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VILLAGER The

Issue 45 - January 2013

and Town

Life

LOCAL NEWS • LOCAL PEOPLE • LOCAL SERVICES • LOCAL CHARITIES • LOCAL PRODUCTS

Inside this issue...

A New Year, A New You! Top 10 tips for a healthier you

Beat the Winter Blues Plus

A chance to WIN £25 in our prize crossword

ur Yo EE y FRco1 p


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VILLAGER The

In this Issue

Issue 45 - January 2013

and Town

Life

LOCAL NEWS • LOCAL PEOPLE • LOCAL SERVICES • LOCAL CHARITIES • LOCAL PRODUCTS

32

Michael Kay

Breath Taking Detail

Inside this issue...

A New Year, A New You! Top 10 tips for a healthier you

Beat the Winter Blues Plus

A chance to WIN £25 in our prize crossword

54

ur Yo EE y FRco1 p

Advertising Sales Christa Hallam - Tel: 07868 369257 Christa@villagermag.com Additional Editorial Tony Larkins, Peter Ibbett, Claudia Leaf, Helen Taylor, Geoff Wharton, Pippa Greenwood and James Baggott Front Cover Photo: Anizza 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

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!

New Year, New Hobby........................................................................................4 A Huntingdonshire Resolution........................................................................6 Sale Savvy............................................................................................................ 10 Big Garden Birdwatch...................................................................................... 13 New Year, New You............................................................................................ 14 Milton Keynes Marathon................................................................................ 16 Body Beautiful.................................................................................................... 20 Exercise is for Life............................................................................................... 23 Acupuncture for Well-Being.......................................................................... 25 Help for Heroes.................................................................................................. 27 Decisions, Decisions......................................................................................... 29 Dont’t Rest. How fair is that?......................................................................... 31 Wrap Up for Winter........................................................................................... 35 Animal Know How............................................................................................ 37 Cat’s Out the Bag............................................................................................... 38 Recovering from a Financial Hangover..................................................... 41 Seasonal Delights.............................................................................................. 43 Children’s Page................................................................................................... 45 Dealing with Stress........................................................................................... 46 Puzzle Page.......................................................................................................... 48 Cape Town........................................................................................................... 51 You Can’t Do That!............................................................................................. 53 10 Tips to a Healthier You............................................................................... 57 What’s On............................................................................................................. 58 Five Best Diet Changes.................................................................................... 60 Keep Warm This Winter................................................................................... 62 You are now able to view the Villager Magazine online at

www.villagermag.com 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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New year, new hobby

BY Alex Brown

Eat healthily, start exercising, get more sleep… As you list your usual New Year resolutions, why not add in something fun for once? January is the perfect time to lift your spirits out of a winter slump by starting a new hobby, and there have never been so many activities to try. To narrow down your choice, think about what you’d like to add your life. Do you want to meet more people? Be more active? Learn a skill? Get creative? You may want to develop something that you are already interested in, or try something completely new. Look around to find out what’s going on. Your adult education centre and library will be able to help, and you’ll find information in cafés, newsagents, community centres and local magazines. If you were inspired by the 2012 Olympics, you could try a new sport or exercise class, but getting fit doesn’t have to mean sport. Why not follow the Strictly contestants and sample the benefits of ballroom dancing or Zumba, or simply aim to get out more and enjoy the countryside? Geocaching is an exciting new outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy. It’s essentially

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a high-tech treasure hunt. Another new trend is roller derby – a fast-paced contact sport where teams race to lap the opposition as they skate around the track. If you fancy using your mind more than your body, you could learn a new language in preparation for a foreign holiday perhaps. Or build on an existing interest by joining a photography class or book group. Music can reduce stress and improve your mood, so why not dust off that instrument you haven’t touched for years and join an amateur orchestra? Choirs are increasingly popular and you’re sure to find a range of musical styles available. Crafts have had a real boost lately, with knitting and sewing groups setting up all over the country. Jewellery and card-making are also satisfying. You can get started quite cheaply and pick up the basics quickly. The bonus is that you get to keep the end result, or give it as a gift. You also have the potential to earn money by selling your creations. Increased access to computers means that we can get involved in a whole host of new communities without even leaving the house. Many of us enjoy researching our family trees and finding the facts behind our memories. It’s also easy to use social networks to track down old school friends and colleagues that we’ve lost touch with. And if none of these is for you, how about foraging, meditation, wine-tasting, linedancing, magic tricks, bee-keeping, historical re-enactments, home baking…the list really is endless!

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A Huntingdonshire Resolution

FOR 2013 BY PETER IBBETT What have Little Paxton, Eynesbury, Buckden, Eaton Ford and Godmanchester in common? Apart from being lucky enough to be provided with free copies of the Villager they are all places that I have enjoyed living in and exploring over the last three decades. I hope you spotted the odd-one–out in my list! Eaton Ford has been part of Bedfordshire for most of its life until absorbed into Cambridgeshire in the 1960’s when the historic county of Huntingdonshire was demoted to the humble status of a District. Make a resolution for 2013 to know the old county of Huntingdonshire better. Search out old volumes to give an antidote to on our frenetic life in one of the growth areas of our country where whole housing developments seem to appear almost monthly out of virgin soil. Order up a copy of ‘Homeland England:- Huntingdon and the Great Ouse’, from an internet web site to see the county and St. Neots as it was in 1905. Find a 20th Century volume such as Arthur Mee’s

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King’s England to learn that:- ‘Huntingdonshire, a charming little county of wide horizons, is as sweet and dear a piece of countryside as England has with the River Great Ouse as the most important thing in the Shire most truly representing what has been done to make it what it is.’ It may be difficult to believe this in an era where the future of the congested, noisy and polluting A14 seems to be the most important issue to many but much of the beauty and charm of the old county can be found in unspoilt parts of the Ouse, backstreets of our ancient Market Towns, in gentle village cameos and increasingly diverse countryside and community areas. There is much to help our rising generation to appreciate but also increasing pressure to develop to Whitehall specifications that ride roughshod over local character. In 2013 make a resolution to know the historic county of Huntingdonshire better so that you can help retain its unique identity for future generations.

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Sale Savvy!

BY Debbie Singh-Bhatti SALE! No matter where you look or where you go, the message at this time of the year is the same: now is the time to bag yourself a bargain. Yet even though buying items in the sales can make your hard earned cash go further, please remember that you are still spending money, not saving it! Here are a few tips for getting the best possible deals without ending up with buyer’s remorse! First of all, do your homework before the sales start. Visit your favourite shops and pick out the items that you really want to buy, and even try them on beforehand. Make a list and stick to it, then when the shops open you can make a beeline for the items you want without wasting time, and risking life and limb battling with a hundred other shoppers who are elbowing their way through the pile of reduced items! Alternatively, why not shop online? Still do the research, but buy in the comfort of your home without having to wrestle your way through a busy store. Online shops usually give some indication of stock levels. If they only have a few items left then make your purchase at the beginning of the sale, but if there are plenty, why not wait a week or so to see if the price drops further? When deciding what to buy in the sales, don’t choose anything that you wouldn’t be tempted to pay full price for. If you don’t love it, don’t buy it – or you could end up with something you won’t wear and it will end up being a complete waste of money – no matter how much you ‘saved’ compared with the usual price! When tempted to buy something, ask yourself whether you already have something like it in your wardrobe at home. If you do, it begs the question, do you really need it? You might have a penchant for a particular style or colour, but honestly, how many black pencil skirts do you really need?! That said, it is much better to buy items that you can add to your capsule wardrobe than it is to snap up a statement jacket, or bizarre shirt, that will only team up with one or two pieces in your clothing collection - even it does have 70%

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off! Stick with classic, timeless designs in tonal colours that suit your skin type, and in styles that flatter your body shape. Choose neutral colours which can be dressed up or down with colourful accessories and your clothes will go much further! So, armed with this guide to savvy sales shopping, go grab yourself a bag and bag yourself a bargain!

