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Be Inspired Every Day!

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BETTER HEALTH

‘Once You’re 60, You’ve Nothing To Be Scared Of!’

Why Your Tummy Holds The ANSWERS!

PAVLOVAS

My Love For My Cat

Super

WEARABLE FASHION

SUMMER Prints

JUMBO

TESTED B Y So It WorksUS For You


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Hello! Inside This Issue On The Cover 8 Fern Britton: ‘Once you’re 60, you’ve nothing to be scared of!’ 14 Health: The hidden secret of better health – why your tummy holds the answers! 16 Real life: My love for my big cat 18 Fashion: Super summer prints 22 Beauty: 13 cleverest beauty tips – look better for less! 28 Cookery: Perfect pavlovas 35 Knitting: Jumbo knit! RIVETING READS

4 Come On In! 10 Real life: Why women are turning to doulas to help them give birth 13 It’s A Funny Old World: Nadia Sawalha 32 Home: All your picnic equipment sorted

37 Walking On 50 Serial – Part 2: Possession by Gabrielle Mullarkey

LIFE COACH

40 Dr Melanie: Multiple Sclerosis

Colour Theory

E

veryone has their own taste in colour that is so unique to them, whether it’s over the top with neon brights or a more muted approach with restrained neutrals. Colour is used in so many areas of our lives, that I don’t think our world would be able to function without it! But what I love most about it is how certain shades can so vividly evoke a mood, feeling or memory that is completely personal to the individual. The vibrant prints in our fashion feature on page 18 are radiant with rainforest greens and sunset yellows, and set my mind racing with visions of faraway places. So for those times when we wish that we were on holiday, we can inject some colour into our lives and imagine that we’re in our very own tropical paradise.

Teresa

Teresa, Knitting Editor

Beautiful Blanket

42 Health Choices 43 Here To Help 49 New! Save & Prosper!

T e gorgeous Portuguese Tile lanket is launching in the October issue of Woman’s Weekly Knitting & Crochet (on le 6 September). The pattern ill be released over five issues, why not subscribe to ensure ou don’t miss any installments magazinesdirect.com). You can o buy the yarn pack for just .99 from theknittingnetwork. o.uk or by calling 01795 570 303.

Money-saving tips from our experts

LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

56 Puzzles 59 Rosemary

COVER PHOTO: REX

38 Gardening: What you need to know about growing herbs 44 Travel: Have a go at bird-watching near Portugal’s lovely capital 47 Why You’ll Love… Saint James, Barbados

STORYTIME

25 Antonio

What A Palaver I’ve had a couple of attempts at making meringues throughout my life and so far haven’t had much success. I might need to start practising so I can create some of the delicious-looking pavlovas in our feature on p28.

Subscribe to Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special from just £9.24* for six months and save 21%. Call 0330 333 1113 and quote 14SD or visit magazinesdirect.com/14SD ' Pay just £9.24 every six months by UK Direct Debit. This price is guaranteed for the first 12 months and we will notify you in advance of any price changes. Offer open to new subscribers only. Final closing date for all orders is 31 October 2018. For enquiries and overseas rates, please call +44 (0)330 333 1113 (phone lines are Monday to Saturday, 8am-6pm, UK time). Calls to 0330 numbers will be charged at no more than a national landline call, and may be included in your phone provider’s call bundle. For full terms and conditions, please visit magazinesdirect.com/terms.


Welcome To Woman’s PAWS FOR THOUGHT For some reason, our garden is a magnet for the local cats and we recently spotted this one having a sneaky drink from the bird bath. Helen Jackson, London ' Got a pet pic that makes you smile? We can give it a good home

Gardening Editor

Letter Of The Week

I

was interested to read your article on assistance dogs for those with physical disabilities and also those with autism (5 June). Other animals also seem to have a therapeutic and calming influence. Equine therapy with donkeys, horses or ponies also has beneficial effects for children with Down’s syndrome, autism, ADHD and cerebral palsy. It helps to improve coordination, physical strength, as well as speech and communication skills.

Adrienne’s

Garden Shed Season Stretchers B Replace spent summer plants in containers with late-flowering chrysanthemums for instant colour. Plant fiery-coloured, lateflowering perennials, such as rudbeckias, helianthemums, goldenrod and heleniums along with ornamental grasses to give fading summer borders a new lease of life.

Teresa Campbell, Middlesex

£25 g B Plant spring-flowering bulbs,

✤ Thanks for telling us about that, Teresa. We love to hear from you, so do get in touch if you have something to say

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such as dafodil, crocus and tulips now, in pots or borders. You can force hyacinths to flower in time for Christmas too. It can take up to 15 weeks from bulb to flower. Plant them in pots and cover with a black bin liner and stand in a cold, dark place for up to 10 weeks to draw out the shoots. These only need to be brought into the light when they reach 7.5cm and will flower in a matter of weeks.


Weekly A Cup Of Tea With

Jenny Platt 'Jenny Platt first shot to fame when she played Violet Wilson in Coronation Street. The 38-year-old actress recently finished as Jeanne in the final series of Versailles, and here she tells us how she’s now enjoying being able to spend time at home in Manchester with her fellow actor husband Rupert Hill and their two daughters, one who’s eight, and the other, three.

Look What I Made!

My friend and neighbour asked me to knit this shawl for her daughter-in-law. I’m so pleased with it!

Rita Jarvis, Lancs

Hi, Jenny! How do you take your tea?

Where I Read Mine

I’m obsessed with tea. I drink about 20 cups a day, and I like to have Yorkshire tea, really strong, so the teabag is left in for at least five minutes. But weirdly, I like a lot of milk.

Who would be your ideal guest for tea? I’m really fascinated by science and the universe but probably don’t understand it that well, so Brian Cox, because I think he could sit me down and explain it to me.

This is my sister and I reading my mum’s Woman’s Weekly in front of Bridal Veil Falls in Alaska. Our mum reads Woman’s Weekly then passes it on to us. Great magazine. Carole Ward, Ferndown, Dorset ' We’d love to see where you read your copy of Woman’s Weekly. The more exotic, the better!

WORDS: HAYLEY MINN. PHOTOS: REX, GETTY, JENNIE SCOTT

Versailles has just sadly finished. Were you a big fan of the show before you joined the cast?

‘I wished I’d travelled when I was younger’

I hadn’t really watched it because I seemed to have been in a vortex of not being able to watch anything that required any sort of concentration when the kids were little. But I really caught up on Versailles once I found out I had the audition. I thought I may just watch a bit but ended up really enjoying it and watching the whole first series in one go.

You were in Coronation Street for five years – do you miss it? I do! But I had kids pretty much as soon as I left and I’m so happy and so lucky I was able to spend so much time with my children when they were small, because I know how hard it is to do that when you’re in a soap. The hours are so long!

I miss the camaraderie massively. It was just a joy to go into work every day!

What’s your greatest achievement? It’s easy when you’ve got kids – it’s them. It’s unbelievable to me. I look down and think, ‘How have I managed to bring up an eight-year-old child and she’s still functioning?’ Both my daughters are just lovely, kind human beings.

What’s left on your bucket list? So many things! But I wish I’d done travelling when I was younger. Me and Rupert have said we’re going to do it in retirement. I’m desperate to see Japan, India, travel America, loads of places. ' Versailles Series 3 and 1-3 box set are both released on DVD on 13 August Woman’s Weekly 5


W

What You’re Wearing W

My dress is from ASOS, as are my shoes (last season) and my bag and sunglasses are both from Zara. My style is definitely a bit more fun in the summer as I like colour and bold prints. There are loads of amazing prints around this year.

Joan Bowen, 48

Tell us about your look…

I’ve pared my look down to grey, black and khaki. I wish I’d done this years ago, as it makes shopping far more enjoyable as everything can mix and match! My dress is Kin by John Lewis. I love the bold stripes. My necklace is Oliver Bonas (statement necklaces are my guilty pleasure!) and my bag is Mulberry – a pressie from my mum and dad. My platform sandals are Zara – currently my favourite place to shop.

And the best bit of your body? My smile.

Lindsy Facchino, 35

Tell us about your look…

And the best bit of your body? Probably my small waist.

You Wore It Well

W

Wendy Seegets, 1964

Marilyse Boyle, 70 Tell us about your look…

My husband Bill and I have been married for 54 years. My wedding dress was very similar to Meghan Markle’s. It was made of satinbacked silk shantung. My headdress and veil were made of silk tulle. The headdress was described as a ‘powder puf’ shape!

I wear jeans nearly all the time, but today, for shopping, I decided to wear my white, cropped trousers. I’m afraid I’ve no idea where they’re from – although the belt is Accessorize. My shirt is from Anthropologie. It’s such a pretty print. My orange bag was a gift from a friend. My shoes are FitFlops and the basket came from a French market.

And the best bit of your body? I have a good brain and good health.

GET IN TOUCH

W

Carole McCall, 62

Tell us about your look…

We’d love to see how great you looked – in any era up to and including the 1980s. Please send a good-quality photo with your name, address and daytime phone number clearly written on the back, to: Fashion Dept, Woman’s Weekly, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. Photos will be returned.

I bought this dress about two years ago from Mint Velvet. I love easy, relaxed shapes, and it has sleeves – hurrah! I do like to have my arms covered and it’s so hard to find nice dresses with sleeves. It also fits in all the right places and is the right length. My pink bag is Longchamp and my grey, suede pumps are also Mint Velvet. I bought my necklace at a local boutique.

And the best bit of your body? My legs.

We love letters

Email us

Fancy a chat?

Woman’s Weekly, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. (PS It really helps when you put your details in capitals.)

womansweeklypostbag @ti-media.com Tell us your full name, address and daytime phone number, please

Log on to facebook.com/ womansweekly We can’t wait to hear from you!

We do not return photos (apart from You Wore It Well) so please do not send originals


This Is The Week To… Book  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Chapterhouse Theatre Company takes a trip down the rabbit hole with Alice to meet the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts at The Savill Garden open-air theatre (23 August). It’s presented in beautiful Victorian costume and is alive with song, dance and original music. 'Visit windsorgreatpark.co.uk

Visit 

Wise Words

‘The only time I ever enjoyed ironing was the day I accidentally got gin in the steam iron.’ WORDS: HELENA CARTWRIGHT PHOTO: GETTY

Aries 21 Mar – 20 Apr Now’s a good time to bring something you’ve been working on to fruition. It’s a productive week.

Taurus 21 Apr – 21 May Sometimes you take everything too seriously and don’t give yourself time for pleasure. Have some fun. This is a good time to start a new project, to work on a business idea and to get your finances in order.

Cancer 22 Jun – 23 Jul

Explore  The Jurassic Coast The Jurassic Coast has been carved by the sea into bays, beaches, cliffs, stacks and arches, creating a stunning landscape that’s earned the coastline its status as a World Heritage site. Departing from Poole Harbour, hop aboard the Jurassic Coast Cruise and enjoy a leisurely sail past the Sandbanks peninsula and beautiful Brownsea Island. ' Departs until 28 October 2018. Visit citycruisespoole.com

US actress and comedian Phyllis Diller

One Simple Thing

What your stars have in store with astrologer Barbara Goldsmith

Gemini 22 May – 21 Jun

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta This iconic event is returning to Bristol’s Ashton Court Estate (9-12 August) to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The Fiesta will once again feature over 100 hot-air balloons taking off at dawn and dusk, as well as the legendary Night Glows, when the balloons light up the sky in time to music. The four days of colourful hot-air balloon displays attract hundreds of visitors. It’s well worth a trip. 'Visit bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk

YOUR WEEK

Book Review

If you’re camping, peg a cheap, emergency, foil ‘rescue’ blanket over your tent, reflective-side out, to deflect the sun and keep you cooler inside!

When Cece Solarin moves to Brighton to make a fresh start, her children go to a school where a popular mother, Yvonne, was almost murdered. Making friends with a group of the mothers, Cece learns that the police suspect one of them is the attacker – and she’s determined to uncover the truth. A suspenseful thriller for the beach. The Friend by Dorothy Koomson, £7.99, Arrow (paperback)

If you’d like updates on wonderful project ideas, video tutorials and all the latest about our upcoming craft workshops, it’s simple to subscribe to the Woman’s Weekly newsletter. ' The sign-up box is easy to find on the home page of our website. Just pop in your email address.

womansweekly.com

Important! All contributions to Woman’s Weekly must be original and NOT duplicated to other publications. £25 will be paid to the writer of the ‘Letter Of The Week’ for all rights in each letter printed. The Editor reserves the right to modify any letter. TI Media Limited reserves the right to reuse any submission to Woman’s Weekly in any format or medium, including social-networking sites. We regret that we cannot enter into personal correspondence. Photos of children under 18 must be accompanied by written permission of a parent/ legal guardian. All details correct at time of going to press.

If something needs to be said this week, make sure you share it in a gentle way so that you’ll be heard.

Leo 24 Jul – 23 Aug Friendships and connections are starred, whether online or in person. Your popularity is on the rise.

Virgo 24 Aug – 23 Sep It’s time to pamper yourself with a haircut, makeover or new clothes. A great week for a personal boost.

Libra 24 Sep – 23 Oct You may receive good news about work. Remember to take care of your health and give yourself down time.

Scorpio 24 Oct – 22 Nov Home and family are in focus this week, so see what you can do to improve these areas of your life.

Sagittarius 23 Nov – 21 Dec You tend to burn the candle at both ends. Conserve your energy and focus on what matters most to you.

Capricorn 22 Dec – 20 Jan It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and take a risk – your stars are encouraging you to do so!

Aquarius 21 Jan – 19 Feb Try to live less in the past and future, and instead focus fully on the here and now. You’ll feel better for it.

Pisces 20 Feb – 20 Mar If looking for deeper meaning in your life, this is a great time for a spiritual journey. You’ll get some potent answers to deep questions.

' yourastrologysigns.com Woman’s Weekly 7


‘Once You’re 60, You’ve Nothing To Be ScaredOf’ Fern Britton talks about marriage, how she faced death without fear, and taking to the stage for the very irst time

F

or 30 years, Fern Britton was one of TV’s most popular presenters, but she’s taken a very different path now. She’s already writing novel number eight, after Coming Home was published in paperback this June – and she’s stepping in front of a packed theatre audience in Leeds making her stage debut in Gary Barlow’s new Calendar Girls The Musical next week. When we catch up with Fern in rehearsals, she says, ‘I feel great about doing something completely new at the age of 61. The minute you stop challenging yourself, you might as well turn your toes up, because challenging life, I’ve discovered, is very energising, and you mustn’t be scared. What have you got to be scared of if you are over 60? Nothing, except dying. So we may as well have a nice time before we’re dead.’ ‘And, if I’m having any qualms or becoming anxious about anything, I just think, “For goodness’ sake, you’re old enough! It doesn’t matter any more. Just do it, and enjoy it”, which is why I said yes to the challenge. And if I’m terrible in it, the world’s not going to stop. But I shall work hard and do my very best to keep my end up with the real actresses and

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singers.’ Here, she’s referring to her co-stars, who include TV comedy Hi-de-Hi!’s Ruth Madoc and former Loose Women panellist Denise Welch. The new musical – like the film of the same name, and the award-winning play The Girls – is inspired by the nowfamous true story of a group

w With Gary Barlo cast e th of e m and so

of women who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital in memory of one of their husbands. To date, the women have raised almost £5 million for UK specialist blood-cancer charity Bloodwise. Fern plays Marie, the local WI Chair, who battles to stop the naked calendar because she believes it’s demeaning – and Fern herself assures us she doesn’t have to strip off or sing like the others. ‘If I had been asked to strip, I’d be like any woman and think, “Oh gosh, I don’t know”. But it’s truly done so that no-one sees anything except the stage crew. Then again, at home, Phil and

I aren’t concerned about walking around without any clothes on; it becomes meaningless after a while. So I think if I’d had to do it, I’ve have said, “Yes, that’s fine”. But I’m sort of glad I don’t!’ Fern had her own brush with death in 2016 when she suffered from sepsis – a life-threatening complication of infection – after a routine hysterectomy. ‘The poison invades every cell of your body. I knew I was dying, and, when I had to go back for a

She’s making her stage debut in Calendar Girls The Musical


CELEBRITY With actor dad Tony Britton and mum Ruth

Fern and husband Phil on ITV’s This Morning

night, she agrees it’s important to keep romance alive. ‘Romance comes in many forms. It’s not all roses and champagne and slinky dresses and men in bow ties. The most romantic thing I appreciate from Phil is that, every morning, he gets up and makes me a cup of tea and delivers it with a kiss. And when he comes home, I make sure the lights are on and the fire’s lit, and we have a hug. I want him to feel treasured. ‘It doesn’t work every time, because sometimes we’re not particularly fond of each other. But that’s real life,’ she says, laughing. She’s also happy about being in Hands full as her sixties. a young mum ‘If you’re a woman heading towards 60, I’d say you might be feeling a little bit says Fern, challenged, because it’s a who left ITV’s This Morning process which took me a good in 2009 to spend couple of years to get used to. It does feel like you’re hitting more time with her some sort of barrier. You think, family – twin sons Jack “I’m running out of time and and Harry, 24, and the sand is slipping through the daughters Grace, 20, and hourglass.” However, on the Winnie, 16. ‘But then I had an email saying other side, there are sunny Gary Barlow wanted to uplands. It’s fantastic. And, in have coffee with me. So seven or eight years maybe I’ll what does a girl do?’ be a granny, and that will be After 18 years of something to look forward to.’ marriage to chef Phil ' Calendar Girls The Musical is touring nationally from Vickery, who’ll be in the audience with their 16 August. For details, visit calendargirlsthemusical.com. children on the first Woman’s Weekly 9

WORDS: PAM FRANCIS. PHOTOS: ITV, ANL, REX

‘I had an email saying Gary Barlow wanted to have coffee with me. So what does a girl do?’

second operation, to take the abscesses out of my abdomen, I was convinced I wouldn’t wake up. But I did! I’m so glad I’m here. But I wasn’t frightened of dying, not at all.’ Initially, Fern turned down the role, but then Gary Barlow got in touch. ‘The tour means spending nine months away from home, and I thought, “No, I don’t think that’s for me,”’


Mums-to-be are increasingly turning to professional birthing partners known as ‘doulas’ to help them have the kind of birth they hope for. But who are the doulas and most importantly...

