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Ouse Valley Living December 2020 / January 2021

Christmas Baking Win your Tree & Turkey


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Gifts Galore - Buy Local!


Lockdown has thrown what we really need from our homes into sharp focus. Demands and expectations have grown significantly and for many this has been a catalyst to re-evaluate their homes and lifestyles. With beautiful new show homes to explore and several exquisite developments to choose from, Storey Homes has something to offer buyers at every stage of the home ownership journey and with the stamp duty holiday benefits available until March 31st, it’s the ideal time to press the re-set button. Located within a sought-after conservation area a stone’s throw away from Bedford’s thriving town centre, De Montfort Place is an elegant gated development featuring a choice of two impressive sites. Due to be completed in May 2021, Haymarket Rise offers an exclusive collection of nineteen two-bedroom luxury apartments whilst The Harpurs features impressive five-bedroom family homes, including a stunning show home which will be ready for viewings from December. All built to a high specification whilst enhancing the neighbouring architecture, the homes are situated on an attractive tree lined avenue. Additionally, a short drive away in Kempston, Storey Homes brings The Place. Situated in a wonderful historic setting, a magnificent grade II listed wall and gates embellished with original eagle statues provide an impressive entrance to this development. Home hunters here are then greeted with The Place’s centrepiece; an existing manor house dating back to 1854, which will be restored and converted into four unique apartments. Complementing this striking building, homehunters will also discover a diverse range of distinct homes including four more apartment types, from contemporary designs to barn style homes, along with two-bedroom coach houses, two and three-bedroom charming cottage style homes, attractive double fronted four-bedroom properties and detached threestorey homes. To ease the buying process, Storey Homes offers Assisted Move and Help to Buy at both developments. Storey Homes is welcoming viewings by appointment only and adhering to government guidelines to ensure the safety of both potential buyers and staff. For further information: https://storey-homes.co.uk


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Steeped in local history

A vibrant gated development

A unique selection of luxury

and centred around an

nestled within the beautiful

2 bedroom apartments within

impressive 17th century

Conservation Area in

walking distance of Bedford town

Manor House

the heart of Bedford

centre and railway station

Kempston is ideally

Excellent transport links via road &

Conveniently placed location

located for commuters

rail, only 0.3 miles to Bedford Station

for commuters

Pleasant riverside walks,

Perfect for families with local

High specification interiors to enjoy

local pubs and cafés

schools within walking distance

Within a vibrant community

Easy access to popular cities such

Fantastic local amenities including

benefitting from gated parking,

as Milton Keynes and Cambridge

shops, restaurants and leisure facilities

communal gardens, tennis courts and a play area

theplace@storey-homes.co.uk 07436 367 617

demontfortplace@storey-homes.co.uk 01234 325 777

demontfortplace@storey-homes.co.uk 01234 325 777

1, 2, 3 & 4 BEDROOM HOMES FROM £199,950




STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY! Buy now and save up to £15,000 on Stamp Duty!



Dec20Jan21 Issue 135




And more…

18 GIFTS buy local! 28 BAKING cup cakes 30 DESSERT walnut tart 32 WIN! a Christmas tree 33 WIN! a Christmas turkey

26 FOOD lockdown trends 36 GARDENS Rosemary’s tips 46 MOTORS Berkeley Bandit 50 BOOKS Diane Setterfield 51 FILM Klaus review

14 WHAT’S ON in Dec & Jan 40 WILDLIFE seals at Horsey 48 SCIENCE did you know? 52 ASTROLOGY in the stars 56 PUZZLES brain teasers

Ant Hagen

Meet the OVL writers...

Feature: O  VL Magazine photography Ant Hagen is a professional television cameraman and keen amateur photographer. He has worked all over the world including Afghanistan, Peru and India for Sky News, Sky Sports and ITN. A lover of the natural world he considers living in the Ouse valley a great privilege. His favourite insects are damselflies.

Rosemary Heatley Feature: Rosemary‘s Garden and Ex Libris Rosemary started her career in journalism, later becoming an English teacher at a college of further education and then a college manager. Now retired, she leads a busy life in the Ouse valley. Her loves are gardening, reading - she writes our book review under her maiden name, Roz Masters - and spending time with her family.

Stelios Mores Feature: Science Dr. Stelios Mores, member of the Institutes of Physics and of Chemical Engineering, spent many years in London as a lecturer before moving to Bedford to establish a company manufacturing equipment for the chemical, pharmaceutical and energy industries. Stelios is involved in local politics, school governance and the Biddenham Show. He rarely turns down a game of football or a karate session but finds family time the most rewarding of all.

ES OF PARADIS C I SP Mon to Thu 5.30-11pm E

Fri & Sat 5.30-11.30pm Sun 12-10.45pm 54 High Street, Harrold MK43 7DA Tel: 01234 721779 www.spicesofparadise.co.uk


Mon to Sat 5.30-11pm Sun 12-10.30pm Templars Way, Sharnbrook MK44 1PX Tel: 01234 782967 www.thespicetreesharnbrook.co.uk

Celebrate Christmas and New Year with us. Now taking bookings!

THE ART OF SELLING PROPERTY We are a multi-disciplinary estate agency with offices in the historic market town of Bedford. Our business is built on firm foundations of knowledge, service and ethics and we guarantee the highest level of Client satisfaction.


T 01234 889987 E enquiries@artistryproperty.co.uk

If you would like to request a free market appraisal please contact Barney.


Artistry Property Agents


36 St Peter’s Street




MK40 2NN

December 2020 / January 2021 What a year! As it draws to a close some uncertainty remains. But, while our festivities are likely to be different this Christmas, many of our seasonal traditions will be the same with much fun to be had decorating a tree, exchanging gifts and celebrating with a festive feast. We can help you get a head start with these with our competitions to win a traditionally reared fresh turkey from Browns of Stagsden or a 6ft Nordmann Fir or Norwegian Spruce from Stagsden Christmas Trees. In this issue you’ll also find beautiful gifts available to buy locally and details of events enabling us to celebrate the season safely. It’s likely that we’ll be spending more time at home enjoying simple pleasures such as baking, board games and cosy nights in front of the TV. Try our boozy cupcake recipe and get into the Christmas spirit early! Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.


































Ouse Valley Living Ltd Barnholme Cottage, 7 High Street, Sharnbrook, MK44 1PG Telephone: 01234 783159 Email: info@ousevalleyliving.com

To advertise in OVL contact Christa Hallam 07827 015170 christa@ousevalleyliving.com @OVLMagazine OVL Magazine ovlmagazine View our recent editions online at www.ousevalleyliving.com OVL is printed by The Manson Group (01727 848440) on paper from responsible sources and the inks used are vegetable based.

OVL design and production services provided by: Skinny Dog Design Ltd (01234 345145) www.skinnydogdesign.co.uk All adverts are printed in good faith. However, Ouse Valley Living cannot take responsibility for the content of the adverts or the services provided by the advertisers. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. ©Ouse Valley Living Ltd 2017

DO YOU DREAM OF A NEW KITCHEN? by simply replacing the doors and worktops Before




9.7/10 See what our customers have to say

Est. 1999

kit c F Vi he rom sit n m t ou a he r s keo UK ho v ’s wr er #1 oo ex m pe no rts w .





