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Sutton ColdямБeld s NEW free monthly magazine



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Middleton Equestrian Centre is a stunning BHS Approved Livery Yard set in beautiful surroundings close to Sutton Coldfield, offering full livery services to all types of horse owner.

With a dedicated team of BHS qualified staff, we work hard to provide an environment that not only suits your horse, but also suits you and your budget. Details of our three livery packages can be viewed on our website: or contact us by telephone or email to discuss a bespoke package for you and your horse: 0121 311 1601 (8am-6pm 7 days per week) Our facilities include: two floodlit all-weather outdoor arenas; an indoor school with training mirrors and viewing gallery; solarium and wash box with hot water; large airy boxes with rubber matting and shavings beds together with year round grazing. We also have excellent instructors in all three disciplines and we can provide show preparation and transport to any event, schooling trip or pleasure ride, with regular visits to Solihull RC, Eland Lodge and Somerford Park Farm.

Why not advertise your business in B7LM. We have a readership of 10,000+ local residents per month, as well as our online following, and you will also feature in our online business directory. What’ s more, our rates start at just £40! Please get in touch for more information. t. 0121 354 1391 / 07730 565 486 e. w.

K I R S T Y WHITAKER PHOTOGRAPHY Fresh and contemporary photography. Providing bespoke packages to suit any occasion, including weddings, engagements, portraits and corporate events/shoots.


Contact Kirsty for more info. Please call 07730 515 835, or email




WELCOME TO OCTOBER: AND ISSUE 2 OF B 7 LIVING Hello again everyone. I m delighted to be back with the second issue of B 7 LIVING, another issue under my belt and lots of lessons learnt! I ve been blown away by the wonderful response I ve had from many readers, the support is very much appreciated - I hope the magazine continues to please.

EDITOR Kate S. Hughes CHIEF COPYWRITER Joanna Disney

Hopefully you ll like the development of the design scheme - I ve gone with the less is more approach, which means I can fit lots more interesting stuff in here!

CONTACT DETAILS t 0121 354 1391 m 07730 565 486 Facebook b7living

So, where was the Indian Summer we hoped for? September felt very much like winter, but we had some great events to brighten it up, including the fabulous Sutton Vintage and Arts Fair (see our interview with Sabina Gran on page 17), and of course the first ever issue of B 7 LIVING!

COVER ARTIST Rebecca Emery at One Sugar Please T 07837 635 569

Yep, September was great, but that's quite enough looking back for one month... let's look forward, onwards and upwards, and October is going to be a cracker! It will be getting darker earlier, but I love the Autumn; the cold but bright days, so much colour, coziness and an excuse to start cooking lovely comfort food. Speaking of which, it's the Birmingham Food Fest this month (see preview on page 12).

GET IN TOUCH! We are always looking for local talent - artists, photographers, writers, etc. Amateur or pro, we would love to hear from you and hear your ideas.

There's no time for snoozing by the fire just yet though, our Health & Fitness section is turning golden just in time to make some room for the Christmas stuffing. Sutton-resident-expert Tom (of FreeTimeFitness) gives us some seasonal suggestions on page 10. Also, to welcome back the football season we've got a great round up of the big talking points so far in The Final Word, page 11. Remember, October is a long month, so you've got to pace yourself. Just when you think you've come through unscathed, a bunch of little ghouls and goblins will jump out from behind your front door and demand sweets and treats! To help out, we've got a great recipe on page 13 that should help keep them at bay (you may also wish to see a dentist thereafter though, may I recommend page 24!). To get you in the spirit of things halloween-y , here's a pumpkin... Thank you again for all your great feedback this month B 7 LIVERS! I really hope you love the mag this month and continue to support this venture. Don't forget that you can also find us on Twitter and Facebook, (search for B7LIVING ) and our glorious website www.B 7, where you can read this, and our previous issue, online, and search our dedicated local business directory. See you in November!


ADVERTISING If you are interested in advertising in B7LM, please get in touch. Our rates start at just £40. PRINTERS Warwick Printing B7LIVING Magazine is a trading name of KS Creations Limited, registered in England & Wales (7698025). B7LM contains facts, views, opinions, statements, recommendations, advertisements & other content & links to external websites not owned or controlled by the magazine. B7LM takes reasonable efforts to include accurate, current information on its pages, but makes no warranties or representations as to the accuracy, safety or value of the published items that are displayed. No liabiliy or responsibility can be taken for errors or omissions in magazine content. B7LM content does not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or recommendations of its creators and any reliance upon its content is taken at the user’s sole risk.

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THIS MONTH IN B 7 LIVING MAGAZINE: B 7 LM REGULARS Your essential What s On guide for October Useful local contact info Brain Games

6 7 25

EVENTS Dust off your wedding gown, the Moth Ball s in town! 21 The Litte Shop of Horrors comes to Sutton Coldfield 23 FAMILY Bend it like Baby - the benefits of baby yoga Bad behaviour in school Getting married? We talk pre-nups with French & Co. FINANCE Essential pensions advice FOOD & DRINK Looking forward to the Birmingham Food Fest Glynn Purnell opens a bar! Recipe - something sweet for trick or treat GARDENING Suggestions for a colourful start to the season HAIR & BEAUTY Tips, Tricks & Trends with our friends at Bad Apple Hair Buying beauty bits for less

20 22 31

12 13 13

MOTORS Top of the flops


SPORT - new feature! The Final Word - a funny take on the Premiership


TRAVEL Luscious St Lucia


FEATURE ARTICLES New local business goes under the hammer Interview with Sabina Gran of Sutton Vintage The riots - a psychological view by local student Local teacher to star in the West End s Billy Elliot!

9 8


LITERATURE Halloween reads




Kirsty Whitaker Photography Art Red Spot Philip Charles Photography


Cupcakes by Alexandra Ginger s Bar


The Belfry SC Musical Theatre Co.

16 17 18 19

If you have any suggestions for stories or articles, or if you know of any events or organisations you would like covered or explained, please get in touch. We welcome contributions too, be it writing or submitting artwork for the front cover. Contact details are below.


Brian s Baskets


Bad Apple Hair


Ripples The Best Wallpaper Place


TL Window Cleaning The Utility Warehouse




7 13 21 23 29 32

FreeTimeFitness 10 Nadine Smith Sports Therapist 11 Baby Serenity 20 Boldmere Dental Practice 24

The Premier Partnership Ltd French & Co. Solicitors You can also keep up to date with what s going on at B 7 LM HQ by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

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HOME INTERIORS Dreamy Bathrooms Where to find The Best Wallpaper

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HEALTH & FITNESS Why we should all go to Body Beat School of Dance 9 Stay Active in Autumn, with FreeTimeFitness 10 10 Anyone for Tennis?


The B 7 LM

Middleton Equestrian Centre Premier Equestrian Transport

5 15 7 23 26 31 2 2 29

search b7living magazine Please check out our website too and let us know what you think. It s important to us to know what you like and don t like so we can make it better, easier and nicer to use and look at, so don t hold back! You can read the current and past 5 issues there too, just in case you lose your copy.

All of these businesses can be found on our website on our dedicated Directory page. We are currently developing our mobile site, so soon you will be able to search the directory on the move on your smart phone. Follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook to keep up to date with this, and other developments.

www. B 7 LIVING .com READ ONLINE AT WWW.B7LIVING.COM 23/9/11 14:37:49





Create your dream bathroom

These Fairfield wall-mounted basin taps take their inspiration from the Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic movement

The Axor Urquiola – a bathroom for your senses. Soft shapes and gentle curves create a sense of harmony, designed by internationally renowned architect and designer, Patricia Urquiola.


hen designing bathrooms, most people ask Ripples on Birmingham Road for space saving and clever storage ideas. Recesses can give a bathroom character and a feeling of depth. Recessed mirror cabinets are always a good way of disguising your clutter, everyone needs a mirror in their bathroom, and what better than a cabinet disguised as a mirror. You then have the option of having a hidden electric point, adjustable shelves, and a toothbrush holder.


Ripples also specialises in lighting and technology such as suitable TV s and sound systems, finding solutions to the problems that plague your current bathroom: whether it is lack of space, storage or light, awkward corners or low ceilings. Ripples recognises the importance of design solutions and attention to detail.

