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ThamesValley Life October 2013


the regions well loved and trusted lifestyle magazine

This edition of Thames Valley Life is sponsored by Lovell Fuels, your local oil supplier. Please see their advert on page 16 of our Autumn House & Homes feature

Stay warm as the weather gets colder with J & A Stoves see page 21

Get your Home ready for Autumn see pages 4-30

covering Oxfordshire, Berkshire & Buckinghamshire


The Hambledon Wing Now Open. To enquire please call 01296 747000 or visit

Exceptional Elderly Care in Buckinghamshire

Welcome to the October edition of Thames Valley Life magazine. House & Home...............................4

Independent designers selling with style!....... 5 Invite Autumn into your Home......................... 7 The Countdown Begins With the Christmas Toy Predictions.............................................. 10 Paint your home for free with your iPhone.... 19 Fire & Stoves Company of the Month........... 21


Autumn gardening tips.................................. 33

Pets & Equestrain........................36 The Serious Benefits of Play......................... 36 Can Horses Recognize People and Voices?.37

Local to You...............................38 What’s On...................................................... 39 Roll Up for a Victorian Extravaganza............. 46

Business & Recruitment...............48

m-hance appoints new graduates................ 48 Drumond Park launches The Official LOGO Board Game app - and it’s FREE!................. 49

Bereavement. ...............................50 Coping with Grief and Loss........................... 50

Health & Beauty..........................52 Handbag Map Of The UK.............................. 53 babyboomboom shortlisted for Tesco’s Mother and Baby Awards.............................. 54 More are keen to have ‘Real Models’............ 54

Wedding. .....................................56 An Autumn Wedding Theme......................... 56 Happy Healthy Bride to Be............................ 58 Wedding Fireworks........................................ 60 50th Anniversary Gift ideas........................... 62

Telephone: 01926 737832 | Website: Sales: | Email: Subscribe to Thames Valley Life for just £15 for 12 issues contact


Thames Valley Life

Discover quality curtains, blinds and accessories

Qualified in soft furnishings we can dress your window to achieve a vision that compliments each room

Personal service Free advice Creative range of designs Traditionally made to measure Stunning fabrics Blinds • Roman • Roller • Wooden Venetian Poles and tracks For a free consultation Professional fitting contact Carol Stamp

T 01235 521533 E W Carol’s Creations 111 Saxton Rd • Abingdon OXON • OX14 5JB




Independent designers selling with style!

House & Home

If you offer beautifully made, design-led products that have a huge sprinkling of originality, style and creativity - then Niiche is for you! Niiche is a brand new online retailer due to launch on 31st October 2013. The Niiche team will be handpicking the work of independent designers, and showcasing their products on their new online platform, Why should designers choose Niiche? Niiche put their designers’ needs right at the heart of their business. They have the marketing expertise, online sales technology and support in place to help you build your business quickly and effectively, so you can get on with what you do best: designing and making your wonderfully crafted products. Abbie Hartshorn, Managing Director, says: “Niiche opens up a world of opportunities to the design stars

of the future. When you become part of our design team, not only will we showcase your products, we’ll produce a tailored marketing strategy and offer you the support and advice to help your brand grow.” She adds: “This is an exciting time as we set out on our own journey as a company and to thank our launch designers for making it possible, we are offering 6 months FREE membership which, we believe, is a fantastic offer for any designer wanting to get more exposure online and make sales! To take up this offer, please complete our online application form, www. We still have a few places available so grab your place by applying today!” Niiche will be focusing on innovative design-led goods; contemporary jewellery, fashion, homeware, gifts and stationery. If you are a designer and would like to hear more about Niiche, register your interest via the website.

R.S. Hall UpHolSteRy

31 years experience

all UpHolSteRy WoRk UndeRtaken • re-upholstery • sofas & chairs • loose covers • antiques • pubs & clubs • schools • hospitals • office chairs

Free Estimates

All fabrics at competitive prices, upholstery sundries and all sizes of foam

Contact Bob on 07809 140988 / 01494 461481 email: •


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Tutti Decor home furnishings, accessories & gifts 6

Invite Autumn into your Home B

e inspired by the onset of Autumn this year by introducing some of nature’s seasonal delights into your home. Take inspiration from the bounty of what the countryside has to offer with its changes to the landscape, and fiery foliage of colour to bring a sense of warmth and country style to your interiors.

If lucky you will see hares out in the fields, a traditional English c h a r a c t e r depicted on this lovely cushion designed by Parlane and our beautiful country

House & Home

mantelpiece or bedside clock ideal to stand on pieces of country furniture such as a simple painted double shelved console.

Autumn also brings us an abundance of pine cones falling of all shapes and sizes, and the sun lower in the sky exaggerating and silhouetting the baring branches of the trees. Create your own scene with this lovely carved wooden tree ornament with tealight holder to glow from behind. All of these lovely items are available on line from www. along with many other stunning and lovely home accessories and gifts.


Thames Valley Life


House & Home

Gallery Wood Flooring & Carpets Installers of Fine Floors

Bespoke handmade candles, individually created and gift wrapped. All ingredients are sourced in the UK Be it for use in the home, a gift, or for an event, Windlesham Bespoke Candles has the candle! | Tel: 07917567405 Email:

• Solid and pre-engineered • Agents and stockists for Roger Oates • Wide variety of high quality carpets • Home visits free of charge

85 High Street, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3EH Tel/Fax: 01844 214676 | Mob: 07768 601300


Conservatories from design to build • The Loggia Conservatory • Modern Glass Extensions • Cross Over Extensions • Traditional Conservatories

The Loggia

New Stables, Notley Farm, Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire, HP18 9ER

01844 208605 Visit our showroom. Open Mon-Sat


Thames Valley Life Toys“R”Us®, Britain’s biggest toy and babycare retailer, has revealed a top Christmas toy line up with twenty terrific toys sure to become the 2013 hottest favourites for Christmas. Action, role play and craft toys are set to make a massive comeback as Christmas favourites against previous year’s tablet phenomenon. Flying fairies, ghoulish dolls and technology-led pets look to feature high on the popularity stakes, giving parents a lower priced option in the run up to Christmas.

The Countdown Begins With the Christmas Toy Predictions

Alongside the most-wanted toy list, Playstation®4 (PS4™) and Xbox™ One, are certain to go head-tohead due to the long awaited demand for a new games console into the UK market. The same applies to new gaming platform Disney Infinity, the all-new video game that integrates popular Disney® characters and transports them into a virtual game world will positively battle alongside the new and highly successful Skylanders SWAP Force™ characters.

FURBY™ Boom is likely to perform on the cute stakes, as its advanced features win the hearts of the family with its built in activities and ability to adapt with online technology. Robotic fish aptly named Robofish, along with its realistic fish bowl, will offer amusement and in some instances tranquillity in Christmas households. LEGO®, a classic construction brand, also appears on the toy giant’s ‘Terrific Twenty’ with its City Coast Guard Patrol range. In addition, the fan-favourite, ‘app-inspired’ Angry Birds™ Star Wars® Telepods figures join the line up. Older kids are expected to choose vintage blaster NERF Elite RapidStrike as its speed, as well as its ability to produce walls of darts, looks an attractive incentive. Ghoulish dolls from the spine tingling Monster High® 13 Wishes movie will become the doll of the season and will be joined by Flutterbye Flying Fairy, the spinning fairy that lifts into flight with the touch of a button and is guided through the air by the hands of little ones. Pre-school children have taken to TV character Doc McStuffins since her launch earlier this year, allowing the Doctor’s Bag Set to be earmarked as favourite role play toy for Christmas day. And, Chasin’ Cheeky, recently introduced into the games market, is sure


to get youngsters up and active as they attempt to land the ring on the monkey’s tail.

The season’s highly acclaimed tablet perfectly suited to the family market, the new Kurio ‘S’ range, which includes 3 different screen sizes, is expected to become a household product as the season kicks off. It will be joined by HolograFX, a breakthrough product that allows kids to perform magic shows using holograms created by their Smartphone and tablet. Other toys included in the toy store’s ‘Terrific Twenty’ include summertime favourite, Slushy Maker Cup. Another fascinating toy proving to be a sensation in the US and on its way to the UK is Cra-Z-loom bracelet maker, a simple loop and weave craft toy that turns ordinary rubber bands into cool jewellery. The all-new Monopoly® Empire will be the season’s

Bespoke kitchens and joinery Every client, home and bespoke furniture project is different

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ultimate board game and competes for the world’s leading brand names to be emblazoned across the players towers.

