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VILLAGER The

Issue 90 - February 2014

and Town

Life

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

Inside this issue

Free Advice & Support for Local Businesses

Banish

those winter blues

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Contents All Change at Chapman’s Old Butcher’s Shop

26 The History of Valentine’s Day.....................................................4 Knowing When to go to Court!.................................................13 What is Love Anyway?..............................................................14 Where Am I?............................................................................16 Howard Carter Enters Tutankhamun’s Tomb.............................19 EAAA Gets Lift Off.....................................................................20 Oh Sugar!.................................................................................24 All Change at Chapman’s Old Butcher’s Shop............................26 Are you Ready for Romance?....................................................29 Sandy Tourist Information Centre.............................................30 Banish Those Winter Blues.......................................................34 Professional Beauty Secrets: Revealed.....................................36 South Africa - The Garden Route..............................................39 Take to the Slopes....................................................................41 The Cinnamon Trust..................................................................42 All Change................................................................................45 Looking to Volunteer in 2014?..................................................46 A Cut Above the Rest................................................................48 A Pet Project.............................................................................50 Rural Ramblings.......................................................................52 Editorial - Sarah Fryer, Jonathan Vernon-Smith, Susan Brookes-Morris, Debbie Singh-Bhatti, Kate McLelland, Alison Runman, Helen Taylor, Solange Hando, Alex Albrighton, Jasmine Birtles, Pippa Greenwood, Geoff Wharton, North Beds RSPCA, James Baggott, Nicholas Clare, Katherine Sorrell and Bruce Edwards Advertising Sales - Nigel Frost - nigel@villagermag.com Photography - Paul Grecaud and Nigel Frost Design and Artwork - Design 9 Tel 07762 969460

VILLAGER The

Issue 90 - February 2014

and Town

Life

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

Inside this issue

Free Advice & Support for Local Businesses

Banish

those winter blues

Win £25 in our Prize Crossword

Bringing Local Business to Local People

in Biggleswade, Sandy, Potton, Gamlingay and all surrounding villages 11,000 copies delivered to over 30 towns and villages every month

ur Yo EE FR1copy

Fun Quiz...................................................................................55 Wordsearch..............................................................................57 Animal Heroes..........................................................................58 Home Dog Boarding.................................................................61 Children’s Page.........................................................................63 How to Choose a Puppy............................................................65 Kia Ray EV................................................................................67 Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice......................................................68 Love Food, Love Gadgets..........................................................70 Seasonal Delights.....................................................................72 What’s On.................................................................................74 Be Your Own Interior Designer.................................................79 Puzzle Page..............................................................................80 My Tequila Rediscovery............................................................84 Prize Crossword........................................................................86 Biggleswade Sandy Lions Club.................................................90 Book Review............................................................................92 Classifieds................................................................................93

A Cut Above The Rest

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Publishers Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Bedfordshire SG19 2NP Tel: 01767 261122 nigel@villagermag.com www.villagermag.com Disclaimer - All adverts and editorial are printed in good faith, however, Villager Publications Ltd can not take any responsibility for the content of the adverts, the services provided by the advertisers or any statements given in the editorial. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher.

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History

The History of Saint Valentine’s Day February 14th, a day revolved around love and giving and a day celebrated by millions of adoring couples all over the world. Some people remain cynical about the event and deem it “over commercialised”, a bid for participating organisations to cash in. Saint Valentine’s Day happens every year, but who is Saint Valentine and why did February 14th become a day dedicated to love? The history of Valentine’s Day and the story of its patron saint is shrouded in mystery with many hypotheses as to his rich beginnings. The Catholic Church recognises at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend argues that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realising the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered his persecution. Myth has it that Saint Valentine’s head was preserved in the abbey of New Minster, Winchester, and has always been worshipped and held in high regard.

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By Sarah Fryer

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl possibly his jailor’s daughter who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasise his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and most importantly romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France. Valentine’s Day has not always been associated with love, in fact it wasn’t until during the Middle Ages that it was commonly believed in France and England that the 14th of February was the beginning of the “birds mating season”, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day associated with romance. While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s

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death or burial which probably occurred around A.D. 270, others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianise” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Knowing such wonderful historic facts really does make you think. Would today’s society be better off picking a lifelong partner or mate in such a manner? I think maybe yes, in many ways this

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would be a preferable solution, it could possibly eliminate our young population going from one partner to another during their teenage years and adulthood. When you hear the word Saint Valentine’s Day, I think most of us would think about flowers or chocolates, beautifully crafted cards encasing poems of love or the typical hearts and flowers that has always been a popular choice of gift for a loved one. But as usual in our greedy culture, this is no longer substantial for many and the actual heritage and history behind February 14th becomes clouded with money and status. Now a day’s people tend to spend a fortune on Valentine’s Day, boasting diamonds, holidays and slap up dinners, in restaurants that have upped their prices for this idealistic evening in order to entice such romantics. This seems wrong in many respects, as it really does delete the true meaning of Saint Valentine’s Day. Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s messages did not begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine verse still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting

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is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In the UK, just under half of the population spend money on their Valentines and around 1.3 billion pounds are spent yearly on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent. In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the lover unable to compose his own. Printers had already begun producing a limited number of cards with verses and sketches, called “mechanical valentines,” and a reduction in postal rates in the next century encouraged the less personal, but easier practice of mailing Valentines. That, in turn, made it possible for the first time to exchange cards anonymously, which is taken as the reason for the sudden appearance of racy verse in an era otherwise prudishly Victorian. Paper Valentines became so popular in England in the early 19th century that they were assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the mid-19th century. In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Her father operated a large book and stationery store, but Howland took her inspiration from an English Valentine she had received from a business associate of her father. Intrigued with the idea of making similar Valentines, Howland began her business by importing paper lace and floral decorations from England. Since 2001, the Greeting Card Association has been giving an annual “Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary. While the European folk traditions connected with St. Valentine and St. Valentine’s Day have become ostracised by the modern AngloAmerican customs connecting the day with romantic love, there are some remaining associations connecting the saint with the advent of spring. While the custom of sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts originated in the UK, Valentine’s Day still remains linked to various regional customs in England. In Norfolk, a character called ‘Jack’ Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and presents for children. Although he was leaving treats, many children were scared of this mystical person. In Slovenia, St Valentine or Zdravko was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims. A proverb says that “St Valentine brings the keys of roots”. Plants and flowers start to grow on this day. It has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences As with most historical traditions, they are celebrated in varied ways all over the world.

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In China, the common situation is the man gives chocolate, flowers or both to the woman that he loves. In Chinese, Valentine’s Day is called lovers’ and is taken quite seriously amongst their race. The so-called “Chinese Valentine’s Day” is the Qixi Festival, celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. It commemorates a day on which a legendary cow herder and weaving maid are allowed to be together. Valentine’s Day on February 14 is not celebrated because it is often too close to the Chinese New Year, which usually falls on either January or February In Chinese culture, there is an older observance related to lovers, called “The Night of Sevens” According to the legend, the Cowherd star and the Weaver Maid star are normally separated by the Milky Way (silvery river) but are allowed to meet by crossing it on the 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese calendar. In Denmark and Norway, although February the 14th is known as Valentinsdag, it is not celebrated to a large extent, but is largely imported from the American culture, and some people take time to eat a romantic dinner with their partner, to send a card to a secret love or give a red rose to their loved one. The cut-flower industry in particular is still working on promoting the holiday. In Sweden it is called Alla hjärtans dag (All Hearts Day) and was launched in the 1960s by the flower industry’s commercial interests, and due to the influence of American culture. It is not an official holiday, but its celebration is recognised and sales of cosmetics and flowers for this tradition are only exceeded by those for Mother’s Day. In South Korea, similar to Japan, women give chocolate to men on February 14, and men give

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non-chocolate candy to women on March 14 (White Day). On April 14 (Black Day), those who did not receive anything on the 14th of February or the 14th of March go to a Korean restaurant to eat black noodles and “mourn” their single life. Another tradition that the Korean people observe, is the celebration of the 14th of every month, which marks a love-related day in Korea. Although most of them are obscure, from January to December you have: Candle Day, Valentine’s Day, White Day, Black Day, Rose Day, Kiss Day, Silver Day, Green Day, Music Day, Wine Day, Movie Day, and Hug Day. What a delightful way to spend one day of every month, celebrating something as simple as watching a movie with a loved one. So as February the 14th rapidly approaches and you start to seek the perfect sentiment for your loved one, take a minute to think about how Saint Valentine’s Day became a piece of history celebrated all over the world today. How Do I Love Thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being an ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of everyday’s Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints,- I love thee with the Breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life!- and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. By - Elizabeth Barret Browning

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Three Counties Radio

Knowing when to go to court! By Jonathan Vernon-Smith

Thankfully most consumer disputes can be settled through effective and firm dialogue. If not, there are programmes such as mine that offer additional assistance for people who are finding it difficult to resolve their consumer complaint. However, some cases just cannot be resolved, no matter how hard one or both parties try. It is for these cases that the small claims court can be very helpful. This month, I will outline how to use the small claims court system to obtain the best results. Firstly, DO NOT RUSH TO COURT. In my experience, judges often look unfavourably at customers who are seen to take a company to court too quickly. It makes the consumer look unreasonable which never bodes well. Therefore always try as hard as you can to resolve the complaint between yourselves first. Consider the small claims court your last resort and it is essential that you have kept a record of your conversations and correspondence. When you reach the conclusion that (within 6 years of the dispute and for amounts up to £10,000) the company or tradesman is not prepared to resolve the problem, you must write a letter of intention. Make it clear in the letter that you have tried hard to offer them opportunities to resolve the problem and that you would like to offer them one final opportunity. Allow them one month from receipt of the letter to respond, and make it clear that if you do not hear from them, you will lodge papers with the small claims court. Send the letter recorded delivery and ensure they have received it and signed for it. If they still show no interest in resolving the dispute, then you have an important decision to make. Will you go through with your threat of court action or not? If you decide on the former, you must go into it with your eyes open. You can always lose as well as win, however it may not cost you as much as you may think. The fee is dependent on how much you are suing for, but this will be outlined when you proceed with the action. If you are successful, the defendant will have to pay your costs as well as the amount you are claiming for. It is also worth noting that you do not need a lawyer to take someone to the small claims court. It’s relatively straight forward, and as long as you’ve been reasonable and sensible in your dealings with the company or tradesman, you stand a good chance of getting a favourable judgement. In many cases, mediation is offered as a way of agreeing a course of action. The result of this is not legally binding, and most often I would advise you to proceed with this where offered. It doesn’t prevent you progressing a case to a judge if unsuccessful. However, turning it down can made you look unreasonable. If things go your way, the judge will award in your favour and will request that the defendant pays you a sum of money (either the whole of the amount you’re seeking, or a proportion of it). They will be given instructions as to how to pay it, and if they fail to do so, you can instruct county court bailiffs to recover the money. You can also escalate the case to the high court for a further fee and instruct the high court enforcement officers to chase your money. Taking a company to court can be a daunting prospect, and I would always suggest obtaining advice from your local citizens advice bureau who will give you tailor-made advice on your specific case. Good luck!

Jonathan Vernon-Smith not only offers you his consumer advice here but you can listen to The JVS Show tackling your consumer problems every weekday morning from 9am. To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

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Time of Year

What is love, anyway? By Susan Brookes-Morris

“Love”. It is one of the most frequently spoken words in the English language but often the word is used to express a general enjoyment as in “I love going to the cinema”. But, if asked to define what the word means, most people would think of romantic love – the one that attracts you to another human being. But what is that love and why do we feel it? In reality what we think of as love has three distinct phases: • Lust, or erotic passion • Attraction, or romantic passion • Attachment, or commitment Phase 1: Lust This really needs no explanation. It’s the one that starts as we hit puberty and it evolved for the purpose of mating and reproduction. It’s a rush of hormones that occurs less frequently as we age, along with the ability to reproduce. Lust drives us to find a partner and in doing so may develop into phase 2 and 3. It is exciting and addictive. The serial philander may genuinely love their partner, but is so hooked on the high that comes from phase 1 they are unable to give it up. Phase 2: Attraction or romantic passion When ‘love’ moves from lust into passion, we lose our ability to think rationally and can develop an obsession with the object of our desire. The phrase ‘love is blind’ is true in this phase, and we may be oblivious to our partner’s faults, even if they are obvious to all around. Researchers at University College London found

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that people in love have lower levels of serotonin. These lower levels are the same as those found in people with obsessive-compulsive disorders, possibly explaining why those in love can think of little else than their partner. Couples in this stage spend many hours together – they really can’t get enough of each other. If this attraction remains strong and is mutual, then they usually enter the third stage: attachment. Phase 3: Attachment This is the commitment phase, the one that creates a relationship which will last. Typically the passion will be fading and although not as exciting as lust and attraction, attachment is a deeper more contented feeling. Studies have shown that the more someone idealises their partner, and turns a blind eye to their faults and less endearing personality traits, the longer the relationship will last. If however the behaviour is unforgiveable such as being unfaithful, or one person simply cannot learn to live with the other’s ‘little ways’. the foundations of the relationship are undermined. Then every difference is highlighted and the couple may reach the conclusion that they are incompatible where they were perfectly happy in the attraction phase. Of course no relationship will endure unless both parties put in the effort and Valentine’s Day is your opportunity to confirm your lust, attraction or attachment to your other half.

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Where AM I?

Do You Know?

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Last month’s answer Last month’s images were taken in Langford

Where Are we?

