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KT

CONNECTION

THE COMMUNITY MAGAZINE AND DIRECTORY FOR RESIDENTS OF KT20

december/january 2018 issue 114


Advertising in CONNECTION MAGAZINE could be the best decision you ever make for your business! Many local businesses think so.... “I’ve tried several different ways of advertising and leaflet distribution and without any doubt Connection is the most effective way. It hits my exact target market – local people. Each advert increases my revenue by 15% per week – or an increase of about £500 – that’s a great return on investment on an £88 advert!” Grant Hardy, Hardys Fish & Chips, Burgh Heath

“Since featuring in your magazine we have noticed an incredible rise in visits to our website – in fact they have doubled! As the web address only really features in our cat of the month ads we are confident that awareness has been raised through your incredible generosity by featuring us monthly – huge thanks!” Pamela Green Cats Protection, Epsom & Ewell

“Advertising with Connection Magazine has made a real boost to the number of enquiries we are now receiving – they are up by 35%! It has raised local awareness of our business and brought in local custom. If you are considering advertising with Connection I would strongly suggest you do. It has made a huge difference to us.” Karl and Nicole, Bodyworks Practice, Banstead

C O N N E C T I O N

“I have recently purchased a database package that allows me to enter customer details and compile a report of where the work comes from, website, referrals etc. I have been in your magazine for over 2 years now and I have won jobs, directly from that advert, which amount to £20,000 of profit, not turnover, profit! Steve Barnett, Carpet care plus, Walton on the Hill

“Connection Magazine has been a great find for me. I find the response has been far better than the previous ads via yell.com and the Local Guardian free sheet and all the leads are local cutting costs. Keep up the good work.” Doug Muldoon, High Trees Carpentry, Burgh Heath

M A G A Z I N E

“I started advertising in Connection Magazine in April 2011 and the response has been tremendous! The phone calls have risen month on month and I now get on average 5 calls a week. This has made a big difference to my business. I could safely say that 20% of my work comes from the adverts with Connection.“ Kevin Butterfield, Motor Vehicle Services, Lower Kingswood

To see how Connection Magazine can grow YOUR Business contact Katie on 01737 831498 or email: info@ktconnection.co.uk www.ktconnection.co.uk


DECEMBER/JANUARY

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t’s a bumper issue for reading this month and I hope you enjoy the array of articles listed below. And now the year is drawing to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all Connection’s readers and advertisers a very Merry

Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in February!

Katie

info@ktconnection.co.uk 01737 831498

READER OFFERS IN DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017: Carpets 4 U (p5) 10% discount for Connection readers. SWT Flooring (p9) 10% off all carpets and Amtico with advert. Shakti Body Yoga (p15) First yoga session free Samantha Smith (p16) 90 minute massage for £55 instead of £75 Keystroke Associates (p32) £5 voucher for training courses.

Copy deadline for FEBRUARY issue is 12th January 2018.

Contents P6 Top Eight Christmas presents

addresses readers decor dilemmas.

What children will be requesting from Santa this year.

P28 Who put the bang into Christmas?

P10 Eat to be Slim

Fascinating history behind the inventor of the Christmas cracker.

Healthy eating guru Olivia shares her tips on avoiding over-indulging during the next few weeks.

P14

Fit For Life

Personal Trainer Jade on how to keep exercising over the festive period.

P18-19 Family Entertainment

P30

New Year’s Eve

It’s not all about drinking and fireworks. Here are the strangest New Year traditions around the world.

P32 Keystroke Associates

List of pantomines in the area.

Latest news on everything IT from Keystroke Associates.

P20

P33-35 Community News

Legal Matters

Solicitor Nicola Dudley on things to consider with Inheritance Tax Planning

P24

Designer Secrets

Interior designer Ruth Marshall

Carshalton Diabetes Group, Cats Protection, Carol singing, Banstead Rotary Christmas collection, COGS pantomime.


