BEACH BODY READY
FITNESS HABITS TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AUGUST GARDENING PREPARE YOUR GARDEN FOR THE MONTHS AHEAD
KITCHEN DIY THIS YEAR’S TRENDING DESIGNS FOR YOUR KITCHEN
SUMMER RECIPES SIX EASY SUMMER BBQ RECIPES FOR THE FAMILY
PREMIER LEAGUE WE PREVIEW THE 2021/22 PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
CONTENTS COVER STORY
Beach body How to achieve your beach body, and keep it going into Autumn
Kitchen DIY We help you kit out one of the most important rooms in the house
Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market
Your home move Your guide to help you every step of the way on your home move
Back to school Now’s the time to make all the back to school purchases
Prepare your child for nursery Get your little ones ready for their first year at school or nursery
10 12 13
August gardening guide Get your garden prepared for the upcoming months
August bank holidays Enjoy the bank holiday with last-minute ways to entertain the family
Summer Recipes We have six easy summer recipes you can cook on the bbq
A look ahead The Premier League season is nearly here and we check out the teams in contention
WELCOME TO THE AUGUST ISSUE! This month, we are deep into British Summertime and the school holidays, however, that means it’s also time to start preparing for when schools go back, with this in mind, we have two fantastic features for you. On pages 4&5 we have all the back to school must haves for children of all ages, while on page 6 we have some top tips to get your kids prepared for their first year at school or nursery. But before the schools go back, there is plenty of fun to be had, and on pages 2&3 we look at some fantastic ideas to make the most of your garden this summer including BBQs, parties, and homemade outdoor cinema ideas. And while you’re in the garden, on pages 10&11 we have our monthly gardening guide, offering you the best tips to keep your outdoor space looking perfect in the heat.
HOW TO MAKE A WARM EVENING A HOT TIME IN YOUR OUTSIDE SPACE THIS SUMMER
Looking for a DIY project to keep you busy during summer, why not look at upgrading your kitchen? On pages 8&9 we have all you need to know including the hottest trends to complete your kitchen this summer, just in time for preparing the recipes on page 13. And if DIY isn’t enough to give yourself a workout, on page 7 we have a guide to get your body beach ready, not just for the summer, but to take into Autumn. And that’s not all… With the August bank holiday approaching, we have a guide to some of the best last-minute getaways as well as a preview for the new Premier League season. Jonathan Wheatley Editor
our outside space – whether it be a lawned garden, a patio or decked space – is a haven for you and your family and friends if you let it be. There is so much recreational versatility to an outdoor space, and this summer in particular is one we’ll all likely be enjoying a lot more than previous summers, so allow us to help inspire you with some ideas – some traditional, some unique – on how to get the most out of your wonderful outside space under the evening sun this season. A cocktail of chilled, refreshing times. Mojitos, martinis, spritzers, pina coladas and margaritas are some of the more classic summer cocktails, but are you ready to try something different this summer? Here are some perhaps less-recognized cocktails which are simple to make and perfect for a punchy summer evening. Hendricks Coconut Cocktail: 1.5 parts Hendricks Gin, 3 part coconut water, 1 part cold brew coffee, 2 dashes Xocolatl bitters. Garnish with grated nutmeg and mint. Iceland Dill Martini: 2 parts Reyka Vodka, 0.5 to 1 part kosher pickle brine, Dry vermouth (as rinse), 10 mustard seeds, Kosher dill pickle and sprig of dill. Garnish with a small pickle. The Diamond Back: 2 parts rye whiskey, 1 part applejack (or apple brandy), 1 part green chartreuse. Garnish with a cherry.
The evenings stay light nowadays until as late as 21:00, and with temperatures soaring, make the most of your outside space, either at your own home or round friends or family Barbequing the night away (and the right way!) I mean, seriously, who doesn’t like a barbeque in the summer? Surely everyone, even vegetarians, because meat, of course, isn’t the only option for a barbeque. Below is a list of really interesting food items you can get the best out of on a barbeque. Avocado – they don’t need much longer than a minute, and be sure to leave them destoned and halved, rather than in slices, so to retain their durability. Artichoke – a vegetable surprisingly versatile, it’s best to blanch or boil the artichokes first, and finish them off face-down on the barbeque. Halloumi – it’s one of those cheeses which doesn’t melt when grilled, roasted or barbequed, making them the perfect accompaniment to pretty much any meat dish. Pizza – yes, a pizza can, of course, be baked on a barbeque grill, just make sure you keep an eye on it as it can be easy to over or under bake a pizza. Bananas – leave them in their skin, barbeque those babies, and as soon as the skins start turning black, take them off, and you have yourself the most wonderful, melted, warm banana. Topped with some chocolate sauce, it’s simply divine!
GARDEN PARTY! WHY? BECAUSE YOU GOTTA!
THE SILVER SCREEN… WITH SUNSCREEN?
FAMILY-FRIENDLY GAMES AND FUN UNDER THE SUN.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good, simple garden party done well. You’re outside, in a private space, with your family and friends, dancing under the sun, cocktail-in-hand, and everything’s just hunky dory. To really elevate your outside party, perhaps invest in some big speakers, or maybe just ones which have a decorative charm to them. There is a wide range of different types of outside speakers available on the market nowadays, including flame-effect sound systems which would give your garden a real sophistication. A surround sound system, however, is always a reliable go-to if you’re looking for the music to be a star ingredient in the event.
There are an array of different sized and styled projector screens on the market, and depending on the size of your outside space, whether your garden is south-facing or not, and even whether or not there would be trees towering over your prospective projector screen (bird poop!), you have to find the right one for you, including a sound system ideally. There are portable projector screens, which can be easily dismantled and put aside until needed again. Do make sure you invest in some comfy seating, though, and a gazebo or some kind of sheltering for your cinema screen could solve a lot of problems, including sun reflections on the screen.
