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VILLAGER The

Issue 7 - October 2012

and Town Life

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Prize Crossword See Inside

Bringing local business to local people in Alconbury, Kimbolton, The Stukeleys ur Yo EE and surrounding villages. y

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In this Issue

VILLAGER

Issue 7 - October 2012

The

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and Town Life

£25

Prize Crossword See Inside

1000 Years of Milling

Continues at Houghton Mill

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Bringing local business to local people in Alconbury, Kimbolton, The Stukeleys ur Yo EE and surrounding villages. y

Competition

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Great Prize Up For Grabs

Advertising Sales Christa Hallam - Tel: 07868 369257 Christa@villagermag.com

Prize Crossword

Additional Editorial Solange Hando, Sarah Davey, Pippa Greenwood, Tony Larkins, Alex Brown, Debbie Singh-Bhatti and Fiona McLeman Front Cover Photo: www.artisticportraits.co.uk Design and Artwork Design 9 - Tel 07762 969460 Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122 Email:nigel@villagermag.com

VILLAGER The

and Town Life

Disclaimer

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All adverts and editorial are printed in good faith, however, Villager Publications Ltd can not take any responsibility for the content of the adverts, the services provided by the advertisers or any statements given in the editorial. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher.

£25 could be yours!

Winter Wardrobe Blues...............................................................................4 Pumpkin Power.............................................................................................6 Canal Du Midi................................................................................................8 Bean Scene.................................................................................................. 10 National Police Aid Convoys.................................................................. 15 Fresh Team at Simpson & Partners...................................................... 17 Wordsearch.................................................................................................. 18 Divorce Q & A.............................................................................................. 19 Pensions........................................................................................................ 21 Hunts Phil..................................................................................................... 22 Enjoy Some Tulip Mania.......................................................................... 27 Lawn Care..................................................................................................... 28 Children’s Page........................................................................................... 30 Kimbolton School Swimming Pool Timetable................................ 32 Seasonal Delights...................................................................................... 35 Puzzle Page.................................................................................................. 36 Preparing Your Body For Pregnancy................................................... 38 DASH - Multi-Sport Sessions................................................................. 41 Fun Quiz........................................................................................................ 41 Help - My Child is a Bully......................................................................... 44 Firework Safety and Etiquette.............................................................. 46 8,000 copies delivered free of charge to all homes in the following areas: Abbots Ripton, Alconbury, Alconbury Weston, Barham, Broughton, Brington, Buckworth, Bythorn, Catworth, Coppingford, Covington, Easton, Ellington, Grafham, Great Staughton, Hail Weston, Hargrave, Keysoe, Keyston, Kimbolton, Kings Ripton, Leighton Bromswold, Little Staughton, Lower Dean, Melchbourne, Molesworth, Old Weston, Perry, Pertenhall, Riseley, Shelton, Spaldwick, Stonley, Stow Longa, Swineshead, The Stukeleys, Tillbrook, Upper Dean, Upton, Woolley, Yelden. (We also have over 150 distribution points, including pubs, garages, most shops, post offices, Supermarket Chains in all of the above as well as in Huntingdon, Lt Staughton, Grafham Water Visitor Centre’s and Kimbolton.)

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Winter wardrobe blues

OCTOBER

Well, the last flickers of the Indian summer have finally faded, and bright October days can be chilly, so it’s time to put the shorts and sandals and old tour t-shirts away for a few months and dig out the winter clothes. Shouldn’t need to buy anything new: I have plenty of stuff left over from previous years. Which is handy as times are tight, and the more I waste on clothes means the less I can waste on beer. But anyway, who needs to spend a fortune on a new wardrobe every season? Let’s start by testing that ancient proposition: the cat sat on the mat. No it didn’t. The cat sat on my hat, actually. In fact it’s nested in it. It’s now a dense rug of cat-hair and utterly irredeemable, so I shall start collating the season’s wardrobe by binning the beanie and putting a new one on the shopping list. Next, gloves. I don’t wear gloves often these days. I only ever used them for snowballing, and at my advanced age I don’t have to do that anymore. Still, you need a pair against the unlikely eventuality of, say, having to dig the car out of a snowdrift. So it’s now that I discover that I have many gloves, but none of them match. So, add new gloves to the list. Now obviously you need a nice woolly jumper for the winter, and as it happens I have one. I hate it. I hate all jumpers. They’re cumbersome things, make it impossible to move freely, and the moment you make the transition from freezing street to overheated department store or pub or library you start sweating like an overworked horse. So no new jumper this year. On the other

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hand, I don’t want to freeze every time I nip out for a paper. I know I haven’t worn a vest for, oh, 40 years. I gave them up when I was a teenager as an act of unobtrusive rebellion. But they do keep you warm. OK, some vests, then. I shouldn’t need a new coat, though. I’ve had the same coat for years and years. It’s lovely and toastie and in excellent nick. Cost me a few bob, but it’s been worth it. Rather an odd assortment of buttons by now, mind, but nobody’s ever commented on it. Hang on, though: if I’m going to be wearing a vest from now on, my warm old coat might be a bit too warm. Lots of thin layers, that’s what they recommend nowadays. Better look for a slightly lighter one, then. I’m definitely all right for dog-walking shoes, though, with a choice of hiking boots or wellies for seasonal snow, slush, or mud. Uh-oh... the boots are fine, but there’s a deficit in the sock department. I like my boots roomy, so I can wear nice thick socks to cuddle my toes. But looking at my rather sad assortment of thermals, I see they’ve all mysteriously developed holes. In olden days my mum would have darned these, but I haven’t seen a darning mushroom in years and even if I had, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. So it’s out with the old, and off to Edinburgh Woollen Mills for the new. Hang on – that’s new beanie, gloves, vests, coat, and walking socks. This October’s clothes-shop is beginning to look expensive. Think I’ll stay indoors until the January sales...

