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darling sep - oct 2013 FREE

MACMILLAN MARVELS! Our Inspiring Women

WILL & KATE’S Holiday Paradise


Absolute Abode

MISS LOLLY’S Money Matters

TAM’S TIPS Social Marketing

TAKE NOTE It’s Festival Time


Our Own ‘James Bond’

CAUSING A STIR Spoons on Coombe Lane


From Grip


wimbledon’s magazine for local women |


Facial Sculpting & before

Dr Nadine Skipp - Age 28 years

GETTING OLDER is a FACT of LIFE! When your appearance no longer reflects how you feel inside... it’s time for change! Non-surgical facial aesthetic treatments are a non-invasive and effective way to improve how you look and feel without the need for surgery. Dr Nadine Skipp offers a wide range of non-surgical treatments, for your face, neck, hands, and skin.


Anti-Ageing Treatment after

Dr Nadine Skipp - Age 48 years

Slow down your ageing process AURA Kingstons House 15 Coombe Road Kingston upon Thames Surrey KT2 7AB 020 8549 5710

Treatments carried out over the years: • Wrinkle Reduction • Lip Augmentation • Chin Augmentation • Cheek Fillers • Pigmentation Elimination • Eyelash Thickening & Lengthening Ask the expert- Dr Nadine Skipp at AURA Book in for your FREE consultation Check out our video at | sep-oct 2013









Divorce/Dissolution of Civil Partnerships • Cohabitation • Separation Agreements Children • Matrimonial Property & Finance • Pre-Nuptial Agreements • Wills

PEACOCK CO Solicitors PEACOCK & CO&Solicitors - Y O U R L O C A L F A M I LY E X P E R T S -

- Y O U R L O C A L F A M I LY E X P E R T S -

94 High Street, Wimbledon Village SW19 5EG 94 High Street, Telephone: 020Wimbledon 8944 5290Village SW19 5EG Telephone: 020 8944 5290

editor’s letter Dear Darling Reader

Cover Girl Shawn Stone Photography by James Russell ABIPP

Publisher Darling Magazine UK Karine Torr Editor Darling Wimbledon Karine Torr 020 8739 0059 Advertising 07930 396356 Email Contributor Kate Greenhalgh Kathryn Murray-Bruce Photography Taylor Torr Editor Darling Cobham & Esher Philippa Hennessy 07772 633339 Design Director Hermina Williams Talitha Minchin Printer Aquatint/bsc Distribution Three Colours Ltd Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Darling Magazine does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form – electronic, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from the publisher.

What a blissful summer! Andy, The Ashes and all those long, hot days when you wondered if it would ever end. But come the chastening winds of September and our sleepy burb has sprung to life in the bustle of back to school, back to work and back to the traffic. And sooner than we imagined possible we are at it again, our diaries scribbled to overflowing with new challenges, new distractions and new excitements. So sharpen your pencils, darling readers, it’s time to take note of the arty autumn in store. Look out for Merton Arts Trail and ArtShed on the Piazza, the fabulous Wimbledon BookFest, the International Wimbledon Music Festival in Nov (growing more important with every year), Handbags for Hospice at Cannizaro House, and the unmissable Abundance Fruit Day – see details in our Diary section. And bubbling over in this issue you’ll also find good stories, new offers on our high streets, and plenty of familiar faces, a little more tanned than usual. We are also delighted to announce that we made it to the finals in two categories in the all new Merton Best Business Awards this year! So until next time when we’ll be on the brink of Christmas and in a wintery mood. Karine Torr Editor |

CONTENTS 6 9 11 13 15 16 16 17 19 20 21 23 26 32 34 35 37 39 41 41 42 42 43 44 45 46

Inspiring Women of Wimbledon are Merton Champs! Human trafficking in the 21st Century Good enough for Will & Kate – well… take a look Grip Hair and Body know their Blondes Spoons full of wonderful treats on Coombe Lane Matt Makes Music – record your songs today! Social Media made easy with Tam Jackson Merton Arts Trail – visit our local artists Getting kids excited about sport Ever wanted to teach Pilates? Lisa Lamberti wants you Electromagnetic radiation – are you aware of it? Miss Lolly’s sound financial family advice Wimbledon Social Scenes – Out and About Leasehold tips from Hart Brown Badgers and bats affecting your planning application? Kirsty McMorron, transforming your abode Builder Jason Coetzee takes you to the bottom of the garden Want your dream kitchen before Christmas? Alex Corbisiero – celebrating his local Hall roots Paul Mendelson talks Bridge Darling Magazine Hotspots - get your copy here Important local info at your fingertips How our international music festival is taking off Diary page - What’s On for autumn Classified page - local business Kate Greenhalgh – is she actually having more fun? | sep-oct 2013


inspiring women




Marvellous Macmillan Merton moves mountains By Chairwoman Liza Roe

Chairwoman Liza Roe

Left to right: Hamish Turner, Margaret Payne, Linda Defriez, Jan Phillips, Amanda Hamlyn, Jennifer Newman, Liza Roe, Lindi Roe, Marion Godwin, Marsha Beresford, Zoe Penny


come from a line of fundraisers. My Gran held garden parties to raise money for distressed servicewomen during the war. She went from door to door collecting a slice of butter here, an ounce of sugar there (during Rationing) and baked cakes by the dozen. My Mum makes marmalade, jam and the most delicious lemon curd for various local charities. When my first child started school they were startled to find such an eager volunteer on their hands. At the school gate, a friend mentioned that I should consider joining her committee and putting my energy to proper use. She was at that time the chairwoman of Macmillan Cancer Support Merton. Years later, I am fully converted to the cause. I have lost friends and relatives to cancer and have even more who have overcome the disease, many with the help of Macmillan. I work with an amazing group of people. We know we make a difference to many local people’s lives.


sep-oct 2013 |

At our AGM in April, we were told that we were Macmillan Cancer Support’s Committee of the Year. I think we all smiled and carried on, and it was only when reading back the minutes we realised what had actually been said. As there are over 800 Macmillan groups this is a serious achievement. Head Office’s representative probably thought we were very laid back – when we were actually trying to hold to a promise to keep the meeting short in order that a certain MP could get to another meeting on time! Over the past 10 years we have raised over £700,000, all of which has gone to fund Macmillan Nurses and Specialists working in the Borough of Merton or hospitals (such as the Royal Marsden) used by Merton residents. There are many reasons why people join a Macmillan fundraising group; some have first hand knowledge of the wonderful work carried out by the Macmillan

inspiring women Nurses, some come from a medical background and some because of friendship with an existing member of the group. Whatever the reason, all the members of the committee feel that together they can make a positive difference to the lives of local people affected by a diagnosis of cancer. As we get a little older we are increasingly faced with cancer. Happily, recent medical advances have meant improved treatments and long term prospects for cancer patients. Macmillan is there to help increasing numbers of patients and their families to cope with the complexities of a diagnosis of cancer. This requires a lot of money, which is why we are always trying to think of another way to raise funds! The Mayor of Merton is our President. The active committee currently comprises 10 women and 1 man - Hamish Turner. As committees go, it is pretty democratic. We try to share the grisly tasks (washing up) and Hamish gets the manly jobs (directing traffic)....

