NOVEMBER 2020 | thejerseylife.co.uk
November with the
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All around us remains ‘discombobulated’ crazy - there is so much discord and disgruntled-ness caused by world events out of our control. How can we be present and make a positive difference? Heal yourself and heal the earth, is a mantra I carry with me always. With this in mind we have included articles that focus on bringing mind, body and spirit into alignment and inter-connectedness. Gardening, exercise, mindfulness, community projects and health giving food can all be a part of a recipe for a better life. Our front cover this month reminds us of the vastness of the skies and looking up in reflection, pausing for thought and being grateful for the blessings we have in our lives. Marilyn Carre and Philippa Alexandre look at the positives in their contributions this month, as does Tasha Cormack in her wonderful article about The Crisp Packet Project – making bivvy bags for the homeless and those in need…certainly cause for reflection when we are tucked up warm and snug in our comfortable beds. The fear of disease, the desperation of losing work, the frustration of constant restrictions could all feed into a giant pot of anxiety if we let it. Mark Baker’s article on resilience is pertinent right now…and Mark will be continuing with a series over the coming months.
Sally Robert’s – The Herb Whisperer begins her beautiful series of herbs by month, starting from November the New Year in ancient traditions – and wending her way through the months until next October. How will the world look by then? Nothing like it used to me thinks! ‘In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones. Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms like dancers. They know it is time to be still’ - Cynthia Rylant. It seems it is also time for us to be still. Be calm, contemplative, self-reflective - quiet, if you will. To drink in nature and tap into that which is more than our ‘selves’; tap into the greater good. Have a truly nurturing November. Until next month… In Health and Hope
Juanita x If you have an interesting story to share or would like your business reviewed, please feel free to call me on 619882. I’d love to hear from you.
3 WELCOME and The Jersey Life contact information
COMMUNITY 8 THE CRISP PACKET PROJECT By the group Journey to Zero Waste Jersey
10 IMPROVING LIFE AFTER BRAIN INJURY Overcoming Adversity in 2020
12 FROM BALI TO JERSEY WITH MADU By Chris Couriard & Magdalena Branecka
16 MY LOCKDOWN DIARY Part 2 by Marilyn Carre
20 TRAVELLING THROUGH COVID Part 3 by Philippa Alexandre
HOME AND GARDEN 28 HOW TO ENTERTAIN OUTDOORS THIS AUTUMN
Patios, gazebos, and the roar of an open flame
30 COSY AND STYLISH WAYS TO TRANSFORM YOUR DECOR Gabrielle Fagan asks five experts to share their favourite looks...
32 SETTING UP A SMART HOME Follow this easy guide
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GALLICHAN JEWELLERS 16 Royal Square, St Helier Tel: 01534 722915 â€¢ Email: email@example.com
36 HOME AND GARDEN 36 MEDITATING WITH YOUR HOUSEPLANTS Could this make you more mindful
38 READY TO GO IN THE GROUND Bare-Root Roses
BUSINESS 58 HPO SECRETS Part 5 by Mark Shields
HISTORY 62 BLUE STAR, WHITE ICEBERG By Paul Darroch
FOOD AND DRINK 52 A HEALTHY OPTION FOR YOUR LEFT OVER TURKEY By Scott Harrison founder of The Six Pack Revolution
HEALTH AND WELLBEING 40 THE HERB WHISPERER
By Sally Roberts
42 STRUGGLING TO SLEEP Four foods to eat for a better nights kip
44 EASE STRESS AND ANXIETY See these self-guided strategies
46 ARE YOU SABOTAGING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM Immune-sapping habits
48 TWELVE TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER CHRISTMAS By Scott Harrison founder of The Six Pack Revolution
50 VITAMIN D Are you getting enough
54 SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER Could it feel worse this year
56 MENOPAUSE How can it affect your skin
TRAVEL 24 EDINBURGH by Rebecca Underwood
MOTORING 64 BMW 2 SERIES GRAN COUPE The latest set of wheels taken for a spin 6 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
GET FIT IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
WHY PEOPLE NEED A HEALTH COACH Personalised Nutrition Plans Personalised Exercise Programs One on One Health Coaching Video Tutorials
DON’T WAIT FOR TOMORROW! 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 programme also available. motivatehealth
The Crisp Packet Project April & Tasha
Tasha's son Noah - helping out with packet sorting Hi, we are April & Tasha. As administrators for the group Journey to Zero Waste Jersey, we are always on the lookout for ways to repurpose and reduce things that would otherwise go to and create waste. While researching into other possibilities for recycling we stumbled across the website for an amazing charity called ‘The Crisp Packet Project’ and decided to look into this further because it seemed to be a very worthwhile cause and way of reusing crisp packets.
The Bivvy bags and survival sheets are not only given to the homeless but are also accessible to families and individuals less fortunate who in some circumstances cannot afford the luxury of heating in their own homes. Becoming involved was such an easy decision; we decided the best way forward would be to approach our children’s schools Plat Douet and D’auvergne. Both schools agreed this was something they wanted to support and very quickly we were able to have collection points set up and running within them.
The Crisp Packet Project is run by an amazing woman called Pen Huston who initially as part of her work for a charity called ‘Surviving the Streets’ realised there was a shortage of bivvy bags and survival sheets. One morning she woke up with a brilliant idea; crisp packets are the perfect material to make into survival sheets and bivvy bags. To do this the crisp packets are fused together with an iron and then sealed on each side with plastic to make them completely waterproof and durable. The foil lining is also perfect for reflecting body heat. The charity now has many volunteers and branches all over the UK.
April cutting crisp packets with daughter Ruby 8 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
Ironing Crisp Packets We believe the childrenâ€™s involvement is so valuable as this gives them the opportunity to gain an understanding of the issues faced by homeless and less fortunate people. So far there has been an amazing response from the children for this project and they have shown great compassion. This is something they are happy to get behind. We are so lucky to have such a fantastic support network that not only have we been able to set up in 2 schools but we also have two local businesses involved; Scoop the Sustainable Cooperative and Loaf, both allowing members of the public access, to donate their clean foil lined crisp packets.
Ironing Crisp Packets so grateful that so many people want to get involved. It has had such a positive reaction and we believe not only will it have a positive impact on our planet but an even greater one on many peopleâ€™s lives. We really have been touched by all the work Pen has done and continues to do and can honestly say we are just so happy to now be a part of it. If you would like to find out more or even get involved please visit www.crisppacketproject.com. The website is full of useful tips and how to videos.
Our initial idea was to collect, cut, wash, and post the crisp packets to the UK based charity but after finding out how we could make these ourselves, it was a no brainer. And we have been researching local uses and have some great connections with local charities. Again, back to our amazing support network we have been able to make several survival sheets and plan to make more to send along with the crisp packets. With the weather getting colder it really is imperative that these bivvy bags and survival sheets go out as quickly as they can. The support we have received since launching the Crisp Packet Project on the island has been totally overwhelming. We are just Made With Love
NOVEMBER ISSUE | 9
Improving Life After Brain Injury Overcoming Adversity in 2020 balance which help improve his everyday quality of life and independence which in turn helps Janice too. Collin says" people don't understand how much stress your family are put under, because you are no longer the same person". Janice confirms this by adding "The brain injury changed Collin to the point that he was no longer the funny, give everything a go former deputy of St. Peter".
As Headway Jersey, the Brain Injury Charity, approaches their 24th year, it continues to support those who have been suffered from acquired brain injuries including Stroke, Brain Tumour, Aneurysm and Accidents amongst many other causes. Not only does Headway support those with a brain injury, but also their friends and families too.
During Lockdown, however, it meant Collin regressed with lack of stimulation physically and mentally, although he and Janice both benefitted too from the regular phone calls Headway provided to check on their wellbeing. With the restrictions eased and Headway's exercise class having started up again, Janice said " Collin has noticeably improved once again in a short time, thanks to the social interaction with the other members and the benefits physically from the exercise".
Despite the challenges faced by the charity in 2020 due to Covid-19 where Headway has been devastated by the loss of ÂŁ100,000 in fundraising and the Centre having to close during Lockdown, the charity remains adaptable in their approach to providing services to their members. We share the varied stories of three islanders who have greatly benefitted from Headway's extensive services. FRIENDSHIP AND COMMUNITY Michelle Baudet has been a member of Headway for over 10 years since she suffered from a Stroke which left her with several severe mobility issues. During this time she has made many new friends and Michelle has said "everyone at Headway has been fantastic and helped me tremendously over the years". She had been particularly affected during Lockdown when she was partially hospital bound and unable to meet with her fellow members. Social media offered some contact with her friends at the Centre, but the greatest benefit was through visits from the Headway team as well as regular phone calls. As the virus situation developed, so did the way Headway responded to their members needs and in doing so the charity provided external focus groups to those who needed them most and Michelle was just one of the members whose well being was greatly improved through these meetings. SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES AND CARERS Headway understands the vital importance that supporting the brain injured persons family and friends also plays and Janice Egre, whose husband Collin suffered a brain injury following surgery to a brain tumour, has described Headway's involvement as "life changing!" Collin attends the Centre and is an active member participating in the games and quizzes and on other days the physiotherapy sessions to improve his strength, endurance, flexibily and 10 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
UNDERSTANDING AND CREATIVITY Following an accident involving a train, 28 year old Conor James has been left with an injury that affected his brain by causing anxiety and paranoia. Finding Headway he now has a supportive outlet where his condition is understood and his art work and creativity are encouraged. Before Lockdown he had through the support of one of the Headway team, begun to draw and write and was inspired to begin work on a book called "Life after the train". Lockdown was a different experience for Conor where he experienced a sense of peace and calm from everyday life, although he is grateful for the returning activities at Headway and his creative talents are once more being put to good use as he is designing the t-shirt for the upcoming Headway Running For Frubbs 10 mile race on Sunday November 22nd. Conor is appreciative of having this new focus saying "It actually gives me something to get up for" and recognising the new found purpose he has discovered having joined Headway. If you would like to help Headway to continue to provide their life changing services, following the devastating effects of the virus to their fundraising, please contact Bryce Alford - Fundraising Manager on 505937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
From Bali to Jersey with Maduâ€Ś By Chris Couriard & Magdalena Branecka JLE: (JERSEYLIFE EDITOR) So I hear you recently brought a rescued dog back from Bali; what were you doing in Bali? C&M: We temporarily left Jersey in February as Magda, who is a holistic & massage therapist, was professionally training in South East Asia and I was planning to experience some remote graphic/web design work while away. Our first stop was Bali, Indonesia and around two or three weeks after arriving, covid started making the mainstream news. We could have returned to Jersey but as Magda was a hands-on therapist and was unable to work at the time we decided to wait it out. It turned out that things never really did improve so we found ourselves staying in Bali for 7 or 8 months and enjoyed exploring the island with only a handful of tourists. JLE: When and how did you find Madu? C&M: During mid-July we were riding on our moped through a province called Suwat in the centre of the island after visiting a temple. It was mainly farms and woodland with very few houses around. As we turned a corner we noticed what we thought was a rabbit with myxomatosis on the side of the road. As we got closer we realised it was a small helpless puppy that was injured and covered in
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At the vet
blood! In the middle of the road was a pool of blood and it was hard to think that so much had come from such a tiny animal. The puppy was traumatised and screaming and crying; the most heart-breaking sound. We tried to get close to pick her up but she was so terrified and confused that she stumbled and fell into a small trench on the side of the road. She yelped in pain and just lay there crying on her side, unable to move and helpless. Without knowing what to do, we called across a rice paddy to some locals who kindly came over to help. The Balinese gentleman spoke little English but enough to say that he was sure she would die if we left her. At first, we tried to pick her up using a plastic bag but she was so scared that we couldn’t get anywhere near her without her trying to bite and cry. After a while, the man gestured to his wife across the field and she returned with a thick sack, usually used to carry vegetables or rice. In some ways, it was lucky that the puppy was inside the trench as we were able to guide her into the sack using a tree branch. The local couple tied up the sack with twine and helped us attach it to the hook on the front of the bike. We looked on the map for the nearest vet and rode for 45 minutes to get her there. I kept looking into the sack to see if she was still breathing and at some point, I wasn’t even sure if we would make it or if the vet would just recommend putting her down when we arrived. We heard her cries as we stopped at traffic lights but we continued on and eventually found our way to a vet in Ubud. The vet put her on the table and took her out of the sack in a calm manner before investigating her injuries. As we had seen blood in the road we were almost certain someone had hit her with a car or moped but it turned out her head and neck contained puncture wounds most likely from a larger dog. According to the vet, she was just over 3 months old and in addition to the bite wound, she was treated for scabies (a parasite under the skin), worms and was of course suffering from trauma. Her hair had almost all gone and she just looked incredibly sad and helpless. JLE: It must have been heart-breaking to find her in such a state. How did you help her to recover? C&M: At first, we planned to look after her temporarily so purchased a few essentials from the pet shop on the way back from the vet. In the morning we telephoned a number of Animal Welfare agencies and they all came back with the same response - ‘We are really sorry but we are completely full and can no longer accept any more dogs.’ They weren't even able to hold onto her while we sponsored her living costs for the foreseeable future. The only thing they were able to offer was a list of Facebook Groups and advice to help find a new owner online. It turned out that we were not the only ones trying to find new owners for dogs and a lot of those dogs were in perfect, healthy conditions, so our poor injured pup stood no chance. The only thing we could do is continue to show her love and she was treated to lots of dog treats and chew toys over the coming days. The vet had given her antibiotics and tablets for de-worming which we were mixing in with her food. We also used fish oil which did wonders for her hair growth. At the time she was so injured and hurt that she wasn't even able to walk up the smallest of steps. However, every day we noticed one improvement after another and it really warmed our hearts to see that she was on the mend.
