Wokingham Local May 2024

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Tasty Travels

Vibrant Decor

LOCAL Pick me up I’m free!
PEOPLE & PLACES • WHAT’S NEW • FOOD & DRINK MAY 2024 wokinghamlocal.co.uk
Sustainability May Day
2 | Wokingham Local • May 2024
A Special Announcement
Featured Article
Rory and Pratts Pods
by Jacqui Priestley
from Pratts Pods

For those of our readers who know of Rory Pratt, owner of Pratts Pods, the mobile phone and tech repair shop on Elms Walk right here in Wokingham, you may know that he has been much busier than usual recently. As a local entrepreneur, Rory has expanded his growing business empire to include a second shop in the delightful town of Henley, which is already proving a great success. We join Rory in congratulating his loyal colleague Peter (below) who is now managing the Wokingham shop, as he has worked alongside Rory for several years and has vast experience in the tech industry.

At the Mayday fayre, amidst the colourful stalls and cheerful ambiance, Rory finds an opportunity to step away from his bustling enterprises and relishes precious moments with his family and friends. Away from the confines of shops and business, they embrace the chance to immerse themselves in the festivities, creating cherished memories that would linger for years to come.

Rory tells Wokingham Local that for him “The Mayday fayre isn’t just a break from work; it is a reminder of what truly matters in life”. As he savoured the simple pleasures of the day, he was reminded that amidst the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship, family remained his true greatest treasure. He finally found a long awaited balance between his professional ambitions, and personal joys, creating a tapestry of fulfilment that helped to define the essence of his success and hard work.

Pratt’s Pod’s Ltd Unit 13 Elms Walk Wokingham RG40 2FE are your local tech repair experts, contact us at info@prattspods.co.uk or call 0118 304 7777 or visit www.prattspods.co.uk

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 3
4 | Wokingham Local • May 2024 Contents 08 MayDay Fayre Celebrating Spring 12 Tasty Travels To the Isle of Man 22 Five Minutes With Chris of Therapycise 18 Winnersh A Hub of Innovation 16 Humboldt Penguins Inspiring Stories from London Zoo 25 Royal Ascot 2024 31 Nutrition for Older Adults 36 Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables 50 Shinrin-Yoku Forest Bathing 52 Rediscovering Wellbeing Ancient Wisdom, Modern Practices 14 A Culinary Journey in Zagreb 39 Why We Love Cottagecore Flowers 08 16 50 36 25

Event Timetable

Entertainment Arranged By

Circus Scene mix and mingle entertainers will be wandering around town throughout the day.

Note: the timetable may be subject to last - minute changes due to factors outside our control

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 5
Main Stage – Market Place Elms Field 11:00 Official Opening of event by Mayor and Mini-Mayor 11:10 Steppin’ Out Stars of Tomorrow 11:45 EBOS (East Berkshire Operatic Society) 12:00 The Dance Zone Berkshire Bedlam Morris Dancers & on Denmark Street at 2.30/3.00 12:30 Jazz Band 12:40 Phoenix Ukelele Band 13:15 St. Sebastian Brass Band 13:25 Bharatanatyam Classical Indian Dance Display 13:40 Comedy Jugglers 14:10 Chance to Dance (Special Needs Dance School) 14:15 Almost Alice 14:30 Acoustic Jass 15:00 Artemis. 15:15 St. Sebastian Brass Band 15:30 O’Gara School of Irish Dance
Wokingham Rock


Welcome to our very special May edition of Wokingham Local with all the fun of the MayDay fayre, with our sponsors Pratts Pods Ltd, Anthony Blay menswear and Ruchetta Italian restaurant. You can see Rory at Pratts Pods already gearing up for a great family fun bank holiday weekend over the page, along with the Lazy Frog team who are ready to help you kick back and relax this May bank holiday.

So, where have our team been on our ‘tasty travels’ recently? We start on our doorstep with a real taste of Italy at award winning Ruchetta Italian trattoria over on Rose street where Angelo is still serving up family favourites just like his mama used to make, before we travel further afield for a culinary journey in Zagreb, Croatia. From there, Seekers Travel takes us by coach to Douglas on the Isle of Man, and then we have a family outing to visit the penguins at London Zoo - always a great day out. In Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle we take a look at the residential and commercial aspects of the area, and talking of business, Jim at Hamilton Nash talks about dealing with conflict at work, which is a very interesting read!

I spent 5 minutes with Chris Hunt of Therapycise before visiting Anthony Blay menswear, also on Rose street in Wokingham, where they are gearing up for a very exciting Royal Ascot fashion extravaganza next month. If you are attending this fabulous event then nip over to see Jayne soonest before the rush, and even though we all know how difficult it can be to park in our town centre, you don’t have to worry about that as Anthony Blay has a complimentary private ‘vip’ carpark to the rear of the shop. So, the sun is eventually shining and Marlow Garage Roller Shutter Doors and Awnings has a lot to offer us for those bank holiday garden parties, however, as the weather can be just a ‘touch’ temperamental Safeheat Services are there to warm up the chilly evenings with their gas and woodburning stoves. The Homecare People , Body Manoeuvres and Care UK all have a focus on nutrition, and we have both nutritious and delicious recipes for you to try, which can be whipped up in minutes using local seasonal fruit and vegetables. Also, in this issue (yes, it is absolutely cram packed!) we welcome our amazing new local businesses who are advertising their products and services - and a shout out to our loyal regular advertisers, (we absolutely value your support, as always) and we are delighted to have lots of fun events coming up over the next few weeks, all over the Borough, so do check those out.

Don’t forget to look after your physical and mental health this month, and there is help, guidance and fun whilst you do that as Gina and Kasia at Primelase look after your skin; Amel at Embodied Beings shows you how to re-discover wellbeing, and Claire and Glitterball Dance company in Woodley are ‘dancing for a healthy lifestyle’.

So it just remains for me, and the team at Local Area magazines, to wish you a very happy month of May, enjoy the sunshine, and your family time and we look forward to seeing you at the MayDay fayre - Monday 6th May.

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Jacqui Wokingham Local Magazine is published by Local Area Ltd, a company registered in England & Wales number 13415030. Registered office: Markham House, 20 Broad Street, Wokingham, RG40 1AH. Wokingham Local Magazine, © 2024, Local Area Ltd. Reprinting any part appearing in this magazine is strictly forbidden except by permission of the publisher. All copyright of images/content remains that of its contributors. Every effort has been made to gain permission to publish copyright material. However, where efforts have been exhausted, we have published based on ‘Fair Use’ to comment factual based material whereby its use is not central or plays a significant part in the entire publication but to act as an aid for historical and educational purposes only. This publication
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Spring is a great time to rejuvenate and indulge in some self-care. The days are getting longer, with brighter mornings and evenings, and you should enjoy a little Thai sunshine at The Lazy Frog with one of our wonderful massage therapies.

