La Dolce Vita Making The Most Of Your Retirement
Sir Richard Branson’s Latest Getaway
Is Still Blooming
Chilling Out In January
Christmas Gift Ideas
The Largest Stocks of Quality Handmade Rugs & Large Rugs in the UK
Contents 04. Editor's Letter What’s On Just Around The Corner... 06. Events - 2012/13 Events 12. Top Romantic Getaways for Christmas
The Interview 14. Kiki Dee A New Hobby 18. Dive, Dive, Dive!
Sizes up to 27ft x 17ft Larger to order
For Her 24. Women's Gifts 30. 14 Top Designers Dress List For Him 34. 10 Luxury Gadgets for Christmas The Essential “Must See” List 40. 10 Visual Art Exhibitions To Begin The New Year History 44. Why the Churchill War Rooms Still Send Shivers Down The Spine
Modern Rugs SAT NAV: SN5 8UD
Restaurant Review 46. The Michelin Collection
Wine 49. What The Romans Started The Portuguese Continue: This Year’s Vindima 56. All That Sparkles...
Great Western Way Frankland Road J16
Dick Lovett Ferrari
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Still Struggling For Christmas Present Ideas? 52. 12 For Her 55. 12 For Him
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60. Sir Richard Branson's Latest Getaway
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The World’s Greatest Hotels 64. Hôtel Le Bristol Property 66. Antique Furniture 68. Retro Furniture: Memories&More
Health & Happiness 72. Take Control of Your Healthcare 78. Definitely Dubai 80. Gardening In December&January 88. La Dolce Vita Subscriptions Art Focus 90. Given This Brief Space Between Birth And Death You Have To Just Get On Finance&Investments 92. Tax Efficient Investment Updates Charity Focus 96. The Tall Ships Youth Trust 98. Letters To The Editor
Wi n a y e a r’s Me mbersh ip at G o od w o od R a c e c o urse Steeped in a rich and glamorous history, Goodwood is
Welcome to La Dolce Vita – our lifestyle magazine for the over 50’s whether you are retired or semi-retired. We will hopefully tease and tempt you with opportunities so you can enjoy life to the full!
one of the world’s most beautiful racecourses.
Each issue will will include many useful articles and tips on new experiences, health and well-earned luxury. Travellers will benefit from the experiences of our writers who having stepped off the beaten track. They will recommend top destinations from around the world, from descriptions of stunning places, to a regular feature on one of the best hotels in the world, for this issue; Le Bristol in Paris, France, a true haven in the middle of bustling Paris! Should you be more adventurous then you will enjoy our “new hobby” features, which this issue focuses on Diving - if you have never thought about it, well now is the time! EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Andrew Russell
With Christmas and the New Year looming we have plenty of gift ideas, including trips for the grandchildren to see you know who! Then wind down in the New Year with some of the best exhibitions. As ever, beautiful images will be delivered to your palm as we understand that it is impossible to visit all the places that you might want to - you will not be left without the richness of all there is to be discovered across the globe. However we will not neglect matters closer to home, with our Events list that will give you plenty of ideas to get you out an about. For hospitality opportunities and all your travel requirement just contact our travel team on 01234 354209. So again, we welcome you to our publication. Whether you are seeking new experiences or ways in which to better enjoy your current surroundings, La Dolce Vita will be here for you. Please send any comments you may have to: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank You! Editor – Andrew Russell PS There has been no charge for this issue, if you would like to receive further copies please Subscribe at £3.95 per issue- see page 88.
Thank you to all the people involved. Including the Design Team, all the Advertising, Production and Administration Team, not least the Reporters and Contributors to the Magazine. For all you travel and hospitality requirements and to experience our exceptional service call the La Dolce Vita Travel Team on 01234 354209 Our team have a wealth of travel experience to tailor make your perfect holiday and are ready to take your call. To advertise please contact our advertising team on Telephone: 020 7689 7501 Email: email@example.com Publisher: La Dolce Vita Limited Kemp House,152–160 City Road, London EC1V 2NX www.ldvuk.com
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information is correct, neither the author nor publisher can be held responsible for inadvertent inaccuracies or omissions. Prices, opening times, website addresses change without advance notice. This magazine is wholly protected by copyright and nothing maybe wholly or partly reprinted without written permission. This magazine reserves the right to reuse any submission sent to it in any format or medium. Any material accepted for publication may be used in all different forms of the magazine eg print, website etc. Competition Terms and conditions: These apply to all competitions unless otherwise stated. Competitions are promoted by La Dolce Vita Limited (LDVL) and are open to all UK residents aged 18 or over. Entries will not be considered after the closing date. Entries will not be return or acknowledged. LDVL reserves the right to edit entries in its discretion for publication. Entrants will retain copyright in their entries however by entering, all entrants licence LDVL a worldwide royalty free perpetual licence to edit publish and use each entry in any and all media forms. By entering, winners agree to their names and general locations being used for publicity purposes by LDVL in any and all media. LDVL will not be held liable for any failure or non-receipt of entries. The judge’s decision is final. Winners will be notified within 28 days of the closing date. Prizes are as stated and are non-transferable and cash alternatives are not available. LDVL reserves the right to supersede the competition (including altering prizes) if, in our sole discretion, a competition is not being capable of being conducted as specified. LDVL reserves the right to replace the prize in the event that a circumstance beyond our control makes this unavoidable. LDVL will not be held liable for any loss or damage arising out of the winners (or their guests) enjoyment of the prize.
La Dolce Vita readers can now experience the exclusivity and high standards that Goodwood is renowned for with a special Membership offer.
The Goodwood Estate, located just an hour South of London, has been home to the Dukes of Richmond for more than 300 years, uniquely combining a dedication to tradition with a calendar of exciting sporting and social events. As a Member of the Goodwood Horseracing Club you will enjoy the magnificent surroundings of the premier Richmond Enclosure, letting you witness some of the finest racing in the world. The main attraction is the five-day Glorious Goodwood meeting at the end of July, which is the highlight of the sporting and social season. Membership is the only way to gain access to the Richmond Enclosure during this iconic celebration of racing and glamour.
The three-day May Festival at Goodwood provides plenty of early season thrills and a feast of racing action, while their 1950’s-themed August Bank Holiday Weekend rekindles the summer holidays of yesteryear over three magical days to create the ultimate day out. Members receive a wide range of benefits and privileges across the Goodwood Estate, including over 40 reciprocal sporting events and access to The Kennels – Goodwood’s private Members’ clubhouse. Annual Membership will not only develop your interest in horseracing but also provide an enjoyable, social pastime with like-minded enthusiasts. We are offering La Dolce Vita readers the chance to join the Goodwood Horseracing Club at the special rate of £329 with the £150 joining fee waived.
To take advantage of this offer please call 01243 755029 before 31 December 2013 quoting LD2013 or visit www.goodwood.com to find out more about Membership.
Competition One lucky reader will win Membership of the Goodwood Horseracing Club by simply answering the following question: Which county is Goodwood in?
A: Surrey B: Hampshire C: Sussex To enter, please email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org Entries close on Fri 31 January 2014. Terms & Conditions Apply.
1-5 January Ayse Erkmen, The Curve Barbican, London www.barbican.org.uk 1-12 January Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 National Gallery, London www.nationalgallery.org.uk 1-19 January Mira Schendel Tate Modern, London www.tate.org.uk 1-26 January Honore Daumier Royal Academy of Arts, Sacklier Wing, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London www.royalacademy.org.uk 1 January-9 February Pop Art Design Barbican, London www.barbican.org.uk
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9-12 January The Racing Car Show NEC, Birmingham www.autosportinternational.com 21-23 February Race Retro Stoneleigh Park, Coventry www.raceretro.com
30 November-1 December The Shugborough Christmas Fair Shugborough Estate, Milford, Nr Stafford www.oakleighfairs.co.uk 14-15 December Cambridgeshire Christmas Crafts and Food Fair Wood Green Animal Shelter, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire www.oakleighfairs.co.uk
1 January-28 February Gifted: From the Royal Academy to The Queen The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London www.royalcollection.org.uk
7-8 December British Military Tournament Earls Court, Warwick Road, London www.britishmilitarytournament.com
1 January-28 February High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh www.royalcollection.org.uk
1 November-31 December The Cheapside Hoard: London's Lost Jewels Museum of London, 150 Wall, City, London www.museumoflondon.org.uk
7 December Goodwood Track Day Goodwood Estate, West Sussex www.goodwood.co.uk
1 November-31 December The Georgians British Library, 96 Euston Road, King's Cross, London www.bl.uk
1 January Vintage Stony Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire www.vintagestony.co.uk
1 November-31 December Duty Calls: Castle Howard in Time of War Castle Howard, York, North Yorkshire www.castlehoward.co.uk
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14-16 February The British Shooting & Countryman Show Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire www.shootingshow.co.uk
1 January-28 February Castiglione: Lost Genius The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London www.royalcollection.org.uk
Relax and unwind this December Potters, the UK’s first Five Star Holiday Village, nestling on the Norfolk coast offers great inclusive Festive Midweek ShowBreaks.
Your break includes Comfortable accommodation • Four meals a day • Inclusive sports & leisure facilities • Evening entertainment • Late night entertainment
Great savings in December just for you This December Potters has some great Festive Midweek ShowBreaks just for you, and if you quote ‘La Dolce Vita’ at the time of booking you can save £50 per person off our December Midweek Breaks.
2nd December - Four Nights - From £259pp Just £209pp 9th December - Four Nights - From £219pp Just £169pp 16th December - Four Nights - From £209pp Just £159pp
To book, or for more information call 0844 346 0298. Remember to quote ‘La Dolce Vita’ for your exclusive £50 per person discount Visit www.pottersholidays.com for more information. Potters Resort, Coast Road, Hopton on Sea, Norfolk, NR31 9BX ‘La Dolce Vita’ must be quoted at time of booking for discount to be eligible. Terms and conditions apply. For full terms and conditions go to www.pottersholidays.com/terms-and-conditions or see our brochure. All prices shown are based on Bungalow accommodation. Bungalow Plus and Hotel Supplements apply. This offer is for new bookings only. Offers cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, promotion or discount. All offers are subject to promotional rate availability. Potters Leisure Ltd reserves the right to withdraw or change offers at any time and without prior notice.
26 November-31 December Christmas Past Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, Hackney, London www.geffrye-museum.org.uk
15 December Producers Market Holker Estate, Cark-in-Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria www.holker.co.uk
1 January-28 February Coins and Kings: The Royal Mint at the Tower, The Tower of London, London www.hrp.org.uk
7-8 December Come and Grow: Winter Project Work Woburn Abbey, Wobern, Bedfordshire www.woburn.co.uk
TBC February RHS London Plant and Design Show Royal Horticultural Halls, London www.rhs.org.uk
TBC February Pure London Olympia, London www.purelondon.com
15-23 February Rye Bay Scallop Week Rye, East Sussex www.scallop.org.uk
28 November-1 December Crafts for Christmas Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire www.burghley.co.uk
24-25 February Cheltenham Food & Drink Trade Show Cheltenham Racecourse www.tasteofthewest.co.uk
7-22 December Leeds Castle Christmas Market Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent www.leeds-castle.com
7-8 December Three Wine Men Lord's, St John's Wood, London www.threewinemen.co.uk 13-15 December Christmas Chocolate Festival Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London www.southbankcentre.co.uk
30 December The 2013 New Year House Party Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire www.clivedenhouse.co.uk
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9 November-13 December A Dickensian Christmas' at Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire www.blenheimpalace.com 23 November-22 December Christmas at Castle Howard Castle Howard, York, North Yorkshire www.castlehoward.co.uk
7-8 December Real Food Christmas Market Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London www.southbankcentre.co.uk
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1-9 February Bite Festival Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire www.cotswoldhouse.com
6-8 December Taste of Christmas ExCeL London Exhibition Centre, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London www.excel-london.co.uk
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1 January-28 February London's Lost Jewels: The Mystery of the Cheapside Hoard, Museum of London www.museumoflondon.org.uk
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1-5 January Christmas Celebrations Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire www.beaulieu.co.uk
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1-31 January Duty Calls Lotherton Hall & Gardens, Aberford, Leeds www.leeds.gov.uk
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1 January-28 February Duty Calls: Castle Howard in Time of War Castle Howard, York www.castlehoward.co.uk
8 La Dolce Vita Oct.indd 1
12 December Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: John Rutter's Christmas Celebration Royal Albert Hall, London www.royalalberthall.com 8 January BBC Symphony Orchestra Barbican, London www.barbican.org.uk 25 January Jimmy Cliff 02 Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green, London www.o2shepherdsbushempire.co.uk
10 December December Property Auction – London The Oak Room and Lounge, Le Meridien, 21 Piccadilly, London www.eddisons.com 17-19 January The France Show Earls Court, London www.thefranceshow.com/property 15-16 February Listed Property Show www.lpoc.co.uk
1-5 December Mines and Money London Business Design Centre, Islington, London www.minesandmoney.com
Opera, Theatre &Dance 4-31 December The Nutcracker Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London www.roh.org.uk
4 January-15 February Henry V Noel Coward Theatre, London www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk 18 January-10 February Giselle, Royal Opera House, London www.roh.org.uk
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1-24 February Don Giovanni Royal Opera House, London www.roh.org.uk
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6-12 December Antigua Charter Yacht Show Nelson's Dockyard Marina, English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda, West Indies www.antiguayachtshow.com 4-12 January London Boat Show Excel, London www.londonboatshow.com
4-8 December Tennis Statoil Masters Royal Albert Hall, London www.statoilmasterstennis.com 1 January Horse Racing - New Year's Day Cheltenham Racecourse www.cheltenham.co.uk TBC February Horse Racing - Commercial First Ascot Chase Meeting Ascot Racecours Berkshire www.ascot.co.uk
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21 December Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Christmas Cracker Cadogen Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, Belgravia, London www.cadoganhall.com 10
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Cultural Journeys 11
Top Romantic Getaways
For full-blown romantics, doing things by halves just doesn’t appeal. The quaint and cosy cottage, candle stubs and a few chocolates fail to convey the immense depths of emotion you want to express. When it’s true love – you have to go all the way, to make the maximum impact.
eye-catching Burj Al Arab might seem too ostentatious a choice for a romantic getaway.
But this self-awarded seven star hotel ensures that your loved one will get an experience that will be remembered for a lifetime. Brimming with indulgence, every facet of And there’s nowhere else that makes more of an impact your stay at the Burj is designed for maximum romance. that the singular icon of global luxury itself – Dubai’s Burj Al Arab. Instantly recognisable and standing proudly As one of the world’s tallest hotels, the Burj promises amidst the glittering metropolis of modern Dubai, the spectacular views from every room, with dramatic 12
scenes across the horizon. Alternatively, guests can take in the outdoors with a twist, via a swim in one of the hotel’s moonlit infinity pools. For a truly romantic experience, staff will fill a pool with rose petals, with only the stars watching you from above. The hotel’s own spa, softly lit by natural daylight, offers a charming complement to your night time escapades, with matching aromatherapy massage treatments for couples that are designed to soothe the mind and enhance every sense of pleasure. Located on its own island, the Burj Al Arab also has the added advantage of complete discretion and privacy. With a beautiful sandy beach reserved for the exclusive use of the hotel’s guests, you can enjoy an intimate candlelit dinner beside the waves, or stroll barefoot in the sand, with a delicious cocktail in hand. This serene waterfront offers a calm retreat from the hectic pace of the modern city, and the perfect getaway from the concerns and pressures of everyday life. With a glittering horizon extending all around you, for a moment you can enjoy truly uninterrupted romance.
While the Burj’s exterior offers fantastic delights, the true magic lies within the space of its palatial interiors. Each room is designed to reflect opulence on a grand scale, with enough luxury to pamper the gods. Guests can enjoy wonderful treats from luxury fashion house Hermes, a delicious assortment of traditional Arabic sweets and refreshing drinks, and relax into the stunningly designed interior spaces. Each of its unique suites have been crafted to meet impeccable standards – from the sparkling mosaic tiles that adorn each private Jacuzzi, to the thick and luxurious hand woven rugs that cover the floors of the Royal Suite. 24 carat gold iPads act as concierges, ensuring you can bask in total privacy at all times. And with a rotating king size bed, the Burj shows that opulence can be enjoyed with a playful touch of humour too.
Time for some last minute shopping I think ! By Miriam Pethania Burj Al Arab – Dubai
TO BOOK CALL: La Dolce Vita Travel 01234 354209
“I’m having a few days off – it’s been hectic!” Kiki Dee says, speaking from her home in a sleepy Hertfordshire village; then quickly adds, “But I can’t complain about that, really!” It’s a typical reaction from this warm and down to earth star, a genuine gratitude that, after 50 years in the music business, the fans are still showing up. The 66 year-old singer’s career has been defined by her famous duet with Elton John, but Kiki Dee is far from a one-hit wonder. Discovered at 16 singing soul in a Leeds dancehall, she was whisked to London to be packaged as a pop star. But although her voice was an industry hit, it was a decade before she found popular success. Since then, her amazing career has covered 12 albums, 40 singles, stadium tours and a Live Aid performance. Kiki was born Pauline Matthews in 1947 in Bradford, the youngest of three children. “I used to sing to get attention when I was small,” she says. “When anybody came to visit, I’d say, ‘Can I sing? Can I sing?’ My brother was a rock ‘n’ roller, so he used to play me his vinyl ’78s. Those were my first influences – Gerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Elvis Presley. It was Pauline’s father who first spotted her potential. “My mother was a stay-at-home mum, because that was the norm then, and my dad worked in the textile industry. My parents’ generation didn’t have the opportunity, and I think that my Dad saw that I had something, and wanted to give me that chance. I’ve got an amazing photo of me at 10 years old, singing at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. We were on holiday, and the bandleader let me sing – which is pretty amazing really! So I had the ambition fairly early on.”
