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LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PROPERTY NEWS

Margi Willis Willis Margi

Estates Estates

OCTOBER 2020

CREATING YOUR HOME OFFICE WITH GROWING NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WORKING FROM HOME, IT’S IMPORTANT TO GET THE ENVIRONMENT JUST RIGHT HALF-TERM DAYS OUT A LOOK AT FAMILY DAYS OUT THIS AUTUMN

STYLISH WALLPAPER IDEAS THE HOTTEST HOME DECOR TRENDS THIS YEAR

SPORTING EVENTS EXPLOSIVE SPORTS ACTION THIS MONTH

HALLOWEEN RECIPES ENJOY THESE GHOULISHLY GREAT, SPOOKY TREATS


COVER STORY

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Creating your home office It is important to create the right home-working environment for you

PROPERTY

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Stylish wallpaper ideas The hottest home decor trends this year

TRAVEL

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Spooky places to visit this year Our guide to 5 of the spookiest locations in and around the UK

LIFESTYLE

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How to carve a pumpkin Here are some hints and tips to help you out

Half-term days out We take a look at some of the family days out available

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Halloween party at home A great guide to make it a special celebration at home

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Power women at the box office These leading ladies are set to take over the box office

SPORT

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October Sporting Events Let’s have a look at some of the biggest events this month

FOOD

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Halloween recipes A selection of recipes to ensure your spooky night goes well

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TOP

CONTENTS

SPOOKY PLACES TO VISIT IN THE UK THIS YEAR

It’s that time of year where we are all looking for a good scare and where better to start than some of the most terrifying places around the UK…

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n the build-up to Halloween, some of us get comfy on the sofa with a good horror film, while others are more adventurous. If you are the thrillseeker type, check out our guide to 5 of the spookiest locations in and around the UK.

BUCKLAND ABBEY, DEVON

WELCOME TO THE OCTOBER ISSUE!

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ummer seems a distant memory already! We have been blessed with warm weather throughout which has been a great benefit in these strange times.

experienced before we have helped create a guide to throwing the perfect Halloween party at home including how to carve a pumpkin, some great games and some spooky recipes too.

With the property market thriving, if you’re thinking about moving but haven’t started the process, we have put safety guidelines in place to ensure your safety. And with our expert local knowledge, we have all the tools you need to get you moving – including a FREE personalised website for you to share on social media.

How is it nearly half-term? Never fear though, we have a selection of great half-term, family days out as well as a guide to the top 5 spooky places to visit in the UK. And finally, we take a look at the Power-Women taking over at the box office this month.

This month’s issue provides you with a wide range of articles including the most stylish wallpaper trends for 2021, how to create the perfect home office and the biggest sporting events this month. It’s Halloween month, and knowing it’ll be a Halloween like we’ve never

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PROPERTY NEWS

Please note, we are doing our best to be accurate, but in these strange times, all the dates and availability at attractions may change, however, were correct at the time of writing.

We’ll start with a celebrity ghost. We all learned about Sir Francis Drake in school. In life, he was a national hero, a sea captain, naval officer and explorer who was famed for his circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition from 1577 to 1580. Buckland Abbey was sold to Sir Francis Drake in 1580 after the expedition and he made it his home. However, many locals feared the intrepid, and recently Knighted explorer, believing he had supernatural powers. Some even said he had made a pact with the Devil which was how he had defeated the Spanish Armada. In death, his ghost is now believed to haunt Buckland Abbey and ride across Dartmoor in a black coach driven by headless horses led by goblins and pursued by barking dogs. Buckland Abbey is run by the National Trust and you can visit it all year round.

Till next time… Jonathan Wheatley Editor

Spooky fact: It has been suggested that the ghost story even inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write The Hound of the Baskervilles.


