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Festive finery The good, the bad and the fluffy INSIDE: + NEW SEASON




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Quality and Style

the furnishers

WINTER SALE h Matc e c i Pr romise P


Visit our inspirational, designer led showrooms for service you will remember for the home you love SALE! Hypnos 5ft for 4ft 6” price

Truro Tregolls Road, TR1 1SB, 01872 222226

Ads_Dec5.indd Julian Foye West 7Mag _Winter 2015.indd 1

SALE! Bedroom Furniture

St Austell 8 Manfield Way, Holmbush, PL25 3HQ - 01726 70711

Wadebridge Bridgend, PL27 6DA 01208 814242


Hayle 4 Fore Street, Copperhouse, TR27 4DY - 01736 755 700

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‘After all, sparkles should be for life, not just Christmas’ Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod goes shopping, p 32


SECRET PLACES Cool spots to discover now


ALL THE GOSSIP You heard it here first!

[contents[ Inside this week... 8

A DOG’S LIFE Our columnist has canine company


JUST BETWEEN US... Sh! We have the latest gossip!


CHRISTMAS JOY The family who are, finally, free of fear



FESTIVE JUMPERS You know you want one...


THE WEST GIFT GUIDE Gorgeous local goodies they will love

THE WEST GIFT GUIDE All your shopping, sorted


RESTORATION DRAMA A Georgian labour of love in Penzance




RECIPE OF THE WEEK Cornish brie frittata - mmm...

Anne Swithinbank’s yuletide advice


FESTIVE JUMPERS You know you want one...


SPARKLES AND SEQUINS Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod dresses up


YOUR WEEK AHEAD Cassandra Nye looks into the stars


BOOST YOUR WELLBEING Great ways to feel your best this week


ALE AND HEARTY Our beer expert’s favourite festive brews


THOU SHALT NOT STEAL Phil Goodwin on moral dilemmas



Sparkle at parties this season


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[ welcome [





The gift of life

sister All Naomi Tregoning wants for Christmas is a new kidney. Her needs selflessly donated one to her six years ago, but now Naomi urgently another. We hear their heart-breaking story...

By Sarah Pitt

here’s a bright fire in Naomi Tregoning’s sitting room in Redruth, Cornwall as she and her sister Jemima Rowe chat to me over a cup of tea. As the sisters recount the long ordeal they have been through together, their bravery shines through. There are smiles and even the odd laugh. There’s a special bond between the sisters - who live just yards apart - that runs deeper than many siblings because of all they have been through together. Six years ago, Jemima, now 42, went through an operation to donate her younger sister a kidney. The transplant, at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, was carried out because chronic kidney disease had left Naomi, now 36, with her kidneys close to failing. The tragedy for the sisters is that, despite Jemima being a perfect match for her sister in both blood type and tissue type, the transplant ultimately failed. As a result, Naomi has for the past four years spent 12 hours a week hooked up to a dialysis machine at the Royal Corn-


So, have you got your tree up yet? PHOTOGRAPHY: EMILY WHITFIELD-WICKS

wall Hospital in Truro. The situation, says Naomi, has a big impact on her husband Andrew, a builder, and her two children Abe, 14, and Tegen, 13. “They have to live the life of a chronically ill person too,” she says. “For about two and a half years I was having really bad seizures, and the children had to deal with so many of them themselves.” The dialysis sessions, in which the machine takes the place of Naomi’s kidneys in filtering waste products from her blood, are physically very draining. When we meet, Naomi looks visibly unwell. She talks slowly, and has very little energy. She can’t drive, because her seizures have been so violent she’d knock pictures off the walls and be found with blood pouring from her nose. On one occasion Abe had to rescue her from drowning in the

Naomi, left, is supported by her sister Jemima, right


Interiors perfection in Penzance

No, neither have I. But the plan is, as you are reading this, I will definitely be getting the tinsel out and baubles to the ready. As for Christmas shopping, the good news is that we have a fabulous festive gift guide in the magazine today, packed full of gorgeous items, many of them made locally right here in the Westcountry. It’s been put together by our shopping expert Sarah Pitt and, I think you’ll agree, she has done a fantastic job. I can see so many great ideas for things to give my nearest and dearest: and I really want the Russian doll kitchen measuring cups (page 16) for myself !




of the week


@jillysargent @WMNWest What beautiful sisters, Jemima & Naomi. Such a selfless act, donating a kidney #prayingforanothermatch



If, like me, you’re worried you are in danger of feeling a little too commercialised this Christmas, then do read our wonderful feature by Catherine Barnes (page 12). She meets Louise and Gez Thomas, the Plymouth parents who really do understand that the best thing about Christmas is not the presents or parties, but time spent together with the people you love. After years of gruelling treatment for leukaemia, their son Dylan, now nine, has finally been given the all-clear. This year, they are celebrating his first healthy Christmas in a long time, and I am sure you will wish them all well, as we do.


The best thing about Christmas? Time spent with people you love

TO ADVERTISE: Contact Lynne Potter: 01752 293027 or 07834 568283,

Becky Sheaves, Editor

COVER IMAGE: Jumper £35 and jeans £18, Evans

EDITORIAL: Tel: 01392 442250 Twitter @wmnwest

MEET THE TEAM Becky Sheaves, Editor

Sarah Pitt

Kathryn Clarke-McLeod

Catherine Barnes

Lynne Potter


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If you do one thing this week...

Rediscover Charlotte Brontë’s dramatic story of the trailblazing Jane Eyre, beamed live from the National Theatre in London to cinemas across the Westcountry, on December 8. Director Sally Cookson’s acclaimed re-imagining of Brontë’s masterpiece was first performed by Bristol Old Vic last year. See to find a screening at a cinema near you. Venues include the Picturehouse in Exeter, the Phoenix in Falmouth, the Tivoli Theatre in Tiverton and the Savoy in Penzance.


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Get on your Christmas list!


opping The ultimate Bristol sh s trip with Harvey Nichol and Hotel du Vin

To enter go to:

mas Terms and conditions apply

Treat yourself this Christmas with a shopping break to Bristol. A great line up of stores is complemented by a host of Christmas treats, including a traditional German market and local specialities, all topped off with ice rinks, pantos and some of the UK’s finest restaurants. Get your skates on and book yourself a festive break – we’ll keep the mulled cider warm... Untitled-1 2

01/12/2015 13:47:14

Galleries Grotto Until 24th December, The Galleries, Bristol Shopping Quarter

Twilight and Illuminations Tour 11th, 12th, 18th & 19th December, Bristol Insight

German-themed Christmas Market Until 22nd December, Bristol Shopping Quarter

Treefest 8th – 13th December, St Mary Redcliffe

Harbourside Christmas Market Every weekend until Christmas, Harbourside

St Nicholas Christmas Market Mon, Tue, Thu, Sun until Christmas, Old City

At-Bristol’s Ice Rink and Local Market Until 5th January (closed 25th), Millennium Square, Harbourside

Picton Street Christmas Fayre 12th December, 11am – 7pm, Montpellier

Winter Wonderland Until 10th January, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 Until 10th April, M Shed A Victorian Christmas Until 6th January, Brunel’s ss Great Britain Made in Bristol Gift Fair 5th, 12th & 13th Dec, Colston Hall, all 10am – 4pm. Santa Specials at Avon Valley Railway Weekends until 20th December plus 23rd & 24th December Spiegeltent Until 19th December, Waterfront Square

Enchanted Christmas Evenings 18th – 20th December, Bristol Zoo Gardens Starfish in the City 19th December – 3rd January, Bristol Aquarium

CHRISTMAS MUSIC & THEATRE The Light Princess Until 10th Jan, Tobacco Factory Theatres Sleeping Beauty Until 17th Jan, Bristol Old Vic

Santa’s Invention Workshop Until 4th January, At-Bristol Science Centre

Snow White Until 3rd Jan Bristol Hippodrome

Santa’s Grotto Until 23rd December, Bristol Zoo Gardens

Living Spit’s A Christmas Carol 8th Dec – 3rd January, Brewery Theatre

Bristol Local Christmas Market Until 23rd December, Broadmead

All details correct at time of going to print. Please check the website for times and prices before travelling.