Kiki Dee The Interview:
Leaving school at 15, Pauline got a job at Boots, singing twice a week with a dance band at the Astoria Ballroom in Leeds. It was there she was spotted by a record company rep and invited to audition in London. The whole street waved her off as she set out with her Dad. London in 1963 was starting to swing in earnest; a riot of funky fashion, Pop art and new music. Cliff Richard’s Summer Holiday had just premiered, Mary Quant was mass-producing her skimpy skirts, and the Beatles were topping the charts. “It was an unbelievable time to go to London,” Kiki remembers. “I was so blown away. It was the most buzzing city in the world. To be arriving there from the sticks, it was another universe.”
“In the past, I’ve tried to get away from Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. But as I’ve grown older and wiser, I’ve realized you have to learn to use these things.”
Father and daughter travelled to the studio in Marble Arch for the audition. The 16-year old Pauline’s excitement still shines from the 66-year Kiki. “Every time I drive by now, I blow the building a kiss! It’s a special place for me.” Pauline found herself being styled as a potential star. First to go was her name – although even the teenage Pauline could see that the initial suggestion of “Kinky Dee” was too gimmicky if she wanted to be taken seriously, shortening it to Kiki. “I can remember photo sessions with the photographer saying, ‘lift your skirt above your knee’, and me thinking, ‘why’s he asking me to do that?’ I was so young and grateful to be offered a deal, I guess I went along with a lot of things; the name change, dying my hair red. They sent me to a diet doctor in Harley Street. Adele would be flabbergasted now! I did have a bit of an identity crisis for a while, but you’re very resilient to change when you’re young.” But for the next decade, stardom proved elusive. Kiki’s early singles, like the twinkly, syncopated Early Night, or the soulful heartbreak of Excuse Me, got some radio play, and in 1970 she became the first European to be signed to the US hit factory Motown. But to the public, Kiki Dee was virtually unknown. These days, she’s philosophical about it; “I was naïve - I thought, a couple of years and I’d be a huge star, you know! It’s probably just as well that I wasn’t. I would have been too young.”
to be positive about it. There are a lot of talented people out there who haven’t had that break. But it is difficult sometimes. It’s like when an actor plays a role in a major movie, people want you to keep playing the same part. But you have to persevere and hope people will listen. That’s what I’m doing now, with my live shows. My music now is very different.” It was thanks to Elton John’s encouragement that Kiki began to write her own songs. “I’d thought about writing before, but I suppose I never had the confidence to do it, and it took someone like Elton, who believed in me as a writer, to give me that confidence to keep going. That was a revelation for me; to hear a song I’d written played by top musicians.” Songwriting is now her passion. For the last 19 years she has worked with her musical partner, guitarist Carmelo Luggeri. Their latest single , Sidesteppin’ (with a Soulman), is Kiki’s 40th. “Apparently it is!” She laughs. “I’m not really a numbers person, but I suppose it’s an achievement to still be out there, making original music. I met Carmelo at a time when we were
both looking for something more mature, not just trying to get on Top of the Pops. And we’ve stuck together.” Kiki and Carmelo’s latest album is A Place To Go. Kiki’s beautiful voice soars elatedly over acoustic ballads and bluesy tunes. The title echoes an attitude to music as a spiritual refuge, a feeling Kiki takes from her live shows too. “It’s a magical thing, when you get a full house and people are reacting to your material. People have no idea what I’m going to do! I think that’s the difference between me and a lot of other artists that have been around as long as I have. With other artists you’d know exactly what you were getting, but with me it’s always a bit of a surprise.” Kiki Dee seems slightly in awe of her own career, and contented that she still has the chance to write and perform. “As long as the desire is there and we feel that there are good songs to write, we’ll keep going. That’s all you can do, really!” She has no regrets about the highs or the lows of the past. “Carmelo always says, if you can last that long and make a living making music, then you’re doing OK.” By Emily Cleaver
Returning to London after recording for Motown in Detroit, Kiki dipped under the radar, working as a backing singer for artists like Dusty Springfield. Unsure of her next move, she rang friend and former Motown manager John Reid, who invited her to meet an up-and-coming musician he was starting a label with – Elton John. ““You just never know, do you? You never know what’s going to be around the corner. It was just from that phone call!” Kiki laughs, still tickled by the serendipity of it four decades later. “I was invited to meet Elton, and that was it. Things changed. It’s always worth making the call. I went to his rock-star flat on the Edgeware Road. Neil Young was coming over that night, and so was Elton’s mum - a strange combination!” Elton John produced the love song Amoureuse, Kiki’s first real hit. Then, three years later, came that song. “I remember Elton’s producer playing me a version of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart with Elton singing my parts in a high voice, it was quite funny. I stuck my vocal on it in London, Elton did his in America, they mixed it and it was released. I thought it was a good pop song, but it wasn’t until I heard it on the radio that I thought it could be a big hit. It was one of those records that just sounded amazing on the radio.” Don’t Go Breaking My Heart topped the charts throughout the sweltering summer of ‘76. The video features a wide-eyed Kiki in pastel-pink dungarees and Elton in a loud suit. “Elton looked a bit awkward - cute and awkward! Usually he was behind a piano,” she remembers. Riding the wave of the single’s success, Kiki was whisked off on a US tour with Elton John. “It was so exciting. John Lennon had made a bet with Elton that if a record got to a certain position in the charts, he’d come and play at Madison Square Garden, and he did. I remember being backstage and the whole building was rocking. Quite amazing. And that night, John turned up at our hotel and we hung out with him. It was very rock ‘n’ roll. Elton was in another hotel across the square, and we were waving across at him. I remember thinking, ‘this is a moment. I’m with John Lennon, waving to Elton John.’ Amazing stuff.” Over the next couple of decades, there were other collaborations with Elton John, a Live Aid appearance, and a stint as a West End actress, starting in Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, to critical acclaim. But Kiki’s fame was never to peak beyond that summer hit.
These days, Kiki is stoical about it. “Thank goodness I’d had a couple of hit records before it. I think if I’d just had that one song, it would have been a bit of a millstone. In the ‘80s, I was fed up with it, wanted to move on. But now I think you’ve got
– A NEW Hobby–
– A NEW Hobby–
DIVE, DIVE, DIVE! How taking up a new sport can change your perspective, your thinking and your social life
Sometimes the thought of inhabiting a different world from the normal, everyday is too attractive to ignore. Let’s face it, hundreds of people have already applied for NASA’s proposed one way trip to Mars in 2023. So there must be something innate within us that will respond positively to the thought of a quest into the unknown.
have no business to be and anyone who yearns for adventure and thrill will find these feelings satiated by an underwater expedition.
Those who have visited an aquarium or stayed in the Maldives with underwater scenery as part of your accommodation or even participated in a glass bottomed boat trip will know how hypnotic marine life can be. The immensity and diversity are Perhaps we crave difference and awe-inspiring. The problem is the adventure. Perhaps we are not quite physical barrier between you and as sophisticated as we like to see what you can see diminishes the ourselves. Maybe we still feel an effect. Just imagine leaving the tanks overwhelming need to be challenged, behind and swimming free. Being a excited and well, frankly scared, once diver literally changes your perspectin a while. There may not be dinosaurs ive. The sensations of actually being but humans are still searching for in the water cannot be replicated equivalent adrenalin spikes no matter easily and most who start diving what age we are. However, if Mars is find they have added yet another a little too far out of this world then addiction to their lives. you might find the calm and solitude that being underwater brings, is just what you might be searching for.
In the words of retired footballer Ian Jones, who has developed a passion for ecology through his new found diving interest, “When you dive on a coral reef, you develop real respect and more concerned with the threats to habitat. You cannot help but appreciate just what we might lose. Diving can change your whole perspective and even the way you think about the planet. “ You don’t have to simply dive either, if that wasn’t enough. Divers can actually learn to specialise quite quickly and some centres offer courses in digital underwater photography, night diving and cavern dives. If you have a passion for nature you can develop that interest alongside becoming an underwater naturalist.
Wreck diving too is something many dream of doing and it can become a reality with a little planning and effort. Many people learn to dive by completing the first section of a PADI Open Water Diver Scuba Certification. This gives the background information regarding how pressure affects the body, what kind of gear is required and the appropriate technical terminology. This can often be undertaken at home online. If you can find a local scuba diving class then it’s simple to combine theory with practise. Confined water dives are a must before you ever tackle anything unknown. Then it is likely you will practise further on an open water dive either locally or maybe on holiday.
After all, there comes a time when many believe past habits, the constant feeling of simply ‘hiding in the long grass of routine’ to quote Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, needs to be redressed. Habit and routine do have their place but breaking out, being curious, challenging body and mind can bring a whole new dimension to life.
A diving holiday, or simply learning to dive is one way of literally taking the weight off your feet and living a fantasy in the flesh while also quenching the thirst for adventure. With the grey pound now being the currency to chase, the over 50s are finding themselves much in demand. There are all kinds of temptations set up to gently alleviated accumulated wealth. Learning to dive is one very exciting way to spend a little money and notch up a new experience. You don’t even need to go far afield either. You could sign up for a local club and see whether by dipping your toe (and the rest of you of course) into the water you might fancy adding a new skill to your list of achievements thus far. After all diving holds a deep fascination. Who hasn’t seen 20 000 Leagues Under The Sea, Jaws or Creature from The Black Lagoon? We are the Jacques Cousteau generation after all. The sounds, hues, plant life and fish species are like nothing many of us have probably experienced before. Much of the sea bed is actually unexplored territory and divers talk of feeling privileged to be passive observers of this very different environment. After all one learns to master conditions where we
– A NEW Hobby–
– A NEW Hobby– All of this doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. Training can be completed in under a week if you combine the practise with e-learning. It won’t break the bank either and learning to scuba dive might equate to having a full day’s surf lessons or three or four hours of private golf tuition. Of course you will also need the very minimum equipment. A scuba mask, fins and snorkel are essential basic pieces of kit. They have to be personal as they need to fit you and you alone. Bear in mind too that you will need to complete a medical questionnaire. This is common sense as certain conditions may be affected by diving. For example squeezes are when the pressure during the descent can affect your middle ear or face mask. Cuts, grazes or stings from marine animals might be considered a hazard and of course ‘the bends’. On ascent, gas within the lungs expands and this can hurt body tissues surrounding it. Free air bubbles can escape into the blood stream which can cause chest pain, breathing trouble or an embolism. Not pleasant but many sports come
with complications. Take skiing as a popular example of a risky sport. The breaks, sprains and potential avalanches don’t put off thousands of people from enjoying the buzz every year.
of water. This helps in strengthening each and every muscle of your body. This is much better exercise than any other outdoor sport. Diving makes each muscle in your body more agile and stronger. When it comes It seems obvious that anyone with to exercise for your hips and legs no heart problems or excessive hypertreadmill can ever come closer to tension, diabetes or asthma would be diving in making your legs and hips unlikely to sign up for a diving course. muscle stronger and agile. But the averagely fit with a fairly de- Diving also helps in strengthening cent level of strength and stamina will your lungs and significantly improves have no difficulties. With professional your blood circulation. Divers use and expert assistance no one dives special breathing techniques in an in any way that causes discomfort. underwater environment to adsorb However temporary conditions such oxygen deeper in to their lungs as colds, flu or sinusitis will find their and this significantly improves lung ability to equalise the water pressure performance in divers. Even after will be affected. taking your first dive you can feel the difference how well your lungs are Diving also has many health benefits functioning. Diving is surely one of associated with it if done rightly. the best ways to increase your overall Diving is being recommended by stamina. doctors as an alternative to traditional gym workout. And many even Post 50s might be considered a consider diving to be much better boring time for some. It’s the time than traditional outdoor exercise. when you have raised kids, and might At the time of diving water exerts have achieved whatever you were tremendous pressure on your whole destined for. So this is the time to body which increases with the depth really shift focus onto other activities
in life. Diving can be a real challenge, an adventure and a complete break in routine. Diving can help you make new friends and even mix with a completely new social circle. It can also afford you the opportunity to travel to interesting places and watch the unique underwater life which exists below oceans and seas. Diving is an experience full of adventure and this is what English Model Georgina Chapman has to say about Diving “Belize suits me because I'm active and I like diving. I learnt when I was 18, in Thailand, and I have dived in Vietnam, which wasn't great, the Red Sea, which was incredible and reasonably priced, and then the Maldives, which is like being submerged in an aquarium.” Diving can help you in giving a totally different image of nature which most people don’t even know exists.’ Underwater life consists of millions of species of plants and fish and it’s simply not possible to describe the beauty of sea life in words. This is something which can only be felt and experienced. The great news is there is no upper age limit for divers and with more people actively taking good care of their health this is definitely a leisure activity you might want to try, especially if you can find an exotic location in which to learn. There comes a time when all of us need to reconsider our lives and make some decisions regarding just what we want the next segment to contain. So what are you waiting for? by Vivienne Neale
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Cox & Cox Carved Wooden Chair
Fortnum & Mason Wine Case
Make your sitting room or bedroom the envy of everyone with this fabulous, French-style hand-carved wooden chair. Upholstered with 100% linen in a beautiful shade of eau-de-nil, this offers a beautifully different gift this Christmas.
Each year Fortnum & Mason select the best bottles in their extensive cellars to fill this rather exciting hamper. From classics like Puligny Montrachet and Nuits-SaintGeorges to a zesty, lime-scented Riesling and a superb vintage port, this is truly a gift for the connoisseur.
White Company Winter Signature Candle The inviting aroma of stepping in from the cold, the Winter candle from the White Company is a spicy warm scent that blends notes of sweet cinnamon and clove with a dash of fresh orange. Furthermore is has a burn time of 28 hours, to give a long lasting scent to your home.
Apollo’s Muse, destined to be worshipped as much as Apollo himself, this apricot-and-gingerflavoured fruitcake is topped with plump dried apricots and chunks of real ginger. Delicious and beautiful give this cake to loved ones this Christmas, and they will appreciate it. The secret ingredient is a good helping of Fortnum’s own cognac adding to the festive spirit! The generous amount of fruit makes it very crumbly, so chill slightly before slicing for the best result.
Fortnum & Mason Hamper
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some Fortnum & Mason. To see the very finest things that Fortnum’s can offer, simply lift the lid of this impressive hamper. From wild Scottish smoked salmon and venison salami to Morello Cherry & Cognac Preserve and chocolate-dipped orange slices, this superb hamper contains every delicacy a person could desire. To ensure a truly luxurious feast, also included is vintage champagne and a superb Picolit amongst the many excellent wines, and added a tea infuser, a corkscrew and a silver-plated Stilton scoop for good measure. The phrase ‘spoiled for choice’ has never been more appropriate.
Enchantingly luxurious, this purple cashmere scarf with black velvet applique and lace trim from Janavi mergers beauty with luxury. An absolute classic, you will want to wear this year after year.
Kimberly MacDonald Ring
This large dark geode and rose cut diamond ring is definitely a gift for someone special. Featuring18K white gold and black rhodium, this statement ring is from luxury jeweller Kimberly MacDonald. Who can resist those natural coloured icy diamonds that trim the geode, great for a stylish Christmas.
These floral lace dress slippers are elegant flats from Nicholas Kirkwood. They feature a black leather trim with a sculptural leather and metallic gold heel. The slip-ons provide a comfy rest bite from high heels worn over the party season.
Sabine G Bracelet
This ‘Medieval’ 18k rose gold and diamond bangle is on everyone’s wishlist. The18K rose gold bangle with medieval adornment is inlaid with deluxe diamonds in a stylish‘Medieval’ cut-out design.
This marl grey turtleneck from Vince merges wool with luxurious cashmere, a must-have for winter! With a ribbed elasticated neck, cuffs and hemline this sweater is the epitome of cosy chic.
A favourite with press and celebrities alike, the Marylebone Tote is handmade from the finest Monochrome Italian Saffiano calf leather. The beautifully sculpted tote features dual tubular top handles with discrete equestrian styled strap and stud detailing, with a capacious main compartment making it chic and functional.
Sometimes, Christmas is all about some sparkle. These pink, silver and black glitter embellished pointed pumps with black structured satin bow at the toe from Christian Louboutin are irresistibly beautiful. With a cushioned leather insole, it ensures you can wear these throughout the night, and of course features the signature red lacquered sole.
Wilbur & Gussie Clutch
We’re in love with this Alice lace clutch. Beautiful and practical this simple clutch is absolutely timeless and can be teamed with evening outfits.
Chic and sleek, the HUNTER Sandhurst Wellington boots are a must-have. This equestrian-inspired styles features a flattering leg-skimming silhouette, a slim-fit ankle with a high-shine finish in glossy black. Channel effortless chic by pairing yours with a pair of black trousers and a crisp trench for a look that transcends seasons.
Aspinal Brook St Bag
With its sophisticated and refined demeanour, the Brook Street Bag is an ultra-luxe statement accessory for the city or country. Handmade from the finest black lizard print Italian calf leather, this carry all is beautifully sculpted and classically structured to make is the go-to luxury everyday bag. Give this treat for Christmas for use everyday of the year.
Not just for Christmas, these vibrant 'Tango' red matte leather Mary Jane pumps from Valentino are bound to get you in the festive mood. The structured block heel along with an adjustable ankle strap and cushioned sole make these irresistibly comfortable and chic.
Paul Mitchell Hair
Paul Mitchell, the luxury hair expert has come out with a range especially for Christmas and who can resist. We recommend their electrical products, from straighteners to their professional hairdryers to ensure great hair for the upcoming new year.
Orla Kiely Home Set
Following the successful debut of her signature eau de parfum, Orla Kiely has now turned her attention to home fragrance. The scented diffuser and candle set is presented in an elegant cream glass that is adorned with Orla Kiely's famous 'Stem Abacus' flower print. The scent brings together all the elements of fig, from the leaf, the fruit and the wood, to create an enriching fragrance.
Molton Brown Trio Set
Gingerlily Bath & Body Gift Set for Her encapsulates London via Tahiti. A bath and body set with Polynesian tamanu nut oil, ginger and lily. This will give your bath, body and home a flavour of island life with this Gingerlily Christmas gift set.
Aspinal Travel Set
Sophisticated and elegant the Aspinal Deluxe Plain Travel Collection is the perfect present offering holiday inspiration for the cold winter months. This luxe set includes two stunning luggage tags, an Aspinal deluxe passport cover embossed with 'PASSPORT' and finally the Aspinal deluxe travel wallet. All are made from beautiful Cognac English bridle calf leather, luxuriously lined in moirĂŠ silk with contrasting plush stone soft-suede. Why not go for the festival red colour way for Christmas.