House & Home

The ‘Toys“R”Us Terrific Twenty’ take into account what consumers are requesting and the latest trends in new products. Products appear in alphabetical order.

Toys“R”Us Terrific Twenty:

Angry Birds™ Star Wars® Telepods Chasin’ Cheeky Cra-Z-Loom Bracelet Maker Disney Infinity Starter Pack Doc McStuffins Doctor’s Bag Set Flutterbye Flying Fairy FURBY™ Boom HolograFX Kidizoom Twist Plus Camera Kurio® 7S Tablet LeapPad™ Ultra LEGO® City Coast Guard Patrol Monopoly® Empire Monster High 13 Wishes Dolls NERF N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike Playstation®4 (PS4™) RoboFish & FishBowl Skylanders SWAP Force™ Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker Xbox™ One


Thames Valley Life

Save Energy. Reduce Bills.

Solar power. It still makes sense. Energy prices keep rising so lower your bills with Oxford Solar PV. Oxford Solar PV is the renewable energy subsidiary of Taylors Services, a long established building services company operating across Oxfordshire and beyond for many years. Operating from our offices in Wheatley, Oxford Solar PV is run using directly employed, fully qualified PV installers, electricians and roofers, and not sub-contracted installation teams.

UÊœV>ÊœvwVi]ʏœV>ÊÃÌ>vv]ʏœV>Ê installations. UÊ/À>`i“i˜ÃʘœÌÊ->iÓi˜ÊqÊ No sales targets to meet, just honest advice UÊՏÞʵÕ>ˆwi`Ê*6ʈ˜ÃÌ>iÀÃ]Ê electricians and roofers NOT sub-contracted staff Uʈ}…ʵÕ>ˆÌÞʜvÊܜÀŽ“>˜Ã…ˆ« and pride taken in all projects UÊ7iÊŽ˜œÜ˜Ê“>ŽiÃʜvÊ-œ>ÀÊ PV panels and inverters to suit all requirements

Contact Jonny Wilson on to arrange a home survey to see if you could benefit from a solar panel installation. 01865 875555


House & Home

5000 SQ. FT. Showroom

Top Class Fashionable & Stylish Porcelain - Mosaic - Ceramic - Travertine Tiles At Affordable Prices

HUGE RANGE 470/478 Oxford Road, Reading, RG30 1EF • 01189 584418


New Chair Gallery

Thames Valley Life

Over 30 Recliner Armchairs on display

Dual Motor Rise & Recline Chairs from £799 Inc VAT

Also Large selection of Fireside Chairs now available

Furnishing your home with quality & style



Upholstery, Dining Furniture, Beds & Bedroom Furniture

Our experienced, friendly staff are here to help Our beautifully displayed 12,000sq foot showroom catering to all tastes Free on site car parking • Family run business since 1989


Warwick Road, Banbury Oxon, OX15 4DE Telephone: 01295 253220

House & Home


Thames Valley Life

Family Business

RETURNS! Suppliers of

• Home heating oil (kerosene) • Agricultural fuel (red diesel) • Plus oil tanks & oil tank security products

Order your Oil from Lovell Fuels

• Independent family run business • Personal customer service • Competitive prices • Small tanker deliveries • Emergency deliveries


01844 202777 Long Crendon

House & Home

The Fireplace Company  with the Exclusive Touch

Every customer is unique, requiring a fireplace which reflects their own personal style and  heating needs. Exclusive Fireplaces and Stoves Ltd offers not only beautifully hand crafted  fireplaces but also efficient and practical heating choices. Visit our superb showrooms at Sandhurst and Murrell  Green  to  see  the  best  and  largest  selection  of  fireplaces  and  stoves  in  the  area,  as  testified  by  our  thousands of satisfied customers. Our exclusive fireplaces are made, with the help of our  design team, to your own bespoke specifications. We  specialise  in  exquisite  limestone  fireplaces  and  traditional  old  stock  brick  designs  with  a  variety  of  beautiful natural stone and rustic solid oak beams at  hand to further your style options. We have a large number of working gas, electric and  solid fuel stoves, which allows our clients to see them  close up and in operation. All  our  in-house  engineers  are  either  HETAS  or  Gas  Safe  Certified,  therefore  ensuring  our  clients  total  peace of mind with their completed installations.

We  also  have  unusual  interior  design  accessories  throughout  our  showrooms  to  complement  your  fireplace, together with a large and varied selection of  mirrors,  pictures,  glassware,  statues,  indoor  and  outdoor bio ethanol burners along with a  wide range  of fireside accessories. Our range of fires and surrounds feature models to suit  all tastes and styles. Whatever your requirements are, simple, traditional,  minimalist, period or bespoke, we can supply  them along with a large selection of  open fire baskets,  inset fires, stoves  and high efficiency  units in fuel types to  suit your need.

We  are  happy  to  offer  a  free  of  charge  survey  to  establish  our  client’s  requirements  and  advice  on  feasibility and any technical issues they may have.


62 High Street, Sandhurst, Berkshire GU47 8DY. Tel: 01252 876876 Murrell Green, London Road, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire RG27 8HZ. Tel: 01256 764182 Email.


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Elena Romanova I N T E R I O R S

Call now for a free no-obligation consultation at your own home. | 07990 560 264 Elena has a down-to-earth, flexible and considerate approach to decorating, listening to the clients and helping them create homes that reflect their personality, taste and lifestyle. No job is too small or too big for Elena. Her services range from a one-off style and colour consultation to a complete interior design service that includes sourcing, and project management. Elena will have a solution whatever your style preferences or budget. Fabrics, floor coverings, furniture and lighting are sourced from a wide range of suppliers. She will always go that extra mile to make sure that her clients are happy with the final result.


Paint your home for free with your iPhone

House & Home

Why download Paint My Place App?

At some time or another, most of us will be considering repainting a property. Now everyone can take advantage of virtually painting with global brand name paint colors on their uploaded or captured photos with the Paint My Place App – v1.3 is now free and with no in-App advertising! Not only is this App fun to use, but it is also a must have on-the-go professional tool for painters, architects, builders, interior designers and of course, real estate agents in selling that unsightly property. Suitable for iPhone, iPod and iPad. Optimised for iPhone 5 and compatible with IOS 7.

Key Features

1.Capture a photo or upload an image 2.Paint with 15 real brand name paint colors Color schemes include: • Benjamin Moore: Color Trends - Coastal Palette • Dulux Paints: Nursery -Bright Baby Palette • Farrow and Ball Paints: Glittering Gatsby Palette 3.Select the size of your brush and opacity 4.Quickly splash on paint with the bucket tool 5.The circle guide shows where you are painting 6.Enhance your exterior with roof and fence finishes 7.Zoom in & out using the two finger pinching gesture 8.Undo any accidental brush strokes in a snap with the eraser or undo tool

Bay Tracks Ltd

Your Local Curtain Track & Pole Specialist Bay Window Curtain Tracks & Poles Cord Operated Tracks & Poles Automated Remote/Switch Control Tracks & Poles Traditional Hand Finished Wooden & Metal Curtain Poles Roman Blind Systems Room Divider/Cubicle & Shower Systems Covered Lathes Pelmets & Pelmet Boards Shutters Full Measuring, Fitting and Repair Service We offer a bespoke custom colour match service, matching our poles to any colour of fabric or paint you may have 2 Year Guarantee on all products & 5 Year Guarantee on Silent Gliss products Unit 4D Woodlands Farm, The Vale, Chesham Bucks HP5 3NS

10% discount offer when mentioning this advert

Order By Phone 01494 256321 or Direct From Our Website




Thames Valley Life

Premier Architectural Joinery Limited Ladymead Farm Quainton Aylesbury Buckinghamshire HP22 4AN T 01296 655555 Opt 6 E

Bespoke Architectural Joinery for Period, Listed and Contemporary Buildings

Windows, Doors, Conservatories, Furniture, Roof Lanterns, Staircases, Bifold & French Doorsets, Gates, Wardrobes, Bookcases and Furniture.