CROFT CASTLE, WEST MIDLANDS

TREASURER’S HOUSE,YORK

The Croft family, where the castle got its name, are descendants of the famous Welshman, who is believed to haunt the castle as a seven-foot figure clad in a leather jerkin. Members of staff at the castle have also reported the cries of a wailing baby and a spectral figure wearing a grey doublet. In one of the windows, a woman has been seen wearing a crinoline (a stiff petticoat) who is believed to be a member of the Croft family.

An 18-year old engineer, who later became a policeman, named Henry Martindale has the best-known account of the spooky goings-on in the house. One day, when Martindale was installing a boiler in the cellars, he heard the sound of a trumpet and saw a soldier’s helmet emerge from the wall he was working. As he watched, around 20 further spectral soldiers emerged armed with lances, short swords and round shields.

Croft Castle is also run by the National Trust and you can visit all year round.

Treasurer’s House is also run by the National Trust and you can visit all year round.

Croft Castle is said to be ‘The most haunted house in the Midlands,’ and amongst the seven spectres, it also has a famous resident, Welsh freedom fighter, Owain Glyndwr. Glyndwr was a Welsh leader born in 1359 who instigated a fierce war of independence against the English and was the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales.

Spooky fact: Members of staff have reported hearing their names being called when no one is around.

PLUCKLEY, KENT

Pluckley in Kent is in the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘Most haunted village in Britain.’ This quaint village is reputed to have between 12-14 ghosts including the spectre of a highwayman in a tree, the ghost of a gipsy woman who drowned in a nearby stream, a phantom coach and horse, the old miller on Mill Hill, the hanging body of a schoolmaster, a colonel, a man smothered in clay, the Lady of Rose Court, the White Lady and the Red Lady. One of the most famous haunted spots is the pub, The Blacksmith’s Arms, which was previously called The Spectre’s Arms and the Ghost’s Arms because of the number of hauntings and strange occurences. The pub is not haunted by just one, but three ghosts: A Tudor maid, a coachman and a Cavalier. Pluckley, Kent, is a village like any other with two pubs, however, to get the full spooky experience you can book a ghost walk with London Walking Tours

Spooky fact: Nearby, the aptly named Screaming Woods, is a real tourist trap with brave tourists choosing to camp overnight.

Treasurer’s House, nestled in the centre of York, has over 2000-years of history running through its veins. Renovated by Frank Green, a wealthy industrialist and passionate collector, Treasure’s House was used to showcase his collections including antique furniture, art and textiles.

Spooky fact: It was revealed that 18-inches below the current cellar floor, archaeologists revealed evidence of an ancient Roman road.

CANNOCK CHASE FOREST, STAFFORDSHIRE

Cannock Chase forest is a natural beauty spot in Staffordshire, however, it also has a horrid history including murder and chilling sightings of a spectre known locally as ‘The Black Eyed Child.’ First spotted over 30-years ago, the sightings have restarted over the past decade. Recent descriptions of the spectre are eerily similar to those in the 80s, where a child, with coal-black pits for eye sockets, haunts the woods. It is a hot-spot for paranormal investigators who have also heard stories around the world regarding other children with the same eerie eyes, however, only in Cannock Chase do the sightings consistently happen during the daytime. Often the sightings will happen after hearing screams. The child will appear with her hands over her eyes, before revealing her ghastly form. Cannock Chase Forest is run by Forestry England and boasts a children’s play area, orienteering trails and Go Ape.

Spooky fact: During the 1960s three young girls were murdered in what became known as ‘The Cannock Chase Murders.’

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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CREATING THE PERFECT

HOME OFFICE SPACE With growing numbers of people regularly working from home, it’s important to get the environment just right

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SPACE

With an ever-growing number of Brits now working from home each week, especially those whom after Covid-19 may not be going back to the office, it is important to create the right working environment. With the benefits from homeworking ranging from saving money on the commute to being in for deliveries and the school run, it is easy to see why so many people have jumped at the chance. But what should you consider when converting a room into a home office?