Twister and hide-and-seek are two obvious and absolute classic games to play in the garden together, and if you’re a particularly energetic bunch, you’ll get a lot of fun out of them. But here are some other, slightly more interesting games to play in the garden with the children: Giant memory game Giant Jenga Beanbag bullseye Garden bowling Monkey in the middle
FOR AUTUMN! Now is the perfect time to purchase back to school must-haves.
At school, there are rules you must follow which ensure that everyone pretty much looks the same. A set uniform that must be worn, certain hairstyles/colours which are permitted, a level of make-up which is accepted. But the one area which sparks originality and is for many the gateway to getting their children excited to return to school after the summer holidays is stationery. Even adults find themselves fondly wandering up and down the stationery aisle with little need for anything beyond the basic pen, pencil and paper they already possess. For children, this is not the case and a new school year signals new stationery. This guide will talk you through the latest must-haves and options and might even get your child excited about the return to school - to show off their stationery if nothing else!
First up, this year, for the first time, a mask and hand sanitizer are top of the must-have list! Fortunately, Crayola have stepped up to the mark and created crayon-themed sanitizer bottles which can easily be clipped to the side of a school bag. Available in packs of 4, Crayola’s new hand sanitizer is made with 75% ethyl alcohol,
firmly within the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s hand sanitizer recommendations. You can also un-screw the top meaning that these bottles can be refilled when needed. There is a plethora of face masks on the market currently, however, it is best to purchase ones designed specifically for children in order to assure best fit and comfort. Much loved brand TotsBots have some great options with fun patterns from mermaid scales to whales, all are machine washable and made with a clever stay-dry inner and waterproof outer layer. They also come in adult sizes in case you get jealous of the cool design! Next to consider is the water bottle. Reusable water bottles have flooded the market due to the recent push towards sustainability, meaning there are so many options to choose from. Opt for one of the many metal thermos bottles to ensure water stays cool for the duration of the school day. The metal option also triumphs in durability and isn’t prone to shattering upon impact unlike its plastic competitors. Chilli or Swell stock a fantastic range of sizes, colours and patterns as do most supermarkets. Whilst at the supermarket, you might also want to select a new lunch box. Why not mix up the lunchtime routine and try the reusable beeswax wraps to keep your sandwiches fresh, looking great and feel good about helping the environment at the same time? Then there’s the actual stationery itself. Consult your school’s equipment list to make sure you get what your child definitely needs (many list a specific brand of scientific calculator etc) and ensure the basics are covered- ruler, pencil, rubber, pen. Within this though, the stationery aisle is your
oyster. From novelty rubbers in every design imaginable to erasable highlighters in neon shades, you’re sure to find everything you need (and 100 things you didn’t know you needed until you saw it) to ensure you’re fully prepped.
An item you may not have considered or even heard of before is SpecStick. SpecStick is the glasses-wearer saviour. It is a beeswax-based product to prevent glasses sliding down your nose. Coming in a glue-stick style design, it will fit easily into any pencil case and will prevent glasses becoming a hindrance rather than a help. Speaking of which, it is worth
getting your child’s eyes checked at the opticians before school re-opens. One thing you can guarantee is that your child’s feet will have grown. It is definitely worth finding out what size they need to ensure maximum comfort. After all, school shoes are worn in all weather, every day for an average of 6 hours: comfort is key. Either go to a shoe-shop and get your child’s feet measured properly, or, download a foot measuring guide online and find out which size is needed. When selecting shoes, options can be limited (especially if your child’s feet measure particularly narrow or wide) but try to select a durable option. Rubber soles will last much longer than leather ones and will hold-up in wet weather more effectively. The final must-have is a label maker to ensure all of your new purchases stay safe and where they should be! Name all your items to prevent mix-ups! School might be out for summer but it’s never too early to start prepping for next year.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD STARTING SCHOOL OR NURSERY It’s time – your beautiful child is going off to school or nursery for the first time. Here’s how you can prepare them in effective ways for the new experience ahead Downplay the seriousness of the whole thing Let’s face it, ignorance can be bliss, and especially for a young child. Downplaying the whole affair to your child can make a world of difference. It can help steer their thoughts from the negatives and onto a much more positive and happy state of mind. The time ahead won’t be 100% easy, of course not, but let’s not have those pragmatic, sometimes confidencedefeating aspects to school life discouraging your child. You do, after all, want them to get the most out of their experience, and you get out what you put in at the end of the day. Children love routine! They also love play-acting, so why not try acting out the routines of nursery or school life, such as saying goodbye to each other, and then saying hello again to reconstruct the idea of them returning home from school. Reading stories and singing songs together is also a great way to get your child practicing some of the day-to-day routines of nursery or school, and will help levitate nerves too. On the power of routine, children like to hear the same stories again and again, as it proves comforting, so perhaps implement repetition with the story reading too. Try to make sure you select particularly positive and optimistic stories.
Get your child comfortable with school lunch Perhaps on the last week leading up to them starting school, prepare them roughly the same kind of lunch you’ll be making for them on school mornings. This will give them a chance to get familiar with another major part of their day-to-day routine, and avoid them feeling perhaps alienated and intimidated by the process (like having prison food for the first time, for example, or something like that). Be attentive to any serious concerns they may have As you’ll no doubt already know, a big part of being a good parent is being a good councillor to your children. It’s completely natural that your children may have concerns, from social concerns to anxiety to anything else really, so listen well to anything they may want to talk to you about. Take down the barriers, and actively encourage them to talk if you feel they’re concealing something. It’s perhaps one of the most important stages of preparing your children for school or nursery, so get them opening up.
Downplaying the whole affair to your child can make a world of difference. It can help steer their thoughts from the negatives and onto a much more positive and happy state of mind. 6
Take down the barriers, and actively encourage them to talk if you feel they’re concealing something.
