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Welcome D

ear readers, So autumn has so far proved to be a warm one! I am writing this letter as I sit at my window with sun streaming through – bliss! I think we all deserve the much-needed Indian summer, don’t we? We have a jam-packed issue of MESH for you this month, with two very exciting interviews with women who are huge successes in both the literary and sporting worlds. Our sports journalist Des had the opportunity to interview double Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes at Edgbaston High School for Girls, where she gave an inspiring talk at the Girls Go Gold conference. Our features writer Carrie Ann was thrilled to interview her literary idol, best-selling author Cecelia Ahern, and asked her about the inspirations behind her new book The Time of My Life. I am keen to hear your thoughts and views on the stories we feature in MESH magazine. We are always keen to promote local people and local events, so please write to me at


Until next time,



With thanks to our columnists Sarah Jones Owner of Shirley based boutique ‘Bella Donna’ Gail Dunne Principle stylist at Harborne Umberto Giannini Martin Griffin Moseley Golf Club Coach David Griffiths Garden Enthusiast

Loron Media Ltd 2A Ground Floor Albert Road Harborne Birmingham B17 OAN t: 0844 272 1154 F: 0121 427 4033 e: The views & opinions expressed by contributors and staff of Loron media Ltd may not represent the views & opinions of the publisher. Loron Media Ltd takes no responsibility for claims made in, Advertisements, advertorials or Editorials in the magazine. No part of MESH Magazine may be reproduced or copied in anyway, without prior written consent of Loron media Ltd

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ADVERTISING WITHIN MESH MAGAZINE IS AN EFFECTIVE WAY OF COMMUNICATING DIRECTLY TO POTENTIALLY NEW CLIENTAL MESH Magazine Advertising E: T: 0844 272 1154 *Quote: MESHOCT to receive £75 off an advert booking for Nov Issue 4

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CONGRATULATIONS TO… All of our winners of Augusts competition, MESH Magazine teamed up with West Midlands Safari Park to offer all of you readers the opportunity to get your hands on 5 family tickets to visit the new family of animals at the park. The lucky winners were; David, Edgbaston- Kim, Harborne- Tina, ErdingtonKevin, Bournville & Mr Boulton from Shirley. Well done to you all, and enjoy!

CONTENTS Mesh Magazine Issue 5 Oct 2011


Mesh Magazine


News Moseley Artist Exhibiting in Birmingham A Brush with the East, a collection of paintings by Moseley-based artist Richard McGowan, is being exhibited at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Edgbaston until 30 October. The exhibition of 13 contemporary abstract paintings was inspired by a beautiful Chinese landscape drawing, Mountainous Landscape, from the 14th century by artist Sheng Mou. The piece is one of the University of Birmingham-based gallery’s relatively new non-western works of art. Throughout his career McGowan has painted in an abstract style and has been fascinated with Far Eastern art and poetry. Richard McGowan said: “The paintings in the exhibition were made over the past couple of years and reflect my long term interest in Oriental art, including painting, prints and ceramics. “The Barber’s beautiful Chinese landscape provided a perfect focus in order to compare a work from many centuries ago to contemporary paintings. Whilst there are compositional similarities such as soft washes of low-key colour and concentrated graphic areas, I also hope to show that contemporary works are part of ongoing history and are not made in isolation”. Richard McGowan was born in Yorkshire in 1950, and has lived and worked in Birmingham since the 1970s. He has exhibited throughout the UK as well as abroad and has work in both private and public collections. Admission to A Brush with the East and our permanent collection is FREE More information can be found on the Barber website at

Councillor Fighting For 20mph School Zones Solihull Council member Coun Howard Allen (Green, Shirley West) has called for 20mph zones to be introduced around schools after eye-witnessing an accident just half an hour before children were due to leave school for the day. Coun Allen was at Peterbrook School in Solihull Lodge investigating measures that could be introduced to improve road safety when he saw the accident. He said: “According to the emergency services noone was seriously hurt, which I am very relieved to hear. “However, it begs the question of what might have happened had the accident taken place 30 minutes later when the children were leaving.” A UK study of accidents found that there was a 2.5 per cent chance of being fatally injured at 20mph, compared to a 20 per cent chance at 30mph. Coun Allen said: “Bends and parked vehicles are a particularly dangerous mix; if vehicles had to travel slower in areas around schools I am convinced there would be far less accidents. “With such overwhelming evidence I fail to see why Solihull Council still resists implementing such schemes.” 6

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News But Solihull Council said it has been considering the issue for some time. Transport and highways boss Coun Ted Richards said: “We have already introduced a full-time 20mph speed limit on part of Old Lode Lane, for Hatchford Brook Junior and Infant School. “And we have now gained Department for Transport approval to introduce part-time 20mph limits on Balsall Street East/Gypsy Lane for Balsall Common Primary school, and the area around Daylesford Infant School.”

Harborne High Street in Clean Up Operation A clean-up operation has taken place on Harborne High Street after being nominated for the Community Payback scheme. The High Street was nominated by police who contacted the probation service and asked if they could provide offenders sentenced to perform unpaid work in the community for the duties. The offenders spent three mornings in September picking up litter behind the shops in the High Street – filling up two whole vans with bags of rubbish! PCSO Marc Pearson, who arranged the clean-up, said: “Everyone involved in the clean-up was very enthusiastic and did a great job. It really goes to show that Community Payback works.” Across Staffordshire and the West Midlands, over 680,000 hours of Community Payback are completed every year by over 5,000 offenders on a community sentence. This equates to over four million pounds’ worth of free labour provided to local communities as offenders pay back for the crimes they have committed. Community Payback projects range from litter removal to clearing dense undergrowth, and environmental projects through repairing and redecorating community centres or removing graffiti.

Festive Fun for a Good Claus! A sleigh load of Santas will spread some well deserved Christmas cheer when the Acorns ‘Santas on the Run’ event returns to Birmingham this December. Festive fun runners of all ages can get together with family, friends and colleagues, pull on their Santa suits (provided as a part of the entry fee) and run, jog or walk a 3km route around Birmingham’s Brindleyplace, on Saturday 3rd December, to help raise vital funds for life limited children in the West Midlands. Acorns Children’s Hospice currently cares for nearly 600 life limited and life threatened children and 800 families, including those that are bereaved, in its three hospices across the heart of England. There is no charge to families for the services but it does cost £7,500 per day to run each hospice and the charity relies on donations for the majority of its income. Entry is £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s and includes a Santa suit (under 6’s are free to enter but will not be provided with a Santa suit). For more information or to register, visit, email or call 0844 984 0405. Mesh Magazine 7

Business News





Three car dealerships are to open next year in Solihull on the site of a former restaurant in a £10m project. The four-acre site on the A34 Stratford Road in Shirley includes a 50,000 sq ft building and was formerly home to the Dave & Busters restaurant. Redditch-based Johnsons Cars from Warwick has acquired the site from Gallagher Developments in order to open Volkswagen and Volvo dealerships, as well as a third operator yet to be confirmed.

Three separate buildings are to be constructed to house the companies with Volvo and Volkswagen expected to take on extra staff as a result of the move. The three car dealerships are expected to open in spring 2012. Johnsons Cars plans to begin refurbishment work in November with the aim of opening a 30-car Volkswagen showroom in Spring 2012. It is expected to be the firm’s largest in the UK. The Dave & Busters building has been vacant for 10 years since the closure of the restaurant and had previously received planning consent for a B&Q warehouse as well as a possible casino. Colliers International’s Birmingham office assisted Johnsons with both the purchase and obtaining planning permission.


