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Where connected communities can achieve the incredible Street Life

Christmas Comes Early

Wine Man’s Christmas Quiz

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Please take your free Christmas copy DEC 19 / JAN 20

A Christmas Wish When it comes to Christmas wishes, Harborne schoolgirl Ellie Sibbald-Perkins has just one thing at the top of her list... a chance to compete in a European swimming competition that could be her steppingstone to the Olympic Games. Following her success with Team GB in the Youth Olympics in Baku, Azerbaijan earlier this year, fifteen year old Ellie, a pupil at Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School in Bournville , has set her sights on competing in the 2020 European Junior Championships and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. She reached the semi-finals of the competition in Baku in the 200 metres breaststroke, missing out on the finals by just 0.04 of a second.

Ellie wearing her Team GB kit

But Ellie, who is a member of the coveted Swim England Talent Programme is undeterred. Having won the 100 metres breaststroke by over two seconds in Division 2 of the recent intercounties Cup, where she represented Warwickshire, she is now training for the National Winter short-course (25m pool) Championships being held in Sheffield this month, (December) and has set her sights even higher by aiming to compete in the British Swimming Championships at the London Aquatics Centre next April. The Championships are the trials for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, as well as the 2020 European Junior Championships and will feature swimming superstars such as Adam Peaty. “If I was selected for the European Juniors and the Commonwealth Games it would be a dream come true and the best Christmas present I could ever have wished for” said Ellie, whose ultimate ambition is to compete in the Paris Olympics in 2024 Ellie has been a ‘water babe’ since she was just a few months old and started club swimming when she was nine.

Swimming in the City of Birmingham Open Meet

Two years later she trialled and was accepted by the elite City of Birmingham Swimming Club where she has been ever since. She trains six days a week and her rigorous programme includes gym sessions and up to two and a half hours of actual swimming after school and sometimes before school too. Whilst her ambition is to become a professional swimmer, Ellie is also interested in sports psychology - one of the subjects she is currently studying for her GCSE exams next year. If her drive, hard work and determination are anything to go by, Ellie’s Christmas wishes look set to come true.

Ellie checks the scoreboard (courtesy Morgan Harlow Photography)

Looking for peace of mind? Rubric Lois King Solicitors has made it easier than ever to plan for the future with its Peace of Mind packs. Get everything you need to arrange a will, trusts and lasting powers of attorney, in one competitively-priced pack. Call us today and let us help you enjoy peace of mind at any age. Please call Mrs Bennell, head of private client, or Jane Jones on 0121 450 7800. Alternatively, pay us a visit at 26 Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston, B15 1RP.



Connected communities achieve the incredible Hello and Welcome to December

Throughout 2019 HEM Life has shared many great stories within our communities and city, from children and adults alike. This issue will finish our year sharing great achievements, services, suppliers and products from people who live not that far from you - your type of people. By coming together as a community, we can help the incredible, hard working, dedicated public services and charities with the tools to provide the much needed time, care and attention that’s accessible to every cause needing their support. At HEM Life we work one month in advance, there will be no publication in January, the office will be closed until after the New Year. We are looking forward to a break over the festive season and would like to take this opportunity to thank our readers, clients, contributors, suppliers, fundraising partners, sponsors and friends for their continued support. Have a Fantastic, Happy, Healthy Christmas & New Year. See you on the other side!

Until next time...

Angela, and the HEM Life Team Next issue published Friday 7th February 2020

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING t: 0333 366 0279 * e: editor@hem-life.co.uk e: advertising@hem-life.co.uk w: www.hem-life.co.uk

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Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley Life is published by HEM Media Limited. Registered in England company number 08868316. Registered office, 109 Royal Arch, Birmingham B1 1RG. Designed by wddesign. Printed by Iliffe Print Cambridge. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written consent is prohibited. The publishers do not accept responsibility for any errors made in advertisements or for claims made by advertisers which are incorrect. The publishers reserve the right to refuse advertising for any reason. All material submitted for publication is done so at the owner’s risk and no responsibility is accepted by the publisher for its return.

Life Stories


Strong Sense of Community Nicholls Brimble Bhol Solicitors bring a touch of sparkle to the festive season in support of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. The initiative takes place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th January. It’s the biggest of its kind in Birmingham – with an estimated 3,500 trees expected to be collected over the weekend.

s a m t s i r h C Merry Charlotte Dowling, corporate and community fundraising manager, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice

Rob Bhol, Managing Partner at Nicholls Brimble Bhol Solicitors (NBB) said, “I am delighted that NBB are able to support Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice with their Christmas Treecycling, this festive season. I have experienced firsthand with family members how amazing the Hospice is and the difference they make in creating an environment where loved ones are cared for so well and where patients and family can spend precious time together. The annual Treecycling is a fantastic environmental initiative and one which we are delighted to be a part of.” The campaign has a number of corporate partners supporting the initiative, including Nicholls Brimble Bhol Solicitors. The law firm, which has an office based on Harborne’s High Street, is contributing to the campaign as they wanted to back an initiative that supports the Harborne community.

Charlotte Dowling, corporate and community fundraising manager at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice said, “We’re delighted to have Nicholls Brimble Bhol solicitors supporting Treecycling this year. As a charity, we’re really proud to have a number of big-hearted businesses backing this campaign, as it means that every penny raised goes directly towards the Hospice. At Birmingham St Mary’s, all our services are free of charge, so we really do rely on the generosity of local people and businesses to help care for individuals and families living with life-limiting illness. “This is the ninth year that we’ve run Treecycling and every year, the campaign continues to grow and grow – but this is only possible thanks to the support of local businesses like Nicholls Brimble and Bhol. We’re always looking for generous businesses to partner with us, our bespoke charity partnerships offer fantastic fundraising and volunteering opportunities, helping to raise muchneeded funds for our care.”

All funds raised from Treecycling will go towards the Hospice to provide vital care to local people who are living with life-limiting illness.

The postcodes that Treecycling will be collecting from, are: B13, B14, B15, B17, B25, B26, B27, B28, B29, B30, B31, B32, B38, B45, B47, B62, B67, B68, B90, B91, B92, B93 & B94. Collections will need to be booked by Monday 6 January To book your collection, visit:



We are your Local Law Firm We are a modern and progressive law firm with a history of supporting clients and providing legal services of the highest standard for more than 60 years And we’re right on your doorstep!


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Life Stories



Thank you to Harborne Neighbourhood Street Watch for your hard work and dedication patrolling with our PCSO’s Ali and Henry, in the cold, wet and windy conditions.

Junior PCSOs at St Peters Primary have completed training and first parking patrol, first school on the Edgbaston Constituency. Well done PCSOs Moore & Coyle. Great to see kids stepping up to get actively involved in their community and keeping the community safe

PCSO Ali getting into the festive spirit on the High Street, Harborne Ho ho ho!

PCSO’s Henry and Ali out on cycle patrol in Harborne

TH E B L UE 22

Harborne Street Watch enjoying networking event after a hard days patrolling

Shortlisted for Prestigious Award The Blue Coat School has been shortlisted for Prep School of the Year

Reception children enjoying the Blue Coat Forest School





Good Wishes for Christmas and a Happy New Year from

Harborne Neighbourhood Team held a stall at Harborne Christmas lights switch on supported by Street Watch Volunteers. Great event. Even recruited 4 more Street Watchers

Open Morning on Saturday 25 January 9.30 am to 12.00 noon 7+ Entrance Test – Saturday 8 February T: 0121 410 6807 W: thebluecoatschool.com



The Blue Coat School Birmingham Limited, Somerset Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B17 0HR. Registered Charity No. 1152244

The most outstanding individuals and institutions that the independent sector has to offer have been recognised in the shortlist for the 2020 Tes Independent School Awards. Blue Coat School Headmaster, Noel Neeson said, “We are delighted to be shortlisted in our first year of entering these awards, in not just one but two categories - Prep School of the Year and Strategic Education Initiative of the Year. This is certainly a team effort and I thank my staff, parents and pupils in helping us to achieve this honour. Regardless of the outcome, to be recognised alongside some of the country’s most prestigious schools as the only stand-alone prep

school to age 11 years, is a testament to the hard work of the whole school community.” Tes editor Ann Mroz said, “The Independent schools in this country are truly exceptional. And those that have earned a place on the Tes Independent School Awards shortlist are a cut above the rest. We received an unparalleled number of entries this year, all of which were first rate. The schools that have been shortlisted should be proud - it’s a remarkable achievement.” The winners will be revealed at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Friday 7 February 2020.

Clockwise: Loki Wine, Simpsons Restaurant, The Edgbaston cocktail lounge, Neptune home interest store

Explore Edgbaston Village This winter explore the eclectic mix of boutique shops, bars and award-winning restaurants in Edgbaston Village. It is the perfect place to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, as well as enjoy some amazing things to do from cocktail masterclasses, cooking classes, wine tasting, afternoon tea to tasting menus. And don’t forget you can get gift vouchers, so these experiences could make an ideal present too! www.edgbastonvillage.co.uk/experience


6 Life Stories Christmas officially arrives at Edgbaston Village Christmas has officially arrived at Edgbaston Village as Santa Claus and his helpers switched on the festive lights on Friday 22 November. A jubilant crowd gathered on Highfield Road to enjoy a special Frozenthemed celebration from Elsa, Anna and Olaf, as well as festive performances from The Boogie Woogie Gals, Elmhurst Ballet School and carol singing from a local school choir.

Natasha Walkden, sales and marketing manager for Calthorpe Estates, said, “The Edgbaston Christmas Lights Switch On brought the local community together once more to celebrate the festivities and enjoy fantastic entertainment. This year’s event was our busiest yet and seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces as Santa Claus switched on the lights was a lovely moment. Edgbaston Village has hosted the annual event for five successive years now and it was great to see so many people take the opportunity to explore the area and enjoy the wide array of fantastic food and drink on offer.”

Anna, Elsa and Olaf sing Frozen favourites to the delighted crowd

Beautiful Ballet Performance


Learning for life

At Norfolk House, Edgbaston learning starts as soon as the children arrive.

