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Issue 44 - December 2012

and Town



Inside this issue...

Beat the Winter Blues

Advice and tips on how to keep your spirits up now the cold weather and dark nights are here


Our regular history article and a chance to WIN £25 in our prize crossword Also find something to do for everyone in our extensive What’s On section

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In this Issue

Issue 44 - December 2012

and Town




Little Venice

Inside this issue...

Beat the Winter Blues

Advice and tips on how to keep your spirits up now the cold weather and dark nights are here

Quaint, Authentic Italian Restaurant


Our regular history article and a chance to WIN £25 in our prize crossword Also find something to do for everyone in our extensive What’s On section


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Advertising Sales Christa Hallam - Tel: 07868 369257 Additional Editorial Tony Larkins, Peter Ibbett, Claudia Leaf, Helen Taylor, Geoff Wharton, Pippa Greenwood and James Baggott Front Cover Photo: Sandra Cunningham Design and Artwork Design 9 - Tel 07762 969460 Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122 Email:


and Town Life


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.

Prize Crossword £25 could be yours!

Who Once Lived Behind the Gate..................................................................4 Top Tips for Christmas Decorations...............................................................6 A Very Vintage Christmas..................................................................................8 Safe Local Trades Fundraising....................................................................... 11 Beat the Winter Blues....................................................................................... 15 Wildlife Trust........................................................................................................ 16 Which LBD for your Shape?........................................................................... 17 Hygiene in the Home....................................................................................... 18 Bright World Guardianships.......................................................................... 21 Party Perfect make Up..................................................................................... 22 Acupuncture for Well Being........................................................................... 24 Disability Gymnastics....................................................................................... 25 Top Tips for Parenting Apart at Christmas................................................ 28 Don’t Rest on your Laurels............................................................................. 31 Winter Planters................................................................................................... 34 Rural Ramblings................................................................................................. 36 Animal Stories..................................................................................................... 39 Fun Quiz................................................................................................................ 39 Ford B-Max........................................................................................................... 41 Let’s Ditch Secret Santa................................................................................... 42 Children’s Page................................................................................................... 44 Seasonal Delights.............................................................................................. 47 Puzzle Page.......................................................................................................... 48 Free Christmas Parking.................................................................................... 50 What’s On............................................................................................................. 58 Don’t Let Food Poisoning Ruin your Christmas...................................... 61 Wordsearch.......................................................................................................... 62

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at The Villager 16,000 copies delivered free of charge to all homes in the following areas: Hinchingbrooke, Hinchingbrooke Park, Brampton, Buckden, Offord Cluny, Offord D’arcy, Godmanchester, Hemingford Abbots and Hemingford Grey, Cambourne, Chawston, Croxton, Duloe, Graveley, Great Paxton, Hail Weston, Honeydon, Little Barford, Little Paxton, Roxton, Southoe, Staploe, Tempsford, Toseland, Upper Staploe, Wintringham, Wyboston, Yelling. (Further bulk drops are made to local shops and busineses in Huntingdon, St Neots, Eaton Ford, Eaton Socon and Eynesbury)

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Who once lived


New housing is springing up around central St.Neots filling in empty spaces like rampant weeds. In Church Street stand a fine pair of ornamental iron gates which once opened into Hall Place, probably the principal house in the town in the 18th century, which now provides a vista to a 21st century housing development. But what would passing eyes have seen through the gates in days gone by? It is recorded in 1754 that “Mr Pullen had an exceedingly good house, now in the Cotton family, and rented to Mrs Markham and her sister and their priest Father Bedingfield.” 20th century excavations revealed a square plan building measuring 51ft x 53ft. It once had a fishpond 12ft deep and 15ft across which may have been filled in around 1600. The site was sold in 1770 to John Broughton of Kettering, a carpenter, who may have demolished the house for its materials as by 1773 the site is described as ‘where a capital messuage lately stood’. In 1791 the site had been acquired by Dr Alvey of Old Hall Cambridge 4

Street which has now become the current Hall Place. The earlier history of the site was revealed in excavation work from the late 1920’s to the early 1960’s when evidence of large wooden houses of the late Saxon Period were found with other finds that indicated Roman and medieval occupation. A type of late Saxon pottery which has become known as ‘St. Neots Ware’ saw the light of day for the first time for around a millennium in the former Hall Place grounds. Perhaps, in another few hundred years time, this excellent example of the metal workers craft may still be standing. What, I wonder will be the view that readers of the future Villager will see? A 21st Century visit to the venerable technology of the printed word at St. Neots Library’s Local Studies section will enable the reader to investigate further the remarkable history of Cambridgeshire’s largest town and to take their own journey ‘back into the future.

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QUE SERA More than just a gift shop

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Top tips for

xmas decorations Have your festive decorations lost their sparkle? Are they gaudy rather than gorgeous, tacky instead of terrific? Katherine Sorrell has some ideas to bring back your home’s Christmas cheer with wreaths, baubles and garlands galore Choose a theme - Rather than assembling any old cacophony of decorations, choosing a theme brings unity to the overall look. It should suit the style of your house and the way your family celebrates the festive season, whether laid-back and relaxed, sophisticated or formal. For some, that might mean a traditional, living fir tree and a colour theme of red, green and gold. For others, a kitsch fake tree with fluorescent ornaments; or perhaps a minimal, modern style with pure silver and glass. A Scandinavian theme would involve simple decorations in red and white, while a colourful, contemporary theme would be based around one or two bright colours. Dress the tree - Start by winding it with lights – making sure they’re evenly distributed by occasionally switching them on and standing back for an overall impression. Use a small stepladder if necessary to reach the top. Next, drape your garlands, again aiming for evenness and an impression of generosity without overloading the tree. On small or slim trees, use slender garlands; on larger trees you can afford to go for heavier, fancier garlands. Last, hang your ornaments, with the largest first, filling in around them with smaller ones. Don’t hang all the ornaments on the tips of branches – placing some nearer the trunk creates a sense of depth and interest. Hang a wreath - For some, the making of a family wreath using foraged leaves, flowers, seeds, nuts and fruit is a significant part of the holiday season; for others, creating a decorative wreath offers the chance to experiment with exciting new materials, from tinsel to feathers, pearls to buttons. Alternatively, ready-made examples are available in any style imaginable, from classic to contemporary, heart-shaped or circular, small or large, utterly simple or lavish and complex. Whatever its style, a Christmas wreath always provides a wonderful sense of festive welcome. Make some decorations - Home-made Christmas decorations can be as elaborate or simple as you wish, be they charmingly childish or ultrasophisticated. Multi-coloured paper chains are


the ultimate in family favourites, as are cutwork paper stars and clove-studded oranges. How about pom pom snowmen, peg-doll angels or glitter-covered pine cones? Or mini stocking shapes cut out of felt and ginger biscuits to hang from the tree? It’s all great fun and will create happy memories for years to come. Wrap your presents - Transform present-wrapping from a chore to a pleasure by taking a little extra time and trouble. When they’re piled under the tree they will look so much better if they’re colourcoordinated and criss-crossed with ribbons and bows. Inexpensive paper – even brown paper or newsprint – looks lovely if adorned with a home-made label, while sequins, feathers, glitter, stamped designs and wired beads can all provide additional allure. For a frivolous finishing touch add a tiny pine cone, iced biscuit or small bauble. Sort out your cards - An abundance of cards can soon appear to cover every available surface, so it pays to establish a system as soon as they start arriving. The most straightforward option is to clear a shelf or two, and arrange them close together, large at the back and small at the front, in neat rows. Smaller cards can be tucked around a mirror or picture frame. An alternative is to staple them to ribbons (weighted by a bauble or pine cone) to hang in rows from a mantelpiece or along the side of the staircase. Create displays - Nothing says Christmas like poinsettias in pots, scented candles on the mantelpiece and ivy, holly and mistletoe draped over every available surface. Bowls of clementines or nuts are both ornamental as well as edible, while baubles or fairy lights (the latter placed near a handy socket) can also be bundled into a glass bowl or vase for a glittery effect. Now’s the time to dig out that special table runner and your best crockery, glassware and cutlery for an eyecatching table display, finished off with a dish, tray or platter filled with greenery, candles and other festive decorations.

