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Mumboss manifesto

In association with

How Honest Mum blogger Vicki Psarias balances work and raising her boys





4 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019


6-7 20 ways to get set for summer 8 It’s Mumboss Vicki!

10-11 All in a day (and night’s) work for mums and dads 12 Self-care for the mind, body and soul 14-15 Gifts for the dads in your life this Father’s Day 30-31

16 Men’s trends for SS19 18-19 Fashion fixes for mums 20 Head’s up: what’s hot in hair-styling

Countingdown toschoolhols


... and fun days in the sun

xam season is almost done and the countdown to the summer holidays is on! Whether that means long lie-ins in your house, or business as usual (with the expense of extra hours at the nursery) the shift in routine makes for a more relaxed time of year with those mouthwatering barbecue aromas in the air. However, with two long months out of the school routine, life can become an endless round of ferrying children between clubs, camps and summer schemes. It’s important to look after yourself through the busy parenting years and we have some tips for self-care. We’ve talked to a few mums about how they manage the work/life/parenting conundrum, including well known blogger Honest Mum, aka Vicki Psarias whose 2 million followers can attest to her ability to keep many plates spinning. Parents aren’t the only ones who can struggle to keep their stress levels under control. Growing numbers of young people are experiencing anxiety and depression

and we have some advice for parents on that front. For older people, loneliness can be more of an issue but a new scheme in Belfast is tackling that with everything from discos to art clubs. We also look at the particular health issues around summer time and especially the need to take care of both skin and eyes in the sun. If you’re looking for sunglasses for the kids, don’t forget about dad – smart sunnies could be just the trick for Father’s Day on June 16. We’ve plenty of other gift ideas for the special men in our lives too. If you want to take him somewhere special, we have dozens of ideas for days out and events you can check out. We also take a look at fashion and beauty, holidays – including a packed weekend in Donegal – home trends, gorgeous summer dinnerware and what jobs we should be getting on with in the garden. If you need inspiration, check out one of the amazing gardens open to the public all summer or for the Ulster Gardens Scheme. Enjoy your summer!

21 Get glowing with summer make-up 20 Accessories maketh the woman

28-29 Heart-warming and hardwearing tableware 30-31 The hottest home decor trends 36-37 Top tips for outdoor living


38-39 June jobs in the garden

21 Keep your skin looking daisy fresh

40 Big Lunch, big walk

24 It’s time to wake up to sun safety warnings 25 Why it’s worth waging the sunglasses war

42-43 Days out for less 44 10 gardens to visit when you’re on holiday


26-27 Step out for National Walking Month

46-47 A novel weekend in romantic Donegal 48-53 Events and entertainment for all 55 Win a family pass to #DalFest2019!


56-57 Recipes get the Midas touch with Broighter Gold 58 Healthy snack ideas 60 Spotlight on anxiety and loneliness 62 How to live more sustainably

Published by Belfast Telegraph, Clarendon House, Clarendon Dock, Belfast, BT1 3BH FAMILY LIFE MANAGER Jackie Reid, Belfast Telegraph, EDITOR Fiona Rutherford, Realtime Editing & Design NI Ltd, CONTRIBUTORS Davina Gordon, Maeve Richardson, Maureen Coleman, Dan Williams DESIGN Susan McClean, INM Design Studio, Belfast PRINTING INM, Newry

6 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

20waysto getsetfor summer! Summer is here – time to shake off memories of winter and embrace all things bright and beautiful. Here are our season essentials… Round beach towels are great for cuddling the kids or bringing a festival vibe to your beach bag. Solstice round beach towel, £35, John Lewis and partners


Beach ponchos can keep your little one warm between dips in the sea and are also good for extra privacy when getting changed. Blue shark poncho beach towel, £14, M&Co



03 Picnics are the order of the day, whether you prefer a vintage style wicker basket, a rolled up blanket or a handy backpack. Even better if it’s insulated so you can keep everything cool on even a blistering hot day. Pompom insulated picnic backpack, £28, Next


Before we get carried away with memories of last summer, it’s always wise to have a waterproof option when it comes to a picnic rug. Gibside grasses waterproof picnic rug, £25, National Trust

It’s not just children’s heads that need protection from the sun’s rays but their ears and the backs of their necks too. Make sure you choose a hat that’s light, comfortable and easy to keep on. The crab sunhat’s flap can be rolled up when not needed and secured with velcro, £7, M&Co.

Keep the kids hydrated when they’re running round outside. Set of four Rainforest frog bamboo tumblers, £10, Laura Ashley


Bean bags are handy for our changeable summer days. Choose one that’s lightweight – so you can easily fling it indoors if there’s a sudden shower, having safely extracted the child first of course. It should also be waterproof, so it doesn’t matter if it’s left out. Extreme Lounging Outdoor B-Bag, £99, range of stockists


24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph For indoors, outdoors, camping and general everydays, you may need a powerbank, a torch or a portable speaker. Get the lot with this ingenious little piece of kit. This bluetooth speaker casts a gentle glow on the immediate vicinity and can be powered by mains or a long-lasting rechargeable battery. You can even use it to keep your mobile topped up and it goes without saying, it also ticks the box for water-resistance. Lava Brightsound2, £39.99, range of stockists

Family Life | 7



There may be rain but give the blues the boot with a fun and funky umbrella Rainbow umbrella, £21.99, Joe Brown’s

Every now and then, you may find yourself dashing out and buying a disposal barbecue kit on a day out. Having your own portable barbecue means you won’t be caught out, you’ll make savings in the long run, and you’re much more likely to enjoy more spontaneous barbecues on the beach or at the park. Suck UK BBQ, £75, range of stockists, looks like a classic metal toolbox but unfolds to reveal an 8x15” stainless steel grill, a warming rack and a storage tray for condiments

Fresh flowers are one of summer’s joys. If you need more vases, the experts say the best style is opaque and hour-glass shaped, as in curving in then flaring out but not opening too wide at the top. The wider the mouth, the less support for the stems. Pink and sand vase, 47cm, £12.99, TK Maxx




Protect your children’s eyes in the sun with good quality sunglasses. Quechua MH K120 sunglasses are designed to fit snugly and offer protection in very sunny weather, for children aged 2 to 4, £7.99, Decathlon Everyone needs sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Some children hate to see it coming so it’s worth finding a format – spray or cream – they least mind. Some kids like the coloured lotions that disappear once they’re on, some are averse to particular smells and thickness. It goes without saying, when it comes to their faces, spray onto your fingers and rub it on. Look up mums’ forums for guidance on the best ones. Testers on Made For Mums, www. tried a number of suncreams and were most positive about Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Sensitive Wet Skin Sun Cream SPF50, £7 (150ml), Boots. Available at range of sizes, prices and stockists



With everyone running in and out, you want to be able to leave the door to the garden open without being invaded by flies and wasps. There are many cheap and effective door screens on the market. Snap Screen magnetised mesh bug-free door curtain comes in black or white. It’s easy to put up and take down – velcro pads stick to the door frame. Push through the opening easily and the screen snaps shut behind you. It’s perfect for pets and kids and fits over single, sliding and caravan doors, £10, range of stockists

Most households have a box or cupboard for first aid kit. In the summer it’s worth having something you can lift and take with you. You might need to add items like Calpol, wasp sting spray, lip balm and calamine lotion or aloe vera in case of sunburn. The Family Essentials First Aid Kit, £6.99, Boots


Keep your fruit bowl free from unwelcome visitors with a cloche or covering. Lace Effect Beaded Food Bowl & Pot Cover, 13cm, £3.99, Lakeland


Stay on your feet all day with a comfortable pair of sandals. Pick the right ones and you can wear them round the house, at work and on an evening out. Converse orange one star sandals, £30, range of stockists


Little ones can play happily for hours in an inflatable paddling pool but remember, never leave them alone near even a couple of inches of water. Toddler size two ring paddling pool, £3, Wilko



Making your own ice lollies is fun for kids and means you can easily have some to hand. Freeze smoothies, yoghurt, milkshake or juice for cool snacks on a hot day. Ice lolly maker, makes eight 75ml lollies, £12.99, Lakeland


Take the stress out of those moments when you need to turn your back on a toddler with a portable playpen or chair. These need to be lightweight and easy to put up and down, as well as strong enough to contain a little explorer. Summer Infant Pop ‘n Sit includes over-the-shoulder carrying bag. Sets up in seconds and includes 3-point safety harness and chair safety straps for use on adult chair, £29.99, Argos and other stockists

8 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

MumbossManifesto:How‘Honest Mum’Vickibalancesworkandhome-life Vicki Psarias shares her secrets to blogging and parenting success with Davina Gordon


rofessional blogger and mum of two Vicki Psarias’s book Mumboss has quickly become a No. 1 Amazon bestseller and is listed among the top 10 business books written by women, by The Independent. In it, she encourages readers to embrace her Mumboss manifesto, explaining how we can balance our work, our passions and our parenting. Vicki’s Honest Mum blog and social channels have a two million reach each month and she is also a multi awardwinning screenwriter, director and filmmaker. You will most likely have seen her on Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, This Morning, BBC Breakfast and Sky News. Vicki has also featured in Vogue, The Guardian and written for Grazia and Closer to name but a few. How does this entrepreneurial mum juggle work and family life with her husband, Peter, and sons Oliver (9) and Alexander (6)? “My kids are both at school so I work when they’re there, and stop at pick-up where I run around like a headless chicken getting them to and from lessons like swimming and helping them with homework and then if I’m on deadline, I work for a while again when they sleep. My husband and I share the load but having a freelance career gives me flexibility. It’s why I left directing and I feel grateful I can be so hands-on; my kids are my life. “Being a mum defines me but it doesn’t limit me. It makes me better at my job. Through weakness, you discover your strength,” she adds.

Black cloud

Vicki started writing her blog in 2010 when Oliver was 10 months old. “I had a

traumatic birth and I wasn’t being honest about how I felt. I was under a black cloud and was pretending to be strong,” she says, explaining she kept her blog light-hearted as she ‘wasn’t strong enough’ to write about her true emotions. That Christmas, she spoke to her parents about how she felt and as a consequence, she moved back home to Leeds and began seeing a therapist. “With my blog and being close to my parents, I was able to start healing.” Nine years on and her family live in Windsor. She values her mum, husband and closest pals being honest with her. “It’s the only way to be with the ones you love. Considerate but candid. “I’m tactful, or I try to be. I’m thickskinned – it’s the Greek Cypriot in me. We’re culturally honest and I’m also a Yorkshire girl – it’s not about keeping up appearances.” Being transparent is not always easy though. “It took five years before I could write about my traumatic birth and five months before I could talk about my thyroid operation.” Talking about trolls, she says: “I don’t engage. I’ll maintain a dignified silence. You have to pick your battles anyway. Therapy teaches you to take a moment before reacting.”

A woman’s world

Vicki hates the notion that women need to be ‘ruthless’ or ‘difficult’ to thrive. “Successful women are so often painted as being ruthless or tough to work with, which is for the most part, sexist nonsense. That doesn’t mean that some successful women aren’t difficult or ruthless. The same applies to men, but this stereotype, for the most part, is untrue and unhelpful. The majority of successful women I know are incredibly generous and sisterly. We are living and working in a limiting, unequal society and workplace where these dated, biased preconceptions need to change – and thankfully, are.” So why should we buy Mumboss? “I wish I had had it when I started my blog. I always wanted to work in a caring profession and used to teach. It covers everything from the imposter syndrome, finding your voice, purpose, juggling and self-care. Know your story matters and that everything takes a little time. It is a gift and a privilege to do what I do.” Vicki is only human, so how does she deal with self-doubt? “I talk my worries through with my husband and therapist. I’m learning to trust myself more and to be more compassionate with myself.” Vicki says that her family keeps her motivated and doing what she loves. “My family and friends are my roots. I believe in equality. We’re all human and equal. I hate hierarchy or those driven by ego.”

Making it work

Her advice to someone wanting to begin

Vicki Psarias with husband Peter and sons Oliver and Alexander a blog is, of course, to buy Mumboss. “It’s a bit cheeky but I’ve shared everything I know about blogging in it. It’s easier than ever to set up a blog now. You simply need the confidence to start, to trust that your voice matters. Twice a week is ideal when it comes to SEO and building your brand. Also, around 600-800 words minimum per post. Don’t forget to share on social media too.” So, can wo(men) have it all? “I think men or women have to compromise whatever they do, because that’s life but I do think it’s possible to have a family and a career. You just have to be realistic about your expectations and know that things take time. So, lower your standards when it comes to the home being perfect and share the school run/ childcare with your partner and friends and don’t spread yourself too thinly.” Vicki likes to relax by practising yoga, eating dark chocolate and watching reality TV. “I also love getting outdoors

with my family as much as possible. “Motherhood is a heady mix of joy, unconditional love and frustration,” she smiles. “The most difficult thing is ‘the juggle’. My blog creates experiences but we have a super normal life. Kids are really pure joy. “I accidentally created this job but ask yourself, are you having fun? My brilliant manager Jack Freud was the first to ask me to use that question as a barometer, to ask myself if I’m happy doing x, y, z. It’s important to say no to things too. “The best thing about this job is the creativity. You have to live life to write about your life. It’s not always easy. Just work smarter. “I think we’re bloody superheroes but don’t be afraid to ask for help and accept help.” The future is bright for Vicki but she likes not knowing what’s around the corner. “That’s the beauty of what I do, it keeps me on my toes. Every day, something new pops into my inbox but it’s not magic, it’s the product of hard, hard graft.”

Mumboss is available to buy on Amazone. Visit Vicki’s blog at Follow Davina’s motherhood journey at

10 | Family Life


Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Whether going out to work or being a full time mum, life is busier than ever in 2019. We meet a couple of women who are rising to different kinds of challenges...

Caroline Purdy talks to Davina Gordon about life raising children while running a beauty salon


Balancing act

aroline Purdy is a mum of two and the proprietor of Beauty Culture, a multi award-winning salon in east Belfast. “It’s busy, overwhelming at times,” Caroline (36) admits. “As a business owner, you have mummy guilt, but your work is your baby too.” The daily chaos begins with getting Jasmine (5) and Caleb (2) ready in the morning before starting her day – postman husband Keith will already have gone out to work. Once she had Caleb, Caroline reduced her client-facing hours. “I have two assistant managers so I can work from home although I like to call in most days. I now do two client-facing days a week. It frees me up to run the business. I have nine staff to manage.” Petite Caroline goes to a pilates class once a week, which she says is important for her type of job and for her mental and physical health. She likes to practise yoga as often as possible too. “I also sleep a lot. I go to bed early, usually between 9pm and 10pm,” she adds. As a beautician, looking after her skin is important and sleep benefits the skin too. You could say beauty is in Caroline’s blood. She was a head therapist at just 19 and a salon manager at 21. In 2014, she opened a brand

Keith and Caroline with their children Jasmine and Caleb new Beauty Culture, the business having originally opened in 2000. Facials are her passion and she has regular facials herself to keep her skin looking young. Caroline says one of the hardest things about running a business is ‘not knowing what is coming up’. “There can be staff changes. You do your best to plan and stay on trend, without bringing out fads and of course, training your staff to the highest standards. I spend a lot of time and money training and buying equipment. “It’s very rewarding to have the opportunity to work my own hours and work with the latest innovations.”


Bangor couple Mark and Corrin Warmington always planned that Corrin would pursue a teaching career after graduation, however, they didn’t reckon on their son George developing epilepsy and the impact it would have on the family as a whole.


Corrin with daughter Ruth

orrin has always been happy to provide a foundation for Mark and their children Ruth, James, George and Matthew. “I do what I can to support my husband and children as they each work hard to achieve their potential. “I hadn’t planned to not be in paid employment, to become an at home mum but when my son was rushed to hospital in November 2011 with what we now know was a tonic-clonic seizure, all our lives changed. “Being a carer for someone with epilepsy is one of the hardest jobs I can ever imagine. It is unpredictable, heart-breaking, frustrating, time-consuming and exhausting. “George was a very healthy, happy and clever 3 year old when he had his first seizure. It was totally out of the blue, there

The Warmington children: Ruth, James, George and Matthew were no signs or symptoms anything was wrong and no family history. Over the following months George had more seizures and was eventually diagnosed with a rare epilepsy syndrome called Doose syndrome (Myoclonic Astatic Epilepsy). Epilepsy can start at any age and affect anyone of any age, race, gender or religion.” Corrin was 14 weeks pregnant with their fourth child when George’s seizures started. “Life was already full with my husband working night shift and bringing up three young children. This was the start of a continuing journey accessing the right support and treatment for George. “Suddenly from focusing on day trips to Mount Stewart with my growing family I was now gaining an intricate knowledge

Her salon has won a dizzying array of awards, which are a testament to her professionalism and her desire to keep evolving. There are perks too: “I get to try products before they hit the stands.” Despite her impressive success and looking picture perfect at glittering award ceremonies, Caroline’s life hasn’t been all glamour. She is a huge advocate for self-care. “It’s a big thing. I suffered post natal anxiety a year after having Caleb. I was on medication and had cognitive behavioral therapy.” She describes the physical symptoms of anxiety as crippling. Although she finds it difficult to find time to meditate, she does listen to relaxation music and checks in once a month with her therapist. “It’s like a mental health check-up,” she says. Expressing gratitude is an important part of your emotional wellbeing and Caroline is extremely thankful for what she has. “I’m motivated to keep going. I employ so many staff so I want to ensure that the business does well.” She is inspired by Jane Wurwand, the founder of Dermalogica. “I love what she has done for women.” At age 13, Jane got a weekend job at a local beauty salon and ‘fell in love with the industry’ with its ability to create a path to independence for women. Caroline shares Jane Wurwand’s belief that there is much more to a career in beauty than meets the eye and she lives by Jane’s mantra: “Don’t just learn something. Learn how to do something.”

of our amazing Health Service. Daily life included meeting ambulance service personnel, nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, paediatric epilepsy nurse specialists, speech and language therapists, neuropsychologists, disability team social workers to name a few.” As George has progressed through mainstream primary school he has required a lot of additional educational support. Corrin says: “I have spent a lot of time trying to understand the processes involved in accessing additional support for both George and our youngest son Matthew who was born prematurely. We are thankful our Primary School provides the highest level of care and support for our children. However, I have spent a significant amount of time completing parental requests alongside any school or educational psychology application to ensure that all the right people have all the information. It is very frustrating for everyone that there is very little systematic provision for Health Service staff to communicate with the Education Authority. It is the responsibility of the parent or carer to ensure that all information is shared to best benefit each child. Although this is very time consuming watching my children progress is amazing. Meeting my family’s needs is all absorbing and a huge privilege.”

