LivingLife - Issue 20 (Arlesey)

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Inside Win


Issue 20 February 2021













LOVE SHUTTERS SALE Due to popular demand we are extending our sale until the end of February.

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COMFORT OF YOUR HOME CALL 01462 816429 TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT 2 Impact Interiors_Full_FebCheck 21.indd 1 out more content on our website: 13/01/2021 11:50:59

Competition Winner

january a big well done to:

sam gallagher Who was the closest to spotting the hidden drone pilot in last month’s photo & won £25. See below for last month’s location

NOTE FROM THE EDITOrS A big warm welcome to February’s edition of Living Life Magazine and although we are still shivering our way through winter the good news is that spring is just around the corner! Life for everyone is very difficult at the moment, postChristmas blues and Covid-19 This month’s cover photo was lockdown restrictions making by Kate McBurney itcaptured an especially tough time for (John’s wife) duringand an business evening families, workers stroll across the farmers owners. At some point fields things will begin to get better but we near Henlow Village. Compedo hope that our magazine can bring some relief to your titionlight Winner day.

| Andrew Martin |


Get in touch with us: We would love your feedback on what you enjoyed about this edition, and of course, any areas where we could improve.

01462 414265


The opinions expressed in LivingLife magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, publisher or their agents. Whilst every reasonable care is taken to ensure the accuracy of information included within this publication, the publishers take no responsibility for any errors or omissions in LivingLife Magazine. The content is not to be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher.

In this edition we are excited to introduce our brand-new feature called ‘Travel Blogger’, a monthly contribution from Jenny Igoe who is a personal travel agent with Travel Counsellors. In her first offering Jenny explains the four things Covid-19 taught us about travel.

| John McBurney |

As the weather improves and gets warmer our gardens will soon be springing to life. If you have a beautiful garden and don’t mind showing it off then we would love to feature it in our ‘Beautiful Gardens of Bedfordshire’ feature. If this is of interest, please do get in touch. The funniest thing we saw last month whilst out delivering the magazine was an abandoned car celebrating it’s first birthday. We kid you not! We posted the story on our Facebook page but you can read all about it in this month’s mag! One last thing, we would like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Kind Regards, Andrew & John

Please pass to a friend, recycle or compost after reading.

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6 8 10 11 12 14 16 18 22 24 25 26

looking for beautiful gardens *New* the travel blogger sinister local discovery diddy directory local flooding - from above abandoned car update going self-employed in lockdown how to: composting share the love margaret’s walks Spot the drone pilot february Crossword



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Beautiful Gardens of Bedfordshire Discovering beautiful gardens in the local area.



ver the past 6 months we have visited and photographed some amazing gardens across LivingLife country. Our mission has been simple: to showcase beautiful gardens found in the local area. So, what makes a garden beautiful? Well, it is completely subjective, but if you feel you have a garden that fits the bill, a garden you feel deserves to be ‘shown-off’, or even a garden which contains something unique, perhaps a WWII tank or a traditional red telephone box, whatever it is, we would love to hear from you. In fact, did you know that there are many different categories used to describe a garden, check out the list below, is your garden one of these?

Floral or Flower garden Cottage garden Woodland garden Formal garden Wildflower garden Rustic garden

Ornamental garden Landscaped garden Herb & vegetable garden Outdoor garden room Front yard garden Themed garden

We are now in the midst of winter and generally gardens don’t look their best, as such we are pausing our garden feature until spring returns.