Fire & Stoves Company of the Month

House & Home

J & A Stoves and Installations have been supplying and installing all types of Wood and Multifuel Stoves, Chimney Liners, Twinwall Chimney Systems, Gas and Electric Stoves and Fires, Fireplaces and Electric Fireplace Suites for over 15 years. We also specialise in the design and build of fireplaces using reclaimed materials to enable the build to blend in. We sell a wide range of Fireplace Accessories and Maintenance Products and we can also carry out a Refurbishment Service for existing stoves. We can provide a Professional Survey and Estimating service. If you are starting from scratch, J & A Stoves and Installations can also provide any advice your own builder or architect may require regarding chimney and fireplace installation. A consultancy service is available for the layout of Twinwall flue systems. We are a family business and from survey to installation you will be dealing with a family member.


Thames Valley Life

Call Julie Hawker to arrange your complimentary consultation 01536 721813 07545 334546 18a Bradfield Road, Finedon Road Industrial Estate Wellingborough, Northants NN8 4RQ 22

House & Home


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House & Home

Denise Hepburn • Interior Design

From one room to a whole house Full interior design service or supply only Fabrics, wallpapers, furniture, lighting, flooring, accessories Creativity at affordable prices

E: • M: 07712 527221


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House & Home


Thames Valley Life


House & Home


A roof with a twist LouvreTec opening roofs create year round useable spaces. Infinitely adjustable and waterproof when closed, aluminium louvre roofs provide protection from any weather, at the flick of a switch.

For more information, contact us on: Tel: Email: Web:

0333 9000 930




ALL TYPES OF FLUE LINER AVAILABLE. 80-82 Station Road, Brize Norton, Carterton, Oxfordshire, OX18 3QB Tel: 01993 842172


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Address: 325 Amersham Road Hazlemere Bucks HP15 7PX

Tel. website. Email.

01494 718 585

Come and see what we are doing with Kitchens and Bathrooms


House & Home


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Autumn gardening tips Autumn is a great time to rejuvenate a garden for the new season and for next spring.

Autumn is the time to make new plants from cuttings. Take 10cm cuttings from hardwood herbs such as rosemary and bay or natives such as banksias, grevillea and coastal rosemary. Remove the lower leaves, dip cuttings into hormone powder and pot in small containers of premium potting mix. Keep just moist and shelter from strong wind and sun. Trim hedges before the onset of winter to keep them compact and bushy from ground level.

Check your lawn and make sure any weeds you sprayed last month are dying. Repeat the treatment if necessary. Aerate the lawn with a garden fork and scatter lime lightly over it. This sweetens the soil after many years of lawn food application. Rejuvenate tired lawns with an autumn feeding to ready them for the onset of cool winter weather. Gather fallen leaves, grass clippings, kitchen scraps and shredded prunings, and layer them in a compost bin. Turn periodically with a garden fork to allow air to circulate and feed organisms, and decompose the organic matter quickly. Don‘t overload your compost with one particular ingredient – maintain a mix. See the new Aerobin at garden centres; it makes excellent compost.


Earthworms are a sign your soil is fertile. When you add organic matter such as leaves and cow manure to your garden soil, you will attract earthworms, so there is no need to add more worms to your garden. The worms you’ve attracted with organic matter will add nutrients from their castings, and make tunnels. Check for borer damage on all deciduous trees, paying attention to the trunk at soil level. It‘s easier to check when trees are dormant and bare.

Don’t try to cultivate soil beneath large trees; you will only damage the roots. Make planting holes between the roots instead and insert small plants with tiny root systems that establish themselves readily. Bromeliads thrive under trees. An old ladder makes a good support for climbing vines such as sweet peas. A splash of paint will give it extra impact in the garden or up against a wall.

Transfer the leaves that fall on your garden and lawn to the compost bin on a regular basis, otherwise they will smother your plants and grass. Don’t rush to prune spent seed heads. They provide a wealth of food for birds that visit the garden. Magnolia fruit attract parrots who feast on their seeds. Autumn is rose season, and they look gorgeous at this time of year. Choose the ones you love and order them from your local nursery.



Surgeon • Tree Tree Surgery Specialists • All Types of Tree Care • Plant • CrownCare • PruningLifting and Pollarding • Logs supplied - Wood Chips • Landscape Gardening • Stump Grinding • Fencing • REE



Geographical Areas:

• Chalfonts Wycombe • High • Beaconsfield Cross • Gerrards • Rickmansworth Winchmore Hill • Amersham • Chesham • Maidenhead • Uxbridge • Watford •



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M A local, friendly & experienced service M providing domestic & commercial building M maintenance and installations. M


* Shop fitting * Plumbing & drainage specialists *Electrics * Fencing * Decking * Garden buildings, inc sheds, wendy and summer houses, home offices. Can supply complete with foundations & power *Home improvements *Handy man service available * Kitchens fitted, inc splashbacks * Bathrooms fitted, inc tiling, shower screens and mirrors * We can even build your flat pack furniture for you if required!




Free quotation including evening & weekend M appointments available M Tel/Fax 01276 34226 Mob 07855 449885 M Email M






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Thames Valley Life

The Serious Benefits of Play Playing and having fun helps to eliminate stress from you life—and the same holds true for your dog. In fact, incorporating various forms of play into your dog’s daily routine is vital to helping him develop a healthy, loving personality.

The benefits of play

Here are some of the ways that playing and having fun is important: Physical health. Active play helps keep your dog’s heart healthy, keeps the joints lubricated, and improves his overall balance and coordination. Mental health. Games with rules force your dog to use his brain, not just his body. This can help keep his mind sharp and focused. Social skills. When your dog plays with other dogs and other people, it helps improve his overall social skills. He learns basic rules and how to play by them. Bonding. Even if it’s only for a few minutes a day, playing with your dog helps strengthen the bond between you. Your health. What better way to alleviate the stress of a busy workday and get a bit of exercise than to come home and play with your dog? It’s a win-win for both of you.

How to play with your dog

There are right ways—and wrong ways—to play. The most important thing to remember is that you’re the boss. You decide what games should be played and you set the rules. This helps establish your credibility as the pack leader. It also helps keep your dog from getting overly excited and out of control while you play. If your dog does become difficult to manage, simply put a stop to the game until he calms down again. When you’re teaching your dog a new game, reward him when he does well. Remember, rewards don’t have to be just treats. You can also reward him with his favorite toys or lots of hugs and praise. When you start out teaching your dog a new game, keep it simple and go through the game slowly, until your dog fully grasps the rules. Also, wait until he fully understands one game before you teach him a new one, otherwise it will end up confusing him.

Playtime tips

Avoid games like keep away, wrestling, or tug-ofwar. Those games encourage biting or dominant, aggressive behavior. Stay in control of the game at all times. Show your dog that you’re the pack leader, not just another member of the pack. Retrieval games are good at teaching



Don’t include your body or clothing as part of any game. You decide when it’s time to end the game, not your dog. The best time to stop the game is when your dog is still eager to play. If, for some reason, your dog doesn’t seem to understand the game at some point, go back to the beginning, or simply leave it and try again a few days later. Don’t get angry if you’re dog isn’t “getting it” right away. Remember it’s supposed to be a fun experience for both of you!

Pets & Equestrian

Can Horses Recognize People and Voices? Are horses really capable of recognizing their owners and their voices? Study results from a team of British behavior researchers suggest that horses really do appear to be capable of matching voices to faces when it comes to the humans they know.

“We already know that horses can discriminate between different human faces and between familiar and unfamiliar people, but this is the first time we have shown that they can associate the right voices with the right people,” said Leanne Proops, PhD, of the Mammal Vocal Communication and Cognition Research group at the University of Sussex, in the United Kingdom.

Oxfordshire’s Local Animal Shelter THINKING OF A NEW PET? THINK THE OXFORDSHIRE ANIMAL SANCTUARY Please Help Please Donate

In her two-part study, Proops evaluated 72 horses that each heard one of two recorded voices saying the horse’s name over a loud speaker. The two people who had recorded the voices would stand in front of the horse, a few feet apart from each other. In the first part of the study, one person was someone the horse knew while the other was a stranger. In the second part, both people were familiar to the horse. Proops and colleague Karen McComb, PhD, watched to see which way the horse looked when he heard his name spoken over the loud speaker, and how long he looked in that direction. The team found that when the voice on the speaker belonged to someone the horse knew, the animal would almost always look quickly toward that human, Proops said. And usually, the horse continued to look at that person for a relatively long time. By contrast, if the voice belonged to the unfamiliar person, the horse took a longer time to look at that person and did not look at him or her for very long. When the horse had to choose between two familiar people in the second part of the study, the horse generally responded quickly by looking at the correct person for a relatively long time, Proops said.