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Pumpkin Power

By Sarah Davey

How to carve a perfect Halloween lantern Our American cousins know how to celebrate Halloween with style. One of the trademark symbols you’ll see outside almost every house at this time of year is a huge carved pumpkin, or Jack-o-lantern as they’re known across the pond. There’s a knack to carving a great pumpkin lantern. If you want yours to be the envy of all your neighbours this October, follow our stepby-step guide. First choose the right pumpkin. Firm and smooth is best for beginners. Advanced or creative types might like a more gnarled and warty specimen. Make sure there are no soft spots and that the stalk is nice and firm. Most importantly, make sure it sits up without rolling over, or your lantern will be a failure! If you have to buy your pumpkin in advance, store it in a cool dry place, like the garage, to help keep it fresh. The best carved pumpkins require good tools. You can buy children’s pumpkin carving sets which work reasonably well for simple designs. However if you’re after something showy you’ll need a sharp kitchen knife with a long blade, a smaller paring knife and possibly a craft knife. A bradawl is useful too. These tools are adult-only for obvious reasons. An ice cream scoop or large spoon is great for scooping out the flesh. Don’t forget to lay

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down lots of newspaper or plastic sheeting because pumpkin carving is a messy business. Plan your design before you start. Draw a circle roughly the same size as the area you want to carve and get your children to help. If you’re stuck there are some great free templates available on the internet. Tape your design on to the pumpkin then use a cocktail stick to push through the paper to mark out the design. Then cut it out. You can carve other veg, like turnips, though it’s more difficult to hollow them out. You can use cocktail sticks to fasten other small vegetables, like courgettes, carrots and tiny squashes to your lantern for decoration. With a bit of ingenuity you can give your pumpkin face ears or horns. Broccoli and cauliflower florets can make funky hair. The only limit is your imagination. The pumpkins in the photo were carved by a friend’s husband. He hollowed out and carved a little pomegranate for his pumpkin monster to chomp on! Once you’ve created your masterpiece soak it in water for an hour. Then pop it on your doorstep for everyone to admire. If you’re worried about leaving a lit candle inside, try an electric tea light. They flicker like the real thing but are totally safe. Happy Halloween!

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Discover the Canal du Midi

in the South of France In 1996, the Canal du Midi became the first canal in the world to receive World Heritage status, as one of the ‘greatest engineering feats of modern times’ and ‘outstanding landscape fashioned by man’. Designed to link the Atlantic to the Mediterranean across south west France, it had been planned since Roman times but work did not start until 1667, taking 14 years and 15,000 people to complete. Sadly, the engineer Pierre Paul Riquet passed away just months before the royal barge opened the first stretch in his native town of Béziers, in 1681. From Toulouse, where it joins the Canal de Garonne, to the vast Etang de Thau on the Mediterranean, the 245 km long waterway is dotted with over 300 supporting structures, including bridges, locks and canal aqueducts invented by Riquet to cross streams and rivers. The canal tunnel in Malpas was also a world’s first, completed in secret in just a week before the authorities had a chance to find out. They had refused permission on safety grounds. The tunnel remains one of the highlights along the route, rivalled only by Fonserannes, a steep staircase of seven locks and now a listed monument. For 200 years or so, the canal brought wealth to the region, encouraging agriculture, trade and related business, from boat yards to inns. It was the cheapest way to transport people and goods since a single barge could carry the equivalent of 125 ox-driven carts. Having turned down the canal because of the cost, the town of Carcassonne soon realised its mistake and agreed eventually to finance a diversion. Inevitably, the advent of the railway brought commercial trade to an end but right across Languedoc, the Canal du Midi is alive and well, an integral part of the landscape, meandering past lock-keepers’ cottages, hill top castles and red-roofed villages nestling among vineyards and sunflower fields. Fed by reservoirs from the Black Mountain, or foothills of the central range, shaded by plane trees, pines and cypresses which stabilise the banks and preserve moisture, it’s a peaceful haven for holiday barges, yachts and cruisers. Fishermen doze on the banks, swans and ducks nest in the reeds and the old tow path doubles up as a cycling and walking trail. For those who cruise along the canal, there is

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plenty of excitement, working the locks, ducking under low bridges, heading into the tunnel, and plenty to see, from Marseillan and the nearby oyster beds to the medieval walled town of Carcassonne, the largest in Europe, or Toulouse, the vibrant ‘pink city’ basking on the banks of the Garonne. There are picturesque harbours along the way, Castelnaudary, Le Somail, Capestang, wine tasting cellars, flower-draped inns, nature reserves, home to peacock butterflies and 200 species of birds, and glistening lagoons where flamingos feed among the islands. In Port Lauragais, the Pierre Paul Riquet Centre is dedicated to the history of the canal while at the nearby Seuil de Naurouze, the highest point on the route and the watershed between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, an obelisk has been erected in Riquet’s honour. There is no better place to celebrate this local genius, an engineer with amazing vision but also a caring man who introduced sick pay and rest days for his workers, centuries ahead of his time.

