magazine November/December 2010
Nov/Dec Edition 2010
CONTENTS UPDATE What’s New & Novel p3
FASHION The Little Black Dress p6
This is my favourite time of year. It’s cold, I get to stop waxing and wear opaques. People get blitzed on eggnog and tell you the funniest things. Oh, and did I mention the Cword and all the treats that ‘Chrimbo’ brings? Yes, I’m a sucker for the festive period. In this issue, our experts share their tips, secrets and cheats for a stylish, stress free Christmas. And for those of you on a budget, we’ve even compiled a list of presents that cost less than a pound. Merry Christmas everyone...
INSIDE & OUT Party Perfect p12 Celebrity Q&A p14 Tarotscopes p15
Party Planning p16 Ditch the Stress p19 Winter Salad p20
WHAT’S ON Guide p21
TRAVEL New England p23
WORK Tips to the Top p26
BACK FEATURE The Rise of Angels p29
Christmas Gifts For Him p11
Origins Express Male Gift Set - £29
Christmas Cutbacks p8 The Gift Guide p10
On The Cover Model wears jumper (£14), skirt (£14), ear muffs (£4) all by F&F at Tesco
UPDATE predictions as presents photographed by shirlaine forrest p3
1. psychic gifts Last Christmas, you gave them your gifts. But the very next day, they gave ’em away. This year, to save them from tears, you’ll get something very special.
Forget the usual festive themed ‘tat’ and buy friends and family something different. The House of Good Fortune’s voucher for psychic readings rock. They cost £25, last the whole year and are sent to the recipient with a personalised message. E-mail psychic@thehouseo fgoodfortune.co.u k for details or simply book a session online at www.thehouseofgoo dfortune.co.uk
2.peacocks The Chanel and champagne days are long gone. With the economy in the crapper and more cuts to come, it seems wise to start embracing cheap chic. This season, stylish celebrities like Alexa Chung, Mischa Barton and Sophie Ellis Bextor, have all been queuing up for Pearl Lowe’s vintage inspired pieces at Peacocks. Check out this £35 black tea dress as spotted on Daisy Lowe (above), Gizzi Erskine and Holly Willoughby.
4.take that “It's been like a release from a mental hospital.” That’s what Robbie Williams
CURATOR OF COOL
You could sit around whining that summer 2011 is nearly 300 days away or you could cheer yourself up by planning your next vacation. I thoroughly recommend cruising the seas. It’s an amazing way to visit loads of interesting places without the stress of having to pack and re-pack. If, however, you’re settling for a ‘staycation’ this winter, let me recommend Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios. Together with Steve Macfarlane and local singer Thomas Lang, we saved this amazing building from the bulldozers and today it stands as one of the UK's best recording studios and includes a new hotel, a weekly jazz night and two legendary bars. Finally, don’t forget to celebrate Kindness Day on November 13. Start with a smile and try to make a difference. If we all take baby steps perhaps together we can create a stampede.
said in 1995 when he left Take That. Now he’s set to rejoin the Mancunian band on a 14-date tour of the UK next summer. Let
the madness commence as ageing groupies try to get tickets.
THE MICRO CLASS Part 1. Philosophy by Simon Hailwood, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool
What is Philosophy? Some say it is the study of ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’. But what does that mean? Better to start thinking in terms of more down to earth things. Philosophers raise questions that others don’t. For example, how do you know you are really reading this now? Well, obviously I am looking at these words. But how do you know you’re not dreaming or hallucinating?! The philosophical issue here is not whether you are in fact reading this but the relationship between knowledge and other things like experience and certainty. We need to understand this to understand what it is to know something. Similarly for other deceptively familiar notions, including truth, faith, beauty and justice. Philosophers argue and theorize about these things. How does this relate to real life? The skills of argument and habit of considering different possibilities are certainly useful. Many Philosophers also argue that a life containing no reflection about the terms in which it is lived is an impoverished life. You can disagree with that but then you would be philosophizing about the idea of a fulfilled life. A good way to do that well is through study of some of the greatest thinkers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Marx, Sartre…
5.back to basics
Your long term to-do list includes brokering world peace and becoming a domestic goddess à la Nigella. In the short term, you’re lucky to get the laundry done. Lighten your load with the Household Academy, run by the crème de la
crème of etiquette and domestic experts. Based in Cheshire, with associate offices in Toronto and New York, this new style finishing school provides students with first-class training in the retro art of household management. In other words, you’ll be taught how to cook, clean and organise your closet more efficiently, economically and elegantly.