WORDS: SUE THOMAS. PHOTO: GETTY

W

hen Lynsey McCarthyCalvert, 44, had her third baby, Sam, in January 2012, it didn’t go as she’d hoped. ‘I was two weeks overdue and although I wanted to have a calming home birth, the medical team insisted that I go into hospital to be induced. From that moment on, I felt like I lost control of my own labour – and that sense of powerlessness only spiralled,’ she recalls. Although Sam was delivered safe and healthy, Lynsey and her husband Paul couldn’t help feeling like it could have been a more positive experience. ‘What we lacked was someone on our side to give us the space to figure out what we wanted,’ says Lynsey. A trained psychotherapist, Lynsey has spent much of her career working in private practice, supporting women who were either about to become mums or had recently given birth. From this, she knew what an impact a negative birthing experience could have on a new mum’s sense of confidence and happiness. But it wasn’t until two years later that Lynsey looked into becoming a doula herself, once her children were a little older. ‘I’d heard of the term before, but didn’t appreciate what an important role it was until I experienced the difficulties with Sam’s birth,’ says Lynsey. In the UK, around 5,000 women a year – and growing

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What Does

Doula D

– now choose to employ doulas, who although not medically qualified, are trained to support pregnancy and birth, alongside a midwife. Evidence suggests that births with a doula in attendance have statistically shorter labours, require fewer C-sections as well as fewer interventions such as the use of forceps. Lynsey thought back to how she had felt during her last labour and decided that she wanted to help others. She signed up to a three-day doula training course, before she began working as a mentored doula, and then establishing her own business. ‘As a doula, I’m just there for the mother, to give her all the information she wants and needs before delivery,’ explains Lynsey. ‘I’m there to help the parents-to-be make their birth plan (tailored to whatever they want to do, whether it’s a home birth, hospital birth or even a planned Caesarean section) and to comfort the mother during the birth itself. ‘Women blossom so quickly when they’ve had a good birth experience.’ She and Paul live in Essex with their four children, Oscar, 11, Max, 9, Sam, 6, and Erin, 2. But even with her busy home life, Lynsey says she adores helping other women become mothers.

Lynsey’s experiences as a mother have shaped her approach to being a doula

‘I’m not baby mad,’ says Lynsey. ‘I just realised that with all my personal and professional experience, I could help women in a more direct way than I ever could in the therapist’s office.’ So why not become a midwife? ‘A midwife may not have time to chat about the woman’s emotional changes, her hopes and fears, or worries in her relationship,’ says Lynsey. ‘That’s the gap the doula fills before the birth.

‘I’m here to comfort the mother during the birth itself’

Then, during labour, the midwife takes care of all things medical and a doula’s role is to be an interpreter between the midwife and the mum, helping the mother understand what’s happening and why, and helping the midwife understand the kind of birth the mother wants.’ Lynsey’s now helped around 40 women give birth, never taking on more than one new client a month. ‘If the mother and I have had good sessions before the birth, she may not even need anything from me during it,’


REAL LIFE

A

o?

says Lynsey. ‘I can sit quietly with her, massage her, sponge her with cool water, help her go to the bathroom… I mother the mother. ‘Recently I “doula’d” for a first-time mum who was very scared, and even though it was a long, arduous labour, afterwards she said how reassuring it was to have me there, talking her through each contraction – although other women prefer peace and quiet.’ Being a doula means life is planned around her clients’ due dates – for a fortnight before and after, Lynsey stays close to home.

Marta and Max with Alexandra

Call The Doula

!

W

hen 35-year-old Marta Denega and her husband Max, 27, were expecting their first child last year, they employed Lynsey as their doula. ‘A first birth has so many unknowns,’ says Marta who, like her husband, works in financial services in London. ‘We wanted an environment where we’d request things, rather than have them done to me. Having a doula as our birth partner in hospital, alongside an NHS midwife, gave us confidence that we would have, as far as possible, the kind of birth we wanted. Lynsey created a safe, calm environment and our daughter Alexandra was born within four hours of my waters breaking with classical music playing. She’s been a calm, non-fussy baby since birth – possibly a reflection of how she entered the world.’

‘I need to be able to drop everything and get to a mother whose labour has started,’ she says. ‘So I have a network of friends and family I can call and say, “Right, I’m off to a birth, can you step in, pick my kids up from school, and do whatever needs doing?”’ There’s never been a moment since she started when Lynsey felt that she’d rather be doing something else for a living. ‘So many women hear about our work helping women have the birth they want, and say, “I wish I’d had that,”’ she says. ‘It really is the most rewarding job in the world.’

How to employ a doula –Doulas or are become one yourself self-employed, and charge between £800-£2,000

for a support package that typically includes two or three lengthy antenatal visits to discuss the kind of birth parents want, writing a birth plan and addressing mothers’ questions, hopes and fears. They’ll attend the delivery, and visit mum and baby when they’re back home, to talk about the birth, offer feeding support, and generally check all is well. The Doula Access Fund, which is in the process of being registered as a charity, helps make skilled doulas available to those who can’t afford them. Could you do it? Doulas don’t have to be medically trained although to join Doula UK (a non-profit organisation), they must complete an approved preparation course, costing between £400-£900. Find out more at info@doula.org.uk

✽ ✽

Woman’s Weekly 11


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It’s A Funny Old World ‘I have been in the grip of a secret addiction for nearly 25 years…’

PHOTOS: ALAMY, ITV, REX

I

t’s a funny old world where you finally reach the rock-bottom of your addiction when you’re least expecting it. Mine came like a blinding light last year, as I stumbled home, back down the red carpet, half-cut and looking like an over-stuffed sausage, at the end of a glitzy awards show at London’s Dorchester Hotel. But, before I go into the gory details, let me first say I am grateful for this lowest of moments because now, I am proud to say, I have been clean for 321 days! You see, although I’m ashamed to admit it, I have been in the grip of a secret addiction on and off for years, dating right back to when I first joined EastEnders – an addiction that has been slowly enslaving me for nearly 25 years. Back then, it was an exciting, sometimes crazy time, and I was getting invited to all sorts of glitzy dos that demanded I looked ‘soap star’ (groan) fabulous. That might sound thrilling, but because I was always the ‘plump, funny one’ wherever I went, I was forever struggling with my confidence! My guard was often down, and I was looking for whatever I could use to boost my confidence. My self-esteem was low, and the anxieties around doing the red carpets were at an all-time high. I was vulnerable! Who was I to think I was any different from all those other people in ‘this Nadia chilled business we call show’? in idyllic Ibiza I capitulated, and then capitulated some more – and, before you knew it, I was hooked. I began to rely on a highly addictive (very stigmatised) emotional and physical crutch that was, to the outside world, almost invisible. The more I leaned on it, the more it made me believe

This week’s columnist: Actress and presenter

Nadia Sawalha

I was happier, but the more it was adversely affecting my health – both physical and mental. My addiction was even causing problems in the bedroom department – in fact, it had got to the point where if I had gone to an event, I would always sleep in the spare room rather than put my long-suffering husband Mark through all the groaning, panting and sweating that was inevitable at the end of the night. This cycle went on for years, until that fateful night at the Dorchester. It was a night during which I had been unable to eat, due to squashed organs, and so had got too drunk too quickly, had agonising wind (again, due to squashed organs), and had walked around all night (sitting was very uncomfortable) with a crazed grin on my face due to the sores. Enough was enough! Right there, on the end of that red carpet, I decided that, as soon as I got home, I would put an end to this bête noire! And so it was that, with a pair of scissors, I literally cut myself free from my addiction…to doublestrength, reinforced-gusset shapewear. And I screamed from the rooftops, ‘I’m free!’

PS

If anyone knows of any shapewear that is actually comfortable, I am more than happy to risk a relapse!

My Funny Old Week’ Where I’ve been…The beautiful island of Ibiza, on our annual break. Woo-hoo! Who I’ve met... A fabulous drag queen named Crème Caramel in Ibiza town at the launch of Pride. What I’ve bought... Delicate little anklets for my girls from a market in Ibiza. What I’ve seen... The most beautiful sunsets over Cala Bassa beach. It’s been a great week!

K EEoll

Warr T X ia C

NEClaud


What’s Your Tu m Trying ToTell You? Your digestive troubles could be linked to a variety of other health problems. Here’s how to get your gut back on track and boost your wellbeing

WORDS: CHARLOTTE HAIGH. PHOTOS: GETTY, ALAMY

Y

ou probably only think about your gut health when you have a stomach ache or indigestion. But scientists are constantly learning that the bacteria teeming in our guts play a vital role throughout our bodies. Some of these bugs are beneficial, others are neutral and some are very unhelpful. Your microbiome – the community of microbes living in your gut - is unique to you. Everyone has varying levels of different bacteria, determined by lifestyle and environment, right from the beginning of life. ‘If you were born by Caesarean and bottle-fed, you have a less diverse microbiome, which can affect your health,’ says Professor Tim Spector, CSO at the MapMyGut project (mapmygut.com) and author of The Diet Myth (£8.99, W&N). ‘For example, we know those born by Caesarean are more likely to be overweight and have allergies.’ While your microbiome sets up home in the early years, there are factors that can influence our insides as we age. ‘Diet, lifestyle and medicines can all affect gut microbes,’ says Professor Spector. Unfortunately, the typical Western lifestyle –

14 womansweekly.com

low-fibre diet, high stress levels, antibiotics and excessive hygiene – isn’t bacteria friendly. And this could affect our health in more ways than one. Doctors once thought gut bacteria only played a role in digestive health. But the latest theory is that low levels of good bacteria may contribute to conditions throughout the body...

Your mood Some scientists call the gut the ‘second brain’ – the theory being that bugs there can affect mental health. Research from the APC Microbiome Ireland at University College Cork found low levels of gut microbes raised the risk of anxiety and depression, while higher amounts lowered it. What’s more, friendly gut microbes may help ease anxiety. One study found that volunteers who ate a yogurt containing several strains of probiotics showed changes in brain activity linked to emotional processing, leading scientists to speculate that ‘psychobiotics’ (antidepressants based on bacteria) may one day help treat depression and anxiety.

The weight link A French study found that people with lots of different

healthy bacteria living in their gut are more likely to be slim, while those with lower levels have a higher risk of obesity. And a recent study from the University of Copenhagen has suggested the make-up of your gut bacteria may even have an influence on which weight-loss plan you should follow. Researchers found people with a higher ratio of prevotella bacteria to bacteroides were more likely to shed kilos on a

diet based on wholegrains, fruit and veg. In the future, doctors may be able to use a stool sample or blood test to check your gut bugs and work out which diet will benefit you most.

Digestion ‘IBS, with symptoms including bloating, constipation and/or diarrhoea, is often linked with low-diversity gut bugs,’ says Professor Spector. Research has shown some strains of bacteria


mmy

HEALTH

4 foods that help High-fibre foods Try fresh fruit, vegetables, pulses and wholegrains, which act as ‘manure’ for your gut bugs. ‘People in hunter-gatherer communities in Tanzania have far more diverse microbes than we do,’ says Spector. ‘They have three or four times the amount of fibre in their diet and it feeds microbes.’ Brightly coloured fruit and veg They contain polyphenols, which help microbes thrive. Think red, blue and purple berries, red and yellow peppers and dark green leafy veg. Red wine Yes, honestly! But make sure you drink in moderation. Red wine is polyphenol-rich. So too are dark chocolate, olive oil and cofee. Fermented foods Yogurts, cheeses, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir all help boost bugs.

1

2 3

4

5things to avoid Processed foods They’re bad for bugs, because artificial sweeteners, flavourings and preservatives can kill them of. Plus, they lack fibre, which means they don’t feed good bacteria. Antibiotics They kill of both good and bad microbes. Of course, sometimes you need them, but take a probiotic supplement like Biocare BioAcidophilus, £23.95, at the same time to put back what you knock out. Irregular mealtimes This could throw your microbiome’s rhythms out of whack – and it may be linked to weight gain. Eating too fast and on the move Sit down to eat and chew each mouthful slowly before swallowing. Eating too quickly and gulping too much air with food can lead to bloating. Stress High levels of the stress hormone cortisol compromises Camomile: the perfect relaxer nutrient absorption and digestion. Peppermint: great for digestion It’s not always possible to avoid Dandelion root: encourages a healthy gut stress but find ways to keep and stimulates digestion it under control. Try yoga, Ginger: anti-inflammatory which aids digestion meditation or mindfulness. Lemongrass: good for indigestion Turmeric: OK, it’s a spice not a herb but it’s Thankfully, you don’t have a powerful anti-inflammatory and to have a faecal transplant to believed to stop the growth of Suffering from hay fever, stay youthful (although the bad gut bugs eczema or asthma? Low procedure’s currently in medical levels of gut bugs may be use for tackling superbug C. to blame. A US-led study difficile – yes, really!). However, published in the journal Nature boosting your bugs could help Medicine found less diverse slow the ageing process. ease symptoms of IBS, and this gut bugs may be linked with Want to learn may be due to their effect on a higher risk of asthma and more about Studies have found people with the stress chemicals involved. other allergies. Meanwhile, how to stay collinsella gut bugs are more a US review of studies found healthy? likely to have hardened arteries. taking probiotics could lower Woman’s Research from the DanaIt’s thought to be due to how the your risk of hay fever. Weekly Farber Cancer Institute in bacteria interact with certain Healthy the US has found that a foods, triggering the release of Living ‘In a study, we found when we bacteria called fusobacterium chemicals that cause arterial Magazine transplant poo from younger nucleatum contributes to the stiffening. And new research is on sale fish into older ones, they live development of many colon found that low levels of gut from 9 August. longer – so microbes seem to tumours – and having a bacteria could make you more It’s the magazine your have an important anti-ageing diverse microbiome may prone to arterial inflammation, wellbeing’s been waiting for... role,’ says Professor Spector. help control this effect. raising heart-disease risk.

1 2

3 4 Herbal help 5

Allergy risk

Heart health

Colon cancer

The ageing process

Woman’s Weekly 15


Anımal Magic It's one thing to love animals, but working with them full time requires a special level of skill and care, as Emma Shacklock discovers

F

rom the exotic to the comfortably familiar, we share our planet with some truly amazing creatures. Here we meet three women who work with wild and domesticated animals, and discover their most memorable moments and unique challenges…

RAISING BIG CATS Head Keeper Briony Smith works at The Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent. She needed all her expert knowledge to help raise Maya, the star of BBC’s Big Cats About The House. Briony Smith in action

WORDS: EMMA SHACKLOCK. PHOTOS: ALMA LEAPER, LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER AT THE BIG CAT SANCTUARY, MIKE NORTHWOOD, ELAINE HILL, ©ZSL

TRAINING CHAMPIONS As the first woman to win TV show One Man and His Dog, sheepdog handler Katy Cropper’s amazing skills are widely sought after.

W

hen I was around 19, I first saw a sheep dog trial. I was stunned by the skill of the owners and their dogs as they herded sheep expertly through the course and into pens, using whistles and calls to instruct the dog. That day inspired me to become a sheepdog handler myself. It wasn’t easy – I didn’t know any other women working with dogs

16 womansweekly.com

at that time. I learned by myself how to get the best Katy rapport with Cropper my dog and to make our partnership truly successful. My dogs are my family and I enjoy every moment I spend with them. It takes a couple of years to get them to competition standard, so I have to totally trust my instincts. When I’m assessing puppies at around 6–8 months old, I keep an eye out for style, stamina and temperament. The dogs have got to have that drive and presence with the

I

was working in TV when a show took me to The Big Cat Sanctuary. From the moment I walked in, I felt a desperate need to be there. So I applied to be a volunteer, and was soon helping out regularly. I built my confidence and experience with the cats, and was at last accepted as a keeper! I’ve been here for 13 years now. Every day is so diferent. I’ve developed an instinct of how to be around the cats. I also do positive reinforcement training to help cats become accustomed to diicult situations, such as receiving vaccinations. It’s so rewarding as I know that this will help minimise the stress and risk. I adore them all, though Maya the jaguar will always hold a

sheep, and you need to build up mutual trust and respect. My passion is competing and I have had a lot of wonderful experiences. A career highlight was when I won One Man and His Dog in 1990 with my sheepdog, Trim, who was such a brainy girl! And I was delighted to win the English National Sheepdog Trials

‘My dogs are my family’ Brace Trial in 2012. The dogs love it too – the bond with me makes our partnerships so special. These days people come to me with dogs to train. But although they’ll learn to follow your commands and collectively handle the sheep, they don’t all have the natural ability to become a successful sheepdog – it’s hard to tell an owner that their dog lacks the right drive.

special place in my heart. For a while, I was efectively her full-time carer. I moved into the on-site cabin and I had to feed her at all hours, put her to bed, play with her and clean up after her, just like a baby! It was hard work but by the end of it, I had built up a unique relationship with her. Maya makes me laugh

‘I’m so proud of Maya’ every day with her cheekiness and feisty attitude to life – she loves to hide behind plant pots and can often be reluctant to go to bed, even when I know she’s tired. She’s so popular and has become an icon. People who see her have become interested in saving jaguars, and I’m so proud that she’s raised awareness.


ANIMALS

CARING FOR WILD BIRDS Zookeeper Vicky Fyson looks after the birds at ZSL London, and oversees the Keeper For A Day experiences.

W

hen I was eight years old, I watched a documentary on orangutans and was so inspired that when I was 18, I took a gap year in Borneo and worked with them for a couple of months. From then on, I was determined to make working with animals my career. After working in the zoo’s restaurant while at university, I gradually moved over and became a

keeper about eight years ago. Now my day-to-day job is working with the birds, though I also oversee the Keeper and Junior Keeper For A Day experiences, which allow visitors an insight into the day-to-day lives of our keepers – mucking out, feeding and interacting with a variety of animals. I get to tell people all about what I love – especially birds – which is a highlight of my job. The only downside is that when I’m with the penguins I end up smelling of fish! I work with the tiniest of creatures like finches and sunbirds, as well as with larger species like toucans and Rüppell’s grifon vultures. Over the years, I have gained an even greater appreciation for our birds and their diferent patterns of behaviour. I train pekin robins to go to a particular colour feeding pot, and it’s amazing to think what birds are capable of learning. Sadly, some of the birds I work with don’t exist in the wild any more, so the work we do is vital to help ensure the survival of their species. ZSL supports projects that help breed endangered birds such as Edwards’s pheasants, and release them back into their natural habitats. I have a pretty fantastic job!

‘Working with penguins, I end up smelling of fish!’

