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4 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Contents Lifeonthe 6-8 Life’s an adventure with the Gilberts

10-13 Wedding season is here! 14-15 Look your best on the beach


16 Walk on sunshine with this season’s sandals 18 Be a festival fashionista 20 Cool kit for kids 22 Pause before you post those pics online 26 Look fab while getting fit


34-37 Brighten up your home ... tips and trends for a summery season 38-39 Let it all hang out with great window boxes and hanging baskets, plus gardening tips for May & June

40 Too late for old dogs... why it’s hard to stop pampering the family pooches

28 Move more, sit less and stay healthy

42-43 Steve Moore’s marathon effort to help young Hannah

29 Don’t get scorched by the sun this summer

45 The POTUS factor and this year’s holiday hotspots

30-31 How to have a sizzling barbecue... plus tasty dishes for vegetarians

Published by Belfast Telegraph Clarendon House, Clarendon Dock, Belfast, BT1 3BH

46-47 Top tips for holidays all over Ireland 48 Playtime 45 games to get the kids outdoors

FAMILY LIFE MANAGER Jackie Reid Belfast Telegraph

52-53 Beauty edit: Skincare, make-up and hair products to see you through summer

EDITOR Fiona Rutherford Realtime Editing & Design NI Ltd

54-57 Shows, gigs, festivals and events across Northern Ireland

CONTRIBUTORS Davina Gordon, Maureen Coleman, Ciara Lawn, Matt Gault, Paul Hopkins, Ronan McDaid DESIGN Susan McClean INM Design Studio, Belfast PRINTING INM, Newry


32-33 Crash Services enjoys record year

58 Mind games paying off for Joel Mawhinney 60-61 Meet rising star of NI football Peter McKiernan 62 Basic car checks will keep everyone safe on the roads

Get your summer off to a sizzling start


fter a dazzling April and early May, it’s business as usual for summer with a cocktail of sun and rain. Fear not – our mix of in season features should help brighten up the dullest day. Family Life likes to foster rising talent and we’re delighted that young actor Carla Langley, who starred in a previous issue, is currently performing in The Ferryman in London’s Royal Court Theatre which is transferring to the West End next month. The play, written by Jez Butterworth and directed by Sam Mendes, has won rave reviews across the board. In this issue we meet two newcomers to different stages - multi-talented mentalist Joel 52 Mawhinney and future football star Peter McKiernan whose hat-trick for Northern Ireland in a recent schoolboy international stole the show. Both are mindful of the backing of their families as they pursue their dream careers. Meanwhile, young Hannah Gillespie is thankful for the support of her cousin, Steve Moore, who ran the Belfast Marathon earlier this month to raise awareness of the rare condition threatening Hannah’s quality of life. When it comes to families and parenting styles, there are few to match the Gilberts.

Causeway Coast native Emma and her husband Alex have adopted an unconventional approach to bringing up their nine children, home -schooling them so they can devote plenty of time to their favourite past-time, travelling. No issue of Family Life is complete without a section on travel and we also look at various aspects of health and parenting with advice and pointers... for instance, you might want to think twice before posting images of your little ones online as privacy laws being introduced in France could find their way here in the future. Summer is the season for weddings and we meet a young Fermanagh couple getting ready to exchange vows. Don’t know what to wear to a wedding? Check out our fashion pages for ideas for a big day out and we’ll also having you looking the part for the summer festivals. Our hair and beauty pages will have you at your glowing best, throughout the summer, whatever the atmospheric conditions. With so many the events packed into the summer months, this issue of Family Life has an expanded entertainments section, as well as ideas for outdoor fun, tips for throwing a great barbecue that even your vegetarian guests will enjoy, and advice on getting your home and garden into great shape for the summer season. See you in September!

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Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017





Most of the clan (l-r) Kevin, Adam, Rose, Emma, Jerusalem, Emmanuel, Linus, Enoch and Osgar


The Bay of Islands, where the Gilberts made their home in New Zealand


hink having children means waving farewell to freedom? Meet the Gilberts. With nine children, Alex, from Cornwall, and Emma, from Portrush, have forged their own course through life, daring to do things most of us only dream of. The kids’ names hint at the unconventional bent of the couple, who have made their home in New Zealand: Kevin (28), Adam (27), Rose (25), Jerusalem (24), Emmanuel (19), Linus (17), Enoch (16), Osgar (12) and Raffaella (6). While shoes are often optional in the Gilbert household, they don’t fit the hippy mould, having proved to have shrewd heads for business, while Emma’s penchant for beauty pageants - she was Mrs New Zealand ‘06 - confirms that some people simply defy pigeon-holing. Alex and Emma love to travel and while they don’t often do luxury, they do travel in style. In 2013 they took 12 months out to go sailing around the Bahamas and the USA with four of the children. They were relieved to survive with everyone intact after their boat was struck by lightning, almost swamped by water spouts and wrecked by a trecherous storm. While that would probably be enough excitement to last most people a lifetime, it’s just the latest instalment in the life of this unique family who have lived on a double decker bus and an ambulance over the years, sometimes

spending months at a time on the road. Unfortunately, not all their trips have been for pleasure. When Emma’s mum died 17 years ago, prompting an unscripted visit home for the couple, she found herself making headlines in Northern Ireland. Emma was five months pregnant and believes her grief may have been a factor in her sixth baby’s premature arrival shortly after the funeral. Linus weighed just 2lbs and was too small and frail to travel, so Alex had to return to the rest of the family in New Zealand without them. Long before crowd funding or social media, the public rallied around the stricken family and mum and baby were looked after until Linus was strong enough for the journey home, in February 2000. “It seems so long ago

Bimini Island, Bahamas

now - needless to say we had an amazing welcome when we got home,” she says. However, that experience didn’t put Emma off returning to Northern Ireland and she has maintained strong links with friends and family all over the country, returning last month for the celebrations for the centenary of her old school, Dominican College, Portstewart. Emma Caraher, as she was then, loved boarding there. The family had moved to the States to escape the troubles but her mum brought them back when Emma was 12. Berlin Wall She met Alex when they were both students at the UU’s Magee College, Derry, and they were married by the time they had graduated. They shared a love of travelling - one of their early trips saw them in East Berlin for the fall of the Berlin Wall, which they helped dismantle. Like many other people there for that historic event, a piece of the wall takes pride of place in their home. They also share an ability to turn their hands to a range of tasks and a willingness to ‘have a go’ at the unknown. Emma’s degree was in Hotel and Tourism Management and she has put her organisational skills to excellent use, while Alex, who studied computers, had been raised on a farm and was great with his hands - skills which continue to prove vital.

After uni, the couple moved to Cornwall where they were employed to run a small rural private school and they lived on site with their young and growing family. Settling there was never part of the plan, however, and when Emma was expecting their fourth child, they bought a double decker bus which they fitted out to go travelling. “We had to rip the whole inside out and put in three bedrooms and a living room upstairs. Downstairs there was a kitchen, bathroom and living room. It took about three or four months and was all on a budget. We lived on it for about a year in Cornwall while I had Jerusalem – I wanted to have him before we left – and it was during that time that we decided we would take it to the USA and run it as a restaurant.” They called it the London Lunch Bus and shipped it across the Atlantic, parking up in Wildwood, New Jersey, for the lucrative summer season. “The Italian mafia didn’t like us being there and had our mercantile licence withdrawn,” Emma recalls. Some of the local councillors resigned in protest and the couple consulted a lawyer to find out their options. “He said, ‘Do you have children?’ We said yes and he said, ‘I would advise you to leave town then’. “We sold the bus and Alex worked at a sawmill inland where he met a Christian man who offered him a job with a house.”

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

They lived there for a few years and had child number five, Emmanuel. New Zealand bound Their long term plan had always been to emigrate to New Zealand. “We felt it was a good place to raise children and by now we had some money together. We headed out there with 50,000 New Zealand dollars, hoping to buy land. The first week we were there we bought 11 acres for 35K at the Bay of Islands on the North Island. We bought an ex-ambulance and put bunks in it and we were able to travel around in that. I loved camping in the van and travelling around the North Island, getting a feel of the place. I remember sitting eating a piece of bread and this little fan-tailed bird came in and sat on my knee. The naturalness of the place was great. We lived in the van until Alex got a job and then we could rent a house.” They rented while Alex began to build the family a home and it was to their rental home that Emma returned with tiny baby Linus. They moved into their own home just before Enoch, their seventh child was born, 16 years ago and that same year, 2001 they bought a business that provides equipment for events, including everything from marquees to sound systems. They are a familiar sight at everything from weddings to music festivals to agricultural shows in their area now.

Family Life | 7

Adventure calls It was inevitable, however, that adventure would come calling again and it did, around the time that Adam and Rose were going to university. “Alex realised he had been working so hard their whole lives that he had missed out. He decided he was going to wind the business down so that one person could run it as it had been a big concern with heavy equipment hire included and we had a lot of employees.” They had long wondered whether they could pull off a sailing trip and Emma cringes at how little she knew about boats when she first began making enquiries about what they might need and where they might go. “Then we read about the

Great Loop of America and started to read books by people who had done that. What appealed to us was that it included ocean, lake and river sailing.” They spent a few years putting everything in order. Emma says: “When the time came, Adam and Rose were leaving university in Dunedin and we sold the house we had bought for them. Adam married his fiancee Ashley and took on the running of the business. We bought a 51 foot yacht and airline tickets from the proceeds of the sale of the house and headed off. We took Enoch, Linus, Osgar and Raffaella who were to do the whole trip and Rose and Jerusalem came for the first while to teach us how to sail as they had always spent their

Mississippi river traffic

This page, clockwise: The Gilberts toured the USA in an RV; getting into period costume for a photo shoot on the road; at Delaware Bay and Emma with baby Rafaella

summers sailing around the bay.” Emma’s stock phrase whenever she is confronting any task is, “It isn’t rocket science – don’t overthink it!” It stood her in good stead learning to sail the Knotty Lady. “It was a lot easier than we expected.” They picked the boat up in Florida and spent a few weeks fixing it up, fitting solar panels and getting it rewired. “We sailed down to the Florida Keys - that was a bit scary as we were so green. We thought the popping noises that went on all the first night meant there was something wrong with the boat but it was popcorn shrimp in the water.” They took a few days to sail to Key West and stayed there for six weeks while Rose continued to teach them to sail. “Once Rose went back to New Zealand we sailed to the Bahamas. It was pretty scary to start with but it was great - a real off-shore feeling.” They made it to the Bahamas in one day and dropped anchor at Bull Shark Marina in Bimini Island. “It was full of sharks they were everywhere. You could pay to go

8 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

down in a cage at the marina if you wanted.” Needless to say they didn’t. Storms and sharks Over the course of the year they covered 6000 nautical miles, including the eastern seaboard of the US, the Hudson River and the Erie Canal, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi river. “We had a scary moment when we were hit by lightning during a very violent thunderstorm at Blackbeard’s Island, North Carolina,” Emma said. “We had been in bed and the storm woke us up. I sat up and said, ‘We’re going to be hit by lightning’ and just like that - bang - we were hit. The stereo speakers popped and it started a fire in the engine room. Osgar had spent the evening fishing and he was pulling up one baby hammer head after another. I was scared if we sank we would get eaten by the sharks but Alex had it all under control in no time.” She said being hit by a derecho - a severe storm - was worse. “We were in the Intercontinental Waterway, Georgia, at that point and it hit just as we were about to anchor for the evening. All of a sudden the sky went totally black and the lightning! I watched this town in the distance getting hit seven, eight, nine times and the wind was incredible! We kept trying to steer into the wind to reduce the surface area that was being hit but the wind was trying to tip the boat up. It was spinning around. The hail was coming down and the lightning was terrifying. This other boat went past us in distress but we couldn’t help them because we were trying to keep ourselves afloat. It only lasted a few minutes and the sky brightened. We met a guy who said he’d been sailing 50 years and never seen anything like that. “The next morning the first place we came to was called Thunderbolt and it was where I’d seen the forked lightning come down.” Most of the trip was crisis free and they

wouldn’t go out again but the weather was absolutely glorious and after a while we felt safe enough to go out again. Every time something like that happened, all the experienced sailors told us they’d never seen anything like it before.”

thoroughly enjoyed exploring the places they visited. “We went to Savannah, Georgia, and sat on the same chair that Forrest Gump sat on when he was having his box of chocolates and we went to Washington DC - it was fantastic. There were so many museums like the Smithsonian and the zoo and all for free. We visited George Washington’s farm and saw the bed he died in, we went to the theatre Lincoln was shot in and were at the Ford Museum in Chicago and saw the car Kennedy was shot in.” Danger! However, there was one more dangerous moment in store for the family when they ran into water spouts on Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes in the Midwest. These spray spirals can rise several hundred feet above water and are not unlike a tornado. “There was a thick fog. It was very calm but the stillness was creepy. At dawn, as the mist was lifting, we saw a water spout in front of us so we tried to head to the south shore but as we moved another spout appeared 5m in front of us and we were hit by it. It burst and there was water spray everywhere. The weather was suddenly stormy and it was instant turmoil. The kids were still in bed but they were out in a jiffy

and I was shouting at them to put their life jackets on. Enoch was trying to get Raffaella’s life jacket on and the boat was tipping over and they were falling against the wall. “We hadn’t secured anything because we didn’t know this was coming. The sails were ripped and everything was broken, there was glass everywhere. The bleach came out of the cupboard and burst open on the floor. It was a calamity. You couldn’t walk anywhere. “Everybody got their life jackets on and I put them all to bed and I got Raffaella in with me. There was water sloshing around inside and broken glass everywhere. The kids were sick and upset and Raffaella cried for a long time. After a while they all fell asleep and I lay awake praying and praying. I thought if I get off this boat I’ll never get on it again. We did a mayday call but by the time the rescue boat arrived they could see that we had gathered ourselves and were okay. We lost a lot of stuff overboard like fenders and toys. It took us 15 hours to get to shore even though we were only seven miles away. We got in very late to harbour at the north coast of Lake Erie, Port Dover. “I didn’t want to go back out on the boat. Alex was making repairs for about three days and the kids were hoping we


A major reason the Gilberts have been able to travel so freely is that Emma has been home-schooling the children from the start. While almost unheard of here, it’s a common practice elsewhere, particularly the USA and New Zealand, and suited Emma’s determination to give the children a routine and uninterrupted schooling, wherever they were. She said they know ‘heaps’ of home schoolers in their area and that the families organise social events and sports days for the children so that they get a chance to compete. They buy in the curricula from the States until the child reaches 16 years. “When they come 16 I change to the New Zealand national curriculum and the scoring is done centrally so they can accumulate the points they need for university.” So far the older children have had no problems succeeding at university. Emma says the most important thing she has taught the children is self discipline, particularly when it comes to studying the ‘boring’ bits of schoolwork. “If you haven’t got them to self discipline by the time they’re 16 it would be impossible. I try to encourage excellence without killing the love of learning.”


You don’t raise nine children without learning a thing or two about economising and Emma

says their self-sufficient set up has helped fund their lifestyle. She keeps bees and harvests their honey and she also makes pretty soaps which she sells. The family have always kept a milking cow and they make their own cheese. She bakes her own bread. “Alex developed a method of making a hydroturbine and we have a wind generator for charging batteries. It’s just our lifestyle.” She uses baking soda for everything from cleaning the house to brushing her teeth while coconut oil is used for everything from baking to beauty products and is the main ingredient in her soaps, along with olive oil. Her motto is: “It’s not rocket science. Don’t overthink it and you’ll be fine.”


At present, the eldest five, aged 28-19 have

finished studying and are working. Kevin is in radio in the USA, Adam is a paramedic, Rose is a nurse, Jerusalem is working in the family business, Emmanuel is a designer with Weta Studios, Peter Jackson’s company, bagging his dream job when he was just 19. Linus (17), Enoch (16), Osgar (12) and Raffaella (6) are still in education. With 22 years between the eldest and youngest children, it’s natural that Emma and Alex have changed the way they parent over the years. “The biggest change is that I don’t worry so much about what people think any more. I used to fuss about their appearance and behaviour in public. My career was my family therefore presentation was important. The first lot turned out well so now I don’t worry or fuss any more. We used to be very strict too but now I’m much more likely to give them treats.