BEACH BODY READY
CLUE: IF YOU HAVE A BODY, YOU’RE READY
he obsession with the perfect beach body is unlikely to end anytime soon. However, one thing 2020 has taught everyone is the importance of fitness for mental health as well as physical. Thankfully, many have started to obsess less about the way exercise makes them look and instead have shifted their focus to the way it makes them feel. With that in mind, if you are wanting to start a fitness habit this summer, you need to find something that you enjoy and will want to carry on into the autumn and beyond. The first thing to do is to find your niche. If you’re not a regular exerciser, walking is a fantastic way to start. It’s one of the easiest ways to exercise outside and a great way to get some extra movement in. All you need is a decent pair of trainers and you’re good to go. The key to making it enjoyable is to make it a daily habit. Get up that little bit earlier and head out first thing to clear your head and start your day in a positive way. Looking to ramp it up a little? Why not try jogging? With events beginning to open up again, sign up for a local event to set yourself a challenge to work towards. Join a running group to help motivate yourself to stay on track or download the popular couchto5k app to guide you through the initial stages. Parkrun UK is also starting to reopen its courses. Parkrun is a weekly timed 5k event, held all over the country, and there is sure to be one near you. Warning: once you join, you may be hooked. Many park runners have renamed Saturday ‘parkrunday’. Completed by people of all fitness abilities from walkers to sprinters, the only person you’re in competition with is yourself. Attend weekly to beat your previous time. Sign up online and print off a free barcode to ensure your result is emailed to you. You’ll also receive information including how you compare to others in your age and gender category! Many courses also run a junior park run on Sundays with a shorter course to challenge younger athletes. Runners from as young as 4 may attend. Or why not try something more adventurous, find out what’s going on in your local area. Many fresh-water lakes now offer open water swimming or yoga paddle boarding! Whilst a summer body may indeed be made in the winter, health is something which should be maintained at all times, both mental and physical. The fitness bug is one of the only bugs you should try to catch!
KIT OUT YOUR KITCHEN YOURSELF The kitchen is perhaps the most important room in any house, as it tends to be the area where people most enjoy congregating.
o if you want to show off your kitchen to guests, here are our tips on how you can, in a few simple steps, transform your cooking and eating space, and turn it into the statement room in your home.
SPICE UP YOUR COLOURS
Maybe you just feel like your kitchen needs a makeover? If this is the case, then by painting your cabinets and cupboards, this will help completely revamp your kitchen, and won’t break the bank either. Repainting an entire room is also a project that can be fun to work on, and the end result can be hugely satisfying. Furthermore, sandpaper your storage units afterwards, to really give the sense that this is a completely rejuvenated space. And if you are looking at your updated kitchen, and feel that the fridge looks out of place, then alter this too! Rather than invest in a new fridge, just get creative with a stylish wallpaper and some double-sided tape. In this way, you can match your fridge to the rest of your colour scheme.
REJIG YOUR STORAGE
If you’ve been accumulating kitchen appliances and utensils over the last months, which now look cluttered on your worktops, then consider some DIY storage options. For example, if you have a wall in your kitchen, which is currently unused, then add a floating shelf or a couple of small rails. These are superb for holding dishes, as well as smaller items, like serving spoons or tongs, and even mugs. An added bonus of a storage wall is that they give your home a more rustic feel - so if you were looking to lean into this theme, then this change could be perfect.
ADD A SENSE OF ORDER
And leading on from adding extra storage space, use this as an excuse to re-organise your kitchen. For example, get some large storage jars for use in your cupboards or pantry for long-life foods, such as rice, pasta, and flour. As well as looking smart in your storage units, this will also help to avoid the clutter of keeping half-empty packets.
And if you’re someone who can never find the herb or spice you need, then invest in a tiered organisational unit. By doing this, you can have all of your items on show, meaning that your shelf will both look smart, and the items inside will be easily accessible.
WORK OUT YOUR WORKTOPS
If you’ve always wanted to re-do your work surfaces, but haven’t because of the time or money required, then consider this a non-issue. To give your worktops a new lease of life, cover them in contact paper. With the addition of some wall-paper smoother, and a steady
Get some large storage jars for use in your cupboards or pantry for long-life foods, such as rice, pasta, and flour. This will avoid the clutter of keeping half-empty packets. hand, you can even choose a marble-effect, giving your kitchen a greater sense of style. The same trick can be applied if you’re in the market for a new splash-back. Many retailers sell tile stickers, which, in a few easy steps, can completely reshape your space. If you’re feeling like getting even more hands on with materials, then check out ‘realhomes.com’, who detail how to install your own splash-back in ten easy steps.
LIGHT IT UP
If you’re simply looking to energise your kitchen for when you entertain, then have a look at installing some under cabinet lighting. Despite these strips being cheap and easy to install, they go a long way to modernising your cooking space, helping it to really come to life during late summer evenings. And if you want a more prominent lighting change, then look to get a light fitted over your bar or dining area. In particular, oversized dramatic pendant lights are a brilliant way to add a warm glow to any area, and really establish an industrial theme.
MOVE YOUR GARDEN INDOORS
If you’re still looking for an inventive idea to really make a statement, then why not create your own herb garden right inside your kitchen. To do this, grow all of your favourite herbs, and store them in an unused cabinet, ready for picking at any time. As well as creating a stunning visual display in your home, this is practical, as it will help to avoid the need for constant journeys to the supermarket!
Because while the garden still has colour and has yet to reach its past-its-best date, there is no better time to assess what has and hasn’t worked this year; which colour and plant combinations didn’t quite come off, and which exceeded expectations or failed to flourish. It’s much easier to re-organise if you have a reference point to start with. After all, gardening is 50% preparation, 40% perspiration and 10% relaxation… if you get it right.
Strange as it may seem, you should start thinking about next spring!
hey say there’s a time and place for everything. And while you may be reclining in the garden, enjoying the fruits of your labours on another sun-soaked, sultry day when the bees are scurrying from one bloom to the next scavenging for the last few grains of pollen, you might be thinking now is not the time to start formulating plans for next spring. And you’d be wrong.