Gareth Malone 12th Dec, Colston Hall The Nutcracker & The Snowman 20th Dec Colston Hall

For full event listings go to @visitbristol #merrybristmas Untitled-1 3

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talking points Gillian Molesworth

Story of my life... When canine company gets all a bit much am being stared at by three dogs. It’s a bit difficult to write. The intensity of all their attention is really putting me off. They are quite expressive about their feelings. The red setter is anxious because her owners, our houseguests, have gone off to visit the north coast of Cornwall. She is happily asleep on the sofa at this not sure if they are EVER coming time of day (yes, we regret letting home. They said it would only be him onto the sofa, but it was cute till after lunch, but who knows when he was a puppy, so now – this could be IT. She could be our bed’s made). But today there stuck with these weird Cornish are many unanswered questions. people for the rest of her born Are the houseguests really never days. In between staring at me coming back as the red setter sugmournfully to let me know just gests? Is the spaniel’s ball going how unappealing the prospect is, to be thrown? And, even though she stands at the door whining we all just went for a walk, are gently at the back of her throat. we going for another one? That The spaniel would be cool. (also visiting) Dogs. They make really, really, our lives so much She stares really wants me fun when we’re in mournfully, to throw a ball. the boring grind It’s not a very of the everyday. fearing she nice ball – he Travelling is tricky, could be stuck found it quietly though, isn’t it. You decomposing feel so bad putting with these weird in the garden them in kennels, so Cornish people yesterday. Really you want to bring for the rest of it should have them with you. This stayed where it means you have to her born days was. But he’s a stay with friends fan of upcycling, who like dogs. and there’s It’s a shame you plenty of wear left in this ball, can’t speak to dogs, and teach and “fetch” really does make a them as you would your children. splendid game. He’s great at it. “So on this trip there will be fun First he drops it on the floor walks and balls to play with, but and stares at it hard. Then he the rules are the same as they stares at me hard. His tail is are at home. No peeing on the wagging nineteen to the dozen. furniture, no chewing shoes or When no throw is forthcoming, doorjambs or whatever. And he thinks maybe he should put remember, our hosts have a right the ball in my lap. Or just hold it to a good night’s sleep – so no there, wagging and staring. howling.” My own dog isn’t sure what’s And, I would add, no staring at going on but he doesn’t want to your hostess when she is working miss a trick. Ordinarily he’d be in the home office. Grrr.


Gillian Molesworth is a journalist and mum-of-two who grew up in the USA and moved to north Cornwall when she met her husband


for joy Actress Rhea Bailey looked incredible in this silk jumpsuit at a recent red carpet event. Rhea, who’s known for roles in Blue Murder and The Mentalist, is the sister of singer Corinne Bailey Rae. She accessorised her pared-down outfit with a simple clutch. The jumpsuit revival shows no sign of waning this winter; take note from the way that Rhea wears it – it’s no mere workaday look. We love this flattering long-sleeved version by in pink paisley and, at £50, the price is right, too.

Black lace jumpsuit Wallis £48

steal her




Paisley jumpsuit £50 Glamorous

Teal jumpsuit £25 F&F at Tesco


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I WON’T STRIP OFF, THANKS Naomie Harris has revealed why she would never bare for an acting role, not even for 007. The actress, who plays Moneypenny in Skyfall and Spectre, says she wouldn’t strip off because: “I don’t feel it’s part of my job, I don’t like this

sexualisation and objectification. It’s not what I’m about at all.” She added: “I thought, ‘I don’t think I can be a Bond Girl’. I always associated them with being very sexual and sensual, and that’s not what I associate with myself.”

[[ ‘I was feeling down and confused’

CHRIS: I’M HAPPY NOW Devon-born star Chris Martin has admitted he felt “down and confused” during his marriage break-up from Gwyneth Paltrow. “A few years ago I was in a low place in my life and was feeling kind of down and confused,” he told an Australian radio station. “Some friends gave me a book and a poem and those two things started me off on this whole journey where I just feel so happy to be alive. That may sound a little simple, but I suddenly feel very grateful to be alive and if it’s coming across then that’s great to hear,” he added.

between us Gossip, news, trend setters and more – you heard all the latest juicy stuff here first!


A TINY BIT TIDDLY... Michelle Keegan and Emma Bunton are amongst the stars who have signed up for the new series of the TV show Drunk History. The pair will get to show off their skills narrating “drunk” historical stories for the second UK series of the Comedy Central show. Jack Whitehall, Olivia Colman and Hugh Dennis will also appear in the upcoming eight-part series, which will air in early 2016, while Jimmy Carr will reprise his role as the narrator. Each episode of Drunk History features a comedian getting very drunk in order to tell a true historical story, with a host of actors and celebrities acting out their slurred and blurry versions. Horrible hicstories, anyone?


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Light up: The apple arch at the Lost Gardens of Heligan is being lit up for Christmas

in pictures Party: Kathryn Short celebrated World Prematurity Day at Derriford Hospital with her baby Isabelle, born 11 weeks early

Preservation: Rev Tim Hawkins is fundraising to save Gulval parish church’s beautiful roof Wave on: Santa was spotted surfing at Fistral Beach, Newquay


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talking points The local

Top 10

ONE OF US Famous faces with links to the Westcountry

Famous pubs in TV-land

This week 50 years ago

1 The Rovers Return

1 The Carnival Is Over

(Cornonation Street)

2 The Woolpack (Emmerdale)

3 The Crown (Men Behaving Badly)

4 The Feathers (The Royle Family)

5 The Winchester (Minder) 6 Eddie’s Bar (Hustle) 7 The Queen Victoria (EastEnders)

8 The Kebab and Calculator (The Young Ones)

(Rolling Stones)


7 It’s My Life (Animals) 8 Wind Me Up (Cliff Richard) 9 Here It Comes Again (Fortunes)

10 Positively 4th Street (Bob Dylan)

The happy list

and Horses)

Wonder stuff

1 Cleaning biro off paintwork

10 things to make you smile this week

2 Preventing mildew

1 Cards fun to get, friendly to

4 Absorbing paint fumes 5 De-rusting old tools 6 Speeding some seeds to germinate 7 Repelling ants 8 Preventing reds from running in the wash 9 Cleaning your washing machine 10 Shining shower screens

The acoustic singersongwriter, 39, was born and raised in Plymouth’s St Budeaux area

4 1-2-3 (Len Barry) 5 Tears (Ken Dodd) 6 Yesterday Man (Chris

10 The Nag’s Head (Only Fools

3 Ungluing sticky price tags

Jamie Lawson

2 My Generation (The Who) 3 Get Off Of My Cloud

9 Dog in the Pond (Hollyoaks)

10 uses for vinegar

This week:



2 Carols sing along 3 Mousehole Christmas lights so beautiful 4 Homemade presents fudge, biccies, chutney... mmm

5 6 7 8

Christmas stamps festive Bargains hard to resist Plans family get-togethers Work parties let your hair down

9 Killerton fabulous day out 10 Trees time to decorate

Childhood: Jamie grew up in Big break: He rose to fame when Ed Plymouth and attended Barne Sheeran signed him to Gingerbread Barton Primary School, later Man Records, in March this year. “For studying at Tamarside Ed there was a bit of a Community College. risk with signing me. He played guitar I’m a bit older and from the age of eight, singing something DID YOU KNOW? when he was given a quite different but he guitar as a Christmas never saw it like that.” David present. Hasselhoff Single: Jamie’s single, has begun Success: Fame’s been Wasn’t Expecting That, hard-won by Jamie, has been a huge hit. following whose album reached “Wasn’t expecting that Jamie on Number One in the was just one of those Twitter charts last month. “It phrases that you hear still hasn’t sunk in. It all the time. I heard it a wasn’t until I went into million times and then HMV and I saw it there it stuck.” in the Number One slot that I decided it was real.” Tour: Jamie has forthcoming dates in Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester and Early days: Jamie began playing live London. He says he would love to at Plymouth venues such as the B-Bar play in Plymouth in 2016. and The Hub. Support: As well as supporting Ed Cornwall: He lived for a while in a Sheeran, he has also supported One caravan near Padstow. Direction in the past.

