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Benham Publishing Limited 4th Floor, Orleans House,


Spotlight on Flavia

Edmund St, Liverpool, L3 9NG Tel: 0151 236 4141 Facsimile: 0151 236 0440

14 Caprice talks to County Concierge

Email: Web:

18 A day out with a difference





Editor’s Note

Joanne Casey

25 County Concierge Service Providers

MEDIA No. 1277

PUBLISHED October 2011 © County Concierge & Benham Publishing Ltd

HEALTH LEGAL NOTICE © Benham Publishing Limited.

20 Weight? That emotive subject!

None of the editorial or photographs may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publishers. Benham Publishing Limited would like to point out that all editorial comment and articles are the responsibility of the originators and may or may not reflect the opinions of Benham Publishing Limited. No responsibility can be accepted for any


inaccuracies that may occur, correct at time of going to press.

12 Imagine Me and You Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.

22 Off the Red Tees!

DISCLAIMER County Concierge welcomes all persons eligible for membership regardless of Sex, Race, Religion, Age or Sexual Orientation. All views expressed in this publication are the views of the individual writers and not County Concierge Limited unless


specifically stated otherwise.

24 So how does she do it?

COVER PHOTOGRAPH Flavia's photo credited to

25 Tips for avoiding a holiday nightmare


An Interview with Julie Morrison Interior designer, Pipeline Interiors, Surrey It will give depth and drama. Use mirrors, lamps and glass: any reflective material will help give the illusion of space.” Q4) On what should you never compromise when decorating a home?

“Comfort. Invest in good quality sofas, seating and furniture. This will be your biggest investment and you will want it to last.” Q5) What common mistakes do you notice when you walk into someone’s home?

Julie Morrison heads Pipeline’s exclusive showroom in Cobham and works with a wide range of clients throughout Surrey, London and the South East. This interview with Julie for County Concierge magazine discusses some of her ideas and principles as a respected Interior Designer. Q1) What are the essentials for creating an inviting space within the home?

“You never have a second chance to make a first impression and so I always like to create an inviting hallway: it will set the mood for the rest of the house. However large or small, try and introduce a focal point - perhaps a console table with an oversized mirror and a pair of statement lamps. Flooring needs to be practical and should flow easily into other areas.” Q2) How do you approach designing a scheme for a room?

“At Pipeline our approach is, most importantly, to listen to the client and understand their needs, their vision and how they would like to use the space. They may wish to incorporate existing pieces of furniture and artwork. It is quite rare that we can ever start completely from scratch. Our job is to guide them through the process and finish with a room that is unique to them and that they love and feel at home in.

“Poor lighting. Lighting is such an important element when designing a room and should be planned from the beginning. Use several sources of light in each room and have them controlled separately and by dimmers to vary both light and mood in an instant. A beautiful lamp is a piece of art in its own right and well worth the investment.” Q6) Have you seen any new fabric or wallpaper collections for the coming season that you are particularly impressed with?

“Mark Alexander has a wonderful new collection of understated fabrics. He uses cashmere, silks, linens and the finest wools. It is both elegant and classic with a contemporary twist. Pure luxury!” PIPELINE INTERIORS 7/8 Post Boys Row Between Streets Cobham Surrey KT11 1AB Tel: 01932 862764 E-mail:

I like to use neutral tones as a base. Creams, greys and taupes make the perfect backdrop for any scheme. Colours and textures can then be added, either subtly or dramatically and cushions, throws and rugs can be changed for summer and winter creating a whole new look at minimum expense.” Q3) What is your top design tip for creating a spacious feel in a small area?

“Use several colours from the same palette. Don’t be afraid to use a darker tone on a feature wall, for example. 4

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As the winter days draw in and our minds turn to open fires and cosy nights in front of the TV… isn’t it wonderful to sit back and luxuriate in the return to our screens of Downton Abbey and Strictly Come Dancing. This autumn also marks some major milestones for me. Apart from launching County Concierge in Surrey and Berkshire, which would be more than enough to warrant breaking open the Champagne, I am about to join the celebrated ranks of the sixtysomethings including some of my favourite icons - Dame Helen Mirren, Goldie Hawn and Joanna Lumley. In many ways my passion for packing as much into life as possible, even at 60, has been the inspiration behind County Concierge. Trying to balance a high-profile career with husband and family while still leaving time to do the things I love… such as time-out pamper days, learning to play the piano and walking with my two border terriers, Archie and Holly. Some years ago a very dear friend persuaded me to stop trying to be Wonder Woman and to start enjoying life, one day at a time. We worked together on ‘de-cluttering’ my home, my career and my life. Not an easy trick but definitely worth the effort. The most vital lesson was to stop trying to be everything to everyone. I soon realised that if you factor the time you spend doing things you could get others to do, and possibly faster or better, the cost starts to pale into insignificance. Now my brilliant team and I spend much of our time helping others to do the same through County Concierge. You may just want a bit of short-term support or help with a one-off problem, but if you really want to get your life back on track, we will sit down with you and help you ‘de-clutter’ your world. Together we will create a really cost-effective lifestyle plan that prioritises the things you want to do and sets aside things that others could do. You can find out more about us at

