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Covering all you need this Christmas. Keeping warm with Winter Homes & Heating. The best in professional services and much, much more.


Gazette & Diary Magazine

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We wish you a Merry Christmas

Welcome to the last issue of the Gazette and Diary 2016

W

HAT a year it has been! We have celebrated two very important 90th Birthdays this year, one being the queen and of course our much loved owner of the Abergavenny Chronicle and the Tindle empire…. Sir Ray Tindle himself! But let’s not forget when the sun sets and the chickens come home to roost, empires may rise and empires may fall, but it’s all about the news in our game. And boy was 2016 a good year for news. Not just in the local area, but down the garden path and over the fence which separates us from what the folk from distant

shores refer to as “the big old world.” It’s certainly been a memorable year. We’ve had ups, we’ve had downs, we’ve had nights on the town, but we digress, let’s get back on track and straight to the heart of the matter, which is this month’s G&D. This month we feature that most glorious time of the year.. Christmas! and boy are we full of it! The joys of the festive period that is. Like young lambs with eyes that suggest nothing but an euphoria which is strangely haunting in its emptiness, we turn our collective gaze to December 25 and bleat excitedly. Now bleat with us dear

we would like to say a huge thank you readers as we prepare to make merry to you. For taking the time to read us, adand get giddy this Christmas. One thing before we go - If you’re in vertise with us, and providing us with a need of a professional service this winter, reason to live. God knows we need one and let’s be honest, who doesn’t need at times. their pipes flushing out at least once Thank-you kind people. We look when the mood is dark and the forward to more of the same in 2017. atmosphere is bitter, then take a look at our inside back page for those all important numbers you may need over the December period. Finally chumps and So there’s just one thing to say chumpettes, before we leave for our christmas luncheon with the President Elect Donald Trump.

mas Merry Christ

and a Happy New Year from all of us here at the Abergavenny Chronicle and Gazette and Diary.

in association with

The Abergavenny Chronicle For information on how to advertise in the next issue, please contact:

Jenna Hopkins 01873 852187 Ext 35 jenna.hopkins@ abergavennychronicle.com

Part of the Tindle Newspaper Group

Published by the Abergavenny Chronicle, Nevill Street, Abergavenny, Gwent NP7 5AA

Nick Ramsay AM

Assembly Member for Monmouth

Can I help you?

Nicholas.Ramsay@Assembly.Wales nickramsay.org.uk 16 Maryport Street, Usk, NP15 1AB 01291 674898

Printed by Trinity Mirror plc

December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 3


Gazette & Diary Magazine

What you need to know when Insulslating solid walls WHERE DO YOU BUY YOUR FUEL? R e a d i n g th i s p ro b a b l y ma k e s F a s t F u e l y o u r c l o s e s t supplier. We have started a drive to reduce our e n v i ro n me n ta l i mp a c t, IF W E A R E Y OU R C L OS E S T SUPPLIER WE SHOULD BE DELIVERING TO YOU. We must acknowledge our industry’s environmental effffects and we are leading the way by being more re s p o n s i b l e ; w e a re s tri v i n g to re d u c e o u r j o u rn e y ti me s a n d th e re fo re o u r c a r b o n fo o tp ri n t. B y s w i tc h i n g to F a s t Fuel not only will you enjoy our unrivalled customer serrv vice, but together we can reduce emissions. We now offffer match guarantee for anyone within our area a s a c o mmi tme n t to th i s . C o me a n d j o i n th e F a s t F u e l Family and make a difffference.

F

ITTING solid wall insulation can be a lot of work and expense, but it can also make a big difference to how warm your home feels and how high your heating bills are Most pre-1920 properties (and some later than that) were built with solid walls. It's easy to tell whether your home's walls are solid or have a cavity take a look outside and if you see both long and short bricks, they're solid because the short bricks go through the wall. If the walls are rendered, try measuring a wall by a window or door - walls less than 26cm deep should be solid. Solid walls are harder and more expensive to insulate than cavity walls, but the expected savings are greater. Insulating solid walls isn't straightforward and may be something you want to leave to the professionals, although internal wall insulation can be fitted by DIYers. Perhaps the easiest method is to use insulated plasterboard, which comes in different thicknesses. Another option is to build a stud wall along the exterior wall and fill that with insulation. This will make the room a bit smaller and, in both cases, you'll have to remove and then refit or replace the skirting boards, door frames, coving, etc, so it's a lot of work and disruption. For this reason, insulat-

APP OF THE WEEK

Call: 01291 691 402 or 0800 093 8445 e-mail: inffo o@ffa ast-ffu uel.co.uk www.ffa ast-ffu uel.co.uk

FirePlace, 79p, Apple. Fake your way to hygge with this fireplace app which crackles and spits like a real roaring log fire. You can hook it up with Apple TVs and phones to create a cosy atmosphere at home.

Green Man Stoves - Forging ahead in Ross-on-Wye Green Man Stoves is found opposite the Weston Cross Inn in Weston-under-Penyard, just outside Ross-on-Wye. Here you will find trained and knowledgeable staff; HETA registered fully employed and insured installers, a wide range of contemporary and traditional stoves and a wealth of spare parts and fireside accessories. Installing stoves and lining chimneys are all the Green Man Stoves do. They have probably One of our favourite installs seen all types and states of chimney and stove fireplace knocked out, original during their 14 years of trading, and are proud recess made beautiful and to call themselves specialists: The work Fireline FX5W installed experience they have which soley revolves around stoves and chimneys means they have a knowledge base difficult to rival. They are pleased to continue to serve their customers, both old and new, in Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean and will happily provide you with a free of charge chimney survey before matching your chimney lining and stoves needs with the best solution for your budget and style preferences. Give them a call and talk through your ideas - they will make sure your loved ones, pets and home are all safe and that you have a beautiful new member of the family to curl up beside throughout the winter. The winter season is upon us already and dare we mention Christmas - to ensure your stove is installed in good time for the festive season, call us sooner rather tha later!

Green Man Stoves, Warming your Health & Soul The Forge, Weston-under-Penyard, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire HR9 7NX Tel. 01989 218328 infor@greenmanstoves.co.uk www.greenmanstoves.co.uk

4 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue

ing walls internally is often best left until you're renovating the room. External wall insulation is less disruptive - usually, insulation material (such as expanded-polystyrene sheets) is fixed to the exterior walls and covered with cladding or render. This method has a number of benefits, including improving soundproofing and weatherproofing, as well as making the inside warmer. According to the Energy Saving Trust (www.energysavingtrust.org.uk), internal wall insulation costs around £3,500 to £14,000, while external wall insulation is around £8,000 to £22,000, depending on the size of the property. The Trust estimates that annual savings in fuel bills will be around £455 for a detached house, £260 for a semi and £175 for a mid-terrace house in England, Scotland and Wales, based on a house with gas central heating. If insulating your home's exterior walls seems like too much work and expense, there is a much easier way to reduce heat loss through them. Radiators tend to be on outside walls because they're usually fitted under windows, which means the heat from the radiators can go outside into the cold as well as into the room. Fitting radiator foil behind the radiators will help to stop heat escaping through the walls, making it feel warmer indoors.

HOW-TO TIP Now's a good time to check over exterior woodwork before winter sets in. If you spot wet rot, treat it immediately. The rotten wood will be soft and crumbly, so it's easy to remove the worst of it. Liberally apply Ronseal High Performance Wet Rot Wood Hardener (from £7 for 250ml, B&Q) to make the remaining wood rock hard, then fill with a good exterior wood filler, such as Ronseal High Performance Wood Filler (from £7 for 275g, B&Q), which is designed to rebuild rotten wood. If the rot's widespread, it may be easier to remove all of it and splice in a new piece of wood - or get a carpenter to.


Homes and Heating

Top Tips for buying a project

W

Wales' largest furniture retailer

I

F it’s choice of furniture, leading brand names and competitive prices you are after – it will certainly pay to visit Hafren Furnishers, of Llanidloes, located just off the A470. They recently celebrated the enviable milestone of 50 years of trading as Wales ’ largest independent retailer. With vast showrooms and 7 floors of displays every room in the house is covered – catering for every style imaginable. Expertly trained friendly staff, will assist you to ensure your individual needs are met. Home to Wales’ largest Bed Studio, Hafren Furnishers hosts a number of famous brands and range of bed styles – Tempur, Hypnos, Sealy, Vi-Spring and Harrisons to mention a few. New in store is the Halo Living Studio, where you can browse luxury handmade dining and living furniture. Hafren Furnishers stock all the leading names such as Gplan, Parker Knoll, Himolla, Stressless, Ercol and Tempur plus hundreds more. Soft furnishings are catered for too, – as

well as a Carpet Right concession, there is also a Curtain Express display in store, meaning you can have customised curtains or blinds within 7 days. Still a family-run business, Hafren Furnishers are experts in the field, and offer impartial advice you can trust, free delivery in England and Wales and interestfree credit. A Carpet Right concession, and the Border Café are conveniently located in store. The Winter Sale starts on Saturday 17th December, and will run until the end of January 2107, save £'s on all brand names across the store. Contact the team on 01686 414000, they are open Monday to Saturday and until 8pm every Thursday. The showroom will be open Christmas Eve, closed 25th-26th Dec, open 27th December onwards, including 31st Dec and 2nd Jan please check the website for details. They wish all their customers and staff a Merry Christmas, and look forward to welcoming you in-store.