Mesh Magazine

Business News

Partnership forged between

TRW and Solihull College A pioneering partnership between automotive giant TRW and Solihull College has been forged in order to train engineers of the future in a bid to revive an apprenticeship programme. The Solihull-based arm of TRW had previously voiced its concern over the acute shortage of skilled engineers after trying to fill vacancies within the company. The company turned to Solihull College with their ideas to solve the problem in the long term and, following a joint recruitment drive with the college and the National Apprenticeship Service, five apprentices were recruited.

All have now begun their apprenticeship in engineering at the college’s Woodlands Campus in Smiths Wood. Rebecca Austin, resourcing manager at TRW, said: “The staff at Solihull College really understand the meaning of the word ‘partnership’ and have taken the time to get to know our business and how it works. “As a result, we have very high quality apprentices starting an excellent programme tailored to our needs. “TRW is a growing business and we have a need for talented engineers, so as well as hiring additional experienced people, we recognise the need to develop young people to support our future needs.” The programme runs for four years and, following a year full-time at college, the apprentices will then combine working at TRW with college study before completing a HNC. Mesh Magazine

















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The four pieces in the new collection entitled ‘Donut Touch’, ‘Under New Management’, ‘Macarooned’ and ‘Sweethearts’ feature Peter’s lovable Impossimal characters. Prices start from just £325. Although Smith’s art was resigned to a hobby for several decades, it was in 2005 that he “fulfilled a lifelong dream” when he was offered a major publishing deal with Washington Green Fine Art Publishing, the parent company of Castle Galleries. Prior to his breakthrough with Washington Green, Smith designed licensed products for Disney, Warner Brothers and Fox. The training proved invaluable and eventually led to the birth of his now nationally recognised Impossimals whose mouth-less faces and limbless bodies convey so much through the power of the eyes. Castle Galleries offer a welcoming environment to view and enjoy a stunning collection of original fine art, limited edition art and sculpture.

PETER SMITH’S IMPOSSIMALS RETURN TO A WALL NEAR YOU A new collection of signed limited edition art by the hugely popular artist, Peter Smith is now available at Castle Galleries.

Representing some of the finest contemporary artists of our time, Castle Galleries aims to break down the barriers of traditional art retailing. The chain of contemporary art galleries offer visitors an educational and inspiring experience through a program of exclusive events and exhibitions which aim to bring the public closer to affordable contemporary art. For more information, and to find your nearest gallery, visit

Three extra large 3/4 men offices to let Edgbaston Birmingham very large self contained offices to let in Harborne/Edgbaston Border of Birmingham With a communal fitted kitchen and toilet/shower room. Wooden flooring and feature fireplaces throughout. The offices are set within a large building and have beautiful grounds, with parking. Location: Harborne/Edgbaston (B17) -Centrally located, with easy motorway access, 10 minutes from Local Hospitals & Universities, and Birmingham City Centre. RENT: £500 PCM PER OFFICE. (Negotiable if you wish to take all three offices) The rental includes: Electric, rates, gas, & water. Deposit, and first month’s rent is required.

Email me to arrange a viewing. Private property owner No agency Fees Email: Mesh Magazine 11

BUSINESSmatters Tax deadline looming for self-employed, warns local specialist...

Entrepreneurs across Birmingham are being urged not to miss next month’s deadline to register with the tax office as selfemployed. Ibrar Ahmed who runs TaxAssist Accountants in Birmingham said: “Any local businessman or woman, who has started working for themselves any time during 2011, needs to register with HMRC by October 5. They then need to put October 31 firmly in their diary for filing their self-assessment tax returns on paper.” “Birmingham has a wealth of entrepreneurs to whom this tax deadline applies. Whether they’re providing products, services or consultancy, if they work for themselves, they must register, or face the prospect of hefty fines.

“As the Government looks to the Revenue to collect as much money as they can in the current climate, tough new HMRC rules mean a clampdown on late registrations and late payments.” Late filing of self assessment tax returns will now be punished by an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time. After three months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day will apply, up to a maximum of £900. After six months, a further 5% of the tax due will be charged, or £300 – whichever is greater. After a year, another 5% or £300 charge will be added and in some cases a penalty of up to 100% of the tax due will be imposed. TaxAssist Accountants in Birmingham is a local business itself, operating across the city providing tax and accountancy advice and services to more than 180 small businesses. Contact:


Moseley School Makes Improvements following Ofsted report Following a damning Ofsted report in January, Moseley School is now “moving in the right direction”, according to the new head teacher Craig Jansen. After being deemed “inadequate” by the Ofsted inspectors, the school was ordered to make improvements. The Ofsted report said attendance was “stubbonly low” and that improvements needed to be made to the sixth form. The management of teaching and learning at the school were also highlighted as areas that needed to be bettered. Mr Jansen, who took over as head this month, said “huge improvements” had already been made at the school, and his short-term goal is to ensure that the school was ready for a repeat inspection early next year. The school’s recent exam results were also proof that improvements were being made, Mr Jansen said. He said: “Thanks to a huge team effort, teaching and learning has already moved forward since the inspection.

“The amazing set of GCSE results last month, where the number of pupils with five A*-Cs excluding maths and English jumped from 64 per cent in 2010 to 80 per cent this year, is a significant leap forward. “The percentage of five A*-Cs including maths and English is 44.2 per cent, compared with 26 per cent two years ago, which shows we are sustaining improvements. We also had one of our best years ever for A Level results.” Mr Jansen also said an investment had been made in staff training and that attendance had improved “significantly” since the inspection, rising from 89 per cent to 94 per cent by the end of the school year. Mr Jansen said he wanted to make Moseley School a place that the “community can be proud of”. “I want the school to give back into the community, and when people see students in our school uniform, I want them to feel proud. We already have great students here, and I want people to see they are educated young adults with strong values and morals.”

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CHOICE IN EDUCATION Meeting The Needs Of All Children

Birmingham-based teacher for 37 years, Dr Sally Griffiths, who gained a doctorate in special education in 2007, looks at meeting the needs of children with special education needs in mainstream school...


have spent twelve years of my teaching career in a Primary Pupil Referral Unit. The children, who attended, have always been in jeopardy for many reasons, not least because of their disruptive and often volatile behaviour. Concern in primary education at the number of children displaying a wide variety of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) has not abated throughout recent years. In their attempts to work within an inclusion framework, teachers remain ever cautious about their effectiveness in delivering an appropriate curriculum to children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Such children at times, are being placed on the fringes of mainstream education and in many instances are viewed with little understanding; such

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are the moral pressures and constraints created by managing the children in my daily care. Children who experience failure and rejection, and who have already resorted to behaving badly as their only option, are very vulnerable to additional failure at school. Such children have learnt to cut off from their real feelings because they hurt so much. They protect themselves by putting up a faรงade of not caring and use the language of bravado, when faced with retribution. Such children need to experience success and acceptance. They need to be taught the steps involved in behaving well and learn how to experience real feelings again.



ore recently I have been working in a mainstream primary school as the special needs coordinator and my duties have been to ensure inclusion for children who have multiplicity of needs. These include cerebral palsy, acute speech and language difficulties, specific learning difficulties and social, emotional and behavioural problems. The whole area of including children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties is paradoxical creating at times fairly negative and dissenting responses. Serious disruption and disaffection do not create an optimal learning environment and it becomes all too easy to see exclusion as the way forward! A choice of intervention for children with SEBD is constantly being “rolled out”. However we still have some way to go, in achieving appropriate interventions to be more evidence-based rather than reactive. Interventions will always need to be monitored and scrutinised systematically. To be inclusive requires that we strive to identify and remove all barriers to learning for all children. I believe that this will only be achieved by increased participation for all those pupils experiencing disadvantage. We have to make attempts to remove the pressures for exclusion that exist within the cultures of some of our schools and society. All those working in our schools need to elect to see inclusion as a value to be followed and as such this should be embedded within the school culture.