We have lots of animals looking for their forever home. If you would be able to provide a happy home to any of our animals, please contact us and arrange a viewing visit. For full details about us please visit or for further information phone

01865 890239 /OASCharity


Interestingly, mares performed the recognition task better than geldings, she added. However, laterality (“sidedness”) was an issue for both genders, Proops said. Horses responded much more accurately when the correct person was standing on the right side of the horse, so the horse could see that person with his right eye. The horse’s right brain hemisphere controls the left side of the body while the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body; apparently the horse’s left hemisphere manages “cross-modal” (the seeing/hearing matching task) processing better than the right hemisphere, Proops said Also in Proops’ study, if the horses heard their owners’ voices over the loud speaker and the owner was not present, the horses tended to look either way, with no real preference to direction, she said. Based on her previous research, while the cross-modal function appeared to work in the left hemisphere, the visual and auditory cues seemed to spur a right-hemisphere brain reaction, Proops said.


Thames Valley Life

Bicester & District

Ex-Servicemans and Social Club

Home of Oxfordshire County Darts

InvItIng new MeMbers Function Room also available FREE to Members Entertainment EVERY Saturday Satellite Sports TV

Open: Mon- Thurs 11am - 2.30pm and 6pm - 11pm Fri 11am - Midnight Sat 11am - 1am Sunday 12 noon - 10.30pm For further information ask at the bar or contact Tel: 01869 245367 BicesterExServicemans 67a Sheep Street, Bicester, Oxon OX26 6 JW 38

What’s On

Local to You

5 Oct

READING TOWN MEAL Forbury Gardens, Reading

The biggest picnic in Reading. A delicious meal, cooked by Reading College catering students from produce grown and donated by local allotment holders and home growers will be served free to over 1,000 people. Plus activities, cookery demonstrations and local food producers, community stalls and music from local bands.

5 Oct

BABY & CHILDREN’S MARKET The Barn, Goosecroft Lane,Purley

concert, children’s craft activities, an evening with a crime author, woodland explorer event and much more. Visit website or pick up a programme from Newbury Tourist Information Centre for more details.

13 Oct


Quality preloved and new items for babies the Corn Exchange, Newbury Tony the Owl lives in the countryside. He’s really and under 8s happy in his little garden until Joe and Charlotte turn up from the city and ruin his peace and 5-6 Oct quiet. Featuring puppetry, original music and DAYS OUT WITH THOMAS real earth, this is a story about making friends, Didcot Railway Centre, Didcot being different and why that’s OK. Ride behind Thomas and Duck, meet the Fat Controller, see the Troublesome Trucks 13 Oct in action and find out Duck’s Dilemma. Then enjoy magic shows, Punch and Judy, PLOUGHING MATCH & COUNTRY balloon modelling, circus workshops and MARKET Bishopsland, Dunsden more. Ploughing classes for vintage, classic vintage tractors and track vehicles and for heavy 12-13 Oct horses. Also log chopping competition, ferret CARTER’S STEAM FAIR racing, gun dog display, trailer rides, terrier Prospect Park, Reading racing, trade and craft stands and children’s Vintage traditional funfair for all ages. rides, plus bar and refreshments. Tickets and Saturday 12-10.30pm, Sunday 12-9pm. details online. Fireworks on Saturday night.

12-25 Oct

16-19 Oct

19 Oct


Museum of Rural Life, Reading

MERL’s annual celebration of apples and orchards with tastings of different varieties of apples, chutneys and apple juice, and children’s activities such as apple and spoon races, longest peel competition and much more. Delicious apple inspired refreshments

19 Oct

AUTUMN ORCHARD DAY The Vyne, Basingstoke

Celebrate all things autumnal - play among the fallen leaves, sample local crafts and produce and experience apples galore, over 60 different types are grown at The Vyne. Chat with the garden team for top tips on fruit and veg growing and meet the friendly hens

NEWBURY MICHAELMAS FAIR THATCHAM ARTS & LEISURE FES- Goldwell Park, Newbury 19 Oct TIVAL This annual event runs from Wednesday until LIFE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD various venues around Thatcham Saturday with a gigantic firework display at 9pm A variety of events, the majority of them on Friday 18th. free. Last year these included an art exhibition, classic car show, themed walks,

Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology

Discover the gods of the Egyptians and of the Greeks. Hear their stories and learn how the ancient people used to worship them. Explore the Museum following a trail and find inspiration from the collection for a craft activity.

19-20 Oct


Cliveden, Taplow, Maidenhead

Taste Cliveden’s apples, have a go at apple pressing, take part in the trail, buy some cider and have a climb on the tractors. Lots of fun for all the family held in the long-lost Round Garden, which is currently being restored

25-26 Oct

SPOOKY NIGHT PADDLES Dinton Activity Centre, Hurst

Paddle the black waters of the lake and hear creepy stories


Thames Valley Life 25 Oct-4 Nov

26 Oct

GIANT PUMPKIN HUNT Bucklebury Farm Park

Take a walk on the wild side through the new spooky woodland maze.


Organised by the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge and held in the grounds of the Sue Ryder Care Home at Nettlebed.

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Professional firework display, bonfire, Halloween fancy dress parade, numerous stalls, pig roast, soup, bangers, burgers, mulled wine, bar

26 Oct


Newbury Racecourse, Newbury

A full afternoon of racing plus lots of entertainment for all the family. Gates open at 11am, last race 4.55pm. There will be free entry for all Armed Forces personnel and Royal British Legion members as well as all under 18s.

26-27 Oct


Cholsey & Wallingford Railway

Watch out for the spooky characters along the line and beware of the Witch of Wallingford distributing special Halloween Spooky Bags on the train to all under 8s

26-27 & 30 Oct


Didcot Railway Centre, Didcot

Open hours: Tuesday - Saturday • 10am - 6pm Sunday • 11am - 4pm Monday • Closed

Great for baby. Good for the environment.

As well as the usual attractions you can ride on steam trains this half term

Get in Touch Tel:01844 217 918 Please Quote TVL09

Get your Winter Tyres now while stocks last!

Opening Hours 8am-6pm Mon-Fri 8am-1pm Saturday


We offer: Servicing Tyres MOT Testings & Repairs Air Conditioning Re-Gassing Browns (Thame) Ltd, 5B Lupton Road, Thames, OX9 3SE

Local to You 26 Oct-3 Nov


26 Oct-3 Nov

26 Oct-3 Nov

Basildon Park, Lower Basildon

Oxford Castle Unlocked, Oxford


Museum of Rural Life, Reading

Follow the Halloween Pumpkin Trail and find the scary pumpkins hiding in the MERL museum and garden, suitable for all ages

26 Oct–2 Nov


Enjoy a self-guided Woodland Welly Walk around Basildon Park’s beautiful parkland, on the lookout for all the objects listed on the Bingo Trail. Young visitors can also follow the Halloween Spooktacular Trail around the garden and receive a reward at the end, £2 per trail

26 Oct-3 Nov

Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens

Back by popular demand, Howl-o-ween at the Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens is ‘Howling’ good fun. Lots of special events and activities. Check the website for details.

26 Oct-3 Nov


Odds Farm Park, near Wooburn Common

Daily during Half Term children can carve a pumpkin (small extra charge), follow the Witches’ Trail and enjoy the Spooky Entertainers. Combined with the Giant Indoor Playbarn and plenty of furry friends to meet, you’ll be spoilt for choice. For more information, including special autumn events and prices call or visit website


There’s a murder mystery at the castle this half term and visitors are invited to turn detective and investigate as they tour the prison and Saxon tower and explore the ancient castle crypt and the Georgian prison wing

27 Oct


SCARECROW TRAIL Mortimer, Reading

Come and find the scarecrows situated all around the village. Trail maps available from local outlets in Mortimer, check web site for details. The theme this year is nursery rhymes and children’s songs.

Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway

Spooky Halloween rides. Children in Halloween costume will receive a treat.