*T&C’s Ap



01234 852151 VISIT OUR SHOWROOM: 73 High Street, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 7BT

www.dreamdoors.co.uk Visit OVL Magazine online at www.ousevalleyliving.com


o l l e H


We love to hear from you! Have you tried one of our recipes, spotted interesting wildlife, grown any of our featured plants or been snapped reading OVL? Send your photos, comments and observations to:

info@ousevalleyliving.com Or write to us at: OVL Magazine Barnholme Cottage, 7 High Street Sharnbrook MK44 1PG

KEEP OUR INBOX BUSY! Some pictures of the beautiful poppy decorations knitted and crocheted by Oakley Women’s Institute and put up around Oakley to celebrate Remembrance. Phyllis Jones

Here we are again - another successful Macmillan Coffee Morning in Carlton! Due to the current restrictions we had a change of venue this year and our event was kindly held at our super local The Fox courtesy of our brilliant Landlady Alison who, along with her great team of staff and volunteers, raised an amazing £1000. Hoping you and your team at OVL are staying safe and well. With best regards Margie Dennison Thought you might like to see that OVL takes pride of place in my daughter Erin’s under the stairs den (an addition since lockdown so she can have a space to herself!). She wants our whole house to include everything (but the kestrel) featured in the Oct/Nov! Guess I’d better start saving. Mel Lumbers, Sharnbrook Gorgeous cake recipes! I first made lemon drizzle cake from the August/September OVL magazine and it was so delicious that I have made it several times. From the October/November magazine I made the spiced apple cake which has just come out of the oven. It looks and smells gorgeous and I can’t wait to taste it when it has cooled down. Keep up the good work publishing these fantastic recipes.  Thank you  Rosie Kind, Willington 


OVL Magazine

Have you seen our new website? Read our articles, new and old, including beauty, gardening, recipes, history, style, wildlife, science, music and more at:



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More boutique bedrooms opening in December

Artist’s impression of new rooms

Awarded Trip Advisor’s Best Guest House in Bedfordshire in 2020, the popular country inn is now introducing four more luxurious hotel rooms, building on their impressive success since reopening.

Room with a Bloom

Each of the beautiful new bedrooms will be inspired by an English Country Garden with a stylish contemporary twist. These playfully designed bedrooms combine statement interiors with cosy comforts: comfy beds, fine bedding and en suites stocked with luxury products, promising an exciting new destination for boutique hotel lovers in beautiful North Bedfordshire. Prices from £65 - £150 per night. Working again with local interior designer Melissa Morgan they are bound to have the wow factor!

Divine Dining The Red Lion serves fabulous food in a friendly and socially distanced environment. The reviews say it all:

“The menu choices were a delight. The seafood platter was very generous. We sat outside in sunshine, however, I also love dining inside as the decor is so tasteful. We always enjoy eating at The Red Lion.” “Really impressed. The room and en suite were beautiful and immaculately clean and we were welcomed warmly. Our evening meal was delicious, perfectly cooked, very tasty with generous portions. In the morning we had an incredible breakfast in our room.”

An exciting development for 2021

Two brand new three-bedroom cottages within this stunning setting will be available to purchase next spring

Hotel enquiries: hello@redlionstevington.co.uk Property enquiries: info@fkltd.co.uk 1 Park Road, MK43 7QD 01234 823946 www.redlionstevington.co.uk

Interior Design: Melissa Morgan mmiltd@outlook.com

01234 434321 HomeMove Estate Agents are delighted to announce the opening of our fourth office in Felmersham covering Bedford and the North Bedfordshire villages, following successful launches in Northampton, Leicester and Nottingham.

Simon Manning Partner

Simon Manning, one of HomeMove’s three Partners with Alan Young and Paula Scinaldi, will be heading this office and will be bringing nearly 20 years of estate agency experience, over 10 years of which was in the high end “Executive Homes” market in the North Bedfordshire villages, with him.

Simon grew up in Felmersham so has a wealth of knowledge of the area and is looking forward to bringing his knowledge and expertise to help local home sellers and buyers. HomeMove Estate Agents first opened just over a year ago and was designed from the ground up to focus on our Customers’ needs first and foremost. With nearly 60 years of combined estate agency experience between us, we wanted to use this to identify how best to deliver an outstanding experience to both Buyers and Sellers. We identified Communication as the biggest issue sellers or buyers have throughout the process, so our primary focus was to invest in telephony and technology to make sure our clients can contact us and we can contact them as easily and quickly as is possible. We then combined this with our state of the art IT software, social media use and marketing, to aim to deliver a service that exceeds our customers’ expectations. One year on and, current issues notwithstanding, we have had an amazing response moving many happy clients and have received many positive reviews which we are immensely proud of. Call Simon on 01234 434321 to arrange a free valuation or if you want to just have a chat about the local property market.

HomeMove Estate Agents - Bedfordshire The Garden Rooms, The Manor House, Felmersham, Bedfordshire, MK43 7JG www.homemoveEA.co.uk | Simon@homemoveEA.co.uk | 01234 434321

Fancy a chat about moving? We’re all ears...


The Garden Rooms, The Manor House, Felmersham, Bedfordshire, MK43 7JG

James Mellor Creative

Vtech KidiZoom Studio. Predicted to be a big hit on Christmas wish lists this year, this high-definition camera kit, priced at £60, comes with everything your child needs to make their own shows at home. Includes a mini tripod, green screen plus flip-up lens and handle to capture the perfect on-the-move selfie video. Among Us. Originally released in 2018, the online multiplayer social deduction game has become a massive hit this year. This popularity has been attributed to its easy accessibility along with its take-up by several huge YouTubers and Twitch streamers. The most downloaded game for two months in a row on Apple’s iTunes and the Google Play Store and is still topping the charts now.

Now taking orders for corporate and personal Christmas cards and illustrated gifts www.jamesmellorcreative.com @jamesdfmellor

Zog and the Flying Doctors. Set to win the hearts of the nation this Christmas as BBC1’s festive animation. Based on the story by Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, it follows Zog, Pearl and Gadabout, who are now a flying doctor trio. The all-star cast includes Sir Lenny Henry, Rob Brydon and Laurence Olivier award winner, Patsy Ferran.


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Things to do in.... December & January Pick Your Own Tree

It’s time to put on your Christmas playlist, deck the halls with boughs of holly and decorate a tree with sparkling lights and baubles. For many of us, the annual trip to a local farm to pick your own tree is almost as important as the big day itself. Head to Windmill Christmas Tree Farm in Stevington to choose the tree that’s right for you or to Stagsden Christmas Trees where you’ll find your tree along with delightful decorations ranging from tasteful and traditional to cute and quirky.

Christmas Shopping

Searching for the perfect gifts? Then look no further than the Ouse Valley where we have a fantastic selection of independent stores offering everything from jewellery to jams and bags to bobble hats. Check out some of the beautiful gifts available locally in our feature on pages 18-21. When it comes to your Christmas food shopping, buying local is the best option too. 2020 has been tough for many local businesses so let’s support them now and ensure that we can continue to enjoy them for years to come!

Artisan Market

This year, Made in Bedford’s Christmas Artisan Market takes place on Sunday 13 December in St Paul’s Square. This fantastic, outdoor event is certain to get you in the mood for the forthcoming festivities. With crafts and produce showcasing the work of local artists, craftspeople and producers, it’s an ideal opportunity to purchase unique cards, gifts and decorations. Number 13 café will be open too, to keep you warm with cakes and coffee along with vegan food from Scrumdiddly Kitchen.


Festive Events

Although the usual big switch on events won’t take place this year, there will still be plenty of twinkling lights throughout the Ouse Valley with plans in place to celebrate the festive season safely. Illuminations and the traditional tree will be on display in Bedford and, from 3 December, families can take part in a fun trail to find the 12 Christmas characters hidden around the town centre. Feeling creative? Head to the Red Lion Stevington to make a Christmas wreath at their evening workshop with tapas on Tuesday 8 or breakfast workshop on Friday 11 December. Both include a glass of festive fizz! www.redlionstevington.co.uk

Holiday Baking

Fill your house with the delicious scents of the season by baking cakes, mince pies, biscuits and buns. You can keep your little ones happy too, with bowls to lick and decorating fun. If you’re looking for inspiration, try our recipes for festive treats on pages 28 and 30. Our Honey and Walnut Tart is a simple yet indulgent family dessert while our boozy Irish Liqueur Cupcakes are a little naughty but very nice!

Play a Game

The great outdoors has lots to offer but there are times when we’re stuck inside for one reason or another, such as torrential rain or a global pandemic! Go old skool with a board game and gather everyone around the table to engage in some good, competitive fun. Fed up with the same games? Ready Steady Roll, the award winning board game cafe in Sharnbrook, has a great selection of games to rent or purchase. To get advice and find out more about their games (and amazing homemade cakes!) visit www.readysteadyroll.co.uk

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Winter Theatre

So many events have been cancelled this year but the Christmas pantomime at Milton Keynes Theatre is going ahead…. Oh yes it is! Running from 19 December to 10 January, Sleeping Beauty promises to be packed full of comedy and laughter. And, if you’re looking for more laughs to end a somewhat serious year, comedy is back at The Quarry Theatre with a Christmas Special on 17 December. Still want more? Every Time a Bell Rings, running from 18 to 23 December at The Place Theatre, is a family Christmas show full of laughter, songs and stories from the Bedford community. And, with each performance available to live stream, you can join in wherever you are!

