own.
Since the mid-1960s, David has had two major heart surgeries, the first in 1967 at the Middlesex Hospital and then ‘the big one’ in 1973, carried out by Sir Terence English and his team at Papworth Hospital. The complex eight-hour operation was a major success, effectively repairing all the structural defects to David’s heart. Able to run around properly for the first time, David spent the next few years playing catch-up (much to the detriment of his academic studies), indulging in all normal activities with the exception of cross-country running and squash. David went on to represent his schools at cricket and tennis. Whilst doing his degree in Leeds, he took up hockey, a passion that lasted at club level well into his thirties. David’s other passion in his early twenties was motorcycles, once earning him the dubious short-term nickname ‘Dangerous Dave’ for riding his Triumph Bonneville back from Harrogate to Leeds with a severed clutch cable. Unfortunately, sporting and motorcycling activities were brought to a sudden halt in 2000 when David experienced a potentially fatal heart arrhythmia whilst on a charity bicycle ride from Manchester to Blackpool.
As a result, he is now the proud owner of an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD), an electronic box of wizardry that will save his life by administering a localised electric shock, a ‘jump start’ to the heart should a serious arrhythmia occur again. So far the device has only gone off in error (albeit 8 times in one 40 minute episode which David described as being like a session in the boxing ring with Mike Tyson). Whilst acknowledging that he has already used up several of his nine lives, (including the odd near miss on motorbikes) David now takes life at a more sedate pace. Perhaps also a little wiser, David now cites his main interests as writing, playing the keyboards, fine wine, cooking, watching his son score centuries at cricket and, when time allows, relaxing at the family apartment in Portugal.
Just a One Night Stand is set in the cultural twilight between the conservative 1950s and the liberating sunshine of the late 1960s. It tells the emotive story of unmarried Marion McKenzie who, at nineteen, becomes pregnant during a drunken one night stand with Martin Corrigan, a Somerset farmer’s son. Unaware of his paternity, Martin goes up to Cambridge University. Once she realises she is pregnant, Marion is forced to confess her plight to her fiancé, Simon Thompson. Furious at her infidelity and unwilling to father another man’s child, he gives her an ultimatum… him or the baby. Too afraid of her divorced father’s reaction to confide in him, and unwilling to trust her mother not to tell him, Marion turns to her elder sister, Gemma. She reluctantly agrees to allow Marion to live with her in London until after the baby is born. Marion plans to have her baby adopted - until he is born with a serious medical complication. What will Marion do? David hopes that his book will encourage people to seriously consider fostering and adoption and raise the profile of the tremendous work done by organisations such as Barnardo’s and the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF). “Whilst conducting research for the book what surprised me most was the magnitude of change in social attitudes since the early 1960s,” said David. “It has made me appreciate just how far we have progressed and, generally, how willing we are now as a society to help those who most need it. Back in the early 1960s the options presented to many frightened young mothers were limited or non-existent and often determined by the religious views at that time. I am confident that if faced with the same circumstances today, many mothers who gave up their infants in the early 1960s would not now feel pressured to do so.”
David’s book is now also available for purchase as a paperback from Amazon.com and shortly available as an E-book or paperback from Waterstones Online. ISBN Numbers: Paperback 9781449082376
LEARN MORE & BUY MY BOOK AT WWW.DAVIDMAKINSON.COM
food & drink Wine expert Andrew Coghlan looks at the art of matching food & wine
he art of matching food and wine is subjective, but following some very simple guidelines can really make a difference to the enjoyment of balancing flavour on the palate. The simple solution is to use the flavours in the wine as part of the ingredients in the food dish. This is what I call my Food and wine triangle. Imagine a triangle with the 3 corners attributed to acidity, fruit or sweetness and tannin. These are the aspects from which the flavour and texture of food and wine is made up, so all you need to do is break down the constitution of the wine and food items to see what is required to balance the overall palate. An example is easy to illustrate. Take a platter of smoked salmon with lemon and horseradish. The dish will be placed in the triangle well over towards the tannin corner, less towards the acidity and central to the sweetness of the lemon. This means the flavour of the food is dominated by tannin, caused by the wood used for smoking the salmon powering coupled with the slightly tannic texture of the horseradish over to the acidity of the lemon. Then to balance the wine flavour to the dish take a contrasting triangle position with the wine.
The fun is in experimenting. With over 30 years in the wine and food industry and having hosted over 2000 wine tasting events for in excess of 30000 guests, we have almost instant recognition of the way wine and food should be put together. Andrew Coghlan
The food and wine triangle
In other words balance the position on the wine triangle as a contrast by choosing a wine flavour less in tannin, more acidity and less fruit so it has exactly the opposite position to the food. This is a simplified version of the wine and food triangle and your success will depend on your ability to analyse the components in the food and separately analyse the wine. With good analysis of the raw ingredients you should be able to get a really good balance to your menu.