Not much hair After about one week we decided she was well enough to go out for a short walk. At first, she tried to shake the lead off from her collar, very confused by the idea of it all, and got scared of almost every person and dog walking past. We had to give up on that first walk but by the second time she seemed to completely understand and slowly but surely she was able to start walking up bigger stairs without being picked up. We called her 'Madu', which means honey in Indonesian and matched her golden brown, honey-coloured hair that we could see appearing. JLE: When did you decide to bring her home and tell me about the logistics of that? C&M: We both completely underestimated the attachment we would eventually feel for the pup and after just two weeks we felt completely inseparable. I think that seeing a pup dramatically improve in health due to our care made the attachment between us all even stronger. However, because we were 8 months into our stay our finances were limited and it seemed impossible to bring her home. It turned out to be very complicated to transport a dog from Bali, likely due to the rabies outbreaks of the past, so we enlisted the help of a local animal transport agency. We contacted as many as we could find and eventually found one we liked but the cheapest option we could find would have cost over £3,000 to get the puppy to France! Or well over £4,000 if we went via the UK due to high flight prices and customs charges. We looked on the website, GoFundMe and found cases of people in similar positions who were able to raise enough money to bring rescued dogs back home. This spurred us on and we put a lot of effort making a video to tell our story and explain our predicament. The first morning after making the fundraising page live we managed to raise over £500 so this filled us with hope and we were truly grateful to local media who featured the story and after about one month we had raised all £2,730. From the bottom of our hearts, we are truly grateful to every single person who donated and made it possible to bring Madu home. continues overleaf... NOVEMBER ISSUE | 13
C&M: She's doing really well despite the slight climate difference between the two islands. One of the first things we did was get her an extra warm dog coat but to be honest, I think she found the heat in Bali a little much at times, especially near midday when the sun was at its hottest. Madu was even able to help us find a new flat to rent in Jersey as the landlord checked my Facebook page and found out about the whole story. Not only did she make a generous donation but even changed the contract to allow a dog to stay at her property. We were truly grateful. Only last week, she had been tied up outside the Co-op Grand MarchĂŠ while Magda was doing some shopping and managed to wiggle free from her harness! I was working from home at the time and the doorbell went. It was our new neighbour who said on the intercom 'did you know that your dog is outside!.' Slightly confused I went downstairs and sure enough, it was Madu in her shiny new coat with no harness. We were relieved that she was OK and very impressed that such a young pup had found her way home (four minutesâ€™ walk away!) and, I guess, it's a good sign that she willingly returned home. Getting used to the crate for travel However, we were not out of the woods just yet! The logistics were far from straight forward and involved her having various injections, a microchip and various tests before she was deemed fit enough to travel. She was to be picked up by the pet transport agency, driven three hours across Bali to take a ferry to Java and another two days drive to the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, before having a check-up at a local vet. It was here we planned to stay with her for one night before flying to Qatar then on to Paris. It meant she was in her crate for 17 hours straight! We were really worried about her. Due to the limited ferry crossings to Jersey, we decided to stay near Paris in the Forest of Fontainebleau for a few days, giving Madu some much needed rest and take her for some walks. Her Pet Passport was transferred over to an EU Passport and we drove the last four hours to Saint-Malo to catch the ferry.
JLE: What does the future hold for you both and Madu? C&M: She's a tough dog and has a lot of energy so we're really looking forward to exploring some countries closer to home in the not so distant future. We'd love to take her to France and take her on some camping trips and treks like the Tour du Mont Blanc. At the moment we are thoroughly enjoying her company and taking her out to all parts of the island. She will also be starting Puppy Training very soon. She really does make the house feel like a home.
JLE: I understand you were contacted to bring other animals back to Jersey. Tell me about that. C&M: That's right. Due to the fact covid had occurred it meant that lots of pets were stuck all over the world with their owners unable to retrieve them. It turned out there were three other dogs and one cat that had been stuck in Jakarta and their owners were close enough to Paris to pick them up. One person can take up to three animals on the flight so between the two of us we had five animals in total. It must have been quite a sight at the airports to see trollies stacked high with pet crates! It was an amazing experience to watch people be reunited with their pets at Paris Airport and some owners had even driven up from as far away as Portugal and Luxembourg. One lady had even attempted to get back to Jakarta despite the pandemic and had gotten as far as Amsterdam before being turned away. She was particularly emotional to see her pet again. (You can see her reaction and the whole story in our video on our GoFundMe page: www.ourjerseydog.com) JLE: How is Madu doing now?
Recent and beautiful Madu xxxx 14 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
CORBETT LE QUESNE
AVOID A DOG FIGHT agreement can also include provision for what should happen to a beloved pet. Cohabitation agreements are fairly common now as more people purchase property together without being married. But cohabitation agreements don’t only deal with how houses should be divided if a relationship breaks down.
You may know a couple who separated years ago but who still share a pet. I know several people who do this and manage it really well. One friend has their dog a week at a time and when they go on holiday they have someone to take the dog for them. Occasionally there is a clash of holidays and some grizzling over who should pay the vet bills but generally it works really well. In these cases it works very well without any formal agreements. However, sometimes the pet becomes the centre of a battle. Who bought the pet? Who cared for it more? Who can provide the better home?
“Did you know that legally a pet is the property of the person who paid for it in the same way as a chair or any other item?”
Did you know that legally a pet is the property of the person who paid for it in the same way as a chair or any other item? So while you may think you bought the cat together, if in fact your partner paid for the cat using their money, legally it is their cat. Even if a pet belonged to one party before a couple met, over time a relationship might develop so that the both people feel equally attached to that cat/dog/tortoise. I won’t mention any names but I know people who have become uncharacteristically attached to pets that they were reluctant to bond with initially. Sometimes you don’t realise you are a cat person until you are one. No one wants to spend lots of money on legal fees disputing issues like this but if you are entering into a relationship with another person and a pet, just consider your options. When you are negotiating agreements it does not have to be difficult or expensive. You can sit down with your other half and go through the things that you need to discuss and list who would have what in the event of a break up. You can add details about who contributed what if you like so that everything is clear from the start. You can agree whatever you like, within reason, and being able to talk things through in this way gives you a good idea of how you both see things and how you will work together as partners in the future. If you struggle to negotiate when things are good, imagine how hard it would be if you were separating.
A pet is a part of the family. This can be a really difficult situation. Your ex-partner remains in your life and new partners have to accept this, as well as the pet of course.
For further information, please contact: Advocate Barbara Corbett or Nicholas Le Quesne on 01534 733030 www.corbettlequesne.com
Sharing a pet and continuing to manage a relationship with an ex might seem impossible. Like with anything, sometimes it is best to deal with these kind of issues while relations are good. In the same way as a pre-nuptial agreement can provide for how assets will be divided in the event of a break-up, a cohabitation
Corbett Le Quesne is a dedicated family law firm. It was founded in November 2017 by Advocates Barbara Corbett and Nicholas Le Quesne. The firm’s ethos is to provide clients with peace of mind by taking a holistic approach to family law matters, wherever possible working to achieve resolution out of court.
NOVEMBER ISSUE | 15
My Lockdown Diary PART 2
By Marilyn Carré
Last month I shared that we’d had to leave Antigua where we were cat sitting for 3 months, a whole month early because of Covid 19 and lockdown. Travelling back through Gatwick, though tough, turned out to be the least of our worries… MONDAY, 29TH MARCH 2020 We are desperate to catch our flight because we’ve been told it would definitely be the last to enter Jersey before lockdown. Yesterday, it was only a rumour but today - confirmation is staring us in our respective slightly glum faces… Luckily we did manage to get on our flight homeward bound; Later that day… Alastair and I arrived home in Jersey today, but it truly was a nightmare getting here. When we hit the tarmac in Jersey, we thought that was the end of the nightmare, but no - we had to queue up for almost two hours in the corridor outside the arrival’s hall. Passengers went through one at a time where they/we were asked to fill in our name and address. Alastair and I went through together but were told we had to self-isolate separately because we live separately although we had been on holiday together and travelled together! We were told we could choose to both live at the one address but we would not be permitted to even visit our own homes (well, depending which house we chose) if we opted to stay
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Alastair after several weeks of lockdown feeling he needed a haircut!
under one roof. We both had much we wanted to sort out in our respective dwellings so chose to separate. There were no taxis outside the Jersey Airport terminal so we got the bus to La Place Hotel and then walked back to mine with our suitcases and other bags. We agreed we should try to get some food in before Alastair left me, and at least have one last meal together. We rang round to all the emergency numbers for food deliveries because we weren’t allowed in the shops. Not many replied, and those that did couldn’t deliver for several days. Eventually, out of desperation, I phoned my lovely friend Sonia, who brought provisions to last a few days. She is the loyalist friend anyone could ever wish to have and is always there when the chips are down. Alastair left with half of what she’d brought me and that was it. We knew there would be no further contact for 14 days. We’ve obviously been keeping in touch over WhatsApp, but it seems crazy we can’t just walk round the corner to simply eat together. After all, no one else is in either house and we’d just spent the last month under the same roof in Antigua for goodness sakes! It was beautiful weather here today, so we reported how it was in our respective gardens when we phoned to say goodnight, tired and totally exhausted. I am off to sleep in my own bed for the first time in weeks. I will write more when I’ve recovered a bit.
TUESDAY, 7TH APRIL 2020 It's been a strange week. On the one hand it's been a wonderful opportunity to get lots done, but on the other, the isolation has felt surreal. This morning I attended for a Covid-19 screening, having developed symptoms since my arrival home. I had been given incorrect directions to get to the make-shift premises, and so ended up arriving five minutes late. They let me through, but they weren’t happy with me. Not my fault!! It was surreal; a girl in a white boiler suit, face mask and visor, Me and son from Matt my mouth/throat. I later discovered this is took a swab something which will take three to five days to process. Then, my sister phoned to tell me our elderly aunt had died three days ago and our cousin Margaret (roughly the same age as me) yesterday. We are a small enough family as it is, so not what we wanted to hear. I don’t know how they died, but certainly we’d not heard that either were ill, so it must have been sudden. That definitely hasn’t sunk in! On a positive note, I have my little foster-cat Tia, back from her auntie Fiona, at Cozy Catz Cattery, and she has been wonderful company. I don’t know what Fi has done to her, but she has come back a much warmer, cuddlier, contented friend. She wants to be picked up and cuddled all the time and sleeps so close to me at night that I fear I’m going to roll over and crush her in my sleep. I can even kiss her little nose! Fi truly has a special way with animals which is hard to put into words. Tia fell in love with Fi the minute we walked in through her door. She is an amazing woman on so many levels. You can’t know Fi and not love her to bits. The best cattery ever!! She even drove Tia back to me because I was in isolation and couldn’t leave the cottage. MONDAY, 29TH MARCH 2020 Last night, I went to bed as per the norm and fell asleep relatively quickly. However, at around 3.00am I was woken up by the most excruciating chest pains. It felt as if someone had taken a bicycle pump to my lungs and wouldn’t stop pumping air into them. I thought they would burst! I was afraid, as anyone could imagine. I sat bolt upright and tried to breathe deeply for a count of five, hold for five, then repeat. I'd seen this on a Coronavirus public information clip. You’re told to cough then repeat the sequence twice more. It helped a bit, but my chest was feeling tighter and tighter. I was on the brink of phoning for an ambulance, but it eased a bit and eventually (some hours later) I fell asleep again. This morning, I phoned Alastair to tell him what had happened and he phoned the CV-19 helpline. They said I needed to speak with my GP. That was useless, because all I got was a recorded message telling me to contact the duty doctor. I did as I was told, only to find another recorded message saying there was no duty doctor. What! I phoned the helpline myself and this time I was told I should hold the line and I would be put through to a member of the hospital team. I described the symptoms I had in the night, to a female nurse. I said that out of desperation, I had used an old Salbutamol inhaler which was well out of date, but added that I was usually only mildly asthmatic so had not needed to use it for about eighteen months. This member of staff was quite sharp, and said that everyone thought they had Coronavirus, and that what I had described sounded more like a cardiac arrest. She asked if there was a history of heart failure in my family and
also, if the ends of my fingers were blue. 'No' I replied in response to both questions, but she still stuck to her radical diagnosis. Was that supposed to make me feel better? She said that if I had the same experience tonight, I should dial 999. I am dreading going to bed! Having spoken with Alastair again, he suggested I try contacting my surgery by email. He also felt it was a bit of a sweeping diagnosis for this nurse to have offered. I phoned a good friend named (who was a nurse in A & E for years) and she wasn’t at all impressed with the diagnosis either. I tried the surgery again, but the town branch this time. A human being picked up the phone. Hurrah! She was lovely, and told me this sounded serious and she would get a Doctor to contact me. My own GP wasn’t on duty. He rang back very quickly, and was quite cross about the diagnosis I had been offered by the hospital. He said all I had relayed to him was beyond the shadow of doubt Coronavirus symptoms. He is going to get a new Salbutamol inhaler delivered to me in the morning, as he believes it might help a bit. He was great, because he didn’t give me any false hope, but I felt he truly listened. He said that because this was more than 7 days on from the first symptoms, I would either start to feel much better or I would deteriorate rapidly. In the case of the latter, I would need to be hospitalised, but there was little he could do for me right now. I simply had to wait. THURSDAY 9TH APRIL, 2020 I’m feeling a bit better today but have spent the last two days sleeping and coughing a lot. I’ve never known pain like it. My test for Covid-19 came back negative a couple of hours ago, so I phoned the GP I had spoken to a few days ago, to ask how that could possibly be. He said it was because the virus is now in my lungs and the swab can only detect what’s in the saliva or throat. He assured me that even without seeing me he was certain beyond the shadow of any doubt he was telling me the right thing. I had made contact because I didn’t want to start going out to do my own shopping on day 14 of my self- isolation (Easter
Roses outside my front door which always made us smile
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Monday in other words) if I am a danger to the public. He said it could take weeks to clear because it’s in my lungs and he thanked me for taking responsible action in contacting him. He said that when I stopped coughing completely, I still had to wait three full days and then I could go to get provisions and have a short walk. If this is how the swab works, that worries me because I can’t be the only person who has tested negative when that test didn’t have the capability of screening for the more serious development, surely? GOOD FRIDAY, 10TH APRIL, 2020 Today I felt I could eat a bit, but wanted something that was tempting. I noticed that Randall’s Restaurants were doing a special offer on lobster, salad, and hot Jersey royals with a choice of deserts. I phoned Alastair and asked if he fancied ordering the food too, so we could have a virtual meal together, over WhatsApp or Zoom. They also threw in a bottle of white wine. It felt surreal eating at my table with an iPad propped up in front of me where Alastair was eating the same food at the same time but not truly in the same room. We had laid our respective tables and filled our wine glasses. Well, I only had a very small amount as I was afraid it might have an adverse effect. I enjoyed what I had though, and in a weird way our meal together felt like the most normal thing we’d done since our return from Antigua. I truly believe if we had stayed in Antigua, I would not have contracted this horrible virus. It must have been through the air conditioning on the long flight back or through the freezing cold air con at Gatwick Airport. Maybe even the French woman we spoke to? Who knows? I just thank God Alastair didn’t get it too, because it’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Having said that, he was very tired when we were in Antigua, so had he had it and not known? Who knows! EASTER SUNDAY, 12TH APRIL, 2020 The greatest blessing this Easter would be for the numbers of deaths around the world to fall. It’s certainly something I’m praying for!
