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ISSUE 64 // OCTOBER 2017

!

HOW TO… Stamford & Rutland’s sport and lifestyle magazine

Make mushroom soup Create a ghost costume

M i n d Ga m e s How a healthy body helps brain health

ISSUE 64 // OCTOBER 2017

Will’s Walk

Castor and n Water Newto

Buff up for your big day What to do to look great for your wedding

Countryfile’s Adam HenSon on his Active life

www.theACTIVEmag.com 10


INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS | INDEPENDENT MINDS

Open Days Stamford provides a huge range of opportunities, experiences, influences and support to inspire our pupils, light fires within them, and enable them to become who they really want to be.

STARTING AT 10.00AM Saturday 7th October 2017 Stamford School | (Boys 11-18) Saturday 7th October 2017 Stamford High School | (Girls 11-18) Saturday 14th October 2017 Stamford Junior School & Stamford Nursery School | (Girls & Boys 3-11) STARTING AT 6.00PM Wednesday 11th October 2017 Sixth Form | (Girls & Boys 16-18)

Booking is required, call 01780 750311 or visit www.stamfordschools.co.uk


Editor’s Letter HERE COMES AUTUMN, THE BEST SEASON of the year bar none. Yes, I’m slightly biased and possibly there’s some inherent calling to the months of leaves falling as I was born in it, but there is no doubt it outranks miserable winter, random spring and unfulfilled summer for a number of reasons. Here are a few: It always delivers on its promise. More than any other season, autumn always performs. The leaves always turn a majestic colour, the sun always shines with that golden glow and the mornings are always crisp and energising. Winter is grey, a good summer turns up once a decade and spring is just all over the place, invading winter and giving us forlorn hope of a wonderful summer to come while sometimes rudely reappearing in about June. You never get that with autumn. The football and rugby seasons start. As much as I love the cricket season, it’s the start of the rugby and football seasons that’s really exciting. It used to be easy: Tigers would start autumn trying to work out how much bigger to make the trophy cabinet for the season ahead. Now it’s a little less ambitious. Just one would do, but a day at Welford Road is still one of life’s great pleasures, even if the results aren’t quite as spectacular. Roast dinners and walks. Barbecues and chilled Chablis are great, but there are very few things as fine in life as a walk through the countryside under a bedding of leaves with the dogs in tow, in the knowledge that there’s a slab of roast beef in the oven and a fabulous bottle of claret breathing on the table. Middle England at its very finest. The kids go back to school. It’s great to have them at home for the holidays, but who doesn’t breathe a little sigh of relief when they are packaged back up in their uniforms and they are kept occupied for the majority of their day by a professional? So there you have it: definitive proof that you should embrace the new season wholeheartedly. Enjoy the issue! Steve

Twitter // @theACTIVEmag Facebook // www.facebook.com/theACTIVEmag

Publisher Chris Meadows chris@theactivemag.com Editor Steve Moody steve@theactivemag.com Deputy editor Mary Bremner mary@theactivemag.com Production editor Julian Kirk julian@theactivemag.com Art editor Mark Sommer mark@theactivemag.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Jeremy Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Chauhan lisa@theactivemag.com Amy Roberts amy@theactivemag.com Editorial and Advertising Assistant Kate Maxim kate@theactivemag.com Accounts accounts@theactivemag.com Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789

If you have information on a club then get in touch by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. If you would like to stock Active magazine then email distribution@ theactivemag.com. If you would like to discuss advertising possibilities please email advertise@ theactivemag.com. Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. ISSN 2049-8713 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Company registration number 7994437. VAT number 152717318 Disclaimer

Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or be stored in any retrieval system, of any nature, without prior permission from GPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of GPL or its affiliates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, GPL and its affiliates assume no responsibility as to the accuracy or completeness of and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be liable for any errors or omissions or any loss, damage or expense incurred by reliance on information or any statement contained in this publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of the advertising material which they submit and for ensuring the material complies with applicable laws. GPL and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.

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Contents

ISSUE 64 /// OCTOBER 2017

26 ACTIVE LIFE 13 WHAT’S ON

Great things to do locally for all the family

15 HOW TO...

Make mushroom soup and create a ghost costume

18-19 RIVERFORD RECIPE

This month we cook ricotta and basil courgettes

21 TRAVEL

Focus on incredible India

FEATURES 26-31 MIND GAMES

How getting active can help with mental health

33 MARTIN JOHNSON’S COLUMN

What is it with some pro sports people and booze?

60

ACTIVE BODY 37 ARTHRITIS AND EXERCISE Advice from The Avicenna Clinic

39 ANKLE WRANKLES

Function Jigsaw’s guide to strengthening your joints

40-44 WEDDING SPECIAL

Our essential guide to planning your big day

ACTIVE LOCAL 50-51 CHALLENGE UPDATES... Updates on our intrepid fund-raisers

55-57 SCHOOL SPORTS

Successes on the field from our local schools

59 DAY IN THE LIFE OF...

Orthopaedic surgeon wing commander Gora Pathak

60-61 GREAT WALKS

Taking in Castor and Water Newton

63 ON YOUR BIKE!

A great cycling route from Rutland Cycling

66-71 FENCE POST

Jeremy Beswick tries his hand at fencing

72-74 ROUND-UP

How clubs in the area are faring

4 O C T OBE R 2017 ///

40 66


3 Star Lane, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 1PH

I

01780 754737

I

www.sowdenwallis.co.uk

I

info@ sowdenwallis.co.uk

Hambleton Road, Stamford £245,000 This extended three bedroom semi-detached family home has been finished to a high standard by the current owners, including a stylish new kitchen diner to the rear. Located in a popular residential location which provides easy access to the town centre, A1 and the Malcolm Sargent Primary School. The accommodation comprises of an entrance hall, sitting room, kitchen diner, utility room, cloakroom, landing, three bedrooms and family bathroom. There is off street parking to the front for two cars, whilst to the rear is a west facing patio and lawned garden. Viewing highly recommended.

UFFINGTON ROAD BARNACK £575,000 This truly stunning stone built home is located in the ever popular village of Barnack has been beautifully updated by the current owners to create this fabulous family home. The accommodation comprises of a spacious entrance hall, well appointed dual aspect sitting room with feature fireplace, reclaimed wooden flooring and patio doors to the garden. The kitchen is the main focal point of the property having a recently replaced hand built kitchen with quartz worksurface and built in appliances to include fridge freezer, wine fridge, large Rangemaster oven and boiler water tap. There’s also a study and wc on the ground floor. To the first floor is a large Master bedroom with built in wardrobes and four piece ensuite, three further bedrooms and a family bathroom. To the second floor there is a large landing currently used as a seating area as well as a large guest bedroom with ensuite shower and further bedroom/family room. The gardens have been thoughtfully landscaped to provide a good sized lawn and well thoughtfully planted borders, as well as a gravel driveway providing off road parking and double garage. An early viewing is advised to appreciate this high quality home.

Norfolk Square, Stamford £160,000 Situated in a cul-de-sac this three bedroom home offers good levels of accommodation and off street parking all within easy reach of the town centre. A spacious sitting room and well presented breakfast kitchen feature on the ground floor, with three bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor. The property has gas fired central heating and replacement windows. To the rear of the property is a long patio and lawned garden which is west facing. To the front of the property is graveled off street parking for two cars.

sowden.indd 1

14/01/2016 10:09

RECREATION GROUND ROAD STAMFORD £335,000 Set within walking distance of the town centre, this extended three bedroom Victorian town house offers some original features including a quarry tiled entrance hall, exposed wooden doors and banister rails. The ground floor accommodation has been opened up and comes with a wood burner, bay window and sliding patio door which opens onto the enclosed rear garden. The accommodation comprises: - Entrance porch, hallway, sitting room, dining room with study area, kitchen, shower room, landing, three good sized bedrooms and a bathroom. There are good south west views over the Recreation Ground from the second bedroom, with the enclosed rear patio and lawned garden being a real sun trap. To the front of the property is ample off street parking. NO CHAIN @sowdenwallis

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sowdenwallis

sowdenwallis

18/09/2017 15:46


Activelife

Activelife OCTOBER MEANS HALLOWE’EN AND HALF-TERM HAPPENINGS, MUSHROOMS AND SOUP, FALLOW DEER AND PHEASANTS. FURTHER AFIELD, WHY NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO VISIT INDIA’S STUNNING TAJ MAHAL Edited by Mary Bremner

6 O C T OBE R 2017 ///


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Activelife

DOG DAYS Dogs are great companions and really are ‘man’s best friend’, so when you lose your canine companion it can be heartbreaking. So much so that you really don’t want another one for a while, or maybe your lifestyle just doesn’t fit in with having a dog again. This is where Barking Mad comes in. The UK’s largest dog sitting company, they are always looking for people to become a host to provide a loving home to a dog while its owner

is on holiday. Hosts range from retired people who have plenty of time to young families who want the experience of having a dog to stay just for the summer holidays – anyone can do it, and it can be as flexible as you like. Everything is set up and organised by your local Barking Mad branch, and it doesn’t cost you a penny. Have a chat to local rep Kerry Wells for more information. Kerry.wells@barkingmad.uk.com or 01775 720382.

Vegetables come to life Ex-Lincolnshire farmer Suzanne Smith has written a series of children’s books –The Vegetable Village Adventures – about young vegetables who go on adventures. Designed to be educational, these books will encourage children to grow and eat vegetables.

SHOP OF THE MONTH

BUMBLE CAMPERS

WRIGHT CARE AT HOME STAFF RUN FOR CHARITY The team at Wright Care at Home have set themselves a challenge – to run the Perkins Great Eastern Run to raise money for The Stroke Association, a charity close to their hearts as many of their customers have suffered from one. Seven of the team are taking part, from office and care staff, family members and even a director. They have set themselves a target of raising £500 and are training hard. To support them go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ wrightcareathome

8 O C T OBE R 2017 ///

Have you always dreamt of hitting the road in a camper van, enjoying the freedom it offers? Well Bumble Campers might just be about to make your dreams come true. This family run firm, based in Yaxley offers camper vans for rent or sale. They are all converted Toyota Previas which are easy to drive and super reliable, and most are automatic. They can sleep two people (or four with a roof tent). All are fully equipped with everything you will need, even wifi. Mileage is unlimited so you can travel all over Britain, and many go to Europe. The firm advises booking early for next summer as many were disappointed this year as all the vans had been booked. There is still availability for half-term. www.bumblecampers.com


WILD ABOUT FASHION A W I L D LY D I F F E R E N T S H O P P I N G A N D L E I S U R E D E S T I N AT I O N , W H E R E A W O R L D O F A D V E N T U R E AWA I T S . RUSHDEN LAKES SHOPPING CENTRE, R U S H D E N , N O RT H A M P TO N S H I R E N N 10 6 F H .

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15/09/2017 14:21


GO WITH YOUR GUT.

MONTHLY RENTALS FROM £229. (PLUS RENTAL ) THEINITIAL NEW MINI LOWER EMISSIONS ALLOWANCE. By design the new MINI Clubman is the most technologically advanced MINI yet. Loaded with *

innovative and practical features to enhance your driving experience, the new model includes satellite navigation as standard, a unique 6-door configuration and a spacious, flexible boot space.

GET AN ADDITIONAL £2,000 TOWARDS A NEW MINI.*

To discover more please call 01733 707074 or visit www.sycamoremini.co.uk We’re excited to introduce the new MINI Lower Emissions Allowance, offering £2,000 towards a variety of new MINI models with CO2 emissions below 130g/km*. That’s £2,000 on top of our existing tantalising offers and on top of your trade-in price. There’s

Sycamore Peterborough never been a better time to get to know the MINI models, with their legendary go-kart handling and iconic design. Papyrus Road, Werrington Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE4 with 5HWevery MINI launched since 2014 designed to meet EU6 standards which are now Our current line-up is cleaner than ever, Tel: 01733for 707074 mandatory all new cars.

MINI Have we FINANCIAL got your attention? SERVICES To find out if your vehicle qualifies, contact us on 01733 707074

or visit www.sycamoremini.co.uk.

Official Fuel Economy Figures for the new MINI Clubman Range: Urban 35.3-60.1 mpg (8-4.7 l/100km). Extra Urban 52.3-76.3 mpg (5.4-3.7 l/100km). Combined 44.8-68.9 mpg (6.3-4.1 l/100km). CO2 Emissions 147-109 g/km. Figures may vary depending on driving style and conditions.

Sycamore (Peterborough) Ltd. Sycamore (Peterborough) Ltd. is a credit broker. Papyrus Road, Werrington, *Initial rental £2,994. Price shown is for a 48 month Personal Contract Hire agreement for a MINI Cooper Clubman with a contract mileage of 32,000 Peterborough PE4 5HW

miles and excess mileage charge of 4.52p per mile (exc.VAT). Applies to new vehicles ordered between 1 April and 30 June 2016 and registered by 30 September 2016 (subject to availability). Retail customers only. At the end of your agreement you must return the vehicle. Excess mileage, vehicle condition andEmissions other charges be payable. Hire available subject to status to UK residents aged 18 must or over. Guarantees and inindemnities be *£2,000 Lower Allowancemay towards new MINI vehicles with CO2 emissions of 130g/km (NEDC) or below. New vehicle be registered by 31.12.17 the same namemay and address required. TermsTrade-in and conditions apply. Offer be varied, or extended at12any time.Retail Hirecustomers provided byParticipating MINI Financial Summit as trade-in vehicle. vehicle must be diesel, EU4may emission standardwithdrawn or older and owned for at least months. only. retailersServices, only. Can be used in ONE, Summit Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 0FB. Sycamore (Peterborough) Ltd., trading as Sycamore Peterborough, commonly introduce customers conjunction with other offers. Ts&Cs apply. to a selected panel of lenders including MINI Financial Services. We may receive commission or other benefits for introducing you to such lenders. 33820_bs112672_Clubman_Sycamore_FP_190x277.indd 1 18/03/2016 11:01 This introduction does not amount to independent financial advice.