Now it is over to you! If you would like us to feature your garden in LivingLife Magazine then do please get in touch. Contact details on the editors page. 6

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local art

Contribution thanks to


Adrian Goulding the Manager of

Artisans in the Yard FB@Artisansintheyard

Although Artisans in the Yard is currently closed, work still carries on behind the scenes. We continue to promote our web and Facebook presence, and seek other ways to make available the gifts crafted by our artisans. However, it seems the biggest demand during lockdown is for services of our very own ‘Shefford’s Repair Shop’ aka Adrian’s workshop. Staying at home means more people are looking at tired old treasures or damaged items and wanting to give them new life. Polishing a table top and refurbishing a Coat of Arms are two recent undertakings, but in the past we have restored picture frames, a piano stool, and even a Pool Cue. Each a challenge, but also a delight especially when its owner collects the well-loved article to take home. So if you’re looking for a repair or restoration of a loved item, do contact us through our website ( or call Adrian on 07909 876400. We’d love to help.



We understand how important it is for you to choose the right nursery for your child. Flexible hours to suit your working or school day Delicious freshly cooked meals Secure spacious gardens We offer 15 and 30 hours funded childcare for 2,3 and 4 year olds for eligible families

47 Hospital Road, Arlesey, Bedfordshire, SG15 6RH Telephone: 01462 835550


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r e gg o l B l e v The Tra H

i, I’m Jenny, I work from my home office as a Personal Travel Agent with Travel Counsellors. We are an independent network of travel advisors and we work around the clock at whatever time we are needed. Recently voted number 1 in three separate polls conducted by Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert for the way we handled customer refunds during the pandemic. I am super excited to be colaborating with LivingLife Magazine to bring you the some of the tp tips and tricks I have learned over the years so you can get the most out of your holiday.

4 Things COVID-19 taught us about Travel 1. The memories will carry you through. It could be the last holiday you had; it could be 20 years ago... One thing is for sure, the memories of past trips have resurfaced time and time again during this period of enforced lockdowns and travel bans. The memories are ALWAYS good. Those pounds spent on holidays over the years suddenly seem to have tripled in value. 2. Package Holidays rule! A package no longer has to mean you are herded into a one-size-fits-all ‘bucket & spade’ holiday. A package simply means that you book the main components of your holiday at the same time, thus activating Package Travel Regulations. This gives you protection and peace of mind that if one component fails (either by an airline going bust, or hotel closing for good) you are entitled to a refund.

Palma Ma

llorca in Au

gust 2020

3. Book it yourself, you’re on your own. We had a good 20 years of DIY online bookings working very well on the whole. The idea of a Travel Agent became out of date - a bit Retro. But along came Covid, and most people who had booked a flight on one website, hotel on another... found it very difficult to get any help. Busy call centres, phonelines switched off, offices empty with all on furlough or redundant. People had to reluctantly agree to vouchers, or worse, just watch their original planned travel date come and go and just hope someone somewhere had picked up the email. Voila, the trusted Travel Agent is back in favour, modernised, with the best tech and most caring manner. 4. We need it. 10 months into working from home, homeschooling, furlough or redundancy.... no social gatherings, unable to celebrate that big birthday with the ones you love. Some of us have adapted, some of us have suffered. Most of us (if not all of us) quietly resolve that as soon as we are allowed, we will take that holiday… buy the dress, eat the cake. It’s not the things we miss, as much as the people. And places. Getting out of your hometown, in fact scrap that, getting out of your HOME, is something we need to do for our wellbeing.


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simple walk around a lake near the village of Broom turned out to be an exciting day of adventure for a mum and her two children from Shefford after a ‘sinister’ discovery in the water.