EASTER MONDAY, 13TH APRIL, 2020 I feel much better this morning, so I'm hoping that I've turned a corner. Because he doesn’t have the virus, Alastair can go out for a walk today, which is brilliant because the sun is beginning to shine and the fresh air will do him good. He can also get his newspaper instead of having to read it online each day, although what a godsend that facility has been; being able to read online when he couldn’t get out! THURSDAY, 16TH APRIL, 2020 I was going out to the supermarket today. Yes, my big outing! However, the tiredness levels have been such I couldn’t do it. Maybe I can try again tomorrow. I feel too tired to even speak most of the time. Being over 65 I wasn’t supposed to go out at all I didn’t think, but when I rang the CV helpline (yet again) a really lovely young-sounding man said it was ok as long as I didn’t stay out for more than two hours and observed social distancing. I was also allowed to have a cup of tea in the garden with Alastair as long as I observed the same social distancing. Well, that’s a bit better! The only sadness today is that a lovely friend has died. He has been ill for a long time, but it has still hit me hard. We had a wonderful friendship. He would call me Sister Marilyn and I would call him Brother John. I couldn’t be with him at the end and I doubt I will be able to attend his funeral. This Covid thing is taking away so much from all of us in different ways and it’s heart-breaking. Well, I think I had best stop wittering on and on, before I give you all a headache. I just got a bit carried away! Please take care of yourselves and each other if you are with a loved one or family, or if you are isolating on your own like me, please reach out to others if you need help. I’ve found that so difficult to do - I’m usually the one giving out the help, but it’s a good, humbling lesson. Whatever you do, however you do it, stay safe. With love from us both, Marilyn xx & Alastair xx ‘This was certainly an Easter none of us will ever forget!’
First meal out after lockdown at the Hotel Cristina, looking out over the beautiful bay towards Elizabeth Castle. 18 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
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Travelling through Covid PART 3 Words and Images by Philippa Alexandre... We decided to make the 'great escape' from southern Spain to northern France on 14th May - both Spain and France were still under Covid-19 quarantine. We didn't know how much longer lockdown would go on for or if we'd even be allowed to cross the border, but after 9 weeks of being locked down in Spain, we had to try. The journey would take us 3 days, 1,669km (1037 miles) and a total of nearly 19 hours of driving; only stopping to sleep and eat for a few hours each night. We quarantined ourselves in the motorhome, only leaving the van to refuel at petrol stations. Just as well we love being in the motorhome! It was so exhausting but we knew we had to get to our friend's house just outside of Dinan. We hadn't encountered any police or stops all the way through Spain but were nervous as we approached the border crossing. The French police asked for our passports, where we were from and where were going. As we were headed in the direction of Jersey, could quarantine in the motorhome and had good reason to be moving around, he let us through. The Spanish had been extremely strict about Covid regulations, having to wear masks and gloves whenever we went out (which was only to the supermarket) but as we crossed into France it was if Covid had never happened. Everyone was walking around mask free, even when queuing in the supermarkets and huddled together at bus stops. We stopped for food at a supermarket and Callum went in, the only person to be wearing a mask. As he queued at the till, he left space for people as we had learned to do in Spain and an older lady came and stood right behind him, touching his shoulder. He thought ‘if you knew that I've just come from Spain would you be standing so close?’ Another day of driving passed and we finally reached our friend’s house. It was such a relief to be there but so very strange not to be able to hug them when we arrived. They own a beautiful, converted old farm called 'La Tisonnais' which they run as a chambre d'hôte. We had stayed with them several times before
Full camping set up in France
on previous motorbike adventures through France - in the yurt, the shepherd's hut and the gypsy caravan at different times. It is a place of calm, peacefulness and serenity in the Bretagne countryside. Exactly where we needed to be! Again, we didn't know how long lockdown would continue for so we asked to stay for two weeks and eventually extended that to nearly a month. As they have separate bathrooms for each accommodation area and we have everything we need in the motorhome, we could quite easily keep our distance whilst still enjoying their company from afar. The weather was warm and sunny, we could cycle around the lanes, completely relax and safely spend time with people we knew; it was perfect. After experiencing more freedom in Spain, Theodore was eager to explore outside again but our friends already had two cats so we had to slowly introduce him to the area and supervise their interactions. They weren't going to be best buddies but they tolerated this new cat and gave each other space. As it was so warm we left the habitation door open most of the day so Theodore gradually started coming and going as he pleased. He got up with us in the morning and had his breakfast then off he went to explore the farm, returning in the evening for dinner and to come to bed. Now and then he'd pop back to the van during the day to check in, use the litter tray or just for a pat then off he'd go again on his adventures. He was having the time of his life! Read more about our travels at rvmanvyi.com Facebook & Instagram @RVManVyi Find La Tisonnais on Facebook La Tisonnais Farmhouse bed & breakfast
Theodore exploring France 20 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
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Bonny Scotland’s capital for a family city-break
Edinburgh by Rebecca Underwood
The Royal Yacht Britannia ©Marc Millar
Edinburgh Castle © Crown Copyright HES The ‘staycation’ is more popular than ever as a direct result of the outbreak of Covid 19 and for families considering a city-break, Edinburgh is the ideal destination. Recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1995, Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town offer visitors an intriguing glimpse into a rich culture and a fascinating history. Edinburgh Castle - courtesy Visit Scotland photographer Kenny Lam
Holyrood Palace - courtesy Visit Scotland photographer Kenny Lam
I was most fortunate to visit the city prior to the restrictions on the hospitality sector and I checked into the Adagio Aparthotel, located on Cannongate, in Edinburgh’s Old Town on the Royal Mile. This modern property offers first rate levels of comfort and service and features a private car park, a business hub, a fitness centre, and on-site self-service laundry facilities. The fully furnished and air-conditioned accommodations include contemporary double or twin bedded studios measuring 26 square metres and I secured a one bedroom apartment measuring 45 square metres with views across the city. The fully equipped kitchen features a microwave, hob, fridge- freezer, Nespresso coffee maker, kettle and toaster, and every gadget is provided to ensure that busy visitors are able to whip up a time-saving meal. Alas, my culinary skills are sadly lacking and I headed, post-haste, for Makars Gourmet Mash Bar on Bank Street. This independent, family-owned restaurant is a regular winner of the annual Tripadvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Award and offers a relaxed dining experience, first class service and promotes local, independent, artisan producers. I ordered the beef haggis with heather honey and turnip purèe and accompanied by a glass of 2019 Aires Andinos Malbec, it was an outstanding dish, served with aplomb. Back at the Adagio Aparthotel, and after taking advantage of the free unlimited Wifi, I slipped into a deep slumber, followed by a leisurely lie-in, cocooned in the soft duvet on my ultra comfortable bed. Full of beans, after my rejuvenating hot shower, I popped down to the hotel’s reception to collect the ‘Grab and go’ take-away breakfast, which was delivered in a flash. Back in the privacy of my apartment, perched on the plump sofa and catching up on the news, on the large television, I devoured the fresh
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Adagio Aparthotel Accommodation
Britannia's Grand Staircase © Marc Millar pastries, yoghurt, cereal and fruit, and whilst sipping on my piping hot cappuccino I planned my itinerary for the day. I decided to take the short stroll along to the magnificent Holyrood Palace, which is the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and it’s crammed with striking works of art, glittering trinkets, elaborate tapestries and treasures galore. From 1561 to 1567 the palace was home to Mary, Queen of Scots, and the narrow, winding steps of the north-west tower, built almost 500 years ago, lead to Mary’s bedchamber. I was surprised to find the doorway was rather low as although it is known that people were much smaller in the 1500s, Mary was six feet tall. Mary’s tiny supper room is where she witnessed the murder of David Rizzio, her much admired private secretary. On 09 March 1566 Mary’s jealous and arrogant husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, accompanied by a group of Scottish lords, stabbed Rizzio 56 times. Prince Charles Edward Stuart, known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, grandson of the deposed Catholic King James VII of Scotland and II of England, arrived at Holyrood in 1745. He set up court for six weeks during which time elaborate balls, lavish receptions, and extravagant dinners were held. Also known as ‘the Young Pretender’, and supported by his associates, he led a campaign, known as the Jacobite Risings, with the aim of overthrowing King George II and securing the British throne for the House of Stuart. In April 1746 he was defeated at the battle of Culloden by the Duke of Cumberland and the Red Coats and Bonnie Prince Charlie fled to the Outer Hebrides and then to Europe and a life in exile. Highlights of the self-guided audio tour include the king’s bedchamber, the most lavish room in the palace. Designed for Charles II, it is dominated by the state bed, which has been at Holyrood since at least 1684 and was restored in 1976, swathed in rich scarlet damask to match the original fabric. The gallery is the largest room in the palace and displays an extensive selection of portraits of Scottish monarchs commissioned by King Charles II. Painted by the Dutch artist, Jacob de Wet, the portraits were delivered between 1684 and 1686 and feature real and legendary kings of Scotland. Today, the gallery is used by Queen Elizabeth II for state banquets, receptions, and to confer investitures for Scottish recipients of orders.
Another royal residence, and another major attraction, is the Royal Yacht Britannia. Winner of the 2020 Which? Reader’s Award for the UK’s Best Attraction, Britannia is docked at the Ocean Terminal in Leith; only two miles from the centre of Edinburgh. I hopped on a local bus and en route I spotted the delightful Mimi’s Bakehouse, which is located on Shore, within walking distance to the Ocean Terminal. I selected a cosy table by the window and whilst admiring the charming décor I ordered the delicious avocado toast with poached eggs and chilli flakes and whilst sipping on my lavender and lemon homemade soda, I browsed through some literature focused on Britannia. Britannia was built by John Brown and Co and launched and named by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 16 April 1953 in Clydebank. The vessel remained in service for 44 years and sailed the equivalent of a voyage around the world for every year visiting more than 600 ports in 135 countries. Britannia was the ideal spot for a royal honeymoon and Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York and Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips all took advantage of the privacy provided and the rare opportunity to sail into secluded destinations. The Queen once stated; ‘Britannia is the one place I can truly relax.’ Alas, the vessel was de-commissioned in 1997 but it is now open to the public and I was immediately enthralled. Entering the admiral’s quarters and wandering around the bridge and the top deck I was astonished by the lack of space and it must have been difficult for the crew and officers to go about their duties. I wandered onto the lower deck to view the royal accommodations, which are surprisingly sparse, yet functional and cosy without glitz and glamour and then I entered the state dining room, which is the largest and grandest room aboard. This is the spot where Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh entertained world leaders and powerful individuals including Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Sir Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela. Whilst wandering around Britannia’s open decks admiring the views over the briny my appetite was awakened and I hailed a cab and headed for Dine, a chic, multi-award winning brasseriestyle venue, located above the Traverse Theatre on Cambridge Street. I chose the succulent loin of Perthshire venison with potato continues overleaf...
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Feeling slightly tipsy I headed back to my hotel and I regretted that my time in Edinburgh had come to an end. As I passed by Waverly railway station I spotted a lone piper, splendidly attired in his kilt and sporran, and I instantly recognised the wonderful song in remembrance of Bonnie Prince Charlie….. ‘Speed Bonnie Boat, like a bird on the wing, onward, the sailors cry, carry the lad that’s born to be king, over the sea to Skye’ 'TOP TIP' ACCOMMODATION For more information on the featured property and other sites around the world visit adagio-city.com Edinburgh Castle © Historic Environment Scotland fondant, wild mushrooms, quince jelly and celeriac purèe, which was served with savoir faire. And accompanied by the deep and intense flavours of the 2016 Alpha Zeta a Amarone it was an unforgettable dining experience. Up with the larks the following morning I made my way to Edinburgh’s New Town, which has retained much of the neo-classical and elegant Georgian period architecture, dating between 1767 and 1850. Prince’s Street is the main thoroughfare and I explored the streets behind it, which present grandiose properties with towering Grecian pillars and large windows. The original character of the New Town, which includes cobble-stone roads, sandstone block facades and leafy communal gardens, is very well preserved. Wandering along Hanover Street I fancied a ‘wee dram’ and popped into Milne’s Bar, which dates back to 1910 and the spot where Scottish literary figures, including Hugh MacDiarmid would gather to discuss politics and the arts in the 20th century. I selected an outside table and ordered a shot of malt whisky to warm my cockles. The enticing aroma of fish n’ chips wafted under my nostrils and I succumbed to the Belhaven beer-battered Atlantic haddock with triple-cooked chips and it was absolutely bursting with flavour. Keen to indulge in some retail therapy I spent some hours exploring the quirky shops and charming boutiques on Rose Street and the upmarket shops on Multrees Walk. I was easily persuaded to blow my budget when I came upon the most wonderful displays of cashmere jumpers and cardigans, tweeds and tartans galore, the finest kilts and sporrans, and colourful tins of oak cakes and shortbread. As I strolled along George Street, weighed down with shopping bags, I was delighted to spot the Hard Rock Café. Swiftly escorted to my table, I ordered the deliciously spicy baby back ribs, glazed with barbecue sauce, and I sipped on a rather potent hurricane cocktail, which includes Bacardi superior rum blended with orange, mango, pineapple juice and grenadine, and finished with a float of Captain Morgan dark rum and Amaretto. Exploring the café’s mesmerising collection of memorabilia, I was delighted to see a non-refundable JFK to London air ticket to the value of $750, which was issued to Jimi Hendrix on 20 February 1970, a sombrero, worn by Elvis in the 1963 movie Fun in Acapulco, Mick Jagger’s jacket, worn in 1976, during a performance in Buffalo, and an original poster promoting the 1969 Woodstock concert, which was once displayed on the back of a NY city bus.