Competition winners: Congratulations to… winners of the competitions in West magazine on October 17 • •

Emylia Hall’s novel The Sea Between Us – Lesley Ferguson, Thurlestone; Maggie Loates, Paignton; Jean Cavey, Launceston; Chris Roberts, Bude; David Rogers, Tavistock National Trust family day pass – Kathleen Gay, Dawlish


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Free of fear


This is a special Christmas for Louise and Gez Thomas, who are looking forward to family time without the shadow of cancer treatment hanging over their young son Dylan

By Catherine Barnes

t this time of year, there are so many things to look forward to, but Louise and Gez Thomas are simply enjoying the moment. They say they’ve wished enough time away since the April day in 2012 that their son Dylan, now nine, was diagnosed with leukaemia. It’s been three months since Dylan finished treatment and the family can finally begin to chart milestones that don’t involve chemotherapy and steroids or tears (nor, as Dylan very firmly insists, the packets of Frazzles crisps that sustained him during his gruelling treatment.) “We’re looking forward to the perfect Christmas – a family one,” says Louise, 37. “Each New Year’s Eve we’ve thought, we’ve made it through this year and are another step closer to what we all desperately want – for Dylan to be better and off treatment. You don’t want to wish your time away and yet, when it all began Dylan and Olivia were both so tiny.” In fact it’s only now that the Plymouth family is beginning to reflect and make sense of the journey they’ve been on. And, as they recount, it really did involve being flung, completely unprepared, into battle against the disease. Dylan had just begun school, and little sister Olivia was only three, when the family’s life was turned upside down in less than a week. During a family wedding, Dylan suffered a nosebleed that took an age to staunch. Days


later and far more tired than usual, he became unwell, with doctors diagnosing bladder and ear infections. Then the family began to notice the bruises, which began as little speckles on his neck and had begun to merge. At this point, they headed to A&E at Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital for blood tests. “Within two hours we were in a side room being told that at best Dylan had a virus, worst case, he had leukaemia,” says Louise. “The following afternoon we were in the ambulance being taken to Bristol,” says Gez, 45, taking up the story. “By the time we got there, Dylan was complaining his legs were aching and that it hurt to walk. “That was horrendous,” adds Louise. “We didn’t understand leukaemia then, and I just thought, if it’s cancer it might have spread.” Dylan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Louise and Gez, who’s a professional singer, barely had time for the news to sink in, before their little son was whisked off to undergo his first chemotherapy administered under general anaesthetic. “When we were first told that Dylan had leukaemia it was too much to take in,” says Gez.


“Even though by then we were pretty sure Dylan had leukaemia we still held onto the hope that he didn’t. We were shocked, upset, trying to listen to what the consultant was saying but struggling to take it in. He said Dylan would need three years of treatment and that the prognosis was good.” “The next day,” says Louise, “was when we asked questions. How do we tell him? When? Should he know? “We told Dylan he was very poorly and drew him a picture of a battle between bad black cells and good white cells. We told Dylan he needed medicine so the white cells would win the fight.” Battle lines had been drawn against the disease, physical, invasive and immediate. “One of the hardest things was Dylan’s move onto the oncology ward,” says Gez. “We didn’t want to go onto the ward, we didn’t want to face the reality of the situation we were in. There were so many children in a really bad way. We assumed this was how Dylan would be but soon learnt that every child and cancer is different.” Louise and Gez had dashed from Plymouth to Bristol in the clothes they stood up in and slept for nights in the hospital, with Louise’s parents looking after Olivia. Then charity CLIC Sargent got in touch, with the keys to a family room in

‘We drew Dylan a picture of a battle between bad black cells and good white cells’



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The Thomas family will be celebrating Christmas together this year 13

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Dylan and sister Olivia together today a house near the hospital. “It made such a difference,” says Louise, who works part-time as a journalist. “It just took so much pressure off, as only one of us could stay at the hospital overnight but neither of us wanted to be far away.” Dylan stayed in hospital in Bristol for two weeks, during which the treatment was intense. Most painful were the huge injections administered in his thigh, which made him scream. “I had to hold him in my arms and very early on, I was on my knees, bawling my eyes out,” says Gez.”I said to Dylan that’s the only time you’ll see me like this. And I’ve stuck to it.” The family’s hopes were raised when tests showed Dylan had responded well to initial treatment, only to be dashed by signs the disease was tightening its grip, and Dylan had to be switched to a more intensive treatment protocol. “They say children with leukaemia are on a piece of elastic – in and out of hospital all the time,” says Louise. “There’s no such thing as a routine. They can be fine at breakfast time and

Dylan’s first day back at school during treatment in January 2013

A poorly Dylan with Olivia at Christmas two years ago

in hospital by lunch. And when things are not with his friends and more time in hospital. When going well, the treatment pushes their bodies to Dylan’s hair grew back, people wrongly assumed the limits.” he was better. “Then his hair began to fall out,” says Gez. “He “He no longer looked like the ‘sick boy’ and we had a mop of blond hair and I just ran my hand had to remind people that he was still very poorly through it like I always do, and a clump came and undergoing chemotherapy,” says Louise. away. That was really upsetting. It was such a The experience, they say, has seen some friendphysical sign that he was ill. ships dissipate, others grow stronger. Family has “Suddenly, he looked like a child with cancer,” been their all and little Olivia has been the shinreflects Louise. “Do you remember?” she asks ing star that has kept everyone feeling uplifted. Dylan. “If it wasn’t for her, life would have been com“Nope” he replies in tones pletely different,” Gez says. “She’s of supreme unconcern. up in the morning, always happy “We had to realise it didn’t and chatting away and it’s been a bother him,” she says. distraction for us and for Dylan “It just didn’t faze him,” Gez – she makes Dylan laugh and his ‘We have to let agrees, with a smile. laugh is infectious.” him run around While Louise admits that Through it all, Louise and Gez there were the occasional also had to establish and manage and have fun, he tears in private, she and Gez house-rules and routines that has to get back decided very early on that every child grows up with. to enjoying his they’d do their best to be the “Dylan’s CLIC nurse Petra rehappy family they’d always minded us there still have to be childhood’ been. boundaries, as three and half Days out and gatherings years is a long time,” says Louise. with their close and very supDaily chemotherapy treatment portive extended family were left Dylan struggling to walk and important. Little breaks away suffering from painful mouth in Devon - often curtailed with an emergency ulcers and sickness, as well as more rare reacdash back to hospital - gave them a sense of tions including a seizure. wellbeing, too. When he was well enough, Dylan Steroids played havoc with his emotions and would go back to school and, with support, is now taste buds, causing mood swings, weight gain progressing with so much of the work he missed and cravings. At one time, it was Frazzles and (Maths is his favourite subject, he confides). there was no fooling Dylan when Gez could only It’s perhaps Louise and Gez that are saddened lay hands on an own-brand packet of the crisps. most at the thought of things Dylan’s missed. “He had an absolute meltdown,” he rememThe friend’s birthday party he was desperate bers. to attend, only to be sick on the threshold and “While steroids cause some children to be unable to go in. Then, says Louise, were the invihyperactive, Dylan lost his energy and became tations that never came as Dylan spent less time emotional,” explains Louise. “It was like he was



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Dylan and Olivia enjoy a break in Weymouth during treatment, June 2013

depressed, it was so upsetting.” Happily, in August this year, Dylan’s treatment was finally complete and the Thomases celebrated the all-clear with a family party, letting off red and white balloons representing healthy blood cells. “We had black ones, too,” laughs Louise, “and we all sat on them and squashed them.” While Dylan will always need checkups, the family are now adjusting to a new normal. Desperate to swim now that his central line has been removed, Dylan spent three hours in the pool on his first visit and next April he’s looking forward to taking part in the Plymouth Half Marathon Schools’ Challenge with classmates, instead of cheering from the sidelines. One treat on the horizon is a trip to Disney World in Florida through the Starlight Foundation charity next spring and another Olivia is playing Mary in the school nativity this month. “Come February Dylan will have all his childhood inoculations again, “says Louise. “We have to let him run around and have fun even if he does get knocked or fall over, he has to get back to enjoying his childhood.” It’s only really now they’ve all come so far that she and Gez have begun to reflect on the enormity of what they’ve all been through. “They say don’t look too far ahead, but all I wanted to look forward to was the end of treatment and Dylan being better,” says Louise. “We’ve made friendships with families who are now in the early days of their own journeys and it’s bringing back memories of what it was like. It’s so upsetting to see other people’s children and what they are going through. Dylan’s been so accepting and strong.” “We are so thankful to Dylan’s doctors, nurses and the many charities that have helped us, and of course our family and friends. “This Christmas we do not have to worry about whether Dylan is well enough to enjoy all the festivities or if he might be in hospital. We will treasure every moment of seeing our children happy and healthy and that has to be the best gift of all.”