All products featured are available from Ripples, 26 Birmingham Road, Sutton Coldfield, B72 1QG Tel 0121355 0966

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WHAT S GOING ON? YOUR GUIDE TO LOCAL EVENTS BIRMINGHAM FOOD FEST Try something new with a choice of over 100 participating venues. When? 14th-23rd October. Where? Across Birmingham City Centre. How? View the full itinerary online at CRAFT FAIRS UK - SUTTON COLDFIELD A fair for craft-lovers with over 20 stall-holders selling goods from stationery to soaps, not to mention the cupcakes! When? Saturday 29th October. Where? Fellowship Hall, South Parade, Sutton Coldfield How? for more information. SPEND SPEND SPEND A CLOC Musical Theatre Production of the rags to riches and back to rags story of Viv Nicholson - 1960 s pools winner. When? 11th-15th October, nightly at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Where? At the Highbury Theatre Centre, Sheffield Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73 5HD How? Call for more information and tickets: 0121 308 5522. SC HOCKEY CLUB Champion side, the Women s First XI, have a home fixture against Olton & WW. When? 15th October. Where? Sutton Coldfield - pitch tbc. How? Visit for more information. HALLOWEEN PARTIES AT WLC Wyndley Leisure Centre are hosting some fantastic halloween parties to entertain the tots and teens, including a disco, fab prizes, spooky games and a ghost walk! When? Saturday 29th October. Pre-school 11.15am-12.15pm or 12.30pm-1.30pm. £4 per child, includes drink and snack. 5yrs-teens 2pm-3.30pm. £3.60 per child. Where? Wyndley Leisure Centre, Clifton Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73 6EB How? Call 0121 464 1938 to book places.

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MOTH BALL The Belfry have teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support to bring us the Moth Ball - a fun event that lets us girls don our wedding dresses again! With an amazing auction and raffle prizes up for grabs, it s a dead cert to be a hit. See page 21 for more info. When? Saturday 29th October. Where? The Belfry, Wishaw. How? Call 0300 500 0405 for tickets/info or visit THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company present the classic crowd-pleaser, and just in time for halloween. When? 18th-22nd October. Where? Sutton Town Hall How? Call the box office on: 07856 537 168, or email: You can also visit their website, SUTTON EXPO Only the second Expo in the town centre in consequtive years. It is an opportunity for businesses and other organisations to come out onto The Parade to meet the people of the town, and vice versa! There will be up to 30 marquees with businesses showing their wares and promoting their services. Last year we had major retailers, local medical practices, finance specialists, sports clubs and local crafters. When? Saturday 29th October, all day. Where? Sutton Coldfield Town Centre. How? Just turn up!

ATTEN-TION! If you know of or are involved in any events in the area - sport, music, theatre, fairs, schools, etc - then please let us know so we can beef up our events calendar. It is fair to say that there is a lot going on in and around Sutton Coldfield, it s just not very well publicised, and I want to change that, but I need your help!






Ley Hill Surgery 228 Lichfield Road, Four Oaks, B74 2UE T 0121 308 0359

West Midlands Police Streetly Surgery T 0845 113 500 (24h, 7d/wk) 250a Chester Road, Streetly, B74 3NB Streetl T 0121 353 3212 Sutton Coldfield Police Station Four Oaks Medical Centre (24h, 7d/wk) Carlton House, Mere Green Lichfield Road Road, Four Oaks, B75 5BS Sutton Coldfield, B74 2NR T 0121 308 2080 T 0345 113 5000

Ashfurlong Health Centre, 233 Tamworth Road, Sutton Coldfield, B75 6JL

24H PHARMACIES/ Gas Emergency T 0800 111 999 (24h, 7d/wk) MEDICAL ADVICE (NHS) ASDA Pharmacy (24h, 7d/wk) Walmley Ash Road, Water Emergency Sutton Coldfield, B76 1XL Severn Trent Water T 0121 3137159 T 0800 783 4444 (24h, 7d/wk) Boots (24h, 7d/wk) South Staffordshire Water Unit 4-5, Princess Alice Drive, T 0800 389 1011 (24h, Sutton Coldfield, B73 6RB 7d/wk) T 0121 354 1729 GP SURGERIES NHS Direct (24h, 7d/wk) Sutton Park Surgery T 0845 46 47 34 Chester Road North, Sutton Coldfield, B73 6SP T 0121 353 2586


Birmingham Children’s Children Hospital Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham, B4 6NH T 0121 333 8506 LIBRARIES Mere Green Library 30 30A Mere Green Road, Four Oaks, B75 5BT T 0121 464 4592 Boldmere Library 119 Boldmere Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73 5TU T 0121 464 1048 Walmley W Library Walmley Road, Walmley, Sutton Coldfield, B76 1NP T 0121 464 1842

SUPERMARKETS Sainsbury’s, Mere Green T 0121 323 3213 Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am-10pm Sat 7am-10pm Sun 10am-4pm Tesco, New Oscott T 0845 677 9493 Opening hours: 24h from 6am Mon-midnight Sat, & Sunday 10am-4pm Asda, Minworth T 0121 313 7100 Opening hours: 24h from 7.30am Mon-10pm Saturday, & Sunday 10am-4pm LOCAL COUNCIL Birmingham City Council Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB T 0121 303 1111

RECYCLING CITIZENS ADVICE Norris Way Recycling Centre, 392/394 Kingstanding Road, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7BB Kingstanding, B44 8LD T 0121 303 1112 T 0121 244 1090 Info Helpline: 0844 771010 1st Mar – 31st Oct: (10.00 -16.00 Mon-Fri) Weekday 8am-8pm Weekend 8am-4.30pm


Electricity Emergency T 0800 328 1111 (24h, 7d/wk)

HOSPITALS (NHS) Good Hope Hospital (NHS) Rectory Road, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7RR T 0121 424 2000

ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 23/9/11 14:38:19




Buy Beauty for Less: As the country well and truly feels the financial pinch of the recession, there s a lot of pressure n us to be careful with our money, to spend it wisely and to adapt to a less indulgent lifestyle. So buying those designer labelled beauty products - complete with very large price tags - can become difficult to justify for those of us on a weekly budget. Yes, it s hard to fight the allure of the brand and the promises that come with it, not to mention the sublime packaging and determined sales pitch from the assistant. We all have a tendency to think that if it s designer and expensive, then it s guaranteed to make our skin more youthful, our lips look fuller and our lashes appear longer. We reassure ourselves that the expense is, of course, worthwhile but in reality, are there other products that can transform us from plain to gorgeous, for half the cost? Is a healthy glow, flawless skin, luscious lashes and perfect pout only available if you buy into expensive top brands or is there an effective value for money alternative? Well, thanks to the new trend in budget beauty, a superb range of affordably priced buys are emerging. They might not be quite as exciting and glamorous as designer alternatives, but they do offer surprising results at pleasing prices. The once uninteresting value ranges have been overhauled and replaced with ones that are far more likely to grab our attention and make us realise that these products can stand up well against the competition. After all, what makes a beauty product great is what it can do for you, not the name on the container. With supermarkets like Tesco leading the way with unbelievably cheap prices on cosmetics, these budget buys provide a great way for us to try out different or fashion-forward make-up looks, that we usually wouldn t want to invest a lot of money in. The cheap price tag makes experimenting fun, and a few pounds lost in an unsuitable lipstick is easy to live with, unlike the hefty credit card bill from the beauty counter of a top brand. And it isn t just cosmetics that are available at bargain prices. Everyday essentials are great value too. If you love relaxing with expensive bath and body products then you won t be disappointed. The Body Shop - although slightly more expensive than some of the really cheap budget buys - is always the best for sumptuous, sweet smelling ranges that areperfect for pampering, cater for all needs and rival any designer fragrance. More than ever before value for money products can even be found in your favourite clothing store. Next have a fabulous range of items that are fashion inspired and affordably priced, so you can finish a trendy new look perfectly. Their vast range of varnishes bring nails up-to-date, at a price that allows you to try out every colour in the range. Although it is hard to deny that a lipstick clad with an iconic designer logo looks so much more sophisticated in any handbag than a budget alternative, when on the lips the two look equally effective. And of course, with what you save on a designer lipstick, you can invest in expanding your make-up bag, finding a new look that really suits you and a satisfaction in knowing that, even with all the new purchases, you are still saving money. Helen Jane Taylor

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Wyndley Leisure Centre has gone from strength to strength since opening it s doors to the public on 23rd March 1974! Throughout the years we have seen a major change in leisure trends and how we like to spend our free time. It is now easier than ever to have a personalised workout or take part in an activity, unaware you are getting fit.

Bored of blonde? Not interested in turning brunette or redhead? You re in luck ‒ as this season, one of the hottest colours to wear on your hair is PINK!

Yep, you heard us right ‒ whether it s candy pink or brightest fuchsia, pink has been seen streaked through the locks of celebrities including Katy Perry, Alexa Cheung, Kate Bosworth, Sienna Miller, and Glee star Diana Agron. It s not, however, the easiest look to pull off ‒ so we asked Bad Apple Hair s James Shaw (pictured bottom right) for a few tips...

