Page 1

Crossing counties,

look inside for info on the best events and activities in

West Dorset and

Magazine

South Somerset

Admire Minterne House’s host of golden daffodils

Issue 240 March 2021

See p12 for opening times.

INSIDE THIS MONTH

A belly dancer’s journey | Who were Roy’s Boys? | Important stump work for auction Water Aid in Milborne Port | Swan around at Abbotsbury

Serving Bruton, Castle Cary, Crewkerne, Ilminster, Langport, Sherborne, Somerton, Wincanton, Yeovil & Surrounding Villages www.theconduitmagazine.co.uk


Established in 1826, Pittards is world-famous for its high quality leather and still makes it locally in Yeovil today. Visit the factory store to buy direct from a huge range that includes gloves, bags, accessories and leather for crafts. Pittards, Sherborne Road, Yeovil, BA21 5BA Coffee shop, free car park. Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.00pm

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Crafting quality timber buildings and gates since 1912 Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7LH Tel: (01963) 440414 | Email: info@sparkford.com | @sparkfordtimber | www.sparkford.com


From the Editor I love this month’s front cover showing the daffodils in full bloom at Minterne House and Gardens – well worth a visit if you are local. Also if you decide to catch Minterne’s famous display of snowdrops before the end of February, you will be able to visit for free. The daffodils are particularly significant for me as I have just lost my mother – not to Covid-19 but to old age. She always loved daffodils and would have appreciated the display. Reading Tracey Warren’s article on bereavement this month was particularly poignant for me and I know she is going to write more on losing a parent aimed at those in their later years next month. We also welcome a new columnist who will be donning her walking boots and taking over Rachel’s Rambles as Rachel Mead says a fond farewell this month. Fortunately she also happens to be called Rachel! Anyway, I know you will find many other articles to enjoy as you leaf through the magazine as we aim for something for everyone. Happy reading!

Contents

EDITOR & ADVERTISING Jane Adkins

ASSISTANT EDITOR Julie Locke

APRIL DEADLINES News and Articles: FRIDAY, 12 MARCH Advertisements: MONDAY, 15 MARCH

WHAT’S ON p4-6 Info on markets, online workshops and social activities

BOOKS

p7-9 From poetry to belly dancing and tales of WWII

GARDENING

p10-12 Clever design ideas and what to plant

CHILDREN’S STORY p14-15

Our compelling children’s serial

ARTS

p19-21 Exhibitions, online activities & Movies

THE EMPORIUM p22 A fab afternoon tea to go!

ANTIQUES p23

Brand new antiques section

TRAVEL p26

Swan around at Abbotsbury

Visit our website for more Events, Services and Classifieds www.theconduitmagazine.co.uk Unit 4, Barton View Business Park, Sheeplands Lane, Sherborne DT9 4FW | 01935 424724 | info@theconduitmagazine.co.uk © The publisher is The Conduit Magazine Limited. The layout, format, design and all other aspects of this magazine are an original idea and therefore copyright of the publisher. No part of the contents may be reproduced in whole or in part without prior permission in writing. Whilst every care is taken in compiling the contents of this magazine, the proprietor assumes no responsibility for mistakes and omissions. The views of our contributors is not necessarily the view of the publisher.

3 www.remousonline.com


WHAT’S ON

Events listed are correct as we go to press but we advise checking with organisers before attending any event as the Covid-19 situation may change.

What’s On Charity ONLINE St Margaret’s Hospice Care Fundraising Campaign St Margaret’s has launched its ‘Your year, Your challenge, Your hospice’ fundraising campaign. The Somerset charity has created a catalogue of online challenges to choose from that can all be completed no matter what restrictions are in place. From walking 21 miles, a flexible yoga challenge, giving up chocolate for a month or even the staircase mountain step challenge – there is something for everyone! So, why wait? Sign up today! For more details, visit www.st-margarets-hospice.org. uk/2021isyouryear. SHERBORNE School Readers Required! The Schoolreaders charity provides volunteers to listen to children read in primary schools, at no cost to the school. Covid and lockdown have affected primary school literacy levels badly. Please sign up now (due to the recruitment process and DBS checks) in order to start in schools as soon as they reopen. No experience needed, just a good command of the English language and a spare hour or two a week in term time. Illiteracy affects all areas of life! If willing to help, please complete the online application at www.schoolreaders.org or call the Schoolreaders team on 01234 924222. YEOVIL Yeovil Hospital Breast Cancer Unit Appeal Yeovil Hospital Charity would like to thank everyone who has donated to this appeal; just over £1.64 million raised so far! A total of £2 million is required to build this much needed dedicated Breast Cancer unit.

TOP PRICES PAID FOR OLD TOYS

Support Hospital Staff Join the local collection for staff on the frontline at Yeovil and Dorchester Hospitals during this critical phase of the pandemic! Only the items listed are needed (for male as well as female staff): hand cream, lip balm, shower/bath oils & soaks, moisturisers of any kind, eye masks, scented candles, relaxation & sleep treats. All items must be new, unopened, and within best-before date. No food or snacks please. Collection boxes at Bradford Abbas, Castle Cary, Charlton Adam, Charlton Horethorne, Crewkerne, Ilminster, Martock, Milborne Port, Sherborne (from 22 February), Yeovil, and surrounding villages. For more information or to set up a local collection box, contact mjattwood1@hotmail.co.uk.

Food ILMINSTER Kitchen Door Takeaway Available Friday and Saturday between 4.00pm and 6.00pm from The Gallery Café, Ilminster Arts Centre. Bored with cooking the same meals every week, week after week?

We are always keen to buy antique silver and old Sheffield plate at current prices

- any condition

Please telephone or call into the shop

01935 816072 (07527 074343)

38 CHEAP STREET, SHERBORNE DORSET DT9 3PX

Trains, cars and lorries, soldiers, etc Britains, Dinky, Corgi, Hornby, Meccano, Tri-ang, etc Pastimes of Sherborne, 3 Westbury (in front of the Abbey)

4

The charity is still collecting any unwanted or broken jewellery and watches to help raise the final amount. To donate, please call Maggie (appeal committee volunteer) on 01963 250108. Yeovil Hospital Charity would like to thank Acreman Street Antiques for their invaluable support.

01935 816828

enquiries@henrywillis.co.uk www.henrywillis.co.uk

Contact: Julie Locke

/theconduitmagazine

E: info@theconduitmagazine.co.uk

@conduitmag

Looking for something more than the ‘usual’ Friday night takeaway? Then check out the exciting menus on Facebook (@ susanforemanatthegallerycafe and Ilminster Arts Centre’s page). Pre-order by lunchtime on the day prior to collection. To book a meal and a collection time, call 07883 852724 or email susanforemancatering@gmail. com. MILBORNE PORT Milborne Port Co-op is looking for volunteers to help distribute its surplus out-of-date food to people who need it - those who have hit hard times due to short hours at work or loss of jobs. The trustees of Church House have kindly allowed the distribution to be done from there. Volunteers will collect from the Co-Op in the evening and take the food to store in Church House. If interested, please contact Frank Wright via frank.wright1993@outlook.com. SANDFORD ORCAS The Mitre Inn Takeaway Meals Evening meals available from Wednesday to Saturday from 6.00pm to 8.00pm and Sunday lunch available from 12.00 noon to 2.00pm. The menu is published each Monday (see Restaurant section on website). A collection system is in operation (collect from the porch). Pre-order 24 hours prior to collection. Deliveries available within a three-mile radius. For further information, call 01963 220271, email cheryl@mitreinn.co.uk or visit www.mitreinn.co.uk. SHERBORNE Sherborne Food Bank relies solely on the generous food donations from the community and under the current circumstances urgently needs help. Please consider adding any of the following items to the shopping trolley: rice, cereals, dried pasta, tinned carrots, savoury biscuits, and squash. Donation points can be found at Waitrose, Co-Op and Sainsbury’s. For further information, visit www. sherbornefoodbank.org. SOMERTON The Unicorn Hotel Takeaway Meals Available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5.00pm

to 8.00pm and Sunday roast only from 12.00 noon to 4.00pm. To order online, click on the takeaway menu on the homepage. Collection from rear of Unicorn Hotel. For more information, visit www. unicornhotel.co.uk or call 01458 272888. WEST CAMEL The Walnut Tree Hotel Takeaway Meals Available from Tuesday to Saturday from 12.00 noon to 9.30pm and on Sunday from 12.00 to 4.00pm. See Facebook page for the full range of take-away meals (including meals with a Caribbean twist). Specials: Wednesday – homemade pies, Friday – fish and chips, Saturday – grill. Call 01935 851292 to order and arrange a collection time. www. thewalnuttreehotel.com.

Market ONLINE Pennard Plants The 16th annual Grown Your Own & Seed Potato Day for 2021 is going virtual! A vast array of online products is on offer to help kick-start the growing season; potatoes, onions, heritage/heirloom seeds, plus a huge range of patio and tall fruit trees and bushes. For further information, visit www. pennardplants.com. CASTLE CARY Every Tuesday from 8.30am to 2.00pm at the Market House is a weekly open-air market. Having run for six years, it is heralded as possibly the friendliest market in Somerset! Food stalls: West Country sourced fish, extensive range of cheeses, greengrocery plus Roots Organic, artisan bread, home-made preserves, home-made pies and pasties, Swanky Cakes, freshly-cooked Thai food and sauces, and Jack’s Mac and Cheese. Contact 01963 351763. www.castle-cary. co.uk/market. CREWKERNE Every third Saturday from 9.00am to 1.00pm outside Henhayes Centre is Crewkerne Farmers’ Market. It has a comprehensive selection of around 16 stalls, offering bread and baked

To advertise – 01935 424724 • email: info@theconduitmagazine.co.uk • www.theconduitmagazine.co.uk


WHAT’S ON

goods, dairy and eggs, drinks, fish, fruit, vegetables, meat, as well as preserves and honey. For further information, visit www. somersetfarmersmarkets.co.uk. DRAYTON Every third Saturday from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at the Village Hall is the monthly market. Produce includes bread, vegetables, meats, butter, cheese, cakes, preserves, honey, desserts, savouries and plants. Refreshments available. Free parking. ILMINSTER Every Thursday from 8.00am to 5.00pm at the Market House is the Ilminster Town Market. Normally, this market offers Mediterranean food products and kitchen products, barber, bakery, fishmongers, and more. However, during lockdown, only market traders who have food stalls can be invited. For further information, contact Ilminster Town Council on 01460 52149. MARTOCK On Saturday 13 March from 10.00am to 1.00pm at the Moorland’s Shopping Precinct is Martock Farmers’ Market, with stalls selling all key foods such as vegetables, cheese, coffee, chicken, beef, cordials, jams, bread, savouries and plants. Card payment preferred, but cash handled carefully. Please observe the advice on distancing and queueing. Any enquiries, please phone Fergus on 01935 822202. SHEPTON MALLET Every Friday from 9.00am to 2.00pm at the Market Place is Shepton Mallet market. This historic market, which dates back to 1318, offers a wide range of fresh local produce, such as fruit, veg, bread, cheese, seafood, and cider. For further information, visit the market’s Facebook page or phone 07912 769731. WINCANTON Every first Friday from 9.00am to 11.30am at The Barn (via the Peace Garden) is the Wincanton Country Market. Enjoy locally homegrown produce including cakes, cheese, jams, vegetables, and flowers. www.somersetcountrymarkets. co.uk.

Social ONLINE On Monday 8 March at 11.00am and Monday 22 March at 7.00pm via Zoom, join Spark Somerset for its fortnightly carers online support group. This is an informal support group for unpaid carers to connect with other carers over the winter, to share ideas and thoughts, support each other and find out useful information on local health and wellbeing support. Members of the Spark Somerset and Somerset Carers Service teams will be on hand to answer any questions. To register for the group meeting, please use the link at www.sparksomerset.org.uk/online-carersgroup. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 11.00am, join in with the Goldies Online Singalong. The fun, free online sessions are led by Rachel and Cheryl. The sessions are

recorded and go ‘live’ on YouTube. The words of the songs are on the screen so join in and Sing&Smile from home! In the weeks ahead, the online sessions will include some gentle chair-exercise at home, so get ready to sing, smile and stretch! For more information, visit www.goldieslive.com. Martock & District U3A is still as active as it can be, with members able to keep up with hobbies and interests online. The group is sourcing online talks for members, keeping in touch through online coffee mornings, and sharing news, stories and support through a members Facebook group. Struggling with lack of company? Completed the lockdown ‘to do’ list ages ago? Why not join the group? The focus is on fun and making friends. Membership open to anyone no longer in full-time employment. For further information or if interested in joining, visit the Facebook page, www.u3a.org.uk, email martocku3amembership@gmail.com, or phone 07510 178094.

Talk ONLINE On Tuesday 2 March at 3.00pm via Zoom, there is a Blackmore Vale U3A talk entitled ‘The Century of Deception; Birth of the Hoax in the Eighteenth Century’ by Ian Keable. This entertaining talk demonstrates how the English in this period were especially gullible; the hoaxes are memorable for their imaginative nature and the motives of the tricksters. Zoom starts at 2.30pm. These talks are open to everyone. For non-members, please contact Susan Kidd on 01963 362107. www.u3a.org.uk. On Thursday 4 March from 7.30pm to 8.30pm via Zoom, there is a Somerset Rural Life Museum ‘lockdown’ lecture entitled ‘The South West in the Roman Period’. Join Professor Stephen Rippon, a Landscape Archaeologist at the University of Exeter, as he discusses the South West in the Roman period with a focus on the contrasting identities either side of Blackdown and Quantock Hills and explores how communities to the west of the hills appeared less ‘Romanised’ and retained more of their traditional practices. Book online at www.swheritage.org.uk/somersetrural-life-museum/whats-on. On Wednesday 10 March at 2.00pm via Zoom, there is a Martock & District U3A talk. Mark Norbury will speak on the subject of ‘Silver & Silversmithing’. He will look at the basics of the craft as well as considering precious metals, hallmarking and examples of the work of Faberge. For further information or if interested in joining, visit the Facebook page, www.u3a.org.uk, email martocku3amembership@gmail.com, or phone 07510 178094. On Thursday 11 March from 9.00am to 10.30am, Yeovil Chamber introduces key figures in the town for a special online ‘Business Leaders Breakfast’. The speaker,

Nick Whitney, was appointed managing director of Leonardo Helicopters (UK) in May 2020. Nick will talk about Leonardo Helicopters in Yeovil (with background on how he went from apprentice to managing director), the future of aerospace in the UK and Leonardo in the community. £10 for non-members (free to members). For more information and to book online, visit www. yeovilchamber.org/events. On Thursday 18 March from 7.30pm to 8.30pm via Zoom, there is a Somerset Rural Life Museum ‘lockdown’ lecture entitled ‘A Time Traveller’s Guide to Regency Britain’. Explore Regency Britain in this informative talk with historian and author Dr Ian Mortimer. Engage with the sights, sounds, smells and experiences of Regency Britain as Ian explores his most recent book The Time Traveller’s Guide to Regency Britain. Book online at www.swheritage.org.uk/ somerset-rural-life-museum/whats-on.