Plain sailing Apart from those life threatening incidents - and getting shot at by “a couple of weirdos in a speedboat with a shotgun” at Lake Huron, Ontario - it was mostly plain sailing. Emma says she didn’t enjoy sailing up the river system. “There were coyotes yelping all night and these massive Asian carp jumping on the deck - hundreds of them at a time. You’d think that would be good but you wouldn’t eat anything out of the Mississippi as it’s so industrial with big tugboats pushing cargo up and down.” They got back to Florida for Christmas 2013 and sold the boat in February before flying home to New Zealand. “I was looking forward to getting home and glad that we had achieved so much. It wasn’t easy though. We had three inches of snow in Kentucky which was no fun with four kids and a boat. The trip was definitely an adventure rather than a holiday.” When they got back, Alex’s parents, who had followed them to New Zealand many years ago, asked them to come to Waikato, The Shire in Lord of the Rings, and help run their organic sheep and beef farm and that’s their home for now. They aim to spend two years there while Alex makes the farm more efficient for the next generation of Gilberts and then return to their own home at the Bay of Islands. With ‘just’ four kids at home, Emma is adjusting to a smaller family life. “It’s always weird when one leaves. Over Easter we took just the two youngest out with us and it was weird.” Whatever the future holds, it’s unlikely that it will not involve some travel. “When we’re old we’ll probably buy a little RV and just travel around between all the kids,” she says.

“We didn’t let them watch much TV when they were young as we wanted to instil strong Christian morals in them. We shaped the world they grew up in and it didn’t do them any harm. They have turned out well balanced and respectful, social and creative people.” She and Alex don’t usually drink but enjoy some of the wine produced in the local vineyards when out for a meal. Emma is getting used to be a granny to Adam and Ashley’s baby, who in true Gilbert style, has been named Atlas. “It feels good to see my son has grown up and has his own family now. Looking at your baby holding their baby takes your breath away.”


So far Rose, a nurse, has shown no interest in following her mum down the beauty queen route, which Emma began when she was 19. She decided to take it up again in 2006 was delighted to the title of Mrs New Zealand World. She represented New Zealand in the Mrs. World International Beauty Pageant in St. Petersburg, Russia, and in Mrs Commonwealth International in London, where she was first runner up. She also represented New Zealand at Mrs Globe in 2008 in Palm Springs, California and at Mrs. Universe in Bulgaria in 2011 and again in Aruba in 2013. She loves the pageants, not only for the opportunity to visit different countries, but also for the red carpet treatment that goes along with them.

10 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Parkholds specialplacefor soontobeweds


pproaching the final months of a PGCE in primary school teaching is quite the achievement for Michaela Molloy (23) from Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh, but there’s little time to celebrate when you’ve got a wedding to prepare for! When Michaela returns to the classroom on September 1 next year, her students will be referring to her as Mrs. Coyle. On April 10, 2016, Michaela’s fiancé, Bryan (24), a software developer from Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, took her for a walk in Forthill Park, Enniskillen, where nearly six years before he had asked her to be his girlfriend. “We used to go there a lot in the summer of 2010 and he wanted to ask me in the same place where we had got together. “We were walking around for ages and ages and he was getting really frustrated and I was saying ‘What’s wrong with you? Can we please go to Maud’s because I’m starting to get really hungry?’ He said, ‘No, let’s go for another walk.’ There are only so many times you can walk around Forthill.” Eventually, he took her under some trees and asked her to close her eyes. “At this point, I knew what was happening,” laughs Michaela, “and then I opened my eyes and he was down on one knee with a ring. I love sparkly things and even now I admire engagement rings while we’re shopping and he had picked exactly the right one.” Then it was back to Irvinestown to give Michaela’s parents the good news. She had the impression her mum already knew about the proposal while she says her dad was quite emotional. “We called Bryan’s parents and they were really happy for us. Then we went for a drink to celebrate.” Away from home The planning began immediately. They were moving to Birmingham that September and she knew that she would have to get as much done as she could before they moved. “Being away from home can be an obstacle, I can’t just pop into the florists, and it’s hard to explain to a florist what you want on the phone, or figure out how much it’s going to cost.” A family friend is doing the cake while the chapel, the hotel, the photographer and the videographer are all Fermanagh based and known to the couple. “I think supporting the local people is a really positive thing,” says Michaela. “I want the flowers to be local. I want the invites to be local. I don’t want to just get anybody, and it’s

Wedding season is upon us with hundreds of couples preparing for their big day. And while an estimated 20% of people are now finding love through the internet, Ciara Lawn meets a young Fermanagh couple who met, old school style... Bryan Coyle and Michaela Molloy (above) in Forthill Park, Enniskillen, which is a special place for the couple. Photo

hard when you’re away from home.” And what’s Bryan doing through all of this? “Bryan was supposed to book the band,” Michaela pauses, “I booked the band…” she laughs. “I booked the DJ as well” – another local favourite. But she’s not doing the whole thing on her own. She says her maid of honour, Ciara Sheridan, has made an extensive list of everything that needs to be done and when it needs to be done for. “She’s on the ball – literally the best. She’s an absolute legend.” With regards to the all-important dress, she says: “I’ve looked at a lot of dresses. I want to be a princess, but those types of dresses absolutely drown me. But everyone says you’ve got an idea in your head and then it generally ends up being the complete opposite, so we’ll see. I just want to be able to dance. Musical family “The most important thing to me is the music. I’m going to get my auntie Ciara to do the music at the ceremony and then my wee cousins to do music at the drinks. They’ve got a concertina – that sort of thing. I’d like my friend Conor to maybe play some acoustic guitar as well. Obviously, I want it to be pretty – but I want to get loads of people involved. I’d love to have my family playing the music. I want it to be very family orientated,” she says. “We have a song for our first dance. It’s a surprise. We wanted it to be a really huge surprise.” They are both big fans of Volbeat (a Danish heavy metal band) and originally wanted their first dance to be the Volbeat cover of ‘I Only Want to be With You’. “But then we thought that people would have a heart attack whenever it starts off really heavy and decided no… maybe we’ll be a little bit more classic than that.” As for the tunes for the rest of the night; “I think the music will be very eclectic – we have an eclectic variety of friends.” When asked if she was excited, Michaela

thought for a moment: “At this moment in time I’m not really thinking about it but also I kind of just want to go and elope. I kind of just want to get it done, I want to just be his wife you know? Bryan always tells me: “Michaela, you do you. It’s your wedding day.”

So what happens after the wedding? The couple have a few more years ahead of them in Birmingham, but after that, they’ll be settling back home. “I want to come home, 100%.” Michaela says fondly. And with her passion for family and friends, that’s no big surprise...

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 11

Coupleswaiting untiltheir30s totietheknot


t’s no surprise that spring and summer are our favourite seasons for attempting to avoid tying the knot in a downpour. August remains the favourite month with the prospect of gorgeous floral backdrops and great natural lighting for photos people will want to look at again and again. While Bryan Coyle and Michaela Molloy are in their early 20s, the latest figures from the NI Statistics and Research Agency show that weddings now tend to be later in life, with the average bride being just over 32 years and the average groom 34 in 2015, the most recent figures available. The oldest couples were in Ards and North Down where the average groom was 35.7 years and the bride, 33.6 years while the youngest were in Mid Ulster, where the average ages were 32.5 and 30.5 respectively. Of the 8,355 marriages that year, over a quarter (2,736) were civil ceremonies and the majority, 81.89% were first time marriages. About half of couples 54.35% lived together before getting married. While only a few decades ago, most couples were getting married in their 20s, the

changing demographic – and rising cost of both weddings and homes – has led to loved up couples waiting longer than ever. ‘We’re living longer than ever so what’s the rush’, is the prevailing wisdom. Weddings have changed beyond recognition from simple ceremonies at the end of a working day to today’s lavish affairs. The latest trend is for couples to have their big day abroad, with the celebrations beginning the day before the wedding and continuing afterwards. However much the formalities change, a wedding remains one of the biggest emotional, spiritual and psychological events in the life of any couple, as well as their families. It’s a rite of passage, and a moment when parents formally discharge care of their (even grown up) children to another person. It’s an official handing on of the baton to the next generation. No wonder there are tears and thankfully, usually the happy variety. As Franklin P Jones puts it: “Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”

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Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Delina Fascinator, £39, Coast

Pearl Clutch, £60, Next

White Floral Dress, £65, Wallis


Herecome… the wedding guests W Abbey Henley Dress, £109, Coast

hile all eyes may be on the blushing bride, there’s no excuse not to pull out the stops and impress on the big day. If you’ve a few dates in your diary as wedding season kicks in, it’s helpful to have an idea of what you’re looking for before you hit the shops with your plastic. For ladies, pink is the colour to be seen in, (even more so if you’re the bride). From barely there blush to hot pink, you can’t put a foot wrong. Keep in mind that if the silhouette is simple, you can go bold with print and block colour. Florals and pastels are still a good option if you shy away from vibrant colour. Mother of the bride outfits don’t have to be safe and dowdy. Have fun with colour and if you’re paranoid about baring upper arms, then look no farther than a smart blazer or jacket. If you’re keeping it simple with your dress, make a statement with gorgeous accessories and shoes with frills? Absolutely. For men, blue and grey are great colours for suits. Stand out from the crowd by wearing a pastel coloured shirt in lilac, grey or light blue. The slickest suit shape is form-fitting or skinny styles. We hope our handpicked selection helps you in your mission to look fabulous...

Lilli Jacket, £109, Coast Floral Maxi Dress, £65, Wallis No.1 Jenny Packham Sandal, £79, Debenhams

Yellow Prom Dress, £89, M&S

Lilac Shirt, £30, Burton

Doodle Floral High Neck Dress, £89.50, Oliver Bonas

Jacket, £65, Next

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 13 Ellie Jangle Diamond Ear Jacket, £6.50, Accessorize

Siren by Giles Jacket, £120, Debenhams

Orange Bag, £16, Next


Sparkle Parrot Drop Earrings, £7, Accessorize

Pink Blazer, £42, Wallis

Siren by Giles Dress, £150, Debenhams Alfa Jacquard Ursula Dress, £169, Coast

Floral Dress, £280, Debenham Star by Julien Macdonald, £65, Debenhams

Feather Clutch, £45, Next

Mini Bag, £15, Next Blush Jacket, £34.99, New Look

Frill Sandal, £46, Next

Silver Grey Strapless Dress, £89, M&S

No.1 Jenny Packham Slide, £45, Debenhams

Pink Ruffle Sandals, £45, Faith

Grey Suit Jacket, £90, Grey Trouser, £50, Burton


Checked Suit Jacket, £80, Checked Trousers, £40, Burton

Bow Twist Court Pink, £49.50, M&S

Duck Egg Blue Lace Prom Dress, £79, M&S

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Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Butterfly by Matthew Williamson Swimsuit, £42, Debenhams

Sun Hat, £17.99, Bon Prix

n e m o w Butterfly by Matthew Williamson Kaftan, £38, Debenhams

Wanderlust Beach Bag, £22, Accessorize

Straw Trilby, £12, Next

Tankini Top, £25, M&S

J by Jasper Conran Sarong, £22, Debenhams

Palm Print Shorts, £22, Next


Pineapple Swim Shorts, £16, Burton

Sunglasses, £12, Burton

Swimsuit, £39.50, M&S

Life’s a beach

Striped Hawaiian Floral Print Shorts, £16, Burton

Navy & White Stripe Shorts, £16, Burton

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 15

Weather permitting, we can all look forward to heading to the beach in our droves this summer, both at home and abroad. You don’t need to blow the budget to ensure you’re looking good as you recline on a deck chair, sinking your manicured toes into the golden sand while the kids splash in the sea. From sunglasses to beach bags and swimwear, we have the whole family covered. Don’t forget the suncream!


Sunset Trunks, £6, Primark

Coral Tote, £3, Primark Pale Blue Vacation Swimsuit, £14.99, New Look

Ice Cream Trunks, £5, Primark

Floozie by Frost French Shorts, £25, Debenhams

Three Stripe Short, £6, Primark White Tropical Print Playsuit, £12.99, New Look Baby Boy Novelty Dino Hat, £3, Primark

Novelty Star Sunglasses, £1.50, Primark

Straw Beach Bag, £35, M&Co

Brow Aviators, £16, Debenhams


Bluezoo Unicorn Swimsuit, £14, Debenhams

Bluezoo Swim Short, £12, Debenhams Girls My Little Pony Flip Flops, £2, Primark

Bluezoo Swimsuit, £12, Debenhams

Dye Frill Swimsuit, £10, M&S

I am a Mermaid Beach Bag, £3, Primark

Ted Baker Swim Short, £18, Debenhams

16 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Braided Espadrilles, £10, George at ASDA Gold Cork Wedge, £14, Primark

Guest Espadrilles, £70, Dune

Red Printed Raffia Wedge, £16, Primark BeBe Sport Stripe Espadrilles in Rose Gold, £22, V by Very

Black tassel heel, £24.99, Ellie Goulding for Deichmann Krysie Wedge, £85, Dune

Yellow Cross Mules, £19.99, New Look

Black Embroidered Mule, £12, Primark

Walkingon SUNSHINE I t’s the time of year to shed our socks and show off our toes. Now’s a good time to invest in mani-pedi, whether you’re jetting off to a sunshine destination or holidaying closer to home. As usual, there’s a plethora of options at affordable prices. We’ve selected the most popular summer styles to have your tootsies looking and feeling fabulous. Ankle-tie sandals are a step ahead in the style stakes but if they’re too fussy, then slip-on mules are your friend. If you want a little height

to complement your maxi dress on a glam night out, wedges are an obvious choice. For a more laid lack look, espadrilles are a comfy and preppy option. If you want to go full on casual, you can’t beat cute canvas shoes. We love Shoe Zone’s summery collection, perfect for a stroll down the promenade with an ice cream. Ellie Goulding’s range for Deichmann is also fantastic for very affordable and ultra stylish footwear. Now all that’s left to do is pick a gorgeous summer shade for your talons...

Lilac Floral Print Slip On Canvas, £7.99, Shoe Zone

Denim Floral Print Lace-Up Canvas, £7.99, Shoe Zone

Gold Shoe, £16.99, TK Maxx

Mule, £8, Primark Striped mules, £25, Next

Silver Mule Heel, £10, Primark

Rose Gold Trainors, £24.99, Deichmann

Blue Studded Wrap Around Sandal, £19.99, Deichmann

Luccia Sandal, £55, Dune

Pink Ruffle Sandals, £12, George at ASDA

Pewter Gladiator Sandal, £8, Primark

18 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Black Aztec Print Backpack £19.99, New Look

Festival Fashionista M Velvet Tropical Flower Hair Clips, £8, Accessorize

ake sure you’re festival ready with our pick of must have essentials from sunglasses and wellies to gorgeous accessories such as necklaces and earrings. Keep your windswept hair under a hat, extra points for vintage fisherman hats. Cross body bags are a no-brainer but why not mix practicality and style with a belt bag which can be worn over one shoulder or cinched in at the waist? If you go to the trouble of fine tuning your festival outfit, why cover it up? Invest in a vinyl raincoat and show off a cute (ideally vintage) floral dress underneath. Earrings are massive this season and should be supersized and used to accessorise every outfit. Now all that’s left to do is enjoy the music… and hopefully, some sun.

Savannah Cowboy Hat £22, Accessorize Small Spot Neckerchief, £9.50, M&S Beaded earrings £7, Next

Savannah Cross Over Bag, £25, Accessorize Embroidered Belt, £9.50, M&S

Red Gingham Bardot Neck Playsuit, £22.99, New Look

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 19

Gold Rim Visor, £2, Primark

Mermaid Turban Bandana, £2, Primark

Blue Metallic Backpack £19.99

Multi Coloured Leaf Print Bumbag £12.99, New Look

White Metallic Shimmer Anorak, £29.99, New Look

Miss Lovely Pink Hearts Festival Wellies, £27, thewellyshop. com

Patterned Feather Earring, £6.50, Accessorize

Silver Chain Drop Choker, £5.99, New Look

Cream Dress, £50, River Island

Festival Pom Pom Trilby, £18, Accessorize Red Herring Sunglasses, £16, Debenhams Mood Necklace, £18, Debenhams

Orange Aviator Sunglasses, £6.99, New Look

Festival Hip Purse with Built-in Phone Charger in Olive Green, £64.95,

Floral Tea Dress, £25, M&S

Chicken Print Wellies, £44,

20 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Ruffle playsuit comes in plain colours as well (3-16yrs), £9£12, Next

Summer gear from Primark, from £5


Mid blue denim badge jacket (3mths-6yrs), £26-£28, Next

oll on the summer when every day is a non-uniform day. Even if the weather reverts to its normal dull but mild ways, the kids will want to be in their shorts. Make sure you have lots of light layers to take care of those changes in temperature summer brings. When it comes to buying sandals, take as much care as you would over shoes in making sure they fit comfortably. We love Clarks boys’ combi sandals which have a sturdy toe so they can keep

Teens frill trim Bardot neck top, £14.99, New Look

their feet cool and still enjoy a kickabout. Style wise, stripes and florals are trending and young fashionistas have a choice of summery pinks, blues, greens and yellows in pastel or intense jewel or tropical shades with lots of ruffles in evidence. For active girls, skorts are growing in popularity - prettier than shorts but better for practising cartwheels in than a skirt. Denim is still king and there’s plenty of monochrome in kids’ clothes too.

