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A Place to Celebrate Life Chiltern Woodland Burial ial Park is a stunning venue for funerals, erences memorial services, conferences and events. Set in 72 acres of mature woodland, the e beautiful ceremonial buildings offer a unique experience. perience. rking, We offer catering facilities, plenty of parking, ff, mobility buggies and highly trained staff, Chiltern Burial Park is truly a cemetery of our time. We give all of our families a minimum off m two hours for each funeral, the freedom to personalise each ceremony, ss complimentary refreshments and access to the woodland park 365 days a year. Within the beautiful woodlands, familiess can choose the perfect resting place for their ir loved one for the burial or, following cremation, ashes shes can be scattered or buried in the woodland. d and Graves and ashes plots may be selected purchased in advance, giving peace of mind to those planning for their own future. Our woodland burial park offers a unique ue ge and caring experience with a price range that makes the park accessible to all.

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Welcome Welcome to our first issue for 2012 - February/March. It’s hard to believe that in 5 months time the Olympics will be a reality. You will see some new additions to our writers this year, as we welcome Colin Baxter from Mayfair wines and Phil Walker, who will be discussing performance coaching. I hope you enjoy the new articles. We also have a recipe from Adam Simmonds at Danesfield House Hotel and an interview with Michael MacDonald from the Vanilla Pod restaurant, which is 10 years old this March - Congratulations to the Vanilla Pod. Stubbings Nursery has opened a new cafe and you can read all about it on page 28. Welcome to our new beauty writer, Sarah, the owner of O’Naturelle in Marlow. Looking for something to wear to a wedding, we feature everything but the bride in our fashion pages this issue, so look no further than visiting our independent fashion retailers in the local area. Scanappeal are celebrating their 25th birthday this year and tell us how they have helped the local community and how you can help with their fundraising in this their 25th year. See page 42. If you’d like to see copies of the magazine from the last twelve months, you can view them at AlongtheThames, for both the Marlow and Maidenhead editions. If you’d like to add an event to our Out & About section please visit the website at This is a free service open to all. We wish you all a Happy Easter, which is early this year from the 6th - 9th April and will occur just before our next edition. Until next time, Happy Reading..........




Contents 6. Interiors - Bedroom Design 10. Extending - developing the scheme 14. Think like a burglar 17. Property Investment - the right time, when exactly is that? 18. Readers Corner? 19. Garden 20. Country Wise 24. Recipe - Gluten free choc chip cookies 25. Glass of red 32. Beauty - Fresh faced

PUBLISHER & EDITOR Serena Edwards ADVERTISING For all enquiries please call t: 01628 771419 f: 01628 421501 e: CONTRIBUTORS Harriet Subramanian, Alexander Parsons, Mike Beckley Christine Chalkin, Kasia Cole, Jill Coleby, David Rhys Price Tony Silver, Sally Todd, Colin Baxter Emma Filtness, Vanessa Woolley, Niki Schäfer, Jacky & Mark Bloomfield, Adele Miller Copyright © 2012 Along the Thames

34. Fashion 38. Hair by Alexander 40. 7 ways to make changes to your life 44. Sally’s Smalltalk 46. Travel Devon and Cornwall, a great place to “staycate” in 2012 48. Horoscopes 50. Performance Coaching 52. Social Media: You Tube & Twitter

Along the Thames Magazine 1 Bell Street, Maidenhead Berks SL6 1BU t: 01628 771419 m: 07711 887107 e: FRONT COVER: courtesy ACCOUNTS Along the Thames Magazine ISSN 2047-3370

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53. Not just different, but better, a civilised divorce? surely not? 54. Pets 57. Motoring 60. Community 62. Out and About 64. Useful Numbers 65. Services

Along the Thames Magazine Marlow is the sister title to Along the Thames Maidenhead. - prints and distributes 16,200 copies bimonthly and hand delivers copies into ABC homes inandaround Marlow, Bourne End, Maidenhead, Cookham and Bray, as well as in bedrooms and reception rooms of hotels, golf clubs, coffee shops, hairdressers, libraries and local information centres. It has an estimated readership of 64,800

The views expressed in Along the Thames magazine are not necessarily the views of the editor/publisher. While all reasonable care is taken to ensure accuracy of our content, the publisher cannot accept liability for errors/ omissions relating to the editorial/advertising in this publication or for loss rising as a result. No part of the contents of this publication can be reproduced without the express permission of the authors and is protected by copyright.

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Bedroom Design A bedroom is a sanctuary. We know this. We want to sleep there, relax there, lie in, chill out. We know it should be an idyll and a haven to escape to. So how is it then that this room becomes so un-haven like, so cluttered? With electronic gadgets charging, books waiting to be read and clothes hoping to be folded. Why is this the room that we leave until last to decorate? The room where we spend the most time - though admittedly with our eyes closed. Look & Feel Bedrooms are wonderful places to decorate. They can be filled with fabulous fabrics -cushions, rugs, curtains and carpets - and gorgeous pieces of furniture from necessary storage items to luxurious chaise longues. Bedrooms can be decadent or minimal, feminine or bold, they can be frilly and dainty or streamlined and sleek. And as the most personal room in the house they are the perfect place to reflect who you are as a person,or a couple. Colours Bedrooms do have some general rules of thumb though, especially if you want to stick with the traditional thinking of actually using the room as a place to sleep. If this is indeed your intention, then they are best kept muted and calm. Blue, mauve, mink, cream, oyster,mushroom, mouse, green - these colours will lull you to sleep or allow you to while away a lazy hour or two on a Sunday morning. If, on the other hand, you are looking for more pep in the bedroom, then the warmer colours, yellows or pinks could work for you. Reds 6


and oranges might well be a little too strong for this room but then again, it all depends on how much pep you are looking for. Windows Window treatments come in all shapes and sizes and the bedroom can cater to them all. If you like to wake with the rising sun and feel the day coming into the room then voiles or muslins are the perfect answer. Let them billow in the breeze with an open window, light and airy with a hint of foreign romance. Alternatively, feel the comfort and warmth of wool curtains. Wool drapes beautifully and will give the room great depth. Hide away the light and stay in the dark as long as you can by adding appropriate interlining and lining. These give curtains weight and really add to the luxurious feel of the room. Alternatively, use contemporary blinds - Roman, Venetian or (with a hint of 80s retro) Austrian. Practical Considerations Like everything else in the world of interiors, there is an abundance of choice when it comes to bedroom furniture so it pays to think carefully about what you really need. Do you want function to be the only factor or does form play a role? Do you like your clothes to hang or fold? Work out how many pieces of clothing you want in your wardrobe. Bear in mind how you want it to feel underfoot in winter, and is it the same in the summer months? Ponder the lighting situation you require at 5:30am sneaking out for the first

train compared to the lights you need at 10pm. And what your partner might need at those times too. Think through three ‘normal’ days to help make buying decisions - an everyday in winter, one in summer and a holiday. The room will work differently for those three days but if it works for them, then any other eventuality should be covered. This helps with the design process - a practical, logical way of working out what is needed. What is wanted, however, is another matter altogether. That all depends on taste. Niki Schäfer ....dwell-being designs

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The Three R’s

Recycle, Restore, Revamp Waste’ is a term that could be applied to discarded furniture found in skips and roadsides up and down the country. One social enterprise is working hard not only to transform these unwanted items in to desirable design conscious ‘must haves’, but also helping disadvantaged youth gain life and work skills. Out of the Dark, based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, recycles, restores and revamps antique/retro furniture as a means to train, educate and employ young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Out of the Dark is the brainchild of Jay and Jade Blades, who are also the founders of an award winning youth charity Street Dreams. The social enterprise, while only been operating for 18 months, has already been recognised as a creative inititiave that can make a positive impact on the environment, society and eco friendly design. Jade says, ‘We are really proud of what we have achieved in the short period we have been going; our great team of 20 young people are now even taking on interior design jobs, and coming up with fresh ideas on how to use old unwanted items.’


Travis, who has been involved since the start, has been learning all sorts of skills and has been also taking part in design seminars delivered by local designers. ‘I love creating something beautiful out of nothing’ he says, and adds that all that he has experienced at Out of the Dark has made him more confident about his own future and what he can achieve. Young people come are given an opportunity on this project if they have already taken part in the charity’s intensive self development programme. ‘We need young people to prove to us they are committed, and reliable, because this is a business and we have to uphold a quality of service and finish’ says co founder Jay, who comes from a similar background to the young people he trains.


Apart from a series of events and workshops happening at their workshop, Out of the Dark will be showcasing their unique pieces at national events such as Hemingway’s Vintage Festival and The London Design Festival. Their next local event is being held in the Marlow Christ Church Hall, 3-10 March 2012; please see the website for further information




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Developing the scheme Continuing our series on developing your home, we left off the last issue having thoroughly investigated how to get the most from and how best to utilise your home and how your consultant can best explore your options with you… The Consultant should now be working hard to develop your scheme whilst complying with any known Local Authority parameters or listed status which could affect your proposals. The scheme will unfold and you are likely to be faced with a number of options to choose preferences over. These are wholly dependant on the use you have for your property. For example, the spaces you desire with ease of movement around the house: light and airy open spaces instead



of formally separated rooms, Do you wish to retain features in the property? Perhaps develop with a view to selling; in which case the property needs to retain wide appeal. Do you need quiet space for yourselves or to contain the sounds of older children? Your Consultant can talk you through the breadth of these choices together with the impact on the overall design, the finish of the building, the effect on your budget and the overall ‘feel’ of the building which can change in subtle ways. After these exhaustive but exciting discussions the final solution and plans can be edited and submitted by your consultant to your Local Planning Authority for approval. This process takes approximately eight weeks if you require full

planning consent. Some smaller changes will fall under the ‘permitted development’ category and will be straightforward; your consultant can indicate which route is appropriate. With good advice and sensible consultation with the planners the scheme should be successful. Whilst this planning application progresses it is a good opportunity to turn focused attention to the buildings finishing detail and structural content. The structural design will in part have been considered in the pre planning stage, but the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the design will be the focus at this stage as your consultant designs the ‘construction’ detail. They will be looking at the information required for Local Authority ‘Building Control’, who are responsible for the safe and

statutory enforcement of the regulations and processes of construction. Your consultant will be designing the many aspects of the construction, such as, foundations, drainage, thermal efficiency, structural design and fire safety. This is also the point they will introduce the detail provided by other professional consultants such as the ‘Structural Engineer’ or, for example, specialist service information for ‘Air Source’ heating. The detail of this phase can make a huge impact on the overall impression of the building. The skilful hand can, even in the most awkward of situations, give the light touch ‘feel’ to the building. In the next issue we shall cover the subject which many find can make or break the project. Hiring the right contractor and agreeing the content of the contract.



Think like a burglar Stand outside your property and imagine that you were trying to break in. Where would you start? Flowerpot on the front step? Remove that not-so-secret key that’s underneath. Downstairs loo with the window that is always left open? Buy an air freshener instead! Full height ladder stored at the side of the house? It’s like a written invitation. Security basics It doesn’t matter how expensive your alarm system is or how strong your door locks are, if you don’t employ the most basic security measures you are just asking for trouble. As you leave the house or are preparing to go to bed, get into a routine of thinking about each room in turn and whether the windows or doors are likely to have been opened that day. Around 20% of burglaries don’t involve any force – the intruder has simply walked in the unlocked door or climbed through the window. You should extend this mental check to your car and garage too; easily overlooked because they are out of sight once you are indoors. Remember too that more break-ins happen during daylight hours, so vigilance then is every bit as important as night time. Good locks = good security Each of your windows should have a key locking mechanism fitted – standard with most double glazed units these days, and the key should be stored nearby but not within reach or visibility of the window itself. If

you have nothing like this at the moment, and can’t afford to upgrade your windows just yet, make it a priority to have locks fitted on all the downstairs windows at least. Doors should have a good locking system such as an automatic deadlock or a mortise deadlock. Check too that the frame is solid and the glass panel is laminated. Be flashy – but only with your security 80% of burglaries are spur of the moment so the only thing you should be showing off is your security measures. Don’t display your worldly goods to attract the opportunists in the first place. If you have an expensive bike keep it out of sight; don’t leave mobile phones on the windowsill; and don’t leave the empty box for your flashy new flatscreen TV standing by the bin for days. The same rules apply with your car. Don’t think that robbers don’t break in just to steal a handful of loose change. They do. Tell-tale signs When you are away from home, don’t leave the curtains drawn all day – nobody does that if they are in the house. Use inexpensive timer switches for table lamps and a radio to come on when it’s becoming dark, both downstairs and upstairs. And ask a friend or neighbour to move your post each day particularly where you have an outside box or you can easily see if the post is ‘on the mat’. These are all basic measures and will go a long way to ensure that your home and property stay safe.









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Property Investment The right time, when exactly is that? I spend a lot of time talking to potential investors about how to start their property portfolios. We talk about good locations, the right sort of property to buy, how to arrange finance, and prudent property management. However, there is one comment I have been repeatedly hearing recently.... “But is now the right time to buy?” It’s a question that many aspiring property investors ask themselves, and pretty much everyone else interested or involved. To be fair, it seems a valid point. If you commit to buy today, the commodity you are buying might be cheaper tomorrow. I can guarantee that on any given day of the week there will be a mainstream press article talking the property market down, while another source will be talking the market up. But consider the consequences of sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing. Procrastination or “Paralysis by Analysis” I recently met a lady who claims to be keen to invest. She has been watching her local market for over

three years. She has viewed various properties, and analysed finances in detail. But she has not yet made a purchase. She still has her investment fund completely intact, on deposit in the bank. Her argument for not proceeding is that she has “never been sure if it was the ‘right’ time to buy”. An alternative view is that, by this stage, she could have bought a property two or three years ago and be on track to buying property number two, or even number three. Time can be a thief in certain circumstances. It is entirely correct to practice good housekeeping when investing in property. But interest rates are low and have been for a while. Returns on savings are minimal. It can be argued that inflation is actually devaluing cash in the bank. Ask yourself the question. What did your first property cost... what is it’s value now? My personal case study is £35k to £225k. So let’s consider what we are looking to achieve by investing, and how long it takes to achieve these goals.