In this issue of County Concierge magazine we have been speaking to some Surrey-based ladies who live life to the full including stunning Strictly star Flavia Cacace and model-turnedentrepreneur Caprice. It is amazing to find out just how much you can do if you just keep focussed. Both these ladies run successful businesses as an off-shoot of their main careers, and they are not alone. Our researcher found a long list of local entrepreneurs who have flourished, despite the current economic climate, by creating a business that is small, flexible and based on core lifeskills and experience. Over the next few months we will be talking to others who have done the same. Also in this issue we talk to celebrity photographer John Cassidy about how he got into the image game and where he sees his work heading in the future. John is definitely a name to remember if you need a glamorous head shot, whether it is for a new marketing campaign or your social media image... just say Brie! If you want to get some time from work and blow away the cobwebs this autumn then we have a selection of fun things to do. You could take a swing at golf with Off The Red Tees or hurtle an AMG around the track at Mercedes Benz World in Weybridge. I can really recommend these and will be ‘golfing’ myself at the beautiful Foxhills Resort in Surrey this October… nothing too strenuous, a delicious lunch and some fun networking with like-minded ladies. If networking is your thing then why not try Ladies who Latte or Business Biscotti Both are affordable and good fun, as well as being worth every penny in terms of contacts and expanding business links. They both operate throughout Surrey and Berkshire. Whatever you decide to do, I urge you to make sure you have some prime time set aside just for you this autumn… because you are worth it! Sue Seakens Editor 7

Spotlight on Flavia The waiting is over! Strictly Come Dancing is back this autumn for its 9th series and of course the fabulous Vincent and Flavia are up front and centre in the glittering line-up, led by the irrepressible Sir Bruce Forsyth and the lovely Tess Daly. So we can all come out of therapy and revive our armchair fantasies of being dance divas. Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace were first seen on Strictly Come Dancing in 2006 when Vincent partnered Louisa Lytton and Flavia partnered Jimmy Tarbuck, stealing the show with their breath-taking Argentine Tango and wonderful Waltz sequences. They make it all look so easy but the reality is that it has taken many years of hard work and commitment to reach this level of perfection. The passionate and petite Flavia Cacace has danced her way into the hearts and minds of Strictly fans around the world. At 32 she comes across as the perfect partner, by turns passionate, feminine and fun-loving. She is an extremely chatty, bubbly character, who often gets the giggles. The County Concierge team were thrilled when Flavia sent a message from her iPhone agreeing to let us feature her in this magazine, despite her whirlwind schedule, including Strictly rehearsals with her 2011 partner Russell Grant. Born on 13th March 1979 in Naples in Southern Italy, Flavia’s family moved to Guildford in Surrey when she was four. The youngest of six children she has three brothers and two sisters. Only one of her sisters has taken up dancing as a profession, teaching dance. 8

Flavia's photo credited to

“Vincent and I have a great professional relationship based on a huge friendship and respect for each other.”

Flavia embarked on her life-long passion for dance at the age of 5 where she attended Saturday classes at a dance studio in Guildford. Her parents had always insisted that the six children take up extra-curricular activities and had encouraged the older children to attend ballet classes in Italy. However, when they arrived in England, her parents couldn’t find a ballet class locally, so instead her mother enrolled Flavia at the local ballroom school. Working hard to pass the many exams Flavia had found the perfect outlet for her enthusiasm and love of life. At 14 one of her teachers suggested she go into competitive dancing and it was at this point Vincent and Flavia were introduced. Vincent had come over to England to find a partner, and by pure co-incidence, they were both having lessons from the same teacher, at the dance school where Flavia had been taught throughout her childhood. They had a try-out with each other, it worked perfectly, and their partnership was instantly formed. Flavia says “It’s a complete co-incidence that we are both from Italy, but we met in the UK”. The Vincent and Flavia partnership has been extremely successful and the couple have now been dancing together for some eighteen years. Between them they have an impressive list of titles, both at amateur and professional level. Flavia says “Vincent and I have a great professional relationship based on a huge friendship and respect for each other”. She describes Vincent as “a bit of a flirt, but we have a saying in Italian that translates as - the dog that barks never bites. He is a very typical Italian man - a charmer in many ways. He’s passionate, fun, and entertaining. It can be funny to see how people react to him in different ways. Oh, and he can dance some steps too!” Off stage Vincent and Flavia work on their choreography and style. They also run workshops and one-to-one lessons at the school in Guildford. Details about these can be found on their website at For that very special occasion they offer specially commissioned cabaret appearances for corporate and private events, but this always takes a back-seat when Strictly comes to town… and with their new Midnight Tango show they are not able to take any bookings until after July 2012!