D i n e i n c o m f o r t , m a n y d i n i n g s e t s i n st o c k a n d a v a i l a b l e f o r p r e C h r i s t m a s d e l i v e r y

Wa l e s ’ L a r g e s t I n d e p e n d e n t F u r n i t u r e S t o r e

1

HETHER you're looking for a home or an investment, good renovation projects at the right price are hard to find, but there are ways to increase your chances.

When prices have risen and buyers on a budget have been pushed further and further out, this can lead to once undesirable areas becoming more popular and improving as a result. If you can spot improving areas, or areas subject to investment and infrastructure changes, it often pays to get on the local property ladder before prices rise. However, if you're concerned about resale values, be careful not to spend more on a property than it's worth.

3

2

Even if an unmodernised property seems like a steal, remember that it may cost more to buy and renovate than somewhere that's more expensive to buy but needs less work. This is where research comes in. You'll need to find out how long the property's been on the market, what position the seller's in, what comparable properties are selling for and what property prices are doing locally, etc, as well as how much the property will cost to renovate. Ideally, pay for a full structural survey (the RICS Building Survey) and then get quotations for the work needed so you're realistic about the cost. To get an idea of the cost before making an offer, go round the property with a good builder.

Some properties are in such a bad state only cash buyers are welcome. This can also be the case with properties of unusual construction, so if you need a mortgage, you're more limited to what you can buy. Mortgage lenders usually expect the propMoving quickly applies to buyerty to be habitable and although lots of ing properties at auction too. You people buy unmodernised properties with have to exchange contracts on the a mortgage without a problem, lenders spot, and complete within a set sometimes retain some of the loan until time, often 28 days, so buying with a essential repairs are done. mortgage isn't always possible. Auctions are full of renovation projects and can be a good place to find bargains, providing you don't get carried away in the heat of the moment and pay too much.

4

AL ASPEC CTS OF BUIL LDING LDIN NG & ROOFING G

THOMASCREW W BUILDING & ROOFING G STEVE: 07494989887 87 JASON: 07950382518 18 EMAIL: THOMASCREW2000@Y YAHOO.CO.uk AHOO.CO O.uk December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 5


Gazette & Diary Magazine

ACTION

P A ACKED D ADVENTURES

Year-round adventure activities at Llangorse

Open all yea r!

A

Indoor & Outdoor O Activ vities at Llangorse Mu ulti Activity Centre

Indoor Multi Activitie es & Rock Climbing: Open all year (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New ew Ye ear Day) 20th Ye ear Celebrattions & Competition - 7th J January Winter Events - visit www.act . ivityuk.com/eve ents Visit www.act . ivityuk.co om or call 01874 658 272 for f details

CHRISTMAS GIFT T

VOUCHERS

Vouchers o can be purchased with us in person n, over the phone or online - just visit www.activityuk.c com/gifts

RE you looking to get out and try something new and exciting this Winter? Llangorse Multi Activity Centre is home to the largest indoor Climbing, Riding & Multi-Activity Centre in Wales - just 20 minutes from Abergavenny. They cater for individuals and families, whether experienced or novice, young or old. And best of all, they’re open all year round! Multi-Activities, with a difference! From 6 years old you can take part in their popular multi-award-winning half day Indoor Activity Session which gives a taste of Climbing, Rope Bridges, a Zip Line, Caving and Abseiling! Horse Riding in the heart of the Brecon Beacons: There are lots of things to do at their Riding Centre, too. From 4 years you can have your first instructor-led pony ride. For older children and adults, there are one hour & half day treks for beginners, rides with some cantering for intermediate riders and faster hacks for the more experienced. Relax at Base Camp Cafe! After an energetic activity session - relax in ‘Base Camp’

Cafe offering a variety of meals and a delicious range of local homemade Cakes! Llangorse Multi Activity Centre is open all year except Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Years day.

To start your adventure, visit www.activityuk.com or call 0333 600 20 20

Triley Fields Equestrian Centre Christmas Holiday Activities 2016 Saturday 17th - Sunday 18th December: Lessons as normal Monday 19th December: OWN A PONY DAY 12.30pm - 3.30pm Suitable for Novice/Intermediate/Advanced Riders £40 Morning & Evening Lessons as Normal

Tuesday 20th December: PONY CLUB CHRISTMAS RALLY - times tbc Morning & Evening Lessons as Normal

Wednesday 21st December: MINI CAMP 9am - 4pm (Bring a packed lunch) Suitable for Novice/Intermediate/Advanced Riders Own or loan pony £40 TriFEC pony £50 Morning & Evening Lessons as Normal

Thursday 22nd December: MINI CAMP 9am - 4pm (Bring a packed lunch) Suitable for Novice/Intermediate/Advanced Riders Own or loan pony £40 TriFEC pony £50 Morning & Evening Lessons as Normal

Friday 23rd December: JUMPING SHOW - 9am - 9.45am Morning & Evening Lessons as Normal

nantyderry garden centre

Family business (Established 1956) in beautiful rural setting.

Huge range of Chapelwood wild bird care with up to 50% off selected items.

Saturday 24th - Monday 26th December: Closed Tuesday 27th December: PONG CLUB CHRISTMAS RALLY - time tbc Wednesday 28th December: MINI CAMP 9am - 4pm (Bring a packed lunch) Suitable for Novice/Intermediate/Advanced Riders Own or loan pony £40 TriFEC pony £50 Morning & Evening Lessons as Normal

Thursday 29th December: MINI CAMP 9am - 4pm (Bring a packed lunch) Suitable for Novice/Intermediate/Advanced Riders Own or loan pony £40 TriFEC pony £50 Morning & Evening Lessons as Normal

Friday 30th December: GYMKHANA - 11am -12.30pm £30 Morning & Evening Lessons as Normal

turn off the ool ig

Saturday 31st December: Lessons as normal Sunday 1st - Monday 2nd January: Closed Tuesday 3rd January: PONY CLUB NEW YEAR RALLY - times tbc

Tel: 01873 890523 Email: suzanne@trifec.com

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for their support during 2016 and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year

6 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue

o


We wish you a Merry Christmas

HiTek

Dates for your Diary December ✷ ✷ ✷ ✷ ✷✷✷✷✷✷✷ 9 – Pandy Village Hall Once Upon A Time Theatre Company presents 'Red Riding Hood' 7.30pm. Tel: 01873 890509.

4 – Glangrwyney Baptist Chapel Carol Service at 6.30pm. Chairman Mr Malcolm Watts. All Welcome. 5 - Have your say! What next for our area? Methodist Hall, Castle Street. 2.30-4.30pm or 7.00-9.00pm (or drop-in between these)

23 – Llangynidr Christmas Whist Drive, Llangynidr Hal, 7.30pm. Good prizes as always. Please support us. Tel: 01874 730287,730228, 730469.

6 - 7pm Sing For Your Heart Carol Service with Gilwern School Choir at Gilwern United Reformed Church to raise funds for Heart Research UK.

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FOR THE BUSINESS • Guttering service – renewal or cleaning • Factory floor repairs and painting • Routine maintenance service undertaken on a weekly or monthly basis according to customer requirements • Minor works • Washroom refits or refurbishments HiTTeek Carpentrryy & Maintenance Services is ffu ulllyy indemnified against third parttyy loss or damage

Frreee Estimates and Quotations given

CONT TA ACT KEITH POULSOM ON TEL: 01873 857636 MOB: 07837 521122 EMAIL: HITEKMAINTENANCE@BTINTERNET T..COM

Wye V Va alley Firewood Limited are a local family run business, established in 1996 providing seasoned and kiln-dried firewood in the Wy W e Valley and surrounding area. In the last 18 months, we have diversifed into the biomass market supplying premium quality G30/G50 wood-chip with an average moisture content of 22%–25%. Wye Valley Firewood not only over a premium quality BSL-authorised wood-chip and firewood product, but pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service, which is at the heart of our business at all times.

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December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 7


Gazette & Diary Magazine

D

ECKING the halls is all very well, but the real focal point at Christmas is the tree, which makes a statement about your decor taste and seasonal style. There are four top-of-the-tree looks to choose from this season, to ensure yours is festively fashionable and a star of the show...