Dylan has now finishied his treatment for leukaemia


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Gift guide 1





9 6



1. Russian dolls measuring cups, £18.75, 2. Blue topaz and diamond ring, £1,150, from Westcountry jeweller Michael Spiers, www. 3. Gold, silk and amethyst bracelet, £36, from north Devon-based 4. Fox Terrier phone case, £15, made in Cornwall by 5. Bold Blue Tit mug, £12, from Barnstaple’s 6. Rosie for Autograph perfume by Tavistock’s Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, from £14, Marks & Spencer 7. Paul & Joe face and eye colour, £25, from Roos Beach near Newquay and 8. Golden pear soap, £8.25, and Dupere Interiors in Modbury 9. Christmas candle set £41.50 from Cornwall’s 16

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Gift guide 10

11 12




10. Field & Flower Luxury Steak Box, from traditional breed cattle on a Somerset farm, £62.50, 11. Hilarious Ladybird book for grown ups £6.99, from good bookshops including Book Stop, Tavistock 12. Leather washbag, £61, handmade in Cornwall by Celtic & Co, or call 0844 557 8877 13. Gibson Les Paul Supreme electric guitar in seafoam green, currently £2,999, 14. Find out where all that booty’s hidden with the Devon shipwrecks map screenprint £39 15. Rugby journal made from the softest calf skin leather from Italy, £30-£40 according to size,


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Gift guide

17 16


19 20

16. Stripy dinosaur rompersuit and hat, £17, 17. Cat baby shoes made of the softest leather, £17.95, 18. Exeter Monopoly £24 from John Lewis in Exeter 19. Tap into your kids’ creativity with the Make Your Own Zoo book, £12.99, 20. Personalised prints, from £35, made in Devon by


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Gift guide 21

26 22


24 23

21. Tiger rocker, suitable for children from one upwards, £99, 22. Crocodile ruler, £2.95, 23 Limited Edition Marvel Comics Stars Wars prints signed by artist Stan Lee, from £695, at Exeter’s 24. There’s a pony theme to the first children’s book by Devon writer and horse lover Lucy Johnson, £9.99, 25. Pirate shack, £200, made in Newton Abbot by former magician Keith Hathaway and his team, www. 26. Livestock market for toy farm, £106.70, from South Molton-based 19

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Gift guide 27

Ed’s note: We just love these striking mugs featuring an old drawing of St Michael’s Mount inspired by an antique find dating from 1793

fave! 28


30 32 31

27. 1793 Collection mugs, inspired by an old piece of pottery featuring the Mount, £7.50 each, and shops on the Mount, see website for opening times 28. Kodak SP360 Extreme Action Camera, £339, Argos 29. Ideal for teen skin £4 to £8 from Devon’s 30. Distilled in Cornwall, Tarquin’s dry gin, £33, and stores across the region 31. Fowey map cushion, £42, The Clementine in Fowey and Truro, www.theclementine. 32. Courage Storybox, £125, handmade by Claire Read on her Devon smallholding, see 20

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French inspired interiors and home accessories




01752 894012 16 Fore Street Ivybridge PL21 9AB ©LW


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With a stunning selection of jewellery, ceramics, paintings and glass art for all tastes and budgets waiting to be discovered, why not make it a very merry Christmas for someone special, to you, with a gift of art from Mayne.

TEL: 01872 857280 23 New Bridge Street | Truro | Cornwall | TR1 2AA

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30/11/2015 18:30:26


chapel house, penzance

Restoration drama


Sarah Pitt hears how restoring the beautiful Georgian home of an 18th century Penzance admiral became a labour of love hen Susan Stuart first saw Chapel House in Penzance, she felt it needed a saviour. The rundown Georgian house – which in its glory days had been the dream of home of one Admiral Robert Linzee – had been on the market for some time. Susan, who worked for many years as a chartered accountant in the City of London, was mulling over the idea of moving to Penzance, her favourite place to spend holidays. Her ideas for a much smaller house, though, were abandoned the moment she pushed open the front door of Chapel House. “I just love Georgian architecture and this is such a beautiful house,” she says. “It is right up above the harbour and Mount’s Bay and we can see the whole


of the bay right out to the Lizard and, in the other direction, as far as Penlee Point. I just loved the place from the moment I walked in. “I decided very quickly that I wanted to buy it and move here, and my next thought was ‘How do I make this work financially?’” For years, the house had operated as the Penzance Arts Club and was, says Susan “close to falling down” with original features covered in thick layers of paint in many different hues. Having already restored a Georgian house in London though, Susan was not daunted. Working with Penzance architect Keith Bell, she has restored the house to all its original graciousness and now runs it as a home-from-home boutique hotel. Her first move was to have the chimney stacks


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photography: anja rice



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– which were about to topple over – completely rebuilt, along with other structural work. Then she set to work on the paintwork, spending hours stripping paint off interior doors to reveal beautiful lead engraved glass panels. She put in the same dedication into removing layers of paint from cornices and other ornate mouldings on the ceilings, abandoning plans to take paid consultancy work in favour of working on the house. “I quickly realised I could save more money than I could earn by stripping the paint myself, so it was my job to be chief stripper,” she jokes. “I spent many hours doing that and, actually, it was really rewarding.” ‘We found a She also tackled the walls, re1700s. skirting board placing shocking pinks and deep “During the restoration, we reds for pale blues and greys. found a piece of skirting board, with Captain “The bedrooms were painted all made from a packing case which Linzee inscribed sorts of different colours. One had had ‘Captain Linzee’ inscribed on on it, and pink walls with blue ceilings and it,” says Susan. “When I googled blue woodwork,” she says. “And him I found out that he had been discovered he the walls and ceilings in the halla Commander in the Napoleonic was a Napoleonic way were all painted blood red! It wars. He captured the Temeraire, was really quite extraordinary. a French ship which was, famousadmiral’ “I felt, though, that the house ly, painted by Turner. He was a really needed softer colours. My Commander of the naval base in whole idea was to make it really Penzance and was quite a player. spacious and relaxing, somewhere where when you This was a really grand house to build for Penzance walk through the door you feel like you just want to in those days.” hunker down. The light from the sea floods into the The house would originally have been decorated house, and I wanted the rooms to be full of light.” in a classical style and Susan has recaptured that It was during the restoration that she found out a lost elegance while bringing the decor subtly up-tobit more about Admiral Linzee, who built the house date using a mixture of antique finds, mid-century at the end of his time on active service, in the late vintage furniture and some specially commissioned


new furniture. These include an antique wooden rocking chair she bought 25 years ago in a Penzance antiques shop and oak four poster beds made by craftsman Ben Williams from Mousehole. “A lot of the design was about mixing the modern with the old,” she says. With six bedrooms, there are plenty of places to sleep, and when the house is not full of guests, that is exactly what Susan does. “It would be a shame to live here and not use any of the rooms,” she says. I like Bedroom Two the best, because it has three windows with the most fabulous panoramic views.” Taking on Chapel House has proved a big project for Susan, but not one she regrets. “The house hadn’t been maintained, and this was all about bringing her back to life. She was built in 1790, and now she should be good for another couple of hundred years.” To book: or call 01736 362024


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Pair classical pieces with bright colours for eye-catching decor

Oriel chair £2,428

Estella horizon rug £269

Chromeo lamp £95 www.loaf. com

Dartington Crystal Admiral’s Decanter £84

Regency dining table from £1,400, www.oficinanglesa. com


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Garden gifts Devon’s Anne Swithinbank, panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, knows what she – and other gardeners – would really like for Christmas he chances are that if ing writer Peter Seabrook sent me you are keen on garsome spring flowering outdoor dening and otherwise cyclamen to plant under a clipped difficult to buy for, beech. All have been so welcome, right at this moment some hapless I conclude that attractive homerelative is ordering a gardening gift grown plants make great gifts. Ditto pack, useful book or jar of hand delicious produce such as damson lotion just for you. They’ll prob- jam and green tomato chutney. ably all be put to good use, but what Possibly the most novel object would make a really great present I’ve been given this year has been – and should we be dropping hints? an original carboy. These massive I’m glad to glass containers sat report that, after in wicker crates and last year’s moans, were used to carry I haven’t been acids and other corgiven any more rosive substances I’m pleased to ‘I’m out in the in bulk for comsay that, aft er garden’ signs to mercial use. They last year’s hang on my office date mainly from door. Once out the days before moans, I haven’t there, attempts at branding and prebeen given any camouflage have packaging, when been successful merchants would more ‘I’m out in and I’ve gone undecant and bottle the garden’ signs detected and unup the contents disturbed. themselves. ThorDuring the oughly cleaned, year, home-grown redundant carboys plant gifts received have included a became popular during the 1960s forest type cactus whose succulent and 1970s for planting bottle garpink stems will have shocking pink dens. I can remember reading artiflowers at their tips. It is probably cles where keen indoor gardeners a rhipsalis or rhipsalidopsis and strapped kitchen knives, forks and operates along the same lines as a spoons to long canes, so they could Christmas cactus. I’ve also gained cultivate and plant inside these a dainty busy lizzie (probably Im- narrow necked bottles. The hobby patiens pseudoviola) whose pale eventually became so poplar that pink flowers have incredibly long, wider necked bottles were specialelegant spurs. Finally, the garden- ly made for the purpose. The idea