Furthermore, it becomes essential for teachers to make explicit their motives and goals where there is pressure to trade off equity and justice for disabled and other minority students against the ever increasing demands of Ofsted. The desire for teachers to become outstanding in their delivery of the curriculum each day and the need for schools to be at the very least “up with national expectations” generates huge anxieties for schools who truly want to include all children. There are no magic answers to resolving the issues related to the inclusion of primary aged children who have SEBD. For some children, time out from the mainstream setting does enable those pupils to gain social skills, knowledge and perhaps more crucially confidence and raised self-esteem to not simply “manage” in mainstream but to become more motivated and thus engaging more appropriately with teaching and learning and happier human beings. We constantly need to examine our systems, resources and expertise to offer help and support to our most vulnerable children promptly and in a non-judgmental supportive way within mainstream schools. Head Teachers are required to raise standards for all children in their care. I am very privileged to work in an extremely inclusive and positive teaching and learning environment where the majority of children are able to make progress in all areas of their development.

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My Career Ladder PC Turner of Sandwell Police talks to MESH about why he chose to join the police force and the toughest challenges he has faced… HOW DID YOU EMBARK ON YOUR CAREER IN THE POLICE FORCE? My first job was in retail. I think it is a good area for anyone who wants to begin gaining people skills. I then moved into IT support where I spent a few years on the road supporting and installing computer networks, before moving into a more office based position. After a few years behind a desk, I decided I wanted a more active/ on the road career. A friend of mine had recently joined the police service as an officer, and after conversing with him about his experience I started to consider this career path myself. I decided to apply still not knowing 100 percent if it was where I wanted

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the situation, do you realise how potentially dangerous they were. WHAT IS A TYPICAL WORKING DAY FOR YOU?

to go with my life. However, after progressing through each stage of the application process, I never looked back.

does affect your lifestyle, at the end of the day, it’s just another job.


Tough question! Achieving certain skills within the job, such as driving and public order qualifications, has definitely accredited some of the highlights in my career. I have also been involved in some fairly hostile situations, which only when your brought out of

Definitely not. I grew up wanting to work in many careers, but being in the police had never been one of them. I think a lot of officers are the same. I think this is a good thing. It’s important to remember that, although yes, it is a job that


I’m a response officer, so every day is different. A typical day/ afternoon/night will involve getting in before the start of a shift, getting kitted up before having a briefing with the rest of my team. Radio controllers will then assign jobs to each car as and when they come in. These are graded depending on the urgency of the call. Obviously emergencies require an immediate response. There’s also the matter of paperwork, preparing files for court and other enquiries for ongoing investigations.

WHAT ARE THE TOUGHEST CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A POLICEMAN? I believe each working shift holds a challenge. Each call you attend holds a degree of responsibility. You have to make a call on what you believe is the best decision. You then have to justify that decision. How you deal with each situation can affect people’s lives. There’s also the welfare of your colleagues, and your own personal safety. Being a response officer means you can be busy attending calls throughout the day. Some calls require a wider timescale in order to complete the necessary enquiries. You can quite often find yourself working over time!

PHYSIOTHERAPIST’S CORNER BMI Physiotherapy Manager Janet Davies

Is a sports injury keeping you out of action? Whether you are a professional sports person or a keen amateur, an injury can be a real frustration. The good news is, at BMI The Priory & Edgbaston Hospitals, we have the expertise and resources to get you back to fitness quickly and with the minimum of fuss. At your first appointment you will be assessed by one of our physiotherapists. Approximately 90% of all sports injuries will not need surgery which makes our physiotherapists an excellent initial point of contact for diagnosis. If further investigations are required, or surgery is needed, the specialist can give you fast access to scans such as X-ray, MRI, Ultrasound and CT, and can also make a speedy referral to a leading Orthopaedic Consultant or Sports Physician.

BMI Sports Injuries Clinics are specialist facilities offering treatment and rehabilitation using the very latest techniques and equipment. As well as treating the problem, we will always look at the underlying causes of your injury and discuss with you the best ways to prevent recurring problems in the future. If you would like to see one of our specialists, call us on 0121 446 1551. One of our trained advisors can explain how to book an appointment and what the payment options are. Alternatively, visit for further information. You’ll be in safe hands with BMI Healthcare.

Sports injuries treated include the following:

Janet’s Top Tips 1 Stop the activity if there is pain. 2 Remember PRICE – Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. 3 Never ‘heat’ an injury unless you have been given professional advice to do so.

✓ ✓ ✓

Muscle tears

Golfer’s elbow

Tendon and ligament injuries

Tennis elbow

Overuse injuries

Heel pain (plantar fasciitis)

Post surgical rehabilitation

Achilles tendinopathy

Knee, ankle and foot pain

Low back pain

Runner’s knee

The Priory & Edgbaston Hospitals



The Whole Family Can Look the Part this Halloween... eans one October m The end of e Brits are W loween! thing – Hal d more each it more an celebrating party or a ss re d a fancy ecoming year, with b g k-or-treatin ic tr of ot sp 31st. on October de rigueur e u don’t hav the part yo t ok ou lo g to in d ir An ey h ads of mon nty le p is to spend lo e er because th costumes ailable on delights av n sh li ou of gh m, dad, so u m r eet - fo the high-str ter… and daugh

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Style Each month MESH magazine’s very own fashion columnist, Sarah Jones, brings you the latest looks, advice and top tips to achieve catwalk style. Sarah is the owner of Bella Donna Boutique in Shirley, Solihull. The Party Season is Approaching… Flats at the ready girls! Here’s our guide to autumns hottest seasonal trends. As the party season approaches the tux is a key new season investment taking you perfectly from day to evening. The female tux, which was first created back in the 1970s by Yves Saint Laurent and worn by the likes of Bianca Jagger, is always a winner in the office. We have a perfect Galliano black tux suit with high waisted, tapered leg trouser. The jacket could also be worn over a little party dress or a skinny jean and a sheer shirt for a more rock chic look. For ultimate sex appeal, wear nothing but a necklace underneath...dare to bear! Make a statement with accessories. We’ve had some serious bling in store, which are also perfect for Christmas gifts. Don’t freeze for fashion this winter; the puffer jacket is practical and stylish. Versace has designed an amazing coat with a fur hood and is nipped in at the waist with a gold buckle belt - it ticks all the boxes for this autumn winter. Nothing says party like metallic leather or leopard print. One shoulder tops and dresses are so on trend for winter 11. For glam-spiration we have teamed Liviana Conti leather trousers with a Just Cavalli one shoulder leopard print top. Grrrrrrr. Hot dress alert! For dresses that do all the talking try label Save the Queen for some bright orange, bold glamour and girls you don’t need me to tell you to keep those heels high! Remember, fashion is all about fun, if you feel good you’ll look great! 20 Mesh Magazine