NORDIC STYLE

www.dobbies.com www.christmastreeworld.co.uk

TARTAN TRADITIONAL

A simple, country-style look inspired by Scandinavian style, which emphasises the natural beauty of the tree foliage and uses a pared-back approach to decorations, is always a winner. To achieve this, use clear glass, white, or silver decorations, which will conjure a feeling of snowladen landscape, or play up the natural theme with green baubles. Accessorise around the tree with lanterns, wooden candle holders, and chunky cream knits for throws and cushions, and maybe wreaths and garlands of mistletoe and holly.

This classic seasonal look is being shaken up this year, with a tartan twist. Traditional style - particularly the pairing of red and green - is enduringly popular, but the accents change every season to give this theme a new injection of interest. By using plaid, we've aimed to ramp up the cosiness, and it's easy to tie this look into a room's decor theme, by accessorising with tartan throws and cushions. While stags are still running wild all over decor, and trees are no exception, they're starting to make way this year for owls, robins, reindeer, and even bear baubles.

GET THE LOOK

Dobbies' super red and tartan bauble collection includes a red Bell Bauble With Berry Trim And Tartan Ribbon, £3.99 Wyevale Garden Centres have an impressive collection of traditional/tartan decorations. A Tartan Stocking, £3.49; Wooden Sledge With Lights, £8.99; Red Berry Ball, £2.99, and Large Glass Ball With Red Poinsettia, £14.99.

The White Company has a superb 7.5ft Green Fir Christmas Tree, £250. Wilko's brilliant budget range includes an adorable Nordic Glass Polar Bear Bauble, £2. Marks & Spencer's collection of green baubles is perfect for this style, and includes a Floral Droplet Bauble, £5, and a Glass Acorn Bauble, both £5 each.

GET THE LOOK

www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk

ROOFING

THE ORIGINAL PERRY FAMILY

The Perry family has been repairing roofs in this area for over 45 years (three generations): • Traditional built up high tensile felting systems, fibre glass, single ply, liquid coatings, slating and tiling with manufacturers’ backed guarantees ranging from 10-25 years; • UPVC fascias and guttering - with 10 year guarantee.

Your property deserves the best so for a free survey and estimate.

(free pen with all enquiries):

Tel: 01432 354000 / www.centralroofing.co.uk

FREE GUTTERING WITH ALL NEW FASCIAS 8 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue


We wish you a Merry Christmas

ARCTIC CHIC The must-have look is modern minimalism - in other words, less is more and that's made white trees and white lights this year's most popular choice. This is a sleek, fuss-free but magical setting and works brilliantly with blue decorations - they're a really strong trend. Combine with silver, grey and white for a Frozen or Narnia-inspired look. This cool palette brings a frosty sparkle to the home, but if this is a little too chilly for your taste, intersperse accents of gold and copper to warm up the theme.

GET THE LOOK Christmas Tree World's 4ft 6in White Princess Fir Tree is £24.99, reduced from £49.99. Dive into Dobbies for brilliant blue baubles, including a Bauble With Green Leaf Tree, £3.99, and a retro-style Reflector Bauble, £4.99. Gisela Graham's Jewel Snowflake Decoration, £19.95.

SHIMMER & SHINE

People are lavishing more and more care and attention on decorating their trees, so they're an eye-catching talking point in a room. Metallic finishes always impress and attractively capture the light. Silver is always a contemporary choice, although there's a real growth in the popularity of more antiqued silver and vintage baubles. Gold's still strong for decorations, with rose gold featuring - but champagne gold is taking over because it's glamorous and sophisticated, and suits more gentle, subtle schemes. Bright, shiny gold is still strong for traditional themes.

GET THE LOOK Dobbies' Diamond And Gold Design Bauble, £4.99. Echo the glittering theme with a Pre-Lit Flocked Emporer Wreath, currently reduced to £29.99 from £39.99. www. very.co.uk

BAUBLE CHIC Frosted And Silver Embellished Christmas Baubles, currently reduced to £9.99 from £14.99 for a set of four. www. very.co.uk

M onmo uthshire Turkeys

26th -3rd

Traditionally prepared

November

Organic Bronze Turkeys to order for Christmas call: 01291 691 988

January 2017 Online tickets available for this very special 2016 Christmas event through our website:

December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 9


Gazette & Diary Magazine

DRESSED TO IMPRESS A new Disaronno? Well, not quite, but this year's collaboration is with fashion designer Etro who have decorated the iconic bottle in a vibrant paisley print for cocktail enthusiasts with an eye for detail. To create the Disaronno wears Etro (£12, 70cl, Sainsbury's) cocktail, mix 50ml Disaronno, 10ml Mozart Dark Chocolate liqueur, 5ml caramel syrup and 50ml single cream. Shake the ingredients together and strain into a martini glass and garnish with chocolate powder.

ISLAND LIFE An interesting single malt to warm up with, Jura Prophecy (£56, 70cl, www.jurawhisky.com) foretells how this heavily peated whisky is going to taste with a limited-edition tin in charred oak to reflect the smoky taste from ageing in Limousin oak casks (often used for Cognac). A mix of peat, fresh cinnamon and sea spray evokes flavours from Jura's stormy Atlantic coastline, off the west coast of Scotland.

SHOW ME THE MOET

GIN PALACES ARE IN SEASON There's no need to worry about Rock Rose Winter Edition (£34, 70cl, www.dunnetbaydistillers.co.uk) dropping its needles, this gin is infused with spruce tips to inspire thoughts of freshly cut pine trees and roaring log fires, along with 'delightfully earthy and slightly citrusy notes' headlining the botanical list to get you into the holiday spirit.

F A C T O R Y O U T L E T

If you're a sucker for a selfie, Moet & Chandon have a new personalisation service to capture your favourite #MoetMoment and put some extra sparkle into that glass of fizz. Put your skates on and head to your nearest Selfridges (London, Birmingham and Manchester) or visit www.uk.moet.com, where, in three easy steps, you can upload your image, select your Moet Mini (£19.99, 20cl, Blanc or Rose) and order your bespoke gift.

MONKEY BUSINESS

A THING OF DARK BEAUTY

A blend of three single malts Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie and a whisky that's versatile enough to use in cocktails, Monkey Shoulder Cocktail Jar Gift Pack (£28, 70cl, Tesco) comes with a Monkey Apple cocktail recipe to promote its mixability, along with a branded mason jar and lid to create your favourite serve at home.

Named after a mythical sea monster, the 'be-tentacled' bottle of Kraken Ceramic Limited Edition Spiced Rum (£30.99, 70cl, www.amazon.co.uk) has been dipped in squid ink black to reflect the bold, rich flavours of this spicy Caribbean rum that's flavoured with cinnamon, creamy caramel, ginger and cloves.

carp ts south wales ltd

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm Saturday 9am - 2pm UNITS 2 & 3 NOBLE SQUARE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, BRYNMAWR, GWENT, NP23 4BS (BEHIND BRYNMAWR RUGBY FIELD)

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10 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue

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Snies Swell

& Well

'Tis the season to be jolly - but festive health hazards can also loom

C

HRISTMAS is a time to celebrate with family and friends, but it can also be a season of horrid health hazards. The winter festive season tends to bring about lots of coughs and sniffles, but it's those seasonal festive health problems that people need to be prepared for.

Only Rudolph is meant to have a red nose at Christmas but preventing a cold can be tricky when we're in close contact with so many people. There are some self-help tips you can adopt to try and prevent a cold. Good hand hygiene is essential, even if it's just warm water and soap you use. Alcohol based cleansers can be useful to wipe down surfaces like your desk at work, computer keyboard and phone, particularly if someone else uses it. Get some exercise too, as this can help your immune system. Don't worry too much though; if you do catch a cold, there are ways to reduce the symptoms.

Boozing

Mixing mulled wine, champagne and Christmas pudding brandy can lead to dehydration and dreadful headaches. The only way to avoid an alcohol-fuelled headache - and next-day hangover - is to lay off the booze. To try and prevent headaches, drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink, as these symptoms can often be a sign of dehydration. Remember, accidents are often more likely to happen when you're under the influence of alcohol too. Of course, everybody wants to enjoy the festivities, but best be responsible with it. Belting out Christmas tunes daily would test a professional singer's throat, so don't be surprised if it catches you out. While most sore throats are usually a symptom of a bacterial or viral infection, excessively using your throat can lead to pain and inflammation.