Activelife

FREE SPORTS MODULE ON OFFER University Centre in Peterborough is offering local students aged 16-18 the chance to study a sports coaching module free of charge. The Introduction into Sport Performance Enhancement module will run for two days during half-term on October 23 and 24 with an assessment on the 25th, where all participants will be awarded with a Certificate in Sport Performance Enhancement. This free module is aimed at someone who is already coaching or wants to work in a sports environment and will give an insight into studying at degree level, and could help with university applications. The course goes into great detail about coaching philosophies as well as training, conditioning and psychological skills, and much more. To find out more, go to www.ucp.ac.uk or ring 01733 214466

Wear pink Wear It Pink takes place on October 20 – on this day everyone is encouraged to don something pink to help raise funds during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event encourages supporters to hold events in their homes, offices and schools and to make a donation to Breast Cancer Now. www.breastcancernow.org

STAMFORD WATCH TO BE AUCTIONED Watchmaker Loomes & Co is to host a reception and photographic exhibition for one of its mechanical watches at Stamford Town Hall on October 17. The Stamford-made watch was built for the Royal Gurkha Regiment climbing team which reached the top of Everest on May 15 this year. The team successfully got three British officers and 13 Nepalese Gurkhas to the top. With them were Loomes watches that withstood the cold,

knocks and bumps from three months on a mountainside. One of these watches is to be auctioned by Bonhams in November and will be displayed in Stamford on October 17. All proceeds from the sale will go to The Mountain Trust charity, which specialises in providing aid to the most remote regions of the Himalayas which were damaged by a massive earthquake in 2015. To find out more visit www.robertloomes.com

/// O C T O B E R 2 0 17 11


FESTIVE PARTY NIGHTS WITH DINNER & DISCO IN THE BARN A selection of dates are available throughout December ~ 9th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 20th • Sun-Thurs £28.50 pp / Fri-Sat £30.00 pp • Private parties can be arranged, subject to availability • All festive & private parties require a pre-order

Menu Cream of cauliflower soup V Pressed ham hock terrine & Piccalilli salad Gravlax of salmon, pickled cucumber & new potato salad G *** Roast Norfolk turkey served with all the trimmings Seared fillet of seabass, crushed new potatoes with a dill & lemon butter sauce G Wild mushroom & tarragon pithivier with tenderstem broccoli V *** Traditional Christmas pudding with brandy V Dark chocolate delice, gratin cherries & white chocolate ice cream V Colston Basset stilton & English farmhouse cheddar, served with; celery, grapes, chutney & Jacobs crackers V

12 St Leonards Street Stamford, PE9 2HN

Tel 01780 654321 • sales@classicstamford.co.uk www.classicstamford.co.uk

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The Avenue, Rutland Water, Oakham, Rutland LE15 8AH tel: 01572 724678 enquiries@barnsdalelodge.co.uk

www.barnsdalelodge.co.uk

22/09/2017 10:59


Activelife

WHAT’S ON There’s lots going on in your area this month, why not try some of these? ■ Riverford Organic Farms are holding a pumpkin day at Sacrewell, Peterborough, on October 28 from 11am-4pm. Open to all, you can pick your own pumpkin from the field then carve it ready for Hallowe’en. Tickets cost £3 to include a pumpkin, but you need to book in advance. www.riverford.co.uk/ pumpkinday ■ Rockblok at Whitwell will be running the Rockblok Half-Term Adventure Club from October 23-27. Children can attend for one day or the whole week. Instructors will be on hand to help with rock climbing, high ropes, exploring, building dens, shelters, camp fires and much more. Cost is £30 per day with a 15% discount if you book three days or more. www.rockblok.com ■ Meditation classes are now running at Stamford Arts Centre run by Buddhist nun Kelsang Rak-ma. Cost is £5 per class. www.meditateinpeterborough. org.uk. Drolma Buddhist Centre is also running a special half day

event – Meditation and Mindfulness: Choose Happiness – on October 15 from 2.30pm5pm. www.drolmacentre.org.uk ■ Tickets are now on sale for the Stamford Pantomime Players’ performance of Beauty and the Beast. Held at the Corn Exchange Theatre from December 27 to January 1, tickets sell out fast so book early to avoid disappointment. www.stamfordcornexchange. co.uk ■ Peterborough Fireworks Fiesta has a new sponsor, Britannia Fire and Security. Now in its 40th year and one of the top 10 displays in the UK, attracting more than 11,000 visitors, the event will be held at the East of England Showground on November 4. Advance tickets are now on sale. www.fireworkfiesta.com ■ Half-term fun is taking place at Easton Walled Gardens including pumpkin rolling, chocolate workshops and spooky stories from October 18-29. www.visiteaston.co.uk

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TAKE THE EFFORT OUT OF CHOOSING YOUR BUSINESS OR PERSONAL INSURANCE

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FREE EXPERT ADVICE

Call us now on 0333 366 0714 Tel 01780 654321 • www.classicstamford.co.uk • sales@classicstamford.co.uk

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to get a quick and easy quote today!

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22/09/2017 10:59


Activelife

HOW TO…

COOK MUSHROOM SOUP Ingredients 60g chopped onions or shallots 50g butter Salt and pepper 400g trimmed wild mushrooms 600ml chicken stock 250ml milk Cook the onions gently in the butter with a pinch of salt and pepper for three minutes, being careful to not let them colour. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook very gently for five minutes. Add the chicken stock and milk, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Pour the soup into a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Season to taste. Serve with fresh crusty bread.

HOW TO…

Create a ghost costume out of a bed sheet It’s ridiculously easy and quick, just what you want when it comes to making fancy dress costumes for Hallowe’en. Grab an old bed sheet and drape it over the head of the person who will be wearing the costume. Mark the centre of the head with a black marker, mark the eye holes, and mouth if you wish. Remove the sheet, cut out the eye holes, and a round mouth if you want. Job done!

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07/09/2017 10:45


Activelife

NATURE

FALLOW DEER The fallow deer is a fairly common sight in these parts. Look across open fields, close to woodland, and you will frequently spot them in quite large herds on open agricultural land. Easily identifiable by their spotted coats, they are smaller than the red deer but larger than the roe. Their coat becomes long and grey in the winter with the white spots becoming less apparent. White fallow are fairly common, as are melanistic (black). The stags sport impressive antlers that increase in size with age, reaching up to 70cm long. Not native to the British isles, their history is closely linked to deer parks. First brought to Britain from the Mediterranean and kept in deer parks, as their popularity declined the escapees naturalised and are the foundation of the high numbers found in Britain today. Peak activity is at dawn and dusk. Remember, if a deer jumps out in front of you while driving, stop, as they rarely travel alone. If one crosses the road, there are bound to be more.

THE PHEASANT

Like the red legged partridge (also known as the French partridge), the pheasant is an introduced gamebird whose numbers are kept artificially high by releases. A common sight in fields and hedgerows, with a distinctive call. Pheasants may have been brought here by the Romans – they appear on some mosaic pavements – but are more likely to have been introduced by the Normans. Because it is a sporting

Horse mushrooms quarry the pheasant can fairly claim, more than any other bird, to have helped create our local countryside. Many woodlands are maintained on its behalf and crops of maize and kale provide it – and other species – with food and cover in winter. Pheasants are usually very wary and when disturbed in the open will usually run for cover in nearby hedges and woods. Males, with their dark green head and neck with red wattles around the eye, bright plumage and long tail, are unmistakable. Some have a white ring around the neck. All white birds, but not true albinos, are sometimes seen as are melanistic birds, which have very dark plumage. Females are sandy brown with darker markings, well camouflaged as they incubate up to 15 eggs in a nest well hidden beneath brambles and long grass. As well as grain and seeds, slugs, earthworms and molluscs are the main food. Terry Mitcham

A mild wet summer has led to an abundance of mushrooms in the fields. Delicious when freshly picked and cooked, these mushrooms have a rich, strong taste. Readily available in pastures, particularly where animals graze, they often grow in rings. They can grow up to 25cm across and 10cm tall in large numbers, so plenty for a good feed. The cap is usually white, sometimes a discoloured grey with the underside (gills) white when very young but quickly turning to a grey/brown colour in the more mature specimens. They smell mushroomy when picked, a good indicator that you have the horse mushroom rather than the yellow

stainer which does not smell edible at all. A word of warning – be aware of what you are picking. Foraging courses are available for those who are not confident in telling an edible mushroom from a poisonous one.

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Activelife


RICOTTA AND BASIL COURGETTES WITH QUINOA TABBOULEH INGREDIENTS

1 lemon 3 courgettes Salt and pepper Olive oil 100g quinoa 125g ricotta 30g pine nuts 30g breadcrumbs 25g parmesan cheese 1 tbsp pesto verde 1 nutmeg 30g parsley 4 tomatoes 1 garlic clove

METHOD

● Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Boil a kettle. Finely zest and juice the lemon.

Split the courgettes in half lengthways. Place them on a baking tray and season. Coat and turn them in oil and 1 tbsp of lemon juice (1). Bake, cut-side up, for 10-15 minutes. ●

● Rinse the quinoa in a sieve then transfer to a saucepan and cover with 400ml water. Season and bring to a simmer, cook for 10-12 minutes until tender.

While the courgttes and quinoa cook, mix the

RECIPE BOXES Riverford recipe boxes are a simple and inspiring way to cook. Every week, we deliver everything you need to make three tasty organic meals. Inside each box, you’ll find the freshest, seasonal organic produce, step-by-step recipe cards and all the ingredients in exact quantities. The recipes are quick to cook and ideal for weeknights – most are ready in under

1

2

ricotta, pine nuts, breadcrumbs, parmesan and half the lemon zest in a bowl. Stir in the pesto. ● Remove the courgettes from the oven. Using the tip of a teaspoon, scrape out the softer core of the courgette until you’ve removed about half the flesh. ● Chop the removed courgette and stir into the ricotta mix (2). Loosen with 1tbsp oil. Season well and grate in a little nutmeg to taste.

3

● Spoon the mix evenly back into the hollowed courgettes. Return to the oven for 15 minutes until baked and bubbling. ● Drain any remaining water from the quinoa. Stir in 2 tbsp olive oil and leave to cool. Wash and dry the parsley. Finely chop a garlic clove. ● Quarter the tomatoes. Scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp. Finely dice the flesh (3).

4

● Stir the parsley, tomatoes and garlic through the quinoa. Check the seasoning and add lemon juice to taste. ● Serve the courgettes stacked on top of your quinoa tabbouleh (4).

Tip: You can also use marrows rather than courgettes.

45 minutes. Think well balanced and nutritious, with a few treats thrown in. Our cooks come up with nine new recipes every week, so there is always plenty of choice. There are three different varieties of recipe box - choose from vegetarian, quick, or original. A box for two people ranges in price from £33 for the vegetarian box, to £39.95 for the quick and original boxes. Delivered straight to your door, with everything you need to cook

included, generous portion sizes, and three delicious meals per box they offer great value for money. No waste. No missing the vital ingredient. All you have to do is cook. Visit: www.riverford.co.uk/recipebox to

find out more or call 01803 762059.

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VISIT OUR SHOWROOM VVI SI SI ITT OOUURR SS H H OOW WRROOOOMM

Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm

Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm

Tel: 01780 654321 Email: sales@classicstamford.co.uk

Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm Tel: 01780 654321 Email: sales@classicstamford.co.uk www.classicstamford.co.uk www.classicstamford.co.uk 12 St Leonard’s Lincs PE9 2HN Tel: 01780 654321 Street, Email: Stamford, sales@classicstamford.co.uk 12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN www.classicstamford.co.uk

12 St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN


Activelife

TRAVEL

TEA AND THE TAJ MAHAL India is a country of vast contrasts. Brightly coloured saris, heaving cities, sacred cows, tea plantations and bright sunlight – but also a lot of noise, crowds and beggars as there is a huge wealth divide. Be prepared, it’s highly populated in areas, slightly chaotic and incredibly hot and aromatic (and not always in the nicest way) so plan accordingly. If visiting for the first time it is sensible to go on a guided tour. When visiting India many people take in the golden triangle in the north of the country – New Delhi, the Taj Mahal at Agra, the pink city, Jaipur, and then back to the capital, New Delhi. These trips can be organised for you by many tour operators. This does make it easier as all the planning is done for you. The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, is on many people’s bucket list. Situated in the city of Agra on the Yamuna river, it was commissioned by Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took 20 years to complete, involving 20,000 workers and is built of white marble. The best time to visit is winter (October to December and February to March) when the temperatures are cooler and the weather clear. It can get exceptionally hot and humid during the summer months. But be aware that there will be crowds of people. To avoid them get there early. Queues

start at 6.30am and it is wise to be through the mausoleum before 10am when there will be hordes of people being ushered through by some very strict security guards. Security is very strict, so find out what you can and can’t take with you before you make the trip. You will be given shoe covers to wear during the visit. Also, be aware of pickpockets – they are quite a big problem around the Taj Mahal and throughout parts of the country. But don’t be put off and make sure you experience a trip in a rickshaw.