For more details see www.thehouseholdacademy.com
Don’t forget that it’s kindness day on November 13, 2010
6.claire lara Move over Delia and Nigella, because there’s a new cooking queen on the block. Wirral born Claire Lara has just been crowned TVs Professional Master-chef champion by legendary chef Michel Roux Jr.
The Continuing Education Philosophy courses and lectures run by the University of Liverpool in 2010/11 see http://www.liv.ac.uk/conted/
festive frocks dress from tesco p6
Christopher Kane Dress, £1,820, Cruise
BACK IN BLACK
Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, once said that when the black dress is right, there is nothing else to wear in its place. Update the classic look with texture. Think velvet, edgy lace and butter soft leather, accessorised with a statement hat.
Black sequin cape £25 & chiffon corset dress £50 - Therapy. Black leather gloves with studded bow £59 Dents. Silver chain wrapped ring £40 Mikey. Fishnet tights £8 Untold. All from House of Fraser
, £65 , Lip sy
Sequin Dress, £59, Freemans
Adopt a little gothic glamour for the festive season, says Penny Fray.
RETAIL christmas steals models wear outfits from Next p8
GIFTS FOR £1.50 OR LESS
You can get a whole range of new, hard back books for £1 at PoundLand. These cozy socks look chic and cost just £1.50 from Primark. For bargainlicious chocolate, pop into Home Bargains. This box of Maltesers cost just 99p
You don’t have to be an Ebenezer to make clever cutbacks, discovers Penny Fray. As one of Thatcher’s children, I believe in consumption, conspicuous or otherwise. I love shopping so much that I actively look for people to give gifts to. After all, Christmas is a time for giving - and preferably from the beauty counter at Selfridges. But what with the recession and continued economic uncertainty, even the extravagant need to tighten their belts. The days of wanting something and just buying it regardless of the consequences are over. The economic hangover is still raging, making frugality fashionable again. So, how do you save money during the costliest time of year without morphing into Scrooge? I ask some budgetnistas for their favourite money saving tips. 1. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. If you’re rubbish with numbers, use an online Christmas calculator. Remember, even the smallest purchases like stamps and sweets add up. 2. Generate some extra spending money and
space by selling unwanted items on Ebay. 3. Start shopping early. This spreads the cost throughout the year and allows you to avoid pricey panic purchases. Alternatively, make as many presents as possible. Play to your strengths. If you love cooking, give homemade jams or chutneys. Otherwise, give the gift of time with a babysitting or oven cleaning voucher. One of my best Christmas presents was a vintage teacup that a friend had found in a charity shop, turned into a candle and filled with my favourite aromatherapy oil. It was personal and far more thoughtful than a boring box of chocolates (not that I’m not knocking the sweet stuff.) 4. Be a green goddess and use recycled wrapping paper. Tied with a beautiful ribbon, even old newspaper looks pretty. 5. Eating out can sometimes be much cheaper than dining in, especially if you make the most of discount websites like MyCity Deals or TopTable.
