DEC 2020 - JAN 2021 | thejerseylife.co.uk
In Heal and Hope...
M ERRY CHR IS TM AS A ND A H APPY & H E ALT H Y NEW YEAR home | beauty | food and drink | motoring | the arts | fashion | travel | property | business | health | garden | antiques
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Publisher Fish Media Ltd Jersey JE1 1FX Email: email@example.com NEW WEBSITE Visit: www.thejerseylife.co.uk Editor Juanita Shield-Laignel Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Travel Writer Rebecca Underwood email@example.com Photography Simon Finch firstname.lastname@example.org Production Sarah Le Marquand Sales Manager Juanita Shield-Laignel email@example.com Director Jamie Fisher Contributors Stephen Cohu Rebecca Underwood Mark Shields Lorraine Pannetier Katya Pastorini Paul Darroch Front Cover La Hougue Bie by Neil Mahrer
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Welcome to this extraordinary December/January issue… At the beginning of 2018 I wrote in my Welcome letter “And here we are again standing on the precipice of time, looking deep into the void of the unknown” – that has never been more relevant than it is now! As we are leaving 2020 behind and wondering what on earth 2021 is going to throw at us, many are pinning the salvation of mankind on the Covid19 vaccine. Still there are others that believe the circumstances we now find ourselves in signify the damnation of mankind and this is most certainly the end of the world as we know it. Whatever your belief, we are all likely to be in for a bumpy ride for the next few months at least, and need to hold on to our humanity for dear life. Talking of beliefs – our lovely Herb Whisperer, Sally Roberts is this month talking about the ancient practices of Christmas, steeped in Winter Solstice traditions, and brining a little spice to our lives on page 24. Following on from that, I share with you my unusual memories of Christmases past, my reality of Christmas present and intentions for Christmases future. Working from home has been thrust upon as again so I am examining ways in which we can make this a pleasure rather than a task on page 18. Lorraine Pannetier, Intuitive Copywriter and Content Creator, shares with us her wonderful ideas of how to leave 2020 behind and embrace 2021 with a positive and open mind-set.
And Mark Shields continues with this on page 26. Mark Baker also offers some words of wisdom, continuing his very helpful series on resilience – something we could all do with more of at the moment. Looking after our health and wellbeing has never been more prevalent, so for some additional help I interviewed Jamie Fisher of ‘Motivation Health’ – read the Q&A on page 8… ideal help for New Year’s resolutions! Christmas is of course a traditional time for giving and sharing but Tasha Cormack of Journey To Zero Waste and Crisp Packet Project fame (don’t try and say that after a few sherries), has been working on an eco-conscious charity project that will keep on giving throughout the year – see how you can join in on page 54. So lovely people, it’s time to galvanise all the strength we have, enjoy precious family time over the festive season and step firmly into 2021 with hope. Wishing you a happy, healthy, joyful Christmas and New Year, filled with light and love…
Juanita x If you have an interesting story to share or would like your business reviewed, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you.
December 2020 January 2021
3 WELCOME and The Jersey Life contact information
8 MOTIVATE HEALTH We catch up with Personal Health Coach Jamie Fisher
HEALTH AND WELLBEING 10 WAYS TO CREATE YOUR OWN HOME GYM Home exercises boom because of Covid restrictions
12 HOW TO AVOID MINDLESS SNACKING Moderation is key when working from home
16 STRANGE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO YOUR BODY DURING EXERCISE Luke Rix-Standing rounds up some of the less discussed side effects of working out...
18 WORKING FROM HOME By Juanita Shield-Laignel
22 CREATE A BRIGHTER YEAR AHEAD By Lorraine Pannetier
24 DECEMBER WITH THE HERB WHISPERER By Sally Roberts
26 NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS Mark Shields Explains...
28 WRITING TO HEAL By Sally Edmonson 4 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
HEALTH AND WELLBEING 30 THE POWER OF THE SELFFULFILLING PROPHECY By Mark Baker
58 BODY-BOOSTING EXERCISES You can do whilst cooking dinner
COMMUNITY 34 THE ‘GHOST ‘ OF ST BRELADES BAY By Mary Scott
36 CALL OF THE SIREN: SEA SWIMMING BY Katya Pastorini Petty
38 TRAVELLING THROUGH COVID Part 4 by Philippa Alexandre
54 MANY HAPPY RETURNS By Tasha Cormack
CHRISTMAS 40 UNCONVENTIONAL CHRISTMASES By Juanita Shield Laignel
44 CHRISTMAS TREE THEMES Spruce up your festival styling this year
BOOK REVIEW 32 GRUMPY GORILLA AND HAPPY HIPPO By Scott Harrison
HOME AND GARDEN 50 SNUG UP YOUR HOME Before the chill sets in
52 SCANDI STYLE THIS WINTER Sophisticated décor
56 FESTIVE HOUSE PLANTS Add baubles, lights etc...
60 MAKE THE MOST OF A SPARE ROOM The possibilities are endless
64 WORKING SMARTER, NOT HARDER Time management tips
FOOD AND DRINK 68 HEALTHY RECIPES For your New Year’s resolution
TRAVEL 70 HERACKLION by Rebecca Underwood
MOTORING 72 BENTLEY FLYING SPUR The latest set of wheels taken for a spin 6 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
PRE-BOOK YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTION NOW! YOUR OWN PERSONAL HEALTH COACH FITNESS PLANS MEAL PLANS WEEKLY CHALLENGES VIDEO FOOTAGE OF EXERCISES CONSULTATION FITNESS APP 24/7 SUPPORT DIET RECOMMENDATIONS & CONTROL
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Q&A WITH PERSONAL HEALTH COACH JAMIE FISHER BY JUANITA SHIELD-LAIGNEL I SAW YOUR MOTIVATE HEALTH ADVERT IN THE NOVEMBER ISSUE OF THE JERSEY LIFE MAGAZINE - I'M INTRIGUED - TELL ME, WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? Motivate Health is all about turning your life around and creating a better healthy lifestyle. This includes a balanced diet, daily exercises and keeping well hydrated. WHY DO PEOPLE NEED A HEALTH COACH? A Personal Health coach will set you plans, keep you motivated and get you on track to a healthier lifestyle which in turn leads to a better wellbeing and a happier you... YOUR ADVERT SAID ‘GET FIT IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS’ - IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? Yes, this is very achievable. My clients see changes and greater positivity in a few short weeks and sometimes even within just a few days. It is all about sticking to the plans and keeping focused and if you can do that the results are really quite extraordinary. HOW DID YOU GET INTO MOTIVATIONAL HEALTH COACHING? I GUESS I'M ASKING DO YOU PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH? I was a keen athlete from a young age, competing in both track and field as well as cross country and playing local rugby. I have always been into my fitness. Competing in many sports and being active has meant that nutrition has always been a large part of my life. I am a big ‘foodie’ and like to indulge at times, which is fine providing that each meal is the correct portion size and contains the right nutrients. Having studied nutrition and hydration, I enjoy writing food plans. Motivating healthy eating and lifestyle changes for clients is a great passion of mine. These can include aiding in weight loss, body definition and mental health. I exercise daily and compete in local events such as Half Marathons, Road Races and Duathlons. WHAT'S YOUR USP - WHAT DO YOU OFFER THAT OTHER COACHES DON'T? We offer a bespoke service that can be tailored to each individual, no matter how busy their lifestyle!
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We also have an app which is available, each client receives a tutorial video of each exercise, 24/7 support, daily and weekly schedules and daily motivation. You don’t have to set foot in a gym - this can be a big threat for lots of client as they may not have the confidence, feel out of their comfort zone and perhaps be worried about how all the equipment and machines work. This can be very stressful and put people off taking the big step towards a healthier lifestyle we take all the stress out and make it much easier to get to grips with and even fun! We cater for all types of physique, size and weight and work to suit your personal goals. We also offer a corporate package for companies who wish to put the wellbeing of their staff at the forefront. SO IF I SIGNED UP ON THE DOTTED LINE AS IT WERE WHAT COULD YOU DO FOR ME? After an initial consultation we would establish what your long term goals are, any health issues or niggling injuries would be taken into account. We would then set a time scale, create a
fitness plan and eating plan. Then the new you begins… which leaves me to ask the question “When would you like to start?" – (we both grinned!) AND FINALLY - WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MOTIVATE HEALTH? To get people HEALTHY, FIT, have a POSITIVE outlook on life and a HEALTHY MIND - which is especially important right now.
If you want to loose weight, tone up or just reset your body. Get in touch with Motivate Health today for a free consultation. Online program also available.
www.motivatehealth.co.uk email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07700 322 344 motivatehealth
DECEMBER ISSUE | 9
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
4 WAYS TO CREATE YOUR OWN HOME GYM As home exercise booms because of Covid restrictions, fitness experts outline what you can do to make a useful exercise area in your house... Home gyms were once the preserve of the wealthy, but since the closure of gyms and leisure centres during the coronavirus pandemic, the popularity of home exercise and the resulting desire for home workout spaces, has really gathered pace. Many people, of course, can’t afford to create a bespoke gym in their home and simply use an exercise mat – or a rug – in a corner. The home exercise space you use can be as small and simple or as large and luxurious as you like or can afford – but ultimately, all you really need is a couple of metres of space and a big dollop of motivation to be able to exercise at home. Personal Health Coach Jamie Fisher who runs Motivate Health www.motivatehealth.co.uk stresses that even if you’ve only got a small space available in your house or garden, there’s nothing you can’t do. “You can do a good workout in a couple of square metres, and you don’t have to spend any money to benefit from the flexibility of working out at home,” he says. “But if you’ve got the space, and some extra money, having a dedicated exercise area or room can be really motivational. It’s similar to having an office at home instead of having to work with your laptop on your knee – you’ve got everything you need to hand, and it can help you to focus on what you’re doing. Plus, there’s the added incentive that if you’ve spent a lot setting up your own home gym, you’re more likely to use it to make sure you’re getting value for money.”
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Mark Reynolds, founder of WeMakeGyms (wemakegyms.com), says since the pandemic struck, the home gym market has boomed, and it’s not just the wealthy who are creating their own home workout spaces.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
“Until the last few years, the home gym was perceived to be something only the rich and famous could afford, but that’s all very much changed since Covid-19 reared its ugly head,” he says. “A home gym can be as elaborate or simple as you like, from jumping up and down in your bedroom in front of your favourite Instagram personal trainer, cornering off a section of your living room with some cardio equipment and weights, to a fullyfunctioning separate room that’s air-conditioned and adorned with the latest fitness technology.” Reynolds says people thinking of creating a home gym should remember what they’ll be saving on family gym memberships or fitness classes over subsequent years. “It can all quickly add up,” he points out, “so the appeal of an at-home gym becomes ever more prevalent.” Your own exercise space can cost what you want or can afford – from a few pounds for a gym mat, around £2,500 for a basic custom-designed set-up with a cardio machine, a few weights, a bench and new flooring, or a £30,000 converted room or garage with all mod cons, says Reynolds. “At home, you determine when you work out, and that can take place at any time of the day or night. A new normal is being created, and what people are starting to see is the pure flexibility and long-term cost-effectiveness of an at-home gym.” 1. USE A ROOM CORNER “You don’t need a lot of room to lay down a yoga mat, which could be the foundation of your workout space, where you can stretch and do core exercises, Pilates or yoga,” says Reynolds. Aside from mat exercises, more vigorous workouts like Hiit (high intensity interval training) may sometimes warrant a little more space, although most exercises can be done on the spot – even jogging. A solid floor to jump around on is useful, although not essential (your carpet, however, may not benefit from repeated jogging on the spot). A skipping rope and resistance bands are great basic (and cheap) exercise tools if you don’t have the space or cash for an exercise machine. In addition, adjustable dumbbells, or a small set on a vertical rack, only require minimal storage. 2. USE A DEDICATED AREA If you have the space to dedicate to a workout area within a larger room, a sliding door will take up less space than a swing door and keep the area separate from the rest of the room. You could also use a portable screen or even curtains to divide the space, Reynolds suggests. To keep workout gear organised, hang some shelves or get a small storage unit. It can sometimes be a problem to store bulky weights, says Reynolds, but careful storage design can solve this issue. If the space is permanent, you may want to change the flooring – consider temporary interlocking rubber mats, or something more durable and permanent, such as rubber flooring in tiles or rolls, which will provide physical and audible cushioning for your workout, and prevent slipperiness from sweat and/or fast movement.
Keep your form in check by making a mirror wall part of your design scheme – it can brighten up the space, and make it feel much larger, says Reynolds. Another option is to hang a punchbag from the ceiling – it can always be unhooked and removed to make more space. Alternatively, buy a floor-standing punchbag. A basic custom-designed set-up including one cardio machine, dumbbells, an adjustable bench and flooring will cost around £2,500-£5,000, says Reynolds. 3. CREATE A FITNESS WALL Wall workouts are popular, especially for tight spaces, because they don’t require bulky equipment. Fitness walls combine tools for strength training, such as resistance bands, body straps, pull-up bars and even foldable squat racks with an integrated adjustable bench. A fitness wall can be as elaborate or simple as you like, explains Reynolds, and can incorporate hooks or bars to attach resistance bands or other suspension training apparatus to, as well as built-in equipment like cable and/or battle rope pulleys. A fitness wall can also support an angled sit-up bench, or beams that can provide support for total body stretches. 4. CONVERT A SPACE Garages, basements and attics can be ideal for converting into a permanent home gym, with the benefit of adding value to your property, says Reynolds. If you’ve got a spacious garden or outbuilding, you could install a standalone gym, which you could combine with a home office space if necessary. Mirrors on the walls will open up and brighten the space, and a wall TV can help cardio time go much more quickly, or connect to an on-demand fitness service. A good sound system to play your favourite tracks as you workout is also useful as a motivational tool. A custom-designed luxury home gym with two or three cardio machines, a squat rack, free weights, cable machine, adjustable bench, combat fitness equipment, a feature wall, custom flooring, audio, visual equipment and air conditioning will cost around £30,000, says Reynolds.
DECEMBER ISSUE | 11
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
HOW TO AVOID MINDLESS SNACKING IF YOU’RE WORKING FROM HOME While we’re all for enjoying the foods you love, moderation is key. Liz Connor asks the experts to share their top tips for mindful eating... Aside from isolation and the lack of structure, diet can be one of the biggest challenges during the pandemic. When you’re spending more time at home, the urge to snack on processed foods out of boredom can easily spiral into an unhealthy habit. “We have become a nation of snackers,” says Rob Hobson, nutritionist for Healthspan (healthspan.co.uk). “Findings from the market research agency Mintel have shown that over two thirds of people snack at least once a day, and that home snacking will become even more pertinent post-pandemic. ” So, how can you avoid the all-day urge to ransack your treat cupboard? Here are some expert-led tips for staying on track.
