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Issue 49 - May 2013

and Town



Covering: Buckden • Brampton • Cambourne • Godmanchester The Hemingfords and all surrounding areas

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In this Issue

Issue 49 - May 2013

and Town




Gallery 1066

A Night With The Stars Covering: Buckden • Brampton • Cambourne • Godmanchester The Hemingfords and all surrounding areas


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Advertising Sales Christa Hallam - Tel: 07868 369257 Additional Editorial Tony Larkins, Peter Ibbett, Fiona McLeman, Christine Donnelly, Dean Dunham, Alex Brown, Pippa Greenwood, Julia Faulks, Derek Thompson, Solange Hando and James Baggott Front Cover Photo: Hurry Design and Artwork Design 9 - Tel 07762 969460 Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122 Email:


Cooks and Kids

Alliance Foster Care


Manor Farm Day Nursery Sandy


Prize Crossword £25 could be yours!

Faded Post Boxes..........................................................................................4 Pedal Power....................................................................................................6 Wildlife Wanderings....................................................................................8 Kimbolton Country Fayre....................................................................... 13 Island Reserve............................................................................................. 19 7 Myths the Retailers Tell You................................................................ 20 St Neots Folk Festival............................................................................... 26 Life Amidst/After Debt............................................................................ 33 Decisions, Decisions................................................................................. 36 Preservation or Investment Growth................................................... 39 Animal Queries........................................................................................... 48 Coping With Things You Cannot Hide................................................ 47 Children’s Page........................................................................................... 50 Study For Success...................................................................................... 53 Porsche Panamera GTS............................................................................ 54 Seasonal Delights...................................................................................... 59 Puzzle Page.................................................................................................. 60 What’s On..................................................................................................... 70 Tallinn Old Town, Estonia........................................................................ 72

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.

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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Faded Post Boxes


We take some of our national icons too much for granted. Next time you post a letter (if you still do!) take a moment or two to appreciate one of this islands best known features:- the red post box. Wikipedia tells us that in the British Isles the first red pillar post boxes were erected in Jersey in 1852. Roadside wall boxes first appeared in 1857 as a cheaper alternative to pillar boxes, especially in rural districts. In 1853 the first pillar box in the United Kingdom was installed at Botchergate, Carlisle. In 1859 the design was improved, and this became the first National Standard pillar box. Green was adopted as the standard colour for the early Victorian post boxes. Between 1866 and 1879 the hexagonal Penfold post box became the standard design for pillar boxes and it was during this period that red was first adopted as the standard colour. The first boxes to be painted red were in London in July 1874, although it would be nearly 10 years before all the boxes had been repainted. See if you can spot one of the early boxes still in local use such as the Victorian wall letter box in Staploe - possibly in situ by 1877 when mentioned


in the Post Office Directory. The Staploe box is an appropriate mature shade of red harking back to the days when red lead pigment was used. Today the use of lead based paints has passed into the history books and modern synthetic paints are used. The problem is that modern red paint fades after a few years of British weather! Too many post boxes in St. Neots have been allowed to become shabby, reflecting the financially austere times we live in. Do tell the Post Office if your local box is off-colour, for the least we should expect for the increasing cost of a stamp is a well maintained post box in which to deposit our letter. Post boxes and a host of other fascinating past and present photographs of St Neots can be found on the newly upgraded Cambridge Community Archive Network site ( Some of the currently most popular keywords used on the site are:- Flooding ; Pubs still open in the summer of 2008; Former pubs; Paper Mill; Notable trees; and the Fire at St Mary’s Parish Church, Eaton Socon. Please have a look at the site to which you can contribute your own photographs and memories.

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Pedal power

By Alex Brown

Road cycling is an exhilarating way to challenge yourself and get fit You know what they say about riding a bike – once you’ve learned you never forget. So if you enjoyed zooming down hills when you were younger (and struggling up them!) road cycling may be the ideal sport for you. As the name suggests, road cycling involves riding exclusively on roads, and the aim is to build up your speed and the distance you can cover. It’s a very efficient way to get fit and lose weight as it’s one of the few sports that you can sustain for two to four hours. Like running, it gets you out in the fresh air, but it is low impact and places less strain on your joints. Road bikes are designed for racing. They have a lightweight frame, narrow tyres and rounded handlebars so that you sit forward in an aerodynamic position. You can pay anything from £150 to £5000 plus. Cheaper bikes are made from steel or aluminium, while the more expensive are carbon fibre or titanium, which is amazingly strong and light. If you decide to take up the sport seriously, look for a well-known brand and expect to pay around £600. Getting the right size is important, so ask your local bike shop for advice. Your legs should


be almost straight when they are on the pedal at bottom of the turn. There are two types of pedals on road bikes. Platform pedals are like those on a traditional bicycle and you will need to add toe clips. Modern clipless pedals will need special shoes with cleats on them that fix your foot to the pedals. The saddle of a road bicycle is normally very narrow and can be uncomfortable, so you may want to get a gel cover or wear padded shorts. When you’re out on the roads, safety has to be your top priority. A helmet is a must, as is brightly coloured clothing. Ride your bike as if you were driving a car and obey traffic laws. Take a tool kit with you – a spare inner tube, tyre levers, puncture repair kit, pump and Allen keys are essential. It’s also sensible to carry your address and phone number in case of an accident. Think of road cycling as a long-term sport. It will take you a few weeks to get used to your bike and build up your speed and stamina. Joining a club is a great way to keep motivated. You’ll find a directory of over 1500 clubs at www. ranging from informal groups who ride for pleasure to competitive racing teams. So what are you waiting for – get on your bike!

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WILDLIFE TRAVEL, BY CHRISTINE DONNELLY May is the favourite month for many gardeners and it is also the best month for seeing much of our local wildlife. If you take a walk in the countryside, or even in town, you will hear many different species of birds singing and may see their displays. Nightingales are now quite rare in this part of Cambridgeshire but several other birds also have beautiful songs so listen out for blackcaps and garden warblers which have just arrived for the summer. Our resident birds are also in full song, one of the loudest being the song thrush. Many people are surprised that other familiar birds such as blackbirds and robins also have lovely songs, and as they are easy to see they are helpful to those beginning to learn bird song! Waterside reeds are the summer home of sedge and reed warblers, and even if you can’t see them, you can enjoy their noisy chatter. Several dragonflies are ‘on the wing’ in May, including some smaller species, known as damselflies. The flying adults normally live only a few weeks having emerged from an underwater larval life that may have lasted a few years. Their quick flight makes them difficult to see but look for them resting on leaves, including lily pads. More than a dozen species can be seen locally, distinguished by their colourful markings.

Large red damselfly Local grasslands vary in their character from wet meadows, chalky pastures and sandy heaths. Although the latter usually have a richer wildlife later in the year, sites such as Gamlingay Cinques are worth visiting in spring to see the bright yellow gorse and the delicate blue harebell, a type of campanula. For a taste of summer, join the Wildlife Trust on the 8th of May for their Dusk Watch at Woodwalton Fen. Summer is here on the islands in the south of Britain and just starting on more northerly isles. May is a wonderful time to visit the Isles of Scilly, off Cornwall’s coast. These tranquil islands are famous for their ‘sub-tropical’ climate and you can see why when you visit the fascinating gardens at Tresco or see the fields of naturalised gladioli


or take a boat ride to the outer isles to see the birdlife and seals. Ireland is more famous for its culture than its wildlife but it has internationally important sites for nesting seabirds and botanical rarities. The Burren, in the far west, is a stunning limestone landscape that has a rare community of plants including spring gentian, dense-flowered orchid and mountain avens which grow elsewhere in alpine, arctic or Mediterranean areas but, here, can be seen against the magical background of ancient tombs and Celtic crosses.

‘Bloody’ cranesbill, the Burren May is also an important month for Europe’s few remaining areas of wilderness, particularly in the east where vast tracts of forests and wetlands survive as refuges for wildlife that was once common over much of the continent, including Britain. Poland’s Bialowieza Forest, Romania’s Danube Delta and the Carpathian Mountains are home to many species including brown bear, wolf and lynx. The Delta contains numerous lakes and channels that provide breeding sites for large flocks of pelicans, terns, herons and many other waterbirds as well as amphibians, reptiles and otter.

Pelicans, Danube Delta, Romania Wildlife Travel has been running holidays to all of these destinations and others worldwide for 25 years. Contact them on 01954 713575 or check For information on local wildlife contact The Wildlife Trust on 01954 713500 or visit

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FOR NEW RECRUITS Hunts Breathe for Life is a local support group for people suffering from lung disease along with their carers/family. The charity is urgently seeking to recruit volunteers to help in a number of areas including organising local fund raising events, awareness campaigns, or helping out with the general day to day activities associated with the overall running of the club. There are as many as 40 different lung diseases and it is estimated that around 1 in 7 of the population suffer from some form of lung condition – many of whom have not yet been diagnosed. The majority of lung conditions result in the patient suffering from varying degrees of breathlessness. This imposes severe restrictions upon the individual’s ability to carry out even the most minor form of physical activity, which ultimately results in feelings of frustration, anxiety, distress and ultimately isolation. With the rising number of lung sufferers in the area it is vital that Hunts Breathe for Life continues to provide adequate support to lung sufferers. To achieve this we rely on volunteers to continue our vital work. To become a volunteer and get involved with the group you don’t need any previous experience or special skills. Just as long as you are committed and enthusiastic then you are a perfect candidate. There is no age limit and you are more than welcome whether you would like to help out on a regular basis, or irregular as and when required – for example helping with fund raising activities and awareness campaigns. Volunteering can not only be great fun but can also prove to be rewarding, an opportunity to make new friends and develop new skills, as training will be provided. The charity will be holding a Recruitment Day on Tuesday 14th May at the Maple Centre, Sapley Square, Huntingdon from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm when we will be looking to fill a number of volunteer roles in those areas mentioned above. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with Hunts Breathe for Life and would like to find out more about the group and how you could be of help to us then this event will be an ideal opportunity to do so. We very much look forward to seeing you there. If you are unable to attend or have any other questions you would like to discuss then please contact the number below:For further details, please contact Elizabeth Waldock on 01480 860 289