Outfit from Primark
GIFTS FOR HER
Diptyque candle, £36, John Lewis
Retro phone, £49.99, GettingPersonal.co.uk
Lara Bohnic Clutch, £335, Cruise
Fair Isle Tunic, £16, Matalan p10
Racing car money box, £10, Jacamo
Festive print, £42, We Love British Personalised cufflinks, £32.50, Lily & Lime Cashmere jumper, £34.99, TK Maxx
EssentialsRange, from £7.95, from www.gentrygrooming.com
Aviator jacket, £25, from Primark
GIFTS FOR HIM
INSIDE & OUT
party perfect outfit from Sainsburyâ€™s p12
‘TIS THE SEASON TO LOOK STUNNING
You know that gorgeously groomed girl at the Christmas party? This year she’s going to be you... Amazing how even when everyone’s ‘glammed up’ for the Christmas party they look as if they’ve just rolled out of bed. Of course, you feel okay about the mascara smudged cheeks and ripped tights until she arrives. You know, the one who looks like a living Barbie doll with her perfectly highlighted hair, honeyed limbs and immaculate make-up. Every year, you all swear that you’ll look like her but somehow life gets in the way and you turn up to the fancy festive function looking like an extra from a horror flick. This time it’s going to be different. But don’t panic. Being polished doesn’t have to mean a complete life overhaul. It just means being better prepared. The secret to time efficient beauty, according to the experts, starts with a good base. Glowing skin and shiny hair means drinking plenty of water, eating well and having a daily cleansing and moisturising routine. Get your hairdresser to style your hair according to your lifestyle. If you have no time to get your roots done every four or so weeks, be honest
and ask for a low maintenance ‘do’ instead. If it’s a matter of budget, check out your nearest hair college. They do most things a professional salon would for a fraction of the price manicures and pedicures are especially great value at around £3. Get a natural, streakfree tan with a product like St Tropez Gradual Mousse. It builds up colour over time. Opaques and sleeves may be back in season but that’s no excuse for overzealous body hair. Get waxing. After that, your beauty checklist couldn’t be simpler. When you have only 10 minutes to spare before a fancy function, give existing daytime makeup an added shot of drama with metallics. Choose a gold or copper coloured shadow and buff it into the socket of the eyes. Brush brows and apply a fresh coat of mascara. Use concealer to dot out blemishes and add some blush. For minimal mistakes, stay clear of crimson lipstick and dab on a neutral coloured gloss instead. Fake freshly washed hair with dry shampoo or in an emergency, simply pull it into a chic ballet bun.
Buy s Michael Kors Eau de Parfume (£49 for 50ml) and you’ll get this gorgeous gold vanity for free. Watch out for the special Christmas set at all major department stores. Customise your own fragrance this Christmas with a collection of iconic Jo Malone colognes - £230. Reverse the ageing process with Transformulas’ new CollagenBoost Capsules. The elixir of youth has finally been found and will soon be on sale on www.transformulas.com
MIND, BODY & SPIRIT West End star Emma Dears on panic attacks, life hurdles and her new show Judy and Liza - about mother and daughter Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli. What do you enjoy most about this new show? I love it when people’s talents are showcased to their full potential and we achieve that with Lucy Williamson as Judy and also Mike England the MD who has made the most beautiful orchestrations. How do you relate to the character of Liza? She’s a very open performer and personality to match and I'd like to think that I have that quality too. What has her life taught you? It's taught me that you can overcome some pretty steep hurdles in life and come out on the other side. Any unfulfilled ambitions? I tend to naturally work in seven year cycles. Producing and writing this show and possibly more is my main focus at the moment but who knows what the next seven years will bring.
My beautiful, Vivienne Westwood black dress. Are you a ‘dresser up’ or a ‘comfy casual’ on Christmas Day? Oh for sure - a comfy casual.
What would people be surprised to discover about you? That I have suffered with panic attacks most of my life.
What will you be asking Santa for this Christmas? I'd like an old fashioned bike with a basket on the front.
How do you keep fit for grueling stage shows? Running around after two babies helps enormously.
Which winter beauty treatments or products do you swear by? Vaseline.
What’s your fail proof outfit for the party season?
What is your life philosophy? Take a risk - all we know for sure is that if you don't try you won't get.
Judy and Liza is at Hope Theatre, Liverpool Hope University’s Capstone Building, on November 4; at St Helens Theatre Royal, on November 6; and at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion, on November 13. p14u
Your forecast for November & December from The House of Good Fortune ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 20) You are finding the new restrictions in your life hard to accept at the moment, says the three of pentacles. A lover or a colleague has put down new laws. Don’t bolt. Be brave and stand your ground. Your patience will be rewarded come January. TAURUS (Apr 21-May 21) The star card foretells of second chances this month. So, expect something that was once beyond saving now appealing to you. Single Taureans may find renewed contact from an old lover or friend.
consider what you really want from life. 2011 is really going to be an amazing year, so be glad of the thinking space. VIRGO (Aug 24-Sep 23) Career challenges have been overcome and you are finally flying high, says the chariot card. Don’t let anyone drag you back down due to their own petty insecurities. Sometimes, you are too easily influenced by jealous and negative people.