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Big Garden Birdwatch

By Sarah Davey

Take part on January 26th-27th Did you know that British gardens occupy twice the area set aside for nature reserves? This means they play a vital role in wildlife conservation. How you can help Put up nest boxes and roosting pockets These provide places for birds to breed and sleep. Set up feeding stations High energy foods like stale cake, biscuits, pastry, pasta and potato are enjoyed by many birds. Raisins and other dried fruit are welcomed by Blackbirds and Thrushes. Most garden centres stock a variety of proprietary bird seed and nuts which appeal across the species but don’t forget to scatter some under hedges for shy birds like Dunnocks and Wrens who prefer to feed on the ground. Make sure fresh water is available It’s important for drinking and bathing. Once you’ve created a welcoming environment it’s time to sit back and take part in The Big Garden Birdwatch run by the RSPB (Royal Society

for the Protection of Birds). Simply spend an hour recording how many birds and which species visit your garden on either the 26th or 27th of January and submit your results online at the address below. Not only will the results will be analysed and published on the site but you’ll get the warm glow that comes from knowing you’ve done your bit for bird conservation. Visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

Join a warm and friendly group near you today...

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Huntingdon

The Comrades Club Cambridge Street 10.00am Tel Rachel: 07940 441 918 St. Annes School London Road NEW SESSION TIME 3.30PM from 7th January 2013 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Rachel 07940 441 918

WEDNESDAY Huntingdon

St. Peters School St. Peters Road 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel Claire: 07939 625 770

Millennium Centre Burberry Road 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel Rachel: 07940 441 918 The Medway Centre Medway Road 10.00am Tel: Yvonne 07824 662 286

Hartford

St. John Ambulance Centre Mayfield Road 5.30pm & 7.30pm Tel: Yvonne 07824 662 286

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New Year, New You

By Claudia Leaf

It’s January, and having eaten and drunk your way through the contents of at least three shopping trolleys during the festive season, you are feeling in need of a quick fix so you can begin to feel healthy again. The time of the year doesn’t help. Spring is still a couple of months away and although you’d love to go for a bracing walk in the park, you know that after half an hour in muddy boots, being soaked by persistent rain, you’ll give up and go home. But what’s the alternative when you need a regular exercise regime to help you lose weight? Working out at home with the help of a video console has become a popular alternative to going out to a dance class or a gym. The great advantage is that it allows you to design a programme to suit your own needs and preferences. However if - like me - you’re not a great self-motivator, you may find it hard to keep going without a human instructor to give encouragement. So how do you find a movement class that will suit you? A quick browse round the websites of local clubs is likely to reveal a baffling array of exercise styles with exotic-sounding names such as Zumba, Pilates, Ashtanga Yoga, Spinning and Tai Chi. It’s nice to be spoiled for choice, but there are a few things to consider before you start shopping for the lycra bodysuit and matching accessories. How old are you? Do you have any medical conditions? How much exercise do you normally take? If a leisurely stroll around the supermarket is your main form of exercise then a cardiovascular workout is probably not the place to start. You need to build your programme slowly, so it may benefit you to start with a beginners’ yoga class where you will be concentrating on breathing and stretching rather than trying to push yourself beyond your limits. Don’t make the common mistake of assuming that yoga is just about bending your torso into strange positions whilst inhaling incense and chanting. Real yoga is definitely not for the faint-hearted and its emphasis on slow movements, posture and deep breathing really helps to build muscular strength and improve balance. If you are new to exercise classes you will be glad to know that yoga is about doing as much as you feel your own body can manage. There are a variety of different kinds of yoga, some of which are really quite challenging for a beginner, so do have a chat with the instructor before booking your course to make sure that you have chosen the right type for you. Pilates borrows heavily from Yoga and was originally

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devised to help injured dancers and athletes. Once again there is an emphasis on good posture and exercises are designed to strengthen the spine, improve circulation and open up the joints. A fitness programme that is currently enjoying huge success in this country is Zumba. Invented by Columbian choreographer Alberto Perez in the 1990s, Zumba combines exercise with dance. Unlike conventional dance classes where the instructor faces the class and teaches a series of steps, Zumba is a continuous series of free-flowing moves – the instructor stands with his or her back to the class, demonstrating actions for the students to follow. With its slogan “Ditch the workout – join the party”, it offers a great way to enjoy exercise without feeling that you are being observed and judged by the instructor. If you enjoy dancing to music then this is probably a good choice, but do think twice if your movement is restricted or if you suffer from high blood pressure. However you decide to pursue your new exercise regime, make a promise to yourself to keep it up. You won’t really start feeling the benefit until you’ve settled in to your new classes and begun to master those new moves. After a few weeks you’ll be surprised to find how much better you feel. It may take a few attempts before you find a class that suits you, but it will be worth it in the end. Make sure the New Year really does mean a new you.

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The Milton Keynes Marathon

IS BACK!

HOT on the heels of its success this year, the 2013 Milton Keynes Marathon takes place on Monday 6 May and Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice is hoping that runners will take the challenge and support the charity. Unlike the London Marathon, the Milton Keynes race is truly a green event with the 26.2 mile course taking in over 4,500 aces of woodland, lakesides, parks and landscaped areas within the city boundary. All participants are guaranteed a ‘big marathon’ experience with lots of entertainment on route to help motivate them and attract spectators. Sue Ryder will be there on the day to support, cheer and meet all their runners at the end of the race in the charity village. Running a marathon is an amazing experience and achievement, and using the opportunity to raise money for charity makes it all the more worthwhile. Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice provides invaluable specialist medical and nursing

care for patients who are seriously ill, along with family support and chaplaincy. The hospice also provides lymphoedema and complementary therapy treatments in its recently refurbished day unit. It relies on donations from the public and sponsorship to keep its doors open. For those who cannot wait to take part in the Milton Keynes Marathon, there are still places available at the Brighton Marathon on 14 April 2013 and the London Marathon on 21 April 2013. For more information about taking part in the Milton Keynes, Brighton or London Marathon for Sue Ryder please contact Jessica Wilson, Regional Fundraiser at St John’s Hospice on 01767 642422, email: jessica.wilson@sueryder.org.

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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

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Body Beautiful

Treat your body to some TLC this winter When it comes to skincare most of us are pretty good at looking after our face. We’re used to cleansing, toning and moisturising as part of our daily routine and every year we spend a small fortune on trying products that claim to make us look more beautiful, youthful and radiant. We think nothing of this, but what about our body? Many of us completely neglect the rest of our skin, especially in the wintertime. It’s easy to become lazy when you’re covered up under layers of clothing, but we all want super-soft skin. If you’re honest you probably won’t have thoroughly scrubbed, buffed and polished your body since the summer months just before applying your fake tan. There’s no doubt that your skin will be looking dull and lackluster as a result. You’ll be pleased to hear then, that there are some quick, easy and simple steps that will have you ready to bare all in no time. All you have to do is promise to follow them once or twice a week. The reward? Fabulous skin all over. The Benefits of Brushing There’s been a lot of hype about body brushing. It has been shown to have great results on reducing the appearance of cellulite, toning the skin and guaranteeing a youthful glow. Using a dry natural bristle body brush, work from your feet upwards in long, firm, sweeping strokes. Be careful not to press too hard - the idea is to invigorate the skin, not irritate it. This action has been proven to boost circulation and lift skin-dulling impurities from the pores in one easy action. Be Brave - Boost Your Circulation Although this isn’t the most appealing step, it definitely does the job. When you’re in the shower, alternate between blasts of warm and cold water for about 30 seconds. You only need to do it a couple of times to encourage blood that’s rich with fresh nutrients and oxygen to travel to the surface of your skin, leaving it looking healthy and glowing. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate Exfoliators have great results when used on both face and body. The tiny grains lift and remove impurities and dead skin cells from the skin, leaving it looking instantly brighter. It’s best to use an exfoliator that has fine

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particles, rather than coarser varieties, because they are less abrasive on the skin. Use a circular motion to apply the product to damp skin and work from your feet upwards, spending time massaging every bit of your skin. Rinse thoroughly, and move on to the next stage. Gently Does It Whether you consider your skin to be sensitive or not, it’s always best to choose a shower gel that’s designed for sensitive skin and one which has natural ingredients. The harsh chemicals that can be found in some products strip the skin of essential moisture and leave it feeling dry and irritated. Don’t be tempted to have the water too hot when you’re in the shower, as it dehydrates the skin - instead turn down the heat to pleasantly warm. Lock-In Moisture It’s essential to moisturise your body every time you shower. Leave your skin damp and massage a generous amount of product into the skin - this helps to lock-in moisture for long-lasting hydration. Again, try to use moisturisers that have been designed for sensitive skin and which are free from harsh ingredients. Try to avoid perfumed products. They smell great, but can contain strong chemicals which have a drying effect on delicate areas of skin.