Top toys on your childrens’ Christmas 2017 wishlist 1. Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash from Hasbro £19.99rrp Kids can design their own stunts and fire foam cars with powerful, high-performing Nerf blasters. This set includes two foam cars, plus a long-jump ramp for longdistance jumping challenges. 2. Star Wars: BB-8 from Lego Company LTD £130rrp Meet Sphero's BB-8, an app-enabled droid. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and even react to voice commands. Set to patrol mode and watch it go out on its own and explore its surroundings, mapping out collisions with objects in the room and sending information back. Create and view holographic recordings via a smartphone or tablet device and watch its adaptive personality evolve as you interact with it. The Sphero BB-8 comes with its own induction charging cradle and connects via Bluetooth Smart BLE with your compatible device. 3. Toilet Trouble from Hasbro £17.99rrp Toilet Trouble is all about suspense: players take turns spinning the toilet paper roll, flushing the toilet handle, and hoping they don't get sprayed with water. If you get sprayed, you're out of the game. 4. Enchantimals Playhouse Panda Set from Mattel £29.99rrp This panda playhouse looks set to enchant kids, with an exclusive Prue Panda doll and her cute animal features and an adorable animal friend, Nari. At

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home in their multi-level playhouse, Prue and Nari are ready for fun days in the forest and all other fantasy adventures kids can imagine. 5. FurReal Roarin' Tyler from Hasbro £99.99rrp The FurReal Roarin’ Tyler the Playful Tiger is always ready for fun and his favourite way to play is to roar. When kids roar or make sounds at him, this playful tiger roars back, responding with 100+ sound and motion combinations. With soft fur and moveable back legs, he’s also rather huggable. 6. WowWee Fingerlings Monkey Playset with Two Monkeys, £29.99rrp Right side up or upside down, this monkey bar and swing play set is the perfect place for WowWee Fingerlings pets to monkey around. Two exclusive Fingerlings Baby Monkeys are included in this playset, and like all Fingerlings Baby Monkeys, Liv and Simona love to interact with you, responding to touch, sounds, and movement with cute monkey babble, blinking eyes, and head turns. 7. Laser X - 2 Player Pack from Character Options £45rrp Remember Laser Quest? Well, now you can play it at home, with the Laser X system. It blasts over 60 metres with pinpoint accuracy, and gameplay allows unlimited players. The set comes complete with voice coach guidance, full colour lighting effects, stereo sound and music. 8. Hatchimals Surprise from Spin Master Toys UK Ltd £67.98rrp Hatchimals are magical creatures hidden inside speckled eggs, which hatch with the help of love and care. This year they come in pairs.

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WHEEL RE-FURB, POWDER COATING

ASK FOR JIM


eat to be slim

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In her regular column, weight loss guru Olivia Parry gives advice on resisting temptation over the festive period

hristmas is nearly upon us. And coming to the end of the year after setting and reaching targets makes me feel incredibly grateful and blessed. It wasn’t always that way. I remember one particular New Year’s Eve party. I felt so depressed because yet another year had passed, and I’d failed to even come close to achieving my New Year’s resolution of losing weight. I was alone, even though I was with family and friends at a party. I wanted someone to share my life with. I felt fat. The thing is those memories are still fresh in my mind. I understand it when my clients say they want to feel better. Many don’t feel good about themselves and are unable to admit it. But that nagging voice is there inside their head.

Are you dreading seeing yourself in family or festive photographs? Have you avoided the clothes shops this season because sparkles look ghastly on beached whales, which is what you feel like? Are you worried about old school friends seeing your picture on social media, or even gloating that you are struggling? Are you sick with yourself because you know you can do better,

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and you achieve greatness in other areas of your life like your career, family and finances? Are you frustrated? At Christmas time food is always part of the celebration. But when you know how, it doesn’t mean that gaining weight is inevitable. 5 tips to avoid weight gain over the festive season 1 Drink a large glass (500 mls) of tap water three times daily before meals 2 Eat a small handful of unsalted nuts prior to going out for dinner or to a party - the monounsaturated fats are filling and actually reduce belly fat 3 Wrap up warm and brave the elements for a brisk half hour daily walk. You’ll feel so much better - especially when you return home to the warm! 4 Drink alcohol with food (not on an empty stomach) and sip it. It’s much better to enjoy quality than quantity! 5 Skip dessert and have a cup of coffee instead. An exception is fresh berries with a spoonful of cream! N.B. Quality streets are addictive! Don’t be surprised if you can’t stop at one! Would you like a free copy of my Festive Christmas menu of guilt-free party food? Many items can be pre-prepared, and taste much better than supermarket ready-made alternatives and with no hidden additives either. If you want to get started straight away on your weight loss, call me on 07702779019 or send me a message by emailing olivia@eatslim.co.uk