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Choosing the right space is the first important decision to make. It’s not just about fitting into any space; you will, after all, be spending most of your working day in there! If you’re able, choose a room that has some natural light coming in and that will be big enough to accommodate a desk, chair and storage – depending on your needs, of course. Once in, decide the best layout. For some, a view into the garden is nice, for others, however, it can be a distraction. It is worthwhile trying out a few different layouts before settling on one.


CREATE THE PERFECT ENVIRONMENT

As you will be spending a good deal of time working in your chosen room, it’s vital that you create the perfect environment so that your productivity isn’t impacted. An uncomfortable and incorrectly positioned chair can lead to repeated shuffling to get comfortable, leading to distraction and a lack of desire to lock yourself away in your office and get the job done. Likewise, try to remove other distractions such as TVs. The same ethos applies to your desk. Work out how much space you need. Is it just a laptop you need the space for, or will you be using it to organise paperwork? Perhaps you need two screens? Whatever your needs, ensure you have a desk that is up for the job. When it comes to decorating your room, go for it. A simple, plain room may look like your office back at work, but now you are at home you can install some of your own personality into it. Why not get some printed wallpaper to give the impression of a library or go for your favourite calming colour.

KIT IT OUT

OK, so you know what you need, now it’s time to kit out your office. With internet shopping, you no longer need to rely on a trip to Ikea to get the office furniture you need. It’s always a good starting point but why not try the likes of www.wayfair.co.uk, www.officefurnitureonline.co.uk or www. ryman.co.uk to name but a few. Of course, you can always stay local with second-hand furniture shops or even Facebook Marketplace for everything you need. Again, work out what you need before you buy so you don’t end up buying more than you need. Another handy tip is to invest in some shelves. These are great space savers and also create a really nice,

stylish backdrop for Zoom and Skype meetings when full of books.

STORAGE DELIGHTS

Keep it tidy and keep it simple! There are plenty of storage solutions out there for your home office space. And if floor space is limited, utilise wall space instead with bookcases or wall storage. Buying a desk with storage drawers and cupboards can also be highly beneficial. Also, try to keep your office stuff in your new office. You don’t want to be rushing all over the house looking for stationery equipment or paperwork in the middle of a busy task you need to concentrate on. Folders, units, shelves and drawers are a necessity now that you are working from home to keep organised.

GET CONNECTED If your broadband speed isn’t up to scratch it can be frustrating. Employers are likely to call you back into the office if your speed can’t handle the work you need to do. Alternatively, if you use Skype for business, a poor broadband speed could seriously hinder any meetings you have planned.

As you will be spending a good deal of time working in your chosen room, it’s vital that you create the perfect environment so that your productivity isn’t impacted.

Slow broadband speed is a big turn off. Luckily rural countryside areas are finally catching up with inner-city speeds. Comparison websites such as Uswitch and Compare the Market will show you the best deals and estimated speeds in your area in minutes. Not only do you need a fast broadband speed, but you also want one that is consistently good from morning to evening. So check reviews on websites in regards to reliability and not just speed.

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HOW TO CARVE

A PUMPKIN

THIS HALLOWEEN

With Halloween coming up, there is nothing that symbolizes this holiday better than a carved pumpkin…

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hether you want to create a simple jack-o-lantern or something a little more artistic, here are some hints and tips that will help you out. As anyone who has ever carved a pumpkin already knows, it can be a messy job and tougher than first expected.

USE THE RIGHT PUMPKIN

When picking a pumpkin make sure you get to the shops early and pick one that is fresh, unbruised and has both a sturdy stem and a flat bottom. You’ll want the flat bottom, especially so that it stays stable when carving and doesn’t roll when you have finished and put it on show.

CUT FROM THE BOTTOM

Yes, you read that right, when making your first cut, choose to create the lid at the bottom of the pumpkin. This will help stop your pumpkin from caving in at the sides and you will also avoid the fiddliness of putting the lid back on after it has been cut.