Visit OVL Magazine online at www.ousevalleyliving.com


Hill Farm Shop Buy the Best - Buy Local

New Year 2021

Christmas Visit www.hillfarmshop.com, call, email or come into the shop to place your order. Online booking slots available for collection plus we are offering a delivery service. CHRISTMAS OPENING TIMES

Tue 22nd December to Thu 24th December 9am-4pm 25th-30th December closed Thu 31st December 10am-12pm

Home reared beef, local pork, lamb, freerange chicken and eggs, milk and honey All meat reared on farms with guaranteed traceability and no added hormones British, continental and local cheese, bacon, pork pies, pâtÊ, cured meats, olives No time to cook? We have homemade pies and curries using our own beef OPENING TIMES Open from Thursday 14th January Thursday & Friday 9am-5.30pm Meet the team: Jeanette Saturday 9am-4pm and Mick Hurley on their Sunday 9am-12pm family farm

Hill Farm, Mill Road, Sharnbrook MK44 1NP 01234 781405 mjhurley@btinternet.com

/ 07834 257928



CHRISTMAS TREES FOR SALE Wide and competitive range of horse and animal feed, supplements and stable essentials Paddock fertilisers, grass seed, post and rail, stock fencing, chicken wire, electric fencing and accessories Hay, straw, haylage, shavings, sundown, wood pellet bedding etc Stable and field mats, reclaimed sleepers, rat bait, horse carrots Layers pellets, poultry bedding, feeders, treats and poultry supplements always in stock Plus dog food and treats, wild bird feed, rabbit and small animal feed, small holder feed too Large free car park (horse lorries welcome) Fast and free delivery (T&Cs apply) Shop open 7 days a week

Top End Farm Little Staughton Bedfordshire MK44 2BY 01234 376426 topendfarm@btconnect.com 16

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Christmas is coming... Gorgeous Gifts - Buy Local! Delicious Recipes - Festive Baking Fantastic Prizes - Win your Turkey & Tree!

Christmas Gifts - Buy Local! Now, more than ever, our local independent stores need our support. With so many beautiful gifts on offer and a fantastic personal service, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

A long-established family jewellers offering outstanding service and fine quality jewellery. With so many exquisite collections to choose from, and items to suit every budget, you’re certain to find the perfect gift. Visit their showroom or browse and buy online with free delivery or click and collect plus free gift wrapping. 10 Mill Street, Bedford MK40 3HD, 01234 351458 www.johnmedhurst.co.uk

Kit Heath Sterling Silver Star Profile Hoop Earrings, £60

Hot Diamonds Trio Pendant, £110

Michel Herbelin Moon Phase Watch, £495

A store for country enthusiasts offering stylish yet practical clothing, footwear and accessories. With brands including Schoffel, Fairfax & Favor, RM Williams, Le Chameau, Barbour, Vantage Atelier and Tom Lane, finding the ideal gift will be easy. Buy online and enjoy free delivery during December. Chicksands, Shefford SG17 5QB, 01462 816122 www.lodgeway-countrywear.co.uk

Fairfax & Favor Boots, from £345

Vantage Atelier Bobble Hats, £39

Schoffel Socks Ladies, £19.95 Mens, £24.99

This independent boutique, with its chic decor and friendly service, really is a delight to visit. With new pieces arriving every week, there’s always plenty of contemporary womenswear, beautiful accessories and loungewear to browse. You’ll be spoilt for choice when looking for Christmas gifts. Buy online with delivery or click and collect. Cromwell House, 36 High Street, Kimbolton PE28 0HA, 01234 781945 www.blueblancmange.co.uk

Gloves, various colours with faux fur trim, £15

Crossbody Leather Bag, £39

Cotton Loungewear, Pants £25 and Shorts £15

A fantastic shop on a family run farm selling home reared and local produce. Here you’ll find irresistible gifts for foodies with handcrafted chocolates, artisan cheese and biscuits, Sophie Botsford china and more. Browns will also create a hamper with a selection of your favourites. Manor Farm, Stagsden MK43 8SH, 01234 822330 www.brownsofstagsden.co.uk

Sophie Botsford Mats, Mugs, Jugs, Prints and more, from £4

Bespoke Hampers with nationwide delivery, from £15

Christmas Dog Treats, from £2

Here you’ll find stylish brands such as Barbour, Gant, Fynch Hatton and Giordano for men along with contemporary designers like Betty Barclay, Gerry Weber, Masai and Vera Mont for women. Shop online and in store where you’ll receive expert advice and fantastic customer service. 532 Goldington Road, Bedford MK41 0DX, 01234 352429 www.claytonsonline.co.uk

Barbour Tartan Scarf & Glove Giftbox Set, £39.95

Star Detail Necklace, £44.95 & Earrings, £11.95

Fynch Hatton Lambswool Sweater, £89.95 & Cotton Shirt, £59.95

A traditional family farm shop providing the very best home reared and local produce. Visit their deli for British and continental cheese, pork pies, pâté, cured meats and olives. At Christmas, they have a lovely selection of gifts along with delicious, made to order hampers. Hill Farm, Mill Road, Sharnbrook MK44 1NP, 01234 781405 www.hillfarmshop.com

Snowdonia Cheese Company Truckles, £4.50 each

Belgian Pate in re-usable Rice Bowl, £4

The Olive Architects Flavoured Oils & Balsamics, £10 each

The UK’s finest clay shooting and corporate entertainment complex, with quality gifts in store and online. Alongside their shooting equipment you’ll find clothing, footwear, cufflinks, wallets, kitchenware and more. Or treat someone with a voucher for a clay shooting, archery or 4x4 off road experience. Knotting Lane, Riseley MK44 1BX, 01234 708893 www.sportingtargets.co.uk

Harris Tweed Carloway Hip Flask 6oz, £15.95

Wrendale Cards - various designs, £2.50 each

The British Bag Company Leather Holdall, £140

Independent Boutique

Contemporary Womenswear & Accessories December Opening Hours: Every Day 10-4pm Buy online for delivery or click and collect www.blueblancmange.co.uk Private shopping by appointment (virtual or in person) Cromwell House, 36 High Street Kimbolton PE28 0HA sales@blueblancmange.co.uk

01234 781945

Naomi Jones

Beauty & Skincare

See immediate results from our highly effective rejuvenating facials Face-Lifting Microcurrent Treatment

Creates a lifting effect and reduces the overall appearance of ageing

Radio Frequency Skin Tightening

Generates new collagen and elastin to give a lifting effect with improved skin texture and tone

Skin Peels

Gentle but effective. Perfect for dull and congested skin

Book your free consultation Inspect the before and after photos!

Not sure which treatment is best for you? I can advise on treatment plans personalised to your lifestyle and budget “So pleased to find a therapist who immediately put me at ease” “Naomi is a true professional and offers excellent advice” “I’ve now been coming every four weeks for 15 years!”

Phone or Text: 07591 042 720 Email: Naomi@NaomiJones.com Facebook.com/NaomiJonesBeauty


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FREE Postage & packing until Christmas

www.lodgeway-countrywear.co.uk 01462 816122 December Opening: Every Day 10-5pm & 10-7pm Thursdays

The Place Theatre

A Christmas show for the whole family full of laughter, songs and stories from the Bedford community

Dec 18th-23rd 2.30pm & 7.30pm

@mangled_yarn @mangledyarntheatre Book now at: www.theplacetheatre.org.uk


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How lockdown changed our shopping baskets and we fell back in Love with Local Anne Harnan In the last eight months we’ve had to think more carefully about our food purchases, taking fewer trips to the supermarket, perhaps making more use of smaller local shops, and cooking creatively with what we have in. Before lockdown our food shopping trends were more spontaneous. Many of us would shop several times a week: perhaps one large food shop and then ad hoc top-ups midweek. Recent research by wrap.org.uk has identified some surprisingly positive trends in our food shopping and habits during this time.