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Bean scene

TECHNOLOGY REPort Get your caffeine kick effortlessly with the latest coffee makers and gadgets. We’re a nation of coffee lovers, so it’s hardly surprising that there’s a huge range of gadgets that promise to deliver the perfect caffeine fix. From cheap and cheerful cafetières to massive Costa Coffee-scale machines, there are gadgets to suit all tastes and budgets. Coffee purists scoff at instant, saying there’s no substitute for ground coffee. The cheapest and easiest way to experiment with ground coffee is to buy it in a tin and stick it in a cafetière; expect to pay around £10 for a simple one or as much as £60 for Bodum’s Columbia double-walled cafetière, heat insulated to keep your coffee fresh. If you’d like to turn your coffee into a latte, £7 to £15 pays for a battery-powered milk frother. Cafetières aren’t the only cheap choice: the Aeropress (around £20 online) comes with rave reviews. It looks like a cross between a cafetière and a pump, and that’s essentially what it is: it uses gentle air pressure to extract more flavour from your coffee. Using it’s just a matter of putting in a few scoops of coffee, pouring in hot water and pressing the plunger. The whole process takes less than 30 seconds. For years most coffee machines in the high street were filter ones, usually consisting of a reasonably sized jug, a hot plate and a funnel. They’re still around, but in recent years the focus has shifted to machines that make small espressos rather than huge jugs. Espresso machines come in two forms: ones that use loose ground coffee, and ones that use pods. DeLonghi’s EC330S Espresso Coffee Machine (around £85) is a good example of the former, with

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a removable stainless steel filter and an integrated frother that uses steam to create perfect cappuccinos and lattes. They’re not the quietest or the most convenient - the filter only takes enough coffee for a single cup at a time - but there’s no arguing with the superbly tasty results. If you’d rather use pre-packed coffee pods than loose grounds, DeLonghi’s Espresso Icona range (from around £99) offers the best of both worlds: it works with Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods, or with loose coffee. As with the EC330S, it’s only designed to make one or two drinks at a time. ESE is the world’s favourite kind of coffee pod, with versions from big names including Illy, Lavazza and Segafredo, but it isn’t the only one: Nestle has its Nespresso system, while Douwe Egberts has its Senseo. All three systems offer pros and cons: they’re more convenient than loose coffee and less messy, but the coffee isn’t as fresh and in the case of Nespresso and Senseo, you’re locked into one firm’s coffee system. Senseo pods don’t work in Nespresso machines and vice-versa. Coffee snobs wouldn’t go near either: for them, the only way to make coffee is to grind the beans yourself. Grinders aren’t as expensive as you might think. Bodum’s Bistro range of electric grinders starts at £79, while Krups’ GVX2 is just £36. It is one more machine to clean however and one more step between waking up and tasting the first coffee of the day. If you’re really serious about your coffee, a coffee machine with its own integrated grinder is a much better idea - but don’t expect to find one going cheap: a good quality bean-to-cup machine such as Gaggia’s R18171 will set you back £699.

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Activities include:

Dog’s Day Out – The Ultimate Doggy experience!

Wood Green Animal rehoming Charity Shop Restaurant Pet and Gift Shop Children’s play area Children’s ‘hands on’ events Open 7 days a week, 10.00am – 4.00pm FRee entry

Friday 2nd November, 10am-4.00pm, Godmanchester Centre, Activity prices: £1-£5 Join us for a fun-filled day and discover new activities that you can do with your dog. Have-a-go at agility, teach your dog new tricks and try to beat the clock and win prizes with our fun doggy games. Enter our enrichment room to find new ways to keep your dog happy at home, plus ‘ask the experts’ and free weight checks. All Dog’s Day Out participants can attend our Family Fun session for FREE! (Conditions apply.) All activities are undercover.

Dog’s Day Out Family Fun Session Friday 2nd November, Godmanchester Centre, Learning Centre Join our Hands On team in the Leaning Centre for an action packed drop in day celebrating all things doggy! £4 per child or FREE if you participate in Dogs Day Out activities taking place in the main arena and annexe. Drop in session so no need to book.

Call: 0844 248 8181 Visit: www.woodgreen.org.uk Or email: info@woodgreen.org.uk King’s Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2NH Wood Green, The Animals Charity is the Registered Trademark of Wood Green Animal Shelters, Registered Charity No. 298348.

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1000 years of milling

continues at Houghton Mill

Work is currently underway at Houghton Mill to install a new set of millstones so more grain can be milled in the traditional way at the National Trust site. Houghton Mill has stood on the banks of the River Great Ouse for over a thousand years. Today, the mill entertains and enthrals visitors, both young and old, by immersing people in a way of life that has long since been consigned to the history books. The Mill currently has a set of millstones which usually operate every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, however in response to demand, the volunteer team are installing a new set of French Burr stones over the next few months which will be able to be used on a daily basis. “It’s a fascinating project” says Phil O’Donoghue, Property Operations Manager at Houghton Mill. “The mill really comes to life when the millstones are working, but because they can only work when the river level is at a certain point, our volunteer millers are only able mill flour on specific days”. Phil continues “Visitors to the mill love to see how it all works, they get to smell the grain being ground, feel the building shudder under the weight of the stones, and even get taste some of the results. It really does bring the building and its history to life, but you really have to experience it to believe it”. Houghton Mill hopes that the installation of the new stones will enable them to be able to produce more flour to sell on a commercial basis, helping to bring in the much needed

income to maintain the building and ensure that everyone who visits has a great time. The project is at its halfway point, with planning consent agreed and work in progress. Visitors can see the on-going work and get an update on the project when the mill is open. The stones are scheduled to be installed in September, and working by the end of the year. Come along and see the work being carried out and sample the delights of the riverside tea room where our famous scones and nearly all of the cakes are baked on site using freshly milled stone ground flour. If you would like further information about the mill, or would like to find out how you can become a Houghton Mill volunteer, please contact us on 01480 301494.

