HOME + LIFESTYLE
BITE AND RUN
BY ANDREW SOUTHWOOD
’ll be honest. I’m not a dog person. Never have been – never will be. However, this rant, sorry I mean ‘balanced article’, is still relevant regardless of which side of the dog loving fence you sit. So picture the scene. A quiet country lane on a pleasant spring morning. I’m 5 miles or so into one of my last long training runs before my biggest race of 2019. I see a lady with 2 dogs ahead of me. As they see me, her pets sit seemingly obediently beside her, luring me into a false sense of security, as I exchange pleasantries with their owner as I pass. Ten seconds later I hear the sickening haggard gruff of a fast moving dog behind me. Then the barking and snapping. Oh great. The Alsatian, has decided to aggressively chase and harass me. As the dog bites my leg, my first thought is, “If this dog ruins 5 months worth of training I am literally going to kill it!”. My second thought is, “Errr, I’m 68 | MAY 2019
not sure if I could actually kill this thing!?” The large dog probably weighed more than me, and to be perfectly honest I think it would come out victorious in a 1-on-1 street fight. The owner, meekly calls the dog back from 50yrds away, with zero impact. 30 seconds feels like 30 minutes as I dance about attempting to defend myself. Eventually the dog becomes bored of me and trots back to the owner. I immediately run on, wanting not only to get away from the situation quickly, but also aware I never stopped my watch and my average pace has taken a beating from this unplanned stoppage. As I checked for blood on my calf, I could vaguely hear the owner telling her dog off in the distance, “That was naughty Tiddles…”. On the plus side, with adrenaline pumping through my angry veins
I smashed out the rest of my run in record time. In short, a quick heads up from other road/path users for anyone considering letting your dogs run wild. We don’t want to ‘play’ with your animal. We don’t want to know how ‘friendly’ he is. Also, we certainly shouldn’t have to stop and walk because you cannot control your pet. The point here is, everyone has the right to jog down the road or round the park without fearing dog attack. No excuses. And finally, thank you to the rest of you. The majority of dog walkers, who are considerate and mindful of other people. We can all enjoy this beautiful countryside together. FYI - Don’t worry. My leg was ok. A good clean, a tetanus booster, and a sweet cup of tea sorted me out. As for the race of my life, well I’ll get back to on that in due course.
Bury St Edmunds Cricket Club commences a new season with a good positive feeling around the club, again will be fielding 4 Saturday and 2 Sunday teams throughout the season. A full programme of junior cricket will be running Friday Evening (6.00 pm to 7.30 pm commencing Friday 26 April) Coaching Sessions for Learners and Improvers. Open to Boys and Girls, typically ages 8 to 11, playing with soft balls (so no special protective equipment needed). Also this year these sessions will be opened to older girls and ladies. In addition on Wednesdayâ€™s dedicated hardball cricket coaching will be available for players from under 11 to 15 years There will also be All Stars Cricket Sunday Morning sessions (10.30 am to 11.30 am commencing Sunday 12 May) for Starters (boys and girls aged 5 to 8). A full programme of junior fixtures have been arranged. Joining the club from South Africa will be Daniel Moriarty and Justin Broad both young players looking to develop
their cricketing careers and help coaching at the club. We are also pleased to welcome Ben Seabrook who has joined having played at the Durham Cricket Academy. The club is keen to attract players of all ages and abilities. A full list of fixtures will be available on the clubs website and the fixture book available at the club based at the Victory Ground, Nowton Road, Bury St Edmunds IP 33 2BT The club will be very pleased to welcome visitors to attend games and make use of the bar facility. Anyone who would like further details please contact Club President David Barker on 07876496064 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are looking to for a venue please contact Rosie Nunn on 07885 040039 or email@example.com 74 | MAY 2019
Bury St. Edmunds
How to make the most of
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Photo: John Lewis Homeware
House plants breathe life into interiors, while cleaning the air as they grow. The trick is to recreate their natural environment. House plants are more than just decorations to me: they are the other inhabitants of my house. They turn a room into a living space, breathing life into my interiors. They say: someone lives here; someone cares for things; someone calls this home. And they do valuable work. House plants make the air more breathable, releasing oxygen and filtering out everyday pollutants from man-made objects such as formaldehyde. They also release phytochemicals, which suppress mould spores and bacteria in the air. They add humidity, too, helping to counter the dry air of centrally-heated houses. The joy of an orchid just coming out in bloom, the neon tropical hit of a vriesea, or the soothing deep green of a palm leaf all boost our wellbeing. Not all of us can have a garden, or even a window ledge deep enough to grow plants on, but everyone can own a house plant. And everyone should. The simplest way to understand a house plant’s needs is to find out about its origins. The broad majority of easyto-care-for house plants tend to be understorey plants of tropical forests. Spider plants, pothos vines, begonias, maranta, calathea, ctenanthes, dracaena, dieffenbachia, bromeliads and epiphytic orchids all fall into this category. These plants thrive in warm (15C minimum), humid, dimly-lit forests, places with little air movement. These are the conditions of most of our interiors: warm, some sun, and hopefully not too many draughts. These plants don’t want to dry out too much, and they shouldn’t sit in full sun for long. Mostly, it’s incorrect watering that kills them. The easiest way to find out whether your plant is thirsty is to