An instant pick-me-up, this sumptuous collection of products offers a moment of comfort and care to you and your skin. The calming natural scents and luxurious formulations nurture and enrich. This Dr. Hauschka Luxury Moments Gift Set contains, Dr. Hauschka Moor Lavender Calming Bath Essence, Rose Body Moisturizer, Rejuvenating Mask and last but not least, their sell out Hand Cream.
Aspinal Pen Set
The Aspinal Leather Bound Fountain Pen is meticulously crafted in Germany by one of the world's most renowned pen makers, who have been manufacturing pens since 1918. With a 925 hallmarked sterling silver lid and Red Lizard Italian calf leather barrel, each pen is an outstanding example of style, durability and refinement. Comes beautifully gift wrapped and boxed in Aspinal exquisite signature presentation, making it a great universal and uttlerly practical, timeless present for all.
14 TOP DESIGNERS DRESS LIST
Alexander McQueen - Crepe Gown with Pleated Cape This beautiful dress from luxury designer, McQueen is the epitome of evening chic. In vibrant red, perfect for the festival season this dress features a pleated cape at the shoulders and a high round neck. Extremely elongated, it flatters the body shape and the hemline skims the floor for an elegant look. £1,705
Antonio Berardi - Embellished Crepe and Velvet Pencil Dress Beautifully embellished, this black crepe pencil dress from Antonio Berardi features an ornately embroidered velvet bust. The front embellishment encompasses beautiful faceted stones, micro and floral beading, for a subtle statement. We love the symmetry of the classic V-neck and back shape. This dress also completely defines the waist, and is flattering to the body. £1,960 30
Carolina Herrera We adore this dress, the black and gold wool dress epitomises Christmas. Fun and playful it is also on trend with the drop waist. The A-line shape flatters the shape, and it is sure to make you feel a million dollars. £POR
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Carolina Herrera – V-Neck Wiggle Dress This vibrant dress is perfect for the office party, wear in the day an it will see you into the evening. The belt draws attention to the waist to define and shape, making you appear smaller. The slight peplum is right on trend too, as well as being flattering as it skims the hips. £POR
Carolina Herrera – Regal Cocktail Dress
Antonio Berardi - Geometric Jacquard WoolBlend Dress Make a statement this party season with this exquisitely detailed Antonio Berardi dress. This black woolblend cocktail dress features woven bronze and grey cubic jacquard for that extra special touch. Wear from day to evening, perfect as aclassic transitional dress. Wear at Christmas or through the year! £1,420
Elegant, timless and classic this navy silk wool dress from Carolina Hererra bridges the gap from day to eveningwear. The kick out hem adds a touch of playfulness to the outfit whilst the double collar neckline is beautifully chic. We love the colour way too, navy is the new black! £POR
Carolina Herrera – Chiffon Polka Maxi Dress Polka dots are perfect all year round, and especially in super-luxe chiffon from Carolina Herrera. This high neck is romantic and whimsical, whilst the waist tie skims the waist. The maxi length makes the body appear longer and thinner. £POR
Diane Von Furstenberg - New Julian Two Printed Silk Wrap Dress Known for her perfect wrap dresses, we love this one in exotic snakeprint. Flattering and a dress you can wear again and again, this is a dress we highly recommend. Wear during winter with tights and heeled boots or easily in summer with sandals. £335
Diane Von Furstenberg Zarita Lace Dress This lace dress from Diane von Furstenberg, in the plum colour way is absolutely stunning. Featuring a bateau neckline with V-back, it also has an exposed zip down back. The semi sheer cropped arms, gives just enough coverage for you to feel comfortable (and warm over winter!) Our favourite detail is the scalloped neckline and hemline, perfectly priced at £300.
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Dries Van Noten - Davita Embellished Silk Dress Make a complete statement this Christmas, with the head turning Dries Van Noten Davita dress. The navy dress is made from luxe silk and features feather embellishment, a round neck and long sleeves. This should be in everyone’s wardrobe, a staple go-to party dress that will never disappoint. £1,320
Erdem - Morwenna Stretch Cotton Dress This navy stretch cotton dress with multicoloured floral print from Erdem is beauty meets comfort. The dress features a round neck, three quarter length sleeves and a small split in the back. Furthermore, the interior has a super stretch mesh lining perfect for when it comes to overindulging! £770
Raoul - Brocade Woven Wool and Neoprene Dress Roul has brought to us this blue and orange brocade woven wool dress with a contrasting black fine neoprene skirt. Merging statement with modern dressing, we love the ever-so flattering box pleated skirt, which holds you in just in the right places. A brand, which is loved by the likes of Kate Middleton, snap it up now for £300 before it sells out.
Erdem - Alba Printed Belted Silk Dress This is an exclusive collaboration with Erdem and Harper’s Bazaar, availably only at the Browns. The multi-pink and black abstract floral printed silk dress from Erdem features a classic round neck shape. It also nips in at the waist, which is always forgiving and comes with a detachable belt. Wear in winter, right through to summer. £975
Stella McCartney Crepe and Lace Gown Channel your inner celebrity with party season, with this black crepe gown from Stella McCartney. With floral lace inserts in the front back, it also has a round neck, which leads into an exposed zip down the back, and a large split in the rear. This dress is sure to turn heads for a more formal event that demands a full length, stunning gown. £3,345
The World AWAITS you....
A neW experIenCe every dAy!
South America &
Southeast Asia &
21 night cruise/tour itinerary Departing 16th February 2014
19 nights stay & cruise Departing 31 March 2014
Iguazu Falls Adventure Spread your wings and fly to a land of tropical rainforests, vibrant cities pulsing to the beats of the samba, majestic fjords and dramatic scenery – South America.
Plus points – look what’s included...
+ Return flights from the UK + 2 nights in Santiago – 4* hotel inc breakfast + 13 nights onboard MS Zaandam + 2 nights in Iguazu – 4* hotel inc breakfast + 2 nights in Buenos Aires – 4* hotel inc breakfast + FREE Panoramic Santiago City Tour + FREE Iguazu Falls Tour + FREE Buenos Aires City Tour and evening Tango Show + All transfers
Cruise Itinerary - Santiago; Puerto Montt, Chile; Puerto Chacabuco, Chile; Cruising Chilean Fjords; Cruising Amalia Glacier & Canal Sarmiento; Cruising Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas, Cockburn & Beagle Channel; Glacier Alley & Ushuaia, Argentina; Cape Horn; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Punta del Este, Uruguay; Buenos Aires
Outside from PP
Discover the beauty, culture and exotic cuisine of South East Asia on a cruise ending in the land of the rising sun - Tokyo.
Plus points – look what’s included...
+ Return flights from UK + 1 night in Singapore – 4* hotel inc breakfast + 13 nights onboard the Diamond Princess +3 nights in Tokyo – 4* hotel inc breakfast + FREE Tokyo City Tour + FREE excursion to the beautiful temple city of Nikko + All transfers Cruise Itinerary - Singapore; Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam;
Nha Trang, Vietnam; Da Nang/Hue (Chan May), Vietnam; Hong Kong; Taipei (Keelung) Taiwan; Kagoshima, Japan; Kobe, Japan; Yokohama, Tokyo.
£3669 £4699 PP
Cherry Blossoms in Japan
Outside from PP
£2999 £2999 PP
VISIT: WWW.TRAVELCREATOR.COM CALL: ABTA No.13759
0808 168 5566
Offers are subject to availability. Prices are per person based on lowest cabin grade and twin occupancy. Further terms and conditions apply, available on request. All bookings will be subject to Tour Operators booking conditions. 2.5% credit card charge and £1 debit card charge applies to all bookings. Some ports may be by tender. Tailormade itineraries exclude resort representation. Errors and omissions excluded. Prices correct as of 29 April 2013. We’re fully financially protected via ABTA Y5971, ATOL 5346.
Lytro Light Field Camera £399 (8GB) or £469 (16GB) The Lytro Light Field camera is yet another device that will surely be heralded as a landmark in the history of photography. In addition to a truly unique design, the picture taking ability of the Lytro is also one of a kind. This is the first consumer camera that records the entire light field instead of a 2D image, which means you can refocus pictures after you’ve taken them. Therefore, one photo can have several different perspectives or viewpoints and blurry subjects will be a thing of the past. In terms of technical specs, there is an 8x optical zoom with constant f/2 aperture and an ISO range of 80 (min) to 3200 (max).
iXoost dock – From €5,000 If you’re looking to buy an audio docking station this Christmas, then you really are spoil for choice. However any motoring enthusiast should seriously consider the iXoost before opting for a generic and mass-produced speaker system. This bespoke dock is hand-built from old car parts by local craftsman in Modena, Italy. Featuring an exhaust manifold as a soundboard for the woofer, the system has been created to replicate the raw emotions that any petrol head feels when hearing the sound of a 12-cylinder engine. All docks can be fully customised to suit your individual tastes and requirements.
Mobiado m-Headset - $360 Luxury technology manufacturer Mobiado recently unveiled one of the most beautifully crafted and stylish Bluetooth headsets ever created. As part of its collection of Precision Mobile Instruments, the m-Headset is made from a combination of anodised aircraft aluminium, sapphire crystal and mother of pearl. As Bluetooth headsets are not the most stylish mobile accessories available, Mobiado has paid close attention to the design to give it a discrete and minimalistic appearance. Two styles are available: Black Mother of Pearl and Gold Mother of Pearl.
Vertu Constellation – €4,900 Quite possibly the world’s most luxurious and exclusive phone manufacturers have another new device for those who want a distinctive handset. Each and every Vertu Constellation is handmade in England by a single craftsman using tactile materials such as grade 5 titanium and calf leather, the latter of which comes from one of Europe’s oldest tanneries. However, you can rest assured that specifications and performance are contemporary, as this smartphone has a dual-core processor, Android 4.2, 13-megapixel camera and 32GB of internal memory. As you would expect, the Constellation comes with Vertu Key, the one touch feature for access to exclusive benefits and services such as invitation-only events and ultimate data security.
L u xury For Him
Trakdot - $49 For those who do a lot of travelling but simply cannot afford to lose their luggage, the Trakdot provides great protection and invaluable peace of mind. Place the device in your checked luggage and upon arrival, you will receive a text message or email confirming that it has turned up with you. Working anywhere in the world, the Trakdot has been specifically designed for airline travel, so is FCC Certified and FAA Compliant. The smartphone app available on Android and iOS will also tell you when you are no more than 30 feet away from your luggage.
Lehmann Aviation LA100 - €990 High-definition small personal cameras such as the GoPro have become more and more popular in recent years, but Lehman Aviation’s LA100 UAV can enable anyone to take this form of action video photography to the skies. This fully autonomous drone has been designed for users with no piloting background. Simply mount your GoPro in one of two different positions, connect the battery and launch the LA100. After five minutes of flying at a height of 80-100m, the UAV will come back to where it launched. In addition to weighing less than 1kg, the LA100 can deal with temperatures of -25°C and winds up to 35 km/h.
iWallet Carbon Fibre Slim - $549 The perfect stocking filler for the holiday season, the iWallet is an incredibly robust and secure way of carrying around cards, cash and any other important personal information. This hard case wallet made of plastic composites is tamper resistant and features a biometric finger reader, meaning only you can access the contents within. It can also be linked via Bluetooth to your mobile phone, so if the iWallet and paired cellular device are more than 10-15 ft away from each other, an alarm will go off. Protection against thieves and pickpockets is guaranteed.
Swarovski Optik CL Pocket binoculars - £599 Combing outstanding optical quality and precision engineering with lightweight design in a compact form, you’d be hard pushed to find a better all-round pair of binoculars. When folded up, the Swarovski Optik CL Pocket fit in the palm of your hand, but once they are opened up, so does the world in front of you. Along with the ergonomic and robust design featuring aluminium housing that guarantees ultimate viewing comfort, these binoculars also deliver high contrast and colour-true images. You can select one of three colours: black, green or sand-brown and 8x or 10x magnification.
Recon Jet - $599 If you simply cannot wait for Google Glass to go on sale, the Recon Jet is a fantastic alternative available to pre-order now. These lightweight and unobtrusive glasses feature GPS and on-board sensors that deliver information about speed, distance and elevation gain for outdoor activities like cycling. What’s more, the Jet can connect to heart rate monitors, cadence sensors and even your smartphone for incoming calls. In every day life, apps for navigation, weather and social media are displayed right before your eyes in high resolution. Other features include polarised lenses, a changeable battery, optical touchpad and an HD camera with microphone and speaker.
Sennheiser Momentum Headphones - $299 With a reputation as one of the best private audio device manufacturers out there, you can be guaranteed a quality product with Sennheiser, and the Momentum over ear headphones do not disappoint. Soft ear cups with two layers of special foam and an adjustable steel slider that helps absorb distorting resonances ensure maximum comfort is achieved. The high-end materials used are also heat and acid resistant, tear proof and even ‘unbreakable’ according to Sennheiser. Additional features include a sleek in-line control unit, jointed 3.5mm stereo jack plug and a five year warranty. 37
The Leading Hotel Experience on Mykonos
Must See Visual Art Exhibitions To Begin The New Year
Moving even further north the Kelvingrove Gallery is hosting a controversial Retrospective of an artist who divides critics but is loved by many. Jack Vettriano is known for his images of sexual liaison or well-dressed folk waltzing on beaches. His work always generates controversy rather than comment on its own terms. His flat tones, evocative shades, shadows and film noire references are graphic design or art? You choose. The exhibition runs until the 23rd February 2013. For further information click here. http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/kelvingrove/ current-exhibition/Jack-Vettriano-A-Retrospective/Pages/About.aspx
As the celebrations to welcome 2014 die down, we are left with a yawning chasm that is typically January. After the cut and thrust of seasonal preparations and wall to wall socialising what can be done to fill one of the bleakest months in the calendar? What is definitely required is colour, light, stimulation and new ideas. That is exactly what the UK’s art galleries are offering during the tail end of this winter season.
1. Paul Klee 1879-1940, Comedy 1921. Tate.
So what are the most stimulating art shows around? If you begin in London then visit Paul Klee: Making Visible which brings together colourful drawings, watercolours and paintings from collections around the world. In this exhibition there is a chance to view work spanning over 30 years in the artists’ career from the early twentieth century until 1939 and includes his years teaching at the Bauhaus. He is mentioned in the same breath as Matisse, Picasso and Kandinsky. And yet, for an artist of such stature, there is still so much to discover about him. The exhibition runs until the 9th March 2014 for more information http://www.visitlondon.com/things-todo/event/29490568-paul-klee-making-visible-at-tate-modern
It is just the right time to visit the moody and brooding new kid on the block: the Wakefield Gallery. It is hosting the first UK solo exhibition for young contemporary artist Dana Schutz, one of the most significant new painters in America today. In this exhibition you can catch 20vibrant figurative paintings with more than a splash of colour. Tactile brushwork and the exploration of the absurd are Schutz trademark. These situations are delivered with dark humour as the artist explores the human condition within the everyday. This exhibition runs until the 2nd February 2014 For more information click here http://www.hepworthwakefield.org/whatson/coming-soon-dana-schutz
The Walker Art Gallery is playing host to an illuminating new exhibition of David Hockney’s early work. Concentrating on paintings and prints from the 1960s it reaches into the following decade. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the development of one of Britain’s elder statesmen of the art world. From tentative references to his own homosexuality to homo eroticism evident in the work produced in Los Angeles this is a fascinating glimpse into an extraordinary painter’s oeuvre. You can see the painting ‘Peter Getting out of Nick’s Pool’, which won the John Moores Painting Prize in 1967, together with key works from the Arts Council Collection. In fact they are at the centre of this fascinating exploration of an iconic British artist. The exhibition runs until 16th March 2014
Back to London and if challenge and the shock of the new are what you are looking for then the Saatchi Gallery’s New Order British Art Today II will prompt exciting ideas and provide provocative installations. Since 2009 the gallery has presented 10 of the most 15 visited museum exhibitions in London and has become a ‘must see’ destination for anyone interested in contemporary art. Artists such as Laura Buckley, Tom Gidley, Dominic Beattie, Hannah Perry and Mary Ramsden are represented in this lively collection. The exhibition runs until 6th April 2014. For more information visit: www.saatchigallery.com/artists/new_order_II/
If you are looking for history then the BP walk through British Art at the newly refurbished Tate Britain then look no further. 500 years is chronicled here from quintessential ‘Englishness’ such as Constable to Sonia Boyce, Mona Hatoum and Richard Hamilton. Vibrant juxtapositions and new visual dialogues are created through this new re hang. With dates on the floor to give a simple chronology to emphasise how different things sometimes happen at exactly the same time. The old and the new, the Victorian and even Thatcher’s Britain are represented in this establishment gallery. It reopened fully to the public in October 2013 and provides a wonderful foil to Tate Modern which has stolen the limelight in recent years. This new exhibition runs until May 14th 2014. For more information visit: www.tate.org. uk/whats-on/tate-britain/display/bp-walk-throughbritish-art The National Portrait Gallery is always a magnetic draw. 41
Ashmolean This major exhibition brings together works by two giants of 20th-century western art renowned for creating unforgettable images of the human figure. With over 60 works on display – some of them rarely seen in public – this show will present Bacon’s paintings alongside Moore’s sculptures and drawings to reveal surprising parallels in the work of these two great artists.
You can drop in and look at a couple of new portraits or do the whole tour. Beginning in February Bailey’s Stardust is a landmark exhibition of portraits by one of the world’s most distinguished and distinctive photographers, David Bailey. Over 250 images, personally selected and printed by Bailey, will be presented thematically across a series of contrasting rooms and will illustrate the extraordinary range of subjects that this photographer has captured throughout his career: actors, writers, musicians, filmmakers, designers, models, artists and people encountered on his travels; many of them famous, some anonymous, yet all of them unforgettable in their own way.
Kate Moss by David Bailey, 2013,
At Manchester Art Gallery there is a fascinating exhibition entitled The Vanity of Small Differences. It is certainly true to its title and offers something different. The Vanity of Small Differences is a series of six tapestries, measuring 2m x 4m each, by the Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry. These tapestries tell the story of class mobility and the influence social class has on our aesthetic taste.