Back on the subject of Strictly, Flavia admitted that she cannot wait “it’s always such an amazing buzz!” She is really looking forward to being able to teach a celebrity again, although it is hard to imagine her partnered with larger-than-life celebrity astrologer Russell Grant. As a dance teacher Flavia feels that she’s quite patient and easy to understand. “I like to use examples when I’m teaching as I think that helps people to understand what I’m trying to say.” Time will tell but we certainly wish Russell and Flavia all the very best of luck with the new show. Keeping in great shape is a must, especially for those glamorous costumes that leave little to the imagination. To make sure she is super fit Flavia enjoys going to the gym as “it gives me energy”. She also loves to spend time relaxing in the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms. She enjoys watching TV and especially DIY shows. As if her dance skills weren’t enough Flavia can also play the violin which she says has helped her musically, and she actually plays one in Midnight Tango. We wondered what she would like to do if she wasn’t dancing: “I’d like to be involved with animals. Perhaps something along the lines of a dog behaviourist, or a trainer. I’ve always found that kind of thing interesting”. Flavia loves to work with charities and is Patron of three charities: Home Start which is a charity helping families with young children that have run into financial difficulties, The Fountain Centre based in the St Luke’s Cancer Centre at Royal Surrey County Hospital supporting people living with cancer and Danceaid which is a new and exciting charity that harnesses the energy of dance to transform the lives of vulnerable children. In 2009 Vincent and Flavia recorded the first two volumes of their own Argentine Tango instructional dance DVDs to help dancers get started in this fascinating dance genre. Volume 3 covering the Tango Waltz and Milonga was released in 2010 . Their interests are widening all the time and Flavia is in partnership with a ladies muscle toning product called Maxitone. You can find out more about this product on the website at The couple have also created their own Christmas card which can be purchased via their website at 9

If you love Strictly then you simply cannot afford to miss their brilliant and electrifying show - Midnight Tango. The show, which has been wowing audiences across the country in 2011, will be starting a new season in January 2012 at the Aldwych Theatre in London before heading out for a 6 month tour of Britain. Flavia loves the show element of dancing rather than the competitive element. She describes show-dancing as “something wonderful you can use your own music and have the freedom to choreograph and perform lifts as opposed to competitions where you’re restricted by the music you are given and the fact that there are lots of couples on the floor.” Information about Midnight Tango can be found on their website at

“you can use your own music and have the freedom to choreograph and perform lifts”

Flavia's photo credited to

If you can already feel the your feet itching to dance then there is plenty of choice: Vincent & Flavia do not have any availability for Dance Classes at their Guildford School from now until the end of July 2012, when they finish Strictly and their Midnight Tango Tour. Sign up to their newsletter at to make sure you do not miss out on information about classes, dances and private lessons when these become available again.

In the meantime why not try some of these alternatives: Maddy’s Jive School is brilliant if you are into retro. Learn to jive 40’s and 50’s style with jive stars Robin and Collette. Beginners and Advanced Classes are held in London, Hammersmith, Slough, Ealing, Watford and Richmond see


If you are ready to party yourself into shape then try Zumba. It’s an exhilarating, effective, easy-tofollow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance that’s moving millions of people toward joy and health. Classes throughout Surrey and Berkshire see Inspirations School of Dance is a more traditional school based in West Berkshire, near Reading. They have classes in Classical Ballet, Musical Theatre, Commercial Street, Modern and Tap see For fun dance classes for all the family, especially your little ones, we recommend Artemis Studios in Bracknell. Artemis Studios is a small but dynamic school that provides dance, drama and music tuition to clients of all ages from 3.5 years to adult. Artemis is also a private casting space and agency. Current and graduate students can be seen in the West End and in film and television see