Vicky weighing a penguin

Maya in her enclosure

Katy builds a rapport with dogs

MORE TO EXPLORE Get up close at these venues SEA LIFE LONDON AQUARIUM Many of the aquarium’s fish, rays and sea turtles, are endangered and have been rescued. Enjoy behind-thescenes tours, supervised rockpool sessions and walk through an underwater tunnel. visitsealife.com/london/

THE CORNISH SEAL SANCTUARY See aquatic mammals including grey seals, southern sea lions and Humboldt penguins, with three underwater viewing areas. The Seal Hospital also allows visitors to follow the journey of rescued seals. visitsealife.com/ gweek/discover/ MONKEY WORLD APE RESCUE CENTRE A refuge for rescued primates

from around the world, the centre offers guided tours, workshops and talks. You can also adopt one of the primates. monkeyworld.org/ LOWER MOSS WOOD WILDLIFE HOSPITAL This centre offers refuge and rehabilitation for sick or injured animals, including hedgehogs, badgers and foxes. The 18-acre educational nature reserve has bird hides and wetland habitats. lowermosswood.com

Woman’s Weekly 17


Top, £39, sizes 6-18, Sosandar; jeans, £90, sizes 24-34 waist, Jigsaw; shoes, £42, earrings, £12, both Next. Rings throughout from a selection at New Look

18 womansweekly.com

Hot Silk jumpsuit, £175, sizes 6-16, Karen Millen; earrings, £10, Accessorize; bracelets, £8, Claire’s


Tropics

FASHION

Turn up the heat by injecting these powerful prints into your holiday wardrobe this summer

Shirt, £27.50, sizes 6-24, M&S; jeans, £20, sizes 8-22, M&Co; sunglasses, £12.99, Foster Grant

Top, £69, trousers, £89, both sizes 6-18, Coast; shoes, £30, Next hat, £29.50, M&S

Dress, £89, sizes xs-xl, & Other Stories; shoes, £55, Ravel; earrings, £12, Accessorize; bag, £25, Hotter

More fashion overleaf ➻ Woman’s Weekly 19


Swimsuit, £59, sizes 10-18, Lands’ End; sunglasses, £15.99, Foster Grant

Top £25, trousers, £39.50, both sizes 6-24, Per Una at M&S; shoes, £69, Hotter; sunglasses, £12.99, Mango; bracelets, £8, Claire’s

Dress, £110, sizes xs-xl, & Other Stories; shoes, £49, Crew Clothing; earrings, £10, Claire’s; bangles, £6.99 for set, New Look; bag, £65, The White Company FASHION DIRECTOR: PAULA MOORE HAIR & MAKE-UP: JULIE READ AT CAROL HAYES USING BENEFIT MAKE-UP AND SCHWARZKOPF HAIR PRODUCTS. MODEL: CAROLINE POWER

20 womansweekly.com


 

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i T y t u a e B r Cleve these nifty tips and tricks Refresh your beauty regime with

Make lips look fuller Add a little highlighter to the centre of your top and bottom lips and blend outwards with your fingertips. Leave as it is or finish with a slick of gloss over the top. This gives your lips more dimension, so they’ll appear fuller. George Pearl Strobe Crayon, £2.99, ASDA

Add volume to hair without heat or products Hair feeling flat? Zig-zag your parting. Angle it in one direction at the start, then flip it at the centre of your head. This will create root lift in seconds – no beauty buys required!

Keep your favourite candle glowing When you first burn a candle, make sure you keep it glowing long enough to melt the wax right to the edge of the pot. If you blow it out before then, it will never melt any wax past the perimeter of its first burn, and you’ll waste a whole lot of scent.

Accidentally gouged out a chunk of that must-have lip balm? Leave it in the sun or on top of a radiator during winter to melt it, then cool it in the fridge, and it will be as smooth as new in no time! Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm, £10, M&S

Nourish skin from within Eating a handful of almonds every day is the perfect addition to a great skincare routine. According to dietician Lucy Jones, they’re high in zinc (the ultimate healer), and around 23 almonds a day is the perfect amount. California almonds are the ones to look for, as they go through less processing.

Master statement lips and eyeliner

Top tip from Beauty Editor, Annie

Bold lip colour and graphic eyeliner require a perfect finish. Finish with an eyeliner brush and full-coverage creamy concealer to cancel out any smudges or rough edges. You won’t believe the diference! NYX Above & Beyond Full Coverage Concealer Jar, £6, and Zoeva Wing Liner Brush, £8

Prolong your favourite mascara If your mascara is on the verge of running out, pop a couple of drops of contact lens solution into the tube, give it a shake, and it’ll last a good while longer.

22 womansweekly.com

Re-set an untidy lip balm

Avoid smudging your nails After you’ve finished your DIY manicure, add a drop of cuticle oil on top of each nail. It’s an in-salon trick that speeds up drying time and protects your nails from smudges. Jessica Phenomen Oil Intensive Moisturiser, £9.50

Protect your hair from chlorine Soak your hair in the shower before you take a dip in the pool. This ensures your hair absorbs clean water and won’t soak up the drying and colour-damaging efects of chlorine.

Get gloop-free nail polish Storing your nail polish in the fridge stops it thickening up before you've reached the end of the bottle.


BEAUTY

ips

Help your perfume last longer to

Dab a little Vaseline on the areas where you apply perfume, and your scent will stick fast and last all day. Vaseline Original, £2.99

Perfect your bronzer Save yourself a colour appointment Whether you’ve noticed a few more greys, spotted root regrowth or your highlights have bleached out in the sun, you can fix it with your brow kit. Dab a little of the best colour match onto any problem areas with an eyeshadow brush, then blend! M&S Limited Collection Step by Step Brow Kit, £8

Before you reach for your bronzer, dust your face with a fine layer of translucent powder. This soaks up any excess oil on your skin, so your bronzer will go on evenly and won’t look patchy. LA Girl PRO.powder HD High-Definition Setting Powder in Top tip from Beauty Translucent, £6

Director, Charley

Woman’s Weekly 23


Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Weekly Travel :P]^

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from the Rhine to the Danube, Vienna & Budapest

Price includes: ' Guided tour of Vienna, city of Strauss and home of the Habsburgs ' Live classical quartet recital on board ' Visit to baroque Bratislava, capital of Slovakia ' Cruise through the scenic Wachau, Austriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier wine region ' Visit to Melk Abbey, central Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most spectacular baroque monastery ' Visit to medieval DĂźrnstein where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned ' Tour of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and one of Austriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most beautiful cities ' Explore the amazing basilica at Esztergom, Hungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest cathedral ' Tour of Budapest, Pearl of the Danube ' All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your day of departure, including welcome cocktails and dinner, plus the Captainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dinner ' Return lights from a selection of regional airports (supplements may apply) ' Seven nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite, all with river view ' Services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and tour manager

Departures up to October 2018 and April to October 2019 Price includes: ' Admire the stunning scenery of the Rhine Gorge, Main and Danube ' Seven guided tours of Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Bratislava, Koblenz and WĂźrzburg ' Eight visits to Boppard, RĂźdesheim, Mainz, Miltenberg, Wertheim, Regensburg, Passau and majestic Melk Abbey ' Fourteen nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite, all with river views ' All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your day of departure, including welcome cocktails and dinner, plus the Captainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dinner ' Live classical quartet recital on board ' Return lights from a selection of regional airports or standard class seat on Eurostar from London St Pancras International and a one-way light from Budapest ' he services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and tour manager

8 days

5 days

rom only

rom only

ÂŁ1,299pp

ÂŁ699pp

The Douro, Porto & Salamanca Departures up to November 2018 and April to November 2019 Price includes: ' Guided tour of Porto with visit to Port Wine cellars ' Scenic cruising through the Douro Valley with its dramatic clifs and vineyards ' Enjoy a full day excursion to Salamanca with guided tour and Flamenco show ' Tour of the medieval village of Castelo Rodrigo ' Traditional music recital with dance display ' Guided tour of Mateus Palace and gardens ' Enjoy dinner at a typical Portuguese quinta ' Visit to the town of Lamego and its Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies church ' All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your day of departure, including welcome cocktails and dinner, plus the Captainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dinner ' Return lights from a selection of regional airports (supplements may apply) ' Seven nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite, all with river views ' Services of a Riviera Travel cruise director

Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets Departures in December 2018 Price includes: ' Enjoy a guided tour of Bonn and explore its traditional Yuletide market ' Cruise through the spectacular, world-famous Rhine Gorge in all its wintry glory ' Discover historic Koblenz on our guided tour, dramatically situated at the conluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers ' Soak up the magical ambience of Cologne and explore its seven superb markets ' Visit the charming wine town of RĂźdesheim, and its picture-perfect Christmas market ' Return lights from a selection of regional airports or standard class seat on Eurostar from London St Pancras International (supplements may apply) ' Four nights on board in your choice of luxury cabin or suite, all with river view ' All meals on board from dinner on your day or arrival until breakfast on your day of departure, including welcome cocktails and dinner, plus the Captainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dinner ' Services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and tour manager

To book, go online at _]LaPWbZXLY^bPPVWdNZ`V or call # "$! quoting code WWE Ofers may be withdrawn at any time and are subject to availability. Single supplements apply. Ofers operated by, and your resulting contract will be with, Riviera Travel Ltd, ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a company wholly independent of Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Weekly, published by TI Media Limited. Prices are based on two people sharing and are correct at time of print.


ntonio A

SHORT STORY BY ELIZABETH DALE

Was the waiter playing games with her? Or was this inally her chance?

PHOTOS (POSED BY MODELS): GETTY

I

t was one of the most surreal evenings of Sally’s life. She almost hadn’t come on this coach trip to Torquay, as she didn’t really like going anywhere on her own. That was one of the reasons she’d been so down since she’d finished with Gary. He might have been a cheat and a womaniser, but until she’d discovered that, they’d had so many good times together. She shook herself. This was not the way to be thinking! She was so well rid of Gary. What had romance brought her but heartache and dashed hopes? She picked up the poetry book her sister had lent her in a desperate attempt to inspire her to think romantically again. Sally sighed as she opened it. Between the covers of a book was the only place she was ever likely to find love these days. ‘Good evening, Signora?’ She looked up from her book. The dark-haired man smiled down at her, tall and handsome in his waiter’s uniform. ‘Is it not a beautiful night?’ he continued. ‘May I ask what you are reading?’ She showed him the cover. ‘Shelley’s love poems.’ he said. ‘Ah, love! He came to live in my Italy, your Shelley. So must you. Have you ever been?’ ‘No,’ said Sally sadly. ‘This restaurant is the closest I’ve got.’ He laughed. ‘We must change that.’ He clutched his heart. ‘Oh, Italy is such a beautiful country, I can’t stay away. In fact, I’m going back next week.’ He sighed. ‘Now, what would you like to drink? I recommend the Chianti.’ She’d decided on a mineral water with a slice of lemon, but suddenly changed her mind

and opted for the wine. ‘And I’ll have the spaghetti carbonara, please,’ she added. ‘And a side salad to go with it.’ ‘A good choice, Signora. Anything else? Garlic bread?’ He smiled at her and she felt herself becoming light-headed. ‘No, thanks,’ she said. As he left her, she suddenly felt incredibly hot. She started to fan herself with the menu, telling herself she’d obviously had too much sun that day. Then she picked up her book once more to distract herself, but, within two minutes, he was back with her wine. ‘You are on holiday, no?’ he asked, keen to chat. ‘No, I’m just here on a day trip,’ she said. ‘My coach leaves in four-and-a-half hours.’

Why shouldn’t she sit down and have a nice meal in a good restaurant? Especially as her feet were aching from walking around all day. And now it had started to rain. No doubt, Gary and some girl were out living it up somewhere grand at this very moment. ‘Mi chiamo Antonio,’ he said. ‘What?’ ‘My name is Antonio,’ he said. ‘I’m so glad you finally decided to come in. I will fetch

It was like an admission of failure that no man wanted to eat with her ‘Only four-and-a-half hours!’ he said, sadly. ‘Oh, dear. That is not enough time.’ ‘Time?’ she asked. ‘Is your service that slow?’ He laughed and shook his head. ‘For you and me,’ he said. ‘I saw you earlier, and I just knew… You walked past several times, and I willed you to come in, but you went away again.’ Sally blushed. She hadn’t realised anyone had been watching her. She’d wanted to come in earlier; she’d dithered for ages – the restaurant looked so lovely – but how she hated eating on her own! It was like an admission of failure that no-one else – no man – wanted to eat with her. It would’ve been so much easier to buy fish and chips and sit on the beach to eat them, but that was the coward’s way.

your meal quickly. Maybe you could miss your bus so you can spend more time with me?’ ‘No!’ cried Sally. But he’d gone. She couldn’t help laughing at his cheek. She was sure he was following the chat-up line he used with all the female customers, but what she wouldn’t give to have just a fraction of his self-confidence. 555 Her dinner was brought by an older man. ‘What have you done to my Antonio?’ he asked. ‘What do you mean?’ asked Sally, confused. She almost laughed. So much for him wanting to spend time with her… ‘He is all in a state,’ the man continued. ‘He dropped the sauce down his shirt and trousers, he has gone to get

changed. He has asked to finish early to go out with you.’ ‘Me?’ Sally cried. So it hadn’t been an act, then? ‘Why are you so surprised?’ the man asked. ‘Surely you know you are a beautiful lady?’ She didn’t. Sally stared at him. Her sister was the beautiful one, not her. Gary had told her she was fat; that her cheeks were too chubby; that her hair was a boring colour (in other words, not blonde); that no-one else would want her if she threw him out. ‘Believe me,’ she said quickly, ‘we have made no arrangement. I’m just eating my meal and then catching a bus home.’ The waiter leant towards her. ‘He is a good man.’ he said. ‘He is not what you think.’ ‘I don’t think…’ began Sally, but the man just raised his eyebrows, shook his head and walked away. Sally couldn’t believe it. What were they? Some kind of double act? Maybe it was the Chianti or the hot summer afternoon, or a certain madness in the air, but when Antonio came back in, when he sat down at her table, when he talked to her urgently, she listened to him as she ate. ‘Come with me!’ he implored. ‘We will ride on my motorbike along the coast. You will tell me about you, and I will tell you all about me and my Italy.’ ‘I can’t!’ Sally said, laughing. Continued overleaf

Woman’s Weekly 25


SHORT STORY BY ELIZABETH DALE ‘You can if you finish your meal quickly,’ he said. ‘We still have three-and-a-half hours.’ He picked up her book, flicked it open to where Katherine, her sister, had written her name and address. ‘Come with me, Katherine.’ And he held out his hand. Sally’s spine tingled. Katherine. Katherine was beautiful and confident. Why not? Tonight, just for one night, she would be outgoing, adventurous, excitementseeking Katherine. She would go with this stranger. She knew he wasn’t serious, he was just having fun. Well, Gary had his fun, Katherine had her fun – and now she could have fun, too. It was her turn – just for one evening. 555 It was a beautiful night. The rain had stopped, and everywhere looked fresh and new. As she sat on Antonio’s

‘You do?’ he laughed, jumping up and pulling her to her feet. ‘Me, too. I know just the place!’ ‘But my bus?’ she cried. ‘There is plenty of time.’ he said. ‘Come on!’ The jazz club was fantastic – just the kind of place that Katherine went to. As Antonio smiled at Sally, took her hand and twirled her around – as he held her close for the slow dances – she felt like a totally different person. When they got too hot, they went outside and breathed in the fresh, clear air and gazed up at the stars. And, as they walked hand-in-hand along the beach, paddling in the waves, he kissed her and told her that there would never be anyone else for him. He asked her not to go and catch her bus… Her bus! Sally looked at her watch. ‘I have to go!’ she said. ‘But, Katherine!’ he cried.

address in Italy and phone number on a bit of paper. ‘As I told you, I go back next week!’ he said. ‘Please write to me there. Come and visit me soon. Please?’ ‘OK,’ said Sally. ‘Now I must go. This is the last bus for hours. Goodbye, Antonio.’ They kissed. ‘Goodbye, my Katherine. Never forget me!’ 555 He waved the coach off, blowing her kisses and clutching his hand to his heart. He must think her a fool! As the coach turned the corner, Sally screwed up his address and pushed it into the ashtray in front of her. She wasn’t falling for that trick. She wouldn’t write, wouldn’t wait for letters that never came. It had been a wonderful day, but it was over. 555 As the weeks went by, however, Sally couldn’t help herself. Antonio filled her thoughts

Now she could have fun, too. It was her turn – just for one evening

bike and clung to him as they sped along the country lanes, there was no chance of making conversation. But, when he stopped on a clifftop, as they gazed down at a beautiful little bay, he took her hand and sat with her and told her all about his own country. It sounded so beautiful, like another world. And then he asked her to tell him about herself… But the real Sally, was so boring, she knew he wouldn’t want to know. So how could she make herself seem more interesting than she really was? ‘I love to dance,’ she told him. ‘I like to go to jazz clubs.’