TIPS

● You need a visa to visit India (www. indiantouristvisa.org.in) ● Be aware of pickpockets and beggars. Do not give money to beggars; it’s better to give food. ● Vaccinations are recommended. Check with your GP six weeks before you travel (www.gov. uk/foreign-travel-advice/India/health). Make sure you have comprehensive travel and health insurance. ● Never drink tap water and avoid ice and street food to lower the risk of the dreaded ‘Delhi belly.’ ● Women should dress conservatively – tops that cover your shoulders, shawls, and loose, long trousers or skirts. It is wise not to go out alone unless you are a seasoned traveller used to the country.

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Feature

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Adam Henson

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A RARE BREED Chris Meadows caught up with the UK’s best-known farmer, BBC Countryfile’s Adam Henson, at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

What is your history in farming? I feel very privileged to have been born into a farming environment. We’re tenant farmers: my father took on the tenancy in 1962 and I succeeded it from him in 2002 and it’s a wonderful environment. I walk out the back door and I’m into the green countryside and fields. But also learning about farm animals and having dogs in the house and pets and ponies was just an amazing environment to be in. So are you a through-and-through country boy? I love visiting the city, and I like going to the theatre and restaurants and shopping, and going into London is a great buzz, but I love the countryside. And places such as Burghley – it’s great to see people from all walks of life coming out and enjoying the great outdoors and events such as this. And on Countryfile we’re now getting seven or eight million viewers, people who are engaged in what’s going on and wanting to know more about the environment that I grew up in. That for me is a great pleasure to be able to talk about that on the television, and something I feel very passionate about too. How can the British public help farmers more? Buying British is really important. So, if you look for the Red Tractor logo with the Union Flag behind it on the labels that’s the basic British standard that means it fits with all our very tight and high legislation in this country. And then if you want different ethical standards there’s freedom food, RSPCA, organic, you can go to your local farm shop, you can buy rare or traditional breed meat. I think that people are getting better at it, sourcing more carefully, thinking about what they’re eating. There’s a big revival in food and where it comes from, which is a great thing. But you can also grow your own – you can grow a few herbs in your window box, or if you’ve got a garden you can have a few chickens, or you can go further than that and have a few sheep and pigs if you’ve got some land. So there is a place for everyone to give it a go. And certainly being around animals is important. If you can have a pet then that’s great to learn about animal husbandry and responsibility, but also about death when the animal passes on.

On the farm you specialise in a lot of rare breeds. What was the reason behind this and how have you developed it over time? Well it was my dad really. He was an actor’s son, so first generation farmer and worked on a farm as a boy and got an assistant farm manager’s job, farm manager’s job and then eventually took on the tenancy at home and then started collecting rare farm animals. Post-war, the agriculturalists were told to turn the tap on for food production so we weren’t in that position again, and when we did that we streamlined agriculture and left behind some of our old fashioned dual-purpose animals. So animals like Gloucester cattle that were quite good at producing milk and quite good at producing beef but not brilliant at either were outclassed. And some of these animals were becoming extinct because they were no longer needed by modern day farmers. My dad started collecting them and ended up with quite a big collection, despite his business partner saying to him the reason these animals are rare is that they’re not commercially viable. So what were we going to do? Dad opened the Cotswold Farm Park to the public in 1971, which was the first ever open farm in the country to showcase rare breeds conservation and to help pay for his hobby. And we still run that today, and I’m really carrying on his legacy, and really believed in his idea that these animals would be needed in the future. They’re an important part of our heritage in terms of food provenance and local breeds to suit local areas. So 45 years on he’s been proven right and lots of people want Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages.

Le and below

Adam meeting the crowds at Burghley, before helping out in the catering area by cooking up some great British ingredients

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Feature

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Adam Henson

Do you cross-breed the rare breeds? We do sometimes. So some of the breeds, such as the Shetland sheep, which are a little primitive breed that are now so popular they’re not rare. If you cross them with something like a commercial ram, say a Rominy, they produce a really good little lamb for the table. But we also farm commercially. We’ve got a commercial flock of 500 ewes, and then we’re farming with our neighbour on a joint venture farming operation of about 4,000 acres of arable, so we’re doing quite a lot of serious farming as well. And I’m away from the farm quite a bit, but I’ve just got a fantastic business partner and also a really good team of managers while I’m away. What brought you to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials? I do a little bit of work with Land Rover at charitable events, and events like this, and so they invited me along last year. I also know the Burghey House manager, Philip Gompertz, as he’s an old school friend of mine, so it’s really lovely to catch up with him and match it with being here for the trials. We talked about serving my Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages as the ‘Burghley Banger’ and I’ve been doing a little bit of book signing and then meeting people. What’s the ‘Burghley Banger’ like then? Our sausages are made by a local butcher at home, so we’re supporting him. They’re Gloucestershire Old Spots, and although it sounds a bit ironic, by eating rare breeds you’re giving the farmer an outlet and therefore the more he will keep and the less rare they become. But also we put in the best cuts of meat, so we take the legs and the chops and all the rest of it and put quality meats in the sausage and he’s careful with the salts and the additives, and natural skins on them. I think they do just make really good eating, and they’re perhaps a little more expensive than you might buy in the supermarket, but it’s about choosing products that you really enjoy the flavour of, plus you’re looking after the British countryside.

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I don’t want this to sound corny, but you need to remember it’s a managed landscape, and when you’re eating your Sunday roast or your supper in the evening you’re supporting the farmers and the community they live in and all the ancillary businesses that are associated with farming that keeps the countryside looking the way it does. So you’ve also got a new book out. It’s not your first is it? I’ve got a book that I wrote last year ‘Like Farmer Like Son’, which is a memoir about me and my dad and growing up on the farm and how our lives were very entwined, how we both worked eventually on TV. He used to do some TV presenting and then I got a job on Countryfile in 2001 and then during the writing of the book he sadly passed away so it was quite a difficult book to write. But it’s been very popular. And then I’ve got another book coming out about dogs, A Farmer and His Dog. Do you think you could do your job without a dog? No, and I personally would never want to be without one. Partly for work, I’ve got a couple of border collies working the sheep which are irreplaceable really. Lots of people try to round up sheep with quad bikes and it works to a degree, but you’ve got to have a border collie. They’re just extraordinarily intelligent, brilliant animals. And the very best people who work them, the sheepdog triallers, are just amazing. They’re like the very best horse riders here, they have incredible skill. But again the dog in the house that sits by you, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in a bad mood, a good mood or what’s happened during your day the dog will always be by your side, you know you can pat it on the head and it’ll always greet you as you walk in. They’re so loyal and lovely. And there’s a dog for everybody. So if you look around Burghley here there’s all sorts of different people with all sorts of different dogs that all relate to the wolf really. So it’s wonderful that they’re such fantastic animals.

Above

Adam and Zara Tindall offer up some Burghley Bangers made by a butcher local to Adam


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Feature /// Mental health


MIND GAMES How exercise can make you feel more positive, less stressed and help with depression and other mental health issues

I

f you’ve just put your feet up after a long, bracing walk, or powered through a session in the gym, or are basking in the glow of a hard fought win, you will recognise the benefits that exercise can bring in terms of your state of mind. You might feel exhausted, but satisfied, possibly calmer and less stressed too. It’s a result of the chemicals your body has released during the heightened period of stress you have subjected yourself too: the protein Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and endorhphins. BDNF has a protective and reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch, which is why we often feel so at ease and can think clearly after exercising. At the same time endorphins, another chemical which fights stress, is released in your brain to minimise the pain and discomfort of exercising, and can make you feel elated too. But you probably know this already, and these are also short-term, albeit very positive, gains. The question is, can exercise help with long-term improvement in our mental health, and if so, how can we go about putting it into action? Firstly, it’s worth defining what is exercise and, of course, it varies for each of us depending on our age, health and fitness. Generally, there is an agreed recommendation that the average adult should do between 75 and 150 minutes of exercise a week,which can vary, depending on the person and their lifestyle, between moderate intensity exercise such as walking or riding a bike (obviously dependent on how hard you choose to do it), or something a little more taxing such as running, swimming or aerobics. Essentially though, any activity that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster and makes you feel warmer counts towards your exercise. So why should exercise help with mental well-being? Well, other than the fact there appears to be a strong link between the two, we‘re not exactly sure. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, there are several possibilities. It reckons most people in the world have always had to keep active to get food, water and shelter. This involves a moderate level of activity and seems to make us feel good. We may be hard wired to enjoy a certain amount of exercise.

Harder exercise (perhaps needed to fight or flight from danger) seems to be linked to feelings of stress, perhaps because it is needed for escaping from danger. It adds that exercise seems to have an effect on certain chemicals in the brain, like dopamine and serotonin. Brain cells use these chemicals to communicate with each other, so they affect your mood and thinking, while the BDNFs mentioned earlier help new brain cells to grow and develop. Moderate exercise seems to work better than vigorous exercise in this case, while exercise also seems to reduce harmful changes in the brain caused by stress. Once you have decided that you want to be more physically active, there are a few points worth thinking about. Apart from improving your physical and mental well-being, what else do you want to get out of being active? Ask yourself whether you’d prefer being indoors or out, doing a group or individual activity, or trying a new sport. If you’re put off by sporty exercises, or feel uninspired at the thought of limiting yourself to just one activity, think outside the box and remember that going on a walk, doing housework and gardening are all physical activities. Also, would you rather go it alone or do an activity with a friend? Social support is a great motivator, and sharing your experiences, goals and achievements will help you to keep focus and enthusiasm. Of course, if you are suffering from mental health issues, going out and trying something new might well seem rather daunting, and it’s easy to find plenty of barriers that give you reason to not continue, such as cost, injury or illness, lack of energy, fear of failure, or even the weather. So why not call on the help of family or friends: getting practical and emotional support from them can be incredibly useful in the early days as you embark on new routines or activities. Then there are other factors to consider. If you are anxious about your body image or fitness levels, don’t

“Any activity that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster and makes you feel warmer, counts towards your exercise”

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Feature /// Mental health

impaired over time. Decline in cognitive functions, such as attention and concentration, also occurs in older people, including those who do not develop dementia. Physical activity has been identified as a protective factor in studies that examined risk factors for dementia. For people who have already developed the disease, physical activity can help to delay further decline. Studies show that there is approximately a 20% to 30% lower risk of depression and dementia for adults participating in daily physical activity. Physical activity also seems to reduce the likelihood of experiencing cognitive decline in people who do not have dementia.

IMPACT ON DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

choose an activity or environments which will put you in uncomfortable situations. The point is to make you feel more at ease, not less so. Also, don’t sign up to a programme or to goals which you just can’t commit to: make sure it’s an activity you can complete with the time available to you, and that it fits in with your lifestyle. There’s no point choosing something incredibly ambitious requiring a lot of demanding training, which you cannot possibly achieve when juggling work and family life: it will just exacerbate your feelings of stress and anxiety. It might sound obvious, but it is surprising how many people throw themselves in at the deep end, such as signing up for major endurance events, thinking it will solve all sorts of problems and then soon find it has become one them. So it’s best to build up your ability gradually. Give yourself some easy wins to start with – there’s nothing wrong with that. Another idea is to focus on task goals, such as improving skills or stamina, rather than competition, and keep a record of your activity and review it to provide feedback on your progress. There are many apps and social networks accessible for free to help. It’s really important to set goals to measure progress, which might motivate you. Try using a pedometer or an app on your smartphone to measure your speed and distance travelled, or add on an extra stomach crunch or swim an extra length at the end of your session. Remember, you won’t see improvement from physical conditioning every day. Making the regular commitment to doing physical activity is an achievement in itself, and every activity session can improve your mood.

DEMENTIA AND LOSS OF BRAIN FUNCTION

Improvements in healthcare have led to an increasing life expectancy and a growing population of people aged over 65. Alongside this increase in life expectancy, there has been an increase in the number of people living with dementia and in people with cognitive decline. The main symptom of dementia is memory loss; it is a progressive disease that results in people becoming more

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We would not claim that all mental health can be solved with exercise – that would be trite and simplistic – but physical activity has proved to be an effective alternative treatment for some people with depression. It can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with medication and/or psychological therapy, has few side effects and does not have the stigma that some people perceive to be attached to taking anti-depressants or attending psychotherapy and counselling. Physical activity can reduce levels of anxiety in people with mild symptoms and may also be helpful for treating clinical anxiety. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the problem with depression can be that people get in a spiral that proves hard to break free from: they are depressed so feel low on energy and tired, so avoid going and doing things, which makes them feel like they are missing out, which in turn makes them more depressed, and so on. Whatever you choose to do, the RCP recommends starting with something easy – such as walking round the


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13/09/2017 16:25


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Feature /// Mental health block. Build your level up gradually, perhaps by just doing a minute or two more – or a few metres more - each day. Try to do something most days, even if you feel tired. Start by working out how much you do already – you can use a pedometer to show you how many steps you take every day. Or you could keep a diary for a few days of how long you spend doing active things. Then set yourself some goals. Make sure they are: S – Specific (clear) M – Measurable – you will know when you’ve achieved them A – Achievable – you can achieve them R – Relevant – they mean something to you T - Time-based – you set yourself a time limit to achieve your goals. They need to be things you can see yourself doing – and take pride in, so you feel good about yourself. You may be able to do it on your own, or with some help from others. But crucially, don’t overdo it. If you haven’t been active for a while, doing too much when you start can make you more tired – particularly if you also have a health problem such as depression that makes you feel tired. One day you may have the energy to be really active but feel completely exhausted the next. The RCP says you will have setbacks when you can’t meet a short-term goal, or just feel too tired to do anything. Recognise it when it happens, but don’t worry about it. Tomorrow is another day and short-term setbacks don’t matter in the bigger picture of your longer-term goals. And, if you need to, do ask someone else to give you a hand. You’ll soon be on the path to feeling better, fitter, more positive and less stressed. Good luck.