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Christmas gifts at Bliss Kevin Murphy & Dermalogica gift sets, GHDs, hair & beauty vouchers

All the team at Bliss would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and 2018! New for January 2018... We will be using the Kevin Murphy Colour Me range for our technical services. Ammonia, PPD and cruelty free! Please call Bliss for more details. 39 Tattenham crescent, Tattenham Corner, Epsom Downs KT18 5QJ Tel: 01737 361211 www.blisshaircompany.co.uk


Health, Beauty & Fitness

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Get your free Jamberry nail wraps sample. Are you fed up with waiting for your nails to dry? Want nail designs that have salon results? Want to add some extra care to your hands?

Jamberry nail wraps are easy to put on nail vinyl stickers, with adhesive that is heat and pressure activated. That just means all you need to do is use a hair dryer, to get them to stay on. There's no harsh chemicals that could damage your nail, No chipping and fading! Easily applied on. Request a sample at: www.facebook.com/groups/jamberrywithlaila laila@jamberrywithlaila.com 07908 518822 https:lailasamson.jamberry.com

COUNSELLING and PSYCHOTHERAPY service for Individuals and Couples, Workshops, Mindfulness at Walton on the Hill pharmcy Short term (solution focused) and Long Term (In depth) therapy with an experienced qualified psychotherapist. We are here to offer you support in case you may feel worried, anxious, low, confused or to address more specific problems. Effective treatment has proven to result in lasting and enduring changes in a person’s life. Free Initial consultation offered via face to face, telephone or online video diana.brotherton@etherapyclinic.co.uk To advertise in CONNECTION please call 01737 831498

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Get Fit For Life!

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PT Jade Simmons offers a strategy for keeping your exercise routine going over Christmas and the New Year

any people fall off the exercise bandwagon at Christmas. They rule out the idea of getting into shape during the festive period and assume there is no point on starting until the New Year. This is in turn makes the job much harder come January! One of the biggest barriers when exercising around the Christmas period is the lack of time. During this period, time does fly by, but it's important to make time for your health otherwise, you will only regret it later. A break from the usual routine can provide the ideal opportunity to begin or maintain physical activity. Staying active over Christmas not only reduces your chances of gaining weight, it also helps energize you, reduces stress and gives you a break. So think again about leaving it for a few weeks. When to exercise? Exercising first thing in the morning may mean getting up a little earlier than normal, but it does ensure that you get your workout done before you start your day. Remember that your workout doesn't need to be long to be beneficial! Over Christmas you can make it a social activity, try encouraging friends and family to participate with you, after all, Christmas is for everyone! Also, try planning a walk after lunch or dinner. Walking is really good for digestion, getting yourself into the right frame of mind, give you a healthier heart and burn calories. If you have chosen to wait until

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January and start a fresh with your exercise why not send us an email and we will send you a FREE home plan to try! In January there is a big rush of people starting gyms everywhere! Try to be ahead of the game with a plan or a good understanding of what you should be doing to help your body and health. Remember if you are just starting out, it's important to include both strength training and cardiovascular exercise routines. Many women will avoid lifting weights and many men will avoid cardiovascular exercise. You must do both to maximise the benefit your health, lose body fat and get in good shape. Doing only one type of exercise sometimes is the biggest reason why people do not see the desired results. Ask for help and advice, learn what’s best for you and do things the right way. Only join a gym if you have made time to go. Don’t spend money on a gym membership and seldom use it. There are many statistics regarding people joining gyms and most results conclude that only about half of the existing members actually go on a regular basis. Learn how to do things right and you will be less likely to give up! Call Jade Simmons on 07545240945 Daniel Simmons on 07564525351 www.simmonsfit.co.uk Legs, Bums and Tums, Friday 9.30am Church Hall, Buckland Road, Lower Kingswood, KT20 7DN

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Health, Beauty & Fitness

FIRST CLASS FREE!