At the moment, though, it’s all about heat management. August is one of the hottest months of the year, making watering essential to prolong the lives of bedding plants and containers as well as other summer-flowering shrubs, vegetables and any new plants you may have introduced to the garden since spring. If you have a water butt – and if you don’t, it might be time to invest in one – you may find your supply getting a little low, so support it with any ‘grey’ recycled water, saving your fresh water for ponds and water features such as bird baths, which will be under threat from evaporation.
August is one of the hottest months of the year, making watering essential to prolong the lives of bedding plants and containers And remember: a good drenching can support plants for up to 14 days, whereas wetting the surface is a waste of time, and does more harm than good as it encourages weeds and can lead to surface rooting, making plants more vulnerable. Don’t worry about your lawn. Overnight dews and early-autumn rain will soon refresh your green sward, which will be best looked after this month by raising the blades on your mower, offering the soil a little respite from searing temperatures. If you are mowing lightly and more frequently it may also be beneficial to remove the grass collection box so the clippings can become a moisture-retaining mulch.
As for feeding, a high phosphate fertiliser applied late summer will strengthen the roots for winter rather than encourage lush top growth that could suffer in the cold months. But if your aim is to lay new turf or re-reed areas, now is the time to prepare the ground, and if you have been cultivating a meadow-style garden a cut now will help spread seeds. Elsewhere, maintain your-dead-heading programme to help take some colour through to autumn, and cut back the foliage and stems of herbaceous plants. Climbers, such as wisteria and pyracantha can be trimmed once they have finished flowering, as can hebes, lavenders and rambling roses, while hedges can be cut as they will only grow a little before the colder weather shuts them down. Any bare patches which have developed in alpines can also be filled with a gritty compost to encourage new growth. And if you want some early spring colour, bulbs should start to become available online and at local garden centres, and many can be planted now.
Your vegetable garden should also be coming into its own now, with the promise of plenty of home-grown produce. Spring-sown carrots and beetroot should be ready to harvest, as will second early potatoes - perfect for salads – while French and runner beans should be picked regularly to prevent them setting seed or becoming stringy. Apply a high potash fertiliser, such as tomato feed, once fruits start to form on peppers, cucumbers, and aubergines, as well as tomato plants, which should have had their tops pinched to promote growth with the lower leaves cut away to help air circulation and prevent disease. Herbs can also be trimmed and thinned to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves that can be harvested before the frosts, while cuttings can be taken from rosemary, sage and mint and planted in moist, well-drained potting compost. And as for soft fruits, plant out any rooted runners from your strawberry plants; prune blackcurrant stems after harvesting and cut back the fruited canes from summer raspberries, leaving the new green canes to flourish for next year.
But if your aim is to lay new turf or re-reed areas, now is the time to prepare the ground
FAMILY FUN Last minute ways to keep the whole family entertained this August bank holiday
s the August bank holiday approaches, many will be eagerly awaiting some time away from the office (or more commonly now, the desk) and looking forward to a well-deserved break. Anyone with kids, however, knows that you’re only ever truly happy when your kids are. Bank holiday weekends can spell boredom and sometimes best intentions have fallen by the wayside and you’ve forgotten to sign up for activities to keep the kids engaged and entertained. Here are some last-minute options to keep the kids (and you) happy. Check out events happening in your local area. Britain is blessed to have so many options happening on bank holidays, so make the most of them! You could get your dancing shoes on and head over to Europe’s largest street festival, Notting Hill Festival. With an electric atmosphere guaranteed, having fun here is infectious - in a good way! You could enjoy an alfresco movie night with venues large and small (local pub gardens etc) showing movies on big screens or projectors. Why not make an evening of it and pack a picnic or get some stone-baked pizza to enjoy whilst watching the film? Near to Aylesbury? Wander through Vale Park and catch some of the ‘Parklife’ festival - a free community event with live music, food stalls, entertainment and a special ‘stars in the park’ experience starting at 10:15pm. If you don’t fancy the idea of ‘organised fun’ or if the idea of keeping to a fixed schedule doesn’t work for your family, why not make your own fun? Staying close to home means you’ll always have spare changes of clothes as well as having drinks and snacks on hand. You could have a family slumber party: everyone don pjs, choose some delicious snacks and play board games or watch your favourite films. You could either build a sleeping fort or nest in the living room or pitch a tent outside for the braver amongst you! Speaking of brave, if you’re really looking to try something unusual, treat your family to a ‘Yes Day’. On these days, the kids are in charge. This will only work for kids over about the age of 8. Set limits: you must stay safe; you must stay together. Other than that, the sky is the limit. Sneak in some learning by giving the kids a budget for the day, go shopping for meals and let them work out how much everything will cost. Explain that when they’ve spent their budget, it’s gone. This could mean they blow it all on pancakes for breakfast or they could choose to buy a new toy to play with. Lie-ins, activities, meals, bedtimes: it’s all up to the kids. This one is not for the faint of heart but guarantees laughter and a little bit of craziness too!
You’ve got the barbecue out, right? So, use it, in ways you’ve never before. Here are our starter and main recipes which have something for everyone, and for which you can utilize your barbecue techniques flamin’ brilliantly!
SUMMER RECIPES FOR ALL THE FAMILY
STARTERS Chilled cucumber soup with bacon and dill Two to four cucumbers Rashers of bacon Handful of dill
Dice up the cucumber into small chunks and blend in a blender. Fry off the bacon until crispy. Serve the soup, with sprinkles of the bacon and chopped dill.
Halloumi with a mint and lemon sauce Halloumi Mint leaves One lemon
Slice the halloumi into stick shapes, and barbecue until seared. For the sauce, blend mint leaves with the juice of a whole lemon. Serve the halloumi topped with the sauce.
Avocado garlic bread Bread Garlic Butter Avocado
Any bread should do. Mince approx. four cloves of garlic, and, with butter, spread/rub into the bread. Pop the bread onto the barbecue grill, with a halved avocado beside it also grilling. After a few minutes take everything off the grill, detached the avocado flesh from its skin, and spread atop the bread, and serve.