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HBK Leisure Hinchingbrooke School’s Community Sports Facilities Fitness Suite membership at HBK Leisure Our Fitness Suite consists of both Cardio and Weight Resistance rooms, enabling us to offer our members a comprehensive range of quality equipment to meet all their training needs. The Cardio room is fully equipped with Technogym treadmills, exercise bikes, cross trainers and Concept 2 rowers. In the Resistance room we have a variety of Technogym weight machines together with “free” weights ranging from 1kg to 30kg. Our Fitness Suite memberships have no joining fees or contracts and are available from only £20 per month (discounts available for students).

Fitness Classes We are pleased to offer a comprehensive range of FITNESS CLASSES.

Day

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Group Training Zumba Legs, Bums, Tums Circuits 20/20/20 Indoor Cycling Pilates Zumba

All our classes are available on a “pay as you go” basis at £4 per session or through a membership scheme giving access to the entire Fitness Class program for only £20 per month.

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from only £20.00 per hour.

Swimming Pool Public Swims £3 for adults, £1 for children.

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Social Functions Bar and Coffee shop for private hire for £40.00 per hour.

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Mini Soccer pitches from £25.00 per hour. 11-a- side Pitch from £60 a match.

Inflatable Party £85.00, Floats Fun Party £65.00.

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Exercise Is For Life

Not Just For January... So here we are again – another January has arrived, the time when we all reassess those healthy living goals. What often happens is that we get to this point and realise that another year has gone by and the healthy way of life, the regular exercise, the good food never really happened (again!) and we often do one of two things. Either we get so depressed about it all and carry on as normal until the same situation comes around next year, or we throw ourselves into everything – launch into the latest diet and then do every single type of exercise class every day for three weeks. Then burn out and by the end of January give up altogether. Each of these options has appeal but in truth, and as we all know, there are no quick fixes. Going mad for even six weeks is not the answer. The answer is to think and plan for the long term. Make a realistic plan that you can continue through the whole year, not just for January. Set some goals for March, June and October and make them measurable and write them down. You are well on your way to making changes that will last all year by doing this. In terms of exercise, find and start things you enjoy and that you can make part of your routine this year and then put them in your diary and plan your time around these. This will make the real difference in the long term. Include both cardio and resistance (weights) work in your plan and start gradually. The next best thing this January is to forget about weight and forget about diets. You can’t cut out major food groups or fill yourself up

with shakes and bars for ever; the moment you stop, you risk going back to old habits and to where you were before and start the vicious circle of dieting which most of us have experienced at some point in our lives. Instead, make sensible eating choices that will last the whole year (think Low GI carbs, lean protein, a good amount of vegetables and much smaller portion sizes all round). Weight is something we obsess about but is, in fact, meaningless. It would be much better to focus on other things like dress size and body fat percentages instead. Get to the right body fat percentage and you will be the right weight for you. You can measure your body fat with scales readily available now in most high streets. Focus on these and have these as part of your year long goals and you will be much happier and see much better results in the long term. Neal Thomas is a Personal Trainer and runs fit4purpose.me at Brampton Park Golf Club. He can be contacted at www.fit4purpose.me or by calling 07887 845703.

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Peony Hair Design

LITTLE PAXTON

Think January sales are reserved just for the High Street? Think again...... At Peony Hair Design receive 10% off all service during January with this advert. Located just off the A1 at Little Paxton conservatory village with free parking it’s easy to claim this offer. Let our hair experts Helen, Charlotte and Laura help you beat the January blues and transform your look for the new year. Specialists in all things colour they are sure to chase the grey away. Whether you want to add gloss ,shine or texture, blend the first signs of dull, aging hair or are looking to cover all of your “natural highlights” they will have the best solution to fit your needs,budget and time constraints. With free consultations available, why not give them a call and book yours today. A skin test will be required a minimum of 48 hours prior to any full head colour service. Our stylists can also colour a piece of your own hair before any

colour change service so that you can see what your chosen shade will look like on your hair, and will take into consideration your eye colour, skin tone and preferred wardrobe shades to create the perfect look for you. Please phone 01480 471300 to book an appointment. This offer is subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Valid until 31st January 2013.

10% off 

with this advert

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Acupuncture

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

Traditional

located at

Headz Up 65 High Street Brampton Huntingdon Cambridgeshire PE28 4TQ

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telephone

wellbeing

01480 229029

mobile

07557 282617

email

info@judylentonacupuncture.co.uk or visit

www.judylentonacupuncture.co.uk

FOR WELL-BEING

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.

Sports Injuries Neck / Back Pain Rehab after Fractures or Surgery Video Gait Analysis Paediatric and Adolescent Musculoskeletal Conditions Women’s Health Physiotherapy Acupuncture Pilates

Physiotherapists Kate Abrahams MSc MCSP Cordelia Squire MSc MCSP Georgia Sinfield BSc MCSP Daisy Collins BSc MCSP Yegs Gounden BSc MCSP Podiatrist/Chiropodist Sue Walker DPodM SRCh MChS

Podiatry / Chiropody

Registered with all major health insurance companies

1 Oxford Building, School Lane, Colmworth, Bedfordshire MK44 2JZ T. 01234 378996

E. info@woodfieldphysio.co.uk

www.woodfieldphysio.co.uk

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Do you have a problem with food? Do you often eat when you are not hungry? Do you obsess about food? Do you have feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment about your weight or the way you eat?

There is hope! You can learn how to have a healthy relationship with food, feel better about yourself and enjoy a happier and healthier life If you feel enough is enough and are ready to change once and for all then call 07763 459 277 or email sagaren@sagarenpillay.com Sagaren Pillay psychotherapist Dip. HPsyc, HPD, Cert SM, Dip. NLP www.theshiningmind.com

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www.sagarenpillay.com

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HELP FOR HEROES

BIG BATTLEFIELD BIKE RIDE 2013 In 2012/2013, H4H are pushing to raise their largest amount ever - £1 million – through the Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2013, which sees around 250 riders riding from Paris to London. In London, we will join several hundred other riders doing a UK ride, to form the biggest fundraising “peleton” H4H has ever assembled. Help for Heroes own page: h t t p : / / w w w. h e l p f o r h e r o e s . o r g . u k / challenges_2013_big_battlefield_bike_ride.html The riders are a mixture of services personnel, ex-servicemen and women, injured service personnel on hand-bikes or adapted cycles, and civilians like me. Each of us has pledged to raise a minimum of £2,500, but wants to raise more if we can. Here’s what H4H say about the BBR13: The BBBR is not only a tough physical challenge as we cover over 350 miles across France but an emotional one too. It is about showing our support for our wounded, it’s about showing how much we recognise the sacrifice they have made, and crucially it is about raising as much money to support their recovery for life. The 2013 bike ride is gearing up to be our biggest and most exciting ride yet so join us as we journey from Paris to London in support of our wounded. I like Help for Heroes, because they are “all about the blokes (and girls)” – they’re not interested in politics or justifications for conflicts – just in making sure that the service personnel who need support get it, for as long as they need it. The older I’ve got, the more I’ve appreciated what the men and women of our armed forces are willing to risk, even sacrifice, in service of their country. I wanted to do some small thing to try to give a little back. That’s why, after a break of 20 years, I decided to get back on the bike and in training for the Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2013! Riding Paris-London to raise money for Help for Heroes http://www.bmycharity.com/KeithH4H Or, text “KHFH88” then an amount £5 or £10 to 70070.