All the stresses and strains we put our bodies under can take their toll. Whether that’s because of an active lifestyle, working long hours, or both!

You may have experienced the ‘triangle of tension’ across the shoulders, and up both sides of the neck. This can cause headaches and migraines, also increasing the chances of neck spasms.

Our Thai head, neck and shoulder massage is perfect for relieving the tension and easing the discomfort. You’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep afterwards!

Alternatively, our authentic Thai massages can help provide full-body relaxation. We work from your feet, up your legs to the upper thighs and from the head, neck and shoulders down your back to your waist.

We’ll also help ease mobility in your joints with limb stretches and assisted yoga positions. You can choose from our aromatic oils or try the traditional oil-free Thai massage that has been practiced for centuries!

If you need us to work through layers of tension to get to deep seated knots and tightness, why not try our Thai Deep Tissue massage? This is our more intense and focused form, which is a favourite with many of our guests.

Find & book a convenient appointment with our online booking system at www. thelazyfrog.co.uk, message us via social media, or call us on 0118 374 3693

We’re open from 10am to 8pm, located opposite the car park entrance in Denmark Street, Wokingham.

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 7

MayDay Fayre

Celebrating the Arrival of Spring

The MayDay Fayre in Wokingham is an annual celebration that brings together residents and visitors alike to commemorate the arrival of spring and enjoy a day filled with festivities. With its roots dating back centuries, the MayDay Fayre holds significant cultural importance in the town, blending traditional customs with modern entertainment to create a vibrant and memorable event. In recent years the Lions Club have taken over the organising, raising funds for local charities and individuals and businesses have been keen to sponsor the celebrations.

The fayre typically takes place on the first Monday of May, coinciding with the May Day bank holiday. It serves as a focal point for the community, fostering a sense of unity and pride among residents while also attracting thousands of visitors.

There is also a colourful display of Morris dancers, musicians, and costumed performers, providing a visual feast, showcasing the town’s rich heritage and artistic talent. The main festivities kick off in Wokingham’s Market Place at the top of Denmark Street, Peach Place and Elms Field, and also the surrounding roads and areas. Here, visitors can explore a bustling marketplace filled with stalls selling handmade crafts, local produce, and artisanal goods. From intricately woven textiles to delicious homemade treats, there’s something to delight every taste and interest.

Throughout the day, various performances and activities entertain the crowds. Live music fills the air as bands and solo artists take to the stage, offering a diverse range of musical genres to suit all preferences. Children are treated to puppet shows and carnival games, ensuring there’s plenty of fun for the whole family.

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Food plays a central role in the MayDay Fayre experience, with an array of culinary delights on offer. With everything from Indian street food to fine dining with cocktails on offer from Bombay Story Indian Kitchen and Bar on Peach Place; to cream teas and prosecco at Chalk restaurant on Broad Street, visitors can indulge their taste buds with a tempting selection on offer.

Traditional fare such as hog roasts, burgers, hotdogs and mulled cider adds to the festive atmosphere, providing hearty sustenance for revellers as they soak up the festivities.

The MayDay Fayre in Wokingham certainly is a cherished tradition that celebrates the arrival of spring and brings together the community in a joyous celebration of culture, heritage, and togetherness. With its colourful procession, vibrant marketplace, lively entertainment, and delicious food, the fayre offers something for everyone to enjoy and is a highlight of the town’s annual calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

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A warm welcome to restaurant Ruchetta, home of authentic fine Italian cuisine in the heart of Wokingham. Our restaurant offers guests the ideal location for a celebration or wonderful meal out with friends and family, with a menu steeped in modern Italian cuisine.

With roots in Calabria in southern Italy, Chef Patron Angelo Colao creates mouth-watering dishes, full of flavour, using only the finest seasonal ingredients.

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Known for our exceptional service with both charming and relaxed trattoria style dining, we guarantee you an evening to remember. We look forward to welcoming you soon!

Please do ask about our Seasonal Specials available every week, they are what makes a visit to Ruchetta extra special like our delicious and award winning hand made pasta dishes.

6 Rose Street, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1XU 0118 978 8025

angelo@ruchetta.com | www.ruchetta.com

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 11

Tasty Travels

To Douglas, Isle of Man; A Charming Seaside Town

The Douglas Heritage Promenade is a picturesque walk that winds its way through the heart of Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man. Spanning approximately 1.5 miles, this charming promenade offers visitors a delightful blend of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and stunning coastal views. Beginning at the picturesque Loch Promenade, it meanders along the scenic coastline, offering breathtaking vistas of the Irish Sea. Along the way, you can admire the Victorian architecture that lines the promenade, including elegant hotels, charming cafés, and historic buildings that speak to the island’s rich heritage.

As you continue your magical journey, there are several notable landmarks, including the Tower of Refuge. This distinctive structure, built on Conister Rock in the 1830s by Sir William Hillary, founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, serves as a poignant reminder of the island’s maritime history. Further along the promenade, you will come across the grand Villa Marina complex, a cultural hub that hosts a variety of events throughout the year.

Nearby, the beautifully landscaped gardens of the Villa Marina Gardens provide a tranquil oasis where you can pause, and soak in the peaceful surroundings. The promenade leads onto the bustling harbour area, where fishing boats bob in the water and seagulls wheel overhead. Here, you can explore the quaint shops and cafés that line the waterfront or simply take a moment to watch the comings and goings of the harbour. Whether enjoyed as a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk, the Douglas Heritage Promenade offers a delightful glimpse into the natural beauty and rich history of this charming seaside town.

↑ Vessel RMS Mona aground on the Conister Rock (c. 1930). The whitewashed side of the tower was supposed to make it more visible to shipping

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And what a delightful array of tasty treats are on offer, reflecting both local traditions and international influences. One iconic Manx delicacy is the famous Manx kipper (above), smoked herring fillets that are known for their rich flavour. These can be savoured at local markets, or seafood restaurants, served traditionally with buttered toast. For those with a sweet tooth, the island boasts delicious traditional desserts such as Manx Bonnag, a griddle cake made with flour, eggs, and buttermilk, often enjoyed with a spread of creamy butter or sweet local honey.

Douglas also caters to international tastes, with a diverse culinary scene offering everything from gourmet burgers to fine dining experiences. Visitors can indulge in freshly caught seafood dishes, artisanal cheeses, and locally brewed ales at charming pubs and restaurants scattered throughout the town, where various food festivals and markets are held throughout the year, celebrating the island’s culinary heritage and showcasing a range of delectable treats from both local producers and international cuisines.

Whether you’re craving traditional Manx fare or adventurous global flavours, Douglas, Isle of Man, promises a culinary journey to remember.

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A Culinary Journey in Zagreb

Part Three of our Travel Series in Croatia

Zagreb, the vibrant capital of Croatia, is a city where history meets modernity, and nowhere is this more evident than in its diverse culinary scene. From traditional dishes passed down through generations to innovative fusion cuisine, Zagreb offers a tantalising array of flavours that captivate the senses and tell the story of its rich cultural heritage. Join us on a modern-day tasting adventure as we explore the culinary delights of Zagreb.