We’ve seen how our modern, convenient supply chains can be fragile – with shortages in some products like flour and loo rolls at the supermarkets. Buying from British farmers and producers can cut out the middle man and shorten the chain. This festive season, as we re-fill our diaries with appointments and busy-ness, if we can retain just a few Food-Smart habits we can live more sustainably, support our local economy and the British food and farming industry. If there is a like-for-like choice of products on offer, whether it’s fruit, cheese, turkey or meat, choose the ones labelled British and be proud of making a difference.

New ‘Food-Smart’ behaviours show a real revival in good food management skills – or home economics as our grandparents would have known it. We cooked more creatively and from scratch, used up our leftovers, reduced food waste, planned our shopping trips and organised our food storage better. At the supermarkets, we bought less convenience foods. Ready-meal sales dropped, as did short shelflife foods like bagged salads and prepared foods. Instead we bought longer-life veg like carrots, radish and cabbages. As a result, we wasted less food and cooked and ate more sustainably. And we shopped more traditionally too, buying locally from sources closer to home, understanding provenance and seasonality better, and so creating a better circular economy. As well as having shorter queues, local suppliers are often much better placed to be flexible and in touch with their customers. Nationwide, we saw an army of new Food Heroes emerge – the companies who worked tirelessly to provide box schemes and deliveries to those who couldn’t get out to the shops. They were our support network - so this Christmas remember to show your support and continue to buy from them. 26 Please remember to mention OVL when responding to

Anne Harnan is a home economist and food consultant. She is an ambassador for Love British Food www.harnan.co.uk @HarnanHomeEc adverts

A friendly family business providing the very best products for your family’s Christmas


for all your seasonal produce

Chr istm o now rde as bei rs n

• Home reared turkey, beef and pork • Locally produced poultry and lamb g ta • Fresh fruit and vegetables ken • Wide range of artisan cheeses • Extensive range of tasty accompaniments • Great gift ideas including bespoke hampers made to order Christmas orders can be collected from inside the Farm Shop, contactless collections outside or local delivery

bei ng ta


OPENING TIMES: Tue to Sat 10-3pm


Manor Farm, Church Lane, Stagsden, MK43 8SH


Irish Cream Cupcakes Ingredients Cakes: 110g butter, softened 110g caster sugar 2 medium eggs 110g self raising flour 3 tbsp Irish cream liqueur

Icing: 150g butter, softened 300g icing sugar 6 tbsp Irish cream liqueur

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Fold in the sifted flour and then stir in the liqueur. Divide the mixture equally between the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. For the icing, beat the butter until smooth. Add the icing sugar and mix again before stirring in the liqueur. Pipe or spread the icing on the cupcakes and top with festive decorations.

Stagsden Christmas Trees Fresh Cut Trees ~ Holly & Mistletoe ~ Decorations & Gift Ideas All set within our converted stables and Victorian walled garden or order and shop with us online

NEW ONLINE STORE & TREE DELIVERY SERVICE Covid-19 Precautions Hand sanitiser stations ~ Outdoor contactless card payments Limited numbers within shop ~ Face-coverings for all staff www.stagsdenchristmastrees.co.uk info@stagsdenchristmastrees.co.uk ~ 01234 391 924 @stagsdenxmas @StagsdenXmas and find us on Facebook

Opening Times Mon to Sat 9.00am to 6.00pm Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm

Stagsden Christmas Trees West End Farm, Stagsden Beds MK43 8SZ


Honey & Walnut Tart Ingredients 20cm cooked sweet pastry case 40g butter 75g runny honey 100g dark brown soft sugar

75ml double cream 2 medium eggs, beaten 1 tsp vanilla extract 125g walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 170°C and place the pastry case on a baking sheet. Gently heat the butter, honey and sugar in a pan until dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Stir in the double cream, eggs, vanilla extract and mix well. Add the walnut pieces and then tip into the pastry case. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden-brown and the centre is still slightly wobbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving with cream or ice cream.


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- 6ft Nordmann Fir or Norwegian Spruce from Stagsden Christmas Trees


or over 30 years Stagsden Christmas Trees has grown and sold trees on the Bedfordshire/ Buckinghamshire border between Bedford and Milton Keynes. Then in 2004, at the suggestion of their customers, they started sourcing quality decorations to dress the trees and your home. Now every year, they open their converted stables and walled Victorian gardens to provide the best Christmas has to offer. Out of the millions of Christmas trees sold in the UK only a small percentage achieve the necessary shape and quality to attain the highest grade. This is the only standard they sell at Stagsden Christmas Trees. Four types of tree are offered to suit customers’ preference: the Nordmann Fir, Norway Spruce, Lodgepole Pine and Fraser Fir.  This year, in challenging circumstances, they have extended their online shop to showcase a broader range of decorations. You can also pre-order your Christmas tree this year for collection or with local delivery to help those who aren’t able to leave their homes. Visit Stagsden Christmas Trees’ converted stables, or their online store, for everything Christmas and get ready for a well-deserved festive period.



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Opening Times:

Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm Sunday 10am to 4pm Stagsden Christmas Shop West End Farm, Stagsden MK43 8SZ 01234 391924 www.stagsdenchristmastrees.co.uk

To enter our competitions: Email info@ousevalleyliving.com quoting Christmas Tree or Christmas Turkey in the subject box and we will enter you into the prize draw. The winners will be drawn at random and notified by Saturday 5 December. Closing date Friday 4 December.

OVL brings you FANTASTIC prizes every issue!


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com rry! peti clos tion e Frida s y 4 Dece mbe r

WIN A 4kg CHRISTMAS TURKEY from Browns of Stagsden


he Brown family has been selling traditionally reared Farm Fresh Turkeys in Stagsden for over 70 years. They are reared slowly to allow them to mature naturally, and are hung for around two weeks to allow a succulent full flavour to develop. Many of their customers are from families that have been buying from Browns since the early days. The only thing that has changed is that now you can also buy whatever meat or poultry you choose, plus everything to accompany it, for your perfect Christmas dinner. A truly one stop Christmas (and year round) food shop! Browns of Stagsden, a proper farm shop on a proper working family farm, is situated in the

middle of Stagsden by the church. They sell award winning sausages, bacon and beef from home reared pigs and cattle plus home reared turkey and local lamb, all highly acclaimed by their customers. Browns of Stagsden also offers homemade pies and a wide variety of artisan cheeses from their deli counter.

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10-3pm Browns of Stagsden, Manor Farm, Church Lane, Stagsden MK43 8SH T: 01234 822330 E: info@brownsofstagsden.co.uk W: www.brownsofstagsden.co.uk

The provider of the prize will only receive the winner’s details and entrants’ details will not be given to any third parties.

• Muscle Relaxing Injections (BOTOX) • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) • Slimming Injections (Skinny Jab) • Lip Enhancement • Dermal Fillers • Radiesse Jawline/Cheek Lift • PDO Threadlifts • Bio Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy • CBD Oil – Top Quality • Neostrata Chemical Peels

WhimsyWitchCo Charms and Trinkets for the Quaint and Curious Handmade jewellery with natural crystals and sterling silver wire www.etsy.com/uk/shop/WhimsyWitchCo @whimsywitchco

• Neostrata Skin Care Range Roz Lee RGN/BSc (hons) Specialist Nurse Practitioner TEL: 01234 750454 MOB: 07725 869240 www.enhancecosmeticsolutions.co.uk CQC Registered


Open from the last weekend in November Home grown, fresh cut Nordmann Fir and traditional Norway Spruce up to 15’ Hundreds of trees on display outside in a large, clean farmyard Friendly service and advice COVID compliant - choose your tree and we’ll trim the base, net it and load it for you

Mill Farm, Stevington MK43 7QG Head towards Stevington Windmill

For queries call or text Damian Pell 07815 325729 or email Dpellmillfarm@gmail.com Facebook/Messenger Damian Pell windmillchristmastreefarm 34