THE NHS’S FIVE STEPS TO MENTAL WELLBEING Below are five things that, according to the NHS, can help to boost our mental well-being: Connect – with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships. Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. Keep learning – new skills as this can give you a sense of achievement. Why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play an instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike? Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your community centre, can improve your mental well-being and help you build new social networks. Be mindful – of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness mindfulness. It can positively change the way you feel about life.

SOME STARTING POINTS NHS The NHS Choices website has a number of tools to help people get started with physical activity, including exercises for older people, strength and flexibility videos, advice on taking up new sports, and getting started with walking. www.nhs.uk The Great Outdoor Gym Company Outdoor gyms are where some gym equipment is provided in outside spaces for people to use for free. www.tgogc.com The British Heart Foundation The BHF’s ‘Health at Work’ website provides further suggestions and some resources to get started with promoting physical activity at work. www.bhf.org.uk

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15/12/2016 17:27


Guest column

Win or lose, on the booze Martin Johnson on sportsmen’s often destructive relationship with those evils of modern sport: alcohol and the press here was I fretting about things such as North Korea and Hurricane Irma, when a glance at the WH Smith newspaper rack suddenly made me feel a whole lot better. Nuclear war on the way? Catastrophic climate change here already? Not according to The Sun, whose front page informed us that the real issue confronting Earth was: “WAZZA OFF THE RAZZA!” For the majority of the newspaper reading public, this wouldn’t have made much sense without the boffins at Bletchley Park providing them with a decoding transcript, but Sun readers, weaned on such front page classics as “Gotcha!” and “Up Yours Delors!” would have grasped at once the gravity of the situation. Wayne Rooney (Wazza) was coming off the Razza in deference to the long suffering Mrs Rooney, who was not best pleased with Mr Rooney for being at the wheel of another woman’s car when Plod pulled him over for a positive breath test. Rooney’s ‘Wazza’ nickname has, by all accounts, some connection to Paul Gascoigne’s ‘Gazza’, which sounds like a pretty tenuous link, but in most other respects they seem pretty much joined at the hip – both were teenage football prodigies, and both like a drink or two. I once stood in the players’ tunnel interviewing Gascoigne after his first match as manager of Kettering Town, and when he breathed in our direction, most of us needed a black coffee before risking the drive home. But the Gazza story is in almost all respects a sad one. Gascoigne is the second best known example of a star footballer taking to the bottle, marginally behind George Best. Which begs the question, are footballers – and high profile sportspeople in general – more prone than others to go out on the razza? It would, some would say, explain why footballers are always falling over, but the reason they, and other professional sportsman, give the impression of being bigger boozers than others, is that a drunken night out always ends up in the press thanks to someone whipping out a mobile phone to take a snap. If people think there’s a fair bit of grog being supped by sportsmen nowadays, they should have been around in rugby’s amateur era. I remember, in my time as rugby reporter for the Leicester Mercury, my first Easter tour with the Tigers to Wales,

T

taking a walk down Swansea High Street with a couple of the players at around 1am. We were suddenly alerted to the sound of a high pitched car engine, and an even higher pitched cry of “hello boys!”. Looking up we saw an old Mini full of females hurtling down the road, and the greeting had come from one of the touring party flat out on the roof. Lest you think that this kind of thing was confined to away matches only, you should have been inside the old Tigers’ clubhouse in the 1970s and 80s, when the players and fans all came together for a raucous Saturday night after the game. Star of proceedings was the old secretary Jerry Day, who had two party pieces. The first was ‘stool diving’, in which he attempted to vault several chairs in a row, and once we’d retrieved him from the wreckage, he’d launch into an even better loved routine. This involved breaking wind at the same time as engaging a cigarette lighter, and on one particularly Saturday the unfortunate occurrence known as ‘blow-back’ resulted in a trip across the road to the conveniently located Royal Infirmary. I looked up the top 10 professions for high rates of alcoholism, and nowhere was there a mention of professional sportsmen. Miners, builders, farmers, architects and doctors are all, apparently, more likely to seriously hit the bottle than a professional sportsman. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that the danger time for sportsmen is when they’re retired, with nothing much to do and quite a lot of money with which to do it. Best, who retired at 27, and Gascoigne, are football’s best two examples, and the boxer Ricky Hatton was another who took to drink when his fighting days were done. There have always been tales of sportsmen having a few too many, and there always will, but it would be a mistake to think that more of it goes on nowadays than in times gone by. One of the biggest boozers in football was the 1966 World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore, and most of his nights out were in the company of reporters. But they never wrote about it, and that’s the difference. It’s not so much the players who’ve changed, it’s the press.  Martin Johnson has been a sports journalist and author since 1973, writing for the Leicester Mercury, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. He currently writes columns for The Rugby Paper and The Cricket Paper, and has a book out called ‘Can I Carry Your Bags?’.

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ACTIVE BODY

ARTHRITIS AND EXERCISE Hany Elmadbouh, founder and senior consultant at Peterborough’s private healthcare facility Avicenna Clinic, talks about the myths surrounding the impact exercise has on joints

backed up by many similar studies since. So not only can we dispel the myth that exercise causes arthritis, we can also say that it helps to prevent musculoskeletal disabilities. So what are the risks of injury and pain associated with exercise? As a specialist in musculoskeletal radiology, the majority of the cases I see have come about because of an accident or injury. Often this is due to improper techniques or insufficient training as well as overuse, sudden changes in direction and even falls. The key is to exercise responsibly, know your limits and know where the risks of injury lie: • Don’t try to do too much too soon. Give yourself time to build up your regime. • Don’t overdo it; remember to rest and give your body sufficient time to recover. • Don’t forget to warm up and cool down – stretching is as essential as the exercise. • Ensure you’re using the right technique and, if in doubt, seek advice.

Can exercise help to prevent arthritis? There’s a bit of a myth about exercise out there... it’s said to cause arthritis. Despite the positive and undeniable evidence showing that it helps to lower blood pressure, improve circulation, help you lose weight and lower the risks of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, many people still believe that undertaking a regular exercise routine will ultimately lead to long-term pain, injury and arthritis. It’s true, exercise does carry an injury risk – but the extent of which will depend on the type and intensity of exercise you choose. However, this is not reason alone for adopting, or indeed continuing, a more sedate way of living. The Framingham Heart Study was a research project that started in 1948 in a town called Framingham in Massachusetts. Around 5,000 residents volunteered to take part in a study that would provide major insights into the causes of heart attack and stroke. 45 years later, scientists began a new study on the children of the original cohort looking at the link between exercise and arthritis. The research was thorough and took into account their activity levels, injuries,

stiffness and pain and included X-rays at different intervals during the study. The results were conclusive. Exercise did not cause arthritis. However, did it have a positive effect? Arthritis begins when the cartilage that cushions the joints begins to wear away. Cartilage doesn’t have its own blood supply; it is not a part of the body’s circulatory system. Rather, it gets its nutrients from the fluid that surrounds it – the synovial fluid. Exercise causes the joints to compress, which forces more of this nutrient rich fluid into the cartilage. So, could exercise in fact reduce the risk of osteoarthritis? The answer to that question came from an Australian study carried out at a similar time to the Framingham Study. In this research, 297 men and women between the ages of 40 and 69 were monitored and evaluated over a 13 year period. All were healthy and had no history of knee problems. They were all weighed, monitored and each had a knee MRI scan at both the start and the end of the study. Those who performed the most vigorous exercise had the thickest cartilage. A conclusion that has subsequently been

It’s an easy assumption to make that older adults or those with previous injuries are most at risk for joint problems. But the fact is, anyone can experience joint pain or injury if they don’t exercise caution with their chosen regime. If you are new to exercise, or if you have had joint problems in the past, I would always recommend talking to your doctor or getting advice from a qualified personal trainer before you start an exercise plan. And if you’re already suffering from some past injury that’s causing you pain and discomfort and stopping you from getting back to doing what you love, then why not make an appointment at the clinic?

Based in Peterborough city centre, Avicenna Clinic is an independent, consultant-led private healthcare practice offering personalised health care to self-pay and insured patients. You can often make a same day appointment, see a consultant, begin diagnostics and receive a treatment plan all in a single visit – getting you back to what you love doing as soon as possible. To find out more or to book an appointment, call the clinic on 0330 202 0597 or visit www.avicennaclinic.com

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ACTIVE BODY

SOLVING ANKLE RANKLES Function Jigsaw sports therapist Lauren Dobson explains how your ankles’ range of movement can affect your performance… Do you suffer regularly with tight calves or even cramping in the foot or calf? Have you ever even thought about your ankle mobility? Our ankles are the basic foundation of most movements, yet it is occasionally the most ignored joint next to the wrist in terms of flexibility. A good percentage of us don’t think about mobility at all but, when we do, we usually focus on our shoulders and hips. The ankles are stability joints that must very quickly absorb force, then help shi weight for the next movement as well as providing the base of functional strength. It seems silly to look so much into such a small joint, but having a nice strong base there will help improve all weight-bearing activity. The most important factor to consider is that you have the correct range of movement. It is important when we walk, run, cycle, squat, play football or hockey, that we have good range of movement through the ankle joints. If one – or both of these – are restricted, we create added stress on the other lower extremities no matter which activity you are performing. Let’s take running as an example. When we run, our ankle moves up and down (dorsi-flexion and plantar-flexion) to allow us to absorb impact, control our body position and push off effectively with enough power. A runner with an Achilles’ tendon injury, causing tightness and shortening of the tendon, will have reduced ankle mobility and this will affect the athlete’s performance and speed. In longer distances, it will also put added pressure through the knee complex.

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What causes poor ankle mobility? ● Flexibility through the calf muscles (gastroc and soleus) ● Ankle joint restriction – capsular tightness or scar tissue ● Adapted bad postures ● Previous injuries to the lower body ● Frequently wearing heeled shoes/poor footwear. How do we test ankle mobility? 1. Knee to wall test Stand with your foot vertical to the wall, with your big toe 5cm from the wall and knee in line with the foot. Bend your knee and attempt to touch the wall while keeping the entire foot flat on the ground, paying close attention to the heel. If the knee reaches the wall successfully with no heel raise, move 6cm away from the wall and repeat until the maximum distance from the wall is found. Less than 5cm = poor ankle mobility Up to 10cm = acceptable ankle mobility More than 10cm = good ankle mobility 2. Lying active dorsi-flexion against wall Lay on the ground with your feet together and flat against the wall and legs flat, arms by your side. Pull your toes back and as far away from the wall as possible keeping your heel in contact with the wall. Unable to move the ball of foot from the wall = poor ankle mobility Reaching 2-3cm from the wall = acceptable 3-5cm or more away from the wall = good ankle mobility

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3. Lying active plantar-flexion Begin on your back with feet pointing upwards in a vertical position. Point your toes as far away from you as possible and hold at your end range of motion. The goal is to reach around 30 degrees range of motion. Anything less than 20 degrees would be a sign of poor ankle mobility. 4. How do we regain ankle mobility? From the tests, you might find that there are some improvements to make. Some of the techniques used may take longer than you expect as you are possibly trying to regain muscle length in some of the structures – but using a mixture of all methods will show some quick improvements. Both static and dynamic stretching can be performed daily and/or as part of a warm-up routine. Try repeating the knee-to-wall test as a stretch and try to hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Use self-massage techniques with an Active Foam Roller or Active Trigger Ball on the calf, tibialis anterior (shin muscle) and plantar-fascia. Use a foam roller to allow the muscle structures to increase flexibility. Once we have improved our ankle mobility, it is then time to start stabilising the joint and strengthening the lower body. If any of the exercises cause pain or discomfort, it is recommended that you get seen by a professional for an injury assessment to rule out any serious injury. Function Jigsaw’s experienced therapists are available by calling 0116 3400 255.

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WEDDING SPECIAL

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WEDDINGS – a time of great happiness and joy – but also a time of great stress and high emotions. Where on Earth do you start when it comes to planning your big day, and how do you make sure you don’t forget anything? Lists, lists and more lists is the answer, along with a great deal of patience, organisational skills and, of course, a sense of humour. Here’s our guide to the big day...

Engagement rings and jewellery

The rule of thumb is that the groom spends anything from a month’s to three months’ salary on an engagement ring (or for some the sky’s the limit). It doesn’t matter, but go to a good jeweller for advice and help. TJ Thornton in Market Harborough is a long established business, now being run by the fourth generation of the same family. Stamford offers Dawsons in Red Lion Square and Bourne has Hoppers on North Street.

Hen parties and stag dos

These can be as refined – or not – as you wish. Country Bumpkin Yurts, based at an idyllic farm setting in the East Midlands, offers glamping at its best. The wood-fired hot tub sounds particularly appealing. Barnsdale Hall Hotel with its spa and beauty treatments is the perfect place for a fabulous girlie weekend. Stag dos – we’ll let the men sort that out themselves, but Grange Farm at Wittering has lots of activities from 4x4 driving to shooting to team building fun.

Picture perfect

Local photographers such as Nico Morgan, Katie Ingram and Rosie Butcher all have a great eye for detail and come highly recommended. They’re fully aware of the importance of capturing the fabulously informal moments, as well as the more traditional shots.

Get me to the church on time

There are a plethora of cars available for wedding hire. You can be slightly quirky and arrive in a VW camper or go to the other end of the spectrum and travel in a classic Rolls-Royce. Classic Rolls and Bentley Hire, based in Oakham, has a couple of beautiful Rolls-Royces as well as a slightly more modern Bentley, and will travel all over the East Midlands. Meadows Executive Cars, established in 1926, will make sure your day starts splendidly and will definitely get you there on time, and will also do airport runs for your honeymoon so you can arrive for your flight in style.