Future financial stability and independence. Investors buy rental property because they like to own tangible assets that provide an ongoing income and a pension for old age. There will always be demand for good rental property in the right locations. But it takes time to build a portfolio, typically ten years. If you adopt these principles the emphasis changes from “when” is right to buy... to “where” is right to buy and equally importantly ….. “how can I buy well” The “Right” Time To answer the initial question, the right time to buy is determined by circumstances personal to you. • Are you ready? - Do you genuinely want to own investment property. • Can you find a “deal”? – Good property in the right location, at the right price is available. So when is the right time?... If the answer to both these questions is yes.. the “right” time is now. Mike Beckley

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Be one of the first to read these latest titles The Games People Play by Sam Keery In this entertaining, quirky collection of essays the Belfast-born novelist Sam Keery delves into some of the oddities and mysteries of contemporary life – the transient nature of fame, the colour of whiskey, the decline of men’s boots in fashion, the allure of gold and the strange inefficiency of the QWERTY keyboard... In darker mode, he explores the nature of evil and the meaning of the Holocaust and the fraught relations between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland and between the Province and the Mainland. Yet, whether light-hearted or sad, always in the background are the haunting memories of an idyllic childhood spent on the banks of the Lagan. Companionable and humane, Keery’s essays offer rich sustenance for both heart and mind. For your chance to win one of 3 copies of “The Games People Play ” by Sam Keery, please send your name and address to by 9th March, 2011.. Twenty Five Kilos of Butter by John Piper The Zimmermanns and Schulzes are two ordinary Berlin families. M Maximillian i illi Zi Zimmermann runs a prosperous battery business, while Manfred Schulz is a highly respected languages teacher in the local grammar school. Both men have happy home lives – they have adoring, resourceful wives and intelligent, lively children. But the Zimmermanns and Schulzes live in extraordinary times. With the approach of the 1936 Olympic Games, the new government led by Adolf Hitler is determined to turn Germany into a powerful, militaristic state in which every citizen must play their part. In this increasingly terrifying environment, the Zimmermanns and Schulzes – instinctive opponents of the regime – struggle to maintain their happiness, dignity and integrity but find themselves inexorably drawn into the maelstrom of violence, persecution and war. It is the two youngest children of each family, Kurt and Clotilde, whose resourcefulness and innocence become beacons of hope as the inevitable cataclysm overtakes them. In this moving, richly detailed portrait of two families during a time of upheaval and war, author John Piper provides a powerful study of both the compromises and sacrifices of ordinary people living in times of stress and duress. Navegator by Geoffrey Illey Descended from a legendary Mallorcan navigator, Vasco Valseca is a gifted scientist, born with his ancestor’s instinctive skills. That inheritance inspires him to create Navegator a unique software program that can pinpoint the exact geographical location of any internet activity – email, virus or hacking. Navegator is hot property and only one copy exists. Valseca is unaware that his precious invention is the focus of furious international activity: while a high-powered US project team is working on a similar program in a bid to combat computer-based terrorism, more sinister forces will stop at nothing to acquire such a valuable asset for sale to the highest bidder, whoever that may be. BOOK GUILD

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Winter Injuries

Check your woody plants for damaged or diseased stem damage. This seasons heavy rains, strong winds and extreme frosts can cause unsafe tree conditions; broken limbs, structural weakness and root disease are just a few of the issues that may be hiding in your treetops. Tree and shrubs with poor structure and heavy/long limbs are prone to breakage due to the added weight of ice and snow. Wood decay can also pre-dispose branches and lead to failure from ice/snow loads and strong winds. Evergreens that have a large surface area to hold snow are especially prone to breakage. Sudden drops in temperature, from a sunny day to a very low night time temperature can cause stem tissue to freeze plant cells, as a result frost cracks can appear. These frost cracks can actually start from a wound inflicted earlier in the trees development. Sometimes the crack may remain in the internal wood, but frost can cause the crack to expand and split the bark. Any newly planted tree, especially thin barked species, is a candidate for bark splitting if it is not cared for properly. A professional arborist should inspect your trees in late winter or spring for symptoms of winter injuries. Trees may be dormant but they should be checked for overwintering pests, dead wood, crossing/rubbing branches and structural weakness. No matter the size or scope of your tree or shrub care needs; we want to work with you to protect you landscape investment. Bartlett Tree Experts

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Country Wise This is the time of year when you start to notice the days getting longer. When you get up in the morning there is that tinge of light in the sky. Curtains once closed by mid afternoon now remain open until early evening. It’s hard to believe that the clocks go forward in a few short weeks. A sure sign that spring is just around the corner. Lengthening days have a big effect on the animals and plants of our countryside and towns. Spring is still a little way away, but for some of our resident birds, animals and plants time to get a head start on the migrants; for others it is time to prepare for the months of plenty that lie ahead. One day it can feel like winter is still upon us, the next as though summer is here. Significant amounts of snow could still fall in the next few months, but for our wildlife spring is in the air. It’s a time to think of things, other than survival. It’s all around you; you just need to know where to look. Herons start to breed at this time of year. Along with the Thrush, they are some of the earliest birds to breed. Pairs of herons return to traditional sites, normally a grove of mature trees. The nesting season sees these normally solitary birds gather together in heronries. Nests are near the top of the tree, enabling these large birds to land and take off easily. Burghfield gravel pit in West Berkshire has one of the largest heronries in the county. Plan your visit towards mid-March and you may just catch a glimpse of a dinosaur looking chick being fed. Later on, the growing chicks will have more feathers, looking less like their distant ancestors. Great Crested Grebes are now a common sight on our rivers and lakes. What you may not have seen before is their mating dance. You may be luck to see this unparalleled spectacle from the mid March through to late April. The best chance of seeing this is on a cold clear windless day. When you get a pair of willing birds, they will start face to face, and then shake their heads from side to side, often followed by bowing to each other. Head shaking and bowing is the most commonly seen of the dance moves. Less common is the climax of the pas de deux. Where the male and female Grebes dive and retrieve beaks full of waterweed. They swim towards



each other and rise up out of the water. They end up almost completely out of the water facing each other. Great Crested Grebes are one of our favourite birds so we might be a bit biased, but it is a spectacular sight not often seen and if you can stand the long cold wait, it is very worth waiting for. To be as “mad as a March hare” an idiomatic phrase normally used to describe a person or animal. It comes from the antics of real hares, and March is the start. Keep a good look out as you pass open farmland for you might catch sight of two or more Hares in a state of madness. They jump, spin and chase each other across the fields. These antics are how the term was coined. It is a fair bet that you are watching a female Hare followed by one or more suitors. She is testing them for their suitability for fatherhood. The boys are trying to make sure they are first inline. You can also see hares boxing. Not as you might expect two males, but a female testing the resolve of a potential mate, or trying to get rid of unwanted attentions. Trees need pollination to set seed. All our flowering trees need to flower before the leaves appear. Late March sees a feast of colour to brighten the first days of spring. Make a note when you see a Blackthorn which flowers at this time, with its cream white flowers. Later on in the year, you can return and pick Sloe berries, for your gin. Blackthorn or Cherry trees have flowers that are easy to spot. Less flashy trees don’t have flowers that look like flowers. It is easy to forget that catkins are flowers too. Pussy willow found growing usually near water, is a great example of a tree that sets catkins. At this time of year, you can tell male and female trees apart, it is very difficult the rest of the year. How do you tell them apart? The male trees have yellow catkins because of the pollen, whilst the female trees have green catkins. Now you know. You can impress family and friends as long as you can get Pussy willow into the conversation. If exotica are your thing, then we suggest you go looking for Butterbur.

This thrives in damp, shady conditions, found at the edges of bogs, marshes, rivers and streams. March sees the pink flower spikes appear. The plant grows from an underground rhizome and this is how such plants can flower before producing leaves. As soon as it’s flowers die back the enormous leaves start to emerge. The plants medicinal properties have been know about since the 14th century and today it’s used in the treatment of headaches, asthma and allergies. If you are interested in how to use Butterbur, please contact a local herbalist. However the less risky option is to follow the example and use its leaves to wrap your butter. The butter wrapping properties is said to be how the plant got its name. The warm days of March will see butterflies on the wing. Perhaps the earliest is the male Brimstone. A bright yellow flash heralds the newly hatched males. They normally patrol the woodland edges and hedgerows at this time of year. Peacock and Red Admiral butterflies provide a splash of red to the colour palette. Some will over winter as adults and are able to be on the wing early. On warm days they take to the sky looking to start the next generation. With relatively few spring plants about at this time of year, nectar is in short supply. It is always worth looking out for a patch of Dandelion, Primrose, Cowslip and Bugle. When the temperature is right, butterflies are drawn to these nectar rich plants. Now is a good time to be thinking about your own wildlife space. If you enjoy butterflies, it is also a good time to start preparing your garden for summer visitors. Butterflies need nectar rich plants. Plant Honesty, Sweet Rocket, and Wallflower for spring. For summer through to autumn plants such as Forget-me-nots, Hebe, Sedum, Buddleia, Michaelmas daisy and Lavender. Planted now, they will bring much needed food to your garden. You will be surprised at the variety of species you can attract. Mark and Jacky Bloomfield Wildlife photographers

Winter sights & scents With this cold frosty weather we don’t spend any time outside except perhaps to clear a few fallen branches and leaves, and chop some wood for the fire! It’s nice to appreciate the garden from inside for a change, and lighting plays an important part in bringing the garden to life in the winter. Paths, seating areas, specimen plants and features can all be bathed in a warm glow of light; throwing wonderful shadows on fences or walls to enhance our enjoyment birch trees through the cold winter months. Lights should be positioned carefully to avoid distracting wildlife - consider using low-intensity or solar lighting to reduce light pollution. Low-voltage kits are available at most DIY stores now but even hanging votives in the trees has a magical effect. And to stop you in your tracks on those brief winter visits to the garden, plant some winter winners for spectacular scent. Try lonicera fragrantissima / sarcococca / hamamelis ‘Diane’ or mahonia japonica. Then step back inside and start planning the rest of the year!






By Marlow gardeners Jill Coleby & Vanessa Faulkner



Sweet Potatoes with Ginger and Allspice

Herb Crumble with Ratatouille & Goats’ Cheese

The combination of sweet potatoes and the taste of the stem ginger pieces and syrup make for a really pleasant and warming winter dish. 4-6 servings

This recipe can either be used as a side dish, or as a main vegetarian supper, as it contains so many vegetables. The herb crumble on the top of the dish also gives it that added ‘yum’ factor. 6-8 servings

INGREDIENTS: 4 Tablespoons of vegetable oil 750 g Sweet potato peeled and cut into small chunks 50 g Butter 1 medium sized onion chopped 2 Cloves of garlic chopped 1 Green chilli de-seeded and chopped Teaspoon each of coriander and cumin seeds 2 Teaspoons of all spice powder. Juice of half a lemon 2 Pieces of stem ginger finely chopped 1 Tablespoon of syrup from the stem ginger Salt and pepper for seasoning 2 Teaspoons chopped fresh thyme and sprig of mint to garnish METHOD: 1. In a wok heat the oil and add the coriander and cumin seeds and fry for I minute. 2. Add the onions, garlic and chilli and fry for 5 minutes. Then add the diced potatoes, and cook for further 10 minutes until potato starts to become soft. Add the stem ginger pieces, lemon juice, ginger syrup, and Allspice. 3. Add the chopped thyme ,salt and pepper and cook for further 2 minutes. 4. Serve in bowl garnished with a sprig of mint.

I am a Maidenhead based cookery writer, and Internet Chef. I am passionate about all aspects of cooking, and through my’ spiced up’ recipes, I aim to bring the enjoyment and benefits of spicy food, to a wider readership. David Rhys Price -The ‘Spicy Chef ’ 22


FOR THE HERB CRUMBLE: 4 White bread slices, crust cut off 1 Tablespoon dry mixed herbs 1 Tablespoon each of chopped fresh, parsley, basil and METHOD: 1. Put bread into food processor and create bread crumbs 2. Mix the bread crumbs and herbs in a bowl INGREDIENTS: 6 Tablespoons olive oil 2 Onions halved and then cut into quarters 2 Medium sized aubergines cut into rounds 3 Medium sized courgettes sliced 1 Green and 1 red capsicum pepper chopped 3 Cloves of garlic crushed and chopped 1 400g Tin of Tomatoes Juice of 1 lemon 1 Medium sized green chilli de-seeded and chopped 2 Tablespoons fresh basil chopped 4 Bay leaves (remove before serving) Sea Salt a ground black pepper 200g Feta cheese cut into bite size chunks METHOD : 1. Put half the olive oil in oven proof dish, and arrange the vegetables on the dish. 2. Add the basil, chilli, lemon juice, bay leaves, feta, salt and pepper and spoon over the reaming olive oil. 3. Sprinkle herb crumble over the vegetable mix, and drizzle a little olive oil over the crumble 4. Bake in oven on 180c for 45 minutes, until crumble is crisp. 5. Remove and serve immediately.

Longhurst’s MARLOW’s only local Family Butcher Traditional Cuts and Oven Ready Dishes Advice on which cuts to choose and how best to bring out the flavour in your cooking

Quality & Customer Care always come first Free Local Delivery - call for more information

01628 488 373 OPEN: Mon: 8.30 - 5.30pm (butchery closed), Tues - Fri: 8.30 - 5.30pm, Sat: 8 - 1pm, Sun: 9 - 12pm


4a Brucewood Parade, Marlow Bottom, Bucks SL7 3PE - plenty of free parking outside

As a native of the Mediterranean region, thyme grown in this country needs to be in a sunny spot. Like many herbs it is easy to grow and is better in poorer, dryer soils as moist, nutrient rich conditions will cause it to lose its compact shape. Even given ideal conditions, thyme will start to be become woody after a few years and will produce fewer leaves. When the plant reaches that point it is best that it is divided and replanted. Thyme is both pretty and aromatic so is ideal at the front of a border, particularly where passers-by will brush against it. However its flowers do attract bees and butterflies so take care not to let it overhang the path too much. In general thyme is best in strong flavoured dishes, particularly anything with red meat. It is ideal in soups, casseroles and stocks as it is one of the few herbs in cooking which can be added early because it doesn’t lose its flavour when cooked for some time. Lemon thyme has a mild lemon flavour and is fine with chicken. Thyme from the garden can be used all year round although obviously there is little growth in the winter months so you have to take care not to over harvest it. If you have an excess in the summer, the herb can be both dried and frozen for out of season use. The fresh leaves are much more pungent than dried ones though so use it sparingly.

