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February/ March 2013

Almost Spring Edition (Hopefully!)

WIN a fabulous £30 bouquet from Flowers In Style. See page 7.

Win a FREE family ticket to Dingley Races Easter Meeting. See page 15 for details.

It’s full ahead for Steampunk! See pages 4-5.

This Squash is squeezed into: Billesdon, Brampton Ash, Braybrooke, Clipston, Dingley, East Farndon, Foxton, Great Bowden, Little Bowden, Great Oxendon, Gumley, Husbands Bosworth, Kelmarsh, The Langtons, Lubenham, Market Harborough, Marston Trussell, Naseby, Sibbertoft, Sutton Basset, Theddingworth, Welford, and Wilbarston.

Find juicy deals online at:

Invest in the best.

We all have a vision of our perfect kitchen; traditional or modern, rustic or minimalist. At Fraser James, whatever you imagine we can make it a reality.

Everything is hand finished and checked, doing that little extra to ensure the highest quality product. Invest in quality that will last a lifetime. Tel: 01327



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Kitchens | Bedrooms | Panel ling | Libraries | Studies

f r a s e r j a m e s l t d . c o. u k

Vol.1 No.08 Feb 13/ Mar 13 All the juice on your doorstep & online

Welcome to Squash, the paper and online magazine for Market Harborough and the surrounding area, bringing you what you want and where to get it from. In this juicy issue: prepare for the oncoming storm – Squash looks at the quirky and cool Steampunk phenomenon! Win a family ticket to the point-to-point at the Easter Meeting at Dingley Races! Freshen up your tastebuds with our mouth-watering spring recipes! Plus alternative gifts, music reviews, puzzles, Mallory, Postie, Matron…. and it’s time to get back out in the garden with Pots and Plots, so dust off those wellies and clutch that trowel like you mean it. Happy squashing!

February/March Edition What’s On 02 Local Spotlight 06 Recipes 08 Alternative Gifts 10

Slices of Life 12

Pots and Plots 18

Ooh Matron 22 Puzzles 26 10 Top Tips 28

How to advertise

Cover photo: Welland Park by Jo Blackwell.

Copy deadline for April/May issue is Thursday 21st March. To advertise call 01327 577 101 * or email Remember, advertising with Squash magazine automatically gets you a free online listing at * (During busy times, calls may divert to the Squash mobile phone)

Call 01327 577 101 or 07925 430 001 to advertise.


What’s On with

Dr. Lawrence Fellowes

It’s that time of year again, isn’t it? The post-Christmas recriminations are over. Outside the air is crisp. Inside, the hearth crackles and the port bottle beckons mischievously, like a mermaid to a fisherman. Life has returned with a vengeance. On February 4th 2004, the ‘online’ friendship site Facebook was launched. On the 6th in 1918, British women gained the right to vote. And on the 14th , circa 270AD, St Valentine was martyred. On March 1st 1998, Titanic became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide. On the 9th in 1796 Napoléon Bonaparte married Joséphine de Beauharnais. And on the 31st (1910) Six North Staffordshire Pottery towns federated to form modern Stoke-on-Trent. February and March... a time of chance meetings, assertive women, blighted romance, and broken crockery. Which draws me, like a ship toward an iceberg, to Wedding Anniversary Gift of the Month Romantic Balloon Ride for Two £79 (Sparkling wine included) No Strings Ballooning Company What promises merely a brief, pleasant escape from the everyday turns into a vivid encapsulation of decades of actual marriage: shared anticipation, then exhilaration, laughter, hot air, intermittent patches of fog, arguments about direction, a feeling of spiralling out of control, the familiar experience of waking up trapped in a laundry basket – and the desire to do it all over again. Romantic Balloon ride for two – you’ll be inseparable. Pip! Pip!