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was that water would evaporate, condense on the sides and run back down, making the garden self sufficient. Mine’s still empty but on a dull, dark day after Christmas, I might plant it up. Thoughtful pieces of kit to make gardening easier are always welcome. My husband John and I increasingly find ourselves reaching for a sack truck. Anyone with a large collection of plants in containers will find themselves shuffling them around during autumn and spring between house, greenhouse and garden. Faced with a huge spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla) whose spiny tips now thrust over the edges of its wide and weighty glazed pot, neither of us wanted to lift it into the greenhouse. Sliding the pot onto the flat plate of the ‘truck’, leaning it back and wheeling it backwards into the greenhouse was a doddle. Seed packets make great stocking fillers and Suttons (0844 326 2200, have come up with a good one. Their Sweet Corn Shoots (F1 Boadacious) can be sown even in the depths of winter, into a seed tray then stood in a

warm, dark place. The sweet, crunchy shoots are harvested at 7cm high when a vibrant yellow and eaten immediately. Buying us gardeners a book could be risky, as we all have our favourite titles and authors. Old books have great character and I recently splashed out £40 on the 1977 reprint of The Vegetable Gardener by Vilmorin-Andrieux first published in 1885. Full of lovely drawings and delightful French names, it also delivers on detail. For instance I can see which squash and pumpkin varieties descend from the same species and can then group them accordingly to help with pollination. New books that combine inspiration with practicality are the best and I’ve enjoyed The Flower Farmer’s Year by Georgie Newbery and her more recent Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers, all inspired by her Somerset flower farm. Personally, I’d like The Finest Gardens of The Southwest by Tony Russell because my New Year’s resolution will be to visit as many as possible.

This week’s gardening tips Anne’s advice for your garden

• Birds will be struggling to find food and keep warm, so keep feeders topped up and water available. • If clearing the garden don’t tackle all the thickets at once because birds and other wildlife need somewhere safe and sheltered to roost at night.

• Dahlias have taken their time to die back. If you are not going to lift them, then pile a mulch of compost or leaf mould over the top and mark their position so they are not accidentally disturbed. The markers will act as a reminder to control slugs when growth starts again next year.

Question time with Anne West reader queries answered by Anne Swithinbank Why do some of my larger house plants such as dracaena, palm and calathea have brown tips to their leaves? I don’t let them dry out too much, feed them occasionally and they get moderate light and are not close to any radiators.


Unless there are spider mites about (check using a hand lens), brown tips are a sign of stress. In the wild, plants would look a lot worse and probably not take any lasting harm but of course we want our indoor plants to be as decorative as possible. Too much or too little water, a build up of nutrients in the compost, fluctuations in temperature and dry air from general heating can all take their toll. I’m going to latch onto the words ‘larger house plants’ because it is possible you are not giving these plants enough water at one time to sink right down to the bottom of a deep pot and satisfy all the roots. Make sure they have an adequate saucer and when you decide to water, put in enough so that a little leaks out of the bottom but is then reabsorbed. Then wait until the surface begins to dry out again.


I have had several attempts at growing acers in pots but they all struggled and eventually died back. What am I doing wrong?

I’m assuming they’ve been dainty Japanese maples or delicate coloured-leaved kinds like the snakebark Acer x conspicuum ‘Red Flamingo’. These can be fussy but think of a woodland style location (shelter, light shade, cool roots), make sure drainage in the container is excellent and that the plant doesn’t dry out in summer and all should be well. These maples are too often sited in cold, exposed or hot, dry positions. Try to find a spot where they are sheltered by other plants. They are not always vigorous and plant food will run short in the pot, so apply a controlled release or tree and shrub fertilizer early in the year to keep them growing. Cover with a layer of new, fresh compost.

Make a holly ball Leafing through an old book (The Woman Gardener penned by the late Frances Perry in 1955), I came across instructions for making a holly ball. You take a large potato, bore a hole through it, thread a string through and hang it up. Holly twigs are then prepared at various lengths with the ends cut into points. These are forced in around the potato until it is hidden and trimmed lightly to a spherical shape.

Potted plants

Send your questions to Anne at

Christmas visitors might arrive with potted plants as gifts. Hibiscus, poinsettias and phalaenopsis orchids enjoy warm rooms but find a cool, bright windowsill for cyclamen and water without soaking the top of the tuber. Or water from below. 27

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Beauty Shea trio The Body Shop Shea Ultimate Luxuries £35 This nutty fragrance chimes with the festive mood and this little treat contains three gorgeous moisturisers, from a light scented oil to a thick body butter. Whichever you prefer, this gift will keep your dry skin moisturised this winter.

Smooth style Paul Mitchell Dapper Gent Gift Set , £27 This would make a great gift for the man in your life. My boyfriend loves these products; the shampoo is a no-fuss product that has a clean, fresh scent but conditions the hair too. He especially rates the Barber’s Classic Styling Cream, saying “ it is easy to use, not sticky and it lasts all day”.

Make me blush Benefit Real Cheeky Party Set, £29.50, Debenhams I love this gift and would be over the moon to find it under my tree this Christmas (hint hint). It contains five gorgeous blusher shades to suit every skintone, with a mini They’re Real eyeliner and mascara to finish your party look.


Beauty box


Beauty guru Abbie Bray of Newton Abbot has ideas for presents It is finally December and for me that means it is officially Christmas! This week I am getting in the festive mood and thinking about the perfect gifts to go under your tree on December 25.

Mine’s a mani Personalised Manicure Sets, £14.99, This would make a lovely gift for the girl with perfect nails this Christmas, with an added personal touch in your chosen message engraved on the front.

Smell sweet Recovery Package, £41, www.dontbuyherflowers. com These products will leave your skin feeling smooth and smelling great. My favourite is the coconut oil, which smells amazing and can be used as a cleanser, conditioner and even a cooking oil.

WIN: We have two personalised manicure sets, like the one above, to win. To be in with a chance, email your details to Manicure Set, westmag@ by December 19.


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The edit Your straight line to style: Ellie Jones shares her top party season picks

TK Maxx £35.99



Phase Eight £120

CJG Collection £115

Debenhams £22



Look Again £60

Deichmann £29.99

JD Williams £34.99



JD Williams £55

Dune £79


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To be jolly... is the season, and chances are you’ll soon be the proud owner of a festive jumper this Christmas, whether you want one or not. But don’t be downcast – take a leaf out of Bridget Jones’s Mark Darcy’s book and wear yours with pride. Besides, some of them are actually rather lovely this year. We particularly like this sequinned number from New Look, and the one with the loved-up Scottie dogs from BHS is so cute we can actually envisage wearing it on other days apart from December 25. And if you really can’t face the fullon yuletide sweater look, then you could always show willing with a pair of socks instead.