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marriot_condensed_light_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-=[]\;’,./ åç´ƒ©˙ˆ˚¬µ˜øœ®ß†¨¥`¡™£¢§¶•ªº–“‘«…æ÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜،‰Íˇ¨„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ marriot_condensed_medium_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-=[]\;’,./ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±"'»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" € ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆ∆˚¬µ˜øπœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤≥÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆ∆˚¬µ˜øπœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤≥÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" € marriott_bold_italic_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-=[]\;’,./ Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" € ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? marriot_condensed_medium_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-=[]\;’,./ åç´ƒ©˙ˆ˚¬µ˜øœ®ß†¨¥`¡™£¢§¶•ªº–“‘«…æ÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜،‰Íˇ¨„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±"'»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" €

marriot_condensed_bold_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-=[]\;’,./ å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆ∆˚¬µ˜øπœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤≥÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" € marriot_condensed_light_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-=[]\;’,./ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆ∆˚¬µ˜øπœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤≥÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ marriot_condensed_bold_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-=[]\;’,./ å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆ∆˚¬µ˜øπœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤≥÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" € ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" € å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆ∆˚¬µ˜øπœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤≥÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" € marriot_condensed_medium_abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz`1234567890-=[]\;’,./ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:”<>? å∫ç∂´ƒ©˙ˆ∆˚¬µ˜øπœ®ß†¨√∑≈¥Ω`¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠“‘«…æ≤≥÷ ÅıÇÎ´Ï˝ÓˆÔÒ˜Ø∏Œ‰Íˇ¨◊„˛Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿ Á¸`⁄‹›fifl‡°·‚—±”’»ÚƯ˘¿|áéíóúâêîôûàèìòùäëïöüÿãñõÁÉÍÓÚÀÈÌÒÙÄËÏÖÜŸÑÃÕÂÊÎÔÛ ”“’‘ '" €

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IT'S TOTO LATE TO BOOK 2013 WEDDING. IT'SNOT NOT LATE TO YOUR BOOK YOUR 2013 WEDDING. Hold your wedding at the Huntingdon Marriott Hotel in 2013 and take

Hold your wedding at the Huntingdon Marriott Hotel in 2013 and take

advantage of our Wedding for a Grand Package', which IT'S NOT TOfabulous LATE 'Grand TO BOOK YOUR 2013 WEDDING.

advantage of our fabulous 'Grand Wedding for a Grand Package', which includes the following: Hold your Wedding wedding at the Huntingdon ~3 course Breakfast includingMarriott Coffee Hotel in 2013 and take includes the following:

advantage of ourFizz fabulous 'Grand Wedding forPer a Grand ~Glass of Bucks or Non Alcoholic Punch PersonPackage', which ~3 course Wedding Breakfast including Coffee includes the following: ~White Linen

~3 course Wedding Breakfast Coffee Punch Per Person ~Glass of Bucks Fizz or including Non Alcoholic ~Red Carpet on Arrival ~Glass of Bucks Fizz or Non ~Complimentary Room HireAlcoholic Punch Per Person

~White Linen

~White Linen ~Complimentary Wedding Bedroom for the Bride & Groom ~RedCarpet Carpet on Arrival ~Red on Arrival ~Dedicated Wedding Co-ordinator

~Complimentary Room Hire Hire ~Complimentary Room ~Use of Cake Stand & Knife ~Complimentary Wedding Bedroom for the Bride & Groom

~Complimentary Wedding Bedroom for the Bride & Groom

~Dedicated Wedding please Co-ordinator For more information call the Events Office on 01480 446 001 ~Dedicated Wedding Co-ordinator ~Use of Cake Stand & Knife

~Use of Cake Stand & Knife

For more information please call the Events Office on 01480 446 001

For more information please call the Events Office on 01480 446 001


Kingfisher Way Huntingdon Cambridgeshire PE29 6FL

Maximum numbers of 30. Subject to availability.

HUNTINGDON MARRIOTT HOTEL Kingfisher Way Huntingdon Cambridgeshire PE29 6FL

Maximum numbers of 30. Subject to availability.


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The kimbolton country fayre

sunday 14th july 2013 CLASSIC CAR SPECTACULAR AND COUNTRY FAYRE Held in the beautiful grounds of Kimbolton Castle Not only will there be more than 800 classic cars on show to the public, but many more attractions for the whole family, young and old alike. Amongst the features this year will be: The amazing Flyinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;-Ryan (new this year) Live civil war battle with guns, horses and lots of soldiers Millers Ark pet zoo (new this year) Carousel Traditional Rides Dog agility displays The Galaxy Big Band and Lindyhop dancers

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Flypast Over 80 stalls Food court (new this year) Beer and tea marques For all the latest news and added attractions, why not check out our website www.

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Gallery 1066


Put on your glad rags and join Gallery 1066 on the red carpet for A Night with the Stars. A VIP preview will be held on Friday 17th May, 6-9pm with the exhibition continuing on Saturday 18th, 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6pm and Sunday 19th, 114pm. Be dazzled and inspired by paintings from some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most iconic figures from past to present. In this unique exhibition Gallery 1066 have brought together a spectacular collection from a selected group of award winning and world acclaimed artists, such as Paul Normansell, Jen Allen and Zinsky for a night amongst the stars. Gallery 1066 will also be introducing their new summer collection in the next coming months. This includes some incredible talent from up and coming artists as well as new collections from their existing world acclaimed artists. 14

This is certainly a gallery with a difference, for a truly fine art experience then take a trip to this Hertfordshire jewel, a warm welcome always awaits along with a complimentary coffee or glass of wine. Enjoy fabulous works in a relaxed and informal atmosphere where their experienced team are on hand to help guide you from up and coming new talent to the most acclaimed artists. They offer home consultancy, gift vouchers, wedding lists and events throughout the year. Whether you are a first time buyer or an avid collector this is certainly a venue not to be missed. Invest in your home and enjoy beautiful works that you can enjoy every day and take a visit to this stunning gallery. To find out more and to reserve your place at this exciting VIP preview event please contact the Gallery on 01462 622233 or email To view their range of artists please visit

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



By Susan Brookes-Morris May Day is celebrated on the first Monday of the month. It originates from village celebrations marking the coming of summer. The following traditions often take place amongst a day of festivities: Maypoles are hung with greenery and ribbons and painted brightly. Local children dress in their finest clothes, with bells and flower garlands, and perform traditional ribbon dances such as Gypsy Tent and The Spiders Web. Originally maypoles were made by villagers using a young tall tree. They stripped off the lower branches, but left leaves at the top to symbolise new life, and then decorated it with flowers and ribbons. The Crowning of the May Queen is linked to the honouring of Flora the Roman goddess of fruit and flowers. Traditionally she took no part in games or dancing, but sat like a queen in a flowerdecked chair to watch her ‘subjects.’ Morris dancing is a traditional form of English folk

dancing carried out by groups known as sides. Dances are passed down through generations, and involve movements to accentuate the tinkling of bells attached to costumes and coming together to strike wooden sticks. Loud accordion music accompanies the dancing. Sometimes dancers paint their faces black, and this association with the North African Moors may explain the origins of the name ‘Morris’ dancing.

Que Sera

Lifestyle Boutique 32 High Street, Buckden PE19 5XA Que Sera is one of the very first Cambridgeshire lifestyle boutiques selling an eclectic mix of fashion, homewares, gifts, cards and kidswear. Today we aim to delight and surprise our customers with ever changing beautiful pieces – fashion labels such as Michaela Louisa and Jus d’Orange, exclusive jewellery by Chris Lewis and Bill Skinner, toys by DJECO and BIGJIGS. Homeware choices include La Luna porcelain and Fringe vases. There is a huge range of fabrics & wallpapers from Harlequin, Designers Guild and more ‚ kidswear from FRUGI and Magnificent Baby and a range of cards you won’t believe! The Que Sera girls are renowned for their exceptional friendly and helpful service - if you are unable to visit in person we are always happy to help by email or telephone.

Open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm Tel: 01480 819639 Email 16

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Blinds and Curtains Introducing the Range. Five stunning collections of fabrics, ready made curtains, bedlinen, wallpaper, rugs, wall art and more...

Welcome to the World of WOW!

• Roller • Vertical • Venetian • Roman • Curtains • Shutters

• Free measuring service • Quality blinds and curtains • Stunning choice of fabrics • Wallpapers • Inspirational soft furnishings • Supply and fit service

Priory Blinds & Curtains 1, Cross Keys Mews Market Square St. Neots PE19 2AR Tel: 01480 471855 Open Mon-Sat

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OPENS FOR NEW SEASON From 29 March Holt Island Nature reserve will be open at weekends and Bank Holidays from 10am to 4pm until September (at all other times of the year the key is available from One Leisure St Ives or the Norris Museum). The Friends of Holt Island Nature Reserve, and volunteers managed by Paul Claydon, Countryside Services Ranger for Huntingdonshire District Council have continued to work throughout the long, cold and very wet weather to upkeep the reserve. Ian Jackson, Chair of the Friends group said: “I have been delighted that despite the dreadful conditions, the volunteers have progressed so well with the replacement hut. We have also erected two new interpretation boards, and installed bike stands. It is wonderful that the island will be open in time for Easter!” As the weather still isn’t great for encouraging people out and about the Friends are looking ahead to better times. On Friday 31 May there will be a Family Fun Day in conjunction with the Norris

Photograph by Ian Jackson

Museum – double the fun with activities galore. Make sure you add it to your diary now. The Island Reserve is a wonderful green oasis in the heart of the town. Residents and visitors are invited to experience the peace and tranquility, and to look to see if any of the birdboxes, currently up for adoption, have any residents. Email Robin Waters at or phone 01480 386 644 for more details about ADOPTABOX.

The Unforgettable Close Up and Cabaret Magic of Steve Dean Immerse yourselves and guests in the close up magic of Steve Dean or enjoy a Cabaret Show that includes mentalism and much more. Have you ever witnessed unexplainable events or illusions so convincing that they leave you fascinated & completely spellbound? This is Cabaret, close up mix and mingle and table magic at it’s very best.

Steve is a master of his craft and a member of the prestigious Magic Circle. He has had many letters of thanks and testimonials from people from all walks of life. From a small dinner party to performing on a British Cruise Liner this sort of entertainment is second to none and will give your guests unusual and fantastic entertainment that they can get involved in and will talk about for months to come. (Steve is a member of Equity with full public liability insurance).

Please phone or email for details

07719 261147 • 01767 260671 email:

Magic Tuition Now Available - Phone For Details To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122


7 myths

that retailers may tell you

Some traders will tell you anything to make you go away, rather than just give you your money back. Here are some of the most common things traders will tell you: 1. “Verbal contract? It’s not worth the paper it’s written on”. This is not true. Verbal contracts are legally binding. 2. “No refunds on sale items” This sign is so common in shops. Whether they can do this or not depends on why the goods were on sale. If they were reduced in price because of a fault that was either pointed out to you or that you could have been ‘reasonably’ expected to notice before you bought it, then you are not entitled to a refund. But, if it was just on special offer or in the January sales, you are entitled to get your money back if it turns out to have a fault, to have been inaccurately described, or not fit for the purpose that it was sold for. 3. “We don’t offer refunds - you must accept a credit note” If you buy goods that turn out to be faulty, the law says that the contract you made when you bought those goods has been broken by the seller. You are therefore entitled to cancel the contract (as long as you have acted within a reasonable amount of time) and get a full refund. 4. “We can’t do anything without a receipt”. There is no legal obligation for shops to even give you a receipt, let alone for you to keep it.