Walk ONLINE Sherborne Walks has developed a number of Zoom presentations that look at the beauty and interesting aspects of the local area. A catalogue of journeys around the area with booking details is available on the website. Under normal circumstances, Sherborne Walks offers professional guided walks and tours throughout Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset. The group specialises in guiding around this historic town and the surrounding area, delving a little deeper into the stories, characters and people that make the area so fascinating. www. sherbornewalks.co.uk. EAST LAMBROOK From Tuesday to Sunday in February from 10.00am to 5.00pm at East Lambrook Manor Gardens, enjoy mindful moments with a walk through the garden’s ‘Festival of Snowdrops’. Throughout February East Lambrook Manor

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5


Events listed are correct as we go to press but we advise checking with organisers before attending any event as the Covid-19 situation may change.

WHAT’S ON

Gardens in Somerset will be celebrating the snowdrop season with its third Festival of Snowdrops, an opportunity to see the fabulous snowdrops in the garden together with additional displays showcasing many of the 150 varieties grown there, and around 70 varieties will be for sale in the nursery. The festival will also feature steel snowdrop sculptures by Chris Kampf. Garden entry £6.00, over 65s £5.50, under 16s free. Free entry to the nursery. Strict social distancing and online booking via www. eastlambrook.com will apply. A local event for local people! MINTERNE MAGNA Every day from February to November from 10.00am to 6.00pm at Minterne House, visit the gardens - a haven of tranquillity to explore and inspire. The garden is full of interest throughout year, with its world-renowned and completely unique collection of Himalayan rhododendrons and azaleas, spring bulbs, cherries, maples and many fine and rare trees. Wander the trail, around a mile in length, and enjoy the chain of small lakes, waterfalls and streams. Book online for tickets. Adults £12, under 12s free, season tickets available. For further information, visit www. minterne.co.uk or phone 01300 341370. WELLS Until Saturday 27 February from 10.00am to 4.00pm at The Bishop’s Palace,

Wells, is the February Half Term Scavenger Hunt. If local and want to keep little ones entertained whilst taking daily exercise, come along to the gardens for the Half Term Scavenger Hunt. Pick up the sheet at the Ticket Office, or simply download from the website. If not near enough to travel to the Palace right now, print off the hunt to do at home, just head out to somewhere near where there’s a bit of nature! www.bishopspalace.org. uk. Every day from 10.00am to 4.00pm at The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, the Bishop’s Palace Gardens remain open. If local and want to take daily exercise in beautiful surroundings, why not come along to the gardens. The Bishop’s Table cafe is open with a full menu for takeaway only (last orders 3.45pm). The Dragon’s Lair playground is also open. Please visit only in household bubbles for exercise, or alone with one other person not from one’s household. Tickets available to purchase at www.bishopspalace.org.uk.

costs £60. For further details and how to book, visit www. sherborneartslink.org.uk (select ‘Weekly Courses’ from the What’s On tab) or call the ArtsLink office (01935 815899). On Sunday 21 March from 2.00pm to 4.00pm via Zoom, experience the Divine Union Soundbath, a therapeutic pure sound effect with musician and sound healing facilitator Dean Carter (MA Oxon). Dean uses crystal bowls plus sacred vocal overtoning to promote a deeply relaxing and healing state in order to rebalance and re-energize body, mind and spirit. Lie down, relax and allow the sound to wash over and through the body. Online tickets £10. To reserve a place, email ahiahel@live.com, call 01935 389655 or visit www.

Workshop

centreforpuresound.org. If venues reopen and lockdown restrictions are lifted, this event is due to take place at The David Hall, South Petherton, see www.thedavidhall.com/whats-on for details. ACEarts has been able to produce more online workshops, thanks to Arts Council England. Visit the website to find makealong videos – be inspired, be creative! For further information, visit www.acearts.co.uk. ArtsLink Art at Home Visit the Art at Home page on the website to enjoy a series of activities to share with family or to do individually. Each activity uses basic art materials, just use whatever is at hand. New activities will be added regularly; most include image and video links. Share creations on

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ONLINE From Thursday 4 March to Thursday 1 April from 2.00pm to 4.00pm, there is a five-week online workshop ‘Working in Oils’ with James Budden. This live virtual course

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BOOKS

MY JOURNEY AS A BELLY DANCER by Elizabeth Gordon Publisher: Troubador; RRP: £10.99

How do you mend the pieces of a broken heart? When Elizabeth finds herself at the crossroads of her life after a broken relationship, feeling a little lost and a little uncertain of her future, she took a holiday to Morocco, where she became captivated and inspired after watching the performance of an Arabic belly dancer in one of the hotels. Elizabeth returned home and signed up for classes, little realising that the course would change her life forever. But what temptations lay along that glittering road and would Elizabeth be able to resist? My Journey as a Belly Dancer  is Elizabeth’s true story that delves into the glitz and dangers of a world she found herself caught up in, when she began dancing in a Turkish Cypriot restaurant in London. Fascinating, insightful and compelling, The Conduit asked Elizabeth to tell us more about the story behind the book. ‘I left Barristers’ Chambers after a broken relationship and temped for a Legal Secretarial Agency working for different firms of solicitors throughout London. One set of solicitors’ offices was very much like another and with the heavy workload and monotonous routine, I desperately needed a change. ‘I went on holiday to Morocco with my friend Colin, and on the last night of our stay we wined and dined in a luxurious hotel in Agadir. Whilst listening to a 30-piece orchestra playing Arabic melodies, a beautiful belly dancer wearing a pale blue costume suddenly appeared and as I watched in awe as she synchronized the movements

of her body with the music, I had a strange sense of déjà vu. It only lasted a split second or two but powerful enough to let me believe I would be in her place one day. ‘On my return to work I was handed a Ms London magazine at Chancery Lane tube, and flicking through the pages I saw the tiniest of adverts displaying ‘Belly Dancing classes’ down the road in Holborn. ‘It was strange how fate guided me to my first audition at a Turkish Cypriot restaurant, The Chalayan, in London. The owner Ata showed me the ropes which enabled me to dance elsewhere in the clubs, tavernas and restaurants all over London at night, while still keeping my job as a secretary during the day.  ‘I made many of my own costumes and stayed loyal to Ata for ten years. Whilst he was divorcing his wife in Cyprus, he brought his son over to stay with him in the UK who, from the age of 11 to 15, would come into the dressing room and ask me lots of

questions about my costumes and watch me do the show. ‘When Ata decided to leave The Chalayan, I lost contact with him and went to dance in Northern Cyprus for two months, including dancing for the UN in Varosha, the ghost town adjacent to Famagusta. ‘Many years later, a courier pushed a letter through my letterbox. To my amazement I saw it was from the boy (now an adult) saying he had such fond memories of me and wanted me to contact him, leaving his personal details. But he had become a famous celebrity and I was nervous about meeting him again!’ Suffice to say, Elizabeth’s meeting with the famous celebrity inspired her to write the book and is a persuasive tale of how anyone can find something new within themselves when they believe all is lost. Available from all bookshops including Waterstones, Amazon, AbeBooks and Book Depository. 7


BOOKS

BOOK REVIEW By Wayne, Winstones

As a bookseller we often lament that poets and poetry don’t get the attention that fiction and crime novels attract and from time to time a biography of someone who had a fascinated life is a great vehicle to nudge our way back, Fiona Sampson has done just that.

Two-Way Mirror: The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Fiona Sampson | £18.99 hbck How Britain’s most famous female poet invented herself and defied her times. ‘Beautifully told. It is high time Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Aurora Leigh were once again household names.’ Mail on Sunday ‘How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,’ Elizabeth Barrett Browning famously wrote, shortly before defying her family by running away to Italy with Robert Browning. But behind the romance of her extraordinary life stands a thoroughly modern figure, who remains an electrifying study in self-invention. Elizabeth was born in 1806, a time when women could neither attend university nor vote, and yet she achieved lasting literary fame. She remains Britain’s greatest woman poet, whose work has inspired writers from Emily Dickinson to George Eliot and Virginia Woolf. This vividly written biography, the first full study for over thirty years, incorporates recent archival discoveries to reveal the woman herself: a literary giant and a high-profile activist for the abolition of slavery who believed herself to be of mixed heritage; and a writer who defied chronic illness and longterm disability to change the course of cultural history. It holds up a mirror to the woman, her art - and the art of biography itself. ‘This book is an empathetic – and much-needed – reassessment which tells a fascinating story. Most importantly, Sampson makes one want to read Barrett Browning.’ Sunday Telegraph

8, Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset. DTP 3PX 01935 816 128 winstonebooks1@gmail.com www.winstonebooks.co.uk 8

THE MALTA BRIGADE TRILOGY By Christopher Jary

Monday 1 March sees the publication of Roy’s Boys, the story of three British battalions: the Devons, Hampshires and Dorsets in the invasion of Sicily in 1943. Its publication completes a trilogy by author Christopher Jary. In August 2017 Yells, Bells & Smells told the story of the three battalions in the Siege of Malta 1940-43. In June 2019 D-Day Spearhead Brigade told their story in the Normandy landings in 1944. Now Roy’s Boys fills the gap in the middle by describing their part in the landings in Sicily and Italy in 1943. The proceeds from publication will go to the ‘good cause’ of sustaining The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester. The new book draws on the testimony of scores of veterans to portray the brigade’s training in Egypt, their successful landing on the south-eastern tip of Sicily and their rapid advance inland to encounter fierce opposition from the German defenders. It describes the bloody battles at Agira and Regalbuto before landing on the toe of Italy, where the brigade’s fighting experience in Sicily enabled them, despite heavy casualties, to impose order upon chaos and to win through. Roy’s Boys was the brigade’s nickname, given by the Jocks of 51st Highland Division. Roy was Brigadier Roy Urquhart DSO, who had been 51 Division’s chief staff officer before taking command of 231 Malta Brigade. He later won fame at Arnhem. The Conduit asked Christopher Jary why he had chosen to cover these particular battalions in this period of history. ‘Several interests came together in writing Yells, Bells & Smells. I’ve loved Malta since boyhood. We visited often because my father was printing a series of books there. Lois and I honeymooned there and we return – usually to Gozo now – every couple of years. The brigade I was writing about contained the Hampshires


BOOKS

THE KEEP MILITARY MUSEUM, DORCHESTER Although the Museum is closed during lockdown, our on-line shop is open for business, selling books THE KEEP MILITARY MUSEUM, DORCHESTER (including the Malta Brigade Trilogy), jewellery, Although the Museum is closed during lockdown, our on-line shop is open for scarves, regimental ties, gifts, toys, maps and business, selling books (including the Malta Brigade Trilogy), jewellery, scarves, posters.ties,Visit us toys, todaymaps on www.keepmilitarymuseum. regimental gifts, and posters. Visit us today on org/shop www.keepmilitarymuseum.org/shop And when lockdown is over and we re-open, come and see one of the very And when museums lockdown is over weofre-open, come best regimental in the countryand in one England’s most historic county Four of floors threebest centuries of history while the viewin from andtowns. see one thetellvery regimental museums our roof is the best in Dorchester. Come and share your family stories with us the country in one of England’s most historic county we’re always planning new ways of telling the stories of our three regiments Four floors tell three centuries of history andtowns. two counties.

while the view from our roof is the best in Dorchester. Come and share your family stories with us - we’re always planning new ways of telling the stories of our three regiments and two counties.