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INGREDIENTS: 226g butter 3 tsp vanilla essence 1 tsp salt 80g sweetener 440g gluten free flour 90g chocolate chips 80g chopped walnuts Pre-heat the oven to 160째C 24 ALONG THE THAMES

METHOD: 1. Put the butter, sweetener, salt and vanilla essence into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy 2. Mix in the gluten free flour 3. Mix in the chocolate chips and the chopped walnuts 4. Wrap the cookie dough in cling film and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes 5. Portion the cookie dough into 25 - 30g pieces and roll in the palm of your hand to form a ball 6. Place on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper and flatten lightly 7. Bake for approx. 13 -16 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown 8. Allow to cool on a wire rack

Glass of red

I was recently asked whether I drank more red wine than white wine. I have never counted, but I certainly drink more red in the winter months and more white throughout the summer. So what will I be drinking throughout the long and cold winter evenings of January and February? In the main it will be red wine as I often feel the need for hearty, fullbodied reds on a cold winter’s night. Pinot Noir and Gamay are perfect for Spring, Summer and Autumn, but they are just too light for my taste in the winter months. Below are some of the grapes that I prefer during g winter, and the tastes that I associate with them: Grown throughout the

world, but most synonymous with Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes produce longliving wines that are packed with dark fruit flavours. Cabernet wines are full of blackcurrant, whilst it’s naturally high tannin level ensures that they age well, thus producing complex secondary aromas and tastes including cedar, tobacco, tar, and leather as they age. Merlot is associated with dark plums and is softer, rounder and arguably easier to drink than Cabernet Sauvignon. It is ideally suited to blending with Cabernet, adding body, softness, and rounding off the Cabernet which on its own can be a little austere. Syrah and Shiraz are one and the same, being known as Syrah in the Northern Hemisphere and Shiraz in the Southern. Again, dark fruits dominate including blackcurrant, but this time with the addition of white pepper for classic Syrah ( such as Cote Rotie or Hermitage, found in the Northern Rhone), or slightly warmer pepper and spice in the case of a good Shiraz from, say, Australia’s Barossa Valley. Again, capable of great g ageing g g with complex p secondary aromas.

Both Grenache and Tempranillo grapes are widely grown, but are probably most closely associated with the Northern Spanish regions of Rioja, Navarra and Ribera Del Duero. Tempranillo produces wines that show both black and red fruits, and is capable of producing long living wines, especially when aged in oak whilst Grenache provides flavours of soft red summer fruits, such as strawberries and raspberries, as well as sweet spice such as cinnamon. It is closely associated with Rioja but also provides the backbone of many southern French wines, including Cotes Du Rhone and Chateauneuf Du Pape. Malbec is most closely associated with Argentina, but in the past formed part of many Bordeaux blends - it still has a strong foothold in the southwest of France and is known as “the black wine of Cahors.” It tastes of black fruits like blackcurrants and to me has a slightly sour twist of apples on the finish. Carmenere from Chile, on the other hand, is softer and spicier than Malbec, with more red fruits than black - including ripe p plums, p cherries and spice. p Whatever your personal preferences, a good glass of any of the above will provide a welcome relief to the chilly evenings ahead, and hopefully much pleasure, too! Colin Baxter

For Internet wine sales, wedding wines, wine tastings, and free local deliveries Contact Colin Baxter - 07775 871897 or visit our website. ALONG THE THAMES


Te m p l e G o l f C l u b Henley Road, Hurley, Berkshire, SL6 5LH Membership options include: • Full and Weekday • Flexible 10 • Associate (preferred green fees with membership benefits) • Corporate • Intermediate (Ages 25 - 29) • Colt (19 - 24) • Junior (14 - 18) • Junior (10 - 14) • Starter Membership • Forces

Built on chalk Temple is an excellent autumn and winter golf venue with play to main greens in all but the very worst of ground conditions. Excellent value for money packages are available from now until 31st March but please book early to avoid disappointment especially for dates towards the end of March. With prices starting from as little as £30, you cannot afford not to visit Temple during the Winter season. For more details about membership, group packages or to book a round of golf, please contact us. T: 01628 824795 F: 01628 828119 E: W: INGREDIENTS: 140g plain flour, 200ml whole milk, 2 eggs, 25g unsalted butter - melted, plus a little extra for greasing METHOD: • Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a medium-size bowl and make a well in the middle. Mix the milk and 100ml of water together. Break the eggs into the well and start whisking slowly. Add the milk and water in a steady stream, whisking constantly and gradually incorporating the flour as you do so. • Whisk until the batter is smooth and all the flour has been incorporated. Set the batter aside to rest for 30 mins, then whisk the melted butter into the batter. • Heat the pan over a medium heat. Very lightly grease the pan with melted butter. Using a ladle, pour roughly 2 tbsp of batter into the pan and swirl it around so the bottom of the pan is evenly coated. You want to use just enough batter to make a delicate, lacy pancake. Cook the pancake for about 45 secs on one side until golden and then using a palette knife or fish slice, flip the pancake over and cook the other side for about 30 secs until it freckles. • Slide the pancake out of the pan and either serve immediately or stack on a plate with baking parchment in between. Continue until all the batter is used up. 




Wedding Showcase You’ve had the proposal, got the ring, chosen the date ~ now it’s onto the serious business of choosing g the venue for your y big g day. y

Crowne Plaza Marlow have dedicated Wedding Co-ordinators to create the perfect day to mark the start of the rest of your life together. We can accommodate your wedding, whatever the requirements, whether fully catered or self catered. The hotel is a unique venue with a banqueting suite for up to 300 dinner guests with its own self contained facilities including a bar and kitchen. The suite is located on the first floor and can be allocated exclusively for the wedding party. The hotel has long standing relationships with external caterers and is happy to recommend them.

Our new All Inclusive Wedding Package helps to keep costs down on your big day. The package includes: • Glass of sparkling wine on arrival • 3 course wedding breakfast • Sparkling wine toast • Half bottle of wine • Table flowers • Evening disco • Evening finger buffet • Accommodation for Bride & Groom • £4,999 for up to 60 guests. Crowne Plaza Marlow’s Wedding Showcase will not only give you a chance to look around this spectacular wedding venue, but will also give you the opportunity to meet our preferred suppliers – from cake makers to florists. For more information on weddings at Crowne Plaza Marlow, call 01628 496 860 and speak to one of our Dedicated Wedding Co-ordinators. Sunday 19th February 11am – 4pm - FREE Admission

What's on

Spring 2012 at Jazz up your Valentine’s Weekend - Saturday, 11th February Get in the mood for Valentine’s night with a sumptuous 4 course meal in Glaze Restauraunt, with a jazz trio in agua café & bar. £40.00 per person*

Valentine’s Day - Tuesday, 14th February Sumptuous 4 course dinner in Glaze Restaurant, including glass of fizz on arrival - £40.00 per person*

Wedding Showcase - Sunday, 19th February 11am - 4pm FREE Admission Everything you need to plan your wedding, from cakes to dresses – all at the perfect wedding venue. With a special Crowne Plaza Carvery 1 - 3pm: £14.95 per person

Friday Club Nights - Bring it on! 2nd March - 29th June - 28th September Back by public demand, Club Nights at Crowne Plaza Marlow! 9pm – 2am FREE Admission. Over 25s.

Please call 01628 496 800 for more information or visit Crowne Plaza Marlow | Fieldhouse Lane | Marlow SL7 1GJ *Pre booking required.



Advertising Feature

Stubbings Nursery and Café

The long established Stubbings Nursery has recently opened a new Café in the grounds of the Stubbings estate. The Stubbings estate was built in 1750 and as part of its long history was home to Queen Wilhelmina, of the Netherlands, for four years during WWII. During her stay it was rumoured that she was looking after a vast quantity of her country’s gold, sadly none of it is to be found around the estate today. The Café is located within the new glasshouse, which replaced the original Victorian greenhouse. The Café is light, open and warm with a very inviting atmosphere. You can sit and enjoy the view over the 18th Century walled garden while eating from a varied and reasonably priced menu. There are a variety of drinks and snacks to choose from, including hot and cold drinks, cakes, pastries and scones along with a wonderful lunchtime menu. Typically the lunch choices vary from sandwiches, baked potatoes and if you are looking for something a little larger, then try the trio of Cumberland sausages or home-made vegetable quiche. All the food is cooked on the premises and there are specials everyday, such as soup with warm bread and a pie of the day. Children are welcome and there is a menu especially for them with some old favourites such as sandwiches, sausages, fish fingers and beans on toast. There is a decked area for outside dining in the summer and in winter there is a marquee erected to shelter dog walkers coming over from Maidenhead Thicket and the 28


surrounding areas, or simply those brave enough to sit outside. There is plenty of car parking and you are more than welcome to consume any food purchased on the premises while you browse through the nursery, which is known for stocking a wide range of mature trees, topiary, olive trees from Tuscany, shrubs, bedding plants and chickens. For those of you looking for a quiet place to hold a meeting the Café also offers free wifi. On March 7th the café will be hosting a Business Biscotti networking meeting between 9.30 and 11.30am, which is a great opportunity to come and see the Café, along with meeting business people from the local area. During March (24th and 25th) and May (5th – 7th) the grounds of the estate will be opening up to the public for viewing of the spring flowers in the herbaceous borders and in May the 60m wall will be densely covered with a beautiful blooming Wisteria. The gardens consist of a large lawn area with significant Cedars, a ha-ha and the vista to farmland beyond along with woodland walks providing access to 250 acres of the adjacent National Trust’s Maidenhead Thicket. The Café is open daily from 8.30am – 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday and 9.30am – 4pm on a Sunday. It is also available for private hire by contacting Stubbings directly. For more information on Stubbings Nursery, Café and open gardens please call 01628 825454 or visit



10 years on

The Vanilla Pod

We were lucky enough to catch up with Michael MacDonald recently, Chef Patron of the Vanilla Pod in Marlow, and asked him a few questions about the restaurant. Michael and his wife Stephanie opened The Vanilla Pod in 2002 to provide an outstanding standard of food and service, but also to create an atmosphere where guests can relax completely. By having only one sitting per evening, guests can more freely choose their dining time and take all the time they wish to appreciate the food , each other’s company and truly unwind from the outside world. The restaurant is named after one of Michael’s favourite cooking ingredients and vanilla pods can still be found in a number of his dishes today. The Vanilla Pod’s discreet dining room is tucked away behind an elegant black door in Marlow’s West Street, once home to T.S. Eliot one of the most distinguished literary figures of the 20th century. The elegant home has been transformed into a modern stylish restaurant with rich colours and clean lines giving a contemporary and luxurious feel, complimenting

the outstanding quality of the food. Congratulations you are 10 years old in March - how does it feel? What sort of changes have you made in those 10 years and what do you see for the next 10 years? Wow 10 years, it has just flown past, but overall I have a feeling of deep satisfaction of how we have developed the food and have great dishes I enjoy creating as well as the clientele enjoy eating. Over the 10 years we have grown as a restaurant to be well known locally as well as in the South-East in general. We have undertaken a refurbishment in which we lost 2 tables but intentionally gained more space for my guests to enjoy the atmosphere and their dining experience. Our private room also allows us to cater for small parties as well as for groups wishing to use the space for meetings over lunch or dinner. Who knows what the next 10 years will mean for the restaurant but I really want us to continue to move forward, building upon our success, and perhaps add an extension to the dining room over time. I am delighted that the restaurant

is in Marlow as it is such a lovely town with a magnificent suspension bridge over the Thames, charming high street with a large number of small independent shops and restaurants along with beautiful Georgian architecture. Marlow’s atmosphere has also inspired many writers and it has a fascinating literary heritage, my own restaurant was once the home of T.S. Eliot during which time (1917-1920) he wrote many of his most famous poems and it is also here that Mary Shelley wrote one of the world’s most renowned stories - “Frankenstein”. I know you love using Vanilla - do you still use it in any of your dishes? Yes, I like to use vanilla as it’s one of my favourite ingredients, but not in all my dishes, and I love to show my diners what a great versatile product it can be. Over the years I have researched and experimented with this wonderful plant and I have discovered that vanilla can be used to incredible effect; not only in sweet dishes but also with meat and fish. Is it possible to source all your products from local suppliers? Yes we do use local as best as

we can and we have a great supplier who sources produce from farms within a 25 mile radius of Marlow, One of the most satisfying things about being this rural is that it allows me to establish relationships with local producers and actually see where my ingredients are coming from and how they are grown. However as with other good restaurant, maintaining quality is vital to our success and a number of our ingredients are sourced from some of the best suppliers in Scotland, Wales, France as well as other regions of England. My menu is constantly changing with the seasons and I can serve produce such as strawberries or asparagus in my lunch menu that have been picked in the morning just a mile away from the restaurant. This gives me the confidence, that my customers are getting the freshness and flavour that is never possible with produce that is out-of-season. On a personal level, it also gives me the satisfaction of supporting my local community and doing a little bit for a greener earth. How do you differ from the other restaurants around you? I feel we are small, cosy and personal, offering great quality with interesting variations with a high standard of service for a good price. We make everything on the premises from the bread at the start to the petit fours at the end of the meal. Why make your own bread? I believe bread is a very important part of any meal and I love to develop flavours that accompany our starters, but I recognise that everyone’s tastes are different and I leave it our diners to choose what works for them. We make 4 different bread bases from which we create 12 different flavours of bread, for instance the aniseed and honey bread

works really well with our scallop dish while our terrine may be best enjoyed with our cep and truffle bread. What made you want to be a chef? From the age of 12 I was regularly cooking the family meals, including Sunday lunch, and really enjoyed the freedom I got to do this along with the ability to express myself through the cooking. Later I joined my school’s cookery classes which were an excellent way of meeting girls as there very few other boys showing the interest I had in cooking at that age. So I would definitely recommend this to any other young lads thinking of a career in cookery as it was as a great way to meet more girls! Running a restaurant must involve long hours, how does this fit in with family life? For me they both have to go side by side if the family is not happy then that goes to work with you . Sunday is the day with all the family when we spend the day relaxing and Monday is a day for my wife Stephanie and I to catch up, enjoying some precious time together. But one of my great pleasures is on a warm summer evening, just after the restaurant has closed, is to wander down to the side of the Thames near the Two Brewers Pub in Marlow and enjoy a spot of fishing before heading home. Again here is another literary connection with Marlow as it was at this riverside pub where Jerome K. Jerome wrote his famous book, “Three Men in a Boat”. Do you have a favourite dish to eat? That’s easy, absolutely anything cooked by someone else. I love nothing more than being able to go over to a friend’s house, enjoy the company and a meal that they have prepared giving me time to just relax away from the kitchen.

The Vanilla Pod has some fantastic special offers to entice you to come along and try the wonderful dishes on offer. LUNCH OFFER - Tuesday - Friday 3 Course set lunch menu at £15.00 2 Course set lunch menu at £12.50 Offer valid till end of March

EARLY WEEK SET DINNER MENU £25.00 per person Offer valid for our set dinner menu on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Quote ATT12 when booking these offers

Tuesday – Saturday 12:00pm – 2:00pm 7:00pm – 10:00pm Tel: 01628 898101 31 West Street, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 2LS

Awarded 2010 Regional Winner of the Good Food Guide Reader’s Restaurant of the Year Award.