This exhibition runs from 1st February until the 1st June 2014 for more information visit: www.npg.org.uk/whatson/bailey/exhibition.php
Despite working in different media, Bacon and Moore were exhibited together from the end of the Second World War into the 1960s. This new exhibition aims to bring a fresh perspective to these two artists, highlighting the important influences and experiences which they shared and exploring specific themes in their work. Bacon, regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest painters, was fascinated by sculpture and his art is fundamentally sculptural in the way in which, uniquely amongst major modern painters, he evokes three dimensional figures in space. Moore internationally renowned for his sculptures, was an excellent draughtsman and the exhibition includes a group of the poignant shelter drawings that first brought him fame as a war artist in the early 1940s. 19 Jan 2014 more information click here: www.ashmolean.org/exhibitions/details/?exh=83 Lying Figure Bacon Number 7 by Jackson Pollock, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Louisiana Art Gallery in Denmark Louisiana’s major, multi-faceted autumn exhibition explores a wonderful, fragile, frightening and powerful world. ARCTIC is a story about dreams, destiny, adventure and beauty. It is a tale of fear, fascination, desire, downfall, and survival in spite of everything. A quest for a location, real and imagined, that through the centuries has stirred up strong drives and emotions, fascinating and attracting artists, scientists, writers and adventurers alike.
The Vanity of Small Differences by Grayson Perry, Manchester Art Gallery
Inspired by William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, the six tapestries chart the “class journey” made by young Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects that Grayson Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds for the television series ‘All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry’. It runs until the 2nd February 2014 but will go on tour throughout the year: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (14 February – 11 May 2014) Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool (23 May – 10 August 2014) Leeds City Art Gallery (late August – October 2014). For more information visit: www.manchestergalleries.org/whats-on/exhibitions/index.php?itemID=109 42
Reclining Figure Moore
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art sums up the Danish perspective on modern and contemporary art in fact the Louisiana is the 85th most visited gallery in the world. Perhaps you may not associate Denmark with cutting edge contemporary art. Patricia Shultz’s book, ‘1000 places to see before you die’ lists the Louisiana. It is situated on the shore of the resund Sound in Humlebæk, 35 km north of Copenhagen, and the Louisiana itself is a pertinent juxtaposition of the colonial façade and a bright minimal space within. Certainly worth embracing winter to pay a visit to a gallery that is profound as the work it chooses to exhibit. The exhibition runs until 2nd February 2014 Museum opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday closed. www.louisiana.dk Louisiana Channel: www.louisiana.dk/channel 43
– A FOCUS– PIECE OF History– –Art
– A PIECE OF History–
,,This is the room, from which I will direct the war.’’ Winston Churchill May 1940
Churchill's speech 1945
Why the Churchill War Rooms still send shivers down the spine.
The internet has certainly transformed the world. Secrets seem impossible to keep these days. Julian Assange and others have become the bane of those who would rather not see their activities in the public domain. Our expectation is for transparency. Would we accept a curtailment of the availability of information in a time of armed conflict? Would it ever be possible? This was not something facing Winston Churchill’s government during the Second World War. Obviously spies were an ever present menace but their means of communication and available technology were crude. However, no one took chances. When war broke out plans were already in place to ensure whatever happened, the UK government could function effectively. We can see the results of these plans in The Churchill War Rooms, just one branch of the Imperial War Museum. It comprises the Cabinet War Rooms, and the Churchill Museum, and opened as a joint attraction in 2005. However, its life began in 1938 when the Cabinet War Rooms, located beneath the Treasury building in the Whitehall area of Westminster, were constructed. By August 1939, shortly before the outbreak of war in Europe, it was ready and remained in operation for five years. Even as early as 1936, the government’s Air Ministry had anticipated aerial bombardment of Great Britain would sustain massive casualties, somewhere in the region of 200 000 weekly. Therefore plans were drawn up to disperse key government departments. The advance planning proved its worth as this conflict saw the theatre of war redefined. No longer was warfare something that happened abroad or in a specific battle. Suddenly with deadly technological innovation no one was safe. The fear of enemy gas attacks, which had been such a devastating feature of the Great War as well as the potential of incessant bombing, became the reality for most people in the big cities. The government was not immune; neither were the Royal Family: Buckingham Palace actually took a direct hit. Winston Churchill made the decision to transfer his cabinet war rooms underground. The Central War Room had the capacity to broadcast and communicate effectively. By 1938 it was obvious the civilian government would need to be kept in extremely close contact with the armed forces. Discussion and decision-making needed to be convenient and straightforward; no easy achievement without the internet and modern technological accoutrements. By May 1938 the Cabinet had shifted its location and by 27th August 1939 the War Rooms were running just five days before Germany invaded Poland and war was declared on the 3rd September. Although little happened for the rest of that year, people began to speak of a Phoney War, things hotted up in 1940 when the Luftwaffe began their Blitzkrieg on London. 44
Churchill and Roosvelt
The Churchill Museum at the Churchill War Rooms
Londoners were also forced into the tube system in an attempt to remain safe from the deadly arsenal unleashed most nights. If you wish for a taster of life as lived by those involved in the government war effort then a trip to Churchill’s War Rooms is a fascinating insight into the hardships and intensity people endured during this unsettling and frightening period. These rooms and especially The War Cabinet Room, have an aura. As just one of a whole rabbit warren of offices it was the hub of 24/7 planning and activity. Even now it is possible to imagine the smell of fear as people lurched from one potential crisis to another. Even mundane clerical tasks were an integral aspect of dealing with the German threat. Studying the actual chair in which the statesman Churchill sat, is very much history personified and feels momentous even now. The marks, nicks and scratches on the arms of the chairs give a small indication of just how much pressure he and everyone else was under. The war rooms themselves show the different aspects undertaken beneath the feet of Londoners. They walked oblivious to decisions being made just yards from them. Although communication was still quite a simple affair there is a special room dedicated to transatlantic conversation. Four years into the war, a SIGSALY code-scrambling encrypted telephone was set up in the basement of Selfridges, Oxford Street and connected to a similar terminal in the Pentagon building. Thus Churchill and Roosevelt in Washington, could speak with impunity. You can visit Churchill’s kitchen and imagine conversations shared over the ubiquitous mug of wartime tea. You will also see Churchill’s own room. Not surprisingly, conditions here are a little more luxurious; although he slept there only three times throughout the whole conflict. However, what is particularly poignant is the fact Churchill made four historic speeches from that very space. Poignantly his famous oration regarding Hitler’s planned war of terror on the 11th September 1940 may well resonate with those who have other reasons to remember the 11th September 2001 . It is said those who forget the past are destined to repeat it. There is no danger of that happening to anyone who visits Churchill’s War rooms as everything across the whole maze of offices was left untouched since its closure on the 16th August 1945. Like anything that has simply been put to sleep, it is fascinating. To see the tiny holes left by a thousand pins on maps which still adorn the walls can give a visitor an insight into the meticulous planning and of course the fear and risk which accompanied every nuance expressed in these rooms. Of course, not only are the rooms themselves left intact but there are many stories and testaments left by those who have finally been able to admit their involvement in that dramatic period of British history. Oral histories have become incredibly important to get an even more intense sense of what conditions were like. Working alongside a great leader at an incredibly fraught time is illuminating and the juxtaposition between the everyday men and women who were such an integral part of the war effort is humbling to hear.
KK was inspired by the long-standing Chinese banqueting tradition, and offers an ever-evolving tasting menu at lunch and dinner. Sounding rather tempting we asked Kamara Harding for her thoughts on the experience... At HKK, there are only two options at dinnertime. One, you have the eight course tasting menu and sit at the bar. Or two, you go all out for the fifteen. This is exactly what we did.
The meal begins with an offer of a drink – wine? Cocktails? Champagne? Decisions are made, and when the drinks are brought out, the waiter expertly places them in front of us with a flourish before backing away with a slight bow. The waiters are all extremely polite, helpful and welcoming. The atmosphere is soothing, up market, almost dream-like (a little like being on the set of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, all calming pastel shades of purple and grey), with round hanging light shades descending into the middle of the restaurant where a long, empty bar-like table sits at the centre of attention. A rectangular window displays the goings-on of the kitchen at one end of the room, but it is not at all distracting. Customers range from couples to businessmen in small groups (no doubt using company credit). Our waiter explains what to expect for dinner this evening, before asking whether we’re ready for our first course, or if we’d prefer first to finish our cocktails. No, we’re very ready. One by one, the courses are brought out and described, each time accompanied by an, “Enjoy” and a smile. Each one is a delight – beautifully presented on stunning plates and bowls that match the decor and are irresistibly photogenic. Simplicity and minimalism are big here at HKK. Occasionally, a dish warrants an explanation of how it is advised to be eaten. The dim sum trilogy, for example, comes with a paintbrush, so that you can ‘paint’ each jiao zi (dumpling) with soy sauce, which was a fun twist. The sesame roll and crispy goji berry cake served with WenShan BaoZhong is meant to be enjoyed in a particular order (of which I now
forget, I’m afraid), in order to appreciate each flavour and texture. The cherry wood roasted Peking duck is preceded by a bit of a show. You are politely informed that the chef has emerged from the kitchen and is situated at the long dining table in the centre of the restaurant, about to slice you some duck. You are encouraged (perhaps a little awkwardly, twisting around in your seat) to watch this little performance. With two waiters standing by, the chef skilfully carves away a few tender slices from a new, freshly prepared half duck – it’s almost a sin that you only get a tasting menu’s worth of duck in the end (as incredibly rich and juicy as those few pieces are). Apparently, at HKK they use a new half duck for each table. Aside from the usual suspects expected at any Michelin star Chinese/ Cantonese restaurant (the duck, pork belly, crab, abalone and lobster), an unusual ingredient used in one or two dishes was the goji berry. Largely popular in the health world, I hadn’t seen much use of it in restaurant dishes before, or cooking in general for that matter. Another stroke of genius was the Jasmine tea smoked Wagyu beef with water chestnut, just as delectable as it sounds. A Japanese main ingredient with Chinese flavours, this mouth-watering dish did not disappoint. It’s worth mentioning that when each plate is placed in front of you carrying such a small portion of food, you may begin to worry that you’re not quite going to leave feeling totally satisfied. This is, however, a completely irrational and unwarranted fear. We left feeling so completely full, I couldn’t even imagine the next time I’d want to eat again. Dessert was exciting; as the Chinese are not usually big ‘dessert people’, it was interesting to see chef Tong’s take on sweet treats. With dishes such as mandarin jelly with pandan sorbet and jasmine meringue, dessert was a pleasant surprise indeed. Your final course is a little selection of petits fours to enjoy with your tea (if you can manage to fit any more food and liquid in your belly, that is).
The service at HKK is also excellent, as expected. Waiters are aware without hovering; after you’ve finished each plate, they give you a moment to sit back and appreciate the course, before gracefully clearing away your dishes and promptly bringing out the next. Quick and efficient, yet you’re certainly not made to feel as though you’re being rushed. As a matter of fact, our meal lasted a good three hours. Dining experiences like this are rare. Each dish brings something unique and exciting to the meal – a talking point to appreciate. The professional service, the gorgeous décor, the delectable and inventive food all work harmoniously together to create one of the best meals – no, one of the best experiences – one could hope for. Yes, it’s expensive and your wallet will take a hit, but that is only to be expected at a Michelin star restaurant, and it’s worth it. Your food journey at HKK ends with chef Tong himself emerging from the kitchen to greet your table and stamp a personalized menu (they even include the particular bottle of wine you ordered) for each guest, dated at the top. A tad cheesy, but a nice enough touch to make your experience that little bit more memorable. And memorable it was.
by Kamara Harding http://hkklondon.com/
There are many dishes on the 15 course tasting menu comprised of rather unusual combinations of flavours and ingredients; chef Tong Chee Hwee dares to experiment and bring some creativity to his dishes, and it pays off.
The Michelin Collection HKK was inspired by the long-standing Chinese banqueting tradition, and offers an ever-evolving tasting menu at lunch and dinner. Sounding rather tempting we asked Kamara Harding for her thoughts on the experience... 46
WHAT THE ROMANS STARTED THE PORTUGUESE CONTINUE Hairy grapes and ancient traditions characterize this year’s Vindima.
Photos by Howard Keith Pimental
A bright orange tractor trundles past the church in the square bouncing and jerking over the cobbles. It stops abruptly and chugs contentedly. A handsome young Portuguese youth grins and gestures for his passengers. Amidst shouts, last minute instructions and hands stretched out to assist, the wine workers (os trabalhadores da vinha) put a leg over the back of the trailer. This year’s Vindima, or wine harvest begins.
Conditions look deceptively good. Already the sky is cloudless and china blue. In colour At 9.30 am; it’s obviously going to be a scorcher. Anti cyclones bringing tropical air have, in part, compensated for the destructive rain that fell for days two weeks before and wreaked havoc on the prospect of a good harvest. The mood is positive, although everyone is well aware this year’s wine will not be vintage.
Six workers cling on in the small space allocated to them, the rest being taken by neatly stacked black plastic buckets. These will return sparkling with the black or green jewels later in the afternoon. The tractor is thrust into gear, the ubiquitous black smoke puffs into the air and the workers vibrate all the way towards their destination: acres of red earthed vineyard right in the heart of Central Portugal
Within ten minutes, workers are disgorged onto the rutted pathways and they set to work. The click, click of their snippers becomes the soundtrack, hour after hour. Pairs of workers begin either side of a long line of vines and strip the grapes, standing opposite one another and sharing broken conversation through the foliage which is just transforming to its autumnal crimson and yellow. 49
heartbreaking. The smell of rotted fruit clings to clothes and skin. One can only imagine what breathing in these pernicious clouds does to the chest. Judging by the coughs and sneezes you can hear down the row it will take its toll. It is shocking to see the anorexic grapes, which have shriveled to almost nothing. But worse are the lurking grey masses beneath the leaves; it is sickening. The grapes grow so tightly packed it becomes a hothouse for rot. There is nothing else for it but to snip and drop regardless until the buckets are overflowing and bursting with a concoction of mould and juice; it’s not pleasant. Each agricultural year is a surprise, a risk. When the buds break in early March anything can happen and frequently does in this area. Hail stones the size of golf balls can completely wreck the developing grapes in June, of all months. A humid, warm Spring can bring blight and the year is simply written off. Up until September the harvest was looking on course to be a stunner but the rain has destroyed that dream. Still, as the workers find their rhythm the black buckets fill. Others arrive and hoist the enormous weights on one shoulder, caking their necks in the red soil that is sticking to each base as they load up the trailers. Older workers have a large belt of hessian draped across one shoulder, they come prepared. The oldest ‘kid on the block’ is 75 years of age. He barely registers the weight as he walks between the vines striding jauntily. Slightly younger souls (in their 50s) are lying in a heap and are left for dead! Within a couple of hours, twenty people have stripped everything; the reds are finished. They jump back onto the trailer and move to the next. The only break comes around 11am when the cry goes up that food is ready. The workers, sticky and caked in dirt move towards one bucket of water. The trick is to take enough liquid to wash outside the bucket, leaving the contents clean for the next pair of hands. It is amazing just how much stickiness can be removed with the minimum water. Secateurs are also washed clean. After a while the syrup from the grapes can stick the blades shut. It is a relief for many to lean against a wall, stare into the middle distance and chew contentedly. Any Vindima follows the same ritual: a pause after a couple of hours accompanied by a massive banquet. The Portuguese are masters at constructing a banqueting hall from anything handy. Today the tractor is decorated with tablecloths. Home made chorizo; Parma style local ham; masses of rustic bread baked in the local wood burning oven; Bacalhau (the dried cod reconstituted so beloved here) fried in batter; olives; Panados (which are turkey slices coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs then deep fried) and cake are washed down by flagons of wine. There is nothing healthy here. It’s fuel for work. Everyone chews and speaks at the same time. Jokes are cracked and anyone who is not chewing is exhorted to ‘Comer, come’ which means ‘eat, eat!’. Walnuts are idly pulled down from a tree nearby and cracked against the wall and too soon, with lips wiped on the back of hands it’s time to return to work. Concentrating purely on the pendulous fruit a bunch at a time or cutting back the long snaking vines, reaching the end of the row is always a shock. The hypnotic rhythm of hands, fruit, bucket is broken. A brief pause, sufficient to straighten up, curse the backache and begin on the next stretch is the only break hour after hour. Despite the bright weather, conditions are not great. The grapes have suffered from excessively wet and/or humid conditions towards the end of September. Last year the small white type, characteristic of this region were harvested a full month in advance of this year’s timetable and it’s not good news. 2012 saw bright and plump little bombs of syrup that sparkled. It was a joy to drink the juice immediately after the first press. This year things are very different, Botrytis has taken hold and many of the grapes have a full head of hair and a furry beard. This is not Noble Rot but the destructive kind. Noble rot is the benevolent form of a grey fungus, Botrytis cinerea, affecting wine grapes and it thrives in moist conditions. Grapes when harvested at a specific point during infestation are capable of producing stunning concentrated sweet wine. Some of the finest Botrytized wines are literally picked berry by berry. These grapes are not destined for such accolades. They almost collapse into the buckets and let off clouds of powdery smoke. It is 50
ing is where the real political cut and thrust happens, not at the ballot box. Soon rumour begins to circulate; there is just one small vineyard left to complete. The October sun is hot, made worse by being lower in the sky at this time of year. The grape syrup, mud and sweat have mingled in rivulets down arms, shoulders, legs and hands. It is now difficult to cock a leg over the tailgate onto the trailer. The track is pitted and rutted and every bone is seemingly shattered on the journey cross country through unmade tracks. However, the final location is a quick one. It is a compact vineyard whose location is dry and breezy. It has yielded plump grapes with little rot. One snip will release a kilogram of grapes into the hand. Someone holds up bunch of the day; it is massive. ‘Ah bliss’ shouts someone else somewhat ironically, ‘A beach without the sea!’ Everyone laughs. It’s true. The landscape is bathed in sunshine, the view is stunning down into the valley and is probably more or less unchanged since the Romans set up camp in the area a thousand years ago. Yes, it’s just the perfect place to picnic; if only. By the time the workers reach home it is a relief to see a long table set up in the shade. Everyone gathers round the one bucket of water once more and attempts to wash before sitting down to a late lunch. One finds a space tucked at the head of the table, scouts around for a gas bottle and an old piece of wood and constructs an impromptu throne, then settles down to his steaming bowl of soup. This time there are vast industrial-sized pans of chicken soup with pasta, followed by rib sticking Feijoada (a Brazilian style stew with pork and beans. Copious volume of wine is then followed by the stickiest, sweetest Portuguese desserts, means everyone is well fed. A quick trek up to the local café for an espresso and something aromatic to help it down means everyone is finally restored. No one lingers long, there is more work to be done. The women return to clear the plates and the men wend their way to the wine cellars to begin feeding the greedy machine with grapes. It has been a long day. No one expects much from all the work. But there are rituals that have to be continued and nothing is allowed to get in the way. It’s a case of when in Portugal do as the Portuguese do.