Annually we hold two Fairs (Spring and Christmas), a concert with the Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra, a Quiz Night and BBQ. Add to this: lunches with speakers, a Christmas party and two or more public collections. From the 7th – 10th November we will also be holding an Art Exhibition in The Village Hall Gallery, Lingfield Road. Details are on our website. We are all looking forward to September 27th and the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. Last year, £15M was raised nationally and more Merton hosts than ever generously took part. If you want to make sure your funds go towards a local Macmillan Nurse please put the magic code M41 on the paying in slip and let us know so we can confirm it. If you would like to help us to continue to make a difference to local people’s lives check out the website and come and join in!

RECYCLE YOUR JUNK! Join an Annie Sloan Specialist Chalk Paint™ Workshop 020 8947 5115

To find out more about our FREE workshops please contact us at or call 020 8942 4137 {{ 31st March 2013 }} {{ 10:00am }} Home Instead Senior Care – Wimbledon and Kingston  

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TAKEN Exclusive interview with Chong Kim, victim of human trafficking Josephine Williamson reports


t was after seeing the movie 'Taken' that I became passionate about the issue. The movie tells the story of two American girls on a trip to Paris who get abducted into trafficking. At that stage, my daughter was a teenager attending Wimbledon High and the thought of her, or any of her friends, disappearing on a European trip was beyond my imagination. I believe, as parents, we have a responsibility to equip ourselves with the facts about trafficking and to be prepared to talk about them. We caught up with Chong Kim whose life the film ‘Eden’ was based on. Chong was in London over the summer doing TV and radio interviews, promoting the A21 organisation as well as working with British icon, Emma Thompson, to create awareness. We also met Charlie Blythe, UK A21 Campaign Manager, who shared some shocking statistics. With an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe, there are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history. Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry (second to drugs), generating an estimated $32 billion a year.

The Film ‘Eden’ out Sept 9th on DVD and Blu-ray, is Chong Kim’s real life story about being trafficked. She travels the world campaigning and educating.

Karine Torr and Chong Kim

Every 30 seconds another person becomes the victim of human trafficking. Men, women and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labour against their will. The average age of a trafficking victim is 12. Sadly, just 1 in 100,000 European traffickers are ever convicted and only 1-2% of trafficking victims are rescued. Charlie pointed out that the dangers were ever-present, even right here on our doorstep. A Leatherhead couple, who made more than a million pounds running a brothel empire, were convicted for sex trafficking in 2010 and, more recently, an Oxford gang was convicted of ‘grooming’ girls as young as 12. The Darling interview with Chong Kim will be on the Darling website from the 4th Sept. Contact Chong’s PR Louise Rivers for more details on ‘Eden’ at

Josephine Williamson, Louise Rivers (Maven Publicity) and Charlie Blythe (A21 Campaign) | sep-oct 2013



sep-oct 2013 |

travel - promo

North Island

Nostalgia… Fit for Prince William and Kate’s honeymoon

“Far away, a thousand miles into the Indian Ocean, is an island so beautiful that it makes the heart sing. The beaches sparkle in the sunlight, the coral sands are washed each day by a frothing, crystal turquoise sea and inland, the granite rock mountains and forests are shaded by palms and home to giant tortoises (with tiny babies)… this is a magical place and the memories of our (too short!) family holiday here will stay with us all forever,” say the Harris family from Putney. Such natural glory does not come without a cost; it has taken a huge amount of work to rehabilitate the island to its current state and the brilliant people who worked with Wilderness Safaris to envisage, design and construct the heavenly accommodation here were truly inspired. They dreamed of restoring this granitic bolt of paradise to its original, endemic species, borrowing tortoises and enticing birds after an impassioned rat-killing spree, and with style and grace beyond this, the island accommodation seeks to blend in and accentuate a sense of utter privacy and unblemished desert island charm. All structures are created with wood, glass and shells, with stone and brass and all heavily pared back to a deeply satisfying style. Nothing man made is permitted to mar the beach views. Sunbeds and shades are back within the canopy of green, the glorious hand-crafted pool is cut into the rocky mountain side, shrouded with trees, dappled with shade and with beautiful views over the beach below. So with all of this in mind, it is not so hard to understand why it was voted ‘No1 in the World, Best of the Best’ in the Conde Nast Traveller Reader awards a few years ago, and why the young Prince William brought his bride here for their honeymoon. The beauty and privacy and super style combine to make it a destination to enjoy, and for the memories to linger deliciously forever. Africa Odyssey Tailor-made family travel to Africa and the Indian Ocean  Please call us on 020 8704 1216 or come and see us in our Putney offices. | sep-oct 2013


Keeping on track after summer Jane Plan, your local diet delivery service, shares some tips With the cooler weather, it’s easy to pile on the pounds as you layer up the jumpers - but Jane Plan’s tips are here to keep you on track! · If a not-so-flattering holiday photo has inspired you to diet, pin it to the fridge for constant motivation! · Keep a daily food diary to remind you of your goals and progress. · Finally, buy the dress of your dreams slightly too small, there’s no better motivation than a gorgeous fashion piece waiting in your wardrobe! Following these is a great start but, if you find yourself struggling, get in touch and let us deliver a bespoke, delicious and calorie-controlled diet to your door. Losing weight has never been so simple. 020 8127 4543 Free delivery in your area, quote Darling

beauty - promo

DON'T BLEACH YOUR HAIR, BE A 'NATURAL' BLONDE! Grip Salon, Natural Colour experts tell you how

What is it about iconic blondes? Mae West was the first star to have her hair colour linked to her sex appeal. Would Marilyn have been as iconic without her platinum blonde hair? Today we love Reese, Cameron and Charlize – all distinctive and gorgeous modern-day blondes. But how can you keep your buttery locks in good nick too? At Grip we specialise in creating natural looking blonde highlights without bleaches. •

Did you know that the "Average Woman" is taking five chemical hits on hair and body as soon as she steps in the shower, with another 15+ hits during the course of her day. It's not just the one chemical hit but a combination of all of them that is doing the damage.

We are damaging ourselves and the environment every day without even knowing it.

