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Leigh-on-Sea

July 2013

ORACLE Leigh at a glance

Est. Oct 2006. Circulation 5,500

Oracle Competition WIN! Pair of tickets for Bugle Boy at Palace Theatre - Life of Glenn Miller

Local Issues

Priory House Care Home

Oracle Sport

Who will win the Ashes?

NEW! It’s a dog’s life Understanding your dog

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llr Ron Woodley has again hit us with one of his major concerns in the town, this time regarding Priory House Care Home and the council's cabinet recommendation to close the Home despite its quality of care. Local Issues reveals all. For the dog lovers amongst you Oracle has a new feature 'It's a dog's life' written by qualified dog trainer Vicky Kelly the features will offer owners advice and an insight on how to understand your dog. For further information take a look at Vicky's website www.adogs-life.co.uk

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This month's competition has been kindly donated by the Palace Theatre, Southend. Oracle has a pair of tickets for Bugle Boy on Monday 19th August at 8pm. Bugle Boy is by English playwright Den Stevenson, it traces the life and loves of legendary music icon Glenn Miller. To enter please either send your contact details to: Oracle/Bugle Boy Competition, 39 Alexandra Street, Southend, SS1 1BW or email before closing date 31st July: info@oraclepublications.co.uk. Enjoy the final week of Wimbledon!

Emma Wynne-Morgan Publisher

01702 393838

39 Alexandra Street, Southend, Essex SS1 1BW

www.oraclepublications.co.uk info@oraclepublications.co.uk

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ORACLE contents Local Issues Priory House Care Home: To care or not to care By Ron Woodley

9/10

Living Rooms Interior Design by Samantha Gundy

14

Secret Sauce? Hair & Beauty by Craig Smith

18

How to understand your dog A dog’s life by Vicky Kelly

22

Spiced Lamb Cutlets Thai Dressing Judy's Recipe Page

26

Herbs & Leaves Oracle Gardening by Paul Sammon

28

Successfully Lose Weight Health & Beauty by Cris Ramis

30

Tip for the Trophy Oracle Sport by Chris Bunce

36

Oracle Vouchers

11

Diary Dates

42

Sudoku Classifieds Advertiser Index

32 38 42

Advertorials Eastwood Primary School 4

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Local Issues

Priory House Care Home: To care or not to care

I

can neither understand nor support the council’s reasoning for their preferred option of closing Priory House, this most valuable, purposed built and much admired home for the elderly. The competence and quality of staff working for the residents inside the building is extremely high and they are compassionate and totally committed to ensuring the residents are well cared for and treated with decency, dignity and respect. Yet despite the glowing references to the quality of care, a report to the council’s cabinet is recommending closure of Priory House as the preferred option of Conservative, Lib-Dem and Labour Councillors.

I have to acknowledge that the building is 50 odd years old and probably coming towards the end of its design life. However those blanket judgements apply to many buildings (just consider our own homes) and are not of themselves sufficient reason to write them off. Priory House can still function extremely well as a care home provided it is properly maintained. However, despite all the glowing reports about the quality of care in the home something is clearly amiss. During an inspection there was evidence of general neglect on the outside of the premises. Although the structure is fit for purpose the building has clearly not undergone regular or detailed maintenance. There are piles of broken bricks from damaged walls and hinges coming adrift from brickwork. Doors and frames have not been maintained and repaired and are now showing signs of being rotten. This failure of maintenance does not reflect favourably on the council or its officers who are responsible for the upkeep of the building. It is difficult to fully explain in a short article the extent of this general neglect of the outside of the building and the surrounding grounds. There are further examples of a general lack of maintenance to the basic fabric of the building and other external sundry items all of which should have been carried out in a routine way and would have avoided the scale of the current problems.