Dennis Bounsall (my dad was a Hampshire), Devons and Dorsets (and I’m a volunteer and trustee at their Museum). And the soldiers’ part in Malta has often been overlooked. It wasn’t glamorous – they mended runways, defended harbours, airfields and the island’s coast, serviced aircraft, unloaded merchant ships and (beside the Maltese people) endured starvation and the heaviest bombing in history. And we were able to describe their part – from their recollections, often in their own words – against the backdrop of the most dramatic siege in modern history, which ended with a miracle (I won’t spoil it by telling you what form that miracle took). Then Monty chose the same brigade to lead his landings in Sicily, Italy and Normandy. The only brigade in history to make three assault landings, they did all three in eleven months. So the next story we told was about D-Day – just that one day when so much happened and the tide of war turned irrevocably. We constructed the brigade’s story around the personal accounts by 83 men who were on that mile of beach that morning. It’s a cracking one and a sad one too because their casualties were high, but by nightfall they’d seized a substantial beachhead. We were proud to tell their story in D-Day Spearhead Brigade. And then we spotted the gap between our two books: we needed to tell the

Cliff Down story of the brigade’s landings in Sicily and Italy in the summer of 1943. It’s a campaign that’s been overlooked and underestimated. Casualties were high because the Germans fought very fiercely and the country – rocky and very hilly – favoured the defenders. At any one time there were 2,500 men in the brigade, but if I have to choose only one to mention here, it is Denis Bounsall who joined the Dorset Regiment in 1936 as a 15-year-old boy soldier. As a bandsman, in battle he became a stretcher-bearer – a dangerous job for the bravest of the brave. And yet Denis survived: through the blitz on Malta, where he saw horror after horror; through Sicily, where he won the Distinguished Conduct Medal for rescuing and tending wounded under fire; through Italy, through D-Day, which closed with him rescuing a huge wounded German from a minefield, and to the very end of the brigade’s war. Among Denis’s stretcher-bearer friends was a Sherborne hero, Clifford Down, who won the Military Medal in Sicily. A painter and stained glass designer, Denis emigrated to New Zealand in the 1950s but remained a proud Dorset. In Auckland on 2 March he will celebrate his 100th birthday with fish and chips on the beach with his friends. And – although he doesn’t know it yet – he will receive the very first copies of this completed trilogy,

in which his voice is heard often as part of a history which, eighty years ago, he helped to make. For me, three important things lie behind these books. I am the son of an infantry subaltern who miraculously survived from Normandy to Bremen, and of a young RAF widow. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s with a strong sense of how close we had come to losing our freedoms and of debts to be repaid. Telling their stories represents another small payment towards the debt we owe these young men. Secondly, their stories make military history vivid, personal and real. Our books are not about guns, tanks or tactics – they’re about people and their response to war. Finally, these books are a team effort produced by a group of friends, each with a personal connection to our regiments. I write them, but we share the research and, together, we’ve got a colossal kick from completing a five-year project that began as a single book and turned into a trilogy.’ The RRP for each of the three books is £15 in bookshops. During lockdown copies can be ordered by post from The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester. Although the Museum is closed, the online shop is open (www. keepmilitarymuseum.org) and books will be posted free of charge within the UK. The whole trilogy can be bought (with postage included) for £36. 9


GARDENING

Sandhurst Garden Design Julie Haylock Garden Designer

UP THE GARDEN PATH

20 Sandhurst Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 2LG

Tel: 07899 710168 Email: haylock2lg@btinternet.com www.sandhurstgardendesign.co.uk Contact Julie for garden and border design, planting plans, plant selection advice and garden styling

BBC Gardeners’ World Live Gold Medal Award Taunton Flower Show Gold Medal Award and The Western Daily Press Cup for Best Show Garden

By Julie Haylock, Sandhurst Garden Design Time to live the dream! Even the smallest of gardens can allow you to think big – so by assessing what you have already, using some design techniques and some clever planting you can make the best of your plot, and of course it goes without saying I would be delighted to help you create your perfect garden. Be bold! Do not be afraid to create generous borders. In a small garden the temptation is to create narrow borders around the outside edge of the lawn but have the courage to go big. Keep the number of plant varieties and your colour pallet simple. Use three or four shades that complement each other and use plants that have scent, texture, form and structure to provide that all year-round interest and attract wildlife into the garden.

Add a tree to give your garden height and to provide the perfect seasonal focal point. A tree that has an ‘airy’ leaf canopy will make the space feel larger and, as well as creating dappled summer shade, will make the birds happy. Use vertical space in your garden to draw the eye upwards. Use trellis or an obelisk to support clematis and other climbers, or even make use of a blank wall to plant a vertical growing space of ferns, salad crops or herbs. Blur your garden boundaries using planting to disguise walls and fences, to give the illusion your space is larger, painting fences a dark colour will appear to recede and make the planting in borders in front pop with colour. Divide your garden into areas to create a ‘journey’ around the space adding to the

intrigue, maybe create a secret area that is masked from the rest of the garden where you can escape to for some peace and quiet? Consider using trellis as a cost-effective way to create a screen that, when planted with a scented climber, makes a perfect secret hideaway. Using over-sized furniture and planters is an established design trick to make a space feel bigger, and do not be afraid to use colour to give a modern twist to your design. Perhaps you are considering creating a new paved patio area? Using large slabs with fewer joins for the eye to focus on will make the space feel bigger, and consider the age and style of your house when choosing materials. A new house will suit modern materials such as marble-effect porcelain, and by using similar paving to that of the flooring inside the house,

HOW A SUNROOM CAN BE A HEALTHY OPTION By Liv Sabat

I am going to cover some of the ways that a sunroom can help reduce the spread of viruses like Covid-19. Having a sunroom can be beneficial to not only you but your family too; the natural smart ventilation is bound to cut down virus spread. Smart Ventilation: Smart ventilation is only one of the ways in which a sunroom can cut down virus spread. One variant of the sunroom has rotating roof slats which allow for excellent natural air flow through the sunroom when the slats are open. Another way in which the sunroom can be ventilated is by leaving the sliding glass doors open or, just by not having them installed at all. This is ideal for optimal airflow as all four sides of the structure will be exposed, 10

allowing for the perfect amount of ventilation. Decorative Slats: Despite the name, decorative slats aren’t just for decoration. The slats can be opened and closed at any time; when open they allow for the perfect natural air flow which ventilates any room. You can have decorative slats installed almost anywhere; the outside of your house, your sunroom, you can even surround your decking space with them to create a more enclosed and private space. Sliding Glass Walls: Although a sunroom would be completely enclosed when the walls are shut, sliding glass walls make one of the most perfect ventilation systems out there. You have the option to have a completely enclosed room or a well-

ventilated space that minimises your risk of catching the virus.

to flow efficiently through the sunroom.

The Different Types of Sunroom: There are a few different types of sunroom, all of which allow for the optimal amount of natural air flow which, in turn, reduces the risk of catching the virus. All the different types have retractable roofs in some form; a retractable canvas roof or rotating slats, meaning you can open up the roof to allow more air into your sunroom. As you can imagine the retractable roof opens up completely to expose the top of the sunroom, whereas the rotating slats each open at a 45-degree angle allowing air

Roller Screens: Roller screens can work in the place of, or with, sliding glass walls. The material they are made of allows for perfect natural airflow whilst also mitigating the build-up of heat and holding up to all adverse weather conditions; snow, wind and rain. They also reduce the glare of the sun which is a big positive with summer approaching. Stay safe and I’ll see you next month! Liv.

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GARDENING

will create a seamless effect linking the two areas. Add lighting to the garden to create shadows and texture after dark - positioned to up light a specimen tree or shrub to give a special magical effect. This does not have to be expensive to install. The latest trend is ‘smart lighting’ which allows you to transform the look for your garden at the press of a button. Consider a pergola to add that all-important height to the garden, and create the perfect canopy for a dining area, giving the feeling a ‘room’ within the garden furnished with a dining table or comfortable outdoor seating. Creating a sunken or raised terrace area away from the house will give two quite different dimensions to the space. Maybe you want to make the most of the view so a little extra height is important but sinking a space lower than the existing ground level, if your drainage is good, will give a cosy feel surrounded by planting at eye level, and adding a fire pit for that

extra wow factor which will make the space usable into the small hours all year round. Finally, a water feature in your garden will not only provide you with hours of pleasure but will support the local wildlife. Water has a relaxing sound that calms the senses but can also be used to blot out unwanted noise, like a busy road. Position near to your seating or dining area or perhaps just out of sight, so that the sound of trickling water draws you to find it! If this article has inspired you to rejuvenate your garden borders, or give your existing garden a new look or maybe you have moved into a new build property and are feeling over-whelmed and need some inspiration, then why not visit my website to view my latest projects and read the client testimonials at www. sandhurstgardendesign.co.uk or give me a call on 07899 710168 and I would be pleased to talk over your ideas to make your garden perfect.

Garden Landscape & Construction Services

www.sherbornegardenangels.co.uk 01935 310302

THE FENCING & GATE COMPANY Domestic Fencing Specialist All types of fencing and gates supplied and erected Over 30 years experience Free Survey and Quotation 10 year guarantee • No VAT

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ANCE INTEN

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INSTALLATION

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11


GARDENING

THE RIGHT PLANT IN THE RIGHT PLACE By Mike Burks, Managing Director of The Gardens Group

Gardening is much simpler if we work with nature, rather than fight against it. Chose the plants that will naturally do best in the conditions that you have in your garden. By doing this, plants will naturally grow more happily, pest and disease will be reduced and should we have extreme weather then the plants will be in much better shape to withstand what’s thrown at them. One of the conditions to consider is the soil type. Firstly, consider the pH of your soil and whether it is acidic or alkaline. The pH of the soil will determine which plants will grow easily and which will struggle. To determine the pH there are some excellent testing kits, but in fact a quick discussion with some of your gardening neighbours or a tour of the neighbourhood to see what is growing locally will give you the clues you need.

Most of the soils in the Sherborne area are alkaline – that’s not to say that there aren’t other types; indeed there are some soils in Longburton that are acidic and some of the gardens attached to the oldest properties in the town are neutral or slightly acidic, but in the main we are alkaline. That means that plants such as rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and pieris will struggle if left to their own devices in our soils. They are possible to grow, with ericaceous compost, the right fertilizer and the addition of sulphur, and they also can be successful if taken out of the soil and grown in pots where watering with rainwater would be advisable. Another consideration is the soil type, in terms of what it is made from. Most of our local soils are clay based and so are slow to warm up in the spring,

but will take longer to cool down in the autumn. They also can be waterlogged in the winter and then hard baked in a dry summer. But clay soils will hold onto nutrients too and with the addition of humus in the form of compost and the use of mulches they can become very useful soils. Other soil types include sandy soils and these are quick to warm in the spring but also will cool down sooner in the autumn. They are free draining, which might be a winter advantage, but will dry out quickly in the summer causing problems. The aspect of the garden too will be a factor; south facing gardens tend to be warmer and will have higher light levels than a north facing garden. More local factors such as overhanging trees need to be considered.

CASTLE GARDENS New Road, Sherborne DT9 5NR Tel: 01935 814633 BRIMSMORE GARDENS Tintinhull Road, Yeovil BA21 3NU Tel: 01935 411000

POUNDBURY GARDENS Peverell Avenue, Poundbury DT1 3RT Tel: 01305 257250 www.thegardensgroup.co.uk

Silver leaved plants such as lavender, rosemary and santolina love hot, dry, sunny conditions and so if you have a south facing garden, free of overhanging trees with a sandy soil, then these would be a good choice. However, a north facing garden with a wet, heavy clay soil and the same plants will struggle. Plants that will enjoy clay soils include hydrangea, fuchsia, hardy geraniums, mahonia and cotoneaster and many more, so there’s plenty to choose from.

MINTERNE HOUSE GARDENS

There’s still time to catch the end of the beautiful snowdrop display at Minterne House Gardens (Minterne Magna, Dorset DT2 7AU) and enjoy visiting the gardens free of charge until the end of February. In March daffodils will be out showing a beautiful display of yellow and April will have heavenly cherry blossom and rhododendrons starting to bloom with the burst of rhododendron colour continuing into May.

OPENING: February – November

12

Visit the iconic and beautiful cottage garden of gardening legend Margery Fish in February to enjoy the: * Snowdrop Ditch * Snowdrop displays * Snowdrop sculpture * Snowdrops for sale T J US TE S U E N I 4 M OM TH F R A303 UTH

O AT S ERTON H PET

Festival of Snowdrops 2nd to 28th February

Every day, 10.00am – 6.00pm (last entry at 5.30pm) Weather permitting, from March, our Garden Tea shop are open between 10.30am and 4.30pm serving a delicious selection of cakes and light lunches.

Please book online at eastlambrook.com

Email: enquiries@minterne.co.uk TICKETS Adults – £6 Under 12s – Free SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE: Family - £30 Single - £20

East Lambrook | South Petherton | Somerset | TA13 5HH 01460 240328 | enquiries@eastlambrook.com

Garden and nursery open Tues - Sun | 10am- 5pm Entry £6.00 | Over 65s £5.50 | U16s free


COMPUTING

IT RECYCLING AND UPCYCLING

By James Flynn, Milborne Port Computers So, what’s the difference? Recycling is really breaking down the old IT kit and reusing, either in its present form or by breaking it down into its component parts (metals, plastics, etc.) and recycling that way. Upcycling is using the old kit in a completely different way into innovative useful objects.

Many charities will also take working older stuff and ship it to developing countries to be used in education and development where it would not normally be affordable. However, there are concerns that much of this is simply moving our waste headache to another part of the globe.

Discarded computer equipment includes monitors, printers, hard drives and circuit boards. These items contain significant amounts of recyclable materials that will remain hazardous in landfills for years if not recycled. The glass monitor, keyboard, plastic or aluminium casing, cables, CDROM drive, power leads, circuit board, batteries and printer cartridges are all recyclable computer materials. There is only approximately 2% of a computer that cannot be recycled. This portion is separated at the time that the computer enters a recycling facility and is disposed of responsibly.

Upcycling looks like much more fun to me. You can drill a hole in just about anything and fit a clock mechanism behind it, hang it on the wall and hey-presto! I’ve seen a bread bin made from a printer casing, bird scarers using old CDs and the keys off a keyboard to make a Scrabble set. The most commonly used are the old Apple aluminium desktop cases (G3, 4 & 5). Someone has used two G5 towers with a length of wood screwed between them to make a bench, a case with a glass sidepanel as an aquarium, a tower fitted to the side of a house with the CD slot as a mailbox, and with the side removed as a cat bed. It’s all about your imagination and skill set.

Reusing old computers is a form of recycling with so much more benefit; no electronic waste will be sent to landfill, computer equipment sustains a longer life than expected, and it brings affordable prices for many businesses and people who could not necessarily afford to buy new. Refurbished computers and refurbished laptops are amongst the most common items given a second lease of life: we occasionally take unwanted machines and with some simple replacements of hard disk or a fan, they can be sold-on at a modest profit for us and a cost saving for the recipient.

Whatever you choose to do, you MUST make sure that you remove or clean your private data from the hard disk before disposal. Any responsible recycling company can do this for you and we regularly remove old hard disks for clients so that they can safely dispose of the old computers and laptops. Even if you’re giving away your laptop to another family member or friend, get your data off it first. As always, if in doubt or if you need help, you know where to come!

BUSINESS

HOW VALUABLE IS YOUR COFFEE FIX?

By Jim Rayner

When I tell business owners they need to put their prices up they usually say, ‘You just don’t understand. My customers are price sensitive!’ There is a perception that most people are price sensitive. It’s one of the big pricing myths. There certainly are price sensitive people in society, but fewer than you probably think. Estimates by behavioural economists and price psychologists put it at between 14 – 20%. These are people for whom price is the sole determinant of whether to buy or not. However, the reality is most people are not price sensitive. They are value sensitive. When we buy anything, we compare the benefit we get from that product or service and the cost to acquire it (the price). If the benefit is greater than the price we make a profit on the deal. For most people, the size of the gap is more important than the price. How do you buy your coffee? While coffee shops have been closed an increasing number of people have invested in coffee machines ranging in price from a few hundred pounds for a pod machine to several thousand for a high-end bean-to-cup machine. Are they crazy? You can get coffee at a fraction of the price with a simple cafetiere, and even less if you buy instant coffee in a jar from the supermarket. Of course, they’re not crazy. Yes, they pay a premium price.