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WEDDING SPECIAL

Fabulous flowers

The flowers can make the day. Fabulous flowers are remembered and talked about, and the scent of arrangements can be incredibly evocative. Greensleaves at Stamford Garden Centre offers an ‘emporium of floral delights’ and will work with you to create your dream flowers. Georgia Bremner, who has a degree in floristry, has just created her own stunning wedding flowers and offers a bespoke wedding service. Chilli Peppers Florist in Market Harborough specialises in wedding flowers and Centre Piece Hire, also from Market Harborough, is great for that ‘something extra’.

Dresses to die for

The most important part of the day. What will the bride be wearing! Anna Couture in Stamford can make you a dress from scratch and also sells some fabulous designer dresses. Anna herself is a warm, friendly lady, full of fabulous ideas. The Wedding Room in Stamford has just moved to larger premises. Bradgate Brides in Leicester comes highly recommended, as does Wedding Belles in Kibworth Beauchamp. Annie Laurie in Easton on the Hill is great for bridal accessories and, at the moment, still has plenty of dresses on offer. Try lots of dresses on, even if you don’t think the style is for you, you might be surprised at what does suit you. Be open minded and take a couple of people with you who will offer good, honest advice.

Mothers and men

What does the mother of the bride wear? A large hat is an absolute must for some, and a drop dead outfit will always go down well, but avoid white or cream, for obvious reasons. Private Kollection in Market Deeping has plenty of choice, including hats, and offers great advice. Anna Couture also makes mother of the bride outfits and sells some fabulous fascinators. There is always the option to hire a hat – Harringtons Hats near Oundle offers

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USEFUL WEBSITES Jewellers www.tjthornton.com www.dawsonofstamford.com www.hoppersjewellers.co.uk Hen and stag do venues www.countrybumpkinyurts.co.uk www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk www.grange-farm.co.uk Cars www.meadowscars.co.uk www.rollsandbentleyhire.co.uk Photographers www.rosiebphotography.com www.katieingram.co.uk www.nicomorgan.com Wedding dresses Anna Couture 01780 765174 www.wedding-room.co.uk www.annielauriebridal.co.uk www.weddingbellesonline.co.uk www.bradgatebrides.co.uk Wedding outfits www.harringtonhats.com Private Kollection 01778 346226 Colin Bell Menswear 01780 757888 www.theweddinghirecompany.co.uk

this service. The groom can opt for traditional morning dress, lounge suit, tuxedo, or whatever he wants. Many will hire a suit, have one made or buy one. Colin Bell in Stamford is excellent for morning suit hire, as well as general suit purchase and hire, as is Farleys Wedding Suit Hire in Oadby.

Hair and beauty

You’ve got the dress, now you need to look the part. Find a good hairdresser and make up artist and have a practice run before the big day. Good Hair Days, which has branches in Uppingham and Stamford, offers the complete bridal package (hair and make up). Your wedding day is the day when you should use a professional make up artist. They will make sure your make up stays intact, and will bring out your features. If you want a little help before the day visit Glen Eden Medical Aesthetics who can offer cosmetic advice and treatment. Aroha Beauty House in Uppingham is the place to go for some ‘me time’ before the wedding. The Grooming Room in Market Harborough and Oliver Lee in Stamford both specialise in men’s grooming, offering wet shaves as well as hair styling.

Venues

Where to hold your wedding can be a difficult choice. Do you want to get married in a church or at the venue itself where the ceremony and reception can both be held. Be warned, some venues are booked up years in advance so you might need a long engagement. If you get married on a Friday it can be cheaper, and more dates might be available. Our part of the country offers some great venues – Normanton Church is a fabulous spot, as is Hambleton Hall. Both offer great views of Rutland Water, as do Barnsdale

Hall Hotel and Barnsdale Lodge Hotel. Launde Abbey is stunning and offers a marquee in the grounds for larger parties. Another site for marquee weddings is Orchard Meadows at Tugby, you can even camp (or glamp there). Berryfields near Yarwell also offers a site for a wedding, the beautiful grounds cover 18 acres with a threeacre lake in the middle, and, again, you can camp there. And Grange Farm at Wittering has a brand new permanent marquee in a beautiful setting.

Marquees, caterers, loos and sundries

This is where your checklist comes into its own. If you are using your own venue and hire a marquee you will also need loos, caterers, a bar, refrigeration, decorations, furniture – you name it, you’ll need it. Start with the marquee company, they will be able to recommend many specialists. Stamford Marquees and Events and Tents have most of our area covered and offer a huge range and size of marquees. Mill Farm Catering at Manthorpe do a superb job – a family-run butchers which also does outside catering, including wedding cakes (and the canapés are to die for). Posh loos are a must for weddings and Lodge Farm Luxury Toilet Hire from Market Harborough and Aqua Loos, near Stamford, both have excellent units. Fresh Wheels Refrigeration offers a mobile refrigerated unit delivered to your venue so that you are able to keep everything cool and locked, if necessary. And now you need a singer. Greg Fidler is an acoustic singer who can also offer a varied playlist and lighting to keep everyone entertained.

Beauticians and Hairdressers www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk www.glen-edenmedical.co.uk www.goodhairdaysstamford.co.uk www.oliverleestamford.co.uk www.arohabeautyhouse.com The Grooming Room 01858 419666 Florists www.chillipeppersflorist.co.uk www.jrcentrepieces.co.uk Georgia_florist on Instagram gjbremner@btinternet.com www.greensleavesflorist.co.uk Venues berryfieldsevents@gmail.com www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk www.hambletonhall.com www.laundeabbey.org.uk Normanton Church 01780 686800 www.theorchardmeadows.co.uk www.barnsdalelodge.co.uk Marquees, caterers, loos and sundries www.eventsandtents.co.uk www.stamfordmarquees.co.uk www.lodgefarmluxurytoilethire.co.uk www.aqualoos.co.uk Mill Farm Catering 01778 590263 www.fresh-wheels.co.uk www.acousticsinger.com

And there you have it – and breathe! Wade your way through this list to help your day go well, plan ahead and everything will fall into place. Finally,

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WEDDING SPECIAL

TRADITIONS AND SUPERSTITIONS ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue’ – this saying originates from an ancient custom where brides wore a blue ribbon in their hair to symbolise their fidelity. The Victorians adopted the custom and it is still adheres today. ‘Old’ was an old garter given by a happily married woman to ensure future happiness, ‘new’ looks to the future for health and wealth, ‘borrowed’ is for the bride’s family to give something for a token of their love, but it has to be returned to ensure good luck, and ‘blue’ is thought to be lucky and represent constancy and fidelity. Before 2012 you could only legally marry in the UK between the hours of 8am and 6pm (presumably so you could see who you were marrying in daylight!). The change in the marriage laws now means you can get married at any time, and it’s much more flexible about where you can marry. But the venue must be a permanent structure, with a roof, approved for marriages and accessible to anyone to use. If you want to be slightly different you might have to look overseas.

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Wacky weddings

Weird and wonderful places to marry – you name it, you can probably get married there... climbing a mountain, deep sea diving, white water raing, are just a few examples which have been done before. We’ve found a few packages on offer... Skydiving. Marry in the plane and then take a leap of faith (literally), and the pastor comes too. It has been done and, of course, in Las Vegas it comes as a package. Hot air balloon. You can marry up in the air, although a bit more serenely than skydiving. Guests (as many as the basket accommodates) can come too. This is offered in New Zealand. Exotic underwater weddings are available in Australia on the Great Barrier Reef, in Bali and the Bahamas. And even stranger... Dogs can get married too. Owners are spending

thousands of pounds on weddings for their pampered pooches. Apparently you can marry an inanimate object, someone married a station once. And for narcissists the world over – you can marry yourself. But it might make for a very small party… Useful website www.excitingweddings.co.uk


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ACTIVE LOCAL /// News

Above

Richard Jones in action during the cross-country on Saturday

LOCAL RIDERS SHINE AT BURGHLEY By Julia Dungworth Well, what a fabulous Burghley we had. As there were lots of local riders competing there was always someone to watch out for. Richard Jones fared the best, being the only one to finish in the top half at 22nd, just adding one rail and a few time faults to an otherwise good event for him, having had a very long year full of disasters to contend with. Simon Grieve was 32nd and 36th, just adding one stop at the Rolex combination on his first ride Drumbilla Metro, but clear on his second round Douglas. Willa Newton looked like she was going to be stylishly clear inside the time until near the end, where she had a cheeky run out at Discovery Valley then another at the next fence the Leaf Pit, which meant she nipped in between Simon’s rides to finish 35th. Andrew Hoy also picked up two stops on the cross country on the now newly-retired The Blue Frontier, to finish 37th and last, but by no means least, was Angus Smales – he also

picked up a couple of unfortunate run-outs in exactly the same place as Willa, to finish 40th. Simon Grieve also found out at Burghley that he has been selected for the prestigious World Breeding Federation Young Horse Championships at Lion D’Angers in France at the end of October on Dr. Polly Taylor’s sevenyear-old Fahrenheit III, aka Freddie. Polly not only owns him, but she bred him and describes herself as being his number one fan. Elsewhere, it was off to Cholmondey for the Pony Club Championships. Again the Burghley club was very well represented for the event. Both Cecily Hopkins (13) and Tabitha Leicester (12) performed the tests of their lives to both win in their arenas at the novice dressage. They then went forward into the ride off, which featured the first and second placed member from each section where Cecily came sixth and Tabitha eighth, which was a fantastic start to the championships. Then on to the dressage to music, in the pairs, and the golden girls Tabitha and Cecily were out in action again. Laura put together

a technically difficult routine for the pair to do with the most wonderful music and choreography – and they completely smashed it to win for the Burghley again. Tabitha also then went on to do the individual dressage to music, where she rode beautifully with a very up-tempo and fast routine, and won again to make it three wins in a row. Then on to the show jumping and another fantastic result for Di Bevan on her gorgeous grey Roberto. She was one of only three double clears in the individual open show jumping. She was then first to go in the jump off and had a really unlucky pole to finish in third. Di also won The Horsemanship Award, undoubtedly because of her style and riding ability. With an end to Burghley for another year, autumn hunting has begun with the Cottesmore and Belvoir out six very early mornings a week, with the occasional evening thrown in for the Cottesmore – having 60-plus mounted for these meets, it looks like it will be another busy season.

4 8 O C T O B E R 2017 ///

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ACTIVE LOCAL

CATHERINE CONQUERS THE COLD Iceland trek success for Sue Ryder nurse Catherine Cole took on, and conquered, the 55-mile challenge to trek across Iceland to raise money for Thorpe Hall, the Sue Ryder hospice where she works as a nurse. She spent six months fund-raising towards her £2,450 target – and a similar amount of time training for the brutal conditions, along with fellow nurse Sylvia Reid who sadly had to drop out of the challenge due to a fractured bone in her ankle. Catherine was one of 15 trekkers aged from 19 to 62 who took on the challenge. She said: “Everyone was super fun and kind and caring. Throughout the entire trek we supported each other and stayed together.” After arriving in Reykjavik and heading out into the frozen wastelands the trekkers spent their first night at a natural hot spring. “There’s only a couple of hours of darkness in Iceland at this time of year,” said Catherine. “We sat in the spring when night finally fell at midnight wondering what lay ahead. I think the general feeling was excitement although, of course, there was apprehension too. “We were lucky, every day was clear so the views were spectacular. We walked through glaciers, saw geysers and stunning waterfalls – you certainly don’t get views like that around here!’ “We had an amazing Icelandic family trekking with us and they did all our cooking. Seeing their country beside them was wonderful.” On their final night, the team enjoyed a celebration in Reykjavik. Catherine said: “We had a gorgeous meal and drinks and were absolutely euphoric about our achievement. “Before we flew home we visited the famous Blue Lagoon – which was a brilliant way to end the experience.” Catherine is now sharing her experiences with others, through talks and presentations to local groups, in the hope of encouraging them to sign up to an international charity challenge.

Slip your lines! Harry Brooks, who is joining the Clipper Round the World yacht race later this year, tells us about the start of the race... “Well that’s it, the race has started. I won’t see my boat and team now for four months. It was an emotional four days in Liverpool last month culminating in Team Unicef slipping their moorings and heading off down the Mersey to start their 6,200-mile journey. The Albert Docks had been a hive of activity in the preceding days. Emotional friends and family were spending a last few hours with crew members. The excited and nervous crew members busying themselves with last minute tasks. And crew, like me, who are joining the boats later in the race, helping out. A remarkable amount still had to be done on board. Reefing lines to be stitched on, water in the bilges (the crevices under the floor boards) pumped out, kit and equipment accounted for. So much to do and in a few hours these boats are setting for 11 months.

5 0 O C T OBE R 2017 ///

By 8am on Sunday (August 20) all the work was finished and it was time for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crew to really soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the race start. The day began with the crews from all the boats lining up on the makeshift floating stage on the docks for photographs. It was then the turn of the boats to take centre stage with the slipping of the lines ceremony. This is an emotional moment when the yachts each slip their mooring lines and cast off. It will be about four weeks before they arrive in Uruguay. These yachts will now travel 6,200 miles, racing each other all the time. My boat, Team Unicef, made a great start, taking a commanding lead and holding on to it as far as The Canary Islands. Then team tactics set in. Some went further west out into the Atlantic to get higher boat speeds. The fleet was now split in half. The first scoring gate was reached by Qingdao, the current race leader. And now the boats are in the Doldrums, an area around the equator where

the southerly trade winds of the northern hemisphere meet the northerlys from the southern, creating an area of very light winds, or none at all. This means the fleet is bunched together, coping with high temperatures and virtually stalking each other watching who will break the stalemate first to continue south. At the moment my team, Unicef are sixth, a good position to be in. Of course it will all have changed by next month – I’ll keep you posted.