LIBRA (Sep 24-Oct 23) You’ll be at your happiest nestling at home this month, says the queen GEMINI (May 22-Jun 21) of pentacles. You need You will find what you some rest before the party are looking for in an season really kicks off. amazing building next After all, you don’t have month, says the nine of a never ending supply of pentacles. Remember - hope battery power. Besides, comes in many guises. And new business opportunities you certainly need some are about to come your way positive inspiration right in early December. now. SCORPIO (Oct 24-Nov 22) CANCER (Jun 22-Jul 23) Are you investing too The Wheel of Fortune much emotional energy on can go up or down - but an undeserving earth sign? wherever it stops, it It’s time to ask some offers a wealth of life tough questions and answer affirming lessons. You them honestly, says the really are at Karma’s tower card. Perhaps you mercy this month, so make need to adjust your loving sure you keep negativity style and be a little more and bad behaviour at bay. independent.
self control will take you much further at the moment. CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 20) A cash windfall is made to share with those around you, says the nine of cups. Resist the urge to be selfish in December, especially if your life has recently been sprinkled with luck dust. AQUARIUS (Jan 21-Feb 19) The empress card promises harmony and happiness in December. Don’t be afraid of accepting someone’s offer of warmth and security, especially if they’re ruled by water.
PISCES (Feb 20-Mar 20) You’re finding a dazzling fire sign difficult to pin down this month, says the seven of cups. Perhaps you ask too much from them. LEO (Jul 24-Aug 23) SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23-Dec Expectations need to be injected with a serious However much you want 21) The devil card dose of reality if this to seize the day, you must foretells of choices. sit tight and be patient, Don’t be tempted to follow relationship is to survive. says the nine of swords. the easy path. A little This gives you time to common sense and a lot of
Uncover the secret of your personality with an astro chart. Available for only £10 from December 1 2010, at www.thehouseofgoodfortune.co.uk p15
counting down to christmas christmas decor by matlan p16
SEASON’S EATINGS Want to throw the perfect Christmas party? We ask celebrity events guru Liz Taylor for her festive tips and tricks. Christmas is near. And you know what that means - time to gather loved ones for a series of soulcrushing parties. There’s the the family affair where your mother tells you that your stuffing sucks - or the annual nightmare of having frenemies critiquing your festive efforts on Facebook. This year, get people talking about your hosting skills for all the right reasons. Liz Taylor of Manchester based event specialists the Taylor Lynn Corporation, has organised literally thousands of festive events in spectacular venues all over Europe such as remote castles, yachts and the hottest boutique hotels,so she knows a thing or two about what makes for a successful event. Here, she offers her advice on how to enjoy a stress free, stylish Christmas:
Holder from Nordic House Ltd
Preparation • The perfect party is all in the planning. So, consider what kind of event you want to hold, your budget, who you want to invite and how many people can you realistically accommodate. • Think also about dates/times, location, food, drink, décor entertainment and getting your invitations out in plenty of time. Invitations •Issue invitations early as people get booked up quickly at Christmas and those with children may need to plan babysitters well in advance. •Informal invitations by phone, email or
Facebook are fine - but I think people still love to receive a proper invitation by post. • State the time, dress code and what to expect on the night. Let guests know if children are welcome Think about stating a finish time on your invitation. • Ask for an RSVP so you know how many people you are catering for, who is coming and therefore what mix of guests to expect. Food and Drink • Canapés or a stylish buffet are by far the best options if you have more than eight guests as most of the work can be done in advance. • Prepare a beautifully decorated buffet table with chunky white candles surrounded by a display of frosted berries, twigs and leaves. Make sure the table is easy to access and that there are plenty of occasional tables dotted around your home so guests can rest their drinks and plates. • If you don’t have time to make everything yourself, get caterers
Tesco s fro m
Entertainment • If you have the space, serve drinks with some light canapés and some festive background music in one room. A buffet can be served later in another room, after which you can up the tempo of your party by inviting guests to take part in a few fun games - charades is very much back in fashion.