Morning: Rise and Shine

Our journey begins in the heart of Zagreb’s historic Upper Town, where cobblestone streets lead to charming cafés and bakeries. We start our day with a traditional Croatian breakfast at a local café, where the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air. Here, we indulge in a classic breakfast staple “buhtle”, soft and fluffy sweet rolls filled with jam or chocolate (pictured right), served alongside a strong cup of Croatian coffee.

As we savour the flavours of our morning meal, we soak in the ambiance of the café, surrounded by locals starting their day and tourists eager to explore the city. With our energy replenished, we embark on our culinary adventure through the streets of Zagreb.

Midday: Market Exploration

No visit to Zagreb is complete without a stroll through Dolac Market, the city’s vibrant open-air market. We are greeted by rows of stalls brimming with fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, cured meats, and aromatic spices. We meander through the market, sampling ripe tomatoes, juicy figs, and plump olives from local farmers. We chat with vendors who proudly display their handcrafted cheeses and prosciutto, learning about the traditional methods passed down through generations. Our appetites whetted by the sights and smells of the market, we

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Evening: Sunset Dining →

As dusk descends upon the city, we make our way to one of Zagreb’s rooftop restaurants, where panoramic views of the city provide a breathtaking backdrop for our final meal of the day. Here, we are treated to a feast for the senses, as the city lights twinkle below and the scent of grilled meats wafts through the air. We begin with a selection of local cheeses and charcuterie, paired with Croatian wines carefully chosen to complement the flavours of our meal. For our main course, we indulge in “janjetina s ražnja”, succulent spit-roasted lamb seasoned with garlic and rosemary, served with roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables.

As we savour each bite, we reflect on the culinary delights we’ve experienced throughout the day and the warm hospitality of the people we’ve met along the way. Our journey through Zagreb has been a celebration of food, culture, and community, leaving us with memories to last a lifetime.

In just one single day, we’ve sampled the many diverse flavours of Zagreb, from the traditional dishes rooted in centuries-old traditions to modern creations that push the boundaries of Croatian cuisine. Through our wonderful culinary journey, we have discovered the soul of this vibrant city, a place where history, culture, and innovation come together on every plate.

As we bid farewell to Zagreb, we carry with us not only the incredible tastes and aromas of its cuisine, but also the warmth, and hospitality of its friendly people. Whether sipping coffee in a quaint café, exploring the bustling markets, or dining beneath the stars, Zagreb has left an indelible mark on our palates and our hearts, inviting us to return again and again to continue our gastronomic adventure.

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 15

Humboldt Penguins

London Zoo is Inspiring the Next Generation of Conservationists

Situated in the heart of the bustling city, London Zoo offers visitors a unique opportunity to observe and learn about a diverse range of wildlife from around the globe. Among its many attractions, the Humboldt penguin exhibit stands out as a favourite among visitors of all ages.

The penguin enclosure known as Penguin Beach, at London Zoo is carefully designed to mimic the natural habitat of these charismatic birds. Featuring rocky cliffs, a crystal-clear pool, and plenty of space to roam, the exhibit provides a comfortable and stimulating environment for the penguins to thrive. Visitors can watch as the penguins dive gracefully into the water, playfully interact with one another, and bask in the sunshine on the rocky shore.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Humboldt penguin exhibit is the opportunity to observe their

The Humboldt penguin, is a captivating species native to the coasts of Chile and Peru in South America. With their distinctive black and white plumage and endearing waddle, Humboldt penguins have become a beloved attraction in zoos worldwide, including the prestigious London Zoo.

social behaviour. These birds are highly gregarious and form tight-knit colonies both in the wild and in captivity. Visitors to the London Zoo can witness firsthand the intricate social dynamics as the penguins communicate through a series of vocalisations, gestures, and displays. From courtship rituals to territorial disputes, there is never a dull moment in the penguin colony.

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Education is a key focus of the Humboldt penguins exhibit at the zoo. Informative signs and interactive displays provide visitors with valuable insights into the biology, ecology, and conservation status of these remarkable birds.

Through engaging talks and feeding sessions led by knowledgeable zookeepers, visitors can learn about the threats facing Humboldt penguins in the wild and discover how they can help contribute to their conservation, which is of paramount importance, as

these birds face a number of significant threats in their natural habitat.Overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change all pose serious risks to the long-term survival of this species. By raising awareness and supporting conservation efforts, zoos like London Zoo play a vital role in safeguarding the future of Humboldt penguins and their ecosystem.

London Zoo is actively involved in conservation initiatives aimed at protecting Humboldt penguins both in captivity and in the wild. Through partnerships with conservation organisations, research institutions, and government agencies, the zoo works to address the root causes of threats to penguin populations and implement strategies for their conservation. From habitat restoration projects to community

outreach programs, these efforts are making a real difference in the fight to save Humboldt penguins from extinction.

In addition to conservation efforts, London Zoo is committed to providing the highest standards of care for the Humboldt penguins in its care. A team of dedicated keepers and veterinarians works tirelessly to ensure the health and well-being of the penguins, monitoring their diet, behaviour, and physical condition on a daily basis. From regular health checks to enrichment activities designed to stimulate their minds and bodies, every aspect of the penguins’ welfare is carefully considered.

Humboldt penguins primarily feed on small fish, such as anchovies, sardines, and squid. They may also consume crustaceans like krill and small crustaceans, as well as some small molluscs. In the wild, their diet is primarily composed of whatever small marine animals are abundant and available in their habitat along the coast of South America, particularly in the Humboldt Current region off the coasts of Peru and Chile. In captivity, their diet is usually supplemented with a variety of fish and sometimes vitamin supplements to ensure they receive all necessary nutrients.

We visited the Humboldt penguin exhibit at London Zoo as a family recently and we all agreed we had a fascinating glimpse into the world of these remarkable birds. From their playful antics to their important conservation message, the penguins capture the hearts and minds of visitors young and old. Through education, conservation, and advocacy, London Zoo is working tirelessly to protect Humboldt penguins and inspire the next generation of conservationists.

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 17

Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle

A Hub of Innovation and Connectivity

Our Wokingham Local promotions team likes to get out and about, visiting our local residents, businesses and neighbouring towns and villages. This time, we decided to take a fresh look at Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle.

Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle form a vibrant and dynamic area that blends residential charm with a thriving business environment. These areas have witnessed remarkable transformations over the years, evolving from quaint villages to bustling centres of commerce and innovation. Let’s start by delving into the history, characteristics, and significance of Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle.

Historical Background

Winnersh’s history traces back centuries, with evidence of settlements dating as far back as the Roman era. However, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that the area experienced significant development, fuelled by its proximity to London and the expansion of the railway network. The arrival of the railway in the mid-

19th century enhanced Winnersh’s growth, facilitating the transportation of goods and people, stimulating economic activity.