From the youngest children in the nursery, who start aged 3 months, to the oldest children in Year 6 at the school, every day is a packed timetable of experiences, all tailored to their needs. But, the learning is not limited to the children, all staff are encouraged to develop their skills through regular continuing professional development. Opportunities are frequently sought for staff to expand their skills, whether by training to deliver Forest Schools, leading a new subject or teaching a different age group. Alongside this, Norfolk House has developed a hugely successful partnership with Crackerjack Training. At any one time, Norfolk House is working with Crackerjack to support learners following a diverse range of courses, including apprenticeships. The close partnership between the two companies ensures that learners are well prepared for working life once they have completed their courses. Rosie first set foot in the Nursery as a Level 3 Apprentice with Crackerjack Training, following two years at college

studying for her ‘A’ levels. She decided training on the job was more suited to her and going into the childcare industry was something she had always wanted to do. She says, “I really appreciated being able to learn at college and then put into practice what I had learned. The support I received from the Nursery and Crackerjack was so helpful.” During her time at Norfolk House Nursery, Rosie has progressed from Senior Nursery Nurse to Room Leader, then Deputy Manager, before becoming Nursery Manager in October 2016. Hayley (Senior Nursery Manager) and Susannah (Headmistress) both collaborate closely with Crackerjack, including sitting on the Governance Team. In this role, they oversee the provision offered by Crackerjack to help ensure the qualifications are robust and fit for purpose. With the introduction of the End Point Assessment, they will also be supporting Learners prepare for their professional discussion. Crackerjack recently recognised the work of Norfolk House by awarding both the Nursery and School Employer of the Year 2019.

Think of the children Seymour Luke, the residential property experts, is proud to confirm the launch of it’s Private Client and Wills Department

None of us likes to think that we will not live to see our children grow up, yet, tragically for some, it is a reality. What is concerning is that the majority of parents have made no plans to deal with such a possibility. Whilst most people, when they think of making a Will, tend to focus on the distribution of their assets, whether it be property, shares, personal possessions or money in the bank, they rarely think of their Will as being used to provide protection for their most precious treasure, their children. By making a Will, as well as providing for your children and other loved ones financially, you can formally appoint a trusted family member or friend to act as the Legal Guardian for your children. The Guardian’s role is to raise, care for and mentor your children until they reach the age of eighteen.

We offer advice and assistance in the following areas: • • • •

Wills and codicils Lasting powers of attorney General powers of attorney Court of protection applications

• Elderly client matters • Residential conveyancing • New build / Off plan purchases

For further information call us on: 0121 456 3696 or visit our website www.seymourluke.com

Seymour Luke Limited

Seymour House, 15a Frederick Road, Edgbaston, B15 1JD

A correctly drafted Will ensures that your wishes are adhered to, whether those wishes are to benefit someone who would not normally benefit under the intestacy rules (the rules which dictate what will happen to your estate if you die without a Will or with an invalid Will) or to ensure that someone who would otherwise benefit under the intestacy rules does not. Making a Will gives you more options and freedom to meet your specific needs and wants and it makes things simpler for the loved ones who you leave behind. We are based in Edgbaston, were formed in 2008 and, until recently, dealt solely with private residential matters. In June 2019 Eve Gold joined the company, as a Director and Head

of Department, and established the Wills and Private Client Department. Eve qualified as a solicitor in 2010 and specialised in family law and private client matters providing her with a substantial amount of experience dealing with sensitive matters, elderly and vulnerable clients in a friendly, yet professional, manner. All matters are dealt with in a relaxed, friendly, courteous and professional manner where the time is taken to discuss the particular wishes that you knew you wanted in your Will, or Lasting Power of Attorney (a subject dealt with in previous editions of HEM Life), and some that you may not have even thought about. I will ensure that you receive a truly bespoke and top rated service. Eve. t: 0121 456 3696 e: eve@seymourluke.com

Now Open 7am - 7pm

Norfolk House Nursery

We provide early education and care to children between the ages of 3 months and 4 years. We offer a range of extra curricular activities including Baby Ballet, Rhythm Time, Pyjama Drama, Mini First Aid and Toddler Tennis. We engage a Clinical Nutritionist and a Registered Health Visitor to provide specialist advice and guidance. At the heart of everything we do is an uncompromising commitment to providing your child with the fullest opportunity to learn and develop in a safe environment.

28 Harborne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3AA 0121 454 8714 3 Norfolk Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3PS 0121 452 1485 www.nhnursery.co.uk enquiries@norfolkhouseschool.co.uk


Life Stories


Harborne ‘Lights Up’

Christmas comes early...

Harborne Christmas lights switch on, Saturday 16th November was a great day out and enjoyed by children and adults. Kate Smart Harborne Village BID Manager said, “It was wonderful to see the community come together again for the annual Harborne Lights Up event. The atmosphere was lively as Harborne Village danced and sang with BGT’s Donchez Dacres and Heavy Beat Brass Band before Sam and Daz from BBC WM welcomed our surprise guest Andy Street to the stage to help them switch on the lights (with Santa of course!).  This year’s event, which along with the lights is funded by the Harborne Village Businesses, was a huge success and we’re already looking forward to next year!”

Roy Wood with 4 year old Anja

Ahead of performing at Symphony Hall Birmingham next year, Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp made a visit to the site of Symphony Hall’s £13.2 million redevelopment and met with members of Birmingham community big band The Notebenders, one of many local community groups who will benefit from the state-of-theart performance space. Band members hail from all sections of the diverse and dynamic communities of the City of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region. Mary Wakelam-Sloan, Jazz Programme Manager, said, “Town Hall Symphony Hall has been working for over ten years with Ladywoodbased community big band, The Notebenders. Led by Conservatoire graduates and supported by the Jazzlines Talent Development programme,

The Notebenders is a unique and important part of Town Hall Symphony Hall’s commitment to supporting the musical aspirations of the people of Birmingham and enabling free access to quality performances in a world class venue.” Christmas also came early for four-yearold Ukulele-playing Anja, when she met Birmingham music legend Roy Wood, formerly of E.L.O., Wizzard and The Move. Anja presented him with his own special ukulele as an early Christmas present. Chris Proctor, Head of Programme at Town Hall Symphony Hall said, “As a new parent, I’ve seen first-hand how children are introduced to music from such a young age without even realising – be it nursery rhymes or popular songs.”

A Sporting Chance!

31 Calthorpe Road, Birmingham, B15 1RX

L-R: Sian Harrison and Karen James of Southall School; Tim Clay, Succession Wealth and Michael Vaughan OBE.

For more information contact admissions@sgse.co.uk or via telephone on 0121 625 0398

The UK’s youth cricket and disability sports charity, The Lord’s Taverners, aims to change the lives of disabled and disadvantaged young people using sport and recreation. Succession Wealth, Birmingham has been supporting this inspiring charity for nine years. This year’s annual ‘Sporting Lunch’ in November was held at Harborne Cricket club. Tim Clay from Succession Wealth organised the event which raised £12,500 for the Lord’s Taverners and the same amount for the youth section of Harborne Cricket Club. Tim said, “For anyone who has got as much out of sport throughout their life as me or, for anyone

who appreciates the value of participating in sport at whatever level, this charity ticks all the boxes. I have only just got involved with The Lord’s Taverners raising money for the charity itself and for the development of cricket at my local club in Harborne, where I have served as player, committee member, youth coach and chairman for many years. The funds raised here will serve a dual purpose therefore, and I am fantastically grateful to The Lord’s Taverners for agreeing to pledge half of what I raised back to Harborne Cricket Club so that we can continue to develop the club and its young players.”



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02/04/2019 12:53:21

10 Business Life For the record

What would you feel like if one of your team covertly recorded you? Angry? Reaching for the P45? A case at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) HR with shines a light on the issue. It concerned an employee who Omar Rashid felt a departmental restructure HR Dept. was biased against her. She interrupted a meeting and refused to leave, demanding to know the points of discussion. When she was called into an HR meeting later to be informed, she was being disciplined for this behaviour, she covertly recorded the conversation. An attempt at mediation and then sickness absence followed, before the employee was summarily dismissed. A breakdown in the working relationship was cited as the reason. Both an employment tribunal and the EAT found the dismissal to be unfair. During the hearings the existence of the secret recording became apparent. The employer claimed entrapment and said they would have sacked her for gross misconduct had they been aware of the recording. They argued compensation should be reduced to nothing. However, the EAT did not accept this. They found that the employee was not motivated by malice, but simply wished to keep accurate records when feeling extremely stressed. It went on to provide guidance on how tribunals should treat the admissibility of secretly recorded employee evidence. In particular, to consider the motivation of the employee and the blameworthiness of the employer in a given situation. We’d advise reviewing your disciplinary and grievance policies to either include covert recording as an example of gross misconduct, or permit declared recording provided those being recorded give their consent. This will strengthen your hand when dealing with a case of covert recording. But as per the EAT guidance, be mindful that in some circumstances, it may still be admissible evidence e: Omar.Rashid@hrdept.co.uk www.hrdept.co.uk


First steps

Boxing Clever for Charity

Here’s what to do before starting your own business with

L-R: Bobby Singh, Joan O’leary, Sunny Hira

White Collar Boxing and Love Your Postcode raise £65,000 for Charity. November saw former World Kickboxing Champion Sunny Hira team up with entrepreneur and property tycoon, Bobby Singh from Love Your Postcode to raise over £65,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. As part of Season 9 of White Collar Boxing Championships, the FightMania charity event was held at The Regency Suite in Birmingham, with over 1,000 distinguished guests in attendance, including regional politicians, representatives from the corporate world, industry stalwarts and even award winning Bhangra singing sensation JK who performed as part of a contenders fight ring entrance. Having launched in 2014 by Sunny Hira, White Collar Boxing Championships aims to raise awareness and money for good causes in the community whilst allowing regular people to challenge and better themselves through physical fitness and activity. Explaining the concept behind it, Sunny said, “This boxing event gives a beginner - an average Joe, 8 weeks free boxing training. The participants whom we refer to as contenders will then compete in a boxing match with another contender based on comparable boxing ability, weight and age. The

contenders are from all walks of life and challenge themselves for their own reasons.” “The 8 weeks training teaches them the discipline, commitment and essentially the boxing skills they need to fight.” The event was headlined sponsored by award winning estate agents Love Your Postcode. Bobby Singh helped pushed the FightMania event and cause onto an even larger and far reaching platform with the help of his marketing expertise Bobby Singh said, “Our ethos at Love Your Postcode is about providing a premium service and performance at the highest level whilst remaining committed to the community we serve in. I am really grateful for the ongoing sports partnership with Mr Hira and we are committed to taking this great cause to an even bigger audience in 2020 and beyond through our branding expertise which means we were able to raise even more awareness and funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.” On the night three contenders were honoured with a championship belt for going above and beyond in their training and fundraising. The first was awarded to Waseem Quereshi for raising a fantastic £6,995 for the charity whilst the other two honours were handed Joe Bolger and Clint Flemming, for their outstanding commitment to the training and cause.