Clambering more slowly this time back onto the trailer it’s time for white grapes and a relatively new plantation. This is bad news. The Fernão Pires are a white Portuguese wine grape grown throughout Portugal but most notably in the Tejo (just north-east of Lisbon) and Bairrada regions (south of Porto) where they are also called "Maria Gomes". A variety which produces spicy aromatic character alongside delicate and exotic fruity notes this grape is a beauty. But in this case the grapes are low, and sparse on the vine. It is backbreaking work for little gain. The bunches are tiny and fiddly to cut. Someone finds a white Moscatelle grape amidst the Fernão Pires and shares it round. The taste is intense and sweet like honey. Another worker waxes lyrical about the tradition in the north of the country. These tiny whites have their leaves stripped and are then left on the vine to experience the noble rot. They are then transformed into a wine whose characteristic is its sweet fermentation, ‘Spectacular’ he says, licking his lips. The workers pick on. Discussions about instant justice and fines levied by the police for driving offences or not having the right documents moves on to the difficulties of finding workers for Vindimas these days. In the past everyone in a village would keep working for their neighbour until every grape had been harvested. With much head shaking it is decided things are very different now. Noone under thirty has turned out this morning. But the Portuguese government is still apparently corrupt and a new creative outlook is a must. Grape pick51
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The Henley Festival by Adam Sorensen
1 June-26 July The Woman In Black, Fortune Theatre Unanimously acclaimed by the critics, Stephen Mallatratt's adaptation of Susan Hill's best-selling novel combines the power and intensity of live theatre with a cinematic quality inspired by the world of film noir. It is a formula that provides audiences with an evening of unremitting drama as they are transported into a terrifying and ghostly world. 23-27 July Coppelia, London Coliseum Dr Coppelius, the toymaker, has created the lifelike Coppelia doll and wishes for nothing more than to bring her to life. He thinks his dream has finally come true, but he has merely been caught up in a lovers' tiff. Love triumphs over all in this comedy of mistaken identity and the finale is a breathtaking celebration of the lovers' marriage. Coppelia is an enchanting, effervescent family ballet, perfect for young and old alike. Delibes's irresistibly melodic score is performed by English National Ballet's full orchestra.
1 June-31 July 39 Steps, Criterion Theatre Based on John Buchan's classic novel and Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, this hilarious comedy stars just four actors who play 139 roles in 100 minutes of fast-paced fun. Nothing has been cut from this hilarious and spectacular version of Britain's most spell-binding thriller, with legendary scenes including the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged and the death-defying (or nearly!) finale at the London Palladium!
9-15 June The AEGON Championships The AEGON Championships is staged within the unique and intimate grounds of The Queen’s Club in central London. Attracting many of the top men’s tennis stars from around the globe plating on the world famous grass courts, the AEGON Championships offers an electric atmosphere and an unbeatable opportunity for hospitality.
4-6 July West Side Story, Royal Albert Hall Due to popular demand, Leonard Bernstein's musical masterpiece is back at the Royal Albert Hall for five performances.The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted by Jayce Ogren, will return to play Leonard Bernstein's electrifying score live while the re-mastered film is shown in high-definition on the big screen with the original vocals and dialog intact.
11-22 June Romeo & Juliet, Royal Albert Hall English National Ballet returns to the Royal Albert Hall in 2014 with Romeo & Juliet, starring leading dancers Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo. Derek Deane's epic production, drenched in passion and tragedy, with Prokofiev's evocative and powerful score at its heart, has been universally acclaimed. From the lavish masked ball that brings together the two rival families with dangerous consequences to the seductive intimacy of forbidden love, no other ballet so intensely portrays Shakespeare's classic tragedy of star-cross’d lovers.
23 July-3 August Commonwealth Games Glasgow hosts the 20th Commonwealth Games, the third largest multi-sport even in the world.With athletes competing from the Commonwealth of Nations, many Olympic sports will be included in the programme, as well as lawn bowls, rugby sevens, and netball. Global stars of the calibre of Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, BradleyWiggins and Tom Daley are all likely participants.
15 June The Cartier Queen's Cup Finals Day One of the most prestigious polo events in the world, finals day epitomises the high society lifestyle enjoyed by royalty and celebrities alike.The excitement of the polo ponies galloping across the pitch and the buzz from the crowd ensures that you will have an experience like no other.Watch an elite display of passion, power and agility while high-goal teams battle it out to win this prestigious trophy which is historically presented by HM The Queen.
8-13 July Hampton Court Flower Show The largest flower show in the world features show gardens, floral marquees and pavilions, talks and demonstrations. Erected on the north and south sides of the LongWater in Hampton Court Park, it is the second major national show after the Chelsea Flower Show but has a different character, focusing more on environmental issues, growing your own food and vegetables and cookery, while also offering opportunities to buy gardening accessories, plants and flowe
17-21 June Royal Ascot The jewel in Ascot's crown, Royal Ascot attracts over 300,000 racegoers each year, to view the splendour and colour of five days of the finest racing, fashion and glamour.The high quality of the horse racing at the Royal Meeting should make this an essential date for your diary. 17-21 June BNP Paribas Tennis Classic Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has been pencilled to return in 2014, a key warm-up ahead of his title defence! In 2013 he was joined a host ofWimbledon champions including Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, Pat Cash and Goran Ivanisevic.The Hurlingham Club makes for a quintessentially English experience, with outstandingVIP hospitality in a luxurious central London setting. Featuring some of the top ATPWorld Tour players and legends of the game, this unique set up allows you to enjoy the tennis without the crowds and really get close to the action. 23 June-6 July Wimbledon
6-7 June Investec Derby, Royal Ascot
1 June-31 July Miss Saigon, Prince Edward Theatre Twenty-five years since its London premiere, Cameron Mackintosh's acclaimed new production is set in 1975 during the final days of the American occupation of Saigon. It tells the tragic tale of a young bar girl, Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with an American GI called Chris – but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. 1 June-31 July The Mousetrap, St Martin's Theatre Dame Agatha Christie's show is now in its 60th year, the longest-running in the history of British theatre.The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst.Who can it be? One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed. 1 June-31 July The Phantom Of The Opera Far beneath the majesty and splendour of the Paris Opera House, hides the Phantom in a shadowy existence. Shamed by his physical appearance and feared by all, the love he holds for his beautiful protégée, Christine Daae, is so strong that even her heart cannot resist. Now in its 25th record-breaking year,The Phantom of the Opera has continued to captivate audiences at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’sWest End, after more than 10,000 performances. Andrew LloydWebber’s mesmerising score along with jaw-dropping scenery and breathtaking special effects, magically combine to bring this tragic love story to life each night. 52
The Investec Derby Festival offers two amazing days of fun, style, sophistication and topflight Classic horse racing, with theVIP hospitality packages are of the highest standard. Friday is Ladies Day, with the highlight of the programme the Investec Oaks. Saturday sees the annual running of the Investec Derby – one of the world's most celebrated and famous horse races, run over a twisting, turning and torturous one-and-a-half mile course. 6-8 June Mint Polo in the Park Two-time winner of ‘London Sports Attraction of theYear’ at The London Lifestyle Awards, MINT Polo in the Park is the leading outdoor polo and lifestyle event in central London – offering sport, entertainment,VIP hospitality experiences and glamour.The three-day tournament, the only one of its kind in the world, is a quintessentially British, summer social occasion and sees six global teams coming together for an exhilarating take on the traditional game.
Despite the weather, what a wonderfulWimbledon in 2013! Seventy-seven years we waited and Andy Murray pulled in out the bag for Great Britain! History was made! There are a number ofVIP and hospitality options from Skyview Suites on Centre Court to theWimbledon Club, the Gatsby Club and the FairwayVillage. Each has its own unique take on corporate entertainment providing the very best hospitality in the sporting calendar.
1 June-26 July The Woman In Black, Fortune Theatre Unanimously acclaimed by the critics, Stephen Mallatratt's adaptation of Susan Hill's best-selling novel combines the power and intensity of live theatre with a cinematic quality inspired by the world of film noir. It is a formula that provides audiences with an evening of unremitting drama as they are transported into a terrifying and ghostly world. 53
1 June-31 July Les Miserables, Queen's Theatre
conduct Janáček’s 20th Century masterpiece,The Cunning LittleVixen.
Les Miserables - Company
Cameron Mackintosh's legendary production of Boublil and Schonberg's Les Miserables remains a global stage sensation. Set against the backdrop of 19th century France, Les Miserables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Ex-convict JeanValjean is hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole.WhenValjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. Featuring the songs "I Dreamed A Dream", "Bring Him Home", "One Day More" and "On My Own" – Les Misérables is the show of shows! 6 June-12 July Garsington Opera At Wormsley Productions of the highest professional quality are brought to an intimate setting of extraordinary beauty atWormsley, in the Chiltern Hills.The company is renowned for championing rarely performed works of artistic interest, as well as presenting the core repertory that includes Mozart and Rossini.The 25th anniversary season includes Douglas Boyd conducting one of the greatest operas in the repertoire – Beethoven’s Fidelio, David Parry returns to conduct the British premiere of Offenbach’sVert-Vert and GarryWalker will
2-6 July Henley Royal Regatta Each summer, Henley-on-Thames is brought to life with the Henley Royal Regatta.The Regatta, first held in 1839, is a unique rowing event offering 100 world-class races over 5 days and the chance to see our Olympic stars, whilst enjoying a day of lavish hospitality and elegance on the banks of the River Thames.The picturesque surroundings and glorious summer sunshine provide a welcome haven of relaxation and tranquillity. 1 June-31 July Jersey Boys, Piccadilly Theatre Discover the story of a group of working class boys from the wrong side of the tracks who became one of the greatest successes in pop music history – FrankieValli and The Four Seasons.
Daniel Koek as JeanValjean in Les Miserables
2-3 June The Seekers, Royal Albert Hall Following a successful sell out run in their native Australia, the pop quartet have reunited one last time for their 50th Anniversary Farewell Golden Jubilee Tour. Best known for their string of hits in the 1960s, I’ll Never Find AnotherYou, AWorld Of Our Own, Morningtown Ride, Someday, One Day, Georgy Girl,The Seekers are the only surviving chart-topping band from the era with all their original founding members. 5 June Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Film Music Gala, Royal Albert Hall A popular evening with movie-fans celebrating some of Hollywoods much-loved and iconic soundtracks. Highlights include: StarWars, Harry Potter, Gladiator, Jurassic Park, The Lord of the Rings, Big Country, Indiana Jones, Rocky, Ghostbusters and Mission: Impossible.There will also be a tribute to the great film composer Elmer Bernstein featuring classic film scores:The Great Escape,The Magnificent Seven,To Kill a Mockingbird, Walk on theWild Side,The Man with the Golden Arm.
Garsington Opera 2012, La Perichole Geoffrey Dolton (Viceroy of Peru), Naomi O'Connell (title role), by Johan Persson Garsington Opera atWormsley, by Mike Hoban 54
12-15 June US Open Championship The second of the four majors in 2014, it brings together the best players from both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Staged by the United States Golf Association (USGA), this will be the third US Open played at Pinehurst's No. 2 Course, with past champions being Payne Stewart in 1999 and Michael Campbell in 2005. Designed by Donald Ross, the No. 2 Course opened in 1907 and also hosted the PGA Championship in 1936 and the Ryder Cup in 1951. 12-16 June First Test: England v Sri Lanka, Lord's
The Home of Cricket hosts Sri Lanka in the first of a two-match Investec Test series. Sri Lanka have a decent record in recent Tests at Lord's, recording draws in all three of their last Tests.Tillakaratne Dilshan made a magnifcent 193 in the last encounter in 2011. 12 June-13 July 2014 FIFA World Cup The FIFAWorld Cup returns to South America for the first time in the 21st century, the 20th staging of the event. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, while Brazil will also become the fifth country to have hosted theWorld Cup twice, after Mexico, Italy, France and Germany.Thirty-two countries' teams will take part, playing in 12 cities throughout Brazil with Spain, the defending champions, among the favourites. 14-15 June 24 Hours of Le Mans The world's oldest active sports endurance race is held at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France. It will be the 82nd running of race, with teams having to balance speed against the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without sustaining mechanical damage to the car and manage the cars' consumables, primarily fuel, tyres and braking materials. 4-6 July F1 British Grand Prix With its huge global TV audience, F1 is the biggest annual sport series on earth – and Silverstone is widely recognised as one of the fastest circuits.The 2014 season is sure to be exhilarating as McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull fight for supremacy – while home fans will hope for a first British win at the circuit since Lewis Hamilton in 2008. 5-7 July Tour de France Stages 1-3 – England The world's greatest cycle race will start inYorkshire on 5 July attracting thousands of fans to cheer on the champions of the sport. Indeed, the first three stages are taking place in England.The Grand Départ on 5th July is from Leeds with the stage going through the Yorkshire dales and finishing in Harrogate.The following day the route takes the riders fromYork to Sheffield, including the Bronte countryside. On day three, the Tour moves to Cambridge.The riders make their way south through Essex, Epping Forest and the Olympic Park finishing on the Mall, which also hosted the finish of the London 2012 Olympic road races. Mark Cavendish, BradleyWiggins and Chris Froome will already be thinking of glory! 17-20 July The Open Golf Championship The 2014 Open will be held at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake,Wirral, England. Phil Mickelson was the first player in history to win the Scottish Open and The Open in consecutive weeks in 2013, the only competitor capable of finishing the Championship below par. Fourteen-time Major winner TigerWoods will hope to end his a six-year Major drought, having won the last time the Open was held at Royal Liverpool in 2006. 17-21 July Second Test: England v India, Lord's Lord's will host the second Test of the Investec Test series.The series is the first time England and India have played a five-Test series in the UK in more than 50 years, and is the first non-Ashes Test series of longer than four matches since 2003. India's last tour to England resulted in record ticket sales – more than 850,000 – throughout the summer. Lord's hosted a Test match which sold out on all five days, with all final day tickets sold on the gate as England completed a fine victory in the 2,000th Test. 55
An unusual choice is the Palorus, from New Zealand’s Cloudy Bay, best known for its Sauvignon. Named after Pelorus Jack, a legendary dolphin sent to watch over the Polynesian explorer Kupe by the gods, it is made with the same method as Champagne, but it has a fruitier style, with apple flavours and a long nutty flavour. (£23.99 Selfridges).
With so many sparkling options, we’re not sure we want to save them just for the festive season. We’ll be popping a bottle on ice for when friends drop round, for seafood dinners, or just because we feel like adding a touch of effervescence to the British winter.
Sir Richard Bransonâ€™s Latest Hideaway
Sir Richard Bransonâ€™s latest hideaway
Sir Richard Branson celebrates the opening of Mahali Mzuri, the latest addition to the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio, by participating in a traditional Maasai ceremony held on the 28th October.
Mahali Mzuri is situated within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in the Maasai Mara ecosystem of Kenya and officially opened for guests on the 1st August 2013. This brand new luxury tented camp consists of 12 tented suites. Guests at Mahali Mzuri enjoy all the creature comforts of a luxury lodge within the adventurous environment of a tented camp. The game viewing in this area is incredible, expect to see Elephant, Lion, Cheetah and Leopard, with herds of Zebra, Wildebeest and Giraffe, among many other species. While relaxing at Mahali Mzuri enjoy a dip in the infinity edge pool a relaxing spa treatment and spotting game from the many terraces, perfectly perched to admire the passing wildlife in the valley below. The ceremony, which comes 6 years after Richard originally became a recognised tribal Maasai Elder in 2007, took place on the plains near Mahali Mzuri and began with opening prayers. Along with eight Maasai Elders, Richard blessed Mahali Mzuri with prayers, honey and a little beer! A ceremonial fire using traditional fire sticks and olive branches was placed onto the fire to produce the smoke, which drifted through the camp as a sign of blessing. This was followed by the local Maasai community singing and dancing around the fire before leading the crowd in a march back up to the plains where they enjoyed a blessing feast. Sir Richard Branson commented: “It was an honour and so much fun to participate in the ceremony. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate the official opening of Mahali Mzuri and I’m thrilled that so many of the local community have made it here to observe and take part in what was a beautifully traditional and fitting way of launching our new safari camp. I’ve recently been pleased to add my voice to supporters of the tourism industry in Kenya and we see this opening as a symbol of our confidence in its long term future.” Mahali Mzuri rates start from approximately £395 per person per night, inclusive of all meals, all beverages including free flowing champagne, games drives in open 4x4 vehicles, transfers from the closest airstrip and safari walks and conservancy fees. Ask us about special offers available until 30th June 2014.” 62
To Book Call La Dolce Vita Travel On 01234 354209
The World’s Greatest Hotels:
ôtel Le Bristol
Immortalising luxury, elegance and glamour within its spacious confines, the Hôtel Le Bristol has long been a landmark of Parisian high society, and is today a favourite for celebrities, film stars and luxury aficionados. Located right in Paris’s artiest district on the famous Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, the grounds of Le Bristol go back deep into history as the haunt of choice for the French aristocracy. But since the hotel was founded in 1923, this chic French institution has been beloved by the cream of the fashion and art worlds. With Chanel, Hermès, Lanvin and many of France’s most exclusive fashion labels as neighbours, you can be sure to enjoy an experience of a lifetime.