Residential Appeal: Winnersh boasts a diverse range of housing options, from traditional cottages to modern developments, making it an attractive destination for families and professionals alike. The area’s green spaces, including parks and nature reserves, enhance its appeal, offering residents opportunities for recreation and relaxation.

Business Hub

Winnersh Triangle, a designated business park situated adjacent to Winnersh, serves as a magnet for companies seeking strategic locations outside of London. With its modern office buildings, stateof-the-art facilities, and convenient transport links, the Triangle has become a preferred destination for businesses spanning various sectors, including technology, finance, and healthcare.


Winnersh benefits from excellent transport links, with access to major roadways such as the M4 and M3, facilitating connections to London, Reading, and other key destinations. The station provides direct train services to London and other cities, further enhancing the area’s connectivity and accessibility.

Amenities and Services

Both Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle offer a wide range of amenities and services to residents and businesses alike. From shops and restaurants to healthcare facilities and educational institutions, the area caters to diverse needs, ensuring convenience and quality of life for its residents.

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↓ Winnersh has a direct train to London Waterloo, which is one of the many reasons why it has become such a popular location in recent years

20 | Wokingham Local • May 2024
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Quality of Life

With its blend of residential tranquillity and urban conveniences, Winnersh offers residents a high quality of life. Access to green spaces, recreational facilities, and cultural amenities enriches the living experience, while proximity to employment opportunities and essential services enhances convenience and well-being.

Future Projects

Looking ahead, Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle are poised for further growth and development. Ongoing investments in infrastructure, technology, and sustainability initiatives are expected to bolster the area’s attractiveness and competitiveness.

Moreover, collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors will continue to shape Winnersh’s evolution, ensuring that it remains a dynamic and vibrant destination for generations to come.

So what did we conclude?

Well, Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle epitomise the synergy between residential charm and economic dynamism. With their rich history, diverse characteristics, and strategic significance, these areas embody the spirit of innovation, connectivity, and community that define the modern urban landscape.

Whether as a place to live, work, or invest, Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle hold immense promise for those who call them home - and we really cannot wait to see how this great area develops!

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Call Visit

Chris, can you explain what exactly is Therapycise and how did it come about?

Therapycise is your go-to service when it comes to your mind and your mental game. I am passionate about the mind and mental performance and Therapycise has been born from that passion. The letters “IASM” IN ENTHUSIASM stand for “I am sold myself” and nothing could be more true than my belief in Therapycise and the results we get on a daily basis.

Think counselling, therapy, coaching, mentoring and training but better and more effective and then you arrive at Therapycise. Our clients’ minds are our absolute priority and if you spend even just a minute with me, that will 100% come shining through.

What kind of person benefits from Therapycise?

I work with a range of clients including Individuals and teams / groups. Our standard Individual client is one

Five Minutes With:

who is needing a boost, a change in direction and an upgrade with their thoughts so that they can impact their feelings and behaviours in a tremendously positive way. Our team clients range from sports teams to corporate teams and one of my current partnerships is with the Reading Rockets Basketball Club which is going really well. We work on Tools and techniques to help the players not just on the court but off the court too.

What is the most important thing to you as an individual?

For me, it’s all about consistency. Consistency is not a sexy word but you look at the best of the best in any sport, business or life in general, consistency is what separates the best from the rest. For me, I like to follow a “do as I do” approach rather than a “do as I say”, it’s much more effective and that’s what true leadership is all about.

22 | Wokingham Local • May 2024
Jacqui Priestley spends five minutes with Chris Hunt of Therapycise

As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give to someone who is considering starting up their own business?

Keeping things simple would be my number one recommendation followed by 3 simple rules. (1) Show up, (2) Put the work in and (3) ask lots of questions. I feel these rules can apply to any field but they are exceptionally powerful in business.

Show up, day in day out operating at your best levels possible. Put the work in and be rewarded in public for what you practice in private and finally ask lots and lots of questions. Remember, it’s essential to interpret the answers given and then use that knowledge to progress. Nothing is ever guaranteed in this thing we call life but I’ll always put my money on the person and business that put the work in.

What’s the single most important piece of advice that someone has given to you?

So many to choose from but I would say keep your message clear and consistent. A long term client of mine gave me that advice early on in my career after

I left the Royal Marines and I will always remember those words. We joke often as I don’t always follow his advice, but those words will always stick with me and they seem to be working pretty well so far.

Who is your hero?

I have many people that I look up to for many different reasons but I would say my wife would be mine. She’s amazing and she manages to put up with me 24/7 so that’s pretty heroic to say the least.

What do you like most about living in Wokingham?

Wokingham is a cool place to live, the weather could be better but we can’t really do much about that. I think the opportunities in the area are pretty outstanding, It’s a real stand out feature in the town.

What does the next few years hold for you?

I love my family, my health and my business massively

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 23

so I would like to take each of those areas up a notch and add mega value in all three.

I am always doing challenges and pushing myself forward so doing something a bit crazy could be on the cards and I would also like to grow my business and be able to travel more so watch this space, the future is exciting.

Thank you so much for your time today Chris and all the team at Wokingham Local wish you all the very best for the future.

If you would like to hear Chris speak at one of our local networking evenings or at wellbeing events, keep an eye on his Facebook page


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24 | Wokingham Local • May 2024
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Royal Ascot

Tuesday 18th June - Saturday 22nd June

Royal Ascot is one of the most prestigious events in the British social, and sporting calendar. Held annually in June, this five day horse racing extravaganza combines high-class competition with immense glamour, tradition, and pageantry. Dating back over 300 years, Royal Ascot has evolved from a modest event into a global spectacle, attracting royalty, celebrities, and horse racing enthusiasts from around the world.

The history of Royal Ascot traces its origins to 1711 when Queen Anne first visited the area and identified its potential as a racing venue. The inaugural race meeting took place in 1711, and since then, the event has grown in stature and significance. Today, Royal Ascot stands as a symbol of British heritage and culture, blending sporting excellence with a celebration of fashion, style, and tradition.

At the heart of Royal Ascot are its world-class horse races. The event features eighteen Group races, including eight Group One contests, making it one of the most prestigious fixtures on the global racing calendar. The highlight of the week is the Gold Cup, a gruelling two-and-a-half-mile race that tests the stamina and speed of the finest stayers in the world. The Gold Cup’s rich history and prestige attract the top thoroughbreds, jockeys, and trainers, making it a race of immense significance in the racing world.

However, Royal Ascot is not just about the racing; it’s also a showcase for fashion and style. The event’s strict dress code dictates that in the Royal Enclosure gentlemen must wear morning suits with top hats, while ladies are expected to don elegant dresses and elaborate hats. Fashion at Royal Ascot is a spectacle in itself, with attendees vying to make a statement with their fantastic sartorial choices. The event has become synonymous with high fashion, with designers and milliners creating bespoke creations specifically for the occasion.