Striped knit look hoody (3mths-6yrs), £14-£15, Next

Beaded sandals, £12, Dunnes Boys’ denim shorts, £10-£11, Bluezoo, Debenhams

Ruffled skort with knot details, £16.99, Zara

Girls aztec print shorts, £6, M&Co.

Converse zip through hoody, £36-£46, Next

Harpy Myth Jnr silver leather sandals, £32, Clarks

Young girl’s dress, £4-£5, Dunnes

Tri Magic Jnr boys black combi sandals, £34, Clarks

22 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Thinkbeforeyoupostthatcutephoto BY BRIAN WILLIAMS


ou know that photo of your wee one running around in a nappy or having a temper tantrum? Well, think on before you post it on Facebook. That’s the advice from French authorities as part of the country’s strict new privacy laws. Parents in France could now face fines of up to €45,000 (£35,000) and a year in prison for publishing intimate photos of their children on social media without permission. It’s a development that should give pause for thought for many parents used to sharing details of their children’s lives across social media – in the UK parents post nearly 200 photos of their under fives online every year, meaning a child will feature in around 1,000 online photos before their fifth birthday. Given the relative newness of social media, it’s hard to say exactly how growing up online could affect children but there are concerns around infringing privacy and leaving children open to bullying. Prof. Nicola Whitton of Manchester Metropolitan University is among those predicting trouble. “I think we’re going to get a backlash in years to come from young people coming to realise that they’ve had their whole lives, from the day they were born, available to social media.” And, she warns, there could be grounds

for your child suing you when they grow up. On a more positive note regarding children and the new technology, there are more than 80,000 educational apps in Apple’s app store. It seems like a great way to encourage brain development and make your little one the smartest baby genius. But just sticking a tablet in your child’s

hands might not be as helpful. Sure, use the app. But it’s not a babysitter — you’ve got to help them use it, too. Several recent studies have looked at how young children learn from touch-screens but researchers have concluded that having a human guide — often referred to as having ‘social scaffolding’ — helps young

children learn, rather than just leaving them with the iPad as babysitter. As parents, we all know that keeping our children safe is primarily our responsibility. Most cyber bullying takes place out of school hours but, as this is new territory, schools need to work with parents to set boundaries and share expert knowledge.

HERE ARE FIVE THINGS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO CONSIDER TO HELP CHILDREN USE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY WISELY: 1 Don’t assume all use of technology is bad use of technology It’s all too easy to assume that mobile devices are evil and should generally be avoided. This is particularly so when we read about cases of bullying that lead to suicide or despicable acts of online grooming. However, most young people navigate the risks of the world successfully including the online world and there is much to be gained from appropriate use of technology for learning and socialising with friends across the world.


Show your child how to tech well Just as you would not send your child out on to the streets to learn for themselves how to cycle safely, you should not let them loose with a mobile device until you have set boundaries and taught them how to keep out of danger. For example, how should you or they keep privacy settings up to date? Which apps are the highest risk when it comes to security and misuse? What are the most common mistakes made by teenagers when using social media? How do they keep themselves safe from strangers?


Know what your child is doing online This is tricky but arguably no more so than knowing what your teenage son or daughter

is up to offline. On the whole, teenagers are driven by two competing factors. The first is never to stand out from the crowd (hence the desire increasingly to do whatever their mates are doing) and, second, to be an independent individual (hence the desire to keep their lives increasingly private from you). Communication is the key and that includes talking to your teens about their online lives. This does not mean spying or constant monitoring but it does mean being aware.


Give your child options to get help When it comes to their online life it’s often sensible to direct them to knowledgeable sources such as other family members, school staff or Childline, the NSPCC or Digitial Awareness UK. Have a look at these sites together. It’s the same as making sure they know how to dial 999 in an emergency.


Take a digital detox Most of us are now dependent on the digital world for work and at home. It’s not uncommon these days for families to have a regular digital detox if only for an hour or a day or a weekend. Switch them off, lock them away altogether in a cupboard and see what comes of it. You may be pleasantly surprised …

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Safety firstat home


wo people die as a result of home accidents in Northern Ireland every week and about 17,000 are admitted to hospital for accidental injuries, according to official figures. The Public Health Agency (PHA) teamed up with local councils to raise awareness of home safety at the Balmoral Show. Falls, burns and scalds, drowning and strangulation are all dangers in the home. Mary Black, Assistant Director of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement with the PHA, said: “It is impossible to watch over our children 24 hours a day, so it is essential that we take time to make the home environment as safe as possible.” The PHA has put together these tips to keep your family safer: ✱ Examine every blind in your home. If they have a looped control chain or cord and do not have a safety device fitted, then you can easily install one of the many devices available. ✱ Ensure that all operating blind cords and

Family Life | 23


chains cannot be reached by children. ✱ Move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds – remember children love to climb. ✱ Keep children away from hazardous heat sources in the kitchen, for example, warm oven fronts, hot liquids, and ensure pot handles cannot be reached. ✱ Testing the temperature of bath water using your elbow before you put your baby or toddler in the bath and never leave a child unattended. ✱ Make sure household cleaners and medicines are out of the sight and reach of children away to avoid accidental poisoning or chemical burns. ✱ Check that televisions, chests of drawers and shelving units are securely anchored to the wall as bulky, heavy furniture can seriously injure or even kill a small child if it falls on top of them. ✱ Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. ✱ If carrying out any DIY, avoid falls from

height by checking a ladder’s condition before use and always supervise children, especially when power tools and lawnmowers are being used. Don’t forget to tidy up all equipment straight after the job is done. ✱ Empty the paddling pool after use – if you have a pond, turn it into a sandpit, fence it in or cover it while your children are small. Be alert to drowning risks when you visit friends and family. “Don’t leave it until it is too late – taking simple steps to make our homes safer for every family member is the best way to help prevent accidents,” Mary concluded. Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, said: “Many accidents in the home can easily be prevented by being aware of the risks and taking easy steps to reduce hazards. Children are particularly vulnerable as they are naturally curious about their surroundings and explore by crawling, climbing and putting things in their mouths.”

THE Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging parents and guardians to talk to their teenage daughters about the benefits of HPV vaccine, which they can receive this school term. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine reduces the risk of getting cervical cancer, the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, by over 70%. It is offered to girls in year 9 with a chance to catch up on any missed doses in year 10. All girls who have their first dose before the age of 15 only need two doses in total, at least six months apart. It is estimated that the level of protection offered by the vaccine will last for at least 10 years. Dr Lucy Jessop, Consultant in Health Protection at the PHA, said: “Cervical cancer can kill so we are fortunate to be able to offer teenage girls the HPV vaccine to help protect against it. I would urge all parents or guardians to talk to their daughters about the importance of getting the vaccine and ensure that all eligible girls complete the course of vaccines when it is being offered in schools this term.” If parents have any questions about the vaccine, they can find more information on the PHA website www. or they can contact their school nurse directly.

24 | Family Life

SUBWAY Franchisees are committed to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle through the support of grass roots and socialsportsacross Northern Ireland


rom pitches to pucks, their aim is to nurture young talent and recognise and reward the coaches, officials and volunteers who give up their time to develop sports in their communities. SUBWAY and the Belfast Giants have worked closely together on the SUBWAY Healthy Lifestyle programme since 2013, visiting schools throughout Northern Ireland and teaching young people about the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle. Now in its 5th year, the programme has reached thousands of young people in Northern Ireland. The Giants have used their influence as professional sportsmen to educate the children that we all need to try to make our lifestyle more healthy, through getting the correct balance of foods and having a good exercise regime. The players believe that they, as professional sportsmen, are in a unique position to exert a positive influence over, and be good role models for the children. In 2014, SUBWAY signed a major multi-year sponsorship deal with the Northern Ireland Boys Football Association (NIBFA),

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017 Subway, title sponsor of all Ulster Rugby camps, announce details of 2017 Summer Camp programme

AtasteforSPORTS which will see SUBWAY become both the National League and popular NIBFA Cup competition’s official sponsor until at least 2018. im Weir, League Secretary for the Northern Ireland Boys Football Association, said: “In its decision to fuel grass roots football in this way, SUBWAY are firmly committed to supporting our continued growth and in serving all areas in youth football which as an activity provides a healthy and social lifestyle.” SUBWAY NI’s Marketing Chairman, Scot Heyes said: “With a combined team spirit, SUBWAY looks forward to cultivating the deep grass roots enthusiasm for the sport and growing community participation and engagement at all levels in an exciting, proactive way.” SUBWAY have recently announced their partnership with Ulster Rugby as title

Subway National Leagues Larne U16 team, awarded runners up in the Holland Cup

Pupils from St. Patricks Primary School enjoying a Subway with the Belfast Giants sponsors of all Ulster Rugby camps. The summer camps will feature 24 camps at 22 venues throughout the Province from July 3–August 18, offering a fun-filled programme of rugby training and games for boys and girls of all ages and abilities. Commenting on the announcement of

the 2017 SUBWAY Ulster Rugby Summer Camp programme, Ulster Rugby’s Domestic Rugby Manager Chris Webster said: “We are delighted to launch our annual summer camps programme and also to welcome SUBWAY on board as our new sponsor. The summer camps have gone from strength to strength and I am delighted that we have been able to increase the number of camps on offer this year, in particular building on the success of our popular Schools of Excellence and Special Needs camps. SUBWAY NI’s Marketing Chairman, Scot, added: “Our partnership with Ulster Rugby represents a perfect match for SUBWAY and we are proud to be supporting a forward-looking, ambitious organisation which demonstrates and promotes passion, drive, and a will to succeed at all levels of the game.”

26 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Feeling fit in Fabletics

Kate Hudson



’m assuming that this will the first and last time I will share a page with perma-sunkissed actor Kate Hudson but her gorgeous range of activewear was too good not to road test. I’m more a fashion than a fitness fanatic, which is OK as you don’t need to be a gym bunny to wear Kate’s comfortable, trendy and very flattering range. I’ve started and stopped gym memberships more often than I care to admit and struggle to devote my time to something I’m not passionate about. But, having joined another gym (committing this time, promise), I’ll be throwing myself into spin and bodypump classes. I figure I’ll work harder if someone is putting me through my paces and telling me when I’m doing something – which happens a lot. And at least I’ll look good in my Fabletics gear while doing rather unflattering bear crawls. Just Fab Inc launched Fabletics with Kate Hudson in 2013 after it saw a gap in the market. While there were plenty of luxury brands, there were none that offered stylish and high quality gear at an accessible price point. The company is best known for its e-commerce business approach and also has 18 brick-and-mortar stores. Fabletics creates clothing that inspires you to stay active, whether that’s taking part in a competition, sweating in the studio or going about your daily, busy life. It’s true, you want to look good even if you’re not tottering around in high heels and a bodycon dress for a night out. In fact, when my Fabletics order dropped through my door, the vibrant, energising colours made me want to grab the nearest kettlebell. The fact that you look good while working out is an added incentive. The clothing feels high quality and fits to hug every curve. If you prefer more loosely fitting garments, you won’t be disappointed as Fabletics accommodates every fit, whether that be for leisure or fitness.

Dania Bodysuit Black

Vasha Midi Sports Bra Salar Capri

Davina Gordon puts the Fabletic gear through its paces If you’d love to channel some Californian sunshine while you do the lotus position or a deep lunge, then visit the Fabletics website where you can take a pop quiz to choose the right colours and styles which work for you. Then, you can check out as a guest or VIP member, with the latter garnering the most savings. You can also buy dresses and swimwear on the site so it’s a one-stop shop to buy fitness wear to get your beach body for holiday. Bonus! Kate, who says Fabletics is “designed for and speak to all women”, has recently collaborated with singer Demi Lovato who “is a defining voice for female empowerment and body positivity”. The Demi Lovato for Fabletics collection will also support the United Nations’ Girl Up movement, which is committed to empowering generations of girl leaders. Look fabulous working out while supporting a great cause? It’s a no brainer.

Renee Capri Mist

Morgan Tank Paradise Black

Brogan Capri

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 27

Getfitina FOREST


ersonal trainer Lea Vaughan is Northern Ireland’s answer to Bear Grylls. He runs Forest Fitness, a unique outdoor boot camp experience in Carrickfergus. Forest Fitness offers a fun way to get fit and healthy in the great outdoors with most of the training centred around a purpose built course located in the forest. For Belfast born Lea, it’s a labour of love. “I set it up in a private forest that’s not suitable for livestock, and run courses for all age groups.” Fit Kids boot camps run in the spring and summer and parents are encouraged to join in with their child. Lea says: “As a parent myself, I understand it can be difficult to get to the gym or go out running, but this offers a fun, low intensity workout that’s a great way to get fit and spend quality time with your child. “The uptake is huge and I’ve had one every day for the past few weeks with the great weather.” Even better, it costs just £10 per family. Lea offers boot camps and assault courses for adults which consist of circuits, with natural material being used for props to

Having fun with Forest Fitness do exercises like squats and deadlifts. The exercises are a mixture of military style training, boxing, forest Hiit and tyre training. Lea also offers packages for corporate groups and sports clubs. He is hoping to use his expertise from serving in the army to get survival courses up and running in July or August. Activities will include foraging and building shelters.

Lea is also a champion for local charities and last year raised £3,165 for Brainwaves NI by rather amazingly persuading people to take a dip in the icy water on New Year’s Day. His 5K Mud Mayhem event in March also raised much needed funds for Dementia NI. There will be a 1K, 2K and 5K Mud Mayhem event on Saturday, July 29, in aid of Dementia NI.

Somehow, action man Lea also manages to coach white collar boxing in the evenings. If reading this has you fired up, then waste no time getting in touch with Lea, whether it’s for you, your family or your work colleagues. For more information visit forestfitnessni. com, T: 07799533248.

28 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017



here is nothing like a summer’s day to make you realise that perhaps sitting all those winter evenings with your favourite snacks and the latest box set, might not have been such a good idea. Recent research found 61% of adults and 25% of children (2-10 years) in Northern Ireland, were either overweight or obese – these are scary figures. In the UK and Ireland, it has been estimated that over 80% of our deaths result from diseases attributed to the lifestyles we lead. Therefore, by modifying our lifestyles, we can greatly reduce our chances of suffering or dying prematurely from diseases such as heart disease, various cancers, obesity, diabetes (Type 2) and depression.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a ‘prevent all pill’ available yet, to reduce your chance of suffering from these lifestyle diseases, however, being physically inactive is the fourth leading risk factor for these diseases. Therefore, making sure your whole family, including grandparents, are being physically active for a least 30 minutes a day (which can include three sessions of 10 minutes) on most days of the week, will reduce your risk. In the UK, physical inactivity is responsible for approximately 40% of long term health conditions and one in every six deaths, therefore, the secret is to move more and sit less. So, here’s the challenge... Let’s stop using our remote controls every day, use lifts less and the stairs more, dance in the kitchen when our favourite songs are played, get off the bus one stop earlier, park further away from the entrance to the shopping centre or cinema, walk to the shops and talk to your local MP about creating safe bike and walking routes, away from traffic! Have fun and remember small changes, over time, can make a huge difference! Check out the infographic to find out how to be more active, or google search for the Start Active, Stay Active document which includes a breakdown of the current age related physical guidelines.




Physical activity benefits for adults and older adults

Cancers (Colon and Breast)

What should you do?

UK Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines 2011 Start Active, Stay Active:

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 29


ummer is here and the Public Health Agency (PHA) and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland have been reminding people that the only thing that should be sizzling this summer is the food on their barbecue. Speaking during Sun Awareness Week on May 8-14, Dr Miriam McCarthy, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the PHA, explained: “Having had our first spell of warm sunny weather there is a need to remind everyone of the importance of sun safety and the need to be extra careful considering most of us will not have had any UV exposure during winter months. “Being active and having fun outside is good for our health, not only does it increase our moods and allow us to get more active outdoors but it provides vitamin D, an essential vitamin for everyone, to help develop and maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Our bodies can make most of the vitamin D we need from sunlight on our skin during the ‘summer’ months (April to the end of September). “However the sun can cause permanent damage to our skin if we don’t take precautions. Just one episode of sunburn, especially in childhood, doubles the lifetime risk of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.” Marbeth Ferguson, Skin Cancer Prevention Coordinator at Cancer Focus NI, said: “It’s important to remember the care in the sun messages both at home and abroad. Everyone is at risk of sun damage, but certain groups are particularly at risk, including those with fair hair and skin,

Promoting Sun Awareness Week at the recent Balmoral Show are Karen Moffett, nurse manager, and Liese Merry, Dermatology staff nurse, at Belfast Skin Clinic, belfastskinclinic. com. They were keen to drive home the sun safety message, with figures estimating that skin cancer is the cause of 2,500 deaths in the UK each year, 50% more than road accidents


babies and children, outdoor workers and people with a family history of skin cancer. It is therefore vitally important

that all of us take the necessary steps to protect ourselves in the sun and actively reduce the risks of skin cancer.”

