Welcome to the first issue of the Spotlight for 2018. And a belated Happy New Year to all our readers. Unbelievably, this will be my 12th year of running the Trinity Spotlight and its 9 years since I started the Stockbridge Spotlight. I never imagined when I started all those years ago that both magazines would still be going strong after such a long period of time. But they are and that’s down to the support that the businesses who advertise here get from you, the readers. So if you contact a business that is featured on our pages please make sure you let them know where you heard about them. That way they will continue to advertise and the Spotlight will continue to thrive and hopefully grow for many more years. As always if you have something you would like to share with the community or you have a community event planned this year that you would like to let people know about then please do get in touch. I know there is lots going on out there in and around the Trinty area and I am always very happy to hear about events and local stories which I will feature in the Spotlight if I can (and at no cost). Just give me a ring or email me the information contact details are shown beolw. There is also a schedule of the deadline and publication dates for the year on the website. Thanks you for your support over the last 12 years and here’s to a fabulous 2018.
Best Wishes Sue Contents 6 History - Forgotten Foods 10 Trinity Community Council 14 Book Review - February Finds 18 Hard Soduko 24 Finance - Alternative Ways To Invest In Property 30 Quirky Britain - Bog Snorkling 34 Health & Fitness - Keeping Colds & Flu At Bay 38 Mini Cryptic Crossword 40-41 Community Spotlight / Puzzle Solutions
March/April 2018 Issue Artwork Deadline - 9th March Distribution Date - 22nd March Contact Sue Hutchison to book your advertising or community space. 4
The Trinity Spotlight Editor : Sue Hutchison T : 0131 618 6622 (Always include area code when calling) M : 07817 206 418 E: email@example.com Office : 98 Ferry Road, Edin, EH6 4PG
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Forgotten Foods By Catherine Rose
In the era of supermarkets, ready meals and worldwide food imports, this month we look at some of the more unusual British dishes that were once common but have now disappeared from our everyday tables. There is no doubt that although many of our staples have remained, the dishes we eat daily have changed drastically over the centuries. Who would now enjoy a bowl of garum? Yet this fermented fish soup was a favourite of the Romans. We tend to think of the medieval era as being typified by banquets overflowing with roast meat and washed down with endless tankards of mead. In fact, there were many cookery books kept at this time and dishes were often surprisingly complex, served with a great deal of visual wit. Take for example the cockentryce. A capon, or castrated cockerel, was boiled, cut in half and sewn to the rump of a piglet. This was then stuffed and spit-roasted before being ‘gilded’ using egg yolk, saffron and (edible) gold leaf! In those days if you were offered custarde, you wouldn’t have poured it over your apple pie. Custarde was a type of 15th century quiche made with eggs, veal and prunes. Medieval foodies loved to combine fruit with their meat in dishes like fish sausage, made from a mixture of fish, currants, cloves, mace and salt. Puddings were equally creative with wonderfully poetic names such as ‘a dish of snow’ - a concoction of whipped egg whites and apple purée, and ‘eggs in moonlight’ eggs poached in rose water and sugar to resemble moons. Some dishes would probably not be 6
considered palatable today. For example, in the 1700s, cows’ udder would be eaten either roasted or boiled with spices and served cold, and Richard Bradley’s The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director in the Management of a House and the Delights and Profits of a Farm (1736) contains a recipe for boiled vipers. In rural areas, both badger and hedgehog were considered a delicacy. Bradley’s cookery book has instructions on how to prepare badger by cutting off its ‘gammons’ (hind legs), stripping them and then soaking them in brine for a week to ten days, after which they should be boiled for four or five hours and finally roasted. The hedgehog was a Romany favourite and would have been widely eaten in mid-Bedfordshire where there was once a thriving Romany gypsy population. The hedgehog would be caught, packed in clay and baked on the open fire. Once the clay had hardened it was broken away, which took the skin and spines with it, to uncover a meat said to look and taste like roast pork (hence the ‘hog’ perhaps). Beestings (or beastings) pudding was another rural dish. A milk pudding, it was made at home from the rich colostrum of a cow that had recently given birth. The Victorians were adept at using every part of a slaughtered animal for food, from the brains to the hooves. Calves’ ears would be shaved, boiled and fried; offal used to make various patés; and calves’ feet boiled to extract the natural gelatine. We could probably learn a lot from the Victorians in managing our food wastage today. Perhaps future generations will look back on our love of Super Noodles and tinned baked beans with both horror and amusement.