SCOOP OUT THE PULP AND THIN THE WALLS

Ensure when you are inside the pumpkin that you scoop out all the pulp and seeds. You can get a special

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PROPERTY NEWS

‘pumpkin’ claw for this job, alternatively, a great tool most people have at home already for this job is an ice cream scoop. When scooping out also thin down the inner wall of the ‘face’ area so it will be easier to cut.

When making your first cut, choose to create the lid at the bottom of the pumpkin

SKETCH OUT YOUR DESIGN

On a piece of A-4 paper, sketch out your spooky design. Ideally do this to the size of the pumpkin, covering the whole piece of paper so when the time comes you can tape the sketch onto the ‘face’ of the pumpkin. You will then be able to use this as a guide when it comes to actually cutting out the pumpkin.

MAKE ROUGH CUTS FIRST

Holding the pumpkin in your lap for stability, start by making the largest,

OTHER HINTS AND TIPS Use the scraps of the pumpkin to make a tongue, hair accessories etc, for the pumpkin. Spread petroleum jelly on the cut edges to seal in moisture and keep your jack-o-lantern fresh. Create a chimney. When you first light a candle inside, let it burn for a few minutes and then check where it has blackened. Then simply create a small hole in that area to act as a chimney.

simplest rough cuts using a serrated kitchen knife. By getting the bigger pieces out of the way, you can then go back and neaten up the edges and details later using a small saw or sharp non-serrated knife.


AUTUMN HALF-TERM DAYS OUT With half-term already approaching, we thought we’d take a look at some of the awesome family days out available this year

Treat the little-ones this half term, especially after starting school and the craziest of the past 6-months, with a day out at Legoland, Windsor. Legoland is the ultimate experience for kids of all ages, and let’s face it, what child doesn’t love Lego!

The York Dungeon is a journey through 2000 years of York’s darkest history, bringing together iconic characters, immersive sets and thrilling special-effects in a unique actor-led experience. While there you will meet characters such as the Black Jester, Jorvik and Guy Fawkes, and visit locations such as the Torture Chamber and the Courtroom.

The theme park offers day passes and annual passes as well as mini-staycations and short breaks which are great for half term and getting away. They have also introduced new attractions such as the World’s First DUPLO Coaster, DUPLO Playtown, The Frog Prince at the DUPLO Valley Theatre alongside favourites like LEGO NINJAGO The Ride, Miniland, Viking River Splash and expect there to be spooky goings-on throughout the park in October.

Aimed at older children, the York Dungeon is a great and informative day out, while educational at the same time (just don’t tell the kids) and fits in nicely with Halloween coming up. In all, there are 9 live actor shows, specially designed sets and gripping storytelling from a professional cast. Tickets need to be booked online and cost £11.95 for children (aged 5-15 years) and £15.10 for adults. The Dungeons also offer similar attractions in London, Edinburgh and Blackpool.

incredible underwater world as part of their mission to inspire a love for the ocean and its creatures.

There are a dozen Sealife centres in and around the UK and they are some of the most beloved and well-visited attractions in the UK. Each year, they welcome over 20 million explorers into their

Each centre offers expert daily talks, self-guided tours and workshops and multimedia experiences like Shark Mission and Art Aquarium alongside all your favourite sea creatures including sharks, seahorses, penguins, turtles, clownfish, jellyfish, rockpool creatures and rays. You will need to book online for tickets and they offer general admission, adult and child tickets, annual passes and the Merlin Annual Pass which gets you into other great attractions too.

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STYLISH WALLPAPER IDEAS AND TRENDS

Looking at decorating a living room, home office or bedroom this year? Let’s take a look at some of the hottest trends!

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tylish and trendy wallpapers have never been more popular. A few years ago, the trend was for neutral shades of paint etc, however, times have changed and, as such, so has interior design, with modern design now leaning towards expressions of individuality. And there is no better way to show your individuality than with printed wallpaper.