MAINS Seafood (of your choice) Baby gem lettuce Cayenne pepper Small tomatoes Radishes Balsamic vinegar
Sausages Small tomatoes Peppers Mushrooms Pasta
Sirloin or ribeye steaks Parma ham Sage Mozzarella Small tomatoes Parmesan
Tangy seafood salad Prepare your seafood to your liking. Unless it’s smoked, you will need to cook it out on the barbecue. Chop or slice the vegetables, and pick off whole leaves of baby gem lettuce. Decoratively fan out the lettuce leaves on the plate, then place the vegetables in the centre, with the seafood on top. Drizzle generously with balsamic vinegar.
Mediterranean sausage pasta Cook the sausages thoroughly on the barbecue first, along with the peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms. When all cooked, slice or dice the ingredients to your liking, and add to the cooked pasta. Squash down the tomatoes to create a sauce which will emulsify with the other ingredients. Add feta cheese to garnish if you like.
Rolled steak saltimbocca Flatten out the steak with a meat tenderizer, then layer the steak with parma ham, sage, mozzarella and parmesan, and roll (like a Swiss roll) the steak, piercing the lip and body together with cocktail sticks. Cook on the barbecue to your liking (rare, medium, well done, etc). When serving, top with barbecued tomatoes.
IMAGES FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES
A LOOK AHEAD
TO THE NEW
PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
It’s that time of the year again, where the best teams in England take to the field, in an attempt to get their hands on the Premier League trophy. So, from title favourites, to managerial casualties, we offer up our opinions, ahead of the much-anticipated return of top-tier league football.
TITLE CHASERS Manchester City romped home with the title last season. Their 2020-21 victory made it three titles in four seasons for Pep Guardiola and his men - and it’s difficult to look past City again. Their squad doesn’t need too many additions, but one position that they may look to address is the striker. Club legend Sergio Aguero left Manchester City after a decade of service in May, so they may look to snap up either of this year’s hot prospects; Erling Haaland or Harry Kane. Needless to say, if City manage to secure the signature of either of these men, they may stroll to the title next season. Other teams who will be in the mix include Liverpool. Their follow up season to their first Premier League title win was pretty woeful by all accounts. And it’s hard to believe that they’ll be this poor for a second straight year. Perhaps last season was one which the Reds needed, in order to recharge after a relentlessly good 2019-20 campaign.
Chelsea would be the other team that may have a slight chance. Since Thomas Tuchel took over the managerial reins in January 2021, the Blues’ fortunes have been transformed, securing a superb 2021 Champions League victory - a game which the West London club went into as distinct underdogs. If this upturn were to continue, they may well be fighting at the top table, come May.
EUROPEAN CONTENDERS As well as these three teams, there are spots for four more in various European competitions up for grabs. The final Champions League spot may well be fought between Manchester United and Leicester City. The former has secured entry into this competition for this season, with the latter pipped at the post. Both teams, on their day, can play good football, but are inconsistent to be considered as one of the elite.
The England captain won his third Golden Boot award last season, and if the rumours are true, that Kane is destined to sign for Manchester City
With regards to the final two European spots, Tottenham and Arsenal will inevitably be hanging around, along with Leeds United, who, after their ninth placed finish last term, will hope to improve on their first season back in the big time. Although saying that, there are a good number of teams who will be eyeing these spots. Most notably, West Ham United, Wolves, and Aston Villa.
SURPRISE PACKAGE ast season, Leeds United came up, and took to the Premier League like a duck to water, with their swashbuckling brand of football. I expect Brentford to emulate Leeds in this sense, and have a strong first ever season in the Premier League. if their form in the Championship is anything to go by, then they will look to attack
every team, and outscore their opposition. In Ivan Toney, they have a striker who had a dream first season in the Championship, scoring 31 goals. Who’s to say that he won’t adjust to the Premier League just as effectively?
TOP MARKSMAN The English top-flight is extremely competitive. Any player from any team is capable of putting together a run of goals. But it’s hard, once again, to look beyond Harry Kane. The England captain won his third Golden Boot award last season, and if the rumours are true, that Kane is destined to sign for Manchester City, he may score a hatful of goals this season.
WHO’LL GET THE CHOP? The high pressure nature of this league means that a manager’s position is never comfortable. New Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo could be the first to lose his job, especially if Spurs don’t manage to get enough new players through the door, and enough of the deadwood out of the club. And Xisco Munoz must also be a candidate to be sacked, if for no other reason than the fact that he is the Watford manager. The club does tend to be cut-throat in this way.
RELEGATION For me, there are two near certainties for relegation back to the Championship. Norwich and Watford will struggle in this league, as they often do after promotion. And as for the third team to face the drop, Crystal Palace should be concerned. With many players out of contract at the South-London club, the Eagles may be looking over their shoulders this season.
Selhurst Road, SE25 £235,000
A superb and newly decorated one bedroom Victorian conversion flat set in a beautiful sought after building, offered with a share of freehold and off street parking. Ideally located within walking distance to Selhurst Station and South Norwood with it’s popular 12 minute link to London Bridge, easy access to Victoria, Clapham, East Croydon and Gatwick.Close by is bus stops, shops, restaurants, schools, and parks, up the road is the beautiful South Norwood Lakes which is great way to spend the weekend.
Oliver Ave, SE25 £236,950
A superb top floor one bedroom Victorian conversion flat, offering a large lounge, large hallway and separate kitchen, this property has gas central heating, fitted wardrobes and double glazed velux windows. Ideally located just minutes walk to the ever popular Norwood Junction Station with it’s 13 minute link to London Bridge, as well as the shops, restaurants, parks of the High street and surrounds.
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0208 653 9393 Jukes & Co. Estate Agents, 76 High Street, South Norwood, SE25 6EB
Selhurst Road, SE25 £265,000
This Attractive two double bedroom apartment set on the first floor of this period building offering flexible accommodation and conveniently positioned between both Selhurst and Norwood Junction Train stations as well as South Norwood High street and Croydon Town centre with their shops and amenities would make an ideal first time buy or investment purchase. Features of the property include a 14ft living room and separate kitchen, and access to communal garden.