READER OFFER Invest in a copy of THE PERECT BALANCE by Andrew and Janet Coghlan ( RRP £14.95 ) for only £6.99 plus £1.50 p&p as a special reader offer exclusive to Age Unlimited.
LEARN MORE AT WWW.COOKINGEXPERT.CO.UK
As we are getting close to Easter what better way to test your new wine matching skills than to try our roast lamb recipe
Rosemary & Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb
Makes 6 - 8 Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 2 hours Oven temperature 200 C / Gas Mark 5 Recipe courtesy of Foodie LLC.
Ingredients Lamb • 1 leg of lamb 2-2.5kg, trimmed • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced • generous handful of rosemary sprigs • maldon salt and freshly ground black peppers • 1 tbsp olive oil Red Wine Gravy: • 375ml light red wine • 1 tbsp corn flour, mixed with 2 tbsp water
Serve with • •
Baby roast vegetables Your choice of green vegetables or/ and green salad Mint sauce
1. Lamb: Preheat an oven to 200째C. Stab the lamb all over with a small sharp knife. Insert slices of garlic and small sprigs of rosemary into the cuts. Season the lamb well with salt and pepper and massage the oil in. 2. To Roast: Place the leg of lamb on a roasting tray with a little water on the base and put on the centre shelf of the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Pour over 100ml red wine and baste the lamb. Reduce the heat to 180째C and leave the lamb to cook 1 1/2-2 hours (dependent on its weight and how well you like it cooked), Baste the lamb regularly adding a little water if the pan becomes to dry.
3. When cooked remove the lamb from oven and tray, leave it to rest in a warm spot while you prepare the gravy. Remove as much of the fat from the pan as you can, place the tray over a moderate heat, mix in the corn flour and water, stirring with a wooden spoon. Gradually stir in the remaining red wine and simmer until it becomes a sauce consistency (coats the back of a wooden spoon). Keep hot until ready to serve. Pour into a sauce boat when ready to serve.
Top Tip New Zealand lamb is best in Spring in the UK. British Lamb is excellent in Summer when lambing season is well under way.
personal finance This month our resident expert Liz Faye takes a look at planning ahead for care.
Around one in three of us can expect to require residential care in our later years. While the State can help with costs, eligibility is limited. In fact, only those with assets including property worth less than *£14,000 will get their care home fees funded in full. If you have assets worth more than £23,000, you’ll be expected to foot the whole bill. In fact, even people who do qualify for support from the local authority can discover a shortfall between what a home costs and what the authority is willing to pay for that standard and level of care. Currently, 39% of people who are in residential care are paying for it themselves.2 It can be tempting simply to try to pay for care out of savings and pension income. But given the high costs mentioned above, savings could quickly be wiped out. It is therefore advisable to look for solutions that can generate income indefinitely without eroding capital right away. The bad news is that care doesn’t come cheap. Currently, a residential home costs over £24,000 a year on average. If nursing is required, that figure can easily rise to £35,000.1 Such costs can quickly eat away savings. So it’s important to look at funding solutions that can deliver income to help pay fees, while preserving capital.
Liz Faye is a Senior Financial Adviser and founder of Palm Financial Care Limited.
For a free initial consultation on mention of this article, call on 01282 613006
Options might include income-bearing investments such as savings accounts, bonds or shares. Another option could be to purchase a Care Fees Plan. These are annuity-based and pay a guaranteed income every year for the rest of your life, in return for a one-off payment. Income is tax-free if paid direct to a registered care provider. (Tax may be subject to change in future and depends on individual circumstances). Annuity-based plans provide a lot of certainty – although capital can’t automatically be reclaimed if you die soon after the plan begins. One way round this is to look for plans that offer a six-month money-back guarantee and capital protection insurance for periods beyond this. Planning for care involves a lot of major decisions so it’s important to talk to your adviser as well as family members about your wishes. It is also sensible to arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney so the people you trust can make decisions about your care and financial well being, if you aren’t able to. As many families have found, doing nothing could cost you everything! 1 Source: Laing and Buisson – Care of Elderly People – UK Market Survey 2008 2 Source: Laing & Buisson – Care of Elderly People Market Survey 2008 If you would like more information, call Palm Financial Care. They can discuss the benefits and outline the process in more detail, without any obligation on your part. It will take only a few minutes – but could end up saving you thousands of pounds. Palm Financial Care Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority www.fsa.gov.uk/register/home.do FSA Registration No: 470648
technology MAPPING THE FUTURE
This month Joe Holdsworth attempts the world of digital navigation
The first car I ever bought was a Morris Minor. It was the British version of the peoples' car, the volks wagen, that Dr. Porsche developed and which became popular because of its affordability and its rugged, simple mechanics. My experience with the moggy bore this out. It cost £50, and there was little to go wrong because it didn't really have much – not even an interior heater.