We caught up with Kim Massey and her daughter, Harper (age 8), and her son, Hartley (age 9) and they explained what happened. Kim said: “My children were playing at the edge of the lake when Harper noticed something in the water, all she could see was the tip under the water line, which looked crescent shaped and was green in colour. Hartley started to rummage with his boot to get it out of the silt. It took him a little while and soon discovered it was a bone. They wanted to know what the bone belonged to, so we searched on the internet. We couldn’t find the animal that it belonged to so we looked up the human skeleton. An X-ray picture came up and the bone shape looked similar to the radius bone in the forearm and the length of it matched that of an adult. We called the police just to be on the safe side. They have a system in place where you can give them access to your phone and can upload only the pictures you choose, which we did. They sent officers out to the scene and we were told their scenes-ofcrime were comparing the images to those in a bone catalogue. After having their picture taken with the rural police vehicle we continued on our walk.” What did Harper and Hartley have to say? Q. Where was the bone found? ‘In the lake, at the shore.’ Q. Who found it? ’Harper’ Q. What did you think it was? ‘Just Seaweed’ Q. How did you find it? ‘Harper saw it and then I just grabbed it from the lake and we figured out it was a bone.’ Q. And when it came out of the lake and you saw it what did you think it was? ‘A human bone’. Q. Did you contact the police? ‘Yes’. Q. What did they say? ‘They said they would go to the scientists and they would leave the bone with them and the scientists would figure out what type of bone it was.’ Q. Was it exciting? ‘Yes, because the police came.’ Kim added: “The police have now told us they believe it was a swan or goose thigh. Harper asked the police on the day if she could have it back for ‘show and tell’ at school.” 10

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Aerial images show the view from above

Check out all the photos on our blo g



n January heavy rain caused major floods across large parts of the country and our local rivers did not go unaffected. In Shefford the River Hit and the River Flit merge to form the Ivel Navigation and it was here where we saw water levels rise above the riverbanks. Many homes were at risk from flooding but it seems that the majority of homes remained unscathed. These aerial drone photographs illustrate the extent of the flooding.


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Zanna has been leading her ‘highly recommended’ Pilates classes since 2004. Classes are available live on Zoom; one-off sessions are available to try as well as whole courses. Check the website to see class availability and book online.

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rustrated residents living on George Street in Shefford have reached the end of their tethers waiting for an abandoned car to be towed away. Taking matters into their own hands they have magnificently decorated the car to ‘celebrate’ over one year of it being left abandoned. The silver VW Golf has been parked at the same spot since December 2019, and has become a major inconvenience and eyesore for residents. A local resident, who did not wish to be named, had the following to say: “Many people have passed the car and checked it out, and had a good laugh, however, the abandoned car really has had a massive effect on us, with delivery lorries having difficulties with building works and skips, and even just taking up space for parents to park during the school run.” “At least four of us have contacted DVLA, the council and the police on more than one occasion and we just do not seem to be getting anywhere with it.” News of the ‘decorated’ abandoned car has spread across the globe, with the story going as far as Fox News America! Hopefully with a little more publicity we may be able to persuade the ‘powers that be’ to get this car removed!

STOP PRESS: As of Tuesday 19th January, the abandoned car has still not been removed.


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Contribution thanks to

Michael Sheff


The Woodfather Carpentry

07940 744613

After Being Made Redundant in a Pandemic Here is what happened, and here is what I did.


can’t remember the exact moment in early 2020 when I realised that my job as a Production Manager was genuinely at risk. The entire experience was very surreal and if I am being honest completely terrifying. I have dedicated my life to carpentry but within the last few years, niched into exhibition stand build. I felt like I was getting the experience I needed, to eventually carve out a more independent, self-employed career. As the COVID situation progressed, so did the uncertainty. Social restrictions became tighter and tighter to the point where the only thing I knew for sure, was that events were not going to happen again this year. As many businesses did, we tried to diversify and rallied to make-up the lost cash as a result of all events being cancelled. But like many other businesses, it could only sustain them for so long and one by one, we (the staff) were let go, irrespective of any government furlough scheme. The day I was told, I turned up for work and was immediately called into the office. It was at that point that I knew exactly what was coming, and I couldn’t even argue it…because I knew the dire financial situation the company was in and they had done their best to keep me on. That did not help the fact that I have 3 kids to provide for, rent and bills to pay. My stomach sunk. The next few weeks would prove to be stressful, sleepless and chaotic but I can now say that I am proudly self-employed, under the guise ‘The Woodfather’. I have gone from borrowing hand tools for simple handyman jobs to signing the lease on a unit on Christmas Eve in under 4 weeks, which will give me the space and freedom to build amazing bespoke furniture. I have stunned myself at what I have achieved. Sometimes it takes a huge shock to the system to catapult you into the right place to take steps towards a different way of life, aka becoming self-employed. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without a little help. I have been blessed with the generosity of family, friends and the community. An extra pair of hands, loaning tools and a van, a share on Facebook …all of which I am eternally grateful for and realise that not everyone will have these privileges. 16