Dealing with Last Minute Disasters • Always have a Plan B. If the oven breaks down on the big day, have the ingredients to offer an alternative meal and make light of the situation by perhaps inviting everyone over to enjoy a ‘second Christmas’ once the oven is fixed. • Compile a list of emergency numbers and contacts (plumber, electrician, caterers, hotels etc), which you know you can rely on in the event of a last minute disaster. • If you or a family member falls ill, be honest with your guests and cancel if necessary. They won’t thank you for sharing your germs and ruining their New Year. • Remember there is always next year. Some disasters simply cannot be overcome. Don’t put yourself under too much pressure and remember your main aim is to ensure you and your guests have a good time – even if that means doing something you hadn’t planned.
g acc es
Table Décor • To be bang on trend for a dinner party keep linen, crockery and cutlery simple. Use plain,white plates and silver or chrome cutlery throughout and then bring your table to life with a gorgeous silk table runner and three chunky, square glass vases filled with white roses and greenery. • Alternatively, this year sees the return of all things natural such as frosted twigs, berries, holly, ivy and mistletoe. Ethnic colours like turquoise and bronze are also in vogue. • Maintain your chosen theme throughout the home to create a sense of flow for your guests – remember key focal points such as the fireplace and hallway.
• If your budget allows it, consider hiring in a couple of professional dancers, musicians or psychics for an hour or so. It will be money well spent and a real talking point. • If you have guests of varying ages you could set up different entertainment zones to keep them all happy.
or buy in good quality food from the supermarket or local deli. Decant onto your own serving dishes and add garnishes and finishing touches to create a homemade feel. • Serve champagne if the budget allows it, otherwise stock up on good quality sparkling wine which should be served well chilled. Keep your drinks menu really simple by offering guests an alternative of a bottle of premium beer, orange juice or mineral water for drivers. • Towards the end of the evening brew cafetieres of quality coffee or offer guests a night cap - this will be their polite cue to know the evening is drawing to a close.
DON’T GO CRACKERS
Christmas is the most stressful time of the year for many people. Follow a few simple guidelines though, and you can crack on without cracking up It may be the season to be jolly, but for many Christmas means large portions of stress with all the trimmings. According to a new study by the British Association of Anger Management, a quarter of adults say their relationships with their partners come under pressure over the period and 16% say a festive argument made them want to split up. Not surprisingly, calls to Relate go though the roof – up 59% over Christmas 2009. And the Samaritans also expect to receive one call every six seconds over Christmas and New Year. Mike Fisher, director of the British Association of Anger Management says that factors such as spending too much time with the family, boredom, money worries, disappointing presents and lack of personal space are the main stresses of Christmas. And with too much food and drink thrown in, you have a recipe for a big bust up. He says: “Nature is at its stillest at this point in winter, but instead of mirroring nature by being introspective we are pushing ourselves to celebrate and overconsume. We need to stop and take a look at the bigger picture here.” Here is a simple six point plan to help keep everyone cool this coming Yule: 1. Don't give yourself a hard time - Christmas is just one day. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Don’t get mad, get some feel good exercise
2. Keep on top of your game - don't drink or eat too much and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. This increases the happy hormones called endorphins and gives oxygen to the mind and organs to deal with stress. 3. Understand that people around you are stressed too, so don't take negative comments or behaviour too personally 4. Take yourself out of the situation if you are getting wound up. Alternatively, use thought de-fusion. Say your stressful thought out loud and slowly. Repeat two or three times. Breathing also helps. Start normally, then on inhaling, take three quick inward sniffs. Exhale slowly through the nose. Carry on until you feel your chest relaxing, and then take one deep inward and outward breath until carrying on as normal. 5. Burning the candle at both ends? Chill out with an aromatherapy bath or some scented candles like lavender or vanilla.