They pay that because there are things about bean-to-cup coffee they value. They like the taste, the consistency and the convenience. They enjoy having their kitchen filled with the aroma and noises of coffee brewing. The benefits to them of getting their coffee this way far outweigh the price they pay. If you have a coffee machine you’re value sensitive, and by definition, you cannot be price sensitive. A price sensitive person would find a cheaper way of getting their coffee fix. Do you own an Apple product, such as an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or MacBook? If so, once again, by definition, you cannot be price sensitive. A price sensitive person would not buy an iPhone because you can get a free basic phone as part of a low-price mobile phone contract for a few pounds per month. There are cheaper tablets, cheaper computers and cheaper watches. If you have customers who buy Apple products, or own beanto-cup coffee machines, they are value sensitive and not price sensitive. That doesn’t mean price isn’t important. Price is always important. But it’s only one of the elements that makes up value and determines whether we buy or not. Extracted from my eBook Profitable pricing – a guide for Ambitious Business Owners. You can download a free copy from www.james-rayner.co.uk

STAY ON TOP OF THE NUMBERS PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS SAVE LIVELIHOODS BUSINESS NUMBER EXPERTS WWW.JAMES-RAYNER.CO.UK

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13


CHILDREN

SKYGATE

Part V: The Brother Before I moved to Sherborne and became Red, the two-hundred-and-fifteenth Guardian of the Skygate, before oldWessex and Mother Tree, I was Jones the orphan. Poor abandoned Jones, with no friends or family to call on.

But I still had my secret weapon. Ted. Sniffing round an old fire looking for scraps, completely oblivious to my showdown with death. ‘Come on Ted!’ I say to myself before taking a huge breath in and screaming his name, ‘TED!’

It was a lonely time and so, only natural, I suppose, that I should spend hours and hours inventing the perfect family in my head. I imagined them — a huge network of cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and all the private jokes we would hold between us. All the kind words we would say.

He pauses mid-sniff, looks up, his expression one of complete confusion.

And so, when I finally met the boy with the red hair and cold eyes — his face almost an exact copy of mine — you’ll forgive me for feeling excited. Family! At last! But of course, this is not a fairy tale and so what does he go and do? Yep. He tries to kill me. Not your average family reunion. Yes, reader, that’s me: hands and feet bound, flames crackling at my feet. I am eye to eye with Death and my bets are on him as the winner. How did it come to this? I had such high hopes. I was going to be Red, the peacekeeper, able to convince these humans to stop destroying Mother Tree’s ancient and magical forest. I was supposed to be a hero. 14

Red arrives in Sherborne, hoping to start a ‘normal’ life with distant relative, Great-Aunt Agatha. But Agatha has other ideas. Before Red can unpack a suitcase, they have been pushed through to the Skygate, a magical ledge positioned hundreds of miles above oldWessex. Now, with only Agatha’s Labrador Ted for company, Red must become the newest Guardian of the Skygate, a dangerous role that involves saving Mother Tree’s ancient forest from human settlers; humans that are currently trying to burn Red alive…

‘TED! HERE BOY, COME ON!’ Ted starts to wag his tail, but doesn’t come any closer to the fire. ‘TED, PLEASE! HERE! I NEED YOU!’ He yaps happily, wagging his tail even faster, but doesn’t approach me. ‘TED! THEY WILL KILL ME! PLEASE! COME HERE YOU DUMB DOG!’ With that, Ted sits. His eyes are sad. He points that beautiful red nose into the air and howls. The sound is more wolf-like than dog and I feel the hair on my arms rise. He has given up on me, I think. This howl is his goodbye. The thought sends tears to my eyes and for the first time that day, I realise: it’s over. The boy with the red hair is laughing. ‘You thought your dumb dog could save you? Oh Red, you’re more naïve than I first thought!’

He begins to walk away, but something stops him. I see him pause and then I feel it too. A rumble. The earth is shivering. A shout comes from the watchtower but I can’t hear properly over Ted’s heartwrenching howl and the crackle of fire at my feet. The cry goes up again and this time I hear. They are screaming ‘horseman’. My enemy is laughing no longer; he is flustered, running across the camp and barking orders. Slowly, the gates are pushed shut. Archers are scampering into position. ‘YES TED!’ I scream over the human panic and crackle of fire. ‘KEEP HOWLING!’ Of course, I have no idea what on earth is going on, but anything that sends that cold-eyed redhead into a panic is good news for me. For a long time, nothing seems to change. Someone is trying to capture Ted but he keeps dodging them, somehow howling as he runs. The fire has taken hold now. My shins are red-hot and there is smoke in my eyes, throat, lungs. I peer through the greyblack smog and see movement. A great war cry goes up, orchestrated amongst a clatter of hooves. Screaming voices, yelling, the twang of arrow, the clang of metal. A


CHILDREN

SKYGATE AUTHOR BIO Zoe Gray grew up in the Somerset countryside where she and her brother made up whole imaginary worlds full of witches, troll-families and duck-queens. She has always loved magical stories and spent her childhood either reading or writing them. Later she studied English at Lancaster University, going on to share her love of words teaching in a London secondary school. Although missing her wonderful students, she is happy to be back in the countryside with her husband, son and Labrador Teddy. Zoe is currently writing her first novel for children.

zoegraywriter@gmail.com

long cry, ‘NOOOOOOOO’ and then the smoke becomes velvet thick and I am lost.

horse people don’t exist. You were ill and it was a terrible dream.

I gulp and try to understand what the hell is going on.

I wake up to Ted’s great wet nose pressed into my face.

I stretch, yawn and open my eyes fully. Ted is there. He leaps into my arms and I burrow my face into his soft fur, ‘You saved me, Ted. How will I ever repay you?’

She moves forward, handing me a cup of water and a piece of bread, ‘I’m afraid you cannot rest for long. Your brother has escaped. We must find him before he causes anymore destruction.’

‘Teeerrrddd…yourv sarve meeyyy,’ my throat feels as if it is filled with coal and lumps of wood and my legs are red-hot. But I am alive. Ted is bouncing around me, yapping with delight. Slowly, my vision returns. I am in a tent. Ted is here and someone else. I can smell the warm grassy scent of horsehair alongside something sweeter. Lavender or honey on moist skin. ‘There, there,’ a woman swims into sight, squeezing a wet rag of water into my mouth. ‘What happened, where am I?’ I struggle to sit up. The tent spins but I can see the woman, with her human head, arms, torso, her four horse legs and swishing tail. I freeze. My eyes retrace their steps: human head down to horse legs and swishing tail. I cannot speak. I point, I flap, the words refuse to make themselves in my mouth and I feel myself slipping away. Horse legs! She has four horse legs! Before I know it, the darkness has closed over me once more. The second time I wake, everything feels better. It was all a dream, I tell myself. Half-

‘Hello Red. Feeling better?’ the question comes from the back corner of the tent. The voice is musical, singing clear as a bell over the space between us. I lean forward to try and catch sight of its owner, ‘Much better…I must thank you for —’ I stop talking as she steps into the light. Her hair is dark and wiry, curling in tight twists that amass in a black cloud around a kind face and soft, smiling mouth. Her arms and torso are human but at the hips her human body breaks into dark shining hair. Four legs. Four hooves. Long, black, swishing tail. Apparently half-horse people do exist. The expression on my face must be quite something because she laughs, ‘Oh Red. You look so much like your mother that I forget how little you know.’ She spins in a circle, ‘Take a good look. You’re about to meet the whole clan and it won’t do us any good if you have that expression on your face.’

‘My…he’s my brother! I —’ I am filled with so many overwhelming emotions. Joy. Hope. Crashing against dread and fear. A brother! Who hates me. Great. I take another deep breath, ‘You saved me! Why?’ ‘I am Lytania, leader of the horse-clan. I promised your mother I would come if I ever heard Ted’s howl. And so you can imagine my astonishment when I found not her, but you! Anyway, there is no more time for chatter. Get up Red. We must stop your brother. He is planning to burn the whole forest.’ ‘But…why?’ Lytania looks surprised. And then pity floods her expression, ‘Oh, Red. You haven’t worked it out? I thought it obvious. Your brother is…well, he’s not good. He will do everything and anything to destroy you.’

To be continued…

15


FINANCE

END OF TAX YEAR PLANNING By Mark Salter, Fort Financial Planning The end of the 2020/21 tax year is fast approaching and it’s your last chance to take full advantage of your tax free allowances and exemptions. The list below will help you take advantage of some of these and remember they must be used on or before 5 April 2021 which falls on Easter Monday this year!

ISA Allowance

The annual ISA allowance is £20,000 per person (£40,000 for a couple!). There is no difference in limits between a stocks and shares ISA and a cash ISA so you can save the entire £20,000 in a cash ISA or invest it in a stocks and shares ISA. Alternatively you can have a mixture of the two providing you don’t exceed the £20,000 limit. The benefit of ISAs is that you don’t pay income tax on the interest and they are not subject to capital gains tax.

Lifetime ISA (LISA)

These ISAs were introduced in April 2017 to help younger people save to buy their first house or if they don’t use it to buy a house, it can be used for retirement. You have to be between 18 and 40 to open a LISA and you have the option of a cash LISA or a stocks and shares LISA. The maximum you can invest is £4,000 which receives a government bonus of 25% (up to £1,000). Any contribution to a LISA forms part of your £20,000 ISA allowance.

Junior ISAs

Just like ordinary ISAs, there are Junior Individual Savings Accounts known as JISAs. They can be opened for children under 18 who don’t have a Child Trust Fund account. The child can take control of the JISAs from the age of 16, but cannot withdraw from them until they are 18. The annual tax free JISA allowance increased substantially for the 2020/21 tax year, increasing to £9,000 per child. 16

Pension Allowance

In the 2020/21 tax year you are able to place up to £40,000 into a pension (subject to UK relevant earnings). Any past years’ pension allowance which had not been used up can be carried forward, but only for the last three tax years. Using your pension allowance can significantly reduce the earnings you get taxed on, possibly bringing your earnings for tax purposes down into another tax bracket. Please bear in mind that individuals with high earnings (adjusted income above £240,000) need to take care as the annual allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 above this limit and professional advice is essential.

Income Tax

For those individuals whose earnings are in and around the tax band thresholds, some last minute planning may be tax efficient. Up until 5 April you can earn up to £50,000 without going into the 40% tax band (personal tax free allowance of £12,500 + £37,500). If your income exceeds £50,000 then additional pension contributions may be worth considering as higher rate tax relief may be available.

Capital Gains Tax

The annual CGT exemption is £12,300 for 2020/21 tax year. If you have unrealised gains, you may decide to dispose of some before the end of the tax year to use up your annual exemption. Married couples are taxed individually on capital gains, so transferring an asset from one spouse to another before realising a gain can be tax efficient. As far as possible it is important to use the annual exemption each tax year because, if unused, it cannot be carried forward.

Annual Inheritance Tax Exemption and Small Gifts

The first £3,000 given away each tax year is not subject to inheritance tax (IHT) if you die. Amounts greater than £3,000

can later become subject to IHT, if you die within seven years. If you don’t use the exemption this year, you can carry it forward for one tax year and use it then. As such, if you want to use 2019/20 unused annual IHT exemption, you must do so before 5 April 2021. There is also the small gifts allowance, which means you can give up to £250 to any individual each year without being subject to IHT. For example, you could gift £250 to your grandchildren and great grandchildren and it would be immediately outside your estate for inheritance tax purposes. We would suggest keeping accurate records of any gifts made. No decision should be taken based on the content of this article. Always take full individual advice first. At Fort Financial Planning, we have The Tax Reduction StrategyTM which is an important part of our Comprehensive Financial Planning service. A pound of tax saved is, after all, an extra pound in your pocket.


LEGAL

FAQ - MAKING A WILL IN 2021

By Adam Hillier, Battens Solicitors What is the process of making a will during the pandemic and how a solicitor can help? Although face-to-face meetings have reduced, most solicitors have conducted interviews using the telephone, email, zoom or google meets. The most important thing is that both the client and solicitor are able to communicate clearly with each other. Wills can be posted or emailed out to clients and the signing of them is possible with some forward planning. What could happen to your estate if you die without a valid will in place? If you die without a valid will then a set of rules called the ‘Intestacy’ rules determine how the estate will be distributed between blood relatives. In limited circumstances, the rules of intestacy can suit the family of the deceased. However, there are a lot of circumstances whereby the intestacy rules are not suitable. If you are not in a civil partnership or married, then a ‘partner’ does not receive any of your estate. And if your estate is worth £270,000 or less, your spouse or civil partner will receive everything, leaving nothing for children from a previous relationship. Your estate may even pass to unknown family members.

The intestacy rules also ignore the distribution of any personal items and charities that the deceased may have supported. Without a will you haven’t appointed executors to administer your estate which can also cause more work and delay. What are the risks of using a DIY will kit or an unregulated service? You shouldn’t use an unregulated service to manage one of the most important documents you need. People are often tempted by low fees (but watch hidden costs). If solicitors’ fees are your concern, there are schemes that we can utilise to assist with the cost of a will.

recompense. Unregulated services and DIY kit companies do not have such assurances. Is it important for everyone, no matter their age, to consider making or updating their will? Everyone should have a will and keep it updated because we do not know what may happen today, or tomorrow.

Making or updating a will ensures your wishes are clear and comprehensive, giving you piece of mind. For more information on making or amending a will, contact Adam Hillier on 01935 846165 or email adam.hillier@battens. co.uk.