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Bedford-based letterbox gifts company launches in lockdown When one Bedford local struggled to find the perfect gift to post to a friend during lockdown in spring, she ended up creating her own range of postable gifts. Now, The Jolly Post Co is a fully fledged small business that ships letterbox gifts all over the UK. As a freelancer of four years, Katie Gregory knows what it’s like to take the plunge into self-employment. So when she looked for a gift to send to a friend who had been made redundant, she wanted something specific. ‘I was looking for a particular hand-lettered card from a stationery brand I love, called Old English Company. It says Know your worth, then add tax, and I’ve had it on my desk since I started working from home four years ago. ‘It didn’t make sense to just buy one card, so I bought several – plus some other bits from small businesses – and started making up little gift-wrapped boxes for friends. As I wasn’t able to see any of them in person, I wanted to make sure it was something more personal than yet another Amazon order.’ Letterbox gifts with love Six months later, The Jolly Post Co now stocks around 15 themed boxes with items sourced from businesses up and down the country. Each box includes a card with a personal message and is posted first-class with Royal Mail. ‘We have products from Walkston Candy up in Blackpool, Sarah Edmonds Illustration down in Worthing, and the Suitcase Coffee Co in Bedford. And our website photography was shot locally, by Bedford photographer and food stylist Katia Wlodarczak.’ New products on the website include a Christmas Decoration Box and a Jolly Boozy Box, which Katie launched in response to ‘a very strong demand for chocolate and gin’. There’s also a build-your-own box option, and more products due to launch in 2021. Visit www.jollypostco.com to view the full range, and use the code OVLXMAS to get 10% off any box in December.

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Rosemary’s Garden Bring the Christmas rose into your garden to brighten the darkest months The Christmas rose, or helleborus niger, is a traditional cottage garden perennial which produces pure white flowers, often turning pink, in the depths of winter. Despite its evocative name, it does not always flower at Christmas - many do not flower until later in the spring, like the Lenten rose. The best way to be sure of getting an early flowering variety is to visit a garden centre just before Christmas and choose a plant that is in flower. The lovely Christmas rose has large, round, white, bowl-shaped flowers and deeply cut, dark green foliage. The flowers appear on short stems and, unusually for hellebores, are usually upturned rather than nodding. They last for two to three months and should be planted at the front of a partially shaded mixed border or beneath deciduous shrubs among spring-flowering bulbs. Although the flowers resemble wild roses the Christmas rose does not, in fact, despite its name, belong to the rose family but, surprisingly, the buttercup family. Cutting back the old leaves down to the ground in January or February will show off the flowers beautifully and cutting back will also help to avoid diseases. Put lots of leaf mould, compost or manure around the base of the plant in autumn and provide a top dressing of general fertiliser each spring. Container grown Christmas roses can be fed with a balanced liquid fertiliser or with a high potassium fertiliser, such as tomato feed, to encourage blooms. The roots are, however, poisonous.


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Jobs for December & January


Plant winter-flowering viburnum in borders or containers close to doors and windows.


Raise containers of winter displays off the ground using feet, bricks or pieces of tile. Top with gravel.


December is a good time to move evergreens and large shrubs.


Remove leaves from your lawn and mow with raised blades if December is mild and the grass is still growing. Don’t walk on it if it is frosty.


Protect climbers if it is frosty. If any leaves are damaged leave them until early spring to protect undamaged shoots.


Check your variegated shrubs and trees to make sure that the leaves haven’t become one colour. Prune out the solid colours.


You can plant bare-rooted rose bushes in December but not where old ones have been in order to avoid disease.


Prune wisteria, Virginia creeper and Boston ivy in January.


When snowdrops, scillas and muscari begin to emerge carefully clear away leaves and debris from around them.


By the end of January cut back perennials to make way for new shoots but leave your penstemons until April.

Just as beautiful as the Christmas rose is the Lenten rose. Their cup-shaped petals will bring early colour into your garden in shades of pink, mauve, purple, red or white - sometimes spotted - to shady herbaceous borders and areas between deciduous shrubs and under trees. All hellebores are frost-resistant.

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Seals at Horsey in Norfolk Greg Coyne, Wildlife Photographer


s I write this, we have just gone into another four weeks of national lockdown. For me, this means I will not be going out and about with the camera. Fortunately, though, just before lockdown, I headed across to Horsey in Norfolk to photograph the local colonies of grey seal and harbour seal. Horsey is approximately two hours from Bedford and well worth a visit from the summer right through to November. In early summer, the harbour seal pups are born and around late November the grey seal pups start to arrive - and they are all so cute. The beauty of Horsey is that it’s easy to park at Horsey Gap and then it’s just a short walk over the sand dunes and along the beach to locate the seals. I would point out though that it’s not a good idea to go when the pupping is taking place as disturbance by visitors could cause the mothers to abandon the pups, so it’s worth checking on the Horsey website beforehand. Please also ensure that

you keep a good distance from the seals - I think 50 metres is suggested but sometimes the seals come much closer to you if you remain silent and still. When I visited, the harbour seal pups were probably four months old. They were still staying very close to mum but also having fun on the beach and in the surf with the other pups, Seals tend to stay in sociable groups, usually females with one dominant male and one or two subordinate males. However, watch out if a younger male gets too close to either the females or the dominant male when fur literally could fly! However, after the mating period there is probably more posturing than fighting. I find differentiating the grey and the harbour seals quite difficult but I usually decide based on the nose of the seals as the harbour seal has a nose in the shape of a heart. The images shown here were all taken within a ten minute walk from the car park and along the beach. At pupping time the area is roped off or

sometimes closed completely. You can also walk along the ridge from the car park, rather than going down onto the beach, which gives you a great view down on to the seals rather than being level with them. Seals are not the most active of subjects for a photographer as they spend a lot of time lying on the beach sleeping. But you can get some great images as they emerge through the surf on to the shore, playing with other seals in the surf and displaying ‘caring’ interaction with the other seals especially between pup and mum. As you walk along the beach, you may also find that a seal in the sea will swim along and watch you as you walk - you may suddenly be aware of a head popping up out of the water and then submerging again. Seals are very inquisitive creatures. If you would like to see more of my seal images simply log on to my Facebook page which is Greg Coyne Photography, like it (hopefully), and then keep up to date with my travels on a regular basis.

TINSLEYS RIDING SCHOOL British Horse Society Approved Licensed 5 Star Rating Established 1977

Mobile Foot Health Clinic Shari Lamont Green DipCFHP, MPSPract. Treatment and aftercare of the following: Nail trimming, Corns, Calluses, Verruca, Fungal Infections, Nail Reconstruction, General Foot Health Care, Reflexology A caring professional treatment in the comfort of your own home

Friendly and professional coaches, with experience of developing skills of both the capable rider and the complete novice. Neil & Susan Black BHSII Senior Level 4 Coach Long Barns, The Baulk, Clapham MK41 6AA

Telephone 01234 268556 www.tinsleysridingschool.co.uk

MOVEMENT TO MUSIC Imagination Arts was founded in 2018 to provide dance and movement opportunities for those who are rarely offered them! We are passionate about delivering specialist, tailor-made sessions where we place emphasis on participation as opposed to performance. We focus on fighting social isolation and bringing people together, so the COVID-19 pandemic made things very difficult. We could no longer provide the face-to-face classes we loved, and the possibility of our participants becoming lonely was a real worry for us. However, we were determined to keep working through lockdown so we started teaching our classes online. Thankfully, we were able to move four out of our six Movement to Music classes for over 60s online, with the majority of our participants continuing to take part weekly. It was very important to maintain this contact with our participants, as so many of them rely on our classes for regular contact with the outside world. We are excited about being back teaching Over 60s Movement to Music at Sharnbrook Village Hall. Our popular classes are perfect for those wanting to keep moving without the intensity of a keep fit or Zumba class. They are also an excellent way to start socialising and exercising in a safe and COVID-19 secure way after the recent challenging months. Join us on Mondays at 1pm for just ÂŁ5, or contact info.imaginationarts@yahoo.com / 07714 378 887 for more information.