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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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Decisions, Decisions

FIONA McLeman

Divorce and family solicitors tend to report an increase in new client enquiries after family holidays such as in the New Year (after the Christmas school holiday) and early September (after the Summer school Holiday). But how do you decide which lawyer to represent you if you end up on the path to relationship breakdown? The best place to start is to ask those you trust. Friends and family may have used a solicitor before, or may have friends and family who can give their personal seal of approval. Have a look at the firm’s website. Does it give you the right feel? Does it look as if you will feel comfortable with the lawyer and how they say they work? Whether the lawyer is recommended or not, call the lawyer for an initial chat. A good lawyer will be prepared to have an initial chat with you at no cost. If they are too busy or not prepared to take your call at that early stage, rethink if you want to be a client of that lawyer? Perhaps meet a couple of lawyers before making a decision. Most family solicitors offer a free initial meeting. Sometimes this can be limited to 30 minutes or one hour, or some lawyers charge a fixed cost for the first meeting. This is an

excellent opportunity to get some practical and sensible advice, as well as meet the lawyer for the first time without the anxiety of being presented with a bill before you have made a decision about your future and any work has got under way. The lawyer should also be able to give you a good idea at that stage about the work involved and the costs, and help you weigh up your options. Prepare for that first meeting by drawing up a list of questions, and perhaps email details of your situation to the lawyer ahead of time. This will also save valuable time and allow you to use the meeting to focus on the main issues, rather than treating it as a fact finding session. The national family lawyers’ organisation www.resolution.org.uk is an excellent website where you will find lots of helpful information about family law, and family lawyers. Central to Resolution’s philosophy is to help clients in relationship breakdown in an amicable and constructive way. This is how any good family work will do their job. The website contains a ‘find a lawyer’ resource, as well as details of those lawyers who are accredited as specialists in certain specialist fields. www.legal500.com and www.chambersandpartners.co.uk are also widely used directories that survey lawyers nationwide and rate the lawyer in geographical and specialism sectors. Using these directories is a good opportunity to back up what you have seen and heard before making your final decision as to who to instruct. Your lawyer is going to support you as you move forward with your life. As with making any choice about important things in life, it’s just as critical to do the research before making the right choice that will affect you and your family.

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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: office@ansteegorst.co.uk Website: www.ansteegorst.co.uk

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Don’t Rest

How Fair Is That? If you are currently saving into a pension then, like most people, you are probably aware that if you die before taking the benefits, the whole fund will usually be paid out tax free to your chosen beneficiary. But what happens if you reach pension age, start taking the pension income and then die? The answer is, it depends. At the time of arranging the annuity, you are given various options, including securing a spouses pension for a certain percentage of your own. This option, although usually taken, reduces the initial pension you receive. A guaranteed payment period is also usually arranged so that benefits are paid out for at least 5 years. But, even then, if your spouse predeceases you, the rest of the fund would be kept by the pension company. Although sometimes only offered for funds over £100k, there is an alternative. You could take about 85% of the normal pension offered and then have this same level paid to your spouse for as long as they out live you. The balance of the fund (or all of it if they predecease

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

you, less tax) could then be paid to your estate. Sound too good to be true? It’s not, but pension companies won’t usually tell you about this option and many financial advisers do not fully understand the concept. If you have saved for many years for income during your retirement, you certainly didn’t do this so that the pension company could keep most of your fund. If you have a reasonable sized pension fund, I advise you to speak to a pension specialist. Also, the way you invest prior to taking benefits can be equally important. Although far more limiting, there are different options available for smaller pension funds. How fair is it that a pension company charges fees throughout the term of your plan and then keeps the fund when you die? 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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MICHAEL KAY

BREATH TAKING DETAIL

The detail in Michael Kay’s work is breath taking. Fine pen and ink drawings, occasionally coloured with pencil crayons, they represent perfect moments: one split second of a huge tiger’s lazy stare; that instant of hesitation before the hare runs over a bright, snowy field; the loyal gaze of a Dalmatian; the lope of a racehorse, shining and eager on frosted downs; a beautiful, ancient house reflected in the wide, slow mirror of the Ouse. The richness and depth of his talent ensures that there could never be enough time even to simply stand and stare at Michael’s work. Michael Kay has been drawing ever since he can remember. Born in Cambridge in 1956, he moved

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to Norfolk at the age of 10 where the county’s vast collection of medieval churches combined with his natural love of history and architecture motivated him to capture some of his surroundings on paper. Intrigued by fine detail and reproducing every nuance, every line of light and shade, Michael concentrated on perfecting his ability to draw buildings, widening out later to include subjects from nature and the wide skies, wild birds and unique habitats that surrounded him. At sixteen he was excited to receive a place at the Great Yarmouth College of Art and Design where he remained a student between 1972 and 1976, honing and developing his interests and skills.

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During the subsequent years Michael Kay has been commissioned via his London agent to produce specific images on behalf of numerous clients. These have included six of the historic colleges found in Cambridge. These beautiful images were then reproduced onto tablemats. Another special commission was a series of animal and bird drawings for the children’s comic entitled ‘Acorn Green’ and another favourite of Michael’s was a picture of a hotel in Lewes, Sussex, part of the Best Western Hotels group. This image was later featured in an article in the Sunday Telegraph magazine. Michael’s chosen subjects remain the same as his first fascinations: buildings, animals, birds and pets and now also include scenes of aviation. Working closely with photographs taken either by himself or supplied by the client, he takes precise measurements that are then scaled up on the paper and outlined in pencil. These lines, along with the fine detail for which he is renowned, are then defined using pen and ink. Admirers of his work remain astounded by the accuracy and how much detail he is able to incorporate using such everyday media. ‘Everyone says the same things when they see my work,’ Michael laughs: ‘ “How long did that take you?” followed closely by “It looks as real as a photograph.”’ Michael returned to Cambridgeshire in 1995 with his employer at the time. He has since married and now lives in Eaton Socon, near to St. Neots. Having been made redundant last year from a company for whom he had worked for 16 years, Michael has decided to return to his art as a means of earning a living. Most recently Michael’s work has been growing in popularity once more. A local networking group – Business Networking Cambridgeshire, have been very interested in creating opportunities for Michael to showcase his talent. This group has been specifically

formed in order to bring together local companies and help them to make connections and work more unitedly for the good of the community. Through his involvement, Michael and his remarkable work have been featured in the St. Neot’s Town Crier newspaper. As a result of this article Michael was contacted by the Reverend Dr Paul Andrews, vicar of St. Mary’s church St. Neots, regarding a stunning picture of the church that Michael had recently completed. Copies of this image have now been made available for sale to the public. They can be purchased directly from Michael or at the church where a percentage of the profits will be donated towards church funds. In addition to the sale of prints of his previous works, Michael is now able to accept commissions to produce a unique drawing of your home, or another place of special interest or personal significance to you. In addition to the works shown on these pages, you are also welcome to see many other examples of Michael’s work on his facebook page (http://www.facebook. com/pages/Michael-Kay-Artist-and-Photographer). If you are interested in speaking to Michael about his work or commissioning your own Michael Kay original, then he is happy for you to be in touch. As one of our county’s most talented artists, Michael is able to capture all the detail of the moment in an entirely unique, beautiful way which can be treasured for generations to come.