ABSTRACT WALLPAPER PATTERNS In a digital world, it is no surprise to see geometric, abstract patterns coming to the forefront of interior design. They offer a futuristic, yet stylish dĂŠcor for home offices and bedrooms. Check out this design from www.iwantwallpaper. co.uk by Debona.

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PROPERTY NEWS


ORIGINAL PRINTS With day-to-day life more stressful than ever, designers are advising not to bring the stress home with you. Fill your home, especially your living room, with original wallpaper prints offering custom designs, unexpected colours and unusual textures. Here’s one we think you’ll love from www. contrado.co.uk

ECO-FRIENDLY MATERIAL We’re all trying to do our bit for the environment, so why not try an eco-friendly wallpaper. Naturalism works really well with eco wallpapers and they work perfectly in rooms which receive ample sunlight. www.farrow-ball.com offer some great, naturalist, ecofriendly wallpapers with their handcrafted ‘greener’ options.

LUXURY WALLPAPER Luxury, designer wallpaper is a sure-fire way to add some flair to your home. The wallpaper will immediately turn any room into a sophisticated one. Again, geometric patterns are in favour for the future with lots of golds and dark greens. Head over to www.grahambrown.com to find a huge selection of some of the most stylish luxury wallpaper available anywhere.

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HALLOWEEN PARTY AT HOME H

Halloween will, like most of 2020, be a different experience this year, however, we have a great guide to make it special at home‌

alloween has always been about Trick-or-Treat, pumpkins and decorating your house, however, this year, with Trick-or-Treating all but off the schedule, we thought we would look at the ways to have a great Halloween party at home with your immediate family.

DECORATIONS First things first, you will need to get a whole lot of decorations. Budget shops such as Poundstretcher and B&M are great places to pick up one-off decorations for your house. To make it a family affair, why not make DIY decorations. This is a great way to keep children entertained and build excitement for Halloween this year. Glow in the dark paint and stickers are great to stick onto black paper and then cut off to make dangling decorations such as skeletons, ghosts and witches which look great hanging from doors, in windows and in the centre of the room.

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Start putting the decorations up early to create a build-up to the event itself which will help get the kids excited and forget about the potential lack of Trick-or-Treating this year‌

TRICK-OR-TREATING With Trick-or-Treating probably off the menu this year due to social-distancing, why not create an Easter-style egg hunt around your home with a spooky candy hunt? You can set up clues that lead around the house with spooky goings-on around the home, almost like Scooby-Doo. Kids will love finding sweets and treats amidst all the spooky decorations.

FAMILY PARTY GAMES After the Trick-or-Treat hunt, why not have some fun and games as a family, while enjoying those sweet treats.

BEAN BAG TOSS This game is really simple and utilises carved pumpkins and Trick-or-Treat buckets. Each player has three shots to get their bean bags into either the buckets or carved pumpkins for a certain amount of points. And even better, once you have finished, you can add a tealight and put the pumpkin on show!


EYEBALL PONG Similar to beer pong for adults, paint spooky eyes on table tennis balls and take it in turns to bounce the eyeballs on a table and into a cup. Have a prize for the most balls in a cup each turn – obviously not beer if you’re playing with the kids!

GHOST AND PUMPKIN BOWLING Dependant on whether a new toilet roll shortage has started again, paint ghoulish faces onto 10 toilet rolls and stack them in a pyramid. Then, using a pumpkin with a spooky face painted on and with the stalk cut off, see how many toilet rolls you can knock over each go.

PARTY TIME Now is the time for some classic fun and games. Turn the family-friendly, spooky music loud and dance around the house. You can incorporate musical statues at any time, stopping the music and watching who freezes like a ghost! See who can dance like a zombie or a mummy the best and let the kids go crazy working off the sweets in their systems.