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TRI BLEND SELECT IS A HIGH PROTEIN AND LOW IN SUGAR WITH INGREDIENTS SOURCED NATURALLY AND ARE PLANT-BASED Enjoy Tri Blend Select at anytime during the day.
Visit www.motivatehealth.co.uk or call 07700 322 344 to place your order today! Email: email@example.com
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
1. KEEP TEMPTING TREATS OUT OF THE HOUSE “This sounds pretty simple, but sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference,” says Hobson. “More of us are working at home as a result of the pandemic, which means temptation lurks at every corner, so if you have the space, try to avoid working in the kitchen. “Make sure you also keep unhealthy snacks out of the kitchen cupboards. If boredom or stress is your reason for snacking, then try getting outdoors or doing a little breathing exercise to distract the mind.” 2. SATIATE YOUR SWEET TOOTH “Late-night snacking is the Achilles heel of many people, and even more so during the winter months, as it gets colder and darker,” adds Hobson. “Boredom can leave people looking for something sweet, and many of us are programmed from childhood to expect these foods after eating. “Try to curb your sweet tooth with herbal teas made with liquorice or mallow, as these are naturally sweet. You could even try a lowcalorie hot chocolate drink.” 3. FILL UP AT MEALTIMES “Make every mouthful count when it comes to how you put your meals together,” says Hobson. “Be sure to include plenty of protein (lean meats, tofu, beans, pulses), fibre (vegetables, wholegrains) and healthy fats (olive oil, oily fish, avocado) on your plate. “Limiting the amount of carbohydrates – especially processed carbohydrate foods – is a good way to keep you feeling full between meals and balance out your blood sugar levels.
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“This is especially beneficial at lunchtime, as many of us are prone to an energy slump, which can have us reaching for pick-me-ups in the form of sugary snacks or drinks.” 4. MINDFULLY SHOP “To reduce the likelihood of mindless snacking at home, try mindful shopping,” says Dr. Aria Campbell Danesh (dr-aria.com), clinical psychologist and author of A Mindful Year (Blackstone Publishing). “Write a shopping list and go straight for the items you need, rather than walking up and down each supermarket aisle. “With fewer snacks in your cupboards, you’re less likely to mindlessly reach for them when you’re feeling bored, stressed or low.”
Visit www.motivatehealth.co.uk or call 07700 322 344 to place your order today! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org motivatehealth
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
5 STRANGE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO YOUR BODY DURING EXERCISE Luke Rix-Standing rounds up some of the less discussed side effects of working out... From profuse sweating to turning redder than a post box, some side effects of exercise are widely known. But when our body engages in strenuous physical activity, it can also react in some other quite bizarre – and less discussed – ways. Of course, if you are worried about how your body is responding to exercise or plan to start a new regime you should always check with your doctor first, and it’s important to always work-out safely. While keeping all this in mind, here are five strange things that can happen to your body during exercise… 1. YOUR EARS POP We’ve heard of ears popping on planes, or even during a particularly wide yawn, but gym bunnies may have noticed that strenuous exercise can have a similar effect. If you are straining to lift a too-heavy weight, for instance – and it’s worse if you hold
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
your innards, hormonal changes and changes in blood flow to the gut may all play a part. What is clear is that food passes more quickly through the digestive tract, leaving it looser and likely to pass more frequently. 5. IT BOOSTS YOUR BRAINPOWER You might feel temporarily sharper, smarter, and better at retaining information after exercise – and there’s evidence you might be quite right about that. A 2014 study by the University of British Columbia, for example, found regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. So there’s no divide between brain and brawn it seems, and one demonstrably helps the other!
your breath, which some people do inadvertently – pressure can build up within your ears and then release in the form of a pop.
Remember, always check with your doctor if you change your exercise routine or experience any exercise-induced symptoms you are concerned about.
To help prevent this happening, and to work out safely, don’t lift too heavy and don’t hold your breath. Always seek professional guidance when weight-lifting for the first time. 2. YOUR LEGS START ITCHING Particularly prevalent if you haven’t hit the gym for some time, having itchy legs doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with your leggings. During a workout, blood-flow to the working muscles increases and blood vessels expand to accommodate that – and this expansion can trigger surrounding nerves, resulting in an itching sensation. Exercising regularly can often reduce the likelihood that you will experience itching, because your body won’t need to adjust so much. But if are worried or you experience other symptoms – like hives, trouble breathing or feeling lightheaded, which could indicate that something else is going on, such as an allergic reaction – stop the workout and contact your doctor. 3. YOU GET A RUNNY NOSE One of the less pleasant side effects of taxing exercise is the mid-run runny nose. This may be down to allergic rhinitis – an inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen, such as pollen or dust. As you breathe deeper and faster during exercise, you pull in increased amounts of air carrying these allergens – cue a runny nose. Another potential cause is non-allergic rhinitis. In this case, the inflammation of the nose can be caused by swollen blood vessels, which block the nasal passages and stimulate the mucus glands. The non-allergic causes of exercise-induced rhinitis are less understood than the allergic ones and are still being researched – but this does not make the situation any less irritating when you need to stop running and find a tissue. 4. RUNNING CAN MAKE YOU NEED THE LOO Yes, running can indeed give you the runs. Most common among long distance running, it tends to come during or immediately after exercise. The cause is not precisely understood, but jostling
DECEMBER ISSUE | 17
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Working from Home… Well here we all are again – working from home. Some of us have been working from home all the way through from April’s lockdown and others of us find this has become our new regime and will not be returning to the office when this is all over…by Juanita Shield-Laignel Opinion seems mixed; some thrive on the freedom to rock up to their home desks in pyjama pants, un-showered and still cramming marmite toast in their mouths, while others really miss the comradery of being in an open office in town where pyjama pants and anything less than highly fragranced shower gel wafting through the hallways is totally unacceptable, although porridge to go at your desk might be. It is safe to say that times have definitely changed for all of us. SITTING PRETTY So I don’t know about you, but thinking this was all temporary way back when hugging in public was the norm, I stuck with what I had, but 9 months later, the only thing I’ve given birth to is a sore back! Sitting either at the dining table on a hard backed chair or
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
in my study at my desk on a leather reading chair, I find neither support me properly and without a 90 minute interval fit-bit reminder to move, I would be in trouble for sure! Anna at Panther has the perfect answer. Anna says “When fitting-out workspaces, whether at home or in a work setting, the office chair is often overlooked which when you look at the facts, a proper chair can be a real investment. With the average office worker, astonishingly, spending the equivalent of five years sat at their desk, it’s no surprise that poor furniture choices contribute to absenteeism and reduced productivity. According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, back and neck problems are the most common causes of office absenteeism with literally millions of days being lost each year as a result. It’s clearly in the best interests of everyone that these work-related problems are avoided. One of the best solutions is to ensure that office workers have a task chair that can be tailored to their individual proportions and needs, and that they’re trained to sit correctly – minimising potential musculoskeletal problems. Scrimping on chairs without considering the positive benefits of well-being at work seems very short-sighted and, in the longer term, can be a costly mistake.
and keeping it working to maximum efficiency it can be possible to feel the benefits throughout the entire house. You may choose from one of the many top quality stoves that we can supply, or if you prefer, you may decide upon sourcing and supplying your own; design your interior with a fireplace or heater to not just warm, but imbue your home with timeless durability, efficiency and of course beauty!”
Panther’s goal is to enhance workspaces with products that not only look great, but add value in every possible way.”
A call to Marcin and the team could warm your cockles and keep the work brain whirring!
Advantages of certified ergonomic office chairs: Reduced stress on the body • Less absenteeism • Increased productivity • Improved morale and wellbeing • Added style
DRESS TO IMPRESS… So as mentioned above my home office is sandwiched between 2 other spaces and therefore windowless but my alternative working space is on our dining table which is in a south facing room and gets flooded with sunlight / full on daylight much of the day. Peering at my screen, screwing up my eyes or drawing the curtains shutting all the day light out are not great options.
I couldn’t agree more – sitting as we do for hours on end, it makes sense to be comfortable and know you are properly supported. What is it they say - ‘Sitting is the new smoking!’ Checking out Panther’s Comfort range could put paid to all the pain… ROASTY TOASTY My home office is stuck right in the middle of the house, between our corridor of a front hallway and a north facing conservatory and is consequently dark and cold. The coolness is great in summer; delightful to work in during the Spring lockdown, but now winter is upon us and as we are urged to work from home again, I find myself wrapped in a shawl or more often than not, when practical, sloping off to the dining table where the heating is more, shall we say, abundant! Marcin at Home Fires Jersey might just have the answer. “In recent years, more and more home owners have become aware of the amazing efficiencies of a Modern, 21st Century Designed Wood Burning Stove. With so many people spending more time at home at the moment, we at Home Fires are a complete ‘Flame to Flue’ service provider. We provide full-service solutions for every aspect of your stove or fireplace, from the hearth and stove to the flue and chimney all under one roof. Rather than contract a second company for additional work, required for your stove or fireplace, contact Home Fires and let us take care of everything you need to ensure a cosy winter. In a cold climate, a wood burning stove can even pay for itself in one winter, provided the home owner knows how to use it efficiently. By choosing the correct stove, positioning it correctly
So Michelle at the Shutter Hut has the answer. “Many of us have discovered the downsides of working from home the hard way. Lounging around or doing our normal daily home tasks doesn’t usually throw up lighting or window dressing issues but working in a normally domestic setting most definitely will. Too light or too dark most rooms are not going to be equipped for optimal working conditions. Here’s where we can help – with shutters or blinds you can gauge your daylight needs more readily and adapt and control to create a perfect work ambience. So dress your windows so you can impress your boss!!!” Our window shutters with adjustable louvers and solid shutters are available only through our status as an accredited shutter specialist dealer in association with Custom West. “Simply Better” shutters have a unique new simple style that will integrate with contemporary or traditional interiors. Our new clean look frame options allow for even inside recess fitting, allowing you to benefit from hidden magnet closure and less light infiltration. continues overleaf... DECEMBER ISSUE | 19
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
REACH FOR A BANANA NOT A BISCUIT! Being at home gives us easy access to the fridge and the food cupboards. With two sons in the house we have a particular cupboard rammed full of biscuits, chocolates, sweets, crisps – you name it, they love as long as it is full of sugar, fat and carbs – not good for them and definitely not good for Mummy’s waistline or health. Luckily I have weaned myself off all of these things over the years (sometimes learning the hard way) but just as an extra precaution I go out of my way to make sure the items they have, I don’t actually like. This makes it so much easier to reach for a banana not a biscuit! With the advent of the first lockdown many business had to innovate not least of which was Lucas Farm Shop at the bottom of La Haule. Proprietor Andrew Lucas says, “Our business has been going for over 40 years and has become part of the fabric of island life for many and we have always strived to provide a really great in-shop service aswell as our online customer service to our longstanding and loyal customers, but then lockdown happened. Fortunately we had already started work on our new website but this catastrophic event made us pull our fingers out even more; suddenly finding ourselves needing to supply our customer base via online ordering and providing an efficient home delivery service really made us focus. With the eventual opening up of everything again we ran the farm shop alongside the online ordering, we have got into a good rhythm and customers seem to like it too so we are now well equipped for anything else this pandemic can throw at us – we wanted to be able to remain providing a really good service. We know how very important it is for everyone to get at least their five a day at the moment – proper nutrition and plenty of all the goodness fruit and veg can give us will keep or vitamin C, magnesium, calcium (yes there is calcium in green leafy veg), B vitamins, iodine and so many other vitamins and trace minerals that the body needs to keep us healthy, well and truly topped-up. We feel enormously privileged and grateful that we can provide fresh fruit and veg to all who need and want it no matter where you are in the island.” Visit it us online at www.lucas.je today! GET MOVING… We all know that proper nutrition and a consistent exercise regime are important at all times but even more if we are tied to our home office, with less opportunity for endless trips to the water or coffee machine, wandering around the office to talk to colleagues, running up a few flights to get an important document signed, marching through town to get to the office on time, we have less
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space to cover popping to the kitchen to flick the kettle on. Zoom puts pay to movement…not many of us could cope with movement when conducting an online meeting. And being so close to the kitchen it could be easy to find our hand dipping into the biscuit jar! So what can we do? Motivation Health could be the way forward. Jamie Fisher of Motivation Health says “I can help get you on track. Sessions with Motivation Health give you one to one coaching, an app to follow, exercise and nutritional regimes that are fun and easy to follow…and I will help you every step of the way so you never feel alone.” Well now – there you have it. All your health and wellbeing needs catered for by Motivation Health. Feel fit and healthy and look good even when sitting at your home desk bashing away at your keyboard.
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR… Getting out into nature each day is so important at all times but even more so right now. No matter what the weather I have to walk my dogs each day which ensures I get out but I find a quick stride across the beach on the way home from school drop off also does me the power off good – it really sets me up for the day, fills my lungs with oxygen (being denied us by mask wearing at the moment) and puts me in a good mood. Gardening (in our own time of course) is also a great way of ensuring we get our hands in the soil, good for our microbiome and great for our mental health – soooo important. Sitting in our homes for hours on end working away might be convenient in many ways but with nowhere to go and no-one to see it might be easy to forget going outside – even if you stand outside your front door and do a few stretches and take a few deep breaths half dozen times a day – you will be doing yourself the power of good. And breathe… IN CONCLUSION So I began this article in light-hearted and tongue in cheek way (God only knows we need some of that right now), but seriously, the more we can get into good habits, good routines, maintaining a regular schedule; getting up the same time we usually do, getting ready for work in terms of personal hygiene and getting properly dressed, ensuring our work space is a healthy environment, drinking plenty of water, making sure we get sufficient exercise and outdoor time to compensate, keeping contact with others and making sure we have plenty of fruit and veg prepared for those times we feel the urge to snack – will all set us in good stead and keep us going in a healthy and positive way through this strange time. You never know – you may get so much out of it on a personal level – you might decide to make working from home the norm. Enjoy!