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Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer

Christmas is now well and truly behind us and for most, by this point, our resolutions are too. The spring is nearing and it’s almost time to come out of hibernation so what better time to clear out the old and invest in the new. With most of us juggling a career and busy home life and all the demands that these bring, it’s no wonder we don’t have the time, energy or the money to whittle down the thousands of beauty products available, to separate the gimmicks from the true beauty gems. Don’t despair, I have picked out some of my favourite all time products that every woman should have in her make-up bag. To give your skin the extra boost it needs and to help your foundation look flawless and stay on longer it’s important to use a primer before applying foundation and Laura Mercier have the primer of all primers! The award winning Laura Mercier Foundation Primer £28 is a lightweight creamy gel texture that primes the skin in the same way a painter would ‘prime’ a canvas. They do a range of primers to suit different skin types and requirements. Most contain Vitamin A, C and E which act as antioxidants, protecting the skin from harmful, ageing effects of the environment. You only need to use a pea size amount so this should last you at least a couple of months if you’re using it every day. If you are like me you will have tried hundreds of different foundations in the hope that you will eventually find ‘the one’. Well this might well be it, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation £34. This is one of the favourites of many top Make-up Artists


and it’s no wonder because with its exclusive Micro-fil technology and oil free formula, it provides great coverage whilst remaining light and silky in texture. If you’re into your eyeliner then MAC Fluidline £14 is brilliant! It’s a gel formula which gives you the precision and colour depth of a liquid liner but you can achieve a much silkier and softer finish. It’s easy to use, smudge-proof and lasts well. They do a range of shades to suit your mood so you can be as bold as you like! Lip gloss is always a favourite and Vinyl Gloss by Rimmel £4.99 claims to make your lips 80% shinier and 40% curvier but what I love about these is that they don’t taste horrendous, they are not too sticky and they give amazing colour all for a very reasonable price. So no excuse not to buy one in every colour! If you’re not a fan of lip gloss or you prefer a longer lasting colour then MAC Pro Longwear Lip Colour £16 is a must. They do a large range of colours and some come with a lip gloss to finish. These really do stand the test of time! My last ‘must have’ for your make-up bag is an eye shadow blender brush. With so many new bold eye shadows hitting the shelves it’s important that you can apply a blend of colours well. To help you do this use a MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush £22. They are great quality brushes and therefore last well so this is well worth the investment. Find your look with these beauty gems! Sarah Gwozdzicki...O’naturelle beauty

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feet complete Foot Health and ReÀexology

Foot health: • corns • callus (hard skin) • verrucae • toenail problems (cutting, in-grown, fungal), diabetes related foot healthcare A bright white smile is associated with youth and vitality because as we age, our teeth start to discolour naturally. Whilst good dental health is an essential basis for your youthful smile, many external factors can make otherwise good teeth look unhealthy. So how can you address this? The first step is to avoid the things that cause your teeth to yellow in the first place. Smoking, coffee (particularly black coffee), tea, red wine, cola drinks and curry will all cause discolouring. If you do indulge, brush your teeth as soon as practical afterwards. For red wine or cola using a straw will minimise the effects as this delivers the liquid into your mouth without touching your teeth. Crunchy, raw foods such as carrots, celery and apples are natural cleaners. They encourage your mouth to salivate and can help to rub off the plaque that sticks to your teeth. There are many whitening toothpastes available although some can be pricey. Often the main ingredient in these toothpastes is baking soda. You can make your own paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda although it won’t taste great and you shouldn’t use it every day as it can be abrasive. If toothpaste and vegetables are not enough to make a noticeable difference, then the next option is to go for a teeth whitening treatment. It is possible to buy kits to do this at home and this is certainly a cost effective way of getting a bright white smile. However, treatment from a dentist will both achieve better results and be much quicker.

ReÀoxology 10% discount on your 1st appointment + FREE 15 minute consultations for either foot health or reÀexology treatments available: in my fully equipped treatment room, Willowmead Close, Marlow at Enhance Nails and Body Salon, Marlow Bottom or in your own home

Lindsey Webster MAFHP, MCFHP - Registered Member of the British Association of Foot Health Professionals

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STUNNING BEAUTY SALON IN MARLOW Organic and Paraben free treatments in a luxurious and welcoming salon! Bio Sculpture Manicures, Pedicures & Fish Spa Luxurious Facials Spa Body Wraps & Exfoliations Globally Inspired Massages Spray Tan Waxing Men's Treatments

£5 off with this voucher Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

01628 476860 98 High Street, Marlow SL7 1AQ Our entrance can be found to the left of Sahara clothes shop




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The wedding dress is without a doubt the most important thing on any woman’s wedding day, after the potential husband that is. It is the wedding dress that will be talked about long after the ceremony and most importantly it is the one thing that the bride has got to get absolutely right so that she can feel great on her special day. But what about the rest of us? The Mother, the sister, the friend… We know it’s someone else’s time to shine but we want too look our best and feel good too. It is a well known fact that it’s hard to dress for someone else’s wedding. There are rules upon rules that tell us what we shouldn’t be wearing but we must not forget that the wedding day should be a joyful occasion which brings people together and celebrates a new beginning.


As the new wedding season is upon us, it is time to start thinking about shopping for your outfit. Our simple four step plan will help you get your shopping experience under way and finish it all in time for the hen party!


Budget It

Make a Decision


Speak to the bride and check the wedding theme. More and more ceremonies are less formal than they used to be. You might not need that classic, bank breaking, suit.

Set yourself a realistic budget for the dress, the shoes and the accessories you will need to complete the outfit

Once you know the details of the wedding, make your mind up about what kind of look you want to go for. Make a decision and stick to it. It will save you time while looking for your outfit. The perfect one for you is out there, you just need to find it!

This is the hard part, when you actually have to go out there and find what you are looking for but, if you plan ahead, pick the right shops, (searching the internet comes in handy these days) and arm yourself with a true friend who can offer helpful, objective, advise, then you are likely to succeed.

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Blue coat/dress By Linea Raffaelli at No. 25 of Bourne End Red/Black suit by Libra at No 25 of Bourne End Black/Stone suit by Zeila at No. 25 of Bourne End . Dress up your classic shift dress with funky accessories at Swish Boutique Marlow Available at No 25 of Bourne End This stunning jersey suit from Frank Lyman will make you stand out and be comfortable throughout the day at Swish Boutique Marlow Gold /Ivory printed dress with plain gold bolero by Jaego at No. 25 of Bourne End. Experiment with fabric. This linen safari suit is perfect for a high summer wedding at Swish Boutique 34 ALONG THEMarlow THAMES


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Dressy top teamed up with a classic pencil skirt make a great alternative to a traditional suit at Swish Boutique Marlow Classic shift dress available at No 25 of Bourne End Cerise suit by Linea Raffaelli at No. 25 of Bourne End.


Mother of the Bride It is an important day for you too so you have every right to look as glamorous as the bride. Classic shift dress with matching jacket or coat is still our favourite. It is a very smart and elegant look that photographs well. If you opt for neutral colours with discrete details you are likely to wear it again. To make this look softer choose a fabulous fascinator over a hat

How to Choose A Perfect Wedding Outfit 6


An Aunt You will also be photographed a lot and as a family member you are expected to look the part so no skimping on the outfit is allowed. It is important to liaise with the other family members so you don’t clash with the Mother and you look original. Scouting for unusual, one off, designs pays off as you have more chance to look different. 7

The Sister You don’t want to steal the day so you have to work closely with the bride and make sure she is happy with your choice. And if you are given cart blanch then use it wisely and choose something appropriate. You are likely to wear a bridesmaid dress anyway! 9

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A Friend You are the lucky one as the dress code for non family members is more relaxed so you can be a real winner here. Play with colour, shape and accessories. Make your outfit fun but keep it smart and relevant. ALONG THE THAMES


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Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour Fancy fascinators make a great alternative for a traditional hat Keep your outfit modern by adding fashionable accessories Get glam for the evening reception in a maxi or cocktail dress with some statement jewellery and great heels

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Wonderful Hats from a selection at No. 25 of Bourne End Handmade Fascinators made especially for you by Sara Crozier at No.25 of Bourne End Perspex mule with silver platform ,heels and large crystal at No.25 of Bourne End Navy leather shoes with matching bag , also in cream at No.25 of Bourne End ALONG THE THAMES


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Stunning Gold leather platform shoes and bag with leather 'rose' detail at No.25 of Bourne End Perspex mule with Diamante front trim at No.25 of Bourne End Add fashionable jewellery to complete the look - Swish Boutique Marlow

Advertising Feature

Ambience Beauty

Ambience Beauty is the newest addition to the Marlow beauty scene. Set in a purpose built log cabin just off the main road in Marlow Bottom, it is the creation of Gill Stone, an Honours Graduate of world renowned Champneys International College of Beauty. Gill set out to create something a little bit different in Marlow. Away from the hustle and bustle of the High Street, Gill offers clients a more personal, relaxing and completely private experience. If you are a male client, or for cultural reasons are concerned about walking into a more public

beauty salon, Ambience Beauty is the perfect solution, with an “appointment only� set up, and no passers by. Gill is keen to ‘tailor’ her treatments to suit her clients’ needs and offers free skin care advice and consultations. She also offers the award winning Dermalogica product range in her Facial and Body Treatments, which are available for sale at the. Gift Vouchers are also available, which make a lovely gift for family and friends. As an Aromatherapist, Gill is keen to help treat the mind and body and alleviate both physical and emotional issues you may have. Aromatherapy clients are given a complimentary consultation and then receive a tailored therapy using a personalised blend of the highest quality essential oils. A combination of lymph drainage, pressure point and traditional massage techniques are used in this truly holistic treatment. Ambience Beauty is the perfect choice for those key beauty maintenance treatments including spray tanning, waxing and manicures. A number of Valentines/ Mother’s Day Pampering Packages have been put together – the perfect gift for a loved one – or just the perfect treat to fight off the Winter Blues! Visit for details of all the Treatments or call Gill Stone on 01628 486588.








Alexander’s Hair Surgery Spring Cleaning

Alexander Parsons

has been in the hairdressing industry for 30 years and has worked for a variety of major local salons, including hair salon manager for the “Champneys Health Resort” group for twelve of those years. During his varied career, Alexander has taken care of clients from all over the world with many different professions and lifestyles. “I think that I have just about seen or heard it all! However, from time to time, there are a few surprises!” Alexander is currently employed by Stoke Park Salon in Stoke Poges (www..stokepark. com) and his unique take on all matters hairdressing makes him very popular with his clientele.



So, we are now into the New Year, resolutions have been made and some probably broken by now. Some of mine certainly have! Quite a few of our clients, recently, have been telling us how their hair seems to be suddenly dull and limp and, they are not sure why. Well, just when you think that there couldn’t be anything else you can detox. Surprise! It’s time to remove all that mousse, hairspray and goodness knows what styling products which have been quietly building up over the past few weeks due to all those functions that you just had to attend. Thankfully, it’s a very simple process and just takes a few minutes and, in doing this can make such a big difference. Firstly, you need a specialist shampoo. (Preferably a professional one from a salon) They will be called; Detoxifying, Purifying, Deep Cleansing, Clarifying or Chelating (Kelating). They all function in the same way by removing product build up and impurities. Basically, a steam cleaner for hair. These types of shampoos are NOT meant to be used daily, only as prescribed by a professional. (Once a fortnight if you wash your hair daily or as the first shampoo as part of a conditioning treatment regime).

Depending on how horrid your hair feels and or looks, here’s how to use one. Step 1: Wet your hair (as you would anyway) with CLEAN water. Step 2: Squirt out a blob of shampoo about the size of a 50 pence. Step 3: Work the shampoo in your hands to loosen the product. Step 4: Apply to your hair and work into a lather. If the shampoo doesn’t lather, rinse and re-apply. Repeat this until you do get a lather. Step 5: Follow with you regular shampoo, treatment and conditioner. That’ it! Simple! Sometimes, that is all that is needed, but for severe product build up, Step 1: Shampoo with the deep cleanser and rinse. Step 2: Squeeze out the excess water and lightly towel blot. Step 3: Apply the deep cleanser again and leave on your hair for 5 minutes, then rinse and continue with your regular shampoo as before. Your hair may not feel too good after this process, but that’s a good thing because you now know what the condition is REALLY like and what needs to be done about it. This procedure is ideal to do when followed by a deep conditioning treatment to improve the hair’s structure.

best grooming gadgets From high-tech haircare to minimalist male grooming kit, technology wants to help you look your best - and in some cases, that means zapping yourself with a laser beam. That’s the idea behind Philips’ Lumea range, which promises easy, long lasting hair removal via Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology. It, and rival devices, are expensive - the RRP of the Lumea SC2001 is £400, although it’s widely available for under £300 - but if you have the right kind of hair (primarily dark haried) it’s apparently very effective. Beams of light aren’t just for hair removal: they can help with mild to moderate acne too. The no!no! Skin device (about £129) promises to clear 81% of mild acne in 24 hours, and unlike other treatments doesn’t involve chemicals, creams, lotions or potions. From user reviews on the web the majority of people seem delighted: it’s quite pricey but it does seem to work for most customers. Philips reckons that lasers can even help fight visible signs of ageing: its ReAura technology “stimulates your skin’s natural cell renewal process, targeting several signs of ageing”. It’s even more expensive than the Lumea - the RRP is £799 and it’s a new and therefore relatively untried product, so you might want to hang on before splashing out. If you’d like to try it in the meantime, the ReAura is available exclusively from branches of Space NK. Fancy cleaning your make-up with sound waves? Clarisonic’s sonic skincare devices look like rather odd brushes, but they use sonic technology to remove make-up more effectively than any beauty wipe and promise to reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes. Prices start at £155 for the Classic model and £179 for the three-speed Plus, which can be used on your body as well as on your face, and there are different

brush heads for different skin types and applications. The product reviews are impressive: at the time of writing 2,046 out of 2,046 customers would recommend Clarisonic’s products to others. Technology has made its way to hair straighteners too. Corioliss’s hair irons use titanium rather than the more common ceramics for better heat distribution, infra-red heat warms hair without drying it out, and negative ions promise to reduce static and frizz. The irons are at the higher end of the hair straightening price range - the C2 model costs around £120 - but beauty editors rave about them. High-tech grooming isn’t just for women. BaByliss’s description of its EasyCut hair trimmer (around £22) sounds like a vehicle, with a “V2 enhanced power system” and “precision engineered V2 rotary blades”. It’s easy to mock, but the product itself is quite clever: rather than traditional trimmers, the EasyCut is shaped like a hockey puck for easy one-handed operation. The firm also makes the appallingly named i-Stubble, which promises “absolute control and precision” for keeping stubble under control. Technology has even made it into the bathroom. Oral-B’s SmartSeries range of electric toothbrushes contain more technology than the first moon rockets: there are motors that pulse 40,000 times and oscillate 8,800 times per minute, pressure sensors to ensure you’re not brushing too hard, five modes to cover everything from scraping off lunch to making your teeth whiter, and a separate LCD display that “helps maximise brushing performance” and that also doubles as a clock. Despite all the technology, the price is less than you might expect: at the time of writing, the SmartSeries 5000 is widely available for £79.99.