← Wanota, ridden by Job Marson, was the winner of The Ascot Stakes in 1850

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 25

Beyond the races and fashion, Royal Ascot is steeped in tradition and ceremony. Each day begins with the Royal Procession, where members of the royal family arrive in horse-drawn carriages, signalling the start of the day’s events. The playing of the British national anthem adds to the sense of occasion, as attendees rise to show their respect.

The Royal Enclosure, reserved for royalty, dignitaries, and invited guests, is the most exclusive area of the racecourse. Access to this prestigious enclave is by

The Royal Enclosure embodies the essence of Royal Ascot

invitation only, and those lucky enough to gain entry are treated to unparalleled luxury and hospitality. The Royal Enclosure embodies the essence of Royal Ascot, with its opulent surroundings, fine dining, and impeccable service.

Royal Ascot is not just for the elite though; it welcomes racegoers from all walks of life. The Grandstand and Queen Anne Enclosure offer a more relaxed atmosphere, where spectators can enjoy the races and festivities without the formality of the Royal Enclosure. From picnics on the lawns to champagne bars and live music, there’s something for everyone at Royal Ascot.

← A classy picnic is an essential part of Royal Ascot

Throughout the week, the racecourse buzzes with excitement as punters place their bets and cheer on their horses. The roar of the crowd reaches a crescendo as the horses thunder down the home straight, with spectators urging their favourites to the finish line. The atmosphere, combined with the thrill of the races, creates an experience like no other.

As the sun sets on the final day at Royal Ascot the event draws to a close with the traditional singing of “God Save the King.” It’s a moment of reflection and celebration, marking the end of yet another unforgettable week of racing, fashion, and pageantry.

Royal Ascot is more than just a horse racing event; it’s a cultural phenomenon that captures the essence of British tradition and heritage. From its illustrious history to its world-class racing and spectacular fashion, Royal Ascot continues to captivate audiences around the globe, ensuring its place as one of the most iconic events in the sporting calendar.

26 | Wokingham Local • May 2024

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For gentlemen attending Royal Ascot, the quintessential choice is the traditional morning dress. This classic ensemble consists of a tailored black or grey morning coat, a crisp white shirt, a waistcoat, and striped or checked trousers. The top hat is an essential accessory, reflecting the event’s traditions, adding an air of sophistication.

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Keep Cool on Even the Hottest Summer Days

Practical and Stylish Awnings for Your Terrace

Blocking the sun’s heat, sun awnings keep you, your family, and friends cool on even the hottest of summer days. Water-repellent, our patio awnings also offer shelter from those unexpected and often persistent rain showers. Damaging UV rays are blocked whilst bright light is filtered to eliminate glare. Plus with optional LED under awning lighting and instant infrared heating, you will create a pleasant atmosphere on your terrace to enjoy all year round. Whether you live in a house, bungalow or apartment, on a twostorey or single storey façade, in the countryside, inner-city or coast, outdoor retractable sun awnings are designed for every application, requirement and budget extending your living space outside with full protection from the elements.

And with the availability of design and build bespoke brackets, there are virtually no applications in the UK where a retractable sun awning cannot be installed. Retractable sun awnings are usually fixed externally to the ground floor wall of a home, or commercial building, full width above the window and or/entrance door.

When retracted to the fully closed position, sun awnings take up only a small amount of space as

the awning arms and fabric retract into a full width cassette for long-term protection of the sun awning against the elements and a neat trim finish when not in use. The awning arms and cassette are available in a number of ‘on-trend’ colours, with anthracite grey being a popular choice along with white.

Most sizes of areas can be covered by a retractable sun awning, with a size maximum of a single awning generally being 6.5M maximum width and a 3.5M maximum projection. For areas wider than 6.5M it is usual to install more than one awning alongside each other. Installation is completed usually by two technicians with the help of an electrically operated

28 | Wokingham Local • May 2024
Featured Article

awning lift that moves the awning safely into the install position ready to be attached to the wall. A normal 24v, 13 amp electrical supply is all that is required to power the awning’ tubular motor within the cassette. Control of a sun awning is by a simple hand-held remote controller that quietly extends the awning out to the required position and retracts it back into its cassette.

Further automatic control options can be added by way of a wind sensor that retracts the awning back into the closed position should the wind rise to an unacceptable level and a sun sensor can also be included to open the awning automatically when the sun is at its fullest.

Integral LED lighting and overhead heaters can also be added to ensure the awning can be enjoyed well into late autumn and early winter. There are many challenges when it comes to textiles for awnings. They must, of course, serve well as sun protection, but without foregoing quality or colour. The fabrics

are, of course, flame-retardant too, and the quality guarantees that the awning lasts well, even when used frequently. Made for a long, safe and beautiful awning life, fabrics for sun protection are well thought-through and are efficient, with over 200 designs to choose from. Retractable sun awnings are a stylish and purposeful addition to our living space that help protect us from the harmful effects of the sun and extend our lifestyle to the outdoors with the minimum of intrusion.

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 29
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The Vital Importance of Nutrition for Older Adults

Nutrition plays a paramount role in maintaining optimal health and well-being throughout one’s lifespan, with its significance becoming increasingly pronounced as individuals age. For older adults, proper nutrition is not merely a matter of sustaining life but rather a cornerstone for fostering vitality, resilience, and quality of life. In this discourse, we delve into the multifaceted dimensions of why nutrition is indispensable for the elderly, encompassing physiological, psychological, and social perspectives.

Physiological Imperatives

Supporting Cognitive Health

Nutrition profoundly influences cognitive function and may mitigate the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Omega-3 fatty acids, found abundantly in fish, have been associated with cognitive preservation, while antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables exert protective effects against oxidative stress, a contributing factor in cognitive decline.

Managing Chronic Conditions

Older adults often contend with an array of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Proper nutrition can mitigate the progression of these ailments and enhance overall health outcomes. For instance, a balanced diet rich in fibre, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications

Maintaining Vital Functions

Ageing is accompanied by physiological changes that impact the body’s ability to absorb and utilise nutrients efficiently. Adequate nutrition becomes essential for sustaining vital functions such as muscle mass, bone density, and immune response, all of which decline with age. Protein intake, for instance, becomes crucial to mitigate muscle loss and maintain strength, promoting mobility and independence.

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 31

Psychological Well-being

Mood Regulation

Nutritional inadequacies can exacerbate mood disturbances including depression and anxiety, which are prevalent among older adults. Certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and magnesium, play integral roles in neurotransmitter regulation, and mood stabilisation. A balanced diet thus serves as a cornerstone for promoting psychological well-being and resilience against mental health challenges.

Enhancing Cognitive Function

Beyond staving off cognitive decline, optimal nutrition can enhance cognitive function and foster mental acuity in older adults. Nutrients such as vitamins B6, B12, and folate are instrumental in neurotransmitter synthesis and cognitive processing, while adequate hydration is essential for optimal brain function, memory retention, and concentration.