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A very vintage Christmas

By Claudia Leaf

It’s mid December and your newly-bought Christmas tree is standing naked in the corner of your living room. So it’s to the loft, garage or shed to dig out that battered old box of decorations. If your box is anything like mine, you’ll probably find a past-its-best fairy with drooping wings, some purple and silver baubles from the Millennium and two crushed crackers from last year’s Christmas lunch (couldn’t bear to throw them away) tangled together with swathes of tinsel, garlands, non-functioning fairy lights and springs of plastic holly. Most of my hoard is cheap, garish and ultimately disposable. But there’s one very special part of the collection that I will never throw away. It’s a treasured set of old-style, hand painted tree decorations, made out of wafer thin glass. Vintage tree ornaments are an evocative sight for those of us who were children in the 1950s and 60s: each year when I unwrap my collection it takes me back to a time when Christmas seemed truly magical and exciting. Although I understand the reasons why hanging delicate glass baubles on the Christmas tree – within grabbing distance of little hands - is no longer a good idea, it’s sad to think that such beautiful items are no longer readily available. The tradition of making glass tree decorations dates back to 17th century Bohemia (the modern day Czech Republic) and Germany. Today’s familiar ball shapes had their origins at a place called Lauscha in Germany, where legend has it they were first created when glass blowers competed to see who could blow the largest sphere before the molten glass popped. Those that survived were kept by the glassmakers’


wives, swirled with silver nitrate and sold at local markets as magic talismans, offering protection and blessing during the holy season. In 1848 a picture of the young Queen Victoria’s Christmas tree, hung with decorations brought from her husband Prince Albert’s native Germany, was published in the Illustrated London News. This sparked a copycat craze throughout Europe and soon whole families in the town of Lauscha were employed to mass-produce decorations – the menfolk blowing the glass and the women and children painting and finishing the ornaments. Later that century, German immigrants brought the same passion for glass decorations to America. Thanks to entrepreneur Frank Woolworth - who bought millions for his popular chain stores - what began as a cottage industry in Lauscha became an international phenomenon. By the mid-20th century new molding techniques had sped up mass production and reduced the cost of manufacture. In addition to the more conventional round and oval shapes, there were decorations shaped like musical instruments, stars, lanterns, mushrooms, snowflakes, snowy cottages and little figures of Santa Claus. My favourites were the exotic birds with silky fibre glass tails that clipped onto your tree and trembled like real birds. Nowadays most Christmas tree ornaments are made out of plastic, but if you do happen to find a Lauschan treasure lurking at the bottom of your decorations box, take good care of it. Vintage tree ornaments are becoming highly collectable and you can find sets on Ebay and other online auction sites for between £15 and £30.

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£4k for Age UK!

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Each October, local company Safe Local Trades organise fund-raising events for their chosen charity Age UK Peterborough. This year there were two events - the Great Eastern Fun Run on 14th October and a Firewalk on 18th October. Both events were an overall success and the organiser, Eileen Le Voi, owner of Safe Local Trades, said “we would like to thank all our runners and firewalkers for taking part in helping to raise £4,185 for this very worthy cause, and to everyone who supported us by donating to our teams.” Nineteen brave people hot-footed it across red hot coals of over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. “It was an amazing and exhilarating experience for everyone”, said Eileen, “following the preliminary seminar, you couldn’t hold anyone back, we were all on such a positive high!” The Firewalk was run by Steve Consalvez of Success Formulae, based in Thorney, Peterborough. Eileen went on to say “it is a privilege to raise funds for Age UK – funds which help them to continue to deliver vital services to older people.” David Bache, CEO of Age UK Peterborough, who also took part in the Great Eastern Fun Run, said “we are once again thrilled with the amount of money that these great volunteers have raised for our charity. Without such generosity we would find it really difficult to continue supporting older people in our communities. My thanks go to all the people who took part in the events, all those who sponsored them, and of course Eileen Le Voi of Safe Local Trades, who did a wonderful job in organising us all”. provides free access to highly recommended, vetted and approved local tradesmen across the PE Postocode area Tel: 0800 014 1832

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Beat The Winter Blues….

One in 15 Britons becomes depressed in winter and suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). Millions more have low spirits or ‘the winter blues’ during the winter months. Key symptoms include Depression, Sleep Problems, Lethargy, Over Eating and Loss of Concentration. Treatment can include medication and Light Therapy. However, there are plenty of things you can do yourself to help combat the ‘Winter Blues’: 1) Get Outdoors – Although cold and wintery weather doesn’t necessarily inspire outdoor activities, getting a regular dose of fresh air will help lighten your mood. Natural daylight, even on cloud-covered days, is beneficial. We have a great climate here in the east and have much less rain than the rest of the country and even if it is raining it always looks worse from inside the window take advantage and get outside, you will ALWAYS feels better for it! 2) Exercise More - Activity is believed to change the level of the mood-regulating chemical serotonin in the brain. Dr Andrew McCulloch is chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, which has produced a report on the mental health benefits of exercise. He says: “There’s convincing evidence that 30 minutes’ vigorous exercise three times a week is effective against depression, and anecdotal evidence that lighter exercise will have a beneficial effect too. MIND says research has shown that a one-hour walk

in the middle of the day is an effective way to beat the winter blues. Exercise outside, even with cloudy skies overhead, increases serotonin levels which are the neurotransmitters which make us feel happy, as well as oxygenate our cells. 3) Eat Well – the winter blues can increase the craving for refined carbs and sweet treats. However, these foods actually accentuate the problem as they make you feel lethargic and contribute to weight gain. Instead, eat from a diet of whole grains, lean proteins and fruit and vegetables. Eating moderate portions of whole foods will leave you feeling more energized, even if you stay indoors. 4) Keep Warm - being cold makes you more depressed so keep as warm as you can and you could half the symptoms of the winter blues clinical studies have shown. 5) Stay Social – Studies indicate that socialising is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you only go for a little while. It will really help to lift your spirits. Neal Thomas is a Personal Trainer and runs at Brampton Park Golf Club. He can be contacted at or by calling 07887 845703.

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Christmas Special

Start your New Year off with a

Wildlife Trust

The Wildlife Trust, Huntingdonshire Local Group, welcomes you to our Christmas Special on Wednesday 12th December 2011. This year Pat Doody will give an overview of the reserves of Huntingdonshire and George Cottam will focus on Brampton Wood. Pat has a long association with the Wildlife Trust and is Chairman of our Local Group. He has worked for the Nature Conservancy Council and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. George has been Warden of Brampton Wood for many years, liaising with the Wildlife Trust in the management of the wood and organizing work parties and guided walks on a regular basis. George is also a leading member of the local group. As usual at our Christmas meeting we will provide mince pies and wine and there will be a Christmas raffle. Everyone is most welcome to attend. Suggested donation £2.00 members; £2.50 nonmembers. Please meet at Brampton Memorial Hall, Thrapston Road, Brampton, PE28 4TB at 7.30pm. Further details from Phil Clark on 01487 822835 or

Would you like to raise your profile and gain more business locally in 2013? Advertising in The Villager & Town Life magazine is a great cost effective way of promoting your business or service in your local area. We distribute over 16,000 copies door to door, free of charge, giving you the largest potential customer audience out of any other local magazine in the area. To reserve your space in the January issue please call Christa on Tel 07868 369257 by Monday 10th December 2012.

Wishing you all a Happy Festive Season!

Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 December

Christmas Crafts at Wood Green a seasonal confection of gift ideas arts crafts foods wines and more to compliment every festive taste Wood Green Godmanchester Centre London Road nr. Godmanchester Cambridgeshire PE29 2NH

open 10am - 4pm FREE PARKING admission: £2.50 concession: £2 child 5 years and younger FREE


01206 263088



supported by

MAY 2013

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Which LBD for your shape?

By Debbie Singh-Bhatti In today’s ever changing world of fashion, there is one item of clothing that should stand the test of time if chosen correctly. Simple, elegant styling that can be dressed up or down will ensure durability and versatility for every girl’s wardrobe essential – the little black dress! When selecting the ideal LBD, pay attention to the cut, style and length. Petite frames look good in short dresses – they elongate the legs - but if you want your LBD to last more than a season or two the most enduring, universally flattering length is around the knee. If you have a large chest, try a square, V-shaped or wrap neckline, and avoid puffy sleeves that will add unwanted volume. Pear shaped ladies should balance out a larger bottom half by wearing a top with embellishments to accentuate the bust line. In addition, the skirt should define the waist and loosely skim the hips. Wide shoulders can be minimised by wearing a one shoulder style, and by avoiding a full or

blouson top and fitted bottom. If you don’t have much of a waist, move the waistline up or down, or eliminate it all together with a shift dress. Whatever style you decide on, consider following the 3:1 rule: 3 parts covered to one part revealed to keep your image chic and sexy!

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in the home Home hygiene? We all know what we should be doing to keep our home hygienically clean - or do we? Most of us think we know what to do to keep our homes clean - but one study found that two-thirds of Britons don’t follow basic home hygiene. Do you know what temperature your fridge should be? Or that clothes left on the floor can pick up germs? Or that within eight hours one bacterium on a damp cloth can multiply to six million? Read on... Kitchen Work surfaces: A quick wipe with a damp cloth is not enough to kill bacteria - particularly if you’ve been using the same cloth for a few days. Use a disinfectant or antibacterial spray to clean surfaces - and don’t just leave that dried bit of food that’s been lurking in the corner for the past week. A home hygiene survey carried out by the Hygiene Council found that in 12% of cases visibly clean surfaces were in fact heavily contaminated by bacteria. Food preparation: It is estimated that up to 80% of food-borne illnesses happen in the home. Micro-organisms that cause these illnesses can be spread from raw meat onto chopping boards, worktops and utensils. Always use a separate board for chopping vegetables from the one on which you chop raw meat. Your fridge should be at 5ºC. Defrosting and cooking: Always follow the instructions for defrosting food, particularly in a microwave where being only a few seconds off can make a difference. Always make sure food, particularly meat, is cooked to 70ºC. Reheated food should also be heated at 70ºC or above and only re-serve leftovers once. Cooked food should not be left at room temperature for longer than two hours. Dishcloths: These are the worst culprits for harbouring germs. Always use disposable cloths and rinse them out thoroughly after each use, before hanging them to dry. If they remain damp it allows bacteria to quickly multiply. Living/sleeping areas Bacteria in food dropped on the floor or sofa can survive for a long time, so ignore these at your peril. Regularly vacuuming the sofa will help prevent debris building up. It will also help to


eliminate dust mites, which can cause allergies. Steam cleaning living room furniture and beds is a good way to rid them of mites. Curtains can also be home to bacteria and mites if not cleaned properly. Again, steam cleaning is a good way to thoroughly deep clean or take the curtains to the dry cleaners. Toys often carry lots of germs as babies and small children love to drag them along the floor - and then put them in their mouth. Clean hard or plastic toys by washing them in warm, soapy water. Soft toys can often be put through the washing machine - check the label. Bathrooms Bathrooms are probably one of the cleaner rooms in the house as we know to clean the toilet well to protect against germs. But how often do you also disinfect the loo handle/ button or the bathroom door handle? Children should wash their hands every time after using the loo, but often forget, meaning germs are easily spread. Shower trays are another area where germs can easily build up, so make sure these are given more than a swift wipe. Simple measures mean it doesn’t have to be hard work to keep your home hygienically clean, keeping your family safe.

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Culture Lesson at the Breakfast Table

and a great way to boost your Income Given the continuing huge demand for places at UK boarding schools from overseas, Bright World Guardianships, a Sussex based company, is predicting yet another increase in the number of students who will be joining schools in the UK in September this year. Bright World Guardianships is a long established Guardianship company charged with offering care to international students in UK boarding schools whose parents are not living here. These bright and brave young students are full boarders at schools but need host family accommodation when schools close for short breaks such as Half terms and exeat weekends. With so many excellent independent schools in the UK, it is likely that an increase in demand will be evident here. Hosting international students is a very fulfilling and rewarding role. Bright World do, of course, pay a generous nightly rate to cover expenses for visiting children which can offer a valuable

extra income to families. More than this though, hosting a young international student can make their entire experience in the UK a happy one. If you welcome them into your home they will actually look forward to exeats and half terms and it will enhance their overall experience and impression of the UK. Your children will also benefit from the exposure to sharing their home with an international student and will learn about new cultures and countries - think of it as a geography and culture lesson at your breakfast table. So becoming a Bright World host family can not only help pay for that annual holiday but will help to educate your own children to new cultures and at the same time make a young international student’s life so much better. For more information on becoming a host family for Bright World Guardianships, please contact: Lana Foster, Managing Director on

DO YOU WANT TO HOST AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FOR BRIGHT WORLD GUARDIANSHIPS? Bright World Guardianships Ltd is an AEGIS Accredited, UK wide guardianship organisation and takes care of international children studying at UK boarding schools. We are looking for families to host our students for some weekends and half terms during the academic year when their school is closed but they are too far from home to return to their Mum and Dad. Please get in touch if you are interested.

‘hosting an international student has been a rewarding experience. It has given a valuable income as well as being a fun and cultural experience’

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Party Perfect Make-Up

By Helen Taylor

We all know that it’s the most wonderful time of the year, so don’t hold back this Christmas: find a glamorous party look that’s guaranteed to make you the belle of the ball. Gorgeous hair and make-up is essential for whatever social gathering you’re attending and it’s the finishing touches that make you look really special. December’s party season is the one month in the calendar where you can really embrace a strong make-up look - so make the most of it. We’ve found one that will look great with whichever little black dress you’ll be wearing: it’s classic, sophisticated and perfect for Christmas, and here’s how to achieve it. Sophisticated Christmas Glamour: Get the look Porcelain skin, flushed cheeks, berry stained lips and defined eyes make fabulous make-up at this time of year. Embracing your natural complexion and choosing a foundation shade that’s close to it can give incredible results and a really classy finish. If you’re used to applying bronzer though, leaving it off - even in the winter - will take a little getting used to, but it’s always good to step out of your cosmetic comfort zone and try something new. Skin really has to be flawless for this look. Use a primer first, then apply a covering foundation using a foundation brush. Choose a light-reflecting loose powder to apply on top of your foundation for a radiant glow that helps to set your base. Although glittery cosmetics are everywhere at this time of year, it really is best to stay away from them, because shimmer and glitter show up every line and wrinkle and aren’t flattering unless you’re a teenager. If you do fancy some sparkle, opt for a dazzling nail varnish instead. Sculpt cheekbones by applying a blusher in a dusky pink hue. Remember not to place the colour too close to the centre of your face - smile as you apply it, to see the apples of your cheeks, and sweep upwards and outwards. Next, lightly define your eyes. Use a neutral eyeshadow across the lids and brow bone, then apply a light brown shade in the socket, and a deeper brown in the far corner. Brush your brows into shape using a brow brush,


pluck away any stray hairs and emphasise them with a hint of colour. Use a brow powder to add definition and shape - it’s worth doing this even if you don’t usually, as strong make-up calls for more defined brows - and finish with a slick of gel to set them. Choose a liquid liner in black and line your top lid. Extend the line out to create a small flick if you want to. Wait for it to dry fully before curling your eyelashes and apply lashings of mascara. For extra definition use false eyelashes, but make sure that they are natural looking. Use a soft black eye-pencil under your eye, and on the inner rim choose black liner for a smoky look or white for a wide-eyed look. Finish with a touch of mascara. Use a lip liner in a shade that compliments your lipstick and create a great shape. Using a lip brush, apply your lipstick. Choose a berry-red hue for instant glamour and finish with a dab of lip gloss in the centre of your lips for a really full look. Remember, Christmas comes but once a year - so enjoy every minute.