Yoga for complete beginners or intermediate practitioners, everyone is welcome!

Yoga is for everyone, regardless of flexibility, age, size or gender. All you need is discipline and determination! Yoga postures (asanas) improves flexibility and performance in various different sports inlcuding golf, martial arts, running, climbing, swimming and much more! Locations

Drop in classes £8 Block of 25 £32 Unlimited monthly £50

Sundays: 10.30am-12pm Use code: Tad02 Tadworth Leisure Centre KT20 5FB Wednesdays: 9.30am-11am Use code: Nova01 M: 07825 811067 Nova Forca Gym Epsom KT19 9BA IG: @shaktibodyoga Thursdays: 6.15pm-7.45pm Use code: Cheam03 Facebook: shaktibodyyoga Email: shaktibodyyoga108@gmail.com St Andrews Church Tweddle Hall SM2 7HF

Do you want to earn some extra money on the side? Cash in hand?

Distributors for Tadworth & Kingswood needed Reliable people are needed to distribute Connection Magazine.

Good rates of pay!

If interested, call Katie on

01737 831498

or email: info@ktconnection.co.uk

Reach your target customer every month from as little as £25 per issue. Can you afford NOT to be in CONNECTION? Call 01737 831498 to reserve your space.

To advertise in CONNECTION please call 01737 831498

15


Samantha Smith

Mobile Massage & Energy Therapist DO YOU NEED A RELAXING, DE-STRESSING MASSAGE IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME? Hi, I’m Samantha, I am a fully qualified and insured Massage Therapist offering my clients relaxing, restorative treatments in the comfort of their own homes. My massage techniques include traditional Swedish massage strokes, soft and deep tissue manipulation, Ayurvedic principles and acupressure. Used as part of a holistic treatment, they can help with a variety of ailments including, sleep problems, stress, skin issues, muscular tension, digestive issues, hormone imbalances and many more. I like combining techniques because each person is different and needs a unique treatment. I always start with a consultation to find out more about my client and what their needs are. Treatments offered include: Tailored massage treatments to target areas of tension and relaxation. Facial rejuvenation (natural facelift massage) I offer my clients relaxing treatments in the comfort of their own homes for £50ph. Gift Vouchers are available

SPECIAL OFFER: 90 minute tailored treatment for £55 for new clients (usually £75). Please call 07946 602043 to make a booking. Like my Facebook page, Samantha Smith Holistic Therapies, to receive future offers and feel free to share with friends

Gift Vouchers available for a relaxing Christmas present!


. We are a local, family run business with over 30 years’ trading . We manufacture, supply & install to trade and public . All our products are bespoke . We manufacture aluminium, PVCu and timber windows and doors . We are Fensa approved with 10 year insurance backed guarantees . All products installed to current British standards

We manufacture, supply and install a wide variety of windows, doors, conservatories, fascia, soffits, bi-folding doors, PVCu or aluminium. Wide choice of colours or wood grain

01737 814500

12 Shelvers Way, Tadworth KT20 PU sales@bydesignwindows.co.uk www.bydesignwindows.co.uk


Family entertainment this Christmas Dick Whittington

Cinderalla

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Millbrook, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3UX 8th Dec 2017 to 7th Jan 2018 Starring Judy Cornwell (Keeping Up Appearances), Kit Hesketh-Harvey, Jamie Brook and Peter Gordon (Eagle Radio). www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/

Epsom Playhouse Ashley Avenue, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5AL 15th Dec 2016 to 7th Jan 2018 Cinders' ugly sisters and wicked step-mum make her clean all day and it’s really not fair. She needs you! Plus some support from her best friend Buttons and maybe a bit of help from a certain fairy Godmother! www.epsomplayhouse.co.uk

The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan

Jack and the Beanstalk New Wimbledon Theatre

The Harlequin Warwick Quadrant, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1NN 8th Dec 2017 to 31st Dec 2017 Defying gravity, Wendy, Michael and John Darling take the second star to the right and straight on till morning as they fly from the rooftops of Victorian London to join Peter, the Lost Boys and the fairy Tinkerbell in Never Land. www.harlequintheatre.co.uk