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History

16 February 1923

Howard Carter enters the tomb of King Tutankhamun What a gem of an anniversary this is - curses from beyond the grave, ancient magic, strange deaths, Boris Karloff staggering around wrapped in bandages... it has the lot. The true story of the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun, Pharoah of Egypt in the 1330s BC, does actually have some vaguely mysterious deaths, but there’s no curse, no magic, no Boris Karloff and sadly not even a pyramid. By the time King Tut came along, the Egyptians hadn’t built a pyramid for nigh on 1,000 years, which is why his tomb – built underground, covered with silt by floods, and with a village on top – was so hard to find and so well-preserved. Howard Carter, the man who found it, was an artist by trade whose speciality was carefully and methodically recording and copying tomb art and inscriptions. When he swapped paintbrush for spade in 1907 and went to work for the fabulously wealthy Egyptophile Lord Carnarvon (whose house you will know as Downton Abbey) he took those virtues with him. Unlike Heinrich Schliemann, who vandalised centuries of history when uncovering what he thought was Troy in the 1870s (he even used dynamite), Carter took his time. He found the steps leading to the tomb on 22 November 1922, and four days later bored a little hole through the door dividing the antechamber from the tomb and peered through. “What can you see?” enquired Lord Carnarvon. “Wonderful things!” Carter famously replied. But he still spent nearly three months patiently excavating the antechamber and recording its contents before finally breaking into the tomb itself. And that, of course, was when it all kicked off. As he entered the tomb, Carnarvon was bitten on the neck by a mosquito. A few days later, he cut the swelling while shaving. It turned septic, and he died on 5 April of a disease, common at the time, called “letting a wound go septic before anyone had invented antibiotics”. But the mummy’s curse had already become a familiar theme in gothic and fantasy literature. The first mummy’s-curse novel came out in 1827 five years after the second, and popular, edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was published. Written by Jane Loudon, The Mummy! was the forerunner of a minor literary sub-genre that ran throughout the 19th century Visit our new community www.beds-local.co.uk

and created an atmosphere of grisly expectation around the excavations. The official opening of the tomb had been attended by 58 VIP guests and diggers – who would be next to feel the disturbed Pharoah’s wrath? Well, it was an American railway magnate, actually: George Jay Gould I, who died of pneumonia – possibly contracted in Egypt – on the French Riviera in May. He was the second of 11 of the 58 to meet untimely deaths: three were murdered, one by his wife, one by a blackmailer, one (Sir Lee Stack, Governor of the Sudan) in a political assassination; one died in September that year following minor surgery; the radiographer who x-rayed the mummies in the tomb died in January 1924, probably the result of being a 1920s radiographer; one of the archaeologists died of arsenic poisoning in 1928 and another of malaria in 1929; Carter’s secretary, Richard Bethell, was found dead in bed of unknown causes, also in 1929; Bethell’s distraught father killed himself in February 1930. And that’s your lot. Carter himself died in 1939 of cancer at the age of 64. So if there was a curse, it wasn’t a very potent one. But was there a curse? Ancient Egyptian health warnings were fairly common in private tombs of a much earlier period; but among all the tomb’s hieroglyphs so faithfully copied by Carter’s team, there was nary a trace of one. Oh well...

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Local News

East Anglian Air Ambulance Gets Lift Off with the Huntingdon Male Voice Choir On Saturday March 15th Huntingdon Male Voice Choir and guest artist will be holding a concert in aid of the East Anglian Air Ambulance at St Marys Church Eaton Socon. This promises to be a magical evening of fine voice and good company. Tickets are £10 and the doors open at 7.00pm with a 7.30pm start. There will be a raffle and refreshments. For tickets please contact: Barbara McGee 01763 262697 or barbara.mcgee@eaaa. org.uk , Ian Fuller 01480 819077, Hugh Muir 01480 810820 or tickets can be purchased from Eaton Socon Post Office. HUNTINGDON MALE VOICE CHOIR was founded by a group of friends in 1962. Now nearly 60 strong, it regularly sings in support of local charities. HMVC has successful competition

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performances to its credit and regularly appears on TV and radio. www.hmvc.org.uk THE EAST ANGLIAN AIR AMBULANCE provides Helicopter Emergency Medical Services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Every day our highly trained specialist teams fly to the scenes of accidents or medical emergencies. The EAAA operates two helicopters from Norwich and Cambridge airport, running 365 days a year. It covers over 5,000 square miles and a population of approximately 3 million. Our helicopter can reach patients anywhere within 25 minutes. As a charity we need to raise £7.6 million a year. A donation of £2.50 per person a year would ensure the continuation of this invaluable service. www. eaaa.org.uk.

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Health

Oh Sugar! By Debbie Singh-Bhatti

I remember a friend telling me years ago that she couldn’t walk past a sweet shop without becoming shaky and breaking into a cold sweat. The only cure was to enter the shop and buy a bar of chocolate which she would gobble immediately. My friend Sandy was displaying symptoms typical of a sugar addict – a condition that may not have been recognised twenty or thirty years ago, but which is certainly gaining more attention in today’s world of ever-increasing convenience and sugary foods. Sugar is essential to the proper function of the body. Glucose in particular is important to the brain, as it provides the only source of fuel to its one hundred billion nerve cells. But it is the ready availability of refined sugar and its use as a mood-booster to give an instant ‘lift’ that is prompting some health experts to consider sugar addiction. One senior Dutch health official has even described sugar as “the most dangerous drug of the times” and has called for health warnings to be carried on sweets and soft drinks packaging. Research has shown that sugar can affect the same ‘feel good’ brain hormones as street drugs like cocaine, and that sugar withdrawal may create the same symptoms as withdrawal from nicotine, morphine and alcohol. Eating sugar prompts the

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body to release the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin into the blood stream. However, this pleasant sugar rush triggers an increase in insulin as the body strives to bring blood glucose levels back to normal, which has the knock-on effect of causing a ‘sugar crash’ and makes many crave yet more sugar, leading to binge eating. This cycle of ‘surge’ followed by ‘crash’ is even more pronounced when the sugar comes from foods rich in simple sugars, like chocolate, sweets and fizzy drinks. They are absorbed much more quickly into the blood stream, causing a faster and more frequent cycle. Eating more complex sugars or carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, cereal and pasta, or simple carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables and dairy products which also contain fibre and protein, slows down the process. According to the NHS, added-sugars shouldn’t make up more than 10% of the energy we get from food and drink each day, which is about 70g for men and 50g for women. By cutting down the amount of sugar we consume each day, we can reduce the risk of becoming addicts like my friend Sandy. Always remember to check food labels, and bear in mind that food products containing more than 15% sugar are considered high in sugar and low if they have less than 5g per 100g.

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London Row

All Change

THE OLD BUTCHERS SHOP CHURCH STREET BALDOCK HERTS SG7 5AD

at Chapman’s Old Butcher’s Shop!

The well renowned and celebrity butchers, Chapman’s has relocated to the High Street in Baldock and their beautiful old Art Deco shop next to St. Marys Church has now had a makeover. This beautiful shop will now be housing a stunning collection of contemporary art and gift ideas from around the world. Welcome to London Row, a gallery that will be bringing a stylish difference and a refreshing range of original gift ideas to this charming town of Baldock, renowned for its music and cafe culture. Doors will be opening at the end of January. If you have been wondering where you can find something special for your home or loved one then lose yourself in one of the most sought after galleries in Hertfordshire. Indulge yourself with contemporary art, original glass ware, one off beautiful pieces of furniture, bespoke jewellery and a range of original gift ideas. No longer is there a requirement to travel

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to London or Cambridge to be indulged in a variety of the finest and most talented artists, London Row now boasts some of the world’s most acclaimed contemporary artist’s works available right here on your doorstep. For a taste of something different take a visit to London Row, situated next THE to The George GALLERY WITH A where you can find a bite to eat in a relaxed environment. A warm welcome awaits you.

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THE OLD BUTCHERS SHOP CHURCH STREET BALDOCK HERTS SG7 5AD

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Sandy - Sandye Place Academy, Park Road Mon & Wed 7.30pm, Tue 8pm, Thur 7pm & 8pm Express (30 min) Mon 6.45pm & Tue 7.15pm No need to book • Classes also in Cambourne, St Neots & other areas. For further info go to

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Time of Year

Are you ready for romance?

By Kate McLelland

It’s that time of the year when we just can’t avoid the subject of romance, from the heart shaped decorations fluttering in shop windows to those indulgent dinner-for-two recipes that appear in your local paper. This annual overdose of hearts and flowers can provoke a range of different reactions, depending on your age, situation or mindset. If you’re a teenager expecting your first Valentine card, the 14th February can be a time of excitement. Alternatively if you’re a singleton marooned at home with a ready meal for one, the day can be a depressing experience. Couples in long-term relationships may have more mixed feelings about St Valentine’s Day. Depending on whether you are a ‘glass half full’ or a ‘glass half empty’ kind of person, you will either see the 14th February as the perfect opportunity to show you care, or as an occasion that highlights the lack of romance in your relationship for the remaining 364 days of the year. Of course, there are a lucky few who don’t need St Valentine’s Day to kick-start their romantic feelings: take David and Lauren Blair, who earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for renewing their wedding vows over 100 times, or Ravi Viswanathan, who paid over £25,000 at auction for a bottle of vintage champagne to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary. If you must, even take American farmer Dick Kleis, who flew his wife over farmland in a plane to show her a birthday message he’d written out – you guessed it – in cow dung. With Mills and Boon romantic novels published in 26 different languages and sold in 109

countries world-wide, it would seem that we can’t get enough of romance, but while it’s great to fantasise about other people’s love-inspired exploits, we’re sometimes less comfortable about experiencing them ourselves, in real life. When football fan James Miller stripped down to his underwear and did a Cupid-style streak across the pitch, firing roses from a bow and arrow in tribute to his girlfriend, it didn’t have the effect he anticipated: she was so embarrassed that she dumped him. I know how James must have felt when his romantic gesture misfired. Last year on February 14th my partner of fifteen years rang me from work to say he’d booked a table at a new restaurant I’d spotted in town. “It’ll be like a proper date,” he promised. Although it was exciting to dress up and go out on the spur of the moment, the whole thing ran out of steam pretty quickly: within half an hour we were discussing how to fix a leaky tap in the bathroom. Our night out may not have been the height of romance, but on reflection it summed up the comfortable place we have reached in our relationship. It’s sad that St Valentine’s Day has lost its excitement for many of us, but I still believe it’s worth celebrating. Of course, there are those who condemn the 14th February for its overt commercialism, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to show that you care. Remember farmer Dick Kleis and make the best of the resources you have to hand … however, Dear Reader, if you want your relationship to last, I would advise you not to take his example too literally.

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Local News

SANDY TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE

February 2014

Over the past seven years the Tourist Information Centre has led a series of local Guided Walks throughout the summer months and for the past three years during the Autumn and Winter we have organised local history Talks. TIC GUIDED WALKS Many of these have taken place within the parish of Sandy itself and have included Town Walks, a number along the River Ivel and over the greensand hills. There has been specific walks to some of Sandy’s historical sites and buildings and also commemorative and landscape Walks. These have included various walks around the RSPB’s UK headquarters at The Lodge, walks in the Repton landscaped park and gardens at Hazells Hall and tours of Sandy Parish Church and Churchyard. For a number of years we have undertaken a tour of the delightful grounds and interior of the Georgian manor house at Sandye Place and we have led two walks to commemorate the life of local naval hero, Captain Sir William Peel. Guided walks to other villages have included a walk around the beautiful village of Ickwell, including the grounds of Ickwell Bury, the estate village of Cardington with its connections with the airship industry, the Whitbread family and the famous Bedfordshire philanthropist, John Howard. Other walks within an historic landscape have included those in the estate village of Old Warden with its medieval parish church and its impressive estate buildings lying within its parkland setting, a

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delightful walk in the ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped grounds of Southill Park, ancestral home of the Whitbread family and a walk around the former estate village of Waresley with its elegant Victorian church. This year we are proposing to undertake a number of guided walks and historically based walks. The walks are in the early stages of planning, but to give you a taster here are details of just two of the walks we hope to undertake this year:a. Firstly, we hope to repeat the very popular visit to SANDYE PLACE, SANDY. This will include a guided tour of the interior of this red brick and ironstone Grade II listed Georgian mansion, the former manor house of Sandy Manor and now forming part of an Academy. The house has panelled rooms, including the Justice Room, where local court cases were heard, the Powder Room, where hair was powdered in the 18th century, the barrelled staircase and the Jacobean Gallery and the warren of servant’s rooms in the service wing and basement where we will be able to see the remains of the medieval stone house. We will walk to the tiered Terrace and see the circular ironstone dovecote, still the home of fantailed doves, and which stands on the banks of the River Ivel which runs through the grounds. This building is the only remaining building of the willow pattern garden landscape created in Edwardian times b. A brand new Walk we are arranging is the