Wyndley Leisure Centre offers over 120 classes, every week with huge variety catering for every mood and preferred style of fitness in a very social environment. The centre prides itself in having a packed programme for all ages. In this issue of B7LIVING, we focus on what the centre can offer in relation to the benefits of Dance. We see and hear news headlines referring to our children as inactive and constantly in a sedentary state, which can lead to obesity, lack of social skills and in more severe cases, childhood depression. High profile TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and So You Think You Can Dance give exercise and leisure the ultimate feel good relationship. For the younger generation, Dance has everything to offer; modern music, the freedom to express themselves and quick changing styles, keeping it up to date with new trends. For parents, it is a welcome opportunity for their child to participate in an activity that provides them with regular goals to work towards, the promotion of team work and to increase general self esteem. Wyndley has been home to Body Beat School of Dance for over 15 years. It has an ever expanding programme of over 26 classes each week, catering for Street Dance, Breakdance, Contemporary, Showdance and many more styles. Children and Adults have experienced the benefits of a weekly dance class and others take a more serious approach to competitions, shows and career opportunities. There really is something for everyone, so why not give Dance a try, and as winter approaches... keeeeeep dancing!

1 BLONDES ONLY - if you are a natural brunette or red head,




this is one trend you ll have to let go. Pink hair can only be achieved over blonde hair, as is the case with most artificial colours. If you pass that hurdle, however, there are lots of options. We ve experimented with pink hair a lot over the past few years, explains James. Our technical team have a great knowledge and understanding of how to achieve different shades ‒ from soft pastel baby pink or vibrant hot fuchsia. fuchsia



Don t even think about trying to turn your locks pink at home. James explains: The blonde underneath needs to be the perfect shade before we start on the pink, so achieving this look at home will be an almost impossible task. He adds: Always tell reception that you want to go for pink when booking your appointment, as your technician will need a little extra time to create your own custom shade of pink hair!



Sadly this trend isn t a long-lasting one, as pink is a temporary colour. If you want to extend the longevity of the colour, James recommends: The effect will last longer if you opt for a brighter shade, as it will take a while to fade. Opting for a Kerastase or Kin in-salon treatment after your in-salon colouring will also boost its staying power, giving you pink tresses for that little bit longer.



Finally, Bad Apple Hair offer colour refreshers at a fraction of the cost of the original colouring, which is perfect for maintaining your colour between appointments. Book your return visit after your initial colour treatment and you can rest assured that your pink will carry on looking fun, fashion forward and vibrant!

For more info, please visit You can also find us on Facebook, search for Wyndley Leisure Centre or Body Beat School of Dance .


To book an appointment call 0333 200 0633 or email

ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 23/9/11 14:38:30




“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, whilst movement and physical exercise save it and preserve it”, Plato.


s the holiday season comes to a close, the temperature slowly drops and the days become shorter, we find ourselves enjoying the comfort of our sofas that little bit more and we tell ourselves that that bit of extra 'holiday weight' we’re carrying is the insulation we need for the winter right?? WRONG!!! You’re not a bear! Now is the best time to get active outdoors and make the most of the season. Autumn is ideal for outdoor exercise, as the cooler temperatures reduce the risk of overheating, and can therefore enhance any physical activity. So forget indoor aerobics (which is simply a series of strenuous exercises which convert, fats, sugars and starches into nothing more than aches, pains and cramps) and get outside!

TAKE ADVANTAGE! The autumnal weather provides a great opportunity to add some variety to your fitness regime, such as... Hiking - Targets lower body strength; - Ideal cardio source; - You can increase intensity by adding a back pack targteting your upper body strength; - Do it with friends/family and discover some amazing countryside, such as the Derbyshire Dales. Interval Sprints - A series of short distance sprints (100m or so) broken up by 100m walks; - Maximise your time by finding a hill to sprint up and walk down; - Aim to complete as many repetitions as you can in 20 minutes.

“I would highly recommend anyone to train with Tom, my initial goals were to lose weight (I’d gradually put on 7kg in the past 3 years), but now I have a better understanding of my body fat percentage and lean mass; my goals have become far more specific; and my sporting performance has improved to the point where I feel 5 years younger than I did last season!”, R.W., 2011. For more information or to arrange a one-to-one consultation, contact Tom Hartin 07894 134 507 or visit

Why Tennis?

T hese days people are encouraged to exercise more frequently in order to have a healthier lifestyle, but most


people find solely going to the gym a bit boring and would rather exercise in the fresh air. If you’re one of these people, then Tennis might be the ideal sport for you!

Tennis is a relatively inexpensive sport to play, with membership to most clubs being around £250 per year. If you break this down, it’s a cost of roughly £5 per week to play as often as you like. Tennis provides camaraderie. It’s amazing how many new friends I’ve made as a result of playing tennis. Between functions, events and league matches, it is very easy to meet new people. Also you will find that most clubs have very good social programs organised. Below are some examples of what your local tennis club may offer: - Men’s Night - Mixed Night - Mini Tennis - Rusty Racquets - Cardio Tennis - Coffee Mornings

- Ladies’ Night - Tournaments - Beginners - Team Training - Teenage Squads - Socials

Tennis is an outlet for athleticism. Although you don’t need much athletic ability to enjoy it, the higher levels of the game certainly require it. Advanced tennis is a physically demanding activity that requires a lot of skill. ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 October_2011.indd 10

If you enjoy putting your athletic ability to the test, tennis is a great way to do it - particularly in cardio tennis. Cardio Tennis is a new initiative. It is a high energy fitness activity that combines the best features of tennis with cardiovascular exercise, delivering the ultimate full body, calorie burning aerobic workout. Mini Tennis is another excellent initiative endorsed by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). This is a 3-stage approach to teaching children between the ages of 3 and 10 years, with an excellent competition structure for all 3 levels. Tennis for life! Many sports are too demanding to play after your 20s or 30s, but as long as you’re able to walk and swing your arm, you can play tennis although you might not be able to hit some of those exciting shots you hit in your younger days! If you haven’t played in a while, or if you’ve never played at all, give tennis a shot! Chris Johnson LTA Master Professional with 21 years coaching experience and Head Coach at Sutton Coldfield Tennis Club, Highbridge Road, Wylde Green.




The Final Word!

A whimsical round-up of the past month s Premiership action...well some of it! SPORT

It has been a fantastic start to the Premiership season. . . The FA and Premiership continued to promote the "Respect" campaign. Sadly they forgot to tell Joey Barton. . .who has been in and out of the news all summer and has finally moved on to QPR. (Twitter had to design a brand new icon especially for Joey


The new Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas (AVB) has been doing his best Mourinho impressions but has had a fairly mixed start against average opposition and then most recently saw his team beaten by the red half of Manchester. Torres looked a little more like his old self against United, but still missed a sitter. He and Liverpool striker Andy Carroll have had a difficult start to life at their new clubs, despite combined transfer fees of £85m...recession, what recession?? United started with a nervy win at West Brom, David De Gea with some acclimatising to do. Celery wrists let through a tame shot from the Baggies Shane Long in his first game, but has since recovered and is the leading save-maker in the league at the time of writing. The rest of United s team are just as Young (see what we did there?) and have been equally impressive, also beating Spurs, thrashing Arsenal 8-2 and thumping Bolton 5-0, Rooney and the Little Pea scoring for fun. The hair transplant really seems to have helped Wazza find his form. Just imagine how good this guy could have been if he d had the same treatment...

For the noisy neighbours , City, step forward Sergio El Kun Aguero, with 8 goals in 5 games, he has been very impressive. Pictured right, Aguero with Maradona s daughter Giannina and their son, now that is a footballing pedigree!

Villa fans will admit they ve seen better football at Villa Park. McCleish likes to play a certain way, however they lie in 6th at the time of writing despite only winning one game so far! Efficient. Wolves and West Brom are mid-table and bottom respectively. There s still plenty of fight left in them yet, but after some heavy defeats at the weekend, their defences currently look as leaky as a dodgy plumber s soldering. Written by Tom Martin - Suttonian living in South Africa. Tom keeps a great blog (from which the above has been extracted) much to the amusement of his friends back home.

Sports Massage is beneficial for reducing scar tissue & improving range of motion & flexibility. Why not relax with an Aromatherapy, Hot Stone or Swedish Massage treatment?