Winter Salad with Spiced Pecans & Pears
Serves 4 300g mixed winter salad leaves 75g pecan nuts a pinch of cayenne pepper 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce a dash of Tabasco sauce ½ tsp salt 3 ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced 3 tbsp basic vinaigrette 75g blue cheese (try gorgonzola or doleclatte), crumbled For the vinaigrette: 240ml sunflower oil 4 tbsp good quality balsamic or red wine vinegar garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a little salt 1 tbsp Dijon mustard sea salt and black pepper
Wash and dry the salad leaves and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the pecans with the cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and salt. Scatter them over a baking tray and bake in an oven preheated to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for 5-6 minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
For the vinaigrette, combine the ingredients vigorously. Put the pears and salad leaves in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Divide between four plates, scatter over the blue cheese and pecans nuts and serve. There - simple festive fayre delivered by Jane Baxter from the Riverford Field Kitchen
FestiveTrend Cake Stands
Forget festive foliage or expensive flowers. Pile a vintage stand with clementines, baubles or little boxes filled with edible gifts for an unusual yet generous table centerpiece.
blood brothers p21
EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY Christmas. A time to share. A time to care. A time for culture and culinary excess - Louise Parker shares her favourite festive activities. Why not party like its 1499 and swap that traditional Christmas menu for a medieval banquet this year? Prepare to be ‘knighted’ with a traditional three course meal in a medieval chamber. You can even put that ever expanding ‘tum’ into action by taking part in the ultimate belly dancing competition. Alternatively, if flashing flabby flesh in public frightens you, you could just stick to the jousting competition. The banquet will take place at the Chester Guildhall on the 16th and 17th December. If fitness comes before food during the festive season, you could always do the Reindeer Run at Knowsley Safari Park. The charitable event will help you lose the flab and raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The fun filled event will take place on Sunday 28th November.
Avoid losing the magic of the season to high street horrors. Make Christmas shopping a more civilised affair at Chester’s Celtic Winter Fayre. There, you’ll find a wide selection of foods and local crafts. Ideal for unique offerings for friends and family. Running from the 2nd - 5th December. Last but not least, don’t miss the annual Everyman rock’n’roll panto in Liverpool (Nov 26 - Jan 22). This time they’re sprinkling their comic dust on Sleeping Beauty. The ‘ed’ says she nearly ‘peed’ in her Prada pants during last year’s show. Yes, it was that funny.
on What’s ec Nov/D FILM
BURLESQUE December 17, cinemas nationwide.
SIN TROPEZ BY AITA IGHODARO £10.99
A small time girl with a big voice, Christina Aguilera stars as Ali, who wants to make it big in LA. I know, it sounds cliched but Burlesque’s outrageous costumes and bold choreography enrapture the young ingenue, who vows to perform there one day. A glitzy movie that also stars Cher and Cam Gigandet.
Three girls explore the glittering playgrounds of the superrich. But will they be sucked into a world of immorality and wild excess?
BLOOD BROTHERS Nov 8-20 Liverpool Empire
THE SCISSOR SISTERS Dec 11, Manchester Evening News Arena
CHRISTMAS COOKERY CLASS Dec 2-3, Dunham Massey Altrincham
These November shows will be the only performances outside the West End for Mel C. A Liverpool classic for all ages to enjoy.
If you fancy a bit of Christmas excess don’t miss this flamboyant show. Tickets are running out fast.
Chef Paul Ratcliffe guides Nigela ‘wannabes’ through Christmas dinner using Cheshire’s finest produce. Tickets £40. p22u
new england in the fall
images from microsoft p23u
TAKE IT OR LEAF IT
There's more to New England than the fall foliage, discovers Penny Fray. Your aunt Mabel isn’t the only one going through the change of life. The leaves are turning, and they’re at their most vibrant now. My other half had been raving about the fabulous foliage and olde worlde charms of New England for years. And every September, I would sneer and say that I had socks older than most of America’s so called historic houses. This year, however, I was prepared to cross the Atlantic for a cheap Mulberry tote. The fashion house had collaborated with US store Target to sell their wares for a song. So, I feigned an interest in craggy coastlines and National Parks - but really, the only tree I was interested in was the one stamped on that designer bag. Flights were booked with BA and a two week drive around Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine was planned. The circular route started in Boston, the home of the Red Sox and Harvard University. The city was surprisingly small and
tourist activity seemed to focus heavily on the freedom trail. Visiting the sites directly relating to the American Revolution was interesting if not a little awkward for the British. The journey to Bar Harbour meant passing Salem and a whole host of picture postcard villages with their white steepled churches and clapboard houses. The waterside resort, where the fabulously rich once resided, was quaint but brimming with cruisers. Apart from whale watching and tucking into amazingly cheap lobster (around £10 a platter), there wasn’t a whole lot to do in the main town, so we headed for the Arcadia National Park. This unspoiled paradise offered everything from beaches and craggy coastlines to pink granite mountains and fabulous forests. Continuing with the theme of the great outdoors we moved on to the White Mountains, where the National Forest is home to an abundance of wildlife and moose.