27 Oct


The Kenton Theatre, Henley-on-Thames

26 Oct-3 Nov HALF TERM

Shaw House, Church Rd, Newbury

Open daily throughout the holiday. Children can have great fun doing the Big Draw at Shaw. The 2013 exhibition about the Bombing of Newbury will be open.

Join Emil as he teams up with a gang of young sleuths on the trail of a thief in this classic adventure story set in 1930’s Berlin

28 Oct


The Kenton Theatre, Henley-on-Thames

A heart-warming new ballet telling the fairy-tale story of the friendship between a beautiful princess and a frog. An original


01869 259681

Oxfordshire (The Rifles) Battalion Army Cadet Force Male and Female Cadets 12(Year 8) to 18


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Local to You score, gorgeous costumes and crystal to life with a blend of live music, puppets and clear story-telling draw you into the magical high energy storytelling world of classical ballet

creatures living in your garden. Wildlife games, eco art and crafts and all kinds of hands-on autumn activities

28-31 Oct

30 Oct

29 Oct



Reading Museum, Town Hall, Reading

Lily Hill Park, Bracknell

Experience the amazing world of fungi this Throughout half term the Activity Cart autumn with an expert from the Thames Valley will be out with a range of art and craft Fungi Group activities, free drop in

29 & 31 Oct

29 Oct


Corn Exchange, Newbury


Five A Day Market Garden, Englefield

Get ready for Halloween: carve your own The story of a brave little dragon, in a big pumpkin lantern, make a magic wand and scary world! This fairytale adventure comes find out all about the spooky and magical wild







Saturday 23rd November 10am - 5pm Sunday 24th November 10am - 4.30pm

• OVER 60 STALLS • REFRESHMENTS • UNIQUE GIFT IDEAS Entry £5.00 Concessions £2.50

“Something for Everybody” Radley College Abingdon Oxfordshire OX14 2HR Charity Number 1118646

HALLOWEEN PARTY Eddie Catz Newbury

Lights are dimmed and the venue is transformed into something spookishly spectacular (but not too scary). Includes a Halloween disco with the Wacky DJ, magic with Twitch the Witch and Count Dracula, entertainment, face painting, glitter tattoos and a fancy dress catwalk competition with prizes

30 Oct


Beale Park, Lower Basildon

The Conservation Team is back and offering youngsters the chance to build a bat box for their garden visitors. So, if you fancy having a batty half hour, join them and build your own box!

30 Oct


Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, Newbury

Enjoy themed family activities. Follow the treasure trail around the gardens, listen to stories in the theatre, make puppets and add to The Big Puppet Picture, join in drama games and have fun dressing up in costumes from past Watermill shows

30 Oct

AUTUMN FAMILY FUN Pope’s Meadow, Binfield

Celebrate autumn in the outdoors. Activities include leaf lantern making, hedgehog creations, a seed hunt to grow your own trees and a hibernation treasure trail

30 Oct-1 Nov


REME Museum of Technology, Arborfield

There will be activities running throughout the museum. Plus the Mini Assault Course will be open, run by real REME soldiers!

31 Oct


Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, University of Reading

Hear about the mythical creatures of the ancient Greeks, from the beautiful winged horse Pegasus to terrible monsters with unseen powers and strength. Explore the Museum looking for them and be inspired by the collection for a craft activity


Thames Valley Life

19 OCT Murder Mystery Dinner Everyone has a secret. Everyone has a motive. All you have to do is figure out who did it and how‌

4-6 NOV

11-13 NOV

Silver Jewellery

Christmas Cake Fun

An introduction to the basic principles of making jewellery with traditional tools and an opportunity to produce a pretty piece of silver jewellery as a present...or to keep!

Forget the last minute panic of Christmas cake decoration and complete yours in the relaxed atmosphere of Denman using sugar paste for a professional finish.


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Thames Valley Life

Roll Up for a Victorian Extravaganza

Victoriana: The Art of Revival'

A Dazzling Evening of Marvellous Entertainment at Guildhall Art Gallery on 25th October from 6pm-10pm

Go Gothic this October, with our special late-evening Victorian knees-up, part of the ‘Victoriana: The Art of Revival' season of events at Guildhall Art Gallery, which is provided by the City of London Corporation. Dress the part and enjoy the chance to see this autumn’s most talked-about new exhibition after hours. Our Victoriana Art Ambassadors will be on hand throughout the evening to answer any questions as you enjoy a mindbending exploration of “the most enthralling exhibition of the year so far” (The Independent). Then venture into the Guildhall’s atmospheric medieval crypts – the largest and oldest in London – for an evening of dancing and cabaret. A pop-up bar will be available, and acts include Victorian strongman Sir Leopold Aleksander, 'The Mighty Moustache’, the ‘Don’t Go Into The Cellar!’ theatre company, with reworkings of the 19th century’s greatest ghost and horror stories, the ‘Singing Victorians’ and Art Macabre’s infamous drawing salon – RIP boring life drawings, hello death drawing.


Tickets cost £10 in advance and £12 on the door (to include entry to exhibition) and are available NOW from Eventbrite

Ultimate Comfort in Our Luxurious Rooms

Fine Dining

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m-hance appoints new graduates Innovative business software provider m-hance today announces the appointment of its latest graduate employees following its second recruitment programme. The company’s 2013 graduate scheme, run in association with Discovery Graduates, attracted over 3,000 applications for just six positions, more than double the amount m-hance received for its inaugural graduate scheme last year.

m-hance’s latest graduate hires (pictured from left to right): Sara Haycock, Steven Macdonald, Paul Scott, Marcus McNeilly, Jack Powell, and Collette Jones will be based at m-hance’s headquarters in Stockport. In total, m-hance received 3,367 applications for its positions within the areas of marketing, (1551) PR (962), consultancy (453) and market development (401). The new employees will receive ongoing support as part of Discovery’s OPEN Programme and have the opportunity to study for an ILM Accreditation in Business Leadership and Management. m-hance’s commitment to providing opportunities to young professionals comes at a time when many graduates in the UK face uncertain futures. In August this year, a survey conducted by The Higher Education Statistics Agency revealed that 20 per cent of graduates were still unemployed six months after graduating, with 17 per cent continuing in further education, adding debts in excess of £30,000 with no guarantee of immediate employment on the other side. m-hance was recently named as the UK’s 40th fastest growing technology firm in the Tech Track 100 league table after achieving record growth of 79 per cent. The company provides financial management and customer relationship management solutions which are complemented by an innovative range of integrated cloud, mobile and social applications. To support its future growth strategy, m-hance is considering expanding its current head office premises situated in South Manchester. Thompson says, “We are constantly evolving as a business and are committed to investing in highly driven young people who wish to accelerate their careers with us. Our previous graduate recruits have played a key role in our continued success and all of them now occupy more prominent roles within the business, from developing innovative new solutions which provide a rapid return on investment to our customers to supporting our worldwide expansion in the United States and India.” Following the success of its latest programme, m-hance is planning to commence the third wave of its graduate recruitment scheme in January 2014 which


will focus on expanding its 50-strong consultancy team. m-hance’s graduate recruitment scheme is part of an ongoing recruitment drive. Interested applicants should visit or email for further information.

Business & Recruitment

Drumond Park launches The Official LOGO Board Game app - and it’s FREE! LOGO on the GO-GO!