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TEMPSFORD WALK. On this guided walk to this small historic village we will see, amongst many other buildings and historic points, the site of Gannock Castle, a medieval moated site believed to have been built on the same spot as an earlier Danish fortress, the 15th century Gannock House and the historic St Peter’s Church. We will see the 17th century Wheatsheaf pub, one of the many Inns when this part of the village was the actual Great North Road. The pub contains a collection of photographs and memorabilia relating to the famous RAF Tempsford. We will also see the new memorial recently unveiled by HRH The Prince of Wales to honour the 75 World War Two women agents who helped resistance movements in occupied Europe and who flew from RAF Tempsford. The women were part of Special Operations Executive (SOE), an underground force established in the UK in 1940 by Winston Churchill to “set Europe ablaze”. Of the 75 agents named on the Tempsford Memorial, 29 were arrested and 16 of them executed. We will also visit the Millennium Garden Sanctuary. This area was originally the entrance to Tempsford Hall but was cut off from the Hall in 1962 when the A1 trunk road was built. The area was neglected for over 30 years but in 1999 local residents transformed it into a wildlife sanctuary and woodland walk. There will be much else to see in this very interesting and historic village. Details of these Walks and the other Guided Walks to be held throughout the year will be detailed by posters and in the local press. TIC AUTUMN/WINTER TALKS Our first TIC Autumn/Winter Talk was held in 2011 and was about RAF Tempsford and the SOE. Due to that Talks success, the following year we held three Talks and these were all held in the Council Chamber of Sandy Town Council. We had a further Talk about the SOE and the country houses used by them, the Sandy to Potton Railway and Sir Samuel Whitbread spoke about the Whitbread family, the brewery and Southill Park. All were very well attended. Last year we again held three Talks. The first Talk was about Roman Sandy and specifically about the archaeological dig held on the Tesco site in New Road, Sandy, the second was about the Rise and Fall of the Cardington Airships and in December we had a Talk about the Bedford to Cambridge Railway. All were oversubscribed. This year we are proposing to again undertake three local history based Talks. The Talks are all in the stages of planning, but to give you a taster here are details of the three Talks we are arranging this year:a. THE LIFE AND TIMES OF FRANCIS PYM In October, Andrew Pym will speak about the life of his father Francis Pym, Baron Pym of Sandy. The Pym’s have lived in Sandy on their Hazells Hall estate since the mid-18th century and the late Lord

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Pym was the fourth member of the family to be a Member of Parliament. He had a distinguished military career in the Second World War and was awarded the Military Cross. Francis Pym entered Parliament in 1961 and he held various cabinet offices in the 1970s and 1980s including Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Defence Secretary, Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council. He became Foreign Secretary during the Falklands War in 1982 following Lord Carrington’s resignation, but was removed by Margaret Thatcher in the following year after her election victory. He stood down at the 1987 election and was created a life peer as Baron Pym of Sandy. b. SANDY AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR In November, as 2014 marks the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, we have local historian and author Steve Liddle coming to speak about different local aspects of the Great War. This will include stories about the many men who joined up and who came from Sandy and the surrounding villages and about the many that were never to return. We will also hear about the home front and the local Bedfordshire Regiment. It is poignant to point out that Sandy was then a large village of 3330 souls and by 1918 it lost 126 men in the War to end all Wars! c. THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CARDINGTON AIRSHIPS In December we will again welcome David Fowler who will speak about ’The Rise and Fall of the Cardington Airships’. David gave this Talk last November, but such was the great interest that we had to turn down over 50 people and so as promised we are holding this Talk again this year. David will speak about the history of airships and Cardington through two World Wars to the present day. The massive hangars at Cardington were built during World War 1 to accommodate the construction of airships by Shorts. David will speak about this industry and the famous Airships including the R31, R100 and the R101 bringing the story to modern times. Further information about all the Tourist Information Centre Guided Walks and the Autumn/Winter Talks will be advertised by posters and in the local press. In 2014 enjoy either one or more of the TIC Guided Walks in the beautiful Bedfordshire countryside or hear the TIC Talks about this historic county. Sandy Tourist Information Centre, Rear of 10 Cambridge Road, Sandy Telephone 01767 682728 – email tourism@ sandytowncouncil.gov.uk OPENING TIMES Monday to Friday 10am – 3pm Saturday 10am-2pm Sundays and Bank Holidays Closed

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Health and Beauty

Banish those Winter Blues

By Alison Runman

Often, you can cope with the start of winter. It may be dark, cold and wet, but the early months are full of celebrations to lift your spirits until the New Year and its ‘fresh start’. A few weeks later, your resolutions are in tatters. The days are still dark, meaning you drag yourself out of bed and then feel like the day is over by dinner time. You may be just fed up, but you could be suffering from ‘Winter Blues’. So here’s how to survive the winter. Let There Be Light! Lack of sunlight can increase melatonin levels (making you sleepy and lethargic) and reduce serotonin levels (affecting mood and appetite). It’s also thought to influence your ‘body clock’ (your circadian rhythm that controls body functions). So spend time outside. When indoors, try to work or relax near a window. A sunrise clock may help you wake up; they aim to bring your body out of sleep gently, by gradually increasing the light they emit. Stay Warm If your body is fighting to keep you warm, you’ll feel sluggish and struggle to concentrate. Keep yourself as warm as possible; wear layers and heat your home adequately. What about spending time somewhere else warm and cosy - a pub or library? Eat and Drink Healthily Warm, stodgy food and extra tea and coffee seem tempting when we’re chilly and low, but resist – think hot but

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healthy. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables of different colours and choose low sugar, low fat alternatives to stodgy puddings. Healthy soups are a great winter warmer, as are fruit teas, orange juice with cinnamon, honey and lemon, or malted drinks made with skimmed milk or hot water (but beware versions loaded with fat and sugar). Socialise There’s scientific proof that the company of others, particularly if laughing and hugging is involved, is great for our wellbeing. So invite friends round, go visiting and attend sociable gatherings wherever possible. Exercise Exercise will warm you up, increase your immunity and alertness and make you feel good too. So bundle yourself up for a walk outdoors on brighter days, and find an indoor activity you enjoy – perhaps an exercise or dance DVD or video game. Whatever you do, your mind and body will feel better for it.

When you’re not just blue, but SAD Over 2 million people in the UK suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a more severe form of Winter Blues. SAD is at its worst from December to February when days are shortest, and causes either depression, or mood swings between depression and hyper-energy. Sometimes stress or trauma such as bereavement or a new baby seems to be a trigger, and it’s most prevalent in 18-30 year olds. If you are a sufferer, you can help yourself by: Following the Winter Blues advice above Trying a light box Therapeutic light boxes, available to buy or rent, produce light that’s at least ten times as intense as normal daylight. Rent one first to see if it works for you. Seeing your GP They may suggest counselling or CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) or in some circumstances, antidepressants or a structured course of light therapy. For support and information, visit http://www.sada.org.uk/ (The Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA)) or http:// www.sad.org.uk/

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PFYP_Villager_ad_Feb14_alt_Layout 1 07/01/2014 16

Relax,unwind and…

paint!

Watercolours • acrylic • pen and ink • oils • • • •

Artist and tutor Mary Booth welcomes students of all levels from beginner to the experienced painter looking to improve. Work in small groups with others of similar ability level, gain confidence and improve your skills. Courses are held at Mary’s studio in Gamlingay, in blocks of five weekly sessions, throughout the year. New Tuesday evening class ‘Beginners Watercolour’ starts February 2014.

Visit www.painting-for-your-pleasure.co.uk for more information or call 01767 654920 This advert and the Painting for your pleasure website have been produced by thecreativemix. Please visit www.creative-mix.co.uk to see the ‘exciting and inspiring’ communications we can provide for your business or organisation.

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Health and Beauty

Professional Beauty Secrets: Revealed by Helen Taylor

Ever wondered how models and actresses manage to look so gorgeous all the time? Well, here’s the low-down on those all important tips and tricks that are used by professionals all over the world. Clever Contouring Kim Kardashian is known for her flawless make-up look which perfectly accentuates her features and draws attention to her razor-sharp cheekbones. Skilled in the art of contouring, her make-up artist cleverly uses cosmetics to emphasis particular parts of her face, which creates her striking trademark look. Here’s how you can get cheekbones which rival Kim’s: Firstly you’ll need to prime your skin. Choose the primer that’s right for you: green toned versions neutralise redness in the skin and mattifying primers eradicate shine. Smooth the product over your entire face, after applying a light moisturiser. Next, select two foundations in two different shades; the first should be one shade lighter than your natural skin tone and the other one shade darker. Apply the lighter foundation to the centre of your forehead, bring it down onto the middle of your nose, in a straight line (this will make your nose appear straighter and slimmer), apply under your eyes and to the tops of your cheekbones, then lastly to the centre of your chin. Sweep the darker shade under your cheekbones, along the outer sides of your nose, either side of the lighter colour, and on your temples and jaw line. Blend down onto your neck so that you don’t end up with a visible foundation line. Use a light-reflecting - not a glittery or overly shimmery - highlighter to make certain areas of your face really stand out. Apply the product under the arch of your eyebrows, along the tops of your cheekbones, down

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the centre of your nose and on your cupid’s bow. To finish, and to bring the entire look together, dust translucent powder over your entire face and add a touch of colour to the apples of your cheeks using a pink blusher. Perfect Pout Here’s how to achieve a red carpet pout. Grab a neutral-coloured lip liner and begin lining just outside the coloured part of your lips to create a full effect. Define your cupid’s bow by drawing a ‘V’ in the centre curve of your top lip, bring the line round and down using soft feathery strokes. Line the curve of the bottom lip with the same light movements, and soften by lightly blending with your finger. Choose a striking shade of red lipstick and carefully apply the colour within the line using a lip brush. Finally add a touch of shimmery clear lip-gloss to the centre of your lips to add instant fullness. Lovely Lashes Long, luscious eyelashes are a must for anyone in the spotlight. Most celebrities will be sporting high quality lash extensions, but you can still achieve an impressive look with just a few basic tools. Eyelash curlers are a must for every woman – they serve to immediately open-up eyes and add shape to lashes. Liquid liner is essential too; not only does it add definition, but it helps to create the look of a thick lash line, so always apply to your upper lashes before your mascara. Choose a quality mascara to lengthen and colour your lashes. Wipe the applicator before use and work the brush through your lashes using a quick side to side motion, ensuring that every area is covered.

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A PSYCHIC READING WITH

Tony Sargeant

A PSYCHIC WITH A DIFFERENCE

Wondering what’s in your future?  Do you need reassurance and answers to events that are happening in your life?  Gain insight in to your career, relationships, finances or house move.  Do you have a business decision that needs another point of view?

Let Tony help you make those decisions clearer right now and for future. Mention this advert to get a special discount, just £25 for a 30 minute reading with Tony either face-to-face in Little Gransden or on the phone.

To book please phone 01767 677842 or visit Tony’s website on www.psychic-clairvoyant-uk.co.uk A6 Advert_Layout 1 09/12/2013 15:25 Page 1

Bodyworks circuit training is all about “simple and effective short bursts of exercise” and is designed for real women by real women. It’s a fun way to get fit! • Get fit in a friendly relaxed environment • Have fun and get motivated • Work at your own pace

Wednesdays 6.15-7.00pm Stratton Upper School Recreation Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade £5 per session or 10 for the price of 12 payable in advance Please bring a water bottle and small towel with you.

Fitness training for real women Julie: 07801 811768 • Liz: 07901 684538 Find us on Facebook: bodyworksbiggleswade Email: bodyworks2013@hotmail.com • Web: www.body-works.uk.com

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Travel

South Africa - The Garden Route By Solange Hando

Such a lovely name seems far too humble for the magnificent southern coast of the Western Cape. Stretching for some 200 km along the Indian Ocean, from Mossel Bay to the Tsitsikamma National Park, this is a largely untamed African Garden of rugged shores and virgin beaches, lagoons and lakes, mountains, gorges, flowers and forests of conifer and red and yellow wood. Heather and fynbos bloom purple and gold along the paths and myriads of birds weave their nests in lush greenery. Half way between the Cape and Port Elizabeth, ‘Route 62’ reaches George, the main town, where pride of place goes to the superb transport museum gleaming with steam engines and vintage trains, including the royal carriage of George VI. The last steam train recently ceased operations though Friends hope it may reopen. At the moment, a ‘powervan’, a bus running on rail, carries excited visitors on the same scenic line laced with tunnels, viaducts and bridges, and up the dramatic Outeniqua mountains, named after the honey bees once buzzing on flower-covered slopes. The range follows the coast, dropping steeply on the northern side where the arid lands of Little Karoo beckon with ostrich farms and a meagre shade. On this legendary Garden Route, luxuriant nature reserves flourish alongside a sprinkling of coastal resorts haunted by surf and sun seekers. Popular Plettenberg is a great place to watch dolphins and whales, especially in the southern winter, while at the heart of the National Lake Area, Knysna is famed for its festivals, oysters and colonies of seabirds. It’s an attractive place festooned in bottle brush and bougainvillea and down in the bay, honey-

coloured rocks are battered by the waves. Along the coast, Mossel Bay hugs a fine crescent of white sands where Bartolomeu Dias, the first navigator to sail around the tip of Africa, landed in 1488. This little gem also claims the oldest ‘post office’, a tree, still standing, they say, where sailors of yore left messages before returning to sea. Created in 2009, the Garden Route National Park covers an amazing range of eco-systems from the Knysna Lake Area to the Tsitsikamma and Wilderness national parks. Framed by mountains and forests, fringed by pristine beaches, lakes and waterways, Wilderness has wetlands of international importance, meadows bursting with spring flowers and nature trails where you might spot myriad kingfishers and vervet monkeys. On the eastern edge of the Garden Route, you reach Tsitsikamma, a true paradise for nature lovers, both on land and sea where you can snorkel along underwater trails and explore the reefs. Meanwhile in the forest, baboons forage around as a dappled light filters through the lofty cathedral-like canopy. Yellowwoods draped in lichen reach up to 50 metres, mosses and ferns carpet the valley floor and crystal clear streams babble in the undergrowth. The woody scent of fynbos lingers in the air and there are sparkling waterfalls and lots of trails stretching across cliffs and rivers to Nature’s Valley. Hikes range from a short walk to the mouth of the Storms River and its vertiginous suspension bridge, to the 42 km long Otter trail along the coast, with a chance to swim and ford a river or two. But most exciting of all is a sudden flash of olive green in a nearby tree as a beautiful Knysna Lourie, one of the most elusive birds in the park, takes off in the canopy.