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Regardless of the outcome of the Priory House issue there are obviously serious deficiencies in the Council's Asset Management operations which need to be addressed. Asset management means just that: managing the property portfolio (which is owned by the residents) and maintaining or enhancing its value. In the case of Priory House, proper management would automatically ensure the safety and comfort of the facility’s residents. How council officers can produce tables on life expectancy of buildings having singularly failed to adhere to the basic requirements of maintenance is beyond comprehension, especially having underspent repair budgets in previous years to the tune of £886,000 (normally the first excuse for lack of maintenance).

Southend-on-Sea residents. Without a beacon of excellence, standards can and possibly will deteriorate and that is something that cannot be allowed. In an advertisement in last month’s Oracle the administration stated it was setting up trading companies to supply services to other Having been critical of the council’s preferred authorities/companies; this would seem a closure option, what are the alternatives? Is it golden opportunity to supply services to our possible to reduce the annual running costs own residents. whilst maintaining quality of care for residents? With common sense housekeeping, a sensible If it is the Council's decision to proceed with its approach to repairs and maintenance could be preferred option to close Priory House, that adopted. If done correctly with the help of the decision will be based on the Council's inability staff, a business case could be developed and to maintain the building properly and its sustained that could be held up to the private reluctance to fund future maintenance. sector as the standard level of care for all I am concerned that if the Council's budgetary based decision to pursue the planned closure of Priory House proceeds this will have a significant and detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of many residents in the home. It is a sad indictment of the Council if the words and assurances offered by those put forward to publicly represent them are subsequently shown to be hollow and disingenuous. I can only hope that the ultimate decision will accommodate a more caring approach toward those residents at Priory House Care Home. The council urgently needs to adopt a more structured approach so that building maintenance is seen as an integral and essential part of the asset management/facilities set up.

Ron Woodley Independent Councillor Thorpe Ward

O

For more information, please contact:

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Oracle Interior Design

Living Rooms By Samantha Gundy

T

his month we are exploring the design of the Living Room. This is a room where people tend to really show off their personality and style. Nowadays our living rooms have a multitude of uses, it can be a shared family space for relaxing, watching TV, incorporating dining or work space, or perhaps you prefer to keep this room a little more refined and grown up,. Somewhere to entertain your guests with a cheeky cocktail or aperitif perhaps!

while longer. For a simpler palette team greys with pastels, for a more contemporary bold look, incorporate some deeper greys, blues and little pops of bright zingy neons. Wallpapers are extremely popular now. Not only can you use them to add colour to a space but they can give texture too. Designers Guild have a beautiful selection of pattern, colour and texture. Their home accessories tie in perfectly to complete the look.

Before you begin to make decisions on finishings or items of furniture, try to clear as much as possible from the room. Give yourself a blank canvas to work from so that you can see the space with fresh eyes. Think about how the existing layout works for you, can you declutter and simplify the space? Simply moving the furniture around, and updating a few accessories could be all that is needed to make a room feel ‘made over. ’

My recommendation would be to collect images from magazines and take these along to your local paint and paper retailer or hire the services of an interior decorator/stylist. A professional can be hired on a room by room or hourly basis, their job is to make the whole process much less daunting and provide you with a scheme that fits your personality and lifestyle.

Trends for interiors fortunately don’t change as rapidly as fashion, a particular colour scheme tends to stick around for a few years. The current trend for greys has been around for sometime now and looks set to stay for a 14

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Oracle Hair & Beauty

Secret sauce? O

.M.G! I’ve just read a fascinating new survey claiming that, although we are a nation that loves buying expensive scrubs and serums in a bid to stave off the ravages of time, the first place Brits head to in their quest to stay forever young and beautiful is the kitchen cupboard. The research, conducted by skincare range Simple, found that people are prepared to try any tip – no matter how bizarre - to look good for longer. Some of those featured on Simple’s list are old ‘favourites’, but I confess to seeing some that were entirely new to me and, whisper it, I might even give a go myself! Yeah, yeah, yeah, applying baking soda to teeth to make them whiter, rinsing your hair with raw eggs, beer or vinegar to make it shine (or brushing through talc to stop it looking greasy, or Vaseline to get rid of frizz) and putting cold damp tea bags or cucumber on tired eyes, I’ve heard those before and no, I haven’t tried them. Well, most of them anyway. But rubbing coffee granules on your thighs to combat cellulite? Or dabbing toothpaste on spots and insect bites to help them heal quicker? Tell me more. Have you tried rubbing strawberries on your face to minimize the appearance of freckles and adding sugar to soap to help you exfoliate? I haven’t but I think I will.