February Finds This issues collection of recent releases includes modern fairy tales, a psychological thriller and historical fiction at its finest. The Toymakers – Robert Dinsdale It’s 1917 and pregnant teenager Cathy Wray seeks sanctuary at a London toy store. She soon discovers that these toys are unlike any she’s ever seen before. There’s a clockwork dog that’s devoted to his master, paper trees that grow from seed, and toy soldiers that wage battles on their own. Cathy learns to call The Emporium home, and the people who own it her family. But then the First World War breaks out, and nothing will ever be quite as magical again. The Toymakers is a must for fans of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. The Sacrifice Box – Martin Stewart Five friends make a pact one summer’s day, when they find an old stone box in the woods. Several years later, one of them breaks the rules and dark forces are unleashed, including a killer teddy bear, zombie crows and a demonic puppet. The five must put aside their differences and come together to appease the box before it’s too late. Aimed at teens and young adults, The Sacrifice Box is a winning blend of coming of age drama and supernatural horror. Happiness For Humans – P.Z. Reizen Romantic comedy meets sci-fi in this enjoyable novel. Aiden’s creators know that he’s an intelligent piece of software, which can read books in under a millisecond, review films and tell jokes. What they don’t know is that Aiden has developed feelings, or that his favourite person is Jen, who helps develop Aiden’s conversational skills. Aiden decides Jen would be happier in a relationship, so sets her up on a date. But Aiden isn’t the only intelligent AI on the loose, and not all of them have such good intentions. 14
White Chrysanthemum – Mary Lynn Bracht Approximately 200,000 young Korean women and girls were enslaved by the Japanese army in the Second World War. Thousands of these ‘comfort women’ died from the abuse they experienced. White Chrysanthemum tells the fictional story of 15 year old Hana, who is kidnapped after stepping in to rescue her little sister, Emi. Several decades later, we meet Emi in her desperate last attempt to find out what happened to Hana all those years ago. While White Chrysanthemum is, at times, painful to read, it’s impossible to put down and a mustread for lovers of historical fiction. The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night – Jen Campbell This collection of modern fairy tales is dark, twisted and beautiful, and range from the macabre to the heart-warming. You’ll read about a mermaid in an aquarium, a boy who suspects his sister has two souls, and a man who uses animal hearts to keep his girlfriend’s love. There are elements of well-known myths and fairy stories, but this collection is more Brothers Grimm than Disney. Captivating. Everything Is Lies – Helen Callaghan Sophia arrives home one day to find her mother dead and her father lying in a pool of blood. The police are convinced it’s a clear case of attempted murder-suicide, and Sophia is the only one who can prove her mother’s innocence. As she delves into her mother’s past, she uncovers tales of a secret cult, and learns more about her family, and herself, than she could ever have imagined. A tense psychological thriller with plenty of twists and turns.
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Alternative Ways to Invest In Property
Although property remains a popular longterm investment, lending restrictions make it difficult for first-time buyers to secure a foothold on the property ladder. Furthermore, the introduction of a buy-to-let stamp duty surcharge, and reduction of mortgage interest tax relief, have made buy-to-let less lucrative. So are there any other options that could be suitable if you’re interested in property investing? Here are a few alternatives that might appeal, but as with any other form of investment, it’s crucial to carry out plenty of research. Property crowdfunding involves investing in property itself, as opposed to peer-to-peer lending where you invest in the mortgages provided to buy-to-let landlords and property developers. So how do these systems work?