Sarah Jones

Gail Dunne, Principle Stylist at Umberto Giannini, takes us through two of the hottest hair trends for the up-and-coming party season. Hot Hair Trends to Glam Up Your Winter There are two Autumn/Winter 2011 hair trends that have already stolen our hearts this season. We are head over heels in LOVE with the gorgeous Grecian beehive up-do as seen on the Chanel catwalk. It is so beautifully unkempt and irresistibly elegant with a lovely dishevelled quality that stops it from being too formal. It’s not so easy to create at home so if this is a look you want to achieve make sure you visit our StyleBar team at the salon before your big night out and we’ll be on hand to create this show-stopping style for you! The ‘Film Noir’ wave is equally lust worthy in our eyes, with its long defined curl - nothing says vintage Hollywood glamour more than this look. To create this 1940’s inspired style simply spritz your hair through with the Umberto Giannini Sleek & Chic Love It Straight Heat Protection Mist to boost shine and keep your locks healthy. Then take large sections of your hair and curl it around the barrel of your straightening irons, ensure you leave 2-3 inches at the root to keep the curl at the mid-length and ends and hold for 3 seconds to make sure you retain the shape, then loosely unravel. Repeat the above on all sections of your hair, then tip your head upside down and brush through (very gently!) with a soft bristle brush to lightly loosen up the curl, creating a defined wave, always ensuring the distinct shape stays the same. Tip your head back and finish with a light spray of the Umberto Giannini Dazzling Shine Salon Shine Glossing Mist for extra Hollywood shine!

Gail Dunne

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- By Carrie Ann Wilcox



s the dark nights start to draw in and we say goodbye to our short-lived summer - two weeks is pretty good going for us I think – concerns about staying healthy pop into our heads. Keeping warm when it’s minus five, eating the right foods so we avoid the dreaded winter tummy bugs and doing some exercise so we don’t put on those extra pounds – such worries all come to the forefront of our minds come the end of September. So now is the time to start planning ahead and learning exactly what we should be eating, drinking and doing to stay fresh, vibrant and healthy over the coming weeks and months leading up to (sorry but it has to be said) Christmas.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP It’s vital that as the temperature drops we ensure that we get enough sleep so our bodies can repair and regenerate. 22 Mesh Magazine

Although it is recommended we sleep for seven to nine hours a night, Jessica Alexander, spokesperson at the Sleep Council, says that most of us manage a lot less: “On average we sleep only six- and- a -half hours a night.” Statistics released by the British Sleep Council show that one in five of us suffer from a lack of sleep while only one in ten of us regularly get a good night’s rest. Take plenty of exercise during the day, don’t eat before going to bed and turn off the TV and your laptop so that your brain can switch off.

EAT WELL We all know it’s important to eat our five-a-day when it comes to fruit and veg but in winter it becomes even more essential. The World Health Organisation states that the better our nutrition the stronger our immune systems are – vital for fighting off winter bugs - and the better our physical and mental development will be.

Health Vegetables that are in season during our winter include carrots, turnips and swede while fruits such as oranges, apples and bananas are readily available at local supermarkets and farmer’s markets.

STAY ACTIVE Finding the energy and the willpower to exercise when it’s dark and cold isn’t easy, especially when there’s a warm sofa and hot cup of tea awaiting you, but keeping active will give you more energy and reduce lethargy that’s common over the winter months. Joining a gym can be a good motivation to get fit or try a brisk walk to work or power walk round your local park a few times a week to get the blood pumping. Lots of fitness centres run classes around the region so why not join a yoga class or see how good your rhythm is and try out the latest dance trend, zumba!

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In last months issue we told you about Dame Kelly Holmes coming to Birmingham to be a guest speaker at the annual ‘Girls Go Gold’ conference, held this year at Edgbaston High School for Girls. This month we go one better as MESH Sports Reporter, Des Kiffin, had the privilege of meeting the Double Olympian to find out more about the conference and what she has been up to since retiring from the world of athletics….

Have you visited Birmingham before? What do you hope the girls will get out of the conference today? Yes I’ve been to Birmingham a few times, it’s a nice city, and coming here today at Edgbaston High School for the ‘Girls Go Gold’ conference, it’s been really good. What’s really nice about it is they’re all like-minded girls who are in to sport and are at a level now where they’re going to have to make a lot of choices, and having something in common and knowing people who are going through the same journey in a way, it’s good. It’s been really motivating and a really inspiring conference, and not only that, but I also opened the fitness suite here that has been named after me, which I’m really proud of.

Since you’ve retired you haven’t just relaxed at home with your feet up, what with your mentoring programme ‘On camp with Kelly’ and the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, amongst many more things you’re involved in. And now you’re releasing a book, what is it about? Yes I have just wrote a book called ‘Just Go For It’. I originally did an autobiography called ‘Black, White and Gold’ and that’s been out now for about five years, and ‘Just Go For It’ is really elements of that. 24 Mesh Magazine

“There’ll definitely be an element of expectation and pressure for the young people, in particular those that are going to their first ever games.” It sets out six steps to success, with things like “how do I get motivated” and goal settings, just giving simple tips really. It’s in plain English, there’s no big words, it’s just simple steps - what I feel I’ve gone through to achieve what I’ve achieved.

You know exactly what it’s like competing and winning gold at the highest level. So with that in mind and the London Olympics less than a year away now, do you think the British athletes will be more nervous than usual seeing that it’s on home soil? There’ll definitely be an element of expectation and pressure for the young people, in particular those that are going to their first ever games. Others that have been through it will know how to deal with it in terms of pressure, but competing on home turf is a completely different thing. Mesh Magazine 25

Sport Sporting Tips! With Golf Professional Martin Griffin, Golf coach at the Moseley Golf Club Last month I explained the most important, fundamental techniques of hitting golf shots – the hold of the club. Now let’s get your body into a great position to start the swinging of the club. Good posture coupled with a good hold is the ideal way for your body to move naturally and to get the club swinging in the correct direction and angle of attack. Posture Keeping your back nice and straight, tip forward from your hips so that your arms hang clear off your chest. The distance between your feet should be slightly wider than your hips and your knees should be slightly flexed. Oh, and keep your head up! Your weight should be towards the balls of your feet, the feeling that you are ready to GO! (Tom Watson in this picture makes it look incredibly natural) Poor posture is extremely common in golf. From a poor start it is improbable that you can make a natural movement away from the ball without your head moving all over the place. With your head in the right place, you can keep it steady whilst you swing.