Our colours are long lasting due to their low PH. Our 'ammonia free,' low PH colours produce blonde hair that is shiny and soft without that harsh stripped look that traditional ammonia based blondes have.

So now you won't be lying when you tell your friends you're a 'natural blonde’!

Book your FREE 15 MIN hair consultation now with one of our natural colour experts. We have all been colouring hair for a very long time here in Wimbledon and have seen other salons come and

Remember to quote ‘DARLING’ after your first treatment to receive your FREE GOODIE BAG packed with lovely ‘organic’ treats!

Our local model, Debbie Blott, has been coming to Grip for years now and loves the way natural colour expert Theo does her hair

go. We like to explain what can or cannot be done to your hair. At Grip we believe in ‘telling you how it is’ so that you are not mislead. While you're at it, why not book your FREE SKIN CONSULTATION with our fantastic Skin Care Therapist who will change the way you treat your skin forever. We are damaging ourselves and the environment every day without even realising it, but there are safer ways to look beautiful. Join us in our passions. Hair, Health, Environment. Grip Hair & Body Wimbledon Village SW19 4QN T: 020 8296 0210 E: | sep-oct 2013


Special Offer: Half price cut and colour Stephen was ‘Tony’ at Headmasters Wimbledon Village for 20 years and has now started up his new Project B Salon.


an exclusive new facial treatment combining the Expert Caci Ultra Mechanical Techniques with the unique and results driven Murad Skincare. Adored by Barbara Windsor, Lisa Snowdon and Jennifer Lopez, this fabulous duo delivers maximum results in minimum time with just 6 treatments.


For VIP event and product details: Tel: 02089465120 364 Coombe Lane

Quote “Darling” to be in with a chance of winning your first treatment! 33 Church Rd Wimbledon Village SW19 5DQ 020 8971 2150

Just A Spoon Full Of Coombe Lane tearoom has new owner Experienced chef and entrepreneur Ian Shier, purchased Truckles on the Coombe Lane parade about

Ian & Una Shier with their two year old daughter Layla

two months ago and he has great plans to make it even more irresistible to locals. “It took 18 months from the time we made the first offer on the deli to completion,” says Ian, “but it was well worth the wait.” Ian decided to go into the café business about ten years ago. He has owned eight different restaurants and six coffee shops which he runs with his partner Una. Rebranding as ‘Spoons’, this delightful coffee shop has had a fresh update on the décor and, importantly, on the menu side will be changing the dishes with a hot daily special and some fresh oriental salads all

Delight! homemade. The fresh cakes will still be home baked and Ian plans to introduce a traditional afternoon tea. “I have a special tea menu planned together with iced teas, coffees and frappuccinos, yogurts and even freshly squeezed orange juice. The staff have been fantastic and very supportive so the transition has been very simple.” Opening until 5:30pm from 1st September Spoons Tearoom 255 Coombe Lane SW20 0RH 020 8605 2175

PERSONAL TRAINING Richard trains clients in Wimbledon, Raynes Park, Putney and Kingston, @ home, in the park or at a private studio from £25p/hr

and much, much more..

Find out more at…. | sep-oct 2013


Is there a Musician in the house? Ever thought of recording your own songs with an expert?

Social Media Magic with Tam Darling’s social media expert Social media is no longer a trend, it’s a tool that enhances your brand, your profile and your customer engagement.

The benefit It’s a great way to listen to your customers. Big high street chains go to great lengths to man their twitter accounts like they would their call centres as a customer service portal. Giving your customers an outlet to share their experiences can really build brand loyalty.

“Matt is just awesome to work with and I always feel comfortable and inspired in his studio. “

Hear what people are saying about you Your reputation depends on it and responding with a thank you when the advocates saying great things and dealing with disgruntled customers as soon as possible, can work wonders for your reputation. Miss it and you could taint the way your customers feel about you.

Ella Eyre – number 1 UK Singles artist featured on Rudimental’s song “Waiting All Night” which went to #1 on the UK charts.

Are you a band, solo artist, instrumentalist, choir, son or daughter who would love to have your songs produced or just recorded professionally but don’t know how to go about it?

Find great suppliers In an economic down turn your business could benefit from finding the next great supplier or service that could really enhance your business and your bottom line. Make the connection.

There just happens to be a gem of a recording studio, local to Wimbledon, which is available to hire at an affordable price. Engineer/ producer Matt Marston will turn your music into a professional sounding work of art. Matt has worked with the likes of Emeli Sandé, Matt Cardle and Lisa Marie Presley, as well as artists from different genres of music. A softly spoken Canadian, he is an accomplished musician in his own right. Hourly or daily rates available and all welcome. For enquiries please call Matt on 07804 221597

We would love to hear from you with your suggestions for the next instalment. Tweet @tamjacksonhq or pop on over to


sep-oct 2013 |

Merton Arts Trail



Two weekends of free exhibitions and open studios with over 140 local artists and 70 venues.

21, 22 & 28, 29 September 2013 Create your very own Trail by visiting the MAT online catalogue and map at

M A T Wendy Bliss & Chrissie Craig welcome you!


The home of home fragrances This year’s Merton Arts Trail welcomes over 140 artists to the festival – they all open their studio doors to the public across the last two weekends of September for you to visit under the umbrella of one big colourful arts' fest, sponsored by Hawes & Co and Marcus Beale Architects. Of particular interest is the exhibition at Merton Abbey - the Chapter House & Craft Gallery & stalls, curated by Wendy Bliss. Wendy & Chrissie Craig have been working tirelessly all year to organise this not-for-profit event for the benefit of our (till now, hidden) thriving artistic community, and have been quite overwhelmed by the interest in the arts here on our own doorstep. The event is completely free, and it is sponsored by Hawes & Co., (look out for their boards advertising the participating locations), Robert Holmes, WSM Tax Advisers and Marcus Beale Architects, who are also supporting an exhibition of site-specific art by 10 artists in the (rarely opened) ruins of the Chapter House at Merton Priory at the Abbey Mills.