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Create a Brighter Year Ahead… WRITTEN BY LORRAINE PANNETIER, Intuitive copywriter and content creator at thesoulfulword.com As 2020 draws to a close, many of you will be ecstatically waving goodbye to a challenging year, keeping hope in your heart that 2021 brings more stability, more freedom and a return to the life you enjoyed pre-pandemic... But in desperately seeking new beginnings and fresh starts, we can miss the beauty of the present moment that’s sitting right beneath our nose. Challenges give us the opportunity to grow. Disagreements offer the chance to see a new perspective. Sadness shows us how to appreciate what’s really important. This December, I invite you to spend some time reflecting on the past twelve months - to delve a little deeper beneath the surface layer of disrupted holiday plans, endless hand sanitising and missed birthday celebrations. This is an opportunity to understand your strengths, embrace your weaknesses and feel immense gratitude for everything you’ve experienced this year - the highs and the lows. To really get the most from this exercise, it’s great to do this as a kind of self-love ritual; creating time, space and the right environment to be able to pause and reflect. To look inwards and see the beautiful gift that 2020 delivered. (Because it did, honest!) SET THE SCENE… Give yourself at least one hour of uninterrupted time. This could be early in the morning in bed before the children wake up, or last thing at night, or you might choose to take yourself to your favourite cafe or bench by the sea (wrap up warm!). Or you may decide that a Sunday afternoon around the dining table with a freshly baked cake might be just the thing! Get comfy and light a candle if you feel called to add a little extra cosiness and self-care to the proceedings. Ideally, you want to do this alone, but it’s also a lovely exercise to share with your partner (especially if you share a home and finances) and something to involve children with too maybe with a sticky, messy collage of their perspective on 2020 and their dreams for 2021. DO A ‘BRAIN DUMP’ FIRST... Before you start contemplating the highs and lows of 2020 and how it’s changed you as a person, it’s great to do a brain dump. This is basically an exercise where you let out (ideally onto paper, but if you’re not a big writer you can also speak into an audio note) everything that’s currently at the forefront of your mind: all the worries and fears, all the stress, all the little things that are bugging you. Just let them all out. (This is also a great daily exercise if you’re prone to anxious thoughts.) By letting go of all the things that are filling your head right now, you create space to invite in a deeper level of thought and perspective. Think of it as decluttering your brain! WRITE YOUR LIST... Who doesn’t love a good list?! In whatever layout feels good for you, write a list of all the things that have happened in 2020, big or small, in no particular order. Next to each one, write down all your thoughts and feelings connected to it. (This is a good time to also let out frustration, anger or sadness. Just let it all flow onto the page.) If you feel emotional and need to cry, that’s ok too. Sometimes we bottle stuff up inside that would be so much better out! We don’t have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. We don’t even have to carry the full burden of our family’s unique struggles - there’s always someone we can share our fears with or someone we can ask for support.
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
WHAT HAVE I LEARNT? AND HOW MIGHT I ACT DIFFERENTLY IN THE FUTURE? This is a great part of the self-reflection journey. What have all the events, issues and challenges of 2020 taught you? How might you act, or react, differently next time? Focusing on our mindset and in particular switching to a ‘growth’ mindset enables us to build resilience; an inner strength that allows us to weather the storms and build a stronger ship for next time we feel lost at sea. WRITE A GRATITUDE LIST... Write a list of all the things you’re grateful for in your life right now, and all the things that have helped you to laugh, learn and grow this year. Feel free to add doodles and drawings, or whatever flows from your heart as you tune into love and thankfulness. CELEBRATE YOUR WINS! Now you’re able to see clearly everything that 2020 has brought you (I guarantee your list is far longer than you imagined at the start of the exercise!), it’s time to celebrate. I invite you to really ‘feel’ into each one of your wins and congratulate yourself on all the ways you’ve grown, all the things you’ve learnt and how you’ve switched your mindset to act and react from a place of love (instead of fear). TAKE IT INTO 2021… Although it may be impossible to plan and book trips, holidays and events for 2021, it is possible to think about how you want to FEEL in 2021. What would make you feel abundant, safe, loved, happy, secure and vibrant in 2021? What do you need to do (or not do) in order for those things to happen? What support do you need from others? What boundaries, plans or structures need to be in place? When you start thinking about how you want to feel in life, rather than simply having more money, status or material things, then a huge mindset shift takes place. One that’s rooted in love, gratitude and appreciation for the present moment. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas, a relaxing holiday season and a fabulous year in 2021.
Image credit - Clare Le Feuvre
DECEMBER ISSUE | 23
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
DECEMBER with the
Herb Whisperer Words and images by Sally Roberts And suddenly it’s December. All thoughts turn to celebrating Christmas time, feasting, exchanging gifts and spending time with loved ones. For me, bringing in greenery from outside to decorate my home and filling it with candles, fairy lights and the smell of warm spices and baking is a big part of the fun. Meanwhile, outside, the earth grows quiet; the plants slow their growth right down, conserving their energy deep in the soil.
“I love the quiet of the earth at this time of the year, the sense of a rest and a pause in the cycle of life” I love the quiet of the earth at this time of the year, the sense of a rest and a pause in the cycle of life. The shortening of the days reaches its peak at the Winter Solstice, and then we can celebrate them slowly starting to lengthen again. Any herb garden is definitely resting right now, but I bring in bunches of bay leaves to use in cooking as well as decoration, and here we have a rosemary bush still with flowers, so some of that comes in too. I tie little bunches of bay and rosemary with sage and thyme to make bouquet garnis for my cooking friends.
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING Whilst Christmas trees are a relatively modern tradition, people have brought in evergreens to celebrate midwinter throughout history – the holly and the ivy, branches of pine and pine cones, and not forgetting the tradition of the Yule log and mistletoe. The holly tree was known to medieval monks as the holy tree, and believed to have the power of keeping away evil spirits. It has been associated with both the Green Man in pagan traditions, and Jesus in Christian beliefs, its thorny leaves and scarlet berries understood as symbols of his suffering. I just think it’s beautiful, and brings us a vibrant winter energy. As it’s a time of the giving of precious gifts, it is perfect to think of the spices that we bake with and mull our wine or cider with during this season. Cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, nutmeg, cloves and ginger were all valuable herbal commodities not so very long ago. Indeed, wars were fought over them, and tales of the spice roads shaped history. One of my favourite childhood memories of Christmas is that of the big tins of spiced cookies and biscuits that would arrive from the Black Forest in Germany from a family friend. Covered with pictures of European fairy tales, they were filled with the smell of spices which were quite exotic and unknown to us back then. I still keep my favourite spices in my wooden “treasure chest”. How lucky we are to now take them for granted in our cupboards.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without mistletoe, either, but the origins of kissing under this plant are not clear – it was sacred to the ancient Druids, and also appears in old Nordic legends, associated with death and love, but our custom seemingly only began in the late 18th century when it appeared in a song. Perhaps in this year of social restrictions we will just have to view it as a sign of love and good luck to the household! Wishing you all a wonderful time of sharing with each other and the gifts of the natural world!
Baking with these spices fills the home with a scent that warms the heart, but they are also extremely good for us too. They all have warming properties to the body, fighting off chills and colds, and aiding the digestion. It doesn’t have to be just alcoholic drinks you make with them either – I simmer them in various combinations in apple juice, and also make my hot chocolate with them.
DECEMBER ISSUE | 25
New Year Resolutions. Do you have what it takes to change your life for the better in 2021? 73% of us apparently set ourselves new goals in the form of New Years Resolutions every year. Why is it according to statistics only 11% of us make significant improvements to our lives after setting out at the beginning of a new year with such resolve and focus? Mark Shields Explains... A wonderful and happy new year to everyone, 2021 looks to be filled with great creativity and abundance. Experts and professionals in diverse fields are saying that this year has the potential to offer unprecedented opportunities to those willing to take them due to a combination and culmination of events in the sectors of finance, science, self awareness and world connectivity. I always do my best to get as clear and as truthful about what I genuinely want as possible and pursue it with focus, fun and grace. Perhaps consider consciously choosing to stack the odds in your favor by utilizing the world in the phase that it is now. People talk about living in the present moment but fail to accept 26 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
the world as it is today. This is the time we live in; to live with success and happiness you have to find ways to align with it not fight it. NEW IDEAS FOR 2021 I’d like to offer out a couple of ideas/distinctions for the New Year. There simple but I think you will enjoy them … For those of you who like to goal set, here is a little trick you might like to add at the end of each goal. I learnt this from Alistair Horscoft and have enjoyed using it for the last 5 years. Whenever you set a goal make sure you add the words ‘WITH EASE’ at the end of it.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
“I make £100,000 a year while having a great family life with ease”
I consistently see 15 clients a week with ease”
naturalness and ease. We start to feel good about ourselves, we start to feel useful and productive, we start to engage in a positive self relationship and we end each day feeling aligned to who we are and what our personal and unique relationship to life is.
If you don’t put the ‘WITH EASE’ statement at the end of the goal, the manner in which you achieve it is open for either ‘cosmic interpretation’ or ‘past behavioral approaches’ as it were!
So, if we go back to our resolutions, most resolutions are set to address a weakness to attempt to right some perceived inadequacy within ourselves.
“I allow myself to be 70 kilos with ease”
“I make £100,000 a year in misery and suffering and hard work” I allow myself to get to 70 kilos with injuries, major stress and continual negative personal self talk. It’s such hard work” “I consistently see 15 clients a week, moaning at how hard it is to make it happen” The same goals, achieved in very different ways, by putting a tag line that defines the manner in which you will achieve the goal gives the brain more clarity and behavioral guidelines. Start the reprogramming of how you choose to go about getting what you want – after all it truly is the journey not the destination so you might as well start finding ways to fully enjoy it and have some fun along the away. Secondly and obviously many people start the new year with resolutions, for the most part I’m not a fan as the resolutions that people set go against what I believe to be accurate psychological principles of success. I’ll talk briefly about one of these.
DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY IN 2021 Well, I challenge you to do it differently this time and to start identifying your personal and unique strengths and resolve to more fully engage, focus and align to these… what a change in life you’ll experience and I can assure you it will be nothing short of surprising and delighting….
Good luck in playing to your strengths and improving your life in 2021. Mark Shields Life and Business Coach Life Practice UK “Offering bespoke services to the Channel Islands” www.lifepractice.co.uk
When western psychology got going 150 or so years ago I believe it was founded on a faulty premise and we have been suffering collectively at the hand of this premise ever since.
FOCUS AND ALIGN TO YOUR STRENGTHS NOT WEAKNESSES The faulty premise is that we become better, we succeed, we heal, we become happy, and we overcome problems by concentrating our efforts on our weaknesses. We start to identify our short falls, our lacks and our character flaws and we spend our time attempting to re-address them, to make them better. This approach I believe leads no further than frustration, time wasting and unhappiness. Modern psychology has just about realized the ridiculousness of this approach, after all research shows that even after 600 hours of talk based (weakness addressing) therapy there are only minor and most often nothing more than superficial changes to the quality of one’s life. Instead, our time is better spent identifying, utilizing and building upon our strengths. When we do this we start to succeed, heal and enjoy with
DECEMBER ISSUE | 27
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Writing to Heal BY SALLY EDMONDSON
Throughout my life, I have put pen to paper when the going gets tough. I believe writing restores and heals. It is a therapeutic process which, for me, has always been a tonic. Pouring my heart and soul on to paper has kept me afloat during the difficult periods in my life... I was hooked from the age of seven. Writing became a coping mechanism throughout my difficult childhood, poetry mostly, which morphed into song lyrics, during my teenage angst years. In adulthood, when life pelted me with rotten eggs, I always reached for a keyboard. Everybody needs an outlet for their emotions. Some run, some use a punchbag, I write. In 2015, my inner strength was tested to breaking point. I was made redundant in June but, as aggrieved as I felt, I chose to make the best out of a bad situation. I decided to take six months out before looking for another job, to start writing the novel that had been whirring around in my head for years, Just Say It. It was just as well I did because August dealt a devastating blow.
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My brother died unexpectedly. Twenty-four hours later, and still reeling from shock, another significant person in my life took their last breath. Consumed by grief, I was sucked into a dark void, but I kept writing. It allowed my mind to escape the turmoil within and vent my raw, gut-wrenching emotions into the written word. Just when I thought life couldn't get much worse, my mother's health rapidly deteriorated, and she died on 13th December 2015. Given that she lived in on the Mainland, as did my brother, had I still been working, I would never have been allowed enough time off work to cope with the fallout. Life kicks you when you are down sometimes, and 2016 didn't get off to a good start either, as my aunt died.
Death is always hardest for the ones that are left behind, but I clung to reality through the written word. Writing kept me sane. Writing Just Say It, helped me to put the pieces of my life back together and move on. I recently wrote about writing for my life on my blog, and in 2015, I was doing just that. When Lockdown started in March 2020, I had two large writing projects on the go. Presented with more time than I ever imagined I could possibly have to finish them, I couldn't. Although hunkered down and safe, I was like everybody else, constantly distracted by the devastating effect COVID-19 was having on a global scale. Sleepless nights, overeating, drinking too much, by the time we were released from Lockdown, my cholesterol levels were off the Richter Scale. Then, something inside me clicked. I started writing a daily Lockdown diary on my blog. Life after Lockdown, Bad Lockdown Hair Day, Lockdown Nostalgia, Lockdown Limp Lettuceâ&#x20AC;Ś? Artistic licence. Then came Lockdown Nostalgia, which was when my writing changed course. I had an overwhelming urge to write about my life to date. To revisit those colourful, halcyon days of our lives before COVID-19. Reliving the magical holidays in far-flung places, the Hay Festival, Wimbledon and Glastonbury, as well as those unforgettable evenings closer to home, at the Opera House or the Arts Centre and being part of the beating heart of the theatre. Once more, writing took my mind off the surreal events going on around me. By losing myself in the past, I began to feel a burgeoning sense of excitement about our future, when COVID-19 is tamed by the new vaccine and, once more, we will all be free to live our lives without restriction. My main character in Just Say It writes about her life in a comedic vane, and she refers to it as taking a trip down therapy lane. Writing is therapeutic and, five years on from my annus horribilis, I am in no doubt that it saved my sanity. When life kicks you in the solar plexus, and all seems lost, face your fears head-on and write about them. Channel your emotions into the written word and start the healing process. Write as though your life depends on it!
The power of the self-fulfilling prophecy BY MARK ANTHONY BAKER If you have ever been exposed to the power of belief and expectation you will know that they are two of the greatest driving forces in our lives. So firstly, let’s look at how it works if we have a low level of belief and expectation for the attainment of a goal. Firstly, the expectation was that you were unlikely to succeed. Secondly, you didn’t believe you would have a successful outcome. So, let’s consider these two factors and their implications. If you do not believe that something is possible, and you do not expect a positive outcome. You will not take the action required to achieve a successful result, and you will fail to release enough potential to succeed. Consequently, a self-fulfilling prophecy has occurred directly in line with your beliefs and expectations. But just look at how an adjustment in our level of belief completely transforms the outcome. Our strong belief would cause us to take massive action towards our goal which in turn would release more of our potential which would dramatically increase the likelihood of success. In turn our belief would increase, and a self-perpetuating cycle would ensue! Just beginning with a healthy dose of belief would cause a completely different cycle to evolve and here’s how.