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'TOP TIP' AIRPORT TRANSFERS CITY CABS EDINBURGH Avoid the queues and choose a reliable, punctual and well established company with more than 90 years experience. Download the app and track your driver using GPS, confirm, cancel and edit bookings, pay in cash or with a debit/credit card, select vehicle type and set up call backs. For more information visit citycabs.co.uk 'TOP TIP' GETTING AROUND EDINBURGH WITH EASE With the Lothian Buses Ridacard, the more you travel, the more you save. Take advantage of unlimited travel 24/7 across Edinburgh, Queensferry and in and out of the airport. For more information visit lothianbuses.com/ridacard 'TOP TIP' ATTRACTIONS For more information on the featured attractions visit royalyachtbritannia.co.uk and rct.uk For a fun day out for all the family visit Edinburgh Castle. For information visit edinburghcastle.scot And visit Edinburgh Zoo, one of Europe’s leading centres for animal conservation and home to more than 1,000 rare and endangered animals including koala and giant pandas. Visit edinburghzoo.org. Edinburgh Castle - courtesy Visit Scotland photographer Kenny Lam
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
By CI Home Care elderly home care to see this initiative expand to recognise all those involved in care – not only Paramedics and hospital health-care staff. After all home care is part of the care continuum. Along with other community services it can help keep people out of hospital or facilitate their early release – leaving hospital beds empty in case needed for covid patients. THINKING AHEAD about future care needs – especially whether residential or at home – has been another result of the increased media attention on care. In Jersey we are blessed with elderly care choices which mean that the standard of care we receive is not dictated by wealth. Under the island’s Long Term Care scheme (LTC), everyone’s care is delivered by the same choice of home care providers, whether self-funded or covered by LTC. Once needs reach a higher level a person’s choice re staying at home with care or moving into residential care is also respected. The LTC scheme is not simple, but it does offer choice and equality which is to be applauded. SAFETY has also become a consideration in decisions re elderly care. Happily in Jersey we were spared the horror stories reported elsewhere of covid running rampant through residential care settings. But such stories have had an impact and enquiries for Live-in Carers i.e. full time care in a person’s own home, have increased.
BUT WHAT NEW PERSPECTIVES HAVE WE GAINED?
Finally, the use of TECHNOLOGY has been revisited by many elderly people who had previously dismissed “those gadgets” as ”just for the young”. If you have elderly relatives who are still resisting technology we urge you to try again. Who knows how this Christmas will shape up? If your elderly relative has a Carer see whether they can help. Even if you have to pay for a little extra call time your care agency may well have surplus minutes in their mobile package and the Carer will be thrilled to help put a smile on the face of their client by showing a glimpse of children and grandchildren by the tree.
GRATITUDE towards Carers, including community Carers, seems to be top of the list. The “Clap for Carers” initiative proved hugely popular and was given the Royal seal of approval when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children began to participate. It was especially gratifying for those of us involved in
However your Christmas shapes up we wish you joy and health. And please spare a thought for all the Carers – and Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, hospital Cleaners and Porters, Paramedics and everyone who will be working on Christmas Day to keep us and our loved ones safe.
It may be predictable to reflect on the past year as we head towards Christmas - but after a year like 2020 it’s hard not to! The media spotlight has shone on many parts of life that previously were often overlooked. In this article we focus on one such area - the elderly and their care.
Live-in care specialists Hourly home care enquiries welcomed Overnight and respite care also available Simply call Nicola or Emma on 01534 883 886 for further information or to arrange a no obligation informal chat. Complete Individual Home Care Ltd., Suite 3 Longueville Business Centre, Longueville Road, St Saviour JE2 7SA
Registered with the Jersey Care Commission Flexible, consistent and friendly care NOVEMBER ISSUE | 27
HOW TO ENTERTAIN OUTDOORS THIS
Autumn Patios, gazebos, and the roar of an open flame will all help keep you happy and social, says Luke Rix-Standing... Rarely have we appreciated a summer so little, and yet been sadder to see it go. For all the horrors of the pandemic and its accompanying lockdowns, safe socialising in warm weather was a doddle compared to what lies ahead. A socially-distanced walk in the park, a carefully constructed outdoor dinner, a well-regulated beer garden â€“ all could be performed in relative safety. Now winter is wrapping the nation in its icy grip, and even the most well-fortified beer blanket can struggle against a cold night.
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But there is – and always has been – plenty to like about winter. The long, dark evenings lit by fire or candlelight, the restorative qualities of mulled wine and cocoa, the cloud of mist that accompanies every breath. Winter is beautiful, even if it makes you work for it. Here’s how to perfect your patio and host outside your home, making sure a sociable summer doesn’t become a winter of discontent… BUNDLE UP OK, so we’re starting off really simple here, but it is astonishing how often, and how badly people underdress. We’re instinctively unwilling to break longstanding sartorial rules, and the idea or wearing two T-shirts or two jumpers just seems somehow wrong. Leave all those tropes behind and wear everything you physically can, because if you’re sitting still, the cold will creep into your bones through the tiniest chink in your armour. If you’re too warm, you can take something off, but if you’re too cold, you’re going to be miserable. Warn your guests to wear lots of extra layers, because market research suggests that, if left to their own devices, they probably won’t. Consider investing in some furry blankets that you can dole out for extra hosting points – preferably the sort that can then go straight in the washing machine. SNUG AS A BUG Heating of some sort is a must for al fresco dining outside of summer, and there are various ways of transporting some hygge from your front room to your patio. Glowing coals and real flame both lend a lovely back-to-nature feel, and turn an outdoor evening setting into something special. Fire pits can be run on gas or filled with wood or charcoal, or you can opt for a brazier or even a kettle barbecue. Charcoal needs to be lit some 45 minutes before you need it, then guests will arrive to a warm, welcoming glow from the get-go. If live fire isn’t your thing, there are plenty of outdoor heaters. Those not mains connected mostly run on bottled gas and aren’t hugely eco-friendly, and the most effective options (like those that frequent
pub courtyards) are pretty pricey. If it’s your only option for safe socialising, you may consider it worthwhile regardless. RAIN RAIN, GO AWAY… BYOB does not stand for bring your own brolly, and if rain is forecast, you need a proper covering. Covered patios are mana from heaven, but difficult to arrange on the fly, so opt instead for an awning, or better yet, a gazebo. A roof with no sides is almost as Covid-safe as being out in the open, and will protect you from all but the most horizontal rain. Pop-up, four-pole gazebos are widely available, easy to set up, and pack down into a simple carry bag. A classic three by three metre unit is large enough for four to six people, with at least a metre distancing in between. LENGTHENING EVENINGS Lunchtime may be easier for out-of-season al fresco entertaining, because no matter how dry or warm you are, by 6.30pm, you may not be able to see. Fire pits and braziers may offer the flickering light of the fireside, but for an ordinary evening, some sort of artificial lighting is a must. Plug-in lanterns and spotlights are common and easy to hook up, while wall-mounted outdoor lamps come in a range of styles, and can mostly be installed without tradespeople spending too long inside your home. Consider using directed, accent lighting to illuminate your patio and table, while leaving the space around you delightfully dark and mysterious, or running fairy lights through trees for peak festivity. If you can’t use the mains, rechargeable lanterns are generally cheap and should easily last the evening, while solar-powered lights can brighten your garden by night and juice up during the day. PICK YOUR SPOT If the outside of your home isn’t suited to socialising, you should be able to transpose your setup to a winter picnic. Chances are you can’t bring the brazier, but blankets, a pop-up gazebo, fully charged lamps and filled thermoses should easily fit in the back of a car. Yes, it’s a bit of a hassle, but these days, we’ll do that and more for a change of scene.
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COSY AND STYLISH WAYS TO TRANSFORM OR UPDATE YOUR DECOR Creating homely havens that are comforting and inspiring has never felt so important. Gabrielle Fagan asks five experts to share their favourite looks...
Your home’s personality should still shine through, St George insists, and introducing quirky accessories and playful final touches to your home office is a wonderful way to bring the whole of your interior together and create a cohesive scheme.
With temperature’s dropping and nights drawing in, our homes need to be cosy sanctuaries – but don’t let them get left out in the cold style-wise.
“It’s about blurring the boundaries in our spaces with more imaginative decor and furniture choices, so they become more versatile,” she explains.
It can be hard to choose from the rich harvest of decor trends and fashions at this time of year though. So, to make it easier, we asked five interiors experts for their favourite looks.
BARKER & STONEHOUSE: GO FOR GLAMOUR It’s time to embrace bold colour, voluptuous velvets and charismatic curves says Claire Hornby, head of creative for furniture store group, Barker & Stonehouse.
Design gurus at leading interiors destinations Made.com, Rockett St George, Barker & Stonehouse, Heal’s, plus Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen all share their insights on transforming rooms and adding those special touches. Take your pick from maximalism versus moody, Nordic-inspired fab functionality (ideal for hard-working homes), full-fat glamour, contemporary classic, plus pattern and a dollop of British eccentricity… MADE.COM: TALE OF TWO STYLES Maximalism and a fresh take on Scandi are vying for our attention, says Ruth Wassermann, Made’s design director. “We’ve seen a growing popularity for maximalism, especially on Instagram and Pinterest,” she enthuses. “For our ‘Luxe Maximalist’ trend, we’ve taken a ‘more is more’ approach with our collection, which is inspired by Seventies disco nights and art deco patterns. It’s about creating a boutique hotel feeling at home.” The mix of architectural references and totem motifs in colourful textiles and statement lighting, she explains, is all brought alive by a palette of rich pink, teal and red, and brass and marble accents for an uber-opulent feeling. If that’s all too full-on for your taste, there’s an alternative pared-back look which is equally popular – a refresh of simple Scandi style but with a moody, dark palette. “We’re spending a lot more time in our homes now, and the twilightinspired ‘Nordic Move On’ trend is more of a calming autumnal approach,” explains Wassermann. “Natural materials, dark finishes and our softest sofa ever come together to create a peaceful space, for those who prefer to keep their interiors more minimal.” ROCKETT ST GEORGE: WORK THE SPACE With our homes doubling as our offices nowadays, we’re going to become ever more imaginative about transforming them into distinctive spaces, predicts Lucy St George, co-founder of trendy interiors destination, Rockett St George. “With the kitchen and living room transformed from social spaces into productive home offices or home-schooling spaces, 2020 has proven that our homes need to be more flexible than ever before,” she says. “With this in mind, I think prioritising positivity, function and wellbeing will be a priority for both upcoming trends and future home design.”
“The number one design rule of the ‘Glam Boutique’ trend is don’t shy away from impact,” urges Hornby. “This look celebrates a marriage of opulent metallic finishes paired with bold regal shades of blues, burnt oranges and rustic red tones.” Her advice for nailing the look? “Don’t hold back. Think sumptuous, rich textures, lavish details and luxurious accents that exude opulence. Be decisive about your colour palette,” Hornby adds. “We’ve sampled an array of strong jewelled tones.” HEAL’S: CHOOSE TIMELESS STYLE Celebrating classic design in a contemporary living area conjures a look that never goes out of fashion, says Elena Paparozzi, furniture buyer at Heal’s. “This season and beyond, it’s about creating an inviting yet sophisticated space, which gives a contemporary nod to nostalgic design and blends beauty with practicality for a truly timeless appeal,” Paparozzi advises. “The challenges of this year have proven just how important it is to surround yourself with pieces you love, and we’ve seen a much greater appreciation for timeless designs that will be the heirlooms of the future and really do last a lifetime.” Practicality, style and comfort all lie at the heart of great design, Paparozzi says, and she predicts the emergence of ever more cleverly crafted solutions in response to the new ways we are using our homes. LAURENCE LLEWELYN-BOWEN: PLAY WITH PUNCHY PATTERN Go wild with your own taste, urges flamboyant decor guru and master of the frill and flourish, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. “My big mission, ever since I first appeared on TV’s Changing Rooms 25 years ago, has been to make people understand they can and should do what they want with their homes,” says Llewelyn-Bowen, who’s just announced he will return to Channel 4’s revival of the Nineties home makeovers show. “I’m thrilled we’re turning our backs on ‘cookie cutter’ decor solutions that we’ve been rather lazily embracing, and actually doing things much more expressively. It means eccentricity may return to British homes. We’re mad as pants – and our homes should reflect that!”
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AN EASY GUIDE TO SETTING UP A
Not sure how to elevate your space to be smarter? Sam Wylie-Harris seeks some expert advice...
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know smart devices are redefining our homes. And, as long as you have strong internet coverage, it’s time to reset the spaces we live in – which will ultimately make life easier. But at first glance, this can be daunting to the technophobes among us. “Knowing where to start can be the hardest part, but with a little guidance, anyone can do it,” says Matthew Currington, technical director at The Lighting Superstore. To help, Currington has put together an easy guide to creating your very own smart home… FIRST THINGS FIRST, YOU NEED STRONG WI-FI All smart devices will be affected by the internet coverage in your house, so the first thing to do is to ensure your home has a strong Wi-Fi connection. CHOOSE A SMART HOME ASSISTANT A virtual assistant is the natural first step in creating a smart home. With a vast range available on the market, you can select one that meets your individual needs. Each product has its own benefits. From informing you on the weather and blasting out music on demand, to more advanced settings such as controlling the lighting and heating. If this isn’t enough to sell you on the prospect of a virtual assistant, the products can monitor your work commute, keeping
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you up to date with any changes, audibly run through recipes with you step by step and finally create, edit and remind you of events on your calendar. The assistants listen to your instructions on command and can be set up to operate many elements around the home. PLUG IN A SMART PLUG Setting up a smart home on a budget is easily done and all you need is smart plugs. They can turn your regular appliances into smart devices without completely re-wiring your home or buying brand new appliances. You can then also connect your smart plug to your smart speaker, so you can control your appliances with voice commands. This is a good way of trying-before-you-buy, before taking the plunge and swapping to completely savvy products. SMART LOCKS THAT WORK WITH ALARMS AND DOORBELLS ARE A SAFE BET Setting up smart security and safety features in the home can seem overwhelming, but can – in the end – make your life easier. Smart locks can reduce the worry of forgetting your key with some models allowing you to operate the lock remotely through an app. The pairing of a smart lock and video doorbell allows you to not only feel safer in the home, but also know who is at your door and talk to them in real-time, wherever you are. continues overleaf...