After yet another day Ralph Savage FCA of using someone DRS Business Solutions LTD else’s inferior products and services, you’ve thought of a way to make better versions of them. Whether you’ve just invented a great product, or found a way to innovate services in your sector; you won’t be able to start your business unless you can make a living from it in its early years. Here are the steps that you should take before taking the plunge and beginning your new venture. Do Your Research Everyone has competition. Unless you’ve found a convenient way to crush yours into one of the fancy compotes that are regularly served at business networking events, your business is likely to struggle to make a profit in the early stages. Good research will not only give you an edge before your first day of trading, it will also give your business plan much greater focus and better profit potential. Write A Business Plan A carefully thought through plan, underpinned by realistic financial forecasts will get you focused on important stuff like your target market. If you need to raise finance, a business plan becomes a necessity as funders needs to know that you have a thorough understanding of your business. Find A Mentor and Advisor If you’re not experienced in business and finance, then a mentor and advisor can make sure that you are staying on course as you seek to implement your plan. They are also useful sounding boards for advice and great motivators when times get tough

m: 07774 548822 www.drs-business-solutions.co.uk

Don’t settle for anything less 

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    

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    

Acc-Unique Solutions is a modern accountancy practice with a difference. Our investment in cloud technology has enabled us to develop a totally paperless system which is GDPR compliant, environmentally friendly and extremely efficient for our clients and staff. As many business owners will agree, ‘great bookkeepers’ are hard to find.

Traditionally bookkeepers were expected to be organised and reliable with a sharp attention to detail. Those qualities are still very important, as is a sound understanding of the double-entry bookkeeping system. However nowadays a bookkeeper’s role requires much more. Business owners rely on their bookkeeper to take charge of their company finances, ensure they meet every deadline and maintain a system that complies with auto-enrolment pension duties, minimum wage regulations and making tax digital… the list is endless! In order to keep the business ahead of the competition the bookkeeper needs to be innovative, have excellent IT skills and be ready to embrace the very latest software and technology. He/she must be able to provide professional, accurate reports for important business meetings as well as up to date figures from the touch of a smart device. At Acc-Unique Solutions we train our staff and our students to have all these qualities.

Fiona Wilson Director

Students who enrol on our Sage accounting programme have the opportunity to learn basic, intermediate and advanced Sage skills at our offices in Harborne. For businesses we can assess your new or existing employees and deliver a tailor-made training programme to suit your exact requirements. Anyone looking to gain qualifications can join us to follow the Sage University learning route. Students that show commitment and have the qualities required to become a ‘great bookkeeper’ are offered work experience in our organisation and have the opportunity to work with our clients under our guidance. If you are looking for a ‘great bookkeeper’ or you want to be a ‘great bookkeeper’ call Fiona Wilson on 0121 684 7618 or visit our website at www.Acc-Uniquesolutions.co.uk

New showroom opening Saturday 14th December Visit us at 342 High Street, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9PU

0121 389 8422 | www.campbellwatson.co.uk


Rubric Lois King Solicitors

Making gifts using someone else’s money The season for giving and receiving gifts is almost upon us. Whether it is appropriate to make gifts and what expenditure is acceptable is one which concerns many attorneys. It needs to be understood that a power of attorney does not authorise the donor to be as free with the donor’s money as he might be with his own. There are statutory limitations on the amount and type of gifts. The basic rule is that limited gifts may be made on ‘customary occasions’ such as birthdays, weddings and religious festivals provided it is to a friend or relative of the donor. Gifts made also be made to a charity to which the donor has previously made a gift. The following is a useful checklist: • Does the power of attorney contain any limitation or guidance on giving gifts? • If the gift is to a person, is he or she related to or connected with the donor? • If the gift is to a person, is it an authorised occasion? • Is the value of the gift reasonable having regard to the donor’s estate and all the circumstances? If the gift falls outside these guidelines the attorney should seek advice as it is likely that an application to the Court of Protection will be required. This might happen, for example, where it is desired to make gifts to assist with ta planning. If a donor of a power of attorney still retains capacity it is preferable for the gift to be made by the donor directly rather than using the power of attorney. This is due to the restrictions on the attorney’s powers. It is also advisable to keep records of gifts. I hope you all have a Happy Christmas. Rubric Lois King Solicitors t: 0121 450 7800 www.rlksolicitors.com


Pupils’ Fintastic Swimathon Challenge

Sixteen pupils from The Blue Coat School, Birmingham, aged 7 to 10 years have taken to the water for charity. Alex, Archie, Bertie, Harry, Harry, Henry, Jai, Jenson, Lucius, Nico, Remy, Robert, Theo, Vinay, Vivek and Wilf, needed to complete just under 2,000 lengths of the outdoor pool at Edgbaston Priory to replicate swimming the distance of the English Channel. On a cold November afternoon, the boys in green assembled poolside ready to take on their swimathon challenge. In under two hours they had clocked up an incredible 1,886 lengths, surpassing their distance target and also smashing their fundraising target to raise £3,119.00 for BBC Children in Need.

The fantastic 16 BBC’s Pudsey Back at school, further money was raised through a non-school uniform day and lots of activities led by the ninety-seven boys in St. George’s House, who this year, chose Children in Need as their charity appeal for 2019.

With money still coming in, a grand total in the region of £8,000 looks set to be achieved and will go a long way to supporting this worthy charity.

with DEREK CASE Company Chairman Mortons Funeral Directors

Remember a loved one Christmas brings joy to many. But for some, it’s a time of sadness as thoughts turn to those who are no longer with us. The idea of an empty seat at the dinner table can often revive the raw pain of bereavement. As funeral directors, we see every day the distress that the loss of a loved one causes. And we’re very mindful of the importance of Christmas in the context of loss and loneliness. But whilst we can’t take away the sadness, we can make it a little better. To do this, each year we bring the community together for our Tree of Light Memorial Service to collectively share tributes and memories of friends and family who have passed away. The event traditionally takes place on the first Sunday of December and is attended by hundreds of people. One of the Service’s most symbolic aspects are the words of love people are able to write in memory of someone close to their heart. The message is written on a Memorial Star, which is placed on the Tree at our premises on the Bristol Road in Northfield and which remains on display throughout the Festive Season. It brings comfort to people knowing that the message is there whether they’re walking or driving past the Tree at this special time of year. For anyone who was unable to attend the Service, there is still an opportunity to make a personal act of remembrance. Regardless of whether they have been cared for by our team, people are most welcome to submit a message to us and we will ensure it is written on a Star and added to the Tree. To have a Memorial Star completed on your behalf, please telephone 0121 476 9111 or email sarah@mortonsfunerals.co.uk. We hope this small but significant act will bring comfort to you at Christmas if you are missing someone. t: 0121 476 9111 e: info@mortonsfunerals.co.uk www.mortonsfunerals.co.uk

Planning your future home needs

At Senior Home Solutions we are gathering knowledge about falls and the impact they can have on daily living for extended families.

Many families will consist of a network of grandparents, parents and children and even great grandparents. Great grandparents may be over 80, grandparents maybe aged 65 plus and adult children over 40, with children of various ages. The impact of a fall for a great grandparent or grandparent can be devastating for the whole family. Even with a minor fall a hospital visit or worse a stay may be necessary. The stark reality is that the adult children often rely on their parents for help and support with their children and the impact of those parents having to become carriers, even if on a temporary basis, can be huge.       At Senior Home Solutions we have come to realise that not every customer wants to adapt their homes or fit a lift or stair lift, handrails or lighting. They want to live a normal life within their home, people do not like change.   The fact is change comes in every shape and form and very quickly. A life change can come in a fall or a visit to the doctors for a checkup. It comes with age and is part of life’s journey.  Senior Home Solutions wants to be part of the journey, the part that gives you a new way of

living in your home, the safe way, the most costeffective way It’s never easy to make changes but the reality is if people do not plan for change it may be too late when you most need it. We can all read the statistics, but do we want to be a part of those stats that say 65% of 65 Year old’s fall and break a hip, why can’t we have another stat they say’s we re-started the journey and we now have 65% of 65 year old’s living in their own homes Independently and without falling, and most of all happy. Why don’t you let us visit you at home and see if we can turn a new page and start a journey together building a relationship and planning your future home changes to suit your needs. At the end of the day a lot of people have a better standard of life, living in their own home and environment.  My goal is to give you and your family peace of mind, reducing risks in your own home and surrounded by family, friends and memories, keeping the risk of fall. Contact Steve on: t: 0121 427 5216 m: 07889 134 711 e: steve@seniorhomesolutions.co.uk www.seniorhomesolutions.co.uk

Jonathans in the Park quintessential Festive Afternoon Tea Being served every day, with tea and coffee inclusive refills £17.50 per person. With refills and a 200ml bottle of Prosecco each £22.50 per person.

Jonathans in the Park Authentic Victorian Country House Restaurant Tearoom by Day and Restaurant by Night Breakfast • Lunch or Brunch • Afternoon Tea • Evening Meals Experience this classic establishment’s revival ambience and the taste of yesteryear nestled amidst the acres of natural beauty in and around Lightwoods Park.

We wish all of our customers a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Jonathans at Christmas CHICKEN LIVER & WHISKEY PARFAIT A smooth ready to spread pate served with crackers, warm toast & fresh salad MIDWINTER GARDEN SOUP - V - GF A nourishing bowl of flavoursome creamy soup, made daily from fresh vegetables served with thick white or brown rustic bread & Irish butter STIRLING CAUGHT PRAWNS & SMOKED SALMON SALAD Plump prawns dressed in Marie Rose cocktail sauce covered with a Scottish smoked salmon blanket served on a bed of leaves and cherry tomatoes served with crackers and warm toast quarters –––– • –––– SOHO CORNER TURKEY COQ AU VIN This classic French dish as adapted by the discerning families of Olde Smethwick, we use white Pinot Grigio in the rich sauce for this elegant tasty seasonal turkey dish MARYS YULETIDE BEARWOOD BODFISH An ample darne of fresh Scottish Salmon, poached to perfection then seared in hot lemon butter served with fresh creamy parsley & chive sauce on a marsala infused soda bread crouton AN IRISH PIE IN SMETHWICK Tender chunks of Irish beef marinated in Smithwicks ale and Pie’d In short crust pastry, served with a colcannon & pastry lid accompanied with robust Guinness gravy

Simply Great British Cuisine - Saturday Evenings from 7pm Victorian Country House Dining - Our home style traditional British recipes are very closely related to the original Jonathans Restaurants unique food style and the ambience of the Victorian era. We buy locally, always using high quality ingredients and produce. The inspiration for the menus comes from many directions and from chatting to our guests. Herbs and plants from our Victorian kitchen garden grown expertly by co owner John are used in many of our dishes, and we eagerly await the harvest of our William pears, Victoria plums and Cox’s apples which we will use in our Christmas menus.

World Class Live Music - Wednesday & Friday Evenings (7pm – 11pm) Irish music performed whilst enjoying authentic traditional Irish dining washed down with some of the finest Guinness, finished with the BEST IRISH COFFEE EVER! (selection of spirts & soft drinks available too).