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National Police Aid Convoys

www.npac.co.uk

It’s been almost 20 years since NPAC was formed by its current chairman David Scott and his colleagues to collect and convey much needed humanitarian aid to the war stricken areas of the Balkans. David, a retired police inspector has gathered many volunteers along the way and makes no bones about the fact that he has shamelessly used his ‘Trust me I am a Police Officer….’ philosophy to make a difference to needy people throughout the world. 10’000 tons of donated goods including food, furniture and hospital equipment have since been delivered to the poor in Albania, Zambia, Ghana, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Pakistan, India, Hungary, Rwanda, Western Samoa, Nicaragua, Kenya and Gambia as well as other desperately poor people all over Europe. NPAC makes a point of guaranteeing that its donated goods normally sent in borrowed or sponsored vehicles and containers are not interfered with and reach their intended destinations intact simply because they understand the importance of supervision which clearly is of paramount importance to the charity. Volunteers today are by no means all police officers or indeed have police connections. “Our helpers include professionals, housewives, students and those who have retired or are unemployed” suggests charity secretary Wanda Adams. “Anyone is welcome to join us there is no age limit and if you feel you are able help us as a collector, packer, sorter, driver, administrator or telephone canvasser then contact us at enqs@ npac.org.uk or leave a telephone message on 01159390999.” Wanda cautions that”Whilst there is a great ‘feel good’ factor to volunteering there are no freebies when we travel and everyone pays there own way. The fact that nothing is taken out of the charity for travel or expenses is a fact that very few other charities can celebrate”. David Scott currently with 16 other volunteers in Zambia distributing much needed school and medical equipment is of the opinion that ‘Giving the needy a loaf of bread feeds them for today, teaching them to grow wheat feeds them for a lifetime”.

“When we start a project” he states “we see it through to the end or at least until the ‘need’ becomes ‘want’ then we know we have done our job” NPAC wants to expand its interest throughout the UK and needs more storage and warehouse facilities to keep safe their increasing donations. It also needs more volunteers to help in these new locations and even more donations to fill them. Please look at our website www.npac.co.uk or telephone us on 01159390999 and learn about our projects, our forthcoming events and how you can volunteer to help us help others. We are urgently looking for warehouse/storage premises in the Cambridge and Huntingdon area for storing our donated Wheelchairs, Bicycles, Mopeds and trailers. Donated items will be repaired by a group of our retired helpers ready for their second life by those who desperately need them.

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s er ble h a uc ail o v V a so al

ts Prin st ju m o r f

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www.artisticportraits.co.uk Family portraits, Bumps & BaBies, Children and pet photoGraphy Great Staughton, St Neots, Cambridgeshire

Bespoke Wallpaper

Tel: 07527 694567 Email: artisticportraits@hotmail.co.uk Home shoots also available within a 30 mile radius of St Neots. See our website for details

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‘Fresh’ Team at Simpson & Partners goes from strength to strength An Open Invitation

Sally Machin (Sales Negotiator)

Tim Jackson-Waite (Branch Partner)

Tim, Sarah and Sally cordially invite you to join them for coffee and cake at their Kimbolton offices. The ‘fresh’ new team at Kimbolton bring an exciting, enthusiastic and extremely personable approach to their combined thirty years of Estate Agency expertise. “September has been a record month with more proceedable buyers registering, more Vendors instructing and more properties being Sold via

Sarah Freer (Branch Partner)

Simpson and Partners of Kimbolton” commented Branch Partner, Tim Jackson-Waite. If you are considering selling or Letting your property please contact the Kimbolton Team on 01480 860600 or drop into the office where you are guaranteed expert professional advise, a free market appraisal and a very warm welcome. www.simpsonandpartners.co.uk

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Dedicated support for clients in relationship breakdown:

• • • • •

Separation Financial Settlements Change of Name Prenuptial Agreements Mediation

• • • • •

Divorce Living together agreements Adoption Children issues Collaborative family law

Fiona McLeman Family Law is accredited by Resolution and the Solicitors Regulation Authority as a Specialist in Family Law. For a free initial consultation contact Fiona:

fiona@fmfamilylaw.co.uk, 07894095775, www.fmfamilylaw.co.uk Regus House, 1010 Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne CB23 6DP

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Divorce Q&A

FIONA McLEMAN Clients often have the same anxieties about the divorce process, and come along to a first meeting with their lawyer armed with a bundle of questions that need answers. Here is a summary of those which readers may find useful. Can we both file for divorce? Only one spouse can petition for divorce. They are known as the Petitioner and the other spouse is the Respondent. Can I cite irreconcilable differences? There is no such thing. The ground for divorce is ‘Irretrievable breakdown’. How do I prove irretrievable breakdown? By proving one of five facts - adultery, behaviour, 2 years separation with the Respondent’s consent, 5 years separation, or desertion for 2 years. Can I get a quickie divorce? There is no such thing. Divorces typically take the same amount of time from the point the petition for divorce is filed with the Court. How long does it take? If the divorce is not contested it will take 3-4 months. How much will it cost? Court fees are typically £385. Solicitors’ fees are extra. Do I have to go to court? If the divorce is not contested, it is a paper exercise and no attendance at court is required.

Do I have to consult a lawyer? No, it is possible to petition for divorce without legal representation. Where do I get the forms? These can be obtained online from the court service website or in person by attending at your local county court. What if we have children? Provided the children’s arrangements are agreed, there is no need to attend court. What if my spouse will not cooperate? All steps should be taken to ensure the divorce is as amicable as possible. It is possible to progress a divorce even if the other spouse will not cooperate What should I do next? If legal advice is required, consult www. resolution.org.uk to find a Resolution approved lawyer near you.

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Pensions

Aaaaggghhhh!