MICHAEL KAY

Telephone 01480 531601 or 07546 408999 Email: mkay_artist@hotmail.co.uk To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122

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Unique Landscape We specialise in

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Wrap up

for winter Winter is upon us and even if you think that it can’t become any colder, it’s time to face facts because the lowest temperatures are likely yet to come. Most plants in British gardens are good and hardy, but when conditions become particularly miserable even these may suffer. So whether your garden is already covered in snow and ice, or simply suffering from a slight frosting, it’s time to make sure that it’s wrapped up warm. Plants in containers are particularly vulnerable to winter damage as their roots are not protected beneath the soil but instead are relatively exposed with only the container and a layer of compost to protect them. This leaves the roots in serious danger so, if the garden soil is not frozen solid, plunge any pot that can be plunged. If it’s too heavy to move then wrap it up well in several layers of bubble wrap polythene or old curtains – it may not look pretty but it’ll do the job. Most shrubs and trees in your garden will be ‘hardy’ in the UK, able to withstand all but the most harsh weather but if very harsh weather is forecast or there has been a spell of mild weather which may have encouraged the plant to produce some soft, new growth, then drape a double layer of horticultural fleece over the top growth of the plants and anchor it well. A double fleece layer can of course be used on plants in beds and borders too. Make sure you weigh down the edges of the fleece well with bricks, or use metal pegs at intervals along its length. Larger individual plants in borders can be given good, individual protection if you use four sturdy canes to create a framework, wrap with netting or chicken wire and fill the central space around the plant with dry bracken, straw or leaves. Many wall shrubs, for example the pineapple broom, are grown in this relatively warm and sheltered spot because they aren’t the hardiest of plants. To dramatically reduce any risk of cold damage you can make a similar ‘cage’ of mesh around these and again fill it with dry material so that the plant inside remains snug. It is essential with any such protection that you don’t use materials that cannot ‘breathe’ or else it may become damp inside and the plants will start to deteriorate. Evergreens in containers and in open ground may

suffer from drought as well as foliage or stem growth – during the cold weather they continue to need a fair amount of water and if this is frozen solid in the soil, they soon suffer. Deep mulch applied to the soil surface on the root area before the ground becomes frosted will help immensely. During milder spells, if the soil is dry, give them a drink too. Although most fruit trees such as apples, pears, cherries and plums are definitely hardy, they are also prone to damage. Although quite tough, the newly opened blossom and the buds themselves may be damaged, with late frosts being most harmful because the buds are further developed. A fleece cover will help here too. If you live in a particularly cold part of the country and are planting new fruit plants buy them from a local specialist nursery who know local conditions, and try to buy late flowering varieties where possible. If your garden is inclined to be a bit windswept, it may be worth investing in some fleecy jackets for your favourite shrubs. These are made from fleece and are like massive bags, complete with a drawstring at the open end. Just pop them over the plant and tighten the drawstring. Alternatively use a double layer of ordinary fleece, such as the type we offer on my website, wrap it around and cut to size before clipping or tying in place. Outdoor taps and pipework are likely to need protection too, and if left open to the elements could result in burst pipes and expensive bills. I suggest turning outside taps off at the mains, but if this isn’t feasible or logical, do make sure any exposed pipework is properly insulated. Your local builder’s merchant or DIY store is worth a visit for this job - well insulated pipes and garden taps could save you a fortune. Visit Pippa’s website www.pippagreenwood. com for some great gift ideas and items for your garden, including signed copies of Pippa’s books, hand-made terracotta herb planters and wall plaques, cloches, pop-up plant cloches, raised bed kits, ‘Grow Your Own with Pippa Greenwood’ Gift Cards, heated propagators and lots more! You can also sign up for Pippa’s newsletter and receive a free e-book on organic gardening.

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GILKS FENCING LTD Supplying of all types of gates and fencing to trade and public.

•Closeboard Fencing • TGV Gates • Trellis Made to Customers Design • Lap Panel Fencing • Railings • Chain Link • Knee Rail Fencing • Concrete Slotted Posts • Professional Installation Available

td encing L 9 2HX r Gilks F G1 fo S s s s d e re d B New Ad , Sandy, y a g n li ad, Gam rove Ro

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Tel: 01767 681746 Fax: 01767 681776 www.gilksfencing.co.uk Email: gilksfencing@hotmail.com

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 £6.00/day. Rabbits/guinea pigs also boarded. 64 Meadow Road, Great Gransden

Telephone 01767 677 759 www.catterybedfordshire.co.uk Open all year.

The cattery for caring owners. Comfort and security for your pet. 36

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ANIMAL KNOW-HOW

Seasonal advice for winter During a cold snap, a fluffy scarf, an extra pair of socks or a delicious hot chocolate can make things more bearable for us humans. But for many animals, winter can be deadly ¬– so please do your bit to prevent animals suffering. • If you have a pond, make sure you check it every day for ice; as toxic gases can build up in the water of a frozen pond. These may kill fish or frogs that are hibernating at the bottom. If a pond freezes over, carefully place a saucepan of hot water on the surface to gently melt a hole in the ice. Never tip boiling water straight onto the pond or break the ice with force, as this can harm or even kill any fish living there. Dog owners must keep their pets well away from ponds and lakes that are iced over. Thin ice may break under a dog’s weight. Also watch out for dogs’ paws becoming impacted with snow – this can cause them discomfort. • Keep a close eye on outdoor pets, such as guinea pigs and rabbits. Put extra bedding in their home and be prepared to move them into a shed or unused garage for extra shelter whilst the weather is cold. • Try to maintain a regular routine with your dog. Although you may not feel like taking your dog for a walk on dark wintry evenings, exercise is needed to keep your pet happy and healthy. Always wear reflective clothing to make yourself visible when walking near roads in the dark. And don’t forget your pets too – fit

your dog with a reflective collar. • Give your pets a treat, but remember that too much rich food isn’t good for animals. Some seasonal foods, such as grapes, sultanas and raisins are toxic to dogs, and chocolate can actually kill them. Splinters of poultry bones are also dangerous to dogs and cats, as they can become stuck in their throats or even pierce their intestinal tract. 
 • If horses and ponies are kept outside during the winter they must have access to shelter at all times. They also need a constant supply of fresh water (check that ice hasn’t formed on it) and a rug to protect them against the cold and wet. Extra food will be needed too, as winter grazing provides very little nourishment. So, don’t forget your pets’ specific needs during the winter months. Try to keep to a regular routine of feeding and exercising them, and protect them from the harsh weather. ANIMAL KNOW-HOW is one of a series of articles brought to you by the RSPCA North Bedfordshire branch www.rspca-bedfordshirenorth.org.uk

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Cat’s out of the bag

BY JAMES BAGGOTT

There’s no shortage of interest in the new Jaguar F-Type, the firm’s boss Jeremy Hicks tells James Baggott, more than 1,000 buyers have placed a deposit or expressed a serious interest in buying the F-Type. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) managing director Jeremy Hicks said that he asked his dealer network to find out just how popular the new sports car would be, and the results came as a nice surprise. ‘We asked how many people were seriously interested,’ said Hicks. ‘What we’ve found is a very strong level of interest. F-Type will draw from performance saloon and coupe buyers because the design credentials are great. We want this car to reestablish the Jaguar brand. It’s a big statement car and returns us to where our roots lie: sports cars.’ Priced from £58,000, Jaguar is aggressively targeting the Porsche 911 and even though it’s a small sector in terms of sales, the British manufacturer is hoping for great things. ‘We have huge expectations of what it can do for the brand,’ added Hicks. ‘It’s not going to be massive in terms of volumes – remember this is a niche sector we are operating in. The good news is we have three positives; it’s well priced, it drives brilliantly and there’s a home advantage.’ The F-Type, arriving in the brand’s 90 dealers in the spring, is the start of a product offensive from Jaguar. The XF Sportbrake will also be arriving soon and other volume sectors are being explored too. ‘We are laying the foundations for growth and that means new cars in new segments,’ revealed Hicks. ‘The obvious place to go is down to the burgeoning area of the market. We need smaller cars, saloon cars and we’re looking at the crossover market. The SUV market is growing and even though we’re there