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Anstee Gorst

Chartered Certified Accountants

- Accounts preparation for Sole traders, Partnerships and Limited Companies - Self assessment tax returns - Cash Flow Forecasting - Vat, Payroll & Bookkeeping - Business Start Up Free Initial Consultation Phone: Antoinette Gorst ACCA or Sally Anstee FCCA 01767 650700 Ground Floor Offices, Unit 30, Green End, Gamlingay, Sandy, Beds, SG19 3LF Email: office@ansteegorst.co.uk Website: www.ansteegorst.co.uk

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Travel

Take to the slopes

Join the Olympians and try a winter sport holiday From 7- 23 February, we will be gripped with Olympic fever once again as the 2014 Winter Olympics take place in Sochi, Russia. Thousands of competitors will don their thermals to take part in 15 different winter sports. If you’ve ever fancied having a go yourself, the variety of resorts and activities now available means that there’s never been a better time to start. Skiing has been a favourite winter sport for many years, but snowboarding is rapidly gaining in popularity. Which is best for the beginner? It’s easier to get started with skiing, but it will take you longer to get to a high standard. With snowboarding, you need a lot of practice to stay balanced and link your turns together, but once you’ve mastered that, you’re away. Planning your holiday requires careful research. Depending on how far you want to travel, it is possible to ski all year round. The season in Europe and North America runs from December to March/April, depending on the altitude of the resort. If you want to ski during the summer, you should head for the highest Alpine or American peaks, or Southern Hemisphere locations like Argentina, Chile, Australia or New Zealand. Look at a range of resorts and compare their facilities. You’ll need to consider the ability level of everyone in your party and make sure that there are ski runs to match. This is

particularly important if you are travelling with children. Some resorts provide a ski-school for children as young as two, otherwise you may want to investigate childcare options. If you’ve never skied before, you will need to organise lessons, which can be taken either in a group or individually. Don’t forget to check out the other activities on offer – both on and off the slopes. For example, you could try night skiing, bobsleigh, ice climbing, dog sledding or snowmobiling. And of course there’s the après ski – make sure there are plenty of restaurants and bars if this is an important part of your holiday. Your choice of accommodation can have a big effect on the price of your holiday. Options include luxurious hotels, B&Bs, chalets, apartments, and low-budget hostels. Another cost to consider is your clothing and equipment. You will need a base-layer, mid-layer, jacket, gloves, goggles and helmet. Unless you are a frequent skier, it makes sense to hire your boots and skis/board. That way you don’t need to worry about transporting, damaging or losing expensive kit. And finally, remember that if you’re desperate to ski and funds are tight, there are several indoor snow centres and dry ski slopes around the UK. So everyone can share the Olympic spirit!

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By Alex Albrighton

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Local News

The Cinnamon Trust

Working with the elderly and terminally ill and their pets The Cinnamon Trust operates throughout the whole of the UK and we do operate in your area. We are the only specialist national charity that works with the elderly and terminally ill people and their pets to protect the treasured relationship between them and try to keep them together for as long as possible. We do this by tasking a network of approximately 15,000 volunteers nationwide to assist with the practical day to day care of pets, for example by walking dogs, helping with transport, feeding, grooming, medication etc. The trust also provides short term foster care for pets who’s owners face a spell in hospital, and offers peace of mind by giving people the opportunity to make prior arrangements for the care of beloved companions should they outlive their owners. There is also advice available for people going into residential care, and the trust produces a guide to Pet Friendly Care Homes.

We offer a lifeline that enables pet owners to continue to benefit from the special relationship they enjoy with their beloved companions, the pets themselves receive the care and attention that they need. Anyone wishing to talk to the trust about how we could support them should contact our headquarters in Hayle, Cornwall, by calling 01736 757900. Anyone wishing to volunteer will need to register with the Trust and they can do this either by going to the Cinnamon Trust Website www.cinnamon. org.uk and downloading the volunteer registration form, or by phoning headquarters on 01736 758705 or emailing volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk There is a map on the website highlighting areas where we are currently running appeals.

Satchells was established in 1922 and for three generations our traditional family run business has sold and let thousands of properties throughout Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

• Buying • Selling • Renting • Letting OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK

Call for a free valuation from our Biggleswade Office on: Sales: 01767 313256 Email: biggleswade@satchells.co.uk Letting: 01767 313488 Email: lettings@satchells.co.uk

www.satchells.com

Our network works for us - let it work for you! * Mention where you saw this advert’ 42

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ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS AND BUILDING DESIGN SERVICES Professional and affordable architectural design services provided for all types of private residential building projects with all necessary council approvals obtained.

For free estimates and advice, contact Jason Dixon on:01767 677540 or 07908 004816 e-mail: JTDixon101@aol.com No VAT payable for design and drawing services on residential projects Jason Dixon, 101 Meadow Road, Great Gransden, Sandy, SG19 3BB.

Specialists in Country Homes, Rural and Commercial Property Lettings in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

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info@bestresidential.co.uk Visit our new community www.beds-local.co.uk

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Ash Tree Financial Services Independent Financial Advisers For friendly and expert advice in your financial planning including: Mortgages and Home Insurance Life assurance Critical Illness Cover Income Protection Pensions and Annuities Investments and Savings Contact Christopher Goodwin Ash Tree House, 48 Sutton Mill Road, Potton, SG19 2QB Tel: 01767 262760

goodwin@ashtree.uk.com www.ashtree.uk.com

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Finance

All Change

By Jasmine Birtles, moneymagpie.com These days, many of us are unfaithful – to our service providers, at least; happily flitting between mobile service providers, internet providers, energy companies and insurers to get the best deal. Yet according to the Independent Commission on Banking, on average we only change bank accounts every 26 years. So why aren’t we all browsing comparison sites, checking out the best current accounts? Because we hate the hassle. How could we switch over all those outgoings and incomings? Say a direct debit gets ‘lost’ and we default on a bill? The Current Account Switch Guarantee Relax. Banks know it’s in their best interests to make it easy for you to swap your account to them; some even offer financial incentives. In September, seventeen banks joined the new Current Account Switch Guarantee scheme which should see your bank account transferred within seven days. It means once you’ve chosen a new bank, they take responsibility for the switch (including settling missed direct debits, incurred charges etc and informing everyone concerned). Just chose a switch date (allowing seven working days), then relax as your new bank transfers your incoming payments, outgoing payments and balance, and then closes your old account. Payments via your old account are automatically re-directed for 13 months to cover once-a-year payments. You don’t need to do a thing. www.simplerworld.co.uk has full details of the Switch Guarantee and the banks and building societies signed up so far. What it doesn’t have is information or comparisons on available accounts. So where can you find them? www.moneysupermarket.com/current-accounts/ Use their handy dropdown filter menu or sidebar categories to search for accounts including ones with interest, overdrafts, cashback, or rewards - or from banks signed up to the 7 day Switch Guarantee. http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ banking/compare-best-bank-accounts This site has detailed discussions and comparisons of the best buys in a number of categories, including the best ethical banks. http://www.which.co.uk/money/bank-accounts/

reviews-ns/bank-accounts/ Which? also advises on best bank accounts if you’re always in credit or need overdrafts. Fee-charging accounts are listed separately, so it’s worth considering them alongside other options. Sometimes paying a fee can be the best option, so before you search always: Think long and hard about what you want from your current account There’s a bewildering array of account types these days. Some modern current accounts (often described as ‘Offset Mortgages’ rather than current accounts) work in tandem with your savings or mortgage, allowing you to shift money from one to the other – reducing interest payments on your mortgage in good times, and providing a cheap ‘loan’ to cover unexpected calamities like boiler breakdowns. Then there’s cashback, airmiles, points, rewards, special deals on savings and mortgages from the same provider, breakdown cover, travel insurance... so think about which deal saves you the most in real terms, and how you want to operate your account (online, post, branch or all three?). Some great deals can be found outside the Big Four (Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC), so keep an open mind. Clydesdale Bank and Nationwide both offer good interest rates if you pay in a minimum of £1000 per month. First Direct isn’t currently offering incredit interest, but does offer financial incentives for switching and a high interest linked savings account, plus a small free overdraft facility. It’s also won both Money Saving Expert and Which? customer service polls. So why not take a look? These deals probably won’t be around in 26 years...

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Local News

Was It Your New Years Resolution To help others by volunteering in 2014? Why not give up a maximum of 90 minutes a month with The BIGGLESWADE TALKING NEWSPAPER and help the blind or sight impaired. We are seeking the following additional volunteers in the posts of Editor, Sorter, Despatcher, and Technician. Would you be interested in joining the group of trained volunteers who compile the Talking Newspaper each Friday from that days Biggleswade Chronicle?

We produce it for any blind or sight impaired people who choose to take up our offer of the recording, captured on a memory stick. All personnel will receive training. If you would like to find out more please contact Nick Gurney (Chairman) on 01767 312830 or consult our web site www. biggleswadetalkingnewspaper.org.uk If you know of someone who would enjoy receiving our weekly recording please contact our Listener Liaison Officer David Gentle on 07840 504940 or consult our web site. THE BIGGLESWADE TALKING NEWSPAPER Local news for Local listeners by Local volunteers supported and funded by Local organisations

Ideally suited to provide a comprehensive range of accountancy services for local companies and private individuals • Business Start-ups • Accounts & Audit • Business & Personal Tax • VAT

• Payroll • Book keeping • Budgets & Cash flow • Business Advice

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Computer Supply & Repair Fast, friendly and local support for all your computer and technology needs. Repairs, Upgrades, Custom Builds etc. Virus and Spyware Removal, PC Health Checks, Software/Hardware Sales, Networking and Wireless

No Call Out Fee Why pay shop prices when you can have a faster, cheaper and more personal service to your door available? With work guaranteed and a No Fix, No Fee motto, why shop anywhere else for your Computer needs?

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A cut above the rest… Urban Kutz Now ladies, when I say I felt nervous visiting a new hairdresser for the first time, I’m sure you can relate to those all familiar feelings that just seem to bubble up inside of you. It’s ridiculous really, I’m a grown woman, but I’ve experienced those odd, uncomfortable sensations at other hair salons in the past, and it’s not nice. You walk through the door as a new customer, a little unsure of the correct protocol, and bam, all eyes are on you, scanning you up and down as if to assess if you qualify and can stay for a haircut or whether you should turn right around and walk straight back out the door you’ve just walked in through. So bearing this in mind and desperately wanting to find a great hairdresser, I cautiously entered Urban Kutz. To my amazement, all the staff smiled at me and carried on about their business, whilst an extremely warm lady greeted me, took my coat and gestured for me to make myself comfortable on a leather sofa. A few minutes later she returned and asked if I would like a hot drink, and promptly served me with such. She politely advised that my stylist

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would be with me shortly. As I sat in shock, taking in the genuine friendliness, I suddenly realised I felt like I was sitting in my lounge rather than a hair salon. It seemed to ooze cosiness and unpretentious appeal whilst maintaining a quality and elegant appearance. Eye-catching purple wallpaper dominated the back wall of the salon, making for a nice feature wall. Ornate black mirrors hung gracefully upon the walls and beautifully shaped chairs sat waiting to entice their next customer. Freestanding black furniture housed a selection of products such as Goldwell, Tigi, GHD and Argan Plus, all of which stood out charmingly with their array of bright colours. For the first time in a long while, it dawned on me I was actually enjoying the moment, my girlie time, and surely that’s what it should all be about? Having that “me time” in a comfortable and friendly environment, a home from home encounter. My stylist came over and sat down with me, her name was Caroline, also the owner of the salon. She very quickly made me feel relaxed and talked me through the options available. I felt so content I opted for a colour, cut AND

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blow dry, and with Caroline specialising in colour treatments, I knew I was in safe hands. As we got chatting I noticed that the conversation was not your typical hairdresser/client scenario, it was more a genuine interest from Caroline towards me and my likes and dislikes. Caroline explained that there are 3 members of staff that work in the Salon, herself whom has managed and owned the salon for 4 years, Gemma who has been there for 7 years and specialises in hair up, and Rioni whom is the Saturday girl and has worked there for 5 years. Caroline said she prefers just a small team in the salon as it then feels like a family unit to both staff and clients, and I have to say, she is absolutely right. I loved my experience here, I felt so comfortable. One thing I noticed which will certainly help me in the future is the broad range of opening hours. Open 6 days a week and 1 late night until 7.00pm on a Friday evening. Perfect. I was almost done when Caroline came over and

handed me a loyalty card. She explained that I will get it stamped on every appointment, and then on my 7th visit I am entitled to 25% off, a scheme they offer to every single client. So, the moment of truth, I’ve been foiled and washed, cut and blow dried, pampered and preened and I feel great. I look in the mirror at the new me, all of which was recommended by Caroline, and I absolutely love what I see. I smile at myself and instantly know this is my new hairdresser. As I thank Caroline for a sterling job, she smiles sweetly and reminds me to visit their Facebook page, where there are chances to win prizes and view their monthly offers. Gemma tells me they also look after their older clientele by offering concessions on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. As the girls say goodbye, I step out of the salon with a cheery disposition, I feel and look great, and genuinely look forward to my next appointment.