Then suddenly life becomes an exciting adventure where you wake up with a smile on your face as you bounce out of bed full of anticipation and excitement for what the new day will bring. Now consider this. It all began in the mind! Your belief and expectations are all internal and that is where the wonderful journey I described above began. You see it really is as within so without! All causation is mental of that I have no doubt whatsoever. This is a an example of how a self-fulfilling prophecy works if you can just take control of the power that already resides within each and every one of us, all we need to do is follow the steps and allow the power of belief and expectation set the stage for a life of achievement. Low expectations and little belief equal little or no action. This equates to minimal or no success. High expectations and high levels of belief leads to increased purposeful action and more resilience to challenges. Your entire mindset will change as a result. This leads to a significantly higher chances of success. It simply can’t be any other way as everything begins in the mind. It is also worth noting that your belief and expectation of others will have the same effect on them so you can help your staff become even more productive whilst increasing job satisfaction for the benefit of all concerned…
You would be more creative with your plans. Your enthusiasm levels would be substantially higher. Your focus would allow better information to make it through to your conscious field of awareness. You would feel excited and elated as you saw your plans unfold as you inched further towards your goal. You would take your plans significantly more seriously and with each small success along the way (And it is a series of steps it’s never just one thing) your belief and expectation increased accordingly dramatically increasing your chances of success . As your belief and expectation increases so does your confidence and self-esteem. You become happier because you are moving towards something worthwhile, this isn’t an accident as we are teleological beings and need to be moving towards a goal and a lack of purpose creates depression and apathy. You will become someone people want to be around. Your inspiration will become infectious and people will feel empowered when they are around you and in turn their attitude towards you will empower you further.
YOUR LEVEL OF BELIEF DETERMINES THE AMOUNT OF POTENTIAL YOU CAN TAP INTO
THE RESULTS YOU GET ARE THE RESULT OF THE SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY YOU CREATED
THE SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY
THE ACTION YOU TAKE DETERMINES THE RESULTS YOU GET
MARK ANTHONY BAKER RES I L I E N C E EX P ERT How to thrive in times of unprecedented change. Training and coaching available online or in-person. THE FIRST 5 FREE CONSULTATIONS RECEIVE A FREE COPY OF “AN UNBREAKABLE SPIRIT”
T: 481450 • E:firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.markbakerspeaks.co.uk
THE AMOUNT OF POTENTIAL YOU TAP INTO WILL INSPIRE THE ACTION YOU TAKE
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GIVE THE GIFT OF A HAPPIER OUTLOOK THIS CHRISTMAS! Grumpy Gorilla and Happy Hippo – A Positive Tale for All to Read – the debut children’s book from fitness guru and entrepreneur Scott Harrison...
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I HAVE SEEN THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN A CHILDREN’S BOOK AND I'M INTRIGUED - TELL ME... WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? This is a story about 2 best friends. We have Grumpy Gorilla who everything seems to go wrong for; he always looks on the downside and assumes the worse. His bubbly friend Happy Hippo however, seems to have everything go right for him; he radiates positivity and always looks on the upside. This story tells the tale of how Hippo teaches his best friend Gorilla to focus on the positive things that help us to feel good, that makes others want to engage and spend time with us, how to look at things from a different perspective and therefore live a life of happiness and abundance. WHAT MADE YOU WRITE A CHILDREN’S BOOK? It had been in my mind for a long time. Being a father of 3, I’d noticed that from a very young age children are of course very impressionable, can find it very easy to fall into insecurities and find themselves struggling to communicate and make friends. Almost creating anxiety just because they didn’t know how to make friends and socialise.
WHAT AGE GROUP IS THE BOOK AIMED AT? Grumpy Gorilla and Happy Hippo is aimed at 1-8 year old’s mainly due to the style of illustrations, but as you can see from the subtitle “A Positive Tale For All To Read” I believe everyone needs to hear this message, especially the parents! So the age range goes above and beyond. IS THE BOOK HARD BACK OR PAPERBACK? It is a beautifully illustrated hardback book. AND FINALLY - WHAT IS GOING TO BE YOUR NEXT PROJECT? I have already written a follow up children's book that I am hoping to publish by Easter. At the moment the title is ‘OH YES I CAN!’... (a little bit of inside information for you there). I am also working on “Eat Your Way To A Plant Based Six Pack” This will be released next year too. Available from iamscottharrison.com Instagram: @iamscottharrison
It was also apparent to me that personal development books for this age group were few and far between and definitely not delivered in this way, so I couldn’t wait to put down on paper the thoughts I had envisaged in my head and begin to show our young ones how to behave, switch their mindset, enjoy life and create happy, strong relationships. I AM THINKING OF GETTING A COPY FOR MY CHILDREN, WHERE COULD I GET ONE? You can purchase this amazing book from iamscottharrison.com I Am Scott Harrison - Personal website of fitness expert and business entrepreneur Scott Harrison HOW DID YOU GET INTO WRITING BOOKS AND WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU WRITTEN? I have always written poetry from a very young age but never actually considered writing and publishing books until later in life. I have also published a best selling book called “Eat Your Way To A Six Pack” This book is predominantly a healthy recipe book that also contains exercise videos and teaches people how to live a healthy life through fitness, nutrition and mindset. It also reveals some of the secrets from the world renowned programme “The Six Pack Revolution”
DECEMBER ISSUE | 33
The ‘Ghost’ of St Brelade’s Bay BY MARY SCOTT
At the end of a calm summer’s day in St Brelade’s Bay, birdsong drifts over its pale, soft, sand towards its sheltered, glossy, seawater.
buildings to support and improve its sense of place. The plan deliberately sought to make the Bay less rugged than St Ouen’s Bay by recommending the planting of lots of trees.
The charm of this south-facing seaside resort, with its sunbeds and peach-coloured granite cliffs, draws visitors across the Island and many tourists too. Legend suggests its church, with its gables and turret, was built by magic. The Bay’s historic Conway Tower similarly echoes and blends into the Bay’s natural contours and colours.
Ten years ago, the States Assembly was alarmed by the draft Island Plan having designated most of the Bay for maximum building development, for planning policy purposes. The Assembly sought to continue the ‘spirit’ of the 1989 plan. The wording of the last-minute amendment was inadequate.
A scenic backdrop of trees provides a habitat for many squirrels and songbirds, despite a 1999 planning document characterising the Bay as ‘dune land’. Shortly after the Great Hurricane (Oct 1987) destroyed many of the Island’s trees, Jersey’s planners worked with local community representatives to produce an environmental protection plan for the Bay. Its design guidelines helped the Bay’s newer
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An English planning inspector, while hearing the appeal against the refusal of the Wayside planning application, asked Jersey’s Director of Planning what the word ‘spirit’ meant. The Director responded with a look of confusion. The plan was a ‘ghost’, he offered. Both Islanders and visitors have deplored the style and scale of buildings recently constructed in the Bay. Imposing boxy palaces shout ‘look at me’, rather than ‘be relaxed by the landscape setting’. Trees continue to be felled to provide a few wealthy individuals with private views of the Bay. Six years ago, a Parish Deputy called a public meeting to seek support for the Bay being designated as Coastal National Park in the Island Plan, to provide it with the highest available protection against over-development. I had a low profile, as a retired lawyer who was resident in the Bay. A sense of justice led me to stand before the meeting. I explained most of the Bay’s residents didn’t want the current planning trend to continue. Many consider themselves guardians of its landscape. The vote in favour was unanimous, but my involvement didn’t end there. Someone from the Parish Hall asked if I could represent the Bay’s residents at a planning policy meeting. The Director of Planning Policy informed the Parish Deputy the Bay’s tourist development made the Coastal National Park policy, as drafted, inappropriate for the Bay. The English planning inspectors presiding asked why a local development plan already voted for the Bay had not materialised. Later that year, the States Assembly supported imposing building restrictions on the Bay’s shoreline strip. The drafting was compromised to support the Bay’s hotels. Four years later, it provided a loophole. The result of the Wayside appeal was that the former Minister for the Environment allowed two massive luxury houses to be built on the seafront, on a site leased by a popular restaurant and three other tourist businesses. This was
despite all six States Members on the Planning Committee having rejected the application. I was informed of another meeting and became Chairman of a Parish working party. It challenged a proposal presented to the group as being ‘in the context’ of the proposed local development plan. The group sought to advance the plan itself. The former Minister for the Environment announced to the States Assembly the working party had been uncooperative. If the group wanted to change planning policy for the Bay, he said, it would have to wait until the Island Plan was reviewed in 2020, following government processes. The group became the St Brelade’s Bay Association (SBBA), a Bay planning watchdog and campaign group. I became its Chairman, denouncing undemocratic processes. Two years ago, the former Parish Deputy became Minister for the Environment, constrained by those same government processes. The SBBA has worked with them too. A public consultation earlier this year supported directing development away from the Bay. Current government proposals don’t. In response, the SBBA has launched a petition for improved planning protection for the Bay. The States Assembly needs to consider the matter before the wheel turns full circle, before the ghost of the 1989 Plan no longer is visible in the Bay. Birdsong is produced by simple creatures protecting their territory. If Islanders are willing to perform the simple action of signing the petition, a very special area, designed for public enjoyment, may be better protected too. A link to the online petition to improve planning protection for St Brelade’s Bay can be found at http://stbrelade.com
DECEMBER ISSUE | 35
Call of e Siren: Sea Swimming BY KATYA PASTORINI PETTY
Sea swimming has been gaining popularity in recent years, but none more so than this year; it feels like it has become one of 2020’s phenomena. It has been a joy to see the number of people who are now enjoying sea swimming locally. Even more so at this time of the year, when venturing into chilling water is normally reserved for a few aptly named groups or hardy souls, who unfailingly swim throughout each year. A community has been brought about, in part, as a positive outcome from the current pandemic. Here, in Jersey, we are incredibly blessed with the landscape of our coastline for sea swimming, we have the spectrum of choices from intimate bays to the, often, dramatic sea of St Ouen’s Bay. Before you have even de-robed you can feel the beauty and surroundings working their magic. Naturally, the benefits of seawater for cosmetic and health treatment, defined by the term ‘thalassotherapy’, cannot be claimed as a new phenomenon as it is a long-lived practice, which dates back to the ancient Egyptians. It feels there is a movement towards a reconnection with its benefits, and nature.
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SOME OF THESE BENEFITS ARE: Skin Seawater contains minerals such as magnesium, sodium, calcium, chloride and sulphate that work as natural cosmetics for the skin. Magnesium-rich seawater promotes the retention of moisture in the skin whilst absorbing toxins and reducing inflammation, leaving the skin fresh and vibrant. Other research suggests that seawater can help people with atopic skin problems like psoriasis and eczema as it’s an anti-inflammatory and speeds up the healing process. Wellbeing Sea swimming has been known to actively improve your health and wellness with calming immersion and exposure to sunshine. The elements activate the body’s healing mechanisms and support healing for diseases, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis and localised aches and pains. Also rich in magnesium, seawater helps release stress, relax your muscles, promote deep sleep and spiritually cleanse your aura. Swimming in the sea has also been linked to stimulating the parasympathetic system which is responsible for rest and repair and can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. These are a vital part of keeping us happy and low levels are linked with depression. Circulation & Immunity Thalassotherapy is known to improve blood cycle and circulation by restoring essential micro-elements within our bodies that are depleted by poor diets, stress or environmental pollution. The cold water moves blood very quickly from our extremities to our major organs and then back up again as we warm up, which is great for circulation. Seawater contain an endless supply of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, trace elements and micro-organisms which have antibacterial effects and can even work as natural antibiotics. These components are absorbed by the skin when you swim and even by inhaling a sea mist. Also, immersing yourself in cold water boosts the production of white blood cells which are important for fighting off infection. Sea swimming from spring to autumn has always been one of life’s pleasures. However, when it comes to the desires to swim under moon light and throughout the year, for me, they have remained on the annual wish list, until this year…
The benefits of sea swimming are beautifully encapsulated by these quotes from some of my lovely swimming group: “Sea swimming- any stress or anxiety that I am holding is washed away as soon I put my head under the water, suddenly I am at one with nature. I don’t care about the temperature in fact the colder it gets the more I want to do it, I am addicted!” Oonagh “Every time I finish a cold sea swim my overwhelming feeling is of pride and gratitude. I re-enter my house with a spring in my step, a smile on my face and a sense of feeling alive.” Lara “Unexpectedly in lockdown I embraced the challenge of sea swimming . Psychotherapist Esther Perei uses the phrase ‘what makes you feel alive ? ‘ I think about that often in my week and swimming in the sea is one of the now weekly events that me feel alive. The meeting with friends , the anticipation, the challenge of entering the water- particularly in November - the total body experience of immersion in nature and sheer joy of the event makes me feel fully alive. Every sense touch , taste , smell sound and vision are engaged. The experience remains with me throughout the day and several days later.” Marie “My thoughts on sea swimming: Motivates me Gratitude for team spirit and friends giving lifts Enjoy the location of each different bay Carves out time off in the early mornings when the tide is fresh, and the beach is quiet Senses are super charged Extends the day Centres me Memories are potent and I can recall the sensations after each swim Each swim moves me on Sense of achievement and fun Friendship Physically there is the immediate cold bold plunge. I find it difficult to exercise in the very cold water. I aim for 20 strokes and are not in the water for long, a minute or two.” Jane DISCLAIMER: Own every decision you make: risks of entering very cold water include heart attack, asthma attack, panic attacks, cold incapacitation, cold shock, drowning, hypothermia and death. With the freedom to swim outdoors comes the responsibility to do it safely.
After having taken part in the ’30 bays in 30 days’ charity challenge, the momentum to carry on swimming remained within our group, although initially any mention of the hallowed time beyond September was greeted with a humouring smile. If there was an epiphany, I do not recall it, I believe there was merely a growing realization that we were hooked by the siren that is the sea. As well as consciously and unconsciously feeling the benefits, particularly of well-being, it brings a sense of liberation; it is heartwarming to see everyone shed tiredness and stresses as they immerse themselves in the water. The sea cannot take all the credit though, like anything it is who you share the experience with. Many of my sea swims this year have been in the company of lovely friends and family. During these times we have been reminded of the power and beauty of the sea, we have shared experiences such as swimming at night for the first time in many years under the light of Mont Orgeuil and being applauded whilst swimming at Anne Port, for braving the wind and rain!