Sore Throat

Burns

A Christmas Day classic! Juggling roast potatoes, pigs in blankets and setting fire to puddings can lead to the inevitable cooking burns. Make sure you cool a burn with tepid water for 10-30 minutes, and ideally within 20 minutes of it occurring. Treating minor burns and scalds at home is usually OK, but remember, in the more unlikely event of a serious burn, it's best to seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

Taking orders ffo or Christmas Organic Bronze Free Range Turkeys Welsh Free Range Geese Welsh Free Range Ducks Orrdeerr your cch O heeesse fo orr C Ch hrriisttm mas C a s h ells H a m p er s

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Crickhowell 01873 810405 E.mail: mtcashell@btconnect.com www.cashells.co.uk December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 11


Gazette & Diary Magazine

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To make a booking or for mo To ore details: The Park Hotel e , Pandy y,, Abergavenny NP7 8DS Telephone: T ele ephone: 01873 890 0 271 Email:enqu uiries@theparkhotelw e ales.com www.theparkhotelwale es.com 12 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue


Christmas

GIN & APPLETISER A REFRESHING CHRISTMAS COCKTAIL ▲ Gifts for Her

▲ Gifts for Him

A

selection of the wonderful gifts available for sale at the jewellery Exchange in Market Street. Prices range from £10 to £3000 so there is something to suit every pocket. Find something unique, high quality and incredible value for money this Christmas - a gift with a difference. Plus there is 10% discount when you bring this advert. ▲ Gifts for Kids

A fruity twist on a gin & tonic, this long refreshing cocktail is lightly spiced and perfect for a Christmas party.

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

• For the ice cubes • Cranberries - frozen • Filtered water • 50 ml / 2 shots of gin - chilled (use a branded label, but no need to splash out on premium) • 250ml Appletiser original chilled • 3 Cranberry ice cubes • Cinnamon stick • Slice apple • Wedge of lime

• Place 4 cranberries in each compartment of an ice cube tray, top up with distilled water and freeze overnight. If the cranberries float, half fill the tray, allow to freeze then top up with more water. • Pour the gin into a glass, top with with Appletiser, add the ice cubes, cinnamon stick and apple. Give the lime wedge a gentle squeeze and then add to the drink.

Recipe by Helen Best-Shaw

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11B Market Street, Abergavenny, Mon. NP7 5SD • 01873 850006 admin@jeweller yexchange.co.uk • www.jeweller yexchange.co.uk

December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 13


Gazette & Diary Magazine

14 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue


Christmas

EVERY DAY IS A GIFT

C

HOCOLATE is so last year, darling. This festive season, you should be uncovering a pint-sized pampering treat each morning with a beauty Advent calendar. The season's best Candy-filled Advent calendars may be delicious, but the sad thing is those chocs disappear rapidly as the days go by (while the sugar guilt doesn't). A box of 24 beauty treats, on the other hand, brings you weeks of fun as you play with all those

There's a bit of a catch here, because the Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar, £35, is only purchasable when you spend £35 on clothing, beauty or home. But, since the Christmas-tree shaped edit of 25 branded beauty musthaves is worth a massive £250, we think it's totally worth it (www.marksandspencer.com).

4

BARGAIN BUY

1

Candles, eye masks, bath soaks and more... Sanctuary Let Go Days Of Christmas Advent Calendar, £25, Boots, has everything you need to counteract festive stress (and a few more treats besides), all 24 minis beautifully scented of course (www.boots.com).

3

✷ ✷

2

THE STRESS RELIEVER

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Perfect for teens and tweens who are just starting to experiment with make-up, the Flutter Beauty Advent Calendar, currently £8, down from £12, Superdrug, is packed with eyeshadows, lip glosses and balms, all housed in an adorable pooch-covered package (www.superdrug.com).

THE BATHTIME COMPANION

If hot, steamy baths are your favourite winter pastime, The Bomb Advent Calendar Gift Pack, £19.99, which contains a mix of fizzy bath blasters and scented soaps, is the one for you (bombcosmetics.co.uk).

make-up minis and finally get your hands on the skincare heroes you've been meaning to try for years. And this year, there are more than ever to choose from. From surprisingly affordable to the seriously luxurious, these are the calendars that will ensure you wake up happy this Advent...

THE TREE OF TREATS

✷ THE

to the great outdoors

Waterproof Clothing

Down Jackets

YOUR LOCAL OUTDOOR SPECIALIST Winter Lined Trousers 3 CROFT COURT (off Broad Street) ROSS-ON-Wye (01989) 565676

Hats & Gloves

Hiking Boots

December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 15


Gazette & Diary Magazine

CI DER MI LL I NN Brecon Road, Crickhowell, Powys, NP8 1SG - 01873 810775 - WWW.CIDERMILL.CO.UK

Christmas Festive Menu

Christmas Day Menu Starters

(Menu available only Christmas Eve, Boxing Day & New Year’s Eve)

Broccoli and Stilton Soup (V) Served with croutons and farmhouse bread Crispy Breaded Goats Cheese Served with mix green salad, vinaigrette dressing and homemade pear chutney Duck and Orange Pate Served with cranberry and port chutney and toast Prawns and Crayfish Cocktail Served with gem lettuce & rosemary sauce

Starters

Soup of the day served with a warm farmhouse bread roll (V) £4.50 Crispy Breaded Goat’s Cheese Served with a homemade pear chutney, salad & a warm farmhouse bread roll (V) £6.50 Crispy White Bait On a bed of wild rocket with a lemon & black pepper mayonnaise dip £5.50 Bread & Olive’s Served with farmhouse bread, olive oil and balsamic glaze (V) £5.50

Mains

Traditional Roast Beef Served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, trimmings and gravy. Traditional Roast Turkey Served with roast potatoes, stuffing, pigs in blankets & gravy. Nut Roast (V) Served with roast potatoes , trimmings and vegetarian gravy Wild Mushroom, Spinach & Blue Cheese en-croute Served with roast potatoes & trimmings (Trimmings: broccoli, carrots, peas & roast parsnips)

Desserts

Traditional Christmas Pudding (V) Served with brandy sauce Baileys Cheesecake (V) Black Forest Gateau (V) Fresh Fruit Salad (V)

Mains

- £50 Adults - £25 (4-12) Child s–3& Infant ree :F under

New Years Day Starters

Soup of the day Served with a warm farmhouse bread roll (V) Crispy Breaded Goat’s Cheese, Served with a homemade pear chutney, salad & warm farmhouse bread roll (V)

Mains

Traditional Roast Beef Served with a homemade Yorkshire pudding Roasted Lamb Served with mint sauce Roasted Pork Served with stuffing All Roasts are served with roasted potatoes, seasonal Vegetables and gravy Nut Roast Served with roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables and vegetarian gravy.

16 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue

Slow cooked Belly pork Served with a wholegrain mustard mash, cider gravy & seasonal vegetables £12.95 Pan Fried Duck Breast Served with Mash, red current gravy & seasonal vegetables £13.95 Beer Battered Fish of the day Served with chips & peas £10.95 Steak, Ale & mushroom Pie with a puff pastry topping, served with homemade chips & peas £11.95 Wild Mushroom Risotto served with wild rocket & balsamic glaze (GF,V) £9.95 Nantyffin Beef Burger with tomato chutney Served with homemade chips, onion rings & salad (brioche or original bun) £9.95 Rib Eye Served with homemade chips, mushrooms, onion rings & grilled tomato £16.95 Sirloin Served with homemade chips, mushrooms, onion rings & grilled tomato £16.95 Whether you’re planning to dine with colleagues, enjoy a meal with loved ones, or simply treat yourself to a relaxing escape, join us this Christmas and New Year for a celebration to remember. A warm welcome, traditional menus and attentive service await you.