Social Dynamics

Promoting Social Engagement

Nutrition is intertwined with social dynamics, as mealtimes often serve as the focal point for social interaction, and bonding. Shared meals provide opportunities for older adults to connect with loved ones, fostering a sense of belonging and emotional well-being. Communal dining settings, such as those in assisted living facilities, promote socialisation and alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Addressing Socioeconomic Disparities

Access to nutritious food is not always uniform among older adults. Food insecurity, limited financial resources, and inadequate access to fresh produce can compromise dietary quality. Addressing these socioeconomic determinants is needed to ensure equitable access to nutritious food, hence nutrition stands as a linchpin for promoting health, vitality, and quality of life.

32 | Wokingham Local • May 2024

Cod Loin with Pepper,Tomato, and Olives

This 20 minute recipe is healthy, nutritious, and most importantly, absolutely delicious!


3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1 red onion, peeled and cut into half moons

2 romano peppers, deseeded and cut into strips

800g cherry vine tomatoes, soaked in boiling water for 2 minutes, then peeled and chopped

2 tbsp tomato purée

180g black olives

700g cod loin, cut into 4 pieces

55g wild rocket


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180C/160F. In a large pan, sauté the garlic, onion and peppers in the olive oil for 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the tomatoes, purée and olives. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes then season to taste.

Step 2

Meanwhile, put the cod on a foil-lined oven tray, drizzle with olive oil and grind over some black pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness.

Step 3

Serve the fish with the sauce and a scattering of rocket.

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 33

Prosciutto Wrapped Baked Chicken

This quick and easy dish is served with a delicious buttery sage sauce, and seasonal vegetables (in this instance with asparagus). It’s packed full of protein and nutrients and tastes absolutely delicious!


(Serves 4)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

8 - 12 slices prosciutto

4 tablespoons melted butter, divided

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

1 tablespoon finely-chopped fresh sage

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup dry white wine

Fresh lemon wedges

(Optional garnishes: chopped fresh chives, grated Parmesan cheese, and/or extra crushed red pepper flakes)


Preheat the oven to 220C/450F. Wrap each chicken breast with 2-3 slices of prosciutto, so that the prosciutto covers most of the chicken. Place them in a single layer in a large baking dish. Brush the chicken breasts evenly with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and season both sides. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and loosely cover the pan with aluminium foil. Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to a small sauté pan, along with the garlic, sage and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté over medium-low for 6-8 minutes, or until the sage starts to get slightly crispy. Slowly add in the white wine, and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Once the chicken and sauce are ready, spoon the sagebutter sauce evenly over the baked chicken breasts. Then serve immediately with lemon wedges.

34 | Wokingham Local • May 2024

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Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables

Spotting seasonal fruits and vegetables in the supermarket during May can be a delightful and rewarding experience. Not only does it ensure that you’re consuming fresh produce at its peak flavour and nutrition, but it also supports local farmers and reduces the environmental impact of food transportation. Here’s how to spot seasonal fruits and vegetables in May.

Observe the Displays

Supermarkets often place seasonal produce prominently at the entrance or in the centre of the store. Look for vibrant displays featuring fruits and vegetables in abundance. These displays are typically arranged to catch shoppers’ attention and highlight what’s currently in season.

Check for Signs

Keep an eye out for labels that indicate “local,” or “in season.” Supermarkets will often label their produce accordingly to inform shoppers about what’s currently available, and in season. These signs may also include information about where the produce was sourced from, helping you to choose the locally grown options.

Look for Freshness Indicators

When selecting fruits and veg, pay close attention to freshness indicators such as colour, texture, and fragrance. Seasonal produce tends to be more vibrant in colour, firm to the touch, and fragrant. Avoid any fruits and vegetables that appear dull, mushy, or have a lack of aroma, as these signs may indicate they are past their prime.

Consult Seasonal Guides

Many supermarkets will provide seasonal produce guides either online or in-store. These guides highlight fruits, and vegetables, that are currently in season, along with tips on how to select, store, and prepare them. Take advantage of these resources to plan your meals around seasonal ingredients.

36 | Wokingham Local • May 2024

Ask the Staff

Don’t hesitate to ask supermarket staff for assistance or help if you’re unsure about what’s currently in season. They can provide valuable insight into the current offerings, and may even recommend new or lesser-known seasonal fruits and vegetables to try.

Seasonal Produce in May

Seasonal Fruit



Seasonal Veg

Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Chicory, Chillies, Elderflowers, Lettuce,Marrow, New Potatoes, Peas, Peppers, Radishes, Rocket, Samphire, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Watercress

Stay Informed

Be Flexible

Embrace the element of surprise and be open to trying different varieties of fruits and vegetables. Seasonal produce offers a diverse array of flavours and textures, so don’t be afraid to experiment with some unfamiliar ingredients in your cooking.

Plan Ahead

Take note of the seasonal fruits and vegetables available in May and incorporate them into your meal planning. Consider stocking up on your favourite seasonal produce items to enjoy while they’re at their peak and freeze or preserve any excess for later use.

Keep yourself informed about seasonal produce by following food blogs, subscribing to newsletters from local farms or food cooperatives, or joining online communities dedicated to sustainable eating. Staying informed ensures that you’re always in the know about what’s in season and where to find it.

Support Local Farmers Markets

In addition to supermarkets, consider visiting local farmers markets to find an even wider selection of amazing seasonal fruits and vegetables. Shopping at farmers markets allows you to connect directly with local growers and enjoy the freshest produce available in our area.

By following these tips, you can easily spot seasonal fruits and vegetables in the supermarket during May and enjoy the freshest and most flavourful produce available. Not only does eating seasonally benefit your health and the environment, but it also adds variety and excitement to your meals.

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 37
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Why We Love Cottagecore Flowers

Once upon a time, we were tiny humans listening to stories about woodland folk who lived in cosy thatch cottages and found wild berries and mushrooms to eat in the forest. That blissful feeling can be ours even as overly stressed adults, simply by accenting our home with the flowers of cottagecore: sublime arrangements of blooms that speak of country roads, cosy fireside, and cottage gardens.

Cottagecore, a design aesthetic and lifestyle trend is all about the quest for natural surroundings that make you happy and reduce feelings of anxiety. It embraces a life that is harmonious yet floral, serene yet colourful, simple yet lush. Certain flowers hold the magic key to the cottagecore look, from alstroemeria (Peruvian lilies) to sunflowers. They cheered us in the picture books of our childhood and now they evoke the wonder and contentment of pastoral life within our homes and office spaces.

Quintessential Flowers You’ll Love

Which of the cottagecore flowers speak to our quest for a simple, comfortable, and oh-so-beautiful life? They are the ones that you can picture growing in the abundant gardens you’ve always wanted - fortunately, there are many blooms to fill the bill! Garden roses, tulips, dahlias, hydrangeas, and spray roses all possess a vintage flair, and appeal to those who enjoy a traditional old-world style.