I was prompted to ponder this dilemma whilst on just such a train journey recently. With several pre-arranged business calls to make in central London, I settled in to the comfort of my seat and reached for my handy little mini A-Z so that I could plan my itinerary. I had forgotten to pack it, so was faced with the prospect of buying yet another copy for my collection back at home.
Whatever did fail mechanically was easily fixed with a selection of imperial spanners, a flat screwdriver and some Elastoplast dressings for the scraped knuckles. Not that I yearn for the days of oily, agricultural technology, after all the hi-tech Pendolino train between Manchester and London is a comfortable delight to travel on, (notwithstanding the occasional failure of essential services, such as the integrated hot water system which meant that no hot drinks could be offered until spare parts were flown in from Italy). Perhaps there is a case in favour of low-tech?
Mulling this over, I was able to cull inspiration from the young man across the way, who had been staring into the screens of phones, PDAs and computers all the while. One of his devices, a phone I think, displayed a map. A friend of mine had once told me that he used his phone as a sat-nav. I had also heard on the grapevine that my phone could connect to the internet, so I decided to have a go at proving the technology. All I had to do was to connect to the internet by phone, and to download a street map of central London, right? Online, I found myself visiting several “shops” until I came across some software that boasted it could locate me (and my buddies) anywhere.
I was beginning to feel some stress and frustration. The phone battery was running low, and had to last me all day yet. Time was also running low, since I needed some of it to familiarise myself with the anticipated orienteering-by-phone. But, just as despair and disillusionment began to set in, I received a congratulatory message saying that I had succeeded, and was now ready to go with Nav Pro Fun! I knew I was in trouble straight away. The default geographical location on screen was a suburb of Michigan. The instructions were frustratingly difficult to understand, having apparently been written by someone whose basic assumptions were that the use of this software was intuitively obvious.
Call me naĂŻve but, it seemed to me a better deal than a mere street map, and my rough calculations persuaded me that I could afford the $19.99 purchase price. Since I had no other pressing entertainment for the next couple of hours, it would be a good opportunity to hone my living skills by downloading and learning how to locate myself, (and my buddies), in the labyrinths of London. The first thing I learned is that downloading to a phone located on a high-speed train is not without its difficulties. By the time I had entered my credit card details for the third time, struggled to be patient through a series of broken connections, wrestled with setting up user names and passwords for reasons unknown and unexplained,
So, for some twenty minutes, I scrolled aimlessly around said suburb, with a growing sense of doom. When I did finally escape, the nearest I could get to seeing a street map of central London, involved a journey from Harlow to Harrow, over which I appeared to have no effective control. I eventually realised that what I had purchased was a game, the purpose of which, by now, was beyond my ability even to wonder about. Perhaps there are millions living who do see the point of Nav Pro Fun , but I remain to be convinced. At Euston the shop had run out of mini A-Zs. I was not surprised. So, I was obliged to buy the bigger, bulkier version would not fit into my carefully chosen document case. For a moment, I considered buying a larger case, but then, I have one of those at homeâ€Ś Joe Holdsworth
legal issues Law Society research reveals risks of “nightmare” will writing companies
New research by the Law Society reveals the risks the public are being exposed to by unregulated, unqualified and uninsured will writers, warns Clitheroe Solicitor, Irene Chenery. The findings reveal badly drafted wills that render the deceased’s estate wholly or partially intestate, poor tax planning and ‘vanishing wills’, as well as hidden charges which inflate the advertised price to prepare them. Something echoed by Law Society President Robert Heslett who spoke recently about “People turning to law society members for help after being left with what can only be described as ‘nightmare’ wills, which are not worth the paper they are written on.” He added “There may be rare instances when the solicitors get it wrong, but the difference between a solicitor and a will writer is that they are legally trained, robustly regulated and are covered by indemnity insurance”. The Law Society research also found that some will writers were advertising low cost wills, but that in reality the customer was given a much larger bill at the end of the process.
In some cases, will writers were appointing themselves as executors and offering related legal services for which they were not trained or regulated, such as powers of attorney, obtaining probate, conveyancing and even tax advice, at an additional cost.
These findings come soon after the publication of the Lord Hunt review of regulation of legal services which included concerns raised by what he referred to as a “fringe legal market” in will writing, probate and claims handling, which exposed the public to a growing risk. The Law Society reminds everyone to use a solicitor. Whatever your question, they are qualified to answer.
Trusted advice Probate specialist, Irene Chenery of Chenery Maher Solicitors encourages anyone who may have used a will writer to check the accuracy and suitability before it is too late. “If you feel you have been given the wrong advice or the wording of the will does not accurately reflect your wishes, please get in touch with us” urges Irene. “It is essential that your family and love ones are not left with unnecessary problems” she adds.