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with JLR, the definitive SUV maker, there is scope for Jaguar too.’ Hicks explained JLR invests £2bn a year in R&D (he claims that’s higher than any UK car manufacturer) and the team are looking at several options including a replacement for the X Type. ‘Jaguar has an opportunity to move down from the XF,’ he said. ‘A Mondeo sized car. We’ve been there with the X Type and did well however the problem with the X and S Types, in my opinion, was that they were too retrospective. The F Type isn’t; it has lineage and clear DNA, but it’s not a retro car.’ JLR has been a fantastic success story. Whilst in 2008 the manufacturer was accepting loans from the government, new products have launched successfully and the maker has bounced back. ‘What’s the secret? Great cars,’ explained Hicks. ‘The crisis was a combination of financial problems and the SUV market being down in general, plus this was immediately prior to the XF launch.’ ‘Since then we’ve had the XF and Evoque launches which have transformed things. We are up 30% year on year. I put that down to a passionate team and a real can-do attitude. Even the dealer network can see that.’ Hicks said the dealers are seeing the returns too with profitability up. But the MD has ruled out increasing the size of either the Jaguar or Land Rover networks from their current 90 and 120 points respectively. ‘Both franchises are profitable,’ he said. ‘But that doesn’t mean we’re going to drive growth by expanding the network. The current sites are making good returns so it’s more important to drive more capacity through those. We can see bigger sites at some of our outlets, but not new dealers.’

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15% DISCOUNT ON ALL WORK CARRIED OUT OVER ÂŁ50 WITH THIS ADVERT

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CD

Garage Door Problems?

Garage Doors All leading Makes of Doors Supplied, Fitted & Repaired Manual & Automatic Over 20 Years Experience

Phone Chris Day On:

07899 903973

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01480 459 721

High Street, Brampton

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YOUR FIVE STEP GUIDE

TO RECOVERING FROM A FINANCIAL HANGOVER So again we find ourselves starting the New Year on the financial back foot, following overindulgence at Christmas. While this dilemma may seem inescapable, it is certainly not without remedy. Here’s how to begin your New Year with a proactive monetary success story rather than spending Q1 worried about cash flow. This is your five-step guide to recovering from a Christmas financial hangover. 1. Personal Preparation Start by deciding whether you’re going to use a paper notepad or software. Some people prefer pen and paper, but software for personal finance management or even just a spreadsheet will give you an efficient way to keep track of your funds using an intuitive interface. Next, you need to bolster your conviction to rectify the situation. If you’ve had good intentions in the past to tackle your finances but found yourself falling by the wayside, you’ll understand the importance of this step. A process touted by many world-renowned business coaches is to take a notepad and create two columns. On one side, put the positive things which will come from organising your money, and on the other list the downsides of what will happen and how failure will feel. This process can transform your intentions from whimsical fancy into serious conviction. 2. Assessing Your Situation Before addressing the problem at hand, you need to understand what the damage is. This means coming to terms with exactly how much you spent and involves delving into the nitty-gritty of your naughtiness, a psychologically repelling task that is tempting to avoid. If you haven’t had your credit card statement in yet, sit down with a notepad or a spreadsheet and tally up what you spent on Christmas presents. After this, do a rough calculation of what was spent on other factors such as food, drink and travel. You can always phone your card company and ask for the current balance if you’ve lost track. 3. Laying Down Your Targets Next, make a comprehensive list of every single essential outgoing for the month including an allowance for food. Once you know what this figure is, subtract it from your income and you will

know exactly how much is left to divide between your card bill/overdraft and other spending for the coming months. 4. Breaking Your Targets Down Breaking targets down into milestones is another strategy adopted by many renowned business coaches. Once you have your monthly budget, you can then break down your weekly, or even daily spending allowance. If you stick to these targets, you cannot fail and by the end of your plan, you will inevitably be free from your Christmas financial woes. Be as detailed as possible in your planning, accounting for any and all expenditures. 5. Other Steps to Take It’s common when struggling to get on top of finances to avoid contacting organisations to whom money is owed, such as credit card or utility bill companies. Ironically, communication can gain a great deal of leeway here. If necessary, phone up and inform them you’re unable to pay the bill this month but you can pay extra at the end of February. They will often be more than happy to accommodate, allowing you get on with your day-to-day life, conscience unburdened from money issues. If you continue to struggle to make ends meet, there are companies out there to help. Both CCCS (http://www.cccs.co.uk) and Payplan (http:// www.payplan.com/) are organisations set up to offer free advice and also debt management plans for those in need. Best of luck.

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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: ovenmen@live.co.uk You can also book at www.ovenmen.com

parent company est. 1998

Methi Indian Takeaway

Methi INDIAN TAKEAWAY

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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.

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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

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SEASONAL DELIGHTS CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE

If you have a bowlful of nuts left over from Christmas then why not make this classic American favourite with a British twist – simply replace half the pecan nuts with walnuts, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts. Serve with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt or whipped cream. Serves 8 Ready in 1½ hours plus chilling INGREDIENTS For the pastry: 225g plain flour 100g butter, diced 1 medium egg, beaten with 2tbsp cold water For the filling: 100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces 50g butter, diced 75g golden syrup 4 tbsp maple syrup 75g caster sugar 4 medium eggs, beaten 175g pecan nuts (or a mixture of pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts) 1 To make the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and add the diced butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg and water and mix to a crumbly dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth. Wrap and chill the pastry for 20 minutes. 2 Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 25cm round deep metal pie tin (or a loose-based fluted flan tin). Crimp the pastry edge with your fingers and prick the base all over with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.

3 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and place a baking sheet in the oven to heat. To make the filling, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir in the golden syrup, maple syrup and sugar then whisk in the beaten eggs. Chop half the nuts and stir into the mixture. 4 Gently pour the mixture into the pastry case and sprinkle over the rest of the nuts (roughly chopping the hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, if using). Slide the pie tin onto the preheated baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and bake for a further 2530 minutes until the filling has set and the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve warm or cold.

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Dealing with stress

How can you best cope with stress? Stress is the term used to describe our physical, mental and emotional reactions to what is happening in our lives. It is a perfectly natural reaction and was a vital response for our forebearers when faced with a fight or flight situation. Stress - when handled in the right way - can be good for us: it enables us to take on challenges, face fears and step outside our comfort zone. We also actively seek out that adrenaline rush when doing extreme sports, playing video games or watching horror movies. But too much stress on a daily basis may lead to you finding it hard to cope like half a million people in the UK every year who report experiencing work-related stress. This is when stress becomes a part of your life and you find yourself having to deal with physical, mental or emotional pressures every day with no respite. Signs of stress - When you are stressed your muscles contract and prepare for action. Your heart rate speeds up and your blood pressure rises. Your body will react in one or more different ways, such as: breathlessness, feeling sick, headaches, constant tiredness, sweating, constipation or diarrhoea, muscle spasm, heartburn, lack of appetite and sexual difficulties. As a result, you may find it difficult to concentrate or to make decisions. You may start to avoid difficult situations or avoid talking to people about what’s going on and may find yourself crying frequently and feeling depressed. If not dealt with, stress can contribute to serious health problems such as ulcers, heart attacks and

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strokes. Learning to relax - You may not always be able to remove the elements of your life which are causing you stress, but there are things you can do to help you deal with it. Giving yourself some quiet time to relax can really help. Use the time to read or listen to music or try a relaxation technique for 20 minutes: close your eyes, breathing slowly and deeply. Think about which muscles are tense and try to relax them, imagining the tension just easing away. Focus on each part of your body in turn, starting with your feet and moving up through your body to the top of your head. You could also try a yoga or relaxation class to help relieve stress or go for regular walks at lunchtime. Tackling stress - It may sound simple, but have you actually looked at exactly what is causing you stress and how you may be able to change the situation? If a person at work is causing you problems, can you discuss it with them or someone else? If you have too much work, can you find some help or ask a colleague to share the load? If you’ve said ‘yes’ to too many things, are there some you can say ‘no’ to? However much pressure you are under, try to take regular breaks to remove yourself from the cycle. Try to be well-organised - many situations look better when you know exactly what it is you have to deal with, rather than worrying about it. Find as much help as you can - whether it’s in the home or at work, so that you are sharing the load - and talk to friends, family or colleagues so you don’t feel that you are coping alone.