The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 9th Dec to 14th Jan 2018 Follow Jack, his hapless brother, his mother Dame Trot and climb a beanstalk of gigantic proportions to cloudland in the spectacular family pantomime. Doomed to sell his trusty cow, join Jack as he fights to save the beautiful Princess, outwit the evil giant and win riches beyond his wildest dreams, and the hand of the girl he loves. www.atgtickets.com

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Jack and the Beanstalk

Robin Hood

The Leatherhead Theatre 7 Church Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 8DN 20th Dec 2017 to 30th Dec 2017 From the producers of last year's highly acclaimed pantomime Beauty and the Beast comes the mighty magical timeless classic Jack and the Beanstalk? www.theleatherheadtheatre.org/

New Victoria Theatre The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ 9th Dec 2017 to 7th Jan 2018 Join the most heroic outlaw of them all as the arrow-shooting hero Robin Hood strives to win the hand of the beautiful Maid Marion while he and his trusty band of Merry Men outwit the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. www.stgtickets.com/venues/new-victoria-theatre

Aladdin Richmond Theatre The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1QJ 9th Dec 2017 to 14th Jan 2018 Follow Aladdin, his hapless brother, and of course his mother Widow Twankey, on a spectacular adventure featuring a beautiful love story, flying carpets, a wish-granting genie, an evil sorcerer and a lamp packed full of spectacular family entertainment. www.stgtickets.com/venues/richmond-theatre

Sleeping Beauty Dorking Halls Reigate Road, Dorking, RH4 1SJ 16-28 December 2017 The pantomime will include heaps of fun and laughter as well as plenty of audience participation... oh yes it will! Come and join in the festive fun as Dorking Halls and Enchanted Entertainment bring one of the world's best loved pantomimes to life. www.dorkinghalls.co.uk

Reigate on Ice Skating in Priory Park, Bell Street, Reigate RH2 30th Nov – 3rd Jan 2018 Ice skating, music, Christmas food and drink, rides, live entertainment. www.reigateonice.co.uk

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Legal Matters Solicitor Nicola Dudley on things to consider when inheritance tax planning

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lthough not something you may spend a lot of time thinking about, do you know how much your estate would be worth when you die? Your ‘estate’ for Inheritance Tax purposes will include:* Your share of any jointly owned assets (even if ownership passes to the surviving joint owner automatically) * The amount that would be paid out in the event of your death from any life policies * The capital value of any trust fund in which you have an interest for your lifetime * Any death in service benefit * Potentially, the total of your contributions to any pension as well as assets in your sole name, bank accounts etc, and your personal possessions. A number of Inheritance Tax planning questions arise when considering the above. Do you want jointly owned assets to pass to the surviving owner on your death or in accordance with your Will? Is there a way of removing the value of life policies from your estate? If you don’t need the income from any trust fund is there anything you can do to make sure the capital value of the trust is not added to your estate, thereby potentially increasing the Inheritance Tax that your estate will have to pay? Could the company providing your death in service benefit allow you to request that it is paid directly to someone rather than coming into your estate to be taxed? Is there something you can do to prevent the pension contributions forming part of your ‘estate’? There are answers to all the above

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questions, some of which could result in Inheritance Tax savings for your family. In addition, if you have inherited from someone who has died within the last two years then there is the opportunity to immediately divert the inheritance to other members of your family and to potentially save Inheritance Tax. This can be achieved by varying the Will (or intestacy if there was no Will) of the deceased to pass the inheritance directly to someone else. The inheritance would not then form part of your estate and would be immediately effective for your own Inheritance Tax purposes as you would not have to survive seven years, which would be the case if you made the gift directly. This must, however, be done within two years of the death but it is still possible to make the variation even if you have already received your inheritance within that time frame. Next steps? If you would like to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney, your Will, how to mitigate Inheritance Tax or obtain Probate and administer a deceased’s estate then please do not hesitate to contact Nicola Dudley at PWT Advice LLP on 0845 833 9025 or 07900 931478 ndudley@pwtadvice.co.uk. PWT Advice LLP are a local, niche firm of Solicitors specialising in Inheritance Tax planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate and Lasting Powers of Attorney. We charge fixed fees and provide full Inheritance Tax planning advice with even our basic Wills. Home visits can be arranged at no additional charge.