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 11

Living the dream?

All Dan Williams wants for Father’s Day is a night’s sleep


ather’s Day is just around the corner. A celebration of patriarchs everywhere. A big thumbs up to the man of the house, and despite my kids being a nightmare at times, I can’t wait. I’m tired. In fact, I’m exhausted. I’m at a coffee doesn’t scratch the surface, not sure what day it is, constantly on the verge of shouting at/crying in front of strangers, suffering from a deep, deep headache kind of tired. I’m a dad-of-two-under-the-age-of-six kind of tired. While being a parent has never been what you might call easy, I’m not sure it’s been this difficult before. First up there’s my darling daughter. Rapidly approaching her second birthday, she’s an absolute delight to be around and to interact with – during the day. However, once the clock strikes seven and it’s bedtime, we’re dealing with a completely different beast entirely. Screaming, writhing, chatting… Most of the night, most nights. It’s like she’s possessed by some kind of sleep-hating nocturnal demon. We’re at our wits end, and you can imagine how well received the ‘she’ll grow out of it’ was from the doctor… At this stage I’m considering

turning away from traditional medicine and going straight to an exorcist for help. However, as soon as I wake in the morning and her little face lights up upon seeing me, or she snuggles into my chest as I’m soothing her or I hear that first “hiya dadeeee” of the day, the crippling fatigue, curses muttered under my breath upon seeing the baby monitor burst into life, and increasingly unhealthy lifestyle brought on by a lack of sleep and an even greater lack of time to even contemplate exercise slip away as those big wonder-filled eyes melt my heart once more… Accompanying smallest child in her quest to drive me to a complete physical and mental collapse is a partner in crime in the form of big brother. Five-and-a-half

Dan’s kids, Alfie and Olivia

years into his time on this planet is seemingly how long he needed to realise his authority supersedes mine, meaning raised voices and arguments are being firmly pencilled into our immediate schedule. Blessed with the temperament of a teenager trapped in an infant school attender’s body, when we’re not too busy watching videos of someone else playing computer games or children opening toys – or children watching videos of children opening toys (etc) on YouTube (parents with children of a certain age will know what I’m getting at here), we’re dealing with the daily ups-anddowns that being four seems to entail. It makes the stress of a nine-to-five look like strolling by the Lagan on a summer’s day. However, when he looks at me and tells me that I’m his best friend, or that he can’t wait for the weekend so we can play together, when he squeezes my hand while we’re walking or asks for a hug before bed… Well my heart just melts like it has every day of those five-and-a-bit years. That’s the thing about them. No matter what happens, I wouldn’t trade a second with them for all the money in the world. I wouldn’t swap a holiday in the Bahamas for 10 minutes playing with them in the park, £1m in the bank for missing bedtime,

or a night out with the lads for a night in watching a film on the sofa. It’s a cliché, but they’re my world. So, tired, stressed… Did I mention poor? Ha, we’ll not even dig into that one. Cynics everywhere will happily tell you that Father’s Day is nothing more than another ‘pretend day made up by Hallmark’. I know, as I used to be one of them. I come to think that as you get older, you learn to appreciate the little things more. While I’m not desperate to get my hands on any gifts on June 16, I’d absolutely treasure a home-made card from my boy (and, admittedly, an hour or so lie in). I’ll buy my dad a bottle of whisky to say thank you for all the times he’s been there when I’ve needed him, and continue in my efforts to be the dad to my kids that he is to me. At the end of the day, you don’t necessarily need that ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ mug to know you’re smashing it out of the park, memories will, on the whole, last longer than socks – just read your kid a bedtime story and they think you’re the best, play with them for five minutes and they think you’re a superhero, help them with a problem and they think you’re a genius… At least when they’re as small as my two. And parents with older kids, perhaps you’re struggling through the difficult teenage years or struggling to adapt now the little ones have flown the nest, remember the good old days like this? When they still fit on your lap and actually talked, rather than staring incessantly into phone screens? It’s never easy, is it? But every single second, no matter how difficult, is absolutely worth it. Happy Father’s Day one and all.

12 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Selfcare: Body,mind &soul

Let nature soothe your stress away, image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay so you can pop on your favourite Netflix show, podcast or music and let your stress melt away! Afterwards, sit around in your bathrobe, and read magazines. If you can afford to treat yourself, ESPA’s soothing bath and body oil contains a heavenly combination of sandalwood, rose geranium and frankincense as well as sweet almond oil for beautifully supple skin. Elemis’s milk bath is another fabulous option. You can add it to the bath or use neat on very dry skin. If the skin on the face is dry and sensitive, it can also be used as a facial cleanser.




here’s been a lot of talk about selfcare recently and how it contributes to a happy and healthy lifestyle. We all practise self-care whether we know it or not and it ranges from basic tasks that we do for ourselves like eating and showering to more conscious moments of self-love like taking the time to read a good book or dance around to your favourite song – Lizzo’s Juice is my ultimate feel-good tune at the moment! The main thing to remember is that selfcare and self-love isn’t about being selfish or putting yourself above others, it’s about making sure you care for yourself first so that you’re in the best condition possible to care for others. So from extravagant routines to tiny acts of self-love, there are many ways you can make sure you are looking after yourself. We are all unique beings, so one person’s idea of a moment of bliss will differ wildly from another’s. Here are a few options to get you started on the path to self-care...


Unplug for an hour – switch on airplane

mode and free yourself from the constant pings of social media and email alerts. This may feel odd at first and you may even catch yourself reaching for your phone on auto-pilot, highlighting how much you actually check your device which can be a bit of a shock but it’s incredibly liberating to disconnect and turn your focus inwards.


For a lot of women, a day at the spa is the epitome of luxury and offers time to reflect quietly and switch off while being pampered by experts, but if you can’t afford to splash the cash or are simply short on time, why not create your own spa experience at home for a fraction of the price. Inhaled or applied to the skin, essential oils act on the olfactory system (sense of smell) to stimulate body and mind. The scents in essential oils can trigger changes to physiological responses and help combat stress. If you’re on a budget why not pick up some epsom salts and add a few drops of your favourite essential oils (lavender and ylang ylang are my personal favourites) to a hot bath. If you want to go all out, light a couple of candles and prop your laptop/tablet on a chair by the bath

Practise mindfulness by paying complete attention to something that you normally do on autopilot, perhaps brushing your teeth, driving, eating, or washing your hair. Try adding a mini-meditation to your daily routine, dedicating one minute of awareness to your thoughts and feelings, one minute to breathing, and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole. You may feel silly at first if this practice is new to you but the benefits are massive and it’s well worth dedicating just three minutes a day to this.


Find somewhere you enjoy being, whether that’s the beach, the woods, the city, a

Dine in style, image by Terri Cnudde from Pixabay bookshop or the zoo, and take yourself on an aimless stroll while you soak up the atmosphere.


Activate yourself by finding some form of physical activity that you actually enjoy, for me it’s yoga and I love nothing more than carving out time for myself on the mat at home. There are a range of free videos and tutorials online, so from beginners to pros and five minute bursts to 90-minute sessions, there are options for everyone. If yoga’s not your cup of tea and the gym bores you to tears there are a huge range of exciting classes out there from Thai kick-boxing to tight-wire walking and dance, find one that gets your blood pumping and go for it!


Make today special – don’t save a fancy face mask, expensive candle or new outfit for an occasion, indulge in it now, you’re worth it.


Book in for a spa retreat, or create the same experience at home, image by Tremaestro from Pixabay

Soothing Body Oil, ESPA, £43

For pamper times...

Soothing Bath Oil, ESPA, £40

Cook yourself your favourite dinner, taking your time with the prep and sipping on a glass of wine while you play your favourite music in the background. Whether you’re single or are looking after a family, chances are you rarely put yourself first when planning a meal and usually focus on efficiency rather than the process. If cooking still seems like a chore that you can’t turn into a pleasurable experience, take yourself out on a solo date, wining and dining to your heart’s content.

Skin Nourishing Milk Bath, Elemis, £45

Peony Blossom Deluxe Soy Candle, MOR, £28 A floral, fruity and feminine scent to transform your bathing routine into a magical moment.

14 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

GIFTS, notgifts I

f the man you want to shower love on for Father’s Day is hard to buy for, there’s plenty of options that will have him grinning from ear to ear, even if he only has a card to open on the big day.

Get him a ticket to see his favourite team in action JUST THE TICKET

Sports fans love getting tickets to see their favourite team in action. It’s all the better if you can organise his best mate to receive the same gift and they can make a weekend of it without you having to go along.


If he has a particular interest, perhaps bushcraft, golf, fitness, photography, it’s not a cop-out to buy him vouchers or a giftcard for a specialist supplier. He knows what he’d like better than you ever will. The same goes for clothes for the style savvy male.

Diving at Whiterock Bay with DV Diving THRILLS AND SPILLS

Give him an experience he’ll never forget – a flying lesson, scuba diving session, racing or parachute jumping, whatever he’s into.


The national celebration of fathers everywhere takes place on Sunday, June 16, this year. Father’s Day might not have the same commercial clout as Mother’s Day – all the more reason to pay tribute to the dads, stepdads and granddads in our families. Take them out for lunch or dinner, book them tickets to see their favourite team in action, treat them to a weekend away or get them a gift to show how much you appreciate them. Here are a few ideas for the men in your life… Fragrance, like Bleu de Chanel, 50ml £57, range of stockists

You’re never too old to learn the drums, image by Malachi Witt, from Pixabay CLASS ACT

Make it last with lessons. A course of lessons in anything from golf to guitar or drums may be high on his wishlist. You might want to invest in a man shed before going down the drum or sax route though.

Sunnies, like Rayban Wayfarers, £76, range of stockists

A stylish timepiece, like the Skagen Hagen tan leather watch, £74,

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 15 Eco-friendly Men’s Wash Bag, £26, www. yourssustainably. com Made from 100% natural cellulose fibre, a responsible alternative to plastic, the bag is both durable and functional, the chunky zip surrounds three sides and there is an inside full width pocket. A great gift idea for the eco-conscious stylish man. The wash bag is can be carefully washed by hand and is also recyclable. Available in two colourways. Size: L21 xW18 x H9cm

Rosie Made A Thing mugs, £11.50, www.msmugs. com Based on the hugely popular greetings cards by Rosie Made A Thing, this new range is quirky, relatable and guaranteed to raise a smile. Ladybird Books How It Works: The Dad, £7.99, From bestselling authors Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris this guide How it Works: The Dad is part of the fantastic new range from Ladybird. All the books feature original Ladybird artwork alongside funny, new text, making them perfect letterbox friendly gifts. All gifts are posted wrapped with a custom gift card.

Portable Barbecue, blue, £79.95, www. annabeljames. This portable suitcase-style barbecue includes a grill, coal tray and the iconic Gentlemen’s Hardware logo and ‘The Adventure Begins’ motto printed on either side. Product size: 260 x 390 x 90mm.

Peaky Cap Wash Bag, £19.99 www. This flat cap-shaped wash bag with pop up peak is made of tweed, perfect for Peaky fans

The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump, £9.99 www.postboxed. What if there’s another side to Donald Trump? A sensitive, poetic side? Driven by this question, Rob Sears began combing The Donald’s words for signs of poetry. What he found was a revelation. By simply taking his tweets and transcripts, cutting them up and reordering them, he unearthed a trove of beautiful verse that was just waiting to be discovered. Hardback, 144 pages, Sunday Times Bestseller, letterbox friendly, free giftwrapping and gift card.

Haws leather apron, £78, Hand-crafted in Birmingham by the historic Haws company, this traditional leather apron provides protection from scratches and interferences in the garden or workshop.

KeepCup Reusable Coffee Cup, £11, www. Keep Cup Original is the world’s first barista standard reusable cup. Made from lightweight plastic it’s unbreakable and aesthetically pleasing and available in black with white and white with black accents too. Dishwasher safe and BPA and BPS free.

Hand painted cast iron ‘Man Cave’ plaque, £6.95, Something Diff Shop on

They’re pricey for a flip-flop but they last ages, are famously comfortable and supportive, and have a bottle opener secreted in the footbed, so he can pop open a bottle by the pool. Reef Fanning sandals may be £37.39, www. Stanley Tool Roll, £22, store. wildandwolf. This canvas tool roll from Stanley features a leather strap to close, as well as a large pouch pocket, and six smaller pockets for screwdrivers and other tools.

Chilly’s bottle, £30, www.chillysbottles. com Chilly’s reusable water bottles have been spearheading the drive away from single use plastic bottles with their trendy bottles in a range of sizes, from 260ml to 1.8L. Sporty dads will love the 750ml option like this monochrome grey one. They’re durable, leak proof and keep drinks hot for 12 hours or cold for 24 hours.

16 | Family Life


Linen rich short sleeve shirt available in regular and big fit, range of colours, £22, Next


ummer wardrobes are as much about feeling cool as looking good. Stock up on staples that are big on natural fibres like cotton and linen and avoid sweaty man-made threads where possible. For a smart casual style, go for neutrals and blues that you can mix and match, with layers that are lightweight and adaptable. Go for a Cuban collar or polo shirt teamed

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

with chinos and a light jacket that will do for work and nights out. Don’t be afraid of the best of the bright, summer prints but if you don’t like to stand out too much, Breton stripes are back. Loafers and trainers are making inroads in the style stakes and don’t forget finishing touches like shades, a belt and sneaker socks for more comfort.

Shirt, £25, Chinos, £20, Burton Menswear

Honeycomb polo, £28, Hammond & Co, Debenhams

Slim fit beige lightweight linen suit can be dressed down or worn as separates, £148, Moss London

Neon green stripe slim fit T-shirt, £18, River Island

Navy workwear jacket, £80, J by Jasper Conran, Debenhams

Tom Ford Aviator sunglasses, £240, Vision Express

Light brown skinny chino shorts, £22, River Island

Denim breton top, £37, The Breton Shirt Co.

Canvas belts can add a better finishing touch to a summer look, Ouzel belt, £28, Dune

Farah ‘Elm’ twill chinos in navy, beige and other colours, £55, Topman

Blue Ombre Surfboard Print Swim Shorts, £18, Next ATM Lazier tassle loafer, £75, Office

Grey suede loafers, £35, Burton

Forli espadrille, £45, Dune

Black Arizona sandals, £60, Birkenstock at Schuh

18 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Fashionfixes for busymums



eing a parent is full-on. There’s never enough time in the day to do everything you need to let alone think about your wardrobe. And as mums everywhere know, any free cash is splurged on clothing and accessories for the little ones. With holidays around the corner though, now is the time to invest in a few good

staples that will see you through summer. Here are some of the best picks from the high street, incorporating this year’s must-have shade – living coral. There’s also a splash of yellow, stripes, animal print and of course, must-have denim. Whether you’re heading to the office, or going on a day trip, here are some ideas for you to shake up your wardrobe....

Office Chic

Ditsy Print Top and Skinny Jeans, both Dorothy Perkins

Bag, £29.50, M&S

Embellished Collar Shirt, £49.50, Oliver Bonas

Trench Coat, £49.50, M&S

Animal Jacquard Trouser, £65, Oliver Bonas Block Heel, £19.50, M&S

Palm Tree Diamante Drop Earrings, £9.99, New Look

Alfresco Lunch

Brown Woven Belt with Wooden Circle Rainbow Wedge, £45, Faith

Lemon Bag, £29.50, M&S

Denim Dress, £49.50, M&S

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 19

Gold Earrings, £12, River Island Denim Jacket, £35, Next

Single Strap Spot Print Heels, £25, Dorothy Perkins

DayTrip Girly Cocktails

Tan Bamboo Handle Tote Bag, £30, Next

Printed Tea Dress, £13, Primark V by Very Ruffle Wrap Front Dress, £32, Very

Pink Clutch Bag, £14.99, TK Maxx

Red Hoodie, £12, Primark


Nine by Savannah Miller, £40, Debenhams

Trainer, £45, M&S

Calm Slogan Top, £15, M&S

Natural Straw Pocket Square Cross Body Bag, £38, Laura Ashley

Sunglasses, £16, Debenhams

Platform, £49.50, M&S

20 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Treat your tresses

Maeve Richardson checks out what’s new in hair care. Nutriol Shampoo, NuSkin, £35.96 Formulated to remineralise the scalp and hydrate hair, Nutriol helps hair look and feel abundant, revitalising the scalp for maximum hair vitality. I definitely noticed less hair coming out on my hairbrush after using this for a couple of weeks and it smells amazing!

SOLU Sea Salt Scrub Cleanser, Davines, £22.50 Designed to cleanse and refresh your scalp, this is ideal for city dwellers, as it also removes pollution particles. Enriched with sea salt, beet sugar extract and jojoba scrubbing beads, it’s a natural wonder that will swiftly boost your hair health. I have super long, thick hair and was worried that this scrub would not penetrate to my scalp and be difficult to thoroughly rinse but it worked a treat and left my locks squeaky

ait, Trends, long pl x Mara image from Ma

clean without feeling stripped. The texture is a little unusual but it builds to a healthy lather. It can be used in conjunction with or instead of your regular shampoo but is not for everyday use. ReNu Hair Mask, NuSkin, £25.93 This deep conditioning treatment provides critical hydration by penetrating the hair shaft and tripling the strength of damaged hair leaving locks smooth, shiny and manageable. It washes out really easily and doesn’t leave the residue that a lot of enriching masks do. The results are really impressive and my favourite part is the incredible smell – if they bottled it as a perfume it would be my new

favourite scent! Let it Go Circle Hair and Scalp Mask, Davines, £8 Brahmi oil energizes and rehydrates, and sweet orange essential oil helps to relax the mind, providing a boost of hydration to even the most stressed hair. Restore Dry Scalp Treatment, Living Proof, £25 A leave-in scalp treatment that delivers instant hydration and lasting relief from flaking, itching and irritation. Simply apply to clean, damp hair and leave in, so no messing about with another rinse because let’s face it, who really has time for all that? It feels lovely and soothing on the scalp too.