February 2013 Saturday 9th (to Sunday 10th) Lego - Build and Show, 2nd Desborough (URC) Scout Group. Build one 500+ LEGO kits available, or design your own and win a prize. Food , refreshments, raffle. Sat 10am4pm, Sun 12 noon-4pm. £1 per day. Children must be accompanied. United Reform Church Hall, Union St, Desborough, NN14 2RH. Sunday 10th Leicester Guildhall Antique And Collectors Fair, Palmer-Tomkinson Centre, Wanlip Lane, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4GH. 9am-3pm. £1.50. Tel.: 07790 159 829 Wednesday 13th Cash (Johnny Cash Tribute), 7pm. O2 Academy Leicester. http://www. Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, Geddington Panto Group. Evening (curtain 7.30pm) and Sat Matinee (2.30pm), £6 Conc. £5, Child £4, Family 2+2 £15. Tickets: Geddington Post Office or 07532 192598. Geddington Village Hall Northants NN14 1AZ Carl Bedford: The Story of Foxton village. 7.30pm Market Harborough Historical Society, Roman Way Community Centre, 36, Roman Way, MH. Non members welcome (£3) Thursday 14th Traditional afternoon tea dance, Kilworth House. Live music by the ‘Kilworth Trio’. 3.305.30pm. hotel-events Saturday 23rd Cuckoo’s Nest Art & Craft Fair, 30 stalls: pottery, paintings, jewellery, textiles, fashions and accessories, wood, glass etc. 10.00am 4.30pm, Three Swans Hotel MH Admission free. Sun 24th Charity Craft Fair, Moulton Village Hall. This is the perfect place to get all your Mother’s Day presents! 10.30am-3pm Free Admission. Moulton Village Hall Northants NN3 7SD Spring Wedding Fair. 2013 Kettering Conference Centre 10.30am–3.30pm. Free. Win £300 towards your wedding. Tel. 01536 506116 or email et.exhibitions@

March 2013 Sunday 3rd Antique, retro & vintage Fleamarket, Brixworth Village Hall. Adults 50p, OAP and children free. 10am-3pm. Hot and cold food. All money raised goes to Village Hall restoration fund. Wednesday 6th (to Saturday 9th) ‘High School Musical’, annual theatre production of Guthlaxton College, Wigston. ‘Wonderful energetic songs and dance routines.’ Wed 6 to Sat 9. Tickets. 0116 2881611. Sunday 10th Enjoy British wildlife on a circular Ramblers group walk from Foxton Locks via Gumley (8 miles). Starting point.. Grid Ref: SP681891 LE16 7RR. Mother’s Day Sunday Afternoon Tea, Kilworth House, 4.30pm. (full payment required at time of booking) Sunday 17th Hammond Arboretum Open Garden for NGS. Species from America, China and Japan. 2-5pm. £3, Children free. Market Harborough, LE16 7JG.

Qualified experienced friendly staff (under new ownership)

Children 0-11yrs Babies room 0-2yrs Toddler 2-3yrs Pre-school 3-5yrs Before & after school clubs Upto 15 hours NEF funding available 01858 468 006

The Maltings, Clipston, Open Garden for NGS Over 60 different clematis, wild garden walk, over 30 species of rose, 2-6pm, £3, Children free. Tel. 01858 525336. Northants LE16 9RS, Saturday 23rd Craft & Gift Event, 11am-2pm, Corn Market Hall, London Road, Kettering, Northants, NN15 7QX. Items not found on the high street Sunday 24th Wedding Fayre, Bridge Hotel, Bridge Street Thrapston NN144JP. 11-3pm, Free. Contact: Dawn Brown, 08454279432, Easter Saturday 30th Dingley Races, Woodland Pytchley Hunt, Easter Meeting - Point to Point. Sunday 31st (and Monday 1st April) Kelmarsh Game & Country Fair, 8.30am-6pm. £13, Child (4-14yrs) £6, Family £35.00 (2A & 3C).

Fun holiday childcare for school children!

Breakfast club

Open throughout all  Leicestershire school  holidays.

Why not book your  child into our before or  after school club?

Our club runs from  8am – 6pm every day (Except Bank  holidays). Flexible session  available.

We collect from all  schools in and around  Market Harborough.

Activities include... Cooking – sports –  gymnastics – arts and  crafts – days out to  Wicksteed Park.

Afterschool &

Children will be  provided with a  nutritious breakfast  and snack. School pick up  until 6pm. Open from 7.30 to  school drop off. Information correct at time of going to press. Please contact venue in advance to confirm event is happening. If you’d like to publicise a local event, you can do so online at:

9 Great Bowden Road, Market Harborough Leicestershire LE16 7DE


Full Steam Ahead (or should that be ‘backwards’?)

Biff Raven-Hill explores the weird, wonderful, and newly old-fashioned world of Steampunk. Increasingly familiar sights on our streets are fantastically dressed people wearing top hats, bowlers, goggles and Victorian clothes with a glorious punky twist. They provide a welcome relief from dull high street fashion or those ghastly, slobby trousers that display unpleasant pants and unspeakable bottoms.