£20 Bonmarche

Slogan sweater £19.99 New Look


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£12 George at Asda

£25 Very

Earrings £5 Dorothy Perkins £14 Primark

e nc cie op S 0 h t £2 m S Ha useu M

Necklace £5 Dorothy Perkins

Sweater £29 Science Museum Shop

£8 South Beach Official

£1.99 New Look

£4 M&Co

£28 BHS

S ca rf £ Mus 20 S ci e u m e n ce Sho p

£10 M&Co


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Trend Bella Marie embellished top, Coast, Princesshay, £119 Bella Marie high low skirt, Coast, Princesshay, £129 Navy scalloped shoes, Next, Princesshay, £45




Faith sequin clutch, Coast, Princesshay, £45

There’s more to feminine than formfitting says Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod ntricate detailing is your best friend this party season. Beading, sequins and rhinestones have been sprinkled liberally across the rails of my favourite stores, and I am delighted. This trend pleases not only the girl in me but the grown up woman too. Alexa Chung has famously said that she is not a fan of ‘sexy’ and feels uncomfortable in anything tight or bodycon, and there are days where I share this sentiment wholeheartedly. These sparkly pieces mean you can feel resplendently feminine, without having an outfit that accentuates your figure to the point of not being able to have a single canapé. Luckily, fashion royalty agree. The AW15 shows were awash with shine and dazzle. The team behind New York label Proenza Schouler grabbed the bull by the horns and went so far as to showcase a jaw-dropping dress embellished with over 300,000 sequins. My fashion envy went into serious overdrive, but a) those of I am ready us on a journalist’s salary don’t to swan into typically indulge in haute couture and b) where, realistically, the most would I wear such a magnificent sophisticated garment? In the interests of versatilseasonal soiree ity and value for money, I went the South West on a quest to find the ultimate can throw at me outfit for the festive season and beyond. I didn’t have to look far. Coast delivers on this sort of remit in their sleep. Their Exeter store is a veritable emporium of good taste and opulent glamour. This combination of oversized What do I plan to do with my princess-esque enstructured skirt and detailed top is a real win. semble come January you ask? I’ll tell you. I’ll get Worn together, and I am ready to swan into the every pound’s worth from these separates. most sophisticated seasonal soiree the South West The skirt will make for an enviable addition to can throw at me. my monthly girls’ night out at a fancy restaurant. My legs are swathed in excess fabric so no one I’ll pair it with ballet pumps and a soft knit. I want has to suffer watching my knees turn blue. The to travel to Italy next summer, and I just love the inky hue looks fantastic on the most sun-starved idea of wearing this with a cropped sleeveless of complexions, and the glittering top means that turtleneck, red lipstick and simple black pumps hair, make-up and accessories can be kept to an for an evening of alfresco prosecco-sipping. Hair elegant (and fuss-free) minimum. swept up into a messy top, certamente.


Ok, I hear you say. But what about the spangly top? Easy. Add my favourite high-waisted Topshop jeans and a pair of wedges and I will be ready for casual cocktails in town. Or I could throw it on with my best white pencil skirt, a grey blazer and court shoes and I am completely unafraid to wear it to the office. After all, sparkles should be for life, not just Christmas. All fashion in these pictures is from Princesshay Shopping Centre, Exeter,


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Star by Julian Macdonald top £45 DEBENHAMS Ombre sequin top £32.99 NEW LOOK

Waist belt £14.99 NEW LOOK


Green sequin pencil skirt £29 VERY

look Nine by Savannah Miller zig zag sequin clutch £39 SIMPLY BE

Glam sequin hoops £8.50 MISS SELFRIDGE J by Jasper Conran skirt £55 DEBENHAMS

Ombre sequin dress £99 SIMPLY BE


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culture vulture Our guide to the arts scene in the South West by woman-inthe-know Sarah Pitt On the Mark The wonderful Mark Thomas (often to be heard on Radio 4) will be stopping off at Calstock Arts in south east Cornwall this Friday, as he tours the UK with his latest show, Trespass. Prepare to contribute some ideas of your own in this hugely entertaining mix of theatre, stand-up comedy, seasoned with dash of journalism and dollop of mayhem. Friday December 11, 7pm for ages 16 and over. Tickets from £13, call 01726 879500 or visit

Foodie fun in Padstow Keep an eye out for famous chefs including James Martin, Angela Hartnett and Mark Hix at Padstow’s annual Christmas Food Festival this weekend. Food writer Xanthe Clay and Rick Stein will be debating the latest food trends today, while Ready Steady Cook chef Brian Turner will appear tomorrow. There will be cookery demos at Sharp’s Chef Theatre and the Festival Kitchen and a marquee where you can try and buy from more than 100 local food producers. Visit for more details.

Live streaming from the Bolshoi The Bolshoi Ballet’s beautiful The Lady of the Camellias will be screened live at Dartington Hall’s Barn Cinema, tomorrow at 3pm. It’s a great chance to see some world-class dancing, right here in the South West. In this superb performance, The Bolshoi breathes new life into John Neumeier’s tragic masterpiece, inspired by Alexandre Dumas’ novel and accompanied by Chopin’s exquisite score. Sunday December 6, tickets £17.50


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Your stars by Cassandra Nye This week’s sign:

Happy birthday to...

People born under the Sagittarius star sign are independent by nature and. even as they grow older, are more likely to keep travelling the world in search of the next adventure than settle down. They may turn down good opportunities in their life because they find it difficult to commit to one place or person. They make excellent friends, though, because they are kind-hearted and positive and, valuing their own freedom so much, are never possessive. or jealous.

Susannah Reid born December 10 1970 Susannah began her career with the BBC in Bristol and was the face of BBC Breakfast for 11 years until she switched to ITV’s Good Morning Britain sofa last year. After winning people’s hearts on Strictly in 2013, she and long-term partner Dominic Cotton split up, but the couple, who have three children, continued to live in the same house. She’s raised eyebrows with her flirty interview technique, but her September TV chat with David Beckham looked like a lot of fun. Who could blame her for feeling ‘a little hot under the lights’ that day!

SAGITTARIUS (November 23 - December 21) Move on from an upsetting time or comment. This week sees you in a forgetful mood. Not good if you pay your bills twice but great if you want to rule out negative forces! Your creative juices are flowing well. This extends into your love life to bring a special sparkle to the weekend. Make it special.

CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 20) Don’t take it for granted that you know what others want for Christmas, especially family. You may feel it a bit crass to ask but that is better than wasting your hard earned cash. An elderly relative may need something in particular done for them but be slow to ask.

AQUARIUS (January 21 - February 19) With a good sense of self-worth you have never seen yourself as simply part of the crowd. However, a recent quiet period may have given that impression to others. Are you ready to reinstate your personality and get into more of the social scene? There couldn’t be a better time.

PISCES (February 20 - March 20) This is not a time when you want to save money. You would much rather be spending it. Even so, if you have a big item to find, after the holiday could be better. Write yourself notes to stay organised and avoid overspending.

ARIES (March 21 - April 20) You are in a thoughtful mood which is just as well as you have a lot to think about. The important thing to remember is that there is no point in clinging to the past. Listen carefully to others as there will be real gems of information to help you.

TAURUS (April 21 - May 21) Thinking outside the box gets you on track. This is especially true when it comes to tasks at work. Some may be running down in the run up to the holiday, but your areas are still active. Think big and aim high. Be there for your boss when you spot stresses and strains. It will be noted that you are not the first to bolt for the exit if things get difficult.

GEMINI (May 22 - June 21) Moving a situation on is fine but avoid cutting corners. Paperwork becomes important as midweek arrives and letting something slip now would be silly. Finances may be linked to a personal project that involves others. Be fair, but not to the detriment of your family cash flow.

CANCER (June 22 - July 22) There is little point in expecting others to do what you tell them if you are not around to check up. When it comes to organising something for the holidays you may think that there is plenty of time. That is only true if things are on schedule now.

LEO (July 23 - August 23) A romantic gesture needs careful planning. The fewer people who are involved the less chance of it going wrong, that’s for sure! As you are capable of

concentrating on long term projects this is a great time to impress the boss with your efficiency.

VIRGO (August 24 - September 23) When your eye is on the ball you can be great at managing finances. Sometimes, though, there are so many distractions that your attention is elsewhere. This week could see you lose money simply by not paying attention. Check that paperwork and take a deep breath. If you find that you have paid a bill twice or forgotten to collect money owed to you, stop! Check that paperwork and take a deep breath.

LIBRA (September 24 - October 23) Get others to do some of the work this week. It will give you time to plot and plan for the weeks ahead. Although there seem to be many bargains around, hold fire, as they get better. Keep your eyes open for someone who is going to agree a date and then go back on it.

SCORPIO (October 24 - November 22) If you find that the smallest stress to your system makes you feel rough, look after yourself. People always seem to have their health checks in the New Year, but why not have yours now? It is easy to neglect those little niggles when you are very busy, isn’t it? 35

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the boost

Life just got better. We’ve handpicked the latest wellness trends, best-body secrets and expert advice to help you be your best self, everyday


SUPER BERRY BOOM Looks like lots of us have been growing our own superfoods this year: Wyevale Garden Centres says that thanks to healthy-eating trends, there has been a 500% increase in the number of its antioxidant- rich berry plants this year, with goji, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry topping the list.