Are you affected? Pension legislation is changing again. All companies will need to enrol employees into a new government pension scheme ‘NEST’ (National Employment Savings Trust), unless they have an alternative in place which is at least as good. Due to how the government have set-up NEST there are other, more tax efficient and appropriate schemes available to companies. So is this Good News? – Possibly not. Some companies will see the changing legislation as a way to change their scheme or implement an inferior one, leaving individuals either unsure of what to do, or with yet another ‘paid up’ pension. Pension consolidation is a specialised area, and whilst often beneficial, can result in a huge loss of benefits if not reviewed properly. By the time people reach 40-50 they often have several pensions plans or “pots of money” that are no longer being managed or reviewed. If you fall into this category – or even if you only have one

Tony Larkins CFP APFS Group Managing Director / IFA Chartered and Certified Financial Planner Beacon Financial Limited & Beacon Wealth Management Limited

old pension, I urge you to review the plan as soon as possible. Sacrificing money to pay in is one thing – not maximising the return is pointless. Clearly if you do have old pensions that have not been reviewed you need to contact a suitable adviser. I suggest you ask whether they have a G60 or AF3 qualification. These are specialist pension qualifications that not many advisers have. Both show equal proficiency although G60 would imply greater experience. Also do not rely on the myth that the pension company is managing it for you. They work to preagreed mandates that could see them investing in wholly inappropriate shares for your personal requirements, because they have no choice. You should always seek qualified advice from an IFA, preferably a Certified (CFP) or Chartered Financial PlannerCM (APFS). If you have a financial question e-mail: tlarkins@beaconwealth.co.uk

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HUNTS PHIL

NEW CONCERTS The new season of concerts by the orchestra and chorus of “Hunts Phil� begins on Saturday 10th November at 7 30p.m. With a selection of English music by Parry (I Was Glad), Delius (Sea Drift) and Vaughan Williams(5th Symphony). The soloist in Sea Drift is the acclaimed baritone, Laurence Meikle. The concerts take place in the Performing Arts Centre in Hinchingbrook School, Huntingdon, and this first one is supported by the Delius Trust. Tickets can be bought from: Anabel Capon (01832 274834) huntsphiltickets@btinternet.com

If you run your own business, are currently selfemployed or have a tax return to complete, you may be paying too much tax. We are offering a FREE meeting to discuss this further.You have nothing to lose by finding out how much you could be saving. Call Richard McMorran on 01480 470755 or email stneots@rjmcmorran.co.uk Offices with ample parking in Eaton Socon and Godmanchester Visit our website at www.rjmcmorran.co.uk

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COMPETITION • COMPETITION For over 50 years, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been the world’s longest running stage production. Today the record-breaking production will enter its 60th year in London’s West End, and on 25 November 2012 will celebrate the actual 60th Birthday with a gala in aid of Mousetrap Theatre Projects. Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is unique. It sets a new world record every day for the number of performances. When The Mousetrap opened on 25th November 1952 with Richard Attenborough and his fellow film-star and beloved wife Sheila Sim in the leading roles, it was only seven years since Hitler died. Much essential food was still rationed, Mr Winston Churchill was Prime Minister, Harry Truman was President of the United States, and Stalin was ruler of Russia. There was fighting in Korea, and Princess Elizabeth began her long reign as Queen. The last tram ran in London, Television programmes ended at 10.30 p.m., and the entire TV listings only occupied three and a half lines. Since The Mousetrap opened 390 actors and actresses have appeared in the play, there have been 221 understudies. 119 miles of shirts miles of shirts have been ironed. The play has been presented in 27 different languages in more than 50 countries. It all started in 1947 when the late Queen Mary was approaching her 80th birthday on 26th May, the BBC wanted to do a special radio broadcast as a tribute. Remember in 1947 TV was virtually unknown, and made enquiries as to what she

would like. Opera, Shakespeare, anything she choose was hers for the asking. Back came the reply, an Agatha Christie play. Agatha Christie wrote a 30 minute play for Queen Mary’s birthday called, Three Blind Mice. And so a legend was born, because Three Blind Mice was eventually enlarged into The Mousetrap. The play opened at a Theatre so small that it had to be an immediate smash hit to survive. Well, it was and it did. Why has it run? No one can say. A family play, a good who donit, comedy and thrills, well constructed (perhaps better than people realise). But other plays have also qualified in these categories. After 18 months, star Richard Attenborough left, which would have been a death blow to most plays. But with no “names “ The Mousetrap strode triumphantly on, records came and went. And there came a time - no one can say at what point - when The Mousetrap was an institution. And still people laughed, admired and wondered. Publicity was self perpetuating, helped by mammoth celebration parties which the stars generously supported. The fact that Agatha Christie herself rarely gave interviews made her occasional ones enormous news. In its first 50 years The Mousetrap had more than 324 different actors and actresses in its cast of 8, 162 understudies and 20 different directors. During its 60 years the scenery and all the furnishings have been replaced except for one armchair and a clock. www.the-mousetrap.co.uk

Villager Magazine has three champagne packages each worth £131.50 to giveaway, each packages consists of a pair of tickets, a Bottle of Champagne, a Brochure and a Souvenir Programme. The prize is only applicable Mon-Thurs and not on a Bank Holiday and should be used within 3 months. Please send your name and address to enter the prize draw to Mousetrap Prize Draw, The Villager, 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP.