CHILLOUT TIME After all that fun and excitement, now is the time to chill. There are a huge number of familyfriendly spooky films on Sky, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Some of the classics include Casper the Friendly Ghost, The Haunted Mansion and The Witches. Perfect for a family cuddle on the sofa under a blanket whilst eating all those sweet treats, including some of the fabulous recipes on pages 14&15. It may not be the same as going out in the local community and Trick-or-Treating with friends, however, with the current, ongoing situation, we hope some of these ideas will help you celebrate Halloween and create a fun evening for the kids this year!

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OCTOBER SPORTING EVENTS With the emergence of Autumn and a busy sports calendar now reopen, let’s have a look at some of the biggest events this month…

LONDON MARATHON

NATIONS LEAGUE

Virgin Money, who host the event, has set up a virtual event this year taking place on the same day. General entries are now closed, however, you can still enter by running for a charity. Entrants will have 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete the 26.2 miles by walking, jogging or running.

England were drawn against Belgium, Denmark and Iceland who they will play both home and away, with the four group winners qualifying for the UEFA Nations League Finals which feature semi-finals, a third-place match and the final. At the end, the ten group winners advance directly to the World Cup finals for 2022.

The 2020 London Marathon will be a marathon like no other due to Covid-19. This year, only elite athletes will run the 26.2-mile course through the capital. The course will be spectator free and follow a different course from the usual one. However, non-elite athletes will still have a chance to compete in the 40th race.

MARATHON & VIRTUAL EVENT

The Nations League kicks off again this month. It is the second edition of UEFA’s newest national-team competition. 55 teams have been split into four leagues according to their position in the 20/21 UEFA Nations League Access List and the teams were then split again into four pots in each league.

FIXTURES

Virgin Money London Marathon 4th October 2020.

England V Belgium 11th October 2020 @ 17:00

CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRINT

England V Denmark 14th October 2020 @ 19:45

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FORMULA 1

The Formula 1 season is in full swing and is showing no let-down in October, with three races over the month. As it stands, Lewis Hamilton is top of the driver standings closely followed by Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, while Mercedes are top of the Team Standing ahead of rivals Red Bull. First up this month is the Eifel Grand Prix on the 9th to the 11th October. The race will be held at the Nürburgring this year. After this, we have the Portugal Grand Prix which will be held on the 23rd to the 25th October at Portimao. Before finishing with the Italian Grand Prix on the 31st October till the 1st November in Imola.

RACE LIST Eifel Grand Prix. 11th October 2020. Nürburgring. Portugal Grand Prix. 25th October 2020. Portimao. Italian Grand Prix. 1st November 2020. Imola.


POWER WOMEN AT THE BOX OFFICE October is the month where some of the most powerful women in the world are taking over at the Box Office.

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t’s been a strange year, especially for cinema where most movies stopped production during the Covid-19 pandemic. With cinemas now open, studios are finally ready to unleash their big guns. And there are none bigger than the following leading ladies.

WONDER WOMAN 1984

First up is the long-awaited Wonder Woman sequel, Wonder Woman 1984. Patty Jenkin’s sequel has been delayed due to Covid-19 more times than anyone cares to remember, but as of writing, it is due to be released this month. Wonder Woman 1984 will pick up in the 1980s, where she will be united with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor from the first film. When released it will be the second DC film of the year after February’s other girl-power blockbuster Birds of Prey

starring Margot Robbie. This time, Diana Prince, aka, Wonder Woman will be facing off against Pedro Pascal, from Game of Thrones fame, as Max Lord, and Kristen Wiig, from Bridesmaids, as Cheetah. Gal Gadot is back as Woman Woman after her previous outings in the first Wonder Woman, Justice League and Batman V Superman. Warner Bros is hoping the sequel will do similar business as the original which took $822 million worldwide in 2017.