PARLOUS PLASTIC Marine scientist Bryony Meakins tells us about her time with an all-female team circumnavigating Britain to highlight the problems surrounding marine plastics... “I joined Sea Dragon, the 72foot yacht, last month on the Isle of Arran for the second leg. On board were women from a diverse range of backgrounds – artists, historians, humanitarians and scientists. As we joined Sea Dragon, we learned that the route for our leg had just been changed; a series of low pressure systems had meant that the skipper had decided to re-route through the Caledonian canal instead of our original plan, via Stornoway. Despite the bad weather, we still had to sail to Fort Douglas to enter the canal. We set off, having a bit of time to get to grips with tacking and some essential manoeuvres. The wind and sea soon picked up and we had a boisterous sail upwind around the Mull of Kintyre, arriving into Fort Douglas the next day. Sailing around the top of Scotland would have been incredibly exciting and beautiful but conditions would not have been suitable for science, our most important objective. Now we were in shelter we could start our citizen science experiments in earnest. Each morning, we sampled the water, sediment and set up the air sampling that would continue

throughout the day. After entering the canal and making our way through a staircase of locks, we entered Loch Lochy where we were able to deploy the manta trawl which collects fragments from the surface of the water. We took two days to make it through the canal before we joined the North Sea at Inverness and set off on our final two-day sail to Edinburgh where we would focus on our other mission, public engagement. First was a beach clean at Musselburgh with the Marine Conservation Society where we could see for ourselves how much plastic is found on the UK’s beaches. Later that day we held a reception inviting MPs and others to hear from key speakers and eXXpedition founders about marine plastics. On our second day in Edinburgh we focused on the science; one event in ASCUS labs and the other in Leith Shopping Centre gave the public the opportunity to see microplastics and learn more about what we had found. It was then time for the next crew to take over for the third leg. I gained a lot from my time on board. I realise now that we need more than scientists to tackle this plastic problem and speaking to the remarkable women on board gives me hope that we can achieve some great results together.

Paris here we come!

Dan Griffin and Fergal McNamara have been training hard for their 300-mile, four-day cycle ride from London to Paris to raise funds for the Matt Hampson Foundation. They have been cycling to work which has been a good experience, getting miles under their belts. They are literally days away from setting off and are quietly

confident – and determined to raise money for their charity. The boys are taking lots of energy gels with caffeine to keep them going. As they will burn between 1,500-2,000 calories a day they will carry some meal supplements to ensure they can eat on the move. Luckily they do not have to transport their own luggage – that is done for them – all they need to carry is water, food and energy gels which will lighten the load. The lads would like to thank Rutland Cycling who have offered lots of support including lending Fergal a demo bike for the ride. www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ GriffandFergalgocycling

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN All the training is done and the race is days away. Dan Swan and Joanna Espin, our experienced runners, offer you advice on what to do on the day. The evening before both recommend sorting your stuff out for the day. Joanna always makes sure she’s pinned her number to her shorts, and Dan to his vest. Both always take two pairs of leggings and two jumpers – one set for before the race and the other for after. Both say take old jumpers and leggings for before the race as you have to leave them at the start. You can leave them at the bag station but it can be a bit chaotic and they may be difficult to find afterwards. Joanna then packs her bag with water, phone, spare safety pins, banana, orange and an energy bar for afterwards, deodrant, small first aid kit with Compeed plasters, freeze spray, ibuprofen gel, a foil blanket and waterproof jacket. She also takes a bit of cash that she stashes in her money belt. And then both will have a high carb and protein meal with plenty of water, and then early to bed. The day of the race both Joanna and Dan have porridge for breakfast. Both say they eat this at least two or three hours before the race to allow their stomachs to digest it. Dan will also have a banana. Quite often at these races there is a warm up, but both Dan and Joanna say to make sure you do lots of stretches. A word of advice from Joanna: make sure you go to the

loo early on as the queues will be long. Then choose your pen. These are labelled with the time you expect to run. This makes sense then you can stick with the pacemaker. But don’t worry if the pace is not right for you, stick at what you are capable of, don’t try and keep up if you’re not comfortable, but if it’s too slow, go at your own speed. It’s often at this stage that you will buddy up with someone who is running at the same pace as you. This can be great for motivation. Both say to visualise receiving the medal at the end, it’s very much about mindset so be determined, think about who you are running for, this will keep you going. Both recommend using every water station, even if you only grab a mouthful of water at each one. At the end of the race euphoria will kick in, enjoy it! Make sure you have something light to eat straight afterwards, such as an energy bar or banana, and drink plenty of fluids. Dan then says to eat something high in carbohydrates a few hours later – he treats himself to a pizza. And that’s it, you’ve done it! Just remember during the race, keep on running, don’t give up – you can do it, and you will feel fabulous afterwards.

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“A clear-eyed, energetic, forward-thinking school” - The Good Schools Guide

The best school? The one offering the most choice. With a proud heritage and progressive outlook, Oakham is a high-achieving independent school in the heart of England where opportunities are both inspirational and obtainable. A shared belief in making the most out of any opportunity and to be the best you can be sets us apart from other schools. With a welcoming and friendly support structure, Oakham offers an ideal environment for boys and girls aged between 10 and 18 to learn, thrive and prosper in our modern world. We’re one of the UK’s top schools for the IB Diploma and our students achieve consistently excellent A-level results, whilst still having time to enjoy an exceedingly rich extra-curricular lifestyle.

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What makes Oakham so special? oakham.rutland.sch.uk/Meet-Us

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To organise a visit please get in touch with our admissions team: admissions@oakham.rutland.sch.uk 01572 758758 oakham.rutland.sch.uk We look forward to meeting you

22/09/2017 10:58


ACTIVE LOCAL /// Schools

STAMFORD WIN TIGHT DERBY GAME Stamford School travelled to neighbours Oakham School in what is a heavily anticipated local derby recently. It was a dark and difficult afternoon in the rain, but Stamford School emerged victorious in a classic derby match. The first 10 minutes of the game were controlled by Oakham with a string of effective attacking. As rain started to fall, possession changed and Stamford excelled, the first try being awarded to them thanks to a well-timed charge by Shaw. Precise kicking from Evans put the visitors 7-0 up. Oakham were quick to retaliate though, and after regrouping scored two tries in quick succession before half time - setting the score to 12-7. A flurry of furious defence followed from Stamford, with Oakham reaching 17 phases of attack at times. The clock continued to run and only after an excellently-taken line-out and subsequent maul did Stamford place down over the opposition’s try-line again. The game concluded with the final score reading Oakham 12 - Stamford 14.

DEEPINGS WIN FINAL ROUND OF JUNIOR LEAGUE Deepings Swimming Club had a fantastic result in the final round of the Junior Fenland League recently, winning against strong competition at Peterborough Regional Swimming Pool. The squad won 13 of the 45 races, amassing 160 points, to take the victory by four points over home team City of Peterborough B. Deepings SC goes into the B final in October as the highest ranked team after the five regional rounds, having topped the table in the last two galas. Leading the way with two wins was Zack Treharne. Swimming in a higher age group

(13/U male), Zack touched first in the 50m backstroke and the 4x25m individual medley. He also took two seconds in the 50m breaststroke in the 12/U and 13/U age categories. Matching his achievements with double victories were Louis Sanderson (50m freestyle and 50m backstroke 9yrs male), Jacob Briers (50m breaststroke and 25m butterfly 9yrs male), Freya Smith (50m breaststroke and 50m butterfly 13/U female) and Emma Dennis (50m breaststroke and 25m butterfly 9yrs female). Also taking maximum points were Molly Briers in the 50m butterfly 11/U female, Sian

Morgan-Plowright in the 50m freestyle 13/U female and the 8x25m mixed relay team of Emerys Connelly, Raymond Sheridan, Lukey Harriss, Owen Sadler, Lilly Tappern, Lara Treharne, Robyn Gerrard, Sian MorganPlowright. Final positions 1. Deepings Swimming Club - 160 points 2. City of Peterborough B - 156 points 3. First Strokes – 141 points 4. Huntington – 121 points 5. Bottisham – 84 points

COPTHILL RATED ‘EXCELLENT’ BY SCHOOLS INSPECTORATE Copthill School has been rated ‘excellent’ by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. In particular the inspectors noted its extra-curricular activities – music, sporting, creative and outdoor activities – as particularly impressive. Principal Jonathan Teesdale said: “I am delighted that the hard work of our children, staff, parents and the wider school community has been acknowledged in this report. Copthill provides a unique educational environment and the report highlights our many strengths perfectly.”

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Rutland FaME Classes Would you like to work on your strength and balance? Are you worried about falling or know someone who is? These classes could be for you! A progressive seated or standing exercise class tailored to individual needs and preferences, with an opportunity to socialise. Thursday’s 11.30am - 12.30pm Active Rutland Hub, Oakham Enterprise Park, Ashwell Road, Oakham, LE15 7TU £3 per session Friday’s 10.30am - 11.30am The Lodge, Stamford Road, Oakham, LE15 6JX £3 per session Maintainer Sessions Monday’s 2.00pm - 3.00pm Inspire2tri, St Mary’s Road, Manton, LE15 8SU £4.50 per session Thursday’s 10.15am - 11.15am Active Rutland Hub, Oakham Enterprise Park, Ashwell Road, Oakham, LE15 7TU £4.50 per session To book please contact Active Rutland on activerutlandhealth@rutland.gov.uk or 01572 758200 www.activerutland.org.uk

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Active Mag October 2017 Artwork Larger Text.indd 1

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21/09/2017 10:19:21


ACTIVE LOCAL /// Schools

EMILY SELECTED FOR VOLVO OCEAN RACE Old Oakhamian Emily Nagel has been selected as part of Team AkzoNobel in the world’s toughest sailing event – the Volvo Ocean Race. It is held every three years and starts on October 22. Emily, who left Oakham School in 2012 and studied engineering at Southampton University, followed by an internship with America’s Cup team SoftBank Japan, is the youngest female sailor to join this team. Her selection comes after two months of trialling and participating in every stage of the Volvo Ocean Race’s qualifier series. She is currently engaged in an intensive training program and speed testing from the team’s base in Portugal.

SOUTH AFRICA SPORTS TOUR Around 140 Oakhamians travelled the length and breadth of South Africa playing rugby, hockey and netball on four different tours. The teams trained and played challenging matches at both sea level and the altitudes on the high veldt. James Bateman, director of hockey said: “We saw a huge improvement in the students’ ability as a result of being able to concentrate solidly on their particular sport over the three weeks. It is incredibly beneficial for them to adapt to different environments and to play against different styles of play. This experience will be great preparation for the sporting season ahead.” As well as sports fixtures, students had the opportunity to climb Table Mountain, surf, visit

Seal Island, whale watch and sand board. They also went on spectacular game drives and managed to spot elephants, lions, hippos, wildebeest, rhinos, zebra, giraffes, ostrich and the iconic springbok. Everyone enjoyed meeting the local school children and presented cheques to the charity Edu Nova which supports sport in the local schools. Billeting was also an important aspect of the trip, as it gave the students the chance to gain an insight into the culture and create friendships. Peta Girdwood, assistant director of sport (girls) added: “This tour has been truly amazing, full of memories that will last us all a lifetime. A huge thank you to all the pupils for being such credit to the school.”

Le

Oakham’s junior rugby squad pose on Table Mountain

ELLIE IS THE CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS Lincolnshire Junior County Champion and Greetham Valley junior Ellie Haughton won the Midlands Golf Union ‘Champion of Champions’ competition (held for the 10 regional winners of County Junior Championships) at Coventry Golf Club, beating all-comers with shots to spare. Played over 36 holes Ellie (pictured above with boys’ champion of champions, Will Hopkins) completed the morning session in par (gross 73) with one bogey and one birdie in each half. The afternoon session was more challenging as rain and wind made conditions difficult and while Ellie still had the best round out of all the competitors her score of 83 reflected the worsening conditions. Her overall victory by 10 shots was great result. There was more success for the Greetham juniors as Isabella Condie and Izzy Haughton were part of the winning team in the Junior County Handicap League that completed a clean sweep in their match at Trent Lock.