Slide on...

Add the finishing touch to your crowning glory with just the right accessory this summer. Here’s our pick from the high street... Long skinny leopard scarf, £10, Accessorize

Copper engraved barrette, £3.50, Claire’s

Silver plated faux pearl crocodile clips, pack of 2, £8, Debenham’s

Fiesta print beaded wide fabric hair band, £16, Accessorize

Love diamante hair slide, £5, Boohoo

Gold leaf ivory head wrap, £3.85, Claire’s

Rose gold floral crystal comb, £9.60, Debenham’s

Neutral and leopard print scrunchies, 3 pack, £3.99, New Look

Brown snake print knot Alice band, £4.99, New Look

Plait that!

1 2

Spring/Summer 2019 hair trends

Plaits are in but instead of the dishevelled romantic finish we’ve seen recently this season it’s all about tough, sleek plaits, worn low and long, with super shine.


Micro fringes, or ‘baby bangs’ are on the rise and work well accessorised with luxe headbands.

Polished perfection is back on trend and styles shimmering down the catwalks sport ultra-reflective finishes. From pinpoint ponytails to pictureperfect buns, these simplistic styles go big on the high-gloss finish.

4 5

Hair accessories from clips and clasps to bows and headbands are making waves – this is one of the easiest ways to update your look and have a little fun with it. Deconstruct perfectly styled beachy waves to focus on natural movement instead of full bodied twirls.

Polka dot twist band headband, £4, Boohoo

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 21


Howtogetthatgorgeousglow BY MAEVE RICHARDSON


ummer’s biggest trend is super-glossy skin with a natural finish. Rather than cover up imperfections with heavy foundations which in turn leads to clogged pores and breakouts, why not try a foundation which allows your skin to breathe while actually nourishing it with skin-friendly ingredients. Here are my top picks of make-up and skin care hybrids – all of which include that all important SPF!


Absolute Face Base, Mii, £26.50 This has been a long-time favourite of mine, good coverage and fabulously dewy finish.


CC Matte, IT Cosmetics, £31 For those of us who suffer from oily skin and find that a dewy finish simply slides off your face, check out this oil-free colour correcting cream which is clinically tested to reduce shine and control oil for up to 12 hours.


Advanced Tinted Moisturiser, NuSkin, £39.53 Colour correcting coverage reflects your skin tone for a wonderfully natural finish.


BB Cream, IsaDora, £19.75 A multi-benefit cream which primes, tints, moisturizes, conceals and protects the skin at a budget-friendly price.


Advanced Liquid Finish, NuSkin, £39.58 The addition of antiageing ingredients contribute to providing a healthy glow and it feels great on the skin but the coverage wasn’t good enough to even out my patchy skin tone and it didn’t last as long as I would have hoped. It would be ideal for people already blessed with an even skin tone though.


Skin Loving BB Cream, Mii, £25 Amino-rich soy extracts nourish while built-in primer smoothes and lightdiffusing particles cover imperfections, leaving you with a gorgeous glow.


Hollywood Flawless Filter, Charlotte Tilbury, £30 This can be used under, over, or blended with your usual foundation, or even on its own for mega-watt drama. My only gripe is the Magic Wand applicator which I don’t use directly on my face to avoid bacteria build-up.

Geisha Lift Concealer, Diego dalla Palma, £21 White peony extract gives the skin a youthful look, reducing redness and signs of ageing.

Shimmer and shine with

summer shades Glossy and bronzed skin and popsiclepink lips are among the hottest looks this spring/summer. If pink feels too girly why not embrace the trend for subtle gold-toned eyeshadows with a nude or stained lip in a shade of your choice instead.



Collagen Lip Bath, Charlotte Tilbury, £25 A clear lip gloss enriched with skincare ingredients to create plumper-looking lips, ideal for a pared-back look.


Bronzing Powder Duo in Golden Light and Maui, Bobbi Brown, £32 A duo of matte and illuminating finishes combine to create naturally sun-kissed looking skin.


Glamorous Trio Bronzing Face Finish, Mii, £23.50 Smoothing seaweed extract creates a beautifully soft finish with a sheer summer sparkle.


Infra-Red Eye Palette, Bobbi Brown, £36.50 This fabulously shimmering collection will put a spring in your step in no time!


Wonder Perfect Mascara 4D, Clarins, £22 A super-duo of rose wax and panthenol protects and reinforces lashes, while 100% mineral pigment gives intense colour and definition.


Extended Play Perm Me Up Lash, Mac £20 This lightweight mascara lifts and curls lashes for a glamorous Jessica Rabbit finish!


Hello Lashes, IT Cosmetics, £20 A volumising, conditioning and curling formula, with a lash ball detailer designed to reach inner and outer corner lashes.






POWERlips, NuSkin, £19.57 NuSkin nearly flew under my radar as it’s only available online but I’m so happy I came across it. Their POWERlips range provides incredible long-lasting pigment that must be seen to be believed and comes in a range of fabulous shades – I’m officially addicted.


Water Lip Stain in Sparkling Rose, Clarins, £19 Rich in plant ingredients including organic raspberry water and aloe vera extract for a buildable bold colour with a barely-there feel.






22 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Know Bow Mule, £4, Primark




dress is just a dress until you add accessories. They can make or break an outfit. This season is all about self-expression, with over-sized sunglasses and huge bags (the bigger the better) taking centre stage. In fact, layering smaller bags on top of larger bags is bang on trend. If you’ve long hair or hate having it in your eyes when it is hot, pull back errant

strands from your face with a bright print scarf or choose a flattering trilby or floppy hat (also great for protecting your face from the sun’s harmful rays). Add colour with vibrant, playful jewellery and keep your feet happy in flat, comfy sandals which will see you through the summer. Here’s our pick from the wonderful high street at prices which won’t break the bank – you need your cash for more important things like holiday spends.

Bag, £35, M&S

Straw Beach Bag, £22, Topshop

Nude Heel, £80, Dune

White Shopper, £8, Primark

Gold Shoe, £16.99, TK Maxx


Classic Deck Shoe, £65, Crew Clothing

Neon Orange Reptile Effect Grab Bag, £24.99, TK Maxx Have A Look City Sunglasses Banana, £25, Printer + Tailor Trilby, £14, Next

Wide Hoop Earrings, £8, V by Very

Floppy Straw Hat, £14.99, Bon Prix

Leopard Print Cat Eye Sunglasses, £14, River Island

Black Raw Edge Floppy Hat, £16, Next




Pale Blue Cateye Sunglasses, £7.99, New Look

Polarised Round Sunglasses, £19.50, Marks & Spencer


Natural Lemon Embroidered Straw Floppy Hat, £25, Laura Ashley

Chunky Necklace, £4, Primark

Tan Resin Geo Raffia Drop Earrings £3, Primark

Tassel Earrings, £12, V by Very

Tassel Earrings, £12

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 23

Lookdaisyfresh thissummer BY DAVINA GORDON


ith the sun making its longawaited appearance, now is the time to shake up your skincare routine. Let your skin’s natural beauty shine through and if you’re brave enough – go naked! You don’t have to ditch your beloved foundation but consider mixing a little in your moisturiser for a lighter look. The natural look will never go out of fashion. Always, always use SPF if you’re in the sun to prevent premature ageing. Here is my pick of incredible skincare products to stock up this summer. I’ve been using Densitium Rose Cream for a month and it instantly gives a pink, radiant glow. Silky, nonsticky and pleasantly scented, this fresh emulsion revitalises tired skin. Another musthave product is No7’s Firming Boosting Serum. This wonder product delivers fast, visible results and it is powered by four times more firming complex than the existing No7 serums.

Cleaning your skin is just as important as moisturising, so an excellent choice is Moringa Light Cleansing Gel which purifies, refreshes, balances and revitalises the skin whilst removing impurities and protecting the skin from environmental damage. Your skin repairs itself overnight so a good night-time cream is important. I really love Genius Sleeping Collagen. This cutting-edge overnight treatment combines a high concentration of active vegan collagen with Algenist’s patented Alguronic Acid to lock in moisture for softer, more cushioned, supple and radiant skin in the morning. If you are travelling (and hopefully you are), Eight Hour Cream All Over Miracle Oil provides luxurious, head-to-toe conditioning benefits to the body, face and hair and is clinically proven to moisturise for eight to 12 hours. You’ve only one face, so look after it. By all means, enjoy the sun but make sure you do everything you can to protect the skin you’re in. Happy holidays!

Creme Rose Lumiere, £74, Clarins

Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Complex, £210, Elemis

Firming Boosting Serum, £38, No7 Confidence in a Cream Gel Lotion, £30, IT Cosmetics

Anew Radiance Boosting Serum, £20, Avon

Splash Mist, £28, Algenist

Oxygen-Glow Super-Perfecting Radiance Cream, £37, Filorga

Moringa Light Gel Cleanser, £34, Emma Hardie

Hydra Luminous Day Lotion, £14, No7

Densitium Rose Cream, £36, SVR Genius Sleeping Collagen, £88, Algenist

Kahai Multitasking Wonderbalm, £38, Cowshed

White Tea Facial Mist, £13, Neal’s Yard

Moisture Surge Eye Hydro Filler, £27.50, Clinique

Eight Hour Cream All Over Miracle Oil, £29, Elizabeth Arden

24 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Don’t be thick-skinned about sun burn N o strangers to sunburn, cancer in Northern Ireland with Northern Ireland people most cases resulting from tend to shrug the UV exposure and there are occasional roasting usually no symptoms in the off, with a few ouches. But early stages. Anyone can Last June’s heatwave with skin cancers on the be at risk of skin cancer, saw more than 220 rise, it’s vital to take the including people with dark people needing hospital danger of over exposure to skin, so doctors recommend treatment for sunburn in Northern Ireland the sun’s rays seriously. that people examine their First off, there’s no such skin thoroughly once a month, thing as a ‘healthy tan’ as even including areas that are not the most carefully and gradually usually exposed to the sun, such tanned skin is actually damaged. as the soles of the feet. The easiest way is by using a hand mirror while standing in UV rays and cancer front of a long mirror. If you see anything UV radiation of all types damages the unusual, or something that does not go DNA of skin cells. UVA rays cause the skin away after three to four weeks, have it to age, creating lines and wrinkles, and checked by your GP. contribute to the formation of cancers. Sunbeds give off a lot of UVA radiation What to look for and increase your chances of skin cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancers can appear UVB rays cause sunburn and redness and as a small lump, an ulcerated area that are thought to cause the majority of skin will not heal, flat red spot, a scaly or flaky cancers. patch, a firm red or white lump, or a Melanoma skin cancer is particularly tender spot or lump. linked to sunburn and sunbed use and can Melanoma skin cancers present as a be fatal. Other skin cancers such as basal new mole or one that suddenly gets bigger. cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell Other warning signs are moles that are carcinomas (SCCs) are linked to long term asymmetrical, have blurred edges, change exposure to the sun and while they are less colour or begin growing or changing. likely to spread to other parts of the body, they can still cause significant problems. Which sunscreen ✱ A sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection Who’s at risk? factor) of 30 allows 1/30th of UVB Skin cancers are the most common radiation through to your skin.

Heat hit

✱ The star rating system, from 3-5 stars, is used for UVA protection with 5 stars recommended by doctors. ✱ Cover the skin well, applying 20 minutes before going out into the sun and reapply every two hours, to maintain effectiveness. ✱ A specific SPF should be applied to the face after moisturiser has had a chance to

absorb. Give it time to settle into the skin before applying make-up. ✱ Doctors also recommend covering up as much as possible and shading the face with a wide brimmed hat. ✱ Also, ensure that your sunglasses have UV protection - many cheaper glasses will not, putting the eye area at risk.

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 25

Why it’s worth waging the sunglasses war Belfast Cornmarket optometrist and dad of two Andrew Petticrew is all too aware of the difficulties of getting children to wear sunglasses. He’s also acutely aware of how important protection is from an early age.


nside the human eye just behind the pupil, there is a little lens which is an amazing piece of technology. It works as an extremely accurate and lightening quick autofocus mechanism. The result is a razor sharp image of objects at a wide range of distances being focused on the retina (the retina is like the film in the camera).

The trouble is that this little lens changes throughout life. With regard to filtering out UV, it actually gets better as we get older. A lot better. At the age of 10, 75% of the UV gets through the lens. At age 25, only 25% gets through. Consequently more UV gets to the back of the eye in childhood. This is compounded by the fact that children’s pupils are larger – a lot larger. Also, they spend a massive amount of time outdoors. To cap it all off, a staggering 90% of the UV can come through even on a cloudy day. This means that those of you who wear their sunglasses when the sun isn’t shining aren’t just trying a little too hard to look good! Now, as those of us with young children will know, trying to get our little darlings to keep their sunglasses on is an impossible task. Don’t worry, you don’t have to add cataract and age-related macular degeneration to the list of other damage we parents have done to our children – I have a plan that I think works. Up until the point where your child will enjoy wearing sunglasses (maybe 2 or 3 years) plonk a sun-hat on them. The most recent research shows that a wide-brimmed hat is fantastically effective at protecting eyes from UV. The wearing of sunglasses is a war of attrition – through sheer bloody-mindedness and persistence you will get them in the long grass. They won’t even know they are wearing

sunglasses. Children’s skin is very sensitive and they will be terribly aware of the physical sensation of sunglasses to begin with. Thankfully our incredible brain has a structure which filters out repeated and uninteresting stimulus – an itchy jumper is only itchy for about 45 minutes. This means that at some stage your child will become much less aware of the physical sensation of the sunglasses. I think that the best way to do it is to keep a couple of pairs of good quality (nice smooth, soft, bendy plastic) wrap-around CE marked sunglasses in the car. Let the child use them as a toy – they should take a remarkable amount of abuse. To begin with, they will fold them, twist them, bend them, slobber on them and throw them on the floor. After a year or two they will see you putting on your sunglasses and they will put theirs on… and take them off. And put them on and take them off, and put them on and take them off… for about another year. Then one day it will be really bright and they will chance upon putting

their sunglasses on. And they will find it more comfortable… and you have won. Simply by introducing the concept of sunglasses early on and letting the child come around to the idea of it, by age 3 or 4, your child is wearing sunglasses by choice. I think that this is a world better than spoiling your day out at the beach by having a good old scrap with your beloved off-spring. Fifty percent of the UV damage in the human eye is already done by the age of 18. Let’s give our kids the best fighting chance of having clear, enjoyable vision in their 60s, 70s and 80s so that they too can enjoy their children and grandchildren.

Go Polar

✱ Wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays is the best way to protect your eyes from the sun. ✱ Some contact lenses provide UV protection, they don’t cover your whole eye, so you still need sunglasses. ✱ Polarised lenses offer the best protection from the sun, as they will eliminate glare that reflects off of roads, water, sand, and even snow. ✱ It’s not true that the darker the glasses, the greater the protection as pupils dilate further behind darker glass so any rays getting in can cause more damage. Wraparound sunglasses prevent harmful UV rays from entering around the frame.

26 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Get the walking habit


ay is National Walking Month and it’s not too late to adopt the habit if you want to get in shape for the summer. It’s the most versatile form of exercise in the world – you can do it anywhere and for free. The only equipment you need is a comfortable pair of shoes. It’s just as good for your mental wellbeing as your physical health and who doesn’t get a lift from seeing the pounds drop off ? Take your other half or a friend and you won’t even notice you’re exercising as you chat. Or go alone and enjoy the solitude or your favourite podcast, audiobook or music. A Department of Health survey for 2017-18 found that 37% of people in Northern Ireland were overweight and 27% were obese while a quarter of children are also overweight. Lack of willpower was identified as the main obstacle to losing weight, however, moving a little more and eating a little less is the first step to shaping up. To be moderately active, the Chief Medical Officer recommends the average adult should complete 150 minutes of activity each week – a mere 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week. Children should have 60 minutes of exercise each day if possible. Some people prefer to aim for a set

number of steps - between 7,000 and 10,000 daily. Get an activity tracker or use one of the apps available for smartphones to see how you get on. Even bursts of 10 minutes of walking quickly can get the blood pumping around your body and you can build up to 30 minutes from there. You don’t need to be overweight to benefit from hitting the government’s exercise targets: ✱ Walking helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and lowers blood pressure. ✱ It helps to reduce stress levels, improves concentration and boosts feelings of wellbeing. ✱ Like any load bearing exercise, it helps keep bones, muscles and joints healthy. The 150 minute target for moderate exercise a week translates as 75 minutes of vigorous exercise like running, cycling or swimming. Government guidelines also recommend strength exercises on two days a week, such as weight training, or press-ups, squats and lunges. “The average number of steps a person takes each day is between 3,000 and 4,000, so most of us could do with getting a bit more active,” says Colette Brolly, the Public Health Agency’s lead on physical activity.

TOP TIPS on building more activity into your day:

✱ Try walking or cycling for either part of, or your entire, journey to work; ✱ If you have to drive or take the bus, park the car a little further away from your destination or hop off the bus a stop or two earlier and walk the rest of the way; ✱ When you’re out and about or in work, take the stairs instead of the lift to get your legs moving; ✱ During your lunch break, go for a walk rather than sitting at your desk. A 10-minute brisk walk adds to your recommended physical activity target; ✱ When you get home in the evening, instead of slouching in front of the TV, go for a walk. Get the kids involved too and go to the park with them on their bikes or for a kick about with the football. There are free walking groups arranged by your local Health and Social Care Trust, and the details can be found on the PHA’s website The website also offers lots of tips on the best ways to get active and also advice on healthy eating and setting targets for getting healthier.