Treat your feet with

Feet Complete your Foot Health and Reflexology specialist Lindsey Webster, MAFHP, MCFHP, is a fully qualified Foot Health and Reflexology Practitioner, whose vision is to provide a flexible foot care and Reflexology service to the residents of Marlow and surrounding area. Apart from toenail and fingernail cutting, fungal nail problems, corns, hard skin and verrucaes. Lindsey has had specific training in diabetes-related foot health care. She will carry out diabetic foot health assessments on a regular basis to give you extra reassurance. Lindsey is a registered member of the British Association of Foot Health Professionals and is qualified to treat foot health problems in both children and adults. Lindsey offers all her patients the choice of taking any of her Feet Complete foot health or Reflexology treatments in her fully equipped peaceful and private treatment room in Willowmead Close (Wednesday to Friday) or at Enhance Nails and Body salon in Marlow Bottom (Mondays) .Both of these locations benefit from easy, free parking. Lindsey will also be delighted to treat you in the comfort of your own home, at no extra cost, so you can remain totally relaxed. Ready to beat those winter blues and abandon your socks and boots and make sure your feet are in the best condition? Pamper yourself today with Reflexology and have fabulous looking feet in time for Summer Lindsey is currently offering free 15 minute consultations for foot health and Reflexology, together with a 10% discount off the published price for your first appointment. Visit for full details of treatments and prices or call Lindsey today on 01628



ways to make changes to your life - stick!

We ALL know what we ‘should’ be doing – make time to exercise, get a better work/ life balance, take time out for family, friends and self …all that New Year Resolution stuff… BUT – there’s just one problem. You haven’t done it yet. It is really HARD to change habits but gradually working towards change improves your chance of making the changes AND keeping to them. Here are 7 top tips: 1. Choose your goal – one that is the best fit for YOU – not the same as the one you feel you ‘should’. Throw the word ‘should’ in the bin! The goal has to be ACHIEVABLE, too. 2. Ask a BIG question – have you got a BIG dream that would ‘pair up’ with your goal? If you haven’t, that’s fine – don’t force yourself to come up with something – it won’t ‘work’ unless it is something you really would LOVE to do. 3. Pick just ONE thing at a

time to change. When one thing has become the new way of being, move on to the next on your original list. 4. Commit yourself to it – Make a written promise to YOURSELF and share it with one or two supporters – DON”T make family members know your goal; they may inadvertently ‘sabotage’ your efforts. If the first step leads to a BIGGER goal / dream – include that too e.g. “I’m making a commitment to my health by having a walk twice a week. This is my first step to a bigger goal; doing something everyday to reduce my levels of stress. I want to do this as I will sleep better, my mood will improve and I will be more patient with my family.” 5. PLAN for getting around easy obstacles. If you are HOPING to avoid the chocolate bar, it won’t work if you have got in loads of chocolate bars – give them away to clear them

Spring Clean


I love spring: the subtle change in temperature and the spring flowers. I love the smell in the air as the days begin to get longer and the birds chirp happily. This season makes us want to come out of hibernation, shake our fur and clear out the cave. After putting the Christmas decorations away in the loft in early January, I noticed the mess that was up there. Actually I had noticed that mess quite a few times in the past whilst putting Christmas decorations away but this time my New Year’s resolution was going to mean something. I was going to sort it out! There were curtains from three houses ago; children’s art work from nursery; baby clothes I couldn’t part with; my pony books from when I was young; Absent Husband’s university notes and an assortment of unidentified “stuff”. So I bravely donned old clothes and tied back my hair in a scarf (actually I didn’t but it is what the ladies on the TV do) and climbed up the ladder carrying several rubbish bags. It started out well. I bagged up the old curtains and art work. The pony books went in a box for the charity store. ALONG THE THAMES

out. Have the ‘healthy’ snack you PLAN to have ready and waiting – if you have to peel and slice the carrot when you get in tired, you won’t feel like bothering. Have the carrot sticks/ pieces of fruit READY to grab. You can PLAN AND do this the night before. 6. Mental roadblocks need Challenging – “I don’t have the time for that walk now’ – CHALLENGE yourself: ‘ yes, but I could get off the bus one stop early on the way home and that way I will get my walk in.’ 7. Plan REWARDS – but DO NOT PLAN FOOD REWARDS! E.g. ‘ I’ve managed to save enough cash this week by stopping smoking I can buy that Album I wanted. My last piece of advice is - Do not try to eat your elephant all in one bite - anyone can only eat an elephant in bite-sized chunk Adele Miller

Then on a coffee break I began to flick through the art work. Tears welled in my eyes at the memory of certain pictures so crudely outlined by young hands. I’ll just keep one or two I told myself - for posterity… Then it was the pony books. I smiled as I remembered how horse mad I was and how much I loved “Jill’s Gymkhana”. In fact, I remember it being my favourite ever book at the time. I probably should just keep that one and maybe the sequel too. And come to think of it. One of the pairs of curtains was actually a lovely designer print – almost vintage now and it could be cut down and used again. Material is expensive these days. And as for the baby clothes: well – I kept them for a reason didn’t I? Still I had done at least a morning’s worth of work and already the loft looked neater. I just need to make space to pop these few things back and then I will sift through the unidentified stuff tomorrow. Vanessa Woolley

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12 - Your child may not even need braces if you are in Ɵme: in some cases we can use “FuncƟonal Removable Appliances” with great results! But ideally we need to start before the age of 12, it may also decrease the need for extracƟons. The NHS does not even oīer this opƟon!

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No Headache - OrthodonƟc treatment can help in many other ways: some chronic headaches, some cases of bruxism and many clicking jaw problems can be resolved with a proper course of treatment. 01628 488 499 44 Marlow BoƩom (next to the Post Oĸce) SL7 3NB ALONG THE THAMES


Greenlight laser

Cilla with the HeartBeat wall

Why Wycombe Hospital has some of the best medical equipment in the country Local charity Scannappeal has been fundraising for our local hospitals for the last 25 years and currently every 10 minutes a patient benefits from their work. If you have been treated for cancer or heart disease during that time, you are among the 500,000 people who have a reason to help celebrate their silver jubilee in 2012. We found out more about the charity’s work. Why was Scannappeal set up? The charity was founded to raise funds to purchase a CT scanner for Wycombe Hospital. At the time virtually every scanner in the country was bought with charitable donations, unlike today where all CT and MRI scanners are funded by the NHS. What else has the charity purchased since 1987? Almost £10m has been raised in the last 25 years, initially for various scanners which were donated to Wycombe Hospital, including an MRI and gamma camera. Since then the charity has funded a range of lifesaving equipment for virtually every clinical speciality. Most of this is in use at Wycombe and Amersham Hospitals, principally to diagnose and treat cancer and heart disease. Why doesn’t the National Health Service provide this equipment? Scannappeal is not there to replace the work of the NHS. The charity’s Trustees ensure funds are spent on advanced medical equipment that would either not

normally be purchased by the NHS or to substantially improve what is provided. It has meant that local residents have benefited from facilities not routinely available elsewhere in the country. In recent years this has included a green light laser to treat prostate cancer and a dedicated keyhole surgery unit, which means less scarring and substantially improved recovery times from major operations. Wycombe Hospital is also the second largest centre in the country to offer an innovative diagnostic test that rapidly diagnoses the spread of breast cancer, using equipment funded by Scannappeal. What are the current appeals? At Wycombe Hospital the current appeal is for a 3D heart scanner which, once purchased, will mean Buckinghamshire will be the first county in the UK to have such an advanced scanner to treat heart disease. This will be followed by a new appeal to fund digital equipment for mobile breast screening units. This will substantially improve the diagnostic detection of early breast cancer, benefitting 23,000 local women each year aged from 4773. At Amersham Hospital, the focus is on providing state-of-the-art equipment for the Neurorehabilitation Unit to aid the recovery of people who have had a stroke or other brain injury. There are many individual items of equipment that can be sponsored, from £250 to £10,000.

How can I support Scannappeal in 2012? There are lots of ways you can help including: • If you are celebrating a special birthday or anniversary this year, why not ask for donations in lieu of presents? • Take part in a HOST25 event by asking 25 people around for coffee, tea, drinks or even a meal and make a small charge appropriate to your event • Get sponsored to undertake a ‘25’ or silver themed challenge. • Visit one of 25 gardens that will open for Scannappeal in 2012. The names of major supporters are included on a Scannappeal plaque, permanently displayed at one of the hospitals to acknowledge the support of individuals or organisations.

Where can I find out more? Contact Scannappeal on 01494 734161, email or visit the website at where there are lots of fundraising ideas for individuals and organisations. 42




The Deluded Dieter!

Sally’s Smalltalk 44


Happy New Year! As I write this I am surrounded by a mass of diet books and slimming magazines along with recipe books and body mass index charts and pondering how many of you lovely people have vowed to make this year the year to lose weight, get fit or do something amazing. I have a big birthday looming this year and so for me the time has come to finally shift that couple of stone that have crept on over the last few years. I have joined the inevitable diet class once again and start on my very familiar journey that I appear to be destined to travel on, for what seems to be, the rest of my life. Sound familiar? If I am truthful I think the reason I struggle with the whole diet thing is that quite frankly I am deluded and I am fairly certain I am not alone! Here are a few things I have learnt through trial and mostly error. How many do you recognise? If when getting weighed for the first time I wear heavy clothes and fill my pockets with stones (children’s marbles are a good substitute). I am only cheating myself I know, but boy you should see the look on everyone’s faces when I’ve have lost a stone in my first week at fat fighters! It’s not big and it’s not funny, don’t do it. Holding my breath whist standing on the scales does not make me weigh any less, but I still do it. I can’t help it. Every week I stand there like a statue too scared to breathe less the scales miraculously tip out of favour. Sprinkling charcoal on my food does not get rid of the bad stuff from the food. The only way this might help my efforts is that it tastes so gross I don’t want to eat it. In fact I rather thought that burnt toast, which is as good as charcoal, was considered a cure for flatulence? I could be wrong. Chewing celery or other certain vegetables does not burn more calories than are contained within the food. But it may perhaps provide exercise for the jaw, although personally I find incessant talking takes care of this quite adequately. I am kidding myself when I get up in the night to go for a wee that this will mean I will have lost weight in the morning. Eating cake that I haven’t had to pay for does not mean it is also free from calories. And it’s no good eating it at warp speed; the calories do not reduce if you eat it quicker. Wine, sadly cannot be counted as part of my 5 a day. It doesn’t matter how you look at it, trust me I have investigated this fully….several times.

Pizza initially looks to be a good balance of all food groups with carbohydrates in the base, tomato paste, tomatoes and peppers providing the vegetables, pepperoni, chicken and spicy beef, not to mention lashings of cheese, cover the protein aspect. However on reflection I am pretty sure I don’t know anyone who has lost weight on a diet of pizza! Having said that I am willing to give it a go, just to prove a point of course. Shopping does not constitute as exercise! This is something I am well practiced at believe you me. It doesn’t matter how much I buy, I am still never out of breath, even though I purchase enough to single handily haul our country out of recession. I might add here that these are great excuses to give the husband when trying to shuffle all your bags of retail therapy through the front door unseen. You are quite obviously exercising in order to become more fit and healthy or you are doing your bit for the economy. Both at the same time to be frank near on deserves some sort of reward. Cake perhaps? Be sure not to use these excuses too often…. my husband has started to become suspicious. It may have something to do with the fact that I am neither getting any slimmer or fitter and the country still seems to be in a spot of bother. I aim to be good 80 per cent of the time and let the halo slip 20 per cent of the time. Sadly maths was never my strong point and I rather suspect I have this the wrong way round most of the time. Buying clothes a size smaller in the hope that I will slim into them is simply a pure waste of money. Just doesn’t happen, trust me. I bought a pair of size 10 jeans 3 years ago. I still can’t even get one leg in them so they ended up on eBay for £30 less than I paid for them. When following the caveman diet I need to understand that rock cakes are not an acceptable food source no matter how convincing it sounds, and that I should not question whether scientists are absolutely definitely sure that cavemen did not eat biscuits, drink coke or frequent fast food restaurants. So the time has come to be little bit more realistic and stop trying to kid myself. How about you? Are you a sensible slimmer or a deluded dieter like me? :o) If you would like to share your ideas with Sally, please contact us at and we will pass on all comments:

End of Year Tax: ISA Q & A You can invest £10,680 (£21,360 for a couple), in this tax year and the allowance increases to £11,260 in 2012, making a total of £43,880 that a couple could invest in a tax efficient environment by the 7th April 2012. Why should I invest in an ISA? Did you know..If you had invested the maximum allowable in PEPs and ISAs since they came into force 25 years ago, you would have been able to invest £171,600 in a beneficial tax environment. This would now be worth in the region of £302,000, assuming a growth rate of 5% per annum. (Source Financial Times 2010) Please contact us for ISA recommendations

Can I use my ISA to provide an income? Yes, it can and it’s a very good way of doing so, especially if you are over the age of 65 and receiving an increased personal tax allowance. If you receive income in excess of £24,000 (the current age allowance limit) the amount of personal tax allowance decreases, but income from ISAs does not impact on the reduction in the age allowance. High yielding funds should produce in the region of 4-5% income per annum.

Doesn’t the timing of my investment make a difference? Yes it can do, however, trying to second guess the market is especially difficult at the moment. If this is a concern, have you considered paying monthly into an ISA to reduce the market timing issue? You could maximise your allowance for this year, (£10,680 per individual) and then set up a direct debit of £940 per month starting in April 2012. This will maximise your next years allowance over the tax year.

An introduction to our services Wealth management and financial advice isn’t just for those with large or complex portfolios. We aim to offer a broad range of services aligned to the increasingly diverse personal and professional needs of our current and prospective clients. Investment Planning We offer a fee based service and across the Group we can advise, implement and manage your investments. Investment reviews assess suitable methods of holding and structuring your investments as well as specific investment advice. Tax Planning We deliver the most tax efficient options possible and our specialists within the business will be working to reduce your tax liabilities at all times.

Protecting yourself, your family and business Ensuring that there are adequate funds to cope with the unexpected should form the cornerstone of your financial planning. Whether for family or business, we can assess your circumstances and risks and provide specific recommendations for your financial protection. Pensions We can help you plan your retirement goals and, upon retiring, advise how you can’ maximise your pension lump sum and income

Wills and Inheritance Tax Drawing up a Will and setting up trusts if necessary, will help to ensure your wishes will be met. As well as this, we work to reduce the impact of inheritance tax on your successor. Care Fees Planning We aim to provide choices for care fees planning, enabling clients not only to obtain and afford the care of their choice, but also to retain their independence, dignity and the ability to leave an inheritance.