26 Mesh Magazine


At this point in your practice it is important to create a routine so that you can reassure yourself that you are in the best position to create a swing. It works like a check list, so you might like to write it down first in order to see if it looks right. It could be something like this: 1) Aim the clubface at the target. 2) Tip from the hip to hold the grip. 3) Feet together to check the position of the ball in the centre for the irons and off the front foot for the woods. 4) Move your feet into position, aligning parallel to the target and slightly wider than the hips. 5) Knees flexed and chin up. Do this for EVERY shot. Make it a habit especially whilst you are on the practice range. That way you are taking your time between shots and making the most out of your practice time. This may sound very long winded, but once you develop this it will slowly become second nature. You can contact Martin at Moseley Golf Club for expert advice: Telephone No: 0121 444 2063 or E-mail:


Cage Fighting: Blood Sport or Noble Art? By Thomas Savage


ixed Martial Arts (MMA), combines a mix of martial arts, boxing and wrestling. Its other name is cage fighting and it is legal and a fully regulated combat sport. Two opponents fight in a cage and are allowed to punch, kick, grapple, and knee and elbow each other to try to secure victory. The sport has reached mainstream acceptance in sporting circles after it banned several moves and techniques, including eye gouging, blows to the spine and knees, and kicks to the head when the opponent is on the ground. However, the sport still breeds concern. The winner of the fight is decided by knockout, technical knockout (referee or doctor stoppage), and submission or by judges decision. For some spectators, it is the most exhilarating form of combat ever

invented, but to others, it is a brutal human blood sport. Despite its critics, it is the fastest growing sport in the world and is now seen as a legitimate alterative to boxing; which has stained its own reputation through neglect, arrogance and corruption. MMA also boasts the fact that it has been medically proven to be less harmful to the body than boxing. Loyal fans would argue that the word ‘cage’ remains the biggest problem. It is an emotive term with negative connotations and used in a discrediting context for those who are unfamiliar with the sport. This leads to the impression of human ‘cock fighting’. The sport actually takes place in a fenced off arena so that the competitors cannot fall out. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the most

recognised body in MMA and has been exceeding boxing and wrestling in audience numbers for years now, but why? The answer could lie in the number of disciplines a fighter has to master in order to reach the highest echelons of the sport. At first tournaments saw an array of different fighting styles, such as Brazilian Ju Jitsu, Muay Tai, wrestling and boxing. Nevertheless, every style had a weakness, so the top athletes are now masters of all, bringing in fans from an array of disciplines to give it such a global reach. It can also be seen as the ultimate sporting test, much like the gladiators of Roman times and with a colossal army of loyal fans, it appears MMA is here to stay.

Mesh Magazine 27


Homes & Garden

ith a scream…

rty go w Make your Halloween pa

Having a Halloween party? Want to give the kids a treat? Why not turn your home into a house that would rival Dracula’s castle this Halloween? MESH picks the best Halloween decorations and party pieces to make sure it is the scariest Halloween yet! 1. HAPPY HALLOWEEN from £1,


2: HALLOWEEN GOBLET £1.25 each,

7. BANNER £2.50






28 Mesh Magazine


Homes & Garden

Bring Halloween into your home...


2 3 4 5

10 6




Mesh Magazine 29

Homes & Garden

Inside My Home

We have a brand new feature starting next month, Inside My Home… MESH is looking for residents of Moseley, Edgbaston, Shirley and Harborne with beautiful homes they would like to share with our readers. Perhaps your home has an interesting history or perhaps you have recently renovated? Do you have a resident ghost? Are you a budding interior designer and would like to see your designs published in MESH? If you have interior design skills to rival Laurence Llewelyn Bowen’s, then we want to hear from you… For the chance for you and your home to appear in MESH, all you need to do is email us with some images of your home, your name, address, telephone number and email address to editor@ If you’re house is chosen, Liz, the editor of MESH, will come along to your home to take some photographs and to interview you about your home, and the inspirations and ideas behind the interior design. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Homes & Garden

Beautiful luxury extra large two double bedroom flat to let Harborne/Edgbaston Beautifully maintained and decorated, character flat to let to working professionals only. Large lounge, fully fitted kitchen to include, fridge & cooker. And luxury shower room, fully tiled. Feature wooden flooring throughout, with feature fireplaces in each room. Within beautiful grounds, gardens +parking. Location: Harborne/Edgbaston (B17) -Centrally located, with easy motorway access, 10 minutes from Local Hospitals & Universities. -Great shopping facilities within walking distance, great local bar/pub within walking distance. -Local walk & cycle tracks RENT: ÂŁ1,100 PCM To include: -Furnishings if required -All bills/utilities (Gas, Elect, Water, TV Licence, Council Tax, Sky TV) *NO PETS * REFERENCES, DEPOSIT, +1 MTHS RENTAL REQUIRED Email me to arrange a viewing. Private property owner No agency Fees Email: Mesh Magazine 31

Homes & Garden

Getting a Foot on the Birmingham Property Ladder You’ve worked out how much wardrobe space you’ll need for your shoes, you know what colour sofa you want and you have a pretty good idea of what kind of bed you’d like but you’re missing something: the house, oh and the 20 percent deposit most lenders are asking for so you can get on the property ladder. As of April 2011 the expected deposit on a house was £25,000 according to LSL Property Services. To be honest, most of us struggle to save enough for a weekend in Wales, let alone £25k for a house. So how are we expected to be able to move into our own homes and start living independently with so much pressure on our shoulders? James Llewellyn, partner of Chamberlains Moseley and Harborne, says that it’s not necessarily the case that all first-time buyers need such a large deposit.

consideration it should not necessarily be the deciding factor. “People can be dictated to by other things as well as location,” James says. “Many people fall in love with a houses style first and its location will be dictated by budget.” Harborne and Moseley are popular areas of Birmingham for first-time buyers at the moment, predominantly because they are great places to live, according to James. “With their nightlife, shopping and amenities both Harborne and Moseley are much sought after by firsttime buyers.” Although there are certain parts of these towns that are pricey, there are properties available for all budgets, meaning the housing market in both areas is good.

“We have recently seen a new influx of the younger person buying property on their own. As the market has corrected itself to a sustainable level in certain areas, buyers are coming back again and buying the ‘lower’ end properties.”

“The market is healthy if people are realistic. With a lovely variety of property to choose from, for all budgets, there’s no doubt that even in tougher times the markets here are still lively.”

This has, in James’s opinion, in some cases resulted in less pressure being placed on younger first-time house hunters.

James sums up the two areas nicely -“They’re great places to be young but also to bring up your family so you really do get the best of both worlds – village life with the city on your doorstep!’

“Therefore a deposit which is substantially less than the reported £26,000 is needed i.e. closer to £8,000 which although still steep is much more manageable!”

At the end of the day what more could you want?

The issue of where to buy a house can be equally as confusing, with many first-time buyers thinking that buying in a good location is imperative, particularly for re-sale value. While this may be an important 32 Mesh Magazine

Contact James on twitter at: @MosChamberlains or at Chamberlains on 0121 442 4040 or 0121 427 7442 By Carrie Ann Wilcox

Homes & Garden

Gardening Gardening in October By David Griffiths

I have a problem bed at the bottom of the garden where mature trees in an adjoining park are getting larger each year, and consequently casting more shade and drinking more water. I am considering obtaining a collection of different types of hosta, which already seem to cope in this area. They like shady spots, but also prefer reasonably wet soils; there are ways to achieve the latter, so it will be interesting to see if this works. At this time of year I like to keep everything tidy. It is amazing what cutting the grass can do to the overall impression, together with light pruning for a time and the disposal of spent annuals (in the compost bin of course!). There is always something to do in the garden, whatever the season. Happy gardening!

Rudbeckias still looking cheerful at the end of September

October is a time in the garden when we can take stock of what has worked well during the past year and what has not worked too well. As I survey my garden in its autumnal state, I have been making mental notes, which will become written notes, so that they are not forgotten early next year when sowing and planting activity gets going again. For instance I have been very pleased with my antirrhinums (snapdragons) this year, and I am still deadheading them as I write this at the end of September, to prolong their flowering as long as possible. I shall certainly grow these again next year, but have made a note to use a dwarf variety around my small fountain, so that we can actually see the water!