Go walking together, image by Mabel Amber, from Pixabay

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 27

The surveys say... Studies suggest that low-impact activities such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, yoga and ballroom dancing are just as effective as higher-impact forms of working out. The vitamin and health supplement company Healthspan charts the research backing up the benefits of all sorts of exercise... ✱ A six-year study that looked at 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers found that walking can lower risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running. Dr Sarah Brewer, Medical Director at Healthspan says: “Rather than flopping down after a meal, go for a walk – even if it’s just around the block. Exercise after a meal reduces the usual rise in blood glucose and fat levels that promote weight gain, furring up of the arteries and glucose intolerance.” ✱ Swimming is a great way to burn calories, fat, and improve flexibility and core strength, as well as being good for heart health. One study found swimmers, along with runners and walkers, fared better than sedentary people when blood pressure, cholesterol levels, maximum energy output, and other measures of cardiovascular health were considered. ✱ Just two short cycling trips of 30 minutes a day will benefit your heart health, according to the British Heart Foundation. A study based on the health records of 243,000 peo-

The best laid plans... Papa piggyback, image by Pezibear from Pixabay

ple in the UK found commuters who cycled to work lowered their risk of heart disease, as well as cancer and all causes of death. ✱ You can keep the intensity low and enjoy a long easy bike ride, or increase the intensity with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in spinning classes on a turbo trainer in the gym, or by adding in hills and sprints when you’re out and about. A 2012 report that reviewed studies looking at the impact of HIIT on those with coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart failure (HF) undergoing cardiac rehabilitation, revealed HIIT appeared safe and better tolerated by these patients than moderate exercise. ✱ Weight (resistance) training has been found to have specific benefits for heart health. One 12-year study of 10,500 men by the Harvard School of Public Health compared the effects of aerobic exercise and weight training on waist measurement and weight. It revealed that men who did at least 20 minutes of weight training a day had smaller waists. And carrying too much fat around your middle can put you at higher risk of heart disease. Other research, which compared aerobic and resistance training for heart health, found resistance training also benefits heart health by promoting blood flow and has a positive effect on blood pressure. You don’t have to go to a gym to benefit from resistance training. You can use your own

weight to do press ups, squats, lunges, and pull-ups onto a bar, or you can follow a traditional programme at a gym using free weights like dumbbells and barbells, bands and medicine balls – or fixed machines. ✱ Research by Living Streets revealed that 36% of people said going for a walk made them feel happier. A quarter said that a daily walk helped them to feel

less stressed and more productive at work too, and 26% added that they felt more relaxed with better concentration. Moreover, walking increases your general wellbeing. Studies from California State University have revealed a correlation between the number of steps people take per day and a better mood with a decrease in age-related memory decline. See

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

28 | Family Life

Whenthelivingiseasy… Summer means get togethers with family and friends, a less rigid mealtime regime than during term times and opportunities to move dinner outside at a moment’s notice. It’s all about having flexible tableware that will do everyday family meals, with enough pieces to cope with a few extra people around the table. It needs to be tough and durable but there’s no need to sacrifice form for function. Here are our picks for tableware to see you through the season, whatever the weather...

Les Jardins de la Comtesse – Bali Salad Bowl, £26, and serving spoons, £15, Amara

Summer dining is sorted with Matalan’s SS19 range These divided serving bowls make carrying condiments or salad ingredients outside a cinch, Deco Dot Divided Serving Bowls, Kate Spade New York, £46, Amara

This set of 4 Calathea beaded coasters add a jewelly burst of colour to the table, £33 for four, Amara

The most utilitarian items can hail the season. Lisbon Living cast iron trivet, £15 Sainsbury’s Home

Spread the sunshine with a lemon or orange slice plate, £4, M&Co Home

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 29


You’re relaxing on a summer’s afternoon, entertaining friends and the only thing that could make it more perfect would be some stunning tableware. Whether you like romantic and traditional, elegant or stripped back, there’s lots to choose from... VINTAGE

Denby’s latest Studio Blue range brings an informal element to the stoneware firm’s tradition of hardwearing, quality products. Studio Blue combines four tonal glazes inspired by the colours and textures found in stone and minerals, range of stockists

Royal Doulton’s Pastels melamine range is perfect for outdoor dining and hardy enough for picnics with the kids. It’s stylish and durable. Set of four side plates, £18, range of stockists

Pip Studio Blushing Birds blue rectangular cake tray from the fabulous Blushing Birds collection, £22, large teapot, £48, and small milk jug, £11, Daisy Park and other stockists

Turquoise wine glass, £2.99, TK Maxx

Tuck in... together

Wimpole Meadowgrass paper napkins, £4, National Trust



on’t let the summer holidays rob you of family meal times. It’s easy to let older children fix their own meals and eat wherever and whenever they like but it’s a good idea to get everyone sitting down together for dinner as often as possible. Here’s why...

1. It’s the perfect way to cement family bonds, building relationships between siblings 2. Younger children who see older siblings eating a wide range of foods are less likely to be fussy eaters 3. Mind your manners – children learn important social skills at the family table that they take with them through life, from the basics of using cutlery to having a conversation 4. Support network – family meal times have been found to have a significant impact on young people’s wellbeing with studies showing they’re less likely to drink or take drugs or suffer depression 5. Home cooked family dinners tend to be more nutritious than snacks here and there 6. Families who eat together tend to be less obese as they eat less food and more slowly as the focus is on conversation 7. Dining together allows parents to

Gold cake stand with glass lid, £24.99, HomeSense

Sea Green + Coral plate, £15, and cup and saucer, £15, by Uma P Gokhale on Art Wow model how mums and dads behave. As TV’s Supernanny says: “Children need routines in their lives, they actually thrive on routines which makes them feel secure and loved. Regular meal times all together (regardless of whether you are eating a pizza or a freshly cooked roast dinner) give children the opportunity to discuss their little problems with family members; it relaxes them and encourages them to unwind from their day. They become better friends with their siblings and learn to respect others around the table. Talking to your children over dinner is the best way of gaining their trust. Another important reason to get everyone around the table for a meal is that there is less likelihood that your child will have to deal with eating disorders, like anorexia. Children learn good eating habits from their parents at a very young age. Be a role model for them – they need your input!”


23cm 2 tier slate cake stand, £20.99, All Home at Wayfair

Royal Doulton Coffee Studio Cappuccino Cup and Saucer, White/ Multi, 365ml

30 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Go mellow or yell yellow L Yellow is cracking in a grey scheme as these blinds show, from £19.96, English Blinds

Mead supersoft herringbone throw, £87, The British Blanket Company

Silken Favours Bumblebee Cushion, 45x45cm, mustard, £95, Amara

et the sunshine in with one of the biggest colours of recent years. From pastel lemons to deepest mustard, there’s a shade of yellow to suit every taste. Team bright yellow or gold with black and white for a dramatic statement, add sophistication to a teal and grey palette with mustard or capture the freshness of the season by introducing yellow to your coral pinks, blues and greens. It also goes beautifully with the jewel trend and of course, no citrus scheme is complete without a squeeze of lemon!

Yellow Rose Cotton Canvas Cushion, £23.99, Mode Prints

Form Rug Ochre £550, Emerald Rug £550, Albany Rug £200, Aurora Rug £220, Astral Rug £380, Reef Runner £80, all Harvey Norman

The Sandrine armchair comes in dark grey, mustard and beige and can be used indoors or outdoors, £225, Cuckooland

Look on the bright side I

nfuse your home with life with high energy, bright colours this year. Go bold with deep jewels or soft with this year’s colour, coral. Patterns have broken free of the constraints of the statement wall with everything from geometric to big blousy florals up for grabs. Let your personality shine through with accessories and finishing touches that reflect your tastes and experiences.

Belluci cushions, from £12 each, Harvey Norman

Cosy up on the Charnwood love seat, £1,722, Darlings of Chelsea

Optic Leaf cushion in velvet, £29, Danetti

The Parker Palm collection from Harvey Norman

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 31

Natural beauty N

ature is influencing home interiors in a huge way this year, with plants and natural fabrics to the fore. You don’t need to go fully wild to incorporate some of the wildlife motifs that are big right now with everything from big cats to tiny butterflies bringing contrast and depth to many schemes. They’re perfect with the indoor plant craze and are flexible enough to fit into most schemes.

Dutchbone Jim geometric pendant light, £119, Cuckooland

Pedestal plant pot set in ochre yellow, £24, Red Candy

Appollon coral cushion, £40, Beaumonde

This Leopard print pouffe is printed onto cowhide, £240, The French Bedroom co.

Decadent Palm Tree Monkey Table Lamp with emerald green lampshade, £115, Beaumonde


Feather filled black and gold cushions, from £35, Harvey Norman

Show off your plants to fantastic effect with these Rattan bowl planters or storage pots, large £55, medium £45, Mink Interiors

The reclaimed elm table top contrasts with the shiny stainless steel legs in the Maddox reclaimed elm coffee table, £859, Modish Living

Toucan bookends, £55.45, The Farthing

Dramatic florals take the forefront on this daring yet stunning botanical wallpaper design, from £9.99, Arthouse Pirouette lamp in ruby resin with 35cm straight empire lampshade in papaya handmade parchment, £245, Pooky

Eichholtz Le Sereno Mirror, £890, Sweetpea & Willow

Tulip Cushion from the Funky Florals Collection, £34.99, Perkins & Morley

Wall art is a style essential for homes. Check out your local gallery! Plant life wall art, from £5, Mode Prints

Daphne chair in emerald green velvet with contrast piping, £119.99, My Furniture

Tourangelle coral cushion, Designers Guild


34 | Family Life

HarveyNorman– thesleepspecialists


o you spend the night tossing and turning? Or are you too hot and then too cold during the night? Harvey Norman is all about a great night’s sleep; they’re obsessed, and believe the perfect night sleep needs the right foundations. Harvey Norman collaborate with local bed and mattress manufacturers to bring you the best mattresses, pillows, duvets and beds. In fact, 75% of their mattresses are made locally.


Earlier this year, Harvey Norman made a statement in their Flagship store on Boucher Road - they opened the first UK or Ireland Flagship Sleep Gallery. It’s a boutique bed and mattress showroom where they want you lie down, get comfortable and stay a while. Then, as you mull over

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Relax as you shop for the perfect mattress

what you want, you can pop upstairs and have a coffee in the homely Synge & Byrne restaurant. The Flagship Sleep Gallery in Harvey Norman on Boucher Road is Belfast’s biggest bed showroom, with only the very best in mattress brands like the Kingkoil Handcrafted Collection, Silent Night, Sealy and Wellbeing on offer.


Harvey Norman is so obsessed with a great night’s sleep, they even have their very own exclusive Sleep Studio in-store. What is the Sleep Studio you ask? It’s Harvey Norman’s exclusive FREE pillow measuring service that helps you find the right pillow. So how exactly does it work? The right pillow should fit perfectly between your head and shoulders, ensuring that your neck and shoulders are supported and properly aligned. The pillow sizes available range

from 1 – 5, with four beautiful fillings to choose from: Down & Feather, Pure Gel, Premium Visco or Fibre Fill.


Harvey Norman trust in the quality of their

mattresses so much that they offer customers a 40-Night Guarantee on all of their mattresses. If you’re not happy with the comfort of your new mattress after sleeping on it for between 30 and 40 nights, they will happily exchange it for you.


Pacific bedside table, £25 (was £39) Herringbone double bed frame, £429, (was £699)

A good night’s sleep comes easily when your surroundings are calm and uncluttered and what better way to wake up in the morning than surrounded by stylish furnishings? Transform your bedrooms for less with the Harvey Norman sale.

Hamilton King bed frame, now £599 (was £799), Hamilton two drawer bedside table, £199 (was £359) Harrogate double bed frame, £579 (was £1149)

Playhouse loft bed, £499 (was £799) Lisbon pillow sham £10, Lisbon bedspread, £30 each

Charlie bunk bed frame, £379 (was £799)


24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 35 ArtisAnn Gallery

ArtisAnn bringsartto theheartof yourhome Art adds the finishing touch to your décor. It makes a huge difference to the look and feel of a room; it makes bare walls look dressed, pulls your colour scheme together, creates an impressive focal point, and stamps your unique personality on the room. It’s also a unique, value for money investment that you can hand down through the generations.


But what to invest in? With so much nonsense talked about art it’s easy to feel intimidated or unsure what to buy. Relax – you just need to know what you like! Remember, everyone’s taste is different. That’s why at the ArtisAnn Gallery we have a wide selection with works from over 50 artists for you to choose from, including oils, watercolours, pastels, collages and drawings, as well as bronze, glass, and ceramic sculptures.


We select the best quality art from locally-based artists, whether it’s well–established award-winning favourites such as Brian Ballard, Carol Graham, Rosie McGurran, Neil Shawcross and Jennifer

Newcastle Beach by Valerie Giannandrea McKeag

Trouton ( just some of the members of the prestigious RUA who show with us), or fresh new talent straight out of art college such as Dan Ferguson, Trina Hobson, Aimee MeLaugh and Charlie Scott, exciting young artists for you to discover!


Each piece of art is unique and competitively priced – we can even offer no-deposit, interest-free loans under the ‘Own Art’ scheme that lets you purchase any original artwork and pay for it in 10 easy instalments – and you can take it home right away! ArtisAnn owners, Ann and Ken, are on hand to offer advice and guidance. As collectors, curators and exhibitors for over 20 years they are well placed to offer friendly, knowledgeable advice, making your art-choosing experience a joy and a pleasure.

Into the Blue by Ciaran Harper Visit ArtisAnn to discover how much fun it is to select new artworks for your home. 70 Bloomfield Avenue, BT5 5AE Opening hours Tuesday to Friday, 11am – 6pm, 12 noon to 5pm on Saturdays. Contact us:, 077 263 263 90/079 053 395 69 Visit our website: ArtisAnn – Art that works for you!

36 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Isyourpatiosummerready? This gravelled area is all about socialising around the fire in the evening with the blue chairs adding to the party feel

TOP TIPS for outdoor living

With the summer solstice a mere four weeks away, it’s time to maximise the longer days by spending as much time in the garden as your lifestyle and the weather allow.

Create a cosy corner to catch the sun with some flagstones, gravel and a bistro dining set

While you can get away with putting a table and chairs directly onto the grass, make sure a barbecue is on a flat, solid surface

Pretty planters make the most of the perimeter of your home, the SS19 range from Dunelm

✱ Give your patio a good weeding and brush away any dead leaves or bits of debris left over from winter. A powerhose is a quick way of restoring the patio to its newly installed beauty. If you don’t have somewhere to sit and relax, it’s quite easy and inexpensive to create a small space for enjoying the sun. ✱ Give any decking or fencing a lick of paint or varnish if it needs it and if you’re thinking of changing, consider one of the low maintenance options that doesn’t need to be repainted. ✱ If you haven’t already sorted out your patio furniture for the season, now’s the time to do it. There are sets to suit all tastes and budgets.

Clear the decks!

The Big Green Egg is more a complete outdoor cooking system than the average barbecue. Call in at The Stove Yard in Newtownards, they’re Northern Ireland’s exclusive dealers, for Big Green Egg cookery demonstrations and free tastings most Saturday mornings.

✱ Do a quick check of your barbecue gear and next time you’re at the shops you can replace anything you need to such as gas tanks, charcoal, cooking utensils etc. ✱ Don’t forget those all important finishing touches – lights and plants to bring the patio to life. Consider fragrance as well as colours when you’re arranging your planters – many flowers are at their most fragrant in the evening, such as night phlox, petunia, star jasmine, wisteria and angels trumpet. ✱ Make hard furniture more inviting with outdoor cushions and create shade with a pergola or parasol. ✱ While it’s lovely to have bees in the garden, it’s best to have your nasturtiums and buddleia out of reach of little fingers.

There’s plenty of room for everyone with the Fresco grey trestle table with 3 seater Palermo bench and Skye garden chair set combines stylish stackable seats with a cosy backless bench and sleek six seater table, £749, Danetti

Make the patio area comfortable, attractive and flexible and the whole family will want to hang out there together...

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 37

Goingoutbut‘notout’ Jute striped outdoor cushion, £25, Marks & Spencer

Geisha garden parasol is 2.7m when open, also available in taupe, purple, aqua and fuchsia, £115, Cuckooland

Gothic garden mirror, £28, National Trust

Who needs to leave the house for an evening out when you can have so much style right outside your own door! Go for pared back minimalism, mid century modern or bring the jungle or a tropical rainforest into your back yard. Here’s our pick of additions to add a wow factor to your patio...

Flamingo print outdoor cushion, £12, JD Williams

Salsa Garden Chair (set of 2) Palm £140, Salsa 2-Seater Garden Sofa, Orange Sunrise £120, Salsa Garden Chair (set of 2) Orange Sunrise £140, Bohemian Summer Pouffe, Multi £120, Salsa Garden Coffee Table, Orange Sunrise £110, Diamonds Cushion, Paprika £25, Totem Cushion, Paprika £30, Solstice Cushion, Paprika £25, Yin Cushion, Storm £10, all House by John Lewis or John Lewis & Partners

Brand new this month, these lanterns in white, yellow and pink will add a splash of colour to your garden. Each of the lanterns measures 20cm in diameter and houses a warm white LED within. Simply hang them in a sunny spot and they’ll illuminate for 6-8 hours each night. 3 Lucena Tassel Solar Lanterns, £26.99,

Even a drainpipe can be dressed for a special occasion. Aubergine drainpipe pot holder, £2.50, Wilko

38 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Grow more for less In the vegetable garden TOP TIPS I f you would love more plants but feel you can’t afford them, subscribe to the newsletters from the major suppliers such as Thompson and Morgan, Hayloft and Van Meuwen. They don’t bombard you with emails and every now and then there are incredible bargains to be had as they try to clear space. Last month, you could have got three patio lavateras for £3 and two acers for £5. Those offers tend to last just a day or two and then the plants return to their normal price so they are worth looking out for. Also, have a look at the reduced sections of the major garden centres where they Lavatera x clementii ‘Barnsley practically give away neglected plants. Baby’ was just £3 for 3 in mid May More often than not, with a little tlc, these from Thompson and Morgan come back to life and even though they tend to be past flowering, they will often reward you with a wonderful display next flourish, while in other cases, it does them year. And if they don’t survive, you’re only no harm. You can also propogate many a quid or so out of pocket. shrubs by taking softwood cuttings at this At this time of year, there are plant time of year. sales going on in community centres and And if you are visiting family or friends church halls all over the place. and fancy the look of some of Keep an eye out for any in their plants, ask for cutyour area. For instance, tings – it can be pot luck Bangor Horticultural (literally) but you could Society is having end up with some a plant sale in St wonderful displays. Columbanus Church Finally, growing Halls tomorrow, plants from seed Saturday, May 25, is very cheap and where there are rewarding, so sure to be some long as you have great bargains. the time to look Another excellent after the seedlings way of gaining more and a greenhouse or Seedlings bring the plants is to propagate the sunroom to grow them promise of new life – ones you already have. It in. There are lots that can but what kind? costs nothing to gather corms be sown directly outside at and plant them where you want this time of year but you do have the them, or to dig up and divide perennials, problem of trying to figure out whether multiplying their impact all over your those green shoots are something you’ve garden. Some perennials need dividing to planned or the next weed invasion.