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They alert homeowners on their phone via an app where video surveillance and recordings can be found, as well as working much like a traditional doorbell. SMART LIGHTING IS MUCH MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT AND CAN SAVE YOU MONEY Smart lighting is not only one of the most affordable smart home features, but they can also be quite easy to set up. Their functions range from scheduling your lights to turn on or off at specific times, and can even make the house look naturally occupied while you’re away. Once put in place, you just need to connect them to your smart phone via an app, after that, you can control the lights as and when you see fit. Most smart bulbs consume less energy than regular light bulbs, making them more energy-efficient and financially-friendly in the long run. SMART THERMOSTATS LET YOU CONTROL THE HEATING VIA THE INTERNET Smart thermostats are not only useful, but could help you save an average of 31% on your heating costs. Easy to operate, the device establishes a schedule for the home’s temperature, according to when you and your family will need it. On top of your cost monitoring, the product detects when you and your family are home, so if you forget to turn off the heating, have no fear, your smart thermostat has your back.
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SMART GARDEN TECHNOLOGY CAN WATER YOUR PLANTS AND MOW THE LAWN, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE AWAY For those of us lucky enough to have a large garden, it can be time consuming to manage. Grass and plants can be fickle if not given enough TLC, so smart sprinklers can be extremely helpful for those with a lot of square footage to cover. For those with an even bigger budget, the smart lawn mower is a new, exciting gadget that could halve your gardening routine. You’ll never need to worry about out-of-control lawns, as these robots self-operate and keep your garden constantly trim. If you want to, however, you can control them from your phone and track them through its GPS.
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COULD MEDITATING WITH YOUR HOUSEPLANTS MAKE YOU MORE CALM AND MINDFUL? Psychologist Dr Katie Cooper has written a guide on taking the calming power of plants to the next level. By Hannah Stephenson...
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Find having greenery in your home calming? Surrounding yourself with houseplants could even boost your meditation, according to psychologist and plant enthusiast Dr Katie Cooper, who has more than 200 houseplants in her home. “We are physiologically hardwired to be living a life in the wild, and respond really positively to attributes of nature and plants – the form, the shape and the colour – and they help us relax our nervous system and restore our mental attention,” says Cooper, author of new book Plant Therapy, a guide on how an indoor green oasis can support mental and emotional wellbeing. “Having plants around you while you are meditating can be particularly grounding. It’s about being in the present, and plants can really activate your senses,” Cooper adds. Curious about meditating with your plants? Here, Cooper tells us more… WHAT ARE THE BEST HOUSEPLANTS FOR MEDITATION? “Any plants which have fractal patterns (forms that repeat themselves as they are magnified, such as leaves or fronds), that are a lush green colour or have an over-arching shape to them are good, but typically I would just go with a large-leaved green plant, like an alocasia or a Calathea orbifolia.”
WHAT OTHER TECHNIQUES CAN PEOPLE TRY? “Lots of people find it difficult to roll out the yoga mat and sit there and meditate. It’s much easier to get wrapped up in a moment just looking after your plants. It’s much more of an applied form of meditation, like running or sowing,” says Cooper. “If you are tending to your plants or dusting them, watering them, you are very much in that moment in time, which is quite mindful. “It’s being able to use the plant in its sensory form, the way you touch it, the way it smells, or if it’s a herb you can taste it as well to activate all your senses, to connect you with the moment you are in. This takes you out from your anxieties and the thought processes which take you to your worries of the past and the future.” SHOULD YOU TOUCH THE PLANT? “You can bring it up into the light to look at it, seeing interesting fractal patterns, which have been known to produce relaxed yet wakeful states. It’s about taking the time to appreciate something natural in our environment, that we wouldn’t often do.” Explore the plant’s exterior texture, running your hand gently over its leaves. Squeeze the leaves slightly and notice how this gives you a sense of its interior texture, she suggests. Notice how the leaves feel in your hand and the sensations you experience as you connect with the plant.
WHERE SHOULD YOU POSITION PLANTS WHILE MEDITATING? “You could have it in your eyeline, looking at and appreciating its form, colour and fractal patterns, but it depends on what type of meditation you are doing,” says Cooper.
HOW SHOULD YOU END THE MEDITATION? Admire the plant one last time, Cooper suggests, acknowledging all the sensations it has given you and notice how the feelings connect you with your surroundings, nature and the life around us.
“If it’s purely yoga with plants in the room, then they can be placed anywhere, just to give a general ambience and relaxing environment.”
“It’s about appreciating something for its natural beauty and taking the time to notice something you wouldn’t have if you were just walking past it,” says Cooper.
SHOULD YOU USE SCENTED PLANTS? “That would be great if you were meditating around plants, because you could use the smell to ground you in your body and connect you to the wider world. Lavender or herbs, or anything with a fragrance can be noteworthy.”
“Make room for these other living things in your life that aren’t just people or yourself. It’s about taking a moment in its entirety.” Plant Therapy by Dr Katie Cooper is published by Hardie Grant, priced £16.99. Available now.
Cooper suggests you bring your nose and the plant closer together, becoming aware of its fragrance, or even the smell of the soil. With each inhalation, explore the scents around you. HOW DO YOU MEDITATE WITH PLANTS? Sit in a comfortable upright position with your feet flat on the ground, resting your hands on your thighs or on a table, then allow your body to become still and focus on your breathing, then draw awareness to your body and its sensations, Cooper suggests. Then allow your attention to come to your eyes and notice the plant in front of you, its colour, shape and pattern, and the way the leaves connect to the stem, and the different bends and contours in the shape of each leaf.
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READY TO GO IN THE GROUND NOW – HERE’S HOW TO PLANT
Bare-root roses are now ready to plant for a riot of colour next year. Hannah Stephenson offers a step-by-step guide to planting them... Bare-root roses may not look as pretty as the traditional containerised varieties when they arrive on your doorstep, but they should supply huge amounts of colour when flowering next year. For me, the beauty of bare-root varieties – roses that have been grown in a field, that are then dug out between autumn and spring – is you can plant them during the dormant season with little fuss, leave them to bed in over the winter and watch them burst into life in spring and summer. They have a wider root spread than many containerised plants and tend to be cheaper than their container counterparts too. So, how do you go about planting them? WHEN THEY ARRIVE… You can order bare-root roses throughout the year, but they will only arrive between the beginning of November up to spring, which is the dormant season; the time when they don’t use up energy producing new growth. When you unpackage them – they usually come in waterproof, plastic-free and eco-friendly packaging, and as they are soil-free, are much lighter to handle – you will find soilless roots and some healthy green stems. They don’t look beautiful now, but your patience will be rewarded next year.
ADD MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI Boost the roots with mycorrhizal fungi before planting. It is a powder you sprinkle directly on to the roots. Do it over the hole, so the excess powder falls into the planting area. The powder stimulates root growth which will hopefully lead to healthier, more prolific roses. POSITION YOUR ROSE CAREFULLY When ready to plant, position your rose in the centre of the hole, with the bottom of the stems sitting around 5cm (2in) below the top of the hole. Once you have done this, backfill in around the roots using the dug-out soil and heel it in lightly around the plant to remove any airholes underneath and firm in the plant. If you are growing a climbing rose, make sure the planting hole is as close to the wall or fence the plant will be scaling as it can be, and direct the stems towards the fence. WATER IN WELL Bare-root roses need to be kept hydrated, so water the rose in well. Hopefully the autumn and winter rains will help things along. WHERE CAN YOU BUY BARE-ROOT ROSES? Good, reliable suppliers include David Austin Roses (davidaustinroses.co.uk), Peter Beales Roses (classicroses.co.uk), Harkness Roses (roses.co.uk), Trevor White Roses (trevorwhiteroses.co.uk) and Future Forests (futureforests.ie).
You need to plant them as soon as possible, as the bare roots cannot be allowed to dry out. If you can’t plant them straight away because the ground is frozen or waterlogged, lay them on their side, keeping the roots under a mound of slightly moist compost, and plant them as soon as conditions allow. GIVE THEM A DRINK Before planting, submerge the roots in a bucket of water for a couple of hours to rehydrate them and keep them moist, giving them a head start when planting. DIG A HOLE While the roots are submerged, dig your planting hole, which needs to be at least 40cm (16in) wide by 40cm (16in) deep. Use a fork to loosen the earth in the bottom of the hole, and remove weeds and stones. The roots like to be able to spread out, and loosening the soil will help them spread more easily. Add some some well-rotted manure to the bottom of the hole and a little more to help secure the plant when you are positioning it.
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
NOVEMBER with the
Words and images by Sally Roberts The name of The Herb Whisperer was given to me last year by someone watching me give one of my talks in the beautiful herb gardens at Samares Manor, and I smiled. I liked it because it’s true, I do talk to the plants, and I listen too. For me, it’s simply a natural thing to do, and I am at my happiest being amongst them. To be able to encourage other people to engage with and enjoy them is simply a pleasure. We all know that herbs have been used for thousands of years as both food and medicinal sources, for dyeing materials, and last, but not least, for their wonderful scents. So it is a delight to have been asked to share some knowledge of them with you on a monthly basis. It is a part of my lifestyle to follow the seasons as they change, tuning in wherever possible to the rhythms of nature. November is the month that autumn comes to an end, and we roll into winter as the nights grow still longer and the days colder. Many of the plants are settling in for their winters rest, but there are still some berries around, and seeds being blown on the wind, plenty for collecting to use. The seeds I am writing of today are fennel seeds – they are strongly aromatic and have been chewed to soothe the digestion and ease wind in the body throughout history in many cultures around the world. Some people will know that it was a main ingredient in gripe water that was given to babies to ease their colic. It is a fact too that they relieve anxiety – the link between a settled stomach and a calm mind has long been scientifically proven. So in today’s anxious times, drinking fennel tea or scattering fennel seeds over vegetables to roast, adding them to curries and so on, could be a helpful idea. Many of the berries will have been harvested by now, (or eaten by the birds!), but it is this month that the berries on the myrtle bush darken to their blackest, ready to harvest. Myrtle has become one of my favourite herbs – an evergreen, the leaves can be dried and used like bay leaves, and the berries are commonly used in the Mediterranean to make jams or liqueurs, or dried, when they make a peppery spice. Dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite, and always associated with feminine love and beauty, I love how the deeply scented white
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blossoms of summer turn to the rich, black nutritious berries of late autumn. They are also used to make thick, dark cough syrups as they contain expectorant and antiseptic ingredients. We all want to build up our immune systems at this time of the year, and two of the useful herbs which will still be there for picking in the garden are sage and thyme. Thyme can be used in all sorts of warming soups and stews, with roasted meats and vegetables. It is wonderful for bad chests and coughs, and can be bought as a cough medicine. Make a sage tea with honey and a slice of orange to soothe sore throats, scatter the leaves over roasted pumpkin and squashes – delicious. If you are lucky you may still find some rose hips to collect, and making rose hip syrup is simple, and a high source of Vitamin C. Taken by the spoonful each morning, or drizzled over yoghurt, pancakes or porridge. So wrap up warm from the wind as the earth quietens down, and nourish yourselves with warm dishes enhanced with the seeds, berries and herbs that you find.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Kitchen time on a rainy autumn afternoon
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Struggling to sleep? 4 FOODS TO EAT FOR A BETTER NIGHT’S KIP What you choose to snack on before bedtime can play a big role in how well you slumber, says Liz Connor...
A third of the UK population are estimated to suffer with insomnia according to The Sleep Council – but in the wake of lockdown, research suggests that half of us are now struggling to drift off at night. A study by King’s College London and Ipsos Mori published in June, found that 50% of the 2,254 people interviewed said their sleep was more disturbed than usual, and this rose to 62% among those who said they were certain or very likely to face financial difficulties because of disruption caused by Covid-19. Whether you’re tossing and turning because of money worries, fears about the health of loved ones or simply because you are out of sync from your usual routine, experts say that tweaking your diet can help set you up for a better night’s rest. Try adding these sleep-supporting foods to your shopping list.
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
1. NUTS Crunchy nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews are thought to boost sleep quality, as they contain melatonin, the natural hormone which signals your body that it’s time to sleep. As well as being high in protein, fibre and essential fats, these hardy nut varieties also contain essential sleep supporting minerals like magnesium and zinc. “Studies show that eating a handful of nuts a day can increase levels of serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel happier too,” adds nutritionist Anita Bean (anitabean.co.uk).
3. PASTA There’s a reason why most of us feel ready for bed after gorging on a large bowl of spaghetti. It turns out that carbohydrates support the uptake of tryptophan in the brain, helping to promote that sleepy, calming effect that eases us into dreamland. “If you’re struggling with restless nights, I’d recommend eating an evening meal that contains carbohydrates such as pasta or rice, as this helps with the uptake of tryptophan into the brain,” says psychologist Dr Meg Arroll (drmegarroll.com). 2. TURKEY Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a turkey, but there are plenty of reasons to tuck into the festive meat all year round. Turkey and other protein-rich poultry contain lots of amino acids, including sleep-inducing tryptophan. “Tryptophan is really important for sleep, as it’s used in the brain to synthesise the sleep hormone melatonin,” explains Healthspan nutritionist Rob Hobson (healthspan.co.uk). Hobson says that because we can’t make tryptophan in our bodies, we have to obtain it from our diets instead. As well as turkey, he advises that you can also find tryptophan in soy, seeds, oily fish, beans and pulses.
4. CAMOMILE Many people like to sip on a hot drink before they go to bed, but drinking anything high in caffeine is likely to keep you awake for longer. Instead, Hobson suggests opting for a cup of calming camomile. Camomile is thought to be the perfect bedtime brew as it contains a compound called apigenin, which works on the brain receptors to help to initiate sleep. One 2016 study, which looked at the sleep behaviour of new mothers, found that participants who drank chamomile tea every day for two weeks slept better than those who didn’t. Plus, they had fewer symptoms of depression too.
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
6 COMPLETELY FREE WAYS TO
Ease Stress and Anxiety These self-guided strategies are super effective and donâ€™t require spending any money, says Abi Jackson...