Shops should accept any proof of purchase, like a bank statement or credit card bill (if you paid by credit or debit card). If you paid in cash and have not kept the receipt, you may have difficulty proving that you bought the item. 5. “It is not my fault if it doesn’t work. Make a complaint to the manufacturer.” It is the person who sold you the goods with whom you have made a contract. They are therefore responsible for dealing with any problems, and not the manufacturer. 6. “It was fine when I sold it to you. You must have broken it!” If something breaks and you inform the trader within six months of purchase it is the trader’s duty to prove that the item had no fault at the time it was sold to you. If you have had the item for over 6 months it is your duty to prove the fault was present at the time of purchase. 7. “If you have a complaint you will have to bring it back to the shop and we’ll discuss it” No matter what the size or weight of the goods it is technically always the seller’s duty to collect faulty items. If it is simply a case of you having changed your mind, you do not have these automatic rights but many traders will come and collect large or unwieldy items from you in the interests of customer service. For more information and advice visit consumer champion and legal expert Dean Dunham’s website

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Esther Hewson Interior Design

Interior design Spatial planning Individual rooms or projects Themed childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spaces Wallcoverings/paints Soft furnishings Finishing touches

Tel: 07581 426217 Email: Website: To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767 261 122



FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES Leonard Cheshire Disability, founded in 1948 by RAF hero, Leonard Cheshire VC, is the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest voluntary organisation working with people with disabilities. We support over 6000 disabled people both in the UK and in more than 50 other countries. We help people with physical impairments, learning difficulties and long-term health conditions, as well as their carers, friends and families. The Bedfordshire Enabling Project takes the care and support provided to disabled people a step further by supporting them to take part in social, leisure or cultural activities, improving their quality of life and enabling them to get more involved in their local communities. The project partners a client in receipt of our Care At Home Service or in one of our Supported Living Units with a volunteer who supports them to take part in their chosen activities. We provide training and travel expenses to volunteers and no qualifications are necessary,

just enthusiasm, commitment and reliability. If you are over 18 and interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Malcolm Jackson, Enabling Project, Co-Ordinator, at: Malcolm. or on 01480 861059 or 07824503077.

Sports Injuries Neck / Back Pain Rehab after Fractures or Surgery Video Gait Analysis Paediatric and Adolescent Musculoskeletal Conditions Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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



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

located at

Headz Up 65 High Street Brampton Huntingdon Cambridgeshire PE28 4TQ

Traditional acupuncture for health &



01480 229029


07557 282617

email or visit


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.

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 Also at: Manor Lodge, Barham Road, Buckworth PE28 5AQ Tel 01480 891539

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Cooks and Kids


Looked after children and birth children of our foster carers were invited to submit their own recipes for a cookery book. Those selected went on to cook their recipe with a professional chef. Katie, a young person in placement with foster carers from Alliance Foster Care, was one of the young people selected, and writes about how Cooks & Kids encouraged her to apply to college and train to become a chef. “Alliance Foster Care invited me to submit a recipe for a kids’ cookery book and was lucky to be chosen to cook it with a well-established chef (Chris Lee) in a professional kitchen. I made ‘Katie’s Samosas’. Chris was great and the whole day was amazing! Cooking in a top notch kitchen and being shown how to do the job properly was a real experience. We were photographed by professional photographers whilst doing it which put the pressure on a little, but made it equally real. Chris and I got on well and he invited me to visit him at his well-known-restaurant in Suffolk. It was definitely a day I will never forget, I can tell you. Doing this gave me the hands on experience to take part in my local Rotary Chef cooking competition which was through school and I did quite well. I got through to the quarter finals then unfortunately the


competition became too tough for me. This has made me realise my aspirations of becoming a chef – I want to go to the top! I applied to two colleges and was lucky enough to be accepted by both. After choosing my preferred college I put my head down and studied hard for my GCSE’s so I could get the grades required. Later on I couldn’t believe my luck when I was asked to do the book launch in London. I of course said a big yes! I went to London with my foster parents and stayed overnight in a hotel as we had to be up bright and early the next day to serve breakfast to the young children in school (which was all part of the book launch). I met so many young children from disadvantaged backgrounds and I was quite humbled by the occasion. Again, there were lots of pictures taken and Chris was there to support me along with staff from Alliance and NFA (the sponsors). Another day I will not forget. This has been such a memorable time in my life and I would encourage anyone to follow their aspirations and to just ‘go for it’. I am now on the way to making my dream of becoming a professional chef come true – with the help and support of my foster parents and everyone else, so thank you. By Katie

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The 31st St Neots Folk Festival

7th - 8th June 2013

The line-up for the 31st Folk Festival is very exciting with something for all to enjoy. The event is based at The Priory Centre, St Neots with dance displays on St Neots Market Square during both morning and afternoon of Saturday 8th June. Friday evening: Ceilidh dance with local band Parson’s Nose and caller Patti Pitt. Very well known on the local Ceilidh scene for over 25 years Parson’s Nose are a band who play traditional music in their own distinctive style with accordion, lead guitar/ mandolin, bass guitar and drums. Patti is a very experienced caller who will lead even the most inexperienced dancer through each dance. Running at the same time will be a music and song session in the Cloisters at the Priory Centre. Both events start at 8.00pm. Ceilidh tickets are £10.00 and £8.00 concessions. Session tickets are £2.00 each. Saturday: Morning dance displays will begin just after 10.30am with: Kesteven Morris – men and ladies sides, Gog Magog Molly, Heartsease and Rockingham Rapper. The displays run until noon and begin again at 1.15pm until 2.30pm. Saturday afternoon Club Concert in the Guest Hall from 2.00 – 6.00pm with: na mara, Martin Kaszak, Pamela Ward & Paul Cherrington, Floyd Hartwell Hines, Hannah Johnston, Ron Squire, Andrew Smith & Godfrey Williams plus Open Stage Spots filled by Festival ticket holders.


Workshops During the afternoon workshops run from 2.30-5.15pm. Tickets may be purchased at £3.00 or £5.00 for each workshop and also access to the Foyer. This year something really special – a Didgeridoo workshop!!! Either bring the ‘Didge’ you have in the loft or borrow a substitute at the workshop. Didgeridoo with Jonny Cope The Didgeridoo Man – this workshop costs £5.00 per person. Fiddle workshop and a Singing workshop with members of My Sweet Patootie from Canada and The Songs of Jake Thackray with John Watterson – AKA Fake Thackray. These workshops are priced at £3.00 per person per workshop. Saturday evening Concert with The Mighty Doonans, Fake Thackray and My Sweet Patootie Begins at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7.00pm. Tickets: £18.00 & £16.00 Throughout the Festival there will be food available to purchase and real ale. Tickets are available from St Neots Folk Club on any Tuesday (Priory Centre from 8.15pm) or leaflets and ticket application form can be downloaded from the Club website: www. They will also be available on the door. For any further information please ring: 01234 376278 The Priory Centre, St. Neots, Cambs. PE19 2BH

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Massage for Health and Wellbeing Relax, unwind, help undo stress and tension with a qualified massage therapist

Ladies only Call Lynn on 07753 282587 Email:

Shires Mobile Footcare ...because feet matter

Professional treatment includes: • Callus reduction • Corn removal • Toe nail trimming • Fungal/thickened toe nail treatment • Cracked heel reduction • Athletes foot treatment

For further enquiries call Sam on:

01480 819 453 M. 07715 085 131 T.

Samantha Craig BA Hons, SAC Dip FHPT, SAC Dip FHPP, MRFHP

...Put a Spring in your step for 2013!

Treatment of common foot disorders in the comfort of your own home

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Fun Quiz - Colours 1. Which British city has an underground train system that is nicknamed the Clockwork Orange? 2. Who has been the longest-serving female presenter of the TV show Blue Peter? 3. In the lyrics of the Tom Jones hit single Green Green Grass Of Home, what is the name of the girl who has “hair of gold and lips like cherries”? 4. Who wrote The Hunt For Red October? 5. Yellow and Heather are the colours of which political party? 6. In The Wizard Of Oz, what is the name of the city that is at the end of the yellow brick road? 7. In the National Lottery’s main Lotto draw, there are five different colours of ball that can be picked. Four of these colours are used for ten balls, but which colour is only used for nine? 8. In which capital city would find the only McDonald’s where the large “M” sign is white instead of the standard yellow? 9. Which shade of purple was named after an 1869 battle in an Italian town? 10. In the world of TV, what was purple in 2000, black and white in 2001, red in 2002, blue in 2003, red in 2004, blue in 2005, gold in 2006, see through with neon lights in 2007, gold in 2008 and multicoloured in 2009? 1. Glasgow 2. Konnie Huq 3. Mary 4. Tom Clancy 5. The Scottish National Party 6. Emerald City 7. White (for balls numbered one to nine) 8. Paris (the yellow was deemed to be too tacky) 9. Magenta 10. The diary room chair on Big Brother




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on any lens purchase on production of this voucher Hurry, Offer ends 31st May 2013

reflection coating FREE anti worth



Anglia Co-operative


Beales Department Store High Street, St Neots Tel: 01480 475308 Terms and conditions apply. Please ask in-store for full details.

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Bake yourself happy! Join our fun informal classes to learn baking cakes and artisan breads. Book online Tel 0844 3352802

Offer Ends 31st May 2013

£50 off


When you book your overseas summer 2013 package holiday

Present this voucher at The Co-operative Travel St Neots branch to receive the offer. *Terms and Conditions Based on a minimum spend of £399 per person. Valid until 31/05/13. £50.00 per booking is applicable to new summer 2013 overseas package holidays only, for departures between 1st May - 31st October 2013, subject to availability. All bookings must be made through The Cooperative Travel at Anglia Co-operative Society, St Neots. Offer can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Present this voucher at the Co-operative Travel, Beales Department Store, High Street, St Neots Huntingdon PE19 1BT, at the time of booking to receive this offer. Photocopied vouchers will not be accepted. Only one voucher per booking. New bookings only.