A rose enjoying the autumn sunshine

Rudbeckias have been quite stunning and are still providing brilliant yellow hues in the borders; this is another plant which I grow most years. However, I have made a note to stake them next time, as the heavy rain we experienced in September has bent several of them. Plum tomatoes still ripening in the greenhouse

Mesh Magazine 33

About the Area

Shirley is the one of the largest areas within the Solihull Borough and is an affluent suburb of Solihull. The earliest known settlement in the area was at Berry Mound in Solihull Lodge, part of West Shirley. It was the site of an Iron Age Hill Fort, a fortified village protected by earth banks, dating back to the first century BC! Shirley grew rapidly in the late 19th century and early 20th century, as people moved out of Birming ham. The opening of railway in 1908 saw a Great Western

34 Mesh Magazine

route from Snow Hill station to Stratford upon Avon and on to Cheltenham, which helped people travel out of Birming ham to Shirley. Shirley is now a thriving residential and shopping neig hbourhood. There are many shops that run along the Stratford Road, many being independent retailers and charity shops. “Chinese Wilson�, the notable plant collector and writer, was broug ht up in Shirley where his parents ran a floristry business.

About the Area There are also many popular chain and independent restaurants - CafĂŠ Shirley is a well-known local eaterie serving German and English food. Traditional Chinese restaurant Shirley Temple is another favourite of the locals. Da Corrado is also another popular choice for lovers of Italian cuisine. In 1997, Solihull Council began consultation with residents on the re-development of Shirley. A development venture company, Shirley Advance, is working with the Council to create a ‘New Heart for Shirley’. Althoug h it received a great deal of local criticism, the plan to develop 1.43 acres of Shirley Park was recently given the go ahead. The plan will see a brand new shopping complex being built, with space for 20 new shops, including an Asda supermarket flagshi p store, residential apartments, restaurants and new public areas. Solihull Gate Retail Park is popular with locals and visitors alike looking to spend money. Providing welcome relief to the hustle and bustle, Shirley Park is ideal for a family picnic. The Park was originally home to farmland, which was boug ht up in 1927. More recently, additional features were introduced which include an ornamental garden and formal walkways. For keen walkers, the canal which provides a walking route into the Warwickshire countryside. Mesh Magazine 35

Cut it out- Protest at Lib Dem conference By Thomas Savage Thousands of protesters united on the streets of Birmingham recently to push for the government to abandon austerity cuts. The campaigners aimed their frustration at the Liberal Democrat party conference that was held at the ICC on Broad Street. The TUC, who arranged the protest, were joined by members of the National Union of Teachers, civil servants and Unite, who’s local secretary, Gerard Coyne, claimed the party were “punch drunk with power” after forming the coalition with the Conservatives in the last election. The protesters felt betrayed by the Liberal Democrats as they promised so much before the last election, but now are seen by many as a toothless lapdog of the Tories who have gone back on their promises. Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, insisted that they have imposed their will on the Conservatives after staunch criticism of his performance as Deputy Prime Minister. During the conference, Clegg spoke provocatively to appease the unhappy protesters and promised they were fighting ‘tooth and nail’ for the party’s values behind the scenes. He went on to say: “In government, it means sometimes we have to be awkward. As our Coalition, partners are finding out on a daily basis, we are not here to make things easy. We’re here to put things right.” However, is this just a case of shallow words from a politician who has found himself cornered by the might of his Coalition partner? He is not helped by the fact that at a superficial level, many of his policies appear to be taking the Lib Dems to the right. This is true of the broad sweep of his party’s economic plans that generally fall in line with the Conservative policies of public sector cuts, which go against the Lib Dems election manifesto promises.

In 2010, he publicly told the electorate weeks before the election that early, deep cuts would be “economic masochism”. This U-turn is seen as the biggest policy reversal of the Coalition negotiations, with the Lib Dems abandoning their words of hope and backing a tougher Tory plan that hits the public sector hardest. Coyne echoed this view: “They have betrayed their members, the history of the Liberal party and the people who voted for them. They have propagated the myth that the deficit was caused by over paid public servants, when we all know it was greedy bankers.” Labour’s excessive spending in the creation of bureaucratic ‘non- jobs’ during their leadership has given the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats the ammunition to defend their cuts. Nevertheless, the worker’s memories stretch a long way before that, to the Thatcher years. They acutely remember what she did to the public sector via privatisation of national assets such as energy, water and rail, which have resulted in the very high charges we now have to pay in order to give dividends to shareholders and bonuses to highly paid executives. The unions now see the same rhetoric from the present government who are excessively dependent on the financial service for future prosperity. This both ignores history and has now led to attacks on the public services. Mr Clegg is looking to appeal to all comers with his own brand of liberalism, which he believes to be the progressive answer to Labour failures at the end of their tenure. He hopes his party will be the only viable alternative to an impending second term by the Conservatives. However, with such a move to the right, his dream may turn into a nightmare at the next general election when his party will stand-alone and the workers votes are counted.

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AMC proudly sponsors

MESH Magazine Events pages

October 4 – 15 Theatre: Legally Blonde – The Musical (On Tour) New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham Based on the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde The Musical will take you from the social whirl of California Campus life to Harvard’s Halls of Justice with the brightest new heroine (and of course, her Chihuahua, Bruiser). October 5 – 9 Show: Horse of the Year Show The LG Arena, £27 - £59 Hosting the finals of the most highly regarded showing championships, along with plenty of equestrian entertainment and they very best in show jumping. A must for horselovers! October 7 – 9 Exhibition: the National Wedding Show NEC, £13.50 For anyone planning a wedding, this is a must-go-to event. You will find everything you need to know about weddings – dresses, locations, photographers, and cakes – under one gigantic roof. October 12 Talk: An Evening with Ian Rankin Library Theatre, 6.30pm – 8.30pm The UK’s number one best-selling crime writer talks about his work and new book. October 14 – 23 Festival: Birmingham Food Fest Across Birmingham The city’s top restaurants and award winning chefs come together for a tenday festival, celebrating Birmingham’s culinary offering.

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Events October 23 Fair: Friends’ Gift Fair Botanical Gardens, Edgbaston. £7.50 entrance fee. 11am – 4pm An ideal spot for early Christmas shopping with over 50 stalls selling a wide range of gifts. October 23 Dance: Birmingham Dance-a-thon Crescent Theatre, Birmingham. 10am2pm. This year, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is taking its dancing shoes to Birmingham to host its first Dancea-thon in the city. October 23 Gardeners’ Question Time Live: Live Tour New Alexandra Theatre, £22.50 For anyone with green fingers or a fan of the popular Radio 4 programme, the live tour is a must-see.

October 15 Conference: National Fairtrade Supporters Conference Aston University An event for anyone interested in social justice, trade justice and Fairtrade October 19 Concert: Orchestra of the Swan: Delius, Mozart, Schubert Birmingham Town Hall A programme featuring one of Mozart’s best-loved piano concertos, the second movement of which was used in the film Elvira Madigan. October 22 – 30 Halloween Spooktacular Cadbury World There’s a ghoulish menu and chocolate novelties on the offering for visitors who will also be treated to ventriloquism and circus performances from family entertainers Kimmo and Charley Farley and Rags.

until 31st October 2011

Mesh Magazine 39


This month we went to Arts Fest, which took place on September 10 – 11. Around 20,000 people visited the festival, which included performances and workshops of dance, music, theatre and comedy, across the city for free! Highlights included the spectacular fireworks display along with Classical Fantasia on Saturday night and the Guillemotts performing a fantastic headline act on Sunday.