About Us Previously known as GT Independent Financial Advisers,we’ve been based in Marlow for over 25 years and provide financial services to many local residents.

44-46 Chapel Street, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 1GG T: 01628 473298 E:

Our lovely Grade IIlisted offices are nestled between Waitrose and Jolliffes, in Chapel Street, Marlow; please drop in to book an appointment with one of our independent Financial Planners.

Devon Cornwall and

St.Eustachius Church, Tavistock



With another tough financial year ahead for many in the UK, planning a holiday may be at the back or forefront of your mind depending on your personality. Whether you are dreaming of escape or trying to scoop a summer holiday bargain the ‘staycation’ looks set to remain popular in 2012, especially if the balmy weather remains. Devon and Cornwall have long been a favourite location for family holidays, and there are a wide variety of places to stay depending on your budget and preferences. Self-catering holidays are often popular with families with young children and there are plenty of hotels, B&B’s, and guest houses to choose from. Cornwall caravan parks or perhaps a campsite in Devon may also fit the bill. Whichever county you choose you will be met with some of the most welcoming people and experience some truly beautiful countryside not to mention the wonderful beaches. Is it any wonder that the city dweller makes their way to Devon and Cornwall each and every year? The iconic beauty of Dartmoor in Devon will be a must see destination in 2012 for fans of the Michael Morpurgo classic “War Horse“ which has recently been released as a movie by Steven Spielberg. Dartmoor has long been famous for its wild beauty and windswept moors and it is popular with walkers, riders and nature lovers, who seek out the tranquillity and natural beauty of its wilderness, see www. and www.dartmoor. for more information. The Two Bridges Hotel offers luxurious accommodation, including four-poster beds, roaring log fires and award winning food which can all be enjoyed with wonderful views over Dartmoor. It is an ideal base from where to start one of the many glorious walks across Dartmoor which will take you to iconic beauty spots such as Haytor. For more details of the range of short walks across Dartmoor please visit: what-to-do/dartmoor-walking. Other luxury hotels on Dartmoor include Gidleigh Park, where you can eat like a Hollywood star at the 2 Michelin starred restaurant run by one of the UK’s most renowned chefs, Michael Caines; . Or why not try the favourite Devon luxury retreat for celebrities and enjoy the glamour and splendour of one of England’s most spectacular country house hotels, Bovey Castle . Spielberg and some of his crew opted for Browns Hotel in Tavistock, a lovingly restored 17th century coaching inn which combines old English charm and character with log fires, beams and chic contemporary boutique design. The director and his family dined in style at the hotel’s award winning restaurant; www.brownsdevon. What better way to discover the delights of Dartmoor than by being on horseback and Shilstone Rocks Stud and Riding Centre at Widecombe-in-the-Moor is a must do. The stables specialise in breeding the famous Dartmoor

beautiful places to “staycate” in 2012 ponies and some of the ponies feature in the War Horse film alongside staff who acted as extras on the movie. Dartmoor ponies are especially suitable for children so the whole family can enjoy the experience of trekking over the inspiring countryside of Dartmoor. www. For those wishing to stay at an authentic Dartmoor farm there is a wide range of accommodation available from five star luxury to more cosy self-catering cottages and caravan parks for those on a more modest budget. For a full range of Dartmoor accommodation please visit: The Cornish coast boasts some of the most breath taking scenery in the UK, and the pace of its lifestyle lends itself beautifully to the most peaceful spots in the UK, but of course if a faster pace is what you are looking for you will not be disappointed as there are so many outdoor pursuits that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Cornwall is well-known for its coastline and surfing, but there are also castle ruins, stately homes and gardens, as well as fun parks for those who have had enough of sight-seeing. Holidaymakers can enjoy Cornwall’s wide range of accommodation options, but for those who relish a caravan holiday, you can enjoy and experience the natural scenery of many of the campsites in Cornwall which are peppered all over the county. If you choose to seek out Cornwall’s many pleasures it is a great base to tour around the county

and visit a huge amount of places of interest, you may choose The Eden Project, which is a collection of massive glass Bio-domes that have varying ecological interests in. It is worthwhile visiting the website in advance of your trip as throughout the year The Eden Project play host to a range of activities many of which are popular with children, plus there is a 15% discount if you book in advance go to www. . Or whilst in Cornwall you may want to put in a bit of surfing, or check out the many art and craft shops around this area, walking, cycling, fishing is all to be experienced, the perfect holiday is simply ‘horses for courses’, so just get on and plan ahead. The Internet is a great place to start visit to check out locations, amenities and activities in the area furthermore make sure you are getting value for money; a caravan holiday is certainly up there when it comes to what you get for your money. A spokesman for Wooda Farm Holiday Park in Cornwall said “our park is set in forty acres of parkland, and have our own fishing lake, there is plenty of space for children to run around and play safely, and our accommodation is second to none, you can enjoy an exciting, invigorating, stimulating, and totally intoxicating experience”. For further information visit: or you can check them out on Facebook to see what other campers have enjoyed during their recent visits. Harriet Subramanian

Lizard Peinsula, Cornish Coast

Harbour, Cornwall 47



Would you like to know how you can get in touch with your personal power and be the very best version of yourself in 2012? I can help you to discover your purpose, achieve personal transformation and work towards achieving your dreams. I am also a trained life coach and a practitioner of Bach flower essence therapy and I offer a full motivational and transformational coaching programme. By using cosmic awareness you can plan your year ahead by tuning into productive planetary cycles. You can also gain the clarity and insight needed for optimal abundance and success. Overcome your fears and anxiety and replace them with assertiveness and self-confidence. Consultations are available in person, on the telephone or Skype. Gift vouchers are also available. Please contact me for more

Christine Chalklin

Inspirational Astrologer, Life Coach and Business Consultant,

Telephone: 07813 483549


Gemini May 22 - June 22

Neptune reaches the highest point in your chart and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll feel like reaching for the stars! Your intention to merge love and beauty into your goals ensures that your faith will be rewarded. After the 14th Mercury enters Pisces and new ways of inspired communication develop. The full moon on the 8th illuminates the domestic area of your chart and challenges you to really think about your living arrangements. Mars in productive Virgo continues to fire you up to make positive changes and your endless enthusiasm ensures a successful outcome

Cancer June 23 - July 23

Neptune has arrived at a pivotal position in your chart; you will start to focus on how to expand your influence in the world. Wherever you travel now could begin to feel like home. The new moon in Pisces on the 21st brings a new start to projects aimed at further education. The new moon in pioneering Aries on the 22nd, challenges you to take another look at your professional life. Are you really getting what you want and do you feel appreciated? Communicative Mercury, retrograde after the 12th, brings innovative and inspiring ideas to the surface


March 21 - April 20

July 24 - August 23

Venus, the Goddess of love and beauty moves into your sign on the 8th. Your Passions and desires will now come to the forefront and demand that you take action. Neptune, now in a prominent position, ensures that you begin to direct your attention to more intuitive sources and follow your dreams. Your ruler, energetic Mars, is in retrograde motion all month and may bring a halt to certain projects. This may seem like a hindrance, but in truth you probably need to double check your plans. Mid month brings a spectacular alignment with transformational Pluto and new ideas are revealed..

Planetary forces combine all month to improve your finances and your career standing. Mars continues to work hard in Virgo and your well thought out strategies should pay off this month. The full moon in your sign on the 7th could bring some major surprises, be ready for action. A spectacular alignment of Venus and Jupiter on the 14th could illuminate some interesting developments in your professional life. With transformational Pluto and Mars also joining in, this is a great time to strengthen your reputation and make important and advantageous connections.




April 21 - May 21

August 24 - September 23

Neptune illuminates the social area of your chart. With Venus also there until the 8th you might seek new alliances with organisations based on your newfound spiritual interests. Many new people may now enter your life and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see that they will help lead you back to yourself. Venus, the goddess of love and your planetary ruler, moves into your sign on the 5th. Are you ready for a new romance, or just some quality time to concentrate on yourself and bring new pleasures into your life? The 14th could bring amorous surprises as Venus aligns positively with Mars.

Your work place could be a source of intense scrutiny this month. Try to stay under the radar and keep your focus. Communicative Mercury moves into Pisces on the 14th. This could bring some misunderstandings or confusion, but staying connected to your intuition brings results. Mars is retrograde in your sign all month supplying you with added energy to refocus and re-establish your personal goals. This is a fantastic time to identify your strengths and to take positive action to rectify situations that may have previously felt frustrating or repressive. ..



September 24 - October 23

YThe Sun and communicative Mercury are travelling through a pivotal spot in your chart. Creative business projects can be furthered and because you will do well in negotiation, you should aim high and get the best deal. Neptune now urges you to listen to your inner voice. This could turn out to an amazingly lucky month for Librans. Bountiful Venus and expansive Jupiter are cuddling up in the financial area of your chart. Optimism and enthusiasm should be at their peak and any innovative projects started now could turn out to be very successful




October 24 - November 22

Mighty and benevolent Jupiter is forging ahead through your opposite sign of Taurus. Relationships come to the forefront and you may need to check that your needs are being met. You need emotional balance and an inner feeling of peace and you’ll be determined to get it. Expansive Jupiter and bountiful Venus are in your opposite sign of Taurus, bringing up your innermost feelings and desires. Refocusing and review become necessary now. It’s time to re-examine how you have been handling your assertiveness in relationships and with family


Neptune, the planet of mystery and illusion leaves Aquarius on the 4th and “comes home” to its own sign of compassionate Pisces. This will be a 14 year stay and takes us up to 2026. Neptune is the God of the seas, and just like water, can be difficult to pin down. Pisces is also associated with the vastness of the sea and big questions around the world’s water and resources will arise. Neptune also rules spirituality and deep understanding, and during this time we could all find ways to channel our sensitivities to the greater good of all. Spiritual ideas and new forms of healing will affirm their validity and become more a part of everyday life. Venus, the love planet is in amorous Aries on Valentine’s Day, it should be especially passionate and romantic this year!



We are heading towards longer and warmer days, and with the spring equinox on Tuesday the 20th and a powerful new moon in Aries on the 22nd there is renewed strength and vitality available for all. Enjoyment and prosperity are also emphasised as benevolent Jupiter and harmonious Venus are both in sensual Taurus. Reconnecting with love, art, music and all things beautiful should be a priority to lift your sprits and help to access your potential. Impatience may cause concern as communicative Mercury marches through Aries, but this will all slow down as the retrograde motion begins on the 12th. It is always wise to look before you leap with Mercury retrograde, and don’t forget to check all communications and travel plans as the trickster always likes a laugh at our expense! . Swim with the cosmic tides rather than against them!



Mystery planet Neptune touches the deepest sector of your chart this month. Although you might feel confused to start with, the more you touch base with your inner wisdom you’ll see that things can only get better. The new moon on the 21st brings surprises on the home front, stay flexible and enjoy. Sagittarians feel a wave of new energy at the start of this month. Three planets activate the most creative and fun loving part of your chart. Your popularity is on an upward trend and others will find you particularly attractive and friendly. Spread the joy and have a ball!

Neptune leaves your sign on the 3rd after a long 14 year stay. Clarity and insight return in abundance as you now focus on your new goals. Intuitive Neptune has taught you many things and with new values and a renewed sense of self you are ready to carve out a brilliant plan of action. All things around communication and learning are illuminated during March. Your ruler, the maverick planet Uranus, demands innovative and creative thinking on all levels. You’ll enjoy the challenge of tackling a variety of new subjects and making brilliant new connections.

November 23 - December 22

Capricorn December 23 - January 19

Finding new ways of communicating are your main focus this month. Neptune and Venus, both in sensitive and compassionate Pisces, bring an entirely new slant to the way that you get things done. Mars is busy working at broadening your horizons, exciting times ahead if you go with the flow. Three planets in the domestic sector of your chart herald a busy start to the month. Many issues concerning you home and family could come to head now. Stern Saturn, your ruling planet, is in Libra and helps you to find a more balanced way of coping with any difficulties.

January 20 - February 19


February 20 - March 20

Neptune has come home and will be in your sign for the next 14 years. Neptune often dissolves all that it touches and this is the time to dispose of things in your life that you no longer appreciate or value. Mercury also enters Pisces on the 14th and you’ll find that you want more love and beauty than ever before. Expansive Jupiter and the love planet Venus light up a pivotal sector of your chart. During this cycle there should be a powerful mental connection with your creative self-expression. You should be very proud of your ideas and have no trouble expressing them smoothly. ALONG THE THAMES


Performance Coaching in business. These days, you can get a Coach for almost every aspect of your life. You can have an Executive Coach, a Life Coach, or a Financial and Wealth Coach. You can seek out a Career Coach, Conflict Coach, or Sports Coach to help you. Then there are Educational Coaches, Style and Image Coaches and even Dating Coaches. So what is a “Performance Coach”? Should you have one? How do you decide? What would be the impact on your business results? Is it an investment worth considering in these tough times? Performance Coaching is the use of coaching in the business context, focused on the bottom-line impact. It is about Performance, Learning and Enjoyment. As we talk to other business people, we hear about coaching being used by organisations for a range of explicit or implied reasons. It may be that a company is down-sizing and uses Coaches to help their employees get through a potential or actual redundancy process. Perhaps a poorly-performing individual or team is offered a Coach to improve their performance, or a “high-flier” works with a Coach to help them to fly higher more quickly. Maybe the CEO employs a Coach to help him or her work through the strategic options for the business, possibly to act as a sounding board. Performance Coaching is unlocking the potential of people to maximise their own performance. It is more about the person being coached, about enabling them to achieve more, with more confidence and creativity, and with more self-direction. The key is that Performance Coaching is about the future potential of the coachee, not the past or present performance. A good 50


Performance Coach will use a range of tools and techniques to help those being coached to develop more awareness, responsibility and self-belief. Coaching has evolved over time and is still evolving. The origins can be traced back to several sources: sports coaching and sports psychology, psychology, sociology, therapeutic and counselling disciplines, organisation development and management theory. Each of the sources has influenced the development of certain tools, models and perspectives that can be used by a Performance Coach to address specific challenges and to devise innovative ways of helping those they coach to develop more awareness, responsibility and self-belief. A recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) reported that over 80% of organisations using coaching used line managers as the coaches, and over 60% used external coaches. When asked about the effectiveness of this coaching, over 80% reported line manager coaching as “effective” or “very effective”, while more than 90% judged external

coaching to be effective using the same criteria. Coaching by line managers is widespread, but external coaching is being proved to be more effective. Research shows that good Performance Coaching gives people feedback on both their strengths and weaknesses, supports changes in attitudes and behaviour that can lead to more effective performance, and enables them to refocus and take a critical look at their approaches and style at work. It helps to promote individual selfawareness and self-direction, helping people to identify barriers that are preventing them from being more effective in their jobs. Importantly, it helps people commit to new performance goals and creates individual responsibility for performance and development. There are many studies showing the progressive people management practices lead to significantly improved bottom-line business results. In the next article, we will look at how to maximise the chances of success when using Performance Coaching. Philip Walker