This is ‘Steampunk’, a movement embracing art, clothing, music, literature and even household objects.

homogeneous and austere times) and its celebration of a time when technology seemed powerful but within our physical grasp. Today’s high tech may be powerful, but it also often feels remote, impersonal and out of our control. The term ‘Steampunk’ emerged in the 1980s, partly as a humorous counterpoint to the futuristic ‘Cyberpunk’ that came out of postpunk New Wave and electronic music. It described a strain of literature that took inspiration from the fantasy and futurism of well-known authors such as HG Wells, Lewis Carrol and Jules Verne. Steampunk literature is tremendous fun. I recently read Mark Hodder’s Burton and Swinburne in the Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack. Hodder uses real people – such as Richard Burton the explorer, Algernon Swinburne the poet, and I.K. Brunel the engineer, to say nothing of the mythical Jack himself – as the basis of his plot, but spins a wildly imaginative tale around them that made me laugh out loud. Steampunk lifestyle goes so far as to

Steampunk is based on an imagined Victorian futurism revolving around steam and clockwork, a world which celebrates ‘the machine, not the factory’. Elements from fantasy, horror, Goth and historical fiction are all mixed in, according to individual taste. Steampunk’s appeal seems to include its DIY aesthetic (a joyous retort to


Call 01327 577 101 or 07925 430 001 to advertise.

include ‘retrofitted’ computers and mobile phones with brass and wood fittings, turning plastic factory-made commodities into individual objects of mechanical art. There is also a growing Steampunk music movement, featuring bands such as ‘Crimson Clock’, ‘Metropolis’, ‘Birthrite’ and the wonderful Northampton band ‘Gladstone’. And the best thing is that there is genuinely something for everyone. I went to a gig recently where the audience ranged from age 16 to over 70. One lady, who would probably not thank me for calling her elderly, was dressed in full Steampunk gear and was dancing out at the front with more vigour and front than any of the youngsters. I salute her. Steampunk is a glorious, thumping, inspired movement that makes one glad to be alive. Steampunk is the oncoming storm, and ‘The Oncoming Storm’ coincidentally is the name of my new Steampunk business selling jewellery, goggles, glasses and hats. Ebay shop coming soon.

Images clockwise: Steampunk woman, Boots (credit:, Steampunk man, Northampton Steampunk band Gladstone, Steampunk heart pendant.

Gladstone: Gladstone/228685370476192 Biff blogs at:

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Local Spotlight This issue’s focus is on...

Dingley Races Point-to-Point Just east of Market Harborough, on the A427, in the beautiful Leicesterhsire countryside, is Dingley racecourse, though most of the year you would never know it. Point-to-point (or steeplechase) racing started over 250 years ago when an Irish landowner, Mr Blake, challenged his neighbour to a race from church steeple to church steeple, 4 ½ miles over stone walls, ditches and hedges. Today the races are run by local hunts and are for amateur riders only, on thoroughbred horses certified to have hunted at least four times with a recognised pack of hounds. Men and women alike ride, and some will be aspiring young jockeys. Dingley stages 3 point-to-point meetings annually, starting on Easter Saturday. Each one is a

fabulous funfilled family day out, particularly as Dingley has the good fortune to be in a valley that acts as a natural amphitheatre, so the entire racecourse can be seen from the comfort of your car in beautiful surroundings. There are usually six or seven races, starting at 2pm, although the course is open from 11.30am so you can get a prime position for your car and picnic. Before each race you can see horses and riders walking round in the ‘paddock’ before going to the racetrack, which is the moment for you to decide which will win the race. There are licensed betting stands, or simply pick your favourite colours and cheer your horses home whilst eating, drinking and socialising from either the on-course spectator areas, or your car. There are also

many trade stands, catering and bar facilities, and children’s funfair entertainment. Even if it is your first visit to the races, it is an easy-to-follow fun family day out in the fresh air of the glorious Leicestershire countryside. The first meeting of the season is the ‘Easter Meeting’ on Saturday 30th March, followed by the Spring Meeting on Sunday 28th April and, to finish the season, the May Meeting on Saturday 18th May. For details see:

Local Spotlight is a free feature about organisations and events, old and new, in Market Harborough or the surrounding area. If you know of one which has a story to tell, please write to, and we will feature it if possible.