It s tough to cram a month s worth of football in here, but we ll do our best. We d love to get some local sports news in B7LM too, so please get in touch by email -

To book an appointment, call 07716 011 430 & quote “B7LM” to receive 20% off your first treatment! Walsall Physiotherapy Clinic 10 Vicarage place Walsall, WS1 3NA


ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 23/9/11 14:38:43




Feast your eyes on the

Birmingham Food Festival W hoever said that too many cooks spoil the broth? Birmingham Food Fest, a brand new 10-day celebration of all things culinary, is hitting our city streets this month.

Starting on Friday 14th October, the Birmingham Food Fest is a diverse gastronomic event featuring a range of demos, events and special offers that is sure to pack a punch with everyone whether you’re an amateur cook, a full-on foodie or even if you just enjoy a little tipple. Designed to open your mind to new ideas and get your taste buds tingling, as well as encourage visitors to try some of Birmingham’s excellent local produce, this new festival celebrates the diversity of food - and what better place to do it than the UK’s second city? Birmingham is a truly multicultural city which is firmly fixed on the culinary map - you only have to take a stroll down Broad Street or wander through Brindley Place to savour its tantalising range of cafes, bistros and restaurants. But it’s not just variety that’s on offer. The city is no stranger to fame, which is something it has found as a direct result of its excellent culinary offering. From the innovative new-age Indian restaurant Lasan, crowned Best Local Restaurant 2010 by Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word, to the supreme Michelin starred Simpsons, Birmingham boasts the crème de la crème of the food scene that makes it the perfect host for a food lover’s festival. And did you know that Birmingham is home to more Michelin starred restaurants than any other city in England outside of London? Many of the city’s talented chefs will be making an appearance during the Food Fest, including such stars as Lasan’s Aktar Islam, Richard Turner - chef patron of Turners of Harborne, and Glyn Purnell of Purnell’s. A number of rising stars from University College Birmingham will be sharing the secrets of their success. Then there’s cocktail tasting and mixology in Brindley Place, Edwardian Afternoon Tea at Winterbourne House & Garden, Fish & Chip Friday at Chamberlains, wine tasting by the Birmingham Wine School, and so much more. Over 100 eateries, wine bars and hotels are opening their doors throughout the 10-day event and are ready to welcome you with special discounts, mouth watering menus and a packed programme of food and drink themed events. So whether you’re looking to keep the in-laws entertained, score some brownie points with the kids or just enjoy some of Birmingham’s finest culinary delights, don’t miss the Birmingham Food Fest for what is lining up to be a truly memorable event. Birmingham Food Fest kicks off on Friday 14th October until Sunday 23rd October 2011 at over 100 participating venues throughout the city. Find out more and see the full itinerary online at Written by Joanna Disney. Images courtesty of Kirsty Whitaker Photography

ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 October_2011.indd 12




Michelin Star Chef prepares to shake up Birmingham s Bar and Restaurant Culture:

The massive site on Newhall Street has been given a £150,000 refurbishment with a theme adapted from the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire era, to inject a touch of elegance and flamboyance into Birmingham s bar and restaurant scene. The concept of Ginger s Bar will compliment The Asquith perfectly , says Glynn.

It s an exciting time for Glynn Purnell and his team, with the eagerly anticipated re-launch date of The Asquith to be announced in the forthcoming weeks.


Glynn Purnell has just fulfilled one of his ambitions by opening an exclusive cocktail bar and restaurant in the heart of the city centre, Ginger s Bar.

B7LIVING wish them the very best of luck, and can t wait to get down there to try out the Scorched Lemon and Vanilla Margarita , sounds delish! - Kate Hughes, Editor.

Ginger s Bar promises to shake up Birmingham s Business District and bar culture, with award winning bar manager and mixologist Chris Hoy at the helm. Chris, originally from Sutton Coldfield, has travelled extensively to perfect his art and boasts an impressive portfolio of accolades, which includes Chase Vodka s National Bartender of the Year 2011. Ginger s Bar will offer an extensive spirits list, a variety of local ciders, bohemian lagers and award winning cask ales. A fine wine list has been meticulously selected by Julie Tonsgaard, restaurant manager at The Asquith and Jean Benoit Burloux, maitre de at Purnell s.

Opening Thursday 22nd September 11 Newhall Street, Birmingham, B3 3NY Opening hours Monday - Thursday: 11am until 11pm Friday: 11am until 12am Saturday: 12pm until 12am Sunday: 12pm until 10am For further information on private functions please email or call 0121 236 2600


This home-made fudge is a delicious sweet treat that kids (ah-hem, just kids?) will love, and its great for a Hallowe en treat. Or any other excuse you can think of! If you re not a fan of the glace cherry, never fear, simply replace the cherries with raisins, chopped stem ginger, chopped nuts, or whatever else takes your fancy.

Ingredients: 450g (1lb) granulated sugar 75g (3oz) butter 150ml (¼pt) milk 170g can evaporated milk 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 100g (4oz) glace cherries, chopped Makes approx 550g (1¼lb)

1 Place the sugar in a large heavy-based pan with the butter, milk and evaporated milk. Heat gently, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved.

3 Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla essence and chopped glace cherries. Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is stiff, grainy and paler in colour. 4 Quickly pour the mixture into a greased 18cm (7in) square shallow cake tin. Leave until almost set then mark into squares. When completely cold, cut or break into the squares. Store the fudge in an airtight container.


2 Bring the mixture to the boil, without stirring, and continue to boil until the mixture reaches 116C/240F on a sugar thermometer (see tip). Stir the boiling mixture occasionally to prevent it from sticking.

If you don t have a sugar thermometer, place a jug of very cold water by the hob. After boiling the fudge mixture for about 5 minutes, drop a teaspoonful of the hot syrup into the water. If the syrup forms a ball which you can roll between your fingers then its ready ‒ if not, boil for a further few minutes then test again. Next step...EAT!


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Osborne & Little s new collection.

Thibaut wallpaper.

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Circa Vintage Auctions presents EVENTS / FASHION

Birmingham’s Premier

Vintage Fashion Auction A new local business arrives to give us a unique and exciting way to buy vintage clothing! Circa Vintage Auctions is a charming business venture new to the West Midlands. Started by fashion expert Claire Robinson, Circa Vintage Auctions specialises in valuing and selling vintage fashion items such as clothing, accessories, footwear and jewellery, ranging from the 1800s through to the 1980s.

Both buyers and sellers can take advantage of the competitively low rates, plus, Claire is offering all readers of B7LIVING a free valuation of their vintage clothing collections for the whole of October!

Circa Vintage Auctions promotes a young, fresh, up-to-date and chic approach to live auctions, whilst introducing something new and exciting to the world of vintage fashion. Claire is currently collaborating with local auctioneer, Chris Aston of Aston’s Auctioneers, who will be hosting the first of many exciting live auctions. Items will include women’s and menswear, plus authentic vintage fabrics and other sewing-paraphernalia. It is a fantastic chance to pick up unique designer labels, vintage winter coats and glamorous Christmas party frocks at great prices! Plus, it’s also a fabulous opportunity for vintage traders to pick up some amazing new stock. Birmingham’s premier vintage fashion auction will be held at The Custard Factory Theatre in Digbeth on Saturday 19th November. The doors will open at 10am, when all items will be available to view, examine and try on. Then the real fun begins at 12pm when the bidding commences. Won lots can be paid for and taken to their new home at the fall of the hammer! There will also be plenty of scrumptious tea and cake to energise you for an afternoon of ruthless bidding!

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To arrange your free valuation, log on to

and contact Claire directly via email, or call 07813 148 633 and quote ‘B7LIVING’.





Sutton Vintage & Arts Fair: It s all good fun! The long-awaited Sutton Vintage & Arts Fair took place in the town hall last month. We caught up with event organiser (and shoe designer!) Sabina Gran, to find out how it all went... The Sutton Vintage & Arts Fair brought an impressive 77 stalls to Sutton Coldfield s town hall, filling every nook and cranny with handmade crafts, collectibles, vintage fashion and retro trinkets. Just walking around was an experience - with stalls selling every vintage delight imaginable, jazz bands, dance demos and some seriously calorific goodies - and even at 5 minutes to closing time the space was still full of last-minute browsers and buyers. Even for someone with no appreciation of fashion or design and little-to-no enthusiasm for shopping (yours truly), I was blown away by the sheer size of the event and the friendly welcome. I even found myself flicking through the clothes rails and picturing some of those wonderful little trinkets in my front room. Spread across a number of rooms, the space was packed with stalls, the meandering alleyways were bustling and it had clearly been a huge hit from start to finish. There was a steady stream of local Sutton residents coming and going throughout the day - as well as visitors from further afield - and one of the most memorable feelings was that friendly sense of community. Everyone here makes a huge effort and really puts their heart and soul into it, said event organiser Sabina, speaking during the event on Sunday 11th September. There is a real passion here. This is our third fair in Sutton and we re just trying to bring a bit of everything to everyone.