Imagine Me and You It all started for John when he talked to an RAF careers officer who encouraged him to consider training as a dark room technician, not exactly what he envisaged as an RAF career. Yet something seemed to spark his interest so he joined up and trained at RAF Cosford, nr Wolverhampton. A growing interest in the taking of photos saw him move out from the dark room to retrain as a ground photographer. His last posting was at the RAF base in High Wycombe where he was the main PR photographer taking images of RAF aircraft and personnel around the world. On leaving the RAF he worked for The Times as a freelance photographer taking action shots for sports features and doing photo-shoots with celebrities such as David Beckham, Lance Armstrong, Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. John started his own business when the papers started to cut back at the start if the recession. He knew that he did not want to get into the friends, families and weddings trade but it took a while to identify where his real ‘niche’ might be.


Today’s world demands that we promote ourselves through photos – at work, on social media sites, in corporate publications – your image speaks to the world. However, if like me, the click of a camera shutter is a signal to freeze, blink or pull a funny face then you must meet with photographer John Cassidy.

On talking to colleagues he realised that his key skill was in putting people at their ease. He acknowledges that most people are camera-shy and hate having their photo taken. This is often reinforced by seeing really bad photos of themselves. John overcomes this by working together with the client on the image they would like to present to the world. Once he has the first few images he shows the client just how good they can look on film. As they become more relaxed and confident the images just keep on getting better! His brilliant portfolio of clients is testament to his success.

John has created a niche market in lifestyle headshots for his corporate and social media clients. His USP is that he actually allows you to freeze, blink and pull those funny faces as he chats to you about your work, hobbies and holidays all the while snapping away. He explains that it’s the moment after the funny face he is after and is often one of the best shots!

Looking back on his career John has no regrets but confessed that if he had his time over he would have learnt some key business skills such as marketing much earlier. His advice to anyone considering starting out in photography as a career is quite simple – decide where your passion is and then map out a route. Some people have those elusive people skills while others love working with

shapes and light. The most important thing is that you are at total ease with your camera and your equipment, especially if you are working with people. The confidence to just keep going is vital, even when the technology gremlins are trying to disrupt the shoot. Putting others at ease can sometimes be quite hard work and John’s work life is unbelievably hectic. Prime time with his wife Helen and 5 year old daughter Ruby are very important to him. He is extremely proud that his current photo image for business cards and websites was taken by Ruby!

Other top stress busters for John include cooking, touring Italy, especially Umbria, and riding his mountain bike. John has some exciting plans for developing his business, including an academy for keen young photographers, but for now he is working hard to build up his brand, expanding his corporate image and social media work. You can contact John via his website at Telephone 01344 489704 / 07768 401009 or email: 13

Caprice talks to County Concierge The blonde and beautiful Caprice has had a career that would make most people’s head spin – model, actress, television personality and businesswoman. She currently has houses in Notting Hill and Surrey and runs her company By Caprice Lingerie Ltd. I caught up with Caprice on her return from Hong Kong where she has been selecting textiles for her latest line in bed linen. I asked her what her motivation was to set up By Caprice. She explained that she had come to a point in her modelling career when she realised she would soon be getting “over the hill”. She felt that her passion for clothes, and special synergy with lingerie was a good place to start in a tough market-place. She originally launched her lingerie line with Debenhams but realised it would be better and more rewarding to go it alone. Since then she has introduced swimwear and now bed linen to her portfolio. As Caprice talked about the bedding range it was clear that this was an exciting and demanding project. Couture bedding has not had the same overexposure that other ‘celebrity’ brands have had – 14

“Maintaining a social and professional life becomes really tough and you have little time to yourself.”

perfumes and skin care products for example. This is still a relatively niche market and Caprice has grabbed it and made it her own. The lines are elegant, sexy, almost decadent, but retailing exclusively through Littlewoods, they are truly affordable chic. Caprice confirmed that this venture is “going from strength to strength and the margins are fantastic.” We talked about work-life balance and Caprice confided that she was just now coming to terms with a challenge that professional mums deal with every day. Her teenage nephew is staying with her while going to university and she has developed a new kind of respect for parents who have to make the work-life balance really work. With no parenting experience Caprice has been launched into the world of parenthood and she is finding it really tough to keep that all-important balance. She acknowledges that “Maintaining a social and professional life becomes really tough and you have

Holidays this year have included St Tropez, Southern Turkey and Ibiza but Caprice’s top favourite is going home to California to see her mother. She explained that the thing she loved most about this was “sitting upstairs and hearing her mother downstairs laughing out loud at some comedy show, that’s when you feel really warm inside and safe, it’s the best feeling ever.”