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Small habits and strategies we can weave into our day-to-day lives can play an important role in managing stress and anxiety – and good news, many of them don’t cost a thing. When money is mega tight, it can feel like yet another thing to worry about. But having to tighten your budget doesn’t mean you can’t still take steps to look after your mental wellbeing. Remember, if you are struggling and concerned about your mental health, contact your GP – that’s what they’re there for. In the meantime, here are six ways to help ease stress and anxiety that are totally free… 1. VISUALISE YOUR WAY TO CALM “Visualisation is where we imagine certain images, scenes, pictures in our minds that help us relax,” says clinical psychologist Dr Kirren Schnack (drschnack.com), who shares lots of free tips on Instagram. “It also helps move our mind away from worry, so we are not giving it as much attention.” An exercise using your senses can be super-soothing. “Choose a scene/place/memory that you find comforting. Once you’ve pictured this, use each of your senses to go into as much detail as you can about it, as if you were there again,” says Schnack. “Start by looking all around and note in detail everything you see. What can you hear? What smells do you notice? Find something to touch – what does it feel like? Is there anything you can taste?” Visualising a time you coped with a previous challenging situation can also be helpful. It’s easy to forget just how resilient and equipped we can be when we’re overwhelmed. “Start by getting into a comfortable position and take some slow, deep breaths. Then recall a situation you dealt with that was stressful or difficult, think about how you felt, the things you might have told yourself about whether you’d cope. Then recount in as much detail as you can what you did to cope with and manage that problem, how it turned out, how you then felt,” says Schnack. 2. SING OR HUM Anyone in a choir knows singing makes you feel great – and there’s real science behind it, as it floods the brain with feel-good chemicals. The vibrations in your throat and ears stimulate the vagus nerve, a key player in the parasympathetic nervous system (this controls vital processes our bodies do without us having to think about them, like heartbeats) which triggers the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that brings on a relaxing effect.
Seeing things in text (or hearing them said back to you) can in itself help shrink worries, because when they’re in our head they can feel a lot bigger.” Using a pen and notebook has been found to be most effective, she adds, but if that really doesn’t appeal, try recording yourself on your phone instead. 4. MAKE USE OF MANTRAS Rooted in Hinduism and Buddhism, mantras often feature in meditation practice – but many people find it helpful to come up with their own personal ones. “Mantras are an easy and effective way for people to alter their feelings in a given moment or help alter their perspective on something that would in the past have been anxiety-inducing,” says Robinson-Matthews. “Have a think about situations where you can try a mantra, and then come up with at least one you can say during each of those situations,” she suggests. You could also come up with a mantra to use as a daily affirmation. “The trick is to really feel into the words you’re saying (or thinking, if you can’t say it aloud) and allow them to fill you with whatever emotion it is you’re desiring, such as calm or courage,” says Robinson-Matthews. 5. STRIKE A YOGA POSE Lots of yoga poses are said to help foster a sense of calm, and you don’t need to do a full class to tap into the benefits. Next time your head’s spinning with stress and anxious thoughts, try taking a break to do a few simple poses. A popular one for anxiety is ‘legs up the wall’ (Viparita Karani). Simply lie on your back on the floor with your bum near the wall, then raise your legs so they’re leaning vertically against the wall. Close your eyes and just breathe for five to 15 minutes or so. 6. WALK WITH PURPOSE Walking is one of the simplest wellbeing saviours going. But if you’re finding it particularly hard to switch off those whirring worries, giving your walk an extra purpose could provide a welcome dose of distraction. This could be a nature walk, where you head out with the aim to really tune into the trees, scenery and wildlife around you. Schnack also suggests a photography walk. “Take your phone or a camera and take photographs of anything beautiful you see,” she says. “Or weather permitting, see if you can find a spot on your walk to see the sunset.”
How about carving out time for a singing break? And if you don’t fancy belting out tunes or that’s not practical, humming can have the same effect. Try sitting down somewhere peaceful and closing your eyes while you hum for 10 minutes or so. 3. WRITE DOWN YOUR THOUGHTS Getting your thoughts ‘out’ and onto paper can be extremely effective – especially if they’re tumbling around on loop before bed. Think of it as a “thought dump”, says Sophie RobinsonMatthews, therapist and Counselling Directory member (counselling-directory.org.uk). “Free-write anything that pops into your head, let things flow without judgement or censorship (spelling and grammar don’t matter),” says Robinson-Matthews. “You can do this whenever you feel your head is ‘cluttered’, or as a daily practice.
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
5 ways you might be secretly sabotaging your immune system Want to avoid bugs this winter? Liz Connor finds out about the immune-sapping habits we might want to avoid... Winter always gets us thinking about doing our best to ward off bugs and colds – and this year, immunity is on our minds more than ever. The immune system is a lot more complex than we often give it credit for – a fascinating network of cells, organs, proteins and tissues with a very important job: to protect the body from outside invaders, like bacteria, viruses and parasites. It’s working away in the background continuously and many different factors play a role in how it functions, including number of things in our day-to-day lifestyles. While avoiding bugs (with good hand-washing, etc) is one of the single most important things for keeping winter bugs at bay, our own habits and lives can also play a part in supporting our immune system – as well as possibly doing it no favours at all. Here’s five ways you might be sabotaging your immune system… 1. SMOKING It’s common knowledge smoking has a harmful effect on many different areas of the body, and the delicate balance of the immune system is no different.
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“Smoking increases inflammation in the body, which can eventually lead to chronic inflammatory disorders, such as heart disease, asthma and arthritis” explains Emily Rollason, senior nutritionist at Holland & Barrett (hollandandbarrett.com). “Smoking can also reduce absorption and usage of certain nutrients that are beneficial for immune system support, such as Vitamins B12, C and D; in fact, it’s well known that smokers have higher requirements for these nutrients.” Rollason says quitting smoking is not only beneficial for your heart and lungs, but also vital to ensure your body can make a good recovery when it encounters a winter bug. Speak to a healthcare professional if you are looking to quit, as they can talk to you about ways they can support you through the process. 2. NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP Missing out on good quality sleep is something that affects us in more ways than we realise. “Getting the right amount of sleep is extremely important, particularly when it comes to the adaptive immune response,” says Rollason. Rollason explains that the adaptive response is basically when the body stores a ‘memory’ of any previous invading pathogens, in order to help fight it off again in the future. The cells required for these processes are regulated and activated during sleep.
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“The body follows a natural internally regulated sleep and wake cycle, known as the circadian rhythm, and there’s evidence to support that many cells in the immune system also follow this rhythm, with certain cells peaking during nocturnal sleep,” Rollinson adds. She adds that our bodies also burn lots of energy when combatting or recovering from illness, so sleep is really important in helping to fight off any bugs you encounter throughout the day.
“We have approximately 100 trillion live bacteria living inside of us, equating to 2kg of our body weight,” says Tarrant. “This friendly bacteria is essential for our health, and is involved in the smooth functioning of lots of different bodily processes, from the digestive and immune systems to your mood, brain health and skin.” Tarrant explains that gut bacteria produce metabolites, such as short chain fatty acids, which play a crucial role in regulating our T-cells, the key peace-keeper cells of our immune system. Gut bacteria also produce compounds which support the healthy functioning of white blood cells, known as macrophages, Tarrant adds, which are key for fighting off infections and harmful germs. With stress and anxiety at a high at the moment, it’s easy for your gut health to suffer. Poor diet, high sugar and alcohol intake, excessive antibiotic usage, poor sleep and stress can all contribute to an imbalance in gut bacteria and an increase in negative bacteria, known as dysbiosis.
3. NOT EATING A HEALTHY BALANCED DIET Everything we eat and drink has an effect on our body, and while it’s fine to treat yourself every now and then, regularly gorging on junk food does little to help our immune system, advises Dr Joshua Berkowitz, medical director at IV Boost (ivboost.uk). Berkowitz says we should be eating nutritious food with lots of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. “Prioritise a balanced diet full of whole foods, with five to seven portions of vegetable and fruit per day,” adds Rollinson, “and factor in a good balance of good protein, quality carbohydrates and some healthy fats from good sources too.”
The good news is there’s lots you can do to help improve your gut microbiome too – and variety is key here. “Try eating a more fibrous diet,” advises Tarrant. “Go for colourful plant foods to ensure you are consuming a diverse range of fibres, such as carrots, yellow peppers, berries, aubergine, spinach, red cabbage, beetroot, broccoli, legumes, nuts and seeds. “Prebiotics are another great way to promote a healthy gut too. These are live friendly bacteria, which can be found in foods such as sauerkraut, live yogurt, kombucha, kefir and tempeh. Alternatively, there are a range of probiotic supplements on the market to promote a healthy gut.”
Berkowitz also says: “I recommend reducing sugar intake, as this increases inflammation in the body, which can slow down the immune system.”
Consider your sleep and stress levels too. “Emerging evidence shows a powerful bi-directional relationship between the gut and the brain, known as the gut-brain axis, and stress can cause havoc to the balance of positive and negative bacteria in your gut,” says Tarrant.
4. BEING DEFICIENT IN VITAMIN D Vitamin D, also know as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, is an essential nutrient for healthy immune functioning, yet many of us are unknowingly running low.
Try to manage your stress levels by gentle walks in nature, meditation, yoga or talking to a friend. Promoting a healthy gut is all about lifestyle and wellbeing as a whole, which are key to supporting a healthy immune system this winter.
“Despite its name, vitamin D acts more like a hormone in the body, rather than a vitamin,” says Isabel Tarrant, also a nutritionist for Holland & Barrett. “It works to activate key immune cells, known as ‘T cells’, which play a crucial role in fighting infections. The vitamin also supports immune functioning by regulating anti-microbial compounds and helping clear harmful bacteria from immune cells.” As most of our vitamin D comes from sunlight, government guidelines suggest people in the UK take a daily supplement during autumn and winter months, when there isn’t enough sun to meet our needs. 5. POOR GUT HEALTH The gut is a very important part of the immune system, and there’s increasing evidence to suggest we shouldn’t overlook the power of our gut microbiome.
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12 TIPS FOR A Healthier CHRISTMAS By Scott Harrison - Founder of The Six Pack Revolution Make a decision that this year you are going to make the conscious effort to take the healthy option. Set this in stone by either getting a friend to do this with you or make this a pact within the family. Buddying up is proven to be a more likely road to success.
Make sure your healthier objectives are achievable. If they require too much hard work and are excessively time consuming, this will often lead to procrastination and lack of achievement especially over this busy season.
If you are used to spending an hour or more in the gym or working out at home, reduce your time to 15-30 minutes. With the correct routine you can achieve just as much if not more with a full body HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout and this way if you find you have more time, you can do another and therefore you are in a win win situation!
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Make your Christmas shopping an eventful day out, full of festive hustle and bustle. Forget online shopping and prepare your list for everyone in advance. You will definitely hit your daily steps target as you spend the whole day walking around the shops and feel it in your trapezius muscles and arms, carrying all the bags. If you really fancy a challenge make a decision that escalators are out of bounds and the stairs are the only option. This will result in a full body workout and a day of serious calorie burn.
Do NOT have bowls of sweets and chocolates out on display around the house as this only encourages “pigging out” unnecessarily. Out of sight out of mind!
Keep treats to a sensible amount. So often we shovel in several portions of Christmas Cake, Mince Pies and festive chocolates, to name just a few. Control the unnecessary gluttony and just have one piece of the treat you just cannot say no to at this time of year.
Drink plenty of water, a practice you should keep throughout your life not just Christmas. Aim for at least 2-3 litres per day (don’t worry this becomes the norm and very easy when you get used to it). Not only is this extremely good for your digestive system over this indulgent time but also assists fat loss, making you feel fuller for longer as well as help prevent hangovers.
If you must drink alcohol at Christmas, there is a damage limitation plan should you wish to take it up. For the white wine drinkers making a DRY white wine spritzer using soda water will keep your empty calories at half of usual consumption as with a full glass of wine and also send you on a happier merry vibe rather than paralytic. If you are a spirit drinker, Vodka and Slimline tonic or Soda. If you are a cocktail drinker, then Bloody Mary is the best for you and if you are celebrating with champagne then you will be pleased to know this is a very low calorie drink but I fully recommend however you drink this festive season every single one of you has a small glass of water after every tipple.
Bring exercise into Christmas morning and throughout the day by getting all the family to agree to earning their present through a simple exercise challenge creating lots of fun and laughs and slowing everyone down from ripping open the gifts in 5 minutes flat and delaying that gloomy “it’s over” feeling... Example: Present 1 (the Battlerope you had on your Christmas list) ; the whole family has to do a 30 second plank before they can have it and it’s a team effort so no one can open theirs until the final family member has completed the challenge... Present 2; requires 10 press ups and so on... Take funny photos as dad collapses in a heap on the floor and I recommend you all give this a good go, not only is it great fun and brings the family together, which of course is the whole point of Christmas, but the exercise will release the chemicals in the body called endorphins that trigger a happy positive feeling that will pay dividends throughout this quite often stressful day.
Christmas Dinner - Good news, Turkey is a very lean protein source, full of vitamins but drowning it in goose fat is not necessary. A tablespoon of olive oil under the skin with your fresh herbs will do the trick. Swap your Maris Pipers for Sweet Potato Roasties as they are delicious and filling yourself up on the healthy veggies first will satisfy your hunger. Leave out the Yorkshire Pud and keep the gravy to a minimum. A second plateful really isn’t necessary, grab another glass of water instead.
How to use your left-over turkey and begin your detox after an indulgent Christmas Day (See recipe on page 52). This delicious beautifully balanced meal will begin to cleanse your system from the day before making you feel alive and set you on the path to a new you. (N.B. To fully detox and make substantial progress in your body and mind comes from a sustained period of clean healthy eating, drinking and exercise).
Finally be realistic, it is Christmas after all and expecting to reveal a new six pack over this week or so is less likely to happen and that’s ok, so go easy on yourself and just do your best to limit the damage!