of moisturiser to get rid of hard skin on your feet all sound like perfectly logical, if extremely gooey and messy ideas. However, speaking as a professional, I’m not sure I could advocate putting tomato sauce on your hair to get rid of unwanted hair dye. The same could be said of mixing brewer’s yeast with water to dye facial hair. The survey also uncovered other unconventional remedies, including banishing wrinkles by sleeping on your back - to avoid lines on your face - and investing in a silk pillow case. Fun and whacky these suggestions may be but I’d seriously recommend you stick to the more conventional and scientifically proven theories to avoid prematurely ageing your skin. Moderating your booze intake, eating healthily and exercising regularly will do you far more good than slathering yourself in an increasing number of random products from your store cupboards or fridge. But hey, sometimes you’ve got to live a little. Pass the ketchup…

Using honey as a face mask and sleeping in socks full

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A dog’s life

How to understand your dog T

he first thing to consider is that a dog has a natural pack instinct. They consider your family to be their pack and it is important to them that the pack is safe. It is the leader’s job to ensure of this, so if your dog is being protective, then it could consider itself the leader of your pack. A dog perceives things to be threats through a lack of understanding of what they are. A good example is the postman. Every day he comes to the house and the dog thinks “Someone at the door trying to get in to harm us, I’d better warn it to go away”. The dog barks, as the postman happens to retreat. Dog thinks“Job done, I hope he doesn’t come back”… The leadership role is very important and a big responsibility, and with responsibility comes stress. To ensure that you have a happy and relaxed dog it’s important you consider its instinct that there needs to be leadership within the pack, and this leadership has to make sense to the dog.

understand why they still have some dog behaviour problems. If a dog doesn't see the leadership that it understands from the humans in the pack, then it will take the leadership role by default, resulting in any number of these behaviours: - pulling on the lead - jumping up - excessive barking - stealing food - fussy eating

So learning to understand what is important to your dog is crucial. An excellent book to recommend is "The Dog Listener" by Jan Fennell; if you want to get some help in person, then I can help. Visit my website: www.adogs-life.co.uk to find out more.

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recipe of the month

1 Toast the cumin seeds in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Place in a bowl with the coconut milk, curry paste and 2 tbsp of the mint. Season with salt and pepper and then add the lamb and toss until thoroughly coated. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least half an hour but preferably overnight.

In the Kitchen with Judy Barden

2 For the dressing, mix together all the ingredients and set aside. Adjust to your taste by adding more sugar if necessary.

3 Bring a small pan of water to the boil and cook the French beans for 3-4 minutes until just tender but still firm, drain in cold water and then plunge into iced water to set the colour. Drain again and put in a bowl. 4 Take the lamb from the fridge and allow to

Spiced Lamb Cutlets Thai Dressing versatile summer recipe that can be griddled or especially good put on the BBQ. The dressing and salad also work well with chicken. The flavours develop the longer time you have to marinate but otherwise it is a quick simple recipe to put together. Great as part of a BBQ.

A

Enjoy!

Ingredients: Serves 4

beansprouts, spring onions, basil and coriander leaves to the beans. Add half the dressing and toss together well. Place the salad on a platter and top with the lamb cutlets and finish by drizzling over the remaining dressing.

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come to room temperature. Preheat a Bbq or griddle pan over a high heat and cook the lamb, 3 minutes either side for medium rare depending on the thickness of the cutlets, set aside and leave to rest for 3-4 mins. Adjust cooking time to suit your taste but remember meat continues to cook on resting.