07305 330 624 www.footresponse.co.uk shari@footresponse.co.uk

Is working from home causing you pain? ultrasound, Acupuncture, Reflex Therapy (musculoskeletal based), hands on manual therapy and soft tissue techniques, all of which are used for pain relief and enhancing the body’s natural self-healing processes. For more information on this please also see our website, www.betterpatientcare.co.uk. Our centre is a safe and sanitised environment to come for your treatment. You can make an appointment to see one of our physiotherapists at our centre OR we can arrange a virtual appointment.

Working practices have changed for everyone as a consequence of Covid 19. Many of us have had to learn new skills and adapt to home working. But did you realise that sitting in the wrong position all day badly affects your body. It is so important to set up your workstation correctly and stay strong and active at home. Even the smallest amount of walking will have a positive effect on your body. Many of our patients are working from home but are not always getting the daily exercise they need or have the correct set-up and consequently we are seeing an increase in neck, back and shoulder problems. Do you have back pain? Joint or muscle pain? Or even arthritis? We can help you TODAY Juliet Johnson and Rebecca Kier lead our professional team at BPC. They specialise in sports injuries, musculoskeletal problems, even the after effects of Covid 19, and they are putting a lot of home workers back on the road to recovery. All of our physiotherapists are fully qualified and, having been established since 1993, have a vast amount of experience. We promote independence, with the emphasis on how you can help yourself. You will be given exercises that you can do between treatment sessions and be shown how to set goals and achieve impressive results. We offer a range of treatments such as neurological tel/f Ax: 01234 266222 rehabilitation and individualised exercise programmes,

We also offer a home visit option if it is difficult for you to come to the centre. Whatever your preference your physiotherapist will complete a full and thorough assessment which may include your health history, evaluation of pain and movement patterns, strength, reflexes and range of joint motion. Based on this diagnostic assessment your physiotherapist will work in partnership with you to plan individual goals and treatment programmes. Whatever your problem Bedford Physiotherapy Centre is ready to provide ‘the treatment you need, the care you deserve’ where we can but don’t just take our word for it. Come and try for yourself remembering to quote OVL 2020 to get our ‘Club’ rate.

Call Us Today Tel: 01234 266222

BPC ... better patient care!

Bedford Physiotherapy PhysiotheraPy CCentre entre Bedford

31 Chiltern venue, Bedford MK41 9eQ The Atreatment you need, eMAil: info@betterpatientcare.co.uk www.b the care you deser ve We are a long established independent physiotherapy clinic, with over 25 years’ experience, situated in Putnoe, Bedford. We have a team of Chartered Physiotherapists and an excellent reception team to look after you. Acupuncture, Manual Therapy, Reflex Therapy and Stroke Rehabilitation, sports injuries, neck and back pain, sciatica, joint and muscle problems are all catered for.

Please call us to discuss your needs on 01234 266222 or visit our website www.betterpatientcare.co.uk quoting ‘OVL2020’ to get our ‘Club’ rate. Visit OVL Magazine online at www.ousevalleyliving.com


Why not try selling at the Bedford Auction Centre. Entries for our sales can include: Antique & Modern Furniture, Clocks, Ceramics & Glassware, Collectables, Books, Pictures & Prints, Jewellery & Watches, Garage Tools & Equipment, Bicycles, Household Electrical Items, Office Furniture & Equipment, Horticultural & Commercial Equipment, Timber & Building Materials, Retail Products & Stock, Vehicles, Garden Furniture & Effects.

AUCTION EVERY SATURDAY Entries: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 8.30am – 5pm Viewing: Friday from 8.30am - 8.00pm and morning of sale

Eastcotts Park, Wallis Way, Bedford, MK42 0PE 01234 266 366 or info@peacockauction.co.uk


Bedford based charity ready to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of children in local primary schools Making Me (formally The Mind Map Charity) has launched its new website this month and is inviting teachers and parents to look at the support that the charity offers. The aim of the charity is to teach children to thrive, by equipping schools with the resources to support children’s mental and emotional wellbeing. The charity offers resources online and through classroom workshops presented by Making Me facilitators that help to develop emotional literacy and build resilience. The charity offers a whole school approach to pupil wellbeing which starts with an inset to all school staff and includes workshops to pupils from Reception to Year 6. Presentations are also offered


to parents that explain the strategies that the charity delivers and how children can best be supported at home. The charity aims to deliver its workshops for free at the point of delivery to schools but does rely on school fundraising as well as sector funding and is grateful to The Harpur Trust for the financial support it has recently provided. In these particularly challenging times, the wellbeing of our children is more important than ever and Making Me sincerely hopes that schools will get in touch to see how the charity can help. Please find Making Me at www.makingme.org.uk Contact: schools@makingme.org.uk

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The Friendly Family Business with over 35 years Experience in Made to Measure Soft Furnishings



104b Castle Road, Bedford MK40 3QR info@coolandclassic.com Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

01234 327109

www.coolandclassic.com Saturday 9am - 4pm

Creating Homes not just Interiors Visit our Showroom to get Inspired!


McCann’s Motors

The Berkeley is Back! Richard McCann


McCann announces the re-birth of our region’s forgotten pioneering sports-car maker

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Do you remember the Berkeley sports car? No? Congratulations – only I am that much of an ‘anorak’! Berkeley was a collaboration between designer Lawrie Bond (remember the cheeky Bond Bug?) and local fibreglass expert Charles Panter who was one of the largest manufacturers of caravans in Europe, so an ideal collaboration… and in 1956 no less a driver than the great Stirling Moss tested a Berkeley at Goodwood. Fuel – and cash – were in short supply back in the ‘50s so the Biggleswade-based company produced small sporty cars with motorcycle-derived engines and innovative front wheel drive.

And now, 60 years after its demise, Berkeley is back thanks to former aviation and automotive designer Martin Rees and motorsport engineer Simon Scleater who have relaunched Berkeley Coachworks at Old Warden Aerodrome, producing a new Bandit Roadster and Bandit GT. The early cars, such as the famous ‘Bandit’, were an immediate success, both here and in the USA, but it all went wrong in 1960 when competition from the newly introduced Mini and Austin-Healey Sprite as well as the virtual collapse of the caravan market saw the company fail after producing a magnificent 4100 cars, many of which are still around and highly prized today.

The original pioneering Berkeley was the world’s first composite production car, and the new models are also pioneers - they will be made using plant-based materials and cost between £40,000-£60,000 each. Buyers will be able to choose between liquid-fuelled engines, a hydrogen cell or full electric. I think they’re gorgeous – how about you?

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Stelios Mores

Resistance is Futile


t was not until the mathematical studies by the English physicist William Gilbert during the mid1600s that a nascent understanding of electricity began to form with his proposal of the existence of an electric fluid comprised of some kind of particles. As his work was based on the electrostatic effects of amber and the magnetic effects of loadstones, he coined the term electricity to describe this ‘fluid’ based on the Greek term for amber (electron). He determined that electricity flowed to the extremities of objects leading to the concept of an electric current and showed that electricity and magnetism were distinctly different phenomena.

The existence of a relationship between electricity and magnetism was first discovered in 1820 by the Danish physicist and chemist Hans Orsted when he noted the effect which an electric current had on a compass needle. This led to the work of the English scientist Michael Faraday, who over the next three decades turned this discovery into a science. In 1831 he showed how magnetic flux crossing a conductor such as a coil could generate an electric current and invented the first electricity generator. Faraday’s discoveries form the basis of all electric motors and conventional electricity generators to this day. Around the same time, a German physicist and mathematician George Ohm began his work on electrical resistance, a phenomenon which results in heat being generated whenever an electric current flows through a conductor. This is the principle upon which the incandescent lightbulb and electric heater rely, and is reflected in the familiar physical relationship V = IR.