All of the team at The Six Pack Revolution wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy healthy New Year x www.thesixpackrevolution.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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SHOULD I TAKE VITAMIN D? 4 REASONS TO ENSURE YOU’RE GETTING ENOUGH OF THE ‘SUNSHINE VITAMIN’ As researchers look at whether vitamin D can help guard against Covid-19, here’s four more reasons to top up on the sunshine vitamin. By Lisa Salmon... Vitamin D is known to play a vital role in a range of functions, and is key for keeping our bones, teeth and muscles healthy. There’s now also growing interest in whether it could help protect against Covid-19. Scientists from Queen Mary University of London are launching a new trial to investigate whether vitamin D protects against the virus, as there’s already evidence that it might reduce the risk of respiratory infections, with some recent studies suggesting people with lower vitamin D levels may be more susceptible to coronavirus. “Many people in the UK have low vitamin D levels, particularly in the winter and spring, when respiratory infections are most common,” says lead researcher Professor Adrian Martineau. “Vitamin D deficiency is more common in older people, in people who are overweight, and in black and Asian people – all of the groups who are at increased risk of becoming very ill with Covid-19.” 50 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
It’s estimated that roughly one in five people have low vitamin D levels, according to the NHS, which is hardly surprising when we get most of it from sunlight on our skin – hence why vitamin D is often dubbed the ‘sunshine vitamin’. While during sunny spring and summer months, most of us are able to get enough vitamin D naturally, in the UK, there simply isn’t enough sunlight during the autumn and winter months to meet our needs. From October to March, we rely on dietary sources (these include oily fish, red meat, liver, eggs and food such as cereals and spreads that have been fortified with the vitamin). For this reason, Government guidelines already recommend everyone should consider taking daily 10-micrograms vitamin D supplements. “Making sure you’re getting enough vitamin D is likely to really benefit your bone and muscle health in the long term,” explains nutrition scientist Bridget Benelam from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF). “Vitamin D is also involved in supporting our immune system, something we’re all really aware of in light of the
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coronavirus pandemic. No vitamin can prevent or cure Covid-19, but if you’re not getting enough vitamin D, increasing your intake, alongside a healthy diet, can help keep your immune system working as well as possible.” And dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Health & Food Supplements information Service, notes: “Vitamin D is vital because it contributes to the uptake of calcium by bones and teeth and helps regulate blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.” So, whatever the outcome of the Covid-19 trial, vitamin D is already known to be crucial for optimal health. Here’s four reasons why it’s important to make sure you get enough vitamin D… 1. STRONGER BONES Vitamin D helps regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, so a lack of the vitamin can lead to poor calcification of the skeleton. The BNF explains that prolonged vitamin D deficiency in children leads to rickets, which can cause bone pain, poor growth and bone deformities including bowed legs, curvature of the spine, and thickening of the ankles, wrists and knees, and fractures.
are again being reported. In addition, while osteoporosis in adults isn’t directly caused by vitamin D deficiency, the vitamin can help manage the disease, says the BNF. 2. STRONGER MUSCLES In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, which causes aching bones and muscles plus muscle weakness, which can make standing and walking difficult. 3. BETTER TEETH Because of its role in regulating the the absorption of calcium, vitamin D also helps keep teeth strong, says the BNF. 4. IMPROVED IMMUNITY A 2019 University of Edinburgh study suggests low levels of vitamin D may lead to an increase in immune responses potentially linked to a raised risk of autoimmune conditions, such as multiple sclerosis. “There are vitamin D receptors on many immune cells,” says Ruxton, “suggesting that it has a widespread role in optimal immunity – an important point as we face a continuation of the Covid-19 crisis, just when the winter flu and cold season approaches.”
While rickets was for a long time virtually wiped out in the UK, due to fortification of foods and improved diets, in recent years, cases
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Could Seasonal Affective Disorder feel worse this year? This year has already put a huge strain on our mental health – and now shorter days have entered the mix. Prudence Wade talks to some experts...
Everything can start to feel a bit harder than normal around this time of year. The colder weather and shorter days can greatly impact your mood – particularly if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is “a type of depression that is affected by seasonal changes”, explains Dr Daniel Cichi of Doctor4U (doctor-4u.co.uk). “Depression can last throughout the year, but if your symptoms only appear during a particular season, you may be experiencing SAD.” According to Dr Mark Winwood, clinical lead for mental health services at AXA Health (axahealth.co.uk), the condition “can impact people’s mental health in different ways, depending on its severity”. He says common symptoms “include a persistent low mood and energy levels, lack of enjoyment in everyday activities, poor concentration, irritability and intense feelings of sadness that can extend to feelings of guilt and worthlessness”. On the more severe end of the spectrum, “symptoms can often include losing interest in seeing others and physical contact”, he adds. Cichi also details how people experiencing SAD might sleep “for longer than you usually would, you’re becoming less active and less social, you may even have an increased appetite and gain weight”. Exactly why some people get SAD isn’t fully understood but it’s believed a number of factors might play a part, with some people being more susceptible to the effects of seasonal changes. “The
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lack of natural daylight during the winter months, the dull days and early dark nights disrupt our circadian rhythm (body clock), increase melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy, and reduces the feel-good hormone serotonin,” says Cichi. “All of this leads to feelings of depression.” For people with SAD, things could feel even harder than usual this year, due to all the additional stress and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. From a practical point of view, Cichi says: “With more people working from home and people having to isolate or shield indoors for long periods of time, this means less exposure to natural daylight. Many people are already feeling low due to the pandemic, which can coincide with seasonal depression and make those symptoms feel worse than in previous years.” Winwood agrees that “many are certainly finding life more challenging in the coronavirus pandemic. As we move in smaller circles and cancel those winter outings we’d usually look forward to, it’s inevitable there’ll be a heightened risk of mental health problems occurring, including symptoms of depression.” Whether you suffer from full-blown SAD or are feeling more down than usual this time of year, there are things you can do to help boost your mood… GET DAYLIGHT WHEN YOU CAN Particularly if you’re working from home and not commuting, you might find yourself missing out on the hours of daylight entirely – and this could be impacting your mood. Cichi says try to “get as
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much natural daylight as you can”, by taking “walks during your lunch hour” and creating “a working space in your home that is light and airy”. The benefit of this is “daylight supports our circadian rhythm and helps us sleep at night”, explains Winwood. MAKE SURE YOU’RE GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP “Get plenty of good quality sleep, as it’s essential for positive health and wellbeing,” advises Winwood. If you’re struggling to get a decent night’s snooze, he recommends cutting down on stimulants like alcohol and caffeine, and restricting screen time before bed. EXERCISE REGULARLY When it’s cold and dark, doing some exercise might be the last thing you actually want to do – but you’ll feel so much better afterwards. It doesn’t have to be much – Winwood says just 20 minutes of physical activity that raises your heart rate “can make you feel more energetic and happier”. He also recommends making exercise a part of your daily plan, as “incorporating healthy habits and routines into your day can also give your day some structure, which is particularly important in these current times”. THINK ABOUT YOUR DIET It’s no secret that what we eat can affect our mental and physical health. “Typically, processed foods are high in sugar and can impact your energy and mood,” says Winwood, recommending you include more healthy options in your diet.
He also says you could benefit by eating foods that support the body’s serotonin production. “These include popcorn, oatmeal, nuts, egg whites, omelettes, vegetables, fruit, peanut butter and cottage cheese,” he says. STAY CONNECTED During these strange times, it can feel harder than ever to stay connected with friends and family – but doing so could help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation. “Make dates for social time with friends and family, so you have things to look forward to,” says Winwood. “Whether it’s via a phone or video call, or a socially distant catch-up (guidelines permitting), having good connections among friends and family is a key contributor to our wellbeing and happiness.” SEEK HELP IF YOU NEED IT If your symptoms of depression are overwhelming, it’s always advisable to speak to your GP. As well as leading an active, healthy lifestyle, Cichi says “you may also require additional treatment for this disorder. SAD may be treated in the same way as depression, either with talking therapies or medication, but one of the most effective treatments for SAD is light therapy. “Light therapy mimics natural daylight, which is lacking in the winter months, and this is thought to boost mood and improve sleep by reducing melatonin and increasing serotonin.” Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns or queries. Winwood says: “Remember there is no one-size-fits-all solution to mental health; your journey is personal, and you need to do what’s best for you.”
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HEALTH AND WELLBEING
6 WAYS THE MENOPAUSE CAN AFFECT YOUR SKIN Katie Wright asks the experts to explain what to do about these common problems... The stereotype of the menopausal woman – sweating, having hot flushes, suffering wild mood swings – has been played out time and again in movies and on TV, yet in reality, the symptoms that accompany the so-called ‘change of life’ can be far more varied and, unfortunately, many women feel uninformed about what to expect. According to a poll of 1,000 women who are either going through or have finished the menopause, conducted to mark Menopause Awareness Month by skincare brand Emepelle, 49% of woman are unaware that when their periods end – which usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55 – it can have a considerable impact on the condition of their skin. Of those surveyed, 46% felt the detrimental changes to their skin was affecting their confidence, and 92% said they said they couldn’t seek advice from a health professional. Clearly, there’s a knowledge gap when it comes to the lesser-known symptoms of this natural part of ageing. Here, experts talk us through six ways the menopause can affect your skin – and how to deal with the changes. 56 | www.thejerseylife.co.uk
1. DRY SKIN According to the Emepelle study, 47% of menopausal women noticed an increase in dry skin. “As we age, our oestrogen levels decline, but it’s not just collagen that’s affected, we lose the fatty lipid layer that sits on the skin barrier and protects it too,” says Dr Naomi Potter from Harley Street Emporium. “Because it’s compromised, we lose more water via the skin. The skin feels dry, looks dull and may be flaky.” While you may think exfoliation is the best solution for flaky skin, Dr Potter says that it’s better to use a good emollient, especially one that contains ceramides – the fatty acids that help protect the skin. She also says to avoid long, hot showers or baths: “Try to reduce the temperature of your showers or baths, as hot water strips the natural oils, and look for soap-free and fragrance-free products.” Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturising Cream, £60 for 50g
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2. ITCHY SKIN The drop in oestrogen and depletion of lipids are also responsible for another unpleasant skin symptom, Dr Potter says: “Some women say it feels like they have ants crawling on their skin and they can’t stop scratching. The scalp and calves are the areas they mention most.” Keeping showers shorter and cooler can also help soothe itchy skin, and using gentle moisturising products: “Apply a fragrance-free emollient after bathing and go soap-free. Consider oatmeal or coal tar-based shampoos and soaps – you may not love the smell initially, but they can really help reduce the itching.” Klorane Oat Milk Ultra-Gentle Shampoo, £5.33 (was £8), Escentual 3. LOSS OF FIRMNESS Collagen, one of the key building blocks of skin, starts to decline around the age of 30, when those tell-tale signs of ageing begin. “Immediately after the menopause, the skin’s collagen levels decrease rapidly and then decrease more gradually,” says Janette Ryan, Education Manager at Vichy. “Around a 30% collagen loss can be observed in the five years following the menopause.”
levels may interfere with the way we get rid of the histamines that are produced from the foods we eat. “Getting to the bottom of this can be a long road, as it involves looking closely at the diet to identify possible triggers. It’s best to see a dietician for this. “Topical antihistamines can give some relief, but always follow the instructions and see a doctor if things don’t resolve.” CeraVe Moisturising Cream, £6.75, FeelUnique 6. ACNE Just as spots plague teenagers when they go through puberty, hormone changes can cause acne breakouts during peri-menopause. “Due to an over-production of sebum [oil], breakouts can be induced when there is an excess in progesterone,” Ryan says. “Look for ingredients such as salicylic acid, to help keep pores clear, and help prevent and reduce breakouts.” MPowder Peri-Boost Bio-Stage No1, £69 for a 30-day supply
This can lead to a noticeable loss of firmness and elasticity. Dr Potter recommends retinol “for boosting collagen – it also helps with pigmentation and encouraging cell turnover”. Beauty Pie Super Retinol Ceramide Boost Anti Aging Face Serum, £13 for members/£80 for non-members 4. DARK SPOTS Skin tone can be affected in one of two ways, Ryan says: “Dull skin due to high sensitivity to oxidative damage at peri-menopause,” meaning the beginning of the menopause, “and dark spots due to stimulated melanin production afterwards.” Therefore, it’s important to “incorporate daily SPF into your skincare routine 365 days a year”, she says, and look for high-factor (SPF 30 and above) sunscreens that also provide antioxidant protection. Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying 3-in-1 Cream SPF 50+, £17.50, Boots 5. RASHES “An increase in allergies or new onset allergies is quite common,” says Dr Potter. “I see a lot of women with itchy rashes, and if they have rosacea, they’ll often say it gets worse.” It’s believed this is due to the interaction between the hormone oestrogen and histamine, she says: “Fluctuating hormone Dr Naomi Potter from Harley Street Emporium
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With Jersey businesses getting back to normal as lockdown lifts what makes some companies excel and others fail WHAT IS THE SECRET OF THE HIGH PERFORMING ORGANISATION WHERE WE ALREADY KNOW THEY WILL ALWAYS ACHIEVE, EVEN IN SUCH CHALLENGING TIMESâ€Ś. PART 5 - HPO EXCEPTIONAL LEADERSHIP
Did you know that 87% of skills are lost due to lack of management follow up after coaching? That's why management and follow up are key! Mark Shields Explains... HPOS' recognise the vital importance of first and second line manager roles and responsibilities. They are key to the future of the performance of the oranisation. The main reason such importance is placed on first line managers / team leaders is they are the first line of management to ground level staff. This means they are responsible for the personal development, personal growth, personal motivation and wellbeing of all members of their team. Them teams and ground level staff are key as they deliver the sales and service performance the organisation needs to succeed. There is often between 5 and 10 tiers of management in many organisations however in HPO's it is common to find only 3 or 4. This is so all tiers of management can communicate clearly, delegate effectively, change rapidly, perform consistently and all buy in to the key organisational values, mission, vision and innovation to ensure the company's success both now and moving forward.