Visit us at 39b High Street, Wimbledon Village, London, SW19 5BY T: 0208 947 5179

a flame becomes perfume... | When sep-oct 2013 17

Independent co-education for children from 4 to 16 years

Somewhere your child would really like to be 020 8394 6144


thoughtful individual kind adventurous honest ambitious

fun independent

loyal hard working courteous

kids sports - promo

Run faster, jump higher and get

results with Sport Science According to sports gurus of all disciplines, if young athletes focus on getting stronger and faster and learn to control their bodies through running, jumping and direction change drills, as implemented in the Sport Science program, they will make huge improvements in their performance on the sports pitch. And the results are impressive… In Sport Science's spring term, children of differing ages and abilities saw results by winning and improving their standing at various school sports days. It was wonderful to see and hear the pride and excitement from both the children and their parents.


he new buzz word of the moment is Sport Science. Why? Because it is helping girls and boys of all abilities aged 7 to 13 years to become better, fitter and stronger athletes by teaching them the FUNdamentals of sport. Sport Science's Cliff Young, Biomechanics Trainer and Level 3 Fitness Coach, creates bespoke programs based on age and ability to train kids to measurably improve their speed, agility and fitness. There is a focus on learning the basics of all sports – acceleration, sprinting, jumping, balance, agility, changing direction, co-ordination and reaction times – in a fun way. Mastering these skills helps children perform that much better on pitches, fields and courts of all types. Kids, parents and coaches can monitor progress through the state of the art technology Sport Science uses, including digital speed gates and heart rate monitors.

In Sport Science's fully-booked week-long Summer Camps, every child improved their times, in some cases quite considerably. The highlight, however, was witnessing the smiles and laughter from the children, and their pride in achieving their certificates. Clubs and schools are now asking for Sport Science to provide sessions for their sports teams, to keep them ahead of the competition. If you would like more information regarding Sport Science and what we do then please either contact Jenny Walker at or visit the website For bookings please contact Isabella Murray at or call 07543 262 037. The Sport Science autumn programme begins on 16 September – book now! | sep-oct 2013


DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A PILATES TEACHER? Lisa Lamberti from The Pilates Clinic chats to Darling


he Pilates Clinic, a stunning studio in Wimbledon, is now hosting courses for BASI Pilates teacher training. If you are interested in becoming a Pilates Teacher, and training with the best of the best from around the world, then get in touch. BASI Pilates is an internationally renowned Pilates education centre with Rael Isacowitz at the head of it. Rael is a leader in the world of Pilates and has been developing the method for over 30 years.

The course can be done as mat work only, or as a comprehensive course covering teaching on all of the equipment. At The Pilates Clinic, our desire is to see intelligence return to movement. Many of us move without thinking, but if we were to understand how our bodies should move, we would grow into better habits of moving intelligently, keeping us away from injury and getting rid of old pains. Come and try out a private session so we can see what your body needs. After that you can do semi private sessions or group classes, depending on what's best for you. We will help you to find the package that suits you. We look forward to meeting you! Contact us on: T: 07984 920232


sep-oct 2013 |

Protect Yourself from Electromagnetic Fields

By Alessandro Ferullo, Health Practitioner and Qigong teacher

Earth’s Magnetic Energy Many years ago, we used to walk and sleep on the earth and every cell has evolved independently on the Earth’s magnetic charge. We could not survive without the earth’s magnetic field. What are some of the other benefits of good sleep? Nowadays, we rarely walk on the earth and we have created energy fields, like mobile phone waves, Wi-Fi, computers, etc., that compete and disrupt the earth’s energy field. These disrupt our energy and affect our health and immune system. Behaviour problems in schools are often a result of an over stimulating environment created by computers, Wi-Fi, electromagnetic fields, mobile phone masts and bad lighting. Rebalance your energy while you walk, sit and sleep Nikken, a Japanese magnetic technology company going for over 38 years, has developed products that mimic natural energies we are given from the sun and the earth. They are safe, noninvasive and include magnetic (earth’s energy), far infrared (sun’s energy), air (negative ions), light (full spectrum daylight) and water (alkaline) technologies.

More about Nikken Nikken is the top provider of wellness technologies to the Japanese. Since 1996, the company has expanded in the UK and across Europe and is now in over 35 countries. 40 million people are using magnetic technology worldwide. Please call for a free demonstration of our Sleep System or ask for details on our regular Wellness Talks in Wimbledon at Skin + Care, 25 Church Rd, Wimbledon Village, SW19 5DQ Street parking available - free after 7pm Alessandro Ferullo Independent Wellness Consultant alessandroferullo tel: 07747 113305 email:

The Sleep System in particular creates an energy of alignment and re-alignment while you sleep. The magnetic field penetrates the body boosting the charge of healthy cells and, thus, the body's balance can be restored. When in a deep sleep on the magnetic pad and under the far infrared duvet, the body has the possibility to heal, restore and recharge itself. Nikken has technologies to sit on too - great for the car, home or office, as well as insoles to walk on, all passive use - no need to change our lifestyle. | sep-oct 2013


020 8687 5745

020 8687 5745

business – promo

5 Financial Things

Every Family Should Know 1. How to Make University Costs Manageable LV reported the average student will have £53,330 of debt! Investing each month will help to reduce the debt your child takes on. Ideally, start from birth. If you invested £200 per month per child wisely, you should have enough to cover the whole lot. 2. Save Money On Your Life Cover Life cover prices have drastically reduced thanks to us all living longer. Plus, this January, it became even cheaper for men. If you haven’t reviewed your cover, it’s worth it as your needs might have changed and you might be paying too much. 3. Children Can Have ISAS Too You can put money aside for children using the new Junior ISA. They are a long term savings plan and there are two types. Firstly, the junior cash ISA takes no risks and pays interest on the money you save. However, the returns on a stocks and shares junior ISA depend on the investment. You can pay in £3720 this tax year. The big warning is the ISA belongs to your child and at 18 they can spend it how they want!

4. You Need A Will – NO BUTS!! Ceri Vokes, Wealth Planning partner at Withers LLP explains "If you die without a will, the first thing your heirs might notice is a large inheritance tax bill. Also, living arrangements may no longer be as simple. Your spouse may own the house with your parents or your children, who will take their full share as soon as they turn 18. If you have not appointed guardians for your children, they could end up being looked after by someone you don't believe is suitable. If you and your partner were not married, your partner will be entitled to nothing at all.” 5. Write Your Insurances In Trust! Trusts aren’t just for trust fund babies. Less than 10% of plans are written into trust. This is surprising given the advantages. Usually it’s free to do and won’t take long. The benefits are that, on death, the money will fall out of your estate and, therefore, no tax is due, plus it will pay out quicker to exactly who you want it to. Speak to an adviser about which trust is right for you.

SPECIAL DARLING OFFER To arrange a complimentary 30 minute review please email me at: Please make sure you quote “darling”

"Miss Lolly” is a Chartered Independent Financial Adviser and also a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) | sep-oct 2013


Meridian Sound with Style. TechniQuest Expertise.

Meridian has a unique reputation for Britishdesigned home entertainment systems stretching back over 35 years, combining superb sound with breathtaking design and elegance. TechniQuest of Wimbledon Village can specify, design and install the perfect Meridian entertainment system for your needs, from a powerful touchscreendriven Meridian Digital Media System to a movie industry quality Home Cinema installation. Arrange a personal demonstration at our showroom at 26 High Street, Wimbledon Village, take a seat in the Digital Theatre and experience how Meridian and TechniQuest can bring sound, vision, style and expertise to your home.