Katy Perry and Kelly Osbourne have both kept their figures in shape by including lots of low-fat,yet filling mushrooms in their diet. But did you know that some varieties of fungi are also considered to have medicinal properties? Shiitake, Reishi, Lion’s Mane and King Trumpet are among those said to boost the immune and cardiovascular systems and boost energy levels. You can find them in organic supplement form (£55) at

New Year, new you Feeling like a fresh start for 2016? Charlotte Mews Studios are launching a series of one-day workshops aimed at helping you start your own Westcountry businesses. Their How to Become Women Entrepreneurs workshop takes place on February 25 2016, and is all about how to turn talent into turnover, making your business dreams come true. Says MD Jayne OliphantThompson: “We will have successful businesswomen on hand to explain everything from marketing to social media. It’s going to be a truly inspirational, yet fun, day packed with practical tips and advice.” The workshop, with lunch included, takes place in central Exeter and costs £145. To book, call 01392 909930 or visit


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Time for an early night? Two extra hours of sleep can significantly enhance sports performance, according to research by Bensons for Beds. The study saw members of Durham University Sports Team sleep for seven hours a night for a week, followed by nine hours a night for a week. Comparing their training performances each week, as well as their speed increasing by 15%, over half reported higher energy levels, a quarter felt more self-confident, and their pain threshold improved by a third. They also felt more relaxed.

Sugar and spice What are little girls made of? Well, according to food psychologist Dr Christy Fergusson, women do tend to be more tempted by sugary foods, and it could be for biological reasons. “There are certain factors which play a universal role in attracting us to specific foods,” she says. “The notion that chocolate is almost impossible to resist really is true – because of the ‘feel-good’ chemicals it releases: endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. We remember the way chocolate makes us feel, so we want to keep eating it. Even hearing the word ‘chocolate’ can make some people feel euphoric.”

Fruity! Removing dead skin cells can help brighten your winter complexion – bring yours back to life with an at-home peel. The fruit acids in Elemis’s papapya enzyme peel (£32, www. gently lift away dead skin cells to help restore your natural glow.

What’s coming up? Tweet us your wellbeing diary dates

@WMNWest or email 37

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Hard to stomach Could it be an allergy? I don’t eat much bread, but love my pasta. Yet quite often I feel uncomfortably boated to the point of quite ill after a starchy meal and am beginning to wonder if I should cut wheat out of my diet altogether. How can I tell if I have an allergy or an intolerance - and what’s the difference? HG, Bude


Devon-based dietitian Sophie Medlin says: These days, many people feel they have an intolerance to certain foods, with wheat and dairy being the most common offenders. It is important to differentiate food intolerance from a food allergy, which is a potentially serious condition that only affects about two per cent of the adult population. Food allergy symptoms come on rapidly and often cause rashes, wheezing and itching. While food intolerances are not dangerous, they can be very uncomfortable and affect our quality of life. The typical symptoms of food intolerance are bloating and stomach cramps which usually develop between 30-90 minutes after the food has been ingested.

People with food intolerances can sometimes excluding the foods that are likely to be upsetting feel that they have nowhere to turn, as they you and reintroducing them one by one to test might have been reassured that they don’t have whether they cause you a problem. an allergy but aren’t offered any further help. Many people feel that they are sensitive to This leaves sufferers vulnerable gluten, which is the protein to online and high street retailfound in wheat, barley and rye ers offering unreliable tests that which usually makes up about can cause more harm than good. a third of our diet. What we do People with Some of these tests might inknow about gluten is that is it a clude looking at a strand of hair fermentable carbohydrate and food intolerances or even a drop of blood. Others therefore contributes to the can feel they use kinesiology or muscle symptoms of irritable bowel strength to test if you are weaksyndrome for many people. have nowhere ened by different foods. UnfortuAlso, our consumption of wheat to turn, as they nately, these tests are not a safe, has increased five-fold in the aren’t offered any reliable solution and, more often past 70 years so it is reasonthan not, leave the sufferer with able to expect that some people further help a long list of foods to avoid, with would be sensitive to the higher no support as to how to follow levels of wheat. There are many a balanced diet after excluding naturally gluten-free foods and everything. companies are now producThe safe and reliable way to find out what foods ing a wide range of gluten-free products. Often, are upsetting you is to keep a thorough food and though, gluten-free foods have added fat or sugar symptom diary. Look for patterns and consider to improve the taste, so watch out for unexpected an elimination-type diet with the support of a weight gain if you are using these products! registered dietitian. An elimination diet involves



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30/11/2015 17:22:24


Ingredient of the Week


with Tim Maddams ’m partial to a parsnip and sweet on There are various easy wins with the red root. swede but the root that really rocks The main trick is to make sure you cook them for me at this time of year is beetin a way that will bring out their best for your root, in all its wonder and glory. Deintended use. Grated raw and given the pakora spite all the many treatment they are a sheer joy modern variations now availwith a dollop of garlic yoghurt to able – candy-striped, yellow, seal the deal. Washed, peeled and white and more – it’s the good sliced thinly they quick pickle old-fashioned purple variety excellently and will keep for I have had that I like the most. It seems to weeks in this state in the fridge. many delicious deliver the most beetrootyness Scrubbed, wrapped in foil with oil, beetroot dishes per pound. salt and pepper and then baked Beetroot has been around they are good for a whole host of over the years for years, though most of us I things, from purees and hummus from borscht to am sure suffered greatly at the to soups, stews and sides. hands of the vac-packed, cookedDecent beetroot may have the brownies, crisps to-all-hell and enshrined in added bonus of some leaf, too, to cupcakes shrink-wrap version that haunts which works well in salad or as a the supermarket veg aisle like so substitute for spinach. Sourcing many unrealised dreams. I have some may be tricky unless you had many delicious beetroot have a good greengrocer or a veg dishes over the years from borscht to brownies, box delivery. Try farmers’ markets and farm crisps to cupcakes and beyond. A beetroot and shops – the ones near me seem to have a pretty cocoa ice cream was amazing. good supply now, and hopefully yours will too.



Roast beetroot I really like to roast raw beetroot in wedges. Peel them, then cut into segments and toss them in a tray with rapeseed oil, caraway seeds, garlic, chopped rosemary and salt and pepper, and roast in a hot oven. They make an excellent addition to a roast or a hearty winter salad. Grilled fish and winter mustard leaves make a fine combination, finished with a little green sauce. And beetroot with smoked mackerel is another marriage made in heaven. @TimGreenSauce

Tim Maddams is a Devon chef and author of Game: River Cottage Handbook no. 15 (Bloomsbury £14.99) 39

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30/11/2015 17:22:54

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30/11/2015 18:25:04


Beer of the week St Austell’s new stout, Mena Dhu (black hill in Cornish) has enjoyed a good launch. The 4.5% ABV brew is ‘black as yer ‘at’ with a foaming beige head and offers, in varying degrees of subtlety, roast malt, chocolate, coffee and liquorice, with hints of smoke and oak. The beer completes St Austell’s regular portfolio, alongside the likes of Tribute and Proper Job, with depth of flavour and a relatively low ABV. A recommended buy.

Nadelik Lowen* Sharp’s Nadelik has returned for a limited run. It’s a medium-bodied ale with a festive aroma of piney hops, inviting candy floss and toffee notes, says the brewer. The beer is brewed in north Cornwall using roasted barley and colourful malts to give a well-balanced, rich flavour, with a bittersweet finish. (*Happy Christmas)

Darren Norbury

talks beer here’s nothing like a book shop Down here in Cornwall, Red Elephant Beer is there – for, well, buying books. Cellar, in Truro’s Quay Street, is popular, as The Amazon experience just isn’t is John’s off-licence in St Ives, which has a big the same if you’re stock of Cornish beer and cider. not sure what, if Skinner’s and St Austell brewanything, you want and are eries both have shops stocking just browsing. And it’s the their full range of bottled beers. If you’re looking same with beer. There’s plenty In Devon, Tucker’s Maltings’ for a great online but it’s not like going beer shop in Newton Abbot is Christmas gift, into a shop to have a browse, well established, selling brews and try a sample or two. from the Teignworthy Brewbeer is the one I declare an interest here: I ery among others, while Hops + I’d go for (well I have my office in a shop sellCrafts is a new kid on the block would say that, ing beer, Cornwall Specialist in Exeter’s McCoy’s Arcade, speBeer, in Redruth. If you’re lookcialising in local beers from the wouldn’t I?) ing for a great Christmas gift, likes of Powderkeg, Hanlon’s and beer is the one I’d go for (well I Dartmoor. Totnes Brewing Comwould say that, wouldn’t I?) pany, meanwhile, has its own Many shops have a good shop The Beer Library, next to selection of local beers. Or you could go for a the brewery. selection from around the UK, again most inYou could do worse than try your local beer dependent beer shops have these. But foreign shop for unique gifts. And you’ll find friendly beers are popular, too, and a case of, say, Belstaff able to advise on choice. Why not visit this gian and American beers can be a fascinating weekend? virtual beer tour. Some brewers also have their Darren Norbury is editor of own presentation packs of beer. @beertoday



MY WORD! You and I have been saying it for ages, but “Beer o’clock” has finally made it into the Oxford English Dictionary, described as “an appropriate time of day” to have the drink. So good to see it’s officially ‘a thing’. Quite right too. 41

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01/12/2015 11:49:17


Sweet potato, spinach and Cornish brie frittata Will says: “When cooked, this should be golden-brown and not wobble. It goes perfectly with a well-dressed salad.”