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HOMES & GARDENS

Year round regular garden maintenance Lawn Care Hedge Cutting Topiary Vegetable Gardens Fencing Fully Insured References Available

www.allseasonssurrey.com info@allseasonssurrey.com Tel: 01372 610566

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HOMES & GARDENS

Domestic and Commercial Cleaning, Ironing, Carpet Cleaning

Are you moving? House Clearance Unwanted items cleared Also office and commercial Licensed carrier Please phone

07989 245367

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Let us take control of your domestic chores! We will leave your house spotless and in perfect order. Reliable and professional service tailored to your lifestyle needs and budget. For further information or to book a no-obligation free quote, please call: 07811 138766 www.starscleaningcompany.com

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Unit 1, 205 St Andrews Road, West Coulsdon CR5 3HN info@getconnectedelec.co.uk 07778 427231/07917 196861

01737 370 869 Get Connected Electrical Contractors Ltd is a professional, friendly company based in Surrey, covering London and the South East. With 40 years experience in Domestic, Commercial and Industrial Installations, we pride ourselves in providing a fully comprehensive service. All our work is carried out in accordance to the BS 7671 IET Wiring Regulations (17th Edition) and on completion is tested and certified by one of our qualified technicians.

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Your satisfaction is our guarantee! Domestic Rewires Fuse Board Changes Garden Lighting & Power Additional Sockets & Lighting Commercial Fit outs 3 Phase Supplies Emergency Lighting Fault Finding & Rectification Inspection, Testing & Certification Electrical Maintenance

www.getconnectedelec.co.uk


Designer’s Secrets

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Interior Designer Ruth Marshall on readers decor dilemmas

We are replacing a dated pendant light in our newly decorated dining room, and want a contemporary chandelier, but just aren’t sure what size to get – the ceilings are high but the room isn’t huge – about 12’ x 12’. Can you give us any guidance?

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The easiest formula to use when calculating the most appropriate size of light fitting for a room is this: add together the dimensions of the room in feet (length and width of the room), and then convert the answer into inches to get the diameter of the light fitting. So in your case, if the room is 12’ x 12’ then the diameter of the chandelier would need to be approximately 24” (for our metric readers, 1’= 30.5cm, so the chandelier diameter would be 61cm). You should always aim to hang the chandelier no lower than 6’6” (198cm) above the floor, but if you plan to hang the chandelier directly over your dining table the general rule of thumb is that it should be suspended about 32” to 34” (81-85cm) above the surface of the table so that people don’t bump their head on it when they get up from their seats, and that it should be no bigger than two thirds of the width of the table. ‘Stem’ Chandelier from Tigermoth Lighting

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Q

We have a draughty front porch and would like to add a door curtain to keep the cold out. However, the porch ceiling is quite low so we don’t have enough room to fit a pole above the door. The other problem is the flush fit ceiling lantern that is positioned quite close to the door means that all of the portiere rods we have seen would lift the rod and curtain up too high to clear the bottom of the ceiling light. Are there any portiere rods with an adjustable ‘rise’ that would mean we could still lift the curtain off the floor slightly when the door opens, but not so much that it hits the light?

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There is a suitable product on the market called CosiDOR (www.trackhouse.co.uk). This is a fully adjustable portiere rod that not only fits virtually any door, but also has an adjustable rise function on it which means you should be able to clear the ceiling light fitting but still be able to lift the curtain slightly off the floor when you open it to prevent it getting trapped under the door when you open it. Available in a black matt finish only, the rods come in two adjustable sizes: 110cm will fit most doors (£159.99+ carriage) or the larger 150cm set (£174.99+ carriage). For further interior design inspiration, please call Ruth on 01737 355600 or email: studio@ruthmarshallnteriors.com.