DIY will kits do not provide you with the guidance that you need to make sure that your will is clear and deals with all eventualities. Solicitors are experienced in dealing with all circumstances and can therefore tailor your will specifically to your needs. They are also trained on the legal intricacies that will determine the best way of distributing your estate regarding inheritance tax planning. Solicitors also have insurance so that if will instructions are not interpreted correctly then beneficiaries have some 17


MOTORING

A CAR WITH THE FEEL GOOD FACTOR By Tim Saunders, Motoring Correspondent Now we’re tackling life alongside the virus, anything we can do to make ourselves feel better is vital to our all-round well-being. Where vitamin D, the scientists say, might be a welcome boost to our immunity to fight this thing, the Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo, the compact and exceedingly cool estate car, delivers that much needed feel good factor. For all the Saunders family a trip in a new car is always a welcome adventure into the unknown. And the Skoda certainly doesn’t disappoint. The children particularly like the large panoramic glass roof that stretches the full length of the vehicle and allows them to look up at the trees as they go through a seasonal change of colour. ‘I love Skodas,’ enthuses Harriett (9) with huge passion. There is a cover that can be operated by the press of a button; Henry (4) has great pleasure in showing us all.

Tim Saunders is an advanced motorist and journalist. He has always been passionate about motoring and regularly reviews cars from the leading manufacturers. His first report on a BMW 520i was published in the Dorset Echo when he was 17 (just after passing his driving test) in 1995. He went on to become business and motoring editor at the Bournemouth Echo.

Harriett (9) and I admire this estate finished in race blue metallic, from the dining room, the front bumper demands our attention because the indicators sit underneath the headlights, split up by the bumper in a way that we haven’t seen before. This sporty model is certainly attractive with its black radiator grille and striking 18-inch black Vega alloy wheels. That touch of black continues around the vehicle; black writing on the boot and black trim. There’s rear privacy glass to further enhance its no mess attitude. ‘What’s that?’ questions Heidi (7) as I open the doors. I confess to not knowing but in my research I discover that this model has clever door-edge protection so that there’s no damage if opening the door against a wall or another car. The interior microsuede upholstery is black, and

with the roof cover shut it’s pretty dark but this of course is soon changed by opening it when huge amounts of light come in. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable driver’s car, with an excellent seating position thanks to the front sports seats. The multi-functional steering wheel in black perforated leather with red stitching further adds to the sporty feel. Everything’s in the right place and the six-speed manual gearbox is a joy, as you’d expect. Progress is swift. The Kamiq comes loaded with goodies including electrically adjustable power folding wing mirrors, all-round electric windows, air conditioning, an easy to use and reliable sat nav, a traditional handbrake, a removable LED light in the boot and even an umbrella in the driver’s door. Yes, we’re smitten and very sad to see it go.

The word Kamiq originates from the language of the Inuit people who live in northern Canada and Greenland. It means something that fits perfectly. Rarely is a car name so apt. I didn’t know this when the Kamiq arrived on my driveway but funnily enough that’s just what I thought. The designers should receive top marks. It’s a joy to behold. As eldest Brewers Garage.qxp_Layout 1 daughter 16/03/2020 14:23 Page 1

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FACTS AT A GLANCE

Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo 1.5 TSI 150PS Price: £27,515 0-60mph: 8.3secs Economy: 44mpg approx. Power: 150ps Top speed: 132mph CO2 emissions: 113g/km Watch the video at www.testdrives.biz /TheConduitMag

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ARTS

ARTS

By Julie Locke

MOVIES

Whilst cinemas and other venues remain closed until further notice, take advantage of the numerous opportunities to watch film and television shows online. For a list of useful film-related websites and information, visit Yeovil’s film society website, www. cinematheque.org.uk. Somerset Film, dedicated to empowering individuals and communities through film and digital technology, is focusing on 20 films from 20 years via its Instagram page; for further information, visit www.somersetfilm.com. Explore www.moviola.org for ideas about what to watch and where to find it.

LITERARY ART

Until Friday 30 April is the 2021 international Literary Prize, an annual writing competition with cash prizes, launched by Yeovil Community Arts Association (YCAA). Now in its 18th year, the Yeovil Literary Prize has matured into a highly regarded writing competition, attracting submissions from across the globe. The competition has four categories; Novel, Short Stories, Poetry and Writing Without Restriction. Its continued popularity means that this year’s cash prizes are bigger than ever. All money raised supports talented local youngsters training for careers in the performing and creative arts, who may not otherwise be able to continue their studies. Previous judges have included literary agents and publishers, as well as accomplished authors and poets. For further information, visit www.yeovilprize. co.uk. Calling All Cultural Writers to get involved in the 2021 Page Turner Awards. These inclusive writing and book awards, sponsored by ProWritingAid, have with one goal – to change the lives of as many writers as possible. The team at Page Turner Awards passionately believes that talented writers can be from any background, age, race, religion, or interest. Page Turner Awards gives writers and authors the chance to enter unpublished or published fiction and non-fiction and screenplays, to be read by a carefully curated judging panel made up of influential players in the publishing industry. Prizes span everything from mentorships to audiobook production and publishing

packages. Submissions close on Monday 31 May. Find out more about The Page Turner at www.pageturnerawards.com.

VISUAL ART

Evolver, the Wessex Arts and Culture Guide. For virtual exhibitions and online tours, plus entertainment, visit www.evolver.org.uk. The Absent Gallery is a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic; its aim is to provide professional and emerging Somersetbased artists and galleries with a platform to showcase their artwork in a series of curated virtual 3D exhibitions. It is a platform targeted to share and promote virtual exhibitions created independently by artists and galleries. The Absent Gallery offers a hub of virtual galleries to those in lockdown or in self-isolation. It is not designed to replace real world galleries, but to offer support during these difficult times. Created by an artist wishing to offer fellow artists the opportunity to continue exhibiting in a 3D virtual and interactive world. Take a look around at www.theabsentgallery.co.uk.

MUSIC

On Saturday 13 March online is Ninebarrow’s album launch concert. Award-winning Dorset duo Ninebarrow is celebrating the launch of a fourth studio album ‘A Pocket Full of Acorns’ by fulfilling a long-held wish to address their carbon footprint. In the week leading up to the album’s release on Friday 5 March, Jon and Jay will lead a working party in the planting of 1,000 native English trees and 200 shrubs to form ‘The Ninebarrow Woodland’. Find out more and tune in to the concert at www. artsreach.co.uk/news/digital-diary. From Saturday 3 to Saturday 10 July is the Somerton Music & Arts Festival. The festival will start with a family fun day, followed by a variety of events at venues across town, and reach its finale on the last day with Somerstock, Somerton’s own family friendly music festival. There will be more than 14 local and original bands performing across three stages, headlined by The Christians. Somerton Recreation Ground, the venue for Somerstock, has plenty of space for all festival-goers as well as for family

entertainment, food, licenced bars and on-site car parking. Ticket numbers will be limited to keep whatever social distancing restrictions are in place at the time. If the event is postponed, all tickets can either roll over to 2022 or will be refunded in full. For festival tickets (including Early Bird ticket before Monday 1 March), visit www. somerstock.com. Bowjangles This intrepid string quartet presents its most magical show so far; a theatrical, musical journey through myths, folklore, legends and a portal in a cello case, in the quest to find the most priceless relic of all, a magical violin bow known as Excalibow. Expect tales of monsters, ancient gods, historical figures and characters of pure fantasy in this action packed show, all presented in Bowjangles’ own inimitable and unique style, full of comedy, energy, panache and almost every musical genre imaginable - may contain traces of Abba. Find out more at www.artsreach.co.uk. www.bowjangles. org. Concerts in the West For wonderful music and dazzling performances, visit www.concertsinthewest.org. Planning has now begun to restart live concerts in May 2021. Donations to support performers and Concerts in the West would be very welcome. Paprika, UK’s leading Balkan band, fuses together Eastern European, Balkan, Gypsy and Classical music in a whirlwind performance of frenzied virtuosity. Fiery melodies and foot-tapping rhythms are interspersed with lilting laments in highenergy sets. Specialising in bringing rare or lost traditional Balkan music back to life, both the curious listener and the wellversed aficionado are sure to enjoy a host of surprises and fast-paced entertainment. The band has performed all over the world, from New Zealand to Japan, including Womad and Glastonbury festivals and prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Find out more at www.artsreach.co.uk. www.paprikamusic. com. The People’s String Foundation, fronted by the virtuoso violinist Ben Sutcliffe with co-founder and composer Zaid Al-Rikabi at the core, mixes world, classical and urban

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Events listed are correct as we go to press but we advise checking with organisers before attending any event as the Covid-19 situation may change.

ARTS

styles. Their musical show ‘Res Publica’, recorded at The Hall for Cornwall in 2018, presents the live duo alongside a 32piece virtual gypsy orchestra. Using music, puppetry, cinematography and animation to create an immersive and exhilarating show, ‘Res Publica’ invites the audience on an incredible journey of discovery. In the second half of the show there is a chance to hear The People’s String Foundation’s most popular songs and compositions from their time working as musical directors for theatre companies such as Kneehigh, Rogue and Minack. Find out more at www.artsreach. co.uk. www.thepeoplesstringfoundation. com.

PERFORMANCE

On Tuesday 2, 9, 16 and 23 March at 12.30pm online, join the Octagon Tappers with Katey Leader. These fun sessions are great for developing rhythm, co-ordination and keeping fit. Warm up each week with some basic steps, then get into some jazzhands worthy routines! Some tap experience is helpful - join in with or without tap shoes. Open to everyone. Book in advance online until 11.00am on the day of the class. A YouTube link will be sent to participants before the class starts. Tickets £4. Book online at www.octagon-theatre.co.uk.

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hidden childhood memory that changes her outlook forever... Age 16+. Just 30 telephone performances slots available, so book soon! To book a performance, contact Artsreach on 01305 269512 or visit www. artsreach.co.uk/whats-on. Every Wednesday online, listen to a new Winter Warmer by The Inn Crowd. The ‘Winter Warmers’ initiative is a collection of seven heart-warming poems about pubs, written by poets in six regions across England. A new poem is set to be released each week, aiming to bring cheer and hope to publicans, their staff and communities. ‘Winter Warmers’ is a collaboration between Pub is The Hub and The Inn Crowd, conceived from a desire to bring together publicans and artists, which make an invaluable contribution to society, and to do something positive for these two sectors which have been significantly affected by the pandemic. Listen online at www.artsreach. co.uk/news. Artsreach is sharing some of the brilliant cultural events that its artists have released digitally. Take a look online at past performance programmes from seasons gone by. The page is constantly changing so keep checking and keep sharing it. For more information, check What’s On and Digital Diary at www.artsreach.co.uk.

On Saturday 13 March at 8.00pm via Zoom, there is a brand new storytelling sound experience entitled ‘4 Tales to Save the World’, created and recorded by Welsh singer-songwriter and storyteller, Gwilym Morus-Baird. This original work draws on specially commissioned tales from four of Wales’ leading short story writers - Kate Hamer, Joao Morais, Mary-Ann Constantine and Bethan Dear – with original music, creating four distinctive worlds, each imagining a future Wales following climate crisis. Book no later than Thursday 4 March to receive a special edition box set in time to listen to the live online event on Saturday 13 March. Tickets from £16.76. Find out more at www.artsreach.co.uk/news/digital-diary.

Luke Wright: The Ballad Seller Back in Georgian times, before papers, broadcasts or the internet, ballad sellers would hawk their doggerel on street corners for a penny. Scandalous affairs, grisly crimes and colourful characters were brought to life in rhyming verse long before the first tabloid was printed. Now Luke Wright has rewritten the very best of these stories for the modern ear: take a trip through the Drury Lane gin shops with the Boxing Baroness; filch oysters by the dozen with Dando, the celebrated gormandiser; and escape the Bull Ring with Jemmy the Rockman. Expect scandal, excess, and beautiful flawed humanity. Watch online at www.artsreach.co.uk/news/ digital-diary. www.lukewright.co.uk.

On Monday 15, Tuesday 16 and Friday 26 to Sunday 28 March between 3.00pm and 7.00pm, Stute Theatre presents a new telephone theatre play ‘You Don’t Know Me But...’ This 20-minute intimate one-woman play is performed live over the phone, giving audience members a unique and moving theatre experience in their own homes. Expect live music, beautiful writing and immersive sound effects in this unique approach to socially distanced theatre. Vick is a care worker in a residential home. As her working day progresses, the day’s encounters gradually uncover a deeply

Plays over the Phone is a live theatre experience between one performer and one audience, over the phone. Conceived and performed by Roxana Bartle for people who may be feeling isolated and would enjoy a live theatrical experience. Roxanna is bringing back her live theatre experience for this lockdown. Check the website to find out how and when to book a play. ‘I was truly transported to another world’, ‘The best 10 minutes I’ve spent this year’, ‘Lovely to have some theatre again!’ are just a few of the comments. For further information, visit www.wassailtheatre.co.uk/plays-over-thephone.

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Somerset Emergency Theatre was launched by Wassail, a registered charity, with the aim of keeping Somerset culturally connected. During Summer 2020 lockdown Wassail used 100% of grant income received from Arts Council England, South Somerset District Council and Somerset Community Foundation to commission, support or employ freelance theatre makers. As a result, there is plenty on the website to enjoy from home during this lockdown. Help artists in Somerset continue making excellent theatre by donating to Somerset Emergency Theatre. For further information, visit www. wassailtheatre.co.uk/somerset-emergencytheatre. Song Maps and Storylines Reworked folk songs and stories are combined with visuals from Somerset residents to make seven stunning films. Kesty Morrison and her creative team have taken seven folk songs and seven folk stories, each connected to a specific place in Somerset. They reworked them, sent them to people living nearby and asked them to send a visual response. Storytelling and vocals by Kesty Morrison with beatbox, guitar and drones by Jack Salt. Watch at www.wassailtheatre.co.uk/songmaps-and-storylines. Songs of Friendship Award-winning storyteller James Rowland has toured his ‘Songs of Friendship’ trilogy (‘Team Viking’, ‘A Hundred Different Words for Love’ and ‘Revelations’) around Dorset in recent years. Now James has released a unique audio series based on the shows. Listen to the audio series at www.artsreach.co.uk/news/ digital-diary. Symphony of the Countryside captures the images, words, music and sounds that make up the rural landscape, featuring content collected by rural touring schemes across the country including Artsreach in Dorset. Armed with cameras and smartphones, volunteers from across the UK captured sound and video content from their communities during the March 2020 lockdown. These were stitched together by filmmaker Gemma Wearing to create a visual landscape overlaid with music and poetry. To enjoy this short film, go to www.artsreach.co.uk/news/digitaldiary. The Living Spit Podcast Living Spit has launched a podcast! Artsreach favourites, Howard and Stu (and the occasional special guest) look back at past shows and discuss a whole host of things from how they were conceived, to tour stories and more, all with a dose of their usual humour! Tune in and listen at www.artsreach.co.uk/news/digitaldiary.