little time to yourself.” Yet she is enjoying the whole experience and said that she would love to start a

When asked to choose one highlight in her life

family of her own. Caprice is approaching her 40th

Caprice said that what makes her happy and feeling

birthday in October and she feels it is time.

like she has accomplished something is when she hears that any one of her retail products is a No1

I asked Caprice what she did to let off steam and

bestseller. “It’s such a rush. You feel really

relax. Without hesitation she said “Meditation, every

appreciated and it’s the best reward for all the

day if possible.” Caprice began to learn how to

passion and hard work put in on a daily basis.”

meditate about 5 years ago. She found it very hard at first, but with patience and practice she is now

So are there any regrets. Perhaps a little surprisingly

able to find that elusive stillness of mind in just 10

Caprice had this advice for people in business.

seconds! She said “It’s challenging but once you

“Never take on someone as part of your team when

have tried it…wow.”

they have absolutely no experience in the field.” 15

believes that you have to be 110% committed to your business and your product if you want everyone else to feel the same. Yet she admitted it was tough. “These buying trips are very demanding in terms of travel time, 12 hour days, cramming as much as possible into the available time… sometimes it’s a pain but you have to in today’s market”. If you like what you see here you can browse and buy By Caprice lingerie and swimwear at She went on to explain that because of her own humble background she is always willing to give

“These buying trips are very demanding in terms of travel time...”

people a shot at things but if it’s done as a costsaving exercise it just doesn’t work. Her advice was to spend a little more and be sure that you have got the right person for your team with the

knowledge and passion for the business. In the long run that extra expenditure will pay off. We ended our chat by talking about what comes next for Caprice. She is a selfconfessed workaholic, loving the buzz, the hype and the drama. Her trip to Hong Kong had been fantastic and she was really excited about the colours and textures for her new Winter collections. She is a very hands-on person and


and all the latest collections of By Caprice Bed linens at


Mercedes-Benz World – A day out with a difference Being a bit of a petrol-head I readily volunteered to check out this amazing place in the heart of Surrey. I had been to Brooklands Museum before to see some of the amazing classic cars and bikes, Concorde and some of the other aircraft built at Brooklands in its heyday. It is fascinating to see how well this veritable antique sits beside the very Germanic and austere chrome and glass that surrounds Mercedes-Benz World. After doing a speed run, some offroading and braving the skid pan I was hooked… and I am sure you will be too… if petrol runs in your veins.


Mercedes-Benz World is a pioneering brand experience centre – and the word ‘experience’ is not used lightly. At this impressive visitor attraction, visitors will find a 3D experience, a Mercedes-Benz cinema, interactive displays, and enthralling motorsport exhibits. For those with a passion for cars there is the opportunity to see, touch and feel the latest Mercedes-Benz models which are joined by a host of beloved classics and Formula 1™ cars. Fascinating stories also give visitors the chance to appreciate the inspirational events that have linked Mercedes-Benz with the Brooklands site since it was built in 1907 for racing and testing cars and for building aircraft.

Driving Experiences There are thrilling driving experiences in the latest awe-inspiring Mercedes-Benz cars, including the highly advanced AMG performance range. These take place on the purpose built Handling Circuits, sophisticated skid pan and dynamic straight. 10 acres of challenging off-road terrain complete with a water crossing and extreme slopes are also awaiting the latest 4MATIC off-road technology. Even children over 1.5 metres tall can drive with a range of unforgettable experiences available.

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy For those who are looking to pass their driving test, The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy offers a revolutionary way to learn to drive. Through the latest coaching methods there is a number of options; Pre-road module prepares those under 17 years old to drive responsibly before driving on the public roads. The Licence Module coaches provisional licence holders through to passing their driving test using unique techniques. The Pass Plus package is also available to refresh all drivers with enhanced coaching.

The Gullwing Restaurant To refuel on the move there’s the tempting choice of Café 1886 or the Gullwing Restaurant run by Absolute Taste - part of the McLaren Group that look after the

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula1™ team around the world during the championship season. The fresh seasonal menus also feature produce from Laverstoke Park Farm - the biodynamic farm owned and run by 1979 Formula1™ World Champion – and now awardwinning farmer – Jody Scheckter.

Mercedes-Benz World Shop Of course, no visitor attraction would be complete without somewhere to shop. The Mercedes-Benz Shop offers souvenirs for everyone through to a range of luxurious personal goods.