Explaining the idea behind the Fair, Sabina says that she was first inspired by her mother, who used to come dancing at the town hall in the 50s and 60s. I always liked the idea of selling a 1950s dress here, of the same era and in the same place where people like my mum used to come dancing. Plus the Town Hall is a really beautiful venue. That s how the idea grew. Sabina, a high street shoe designer by trade who has always held a special interest for the vintage style, is a big fan of car boots and flea markets so it was a natural step for her to launch her own vintage-themed fair along with friend Eva Francis. We just thought that the people of Sutton would appreciate it, and I think they do, she said. Judging by the number of people milling out I would be inclined to agree with her. But what makes it so popular? I think that a vintage fair should be for all ages. A lot of vintage fairs that are on in town or in this area are very much promoted to students, and anyone over that age - say 22 - feels like they re past the sell-by date! I think it shows from the people that are walking around here and the age range that we are connecting with everybody, and they are enjoying themselves. It helps with the little extra touches as well - like having live music - and it creates a whole day out. Sabina and Eva and their team - Emily Snape (Journalist and blogger) and Lorna Bowley (recent graduate of BCU in


marketing and event management) range in age from 21 to 44, and it s this, along with their other obvious talents, that helps them to stay in touch with the wants and needs of different generations. The next event is to be held in November and will have a decidedly Christmas theme. But while last month s event has been a resounding success, the Sutton Vintage team are careful not to have too much of a good thing. Our aim is not to put too many events on. We want to keep them quite special, keep it as something to look forward to. Speaking about the plans for November, Sabina says they have never done two events so close together before, but explains that they are keen to organise a festive event and are planning a range of workshops and hands-on crafts to make it more interactive. At the end of the day, we re just trying to bring something else to Sutton, she says. We ve made friends doing it - genuine friends - and there s a nice community here. Everyone helps everyone. I would say a good 80% or 90% of our stall holders are from Birmingham or the surrounds and they really, really want these local events to be successful, and bring more of a buzz to the area. It s fair to say that everyone puts their heart and soul into it, and it s all good fun! The next Sutton Vintage & Arts Fair takes place on Sunday 27th November at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall from 11am to 5pm. Entry is £1. - Joanna Disney, Chief Copywriter

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The Birmingham Riots: A Psychological Perspective By Charlotte Harrison As a psychology A level student and active member of the community, it s not surprising that I have asked myself many questions following the disastrous, disturbing riots that came too close to home in Birmingham, as well as other cities in the UK. Why threaten businesses, homes, and the lives of the innocent? Why were parents not more vigilant with their children? Why did they continue from city to city? And what was their real motivation? Of course, we may never know the answers to these questions, but I strongly believe that psychology can lead us to understand some of their behaviour. For instance, we must question whether their behaviour was the result of ineffective parenting. Clearly, parents all over the world have various methods to raising their children, but are all behaviours learnt through life experiences and/or upbringing? Perhaps a lack of an authoritative figure has led children astray or do we model ourselves based on our own parent s actions? So, what led to these antisocial actions? The report of two fourteen-year-old girls who didn t know why they were rioting suggests a herd mentality. Whilst in a crowd, such people demonstrate less individuality, become less self-aware of their actions and they may see certain actions as acceptable that they would never normally consider. This can be compared to large groups at rock concerts, where moshpits occur, threatening the safety of others in a contained environment, where everybody is united to create mayhem It is also important to question why people continued to take to the streets even after arrests occurred? This is a simple answer - people are simply not being punished harshly enough or in the right way. The media reported Prime Minister David Cameron stating that they will be reprimanded, but less details of punishment that would deter future offenders cost businesses their safety. I believe we should discipline offenders through meeting their with victims so they can fully understand the repercussions of their actions, and insist they complete community service which includes helping owners of businesses slowly put their lives back together in the aftermath.

This just goes to show the huge difference community service would make, both on local residents and the offenders themselves. As well as highlighting the benefit of prevention before the problem arises rather than dealing with the consequences of not providing young people with adequate support. However, it is important to note that young people were not solely to blame; reports of a teaching assistant and various university graduates looting just goes to show that young people were not the only citizens involved, in fact in this case it was a small percentage. Too often our community forgets the amazing work that young people do, for instance, young people make up the highest proportion of volunteers with 1 in 3 16-25 year olds volunteering their spare time to help their communities. Although this was a dark period for the UK, we must also remember those who defended their businesses and homes, those who lost their precious lives, the police and those who came out to help put our streets back together, piece by piece. Last year Charlotte was part of a team of students working with Envision, a national education charity, to bridge the gap between the elderly and young people through a series of skills exchanges and social events. The team at Arthur Terry School was funded as part of The Co-operative Foundation s Truth About Youth programme which aims to challenge the negative stereotype of young people and is delivered in Birmingham by Envision. To find out more visit the Envision website:

In my opinion, prison sentences for these offences do not benefit the public or rehabilitate the offender. One example is of two young men who were sentenced to 4 years in prison for setting up a Facebook group inciting violence but which did not result in any rioting. UK Uncut commented that for the cost of their jail sentence you could employ 4 youth workers for 4 years working with up to 200 of the most alienated young people per year.

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Local teacher Steve Paget joins the West End cast of Billy Elliot!!! Steve Paget - founder and weekly teacher at the Brit Youth Theatre here in Sutton Coldfield - is about to begin performing in Billy Elliot, the hit musical! Although Steve will perform 8 shows per week in London s West End, he will travel up to the Midlands on Sundays to teach Sutton children at The Brit Youth Theatre. This is a great opportunity for Sutton children to gain first hand professional training from a real working actor. Steve is originally from Erdington. He has worked professionally as a performer since the age of 18, starting out as a commercial dancer, doing TV, cabaret, national and international tours, summer seasons and panto s. Having always had an interest in drama, and in an effort to combine that with his dance ability, Steve studied Musical Theatre at The Arts Educational Schools London for three years. Since leaving, Steve has worked in musical theatre, straight acting, TV, and even the occasional feature film. He is most proud of having been employed as an actor, a dancer, and a singer on the strengths of each of those abilities individually, as well as combined in Musical Theatre. Alongside his career as a performer, Steve has taught at numerous drama schools and colleges across the country. He is a qualified fight director, and whilst preparing drama students at The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art for their fight exams, he discovered he was able to not only coach them in combat, but also in their dramatic performance. It was this which sparked his interest in teaching drama. Steve says: Because of my background as a performer, when I teach, I always aim for a professional standard, and I also feel it s very important for students to be given the opportunity to perform. With this in mind, along with Michelle Connolly, he set up a company here in Sutton Coldfield called The Brit Youth Theatre.

The Brit Youth Theatre is a performance based theatre school for 6‒20 year olds. At The Brit Youth Theatre, it s all about the performance. At the end of a year each class presents a full book musical in an environment as close to professional standards as we can make it - large theatre, full set, live musicians and so on. As a teacher I always strive to get the students to work towards a professionally acceptable standard. It s all about motivation, developing pride and giving them respect for what they are doing in order to realise their full potential , said Steve. From Monday to Saturday Steve is appearing in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace in London s West End, where he is a member of the ensemble, and understudy to the leading role of Billy s DAD, but on Sundays he will be heading up to the Midlands to teach pupils at The Brit Youth Theatre in Mere Green in preparation for their forthcoming productions of ANNIE and THE WIZ.

If you would like to find out more about The Brit Youth Theatre, or if you would like to get involved, call 07958 949 858 or email You can also visit their website,


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Bend it like Baby! Gwyneth Paltrow, Geri Halliwell and Angelina Jolie are just a few of the famous fans of baby yoga, but is baby yoga exclusively for the rich and famous, or can the techniques practised benefit babies everywhere? The answer is of course, yes!

Meet some of our happy customers!