Mesh Magazine


EGO Beauty & Tanning salon WIN A fabulous de-stressing and detoxifying Dermalogica 1 hour body massage, and a 1 hour Dermalogica facial! Are the stresses and strains of work becoming too much? Perhaps you’re in need of some TLC or a couple of hours away from the kids? Well this month MESH has a fabulous giveaway for one lucky reader‌ Your treatment will be at one of the most prestigious salons - EGO Beauty & Tanning salon located at 3 Liberty Place, Sheepcote Street, Birmingham. Ego Beauty & Tanning has been established since 2005, over the years it has built up an excellent reputation along with a large, satisfied client base who constantly return to the salon to be pampered and have time to relax in the tranquil surroundings.For a chance to win the 2 hour treatment at EGO Beauty & Tanning salon, answer this question:

What is the name of the award-winning product, which EGO Beauty & Tanning will use during your treatment? To enter, send your answer, name, address, email address and telephone number to

WIN WIN WIN WIN Mesh Magazine 41


In Cecelia’s latest novel the lead character, Lucy, struggles when she’s confronted with some home-truths about herself. “Lucy falls out of love with her life,” Cecelia explains. “It’s not a situation anybody wants to be in.” None of Cecelia’s past novels have followed the conventional ‘boy meets girl’ love story that most chick-lit readers are accustomed to, making her books tantalising reads with plenty of surprises. “The Time of My Life is most definitely a love story but I wanted it to be an unconventional love story.”

MESH meets Best-Selling Author Cecelia Ahern

As Lucy struggles to come to terms with her life and how she lives it, it’s impossible not to become absorbed in her battle with her emotions and the pressure she places on herself to become a better person.

By Carrie Ann Wilcox

For Cecelia it’s important that she is fully absorbed in her character’s emotions when writing.

Imagine waking up one morning and finding out there’s someone who lives around the corner that represents your life. He follows your every move and knows you better than you know yourself.

“I have to put myself in the character’s position in order to write about them,” Cecelia explains. “I am in their head; if the story is sad and I am not moved by what I write then I’m not doing my job properly.”

Sound interesting? Well this is exactly what happens to the lead character in The Time of My Life – the latest book from Irish literary phenomenon Cecelia Ahern.

Rather refreshingly, Cecelia shuns modern technology and writes each of her novels long-hand.

A fascinating page-turner, right from the word go Cecelia manages to capture our imaginations with a prose that is fluid, descriptive and lyrical, making it hard to put down. With previous novels including the world number one bestseller P.S I Love You and The Gift, Cecelia likes to tackle issues that affect human emotion. “A lot of the characters in my books go through difficult situations. They have to figure out who they are,” Cecelia tells MESH. “I’m fascinated by the human spirit and how people discover so much about themselves just through dealing with life and the situations life throws at us.” 42 Mesh Magazine

“Writing long-hand feels more creative. It is more visual and means I’m constantly thinking about what is coming next,” she says. Citing life and the human spirit as her inspirations, Cecelia manages to capture the trials and tribulations of both in her new book, ensuring that when you turn the last page you do so with a smile on your face and a realisation that everything happens for a reason. ‘The Time of My Life’ by Cecelia Ahern will be published on the 13th October priced £16.99. Cecelia will be signing copies at Selfridges Birmingham on Wednesday 26th October. For tickets for the Selfridges Birmingham event simply email

Reviews MESH Magazine has teamed up with AMC to bring you all the latest Previews & Reviews for your monthly entertainment fix!

Jane Eyre Certification: PG Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Judie Dench, Jaime Bell, Michael Fassbender

I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT Certification: 12A Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan and Kelsey Grammer I Don’t Know How She Does It is a comedy film based on a novel by journalist Allison Pearson. This film touches on achieving that ‘perfect’ work-life balance we aspire too. Kate (SJP) works for a financial management firm and juggles both her job and being a devoted mother to two children, and wife to Richard (Greg Kinnear), an out –of-work architect. Though balancing these two worlds has its fair share of challenges, Kate generally manages to come out on top with the support from co-worker Momo (Olivia Munn) and best friend Allison (Christina Hendricks). Kate battles against a breakdown where she is on the verge of her world spiralling out of control. And even has to manage to keep a strictly professionally yet friendly relationship with new boss and admirer Jack (Pierce Bronson), and eventually comes out on top achieving that perfect work-life balance.

Now showing at AMC Cinema

AMC proudly sponsors MESH Magazine Review pages

Decadent and lavishly executed, the new adaptation of Bronte’s classic novel faithfully sticks to the original story whilst adding modernday cinematic touches (Jane’s childhood is told through a flashback) to bring it into the 21st century. Mia Wasikowska plays Jane in a controlled, and somewhat restrained manner, bringing to the surface Jane’s initial unease with her surroundings and herself.7 An equally restrained Rochester, played with consummate ease and a brooding mentality by Michael Fassbender, compliments Jane’s reserved manner perfectly; a fierce intensity to both characters ensures a simmering tension is present making their developing relationship a delight to behold. Mesh Magazine 43

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The Food Review


iccolino is situated in the busy and vibrant Brindley Place in Birmingham city centre, with an al-fresco feel to it with plenty of outdoor seating and lighting and a New York-style fast paced, busy inside atmosphere. It was that busy and booked up people who wished to eat here were being turned away, but then I saw something which I have never seen being done before- the people who unfortunately could not get a table were being given vouchers for next time! What a gesture. When we arrived, we were greeted with a warm and friendly smile from the front of house staff; we were then seated in the drinks lounge for cocktails. We sampled the Bellini Limone, which is Limoncello, Cointreau and a twist of lemon. This little glass of refreshing delight was a real palette cleanser. After cocktails, we then went on to our beautiful outside table, where you feel as though you could be on a busy Spanish street rather than Birmingham! We had the warmth from the firelights and the atmosphere of chatting from other dinners and passersby. We nibbled on bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, as we went through the exciting and enticing menu, which offered meats, fish, poultry, veal and lobster. To start we had Calamari Fritti (crispy fried squid, roast garlic mayonnaise and lemon) and Gamberoni Aglio e Olio (king prawns, chilli and garlic butter, toasted Tuscan bread). The calamari was cooked wonderfully and was very fresh, the prawns where juicy, plump and full of flavour from the chilli and butter. The main dishes followed very promptly, which were risotto Frutti di Mare (king prawns, mussels, squid and saffron) which was cooked to perfection. The rice was soft, delicate with bite and the flavours of the seafood with the stock and parmesan cheese was magnificent. It was light, fresh and very tasty. The Linguine All’aragosta (half lobster, vine tomato, chilli and basil) had wonderful flavours of chilli and basil blasting through it. They were very generous with the lobster, and the presentation in the half lobster shell was fantastic. With a squeeze of fresh lemon and freshly cracked black pepper, this dish was very moorish and delivered on its expectations. As if we had not eaten enough... for dessert, we sampled Crostata di Lampone (warm raspberry and almond tart with vanilla ice cream) and Tortino al cioccolato (chocolate fudge pudding and vanilla ice cream). Both desserts were delicious and the portion sizes were very generous. I just hate it when you go to a restaurant, you don’t get the service, the foods rubbish, and the waiter is a grumpy nightmare- here at Piccolino you’re in for a real surprise and its right on our doorsteps. Overall Piccolino is a great restaurant. The staff are very welcoming, attentive and knowledgeable about the food and the restaurant, and some are actually Italian! There is a great choice of food and children are welcome. This is the closest to real Italian dining locally.