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So, for anyone else, who may be in a similar situation, here are my tips to help get you started. 1 - Start small

You may have specialised in a field for years, but if you do not have thousands of pounds to acquire all the equipment you need, offer a simple service such as handy-manning, cleaning, or labouring to get you started.

2 - Ask for help

You will be surprised how many kindhearted people are willing to jump in and help. Posting on Facebook to ask for advice or ask your community to spread the word about your new endeavour.

3 - Avoid loans if you can

If you can pry together just enough to get yourself started on a small scale, work on growing as you earn. You cannot guarantee work in these uncertain times and any missed payments will reflect negatively on your credit file and accumulate interest.

4 - Do your research

On everything. Your local competitors, local suppliers, potential partners, covid procedures, insurances, DBS checks if applicable, advertising platforms‌

CALL US ON 07940 744613

5 - Reach big goals, by taking small steps

List out your smaller tasks against bigger objectives and hold yourself accountable for how and when they will be achieved. Tick them off as you go and witness your progress.

For everyone that helped and supported me up to this point, thank you. There is still a long way to go but I have learnt so much in such a short space of time and I cannot wait to go into 2021 with the tools and experience that I have now.

BESPOKE FITTED FURNITURE BY Covering Beds, Herts & Surrounding Areas

CALL TODAY TO DISCUSS Wardrobes Studies Under-stair storage solutions Kitchens Alcove units General handyman service WWW.THEWOODFATHERCARPENTRY.CO.UK @WoodfatherCarpentry


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Contribution thanks to

Claudia McCullough

Composting – Take your garden from Surviving to Thriving!

Mulberry Gardening


pring is on its way with the days getting longer and bulbs bursting into colour giving hope of warmer days ahead. If you are like me there is a little buzz of excitement as you see the fresh green shoots and blossom buds starting to swell and you dream of what the garden may look like in just a few short months.

07907 303130

It was tempting when deciding what to include for this edition to think of beautiful flowers and bountiful veg patches, but the reality is that to what goes into soil affects the quality of what comes out! Adding organic matter, such as compost, on a regular basis will help improve soil structure, moisture retention and increase both soil and plant health. With our increasingly warm summers all of these are essential for maintaining a thriving garden. So why not take advantage of the last month of winter to get a compost bin built ready for the season ahead? You can make your own using old pallets (see for a great how-to guide) or you can buy purpose made bins that may easily be mistaken for a well-known alien from Doctor Who!

Claudia from Mulberry Gardening

Whatever you decide on, make sure it has good ventilation, a cover and is placed directly onto open soil to allow excess moisture to drain away and microbes to get to work in your bin. If you are worried about an unsightly bin then you can always screen it with planting. The key to great quality compost is what you put in. You need an even mix of: •Green Material - including grass clippings, fruit and veg waste, egg shells, hedge clippings, perennial cuttings (do not use meat, dairy or cooked foods) •Brown Material - including dried leaves, twigs, cardboard, eggboxes Start your bin off with some twiggy material to ensure good aeration and then add material in even quantities, taking care not to include too much of any one kind of material in a single layer. In particular, mix grass cuttings through the layers to avoid a soggy wet blanket that will stop the air circulating. If your bin is ever looking too dry, then add a sprinkling of water to get things going. As heat builds up in your bin, the composting process will start and within 6-12 months you will be able to take amazing home-produced compost out at the base. Use it to dig into your soil or for mulching as an additional layer to keep down weeds and to protect and feed plants. It may sound like a long process, but adding great compost year after year will yield a garden that is full of life and joy in every season.