Baby yoga is becoming more and more popular, as the benefits for parents and babies are so huge, encouraging more and more mums to enrol in classes to learn yoga techniques which can hugely aid their baby’s development, whilst giving themselves time out to focus purely on their baby. Baby yoga consists of some dynamic and physical moves for babies, which can be tailored to the stage of development. In one baby yoga session, a baby is given as much physical activity as they would receive if they were handled and carried around all day. Practising baby yoga regularly can make a huge difference to a baby’s development and has some very specific benefits. The movements practised in baby yoga support the development of the vestibular system. As a baby grows, the vestibular system matures, enabling him/her to hold his/her head uprioght or stand unaided. It also controls the sense of balance, movement and co-ordination and assists the development of emotional security, auditory language processing and visual-spatial processing. During a baby’s first year, he/she makes phenomenal developments physically, emotionally and mentally, which will all be determined by the brain and neural development (connections that the brain makes). By engaging a baby’s brain in a stimulating, yet gentle, way, baby yoga can greatly assist a baby’s brain and neural development. Other important benefits of baby yoga include:


• The physical activity and sense of contentment promoted through baby yoga can aid deeper sleep and help babies to ‘settle’ more easily. • It aids the digestive system and can, therefore, relieve discomfort associated with wind, colic and constipation. • It helps parent and baby to get to know each other, enhancing communication between them and further developing their bond. • The high quality interaction between parent and baby helps baby to interact with others and play actively. • The deep relaxation which is part of yoga helps parents to cope with the stresses of early parenting. To find out more, or to come and see for yourself how fun and informative a baby yoga session is, contact Baby Serenity who provide regular baby yoga classes in Sutton


Visit; call Katie on 07969 891 213; or email

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Tel 07969 891 213 Email




The highest bidder for executive chef Patrick Harness will enjoy Sunday lunch cooked for four in their home while pastry chef Dean Cole will be auctioned to hold a chocolate masterclass for two in the resort s pastry kitchen. The gourmet treats will be on offer at The Belfry s Moth Ball on 29th October when brides will have the chance to celebrate their big day again by stepping back into their wedding dress. Bridesmaids, mothers-of-the-bride, mothers-of-the-groom, hens and friends are also invited to wear their wedding attire once more for the ladies-only night at the resort in Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield. Hosted by BRMB radio presenters Foxy & Guiliano, the DJs will present a prize for the best entrance made at the fund-raiser, which gets underway at 7.30pm. Entertainment will be staged by Take That tribute band Beautiful Circus and mind-blowing magic from Ben Hanlin, along with casino tables from Moonlighting Event Management. Tickets, which include a three-course meal along with the auction and a raffle, are available at £39 each, with £5 going to Macmillan Cancer Support. Raffle prizes include vouchers for an Indian head massage at Simply the Spa, a printed picture canvas from Aurora Graphics, a real Christmas tree from Newlands Nurseries and a Red Letter Day gift, PLUS dinner for four at The Curry Republic, a No 7 beauty hamper from Boots, an ESPA hampter and an AquaSpa session for four at The Belfry. Samantha Baker, who is helping to stage the fund-raiser at The Belfry, said: The Moth Ball is proving to be really

popular with tickets selling fast among ladies who want to dress up in a wedding outfit they have worn either as a bride, as part of a wedding party or as a guest, and let their hair down with the girls. We have got some fantastic prizes and are hoping they will raise as much money as possible for Macmillan Cancer Support. Party-goers can make a weekend of the Moth Ball with tickets also available with an overnight stay for just £79 per person, with £10 going to Macmillan Cancer Support. Cat Yates, fundraising manager for Birmingham South and Solihull for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: Without events such as this, Macmillan would not be able to provide the practical, medical, emotional and financial support for people affected by cancer. For more information visit: Tickets are available by phoning The Belfry s special events team: 0300 500 0405

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Professional Studio



Pictured celebrating on a special wedding golf buggy at The Belfry are, from left to right, Karen Williams, Vicky West, Sophie West and Charlotte Powers, and Peggy West, all of whom are joining the festivities on 29th October.

The Belfry’s top chefs are to be auctioned off for Macmillan Cancer Support at a bridal fund-raiser spectacular!

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BAD BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOL Recognising problems Children can be disruptive in the classroom in many ways: playing up when they should be working, refusing to carry out requested tasks, talking back to the teacher and distracting other children from their work by their behaviour. Often parents do not recognise this disruptive behaviour in their child at home but one survey found that 80% of primary and secondary school teachers blamed poor discipline at school on a lack of parental control at home. While this may be the case, research also shows that early intervention by parents and the school in dealing with difficult behaviour brings long-term beneficial results. The effects of disruptive behaviour A child s disruptive behaviour at school not only affects their own schoolwork, it affects the concentration and behaviour of other children in the class. It also means the teacher has to spend time controlling poor behaviour rather than teaching. While bad behaviour may seem musing to other children, in reality a disruptive child tends not to have close friends, or doesn t keep friends for long and they may find other children avoiding them at break-times. Teachers, too, may find it difficult to keep a balanced view of the child. Future consequences If a child is not taught how to become a considerate and active member of the class, then they are more likely to become disaffected with school and start to play truant - it s estimated that 55,000 pupils skip classes every day. This means not only are they missing out on the social interaction gained from peers, but are less likely to do well in exams and gain employment in the future.

As a result of a child s behaviour they may be excluded from school for a fixed period of time or permanently. Getting support for your child All schools have strategies in place to help control behaviour. The school may suggest a written action plan, agreed by you, your child and them on how to deal with disruptive behaviour. They may impose sanctions, such as the withdrawal of break or giving a lunchtime detention. Your child may be mentored by an older pupil or supportive adults. If a child can see themselves as others see them and understand how their behaviour affects others, it can help them to behave in a more responsible way. Your child may be referred to an educational psychologist, employed by your local authority, to assess the best way of helping them. There are also parenting support programmes available which can help you to build on your parenting skills and open the lines of communication between you and your child ‒ knowing that they have solid support at home will help your child to deal with problems at school.

∞ Parents are often surprised it is their child being disruptive at school, but if a teacher feels the need to point it out to you, listen and take action. ∞ Ask to have a meeting with the school and your child to discuss the problems and to try and work out solutions. ∞ Remember that it is your child who will benefit from guidelines and support. ∞ Research shows early intervention is the best way to prevent your child s behaviour from getting worse ‒ and to give them the chance of a good education.

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e r a w e B as the Little Shop of Horrors is coming to town!


Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company is to perform the well known show at Sutton Town Hall In October. Following on from the success of their production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the Lichfield Garrick in June, SCMTC are pleased to be coming home to Sutton for their latest production. The 1986 film starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin, was adapted from the Broadway production of the same name. Set in the 1960 s, it tells the story of Seymour Krelborn a down trodden assistant in Mr Mushnick s flower shop in a suburb of New York. He spends much of his time mooning over his glamorous co worker, Audrey. During a total eclipse of the sun, he finds an exotic new plant, which brings with it, fame and fortune for the hapless Seymour. The plant named Audrey 2 has a voice and an appetite for blood though and what follows is a hilarious and often touching romp with a fantastic sound track featuring songs such as Suddenly Seymour and Somewhere That s Green. This isn t the first time SCMTC have performed the hit show, they last performed it in 1993. 24 year old Pat Jervis plays Seymour and 17 year old Helen Kitteridge will be playing Audrey (both pictured left), with the voice of the plant played by James Pugh. So why not book your tickets for what promises to be fantastic show. Rehearsals are in full flow and if the energy of those is anything to go by, it promises to be a storming show!

Little Shop of Horrors will be on at Sutton Town Hall 18th-22nd October 2011. For tickets call the box office on 07856 537 168 or email, or for more information please visit


Call Nick on 07545 380 710 or visit


For more information, call Nick on 07545 380 710 or visit

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Celebrating a Decade of Gold Standard Dentistry Boldmere Dental Practice has always strived to offer the best care possible. When the British Dental Association launched the Good Practice Scheme, we recognised that by becoming members of the Scheme, we could demonstrate a visible commitment to providing quality dental care to nationally recognised best practice standards. That was ten years ago, and since we decided to make the Good Practice Scheme commitment, we haven’t looked back. Our practice and its staff have gone from strength to strength. In fact, we have just been awarded Gold Membership status for 10 years continuous commitment, which we are really proud of.

Although people’s finances have been stretched due to the financial crisis, we see people are still investing in both their health and appearance. Because the job market has become increasingly competitive, we think people are realising the importance of a healthy looking smile and how this affects their prospects. Today, patients are more demanding in ensuring they get the highest standards of care. The Good Practice Award means that patients who are looking for quality dentistry and care know that they can place their trust in our team. Come and see why we’re different.


So what does this mean for our patients? The scheme has 10 commitments that each practice must adhere to: 1. We aim to provide dental care of consistently good quality for all patients. 2. We only provide care that meets your needs and wishes. 3. We aim to make your treatment as comfortable and convenient as possible. 4. We look after your general health and safety while receiving dental care. 5. We follow current guidelines on infection control. 6. We check for mouth cancer and tell you what we find. 7. We take part in continuing professional development to keep our skills and knowledge up-to-date. 8. We train all staff in practice-wide work systems and review training plans once a year. 9. We welcome feedback and deal promptly with any complaints. 10.Every 10. member of the practice is aware of the need to work safely under General Dental Council Guidelines.