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CODEWORD

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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.

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Cape Town

BY SOLANGE HANDO Draped like a silver necklace around the green slopes of Signal Hill, Cape Town, the ‘Mother City’, is an intriguing mix of pastel-coloured walls, red roofs and mighty skyscrapers lapped by the Atlantic surf. Dutch and British settlers left a fair heritage, from the star-shaped castle of Good Hope to the Houses of Parliament, the Anglican Cathedral, once the diocese of Desmund Tutu, and the Company’s Gardens. The modern town has tree-lined avenues and upmarket stores but in the midst of it all are quaint colonial buildings and colourful alleyways, especially in the Malay district, a favourite location for film producers and still home to descendants of Asian slaves. Seapoint is a leisurely place to picnic on the lawns, stroll on the promenade to enjoy the ocean breeze or gaze at fur seals basking on the rocks. Meanwhile beyond the lively Greenmarket at the heart of town, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront bustles from morning to night. There are fishing boats along the quay, English pubs and al fresco restaurants, Zulu dancers, Jazz musicians and people of all ages having a good time. It’s a great place to sample fresh seafood or a mega ice cream, hunt for the finest African craft or sail around the harbour feeling at home as you gaze at the bright red Victorian clock tower. A dainty pedestrian bridge swings now and then to let the boats go through and Table Mountain looks down on the scene in quiet splendour. Silhouetted against the blue sky or lost in the mist at over 1000 metres, the mountain has a mind of its own so it’s best to check the forecast and

choose a good day to head for the top. Some visitors walk up the steep trails, three hours or so by the easiest route, most queue for the cable car to be whizzed up to the summit in just six minutes. The platform revolves so everyone has a turn to look at the view, more vertiginous as you climb until you near the top, hanging just metres from the sheer cliff face. Up there, the panorama takes your breath away, from the glistening city and harbour to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held in captivity, now a sanctuary for seabirds and penguins, from the verdant Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head to the Cape peninsula and the Twelve Apostles stretching into the ocean. Myriad footpaths crisscross the vast rocky plateau, sprinkled with 1500 species of plants, among them flowering protea and golden fynbos. There are Cape canaries and orange sunbirds, goat antelopes and elands, baboons and rock hyraxes, resembling oversized guinea pigs, who have wisely set up home near the coffee shop. Suddenly the fog horn blows, sending everyone rushing back to the cable car. Mist rolls across the mountain tops, the temperature drops, the view disappears and you can’t see the edge of the cliff. It’s a relief to head back down into the sunshine where the ocean rolls as far as you can see and the beat of African drums and dancers echoes along the waterfront. Table Mountain has vanished like a dream but on the eastern slopes of the National Park, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens release their most exotic fragrance in the setting sun.

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You Can’t Do That…

BY Chris Russell

5th October 2012 marked fifty years since the release of The Beatles’ first single, ‘Love Me Do’ a song and band that, quite simply, changed the world. This period in pop history was recently recreated in a BBC documentary, and a snippet of rare footage showing the Fab Four onstage at the Cavern reminded me of a rather hairy time in my own band’s history that took place on that very same stage. It was our first appearance at the Cavern, and I recall arriving at the venue in the afternoon and suddenly feeling very… well… posh. We weren’t in Berkshire any more, and I quickly decided that this would be a gig where I would try and keep my increasingly unpredictable mouth shut. More singy singy, less talky talky. By around 10.30pm we’d finished our set and, to our surprise, gone down really well. As we left the stage, the audience were shouting for an encore, but with this being relatively early in our careers we’d already played everything we knew. Behind the curtain, we huddled for a quick conference and our drummer Tony pointed out that there was one number we could do. A song we had learned recently for a friend’s wedding. A Beatles song. But no. You can’t do that, not in the birthplace of The Beatles. In fact, it’s not just that you shouldn’t cover The Beatles at the Cavern, it’s that you DON’T cover The Beatles at the Cavern, for precisely the same reason that you don’t wear a cardboard Queen Elizabeth mask to Buckingham Palace. But this would be okay, Tony insisted, because the track we happened to know was ‘You Can’t Do That’ (originally the B-side to ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’), and the built-in irony of this would cover us in the event of a revolt. Yeah right it would, I thought. But before I knew it, we were back onstage, standing in front of an expectant Beatle-mad crowd. ‘I’ve got a fact about The Beatles,’ said Tony suddenly, into the microphone, before I could begin the piano introduction. What was he doing? I looked out at the shadowy sea of faces. You could hear a pin drop. ‘The Beatles’ first gig,’ continued Tony, ‘wasn’t in Liverpool at all.’ Please don’t kill us, northerners. Please don’t

smash us in and mail our body parts to Tunbridge Wells. ‘Lennon and McCartney’s first ever gig wasn’t in Liverpool, it was in Reading. Where we live.’ This is it, I thought. This is, without a single shadow of a doubt, how I’m going to die. Darkness fell. For a moment, nobody uttered a sound. Then, as I opened my tightly scrunched eyes, I found to my surprise a room full of people sagely nodding their heads in agreement. It would appear that not only was Tony’s fact watertight, but of course the kind of musos who hang out at the Cavern Club are so knowledgeable about The Beatles that they knew this to be true. And the rest is history. We threw out a spirited rendition of ‘You Can’t Do That’, and it went down a storm. So here’s to you, John, Paul, George & Ringo. Thanks for starting a band, and for changing the world. (And thank you to the good people of Liverpool for sparing our lives.) Chris plays piano in South London power-pop band The Lightyears. The Lightyears, voted the UK’s BEST POP/ROCK ACT at the Indy Awards, have played Wembley Stadium, toured across four continents and released a record with Sting’s producer. Chris has recently completed his first book, “Mockstars”; a selection of video extracts are available to view at www.ProjectLightyears. com.

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Ty Interiors Prize Crossword 1st Prize £25 Name:

Sponsored by Ty Interiors, The Olde Watermill Shopping Village, Faldo Road, Barton Le Clay, MK45 4RF

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Please enter me into the prize draw to be drawn at end of 3 months for £1000 off a fully fitted kitchen. T&C’s apply. (Please tick) Last Month’s Crossword Winners. Congratulations to: 1st prize - Mr P Chells from Great Barford and 2nd prize - Heather Grant from Sandy For last month’s solution please visit www.villagermag.com Across 1 Argument (7) 5 Engine (5) 8 Certain (9) 9 Rodent (3) 10 Nightclub (5) 12 Oblivious (7) 13 Musical backing (13) 15 Operating room (7) 17 Edition (5) 19 Ocean (3) 20 Young adults (9) 22 Fashion (5) 23 Weekday (7) Down 1 Chopped up (5) 2 Male child (3) 3 Alike (7) 4 Incentive (13) 5 TV, radio (5) 6 Intimidates (9) 7 Draw back (7) 11 Personal Assistant (9) 13 Painters (7) 14 Copy (7) 16 Heading (5) 18 Thesis (5) 21 Finish (3)

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Our Top 10 tips for a healthier you