All that walking means buying some sturdy shoes. We love Frank Wright Apache Hiking Boots, £85, Asos. Hand luggage doesn’t get any classier than this, £65, Debenhams. Don’t forget an easy to read guide like this one, £9, from Amazon.
Brilliant fall foliage interspersed with evergreens made walking a delight - but the drive up Mount Washington was fairly expensive ($31) and scary (just don’t look down whilst navigating the sharp corners) especially since little could be seen from the mist strewn summit. After a few days though I began to tire of the mini treks and longed for a little retail therapy. And joy of joys, there was an outlet just 20 minutes away from the White Mountain Hotel, where we were staying. The North Conway shopping centre offered 100 or so factory stores. The prices were fairly low, even for designer names like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfinger, but because there was no sales tax in New Hampshire, our purchases became even better bargains. I bought a couple of Gap tops for less than £10 and a leather jacket from TJ Maxx for £25. Stowe, in Vermont, was a place I would rather have bumped off the itinerary. Yes, the village, ringed by snow capped mountains was pretty, but it was rather dull for someone who had little interest in cycling, fishing or rock climbing. Besides, whilst there, I suffered from the
mother of all migraines and vomited until my throat hurt. If it hadn’t been for the Von Trapp family house and the nearby Ben & Jerry ice-cream factory, I would have really, really hated it. Rhode Island, however, quickly lifted my spirits. A center for culture, trade and wealth for more than 300 years, Newport offered a whole heap of historical buildings, including America’s first synagogue and oldest tavern. But best of all were the mansions. The summer retreats of the country’s wealthiest families, the Vanderbilts and Astors among them, oozed 19th century opulence. The ostentation of the Gilded Age reached its pinnacle with the Breakers. Modeled on some of the finest European palaces, the rooms were richly decorated with gold, marble and crystal. It really is a ‘must-see’ - but if you’re unwilling to part with the $20 entrance fee, the famous Cliff Walk offers a stunning vista of the Vanderbilt masterpiece, as well as many of the other great mansions along Bellvue Avenue. Our last stop before returning to Boston was Cape Cod. Boasting a 40 mile stretch of beaches
and a lively arts scene, it was a place I had looked forward to visiting. Unfortunately, we stayed in the wrong place. Compared to the buzz of Princetown and Hyannis, Brewster seemed a little too suburban for my liking. Plus, it rained to Biblical proportions. At least there was a Target store en route back to the airport. Excitement soared through my veins as I thought about bagging a Mulberry bag for £30. I had even limited my purchases to make luggage room for this gem - only to discover that the collection’s launch date wasn’t until I returned to Blighty. Drat and double drat. My New England adventure ended in disappointment.
womenâ€™s enterprise day model wears outfit from elegance p26u
TIPS FOR THE TOP
It’s Women’s Enterprise Day on November 17. To celebrate we’ve compiled life changing mantras from those already in business.
ALWAYS PUT 110% INTO WHATEVER YOU DO & NEVER GIVE UP “If you put every effort into your work, life and family then you can never be disappointed with the outcome.” Yvonne Gillon, owner and founder of Cami Confidential.
KNOW WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO - BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY - KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU “This has always been at the core of everything I do. When business gets tough, and it does, you have to be able to reign yourself in and remember just why you decided to do what you’re doing. If you don’t have a powerful, emotive driver or dream you’ll fall at the first hurdle. Every ounce of effort, determination and hour I work, I do so holding firm the thought that I’m creating a safe, secure and financially stable world for my two young daughters to grow up in. So when I’ve had one of those ‘bum’ days, I just need to bring up a mental picture of them and I’m back on it.” Susanna Kelly, shopping consultant.