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Marlow - 9.30 - 11.30 am Danesfield House Hotel on 2nd Thursday of the month Maidenhead - 9.00 - 11am Temple Golf Club on 3rd Thursday of the month Business Biscotti promotes working in a way that is .flexible, mobile, collaborative and digitally in touch For more information or to join us on line visit

Our next meetings are: 13th February, 12th March and 16th April visit for more information ALONG THE THAMES


You Tube and Twitter Last issue ended with “the Plan”, and why are we doing social media. Hopefully I put forward a good case for a plan and also the financial implications and time element. There are various forms of social media, some I have never used and I am sure there are some that I have never heard of, so I shall concentrate on the four core ones to start with. Facebook, You Tube, Twitter & LinkedIn are the ones most used currently and dependent on which sector you are in as to which one is best suited to you and your business. You Tube is now the second biggest search engine behind Google and is growing fast, so if you have a message and want it to be found then here is a good place to start. We have all seen these Viral Video funnies but there are also a lot of good business ones out there as well, so it is worth spending some time

searching You Tube for business subjects and looking at the results. The good thing is that you do not need to spend hundreds or thousands on a video, because it is accepted on You Tube that “homemade” is acceptable, but I would invest in a dedicated HD recorder and a decent Microphone, both of which will cost less than £100 each new, if you plan on doing regular videos. The difference in quality and the fact people can hear your message, are worth the money. Twitter is the other one of the four that can be used regardless if you are B2C or B2B and is the quickest by far. The ability to use those 140 characters to get a message out and from where ever you are is powerful if you use it correctly. This is where twitter can be seen as of little use and irritating as many people tweet all manner of rubbish, that



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is of no interest to anyone. My suggestion is to consider why you want to use Twitter and stick to it. Personally I use it to send out inspirational quotes and to inform people of upcoming events etc. make it useful to the person who may see it, would what you send be of interest to you if you were looking for a business like yours. Send tips and information about your industry so you attract the right kind of followers. So we have now planned and began to understand the financials and have looked at the 2 types above that can be adopted by any business, so next time it is Facebook for B2C (mainly) and LinkedIn for B2B. In the meantime dip your toes in this social media world, the costs are low but if done well the rewards are high Tony Silver

Not just different, but better A civilised divorce? Surely not

Charles Darwin is quoted as saying “in the long history of humankind…those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed” For me, this statement has particular relevance to anybody who is going through a divorce. The traditional approach of a divorce being contested in the Court arena is now, thankfully, no longer the norm and this shift in approach has been particularly emphasised by the new Family Law Rules that came into force in April 2011. One of the main changes that the Rules brought about was the general expectation that the parties in any family matter must consider the use of Mediation before formal Court proceedings are issued. For a long time now, the Courts and family lawyers have realised that family matters, due to their nature, are often best resolved without the use of an adversarial Court process. As such, other more productive and cost effective options of dealing with a family issue are now available and should always be considered. One of these options is the Collaborative Law process and this is a process that I personally feel is ideally suited to resolving family issues. Despite a slow start, England and Wales now boasts over 1,250 fully trained collaborative lawyers but the public, by and

large, still remains unaware about this process and what it entails. So what is different about Collaborative Law? In general terms, it is a relaxed, private process that puts the control back into the hands of the people getting divorced and allows for decisions about their future to be made on an informed basis within a timescale that suits them. Everybody concerned works together to ensure an overall binding agreement is reached that is tailor made to the divorcing couple’s needs. This is as opposed to, in the absence of an agreement, the parties simply being told how matters are going to be dealt with by a Judge will have no real background knowledge their lives or will be aware of what is really important to them. The Collaborative law process is voluntary and, if adopted, each party will instruct a Collaboratively trained lawyer to represent them. The parties, along with their lawyers, will attend a series of round table meetings and openly discuss the issues between them (be it children, the divorce, financial matters or all of the above) and seek to resolve these by way of direct negotiations. As part of the process, everyone signs a Participation Agreement. This agreement, amongst other things, means that if the Collaborative Law Process breaks down and

Court proceedings are issued, both parties will have to instruct new lawyers to act for them. At first glance, this stipulation may seem to be counterproductive and put people off using the Collaborative Law process. It is understandable to question why you would use a process that, if it fails, results in you having to effectively start matters over again. However, by having this condition in place, the parties can be reassured that both the lawyers involved will be committed to assisting them find an amicable solution without the need to formally involve the Court as it would not be in their interests for clients to have to go elsewhere. Simply put, everyone involved has something to gain by the process working and something to lose if it fails. In a time where attending Court is becoming more costly and time consuming, I believe the Collaborative Law process is going to become more a popular choice for individuals who are looking for a dignified, private and proactive way to deal with their divorce. For further information on the Collaborative Law Process, please contact Gavin Henshaw, the POD Liaison Officer for the South Bucks, East Berkshire Collaborative POD on 01494 451 355



A new year.. a new you The new year for many marks the time when thousands all over the country embark on resolutions to lose weight and get fit. However, an unlikely secret weapon is helping many to lose weight and get fit quicker, according to recent scientific research. Forget expensive gym memberships, pills, potions or yet another new “miracle” diet; canine behaviour specialist Jez Rose reveals that a dog may well be a dieters best friend. A study by Michigan State University in the USA showed that dog owners are fitter than people who do not have a dog because of the amount of walking they do. The study found that walkers who regularly exercise their dogs are 34% more likely to hit the recommended exercise target of at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week and therefore, lose weight faster. This is good news not just for humans needing to lose weight but for dogs, as canine obesity is on the rise, too. It would appear that there is some truth in the old adage that a dog looks like its owner as there appears to be a correlation in canine and owner weight gain.



Professor David Leslie, an expert in diabetes at Barts and the London Hospital says: “People are more likely to over-feed their pet if they are overfeeding themselves. Likewise putting your pet on a diet could be a solid incentive to lose weight yourself”. The One Show’s resident vet, Joe Inglis, agrees: “Dogs are without doubt the best personal trainers in the world – there is nothing quite as persuasive as a dog standing by the door and holding his lead expectantly to get you out of the door for a walk or run! Obesity is a major issue in dogs as well as people so the shared benefits of long dog walks can work wonders for the long-term health and wellbeing of both you and your dog.” Depending on age and breed, dogs need an average of one hours exercise per day. If you don’t have a dog of your own, many dog owners would be delighted for their dog to receive further exercise so you could borrow theirs. Here’s how to lose weight by having fun training your dog at the same time: Go jogging with your dog, perhaps carrying a small weight in each hand, varying the speed of your jog by slowing down and then speeding up and occasionally

stopping to jog on the spot as you have your dog sit or perform a trick you have taught them – the more you stop and train your dog when out, the quicker they learn and varying your speed maintains their focus on you.. When you get to a safe open space, many dogs love to play chase games as it triggers natural hunting instincts or place a toy on the floor, jogging some distance away from it and then let the dog off its’ lead and race it to the toy. If you want to use the opportunity to brush up on your dog’s training then Dog Trainer Pro is a free app for iPhone available in the appstore, with simple to follow plans to train your dog; perfect for when out and about. It appears that the most effective way to lose weight is indeed the simplest: eat less and move more. Walking or going for a run with a dog is the perfect excuse to move more and has to be more fun than just eating broccoli for a month, surely?

For more information on dog training and behaviour

2012 - A healthier Pack As we settle in to a mild new year, many of us will have promised a healthier eating and fitness plan for 2012 – one of the best ways to stick to this promised venture, is to bring the family dog with us – or rather, the best personal trainer you can have in 2012, 2013, 2014…… you get the picture! At The Real Dog Company our ethos is all about a joint natural, healthy lifestyle and this extends to eating, walking, and let us not forget , jogging, running and general exercise with your dog. Any owner and dog can enjoy a real bonding session through running, by motivating each other to run along your favourite path or field. No matter what the weather, your trusted personal training partner will always be ready to go, tails a-wagging to a healthier you in 2012! When running with your dog we have a few top tips: Please ensure that your dog is safe! A dog harness for running is essential if you would like your dog to be safe, controlled and comfortably attached to you. Think of huskies in a nice cosy harness rather than you pulling a dog along by a lead or a traditional control or “stop” harness - you want to make it safe, fun and enjoyable for you and your dog! Always ensure you have water along your route (like a good river drinking spot and that is not the pub!) or water to hand with you for both you and your dog. Please ensure you are safe! You can attach “hands free” to your dog with your own running

harness. This allows you to have freedom for running, safe in the knowledge that your dog is under full control, in sight and not dashing around you for rabbits or other dogs! Carry essentials as you would on a walk, such as bags for your dog’s toilet. Ensure that you build up in time, distance and frequency for you and your dog. Do not over train yourself or your dog! It is more fun for both of you to find a towpath or field “Along the Thames” than a busy

pavement and road – we live in a fantastic area – let’s get out into our countryside and enjoy it! The most important thing for both of you is to HAVE FUN! Encourage your dog to run with you, this will encourage you to run with your dog and keep you both motivated. Keep communicating and enjoy some wild running together outdoors. If you have any questions with regard to starting to run with your dog – please do give us a call or join one of regular group runs in Cookham!



Sally O’ Reilly is the author of two novels published by Penguin books (The Best Possible Taste: 2004; You Spin Me Round: 2007), and is currently studying for a PhD in creative writing at Brunel University. She worked as a freelance journalist for 20 years and as a lecturer for the Open University and the University of Portsmouth. Her third novel tells the story of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady. Her new book is a work of nonfiction entitled How to Be a Writer: The Definitive Guide to Getting Published and Making a Living from Writing, published by Little, Brown (2011). Fay Weldon, CBE described it as “the excellent, informative book I should have been able to read when I was first published.” The book offers practical advice on how to build a career from writing, or how to fit writing around other commitments such as family and work. It is full of lots of helpful tips and its down-to-earth, witty style makes it a pleasure to read. I interviewed Sally about her new book and life as a writer: What made you decide to write ‘How to be a Writer’? I wrote ‘How to be a Writer’ because it didn’t exist. There are lots of books that tell you ‘how to write’, but none that tell you how to do everything else. The key point I wanted to make is that you mustn’t be passive and expect your career to happen around you. You need to 56


behave like a self-employed professional, not a diva. When I was first published I was with a global publisher and thought all my problems were over. My assumption was that my future as a writer was assured, and that the publisher would look after my interests from then on. This may be the case for some writers, but they are generally in the minority. Most writers have to continue to promote their own work, network, sustain their morale and productivity, organise their finances and probably hold down a day job as well. I was very naive about all this, and was also shocked to find that if your book doesn’t sell, you can be ‘unchosen’ by a publisher. But it’s not all bad news - most established writers have had more than one publisher, and I would say all established writers have had disappointments and setbacks at some time. What are your top tips for aspiring writers? To write every day. It sounds blindingly obvious, but I do meet a lot of would-be authors who seem strangely reluctant to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, who seem to be looking for a magical short cut. Also, to be quite nice to yourself. Writing is an emotional business, and very draining, which is one of the reasons writing and neurosis/booze seem to go together so nicely. Better to go for a swim or a long walk than

to hit the Chardonnay, though, especially if you need to write early in the morning. What is the best bit about being a writer? Writing. (I know, this is getting boring...) But it really is. Writing helps me find out what I think. I write on the train, in cafes, in parks, anywhere. Not just fiction, random thoughts, opinions and ideas. It’s about thinking on paper. Stories don’t just exist inside your head, waiting to come out. They are physically formed by the action and process of writing. I’ve always loved stories, whether they are anecdotes, fairy tales, jokes, ghost stories, modern myths - you name it. Which is why I’m not snooty about plot, as some literary writers seem to be. What is the worst bit about being a writer? It can make everything into a bit of a busman’s holiday. If I go to the cinema, I start tearing the story apart as soon as the film’s over. Same with books. I spend half my holidays reading, and the other half ranting about what was wrong with what I was reading. Luckily my husband is just the same, so that’s okay, but our teenagers think we are a bit mad. Emma Filtness

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This year’s Tokyo Motor Show was dominated by green technologies and wacky concepts – but among the madness there were some important model launches. The show isn’t one of the biggest. Spread over four halls you can get around it easily in a day – unlike the blisterinducing mass of motors that is Europe’s biggest show in Frankfurt, Germany. However, as the Japanese makers’ home event, it is absolutely packed with innovation. I spent two days scouring the halls and soaking up the culture, but eventually these five emerged as my picks of the show.

Toyota GT 86 It’s about time Toyota got interesting again and the GT 86 certainly floats our boat. Rumoured to cost around £28,000 when it goes on sale in the UK, the rear-wheel drive car features a 2.0-litre 197bhp unit and will hit 60mph in seven seconds. It certainly looked good on the stand and was a welcome break from the green concepts doing the rounds everywhere else.

Subaru BRZ Subaru has been having a hard time of it in the UK of late, so the BRZ comes as a much-needed breath of fresh air. Jointly developed with Toyota, it’s the sister car to the GT 86, and in the company’s famous corporate blue it looked fantastic. The BRZ has slightly different body panels and interior to the Toyota. Just don’t mention the new, and very bland, Impreza also on display on the stand...

Nissan Juke Nismo The Juke has been crying out for a real sporty model and it looks like Nissan may finally answer our prayers thanks to its tuning arm Nismo. This is the first car that’s been given the Nismo treatment and although currently billed as a “concept” it’s highly likely we’ll see it on our roads soon. Exterior and interior tweaks will be matched with a breathed-on powerplant.

Mercedes F 125! We’re not big fans of concepts that don’t mean anything, but Mercedes was quick to point out the F 125! showcases the future design direction of the next S-Class. The concept featured fuel cell technology which would give it a range of 1,000km, a lightweight body construction, gullwing doors and a cloud-based infotainment system. But ignore all that, it’s the looks that are most likely to shape future luxury barges from the firm.

Hino eZ Cargo Tucked away in the corner of the truck section of the show was this fantastic delivery van. Not only does it look superb, but it showcases EV technology and a clean uncluttered design that would make Apple proud. A spokesman for Hino told us it has a range of 50kms, can charge in six hours and hit 70kph. Trials will take place next year before a decision is made whether to put it into production. We just hope the looks are carried over – it certainly beats a boring Transit.