BLACK WIDOW

Next up is Marvel’s Black Widow. Scarlett Johansson has played the character since she was first introduced in Iron Man 2 way back in 2010. Since then she has appeared in 8 further MCU movies, where we have had clues to her background, but nothing

concrete. Black Widow promises to change that with an in-depth look into Natasha Romanoff’s background. For the movie, we are going back in time, for obvious reasons, (spoiler alert) to the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War from 2016. New characters are going to be introduced including David Harbour, Stranger Things, Rachel Weisz, The Mummy, and Florence Pugh, Little Women. Originally due to be released in May, the official release date now is the 28th of October. The bad guy has already been announced as Taskmaster, a character more famous from the comics as he has yet to be seen on the big screen. He can mimic any physical movement he sees, except anything supernatural. But who is the actor behind the mask? That is a question that is still yet to be answered.

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Make the most of your Halloween party this year with these ghoulishly great, spooky recipes.

SPOOKY HALLOWEEN RECIPES

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o Halloween party is complete without a scary selection of creepy cupcakes, candy apples and devilish dinners. Here we have put together the best selection of recipes to ensure your spooky night goes off without a hitch.

70g butter 50g peanut butter 150g golden caster sugar 1 medium egg 1tsp vanilla extract 180g plain flour ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 20 peanut butter cups, Maltesers or Rolos 100g milk chocolate Icing sugar 8 red apples 400g caster sugar 1tsp lemon juice 4tbsp golden syrup 8 sticks, chopsticks and lolly sticks

SPIDER BISCUITS Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan and line two baking sheets with parchment. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar together until fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Once combined, stir in the flour, bicarb and ¼ tsp salt. Scoop 20 tbsps of the mixture onto the trays leaving enough space between each. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm at the edges but soft in the middle. Leave to cool before topping each biscuit with a peanut butter cup, Malteser or Rolo. Melt the milk chocolate before scraping into a piping bag and then add the legs onto each spider before finally adding icing eyes.

CANDY APPLES Remove the stalks from the apples and put them in a heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water and cover and leave for 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and pat dry. Push the sharpest end of each stick into the stalk-end of each apple. Tip the sugar into a large saucepan, add the lemon juice and 100ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Add the golden syrup and simmer again. Test the toffee by dropping a small amount into cold water, if it doesn’t harden immediately and become brittle when removed, it’s not ready yet. Dip each apple into the toffee. Lift out and allow any excess to drip off before placing on baking parchment to set.

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135g pack of lime jelly 700ml apple juice 300ml lemonade 435g can lychees in syrup 10 cocktail cherries 10 raisins

EYEBALL COCKTAIL Make the jelly following the pack instructions and chill until set. Combine the apple juice with the lemonade in a large jug and chill. Drain the lychees and poke a hole in each cherry with one of the cocktail sticks. Put the cherry inside the lychee, then push the raisin into the cherry. These are your eyes. Press each one onto the end of a cocktail stick and set aside. When the jelly has set, use a whisk to break it into small chunks. Spoon the cocktail into glasses and tup up with the apple and lemonade mix. Put an eyeball into each glass before serving.

TO DECORATE:

HAUNTED GRAVEYARD CAKE

1 egg white 50g icing sugar 200ml single cream 200g dark chocolate 125g rich tea finger biscuits 100g double chocolate cookies 25g white chocolate silver balls to decorate

Preheat the oven to 110c/90c fan. Whip the egg whites in a bowl until stiff

FOR THE CAKE:

Turn the oven up to 180c/160c fan. Tip the cocoa powder, self-raising flour

85g cocoa powder 200g self-raising flour 375g light brown muscovado sugar 4 eggs 200ml milk 175ml vegetable oil