–––– • ––––

Wednesday: The world famous Two Pats (Irish Folk and Ballads) Friday: Madra Trad (Irish Traditional Music).


Rooms with an ambience of the past - for up to 100 people


THE BATTLE OF FOXES CORNER TRICOLOUR TRIFLE Freshly made with Black cherry compote, sponge fingers soaked in Blue Curacao (No alcohol) homemade custard topped with whipped cream & Red berry coulis OR

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS PUDDING With brandy butter & Cornish clotted cream –––– • –––– Main Course Only 14.95 Two Courses, Starter & Main OR Main & Pudding 19.50 Three Courses 24.50 Four of our famous seasonal vegetable creations are included with your main course VEGETARIAN & VEGAN DISHES ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE

Jonathans in the Park

Lightwoods House, Adkins Lane, Bearwood, Smethwick B67 5DP Telephone: 0121 420 1888 www.jonathansinthepark.com

Wedding, Birthday, Conference, Business Meeting or a Gathering of any kind available

Tearoom Opening Times

Restaurant Opening Times

Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm Saturday 10am to 5pm Sunday 10am to 5pm

Wednesday Irish Dining 7pm Friday Irish Dining 7pm Saturday Victorian Country House Dining 7pm Sunday 3 Course Lunch from 12 noon – 4pm

Please book in advance to ensure you are not disappointed

Jonathans in the Park

Lightwoods House, Adkins Lane, Bearwood, Smethwick B67 5DP Telephone: 0121 420 1888 www.jonathansinthepark.com FREE PARKING

*Vegan, vegetarian and allergen awareness are important factors to us, we strive to maintain a very high degree of mindfulness when dealing with these areas of concern.

14 City Life


Centenary Square project wins prestigious award Birmingham City Council scooped its first award for the successful redevelopment of Centenary Square last month.

Image provided courtesy of Fitzgeralds Civil Engineering Contractors Ltd

The project - designed by Graeme Massie Architects and delivered with construction partners Bouygues UK was named Construction Project of the Year at the Insider West Midlands Property Awards on Friday (8 November 2019). The redevelopment of Centenary Square was shortlisted alongside six other projects, including HSBC’s new UK headquarters at 1 Centenary Square and The Lansdowne in Edgbaston. Phil Edwards, assistant director for inclusive growth at Birmingham City Council, said, “It’s fantastic that just a few months after the new look Centenary Square was opened as a world-

class public space, it’s already gaining industry recognition – against some very tough competition. “This win is thanks to the architect’s vision and the fantastic work by both the city council and its contractors in bringing that vision to life. I hope it’s the first of many.” Centenary Square’s new look was unveiled on 3 July 2019, nearly five years after Birmingham City Council launched a competition to redesign one of the city’s biggest squares, which attracted 185 entries from more than 30 countries. www.birmingham.gov.uk/news/article/495/ brumbudget20_have_your_say

#BrumBudget20: Have your say

Birmingham City Council is set to launch a public consultation into its 2020/21 budget proposals. The council has already saved approximately £730 million since 2010 with plans to deliver further cumulative savings of £81 million by 2023/24. The consultation for the 2020/21 budget is focussed on savings totalling £5.5 million, rising to £17.7m in 2023/24. This will leave a gap to be addressed of £26m in 2023/24 including identifying opportunities to modernise service delivery. Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said, “This continues to be the most challenging period in Birmingham City Council’s history with the unprecedented reduction in funding from central government due to last for at least another four years. “Over the years funding cuts to the council and across the public services have inevitably had an impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our city – a point highlighted by the growing numbers of homeless people and families living in poverty within Birmingham. A total of 20.5 per cent of our annual budget is spent on providing services to adults and children in need of support. “In this budget we are seeking to protect services to those that need them most, whilst at the same

time ensuring that the city is ready to meet the challenges and grasp the opportunities of the future. “There is a climate emergency so we must adapt to changing circumstances and seize new opportunities to power our economy as Birmingham becomes a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live and work. The next ten years have the potential to be a golden decade for the people of Birmingham: we are experiencing record levels of investment and the Commonwealth Games will help boost the international reputation of our city. Our focus is on making sure that the benefits from this economic growth and the Games are felt by every citizen of Birmingham, no matter where they live, and we will use this budget to help deliver that. “We really want to hear the views of local residents on the proposals that have been put forward for the budget so that together we can help shape the future of the city.” Subject to approval, the consultation will run until 31 December. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #BrumBudget20 Or visit:

www.birmingham.gov.uk/news/article/495/ brumbudget20_have_your_say

Let’s Grow Together

GROWING TOGETHER Bereavement support for children & young people • Is your child grieving the loss of a loved one? • Could they benefit from exploring their emotions through open conversations and creative activities in a safe and fun group environment? Contact us today to find out how we can help your family with a range of emotional and practical support: childrensservice@birminghamhospice.org.uk | 0121 752 8753

How can you support a grieving child at Christmas? Photo: Sally Roberts, St Mary’s Hospice

It doesn’t matter how much time has passed since your loved one has died, the prospect of celebrating Christmas without them can be incredibly painful. For children and young people, Christmas can be quite daunting as they will often feel a whole range of emotions. Naturally, they will want to enjoy this special time of year but will often feel guilty for doing so as they know that part of them is missing. Sally Roberts is a Children’s Worker at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, where she supports children and young people through bereavement and grief. She shared her advice on how to support a bereaved young person during the festive season. Encourage communication - Always encourage communication between families and loved ones. Most children and teenagers will miss hearing their loved ones’ name and mostly love hearing tales of the person, so don’t be afraid to mention them. Do something special - Doing something creative can allow children and young people to express their grief in a different way, often providing an opportunity to talk about the person who has died. Ask your child if they have any ideas on how they’d like to honour their loved one. It could involve making a bauble for the tree, cooking that person’s favourite festive food or lighting a candle in their memory.

Visit somewhere meaningful - It is good for children and young people to maintain a connection with the person who has died, particularly if it is a parent of significant carer such as a grandparent. Visiting a special place can give your child time to think about their loved one and hopefully encourage them to talk about them. It’s OK to have different feelings - One moment, your child may seem completely unaffected by the death and is enjoying the festivities and then the next, they may be crying. This is completely normal and you should let children know this. Don’t hide your own grief - It’s natural to want to protect your child from any sadness but it’s good for them to see that others are grieving too. If you cry, don’t hide it from them – it will show that it’s completely normal to cry and feel upset. Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has recently launched ‘Growing Together’, a peer support group for bereaved children and young people. The group aims to increase your child’s confidence, reduce isolation and help them to manage any difficult feelings they may be experiencing. The group is open to all children, whether or not their loved one was supported by the Hospice. To find out more, please contact the Hospice’s Children’s Team on 0121 752 8753 or email childrensservice@birminghamhospice.org.uk


Exclusive by JIM SIMPSON www.bigbearmusic.com

There’s something special about the blues, and about the people who play and sing them...

Life Style

Life Stories 15 DEC 19 - JAN 20

Kent DuChaine

The music, only occasionally in fashion over the last 100 or so years, never goes away, it’s always there, bubbling along beneath the surface, always fresh and vital and the influence on so many forms of popular music. As for the performers, they are often a world apart from other musicians, so obsessed with their music that everything else in life becomes secondary. One such man is 68 year old Kent DuChaine, a native of Wayzata, Minnesota. Brought up in a musicobsessed family, Kent first met the blues, somewhat ironically, through the recordings of English bands The Rolling Stones and Cream, as well as Jimi Hendrix, before going back to the roots thanks to his local library, where he discovered the music of Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues, which to this day has remained his main inspiration. Kent DuChaine can be properly described as a blues hobo. He has been on the road for some 50 years, travelling nearly 3 million miles to deliver around 10,000 performances and only quite recently building himself a place to live. “The road is my home” he told us at his November appearance at Henry’s Blueshouse at The Bulls Head. He introduced the capacity audience to his travelling companion of the last 42 years, the 86 year old Leadbessie, a rare and

extremely precious National Steel guitar who in Kent’s hands sounds majestic. The name Leadbessie, Kent explained, was derived from blues legends Leadbelly and Bessie Smith. A similar model recently went for $110,000 at auction. A very special time for Kent started when he was ‘kicking around Utah and Alabama’ and found the legendary Memphis-born guitarist and singer Johnny Shines playing in a small coffee house in Tuscaloosa. Now Shines, a Blues Hall of Famer, had been travelling companion to Robert Johnson, and later to Johnson’s stepson Robert Junior Lockwood, so this was striking the motherlode as far as Kent was concerned. Shines, slowly recovering from the effects of a stroke, was down on his luck. So, DuChaine took him under his wing, playing and touring with Shines

Kent du Chaine

through USA and Europe, more than 250 shows together, as Kent told it “we took off for the next three years just ridin’ the rails, we rambled, we gambled, we rumbled and tumbled, drank a little ‘shine and played a lot of blues. That was kinda cool.” It ended when Shines passed in 1972, and Kent took up with Kim Wilson, later of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, for a couple of years, then it was time to dust off his beat-up old motorhome and take to The Blues Highway. He’s been travelling ever since, hanging out with Willie Dixon and Howlin’ Wolf, recording with Eddie Guitar Burns and Boogie Woogie Red, hooking up with Lonnie Pitchford in Mississippi, a relationship that ended when Lonnie shot himself by accident when he was cleaning his gun.

“I started playing that music when I was rambling around in these, many different vehicles I lived in” said Kent. “I never had a phone, never had an address. Leadbessie, she still looks after me and I’m still driving her around. But now, all those years and four and a half ex-wives later I got me a house on the shore of Lake Euffala on the state line between Alabama and Georgia. I was always looking for that spot I could call home. I call it The House The Brits Built, ‘cos you all been so good to me. I’m only home for a few weeks in the year but come by and visit. The Key’s under the electric box and the moonshine is sitting on the counter”. Jim Simpson

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Oak Lodge Buildings, Furnace Hill Halesowen B63 3LZ

0121 550 1444

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16 Life Style Health


Protect your eyes with MATT ROSE Brittain Opticians

with JANET EASTWOOD Janet Eastwood Acupuncture

with JOHN HILL Fit Brummie Bootcamp

with PHILLIP MORRIS Confidents Denture Clinic

Matt Rose Brittain Opticians 0121 427 1007

Janet Eastwood BA (Hons) LicAc MBAcC janetacupuncture@hotmail.co.uk 07707 878 549

John Hill, S.A.C Dip Diet & Nutrition 07540 368060

Phillip Morris RDT CDT RCS (England) GDC146046 0121 426 3500

Winter and Dry Eyes

A Natural Support!