COMPETITION • COMPETITION To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122

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Enjoy Some Tulip Mania

by pippa Greenwood All those years ago when ‘Tulipmania’ was rife, people were so taken by tulips that it’s said they paid similar to house prices for some especially prized tulip bulbs. Now that might seem crazy, but nowadays we can relax and enjoy tulips without spending a fortune. They are amazingly good value, as a visit to your local garden centre will prove and now’s a great time to plant tulip bulbs. In fact it’s better to plant them over the next few weeks than to have planted them in September, so take the plunge and indulge in some tulip bulbs that have the potential to transform your flower beds and tubs next spring with their silken-petalled, strikingly coloured blooms. Late Planting - Tulip bulbs are best planted after you plant most of your other spring flowering bulbs. Planting from the last half of October and well in to November generally works best. Plant too early and the bulbs will be far more prone to damage by the fungal ‘tulip fire’ disease which wrecks the leaves and flowers, so you can relax in the knowledge that spring is now packed full of potential. Gritty Bed - If your garden soil is inclined to be clay and rather heavy, tulips may suffer and are certainly less likely to come back after their first wet winter. A heavy loam works well but anything that isn’t well drained may cause problems. You can solve this to a good extent by digging an extra large planting hole and putting an inch or two of horticultural gravel or grit in the base of the hole before planting the bulb. Don’t use grit or gravel left over from the local building site, as this often contains salts and other contaminants which may harm or kill garden plants. Contained Colour - Tulips make great plants for containers such as window boxes, tubs and decent-sized pots and planters. All types do well, but shorter varieties generally look best (check the front of the pack or the catalogue for heights). Good drainage is essential so make sure that there are plenty of crocks in the base of the container and that it’s well supplied with drainage holes. Either a loam-free multi-purpose compost or use this mixed 50:50 with a loambased compost and a bit of added grit. Fantastic Foliage - Tulips are best known for their gorgeous flowers, but don’t forget that many also have good looking foliage which can help to

bring colour and texture to your pots and beds. Try the Kaufmanniana types such as ‘Johann Strauss’(dark red flowers with yellow edges and mottled leaves), or even better the Greigii type tulips which all have maroon patterning on the leaves, such as ‘Red Riding Hood’ (richest red with black). Choosing tulips with fantastic foliage means that they give you something to enjoy both before and after the fantastic floral display. Tulip Partners - It’s the ultimate classic combination, but to my mind it’s still not used often enough – richest red tulips surrounded by a mist of pale blue forget-me-nots. Dreamily pretty, this wonderful combination is easy to achieve; you can sow the forget-me-not seed now, as you plant the bulbs, or if you prefer sow them early in the year, just before the bulbs emerge. Either way the display you achieve will be breathtakingly beautiful. Long-lived Lovelies - In most gardens tulips are not the longest living bulbs, however you can always try growing the so-called species tulips such as Tulipa sprengeri or Tulipa turkestanica. They have smaller, less-showy flowers and will be considerably more expensive initially but they look gorgeous, tend to last longer and, better still, spread extensively in the right spot. After a few years a carpet of species tulips can be achieved, and will take your breath away. Good Companions - Tulips look great with each other or with many other plants. Try combining the richly purple-black leaved Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’ with any purple tulip such as ‘Passionale’, or for a wackier effect chose one of the frilly petalled parrot-tulips with green streaks on their petals, or the green ‘spring green’ tulip, combined with any low-growing shrub. So whether your garden is large or small, or you’re restricted to a paved backyard or a balcony, this is the best time of year to think tulips and all they have to offer your garden. Start planting now and transform your garden for spring. Visit Pippa’s website www.pippagreenwood.com. You can also sign up for Pippa’s newsletter and get a free ebook on organic gardening.

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LAWN CARE

FOR OCTOBER

Autumn Feed This feed is another important part of any lawncare programme. Feed with a fertiliser high in Phosphate and Potassium with additional Iron for that dark green look Aeration Soil compaction is a frequent cause of turf deterioration and moss invasion so we recommend aerating in autumn/winter; over sow with seed to help any bare areas re- establish before weeds and moss do! Worm Casts This month will probably see the appearance of worm casts (small mounds of earth brought to the surface by worms). Treatments can be applied to stop the casts occurring in the first place. Moss Moss will start to encroach now and it is advisable to treat now before it competes with the lawn. Our fertiliser contains extra iron to help reduce the moss problem.

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Actions required in Autumn Autumn feed/Moss Control - Improves colour and controls moss Aerate lawn - Relieves compaction and prepares soil for sowing extra seed Worm Casts - Brush off when dry or treat with a pesticide Moss - Treat moss Some of the above tasks can be carried out by the lawn owner; other tasks may need some professional intervention. For more information about ProLawnCare Ltd services on offer Call Deborah or Richard on 01480 812393 e-mail- info@prolawncare.co.uk Got a Question? Ask the Lawn Ranger www.prolawncare.co.uk/lawnranger.asp “for that Lawn you’ve longed for” Follow us on twitter - prolawncareuk

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Shuttleworth C O L L E C T I O N

COLD WAR

FAST–JET TRIBUTE AIR SHOW

Meet former East German MiG & Sukhoi pilots pilots

Sunday 7th October 2012

FEATURING THE RETURN TO THE SKIES OF THE RECORD BREAKING

de Havilland DH88 Comet d

Book Launch Hawker Hunter Vampire Gnat trio North American F-86 Sabre display

Tony Haig-Thomas welcome & valedictory speech & handover to Air Chief Marshal Sir John Allison Ret’d (Hangar 5 members only)

Fast-Jet air and ground crews should register for the reunion on 01767 627924 Public admissions online: £20 adult (£25 at the gate) Accompanied Children FREE up to 16yrs) Admission includes FREE entry to the Bird of Prey Centre, Swiss Garden & Jubliee Play Centre Shuttleworth Collection Old Warden Aerodrome Nr Biggleswade ggleswad swade Bedfordshire SG18 9E 9EP P

01767 627927 www.shuttleworth.org g

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SEASONAL DELIGHTS AUTUMN PUDDING

Serves 6 Ready in 1 hour (plus overnight chilling)