To arrange an appointment for a personal demonstration: T 020 8944 9040 E W


Consultations are available by prior appointment


26, High Street, Wimbledon Village, London SW19 5BY T 020 8944 9040 E info W



L-R: Charles Grimaldi, artists Jayson Lilley & Girlie and Jeff Ward

L-R: Laura Reeve, Marja-Leena Toseland and Lynn Rowland


L-R: Penny Webber, Lydia Webb, Julie Gutteridge & Martine Mansourian (front) celebrating Andy Murray’s portrait done entirely out of strawberries and cream.

L-R: Jane Berry, Fiona Ferguson and Darling Editor Cobham & Esher, Philippa Hennessy



L-R: Kirsty Chapman, Rosie Harkin and Richard Holden at the New Wimbledon Theatre

L-R: Elizabeth Bessant, artist, William Bessant with Michael Christensen and Caroline Geraerts


L-R: Karin Forbes, former Deputy Mayor of Merton, Dr Nihara Krause (Stem4 founder), James Cracknell, Bev Turner, John Sargeant, Deputy Mayor of Merton and Debbie Blott



L-R: Bernadette Washer, Carole Stone, Karine Torr and Geoff Johnson

L-R: Charmaine Sainsbury, CEO Age UK Merton, Clare Jefferies, Director Home Instead and Clare Gummett


‘HAND BAGS FOR HOSPICES’ Designer Bags Auction Sale Cannizaro House 3rd Oct 6 - 8pm handbags forhospices .com L-R: Sue Baker, organiser with sponsors Marcus Beale, Frances Beale, from Marcus Beale Architects, Clive Moon and Teen Frazer from Savills, with one of the judges, Nick Toon and Johnjoe McFadden, Chairman of the Wimbledon Film Club

THE STUDY PREPARATORY ALUMNAE PARTY CELEBRATING 120 YEARS WITH 400 GUESTS AT SPENCER HOUSE Current Head, left, Susan Pepper, Lindsay Bond (Head 1984 - 2003) and Joyce Nicol (Head 2003 - 2010)

L-R: Governors, Chrissy Facon, Simon Pole, Susan Pepper (Head), Kate Greenhalgh and Sam Loggie, Study Marketing/PR

L-R: Monyra Ispahani, Ann Hughes, Sue Hall, Nadia Bishti, Val Bailey


L-R: Helen Clark Bell, Wendy Bliss, Gina Conway, Sally Warren & Suzie Wood

ALEX’S PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION ‘ESCAPE’ PERSONAL STYLING AND WELLNESS EVENT AT CANNIZARO (RIGHT) L-R: Nikki Baker, Claire Cosgrove and Janice Mohr LEFT: Nick Holmes with Alex, the photographer at the Wimbledon Village Gallery on Lingfield Road

The first event for its “old girls” for over a decade. The 400 guests ranged from ladies in their mid 80’s who had attended the school during the war, a few of whom had been evacuated during the Blitz, to twelve year olds who left the school just last year. Left - Cannizaro House was named Merton Business of the Year 2013 in The Federation of Small Business's recent 2013 London awards. L-R Stephen Alambritis, Isabel Hargreaves & Manager, Jeff Ward


L-R: Sarah Austin, Tina Hughes, Hosts - Zaira Aceviski, and Dr Terry Loong



Wimbledon Women In Business networking stand, meaning business! Shoppers: Jack, Max, Michael, Isabel & Isabel Hammond

L-R: Chanelle Muslu (Bellissima), Jason Sandals (Fit8) and Vici Hoban, Tim Read, Alfie Read & baby Beatrice Read Martine Mansourian & her dog Gaston win look-alike first prize!

Singer Malory Torr with fans, Eliza Walker and Ella Matthews

gÜâx iÉÄâÇàxxÜ YÉâÇwtà|ÉÇ [tÄÄÉãxxÇ UtÄÄ Friday 25th October 7pm at Sandown Park Racecourse. Celebrity hosts, Devilish Dinner, and Hair-raising live music, Wicked Auctions, Ghoulish surprises & Cash Bar all supporting Merton children in sport. £75 p.p. Dress code: Black Tie or Spooky Fancy Dress

L-R: Elizabeth Gash, Flynn Gash, Alex Kiszczuk and Daryll Westen seen at the Quadriga Drivers Club Show at Cannizaro House


L-R: Sara Samiento, Xavier Samiento, TaylorTorr, and Headmistress, Heather Hanbury

Email for tickets and info VISITING OUR UNIQUE POLKA THEATRE

Gareth Gates & daughter Missy

Jo Belloli & Frank Skinner


L-R: Teen Frazer, Jane Uglow, Paul Capra, Debbie Knight and Merete Capra L-R: Teen Teen Frazer, L-R: Frazer, Jane Jane Uglow, Uglow, Paul Paul Capra, Capra, Debbie Debbie Knight Knight and and Merete Merete Capra Capra

L-R: John Nouri, Jenny de Haan, Estelle Nouri, James Stovold Nigel Simpson de Haan, Estelle Nouri, James Stovold L-R:and John Nouri, L-R: John Nouri, Jenny Jenny de Haan, Estelle Nouri, James Stovold and Nigel Simpson and Nigel Simpson

Some of the local Wimbledon Wimbledon Athenamembers: members: Front L-R: Some Some of of the the local local Wimbledon Athena Athena members: Front Front L-R: L-R: Claire Cotton-May, Alice Wood, Wood, SueSaker, Saker,Lisa LisaLamberti, Lamberti, Julie Claire Cotton-May, Alice Sue Claire Cotton-May, Alice Wood, Sue Saker, Lisa Lamberti, Julie Julie Eltham (Director) Back: Katherine KatherineCarroll, Carroll,Faiza FaizaHasan, Hasan,Kirsty Kirsty Eltham (Director) Back: Eltham (Director) Back: Katherine Carroll, Faiza Hasan, Kirsty McMorron, Clare Marie Jones Jones IsabelHargreaves Hargreaves &Julie Julie Eltham McMorron, McMorron, Clare Marie Marie Jones Isabel Isabel Hargreaves & & Julie Eltham Eltham

Back row - Cis Nijenhuis and Sophie Beck-Petersen Back Back row row -- Cis Cis Nijenhuis Nijenhuis and and Sophie Sophie Beck-Petersen Beck-Petersen Front row: Janice Everitt, Kate Miranda, Nicola Rees and Front row: Janice Everitt, Kate Miranda, Nicola Front row: Janice Everitt, Kate Miranda, Nicola Rees Rees and and Hattie Weeks Hattie Weeks Hattie Weeks