Selhurst Road, SE25 £315,000
Jukes and co are pleased to offer this superb two bedroom upper ground floor flat set in a beautiful Victorian building ideal for a first time buy or a buy to let, within a few minutes walk to Selhurst Station with links to London Victoria and East Croydon Featuring a modern lounge and luxury kitchen, two bedrooms a modern bathroom, allocated parking and a long lease.
Whitworth Road, SE25 £385,000
A Modern and Spacious conversion apartment set within a Period building on one of South Norwood’s Premier Roads just a short walk to the High street and Norwood Junction Train station giving access to Central London via London Bridge. Living area measuring 18’10 and separate kitchen, Double Bedrooms, Private and direct access to rear garden, share of freehold and is also offered CHAIN FREE.
Parry Road, SE25 £550,000
This superb four bedroom, two shower room end of terraced house with a large garage, this home is bright and spacious it has a very modern luxury kitchen/dining room with an area for a dining room table as well and a breakfast bar area, making this a great entertaining room, it benefits from a large playroom and conservatory, beautiful modern loft conversion and a well kept large garden with Garage.
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0208 653 9393 Jukes & Co. Estate Agents, 76 High Street, South Norwood, SE25 6EB
Percy Road, SE25 £1,400 PCM
A beautifully presented 2 double bedroom mid-terrace Victorian Cottage situated on a quiet road within South Norwood, just a short walk away from Norwood Junction Station with access to Central London and the High street with its shops and amenities. Featuring an impressive open plan Living/Dining room with separate modern fitted kitchen, rear garden. with a large and modern family bathroom.
Pittville Gardens, SE25 £1,500 PCM
This three bedroom end of terraced house with a garage in a very quiet cul de sac close to the ever popular South Norwood Lakes, walking distance to Norwood Junction Station with the 12 minute link to London Bridge, easy distance to East Croydon, Victoria, Clapham Junction and Gatwick. This home is in the most prime location, close to schools, shops, bus stops and restaurants, the leisure centre is also close by.
Present your house for sale by de-cluttering... Maximise your home’s potential and create spacious rooms enticing potential buyers – simply by de-cluttering!
De-cluttering allows you to… maximise your space, emotionally prepare you to move, and will allow you to focus your buyers on what is important
f you are looking to sell your house, or have had your home on the market for a while now, then you probably want to get the maximum sale price in the quickest time. There are a few things you can’t control – but the one thing that is in your control, is the look and feel of the interior and exterior. While it’s worth spending time fixing and cleaning your house before potential buyers come and view, it’s also important to de-clutter. This creates spacious rooms and also allows you to decrease and organise your personal items before you move yourself. Of course it’s understandable that you don’t to want spend money, time and energy on a home you are about to leave, however, a lot of people are looking for a house in which they can move straight into. Maintaining your
property might even save you thousands of pounds; it could even reduce added expenses of living in your home whilst waiting for a sale. And it might even help avoid possible reductions in the asking price. The main reason in which people move house tends to be because they lack space in their current home. They want a home that is spacious and in which they can grow into. If a potential viewer comes to your home and sees that there is lack of space, then this will turn them away. De-cluttering allows you to remove any unnecessary items in an untidy or overcrowded place. It will help maximise your space, emotionally prepare you to move, and will allow you to focus your buyers on what is important.
So where should you start? You need to create a great first impression and focus on the rooms themselves. You will notice that the first things you see in each room are personal items. Where possible you want to create the look of a
them into things you want to keep and things you want to get rid of. You may even find that you have collected a cupboard full of paper work. Get yourself organised! Don’t just throw it all away, but file it and go through it thoroughly. This will also make it easier when you move.
De-personalising can also be a great way to declutter. Too many personal effects can be distracting to buyers. They want to see a house in which they can make their own memories rather than seeing yours. Again, personal items can be stored away. Remember
Where possible you want to create the look of a lifestyle that the potential buyers want lifestyle that the potential buyer want. This usually has a ‘show home’ feel, rather than a ‘lived in’ feel. Minimising your things is the quickest way to do this: you want to ensure that potential buyers can do simple things, like, open any doors easily, ensuring that there are no obstacles. So, what do we mean by clutter? There are two types: genuine clutter, and items that you want to keep but don’t work for the sale of your property. Genuine Clutter: You need to go through the space and sort out each item, categorising
You also want to focus on little things like DVDs, books and trinkets. These items may have some small value so sell them or donate them to charity. Get rid of any old shoes and coats that are lying about in your porch or hallway. You might want to hide away the coats and shoes you do currently wear. Store them in your wardrobe, while you have viewings. Items that you want to keep but don’t work for the sale of your property: You may want to consider putting some items in storage while you sell your home. Sometimes items are too large or even too small for some spaces and can make the room look odd. If you want to keep these particular items, then store them until you move into your new home.
that this is only a temporary way of living and hopefully it won’t be for long! If you find you are keeping more things than you are throwing out, then think about whether or not it’s in the right room or do you even need it now? As previously mentioned, you can attempt to sell some of the things you have acquired over the years. Use sites like eBay, Gumtree and social networking sites to try and sell items. You may want to even hold a house sale for the remaining items that you can’t sell. Failing that, why not donate to charity. The end goal is still the same and it’s important to help potential buyers envision your house as theirs. So remember, decluttering will make your home more spacious and entice potential buyers!
Top Tips! If you are throwing away paperwork, shred anything that is confidential
De-clutter before agents come and take photos of your property. This will help attract more potential viewers online and get that first good impression
Don’t spend too long on certain items and don’t get distracted. Keep yourself motivated and race against the clock!