26 womansweekly.com

Exciting Katherine would’ve missed her bus, but Sally had suddenly turned back into her boring, practical self. ‘I can’t miss my bus!’ she cried. ‘I’ve already told you!’ All the way back, he argued with her. He urged her to stay, and asked her if she didn’t believe in love at first sight? She did – but not for her. And definitely not with him. Not for one minute did Sally allow herself to be fooled. She knew Antonio was simply playing the game he played with every girl he met in Torquay every summer. But he played it well. At the bus station, he scribbled his

constantly. She could remember every last detail of their few hours together, and she re-lived them over and over. She only had to close her eyes and she could see his deep-brown eyes, she could recall so clearly the way the corner of his mouth crinkled when he smiled, and the seductive lilt of his voice. She recalled so vividly the way the Italian words rolled off his tongue, making everything – the food, the wine, even her name – sound romantic and wonderful. She could remember every minute… Yet, at the same time, she was so cross that she was like some crazy, love-sick teenager. Furious that he haunted her dreams – that, as she lay awake in the middle of the night, all she could hear was his voice whispering, ‘Ti amo!’ But there was no hope for them. It would be a miracle if they ever met again. He was in Italy and she was in England, and he didn’t even know her

real name or her address. Not that he’d want to, of course. She wasn’t the type of girl English men fell for, let alone handsome Italians with all the beautiful sun-tanned young women in the Mediterranean to fall in love with. ‘I will get through this,’ she told herself as she tossed and turned each night. ‘It’ll make me stronger. He thought I was beautiful. I am beautiful. I will find love again.’ She consoled herself over and over that, at least when the pain subsided, she would have the most wonderful, romantic memory. No-one could take that away. But then, on the 24th sleepless night, it happened… At two o’clock in the morning, the ring of the phone brought a welcome release from her useless attempts at falling asleep. ‘Sally!’ Her sister’s voice was harsh and urgent. ‘Katherine?’ Sally cried, sitting up. ‘What’s the matter?’ ‘Get over here right now!’ Katherine cried. ‘What’s the matter?’ Sally repeated. ‘Have you been burgled? Has someone died?’ ‘No!’ ‘What, then?’ she asked. Katherine sounded terrible. ‘Are you all right?’ ‘No!’ said her sister. ‘I’m not. I’m suffering. And so are all of my neighbours!’ ‘What?’ ‘Sally! Why ever did you do it? Why did you pretend to be me? Why did you give that man my book of poems with my address inside?’ ‘What? Who?’ ‘He’s outside singing Italian love songs. At full volume! He’s driving the neighbours mad! If you don’t come right now, I swear I’ll…’ But Sally was up and out of the door before Katherine could even finish her sentence. After all, she only lived just down the road. It seemed that, after all, miracles really did happen! THE END © Elizabeth Dale, 2018


Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Weekly Travel :P]^

FULLY ESCORTED TOURS

8 days

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half-board rom only

rom only

ÂŁ719pp

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Transylvania & Bucharest

Western Crete

Departures up to September 2018 and April to October 2019

Departures up to October 2018 and April to October 2019

Price includes: ' Uncover the compelling past of vibrant Bucharest on a guided tour ' Take a guided tour of the immense Palace of Parliament ' Visit renowned Bran Castle, said to be the inspiration for Bram Stokerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dracula ' Tour of elegant PeleĹ&#x; Castle, a neo-Gothic masterpiece with priceless art and furniture ' Explore SighiĹ&#x;oara with its UNESCO-listed historic centre and colourful houses ' Tour BraČ&#x2122;ov with a guide and wander its baroque streets and medieval ramparts ' Visit UNESCO-listed, fortiied Saxon church complexes in Biertan and Prejmer ' Experience the dramatic Carpathian Mountains ' Return lights from a selection of regional airports, plus all hotel transfers ' Five nights in central four-star accommodation, plus breakfast and two dinners ' he services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

Price includes: ' Explore the old Venetian port of Chania, one of the most picturesque harbours in the eastern Mediterranean ' Sample Cretan cuisine, acknowledged as some of the best in the country and famed for its organic olive oil, herbs, wine and seafood ' Stroll through Creteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beautiful Botanical Park ' Wonder at the ancient Minoan palace of Knossos, part of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest civilisation ' Visit Heraklionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s acclaimed archaeological museum with a local guide ' Enjoy some of the best walks on the island and admire the incredible mountain views ' Return lights from a selection of regional airports, plus hotel transfers ' Seven nights in three-star accommodation inclusive of all local taxes, plus breakfast and dinner ' he services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

8 days

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half-board rom only

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Puglia, Lecce & Vieste â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Undiscovered Italy

Departures up to October 2018 and April to October 2019 Price includes: ' Discover Lecce, the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Florence of the Southâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and its many stunning architectural gems with a local guide ' See the instantly recognisable trulli houses of Alberobello with their conical roofs, set against undulating countryside reminiscent of Tuscany ' Enjoy a guided tour of medieval Matera and its cave village hewn entirely from rock ' Tour the old town of Bari with a local guide and see its Romanesque cathedral ' See the Foresta Umbra nature reserve and visit the crusader church of Monte Santâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Angelo ' Learn the crat of pasta-making and enjoy a light lunch at a family-run osteria ' Return lights from a selection of airports, plus all hotel transfers ' Seven nights in conveniently located four-star accommodation including all local taxes, with breakfast and dinner, including three at carefully selected local restaurants ' he services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

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Sicily Departures up to October 2018 and April to October 2019 Price includes: ' Marvel at astonishing ancient Greek ruins on a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples, one of the greatest archaeological sites ' Visit to Palermo, Sicilyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital, with its gorgeous medieval and baroque centre ' Visit to stunning Taormina, one of Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most beautiful and stylish hilltop villages ' Guided tour of Piazza Armerinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Roman villa, remarkably preserved with stunning frescoes and ancient mosaics ' Guided tour of Monreale Cathedral with the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inest medieval mosaics ' Visit to Siracusa, one of the ancient Greek empireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s richest cities and home of Archimedes ' Visit to Mount Etna â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest active volcano ' Return lights from a selection of airports, plus all hotel transfers ' Seven nights in four-star accommodation including all local taxes, with breakfast and dinner ' he services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

To book, go online at _]LaPWbZXLY^bPPVWdNZ`V or call # "$! quoting code WWE Ofers may be withdrawn at any time and are subject to availability. Single supplements apply. Ofers operated by, and your resulting contract will be with, Riviera Travel Ltd, ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a company wholly independent of Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Weekly, published by TI Media Limited. Prices are based on two people sharing and are correct at time of print.


Raspberry Meringue Stack SERVES: 10 FOR THE MERINGUE: 4 6 medium egg whites 4 300g (10oz) caster sugar 4 1tbsp cornflour 4 4tbsp freeze-dried raspberries, powdered, plus extra to dust FOR THE FILLING: 4 25g (¾oz) butter 4 75g (2½oz) white chocolate 4 1tbsp golden syrup 4 400ml (14fl oz) whipping cream 4 3tbsp icing sugar 4 400g (14oz) fresh raspberries

1 2

Preheat oven to 120C/Gas ½. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper, each with an 18cm/7in circle marked on it. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stif and glossy. Add the caster

A simple but stunning centrepiece to a meal.

Dancin

Pav

sugar 1tbsp at a time, whisking well afte r each addition. Gently fold in the cornflour and freeze-dried raspberries. Spoon onto the trays and spread out to fit the circl es. Bake for 1hr, then leave to cool. Make a sauce by stirring the butter, chocolate and syrup in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks and fold in the icing sugar until fully incorporated. To assemble, place a meringue on a plate, add half the cream mixture, berries and sauce. Top with another meringue and a repeat layer of the toppings, then add final meringue and dust with powder to serve.

3 4 5

PER SERVING: 384 cals, 21g fat, 13g sat fat, 46g carbs

TESTED BY US So They Work For You

Strawberry & Chocolate SERVES: 8 FOR THE MERINGUE: 4 2tbsp freeze-dried strawberries 4 4 large free-range egg whites 4 225g (8oz) caster sugar FOR THE FILLING: 4 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids) 4 300ml (½pt) double cream 4 1tsp vanilla extract 4 2tbsp icing sugar plus extra, to dust , 4 500g (1lb 2oz) fresh strawberries ed halv hulled, and larger ones Heat the oven to 140C/Gas 1. Using a pestle and mortar, crush half the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder, then very lightly crush the remainder, keeping them fairly chunky. Set them aside. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stif and glossy. Add the caster

1

2

28 womansweekly.com


CCOOKERY

ng With

vlovas

FOOD EDITOR JULES

Hazelnut, Peach & Raspberry Pavlova

SERVES: 8 FOR THE MERINGUE: 4 4 large egg whites 4 225g (8oz) caster sugar 4 2tsp cornflour 4 2tsp white wine vinegar 4 50g (1½oz) roasted hazelnuts, chopped FOR THE FILLING: 4 1tsp vanilla extract 4 300ml (½pt) double cream 4 2 peaches, sliced 4 200g (7oz) raspberries

1

Heat the oven to 170C/Gas 3 and line a baking tray with baking paper, then draw a 23cm/9in circle on it.

e Pavlova

Six twists on a classic, originally created in honour of the legendary Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova. We think you’ll love them all! Roasted hazelnuts add a rich flavour and lovely crunch.

2

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’re stif and glossy. Add the caster sugar 1tbsp at a time, whisking well after each addition. Fold in the cornflour , vinegar and nuts. Spoon onto the baki ng paper and spread to fill the circle. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/Gas 2 and cook for 1hr 30min until lightly coloured. Turn of the oven and leave the meringue inside with the door shut until it’s cooled completely. To serve, whisk the vanilla and cream to soft peaks, then spoon onto the meringue base and top with the fruit.

3

4

PER SERVING: 370 cals, 24g fat, 13g sat fat, 33g carbs

Strawberries and chocolate are a winning combination.

sugar 1tbsp at a time, whisking well after each addition. Slowly fold in the freeze-dried strawberries. Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper and draw a 20cm/8in circle on it. Spoon on the meringue to fill the circle. Bake on the middle shelf for 1 hour, then turn of the oven and leave for at least 4 hours or overnight. To serve, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, then remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes. Add the cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar, and slowly whisk together until lightly thickened. Top m the meringue with the chocolate crea dust and ies, berr straw fresh the and with icing sugar.

3

4

5

PER SERVING: 400 cals, 24g fat, 15g sat fat, 44g carbs

Woman’s Weekly 29


Black Cherry & Amaretto Pavlova SERVES: 8 FOR THE MERINGUE: 4 4 egg whites 4 225g (8oz) caster sugar 4 2 level tsp cornflour 4 1tsp white wine vinegar 4 1tsp vanilla paste or extract 4 1tbsp cocoa, sifted FOR THE FILLING: 4 390g jar cherries in kirsch (we like Opies) 4 450ml (¾pt) double cream 4 50g (1½oz) icing sugar, sifted 4 2–4tbsp Amaretto (optional) 4 25g (1oz) amaretti biscuits, lightly crushed Heat the oven to 120C/Gas ½. Line a baking tray with baking paper and mar k a 25cm/10in circle on it. Whisk the egg whites until stif and glossy. Add the caster sugar 1tbsp at a time, whisking well after each addition.

1 2

This decadent cherry pudding is rich, sweet and will impress at a party. Gently fold in the cornfour, vinegar and vanilla paste or extract. Sprinkle cocoa over, then fold the mixture once or twic e so it’s roughly marbled. Spoon the meringue onto the lined baking tray, spreading it out using the back of the spoon to fill the circle with a slight lip around the edge. Bake for 1hr 45min, then turn of the oven and leav e to cool completely. Transfer to a plate . Drain the cherries in a sieve over a saucepan. Boil the syrup until reduced to about 4tbsp, then allow to cool. When ready to serve, whisk the cream and icing sugar together with an electric hand-held whisk to soft peaks. Add the Amaretto, if using, and whisk briefly to keep the mixture soft. Chill until required, then spoon into the centre of the meringue, scatter over the cherries, drizzle with the syrup, then sprinkle with the crushed bisc uits.

3

4 5

PER SERVING: 492 cals, 32g fat, 20g sat fat, 60g carbs

COMPILED BY: ROSE FOOKS. RECIPES AND PHOTOS: TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM

Raspberry Meringue ER ES: 8 0 FOR THE MERINGUE: 4 5 free-range egg whites 4 275g (9½oz) caster sugar FOR THE FILLING: 4 300ml (½pt) double cream 4 2tbsp passion fruit curd 4 300g (10oz) raspberries 4 Icing sugar, to dust Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6, and line a 30 x 22cm (12 x 8½in) Swiss roll tin with baking paper. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stif and glossy. Add the caster sugar 1tbsp at a time, whisking well after each addition to incorporate. Spoon into the tin. Bake for 8–9 min until golden, then turn

1 2


Tropical Pavlova SERVES: 8 FOR THE MERINGUE: 4 4 egg whites 4 125g (4oz) caster sugar 4 2tsp cornflour 4 2tsp white wine vinegar FOR THE FILLING: 4 200ml (7fl oz) whipping cream 4 1tbsp icing sugar 4 200g tin pineapple chunks 4 2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced into half-circles 4 50g (1½oz) pomegranate seeds

1

Preheat the oven to 140C/Gas 1. Line a baking tray with baking paper and

Roulade

Pavlova with a tropical twist! The acidity of the fruit complements the sweetness of the meringue. mark on 30cm (12in) circle on it. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stif and glossy. Add the caster sugar 1tbsp at a time, whisking well afte r each addition. Gently fold in the cornflour and vinegar. Spoon onto the baking tray and spread to fill the circle, then bake in the centre of the oven for 1hr. Turn of the oven and leave meringue inside until cool . Whip the cream until thick, stir in icing sugar and spread over the centre of the meringue. Top with pineapple chun ks, kiwi slices and pomegranate seeds.

2

3

PER SERVING: 160 cals, 10g fat, 6g sat fat, 16g carbs

This very elegant roulade is simplicity itself to make.

down the oven to 170C/Gas 3 and bake for a further 15 min. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 5 min, then tip out onto a sheet of baking paper and cool for 10 min. Whisk the cream and passion fruit curd together and spread over the meringue. Arrange ¾ of the raspberries over the cream. Roll up from the short side, using the paper to help. Leave in the paper and chill in the fridge to set for about 4hrs or overnight. To serve, dust with icing sugar and garnish with remaining raspberries.

3

4

5

PER SERVING: 354–283 cals, 20–16g fat, 12.5–10g sat fat, 39–31g carbs

Woman’s Weekly 31


Picnic Pleasures Pack up a lunch and head to your favourite spot to while away a sun-illed weekend

Visit https:// www.national trust.org.uk/lists/ perfect-picnicspots to ind beautiful places to picnic near you

A balmy summer’s day Gather your friends, pile up your cushions and blankets and tuck into a delicious spread on a sunny afternoon. Croft Collection luxury wicker picnic hamper, from £125, Weaver herringbone rug in dove, from £65 (60 x 110cm), foldable cooler bag, £45, Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Bluetooth Turntable, £89.95, Weaver washable outdoor rug in navy, from £40 (60 x 110cm), outdoor cushions, £20 each, Fujifilm Instax camera, £119, acrylic wine glasses, £4 each, House side plates, £3.50 each, all John Lewis

32 womansweekly.com


HOME

Play time If you’re going with a big

Melamine You won’t believe it’s not china! With decorative details and painterly finishes, these durable and chip-proof dishes will last a lot longer than most dinnerware. Nautical dinner plate, £3, and side plate, £2, both Dunelm

party that includes children, take along some games to keep the little ones (and the adults!) entertained. Plastic bowling set, £7, Flying Tiger

Bamboo

On a plate

This ecofriendly option comes in surprisingly vibrant designs for a slightly higher price tag. For the environmentally conscious among you, it’s a great alternative to plastic as it’s biodegradable. Palm tree tumbler, £5, Forest bowl, £6.50, and matching plate, £7.50, all White Stuf

Paper Catering for the masses? This range of paper plates and cups is cheap and cheerful – perfect for a picnic party. Leopard plates, £1.75 for set of eight, and matching cups, £1.50 for set of eight, both Hema

Think luxury and opt for this striking hamper that’s lined with a bright on-trend palm-leaf fabric. Kitted out for a family of four with ceramic plates, wine glasses, cutlery, salt and pepper shakers and a corkscrew. Fresh Greens hamper, £75, M&S

Not all hampers have to be wicker. For carefree carrying and minimal jostle, try this rucksack version complete with plastic plates, plastic cups and cutlery for four and a bottle opener. Home Collection picnic rucksack in navy, £45, Debenhams

Choose traditional with this coastal-themed basket that comes with ceramic plates, wine glasses, cutlery and a bottle opener. Stackpole Headland toile wicker picnic basket for two, £65, National Trust Shop

Best blankets Don’t ruin your woollen

Pull up a chair Don’t fancy sitting on the floor? Spend some money on a set of foldaway chairs. They’ll soon earn their worth on day trips or at outdoor concerts. Floral chair, £39.95, Joules

Don’t forget! Your last-minute checklist to

Spotty teal, £7.50, Hema

throws on damp grass, invest in a rug with waterproof backing and a carry-handle instead. Pick a rug with a green tone to disguise grass stains.

Palm house, £12.50, Sainsbury’s

Ashley Thomas tropical, £20, Debenhams Herringbone weave, £39.50, M&S

Check, £34.95, Joules

ensure picnic perfection: ✿ Remember to pop your cooler blocks in the freezer the night before, then place at the top of your cooler bag, so the cold air can sink below. ✿ Line your hamper or cooler bag with kitchen towel to soak up any spillages and to save yourself a clean-up job when you get home. ✿ Take along a couple of spare plastic bin bags to collect up your rubbish and recyclables. Woman’s Weekly 33

COMPILED BY: ESME CLEMO

Pick of the picnic hampers


Woman’s Weekly Plant Offer

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Order online www.thompson-morgan.com/womansweekly TERMS AND CONDITIONS Offer available to readers on the UK mainland only. Offer subject to availability. Your contract for supply of goods is with Thompson & Morgan, a company wholly independent of Woman’s Weekly, published by TI Media Limited. Please note that we cannot deliver this product to the following postcode areas: HS, IV41-IV56, KW15-KW17, PA34, PA41-48, PA60-PA78, PA80, PH40-PH44, TR21-TR25, ZE1-ZE3. **Calls cost 7p per minute plus your telephone provider’s access charge. *Savings are based on the equivalent of multiples of the cheapest pack size. Closing date: 14 September 2018. Plants dispatched from August 2018. All orders will be acknowledged by letter or email, advising you of the expected dispatch date.


KNITTING

Mini Jumbo TESTED BY US So It Works For You

Knitting Editor Teresa Meet our tiny elephant – the pattern here is knitted in stocking stitch and shaped with increases and decreases to make the most realistic miniature Nelly.

A Bit More Tricky Instructions overleaf

MEASUREMENTS Approximately 12cm/4¾in tall x 19cm/7½in long. MATERIALS 1 x 50g (140m) ball of Hayfield Bonus DK in Grey (Silver Grey 838)* and a small amount of Black DK and White DK yarn. Pair of 3.5mm (No. 10) knitting needles; 7 stitch markers, including 2 distinct markers (marker B), or

contrast thread; toy stuing. Yarn is available from theknittingnetwork.co.uk. TENSION 20 stitches and 30 rows, to 10 x 10cm, over stocking stitch, using 3.5mm needles. ABBREVIATIONS St(s), stitch(es); k, knit; p, purl; ss, stocking st (k on right side and p on wrong side); sl, slip; inc, increase 1 st (by working into same

st twice); up1r, pick up loop lying between needles from back to front and k into front of it (to increase 1 st); up1l, pick up loop lying between needles from front to back and k into back of it (to increase 1 st); wrap, slip next st onto right hand needle, take yarn between needles to opposite side of work (to front of work after k st and to back of

work after p st), place the slipped st back onto left hand needle; k2tog, k 2 sts together (to decrease 1 st); k2togb, k2tog through back of sts. NOTE Yarn amounts are based on average requirements and are therefore approximate. Instructions in square brackets are worked as stated after 2nd bracket.