L-R: Manager, William Blyth, Natalie L-R: Manager, William Blyth, Natalie L-R: Manager, William Blyth, Natalie Gunning and Casper Mortensen Gunning and Casper Mortensen Gunning and Casper Mortensen

L-R: L-R: Editor Editor Karine Karine Torr, Torr, Susan Susan Cornelius, Cornelius, L-R: Editor Karine Susan Debbie Knight and Robyn Falck Debbie Knight andTorr, Robyn FalckCornelius, Debbie Knight and Robyn Falck

Organiser and singer Melissa Organiser and jazz jazz Melissa Organiser andsinger jazz singer Melissa James with raconteur John Mager James with raconteur John James with raconteur Mager John Mager

WANT TO BE SEEN IN WIMBLEDON! Advertise your WANT BEBE SEEN ININ WIMBLEDON! Advertise youryour WANTTO TO SEEN WIMBLEDON! Advertise Want to be seen in Wimbledon? business in business in business in Etc - sunglasses ad pls h Darling Darling today. today. Etc - sunglasses ad pls hbusiness in darling today! Advertise your Darling today. Etc - sunglasses ad pls h 07930 396356

Skin expert this month’s cover girl specialist certified This month’s darling cover girl, Shawn Stone is a Wimbledon woman, through and through. Shawn started her business Radiance Health and Beauty in 2007. She is a qualified Skin Expert/Aesthetician with Dermalogica specialist and Skin Expert credits. Always busy supporting other local businesses and charities within our community, Shawn is a networking genius, always connecting people and making things come alive in our neck of the woods. After having surgery in May she went on to do a 10km run/walk for The Lunchbowl Charity and helped to run a stand for the Wimbledon Women in Business at the Wimbledon Village Fair. With over 18 years of industry experience treating clients in the local area, it has always been Shawn's dream to bring perfection in service and quality of treatments to the very highest possible level.

Target Your Skin Concerns Today at:

Radiance Health and Beauty 342 Kingston Road Wimbledon London SW20 8LR | sep-oct 2013


legal - promo

Leasehold properties explained Helena Woodward-Vukcevic from Hart Brown provides her top tips for owners


sep-oct 2013 |

Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (490290) Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Helena Woodward-Vukcevic

Did you know that you may not be able to sell your property if your lease has less than 80 years to run? If you are buying a leasehold property, you may not be able to obtain a mortgage if the term on the lease is short.

As a leasehold property owner, do you know how long is left on your lease? Over the period of time that you own your property, the length of your lease is continuing to decrease.

Why is action required? Your lease is the legal agreement between you and your freeholder. Should the lease come to an end, the ownership of the property passes back to the freehold landlord. Your lease is also security for lenders who may require that it has at least 70 years left to run. You, or any prospective purchaser, may experience difficulties getting a mortgage when you come to sell or re-mortgage your property if you have a shorter lease.

Why contact Hart Brown? Getting specialist advice can save time, cost and stress. Extending a lease involves a formal legal process, particularly if you are not able to agree terms with your landlord. Getting it wrong can be expensive. At Hart Brown, our team of specialist solicitors can advise and assist you in extending your lease in addition to helping you through the process.

Lease Valuation As part of the process, you will need to obtain a valuation from a qualified valuer and advice on the correct premium which you would need to pay. At Hart Brown, we can offer to deal with the whole process on your behalf including arranging the valuation. We work closely with suitable experts in the context of a reciprocal referral arrangement, although we neither pay nor receive any money for these referrals. We do so in order to ensure as seamless a process as possible for you. You are, of course, free to use a different valuer if you prefer. We also have a dedicated website

Why extend now?

where you can learn more about leasehold properties.

It is cheaper to extend a lease with more than 80 years left. When the lease term drops below 80 years, the cost of extending a lease can rise substantially. You should, therefore, aim to extend your lease as soon as possible to avoid the difficulties associated with a shorter lease.

Call us for some friendly, expert advice and to find out if you need to take action now by telephoning any one of our team on 020 8947 8171. Alternatively, you can email us at We look forward to hearing from you. | sep-oct 2013


Bats, Badgers And Japanese Knotweed These creatures and this plant seem innocuous and innocent but for a property developer or home owner they can be a nightmare. Certain bats and badgers are protected species and Japanese knotweed is an invasive species imported to the country as an attractive oriental shrub. However, it is so invasive that its roots grow through concrete and can destroy a building’s structural stability making it impossible to sell, as mortgage companies will not lend if it is present. Badgers and bats being protected can also render a potential development site unviable due to the cost and/or relocation of the species. It is, therefore, essential that before a planning application is submitted for redevelopment, or a property


sep-oct 2013 |

is marketed with potential for development, that the factors which could affect future development are thoroughly investigated. Curzon Simpson, as Chartered Surveyors, Property Consultants and Estate Agents have over 30 years of experience in advising home owners, charitable institutions, schools, trusts and executors of estates on the sale or purchase of property. For property queries contact Martine Mansourian or Nigel Simpson MRICS for a chat. The Curzon Gallery 35 Church Road, Wimbledon Village SW19 5DQ T: 020 8946 4386



From Pied à Terres to Palaces with Kirsty McMorron


trained at the Inchbald School of Design in London, am an Associate of the British Institute of Interior Design and an Affiliate Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Design really does impact all areas of our lives, and creating the right environment and atmosphere is essential to our well-being. In everything we touch, we experience design and I’m passionate about exceptional design creating exceptional spaces. My clients range from owners of pied-à-terres and mews houses in Marylebone to family homes in Wimbledon and Barnes, and country retreats in the Cotswolds. I love meeting new clients, getting to know them, understanding their lives and how they like to live in their home.