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Brampton Chiropractic Clinic 84 High Street, Brampton PE28 4TH DR NEIL BROE, DC and Assoc Registered with the General Chiropractic Council Members of the British Chiropractic Association Over 30 years experience A gentle but specific form of manipulation. Treating the cause of the problem ..... so Often the Answer • Back, Hip and Leg Pain • Headaches, Migraines • Cranial Therapy • Sinuses • Neck, Arm and Shoulder Pain • Muscle Ligament and Tendon Injuries • Paediatric Care

01480 436435

10% discount on initial visit BUPA and PPP registered

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Judy obtained her Licentiate in Acupuncture, and B.A (Hons) degree in Traditional Acupuncture, from the College of Traditional Acupuncture, Warwickshire. Judy is a passionate believer in the positive benefits, on both physical and emotional levels, that may be obtained from receiving acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture originated in China and other far eastern cultures where it still features in mainstream healthcare, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with conventional western medicine. Judy has been trained as a classical Five Element Acupuncturist; treatment is aimed at the root cause of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving your problem and enhancing your feelings of wellbeing. You may notice other niggling problems resolve as your main health complaint improves. Judy continues to pursue her belief in excellence of care for her patients in her role as a dedicated acupuncture practitioner, and is a member of the British Acupuncture Council. Please contact Judy for a free 20minute consultation to discuss how acupuncture treatment can help you.


Judy Lenton B.A. (Hons) Lic,Ac. MBAcC

located at

Headz Up 65 High Street Brampton Huntingdon Cambridgeshire PE28 4TQ

Traditional acupuncture for


01480 229029

health & wellbeing


07557 282617

email or visit

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HUNTINGDON GYMNASTICS CLUB During October half term Huntingdon Gymnastics Club opened its doors for the first of many Disability Specific Gymnastic Sessions, organised in partnership with the Sport and Active Lifestyles team at Huntingdonshire District Council. The session was run as part of the Sport and Active Lifestyles School Holiday programme for people with disabilities. During the afternoon participants had a go at trampolining, vaulting, and rhythmic gymnastics, whilst having the opportunity to try out various other apparatus. The main delight for many, including parents, was the extra large foam pit in the centre of the hall. Councillor Tom Sanderson, executive councillor for healthy and active communities, said: “Since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and particularly the success of the Great Britain Gymnastics Team, there has been a real buzz around Huntingdonshire for residents to get back into and try new sports. The Sport and Active

Lifestyles Team are working really hard with the community to be able to deliver more sports opportunities for people with disabilities.” Adam Scott, Huntingdon Gymnastics Club Manager, commented: “It is great to see so many people being interested in gymnastics; from the hype of the Olympics and the interest shown through taster sessions such as this, Huntingdon Gymnastics Club is currently fundraising to extend its current facility to run specific sessions on a regular basis for people with disabilities.” One parent commented “Absolutely fantastic! My daughter was able to try new things and push her boundaries.” If you would like to know more about disability sport within Huntingdonshire visit Alternatively you can contact the Sport and Active Lifestyles team on 01480 388244 for further information.

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APampering ROM ATICS & Beauty Holistics 15% of Welcome to Aromatics – for newf a haven of peace, clients pampering and relaxation in the heart of Potton. Whether you are looking for a gift for a special someone, a regular pick–me–up or a day of relaxation with your friends, we’ll take care of you. Treatments include: • • • • •

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05/11/2012 12:27


Top tips

for parenting apart at Christmas Christmas is a time to spend with family and loved ones. For children whose parents have recently separated, this can be a particularly tough time. If you’ve recently separated and are facing the first Christmas apart, here are some tips to try to make the festive season as happy as it can be in the circumstances. 1. Put your children’s needs before your own. It’s bound to be a difficult time for all, so try to put your own feelings to one side and see things from the children’s point of view first and foremost 2. Plan arrangements for Christmas as far in advance as possible. Work out how the festive period is going to be shared and what works best for you and your children. Some parents split the day on Christmas day so one parent wakes up with the children on Christmas day one year, and the other parent will do so the following year, with a changeover at Midday on Christmas Day. There are no hard and fast rules, as long as the children get to spend quality time with each parent. 3. Don’t go overboard with presents. Children love presents of course, but what they crave most of all is spending time with their families. 4. Talk to your ex partner about how much each of you will spend on presents, and try to come up with an agreed budget and what you each plan to get them. This way, you will avoid any sense of competition and the children will not


end up with identical gifts. 5. If you’re the one spending Christmas Day without the children, don’t spend it alone. Get together with friends or volunteer for some charitable work, such as with uk 6. Try and attend the children’s school events, such as nativity plays, carol services and carol singing. It will be important for the children that their parents can put any differences between them to one side and put on a united front. 7. Keep the children involved with plans and arrangements. If they are old enough, involve them in the discussions. 8. Agree who is going to serve the Brussels sprouts. Children can usually only cope with one round of festive sprouts each Christmas and they may well thank you both for that. Fiona McLeman Family Law

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Anstee Gorst

Chartered Certified Accountants

- Accounts preparation for Sole traders, Partnerships and Limited Companies - Self assessment tax returns - Cash Flow Forecasting - Vat, Payroll & Bookkeeping - Business Start Up

Free Initial Consultation Phone: Antoinette Gorst ACCA or Sally Anstee FCCA 01767 650700 Ground Floor Offices, Unit 30, Green End, Gamlingay, Sandy, Beds, SG19 3LF Email: Website:

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:, 07894095775, Regus House, 1010 Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne CB23 6DP

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Absolutely ... Positively ... NO pressure to sell! We give you FREE VALUATIONS .... YOU DECIDE !


CASH Cambridge Coins and Jewellery Coins, Medals, Banknotes, Tokens, Postcards.

Anything GOLD any SILVER....even broken jewellery!

Buying and selling old Coins, Military Medals, Tokens, Banknotes and bullion well as Jewellery.

52 High Street // Biggleswade // Beds // SG18 0LJ // (Opposite “The Codfather”) Open Wednesday to Saturday. 11am to 7pm

t: 01767 600 300 e: 30

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Don’t Rest

On Your Laurels When you received advice from your financial adviser, it was probably good advice at the time it was given. 6 months later that advice was probably still relevant because stock markets and tax laws do not “usually” change that much without prior warning, but what about 1, 3 or even 5 years later? – Almost certainly not. Advice has a shelf life and rather like food it can go off and do more harm than good. You add to that, an individual’s changing needs from their original concerns of “Will I have enough money?” or “How much will I need?”, and you start to see the importance of even an ad-hoc review. From 31st December 2012, new legislation becomes effective, which will see many IFA’s cease trading and even more no longer being independent. Due to this, we have seen an increase in enquiries recently and anticipate this continuing as there will be fewer and fewer advisers going forward and of those remaining, many are starting to limit the clients they are prepared to advise. If it has been sometime since you last saw your

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

adviser, I urge you to do so or seek a new opinion elsewhere. Facts To Consider This Month - Families where one parent earns £50k-£60k will have their child benefits reduced on a sliding scale from 7th January 2013. However, it may be possible to avoid losing benefits by making additional pension contributions. - Men retiring after 20th Dec 2012 will see their pension income reduced. - From 21st Dec 2012, the way insurance premiums are calculated will change in line with the European Gender Directive. This could result in paying more for your cover and if you stopped smoking over 12 months ago, you could miss out on significant savings. 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:

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Little Venice


A quaint, authentic and friendly restaurant, these were my first thoughts when I visited Little Venice recently. With its clean lines and simplistic approach to décor, I felt very comfortable with my surroundings, the restaurant felt warm and inviting and the welcome I received from the staff was one of genuine sincerity. Casting my eye over the menu I am ambivalent as what to choose, everything looks delightful, and from what I can see on my fellow diner’s plates, looks so well presented it would be a shame to actually destroy such a masterpiece. Italian chef Alexandro prides himself on the quality of the food he turns out, and this is


evident through his stunning presentation and unique flavours. Quite clearly every meal is designed with passion and love. As the evening goes on, I can’t help but comment on how attentive the service is, not to full on, but enough to feel like whatever you ask for is not a problem. Service with a smile is hard to come by these days but not at Little Venice. I notice on the wall there is a certificate awarded by the food standards agency giving Little Venice 5 stars for their food & hygiene, another comforting thought which I mull over whilst sipping a fantastic glass of Red. Before my evening is over I have already decided I shall be returning, and next time I think I may come and dine on a Thursday, as every week Little Venice provide live music to accompany an already fantastic night. All in all Little Venice has it all, sublime authentic Italian food with a choice of dishes that even the most discerning pallet would love, a great atmosphere with wonderful staff and best of all, satisfied customers that return again and again.

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Starters L I T T L E VENICE

Palline Verdi al sugo di pomodoro (Spinach, ricotta and nutmeg balls with tomato sauce)

Crostini alle Melanzane (Bread with aubergine, chilli and parsley)

Antipasto alla Marinara (Seafood with garlic, chilli, white wine & cherry tomatoes, served with bread)

Main Courses Risotto alla Parmigiana (Risotto with onion, parmesan and butter)

Fettuccine al sugo di Agnello (Diced lamb with garlic, rosemary, tomatoes, red wine and grated pecorino)

Braciole di Maiale alla Contadina (Breaded pork steak with olives, sage, rosemary, garlic, and tomatoes served with lentils)

Salmone al Forno (Salmon with garlic, sage, rosemary and juniper berries served with crushed potatoes with oil, garlic and parsley)

Deserts Homemade Pannacotta Homemade Tiramisu Panettone filled with chocolate or lemon cream (Traditional Cake) Booking is recommended, especially at weekends to avoid disappointment. For further information or to book a table please call 01954 715 315 St Neots Road, Caxton Gibbert, Cambridge, CB23 3PD. (A428 next to Shell Garage) Email: Website: To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


Winter Planters

by pippa Greenwood Even if you’re sure you’re not going to venture out in to your garden much in the colder months, make sure you have every possible encouragement by creating a winter planter or two. A pretty planter on the front steps or gracing the patio will not only look gorgeous from the warm comfort of the house, but will also help to coax you outside from time to time. Grab a container, some compost and a selection of plants and be creative. Larger is better, as once temperatures drop a larger container is more likely to protect the roots on the plants due to the greater volume of compost. Frozen roots are fatal, so this is really worth bearing in mind. I’d avoid any container less than 30cm (12in) diameter if possible, unless you live in a very mild area. Remember that summer bedding displays can be pulled out now, so you can always re-use suitable containers once the plants have been cleared. Any container will insulate the roots a little, but one made from thick wood (such as a wooden trough or window box, or a half-barrel) will be very effective. Good quality, fairy chunky plastic also works quite well. Try to avoid metal as this tends to conduct cold. Warm undergarments are all the rage for winter planters. A lining of bubble-wrap polythene or even a few layers of old fabric or carpet, sandwiched between the sides of the container and the compost will help to keep both compost and roots warm. I always save packaging materials from parcels for this sort of thing; why not pull out the bubble-wrap inner lining from a large padded envelope and use that? If you live in a particularly cold area, or simply want to decrease the risk of winter damage further, try to position winter planters out of the windiest areas. If possible place them fairly close to a house wall on the south or west side as this will help to provide a little extra warmth. A visit to your local plant nursery or garden centre at this time of year should fill you with inspiration as you’ll be amazed at the range of plants available for adding winter colour and interest to pots and planters. Some of my favourites are the universal or other winter flowering pansies or even hardier smaller flowered violas. For some seriously sturdy winter colour, try the winter flowering heathers as these make a good


base for the display and you can, if you wish, add trailing plants such as variegated ivies to help provide extra colour, texture and interesting leaf shapes. All these plants will last for years, not just the winter months. At this time of year you are likely to find many garden centres offer very tiny versions of shrubs such as skimmias, Pieris or hollies and many of the dwarf conifers. Although these obviously have the potential to grow considerably larger, they will provide good colour and interest in a container for a year or two and can then be planted out into the garden and allowed to reach their full size. In warmer areas, you will also be able to add bright patches of colour to your display using the ‘winter cherry’ or solanum which has bright yellow and orange fruits and also many of the polyanthus whose super-sized, primrose-like flowers come in a wide range of really showy colours. You could also use a few winter flowering cyclamen but these definitely need a very sheltered spot such as a window box on a protected wall. Finally, don’t forget to prolong the time which the planter will look gorgeous by adding in a few early spring flowering bulbs such as miniature narcissus, crocus and miniature iris. There are many different forms, colours and shapes of all these bulbs available and if hidden beneath the roots of your winter bedding plants, you will forget they are there until they burst out in spring and produce a lovely flush of fresh, pretty colour and often some delightful perfume too. Visit Pippa’s website www.pippagreenwood. com and sign up for ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood’. Choose from a fantastic selection of vegetables that Pippa will send to you at just the right time for planting AND each week you receive an email telling you all you need to know to ensure great results – from just £29 for up to 66 garden-ready plants.

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Unique Landscape We specialise in

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Rural Ramblings BY GEOFF WHARTON Closing The Door after the Horse Has Bolted?

It is so reassuring to know that our rural interests are being protected so assiduously. The government was so quick to respond to the latest fungal terrorist attack by the incurable Ash dieback fungus. After having learned that the disease was now established here, it pulled out all of the stops to ban the import of all ash trees (which could make the situation worse?) and arrange for the meeting of “Cobra” to formulate an action plan of significance. The outcome of this high- powered committee is that we wash our children and our boots after visiting a woodland in order to reduce the spread of the mainly wind-borne fungal spores. As stated in the Forestry Commission information guide, the spores are only able to survive for a few days and there is a low probability that dispersal is via birds, clothing and insects. I suppose that when you have been “caught out”, giving sensible advice is better than saying nothing at all! It is so distressing to see our large trees dying. The devastation caused by Dutch Elm Disease followed by diseases affecting Oak and Horsechestnut indicate that the situation could be serious. The question is are fungal diseases becoming more of a problem? Have we been previously protected by our island geography? Is the increased transport and movement of produce from sites where such diseases are endemic a price we have to pay for greater choice and availability and is climatic stress a significant factor in reducing resistance. It is interesting to note that in the UK wild population of our ash trees, it is recognised that there are some trees which show some degree of immunity. Would it not be a good idea to research this with


an aim of developing propagated replacements in anticipation of replanting requirements? In this increasingly changing world, it is such a pity that our organisations are still seemingly re-active rather than pro-active. I suppose that it all comes down to resources and priorities of spending but I feel that we do need to concentrate on future issues of concern and respond with practical action before the problem becomes too big to deal with. More to the point, I don’t understand we have to import trees which grow like weeds anyway. Anyone who has an ash tree near a garden will have spent many hours removing self-sown seedlings which are trying to take over! These imported trees will not be propagated from our native stock and will not be as well adjusted to our particular growing conditions. However, no good crying over spilt milk! The disease is here and now we must deal with it as efficiently as possible. Perhaps advice such as washing children needs to be upgraded?