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Oracle Gardening

Herbs and Leaves T

wo things announced Summers arrival this June - sunburn and the smell of barbeque and with the latter in mind (although camomile is easily grown) I thought the kitchen garden would be a good topic for this month's edition.

Herbs Offering fragrance as well as flavour, herbs form an essential part of any garden (or any space large enough to hold a pot) Most attract bees and some - fennel, sage, rosemary- look good enough to be included in a planting plan regardless of culinary benefits. My first piece of advice is to buy all herbs from a garden centre or nursery. I'm sure someone, somewhere has a magnificent basil raised from a supermarket discount but they are an exception to the rule- supermarket plants are intensively grown resulting in poor root systems. Containers suit growing food best as the gardener can control the conditions of both soil and aspect although your chosen spot may already be near the kitchen door, have free draining yet nutrient rich soil and get plenty of sun in which case, lucky you. Regarding material choices, no container steals the prize but whichever you choose should be elevated from the ground and contain grit or

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crocks at it's bottom for drainage. The compost you use is, as always, of crucial importance and should contain enough nutrients to feed the plant over a sustained period (although a fortnightly liquid feed should be applied after six weeks) so use either container or vegetable compost rather than ones formulated for cuttings or seed raising. Watering containers is the one pain as this will need to be done at least once a day during summer regardless of rainfall. One tip to help retain moisture is to line the pot's interior with newspaper you should also try keeping your containers from drying winds. My final tip is to harvest the plants regularly as new growth has the most flavour and what you can't use immediately can be chopped up and frozen within ice cubes.

Leaves There are two types of lettuce: hearting and loose leafed but as the last can be harvested regularly I shall focus on this variety. To ensure your lettuce grows quickly, thereby preventing bitterness, plant it in moisture retaining soil (add some topsoil to your chosen herb compost) in a container no less than six inches in depth and place it in the sun. The speed with which lettuce grows brings a disadvantage namely bolting where the plant will try to set seed. This also results in bitter tasting leaves and can be prevented by a mulch to retain moisture and frequent cutting (not plucking and the cut should be at ground level and from within) Try to grow as many varieties as possible to avoid depleting any one type and, finally, learn to hate slugs and snails. They are the enemy!

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Health & Beauty

Successfully lose weight. O ne of the most common requests I get as a health and lifestyle coach is 'Can you help me lose weight?’

The answer is yes - though there is a 'but' attached! Yes I can help you successfully lose weight - but you must be prepared to follow some guidelines. Losing fat needs to be a holistic process - it can be a life changing experience. Not only will you need to think about your diet and how you exercise, but also make lifestyle choices (gym or pub?) and maintain a positive mental attitude. You cannot put in extra time at the gym and then live on chocolate and Pinot Grigio the rest of the time - it just won't work! First of all you need to manage your expectations. When training for fat loss you should lose 0.5 to 1lb of weight a week, which means burning off approximately 300 to 600 calories more than you take in every day, for 7 days. So be realistic, set an achievable fat loss target and give yourself time to reach it.

certain fruits are all high in sugar - we call them calorie dense. Instead you need to be eating nutrient dense foods such as vegetables.This will allow you to get adequate nutrition whilst also cutting calories. For most the hardest bit is you should cut out (or at least minimise) alcohol, coffee and tea from your diet and drink water instead.

You must be active daily. Short, intense interval training, circuit or weight training are the best kinds of activity. It can be an adjustment, but you must make time to work out and fit in around 45 minutes a day of accumulated exercise if you want to reach your ideal weight - two 20 minute sessions will do the trick. Good luck –and remember I offer a free consultation to anyone who is looking to make positive changes to their health and fitness, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Let's start with the diet, and the most important rule is DO NOT starve yourself. This slows your metabolism down as your body thinks it is going in to starvation mode and you will actually start to cannibalize your own muscle fat for fuel. You do need to cut out processed foods, grains and sugars. Foods like pasta, rice, bread and