Tasks for the fruit garden

The fresh aroma of ripening tomatoes is unbeatable

Broccoli ‘Summer Purple’ from Thompson & Morgan’s Start-A-Garden Range, 99p for a packet of 75 seeds


ou may feel as if you’re fighting a losing battle with the birds when it comes to tasting your own fruit. It can feel mean, covering plants with netting, but often it’s the only way to enjoy the ‘fruit’ of your labours. Here are some other tasks for the fruit garden now...

✱ If gooseberry and red current bushes are very leafy, start summer pruning by shortening back the new growth. You may even be able to harvest some gooseberries in June. ✱ Start to prune your plum or cherry trees now. ✱ Thin out congested branches further for bigger and better fruits. ✱ Container grown fruit plants need a high potash liquid feed to keep them healthy and productive. ✱ Top-dress patio dwarf fruit trees with fresh compost and a slow-release fertiliser. ✱ Peg down runners on your strawberry plants to create more plants or if you don’t want them, remove the runners completely. ✱ Water potted blueberries with rainwater to help the soil maintain its acidity. ✱ Stake raspberries if you haven’t already. ✱ Keep a watch for pests like gooseberry sawfly larvae which attacks a number of soft fruit bushes and can strip a plant as quickly as a swarm of locusts. GIYers

from Thompson & Morgan

✱ Continue to earth up potato plants as they grow – covering them over with soil will prevent green tubers growing. ✱ Keep the compost of newly planted container potatoes moist, but don’t overwater. ✱ Pinch out any side shoots from your tomato plants. You can pot these up to create new tomato plants. Start to feed once the first truss is setting fruit. ✱ Harvest salad crops, and resow every two weeks for a constant supply of tasty leaves. ✱ When planting out cabbages, use brassica collars to prevent cabbage root fly attack. ✱ Harvest early potatoes - these are normally ready about 10 weeks after planting. ✱ Keep an eye on your onion and garlic. When the leaves start to yellow and die back, they’re ready to harvest. ✱ If you haven’t already, harden off and plant tender vegetables such as courgettes, squash, tomatoes and sweet corn. ✱ Protect crops from carrot fly by covering with horticultural fleece. See for more information.

recommend pyrethrum, an extract from the flowers of chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium as an effective and organic bio-insecticide. If you’re starting out on the grow it yourself journey, is a useful site.


24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 39

June jobs for gardeners I

f there’s one job that needs doing in the garden over the next few weeks, it’s to simply enjoy it! By now, there should be an incredible surge of growth, with digitalis and lupins, peonies, irises and lillies bursting into flower. Early summer is full of promise of more to come so make the time to sit back and admire the natural beauty around you. Of course, there is always something to do to keep everything ticking over. Here’s a few reminders to get you going,,,

✱ Last June was blistering and whether or not this year is as good, it’s vital to make sure plants have enough water, especially if they’re new to your garden and not yet established. ✱ Harden off any remaining half-hardy bedding plants such as nemesia, cosmos or marigolds ready for planting out. ✱ Plant out hardy summer bedding plants. ✱ Stake tall or floppy plants, especially delphinium, peonies and dahlias, to prevent them being damaged by wind. ✱ Prune many spring-flowering shrubs, such as forsythia, deutzia and philadelphus when they’ve finished flowering. ✱ Stay on top of weeds – you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache, not to mention backache, if you stop them getting

established. ✱ Hardy annuals, like California poppies, nasturtiums and foxglove, can run rampant through self seeding and end up overcrowded. Thin them out from now. ✱ Lift and divide clumps of bulbs that have become overcrowded. Allow the foliage to die back rather than cutting it. ✱ Pinch out the tips of fuchsias to encourage a bushy habit and more flowers. ✱ Start to pick sweet peas as soon as they flower to encourage more blooms. ✱ Dead-head your roses if they’re repeatflowering types. Otherwise, leave the seed heads on for decoration. ✱ Dead-head and cut back oriental poppies after flowering. Cutting them close to ground level will stimulate new foliage. ✱ As new shoots grow, use soft ties to train climbing plants such as honeysuckle and clematis to their supports. ✱ Prune out overcrowded or dead stems of evergreen clematis that have finished flowering to maintain a good shape. ✱ Towards the end of June, if your hardy geraniums have finished flowering, cut them back to encourage new foliage and flowers. ✱ Harvest flower heads from your lavender plants to use in baking, crafting, or as a garnish to your meals.

Deutzia rosea is a mass of pink flowers this month

A case of the blues I

f you can’t get enough of blues in the garden, check out these amazing specimens, £4.99 each, from Ballyrobert Gardens, an RHS partner garden, see for more information.

Centaurea montana

Aconitum ‘Bressingham Spire’

Delphinium ‘Ballyrobert Blue Fountain’

40 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Community spiritdrives Patricia’s BigLunch challenge BY MAUREEN COLEMAN


rowing up on a farm in Portaferry, as one of 10 children, Patricia Fleming’s family was a ‘community in itself ’. With six sisters and three brothers for company, Patricia learned at a young age the importance of togetherness. Her parents Sarah and Jimmy Hughes instilled a respect for community in their children and Patricia has carried that with her, throughout her adult life. “I remember my mum cooking dinners for older people and bringing it to their homes,” she says. “She would also give lifts to people who needed to be somewhere but couldn’t drive. Community was very important to us and we were brought up to help and support people, whenever possible. “I was also involved with Ballygalget GAA, where I played camogie. There was

Patricia with Rory Mullan, who’ll be joining her on the Big Lunch community walk

a strong sense of community there too. I worked in the hotel in Portaferry when I was a teenager so I knew everyone really who lived in the area. It was a tight knit community.” Now a mum herself to 14 year old twins Lily and Eva, community still plays a huge role in Patricia’s life. For the past 19 years she has worked as Programmes Manager for WOMEN’STEC in north Belfast, enabling women to train in non traditional courses such as plumbing, carpentry, tiling and painting and decorating. Last year Belfast man Michael Conlon stopped off at WOMEN’STEC as part of his epic 250-mile, 18-day Big Lunch community walk. Patricia decided to join him on the route as he walked through Belfast and was so inspired by the community organisations she met along the way, she signed up herself to take part in this year’s Big Lunch community walk. Patricia

will be accompanied by Co Derry man Rory Mullan on the trek across Northern Ireland, encouraging groups, communities and neighbours to get together and host their own Big Lunch this year. The brainchild of the Eden Project, an educational and environmental charity, The Big Lunch community walk – funded by the National Lottery – takes place across Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, with walk teams visiting and shining a light on thriving community projects across the UK. The National Lottery has funded dozens of organisations visited during the walk and The Big Lunch community walk is a celebration of them all. Each of the groups included this year will host their own Big Lunch over the weekend of June 1 – 2. The walk began on Friday, May 17, from WOMEN’STEC and will culminate there on June 2, when it will host a Big Lunch to mark the end of Patricia’s journey. “My family attended a Big Lunch in our neighbourhood in Four Winds about five years ago and it was a great day. It was lovely to connect with neighbours and meet new people,” Patricia says.

Patricia and her family

“Since then, I’ve organised three Big Lunches at WOMEN’STEC. We are very much a community orientated place. “I’ve been really looking forward to getting out on the road and meeting the various community organisations along the way, to see the wonderful work they’re doing and of course, to encourage people to host their own Big Lunches this year.” Part of Patricia’s reason for taking on the challenge of The Big Lunch community walk is to give something back and to say thank you to the local community who rallied around her in her time of need. When Lily and Eva were born three months prematurely, neighbours stepped in to help, cooking dinners and providing emotional and practical support. “I know the importance of community,” says Patricia. “Life becomes more interesting when you get to know the people around you and The Big Lunch is an excellent way of doing just that. “For a few hours, get together with your neighbours, share food, have fun and get to know each other better. It’s so easy to do and anyone can host a Big Lunch.” * To join in and organise your own Big Lunch, visit

The Wild Geese Parachute team in action

All aboard for the Portrush Raft Race


he annual weekend of madness that is the Portrush Raft Race is back this weekend, May 25 – 26. This RNLI fundraising event benefits Portrush Lifeboat with north coast entertainer Brian Moore compering the weekend. Music before Saturday’s Raft Race comes from Andy Rogers, local ukulele enthusiasts and four piece band The Renegade Kings and the whole event is sponsored by The Ramore restaurant complex. One of the highlights is the award winning Wild Geese Parachute Display Team, who will

bring a whole new meaning to the pre Raft Race call of ‘Clear the Beach’. Proceedings get underway on Saturday with the junior raft race at 10am, followed by entertainment, competitions and giveaways, with the main raft race lining up from approximately 2.45pm. Other events over the weekend include Welly Wanging, Kids’ Disco with the Kelly Neill Dancers and DJ Alan Logan, beach volleyball, the Babushka big dip, the paddleboard challenge, the Yacht Club open swim as well as stands, stalls and a display of camper vans.

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 41


Allyouneed forsummerat KennedyCentre T his summer Kennedy Centre has all you need to get you and your family sunshine ready. Whether you are looking to get stocked up for cooking on the barbecue, covering the little ones from head to toe in sun cream or packing all the essentials

for heading way to sunnier climates plus picking up your essential currency – Kennedy Centre has it all under one roof. With over 45 stores and businesses located at the centre you will be spoilt for choice. The Kennedy Centre prides itself on offering customers a whole host of services

and products, whilst creating a family friendly, fun and interactive experience. Speaking on the summer plans at the centre, John Jones, Centre Manager says: “Each year we always aim to ensure the centre has all anyone could need under one roof for the summer months ahead. Whether it is shopping for all the essentials, organising family trips to the cinema, visiting Funky Monkeys or grabbing a bite to eat in our foodcourt; the centre is a perfect day out for all the family. “We recently increased our fashion offering with the arrival of Louis Boyd, complementing the range of stores we currently have – Argento, DV8, O’Neills, JD, and Peacocks. Boots and Semi Chem are also the perfect place to pick up travel

essentials along with Home Bargains, Poundland and PoundStretcher. The post office is on site meaning that you can collect your foreign currency easily and quickly. “For all the food essentials we have Sainsbury’s, Iceland and McCaffrey’s Family Butchers as well as beauticians, dentists and cosmetics providers to get you looking good for summer.” Kennedy Centre is open seven days a week with over 800 free car parking spaces including 43 designated disabled and 57 family zones (both surface and underground). For more information visit

42 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

DAYSOUT Free forall

Explorethe PRONIarchives


ake the most of the sunshine and create special memories with family days out. Pack a picnic or the portable barbecue and apart from ice creams, you can have tons of fun for practically nothing.

Feeling fresh

Country parks, forest and coastal paths and greenways are inviting options for burning off energy and loading up on fresh air. Pack the bikes, trikes, skateboards or scooters into the car and have a blast together. There are child friendly mountain bike trails at Davagh Forest, Co. Tyrone, and Castlewellan Forest Park, Co. Down, while for safe and scenic cycle trails, the whole family can enjoy Castle Archdale Country Park, Co. Fermanagh and Castleward Shore Trail, Co. Down.

Beach near Ballintoy In Belfast, Lagan Towpath is a must, along with Comber Greenway. See www. or www. for further options.

Branch out

It’s easy to get primary school age kids into the forest with gullies to jump over and trees to climb. Teens may be a different proposition but it’s still worth

encouraging them along, especially if they’re into photography or if they’re into Game of Thrones, they might be interested in visiting the lands around Winterfell, aka Tollymore, or some of the other TV series’ locations. Forest bathing – basically spending time among trees – has been found to have real benefits for reducing stress and anxiety. They could view it as part of the post exams wind-down and round off a hike with a pizza. There are plenty of wonderful forests to explore, from the popular Tollymore, Colin Glen and Glenariff to more off the beaten track forest parks like Castle Caldwell, near Belleek, and Muff Glen, near Eglinton. See for details and ideas. For information about forest parks in the Republic, visit

Beach babes

Sunny days will forever mean trips to the seaside for a swim, a paddle, rockpooling, shell collecting and burying dad in the sand. Rather than your usual go-to strand, why not check out beaches you haven’t been to before? There’s such a range of small, secluded coves and massive expansive beaches, there’s always new territory to discover.

June 10 is International Archives Day and the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in the Titanic Quarter, Belfast, is running special behind-thescenes tours at 11am and 2pm. These two hour tours will see visitors meet PRONI’s archival staff who support researchers or undertake cutting edge preservation work. In the Reading Room, visitors will have an opportunity to inspect original documents that reveal aspects of our local history from 1600 to 1800. The tour will also witness archival staff sorting, listing and cataloguing new materials and then continue into the repositories, where the records are stored, the Conservation Suite and the Photography Studio. On June 11, at 11am there’s an opportunity to delve into Ireland’s State Papers – a key resource for researching the history of Ireland between 1509 and 1782 – at PRONI. This free workshop includes a demonstration on finding records on various Irish themes, and you will be supported in reading and transcribing some examples. Admission is free, however booking is essential via


Look local

Keep an eye on your local council’s events page for free family fun days. From street entertainers to summer markets, crafts and displays, open air concerts and festivals there’s always something worth checking out.

Castleward cycle trail, image © Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Canoeing at Share Village, Co. Fermanagh It’s hard to miss the splash water and adventure sports have made in recent years. Lots of providers, including yacht clubs, run summer schemes for the kids but why not sign up the whole family for a taster session? There’s everything from canoeing to stand up paddleboarding, sailing to surfing available in just about every part of Northern Ireland. Depending on where you are and which sport you opt for, it’s not cheap but may well set your family on course for a shared interest that will last a lifetime.

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 43 Lucy Gallagher (11) and Annie Crawford (4) are gearing up for the free Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend on June 15-16,

Undercover Farmsopentheirgatestothepublic


ake a trip to the farm next month and let the kids have the most fun possible while finding out about our local food and where it comes from. The Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, June 15–16, will see 21 farms opening their gates to the public for free to raise awareness and give thousands of town and city dwellers the chance to sample the worldclass ingredients produced right here in Northern Ireland. Each farm will also have fun activities throughout the weekend such as petting farms, pony rides, competitions, live music and demonstrations. Participating farms include a water buffalo farm in Magherafelt, Broughgammon in Antrim, famed for its goats and the equine centre at CAFRE in

Enniskillen. Plan your trip and find out what activities are available at each farm by visiting

Participating farms Co. Armagh: Acton House Farm, Poyntzpass; Armagh Apple Farm, Portadown; Blackberry Hill Farm, Gilford: Long Meadow Farm, Portadown. Co. Derry~Londonderry: Ballyriff Buffalo Farm, Magherafelt; Big Park Farm, Maghera; D&D Holland, Articlave. Co. Antrim: Broughgammon, Ballycastle; Drumrammer Farm, Ahoghill; Hillstown Farm, Randalstown; Laurel View Farm, Templepatrick; The Orbal, Dervock. Co. Down: Bullsbrook Farm, Dromore; Castlescreen Farm, Downpatrick; Churchview Farm, Ballyward; Donagh

Bloominglovelyoccasions Each year the Ulster Gardens Scheme brings together a spectacular array of gardens for the public to explore in a fundraising event for the National Trust, Northern Ireland’s largest conservation charity. Whether you’re a keen gardener eager for some helpful tips, or you simply enjoy discovering the splendour and beauty of unusual plants, there is something for everyone to enjoy in these charming gardens. This year’s scheme kicked off at Sam Harrison’s Castlewellan garden and the programme continues with gardens all over Northern Ireland opening for a weekend between now and August: May 25-26, Stephen and Pat Hey, Kesh May 25-26, Michael and Geraldine Galloway, Downpatrick Saturday - Sunday, June 1-2, Richard and Heather Burns, Coleraine Saturday, June 22, T McCaw and T Raju, Ballynahinch Saturday - Sunday, June 29-30, Joy and Maurice Parkinson, Ballyclare Saturday - Sunday, August 10-11, Mr and Mrs J Rafferty, Ballymena.

Image by Brian Webb Admission is £4 and all funds raised are used for work in National Trust gardens in Northern Ireland. For further details, pick up the Ulster Gardens Scheme leaflet available from the National Trust Regional Office, contact 028 9751 0721 or visit www.

Cottage Farm, Donacloney; Mossbrook Farm, Carryduff; Walls Farm, Hilltown. Co. Tyrone: Ranelly Farm, Omagh. Co. Fermanagh: CAFRE Equine Centre, Enniskillen. Stay up to date on Twitter @BOIopenfarm, Open Farm Weekend on Facebook and Instagram.

For a rainy day, there are plenty of indoor attractions to choose from though few are free. A hidden jewel in the heart of Belfast is the Northern Ireland War Memorial (NIWM) on Talbot Street, near St Anne’s Cathedral. As well as viewing artefacts from WWII and learning about the blitz, visitors can make their own ration book or identity card and weigh out a 2 oz. ration of sweets to take home. 1940s music plays in the background while families play with wartime games and toys and dress up in real wartime uniforms and helmets to pose for a photograph. It’s open from 10am4.30pm on week days as well as the first Saturday of every month from 12-4pm. For more information visit

44 | Family Life


Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

gardens wortha visit

Whether you’re a budding gardener, an old hand with the fork or simply someone who loves to immerse themselves in nature’s beauty, you’ll find something to delight along Ireland’s Ancient East. Here are 10 of the top gardens to visit while you’re there

The cafe at Kilruddery House

Mount Congreve Estate Gardens, Co. Waterford: The estate is home of one

of ‘the great gardens of the world’. Walk the paths through the 100-acre demesne in spring and you’ll be wowed by the bursts of colour from the plants and breath-taking views over the river. Mount Congreve Garden Shop is staffed by experts who can answer your questions and don’t forget to pop into The Dairy Café.