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Fabulous Flowers Competition

For a chance to win a delightful bouquet of flowers (worth £30) from Flowers in Style, deliverable to within 3 miles of Market Harborough, answer this pungent puzzler: Which of the following also have ‘a bouquet’?

(A) Soup (B) Wine (C) Window-cleaner Send your answer to: Closing date 14/03/2013 *Terms and conditions apply

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Recipes Spring Zings

After winter’s hearty but heavy meals, freshen up your taste buds again with these delicious starters.

Pea, Mint and Spring Onion soup with Parmesan Biscuits (Serves 6) A mouthwatering family favourite.

Preparation 1/ Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy based pan. When foaming, add spring onions and potato. Gently fry without colouring for about 5 mins. Stir in the stock, bring to boil and simmer for 10 mins or until potato is tender. 2/ Stir in peas, bring to boil again, then cook for about 3 mins until they are just done. Remove pan from heat, add mint leaves and whizz in a blender or food processor until 3/ To make Parmesan biscuits: heat grill to high. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and divide the grated Parmesan into 6 long strips. Grill for 1 min or until cheese has melted and is slightly golden. While still warm and a bit flexible, release biscuits from the baking parchment with a palette or cutlery knife, then cool until firm. 4/ To serve, heat the soup and divide between 6 bowls. Scatter with mint and serve with the Parmesan biscuits on the side.

Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil Knob of butter 1/2 bunch of spring onions, sliced 1 potato, cut into small dice 1l hot vegetable stock 900g frozen petits pois 1/2 small bunch mint, leaves picked, plus a few extra to serve 85g Parmesan, very finely grated

Photography by Create-a-Brand

Fresh Oysters with a chilli garnish Thanks to Martin Hobbs for kindly supplying the oysters. Our photographer tells us they went down beautifully.

(3 Oysters per person)

Something special from under the sea... perfect for a romantic evening.

Ingredients 4 teaspoons of red wine vinegar. 1 shallot, finely chopped. Sprinkle with fresh chilli. Spring onion.

Serving Suggestion Add or remove any of the below (all are good combinations). Finely chopped Garlic A few drops Tabasco sauce Finely chopped Ginger A few glugs of Worcestershire sauce Chives This recipe page Course sea salt and black pepper

is sponsored by...

5 Church Square, Market Harborough 01858 464025


g Alternative Sprin


The lambs are bouncing around and the Easter Bunny is busy gathering eggs for Easter – so we thought we would find some super Spring gifts.

Funky Veg Kit Purple carrots, red sprouts, stripey tomatoes, yellow courgettes and multi-coloured chard. This groovy kit will brighten up any meal! ( £12.99)

Ostrich Feather Duster With Spring comes cleaning, so to help all those dust busters amongst us, here’s the traditional cleaning tool, made with real ostrich feathers, presented in a posh tube. ( £8.99)

Beau Bunny chocolate egg

Apparently some sectors of society want to rename the Easter Bunny the Spring Bunny. In any case, this beautiful decorated egg, complete with ‘egglets’, fits in perfectly. ( £15.00)

Lemon Tree In preparation for Summer why not give the gift of fresh home grown lemons, perfect for real lemonade or in a cool refreshing G & T. This tree is happy in a conservatory and tends to flower in late spring followed by small green fruits soon after. ( £32)

Slinky No ‘spring’ gift list would be complete without the original walking ‘spring’ toy. The iconic ‘Slinky’ stretches, snaps back and can even walk down stairs. ( and other good toy stores, approx £6.50)


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Why not bring the children over to play our NEW & IMPROVED TRI GOLF COURSE. A specially designed course with use of equipment for FREE! Available until 6pm.

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DINGLEY RACING Great ViewinG Licensed BettinG reFreshments

Good racinG chiLdren’s FunFair trade stands

Easter Saturday Meeting – Sat 30th March Spring Meeting – Sunday 28th April admission on the day: 1st race at 2.00pm £15 per car & driver – £5 per passenger DinglEy, MArkEt HArborougH For more info visit

Call 01327 577 101 or 07925 430 001 to advertise. Dingley Squash Ad.indd 1


28/01/2013 14:32

Slices of Life You Are What You Were Katie Miller


oldest man passed away recently at the grand age of 110 years and 63 days. Reg Dean had lived through two world wars, experienced life under 24 prime ministers and had been married three times.