THE HARDER I WORK THE LUCKIER I GET It's so easy as a woman to dismiss all the good things that happen as luck and taking the bad on the chin. But every now and then, we should give ourselves a pat on the back for the work we do and the success that follows. Sandy Lindsay, Group MD, Tangerine PR
YOU ONLY REGRET THE THINGS YOU DIDN'T DO This had led me to taking up many challenges, knowing that I would always regret it if I didn't. I think if you do something and fail, you learn a lot, and if you do something and succeed, you grow a lot - but if you don't do it, you regret it, don't learn and don't grow. Dawn Holmes, Head of Business Intelligence at Brother UK
DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU “When you put positive in, you get positive out. We all have days when we don't feel our best and on these days I really have to remind myself of this saying. Since I've adopted this outlook on life, I've certainly noticed how much good stuff comes my way.” Elaine Owen, MD of Designated Associates.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom “I found this Anaïs Nin so inspirational that I’ve now adopted it as my new marketing mantra.” Penny Fray, Editor & Media Consultant.
If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. “A comforting quote when the going gets tough and no matter how hard you try, it isn’t getting any better. There are times in everyone’s life when they need to just give in and let fate take its course. Be brave and take your foot off the gas pedal and 9/10 you’ll coast right through the problem.” Jean Macleod, owner of Opulence in West Kirby
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same as “making a life”. I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands: you need to be able to throw things back. I’ve learned that when ever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you say, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. “Oprah interviewed Maya Angelou on her 70th and what she said really rang true to me.” Carolyn Mellor, managing director and owner of homes4u. p28
angel delight paper angels from strawberry fool p29
ON A WING AND A PRAYER Do you believe in angels? Penny Fray discovers a surprising number of women are turning to heavenly creatures for guidance. Angels are everywhere nowadays - on television, in novels and on our Christmas trees. It’s hardly a surprise then, that according to a recent Mori poll, 58% of British women believe they have a guardian angel, with the majority claiming they have received help from them. Jayne, a 30 year-old lawyer from Cheshire, believes that she encountered an angel when she was involved in a serious car crash in her early twenties. “I’d always been fairly sceptical about supernatural stories until I was saved by something that I can’t really explain,” she says. “A speeding lorry had gone into the back of my car and thrown it off the road. The vehicle was a right off - and yet I emerged from the wreck a little shocked but completely unscathed. I probably shouldn’t have survived but I remember feeling a warm, invisible barrier between myself and the door as the car rolled into the ditch. It was such a profound experience that I feel a little uncomfortable talking about it but, to adopt a cliche, it changed my life.” So, what exactly is an angel? Well, according to Fr Robert Mackley, assistant chaplain at
Emmanuel College Cambridge, they are pure spirits sent by God to assist and protect us. “In the bible we meet three of the archangels: Raphael, who heals the sick, Gabriel, who asks Mary if she'll bear God's Son and Michael, who fights against evil,” he explains. “We all have a guardian angel and we should befriend them, as they are just waiting to come to our aid and lead us to God and a life of self-giving love.” Chrissie Anstell agrees. The former nurse spent years struggling with a feeling that there was something she was meant to be doing but couldn’t find it. “I decided to pray ardently, offering myself in service knowing that, when I really meant it and was ready, the signs would appear.” She saw a healing course, signed up and never looked back, believing that working with angels was her life purpose. “When you tune into the wonderful energy of angels, you are instantly aware of the love that emanates from their presence,” says the author of Advice From Angels. “It’s a love that ignites a spark in the heart that can never be extinguished.”
5 WAYS TO KNOW AN ANGEL IS WITH YOU 1. You feel a loving warmth pouring right through you before ebbing away. 2. You experience a tingling sensation or energy current around you. Some people describe it as a gentle breeze or a light touch. 3. You smell a sweet fragrance that’s not your normal perfume. 4. You may see a bright or twinkling light with your actual or inner eye. 5. You find a white feather.
For angel readings or healings, visit Manchester’s Mind, Body & Spirit Festival at the G-Mex on November 17 - 21. For spiritual guidance, visit your local church.