How to win at January

All I want for Christmas

One of the biggest issues your eyes can face during winter is the loss of moisture, but the good thing is that you can work around this problem through different ways, such as: Turn Down the Heat - Dryness of the air can be a cause of concern in winter, especially if you already have dry eyes. The issue can escalate further due to high temperatures people usually set indoors. So, turning down your central heating to a mild temperature can be the best thing for ensuring ample moisture retention in your eyes. Blink - Many people complain of a worsening dry eye condition when they read or use computer. Our blinking slows down when we engage in any activity requiring dedicated visual attention. One effective way to get around this problem is to blink more, so that our eyes continue to produce enough lubrication in form of tears. Use a Humidifier - Defying the need of heating systems in winter is not possible, but they also result in loss of moisture in the air, which can compromise the quality of indoor air. This boosts your probability of getting dry eyes. Under such circumstances, nothing can serve better than a humidifier, not hindering with your indoor heating but still maintaining ample levels of moisture in the air to keep your eyes comfortable. Try some Eye Drops - If you’ve tried all these tips but still struggle with dry eyes, artificial tears can help to moisten your dry eyes. Your local opticians can suggest the best eye drops for you.

Traditional Chinese medicine has promoted specialised treatment for women during pregnancy and postpartum recovery for over 3000 years. Now offered by post graduate trained acupuncturists in this country, it can be a safe adjunct to usual medical care. Nausea during pregnancy: Research in Australia (Complement Ther med. 10(2):78-83) concluded that, “acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy�. Muscular-skeletal pain: Back and rib pain, sciatica, symphysis pubis and sacroiliac pain are common in pregnancy and can all be markedly reduced with acupuncture (British Med Journal;330(7494):761). Breech and posterior babies: Research in Italy found that moxibustion can have a significant effect in helping to turn breech babies. Ideally with treatment started at 34-35 weeks but can still be useful if started later in pregnancy. Hypertension: If detected early, often acupuncture can assist in helping to reduce high blood pressure. As hypertension can escalate quickly, ongoing medical monitoring remains essential throughout pregnancy. Labour preparation: 3-4 weeks prior to the due date treatment to prepare the pelvis and cervix can be commenced. Followed by weekly treatments until labour begins. A study in New Zealand with midwives indicated that this led to, “A reduction in women requiring medical intervention, including medical induction and caesarean section�. Acupuncture can provide a gentle inducement to labour if baby is overdue. Other pregnancy problems where acupuncture can help: Anaemia; Anxiety; constipation; carpal tunnel syndrome; heartburn; haemorrhoids and vulval varices; insomnia; sinus problems. www.acupuncturejanet.com

January is fast approaching‌ If you are like most people, you may be parking your fitness and health goals until the New Year. This is totally understandable because December is not a month that is not naturally associated with healthier choices. The thing is, the success rate of people starting New Year health kicks is not great. In fact, they reckon that about 75% of people that start a healthy plan in January quit by the first week of February.

Don’t worry if you are losing your teeth, there are many reasons why you might be losing your teeth, but that doesn’t have to be an issue. Whether it’s through illness, an accident, decay or age there is a solution. Choosing your dentures There are a vast number of options when it comes to choosing your dentures, the range of denture teeth look incredible natural. Fitting and maintaining your new dentures, making sure that they continue to fit comfortably for years to come, and if the time comes for you to replace your dentures the same level of care and attention is applied be it complete or partial denture. Dental implants Advances in technology have made implants more accessible to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Previously a bridge was the most popular however, these prostatic options can make eating uncomfortable or make people feel selfconscious of their smile. Overall dental implants produce a more natural outcome both aesthetically and functionally. The right decision for you Booking an initial consultation appointment is free and will provide you with all the facts to help put your mind at ease.


Why is this? Well, there are numerous factors. The one I want to talk about today is based around exercise. Most people will join a gym in January. Gym’s are great IF you know exactly what you are doing when you go there and know how to progress and improve. If you don’t, then the lack of results and boredom will catch you out and you will give up. Not because you are bad or lazy, because you are human and if you are putting in all this effort and not seeing results, why would you keep doing it? My suggestion? Look further afield for your fitness options. You may find a program that has been designed for people just like you. Personally, I would recommend investing in some private or group coaching because you can then get the care and attention you need. In the gym you are just another face in the crowd www.fitbrummiebootcamp.com

Local Organ Donor Honoured

We wish you a Merry Christmas Phil & Denise. www.confidentsdentureclinic.co.uk Sean Sandford

People from the West Midlands who saved lives through the gift of organ donation have been posthumously honoured at a moving award ceremony. They received the Order of St John Award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, which was given to their families and loved ones on their behalf. People recognised at the ceremony included Sean Sandford from Kings Norton. The award was accepted on his behalf by his parents Nicola and Alan Sandford.


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Nicola said, “Our son Sean was sadly diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2018. It came as a complete shock as he had virtually no symptoms apart from two episodes of illness which were put down to stress and travelling. He had even won player of the year for his rugby team at the end of April 2018. Initially he was told it was a grade 2 tumour and was not operable or curable but treatable. Our lives fell apart, but the professor told him there was no reason he could not work and to go and get on with his life. A biopsy followed but with each hospital appointment the news got worse. The final meeting, Sean was told it was grade 3-4 and at best he would have possibly 5 years. He didn’t ask the worst case scenario although his dad and I were aware it could be less than 2 years. Instead it turned out to be a matter of weeks.

“When we had the meeting with the Doctors I can remember saying ‘Something good has to come out of this horrific unimaginable situation. Can Sean be an organ donor with a brain tumour’? As luck would have it, if you can call it that he had not started his chemo or radiotherapy, Sean’s uncle Martin had also confirmed that they had had a conversation about donation and we all felt this was the right thing to do. “We were subsequently informed that Sean had saved 6 lives. As a family we have all signed up for organ donation and would encourage everyone to do it. If you can save the lives of other people some good has come out of your own tragedy and another family does not have to suffer as you are. We cannot have our son, brother, or daddy back, but 6 other people are still living because of him.�

Life Stories 17


Make your bed your new bestie for bed month

As National Bed Month (March) gets underway, The Sleep Council says it’s time to make your bed your New Best Friend! With latest research* showing more than one in 10 people (13%) find an uncomfortable bed disturbs their sleep and nearly as many (12%) recognising a new bed would help them sleep better at night - a great bed, like a great friend, should offer comfort and support.

Says The Sleep Council’s Lisa Artis, “A great bed can be the perfect

partner when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Just like a good mate, it really can make a big difference to life.”

Along with reminding people of the importance of a good bed to a good night’s sleep, The Sleep Council’s 10 Commandments of Good Sleep, drawn up by one of Britain’s top experts, Professor Jason Ellis of Northumbria University, look at how making a few changes to your routine over a 24 hour period can make a huge difference to your sleep and wellbeing. The simpleto-follow guide is based on latest advice and scientific evidence. 1. Keep a regular sleep routine

Keeping a regular sleep wake schedule helps the body’s sleep system stay in harmony and promotes feelings of sleepiness and drowsiness when your body is ready for sleep.

2. Get out into natural light

Natural light (even on cloudy days), helps reset our internal body clock. It helps us get over feeling groggy when we have

just woken up and makes us more alert. Get out into the natural light as soon as you can after waking up, and preferably around the same time every day. 3. Exercise regularly

Exercise promotes the quantity and quality of your sleep, making it deeper and more refreshing. However, a few studies have shown that exercising too close to bedtime can prevent sleep so we suggest leaving a window of at least two hours before bedtime without exercise.

4. Avoid stimulants eight hours before bedtime

Although there are significant individual differences in how caffeine affects each of us, give yourself enough time between your last caffeine intake and your sleep time to make sure that it does not interfere with your ability to get off to sleep.

5. Don’t go to bed full, hungry or thirsty

Eating at regular times helps strengthen our internal body clock. However, eating a heavy meal before bedtime can make it challenging to sleep at night.

Drinking lots of liquid before bed will also increase the chances that we have to go to the bathroom during the night. Conversely, being hungry or thirsty at night can increase the chances of waking up. A balance should be struck between being sated but not full up before we go to bed. 6. Be screen savvy

Using electronic screens just before bed and in the bedroom can keep us awake for longer as the blue light from these devices has the capacity to prevent the hormones that make us sleepy from being produced. Importantly, it is not just the light that can affect our sleep, but most activities that we use our devices for can keep us awake and alert.

feelings of being unrefreshed during the day. 8. Avoid nicotine before bed

Nicotine is a short-acting stimulant that can keep you awake and so should be avoided in the later part of the evening and during the night if you happen to wake up.

9. Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet

Heat, light and noise can impact on our ability to get off to sleep and increase the chances that we wake in the night. Making sure the bedroom is cool, dark and quiet can improve the quality of our sleep as can sleeping on a comfortable, supportive bed.

10. Hide the clock

7. Don’t use alcohol to sleep

Although alcohol is a sedative, it can have a significant impact on the quality and quantity of your sleep. Our sleep tends to become fragile and light when we have a lot of alcohol in the evening and can lead to lots of awakenings in the latter part of the night and

Home is where the heart is Local care company urging public to help combat loneliness. Companionship is key to a healthy life but more needs to be done to reduce loneliness amongst the elderly in Edgbaston, according to research carried out by a home care provider.

Home Instead Senior Care surveyed more than 2,000 over 65s with 9 in 10 stating that regular companionship would help them to stay mentally and physically healthy for longer. Despite this, it was revealed that many older people felt lonely with over a quarter of over 65s saying they spent 8 hours alone daily, with almost half (49%) of over 85s facing at least ten hours a day alone. Now the home care company is urging the public to take action to help older people in the community feel less lonely. Terry Cheung, owner of Home Instead Senior Care said, “In many cases, it’s simply having a friendly face pop by for a cup of tea and asking if they need assistance with their shopping. So, our message is this; visit your grandma, take your parents out for lunch as often as you can, befriend older neighbours and, if you are looking to turn your compassion into a rewarding career, consider becoming a CAREGiver.”

The survey also revealed that 85% of older people in the local area want to live at home so as to not lose their independence and 61% also feel safe in the comfort of their own home. Terry continued: “It comes as no surprise to us to find that most people want to live at home for as long as possible. For most of us, our home is our sanctuary throughout our lives. When we get older, we’ve raised our families and earned our rest, we should get to enjoy the comfort of our own space. “This is why our care works so well because our CAREGivers can provide companionship and support as well as encouraging older people to engage and be part of the community.” The home care company recently launched a television campaign to highlight how care at home works, as well as highlighting the rewarding role of working in care. Home Instead’s service is personal and tailored to the needs of each individual. It’s a unique proposition that centres around visiting clients for a minimum of one hour at a time and matching them to CAREGivers who have common interests. There is a shortage of CAREGivers in our society at the moment. Home Instead Senior Care recruits people of every age, regardless of employment background; basing hiring decisions on an applicant’s passion for care rather than experience.