During the 1730s the work of the French chemist Charles de Cisternay du Fay developed the gold-leaf electroscope and proposed that electricity consisted of two types of fluid. He named these resinous and vitreous fluids to describe their origins. In the 1740s the American polymath Benjamin Franklin proposed that these were not separate fluids but a single fluid with a positive or negative excess. The Irish physicist George Stoney refined this, suggesting that positive and negative charges consisted of atom-like particles and that a fundamental charge existed. In 1881 he coined the term electrolion to describe the negative charge carrier. This was later changed to electron. The discovery of the electron subsequently led to a deeper understanding of the causes of electrical resistance. A flow of current is essentially caused by a resistance to the flow of electrons as they encounter the ionic and molecular structure of the conductor through which they move. This phenomenon is indeed a mixed blessing, and despite its usefulness when it comes to heating and lighting one’s home, it has proven to be a limiting factor in electrical and electronic circuit design, resulting in significant losses of energy. The limitations linked to electrical resistance were considered unavoidable for decades until the advent of ultracold temperatures. At end of the 19th century and start of the 20th century, the Scottish chemist James Dewar developed the first practical refrigeration system based on the effects of expanding vapours (Joule-Thomson effect). He and John Fleming predicted that when metals reach absolute zero, electrical resistance would completely disappear. Testing this theory became a reality when Heike Onnes first liquefied helium at a temperature of -268.95 °C (ie. 4.2 K - Kelvin) and then went on to discover that at a temperature of -268.94°C (ie. 4.19 K) mercury lost all its electrical resistance. He had discovered superconductivity and was awarded the 1915 Nobel Prize for physics.

Despite Dewar and Fleming’s prediction, superconductivity was extremely challenging to understand. Ongoing research led to more superconducting materials being discovered at these ultralow temperatures. In the early 1930s the German scientists Walther Meissner and Robert Ochsenfeld discovered that superconductors expel magnetic fields, an effect which formed the cornerstone of our understanding of superconductivity. In 1957 a theory proposed by the Americans John Bardeen, Leon Cooper and John Schrieffer became the generally accepted theory. It describes how pairs of electrons (Cooper pairs) which are slightly attracted to one another become unaffected by lattices around them. The theory relates to quantum mechanical effects which change when electrons switch from being fermions (familiar states of matter) to compositebosons in their paired conditions. Composite bosons behave (like bosons) completely differently to fermions by being able to occupy the same point in space at the same time and there is no resistance to their movement as they perceive the conductor differently.

eins’ Co st e rn

le E in

The scientific and commercial implications of superconductivity were clear to see from the time of its discovery. However, today their use is extremely limited, restricted to particle accelerators, and

In 1973, Niobiumgermanium (Nb3Ge) was shown to have superconductor properties at a temperature of -250 °C (23 K) breaking the 4.2 K barrier for the first time. The race for superconductors which would operate at ever higher temperatures had begun. In 1986 a lanthanum perovskite raised this to -238 °C (35 K) and within a few years a yttrium variant raised it further to -196 °C (77 K) and into a temperature range which was more widely accessible. Over the years enormous efforts have been put into raising the bar, with a hope of realising room temperature superconductors. This October scientists at Rochester University in New York announced their discovery of a mystery carbon, hydrogen and sulphur compound which displayed superconducting properties at 15 °C (288 K). This was at an extremely high pressure of 2,600,000 atmospheres (2.6 Mbar), close to the pressure experienced at the centre of our planet. It seems we are gradually reaching the point when one can truly say ‘Resistance is Futile’.

Salty Water


If you mix some sand with water it is easy to separate it again, using a sieve from the kitchen drawer. Separating salt from water is a bit more difficult though. To do this you will need a decent sized bowl, a small glass cup, some clingfilm, a teaspoon of salt, a cupful of water, a small stone from the garden and a little patience.


other specialist scientific fields. Developing higher temperature superconductors is key to enhancing many current technologies. Medical scanners, ultrafast computers, superefficient motors, loss-less power lines, and even electric vehicles are a few examples.

Mix the water and the salt in the bowl until it has dissolved completely. Place the cup in the middle of the bowl and then cover the bowl with the clingfilm. Put the bowl next to a window where the sun is shining through and then place the stone on the clingfilm over the cup. Now all you need to do is wait for a few hours to see the water evaporate and drip into the cup, leaving the salt in the bowl.

BOOKS KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE Rock Choir, the largest contemporary choir in the world, will be releasing a Christmas single to support the Mental Health Foundation and help raise awareness of mental health. Thousands of Rock Choir members from across England, Wales and Scotland have come together virtually as one choir to record their vocals on a national Christmas single of a very special Rock Choir version of ‘Keeping The Dream Alive’.

Ex Libris

Diane Setterfield’s third novel, Once Upon a River, begins with a dramatic event at an old Oxfordshire inn on the Thames during the evening of a winter’s solstice in the nineteenth century. A badly injured man enters, interrupting the storytelling of the regulars. He is carrying the drowned body of a small girl and then passes out. Nurse and midwife Rita, who attends to them both, is shocked when a few hours later the child starts to breathe but can’t speak. When the injured man eventually recovers he explains that he found the little girl floating in the river. The unnamed narrator is the collective voice of the villagers, each unable to talk about anything else and giving their theories of this macabre event. So who is the child? The first claim comes from a wealthy mixed race farmer who believes she is his granddaughter, fathered by his problem stepson. The second claim is made by a couple whose marriage is fragile following the kidnapping of their two-year-old daughter a few years before. The third is from the parson’s nervous housekeeper who claims the child is her long-dead drowned sister brought back to life, At the centre of this atmospheric Gothic story, full of mystery, suspense and romance, is the river. I loved it so much that I am now reading the author’s 2016 bestselling debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale, which was made into a television drama starring Olivia Colman and Vanessa Redgrave.

Reviewed by Roz Masters

This includes Rock Choir members from Bedford who are led by Lizzie Deane as well as the teams of Rock Choir leaders from over 400 UK towns and communities along with Rock Choir’s vocalist, inspirational creator and founder Caroline Redman Lusher. With the world experiencing an unprecedented health emergency, the mental health of millions has been impacted. Rock Choir is best known for its unique, powerful and uplifting formula which allows its members to experience a natural high when they take part in a rehearsal or event. The Rock Choir team and members are delighted that the Christmas single will help to raise crucial awareness for the Mental Health Foundation.

‘Keeping the Dream Alive’ will be released on Friday 11 December and will be available on all major streaming platforms.


Review Klaus ***** Streaming now on Netflix

Every Christmas, I find myself returning to the same beloved classics: Love Actually, Elf, and Home Alone are the choice picks in my household. I’ve been thinking about why so Freya Wille many of us re-watch the same Christmas movies and why new ones don’t take their place. I’ve come to realise that it’s the nostalgia these films evoke. They remind us of Christmases growing up when the season seemed to last both forever and be over in the blink of an eye, when it was all about being a child and when morning frost felt like magic rather than bitingly cold and unwelcoming. It’s no wonder that, having outgrown the magic of Christmas, we try to recreate it by indulging in our old favourites. However, Klaus manages to recreate the magic too. Directed by Sergio Pablos, creator of Despicable Me, this family film conjures up all of the warmth and childhood enchantment of the season.

Beautifully animated and charmingly original, Klaus follows the story of Jesper, a spoilt son of a postman, who’s forced to give up his life of luxury and sent to the bitterly cold and violent town of Smeerensburg to learn a thing or two about hard work. Two competing clans run the town and allow their vicious rivalry to bleed into the lives of the other inhabitants until everyone is fuelled by spite and hatred. That is, until Jesper arrives. He must deliver 6,000 letters, as Smeerensburg’s postman, in order to return home to the privileged life he knew. What starts as a task he must complete for his own selfish motives, slowly turns into a quest for kindness when he employs the old bearded woodsman, Klaus (aka youknow-who), to help him deliver unused toys to the children of the town. Unlike the pressured, fast-paced action of many recent Christmas flicks, Klaus opts for the slow lane. A thoughtful, evenly paced plot with a simple message: a true act of goodwill always sparks another. @OVLMagazine #Klaus

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IN THE STARS with Howard Parker, the Astro-guide In these times of crisis, I can help you gain a deep insight into what the most important issues will be for you personally during this period by examining your own astrological birth chart. Please go to www.astroguidance.co.uk to book a session. You can also text or WhatsApp me on 07866 727743 or email me at howpark@aol.com for more information. If you want to keep in touch with what is happening astrologically, drop in on my Astrocafe Facebook group where I post regular live videos. https://www.facebook.com/groups/310639759701042/



You will get your annual new moon on 14 December so dare to dream big because it all starts here! Over the next few days, a new order much more to your liking will start to make itself known to you in very subtle ways but don’t get too carried away because early January will feel as if you are going over old ground again and you may not be as ready for the new year as you thought. The benefit of the change is more noticeable after the 20th.