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Travelling rough Covid PART 4
Words and Images by Philippa Alexandre... We left the safety of our friend's chambre d'hote, near Dinan, at the beginning of June 2020. Movement within France was now permitted but international borders were still closed. Our first stop was the lake close to our friend's house. It was our first taste of 'wild camping' since lockdown had started in Spain 3 long months earlier and we needed to reacquaint ourselves with the routine of living full time in the motorhome. Once again we had to get used to all the emptying and filling, keeping an eye on our electricity levels and our movements being dictated by the weather. After 5 days at the lake, traditional crepes and frites and a goodbye dinner of moules in Dinan, we were brave enough to start moving around France again. Thankfully, France is well equipped for motorhome living, with free Aires (camping facilities) and emptying stations all around the country. At this time some were still closed or blocked off but there were still plenty of options. Being one of the very few non-French vehicles driving around France garnered us some very strange looks from our fellow motor-homers but we experienced no negative interactions, everyone was just getting on with their own lives. Our first stop down the west coast was one of my favourites; La Rochelle. We had visited a few years before whilst exploring France on a motorbike and had loved it. The marina is just beautiful; the restaurants and seating are laid out so well for a perfect customer experience with their outside terraces of tables and chairs enveloped by stunning lighting right on the harbour an example that Jersey would do well to follow. My favourite thing about La Rochelle though, is the aquarium. We are very particular about choosing which zoos and aquariums to visit, making sure that animal welfare is the most important aspect and the aquarium at La Rochelle does it brilliantly. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the turtles had been given an even bigger area to swim in. There were new covid rules in place, of course. How we bought our tickets, having to pre-book, how to queue, wearing masks and sanitising hands, which way to walk through
The two of us at Dune du Pilat
the aquarium, were all now regulated. It is definitely worth a visit though - when travel is possible again. After La Rochelle we continued down the coast to la Dune du Pilat, which is near Bordeaux. Dune du Pilat is the tallest sand dune in Europe, standing at 106.6m above sea level. It is 2.7km in length from north to south and there were 140 stairs to climb to get to the top, of the lowest dune! It was a beautiful, sunny day. Paragliders swooped over our heads. The dunes are flanked by a forest on one side and the Bay of Arachon on the other. You can see for miles! We stayed in the car park there for a few days, relaxing on the beach and swimming in the sea. With coronavirus still fresh in everyone's minds it was so nice to be able to relax and explore again. Over the next few days we headed inland towards Limoges, the Loire valley and, of course, a quick photo in Bergerac (a Jersey girl HAS to!). We found so many wonderful wild camping spots next to rivers and in nature spots. We could still explore but safely in the natural 'self-isolation' of our motorhome. Finding secluded spaces where we could stop for a few days at a time also meant that Theodore could continue living his new 'adventure cat' lifestyle; coming and going in and out of the van as he pleased, under supervision. At one spot we were parked next to a river with wild otter, at another we found free electrical hook up. France really has provided everything for motorhome life! Read more about our travels at rvmanvyi.com Facebook & Instagram @RVManVyi Find La Tisonnais on Facebook La Tisonnais Farmhouse bed & breakfast
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UNCONVENTIONAL CHRISTMASES PAST, STRANGE CHRISTMAS PRESENT, AND HOPES FOR CHRISTMASES FUTURE… By Juanita Shield-Laignel Christmas in our house growing up, was a non-event; you see my Mother joined the Jehovah’s Witness faith when I was two and half. My Father wanting to hold on to his non-practicing CofE stance just a little bit longer, went all out and celebrated my third Christmas with great gusto - buying me a faux leather dolls pram in mustard with navy interior (very seventies) and made a big fuss of the whole thing. Not that I remember, but I do remember the pram which I treasured for years.
had their Christmas party, Mum would keep me home (with permission from the Head of course)…but on this particular day she had confused the times; kept me home in the morning and sent me to school in the afternoon when the party was scheduled. It was suggested I stay at school and sit in the next room colouring (one of my favourite things to do). I wasn’t in the least bit fazed by this as it had been drummed into me that I didn’t celebrate Christmas.
People often ask, ‘did you not miss Christmas as a child?’, my answer to that has always been that no I can honestly say it didn’t bother me at all. My husband put it succinctly recently when we were talking about something entirely different, he said… “I’ve never eaten frog’s legs, I’ve never had the desire to eat frog’s legs and therefore I have never missed eating frog’s legs!” – well he is a vegan. But it was a bit like that really, apart from when I was tiny, which I couldn’t remember; I’d never celebrated Christmas so then never missed it.
I sat on a high stool colouring, my paper on a deep window ledge. A kindly teacher brought me a paper plate with some sausage rolls, ham sandwiches and a few crisps and some squash. As I sat colouring, a large figure dressed from head to toe in red with a huge white beard and a bulging red sack on his back scurried past the other side of the window. It was ok – I knew he wasn’t real…I’d been taught that from a young age too. The next thing was, I heard shrieks of laughter and yelping with joy as Santa dispensed gifts next door. I remained nonplussed and kept on colouring.
I did have one brush with what it might be like for other children at primary school, when I was about seven. Usually when my class
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So what shape did Christmas take for us? Well with no decorations to put up, no presents to wrap and no Christmas lunch to buy and cook – it was pretty much a normal few days for us. Christmas presents not being on the agenda, you may think we missed out. To this day I’m not sure if she did it to compensate or if it was just a timing thing, but my mum always used to get us ‘an end of year present’ (looking back I wonder if it was more a January sale present). We were allowed to choose what we wanted. When I was still quite small I chose a Topo Gigio toy – random! Topo Gigio was a mouse like puppet from an Italian television show in the early 1960s. Goodness only knows where I got that idea from over a decade later. Another year I wanted a bendy Pink Panther toy (now a vintage collectable I’ll have you know!) – I think my mother despaired of me, wishing I would choose a pretty baby doll to go in my toy pram. I did a few years later choose a beautiful ballerina Cindy doll, with white fishnet tights and a purple tutu. I was never a conventional child. The Witness children are not allowed to engage in the Nativity, I was never a shepherdess, Mary or even a lobster! In fact I was only ever in one school play, a rendition of Cinderella where I was a palace ball dancer, all dressed in powder blue, which I enjoyed thoroughly – I loved to dance and sing, but was advised by my parents to leave the stage for the final song – ‘When the Saints Come Marching In’ as this was a traditional religious infused song and not one made by the Witness faith which were the only faith based songs we were allowed to sing, so Christmas hymns and carols are a no no.
Many are of the miss-notion that because of these seemingly bleak winter choices, the Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot possibly believe in Jesus. That is simply just not true. They very much believe in Jesus as the son of God and his imminent return as King, to enslave Satan and his demons. So now you know! My next brush with Christmas was when I was about sixteen and starting to try and make my own way in the world. I was working in finance and of course the obligatory Christmas party was looming. My upbringing had taught me I was not to go but being a teenager and thinking I knew everything and wanting to be accepted as ‘normal’…I very much wanted to. Asking my parent’s permission for any kind of outing was the norm, but knowing they would refuse point blank I hatched a plan with my best friend to go. Needless to say that didn’t’ turn out too well for me or my friend! I refrained from any kind of attempt to go the following two years but by the next year and now nineteen, I managed to convince my parents that as it was in November, it was just an end of year party, and they let me go on the proviso my father would pick me up at 11pm. I took that. By the following year I had moved out of my parent’s home into my own flat and decided to go to the Christmas Party unhindered and as I loved to sew, made myself a red satin ball dress and wore it with great aplomb, taking for the first time, a partner with me. Boyfriends / dating is not allowed in the Jehovah’s Witness faith. One must marry within the faith and must be chaperoned at all times until one is married. continues overleaf...
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Once my parents got wind that I had not only attended a Christmas Party but had taken a plus one, young man, not of the faith with me, I was out on my ear – extricated from the faith from that day to this and unable to speak with or have a relationship with parents. From then on my Christmases became a little more conventional. I spent the next few with my paternal Grandmother, an Aunt and cousins, all of whom had never been of the faith and welcomed me with open arms. I will never forget my first, I was twenty and stayed the night, sharing a room with my cousin in twin beds, I woke to a stocking across my feet. Aside from an orange the only other gift I remember was a book called Thornyhold which I still have and treasure to this day. Christmas now is much more ‘normal’ in many ways although this year of course, it is undoubtedly the strangest ever. Recently whilst walking our dogs my husband was pointing out all the decorated trees twinkling in the windows around our neighbourhood. I re-iterated I find it interesting that as nonbeliever he loves Christmas so very much; he gets excited like a small child and can’t wait to get the decorations down from the loft each year and sends me intermittent reminders throughout the year as to how many days are left until Christmas! I find this a mixture of mildly irritating and endearing. He explained that he loved it so much as a child he likes to make the most of it now and then went on to say, much of it is based on ancient or pagan tradition anyway and Christmas as we know it now was largely invented by the Victorians. I added – the Germans, as Victoria and Albert were indeed German as we all know….who of us has not heard of St. Nikolaus? My sons, one of them suffering social anxiety and the other being diagnosed with Aspergers are pretty nonplussed by the whole thing – they find it a big fuss for nothing and so long as they have chocolate and a new game to play really can’t be bothered. Being both vegetarian and my husband vegan and me striving for veganism, healthy eating and even having cut out alcohol this year, Christmas lunch is interesting. Although I now really enjoy the day with my family, I am still firmly of the belief, Christmas is for December and get extremely frustrated by shelves bulging with Quality Street from midSeptember. That is a side of Christmas I find grating – the extreme commercialism. As I recall, that was much of the point my parents taught me as a child – that Christmas as we know it is actually very little to do with the birth of Christ and more to do with eating, drinking, excesses and being merry, all things considered to be nonvirtuous; gluttony, greed and avarice all coming into play. And they may have a point and yet I can’t help but wonder, if in this age of computerisation, astonishingly sophisticated technology and continuous gaming our children are all into – providing them with an on-tap alternative reality, if Christmas keeps the memory
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of Jesus alive – even if he is reduced to nothing more than a tiny helpless baby in a manger once a year. As the Queen said in her speech some years ago, (paraphrased) ‘although it is unlikely Jesus was born on 25th December, it is the day on which we choose to celebrate his birth’. But maybe it’s not the baby or even the man we should be focusing on but rather the virtues of the whole being – something many refer to as Christ Consciousness. A friend recently posted on social media “What would you like to do with your remaining time on earth?”, the majority of responses astonished me – “Be kind” – came back most of the answers. Yes thought I. One lady even put she hoped that she could manage to carry her grain of sand to the best of her ability until her time comes. One of my favourite sayings of that great wise woman Mother Theresa is ‘Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.’ I love this saying so much I have it next to my bed. Maybe that is what Christmas is all about; embodying the virtues of Christ; love, joy, peace, compassion, kindness, harmony, giving, healing, caring and so on…surely these things are needed more now than they have ever been. Maybe in this way – by each of us reaching inside ourselves, Jesus already walks among us. Maybe at this time, now, during this strange world event we find ourselves in the thick of - is our chance to thwart evil and be the best possible version of ourselves that we possibly can. It is a very exciting time to be alive – we are all witnesses to the present and can have a bearing on the future. We can all play our part in preserving this planet for our children and future generations; we can all do our bit and fight for what is right and good and healthy and light. What will future Christmases look like? Well dare I say – God only knows – Christmas 2021 could be a very different beast – I guess that’s up to you and I and if we manage to get through this strange and uncertain time in one piece or is it One Peace! We cannot stop what is happening, but we can hang on to our humanity and do everything we can to remain determined to be a force for good. Joy to the World…
Occupation Reconciliation The Life and Times of Michael Ginns MBE “This book is a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in Jersey’s Occupation history.”
“A heartfelt, loving but ultimately balanced memoire of a remarkable man living in remarkable times.... fabulous”
Paul Darroch – Author of Jersey; The Hidden Histories
MAKES A GREAT STOCKING FILLER
The Author says: “Writing this book was an absolute joy. Michael was such a special man and had so many delightful stories to tell. Having written extensively himself about being interned to southern Germany at just 15 years of age…Michael was keen for me to share the details of his earlier life – his early childhood memories, such as sitting in church on a Sunday and thinking he would rather be on a nearby farm watching the pigs…and other such seemingly small details that shaped this extraordinary man’s life. No matter who you are – we all have a story to tell and I am thrilled to be able to share Michael’s unique story with you. I know you will Enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed interviewing Michael, and writing it for posterity. Enjoy!”
Juanita x To order your copy of this extremely sensitively written book e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or it is also available on Amazon and in WH Smith.
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Christmas tree themes for 2020 Want to spruce up your festive styling this year? Gabrielle Fagan hits the shops... The tree is always a focal point for seasonal settings â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and this year you might want to shake it up a bit. If ever there was a time to let your festive spirit run wild (without breaking the bank, of course), this is surely it.
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Take your pick from ‘baubilicious’ neon brights, a fashionable blend of blushing pink and gold, or a magical deep-in-the-forest, snow-inspired look. We’ve rounded up three key trends, with advice from the experts on how to create them – so you don’t end up tangled in tinsel or baffled by baubles. HERE’S THREE STAR CHRISTMAS TREE THEMES FOR 2020… 1. ICE COOL “Our Snowfall and Sparkles collection has a celebratory feel, with a touch of sparkle and grown-up glamour,” says Lynsey Abbott, Christmas buyer, Dobbies Garden Centres. “Decorations include a mix of bright white matte and iridescent glass, with feathers and mirroring details. Creating an effervescent backdrop for cocktails and canapes, this icy cool theme will soon have you dreaming of a white Christmas.” Alternatively, if you want to create more a traditional forest scene, Dobbies has an Enchanted Forest collection available in stores, which includes Bristle Owl Decoration, £4.99; Matt Glitter Ribbed Green Glass Bauble, £3.99; Snowflake Glass Bauble, £3.99. These go perfectly with a Dobbies’ Premium Nordmann Fir Cut Tree, £49.99 (6-7ft). Top tip: To create a balanced tree that’s visually pleasing, buy baubles in sets of three, six or 12, and add these on first in a ‘Z’ shape. Hang larger baubles closer to the centre of the tree to give more depth, and use small ones towards the end of the branches. Around 80 baubles is ideal for a 7.5ft tree.
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2. THINK PINK Chic and understated, with its on-trend palette of soft pink, gold and hints of teal, this look will appeal to those who like their settings fashionably seasonal. “Our Renaissance theme draws on classical references from ornate frescoes, but updated in a contemporary way with the use of feathers, velvet and pearls,” says Billings-Cray. “That artistic movement was characterised by sculpture and decorative arts, with references to literature and music throughout, which are reflected in bejewelled tree decorations – from cherubs and harps, to sea creatures and birds,” he adds. “The colour palette includes soft pinks and builds through to blues and greens with hints of metallic gold.” Top tip: Pastel-coloured accessories, luxurious embroidered fabrics and faux fur will perfectly complement this subtle, elegant look. Embellish a mantelpiece with garlands, beads and foliage sprays in the same colour palette. 1. NEON BRIGHTS Want something fun yet stylish to suit a more modern scheme? Traditional Christmas decorations simply don’t suit sleek contemporary settings. Instead, take it technicolour and turn up the festive funk. “Our Pop Art theme is about experimenting with colours and being as brave and bold as you dare,” enthuses Jason Billings-Cray, Christmas buyer at John Lewis. “It’s inspired by the experimental Pop Art movement, which emerged in the Fifties and Sixties. Abstract themes, reflective surfaces of polished stainless steel and mirror-like pieces of work are key ingredients. Our collection plays with light and colour through glass effects, foils and beading.” Top tip: Add impact with neon lights, metallics and sequins, and fun multicoloured wreaths.