Now that everyone is back from summer holidays, and with Christmas fast approaching, it’s a good time to think about updating your home in time for the festive season. A new colour scheme and some fabulous wallpaper is a simple and very affordable way to transform an area of your home. If you’re thinking about some new furniture, keep in mind that many items can have a lead time of 8-10 weeks, so planning ahead is important. Absolute Abode can help bring to life the vision you have for your home, so do contact us if you would like to have a chat. Our services include: • Conceptual and spatial planning • Architectural interior design • Lighting design • Bespoke furniture and joinery design • Colours, textures, fabrics and furniture Kirsty McMorron 07747 601 692 | sep-oct 2013


London stockist for Clearview Woodburning stoves Defra approved for smoke control areas 020 8947 5115

Pole Structural Engineers

Designing structures for alterations, extensions and new houses Local, friendly and professional

Admel House, 24 High Street, Wimbledon Village, SW19 5DX T: 020 8944 9955 E:

building - promo

Working from home? Let us create the perfect space for you




ecently Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made headlines when she rescinded her employees’ right to work from home. Despite Yahoo’s new attitude to working from home, there are signs that the number of people working from home in the UK is actually on the increase and a home office or study is becoming an increasingly popular and necessary space within the modern home. Whether you work from home full time or only occasionally, it shouldn’t mean working from the sofa or dining room table. Having a designated room with enough space to work comfortably will ensure that you remain motivated, organised and efficient. Unfortunately, very few of us have the luxury of a spare room that can be converted into the home office, so many of us would need to consider extending our home or building a garden room in order to create the perfect home office. Interestingly, if you are working from home full time, planning permission is only required if the overall character of your house will change as a result of your business. Whatever your business,

whether you are using a room as your personal office, or using it to provide a childminding service, or you are a hairdresser, dressmaker or music teacher or if you are using a garden building for yoga classes, repairing cars or storing goods, the key question to ask is whether it is still mainly your home. Rhino Construction has, over the past decade, built some fabulous extensions and garden rooms that clients have utilised as office space. We like to think that having used us, our clients have found the process of creating that extra space as hassle free as possible, knowing that they are dealing with a reputable and honest building company. So let us work for you, to help you create your perfect home office. T: 07932 753328 | sep-oct 2013


Grant Fuller and Peter Gilbert Estate Agents, Valuers, Development Consultants 316a Worple Road West Wimbledon London SW20 8QU 020 8947 4764

home - promo


CHRISTMAS… Oh no! Did you say ‘Christmas’ already?

“Well,” says Neil Norton from Open Plan Designs, “Yes, you need to start planning now if you want your new kitchen ready for the Festive Season. In reality, it could take a week or two – that’s if you are completely focused and know exactly what you want. But most people take longer to decide on things with so much variety out there.” ISSUES TO THINK ABOUT ARE: • Size of space • Tradition or contemporary design • Style, colour, exterior and interior finishes • Handles and accessories • Different appliances on offer “Once you have decided on all that, you need approximately six weeks of manufacturing time and four weeks of installation time. So 10 weeks from start to finish. Fabulous new showroom opening late September at 167 Arthur Road, Wimbledon Park, SW19 8AD FREE ONSITE CONSULTATION, NO PRESSURE. Call me or, better still, come into the new showroom and I can take you through all the steps when considering a bespoke kitchen, making it a really exciting process where you can let your imagination run wild!” Call us on 020 8715 5575 | sep-oct 2013



Preparatory School for girls aged four to eleven

“One school, two buildings, great teaching and tip top facilities.”

• A leading South West London Prep School in the heart of Wimbledon Village

The Good Schools Guide

• Regular tours at both sites available by appointment

Registered Charity No.271012

• Academic success in a happy, supportive community • Wide ranging opportunities in music, sport, and the performing and creative arts • We offer an assisted places scheme for girls aged 7+

For further details please call Jane Davis on 020 8947 6969

Perfect. Every aspect of your Party catered for Contact Carole Parties To Go 020 8947 5337 07971 141733


Boutique, Elegant, Personalised – that’s chic

With Darling’s bridge guru, Paul Mendelson

Bad news is not so bad if it could be worse. Be careful that you do not allow misfortune to stalk you and then defeat you.

Chic Locations – boutique travel specialist with a wealth of experience, bringing you the best in holidays to the Med and Tropics, combined with highly personalised, totally flexible, informative and candid service. Located in Wimbledon Village, our brochure offers an array of resorts and luxury bespoke holidays, tailored to your needs. Call us for more details.

West S KJ74 H 9763 D 92 C 1093

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020 8944 1973 ATOL 6389 ABTA 9340X

Bells, Whistles & Doughnuts

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22/10/2012 16:39

Dealer North N 3NT

Alex Corbisiero


all School celebrated Alex Corbisiero’s try earlier in the summer. Former Hall School Wimbledon pupil, Alex Corbisiero, scored a try within 81 seconds of the start of the third and deciding test of the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia. He then helped earn further points for the Lions through his impeccable play in the scrum. In acknowledgement of Alex’s transformative and distinguished role in the tour, the whole school paused at 11.00am on Tuesday 9th July to eat a doughnut and ring all their bells for 81 seconds… the time it takes for a Hall School Wimbledon boy to score a try in a series clinching a Rugby Test Match win for the Lions over Australia!

East S Q1095 H KQ108 D A7 C 852

South S A3 H A52 D J1053 C KJ64

Boutique • Spa • Family


North S 862 H J4 D KQ864 C AQ7

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E -



West led 4♠ against South’s 3NT contract and, holding only A♠, South decided to duck the first trick. East, holding what he felt would be the controlling card of the hand – A♦ – switched to K♥ and continued playing hearts until South won his ace. Unfortunately, when East later lost A♦, East still had a heart trick to cash, and South was one down.

The problem lay at trick one. West’s 4♠ strongly suggested only a four card suit (South could see both 2♠ and 3♠ in his hand and dummy, meaning that West could not have a fifth card. Therefore, it was safe to win A♠ and lose A♦ and three spade tricks, because that still left nine tricks for South. By ducking the first trick, South allowed East to attack another weak suit – hearts – having already lost a spade, and that proved fatal. | sep-oct 2013


Missing Your darling Magazine?

Creating Connections Inspiring Success


Wimbledon, Balham, Kingston,Ditton, Hampton Court,Putney, Kingston, Surbiton,Thames Surbiton, Streatham andand Hampton Court Balham, Putney, Streatham Wimbledon EMAIL HELPFUL HELPFUL WIMBLEDON WIMBLEDON WEBSITES WEBSITES Love Wimbledon Love Wimbledon London London Borough Borough of of Merton Merton Citizen’s Citizen’s Advice Advice Bureau Bureau Merton Merton Chamber Chamber of of Commerce Commerce Wimbledon Civic Forum Wimbledon Town Centre Wimbledon Wimbledon Society Civic Forum Museum of Wimbledon Wimbledon Society Wimbledon Wimbledon Community Community Centre Centre Volunteer Volunteer Centre Centre Merton Merton Learning Learning & & Skills Skills Council Council Charity Charity Commission Commission Wimbledon Wimbledon Music Music Diary Diary Wimbledon Wimbledon Choral Choral Society Society Local Local Police/Neighbourhood Police/Neighbourhood Watch Watch The The Wimbledon Wimbledon Guild Guild Care Care Connect Connect Centre Court IMPORTANT NUMBERS IMPORTANTPolice NUMBERS Wimbledon Wimbledon Police 020 8947 1212 or (999) 020 8947Council 1212 or (999) Merton Merton Council 020 8274 4901 020 8274 4901 NHS DIRECT NHS DIRECT 0845 4647 0845 4647 44