Happy Composting!

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Is it time for a Pension Review? A professional, friendly, local gardening service making your garden somewhere for you to enjoy • Seasonal pruning & maintenance • Lawn care and weeding • Planting for seasonal interest • Composting and mulching for garden health • Gardening to encourage wildlife Claudia McCullough 07907 303130

It’s really important to regularly review your pension income as your circumstances change over time. Shefford-based Nicholas Turner can help you make sure you are on the right track.

Nicholas Turner e: Chartered Financial t: 01462 632260 m: 07393 340 029 Planner w: v:

Pensions Investments Tax Planning Equity Release Life Insurance Past Performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. KDW is a trading style of K D Wright Financial Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registration No: 509886.

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SCENE BY YOU Your chance to share your favourite photos

Submit your photo for the next edition

1 4

2 5 A big thanks to this month’s submissions

3 20


Chris Mills


Gary Parker


Harry Knott (Avi-8 Commercial Drones)


Sharon Parker


Lesley Whiteman

Henlow Grange Winter colour at Mount Pleasant Golf Club

Great Barford December Floods Rare Bee sighting in November Flooding in Shefford

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e v o L e h t e r a Sh

Lovingly by John McBurney

To celebrate Valentine’s Day our roving photographer loves to get out and about with the LivingLife ‘Love Heart’. His mission is simple: to persuade local workers to step out of their cosy, warm shops and premises and strike a romantic pose. Unfortunately, due to the lockdown restrictions, we can’t do that this year, however, last year, we captured lots of ‘Love Heart’ photos which we never got chance to publish as we ran out of space in the magazine and simply couldn’t fit them in. So here they are, they may be a year old, but hopefully will bring a smile to your face.


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Ovens Grills l Extractors


Filters BBQs l Microwaves

Hobs Ranges l AGAs







I’m simply delighted at how sparkly clean my oven and hob look now! It really does look like the cooker is brand new again!

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Margaret’s walks Keeping fit during lockdown

Margaret’s Walks was compiled by a local walking group made up of a few friends, including Margaret.

Margaret & Bill

Now 87, Margaret has been exploring the local Bedfordshire countryside for many years. The walks take you across countryside, by rivers and streams, woods and hills, plus interesting buildings, villages and streets.

Walk Number 42. Shefford / Great Hill (Cockshoot Hill) (about 2 miles) In Shefford, at The Bridge pub, turn left into Old Station Way and park in back car park by Duck Lane. Walk away from Duck Lane and the High Street, between houses, to the field and river. Turn right through the gate, and left onto the main road crossing bridge. Immediately turn left along the footpath past the willow trees and bungalows to the end. Turn right Into Riverside, walk up to the T-junction, and left onto Bedford Road. At the footpath sign on the right, cross the Bedford Road onto a hardcore track uphill, walking with woods first on right and then on left, to top of hill. Turn right through gap In hedge (piece of farm machinery in hedge) and walk to gateway. Turn right again and start to walk to the woods ahead. EITHER go into them (more fun) and turn right when you come out, and follow track downhill to Shefford. OR walk with woods on the right to the hedge. Turn right (noting lovely views} and follow track downhill to Shefford. At the road, go to the roundabout and turn tight, and at the next roundabout turn left. Cross the road. Once over the bridge, immediately take the path on the right with the river on the right, and make your way back to the Start.


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Spot the Drone Pilot



It’s competition time! The drone pilot who captured this image has been magically removed from the photo, can you deduce exactly where he is positioned? Place a cross (‘X’) where you think the drone pilot is standing (just like ‘Spot the Ball’ puzzle), then take a photograph of this page with your phone or device and submit your entry here: Close date 15/2/2021. Only 1 entry per person. Judge’s decision is final.

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The February edition

CROSSWORD Answers on P13


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