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A MAGICAL MOVE... After sixteen wonderful years at 11 Caledonia Place, on the Weighbridge Magic Touch have upsticks and tiptoed just a stones-throw out of town THEIR NEW LOCATION AT 87 ST CLEMENT'S ROAD, HAS OFFERED A WELCOME OPPORTUNITY TO RE-ARRANGE THEIR WORKING ENVIRONMENT TO SUIT EACH AND EVERY FACET OF THEIR VERY INDUSTRIOUS BUSINESS. PROVIDING A VITAL IMPROVED WORK-FLOW AND AIRY ENVIRONMENT. The move was an epic journey, involving all staff and even a few in-laws! Though machinery and stock was squirreled away earlier and work continued right up until the Thursday, when Friday dawned it was all hands on deck to shift box after box of product; numerous shelves, rails, desks, computers and printers, large format machinery with all the buttons and bells that went with them! It was tough and seemed never-ending but surprisingly the new Magic Touch took shape swiftly and Monday morning saw them bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to re-start production in their fantastic new surroundings. This great Jersey family business has seen a fair share of ups and downs over the years but when you have the strong partnership of Phil and Dawn Heard at the helm, steering a route through is par for the course. Of course a busy and productive business like Magic Touch, can't operate without a great team and the MT Team is definitely one of the best. Possibly the first person a customer might meet is Debbie, an MT Team member for three years. Manning the front of house but also being a bit of an all-rounder, Debbie's daily routine can vary, from taking orders and print details to booking in stock and keeping the stock room ship-shape - as a result, there's not much Debbie doesn't know about the products and services available. The embroidery machines, unmissable, whirring in a soundproofed corner as the needles chug away, with the odd click of a handle or press of a button from a very experienced operative, Vanessa, who has been the MTs embroidery queen for five years. Promoted from what seemed like a corridor in the old shop, the dedicated embroidery corner, is well equipped with large work top, a beautiful rainbow of cottons reels poised at one end, and a line of five ever-ticking machines from which Vanessa continues to produce quality logos and clean-lined messages on team kits and workwear.
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Across the open planned room, graphic designer and print technician Adela, who has been with Magic Touch for six years, really appreciates the new space and if she's engrossed in a precision drawing of a company logo on her computer - she'll be managing the print load that can, quite honestly, be overwhelming. New edition to the team is Tricia, who pops in to write, promote, take details to advertise some new product and generally show the rest of the Island what a great little business and work-force exists in this lovely new location by the sea! There are also those who act as an extension of the MT Team, those who, without them, Magic Touch would not be the thriving successful business it has grown into. The move, in particular, was only made possible with the assistance of IT specialist Steve, from Island Technology, who revived communication between computers and printers so work could begin immediately. And Johnny from DPD, continued to deliver even though Magic Touch is not on his route now! Great examples of workmanship. And now the shop is open, the machines are switched on and the Magic Touch Team look forward to welcoming customers old and new through their lovely new doors. Last but not least - no business is complete without a trusty mascot - and having grown from strength to strength in production, size and stature - Magic Touch is big enough to have two!!
WE HAVE MOVED TO 87 ST CLEMENT'S ROAD
HOW TO SNUG UP YOUR HOME THIS WINTER As if 2020 wasn’t tricky enough, it’s about to get rather chilly, says Luke Rix-Standing...
If there’s one positive of winter lockdown, it’s that we’re not missing much in the weather department. Outside our four walls, the sky is turning a miserable shade of grey, while darkness breaks before the end of most working days. All the more reason, therefore, to make sure our homes are ready to fight the elements, and reduce your bills and carbon emissions at the same time. Here’s how to stay snug, without a bug, but still in a rug, during a winter that’s even more indoor than usual… SPREAD THE SOFT FURNISHINGS We’ve all felt the short, sharp shock of walking on a cold morning floor, and rugs are particularly effective at snugging up your surfaces. The material acts as an effective extra layer of insulation, and keeps your toes toasty at any time of day. Tapestries and wall hangings behave like rugs for your walls, limiting conductive heat loss through poorly-insulated masonry. The thicker and heavier the material, the more effective it will be, and a woven quilt will keep you far cosier than a poster or print. If you think warmer, you’ll probably feel warmer, and a fresh lick of paint in a bright, vibrant colour can work wonders – all the better if you illuminate it with warm, yellow light. DRESS YOUR WINDOWS Just as furry fabrics can cold-proof floors and walls, so too can it shore up your windows. A simple set of curtains form an added layer of heat retention, while blinds and sealed shutters are almost as effective at stopping draughts. For the best results, pick up curtains with specific thermal linings – often filled with high-density foam or wool.
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HOME LIVING cement or hard-setting filler, but you may wish to call in a professional to find out what caused the rupture. If in doubt, ask your local hardware store what product suits your needs. Remember not to block intentional ventilation designed to let air out of your home, such as extractor fans, designated wall vents, and underfloor grilles. Doors are harder to seal, for obvious reasons, but a simple draught excluder (or even a well-rolled towel) can block breezes blowing beneath them. A metal keyhole cover can close another common crevice, as can a letterbox brush. If you have a chimney you do not use, it’s easy access for chills. Chimney draught excluders start at around £15 – exactly the amount the Energy Saving Trust estimate the device could cut from your heating bill every year.
If you are willing to embark on structural changes, double or triple glazing are obvious options for a more temperate front room. This is not a DIY job, but the extra glass spares you unwanted noise too, and the work should pay for itself in reduced energy bills within a few years. EMBRACE INSULATION Proper wall insulation is quite an undertaking, and would likely mean getting the builders in, but poorly insulated brickwork spends the long winter evenings absolutely haemorrhaging heat. In an uninsulated home, approximately 25% of heat loss takes place through the roof, and a thick layer of mineral wool in your loft should last a good four decades and pay for itself many times over. Though perfectly possible, DIY loft insulation is for experienced home improvers only, and if you wouldn’t know where to begin, you probably shouldn’t. If your attic is suffering from damp, or the joists aren’t easily accessible, we strongly recommend calling in the pros. Your walls can be similarly streamlined, though how much you stand to gain depends on the structure of your home. Homes built after the 1920s probably come with cavity walls – two layers of material with air in between – and insulation installation should pay for itself in five years or less. Older homes likely sport solid walls, which benefit just as much from insulation, but are trickier and less lucrative.
SMART HEATING If you do still regularly leave home, a smart thermostat can target your heating to ensure you’re only using (and paying for) what you need. An early standard bearer for the smart revolution, these gadgets will connect your heating system to an app on your smartphone, allowing you to schedule your heating to come on ahead of time, or simply turn it on when you’re heading home. Many modern models can heat room-by-room, and it’s remarkable to think that a mere decade ago, these go-to gizmos were seen as the peak of domestic tech. FRIENDLY FIRE The oldest route to warmth by some margin, there’s no beating the primal pleasures of a roaring hearth. As common in medieval banqueting halls as modern living rooms, wood fires are easy on the eyes and the ears, but require you to buy and ignite your own logs, and can clog the chimney with soot. A compromise between warmth and low maintenance, gas fires spent years at the head of the pack, though they do require annual checkups and professional installation. Electric fires can’t compete for heat, but are cleaner and usually more eco-friendly. Finally, there are biofuel fires – restrained flames that run on denatured alcohol. Energy-efficient, dramatic, and mobile, they lack the raw force of an open blaze, and should be bought as secondary heat sources only. As ever, the more effectively you insulate the rest of your home, the more it will retain heat, and the more effective your fireplace will be.
If you have chilly feet and deep pockets, you could even install underfloor heating. We’re not even going to touch on the process – just call a builder. CLOSE UP THE CRACKS If a windy day is accompanied by whistling sounds, or the regular chill of a draught, there are probably holes in your home exterior that will be letting heat out as well as letting cold in, and driving up your heating bill. Silicone sealant or self-adhesive strips can easily plug slits and unsightly gaps around your windows, and are straightforward to apply. Full-blown cracks in the masonry can be filled with dollops of
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Ways to channel cosy Scandi style this winter When it comes to sophisticated decor with a touch of soft and cosy, nothing surpasses those cool Scandi vibes, says Sam Wylie-Harris... Sometimes, less is more – and if you’re hankering after a home that’s clean and serene yet also warm and inviting, Scandi style ticks all the right boxes. Nature-inspired colours that contrast with a monochrome scheme, soft greys, natural stone and timber all feature in Nordic interiors. Cosy textures, such as faux fur for an extra measure of warmth, which also hint at snug sleigh rides and oh-so cool rural retreats, are another vital ingredient – and we could all do with a snuggling up in comfort right now. To tie it all together, a light, pale palette compensates for sparse daylight and helps create a welcoming, bright and soothing space.
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HOME LIVING NORMANN COPENHAGEN BLOCK SIDE TABLE A modern drinks trolley in black and natural timber, styled with crystal and designer coffee table books, will make everything look bang up to date – as well as proffering the Scandi aesthetic of beauty in utility. TIBETAN SHEEPSKIN BENCH Our object of desire… A masterful use of natural oak legs, topped with Tibetan sheepskin for the perfect silhouette. Versatile enough to suit minimalist room sets, you could always add a new dimension by placing the bench in front of a mid-century teak mirror, perhaps.
Here are ways to create a harmonious haven and channel some cosy Scandi style in your home this winter… MADE-TO-MEASURE REAL WOOD VENETIAN BLINDS One of the joys of white wooden blinds is not only do they look effortless, but you can control light and shade, open up the space and introduce a polished, minimalist feel with just the tilt of a slat. Here, a woven rug and faux sheepskin throw complements an accent leather chair, and a neutral sofa’s warmed by a wooden floor lamp. DILLON DROPLET PENDANTS Other than using blinds to make the most of natural light, pendant lighting strikes just the right balance between utilitarian and minimal design, especially these funky fixtures with spiral filament bulb. TEDDY BEAR COCKTAIL CHAIR With the teddy coat trending big time, it’s only natural this fuzzy favourite should be transcending into interiors – and this teddy chair and footstool couldn’t be more ideal for these testing times we’re living in. Stylish and super snuggly, who wouldn’t want to curl up in cosy corner like this? Aquavit cocktail anyone? ANTLER HURRICANE GLASS VASE An inspired choice, it’s tempting to snap up two of these antler glass vases. Simply pop a tea light into each and place them either end of a kitchen or dining room table, or use them to bookend a winter white bouquet.
ALMA LARGE SIDEBOARD With no room for clutter, a large sideboard is your best storage solution. Knick-nacks are a no-no in the world of Scandi interiors, and once you’ve swept everything away (for the ultimate edit, you can always use packing cases as space savers and keep this sideboard for glass and tableware), chances are you’ll appreciate the simplicity of good workmanship. PAPAVERA VASES IN VOLCANIC WHITE Natural stone is another key for getting the Scandi look, and these gorgeous pieces can be styled with pussy willow or greenery, faux or real. And because we’re thinking more driftwood than a dazzling display, a single stem or two will do the trick. WIRE STORAGE BASKETS WITH HANDLE A nifty idea to stop cooking utensils cluttering up your kitchen work surface, we love these storage baskets with carry handles (easy to lift when you’re wiping worktops clean and laying the table) to keep everything just so. COSY FLEECE DUVET COVER AND PILLOWCASE SET Bedtime bliss courtesy of a functional fleece? Absolutely. Cuddling up in cosy bedding has never looked more inviting, especially when you factor in swatches of faux fur on the bedside table and underfoot, not to mention a bedframe upholstered in a muted wool blend. ‘Suite’ Scandi dreams!
ISAAC CHAISE ARMCHAIR IN CANVAS PURE BELGIAN LINEN When it’s time to put your feet up, this chaise armchair perfectly captures rustic Scandinavian décor, with its plain weave in soft grey, styled with a cosy woven cushion and wool throw for a smidgen of cosy cabin inspiration.
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Many Happy Returns… “Many Happy Returns Jersey” is a service that hires out reusable party dishes, cutlery and table covers for children’s parties. Launched in August 2020, the name came about through conversations with friends thinking about birthdays and reusing, and I love the play on words, but the opportunity is rooted in a journey that started a few years earlier. Journey to Zero Waste Jersey, which I co-founded in May 2019, is a Facebook group that shares ideas about how to be more sustainable. It is an active community that started with a few family members and friends but astonishingly has blossomed into almost 3000 people. They are all contributing to the conversations with practical advice on all things to do with sustainable living within the home and daily life within Jersey. Over this time, I have been looking for opportunities to see how we could cut down our own waste as a family, as I believe that lots of little actions made by normal people can add up to make a big difference. For me, Journey to Zero Waste Jersey started as a fact-finding mission, and it is from this community that I stumbled across and article about the Party Kit Network whose main focus was to eliminate the waste create by children’s parties, and it was this idea that inspired me.