Try this variation on summer pudding making the most of the early Autumn fruits, such as plums, blackberries and delicious English apples. Serve with softly whipped double cream flavoured with a splash of Calvados for a really indulgent dessert. INGREDIENTS 175g caster sugar 3 small English eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced 4 red plums, halved, stones removed and sliced 100g raspberries 100g strawberries, hulled and sliced 100g blackcurrants or blueberries 100g blackberries 10 slices thick-sliced white bread Extra fruit, to decorate 1 Place the sugar and 200ml of cold water in a large pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add the sliced apples and simmer for 5-10 minutes until just tender. Add the rest of the

fruit and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Leave to cool. 2 Remove the crusts from the bread slices. Use a round cookie cutter to stamp out a circle from one slice of bread to fit the base of a 1.2 litre pudding basin. Cut the remaining slices of bread in half. 3 Carefully strain half of the fruit syrup from the cooled fruit into a shallow dish. Lightly dip most of the slices of bread into the syrup and arrange around the side of the pudding basin, overlapping them slightly to completely line the basin. Dip the bread circle into the syrup and press into the bottom of the basin. 4 Spoon the fruit into the lined basin, pressing down gently with the back of a spoon. Use the remaining slices of bread to cover the fruit filling completely and spoon over any remaining syrup. 5 Place a saucer on top of the basin and weigh it down with 2-3 food cans. Chill in the fridge overnight. To serve, carefully turn the pudding out onto a plate and decorate with extra sliced fruit.

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CODEWORD

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

9 X 9 PUZZLE

How to play It’s simple! Fill in the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box, contains the digits 1 through to 9 with no repetition. Use your logic to solve the puzzle. Watch out! Sudoku is highly addictive.

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Welcome PRICES

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Preparing your body

for pregnancy

If you’re hoping to become pregnant then make sure your body is ready for this exciting time in your life. If you’re trying for a baby then you need to ensure that your body is a safe haven so your baby can develop healthily during your pregnancy. The first 12 weeks are particularly important as this is when your baby goes through major developments in a very short period. By looking after your body from the moment you start thinking about becoming pregnant you will be laying good foundations for the months ahead as your body changes. Eating healthily A healthy body weight is important for fertility. Being too overweight or underweight can affect the hormones needed to stimulate ovulation. A well-balanced diet will give you the best chance of conceiving. You should eat plenty of potatoes and pasta to provide complex carbohydrates, at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and three portions of dairy, such as yoghurt and cheese. You should also include 2-3 portions of protein in the form of meat, fish or cooked lentils a day, too. You only need a small amount of fatty foods to gain their benefits, such as avocados, nuts and fatty fish. Drink plenty of fluids - around two litres a day. This should be mainly water, but milk, herbal teas and fruit juices are also good. Keep your kitchen clean and always cook food well to avoid infections such as Salmonella and Listeria. You should start taking folic acid supplements as soon as you can and check with your GP to see if they recommend any other vitamins. Foods to avoid: Cut down on salty, sugary and fatty foods as they provide very little health benefit. Avoid blue cheese such as Stilton and Gorgonzola or those which have a soft rind of mould, such as Camembert, as well as pates as these tend to contain liver and liver products. Avoid eating raw fish, such as Sushi and shellfish such as oysters and make sure all fish is well cooked to kill off bacteria or viruses. Always check that food is well cooked, including eggs. Your GP should be able to give you an extensive list of what to avoid. Relaxation Deciding to have a baby is the first step to a major life change. You may not become pregnant as

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quickly as you hoped, but it’s important to try and remain relaxed. Prioritise your tasks, make sure you give yourself enough ‘downtime’ and pamper yourself. Some people find meditating is a wonderful way to calm the mind and think positively. Exercise If you exercise regularly there is no need to stop this until the later months of your pregnancy, unless your GP advises otherwise or you take part in extreme sports. If you don’t do much exercise, now is a good time to start some gentle activities. Regular, moderate exercise (30 minutes, three times a week) can improve your physical well being and mood and ensure your body is in good shape for pregnancy. It will also help you to build stamina and become supple and flexible, which will help you during labour. Swimming, walking and yoga are all good exercises if you’re just starting out. By starting early, you are giving your baby the best chance of a healthy time in the womb, leaving you to enjoy your pregnancy.

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FLOORED By Ian

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Your local supplier of fitted floors in carpet, vinyl, laminate or Karndean Free visits to estimate or advise. Best prices and quality with a friendly service. Enquiries to 01480 475486 or (Mobile) 07876 238308

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MULTISPORT SESSIONS

FOR 11 TO 16 YEAR OLDS The Sport England funded DASH Project (Delivering Activity and Sport in Huntingdonshire) has been delivering free multisport sessions for 11 to 16 year olds in different locations across the district. They offer structured coaching in a variety of sports led by qualified sports coaches. Popular sports among the participants are dodgeball, cricket and volleyball. Councillor Tom Sanderson, whose executive responsibilities include sport and active lifestyles, said: “It’s great to see so many young people wanting to develop their sporting skills in these multisport sessions. As it is Olympic year, it’s especially pleasing to see the DASH project giving young people the opportunity to experience all these different sports.” More sessions will be running from 3 September to 28 November 2012 in Alconbury on Mondays at Alconbury Multi Use Games Area from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, and in Earith on Wednesdays at Earith Multi Use Games Area from 4pm to 5pm. All

sessions are free and no booking is required, just turn up on the day. The DASH project will continue to offer a wide range of sporting activities throughout 2012 and into 2013. For more information about the DASH project and what it has to offer you visit www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/dash or contact the Sport and Active Lifestyles team on 01480 387098.