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22/09/2017 12:28


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ACTIVE LOCAL

A day in the life of

WING COMMANDER GORA PATHAK CONSULTANT ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEON AT THE FITZWILLIAM HOSPITAL

I

am a hand and upper limb orthopaedic surgeon. I have also been a frontline military trauma surgeon for 23 years. I recently left the RAF so that I can focus more on the intricate reconstruction and healing of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. A typical day at the Fitzwilliam Hospital begins with an early start in the clinic. We have a great outpatient team with very experienced and helpful nurses and administrative assistants. I have time to spend with each patient listening to their problems, then investigating and diagnosing their conditions. I talk to them about the options available and we agree on the best treatment. Having been to medical school in India I came to the UK to finish my higher surgical training in orthopaedics. My training was mostly in Nottingham and Derby. The highlights were hand and upper limb surgical fellowships in the Pulvertaft Hand Centre in Derby, Adelaide Hospitals and St Luke’s Hospital in Sydney. I was fortunate to learn from some of the greatest surgeons in the world and gained an international perspective. At lunchtime I see my patients on the ward who have been admitted for afternoon surgery. This is a very valuable time as I can instill confidence in them. I learnt from my professor in Sydney that healing is not just about the body but also the mind. After a team brief with my anaesthetist, scrub nurses and operating theatre staff, we start the operations. Every step is checked and any special risk is highlighted. We use the World Health Organisation check list which covers allergies, special health risks, prevention of blood clots and infection and expected blood loss. I check I have all my instruments and any artificial joints, bone or tendon grafts. We don’t like surprises and the team knows what I am about to do. Vital teamwork The highly charged atmosphere is balanced by soft music in the background and a healthy sense of humour. My team and I know that the most important person in the operating theatre is the person on the table and we have one goal: to make him or her better. Sometimes my patient under local anaesthetic is awake. Occasionally they want to watch part of the procedure! In the evening I do a post-operative ward

“I can’t tell an airman not to fly or an infantry soldier not to use his arms. I have to get them right again”

round to tell my patients about their operations and to check they are safe and well. The nursing staff keep a close eye on them after their surgery. Some days I will do a long clinic extending into the evening, and also do Saturdays to fit in with people’s lives. Other times I will have meetings with my colleagues discussing interesting or unusual cases. I joined the RAF 23 years ago because I wanted to do more than just surgery. I was deployed with soldiers to war zones and helped set up the first front line hospital in Shaiba, outside Basra in Iraq. I had several tours of duty in Camp Bastion, and other trouble spots. Military hospitals are different in intensity to the NHS, with soldiers and local civilians coming in with multiple limbs missing and un-recordable blood pressure. We’ve been able to advance battlefield surgery significantly over the last 15 years with damage control surgery and resuscitation. We managed to extract the wounded from the battle zone to the hospital, often as quickly as six minutes, with our doctors starting resuscitation in the helicopter. The lessons learnt have been passed on to the NHS resulting in the creation of Regional Trauma Centres. When I first qualified as a consultant 17 years

ago I spent four years in Portsmouth. I moved to the Peterborough and Stamford hospitals in 2004. Even now I see many military patients at the Fitzwilliam as they like a doctor who understands their problems. I can’t tell an airman not to fly or an infantry soldier never to use his arms for his weapons. I have to get them right again. They know that. As head of orthopaedic surgery in the RAF I trained junior surgeons. I also taught battle surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons. At the Fitzwilliam Hospital the operations I do include keyhole surgery, tendon and nerve release, joint replacement and tendon reconstructions. It is gratifying to place a 0.8mm artery into a relatively dead bone by microsurgery and see it come to life and heal again. We performed the first total wrist replacement in East Anglia and the patient was able to return to work pain free. In my spare time I paint. When I went to Iraq in 2003, I painted about 50 watercolours and pastels depicting the life of a field hospital, capturing the atmosphere of operating, putting up tents and digging trenches. The paintings were subsequently made into prints and most have been sold. The money has gone to the Royal British Legion in Peterborough, SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) and to the new war memorial in Peterborough city centre. SSAFA used the proceeds to buy wheelchairs and stair lifts for those injured in battle. Inspired by my parents and supported by my family I draw on the inspiration of my teachers and aim to pass on my knowledge. A warm handshake or a grateful smile from a patient spurs me on for the next day. Fitzwilliam Hospital, Peterborough. 01733 261717 www.fitzwilliamhospital.co.uk

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ACTIVE LOCAL Great walks

TOP STAT

nes in the The railway sce Octopussy lm fi nd Bo s Jame Nene Valley the at ed lm were fi , and the 82 19 in ay Railw in many ed tur fea s ha line . other films too

CASTOR AND WATER NEWTON With links to James Bond, Roman remains and plenty of modern charm this is a splendid walk by the River Nene, as Will Hetherington discovers Photography: Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating (out of five)

THE ROUTE

Park on The Green in Castor, right next to the Prince of Wales Feathers pub, then walk south down Port Lane. After a couple of right turns you will pass Castor Cricket Club on your right, with the Woodlands Sports Centre on your left behind the hedge. After a short track through the woods head south-west across an open field until you come to the edge of the Nene Valley Railway. At this point you will also cross Ermine Street, a Roman road which ran from London to Lincoln and York. There’s not much left of it today but a sign in the

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corner of the field by the railway crossing provides a bit more detail about this and the Roman town of Durobrivae, which was a fortified garrison here at Water Newton. Cross the railway and take the path which runs west just before the bridge. Follow this for one kilometre and then cross the bridge over the weir and stay on the path keeping the water on your right. You will soon come into the surprisingly tranquil riverside setting of Water Newton. If you are used to racing past this tiny village on the A1 you may well be surprised by just how pretty it is from the opposite angle, but the clue is in the name after all. There’s a lock and water mill here and it’s a very pleasing part of the walk. The path leads north from the lock and you will soon find yourself back at the start of the loop around the river. From here you can head straight back to

Castor the way you came for a shorter three-mile walk, but we headed east along the Hereward Way to turn it into the full six miles. This path takes you through a number of pasture meadows by the riverside towards Mill Road and then keeps going past Castor Mills, following the Nene as it then takes a big meander north. You will cross the Nene Valley Railway again and shortly afterwards find Landy Green Way very clearly marked through a gatweay on your left. Head down here till you get to Mill Road, then turn right back into Castor and walk back to the Prince of Wales Feathers for a well earned pint and a bite to eat. Clockwise, from above

There are a number of places where dogs can cool off in the Nene; James Bond fans will appreciate the Nene Valley Railway; picturesque Water Newton; The Prince of Wales Feathers


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START

©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2017 ORDNANCE SURVEY. MEDIA 044/17

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION WHERE TO PARK On The Green next to the Prince of Wales Feathers in Castor. DISTANCE AND TIME Six miles/two hours. HIGHLIGHTS The lock and mill at Water Newton, the Rver Nene all the way round. James Bond fans will appreciate the Nene Valley Railway, as will steam enthusiasts. Castor is an attractive village too. LOWLIGHTS It will inevitably be wet after heavy rain.

REFRESHMENTS The Prince of Wales Feathers in Castor is a warm and welcoming pub serving good food. DIFFICULTY RATING Two paws; it’s flat all the way around. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE There were some cows grazing in a couple of fields next to the Nene, but generally this is a good walk for the dogs with plenty of good places to cool off in the river.

For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.

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ACTIVE LOCAL Ride-out

BREEZE WOMEN’S RIDES

ON YOUR BIKE! Rutland Cycling’s Sally Middlemiss suggests another great local route to get you out in the saddle The days are drawing in now, but autumn offers an abundance of treasures for the cyclist to savour. What could be better than a brisk pedal in the crisp morning air, crunching through a carpet of rich golden leaves, enjoying sweeping views of the surrounding landscape and the reward of a steaming mug of hot chocolate or mulled apple juice? This steady 33-mile figure-of-eight loop is undulating in places, and heads north from Stamford along mainly quiet lanes and through pretty villages. Be sure to wear hi-vis clothing and use lights on your bike, especially if you’re out riding in the early morning or late afternoon.

SWAYFIELD

SWINSTEAD

THE ROUTE

Stamford to Swayfield 1. Head out of Stamford on Little Casterton Road. At the t-junction, turn right to Belmesthorpe. 2. Turn left on to Salters Lane (signposted Tolethorpe Hall), then right at the t-junction, towards Ryhall. 3. As you reach Ryhall, take the first left onto the B1176, signposted Careby and Little Bytham. 4. Stay on the B1176, passing Careby and entering Little Bytham. At the t-junction, turn right, signposted Creeton. 5. Keep straight on, still on the B1176, passing through Creeton and on to Swinstead. 6. At the t-junction in Swinstead, turn left, signposted Corby Glen/A1176. 7. Take the next left turn, to Swayfield. Swayfield to Greatford 8. Ride into Swayfield, taking the left turn to Castle Bytham in the village centre. 9. Ride through Castle Bytham, taking the left turn to Stamford as you head out of the village.

WITHAM ON THE HILL

The popular women-only led rides are free to join and continue into the winter. The group’s a friendly bunch, rides at a steady pace and always includes a cake stop! And if you don’t own a bike you can hire one from Rutland Cycling at a special Breeze rate of £5. Breeze Sunday Road Ride (fortnightly) 15-40 miles, steady Breeze Sunday Pedal (fortnightly) 17 miles, steady, traffic free Breeze Weekend Pedal (Saturdays fortnightly) 10-15 miles, steady, traffic free Breeze Mums & Tots Ride (Fridays weekly) 6 miles, easy, traffic free Breeze Midweek Pedal (Thursdays fortnightly) 10 miles, easy, traffic free Breeze is a British Cycling programme to get more women riding bikes. facebook.com/breezebikerides

Soon after leaving the village, turn left at the crossroads, towards Little Bytham. 10. In Little Bytham, take the right turn towards Bourne/Stamford, then the left turn to Witham on the Hill. 11. Keep straight on, riding through Witham on the Hill, crossing the A6121 and heading into Manthorpe. Take the right turn to Wilsthorpe. 12. Ride through and out of Wilsthorpe. At the next t-junction, turn right to Greatford. 13. Enter Greatford and take the first left, towards Langtoft. Then at the t-junction, turn right to Barholm. 14. Keep straight on, following signs for Stamford. At the t-junction in Uffington, turn right then right again, to join the A1175 (Main Road) and return to Stamford.

GREATFORD

RYHALL

Distance: 33 miles UFFINGTON START – STAMFORD

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22/09/2017 10:58


ACTIVE LOCAL Sportsman's dinner

Osprey Restaurant, Barnsdale Hall Hotel Steve and Chris try the Osprey's new season menu – and very seasonal it is too. By Steve Moody I’ve often been to Barnsdale Hall Hotel for a swim at its excellent pool or to use its other leisure facilities, and the bar afterwards is a nice spot for a drink and quick burger and chipstype lunch. But to be honest the Osprey Restaurant has rather passed me by, possibly because the bar and restaurant area is so spacious I’ve never felt the need to investigate further than a couple of tables inside the door. However, this time Chris and I ventured deeper into the bowels for dinner at the restaurant proper, situated in the ante room that I’m pretty sure has a fabulous view of Rutland Water. Thing was, when we went it was dark so it was hard to tell. But I am reliably informed it does so shall take their word for it. The other thing of note, other than the darkness, was that we went on a Wednesday evening, a time of day not often known for its social scene in the Rutland countryside, but the restaurant was buzzing with people, making for a really good atmosphere. We settled in at one of the banquette tables at the far end and pored over the new menu for this season, only introduced that very day. This could be interesting: first day of a new menu can sometimes be at some restaurants, how shall we say, a learning curve. One thing is for certain though, and that’s the

Osprey runs in harmony with the seasons. The various dishes had a wonderfully autumnal theme, with pumpkin, wild mushrooms, kale, cabbage, turnip, spinach and the like featuring throughout the menu, paired variously with ruddy fare such as ham hock fritters, honey roast duck breast, roast calves' liver and sage and prune stuffed pork belly. It’s really good to see: so many restaurants spend so much time looking far afield for whizzy ingredients and exotic combinations they forget what fabulous stuff there is on their doorstep. There seems a deep affinity here with what the countryside is currently providing, and this is to be applauded. So naturally, I went for a starter of char-grilled squid and chorizo, rocket and fennel salad with a preserved lemon puree. It’s amazing what you can get out of Rutland Water these days. It was very good too. The squid was soft, the chorizo provided the bite and warmth, the rocket a bitterness and the lemon cut through with its zingy tang. Chris went for roast scallop, cauliflower puree, pickled raisins and a golden raisin and caper dressing and declared himself very satisfied, not least because the scallops were finely cooked and the myriad of other ingredients complemented, rather than overpowered, them.

For the main course, yet again I managed to eschew the food coming out of the ground this time of year and opted for the chargrilled half lobster, Pernod butter, chips and chilli and fennel salad. I was a bit concerned about the Pernod butter, not being the biggest fan of Pernod, but I need not have worried. It was a gentle, background flavour that didn’t dominate the chunky lobster, while the salad had a decent kick and the chips did the job of being chips – crispy on the outside, melting in the middle. Chris chose the grilled chicken breast, wild mushrooms, garlic and cannellini bean fricassee and Swiss chard and reckoned it was an excellent combination – filling, warming and tasty. For dessert, I managed to find space for some coffee profiteroles and Chris, still suffering the after effects of a particularly demanding cricket tour, steeled himself and devoured a clotted cream panna cotta. Just the sort of meal for somebody in need of wholesome sustenance.

The Osprey Restaurant

Barnsdale Hall Hotel and Country Club, Oakham, LE15 8AB. 01572 757901. www.barnsdalehotel.co.uk

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22/09/2017 12:33


ACTIVE LOCAL /// Fencing

FENCE POST Jeremy Beswick reports on his experiences at the sharp end of an epee at a new fencing club Photography: Pip Warters

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www.barkingmad.uk.com Kerry Wells 01780 322008 kerry.wells@barkingmad.uk.com

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ACTIVE LOCAL /// Fencing

HERE’S A GOOD TRIVIA question for you. Which are the only five sports to have appeared in each and every modern Olympic Games? Well, the answer is athletics, cycling, swimming, gymnastics and, as you will have surely guessed by now, fencing. Given that the criteria for full participation in the games include a stipulation that the sport must be played in at least 75 countries and on four continents, that’s a testament to fencing’s enduring global popularity – and no more so than in the UK. There are scores of societies here with many of them within easy reach of Stamford and Rutland. One of them is Chris Howser’s newly-formed Stamford Fencing Club which he’s added to his existing successful operations in Oundle and Peterborough – O.P.S. Epee. As its name suggests, he specialises in the descendant of the duelling weapon – as opposed to the lighter foil or the cavalry sword-like sabre. Chris told me he’s added this third, Stamford-based string to his bow because of the popularity of the other two and – as we shall see – his achievements are not only in numbers but also competitively, with many of his students going on to represent their country. So what is it that attracts so many people of all ages from five to 70-odd to the sport? I spoke to Anthea Westbrook and her son Arthur, who’s eight years old and has been fencing since he was six, inspired by a film he saw called The Princess Bride based on William Goldman’s novel. “I like all of it,” he told me.