If you would like to make a difference in the lives of older people or to find out more about the work of Home Instead Senior Care, call 01217 218937 or visit www.homeinstead.co.uk/edgbaston

Home Instead Senior Care client with CAREGivers

It is common to watch the clock when we are awake at night. For some of us, this can increase our anxiety levels and further prevent us from being able to fall asleep. It is not necessary to remove the clock altogether as many people rely upon their alarm clocks to get them up in the morning. However, having the clock face out of sight will help reduce any sleep anxiety.

18 Life Style Burnout at Work with Dr Meetu Singh SonsatI Consultant Psychiatrist The Oaktree Clinic You may be experiencing burnout if you have: • Decrease in motivation at work • Reduction in energy levels, fatigue • Feelings of cynicism or reduced professionalism. Burnout can be managed and prevented using techniques like: • Establishing boundaries between your work, personal and social life: Setting specific times for you to be engaged with work and stop it from spilling into your personal and social life is the cardinal rule to prevent burnout • Taking regular short breaks and more importantly moving is vital! This improves your focus on the important tasks and prevents mental fatigue • Practicing Mindfulness: Self-awareness and being present here and now is a key component of understanding your emotions, thoughts and behaviours • Try some breathing exercises such as breathing in for 4 seconds, holding for 7 seconds and then releasing for 8. This will help you especially when you feel overwhelmed. However, sometimes no matter what you do the work-related stress or a mental disorder like depression and anxiety disorders that you have no control over may occur. In this case seeking professional help maybe the best step forward.

t: 0121 314 0330 www.oaktreeclinicmidlands.co.uk


Safeguard your business from IT disaster with Fiona Wilson Acc – Unique Solutions

Fall prevention

Reduce festive season stress

Live well in your own home with Steve Michael Senior Home Solutions

Career & Life with Clara Wilcox The Balance Collective

More and more businesses are embracing the change to digital bookkeeping and paperless filing. The benefits of these new practices can be crucial to building a sustainable accounts system fit for growth, but what happens when disaster strikes? Cyber-attacks cause a variety of unplanned, immediate and long-term costs. Aside from the expense of equipment repair, many overlook the implications of loss of productivity, ongoing protective measures and damage to reputation. To safeguard against this, the answer is simple ...use a back-up routine. Measures as simple as taking regular backups and storing them securely allow you to easily restore back to healthy data. It’s not only viruses that cause problems, errors or files that are deleted by mistake need to be considered too. By using a software package such as Office 365 and an online encrypted document portal you can enjoy flexible access and easy file retrieval while keeping everything safe. An effective firewall package will protect your network from threats and intrusions, while a rolling 7-day cloud-based back-up will allow you to ‘go back in time’ if required. Accessing files on the move is a great facility but remember to lock devices with a password to ensure GDPR compliance. If an IT disaster strikes your business, it may grind to a halt. Imagine logging on to your pc and reading that dreaded ransomware message telling you that your files are locked. Don’t let your business fall into the trap of security complacency.

Falls are a common, but often overlooked, cause of injury. Did you know that around 1 in 3 adults over 65 who live at home have at least one fall a year? And about half of these will fall more frequently. (NHS England). There are many things we can do to help prevent, or at least limit falls in and around the home; some are very simple. It is well known that age can bring physical changes to our bodies and likewise there are many options available to help us maintain good health.

t: 0121 684 7618 www.Acc-Uniquesolutions.co.uk

t: 0121 4275216 www.seniorhomesolutions.co.uk

Vision - If you wear varifocal or bifocal glasses make an appointment to see your optician to discuss your options, it may mean two pairs of glasses, but it may prevent a fall. Feet - We underestimate the importance of having a good stance and gait when we walk, look at your footwear, it might need changing. Consider a visit to a local chiropodist or podiatrist. Home - Take a look around your home, ask a friend or family member to help and look for potential trip hazards; turned up rugs, high thresholds, frayed or loose carpets, loose rails and bad lighting. Falls can happen to anyone of any age, so I’d recommend everyone consider the simple suggestions above. An injury from a fall can have a big impact on our daily life, so it’s definitely worth trying to prevent them! Be safe. Steve.

December can feel like a pressure cooker. You want to get ahead of your work before you break up, so you burn the candle at both ends. But, with some simple steps you can take control of your work-life balance. Time block -Do you have a never-ending todo list? Transfer this mental checklist into your diary as appointments. Be realistic about your available time and prioritise the “must-haves” against the “nice-to-do.” Reduce Distractions -December can mean a last-minute rush as people want to clear their to-do lists! The key to staying in control is to remove distractions. If you need to work alone, make it clear to colleagues that you aren’t to be disturbed (unless it’s urgent!). Buffer time - It may seem obvious, but actually give yourself time in your diary to do things like move between offices after meetings. Don’t cram your diary to the brim. You need time to allow for the unexpected too. Plan, and plan some more - Give yourself time each day to reflect on what your wins are, what you want and what you need to do each day. A mental declutter and celebration creates a positive mind-set. Dinner date - If you don’t do anything else, book out your lunch as an appointment. It is so easy when you feel under pressure to sacrifice your own wellbeing. YOU NEED TO EAT. Ultimately, you need to be gentle on yourself. These tips aren’t just for Christmas; they are for life! e: hello@thebalancecollective.co.uk www.thebalancecollective.co.uk

How our house clearances unearth hidden treasures At Biddle & Webb, much of what we do concerns deceased estates – our probate services are a great source of pride for us, but they are also the source of some of our most incredible items. A crucial part of our work with probate cases is our house clearing service: before every clearance, our experienced valuers will examine the house for objects of interest, but it is often not until the clearance itself that all manner of previously unnoticed hidden treasures are revealed. In our last few weeks alone, we have been privileged to evaluate and bring to auction a variety of unique and intriguing finds. Our latest monthly auction saw a wealth of valuable collections from deceased estates, including a significant amount of designer apparel: an array of Chanel Boutique items, ranging from several stunning woven jackets to a beautiful black clutch; and a selection of boxed ladies’ designer shoes, from labels such as Ralph Lauren and Bologna & Figli. We have also been able to value a number of

extensive and specialist stamp collections, with the expertise of the former President of the Birmingham Philatelic Society, who we are honoured to have as a member of our team. Beyond the merely valuable, however, there are always surprises to be found on our probate properties. Our team recently uncovered a collection of militaria, comprising of First World War medals of service, and a variety of international medals from the Second World War, including German military memorabilia. In another clearance, our team found a hidden reserve of £422.50 in cash, which was securely held in the Biddle & Webb bank account, and returned to the estate. Though our probate services are some of our most widely used, no two house clearances we have performed have been the same, and we hope we can continue to discover more unique stories behind each of our probate estates. t: 0121 455 8042 e: info@biddleandwebb.com www.biddleandwebb.com

Christmas Greetings AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

The WALK Men’s Hairdressers Des would like to thank you for your custom and wish you all

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 8 Albert Walk Harborne B17 0AR

HEM Life

Thank you to our readers and advertisers for continued support

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Office closed 16/12 /2019– 6/01/2020 Next publication February 7th 2020 See you on the other side.

Confidents Denture Clinic

Seasons Greetings

would like to thank our customers and wish you all a

Fit Brummie Bootcamp

and all our

Let us help you make 2020 Your Fittest Year Yet!

19 Albert Rd, Harborne B17 0AP

John www.fitbrummiebootcamp.com

Phill and Denise of

Very Merry Christmas Best Wishes for 2020

Paul, John and the team at

Jonathans in the Park wish you all

Happy Christmas and All the Best for 2020 Lightwoods House, Adkins Lane, Smethwick B67 5DP

Love Your Postcode Estate Agents wish you all

A Fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year Bobby Singh & the team www.loveyourpostcode.com

from the

To all my clients, friends and family wishing you all a

Happy and Healthy Christmas & New Year Janet Eastwood Birmingham Community Acupuncture Lightwoods House, Smethwick

Happy Christmas

and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all of our customers and friends. See you in the New Year!

Brittain Opticians 0121 427 1007

Harborne Youth FC would like to take this opportunity to wish you all

A Happy Christmas and All the Best for 2020


The team at

Rubric Lois King Solicitors wish you a

Super Christmas and Happy New Year

Rubric Lois King Solicitors 26 Calthorpe Rd, Edgbaston B15 1RP

Fiona and the team at

Nicholls Brimble Bhol Solicitors

wish their clients, friends and family a

wish all of their clients

Acc-Unique Solutions Accountants Healthy, Happy Christmas and New Year 4 Albany Road, Harborne B17 9JX

A Great Christmas and a Happy New Year 0333 016 1100 www.nbblaw.co.uk

Shop Window

20 DEC 19 - JAN 20


PAINTER & DECORATOR • Over 30 Years Experience • Cleanliness Assured • Written Quotes on Request • O.A.P s • Interior and Exterior

Call Allan Silvers

07730 477564 MORTONS

Monday Club The Mortons Monday Club, meets regularly on the first Monday of every month. It’s an informal gathering, with tea, coffee and biscuits in the Ivy Suite at our head office in Northfield from 11.00am to 12.30pm. The Club is open to all, especially those looking for some mutual support and advice having suffered a bereavement. Feel free to join us – and bring a friend if you would like to.

It couldn’t be easier to place your advert with HEM Life Ideal platform for small businesses. Reach potential local customers Cost Effective and... it works! To be included in the next issue: email: advertising@hem-life.co.uk or call: 0333 366 0279


07966 291730 or

Tel: 0121 476 9111 www.mortonsfunerals.co.uk


Head Office, 705 Bristol Road South, Northfield, Birmingham B31 2JT


‘Treecycle’ your Christmas tree and raise vital funds for a local hospice

CHRISTMAS TREECYCLING 11th & 12th January 2020

Take the hassle out of recycling your Christmas tree this New Year by allowing a local hospice to pick it up from your doorstep.

In exchange for a donation, we’ll collect and recycle your tree


9 - 20

Take the hassle out of recycling your Christmas tree this New Year by allowing a local hospice to pick it up from your doorstep.


Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s ‘Treecycling’ campaign will see volunteers collect thousands of used Christmas trees from across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull, in return for a donation to the charity.

Book your collection before 6th January Our volunteers will be collecting from selected postcodes Book today at www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/treecycling or call 0121 752 8779 In partnership with

The initiative takes place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January, and will see trees recycled into compost and biomass fuel.