2 course £20.00 3 course £ 25.00 Child 2 course

(12years & under) £10.00 Child 3 course (12yrs & under) £12.50

Opening Hours Mon: 6pm — 11pm Tue: 6pm — 11pm Wed: 12pm — 11pm Thu: 12pm — 11pm Fri: 12pm — 11pm Sat: 12pm — 11pm Sun: 12pm — 10pm Find us on facebook for daily offers and events


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Tuck in... Selfridges Selection Classic Christmas Soiree Hamper, £100, with a Christmas pudding, bottle of sauvignon blanc and Chianti, chutneys, savoury biscuits, chocolate money, spiced tea and fudge. SELFRIDGES (www.selfridges.com)

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Christmas hampers for sending baskets of love to all the family

â&#x153;· Ho, ho ho... The Christmas Greetings Basket, £55, with sweets, spiced biscuits, strawberry jam, tea, truffles and a mini bottle of blanc de blancs champagne. FORTNUM & MASON (www.fortnumandmason.com)

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Traffic free signal lap, Wide fo forest trails, TRA Licence, Chip timed d, Fully marshalled, Water stops, On-site free parrking, Race Village, Massage, Med dals. www.forestofdean-halfmarathon n.co.uk

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Flowing with Christmas cheer... Drinks Party Hamper, £75, with a bottle of Grand Cru champagne, white Burgundy and savoury nibbles. BERRY BROS & RUDD (www.bbr.com)

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Waiting for your wish list... Christmas Eve Box - North Pole Hamper (empty), £24.95. POLAR POST (www.polarpost.co.uk)

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Santa's 'nice' list... Harrods Children's Christmas, £75, filled with festive sweets, biscuits and chocolates. HARRODS.COM (www.harrods.com)

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Open to the public and trade CedZWo#<h_ZWo'&Wc#+fcÂ&#x161;IWjkhZWo'&Wc#)fc Unit 6, Little Castle Business Park, Raglan, NP15 2BX

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December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 17


Gazette & Diary Magazine

A FEAST FOR THE EYES THIS CHRISTMAS The countdown is officially on - so it's time to start planning your festive viewing To Walk Invisible, BBC One

Sherlock, BBC One

Sally Wainwright, the scribe behind such successes as Last Tango In Halifax and Happy Valley, has written and directed a one-off drama about the Bronte sisters, "three fascinating, talented, ingenious Yorkshire women", she says, whose personal lives were as intriguing as their writing. The drama takes a closer look at the siblings Emily, Charlotte and Anne, played by Chloe Pirrie, Finn Atkins and Charlie Murphy, whose genius work continues to enrapture readers.

Following a record-breaking New Year's Day special, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson for three new episodes, and going by the teaser trailer, it's set to be action-packed. Expect helicopters, explosions and Sherlock menacingly musing, "Something's coming, maybe it's Moriarty, maybe it's not...". Going by Toby Jones' revelation that he's appearing as "a really bad villain", chances are it could be the latter.

Vicious, ITV This December, Sirs Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi reprise their roles as bickering couple Freddie and Stuart in an extended special which covers an entire year in their lives, as well as those of family and friends, including Frances de la Tour's Violet and Iwan Rheon's Ash. Expect tears and laughter when this heart-warming sitcom, with its air of old-school charm, pops up on screens.

We will be open on Sundays 11-3 and Wednesdays til 8 throughout December

Maigret's Dead Man, ITV

36 Church St Hereford 01432 344185

Christmas isn't Christmas without a classic whodunnit. Following the success of Maigret Sets A Trap, which aired at Easter, Rowan Atkinson returns as the legendary French

thenewcuriosityshop@gmail.com The New Curiosity Shop thenewcuriosityshop

fictional detective Jules Maigret in the ever so cheerily-titled Dead Man. Settle back and allow yourself to be transported to Fifties Paris, as the pipe-smoking gent sets out to solve another murder mystery.

Doctor Who, BBC One Doctor Who's now staple viewing at Christmas, not least this year, as there's been something of a drought. In this oneoff, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) teams up with an investigative journalist, played by Charity Wakefield, and a comic-book superhero, portrayed by Justin Chatwin, to save New York from a deadly alien threat. Look out for Little Britain's Matt Lucas, who also makes an appearance.

Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph have already hinted there's plenty of slapstick - involving camels - in store!

Call The Midwife, BBC One This Christmas, the nuns of Nonnatus House are swapping East London for the sunnier climes of South Africa, when they set out to help a small mission hospital through a challenging time. Sinead Cusack joins the cast, playing Dr Myra Fitzsimmons, who runs the threatened Hope Clinic, as regular stars, including Jenny Agutter, Linda Bassett, Helen George and Charlotte Ritchie, endeavour to sprinkle a little cheer on their travels to another continent.

Birds Of A Feather, ITV In a feature-length special, Sharon Theodopolopodous, Tracey Stubbs and Dorien Green leave Essex behind to make a beeline for Tangier, on an African adventure that sees them kidnapped, stranded in the desert and bumping into a familiar face. Stars Pauline Quirke,

Estta ablliished S Siince 1947

Cu utt trees

now available

Mo n - Sa t 9 a m - 5 p m Sun 10.30a m - 4.30pm

Telephone: 01495 785237 Te web: www.thesecretgardenwales.com email: info@thesecretgardenwales.co.uk 18 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue

Goose G Goose and and C Cuck koo k oo


We wish you a Merry Christmas

Wish hing all our custtomers a Merry Christm mas and a Happ py y New Year Year

Merry C Christmas Domestic and Com mmercial Installers Accredited for Solar PV and Batteries Energy Saving and Storage solutions Maintenance, imprrovement & repair Local, friendly, praactical and reliable 10 Year Warrantiies as standard

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gonn n a be ttricky c to land a this year ea Rudolph l

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Famous All day Breakfast or Bap Locally sourced Roast Meat Carvery supplied by H.J. Edwards & Son Home-made authentic Italian Pizza and Calzone Wide variety of freshly made Baguettes, Baps and Paninis Breads, Croissants, etc baked on site

Wish all customers a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 8.45am - 4.30pm

3 St Johns Street, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 19


Gazette & Diary Magazine

4 Gadget Gifts for the difficult to buy for

W

HETHER it's an awkward aunt, a tricky teen or a friend who has it all, we round up the best gadget gifts for the people in your life who are difficult to buy for... STARRED UP Star Wars PowerBank 2600MaH, £15, Halfords Chargers are at a premium over the festive period when capturing moments on phones and cameras becomes a national sport. This power bank from Halfords may be the solution to squabbles over who's charging next and when it comes to keeping any gadgets fully charged. All you do is insert the USB into the power bank, connect the device to the other end and then charge away.

Weighing just 118g, the gizmo is designed for recharging on the hoof and is perfect for the person who already has every other device under the sun.

BEATS AHEAD Beats EP, £89.95, uk.beatbydre.com Hard-to-impress teens might be swayed by these Beats By Dre headphones. They sit comfortably over the ear and come with the trademark 'b' on the side. Although audio connoisseurs might be-

moan the finer points of the sound quality, the results are decent for listening to music on phones and streaming services, and for teens hoping to block out any embarrassing anecdotes over the festive period. ON THE BOX Fire TV Stick, £34.99, amazon.co.uk This Fire TV Stick comes loaded with potential, particularly for friends who like a lot of choice. All you do is insert the 'stick' it into the back of the TV and then slump back and enjoy any streaming services you subscribe to (like Amazon Video and Netflix), as well as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Channel 4 and YouTube. There's also a video rental service and an archive of games to play, although some come at an extra cost. LIGHT UP Ginger Snap A4 Cinematic Lightbox, £14.99 (was £29.99), Robert Dyas Versatility is your friend when buying for

a hard-to-please person. After all, if they don't like one aspect of a pressie, they're bound to like another. This cinematic lightbox from Robert Dyas is a winner on that front. USB powered, the box comes with 120 numbers, letters and blank tiles for the recipient to use to make their own messages. It can also be mounted to the wall. And if you prefer to break free of USB cables, six AA batteries inserted in the back will keep it running.

NEW LOOK BEAUTY CARE New In • • • • •

Vinylux - Polish - Dry in 8 mins Physique Ultima Fuse and Body Treatment Individual eyelash extensions Shellac Nails GIFT VOUCHERS Manicures, Pedicures, Waxing AVAILABLE and many more treatments available • Sunbeds • Secret of the Stars Slimming tablets • Wedding Makeup • Celebrity Spray Tan • Nail Art

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20 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue

Air Rifles, Archery, Air Pistols

Air Cylinder Charging While You Wait and Much Much More www.bromsport ts.co.uk k email info@bromsports.co.uk


Farming

The Risk of Under-Insurance T

RYING to find the right insurance cover for your business can be time consuming, confusing and stressful. And at times like these, when farm incomes are under pressure and with Christmas approaching, it's tempting to try and find the cheapest deal, or cut costs by reducing your insurance premiums. In the event of a claim, however, this may well turn out to be a false economy. You may be considering revising the sums insured on Buildings, Livestock, Machinery and Deadstock under your policy on the basis that you’ll never experience a loss of all these assets at the same time. All insurance policies covering such items are subject to a condition known as ‘Average’, which sounds innocent enough, but, when applied to a claim, it can have a devastating effect on the settlement you hope to receive. For example, you want to review insurance on one of your buildings: All insurance premiums are calculated on the basis that property is insured for its full value, and an agricultural building should be insured for its rebuilding value – in this case we’ll assume £50,000. But to reduce the premium, the owner only insures the property for £25,000, 50% of its true value. In the event of a total loss, the maximum that could be paid would be the sum insured. However, if the building is repairable at a cost of just £20,000, the insurers would only be liable for 50% of that bill, so would settle at £10,000, leav-

ing the policyholder £10,000 out of pocket in the event of a claim and no doubt very unhappy. Insurers do realise that the value at risk of Livestock, Deadstock and Agricultural Produce will vary throughout the year, so they allow some leeway by applying a special condition of ‘Average’. Providing the sum insured is within 75% of the true value, Average will not be applied, but in the event of a claim, you may well be asked to provide evidence that the sum insured has been set correctly. With regard to vehicles, most farm motor insurance policies cover trailers and implements whether attached or detached. While Average does not apply to motor insurance policies, you should still check that the stated values of your tractors and other agricultural vehicles represent the true market value of each item, and that the limit set for trailers and implements is adequate. Other farm machinery, including portable equipment and hand tools, should be insured for its full replacement value, and claims will be subject to Average. Therefore, when your insurance policies come up for renewal, make a point of checking with your broker that the sums insured are adequate. And if you own a smallholding, while the perception of insurance risk may not seem as significant as that of owning a large commercial farm, the actual impact of damage to your only building, quad bike,