Early December represents a bid for freedom but your new moon on 12 January might feel like a necessary moment to break things down into bite-sized chunks so that you can handle them better. This will become all the more important as 2021 dawns because the year is going to present you with some very new challenges of a kind unfamiliar to you up to now. You may start to question your habitual and long-cherished goals and this may feel uncomfortable for a while.



The values that you hold dear have been notably missing from life in 2020 but there will be more in your favour in 2021 as Jupiter and Saturn start influencing things in more Aquarian ways. It will be up to you to see where this takes you. It is an opportunity to start to expand but only with a cautious sense of responsibility, so it is quite serious in tone. But, hopefully, you will look back on this time as the start of bigger and better things.



A fleeting sense of optimism at the beginning of December gives way to some emotional moments just before Christmas when winter will still feel like a bit of a long dark slog before lighter energies and bright ideas arrive towards the end of January. This will show you the path towards knowing what from the past needs to be discarded before new growth can arrive. This is what Pisces teaches: you have to let go to allow rebirth to happen.



Your spirits may rise at the new moon during the week before Christmas but this is still the winter so don’t run ahead of yourself now. There is a long way to go. Some of it will feel like one of those long painful labours ending in a triumphant childbirth but in this case it is the birth of new ideas, new ways of living. You might be just the person to bring these about when the new year really gets going in the spring.



As the year changes Uranus, the breaker of boundaries, will take you back across old ground that you thought you had sorted but you will see the point of this in mid January when forward motion is resumed. What is the new ‘you’ going to look like in 2021? Ask the question but don’t hurry the process: just be alert to clues in the shape of unusual occurrences and odd or eccentric people entering your life who are not what you expect.


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A nice sociable window opens for Geminis at the new moon on 14 December so get up and party after lockdown because it doesn’t last long! That said, though, new ideas start to form in your mind around Christmas time and it’s a particularly good time for radical new year resolutions. These are very early days though and you may have to take things slower than usual until the year really gets going. It will be worth noting what occurs in the last week of January. The need for healing in some way (physical, mental, social, political) may feel overwhelming for caring Cancerians until we get well into January 2021. There is so much to resolve, so much upheaval and so many harsh realities to face that your skills have never been more needed. But look after yourself in all this. It’s a long haul and many adjustments are needed in your daily life, starting with your own health and wellbeing needs.



The last thing we are going to need in 2021 is more ego driven behaviour! It’s time for a new kind of leadership, where shared humanitarian and community based values replace those of individualism. Your role in this is less about you than giving yourself in service to those who have suffered recently and now need your leadership. You will probably feel very empowered by this and it may well influence the future direction of your life.





The new Aquarian flavour of 2021 is going to activate your analytic faculties and this will really appeal to you even if some of it is a bit ‘off-the-wall’. Be open to the big picture and don’t get bogged down in the detail, though, because things are moving towards a much more humanitarian and collective solution to the planet’s problems. Other people may be better at voicing the dream but few people are as well suited as you to organise things efficiently and this will reap dividends as the year progresses. You may have to wait until after mid-January for the weight to really lift from your shoulders but if you can hang in there that long, you will start to get your optimism and trust in the future back. Right now though, it is still all about doing ground work. Slow, boring, practical and mechanical it may be but it’s all part of the process of getting your new life ready to take off. Aim to have all this preparation work completed by 20 January at the latest.



Working though the deep stuff continues until Christmas for Scorpios. It’s step-by-step work but it’s part of your rebirthing process. You are probably learning that true security and stability in your life is in your own hands and that you have always had the mental strength to survive and thrive. This work continues for a while but a new energy is afoot as the year turns and new ideas are beginning to show on the horizon. I am sure you are ready for them.

Flavour of the Times From 15 December we will begin to see the first signs of change. Some pressures will start to ease and there will be a glimmer of optimism. So, what’s this about astrologically? Two of the biggest cosmic influencers, Jupiter and Saturn, both move out of Capricorn and into Aquarius. Jupiter is about expansion and Saturn is about control and combined they are a productive and positive formula. Aquarius is a blast of fresh air after the claustrophobic hold that Capricorn has had on us for so long. Where Capricorn is serious and controlled, Aquarius is freedom loving and sociable. Aquarius wants to understand the past so that it can break with it and build a new world. It is also connected with revolutions and rebellions so 2021 won’t be plain sailing by any means. It all depends on what we do with the new energy. If we go with it and are open to new ways of living, life may take an exciting and invigorating path. But it is about learning the lessons from the past and using that information to move steadily forward. There will be opportunities and if you don’t take them, someone else will!


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Independent Speech and Language Therapist Jacqui Wright answers your questions about childhood communication Dear Jacqui My son has started in Year 7 and he still has word finding difficulties. Please could you explain more about this and any tips to help him? TUITION

Word finding difficulties are those ‘tip of the tongue’ experiences when you know the word in your head but you can’t remember it to say it out loud. The student has good comprehension of the word but can’t express it. He is likely to have difficulty responding to questions that require a specific answer relating to names, locations, dates or specific facts from a story i.e. What is the item called? What is the name of the main character? He is also likely to have difficulty relating information during a conversation when retelling an event or a story. These students have a high incidence of word finding behaviours such as word repetitions, word revisions (trying to say the word or parts of the word in different ways), substitutions of other words, empty words (such as ‘oh well’), and time fillers (um’s and er’s). Strategies to help students include: • Reassure the student that you know that he knows the word but is struggling to find it.

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• Give the student thinking time to find the word. • Encourage the student to describe the word (target word ‘microscope’ – we use it in Science; we look at tiny things we can’t usually see; it makes things bigger; it starts with ‘m’) • Encourage the student to use gestures to demonstrate the word (something like charades) • Draw it. Jacqui Wright

www.childhoodcommunication.co.uk info@childhoodcommunication.co.uk

rentxpress.co.uk 01234 339008

01234 782 365 / 07956 685581 FB: Childhood Communication Consultancy Twitter: @JacquiSLT If you have any questions for Jacqui please email info@ousevalleyliving.com and she will endeavour to answer your concerns in this column


8 9 8


1 5

7 5





9 7



Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3 x 3 box contains the digits from 1 to 9, with no repetition!

1 2

You can find the Sudoku solution at:

6 4






@OVLMagazine OVL Magazine

Would you like to know what the stars have in store for you? Text or email Howard for more information or book a personal reading through his website:


Follow Howard’s ‘Astro-guidance’ on Facebook for forecasts and discussion email: howpark@aol.com

phone: 07866 727743

Crossword 2






8 9 10 11


13 14







22 23



Clues Down 1. Write wrongly (8) 2. Stadium (5) 3. Rummage (5) 4. Clergyman (6) 5. Cutting remark (4) 6. Major artery (7) 7. Bitter quarrel (4) 12. Six-faced figure (4) 13. Waistband (4) 15. Gemstone (4) 16. Period before Easter (4) 17. Multilinguist (8) 18. Pus-filled cavity (7) 22. Surprise attack (6) 24. Avow (5) 25. Progeny (5) 26. Drink mixer (4) 27. Single entity (4)

27 28

29 30



















































“We’re more of a Host than a gathering, Officer”






Clues Across 1. Wander (7) 8. Give out (7) 9. Varnish (7) 10. Small-sized newspaper (7) 11. Dummy pill (7) 14. Stray (3) 16. Walk unevenly (4) 18. Cain’s brother (4) 19. Second-hand (4) 20. Ear part (4) 21. Small flap (3) 23. Dumbfound (7) 26. Yield (7) 28. Implement (7) 29. Brush off (7) 30. Reap (7)

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Profile for OVLMagazine

OVL Magazine Dec20Jan21  

Glossy lifestyle magazine for the Ouse Valley in north Bedfordshire. Unique articles including food, motors, gardens, film, science, puzzles...

OVL Magazine Dec20Jan21  

Glossy lifestyle magazine for the Ouse Valley in north Bedfordshire. Unique articles including food, motors, gardens, film, science, puzzles...