“When I beat someone it feels like I’ve won a championship. When I started it wasn’t as easy as I expected but it’s good to learn how to do it and get more skilful. I’m very good at it too!” Mum Anthea said: “It’s great for his self-discipline and concentration. At first he found it difficult to be aggressive but he’s now much better at attack and he loves the games that they play, to speed up reactions by catching a glove before it hits the ground for example. It’s a mixed group and it’s funny to see the boys on retreat from the girls. Chris is great with the kids and it’s tremendous fun for them.” Towards the other end of the age scale, Andrew Ferguson is a relative beginner in his fifties. He’d taken his children along too (son William has since gone on to represent England) and got fed up just sitting on the bench waiting. “I just thought, at my age rugby’s no longer an option so what the hell, while I’m here... and it’s great fun, I love it. It’s even given me the motivation to go to the boring old gym to improve. Together with another couple of dads who are also beginners we enjoy getting equally embarrassed together. I was absolutely hammered by a thirteen year old – I just provide some of the kids with a punching bag really.” There’s actually no disgrace at being beaten by children, which is another great thing about fencing – all the family can participate on a level playing field. Andrew went on: “I’ve fenced against a 10-year-old followed by a 70-year-

Above

The new Stamford club caters for all ages and abilities, including fencers who have gone on to represent their country at the sport

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ACTIVE LOCAL /// Fencing

old. You start off thinking you should be a bit gentle and then they take you apart.” Longevity as a pastime is another plus. “I feel I can do this for the next 20 years and I always feel I’m improving. Chris is a great teacher too. He’s walked the walk having being a successful competitor and is highly respected within the sport. The kids look up to him.” Jacqui Lever is yet another adult who followed her children into the sport – son Matthew is in the Commonwealth under 18s and daughter Rachael recently won silver for Scotland at the UK school games. “Parents should definitely have a go. When I did I not only realised I’d been saying all the wrong things to them in terms of advice, I absolutely loved it and have even more massive respect for what they do – to compete at a decent level you need nerves of steel.” It’s not a sport that’s dangerous, however. “You think it’s going to be scary but it isn’t at all,” continued Jacqui. “It’s not at all claustrophobic, for example. Even wearing glasses I soon forgot all about the mesh on the mask and you’ve so much protective kit on the very worst you’ll get is a bruise or two.” She likes the way fencing helps her childrens’ self confidence and the way they “find out how to cope with losing. To learn from your mistakes and become good at self-analysis”. As for herself? “It’s the perfect sport for women no matter what shape or size you are. You’re completely covered so there’s no question of embarrassment like at the gym or the pool and, although those at the top level are very fit, you don’t need to be at the start. It’s also a fantastic way to make friends. Through fencing I’ve some from Denmark, Romania and all over the UK from every possible walk of life that I would never have met.” Chris agreed saying: “Fencing’s given me friendships all around the world. For me it’s the ultimate sport. Intellect, physicality, strategy and nerve all come into play. If you’re ever frustrated it’s great to just take it out on the piste.” If I decided to give it a go what could I expect? “The first time you come there’ll be a safety briefing and then we’ll show you the basic moves and by the end of the session it’ll be time for your first go, either with another beginner or an expert who will hold back somewhat.” I bet it’s expensive though? “It costs £5 a week,” said Chris. “We have all the spare kit that you can borrow for as long as you want, so to start with you only need tracksuit bottoms, t-shirt and trainers. Once you’ve got going you can also hire it if you want your own to take home. Those who end up as serious competitors do eventually buy but for others there’s no need and that’s particularly important for fast-growing kids.” Chris obviously enjoys passing on his skills and love of the sport. “It’s wonderful seeing others starting for the first time and enjoying it. When I look at what some of the younger ones – some with special needs – have been able to accomplish I know that’s the biggest achievement of my sporting career. It gives you a warm feeling in your stomach.” Someone once described fencing as chess at 100 mph, as you’re always rethinking your tactics in real time, so if you’re looking for something to do that will keep both your body and brain in top shape, introduce you into a circle of new friends of all ages and backgrounds and be great fun to boot, then this could be for you. Just drop Chris a line at chrishowser@hotmail.co.uk. En garde!

/// O C T 0 B E R 2 0 17 7 1


Roundup The scores, star performers and stats from a month in local sport

Rugby

Tough going for Stamford and Oaks, but Gate are flying BY JEREMY BESWICK

D

espite beating Wisbech 19-17 away in the pre-season, Oakham had a challenging start to their season with the visit to Oadby Wyggstonians who caught them cold, running out easy winners 51-9. They then faced Newark at a wet and windy Showground in the RFU Intermediate Cup. Oakham drew first blood, a five-metre scrum resulting in an Ed Balmford try converted by Callum Crellin after eight minutes, the latter making it 10-0 shortly thereafter with a penalty. At this point Oaks were “playing with confidence, spreading the ball wide and attacking from their own 22”, according to director of rugby Andy Willliamson, but a missed offload and sliced clearance gifted Newark a try against the run of play. Undaunted, Oaks continued to make all the running and were rewarded when Dan Cousens showed good pace to score in the corner. At this point Williamson felt everything seemed to be going Oakham’s way and they were coping well with the big Newark pack. Indeed, two further try opportunities were spurned as they added only a penalty before half-time, which came with the score at 20-5. However, three Oaks injuries to Balmford, prop Carr and McKee lifted Newark’s spirits and their pack became increasingly dominant. The pressure led to an unconverted try from the visitors and the superiority of their forwards strengthened as Oaks’ lock Russell Hopkins was also forced off with an injury.

A further Newark converted score made it 20-17 with 10 minutes to play and a penalty drew them level. Oaks nearly won it at the death with a long range attempt by Crellin that which fell agonisingly under the crossbar, but in extra time the momentum was all with the visitors who were the only scorers with a converted try. It was far from the ideal preparation for the fixture to come; away at Stamford – the area’s biggest derby. Although Stamford also had a chastening time at Belgrave (a 59-3 defeat certainly counts as that) coach Matt Albinson is expecting great things from his new half-back partnership so it will be fascinating to see how this one pans out. Oakham’s Uppingham-based neighbours, Stoneygate, started with what looked a tough fixture, also away to Belgrave (but their second XV). Club captain Cillian Brugha noted beforehand that the home side “traditionally field a great front eight and are tough to break down all over the park” and that in recent years this has been a close fixture with little between the teams. It wasn’t to be that way this time however, as a new-look Stoneygate side swept into an early 14-0 lead through James Bromwich – on his debut – and new 1st XV skipper Will Cropper, and the first half was emphatically theirs as they ran scintillating lines though the Belgrave defence and added tries from Phil Beech (2), Luke Burgess and Jack Clark to take them into the break 40-5. Brugha reported: “The second-half continued much like the first had left off,

with Gate running in tries all over the place. Two from Adam Smith and a second for Jack Clark saw the game out of sight... Clark’s second try was a fantastic solo effort after the young fly-half kicked the ball into the empty back field, chased it down, hacked it on and dotted down under the posts”. Another debutant, Guy Jones, came off the bench to score twice and the final score was a massive 76-10. No wonder Brugha called it “A great effort from the whole squad for the first match of the season.” Oundle, newly promoted to Midlands 1 East, opened their campaign at Leighton Buzzard and it turned out to be what the club’s Peter Croot called “an 11-try thriller”. Despite scores from Vernon Horne (2), Simon New and Tom Oliver, they ended up on the wrong end of a 41-38 score line in a match that could have gone either way. However, there were encouraging signs for the new boys at this level, Croot commenting that “the coaching staff were far from disappointed, and with key players becoming available over the next month, were very encouraged. Playing a game to score is the style that got them promoted, and this was certainly entertaining”. Those positive signs proved to be far from illusory as the Eagles went on to beat Market Rasen with a bonus point in their first home match, Rob ‘Wrecking Machine’ Shingles with a hat trick. Even more impressive was to go to Melton the following week and come away with a win, albeit a narrow one at 22-20.

7 2 O C T O B E R 2017 ///

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22/09/2017 12:34


Tigers Talk Jeremy Beswick catches up with the Leicester staff aer they recorded their first win of the season

TIGERS IMAGES

Aer starting their season with two defeats, Tigers’ head coach Matt O’Connor was understandably relieved to have beaten Gloucester when we spoke a few days aerwards, but was still far from contented with their overall performance that day. “I was disappointed by the back 60 minutes of the game. We started really well but then let ourselves down. Although we created lots of opportunities to score several more tries it was frustrating that the last pass or the final set play let us down”. Although the scrum performed well, the set plays he would have had in mind were the line outs, an issue in every match so far and exacerbated this time by Ed Slater returning to Welford Road in away colours, players confirming to me that he still knew Tigers’ calls. Why they weren’t changed in the circumstances remains a mystery to me. Perhaps it was due to uncertainty about forwards coach Richard Blaze, who has subsequently announced his resignation for undisclosed personal reasons. His responsibilities have been picked up by Brett Deacon who will fill the post until “a suitable replacement can be found”. He won’t find his job won’t get any easier as Graham Kitchener – “our

number one line out caller” according to O’Connor – will be out for a few weeks aer surgery on a broken eye socket. However, although he’s “sad to see Blazey go but understands the reasons” O’Connor is confident that Deacon will fill his shoes with ease. “Brett will do a great job” he said. “He always has here and the boys will be working hard for him”. That sentiment was echoed by Harry Wells when we sat down later. “The lads really take on board what he’s got to say” he told me. Wells had made his home Premiership debut that day against Gloucester having come through the Tigers’ academy and then spent some time at Bedford Blues to continue his development. Most observers thought he’d had a fine game and, though satisfied with his own performance – “It felt really good” – and feeling that the team as a whole had improved their defensive line speed, agreed with his coach they should have done much better. “Having scored three tries in the first 20-25 minutes it’s not good enough for us not to get a bonus point. We’ve still got to be hard on ourselves because we’ve le a point out there on the field”. Although it hasn’t been the start to their campaign they would have wished, O’Connor was still quite bullish, noting “No one’s got an unbeaten record already aer three games. I think the margins will be a lot tighter than last season with those sides who can perform to 90 or 95% of their peak every game coming out on top in the end. It’s going to be an arm wrestle of a season all the way through to May”. Let’s hope he’s right, because you wouldn’t back anyone against the Tigers if it comes down to brute strength and desire.

Above

Harry Wells made his home Premiership debut in the victory over Gloucester at Welford Road

/// O C T O B E R 2017 7 3

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22/09/2017 12:34


ACTIVE LOCAL Round-up

Cricket

Championships galore! BY JEREMY BESWICK

I

t’s been a terrific end to the season for our local clubs. Stamford Town won the Hunts League and Empingham landed the Grantham and Melton title while Oakham, in their first season in Division 1 of the Leicestershire League, finally survived relegation to fight another day as did Burghley in the Hunts competition. The most outstanding achievement of all, however, is that of Uppingham Town who will spend next year in the Leicestershire Premier League for the first time. This is a truly historic success for the Castle Hill club who, we should remember, only entered the league when they moved to their new ground from Uppingham School just five years ago. Four promotions in that short time, with most of the team coming through their academy, is an amazing record – and they nearly did it as champions. Batsman Martin Bennett is one of those products of their youth set up and captured the special feeling of being there from the start, tweeting “What a journey – from junior cricket all the way through to the Leicestershire Premiership – with all my mates”. Promotion was confirmed with their visit

to table-topping Langtons. In a rain-affected match, the hosts opted to bat first and Uppingham’s Danny Dumford and Alex Ashwin soon gave them the upper hand with five wickets between them. Scott Green then took two of his own and at one point Langtons were really on the ropes at 62-7. They weren’t top of the league for nothing though, and Mubarek and Zakir Patel launched into the bowling to amass over 60 runs from the final four overs to see the side home to a total of 128 off the reduced over count of 25. Uppingham’s response started well with skipper Jamie Dumford and Ben Farnsworth putting on a rapid 45, but when both wickets fell runs became harder to come by. Another two wickets to Langtons brought Alex Ashwin to the crease who, despite being dropped off both of his first two deliveries, made 35 not out and it fell to Jamie Richardson at the other end to finish the match with a six before hitting the winning runs next ball. Skipper Tom William’s Stamford side confirmed their title in the penultimate fixture against Hampton. Batting first, Liam Dave and Chris Bore soon settled any nerves with a century opening partnership; Dave going

on to make 103. Suneel Appan was the pick of the remaining batsmen, adding 53 to enable Town to post a daunting 272. Hampton certainly made a game; openers Jon Dee and Andy McIntyre making a half century but, despite a defiant effort from Greg Clarke late on, fell just short with 248. The result meant Stamford were mathematically impossible to catch with one game left. Empingham’s title was at once both the most predictable and the most emphatic. Having won all but one of their fixtures so far this season it was no surprise when Henry Stephenson’s side proved too strong for Thorpe Arnold to clinch things. Bowling first they kept the home side down to 120-7, and in response were always ahead of the game without breaking loose, reaching the total with three overs to spare. As a season it was a fitting farewell to Mal Smith, who is retiring after 31 years as both a player and groundsman. The club paid tribute saying: “Mal has helped transform Exton Road into being one of the premier cricketing venues in the county. “All at Empingham CC would therefore like to say a huge thank you to Mal for all of his hours of dedication.”

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