Kindly supported by

All funds raised from Treecycling will go towards the Hospice, which provides vital care to local people who are living with lifelimiting illness. The postcodes that Treecycling will be collecting from, are: B13, B14, B15, B17, B25, B26, B27, B28, B29, B30, B31, B32, B38, B45, B47, B62, B67, B68, B90, B91, B92, B93 & B94. Collections will need to be booked by Monday 6 January.

To book your collection, visit: https://www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/treecycling Advert 131 x170mm HEM LIFE.indd 1

22/10/2019 10:52


Black Sabbath honoured with new hoarding New hoarding paying homage to Birmingham band Black

Sabbath has been installed in Broad Street as work to build the West Midlands Metro extension to Edgbaston rolls on. The Midland Metro Alliance has erected new panels

depicting the heavy metal band members – Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward – to help mark their

50th anniversary year and in recognition of a commemorative bench from Westside BID which normally sits in the area.

Fans are being encouraged to pose alongside the images and share their selfies using #BlackSabbathSelfie. The Black Sabbath bench has been safely stored away to allow the Midland Metro Alliance to carry out essential strengthening works to the top of the bridge. These works are expected to last approximately six weeks and follows the successful completion of strengthening works to the underside of the bridge in March. Mike Olley, Manager of the Westside BID, said, “The Black Sabbath hoarding panels are a fantastic way to continue to honour the band while the bench is temporarily in storage. We are hoping that lots of fans will take up the opportunity to have their selfie taken against these special hoarding designs and share them using #BlackSabbathSelfie. Broad Street has such a lively and vibrant atmosphere and it is great to see the businesses promoted as being open as usual while the construction takes place, in such an innovative way.”

Th e Au d l ey C l u b at St G e o rg e ’s P l ace Fully equipped gym - Pool Spa therapies - Personal training available Weekly fitness and strength training classes included Restaurant and Bistro with 10% discount for members Visit our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/audleystgeorgesclub/ Memberships from £45

Construction and office staff at the Midland Metro Alliance at the new Black Sabbath hoarding

Tarek Abdelkawi, the artist who designed the Black Sabbath portraits, which are used on the bench, said, “Black Sabbath are a part of my history, as I listened to them growing up. It is a blessing to be contributing to their world in any way, just as they have contributed, rather largely, to mine.” Paul Brown, Project Director for the Midland Metro Alliance, added, “While carrying out our essential bridge strengthening works, we wanted to ensure that we maintained the homage to Black Sabbath and have worked closely with the Westside Bid to design these special panels. The bench will be returned once these works are complete and we would like to thank those who have been impacted by our works for their patience and understanding.”

For m ore i n form ati on cal l

01 21 23 8 0244 or e m ai l stg e orgesclub@audleyvillages.co.uk www.audleyvillages.co.uk

Five new tram stops will connect passengers to Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Brindleyplace, Five Ways and Hagley Road, with links to popular attractions including the Library of Birmingham, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the International Convention Centre and Symphony Hall, allowing more people to use the Metro in this area for day-to-day travel, reducing road congestion in the city centre, as well as improving sustainable transport options along Broad Street and beyond.

72399MT_AudStG_128x319_ClubAd_v1.indd 1

29/08/2019 07:55

22 Life Style


The Wine Man’s Christmas Quiz!

Berkmann Wine Cellars clive.witcomb@berkmann.co.uk



1. Franciacorta, in Lombardy, Italy, is an area associated with what style of wine?

17. Kabinett, Trocken and Auslese are wine styles in which country?

2. Whispering Angel is an iconic, pale rosé from which region of France?

18. A Rehoboam contains the equivalent of how many standard bottles of Champagne?

3. Which rock band launched a wine called “Back in Black Shiraz?”

19. Darling is an important wine region in which country?

4. Urville, Épernay and Reims are located in which French wine region?

Walking and Cycling Plans

20. In Ancient Greece, the dinner host would always be the first to sip the wine. Why?

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

5. In which country is the wine region of Martinborough? 6. Which grape variety is used to produce Pouilly-Fuissé in Burgundy, France? 7. And which grape makes Pouilly-Fumé in the Loire Valley, France? 8. Which country boasts the most indigenous grape varieties in the world? 9. In 1795, in England, the Reverend Samuell Henshall was granted the first patent for which device associated with wine drinking? 10. Which river flows through the French wine regions of Touraine and Anjou-Saumur? 11. Which is the country mostly commonly linked with the red wine grape variety Carmenère? 12. Which two islands are important wine regions of Italy? 13. What is “oenophobia?” 14. Logrono is the principal city of which famous wine region? 15. The Mondego river flows through the Dâo wine region in which country? 16. On tasting sparkling wine for the first time, what did the monk Dom Pérignon say he was drinking?

Good Luck! The Wine Quiz answers can be found on page 26

Calthorpe Residents Society

A key policy area for the Calthorpe Residents’ Society - our city has known many drastic changes over the last few centuries and we are now on the cusp of yet another major one. Birmingham City Council (BCC) claims that this imminent change will go a long way towards improving our quality of life in depth: it is going to roll out an extensive restructuration transportation programme, starting in summer 2020, from which citizens can expect a healthier environment to live, travel and work. In a nutshell, the programme aims to improve the transport network’s accessibility and connectivity, by using the SPRINT bus service, tramway, metro line extensions and denser bus services which are being developed. The programme also aims to encourage cycling and walking by developing Birmingham’s budding cycling-lane network further and by creating wider pedestrianised areas, where bicycles can be parked easily, all of which hopefully will provide noticeable cleaner air, make the population more mobile and healthier in addition to limiting the number of cars on the roads. Accessibility will permeate its designs in an inclusive new way of going about Birmingham. Finally, the impending Clean Air Zone (CAZ) scheme will see polluting vehicles charged daily for driving into the inner ring-road area (i.e., Birmingham City Centre) from July 2020. Calthorpe Residents’ Society welcomes new initiatives aimed at improving our environment, but with an ageing population, can it really be expected that car use can be so dramatically reduced? In cold or wet weather, it is unlikely that all slices of the population will be on their bike or walking a few miles around town every day. All of BCC’s proposals are up for consultation from the 6th January 2020 and CRS will ensure our best interests are put forward; the Traffic & Parking forum on 6th February 2020 will aim to do this among other things and you are warmly invited to join us. www.calthorperesidents.org

a r o f s u n i Jo t u o y a d t grea Located less than two miles from Birmingham city centre, explore exotic glasshouses, Japanese gardens, traditional tea rooms and enjoy a variety of fun events for the whole family.


Find us on:

Thank you for your support it keeps our Gardens growing The Gardens are a registered Educational Charity, No: 528981

Your Winter Garden It’s the season of goodwill, with Christmas just around the corner and 2020 knocking on our door. It’s hard to believe the second decade of the century is almost at an end. If, like us, you’ve been cleaning up the shed and greenhouse, you might have noticed that some of your tools aren’t as good as they once were. So, if you haven’t made your festive wish list yet, you may want to drop hints about replenishing some of them! You can never have too many pairs of good gardening gloves. If and when the weather’s really bad – sometimes even the hardiest of gardeners prefer to stay inside with a cup of tea – have a browse through the gardening catalogues to see if there are any flowers or shrubs that take your fancy for next year. And if you’re a vegetable grower, plan your scheme so that you introduce essential crop rotation. Even though daylight is reduced, there are jobs you can do in the garden, even in the depths of winter.

Here are some tasks to consider this month: • We’ve had a lot of rain recently, so you’ll notice if you need to improve drainage and aeration in your garden. If you do, spike your lawns with a garden fork. • If we get a mild, dry period, it’s fine to continue cutting the lawn but just make sure that the mower blades are raised. • There’s still some pruning to be done: fruit trees, climbing roses, acers and wisterias can all be pruned in December. Leave any faded hydrangea flower heads, though, as they provide protection for the new buds. • Take hardwood cuttings from dogwood, mock orange, viburnum and climbers including honeysuckle. • Make sure you keep your bird feeders topped up with much-needed nutritional goodies, including fat balls and seeds. They really need our help at this time of year. Whatever you do this month, have a very Merry Christmas! The Birmingham Botanical Gardens www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk t: 0121 454 1860

Home Life

23 DEC 19 - JAN 20

Winter can be lonely not here it isn’t!

Experience the warmth of a McCarthy & Stone community, where there’s always something interesting going on. There’s company when you want it, help when you could use it, and even care when you need it.

Rent or buy, we’re here to make it happen

Join us for Sherry & Mince Pies Thursday 12th December, 11am-3pm.

Join us for some festive treats this December while getting to know the friendly community who have already made Ryland Place their home. It’s the perfect to opportunity to take a tour of our wonderful show apartments and shared facilties. Your family and friends are welcome too.

Ryland Place, 27 Norfolk Road, Edgbaston, B15 3AY Show complex open Tues-Sat, 10.30am-5pm To book your place, call now on

0800 201 4195 or visit mccarthyandstone.co.uk/rylandplace


24 Home Life


Estate Agent Jargon

Artworks as gifts

Buying a home is almost with always an exciting time, BOBBY SINGH but unfortunately, it can MBA FCCA be a little on the confusing Love Your Postcode side, too. To make matters worse, along with organising a billion different things, all that estate agent jargon can sound like another language. It certainly doesn’t help in an already stressful time! We think it’s crucial to be able to decode this mystery speak, get clued-up and to get you ahead of the game! Chain – This is when a potential buyer or seller has a property that they need to buy or sell before the sale can be completed and directly impacts you. Gazumping – When a seller accepts a higher offer from someone after they have already initially accepted an offer elsewhere. Gazundering – is when the buyer reduces his offer just before the contracts are exchanged. Maisonette – When a property is split into multiple units over several floors, with separate and private entrances. Peppercorn ground rent – This is a type of rent that is usually paid annually at a low value. Transfer Deeds – The document that legally transfers the registry ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer. Valuation – When the property is surveyed to determine its value. This is usually done for the purpose of getting a mortgage or for an estate agent to ascertain a price to put the property on the market. We hope this little guide gives you a better grasp on estate agent jargon, we’re sure you’ll be fluent in no time!