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The Food Review

PICCOLINO Address: 4 Oozells square, Brindley Place Birmingham B1 2HS T: 0121 634 3055 E:piccolino.birmingham@

Where is it? 2c Wake Green Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 9EZ Tel: 0121 449 8885 Mesh Magazine 47

What’s on the Menu ur feature Welcome to o e Menu’ ‘What’s on th

Lamb Stew

and Coat the a large pot, in l oi e th t Hea d brown on oned flour, an de. as se in b m la 1 si : Ingredients d then set to each side an l oi on d saute po an es 1 tabl bite sized ped onions to op in ch ut e (c th k es, Add b Nec out 5-7 minut 1 pound lam tender, for ab e until til ut un sa rlic and pieces) en add the ga d) enough th pe d d op an an ch s ly es gh the Guinn dd 1 onion (rou A . nt mary, ra se frag c r. Add the ro 2 cloves garli and stock to cove , ef er be pp and pe s flour bay leaf, salt d r e, an he 2 tablespoon ym ot at th r he (o e s of Guinnes il, reduce th er, nd te bring to a bo 330 ml bottle rk fo it the lamb simmer until dark stout) urs. ho 2 e about 1* beef stock ots and som (chopped) y ar m se toes and carr ro ta on po po e d. th es ire bl dd qu ta A 1 if re ed) ock to cover thyme (chopp more beef st ce the heat du 1 tablespoon re il, bo t Bring to a in ga A af tender, abou le e y ar 1 ba until they e er st m ta m si to t. d er cu an g on salt and pepp es dependin te sized 20-60 minut es (cut into bi to ta rve with po te d hi 2w rsley an se nish with pa ar r. G tte ) es bu ) d ec es pi d piec bread an into bite size warm crusty ut (c s salt and ot rr ze ng ca si di 4 rsley, ad d into bite pa pe e th op ch en crusty e th and ve with warm A small Swed to taste. Ser er pp pe pieces ed) garnish rsley (chopp bread. 1 handful pa 48 Mesh Magazine

Horoscopes Aries Mar 21- Apr 20 Mars makes a presence in your sign this month, and the action planet will increase your energy levels and self confidence. However, they are well balanced and won’t lead other people to feel threatened by your new found confidence. .

Taurus Apr 21- May 21 You have Mars in your sign this month and it will create a build up of energy inside that will amount to a strong desire to assert your power in an aggressive manner. Be careful not to hurt those around you. Gemini May 22- Jun 21 You have a magnetic attractiveness to others this month and this enables you to go after your desires, to get what you want without having to face much opposition. This is an ideal time to push ahead in business or maybe a new relationship. Cancer Jun 22- Jul 23 Venus is in your sign this month, the planet of peace and harmony, so you should look forward to a month where everything in your world seems just right. Life is flowing smoothly along with very few cares or worries – enjoy it. Leo Jul 24- Aug 23 This month you will see an increase in your ego drive, a strong urge to get what you want regardless of what others think. You have more self-assertion than normal but your arguments or conflict with others could affect relationships that are important to you. Virgo Aug 24- Sep 23 Opportunities for love and money are in abundance this month, you’ll be happy to know. You feel optimistic about love, and if you’re single this could be the perfect opportunity to get out there and find a special someone.

Libra Sep 24- Oct 23 This month you are full of drive and ambition. This is an ideal time to take the initiative and start projects with a high probability of success because you will be giving it your all this month.

Scorpio Oct 24- Nov 22 This month won’t be particularly easy as you are put in a difficult situation at work and it will leave you feeling full of angst and frustration. Be careful not to take home these angry feelings to your loved ones. Sagittarius Nov 23- Dec 21 October brings you a month of opportunities. You may be starting out on a new venture - a new job or a relationship whatever the venture is be sure to tackle it with some gusto! Capricorn Dec 22- Jan 20 Capricorns are known for their patience and this month you may need plenty of it. It may feel like you are the only one with your head on your shoulders this month. You may be required to offer an ear to those around you. Aquarius Jan 21- Feb 19 Sometimes it feels like there is one problem after the other, especially in the workplace. You are giving a lot of your energy to work, and maybe neglecting relationships at home. It may be time to reassess your priorities. Pisces Feb 20- Mar 20 You tend to bury your head in the sand when something is not going to plan. This month this course of action is not the best course to take. Instead you should aim to handle the challenge in question head on. Mesh Magazine 49

A Day In The Life

Joe STReet This month we follow a day in the life of Birmingham-born Joe Street, who after graduating from university made the big move from Harborne to London to fulfill a childhood ambition of working in TV. His career began when he did work experience at a Birmingham-based TV company, since then he has never looked back and has gone on to work on hit shows, such as How to Look Good Naked, Britain’s Next Top Model and The X Factor, to name but a few. Joe is now working as Assistant Producer for a reality TV show, which is currently being aired on our screens. 9am - After the morning commute on the tube, with all of the serious faces and business suits heading into the city district of London, I usually get to my office within an hour. The team usually strolls in around 10am, however, due to the nature of our job and the hours it can entail there are no formal start times in our job. After a coffee at my desk I scroll through the nights emails and gather my thoughts as to what is the priority task for the start of the day.

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exclusive insight 10am - As the Assistant Producer you are responsible for making sure boxes are ticked for the upcoming shoots (i.e all cast members are available, the location is booked and released, crew are aware of what they are doing and any extra elements are sorted). We film most days and usually have to plan ahead with locations a couple of days in advance. Due to the nature of the shows I work on (reality based, following real peoples lives) it is hard to plan too far forward. 10.30am – So after a brief look over what needs sorting for the next few days, we usually have a couple of back-to-back meetings to catch up and see where we are all at. The nature of our work means we all need to be on the same page and we need to be communicating to each other all the time. Following reality means we all need to know what is happening as things develop and we can’t make any presumptions. 1pm – Before booking shoots the Assistant Producer’s will speak to the researchers and runners, and explain what is needed. With all shows I have worked on there is an all hands on deck

mentality, ignoring whatever title you have and just making sure that, as a team, every box is ticked. 2pm – After making sure everything is sorted I usually get the tube down to location and help out on the shoot. After a quick catch up with the team and the arrival of the contributors, the filming begins. It is hard to be out of the office but thanks to the blackberry you are always kept in the loop. I can’t believe television used to be made without internet and just the yellow pages!! 8pm - We usually finish filming around 8pm depending on what scenes we are filming and then its back on the phone to see what the plan is for the next day. The plans will usually change slightly so it’s always necessary to call ahead and check in on call times etc... The world of television is unpredictable; it is hard to judge what will happen over the next few days and what you will be doing even when it comes to the weekend. When you are working with real lives and filming real people you have to expect the unexpected.

Mesh Magazine 51



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issue 5  

MESH Magazine issue 5