peaks form. Whisk in the sugar a tbsp at a time and keep whisking until the mixture is thick and resembles shaving foam. Spoon the mixture into a large freezer bag and cut a 1.5cm hole in one of the corners. Cover a baking sheet with some baking parchment and carefully squeeze a small circle of whipped egg white out of the bag, pulling upwards as you do to make a ghost shape. Repeat until you run out of the mixture. Bake for 1 ½ hours until crisp. and sugar into a large bowl, breaking up any sugar clumps. Mix together the eggs, milk and oil in a bowl then pour over the dry ingredients and stir evenly until smooth. Grease and line a deep baking dish with parchment and then pour the mixture in and bake for 30 minutes. Leave to cool and turn out onto a serving plate. Heat cream in a saucepan until just boiling. Place the dark chocolate in a large bowl and pour over the hot cream. Stir until melted, then use a clean brush to paint a layer over 7 rich tea finger biscuits, then set aside to cool. Pour the remaining chocolate over the cake and smooth over with a knife. Whizz or bash the chocolate cookies until small crumbs form and then sprinkle over the cake. Place the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, spoon into a freezer bag and wait for 10 minutes until it is no longer runny. Put a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and pipe two blobs onto each ghost and place a silver ball onto each to make eyes. Write on the gravestones, leave to set and then push the biscuit gravestones into the cake.

All recipes are from the www.bbcgoodfood.com website Images for illustrative purposes only

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Testimonials Emma – Vendor and buyer Viewings were handled really well we were given at least a days’ notice they understood that we had children and it was often quite difficult to get the house ready but they understood that and took that into account when booking a viewing. Afterwards we were always given feedback on the viewing within a day really.” “I would really recommend Margi Willis Estate Agents to all my family and friends, anyone who asked me, they we so helpful throughout the whole process, they completely took the stress out of the process.

Martine – Landlord, buyer and seller The photographs were great, there was no problem finding a tenant, I had absolutely no problems at all.” “My overall experience with Margi Willis, being a landlord and a buyer and a seller has been absolutely second to none, I would hand on heart recommend them for anything to do with property.

Alan & Ellen – Vendor From our initial contact with them we’ve always had very good service, very helpful, extremely pleasant even with on one particular property we had, we decided to rent it for a while which was very helpful in coming along talking to us and agreed a figure and this continued, not just initially but throughout the whole process.

Nick – Landlord, buyer and seller From my original property, because it was so good, I have now got 4 properties which they manage. In one of the properties, the people moved out, then someone moved in the following day and it was very slick, I’ve had other properties where people have left and it’s taken a while to find the right people, it isn’t just about putting bums on seats, it’s about getting the right bums on the right seats. I would always recommend Margi Willis to anyone, because they are a small, independent family business, you get looked after, you know who’s looking after you, people that work at Margi Willis, stay at Margi Willis they don’t move on, and if the staff are happy then you are happy.

margiwillis.co.uk


Margi Willis Estates Margi Willis – Managing Director OUTGOING, VIVACIOUS AND SENSITIVE How long have you lived in the area? All my life What do you love most about your job? Making people’s dreams come true What makes you unique? I once met the cast of Shooting Stars and Mark Lemarr gave me a hug! What makes you happy? My children, grandchildren and family Best piece of advice you have ever been given? Love life and be happy!

Toni Williams – Office Manager SASSY, BUBBLY AND LOVING How long have you lived in the area? 34 years What do you love most about your job? Working with my mum and team Willis in our family business What makes you unique? I studied acting at university and once played Button’s in panto! What makes you happy? Family, sunshine and champagne Best piece of advice you have ever been given? Eat the cake, buy the shoes and drink the wine

Phil Dobson – Accounts PERSISTANT, SUPPORTIVE AND CARING How long have you lived in the area? 37 years What do you love most about your job? Working together as a team What makes you unique? I got asked for ID whilst buying champagne – I was 60 at the time What makes you happy? Watching my 2 year old grandson grow Best piece of advice you have ever been given? Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve

margiwillis.co.uk


MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME Don’t let the clocks be the only thing changing this month… Move with us and we will ensure your property move is as easy as possible, offering you exceptional customer service and innovative marketing options.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY 0115 9305555| margiwillis.co.uk| sales@margiwillis.co.uk

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Margi Willis - October 2020