Woman’s Weekly 35


KNITTING Starting and ending on a p row, ss 3 further rows, removing all markers. Shape feet: 1st row: Garter bump row: Sl1, p16, turn. 2nd and 4th rows: Sl1, p to end. 3rd row: Sl1, [k2tog] 8 times, turn – 26 sts. 5th row: Sl1, [k2tog] 4 times, turn – 22 sts. Break of yarn and thread end through 5 sts just worked, pull up tightly and fasten of securely. With right side facing, rejoin yarn to remaining 17 sts. 1st row: Garter bump row: Sl1, p to end. 2nd row: Sl1, p to end. 3rd row: Sl1, [k2tog] 8 times – 9 sts. 4th row: Sl1, p to end. 5th row: Sl1, [k2tog] 4 times – 5 sts. Break of yarn leaving a long tail, thread through remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten of. With cast-of tail, join seam using mattress stitch and stuf body as you go. With a length of Grey, and starting at the front feet, make a series of straight sts through the body from lower seam to the centre of the legs for about 2 to 3cm to suggest leg separation and fasten of securely. Work in same way for back legs, but bring the yarn end out where you would like the tail to be and fasten it in a small knot around one of the sts, leaving a 10cm length. Attach a separate length of Grey (about 20cm), to the same st for the tail at its middle, so there are 3 strands for the tail. Make a plait with these 3 strands until the tail is preferred length,tie in a small knot and trim ends.

Head With 3.5mm needles and Grey, cast on 8 sts, starting at trunk. Trunk: 1st row: Sl1, p to end. 2nd row: Sl1, [k2, place marker] twice, k3. 3rd row: Sl1, p to end. Increase row: Sl1, k to marker, sl marker, up1r, k to marker, up1l, sl marker, k to end – 10 sts. *** Short row section: 1st short row: Sl1, [p to marker, sl marker] twice, p1, wrap & turn. 2nd short row: [K to marker, sl marker] twice, k1, wrap & turn. 3rd short row: P to marker, sl marker, p to 1 st before marker, wrap & turn.

4th short row: K to 1 st before marker, wrap & turn. 5th short row: P to end. Increase row: Sl1, k to marker, sl marker, up1r, k to marker, up1l, sl marker, k to end – 12 sts. Next row: Sl1, p to end. Next row: Sl1, k to end. *** Repeat from *** to ***, twice more – 16 sts. Next row: Sl1, k to end, removing all markers. Head: 1st row: Sl1, p4, place marker, p6, place marker, p5. 2nd row: Sl1, k to marker, up1r, sl marker, k to marker, sl marker, up1l, k1, wrap & turn – 18 sts. 3rd row: P to marker, up1r, sl marker, p to marker, sl marker, up1l, p1, wrap & turn – 20 sts. 4th row: K to marker, up1r, sl marker, k to marker, sl marker, up1l, k1, wrap & turn – 22 sts. 5th and 6th rows: As 3rd and 4th rows – 26 sts. 7th row: As 3rd row – 28 sts. 8th row: Removing markers as you come to them, sl1, k1, [inc in next st, k3] 3 times, [k3, inc in next st] 3 times, k2 – 34 sts. 9th row and alternate rows to 19th row: Sl1, p to end. 10th row: Sl1, k2, [inc in next st, k4] 3 times, k2, [inc in next st, k4] 2 times, inc in next st, k3 – 40 sts. 12th row: Sl1, k1, [inc in next st, k5] 6 times, k2 – 46 sts. 14th row: Sl1, k1, place marker, [k6, inc in next st, place marker] 6 times, k2 – 52 sts. 16th row: Sl1, k to end. 18th row: Sl1, k1, sl marker, [k2tog, k to 2 sts before marker, k2togb, sl marker] 6 times – 40 sts. 19th row: Sl1, p to end. 20th to 23rd rows: Repeat 18th and 19th rows, twice more – 16 sts. 24th row: Sl1, k1, [remove marker, k2tog] 6 times, remove marker, k2 – 10 sts. Break of yarn, thread through remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten of. Using mattress stitch, join head seam, stuing as you go and taking care to keep the trunk's curved shape. With cast-on tail, close the small hole on the trunk cast-on edge. With Black DK, embroider eyes on each side of the head as follows,

cut a length of Black DK (about 50cm) and secure a small knot to the wrong side at the back of the head close to the centre and pull through to the right side at one side of the trunk. Stitch first eye using a series of small chain sts in a spiral. Pull yarn through to other side of trunk and make other eye to match. Make a few additional sts through the head from eye to eye and pull gently to set the eyes in a little (forming ‘sockets’ for the eyes). When complete, take the yarn end through the back of the head and fasten of. With White, complete the eyes by making a single straight st at the top of each eye for the shine, fastening as before. Pin the head to the front of the body and attach firmly, making sure to hide any yarn ends. You can angle the head for extra personality.

Ears (make 2) With 3.5mm needles and Grey, cast on 10 sts. 1st row: Sl1, p to end. 2nd row: Sl1, [k2, inc in next st] 2 times, place marker, k4 – 12 sts. 3rd row: Sl1, p to end. 4th row: Sl1, k2, inc in next st, k to 1 st before marker, inc in next st, sl marker, k4 – 14 sts. 5th to 8th rows: Repeat 3rd and 4th rows, twice more – 18 sts. 9th row: Sl1, p to end. 10th row: Sl, k2, [inc in next st, k1] 5 times, inc in next st, remove marker, k1, place marker, k3 – 24 sts. Starting and ending with a p row, ss a further 7 rows, slipping marker. 1st decrease row: Sl1, k2, [k2tog, k1] 6 times, sl marker, k3 – 18 sts. Next row: Sl1, p to end. 2nd decrease row: Sl1, k2, k2togb, k to 2 sts before marker, k2tog, sl marker, k3 – 16 sts. Repeat the last 2 rows, 3 times more – 10 sts. P 1 row. Cast of knitwise. Fold each ear in half, matching cast-on edge to cast-of edge. Join side seams using mattress st. Join ears to sides of head, placing them on the plain rounds before the head decreases, roughly in the middle of the side of the head.

PHOTOS: ANGELA SPAIN, TI-MEDIACONTENT.COM. STYLIST: TERESA CONWAY. DESIGNER: BARBARA MCINTYRE. *YARN SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY

Body & legs With 3.5mm needles and Grey, cast on 10 sts, starting with the feet. 1st & 2nd rows: Sl1, p4, turn, sl1, [inc in next st] 4 times – 14 sts. 3rd & 4th rows: Sl1, p8, turn, sl1, [inc in next st] 8 times – 22 sts. 5th row: Sl1, k16, p5. 6th row: Sl1, [inc in next st] 4 times, turn, sl1, p to end – 26 sts. 7th row: Sl1, p to end. 8th row: Sl1, [inc in next st] 8 times, turn – 34 sts. 9th row: Garter bump row: Sl1, k to end. 10th row: Sl1, k12, place marker A, k8, place marker A, k13. Shape feet: Next row: Sl1, p to end. Increase row: Sl1, k to marker, up1l, sl marker, k to marker, sl marker, up1r, k to end – 36 sts. Starting and ending on a p row, ss 3 rows. ** Short row section: In this section you will place 2 additional markers to help with the short rows; leave the existing markers in place but ignore them while working the short rows. 1st short row: Sl1, k4, place marker B, k to 5 sts before end, wrap & turn. 2nd short row: P4, place marker B, p to next marker B, remove marker B, wrap & turn. 3rd short row: K4, place marker B, k to next marker B, remove marker B, wrap & turn. 4th and 5th short rows: As 2nd and 3rd short rows. 6th row: As 2nd short row. 7th short row: K to end, removing marker B as you reach it. 8th short row: Sl1, p to end. ** Increase row: Sl1, k to marker, up1l, sl marker, k to marker, sl marker, up1r, k to end – 38 sts Next row: Sl1, p to end. Repeat the short row section from ** to ** a further 6 times. Decrease row: Sl1, k to 2 sts before marker, k2tog, sl marker, k to marker, sl marker, k2togb, k to end – 36 sts. Next row: Sl1, p to end. Repeat short row section from ** to ** once more. Ss 2 rows, then work decrease row – 34 sts.

Get the crochet version at theknittingnetwork.co.uk

EK E W yle

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SHORT STORY BY REBECCA HOLMES

Walking On Beth longed to be back in the saddle, but would she ever be able to conquer the terrors of the past?

S

PHOTO: ALAMY

ure you’re up for this?’ Steve asks as we accelerate towards open countryside. I swallow. ‘I haven’t seen a horse in months. I miss them.’ I don’t add, ‘Despite what happened,’ even though the words hang in the air. That’s the thing about horses, though, isn’t it? I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember. I could never go past a field of ponies without stopping to stroke them, and holidays in the New Forest or on Exmoor were my personal idea of Heaven. I pestered my parents for riding lessons. They could only afford them occasionally, but that was better than nothing. Or was it? Maybe if I’d gone more often, I’d have been a better rider and not fallen off when I did. But even the best riders have bad falls – it comes with the territory. How bad the consequences are come down to luck. I was just one of the unlucky ones. When I’d told Steve what I wanted to do, he’d hated the idea. ‘What if the horse plays up while you’re in the saddle?’ he argued. A fair point, but I wouldn’t give in. Hence the tingle of anticipation now, even as we slow to negotiate the track to the stables. Not just any old stables. The special sort, for people in my position. There’s a bit of a kerfuffle getting me out of the car. We haven’t perfected the technique yet. By the time I’m established in my wheelchair, a middle-aged woman in jodhpurs, kneelength boots and a well-worn tweed jacket has joined us.

‘You must be Beth and Steve. I’m Stephanie.’ Her handshake is warm and firm. She shows none of the usual awkwardness at the sight of me, but I suppose she’s used to all that. She escorts us across a stable yard, with the familiar scents of hay and horse. And, yes, manure, which my grandad always said works wonders with the roses. In one of the stables, a sturdy roan mare, already saddled up, tugs contentedly at a hay-net. When we enter, her ears flick forward as if to say, ‘Hello. Who’s this, then?’ before she moves towards me, tentatively, as if she knows horses look bigger from where I am. ‘Meet Delilah. She can be bit bossy, but she knows when to behave. I swear most of these horses have a sixth sense.’ I hold out my hand – how

persistently, against his chest. He can’t resist her charms for long. Soon, he’s patting her neck and stroking the front of her face, telling her she’s a beauty. Time stops still then, and the shift begins. Stephanie coughs discreetly to get our attention. ‘Let’s get down to business, shall we? If you’re up for it, of course?’ That phrase again. ‘When you said, “Race you” that day, I was completely up

‘Meet Delilah. She can be a bit bossy, but she knows when to behave’ can I not? – and am rewarded with Delilah’s velvet muzzle brushing my palm, her breath warming my skin. She lowers her head so that I can reach up and fondle her ears, even as a lump forms in my throat. The next few minutes are a kind of happy love-in, before she seems to realise there’s someone else in the stable who’s unsure. Growing up, I came to judge people on how they were around horses. I knew Steve was the one for me the very first time I saw him calming a nervous mare. Now he’s the one who’s nervous. Delilah’s having none of it. In two steps, she’s delving in his pockets for treats without so much as a by-your-leave, before nudging gently, but

for it,’ I’ve told Steve, umpteen times. ‘We’d ridden over those fields so often. If that rabbit hadn’t run across and given poor Monty the fright of his life, I’d have been fine.’ ‘That’s right,’ he’s always said, in reply. ‘Blame the rabbit.’ But his smile has never reached his eyes. Guilt, however unfounded, can be corrosive. I take a deep breath. ‘Yes,’ I say. ‘I’m up for it.’ Soon, Delilah’s in position, held steady by an assistant, while I’m hooked into a hoist which lifts me up out of my chair and lowers me gently onto Delilah’s back. It’s a surreal, yet oddly exhilarating experience. Or should that be ‘terrifying’, given

the way my heart’s thudding so loudly, it fills my ears? Horses can pick up on a rider’s nerves, yet Delilah stays calm. Stephanie eases my feet into the stirrups and unhooks the hoist. Straightaway, my body settles into its old riding position. My legs may be no use on the ground, but up here it doesn’t seem to matter. ‘I’d tell you to take the reins, but I see that you already have,’ Stephanie says. So I have. Later, when I bring up one of my hands to brush away a tear, I’ll notice how it smells of leather, and will for hours afterwards, or until I wash them. Steve watches from a distance, and I can sense his longing. He’s missed horses, too, not letting himself get close because of what happened to me. I lean forward. ‘Do you have a horse for my boyfriend?’ I ask. Stephanie smiles knowingly. ‘The perfect one. I’ll introduce him to George later. He’s such a character, you could almost take him to the pub. They’ll get on very well.’ Delilah snickers. ‘Ready?’ Stephanie asks. When I nod, her next words sum up my feelings exactly. ‘Walk on.’ THE END © Rebecca Holmes, 2018

Woman’s Weekly 37


Hero Herbs PHOTOS: ALAMY, GAP PHOTOS/NICOLA STOCKEN

It’s easy to grow your own, and they’ll enhance the lives of both you and your garden, says Adrienne Wild

T

hey really are nature’s all-rounders – when you grow your own herbs, either indoors, on a sill or in the garden, you can use them to make food tastier, to fragrance your home and even to make cleaning products and health remedies. Planted in the garden, herbs not only look good and smell wonderful but will also attract bees and other useful insects. Varieties such as basil, borage

and thyme will help to keep vegetables healthy, improve their flavour and protect them from the rigours of disease. Chives and garlic will also nurse neighbouring plants through sickness. Herbs grow best in sunshine – about five hours of full sun is enough to draw out the aromas and strong flavours of most. In a south-facing bed where other plants might shrivel, the drought-resistant Helichrysum

italicum, sage, rosemary and scented geraniums will all enjoy the sun, especially if they have gritty soil and good drainage. You can also incorporate them into a flowerbed. Planted here, they’ll help keep their neighbours healthy. For example, chives planted next to roses will deter black spot.

Texture and colour Be creative and make use of their green, purple, gold and

It’s wise to grow culinary herbs organically so there’s no chance of eating contaminated plants. You can grow them in raised beds, so you can import perfect soil for the types of plants you want to grow. Sage and rosemary, nasturtiums and scented geraniums all enjoy gritty soil with good drainage and sunshine. Raising the soil level by just 15cm will extend the season, as the soil warms quicker in spring allowing for earlier planting. Before you begin, prepare the ground by eradicating weeds, especially perennial ones like bindweed, which can be deep rooted and persistent, then add soil improvers and fertilisers. After planting, apply mulch with aggregate to suppress weeds and to prevent rain splashing mud on to the edible leaves.

Create a new herb garden

38 womansweekly.com

silver leaves, arranging them to give a patchwork-quilt effect. Many also have wonderful textures – woolly, crinkled, feathery and grassy leaves and interesting flowers, which are umbels, bells and balls. Spreading herbs, such as thyme and camomile, can also be grown in paving cracks to enhance a patio or path, though it’s best to avoid areas that are constantly walked on, as few plants other than grass tolerate being stepped on frequently. Plants such as aromatic lavender, eau de Cologne mint and camomile are perfect for planting close to seating areas, where you can take advantage of their soothing and energising fragrances. Indoors, it’s worth placing potted lavender on your bedroom windowsill to aid a calmer night’s sleep. The different textures and tones will invite you to touch, so plant herbs like lavender close to paths so you can run your hands over them as you walk and draw your face into fragrant blooms to savour their scent.


GARDENING Pretty up a path with thyme and camomile

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Traditional treasure Traditional herb gardens are arranged as a series of square or rectangular beds in a lawn or paved area. Round beds are especially good for making the most of a small space. Each bed can be designed according to their use, such as culinary, herbal remedies or with ones suitable for making household cleaners, with creeping thymes, soft silvery lavender or ďŹ&#x201A;owering chives used for edging. Parsley is a good option for shady areas.

Shape up Bay can be clipped and trained into lollipop, pyramid, cone or pillar shapes. Lollipop-trained plants, especially, are useful for formal geometric-shaped beds and pots. Rosemary can be similarly trained and, while itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mostly used for cooking, its scent has brain-boosting and destressing effects.

Perfect for pots Culinary herbs such as basil, chives, parsley, oregano, sage and thyme also grow well in pots, which can be positioned by the BBQ or kitchen door, so

you have fresh leaves ready to hand while cooking. Always give mint and lemon balm a wide berth for mixed containers, as theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll swamp other plants in a matter of weeks. If you only have room for a single pot, choose varieties with similar needs such as oregano, parsley and rosemary, and annuals like sweet basil that last just one season. Basil can also be used to make a refreshing cuppa, which is said to aid digestion, and a pot placed outside the kitchen door will deter ďŹ&#x201A;ies coming into the house, while pennyroyal is a great ant deterrent!

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Order by phone Call 0844 573 6057** and quote TM_WW28A. Lines open 7 days a week, 9am-6pm.

Fill in the coupon Payment must be made by cheque (with your name, address and TM_WW28A on the back), crossed and made payable to T&M. Please DO NOT send cash. Order online www.thompson-morgan.com/womansweekly TERMS AND CONDITIONS Offer available to readers on the UK mainland only. Offer subject to availability. Your contract for supply of goods is with Thompson & Morgan, a company wholly independent of Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Weekly, published by TI Media Limited. **Calls cost 7p per minute plus your telephone providerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s access charge. Please note that we cannot deliver this product to the following postcode areas: HS, IV41-IV56, KW15-KW17, PA34, PA41-48, PA60PA78, PA80, PH40-PH44, TR21-TR25, ZE1-ZE3. *Savings are based on the equivalent of multiples of the cheapest pack size. Closing date: 14 September 2018. Plants dispatched from August 2018. All orders will be acknowledged by letter or email, advising you of the expected dispatch date.