Next month we’ll be talking about Tooth Whitening and how it can radically change your smile for the better!

“We treat every patient as if they were a member of our family”, David and Deborah Hughes BDS.

251 Jockey Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73 5XE Our new sterilising facilities.

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Tel 0121 354 6230







Before you begin frantically scribbling away, I must apologise for the terrible error I made whilst laying out September s cryptic crossword - the clue to 31 across was indeed missing. The clue was... 31 Tidy direction to be taken in (6). Apologies to everyone who had got so far, only to find it MIA. The solution can be found bottom of this page.



Across 1. Feed at and get the better of (6) 4. Potential perils for colliers? (8) 9. Mongrel point plus a change (6) 10. Settled red vole s dispute (8) 12. Islander Ian hit at, in a way (8) 13. Tilts that angels might make (6) 15. Has to be found in all townships (4) 16. Crazy bear dad rubbed! (7) 20. Country song about big boys (7)

Across: 1 Claret, 4 Slapdash, 9 No-noes, 10 Mona Lisa, 12 Equation, 13 Itches, 15 Vice, 16 Kitchen, 20 Present, 21 Daft, 25 Unripe, 26 Impostor, 28 Thursday, 29 Sponge, 30 Needless, 31 Neaten. Down: 1 Conserve, 2 Announce, 3 Erects, 5 Lion, 6 Prattle Prattler, 7 Alight, 8 Hearse, 11 Holiest, 14 Economy, 17 Proposal, 18 Castanet, 19 Sturgeon, 22 Mutton, 23 Troupe, 24 Couple, 27 Mars.


21. Empty art in very small containers (4) 25. A woman in a foreign place (6) 26. Standard tirade, quite brazen (8) 28. Cheat penalised and locked up (8) 29. Sullen ‒ more so when trained! (6) 30. Sense ant could produce an orderly trait (8) 31. Middle region after a recent change (6)

Down 1. Turn demo into a lowering of position (8) 2. Fellow engraving attractive (8) 3. Statue is somehow shrewd (6) 5. Expire with a twisted notion (4) 6. Starter containing fifty fish (8) 7. Full of vigour in olive lycra (6) 8. He enjoys inflicting pain; it s sad in a way (6) 11. Rambles about for a children s game (7) 14. Rip lady apart very quickly (7) 17. Reaction that became the making of something (8) 18. Song concerning an idle sort (8) 19. Odd sweet air, so to speak (2,2,4) 22. Two tin dance? (6) 23. The woman Deb ran into (6) 24. Region development to disregard (6) 27. Domesticated animals? Step back! (4)

ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 23/9/11 14:40:55





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QUIET DISASTERS: Renault Koleos You only have to look over the fence to sister firm Nissan to see that crossovers can be successful ‒ try and order a Qashqai or Juke now and you ll be looking at a rather long wait. So it s hard to pinpoint exactly why the Renault Koleos flopped. Renault launched it in 2008 and by 2010 it had been axed, selling just 2,890. The Qashqai, by comparison, sold 9,253 models in March alone.


Car manufacturers. Give them their due, they normally produce some rather good motors. But occasionally - very occasionally - disasters that should have remained in the design studio slip through the net. Here we take a look at the top of the flops...

Nissan Cube The Cube has been a cult hit for years with unofficial imports snapped up by style conscious buyers keen for something unique. So when Nissan decided to bring the latest model to the UK officially in 2009, it was sure it had a hit on its hands. Unfortunately, the maker gave it little publicity, it was expensive and soon became too costly to import from Japan. 1,000 were sold which Nissan says was over its estimate . We don t believe them. Citroen C6 We all know that large French saloons haven t been the most popular cars in Britain. Despite this, Citroen launched the C6 in 2006 with phrases like free-thinking , svelte , and unmistakable in its marketing bumpf. From its launch to the end of 2010, Citroen sold just 889 units ‒ the E60 BMW 5 Series sold ten times as many in the same period. But Citroen always said it had expectations the C6 would find homes in the hundreds, rather than thousands . Chrysler Sebring Chrysler had its eye on entering the D-segment back in 2007 ‒ and thought the Sebring was the answer. It wasn t. The press packs said it combined striking design with interior craftsmanship with great performance thrown in for good measure. The public disagreed and bought only 2,652 of them before it slipped off the price lists in 2009. In the same period, Ford sold 126,368 units of the Mondeo. Subaru Tribeca Like Renault, Subaru believed it needed an SUV in its range. So, in 2006, along came the Tribeca. Intended to offer a practical SUV with great handling and a sporty drive it failed to find buyers. A face-lift in 2008 did nothing to improve sales and it bowed out that year with just 750 sold. In contrast, the Volvo XC90 ‒ a car Subaru was competing with ‒ sold 11,897 units in the same three years. Toyota Urban Cruiser The Toyota Urban Cruiser went on sale in May 2009. Designed to meet a growing demand for vehicles that are cut out for life on urban roads it didn t do the job. Sales at the end of 2010 were 3,017 ‒ the maker had planed to shift 2,000 units a year. Chrysler Crossfire Launched with great fanfare in 2003, the Crossfire was Chrysler s sports car for the masses. Based on the first-generation Mercedes SLK, it came in coupe and convertible forms with retro American styling. However, only 4,544 units were sold in five years, and the Crossfire quietly died in 2008. In contrast the SLK sold 4,362 units in 2004 alone. Vauxhall Signum More than just a cut-down Vectra, the Signum was intended to offer the executive experience in an otherwise humdrum Vauxhall and arrived in 2003. But almost five years to the day, Vauxhall called time on the Signum, axing it with just 17,344 sales to its name. This was on target according to the firm but industry experts say it was well off what was originally planned. Ford Cougar Along with the Focus, the Cougar was one of the cars that demonstrated For Ford s new edge look in the late 90s. Available with the Mondeo s 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrol engines, the Cougar was loved by the press. Sadly, the public wasn t convinced ‒ the lack of a prestige badge meant sales totaled 13,958 in four years. In contrast, the BMW 3 Series Coupe sold 44,420 between 98 and 02, showing a badge makes all the difference. Mercedes-Benz R-Class Billed as a car that combined an SUV, sports saloon, and luxury estate car into one package, the Mercedes R-Class arrived in 2005 hoping to carve a niche of its own. It was such a niche that few Brits bought it, and even a makeover in 2010 did little to improve the 3,433 sales clocked up so far. Mercedes says those numbers are in-line with expectations , but we re not so sure about that... by James Baggott, editor of Car Dealer Magazine (


ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 23/9/11 14:41:08




it s just too tempting!

Autumn colour has always had the ability to make me go weak at the knees. I love it...just as the temperatures are dropping and there s too much potential for things to become dull, gloomy and miserable, your garden can develop a new potential ‒ to be positively glowing with fantastic foliage colour. If you re looking to add some glorious golds, passionfilled purples, ravaging reds, yummy yellows or perhaps some outrageous oranges to your garden, then now is a perfect time to buy those autumn colour plants. Not only is autumn a great time to plant trees and shrubs, but if you buy the plant when it is showing its beautiful autumn colours, you ll know exactly what you re getting. If you want to indulge in a little planting for autumn colour on vertical surfaces such as walls, fences or arbours, there are several plants I d suggest you consider. Vitis coignetiae ‒ a rampant grower, the heart-shaped leaves may measure up to 25-30cm across and their splendid scarlet and crimson colours are un-missable. This vine can be grown through large trees and over sturdier supports. The colours tend to be especially good if the soil is miserable or the root run restricted. Parthenocissus quinquefolia - more commonly known as the Virginia creeper, it s another sizeable climber, and this also offers a good degree of self-clinging ability, so it can be used to clothe walls where you have not fixed up a support system. In autumn the leaves are numerous shades of scarlet, orange and red. It can row taller than you want, so will ultimately need trimming if, say you grow it on a house wall, or else it will move on to the roof. Parthenocissus henryana - a relative of the Virginia creeper, but much more restrained. For much of the year its divided leaves are a dark green to bronzy colour with pretty silvery white veining. In autumn they turn rich shades of red. If you are after a shrub or two then there is an even wider range to choose from. Fothergilla major or Witch Alder is a gorgeous smallish to medium-sized shrub that is covered with scented creamy white spiky flower clusters early in the year, before the leaves appear. Pale green for much of the year the foliage turns shades of yellow and orange in the autumn. Fothergilla needs a lime-free soil. Amelanchier lamarckii, also known as the snowy mespilus or serviceberry, is a large shrub or small tree and produces lovely whitish blossom in spring (that is much longer lasting than the flowering cherries!) In spring the new leaves are a coppery colour, changing to bright green and then come the autumn it is one huge mass of fiery colours. Acers or maples are generally reliable autumn show by Pippa Greenwood stoppers, and for smaller gardens you find it hard to beat one of the Japanese maples with their stunning divided leaves turning rich purples, reds, oranges and yellows depending on exactly which one you have planted. The Japanese maples also do well in large tubs, perfect for a sheltered back yard. Cotinus or smoke bush is a shrub with attractively rounded leaves that come in shades of green, pinkish‒orange or purple. Come the autumn they produce a bright display to be proud of. The fluffy seed heads that are left after flowering look just like little clouds or plumes of smoke...perfect with the bonfire effect of the leaves. It is a great time to choose plants for autumn colour, but if you re not sure what s available, treat yourself to a visit to an open garden, arboretum or park, and note down the names of what you like best. Planting at this time of year works well, but if your garden soil is waterlogged now, then wait a week or more until it is in better condition. If the soil is on the dry side, it will still need watering well, and the soil around the roots will need to be kept moist. Always check the ultimate or potential height and spread of trees or shrubs you re considering...there s no use planting something that will outgrow its space in a couple of years time. Then sit back and enjoy your own bit of autumnal magic! Make veg growing fun and productive with Pippa s unique Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood system. Select your veg plants from and your garden-ready plants are delivered in May at a great time for planting and then, what makes it unique is that Pippa will email you every week about what you re growing ‒ lots of tips and help, ensuring great results. It is great value with various pack sizes available, e.g. up to 66 plants plus 6 packets of seed for just £39.00, plus that weekly advice! By Pippa Greenwood

ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 October_2011.indd 28




WE WANT YOU... Why not advertise your business in B7LM. We have a readership of 10,000+ local residents per month, as well as our online following, and you will also feature in our online business directory. What’ s more, our rates start at just £40!


As seen on TV!!

Brian and his splendid baskets are featured regularly on the Ideal World Sky shopping channel and he uses their fantastic Easy Fill baskets in his arrangements.

Available to order now...

Please get in touch for more information.

Winter Pansies & Violas

£2.25 per tray of 6, or 5 trays for £10

t. 0121 354 1391 / 07730 565 486 e. w.

Self-Drive Hire

Hanging Baskets & Wall Hangers From £25 including basket (£28 for hanger) Refills from £20

Please call Brian on 0121 311 1601 Can be seen at Middleton Equestrian Centre, Vicarage Hill, Middleton. Please call ahead. Images are used for illustration purposes only.

24hr Emergencies

Grooms Driven Hire

As the owner, you are welcome to travel with your horse to its destination, or we can deal with the move on your behalf. Why not drive yourself? Call us to find out more, or visit our website: TO ADVERTISE, EMAIL SALES@B7LIVING.COM October_2011.indd 29

(self-drive available)

3-Horse Lorry (driven hire only on this vehicle)

For more information please visit our website, or call 0121 311 1601 (8am-6pm) or in an out of hours emergency call 07528 157 835 (6pm-8am)

PET is fully insured & licensed to operate. All drivers hold NPTC Certificate of Competence in the Transport of Animals, & all vehicles comply with DEFRA regulations & Welfare of Animals during Transport Regulations.


At PET we offer a caring & considerate approach to transporting horses, whatever the circumstance or length of journey. Our priority is providing a stress-free environment so that the horses will be relaxed & happy to travel again.

We also offer a 24hr emergency service for transporting horses to Equine Veterinary Clinics & Hospitals, & we are registered with breakdown services for call-outs to horsebox or trailer 2-Horse breakdowns. Lorry

ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 23/9/11 14:41:41





A VARIED & SCENIC ISLAND At the southern end of the Lesser Antilles, in the Caribbean islands, St Lucia is just a drop in the ocean, 27 by 14 miles, with spectacular mountains, lush rainforest and fertile valleys fringed by sandy beaches. Tossed 14 times between French and English colonial powers, the island has thrown both cultures into the melting pot with a generous helping of African folklore, a little East Indian spice and vestiges of early Amerindian settlers. English is the official language but Creole, a mix of African dialects and French, is coming back, in tune with the stirring rhythm of reggae and calypso. St Lucia is tourist-hungry but eco-friendly and most developments have been limited to the north-west around Rodney Bay. There are fine sands and palm trees, a gleaming marina and out on the hilly peninsula, known as Pigeon Island, fabulous views over the shimmering Caribbean Sea on one side and foaming Atlantic breakers on the other. Pleasure boats sail along the coast looking out for sunfish, dolphins and whales, past the lovely Marigot Bay featured in Dr Doolittle, the fabulous diving sites, hidden coves and sleepy villages strung with fishing nets and laundry drying on the beach. On a Friday night, when the beat of Afro-Caribbean steel bands echo along the shore, the village of Anse la Raye stages a gigantic fish fry al fresco, a lively family event where all sorts of delicacies bubble in the pots or sizzle in the pans - seafood, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, rice, callaloo soup and more. The national dish is salt fish with green bananas, but equally popular is the fiery pepperpot cooked in cassava juice. Soufrière, the old capital, nestles below the luxuriant volcanic cones of the Pitons, seen on every postcard, but few visitors linger in town. The world s only drive-in volcano is just a stone s throw away, seething with sulphurous fumes and gurgling mud, and there are Botanical Gardens with mineral springs, tropical blooms and a stunning Diamond Fall gushing down multi-coloured rocks. To the north, the new capital, Castries, is famed for its Jazz Festival and duty-free malls, gleaming with Colombian emeralds and Amerindian craft, but the old town retains a quaint colonial charm. The cathedral has stunning murals and stained glass, designed by Nobel-prize artist Dunstan St Omer, no doubt a source of inspiration for myriad craftsmen and painters who have set up home on the nearby Hill of Good Luck. Climbing the Pitons is strictly for the brave but there are easier treks through the hills and rainforest with jeep safaris heading for remote hamlets, banana plantations and Creole farms fragrant with cinnamon and nutmeg. There may be time to taste cassava bread, bathe in a waterfall and bargain for bird ornaments carved out of coconut shells. At over 3000 feet, Mount Gimmie, the highest peak, rises above it all but views can be enjoyed with no effort at all in the eight-seater gondola offering an expensive but popular sky ride . There you glide up a hillside, skimming the tree tops, gazing at incense and fern trees, breadnut, blue maho and heliconia, spotting hummingbirds, butterflies, mongoose and tarantulas dangling inches from your face. Rolling farmlands stretch into the distance, sprinkled with villages where the occasional beat of a Creole drum seems to touch the very heart of this varied and scenic island. by Solange Hando

ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 October_2011.indd 30




The best books for Halloween:

Pre-nuptial Agreements Will you marry me? Yes, but... Statistically one in three marriages

The There have been many media reports on the huge financial settlements some spouses receive on divorce. If there were a way to protect assets if a marriage failed, would more couples choose to marry? The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Haunting of Toby Jugg by Dennis Wheatley

Misery by Stephen King

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement in writing made in contemplation of marriage setting out what should happen to assets on divorce. Pre-nuptial agreements are not currently legally binding in England & Wales, but they are increasingly being taken into account as one of the factors a Court will consider when dividing assets on divorce and there have been a number of high profile cases where a pre-nuptial agreement has been upheld and a spouse has received much less on divorce than they might have done if the pre-nuptial agreement was not in existence. The most difficult part of a pre-nuptial agreement is raising the issue with your partner. If you are getting married then you will no doubt be talking about matters such as life insurance, making a will, joint accounts and where you will live. A pre-nuptial agreement can be another part of your financial planning together and can actually be the starting point of an essential conversation about how you will arrange your finances.


Dracula by Bram Stoker

As more and more couples try to regulate what should happen if their marriage fails, in order to save costs and distress, the time to seek advice is when you agree to marry. Amanda Holland, accredited Resolution specialist at French & Co Solicitors.


A pre-nuptial agreement is not just about protecting assets, income or inheritances on divorce, but also about providing what should happen in the future. They are not just for the rich and famous, it is something everyone who is thinking about marriage should consider. The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

will end in divorce, and more people are choosing not to marry in order to protect themselves from financial claims if the relationship ends.

247a Jockey Road, Boldme Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield, B73 5XE Tel 0121 362 7330


ISSUE 2: OCTOBER 2011 23/9/11 14:41:57

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23/9/11 14:41:59

October 2011  

B7LIVING Magazine is a lifestyle and community magazine for the fine folk of Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, UK. But you don't have to be a...

October 2011  

B7LIVING Magazine is a lifestyle and community magazine for the fine folk of Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, UK. But you don't have to be a...