Now, having recently reached 40, I don’t feel this is the case. At least it doesn’t seem so. I didn’t wake up on the morning of my 40th birthday feeling ‘different, less tolerant, or indeed with an urge to swap my ‘fly’ boots for some Hush Puppies.

He had been a teacher, founded the Dalesman Male Voice Choir, and was a minister with both the Church of England and later the United Reformed Church, retiring Asked at the age of 109 what when he was 80 - at which point he thought was the secret to his long life, Reg offered that it he took up painting! was either because he was by nature a lazy person, or due to Reading Reg’s story, I started to wonder “How it would feel to be ‘a mysterious medicine’ that he that old?” When I was young and had been given when he was just reaching double figures, I had young... asked myself a similar question – except that then, ‘that old’ meant What a fabulous answer. Despite racking up well over a century my parents’ age (they were in on this planet, Reg had retained their 40’s). a sharp sense of humour. (No The physical side of getting older doubt someone out there is now trying to discover the I could at least try and imagine youth-giving properties of the – aching joints, greying hair, mysterious medicine – and no wrinkling face, etc. But I wanted to know how you feel inside your doubt, Reg is chuckling.) head – do you automatically It seems to suggest something think ‘old’ when you hit certain that many people growing older age milestones? Seeing how my will find reassuring: while our parents reacted to my music or clothes – my hunch was that yes bodies may give some way to gravity, generally speaking we – you did.


still retain the personalities we have had since we were young (some people may be disappointed by this, of course). We may get more forgetful, a little less tolerant of some things (all right, I’ll admit that), but the ‘who we are’ doesn’t really change. The world around us changes, which can make it appear that we have changed, but we haven’t really. I am still the same person inside as I was 20 years ago – and I have absolutely no desire (yet) to wear fluffy ankle slippers – after all, they would play havoc with my bunions.

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The Juicy Pear The latest fresh (and rotten) album releases, reviewed by: Katie – middle-aged mum. Max – grumpy old man. Francis – head-banging ‘yoof.’ Tanya – Reggae and R&B fan. Luke – Classical music fan.

Everything Everything – Arc (Sony RCA) The juice: A second

Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox (Atlantic) The juice: Popular

helping of the quirky Manchester-based foursome. The angular ‘panic pop’ style of their debut has softened, with slower and more classic melodies evident. Flavours: Bloc Party, Elbow, Radiohead, Peter Gabriel.

singer-songwriter’s second album covers various styles, from R&B to rock, ballads to hip hop. A jukebox indeed, but how ‘Unorthodox’? Flavours: Olly Murs, Milli Vanilli, Usher, Katy Perry, The Police.

Katie - This band isn’t everyones cup of tea but I love them: something original and someone who can actually sing - what a tremendous vocal range the lead singer has! This grows on you the more and more you play it. Favourite: ‘Kemosabe’. (4/5)

Tanya - There was always the chance Bruno would fall foul to the 2nd album curse. But on first listen this is a good follow-up and I am happy to add it to my MP3 player. I still heart Bruno, And I think my kids will know all these off by heart as quickly as they did Doo-Wops and Hooligans. Favourite: ‘Locked Out of Heaven.’ (4/5)

Francis - No matter how hard I try, I can’t like this. It has been said that certain vocalists have a voice like a musical instrument. Well this instrument is slightly broken. The voice hits tones that are not pleasing to certainly my ears and it ruins a number of tracks on the album, turning what could be ‘Everything Everything’ into ‘Nothing Nothing’ (2/5) Max - What a refreshing change. These guys seem to completely embrace the ethos of prog rock - different, diverse, brave and scary - but with a pop sensibility. It’s not easy to get into but it’s an album that grows and grows, the voices soar and fall in harmonious waves, which compliment the delicate melodies. ‘The Peaks’ and ‘Don’t Try’ especially are beautiful. (4/5) Pip of the Pops (10/15)


Max - A better title would be ‘Orthodox Junkbox’ - Bruno Mars is a pop pirate, sailing the high seas of music, plundering at will. The problem is, he picks up only the most ordinary bits of flotsam and jetsam and never the really beautiful bits. Not one track here rocks the boat. Lets hope people see the shallowness of his musical formula and row to safety. (1/5) Luke - A super, uplifting album. Loved the first track, ‘Young Girls’, which is brilliantly orchestrated with the big beating drum throughout the track. Thought he might have peaked too soon, but no, it kept my interest throughout. I’m now a fan. (4/5) Pulp of the pops (9/15)

Call 01327 577 101 or 07925 430 001 to advertise.