Close by: The new Waterford Greenway and the Waterford Suir Valley Railway for a trip in a period railway carriage with panoramic views of the River Suir. Powerscourt Estate, House & Gardens, Co. Wicklow: Stand on the upper stone

terrace at the Powerscourt Estate, and a vista of epic proportions unfurls before you. Overlooked by the great Sugar Loaf mountain and designed by the architect Daniel Robertson, exquisite green terraces cascade down to Triton Lake. You can while away hours strolling the Italian gardens, Japanese gardens and pet cemetery and be sure to climb the Pepper Pot Tower before refuelling in the Avoca restaurant and terrace cafe. Afterwards visit the Cool Planet Experience in Powerscourt House.

Close by: The Agricultural Heritage Display Centre in Enniskerry which shows the evolution of Irish farm life.

The Japanese Gardens at The National Stud, Co. Kildare: In the heart of Ireland’s

equestrian country, the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens is home to outdoor spaces that whisk you away to an ethereal otherworld. As well as the

Photo ops at Mount Congreve Gardens world-famous Japanese Gardens there’s St Fiachra’s Garden, created to celebrate the millennium. Daily guided tours of the Irish National Stud and Gardens start at noon.

Close by: The Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons with its fashion collections and artefacts once belonging to Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor etc. Also, Kildare Village for designer fashion.

Birr Castle, Gardens & Science Centre, Co. Offaly: Birr Castle is home to rare plant

species from around the world, including over 40 champion trees of the British Isles. Explore the peaceful gardens, landscaped around the lake, formal gardens with old roses, wisteria and the world’s tallest box hedges, some of which are over 300 years old. Explore Ireland’s Historic Science Centre, which includes a café and shop and view the Great Telescope, built in the early 1840s.

Close by: The 18 hole parkland course at Birr Golf Club, which has been carved out of natural woodland and eskers.

Huntington Castle & Gardens, Co Carlow: Step into another world at this 17th century house – a treasure trove of historical architecture and objects. Stroll

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 45

Huntington Castle Close by: The Dunbrody Famine Ship with live reenactments and the Kennedy Homestead, where JFK’s great-grandfather was born. Burtown House, Co Kildare: Art and

along the Yew Tree Walk or Lime Tree Avenue and enjoy the water features in this member of the Carlow Garden Trail. The River Derry, the boundary between Wexford and Carlow flows along the bottom of the garden.

Close by: Take a hike up Clongegal Sli Na Slainte and make sure to check out the Slaney Country Market in Cunclody on Saturday mornings.

Emo Court House, Co Laois: Surrounded

by gardens laid out in the 18th century, the estate has formal lawns, a lake and rare flora framed by woodland walks. The extensive grounds, decorated with Greek sculptures, contain over 1000 different trees, including huge sequoias, the world’s largest single tree species and shrubs from across the globe. Guided tours available hourly.

Close by: Barrowline Cruisers enables passengers to explore the Grand Canal and river Barrow. The Mountmellick Museum mill, overlooking the Owenass River, is dedicated to showcasing Mountmellick’s rich Quaker industrial past. Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford: Anchored by an impressive 19th century Gothicrevival castle overlooking a shimmering lake, the gardens include lakeside trails, a beautiful Victorian walled garden and resident peacocks. Stop at the Peacock Tea Room, before discovering what life was really like in rural 18th century Ireland at the Irish Agricultural Museum.

The lake at Altamont Gardens

nature are entwined in the gardens of Burtown House, a 1710 villa near Athy. The Fennell family have created sumptuous shrubberies, herbaceous borders, rock garden, sundial garden, old orchard and large woodland garden, surrounded by water and filled with candelabra primulas, ferns and iris. Have lunch washed down with homemade elderflower prosecco in the Scandi-style Green Barn.

Close by: The Castlefarm where you can participate in farm tours and local food tastings. The Athy Heritage Centre and Museum traces the colourful history of the town. Altamont Gardens, Co. Carlow: With

rhododendrons, meadows and a rose garden of rare beauty, Altamont is among ‘the most romantic gardens in Ireland’. Sometimes orderly, sometimes wild, the gardens perfectly reflect the Robinsonian style beloved of the Victorians, and behind the blooms, history lurks, too.

Close by: The South Leinster Way Kildavin to Borris walk is a stunning walk and The Chocolate Garden of Ireland serves the best hot chocolate in the country. Killruddery House & Gardens, Co Wicklow: With its graceful elegance,

Killruddery House and Gardens has caught the eye of many location scouts – Camelot, Becoming Jane and The Tudors, to name a few. Its unique formal layout is the brainchild of 17th century French gardener, Bonet, a disciple of André le Nôtre (of Versailles fame). Home to the Brabazon family since 1618, the gardens were designed for entertaining guests. Killruddery keeps the buzz going right through the summer with a Saturday Farm Market, tea room, festivals, classes and tours.

46 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Haveanovelweekendin theromanticreachesof theruggedDonegalcoast


Staying in a 200 year old lighthouse, riding on horseback across a shimmering strand... That’s the stuff of dreams, movie sets and, as it turns out, a weekend in north Donegal, as Fiona Rutherford discovered

he sun was big in a bright blue sky, ticking all the boxes for an incredibly romantic weekend when we went, earlier this month. Unluckily for him, my husband couldn’t make it so it was a female only party for what, at times, felt like a trip straight from the pages of a Jane Austen classic. Donegal is a favourite part of the Wild Atlantic Way for many northerners – not least for its 12 Blue Flag beaches – and our first night was spent within stone’s skimming distance of one of them, Marble Hill, which is also home to one of Ireland’s trendiest and tiniest coffee shops – The Shack. Rounding a bend past The Shack, we came suddenly upon The Shandon Hotel which easily made the Independent’s Fab 50 this year, not least for the views from its sweeping facade. Almost every room offers breathtaking vistas – although the ideal way to soak those up is in the Canadian outdoor hot-tub. You don’t need to book into the spa to feel pampered as there’s a perfect blend of laidback holiday vibes and sumptuous luxury in this popular family hotel. Marble Hill beach is a huge draw in the good weather, but people come in all seasons for the surfing or to explore the beach and woodland trails through Ards Forest Park or as a base for exploring Horn head or Trá Mór.

Back at The Shandon Hotel, live acoustic music was playing in the bar and people were relaxing by the fireside in the lobby and watching the sun setting over the bay when we arrived. Upstairs, we had a proper chance to scout our suite. It was open plan with a stylish living room adjoining the bedroom, flat screen TVs in both rooms, vintage style furnishings and covet-worthy blinds. Next morning, after the sort of excellent breakfast you expect from a 4 star hotel, I set off for Dunfanaghy with our teenaged girls in search of horseback adventures. The family run Dunfanaghy Stables was easy to find, tucked in behind Arnold’s Hotel. The girls had a fantastic hour-long ride along the nearly Saharan expanse of the beach – another Blue Flag – while I strolled along, letting the scenery work its magic on my soul. I stopped to watch as an artist captured the serene beauty before us and discovered he was well known watercolourist Ray Elwood who’d come ahead of his fellow members of the Ulster Watercolour Society to get in an extra day’s painting. Together we admired the ebb and flow of the tide and the turquoise pools reflecting the sky and rocky headland. By the time the girls and their two guides came back into view, the tide was coming

Lobster at The Cove

Hungry from the drive, we piled into local cabbie Martin’s minivan and were whisked to nearby Portnablagh for dinner in The Cove Restaurant. My Roscommon-based sister knew it by reputation and it didn’t disappoint. Maître d’ Evan brought us upstairs to the picture window overlooking the harbour and pointed out the lobster pots that held the catch of the day only hours earlier. Once we’d finished agonising over our choices, we went downstairs to the restaurant proper where the simple decor chimes with its origins as a coastguard look-out. The food was something special with my sister rating the lobster dish the best she’s ever tasted. We each enjoyed trying each other’s dishes, each showcasing fresh local produce. The other diners also proved good for a bit of banter.

Fanad Lighthouse

The view from The Shandon Hotel in. They said fond farewells to their mounts, Rocky and Guinness, and the friendly staff at the stables and said the whole experience was ‘brilliant’. Ards Forest Park was to be our next stop and on a longer trip it would be a must – especially at this time of year when the bluebells add such a rich carpet to the forest floor – but my sister had finally dragged herself away from The Shandon and we were keen to press on to our next stop – Fanad Lighthouse.

Light fantastic

Portnablagh lobster, king prawn, smoked black pudding, seared asparagus, brandy onions and spring peas with a cream bisque, at The Cove Restaurant

We took the coast road, and what should have been a 45 minute drive got ever longer as we had to keep pulling over to take in the sights – the inland loughs and mountains vying with the sea views. Fanad Peninsula separates Lough Swilly from Mulroy Bay and has got to be one of the

most stunning places in Ireland, especially at this time of the year when the gorse, hawthorn and bluebells stand out against the grass and granite backdrop. Eventually we arrived at Fanad Head and had our first view of the gleaming white lighthouse below with its striking red markings. The two cottages at the base have only recently been opened up for selfcatering holidays and make for a fairy tale setting. Despite the thick stone walls, the rooms are full of light streaming in from the shuttered sash windows and they’ve been painted in soft aqua, yellow and green pastel shades that maximise the romanticism. A breakfast basket had been left on the large wooden table for us, packed with locally made chocolate, wheaten bread, granola and fresh raspberry jam. There’s everything you need for a comfortable stay – including a well

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 47


Riding out with Dunfanaghy Stables their credit, the hotel staff did their best to find one on a busy Saturday evening at the height of the First Holy Communion season.

Off to Rathmullan

Artist Ray Elwood at work at Dunfanaghy

Cook & Gardener Restaurant, Rathmullan House equipped kitchen – and while there was a radio, there’s no TV. As for wifi, my niece was relieved that she could walk to the cafe near the gates to maintain her Snapchat streak while we welcomed the fact that she came back with ice-cream. While you might expect to feel the full brunt of a Wild Atlantic tempest out here, the walls around the cottages created a sun trap and we had a relaxing couple of hours catching up on the papers, interrupted only by a group of Spanish journalists on a scouting mission, before it was time to head out for dinner. This time there was no prospect of a taxi to Rathmullan House, half an hour’s drive away, but to

I was happy enough to drive and had an adventure tackling the narrow mountain roads, avoiding the occasional lambs curled up on the white line. Throughout the weekend we were struck by the quality of the roads and even this twisty climber had perfect new tarmac on it. It’s on the route of the Joule Donegal International Rally – apparently the owners do clear the lifestock out of the way before the race gets underway every June. We climbed higher and higher and suddenly were looking down on the incredible Ballymastocker Beach – rated the second most beautiful beach in the world a couple of years ago. Like much of the Donegal scenery, the photos don’t do justice to this gold ribbon of sand with its rugged mountain backdrop. Rathmullan House was well signposted and was the perfect place for dining if you’re staying in a 200 year old lighthouse as this beautiful country house is straight from the pages of an Austen or Bronte novel. Go on July 17 to catch a performance of Wuthering Heights in the gardens. We were to eat in The Cook and Gardener restaurant – a huge conservatory reached by passing through parlour after parlour, with huge portraits and logs burning in fireplaces. The Cook and Gardener is famed for its ultra local ingredients, many of them grown in the gardens to the rear of the restaurant and the dishes, once again, were superb with lobster and crab stars of the show as well as the in-house piccalilli. The tables are laid with fine linen but the atmosphere is informal and friendly, typical of Donegal.

Safe and sound

We’d hoped we might get a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis on the way home to Fanad – it’s one of the best places in the country to view them – but were happy to settle for a glorious rosy sunset before the lighthouse set to work. The girls considered scaring themselves silly with ghost stories and

the Carnegie Box – a portable library once used by the lightkeepers – had a few books to help them along but that plan was squashed, right along with their plan to sneak out for a spot of stargazing. Before we turned in for the night, we made sure the door was securely locked and closed the window shutters. Next morning, after a night undisturbed by either lights or ghouls, there was plenty of time to savour all the breakfast goodies before taking a fascinating guided tour of the lighthouse. Our guide, Kevin, seemed to have a near reverence for the lightkeepers who lived and worked here until automation in the 1980s. Having tiptoed up the spiral stairs to the top and seen what their work involved, we could see why. These guardians of the coast would have climbed the narrow stone steps to the lighthouse to manually turn the lights, using weights and chains, every 45 minutes throughout the night. As we surveyed the spectacular panoramic views from the top, the calm waters below gave no sign of the 60 shipwrecks lying beneath the surface. Those include the Saldanha, whose loss, along with 250 lives in 1811, prompted the building of the lighthouse. Only the ship’s parrot survived. Another famous sinking was the Belfast built Laurentic which sank with the loss of many lives and millions of pounds worth of gold when she struck German mines in 1917. Only a fraction of the gold has ever been recovered. As we scanned the horizon, from Tory Island to the west to Malin Head to the east, we were acutely aware that while this must have been a solitary and harsh place to live 200 years ago, there’s no doubting the appeal of this unique attraction in the 21st century. My advice would be to get there before the Spanish invade the place in their droves. Our Wild Atlantic Way weekend was courtesy of Bord Failte. Discover it all at Facebook: Twitter: #WildAtlanticWay Instagram: thewildatlanticway

The Sliabh Liag cliffs, Donegal

DiscovertheWild AtlanticWay The Wild Atlantic Way is a place like no other. Stretching for 2,500km along the Ireland’s Atlantic coastline from Donegal to West Cork, the world’s longest defined coastal touring route traverses an area of wild, raw beauty and dramatic coastline. Experience this magnificent coastal touring route that provides a stunning backdrop for the exploration of untamed land and seascapes. From the breath-taking sea cliffs of Sliabh Liag in Co Donegal to the foodie mecca of Kinsale in Co. Cork, this elemental region will leave life-long memories. The raw, visceral energy of the landscape and ocean immerses you completely so that from the very moment you arrive, your outlook changes and you start to embrace the whole nature of the place and live in the moment. Feel the bracing wind in your hair blow away those cobwebs during a scenic clifftop walk. Stand back and take in the epic vistas from the top of majestic cliffs that are pounded by ocean waves, take a boat trip to view stunning bays and remote islands, or stroll on beautiful, far flung beaches where you might glimpse seals and dolphins. This region is a paradise for walkers, cyclists, adventure-sport lovers, surfers, rock climbers and divers. And there are so many ways to explore the region, whether it’s on horse-back along the expansive beaches, cycling the rugged landscape of Connemara or driving along the splendour of the dramatic costal roads that wind along this route. A visit to the Wild Atlantic Way is all about leaving behind the hectic pace of everyday life and celebrating everything that is good about life. This is the perfect place to relax, slow down and reconnect with the people and things that really matter to you. You feel rejuvenated and energised and bring this feeling home with you even if was only a brief weekend escape. Discover great ways to embrace the Wild Atlantic Way of life at

48 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019 Foyle Obon celebrates Japan’s culture

Afeastof festivals, eventsand familyfun There’s lots happening between now and the end of June - here’s our guide to ✸ some of the events you won’t want to miss... ✸

Bangor will be a hive of activity over Saturday and Sunday, June 1–2, when maritime festival, Sea Bangor, returns. The AeroSuperBatics Wingwalking Team of high flyers will be performing incredible feats. and the entertainment includes live music, crafts, funfair rides, a Panoramic Wheel cookery demos, street theatre and much more.. Belsonic is back in Ormeau Park on June 12-28 with headline acts including Stormzy, George Ezra (sold out),

The Killers, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Hozier, Tiesto, Ben Nicky and Marshmello. Over 16s only, tickets from Ticketmaster.

Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition is at Belfast’s Titanic Exhibition Centre (TEC) from April 11 – September 1. It features costumes, props and settings from all seven seasons a stone’s throw from the legendary Titanic Studios, where much of the series


Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival

This weekend (May 24-27) marks the return of the Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival. This hugely popular festival features magnificent vessels, maritime-themed family fun and food and international street performers and shows. There will also be lots to see and do over the weekend in Titanic Quarter with live music, authentic nautical cuisine and family fun. You’ll also be able to experience Belfast’s rich maritime heritage through a bumper-packed programme of free activities along the Maritime Mile. See One of the highlights of the Maritime Festival will be the evening performances on May 25 – 26 of Jimmy Ellis: Home Again, at Titanic Belfast. Stuart Graham and Katie Tumelty star in this reflection of the late actor’s life growing up in east Belfast with poetry and live music.

was filmed over a 10-year period. Fans can immerse themselves in the entire GoT experience ahead of the highly anticipated season eight release. Tickets, from £12.50 for children, from www.

There’s still a week left to check out the Anonymous Was A Woman exhibition at the Linen Hall Library. It makes use of the library’s extensive collections and archives to highlight some of the advancements for women in society, and explores a number of female firsts across education, work and politics. An acclaimed exhibition by former Belfast Telegraph pictures editor Gerry Fitzgerald, has also been showing throughout May. News and Views depicts life in the province during the worst years of violence and was the first major contemporary photographic exhibitions commissioned by the Ulster Museum. Both exhibitions conclude on May 31,

The city of Derry is hosting the county fleadh on May 23-27 and the streets will be ringing with the sounds of trad music. See for details.

Foyle Obon, a week long festival of Japanese cultural events and workshops, concludes on May 25 with the spectacular Foyle Obon Festival at the Playtrail, which is transformed into a Little Tokyo for an evening of Japanese

50 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Snow Patrol return to Ward Park, Bangor, this weekend

dance, taiko drumming, arts, crafts and games as well as martial arts, food and beautiful lantern ceremony. See

The Kiss of Light: Poems and Music from Frank Ormsby and Anthony Toner, brings two of Northern Ireland’s great talents together at the Linen Hall Library on June 19. (6pm-7pm, £8). The artists collaborated on the acclaimed cd “The Kiss of Light“, a collection of poems read by Frank and instrumentals composed by Anthony. This performance will feature readings from Frank, by turns profoundly moving and laugh-out-loud funny, instrumentals and a selections of songs from Anthony’s back catalogue.