Conferences & Events Mercedes-Benz World offers corporate guests impressive conference suites, event space and driving experiences. It provides a team building experience that is hard to equal. The unique venue turns any event into an experience and is memorable for all the right reasons with a dedicated team to help make client visions a reality. To find out more about Mercedes-Benz World visit their website at: or telephone 0870 400 4000 Mercedes-Benz World Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0SL 19

Weight? That emotive subject! gastric band fitted. This effectively trains your mind to think your stomach capacity is smaller, so that you feel full and are satisfied with much smaller portions of food. During the five sessions we use a combination of NLP*, cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy to ‘reprogramme’ your mind. The subconscious mind is very powerful and when it believes in something, the body will react accordingly. I have helped many people lose weight through ‘normal’ hypnotherapy. However, there are some people who need additional support and those who have that bit more to lose and I thought this could provide the answer. (Gastric Band Hypnotherapy is not recommended for people who have less than 2st to lose).

The Technical Stuff

There cannot be a day that goes by without hearing about the “Obesity Epidemic”. You feel you weigh too much, you’ve tried everything going, you know you have to make changes but changes are scary. Have you seen the headlines? Introducing Virtual Gastric Band Hypnotherapy “Overweight teacher loses 8 STONE after being hypnotised into believing she had a gastric band” “Woman loses four stone (in six months) after hypnosis convinced her she had a gastric band” “Virtual’ gastric band has helped me shed the pounds” Gastric Band Hypnotherapy is a pain-free, low cost alternative to Gastric Band Surgery. The treatment is safe and simple: a trained hypnotherapist will guide you through a simulated gastric band procedure, prompting you to imagine that you have had the 20

The gastric band operation is a weight loss surgery that reduces the size of your stomach through the fitting of an adjustable band. The Gastric Band is fitted laparoscopically (keyhole), by placing a small inflatable band around the upper part of the stomach.

“Why wait (weight) any longer for the weight to go – what are you holding on to?”

There’s a port which is inserted under the skin that allows for the band to be adjusted (you can tighten or loosen it) by a doctor. It’s only available on the NHS for those who are clinically obese, but available privately for between £4,500-£7000+. As you can see from the diagram the small upper stomach pouch has a narrowed outlet which limits the stomach’s capacity to intake food and increases the feeling of fullness.

Is it Magic? The simple answer is no. This is down to you. Weight Loss Surgery AND Gastric Band Hypnotherapy are not magic and to succeed you must be willing to make a real commitment to change. We just help you and make it easier to make the transition to a new healthier you!

Advantages of Gastric Band Hypnotherapy I am sure you can work out for yourself the advantages of achieving your goal weight but what are the benefits of Gastric Band Hypnotherapy. • About a tenth of the cost of Gastric Band Surgery • NO waiting lists • Feel full longer on less food • Feel motivated and excited about habit changes • Introduction to Fun and Frivolity

Disadvantages of Gastric Band Hypnotherapy Are there any? I don’t believe so. With the desire to be healthy and a bit of help from NLP* hypnotherapy comes the motivation, determination, will power and support to achieve what you want to achieve. Like anything you can sabotage this technique but so can you sabotage the surgery – many stories have been told about people “blending Mars bars” or liquidising other unhealthy food stuffs – it is all about choice. You are choosing to make a change and we can make it simple and easy.

Gastric Band Surgery To cut a long story short:

1 You speak to friends and colleagues and doctors and maybe hear of a particular surgeon who might be able to help you 2 You research the internet, you spend hours looking for the details and then discover they live miles away making it difficult for follow up consultations 3 The day arrives of the consultation and discovery a Reality hits! – the cost is between £4000 and £7000 and more maybe if you want extras b The surgeon won’t operate because you are too light. You discover that you actually need to put weight on to be considered for weight loss surgery 4 You go on the wait list or is that weight list - more weight-ing! 5 The week of the surgery looms and you can’t eat for 24 hours prior to surgery 6 The surgery: a General Anaesthetic followed by nausea/vomiting and general malaise. It can often take a few weeks to get over a GA (depending on the individual). You have stitches. You are very uncomfortable. 7 Reality check 2 – it is harder than you imagined because you STILL have the old habits from prior to surgery. 8 You decide to visit a hypnotherapist who CAN help you remove your unwanted habits/behaviours and desires.