Geoff Wharton Gardening Services Reliable, experienced, well qualified. General and specialist garden work: Jungle clearing, Pruning, Hedge and grass cutting, Regular maintenance, Licensed waste disposal. Full public liability cover. Geoff Wharton - BSC honours Hort.Science

Tel: 01767 261727

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M Compton


• Block Paved Drives • Patios • Drainage • Foundations • Mini Digger & Tipper Hire All aspects of groundwork undertaken T: M:

01480 354 076 07811 467 729 To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


Can I go to the Paddocks for my Holiday please?

Paddocks Boarding Cattery Peaceful location. No dogs boarded. Spacious, individual, heated chalets with large covered runs. Inspection welcome. Boarding from ÂŁ6.00/day. Rabbits/guinea pigs also boarded. 64 Meadow Road, Great Gransden

Telephone 01767 677 759 Open all year.

The cattery for caring owners. Comfort and security for your pet. 38

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Oldies can be goodies too Do you remember the Jubilee celebrations earlier in the year? Many of us were awestruck at the energy and charisma of our 86 year-old Queen. Around the same time, two little Westie Terriers – also in their twilight years – were unceremoniously dumped. Fred and Bob are absolutely fantastic dogs. They’re over 10 years old, but actually seem much younger when you meet them. They are playful, friendly and have soft, silky fur. Unbelievably, both were taken to a vets to be put to sleep. Did they have an incurable illness? No. Have they got severe behavioural problems? No. Their crime was to be considered ‘old’ by their owners. The RSPCA North Bedfordshire branch stepped in to care for these lovely boys and to try and re-home them. Older animals are often harder to re-home as people focus on the negative aspects of age, rather than the positives. However, with an older dog you can get all the love, loyalty and fun – without the destructive behaviour, neediness and intensive hours needed to train a young puppy. Although it took over 8 months for Fred and Bob,

they have now found a perfect home in Putnoe with a retired couple who met them – and instantly fell in love. Their days are spent snuggled in front of the fire, relaxing on their Mum’s lap and having an enjoyable walk and sniff in their own garden. So, if you’re thinking of adopting a dog, why not consider an oldie? Fred and Bob’s new owners wouldn’t change them for the world. There are many animals in our care looking for a forever home. If you’re interested in adopting one, please contact us. ANIMAL STORIES is one of a series of articles brought to you by the RSPCA North Bedfordshire branch

Fun Quiz - Christmas 1. Which of Santa’s reindeer comes first alphabetically? 2. Ending with the line “we’ll keep the red flag flying here”, The Red Flag is a song that is sung to the same tune as which Christmas carol? 3. Which snack food introduced a special Christmas Dinner flavour in 2010, describing it as a “fusion of turkey and stuffing with all the trimmings”? 4. What was Cliff Richard’s last UK Christmas number one hit single? 5. In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, what does Scrooge anonymously send to Bob Cratchit and his family on Christmas morning after being visited by a number of ghosts during the night? 6. Which EastEnders character was murdered on Christmas Day in 2009? 7. What is the nearest country to Christmas Island? 8. Which character from a Christmas themed book lived on Mount Crumpit and had a heart that was two sizes too small? 9. Which double act from Wigan feature on the 2010 Christmas postage stamps issued by Royal Mail? 10. Which Christmas song has been the biggest selling single in the UK never to have topped the singles chart?



1. Blitzen 2. O Christmas Tree 3. Pot Noodle 4. Saviour’s Day (in 1990; note that Millennium Prayer peaked at number two in 1999) 5. A turkey 6. Archie Mitchell (accept Archie) 7. Indonesia 8. 9. Wallace and Gromit 10. Last Christmas (by Wham)

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Ford B-Max

BY JAMES BAGGOTT Ford has ditched its forgettable Fusion and replaced it with a bold car sporting no B-pillars, but is it any good? We find out. What is it? It is the first car in a massive product offensive from the Blue Oval, designed to keep the car giant profitable in Europe. The B-Max replaces the forgettable – but much-loved among certain UK buyers – Fusion and goes up against rivals from Vauxhall, Honda, Nissan and Citroen in the B-segment MPV market. But to steal sales away from these firms, the B-Max has a party-piece – no B-pillars. What’s under the bonnet? Petrol buyers will be able to choose between the new 1.0 litre Ecoboost engine with 99bhp or 118bhp. There’s also a 1.4 litre Duratorq with 89bhp and a 1.6-litre Ti-VCT unit with 104bhp and an automatic gearbox. Diesels include a 1.5 with 74bhp and a 1.6 with 94bhp. Ford says the best seller will be the 1.6-litre diesel, but, in time, the 1.0-litre could claim that title. What’s the spec like? The range kicks off at £12,995 for the Studio 1.4-litre petrol which comes with electric mirrors and electric windows front and rear, while prices top out at £18,895 for the Titanium 1.6-litre diesel. That model comes as standard with 16-inch alloys, auto headlamps and Ford system – a clever voice control and device integration system. It’s a £250

option on all models bar the Titanium. What’s it like to drive? At launch we drove the 1.0-litre Ecoboost 118bhp and the 1.6-litre diesel. The 1.0-litre is a blast yet still offers agreeable fuel economy figures – 55.4mpg combined is quoted – while the 1.6-litre diesel is sluggish. It has light steering and the ride is supple. The B-Max retains the Fiesta’s fun handling – a car on which it’s based. What do the press think of it? The Telegraph said: ‘After the execrable Fusion, Ford has worked hard to produce something different and worthwhile. This is a wellengineered car, safe and good looking.’ Honest John adds: ‘And anyone already contemplating a Citroen C3 Picasso, a Hyundai ix20, a Kia Venga, a Toyota Verso S or a Vauxhall Meriva should get down to their Ford dealers and take a look.’ We asked Ford of Britain MD Mark Ovenden how much of a change the B-Max is over the old Fusion. ‘It’s a completely different vehicle. Fusion did pretty well for us and our dealers, but with B-Max the wow is the door system. B-Max also has lots of style, a large range of clever features and, of course, there’s the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine. The B-Max is an excellent car – whereas the Fusion was essentially just a high-riding vehicle. B-Max has a got a lot more strength to it. As one of my younger colleagues said to me, the B-Max is more of an automotive app than a car!’ What do we think of it? This could well be the new class-leader as it makes other cars in this sector seem terribly conservative. Without having the benefit of trying all the engines and specifications, we can only really recommend the 1.0-litre Ecoboost 118bhp Titanium model which retails at £17,595. It’s not cheap but it’s probably worth the money. Model: Ford B-Max Price: £17,595 (as tested) Engine: 1.0-litre, petrol. Power: 118bhp, 169Nm Max speed: 109mph 0-60mph: 13s MPG (comb’d): 55.4 Emissions: 119g/km Residual values (three years): 37 percent

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Let’s Ditch Secret Santa

By Sarah Davey

Secret Santa is a trial by ordeal - really! It’s one more gift to buy; one we may resent buying, and let’s face it, most Secret Santa gifts are pretty naff. So what could replace Secret Santa? We wracked our brains and came up with a few ideas. A Giving Tree: People bring in non-perishable goods and place them under a tree. The goods are then made up into hampers and taken down to a local homeless shelter or church, where they can be distributed. It’s a win-win situation because noone has to take home a garden gnome, or floral bubble bath they’ll never use, they’re giving to those in need instead. Charity Swap: People bring in one really nice item of clothing and a pound coin. In return they receive a numbered ticket. The clothing is donated to a charity shop and the pound is put into a fund. Finally a ticket is drawn and someone wins the fund. If the workplace (and therefore the fund) is large, it can be divided into smaller prizes. So there’s a chance of winning some cash and a


charity benefits. What’s not to like? Quiz-Pick: Everyone brings in something - could be home made goodies or an unwanted DVD from the previous year. None of the gifts are wrapped, but they’re all placed on display. Everyone picks a numbered ticket out of a hat, and in order they get to answer a Christmas quiz question e.g. name all of Santa’s reindeer. If they get the question right, they get to choose a gift: if not, they have to wait until their turn comes round again. It’s fun and inexpensive, though of course there’s always the chance you’ll end up with that garden gnome!