Daisies: They are a quintessential country flower that can make an old coffee can look divine. Though they and are equally gorgeous gussied up and throw joy to any environment.

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 39

Delphiniums: Although they come in a variety of colours, delphinium flowers are best known for their blue, a dramatic deep periwinkle that is virtually irresistible. The blossoms are dainty and droopy, matching perfectly with other classic flowers like roses, alstroemeria, and carnations.

Hydrangeas: They are the fluffiest blooms in the garden, typically presenting in hues of sky blue and rose pink. They grow generously in all kinds of gardens and conditions; the perfect companion to cottage life. Surround one large bloom with a handful of smaller flowers for an instant bedside or bathroom arrangement. They’re so immediately joyful, you can even arrange hydrangeas on their own!

Roses: Hands down the most beloved flower on Earth, roses never stop delighting with their amazing softness and unique shape. You always know it’s a rose no matter who you are or where you come from, and that familiarity is what cottagecore comfort is all about. And that scent!

Lilacs: Lilac shrubs have been prized for both their fragrance, and colour, since ancient Greek times. They were often planted around homesteads, and today, more than a century later, the same hardy shrubs can be spotted long after the farmhouse itself has disappeared. Lilacs speak of oldfashioned backyard gardens, with a small table set for tea. →

Snapdragons: Another old-fashioned staple, snapdragons are ideal cottagecore blooms. They come in an astonishing variety of colours and feature bell-shaped flowers that cluster in abundance at the head of the stem. Snapdragons add a bit of height to rounded bouquets for a hand-gathered effect.

Does this sound like the look and lifestyle you love? There are lots of ways to enjoy the cottagecore life, starting with simple floral arrangements that enhance your home and even your office cubicle. Live your best cottagecore life and you’ll find yourself stopping to smell the roses much more often!

40 | Wokingham Local • May 2024
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Resolving Conflict at Work

In last month’s magazine, I wrote about four cognitive biases that we all have. They cause us to get into disagreements because they make us assume that our view of the world is correct, and an opposing view is wrong. I’m a workplace investigator and mediator, and I specialise in managing conflict within businesses. In this month’s article, I’m going to introduce techniques you can use to de-escalate conflict.

De-escalate Before you try to Resolve

At first, when we disagree with someone, there’s no anger involved. We assume the other person has simply misunderstood and we can set them straight. Of course, they’re thinking the same thing, and so the disagreement continues. Then the negative emotions bubble up, and we can see the other person as an adversary that must be defeated. It becomes a matter of principle!

The problem is that it is hard to have a rational discussion when we’re being influenced by irrational emotions. The first thing you need to do is try to take some of the heat out of the situation.

The Power of “Time Out”

When you are butting heads and people are getting hot under the collar, calling a ‘time out’ can be a very effective de-escalation technique.

Something like:

“Okay, let me take some time to think about what you’ve said. Let’s get back together in 30 minutes”.

This is a useful technique because:

- It allows time for any emotion to dissipate

- It allows you (and them) some thinking time

- It sends a powerful signal that you are listening to what they’re saying

- They’re more likely to listen to you when you reconvene

The beauty of this is that you don’t have to admit you’re wrong in order to defuse the situation!

When the conversation resumes, the other party will usually be more receptive to listening to you. Now, this technique only helps take the heat out of the situation, but the time it buys you gives you a chance to think about closing the gap with your opponent.

44 | Wokingham Local • May 2024

Reframe the Argument: Interests Rather than Positions

Most conflicts, especially ones that have escalated, are a battle between entrenched positions. What people want, what must happen, what must change, and so on. The problem is that this leaves you nowhere to go. Everyone digs in, and the argument gets increasingly bitter.

So how do we break the deadlock? The key to unlocking it is to try and identify what concerns and/or interests lie behind the positions. Instead of arguing about opposing solutions, try to reframe the discussion back to the requirements: what’s important here? What are we trying to solve, or avoid? There’s a good chance you can find some mutual interests that you can agree on. That gives you an opportunity to shift from a why we can’t agree, to a how we can discussion. The problemsolving partnership can be restored.

The ‘time out’ I mentioned before gives you the chance to think about what might be important to

the other party. What concerns or interests might be behind their position? What questions can you ask to check those concerns and explore alignment? This is a technique I use a lot in workplace mediations, and it’s very effective.

Of course, this is just a quick introduction to these techniques. If you would like to get help with a conflict at work, or if you sense something brewing, get in touch for a confidential conversation with no cost or obligation.

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 45

Next Time...

Our next issue revolves around delicious Street Food, as well as the legendary Henley Royal Regatta! You definitely won’t want to miss next month’s delectable issue!

To contribute, feature, or advertise, contact

info@wokinghamlocal.co.uk or please call 07306 146142

46 | Wokingham Local • May 2024
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Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 47

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How can I get rid of broken veins on my legs?

Broken veins on the legs is ver y common, but people used to treat little broken veins on the surface of the look like a bruise. A sclerosant liquid is injected into the veins with ver y tiny needles. The liquid makes the veins inflamed and they eventually breakdown and disappear. Some veins will go in one or two treatments and some larger, more complex veins require more treatments. Please note, we cannot treat varicose veins.


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Skin problems, such as, skin tags, brown spots, keratosis and red veins can be really easily and

IPL laser and sometimes a cr yo freeze pen. Usually, just one treatment is all that is needed. Come in for a no obligation consultation to see how we can help you achieve a clearer complexion

Laser Hair Removal


Skin Tags / War ts

Skin Rejuvenation

RF Microneedling


Skin Boosters

Skin Peels

Acne / Acne Scarring


Advanced Facials

Dermalux LED


Facial Veins / Leg Veins

Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing)

Forest bathing has its roots in Shinto and Buddhist traditions, and was developed in Japan in the 1980’s as a way of helping the increasing number of workers with chronic stress. Naming this practice Shinrin-Yoku, Japan has created over 64 official “Forest Therapy trails” since its conception, and the practice has spread all over the world. Whilst Japan is credited with the term Shinrin-Yoku, the concept at the heart of the practice is not new. Many cultures have long recognised the importance of the natural world to human health.

Forest bathing can help you to slow down, become more aware and mindful of the joy of your natural surroundings and, really bathing in the smells, sights, sounds and taste of nature. Noticing, and taking in the small things we can all miss on our regular walks or hikes. Studies have shown forest bathing can help to: increase feelings of relaxation, reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety resulting in lower blood pressure; improve focus, concentration and memory and boost the immune system, as well as many other evidenced health benefits.

Once you have developed the skills and techniques of forest bathing, you can experience the effects anywhere.

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How to Start

Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, involves immersing oneself in nature to promote mental and physical well-being. Firstly, find a tranquil forest or wooded area. Leave distractions behind and enter with an open mind. Engage your senses: listen to the rustling leaves, inhale the earthy scents, feel the textures of bark and moss. Walk barefoot and slowly, allowing each step to connect you with the earth. Pause frequently to observe the intricate beauty around you. Practice mindfulness, letting go of stress and worries and embrace the healing power of nature as it restores your spirit and fosters a deeper connection with the natural world.