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ARTS

The One Minute Festival During the early stages of the first lockdown, Somerset’s theatre making community was inspired by Ged Stephenson’s call-out to create a oneminute piece of digital theatre. Wassail teamed up with Barn Theatre (Take Art’s theatre development initiative) to commission 35 one-minute films, all created at different stages of lockdown. Watch them all at www.wassailtheatre. co.uk/one-minute-festival. The Thief’s Tale Take a listen to the second podcast from acclaimed storytellers, The Devil’s Violin. Through music and spoken word, The Devil’s Violin retell one magical adventure over five ten-minute episodes. In the best tradition of both Scheherazade and EastEnders, each episode will end with a cliffhanger. Be warned, this tale is definitely one for the grown-ups! Be prepared to be charmed, thrilled and chilled... To listen to ‘The Thief’s Tale’, click the link at www.artsreach.co.uk/news/digitaldiary.

TAKING THE NEGATIVE OUT OF THE NEWS

By Steve Haigh, Station Manager, Radio Ninesprings 104.5 FM New radio and TV channels are opening up all the time and this is a good thing. Not least, because it widens choice and helps create balance in how news is covered. Never was the broadcast media under greater interrogation for its news reporting than during the Brexit debate.

Twisted Tales in Lockdown Cornish company ‘Owdyado Theatre has been providing work for writers across the UK with a new writing competition ‘Twisted Tales in Lockdown’ and has created an epic series of short audio plays to enjoy from home ... or from anywhere really! There are many titles to choose from, such as: ‘Mountain Breeze’, a late night DJ on Mountain Breeze radio is desperate for a caller, when one finally does get through things begin to get a bit sinister; ‘Me, Myself and A.I’, a young woman utterly dependent on technology is terrorised by the resentful A.I that runs her home; ‘Mother Lode’, Barry and his old mum seem to be taking the lockdown in their stride, but tensions mount when Barry discovers his last Twirl is missing. Listen to the Twisted Tales at www.artsreach.co.uk/news/digital-diary. www. owdyado.co.uk.

When I was reporting for the BBC, we were told as journalists that if people on all sides of the political spectrum complained then we were probably getting the job right.

CHILDREN

So, with a gap in the market, step forward Andrew Neil with his soonto-launch TV news channel GB News. He promises that GB News will be the biggest news channel to compete with the major networks in 30 years and that it will bring a fresh approach to news reporting and genuine plurality to the British media. In the same way Sky News changed the broadcasting landscape, the contrast between GB News and the incumbent news channels is immediately obvious.

On Tuesday 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 March at 6.15pm online, there are Somerset Youth Theatre classes, with David Reakes in association with Tor Theatre & Wassail Theatre Company, for anyone interested in devising, writing or performing. No previous experience necessary - just come wanting to be creative, have fun and make new friends. Somerset is full of funny stories, brilliant characters and strange myths. The time has come to turn these tales into plays, and bring some of the county’s best-kept secrets to life! Age 7 to 18. Booking available until 2.00pm online on the day of the class (or until 4.00pm via the Box Office on 01935 422884). Tickets £5. Book online at www.octagontheatre.co.uk. Gallivanting Goblins A charming three-part familyfriendly creative project and podcast by Alexandra Ricou, Danielle Sharp and Beth Fiducia-Brookes, inspired by Christina Rosetti’s Goblin Market. Escape into the Gallivanting Goblins story by listening to the sounds of the outdoors and the wonderful Somerset folklore whilst walking. There’s magic on the doorstep - ready to explore? Or to listen along at home, click on the link at www.wassailtheatre.co.uk/gallivantinggoblins. Make goblin-inspired art and share online using #WassailGallivantingGoblins. Draw, paint, collage or even sculpt a creative piece! Display the artwork in the windows at home and help share the Goblin Magic!

MUSIC

But the debate over how the broadcast media reports the news has become more vociferous of recent. MPs are demanding root and branch change at the BBC complaining the national broadcasters’ news style has barely changed in decades and that it does not represent Britain post-Brexit. But changing things at the BBC is like turning around an oil tanker at sea – it happens very slowly.

are what you read’ is about people’s changing habits towards broadcast news. Jodie quotes a study by the news agency Reuters that shows one in three people actively avoids broadcast news because it lowers their mood. One respondent said constantly hearing about problems in the news made her feel helpless and hopeless. The survey revealed that people switch off bad news and look for stories that give them hope. And, that people are more receptive to new stories that talk about solutions not just problems. Jodie’s book does not advocate that journalists merely produce feel-good stories. But that telling a story as only being a problem is telling only half a story. She wants more media time given for stories to go beyond the initial impact of a tragedy or disaster. And, challenges the often-held journalistic view that solutions are inconsequential to news reporting. If Andrew Neil is serious about wanting a fresh perspective to broadcast news then I suggest a quick read of Jodie’s book might be a good starting point. To listen to Radio Ninesprings – Tune in: 104.5 FM Listen Online: www.radioninesprings. co.uk

New Local Radio Station for Yeovil and South Somerset

You have to admire Andrew Neil for this bold assault. GB News will be seen as an expensive experiment. But to those funding the channel, an experiment worth making. I’ve been reading a book on news reporting by Jodie Jackson. ‘You

RADIO 104.5 FM

Listen on Smart Speakers: say: ‘Alexa enable the Radio Ninesprings skill’ thereafter: ‘Alexa play Radio Ninesprings’ Radio Ninesprings can also be heard on Amazon TV Coming early 2021 - new FM transmitters for Chard and Wincanton

SPRINGS

You can’t get more Local!

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LIFESTYLE

INSPIRATIONS FOR THE CURIOUS SHOPPER By Dawn Woodward, The Emporium, Yeovil

All our cakes, scones, sandwiches and savoury treats are made in our own kitchen, you can’t beat homemade! Our brownies are irresistible!

Hello to all of you from The Emporium, Yeovil’s hub of independent businesses. It seems like ages since we’ve been open, but we’ve certainly not been idle! Our cafe has kept us very busy as we have switched the business entirely over to supplying takeaway afternoon teas. I’m pleased to say that our ever popular afternoon teas – a firm favourite in our café - have been well received as takeaways! All beautifully packaged in a stack of boxes, tied with a ribbon, looking as stunning as they are tasty! Everything inside these boxes is handmade by our own chefs at The Emporium Cafe, and they are available for collection from our kitchen door every Friday lunchtime. In addition to our regular weekly treat, we’re now taking orders for our special Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, which will be available to collect from our kitchen door on Sunday 14 March, what better way to spoil your mum? They cost £14.95/ head and are a superb gift for a special occasion. Details of all our afternoon tea takeaways and all of our online shopping can be found on our website. So, we’ve also been recruiting! We’re excited to have been accepted to offer government-funded Kickstart placements, offering paid jobs to unemployed young people. We’ve had loads of very talented applicants approach us and we’re currently recruiting to fill ten 22

positions. More on this to follow next time, I’m hoping to introduce our team of Kickstarters to you soon! In the meantime, we’ll keep pushing forward behind the scenes, moving towards the day when it is deemed safe for shops like ours to reopen. As always, the courage and determination of our amazing traders is what keeps The Emporium alive; they are such a strong bunch of individuals, determined to bounce back once we reopen. We are hoping to have 65 independent businesses at The Emporium, all adding to the wonderful diversity and mix within our shop. We’d love to hear from you if you’re looking for a retail outlet for your own business; the coming months will be a great time for local independent businesses to grow and prosper. Drop us an email via our website, where you’ll also find more information on trading at The Emporium.

Cakes, to tempt you! Persian Love Cake was a hit with Valentine’s Day diners last month.

Until next time, stay safe. Contact us as always in the following ways: Email: info@theemporiumyeovil.co.uk Phone (shop): 01935 579482 Phone (office & cafe) 01935 411378 Website: www.theemporiumyeovil. co.uk

Looking so pretty, our afternoon tea takeaways come boxed like this... wouldn’t you love to be delving in to one of these?

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ANTIQUES

CHARLES I STUMPWORK PICTURE AND FURNITURE UP FOR GRABS AT AUCTION Acreman St. Antiques Auction in Sherborne had its first auction of the year, and despite lockdown it was better than ever, with fierce competition for many of the lots on offer and good prices were achieved. The 26 February Fine Art & General Antiques Auction is live online only. The catalogue is available to view through Easyliveauction.com. There are over 750 lots. On offer is a fine selection of early oak country furniture including a Charles I oak joint stool. On offer from the same estate are two stump work pictures, the earliest is a very fine stump work and silk picture depicting Charles I in his campaign tent surrounded by his wife Henrietta Maria and figures from the bible including Jael holding the head of Sisera. Est. £1,000-£2,000. We also have a wonderful collection of studio pottery, including a pale blue winged vase by Colin Pearson (the only other is in the V&A museum) est. £1,000-£1,500, a stoneware vase by Robert Fournier est. £300£400 and two porcelain bowls

by his wife Sheila Fournier both £100-£200. From Dewlish in Dorset there is an annotated collection of historical interest, put together during WWII to include – shrapnel, American GI ephemera, helmets, bayonets, also a WWII swastika car pennant and a WWII Mercedes car pennant.

Colin Pearson studio vase £1,000-£1,500

Your generous donations keep coming in for the Breast Cancer Unit Appeal at Yeovil Hospital; 40 lots of jewellery and watches are entered on their behalf along with many other jewellery and silver lots. If you wish to bid and would like to collect your items, we are using Click & Collect by appointment and we are also offering a lowcost delivery service within a 30mile radius. We are now accepting entries for our 26 March auction, by appointment only. For any enquiries advice or valuations, please call Gill Norman on 07908 333577 or 01935 508764 or email: auction@ acremanstreetantiques.co.uk.

Charles I Stump work picture £1,000-£2,000

ACREMAN ST. ANTIQUES

Auction

SHERBORNE FINE ART, COLLECTABLES & GENERAL AUCTION Friday 26th February

ONLINE ONLY

through easyliveauction.com

We are now taking in for our 26th March Auction For all enquiries please contact Charles I oak joint stool £300-£400

Gill Norman 07908 333577 / 01935 508764 auction@acremanstreetantiques.co.uk

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SHERBORNE WALKS

DID GEORGIAN SHERBORNE HAVE A PLEASURE GARDEN? PART 1 By Paul Birbeck, Sherborne Walks & Blue Badge Tour Guide Tour guiding during the pandemic is getting more difficult so Sherborne Walks is having to adapt. Whilst the lockdown continues, researching new topics is one useful activity. Over the next three months my articles will explore how leisure and entertainment developed around the area. Last October I was fortunate to visit a very unusual building located in the heart of Sherborne. The Shell House is a Grade 1 listed building sited in the walled garden at Harper House, currently owned by Sherborne School, in Hound Street. A few town residents may have visited the garden as part of the annual ‘Hidden Gardens of Sherborne’ event organised by the Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles, but generally speaking, the garden is closed to the public. Grade I listed means that the property is of ‘exceptional interest’ based on the list maintained by Historic England. Only around 2.5% of all listed buildings are Grade 1. The structure is a very rare and early example of a classicallyinspired shell house, dating from circa 1750, a period of history which has always interested me – Georgian England. My training to become a South West Region Blue Badge guide required a detailed knowledge of the development of Bath – the ultimate Georgian City. Part of the course focused upon the development of the Holburne Museum and garden which were key focal points for Bath Georgian society. 24

Jane Austen, the famous author who wrote about Bath’s social life in the early 1800s, lived at No 4 Sydney Place in 1804. She wrote of her enjoyment when walking, dining and attending the evening galas with musical performances, illuminations and fireworks in Sydney Gardens Vauxhall – the garden now surrounding the museum. Vauxhall, a Russian word for ‘pleasure garden’, became fashionable across Europe, and was a place to visit and be seen in Georgian times. Sydney Gardens were open to anyone who could afford the entry fee. Visitors walked through arches to emerge into a very different world. During the day one might take tea, walk the gardens, read the papers and dine on cold meats and pastries in one of the outdoor shelters known as Supper Boxes. Inside was

a bandstand with a band welcoming the visitors who collected their picnic supper box before exploring the gardens. Attractions included a labyrinth (twice as large as Hampton Court), a mechanical swing, a mock castle ruin, a grotto and even a hermit’s cottage (with hermit puppet!). The woodland areas and seated lawn walks were places to sit and relax.

with minimal supervision, and maybe even meet a potential partner.

Thrilling entertainments, such as grand firework displays, acrobats, dancing, concerts and balloon ascents, awaited in the evenings.

My visit to the 1750’s Shell House caused me to ask what was the purpose of the Shell House in Sherborne? Is there any link to Vauxhall fashion? Next month I will explore possible answers and reveal more about the house.

One could also play cards, gamble and drink at the Sydney Hotel (now the Holburne Museum) or attend dances in the grand ballroom. Along with all of the entertainment on offer, a visit to a pleasure garden was the time to mix and socialise

By the mid-19th century Royal Victoria Park was thriving, and Sydney Gardens had lost its popularity. In 1913 Bath Council bought the gardens and what had once been the largest pleasure garden outside of London became a shadow of its former glory.