Gastric Band Hypnotherapy All these years you thought you had no control. Rubbish! You are absolutely in control – these are your choices. You probably don’t want to be told that. But it is true you are controlling what is going on with your body. There are a million excuses – I have heard them all (believe me I have probably used them myself!) but we know that it IS choice. Why wait (weight) any longer for the weight to go – what are you holding on to? *NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming – programming your brain, and therefore you, to do things differently. Get in touch with Tina Williams @ The Inspiration People for an initial consultation Website: Phone: 07973 402037 Landline: 01344 625665 21

Off The Red Tees! Golf is a game that is open to anyone, regardless of age or ability. Due to the handicapping system, even novice golfers can compete with more experienced ones and record a good score. It is the first few faltering steps… or swings… that are the most daunting. Ladies that have business colleagues, family or friends who are experienced golfers may feel that they don’t want to take those first steps in public. The complex etiquette, dress code and golfing terms all add to the mystique that surrounds the game. So if you are female, are boggled by Bogeys and Birdies, and can’t tell an Albatross from an Eagle, then O f f T h e R e d Te e s is the perfect place to start. Why Off The Red Tees? Well each hole on a golf course has an area marked with coloured pegs which indicate the initial starting point for that hole. The tee markers are usually black, white, yellow, blue, red and gold and determine the tee-off position for golfers of different standards. Women golfers generally play from between the red tee markers - “off the red tees”! Best not to enquire what the other colours indicate at this stage!

I arranged to meet up with lady golfer and entrepreneur Lucie Robson to find out more about this brilliant concept. As a non-golfer I was fascinated to see if she could convince me to set aside my anxieties and take a swing or two. I should confess that my other half is at one with Mark Twain believing that golf is a good walk spoiled. However, as many of my friends and colleagues play, and I could definitely benefit from getting out in the fresh air, I was determined to give it a go. Lucie’s warmth and enthusiasm were infectious. She comes across as a very down-to-earth person with a great sense of humour and at no point did I feel that my lack of knowledge or experience was an issue. As Lucie chatted about her background, motivation and aspirations I was struck by a steely determination that lies under her gentle exterior. As with many entrepreneurs, the path that has led Lucie to this point has not been exactly straight. From a career in IT marketing, via parenthood, Lucie came to a definite crossroads in her life and decided it was time to reassess her future. Much of her inspiration came from a book called Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-At-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work by Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin, two ladies who have successfully re-launched their careers. Following their step-by-step guide Lucie felt that she was able to step back and consider her options more objectively.


Once Lucie had mapped out her experience, passions and commitments she realised that it just had to be golf. She started to network with other busy businesswomen and identified a perfect niche opportunity. Totally relaxed, non-competitive 9 hole golf experience events at some of the top courses in Surrey and Berkshire combined with a delicious lunch or cream tea and the chance to meet with like-minded ladies…and so Off The Red Tees was born! The concept is simple – no handicaps, no fierce competition, just good fun in good company. Some golf experiences include a lesson from a golf pro, but most simply involve a gentle 9 hole game followed by refreshments. Courses include Wentworth, Pennyhill Park, Foxhills and Hampton Court Palace. More details of these events and venues can be seen on Lucie’s website (see address below). The site has a members’ forum and blogs and Lucie’s ambition is to create a buzzing online community for lady golfers and would-be golfers like me.

I wondered if fitness or physical ability would present problems for would-be golfers, even at this level. Lucie explained that although the true professionals train and work out hard to perfect their golf swing, there are many amateurs who have found a swing that works for them within their own physical limits. Over the years, she has come across all types of golfers, including children as young as five, elderly men and women who take the game up on retirement, a man with one arm, another with prosthetic legs, a man with difficulty walking who rides the course on a buggy and a woman of 83 who is still playing, having taken up the game at 60, and of course many in between! Just talking to Lucie made me feel that even I could do it, so I booked my first Off The Red Tees session then and there! If you are tempted too why not give it a try. You can contact Lucie via her website at


Some tips for mothers returning to work Sarah Jessica Parker’s latest movie ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It!’ has brought this very real issue back into the limelight. The film is based on the critically acclaimed bestseller by Welsh author, Allison Pearson. Ms Parker plays an already stretched professional yummy mummy who is about to get stretched to breaking point when a major promotion comes her way. So we thought we would get some hot tips from one of our many local lady entrepreneurs who live the reality every day. Lucie Robson is just such a person. A business woman, a wife and a mother of a teenage son living in Berkshire, Lucie agreed to share some pearls of wisdom with County Concierge readers. Prior to 1996, Lucie had a full-time career as a Product Manager in an international IT company, working long hours and travelling extensively. When her son was born, she chose to leave full-time employment to look after him. Whilst Lucie’s son was young, she volunteered for the NCT (National Childbirth Trust), local parent and toddler groups and later school parent committees. When he started school, Lucie re-trained as a Kodaly music teacher. This became a ten-year career, teaching 0-6 year olds part-time at the music school where she trained as well as two local pre-schools. Lucie has now relaunched herself a second time, this time running her own business, Off The Red Tees, following her passion for golf! Since March 2011 Off The Red Tees has been arranging social and networking golf events for women. If you are where Lucie was in the late 1990’s – wishing to return to work whilst continuing to care for your child, here are some tips she has learned over the years: 24