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BY TASHA CORMACK
We’ve all been to children’s parties where everything is disposable, and at the end it’s all just scooped up and thrown away, I know, I’ve done it more times than I like to admit. Yet, it’s from this problem I decided to set up “Many Happy Returns Jersey". “Many Happy Returns Jersey” is a member of the Party Kit Network, a non-profit organisation which gives guidance and support to people like me who run party kits for their local community projects, many as a fundraising activity. Many Happy Returns Jersey is set up as a small independent organisation to raise funds for local environmental charities but finding the right way to price this service has taken some consideration. As a single parent myself I know how hard it can be financially, you want to give your child a nice party, but all the costs add up. I’m hoping that by providing reusable party kits I can save families money on setting up parties, while also helping to protect the environment. All the kit is available based on what you can afford, with a recommended donation of £5. It was at my son’s own birthday party in October that “Many Happy Returns Jersey” was providing only a small number of the items that were required for a child’s birthday party, and that banners, decorations and balloons were needed too. Without the want to buy anything new, I made a request on Facebook for any preloved foil balloons and party decorations and the response has been amazing. To my son’s amusement our car is often full of balloons. And never did I imagine I’d get asked things like ‘Can I interest you in a 6ft Storm Trooper’? I love that people are remembering the name and tagging Many Happy Returns Jersey when they see people wanting to gift party items. I love that I have been referred to as the party lady. It’s nice that sustainability can be fun too. Many people have thanked me for offering the service and have been happy to donate items for reuse. I understand that children just want to have fun. The Many Happy Returns Jersey policy is fun too as all my dishes are unbreakable and if banners and balloons get damaged, it’s not a worry. It’s good to know everything will at least see one more party which is amazing in itself. Using a party kit for even the smallest of parties can save 30 or so items from going into the bin. Book the kit and collect for your party; once the party’s finished simply wash and return to be used again (and again)! My long-term vision for Many Happy Return Jersey is that it becomes a go to place for all reusable party things, including cake stands and tins that could be a shared resource rather than people going out and buying them each time. If anyone would like to borrow a party kit or balloons and decorations, please message me on the Facebook page or send an email to: email@example.com For details on the Party Kit Network please go to the website: partykitnetwork.org
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HOW TO GIVE YOUR HOUSEPLANTS A FESTIVE MAKEOVER Add baubles, lights and funky containers to make your houseplants the stars of the show this Christmas... Looking at ways to throw your houseplants into the spotlight this festive season? Perhaps you haven’t got room for a tree and want to make an alternative statement, or maybe you just want to give your plants a chance to shine. “You can quickly transform your existing plants to make them feel part of the celebrations,” says Rebecca Stanton, stylist at Dobbies Garden Centres (Dobbies.com), which has seen a rising demand for new varieties of houseplants. Whether you’re part of the growing urban jungle club or have just a few statement plants on display, it’s easy to give them a merry makeover by adding fairy lights, simple decorations or just repositioning them, says Stanton. Here, she shares her top tips to give your houseplants a stylish festive twist.
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over a miniature Christmas tree with added lights will add a Scandinavian vibe. Choose one which is small enough to be easily portable, so you can use it to bring festive cheer to various parts of your home, from the dining table to your home office desk. ADD FESTIVE ACCESSORIES TO TERRARIUMS Self contained and mess-free, terrariums can be easily updated so they become part of your festive decor. Wrap a ribbon around bottle-shaped containers, pop in a few mini baubles or add a lightweight set of warm white micro lights within the glass dome. The trick is to not over-complicate, as terrariums look best styled more simply to avoid detracting too much from the plants on display inside.
1. REGROUP YOUR GREENS A quick and easy way to make a dramatic display is to gather up houseplants that might usually live in separate rooms of your house and group them together, either in the middle of the dining table or on a hallway side table. For a uniform look, plant up in matching pots in a shade that ties in with the rest of your Christmas scheme. Add fresh foliage around the pots with pine cones and candles in various sizes to add height and interest. This is a luxe contemporary look which will cast a magical glow. Rather than repotting the plants, buy pots which will fit the plant with its existing pot, meaning that when it’s time to take down the decorations you can simply pop them out and return them to their usual home.
KEEP IT GREEN One of the easiest ways to lift a room is the addition of some greenery. Consider a large plant such as Fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) which can grow to more than 6ft and is sure to make a statement. An all year-round star of the show, it might even be an alternative Christmas tree of choice for unconventional decorators. Mix up plants of different sizes, from cheese plants (Monstera) and overhead hanging plants like Curly Spider, or String of Pearls. For an organic look, accessorise plants with natural colours and materials like wood and rattan. To go the extra green mile, frame windows with a garland of fresh foliage and string lights. A celebration of all things green, your living space will feel like a cosy indoor garden oasis.
ADD SOME SPARKLE Twinkling fairy lights instantly add magic and they are the ideal way to bring some sparkle to houseplants. Drape lights around branches and foliage as you would do with your traditional tree, making sure that the set is suitable for your plant. Avoid anything too heavy that the plant won’t be able to comfortably hold the weight of. Choose battery-operated fairy lights so you don’t have to worry about placing plants near a power source – the battery pack is easy enough to subtly hide below the top of the pot. If you are looking for an alternative tree with eco credentials that won’t take up too much room, the Araucaria (also known as a Norfolk Pine) looks like a mini tree. Unlike the cut variety though, you can keep it all year round as it can go outside through the summer months then brought back in each Christmas. WRAP IT UP Wrapping paper doesn’t need to be saved for concealing gifts. Instead, use it to dress your plants and their pots, rather like giving your houseplants Christmas jumpers! Create a cone-like shape around your houseplant to give it a speedy transformation – simple, sleek and stylish, it’s cost-effective too. FRAME YOUR PLANT As well as adding decorations to existing houseplants, you can frame plants to give them a festive look. A wire frame planted
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
BODY-BOOSTING EXERCISES YOU CAN DO WHILST COOKING DINNER Laura Williams' Kitchen Core Workout is perfect for anyone struggling with fitness motivation this season. Claire Spreadbury finds out more... As autumn leaves and temperatures fall, our fitness mojo can too. Yep, just as you were becoming a regular at that exercise class, winter strikes. No more summer sculpting in the park - it's all about donning an oversized fleece as you brave the chilly tarmac. So, what's a reluctant exerciser to do? "It's about a patch-up job while you adapt to a new season," says fitness expert Laura Williams. "That's not to say you should admit defeat and abandon any hope of regaining your movement mojo, but you might need to practise 'Band Aid Bootcamp' as you adjust to new temperatures and seasons." Williams is all for 'incidental exercise' and 'exercise snacking' (bite-size convenient exercise) for tackling this scenario, because maintaining the cumulative effect of small, regular, effective habits can make a big difference: "These efforts get good, visible results, whether you're using them as strategies to get started when new to exercise, or looking to maintain results as you figure out your winter regime."
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She advises taking a two-pronged approach to cover all fitness bases; if you're using trusty walking as a method of exercise, walk at varying speeds and inclines (i.e. putting in enough effort to get your heart rate up and get you out of breath), to help maintain fitness levels. Then, make sure you squeeze in a handful of resistance training exercises (either using weights, or your own body weight) to keep you strong and burn those winter calories more efficiently. Williams has created this five-minute kitchen-based routine, designed to be slotted into a busy day - you can do it as you wait for the kettle to boil or the microwave to ping. It targets all your main muscle groups, with a focus on your core, your deep abdominal muscles, to not only keep muscle mass maintained but also help keep bones and joints strong as we head into the chillier months.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
CHAIR CHISELLER The challenge: Lower legs without arching the back Don't be deceived by the smile this tum-tastic exercise will work not only your regular stomach muscles but lower down the abs too, targeting your big core muscle. Sit towards the edge of a chair and rest shoulders lightly on the back of the chair. Lift your legs towards your chest before slowly lowering, taking care not to arch your back. Do 10 reps, rest for 15 seconds and repeat.
FRIDGE FIRMER The challenge: Drop nice and low without getting stuck This easy-to-master move strengthens thighs and bottom. Position back against the fridge (or another unmovable surface) and slide down, keeping your back flat against the surface, until hips and knees reach a ninety-degree angle. Push back up to the start and repeat. Continue for 20 reps.
WORKTOP WHITTLER The challenge: To keep a straight back and perform the whole set as a pulse At first glance, this might seem 'push-up light' - but don't be deceived. The juggling act of maintaining a straight back with a continual pulse is a chest challenge-and-a-half. Take a large stride away from worktop, position hands just over shoulder width apart and, maintaining a tension in the tummy (i.e. pull belly back towards spine without holding breath), bend elbows, lower chest and straighten again continuously for 60 seconds - without arching your back.
THIGH THRASHER The challenge: Keep the weight on your front heel Tougher than it looks, the Bulgarian split squat is the king of moves when it comes to pins. Place your foot on the edge of a chair, with the other foot positioned a stride forward. Bend both knees and lower the torso towards the floor, taking care to minimise any arch in the back. Push up through your front heel to recruit your glutes (bum muscles) that bit extra. Do 25 on each leg.
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Make e most of a Spare Room From gyms and games rooms to a home cinema, the possibilities are endless. By Luke Rix-Standing... We wish we had the problem of what to do with a spare room. With property prices as they are, and homes becoming ever more compact, having an extra room in the house is a bit of a luxury. But what to do with it? Here's a few ideas...
If there is one item not to skimp on, it's your chair. Posture and comfort are paramount, and when hunched over a laptop all day, lack of back support bites hard. GAMES ROOM A teenage dream it's never too late to fulfil, a well-stocked games room will ensure your misspent youth continues long into adulthood. The main thing to be conscious of is space. Pool tables are not only large, they need a perimeter of about 5ft for comfortable cuing, while ping pong tables need double their 9ft length for adequate movement at each end.
HOME OFFICE As laptops and Skype calls become the main tools of business, and more and more people are working from home, the home office has become less luxury more necessity. Besides the obvious desk and chair, you might wish to invest in a filing system, and ensure access to an ample supply of sockets. Office wellbeing matters wherever you're working, so pick up some pot plants and take the time to decorate. 60 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
Table football is a little more compact, though be aware that vigorous play could send said football flying into any nearby screens. HOME GYM Manna from heaven for fitness freaks, and a perfect way to remove excuses during slovenly moments, home gyms consist of anything from kettlebells and yoga mats, to elaborate cardio and weights machines. The most important thing is to get the flooring right, and we recommend a commercial-grade foam surface to maximise shock absorption and minimise sound. Never compromise on safety either. As for accoutrements, full-length mirrors seem be nearmandatory, we strongly suggest a speaker system, and next-level gym bunnies could even pick up a water cooler.
WISHING ALL OF OUR CUSTOMERS OLD AND NEW A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR J Brennan Groundworks Ltd
Tel: 07797 730937 firstname.lastname@example.org All aspects of groundworks and excavations undertaken
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Pick up a thick, furry rug to provide cushioning for top-heavy toddlers, throw in a cheap sofa bed for comfort and/or sleepovers, and line the walls with low-lying storage units for easy reach. The best thing about the self-built playroom is that it requires no structural changes, so in a few years you might even get the room back.
MAKESHIFT BAR A popular option for garages and shed conversions, there's no reason why your personal speakeasy - for responsible drinking only - shouldn't have a fully fledged spot inside the house. The ingredients are fairly straightforward - a tabletop (perhaps professionally installed), a plug-in mini-fridge on one side, and a set of bar stools on the other. Everyone knows what really makes a bar is row upon row of bottles obscuring the back wall, easily constructed with some IKEA shelving units and a trip to your local offie. Ideally, make sure you're more than one wall away from any family bedrooms, or expect late night rabble-rousing to be extremely poorly received. WALK-IN WARDROBE You'll have to work with what you've got, but the best walk-in wardrobes are longer than they are wide, with clothes hung down each side, and a mirror at the end like a private miniature catwalk. Make sure to build the room around your existing clothing - slide racks if mostly shirts, shoe draws if overflowing with footwear and shove on a glass sliding door if you're willing to do a little extra work. Bear in mind that a walk-in wardrobe will not add value to your home compared to, for example, an extra bedroom or bathroom. It should be a passion project in a home you're likely to stay in.
READING ROOM There's something about throwing away books that feels strangely immoral, as though you're throwing away not just the pages but the knowledge they contain. A reading room is all about aesthetic - armchairs, over-theshoulder reading lamps, the sort of coffee table you'd find in a dentist's waiting room covered with copies of Time Magazine. A thick carpet keeps things cosy as well as quiet, while bookcases should be floor-to-ceiling, and ideally rammed. For the full Dickensian feel, you'd want ornate Victorian panelling and the bust of a Greek philosopher too, but we can't have everything.
HOME CINEMA There are definitely two tiers of home cinema. Tier one is little more than a wall-mounted widescreen TV, with large, reclining seats, and soft furnishings to soak up sound. This you can do on your own. Tier two involves a high-quality projector and projection screen, a surround sound setup (five speakers minimum), ambient dimmer-switch lighting, and preferably sound insulation in the walls. This will require professional installation. If you want rows of tilting seats, slushie machines, and groups of infuriatingly loud teenagers, you're entering tier three... PLAYROOM A boon for new and expectant parents that don't want to deal with the scatter of toddler toys in the lounge, playrooms are simple to construct, if rather less simple to keep clean. Consider playhouses, bean bags, vibrant splashes of colour.
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GUEST BEDROOM We know, hardly the most original option, but there's a reason that spare sleeping quarters are a go-to for otherwise unattached rooms. Sociability aside, 'number of bedrooms' is a major determinate factor in the valuation of a house, so a conversion can be financially savvy even if it's never used. It's also one of the most straightforward - bed, carpet, closet, curtains, and you're open for business.
L O O K I N G F O R WA R D T O BRIGHTER TIMES? If you are looking to buy your dream Summer/Winter getaway in the French Alps and can’t find what you a r e l o o k i n g f o r … . We c a n h e l p ! For details about our bespoke property service please call 01534 728724 or 07700 728724 email: email@example.com
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TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR
Working smarter, not harder
Liz Connor speaks to business consultant Carina Lawson to find some simple time management tips for getting the most out of life...
It can seem impossible to find enough time to grow your side business or enjoy your hobbies alongside working a 9 to 5. Never mind fitting in family and home commitments. With so many things demanding your attention and what feels like so little time to give to every single one, it can be difficult to focus on anything at all, and then you can easily start to feel like you’re falling behind. Carina Lawson is a time management coach and the founder of Ponderlily Planners (carinalawson.com), who helps her clients to make better decisions about how they spend their time. Here, she shares her top tips for feeling more fulfilled – whether that’s while working on a side business or finding time for the things you love.
MAKE SPACE “Being away, even for a little while, can give you a fresh perspective, allow you to rest, and come back refreshed to better serve your family, friends, and work. “In your everyday, this could mean scheduling your Zoom meetings in blocks of time that give you some breathing room in between, so you can take a break, refocus, and bring your best energy to the next appointment. Not every minute of your every day needs to be planned.” CALL IT LIKE IT IS “Your work is not just your 9-5, but the place where you get to practise the skills for which you were trained. Your business is not continues overleaf...
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just a side hustle, it’s where you get to unleash your creativity. “Changing the way we refer to the different parts of our lives makes us pay attention more closely to the important roles we are lucky to have. By changing the way you refer these things, you are giving each part the respect that it deserves.” MAKE REALISTIC COMMITMENTS “Sure, we’d love to get everything done in a day. However, it is often not realistic. The opportunity cost of working on your business every day, for four hours a day, may be that you exercise less, spend less time with your family, or have less time to yourself.” The same could be true for any creative projects you might want to start – decorating the house, making curtains or even just having a good clear out – all these things take time. “Instead, working on the right things with no distractions, may allow you more time to spend with the people you love, or pursue something that gives you pleasure. Making realistic commitments also means you can account for time when you may need help.” COMPARTMENTALISE YOUR TIME LIKE A PRO In order to give each aspect of your life the attention and care it deserves, you need to give it undivided attention with professional precision. “When you’re at work, pause your business inbox on your phone, so you’re not constantly receiving notifications. You can also effectively use time-blocking, creating a habit of only checking your emails at specified intervals. And if you’re able to outsource some of your business activities to a virtual assistant while you are at work, even better. “Compartmentalising your time is a gift that allows you to turn your computer off, so you can shift your focus, fully – without giving the previous activity a second glance.” Focusing on one thing at a time, whether that’s work, a side business, family time or doing something for yourself, is often the answer to achieving more.