pick it up; dry soil is light, wet heavy. Central heating dries out plants, and in winter this can become an issue, because the plant doesn’t necessarily need more water around its roots, just more relative humidity surrounding the leaves. Resolve this by misting the plant daily, or sit it in a saucer of pebbles topped up with water. Orchids in particular like around 50% humidity all the time. For east- or west-facing windows Streptocarpus (cape primrose) – they want light, but never direct sunlight. They like to dry out a little between watering, but sit them in water and the roots rot. If you want them to flower, feed them through the growing season. For sun-drenched rooms Succulents – the jade plant Crassula ovata is very hard to kill, and will grow huge and handsome if repotted often. Water when you remember. Aloe vera from South Africa needs to be watered sparingly over spring and summer, and maybe once during the winter. It’s one to grow in the kitchen, because the slimy insides of the leaves are excellent on burns. Secluded Rooms The spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum – it looks best grown in a hanging basket. Ceiling plant hooks that swivel will allow you to rotate the plant for maximum light; wonderful for those short of sill space. Water sparingly between October and February, and liberally otherwise. Or try the maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris), which loves shade and moisture. Forgetful gardeners Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) – this tolerates low light and dry conditions and thrives upon neglect.
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When it comes to sleeping in a tent there are more options than novices might suspect. You’ll need a quilt if you’re Glamping or a sleeping bag – but what type of bag? There are literally hundreds on the market and making a choice can be difficult. As if that wasn’t enough, you also need to decide what to sleep on. It shouldn’t just be the groundsheet of the tent. Instead you want a camping mat, a camping cot or an airbed – but which is best for you, and what are the pros and cons of each one?
When you’re out in the countryside you need activities to fill your time like hiking or pony trekking. These are activities that the entire family can enjoy, they’re also great exercise and you might not get the opportunity to try them closer to home. Or there’s fishing and mountaineering to give you a chance to get really close to nature and wildlife.
Essential Knowledge Before you set out on a camping trip there are few things to think about: make a checklist to be sure you’ve got everything; check out the etiquette at the campsite you’re going to, especially if you’re taking children or pets; make sure you know where to park up before being allocated a pitch and if there are any security codes to get you through barriers (many bigger campsites have these); secure your home, cancel the milk and tell the neighbours.
Food You always need to eat! Even on a camping holiday, and that’s going to mean cooking. You’ll need a good camping stove as well as the right cooking utensils. When it comes to food you might decide to carry freeze dried foods with you or buy fresh items locally. You’ll need a good cooler and to know how to keep food fresh and your wine chilled… very important for those long hot summer days! The only limit when camp cooking is your imagination!
Where To Camp There are campsites all over the UK. Wherever you want to go, there’s almost certainly a campsite close by. But not all campsites are created equal. There’s a huge difference between a big commercial venture with a fancy shower block and a shop and setting up your tent in a farmers field or going wild camping! When you plan your camping holiday you have to be aware of what you need from a campsite. With a family that will usually mean more facilities, although that doesn’t always limit you or move you away from nature. If you’re planning a camping trip abroad, you need to book ahead for campgrounds; in this case, being prepared is essential.
Some people combine lots of activities on a camping holiday – but remember, doing this requires plenty of planning and also stamina. Before undertaking these make sure you’re up to it, and if you’re taking a family, that they’re all fully prepared for it too!
Camping Safety Safety is easy to forget when you’re out in the fields, under canvas, watching the stars…but there are a few points to keep in your mind to stay safe. Woman camping alone can be very vulnerable – so sticking to an official campsite and making yourself known to the campsite manager is advisable. If you’re camping as a family with small children, they’ll experience a freedom that they’ll relish and remember for years to come, but you’ll still have to be on your toes if there’s a river or stream nearby (or even a main road that’s easily accessible). It’s very easy to break into a tent so you need to be certain never to leave anything valuable in your tent. If you’re in a car, locking valuables in there is a good bet, otherwise, put items like phones, wallets and cameras into your rucksack and take them with you when you leave the tent.
Finally Everyone’s going to have a different experience, each time you go camping it will always be a different experience! If it’s your first time, the more you know, the more you’re likely to enjoy it and go camping again and again. As mentioned earlier, it can become quite addictive, and it makes for a much cheaper holiday, far closer to nature. If you can get your family hooked, taking off in school holidays and free weekends offers plenty of chance for adventure for all of you.
ing! Happy Camp MAY 2019 | 91