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PERSONAL • COMMERCIAL • AGRICULLTTURAL cottage industry, or loss of prized ‘rare’ breeds, may be just as considerable. Sadly, people only discover their cover is inadequate after a claim. It’s particularly important for smallholders to consider that their domestic household insurance is unlikely to cover any of the additional risks smallholding brings. Cattle, sheep, goats and other more exotic animals, are not considered domestic animals so won’t be protected under a household policy. By enlisting the help of a specialist agricultural insurance broker like FUW Insurance Services, you can be assured that whatever your individual circumstances

Wood treatment is a hot topic, and one local, family run company is telling you about their procedures of effectively treating and selling timber for fencing. Woodland Services, based on Hereford Road, Abergavenny, has been trading for over 50 years with the current owners entering their fourth year in the business and are ensuring the quality continues. They specialise in providing quality, locally sourced and appropriately treated wood for both agricultural and domestic use, and pride themselves on their endeavour to bring their treatment process as up to date as possible with a lot of money invested into their programme for machinery and tools. Tracey O’Leary from Woodland Services said, “Before we treat our timber in house in our fully upgraded, computerised treatment plant we ensure that the wood is dried to 28% or less moisture content. It is then pressure treated soil or fresh water contact using Koppers Celcure AC500 – giving it a 15

and set-up, the best cover and premium is found for your requirements. As one of the largest insurance brokers in Wales, FUW Insurance Services has access to a wide range of insurance partners, and can devise a personalised policy for you and your business that provides complete peace of mind. FUW Insurance Services has a local office in Abergavenny with expert advisors that can support you and discuss your business or personal insurance needs, current policies, and any concerns about you may have. Don’t take unnecessary risks or leave your insurance requirements to chance. Call 01873 859833.

year life. This whole process is computer linked and closely monitored by our treatment suppliers Koppers who support the projected 15 year life of the product. “Even though certain chemicals have been removed from the treatment solution by EU legislation in the past, this means that it is very important that the wood is dried to 28% or less moisture content then the penetration and the treatment will be as effective as it was prior to the change, and here at Woodland Services we ensure this procedure is adhered to.” Tracey has spoken about her experience with peoples concerned about the treatment of wood, and wants to let the people of the local area know that at Woodland Services they can get properly treated wood from them for a great price. A high percentage of our business is repeat business which makes it even more important that we maintain the quality of our treatment process. Tracey said, “I go to market on

Wednesdays and I hear a lot of peoples concerns about timber treatment, so we wanted to show that we have put a lot of time, money and expertise into our treatment programme and assure people that our service is safe and effective.” They also put a lot of emphasis on locally sourcing their timber that they prepare and treat, to go back to the local community. Tracey said, “When dealing with natural resources, it is important to stay as local as you can, and by using local businesses in our supply chain it benefits the whole community.”

So to find out more about their work, contact Woodland Services (Abergavenny) Ltd on 01873 855431 or email Tracey on tracey@woodland-sa.co.uk.

SSp pe eak to yyou o r local a in tth he

December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 21


Gazette & Diary Magazine

Keeping sickness at bay Our NEW Christmas Menu

S

NIFFLE season is almost upon us and if you're convinced some people seem to suffer more than others, it could be that they have a trick or two up their sleeve... OK, so there's no such this as being TOTALLY immune to all illness. But nobody can deny that some people fare better when it comes to the dreaded winter lurgy than others. Admittedly, our immune systems are all built differently and other factors can come into play (not least the type and amount of bacteria and viruses we're exposed to), but there's also a lot people do to help keep those bug-fighting mechanisms in good working order. Prioritise sleep Treat yourself to an early night - studies have shown that plenty of sleep helps the immune system to function, while a lack of shut-eye can weaken it. Manage stress High stress levels can weaken the immune system. So chill out! Get outdoors Cooped up in an office full of germs all day? Tear yourself away from the computer and step outside for some fresh air. Eat berries Berries are a great source of vitamin C,

a key cold-busting nutrient. Note to self: blueberry muffins probably don't count. Drink water H2O is awash, if you pardon the pun, with health benefits - and not just when it comes to hangovers. It also helps flush out bad bacteria and can prevent dehydration, constipation and kidney stones. Munch some (proper) chocolate It could help you fend off illness, because it contains immune-boosting cocoa (the proper dark stuff, that is; not the sugarloaded milk and white choccy treats). So what better excuse for a big slab of it? Get steamy An oldie but a goodie. Hover over a steaming bowl of water with a towel on top of your head to clear the sinuses. Try ginger Ginger can sooth sore throats, reduce fever, and aid circulation. What's not to love? Laugh! Having a good chuckle will get your heart beating and also helps reduce stress levels. So book those comedy tickets, or switch on your favourite sitcom, now. Get a massage Along with relieving stress, a study found that participants who had a 45minute massage had an increased number of disease-defending white blood cells.

O

UR chefs have created a delicious range of seasonal meals to get you feeling festive. They’ve put together a Christmas Selection Pack that includes a great range of tasty meals such as Coq Au Vin as well as some delicious desserts such as Chocolate Orange Cream Ice Cream and Mulled Fruit Crumble.

FREE CHRISTMAS TOWEL WITH EVERY CHRISTMAS SELECTION PACK

W

ITH 7 tasty main meals and 5 delicious desserts, the Christmas Selection pack is a great way to try some exciting new meals for just £37.95. You’ll also receive, a FREE Christmas Tea Towel worth £3.95 with every pack ordered. All the meals featured in the menu pack are also available individually, so you can order what suits you best. To find out when we’re in your area or to place your order today, call 01600 892855. We look forward to helping you enjoy a taste of Christmas.

Th his Christmas h as wh hy y not let us do the dinner? Try our Christma as Selection Pack for onlly £37.95

Discover our festive delights delivered straight to your d door

7 Main Courses with h vegetables

It’s everyone’s favourite mea al of the year, but it’s certainly y a lot of work. This year, why not let Wiltshirre Farm Foods take care of the e cooking while you put your feet up and enjo oy the day?

• Honey Roast Turkey Breast • Gammon in Cranberry & Orange Sau uce • Roast Pork with Cranberry Stuffing • Turk u ey Hotpot • Coq Au Vin • Beef with Roast Potattoes & Yorkshire Pudding • Braised Beef in Rich Sauce

5 Desserts

• Luxury Christmas Pud dding • Sherry Trifle Trifle • Chocolate Orange Ice e Cream • Lemon Sponge p g • Mulled Fruit Crumble

FREE

*

CHRISTMAS TEA TOWEL worth £3.95

We’ve got all the Christmas classics c on the menu from Roa ast Turkey, Chicken, Beef and of course Christmass Pudding. Pudding Plus some deliciouss new meals, meals including Coq au Vin and Cho ocolate Orange Ice Cream! It’ss your Christmas after all, so let us make it enjo oyable and delicious. We’ll deliver your tasty dinner direct to your freezer. When you’re ready to eat, simply pop your meal in the t microwave or oven and enjo njoy. Ask for your FREE brochure to oday, and order over the phone ne or online. There’s no better time of yearr to discover Wiltshire Farm Fo oods. To order your Christmas mas S Selection Pack call

Available to order from 12/10/16 to 31/12/16

* W it h e v e r y C h r i s t m a s s e l e c t i o n p a c k , w h i l e s t o c k s l a s t .