Beales Department Store, High Street, St Neots Huntingdon PE19 1BT Tel: (01480) 406600 Email: The Co-operative Travel at Anglia Co-operative Society is a trading name of The Freedom Travel Group Limited, Registered Office: The Thomas Cook Business Park, Coningsby Road, Peterborough, PE3 8SB, Company Registration Number: 03816981 England. The Freedom Travel Group Limited is part of the Thomas Cook group. All offers are subject to availability and certain terms and conditions, please ask for full details. †Excludes Foreign Exchange purchases.


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BbcK@ home

Open Day - Saturday 18th May 2013 Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth@home Open Day for the village – all welcome Saturday 18th May 2013 All day events 9.30am - 6.00pm Fun Fair – rides for children* Get on your bike – trails around the village and unique opportunity to Wimpole Hall through the MAIN GATES (15 miles – committed ride!) Walking the ancient pathways (from 1.5 miles to 6 miles) Blue Plaque pop ups across the village Dry Pub crawl (discover the old pubs of Bassingbourn cum Kneesworth – 15 in all!) Hog Roast * Market Square – arts and local crafts Open Studios – photography, art, line drawing, paper craft Spinning and Weaving demonstrations (all day) Scarecrow trail Classic Car parade Cream teas*

Special peal of bells (Morning) Meet our animals – chickens, donkeys, lamas, horses and lambs Historical conversation – presentations on village history (at Gas Works and Parish Church) Bernard O’ Connor explores the history of the Coprolite boom in Cambridgeshire and the Villages. Photography across the century – archives of the WI and the United Reformed Church Try out – Bowls / village rounders/ Judo (Bassingbourn Village College) Entry by programme £2.50 each £5.00 per family. *there will be extra charges at these events for rides and food consumed. Facebook: Email:

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HIGHLY SKILLED MACHINIST REQUIRED (Flexible, part-time, in the first instance) Are you a highly skilled machinist, capable of using modern sewing machines to assemble top quality products made of leather and related materials for an exclusive market? Are you confident, flexible and reliable? Based in Wyboston, we wish to engage someone with these attributes. References may be required If you possess the skills and knowledge required please telephone

01480 215 627

for further information.


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Life Amidst/After Debt (LAD)

open new offices in The Maple Centre Life Amidst/After Debt (LAD), a St. Neots based charity, are thrilled to announce the opening of their new offices in The Maple Centre, Huntingdon, from the start of April 2013. The offices will be their primary base of operations and will be open to the public for drop-in debt advice without the need for appointments. Office opening hours will be on a Monday and Wednesday, between 10am and 4pm, and Friday from 1pm until 4pm. The offices will be manned at all times by trained debt advisor and will on occasion have representation from voluntary support counsellers and debt management companies. All LAD services are provided free of charge. Founded in 2009, Life Amidst/After Debt (LAD) offer emotional support, independent advice, and guidance, to anyone in financial difficulty, whatever the severity. Their services are free, and their aim is to provide the support and encouragement needed to empower people to resolve their financial issues and prevent reoccurances in the future. Should more specialist advice be deemed necessary, LAD will signpost a client to the most appropriate service. To date, LAD have delivered their services via home visits and drop-in clinics on a Wednesday night at Paines Mill in St. Neots. These clinics will continue. Ann Fryer, the founder and Chairman of LAD, has this to say: ‘We are really excited to finally have a permanent venue in which we can see clients and get them on the road to recovery. For the past three years we’ve been reliant on the generosity of organisations such as Paines Mill in St. Neots, and the Methodist Church in Eynesbury, that have lent us their space in which to provide our services. Now however, not only do we have a regular place to see clients for three days a week, we also have a consolidated base of operations which will mean we can work much more effectively and efficiently, thereby freeing up some capacity, which means we can see more people. Debt is something that can happen to us all. In these harsh economic times the percentage of the population seeking help because they have fallen behind financially has risen dramatically. We also know however, that there are people out there in real trouble who are not yet seeking the help they really need.

Times are just going to get tougher. Not only because of the changes to benefits, ESA review, and the so called bedroom tax, but also because of the increase in fuel costs, transport costs, and the day to day costs of living. In a recent meeting organised by Huntindon District Council between various community support organisations, it was estimated that 1000 housing association tenants in Huntingdonshire alone, would be negatively affected by the social housing size restrictions coming into force from April 2013. We want to be able to help these people should they need it, and urge them to get in touch with us sooner rather than later. Now with our drop-in office, we hope they’ll do just that.’ Life Amidst/After Debt (LAD) can be contacted on 0750 4382919 or emailed at lifeamidst. For more information, or to schedule an interview with Ann Fryer, please call 0750 438 2919

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Decisions, Decisions


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 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. and 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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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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Anstee Gorst

Chartered Certified Accountants

Paramount Print Uk

For all your Printing needs • Design / Artwork • Promotional Brochures • Perfect Bound Annual Reports • Business Stationery • Menus • Posters/Flyers • Booklets • Lamination & Spot UV • Die Cutting & Creasing

where customer care is Paramount Tel: 01438

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

222 693

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:

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: 38

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Preservation or

Investment Growth It was interesting last week, when Jeremy Sallis from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, called into the office to interview the team about working for an award winning local company. It was also interesting that he should ask the same question more than once: “How much pressure and responsibility do you feel, making investment decisions, about so much of other people’s money?” The answer given by each team member was: ‘it is a huge responsibility and there can never be complacency, but the process is robust, repeatable and fully documented.’ (OK, they didn’t all say exactly the same –but that was the essence of each reply!) In addition, all the senior management have their own funds in one or more of the portfolios, so we all have a responsibility to each other. Although our model portfolios have grown by over 10% in the last 12 months, we take, and encourage our clients to take, a low risk approach wherever possible. We place a lot of store in low volatility and outperformance (called ‘beta’ for those in the know). A large proportion of our clients have money which they want to see grow, but also need to ensure their capital is preserved. To chase high returns means taking more risk and whilst some of our clients need high growth (which we can accommodate), a decision needs to be made: - preservation and growth, or higher risk

Tony Larkins CFP APFS Managing Director / IFA Chartered and Certified Financial Planner

with a greater potential for a decrease. Having said this, our 5 ethical portfolios grew by over 13% for the year ending 28/3/13. (Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.) Much of our work involves arranging pensions, annuities and ISA’s as well as care fees planning, but more clients are now asking us to review existing pensions and investments, where their funds have not been reviewed/or changed to reflect the ever changing financial environment. I am sure that with more than 20% of advisers ceasing to trade during the last 12 months, more advisers like us will be seeing clients who have not received the quality of service they should have. There is still excellent growth potential available, so I urge you to seek out an adviser who offers a pro-active service. Of course, if your adviser already does this to your satisfaction, hold on to them! As the owner of a growing business, I have seen there are fewer good advisers around, and many now limit taking on new clients, as it affects their service capabilities to existing clients. Our growth is demand driven, and fortunately our new offices will allow for extra staff. 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@

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Manor Farm Day Nursery


As a deeply committed attachment parent I must admit to feeling slightly conflicted when I accept an invitation to visit the new Manor Farm Day Nursery. But even I can see that there is something different about proprietor Jane, her small son Joel and her day nursery at Sandy. Jane tells me: ‘I am not trained in nursery-nursing and so I approach the need for childcare from the


prospective of a working mother and someone who really loves my own children. I want to provide the same kind of childcare for babies, toddlers and preschoolers that I would want for my own children. Although every parent wants to believe that their child is happy in day care, there are nurseries out there that are understaffed and badly organised; where the children are bored and do not get to play outside in the sunshine or eat fresh food or have much opportunity to learn or enjoy anything at all. I know that the best place for every child is at home with loving parents, but if that is not possible for any reason, then I am confident that I can provide the next best choice.’ The new nursery at Sandy certainly seems wellplanned and brimful of wonderful ideas. From language classes, yoga for little ones, Monkeynastix and music lessons to fresh, locally sourced and cooked-from-scratch by a qualified chef meals, there is plenty to make the day nursery stand out as truly different. ‘The huge benefit of this building is the lovely outdoor space. We have installed brand new wooden play equipment in the large side garden. There is also a front garden with lovely, mature trees and a small field at the back where we have dug vegetable beds which we plan to use alongside the children – they will be able to grow their own salad and vegetables here and have them for lunch!’

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As we look around I notice that the garden is surprisingly quiet and has an air of safety and seclusion for somewhere so very close to the A1 north/south link. ‘We are amazed at the peace of the place and the good atmosphere. I think the land surrounding the building, which was originally a farmhouse and dates from 1840 and the trees and birds really make it feel green and calm, but the proximity of main routes and ease of access is brilliant for any commuting parents,’ explains Jane. She continues ‘We open from 7am and close at 7pm in order to work with even the longest days and we are very flexible so that the most complicated shift patterns can be accommodated.’ I ask about staff ratios. ‘We have higher staff ratios than many nurseries and higher than we are legally obliged to. I believe that every child we care for deserves the absolute best, every day. All my staff are fully qualified and we like to train them from the apprentice stage so that we teach them our ways right from the start. The real difference in how my nurseries are run is the dedicated staff. They know each individual child in their care exceptionally well and they know the parents too. They listen and respond to the child’s personal needs and they are selected for their genuine, heartfelt love of children.’ Manor Farm Day Nursery does not charge excessive fees. ‘We are confident that all the places in our nurseries will be taken quickly and even though we do provide a service that is second to none, we do not see a need to charge huge amounts for this. We feel that all children need to be cared for the way we do it and, even though our standards are unusually high, they are what they ought to be. This does not justify inflated prices, rather, we would like all parents to choose to send their children to us so that we know those children are safe and happy, we do not want to make our service unaffordable to anyone.’ Jane enthuses. The light, airy rooms with their big windows that afford views over that enchanted garden are so numerous that Jane has been able to plan a real paradise for the children. ‘Each space has it’s own door and locking system with intercoms for absolute security. We have a perfect place for the babies in the converted barn which has its own garden - a

totally secure place for them to crawl into and play in the sunshine. There is separate space for the 2.5 to 3.5 year olds and then another space for the preschoolers. This way the needs of each age can be catered for and there will be no conflict due to too wide an age range. There are rooms for messy play and craft, and a big kitchen where all the meals – including a hot afternoon tea, will be cooked each day. This means that parents do not have to spend precious evenings with their child trying to cook a meal too.’ So, if your work takes you away from the most precious people in your life and you must look for care for your little ones, then look no further than Manor Farm Day Nursery. ‘We invite anyone searching for day care to come and visit, to see the facilities we have and how the place feels. We are confident that parents will be able to tell by instinct that this is a happy place and the children who play here are all testimony to that fact too.’