To order, call 0844 573 6057** and quote TM_WW28A; or complete the coupon below TO: Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Weekly Summer Herb Collection Offer, Dept TM_WW28A, PO Box 162, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP8 3BX Please send me the following TKA6612 Ultimate Summer Herb Collection x 16 (2 of each variety) T58828 incredicropÂŽ fertiliser x 100g T57060 incredicropÂŽ fertiliser x 750g TKA2524 Maxicrop plant treatment. One treatment covers your whole order. I enclose a cheque made payable to T&M (with your name, address and TM_WW28A on the back) for the sum of ÂŁ........................................... Please DO NOT send cash

Price ÂŁ9.99 ÂŁ4.99 ÂŁ9.99 ÂŁ1

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Mrs/Miss/Ms/Mr (delete as applicable) First name ................................................................... Surname ........................................................... Address ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................................................................................ Postcode ..................................................................... Daytime tel no (incl code) .............................................................................................................................................................................................. Email address .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... By submitting your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy available at www.ti-media.com/privacy. Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from brands within TI Media Limited by email , post , telephone  and/or SMS . You can unsubscribe at any time.  Please keep me up to date with special offers and news just by email from carefully selected companies. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies - we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. TM_WW28A. 14/08/18


Dr Melanie New Treatments For Multiple Sclerosis

Dr Melanie Wynne-Jones has over 30 years’ experience as a GP

Surgery News Obesity boon?

Being overweight or obese harms your health in many ways, but could protect you if you become seriously ill. A range of international research suggests people who are heavier are more likely to survive pneumonia, sepsis and other infections. They are also likely to sufer less musclewasting while being treated in intensive care units. Losing muscle mass is an important and harmful side-efect of being bed bound while in hospital.

PHOTOS: GETTY (POSED BY MODELS)

True Or False? P n ng can re uce t oracic (chest) spine mobility. True, according to UK researchers who say healthy students who sit for more than seven hours a day and do less than 150 minutes’ exercise a week may have reduced mobility that could lead to back and neck pain. Get up and move!

Green arteries A chemical found in green tea may help to protect against arterial diseases, according to UK researchers. They say the molecule may break up amyloid pr i s that are linked to Alzheimer’s isease but are also f und in cholesterol plaques that cause artery rrowing and an cause heart diseases and strokes. hey’re hopeful that this could lead to a new form of medication.

40 womansweekly.com

Newly approved drugs are changing the impact of this chronic condition

M

ultiple sclerosis (MS) is a long-term neurological disorder that affects more than 100,000 people in the UK, and has a wide range of symptoms. It’s an attack by the body’s own immune system on myelin, the white tissue that protects the brain, spinal cord and body nerves. It produces inflammation, plaques and scars that slow down/block nerve signals and can permanently damage the nerves. MS often starts around midlife, and is twice as common in women, but the cause isn’t known, although it may be linked to living further away from the equator, viral/bacterial infections, low vitamin D levels, smoking, obesity and/or genes. One in 50 people with a close affected relative may develop MS.

The symptoms These can affect any part of the nervous system, producing abnormal sensations (numbness,

HELPLINES Our phone lines give you access to professionals who can ofer you help and advice

tingling, shooting pains) and movement (weakness, stiffness, clumsiness, spasms). It may start with blurred or painful vision, trigger vertigo or affect hearing, balance, bladder control, sexual function, taste, smell and even bodytemperature control. It can also disrupt thinking, memory, mood and speech, and ‘automatic’ body functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. Fatigue is common with MS. Four out of five people start with relapsing remitting MS and are well in between attacks; remyelination sometimes occurs. But half develop secondary progressive MS in the next 10 years, gradually worsening with fewer periods of remission, and more than one in 10 have primary progressive MS that gradually deteriorates from the start.

The treatment This depends on how the symptoms affect you. Relapses (sometimes

triggered by infections) are often helped by steroids, given by intravenous drip. If they’re needed frequently, long-term treatment that targets the immune system (such as azathioprine) may reduce relapses. Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), such as beta interferon and glatiramer-acetate injections, have now been approved by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, although not everyone who could benefit receives them yet. DMTs reduce the number of relapses, and longer-term damage, and work better if given early. If they don’t work quickly, and MR scans indicate severe inflammation you may be offered haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) which uses your own healthy stem cells (from bone marrow) to replace unhealthy immune system cells and halt (but not reverse) nerve damage. DMTs can have powerful side-effects, so you’ll be

Dr Melanie Wynne-Jones helplines Stress 0904 470 0681 Migraine 0904 470 0682 IBS 0904 470 0683 Varicose veins 0904 470 0684 Heartburn 0904 470 0685 Heavy periods 0904 470 0686

Calls cost 65p per min plus your telephone company’s network access charge and last approx. four


Counselling and support can help

5

counselled carefully about the pros and cons. Ongoing research suggests the cholesterol-lowering drug, simvastatin, could help secondary progressive MS.

Living with MS Team care from your GP, neurologist, MS specialist nurse and other health/social-care professionals is important. Medication can treat symptoms such as bladder problems, spasms and dizziness. Physio and complementary and alternative medicines can help, too, and cannabis-based Sativex can be prescribed for some patients. You may need aids for personal care and mobility or, eventually, a carer, and qualify for benefits. Counselling and support from the psychology services and the MS Society (mssociety.org.uk; 0808 800 8000) can help.

1

Tests You May Need

A neurological examination and/or inner-ear tests, as other common conditions can produce similar symptoms. Blood tests, including those for mineral and vitamin deficiencies, infections, diabetes and thyroid disease. Electrical conduction tests (such as Visual Evoked Potential tests) to see how fast nerve signals are travelling between the brain, eye and other body areas. A brain MR scan to rule out other conditions and look for plaques and demyelination, although symptoms don’t always match inflammation patterns. A lumbar puncture – a chemical test of cerebrospinal fluid obtained from around the spinal cord, using a local anaesthetic.

2

3

4

5

Jan de Vries alternative helplines Osteoporosis 0904 470 0812 Bladder problems 0904 470 0813 Rheumatism 0904 470 0814 Losing Dad – how will Mum cope? 0904 470 0871 Depressed 0904 470 0873 Arthritis 0904 470 0874

Q A

How can I get my GP to correct an error in my medical records?

All GP computer deleted. However, a note systems have an must be made of your audit trail which comments and you can tracks who made any discuss how the wording of changes to the record and any amendment might put a when (this protects both different slant on the original patients and doctors). By entry. You’re entitled to ask law, if your GP (or anyone for a copy of your medical else in the practice) changes records, and any valid someone’s medical record, amendments should normally they are required to add be made within a month of information about this, your request. Ask the practice rather than simply remove it. how you should proceed. If it’s a straightforward error (for example, right knee pain recorded instead of left knee pain) this shouldn’t be a problem, although there must be a permanent note of the change. But if you and your doctor disagree about what has been written – for example, what you told the doctor, what she found when she Changes to examined you, or her medical records diagnosis – you still must be recorded can’t ask for it to be

Q A

I have COPD – should I be tested for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency? Smoking, air pollution, dust and fumes are major causes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which causes progressive damage to the lungs and airways, producing a cough, breathlessness and increased vulnerability to infections. But around 1% of people with COPD have alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), a genetic condition that affects around 25,000 people in the UK and can trigger COPD from the early 30s onwards. Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a protein that helps to protect the lungs against bacteria, toxins and pollutants, and deficiency can also trigger liver, skin and

immune-system problems. We develop the condition if we’ve inherited the faulty gene from both parents. Current treatment includes avoiding pollutants and good COPD control, although AAT augmentation therapy (replacement injections) is used in some countries, and gene therapy could one day provide a cure. Recent research suggests AATD is under-diagnosed in the UK, so if you’re under 45 years of age, or have never smoked, it’s worth having the blood test. If it’s positive, you’ll have an extra incentive to care for your lungs, and you could warn your children they may be at risk and need testing, too.

r mins. Users must be 18+. You must have the bill payer’s permission. Service provider: Spoke, 0333 202 3390

Woman’s Weekly 41

DR WYNNE-JONES IS UNABLE TO OFFER INDIVIDUAL ADVICE OR SEE INDIVIDUAL PATIENTS. ADVICE GIVEN HERE IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY. PLEASE SEEK HELP FROM YOUR OWN GP IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL PROBLEM.

Advice from Woman’s Weekly’s Doctor


Health Choices

G WELLBEINNS SOLUTIOody For your b d and min

JUDY GASKELL, 79, from Winchester, Hampshire

I

started having problems with my knees, particularly my right one, about a year ago. First thing in the morning I started to feel quite creaky and getting out of bed or up from a chair felt like wading through treacle until I got going. I struggled carrying bags and walking up hills, and started using a walking stick. I went to a physio, who helped, and I began doing Pilates alongside some cycling and walking, all of which also eased the stifness. I watch what I eat and have small helpings to keep my weight slight, which definitely helps my joints.

But I wanted to remain as active as possible so when I read about a new herbal supplement called Phynova Joint and Muscle Relief, I decided to try it. The active ingredient is an ancient Chinese herbal remedy from a plant called sigesbeckia. Within weeks of taking one tablet at the beginning and end of each day, my knee felt more flexible and less painful. I no longer needed my stick to walk.

WORDS: TANYA PEAREY. PHOTOS: GETTY (POSED BY MODELS)

If you usually… trust that your moles are OK Try this instead… get them checked at your pharmacy.

S

elected Boots stores have a mole-checking service in conjunction with ScreenCancer UK, which will check a suspect mole. The irst one checked will cost £35, and additional ones £15. Your mole is scanned and details (whether it’s raised, or has recently changed shape or colour) and the scan, are sent to a lab for testing. You are texted, emailed or phoned with the results days later. Visit boots.com for details. The most common sign of melanoma – the most dangerous skin cancer – is the appearance of a new mole or change to an existing one. Melanomas usually have an irregular shape and are more than one colour. They may also itch and bleed, and are oten on the back where it’s tricky to monitor changes. See your GP if you’re at all worried about a mole.

42 womansweekly.com

Phynova helps with both injuries and general pain

News

I stopped taking the supplement when I ran out of the first batch I’d bought and found that the discomfort returned. So did the stick. I couldn’t wait to start taking it again! The tablets have helped enormously – they’ve really freed me up to live my life fully again. You do have to be your own ‘safety oicer’ though. You can’t just depend on doctors and physios to ‘fix’ you. You need to work at it yourself – exercise, keep a good weight and help yourself. The medics can advise but they can’t do it for you. ✽ Phynova is available from pharmacies and health food shops, such as Boots and Holland & Barrett, £19.99 for 60 tablets.

FLASH

B

eing married cuts your risk of heart disease and stroke by almost half. Researchers looked at studies covering two million people and suggested that spouses were more likely to spot and encourage partners to respond to health problems and stick to medication. The health benefits of increased financial security and companionship were also believed to play a part.

New Read

✽ The Best Possible You (£14.99, Orion)

he paperback version of this best-selling nutrition and lifestyle guide is out this summer. Lifestyle coach Hannah Richards guides you through each area of your body, highlighting how to tell when things are out of kilter and how to heal using food and herbal remedies.


Coach, counsellor and writer Keren Smedley has worked for more than 20 years helping people to make positive changes to their lives

It’s never too late to find a new love

Q

I know this sounds silly but, at the age of 81, I’ve fallen in love. I was widowed four years ago, and certainly wasn’t looking for a new relationship. I had a long and happy marriage and accepted that, at my age, I was going to be on my own. Then I met a man at a University of the Third Age (U3A) event, and we really clicked. My children are horrified. I don’t want to upset them, but I do want to spend time with him. I’m having fun. Should I give him up? Diana, Bristol

A

Your letter made me smile with pleasure. Who says we are ever too old to fall in love? Of course, you mustn’t give him up! You should go on seeing him and having fun. I’m sure your children want you to be happy, not alone and depressed at home. However old ‘children’ are, they have an image in their minds of how their parents should be, and you have drawn your own picture, which doesn’t match theirs. Talk to them about it, tell them you know it’s as much a surprise to them as it is to you but that it’s making you happy. Remind them of the alternative, and ask which they’d prefer for you. Faced with that choice, I think they’ll come round.

PHOTO (POSED BY MODEL): GETTY

Stop nagging and he may stop rebelling

Q

My 15-year-old son is driving me crazy. He just won’t tidy his room. It’s a terrible mess – full of dirty clothes, plates and glasses, and often dark as he closes the curtains to play computer games. He says he’ll tidy up but doesn’t. It’s leading to constant rows. What can I do? Jenny, Epsom

I ind myself in tears in tough situations I recently went on a flight and the steward shouted at me because I hadn’t stowed my table away and put my seat up when they came through the cabin. We still had a while before we landed. I didn’t mind being told about it, but I felt humiliated. I found myself in tears and feeling very embarrassed. This isn’t the first time it’s happened to me when I’ve been told of. I don’t want to cry in this type of situation, but how can I prevent it? Vicky, Leeds

F

irst, it is not all right for them to shout at you. Their role is to tell people what they need to do and, only if they refuse, to become firm – but, even then, shouting isn’t all right. It sounds like they triggered something in you by their tone of voice and it took you back to times when you were told off as a child, and you responded as children do by crying. This happens unconsciously, and we find ourselves behaving in a way we don’t want to and wondering how it happened. We need to learn how to manage those moments so we stay in our adult mode and can respond accordingly. When we find ourselves tearful, our inner child has appeared and we need to find a way to help her grow up. One way

A

Whose room is it? I understand it isn’t how you’d like it, but it sounds like it’s just how he wants it to be. If it isn’t a health hazard, why does it need to be tidy? I’m sure you don’t want to look at it, so he needs to agree to keep the door shut so it doesn’t upset you every time you go past. My hunch is that, once you stop nagging and he no longer has reason to

✤ Keren welcomes your letters, emails and texts, but she cannot reply to individual cases and will select correspondence at random for publication.

KEREN’S HELPLINES

Crying is embarrassing

Dear Keren

Worrying: manage your fears 0904 470 0716 Concerned about memory loss? 0904 470 0717 When your children leave home 0904 470 0831

to do this is to start to recognise when we’re vulnerable so we can step aside and view the situation as an adult observer. When we do this, our feelings change and we no longer react in a way that is over-emotional. You can practise this by thinking about situations that have upset you and imagining them on the wall as though they were on the TV. Sit on your chair and take a look. Let the woman on the chair tell the one on the wall what she could do if a situation like this occurs again. Be your own coach, then jot down your ideas. Next time you’re faced with a situation where you’re ‘told off ’, remind yourself of your strategies. If you do this, you’re likely to have a different outcome.

think this is a good way to rebel, he’ll realise his room’s a bit of a dump with no space for any more crockery and glasses, and start to clean it up of his own volition. Hey presto! The rows will stop.

Email WomansWeeklyPostbag@ ti-media.com Write to Here To Help, Woman’s Weekly, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP Visit Keren’s site at experiencematters.org.uk

How to cope with ageing parents 0904 470 0719 Coming to terms with loss and grief 0904 470 0804 How to banish your empty feelings 0904 470 0802

Users must be over 18. You must have the bill payer’s permission. Calls cost 65p per minute plus your network’s access charge. Each line lasts approx. Seven minutes. Service provider: spoke ltd, 0333 202 3390

Woman’s Weekly 43


TRAVEL

Spread Your Holiday Wings Flocking flamingos

A majestic black-winged kite

Portugal’s capital has massive potential for bird-watching, as ledgling ‘twitcher’ Jacqui Deevoy discovered

PHOTOS: GETTY, FAISCA, JACQUI DEEVOY

I

t’s a misty, midweek morning in Portugal, just outside Lisbon, and I’m peering – through cameras, telescopes and binoculars – over the mudflats and salt marshes of Horta, at curlews, egrets and dunlins. A white wagtail builds a nest in an abandoned fishing boat, and a peregrine falcon soars overhead. Our Portuguese guide Bernardo (pictured right) has brought us to this beautiful, peaceful location.

Great For

Independent explorey,rsbut it’s also

up activit Bird-watching can be a gro be alone. Stepping to ideal for people who want with just your ts fla t sal out into marshes or that are new to you, is binoculars, spotting birds oy their own company. perfect for those who enj

44 womansweekly.com

peering through my borrowed Pentax binoculars. I’m embarrassed that I’m such an obvious beginner, but Bernardo is courteous and patient and doesn’t laugh at me once. Nor does he appear irritated by my endless questions. Do birds see in colour? Are all birds’ eggs edible? Does he ever dream of flying? (‘Yes’, ‘Think so’, ‘No’.) He tells me how, during his honeymoon 12 years ago, he left his new wife alone in order to find a grey wagtail. Did she mind, I ask A ‘twitcher’ him. ‘Well,’ he says, is born – me! ‘she’s still with me.’ Our half-day tour is enough for a beginner, but a more seasoned bird-lover may prefer a longer session. Next day, Bernardo takes us on a 10-hour tour of the cork-oak woodlands of Pancas

We’re soon joined by a group of 13 American birdwatchers who draw up in a coach, among them one who tells me he’s written a book called The Birds Of New Jersey. With a pair of 2,000-euro binoculars hanging around his neck, he sets up his £4,000 Swarovski telescope – and I continue

and the Barroca d’Alva rice fields and pastures. We take in not just birds, but flowers, trees and insects, too. Bernardo – who’s patently passionate about all aspects of nature – walks us through a forest of cork trees, and it’s no surprise to hear that Portugal is the biggest producer of cork worldwide. Sporting a khaki bushwhacker hat to keep the sun off my


Great For

Spirited rers advd-weatcnhintu g before, the

If you’ve never tried bir enture in itself, and whole experience is an adv Big Thing in travel. So is tipped to be the Next s do ,and be the cool get in before your friend wanted to be! ays trailblazer you’ve alw

Western swamphen binoculars, my joy at excitedly ticking off every species I spot makes me, says Bernardo, a bona fide ‘twitcher’ – which is a mildly derogatory term for a birdwatcher more obsessed with the list than the looking. By the end of Day Two, I’ve seen 68 species of bird. It’s not a high score, Bernardo tells me – other tourists have seen around 100 in a day. I scour the list of 160 bird types again, in case I’ve missed one. On the third day – grey and drizzly – we drive to the EVOA Visitor Center at the Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve, located in the heart of the most important wetland in Portugal. In this ark of a building, we learn, via colourful information boards, about the birds of the region. In the EVOA café, we enjoy some thick, extremely tasty home-made fish soup. After lunch, we check out a few hides – shed-like structures dotted over the grasslands. In one hide, we find

Great For

Tranquil travellers

Frederico Morais, who’s been posted here since the crack of dawn, hoping to spy some rare species. He’s disappointed. The fact that he holds the record for spotting the most (307) species of birds in a one-year period perhaps makes up for the lack of sightings on rainy days. As we drive away from the site, Bernardo screeches to a halt in the mud. ‘Look, look! A purple heron!’ A large-winged, rather ungainly creature flaps across the piece of sky directly in front of the car. ‘You can tick that off your list now,’ he laughs. But, newly-hatched twitcher that I am, I tell him smugly that the ticking has already been done…

and quiet If you fancy a bit of peace mind off or just need to take your hing could your problems, bird-watc earch by res r, yea t be the answer. Las Of Exeter, ty rsi ive Un the academics at log ho y and the British Trust for Ornit nd found sla the University of Queen g and hin atc d-w a link between bir . lth hea l nta improved me

More info Book a tour from a few hours to 12 days through birds.pt/field-tours. I stayed at the Tivoli Oriente Hotel in Lisbon (http://tivoli-oriente. lisbon-hotel.org/en/). A colourful Iberian magpie


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5 Dec 2019 9 Dec 2019 11 Dec 2019 16 Dec 2019 21 Dec 2019 5 May 2020 8 May 2020

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Departs

Sailing from Bristol on board Marco Polo French Christmas Markets

8 Dec 2019

6

£709

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Festive Dublin Overnight

15 Dec 2019

4

£449

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18 Dec 2019

4

£449

Free

Christmas & New Year Canaries & Madeira

22 Dec 2019

16

£2,519

Free

6 Jan 2020

79

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24 Mar 2020

15

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7 Apr 2020

8

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Treasures of the British Isles & River Seine

14 Apr 2020

12

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25 Apr 2020

14

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Iceland, Faroes & Land of the Northern Lights

13 Oct 2019

14

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27 Oct 2019

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Sailing from Liverpool on board Magellan

This is just a small selection of our cruises, please see our website for the full range of cruises and offers.