Garage Door Problems?

Garage Doors All leading Makes of Doors Supplied, Fitted & Repaired Manual & Automatic Over 20 Years Of Experience Phone Chris Day On:

01733 578 544

Sandringham Road, Peterborough


01480 459 721

High Street, Brampton

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Wondering what to do for childcare this school holiday? Then wonder no more!

“schools OUT” is a holiday club for children aged 4 – 12 years. Monday to Friday Book onlyed, ne what you hour... 8.00am – 6.00pm pay(mbyinth3ehrs) for more details contact us on:

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

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• Fresh Fruit & Vegetables

• Gift Shop

• Delicatessen

• Garden Centre

• Café

• Christmas Shop

• Butchery

• Fishmongers

• Fresh Flowers

• Free-range eggs

Methi Indian Takeaway


Call us on:-

Enjoy the evening at home with family and friends by having an Indian meal delivered to your door with high quality service and with best quality food. We are open 7 (seven) days a week including all bank holidays.

01480 471 156 / 471 157

or place your order on our website - JUST EAT.CO

Address:- 29 Huntingdon Street, St.Neots PE19 1BG Opening Hours:- MONDAY to SUNDAY 5.15pm to 10.30pm Free: DELIVERY WITHIN 5 MILES RADIUS AT £15.95 10% DISCOUNT ON ALL COLLECTION ORDERS

Complimentary Papadam with Every Order All Credit Cards accepted


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SEASONAL DELIGHTS MINI CHRISTMAS CAKES These delightful mini fruit and nut topped cakes are perfect for giving as a festive foodie present. Simply wrap in clear cellophane and tie with gold ribbon or place in small gift boxes. Makes 9 Ready in 4 hours, plus cooling

INGREDIENTS 250g butter, softened 250g dark muscovado sugar 4 medium eggs, beaten 350g plain flour 2 tsp ground mixed spice ½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground cloves Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 800g mixed dried fruit 100g glace cherries, rinsed, dried and chopped 100g chopped mixed nuts For the decoration 750g marzipan Icing sugar, for dusting 4 tbsp apricot jam, warmed and sieved Mixed coloured glace cherries, walnut halves, Brazil nuts and chopped dried apricots 1 Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas 2. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin with a double thickness of greased, greaseproof paper.

2 Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Sift together the flour and spices then fold into the creamed mixture. Fold in the lemon zest, dried fruit, glace cherries and nuts and mix thoroughly. 3 Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface. Use the back of a metal spoon to make a slight dip in the centre (this will help to give an even rise). Bake in the preheated oven for 3¼ - 3 ½ hours or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin. 4 When the cake is completely cold, use a sharp knife to cut it into 9 smaller square cakes. Brush the sides of each cake with a little apricot jam. Divide the marzipan into 9 pieces. Dust a surface lightly with icing sugar and roll each piece out to a strip long enough to go around each cake. Wrap the strips around the cakes pinching the ends together to seal. Top each cake with a selection of cherries, nuts and apricots. Tie a ribbon around each cake if liked.

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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.


Please Life when when responding responding to toadverts adverts Please mention mention The Villager and Town Life

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Huntingdonshire’s four market towns have a lot to offer in the run-up to Christmas, and to encourage shoppers to visit their local High Street, Huntingdonshire District Council is once again offering free parking in council run car parks. From 3 to 24 December, parking will be free after 3pm on weekdays. This special offer is valid in St Neots (including Waitrose car park), St Ives (including Waitrose car park) and Huntingdon. Parking is always free in Ramsey. The offer is not valid in the Sainsbury’s car park in Huntingdon as they already offer a refund for shoppers. Market Square in St Neots is an on-street facility so charging will remain there after 3pm. Parking is already free in the town centre car parks on Sundays. Executive Leader, Councillor Jason Ablewhite, said: “We really want to encourage residents to do their Christmas shopping in their local town. We have agreed to provide this special offer as an incentive to support the shop local campaign, and


are sure that this will provide a welcome boost to business for our local shops and services.” Shoppers will not have to pay and display a ticket during the special offer period. Signs and stickers will be on display in car parks, and on the car parking machines explaining the times when the offer is valid.

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01480 495408 OR 07887887319 To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


CGF Painting & Decorating 07544 207577


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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 14th December 2012 Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP

2nd Prize £15



Last Month’s Crossword Winners. Congratulations to: 1st prize - Mr Paul Note from Upper Caldecote and 2nd prize - Mrs C Williams from Godmanchester For last month’s solution please visit Across 1 South American animal (6) 4 Clans (6) 9 Whirlwind (7) 10 Male duck (5) 11 Casseroles (5) 12 Surprised (7) 13 Source of power (11) 18 Cars, buses etc. (7) 20 Dangerous (5) 22 Tacks (5) 23 Graceful (7) 24 Eighth month (6) 25 Flow (6) Down 1 Painter (6) 2 American handbag (5) 3 Masterpiece (7) 5 Wireless (5) 6 Woollen cover (7) 7 Fast (6) 8 Assembled (11) 14 Departing (7) 15 Right (7) 16 Lines of a verse (6) 17 Method (6) 19 Clenched hands (5) 21 Frighten (5)


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LESTER O’DRISCOLL CARPENTRY Door Hanging, Skirting, Flooring, Fitted Kitchens, Fencing, Decking, General Carpentry, Extensions

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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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what’S ON?


30 November, 1-2 December Christmas Tree Festival St James’ Church, Waresley Opening night Friday 7pm mulled wine, mince pies and entertainment £5 entrance Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1pm- 4pm £2 entrance Come and see our 3rd successful Festival! Special new Story Time for Children 4.15-5pm £3 per family. Enjoy a magic story time amongst the pretty trees and lights. Fabulous Christmas hamper raffle. Refreshments available all day. 1 December Christmas Wonderland 1-4pm Priory Centre, St Neots Free afternoon of family fun with craft activities and games for children. Parental supervision required. Web: 1 December Christmas Fayre 2-4pm Yelling Baptist Chapel, High Street, Yelling Email: 1 December Hardy Plant Society Talk 2pm The Wetherley Centre, Biggleswade Small charge for visitors Cambs and Beds Hardy Plant Society present a talk by Tim Fuller on ‘Good Companions - a selection of hardy geranium´s, ornamental grasses, and herbaceous perennials’. All welcome. Tel: Winifred 01234 721720 Web: 1 December Begin Astronomy Afternoon 2-5pm Buckden Millennium Centre, Burberry Road, Buckden £10, Accompanied children over 10 £5 An Introduction to Astronomy and talks by experts. Tel: 01480 811101 Email: 1 December Quiz Night Doors Open 6.30pm Starts at 7pm Buckden Millennium Centre, Burberry Road, Buckden £10 for a table of six Quiz Master Mark Freeman (Past Chairman of Village Hall Trust). Book your team table in advance. Tel: 01480 811101 Email:

Entries into our What’s On sections are free. If you have an event you would like us to publicise please email the details to decorations; papercraft gifts; homemade preserves plus Draycott Brewery of Buckden and Utopia of Offord Darcy. Santa’s Grotto, raffle, mulled wine and mince pies, homemade refreshments. Parking is available on the adjacent field from 1.00pm. Tel: Jenny Griffiths 01480 811126 Email: 5 December Annual Coffee Morning 10-11.30am Buckden Millennium Hall Entrance £2 to include coffee & mince pies. St. Mary’s Fundraisers’ Annual Christmas Coffee Morning. Festive stalls and raffle. Everyone welcome. 5 December AGM and Christmas Social 8pm Little Paxton Village Hall Members £1, Non-members £2 AGM followed by Christmas Social with festive fayre. New members are always welcome at our meetings. Annual membership is only £5 per person plus £1 per meeting. Tel: Jane Hill Secretary 01480 218805 7 December Hugo (2011) 8pm Corn Exchange, St Ives Tickets £5 from Corn Exchange or online at Martin Scorsese’s homage to film is set in Paris in the 1930s and touches on the story of the enigmatic Georges Méliès, one of the greatest pioneers of early cinema. Hugo follows the adventures of two children who discover the brilliant inventor; they gradually discover the secret of his lonely life in one of those magical films that entertains everybody, no matter what their age. Tickets from The Corn Exchange or book online www. 8 & 9 December Christmas Arts, Crafts, Food & Drink 10am-4pm Wood Green Animal Shelter, Godmanchester Admission £2.50, Concessions £2 Whatever the weather, you can visit the indoor arena and sample and buy from our wide range of arts, craft and gift stalls where you might find anything from jewellery and other accessories, handicrafts, hand-made cards, photography, candles, aromatherapy products, through to ceramics and wood turning. Food and drink might include wine, real-food as well as chocolates and other confectionery. Web:

2 December 9 December Christmas Craft Fair Christmas Carols 12 noon-4pm 1.30pm St Peter’s Church, Offord Darcy St Mary’s Church, Godmanchester Free entry Join staff, volunteers and animals from Wood Green for Support local craft makers and charities. Local handmade somewhen festiveresponding carols at St Mary’s Church in Godmanchester. jewellery; beautiful The cards;Villager Christmasand Town Life mention to adverts 58 crafts includePlease


Doors open at 1.30pm and the concert starts at 2pm. Animals are welcome to attend. Dogs must be kept on a lead. 9 December Community Carols for All 4.30pm St James Church, Little Paxton 11 December Christmas Bazaar 10am-12 noon The Reading Room, High Street, Hemingford Grey Admission £3 Hemingford Grey Flower Club’s Christmas Bazaar. Stalls will include cakes and biscuits, Christmas flower arrangements, new gifts and a raffle. All welcome. Admission includes tea/coffee and mince pie. 12 January Charity Soul Night 7pm-2am Priory Centre, St Neots Advance tickets £7, One the door £8 Charity Soul Night in aid of Life After Debt. Tel: 01487 830219 12 December Wildlife Trust Christmas Special 7.30pm Brampton Memorial Hall, Brampton Suggested donation: Members £2, Non Members £2.50 The Wildlife Trust, Huntingdonshire Local Group, welcomes you to our Christmas Special. Pat Doody will give an overview of the reserves of Huntingdonshire and George Cottam will focus on Brampton Wood. Mince pies and wine and Christmas raffle. Everyone is most welcome to attend. Tel: Phil Clark 01487 822835 Email 12 December Illustrating Your Family History 7.30-9pm WI Headquarters, Walden Road, Huntingdon Huntingdonshire Family History Society presents Maureen Nicholls talking about Illustrating your Family History. Nonmembers welcome – £1 donation at the door appreciated. Tel: Caroline Kesseler 01480 390476 Email: Web: 16 December Christmas Birds and Music 2-5pm Paxton Pits Nature Reserve Adults and children over 12 £3, Children 5-12 years £1.50 Christmas music led by musicians from the Bedford Salvation Army Band. A guided walk will leave the Visitors’ Centre at 2pm and return in time for music and festive food from 3.30pm. Includes the guided walk, the band and a hot drink. Organised by the FPPNR.

16 December Family Christmas Party Buckden Millennium Centre, Burberry Road, Buckden Adults £5, Children £2.50 (all children must be accompanied) Family Show provided by local entertainer Chris Bylett. Christmas Afternoon Tea and Gift bags for the children. A fun festive afternoon for the whole family. Places must be booked in advance Tel: 01480 811101 Email: 16 December Christmas Songs of Praise 4.00pm Godmanchester Baptist Church Carols, readings, a great message and a traditional Christmas tea. Call us if you need transport. Tel: 01480 458565 Web: 18 December Kimbolton Flower Club Christmas Workshop & Social Evening 7.30pm Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton Admission £6 If you wish to make a Christmas arrangement please bring your own materials. Some accessories and mechanics will be on sale. Please bring a sharing plate of finger food. Tea and coffee will be provided. 23 December Christmas Grotto 11am-3pm Hinchingbrooke Country Park £5 per child including present, drink and biscuit/fairy cake Get into a festive spirit with a magical woodland trail and outdoor grotto. Watch out for Forest Elves, sleigh-pulling dogs and the Christmas Fairy on your way to meet Father Christmas! Mulled wine and mince pies for adults. No need to book but please be patient if we are busy. 24 December Christingle Service 2.30pm St James Church, Little Paxton Collection in aid of Children’s Society. 24 December First Communion of Christmas 10pm St James Church, Little Paxton 24 December Carols by Candlelight 6.30pm Godmanchester Baptist Church An hour of popular carols, readings and special items. Followed by mince pies and mulled wine. Suitable all ages. Web:

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Oven Cleaning! - It’s a dirty job! Why do it yourself? We clean ovens using non-caustic, non-toxic products in your home. Ovens • Ranges • Hobs • Extractors Agas • Microwaves • Barbecues (May - Sept) . . .

Single Oven (all racks/pans inc)........................£35 Single Oven & Grill Oven (all racks/pans inc).....£45 Single Separate Grill Oven (racks/pans inc)......£15 Microwaves & Combination Ovens....................£20 Extractor Fan (free filter for next clean).............£12 Hob..................................................................£12 Agas and Ranges priced accordingly Oven Bulbs replaced for free in all jobs V.A.T free

Contact James on: 01767 260188 or Mobile: 07812 666081 email: You can also book at

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RUIN YOUR FESTIVE CELEBRATIONS If there’s one thing guaranteed to ruin your Christmas meal out with friends, family or colleagues, it’s a nasty bout of food poisoning, but if you’re eating out, how do you know if the restaurant owner takes food hygiene seriously? The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rates eateries and other places that sell food on their hygiene standards, based on inspections carried out by environmental health staff at Huntingdonshire District Council. What’s more, these ratings are available for everyone to see. This national scheme, developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities, rates food outlets on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom (‘urgent improvement necessary’) to a top rating of five (‘very good’). You can check the rating online at via a free phone app, or look for the distinctive green and black rating sticker that businesses are encouraged to display.

If you’re organising a Christmas gathering with family, friends or work colleagues at a local restaurant, pub or hotel don’t just examine the menu, check what their hygiene rating is too. Councillor Tom Sanderson, executive councillor for healthy and active communities said: “When dining out, you’ll choose to go to a place where you like the food and you know you’ll have a good time. It makes sense to look before you book and check out the food hygiene rating as well.” Catriona Stewart, Head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Team at the FSA, added: “No-one wants to gamble with their health when eating out, particularly when celebrating a special festive meal. Local authorities, including Huntingdonshire District Council have worked with the FSA to successfully roll out the scheme which helps people choose where to eat. Our app makes it even easier for people to check hygiene ratings before deciding which place to visit.”

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Classifieds 72198 chas crowe BCards


Clock Repair Specialist


Page 1

H Visome its

LONGCASE CLOCK REPAIR SPECIALIST Church End, Ravensden, Bedford Tel: 01234 771704 & 07976 876234 Email: British Horological Institute Associate Member


Logs for sale Well seasoned mixed ash, willow and alder in bags of around 20 kilos each, suitable for open fires or log burners. ÂŁ15 per bag, or will deliver 8 bags for ÂŁ100 within 10 miles of Huntingdon. Call Andy on Tel 07968 145690

Cleaning Services


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Plumbing & Heating

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

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Business gone a bit slow? Let us help! Advertising in The Villager is easy. To find out more call Christa on 07868 369257 or email

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Cambridge Villager December 2012