22 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue

01600 892855 8

where you can also order your FREE brochure

wiltshirefarmfoods.com


Golden Years

MONMOUTHSHIRE & POWYS

C

SAY IT WITH DIAMONDS

HRISTMAS should be a joyous time. However, for those who have an elderly or disabled friend or relative the festive season often brings stress and guilt rather than enjoyment. The obligation to ensure that that person is adequately supported over the Christmas period in addition to looking after one’s own family can take much of the joy out of Christmas, leaving people tired, frazzled and short tempered. Our Home Assist Service aims to provide support for the elderly and less able in a friendly, caring and professional manner. All of our workers are thoroughly vetted and are chosen primarily for their personality, ethos and attitude. There is plenty of time allowed between appointments, so it is never necessary for visits to be cut short in order for the worker to be on time for their next client. We are client driven and our service is delivered in a friendly and professional manner which suits the client rather than the company. Our aim is for the client and the worker to build and develop a relationship; therefore we do not send a succession of

different workers to our clients. We feel that trust can only be achieved through the consistency of having the same worker visit each week, month or fortnight. We recognise that admitting that you need help can sometimes be difficult; thus we aim to make the experience as friendly and personal as possible. We visit all potential clients in their own homes so that we can talk them through the service, explain how things work and answer any questions which may arise. We actively encourage relatives to be present at the time of the initial visit. We also appreciate that everyone has the right to consider the pros and cons of our service before making a commitment and are therefore happy to visit more than once should that be necessary. We guarantee ongoing support and are always available to discuss any problems, issues or concerns which may arise. We will resolve these in the best way possible.

So, say it with diamonds this Christmas……….Diamond Home Support!

10 Daily Steps for Less Stress 1. MANAGE YOUR TIME 6. ENJOY NATURE & CREATIVITY Flexible little routines lower stress by increasing daily predictability. Create short lists for today and not beyond the weekend.

2. PREPARE FOR THE DAY Take 10 minutes each evening to prepare for the next day. Pick out clothing, set out shoes, and put items you need in one place.

3. ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS

Spending time outdoors is a natural antidepressant. Natural scents and sights have a calming effect also take time to enjoy art, music and dance.

Home Assist Service

The Home Help is Back! Helping you to remain independent We offer the following services: Escorting to appointments and social activities Cleaning, gardening, ironing and laundry Light meal preparation Bed making/changing Respite sitting service Medication reminders Companionship Shopping Please note we do not offer personal care

01873 859 289 or 07581 747 328 heidi@diamondhomesupport.com

RELAX IN COMFORT THIS WINTER

7. BREATHE DEEPLY Take 5 minutes to breathe slowly and deeply when you feel anxious. Slow breaths reduce stress hormones in the body and lowers heart rate and blood pressure.

8. MEDITATE DAILY

Slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in. Focus on the details of your Meditation is about finding inner everyday activities. peace, you don’t actually have to meditate. You can find simple ways to clear your mind like taking a bath or listening to soft music Regular exercise reduces stress and improves health. A 10 minute walk can be as beneficial as a 45 minute workout to relieve anxiety. Journaling promotes reflection and organization of thoughts. Journal positive situations, achievements, and the little things. Laughter… Releases endorphins that improve mood and immune health. It lowers levels of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine, and also im- Go to bed earlier and get more sleep. proves management of physical pain.

4. MOVE OFTEN

9. KEEP A JOY JOURNAL

5. LAUGH OFTEN

10. SLEEP WELL !

(Visualistan-website)

December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 23


Chargin g ng g Your Carr

At Brid dges Centre,

Mo onmouth h

Now Available Monmouthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first public co ommunity car c ch harging g point

2 hour 20kW fast charge h for 1 To oken Bring your own cable - 7 pin type e 2 socket ocket OR 5 pin type 1 cable available to borrow fro om reception

Tokens ÂŁ10 each h

.

Tokens from Bridges Centre reception, Mon - Fri (9am - 5pm)

Or as a mail order from Gwent Enerrgy CIC Please e-mail us at phil.powell@gwentenerrgycic.org

More coming in Monmoutthshire Contact us if you have a car park suitable for 1 hour h charging

Call us today on 07943 291229 2 www.gwentenergycic.org In partnership with www.electrician-abergavenny.uk 24 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue


Gazette Motoring

WHEELS & DEALS 5Ways to prepare your car for winter Electric cars are coming

S

EVERAL European countries have announced dates to phase out fossil fuel powered cars and this means that eventually all cars will be electric. At present 76,000 or 2% of UK cars are electric and this will grow rapidly as the range extends whilst the price drops. Second hand Nissan leafs are available now from about £6,000. Electric vehicles come in 2 main types; All electric where the range as gone from about 50 miles to 130 miles between charges, and hybrid fossil fuel assisted where a petrol engine extends the range to at least 300 miles. But what isn’t being kept up is the number of public recharging stations. Whilst everyone can charge up at home (for about a quarter of the price of petrol for

similar mileage), car charging points in places with town and pub car parks are few and far between - but could be extremely beneficial. Gwent Energy CIC is offering car chargers to businesses and community centers in Monmouthshire. The first was at Bridges center at Drybridge House, Monmouth, which is now installed and ready for public use. Tokens available from reception and us for £10 each (or £5 for the next 3 weeks), giving up to 40kWh charges in 2 hours if your car can accept it. Pubs, hotels and anywhere there is a car park near a main road is suitable. This will generate extra business for you as people will buy refreshments or a meal while their car is recharges. The future is coming, be a part of it.

1. Fit winter tyres When temperatures fall below seven degrees, winter tyres provide more grip than normal rubber, and their performance in snowy and wet conditions is vastly superior. In fact, they can make such a difference that countries including Germany and Austria have made them compulsory during the winter months. Beware, though, that you'll need to keep your summer tyres for when the weather improves, because above seven degrees, winter rubber becomes less effective. Rather than changing the tyres themselves, it's often easiest to put winter tyres on some cheap steel wheels and simply run the car on those between December and April before swapping back to your nice, shiny alloys. 2. Carry blankets and warm clothing Getting stuck by the side of the road due to a breakdown or an accident is never a pleasant experience, but it's far worse in the depths of winter. It's important, therefore, that you carry some blankets and warm clothing to keep your body temperature up if you get stuck. 3. Snow chains Snow chains are rarely useful in the UK, but if you plan to take your car abroad, you'll find they're often a legal requirement. Don't use them unless you absolutely have to, though,

because they tear up roads and offer far less grip than winter tyres unless there's snow under the wheels. It's also worth noting that some modern cars can't accommodate 4. Top up vital fluids Winter's salty roads and inclement weather mean you're likely to use far more windscreen washer fluid than normal, so make sure you've got plenty in the bottle. In the summer, you can use more water than washer fluid, but the fluid should be less dilute in winter because the fluid has an anti-freezing agent in it. It's also worth checking all the car's other vital fluids, such as oil and coolant - you don't want to break down if you can possibly avoid it.

5. Check your lights With days getting shorter, now is a good time to make sure your lights are working. Switch the headlights on and walk around the car checking each bulb in turn, then ensure that the indicators are working and use a reflective surface such as a window or garage door to make sure the brake lights work. Many people forget that lights are not just for seeing with - it's important that you can be seen easily by other road users. If the weather turns snowy, rainy or foggy, turn your lights on to make sure everyone else knows you're there.

Seasons Greetings Peace of mind for the Winter

GET READY FOR WINTER GET THE FOLLOWING CHECKED HERE:

• Tyres • Battery condition • Coolant level checks

Paul, Sally and all staff would like to wish all our customers a

Ve r y M e r r y C h r i s t m a s a n d a H a p p y N e w Ye a r

BG L ANDROVERS

Servicing - Repairs - Diagnostics carried out on most makes and models

I n d ep en d e n t sp ec i al i st

Hillcrest Works, Crockers Ash, Whitchurch, Ross - On - Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 6DW, 01600 891201 (sales) 01600 891202 (parts) Mobile 07860 843419 www.bg4x4.co.uk bglandrovers@aol.com We are located near Whitchurch just off the main A40 between Ross & Monmouth

1460715

December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 25


Legal and Finance

ANNUITY RATES SEE SOME IMPROVEMENT

A

NNUITY rates - which give people a fixed income when they retire - are back on the increase after a tough year, according to website Moneyfacts.co.uk. Moneyfacts says gilt yields, which affect annuities, have recently recovered, giving annuity providers more

room to manoeuvre when setting their annuity pricing. Richard Eagling, head of pensions at Moneyfacts, says it will be interesting to see whether these latest annuity income rises are enough to convince people to take up annuities in order to fix their incomes for life.

NO MORE LEGAL AID? Competitive Fixed Free Packages are now available for all family work at Gartsides.

Call us on 01873 857555 www.gartsides.com Also with offices in Newport (01633 213411) and Ebbw Vale (01495 302109)

Winter Energy Savings P

✦ ACCOUNTANCY ✦ AUDIT ✦ TAX ADVICE FOR NEW BUSINESSES

cause they mistakenly believe they're on the cheapest tariff. Even if you have switched recently, it may be worth checking whether your old energy supplier still owes you some cash if you were in credit when you switched. Consumer help website MoneySavingExpert.com has a reclaiming guide on its website that can help with this. If you can stand to be a bit chillier, it may also be worth bearing in mind that lowering your thermostat by just 1C can potentially add up to savings of £80 to £85 per year. You can also save by preparing your home for the winter months. More than three quarters of people (77%) having experienced a seasonal problem in their home previously, according to research from E.ON Energy. The typical bill for emergency callouts comes to £114. Yet many of us seem to push previous memories of burst pipes and faulty heating aside - as more than half (58%) of us don't prepare for winter. Some people may be entitled to free help with saving energy, thanks to the many schemes available.