Come to the Point... for free!

Dingley Races have very kindly given Squash a FREE family ticket value (ÂŁ35) to their 'Easter Meeting' point-to-point on Saturday 30th March.* To have a chance of winning this great day out, answer the following question: What is the name of the person credited with inventing 'point-to-point'? A) Mr Yeats B) Miss Dickenson C) Mr Blake (Clue: read this issue's Local Spotlight...)

Send the answer, with your name, address and telephone number to, or Dingley Easter Competition, Squash Publications, Cedar Hay Farm, School Lane, Yelvertoft NN6 6LH. Closing date: 14/03/2013 The winning entry will be pulled from the Squash bobble hat and winner informed immediately! * Terms and conditions apply.


Crafty Corner Mother’s Day Necklace This is so simple a 6 year-old child can make it – in fact they did, while off school due to the recent snow – thanks Alf! (Made using a kit from the Leicestershire Craft Centre)

In these days of readymade consumerism, it’s good to create and indeed to receive a handmade gift. A necklace is easy, and the one you make, can be as unique and precious as your own mum is to you. 1. Fold cord in half. Thread loop through hole in the pendant and thread the two free ends of the cord through the loop, so when it is drawn tight it is fastened around the pendant. 2. Thread the remaining beads through both strands of cord in any order you like. 3. Add one little bead to the end of each cord and knot the cords so they don’t fall off.

Sponsored by Leicestershire Craft Centre, 10a High Street, Market Harborough LE16 7NJ (Located above Monsoon). The centre offers courses in a wide range of crafts for ages 2-102. Tel. 01858 466 692, or 07587 636 660


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Pots and Plots Spring clean your garden

Freshen your beds Spring officially begins on March 20th. Here are some of the things you should be doing very soon to get your garden back into shape.

Groom your lawn Garden debris can cause diseases to enter the soil. Cleaning up now helps reduce problems with insects and plant sickness later on in the year. Using a light rake, clear away old fruit, leaves and stems. In late March you can scarify to remove thatch or moss and, if it’s dry enough, give your lawn its first cut – just a topping; getting it down gradually to the desired height may take several cuts. Straighten lawn edges with a half-moon.

Prune your ornamentals Best time is after the danger of frost has passed but before growth starts. Do not prune springflowering shrubs themselves (wait until after they finish flowering). Roses might benefit from a trim in February. Prune back ornamental grasses mid-March.


Remove dead stems and leaves. Dig up and remove diseased plants. Till the soil. This aids air and water circulation and the warming of the soil. It also helps you get the weeds out. Once tilled and weeded, feed soil with compost, and top with a good layer of mulch. Mulch helps soil retain moisture, and helps keep weeds out. Top dress plants in containers with fresh compost.

Start planting... and steal a march on pests In late March plant out as seed: onions, leeks, early potatoes, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. And keep them protected; with 2012’s record rainfall, slugs and snails came back with a vengeance - but copper keeps them at bay (it gives them an electric shock). An enclosure of lengths of ordinary copper piping round the patch works well, if slugs and snails have no way through or over it.

And remember... However much good you achieve for your garden, just being back out there again will help make you feel good.

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Trust Mallory! “A problem shared is a problem enjoyed.” Dear JT

“Speak to me only with thine eyes....” Dear Mallory, My sister is at university in London. When I recently went to visit her, we went to a party where I met a girl I really liked. She gave me her number and has agreed to go with me on a date on Valentine’s Day. She has chosen Kew Gardens. The problem is, I am not very good at conversation. It was okay speaking with her for a little while with a lot of music in the background and some other people there, but I am worried about how to talk to her one-on-one for a whole afternoon, or maybe longer. I want my conversation to sound interesting. I know I should ask a girl questions about herself, but could you give me some other tips for good conversation as I am getting nervous (but excited!) as the day approaches. JT East Farndon


Humans are complex creatures. We communicate in many ways: body language, cave paintings, smoke signals, traffic lights, mime art... in short, the list is endless. But for centuries the favourite method of human communication has been... conversation.

you just hear that noise? I thought I heard something. Perhaps I imagined it. Oh, well.’ On the surface this appears to be nothing more than a natural and modest statement, but it will also imperceptibly make you seem that little bit more intriguing.