• Build local friendships with other mothers of children the same age – this was vital to me right from the beginning, as I had no local extended family. I sought out local parent and toddler groups and, luckily, there was a thriving NCT group in the area, which ran weekly coffee mornings. It made a huge difference to know that others where going through the same experiences and we would help each other out by looking after each other’s children to enable ourselves to attend appointments or giving each other time to get on with some housework, and later would baby sit or cover for out of term work commitments. Some of the mothers I knew at the beginning have become friends for life! • Take time to think about what you really want to do. It is really worth writing down what it is you really want from life and trying to find the type of work that fits best. There is an excellent book, “Back on the Career Track” by Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin, who run Both the book and the website have useful self-tests, information and guidance for people wanting to return to work after a career break. • If you are thinking of starting your own business, the book “Find your Lightbulb” by Mike Harris is very inspirational. Also, the government’s Business Link website has a lot of useful material, not to mention free courses! • Prioritise – it is never possible to fit everything into the day, so make sure you know which are the most important things for you and be ruthless about not taking on too much. I found, particularly when volunteering, that it was easy to say yes; often it was only later that the scale of what I had agreed to would become apparent! Particularly in school holidays, I have learned that work sometimes has to take a back seat. • Have a passion or a hobby in your life – as a mother, it is very easy to lose your own identity and just become someone’s mum. Balancing work and home-life is a major challenge and can become overwhelming, so it is important to have some “me” time when you do something for yourself! Lucie Robson can be contacted at or via her website at

Tips for avoiding a holiday nightmare When you are off on your dream holiday the last thought that you have is that a holiday may be spoilt by an accident. Unfortunately, some holidaymakers do have accidents whilst they are abroad and we could all benefit from knowing some of the key issues that could arise if a holiday threatens to turn into a nightmare. Surrey solicitor Marek Bednarczyk outlines some of the key issues to look out for should you be unfortunate enough to have an accident whilst on holiday. What to do if you are involved in an accident whilst abroad: 1 Witnesses - try to get the names, addresses and phone details of any witnesses. Better still if you can get a short signed statement from them. 2 Information - get as much information as possible. For example, if a number of people have been involved in your accident then get their full names and addresses too. 3 Photographic/visual evidence - use your digital camera or phone to take photographs and/or a short video if possible too. Sketch plans showing exactly how and where the accident happened can also be very helpful. 4 Evidence of medical treatment - it should be possible for you to obtain your medical records from the treating doctor or hospital where you have been treated. This can be useful evidence even if it has to be translated later. 5 Time limits - in the UK the basic time limit for pursuing a personal injury claim is 3 years. Be aware that if you have an accident on an aircraft or on a

boat then a 2 year time limit may apply. Some countries have very short time periods to allow you to pursue a claim in that country so find out what that time limit is as soon as possible. Delaying can lose you your opportunity to claim. Hopefully these tips on how to deal with an accident are useful but will never be needed. It is always better to plan ahead to ensure that there are no nasty holiday surprises.

Prevention is better than cure Accidents on holiday do happen but many can be avoided by not taking unnecessary risks in the first place. 1 Protect yourself by making sure you have adequate travel insurance which pays out if you suffer personal injury, for medical expenses and the costs of having to be flown back to the UK. Read the small print and check for any time limits for reporting claims. 2 Travel with all necessary contact details for your insurer, including a copy of the certificate of insurance. 3 If on a package holiday, keep all of your tour operator details together with a copy of the brochure detailing what you expect on your holiday 4 Remember – local standards apply. Watch out for slippery surfaces around the pool! The local standards may suggest that the surface is acceptable even if that surface would not meet UK standards. Marek Bednarczyk is a Partner with Hart Brown, a leading law firm with offices throughout Surrey. For more information on Hart Brown see their website at 25

Busy day? Work demanding? Home life hectic? Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a host of business and domestic services at your fingertips?

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County Concierge - Autumn 2011  

Quarterly Lifestyle Magazine

County Concierge - Autumn 2011  

Quarterly Lifestyle Magazine