February Offer

Wipe away those January blues with half price colour throughout February. Treat yourself to some “Me Time” and let us look after you. For further information or to book your appointment call 01767 699903 or visit us at the salon. 6 Park Road, Sandy, SG19 1JB. * Terms & Conditions Apply* *(Excluding Saturday and not to be used in conjunction with any other loyalty offer)*

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Garden

A Pet Project By Pippa Greenwood

There’s always a lot to say about small pests such as greenfly, caterpillars, vine-weevil and so forth, but early in the year it’s some of the bigger ‘residents’ which can really drive you around the bend. I’m talking about cats and dogs. What can you do to ensure that you continue to garden happily, successfully and safely, despite the fact the garden is visited by cats and dogs… and without harming these lovely creatures either? You may need to consider actively fencing off one part of the garden for your dog, and trying to keep another area completely dog free. If you have problems with dogs coming in from next door, then it’s essential that you make repairs to fences. Now is a good time because there’s relatively little plant foliage to hide holes, gaps or loose panels in fencing. Remember that the dog is also likely to be able to squeeze underneath or around many types of fence, so you may need to use chicken netting or similar. Don’t forget that gates as well as fences need to be dog-proofed, and never left open for the dog to wander through. If you really have a serious problem that this won’t resolve then you can try a fox deterrent such as ‘Fox-Watch’. Sometimes a few strategically planted dense and prickly shrubs such as pyracantha may help to deter digging paws. Obviously you don’t want to cause the animal actual harm, but something sharp, prickly or simply very dense can act as a good deterrent. Next door’s cat or others in the street are trickier to deal with as unfortunately they do tend to try and do their ‘toileting’ along the edges of their own

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territory, making your garden a prime target area. If your cat or a neighbour’s cat is a problem, bear in mind that the more bare soil there is, the more likely that a cat will start to use it as its loo. Ground cover planting is essential and you could always use temporary annual flowers to fill in gaps between longer term planting. If you find that these too are scuffed up shortly after you have planted them, then the best thing to do is cover newly planted areas of bedding with an arch of chicken mesh or with sticks with taut string tied between them. Obviously this will look a mess but can be removed promptly once the plants have rooted well and started to establish. I have found that the electronic cat deterrent ‘Cat-Watch’ works very well too. Mulching materials can sometimes cause problems and despite what the label says, many gardeners have told me that they found that the cocoa shell mulches seem to attract cats. Generally speaking soggy mulches like this or anything with a strong smell do tend to deter cats, as they hate digging in moist material. Take extreme care if dogs use the garden as cocoshell mulches can prove fatal to them. Mulches made of large pebbles or stones also tend to keep them at bay, but smaller diameter gravel or shingle seems to be quite attractive to some cats. Areas of freshly sown seed look very attractive to a cat or dog and again are best protected either by chicken mesh or sticks and string. Remember to keep the string taut at all times, as there’s a slight risk that birds could become entangled in it.

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Transform Your Lawn Lawn Care - Turf - Renovations

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Garden

Giving Them A Helping Hand Rural Ramblings. By Geoff Wharton Last summer was particularly good for our bees and butterflies being especially hot. The bees especially helped to produce an abundance of fruit and berries appreciated both by ourselves and other wildlife during the months of autumn and winter, so I thought it would be nice to show our appreciation of all their hard work by giving them a treat and plant a few shrubs. At this time of year they appear rather uninspiring, but in the summer they will make a wonderful display. Many years ago it was common to see this particular shrub covered with a fluttering spectacle of our winged friends such as butterflies and bees. They had become so intoxicated either on the heady honey-like scent or the nectar, that they could be approached without fear of disturbance and the detail of their bodies could be truly appreciated. These once-common insects, during the months of summer, were to be seen widely, searching out particularly rich sources of nectar and pollen on which to feed. The Buddleia bush was the shrub which was particularly good for attracting all sorts of flying insects but especially butterflies. These plants are so easily grown that in some areas such as derelict land and some open areas, they can become a bit of a problem and are seen as invasive, but in the garden they cannot be beaten for attracting butterflies. Buddleia davidii is the most commonly grown but other species such as globosa and alternifolia are also extremely attractive. Buddleia are relatively cheap to buy and grow quickly and should be cut back hard every year and that is all they need. Colours can be purple, red, white, orange and lilac and some of the latest varieties are dwarf growing so will not take up too much room. In the summer they will produce strong stems which terminate in masses of small flowers grouped together in a cone-like structure. If the colour fails to impress

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(it won’t!) then getting up close and sampling the scent will surely convince you that you did make the right decision to plant. Later, you have the additional bonus of the butterfly bonanza - as you move in to view the drowsy insects feeding with their uncurled probosces on the thousands of perfumed flower tubes, you will feel like you are watching some exotic wildlife programme with it’s high-tech, high-definition, close-up camera lenses at work. With a jolt you come back to reality and realise the you haven’t travelled thousands of miles to some far–away location to marvel at the exotic wildlife , you are still at home and the dishes need washing!! Never mind, just think how much you have saved on air fares and the butterflies are happy also!

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

Tel: 01767 261727

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SGS SERVICES Seasoned Logs For Sale Great Quality Available in 1 Ton Sacks Or Bigger Loads Negotiable! £55 p/ton sack or 2 sacks for £100 including delivery £45 p/ton sack collected from yard

Contact Richard for more details 01767691115 or 07810820523 email sandygrabservices@outlook.com Longacre Farm, Moggerhanger Road Sandy, Beds SG19 1ND

GILKS FENCING LTD FULL INSTALLATION SERVICE

• Closeboard Fencing • TGV Gates • Trellis made to Customers Design • Lap Panel Fencing • Railings • Chain Link • Knee Rail Fencing Drove Road, Gamlingay, Sandy, • Timber or Concrete Posts CALL NOW FOR FREE NO OBLIGATION QUOTATION:

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SURECLEAN Gutter Cleaning Gutters cleaned safely from the ground using our ladderless gutter cleaning system. Powerful vacuum will remove leaves, moss and all debris and make no mess. We can clean up to the height of 40ft.

Call us for a free quote

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Fun Quiz - Say It With Flowers 1. Famous for its slogan “say it with flowers”, what is the world’s largest flower delivery network? 2. Which literary hero took his nickname from the drawing of a small red flower he used to sign his messages? 3. What name is given to the pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower? 4. Better known as a singer, who wrote the 2003 best-selling children’s book The English Roses? 5. In the film Bambi, what type of animal is Flower? 6. What spice is obtained from the crocus? 7. Mrs Cobbitt was the flower seller on which children’s TV show? 8. In 2001, the Flower Pot Men were revived in a stop-motion animation show for Children’s BBC called Bill And Ben, but what type of flower was Weed replaced with? 9. Also the name of a brand of margarine, who was the Roman goddess of flowers? 10. According to legend, which flowering plant was the last to be named by God and had to remind God that it needed a name?

1. Interflora 2. The Scarlet Pimpernel 3. The stamen 4. Madonna 5. A skunk 6. Saffron 7. Trumpton 8. A sunflower 9. Flora 10. The forget-me-not

Before

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Wide variety of Top Quality •Seed & Meadow Hay• •Haylage• •Wheat & Barley Straw• Various Bale Sizes

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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

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Pets

ANIMAL Heroes

RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch

Stories told by the heroes who adopt one of our animals. Rather than buying your pet from a pet shop, please consider re-homing an abandoned animal currently being cared for by a local animal charity. Be a hero – adopt a pet! Ava’s story Ava is of uncertain age, two years perhaps? A substantial, rather ungainly black and white female with lop ears. She’s friendly, placid and inordinately fond of food. In August last year, someone took her to a vet’s, claiming to have found her in their garden. Nobody claimed her. The vet passed her on to the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch and Ava was given to a volunteer, Maria, who had agreed to foster rabbits for the first time. Details of Ava were posted up on the local RSPCA website which is where we spotted her. We had bought our first rabbit, a female, Evie, back in June and in September had bought a little male, Benji, to be her companion with a view to introducing them once both had been neutered. That grand plan was destroyed one night in October when Evie escaped. The children were distraught and we were left with two hutches, a large homemade enclosure in the garden and one small, solitary, soon-to-be neutered Benji. Conscious winter was approaching, we wanted an adult rabbit who would cope outdoors and who

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was already neutered. We turned to the RSPCA. A very nice volunteer came and inspected us and impressed us with her thoroughness and common sense advice. She had three females available: one that had been clearly mistreated and needed careful handling, a very small one and big, solid, placid Ava. Given the children, we plumped for Ava and duly collected her from Maria in November. Once Benji had recovered from his operation, we introduced them. I will be eternally grateful to the advice the original RSPCA volunteer gave us about the introduction process. I found the initial fights nerve-wracking and could hardly believe it, when, by the end of the day of the pair of them were peaceably sharing a hutch. Without that advice, I may well have given up after the first few unsuccessful encounters. Yet now, three months on, Benji and Ava are inseparable. They spend their days either belting round (Benji) or lolloping lazily round (Ava) their enclosure or else sitting together on the roof of the hutch, surveying the world, keeping a close eye on the kitchen door. And in the process they are giving huge pleasure to the whole family. It’s as if Ava has always been with us. ANIMAL HEROES is one of a series of articles brought to you by the RSPCA Bedfordshire North Branch. www.rspca-bedfordshirenorth.org.uk

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Professional Dog & Cat Grooming Hydro Massage Bathing Bespoke Dog & Cat Grooming Handstripping Specialists De-shedding Treatments Open Plan Grooming 38 Shortmead St Biggleswade www.hollywooddogs.co.uk 01767 600 212 Find us on Facebook

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Local News

Home Dog Boarding Bedfordshire

At this time of year we all start to think about getting away from the cold and the rain. If, like me, you have pets, it can be a problem finding somewhere safe for them to stay while you are away. I have never wanted to put my dogs into kennels and felt there must be a better alternative which would not be so stressful for them. With this in mind I set up Home Dog Boarding Bedfordshire a year ago; a home boarding service for people who prefer something different to the usual kennels. I offer a safe environment for your pet in my home alongside my two small dogs, where they will be looked after as one of the family. You can bring their basket, food and any toys they like to make them feel at home. I only take a maximum of two dogs alongside my own and your dog will have complete access to my safe enclosed garden as well as walks in the countryside every

day. I am fully licensed by Bedfordshire County Council and have third party liability insurance. For further details contact Jane Fryer on 01767 691455 or jane507@hotmail.co.uk www.homedogboardingbedfordshire.com

WOOD GREEN Behind the Animal carer scenes tours experience day Tuesday 18th February 2014 10am – 12pm & 1 – 3pm Godmanchester Centre £5 per person Join us and get hands on making fun pet toys and feed some of our animals tasty treats. Suitable for 5 year olds and over and booking essential.

– unique present for 7 – 12 year olds! Thursday 20th February 2014, 10am – 3pm Godmanchester Centre £75 per child + free adult space, £5 shop voucher and children’s lunch voucher Get Hands On with essential animal carer duties including cleaning out, health checking, feeding, making enrichment toys, getting creative in the dog kitchen and having a go at dog training! Receive a goody bag and certificate. Maximum group size of 4 and booking essential.

As of January 20th, in order to reduce the stress for our dogs we have restricted the public viewing of these dogs at our Godmanchester Centre to those people who are genuinely looking to rehome a canine companion. In addition, Wood Green will be closing all animal sections at all centres to the public on Mondays, excluding Bank Holidays, so that teams can spend additional time with the animals and undertake any necessary training. If you would like further information please see our website.

Godmanchester Centre King’s Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, PE29 2NH

Animal rehoming Charity Shop Restaurant Pet & Gift Shop Children’s play area 10.00am – 4.00pm

Heydon Centre Highway Cottage, Chishill Road, Heydon Hertfordshire, SG8 8PN

Call: 0844 248 8181 Visit: www.woodgreen.org.uk Or Email: handson@woodgreen.org.uk

The Animals Charity Registered Charity No. 298348.

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15/1/14 20:28:35


Manor Farm Villager Advert A7 :Layout 1 03/07/2013 12:20

Swimming Lessons • • • • • •

Private pool - Tadlow ASA qualified teachers Beginners & stroke technique classes 1-3 pupils per class 10 week courses (term time only) Mother and Toddler classes

A flexible day nursery for children from 6 weeks to 5 years with extensive and well resourced grounds. r u o y f of Excellent links to s onth’ 1st m es the A1, St Neots and fe Sandy railway station.

30%

To find out more call us today

01767 681805 C a l l He ather on Tel: 01767 631053 Mob: 07885 516561 62

76 London Road, Sandy Beds. SG19 1DZ e: info@manorfarm-day-nursery.co.uk w: www.manorfarm-day-nursery.co.uk

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Pets

How to Choose a Puppy By Susan Brookes-Morris

Let’s face it, puppies are little bundles of gorgeousness and when choosing one it’s easy to get carried away, but don’t. It is important to think very carefully about whether that puppy (or indeed any puppy) is a good choice. But let’s assume for now that you’ve decided you really do have room in your life for a dog. The first step is to research which breed or type of mongrel suits your circumstances, and also the dog’s size and nature. Have you got room for a puppy that will grow into a large dog? How much time do you have to exercise a dog? Do you have children, or any other pets that it must be compatible with? In addition to the purchase cost, what ongoing costs must you consider e.g. food and vet bills; a large dog will eat much more than a small one, and some breeds are prone to medical problems which may be expensive to treat. Consider the dogs coat

if shedding hair might be an issue. Would a dog or a bitch be a better choice? Male dogs can be more dominant and headstrong; with females, you will need to consider how you will cope when she comes into season. Terriers are lively dogs that need lots of exercise for their size and can be tricky to train, but they are generally good with children. Toy dogs seem particularly prone to becoming snappy if they are anxious, which they may be around boisterous children. Hounds need lots of exercise, and breeds that have a working history need plenty of mental stimulation so that they don’t get in to mischief. Border Collies for instance, can become stressed if they are not active and given lots of attention. Gun dogs are easy to train and settle well into most houses. If you choose a pedigree dog, you will know exactly how large your pup will grow and what it will look like. You should buy from an experienced breeder who can give you lots of information and allow you to meet the parents. As I mentioned earlier, some breeds have potential ‘inherited diseases’ or known health issues in later life, so ask about this if you want to avoid hefty vet bills. Crossbreeds can be cheaper to buy; they can even be free, but if you can’t see both parents you may get a surprise when it grows much larger than you expected. There are currently some very fashionable cross breeds such as the Labradoodle - a Labrador / poodle cross, or a Cockerpoo – a cocker spaniel / poodle cross. These can combine the best features of each breed. Resist buying a puppy that is left on its own and appears withdrawn, as it may have or develop personality issues. You should choose a lively, alert puppy in good health. To give your puppy a good start in its new home, try not to have too many people around when it arrives. Be relaxed and allow your puppy to sniff around. Offer it food and water although you may find it refuses for a while. Try to establish a routine. Once settled in, you can look forward to your puppy being a loving companion for many years.