MANOR FARM DAY NURSERY 76 London Road, Sandy, Beds SG19 1DZ Tel: 01767 691348 / 07885 980602 Website: Email:

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Prepare Your Trees for the Coming Year Pest & Disease Management and Fertilization



Spring is the best time to trim hedges to keep them looking good for the coming year. Conifers should ideally be pruned twice a year, once in spring then late summer. This reduces stress levels on the trees and will keep them looking tidy through the coming months.

Tree pruning should be carried out before trees come into leaf, especially species such as Birch. Late pruning can induce “sap bleeding” if left too late.

Trimming will also help identify pest or disease issue that your hedges may be suffering from such as Mites or Shoot Canker.

Early inspections can also highlight Trees and shrubs will also benefit any structural issues with the trees from a bespoke fertilizer application when not in leaf. applied before Leaf break, this will also give a good moisture boost for the trees early spring development.

Pruning in the dormant period also reduces stress on the trees, helping recovery once leaf growth begins.

Early spring is the optimum time for management of pest and disease control. Mites, Aphids and Caterpillars will start their life cycle in spring. Early control can minimize the impact on plants.

For more advice visit: or contact Bartlett Tree Experts on 01234 354 673 Visit us on Facebook at Bartlett Tree Experts – Bedford UK

Bartlett Tree Experts A Complete and Comprehensive Tree Careand Service since 1907 A Complete Comprehensive Tree Care Service Since 1907 For over 100 years, Bartlett Tree Experts has led both the science and services that make your landscape thrive. No matter the size or scope of your needs, our arborists bring a rare mix of groundbreaking research, global resources and a local service approach to every task at hand. Trees add so much value to our lives; Bartlett adds even more value to your trees.

Tree & Shrub Pruning | Planting | Tree Removal Hedge Cutting | Stump Grinding Woodland Management | Disease & Inseact Control For a free quote please contact your local arborist Tim Brown

0845 600 9000


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 Personal customer service, collection and delivery available.  Assessment of individual requirements.  Full after sales backup and parts service.  NEW Oregon, the world's only unique battery operated, self-sharpening s In stock. chain saw.  Ride-on and pedestrian mowers, chainsaws, strimmers, hedge trimmers, cultivators, estate and equestrian equipment. Trailers - sales, hire, service.  Accessories, oils, Aspen fuel, batteries, spares, security locks for garden/ horticultural machinery and trailers. horticultu

Appointed dealers for:

 Main dealer for Briggs & Stratton, Honda, Kohler, Kawasaki & Mountfield engines.

Honeydon Road, Colmworth, Bedfordshire MK44 2LY

01234 376513

Open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 12pm


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Mowing Mow at last once a week now. Make sure mower has been serviced and blade replaced or sharpened. Mow at 1”. Fertiliser This is the time to feed and weed (preferably in that order). The fertiliser is predominately Nitrogen in a slow release form, but it may also need Phosphate and Potassium as well as vital trace elements. Weed Control Once the weeds and grass are actively growing a selective herbicide to kill broad leaved weeds such as dandelions, daisies and clover within the grass can be applied. Patio/Driveway Weed Control Weeds can look unsightly at this time of year in patios and driveways. We can spray a total weed killer to kill them and keep weed free for up to 6 months. Irrigation If hot and dry, water once per week and soak grass to prevent it turning brown.

Actions required in May • Mow lawn at least once per week • Apply Spring Feed • Spray Weeds in lawn with Selective Herbicide • Spray drive/path/patios with total herbicide to keep weed free for summer • Irrigate lawn in dry spells Some of the above tasks can be carried out by the lawn owner; other tasks may need some professional intervention.

Call Deborah, Simon or Richard on 01480 812393

Reader Offer

Book up for a Weed Control Treatment and we’ll apply a Fertiliser FREE OF CHARGE. (existing Customers will receive an additional treatment free of charge too)

Unique Landscape We specialise in

Patios, Fencing, Clear Ups Turf Laying, Hedge Trimming Tree Cutting, Tree Felling, Planting, Pruning, Driveways, Printed concrete, Stencil Concrete, Decking ...and much more

Free Quotations Reliable Friendly Service Mob: 07717 760851 Office: 01480 434401

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coping with thngs you cannot hide

By PIPPA GREENWOOD However much effort you make with your garden, you can be sure that there will still be a few things that look awful. You may have made (or hope to make) beautiful borders, sensational shrubbery and lots more besides, but how do you cope with those things you just cannot seem to hide? A washing line may be essential but rarely adds to the appeal of the garden. If yours consists of two large poles with a line in between, try growing a pretty climber up the poles. If you use a self-clinging plant such as variegated ivy it won’t need any additional support. Alternatively make a chicken wire, trellis ‘box’ or frame around the posts and then allow the climber to scramble up, using plant ties if necessary. Summer flowering clematis or sweet pea will look great too. If you do use a more vigorous climber then be prepared to do some intermittent pruning. Decrepit sheds or moth-eaten garages can be a real eyesore. Sometimes a thorough scrub of the walls will do the trick, or why not make a feature out of the shed or garage and re-paint it. Consider erecting a trellis on one or more of the vertical surfaces and grow a selection of favourite climbers up it to make an even more attractive feature. If the garden can be a little gloomy then it helps if you paint any surfaces such as garage or shed walls with a paler colour. If your heating is fuelled by gas from an unattractive and enormous cylinder or oil from a large green tank, you will know that they have to be sited in an accessible position. You can use hazel wattle hurdles to hide them which are perfect as they also match with the adjacent boundary fence. Try using standard fence panels in the same way and again planting them with

climbers or scramblers will help. Whatever you do, make sure that you check on it from time to time and remove excessive climber growth so that the tank remains accessible. Is it the neighbouring garden that harbours the eye sore which makes you want to retreat back into your house? Something nasty next door is of course even harder to conceal but why not add a layer of trellis to the top of your existing fence and then use climbers once it is in position. Hold the trellis in position using batons of wood attached to the existing fence posts or special post-joining metal sleeves that you can buy from your fencing supplier or garden centre. Trellis is available in a range of shapes and need not be straight edged so you can create a range of different looks to suit your gardening style. Another option is to erect a pergola or arch to obscure or break up an unsightly view or the eyesore in the neighbour’s garden and adding plants will help to add a bit more height and soften the outline. If you combine some of your favourite flowering climbers with some evergreen planting too, you should even achieve good effects during the seasons when the leaves have fallen from many plants. Visit Pippa’s website and sign up for Pippa’s free newsletter packed full of gardening hints, happenings, advice and offers and you will also receive a free ebook on organic gardening. Don’t forget that you can buy Nemaslug and other biological controls, anti-slug matting and tape, Enviromesh and signed books, autumn vegetable packs and a hand-picked selection of garden products from the website too.

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Dear RSPCA vet, My husband keeps telling me that I shouldn’t give my cat ‘treats’ as she is overweight. Is this something I should be concerned about? Ruth, Sandy Dear Ruth, Obesity – having too much body fat – is a disease that needs to be taken seriously. It can impair the health, welfare and quality of life of your pet. Studies have estimated that 22-44 per cent of dogs are overweight or obese, and these figures are similar for cats. Just a few examples of potentially serious medical conditions associated with obesity in pets include: diabetes mellitus, orthopaedic disease, heart disease, respiratory distress, high blood pressure, skin diseases and
cancers. For dogs and cats there are a few simple checks you can do regularly, which can help you to prevent your pet from becoming obese: • You should be able to see and feel the outline of your pet’s ribs without excess fat covering. • You should be able to see and feel your pet’s waist and it should be clearly visible when viewed from above. • Your pet’s belly should be tucked up when viewed from the side.


If your pet doesn’t pass all three checks, or if you are in any doubt about your pet’s weight, always consult your vet. They will be able to give your pet a health check and, if necessary, they’ll recommend a weight reduction programme. This will most likely involve making changes to your pet’s diet and making recommendations about exercise and activity. Making these changes will help prevent your pet from gaining excess body fat and keep your pet healthy and happy. ANIMAL QUERIES is one of a series of articles brought to you by the RSPCA North Bedfordshire branch

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Spring Specials Tasty Tuesdays and Thursdays English breakfast + 18 holes of golf for just £25 Pre book 01480 474000 Sunday Lunch at The Mill Restaurant £9.95 FootGolf Amazing fun for all the family at the Cromwell Club Golf Taster sessions, membership, pay & play 01480 408900 Abbotsley Golf Hotel Potton Road, St Neots

Roll up roll up to the greatest show in Little Paxton when Happy’s Circus comes to the school playing field on Wednesday 8th May In the Big Top there’ll be clowns, jugglers, trapeze artists, fun & laughter and it’s available for one night only! Performance starts at 6pm. School hall open at 5pm so come along early for Hot food , licensed bar, raffle, giant sweet tombola, clown cake stall, face painting and lots more.. So hurry, hurry, hurry to get your tickets (which are strictly limited) Don’t miss out! Tickets cost £7.00 from Little Paxton School Office and Little Paxton School Association Facebook page. Small Print- No push chairs & buggies are permitted in the Big Top. There will be a separate ‘Buggy Park’ . Parking is limited and the LPSA would ask that circus goers park at home and enjoy a relaxing drink in the bar.

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 £6.60/day. Rabbits/guinea pigs also boarded. 64 Meadow Road, Great Gransden

Telephone 01767 677 759 Open all year.

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Toys and Games NEW TOY SHOP OPENING 30TH MARCH The Barn, Hunts Glass Conservatory Village

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Study for Success

By Alex Brown

Get the results you want with our top tips Preparation is the key to revising effectively. Make sure you know what type of exams you will have – short questions, multiple-choice or essays – and what topics they will cover. Organise your course notes and textbooks so that everything is easy to find. Work out how much time you have for each subject and don’t avoid the ones that you find particularly difficult – or easy. Make a timetable, but don’t spend so long making it look beautiful that you’re behind before you start! Remember to include your other commitments and try to maintain your normal routine of mealtimes, exercise and so on. Think about the time of day that you work best – some people are night owls while others get more done in the early morning. Plan a ten-minute break in every hour and don’t work for more than three hours at a time. Now divide the topics you need to learn into manageable chunks. To help memorise information, make notes and put as much as you can into your own words. Summarise key points and write them on index cards or sticky notes that you can put around the house. You may find that making a spider diagram or mind map is helpful. Try inventing your own mnemonics, such as

Never Eat Shredded Wheat for the points of the compass. You can also visualise a scene that includes details you need to remember – a battlefield or mountain habitat, for example. Make the most of revision classes offered by your school or college. You could also revise with a friend – practice explaining difficult concepts and ask each other challenging questions. Get hold of as many old exam papers and example questions as you can. Familiarise yourself with the way questions are worded and make sure you understand exactly what they are asking you to do. Prepare draft answers to questions that come up frequently. When the exam gets close, complete a paper within the time limit to get an idea of how quickly you need to work. To keep motivated, reward yourself with a weekly treat such as a trip to the cinema or a favourite meal. But if it’s not going so well, don’t give up! Adjust your timetable and focus on the areas you find most difficult, or common questions. Keep thinking about what a good grade will bring – a university place or that dream job. The night before the exam, have a quick look through your notes, but don’t cram. Get an early night so you wake up refreshed and ready to go. Good luck!