Where to Go

Nature is all around us - in your local park, garden, or even whilst sitting in traffic in a car and focusing on the trees and greenery around you. Or why not explore what we actually have on our doorstep, such as Fox Hill Woodland in Wokingham?

Fox Hill Woodland, situated off Barkham Road (RG41 3AN) is a serene escape, with its lush greenery and diverse wildlife. Spanning acres, it offers peaceful walking trails, perfect for nature enthusiasts and families alike. With towering trees, chirping birds, and babbling brooks, it’s a haven for those seeking solace in the heart of nature’s embrace.

Friends of Fox Hill is a Wokingham-based community group created to support the conservation of Fox Hill and Round Hill for future generations, and encourage community love of the woodlands.

There is plenty of information on their website: friendsoffoxhill.org

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Rediscovering Wellbeing

A Journey Through Ancient Wisdom and Modern Practices

In the vast mosaic of human history, the quest for inner harmony often led our ancestors to the wise counsel of local shamans or healers. These spiritual guides understood that disconnection from oneself didn’t necessitate a medicinal cure but rather an introspective exploration through soulful inquiry. This concept, though ancient, carries profound relevance today, especially in an age where digital interactions often supplant genuine connection.

Imagine a world where the remedy for feeling disconnected isn’t found in a pill, but in answering four timeless questions posed by shamans in certain African tribes:

When did you last dance?

When did you last sing?

When did you last share a story?

When did you last embrace solitude and stillness?

These inquiries aren’t just whimsical; they’re rooted in the understanding that dancing, singing, storytelling, and stillness are not mere pastimes but vital elements of human vitality. They are the threads that weave through our collective and individual spirits, connecting us to each other, the divine, and the wisdom that lies within.

Long before the advent of smartphones and the internet, these acts served as essential conduits for community, spirituality, and personal growth.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, the echoes of these ancient practices invite us back to a more

grounded, connected existence. They remind us of the importance of movement, voice, and introspection as necessary counterbalances to the relentless rhythm of contemporary life. This invitation is not merely a call to nostalgia but a beckoning towards a path of equilibrium and thriving amidst life’s inevitable challenges.

This realization became starkly evident to me in my late twenties when the pressures of life began to eclipse my once vibrant engagement with dance and social interaction. Dance had always been a sanctuary for me—a means through which I could transcend time and deeply connect with my essence.

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It was only upon confronting a significant mental health challenge that I truly grasped the magnitude of what I had lost.

My path to recovery was paved with the rediscovery and integration of ancient wisdom into modern practices. I delved into yoga, breath-work, somatic therapy, and conscious movement, striving to reconnect with my body’s inherent wisdom and rejuvenate my spirit. This journey transcended personal healing, evolving into a mission to guide others towards rediscovering their vitality through body-centered approaches to trauma and wellness.

As a practitioner trained in somatic experiencing, family constellation therapy, and holistic coaching, my work spans the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of well-being. I am committed to aiding clients in discovering practices that resonate with their unique essence, facilitating a deep listening to their body’s wisdom. This includes navigating

through challenges such as setting boundaries, releasing trauma, reclaiming one’s voice and space, and fostering healthy relationships. The essence of this work is about coming into right relationship with oneself and the world, which I believe is the cornerstone of well-being. Caring for our inner landscape is an indispensable practice, vital for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

If you feel drawn to the exploration of body wisdom and its potential for healing, consider this an open invitation to journey inward.

By embracing practices that reconnect us to our essence and the rhythm of life, we unlock a fountain of vitality and connection. This is the only path to a more balanced and fulfilling state of well-being, one that harmonizes ancient wisdom with the seemingly neverending demands of modern life.


Embracing Connection and Restoring Love

Explore the ins and outs of your relationships with Family Constellation Therapy

Reconnect your mind, body, and spirit through a Retreat

Release your trauma responses with Somatic Experiencing Therapy

Get into the right relationship with every part of you through Coaching

Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 53

Dance for a Healthy Lifestyle

With the many pressures of modern society, time constraints, and everyday tasks, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally; and add some fun into everyday life. Getting fit and healthy doesn’t have to mean hours on a treadmill or in a gym. Instead, dancing is one of the best fitness workouts there is, offering an upbeat and inventive type of exercise, that promotes a healthy and active lifestyle.

Sociable, energizing dance has a whole host of body benefits, for all age groups, from aiding joint flexibility through to boosting mental well-being. It’s also a great way to learn a skill and meet new like-minded people along the way!

Ballroom & Latin is an umbrella term, for 10 different dance types! Waltz, Quickstep, Tango, Foxtrot,

Viennese Waltz, Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Jive and Paso Doble make up the collection. They all vary in speed and dynamics, so learning the steps and rhythms offers so many physical health benefits such as; increasing your cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength/tone, flexibility, posture and balance.

By joining a fully registered ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) qualified school, a weekly class or lesson can help promote stress relief, cognitive function and boost your self confidence; so much so that the awkward dancing or standing in the corner at those office parties will be a thing of the past!

Not sure what to expect from your first class? A relaxed social environment, with people from all walks of life, sharing the desire to access all the health benefits of Ballroom dancing! The teacher,

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Featured Article

will introduce you to the basic step patterns, and before you know it you’ll be dancing around the room, either solo or in a couple, or with a teacher! Expect to learn the basic steps of 2 dances in your first class, and that will be built on weekly.

There’s plenty of opportunities to gain certificates for your dancing at all levels, enter competitive dancing, attend social evenings and afternoons; or simply keep it to a weekly class - whatever you have in mind.

So all in all - Ballroom dancing isn’t just for celebrities! Although it is a very much favoured TV programme, it is actually a multifaceted activity, that offers its participants physical, metal and social benefits all rolled into one! So, learning to dance is a fulfilling and rewarding experience, which can enrich your life in countless ways.

Glitterball Dance Company Classes run in The Space Hub, Woodley


Wokingham Local • May 2024 | 55

L&E Leadwork and Roofing Services

We’re a specialist Leadwork and Roofing team with over 30 years combined experience, operating in Berkshire, Surrey & Hampshire. Single Ply. Pitched Roof. Flat Roof. Leadwork. Chimneys. Solar Panel Installation. Small repairs.

“ our cottage wall to stop water ingress.

higher standard than what was previously

L&E are artisans in lead work. We will be using them to complete our conservatory conversion. Could not be more happy.”

Customer in Berkshire

We can undertake your regular Annual Roof Inspection, this ensures durability, identifies potential issues, and prevents costly damage. Early detection allows for timely repairs, enhancing insulation

extreme weather conditions. Call us now on: 01344 862706 | 07590762932 to arrange your Annual Roof Health Check.



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