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Gamlingay Tyre Centre

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All Major Brands Budget & Part Worn Puncture Repair Available Servicing - All Makes & Models Batteries, Exhaust and Shock Absorbers * All Work Guaranteed Phone for Cheapest Quote

01767 448 729 / 07801 082 261 Unit 48 Green End Trading Estate, Gamlingay, Beds, SG19 3LB

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For the ultimate in luxury chauffeur travel

Why not treat yourself for that special occasion? Corporate Business Travel Airport and Station Transfers Social Engagements

For further information and to book, please contact us on: 01767 687887 • 01767 631096 • 07776 165614

info@cambridgeshirechauffeurs.co.uk www.cambridgeshirechauffeurs.co.uk

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Motoring

First drive: Kia Ray EV

By James Baggott

Kia is entering the electric vehicle market in 2014 with an EV version of its Soul mini SUV. We headed to South Korea to try that car’s forerunner, the Ray EV, which is leading the charge for the brand’s electric future. We took it for a spin around the heaving city to see what we could learn about the Soul that will use an enhanced version of its tech. What is it? Let’s clear this up from the start – the Ray is not, and will never be, available in the UK. But this car is pioneering the technology that will appear in the Soul EV in the UK in the winter of 2014. The Ray is a micro city car for the Korean market where some 67,000 have been sold. The EV version, though, is only available on a pilot car sharing scheme in Seoul where 180 of the tiny cars are available to 15,000 members for as little as £3 an hour. Kia has been using the scheme to gain data on its EV models that it has used to refine the mass production Soul version. What’s under the bonnet? What’s more important is what’s under the seats. Hidden in the floor pan is a battery pack that’s coupled to an electric motor situated in the more traditional location under the bonnet. We won’t concentrate too much on what the Ray features, as much of this has been enhanced for the Soul. The Soul EV has a range of 125 miles, can be fully charged in five hours or topped up in just 25 minutes with a fast charger. Top speed is 90mph and it will hit 60mph in around 14 seconds. What’s the spec like? That’s unclear at this point, but what we do know is that when the Soul EV arrives it will be the most expensive model in the

range. That will mean it’s likely to have Kia’s top spec with a clever sat nav system that will point out recharging locations and range, just like our Ray EV test car did. Kia did tell us the Soul will come with heated and cooling front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel. Slightly different bumpers and headlamps, and a charge point in the grille, will mark out the EV model from the rest of the Soul range. Any rivals? BMW are the latest entrants to this market with the i3, but electric car buyers can also choose from more established offerings from Nissan like the Leaf, or Renault’s Zoe. If you’re looking for something even more outrageous, then you could consider a Renault Twizy. What’s it like to drive? On clogged streets in South Korea’s capital, we found the brisk, smooth acceleration of the battery powered model a boon. The silent running makes for a relaxing drive and the added weight from the batteries was hard to spot. Regenerative braking was also impressive, if a little aggressive at slamming on the anchors at times. The verdict We’re impressed with Kia’s first entry into the EV market. There’s currently no word on pricing for the Soul or whether buyers will be offered the car complete with batteries to buy outright, like Nissan, or rented the batteries and sold the car, like Renault. What was clear from our test drive, though, is that Kia has EV technology pretty much nailed and it’s ready to go. Fact in the likelihood the manufacturer’s competitive pricing will be brought into the equation, the Soul EV could be the shake up the segment needs.

The knowledge Model: Kia Ray EV Price: N/A (car share scheme only) Engine: 50kw electric motor Power: 68bhp, 167Nm Max speed: 90mph 0-60mph: 15.9s Range: 125 miles Emissions: 0g/km Visit our new community www.beds-local.co.uk

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Local News

Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice Moggerhanger

Situated within lovely gardens in the mid Bedfordshire village of Moggerhanger, Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice has been busy providing incredible care for those living with incurable illness in our community for 34 years. Not only is our caring hospice team on hand to give specialist medical treatment to ease pain and discomfort, but we also offer people and their families real emotional support during what is an extremely difficult time. It is a sobering thought that today one in four of us is living with an incurable illness - around 18 million people – and you will almost certainly have met or know someone who has been affected. We treat all our patients as individuals, giving people the opportunity to live the best quality of life they can for however long they have left. We listen to the wishes of our patients and their families and we strive to provide them in those all important final days. We need to raise £2.4 million a year to be able

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to provide this incredible care. That is where you come in. Without the support of the community, St John’s Hospice would simply have to close. This year, as ever, we need your help. Whether it is a simple donation of however much you can afford, organising an enjoyable fundraising event with a group you belong to, or taking up that challenge you always promised yourself you would do while raising sponsorship for us. You could make 2014 a year to remember! And you would be helping so many families in the process. Your support can make a real difference in 2014. If you would like to help please contact your Regional Fundraiser Jessica Wilson on 01767 642422 or email Jessica.wilson@sueryder.org Thank you.

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Technology

Love food, love gadgets A helping hand to prepare a romantic meal Valentine’s Day is like Christmas for restaurants, but all too often their love-struck customers end up fobbed off with overpriced set menus and a distinct lack of atmosphere. If it’s true that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, wouldn’t it be better to wow your partner with something you’ve cooked up yourself? Best of all, you can use it as an excuse to splash out on some new kitchen gadgets too. We’re big fans of Joseph Joseph’s brightly coloured (and quite expensive) cooking gadgets, such as its foldable TriScale (£30), its Elevate raised utensils and its very useful Chop2Pot foldable chopping boards. If the price is a little high you’ll find shopping around online can save you a packet, and there are plenty of more affordable imitations too. Grating, chopping, blending, pureeing, julienning, mixing, do-everything Food processors are fantastic things, and while they can be pricey there are plenty of deals around: a quick bit of online research uncovers Kenwood’s FP736 for £89.99 instead of the £120 RRP, and multi-function blenders such as the Shef Collection for £17.99 instead of £49.99. If that’s still too much or you just don’t have room for all the attachments, electric choppers can be picked up for around £12. Some of our favourite gadgets are the simplest ones: Microplane graters were originally designed for woodworking but are fantastic for parmesan and can be found for as little as £10, while mandoline slicers take the effort out of preparing fruit and veg. Expect to pay around £10 to £20 for a good one. If your partner’s a barbecue fan, don’t let the fact it’s still winter deter you: Philips’ Avance

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Table Grill promises all the taste of a smoky barbecue without having to leave the house. It looks like a chunky George Foreman grill and at £95 costs quite a bit more than one, but unlike some of George’s grills the plate is detachable and dishwasher safe and you can use its unique infusers to add smoke flavours (from real wood chips) or liquids such as marinades. Just make sure you put it near a cooker hood if you’re using it to smoke your food, or your romantic evening could end up involving the local fire brigade. We’re keen on celebrity chefs here in Britain, and one of the biggest is Jamie Oliver - and he hasn’t been shy when it comes to lending his name to everything from tea towels to salad servers. He’s also put his name on Philips’ Homecooker, which promises “a completely fresh approach to cooking”. It’s a cross between a slow cooker and a food processor, and it chops, slices, shreds, grates, cooks, stirs, steams and keeps cooked food warm. The HomeCooker is a fairly frightening £250, and if you want one you’ll have to go to John Lewis. No romantic dinner would be complete without a nice bottle of wine, but if you’re worried about wrestling with a traditional corkscrew there are plenty of alternatives. Le Creuset’s Screwpulls make opening wine particularly easy, and while the larger models cost around £30 you can pick up plastic ones for around £11. They’re much easier to use than traditional corkscrews and less likely to damage the cork, although if you’d rather keep things old-school you can pick up a waiter’s friend corkscrew for as little as £2.45. Even good ones won’t cost much more than £10.

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ABOVE ALL Autocentre Unit 1, Sand Road Ind. Est., Great Gransden SG19 3AH

MOT £39.95 with this advert

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AIR CONDITIONING – Recharging of system. DIAGNOSTICS - SNAP ON Diagnostic fault finding centre. EXHAUSTS - Supplied and fitted to all makes of cars and vans. BATTERIES - Supplied and fitted two and three year guarantee. BRAKES - Discs Pads Shoes. Cylinders etc supplied and fitted. CODE READING - Trace & rectify those alarming red dashboard warning lights. TYRES - All makes inc. Budget Avon, Dunlop, Firestone, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli.

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Food and Drink

Seasonal Delights Sausages and Puy Lentils

Serves 4 Ready in 40 minutes If you fancy a change from the usual sausage and mash why not go Continental? Tasty Toulouse sausages wrapped in pancetta and served on a bed of flavoursome puy lentils make the perfect mid-week meal. INGREDIENTS 225g puy lentils 225g shallots, peeled and halved 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp brown sugar 150ml vegetable stock 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 8 Toulouse or chunky pork sausages 8 rashers pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, stretched with the back of a knife 2 tsp clear honey 3 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley 1 Place the lentils in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 2 Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan and fry the shallots for 5 minutes, stirring

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occasionally, until just starting to soften. Sprinkle over the brown sugar and cook for a further 8-10 minutes until the shallots are golden and caramelised. 3 Drain the lentils and add to the frying pan with the stock, vinegar and 2 tsp of the mustard. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the lentils are just tender. Stir occasionally and add a little more stock, if necessary. 4 While the lentils are cooking, wrap each sausage with a pancetta rasher. Cook under a medium-hot grill for 8-10 minutes, turning frequently until the sausages are almost cooked through. Mix together the rest of the mustard with the honey and brush over the sausages. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the pancetta is crisp and browned. 5 Stir half the parsley into the lentils and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve the lentils and sausages on warmed plates garnished with the remaining parsley. Tip - If you can’t find Toulouse sausages, Lincolnshire, Cumberland or pork and leek varieties will work just as well.

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For all your oven cleaning needs, using a Non-toxic, Non-caustic cleaning solution

Oven Cleaning! - It’s a dirty job! Why do it yourself? We clean ovens using non-caustic, non-toxic products in your home. Ovens • Ranges • Hobs • Extractors Agas • Microwaves • Barbecues (May - Sept) Single Oven (all racks/pans inc) .......................£40 Single Oven & Grill Oven (all racks/pans inc) ....£50 Single Separate Grill Oven (racks/pans inc) .....£15 Microwaves & Combination Ovens ...................£20 Extractor Fan (free filter for next clean)............£15 Hob .................................................................£15 Bulbs ............................................................£2.50

Prices

s/oven (all inc.)...£40.00 d/oven (all inc.)...£52.00 extractors from...£16.00 microwaves.....£16.00 hobs from....£12.00 BBQs, Agas and Ranges individually priced.

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n O s ’ t Wha 1 February The Signals Museum 10am-4pm The Signals Museum at RAF Henlow is open to the public. Entry is free but official photo ID such as a driving licence, passport or over 60s Bus Pass is required to get an entry permit from the Guardroom. Web: www.rafsignalsmuseum.org.uk

1 February Hardy Plant Society Talk 2pm The Wetherley Centre, Biggleswade Small charge for visitors. Cambs and Beds Hardy Plant Society present a talk by Geoff Hodge on ‘Pruning making it simple’’. Geoff is and Editor and Garden Writer. Plants for sale. All welcome. Web: www.hpscambsandbeds.co.uk 1 & 2 February Arts Weekend Workshops Stratton School, Biggleswade The Art department is are holding a weekend of creative activities. Workshops are open to all - experienced or complete novices of art are all welcome - and range in subject matter and techniques used. Small fee to cover materials. Places must be booked in advance (workshop information, booking forms and further details are available on Stratton school website). Web: www.stratton.beds.sch.uk 2 February Beacon Antiques Fair 10am-4.30pm The Sharnbrook Hotel, Park Lane, Sharnbrook, MK44 1LX Admission: £2.00. This antiques fair offers a diverse range of quality antiques so whether you are a professional dealer, an avid collector or just looking for something special, this unique fair is the place to visit. Refreshments including tea, coffee, soft drinks and snacks served throughout the day. Tel: 01480 382432 3, 10, 17 & 24 February Quiz Night Queen’s Head, 2-4 Cambridge Road, Sandy Weekly quiz night with £20 prize pot and entry to a free raffle for competitors every week. 4 February Potton Ladies Club 7.30pm Conservative Club, Brook End Visitors £3, to include light refreshment Speaker will be Ray Bylett - Doggy assistance for people with disabilities. A dog will be in attendance to demonstrate how they can help.