Haven In The Heart Of Paris Located right in the bustling heart of Paris, you wouldn’t be wrong to expect Hôtel Le Bristol to be like many other city boutique hotels, surrounded by the rush and sound of the city, day and night. But step into the sparkling lobby, lit by glittering chandeliers and gleaming marble tiles, and you’ll find yourself transported into another world entirely. Each facet of the hotel has been carefully designed to create a luxurious yet utterly soothing environment. Under the summer sun, the open air dining space, surrounded by the hotel’s fragrant and verdant garden makes for a relaxing and intimately private cocoon, with only the sound of the splashing fountains to disturb you. Each suite in the hotel is spacious and regal, decorated in Le Bristol’s trademark opulence. This is not a hotel for those whose tastes veer towards austere minimalism – at the Hôtel Le Bristol, expect to embrace every glint of gilt and the indulgent softness of the finest velvet.
xpect The Best Of The Best Aside from the illustrious décor, the Hôtel Le Bristol continues to excel in every aspect, from gourmet food in its Michelin starred restaurants, to the picturesque view from the 6th floor pool. Your stay at Le Bristol will be marked by the traditionally warm and inviting service, where each member of staff, from the hotel manager to wait staff, are dedicated to meeting your every need.
Most distinctive about the Hôtel Le Bristol, however, is its intimate relationship with the glamorous world of fashion, and it’s no surprise that the world’s most stylish men and women, throughout the ages, have been attracted to its hallowed hallways, from Grace Kelly and Mick Jagger, to modern pop royalty in the form of the Beckhams. Since 2004, the hotel dedicates most Saturdays to a “fashion high tea”, combining fashion and gastronomy with a live runway show and an indulgent champagne afternoon tea. But despite updating its services to meet the changing tastes of contemporary guests, Hôtel Le Bristol continues to maintain its old world charm, without compromise.
Antiques Walnut Tallboy
This handsome Georgian tallboy dates to about 1720; a tallboy was a fashionable piece of furniture during the 18th Century and is essentially two chest of drawers on top of each other, so twice as much storage! This is an unusually slim tallboy retaining original handles, bracket feet and delicate canted corners. It is veneered with beautifully figured walnut that covers the graduated drawers which are inlaid with feather banding. Walnut allowed for greater flexibility and more elaborate carving when it was introduced into furniture-making from 1660 onwards; it became the wood of choice in both the William and Mary era (1689-1702) and during the reign of Queen Anne (170214). Such an elegant tallboy like this would lend itself to a traditionally decorated drawing room or bedroom as a modern-day wardrobe. Georgian period walnut furniture is much sought after and tallboys can vary greatly in price, ranging from £5000 for an oak example to £40000 for an exceptional walnut tallboy. 66
Most of the earliest surviving pieces of English furniture are made out of oak and this armchair is over 350 years old! This armchair has an attractive grain, with a rich colour and patina. Patina is the gradual build up of colour on a piece of furniture over hundreds of years and is particularly atmospheric on this piece. Many pieces of oak furniture have distinctive regional characteristics; the form of this chair points to a North Yorkshire origin due to the double scrolled pediment cresting and the fluid carving of stylized flowers and leaves that seem to sprout over the chair back. This armchair’s bold carving and atmospheric qualities would enhance a traditional or minimalist interior. Antique oak furniture with a good patina will always command a premium; an armchair such as this will range from around £2000 in price to £7000 for a particularly unique example.
Contact Us: Reindeer Antiques 81 Kensington Church Street W8 4BG London Tel. 020 7937 3754 Email: email@example.com Web: www.reindeerantiques.co.uk 67
Not only this, but the department
Retro Furniture: Memories & More All images courtesy of DECORATUM 31-33 Church Street, London NW8 8ES
You may well remember the types of furniture that were popular around the 1960s and 70s. Our previous homes are ones that we will always remember, and all of us will have memories of things that were in there. Some pieces have been kept through the decades, and that now sit proudly as a reminder of times gone by. In the modern day, there are more people than ever who are trying to recreate memories by purchasing furniture that reminds them of their past, and this means that there is a huge market for both retro and retro-style furniture. However, with so many different options when it comes to buying, it is important that you know what youâ€™re doing, and that you understand how to find the perfect piece for you.
Whatâ€™s the difference between retro and retro style?
The difference between furniture that is retro and furniture that is in a retro style is that retro is from the time period itself, and may well have been used by people who lived at that time, whereas retro style has simply been made to a similar specification by someone using contemporary techniques trying to copy it. You may find that retro style is easier to get hold of, as there are a lot of department stores that now have ranges that mimic the styles of times gone by. Because they are more common, it stands to reason that the prices are also going to be more reasonably priced than it would be if you
wanted to buy the genuine item. If you are simply trying to recreate a look in your own home, then there is a chance that you donâ€™t really need to own the genuine items, as you can get plenty of high quality copies on the market.
Where can I get genuine 60s and 70s furniture?
If you have decided that you would like to buy genuine items, then one of the best things that you can do is to go to your local charity shop. This is where people will take things when they are updating their homes, so there is a chance that there might be exactly the thing that you need at a price that you would be happy with. And, because of the fact that the money is being raised for a good cause, you can be happier with your purchase for this reason, too. In addition to this, you may find that you can get a lot of things on the internet. There are a number of websites where you can buy second hand furniture, and it is even sold on some auction websites. These can be very popular, as it is a growing trend,
What types of designs should I be searching for? If you have a style that you specifically want to recreate, then chances are you will already know which items of furniture you would like to buy. This gives you an advantage, as you would then be able to search for it much more easily. If not, then you may want to consider some of the styles of the time. Ironically, a lot of the
furniture that was around in the 1960s and 70s took inspiration from the 1920s, with people of the day trying to recreate furniture that they had seen in the past. Not only this, but there was also a growing popularity for things plastic and fun, and this can be seen in designs by
store was on the rise, and Habitat was introduced in 1964 by Terence Conran. This gave homeowners a whole new opportunity to source designed furniture, and many designs introduced at this time are still popular today. Habitat was an innovation of the time, and there is no doubt that the design world was influenced by the store.
people such as Verner Panton, who was most famous for the furniture that was molded into shapes like nothing that had ever been seen before. Because the furniture was so innovative, more people than ever wanted to buy a piece for display in their own homes.
so you will find that such items are snapped up soon after they come on sale. With thousands of people buying and selling furniture of this type, it is almost certain that you will be able to find what you are searching for.
Using furniture as an investment
Although you may not think that this could be the case, there is a chance that the furniture from this period could be worth a lot more money than you think. If you have relatives who were around during this time, it might be worth talking to them about the furniture that they have around their home, as they could very well have some valuable items without even knowing it. There are a large number of names that mean a great deal from this period, especially names such as Ercol and Arkana, whose furniture is more sought after than ever before. So much so, that you can see designs that are very similar to their work all over catalogues and internet furniture companies. They try their best to mimic the design, as they know that there are many people who are searching for the look but not necessarily the value. If you are able to find the real item of furniture either at home or in a charity shop, though, then you might be able to sell them for a large amount of money.
When to buy and sell
The thing about selling old furniture is that they will get more valuable as they age. The majority of people who were born around this time are still alive today, and will be for several decades to come. This means that they are not “antique” pieces as such, as there are a lot of people who are still in living memory of using them in their homes. If you choose to try and find an item of furniture to invest in, then you should do it with the knowledge that you’re going to have to be in it
for the long haul; even keeping hold of the item for fifty years until it becomes more valuable.
Is this good for saving for old age?
If you’re thinking that you could buy things now and then sell them when you reach old age, then you should be careful. Although there is a chance that some items could be worth several thousands of pounds, nobody can ever be sure where the market is heading, or whether certain trends will still be around when you are ready to sell your items. For this reason, you should never buy something because you are relying on the income. If you choose to invest, you should do so for a bonus when the time comes, not for something that you would struggle without if the investment didn’t go as planned.
What if I have an item already?
If you think that you have something that could be worth a little money, the most important thing is that you need to be patient. A lot of people will simply go online and put it up for auction, but this may not be the best way to make money, as a lot of people who could be interested might not ever see
the item. Instead, it is a good idea to take it to somebody who knows a lot about similar items, and ask for them to value it. If you have the time, getting a couple of different opinions is always a good idea, as things can affect valuations, including the opinions at the time, and whether the person giving the value actually likes the item or not. If you decide that you would like to sell it, it may be better to go to an offline auction than list it on a generic internet auction website. This is because the auction company would then do everything that they could to advertise what they had on offer, and you would get more interest from doing this than you would if you were the only person who was advertising the item.
Enjoy your furniture
Whether you are choosing to buy your retro 60s and 70s furniture for an investment, or simply to look nice in your own home, you should find that there are a lot of opportunities for you to find the things that you would like to buy. Purchasing furniture can be an exciting time, as it gives you the chance to make your own mark on your home. A purchase now can bring great rewards in the future, so it is certainly well worth taking your time and buying items that you will be happy with in the long term.
Watch your figure
Living well after 50 4/4
It’s never too late to improve your eating habits; a healthy diet is always important, no matter what your age. Eating a well-balanced diet can reduce your risk of various diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer, as well as help you to maintain a healthy weight.
Make time for your hobbies
Staying healthy throughout your retirement years doesn’t just mean looking after the physical aspects of your health - it’s equally important to care for your mental and social wellbeing. Being in good mental health is crucial to your overall wellbeing, so keeping up with the daily crossword and meeting your friends for a chat over a coffee or game of golf has never been more important.
• Try to ensure your diet contains plenty of fibre-rich starchy foods, like wholemeal rice, pasta and bread, as well as ample fruit and vegetables. • Protein is an essential component of a healthy diet, as it’s crucial for the growth and repair of all tissues in your body, so make sure meat and fish are included in your meals.
Taking part in leisure activities is a great way to keep both your mind and body active, which will have a direct impact on your mental wellbeing. Make time for activities such as reading, painting or doing puzzles, and take part in social activities you enjoy too – spend time with your friends and family, and perhaps join a club which allows you to meet people who share the same interests, such as gardening, swimming or walking.
• As tempting as it is, you ought to only eat small amounts of food and drink that contain fat and sugar. • It’s natural for your metabolism to slow down as you get older - if you need to eat less, try to eat smaller meals more often and have healthy snacks in between. • Calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products, can help to help prevent osteoporosis – a condition that causes your bones to become brittle and more likely to break.
Invest in regular check-ups
If you have a health concern you would like to know more about, or you’re interested in finding out what you can do to stay healthy, a health check-up could provide you with the useful information you need to understand, monitor and improve your health.
• It’s also important to get plenty of iron from your diet; one way of doing this is to incorporate oily fish, such as sardines, into your meals. Baked beans and fortified cereals are a good source of iron too.
Every year more than 100,000 people have a Bupa Health Assessment at one of 48 Bupa centres across the UK, and because everyone has different health and lifestyle needs, you can choose from six health assessments to make sure you pick the one that’s right for you.
Eating a variety of foods is important to ensure you get all the nutrients you need to help you stay well, so ensure your diet incorporates carbohydrate, protein, fat, fibre, and vitamins and minerals, which are all important to keep your body healthy and functioning.
Mr Paul Montgomery, Medical Director at Bupa Cromwell Hospital, explains how a full health MOT can be beneficial: “For anyone looking to evaluate the current state of their health, a health assessment can be a
Stay physically active
There are many health benefits of leading an active lifestyle – you’re less likely to become ill and more likely to live longer, and exercise also improves your mental health and sense of wellbeing. As tempting as it is to slow down during your retirement years, studies show that many aspects of the ageing process, such as finding it more difficult to get around, can be slowed down by staying physically active for as long as possible. Regular exercise can be particularly beneficial as you get older, as it: • Reduces your risk of developing health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and some cancers. • Develops your muscle strength and tone, which may mean you’re less likely to have an accident or a fall. • Improves your flexibility, mobility and cognitive abilities. If you haven’t exercised for some time, you may find the idea of taking it up a bit daunting. But there’s no need to worry - try getting started with something you enjoy, focus on the health benefits and ease yourself into your new routine gently. The recommended healthy level of physical activity is 150 minutes of moderate exercise over a week in bouts 74
What’s important is that you try to do some physical activity every day, so that you spend as little time as possible being inactive; starting to improve your fitness now can make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing in the future.
of 10 minutes or more. You can do this by carrying out 30 minutes of exercise on at least five days each week, and you don’t need to join a gym or an aerobics class to achieve this – activities that are already part of your daily routine, such as walking, housework and gardening are great ways to keep fit. A recent report from Bupa “Get Walking, Keep Walking” showed that walking just an extra 15 minutes a day can extend your life by up to three years. The health benefits begin to be seen at relatively low levels. A study of 400,000 people found that every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise such as brisk walking reduced premature death rates by a further 4%. Walking is one of the least expensive and most accessible forms of physical activity. It can also cut the risks of strokes, heart disease and diabetes, is rarely associated with physical injury and people of all ages can easily take part, including those who have never participated in formal physical exercise. Studies have also shown that walking has higher levels of ‘stickability’ than other forms of physical activity. It is convenient and overcomes many of the commonly perceived barriers to physical activity: lack of time, lack of fitness or lack of skill.
great place to start. They provide a detailed picture of your physical health, a practical medical and lifestyle action plan, the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have with a doctor, and prompt referral, if you need it, to our consultant specialists.” Bupa Health Assessments are designed to keep people healthy, and three-quarters of the people who visit a Bupa centre go on to make positive lifestyle changes because of the time they have spent with a doctor discussing what their results mean to them. Whichever health assessment you choose, you’ll leave with a detailed picture of what health risks may affect you in the future and the practical steps you can take to maintain and improve your health, making sure you spend your retirement years fit and well.
Make the change
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle into your older years can have a significant effect on your life expectancy, as well as on your physical and emotional wellbeing, so don’t underestimate the importance of good health. Try not to be complacent - it’s never too late to make those all important changes to your lifestyle, and you may find yourself reaping the benefits in years to come. For more information about Bupa Health Assessments, please visit www.bupa.co.uk/health-assessments
Take The Grandchildren To See...
Property consultants as original as you are
Father Christmas at Uppark 1, 7, 15, 22 December 11am - 3pm
Bespoke Buying Service Selling Consultancy Property Investment
Make a special visit to see a Very Important Person. No need to book. Shop, Garden, Restaurant and some rooms in the House will be open. Child, incl NT member, ÂŁ5.50 (includes gift), Adult ÂŁ3.50. NT member free. For details call 01730 825 415 or email: nationaltrust.org.uk/uppark. National Trust: Uppark House and Garden South Harting, Petersfield West Sussex. GU31 5QR
www.originalproperty.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org Northern
01661 886 682
020 7167 6878
Welcome to Dubai, city of merchants, cultural crossroads, second largest of the seven emirates in the UAE. A country where the dust of the desert is clearing to reveal the potential for one of the most significant international cities of the 21st century.
DUBAI... Photographs provided courtesy of the Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Wedged between Europe and Asia, buttressed by Africa, Dubai’s encouraging tax regimes, state-of-theart telecommunications and pro-business environment have produced a country that is building energetically on the advantages which location, centuries-old trading savvy and oil wealth have given it. Sunshine, shopping, seaside, sports and safety - five of the key ingredients that have earned Dubai a growing reputation as one of the world’s most attractive and rapidly developing leisure destinations.
Come and visit this once sleepy desert town that has exploded onto the international scene and acclaimed as a rising star as a destination. Discover our heritage and culture, see its globally unique landmarks, indulge in 7 star luxury or challenge yourself to an adventure in its mystical deserts.
Sheikh Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali: Will be the world’s largest cargo and passenger hub with an annual cargo capacity of 12 million tons and a passenger capacity of 120-150 million passengers per year.
wireless Internet and more. When staying in a Club room or in selected suites, your comfort is further enhanced with our 24-hour stay benefit. These are places to inspire and delight.
The Downtown area of Dubai is a must for any visitor to Dubai – with the Dubai Fountains, the Burj Khalifa, the Malls, the Souks – there is so much to see and do. Dubai is also reknowned for its record-breaking achievements and landmarks. From the ‘world’s biggest, to world’s highest, and world’s first etc......
Floating Bridge: The longest floating bridge in the world.
The Address Downtown is flanked by the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, and overlooking The Dubai Fountain this is a spectacular destination like no other. Located a convenient 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport, The Address Downtown Dubai is also within easy distance of the most renowned landmarks and leisure hotspots in the city.
Burj Khalifa: Formerly known as Burj Dubai the world’s tallest tower. Dubai Mall: The world’s biggest shopping mall. Dubai Metro: The longest driverless network. Ski Dubai: The first INDOOR ski resort in the Middle East. Deira Gold Souq: The largest gold bazaar in the world Wild Wadi: Has the highest and fastest water slide outside of North America. Atlantis, the Palm: One of the largest open air marine habitats in the world. Dubai World Cup: The world’s richest horse race. Photographs provided courtesy of the Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Free Zones: The first free zones in the world for IT, Outsourcing, Media, Biotechnology among others.