Make it fun! Play some music or watch TV while you de-clutter
Your step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process
nce a sale has been agreed and is in the hands of your solicitor, it will go through the following stages. Sometimes additional work will be needed – for example, if the property is leasehold or is yet to be registered with the Land Registry. It is also important for buyers to discuss the availability of their deposit with their solicitor early in the transaction, and we strongly recommend that you contact your solicitor regularly so that they can keep you fully up-to-date with the progress and the latest timescales.
Seller’s solicitor’s steps • Obtain a copy of the Title Deeds (or office copies if the title is registered) • Obtain a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) (if applicable) • The seller(s) will return a completed Property Information Form and a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form to the solicitors • Copies of the above documents, plus a draft contract – this is known as an ‘Information Pack’ – will be sent to the buyer’s solicitor • Answer the buyer’s solicitor’s additional enquiries (for example, specific questions about fixtures and fittings) and obtain copies of any planning consent documents • Agree the contract and arrange for the sellers to sign it in readiness of the exchange (below) • All parties agree completion dates and the contracts are exchanged
Between exchange and completion • Obtain redemption figures from the mortgage lender and reply to requisitions on title • Approve the transfer and arrange for the seller(s) and buyer(s) to sign • Receive the agent’s fee account and seek the seller’s consent to settle this out of completion funds
Completion date This is the date the ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer, and it follows the successful transfer of funds. It’s the date that the whole process works towards.
Upon completion • Receive completion funds and (only when this has been completed) instruct your estate agent to release the keys to buyers. Redeem mortgage and forward the financial statement. Forward any surplus funds (unless these are being used to fund an onward purchase). Ensure all outstanding bills are paid • Forward transfer documents and deeds to the buyer’s solicitors • Forward evidence of ‘discharge of mortgage’ to the buyer’s solicitors
Buyer’s solicitor’s steps • Obtain the Information Pack, including a copy of the EPC (if applicable) from the sellers’ solicitor and raise any additional queries • Initiate any specialist searches (for example: a coal search). Submit local, environmental and water searches and a chancel check. This takes about 10 working days in total, and enquiries are then usually raised from the results • Approve the contract when all enquiries are satisfactory and complete. (At this stage, a mortgage transfer deed will need to be signed and witnessed) • Receive a mortgage offer and instructions from the lender and deal with any conditions set out by them. Make sure that life cover and buildings insurance is being arranged • Request the deposit, report back to the buyer, and arrange for the contract to be signed. Place buildings insurance and life cover in force • All parties agree completion dates and the contracts are exchanged
Between exchange and completion • Raise ‘requisitions on title’ and prepare the draft transfer deed • Report on title to mortgage lender and obtain funds for completion, including Stamp Duty (if appropriate) • Prepare accounts, obtain signature to mortgage deed and undertake final Land Registry and Land Charges searches
Completion date This is the date the ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer, and it follows the successful transfer of funds. It’s the date that the whole process works towards.
Upon Completion • Forward to the seller’s solicitors the balance of funds − it is only then that they can authorise the release of the keys. Receive from the seller’s solicitors, the transfer document deeds • Stamp the Transfer Deed, register the buyer’s ownership with the Land Registry and forward the deeds to the lender or client (where appropriate)
Contract - The agreement that sets out the main terms that have been agreed − for example: price, address, names, etc. Two copies are drawn up, and each party signs one in readiness for the exchange of contracts. Deposit - The part of the purchase price (usually 10%) which the buyer pays on exchange of contracts. Exchange of contracts - The swapping of signed contracts by the solicitors (together with the buyer’s deposit). After this, the contract is binding. Energy Performance Certificate - This contains information on energy use, energy performance, carbon dioxide emissions, and fuel bills. Land Registry - The Government department that records who owns what land, and under what conditions. Local Authority Search - A list of questions that are specific to the property and intended, for example, to discover if there have been any planning applications on the property, if the road to the house is maintained by the council, etc. Mortgage Redemption Figure - The amount required to repay the outstanding capital/ interest of a mortgage. Property information form/fixtures, fittings and contents form - Standard forms about the property that the seller answers for their solicitor (for example: what will be left behind, details of guarantees, etc.) Title Deeds - Legal documents that prove ownership of land/buildings, and the terms on which they are owned. Transfer of Title - The document that passes the ownership from the seller to the buyer. Stamp Duty for buy to let investors and second home owners - An additional tax, paid by the buyer purchasing an additional property that is not their main residence. It includes buy to let landlords and those buying second homes and holiday homes. The higher rates will be 3 percentage points above the current rates of duty shown below. Requisition on title - An enquiry relating to the completion arrangements. Seller’s Pack - This comprises a Property Information Form, a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form, a copy of the title deeds and the draft contract. Stamp Duty - A tax paid by the buyer purchasing their main residence. The current Stamp Duty Holiday runs until the 30th June and as such you won’t pay stamp duty on purchases up to £500,000. After this date the nil-rate band will be set at £250k until the end of September.
Moving house? From meter readings to removal companies, there’s so much to remember when moving house. Here’s our checklist of what to do and when
irst of all, congratulations on your new home! The excitement has probably now kicked in but moving home can also be one of the most stressful and emotionally draining things you can do. However, careful organisation and planning can help decrease the stress and anxiety of moving. This comprehensive and essential checklist will help you do just that.
Eight weeks – Research Ideally, you want to start packing away any non-essential items as early as possible. This includes any items stored away in the loft, garage and shed. If you are not using it, pack it. Looking into your new area is also important, try to do this around eight weeks before you move. You might need to think about transferring your children to different schools and ordering new uniforms too. At this point, ensure you are also documenting all your important information away: that includes contact details, dates, contracts and information regarding your solicitor.
Six weeks – Removal companies or do it yourself? Now would be the perfect time to decide on a local removal company. Or if you don’t have too much to move, you may want to do it yourself. You could even look into different van hire companies. At this point you’ve probably started packing away some bits, but if there is anything you decide not to take, then look into selling these items or donating them to charity. This will also give you an idea on the volume of items you have to move.