The Labyrinth from Sydney Gardens Vauxhall, Bath, J Kerr, 1825 Courtesy of Bath Record Office: Archives and Local Studies

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FOOD & DRINK

MUMBAI KEEMA BURGERS

By Khrishma Preston, The Alternative Indian On the Indian subcontinent it is more common to eat chicken, lamb, goat or mutton than beef or pork. Thus, minced lamb is more commonly used than minced beef within this type of cuisine. I have spent nearly a quarter of my life visiting family, working (in Wildlife Conservation), travelling, and of course eating my way around a large proportion of India. Throughout this time Mumbai was always my hub, my landing and take-off point. I spent a lot of my time with family and friends and used these stays as a base for my explorations. The Colaba peninsular is one of my favourite places. It was here during my first solo exploration that I came across the famous Keema Pav, India’s version of the American

Sloppy Joe. As we have not been able to visit India for a while I thought I would create a burger version of this dish. Made with lamb mince (locally sourced), strong cheddar cheese and a brioche bun, this is a meal in itself. On Monday 8 March I will be posting the instructional video of this, my pickled red onions and my tomato and pea relish that pair well with this burger. Please visit YouTube/TheAlternativeIndian. If you do make a version of this for yourself, I love to see it and know what you think. If you could share these on my Facebook (TiffinsandTapas) and/or my Instagram (The Alternative Indian) – it would be very much appreciated.

Mumbai Keema Burgers Serves Makes 4 large or 6 small patties

Prep time 10 mins | Cooling time 20 mins Cook time 1 hr

INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp oil

About ½ cup water

1 bay leaf

1½ tsp garam masala

3 cloves

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 cardamom pods 1 inch cinnamon stick 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp black pepper, freshly grinded 1½ tsp salt 2 green chillies, finely chopped (keep seeds for a little more punch) 1 inch fresh ginger, grated 5 garlic cloves, crushed Approx. ¾ tube of concentrated tomato puree 1 tsp chilli powder or paprika ½ tsp turmeric powder 4 tsp cumin-coriander powder

500g minced lamb 1 egg, lightly beaten ¾ cup seeded bread, crumbed, or plain breadcrumbs Fresh brioche bun, sliced and ready to toast Suggested toppings: Strong Somerset cheddar or chilli cheese 1 crispy fried egg Spicy pickled red onions (See my YouTube Channel for recipe) Pea, pepper and tomato relish (See my YouTube Channel for recipe)

METHOD

Mumbai Keema Spice Paste Heat the oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Cook for 3-5 mins without burning the spices until all the aromatics are released. Remove the whole spices from that pan, lower heat to medium-low, add cumin seeds and cook for a couple of minutes. Grind in the black pepper and stir in the salt. Add the chillies, ginger and garlic, and fry these off before adding the tomato puree. Stir the paste regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn or stick but releases the moisture, lower the heat if needed. After about 5 mins, add the chili powder, turmeric and the cumincoriander powder and stir. This will cause the paste in the pan to thicken so keep stirring. Turn up the heat a little for a minute so that paste starts to sizzle a little. Add 3-4 teaspoons of water to the pan and stir in. Let this evaporate. Repeat this process until you’ve added all the water and the oil starts to separate from the paste. This is when all the spices are cooked, and you have a more flavour-infused base for your burger patties. Lower the heat slightly and cook for another 5 mins until you have a more dried-out paste. Take the pan off the heat, add garam

masala and onion, and thoroughly mix. Taste the mix and adjust the chili/salt levels to personal preference. Let the paste completely cool for at least 20 mins. Alternatively, you can make the paste in advance and store it in the fridge for three days.

Mumbai Keema Burgers

While you wait for the mixture to cool, preheat your oven to 180C and take the lamb out of the fridge to get it to room temperature. In a large mixing bowl bring together the minced lamb, spice paste (keep the seasoned pan aside), the egg and the breadcrumbs. Divide the mixture into quarters or sixths. Shape each burger to about ¾ inch thickness and place on a foil-lined baking tray. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 30-35 mins. Flip the burger halfway. Check the burger is almost done (not pink in the middle) before topping with sliced cheese and baking for another 5-10 mins until it’s bubbly. Whilst the cheese is melting reheat the seasoned pan with an extra tablespoon of oil. Fry an egg sunny side-up but so the edges are crispy. Once your fried eggs are cooked, place aside and toast the insides of the brioche bun in the same pan. Assemble and enjoy your burger with your favoured condiments.

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TRAVEL

SWANNING AROUND AT ABBOTSBURY By Tim Saunders who visited Abbotsbury before the current lockdown

A swan opens its eyes the opposite way to us. Our daughter Harriett (9) spots this during our trip to Abbotsbury Swannery. We take a short video to show it. The Swannery is about 75 miles from our Hampshire home but it takes us three hours to travel there due to the sheer weight of traffic. However, when we arrive it is as if we have discovered Dorset’s best kept secret, a stone’s throw from Chesil Beach. It’s the only managed colony of nesting mute swans in the world. There are so few visitors there are absolutely no worries about social distancing. This is a real surprise. And it’s so peaceful and enjoyable to just walk around and if you so wish, sit on a bench and admire the magnificent and majestic swans and their cygnets as well as ducks, moorhens, coots and Canada geese. The position of this attraction gives a feeling of being on a secluded island far away, as if you are in a David Attenborough documentary. Quite incredible. A peaceful oasis of calm. This experience isn’t like going to a zoo where you’re disappointed on discovering that some of the animals aren’t actually there that day. At Abbotsbury Swannery visitors are in the natural environment with hundreds of swans in the summer months. It’s quite magical to look out at the scene before you; a sea of white. White feathers that have been shed cover the ground like snow. You get to see, hear, smell the whole thing and ‘it’s so relaxing’ says Caroline. ‘I could’ve sat there all day if the children had 26

let me, just watching the birds.’ And that’s the thing, birdwatching itself is so relaxing but usually when you do it you’re not guaranteed to see such an array of birds. You are here, though, and that’s a real joy. Written records of the Swannery’s existence date back to 1393, but it probably existed before that and is believed to have been established by Benedictine monks in the 11th century. The Swannery was used by the monks until 1539 when the monastery was dissolved by King Henry VIII. The site was then purchased by Sir Guy Strangeways and has remained in the Strangeways family through 15 generations up to the present day. An estate of some 15,000 acres in Dorset covering Chesil Beach and Abbotsbury, it is still held by the Ilchester Estate owned by Mrs Charlotte Townshend,

the daughter of the 9th Viscount Galway, a descendant of the first Countess of Ilchester. In the late 1920s the Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova (1881 to 1931) studied the swans here while rehearsing her legendary performance of Swan Lake. Members of the corps de ballet actually danced Swan Lake at the Swannery. ‘I’ve learnt that swans can swim with one foot and rest the other one in the air,’ smiles Harriett, who loves nature. ‘Some people think they’re hurt but they’ve just turned part of their body round,’ she enthuses. Meanwhile, Heidi takes a swan that she has named Enid for a walk. For more information, visit www. abbotsburyswannery.co.uk.


TRAVEL

CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN STYLE THIS YEAR…. By Heather Muir, Manager – Miles Morgan Travel, Yeovil Christmas may not have been the one you planned last year, so we know this is why we have seen a huge increase in customers looking to secure that well-deserved break away for this coming Christmas. Why not make your Christmas extra special this year and enjoy a festive holiday? We know that everyone has a different idea of what makes the perfect Christmas and that’s why we have teamed up with Saga this month to tell you about their choice of holiday styles and reassurance promises. Enjoy a traditional Christmas break in the UK, travel to Europe, join a sociable river cruise or a relaxing ocean cruise. Whichever Christmas holiday you take with Saga you can enjoy exceptional value for money as they include so much in the price, plus they have many sole occupancy rooms at no extra cost. As the world opens, the restrictions are constantly changing, myself and my team are on hand to help you make sense of it all and to ensure that your travel goes smoothly – it can be a minefield without the right advice. All Saga holidays have optional included travel insurance on all of their overseas

holidays which includes up to £5m emergency medical and repatriation cover for coronavirus. They are also offering a flexible cancellation cover should you need to cancel due to coronavirus medical conditions prior to departure. Please ask us for full details. Many Saga holidays include a VIP home departure service that means your holiday can start the moment your close your front door.

We are proud to be a main agent for

Saga have an inspiring collection of Ocean and River Cruises and European, Worldwide and UK holidays too. Many with a VIP door-to-door travel service. During these uncertain times, all Saga Holidays come with their reassurance promise.

Contact our Travel Specialists today Phone lines open until 10pm

www.milesmorgantravel.co.uk

01935 428488 14-16 Middle Street Yeovil BA20 1LY

Terms & conditions apply please ask for details

Book your Saga holiday now at Miles Morgan Travel from just £99 per person deposit and with the Saga Reassurance Promise when you book by 31 March 2021, if your plans change you can amend your holiday with no amendment fees. So, there is nothing to lose, book now to lock in the best price and availability and have something to look forward to for Christmas and beyond. If our shop is unable to open, due to restrictions, my team and I continue to work from home and our phonelines are open until 10pm – 01935 428488. We really look forward to getting you back travelling again soon.

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27


PET HEALTH

BEWARE THE LOCKDOWN BULGE

142 Preston Road, Yeovil Somerset BA20 2EE Lower Acreman Street Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3EX www.newtonclarkevet.com

By Peter Luscombe BVSc GPCert(Derm) MRCVS With lockdown following so closely after Christmas, I have certainly put on a few pounds, and I have noticed the same with a lot of the pets we are seeing. Obesity is an excess of body fat from eating more than the body requires. Pets that are overfed lack the ability to exercise, or breeds prone to retain weight are most at risk of becoming obese. Obesity can result in serious health issues, reducing quality of life and lifespan, even if only moderately overweight. Many parts of the body are affected by excess body fat including bones and joints, digestive and respiratory systems. The natural hormone balance is affected, predisposing to diseases such as diabetes. Obesity is common in dogs of all ages but rises in middle-aged cats and dogs. Neutered and indoor cats and dogs also tend to have a higher risk of becoming overweight, due to lack of physical activity or changes in metabolism. There are several causes of obesity. The most common cause is an imbalance between the

energy intake and requirements; that is, the cat or dog is eating more than it can possibly expend. Obesity also becomes more common with age because of hormonal changes and the normal decreases in the ability to exercise. Unhealthy eating habits, such as high-calorie foods, an alternating diet, and frequent treats can also bring on this condition.

intake and increasing your pet’s time spent exercising. Your veterinary practice can help you to create a long-term diet plan for your pet. Reducing the ration size is a key factor, but specially formulated diets can help to reduce calorie intake, stimulate energy metabolism, as well as giving a feeling of fullness, reducing hunger.

Medical conditions such as an underactive thyroid can also result in obesity, and your vet might test for this after ruling out other common causes. Neutering can also predispose an animal to weight gain, but in my experience, this is usually used as an excuse for failure to adjust the diet appropriately.

Increasing your pet’s physical activity level is vital for successful treatment. Regular walks and playing games, to make it fun, are important. I believe the frequency of exercise is probably more important than how far you walk.

Regular weighing will help diagnose obesity, but assessment of body condition by feeling over the ribs and back are important and more relevant to an individual animal. Treatment for obesity is focused on weight loss and maintaining a decreased body weight for the long term. This is accomplished by reducing caloric

Follow-up involves regular weighing, assessing body condition, and establishing a life-time weight maintenance program once your pet’s ideal body condition has been achieved. If you are struggling with your pet’s weight, be reassured that you are not alone. Please contact your veterinary surgery and speak to a member of staff. With a firm commitment to your pet’s health and weight, you will feel confident that your pet is eating healthily and feeling its best.

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Companions at Peace Pet Cremation Companions at Peace is an independent family run business offering a very personal, caring pet cremation service to bereaved pet owners. We provide the very best in respect, care and dignity, giving you total peace of mind, knowing we will look after your companion from the moment you entrust them to us, through to the time they are returned to you. Collection Service • Farewell Room

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As a pet owner, you do have a choice - you can choose to leave your beloved pet with your vet surgery, or you can choose to entrust them with us at Companions at Peace

We do not conduct communal cremations or the incineration of veterinary clinical waste

Find us on Facebook • www.companionsatpeace.co.uk

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THE LOSS OF A PARENT

CARE

By Tracey Warren, Stoodley and Son

‘When a man dies, if he can pass enthusiasm along to his children, he has left them an estate of incalculable value.’ Thomas Edison In March we celebrate Mothering Sunday and the internet is filled with ideas for gifts, flowers and reminders of that day. For myself after suffering loss through miscarriages Mothering Sunday has and always will be a bittersweet time for me. Many friends post on Facebook pictures of their children celebrating with home-made cards and flowers, often with beautiful sentiments. This year I was pleased to see that many online retailers that send me ‘promotional emails’ have given me the option to ‘opt out’ of receiving Mother’s Day ones. It has, however, made me think about parenting and the loss of a parent. More importantly the reactions to grief surrounding it when you are young. One of the most critical factors is the age of your parent and yourself at the time of the death. As with any loss, the depth of grief is always comparative to the

relationship you had with them. The death of a parent in childhood It is important to understand the meaning of the death for the child and explain to them in ways they can understand. There are many excellent resources from Winston’s Wish, the UK’s first childhood bereavement charity and books such as Water Bugs and Dragonflies which are used to help convey the message of loss to a child. There is a loss of security, love and nurturance. For the adults left behind it is vital that they understand what the child has lost. For healing, they need to have a sense of security and well-being restored. The death of a parent in teenage years A parent is a child’s model for growth into maturity. The teens may want to regress into

childhood but feel compelled to act like an adult. This can cause conflict with other adults and with their emotions. Teens may be angry about the injustice that has left them without parents and resentful to friends that have their parent still with them. However, social media and the influence of being able to ‘get over it’ quickly is unhealthy. I often get angry with the Soaps and media influencers that after a few weeks don’t show any grief or forget the person existed. There is a pressure on teens to have a happy ‘online presence’ which is unhealthy, they need the opportunity to express and show their grief. The death of a parent in your 20s and 30s These ages are years of transition and change when we struggle to consolidate our own identity and become independent from our parents. The death of a parent during this process can leave you

feeling deeply disappointed because you have been robbed of a significant person that could have helped you through these important years of development and achievement. In addition, you may have regret or anger that your parent has been denied many more years of life. Future milestones are bittersweet; for example, being walked down the aisle, or the birth of the first grandchild. In all ages of our lives it is important to acknowledge our grief and feelings. It is okay to cry, to talk about the person they have lost, especially so with children and young adults. Give them time and space to grieve. Most importantly, take time to listen to those that are grieving and help them create a continuing bond with the parent they have lost, by making a memory box, with photo albums, or making them a Mother’s Day Card.