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y r a u n a J r o f s e ip c e R y l a e H After indulging over the festive season, everyone’s thinking about their New Year’s resolution to eat better. With this collection of recipes that focus on healthy ingredients you’ll be spoilt for choice with tasty inspiration. OH MY GOODNESS PRAWN & RASPBERRY SALAD
What to do:
This protein-packed salad takes mere moments to throw together and packs a host of flavours as well as some unusual textural surprises.
Finely chop the chilli, and remove the seeds. Add to a large bowl with the crushed garlic, chopped coriander, lime, soy sauce and sesame oil. Put 20% of the sauce on the side to use as dressing.
Serves: 1 Prep time: 5 mins
Add the prawns to the remaining mixture and let them marinate in the fridge for circa 1 hour.
You’ll need: For the salad 200g prawns 50g of BerryWorld raspberries 150g washed spinach 25g alfalfa sprouts 1/2 avocado sliced 1/2 red onion sliced
Put the prawns on skewers and lightly grill the prawns for a few seconds on each side. Once grilled drizzle some extra dressing on the prawns.
For the dressing 1 finely chopped garlic clove 1 grated zest and juice of 1 lime 1 fresh chili 1 tbsp sesame oil A handful of fresh coriander 1 tbsp soy sauce
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Toss the fresh spinach in a large bowl with the last of the dressing and mix until coated; then add to a plate. Add the raspberries, slice an avocado, red onion and add some alfalfa sprouts. Alternate: This also tastes beautiful in a tortilla wrap. Grill the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side, pop the ingredients in and devour! Credit: berryworld.com
100g mange tout, sliced 10 radishes, quartered a large handful of Fresh & Naked rocket small bunch of parsley What to do: In a small frying pan toast the pumpkin seeds until they start to pop, tip into a small bowl and add the lime and tangerine juice, oil, peppercorns, shallots and a pinch of salt. In the same pan dry fry the rye bread until toasted on all sides. Toss the rocket in a little dressing and lay on the plate. Put the rest of the ingredients on top of the rocket, drizzle over the pumpkin seed dressing and finish with rye croutons. Credit: freshandnaked.co.uk
GREEN SMOOTHIE WITH GINGER AND KIWIFRUIT Why not try this smoothie packed with nutrients that will help you lead a healthy lifestyle? This ginger and kiwifruit smoothie contains fibre, vitamin C and potassium - nutrients that help boost vitality. Recipe rich in fibre with high vitamin C content. Good source of potassium and natural source of folate. Serves: 2 people Prep time: 5 minutes Recipe suitable for: coeliacs, flexitarians and vegetarians You’ll need: 1 cup Greek yoghurt 1 cup baby spinach 1 cup oat milk (or other plant-based milk) 2 frozen bananas ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger 2 kiwifruit 2 pitted dates What to do: Put all the ingredients into the blender. Blend for two minutes, until smooth. Pour into two glasses and serve. Credit: Zespri Kiwi - www.zespri.eu
FRESH & NAKED RAINBOW SALAD Different colours in fruit and veg signify different nutrients, so ‘eat the rainbow’ with this fresh, colourful salad for a healthy boost to your daily nutrient intake. Full of flavour thanks to the beetroot and with added crunch from the peppery radishes and peppers and mange tout. Serves: 2 Preparation time: 15 minutes You’ll need: For the dressing: 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds 1 lime, juice only 1 tangerine, juice only 1 tbsp olive oil ½ shallot, finely sliced 1tsp pink peppercorns, roughly crushed For the salad: 1 slice rye bread, sliced into cubes 6 cooked Beetroot, cut into wedges 1 yellow pepper, sliced 1 carrot, grated DECEMBER ISSUE | 69
Welcome to Heraklion by Rebecca Underwood
Dytikos Beach Prior to the outbreak of Covid 19, I was fortunate to visit Heraklion, the vibrant capital of the Grecian island of Crete. Visitors are enthralled with its colourful tapestry of history, rich and diverse culture and the splendour of its natural surroundings with tranquil, secluded beaches including Dytikos. A number of fascinating archaeological sites, popular with intrepid explorers, and a Mediterranean climate, ensure that this city is sure to remain a major tourism destination as it has been for the last forty years.
Meidani Street_a shopper's paradise Knossos
Heraklionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history dates back to the Neolithic period and a number of archaeological sites reflect its ties with Minoans, Byzantines and Venetians. Invaded in 824 AD by the Saracens the island was overrun with marauding pirates. Following a long blockade in 961 the Byzantines banished the Arabs and the town was renamed Handakas. Sold to the Venetians in 1204 and renamed Candia, the town prospered and a number of fortresses and churches were erected. In 1645, when the Ottomans invaded, countless inhabitants deserted the island and again in 1898 hundreds of locals were slain along with the British Consul and 17 British soldiers. Ottoman rule swiftly ended when British ships sailed into the harbour. The town was named Iraklio in 1922 and recognised as the capital in 1971. To learn more I headed for the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, which occupies the site of a Venetian Franciscan monastery obliterated in 1856 by an earthquake. Located in the town centre, the museum features 27 rooms crammed with artefacts covering a period of more than five thousand years. The Minoan collection is spectacular and includes magnificent frescoes and sculptures. I spent an inordinate amount of time admiring the exquisitely carved snake goddesses, the golden bee pendant and the stone bullâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head, which was used for libations signified by the filling hole located in the neck and a matching outlet in the snout. Another highlight of the extensive collection is of course the Linear B tablets from Knossos.
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Knossos was once the capital of Minoan Crete and the ancient Palace of Knossos is Heraklion’s most popular attraction. In the early 1900’s Sir Arthur Evans, the British archaeologist, uncovered and restored the prehistoric ruins. The ancient palace, the origin of the legend of the labyrinth, dates back to 2000 BC and was the home of King Minos and the mythical Minotaur and it is absolutely mesmerising. To view another archaeological gem I headed for the picturesque town of Rethymno, which is an hour’s drive away, and features a magnificent Venetian fortress. The enchanting Venetian-Ottoman quarter includes a warren of narrow streets with charming houses adorned with wooden balconies, Venetian monuments and ornate minarets. In 1646 the town fell to the Ottomans and remained under their rule for almost three hundred years. I took a glimpse into the Ottoman Empire’s past with a leisurely stroll along Vernardos Street, and as the Neratze mosque came into my view the three towering domes on the roof and the high minaret demanded my undivided admiration. For those of us seeking the ultimate luxurious resort, after an arduous day of explorations, the Lux Me Grecotel White Palace, located near Rethymno, offers the highest levels of comfort and service. The property sits alongside a beautiful sandy beach and features a wide choice of sumptuously furnished accommodations including the open plan ‘Luxe Yali’ seafront villa with a private, heated pool and access to the beach. Dining options include Asian, Italian and Oriental and the Greek Taverna, which features an a la carte menu, offers spectacular ocean views. Guests are also free to create and customise their own dining experience in a location of choice. For pre or post dining tipples there are six bars to choose from. For those keen to explore more, the Arkadi Monastery, located 25 kilometres from Rethymno, on the foothills of Mount Psiloritis, is another site that draws the crowds. Vineyards, forests and olive groves thrive in this fertile region and there surrounded by hills, the Arkadi Monastery was built, according to tradition, during the rule of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius or, it is also said, during the rule of emperor Arcadius in the 5thcentury; the exact date is unknown. In 1866, during Ottoman oppression the monastery served to protect hundreds of Cretan resistance fighters and their families. Less than two hundred local men fought for two days to resist the might of 6000 Turks. Today the monastery houses a
small number of monks and nuns and the church and surrounding buildings are well maintained. Another nearby attraction is Fortezza, the Venetian fort built in 1573 A.D. I strolled through the central entrance, along a dark arcade into the sunlit interior and then through the building that once housed the artillery. I then wandered around the small amphitheatre and the Sultan Ibrahim temple and mosque, and then into the 19th century Church of Aghia Ekaterini, continuing along the narrow pathway and at the eastern end there is a small Russian church; evidence of the presence of Russian troops during 1897 to 1909. Adventure seeks with energy to burn should take a trip to Crete’s national forest, the Samaria Gorge, which is the longest in Europe. Wander through the 11 mile gorge at leisure; starting at the Omalos plateau and crossing the White Mountains. A little piece of heaven awaits; an abundance of trees, the aroma of sweet flowers and herbs and the only sounds that interrupt the silence is the water flowing gently from the little fountains, birds of prey announcing their presence and the crunching of the pebbles underfoot. On arrival at the quaint village of Aghia Roumeli passengers can board a boat to Chora Sfakion and then travel by road to Heraklion. And for those with an interest in cave exploration, head for the cliffs at Matala bay and discover the artificial caves dating back to the Neolithic Age. Used as tombs in the first and second centuries, one of the caves, known as Brutospeliana was, according to legend, visited by Brutus, the Roman general. I prefer to spend some time relaxing in the sunshine and I as have a penchant for an afternoon snooze, the soft sandy beach and the gentle waves of the warm Mediterranean Sea lapping the shore of Matala bay, provided the ideal spot. As I reclined on my comfortable lounger the words of Nikos Kazantzakis, who was born in Heraklion in 1883 and wrote Zorba the Greek, came to my mind….. ‘Life on earth means the sprouting of wings’. Images (excluding accommodation) supplied courtesy of the Greek National Tourism Organisation and photographer Y. Skoulas.
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BENTLEY FLYING SPUR By Jack Evans Bentley’s Flying Spur is a car steeped in tradition, but can it translate this to the modern age? Jack Evans gets behind the wheel to find out... WHAT IS IT? Few names are quite as evocative in the motoring world as ‘Flying Spur’. The mere thought conjures up ideas of grandeur, effortless performance and unsurpassed luxury. Unsurprisingly, Bentley sees the new Flying Spur as quite a crucial part of its line-up, which is why it has attempted to bring these age-old traits into its new battlecruiser. The question is, can this latest Flying Spur deliver these classic aspects while bringing it into the modern age?
Facts at a glance Model: Bentley Flying Spur Engine: 6.0-litre W12 Power: 626bhp Torque: 900Nm Max speed: 207mph 0-60mph: 3.7seconds MPG: 19.1 Emissions: 337g/km CO2
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WHAT'S NEW? As you might expect, Bentley really has thrown the works into its third-generation Flying Spur. It’s got all-wheel-steering for the first time on a Bentley, while all-wheel-drive feature too to help the Flying Spur keep on the straight and narrow. In another first for a modern Bentley, the Spur features a retractable ‘Flying B’, which is operated by the widescreen infotainment display. A question of security or unbridled showing off? You decide – but it’s certainly cool to operate. All of this is sewn together with a beautifully handmade interior, while the engine itself is yet another masterpiece of engineering – though we’ll get onto that in more detail very shortly. WHAT'S UNDER THE BONNET? Lurking under the Flying Spur’s elongated nose is one of the last bastions of large capacity engines. It’s a 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12, hand-built in Crewe, and it’s the same as you’ll find in the smaller Continental GT. Here, it kicks out 626bhp and a hefty 900Nm of torque, driven to all four wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox from ZF. It’s got enough grunt to lug the Flying Spur from 0-60mph in a frankly eyebrow-raising 3.7 seconds, while if you’ve got enough space and permission to do so, it’ll crack 207mph flat out. When it comes to emissions, the Flying Spur emits a rather chunky 337g/km CO2, while returning 19.1mpg combined. WHAT'S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? Take a look at the Flying Spur’s lengthy wheelbase and generous tyres, and it’s not hard to understand that it’s a car which has been designed with a close eye on refinement. Up and running it’s easy to see, with the car whisking along at generous speeds without the merest whisper to detect in the cabin. It is, quite frankly, a sumptuous car to drive, with a ride and powertrain as smooth as Jersey cream. There’s a small patter from the suspension – just enough to let you know that there is, indeed, a road going underneath you – but apart from that, you’re free to sit back and simply enjoy the ride. The engine itself is a powerhouse of near untappable reserves; lean on the throttle and the Flying Spur delves to higher speeds with little fuss nor ceremony. There’s a small undercurrent of exhaust noise, but it’s more there to highlight the engine rather than to throw it into real emphasis. HOW DOES IT LOOK? Bentley certainly nailed the brief when it came to the Flying Spur’s looks. It’s elegant enough to tie closely to its historic models, yet modern enough to inject some excitement. The front grille is massive in the metal, but because of the giant proportions of the rest of the car, it manages to remain in keeping with the overall look. Of course, appearances are down to the individual, but we’d argue the rear of the car is the only area of its design which doesn’t tread quite so easily. The positioning of the taillights at
either end of the Spur’s rear end give it an overly-wide appearance and can lead it to look a bit ungainly from certain angles. WHAT'S IT LIKE INSIDE? It’s when you step into the cabin of the Flying Spur that you really get to appreciate the level of craftsmanship that’s gone into creating it. High-quality materials are used across the board, with barely a surface lacking any metal, leather or wood coverings. Up front, the seating position is good, while those sitting in the rear really do have the best seats in the house when it comes to outright comfort. There’s even a decent-sized boot, offering up 420 litres as standard. A hatch in the middle allows you to slot longer items through to the cabin; we thought fence posts, but Bentley probably has skis and poles in mind as a more appropriate cargo. WHAT'S THE SPEC LIKE? Given the Flying Spur is accompanied by a price-tag knocking on £170,000 even before options, it’s probably a relief to find it’s already well-laden in standard equipment. The most notable inclusion is the new infotainment setup, which is head-andshoulders above ones we’ve seen on previous Bentleys. It comprises a 12.3-inch screen and gives access to all of the major media and navigation functions you’d expect. There’s also a virtual cockpit-style driver display in place of the conventional dials. Our only objection here is the area around the switchgear; it’s a little bit busy and can make even simple adjustments – like putting on your heated seat, for instance – take more time than you’d want. VERDICT Bentley traditionally knows what it is doing when it comes to supremely luxurious, high-end saloons. This latest Flying Spur is a real extension of that knowledge, showcasing everything the firm has learnt over many, many years of creating tip-top cars. This latest model is by far the most well-rounded to date, bringing involvement for the driver as well as unparalleled comfort for passengers. It does this in typically unflustered Bentley fashion. The Spur is a car which is as relaxing to drive as it is to be driven in and, as such, is likely to appeal to a wide variety of buyers.
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