Adapting to your environment helps. In places like Kew Gardens where there are many large plants, it is always a good idea to subtly stand We use it to express our or sit near one so that likes and there are one or dislikes, our “Look at the two leaves between hopes and you and the other person with a fears, to say person. This helps warm, open, who we are but ‘enigmatic’ create a natural (or are not), mood and at the smile.” but most of same time makes all to establish the other person a treasured want to see and know human bond. For some, more of you. talking at length on any subject is as natural as If there aren’t many plants breathing, and in fact close by - for instance if we easily can do both at you are both on a bus once! For others, it’s more then occasionally glance difficult. aside, as if your eyes were casting a fishing line Anyone can say ‘hello,’ or into the waters of a deep ‘goodbye,’ or ‘fine, thank mystery. Afterwards look you’, but on their own, directly at the person those are just meaningless with a warm, open, but words. Good conversation ‘enigmatic’ smile. involves stringing together thoughts or observations Don’t try too hard. Smile, and putting them into relax, let your date talk. words at regular intervals. In time, the real you will This puts people at ease naturally come across. As and makes you seem more has often been said to me attractive. myself: to be really good company, you don’t always For instance, during any have to say anything at all. nervous silence, you can say, ‘It’s very quiet this Yours Ever, Mallory. afternoon, isn’t it?’ or ‘Did

Please send in some of your many problems, and using her experience and imagination Mallory will do her best to answer them here. Unfortunately Mallory cannot enter into individual correspondence:

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Ooh, Matron! M ed ica l De te cti ve s

I love a good detective show and you will often catch me in the company of Colombo or Inspector Morse. Medics who are also detectives, such as Diagnosis in Mind ‘s Dr Mark Sloan, are a special fictional breed. But in real life they are actually very common. Most doctors and nurses have more than a little Hercule Poirot about them. Partly it is to do with the the many medical mysteries we are faced with. But mostly it is because so many people who come to us get confused, forget, exaggerate or, well... fib. (I am not including people with serious mental health problems in what follows, which is intended to be light-hearted) From personal experience, fibbers fall into 3 categories. 1. The Stiff Upper Lip Brigade. Lovely people, they really don’t want to bother us. They insist they are “fine dear” even when they are obviously not. There are also those that have lived with a serious condition, for instance asthma, for so long that they wait till their lips are grey and they are hardly breathing before they call an ambulance. We love all you soldiers out there, but to get you better, we need to know what is going on. Treating a real if minor ailment can help pre-empt long- term serious ones. We don’t want to have to wait till

‘Matron’ is a qualified A&E and paediatrics nurse with 20 years experience.


you collapse in a heap and are really unwell to find this out. 2. Drama Queens. If you have a runny nose, they have influenza. In an A & E department, they will explain that there is no one else more sick or in need of urgent medical attention. This is why we have Triage nurses: they fish out the facts of who truly needs a high priority. Don’t try and tell them your leg is falling off, when you’ve just walked from the waiting room with only a slight limp. And they can tell by the volume of your protests that you can in fact breathe - quite well as it turns out. 3. The Hyper Anxious Parent. We understand that in every parent’s eyes, there is no one more precious then your little one. In a waiting room full of children, exaggerating a little may get you closer to the head of the queue. But if you try and tell us your baby has been vomiting for two days and not had a drink, we expect to see something resembling a limp crisp - not the smiling, drooling infant we see before us. Dear readers: always let medics know the whole truth - although, in fact, usually you are doing it even without realising it. And don’t worry - there is very little we haven’t seen before.

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Round your way On the beat with the Squash postie Out delivering Squash magazine, you see how other people mark the festive season. Big Christmas trees fill small sitting rooms. Artificial trees, put away in good faith last January, find themselves beside the wheelie bin in December, dumped for a newer, shinier one. More Christmas illuminations in gardens than I have ever seen (more wires and hazards for me to manoeuvre around). Rudolf, Blitzen, Santa, great big fat inflatable snowmen, all jostle for attention. Lots of excited children are chattering about Santa as their tired parents bring them home from school . The parents explain that if the kids don’t do up their shoe laces, Santa won’t be coming. I come across several houses under construction. I hadn’t realised that as no one wants the builders in over Christmas, this is the time when they work on their own homes. It’s too cold to stop and chat with people who have just nipped out to buy a loaf of bread, but the builders and I are wrapped up well against the elements and we have a good natter. I have my lunch one day on a bench by the canal. Armed with cheese and pickle sandwiches and a flask of tea, I watch the world – or at least a few narrow boats drift by. I chat with the pilots and with dog walkers. By the time we’ve chatted about the weather and ‘Kat’ and ‘Alfie’, my 15 minute break turns into 40. Ah well, back on the beat. Maybe I’ll see you around this month.