A New Year… A New You! New Year’s resolutions are often compared to being like babies - they’re fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain. Each January, roughly one in three people resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later, a 2002 study found. “It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you’ve swept up the confetti, but it’s not impossible” said Jane, owner of the Centre for Complementary Health. “That’s why we have created our top 10 tips to a healthier you, why not pick one worthy resolutions and stick with it” Jane added. The best way to start off a new year is with good habits for healthier living and a longer, happier life so, here they are: 1. Lose weight – start by removing the remaining Christmas food and drink! 2. Keep well hydrated - Drink more water, aim for 6-8 150 ml glasses per day

3. Ditch the caffeine – opt for water, juice or herbal teas 4. Cut back on alcohol – you’ll soon feel the benefits 5. Quit Smoking – there are many tools/tips out there to help you 6. Cut your stress – try to avoid stress and stressful situations 7. Fit in fitness – the Dept of Health recommends 150 minutes for an adult between 19-65+ every week. (that’s less than 20 minutes per day!!) 8. Get more sleep – 8 hours is recommended 9. Stay in touch – spend time with family and friends 10. Take time for you and reward yourself For further information and tips contact the Centre for Complementary Health on 01480455221 or see the website for details (www.CentreForCompHealth.com).

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what’S ON?

IN JANUARY

5 January Hardy Plant Society Talk 2pm The Wetherley Centre, Biggleswade Small charge for visitors Cambs and Beds Hardy Plant Society present a talk by Mike Brown on ‘All in a garden green-the features you may find in an historic garden’ Mike is an ex Head Gardener and College Lecturer, who designed the medieval gardens at Prebendal Manor, Northants. He is also a consultant for other projects. All welcome. Tel: Winifred 01234 721720 Web: www.hpscambsandbeds.co.uk 5 & 6 January Antique & Collectors Fair Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 9am-4pm Wood Green Animal Shelter, Godmanchester Adults & Concessions £3.50, Children Free, Online price Adults & Concessions £2.50 Whether you are a professional dealer, an avid collector looking to complete a cherished collection, or an enthusiast searching for the ‘once in a lifetime’ treasure, the fair offers a diverse range of antiques and collectables. Web: www.aztecevents.co.uk 8 January Cromwell Video Camera Club 7pm for 7.30pm start Reading Room, High Street, Hemingford Grey Cromwell Video Camera Club Committee Meeting. 9 January 100 Years of the Wildlife Trusts 7.30pm Brampton Memorial Hall, Thrapston Road, Brampton Suggested donation: Members £2, Non Members £2.50 The history of the Wildlife Trusts is the topic of this month’s meeting of the Huntingdonshire Local Group. Brian Eversham presents a DVD exploring the development of the WLT from the early 20th century when Charles Rothschild recognized the danger to Wood Walton Fen, to the establishment of nature reserves at the end of WWII, and later the development of the national body and the local Trusts, to today’s Living Landscapes report that aims to restore nature and enable wildlife to extend its range in the UK. Anyone interested in wildlife is most welcome to attend. Tel: Phil 01487 822835 Email: Philip@philandruth.plus.com Web: www.wildlifetrust-huntsareagroup.org.uk 12 January Charity Soul Night 7pm-2am Priory Centre, St Neots Advance tickets £7, On the door £8 Charity Soul Night in aid of Life After Debt. Tel: 01487 830219

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13 & 20 January Giant Indoor Car Boot Sale 7am traders, 9am-1pm buyers Wood Green Animal Shelter, Godmanchester £6 pitch fee and tables for hire for £3 Giant indoor car boot sale. Pre book only. Tel: For further information 01480 832812

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 whatson@villagermag.com 15 January Working in your Garden 7.30pm Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton Admission £6 including light refreshments Kimbolton Flower Club. Fritz De Zutter will be speaking on ‘Working in your Garden’ followed by ‘question Time’. Please join us and bring along your queries. Visitors welcome. 16 January Non Conformity of The Fens 7.30-9pm WI Headquarters, Walden Road, Huntingdon Huntingdonshire Family History Society presents Brian Jones talking about Non Conformity of The Fens. Nonmembers welcome – £1 donation at the door appreciated. Tel: Caroline Kesseler 01480 390476 Email: secretary@huntsfhs.org.uk Web: www.huntsfhs.org.uk 19 January The Opera Dudes – Licensed to Trill! 7.30pm Little Gransden Village Hall Tickets £8/£7 Another amazing and very funny show in conjunction with Arts in Cambs on Tour - some impressive singing too! Tel: S Sullivan 01767 677906 Email: ssulledit@aol.com 20 January Wildlife Trust Walk 10.30am Brampton Wood Wildlife Trust Huntingdonshire Local Group walk through Brampton Wood led by Warden, George Cottam, and local botanist, Lynne Farrell. Please meet in the car park, grid reference TL185 697. 22 January Cromwell Video Camera Club 7pm for 7.30pm start Reading Room, High Street, Hemingford Grey Showing of the film made in October 2012. General public welcome to see the result. 25-27 January Sleeping Beauty Friday 7.30pm, Saturday 2.30pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 7.30pm Stuart Memorial Hall, Tempsford Adults £7, Child (under 16) £5, Family (2+2) £20 Come and see Love triumph over Evil in the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty. The Kingfisher Players, NODA Pantomime Award Winners, will keep you entertained with comedy and songs in their performances of Chris Lane’s adaptation of this classic story. Tickets available from High Street Crafts, Sandy or Steve Ward on 01767 691982 or Kingfisher Players website. Web: www.kingfisherplayers.co.uk 26 January Burns Night Celebrations 7pm till late Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton £15 per ticket including Hog Roast Enjoy the fantastic sounds of “Moondance” Full Ceilidh (Scottish band) with Caller. Full Bar.

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Five Best Diet Changes

By Debbie Singh-Bhatti A new year - a new start. How can you start improving your diet and your chances of leading a healthier lifestyle? First – eat breakfast! After many hours without food our bodies need refuelling to bring the blood sugar back up and ensure the brain and muscles are functioning properly. Eating breakfast aids concentration and creates energy. Drink more water We lose on average 2-4 litres of water a day, which needs to be replaced. Current advice is to drink 6-8 glasses daily to ensure that our brain, blood and muscles are able to function at their best. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Their vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, whilst antioxidants fight cancer and disease, and fibre cleanses the gut. We should eat five portions per day. Eat less red meat Reduce the risk of bowel and other cancers. Health experts suggest 500g per week (the equivalent of one steak, one pork

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chop, 2 sausages and a portion of Bolognese sauce) or 70g per day (three rashes of bacon). Eat more consciously Take time to really taste and savour the food in your mouth. Be aware of the textures and flavours - and chances are you will enjoy your food more whilst eating less of it! Remember, you are what you eat. Eat healthy, be healthy!

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Keep warm this winter

By Alex Brown

In the dark, dank days of January, it’s vital that we keep ourselves warm. For older people particularly, cold weather can lead to health problems such as chest infections, heart attacks and strokes. The Government recommends that we keep our main living room between 18 and 21°C, and the rest of the house at a minimum of 16°C. You may be eligible for Winter Fuel Payments of up to £400 if you were born on or before 5 July 1950 – call 08459 151515 for details. Also, the Warm Front Scheme (0800 316 2805) offers grants for heating and insulation improvements. Make sure you wrap up warm when you’re indoors and out, at daytime and night. Several thinner layers are more effective at trapping heat than one thick layer. Thermal underwear is a great investment, and a hat, scarf and gloves will stop you losing body heat. There’s nothing worse than being cold in bed, so use an electric blanket or hot water bottle before

you get in, and wear bed socks. Eat plenty of warming stews and soups, and have regular hot drinks. Spices such as chilli, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and ginger will warm you up from the inside! It is also important to keep active – try to move around at least once an hour.

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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 christa@villagermag.com

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Cambridge 2013 january