Four weeks – Notify utility companies This would be a good time for you to notify utility companies and inform them about your move to switch over. This includes gas and electricity, council tax, internet, phone rental and TV. You should also consider changing any car insurance, tax, memberships, phone contracts and inform your bank about the move. Now’s the time to also arrange a date to have your new house cleaned before you move
The buyers of our homes receive their very own property website to share via
Checklist Eight weeks Pack non-essential items Research your new area (transfer schools and order new uniform) Keep all important documents
Six weeks Decide on a local removal company Clear out any unwanted items Keep packing
It will be worth packing a night bag each to help everyone settle in, which means you won’t have to rummage through everything to find your toothbrush! in, and start ordering any new furnishings for your new property. Start packing away more items, that being, out of season clothes, books, dvd’s and even bulky items, like TV’s that aren’t used often.
Two weeks – Confirm all details Confirm your move with your removal company or van hire, estate agents and schools. If possible, try to organise someone to look after your pets and children for the day of your move, as this can also be a stressful time for them too. If your removal company doesn’t disassemble any furniture or sort out the un-plumbing for the washing machine, then now would be the ideal time to organise these. Remember to also cancel any local services you receive: this could be window cleaners, gardeners and newspaper deliveries. You should now also think about re-registering to vote and getting your post re-directed after your moving date. Continue packing away more furnishings, kitchen appliances and crockery that you won’t be using for the next couple of weeks.
24 hours – Final check and walk round You now have only 24 hours before you move, so double check that everything is packed away and ready for transit. It will be worth packing a night bag each to help everyone settle in, which means you won’t have to rummage through everything to find your toothbrush! You may want to create an inventory of your boxes and
furniture to help you keep track of what you have and to help you ensure it doesn’t go missing.
Moving day Today is the day! You need to be ready for when your removal company comes. Ensure that you let them know if there are any fragile boxes that need extra care when handling. If you’re moving yourself, then pack up your car or van and work out how many trips it may take. Before you leave, also take note of your final meter readings and send these off to your provider. Don’t forget to leave your keys for the new owners!
You have arrived at your new home! Give your removal company instructions of which boxes go in which rooms and make sure you are happy with everything that has arrived. Ensure you check for any damage before the movers leave. Read your new utility meters and send your readings of to your supplier. Taking photos of them will also ensure you have the correct reading if you need them again in the future. Unpack your essentials such as bed linen and clean towels. Don’t worry about the rest, it isn’t going anywhere! Order a takeaway, have a cup of tea and enjoy your first night with your family. Right, so now you’re all moved in, it’s time to settle down, unpack and enjoy your new place. Remember, planning is essential to ensure your move runs stress free.
social media with its address and personal message!
Notify utility companies Start preparation for your new house Keep packing
Two weeks Finalise all details Organise pet and child care Cancel local services Keep packing
24 hours Check every room and ensure everything is packed Pack a night bag so everything is to hand Collect your new keys Make sure your phone is fully charged so you can get in touch with the estate agents or removal company
Moving in Prepare for the arrival of the removal company and give them directions/ your contact details Ensure everything is ready to move Record meter readings
On arrival Give removal company instructions of what goes where Check for any damage before they leave Read your new utility meters and send them off to your supplier Check if the previous owners have left anything behind Unpack essentials Order a takeaway and sit back and relax!
Want to treat yourself to a proper removal company for your next move or are you prepared to do it yourself
Removal company or brave it yourself? Y
ou’re excited about your new home and location but the process of packing, organising and actually moving all of your items is something no-one really ever looks forward to. Not only that but you also have to contact utility companies, maintain a job, keep your children happy and clean your entire house. You do have super powers, right?
Removal companies You also won’t have to worry about the exhausting physical side of things, that being carrying boxes back and forth
Unless you live in a small property or flat, it could be worth hiring a professional removal company to help relieve some of the stress on the day. They have many skills and experience and some of the services they can provide include packing and
unpacking, dismantling and assembling furniture, loading your belongings quickly and securely, including those fragile and specialist items. They can even supply you with packing materials. Hiring a removal company will also allow you the time to collect the keys to your new home. You also won’t have to worry about the exhausting physical side of things, that being carrying boxes back and forth. Some services are great if you don’t have much time to plan and get these done yourself; however these do often come at a premium and may not be suitable for those on a budget. When choosing a removal company
Top tips for packing When packing, ensure you don’t overload your boxes with heavy items, as these will be difficult to lift and could cause a back injury. Fill any empty gaps using old newspaper, clothing, socks or even tea towels. This will help secure any items when they are being moved. its key to look at those which have good recommendations and reviews, as you need a company you can rely on. You can use comparison sites, such as comparemymove.com and reallymoving.com, to help find you the best deals.
items you have. You should also ask for the price to be broken down so you can see just how much you are paying for when it comes to certain aspects like insurance, packing, an hourly rate, mileage and any storage costs.
Once you have found a removal company, it can be useful to send them a briefing sheet that includes information about any items which need to be specially packed, any difficult or large items, plus any carpets and curtains which need moving. Finally, it can also be helpful to send them a floor plan of the new property so they can unload efficiently.
You should aim to get at least three quotes from removal companies, preferably from firms which will come out to your property rather than those who just estimate the cost over the phone, as you don’t want any nasty charges later on. Plus it will give the company an accurate idea of any restricted areas in your home, if they can park a van or lorry, and how many
Create an inventory and label all your boxes and write the contents on each box with a marker. That way you will know which room each box is to go in. And if you are super organised, you could even colour code each room! Pack heavier boxes on the bottom. This might seem like common sense but it will ensure that any of your fragile items won’t break. Pack a survival box. These are the things that you will need first and should include paper towels, bin bags, cutlery, the kettle, some mugs, tea, coffee, milk, sugar and finally, some toilet paper!
Turn up the feel good factor; market your property with us and we’ll add a ray of sunshine to your move with a FREE personalised website for your property! 0208 653 9393 jukesestateagents.co.uk email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org