Squash Concentrate Take time out to tease and tickle your brain!


Juicy Crossword No.8




Last issue’s crossword answers:





Across: 1. Ember 4. Blame 6. Chigley 7. Mud 8. Draped 9. Anew 11. Sari 12. Goblin 15. Orc 16. Aviator 17. Novel 18. Elsie






Down: 1. El Cid 2. Bricabrac 3. Relief 4. Bays 5. Endow 7. Monoliths 10. Cosine 11. Spoon 13. Nerve 14. Rail






Across 1. County in Republic of Ireland (5) 4. Tales told by knitters (5) 6. School avoidance (7) 7. Female pig (3) 8. Behave or move nervously or restlessly (6) 9. Thin strip inside a woodwind instrument (4) 11. Person or thing that ruins or spoils; poison (4) 12. Tool used by blacksmith (6) 15. Edgar Allan..., writer and critic (3) 16. Perplex (7) 17. Patron Saint of Wales (5) 18. Joint between foot and leg (5) 9



Easy Squeezy

7 6

8 4




5 5



2 7




7 1 3

9 9

3 6

1 8






3 4







5 2


6 4


3 5






Brain Squeezer

Sudoku No.8

Down 1. Shape or theme in a design or work of art (5) 2. Overflowing fullness (9) 3. Seeker, especially of food or treasure (6) 4. Toy (4) 5. Join by stitches, verb past tense (5) 7. Style hybrid of Victorian and science fiction (9) 10. Magical world entered via a piece of furniture (6) 11. Two-footed animal (5) 13. Medieval title for land manager (5) 14. Sharp or biting (4)

6 8


9 7

2 6

The Sugar Shack has kindly provided a bountiful basket of sweets and chocolate for answers to this issue’s crossword competition. Email your answers as a list or in scanned form to: by 5pm on 14/03/13. (NB please do not send answers to The Sugar Shack itself). The Sugar Shack Tel: 01858 433 722 21 Adam and Eve Street, Market Harborough LE16 7LT

New Year Competition Thanks for all your entries. The answer was (B): The top speed of a reindeer is 40mph. Plucked from the Squash bobble hat was Lynn Furnival of Market Harborough, who wins a ÂŁ40 voucher for treatments at the Meadow Clinic ( If you are a business and would like to donate a Squash prize or sponsor a page, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us on 01327 577 101, 07925 430 001 or email us at

Squash is published by Squash Publications Ltd. Registered in England No. 07850590 Cedar Hay Farm, School Lane, Yelvertoft, Northants NN6 6LH Tel. 01327 577 101 Email Website The views and opinions expressed in Squash including those claims and opinions expressed in any advertisement are independent of, and do not necessarily reflect, the views and opinions of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of the advertisements placed by advertisers. Editorial material does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publishers and neither editorial nor advertisements are to be read as recommendations on the part of the publishers. All advertisements and editorial are published in good faith and advertisers are asked to provide advertisements that are accurate, legal and honest. No part of Squash may be reproduced without permission.


. The 10 Top Tips..

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Make sure your planned event is fantastic, not a fiasco. 1. Once you’ve found what you think maybe a suitable venue, check the date you want is available, or further planning could involve wasting your time. 2. If at all possible, visit the venue beforehand. It’s a great way to alert yourself to possible problems or requirements, and of course to check the quality of the venue and staff. 3. Check if the venue has an ‘events co-ordinator’. Being able to discuss the details of your event with a dedicated member of staff will make the event planning process a great deal easier – being passsed from pillar to post can become very frustrating!

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8. If you plan on making a regular booking with the venue, ask if the price is flexible – these days loyalty is often rewarded. 9. Ask your ‘events coordinator’ to re-confirm all the details with you a few days before, just to make sure nothing has been missed and everything is in hand. 10. If you had a positive experience and would go back, don’t keep it to yourself. Recommend and refer to colleagues, friends and acquaintances. Good word always get back, is always appreciated by staff and management, and you may find yourself with a nice discount or added extra next time you book.

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The Squash Market Harborough  

The Squash Market Harborough

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