By James Baggott, - editor of Car Dealer Magazine ( 58




Stokenchurch Dog Rescue

Policing matters Shed loads of opportunity Many of us have sheds or outhouses on our property but have you ever considered the value of what is in yours. By the time you add up the cost of a new lawn mower, leaf blower and all of the other tools in there it often comes to a substantial amount. Now consider what security you have on your shed. I have no doubt that with many of you it will be little more than a bolt and with some of you less than that. I would urge you all to consider getting a shed alarm fitted. They are readily available from most DIY outlets or garden centres and go a long way towards protecting your property. There is an even more important reason for securing your shed and that is the modern burglar. Unfortunately they no longer sneak around in a stripy top carrying a jemmy. It is far too easy to be arrested going to and from a burglary if you carry a tool so many burglars will use what they can find in your shed in order to break into your house. If you require any further information about protecting your property or your local neighbourhood team then you can visit us at Inspector Ray Wilks The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Thames Valley Police

PEPPER YOUR LOCAL CHILDREN’S CHARITY The Pepper Foundation has today announced that it has signed-up to the new and innovative donation service, JustText Giving. This is a brand new, free service for charities, that has no set up or fundraising costs for charities, no network charges for people making donations and every penny donated goes to charity. Gift Aid can also be added to donations. From today, supporters of The Pepper Foundation can make donations of up to £10 by texting PEPP01 and either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070 to make their donation. The text message is free and all of the donation will be passed to The Pepper Foundation. Tony Hill, Chairman of The Pepper Foundation said: “We care for 40 children in the Chiltern region and also support their families. These kids have severe life-limiting illnesses and the Pepper nurses are an incredibly important part of their support needs. With JustTextGiving we want to take texting – a skill that many of the children 60


“Giving a home to an abandoned or unwanted rescue dog is one of life’s most rewarding experiences – but you’re taking on a serious commitment, and your dog will depend on you for a lifetime – often up to 15 years. A happy moment is collecting your new wet nosed, waggy tailed pet from the kennels at the start of a new chapter in their lives – and yours. Stokenchurch Dog Rescue (SDR) always has dogs of all ages, sizes and shapes, and they have different personalities, temperaments and needs. Some may need a special new home, others may need owners with experience of a particular breed and some may not be suitable to share their new home with small children. SDR staff do their best to match the right owner with the right dog. Anyone considering taking a new companion into their home and family must consider that they will need time and patience for the dog to settle in, as well as time on training. If there are small children in the family, they should be supervised around a new dog. A dog you see, or a breed you may have set your heart on, may not be the most suitable dog for your circumstances. You will first be asked to fill in a form detailing who you are etc. as it will help assess which dog would be most suitable. You can see round the kennels, and hopefully choose the right dog, in consultation with Alan Durrant, Dog Welfare Manager, or Alison Ling, his Deputy. When you choose a dog, SDR strongly recommends that all the family the dog will be living with come to meet the potential new family member and, of course, vice versa. Also, if you already have a dog, it will need to meet its possible companion to see if they get on. If all is well, a check is carried out by SDR to ensure that the potential home is suitable for the dog. Your garden must be secure, for instance. Once this has been done, you can formally adopt your dog. SDR asks for a minimum adoption donation of £120, which helps towards the dog’s medical welfare, and cost of micro-chipping. The charity’s telephone number is 01494 482695. It needs donations and people to help fund raising and ensure that the welfare work continues.”

we support are incapable of but the rest of us take for granted – and use it in a positive way. So the next time you are texting BRB, TBH or LOL, why not text PEPP01 £5 instead and help change people’s lives and feel Gr8.”

Events Review

Run away with the circus According to The Times, “circus is probably the sexiest of all the performing arts in Britain right now”. The folks at the Roundhouse undoubtedly agree – La Soiree has just completed another successful run over the recent festive period from 23 Nov – 29 Jan following a record-breaking season at the Roundhouse in 2009, and a fabulous run at the South Bank in 2010. La Soiree is a unique blend of live evening entertainment from cabaret and burlesque to circus sideshow and contemporary performance. Highlights from the latest season include the stunning Ukrainian Yula Pykhtina who manages to make hulahopping look graceful and glamorous, and a passionate duet performed by aerial artists Hugo Desmarais and Katharine Arnold while suspended above the audience in ‘The Cage’. Ticket prices vary, and the show

lasts for a generous two hours, and with such diversity and variety on display there is never a dull moment. If you fancy witnessing a wonder or two yourself then look no further than CircusFest 2012 – five weeks of the best contemporary circus from around the globe, coming to the Roundhouse between 28 March and 29 April 2012. Events in the main space include: Cirque Mandingue: Foté Foré The Guinean circus troupe will be opening CircusFest 2012 with an interesting mix of highenergy acrobatics and street dance against a background of hip hop beats and African drumming. This show is suitable for all ages. Tickets are £20, with concessions and family rates also available. Cirkus Cirkor: Underman The Swedish company’s most recent show provides insight into the lives

of circus performers with this tale of passion, love and loss. ‘Underman’ is the Swedish term for the base in an acrobatic pair. This is the true story of three male ‘undermen’ whose relationships with their partners came to an end. In a bid to rebuild their lives, these amazing performers have thrown themselves into creating an incredible and inspiring performance along with musician Andreas Tengblad. This show is only suitable for ages 15+. Again, tickets are £20 with concessions and family rates available. The Roundhouse has many other events on offer as part of CircusFest 2012, such as circus-inspired film screenings from the Underground Film Club, a photographic exhibition, talks, new commissions and more. Visit for more information. Emma Filtness



LOCAL CLUB EVENTS: Marlow Camera Club 6th March 7.45 for 8pm Church Hall, Methodist Church, Spittal St, Marlow In and out of the studio photographing peple/sporting action - Alan Colgrove Marlow Archaeology Society 16th February, 8pm Garden Room, Liston Hall, Marlow Kangaroos, kiwis & bustards - The archaeologyof WWI - Richard Osgood Marlow Archaeology Society 29th March, 8pm’ Garden Room, Liston Hall, Marlow - The East Oxford Archaeology Project - Jane Harrison, Marlow Archaeology Society 19th April, 8pm, Garden Room, Liston Hall, Marlow -The Medieval City Monastries from their foundation to dissolution - Val Pretlove WEDDING FAIRS/OPEN DAYS Crowne Plaza Marlow 19th February, 11am - 4pm Free Admission

CROWNE PLAZA, MARLOW 01628 496800,,

Midas Antique Fairs Every 4th Sunday, 10 - 4pm Club Nights - Over 25’s 2nd March, 9pm - 2am 6 Nations Rugby 4th February - 17th March Mad March Thursdays Pay What You Think it’s Worth. Dine from our à la carte menu in Glaze Restaurant - then decide what you’d like to pay.

THEATRE AND MUSICAL EVENTS Marlow Players- ‘Allo ‘Allo 29th - 31st Marchi, 8pm Shelley Theatre, Court Garden Kenton Theatre - See adjoining page BUSINESS/NETWORKING EVENTS Business Biscotti - Marlow Every second Thursday 9.30 - 11.30am Danesfield House Hotel, Marlow Thames Valley Business Womens Group Every second Monday 7pm for 7.30pm start CIM, Cookham, Business Biscotti - Maidenhead Every third Thursday 9 - 11am Temple Golf Club, Maidenhead

Spring Food Festival 1st April, 10am - 4pm, A celebration of spring food, chocolate and all things delicious. One for the foodies! FREE Admission Easter Egg Hunt - Under 11s; 8th April, 11am The Easter Bunny is paying us another visit this year. How EGGciting! FREE Admission. St. George’s Day Offer 21st – 23rd April Rebellion Beer at a price of £2 a pint for the weekend!

SPECIAL EVENTS 14th February: Valentines day 1st March: St Davids day Business Biscotti POP UP event- Stubbings Cafe 7th March, 9.30-11.30am 16th March: Legoland opens 17th March: St Patricks day 18th March: - Mother’s Day 6th - 9th April: Easter Stanley Spencer Gallery 1st April - 4th November, 10.30am - 5.30pm daily


Marlow Bridge, Marlow 0844 879 9128

Jazz dinners 9th March - Nick Newell 13th April - Tim Eyles Jazz lunches 26th February, 25th March, 9th April Macmillan Charity Lunch

6th March with Simon Jones Auctioneer. 2 course meal with glass of wine and coffee £28pp

*Thursdays only throughout March 2012.

Key to Events:


Charity Events



One-off events

Clubs for Adults

Theatre & Music

Business Meetings

Kenton Theatre Marlow Players Presents

‘Allo ‘Allo

by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft

29th March - 31st March, 8pm at the Shelley Theatre Court Garden

Tickets Thursday £10, Friday and Saturday £12. Call 01494 880486 or tickets from the Marlow Information Centre The stage version of TV’s ‘Allo ‘Allo follows the adventures of René, the hapless café owner in war-torn occupied France, as he and his wife, Edith, struggle to keep for themselves a priceless portrait stolen by the Nazis and endeavour to repatriate two British airmen with the help of the Resistance. The Führer is to visit the town. René will need all the wit he can muster to save his café and his life ...!

Saturday 11th February 7.30pm ROY ORBISON AND FRIENDS WITH BARRY STEELE The music of Roy Orbison remains as vital as ever and in this fantastic celebration, Barry Steele brings the music and character of the Big O back to life. Barry who has performed to rave reviews across the world, not only sounds like the man, he looks like him too, as he puts the rock back into Roy Orbison with his trademark dark rimmed glasses and Orbison style. Adults £20 and Concessions £18 Friday 17th February 11am and 2pm Blunderbus Theatre Company presents THE OWL WHO WAS AFRAID OF THE DARK With an irresistible blend of live music, puppetry and storytelling, this beautiful new show based on Jill Tomlinson’s classic book introduces an old friend to a new generation of theatre-goers. Join Plop the baby barn owl as he journeys into the night-time world of campfires, fireworks, starry nights and moonlight adventures. Come join us-its going to be a hoot! All Tickets £8 Family £28 Thursday 23rd February 8pm Oxfordshire Theatre Company & the Watermill Theatre present

Invite your friends, family or school to breakfast to help sick children in hospitals and hospices across the UK


fantastic prizes

HOT LINE 0845 919 649 Wallace & Gromit’s Big Breakfast raises funds for Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Foundation, which supports children’s healthcare throughout the UK. Registered charity 1096483. Company number 04659630. © and ™ Aardman/Wallace & Gromit Limited 2012.

For more information or changes to the schedules as listed please call Marlow Information Centre on 01628 483597 Longridge in Marlow t: 483252 - Many clubs meet regularly at Liston Court, Chapel Street. For more information contact them directly on t 472 558 Marlow Antique bric-a-brac fair meets on 1st Saturday of the month at Liston Hall from 9-4pm The Farmers Market, in Marlow Dean Street Car Park every Sunday, 10am - 2pm Bourne End Country Market product Small Hall 10 - 12 , Every Friday


SOME LIKE IT HOTTER Great movie stars never die-they just sparkle on forever. It’s September 2010 and at long last funny man Jack Lemmon and the incomparable Marilyn Monroe are reunited with an old friend Tony Curtis. But how come Tony looks thirty again? Where exactly are they? Who is the stranger on the set? And what the hell is going on? Adults £12 Seniors & Students £11 Friends and Keepers £10 Tuesday 28th February 8pm Kenton Lectures presents STEVE RIDER A GRANDSTAND VIEW Steve Rider will talk about life behind the scenes in sports broadcasting. He is well qualified to discuss how sports broadcasting has progressed through the ‘golden years’ of the BBC to the multi-choice industry is has become. Adults £12 Friends £10 Friday 30th March 7.30pm Merry Opera presents LA TRAVIATA Verdi’s tragic story of joy, sorrow, passion, regret and undying loyalty is grippingly told in Kit Hesketh-Harvey’s new adaptation. Wednesday 11th April 11am & 2pm Big Wooden Horse and Theatre Royal Winchester present

The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers This exciting new production for young children and their families has been created by the team behind the hit shows Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Suitable for age 3+

Please mention Along the Thames Magazine when booking.


If you would like your event advertised contact 01628 771 419 / 07711 887107 or e: office@ Use the QR code (with your phone) opposite to go straight to our website.

01491 575698 OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR ALL PRODUCTIONS AT New Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2BP Free Parking available in Waitrose car park after 6pm ALONG THE THAMES


Useful Numbers MARLOW- CLUBS Archaeology in Marlow ........................................... 472126 Marlow Archaeological Society .............................. 523896 Bowls ..................................................................... 485274 Boxing ......................................................... 01494 532826 Crafts ........................................................ 473872/473539 Football .................................................................. 483970 Hockey ................................................................... 521830 Plants (Orchids) .................................................... 486640 Petanque ............................................................... 521783 Photography ............................................. 482164/483030 Rugby ....................................................... 483911/477054 Running ................................................................. 474885 Four Seasons Club ................................................ 474095 Tennis ................................................................... 483638 New Marlow Tennis Academy .............................. 488438 Rifle & Pistol Club ...................................... 01494 676676 Longridge ............................................................. 486595 Marlow & District Wine Society ........................... 630341 Marlow Society/History ........................................ 476140 Rotary Club................................................. 01494 530952 LETS .......................................................... 01494 523978 U3A ......................................................... 485220/488865 Operatic Society .................................................. 475973 Community Choir .................................... 602581/661182 Railway Society ................................................... 486433 Choral Society ..................................................... 472998 Marlow Orators ........................................ 07738 540287 MARLOW - COUNCIL Bus Services ............................................. 01494 441818 Liston Hall ........................................................... 472558 Marlow Information centre ..................... 483597/481717 Library ...................................................... 0845 2303232 Town Council .......................................... 484024/481146 Neighbourhood Watch ............................. 020 77723348 Police ....................................................... 0845 8505505 Trains ........................................................ 0845 7000125 Wycombe Council .................................... 01494 461000 MARLOW - HOSPITALS Marlow Cottage .................................................. 482292 NHS Direct ................................................. 0800 595000 Wycombe ................................................. 01494 526161 MARLOW - DENTISTS Marlow Dental Centre ........................................ 486096 La Perla Clinic ..................................................... 488499 St John Ambulance .................................. 01494 474748 BOURNE END Library ................................................................ 524814 Community Centre ............................................ 527502



Stockists from Pages 34-36 Swish t: 476 467 . w:, a: 5 Liston Court, Marlow No25 of Bourne End t: 528 877 w: a: 25-27 The Parade, Bourne End Answer to Spot the Difference, page 52 extra tooth scale missing extra spots belly stripe gone grass

nails missing eyes vines sun mouth changed


to the winners of the following book competition held in the December/January 2012 issue. Magic City by Micahel Dean: Leah Witton, J. Diamond, G.Hornes











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Along The Thames - Marlow and Bourne End Edition  

A Local Lifestyle magazine connecting residents to local businesses. Full of articles such as fashion, beauty, gardening, business, health a...

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