If you need more information or wish to make a Will, contact Irene Chenery at Chenery Maher Solicitors on 01200 422264
The Law Society conducted its research on a qualitative feedback basis. More information can be obtained from the Law Society Press Office on 0207 316 5624 or www.lawsociety.org.uk/mediacentre
The final instalment of a touching story by Lilly Hughes
THE GESTURE “Well, just think of all those things you’ve wanted to do but couldn’t before. Maybe you could go on holiday?”
“Have you told him you’re bored or are you one of these modern women who want us men to be mind readers?”.
“On my own like some lonely old boy? No, can’t see it somehow”.
“No, I’d never tell him that – he’d be gutted. What was your secret then?”
Izzy didn’t want to pry but she was intrigued by this strong relationship and secretly thought she could learn a thing or two about how to stay married for more than 11 years. Maybe it was fate that had put Mr Mayhew in the back of her car or coincidence, either way she was glad he was there. Before long, she found herself telling him all about Joe and how things were between them.
“No secret to it love – we just used to talk and keep talking. Never bottled anything up and if we fell out, always made up before bed time. D’ya know, we still held hands when we went anywhere and I never cared who saw me!” Tears welled up as his voice choked.
“I feel like we’ve got nothing to say anymore – we have no secrets left, no excitement. I know everything about him and he knows me just as well”. A wave of sadness flooded into her.
Izzy smiled warmly at him through her mirror and tried to remember the last time Joe had held her hand and she realised she couldn’t. As the car meandered through the now slow but steady traffic Mr Mayhew recalled mostly happy memories of how he’d met Mrs Mayhew on Blackpool front and how he’d fancied her friend at first.
He told Izzy all about how he’d felt when she’d first been diagnosed with Alzheimers and how he tried not to believe it at first. “I used to finish her words off for her – way before she was ill. Then when it took hold and she didn’t recognise me I’d try to make her remember words, names, places anything, hoping she’d remember me as well.” Izzy opened up too so that by the time they reached the cemetery, Mr Mayhew knew more about Izzy and Joe’s relationship than any of their friends, who were of the belief they had the perfect relationship. In turn, Izzy felt she’d known Mr Mayhew her whole life and felt strange at how his impending loneliness had affected her more than she would have ever imagined. “Well, this is me – how much do I owe you love?”
After about ten minutes just sat there ignoring her call sign, Izzy turned the radio off, opened the car door, locked it and started walking towards the new part of the cemetery. As Izzy approached the fork in the road she looked up to see a burial in progress with just two mourners and a priest. Mr Mayhew watched as Izzy strode cautiously across the newly moved earth, her hair blowing in the biting wind. As she approached, he reached out his open hand towards his new friend and patted it with his other hand in appreciation, as they both watched the coffin sink lower into the earth.
A very smart looking Joe gave a closed mouth smile as Izzy walked towards the steps where he was stood, but this soon turned to a puzzled frown when he saw that she was dressed in her well worn jeans and a Rolling Stones T-shirt!
“Oh, that’s eight pounds fifty please”.
“How come we’re looking like a badly matched first date then?”
As Mr Mayhew handed Izzy the neatly folded ten pound note he gently kept hold of her hand and said “you’ll be fine you and your fellah you know – just remember to keep talking to him and don’t have him guessin’! You keep the change, tara now”.
Ignoring his sarcasm, Izzy then did something that she’d not done for far too long, she took his hand and held it tightly, smiling as she led him away down the steps towards the sturdy looking figure in the distance.
Izzy watched him walk slowly away through the cemetery gates, head down, obviously in no particular rush to witness the final goodbye that awaited him.
“There’s someone I’d like you to meet Joe and he’ll be joining us for dinner three times a week………..”
the final word We hope you have enjoyed the second ageunlimited issue and that it has given you a taste of what is yet to come. We would really appreciate your feedback on anything else you would like to see featured or discussed within the magazine. Hopefully, the mixture of useful factual information, combined with lifestyle features, makes it an interesting and informative read. Looking forward to the next issue, we have gone for a Retro issue, looking at the 60s/7os as our current economic and political environment is starting to look very familiar. So we will make a welcome return to the time of brown and beige and pick out the best and worst with a look to the future. In the build up to the General Election we will also be looking at all the major political players and what they stand for alongside all our regulars. In order to give you more of what you want to read about, we would be really grateful if you could take a few moments to tell us what you think. Are you tired of celebrity stories and want to hear more about ‘real people’ who have done extraordinary things? Do you cringe when you see publications aimed at over 50’s which seem way older than how you currently feel? We would like to hear it, warts and all. Just click on this link wwwreallypositiveco.co.uk and leave us your comments please.
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