St George’s Hospital St Hospital 020George’s 8672 1255 020 8672 1255 Kingston Hospital Kingston Hospital 020 8546 7711 020 8546 7711 National Rail National Rail 08457 484950 08457 484950

feb-march 2012 |

* Maison St. Cassien, Wimbledon Village Tel: 020 8944 1200 COLLECT COPIES AT OUR “HOTSPOTS” * Southfields Gallery 223 Wimbledon Park Rd * Nicholas & Steele 78 Durham Rd Tel:07947 07947011879 675 059 Tel: Spoons St. onCassien, CoombeWimbledon Lane SW20Village ** Maison Tel:020 0208944 86051200 2175 Tel: Aromatica Italian Deli Leopold RdPark Rd * Southfields Gallery 223onWimbledon Tel: 675 059 Tel:07947 020 8944 0309 * Truckles Deli on Coombe LaneDesk SW20 Love Wimbledon Information Tel: 020 8605 2175 Centre Court Shopping Centre, 4 Queens Rd * Aromatica Italian Deli stocks on Leopold Rd Please call first to check Tel: 020 8944 0309 Please call first to check stocks

Take note

musicheader scene

The International Wimbledon Music Festival takes to the stage again in November. Festival Founder Anthony Wilkinson writes


s I write, two international musketeers are duelling with rackets on Centre Court. The camera pulls back from a glistening Shard, across the heart of London, to reveal the leafy suburb of SW19. ‘Wimbledon’! It has worldwide recognition as the ‘best’, with ‘excellence’ at its core, and looks a great place to live. Benefiting from the Wimbledon brand, the International Wimbledon Music Festival, formed a group of six international festivals: in Australia, two in the USA, in Alaska touring Canada, and Switzerland. Founded in 2009, the International Wimbledon Music Festival quickly established itself on the world stage. The Festivals co-commission new works, benefitting from shared costs and giving composers the opportunity for multiple performances with premieres on three continents. Future commissions will include a ballet to be performed by Rambert Dance. The Wimbledon Festival stands out for the world-class quality of the musicians it presents. The Evening Standard, the Strad, and Jessica Duchen of The Independent have all praised the Wimbledon Festival for its ability “to attract such high calibre artists to the suburbs.” Coming to Wimbledon in November are the renowned pianist Angela Hewitt, Covent Garden’s great bass Sir John Tomlinson, the superb Brodsky Quartet with celebrated clarinetist Michael Collin, the extraordinary Dutch Calefax quintet, superstar organist Jennifer Bate with legendary trumpeter Crispin Steele-Perkins, not forgetting our patron, the world-famous cellist Raphael Wallfisch and his musical trio of soulmates.

American cellist Zuill Bailey with Australian pianist Piers Lane. Both Artistic Directors of Wimbledon's International Festival partners. Photo from last year's IWMF, at St John's Spencer Hill. Photographyer John Yip.

This Festival has also developed important local community partnerships with Wimbledon College of Art and Merton Music Foundation (we are proud that more than 17,000 Merton children have been actively involved in IWMF projects, and that last year’s 'The Journey’ started in Wimbledon and ended up in the Albert Hall).

“the word ‘International’ usually merges into the surrounding wallpaper. But not so with Wimbledon…” BBC Music Magazine

But the crowning glory of these community and international partnerships will, hopefully, one day see a major international Concert Hall in Wimbledon. Tickets on sale now. Festival 9th – 23rd November. Details on Tel: 020 8946 5078 | sep-oct 2013



                         

                          .

                          

WIMBLEDON’S VERY OWN JAMES BOND Darling caught up with James, our most colourful character by miles One of the most unusual sights seen around Wimbledon this summer has been ‘James Bond’ on his colourful bike with pink feathers and gold costume sailing by like an exotic bird just escaped from the circus. “I am a creative artist/actor brightening up the place,” says James, “It’s great to make so many people happy, of all ages and race. I seem to have created something that has a magical effect on people; it instantly cheers them up as if one were watching a parade or a fireworks display. It has amazing worldwide appeal but I have not made a single penny from it. 44

sep-oct 2013 |

L-R: James Hodson, Alex Martin, Katherine Hodson and Philippa Martin

“I was born in Wimbledon, but I have spent the last nine years doing this in Thailand where I was a big fish in a small pond. The Thai influence is seen in the decoration of the bike and costume, though I am not a Buddhist nor do I have any religious views. I like to keep fit and never use alcohol, tobacco or drugs.”

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point of view

Eagerly Blonde Howard Hunter shouted to me - O dagger in my heart - “Oi! Carrots! Get out the way!” or was it a gradual thing, after months of tagging along with my blonde friend Katy Parry Jones, as she batted away admirers and I stood in the background like a concrete bollard? (Why do we all have friends like that?) Whatever my hair colour was, carrot or deep mouse, those were the days when Barbie and the Timotei girl were still icons, yet to become neo-feminist laughing stocks. I reached for the hydrogen peroxide bottle, and artfully applied it in streaks with an old toothbrush. My hair promptly went an astonishing metallic orange. Mortifyingly, it was the first year the school photo was in colour. I’m the one who appears to be wearing a copper saucepan on her head.


he first time I met my future exstep-mother-in-law (it’s complicated) she asked me two questions: “What happened to his last girlfriend? She was lovely!” and while I reeled with the implications of this, she glanced at my hair and added the killer punch, “When did you decide to go blonde?” Fair enough, the only time I was ever naturally blonde was aged 2, and the effect was marred, as you can see, by a distinctly sullen, podgy demeanour, (plus ça change!) So when did I decide to go blonde? Was it when playground heart-throb


sep-oct 2013 |

From then on, it is hard to produce any personal evidence that blondes have more fun or that gentlemen prefer them, or whatever the myth is. There are loads of us. We are ten a penny. Especially in Wimbledon. We are covering up our grey and everyone knows it. We are also dumb. Everyone knows that too. I did cause a stir once. I was at a party, talking to a man about the lamentable shortage of secondary state education for boys in Merton (see - we really do not have more fun) and from behind me shrilled an accusing female voice: “Typical! My husband chatting up a blonde!” I spun round. “Oh,” the jealous lady exclaimed, “Sorry. From behind you looked quite pretty.” So there we have it. I’m the woman who looks quite pretty from behind. I guess I have my highlights to thank for that at least!




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Darling wimbledon sep oct13  

Wimbledon's magazine for local women