INDIVIDUALS HPOs foster an organisation of learning where they invest heavily in their workforce. They do this typically through team leader development and personal development of their teams. HPOs will develop a clear set of core competencies / KPI'S that they want the organisation's employees to master. They will invest in keeping these competencies prominent through training and development. These organizations also reinvent the way they refer to their employees in order to place value on the team concept. Employee titles will reflect this. They will often be referred to as team leaders or team members or associates as opposed to employees or staff. This promotes the team concept and ownership of team targets and objectives. This again increases employee involvement and makes employees more committed to the larger goals and competencies that the organisation places value in. It also re enforces individual team member importance and their individual contribution to the bigger
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team and business plan. They take full responsibility for their own individual targets and results and stand accountable in achieving their contribution to the teams results. They adopt the philosophy. " If we all individually achieve the team achieves" Comparable to the well known team saying TEAM TOGETHER WE ALL ACHIEVE MORE " LEADERS The roles of managers in an HPO are also reinvented. Traditional models for organizations would have leaders closely monitor or supervise their teams. Team leaders in HPOs are more concerned with long term positive psychology, the cultural of an organisation, individual motivation and staff personal development and growth. They take a more hands off approach and their titles reflect this change in responsibility. Leaders in HPOs trust in their employees to make the right decisions. They act as a coach to their team members by giving them support and keeping them focused on the project at hand. These leaders are able to lead depending on the situation and have the capability to adjust their leadership style based upon the needs of their team members. They know when to inspire people with direct communication and also have the ability to read when a more hands off approach is necessary. Although these leaders act with a handsoff approach, they hold non-performers accountable for not reaching their goals. Leadership practices are also in line with the company's vision, values, and goals. Leaders of these organisations make all of their decisions with the organisation's values in mind. Leadership behavior that is consistent with the organisation's vision involves setting clear expectations, promoting a sense of belonging, fostering employee involvement in decision making, and encouraging learning and development. Leaders in an HPO also have the responsibility of understanding and being able to quickly make important decisions about the always
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changing marketplace in which their organisation operates. Leaders should have the ability to anticipate changes in competition, technology, and economics within their market. In a high-performance organisation, leaders all have the same focus and outcome focused goals and objectives. These leaders help the organisation achieve excellence by bringing out the best in people, helping them adapt to changing circumstances and promoting good and harmonious teamwork. Making the best use of the company's most valuable resource â€“ its people â€“ is key to delivering sustainable success. Managers act with integrity and serve as role models for their reports. They are credible and consistent and exhibit a strong set of ethical standards that gain the trust and respect of their teams. They are people-focused, and they are results-focused. High-performance managers make swift and effective decisions instead of over analysing, and they encourage others to do the same. They give people continuous support, coaching and freedom to act in ways that are consistent with the organisation's standards. Ultimately, they expect people to take risks, make the tough calls and hold themselves accountable for their own decisions. HPO First Line Managers live and operate by using a Set of empowering Beliefs. These are known as the presuppositions of NLP. You will come across these several times in this course. Mark Shields CEO Life Practice Group Coach, Educator, Author, https://courses.thecamcoach.com/ 01462 431112
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
“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!”
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.
White Star, Blue Iceberg By Paul Darroch Alfred Olliver Quartermaster, RMS Titanic April 14, 1912 They say Jerseymen are born to set to sea, and I ran into its embrace when I was only sixteen. I’m a gris ventre, a St Ouënnais by birth, the third child of eleven. Only eight of us lived. My father was a Breton farmer; my mother a proud Le Cornu. Her forefathers have dwelled up at Les Landes forever, in the shadow of the ruined castle. They lived where Jersey’s grey snout punches into the ocean. That’s my home. They had too many mouths to feed, and there were no prospects at home. So, I took the Queen’s shilling and enlisted in the Navy, in the last year of Victoria’s reign. They ground me through the hard mill of the Royal Marines training barracks in Gosport. Those were gruelling years, but I learned well enough to navigate, to steer and sail. Seawater entered my blood. I served the King for seven years, but with no wars left to fight in this peaceable age, and a wife to win, I eventually decided to slip into a more comfortable berth. So, I joined White Star Lines, the king of the ocean passenger firms, ferrying millionaires and commoners alike from the Old World to the New. I was posted to their flagship, RMS Olympic, as soon as it came down from the yards at Belfast. That ship, as the press remember too well, courted disaster, scraping poor HMS Hawke in the Solent, but despite the Board of Inquiry, I don’t blame Captain Smith for that collision. The old man will retire after this voyage with all the credit he deserves. My new wife and I nestled in the suburbs of Southampton, not far from the dockyards. We named our little home “Olympic” in honour of the ship, and last year my son was born. Rents being as expensive as they are, we share the house with my brother-inlaw Walter, who also works on the ships. That’s how we both came to be transferred to RMS Titanic, newest of the lot. The maiden voyage of a new White Star liner is always something special, and I am looking forward to docking on Manhattan Island come the seventeenth. New York is quite a city. *** This evening I’m at the helm, my hands grasping the wheel as it plunges through the North Atlantic. Titanic surely lives up to its name. It is the largest man-made object in the world. As I steer, I think of the 882 feet of steel, the three million rivets, the twentynine boilers driving the great vessel forwards. We travel at a brisk 22 knots, ploughing through the Atlantic miles like a knife through butter.
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They say the richest man in Babylon is aboard tonight, John Jacob Astor himself, and perhaps one of the noblest too, the earnest reformer William Stead, on his way to a peace conference. The boss himself, Bruce Ismay, chairman of the line, is prowling around, so we are all on our sharpest behaviour. Capt. Smith is doubtless wining and dining the First-class passengers right now; rank has its privileges. Let them all enjoy the swimming pool, the Turkish baths and squash courts. I am here to work. At ten o’clock, I am finally relieved of the wheel. The dog hours of the later watches are proving to be the usual flurry of errands and tasks, for a Quartermaster’s work is never done. I have just been trimming the lights in the standing compass, so they would burn properly. Then three sharp bells ring out from the Crow’s Nest. Fred Fleet must have seen something. I can only see the blackness of the night. I step onto the bridge. The ship is veering drunkenly to port. Then there is a prolonged shudder, like a rolling earthquake, and a long, grinding sound, as if a giant is cutting the top off a tin can. The bridge is in darkness, which is standard procedure on the night watch. My eyes take a moment to adjust. William Murdoch, officer of the watch, is at the engine order telegraph. Over in the wheelhouse, I can make out Mr Moody’s silhouette, and Robert Hichens grasping the wheel, frozen like a waxwork. Thank God, this fiasco didn’t happen on my watch. There will be hell to pay if the ship has scraped something. Perhaps our pay will be docked. Then I see the jagged alp of ice. It is sweeping right past the bridge. It’s a little higher than the deck, with a brutal spiked crown. I have never seen an iceberg so close, and it looks so dark-blue, so heavy, as if it’s filled right up with the ocean. I shudder at the evil sight, but it soon falls away astern, back into the night. “Hard a-port”, Murdoch cries. The vicious grinding stops. Captain Smith, who has been resting, stumbles onto the bridge: “Mr Murdoch, what was that?” “An iceberg, sir”. “Close the watertight doors”, the Captain orders. “The watertight doors are closed, sir”. I glance over at the clock at the back of the wheelhouse. It is twenty minutes to midnight. There is an abrupt, almost deafening, silence, for the heartbeat of my working life has fallen suddenly still. The Titanic’s engines have stopped. *** Paul Darroch is the author of Jersey: Secrets of the Sea, which tells Jersey’s maritime history in the voices of the seafarers who made it. The book is available throughout Jersey and on Amazon.
Where does Resilience begin? BY MARK ANTHONY BAKER If we are to develop resilience effectively, we need to realise that true resilience begins in the mind and that it is something that is developed over time just like any good wine. So, where should our energy be directed if we are to become resilient? I believe that a good place to begin is by putting things into perspective by appraising situations as they arise and noticing our thoughts and our reactions to those thoughts. As much of our thinking is habitual (about 90%) it can be easy to slip into a downward spiral without being aware what is happening until it’s gone too far. Things are rarely as bad as they seem and very few things are insurmountable. After all, as we rarely, if ever, encounter life threatening situations, how bad can it really be? Whatever challenges you are facing as an individual or a company, have been successfully overcome before. The question becomes why not you? If it’s endurable, then endure it, whilst firmly focussing on the solution. The key word being - focus! I teach individuals and companies all over the world about something called the reticular activating system or the RAS for short. The RAS is situated at the base of the brain stem and its function is to decide which of the two million pieces of information that we are bombarded with every second, get through to us. But who decides what gets through? You do - by what you choose to focus on. How many times have you bought a new car and immediately began to see them everywhere when there didn’t seem to be many if any prior to the purchase? How many ladies who have been pregnant before suddenly noticed that pregnant women suddenly appeared to be everywhere when there didn’t seem to be any prior to your good news. Did you ever wonder why this happened? When you experienced any of the two examples above it was facilitated by the fact that you began to focus on them intently. When you did this, you sent a message to your brain saying that these examples were important to you. Your brain responded by
allowing more relevant information to get through to your conscious field of awareness. Utilising the power of focus to activate your reticular activating system will always cause it to respond in the same way. When you understand how to use it consciously you get to effectively direct the course of your life or your business in a way that you were previously unable to consciously. Have you ever wondered why things seem to get worse when you worried and focussed on negative outcomes? You caused it by focusing on the situation with intent causing your brain to bring to your attention information that only confirmed that it was going to get worse. However, it’s the same with opportunity and mental wellbeing as whatever we focus on intently will essentially provide information to support our point of focus. Fundamentally it’s a factor that supports the saying “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It is a consequence of what they choose to focus on. If you focus on opportunity you will see more opportunities. If you focus on the fact that money and resources are scarce you will just receive evidence to confirm how bad things are. Whatever you think of and focus on with intent will inevitably create a self-fulfilling prophecy for you. If we believe and expect a successful outcome, we will put in the effort that reflects the corresponding degree of belief causing the likelihood of success to become highly probable. However, if we have little belief and low expectations of success, we consequently unconsciously make less effort and the chances of success diminish rapidly. The key factor is where we choose to place our focus on with intent. 90% of causation is mental and so it is with resilience. We must begin with the belief and expectation that we are resilient and focus on what that means to us. Then we must act on it and see ourselves as resilient. Ask ourselves how we are going to overcome our challenges as individuals or as a business. What do I need to believe to make this happen and what must I do? Then act! If you don’t feel you have these attributes, then “act as if” until you do.
BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe By Jack Evans The 2 Series Gran Coupe is one of the latest additions to BMW’s range of saloons, but what’s it like to drive? Jack Evans finds out... WHAT IS IT? In a motoring world seemingly obsessed with niche-busting models, here’s another one. The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is essentially a four-door version of the two-door 2 Series (which in itself is a coupe version of the five-door 1 Series) and the smallest Gran Coupe model in BMW’s line-up. Somewhat sleeker and more dynamic-looking than the 1 Series upon it’s based on, the 2 Series GC is yet another proposition in the smaller end of the new car spectrum. But what’s it like to drive and are those sweeping looks worth it?
Facts at a glance Model: BMW 220d Gran Coupe Model as tested: 220d Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel Power: 188bhp Torque: 400Nm Max speed: 146mph 0-60mph: 7.3seconds MPG: 53.4 Emissions: 134g/km CO2
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WHAT'S NEW? As mentioned, the 2 Series GC shares its underpinnings with the standard 1 Series and as a result retains that car’s list of engines, as well as its front-wheel-drive layout. However, it’s ever so slightly longer than the 1 Series, which helps add to its sleek, stretched-out design. All of this does come at the expense of interior headroom, mind you, but that’s a common trade-off with coupe-style models. Inside, it benefits from BMW’s latest infotainment system as well as a host of connectivity and assistance features. WHAT'S UNDER THE BONNET? Though there’s quite the range of engines to choose from with the 2 Series GC, we’ve got the 220d model, which sees a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine sending 188bhp and 400Nm of torque to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s a reasonably conventional setup, but one that’ll likely find favour with many – not least because of its efficiency. BMW claims up to 53.4mpg combined and, during our time with the car, we were going above and beyond this on longer journeys. Emissions figures are also reasonable for a car of this size and type at 134g/km CO2. There’s no option to have BMW’s all-wheel-drive xDrive system fitted on this engine type, either. For that, you’ll need to bump up to the higher-powered M235i model. WHAT'S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? You expect a car like the 2 Series Gran Coupe to be comfortable, refined and easy to live with over long journeys and, for the most part, it achieves each of these well. The ride is a touch too firm for this tester, but it does result in excellent body control when cornering and isn’t too much of a concern when at a cruise on the motorway. Road and wind noise are contained well too, and though there’s some noise intrusion into the cabin made by the engine when accelerating hard, during regular drives it remains hushed. The steering is excellent too, and the engine itself is punchy and muscular in the way it puts the power down. It feels brisker than the initial figures suggest, too. The eight-speed gearbox tying it all together is one of the best in the business, responding well to acceleration inputs and leaving little delay when pulling away from a dead stop. HOW DOES IT LOOK? Well it’s different, isn’t it? Certainly against the 1 Series or standard 2 Series, this Gran Coupe looks like a distinctly new proposition. Of course, looks are down to the individual, but the GC’s quirky design took some getting used to. The back of the car is a particular talking point, and whether or not it’s a successfully designed area is down to you. But there are plenty of nice touches. The bright blue brake calipers on our car helped to brighten up an otherwise quite dark exterior, while the large alloy wheels give it a distinctly premium air.
WHAT'S IT LIKE INSIDE? The interior of the 2 Series Gran Coupe represents an excellent blend of the old and the new. We like the traditional orange backlights for the buttons, for instance, while all of the leather used throughout the cabin has a robust, old-school feel to it. In contrast, the main screen – which now uses BMW’s latest operating software – is simple and easy to use, with the rotary controller to the left of you being tactile and precise. We’re still not huge fans of BMW’s digital dashboard design – it still seems too cluttered now just as it did when it was first revealed on the new Z4 – but it’s sharp and gives the forward area of the cabin a cutting-edge feel. As mentioned, headroom in the back of the car isn’t the best as a result of the sloping roofline. Though there’s plenty of legroom, taller passengers will find their heads competing for space with the roof if they’re sitting in the back. The boot is actually larger than the one you’ll find in the 1 Series too, though because of the narrower opening it’s a good degree harder to access. WHAT'S THE SPEC LIKE? Our car was finished in tip-top M Sport specification, which brings a full sport styling package, larger alloy wheels and a full sport suspension setup too. M Sport Plus adds an upgraded M braking system, an upgraded sound system and various high-gloss exterior trim pieces, among other touches. The Technology Pack brought features such as adaptive LED headlights and a head-up display, alongside wireless charging. It’s this second pack that we see as the most worthwhile, adding genuinely useful kit for not a whole lot more money. VERDICT BMW’s 2 Series Gran Coupe might be another exercise in niche-filling, but you can’t say it hasn’t been a well-executed one. Those drivers who find the 1 Series too, well, ordinary and the standard 2 Series Coupe too cramped could well find themselves swayed by the in-the-middle Gran Coupe. With its decent on-road manners, excellent economy and good build quality, we couldn’t fault them for doing so either. It might be there to fill a gap no one might have seen in the first place, but the 2 Series Gran Coupe is well-rounded enough to appeal as a genuine prospect in BMW’s current crop of cars.
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