Call 0330 160 7857 quoting IWW or visit iww.newmarketholidays.co.uk Prices above are per person sharing the lowest twin cabin available. A selection of cabin types is available at ranging prices. All prices are extremely limited & may be withdrawn without notice. Cabins are subject to availability, please call us or see our website for latest availability and pricing. Newmarket Holidays Ltd. ABTA V7812. Single supplements apply. Standard phone charges. Fares exclude gratuities. On board prices in sterling. Payment of on board accounts by card only. Prices correct at time of going to print. Please check online for latest prices and availability. Offers operated by Newmarket Holidays Ltd ABTA V7812, a company wholly independent of Women Weekly published by TI Media Limited. *Buy One Get One Free discount applies to new bookings on Winter 2019 – Spring 2020 cruises only made between 5th July and 31st October 2018. Offer subject to availability & may be withdrawn at any time.


Why You’ll Love...

TRAVEL

Saint James Barbados The Platinum Coast is a sun-worshipper’s dream Saint James in Barbados has earned its Platinum Coast title thanks to its gorgeous whitesand beaches and year-round Caribbean sunshine. Holetown, in particular, a small town in the parish of Saint James, is bursting with atmosphere – and even hosts its own festival in February every year.

Try flying fish at On The Waterfront Cafe

Shop till you drop in bustling Bridgetown

WORDS: KATIE RUSSELL. PHOTOS: GETTY/LONELY PLANET IMAGES, ALAMY

What to do We spent most of the holiday soaking up rays on the beach or snorkelling in the sea with fish – and even the occasional turtle. On days when we were feeling more adventurous, we took a yellow Reggae bus to Bridgetown – a $2 journey filled with music. Bridgetown has a fantastic, bustling vibe and Friday Night Fish there’s loads to Fry is an Oistins do, looking around institution the diferent shops and markets. You can also buy gorgeous handmade jewellery from stalls in Holetown, and Apartments are You’ll find lots more complete with a window-shop at the destination ideas at kitchen and dining designer Limegrove womansweekly.com/ area, but there’s mall (limegrove. travel com). Fancy some also the option to eat on-site at nightlife? Take a coach to the Safa’s Restaurant & Bar. Travellers Palm (thepalms fishing town Oistins for the Each apartment has a balcony, resort.net) is a block of 16 Friday Night Fish Fry, where local too, where you can relax looking apartments within walking vendors sell tasty fish and you out over the scenic gardens. distance of the glorious beach. can dance in the square.

More Online

Where to stay

Prices start at £53 a night for an apartment for two adults and two children. Given the fantastic location, it really is great value.

What to eat Always keen to try something new, we sampled flying fish, a Bajan delicacy, at the bustling On The Waterfront Cafe on the Careenage River in Bridgetown (waterfrontcafe.com). We also tried the traditional dessert of stewed guava and strawberries during a visit to Cin Cin (cincinbythesea.com), a seafront restaurant on the west coast. The best meal, however, was the freshly caught mahi-mahi we sampled at Oistins. It was simply sensational!

Travel details There is a nine-hour direct flight from London Gatwick to Bridgetown, with prices starting at £882. Flights depart from other major cities across the UK.

Woman’s Weekly 47


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WORDS: LISA GLASSOCK. PHOTOS: GETTY (POSED BY MODELS)

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Woman’s Weekly 49


Part Two

Gabrielle Mullarkey continues her exciting thriller

T

he story so far: Former school sweethearts Ally and Scott Tarrant have been through a bitter divorce, with Scott fighting Ally for custody of their son Tommy. When Ally is awarded custody, Scott seems to accept it. Ally begins dating Max Foster, despite her mother Ruth’s misgivings. When Scott invites Ally and Tommy to lunch, Ally accepts, but only to build bridges for their son’s sake. At lunch, Scott knocks over Tommy’s beaker of juice, sending Ally running in search of paper towels. But when she turns back to the table, she finds that Scott and Tommy have vanished…

Possession Ally had always known he couldn’t be trusted, but how could Scott have sunk low enough to steal her son?

ILLUSTRATIONS: CAT O’NEIL/KILLINGTON ARTS

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t was half an hour later, and she was sitting numbly in the security office at the shopping centre, recounting the whole nightmare to a lugubrious police officer, explaining that she had just cause to fear the worst because of the recent custody battle. To think that the police were involved… Tommy was officially a snatched, tug-of-love child! ‘Where would your exhusband go to lie low?’ the policeman asked. ‘Well, if he’s not at his flat, I’m not sure… It’s rented,’ she added miserably. Only the other day, she’d felt sorry for Scott, banished to a one-bedroom flat out near the ring road. He’d rented it for Tommy’s benefit, he’d told her, because it came with a small back garden. Last Saturday, arriving at 5pm to collect Tommy from the flat, she’d watched him tottering round the little patch of grass, chasing a beach ball almost as big as himself, screaming with delight. And then she’d watched Scott and felt a lump in her throat. Now she saw the upside to his circumstances. It meant he’d have been able to cut and run just as soon as he’d made other arrangements. The police were already on their way to check out Scott’s flat and see what his landlord might know about a curtailed

50 womansweekly.com

lease. But Ally knew Scott wouldn’t be there. She fiddled with the mobile still lying in her lap. She’d phoned her mum as soon as she’d contacted the police. ‘Oh no, love,’ Ruth had quavered. ‘What about his friends, other family members, workmates?’ asked the policeman. ‘I can give you a list. He works in sales at Learmont’s, a big manufacturing firm in London. He used to live in London, but we decided to buy in Barstone and he started commuting when we…when I was expecting Tommy.’ ‘We’ll alert ports and so on. The media will be a big help.’ Her cheeks burned. Her dirty

who’d waved away Ally’s protests that it looked paranoid. ‘This is a bloke who told you he wouldn’t contest the details of your break-up, then did precisely that. He can’t be trusted an inch,’ she’d warned. Yet again, her mother had been right. ‘What about CCTV?’ Ally asked suddenly. ‘The shopping centre has cameras everywhere. It would be easy to spot a man in a suit with a little boy.’ ‘And we intend to look. It’s where they might have gone after they left the shopping centre that’s the problem.’ A policewoman drove Ally home. She’d forgotten about Max, supposedly putting dinner

‘What about CCTV? The shopping centre has cameras everywhere’ laundry was about to get another airing. She asked, gulping, ‘Do you think he’d try to take him abroad? To somewhere without an extradition treaty?’ ‘That’d be a bit tricky without your son’s passport.’ She went cold. ‘I haven’t checked it’s still in the house! I mean, I assume it is, but Scott still had a key.’ ‘Didn’t you say you had the locks changed after Mr Tarrant moved out?’ She nodded with relief. ‘Yes. Yes, I did.’ Thank God for following that one up, egged on by Ruth,

on back at the house. As she climbed out of the car, carrying the folded pushchair, the front door flew open to reveal him and her mother jostling for consolation rights. ‘Darling!’ gasped Ruth, drawing Ally into the hallway. ‘He won’t get away with this!’ Max stormed, ‘Why didn’t you phone me? The first I heard of all this was Ruth turning up here. I knew I should’ve gone with you!’ Behind his passion, Ally heard a whine of jealousy that she’d turned to Ruth first. Even in moments of crisis like this, other people had their own

agenda, whether they were aware of it or not. ‘Oh, shush,’ Ruth snapped at him. ‘If that’s the extent of your support, you may as well make yourself scarce.’ The policewoman, who had followed Ally up the path, now coughed discreetly. Ally swivelled her weary gaze between her imploring boyfriend and feisty mother. ‘I need to get an up-to-date photo of Tommy for the police to use,’ she announced. ‘There’s one on the fridge,’ said Ruth, running to get it. Minutes later, the photo of Tommy – gazing solemnly into camera on his third birthday, just four months earlier – was handed over. ‘If you’ve got one of your ex-husband as well, Mrs Tarrant,’ the policewoman said, ‘that would be helpful.’ Ally went through an envelope of unsorted photos thrown into a kitchen drawer, knowing she had one of Scott nursing a beer at a neighbour’s barbecue shortly before the breakdown of their marriage. The policewoman left soon afterwards, saying a liaison officer would be in touch. As soon as the front door closed, Ally sank down on the sofa and tugged off her shoes. She plucked a long, fairish hair off her top and held it up to the light: Tommy’s. Anguish clamped her in a vice. Without warning, she began to sob loudly, rocking back and forth, while Max stood nearby, helpless and aghast. Ruth rushed in from the kitchen where she’d been making tea. ‘What did you say to her?’ ‘Me?’ gasped Max. ‘Not a word. She’s clearly distraught!’ ‘I can see that!’ Ruth gently lifted a howling Ally by the elbows. ‘She needs brandy, not tea. Will you pour one from the bottle under the sink while I get her upstairs? Might do her good to lie down.’ As Max hurried to oblige. Ally submitted to her mother. But, as soon as she reached her bedroom, a thought struck


SERIAL BY GABRIELLE MULLARKEY her. ‘Tommy’s passport,’ she croaked. ‘I told the police I’d check it was still here.’ ‘That officer should have checked while she was here! I’ll look. Where do you keep it?’ ‘In that gap behind the airing cupboard. I moved both of them there when the gap was wide enough, figured a burglar wouldn’t know it’s there.’ Ruth returned from the cupboard, holding two passports. ‘Tommy’s is here, all present and correct.’ ‘You’d better ring the police and tell them. They gave me this card with a number.’ ‘I’m on it. Where’s Max with that brandy?’ ‘I don’t think I can swallow any without being sick.’ ‘Nonsense. Remember that time your dad accidentally

hammered your finger putting up the mirror in our hall?’ Ally smiled weakly. ‘That was a different sort of pain.’ Knuckles rapped on the door and Max entered. ‘The brandy.’ ‘Th-thanks.’’ Ally took the glass and began to sip, wincing. Max rubbed the back of his head. ‘I’ll stay downstairs, field phone calls. What’s the line with reporters and such like?’ ‘The police are handling enquiries,’ Ally croaked. ‘As I’m ex-directory, I shouldn’t be hassled by thrill-seekers.’ As soon as his footsteps had retreated, Ruth sat beside her. ‘You know you’re a strong person, don’t you? You’re my daughter, after all.’ Ally shut her eyes. They were treading on dangerous ground. Ruth took a deep breath.

‘When that piranha of a lawyer asked me if Scott going had left you emotionally fragile, I wasn’t to know she’d twist my words to try to make out you were an unfit mother…’ ‘We’ve been over this, Mum. It was all part of a horrible game of winner-takes-all and Scott was trying to make sure that was going to be him. He couldn’t win by fair means, so it looks like he’s resorted to foul.’ Ruth laid a hand over Ally’s. ‘Let Max look after you.’ ‘You don’t even like him!’ ‘I reserved judgment for a while, that’s all – felt you were rushing into things. I couldn’t help wondering how he’d got to his mid-30s without being snapped up.’ ‘You’re too quick to judge people, Mum.’

‘I know, I know. Let him help you now. Lean on us both. I’ll be staying over, of course, until Tommy’s back safe and sound and Scott Tarrant’s been brought to justice.’ Ally rolled her eyes. ‘He’s not a Wild-West outlaw,’ she said, adding in a fierce mutter, ‘He’s worse than that!’ Her gaze fell on a photo of Tommy on her nightstand, all gappy smile and sun-streaked dandelion clock, cuddling into her neck on the beach at Cromer. Her heart crumbled. ‘I would like you to stay, Mum.’ ‘What about me?’ Max asked bleakly from the doorway, and she looked up to see he was wearing the same expression of needy jealousy she often saw on Tommy’s face. ‘Oh God,’ she frowned. ‘Not now, Max. I can’t be all things to all people.’ His face tightened, but he nodded, turned. ‘Max! Wait! I’m sorry.’ ‘No, you’re right. Wrong time and place to make a “What about me?” stand.’ He smiled crookedly, and she held out her hand. ‘I do want you to stay,’ she insisted. ‘I do need you.’ He came over and grasped her outstretched fingers. ‘Anyway, none of us has time for arguing amongst ourselves. Let’s get Tommy back.’ The story made the local news that evening, featuring the photos of Scott and Tommy, and a phone number to call to report any sightings. The phone rang throughout the rest of the evening, making Ally jump out of her skin as she ran to snatch it up, gasping, ‘Scott? Is that you, Scott?’ But it was a detective inspector, then the liaison officer, then the inspector again, all offering inconclusive updates. Yes, CCTV had shown a suited man and a little boy in a Puffa jacket leaving the shopping centre, but where they’d gone after that… In the end, she retreated to her bedroom, picking at the meal Ruth brought up to her on a tray. Continued overleaf Woman’s Weekly 51


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Readers are advised to take any necessary precautions before entering into arrangements with advertisers. Every effort is made to ensure that the advertisements in Womans Weekly are honest and truthful. Should you have any comments about the products and services you receive from these advertisements we would be pleased to hear from you. TI-media accept no responsibility for loss or damage.


SERIAL BY GABRIELLE MULLARKEY

Max called up the stairs, ‘I’ll be back tomorrow!’ ‘Shouldn’t you be at work?’ Ally called back. ‘They owe me time off. Wild horses wouldn’t keep me away.’ === he next couple of days passed in another daze. Ally ate little and sipped the hot drinks Max or Ruth carried up and down the stairs, bringing sparse news and cold comfort. She perched on her bedroom windowsill, looking down on the back garden with its idle swing and undisturbed sand pit. The rope tethering her to Scott had frayed and snapped off at last, only to be replaced by a chip of ice digging deep into the tender spots of her heart. Time and again, she toyed with the shard, twisting it in a little deeper. Her gaze strayed to the junk on top of the wardrobe; one-eared bunny rabbits no longer loved by Tommy, folders of old bills, receipts. So much of her life with Scott was still carried around with her. She became restless, wanting to make sure the police had checked out all Scott’s known haunts and contacts, aching to visit them herself. ‘Leave it to the professionals,’ insisted Ruth. ‘But Learmont’s have revealed that he’d booked a couple of weeks off before we met for lunch. So we know for sure that he planned all this!’ ‘Don’t torture yourself.’ ‘What else can I do, sitting here, trusting complete strangers to find Tommy?’ ‘Come with me.’ Ruth took her by the hand, steered her down to the kitchen and handed her a bag of carrots, a knife and the instruction, ‘Get chopping.’

T

By the evening, they were sitting down to baked trout with mixed veg and buttery new potatoes, Ally ashamed of her rediscovered appetite. She stiffened when Max uncorked a bottle of wine. ‘Isn’t that going a bit too far?’ ‘It’s good for you.’ He poured her a moderate glassful. ‘None for me, I’m driving. Ruth?’ Ruth slid her glass across. ‘I’ll say when.’ They ate in preoccupied silence for a while, until Ally said suddenly, ‘The police did say they’d checked on Laura in Spain?’ Ruth nodded. ‘Sent their Spanish counterparts round to her place and found nothing amiss. Anyway, how would Scott get himself and Tommy out of the country?’ ‘He’s ingenious.’ ‘Not that ingenious,’ snorted Ruth, Max adding for good measure, ‘While Scott’s a slug, he’s still Tommy’s father and no harm will come to him while he’s with him, OK?’ It wasn’t OK. Scott had never

address book, looking up Laura Tarrant’s address in Spain. If Laura was involved, she might give the game away in a phone conversation, let something slip to Ally that she’d been too guarded to betray to a foreign police officer. Mother and son weren’t close, thanks to Laura’s flit when Scott was a boy. During their marriage, Ally and Scott had made a duty phone call to Casa Mercer each Christmas Day, Laura usually sounding half-cut, waffling on about having turkey kebabs served by the pool and how there was nothing she missed in rainy old England (sensitive, she wasn’t). Her fingers trembling, Ally rang Laura’s Spanish landline from her mobile. A voice answered in Spanish, and Ally asked for Senora Laura Mercer. The voice spoke louder and faster. Ally couldn’t make herself understood. In desperation, she hung up. Then she remembered something… A couple of years ago, Scott had scribbled a number in the back of the household address book, saying he had to write down Laura’s new mobile number before he forgot it. He'd bought her a new mobile on one of her brief visits to England. Being Scott, he’d scribbled the number haphazardly in a

Her fingers trembling, Ally rang Laura’s Spanish landline… been patient when Tommy woke up crying because of a nightmare. He didn’t know about Tommy’s recent obsession with SpongeBob SquarePants, or his hatred of anything containing apples… Scott had a Werther’s Original image of fatherhood – all bonding over bike rides and fishing trips – but little idea of the nitty gritty. Did his own fractured upbringing make him more or less likely to romanticise parenthood? She couldn’t decide. After dinner she went upstairs, shut herself in her bedroom and dug out her

margin somewhere, but Ally knew she’d recognise it if she flicked through. She’d forgotten there were quite a few examples of his spidery scrawl in page margins, courtesy of his recording a taxi firm or Chinese takeaway for posterity – but, finally, one of the strings of random digits struck a chord. Laura might have changed it by now, of course, but it was worth a shot. This time, the phone was answered straightaway. ‘Yeah?’ came Laura’s drinkmellowed, 40-a-day voice with its usual charm – but also sounding wary.