All Mod Cons has been running at the Lyric Theatre, from May 18 and winds up on May 31. It tells the story of estranged

siblings Jean and Gary, forced back together by their mother’s dying wish. As the two search for a new place to call home with their old friend and estate agent Ian, dark secrets from the past threaten to reveal themselves. See

Ards Puppet Festival

Westlife launch their comeback tour with five nights at the SSE Arena on May 22-23, 25-27. Tickets from Ticketmaster.

Award-winning director Emma Jordan brings A Streetcar Named Desire to the Lyric Theatre throughout May. The Tennessee Williams classic has Blanche DuBois trying to escape her former life in her sister Stella’s cramped New Orleans apartment. Tensions grow between Blanche and brother-in-law Stanley, ending in a violent clash of characters and natures, illusion and reality. See

All Mod Cons at the Lyric Theatre

Ards Puppet Festival returns to Conway Square, Newtownards, on May 26 - 27. Ards Arts Centre and Conway Square will be buzzing with scheduled performances, free puppet workshops and puppets in all shapes and sizes, from socks to strings and even glow in the dark! Details from www.visitardsandnorthdown. com.

Mini-Moon, at the Black Box, Belfast, is a free, monthly sensory disco supported by Children in Need. It’s for childen aged 0-7 with any kind of disability where the music is low, there are coloured lights and moving visuals, soft cushions, sensory toys, bubble machines, and lots of dancing. It runs from 1-3pm on Saturday, May 25, June 22 and July 20. See

The gang from Brainiac are bringing their live show to Belfast Waterfront on May 25, with shows at 10am, 2pm and 5pm. Expect exploding dustbins and combusting microwaves as the Brainiacs delve fearlessly into the mysteries of science and do all of those things on stage that you daren’t do at home. See

This is the 25th anniversary of Marie Jones’ play A Night In November and the Lyric, Belfast, is celebrating with a run, directed by Matthew McElhinney from June 12-21. Matthew Forsythe plays Kenneth McAllister, a welfare office clerk who has always followed the rules when it comes to being a Belfast protestant... until one night in November when he did the most exciting, outrageous, crazy, mad thing he’d ever done. See

52 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019 Humpty Dumpty’s Big Eggventure

Brainiac mayhem is coming to Belfast Waterfront Matthew Forsythe stars in A Night in November

American Independence Day at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh

Humtpy-Dumpty’s Big Egg-venture is an all-singing, all-dancing show based on the famous nursery rhyme. It’s at the Millennium Forum, Derry on May 25, and Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey, on June 23. See venues for tickets.

special pop-up exhibition celebrating 50 Years since the publication of Judith Kerr’s classic at Rowallane Garden. There’s storytelling, crafts, trails and much more inspired by the Tiger, from now until June 29. See

all things American from the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries. A festival for all the family with American Revolutionary Soldiers, Fur Trappers & Traders, live Bluegrass and American Folk music, traditional Punch and Judy Shows, American games and much more! Major event day pricing applies, see www.nmni. com.

Catch Little Red Riding Hood in at The Waterside Theatre, Derry~Londonderry, on June 29. This singing and dancing show is from Jolly Promotions,

A musical production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is at The Marketplace Theatre, Armagh, on July 20,

Meet the iconic children’s character, the Tiger Who Came To Tea in a

Musical director Donal Scullion marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles iconic Abbey Road album with a show at The MAC on May 24-25. As well as playing Abbey Road in full, the first half of the show will consist of Beatles material from the same era including songs from Yellow Submarine, The White Album and Let It Be. See

The Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, is the place to be for American Independence Day on July 4. Celebrate

Brassneck Theatre brings its latest play, Something In The Air to The MAC from May 28 – June 9 with matinees included at the weekends. On August 15, 1969, Bombay Street in West Belfast was burned to the ground. Hundreds of families fled south to refugee camps, escaping the violence, but one young woman lost more than just her home. Fifty years later, she is forced to confront the events of that summer in a way she could never have imagined. See

Vocal powerhouse Kaz Hawkins returns to the MAC on June 9 with the sequel to her 2018 hit My Life And I. Kaz is bringing new material and a new stage set to the MAC’s intimate Luminaire Club. See

The Grove return to the Millennium Forum with the popular musical ‘Hairspray’ on May 29-June 2. The famous Broadway show features the hits Welcome To The 60s, You Can’t Stop The Beat, The Nicest Kids in Town and many more. See

You’ve read the book, seen the movie and now you can watch bestselling novel The Girl on the Train live on stage. TV star Samantha Womack stars in this gripping stage adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ novel about commuter Rachel Watson, whose life revolves around glimpses of what she believes is the

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 53 Sir Ian McKellen is bringing his stage show to NI

City in Derry~Londonderry on July 6. See

Actor Ian McKellen is celebrating his 80th birthday by touring the country with anecdotes, acting and more. Catch him at the Lyric Belfast on July 25-26; Waterside Derry on July 27; The Braid Arts Centre, Ballymena, July 29 and Theatre at The Mill, Newtonabbey, on July 31 – August 1. See venues for tickets.

Ebrington Square will be pulsating for the dance festival We Are Together, with an international line up for July 26-27. See for details.

perfect couple from the train window. When Rachel learns that the woman has suddenly disappeared, she finds herself as a witness and even a suspect in a thrilling mystery in which she will face bigger revelations than she could ever have anticipated. Catch it at the Grand Opera House between June 11–15, see www.goh.

Killymuck is a black comedy based on a fictitious housing estate in Northern Ireland at the MAC on June 13-14. From Kat Woods, award-winning writer of Belfast Boy comes a powerful exploration of survival and fighting for something better. Based on real events Niamh struggles to escape the underclass stereotypes of the benefits system. From

school trips organised as cross community excursions to unite fractured post-troubles towns, to finding the humour and laughter within the confines of an Estate which works to do the opposite.

Derek Ryan, Mike Denver and Johnny Brady are on the bill for the outdoor extravaganza Country Comes to

The Walled City Tattoo in Concert 2019 returns with a 200 strong cast to commemorate the completion of the iconic city walls 400 years ago, on August 3. A spectacular visual display like no other, the Tattoo features a well-established blend of cultural traditions and the high quality drama, music and dance all to celebrate one of the most unique structures on the island – the World Heritage site that is Derry’s Wall’s. See for details.

From August 3–10, The Maiden City Festival brings the old city of Londonderry to life through a week of music, dance, theatre and pageant. See for details.

54 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

DantakesontheBIG12– despite‘worrying’fitnesslevels


an Williams is taking on the ‘biggest challenge of his life’ this year to raise money for two charities close to his heart and he’s asking his old friends in Belfast to support him. Dan and Becca lived in Belfast for many years, having their children Alfie and Olivia here, and relocated to Yorkshire last year. Dan’s Big 12 Challenge will see him tackle 12 major runs to raise money for children’s charities Clic Sargent and Barnsley Hospital’s Tiny Hearts Appeal – despite his ‘worrying’ fitness levels. The pinnacle of his 200-mile challenge will no doubt be his homecoming race at the 2019 Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon on October 20. Already four events of the 12 in, Dan’s not where he would like to be physically: “Life with a toddler who never sleeps through the night is never easy, nor does it help getting out and getting the training miles in. I’m not happy at my current fitness levels or weight, and absolutely should have been more prepared for the first few events. “However, I’m out pounding the pavements whenever I can in the hope of attacking the rest of the challenge headon – proving to myself and anyone who’ll lend me an ear that running these kind of

distances is an achievable challenge. “It’s going to take a good amount of dedication and my will power is going to have to finally overcome my love of beer and Cornish pasties – but it’ll be worth it in the long run.” Having completed the Welwyn 10k, Dan took on a half marathon before the challenge of two marathons in a month in Manchester and Milton Keynes respectively. “I was absolutely unprepared for the marathons and hadn’t put the work in required, but made it to the end one way or another. I actually managed to shave 35 minutes off my time by the time I got to Milton Keynes, and would love to take another 30 minutes off by the next one.” Come the end of 2019, Dan will have competed in five marathons, four half marathons and three 10Ks. His challenge is no mean feat, however, the father of two is determined to support the children and young people’s cancer charity Clic Sargent and the Tiny Hearts Appeal. “I felt that it was important that my challenge supported both of these amazing children’s charities. “I’m lucky that I get to spend every day with my kids. They’re absolutely my pride and joy and I can’t imagine or remember


Dan Williams is ready for the Big 12 Challenge life without them. However, some people aren’t as lucky as I am.” Dan’s friends, Craig Foulkes and Emma Pickersgill, are especially keen to support the Big 12 Challenge after their daughter Elizabeth was born seven weeks premature weighing 3lb 2oz – the size of a 28-weekold baby. “This was the scariest time of our lives”, said Emma. “Only a parent who has been in this situation will understand the heartache of leaving your baby every single night. Of staring at them through an incubator. Of heel prick, tubes, eye tests, wires, xrays, alarms, tests.

“The incredible Barnsley Hospital staff helped us through it all looking after Elizabeth – they were angels. “Words cannot describe how happy we were to take our baby girl home and that she came through her difficult time relatively unscathed. “They deserve a unit that helps them perform this role to the best of their ability. We need to support Dan’s runs so that the staff can provide more happy-endings like ours.” Dan’s fundraising can be supported at dansbig12challenge.

Off road fun

CenterParcsIreland F amily holidays can often be more stressful than relaxing if you are flying. But, what if you could have all the benefits of going away, without even leaving the country? Center Parcs will be opening its sixth unique village this summer in the very centre of Ireland beautiful Longford Forest. Center Parc is just a 2.5 hour journey from Belfast and is a short travel time from many of the population hubs. Set among 400 acres of lush Longford forest there are three types of lodges for families to choose from - Woodland, Executive and Exclusive. Each of the self-catered lodges have been designed with family living and ultimate comfort and quality in mind and serve as

Self-catered lodges

Relax in the spa

the perfect home from home. An additional 30 Lakeside Apartments, which are most suited to couples, are also available to enjoy. Center Parc will boast more than 100 exhilarating indoor and outdoor family activities including a Subtropical Swimming Paradise, which will be Ireland’s biggest indoor waterpark, a beach, a lake, an outdoor activity centre, a cycle centre and indoor sports plaza. There are ten restaurants including Cara’s Kitchen & Bar which offers guests high-quality Irish fare from morning to night. All-time favourite, The Pancake House will make its Irish debut offering up savoury and sweet pancakes cooked in traditional Dutch style on a griddle or stacked American style as well as Belgian waffles and freshly cooked omelettes. The Coffee House will offer mums and dads a much-needed pick-me-

up, with freshly baked goods, supplied by Belfast-based French Village. Center Parcs have taken the headache out of dining by ensuring all restaurants are family friendly with staff that are naturally good with children. A number of restaurants contain play areas for little ones so grown-ups can enjoy their meal. What’s more, there is free Ella’s Kitchen baby food and bottle warming facilities provided in all restaurants. While family is at the centre of Center Parcs, grown ups, whether parents or not, can enjoy a little ‘me time’ at the relaxing Aqua Sana Spa. Center Parc has opened up bookings from August 16 and it will be open all

year round so whatever the weather, there will be something for your family, with activities for little ones and big ones alike. Longford Forest offers the perfect break for you, your friends and family, to get together in luxury accommodation and enjoy the peaceful woodland setting, immersed in the natural environment. So, if you’re still agonising over what to do for your summer holiday, consider a short break at Center Parcs and make epic memories to last a lifetime. Center Parcs will offer weekend (Friday to Monday) and midweek (Monday to Friday) family breaks. For more information, visit:

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 55


afamily pass tothe F Dalriada Festival 2019

AMILY Life has teamed up with the Dalriada Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14 #DALFEST19 to offer three lucky readers the chance to win a family pass (2 adults and 2 teens; between 13-18 years) worth £85 for Saturday, July 13. Northern Ireland’s biggest family festival weekend the Dalriada Festival 2019, powered by Purple Bricks is proudly supported by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council. Located at the historic Glenarm Castle, the festival line up is jammed packed with music from top, well known UK artists from the 90s to the present day including Peter Andre, Fleur East, Atomic Kitten, East 17 to name but a

few; fine food and drink including Celtic Smoke International BBQ competition sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society and a wide range of activities for kids including Paw Patrol, kids’ TV stars Chase & Marshall, Sam & Mark from CBBC’s Big Friday Wind Up and the nation’s favourite little green Tractor Ted who will bring a real life farm courtesy of the Official Tractor Ted team. Families can also pitch up at the fantastic festival camp site. For something more luxurious, there is also 5* Glamping available. For further details visit

To be in with a chance of winning a family pass, simply answer this question: Where is the Dalriada Festival located? Email your answer with ‘Family Life Competition’ in the subject line to events@ by 5pm on June 6. Winners will be selected at random. The usual Belfast Telegraph T&Cs apply, see terms and conditions. The prize is as stated, nontransferable nor can be exchanged for money. It does not include transfer or access to the campsite. The pass allows the winner and their guests access to the festival site including the musical acts on the main stage.

56 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Richard and Leona Kane with their children at Broglasco Farm, Limavady

Serve pepper sauce to the side, not over the steak, image from

CreamyPepper Steakwith SweetPotato Wedges

6ofthe bestfrom Broighter Gold

Ingredients 4 Steaks – Sirloin, Rump or Rib Eye 40ml Brandy Half Onion, chopped 4 Mushrooms 150ml Crème Fraiche or Cream Drop Worcester Sauce 12 Green Peppercorns or Cracked Black Pepper 1 Clove Garlic, chopped Freshly Ground Pepper to season steak 100m1 Beef Stock Drizzle of Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil 2 Large Sweet Potatoes 2 Tablespoons of Broighter Gold Chilli Oil


ook up healthy, nutritious and delicious meals for the family with the multi-award winning Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oils. Limavady couple Richard and Leona Kane create the range of quality oils from oilseed grown on their own Broglasco Farm. Fans include top chefs Noel McMeel, James Martin, Simon Rimmer and Rachel Allen and it’s been enjoyed by everyone from the Queen to President Obama. Rapeseed Oil is classed as a good fat and is a heart-healthy alternative to Olive oil. While the Mediterranean staple contains

Grilled Lamb with tomato salsa, image,

GrilledLamb withGingerand TomatoSalsa

Omega 3 and 6, Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oils contains 10times more Omega 3 as well as Omega 6 and 9 plus vitamin E.

Try these six of the best Broighter Gold recipes – perfect for dinner parties, barbecues or a weeknight dinner at home.

er Gold Rapeseed Oil & Chili Oil followed by garIngredients lic, ginger, red onion and peppers. Sweat for 3-4 6 Lamb Chops or small Leg of Lamb minutes, then add chopped tomatoes & sugar. 3 Fresh Tomatoes Season with fresh ground black pepper and 2 Garlic Cloves sliced cook for further 15 minutes on low heat stirring 1 Tablespoon Broighter Gold Chilli Oil all the time. 1 Red Pepper diced Add the fresh zest of a lemon with Broighter 2 Red Onion diced Gold Lemon Oil and chopped mint leaves. 1 Thumb size piece fresh Ginger Remove from the heat and add Broighter Gold 50g Brown Sugar Basil Oil. Handful Mint Leaves 1 Lemon Zest Rub 50 g Broighter Rapeseed Oil While salsa is cooking, mix together Broighter Drizzle of Broighter Gold Basil Oil Gold Rosemary and Garlic Oil, mint and Drizzle 0f Broighter Lemon Oil chopped garlic and add a drizzle of Fresh Ground Black Pepper Broighter Gold Lemon Oil. Spoon 2 Tablespoons Broighter Gold the rub over the lamb chops and Rosemary and Garlic Oil place directly under the grill. Small Bunch Fresh Mint Drizzle Broighter Gold Lemon Serve the lamb sliced with Cook lamb chops for approx. 6 minutes. If using leg of lamb Oil salsa and some yoghurt have it boned and butterflied in naan bread or pitta by your butcher. Spread rub on Method pocket. Salsa’s also great with lamb it and turn often during cooking Salsa burgers in oven. Serve with salsa and fresh Cut all the Salsa ingredients into squeezed lime juice. small dice. Heat a pot and add Broight-

Broighter’s Top Tip

Method Allow Steak to sit at room temperature. Pre-heat frying pan. Drizzle pan with Broighter Gold Rapeseed oil and place steaks in pan. Do not agitate steaks, leave for approximately three minutes then turn. Season with ground black pepper. Cook for further 2 minutes. Transfer steaks to hot tray and finish in oven if required medium to well done. If you require rare to medium, just let the steak rest. Take the pan the steak was in and add chopped onion, garlic and mushroom followed by peppercorns. Cook for a few minutes then add brandy and flambé. Straight away add beef stock and crème fraiche or cream. Reduce heat and allow to reduce until sauce thickens. Add a drop of Worcester sauce. Wedges Heat a flat tray in oven for 10 minutes at 200°C. Peel potato and cut into wedges. In a bowl toss the wedges in Broighter Gold Chilli Oil and place directly Trust your local onto hot tray in oven. butcher when it Cook till potatoes comes to meat are crisp. Serve sauce beside steak, not over it! Arrange potato wedges alongside. Enjoy!

Broighter’s Top Tip

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph Pork chops with caramelised apple

Family Life | 57

Toffee ApplePork Ingredients 4 Pork Chops 1 Tablespoon Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil 2 Tablespoons Broighter Gold Lemon Oil 4-5 Sprigs of fresh Thyme Twist fresh Ground Black Pepper 2 Red Apples Drizzle of Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil 50g Brown Sugar 1 Tablespoon water Spinach or Cabbage Method Leave pork chop at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Brush both sides of pork chop with Broighter Gold Lemon Oil, add chopped thyme and season with black pepper. Heat a pan then add Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil and fry pork chops on both sides on medium heat until pork is cooked in centre.