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Diary Dates THE ORPHEUS SINGERSWITH THE ESSEX POLICE BAND SAT 6th July 7:30pm performance Sweyne Park School Rayleigh Tickets: £8 Concessions: £7 HOMING SHOW Saturday 6th July Shalynn Cattery on A127 from Southbourne Grove, Westcliff. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All cats vet checked and vaccinated. Adult cats are neutered and microchipped. Please contact Rita on 01702 710630 or come along on the day GARDEN PARTY Sunday 7th July Beauchamps, Shopland Road, Gt Wakering 1p.m. to 5 p.m. In aid of Southend Cats Protection, come and meet Rachel Riley of Countdown! Raffle, Tombolas and Refreshments Enjoy a pleasant afternoon in a lovely garden NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY:SAT 6TH JULY 10:30AM Belfairs & Dodds Grove Butterflies & Moths. Meet at car park at the end off Poors Lane. Leader Don down.

SAT 27TH JULY 10:30AM

A stroll along Jubilee Beach. Plants, Insects & Birds. Meet outside Halfway House

RELAY FOR LIFE AND FUN DAY FREE Sat 27th July 12pm Join the relay in aid of Cancer Research UK! Live music, stalls, competitions, casino and bouncy castles! www.southendrelayforlife.co.uk THORPE HALL DAY

Sat 6th July 2-6pm Stalls, dance workshops, donkey rides, teas, bouncy castles and vintage cars! www.oraclepublications.co.uk www.twitter.com/oracle_essex

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35


Oracle Sport

A summer to enjoy by Chris Bunce

W

e are lucky enough to have both the ICC International Trophy and the biggest spectacle of them all, the Ashes being played around the country this summer. Well, do we have any chance of winning the ICC 50 over competition? In my opinion no! We lack that X Factor world class player and with the absence of Kevin Peterson we are expecting far too much of Joe Root, Josh Buttler and Co. We do have a good bowling attack, led by the brilliant James Anderson, who will go on I am sure to break many more records. But that really explosive player who can take the game by the scruff of the neck and change it quickly is something we as a nation currently don’t have.

stopping England winning this series 5-0 will be the so-called summer weather we are enjoying. Our team is settled with only Peterson to come back in, fitness providing. Our batting has quality in Captain Cook, Trott & Bell and our bowling attack has real potency with the new ball with the aforementioned Anderson backed up well by Broad and Finn, with the skills of Swan and possible Panesar backing up the front line seamers. Australia have one world class player in skipper Michael Clarke. He will if he is fit be the stand out batsman in the series but he cannot win this on his own and will by the end of August be heading home as a defeated Ashes captain.

My tip for the trophy are India who have started the competition really well and have the stand out Captain, Wicket Keeper and X Factor batsman MS Doni. I think they will beat Sri Lanka in a close run final. England, well I think they will get beaten in a close game at the semi-final stage.

So these are my predictions for our summer of International Cricket. Let’s see how good they are next month when the ICC Trophy will have ended. It could be worth a cheeky double India to win the ICC and Australia not to win a test this summer in the Ashes.

Of course the ICC is the appetiser for the main event , the Ashes which kick off mid-July. My prediction is Australia will not win a test. I have never been so confident of an England Ashes win. The only thing

Next month back to grass roots cricket with an interview and season so far review with Old Southendian & Southchurch 1st XI Captain Robert Johnston .

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View the latest issues ONLINE Leigh-on-Sea

July 2013

Thorpe Bay

July 2013

ORACLE ORACLE Leigh at a glance

Thorpe Bay at a glance

Est. Oct 2006. Circulation 5,500

Est. Sept 2005. Circulation 5,100

Oracle Competition WIN! Pair of tickets for Bugle Boy at Palace Theatre - Life of Glenn Miller

Local Issues

Priory House Care Home: To care or not to care

Oracle Sport

Who will win the Ashes?

Oracle Competition WIN! Pair of tickets for Bugle Boy at Palace Theatre - Life of Glenn Miller

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