‘Laura?’ Ally swallowed. ‘It’s me, Ally. I expect you’ve heard about Scott taking my son?’ Laura didn’t turn a hair. ‘He’s his son, deary. Yeah, I know about it.’ Ally suppressed an urge to shout, ‘Nice of you to get in touch about it,’ instead saying, ‘I understand the police have already paid you a visit.’ ‘Might have.’ She was sounding increasingly wary. ‘You’re a mother, Laura. You don’t have to like me to know what I’m going through. You can’t just pretend not to be involved because you’re sitting pretty over there on the Costa del Wonga…’ ‘I’m not in Spain any more,’ the voice cut across, suddenly angry. ‘I’m back home in Surrey, on my tod. Have been for months. I suppose Scott didn’t tell you because it’s none of your business. And, before you ask, I don’t know where he is or what he’s up to. But if I did, you’d be the last to know.’ The line went dead. While Max and her mother washed up downstairs, Ally thought about Laura Mercer, formerly Tarrant. Ally hadn’t seen her since her wedding to Scott four years ago, when Laura had deigned to fly in from Tenerife and tyrannise everyone with her loud opinions on sensitive subjects – including Ally’s suitability or her son. ‘ He could have had anyone, you know,’ Laura had declared, slopping champagne over the nearest corsage. Ruth had loathed her on sight, but had managed to keep her powder dry for fear of causing a scene. Ally would never have stopped Laura having contact with Tommy, but Laura showed zero interest in her grandson. She had just about managed to send him a birthday card this year – two weeks late. Ally came to a decision. She ran downstairs and told Ruth and Max that she was going to visit Laura Mercer, who’d recently relocated to Surrey. Continued overleaf

Woman’s Weekly 53


Readers are advised to take any necessary precautions before entering into arrangements with advertisers. Every effort is made to ensure that the advertisements in Womans Weekly are honest and truthful. Should you have any comments about the products and services you receive from these advertisements we would be pleased to hear from you. TI-media accept no responsibility for loss or damage.


SERIAL BY GABRIELLE MULLARKEY That had to be too much of a coincidence, surely? ‘I’ll sense it if Tommy’s there. I have to see Laura face to face, look into her eyes as she says she knows nothing.’ ‘You’ve got the address?’ asked Ruth. ‘No. But she did say “back home” in Surrey. Before she split from Scott’s dad, they lived in a village near Woking.’ ‘Is she still calling herself Mercer?’ asked Max. ‘You said she mentioned she was alone.’ ‘I think so.’ ‘Let’s check the electoral register online.’ ‘I don’t think Laura’s the dutiful voter type,’ said Ally. ‘People go on the register to keep their credit rating healthy,’ Max explained. Ally frowned. ‘Now I’ve rung her, she’ll know I’m tracking her down. I don’t understand the police saying they’ve checked her out in Spain.’ ‘On the other hand,’ said Max slowly, ‘she’s not hiding the fact she’s back in England, she’s not screening her calls and hasn’t bothered to change the number of her UK mobile.’ ‘Her lack of cunning behaviour could be a double bluff,’ frowned Ally. ‘Point is,’ said Ruth, ‘you’d best ring the police now and let

‘You’re not thinking of going?’ ‘Look, the more people on Laura’s case, the better. She might crack if enough pressure is applied.’ ‘We’ll head there first thing in the morning,’ Max said. ‘We?’ snapped Ally. ‘I’m going alone – no arguments – and I’m going now!’ Max indicated the wall clock behind her. ‘It’s nearly 10pm, and the police are going there now, they said. Even if Laura wanted to do a runner, she’d assume she was being watched. Which means,’ he added pointedly, ‘the police might well see you turn up to do your Miss Marple routine after they’ve told you not to.’ Ally shook back her hair, fuelled by a burst of adrenaline she hadn’t felt in a long time. ‘Right, I’ll wait until morning, first thing. And I’ll go incognito, in case Laura, Scott or anyone else is watching from afar.’ === earing her coat collar up and driving Ruth’s car was as close as Ally could get to ‘incognito’. As she drove to Surrey not long after sunrise, her mobile flashed indicating a voicemail. She pulled over to listen. It was a police liaison officer checking to make sure she was OK.

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‘The police might well see you turn up to do your Miss Marple routine’ them know she’s back. Surely they can find her address?’ ‘I’m on it already. Five Laura Mercers in the south-east, but only one in Surrey,’ Max said, peering at the laptop screen. ‘Old Woking, in fact.’ Ally got on the phone to her liaison officer, then rang off, livid. ‘Turns out that when they got their Spanish counterparts to visit Casa Mercer, an officer claimed to have spoken to a “Mrs Mercer”. In reality, it could’ve been anyone. I bet they didn’t even search the place!’ ‘What did they say their next move would be?’ asked Ruth. ‘Going round now to check out this Old Woking address. They said I should stay away.’

She flung the phone back on the seat. ‘OK’ was a relative term under the circumstances. Besides, they might just be keeping tabs on her location. The address Max had found was a smart townhouse tucked down a narrow street, a soft-top Mercedes parked out front. Whatever the circumstances of her return, it didn’t look as if Laura had fallen on hard times. Ally drove past and parked further along on the street before backtracking on foot to the front door. Then, heart beating raggedly, she took a deep breath and pressed the smart, chrome doorbell… CONCLUDES NEXT WEEK © Gabrielle Mullarkey, 2018

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Answers to 31 July Puzzles SUDOKU PRIZE CROSSWORD ACROSS:4Pro 8Art 13Ear lobe 14Pretend 15Awesome 16Figs 17Starve 18Elope 2 9 4 5 7 3 1 6 8 19Drift 21Optical 22Tractor 24To spare 26T-shirt 28Orlando 30Sherifs 35Aga 36Shifted 38Steam 1 7 6 2 9 8 4 5 3 3 5 8 6 4 1 7 9 2 39Wordy 40Test 41Trainspotting 43Gong 6 2 5 9 1 7 8 3 4 47Koala 48Table 49Sweeten 50Too 51Interest 4 3 1 8 2 6 9 7 5 52Regular 54Bounce 57Halfway 60Overpay 62Endorse 64Humid 66Agree 67Unhurt 68User 7 8 9 3 5 4 2 1 6 70Oatmeal 71Opinion 72Unalike 73Yam 74Gut 9 4 3 1 6 2 5 8 7 DOWN:1Self-portrait 2Bright 3Tom 4Pep talk 5 6 2 7 8 9 3 4 1 5Operator 6Fete 7Select 8Adjourn 9Talent 8 1 7 4 3 5 6 2 9 10Lend 11Monica 12Restlessly 20Actress 23Award 25Sprawl 27Head start 29Disco CODEWORD 31Humanity 32Forgotten 33Vibrates 34Settee RA R E B I T CAMP U S 37Trilby 42Scene 44Gooseberries 45Marrow E H L O F D L O A L I B I T R I BU T AR Y 46Unfolds 47Knighthood 49Slump 53Anything S N N E A L I A 55Boxroom 56Wear out 58Limits 59Yearly SWO R D S M A N T ANK E N C T X 61Eyelid 63Russia 65Deer 67 Unit 69 Fat S EQU E L P E RC E I V E Answer Hobby horse S U S R E O V N EM I S S I ON GA Z E BO LINKWORD Status, Easter, Paving, Mother, Hockey, D V U L P J E S T G I BB E R I S H Danger, Bubble, Fourth, Powder, Butter T R H H U S D O Answer Skateboard SW I V E L L E D C L I MB O I WORDWISE 1 Abet, abhor, abort, arbor, baht, bane, AR E GN R SE T Y GE N DE E M I C banter, bare, barer, barn, baron, baronet, barre, barren, barter, barton, bath, bathe, bather, baton, bean, beano, bear, beat, bent, berth, bertha, beta, beth, boar, boat, boater, bohea, bone, bora, bore, borer, born, borne, both, bother, brae, bran, brat, breath, bren, broth, brother, ebon, herb, reborn, rehab, robe, tabor, throb Answer Abhorrent WORDWISE 2 Gelling, gill, girl, glen, glue, glug, gluing, grill, grille, gruel, guile, gull, gurgle, ingle, lien, lieu, liger, line, liner, ling, linger, luge, lugger, lune, lung, lunge, lure, luring, niggle, null, rile, rill, rule, ruling, uglier Answer Gruelling

EDITORIAL COMPLAINTS We work hard to achieve the highest standards of editorial content, and we are committed to complying with the Editors’ Code of Practice (https://www.ipso.co.uk/IPSO/cop.html) as enforced by IPSO. If you have a complaint about our editorial content, you can email us at complaints@ ti-media.com or write to: Complaints Manager, TI-Media Limited Legal Dept, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. Please provide details of the material you are complaining about and explain your complaint by reference to the Editors’ Code. We will endeavour to acknowledge your complaint within five working days and we aim to correct substantial errors as soon as possible.

Woman’s Weekly 55


Puzzle Time Wordwise You have 15 minutes to find as many words as possible using the letters shown in the grid. Each word must contain four or more letters, one of which must be the central square. No letter can be used more than once in each word. No proper nouns, plurals or foreign words are allowed. There is one nine-letter word in the grid. Clue: Regressing to a former state

V E T I R E RGN

Linkwords Fit 10 words into the grid so that each links with the end of the word on its left and the beginning of the one on the right. Then unscramble the letters in the shaded squares to make a word. Clue: Media profession (10)

WORD COUNT 30 = Good. More than 39 = Well done!

You can work it out...

Sudoku

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HAPPY

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GOING

POINT

MARKET

DANCE

HORSE

CROP

TANK

DRIVER

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To solve this puzzle, fill in the grid so that each 3 x 3 box, each row and each column contains the numbers 1-9.

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Answers for 31 July puzzles are on page 55. The answers to all this week’s puzzles will appear in two issues’ time

Every letter of the alphabet has been replaced by a number, the same number representing the same letter throughout the puzzle. Just decide which letter is represented by which number! To start you of, we’ve revealed the codes for three letters. Once you’ve filled in these letters on the grid, you’ll have enough information to guess words and discover other letters. Use the letter checklist and letter grid to keep track f the letters you have found.

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22 23

26 26

25

23

25 3

3

23


1

Jumbo Puzzle

J U ST FOR FUN!

Across 1 Worker producing fabric on a loom(6) 4 Person who strives for perfection(8) 9 Small plum(6) 14 Put in place, set up(9) 15 Filling suitcases(7) 16 Vote into office(5) 17 Grasped and kept(4) 19 Large-beaked bird(6) 20 Bootlicker(3,3) 21 Any aromatic plant used in cooking(4) 24 Half of 140(7) 25 Imprecise(7) 27 Trade boycott(7) 29 Communicate by letter(10) 31 Bear or take from one place to another(5) 33 Network of underground rabbit tunnels(6) 36 Allow entry to(5) 38 Dilapidated, ramshackle(7) 40 Egg-white confections(9) 42 Bird in a pear tree?(9) 44 Japanese art of paper folding(7) 45 Draw water from (eg a radiator)(5) 46 Draw back in disgust (6) 47 Dodge work(5) 48 Leader writers’ articles(10) 53 Love and take care of (7) 54 Witchcraft(7) 55 Happen before or earlier than(7) 57 Replica(4) 59 Dinner jacket, in America (6) 61 Spiny plant(6) 62 Eyelid complaint(4) 65 Army colour(5) 66 Profitable (employment)(7) 67 Large group of classical musicians(9) 69 OK, but hardly great (3,3) 70 Sit astride(8) 71 ___ring, patterned fingerband (6)

Down

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

17

Simply fill in the crosswor right) and read down the letters in the shaded squares to read a word. Clue: A type of newspaper (10)

2

15

18

16

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

29

1 Lumps of metal used in bodybuilding(7) 36 2 Newspaper announcements(3) 3 Academic test(4) 42 5 (Tax) break(9) 6 Added as a 46 supplement(8) 7 In need of a scratch(5) 53 8 Cardigan and jumper combination(7) 9 Humiliated, brought 57 low(8) 10 Submissive and 65 easily imposed on(4) 11 Excessively overweight(5) 69 12 Depressing, dismal(6) 13 Pigheaded(8) 18 Organ affected by too much alcohol(5) 22 Civil disorder(6) 23 Get, acquire(6) 26 Examination of data(8) 28 Divert(traffic)(7) 29 Hinder(someone’s style) (5) 30 Public procession(6) 32 Latin-American dance(5) 34 Gun with a multichambered cylinder(8) 35 Person who paints or draws(6) 37 Marvellous happening(7) 39 Nerve, impudence (5) 41 Facets(5) 43 Dried fruit used extensively in cookery(6) 45 Fast-food item(6) 46 Roughly shaped currant bun(4,4) 49 College for nonboarders(3,6) 50 Secret___, spy(5) 51 Made a shoulder gesture(8) 52 Removed lime deposits from (a kettle) (8)

26

30

27

31

32

34 37

38

40

41

44

45

47

48

51

49

50

52 54

58

33 35

39

43

28

59

55

60

56

61

62

63

64 66

67

70

68

71

Wordwise You have 15 minutes to find as many words as possible using the letters shown in the grid. Each word must contain four or more letters, one of which must be the central square. No letter can be used more than once in each word. No proper nouns, plurals or foreign words are allowed. There is one nine-letter word in the grid, for which this week’s clue is: Vehicle’s lamp

GA L E DH H I T WORD COUNT 28 = Good. More than 35 = Well done!

You can work it out...

54 Group of similar animals(7) 55 Attack with a sudden leap (6)

56 Refined, graceful(7) 58 Keyboard instrument (5) 60 Bid(5) 63 Arm or leg (4)

64 Shop selling cheese and cold cuts(4) 68 Darkening of the skin in sunlight (3)

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Woman’s Weekly 57


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Border Dispute Who’d have thought lupins could inspire such wrath?

M

r Dear is usually the most mild-mannered of men. As a general rule, you can only tell he’s cross when his moustache twitches slightly. If it’s merely a matter of slight irritation, an eyebrow might be raised a fraction. You just have to learn to read the signs. Today, though, the signs are all too clear. The moustache is not just twitching a little; it looks as if someone has put 2,000 volts through it. If it danced any more vigorously, it would easily make the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent. ‘How could you?’ says Mr D. ‘Well I didn’t know, did I?’ ‘Of course you knew,’ he said. ‘What really hurts is the way you went behind my back.’ Let’s see if you can guess what this is all about. Have I: (a) Tantalised the local paper with a tale that Mr D is carrying on with the lady curate? (b) Finally donated his favourite tweed jacket to the Natural History Museum? (c) Arranged for a party from the WI to visit the house to view his secret supplies of Grecian 2000? The answer is: none of the above. The cause of all this moustache twitching – believe it or not – is lupins. In an idle moment earlier in the year, we decided we might replant some of the garden. When you’ve lived in the same house since Henry VIII used to pop round to help with the deadheading, you can get fed up with staring out the window at the same rosebush year in, year out. So Mr Dear has been out digging and weeding selected flowerbeds, only twice putting his back out – which is a fine achievement for a man of his age – and only once wrenching his shoulder. Every so often, we have been taking trips to the garden centre and coming back with a ‘bootful’ of garden. We’ve planted some dahlias and refreshed the drifts of lavender – and boy does lavender need refreshing! Have you ever known a plant to let itself go like lavender? Forget to prune it for a year and it loses all interest in its appearance. I always come back for more, though, because I can’t resist the way it sways in the breeze and how the bees flock round it. Anyway, last Tuesday, I was buying a pair of gardening gloves when I spotted some

beautiful lupins. I’ve always loved them. In fact, I’m a sucker for plants that stand up straight and move gently in the breeze. They were dark red, and suddenly I saw just the spot for them – next to some purple Sweet William and some purplish-blue hydrangeas and salvia. What I had forgotten, of course, is Mr D’s very odd relationship with lupins. To Mr Dear, a lupin is not just an attractive herbaceous perenniel of the genus lupinus. It is a reminder of the horrors of childhood. It is being seen and not heard. It is the smell of mothballs. It is the smell of rotting budgie seed… Mr Dear’s aunt, you see, who was visited by the Dears every Sunday for tea, was very keen on lupins. A lot of gardeners seemed to have aunts like Mr Dear’s because, for many years, lupins went rather out of fashion. If you had mistakenly planted some, you ran the risk that more fashionable gardeners – people with an eye on the very latest horticultural trends – would pop round to laugh at your herbaceous borders, especially if you also had a soft spot for

‘To Mr Dear, it’s a reminder of the horrors of childhood’ fuchsias, which also seem to have fallen out of favour in recent times. Now lupins are back with a vengeance. I read it in a magazine somewhere, so it must be true. I’m afraid I have no accurate information about fuchsias, so you must plant those at your own risk. ‘I’m sorry,’ I said to the somewhat downcast Mr Dear on my return. ‘I had completely forgotten you had a thing about lupins. I thought you’d got over that. I mean, we’ve been to gardens with big displays of the things and you’ve barely shuddered. Anyway, you planted those pelargoniums when you know I hate the smell.’ We must, I suppose, face facts. When it comes to gardening, my husband and I are like Jack Spratt and Mrs Spratt (whose first name we never seem to discover). In the children’s nursery rhyme, Mr Spratt, you’ll remember, could eat no

fat, while his wife couldn’t keep down anything else. In our family, gardening is a bit like a meeting of the United Nations – constant diplomacy is required. Mr Dear likes colour dotted about the place haphazardly, and he doesn’t mind a mix of colours. This design, he claims, gives the garden a more ‘wild’ appearance. By contrast, I prefer planting in great drifts of height and hue. As I think I might have mentioned above, I like tall plants that sway in the breeze behind small plants that just stand there in numbers and look pretty. I like blues in a blue border and whites in a white border and pinks and reds in a red border. I suppose I could be considered dull like that. ‘What am I going to do with these lupins, then?’ I wondered aloud to dear Mr Dear. ‘Couldn’t I put them somewhere they won’t show very much?’ ‘But they’re lupins!’ he protested. ‘They’ll just grow tall and peep over plants in front of them. Lupins are like that – they have no consideration.’ He picked up the pot, consulted the little plastic card, and made a face that, for once, I was at a loss to read. Then… ‘You’re right, though,’ he sighed. ‘They are a pretty colour. Why don’t you put them in that space next to the hebe?’ Greater love hath no man than this: that he overcame his loathing of lupins so his wife won’t have wasted £15 in B&Q.

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Woman’s Weekly 59

Woman's Weekly UK - 14 August 2018  
Woman's Weekly UK - 14 August 2018  
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