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HEALTH & WELLBEING

HISTORY

DON’T FEAR YOUR FUTURE – CREATE IT By Niki Cassar

Smile to the future and it will smile back to you. (Yoko Ono) When you think about the future, do you immediately feel a sinking feeling in your tummy, accompanied by a whole host of negative thoughts? Try it out right now, as you’re reading this article. Spend a few minutes thinking about one year from now, then move to five years from now. How does that feel? You may have often asked yourself why you are plagued with anxieties about the future; financial hardship, relationship problems, being out of work, health issues – and more. Did you have similar fears one year ago? Five years ago? Interestingly, you are now in the future that you feared! How many of those issues actually came to pass? Did you know that studies have shown that at least 91% of what we fear never comes to pass! It seems to be a mainly human condition to constantly fear all the ‘what-might-happens’. Do the birds on our bird table worry about surviving the winter, and do our domestic pets get anxious about us remembering to buy their food? If not, it would suggest that they do what we struggle with, i.e. live in the present moment. Your present and future states of mind are very much influenced by events in your past that have created automatic programmes that keep running continuously, creating patterns of behaviour. If you had a very calm and contented childhood

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with caregivers who were positive thinkers (cup half full), you would probably be an adult who was far more unlikely to be influenced by other people’s fears, or the fear messages being constantly pumped out by the media. What we think is what we create, so when we look to the future and think about all the negative things that might happen, we are actually creating fear and discomfort that affects us mentally and physically, and we are also creating an unhappy future before we even get to it. Practising positive thinking takes patience and persistence, but it definitely pays good dividends. Here’s a little exercise that will help you. Place an elastic band around your wrist, and every time you’re aware of a negative thought, ‘ping’ the rubber band, and simultaneously make the effort to change the thought to the positive one you desire. Smile as you do it! Notice how much better you feel inside when you do this. Keep at it, after all, practice makes perfect. After a while, you will develop a new neural pathway of positive thinking, and your future will start to become brighter and sunnier and you will feel so much happier here in the present. If your fear of the future is really overwhelming, then please contact me for a free chat about how I can help you on 07973 346747 or email me at mail@nikicassar.com. I am a specialist at online hypnotherapy sessions!

WATER AID? By Lesley Wray

Fifty years ago there were still properties without indoor bathrooms. For many years the quantity of springs in Milborne Port meant that there was no shortage of water and people used wells (or later pumps) to fetch what they needed in buckets and jugs. Similarly, sewage was either: dumped as ‘night soil’ to be used as manure; collected and used by the tanneries; or thrown into the open drains that ran along the streets. However, as the population grew, problems arose, until following the 1854 outbreak of cholera in London, when it was proved that the sewers were contaminating the water supply, people wanted better. By 1889 the water in Milborne Port, still drawn from wells and springs, was of poor quality. The state of the sewers meant it had become polluted, and in 1889 there was an outbreak of cholera. The water supply was now the responsibility of the Rural District Council (RDC) in Wincanton. Nothing was done. In 1896 water samples were taken and analysed. At the time, 76 grains of impurities, including sewage, was the limit that rendered water unfit for drinking. The Milborne Port samples had 84 grains. The only water in Milborne Port fit for human consumption came from the spring in Bathwell orchard. Even so, it took a year for the RDC to agree that a pumped water supply was needed. Finally, in 1906 a contract to install piped water from an artesian well at Bradley Head and build a new pump house was signed. This brought clean water to the village, though not into the houses, whose residents still had to collect their water, unless they paid for pipes to be laid to their home. However, access to better water meant there was a greater volume of sewage to be dealt with. The existing system was built in 1876, with a field for irrigation added in 1895. In 1912 a new septic tank was built and a sewer alongside the stream was laid. An old inhabitant once told me that, as a child in the 1920s, their cottage had a toilet built directly over the stream: ‘All right in summer, but in bad weather the water came back up through the hole in the seat before you could use it!’ In 1925 the RDC found the Milborne Port sewers were in a poor state, the storm overflow tanks jammed with sediment, the irrigation area overgrown and the sewer needing cleaning. In March 1932 the farmer at Goathill wrote to the Ministry of Health to complain that no-one in the parish or district councils would do anything. This got Dorset County Council involved, but as the Parish Council explained, they agreed a new sewage system was needed, but until they paid off the cost of the 1902/6 water supply they could not undertake any more work. It was not until after World War II that improvements were made, and now both the water supply and the sewers work perfectly, while the stream itself is clean and carefully channelled between well-built walls and banks to prevent the flooding that used to be common. So next time you see the Water Aid advert, or run a tap, or flush the toilet, just remember how lucky we are.


HEALTH & WELLBEING

WATER AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

by Heather Crewe, Swim School & Aquatics Manager With lockdown 3.0 firmly upon us, we are finding ourselves wishing we were back to normality, but with the vaccination programme being rolled out, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With sports centres still shut, the need to get back in the water is calling out. So, let us take a few minutes to remind ourselves what the benefits are from water, not only swimming in but from drinking it. Whilst we may not be able to physically get in the water, we can start preparing our bodies with fluid intake. The many benefits to drinking water are. • It carries all the essential nutrients and oxygen to our cells

not have to be just swimming, there is lots more you can do.

weight throughout all the movements you do.

But more than anything else, it is fun.

Aqua Fit is one of the most popular activities in the water in most sports centres and Oxley is no exception.

Finally, exercise in water is great for cardiovascular health and has even been known to reduce blood pressure, which is why it is such a great stress relief for many.

Fingers crossed it will not be long now before we are able to return to our pools, and we cannot wait to welcome you back to Oxley.

People participate in Aqua Fit for several reasons, not just the exercise. The social aspect is hugely important and if these lockdowns have taught us anything, it is how much we need interaction with others and how important it is for both our physical and mental wellbeing.

Water provides a built-in resistance allowing for more intense workouts. We can get a • Can prevent constipation full body workout in the water and regulate our blood using all our major muscles pressure groups at the same time. The upward force of the water, • Can stabilise our heartbeat known as ‘buoyancy’, helps to and help with cushioning our take the pressure off our joints. joints It can also help reduce body weight and allows people of So just how much water should all shapes, sizes and ages to we be drinking? A minimum maintain a safe workout. of 4-6 cups a day, more if you are exercising as it will help There is far less chance of with your movements and it is getting an injury in the water important to keep hydrated. which is why many of the medical professions suggest Once we can get back in exercising in water as a form the pool, we need to start of rehabilitation. Those of preparing our bodies. Many of you will already know about the us with arthritis or chronic diseases have found that being benefits of exercising in water but why do we love it so much? in water does not agitate their symptoms. Water naturally Exercising in the water does supports the whole-body • Helps with our digestive system

Join our online community. osc_info@sherborne.com

www.oxleysc.com

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WORDSEARCH

PROPERTY

STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY ENDING

The current Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday is set to expire on 31 March 2021 with strong assertions from the Treasury that it will not be extended. So what does it mean for current and ongoing transactions?

For many it is now a race against the clock to ensure their transaction completes prior to the end of the SDLT holiday, but regrettably there are many factors which are outside of our control which may mean that completion before the end of the holiday is not going to be possible.

Any conveyancing transaction that has not completed on or before 31 March 2021 will attract SDLT at the rates which were in place prior to the SDLT holiday. As an example, a purchaser wishing to purchase a property for £390,000 post 31 March 2021 will have had to pay £9,500 of SDLT.

For example, delays within the chain relating to mortgage paperwork, valuations, search results and COVIDrelated illness could all delay an agreed completion date.

A full breakdown of the rates can be found here - www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax/ residential-property-rates.

If you are a first time buyer, you may still benefit from not having to pay SDLT as the relief for first time buyers introduced prior to the current SDLT holiday will remain in place post 31 March 2021.

This relief means that first time buyers will continue not to pay SDLT on the first £300,000 of their purchase price, 5% SDLT is then payable on the portion from £300,001 to £500,000 and for those first time buyers purchasing over £500,001 the rates are the same as those that have purchased before. Whilst many hundreds of thousands of buyers have benefitted from the SDLT holiday since its introduction in July 2020, its time is now nearly up for the majority. For further information and should you have any questions about completing before the end of the SDLT holiday please speak with your conveyancer.

WIN £10 in our WORDSEARCH

competition HUMANS

It takes all sorts to make a world. This used to be one of my mother’s favourite phrases and reminded me to be kind and compassionate to all. There are certainly lots of different characters that you may chance upon as you journey through life. This has been the inspiration for this month’s Wordsearch. Just find the hidden words in the grid below, ring each word until you have found all of them and when you have completed the puzzle send it to: The Conduit Magazine, Unit 4, Barton View Business Park, Sheeplands Lane, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 4FW. The lucky winner receives a £10 cheque. The closing date is: Monday 22 March. Good luck. AMAZONIAN BEAUTY BOUNDER CONMAN DARLING DAYDREAMER DODGER EGGHEAD 32

FAVOURITE FIBBER HOOLIGAN KNAVE LOAFER MADMAN MISER OPTIMIST

PEASANT ROTTER SADIST TOPER WALLY ZOMBIE

Name:__________________________________________________________ Tel :_________________________Email:______________________________ Address:_________________________________________________________ 32 ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

If you would like to know who has won our Wordsearch Puzzles see our website.


WALKING

NEW WAYS OF WALKING By Rachel Woods

I’m deeply grateful for the ability to get outside. I mean that, despite having to do it in all weathers. As I picked my way across frozen ground on my daily dog wander recently, I marvelled how the former boglike gateway had frozen solid. While I’m paying attention to the convergence of ice, mud and cowpat, I wonder at the other walkers I see passing by. Heads down, wrapped and hunched; hurrying to get to a warm dry destination. Getting through their walk like it’s a chore to complete. When you go for a walk, what’s the purpose? Do you do it for your health, or for the dog, or is it to explore? Do you take time to appreciate the world around you or do you walk purely when you need to get somewhere and the car isn’t an option? I’m a massive fan of walking, but I can still find it a chore. This is mostly on cold, soggy,

blustery days when the dogs need to get out regardless. When I’m not pressed for time, when the conditions are fair, walks are for exploring and connecting with the natural world. Exercise and ticking the dog-walk box become helpful by-products. When did you last stop to notice, and I mean really notice, the natural world around you? Town or country, it’s everywhere if you choose to look for it - in the grand treetops, our cloudy vistas and in the lowly nooks and crevices of ivy-covered walls. Studies have found that just 20 minutes in an area with a good number of plants and trees has multiple benefits to our health. A team in Japan found improvements in blood pressure, heart rate and a perceived sense of wellbeing from over 700 participants. Not only that, they used EEG to record brain waves and found

activity increased in the areas of the brain associated with creativity. As a fairly recent advent ‘forest bathing’ has become recognised as a method to reconnect with our natural origins by spending guided time outdoors in a natural setting. If that all sounds a bit too radical, then a good old meander can bring very similar benefits, especially if you take time to pause, look, touch and smell (with care!) things that you come across. I have an idea for you, a challenge if I may? Next time you go for a walk, stop and think about the

purpose of your walk. Ask yourself how you’re feeling before you step out. Be very honest. Write it down and leave it just inside the door. While you’re out, find a bit of space and time to notice your pace, to pause and take in your surroundings and examine anything you’re drawn to. Maybe take a picture of the things you come across. When you get back, compare how you feel with your note from before you set out. At this time, with restrictions in place it pays to enrich the walks we can access. I look forward to introducing you to some inspiring walks for when we can explore further. You’ll never regret a good walk.

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WALKING

RACHEL’S RAMBLES By Rachel Mead

Wrap up warm, it’s officially 1°C all day, the ground is frozen, the water troughs in the field are at least four inches deep with thick ice and Somerset is feeling the easterly wind and its ensuing chill. We’re still in lockdown (at the time of writing), the children have been homeschooling for the last six weeks and everyone is living a life with restrictions. But there are some icy wonders out there to find so grab your camera and explore your neighbourhood! As I write this, my final column for the Conduit, I do take with me the gratitude and knowledge that to ramble, hike, walk or stroll is an absolute blessing and quite honestly a blessing I could not live without. Whether it is to take Oakley for her quick morning constitutional or whether it is to walk the five-mile roundtrip to our local pub to collect freshly baked bread then I am thankful. Every single ramble which I 34

have completed for the Conduit has given me something, be it a glimpse into nature and her marvels, or simply to experience the new trails of an unexplored town - there is always a positive outcome to putting one foot in front of the other. Oakley and I have had many adventures over the last 18 months with you; we have strolled down many a footpath, risen early to capture a sunrise, explored the countryside of Dorset and Somerset and we’ve even been lost a fair few times too! We have enjoyed rambling as our solo team of two and sometimes we have had the added bonus of company on our hikes too. To walk with a family member, life partner or with a friend is a gift to cherish. A walk through someone else’s eyes can of course be an entirely different experience to walking alone. Children explore nature, as adults all too often forget to do, and so to my two,

I am thankful for their playful insights. Lockdown has given us many family walks which involve puddle plashing, icicle-fencing (a new sport created this winter - ‘en garde!’) and of course harking back to the summer months, there is crawling commando-style through long grass to do, as well as tree climbing and rolling down soft grassy hills. I feel incredibly honoured to have been given the opportunity to write for The Conduit Magazine, these rambles have accompanied me

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through an important stage of my life and for that I am very thankful. Thank you to the readers who have emailed me with suggestions for walks or even just to say hello. Continue to follow those yellow arrows and enjoy! Walking is, as we all know, good for our physical health but do not forget the mental benefits too. No one ever came back from a walk and wished they hadn’t gone.

To find some more inspiring walks in the countryside: www.visitsouthsomerset.com /menu/inspire-me/ brochures.aspx?parentNodeName=Brochures# If you would like to recommend a ramble for Rachel then please email rachel@zestbureau.co.uk You can also see more photos from each walk on instagram: rachelsrambles /TheConduitMag

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The Conduit Magazine - March 2021  

The Conduit Magazine - March 2021  

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