Largest Flag: One of the world’s largest flag at Union house. When you come to Dubai, you must stay in one of The Address Hotels and Resorts, the new definition of luxury hospitality. Discover trendy destinations where cool meets warmth, style meets luxury and discerning travellers choose to stay and meet time and time again. Find the perfect corporate or leisure getaway. From trendsetting to traditionally luxurious and urban chic to sporty, each of the five bespoke properties, set in Dubai’s most spectacular locations, offers its own fusion of contemporary style and classic elegance. There are sublime spas, vibrant restaurants, rich fabrics and stylish furnishings, all accompanied by attentive service and individual touches of flair. Evry Address Hotel offers signature amenities to enjoy, from a 24-hour business lounge and fitness centre to complimentary
The Address Dubai Mall is exquisitely tailored, this glamorous hotel is set amidst the chic Downtown Dubai, close to the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa and attached to The Dubai Mall. Located just 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport and offering the perfect starting point from which to explore the dynamic city, The Address Dubai Mall is in vogue through the seasons. The Address Dubai Marina, stands at the heart of this dynamic district. Lively yet laidback. Impressively lavish, yet effortlessly hip, reflecting a myriad of aspirations that is the ‘new Dubai’. Connected to the Dubai Marina Mall and just a stroll away from the beach. The Palace - The Old Town, Downtown
Dubai, reflecting the very essence of Dubai itself, a hotel at the crossroads of Middle Eastern tradition and modern luxury. An extravagant resort within a vibrant city that easily satisfies every expectation. You are never far from where you need to be: business and financial institutions, major attractions including Souk Al Bahar, Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Fountain and The Dubai Mall are all within walking distance. The Address Montgomerie Dubai combines a superb hotel with a phenomenal championship golf course - consistently ranked as one of the Middle East’s top courses designed by Ryder Cup star Colin Montgomerie in association with Desmond Muirhead. Beautifully tranquil, yet refreshingly well connected - easy to reach from Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai International Airport. For further information on Dubai and The Address Hotels and Resorts please contact La Dolce Vita Travel on 01234 354209
GARDENING IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY
Photo by Batsford Arboretum
he great thing about gardening in winter is that you don't really have to anything. Of course, there's always catching up, things to tidy and precautions to take against against severe weather to come, but in general it's a good idea to stay off the lawn, not walk on beds, and limit your activities to what can be done from paths or the shed. If your garden is looking a bit barren, you may want to inject some winter colour; but don't overdo it. Let structural plants, like box edging, hedges, and boldly shaped evergreens such as spiky phormiums and domed hebes, do all the hard work of carrying your garden through winter. One or three (note the odd numbers) strong winter features strategically placed will create much more impact than a hellebore here, a heather there, and a skimmia somewhere else. A multi-stemmed birch (three trees planted together) with ghostly white bark set against a dark background can be enough to bring the winter garden alive without consuming too much space. The Himalayan birch, Betula utilis 'Jacquemontii', with its smooth dazzling white bark makes the native silver birch (Betula pendula) look drab in comparison. Dogwoods can be used to similar effect. Cornus alba‘Sibirica’ has the reddest stems while those of C. alba‘Kesselringii’ are almost black. Both can be combined with lime yel-
‘Kew Green’. This is male variety, so no berries (though it will pollinate female varieties). The creamy white flowers are much more showy than sweet box but not as strongly fragrant. However, it also has fragrant leaves so is good for planting where people are likely to brush up against it. Like most skimmias, with care it will form a neat dome up to 90cm across.
dens, they appear before Christmas and continue well into March. It upright habit and long spiky pinnate evergreen foliage also make it a good structural plant. Left to its own devices, it will keep growing upwards but prune out the tips once the flowers are spent and you will get a nice bushy plant with a lot more blooms.
Coronilla valentina glauca 'Citrina', with the unfortunate common name of bastard senna, is somewhat of a curiosity. A member of the pea family with evergreen vetch-like leaves and bright yellow flowers, Vita Sackville-West described it as a “hyphen between the Birth and the Resurrection”. The truth is that it can flower at any time of year but is most prolific between Christmas and Easter. With a sprawling spidery habit, it's worth trying in baskets or tall containers. During the day, the flowers give off a strong scent which some describe as peachy, others lemony. At night, the scent is completely shut off. It's a native of Portugal and like many Mediterranean plants will become woody and leggy unless renewed by cuttings. In terms of hardiness, it's as tough as lavender or rosemary and will flower through the snow.
A lot of winter flowers are highly scented and this can be best appreciated if they grown somewhere sheltered next to a path or an entrance. A couple of sweet box (Sarcococca hookeriana 'Humilis') grown in containers on either side of the door makes a very pleasant aromatic welcome for winter visitors. The tiny pinkish-white flowers from December to February look almost significant against the glossy green leaves but wait till they hit your nostrils and they tell a whole different story. Another option is Skimmia x confusa
If you want bolder winter displays without any major replanting or redesigning, another approach is bring in temporary colour in the same way they do in hotels and public buildings. This can be very effect for window boxes and containers near the house, or even as a filler for vacant beds. However, it's not quite as instance as it seems and maintaining a good display requires some effort. Below is a selection of plants you can consider.
Photo by Hackfall.org low stems of C. stolonifera 'Flaviramea' (aka C. sericea 'Flaviramea'). A clump of five or more closely-spaced plants will make a stunning feature. Where space is limited, C. alba 'Variegata' is a good compromise. Although the winter stems are not as bright red as those of 'Sibirica', the cream and green variegated leaves provide spring and summer interest. The best way to prune dogwoods in smaller gardens is to remove one third of the stems each year rather than cut them right back. Do this towards the end of March, targeting the oldest and the weakest for removal. For winter flowers, Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun' is hard to beat. It will grow virtually anywhere and its bold yellow candelabra like flowers are totally frost-resistant and highly scented. In most gar-
Photo by © Château de Versailles Christian Milet
Photo by Hackfall.org Fishers
Photo by © Château de Versailles Christian Milet
Mini or bedding cyclamen, F1 hybrids originally bred from the popular winter houseplant Cyclamen persicum with wild strains, provide an amazingly colourful display outdoors from October to January or February. Despite rumours of not being hardy, they will take the cold. The flowers may look a bit sad after a particularly heavy frost but a good dead-heading once they thaw out and they will be as good as new again within a week. Good drainage is best; they won't stand sitting in waterlogged soil all winter but are much more tolerant of heavier soils than is generally documented. The one thing that finishes them off is sitting under snow. Even if it doesn't kill the plants, they will never fully recover. Removing the flowers as they fade, along with any yellowing or brown leaves, is vital for a prolonged display and to prevent grey mould and rotting. It's very fiddly but you need to twist off the stems so they come away cleanly. Any wounds from broken stems can lead to rot. A good precaution is spray your plants with fungicide after planting; spray lightly focusing on the centre of the tuber where the new buds are forming rather than the leaves. This can dramatically improve survival rates. Bedding cyclamen are perfect for injecting colour into containers but can also be planted out en masse to create a real winter dazzle. Winter-flowering pansies are British creation developed to withstand short days, cold weather, and be sturdy and compact enough not to flop or be ruined by wind. However, winter pansies often don't quite live up to all the breeders' aims. The problem is that the flowers are often too big for the stems to hold upright, especially after rain. For this reason, violas are generally a better option. Although the flowers are much smaller, there are lot more of them so they still provide the impact. The plants naturally remain sturdy and compact and looking good, even with minimal care. Winter-flowering pansies, on the other hand, need regular dead-heading and removal of dead leaves or they will succumb to grey mould in winter. If you want something in between, the new Patiola® Series has much larger flowers than the viola and comes part way to meet the pansy. Although autumn planting is generally recommended, both pansies and violas can be bought and planted in flower during any mild spell in winter. Just remember that the plants are unlikely to grow very much over the next few months, so get big ones. Dark colours tend to get lost in winter so go for whites, yellows, and pale blues
Polyanthus or hybrid primulas have been providing winter and spring colour in British gardens and parks for over 200 years. However, there are not so easy to grow well. One of the problems is that they hate drying out. Although you wouldn't think this was a problem in winter, wind can rapidly dry out compost in containers and light soils so be prepared to water them. Slugs and snails are another enemy, eating both leaves and flowers. Cutting off yellowing leaves and removing dead is again essential to maintain a good display and prevent mould. The problem is, with plants grown in less than ideal conditions, you can end up with all flowers and no leaves. If you reach this stage, give up as they are not going recover. Once the weather starts to warm up, also watch out for the dreaded vine weevil. Polyanthus are one their favourites. As well as bedding, bulbs such as winter aconites, snowdrops, and the hardy winter-flowering cyclamen, C. coum do well when planted in flower or bud and you should be able to find them in pots at garden centres. These too can be used to boost colour in containers or planted out beneath deciduous shrubs and allowed to naturalise. Cyclamen coum, unlike its bedding cousin, doesn't mind snow and won't sulk if you don't deadhead it.
Photo by © Château de Versailles Christian Milet Photo by Hackfall.org
AT THE GARDEN CENTRE Top of the shopping list if you don't already have supplies should be horticultural fleece and bark mulch.
Use horticultural fleece to wrap up plants like cordylines, tree ferns, or anything that is dubiously hardy. At least a double layer is recommended. With more spreading plants, use supports and try and create a tent shape so snow can't sit on top and crush the plants.
As well suppressing weeds and preventing wind from drying out the soil, bark mulch is also a good insulator for semi-tender plants beneath ground. Heap it up thicker than usual – at least 10cm deep. Also mulch around evergreens as wind can dry out the soil and frost make it impossible to take up water.
Photo by © Château de Versailles Christian Milet 82
Pot feet can save container grown plants from being killed in winter. Pot saucers are the biggest killer, causing plants to plants to sit waterlogged conditions. Replace them with pot feet or bricks now.
Bubble polythene is another useful insulator, to curtain off part of the greenhouse, add extra protection to a cold frame or wrap around clay pots that are vulnerable to freezing.
Windbreak netting will help young evergreen get established. Either use it as continuous barrier, like a temporary fence, or construct a three-sided around individual plants.
Ties, stakes and garden wire. Make sure that climbers are secure, and trees and shrubs are firmly rooted. Plants loosened by wind-rock or frost-heave are very vulnerable. Firm down and add more soil if necessary. Large plants are best secured with two short diagonal stakes rather than one long one. Use tree ties to secure the trunk.
December is still not too late to plant tulips. Make sure the bulbs are still in good condition, with the brown tunic in tact and no signs of mould, before buying. 83
Indoors, a 1.2 to 1.8m tree will easily consume 2 pints a day. Even with non-drop trees, they start to look lack lustre if not watered. Barerooted trees offer little over cut trees, though you can put them in soil after soaking the roots. If you take it from the garden, beware of worms in the living room. Root-balled and pot-grown trees are slightly easier to handle but are not really worth the extra expense. Even if they survive, forest trees don't make ideal garden plants. And if you are buying a tree for the garden, keeping it in the living room for two weeks before planting is a bad idea. If all this seems to much trouble, you may want to opt for an artificial tree. As an interesting aside, one of the first artificial trees was developed in the 1930's by the Addis Bush Company based on their toilet brush design. Nowadays, gone are the cheap plastic tinsel trees of 50s and 60s as sold by Woolworth; modern versions look super realistic, some even have built in LED lights, with price tags into the £100's. While there may be an environmental case against artificial trees, the arguments based on artificial trees lasting five years seem rather dubious. Modern artificials could become family heirloom. POTTED GIFTS In the weeks leading up to Christmas, there's a strong chance that someone will arrive bearing azaleas, a cyclamen or a poinsettia. These three seasonal favourites are possibly the worst choice of houseplants.
lthough the tradition of bringing evergreens indoors dates back to pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice and the Roman festivities surrounding Saturnalia, the first Christmas trees are generally credited to upper-class German Protestants in 17th Century, who adopted them as alternative to the Catholic cribs. The fashion did not hit Britain until the 19th Century, when they were made popular by Queen Victoria after her marriage to Prince Albert. In December 1848, the Illustrated London News printed a special supplement with a picture of the Royal family around the Christmas tree at Windsor Castle on its cover. It wasn't long before the Christmas tree became a firmly rooted tradition amongst virtually all well-to-do families. However, it took two world wars before Christmas trees were widely adopted by the masses In Britain, we tend to think of the Norway spruce as the traditional tree (the one favoured by Prince Albert and the one seen in Trafalgar Square tree, presented a annual gift by the city of Oslo). Unfortunately, it's the worst of all for dropping its needles, even if regularly 84
watered. It's not surprising therefore to see the Nordmann fir (commonly sold as the “nondrop Christmas tree”) taking top position in Europe over the last decades. It has a good shape, retains the needles well if watered or not, has a good scent, and the needles quite soft and don't stick to your clothes. You can find other conifers sold as Christmas trees; the general rule is that firs and then pines rate over spruces for low maintenance. If you are going to get a real tree, choosing and cutting yourself makes it that bit more special. Some Christmas tree farms, like Stoke Goldington Christmas Trees in Newport Pagnell, offer additional seasonal goodies such as oven-ready game and home-made fruit liqueurs. Google the British Christmas Tree Growers Association to find the nearest farms. They also list online suppliers and all members of the BCTGA are governed by a code of conduct covering quality, environment, wildlife, and conditions for workers. Christmas trees are best treated as cut flowers; cut a bit off the bottom of the trunk, attach support brackets (or other device), place in a bucket, fill with large gravel or pebbles and top up with water.
Azaleas and cyclamen hate warm, dry conditions. If you find it comfortable to sit in a room, then neither of these plants will be happy there. They want a cool room, no more than 15ºC or so and won't mind if it goes down to 5ºC. The need light but no direct sun through the window, especially for the azalea. Stand them on a tray of moistened pebbles to create a humid micro-climate and make sure they never get too dry or too wet. If you get your azalea through the Christmas period unscathed, gradually harden it off and move it to a sheltered position outdoors, where it stands a better chance of survival. One more thing, azaleas hate hard water, so to neutralise the effects quickly dunk a used tea bag in your can before watering. Poinsettias are very sensitive to cold and draughts, so it's best to buy them from indoor displays. Ask for them to be double wrapped to keep them snug until you get home. Keep them somewhere bright, out of draughts and where the temperature won't drop much below 15ºC (60ºF) at night. In centrally heated room, water them as soon as the surface of compost feels dry, but water sparingly (enough to see just a few drops come through the bottom the pot). Once they loose their appearance, it's best to throw them out. The ones you buy are often chemically dwarfed, so will get much bigger if manage to grow them on. They also need a strict temperature regime, good light and ten week period of 12 hours or more of darkness in the autumn in order to produce a colourful display for next Christmas. If you want to buy someone a winter flowering pot plant, do them a favour a get something like a moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) or a Cymbidium. These orchids actually enjoy similar conditions to humans and should prove much longer lasting and easier to care for.
GARDENS TO VISIT
INDOOR GARDENS The Winter Garden, Sheffield Sheffield City Centre One of the largest temperate glasshouses built in the UK during the last hundred years, creating a green oasis in the heart of the city with more than 2,500 plants from around the world.Open 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm on Sunday, closed Christmas Day. Admission Free David Welch Winter Gardens Duthie Park, Polmuir Road, Aberdeen B11 7TH Located within Duthie Park, this is one of Europe’s largest indoor gardens. Features include: Temperate House, Corridor of Perfumes, Fern House, Victorian Corridor, Japanese Garden, Tropical House and Arid House, which has one of the largest collections of cacti and succulents in Britain. Open 9.30 to 4.30pm Admission Free. Gothic walks and gardens Following the winter and Christmas tradition of telling ghostly tales in front of the fire, the following gardens all evoke a sense of the gothic. Hackfall Masham end of Grewelthorpe, North Yorkshire HG4 3DE A beautiful man-made wilderness much loved by the Victorians with follies, grottoes, surprise views, waterfalls and a fountain. Wear walking boots. Some parts are quite steep. Hafod Uchtryd 15 miles south-east of Aberystwyth. Car park on the B4574 between Pontrhydygroes and Cwmystwyth (SN 768736). One of the finest examples the“Picturesque” landscape in Europe laid out created by Thomas Johnes (1748-1816). There are five way-marked walks, including a rougher
Gentlemen's Walk and gentler Ladies' Walk. All are signed from the church car park (guide map available from dispensing machine - 2 x £1 coins). Walking boots recommended. Batsford Arboretum Moreton-on-the-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9QB The house once owned by the Mitford family has been described as a gothic pile. Algernon Bertram Freeman Mitford,an eminent Victorian with a passion for trees created the arboretum. Lots of winter interest here, especially dramatic on misty days. Open 10am to 5pm (closed 25 December). Admission £7.00 (£6.00 conc.). The English Garden the Petit Trianon (Palace of Versailles) Château de Versailles, Place d'Armes 78000 Versailles Marie-Antointette trashed the formal gardens and glasshouses of Louis XV to create a “natural” landscape in the picturesque style, with all its gothic features. Setting for The Trianon Adventure, a “true” Edwardian ghost story, written by Miss Moberly, principal of St Hugh's College, Oxford, and Miss Jourdain, headmistress of a girls’ school in Watford. Open Noon – 5.30pm (Palace Gardens open 9am) There is train shuttle back and forth between the Palace and Trianon. Electric vehicles available for people with reduced mobility. Admission10 Euros.
see the gardens illuminated at night, highlighting the natural beauty, shape and texture of the trees and shrubs, along with music and live entertainers (advance booking essential on 01223 810 080. Gardens open 10.30am – 4.30pm (closed 24 to 26 December) Admission £6.35 (Nation Trust members free) University Botanic Garden, Cambridge 1 Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JE The winter garden is not only a great place for colour and fragrance but it was especially landscaped to capture the low winter sun. An afternoon visit to see the setting sun on a clear day to see the is doubly rewarding Open 10am to 4pm (closed 24 December to 1 January) Admission £4.50 (£3.95 conc.) Stourhead Near Mere, Wiltshire BA12 6QD The highlight is the magnificent lake reflecting classical temples, mystical grottoes, and winter skeletons of rare and exotic trees. More classical than gothic. Gardens Open 9am to 5pm. Admission £7.70 (Nation Trust members free).
BRIGHT SIDE OF WINTER
Dunham Masey Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 4SJ Seven-acre winter garden with over 700 species selected for their winter features. Open 11am to 4pm (closed 25 December). Admission £7.70 (Nation Trust members free).
Anglesey Abbey Quy Road, Lode, Cambridge, CB25 9EJ Spectacular winter gardens full of colour and scent. They even pressure wash the Himalayan birches to get glistening white trunks. Snowdrop season starts last week on January. Winter Lights (on 13, 14 & 15 Dec, 5.30 – 7.30pm) provides a unique opportunity to
Saville Garden Windsor Great Park, Berkshire TW20 0XD Great place for coloured bark and textures and scented winter-flowering shrubs. Open 10am to 4.30pm (closed 24 and 25 December). Admission Free in December, £6.50 during January.