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4, 7, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 25 & 28 February Warden Abbey Community Vineyard Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity. After a bumper grape harvest in 2013, pruning is about to begin at the award-winning Warden Abbey Community Vineyard near Old Warden. Why not come along and find out how the vines are pruned and have a go? To find out more and to book a free place, please contact Jane. Tel: 07981 113714 Email: info@wardenvineyard.org.uk Web: www.wardenvineyard.org.uk/get-involved 4, 11, 18 & 25 February Groovy Tuesday 8pm Queen’s Head, 2-4 Cambridge Road, Sandy Local live musicians with an open mic opportunity once a month, a folk night once a month and iPod Jukebox in between. Every week has a theme and guests are invited to suggest tracks they would like to hear played, with the added fun of a “beat the DJ” challenge - if someone suggests a track that the DJ can’t play, they win a small prize. 5 February Folk Evening 7pm Moggerhanger Village Hall First Wednesday every month. Open floor folk session evening. Tel: Chris 01767 640242 for more info 5 & 19 February Tea/Coffee & Cake 11am-1pm Little Gransden Village Hall Working from home or just alone? Need an excuse for a walk or a jolly good talk? Tel: 01767 677313 Email: phyllis@jaquest5.plus.com 5, 12 & 26 February Mums’ & Dads’ Coffee Break 9am-12 noon St John’s Church, Moggerhanger Moggerhanger Meeting Place and Shop. Now well established, this is a small group of mainly mums whose children go to Moggerhanger Lower School. Some bring their toddlers; there is a box of toys in the church and tea/coffee available (50p per cup). The group meets every Wednesday (except during half-term). 5, 12, 19 & 26 February Tapas Evening Queen’s Head, 2-4 Cambridge Road, Sandy Weekly Tapas Evening. A selection of different tapas and snacks will be available along with a new range of Spanish wines. Tapas prices start at only £2.50.

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7 February Quiz Night 7pm for 7.30pm Sandy Conservative Club £5.00 per person. Sandy & District Horticultural Association Quiz Night in conjunction with Sandy Allotment Association. Teams of up to 6 people. Please book by 6 February. Tel: 01767 681733 Web: www.sandyshow.org 7, 14, 21 & 28 February Sandy Ukulele Group 7-9pm Baptist Chapel Hall, Bedford Road, Sandy Meets every Friday night. Visitors and new member welcome for a sing and a strum. Email: Sandyukulelegroup1@gmail.com for more information. Web: www.sandyukulelegroup.com 7 & 21 February Whist Drive 7.30pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Fortnightly Friday Whist Drive. All welcome. Refreshments included. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 8 February Mardi Gras Evening 7.30pm Sandy Place School, Sandy SG19 1JD Tickets: Advance £12, On the door £14 Sandy Twinning Association Mardi Gras Evening with Letchworth Jazz Works 10 piece band. Fish & chip supper and licensed bar. Tel: 01767 681469 10 & 24 February Biggleswade Cancer Support Group 1-3pm Meeting Rooms, Baptist Church, London Road Biggleswade A support group has been set up for Cancer patients, families and friends in the Biggleswade area. It is a place to meet with others who will understand and provide mutual support. Come and have a chat, a cup of tea or coffee in a friendly confidential environment. We look forward to seeing you soon. Tel or text: 07812 796581 Email: csgbiggleswade@gmail.com Facebook: BIGGLESWADE CANCER SUPPORT GROUP 14 February Bingo Night 7.30pm Moggerhanger Village Hall Monthly Bingo Friday night with cash prizes, raffle and licensed bar. Also open the box. All proceeds to support the Village Hall. Tel: Carolyn 01767 640727 16 February Biggleswade Antiques Fair 9.30am-4pm The Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade Entrance £1.50. This antiques fair offers a diverse range of antiques and collectables so whether you are a professional dealer, an avid collector or just looking for something special, this monthly fair is the place to visit. Cafe serving breakfast, lunches and afternoon tea. Tel: 01480 382432 or 07906 647346 Web: www.madisonevents.co.uk

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18 February Gamlingay W I 7.30pm W I Hall, Gamlingay Speaker will be Mr Bill Davies, “On and Off the Footplate (and more anecdotes). Visitors and new members most welcome. 22 February Shepreth Village Hall Market 10am-12.30pm Tim and Lisa’s Basket and Apple juice gazebo will be outside the hall along with local, fresh produce from around the area inside and a lot of new stalls. Refreshments by Shepreth W.I. Everyone welcome, including dogs! Tel. Jane 07554207580 Web.www.stallsinthevillagehall.co.uk 25 February Knit and Natter 10am-12 noon St John’s Church, Blunham Road, Moggerhanger This popular group meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month. Wools, needles and know-how are available and the nattering is quite as busy as the knitting. Newcomers are always very welcome. 25 February QH Book Group 7pm Queen’s Head, 2-4 Cambridge Road, Sandy The QH Book Group meets on the last Tuesday of the month and is actively seeking new members. 27 February Potton History Society Meeting 8pm The Community Centre, Brook End Potton ‘The Reverend Berridge of Everton’. This evening we look at the life of the evangelical Everton vicar who played an important role in the rise of non-conformity in our area and witnessed many important local events. Visitors always welcome. Refreshments provided. Web: www.pottonhistorysociety.com 1 March Horse Race Night Wyboston Village Hall Tickets £7.50 including fish & chip supper A family, fun event. Licensed Bar. Please see website for full details. Tel: Susie Woodman 01234 376098 Web: www.wybostonvillagehall.com 1 March Performers & Pints 20: Rising New Talent! 8pm for 8.30pm - 11pm (ish!) The Rising Sun, 11 Everton Road, Potton (Upstairs Function Room) Free entry (donations welcome). New Year, New Venue, New Night! Four high quality emerging artists performing 30 minutes each. It’s very different from an open mic night, every artist who plays Performers and Pints is handpicked because of their remarkable talent in what they do. A great community night out! Web: www.facebook.com/performersandpints Twitter: @PerformersPints

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Sureclean DOMESTIC & COMMERCIAL CARPET & UPHOLSTERY CLEANING

• Spot stain and odour removal • Anti-stain protection • Leather suites cleaned and reconditioned • Tile and grout cleaning • The very latest equipment used • All work guaranteed • Fully insured • Established for 22 years

01767 652971 or 07870 338074 76

J. Jenkins

Building Services Extensions New Build Renovations Garage Conversions Loft Conversions Kitchen Fitting Driveways and Patios

For all your building needs Call John on 01767 222219 or 07831 283296 Email: chippyjenkins@gmail.com References available on request

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PK Cleaning Services Est. since 1988

z Professional

Carpet and Upholstery cleaning z Window cleaning z UPVC Fascia cleaning z Patio and Driveway cleaning z Gutter and Soffit cleaning Free Estimates. Friendly and reliable service.

Paul Kaiser

Home 01767 222822 Mobile 07812 335860 Visit us on www.pkcleaningservices.net

Window Doctor Repairs to Windows, Doors & Conservatories • • • • • • •

Misty Units New Locks Draughty Windows Dropped Doors Broken Hinges/Handles Extra Security Installation of New Windows, Doors and Conservatories

25 Years Experience Contact Stewart Gyles on T: 0798 444 1638 or

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E: stewy_133@msn.com Visit our new community www.beds-local.co.uk

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Comet Cleaning Services Commercial & Residential Cleaners • Commercial and Domestic Cleaners • Builders/Landlord Cleans • Experienced and Personal Service • Regular, Weekly/Spring Clean • Fully Insured/Ref's Available • No up front fee's/contracts

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Home and Interiors

Be your own interior designer

By Katherine Sorrell

Whether you’re planning a room from scratch or freshening up an existing scheme, it can be hard to know where to start. Creating a successful space involves a complex blend of practical and aesthetic considerations. As well as the nitty gritty of wiring and plumbing, there’s wallpaper, paint colours and fabric to select, window treatments to decide on, storage to incorporate, furniture to choose and finishing touches to arrange. How can you ensure that you do it correctly? Never fear: it’s simply a question of taking things step by step, using a straightforward, logical approach. Careful planning is invaluable in helping firm up your ideas, work out your budget and timetable and, above all, avoid expensive mistakes. First comes space planning. Measure your room accurately and draw a plan to scale on graph paper, marking in windows, doors, fireplaces, fitted cupboards, pipes, radiators, plug sockets, light fittings and so on. Consider the room’s size and shape, and its architectural style. Will they affect the way in which you decorate? Are there special considerations, such as lack of space or light, or an important original feature? At this stage, consider whether it would be helpful to move a wall, pipe or radiator, enlarge a window, hang the door the other way around or add extra plug sockets or light switches. Perhaps you can conceal wiring or pipework, or build in some extra storage? Once you have gone through all the options – consulting a structural engineer if your changes are major ones – you can draw up a final plan.

Next, plan the positions of major items of furniture. On a separate sheet of graph paper, sketch the approximate shapes of your furnishings, as if you were looking at them from above, using the same scale as your room plan. Then simply cut them out, place them on your master plan and assess how well they fit in to the space, ensuring that you allow enough activity room between and around them. Think about who uses the room, when and how. Move your ‘furniture’ around as necessary and, eventually, the optimum arrangement will become apparent. To complement the floorplan and ensure that all the decorative elements of a room work together, professional designers create a ‘sample board’: a visual memo of all the different pieces that go towards making up the room. Before you start, you’ll need to find some images of your proposed furniture, flooring, lighting and accessories, as well as swatches of fabric, wallpaper and paint. Try to keep the samples in proportion to the size they’ll be in real life. You can also include real items (or parts of them) such as tie-backs and trims, rope or timber. Your sample board can be highly representative or more of a suggestion of general colours and styles. Then, take a large piece of neutral-coloured card as a base, and arrange the images or swatches on it. It helps if you place the samples roughly in accordance with where they will be in the room. With all the ingredients together, you’ll have a really effective overview of how colours, patterns, shapes and textures work together and can assess the overall effect.

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Easy Suduko

Hard Suduko

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 puzzles. 80

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Julian Biggs Chimney Advert:Layout 1 17/05/2013 14:

Chimney Sweep Member of the Institute of Chimney Sweeps

JULIAN BIGGS/PHILIP BULLEN

Tel: 01767 627591 07950 705479

www.julianbiggschimneysweep.co.uk located in Northill, Beds

• All types of chimneys swept • Brush & vacuum • Chimney Safety Certificate issued

Fully qualified and insured Clean & tidy service Competitive rates Local, professional & reliable

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Paul Hodson Electrical Contractor Electrical Maintenance Commercial & Domestic Installations Rewires Fuse Board Upgrades Electric Heating Systems Underfloor Heating BT Points Periodic Testing Portable Appliance Testing Showers Free Estimates ELECSA Part P Approved All work carried out to IEE wiring regulations 17th edition Call to discuss your requirements

Tel: 01767 691668 Mob: 07887 776980 paul@hodson-electrical.co.uk

D.S. LEWIS CARPENTRY & BUILDING

• Property Maintenance & Improvements • Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms • Flat Pack Furniture Assembly • Extensions, Garage Conversions • New Build & Refurbishment

Carpentry Contracts Welcome

01480 473 524 M: 07967 184 163 T:

Tel: 01767 261622 Mob: 07947 732883 Email: dialporter01@tiscali.co.uk

E: danlewis.carpentrybuilding@gmail.com Fully Insured Established 1990

To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

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Food and Drink

My Tequila Rediscovery By Nicholas Clare

Like most people my encounter with tequila was that of youth and misuse, and after one too many NEVER AGAINS, I swore off of it for good! That was until I was on honeymoon in Mexico and I tasted tequila how it was meant to be tasted! I took my first sip of tequila with nerves and trepidation but.......... it was a revelation, it was smooth and zesty and really felt like something special and unexpected. I wanted more! Since then I have acquired, tried and tasted all the tequila I can get my hands on. Here are some of the tequilas I have tasted and love; Patron silver, Patron anejo, Calle 23 reposado, Herradura plata and Centenla blanco. There are some really great premium artisan tequilas available in the UK if you know what you are looking for, here are a few rules of thumb. • Look for 100% agave tequila as this is the good stuff. Tequila is made from the Agave Blue webber plant and 100% agave is the real deal. • Tequila is also aged like whiskies and rums so if it says silver/blanco or plato- its un aged. • Reposado-aged minimum 2 months • Anejo- aged minimum of one year As the tequila ages it moves from fruity and citrus through to caramel and oak and many more flavours besides. Tequila is great just sipped chilled, however tequila and cocktails make great bedfellows so here are a couple of recipes.