Broighter’s Top Tip Grill both pork chops and toffee apple if you prefer

Sticky Apples Take core out of apples and leave skin on. Cut into rings. Drizzle with Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil and sprinkle with brown sugar. Heat a frying pan and fry on both sides till sugar caramelises. Add a tablespoon of water to the pan. Arrange toffee apple slice on top of pork with a drizzle of toffee syrup from pan. Serve with some spinach or cabbage.

Lemon Raspberry Sponge

Lemon and raspberries are a perfect marriage, image from

Ingredients 3 eggs 100g caster sugar 100g Self Raising Flour 2 Tablespoons Broighter Gold Lemon Oil 12 Raspberries 100g Icing Sugar Drizzle of Broighter Gold Lemon Oil Juice of half a Lemon Use Broighter Gold Rapseed Oil in general baking to replace butter and retain mositure for a healthier bake product Method Preheat oven to 160°C Line a 6 or 8 inch baking tin with greaseproof paper. Using electric mixer whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and foamy. Sieve To ensure lighter the flour and fold it into eggs Lemon Drizzle sponges keep your and sugar. Add the Broighter Sieve the icing sugar and add lemon eggs out of the Gold Lemon Oil and fold mix juice. Combine well then add Broighter fridge carefully. Gold Lemon Oil and drizzle over the top Pour mixture into tin, arrange the of the sponge. raspberries on top of mixture. They will natural- Great with Lemon & Chilli Ice Cream — simply ly fall into the mixture. Bake in preheated oven serve with a scoop of your favourite ice cream for approx. 14 minutes. Carefully remove from and a drizzle 0f Broighter Gold Chili and Lemon tin on to wire cooling rack once baked. oils for a sensational dessert.

Broighter’s Top Tip


Method Ingredients Place all the Marinade ingredients into a food 4 Chicken breasts blender and blend to a paste like consistency. 2 Yellow peppers Cut peppers. courgettes and red onions into bite 2 Red peppers size chunks or wedges. Cut chicken into bite size 2 Red onions cubes. 2 Courgettes Using skewer sticks start skewering a piece 6 wooden/ steel skewers or rosemary sticks of chicken followed by onion, peppers Drizzle of Broighter Gold Lemon Oil and courgette and repeat until 2 tablespoons Broighter Gold Chilli you have a full and vibrant Oil skewer. 1 bunch scallions Brush the marinade onto the 2 tablespoons Broighter Gold Replace chicken with pork. skewered kebabs and leave Rosemary & Garlic Oil beef or lamb. A combination Drizzle of Broighter Gold Basil of meats works really well. for at least an hour on a tray. Oil Prepare vegetarian version Grill on the barbecue for approx. 6-8 minutes, turning Handful mint leaves using butternut squash all the time. 1 Lemon zest instead of chicken Serve with a drizzle 0f Broighter 50g of Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil Gold Lemon Oil Fresh ground black pepper

Broighter’s Top Tip

SummeryFish&Salsa Oil for the salsa, then add the chopped garlic, Ingredients Broighter Gold Chili Oil and red onion. Sweat for 600g Fish (Hake, Haddock, Cod or Salmon) two minutes. 50g Plain Flour Add the diced courgette followed by the diced Fresh Ground Black Pepper peppers. Continue to sweat on a gentle heat Drizzle Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil then add the fresh ground pepper, lime zest and 1 Red Pepper Diced Broighter Gold Basil Oil. 1 Yellow Pepper Diced 2 Cloves Garlic Crushed Fish Teaspoon Broighter Gold Chili Oil Add some pepper to the flour. 1 Courgette Dust your fish in the flour. 1 Lime Zest Heat a frying pan and add the Fresh Ground Black Pepper Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil. 1 Tablespoon Broighter Gold This salsa is good Add the pieces of fish and cook Rapeseed Oil with any type of fish for 1 minute then turn and cook 1 Tablespoon Broighter Gold – try 2-3 types for a further minute. Squeeze some Basil Oil juice from lime onto the fish. 2-3 Leaves Fresh Basil Spoon some salsa on to your plate and arrange pieces on fish on top. Method Salsa Drizzle with Broighter Gold Basil Oil In a pot heat the Broighter Gold Rapeseed

Broighter’s Top Tip

Barbecued chicken kebabs, image from

58 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Parents urged to give children less junk


afefood, the all island nutrition body, is urging parents to give their children healthier snacks after new research revealed that foods like biscuits, crisps, chocolate and sweets are their second-most consumed food group. Almost 25% of all meals now include food and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar. The research also found that 29% of children’s afternoon and evening snacks are high in fat, sugar and salt. Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director,

Human Health & Nutrition, safefood said: “The stand-out result in this research is how so-called ‘junk’ food is now a filler between and after meals in families’ daily diets. Parents involved in the research told us that afternoons and evenings are the danger times when it comes to giving these foods to their children and to themselves. “Parents want their children to feel cared for and not to be hungry when they get in from school or before dinner is ready. These ‘junk’ foods, which are full of empty calories, fill that gap and are now a staple in our weekly shop and our children’s daily diets. We struggle to avoid these treat foods every day because they’re available everywhere, highly palatable, cheap and frequently on special offer.” The research was carried out in support of START, a five-year public health awareness campaign by safefood, the HSE and Healthy Ireland. It is encouraging parents to give healthier snacks to children and to only have treats in small amounts, and not every day. Agreeing to changes together as family and having a ‘no-junkduring-weekdays’ plan are also ideas for families to try to cut down on treat foods. Sarah O’ Brien, HSE national lead on the START campaign added: “What we hear from parents is that they recognise how important it is to make these changes for their children’s health but it is challenging.

The START campaign is designed to help parents by providing practical tips, advice and support.” The START campaign research also highlighted that 1 in 3 parents (33%) found it difficult to cut back on treat foods or keep them to a minimum. More than 1 in

3 parents (36%) also reported they were not confident about changing their child’s behaviour when it came to eating more healthily. To find out more about the START campaign and ways to make a healthy, positive start visit

Healthy snack ideas Rather than reaching for treat food when your kids are hungry, here’s a list of healthy snack ideas to give them – at home or on the go.

For a light snack

✱ Piece of fruit ✱ Vegetable sticks ✱ Small pot of yoghurt ✱ Glass of milk ✱ 2-3 crackers / 1-2 oatcakes / 2 rice cakes ✱ Handful of nuts and seeds ✱ 2-3 Breadsticks

For the times when they are genuinely hungry

✱ One slice of wholemeal toast with some mashed / chopped banana ✱ Cheese, meat or fish sandwich

using one slice of bread. You could add some sliced tomato and make a toasty sandwich ✱ Cheese with two or three crackers or breadsticks. You can add a few grapes or apple slices ✱ Small bowl of breakfast cereal and milk ✱ Small bowl of homemade soup ✱ Half a bagel with lightly spread peanut butter ✱ Mini wrap with cheese, meat or fish filling. Add some veg and make a toasty sandwich ✱ Mini wholemeal scone and low-fat spread ✱ Small slice of malt bread / teabrack ✱ One crumpet ✱ One bought pancake


Bangor Fuels–fairpricesforeveryone


or great service and fair pricing when it comes to home heating oil, look no further than Bangor Fuels. The family owned company, which has been operating from north Down for 30 years, is one of Northern Ireland’s most trusted suppliers and has built its reputation on its prompt, reliable deliveries and excellent customer service. Hail, rain or snow, Bangor Fuels’ fleet of over 20 oil tankers is out, delivering warmth to homes across greater Belfast and beyond. The price of oil fluctuates by the hour and the team at Bangor Fuels is always quick to pass savings on to customers, with keen prices and a transparent pricing policy. Marketing Director Johnny Fusco explains: “A lot of companies charge different prices in different areas and will give new customers deals that aren’t available for loyal customers. We don’t think that’s fair. “Our one price promise means everyone pays the same for their fill, no matter where they live, whether they are a brand new customer or a long term, loyal client.”

What’s in your driveway? 

Customers first

You don’t have to order a large quantity of oil to avail of Bangor Fuels’ service either. “We’re happy to cater to people whether they just want a top up or a full tank,” says Johnny. For savvy customers who like to spread their fuel bill throughout the year, Bangor Fuels offers a savings scheme. Set up a monthly payment and forget about having to pay for a full tank of oil in one go.

Cash and carry

Another popular aspect of the business is its unique cash and carry at its headquarters in Balloo Industrial Estate, just off Bangor ring road. Here, costumers can take advantage of a quick and easy drive thru service to pick up everything from coal to an emergency fill of oil. Need red diesel or kerosene? You’ll find it here. And if you feel like snuggling down by

the fireside, you can choose from logs, turf, sticks or briquettes at the drive thru. Staff are on hand to give a helping hand with loading and advice, if needed. “For us, it’s about value – we are cheaper than garages as well as being more convenient,” says Johnny. It may be a ‘cash’ and carry but don’t worry, you can use your contactless card with no fees.

Coal and gas

The company also delivers coal and bottled gas to households across east Belfast, Dundonald, Ards and north Down as far as Downpatrick. With such an emphasis on service, it’s not surprising that Bangor Fuels also offers boiler servicing to help customers keep their boilers running efficiently and cut the cost of heating their homes. You can order oil, coal or gas online at or call 028 9146 6565.

It’s not just your driveway that helps your home make an impact but the wheels that are parked there. If you’re thinking of changing your car this year, why not check out the range available at Fusco Vehicle Sales in Bangor. North Down’s largest used car dealership stocks a vast range of vehicles of all types, makes and models, ranging in price from about £2,000 to £20,000. At Fusco Vehicle Sales, finance is available on every car, even for customers with adverse credit. The company accepts all trade-ins and also buys cars for cash. Quality is guaranteed with all work carried out on the cars on site by the company’s own mechanics. As well as the workshop there’s a car valet centre and body shop on the premises at Balloo Industrial Estate on Bangor’s ring road. All cars come with a full MoT and an extremely comprehensive in-house Platinum warranty. For further information visit, call 028 9147 7598 or follow Fusco Vehicle Sales on Facebook to keep up to date with new arrivals.

60 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

Howtospotthe signsthatallisn’t wellwithyourchild M

Watch out for a child becoming withdrawn


ore than one fifth of young people are suffering significant mental health problems by the time they reach 18, however, spotting the signs early can prevent problems becoming serious. Often young people who are struggling with issues such as depression and anxiety are reluctant to seek help or in the case of younger children, do not have the words to explain how they’re feeling. Responding to the initial signs of mental health issues among young people can help reduce the likelihood of substance misuse, self-harming and death through suicide. In many cases the first signs that a young person or child is not coping is noticed by family members or friends. New Life Counselling has partnered with Action Mental Health to highlight the signs and symptoms family members should be on the lookout for. According to family therapist, Wendy Stewart, one of the first signs is isolating themselves and withdrawing from social activities. Other signs are:  Losing interest in hobbies/interests  Increase in aggressive and/or acting out behaviours  Changes in eating and/or sleeping patterns  Putting themselves down “I’m a waste of space”.  Drop in school grades or work performance  Using drugs and/or alcohol as a comfort

 Loss of interest in their appearance  Becoming clumsy or accident prone  Hurting themselves and not caring for their wounds  Doing things that don’t make sense to others  Becoming moody or sulky.

So what can relatives do if they are concerned about a child or young person’s mental health? Wendy says: “Talking with them may really help. Sometimes we worry about what to say, or that the other person does not want to talk about how they are feeling or what is going on for them. “If they choose not to talk, it is best not to try and force a conversation but to step back and return at a later time. “It could also help to offer support in a practical way – helping them solve problems and difficulties or helping them to identify their own goals and direction in life. “You could also try assisting them in developing a positive environment at home with routines, guidelines for living, rewards and consequences or show them how to take responsibility to develop their skills in self-care.”

What to do

While every situation is different, here are some of the ways you can approach difficult conversations with a family member you have concerns about. Be gentle, show understanding and tact

in your conversations. Ask open questions (Who, what, where, when and how). Such questions allow a family member to remain in control of what they want to tell you and keep the conversation going. Reflecting what a person has said: “It sounds like you are finding school difficult, but you keep trying to listen and understand the teacher.” Clarifying issues. Most of us try to avoid talking about difficult things at one time or another. While being gentle invite family member share more “Can you tell me more about ….” Be responsive. Give the family member space to talk about their feeling and listen carefully. Try to understand what kind of help the family member wants. Sometimes the help we want to give is not the help the person wants/needs. Having conversations in a neutral place such as a coffee shop, while out walking, shopping or having a meal. Share with them that you have been

‘Ithoughtshewasjust becomingamoodyteen’ ✱

Louise knows what it’s like to deal with adolescent mental illness. Her daughter’s problems arose in her first year at secondary school. “At first we thought she was just turning into a moody teen and that her hormones were all over the place. We only discovered there was a problem when the school called us and advised us to take her to a doctor. “She’d self-referred to the school counsellor and they were very worried by the things she was coming out with. I couldn’t believe there was anything wrong as she seemed all right to us, apart from spending more time in her room. I took her to the doctor and she admitted she’d been having suicidal thoughts and that she’d also been self-harming. I was so shocked – I thought I knew my own child really well. It was totally heart-breaking seeing how sad she was. “The doctor referred her to a counselling service that deals with young people self-harming and they spoke to her about ways to distract herself when she’s very anxious and that was pretty useful. They also kept stressing how important the family is in helping kids through these things.” After the six week programme things seemed to have settled

Story times don’t last forever down and the summer holidays passed without drama. When school returned, so did the anxiety and low mood. “We thought she was doing all right but after a while it started up again,” says Louise. She took her daughter back to the doctor and this time she was referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). “She has been seeing a counsellor and a psychiatrist and she’s now on antidepressants and Melatonin to help her sleep.” Louise agreed to speak out because she wants to encourage other parents to be watchful. “CAMHS are incredibly busy and the teachers say it’s as if there’s an epidemic of anxiety among kids at the minute. My daughter says she knows other girls who are struggling but they think they can’t talk to their parents about it.”

worried and you would like to help. Try not to judge or dismiss their thoughts and/or feelings as ‘silly’. Rather try to understand why they are feeling the way they do. Avoid responses, such as “It’s not that bad” or “Things will get better”. Such responses may be heard as dismissing their feelings and/or an attempt to change their perception of a situation. Wendy says: “Although these tips sound simple, what you are doing is listening and offering some responses that help keep the conversation open. “The key is to help them to respond to your gentle curiosity about them and their situation.” Action Mental Health’s MensSana, meanwhile, supports all ages in the area of mental health and well-being through a range of activities tailored to suit group needs. These include Provoking Thought – a Mental Health Promotion Programme, Mindset and Healthy Me, which are delivered free by AMH in schools.

Louise says she still panics if her daughter is having a particularly dark day. “It’s terrifying and you don’t know what to say but letting them talk does seem to relieve some of the pressure. It’s very hard to not start dishing out advice and trying to fix things but that always backfires. The best thing we’ve found is just to listen and try not to make her feel worse. When it’s a really bad day and she wants to be alone, we just keep an eye on her and give her hugs and let her know we’re here when she needs us. At the start she was so hostile you couldn’t even do that but it was because she was terrified of the way she was feeling. “We’re all more tuned into each other now and our daughter has gone from being very shut off to being unbelievably open. We pay attention to the kids’ everyday chat too and follow everything they’re interested in even if some of it seems daft. I reckon if they can laugh with you over a Youtube video, they’re more likely to talk about other things too. “I would say to any parent to work on keeping their kids close. When they stop letting you read them a bedtime story, you lose one of the best times for finding out how they really are. Now we use the times when we’re cooking and doing the dishes for chatting about all sorts of stuff, or we’ll go out to a cafe or get out a board game after tea. It’s so much easier for them to talk when you’re not staring at them or looking worried. “This is easily one of the worst things that’s ever happened in our family, but it has brought us all closer and hopefully, that will help see us through.” Louise’s name has been changed to protect her child’s identity.

24 May 2019 | Belfast Telegraph

Family Life | 61

Becomea ‘PAL’with Engage withAge

FACTFILE  Belfast’s older population is increasing; 19% of Belfast’s population is over 60, and this will increase to 36% by 2050. (Belfast City Council).  Older people experiencing loneliness are at greater risk of health problems, such as an increased risk of diabetes, dementia, and heart disease. (Lunstad et al 2012).  One study states the impact of loneliness on health is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day. (Holst-Lunstad 2015).  1 in 6 older people in Belfast may be lonely or isolated (Belfast City Council 2018).  25% of those aged over 75 who live alone do not speak to someone every day.  80% of over 85s have not told their children they feel lonely.


oneliness is a growing issue for all ages, but particularly for older people who can find themselves isolated for many reasons, such as a health issue, death of a spouse, or a change in circumstances. Now, Engage with Age, one of Belfast’s leading charities, is inviting older people who aren’t getting out enough to ‘be a PAL’. PAL stands for ‘People Addressing Loneliness’.

Get involved

The PAL Project is designed to provide opportunities for older people who are not getting out enough or socialising to get involved in fun activities. The aim is to get connected with peers, make friends, and enjoy life. Working across south and east Belfast, the PAL Project offers a range of activities such as creative writing, groups teaching how to use iPads and smart phones, tai chi, arts and crafts, games groups and walking groups, all led by people of the same generation.

Slipped Disco in the Black Box Coming up is the ‘Slipped Disco’ at Belfast’s Black Box on Monday, June 17. The Slipped Disco concept came from a PAL who said they wanted to go out, dance, have a glass of wine, and have fun. DJ Groover will be playing a set based around music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Admission is free and the disco runs from 7.30-10pm. Kate is participating in the PAL Project. She said: “I had lost all interest in life and I had been very ill. I was going nowhere. The cinema group was a perfect start as it was a very gentle thing. This led me into the writing group and I could never have believed how much that group would have benefited me. It completely helped

me rediscover my confidence and interest in life and the opportunity to meet lovely people. The atmosphere in the group was just right – very safe and welcoming and I can’t thank Engage with Age enough for what it has done for me.” It can sometimes be difficult to make the first step, but if you, or your parents, would like to join in and have fun, give Engage With Age a call.

Telephone: 028 9073 5696 Email: Facebook: EngageWithAge Twitter: Engage_With_Age Website:

62 | Family Life

Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019


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