of interest rate changes. Drawbacks include a lack of control over practical aspects such as setting the rent, choosing tenants and property maintenance. PEER-TO-PEER LENDING Rather than investing in the property itself, you and other investors provide the money for loans and mortgages that buy-to-let landlords and property developers use. • Return on investment comes from interest paid on the loan. • Platforms provide details of any payment default by borrowers, so you can make a more informed decision on where to invest. • Investments may be made over a shorter term than property crowdfunding, which is important if you don’t want to tie up your money for too long. Is it right for you? PROPERTY EQUITY CROWDFUNDING You don’t have to consider capital gains tax Each property is held within its own limited liabilities with this option, and although the company, known as a Special Purpose risks can be increased if you’re lending to Vehicle (SPV). You purchase a share of the company and own a small part of the property developers rather than buy-to-let landlords, the rewards are also potentially higher. along with fellow investors. After registering on a property crowdfunding website, you can DIRECT COMMERCIAL PROPERTY search for properties of interest and then FUNDS make the investment online. You can invest in commercial property • You receive a return on your investment via unit trusts or open-ended investment via rental payments and also, potentially, companies (OEICs), but you should seek capital gains. professional advice on the best investments • You can spread your investment across a for your particular circumstances. number of different properties. Your money is combined with that of other • Fees include a fundraising/finder’s fee, investors and fund managers decide on the along with property management fees. best investments. These could be solely in the UK or internationally, depending on the • A share of the profits is also deducted by property fund you’ve chosen, and may be in the crowdfunding platform at the end of retail, office or industrial property. each investment term. • You’ll pay a fee for the fund to be Is it right for you? managed. If you want a ‘hands-off’ property investment, • Capital gains tax and tax on dividends equity crowdfunding could be a good choice received will need to be taken into - it’s a quick and easy way to invest, but you account. must do your research beforehand. There’s no need for a large deposit, no landlord • You may be able to hold a property fund responsibilities, and no exposure to the risk within a stocks and shares ISA. 24
(Cont’d on pg 26)
• You can either pay a monthly amount or a one-off investment sum. Is it right for you? You may receive an income from rental payments, as well as a return from the capital growth. Leases on commercial premises in the UK are generally much longer than on residential properties, potentially offering a more secure investment over the long-term. You won’t be able to access your money quickly, however, should you need it. The concept of small investments spread over a diverse property or loan portfolio runs through these options, but what if you do want to purchase an entire property rather than use these ‘hands-off’ alternatives? FURNISHED HOLIDAY LETS Buying a property as a furnished holiday let avoids some of the drawbacks of buy-to-let investment. It offers specific tax advantages and can bring a higher overall return than buy-to-let. Holiday let mortgage providers generally require a deposit of 25%-40%. The amount they’ll lend depends on the existing rental income, or the income as estimated by an experienced local holiday letting agent. To be classed as a furnished holiday let, you need to: • Make the property available for a minimum of 210 days a year. 26
• Let it out for at least 105 days annually, for periods of less than 31 days. Is it right for you? Furnished holiday lets haven’t been affected by the clampdown on tax relief faced by buyto-let investors. Although they require more work in terms of regular marketing, they’ve become a popular way to earn money from property. You can use the services of a holiday lettings agency to market and manage your property if necessary - they’re likely to charge a percentage of each booking, plus fixed costs for other services such as cleaning and laundry at changeover times. www.gov.uk/government/publications/restrictingfinance-cost-relief-for-individual-landlords/ restricting-finance-cost-relief-for-individuallandlords www.thetimes.co.uk/article/buy-to-let-tax-perksare-on-the-way-out-but-landlords-dont-have-to-be28r2qdjrd www.moneywise.co.uk/first-time-investor/ investing/how-to-be-property-investor-alternativeways-to-invest-property www.yourmoney.com/investing/three-alternativeways-invest-property/ www.zoopla.co.uk/invest/guides/propertyinvestment/how-to-invest-in-property-withoutbuying-a-house/#dskrb27ElShzavC2.97 www.which.co.uk/money/investing/howinvesting-works/guides/asset-classes-explained/ commercial-property-investment-explained