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Ruth Marshall Interiors Curtains & Blinds Wallpapers & Fabrics Upholstery Lighting & Flooring Furniture & Accessories Please call us to find out more about our flexible interior design services

Banstead Studio Suite B, Castle House Park Road Banstead SM7 3BT T: 01737 355600 M: 07768 396332 W: www.ruthmarshallinteriors.com E: studio@ruthmarshallinteriors.com Images courtesy of Tigermoth Lighting


HOMES & GARDENS

ALAN SMITH

GENERAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE Bathrooms – Kitchens – Ceramic Tiling

All Building, Decorating & Refurbishment Work.

Small Jobs and Handyman Tasks also Undertaken.

Tel: 07801 560738 01737 833448

email: smithalan17@aol.com

Website under construction www.alansmithgpm.co.uk

Welcome to More Than Housework, a mix and match bespoke home help service for you or your loved ones who need a little pratical assistance or support to remain independent. Services available: Domestic cleaning, tidying and ironing. Help with weeklly shopping, errands or meal preparation. Daily call to check all is well from £5 per week. Weekly welfare visits. Escorting and transport on outings, social occasions, hairdressers, hospital appointments etc. Dog walking/pet care. Maintenance/garden services can be arranged.

01737 485358 mandy.atkins@morethanhousework.co.uk DBS checked and approved by Age Concern Banstead

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We are not an agency

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HOMES & GARDENS

To advertise in CONNECTION please call 01737 8312498

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Who made Christmas go with a bang?

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raditionally the credit for creating Christmas crackers goes to London confectioner Tom Smith. In 1847 he is said to have introduced England to the delights of the French bonbon, a sugar-almond wrapped in paper with a twist at both ends. To boost sales and keep ahead of his competitors, Smith added a ‘love motto’ before enlarging the packaging, replacing the bonbon with a gift and, in 1860, adding the exploding ‘crack’ that was to give the cracker its name. His son, Walter, later introduced the now obligatory paper hat. Yet it’s possible that the first person to sell crackers in Britain was in fact the Italian-born gaudente Sparagnapane, another London confectioner (and the father of noted suffragette maud Sennett). His company, which was established in 1846, a year before Smith’s, described itself as ‘the oldest makers of Christmas crackers in the United Kingdom’. Were crackers always called crackers? No. Both companies initially called their creations ‘Cosaques’, supposedly because the crack they made when pulled were reminiscent of the cracking whips of Russian Cossack horsemen.

merely found a new use for an existing novelty. And they’re not just for Christmas? Not at all. Late 19th and early 20thcentury manufacturers in particular kept a close eye on current affairs and produced crackers with a variety of themes. Votes for women, Charlie Chaplin, coronations, the wireless, even the battle of Tel el Kebir (in the Anglo-Egyptian War of 1882) were just some of the subjects to get the cracker treatment. Were the mottoes and jokes always so awful? Smith’s certainly didn’t think so. They were proud of the quality of the verse in their early mottoes. But by 1906 the efforts of some manufacturers were certainly bad enough for the Westminster Gazette to describe a particularly poorly written play as being ‘not up to the standard of cracker poetry’.

What’s the story behind the introduction of the ‘crack’? Tradition has it that Smith was inspired by the cracking of a log on his fire. Some accounts even claim he spent two years trying to perfect a way of making the sound. However silver fulminate ‘snaps’ had been around for decades and it’s more likely that Smith

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New Year’s Eve Celebrations

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ust when you thought New Year’s Eve was all about booze and fireworks. For many of us, New Year’s Eve revolves around some sort of merriment and countdown. But in other parts of the world, you’ll find more unusual traditions that are designed to bring luck, prosperity and other well wishes for the new year. And in some cases, these celebrations are frankly bizarre. Here are the best of them. Spain – eating grapes At the stroke of midnight, superstitious and fun-loving Spaniards will start to stuff grapes into their mouths. The unusual celebration is timed with the toll of the bells with each grape being ingested in time with each gong. As the legend goes, each of the 12 grapes signifies a month in the coming year. So if you manage to complete the challenge, you’ll be looking at a lucky and successful year ahead. But if not, at least you got a few laughs in along the way. Colombia – running around the block with a suitcase When it comes to wanderlusting, Colombians do it best. To ensure that travel is on the cards for the coming year, they run around the block with a suitcase. Presumably they’ve emptied it first. Finland – casting tin In Finland, predicting the future is a popular activity for New Year’s Eve. One way of doing this is to cast tin. Each person is given a small amount of tin in the shape of a horseshoe for good luck. This is melted and then swiftly dumped into a bucket of cold water. The resulting shape is then interpreted to predict what will

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happen in the coming year. Romania – dancing in real bear skin Yes, you heard right, in real bear skin. It’s a ritual that takes place between Christmas and New Year and supposedly wards off evil spirits. As part of a parade, the participants would roll over and ‘die’ before becoming resurrected to signify the coming of spring.