German Shepherd. Bailey was born with a hip problem which means that wear and tear arthritis develops faster in her joints. Bailey's owner Gemma, makes some adjustments in the winter such as making sure her bedding is very deep and not in a draft, occasional acupuncture sessions and giving her a coat to wear on bitterly cold days. As you can see she has quite a thick coat so she has better insulation than most! Gemma takes particular care to not let Bailey become overweight and to restrict her exercise to a level that keeps Bailey fit and satisfied, but not so much that it causes excessive strain on her already diseased joints. Bailey relies on low levels of arthritis medication and joint supplements like omega 3, but Gemma is always thinking

how she can help in other ways. Bailey is thriving on her care plan, and with some thought it is possible to design a plan to make all arthritic animals feel better and live life to the full!

UT some energy into saving on your fuel bills this winter. The clocks have gone back and the days are getting colder, so if you're worried about a chill on your finances this winter, now's the time to do something about it. Firstly, you're likely to be reaching to turn on the heating as temperatures fall, but when was the last time you switched energy deals? Even if the last time you switched was only last winter, now might be a good time to switch again, as many people are only on a one-year fix. A recent survey conducted to mark Big Energy Saving Week suggested millions of households are paying more for their energy than they need to, be-

Dorrell Oliver Ltd chartered accountants

Linden House, Monk Street, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 5NF Tel: 01873 852113 Fax: 01873 858523 www.dorrells.co.uk

Pets Corner

Wyndee Kennels Individual Care~Attention Guaranteed Open 9am-6pm Newbury, Abergavenny, Blaenavon 01495 790571

T

HE winter nights are drawing in! And alongside them any aches and pains your pet might have could get worse. Cats and dogs suffer from arthritis more than most owners think. It's very difficult to be sure how many elderly animals struggle, but some studies think it might be 60% of our furry friends that have at least one sore joint! One of our patients that struggles a bit in the winter months is Bailey, who is a

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24 hour Onsite Nursing Care 24hr Onsite Nursing Grooming Room nowCare open Appointments - Fri) 0900 0900 -- 1230 1230 (Sat) (Sat) Appointments0900 0900- -1830hrs 1830hrs(Mon (Mon-Fri) ● www.abbeyvets.co.uk 01873852391 852391 www.abbeyvets.co.uk • Tel: Tel 01873 26 December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue


We wish you a Merry Christmas

Three French Towns "T

HOSE Romans must have done an awful lot marching around here when they occupied Gaul," I remarked as we drove arrow like along one of the many straight and almost empty roads we had encountered on our holiday travels around Normandy and Brittany. Not all like the rolling English drunkard who built the rolling English Road according to the poet G.K.Chesterton although, of course, we got our fair share of Roman routes. My wife Jenny and I were heading west from the riverside town of Mayenne to visit the first of what have to be three of the most picturesque and historic towns in the region namely Vitre, Fourgers and Dinan. From the busy town of Ernee, where a field of giant modern sculptures greets the unsuspecting traveller, we headed south west to Vitre. Alternatively we could have kept straight on to Fourgers and after an overnight stop, made for Dinan around an hour's pleasant drive away close to the Brittany coast. The most striking feature about these towns is that they occupy high ground with lovely views and were therefore most attractive to the Normans and their descendents who built massive fortifications there especially for our enjoyment, although, of course, they did not realise that at the time. After a thirty minute drive from Ernee, we got our first glimpses of Vitre perched on a hilltop and were soon winding our way up through a maze of streets guided by those ever faithful signs for 'Centre Ville." The small central square has a reasonably sized car park on the far side of which is

a cafe and restaurant ideal for coffee or lunch depending on the time of arrival. Just a few steps down the hill on the right is the beginning of a magnificent walk around a steep sloping section of the city walls, which towered above us as we descended the wide path with grand views. Reaching the bottom, a climb up through medieval streets with many half timbered buildings, while trending to the left suddenly brought us out into a huge paved square dominated by the fairytale towers of one of Brittany's most magnificent fortresses. It was easy to imagine a cavalcade of knights in full armour thundering out across the drawbridge, their brightly coloured pennants fluttering in the wind. The triangular shaped castle was built in the eleventh century for the defence of what was then a strategic frontier town bordering the provinces of Normandy, Maine and Anjou. Once inside there is a small surprise in store because the fortress is also the town's Hotel du Ville or council house, most often known as The Mairie where Monsieur le Mayor, the most powerful person in any town, holds court. Couples wedding in France always go to The Maire for the civil ceremony so brides and grooms rocking up at this magnificent pile must feel particularly blessed. Up until quite recently every town and village in

the region had its Mairie but many have closed as part of a rationalisation programme leaving local communities bereft a bit like when we lose a village post office. What I especially liked about this medieval fortress was that having paid the entrance fee, visitors are given a code which opens a door at the base of one of the towers allowing a sort of a DIY tour, though furnished rooms and out along open battlements and into further towers While Vitre is a delight to visit, the nearby town of Fougeres, the capital of the Bretan Marchlands with its mighty ruined castle, is on a far grander scale. Again we followed those trusty signs for 'Centre Ville' and having driven past the entrance to the walled city, we soon came upon a vast car park on lower ground to our left. We had made an early start out from Mayenne so it was just after 10am on a gloriously sunny morning when we were ready to go walkabout. We took the path which follows the base of the city walls with parkland and a river below it and eventually emerged at the castle entrance. Close by were several cafes and bars so we enjoyed a coffee and croissant in the sunshine before doing battle with the vast array of thirteen towers, massive stone walls and other architectural remains which make up this mighty fortress. Dating back a thousand years, it was the cornerstone of Brittany's defences in the Middle Ages.

But of more personal interest to us was the maze of streets and lovely old buildings, once populated by craftsmen and artisans, that cluster below the castle walls together with a winding river which after flowing through gardens and around the moat, meanders away from the town. We also enjoyed wandering around the upper town which, dominated by the belfry and the church of Sainte Leonards, has a selection of cafes, bars and restaurants and shops together with many fine buildings. Following the signs for 'Centre Ville' is not a sensible option for visitors arriving in Dinan unless you have booked accommodation but there is a good car park on the left of the access roundabout. Dinan with its 1.8 miles of walkable ramparts affording stunning views, half timbered houses and cobbled streets filled with art galleries and craft shops, is one of the most attractive and best preserved small towns in Brittany. Below, its small mediaeval port with its 15th century bridge, ancient quay, old stone houses and riverside restaurants is linked to St Malo by the picturesque River Rance.

Fact file

Look up market days to add to the enjoyment We have been sailing from Portsmouth to Caen for some years and have always enjoyed an excellent service on Brittany Ferries' large and comfortable ships Normandy and Mont St Michel. The company offer a comprehensive programme of return sailings to Northern France from Portsmouth, Plymouth and Poole throughout the year. For further information on ferry travel, Brittany Ferries package holidays or to book a trip, please go to brittanyferries.com or call 0330 159 7000.

Call the professionals

&

Hand Carved Memorials • Granite Worktops • Additional Inscriptions • Vanity Tops • Renovations & Cleaning • Shower Cladding • House Names • Fireplaces

Tarmacadam & Asphalt Specialist (Est 40yrs)

Family Run Firm

Wishing all our customers a very Merry Christmas Rose Cottage, Lydney Road, Bream, Glos, GL15 6EW Allaston Grove Saw Mills, Allaston Road, Lydney, Glos, GL15 4EX

IUI

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Harries Plumbing

No job too small 01873 812 686 or 07880 877 090

Dave@harriesplumbing.co.uk

LINDA J. GARRAT REGISTERED OSTEOPATH T

H

1

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All electrical work undertaken, free quo otations

Emergency call out service available

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GOVILON GARAGE Motorcycle and Car MoT Servicing and Repair Merry Christmas to all my customers!

BROOKS PLACE 56 UNION ROAD ABERGAVENNY NP

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Church Lane, Govilon, Monmouthshire NP7 9RP Telephone Abergavenny 01873 831696

Unit 32, Lakeside Business Park, Pond Road, Nantyglo, Blaenau, Gwent, NP23 4BL

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Approved electrical contracttors

KNOWLEDGE IS KING

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December/January 2016 - The Christmas Issue 27


Page 1 december 2016  

December issue of the Gazette and Diary monthly magazine 2016. Produced by the Abergavenny Chronicle.

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