There are a number of simple steps that will help protect against the sun’s harmful rays: ■ Seek shade when the sun is at its strongest – generally 11am to 3pm. ■ Cover up in the sun with a long sleeved t-shirt and a hat. ■ Wear sunglasses that have one of the following, CE and British Standard Marks, carry a UV 400 label and offer 100% UV protection. This will ensure they provide adequate protection from both UVA and UVB. Sunglasses should fit your face well and relatively snugly so that light doesn’t enter your eye from around the lens. ■ Use sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 for UVB protection and 4-star for UVA protection. Apply liberally 30 minutes before going out in the sun and re-apply at least every two hours. If you are concerned about skin cancer you can call the Cancer Focus NI free information and support Nurseline on 0800 783 3339 or email one of the charity’s nurses on For more information and advice on how to protect your skin visit

30 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Timeforvegstars toSHINE BY CIARA LAWN

Stuffed peppers

Veggie kebabs


t’s that time of the year again; Northern Ireland’s short lived days of summer sunshine. And what better way to make the most of the heat than to have a few friends round and spark up the barbecue? Unfortunately, the traditional barbecue hardly caters to a vegetarian’s dietary requirements and many find themselves eating spoonfuls from the salad bowl to keep them from starving. However, with a bit of consideration and initiative, you can create delicious veggie barbecue food that will have any carnivore gazing longingly past their burgers. Skewer some tomatoes, courgettes, chopped peppers and onions or any other veg of your choice between cubes of halloumi cheese. Remember to soak the skewers in cold water first to prevent them from burning. Add a little mint, chilli, lemon and black pepper for even more flavour. Spinach can be used to make tasty veggie burgers. Fry some onions until soft, and then chop up some spinach. Mix the onions and spinach in a bowl with breadcrumbs, nutmeg and some grated cheddar and Parmesan. Slowly add in a beaten egg until the mixture holds together then divide into burgers. Season and then chill until ready to cook. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry each burger until browned all over. These can be served in rolls with

mixed salad and relish. Sun-drenched Latin America is renowned for its barbecue food. Why not try making some Mexican Elotes (corn on the cob) to impress your guests? For the crema, mix soured cream with double cream and add a little salt. Leave at room temperature for a few hours. Heat butter with garlic and a little cayenne pepper until melted. When your barbecue is ready, char corn cobs for 10-15 minutes turning continuously. When they are ready, brush with the melted butter mixture and then spread the crema over them. Crumble cotija cheese over the top and season with cayenne pepper. Serve with coriander and lime wedges. Stuffed peppers are delicious and very quick to put together. Mix chopped red onion, courgettes, cherry tomatoes and black onions together. Crumble in some feta and some shredded basil leaves. Add a little olive oil and season. Then spoon the mixture into de-seeded red pepper halves and wrap in tin foil. Place on the barbecue and grill until tender. So there you have it; vegetarians can enjoy barbecues too. This is just a cross section of all the delicious veggie food anyone can throw together. Just ensure you make enough for everybody, because once the meat eaters catch a glimpse of what the veggies are eating, there won’t be enough to go round.

Forstylethatwillsurviveoutdoor Extra tough Amalfi melamine dinner plate with a liquid glass finish to look like pottery, £4.59, Lakeland

Set of three plastic serving platters in a range of bright colours, £2.99, Tesco

Dressing mixer, £15, Harvey Norman

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 31

LETTHE FEASTING BEGIN... At the first sign of sunshine, many people are tempted by the joys of al fresco dining. Summer time is synonymous with barbecuing and whenever the weather is good, we all love to head outdoors and feast on barbecued burgers, washed down with a cold beer or chilled glass of wine. For some reason food always seems tastier when it’s enjoyed on the patio or lawn. But before you dig out the barbie from the garden shed and fire it up for family and friends, make sure you’re up to speed with barbecue health and safety. Keep meat in the fridge until it needs cooking or serving, regularly wash your hands when dealing with raw meat, always wait until your barbecue is hot enough before starting to cook and make sure all meat and fish are hot and cooked through before serving them up.

TOP TIPS... ✱ Write a list of everything you’ll need before hitting the supermarket – meat, fish, salads, vegetables and don’t forget vegetarian options like chunky halloumi and mushrooms ✱ Preparation is key. Get marinating the day before and prepare everything to as advanced state as you can. This will allow you more time to set up drinks and create a party atmosphere. ✱ Light the barbecue before the guests arrive. The smell will help create the right mood. ✱ A sharing spread as a starter is a good way to keep your guests occupied, such as an antipasti platter of Parma ham, salami, green olives and sun-dried tomatoes or Spanish tapas like chorizo, Manchego cheese and peppers in oil.


Create refreshing fruit infused drinks with water, iced tea or even Pimms with this VonShef 2.7L plastic fruit infusion pitcher, £12.99,

✱ Stay with the barbecue when you are grilling, not just to ensure the best results but for safety reasons too. ✱ Control the proximity of the food to the coals. Shuffle the grilling food around from hot patches to cooler parts of the rack or place the food on foil to slow things down. ✱ Make sure food is cooked through. Using a small sharp knife, cut into the centre of the meat to check it is cooked and juices are running clear. For flaky fish like salmon, press it with a fork to check that the flakes come apart, showing it is ready. ✱ Rest the meat for after barbecuing for a few minutes on a warmed tray on the top rack or away from the direct heat covered with perforated foil. ✱ For side salads, opt for ones with a rice or grain base as they fare better in the sun. Toss with vegetables and feta cheese.

Set of six crystal-effect plastic glasses are great for outdoor entertaining, £12.95,

32 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

CRASHServicesenters 21styearofsuccessafter recordyearofgrowth


RASH Services is Northern Ireland’s leading Accident Management firm and will be celebrating its 21st anniversary next month. The locally-owned company, which has handled more than 80,000 motor incidents since it was established in 1996, has increased staff across all divisions by 35% in the last 12 months, bringing the total number employed within its Newry headquarters, Belfast and Dundalk offices to 70. Breaking the mould in the provision of accident management services, CRASH was first established in April 1996 and has grown strongly since then by offering a complete ‘one stop’ service to motorists

involved in collisions. This includes investigation, recovery, repairs and insurance claims management as well as any medical and legal assistance. With motorists and their needs at the fore, there is no cost to those involved in an incident for its professional accident management services – CRASH Services recovers all charges from insurers. Tony McKeown, Sales & Marketing at CRASH Services, said: “We are proud to have reached this significant milestone and it is real testimony to all our customers, staff and partners that our business continues to grow. We’re delighted that our customer survey results show that 95% of

all customers who come to us are highly likely to recommend us to a friend. All our staff share a common goal - to act with care for motorists involved in road traffic incidents. “We have also built up strong relationships with many insurance brokers, vehicle repairers, motor dealerships and recovery operators. Many of these relationships have existed for 20 years and we hope will continue for many years to come.” CRASH Services assists motorists all over Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It has a head office operation in Newry, with branches in Belfast and Dundalk. In 2016, CRASH won a top award for excellence in customer services at the prestigious NI Fleet Awards. The firm is well known for its deep commitment to the work of several local charities and this year the Southern Area Hospice and Fight on for Annie were chosen as corporate charity partners. CRASH also supports a number of road safety projects including the NI Road Safety Awards and the NI Primary Schools Road Safety Quiz. For more information, you can contact CRASH Services on 02890 660244.



STOP AT THE SCENE You must stop at the scene whether or not the collision was your fault.


CHECK IF ANYONE IS IN NEED OF MEDICAL ATTENTION. If so, call 999. If not, call Northern Ireland’s new non emergency phone number 101.


ARE THERE ANY WITNESSES? Try and get the names, addresses and vehicle registrations of any witnesses before they leave the scene. Witnesses should write down their evidence and keep their original notes.


MAKE A SKETCH OR TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS. Remember to make notes of street names, skid marks, collision points, vehicle locations and directions of travel. It is recommended that you keep a disposable camera in your glove box as it can be very useful for recording images. This should be done before vehicles are moved if possible.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION... Note down any other details you feel are worth recording. For example, if the other driver was using their phone.


CALL CRASH 24 HOURS A DAY ON 028 9066 0244. Why not save our number on your mobile now in case you need us in the future? Everything is taken care of… at no cost to you!

34 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Brightenupyourlife The sunny stretch in April and May has got the summer off to a flying start. No more incentive is needed to create a summery vibe to see us through the season - whatever the weather brings. If your house is stuck in winter mode, there are simple things you can do to brighten it up. Porthole mirror, £85, Next

Glass paned doors and mirrors will maximise the light in a dark corner

LET IT IN: Natural daylight is a great lifter

of mood and helps our brains perform at their best and our body maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, knowing when to wake and when to sleep. If you have vertical blinds or heavy curtains, open them wide during the day and maximise the light flooding in. If new doors are part of your home improvement plans, why not incorporate some glass where possible?


If parts of your home are particularly dark, pendant lights are of the moment and can add the wow factor as well as brightening up previously shadowed places. Mirrors are not only great for making a space look bigger but brighter too, allowing light to bounce into the darkest recesses.

LOOK UP: Dark ceilings have

Patterned Mercury Glass Table Lamp, £125, Harvey Norman

Outdoor lighting adds a touch of magic

the effect of closing in a space. Why not paint them white or go for a pale varnish finish on wood panelling and add recessed spotlights. If you have a single bulb in the ceiling, a spotlight bar is a stylish and effective way of throwing light in new directions.

LAMP FANTASTIC: Table lamps are not just for living rooms and bedrooms. Use them in your kitchen and dining area for a warm glow, whatever the weather.

EASY DOES IT: In the kitchen,

downlighters concealed beneath the cupboards give a beautiful soft glow in the

evening. Use LED tape or strips to add soft lighting everywhere from kitchen cupboards to kickboards, under an island, behind your TV, bookshelves and even steps and stairs.

Rather than a single light in the middle of the ceiling, add lights to illuminate your kitchen workspace

OUTDOOR MAGIC: Don’t forget the outside of your home as lights in the garden or patio add a magical ambience and will help you enjoy being outside when summer is a distant memory.

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 35


HARVEYNORMAN The buying teams at Harvey Norman HQ have brought together a show stopping new collection for the new season. The Harvey Norman Interiors Spring/Summer ‘17 catalogue features 40 pages of inspiration, from our favourite sofas and alternative lighting options, all the way through to the bedroom ...


Earthy tones and use instant aging materials to add texture and dept to this look – a softened industrial feel.


Transform your sleep space by using less pattern and more texture. This will give you something not only more tactile but also create something you’d like to get lost in again and again.

Glass Pendant £55 each Cushions from £15 each, Set of 2 Large Floral Pots £60, Livia Chair £79 each (full sets available)


Ceramic Table Lamp, £165

Add lustre to your living space with these hero accessory pieces.

‘Elizaeta’ Cushion £35 each

NEWSEASON SIMPLICITY Clean lines, natural palettes and tactile materials create this welcoming Scandi influenced interior.

Colorado Dinning Table, £649

Harrogate Double Bed Frame £629, Fable Kari Double Duvet Cover £95, 2 Drawer Bedside £229, 3+2 Drawer Chest £799, Dressing Table £429, Fable Charbagh Throw £220, Linen Pink Cushions £25 each

Adela 3-seater sofa £899, Trey Nest of 3 Tables £149, Oversized Brass (Gold) Floor Lamp £150, Task Desk Lamp in concrete grey £75

36 | Family Life

RAW beauty

Concrete grey pot, £10 Erika lamp table, £195, cushions from £25

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017 Rope hurricane candle holders, £50 medium, £60 large Palm tree branch, £10

Harvey Norman is committed to creating the best choice and design in the market. Greenery is this year’s colour of the year and we are obsessed with bringing the outside in; The Indoor Garden! Harvey Norman is going back to nature and raw beauty with these key pieces! Trending now is all things natural like natural dyes, rattan lampshades, pure cotton lines, lots of textures…

Belle double duvet Set £30

Green watercolour cushion, £25

Murmur Seagrass set of two baskets £45

Elle plant pots, £40-£45 each Herb holder, £30 Mexico blue vase, £45

Ceiling lights, from £85 Tilly throw, £85 Hanging macrame from £15 each

Zeta cushion, £25

Mirrors from £75

Pure New Wool Tweedmill Throws £50, cushions £40 each

All products available from Harvey Norman

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 37

Geometric foil print cushion, £30, Giant square wall clock, £260, Real Mongolian white cushion, £45, hammered gold vase, £80, Harvey Norman

This multicolour fishbone rug is pure new wool which is warming in the winter and cooling in the summer, £35,

Striped watercolour cushion, £20, Harvey Norman

Colour A party Abigail Ahern cushion, £42, Debenhams

Eva throw, £55, Harvey Norman




ring nature in with plants or flowers and preferably both! Ground them in statement pots on the floor or shelves, hang a floral wreath on the door or in a window and fill the air with the fragrance of freshly cut flowers. Roses and lillies make for a stunning display. For a longer lasting effect, opt for pot plants that have a scent. Some come in both aromatic and unscented varieties so check which is which before you buy. Some jasmines, geraniums and orchids have a fragrance while some plants more commonly associated with the garden can do well indoors, such as lavender and gardenia. Faux flowers have come a long way and you can get some very convincing and attractive versions. However, there are also plenty of cheap and tacky versions to be avoided. Go for botanical and floral prints when it comes to updating your textiles for an instance infusion of feelgood summer vibes. There’s no shortage of options in terms of either fabric or colour when it comes to choosing curtains, cushions and throws. With green being one of this year’s biggest shades you can go as natural, as neutral or as bold as you like. Vases from £12, Harvey Norman

dd a summery feel to your rooms by packing away those dark wintry accessories and adding sunny zing with some of this season’s must have shades or colour combinations. Pair green with blue for a fresh summer day feel or go for bleached out sandy shades with barely there blues for a beach home style. Milk and honey, sunny yellow and anything on the citrus scale are also staples for this season. If you’re feeling bold, go for it with vibrant tropical shades and prints or geometric patterns in contrasting shades and ooze confidence.

Roxy cushion, £18, Harvey Norman

Yellow Phalaenopsis Orchid in White Pot, £12.99, TK Maxx

Embroidered Eden Floral Cushion, £16, Next

Brown Jute Trim Pouffe, £39.99, TK Maxx

Peri Home floral design towels, £4.99– £9.99, TK Maxx

38 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

LETITALLHANGOUT A t the end of May and beginA classic hanging basket ning of June, hanging baskets with Morning Glory, and window boxes can be pelargoniums, impatiens, hung outside if you’ve already trailing lobelia and petunias started them in a greenhouse or had last year’s overwintering. Alternatively, start some from scratch. These annual fixtures by front doors and on windowsills bring a huge pop of colour to the home and look superb, so long as they’re well watered. If you’re going away for a few weeks, make sure someone can come and give them a good watering every few days. If you’ve never created a hanging basket before, don’t be daunted. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to add pzazz to your pad. When buying windowboxes and baskets, pick up a liner for each basket as they help keep that all important moisture in the soil. If you don’t have much of a budget, plastic window boxes are better than nothing but if you can stretch to prettier terracotta or wooden boxes you will be glad of it later on. Basket weave window boxes are inexpensive and pretty. Select a compost with ‘suitable for hanging baskets’ on the packaging and give your plants the best start by adding a handful of water retaining gels to the Clematis soil before planting. repens or You can also add feed Twinkle Bell to the soil at this stage, Clematis has or else add plant food hanging stems to your watering can once covered with roa week. bust, waxy, yellow Water the plants well before droplet blooms. Plant planting and again afterwards and it in a hanging basket for add a layer of bark or other mulch to Bacopa Topia summer, then plant it on in a retain as much moisture as possible. sheltered site away from cold winds, with some winter protection. Train WHAT TO PLANT? it onto a support and it can grow to 2m Choosing plants is the fun bit. Ideally you high with a 1m spread. One potted plant is don’t really want hot reds, oranges and £12.99, yellows in a basket with mild pinks so Clematis repens pick a colour scheme that you love. Pinks, whites and purples are softly romantic. Don’t forget to include leafy plants as lots of flowers without greenery looks straggly. You can’t go wrong with a selection of petunias, fuschia, pelargoniums (geraniums), trailing lobelia and verbena. You also want to incorporate some height and length - baskets and windowboxes look great with foliage and flowers cascading down over their edges, even better if there’s a couple of strawberry plants in there too. Alternatively, stick to one colour for a dramatic effect. You can pick up a great variety of plug plants at your local garden centre.