Introducing the one… the only… Official LOGO board game app Now LOGO fans old and new can have their favourite brand of game fun at their fingertips, wherever they may be! Following the huge success of the LOGO series of family picture board games, the in-house creative team at Drumond Park has now come up with a brilliant, free LOGO app! Designed for the iPhone and the iPad, with further versions in the pipeline, it neatly and cleverly transfers – and enhances - the highly popular LOGO board game concept to the social media platform. This is the one and only Official LOGO app, published with fully granted permissions and approvals from all the contributing companies. Drumond Park launched the hugely popular LOGO board game property five years ago, and there are now 6 games in the series – so the company has unrivalled access to the logos of hundreds of UK brands and products, many of which have chosen to appear on the app. Huge creativity and technical skill has gone into producing an entertaining, exciting app with superb, authentic graphics for the smoothest of super fun gaming. It’s a mesmerising mix of hundreds of our favourite everyday UK brands - such as Birds Eye, Hovis, Marmite, Tetley and Wagon Wheels to Argos, British Gas, Churchill, National Express, Tesco and Vauxhall – cleverly combined with some ingeniously tantalising gameplay. The LOGO app is broken down into seven convenient, bite-sized question types – Reveal, Blur, Tilt, Grid, Shape, Trivia and Colour – and twelve increasingly challenging levels of play. Each level contains 20 ‘questions’ which must be completed within a particular time, and once complete the next level is then unlocked. Each level uses a mix of the question types, involving

more than 1,100 questions with almost 300 images in total. As you work your way through each level of the games you can check progress on the levels screen, where successfully completed levels are highlighted in green alongside your best recorded time. Incomplete levels are in red – and you can also go back and try already completed levels again to improve your scores, at any time. The seven question types offer an exciting array of challenges with each round – and in every case, you type the answer from the letters appearing at the bottom of the screen before the timer runs out. For Reveal, you rub the screen with a finger to gradually expose the image hidden beneath; you watch the screen with Blur as a well-known image slowly comes into focus; and in Tilt it’s a simple tilt of the screen to move the circle around - to reveal an image hidden beneath. Grid allows you to select a square from the grid to reveal part of an image. Extra squares can be revealed, but there is a 10 second penalty for each. With Shape you try to guess an image from just its outline before the timer runs out; Trivia allows you to select the correct answer from the multiple choices given; and finally, Colour presents you with a black and white image of a well-known logo or packaging, with part of the design flashing grey. Here, you need to correctly identify the colour of the flashing part from the palette below. The one and only ‘Official’ LOGO app from Drumond Park is an ingenious (and should we say ‘addictive’?) spin-off from the original LOGO board game series - a fresh and potent mix of exhilarating gameplay. It provides fantastic, absorbing fun with enormous play value for gamers of all ages and abilities. ‘The official LOGO board game app’, for both iPhone and iPad devices, is on the iTunes App Store list, completely FREE until 31st December 2013.


Thames Valley Life

Coping with Grief and Loss Losing someone or something you love or care deeply about is very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the pain and sadness you’re experiencing will never let up. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can renew you and permit you to move on.

What is grief? Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief will be. You may associate grief with the death of a loved one—which is often the cause of the most intense type of grief—but any loss can cause grief, including: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Divorce or relationship breakup Loss of health Losing a job Loss of financial stability A miscarriage Retirement Death of a pet Loss of a cherished dream A loved one’s serious illness Loss of a friendship Loss of safety after a trauma Selling the family home

The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief. However, even subtle losses can lead to grief. For example, you might experience grief after moving away from home, graduating from college, changing jobs, selling your family home, or retiring from a career you loved.

Everyone grieves differently Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and the nature of the loss. The grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.

Myths and Facts About Grief MYTH: The pain will go away faster if you ignore it. Fact: Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from


surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it. MYTH: It’s important to be “be strong” in the face of loss. FACT: Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak. You don’t need to “protect” your family or friends by putting on a brave front. Showing your true feelings can help them and you. MYTH: If you don’t cry, it means you aren’t sorry about the loss. FACT: Crying is a normal response to sadness, but it’s not the only one. Those who don’t cry may feel the pain just as deeply as others. They may simply have other ways of showing it. MYTH: Grief should last about a year. Fact: There is no right or wrong time frame for grieving. How long it takes can differ from person to person.

Are there stages of grief? In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the “five stages of grief.” These stages of grief were based on her studies of the feelings of patients facing terminal illness, but many people have generalized them to other types of negative life changes and losses, such as the death of a loved one or a break-up. The five stages of grief: Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.” Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?” Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.” Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.” Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.” If you are experiencing any of these emotions following

a loss, it may help to know that your reaction is natural and that you’ll heal in time. However, not everyone who grieves goes through all of these stages—and that’s okay. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to go through each stage in order to heal. In fact, some people resolve their grief without going through any of these stages. And if you do go through these stages of grief, you probably won’t experience them in a neat, sequential order, so don’t worry about what you “should” be feeling or which stage you’re supposed to be in. Kübler-Ross herself never intended for these stages to be a rigid framework that applies to everyone who mourns. In her last book before her death in 2004, she said of the five stages of grief: “They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss, as there is no typical loss. Our grieving is as individual as our lives.”

have done.


Anger – Even if the loss was nobody’s fault, you may feel angry and resentful. If you lost a loved one, you may be angry with yourself, God, the doctors, or even the person who died for abandoning you. You may feel the need to blame someone for the injustice that was done to you. Fear – A significant loss can trigger a host of worries and fears. You may feel anxious, helpless, or insecure. You may even have panic attacks. The death of a loved one can trigger fears about your own mortality, of facing life without that person, or the responsibilities you now face alone. Physical symptoms – We often think of grief as a strictly emotional process, but grief often involves physical problems, including fatigue, nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or weight gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.

Grief can be a roller coaster

When grief doesn’t go away

Instead of a series of stages, we might also think of the grieving process as a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Like many roller coasters, the ride tends to be rougher in the beginning, the lows may be deeper and longer. The difficult periods should become less intense and shorter as time goes by, but it takes time to work through a loss. Even years after a loss, especially at special events such as a family wedding or the birth of a child, we may still experience a strong sense of grief.

It’s normal to feel sad, numb, or angry following a loss. But as time passes, these emotions should become less intense as you accept the loss and start to move forward. If you aren’t feeling better over time, or your grief is getting worse, it may be a sign that your grief has developed into a more serious problem, such as complicated grief or major depression.

Common symptoms of grief While loss affects people in different ways, many experience the following symptoms when they’re grieving. Just remember that almost anything that you experience in the early stages of grief is normal— including feeling like you’re going crazy, feeling like you’re in a bad dream, or questioning your religious beliefs. Shock and disbelief – Right after a loss, it can be hard to accept what happened. You may feel numb, have trouble believing that the loss really happened, or even deny the truth. If someone you love has died, you may keep expecting him or her to show up, even though you know he or she is gone. Sadness – Profound sadness is probably the most universally experienced symptom of grief. You may have feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or deep loneliness. You may also cry a lot or feel emotionally unstable. Guilt – You may regret or feel guilty about things you did or didn’t say or do. You may also feel guilty about certain feelings (e.g. feeling relieved when the person died after a long, difficult illness). After a death, you may even feel guilty for not doing something to prevent the death, even if there was nothing more you could


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Health & Beauty

Handbag Map Of The UK You can now tell where someone is from by the size and style of their handbag according to Debenhams. A recent survey by the high street retailer has revealed that women tend to buy a particular type of handbag depending on where they live in the country, with fashionistas in the North buying significantly smaller bags than those in the South. Over 60% of Northern lasses like to ‘glam it up’ throughout the day and into the evening as women in this region of the country are now being recognised by their ‘petit pouch’ clutch bag as opposed to their highly distinguishable accents. In contrast, women in the UK’s capital city are carrying more baggage. 74% of London ladies are buying oversized tote bags following the likes of style guru Victoria Beckham, who is regularly pictured with an array of Hermes Birkins and Louis Vuitton oversized Speedys. Bosses at the retailer have put the trend down to women who live in the capital working longer hours, many without access to a car therefore needing an extra-large handbag. Natelle Baddeley, Head of Accessories at Debenhams says: “We are noticing a new trend amongst Londoners known as the ’24 hour’ handbag. Size is everything so it’s the bigger the better.” “Northerners are all about the sexy clutch bag, channelling their inner Cheryl Cole and packing all their essentials into a small bag that can take them from desk to dance floor.” Women in the Midlands are more practical with 72% of them investing in a long lasting, mid- sized handbag that works for every occasion. This ‘bag for life’ flair is often seen on born and bred Birmingham TV personality Cat Deeley. Safety-savvy Scots opt for a crossbody bag, a female version of the wallet chain, allowing them to carry no more than a credit card and a lip gloss. Carrying only the bare essentials indicates that the Scottish sporran is now taking a fashion-forward female approach as well as keeping to tradition. Women in Ireland have been purchasing the ‘fuss free shoulder bag’ which is perfect for busy first-time mums such as Una Healy. The shoulder bag is a more

compact version of the ‘24 hour Londoners’ choice, acting as a bottomless pit stashed full of almost every essential. Wales is cutting the fittest figures in the UK with 68% of females leaning towards sport bags and backpacks. With temperatures soaring throughout Wales this summer* it seems Welsh women have adopted an active outdoor lifestyle and enjoy the practicality and comfort of a backpack. Professor Karen J. Pine from the University of Hertfordshire says: “In recent times the handbag seems to have become the ultimate statement piece for women. Ladies are signalling their status, and many do that via the handbag they choose. This research also demonstrates how the bag we carry, like the clothes we wear, reflects our personality. “The handbag has become an integral part of a woman’s wardrobe and a significant part of her identity. The contents of her bag are highly personal and the style of bag is a shorthand way of saying, “This is who I am”, whether that’s career woman, sporty or practical type.“ concluded Pine. The history of the handbag can be traced back to the bible which specifically describes in detail Judas Iscariot as a purse carrier. The word ‘handbag’ did not exist until the mid-nineteen hundreds and by the 1930s many of the bags used today had been invented including the classic handbag, the clutch, the satchel and the shoulder bag. Handbags, even though they have for so long been associated with females, are becoming increasingly popular with the modern male and the ‘manbag’ is now a fashion must have. Its variety, adaptability and now unisex acceptability highlight the handbag’s staying power.