Fun Quiz - Monsters 1. Which fictional monster lived on Skull Island? 2. On the TV show Sesame Street, what colour is the Cookie Monster’s fur? 3. In the Shakespeare play Othello, what is referred to as “the green eyed monster”? 4. What is the more common name for a lycanthrope? 5. Lending its name to a roller coaster at Seaworld in Orlando, Florida, what is the name of the legendary sea monster that is said to have been seen off the coasts of Norway and Iceland? 6. “Monsters Unleashed” is the sub-title to a 2004 sequel to which 2002 film? 7. Which comedienne called herself “the Sea Monster” when she first began doing stand-up comedy? 8. Also used as a motor racing track, which site hosted the Monsters Of Rock festivals between 1980 and 1996? 9. Who played the title role in the 1994 film Frankenstein? 10. In which Stephen King novel does a monster take the form of a clown called Pennywise? 1. King Kong 2. Blue 3. Jealousy 4. A werewolf 5. Kraken 6. Scooby Doo 7. Jo Brand 8. Donington Park 9. Kenneth Brannagh (note: Robert de Niro is incorrect as he played the monster) 10. It

Before

After

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The Villager Prize Crossword

Last Month’s Crossword Winners Congratulations to: 1st Jean Hunt from Biggleswade 2nd Paul Larkins from Alconbury For last month’s solution please visit www.villagermag.com

sponsors of

THE VILLAGER PRIZE CROSSWORD

1st Prize £25 Name:

Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this section and send to the address below before 19th October 2012 Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP

2nd Prize £15

Tel:

Address:

Across 1 Fog (4) 3 Travellers (8) 9 Table support (7) 10 Entrance (5) 11 Clarifications (12) 14 Epoch (3) 16 Sphere (5) 17 To drink (3) 18 Uses camera (12) 21 Large sea (5) 22 Lawn game (7) 23 Mixing (8) 24 Steak (4) Down 1 Mumbled (8) 2 Snooze (5) 4 Poem (3) 5 Ice-box (12) 6 Proverbs (7) 7 Painful (4) 8 Untangled (12) 12 Amid (5) 13 Alcoholic appetiser (8) 15 Accomplish (7) 19 Dwelling (5) 20 Grave (4) 22 Tin (3)

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We're launching

brand new developments near you! For further information and to register your interest visit www.kierhomes.co.uk

or call us today on

01767 642500 To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122

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Help – my child is a bully!

By Alex Brown

It’s what every parent dreads, but bullying behaviour can be beaten. We all want our children to have good friends and can’t bear the thought of them being bullied. But what can you do if you think that it’s your own child who is the bully? The first thing is to keep calm. It is important to know exactly what’s going on before you act. Was this an isolated incident or is it something that has been going on for a while? Talk to your child’s teachers and find out as much as you can about what led up to the bullying behaviour, what triggered it, who was involved, and so on. Discuss what happened with your child. Why did they act in the way they did? Bullying behaviour is often caused by other problems in a child’s life. They might have been retaliating against another child’s aggression

or teasing. Low self-esteem, unhappiness, stress, boredom and jealousy are also triggers. Whether it’s a one-off or a long-term problem, you need to tell your child that all bullying is unacceptable. Encourage them to think how the other child must feel – a role-play exercise may help. Explain that if it doesn’t stop now, the situation could become worse and lead to suspension from school or even police involvement. Set out clear consequences that you will implement if the bullying continues, but give your child chances to show improved behaviour. Set goals and reward them when they succeed. Try to keep the atmosphere in your home as calm and relaxed as possible. Children will copy what they see and need to learn appropriate ways of dealing with anger, such as taking ten deep breaths or going to a quiet place to cool off. To boost their self-esteem, find an activity or sport that your child enjoys and give them lots of praise and encouragement. You could divert their excess energy into jobs around the house – tidying up, watering the garden or walking the dog – anything that gets them moving in a positive way and earns them rewards. Keep in touch with school to check that your child’s behaviour is improving. If you think the situation is getting serious, don’t be afraid to ask for help – your doctor or the school can suggest a child psychologist or counsellor. The charities listed below will also give you good advice. And don’t expect instant results. It can take months or even years to change bullying behaviour, and the older the child, the harder it is – but it’s worth it! Bullying UK: www.bullying.co.uk 0808 800 2222 Kidscape: www.kidscape.org.uk 08451 205 204 Beat Bullying: www.beatbullying.org 0208 771 3377

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Firework Safety and Etiquette

By Debbie Singh-Bhatti Hosting and planning a party can be stressful, what with checking there’s enough food and drink to go around and organising the entertainment. Fireworks are a brilliant way to entertain guests, but whilst they may look pretty in the night sky, they can also be extremely dangerous. Make sure that in between shopping for party-poppers and paper plates, you also have the right safety equipment needed for your display. Gloves and eye protection are a must have, as well as a taper for setting off fireworks at arm’s length - you don’t want to burn off your eyebrows by mistake! Make sure that everybody stands well back, and do not approach fireworks that have been lit - even if they haven’t gone off – as there’s a chance they still could. Store your fireworks in a metal box, away from flames, so that your party doesn’t go off with the wrong kind of bang, and always keep a bucket of water nearby to put out sparklers safely. Last of all, don’t forget to tell your neighbours in Construction

Plasterer

Design Consultancy

Mistletoe Interiors Emma Rees 07885 135478 info@mistletoeinteriors.co.uk www.mistletoeinteriors.co.uk

Interior and exterior design consultancy, home staging, soft furnishings, lighting, accessories, paints, wallpaper

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advance that you’re having a party so that they aren’t inconvenienced by the noise, and if your party is not on November 5th itself do not set fireworks off after 11pm as it’s against the law and you could be fined! On November 5th you have until 12 midnight. Most importantly, make sure you have fun, enjoy yourself, and stay safe!

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Aloconbury October 12