Bog Snorkling Not your bog-standard kind of sport by Kate McLelland Fancy navigating your way along a cold, muddy bog, wearing a snorkel and flippers? If your answer is an emphatic “No!” you may be surprised to hear that there are hundreds of people – not just in Britain, but across the globe – who would be happy to take your place. Bog snorkelling is a slippery, slimy sport popular in the UK, Australia, Ireland and Sweden, and in 2014 the travel publication Lonely Planet included it in a list of the world’s top fifty ‘must do’ activities. Competitors are required to travel two consecutive lengths along a 60 yard (55 metre) trench cut into a peat bog, completing the journey in the shortest possible time. Conventional swimming strokes are not allowed and competitors must rely on flipper power to propel themselves forward. DRESSING FOR THE BOG Donning goggles, a snorkel and flippers is compulsory, but there are no rules when it comes to the clothes competitors wear. This has resulted in some wonderfully eclectic costumes, with snorkellers appearing as sharks and other sea creatures as well as fairies, superheroes and spacemen. Comic wigs and hats abound – in fact there’s a prize for the ‘Best Dressed Helmet’ for people taking part in the Triathlon, which combines bog snorkelling with bike riding and running. LOOKS FAMILIAR? Bog snorkelling’s profile received a boost last year thanks to the BBC’s Oneness campaign, which featured active community groups from across the UK. Amongst the skaters, cavers and bhangra dancers included in the campaign, you may have spotted a small gathering of snorkellers clad in fancy dress, posing on a grassy bank before plunging, fully-clothed, into the water below. 30
Appropriately, this short ‘ident’ was used to flag up the BBC’s comedy and light entertainment shows. It was filmed in Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales, where the World Bog Snorkelling Championships are held in August each year. This sleepy Welsh town lays claim to the title ‘The home of bog snorkelling’, as the sport was invented there in 1976, following a pub conversation between a few locals intent on finding a new tourist attraction. AND THAT’S NOT ALL … Llanwrtyd Wells’ ambition to become a national hub for quirky sporting events took another step forward in 2012, with the creation of the World Alternative Games. Although the Games were inspired by the London 2012 Olympics and claim to uphold the ‘Corinthian spirit’ in all their events, the activities on offer at Llanwrtyd Wells are about as far removed from the Olympic programme as it’s possible to get. As well as bog snorkelling, medals are awarded for bathtubbing, belly-flopping, worm charming, wife carrying and husband dragging. Last year’s events even included a category entitled ‘Saving Donald Trump’, which featured an inflatable version of the US president. Although it is a relatively new ‘sport’, bog snorkelling has all the good humour and anarchic energy of other quintessentially British events such as pancake racing, tar barrel racing and cheese rolling, and just like those activities it requires a certain amount of skill and effort to compete successfully. Bog snorkelling may not be up there with the classic Olympic sports, but it more than makes up for that in terms of the enjoyment it generates, not to mention the good causes it helps through fundraising. You can find out more about bog snorkelling and related events at worldalternativegames.co.uk.
Keeping colds and flu at bay.
Keeping Colds And Flu At Bay By Tracy Griffen
The tailend of winter is often the worst time for colds and flu. Many of us stay indoors over the colder weather, and may have depleted Vitamin D and immune systems. Avoiding colds and flu is paramount if you are a bit older, run your own business (no statutory sick days) or have family to look after. Here are some simple ideas to keep you in tip top shape:
• Regular hand washing is important,
especially if you’ve been on public transport or anywhere with lots of people. A very simple but effective point.
• Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Over winter I make a smoothie a day with various fruits, including bananas, yoghurt, frozen berries (most supermarkets now stock frozen
raspberries, strawberries, mango, blueberries and even frozen pineapple). Perfect!
• Be sure to hydrate well. It’s easy to
forget that both central heating and being out in the cold dehydrates us. Herbal and fruity teas are excellent for this, or you can make a homemade ginger and honey infusion.
• Get enough sleep. Set a reasonable
bed time, switch off electronic devices an hour before and enjoy your immune boosting zzz’s.
• Get outdoors and enjoy the daylight
during the day. You can even roll up your sleeves for some extra Vitamin D.
• Stay warm, recent research has proven
the old wives tale of avoiding a chill is in fact true. Your system is more likely to come down with a virus if the body temperature is low. Rug up and keep your chest warm (it’s what my Grandma told me).
• A gentle workout can get oxygen and
antibodies circulating effectively around your system. Avoid high intensity workouts if you are feeling under the weather as they can zap your energy, go for gentle strength and stretching in a warm room instead
• Plan a summer holiday. Sometimes
having something to look forward to can psychologically help you through a dreich week, when everyone else on the bus is coughing and sneezing!
Personal Trainer Tracy Griffen hasn’t had a sick day in over 12 years and runs a private fitness studio just off Leith Walk. See adjacent ad.
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Mini Cryptic Crossword Across 1. Fruit upset captor, I added (7) 7. Map book finally abridged (5) 8. Deals with the middle man too? (7) 9. Cold dart predictably hollow (5) 11. Good loser at play (5) 12. Quarrel about angler’s last fish (5) 14. A flap father turned in, note (5) 16. Customised ski more annoying (7) 18. Nervous face of first tyke seen out (5) 19. Effort I made to give up (7) Down 1. Pale, like a bird (5) 2. Unending Republican race (3) 3. Fish from Ceylon cut oddly (5) 4. Jobs for first timer on queries (5) 5. Philosopher attached to a military unit (7) 6. It could be an Aberdonian place in Berkshire (5) 10. Sign left on a ship some men took (7) 12. Say taste transformed (5)
15. Box – it’s in France 13. Robber one put in with heavy lead the frame initially (5) inside (5) 14. Game a childless 17. Mostly strange verse person has ending poem (3) permitted (5) (Soln on pg 40)
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