Type of Bag

What it reveals

Celebrity Trend


Crossbody Bag


Emeli Sande


Clutch Bag

Dressed up & Ready to Go

Cheryl Cole


Medium Sized Tote

Practical ‘bag for life’

Cat Deeley

South inc London

Oversized Handbag

‘24 hour’ bag

Victoria Beckham


Hobo Shoulder Bags

‘Fuss free’ & Self contained

Una Healy


Fitness bags and backpacks

Mount Snowdon effect

Catherine Zeta Jones


Thames Valley Life

babyboomboom shortlisted for Tesco’s Mother and Baby Awards babyboomboom’s Junior band-bag is a contender for the 24 months plus category

We are delighted that babyboomboom® has been shortlisted for the prestigious Mother & Baby 2014 awards sponsored by Tesco. Our Junior band-bag, which includes a CD and four musical instruments, has been nominated for the award in the 24 months plus category. babyboomboom is passionate about familiarising children with the sounds of a second language and their dual language music helps children do just that. The music is available on CD or via electronic downloads and includes a range of well-known British songs and nursery rhymes in English and a second language. Each verse is sung once in English and then repeated in the other language. The Junior bandbag contains the CD and four instruments including a tambourine, castanet, maraca and recorder. Juliet




comments “It is fantastic to be shortlisted for the Mother & Baby Awards, and really appreciate that parents who have tried and tested the products have voted for us. We are proud that after six years, we are still continuing to have an impact on parents and little ones, which reinforces that our unique product is going from strength to strength and that parents are recognising the importance of introducing children to languages at an early age.“ This year, babyboomboom® sits amongst wellknown educational-related brands such as the Early Learning Centre, Fisher-Price and LeapFrog, who are also shortlisted. The winners of the awards are to be announced at a gala Awards Ceremony on the 27th November at the H i l t o n Park Lane.


More are keen to have ‘Real Models’ The Equality Minister, Jo Swinson, started the ‘Campaign for Body Confidence’ back in 2010 to raise awareness of body image issues, tackle the causes and encourage diversity. In recent weeks she has stepped up this campaign and has called for high street stores to have more plus size and petite mannequins. The average dress size in Britain is claimed to be size 16 and Debenhams were praised, by Swinson, for their willingness to create mannequins in this size and promote a more realistic size. The high street wasn’t the only problem area for promoting negative body image and so SportsDirect. com take a look at how ‘real models’ are being encouraged. In 2012, the size 0 debates took to the press and the outcome saw models condemned for being scarily thin. Yet today television and magazines praise women for being slim and draw media attention to any weight gain. With the average woman said to be size 16, this is unrealistic and it has been associated with creating low self esteem amongst their readers and viewers. Celebrities like Gemma Collins and Coleen McLoughlin


have backed the Swinson’s campaign to love your curves and are fighting back against this poor body image. Coleen McLoughlin filmed a television show in which she found real women on the street and after some slight preening, she showcased them to different brands as plus size models. Campaigns like this have had an effect and in recent months, H&M used plus size models to showcase their swimwear collection. The majority of people responded positively to this effort and it goes to show more people are keen to have ‘real models’. More plus size collections are being introduced on the high street, making it easier for people to accept their size and dress in fashion that shows off their body shape. have released their own plus size range, using the same on-trend clothes from their existing fashion outlet but making them bigger to suit normal people. Love your body and embrace your curves by checking out http://www.sportsdirect. com/Pages/plusladies for great fashion in encouraging sizes.

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Health & Beauty


Thames Valley Life

An Autumn Wedding Theme An autumn wedding is ideal for any couples seeking an intimate and warm atmosphere to their day. The season brings to mind an implication of families coming together and it’s also a romantic season for a wedding. Here are some tips and hints to help you plan your autumn wedding. Where should you have your autumn ceremony? Search for locations suggestive of the season like halls ,barns, and inns. An autumn wedding can be casual and elegant in the appropriate setting. Vineyards and orchards are also good locations for autumn weddings. Search out locations where you can take pleasure in views of the autumn foliage and enjoy the beautiful colors. What décor for an autumn wedding? Fashion an entrance with sheaths of corn or wheat at your reception location. Your color choices ought to mirror the rich fall colors of the season, like brown, red, and orange. For a contemporary theme, use accents of light blue and rich chocolate brown. For pretty decorations on your tables, use cornucopias, pumpkins, gourds and acorns. Create wedding jacko-lanterns by carving your initials or names into pumpkins and use them as table centerpieces. What about flowers? During the fall, you can find an extensive selection of reasonably priced foliage and flowers such as roses, mums, yarrow, daisies, fall leaves, grain crops, and berries. Pumpkins are a neat idea for autumn weddings. When they’re hollowed out, they make unusual containers for flower arrangements. Select white or blue pumpkins as an unconventional choice of the usual orange. What do you wear to a fall wedding? As an alternative for customary white or ivory gowns, select off-white or cream dresses with gold accents. Pick out jewel tones or autumnal colors for your bridesmaids and then complement the groomsmen’s vests with them. To get a sumptuous touch, find fabrics like brocades and velvets and. Autumn weather can be changeable, and it could be difficult to learn beforehand what the temperature and weather will be on your day. Accessorize with caplets, shawls, or wraps that may be put on or removed with ease when necessary. What to have on the menu? To have a customary autumn dinner, select roast


turkey and pumpkin pie, however there are a lot of other choices for your wedding meal. Rib roast, roast quail, and hearty soups all suggest the season. Serve up side dishes of in season veggies and mashed potatoes, together with whole grain bread rolls. As your guests arrive, serve them a welcoming beverage of cider punch with a cinnamon stick stirrer. As an unconventional choice to wedding cake, serve a baked apple dessert. What about an autumn wedding cake? You should pick a spiced cake frosted in rich chocolate. You might do away with the cake totally, and dish up pumpkin, apple and pecan pie along with pumpkin bread. Autumn wedding favors? Pick favors appropriate to the season such as cider punch, apples, or preserves. Cellophane wrapped candy apples or boxes of marzipan fruits are very suggestive of autumn. A more ornamental favor can be corn dollies tied with ribbon or miniature pumpkins.