Make a strong sunny statement with a yellow themed basket with contrasting white and purple flowers. Bidens, with its star shaped flowers, is a popular choice for a yellow theme.


Bacopa Topia (mixed) is a half hardy annual with pretty white and purple flowers from bushy trailing plants. Flowering from June to September, they are great for filling out hanging baskets and window boxes. Get 24 plug tray plants, £9.99, www. White liqorice plant is pretty and tumbles down over the edges. Dracaena is good for giving height to the back of the arrangement and makes a great houseplant come summer’s end.


Fuschia ‘Purple Rain’ is a half-hardy Perennial with striking pink sepals above extravagant ruffles of purple petals, with fabulous magenta marbling. The large double blooms will drip from trailing stems all summer long. Get five fuchsia plug plants, £7.49,


Fuschia ‘Purple Rain’

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 39

Timeto get GROWING!


here’s lots of work to be done in the garden with summer getting off to a great start. Who would have thought we’d be hosing down parched bedding in May while the umbrellas were up in the Med? While the sunshine has been glorious, it’s vital to prevent new additions to the garden from drying out should another lengthy dry spell arrive to brighten our days. Herbaceous borders are springing to life and lawns are crying out for regular mowing as summer settles in. This is the perfect time to begin sowing and planting out bedding and taking softwood cuttings. Late frosts are still a threat to tender

Sir Robert and Lady Salisbury’s garden

Gardensopenfor WoodlandTrust fundraiser


id Ulster gardeners are in for a treat when two private gardens open to the public for one day only in aid of the Woodland Trust. The gardens, at Omagh and Newtownstewart, will open from 11am-5pm on May 20. Uel Henderson’s garden at The Old Methodist Manse, 52 Moyle Road, Newtownstewart, BT78 4JT, covers two acres and includes over 70 different rhodedendrons and azaleas arranged around a small stream. Refreshments/ plant sales will be available at Mr Uel Henderson’s garden during the event. Sir Robert and Lady Salisbury’s garden at The Fod, 46 Drumconnelly Road, Omagh, BT78 1RT, is an oasis for wildlife with formal gardens, orchard, small lakes and native woodland. Admission fee is £5 per adult for one garden; £8 per adult for both gardens and dogs are permitted on lead only. Not suitable for wheelchairs / buggies as paths are unsurfaced and can become muddy or slippery during wet weather. Stout walking boots are advised. Booking is not essential unless you are bringing a large coach group. There is parking adjacent to both gardens. ✱ For more information, please contact or call 0330 333 5302.

plants so it’s wise to continue to protect them with a light sheet or a couple of inches of mulch around the base to retain moisture – this makes for warmer soil. By now most of us will be planting out summer bedding. Give your sweetpea and other climbers a fighting chance by giving them the support they need. Keep up the weed control. A regular hoeing should see them off although dandelions appear to be having a bumper year. If your daffodils, crocuses and other spring flowering bulbs have become overcrowded, dig them out, divide them and replant or store in

a cool dry place until autumn. June is a good month for pruning shrubs which flowered in spring. No doubt the first barbecues of the summer are already a memory but if you feel you’re missing out, there’s no better time to get that patio in place. Hopefully there will be plenty more opportunities over the coming months to kick back with a cold drink and take in the colourful delights of your labours.


For a dazzling splash of colour, Mesembryanthemum criniflorum flowers all summer.


Choose the vessel for your terrarium. The ones from Decorator’s Notebook have one open side which makes the terrariums easy to fill and helps maintain and environment at the right humidity for plants like succulents and cacti. If you choose a lidded jar, add a couple of spoonfuls of activated charcoal to the soil which will help absorb moisture, which can cause plants to rot. Place a layer of gravel or sand in the base of your terrarium and level it off. This is important for drainage. Next, add a thin layer of soil. For cacti and succulents, use a special cactus compost mix which contains more grit, or simply mix together normal compost and sand to make your own (30% sand, 70% soil). Carefully add your plants one by one, packing more soil fairly tightly around the roots of each plant. Wear gardening gloves if your plants are spiky! I found a spoon useful for adding the soil so I could get it exactly where I wanted it. Finish your terrarium with some decorative gravel or more sand to cover the surface of the soil. My lovely sparkly white gravel is designed for fish tanks and came from the local pet shop! For a more woodland look you could use moss instead. If you like, you can add extra decorations at this stage, such as larger pebbles, crystals, shells or even figurines.

✱ ✱

WATERING TIPS: Water your terrarium only when the soil feels try. Place your terrarium in the sink, water and allow all the excess to drain away – terrarium plants should never sit with their roots in water. Always place glass and metal framed terrariums on a waterproof surface or coaster to avoid damp damaging woodwork. Succulent plants and cacti will need water far less frequently as they store water in their leaves and prefer dry conditions. Follow these simple rules and your terrarium should keep looking fresh and healthy for many months!

40 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Toolateforolddogs I t is said every family should have a dog, or, at the least, a cat. They foster empathy and affection, particularly where children are concerned. Hmm... The first time JoJo came into my life, he looked like a short fox coming through the tall grass but I was smitten with this perfect pedigree of beating life. The house I share with the woman I love was always a house of animals; cats and dogs rescued by her, down the years, from the obscurity of the streets or the finality of the dog-house, an assortment of mongrel and pedigree, once a magnificent seven — one named Sandy Row — but now down to just two dogs, JoJo and his big sister, Delphine. I swear sometimes this woman loves those animals more than she loves me, or could any human, for she has given them so much love and affection — they even have their own language, if you don’t mind — that a lot of the time I don’t get to bed with just her on her own. But I don’t complain. I daren’t. Cat fan I guess I’m a bit of a cat fan,

not surprising given I’m a Leo and travel often to Africa in pursuit of the big ones. I like their majesty, their independence and their fur coats. Dogs, meantime, are so much more dependent on you and you always need to walk them, unlike our feline friends. Not everyone agrees. It was Alfred North Whitehead, the English mathematician and philosopher, who said if a dog jumps into your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same, it is because your lap is warmer. JoJo is 90% smooth-haired Chihuahua and when we first got him, three years ago, much to my shame, as a man, I took him off to the vet to have his vitals chopped off. Somehow, the young German vet’s line about ‘unwanted puppies’ did nothing to assuage my guilt. “I feel so awful doing this,” I said to her. Dog Day Afternoon When their mistress goes away, for an hour or so or a weekend visiting family in London, JoJo and Delphine are inconsolable, spending most of their time by the window, awaiting her return.

Take one such weekend recently. Having watered and walked them twice on the Saturday, we had a quick rekkie on what to do for the evening. Last time their mistress went awol, we watched a couple of videos – the wonderful Incredible Journey and YouTube renderings of old Lassie shows. This time around, I thought them mature enough to watch Dogs Of War and Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. A big mistake. The violence proved too much and JoJo scurried out of the room, yelping, while Delphine bawled her head off, until I turned the DVD player off and soothed her with a couple of rap songs from Snoop Doggy Dog. Delphine’s a big fan. Pack order Of course, I know where we have gone wrong. Those in the know say the biggest mistake we humans can make with our dogs is to treat them like humans. The human race is such a kind, compassionate species, goes the argument, that we tend to look at our canine companions as little humans, when, in reality, they are canines and have a very different thought process.


This is what differentiates Man from other species in pack societies; there must be a specific order, from the leader on down to the last follower. Everyone has a place. The leaders are the strength of the pack, while the followers need the leader to guide them. According to Sharon Maguire of the Dog Breed Info Centre, the mistake is made when the humans in the pack only give the dog love, and overlook the other needs of the dog. To a dog, constant affection without rules and limits goes against every grain in its instinct. Dogs love affection. However, that alone does not make a dog happy, but rather satisfying its instincts does, showing you have an orderly pack with rules to follow. It’s what a dog needs, says Ms Maguire. That’s the way it should be in the ideal, but with our pair we let our emotions get the better of us and somehow or other it is always they who call the shots from the vantage point of their couple of feet above the ground world. They need discipline, Discipline? I fear it’s too late to teach an old dog and a not-so old dog new tricks.

42 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017



n April 23, Steve Moore (42) was among the 40,000 competitors who ran the Virgin London marathon. While many run to achieve personal and fitness goals, Steve was one of those running for an important cause. His young cousin Hannah Gillespie (11) suffers from Fanconi Anaemia, a rare, life-limiting genetic disorder which causes bone marrow failure in children and a predisposition to gynaecological and head and neck cancer. Hannah was born without thumbs and with small hands that stuck out at right angles on her forearms. She also had four holes in her heart, only one kidney and dislocated hips and was deaf. “Hannah is an inspiration. If you think you’re having a tough day, you think about how much she has been through and it puts things into perspective.” Steve was in the Royal Victoria Hospital for the birth of his son Ryan at the same time Hannah was born. “It was a joyous family occasion.” The London marathon wasn’t his first rodeo, having run the Dublin marathon in 2001 in, he laughs, “a shamefully slow” time of five hours and five minutes. The father-of-three certainly upped his game with a very respectable finishing time of three hours and 58 minutes while his wife Anne (40), an accomplished runner, crossed the finished 15 minutes earlier. “I was hoping for a time of four hours and 30 minutes.” Speaking two days after the event, a tired, sore and proud Steve said it felt “class to cross the finish line in near perfect conditions” even though it was a “real push” to get past the onslaught of ostriches and camels and even a Mr Potato Head. His wife started running 10 years ago and in the last four years, Steve has been hot on his wife’s hasty heels, participating in half marathons and even a half Ironman. What makes it even more impressive is that Steve has a foot injury from playing football. “I was told I wouldn’t be able to play any more because of the trauma caused to my foot where bone had started to grow. But I was sore whether I rested it or not so it was a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” He decided against a procedure which would entail getting screws in his foot and “just carried on”. While Anne qualified for the marathon, Steve’s name got pulled out of the ballot. At the start, he wasn’t sure he could take on the monumental challenge and only began fundraising in March. “To be honest I was just glad to get to the start line.” He’s already more than doubled his target raising close to £800. Steve trained for the big event by run-

Steve Moore (left and above)



ning three times a week and swimming twice and kept his mind occupied on the big day by listening to everything from Chemical Brothers to Katy Perry.

Siblings Ryan, Zoe and Hannah

‘Big thing’ Hannah’s mum Sasha is delighted at the “big thing” that Steve did for her amazing little daughter. “We really appreciate what

he has done so a big thank you from us.” Sasha, a teacher, is also a tireless campaigner for Fanconi Anaemia and believes that a cure for Fanconi will lead to cures for many cancers. There are 13 genes responsible for Fanconi Anaemia and one of genes is called FancD. Sasha believes that if this cancer can be cracked it will crack others as FancD is the same gene as the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2. “A cure for Fanconi’s will lead to cures for many cancers, I believe it is the missing link in cancer research. “A better understanding of FA and cancer causing genes is in everyone’s interests and that’s why charities such as Fanconi Hope are so important as they fund research and collaborate with their USA counterparts Fanconi Anaemia Research Fund, to research better treatments.” She explains: “With Fanconi Anaemia, every cell is predisposed to being cancerous as the chromosomes are susceptible to breakage which cause cells to mutate.” Hannah was born on May 6, 2006, and was just three weeks old when Sasha and husband Mark received the devastating diagnosis. The shell-shocked couple were told she would most likely reach her seventh birthday, but thankfully, that milestone has long passed. A breakthrough came when the devoted parents brought Hannah to Paris to see a doctor who specialised in the disorder. She had carried out the first cord blood transplant on a Fanconi patient and was convinced the same could be done for Hannah. The couple were elated and the following year, they conceived a healthy baby boy called Ryan. Unfortunately, his bone marrow didn’t match Hannah’s so the couple researched a type of IVF treatment which would involve the embryos being tested for genetic disorders before being implanted into the womb. “It’s basically IVF with the extra stage of screening,” explains Sasha.

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 43

Clockwise from top: Hannah in hospital; Hannah, Ryan and Zoe play in the forest; Steve and wife Anne after the race; Hannah at the Ulster Museum and the cord blood Zoe’s gift In January 2010, Sasha and Mark travelled to Nottingham to start the cycle. Zoe, was born on November 15, 2010 and her blood was a match for Hannah, who incidentally came up with the name for her baby ‘blood sister’. It turns out that it was beautifully appropriate as Zoe means ‘life’. Fanconi Anaemia, though not a wellknown disorder, features on soap opera Emmerdale. Debbie Dingle’s daughter Sarah suffers from the condition and Debbie’s controversial plight to conceive another child to provide genetic material for Sarah has been portrayed. Charley Webb, who plays Debbie, has said: “It’s all about individual choice. Personally, I wouldn’t care what it took. I would do absolutely everything and anything to save my child.” A similar storyline was portrayed in 2009 movie, My Sister’s Keeper, where a child was conceived to be a ‘saviour sibling’ for an already existing child suffering from a form of leukemia. Sasha is acutely aware that there are ethical issues around a so-called ‘saviour sibling’. However, she says firmly: “I don’t have any issues.

“The placenta and cord blood are usually incinerated and it is so useful because it does not contain any viruses which is good for stem cells. It should be saved.” “For me, it’s about having a healthy family. Zoe was a much-wanted third child and the fact she could help her big sister too is wonderful.” Zoe’s cord blood was syringed up into packs, frozen and then defrosted and infused into Hannah during a long, painful and risky procedure in 2012. Her immune system had to be shut down and she was in a lot of pain. It took up to three weeks for Hannah’s new blood to settle into her body. Since the cord blood transplant, Hannah’s haematology problems are all but residual, but because the youngster is susceptible to cancer, she is regularly screened for things like mouth lesions. Fearless Hannah Despite her traumatic start in life, Hannah, who attends Meadowbridge Primary in Lisburn, is a ray of light. Sasha says: “She is wonderful, happy and makes friends easily. She is giggly, kind, strong in herself and works hard at school.”

Just then, Hannah bounds into the room, Sasha smiles and says: “She’s also a little rascal, and mischievous. “She is so fearless and throws herself into things. She is also in Belvoir Players, does Irish dancing, judo (which made me so nervous) and cookery.” Hannah is very vocal about her illness and chats with her brother about how the many treatments she endures make her feel. Because of her medication, she has suffered hallucinations and she has frightening nightmares about spiders. “Hannah has a very good memory and can remember everything in sequence and how she felt.” One of the saddest things Sasha can remember her daughter saying is: “Mummy, what’s the end of my numbers going to be? Will I be 16?” Sasha realised she was talking about the age she is going to die. “She is so sensitive. She has ideas, values and knows what she wants to be.” Sasha acknowledges that each decade brings advances in medical research so there is no reason not to be positive. “Everything is in Hannah’s favour, the indicators are good.”

Hannah can have surgery for her hands so she can have opposing grip but her mum is leaving the decision up to her. “She initially thought ‘no’ but it is her decision. She needs to be in the right place in her mind.” Sasha is at pains to mention Hannah’s amazing classroom assistant, Mrs Colville who is helping Hannah become an independent young lady. “Hannah has an amazing can do attitude, is confident and much less hesitant than her siblings.” Hannah encapsulates the independent, adventurous spirit of her favourite Disney character Belle and like Belle’s loyal friends, her family will never, ever lose hope.

You can donate cord blood at the Royal, the Mater and via the NI Blood Transfusion Service - it is like a normal blood donation. ÷ To make a donation to Steve, visit ÷ To make a donation to Fanconi Hope, visit For more information, visit:

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 45

POTUSfactorhastourists flockingtoEurope



t’s being billed the Trump Slump. Since the election of Donald Trump to the role of US President, interest in travel to the States has diminished among UK holidaymakers, with travel companies reporting a drop in flight searches and bookings. Globally, it’s been suggested that the new Presidency has cost the US travel industry a whopping $185m in lost revenue. The US has long been a popular destination for UK holiday-makers, with thousands from Northern Ireland favouring places like Orlando, Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles. But according to recent data released by travel search engine, there has been a 58% decline in searches for flights to Tampa and Orlando from the UK, a 36% drop to Las Vegas and 32% drop to Los Angeles.