GETTING AWAY Madeira, often called the floating garden in the Atlantic, is the perfect winter retreat for gardeners. All within walking distance of Funchal, you can visit four great gardens. The Jardim Botanico da Madeira boasts over 2500 exotic species from around the world. The beds are arranged in intricate mosaics on hillside terraces with magnificent views over the bay of Funchal. From the botanic garden, you can get a cable car up to the Jardim Tropical da Quinta do Monte Palace. Once a hotel, the restored garden has a famous collection of ceramic tiles, oriental gardens, numerous of water features, and collections of both indigenous and exotic plants. Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro was acquired by the Blandy family in 1884 and each new generation has contributed further in developing the gardens.
Winter highlights include the collection of camellias, which flower from October to April in Madeira. The Quinta da Palmeira dates backs to days when rich English merchants inhabited the island with its croquet lawn, opulent ornaments and extravagant tiling. Though somewhat neglected compared to other Madeira gardens, there's lots to interest both plant lover and historian. Venture beyond Funchal, you'll find botanical treats all over the island. Visiting independently gives you more time to explore at leisure; with packaged tours you tend to be rushed around a bit . If you decide to visit, be aware that Madeira is very windy, especially as you go higher up, so take some warm clothes. All the gardens are open everyday apart from 25 December. Flights and hotels get much cheaper in January so it's well worth considering a post Christmas break.
A flight around the
North Pole Departing SaturDay 12 april 2014 From Gatwick airport
by air £399
Make aviation history with the UK’s first ever sightseeing flight around the North Pole, passing over the polar cap, Svalbard and Greenland. 11 hour flight includes expert talks, films, refreshments and planned live radio contact with Polar scientific research station. Join us and tick “The north Pole” off your wish list of amazing places in the world to see!
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Organised by Omega Holidays, ABTA V4782, ATOL Protected 6081. Subject to availability.
Price includes: • Flight from Gatwick airport including airport taxes • Two in-flight Arctic meals plus soft drinks • One glass sparkling wine • Coffee and cake • Champagne over the Pole • Seat rotation scheme in operation for some ticket bands to maximise window view access Our exact route and planned lower altitude flying will be subject to weather and ATC permission.
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‘Given This Brief Space Between Birth And Death You Have To Just Get On.’ Frank Auerbach-Painter. Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.’ Is Enobarbus’ description of Cleopatra in Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra. With life expectancy of the European Union population in 2013 being around 83 years of age then it is vital we take these words to heart and maintain our infinite variety, our attention to creativity and capacity to reinvent ourselves in the third age. As Dylan Thomas also put it so succinctly: ‘Old age should burn and rave at close of day’ in his poem: Do not go gentle into that good night. One might wonder, however, just how the artist Frank Auerbach might respond to Thomas’ advice. Just recently the 82 year old granted a series of interviews and is considered to be one of the least interviewed artists of his generation. He’s not one for these unwelcome intrusions as they impinge on the time for painting he says. In fact he is one who finds ‘infinite variety’ in painting the same subjects over and over. What does ageing mean to an artist? What does emerge is the need for routine, to fix our world in the intensity of the moment. Auerbach has the lifelong habit of working in his studio every day. ‘Do you take a day off?’ He is asked. The answer is negative, there are no days off. Perhaps surprisingly this is not necessarily because he is driven, but that painting is ‘still fun’. ‘It’s fun’ he says, ‘ because it’s a difficult and a very serious issue. Having a continual preoccupation means there is always a challenge, something new to solve.’ He quotes the golfer, Gary Player’s famous adage: ‘The more I practise the luckier I get.’ Having a specific focus can be more seminal than a superficially varied life. Sometimes experience should be about going much deeper into things rather than simply being busy looking for the next ‘hit’. What kind of effect does age90
ing have on this painter? ‘It makes you clumsier and more tired,’ Auerbach observes, ‘But, I have simply cut the fat from my life. Yes I have lost energy and stretch but all the things I wanted to do when I was young, like being out, being feckless and drinking have gone. Even my paintings are much thinner. I am more single-minded.’ Better as an older artist? ‘No, I am different. I have much respect for me as a young man and I hope I am not worse than I was.’ Although Auerbach is considered a prolific artist, it’s not because of the number of pieces he creates; it’s more to do with the number of canvases he scrapes back to the material and reworks over and over. He says it’s not about frustration but the more complicated and difficult the game appears, the more fun it is to play. ‘If you have got the impulse to work you must have the brush in your hand. I never know when that impulse will arrive. It can overtake me at any time. Therefore it is very important to have a routine because when it happens to me it’s always a surprise. Even now I only know a painting is finished when it looks right, hangs together and seems new to me.’ Certainly Auerbach is too busy to talk. His social life comes from his sitters who visit the studio in Camden Town where he has worked continuously since 1954. He says his life is very different from his younger years. He ventures outside much less but his passion for textures in paint remains. ’If you don’t use awkward reality then it is likely the images will be bland.’ he says. He talks about using the daily stuff to make a painting with character so it’s not just decorative, a term he uses pejoratively. In fact he is making more self-portraits as he ages now his face has ‘become more interesting’ with eyes wrinkled and sagging. I like to draw, as usually I am pretty static because normally I use so much paint. I like to forge ahead. I am
“I loved him enough to want to look after him. He was very good at making things happen – life was never boring. Demanding, but not boring.’ Life changes as we age, death can transform the landscape like the ravages of a winter storm. In the silence that follows difference can open up new vistas and allow previously hidden aspects to flourish. Roger had previously informed Rose that one artist in the marriage was sufficient. His death changed that. Since his death in 1975, Rose has become a majorartist in St Ives; West Cornwall has been her home for many years and the Tate there held a retrospective in 2008. Her husband was well known as an abstract artist but Rose has also increasingly demonstrated these traits in her own work. Also in her 80s now, Rose Hilton is feted by the art world but more importantly is making art once more after what must have seemed an interminable wait. She appears philosophical regarding her predominantly artistic, fallow years and puts it down to appropriate timing. She says she was getting a little broody but may well have passed that need and continued painting but Roger intervened. The more she saw of him, the more fascinating he became, and his painting too. He was just finding fame and he was so like his work. ‘I found that really interesting.’ For younger women who have experienced the impact of feminism this passive acceptance of motherhood over artistic ambition is difficult to accept. Contemporary artist Jenny Saville has embraced motherhood and her experience has become a central motif in later work. There is no question of taking a break or waiting. For many, this kind of approach is consigned to social history.
not interested in self-analysis I don’t find it helpful or fruitful.’ He goes on to say through his life he must have felt that unless one justifies one’s life and has something to show for it, then the whole thing is wasted. Rose Hilton, in contrast, knows love can change one’s priorities. A gifted painter she managed to escape her Plymouth Brethren religious upbringing to study at Art College. She then went on to win a scholarship at the Royal College of Art in London. Tuberculosis intervened but Hilton returned to her studies winning the Life Drawing and Painting Prize as well as the Abbey Minor scholarship to Rome in 1958, where she spent a year. At that point love intervened
and in the 60s she married fellow artist Roger Hilton Unlike Auerbach she did not flee her domestic responsibilities; notably, he left his wife and children to return to his long term lover and keep his creativity intact. Ironically, for many years family kept Hilton from her own work. An interview with the Guardian in 2011 suggests: ‘Living with Roger was tough. He would shout orders from the back room, and Rose would find her private diary annotated with remarks from him such as “balls” and “fucking lie”. “We did manage though,” she says.
the one she still enjoys with painting. She is proud of earning her own living though her creativity. She is sanguine about her husband’s demand for just his artistic needs to be the ones she should attend to and says that if one is to paint obsessively as many artists do, there is little space for the ordinariness of everyday life. However the gender divide might have shaped both Auerbach and Hilton, these octogenarians have taken carpe diem as their mantra. Thus proving whatever passion we have, it must be attended to; wherever we happen to be in our life span, the biggest crime is sinning against one’s talent. Whatever we need to do we must do it now. As Auerbach said, ‘Given this brief space between birth and death you have to just get on.’ Ordovas gallery in London staged an exhibition called Raw Truth, a conversation between six Auerbach paintings and four by Rembrandt. Raw Truth: Auerbach-Rembrandt opened to the public on 4 October and runs to 1 December 2013 it then travels to the Rijksmuseum from 12 December until 16 March 2014 by Vivienne Neale
Painting when she was alone, taking advantage of times when Roger was out Rose did continue until such time that when her husband suggested he couldn’t fathom why she needed to paint and wasn’t it sufficient that he was doing it? Rose finally cracked and replied: ‘I don’t know why you want to paint. Isn’t it enough that I’m doing it?’ No I want to wake up in the morning and see a painting by myself and it’s the world as I see it.’ Her husband’s descent into alcoholism and ill health meant Rose was once again in the role of carer. This period was poignant and inspirational and was documented in a show entitled: ‘Taking Things To Roger.’ His bell system meant everyone in the house knew their role when it rang. Being widowed at 43 gave Rose another life and she made the decision another relationship would be 91
TAX EFFICIENT INVESTMENT UPDATES Where should I begin: faltering growth, stubbornly high inflation, or record low interest rates? On the surface the outlook certainly looks bleak for those with money to invest who are looking to make the most of their capital. Fortunately, there is some glimmer of hope for those seeking a better return on their capital, and with tax efficient options to boot.
A glimmer of hope This article picks out a few options for tax efficient investments, to satisfy all appetites, from those willing to venture their capital for potentially higher returns to the risk averse. Whatever your risk appetite, now is not the time to sit on money that is not working for you. To get a decent return, the investor is going to have to do their homework, and this article will provide some intriguing sign posts for which route to choose.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained? For those willing to take a risk for potentially high returns, three tax efficient government investment schemes provide a range of choice for the investor, with substantial Income Tax savings; Venture Capital 92
Trusts, Enterprise Investment Scheme, and the new Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme. To add to the incentive, some investments will also qualify for Capital Gains Tax Relief on disposal, or exemption from Inheritance Tax (where unlisted shares are qualifying business assets). With a growing trend for entrepreneurialism, these schemes are becoming more popular with a range of investors, both in terms of experience and investment size. They are also becoming much more accessible: they are no longer the preserve of London fund managers; inspired by successes in the US, these tax efficient investment schemes can now also be accessed through online crowd-funding vehicles, some of which focus on local investment for local investors.
Venture Capital Trusts Venture Capital Trusts are now a well-worn path for the retail investor, designed to encourage indirect investment in unlisted, small higher-risk companies. Venture Capital Trusts are listed on exchanges and individuals will receive thirty per cent Income Tax Relief on new ordinary shares in a VCT; so if you invest £21,000 you will get £7,000 deduction from your Income Tax liability. The
advantage of a VCT is that it allows you to invest in a basket of investments, and investors are commonly drawn by the steady return from the tax free dividend income that VCTs offer.
Enterprise Investment Scheme The Enterprise Investment Scheme offers the same tax relief as a VCT but allows for direct investment and investors typically hold out for potentially large tax free capital gains on the disposal of eligible investments rather than extract value through regular dividend payments. The scheme is limited to eligible unlisted small companies, so it is harder to find an investment, but the internet and local investment groups are great sources of information. In addition, there are still some EIS Funds which will invest on your behalf (though the investor remains the owner of the shares).
Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme Finally, the baby of the group is the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme. Introduced last year it is possibly the most generous tax relief investment scheme in Europe. SEIS offers
an astonishing fifty per cent Income Tax relief on investments up to £100,000 into small, or ‘seed’ companies. And to make it even more generous, Budget 2013 announced an extension to the Capital Gains Tax ‘holiday’ on SEIS investments. Any capital gains realised in 2013-14 will attract fifty per cent CGT relief if the gains are reinvested through SEIS. This scheme has unsurprisingly proved popular; as the economy struggles to get back on its feet, hundreds of great ideas are being turned into real new ventures with SEIS backing.
Low risk tax efficient For individuals who are not looking to take a risk, ISAs continue to be a great option for tax efficient investment. They offer tax free interest on saving, and with a limit (currently £11,520 of which up to £5,760 can be held in a cash ISA) renewed each year, over time an individual can create quite a healthy savings pot protected from the reaches of the taxman. The standard cash ISA continues to increase in popularity and a competitive market place has ensured that rates stay competitive. For those who do not require instant access to their cash, a stocks and shares
ISA has the potential to offer higher returns provided the funds are tied up for 5 or 10 years. And, they are about to get even better: the Government is looking at extending the eligibility criteria to allow a wider range of shares from April 2014. On top of this, from April 2014, Stamp Duty will be abolished on shares of companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). As with all equity investments, Stock and Share ISAs carry the risk that the value may fall as well as rise, so before making a decision it is essential to read the small print and compare products, as most carry both initial and annual fees that can make that big return look a lot smaller.
Do your homework The investor will also need to do their homework to appreciate the higher risks and regulatory requirements. However it could be time well spent if your investment turns out to be the next Innocent Smoothie, a successful EIS-backed venture. Internet searches will bring up a range of scheme options, but for the new investor I would recommend seeking out local investor groups for local opportunities and advice. The following websites have essential investor advice
and helpful lists of open investment opportunities:
essential information about scheme conditions and tax benefits
www.eisaorg.uk lists EIS
open offers and has a directory of angel networks through which investors can often find good advice about local EIS and SEIS opportunities
www.theaic.co.uk has a
company directory where VCTs are listed alongside key data to assist comparison of offerings. For those looking for a tax efficient investment to get their teeth into, this could be the answer, investing right at the start of a new business. And at the nadir of the economic cycle, now could be the time to back a new venture. We recommend readers should take professional advice before making any investments.
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The Tall Ships Youth Trust:
Over 3,500 trainees will sail on Stavros S Niarchos and the Challenger Fleet this year alone. Over 100,000 people have sailed with us over the years and many return to sail with us as a volunteer, become a member of the charity or join one of our volunteer support groups around the UK.
The voyages are a unique hands-on experience. Voyage Crew become an important part of the vessel’s crew and this involves more than just the sailing – it will include food preparation, maintenance and cleaning. Everyone works as a team while on board and it can be tough sometimes, but voyage crew are always supported by the Professional Crew and Trained Volunteers.
The Tall Ships Youth Trust is the UK’s leading sail training charity dedicated to the development of young people, offering exhilarating and inspirational sailing adventures on its magnificent 200ft Tall Ship, Stavros S Niarchos, its fleet of four 72ft ocean-going Challenger Yachts, and its 62ft Catamaran. Adventures vary from 1 to 24 nights around the UK, Canaries, Mediterranean and Caribbean. No sailing experience is required and voyages are available for everyone aged 12 to 80.
What does the charity provide for young people? Sailing teaches young people about life at sea and at the same time teaches them skills for life. In a world that can be excluding and challenging, sailing as part of a Tall Ships Youth Trust crew makes for a participative and empowering few days. It encourages teamwork, communication, leadership, friendship, physical and mental challenges in a new and un-contrived environment – and all this within a framework of equality of opportunity and supportive leadership.
Everyone is encouraged to participate as much as possible and no-one is made to do anything that they don’t want to. Whilst on board, voyage crew will get involved with setting the sails, taking the helm, hauling the ropes and for those brave enough - climbing the rigging of the 200ft Mast - whilst enjoying the thrill of sailing on board a square rigged brig, round the world Challenger yachts or a Tall Ships Catamaran.
Mission Statement: To help young people to develop their confidence and life skills and to promote a healthier and more active lifestyle through the excitement and challenge of learning to sail on our Brig, Challenger Yachts or Catamaran.
The Trust sails all year round - in and around Europe and the UK from April to November and further a-field in the Winter months - the Azores, Canaries and Caribbean. The aim is to maximise the amount of sailing on every voyage and try to visit at least one foreign port on longer voyages.
Tall Ships Adventures: Working alongside Tall Ships Youth Trust, Tall Ships Adventures provides the chance for Adults to get on board the Fleet and experience the voyage of a lifetime!
On most of the voyages, no previous sailing experience is required as Voyage Crew are shown everything they need to know. Each voyage starts with a thorough safety brief before training begins and this continues throughout the voyage using a combination of practical demonstrations and informative lectures. Everyone is encouraged to get involved with as much as possible while on board and on many voyages there is the opportunity to work towards an RYA qualification. Watch Leaders and other members of the crew will teach voyage crew how to do things whilst they’re on duty and they will get involved with all activities.
Tall Ships Adventures offers voyages ranging from one night taster voyages to trips across the Atlantic, The Rolex Fastnet, Caribbean 600 and many more!
Voyage Crew will have plenty of free time, when not on watch, to relax and rest. When the vessel enters ports crew should be able to explore ashore with a chance to buy souvenirs and stock up on supplies.
Robert who sailed on Stavros S Niarchos last year said: “I have spent the previous seven days having a wonderful time. I was lucky enough for a friend to book the trip for my birthday. It was a lifetime’s wish to sail on a square rigged ship… The ship looked beautiful and was so graceful under sail.”
To The Editor
Dear Sir On the subject of comparing now with my day, I started reminiscing.... People said “Good night” to you as you walked home from the pub, the head ruled his/her school, Taxi drivers knocked on your door instead of sounding their bloody horns!! People respected their GPs more [but then knew who they were and got the same doc for 20yrs], Strangers knocking at your door didn’t call you “mate” or ask you “are you the owner of the house”, Children did as they were told and didn’t expect a heart to heart discussion about why they couldn’t do something, there was no such thing as a naughty step just a ringing in your ears! Sometimes, I prefer how it used to be! Yours Mr Pugh
Editor: Good list, you forgot to add the one that it seems nowadays, just about everyone in the media is a “celebrity”, not just the genuinely gifted and talented!
’s oung people Sir great, but y l. as w fu it aw ay s) d y way Music - in m s is (mostly, but not al s n ay eo d pig music these t among the n’t set the ca If that does l! nothing wil Yours Mr Kent
Sir Christmas was better the old fashione d way. No-one was expecting too much. No expensiv e toys or computer games and a real sense of fami ly. School discipline was better when teac hers could give children a slap and also when you could take the class pet home for the holidays. Community spirit - everyone used to know their neighbours, stop to chat in the street or shop and look out for each other. Images in the media - you never used to see dead bodies in the news and papers never seemed to go into such graphic details. Sometimes we don’t need to know all the details. Kate
Editor: I agree, where did the watershed go, bring on the new Mrs Whitehouse!
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