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Porsche Panamera GTS

by James Baggott

It’s the Noel Edmonds of the car world: Some love his fuzzy patch of facial hair, while others detest his banker-bothering ways. Much like the Panamera. OK, not a lot like the Panamera, but you get my point, sort of. This baboon-bottomed, super-sized porker isn’t for everyone. It’s big, brash and in your face – and this jazzed up GTS version is even more raucous. But is it too jazzy? We find out... What is it? It’s Porsche’s executive-transporting-super-giant machine with added fizz-bang-wallop. The GTS sits below the Turbo, but is still ludicrously swift for a car and as long as your average P&O ferry. Slightly harder, sportier and more involving, the GTS is for punting pen-pushers to the office with a bit more vigour and involvement. What’s under the bonnet? Under its Bergerac-esque conk is an utterly brilliant 4.8-litre lump lifted from the Panamera S. In GTS guise, it gets a bit more stomp – up 30bhp to 424bhp with torque at 520Nm. This is mated to a brilliant, self-shifting seven-speed ‘box which makes for rapid getaways. Despite its bulk, it will rival a BMW M5 in the 0-60mph sprint, covering it in 4.5s whilst going on to hit 174mph top whack.


What’s the kit like? Suitably impressive, but like all Porsches you’ll pay through the nose for it. This test model had a whopping £15,159 worth of options on it. The red paint cost £2,517 alone, then there’s £3,197 for the dynamic chassis control and torque vectoring plus ceramic brakes cost a scary £5,924. You even pay £295 for the heated seats. Any rivals? Oh, you betcha. All premium manufacturers have a rival or two. BMW could flog you an M5 or a 7 Series, Audi has an S8 (which is awesome), Jaguar an XJ probably in R trim. And Mercedes would no doubt sell you something slightly duller like an S Class. But what you really want from them is something with an AMG badge. Anyway, you get our point – there’s lots of choice. Is it any good? In a word, yes. I was thinking of ending things there, but that wouldn’t have been much of a review. The GTS is quite possibly the best Panamera available. It’s rapid, incredibly entertaining, engaging to drive and sounds fiery. There are three driving modes, but I can’t remember them all as the only one you really want is Sport Plus. It sounds better, it goes quicker and the steering feels crisp. On the road, the four wheel drive makes it feel planted and it’s one of the comfiest cars over distance I’ve tried for a long time. The verdict I want one... and I wouldn’t have said that about a Panamera before I drove the GTS version. For someone who likes involvement in their daily drive, but comfort to boot, the GTS ticks a lot of boxes. The looks won’t float everyone’s boat, but they certainly grew on me over my week with the barge. However, you’re going to need pretty deep pockets to enjoy this Porsche as the options alone cost more than three Dacia Sandero’s! But I know which I’d rather have on the driveway. The Knowledge Model: Porsche Panamera GTS Price: £91,239 Engine: 4.8-litre, V8 Power: 430bhp, 520Nm Max speed: 179mph 0-62mph: 4.5s MPG (comb’d): 25.9 Emissions: 256g/km

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Hidato Starting at 1 and finishing at 34, track your way from one hexagon to another (touching) hexagon, placing consecutive numbers into the empty shapes as you go. Some numbers are already given.

25 23

27 21 18


30 5



6 9




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The Smart choice for body repairs

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Garage Door Problems?

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

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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 . . .

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CHEESE, BACON AND ONION PIE Tip Serve simply with a fresh tomato salad made by thickly slicing ripe vine tomatoes and layering with finely chopped spring onions and a few fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper. 1 To make the pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the mustard powder and salt. Add the diced butter and rub into the flour between your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. 2 Stir in enough of the iced water with a round bladed knife to mix to a crumbly dough. Knead very lightly until just smooth then flatten into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for 20-25 minutes.

Perfect for a simple lunch or for an early summer picnic this savoury pie has a really rich and buttery crisp pastry and a tasty smoked bacon and onion filling. It tastes just as delicious warm or cold. Look for packs of smoked bacon pieces near the bacon rashers in the supermarket or use flavoursome Italian diced pancetta instead. FOR THE PASTRY 225g plain flour 1 tsp mustard powder Pinch of salt 115g butter, chilled and diced 4-5 tbsp iced water FOR THE FILLING 175g smoked bacon pieces 4 onions, peeled and thinly sliced 1 tbsp sunflower oil 200g mature Cheddar cheese, grated Beaten egg, to glaze Tomato salad, to serve (see Tip) Makes 8 slices Ready in 1½ hours, plus chilling

3 Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Dry-fry the bacon pieces in a large non-stick frying pan for 4-5 minutes until just golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the oil and sliced onions to the pan and fry gently, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until the onions are very tender and pale golden. Leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. 4 Roll out just over half the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20x30cm loose-based fluted flan tin. Layer the bacon, onions and grated cheese in the pastry case and season between the layers with freshly ground black pepper. 5 Roll out the rest of the pastry and use to cover the filling. Seal the edges of the pastry with water then pinch them tightly together with fingertips. Trim off any excess pastry. 6 Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and pierce 3-4 holes in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Bake on the hot baking sheet for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve warm or cold with tomato salad, if liked.

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How to play Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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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Perfect Posture

by Julia Faulks

Slumping at our desks and hunching our shoulders as we walk are hard habits to break, especially as we age and there’s no one there to tell us to ‘stand up straight!’ Here’s how to perfect your posture… As a nation we spend hours on our phones, laptops and in front of the TV, so it’s fair to say that posture is often the last thing on our mind. However, years of bending, twisting, slumping on the sofa or hauling heavy bags around, could take their toll and end up damaging your spine. Posture isn’t just about how you sit, but also affects the way you stand, lie down or move around. Bad posture can lead to back pain, repetitive strain injuries and may even worsen existing medical conditions. If you’re having a baby you need to be even more careful as pregnancy hormones will temporarily loosen your ligaments. Many of us will just sit back and accept the nagging aches and pains we feel throughout the day, whether we’re at our desks or on our feet for long periods. But making vital changes to the way you look after your posture could save you problems further down the line. Ergonomics (the posh name for posture) doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds - it’s just about supporting your back and reducing the strain that comes from aligning your body incorrectly. When sitting at a desk you can avoid bending awkwardly and straining muscles simply by readjusting your chair or positioning your keyboard and mouse in the right position. Invest in some posture-friendly props, such as wrist or foot rests, as well as an ergonomic chair.

Avoid holding your phone between your neck and shoulder, carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, slumping forward in your chair, or slouching and hunching your shoulders over. It’s worth remembering that good posture doesn’t just bring physical benefits - you will look and feel more confident and attractive when you stand up straight and proud. Some people even claim that good posture can knock pounds off (sadly, this is just a visual illusion, but hey, it’s far easier than dieting). It’s also important to regularly exercise – walking and swimming are two easy activities that will help keep your spine healthy and your muscles in good shape. Forget walking around the house with a book balancing on your head - the next time you feel yourself drooping, remember these basic tips: 1. Keep both of your feet flat on the floor when sitting – if you can’t reach the floor, use a footrest. 2. Make sure your back is resting against the back of the chair and avoid leaning forward. 3. As you walk, keep the weight on the balls of your feet, not your heels. 4. Don’t lock your knees and wear supportive footwear. 5. Stand up, have a stretch or go for a walk. If you’re experiencing back ache or any other aches and pains that won’t go away it’s always a good idea to have it checked out by your doctor. You may also decide to search for a local osteopath who can decide what treatment you may need and give you some exercises that you can carry out at home.

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Budget Bathrooms

BY KATHERINE SORRELL Big ideas, small budget? It is possible to have a beautiful bathroom without spending a fortune. Katherine Sorrell outlines her top tips. • Choose simple white bathroom fittings in standard sizes. Simply use tiles, taps and accessories to create an elegant and upmarket effect. Remember that not all whites are quite the same shade however so make sure they match. • Try for factory shops, seconds shops and permanent discount outlets nationwide; for listings of shopping villages, outlet stores and factory shops, go to • Plan carefully so that you avoid moving existing plumbing. By putting the bath, basin, WC, shower and any radiators in the same position you can keep installation costs down. The same applies to existing doors, windows and built-in features such as cupboards or radiators. • DIY or GSI? If you do some of the work yourself, it will save money. Know your limitations, however. Tiling and painting are straightforward and even plastering or putting down flooring can be tackled by a competent DIYer. If in doubt, however, call someone in and, when it comes to electrics, remember that there are strict safety regulations controlling what work may be carried out by a non-professional. Search for a qualified electrician at or www. • Fitting a new shower? Know your water supply system and make sure you choose a shower that will work with it. If your water pressure is low, for example, you’ll need to choose a type that can cope with this; otherwise you’ll have to install a pump as well. • A radiator that doubles as a towel rail will save you buying the two items separately, or simply attach a towel holder (such as a plain chrome pole from any DIY retailer) above your existing radiator. • To avoid the labour cost of removing old tiles and re-plastering the wall, it is often possible to tile over the existing tiles. • When putting in new tiles, save by only covering specific areas: perhaps up to half-


height around the room, or else just the splash backs next to the bath and basin. Use paint everywhere else. • Instead of pricey stone or marble wall or floor tiles, find a look-alike made from ceramic or porcelain. They are widely available, attractive, stain-resistant, light (and therefore easy to lay) and should cost noticeably less than the real thing. • If you love expensive mosaic tiles, limit them to small areas, or else combine them with plainer tiles as a border or insets. • Rather than installing a blind or having your windows sandblasted, use glass etching spray or stick-on film to ensure your privacy. These days, the latter comes in a wide range of patterns, from plain frosted to your own bespoke designs. • Custom-built, fitted storage can be expensive. Instead, choose standard-sized, off-the-peg units or else combine a simple set of shelves with free-standing storage such as trolleys, chests, cupboards or baskets.