Continental value While it seems the love affair between UK travellers and the US may be petering out, it’s still going strong with Spain, Portugal and Croatia. And the good news is, flight prices to key continental destinations have been slashed, including Ibiza, Alicante, Majorca and Ibiza. Suzanne Perry, travel expert at KAYAK, said: “With so many factors impacting holiday prices, from demand to the number of airline routes, year-on-year analysis always shows interesting trends. “The news overall for Brits is good – many of the most popular European destinations in Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe have seen nice falls in prices which will benefit many travellers. And factors are combining to lead to some massive price drops in more far-flung locations like Singapore, Brazil and Mexico – meaning that it could be the time to go for those who have been interested in these destinations for a while. “However, the story of the summer is the fall of interest in the States. We noted that searches to the USA dropped after the new president came to office – but it seems like this is a longer-term trend. The US has historically been one of the most popular

Las Vegas is suffering from Trump Slump

countries for Brits, but searches to popular destinations falling by over half in one year is a massive shift. It will be interesting to see if it can bounce back in 2018.” Family favourites With mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, the Balearics, Portugal and Croatia still proving big draws for families looking for a sunshine break, Italy, Greece, France and Turkey are holding their own too.

Singapore is becoming an option

The Greek islands of Crete, Zante and Corfu boast beautiful beaches and clear blue seas and with the Greek economy suffering, families on a budget can avail of some great discounts right now. France is also family-friendly with Disneyland Paris, Nice and Brittany popular spots for Northern Irish holiday-makers. And places like Puglia and the stunning Amalfi Coast in Italy continue to charm sun-seekers looking for something a bit

more cultured. Further afield, Thailand, Mexico, India and Singapore are expected to be among the top long-haul locations for UK holiday-makers this summer. Travel shop For lots of ideas for holidays this year, pop into the Belfast Telegraph Travel Shop in Royal Avenue and pick up some brochures or visit

46 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Discover the jewels on our doorstep


ore than half the population of Ireland takes at least one holiday at home every year, exploring everywhere from the stunning north west to the sunny south east. And Northern Ireland is also seeing an increase in holiday trade, with 86% of hotels welcoming more visitors than ever last year. The Giants’s Causeway and Titanic Belfast remain the biggest draws but there are lots of places to see on both sides of the border. The most popular places down south are the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which attracts about 1.5m visitors every year, followed by the majestic Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare, but there are dozens of places to visit, whatever direction you follow. Here are some of our top picks...

If you’re spending a few days in Dublin, stay in one of the outlying villages like Howth, Bray, Dun Laoghaire or Malahide and enjoy the gorgeous beaches and historic sites, such as Malahide Castle – the guided tour is excellent – the chilled, cosmopolitan vibe and great restaurants. For days in the city, depending on your clan’s demographic, there’s lots of choice. Younger ones love to visit Dublin Zoo in the grounds of Phoenix Park or the National Aquatic Centre. Art and history lovers will enjoy a trip into Trinity College to view the Book of Kells and the other beautiful artefacts or Kilmainham Gaol. The Old

Dingle Marina

Jameson Distillery, Dublin Castle and Christ Church Cathedral are also worth a visit. Dublin is also home to the National Wax Museum while the Viking Splash Tours offer a fun view of the city on a sunny day or you can simply while away a few hours watching the well heeled mingle with the street performers on Grafton Street.

The Cliffs of Moher’s viewpoints are well enough laid out that you don’t need to be put off by coachloads of other tourists. Bored children are unfailingly interested in seeing the cave where Dumbledore drank the Water of Despair in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. If you go in early July, nearby Milltown Malbay, Willie Clancey’s home town, is ringing to the sound of music as trad musicians come from all over the world for the annual festival. One of the neighbouring towns, Lahinch, is one of the best locations in the country for surfing and kids and teens can sign up for classes for a bracing holiday adventure. Co Clare is also home to the famous Burren, Aillwee Caves and Bunratty Castle but its greatest attraction is its unspoilt countryside where wild hare race each other across the fields.

Staying on the Wild Atlantic Way, Fanad Head Lighthouse, Co Donegal, will have been keeping seafarers safe for 200 years in 2018. Many visitors

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 47

The Cliffs of Moher © Christopher Hill Photographic 2014, Tourism Ireland have spotted whales and dolphins off the coast. Donegal’s beaches need no introduction and the county is also home to one of the South’s top attractions, Glenveagh Castle and its tranquil grounds. A visit to the island’s most northerly point, Malin Head, is on many people’s bucket lists as is a walk along the splendid Sliabh Liag cliffs. Bundoran is a lively seaside town with a family friendly beach and a popular walk along Rougey cliff. Next door is Ballyshannon where Rory Gallagher was born and where he is eulogised with a rock and blues festival every June.

Co Kerry is home to Bray Head, a stunning headland on the Iveragh Peninsula and the perfect vantage point to the mystical island, Skellig Michael, described by George Bernard Shaw as an “incredible, impossible, mad place”. Kerry boasts no fewer than 13 Blue Flag beaches such as Ballinskelligs Beach, famed for its golden sand, brilliant blue water, and starry skies at night. If you stop at Dingle to meet Fungie the dolphin, take a look at Gallarus Castle and the nearby stone oratory which resembles an upturned boat. Tralee, Kenmare and Killarney are all busy towns while Killorglin is home to the Puck Fair, which has been celebrated

every August for over 400 years.

Achill Island, Co Mayo, is a special place with the cliffs surrounding Keem Strand offering a breathtaking view while Dooagh Bay has been creating waves after its beach mysteriously reappeared after being washed away in 1984. One of the county’s biggest attractions is in pretty Westport town – Westport House with its Pirates Adventure Park and bird of prey centre while Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre includes an interesting factory tour. Lap up the rays and the sunshine at beautiful Clew Bay with its many islands or climb Croagh Patrick, where the patron saint fasted for 40 days.

Cork is a uniquely fascinating county with everything from wild rural escapes such as Sheep’s Head Peninsula to beautiful beaches and exciting towns with Cork city reigning supreme. Picturesque Kinsale is famed for its restaurants while Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Youghal and Cobh are all worth a visit. Cobh is home to fantastic Fota Wildlife Park and a drive along the Beara Peninsula brings the chance to take a cable car ride out to Dursey Island. See for more ideas.

On top of the world at Malin Head

48 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

Lettheplay I begin... t’s only six weeks until school’s out for summer – even less for those sitting exams. The longed for holidays can’t come soon enough for kids. However, parents, relieved that the term time morning routine has eased, can soon feel that far from making the most of the holidays, the kids have gone into hibernation! Here’s our top 10 fun ways to get them out of the house, whatever the weather. Tip: Lay on drinks and snacks to prolong your precious ‘me time’...


The water slide is a favourite for hot days. All you need is heavy duty plastic sheeting, a hose and a bit of a slope. For water based fun, a paddling pool is essential for younger children but don’t leave them unattended even for a few minutes and even if there’s only a couple of inches of water in it.

2 3

Water balloon tag or dodge ball – both are equally hilarious.

Water fight – it never goes out of fashion. Save your empty washing up liquid bottles to use if you don’t have a shop bought watergun.


Dunking for apples. Who says this can only be played at hallowe’en? Even better, in the summer the grass gets a

watering and you don’t have to worry about your floor getting soaked.


Hopscotch. This old favourite deserves to be preserved! Use large chalks to draw out your grid, numbering the squares from one to nine. Toss a stone onto the first square, then hop across it, landing with both feet on 2-3, then one foot on 4 and so on, continuing to land with one or two feet to the end and back. When you get back to 2, pick up the stone in square 1 and hop across it to the start. Next time, toss the stone onto square 2 and miss it out on your hops and so on. If you miss the correct square, you’re out.


Frisbee. Ultimate frisbee is big in the States and coming our way. It’s great for teens, especially if they can make up the required two teams of 7, however, frisbee good fun even with just two or four players. The idea is to get the frisbee past the opposition’s end zone. It’s generally better for keeping the peace with the

neighbours if the kids go to a park or the beach to play it.


Buy or make your own garden swing using strong rope and a plank or tyre for a seat. They’ll happily while away the hours outdoors and even if they are on their phone, they’ll still be getting fresh air and sunshine.


We can’t forget swingball and you can get it in professional size which is taller and heavier than the junior version so all the family can play.


Giant Jenga is great fun for all ages. Buy a set or make your own out of 2x4s. You’ll need 54 pieces, about 10 inches long and sandpapered smooth. Try to avoid having the pieces fall on anyone though.


Card and board games are not just for Christmas. Set them up on the patio table and enjoy some quality family fun while exposing the kids to fresh air.

50 | Family Life



hildhood obesity remains a pressing issue in Northern Ireland and it’s becoming more important than ever for the whole family to foster good diet and exercise habits. Garmin’s vivo range aims to help. The selection of wearables features products for people of all ages and each level of fitness, to help them improve their health and ‘do better every day’ – from the vivofit jr, designed especially for kids, to the vivoactive and vivosmart HR for adults and teens. Garmin’s new activity watch, the vivofit jr., is designed specifically for kids and makes staying fit fun with different games and rewards built in. From tracking the number of steps and minutes of activity, to games and rewards designed to make sure all their healthy food is eaten, the vivofit jr. is a kid’s personal health partner which can help parents keep their children well. It also tracks sleep, another important aspect of staying healthy that parents most definitely enjoy. For teens and parents, the Garmin vívosmart 3 is the latest version of the popular smart activity tracker with wristbased heart rate and new fitness and wellness monitoring tools built in. Its ultra-slim design includes a hidden display that’s only on when you need it. The vívosmart 3 brings high-end fitness monitoring tools such as VO2 max and fitness age, and wellness monitoring with all-day stress tracking, to the popular vívosmart family. Thanks to Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology, the vívosmart 3 provides 24/7 heart rate monitoring and automatically tracks activity including steps, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes, sleep and more. With Move IQand a new Strength Training activity which automatically counts your weight training reps, working out will be convenient and effective. It also features smart notifications to keep users connected while on the go. The vívosmart 3 boasts a battery life of up to five days, and can be worn while swimming or showering. “Health conscious customers are beThe Garmin vivo range is available in a number of styles to suit everyone

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

coming more interested in the meaning behind their activity stats,” said Andrew Silver, Garmin EMEA Product Manager, Fitness. “As in, I like seeing the data, but how does it correlate to my overall wellbeing? With its new fitness and wellness monitoring tools that tell you things like fitness age and stress level, the vívosmart 3 is able to provide users with those answers, and that is a game changer for the activity tracker industry.” The vívosmart 3 introduces exciting fitness monitoring tools designed to provide customers with a better understanding of their body’s overall physical performance. It’s the first product in the Garmin vívo family to estimate VO2 max, a measurable indication of aerobic performance previously available only in higher-end Garmin running watches. VO2 max is also used to calculate fitness age. The lower their fitness age is compared to their real age, the better. Through hard work and exercise, users can increase their VO2 max and reduce their fitness age. The vívosmart 3 also includes a new Strength Training activity that lets users stay focused on their form and does the rep counting for them. With its inconspicuous band and new slimmer profile, the vívosmart 3 complements every athleisure style. The device features a hidden display only visible when activated via gestures, alerts or notifications. When not in use, the screen disappears from view. Available in black (small/medium and large) and purple (small/medium), the vívosmart 3 is the perfect companion for the office, the gym, the pool, the studio and everywhere in between. The vívosmart is shipping now, and has a suggested retail price of £129.99/ €149.99.

For more information on Garmin’s range of activity watches, please visit Or join the conversation on social media at:

52 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017


Q Beauty onthe Glow 2





here’s so much to love about summer make-up. It’s great not to be limited to the plums and reds that denote winter. If you haven’t yet, update your make-up bag with a bright coral lipstick or gloss. MAC’s Fruity Juicy range is amazing if you love eye-popping colour alongside adorable packaging. We’re also in love with Elizabeth Arden’s FourEver Bronzing powder which gives a sunkissed glow to a pale pallor. Make sure your peepers pop with a lengthening and volumising mascara, you can’t go wrong with Benefit’s BadGal. Finally, cover your bases with Lancome’s best selling liquid foundation which is long lasting and transfer and smudge free.



1 2 3 4 5 6


Beautiful Colour Precision Glide Eye Liner, £17, Elizabeth Arden FourEver Bronzing Powder, £29, Elizabeth Arden Grand Entrance Mascara, £22, Elizabeth Arden BadGal Waterproof Mascara, £18.50, Benefit Intense Volume Waterproof Mascara, £9.95, No7 Coral Crush Lipstick, £21, Elizabeth Arden

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Fruity Juicy Cremesheen Glass in ShakeShakeShake, £18, MAC 8 Fruity Juicy Eye Shadow in Fruit A La La, £25, MAC 9 Fruity Juicy Lipstick in Si, Si, Me! £16.50, MAC 10 Matte Shaker Liquid Lipstick, £19.50, Lancome 11 Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden, £23, MAC 12 Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation, £31.50, Lancome









uench your skin’s thirst with our top ten must-haves for either your bathroom cabinet or your on-the-go toiletry bag. Ultra Facial Cream (1) by Kiehl’s continually replenishes moisture throughout the day and is perfect for daily use. A must-have for travelling is Eight Hour Nighttime Miracle (5) from Elizabeth Arden. This hydrating lotion protects skin from the effects of extreme weather and climate changes while SPF shields all skin types from the harmful effects of the sun. We also love Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (7) from Elemis. The formulation blends a powerful combination of ingredients, including Padina Pavonica and Ginkgo Biloba which are shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Prepare your body for tanning with Seaweed Salt Body Scrub (6) from Neal’s Yard. This detoxifying and exfoliating body scrub smooths and tones skin with an invigorating blend of black pepper, grapefruit and ginger essential oils. Last but not least, target reactive skin with Barrier Repair from Dermalogica (3), a waterless moisturizer which shields against environmental and internal triggers that cause skin stress.









19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 53



s we welcome that golden ball in the sky, remember that warm weather means you need to pay extra attention to your locks. If you’ve naturally dry hair, you’re facing an uphill battle. However, with a good shampoo and conditioner, your hair will forgive you for a myriad of ills. If overheating, over-treating and over-colouring have left your hair looking dull, quench your hair’s thirst with Nu Skin Shampoo and Conditioner. With cotton bloom extract, natural sterols and shea butter, this nourishing duo







If you’re on the lookout for a gorgeous fragrance to bring with you on holiday, we’ve got you covered with six fabulous options. Besides looking good in your bathroom, these perfumes and eau de toilettes will leave you feeling fresh, invigorated and sensual.



ROSA MOCENIGA EDP 100ML, £120, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE A strong and fruity scent contained in a sophisticated glass, reminiscent of the petals of this mysterious rose.


BAUDELAIRE EDP, £142, BYREDO Top notes of juniper berry, black pepper and caraway with a base of papyrus, patchouli and black amber.


EAU DE PROTECTION EDP 50ML, £70, ETAT LIBRE D’ORANGE This fragrance opens with notes of sour bergamot and spicy ginger and is overtaken by a beautiful, almost candied rose.

NUDE EDP 100ML, £29.99, JASPER CONRAN A touch of Orris fused with subtle Amber and sensual Musk is layered with newly blossomed Gardenia, crisp Magnolia and luscious Orange Blossom.


WHITE TEA EDT 100ML, £36, ELIZABETH ARDEN A musky-woody floral with sparkling Italian Mandarin and sensual Sea Breeze Accord.


OASIS DE FLEURS EDP 50ML, £39, RITUALS Invigorating mandarin and mesmerising magnolia fuse effortlessly with the fresh coolness of spring water and bamboo.

strengthens the cortex in just seven days for radiant and replenished hair. For a truly pampering experience, Rituals Shampoo and Conditioner protects the colour of your hair and makes blow drying easy. Cherry blossom also provides a unique fragrance experience. Revlon’s Style Masters Fanaticurls range is excellent for those with naturally wavy or curly hair. The range is designed to bring you the curls you crave, with perfection definition and a strong hold that keeps your style in place. Hair is also shiny, has less frizz, even in humid conditions.








54 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017 Lisburn carnival

See the otters at Exploris

Summer is here and with it, a plethora of family friendly festivals, arts events, gigs, food and beer fests, historic happenings and more. Here are a few of the highlights...