Recipe by Will Sherry of Boscastle Farm Shop in north Cornwall



Peel the sweet potatoes, wash and chop them into small pieces.


2 large sweet potatoes 12 large free range eggs 140ml double cream 125g spinach 1 large white onion, diced 6 thick slices of Cornish brie 340g mature cheddar cheese 8 new potatoes Extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and ground black pepper




Drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 180C/Gas mark 4.

Spread the raw spinach in the case or pan and sprinkle the cheddar over the top. Then in a fan-like shape, place the brie on top of the other ingredients.


Meanwhile, boil the new potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked. Allow to cool, then cut into quarters.

Gently pour the egg mixture around these ingredients, making sure it does not come over the top.


Place in a preheated over at 180C/Gas mark 4 for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 170C/Gas mark 3 and cook for another 25-35 minutes. When cooked, the frittata should be golden brown in appearance and not wobble.


Sweat the onion in a frying pan for a couple of minutes and allow to cool.


Line a large flan or quiche case with baking parchment paper. If you don’t have either, use a large frying pan.


In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and cream and season well.

10. Turn out of the case, allow to cool for ten minutes, then serve with a well-dressed mixed leaf salad.

This recipe comes from A Taste of the West Country (£16.99) by the food producers’ cooperative, Taste of the West, with photography by David Griffen. To order your copy, designed by Jeff Cooper of We Make Magazines, see or call 01404 822012 42

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30/11/2015 17:57:41

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30/11/2015 18:26:48

My Secret Westcountry Kate Janse Van Rensburg Kate Janse Van Rensburg is the head of sales in a familyrun business which owns three boutique hotels in Bude – Hebasca, An Mor and Tommy Jack’s on the Beach. Kate was born in South Africa and came to England aged 11. She is married to husband Bo and the couple have an 18 month old son, Grayson and another baby on the way, due in February.

My favourite... Walk: There is a spot just past Widemouth Bay where on a good, clear day you can see all the way to Hartland Point and even Lundy Island. The cliffs are beautiful and there is a lovely contrast between the green of the fields and the blue of the sea. Beach: I love our local beaches here in Bude. Especially when the tide is out and you can walk Millook

Port William Inn, Trebarwith Strand


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30/11/2015 17:51:48


Satis House vintage store, Bude

Tommy Jack’s on the Beach

A room at Hebasca, Bude

along to the other neighbouring beaches for miles. The cliffs are beautiful here and there is a very old shipwreck buried in the sand.

[[ Some of my earliest memories of the Cornish coast as a child come from very cold walks

Food: It has to be the Cornish pasty. It’s a great mix of meat, potato and veg but my favourite bit is the thick pastry crust. I am usually pretty health conscious – but not when it comes to this treat. Tipple: Cider, for sure. Especially with lots of ice.

Pub: The

Port Gaverne Hotel near Port Isaac. Before I became a mum, I enjoyed a few summers of gig boat rowing. We used to launch the boat on Port Gaverne beach and I loved it there.

about 14. We used to go down to Summerleaze beach after school and at weekends. He would hold the surf board in place while I lay on it waiting to catch the wave. I will never forget the first time I stood up – I got so excited I didn’t know what to do next, so I just jumped off ! When our kids get older my husband and I are really looking forward to taking them out in the surf.

Weekend away: We are really spoilt for It was so beautiful and peaceful. After the row we would have a drink in the pub and it always had a great atmosphere.

Restaurant: The Port

William Inn at Trebarwith Strand near Tintagel is one of my favourites. Some of my earliest memories of the Cornish coast as a child come from very cold walks along this beach. The restaurant is perched on the cliffs and has fantastic views.

choice in the Westcounty. If I want to do a couple of days of exploring (and, of course, surfing) I will go somewhere on the north coast. As a family, we usually like to stay in the Mawgan Porth area. If we are going for chocolate box pretty, though, we will head towards the Sidmouth area of east Devon.

Shop: Bude has some great local shops. My new favourite is Kittiwakes. It has something for everyone. I recently brought some chalk paint there to redo a fireplace and I have been eyeing its decorative bunting for my son’s bedroom! Another one of my favourites here is Satis House, which has a great collection of vintage clothing, accessories and furniture.

Way to relax: Walking on Bude’s cliff paths and beaches with my family. We love the fresh air and beautiful views.

Treat: Cornish clotted cream ice cream – any

Sport: My dad taught me to surf when I was

flavour, really, though mint choc chip is my alltime favourite.

For more information on Hebasca Hotel, visit 45

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30/11/2015 17:52:12

My life


man and boy

Thou shalt not steal Phil Goodwin and James, five, debate a moral point

hanks to a gang of car thieves in Liverpool, I have recently been giving thought to the Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not steal. Given the decades of jokes I have listened to across the south of England about finding cars on bricks when visiting my home town, I don’t mention the attempted theft of my Vito van lightly. In fairness, I had parked in about the dumbest place possible – a deserted spot not far from the dock road – and left it overnight. It was laziness. I took a chance. When I returned with the boy the next day and saw it still there I was quite relieved. On spotting the crowbar marks on the windows I was hardly surprised. Someone had tried to force open both front windows, leaving my driver’s window sagging a few inches. This caused no end of grief the next day at Knowlsey Safari Park, when a cheeky baboon spotted the slit and tried to climb inside, prompting shrieks of panic in the van and sending me scrabbling for the gaffer tape to keep the creature out. The subsequent garage bill has set me back £100 rather than the tenner I should have paid for overnight parking, so lesson learned. When James understood what had happened, he was upset and really angry. It took ages to calm him down. He loves the van and I think he was a bit shocked that someone had tried to pinch it. He preferred the fiction that some animal – a dinosaur – had tried to claw its way inside than the truth that strangers had wanted to take his property. Honestly, I have never seen him upset in


quite that way. Maybe, for him, it was something like the shock of coming home and seeing your house trashed by burglars, which is something I remember vividly. After the initial fury died down, we end up in a


James loves our van and was shocked that someone had tried to pinch it



philosophical discussion about stealing. There was an incident in school recently, it seemed, though it was far from serious. Naturally, I said it was wrong to take something that belongs to someone else. We didn’t explore the issue deeply. He is five years old after all. It seemed like that was that. Then we find ourselves reading a familiar fairy tale at bed time: Jack and the Beanstalk. And it occurred to me, for the first time, that our hero is little more than a common thief. He steals the gold, which he and the mother duly squander, then goes back for the golden hen and harp. What with the chopping down of the beanstalk while the giant was chasing him, I make that three counts of burglary and one of assault. I asked the lad what he thought about this and he said the giant was bad. He ate people. I might argue that was the culture of a foreign land but the implication is clear: Jack is poor and entitled to the giant’s ill-gotten goods. Like the Robin Hood motif, this is a common theme, and has complicated our moral discussions. It put me in mind of an old tale of Bob Dylan in his early days. The great moral conscience of America was not averse to taking things which did not belong to him. He stole a load of old blues records from a friend on his way to New York. Of course, a year or so later, Bob was forgiven this indiscretion on the grounds that he had needed them to become a superstar. The theft had been part of destiny; a greater need served. Seems things are not so simple as Moses would have us believe.


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30/11/2015 17:29:47

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30/11/2015 18:20:20


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01/12/2015 10:56:20 04/11/2015 09:05

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West December 5 2015  

The lifestyle magazine inside the Western Morning News

West December 5 2015  

The lifestyle magazine inside the Western Morning News