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Bringing in the May

By Kate McLelland

One of the best indications that summer is about to arrive is when Britain’s hedgerows explode with the pink and white blossoms of the hawthorn. The hawthorn is one of those quintessentially English trees: although quietly unobtrusive for most of the year, it bursts into spectacular life in the late spring, with flowers crowded so densely together they look like snowfall. In the autumn it glows with clusters of red berries. No wonder the tree features so strongly in ancient folklore. The old name for hawthorn was “may” and the flower of the may tree has long been considered a symbol of hope. It even gave its name to The Mayflower, the famous ship that sailed from England in 1620, transporting a stalwart band of pilgrims to build a new life in America. As its alternative name suggests, hawthorn was central to ancient May Day celebrations. The old Celtic festival of May Day was known as ‘Beltane’ after the Celtic god of light, or the sun. The beginning of summer was also celebrated in Ancient Rome at the Floralia festival (dedicated to the flower goddess Flora), which took place at roughly the same time. May Day celebrations in Britain were probably a hybrid of both traditions mixed up with Druidic tree worship, and the introduction of Christianity did little to dispel these pagan traditions. On the first day of May, villagers would wake at daybreak and roam through the countryside, gathering flowers and hawthorn twigs to decorate their houses. A maypole – usually the trunk of a birch tree, stripped of its branches and decorated with ribbons and flowers - was set up in the middle of the village green. In olden times maypoles were constructed with three rings on the top - the highest and smallest was made of hawthorn. The community danced around the pole, singing traditional songs, while the men of the village performed Morris dances and the prettiest girl, dressed in floral garlands, was crowned Queen of the May. Occasionally a May King was also chosen, and the pair ruled over the festivities. In Elizabethan times, the king and queen were given the names ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Maid Marian’. These celebrations were derived from ancient


fertility rituals and the ‘greenwood marriages’ that took place provide clear evidence of this. Often young girls came home from their country rambles with more than a garland of flowers. As one observer wrote: “I have hearde of tenne maidens whiche went to set May, and nine of them came home with childe.” May Day festivities reached their height in England during the Middle Ages but in 1644 the Puritans passed a law which made them illegal. This attempt to repress the celebrations eventually failed, mainly because they were too deeply rooted in rural culture. When the monarchy was restored some years later and Charles II came to the throne, people all over the country put up maypoles as a sign of loyalty to the crown. For the next two hundred years the old customs continued, but interest in May Day traditions began to fade. They enjoyed a brief revival in the Victorian era but any connection to fertility rites was deliberately overlooked and maypole dancing was reduced to an innocent children’s game. Sadly by this time the hawthorn – once the embodiment of hope for the coming summer – had also lost its significance, becoming just another tree in the British landscape.

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M Compton


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

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Eggs-it Strategy

by Derek Thompson A pair of hybrid chickens, Sweet Pea (Rhode Island / Maran) and Pepperami (Rhode Island / Plymouth Rock), hardly qualifies as a flock. Even so, two eggs a day, almost every day, soon leads to an eggcess. And, while neighbours sometimes buy a box of four, and other times we swap them or give them away (eggs, not neighbours), our ethos is to try and make use of whatever we have. Unfortunately, unlike Anne, I have always been a fussy eater (the sort of child who made mealtimes an endurance test for everyone). I’ll gladly eat an egg boiled, fried (preferably hard, not runny) or poached (preferably in a tent in Norfolk). Omelettes, though, leave me cold, as do soufflés. While just the thought of an egg custard makes me want to gag - well done, school dinners, circa 1978. Clearly, a little inventiveness* was called for. Many homemade cakes are suitable for freezing, and who isn’t partial to a piece of farmhouse or carrot cake. And it’s a great way to use up surplus carrots. Mayonnaise proved to be so easy that even I could do it, with just egg yolk, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and water. Take a tip from me though - make sure it is salt and not white pepper. Anyhow, once I had mayonnaise under my belt, literally, somehow, my ambitions grew. Remember when egg shampoo was all the rage? Well, no need to shell out when you’ve eggs to spare - just add olive oil and water (note to self: find way to grow own olives). You too can have

that silky sheen in no time - it helps if you still have plenty of hair. Do note that rinsing with water that’s too hot will cook the egg and render you fascinating to passing horses. When we ran out of mundane career choices for an egg, Anne brought out the big guns - in the form of a battered Home Management guide she’d rescued from a car boot sale. Egg whites will bring a shine back to leather and, apparently, stiffened egg whites can tackle greasy marks on leather furniture. Not that we have any to practice on. Anne was all for trying an eggy face pack - on me. I wasn’t too sure how well that would work with a beard though. Eggshells are very useful in the garden, as a good source of calcium. They can either be ground up and put in the chickens’ grit, or added to the compost bin for the soil. I’m also reliably informed that eggshells are a great defence against slugs and snails, but our molluscs must have developed superpowers. I tried valiantly to muster support for a village egg-rolling event, but it proved only marginally less popular than my unseasonal painted egg hunt. In the end, I painted a few faces on the shells and stuck them on the garden fence, as an anti-killjoy device. The jackdaws didn’t quite know what to make of them, but the killjoys were kept at bay. Next time we have a surplus, Anne wants to try making scotch eggs. * No egg was wasted in the making of this article.

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what’S ON?


17 April-18 May Zoo - Melina Lafirenze Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm St Neots Museum, The Old Court, 8 New Street, St Neots Admission free to local residents. Other visitors Adults £2, Children & OAP £1 An exhibition of striking animal images by an exciting new local artist. Tel: 01480 214163 Email: 29 April-3 May Aviation and Railway Art of Keith Hill 10.30am-3.30pm daily Coffee House, The Racehourse Inn, Catworth Keith’s work is internationally known with his work in many military establishments worldwide including The Pentagon. Web: or 1 May Little Paxton Gardening Club 8pm Little Paxton Village Hall Annual subscription £6. Meetings with speakers £1 and £2 for visitors Speaker Jane Buist of Penny Cross Plants talking about Salvias and how to keep them flourishing from year to year. Refreshments included. Plants on sale. 3 May Être et Avoir - Doors open 7.30pm for 8pm start Corn Exchange, St Ives Tickets £5 Screen St Ives. (2002) Follow a year in the life of a primary school that serves a tiny French village. The school has one class of mixed age (4-11) children, led by the dedicated and much loved M Georges. Web: 4 May Craft Fair 9.30am-4pm St Ives Free Church Local people selling hand-made crafts at very reasonable prices. Held on the first Saturday of each month. 4 May Craft Fair 12 noon-4pm Offord Village Hall Free admission There will be stalls, refreshments and a raffle. 6 May Wilden May Day Fayre 1pm onwards Wilden Village Hall, High Street, Wilden The Bedford Pipe Band will be marching down Wilden High Street at 1pm, followed by Maypole dancing and the crowning of the May Queen. Lots of free activities. Refreshment tent. Plenty of free parking. 7, 14, 21 & 28 May Bridge Club 7.30-9.30pm Roxton Village Hall Cost £3 Every Tuesday. Beginners welcome. Tel: 01767 448526 Web:


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 8 May Happy’s Circus 5pm, performance 6pm Little Paxton School Playing Field Tickets £7 In the Big Top there’ll be clowns, jugglers, trapeze artists, fun and laughter and it’s available for one night only! School hall open at 5pm so come along early for hot food, licensed bar, raffle, giant sweet tombola, clown cake stall, face painting and lots more. Tickets from Little Paxton School Office and Little Paxton School Association (LPSA) Facebook page. 10 May Stageworks of Buckden “Musicals in the Aisles” 7.30pm St Mary’s Church, Buckden Tickets £10, Concessions £8 including complimentary glass of wine at the interval Come listen and watch this talented group of young students as they perform more songs from the shows. In aid of Buckden’s Living Stones & Church Funds. Tickets from Costcutter and Que Sera, Buckden. Tel: Ron Ingamells 01480 811608 for tickets or email: 11 May The Community Festival 2013 All day Pemberton Arms, Harston The Pemberton Arms are organising a day of festivities to keep good old village community spirit alive and raise money as possible for the new playground equipment on the Village Green as well as ongoing community projects. All profits will be donated. BBQ, real ales, children’s activities as well as a creative line-up of music and entertainment. Well behaved pets welcomed. 11 May Little Paxton Scarecrow Festival 10.30am-4pm Free admission Local crafts, tearoom, beer tent, bouncy castle, zorb balls, charity stalls and much more. Arena with local school choir, majorettes, local dance school African drummers. Megg-aMix Disco. Residents make and display scarecrows in their gardens and they will be judged by Julie Fernandez. Tel: Jacqui on 01480 219132 Email: Website: 11 May The Music of Manhattan 7.30pm St Margaret’s Church, Hemingford Abbots Tickets £10 available in advance or on the door The Dan Forshaw Quartet presents The Music of Manhattan including favourites from Oklahoma, West Side Story and many more Tel: Jenny Stocker 01480 468802 or Janet Stewart 01480 462060 for tickets 11 May Quiz Evening 7.30pm The Stuart Memorial Hall, Tempsford £5 per person including Ploughman’s supper With Quiz Master Chris Ebeling. Teams of up to 6 people. Tel: Meryl 01767 640873 for tickets

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what’S ON? IN MAY

11 & 12 May Art Exhibition 10.30am-4.30pm Hemingford Abbots Village Hall Free admission All works of art both framed and unframed are originals and will be for sale. Cards featuring original work and also handpainted ones will be on sale. Refreshments will be on sale. 15 May AGM and The Whitney Photographic Archive 7.30pm W.I. Headquarters, Walden Road, Huntingdon Non-members welcome - £1 donation at the door appreciated Huntingdonshire Family History Society AGM and a talk on The Whitney Photographic Archive by Alexa Cox. Web: 17 May “A Bespoke Journey Down Under” by Frank Burns 8pm Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton Free admission An audio-visual presentation of Frank’s 4000km cycle ride in New Zealand and Australia in aid of Children in Syria Appeal. Light refreshments. Everyone welcome. 18 May Specialist Plant Sale 11am-4pm Buckden Towers Admission £2.50. Refreshments. Free parking. 18 May St Neots W.I. Spring Fayre 11.30am-2.30pm St Mary’s Church Rooms, Church Walk, St Neots Stalls include Cakes, Bric-a-Brac, plants, tombola, nearly new, books and jumble. Refreshments available. 18 May Massed Bands Concert 7.30pm Hinchingbrooke Performing Arts Centre, Brampton Road, Huntingdon Tickets £13.50 Huntingdonshire Concert Band will be joined by the band of The RAF Regiment in a spectacular massed bands concert with over 90 musicians on stage to raise funds for SSAFA Forces Help. Tel: Box office 07980 316402 or 01480 811027 Email: Web:

19 May Huntingdonshire Local Group of the Wildlife Trust 10.30am Meet at the layby immediately west of the entrance to the Rugby Club on Woburn Road (B530), Ampthill. Grid ref TL028 376 Suggested donation Adults £2, Children free A guided walk at Cooper’s Hill Nature Reserve, Ampthill, Bedfordshire. Tel: Phil on 01487 822835 for information 21 May Over the Rainbow 7.30pm Mandeville Hall, Kimbolton Kimbolton Flower Club. Jo Poulter, will take us “Over The Rainbow”. Visitors welcome - admission £6. Sales table and plant stall. Designs are raffled. 25 May Shepreth Village Hall Market 10am-12.30pm Free admission Organised by a group of local small enterprises who want to put village shopping back into villages. There will be a wide variety of stalls including Trach Chic, a Village Blacksmith, local, fresh produce and plants, organic essential oils, Posh doggie treats, wicker baskets and apple juice, Indian Snacks, handmade crafts and lots more! Ample parking at the rear of the hall. 26 May Model Railway Open Day 2-5pm 14 Boardman Close (off Gordon Road), Little Paxton Free admission A chance to see a Gauge 1 model railway in action. Donations to St James’ Church CHUFT Appeal. 26 May Cambridgeshire Branch of The Western Front Association 2.15pm for 2.30pm start Offord Cluny Village Hall, 158 High St, Offord Cluny Speaker is Howard Williamson - “If only the artefact could talk”. Tel: Mrs Teddy Noyes 01480 890966 26 & 27 May St Ives Antiques Fair 10am-4pm Burgess Hall, Westwood Road, St. Ives Adults £2, Concessions £1.50 Tel: 01480 896866 for further information 30 May Roman Clay Oil Lamps St Neots Museum, The Old Court, 8 New Street, St Neots Discover our local Roman pottery finds and make a replica Roman clay lamp. Tel: 01480 214163 Email:

18 May Coro Stellante - Ladies Voices from Norfolk 7.30pm St Mary’s Church, Buckden Tickets £10, Concessions £8 including complimentary glass of wine at the interval An engaging ladies choir formed in 2010. Under their 31 May inspirational music director, Michael Kibblewhite, they Meet a Roman Soldier have given many concerts across East Anglia and recently St Neots Museum, The Old Court, 8 New Street, St Neots returned from a concert tour in Italy where they received Meet a Roman Soldier and make a replica Roman sword rave reviews. In aid of Buckden’s Living Stones & Church and a Roman brooch. Funds. Tel: 01480 214163 Email: Tickets from Costcutter and Que Sera, Buckden. Tel: Ron Ingamells 01480 811608 for tickets or email: 31 May Bingo for Prizes 7.30pm Tel: Ron Ingamells 01480 811608 for more info or email Refreshments are included in the cost of a bingo card. To advertise in The Villager and Townlife please call 01767Raffle. 261 122 71

Tallinn Old Town - Estonia

By Solange Hando

Long ago on Toompea Hill, the noble families of Tallinn enjoyed fresh air and stunning views while at their feet, artisans and traders earned their living in dark mysterious lanes. Nowadays, in Estonia’s capital, the hill top welcomes everyone with its lovely esplanades looking down on red gabled roofs, cobbled alleyways, lofty spires and the remains of the city wall. The Baltic Sea glistens in the distance and the chiming of bells mingles with bird song. Up there, two cathedrals beckon, the old Lutheran church with tombs and coats of arms and the modern Russian Orthodox with golden mosaics and onion-shaped domes. Girls in Estonian dress sell roasted almonds on a quiet square and the Old Town, now a World Heritage site, tumbles down the picturesque streets, known as ‘Tallinn’s two legs’. In the humble Danish King’s Garden, they say, Valdemar II rested on his way to Toompea and inspired by a vision of what would become the Danish flag, he led his troops to victory. All around, flowering plants and medieval Guild signs line the meandering steps and alleyways where small art galleries and craft shops mingle with outdoor cafés and secluded courtyards. Look out for St Nicholas church, famous for its silver and dancing skeletons and St Olav’s which, when it was built in 1500, claimed the world’s tallest spire. The House of the Black Heads Brotherhood was for young unmarried merchants, protected by an African saint, and the ‘Fat Margaret’ tower, named after a cook, is now the Maritime Museum. Now and then, you catch a glimpse of the limestone city wall, dating back to the 13th century, over a mile long altogether and dotted with fairy tale towers, including the ivy-draped Viru Gate, the city’s icon, and the strangelynamed ‘Maidens’ Tower’ where prostitutes were sent to jail. St Catherine’s Passage and the Masters’ Courtyard are awash with ceramics, quilts and hand-painted silk, sheer delight for photographers, but gems await on every corner, here a Dominican Priory, there a flour mill, a Great Guildhall and on the Town Hall Square, the oldest pharmacy in Europe. This colourful square has been the heart of town for 800 years. The Gothic Town Hall is a 15th century masterpiece, some say the best of its


kind in Northern Europe, with dragons spouting water from the façade and Old Thomas, the local mascot, perched atop the tower. Pink, red, white or cream, tall merchant houses rise all around, bearing witness to the wealth of the Hanseatic League, a medieval guild which traded from the Baltic to the North Sea. Visitors gaze at the compass rose on the round stone and the great cauldrons of elk soup bubbling under the arcades where traditional restaurants beckon with furcovered chairs. Some seek out the Bishops’ House festooned in apostles’ niches, others make their way to the City’s Museum and its scale model of Tallinn but sooner or later, the bakeries beckon with tempting displays of hand-made chocolates and marzipan, invented right here, in the old pharmacy. According to legend, the pharmacist was ill and the astute apprentice, who had to test all remedies, replaced the bitter herbs with sweet ingredients. Everyone loved it, especially the patients. So in Old Tallinn today, you’ll find marzipan in all shapes and colours and you can even try making your own in a local workshop.

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Your Local Reliable Electrician • Part P Electrician • Domestic/Commercial Installations • Inspection and Testing • Rewires, Newbuilds, Extensions, Consumer units • Free Estimates Contact Martin:

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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

Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this section and send to the address below before 17th May 2013. Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Tel:


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 - Ms Forster – Kempston Hardwick and 2nd prize - Mr Giles – St Neots For last month’s solution please visit Across 1 Choose (6) 4 Bends (6) 9 Latest style (7) 10 Work out (5) 11 Scour (5) 12 Remove (7) 13 Arguing (11) 18 Changed (7) 20 Used to steer a car (5) 22 Attempted (5) 23 Kindergarten (7) 24 Area, district (6) 25 Head of newspaper (6) Down 1 Least risk (6) 2 Not the winner (5) 3 Type of plant (7) 5 Overturn (5) 6 Rogue (7) 7 Bedding (6) 8 Unconnected (11) 14 Loosening (7) 15 Taken down (7) 16 Haggle (6) 17 Participant (6) 19 Wireless (5) 21 Expel (5)

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Facing up

to those milestone birthdays For my 30th birthday party I sent out black-edged cards that looked exactly like funeral invitations. My guests were asked to wear funeral attire and when the day arrived I gleefully transformed my flat into something resembling a funeral parlour. There was great hilarity as the first guests – clad entirely in black - started to arrive, but as more and more ‘mourners’ gathered in my living room, the mood changed and people began talking in subdued whispers. At the end of the evening I vowed never to celebrate another milestone birthday again. Having missed my 40th because I was working abroad, I came under increasing pressure from friends and family to mark my 50th birthday “properly”. So how should you approach those important milestone birthdays? Individuals from the Baby Boomer generations of the 1950s and ‘60s often celebrate their milestone birthdays in spectacular fashion: jumping out of airplanes, reuniting with lifelong friends or arranging events in exotic locations. If the date is fast approaching and you’re not sure how to meet the challenge, you have three basic options:

a) Pretend it’s not happening. Gone are the days when it was possible to pass under the radar when a key event such as a birthday or anniversary fell due. You know that great little app that sends you a reminder about everyone’s birthdays: “It’s Gareth’s birthday next week and he’ll be 45 years old”? Well I hate to break the news, but you’re not the only one who signed up for it. There’s nowhere to hide in the 21st century. b) Agree to all suggestions You know what it’s like: as soon as a number nine appears on your birthday cake you’re under immediate pressure to “do something special” the following year. One way to deal with well-meaning suggestions is to nod in agreement, then do nothing. As the date draws near you can fob people off with lines such as “I tried to reserve a table for fifteen but the restaurant’s completely booked up now”. However, if your friends and relations are the proactive kind, then be warned: this tactic may result in multiple celebrations. c) Go for it Your third option is probably the most straightforward one: simply seize the opportunity that this special birthday presents. Whatever milestone may be coming up, you can only pass it once in your life so you might as well have fun as you do so. Enjoyment is the key word here – this shouldn’t be the kind of gathering where you start to worry whether to invite your dreary cousin Monica who always cries after two glasses of wine. Choose a venue that you like, or an activity that you really enjoy and bring everyone along with you. If you haven’t much money then a big picnic in your local park may be better than squeezing your family round an expensive restaurant table: you’ll only spend the evening dreading the moment the bill arrives. Although most of us shudder at the prospect of entering another decade, a milestone birthday presents a unique opportunity for you to reflect on your life and celebrate with the people you love. If my 30th birthday taught me anything, it’s that resistance is useless: when faced with that milestone date you might as well give in and party with good grace.

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REVIEW The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan Before Carrie Bradshaw et al, four Chinese women began meeting in San Francisco to compare notes as recent immigrants. It was 1949 and they called themselves ‘The Joy Luck Club’. The women were bound together by circumstance and history, vowing to make money and a new life for themselves. It’s a complex and delicately interwoven tale of Chinese mothers and daughters, revealing secrets and lies and all striving to find a place in the modern world whilst feeling the constant tug of their past. If you’ve never read Tan before then this is a brilliant place to start.


The Help Kathryn Stockett This is the story of three women: Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny, and their attempts to change the social structure and confines of a segregated Mississippi in the 1960s. Young Skeeter is a white woman with a degree, but no husband. She’s also lost her maid and confidante, ‘Constantine’ and nobody can tell her where she’s gone. Aibileen is a black maid who is essentially raising a white woman’s child for her, whilst grieving for her own dead son. Meanwhile Minny is a fantastic cook but an even greater gossip. Between them, the three plan to write and publish their own stories, revealing social scandals and ‘tellin’ it like it is’. It’s brilliant, and worth reading just to hear the revelation of the ‘terrible awful’. That’s a laughout-loud moment in itself.


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Cambridge May 2013  
Cambridge May 2013  

Cambridge May 2013 Villager Magazine