Last year, at the same time I wrote about artworks as gifts. Well, it is this time of the year again…

Bobby Singh t: 0800 862 0870 www.loveyourpostcode.com

Benefits of a Kitchen Island with


No matter how much you try to avoid it, you cannot hide. Artwork is a great gift if you are looking something for someone who already has everything. However, you do need to know what they prefer if you want that piece to be installed in their home. Looking for something different, but are not that comfortable in choosing the artwork yourself? Art experience - It can be where the recipient can paint, draw something or a ceramics workshop, where they create a three-dimensional sculpture or perhaps a gift card for bespoke commission, the success depends very much on how confident the person is in art themselves. If they create something they don’t like in the end, then the artwork will probably not end on their wall. However, I’m sure that with a good tutor they will enjoy the experience itself. The same goes for the ceramics or any other crafts workshop for that matter. Gift card for a bespoke commission – this option offers the recipient to commission a bespoke piece within an agreed budget. This way they will probably receive an artwork they are looking for, but without an experience of creating the piece themselves. Whichever option you will go for, it will be a unique experience and you will be remembered. Jaanika Okk t: 07795 871 205 www.okk-arts.com

As the heart of the with home, kitchens have been evolving DARREN BRODIE alongside our tastes Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets in design. As a nation, once we discovered the benefits of a kitchen island, this feature became one of the most popular and sought-after additions to our cooking spaces. Let’s take a look at some great reasons to include an island in your home. Inject Style into Your Kitchen Nowadays, people are looking for a sleek and professional kitchen that not only looks the part but also has lots of storage space. A kitchen island gives you this, and is also particularly helpful if you do a lot of cooking and want a space to use for other activities. Create a Versatile Living Space If you are looking to zone your kitchen and dining areas, kitchen islands are an excellent idea. They can be various shapes including curved or L-shaped depending on how you want to separate your space. By introducing an island, you can make a space feel like a dining room, family room or living room Add Value Kitchen islands can add value to your home by attracting the interest of buyers – particularly those paying attention to kitchens. Islands add a “wow” factor and improve the desirability of your cooking space. Maximise Space If storage is at a premium in your home, a kitchen island can be a life-saver. Aside from adding extra worktop space, cabinets give you significantly more storage, plus, adding seating can create a stylish dining area. Darren Brodie - Smethwick Showroom t: 01215 584583 www.solidwoodkitchencabinets.co.uk

Put the garden to bed for the year


ADRIAN BADHAM Ashcroft Gardening Services

I like to prune all the roses, cutting any perennials back to ground level and covering the crown with some care compost to protect the plant over the winter months. Prune all shrubs and mound up around the base with care compost to protect roots. Make sure that all leaves are removed from the borders, off the grass and off paths and drives.

Add a splash of colour Although for many it’s time to put the garden to bed for the year, during the winter months your garden doesn’t need to be Grey - add some colour to your garden. Plant up pots and borders with a mixture of pansies, viola, primula, wall flowers, dwarf daffodils, cyclamen, winter heathers, dwarf conifers, and any other winter interest plants. Use a good quality compost and slow release fertiliser in your pots for a good show of plants to brighten up your winter in your garden.

Spring into action There is still time to plant out spring flowering bulbs for added colour in late winter early spring. Winter is good time for planting up any shrubs or plants in the borders of your garden, make sure you dig a good sized hole, feed with a suitable fertiliser and back fill with a quality compost. Adrian Badham t: 0121 559 5375 m: 07721 502 985


Selling fast! Our retirement apartments at Hadley Lodge are selling fast, so now’s the time to visit us and see how good retirement living can be. Make the first move towards Churchill Retirement Living today – you’ll be surprised how easy it can be.

HADLEY LODGE Quinton Lane Open Tuesday to Saturday - 10am to 5pm. CALL TODAY TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

0121 514 8771 Visit churchillretirement.co.uk

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Cottons - the property specialists est 1924

26 Life Sport & Motors


£25m contribution for Alexander Stadium

Mixed Fortunes for Harborne and University

by Paul Raymer

Harborne are cautiously feeling their way in the men’s national hockey league Conference West division having secured two wins from their first seven matches at top level.

How the Alexander Stadium will look following its major redevelopment

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has announced a £25 million contribution towards the cost of redeveloping the Alexander Stadium in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Wine Man’s Christmas Quiz Answers 1.

Sparkling Wine








New Zealand




Sauvignon Blanc




The corkscrew

The WMCA Board on (November 8) agreed the funding request towards the £72.5 million cost of creating an enduring legacy to the Games, which will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of Perry Barr and the wider West Midlands. The state-of-the art stadium, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies along with the athletics competition, will see the permanent capacity increased from 12,700 to 17,000 spectators. It will also feature a 400m, six-lane running track and during the Games temporary structures will be added to create a total capacity of more than 30,000 seats. Deborah Cadman, WMCA chief executive, said, “Our fundamental role is to provide opportunities for economic growth, job creation, an enhanced environment and improved wellbeing for our citizens across the region. “The redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium fits firmly with our objectives and along with other schemes, including the Athletes’ Village and the Sprint rapid bus network, will kick start the further regeneration of Perry Barr to improve the

Fun in a safe environment

10. The Loire 11. Chile 12. Sicily and Sardinia 13. The fear of wine! 14. Rioja, Spain 15. Portugal 16. Stars! 17. Germany 18. 6 (4.5 litres) 19. South Africa 20. To prove to guests that it wasn’t poisoned!

Distributed FREE every month. Next Issue: Friday 7th February 2020

quality of life of people living and working in the area. The stadium is a key facility for ensuring the success of the Games, which will bring broader investment providing a wider West Midlands’ legacy.” Clive Heaphy, acting chief executive at Birmingham City Council, said, “Birmingham is a sporting city, with a great heritage for staging events and major championships, the biggest of which will be the Commonwealth Games in 2022. “I’m delighted that the combined authority has committed to investing £25 million in the stadium and that they continue to work with us and all our partners in showing their support. “As part of hosting the Games, Birmingham is receiving huge investment and it is a great opportunity for us to really transform Birmingham and to change the lives of our citizens long after the 11 days of sport have finished.” An agreement has already been made for Birmingham City University to become an anchor tenant after the Games, as part of the legacy.

Leading scorer Louis Morris, with Matt Shuttleworth led them to the first victory, 7-3 over Ashmoor. Morris was one of five players who each scored a goal in Harborne’s second win – 5-4 at Cheltenham. By mid-November Harborne 2nds were lying centre table in Midlands 2 following defeating Leek 3-1, Coventry 2-1 and Burton 6-3. Bournville, who ended last season halfway down Midlands Premier table, are struggling having won only one of their first six matches. They were second bottom with the sole victory being 7-4 against University of Warwick. Edgbaston have an improved record in Midlands 1, lying seventh after three wins from seven matches. But they have suffered heavy defeats -0-7 to Rugby & East Warwicks and 1-6 to Sutton Coldfield. The University of Birmingham ‘s men’s and women’s teams are experiencing mixed fortunes. The most successful so far are the men’s 2nds who by mid-November were celebrating heading the Midland Premier division unbeaten. Their latest wins were 5-0 over Stourport and 3-1 at West Bridgford. The University’s national women’s Investec Premier division side were struggling one from bottom of the table having won only two of nine matches. Their second team, in Investec Conference West, had won two of seven games, the latest triumph was 3-2 at Cheltenham. University men’s national Division 1 North side also had only two victories from seven games. Their latest set back was a 2-0 defeat by University of Nottingham.

Given the recent poor weather it’s been a quieter than usual few weeks for Harborne Youth FC, but despite the waterlogged pitches we have managed to squeeze in a few matches between the downpours. Newly formed under 7s team had a couple of exciting cup matches in November. Under 9s and under 9s Colts teams had good matches against Crusaders and Studley Juniors. Under 12s Colts team have been busy recently and have played a few matches, including a couple of tough ones versus Arden Forest and Bartley

Reds. The boys completed a great 3-2 win against Boldmere Falcons, so their perseverance has been rewarded. Under 14s team had a great win against Sporting FC following a defeat against Lyndon Colts and our Under 16s had a fantastic 9-2 away win versus Solihull Maroon in the Premier League. Under 18s had a similarly good result against Alvechurch Lions - a 7-3 win - but unfortunately were knocked out of the President’s Cup following defeat by Solihull Maroon away from home.  We’re all about being a football club that puts an emphasis on enjoying playing football and having fun in a safe environment. In addition to this, we are ready to renew our FA charter status, showing that we are running our grassroots football club in the correct way. Visit us for more information at: www.pitchero.com/clubs/harborneyouthfc/  Or contact Club Chairman Phil Court on 07907 781581



Harborne Golf Club, Edgbaston Golf Club, Edgbaston Priory, Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club, Moseley Golf Club, Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

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Trendy, eye catching family motoring The nice thing about driving a new model from Citroen is that you know even before you sit in it it’s likely to be totally different to anything else on the road. Over the years the French company has produced a number of radical models which have been outstandingly successful. And despite their bold approach to design and suspension in the main they tend to get it right, particularly where family motoring is concerned. One of the newest models is the C5 Aircross, which boasts eye catching styling and a ride that’s hard to beat. A distinctive clamshell-style bonnet with oversized twin chrome chevrons, a tall upright stance and generous ground clearance ensure the C5 Aircross is definitely an SUV with a difference. And it’s not just the exterior that’s different either as you will soon notice when you get behind the steering wheel. There’s a trendy tactile dashboard which is dominated by a centre-set 8-inch touch screen as well as a large digital speedometer immediately in front of the driver. And the installation of virtual dials mean you can change their appearance to have more or less information in front of you at any given time. But the real bonus of the C5 Aircross - and the reason for its name - is its magic carpet-style comfortable ride, thanks to a unique Citroen suspension system and special seats. The suspension system softens the ride by adding hydraulic rather than solid stops to the shock absorbers to give a cushioning affect as the car hits potholes and bumps in the road. As if that wasn’t enough Citroen has added advanced comfort seats with an extra 15mm of foam that you sink into and allows you to cope much better with the poor state

of Britain’s highways. Inevitably there’s some body roll but it’s all well controlled and the extra comfort means long journeys are much more relaxed and you get out with far less need to stretch aching muscles. The Flair+ spec model driven here at £23,325 had a six-speed manual gearbox and a high centre console allowing you to rest your left arm just a hand span away from the gear shift. Standard features on board include satellite navigation, 19-inch alloy wheels, voice recognition, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera with multiple views - including an overhead one - and a lane control system. In the back of the Aircross the conventional one-piece rear seat has been replaced by three individual seats which can move independently of each other and each has an adjustable back rest. This is a large SUV so you might think that a 1200cc, three-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet might be a little underpowered for it but it proved just the opposite. With a top speed of 117 miles per hour and a 0-62mph time of a very creditable 10.5 seconds this Citroen is no slouch. Under normal driving conditions it never felt lacking and when wound up this diminutive engine pushed the Aircross along at an impressively brisk pace with a nice sporting sound for good measure. And despite that it still manages to average over 40 mpg. It’s an ideal family car with plenty of room for holiday luggage. Under the powered tailgate, standard on higher spec models, there’s room for 720 litres of bags with the rear seatbacks upright

and a whopping 1,630 litres with them folded down. In true Citroen tradition the C5 Aircross is a car that dares to be different and is all the better for it.



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