Sharon Shannon is headlining at Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival

Packedprogrammefor SUMMER‘17 MAY

May 20 is the date for the Mayor’s Carnival Parade and Family Fun Day at Lisburn when the city will host international carnival performers, musicians and dancers as well as locals. Carrying on Carnival’s ‘Ecotastic’ green motif will be the ever popular family fun day, in the lush, leafy surroundings of the beautiful Wallace Park. The parade will be leaving the Island Arts Centre at approximately 1pm. See

Larne is home to NI’s newest festival this weekend with free concerts, exhibitions, barbecues, American sports and more. The Friends’ Goodwill Festival marks the 300th anniversary of the departure of the Friends’ Goodwill ship from Larne to Boston in 1717, believed to have been the first emigrant ship to sail from Ulster to America in the 18th century. Una Healy, of The Saturdays, takes to the stage at Sandy Bay Playing Fields at 9pm on Saturday, May 20, while other performers include Jim Devine, The Broken String Band, Marty Mone, Dana Masters, Philomena Begley, Four Men and a Dog, Barry Kirwan and Niamh McGlinchey. For more details visit:

This year’s Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival runs from Friday–Sunday, May 26–June 4, in Ballycastle and Rathlin Island. Headline act is Trad superstar Sharon Shannon, who plays The Marine Hotel on Friday, June 2. Tickets (£20) are available from Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre, The Marine Hotel or online at (booking fee applies). Runabay and 30 Mile Limit are also performing during the festival, which begins with the blessing of the boats on Friday evening. The programme includes currach races, sailing regatta, sea kayaking, walking tours, the popular Round Rathlin Sunset Cruise and the Naturally North Coast Artisan Market. Some of the area’s best chefs will be in Ballycastle seafront’s Cookery Theatre for the Ulster Chowder Cook Off on Monday, May 29. All activities can be booked through the Ballycastle Visitor Centre on 028 2076 2024. Keep up to date with festival news on Facebook and Twitter or go to www.

Festiv’Ards 2017 sees some of the world’s top classical musicians perform over four days, from May 26–29, at Portico in Portaferry. BBC Radio3 will be covering some of the concerts which include everything from cello to choral; string quartet to soprano lieder; organ recitals and festival favourite, pianist Finghin Collins, returning for the third time. Call 028 4272 8808 for details.

The RNLI Portrush Raft Race is one of the most popular family events on the Causeway Coast and this year takes place on May 27. Crowds gather to see the ‘home-made’ rafts race from the West Strand beach to the finishing line in Portrush Harbour. There’s a junior raft race at 11am and plenty of entertainment, all in a good cause. See

Castle Archdale at Lisnarick, Co Fermanagh, is hosting a Garden Fete on May 27 with stands, gourmet foods, strawberries and Pimms, balloon car, flowers and plants, book and dvd stall, games and sideshows. Music is by The

Knotty Pine String Band, with evening entertainment by Jordan O’Keefe. Proceeds in aid of the NI Association for Mental Health/ Inspire Learning Disability & Wellbeing. See

Custom House Square is home to the Belfast Craft Beer Festival on May 25-28. It’s not all about beer though as cider makers and distillers will also be out in force for this four day festival. There will be music, brewers’ talks and lots of drinks. Admission is £10, see

The Spring Continental Market returns to Belfast City Hall with a delicious mix of food from across the globe from Friday, May 26–Monday, May 29. The market will be open until 10pm on the Friday and Saturday and until 6pm on the Sunday and Monday.

Jazz in the Garden returns to Mount Stewart estate, outside Newtownards, on May 28. Bring your picnic and settle down on the lawn with your family and friends to enjoy an afternoon of jazz in

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 55 Music City Derry

Sea Bangor Festival

UK Pipe Band Championships at Stormont


Moving Pictures is hosting a Night at the Museum for children aged between 6 and 11 on June 2, at Belfast’s Ulster Museum. These popular events include a showing of the movie at 9.15 followed by a midnight tour of the museum and the option to camp in the welcome area. Children aged 6-11 must be accompanied by an adult and bring their own torch and sleeping bag. All guests must purchase a ticket costing £24-£32.50 through

the gardens of this historic National Trust property. Normal Mount Stewart admission fees apply and the event is free and runs from 2–4.30pm. Dogs on leads are welcome but barbecues are not. For details email mountstewart@ or call 028 4278 8387.

It’s full steam ahead with the Downpatrick & County Down Railway this bank holiday Monday, May 29. Passengers experience by-gone railway travel along nearly two miles of restored track. Refreshments available from a buffet carriage parked at Inch Abbey station. Trains run between 1.30-4.30pm and tickets cost £6 adults, £4.50 children and senior citizens, whilst children aged below three years old go free. A family ticket is £18. To book call (028) 4461 2233, email Further details from

Hothouse Flowers are headlining this year’s Holywood Harmony Festival, on the first weekend of June. Gigs take place in a marquee at the town’s rugby club. The festival opens with Duke Special with trad supergroup Ulaid on Friday, June 2, and support is The Emerald Armada. Local singer/songwriter Ciaran McEhinney and band Nat Youle will play support to The Hothouse Flowers on Saturday, June 3. The final evening, on Sunday June 4, stars Gareth Dunlop, who has also opened for Jeff Beck, Jools Holland, Nanci Griffith, Imelda May and many more. American Jazz aficionado Dana Masters will debut her first album, with Sam Wickens. Tickets for all gigs are available from See for details.

Belfast is tuning up for the UK Pipe Band Championships at Stormont Estate with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association on Saturday, June 10. Over 100 of the finest pipe and drum bands from across the UK and Ireland will be competing for the coveted title of UK Champions. This free, family friendly, allday event attracts thousands of visitors.

Frock Around The Clock will be returning to Malone House Belfast for the Midsummer Vintage and Handmade Fair on Sunday, June 11. Approximately 50 stalls of vintage, handcrafted and upcycled fashion, furniture, homewares and collectables, textiles and decor, jewellery, sweet treats, toys, art, craft, gifts, artisan food will tempt those in search of authentic vintage treasures, beautiful handmade goods or delicious edible goodies. Admission is £3.

Meet the world’s top eventing riders and join in all the fun of the Tattersalls International Horse Trials & Country Fair from May 31-June 4 at Fairyhouse, Ratoath, Co. Meath. Combining world class sport with a quintessential Country Fair, Tatts is one of the countryside events of the summer. Supported by Failte Ireland, it features a shopping village, artisan market and a Stena Line Kids Zone with pet farm, traditional carnival rides and a toddler activity area. For details and online discounted ticket prices, see and follow @TATTS2017 on Twitter or find it on Facebook and Instagram.

Winner of the 2016 Heritage Council Cool for Kids category, Footsteps in the Forest returns to Slieve Gullion Forest Park on June 3-4 from 10am-6pm. Meet larger than life characters from the world of myths and legends, enjoy the guided theatrical performance, feast at the market and enjoy live music as well as children’s activities such as face painting, balloon modelling, Jumping Clay and monster mask making. There’s a blacksmith forge, wood turning, lace making, felting and glass painting with artists from ROGHA. Visit footsteps-forest-slieve-gullion-forest-park/ or telephone the festival office at 028 3031 3170 for further information.

Belsonic is celebrating its 10th birthday at Ormeau Park, Belfast, on June 13-20. Headline acts include Arcade fire, The 1975, Martin Garix, The Chainsmokers and Jess Glynne. See for details. Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival will be making its usual huge splash on June 16-18. The festival, organised by Belfast City Council, is at Queen’s Quay and Titanic Quarter as part of a trio of festivals featuring Belfast, Dublin and Liverpool. As well as visiting ships, you can take part in Titanic-based activities and enjoy the feast of entertainment from food to live music, arts and crafts to street theatre. A newly refurbished museum celebrating the US Rangers is being reopened on June 17 at Boneybefore, Carrickfergus. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is holding a formal civic commemoration, followed by a family-friendly launch event at the US Rangers Museum. Visitors can meet WWII re-enactors in a US Army camp setting and can even learn some war time dance moves. For further details, please contact T: 028 93358241, E: visitorinfo@ or W: www.

Archaeology 101 gives budding archaeologists the chance to get their hands dirty on Belfast’s Divis and Black Mountains on June 17. Go along and have a taster session of undertaking excavation work, making bronze age style pottery, receive a guided tour of the site and see the ancient art of stone knapping in action. Various time slots are available throughout the day. Booking is essential to secure your free place. Call 028 9060 3466, email,

JUNE: Donal O’Connor from Ulaid, Duke Special, Liam O’Maonlai and Gareth Dunlop are at Holywood Harmony Festival

Music City sees Derry become one giant performance space with hundreds of musical performances of all genres in the streets, squares, venues, churches and communities involving local, national and international performers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Derry’s choral tradition is showcased throughout the festival on the main outdoor stages while the historic Walls will feature performances from pipe bands, flute bands and trad musicians. The majority of events at Music City are free of charge and family friendly. This year’s festival runs from June 21-27, see for details.

56 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017 Riverdance lead dancer Lauren Smyth, Ulster Fleadh

Fiona Bruce will be with the Antiques Roadshow at Stormont

Beans on Toast is at Sunflowerfest

Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival Minevention brings Minecraft fans and YouTubers together

Gamers and sci-fi fans will be all over Lisburn’s Eikon Complex for MCM Comic Con on June 24–25. Special guests include Flash Gordon (Sam JJones), Summer Glau (Cameron Phillips) and Vic Mignogna (Fullmetal Alchemist Voice Actor). Advance tickets are £12 per day, £20 for the weekend, see

Sea Bangor Festival, on June 24–25, embraces Armed Forces Day with Saturday’s events including an Armed Forces Parade, Drumhead Service and Beating Retreat. The popular maritime festival promises a host of activities including live music, food stalls, street theatre and impressive displays. Visit www. for details.


Ultimate Strongman comes to Bangor’s McKee Clock on July 1. Strongmen from each of the home nations will take on contests including truck pull, log lifting and giant stone loads. The four hour competition begins at noon and will be filmed for TV. There’s a kids’ fun zone, stalls and a fun packed day planned. See

Pirates Off Portrush, on July 1, is a free family fun day based around the exploits of a Scottish Pirate called Tavish Dhu, who has to deal with marauding Vikings who have landed by sea in Portrush and are planning to take over the town. Tavish calls all the Pirate leaders together and they hatch a plan to chase the Vikings out of Portrush. Events get underway from 11am with music, drama, entertainers, street parade with costumed characters, floats and children’s entertainers and ends with a spectacular fireworks display. On Sunday, July 2, Antrim Gardens (opposite Portrush Atlantic Hotel) is transposed into a Heritage Park with a Viking Camp with blacksmith and musicians, medieval knights, archery, story telling, children’s games, curachs and cracle building demonstration and re-enactments. There will also be an Artisan Market that will provide an opportunity to meet many food

and craft producers and suppliers from the North Coast and Glens area.

Portaferry Gala Festival celebrates it 50th year from July 15–21. Most of the 100 plus events are free with highlights including a Pitching the Sheaf Competition, Ritchie Remo live, kids’ fancy dress, open air boxing, comedy play, live radio, youth challenge and Xbox event, paper boat race, wrestling, 10 mile run, tea dance for seniors and the annual float parade. See

Minecraft devotees will be racing to the Titanic Exhibition Centre on the weekend of July 22-23 for the chance to meet their favourite Youtubers at MineVention Plus. Children with sensory difficulties are welcome to attend. The event includes the chance to meet Minecraft YouTubers and attend a Q&A with them, challenge stage, battles area, Lego creations area and more. Ticket prices range from £20 to £100, visit minevention-plus.

Sunflower Fest returns to Tubby’s Farm, Hillsborough, for three days of music and art on July 28-30. The Rubber Bandits, Beans on Toast and Malojian

are among the dozens of bands booked. This year’s theme is A Parallel Universe and the festival aims to transcend science fiction across six stages of live music, arts workshops and showcases of the best in NI produce. This year there are new partnerships with NI Science Festival with features from W5 and Boojums are among the food offering. Over in the KidsZone, children can get their hands dirty with interactive arts and science projects as well as joining in workshops with Sunflowerfest charity partners RSPB and The Eden Project Communities. See for details.

The Ulster Flying Club is hosting an Airfield Open Day at its Newtownards Airport base on Sunday, July 23, from 10am-4pm. Admission is free and as well as static aircraft and model planes, there will be flight simulator, model air display at noon, light airplane and helicopter flights and lots of children’s entertainment.

The Ulster Fleadh returns to Bangor this summer for a second year, from July 23-30. Running alongside the competitions is a packed events programme with impromptu sessions, free cross-community events and ticketed concerts. Headline acts this year

include Lúnasa and Fr Martin O’Hagan, a member of the world famous trio The Priests. Lúnasa, who play St Comgall’s Parish Centre, Bangor, on Friday, July 28, have been described as the ‘hottest Irish acoustic band on the planet’. Gorias, a trad band from England will also be performing, as will Bangor band Cap on the Wall, Peter Carberry (Foxy), Geordie McAdam, lambeg drummer Keigh Clegg and the Robert Graham Memorial Flute Band. Glórthaí Úladh, formed by choirs from Donegal, Derry and Belfast, will be sharing the bill with Riverdance lead dancer Lauren Smyth and Ards CCE Entertainment Group at St Columbanus College on Tuesday, July 25. Tickets (£10) for the main concerts are available from Throughout the fleadh, there will be free sessions at bars throughout Bangor with the Mulholland Family among the well known acts playing at the Rabbit Rooms. Follow UlsterFleadh2017 on Facebook for updates and a chance to win £50 or visit

Fans of The Antiques Roadshow won’t want to miss out when the show visits Belfast’s Stormont Estate on July 29 as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, hosted by Fiona Bruce. Admission is free.

Co. Armagh’s Ring of Gullion Lúnasa Festival features more than 30 events, many free of charge, between July 30– August 27. Slieve Gullion Forest Park, home to an award winning playpark and the Children’s Living Storybook trail, is a short 10 minute drive from the A1, via the village of Meigh. The festival includes guided bus tours and walks offering the chance to delve into the rich heritage and landscape of the Ring of Gullion; have-a-go arts and crafts sessions and lessons for adults and children and Wild Wednesdays which take visitors up close to local wildlife. Learn essential survival skills at the Zombie Apocalypse survival day, meet a real live T-Rex at the Geotastic Extravaganza, raise the flag at the Flagstaff Fiesta or celebrate all things red at the Fleadh Rua. Visit www. for details.

Pirates off Portrush

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 57 Belfast Mela



his is a great year for sporting events in Northern Ireland. Whether you want to take part or simply cheer from the sidelines there are major events worth heading for.


The weekend of June 3-4 sees the third edition of the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia with thousands of cyclists taking part in one of the ‘must-ride’ sportives in the UK and Ireland. The toughest challenge is the 175km Mourne Route while the 58km Strangford Route is perfect for those who are new to cycling events or want to set themselves a new challenge. The roads will be closed and policed for safety. This year’s events will start and finish at Stormont Estate and there will be a post ride party with Italian cuisine, beer and wine. To register and find out more, visit

Sunday. There’s lots to appeal to the nongolfing members of the family too with NI Open Village hosting a food festival, exhibitors and entertainment while the Interactive Zone includes free golf lessons for all and the opportunity to try your hand at Pitch & Putt on Galgorm Castle’s Fun Golf Area. Visit for details.


The Super Cup returns to Coleraine from July 23-28 and will see youth teams from round the world compete with homegrown sporting talent. The UEFA European women’s under-19 championship is also coming to venues across Northern Ireland from August 8-20, offering local players the chance to shine on an international stage.


Summer brings the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship with preliminary rounds beginning on June 17 with plenty of inter-county action before the final at Croke Park, Dublin, on September 17.


Bangor Open House Festival Nan Fee in Me & Kate Bush


Heart of the Glens Festival returns to Cushendall

Open House Festival Bangor will include than 100 events in 40+ venues including music, film, food & drink, theatre, art, books, comedy and spoken word between August 1–31. Artists confirmed at the time of writing include John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, live musical spectacular Me & Kate Bush, comic Steve Vertigo, musicians Michael Chapman and Courtney Marie Andrews while local author Colin Bateman’s movie The Journey is among the film offerings. Sign up to their mailing list for future announcements at

City of Derry Guitar Festival, on August 1, offers music lovers the opportunity to attend concerts, participate in master classes, workshops, ensembles, and much more, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere at North West Regional College. See www.cityofderryguitarfestival. com for details.

Picturesque Cushendall is home to the Heart of the Glens Festival which returns for the 27th year on August 5-13. This popular community festival includes something for all the family, from the opening fireworks to the Lurig Run, Vintage Family Fun Day and festival night on Friday, August 11. See for details.

The annual Vital Festival returns to Belfast’s Boucher Road Playing Fields on Saturday, August 26. Taking to the main stage for what promises to be a phenomenal headline set will be Tiësto joined by very special guests, Clean Bandit, Robin Schulz, Sigala and Disciples. Early bird tickets are available for £44 from 0844 277 44 55 or

Belfast Mela (meaning ‘meet’) returns on August 27 to Botanic Gardens with a high energy, vivid and vibrant day out for all the family. The event celebrates Northern Ireland’s increasing cultural diversity with a range of music, dance and food. For more information, visit


Portstewart Golf Course has scored a huge coup by being chosen for this year’s Irish Open. This major tournament, on July 6-9, will see some of the best players around play one of our finest links courses. Before that, there’s the Causeway Coast Amateur Golf Tournament, on June 5-9, followed by the inaugural Belfast Parkland International Golf Tournament on July 3-5. Malone Golf Club, Royal Belfast Golf Club and Shandon Park Golf Club have come together for this pairs event where the best scores count over three days. There will be both daily prizes and prizes for the overall winners. See for details. The Northern Ireland Open, Northern Ireland’s annual national professional tournament returns to Galgorm Castle, Ballymena from Thursday-Sunday, August 10-13. One of the best supported events on the European Challenge Tour’s international schedule, this year’s tournament includes a new Shootout

The Women’s Rugby World Cup takes place in Dublin and Belfast from August 9-26. The tournament gets underway in Dublin, before moving Belfast for the play-off rounds and final at the Kingspan Stadium. The trophy is currently on a tour of rugby clubs and schools all over the island and will be in Coleraine, Armagh, Donaghadee and Belfast this week. See for details.