Scotland – gifting coal (and other things) As part of the Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland, there’s a belief that the first person through the door after midnight should gift a lump of coal (presumably for the host’s fire). Ideally, this would be accompanied by things like salt, shortbread, black bun and whisky. Known as first-footing, the tradition is supposed to bring good fortune to the home. South Africa – throwing out old furniture There was a time you needed to get out of the streets by midnight if you’re in Johannesburg as the locals had a habit of throwing their old furniture out of the window on New Year’s Eve. It’s a way to start the year afresh. However, the practice has since been outlawed and police have started patrolling the streets to catch out anyone still hurling their rubbish from the window.

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HOMES & GARDENS

Employee issues keeping you awake at night? Your HR Consultant provides outsourced HR support and services, taking the worry out of uncertainty around employment issues. For help with; • Recruitment • Employee Contracts & Handbook • Probation and Appraisal • Performance Management • Disciplinary and Grievance • Employee Relations • Redundancy • Employment/Training Workshops Or any other employment issues that are causing you concern, contact Michelle by phone or email to arrange your free, no obligation consultation. Email: michelle@yourhrconsultant.co.uk Phone: 01737 910628 / 07809 117634 www.yourhrconsultant.co.uk Your HR Consultant, building relationships that provide peace of mind.

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Computer Tips

from Keystroke Associates

Keystroke Associates Christmas gift to Connection readers

L

et me start by wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and an excellent 2018. Every year we give out a gift to all our clients which is normally in the form of a novelty gift of some description. This year however, everyone will be getting Christmas cards with a gift inside. The gift inside is a £5 voucher to go towards a training or support session from Keystroke Associates in the year 2018. We thought we would share this goodwill with our readers too. If you would like to claim your voucher,

please get in contact and quote ‘Christmas 2017 Gift Voucher’ and we will make sure you receive it. Call Judy on 01883 346 516. Happy Christmas!

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01342 842628 07855 340929 Still working in the KT20 area References available on request

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Community Noticeboard info@ktconnection.co.uk CARSHALTON DIABETES UK GROUP NEXT EVENING MEETING Short AGM + Talk about the work of Diabetes UK to support people with Diabetes by Krina Chauhan 7.30 pm on Thursday, 18th January 2018 at The Friends Meeting House, 10 Cedar Road, Sutton SM2 5DA NEXT DAYTIME MEETING Talk and questions time with Priti Chauhan-Whittingham Diabetes Specialist Nurse, St. Helier Hospital Diabetes Centre 2.30 pm on Thursday, 11th January 2018 N.B. NEW DAY + VENUE for 2018 daytime meetings: Good Shepherd Church Hall, Queen Mary’s Avenue, Carshalton Beeches, SM5 4NP People with Diabetes, their families and friends are all welcome Further details at www.diabetesukcarshalton.org.uk or phone 07983 628071

Carols in the Jubilee Woodland This annual event will be held in the Jubilee Woodland, Tadworth Street, Tadworth on Saturday, 16th December, 2017. The Choir of the Church of the Good Shepherd will lead the carols starting at 4.00p.m. The BBQ organised by the Scouts will start at 3.30p.m. Mulled wine and mince pies will also be served. Everyone is very welcome to join us

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Community Noticeboard info@ktconnection.co.uk

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Community Noticeboard info@ktconnection.co.uk

To advertise in CONNECTION please call 01737 831498

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December/January 2018 Connection Magazine  

The December/January 2018 edition of community magazine and directory for KT20 in Surrey

December/January 2018 Connection Magazine  

The December/January 2018 edition of community magazine and directory for KT20 in Surrey