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Thames Valley Life

Happy Healthy Bride to Be Getting ready for your wedding reception can be a demanding time for any kind of bride, regardless of how build you might seem to be. In this article, I wish to focus much less around the tangible products that go in to a wedding, plus much more about the psychological and also relational wellbeing from the bride-to-be. Even if you feel you’ve looked after every final detail--from purchasing the most amazing personalized wedding gifts, for you to picking out the perfect personalized 3 vase centerpiece--things can invariably change study course and you may constantly find something to fret out regarding when you’re certainly not cautious relating to your way of thinking. Here are a few activities and also to keep in mind do your best: The wedding ceremony is only a day; the marriage will be forever-- you might have had some kind of smart sage tell you this kind of by now, however it’s correct also it need to alter the means you approach wedding preparation. Should your preparation is taken out of your moment with your fiance along with developing a strain on their bond, what’s the point? You ought to be getting the maximum amount of, or maybe more emphasis onto building up your relationship along with your hubby. One particular sensible technique of doing this can be to consider at the very least Three or four classes of pre-marital advising. This is through a chapel, a guidance center, or maybe using an additional several each of you rely on along with respect. This will make you invest some time wondering the other the difficult

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questions along with lounging a solid foundation. Suppose your sweetheart begins paying a long time with a men coworker as well as confesses to using emotions regarding him. Yep.. certainly not the kind of interactions in which feel exciting after a love-saturated proposal, yet chatting via this kind of beforehand can easily severely useful union down the road. It’s like having the rain support plan for the marriage morning. Not fun to think about however you clearly wouldn’t shift for the special day without one. It’s also vital to take time out regarding reflection on your own. Whether this particular be described as a time to wish, diary, or maybe sit and stay nonetheless, it’s critical that a new bride not thus scrambled that they can’t get pleasure from the woman’s wedding day. Only a few mins associated with quiet each day can perform a lot involving variation. Spending some time committing to crucial relationships that may adjust when you are getting wedded. To me, this integrated my personal school roommates and our mom and dad. I knew that will slumber parties, loved ones cuisine, beach front strolls together with father, along with buying along with mum would be a less frequent occurance once I get wed along with transferred in with my better half. We guaranteed the individuals recognized My partner and i loved these people and also understood how they formed me into the woman I had grow to be. Snooze! That is extremely important We can’t stress this sufficient. You’ll have a harder moment shedding pounds, any harder period centering on particulars and are far more just like a ‘bride-zilla’ if you don’t snooze your current regular a long time --- or higher considering that you’re beneath more stress. It is a top priority within the minor bows on your own party favors, trust me. Maintain the overall dish in mind, brides. It’s an easy task to get programmed by the wedding business however recognize you can preserve a quantity mind please remember that this wedding party is morning along with your marriage is designed to very last once and for all.



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Thames Valley Life

Wedding Fireworks

A wedding is a “once in a lifetime” occasion and as such, you need to make sure you get the fireworks right. Add to the magic of the day with a fireworks display in the evening to see the bride and groom on their way. Because of the importance of the occasion, this is one fireworks display where you have to be very sure of yourself before taking it on. Here are some reasons why you may, instead, wish to employ a professional wedding fireworks display company: If you’re involved with the wedding itself (eg. family, best man, bridegroom etc) you’ll already have a lot on your plate. Are you sure you want to worry about the fireworks AND guest’s safety as well? Can you spare the time in the afternoon to set things up (it can take a few hours)? If you’re inexperienced or this will be your first big display, forget it. This is not the time to find your feet! Many wedding reception venues do not allow fireworks. Check first. Those that do are more likely to agree to a display only if a professional company is doing it. You wouldn’t need to worry about setting up, firing, or clearing up. Having someone else clear up is a major bonus, especially if you’re involved with any other duties on the night. It also leaves you free after the display to join the celebrations, something you couldn’t do if you’re firing. If you’re also a guest at the wedding or reception bear in mind you and your firers will not be able to drink until after the fireworks display. This would not be an issue if someone else was doing the fireworks for you. Unless you’re a very experienced amateur, a professional fireworks display is potentially more


spectacular and fitting to the occasion. A professional fireworks display will be fully insured – important when firing on someone else’s property! A fireworks display is a big undertaking and a big responsibility, even more so on a wedding night. You should only attempt a DIY display if you know what you are doing. For a professional show you should budget for between £500-£1000 depending on the starting costs of your local display company. As a very rough guide, £800-£1200 would normally buy a stunning display of around 5-8 minutes (beware longer displays as these contain the same value of fireworks but thinned out with smaller items and the effect is worse). Speak to your wedding reception venue first before making any firm bookings. Some venues only allow quiet shows or have other restrictions. If you need more help determining the difference between consumer (DIY) displays and a professional display, the DIY or Professional Fireworks article might help.

Preparing for the fireworks display If you really want to tackle a wedding fireworks display yourself, or you have been asked to provide a display for a wedding, you need to make extra preparations over and above what you might need for a private display. Here are some suggestions: Check the wedding venue is suitable for fireworks. In addition to checking that the actual venue is safe for fireworks (no overhead obstructions, plenty of space for the fireworks, fall out and spectators etc)

Weddings you will need to ensure the land owner agrees to you using fireworks. It is recommended that you get this agreement in writing. Fireworks insurance is strongly recommended for an event like this bearing in mind you will be displaying on someone else’s land. Speak to the bride and groom to see if they have any particular requests for the display (some might like a quieter display etc.) and check what time they want the display to start – check with the land owner that this is OK, especially if it is a late display. Make sure you will have access to the venue well in advance, so find out where to get the keys for any locked gates or entrances. Pick a site where you can drive your car/van to the fireworks area too. Who will provide rope or tape for any spectator barriers and who will be marshalling the crowd? If the wedding venue cannot provide this, you’ll need to. It’s worth informing the local police and fire brigade of your display. Get contact details and phone numbers for the venue, the land owner, and someone in the bride or groom’s party.

What fireworks to use for a wedding display

half a dozen or more, fired together, looks bright and pretty. Aim to keep the display short, for maximum impact. Five minutes or so is good. It doesn’t sound a lot but for the same number of fireworks, a display over five minutes looks twice as saturated as a display over ten minutes. Double up big cakes and candles. Have one either side of the display fired together (planning and coordination between firers important here!). Keep effects rotating well, eg. quiet and pretty, then noise, and repeat. Avoid long sections of just noise (save for the end) and don’t have fountains then wheels back to back, for example. Consider investing in some “firewriting” such as a heart with the bride and groom’s initials either side. This is a wonderful way of creating a very personal touch at a wedding with fireworks. This video shows an example of this. It can be built to order as a consumer firework (which you set up and let off yourself) or included as part of a professional show: Don’t bother with sparklers for a wedding display. People will be in smart attire and, by the time of the display, more than likely under the influence of drink. Sparklers would be a liability. Keep the audience away from the fireworks.

Your firework selection needs to take into account the following: The guests: A mixed audience of young and old are best suited to a mixed display of noise and colour rather than all-out noise. The venue: Your fireworks must be appropriate for the venue. Avoid large display rockets if you do not have a big fall out area. For big and open venues you’ll need to concentrate on bigger cakes with bigger effects and fan cakes can be very effective in big venues. The bride and groom: The display is for them. Ask them if they would like a particular theme or any other consideration (eg. more or less noise). You and your firers: The fewer the firers, the more work on the night. Compensate for this by using fewer, bigger fireworks (such as large cakes or displays in a box). Don’t overstretch your capacity. The time and date: Late night, out of season displays need to be either quieter, or shorter, to prevent problems (unless the venue is remote). There are no hard and fast rules as to the actual content of your display. A traditional “start loud and end loud” display would be fine, or you can be more creative with your effects. Some tips: Fountains can create a magical wall of fire. Large silver conic fountains offer a cheap way to do this. A line of


Thames Valley Life

50th Anniversary Gift ideas A 50th anniversary gift commemorates a milestone most married couples wish to reach. What can you possibly give a couple after 50 years of marriage? The most meaningful wedding anniversary gift is one that comes from the heart: to express your love and appreciation towards all that they mean to you, how their staying married through the thick and thin of life has influenced you. The 50th anniversary is commemorated by gold and the flower is violet. A gift certainly doesn’t have to be gold, wrap a gift in gold paper. 50th anniversary gift ideas for the couple: • Keepsake personalised anniversary gifts, such as a photo quilt or pillow • Restore their wedding photo & place in a gold frame • Have a painting or caricature made out of their wedding photo • A gift of theater or concert subscription tickets. Make them a patron with VIP privileges • The children can create a 50th anniversary keepsake journal gift. Ask family and friends to write a paragraph or two to share a memory with their


• • • •

parents. Or ask for a photo with the couple that the children don’t have & write a caption about it Are they up for a cruise? Take them on a weekend or week long cruise. What could help them personally? Can you lease a car for them? Pay for a kitchen or other home renovation? Do they golf? Pay for private lessons or a VIP membership at their favorite club Buy tickets to a favorite event and pay for their lodging and food expenses

The best 50th anniversary gift for the couple is one that helps them to enjoy life more. Many couples don’t even want to receive gifts. Give a gift of your time and help. Make up “Gift of Time” or “Labor of Love” coupons to take them out to their favorite restaurant, make them a home-cooked meal, chauffeur them on a shopping trip, run errands for them, take them to a show or movie, have a local landscaping company take care of their property, have their home repainted. Find out what will make a difference in the quality of their life.



TVL October 2013