If you want to watch the super fit do their stuff, why not check out the 26 Extreme Coast to Coast Multisport Race from Enniscrone, Co Sligo, to Newcastle, Co Down, on May 20-21. Competitors can do the 316km trek in one or two days and the course which takes in the Fermanagh lakelands and the Mournes, includes running, cycling and paddling. See for details.

■ For details of dozens of other sporting events, from Try Sail days to Nordic walking, visit ■ For information on major events and links to useful websites, visit

✸CHRISTMASMAGICATTHEMAC In the heart of the city, you’ll find the MAC, Belfast’s creative hub, home to all kinds of exhibitions, theatre performances, experimental works and endless goings-on. With two theatres, three art galleries, a FREE family room and a café bar - NATIVE by Yellow Door, the MAC’s a great spot for family days out. This Christmas, why not start a new family tradition by booking tickets for the MAC’s family Christmas show, Hansel and Gretel. Get lost in the magic and follow Hansel & Gretel’s sweetie trail to a host of fun, memorable songs, big jokes and of course a wicked old witch.

This brand new show; written, directed and produced by the MAC is proudly sponsored by Phoenix Natural Gas and packed full of fun for all the family. We know just how expensive Christmas can be, so we’ve created the most flexible Family Ticket in town. With our family saver, you’ll automatically save 10% on your booking. Simply add 4 or more Hansel and Gretel tickets to your basket, and we’ll do the rest. See Hansel and Gretel at the MAC from 28 November – 7 January. Book now at

58 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017



ff stage, mentalist Joel Mawhinney is easy company, immensely likeable and deadly serious about his craft which he has been practising since he was six years old. On stage, he messes with his audience’s minds while playing the piano like a maestro. His showmanship and command of the stage suggest he has been working the circuit for a while. It’s a surprise to learn he’s only 19 and finished school last year. “I took a year out to do this and it seems to be going really well so I’m going to take another year out and hopefully keep taking years out,” he says. A young man playing the piano is completely unremarkable, of course, but what if they’re playing blindfolded and sitting next to an audience member who has been similarly blindfolded and asked to think of a song? By some mysterious process which, of course he declines to disclose, Joel deduces the exact piece she had in mind, and proceeds to play an arrangement of it.

Bleeding arm He attributes a lot of his performance abilities to his music teacher Joan Wilson. “She’s like my surrogate mother,” he jokes, “but she can’t watch me perform. The last time I did a trick for her I made my arm bleed so badly that she’ll hardly watch any more.” Thankfully, he has dropped the ‘stigmata’ trick from his routine. His piano training was classical but when I saw him perform he was clearly a master of many genres. “The piano trick is a lot of fun and sometimes I have to work really hard to get the song they’re thinking of. I love it if people think of a jazz number because that’s the kind of music I love playing the most.” Most of us would assume this sort of thing is a complete set up so I didn’t mind when he asked to see my phone. I have to confess to being impressed that he was able to unlock it immediately. Naturally, he’s great at getting people’s pin numbers. Ironically, his bank account was hacked the week before we met and £400 was taken. “I was really annoyed but everyone seemed to think it was hilarious for some reason,” he says. Thankfully the bank reimbursed him and he’s able to laugh about it now.

By the time I was 13 I had decided that this was what I wanted to do full time

Mentalism isn’t your regular career choice for boys leaving Bangor Grammar but the school is big on drama. “It took me until I was 18 to learn about the dynamics of performance,” says Joel. “By the time I left school it was obvious I was going to be on stage anyway. I love it.” Oddly, there are no theatrical skeletons in the family closet and neither Joel’s parents Craig and Sonia or siblings Ethan (17) and Emma (13) are particularly into performing. The only person he can attribute any of this to is his ‘papa’ Noel Wilson, Sonia’s dad. He didn’t perform either but he was a huge fan of Paul Daniels. “We went on a family holiday to Florida when I was six and they had this magic shop where you could buy tricks. There was a man standing outside with a red floating ball above his hand and I was intrigued. Both my papa and I found the shop interesting and we ended up spending half the holiday in there.” At first he began learning magic tricks to impress people but before long, Joel was hooked and studying an encyclopaedia of magic he’d borrowed off an older boy. It’s the performance aspect of the act that enthralls him, however, and as that has grown, so the magic element of his show has been replaced by mind reading.

Knew at 13 Joel has been developing his mentalist skills for some time now. “It’s one of those things that was always there. I dipped in and out of other things but I’m quite an obsessive person, found out I was quite good at it and I enjoyed doing it so much – by the time I was 13 I had decided that this was what I wanted to do full time.” When his peers were working part time in shops to earn spending money, he was doing paid gigs. “It just felt natural.” Joel’s parents, to their credit, have always supported him. “The deal was that I would keep going to school, do as well at my A levels as I could and they would be 100% behind me in doing this as long as I proved I was willing to work hard. I left school and continued doing what I was doing. This year has given me time I needed to reflect on the act and the thinking behind it.” While he has his own distinct thing going on, Joel admires many of the big names in the field today. “A lot of magicians don’t like Dynamo but I do. It’s easy to hate someone who’s doing that well.” While other boys were going into offices for their work experience, Joel spent the week shadowing David Meade. “We’ve become really good friends. He’s like a mentor. I’m very grateful for him. He’s the sweetest man in Northern Ireland. I’ll be writing a show, will send him an idea and he will make it 10 times better.” He is keenly aware of the need to be as different as possible from performers like Meade and Derren Brown and his quick wit and easy banter are among his distinctive traits. “I like a wee bit of tongue in cheek

although I never want to offend anyone. If someone has a go at me it can be funny and usually everyone is up for a laugh. If you take yourself too seriously it becomes pretentious and boring.” Asked whether he’s had anything backfire on him, he recalls one toe curlingly awful but hilarious show where he had one man and two women up on stage and asked them to write their most embarrassing memory. He picked the man’s – a distinctly post-watershed confession. The moral of the story is if you find yourself at one of Joel’s shows and something like that comes up, do yourself a favour and make something up. “Occasionally I get into trouble because I hack into people’s phones and get their pin number and I once picked a colour blind person to do a trick with a Rubik’s Cube. But if mistakes don’t happen you’re probably not doing enough gigs,” he reasons. Festival focus He’s getting a lot of work doing corporate events. “Those are the kind of gigs I love doing. Most mentalists go for the smartest person in the room and here you have the most amazing people so those are fun events. “Every single job I do is different. You are in a different environment every day with new people. It keeps it fresh. Some of the people you meet are incredible.” He also spends a lot of time writing material. “The show I performed most recently was called ‘Phobia,’ with the second half all being about people’s fears. I’m obsessed with the brain.” He’s also writing a faculty lecture for the Open House Festival. “I’m doing a lecture

on lie detection which is all about reading the cues when people are lying in the media,” he says and goes on to explain some of the twists but as this is a no spoiler zone, you’ll have to see it for yourself. Smart beyond his years, Joel is not persuing the TV talent show route just yet. He plans to spend this summer doing the festival circuit and aim for the Edinburgh Fringe next year, when he has raised both his profile and the necessary funds. “I think it would be a really good experience but I need another year.” He’s very content with the pace of things at present. “I’m happy with how busy I am, it’s been a ball so far. So long as I keep doing what I’m doing and performing for more people and more venues and enjoying what I’m doing I’ll be happy. When it comes to performing, I’m like a monkey, I just love it. As far as the dream goes, a lot of people would say Vegas but I’m enjoying the process of coming up with new stuff and as long as I’m being original, I’m happy.” By the time we’d finished chatting, Joel had convinced me to let him do some mental tomfoolery on me and two days later I’m still confounded by the tricks which were too complicated to recount here. Finally, he asked me to pick a subject from Wikipedia – it could have been anything. With my phone concealed under the table I picked Ian Banks on the basis that I knew nothing about him other than that he’s a Scottish writer so there wouldn’t be much in my mind for Joel to work on. It took him about a minute... Book Joel through www.joelmawhinney. com or check out his forthcoming gigs by finding him on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, @joelmawhinney.

60 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017




he Green and White Army is on the march. After 30 years of disappointment, Michael O’Neill has helped usher in an exciting new chapter for Northern Irish football – and it’s inspiring a hungry generation of young guns to up their game. Last summer, Euro fever gripped the nation as O’Neill’s men competed in the European Championships in France, the first time Northern Ireland had qualified for a major tournament in 30 years. And while the national team may be in rude health, a commitment to developing grassroots and academy-level football here is giving a new crop of budding stars the chance to one day emulate the heroes of 2016. Peter McKiernan (14) is among Northern Ireland’s most promising teenage talents

Peter McKiernan

and has already made his mark on the local football scene. McKiernan, a dynamic, fleet-footed forward currently playing for Cliftonville, recently caught the eye with his seven-minute hat-trick for Northern Ireland in the Rotterdam Football Cup. A clip showing McKiernan terrorising the defenders of Denmark’s Brondby picked up traction on Facebook and Twitter, being posted by Northern Ireland’s official account. Such exposure was McKiernan’s first real adrenaline rush and, much like scoring goals, it’s something he wants to experience regularly as he continues on an upward trajectory. “That was the best experience I’ve had as a footballer,” McKiernan says. “You’re playing with some of the best

I was confident going over but seeing boys my age over there, twice my size, really showed me how much I have left to do if I’m to make it

Peter in action for Northern Ireland U15s against Belgian side Club Brugge in the Rotterdam Cup academies in Europe and you really see the standard they’re playing at. Big impression “We played on bigger pitches against top sides. Going out there I wanted to make an impression and I think I did that.” He certainly did. McKiernan found himself on the bench for the first game of Northern Ireland’s tournament, but while that would deter a lesser footballer, it only drove him to prove a point. With Northern Ireland trailing 2-0, McKiernan came on in the second-half and, ten minutes later, had already single-handedly turned the game on its head, scoring a quick-fire hat-trick. The coaches in the Northern Ireland youth set-up have taken notice. Jim Magilton, the manager of Northern Ireland’s U21 side, was in Rotterdam, and was impressed by what he saw. “He spurred me on in training and drove me on to improve,” McKiernan said. “It was great to have a coach so high up motivating me and telling me where I needed to improve because I think that means he sees the talent that I have.” McKiernan has good reason to be confident. He has scored at least 20 goals in each of his last three seasons for Cliftonville and Linfield, but was given a wake-up call when he was afforded the opportunity to show his talents to a Premier League club. “I got scouted by Watford and went over for a trial,” he recalled. “I was confident going over but seeing boys my age over there, twice my size, really showed me how much I have left to

Peter McKiernan

do if I’m to make it. Playing with them was a different class to what I’m used to but I’m determined to put in the hard work that’s needed to get me to that level. “The difference is that Watford’s academy footballers have brilliant facilities, they have the resources to train to a very high standard from such a young age, but I’m not going to let that stand in my way.” Family support Luckily for him, he has a support network that offers the kind of unconditional love and encouragement, the importance of which can’t be measured. Whether it’s been washing his clothes after training, buying new boots or even that comforting McDonald’s after a defeat, Peter’s parents, Peter and Elaine, have been

19 May 2017 | Belfast Telegraph

otterdam Cup

McKiernan celebrates scoring one of his three goals against Danish club Brondby in the Rotterdam Cup with him every step of the way. Family are often the unsung heroes in a footballer’s journey, but not for this goal-scorer. “We dedicate a lot of time and money to keep Peter’s dream alive but we’re so proud of what he’s achieved already and will do everything to support him all the way,” Elaine, Peter’s mother, said. “I can’t believe the sacrifices they’ve made for me and I would be nowhere without their support. They’ve taught me how to manage my expectations and deal with disappointment. “They’ve taught me why it’s important to be patient and it’s helped me improve.”

If he makes it as a professional, he won’t need reminding who helped him through the ecstasy and agony that comes with being a competitive sportsman. At 14, McKiernan has a long road ahead, with intense and gruelling challenges at every turn, but it’s something he’s already well-equipped for. He has access to some of the best training available in Northern Ireland, which is a solid base but, most importantly, he has a team of people around him that will kick every ball watching from the stands and feel every emotion he feels as he bids to achieve his dream.

62 | Family Life



ummer’s on its way, the temperature can only get better and with blue skies and that odd yellow orb shining down occasionally, there’s only one thing for it – road trip! No matter your intended destination, though, before you head off it’s best to ensure the motor is ready to roll. If your vehicle hasn’t been serviced recently, it’s worthwhile considering, depending on your journey distance. Heading locally or down South, you should be okay, but to the Continent, better to be safe than sorry, lo siento or désolé! First off, give the car a good wash. Afterwards, start with the basics such as checking window wipers, tyre pressure and tread (should have a 1.6mm minimum depth) and all your windows and lights for cracks or other damage. Then get under the bonnet and ensure all your fluid levels are at the right level. First up would be the oil and window washer followed by, rather optimistically, the coolant.

Inside the cabin, examine the windows and mirrors for visibility, ensure the aircon is working and if you have one, the satnav too. In the boot, check your jack and wheel brace are in good order, and your spare tyre is at the right pressure. Satisfied there’ll be no major motor meltdown, remember, there’s always the chance of lady luck striking. With that in mind, it’s good preparation to have a few essentials in case you have an emergency or breakdown and get stranded. With a first aid kit, warning triangle, high-visibility jacket (a legal requirement in some European countries), fire extinguisher, torch and batteries, along with a stash of emergency rations such as high-energy/ protein bars, bottled water, sun cream and warm clothing, you should hopefully be okay until you and your vehicle are recovered. Now, set the satnav, hit the road and enjoy what summer throws at you.

THEVOLVOXC60 The perfect car for demanding drivers


ince its introduction in 2008, Volvo’s highly successful XC60 became the best-selling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe, with nearly a million units sold globally. The XC60 allowed Volvo to compete head-on with and beat its German competitors in the segment, which is one of the most competitive in the market. The XC60, Volvo’s best-selling model, remains relentlessly popular among car buyers and while it may occupy the same kerb space as any medium-sized 4x4, the Volvo XC60’s dynamic looks allow it to stand out from the crowd. From the side

Belfast Telegraph | 19 May 2017

it resembles a sporty estate car but still boasts the commanding driving position and functionality of its class rivals. With a strong heritage in designing stylish and dynamic SUVs that offer the latest in technology, Volvo’s adaptable and elegant XC60 is available with two 5-cylinder engines and the D4 from the four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain family. Available in both manual and automatic to help contribute to a refined drive and excellent fuel economy. XC60 has a commanding driving position supported by generous ground clearance and a class-leading chassis. The XC60

is designed to feel every bit as nimble and agile as a standard height road car, with Corner Traction Control as standard. This torque vectoring system helps the driver avoid understeer by applying just the right amount of brake force to the inner wheels while powering the outer wheels when accelerating out of a corner. With all-wheel drive, the XC60 becomes an extremely capable vehicle on any road, in any kind of weather. The optional Hill Descent Control boosts this capability by automatically controlling the car’s speed when driving down steep slopes. The XC60 is available as an SE Lux Nav

version, which features a complete luxury upgrade of the interior while the R-Design trim features a unique face with a dynamic, expressive nose. The XC60 R-Design benefits from being fitted with the sport seats, offering additional comfort and makes a perfect addition to the in-command feel of a true driver’s car. It has great hugging side support all the way from the thighs to the shoulders, so the seat keeps the driver firmly in position when cornering. As well as its bold and assertive driving styles, drivers can be be reassured that they will be getting behind the wheel of car with the maximum five star Euro NCAP safety rating. Fitted as standard to the XC60 range is Volvo’s autonomous braking City Safety system which is designed to help a driver avoid a low-speed crash or to reduce its severity. The car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops - or if the car is approaching a stationary vehicle too fast. To see why the XC60 is such a success for yourself, or to arrange a test drive, please contact Northern Ireland’s dedicated Volvo dealerships on 028 9068 6000 for SMW Belfast or 028 9446 0066 for Greers of Antrim and Coleraine.

Family Life May 2017  
Family Life May 2017