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Patron and Gusto’s Rat Ingredients: 30mls patron reposado 20mls of Cointreau 25mls of fresh lime juice 10mls of agave nectar 50mls of Gusto’s orangeade (this is a really nice botanical organic orangeade with a hint of chili) Method: Add all the ingredients except the orangeade to a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and top up with the orangeade. The Herradura Mexican Butterfly Ingredients: 50ml Herradura Plata 25ml Lime Juice 15ml Elderflower Cordial 2tsp Agave Nectar 6 Mint Leaves Method: Shake all ingredients with ice then strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a mint leaf. For more information on tequila or the ingredients used go to my blog via my site www.mixedupbars. co.uk or to hire a barman for an event contact nick@mixedupbars.co.uk

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T&R Roofing Ltd

Mark Dilley Electrical Part P Registered Company 22386 Extra sockets - Lighting Extensions - Re-wires Security Lighting - Showers Inspections No job too small Free estimates All work to BS7671 regulations City and Guilds qualified

Tel: 01767 261008 Mob: 07990 895430

mark@markdilleyelectrical.co.uk

Family Business Est. 1985

• Felt Roofing Specialists (10 year & 15 year guarantee on high performance felts) • Tiling, Slating, Guttering • UPVC Facia/Soffits • Chimney Work

All NEW work guaranteed Fully insured for employer & Public Liability Call Tony Simpson for a FREE estimate on:

01767 314847 mob. 07831849847

KPC Property Services • • • • • •

Kitchens & Bathrooms Plumbing & Heating Painting & Decorating Carpentry Tiling & Flooring General Maintenance

Highly recommended, well established, professional services. Superior workmanship at a fair price

Kieron Chapple 07900 887156 kpcmaintenance@googlemail.com Visit our new community www.beds-local.co.uk

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Prize

The Villager Prize Crossword

£25

Across 1 European country (7) 5 Scour (5) 8 Inflamed (7) 9 Precise (5) 10 Strict (5) 11 Operating room (7) 12 Painter (6) 14 Lethal (6) 17 Non professional (7) 19 Likeness (5) 22 Edgy, anxious (5) 23 Revised (7) 24 Father (5) 25 Harnessed to ride (7)

and send to the address below before

15th February 2014 Prize Crossword, Villager Publications Ltd 24 Market Square, Potton, Beds SG19 2NP Name:

Complete the crossword, fill in your details below, cut out this page

Down 1 Types of transport (5) 2 Not tight (5) 3 E.g. Crete, Rhodes (7) 4 Tiny (6) 5 Stage set (5) 6 Oven cooked (7) 7 Torch power cell (7) 12 Made suitable (7) 13 Coached (7) 15 Once lived (7) 16 Destroys (6) 18 Including all (5) 20 Fourth month (5) 21 Finished (5)

Tel:

Address:

Last Month’s Crossword Winner - Mrs J M Matheson from Lower Stondon, Henlow For last month’s solution please visit www.villagermag.com 86

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KEMP GARAGE DOORS SALES • INSTALLATION • REPAIRS • Family Run Business • 25 Years Experience • Up and Over • Sectional and Roller Doors www.kempgaragedoors.co.uk • Security Shutters

• Remote Control Door

SANDY • POTTON • All Major Brands

Supplied and Serviced

BIGGLESWADE • Call for a Free AND SURROUNDING AREAS

Quotation

• OAP Rates Available

01767 260165 Sandy

01480 210410 Eaton Socon To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

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ROOFLINE PRODUCTS INSTALLED BY THE PROFESSIONALS

PVC-U soffits, fascia, guttering and cladding in flat and woodgrain effects and a choice of colour

10 year guarantee Very low maintenance Quality approved zinc-free plastics to eliminate rusting Seamless colour-matched products across the entire range For a free quotation please call Langford Windows

01462 701828

www.langfordwindows.com langfordwindows@hotmail.co.uk Langford Windows advert.indd 1

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24/01/2014 14:19

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Friendly, Independent, expert advice on your personal and business financial planning

DRIFTWOOD JOINERY LTD Specialists in Bespoke Joinery

Retirement Planning

Annuities • Open-Market-Options • Pensions

Savings & Investments ISAs • OEICs • Bonds

Protection

Life • Critical Illness • Income

Existing Plans & Portfolios Review Needs & Objectives

To arrange an appointment please contact:

Wayne Bacon DipFA MIFS a truly Independent Financial Adviser T: 01767 650 477 M: 07738 120 127 E: wayne.bacon@2plan.com

www.waynebacon.2plan.com 2plan wealth management Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It is entered on the FCA register (www.fca.org.uk) under reference 461598. Registered office: 2plan wealth management Ltd. Bridgewater Place, Water Lane, Leeds, LS11 5BZ. Registered in England Number: 05998270 VAT Registered: 894679251

Conservatories • Doors • Windows Staircases Handmade Kitchens Handmade Bedroom Furniture

Unit 12, Gracious Farm, Southill, Beds SG18 9JB T: 01462 816695 F: 01462 850915 E: info@driftwoodjoinery.com

• Wallpapering • Interior & Exterior Painting • Murals • Colour & Design Advice Local, Reliable & Professional

T: 01767

220 744 M:07791 438 593 Visit our new community www.beds-local.co.uk

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Local News

Sight and Sport

Biggleswade Sandy Lions Club The Special Olympics, for athletes with learning difficulties, started in America in 1968 and the first summer games in the UK were held in Knowsley, Merseyside in 1979, and have the continuing support of Lions. Each time they are held, we are there, not only marshalling, but also supporting the athletes and their families in every way we can, including helping with transport and arranging accommodation. What is the link between sight and sport? In 1925, at a Lions International Convention, the blind and deaf Helen Keller challenged Lions to become “Knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness”. We accepted her challenge and now have many projects to help the visually impaired. At the Special Olympics, it is found that many of the athletes have sight problems. Since 2001, over 325,000 athletes have been screened and over 100,000 athletes have been provided with high quality prescription spectacles enabling them to see properly for the first time.

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Now we have a new partnership - Lions Clubs International Foundation, Lions of the UK and Ireland and the English Federation of Disability Sport – aimed at increasing the participation of disabled people in sport. The National Junior Athletes Championships become the first stepping stones for our paralympic athletes like Hannah Cockcroft and Hollie Arnold at the London Olympics. Lions not only make significant donations to support these championships, but are also involved in marshalling, measuring of field events and distributing packed lunches. We are proud to do whatever we can to help disabled people to be active for life. For more information about Biggleswade Sandy Lions, visit our website www. biggleswadesandylions.org.uk. Or you can call 0845 833 9749 and talk to our secretary Dave Hagger. Both men and women are members and all visitors are warmly welcomed. See if you like us and what we do first hand.

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Multi Fuel

Stoves See our LIVE demo 11kw stove

• Agents for Aarrow stoves - Made in the UK with a lifetime guarantee on stove body • Fireplaces updated and reshaped • HETAS certified installation • Good verifiable references SOLAR PV & THERMAL

phe

proactive heating & environmental services

Sales & Service: 07772 346 678 Showroom: 01223 207 993 UNITS 1&2, ROAD FARM, WENDY, ROYSTON SG8 0AA OPEN 10AM TO 3PM - MONDAY TO SATURDAY

Word Ladder

Change one letter at a time (but not the position of any letter) to make a new word - and move from the word at the top of the ladder to the word at the bottom, using the exact number of rungs provided.

G O A T

©Puzzlepress.co.uk

P I G S

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Julian Biggs Plumbing Advert:Layout 1 17/05/2013 14

Books

BOOK REVIEW

Julian Biggs Plumbing& Heating

Siegfried Sassoon - Soldier, Poet, Lover, Friend. Jean Moorcroft Wilson Duckworth Overlook, HB £25

All aspects of plumbing & heating work Oil fired boilers - Servicing, Repairs, Installation Bathroom, showers and taps leaking taps to full installation

By Bruce Edwards

After the frivolity of Christmas tide we’re into more serious mode. This is the year of reflection, a consideration of how, one hundred years ago - yes, a hundred - this country launched into a disastrous conflict that radically altered our way of life. So, perhaps opportunely, we can look at a significant man of the day. Here is a massive tome - ‘a life in one volume’ from an acknowledged expert on this remarkable literary figure. If one needs to discover what drove this man to be warrior and pacifist, poet and novelist and also to explore opposing aspects of sexuality, then look no further. A complex character, Sassoon had a good education at Marlborough and Clare College, left university to become a ‘gentleman’ and for seven years idled his time away in country pursuits and literary matters. Diving headlong into a cavalry regiment when the country was gripped with military jingoism must have been an answer to prayers, providing an income and an official occupation, but in due course the reality of trench warfare struck home. Writing poetry became a refuge from the horrors of war, but his well-scripted evocative and poetical accounts of mud, blood and death didn’t sit well with the public of the day. This very readable account delves deeply into his raison d’etre. As an insight into a poet’s life, it doesn’t come any better, as well as setting the scene for all that we will experience in this year of commemoration.

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NO CALL OUT CHARGE • COMPETITIVE RATES

Tel: 01767 627591 07950 705479

www.julianbiggsplumbingandheating.co.uk located in Northill, Beds

Fully qualified and insured • All work guaranteed Free Quotations • Local, professional & reliable

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Classifieds Builders

Electricians

“YOUNG’S BUILDERS” “YOUR LOCAL PROFESSIONAL MASTER BUILDERS” “QUALITY AND VALUE FROM START TO FINISH”

Garage conversions from £5.9K

• • • • •

Extension - Sunrooms

Call 07811 985568 or 01767 261803 www.youngsbuilders.co.uk “Free quotes • Excellent references”

Extensions & Sunrooms Garage & Loft Conversions Walls, Patios & Decking General Building Work Property Maintenance

Decorating Services

Garden Specialist

DECORATING SERVICES

• Over 25 years experience • No job too big or too small • Free estimates T: 01767

222 028

M: 07887

Local, honest, professional service

618 832

email: topcoat@ntlworld.com

Domestic Repairs

Garden Specialist

Hatley Garden Services

JB Domestic Guaranteed Repairs To: Washing Machines Tumble Dryers Electric Ovens/Cookers Dishwashers

Reliable Trustworthy Service Fully Insured

Border Care/Shrub Pruning, Hedge Trimming, Fence repair/Painting, Lawn Care, Turf laying Long Term Garden Maintenance, One Off Garden Tidy

No Call Out Charge!

Please call me (Kevin) for a free estimate: Tel: 01767 631174 Mobile: 07742 832810

Tel: 01767 680621 Mobile: 07778 891490

Domestic Repairs

Domestic Appliance Repairs Washing Machines • Cookers Fridges • Vacs • Dryers

Bill Tangye

Beds Tel By or appointment only - 4 Stratford Road, Sandy, Mob 01767 650750Tel: 07711 07802 393331 257105

Garden Machinery Service/Rerpair Garden Machinery & Mowers Expert Service and Repair Collection & delivery available Unit 12a Whites Farm, Great North Road, Biggleswade SG18 9BE Tel: 01767 600085 Mob: 07593 553581

To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

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Classifieds Handy Man

Plastering Services

Steve Swain

Plastering Contractor All aspects Plastering, Pebble Dashing Rendering, Screeding

Mob: 07887 861881 Tel: 01767 226404

Kitchen & Bathroom Fitter

Plastering Services

M. Philmore (Phil) - Kitchen and Bathroom Fitter

James Geekie Plastering

Disabled showers supplied and fitted. General plumbing.

All types of plastering - big or small Interior/Exterior Work Undertaken Re-skim Rooms, Walls, Artex & Ceilings Dry Lining and Screeding

57 Green Acres, Gamlingay, Beds. SG19 3LR

Tel: 07792 415356 or 01767 317161 Email: james.geekie@hotmail.co.uk

Tel: 01767 650619 Mobile: 07870366414

Painting Services

Private Car Hire

Pet Services

Private Car Hire

Mats Cars Private Hire Potton Based

4+7 Seater Cars Available

Airport/Stations/Nights Out etc Local and Long Distance Tel: 01767 261871 Mob: 07983 218367 www.mats-cars.co.uk All major credit/debit cards accepted

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Classifieds Property Improvements A professional property maintenance service

Property Improvements by

Gary Hare Carpentry • Kitchens • Bedrooms Decorating • Flooring Bathrooms •Tiling • and more...

Tel: 01767 651821 Mob: 07773 973420

Property Improvements

Property Improvements Cavalier Property Services Quality Planned Maintenance Solutions Kitchens, Bathrooms, Extensions, Small Works, Decorating, Joinery, Windows, Doors, Design and Project Management Tel: 07730 197465 / 01767 262390 Email: dave.myers1966@gmail.com

Property Improvements

GB

GARY BERRIDGE Plasterer & General Maintenance Including UPVC Doors and Windows Tiling, Painting and Decorating Free Quotes

T: 01767 316485 M: 07582 485155 E: garyberridge@ymail.com

Property Improvements

Removals & Storage removals, storage, archive and shipping

Gas & Oil Boiler Installations Boiler Servicing & Repairs 3D Kitchen Design and Installation Home/Garage Renovations Total Bathroom Installations Please call Office: 01462 819590 Mob: 07876 400005/07769 580972

Business gone a bit slow? Let us help! Advertising in The Villager is easy. To find out more call Nigel on 01767 261122 or email nigel@villagermag.com

• House and office moves • Large and small vehicles • Local/long distance and overseas removals • Containerised storage • Extremely high quality customer service Call for a no obligation quotation

01767 313230

enquiries@stephensremovals.com

Storage

Stephens Dinky ad_03.indd 1

3/12/12 11:45:18

Domestic & Commercial Storage (Near Potton)

Caravans and Cars Welcome Short and long term rates Secure site, cctv with full gated access 7 days a week New storage containers just arrived Please call 01767 260248 or 07970 292055

To advertise in The Villager and Town Life please call 01767 261122

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EXPRESS COLOUR IS HERE AT FRIENDS

A first to market, the new Redken Express colour services at Friends aim to fit hair colour maintenance into the busy demanding lifestyles of men and women. So if the thought of spending hours in the salon, or even if you would like your hair coloured more by a professional but on a budget, then the new Express colour services could be just what your hair and lifestyle needs. With the concept of “coloured by us, styled by you “ the NEW Express colour services at Friends offers Express colour maintenance ranging from £15 up to £25 Express colour maintenance completed in under 1 hour An option to maintain your colour inbetween appointments T he personal option to style your hair with our products and tools or even to just quick dry Appointment not always necessary

LAUNCH NIGHT

Come to our special launch night on Wednesday 5th February between 5-7pm @ FRIENDS. We will be joined by one of REDKENS own top educators to let him explain why these exciting new express services work and how they can benefit your lifestyle. Pop in for a glass of bubbles and pick up your colour express loyalty card. Call 01767 682789 for more details. We look forward to seeing you at our Launch Night.

Opening Hours: Mon, Tues & Fri 9.30 - 6.00pm, Wed & Thurs 9.30 - 9.00pm, Sat 8.30 - 4.00pm www.friendsfivestarhairdressing.com facebook.com/friendshair Friends Five Star Hairdressing 1 Market Square, Sandy, Beds SG19 1HT

01767 682789

Potton feb 14  
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